Lasts

Tags

, , , , ,

Sunny skies

Since becoming a parent I’ve been acutely aware of the passing of time. When you have a small person growing before your eyes you have this constant reminder of the transience of things. Tiny hands and tiny nails growing bigger with every passing day, to a distant tick, tick, tick. Strangers telling you, “Make the most of it – they don’t stay small for long,” as you battle through tantrums. Even the most grim of parenting moments seems to be a reminder that nothing is forever.

I remember, in technicolour detail, folding my daughter’s outgrown newborn clothes and putting them away safely in a box to be stored in the loft. I cried as I did it, a mixture of raging hormones, sleep deprivation and the dawning realisation that time was passing too quickly.

I would cuddle my newborn tightly in my arms in cafes, sniffing in that new baby scent – a mixture of milk and magic baby perfume – and feel secretly sorry for mums cradling a bigger baby. My baby was still tiny, I was behind them. I still had all this time to enjoy. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 10 #BlogBumpClub

Tags

, , , , ,

Blogger Bump Club

This week I am mainly loving being pregnant. I know, weird. I can’t drink wine or eat my favourite cheese, I have cankles and my backside is bigger than it used to be but still, I don’t mind.

After a tough few weeks where I’ve felt drained by the juggle of everyday life – work, a child with a broken leg, sleep deprivation etc – it’s felt like something has changed recently. My bump is bigger and rounder, but I quite like it. I feel more confident and, although the tiredness is still there, it’s not all-consuming.

I’m hoping beyond hope that this feeling lasts a little longer as I’m now 29 weeks. Past experience tells me to make the most of it before I get even bigger and uncomfortable.

Things I’m currently liking about being pregnant: Continue reading »

One maternity dress: 3 ways

Tags

, , ,

Isabella Oliver maternity tunic

OK, I’ll admit it. I may have cankles and my thighs are far from perfect at the moment, but I’m starting to love my body a little bit. If that makes me sound like a frivolous, egotistical woman then so be it. I can’t help it. I blame the big old bump and the pregnancy hormones. I’m sure it won’t last for long.

Anyway, one of the reasons I’m feeling pretty OK about the way I look right now is very much down to what I’m putting on my body. Aside from all the creams, my maternity wardrobe is doing me some definite favours.

I know some people aren’t down with spending cash on clothes you won’t wear for longer than nine months, but as far as I’m concerned it’s money well spent. If it wasn’t for my new threads then I’m sure I’d spend much of the time at the moment mourning the loss of my waist and feeling generally bleurgh. For me, what I wear can have a huge impact on how I feel about myself. Clothes are powerful like that.  Continue reading »

One year in Devon or, “Things turn out OK in the end”

Tags

, ,

Living in Devon

One of my biggest regrets of the past three years is that I wasted so much time worrying. I was a worrier with a capital W. I worried about where we were going to live, what we were going to do for work and what school my daughter would eventually go to. I worried about all sorts of things but, mainly, I worried about the future.

I am a planner you see. I wish I wasn’t but I am. So there you go. This means that, although we lived in a pretty little cottage in a lovely village in Berkshire not far from London, I couldn’t relax. It was all so… temporary.

We rented our house and lived on a rolling short term tenancy contract. Buying a house was on our “To Do” list, not because we aspired to owning property particularly but because tenants in this country hardly have any rights or security and, after 6 years renting we’d had enough. We wanted to put down roots properly but knew the chances of affording anything bigger than a shoebox in that part of the UK was nigh on impossible. Continue reading »

Kids, theatres and The Singing Kettle Tour 2014

Tags

,

The Singing Kettle Tour 2014

As the daughter of a retired drama teacher, it’s fair to say I’ve been to quite a few shows. From Shakespeare in Stratford-Upon-Avon to The Lion King in London, whenever my mum had a school trip to see a particularly good play or musical I would often tag along. I think that’s why I’m so keen on my own daughter having similar experiences of the theatre.

