Me & Mine January 2017

Well if January is anything to go by 2017 is going to absolutely whizz by! Can’t quite believe it yet here we are and the first Me and Mine post of 2017.

The first family shot this year was actually taken on the 2nd January! We had a lovely morning out at our local country park with family and were playing and having a generally great time. With us all so happy I decided to grab an impromptu snap, and, well it was a miraculous snap as I managed to get us all smiling in the first frame! It is much irretrievably favourite family photo and I just adore it. IMG_20170102_200014_837

We’ve got a couple of other snaps this month too. LM is growing up so much and she has really started to like smiling for photos (hooray!) so there have been a couple of other family selfies that are just lovely and capture how we are as a family at the moment.First up, a little snap of us all on the sofa one evening after school, reading LM’s current favourite Usborne ‘find the duck’ book.

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In the next one we are in our bed, LM loves to play a game where we all snuggle up and pretend to be asleep then push the covers back and its time to get up. Monkey always loves a good snuggle and well, I’m sure you can all understand why mummy & daddy never say no to a game that primarily involves lying down :).20170107_083235

Rounding off with one final sofa snap, the kids are in their pj’s but I just love LM’s excitement at the prospect of a photo.

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So there we have it, our little family in January 2017 :)

My Email Address is working again

I have discovered that after making some recent changes to my hosting, that my email account hasn’t been working. As emails from different accounts come to the same mailbox I didn’t realise initially that I wasn’t getting any addressed to mummy@becomingastayathomemum.com.  This has now been fixed and I am receiving emails again.

Huge apologies to anyone who has tried to get in touch and not received a reply, I promise I was not ignoring you and would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Caroline xx

Social Awkwardness and the School Run

So Monkey started school last week and there are big changes in store for him and for all of us. He did so well and is loving school. I am getting used to the school run but I have never looked forward to the whole playground mums thing. The social etiquette, the cliques and just figuring out how to navigate it all makes me very nervous.

I’m not the most socially confident person. I wouldn’t call it shyness really, more a social awkwardness. In certain situations I can hide it. I can make small talk, I can strike up a bit of a conversation with another parent at play area or baby group. I can be polite and friendly. But in a bigger group I find that much much harder. And taking it beyond politeness and small talk and I really falter. It’s one of the reasons I don’t feel I’ve connected with many bloggers and why you won’t find me at a blogging event. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m terrified I will say something stupid. That people will sort of “see through me” and put simply, won’t like me. So in general I keep people at a certain distance.

I’ve always been a little like this but it has gotten worse over recent years, in part due to the disintegration of my friendship with the girls I at one time considered my closest friends. The breakdown of any relationship can leave scars and this one definitely did. I’m not going to go into all the why’s and wherefores. I know I wasn’t blameless but I also know it wasn’t entirely my fault. It was a disintegration that happened over the course of a few stressful years, in the run up to my wedding, immediately after it, all throughout my difficult pregnancy with Monkey and through those hard first months with him.

Whenever we arranged to meet up I would be anxious in the days beforehand and generally have a sleepless night the night before, imagining all that could go wrong, what I would say that would provoke that response. The meet up itself would never be quite as bad as I feared but there would be barbs and thinly veiled insults that I would then relive for days wondering what I could have said or done differently. Wishing I had the guts to give as good as I got. These were my closest friends. Nuts eh? It just wasn’t healthy and eventually I walked away.

The trouble is that they were so ready and willing to see the worst in me. To believe the worst. It made me question myself, to question if I really was this awful person they seemed to believe me to be. These were some of my oldest friends, surely they knew me better than that? Or was I really, actually like that?

Thankfully they weren’t my only friends and I grew much closer to some of my other friends who had kids around the same time. Friends who couldn’t understand what was going on and who dubbed the others my “frenemies.” Friends who thankfully like me the way I am and don’t make me second guess myself all the time.

It’s all about 4 years ago now and I have moved on, I’m no longer terrified of running into them or seeing them somewhere. But it has affected me a lot. I struggle to let anyone in and am constantly worried about saying the wrong thing to a friend and the same thing happening again. One of my newest close mummy friends went a bit funny with me recently and I over analysed everything and thought I had ruined another friendship. Faced with those feelings I do one of 2 things, I try and over compensate for what I think I have done wrong… Or I back off completely to try and maintain a bit of pride and sort of not show I care. It turned out my friend’s dad was ill and she was very worried about him. I of course supported her and kicked myself for assuming the worst and assuming it was about me. But that’s what I do.

