Taking back control..

My word this week is control, because we are taking back control of our lives. With all of the illness last week it was all too easy to wallow and feel like the helpless victim of a rubbish situation. I decided to focus on the positives first of all (I do wallow sometimes, I am only human, but it actually really bugs me) and then I decided to take control of the situation. Ok so I can’t stop the kids or hubs getting ill with bugs, I wish I could, particularly when they happen at unfortunate times. But there are things I can do, and hubs can do, to make our lives a little easier.

February, in the run up to the wedding, was a really busy month and bugs didn’t make things any easier. but it is now March, we have a lot less planned so it is time for a bit of a fresh start. I just hope we can all be well for it! (Monkey has come down with Chicken Pox since I started writing this post, so we may have to wait a little longer for us all to be well.)

WP_20150304_13_12_46_Pro (2)First of all, we moved LM from Lactose Free to normal formula. Thankfully she has been absolutely fine on it, no more lactose issues, yay, and it is helping her poo etc. so no more worries on that front either, phew! Then the biggest thing for us is that we have decided to take control and get her routine sorted. We have always taken a pretty relaxed baby led approach, and I remember doing this with Monkey and it eventually all just slotting in to place. With LM though it has not remotely slotted into place and she is just all over the show and I don’t think it is helping her, and it is certainly not helping me!

So I got out our trusty friend, Dr Ferber‘s book and read what he had to say. As always he is pretty common sense and says that it is hard for babies to get into a rhythm if they have naps at completely different times every single day. So although we have been hoping to tap in to her natural rhythm and go with that, I think we have gone too far the other way and have potentially lost any natural rhythm she had. So this week we have made a decision for what we think are sensible wake up times and nap times and are enforcing them.

That is actually a really harsh way of saying it, we haven’t just picked times off the top of our head but picked what seem to be fairly regular times for her and by consistently putting her down and waking her up at those times (or near enough, we aren’t being 100% rigid to the clock, but we put her down even if she doesn’t seem tired or hasn’t woken up herself) we are encouraging and reinforcing those patterns. I am loathe to say too much and jinx us but so far it is going ok. There has been difficult moments and deciding to do it when both Monkey and I are poorly may not be the best time but when it works it makes life so much easier so I am clinging on to that really!

The hope is that if her routine can be a bit more regular, then everything can calm down a bit. I will know when I have time to plan activities with Monkey, when is sensible to arrange to meet other friends with kids so I can stop being a hermit. It should also mean I can get a bit more organised with the housework too, in theory! Too much that I plan to do just doesn’t happen with things the way they have been and so much revolved around what she was up to and that will still be the case, though if it can be a tiny bit more predictable it would make things so much easier!

I have let go of the diet at the moment. Just while we are all poorly, I can’t cope. I know eating for comfort isn’t necessarily sensible but I am exhausted and eating good food makes me happy. I am not going crazy and if anything am trying to make sure we all eat more vegetables and healthy food, but I am pausing my diet for a few weeks, to pick up again when we are all well. It may seem as though I am giving up, but I actually feel that I am taking control of that situation too as I won’t be constantly berating myself for indulging in a treat when I am feeling low. I will get down to the size I want to be, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to do it. I need to be sleeping well and feeling rested.

I have taken back control of my blog after letting things slip last week. I have finally replied to all of the emails and have a couple of cool things going on – one being my fab Mother’s Day Giveaway for a £50 E Voucher with Custom Canvas – please make sure you check that out! I am way behind on replying to everyone’s lovely comments so thank you to everyone that has commented recently and i am going to try and reply to as many as I can!

So things aren’t perfect. I have a horrible sore throat, Monkey now has chicken pox so we are going to be stuck at home a bit more (thank goodness for our garden as at least we can get out there to burn off some energy as he starts to get better) but I feel like we are getting on top of things. We are taking control of the situation.

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Routines

This week is all about routines in our house. First of all, hubby is back at work after 2 weeks off over the festive break. We had a lovely time and got lots of much needed jobs done while he was off, but it is good to be getting back to a normal day to day routine. This is especially true as we have been sleep training Little Miss ( I talk about this in more detail here) and trying to find a routine that works for her and for us.