If you’re looking for a great show to take the kids to this summer then you could do worse than booking tickets for The Singing Kettle Tour. It’s a brilliant introduction to theatre for pre-schoolers and has become a bit of a benchmark in the early years theatre industry. Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 9 #BlogBumpClub

Tags

, ,

Blogger Bump Club

I can’t really start this week’s #BlogBumpClub without a huge congratulations to the group’s first blogger babies born last week – two beautiful boys! Read about Amy’s incredible home birth and say a big congratulations to Sara-Jayne too, our first #BlogBumpClub new mums.

This week has, in our house, been a FAR better one than the last. Mainly due to my wonderful mum who came to the rescue on Tuesday. Not only did she collect my four year old from pre-school and take her for lunch giving me an extra two hours to get my work done. But she also helped me wash her (no mean feat considering Frog’s leg is still broken and still in a cast) and put her to bed while I soaked in a wonderful bubble bath. Oh, and she brought me a cup of tea in bed the following morning, made a cake and gave us a jar of homemade jam. My mum officially wins.  Continue reading »

5 ways parenthood is like Orange is the New Black

Tags

, ,

OITNB

Like the rest of the world, I am a BIG fan of Orange is the New Black. I gorged on both seasons within a fortnight each and, when the last episode was finished, I wondered what I would do with the OITNB shaped hole in my life.

I love the show for the addictive plot lines, strong female characters and incredible writing. But that’s not all. Somewhere into the second series I started to draw some comparisons with the life of the inmates in Orange is the New Black and my own life as a mum.

Stick with me on this one…

5 Ways Orange is the New BLACK is like Parenthood:

 

1. Sleep in the pitch dark becomes a thing of the past. 

My daughter’s scared of the dark. So, like the inmates in OITNB, we sleep with a bright landing light on all the way through the night. In fact, I’ve become so used to sleeping with the light on that I wonder if I, too, am now afraid of the dark.  Continue reading »

Blogger Bump Club Week 8 #BlogBumpClub

Tags

, ,

Blogger Bump Club

This week has been all about survival for me. It’s fair to say the whole having a child with a broken leg thing is getting a bit old now. My back is aching from lifting her, my ankles and feet are getting puffier by the day and I’m just, well, knackered.

It’s not all moan, moan, moan though. With any luck Frog’s cast will be taken off in a couple of weeks and then, a week after that, it will be the school holidays meaning the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine will be at home (he’s a teacher) and adventures can begin.

When we talked about having a second baby we both agreed the autumn would be an ideal time for us. Frog will be at school by then, plus the NLM will be at home over the summer when I’m huge and struggling to juggle work deadlines with being pregnant and running around after a four year old. Mind you, it’s recently dawned on me this means Frog will be facing two huge areas of change in one go: becoming a big sister and starting school. Any advice on how to prepare her for that would be much appreciated! Continue reading »

Is four too young for pocket money?

Tags

,

pocket money jar

A few weeks ago we made a decision. After noticing an increasing amount of, “But I want THAT Mummy!” and, “But WHY can’t I have ten magazines, a bar of chocolate and a new princess outfit Daddy?!” the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine and I decided to start teaching our daughter the value of money.

The thing is, our daughter only turned four years old last weekend. Money is still a pretty foreign concept to her. She thinks the cashpoint is a magic place that just spurts out tenners to whoever has a finger to press the buttons. Numbers are a new addition to her vocabulary – she’s proud as punch if she can count to 35 without stopping.  Continue reading »

The one about the rainbow party

Tags

, ,

It’s taken three days but I think I have finally recovered from my daughter’s first proper birthday party. And, although I needed to go and lie down in a darkened room afterwards, the smell of sweet success (and only one juice-spilling tears incident) still leaves me with a satisfied smile.

At four years old Frog was quite clear about what she wanted. She requested a rainbow themed birthday party and was eager to invite lots of her friends. Seeing as we’ve only lived in Devon for just under a year, many of her friends are fairly new ones. I thought organising a proper birthday party would be a good way of encouraging her friendships and help us take stock of how well settled we are here now. Plus, I am clearly a sucker for punishment. Continue reading »