During those few days (which were also in the run up to Monkey starting school) I had a dream where I was talking about it to my brothers and they laughed in my face and said “yeah but that’s what you’re like isn’t it? You always say the wrong thing!” and it was horrible. I felt so rubbish and I don’t think they do actually think that about me but subconsciously I clearly do. It’s so annoying and self-defeating and self-centred to always make things about me and to assume it is always my fault and I try really hard to break the cycle but it isn’t easy.

I was supposed to meet up with a very lovely blogger recently and we couldn’t make it unfortunately due to various reasons and I have to admit that much as I wanted to meet up and get to know her, part of me was relieved. I was so worried she wouldn’t like me or that I would say something stupid and we wouldn’t get on.

The school run means challenges like this daily and I guess just reminds me of my anxieties. There are 60 kids in Monkey’s intake and though they are split into 2 classes, they are all sharing the same huge foundation stage area. So that’s 60 sets of parents I will see twice a day, every school day, for the next year, and beyond. As I said I can do the smile and small talk (even though doing so makes me feel horribly uncomfortable)… But not beyond that. I know some of the mums of Monkey’s preschool friends, but not many. Even there I struggled to have the confidence to talk to any of the groups of mums who already knew each other and it’s even worse now. There are so many opportunities for me to make a complete idiot of myself!

Ive umm-ed and ah-ed about whether to actually post this post as it feels quite self indulgent and wasnt really the post I intended to write when I started out. I don’t think I had realised how my apprehension of the school run and the social etiquette of the playground had  brought back all my feelings of inadequacy to the extent that it has. Maybe I needed to write this as some sort of cathartic experience and then move on. I was chatting to a lovely mum when I dropped Monkey off earlier and nthing terrible happened… I don’t have to be best friends with these people immediately, if ever so the lesson to me is to stop wrrying so much!

Does the school run make you nervous? Are you a social butterfly of the playground?

Me & Mine April 2016

Another month over, blimey where is this year going eh? itsle it just doesn’t feel like it is nearly May as it is so cold out there. Makes the few warm days we’ve had feel like a dream or something!

Just a short one as it has been a bit of a week with hubs, LM and I all a little under the weather and coughing all night so not sleeping too well.

Anyway I had hoped to get some lovely shots of our little family from my birthday bbq last weekend, but that just didn’t happen as it was very busy and a lot of fun. Thankfully though I did get some shots of us all on our visit to the local Bluebell Woods at the beginning of the month.

They aren’t the shots I imagined in my head but they are sunny and happy with lovely bluebells in the background.20160409152431 20160409152350 20160409152307

Hopefully the weather will warm up this month and we will manage some more family shots for next months installment of me & mine.

The Me and Mine Project

A week of Cake

Ooh there has been a lot going on this week…. and a lot of ups and downs to be honest! There has been a lot of cake eaten too… let me explain… and I apologise if this is a long waffly post!

Mickey Mouse CakeIt started off pretty well, with us celebrating our gorgeous girl’s first birthday. Sadly she had a rotten cold but nonetheless very much enjoyed her party with the family on Saturday. I made a Mickey cake (more Monkey’s request than hers really) and it was very lovely celebrating her birthday and the passing of that first tricky year. The family were all round and it was just very lovely and relaxed really.. with lots of yummy cake eaten.LMs bday

Saturday night I went out with a really good friend of mine and had such a lovely catch up with her over a meal and a good few glasses of wine. One of my very best friends she moved to London a few years ago and while we try and catch up as often as we can it isn’t always easy with family commitments. She was home for the weekend though and we had such a nice time and was so lovely to reconnect.20151024_223340

That night the clocks changed and of course our children woke very early. LM at 5am (not good when I only got in at midnight!) so we knew we had a long day ahead of us, especially after my late night. So I may have eaten a rather large slice of birthday cake at about 8am… just to keep me going of course!! It was our first properly free weekend day in ages so we did what we always do, and instead of having a relaxed day, decided to do something and made ourselves busy. So we headed to Ikea to try and get some bits we needed. We had a really good day but are daft and managed to forget a couple of things we wanted to get (d’oh!). As it is about an hour away and we went in 2 cars specifically so we could bring everything home…. so it was really irritating!