Nighttimes are going brilliantly, meaning hubs and I are getting a more normal amount of sleep now and therefore we are getting into a more normal routine, for the first time in months really! this means more jobs are getting done around the house, little things that have only had cursory cleans are now getting proper cleans, as we are not so drop-dead tired at the end of every day! LM is also happier lately and we are being rewarded with lots more lovely smiles and she even mad her first giggly sound yesterday which melted my heart.

hard to catch on camera but here's a little smile :)

hard to catch on camera but here’s a little smile :)

Day-times with LM have been trickier and just when we thought she was getting into a routine…. she threw me for a loop again and changed her nap lengths and wake up times. A few days of this and this and then she does it again! I am a big lover of routines but I have to try and not let my control freak planner side take over and get stressed when things don’t go according to the routine. Especially at this young age as she can’t help it. It does make planning things difficult though and arranging to see a mummy friend this week I really wasn’t sure what time to say to meet she was that all over the place. Thankfully though my friend has obviously been through it and was therefore totally understanding about waiting until the day itself to decide a time… then it started raining, well anyway that’s a story for another day!

Trying to spot patterns in LM's behaviour!

Trying to spot patterns in LM’s behaviour!

We also have a bit of excitement this week as on Friday Monkey has his first ever session at playgroup. He will be going 2 afternoons a week from now on. So far he is very much looking forward to it and we hope he enjoys it. I definitely think he is ready for it and am sure when he settles in he will really enjoy it. That being said it will be strange at first. Apart from grandparents, I am used to being the one who looks after him and so have to loosen the reins slightly. I know it is the right thing but it will be strange to think of him being in that situation without me. He may be ready but I’m not sure I am! I am sure I will manage though and it will give me more 1 on 1 time with LM as she gets older which is a good thing.

Anyway this will all change our routine as for the first time since Monkey was born we will now have to be somewhere at a set time twice a week. It starts at 12.30 so lunch will either have to be a tiny bit early or quite a quick affair on those days. I can’t help but wonder how I will balance LM’s routine with this either… But again refusing to worry about it, what will be wil be and she will have to go along with it all I guess! I shall let you know how Monkey gets on at playgroup, eek!

Finally I have also been getting into a bit of a routine with my diet and weight loss. I will do a specific post about it but so far it is definitely working, though I am so tempted to comfort eat when LM is throwing me through a loop, it has really been testing my willpower! I know it is worth it though and comfort eating doesn’t actually solve anything! ( I wrote that earlier but am actually sat drinking a glass of wine and eating chocolate at the mo, hopefully not destroying all of my progress so far!)

So that was my week, how has your week been?

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Moving up a class at Tumbletots

With Monkey turning 2 a few weeks ago, it is now time for him to move up to the 2-3 age group at Tumble Tots! We have loved going to Tumble Tots ever since he started walking, at around 11 months and I have to admit I was a little nervous about making the transition.

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Two Years as a SAHM…

It’s Monkey’s birthday this week, which also means I have been a SAHM for 2 years. Technically not really as I was obviously on maternity leave to start with and I didn’t 100% decide not to return to work until my time was nearly up. But I have been at home with Monkey for 2 years so I am classing all of that time as SAHM time.

And you know what, I think I’ve come a long way from where I’ve started. I by no means have the whole domestic goddess SAHM thing down, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well to life away from work. To life revolving around nappies, food, soft play, toys and tidying. With a bit of cooking and baking fun thrown in. (If you would like to read more about how I made my decision to be a SAHM, you can do so here. I have nothing against working mums at all, this is just about my decision.)

Here’s what I have learnt is necessary to survive over the last couple of years.

1 – GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Sorry to shout but seriously for me the most important thing is to get out of the house. Even if just a walk around the local area. Even if just a walk around a supermarket if it is wet out! A change of scene can work wonders and unless I have some amazing activity planned (and even then to be honest) I try and get out of the house every day. Even if only for a little while. Honestly, it keeps me sane. Most of the time this involves play dates or seeing grandparents or going to a baby group.

2 – Routine. This may just be a me thing as I am a planner by nature, but without the structure of going to work every day and doing things at certain times,  it’s easy to feel a little lost. Obviously there are different opinions about routines for kids, I’m not going to get into that too much but routines work for Monkey and they work for me. We are both happier when we are on routine. I’m not talking strict, down to the minute rules, but a vague plan of rough times, and certain things on certain days. Again I know some people would find this too constricting, but for me, it really, really helps.

3 – It’s not easy and that’s ok. I spent a lot of time early on worrying about trying to be supermum, which I’m not, and actually I don’t think anyone really is. I sometimes feel that being a SAHM isn’t just about looking after your little one, as you suddenly feel that because you’re at home all the time, that you should also take the responsibility for having a spotless house. Unfortunately, at least when little one is a baby or a toddler, it is fricking hard work, if not impossible to keep the house spotless while entertaining/feeding them, and staying sane. It’s ok if your house often looks like a bomb site, but it’s also ok to try and keep it tidy. Or do a bit of both depending on how knackered you are!

4 – Mummy friends are so important. I’m lucky that a few friends from work had children a little before me, and we have gotten really close over the last couple of years. It is fab to unburden yourself with people who know what you are talking about. They don’t have to be SAHMs too, mine are all working mums, but they are still mums! They remind me I am not alone and when I am struggling with something it is so great to hear their experiences and share ideas! They may not always be able to help, but at least they can lend an ear. If you don’t have many mummy friends, it is worth trying to befriend some at baby/ toddler group of some kind. I’ve written before about finding confidence as a Mum/SAHM but it is important sometimes to break out of your comfort zone and get that support from other mums.

Blogging and the world of social media is also fab for this and I have loved connecting with so many other lovely, wonderful and supportive mums out there – and I wish I had joined this awesome community earlier!!

5 – Get some me time. It’s easy to feel guilty about taking some time for yourself, but when you are a SAHM and your whole life basically revolves around the house and your child, it is so important to take some time for yourself. I’m not saying it is less important for working mummies, and I can only talk about my experience, as a SAHM. I go for ages with no me time as weekends are filled with family time, or catching up on housework while Monkey has some daddy time, but it’s inevitable that after a while I become a grumpy mummy! And it’s because I need some time to myself. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time – just a wander round the shops sans-child, with just my own thoughts, or some good music for company is really restorative. As is sitting quietly watching a film. I suppose it’s just having the ability, even for a little while, to do what YOU want. Not what needs doing, not what anyone else wants to do, or what you think someone else will enjoy. What you want that you know you will enjoy, without worrying whether anyone else is enjoying it too!

On the whole, once I figured out the above survival methods, I have loved being a SAHM. It can be hard sometimes, and it can be boring sometimes. Not particularly the time spent having fun with Monkey, but the endless cleaning and tidying, and the quiet times. It doesn’t have the same mental stimulation that working did, if I’m honest. But, then that’s why I blog! And spend time trying to come up with fun activities for Monkey.

I have loved that I’ve been the one with him all time time. I’ve been the one who helped him learn to walk, and who heard his first words. I know all of his quirky habits and how much he loves numbers. I know him inside out and love the connection we have. He has a lovely relationship with his daddy of course, and he’s a toddler so he can be frustrating at times but on the whole I do find spending my time with him very very rewarding and I love being his mummy.

Now that he’s getting older I have thought once or twice about returning to work. With a new baby on the way it’s a bit of a moot point really and I’m not sure what I would do if we weren’t planning on another child, but I may have thought about something part time by now. Though returning to work would be a bit of a change again after this much time at home! As it is though I am happy at home and looking forward to at least a few more years as a SAHM.

To finish off the post I thought I’d pop in a few shots of Monkey and I together over the past 2 years…

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Reflection #ThePrompt

The Prompt from the lovely Sara at MumTurnedMom this week is “Reflection.”

As always, I wasn’t sure which angle to take. I had some provoking ideas – “Is your child a reflection of you and your parenting?” or “Is blogging a reflection of real life?” But honestly it’s been a busy old week and I really haven’t had the energy to tackle a deep or potentially controversial topic.

So as Monkey and I are sat on the sofa, at the start of a day where I have nothing planned, and we are both happy and calm, I am reflecting on how much things have changed. How much he has grown and how much I have grown as his mummy.

I make no secret of the fact that I found the first year of his life a struggle. Coming to terms with this new role of ‘mother.’ Coming to terms with no longer working, of trying to adapt to fit this new life as  a SAHM. It’s why I started this blog.