Monday we woke to hear that Hubs’ Grandpa was in hospital. He is 93 and sadly reaching the end of his life so my Mother in law had bless her been woken at 3.30 to tell her he is in hospital and was awake ever since talking to the hospital and his care home. Hubs agreed to take her to the hosiptal the following day to see him after convincing her she needed to rest and there was nothing she could do today as they were waiting to take some tests.

That morning the kids and I met some friends at a lovely soft play centre. We stayed all morning and had lunch there (which yep, included some cake!), but being half term it started to get very busy. With the weather looking beautiful outside we then headed to a nearby park for the kids to have a good run around before heading home.soft play

That night Hubs was out for a meal with work and that’s where things started to go a bit downhill. I decided to read a book and head to bed fairly early. Hubs got in around midnight… then at 1230 we heard some horrible noises from LM. She had been so much better all day but suddenly she was coughing horribly and having heard it with Monkey, we knew what the seal bark like cough meant. Croup. We tried to settle her but she really sounded like she was struggling to breathe. Our general rule is that you don’t mess around when it comes to breathing, so for the 2nd time in our lives (the first being when Monkey had croup and was turning blue) we called 999.

20151027_031802The paramedics arrived and though she had settled a bit by then and her sats weren’t too bad (unlike when Monkey had it thankfully) they wanted her to see a peadiatrician. So around 1am I was headed to the hospital in the ambulance with LM while Hubs called my parents and arranged for Mum to come and sleep at ours with Monkey so he could join us. Thankfully she didn’t need any oxygen but they gave her a dose of steroids which definitely perked her up, and she was charming everyone in the A&E, including other patients! She crashed and fell asleep around 3am and we were thankfully able to go home at around 330am.

Monkey then woke up at 5.50am and we brought him to bed with us but he just wanted to chat and play, and then LM woke up at 6.20! No rest for us! As I had at least had some sleep earlier in the evening I let hubs catch up a bit then headed downstairs with the kids. Hubs had taken that morning off work so he could take his Mum to visit his Grandpa at the hospital. It is all a bit sad but basically it is a waiting game now and he will go back to the home until it is time. The chat with the Dr and talking about it all really helped my Mother in Law come to terms with some of it which is a really good thing.

That day was supposed to be LM’s sort of party with my friends and their children, however obviously I wasn’t sure what to do as coup is contagious. I was especially worried for my friend with a 4 mth old and was gutted but relieved when she said she would stay away. I had been so looking forward to seeing her but just not worth risking her little one catching it. My other friends who slightly older kids decided to risk it, especially as LM was much better and the steroids had obviously worked as the croup cough had now gone.

We had a lovely day and the kids had a whale of a time which was really good. I was obviously exhausted but the company was lovely and they really helped with cleaning and entertaining the kids so it was great actually! I had planned on baking cakes that morning for the kids to decorate as something fun to do but did not have the time in the end so hubs bought some cheap cupcakes while he was out and the kids loved decorating the cakes.. though I think more time was spent eating the chocolate decorations and licking the icing haha but still kept them entertained for ages and we all went out to the garden afterwards to burn off the sugar high!friends here

That night Hubs and I were completely exhausted and in bed straight after the kids went down at 730! Poor hubs though had a flare up of IBS in the middle of the night (not surprising with all the stresses of the week) so the early night didn’t do him much good sadly. I woke at 5am to the sound of Monkey heading downstairs cheeky thing! I persuaded him back to bed but with his chatting to himself LM then woke up within about half an hour… so began the start of another long day which again led me to eating a slice of cake at around 8am!

It was a very wet day but thankfully Nanny spent some time with kiddies in the morning while I popped out to get the ingredients to make hubs’ birthday cake (yep another cake). We then had a play in the rain before visiting Granny & Grandaddy for a bit in the afternoon.playing in the rain

When LM had her nap Monkey and I got stuck in to making the Red Velvet cake Hubs had requested. He always enjoys jelping me bake so we did that in the afternoon and then I frosted it in the evning. Not my best red velvet as I couldn’t get the proper red food colouring, and I think it was slightly over-baked but never mind… it was also very wonky!red velvet

Thursday was hubs’ birthday and we popped out for lunch as a family and with his parents to a little town not too far away which has lots of antique shops.

hubs bdayThat evening they came round for a little chinese and to eat some yummy red velvet cake.

So there we have it. A seriously busy week full of ups and downs and lots and lots of cake!!