If you’d asked me a year ago what my top tip would be to surviving, it would have been to get out of the house every day. For a large chunk of Monkey’s life – particularly since he became more alert and needed entertaining – I have had our weeks planned out. An average week would look like this:

Every morning, a work with my neighbour from 9-10ish. Then

Monday: See my parents
Tuesday: Tumbletots
Wednesday: Music class/Play date
Thursday: Storytime at the library/Play date
Friday: See Hubby’s parents.

Every morning and early afternoon was filled and if we did have a day with nothing, I would have to plan an activity – more for myself I know, because I struggled to spontaneously think about what to do to entertain him. I had to have a plan to keep myself sane. Days without a plan, or when plans got cancelled, were invariably the bad days. The days where I struggled, where I guess I panicked at the thought of having to entertain Monkey by myself all day. Where I started the day on the wrong foot and instead of being optimistic, I expected the day to be difficult, so of course, in a self fulfilling prophecy, it was difficult.

Things have changed now. Monkey has grown up. In may ways he is easier to entertain now. He has a longer attention span so isn’t distracted every 2 minutes (now it’s about 10 minutes ;)). He is getting more independent, and will find what he wants to play with sometimes. He can think for himself and though he obviously still wants a lot of my attention and interaction, and I am happy to give it, there are times when he doesn’t want or need me so much. I love watching these changes in him. It’s a bit scary to see my little man growing up and moving ever so slightly away from me… but for the most part I am just so proud watching him grow up.

I’m proud of myself too. The thought of a day with no plans doesn’t fill me with the same trepidation it once did. I don’t start the day miserable at the prospect. I know that he will be fairly happy pottering about in the house for part of the day. I know that a bit of telly won’t do him any harm (though he gets bored of the TV easily so it’s never on for long). If the weather is fine we will go for a run down a hill, or just on a walk around the local area, picking up sticks or knocking on trees.

If the weather is less good I will get out the paints, or cloud dough, or we could do some baking, and the time will pass. If we do go a bit stir crazy we can pop to a local shopping centre for a wander, or pull on the waterproofs and wellies and got for a splash about in the rain.

I used to obsess over weather forecasts to see what it meant for our day. Now I look out the window very so often.

I am a planner by nature so for the most parts our weeks are stilled planned, though there are definitely more gaps now. On a day with no plan, I try and form a vague plan in the morning, but it changes as the day goes by depending on how we feel and Monkey’s mood. I don’t cling to my plans like a liferaft.

Before Christmas I mentioned that we are thinking about baby number 2, and it is very much on our minds at the moment. The thought of going back to baby days does scare me slightly, because I struggled last time. I know it will be different this time, as I have done it once, and I have Monkey. But I know it won’t be easy so I am sure I will be needing my plans again if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again!

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Time for a big boy bed?

We have been doing a lot of thinking lately about when the time is right to put Monkey in a big boy bed, how best to do it, and how will it go?

It’s difficult to know when is the right age to do this. He loves is cot and so we’d be happy keeping him in there longer, and he never tries to climb out of it. But he is very tall for his age, so his cot is starting to get a bit small for him and he bangs the sides all the time. Also, because we are thinking about baby no 2, we don’t want him to feel he is being pushed out of his cot to make way for the baby and so would rather he is well and truly happy in his bed before baby needs to use the cot. Seeing as I’m not even preggo yet I know we have a while, so we aren’t rushing into it, but it is on our minds a lot at the moment.

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We started looking around at toddler beds and to start with we weren’t really sure which way to go, some have no side bits, some have short side bits near the head, while others have really tall sides until about 1/2 way along. So which one to go for? Like I say he bangs on the sides of his cot so does that mean he is likely to fall out of his bed to start with? Should we get one with a guard or just put something soft on the floor in case he falls out?

We decided the best thing was to physically go and see some beds so off we trotted to the shops to have a look and get a feel for them. It was good for Monkey too as he was climbing on one and we played getting in and out of the bed while we were there as we thought that may help him feel involved in the decision. There was a sale on and a further 15% off so we decided to go for it and got a lovely toddler bed, with a short side at the head, and mattress for £80 :).