Hoping next week is calmer… and containing less cake as my waistline is very much expanding these days :)

 

Feeling better & enjoying the sun

This week has, on the whole, been a really rather lovely week. There has been ups and downs of course but on the whole I have been a feeling a lot better than I have recently. I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive since I shared my post about postnatal depression last week as I have received so many lovely kind words of support. I feel that accepting it and accepting treatment has made a huge difference and I do think the tablets are starting to help me too.

So what have we been up to? You may have read that it was my lovely Mum’s birthday last week so at the weekend we had a bit of a family celebration round theirs. Sadly it was a wet and miserable day so we were indoors but it was still very lovely. I didn’t take a huge amount of photos but both LM and Monkey loved playing with their uncles, aunty and Great Aunty Maggie, and Nanny & Pops of course :).

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LM was pooped out by the end too and fell asleep in the car seat, cuddling her foot!

Then of course we were hit by the heatwave this week, so Monkey, LM and I have spent quite a lot of time in the garden enjoying the sunshine. We set our gazebo up to give us some shade and, of course, got out the paddling pool.

LM absolutely loved her first go in the paddling pool, splashing and laughing to her heart’s content, it was adorable so I have included a little video for you if you’d like to see :)

She and Monkey had a whale of a time in there together with lots of splashing and laughing which was very lovely to see and hear.

fun in th paddling pool

There was a really lovely moment, when Monkey was playing happily in his sandpit, LM was playing with a toy and I was just sat back watching them, feeling really relaxed and content. Moments like that are when I love being a Mum, just watching my healthy, happy, beautiful children, playing and enjoying themselves.

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It was also a moment when I was so glad that we spent so much time, effort and money renovating our garden last year. It was so so worth it as we spend a lot time out there, and I hope for many more days like this to come.

On the whole it has just been a happy week and it has been a really nice change. A lot of this year seems to have been spent with one of us being ill. Hubs bless him still isn’t 100% and had some bloods taken earlier in the week to hopefully rule out anything serious as he has gone from cold to sinus infection to chest infection to throat infection. He was getting better but has said today his throat feels a little sore again :( I hope it’s just a tickle or hayfever and not him getting ill again!

The rest of us are at least healthy, LM’s teething isn’t bothering her as much so she is very smiley and Monkey is back to full spirits after a low couple of weeks reacting to my mood (sensitive soul that he is). I generally just feel much better. A bit more energised (although not today as I am very dozey after a hot sticky sleepless night last night) and more myself.

All I can say, is long may this continue!!

My word this week, is better :).

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All About You Link Party

I am hugely excited to be co-hosting the fabulous All About You Link Party this week with the lovely Zaz over at Mama-and More! I have long loved and supported this linky as I think making time for ourselves is hugely important for us Mummys. Being a Mum can feel all consuming and it is too easy to get caught up in looking after everyone else that we forget about our needs.

This linky is like it says in the title. All About YOU! What makes you happy? How do you feel? What do you want? I would love to know what you are up to so please link up any posts related to you, below :)

As for me, I am hugely struggling to find any time for me at the moment! We are now 3 weeks in to being consumed by illness. Monkey was ill first, then Little Miss, then Hubs. Monkey got a bit better but Hubs got worse and was on antibiotics for chest and sinus infections. Then LM went really downhill and then finally, last Friday I succumbed. To make matters worse Hubs finished his antibiotics then went hugely downhill again so has now started a second course. Monkey has gone a bit downhill again too and he and I have very scratchy squeaky voices at the moment!

It’s been really hard work taking care of everything and I have felt like a single parent at times as Hubs really hasn’t been able to help much. Single parents out there my hats off to you because I am not coping that well with shouldering everything on my own. I have tried to stay positive and just get on with things but actually feel the harder I try the worse things are and I keep making mistakes that cause more work. Knocking glass jars out of the fridge so they smash all over the floor, forgetting to add ingredients when baking which makes it a complete waste of time! Argh!

I was supposed to have a lovely night out in London on Saturday but felt so rotten I couldn’t go. I was gutted to miss my lovely friend’s birthday and also gutted because I really could have done with a night off away from all the rubbish here. But I just felt too poorly and tired so it wasn’t to be. I really really hope we can put all this illness behind us soon so Hubs can help a bit more and I can get some me time. In the meantime though I shall live vicariously through you as I read your posts.