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There is still a lot we are unsure of though. He’s been in sleepy bags since he was tiny and any blanket that goes in with him gets snuggled with rather than used as a cover, so we are unsure how he will get on with a duvet. He’s never had a pillow either so I think we are going to go for the thinnest possible pillow, at least to start with! We are going to take him to have a look at bedding with us so he can help choose it. I understand that helps make the transition as it gets them excited about it?? I wonder whether it is worth making the change from sleep bag to duvet while still in his cot, so when he does go in his bed it isn’t such a big change? Plus the sleepy bags are almost too small for him now, even the biggest size. I just worry about him getting cold…

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The main thing we are unsure of though is the when and how. Do we literally do a straight swap and take down his cot and build the new bed at the same time, with no crossover, or do we try and have both bed and cot in there for a day or two so he can get used to the idea of the bed? Would that ease the transition or make things worse? And when is best to start, at nap time or bedtime?

Are we just over-thinking all of this (it wouldn’t be the first time!) Should we just get over ourselves and do it? I always worry when it comes to changing Monkey’s routines but he usually surprises me by taking it all in his stride.

There are some other things to prepare too – we need to secure his furniture to the wall and make sure everything is safe in there – when he will be able to get out of bed on his own we need to make sure he can’t hurt himself in his bedroom when we are still asleep. We will have to actually close the stairgate at night too!

We are also preparing for the possibility of unhappiness as he loves his his cot and is so good at bedtime. He regularly takes us upstairs when he wants to go for a nap in the afternoon. Is he going to do the same with a bed? Because he can get out of it is he suddenly going to come into our bed at night of he wakes up?

I guess we are preparing for the worst, so hopefully it can only be better than we think! Ha ha maybe…

Will keep you updated on our progress :)

What age did your little one go into a bed? Did you do it in one go or have both bed and cot in there to start with? How did they get on with it?

Battling boredom and keeping busy

As I have written before, being a stay at home mum is the right decision for me at the moment, because I am lucky enough that we can afford it, and because I like being the one to teach Monkey and to watch him grow. Even though I am confident that it is the right decision for me, it isn’t always easy and some days are definitely more difficult than others. Boredom is one of weirdly hard things about it. We live by a routine as it is the best way for Monkey to be happy and healthy and therefore the best thing for me. But  as with any routine, this can lead to monotony. Particularly as Monkey gets older and needs my constant attention a lot less.

Playtime with friends

Playtime with friends

With the grandparents

With the grandparents

 

I’ve known for a while that one of the key things to do as a stay at home mum is to get out of the house every day. To get some adult company where possible, to help Monkey burn off some energy, to get a change of scene, you get the idea. This helps with boredom somewhat as it keeps us busy. We go with friends and other kiddies to parks when the weather is good, and indoor soft play places/cafes with play areas etc, when the weather is not so good. We visit relatives and have relatives round. We go to the shops, shopping centres, garden centres (he particularly likes fish and pet areas) or sometimes just for a walk round the block.

Playtime with friends

Out for a walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

This does help a lot but doesn’t really solve anything, and on days where we have nothing planned and the weather isn’t great for getting out…. I can get quite moody and irritable. I just don’t always know what to do with him to burn off some energy and keep him going. We could obviously always go to a garden centre or shopping centre, but I am also not a huge fan of wandering aimlessly with no purpose so if I don’t need (or can’t afford) to buy anything then I don’t like going. So that is when I come up with all sorts of playtime ideas, but even those don’t keep him occupied for that long.

Yummy Red Velvet Cake

Yummy Red Velvet Cake

 

Having fun with crochet

Having fun with crochet

Even when we do keep busy  together, it’s not usually very mentally stimulating. I can absolutely understand why some mums want to go back to work, because they need something else for themselves. I understand that completely and because of this I do question my decision at times, though for me all of the reasons I chose to stay at home, outweigh this one thing. But I do also recognise that I need some mental stimulation. This is why I crochet and do other crafty bits. It’s why I bake and cook to challenge myself (when I am not on a diet at least haha). I think a lot about home improvements and do all the household budgets, manage hubby’s business account. I also read a lot and I do most of the housework too but that doesn’t stimulate my mind! haha

 

If we didn’t know we wanted baby number 2 within the next year or so, I think I would be looking to go back to work now, but as it is there isn’t any point trying to find a job at the moment so I will just have to keep busy and find new ways of battling boredom until number 2 comes along, and then we will just wait and see how I feel after that. I think about studying something or even doing some work from home part time, but again I am not sure that I am ready to commit to anything like that when I know we hope to have another baby at some point, as I am sure I will have much less opportunity to get bored with 2 little ones in the house! At least until number 2 is a bit older.

Any other stay at home mums get bored sometimes? How do you keep yourself going?

Dropping daytime naps at 17 months??? Nooooooo!

Monkey has been worrying me slightly this week. For a while now we have had an awesome routine, where we are busy all morning and then he naps really well in the afternoon. (And I can get some jobs done, or blog or rest etc.) The amount of time he sleeps can fluctuate quite a bit, but apart from the odd occasion where he only sleeps for 40 mins, he generally sleeps for a good hour and a half at the very least, and most of the time it’s more like 2 and a half hours! Which is amazing. He always sleeps really well overnight too, generally from 7.15 to about 6.30/7am. Sometimes he is still randomly awake (and happy) in his cot at like 8pm, but not often and he usually sorts himself out.

Anyway, it started at the weekend, and on Saturday afternoon he went to bed (seemingly tired) at around 1.45 ish, which is pretty normal, but then didn’t actually go to sleep until nearly 2.40. He was perfectly happy, chattering and giggling so I didn’t worry and he did sleep in the end, it just meant we had to wake him up at 4.30 so it didn’t mess up night time. Anyway then on Sunday, he went for his nap, but DIDN’T SLEEP AT ALL!! Me no likey! He was perfectly happy the whole time, and we kept hoping he would go off to sleep, so he was up there for nearly 2 hours! I guess he was resting at the least but the worrying thing for me was that he was happy the whole time and happy all evening, in other words, he can cope without a daytime nap, WHAT???!!!!

Ok, so I know I am lucky with the routine we have had. It wasn’t always so easy, we did the Ferber progressive wait when he was three months old and it changed our lives, he became a brilliant sleeper. I know it isn’t for everyone and for a long time we didn’t want to try it, but it absolutely worked for us. Anyway, I also know that at some point he isn’t going to need to nap during the day any more and I will have to cope with him being awake all day. But, I have really been hoping that it won’t be for some time yet. I was hoping that in 6 months to a year, when he is happier playing more independently, and using his imagination at playtime, and basically not needing my input or help as much, then I will be able to cope with the no more daytime naps. But 17-18 months seems so early!! I also in the back of my mind thought that no more naps, may coincide with playgroup or something 1 or 2 afternoons a week, but we will see.

All week has been up and down but it has pretty much taken him ages to get to sleep everyday, although Monday and Tuesday he did sleep. Yesterday however, he did it again! No sleep! Just chatting and happy in his cot for about 2 hours. We both got a rest obviously and who knows maybe he did doze a bit, but it’s concerning me a lot. We had had quite an easy day though as his grandparents came round and we were nattering and chatting a lot. So maybe he just wasn’t tired enough?

I took to my good friend Google and searched various forums online and found other mums in the same situation. Some whose children dropped their naps at around this age and never slept in the day again (Yipes!) others where it was just a phase and they carried on putting them down and they just started napping in the day again. (Please please please)

I have decided I am not going to let him drop his naps without a fight, this may seem selfish, but seriously how can he go from a 2 1/2 hour sleep to 0?? No way. So today I have been on a mission to tire him out! We have been out at the shops without the buggy. Interesting and I got laughed at by a passer by when I was trying out a ‘look, don’t touch’ method, but otherwise it was fine and we had fun.

Then after lunch we went for a walk to a local play park. Normally we go in the buggy and it takes about 10 mins to get there. At Monkey speed it took us 40 minutes! Was fun though, and we had a short play at the park then I wanted to come home before he got too tired. I failed in this though as his poor little legs were far too tired for the journey home! I don’t blame him because my legs are tired too! I managed to get him to walk about half way but then had to carry him the rest, and boy is he heavy now!! We came in and started to play a little but he was getting very easily frustrated, which is a clear sign of tiredness with him.

So up he went to bed and after just a couple of minutes chattering he is fast asleep! Phew! So clearly I need to tire him out more to keep this nap, we shall see how it goes. When did your little ones drop daytime naps? How did you cope?