Onto you and the linkupthe kids are cute, but this linky is all about YOU!

You can link blog posts or Instagram images (Instagram hashtag #allaboutyounow) – your style, thoughts, opinions, projects, anything YOU! I simply ask that you please visit at least one of my posts, and as many other linkers as you’d like to share comment love, like or Pin. You know how this works!

** Here is the All About You Linkup badge! Please grab the code and add the badge to your post or sidebar **
Mama and More
Party rules – this is short and sweet (just like me!)

1. Please link posts specific to the theme of this party – this is your space to link up posts all about YOU, whether it’s style, fitness, food, concerts or sky-diving!

2. Please link the URL of your specific AllAboutYou post, and please feature the badge or mention the linky, because it’s a nice thing to do ; )

3. Please do give some comment love – don’t just link-dump! Karma Karma Karma!

Guest Hosting

If you’d like to guest-host , just get in touch, guest-hosting is a great way to gain new readers, boost traffic and discover other new blogs too along the way!

Now, let’s get on with the party!


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Welcome to the world…

So after a slightly dramatic turn up for the books, we are proud to introduce the newest member of our family to the world!   For her own privacy, as with Monkey, her real name will be kept off the blog and she will hereafter be know as Little Miss. Its been eventful but we are so pleased she is here safe and sound in our arms. Now the real hard work and adventures begin!!

She was born at 3:23pm and weighs 7 lbs 8 oz :-)

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littlemiss2

littlemiss3

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#BabyBabble


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The Magic of Me Time

After a bit of a mopey week last week Hubby offered (very kindly) to give me some time to myself at the weekend and take Monkey out for a bit. On Friday night his mum suggested an outing to a local country house and we agreed that Hubby would take Monkey with them and they would have a lot of fun together, but that I would stay home for a bit of a rest and to do a couple of bits and bobs.

Saturday morning came and in the first few seconds when I woke up, for some reason I thought it was Monday and I groaned inwardly before waking up a little more and realising that no, it was Saturday! Yay! With the sun shining and feeling a bit better after a good evening the night before (my little bro and his girlfriend came round for dinner and we had a lot of fun) I thought I may go with them after all.

But as the morning went on both Hubby and I decided that I should stay home and just have a rest.

So I did.

I had a bath. I straightened my hair (I am so lazy and normally can’t be bothered, I usually either leave it to it’s curly self or tie it in a side plait or something) and read my book. I was going to pop to the shops but realised my purse in the bag hubby had taken, so instead pottered a bit. I did a few jobs, cleaned a bathroom, cleaned the kitchen, did LOADS of laundry, but all interspersed with some good periods of sitting, and reading. I’ve been re-reading a FAB Terry Brooks trilogy about a post-apocalyptic world and I love it so I very much enjoyed that.

Hubby and Monkey came back early afternoon for Monkey’s nap. After a bit of a catch up with the hubby and chat about all the things we have going on at the moment I then popped to the shops (as I then had my purse again). It was lovely just to have a little wander round by myself, not having to worry what chaos Monkey was causing, and bought a couple of mother’s day presents, some trousers for Monkey in the Next sale and a birthday present for one of Monkey’s friends.

Sparkly nails

Sparkly nails

By the time I came home Monkey was just waking up so we sat and had a cuddle, then I left hubs to it and went upstairs, and wait for it, painted my nails! I can’t remember the last time I painted my nails, I may have done them for my brother’s wedding in September, but I’m not 100% sure that I did. It feels like a real luxury to me, but we were off out for dinner with some of hubby’s friends and colleagues that night and thought it would be nice to be a bit girly for a change!

We had a lovely evening out at my favourite restaurant and it felt very nice to just forget about all the niggly worries for a few hours and just be.

 

The end result, I feel like I have my mojo back a bit. I was very much floundering by the end of last week, losing interest in basically everything outside of a fictional world that I could escape to. I feel a bit fresher after a bit of a rest, and some time to myself to get a few bits done. I feel more willing to face real life and it’s day to day niggles, rather than hiding from them like I did last week.

I’ve written before about the wonders of me-time, but I still struggle with the associated guilt and feel that I should be happy to be with my child all of the time and not want any time to myself. But, I do want time to myself, more than that, sometimes I need it and I need to try very hard to feel less guilty about it!

Do you feel guilty about taking me -time? How often do you manage to get a few minutes to yourself?

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