 

 

Aaah back to normality and some muddy autumnal fun

Much as I love my husband and loved him being at home last week, it was nice to get back to normal this week. Last week didn’t exactly go as planned, and with us both feeling so poorly we were shut up inside the house more than we would normally be, so by Sunday we were getting on each others nerves a bit (especially with a healthy dose of PMT added to the mix!). I think if we had been able to get out and do all the things we planned last week it would have been different, but as it was, by Monday morning it was nice to get back to normal.

Monday is normally a Nanny day (and Grandpops if his shift pattern allows) and we went for a lovely autumnal trip to a local play area, which was great fun. Mummy and Nanny were having lots of fun kicking up leaves, though Monkey didn’t really see the fun in that as much as we did! hehe

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Tuesdays was tumbletots, which he loves, and then just some general playtime and a trip to the shops. Wednesday we were supposed to meet some friends at a soft play place, however one of my friends little girl has chicken pox! She is a year older than Monkey and we did consider a chicken pox party so he could get it out of the way, but I am sooo not ready for him to have it yet. My other friend’s little ones are also poorly and they were off to the doctors so we had to come up with another plan.

It was a bit grey and gloomy but not too horrible out so we made an impromptu trip out to a local country park to have a run around, and bumped into Grandma and Granddad! Which was a lovely surprise! We had lots of playtime with them, a nice cup of tea in the cafe when it got a bit cold, and some running around in the mud. After deciding to sit down in a big muddy puddle Monkey was very muddy by the end of it but lots of fun was had so that’s all that matters.

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Thursday another friend and I took our little ones to a soft play centre we hadn’t tried before, and although Monkey was nervous and clingy to start with (as he can be in new places) we had a really love time. Monkey warmed up and started playing by himself so my friend and I got to have some good mummy chats which was very much needed for both us, so it was really lovely. Her little ones really enjoyed it too .

Friday is a day with the grandparents which is always lovely and a really nice way to end the week. Nice to all be well and happy and just generally, back to normal! :)

Phew! The end of Jury Duty and back to Normality

I am freeeee! No more Jury Duty and thank goodness for that. I have to say  that I wasn’t looking forward to Jury Duty but hoped that it would be better than I feared. But nope, it was awful. I got put on a really horrible and difficult case on day 1 and spent over a week listening to all of the horrible details and then being locked in a room deliberating with the rest of the Jury.

I obviously can’t go into any details, it wasn’t the worst case imaginable as no children were involved, but it was pretty nasty and just awful. So yeah, not enjoyable in the slightest.

The positive outcome of the week though, was that Monkey did so well being looked after by the various grandparents and Daddy. All of our preparation paid off as it just went so smoothly from day 1! We had thought that by the end of the week it may be starting to take it’s toll, especially as he had a cold, but he had a really lovely time with hubby’s parents on Thursday and Friday. Monday was my last day of Jury Duty and even though he was with daddy he did have a slightly grumpy day. Whatever the reason for that though I am just so relieved to getting back to normal!

This morning was tumbletots, and then we met some friends at a local park and made some plans for the rest of the week. He’s now asleep so I have done some baking (just flapjacks) and other bits and am now blogging. Ahhhh so happy to be back to my mundane, normal, happy little life! I am so lucky to be able to spend my days having fun with my Monkey and baking and looking after the house. While part of me did enjoy using my brain for something more demanding, I think the horrible subject matter just pushed me back to my happier normal existence of being a stay at home mum. While I know that any job I had would not be that horrible, the whole experience has really not made me want to change things and go back to work, not yet at least.

The good thing about it though, or things, was that Daddy really enjoyed spending time with Monkey and I think that both sets of grandparents are now more confident about looking after Monkey without me there. I am not saying I am going to ask them to do it all the time or anything, but if they wanted to take him out for a couple of hours now and then, we all know that he would love it and that we he shouldn’t miss me too much :) which is really nice as I really want him to grow up being close to his grandparents. We are lucky to all live so close and I really want to make the most of it. We lived miles away from my grandparents growing up, and while we saw my Mum’s parents pretty regularly, my Dad’s mum lives in Oz so I have only ever met her once. I would really like Monkey to have a really close relationship with his grandparents, and I think we are off to a great start!