Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas everybody

We're off to spend Christmas at my in-laws from tomorrow until next week, so wanted to wish all my friends and family a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010. I hope you're all spending it with your loved ones, get the gifts you hoped for, eat a fabulous Christmas dinner, and enjoy seeing it through the eyes of your children as we will be doing.

This will be Poppy's second christmas! I can't believe how fast time goes by. She is still too little to understand the whole story, but knows who Santa/Father Christmas is and what a Snowman is, and that things in pretty paper usually contain something fun (after opening a set of Peppa Pinc books from Santa at a party yesterday).

Despite the best intentions, heavy snow in South Wales has scuppered any plans to meet up with other baby-Mums before Christmas, so I hope that the kids don't mind having a belated present each in the New Year. I suspect not, looking at the pile of stuff Poppy has got she will need a little time to recover from opening it all.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Being in love with your child

Now, don't get me wrong, I always love Poppy. I am not, however, always in love with her. Especially when she prefers to sit on the naughty step for 15 minutes in a dirty nappy, saying 'No' smugly at me when I ask repeatedly if she's ready to have her nappy changed yet. Or having a paddy when I won't give her a biscuit just before dinner.

I don't know if it's because hubby and I have got the feeling of empowerment and superiority thanks to my reading of some parenting books for inspiration, or if Poppy has got better behaved, but we are feeling more in control of her and her tantrums at the moment. Perhaps it's a combination of the two. But for the last week or so the last thing on my mind at night has been Poppy, of a funny thing she's done that day or how proud I am of an achievement. Instead of worrying over one aspect or another of parenting her, loving her despite the hardships of parenting, I am in love with her. And it makes for a very pleasant change.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Happy 30th Birthday to my Husband

Phew, what a weekend! Hubby turned 30 last Thursday and this weekend was the celebratory meal with all our family and friends. He is from Somerset so his family travelled up Saturday morning before we went out together in the evening. All together we were 17 in the restaurant, including 3 children, and it went fantastically well. Myself and my sister-in-law were prepared for any eventuality with the kids, with snacks, magazines, books, colouring equipment, and warm coats if they wanted to go outside for a walk around.

Thankfully they were all SO well behaved, I'm sure the other people eating didn't even realise that there were small children in the room. Granted, it was busy and the noise level was high anyway, but there was no screaming or tantrums. Poppy was so funny and ate what seemed like a weeks worth of food in one sitting, moving from one part of the table to the other when she'd had enough of my pasta and fancied a bit of medium-rare fillet steak from her uncle's plate. And she looked gorgeous in her hot pink party dress with little fake-fur stole. She loves dressing up as much as I love dressing her!
After the cake was brought out, birthday 'This is Your Life' style album presented and laughed over, said cake cut and eaten, and the last of the drinks swilled down we all headed back home to carry on the party. The kids got into their pyjamas, had a little play for a bit, then headed up to bed all partied out and ready for some peace and quiet. My aunt, who lives an hour away, even got to put her up to bed with me and tuck her in, which I think was the highlight of her evening.

Now you could tell this was a 30th birthday celebration, as once the guests had left we all settle down to watch the X Factor. Rock and roll. But we were all happy, hubby had a nice cold beer and a comfy seat, all of his family around him. He said he enjoyed his birthday and was very lucky with the gifts he received, mostly being US Dollars to go towards our NYC trip next year. New York baby!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Appreciating what you've got

A visit to a friend today made me think that myself and hubby are lucky to be in steady employment. Her husband is a self-employed builder who works extremely hard, all days, all hours, far and wide. Who hasn't been able to work for the last 2 weeks thanks to the cold snap we're having here. Can't lay bricks in these extreme temperatures. I never thought of that, I always imagined the wet weather hinders builders but not that cold weather means cement can't be laid. So, of course, no work means no pay. Just before xmas. They'll manage because they're sensible, but at least we know at the end of the month we get paid and we can pay the bills. In this current climate where people are being made redundant all over the place, self-employed people struggle to find work and even public sector jobs aren't safe, us working in the NHS and the police force are luckier than most.
Now I'm not saying that we're better off than them, each to their own, it just brought home to me that with all my moaning about things, a lot of which is actually not important, I should appreciate what I have got.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Expect the unexpected when it comes to toddlers

Whilst over my parent's house this afternoon they were putting up their Christmas tree. Well, my brother and his girlfriend were. And instead of Poppy being a pain in the backside and pulling everything off, getting in the way, and generally being a toddler, she joined right in and helped. She was passing them the baubles and putting some on herself. I hope it's a good omen for when our decorations go up and we won't have the constant battle for 3 weeks over her stripping the tree on entering the room each day. After this I will try to be more open minded and let her have a go at things that perhaps I would usually avoid...


Had a great day yesterday. The day of The Nativity had arrived. Angel costume had been purchased (thank you Tesco), contribution to the after-show party buffet was sorted and Poppy was well rested after an early nap. After wrestling her into the costume, required due to the post-nap grumpiness that didn't particularly want me messing with her clothing, and forcing her into a coat we made it into the car on time. I'd like to add that, yet again, an activity involving Poppy fell on a day hubby was working, so I was on my own for this one. My Dad and Nanna were coming to watch in the church but meeting me there.
Everyone was in great spirits in the church hall (backstage) getting their various offspring into costumes, persuading shepherds to hold onto their foam crooks and kings to keep on their colourful hoods. There were a lot of angels (no-one fancied trying to keep a star costume on an 18 month old), a Mary and Joseph, and even a baby Jesus thanks to the convenient birth of the second child by one of the mums 3 weeks previous. We were set.
My Dad was tasked with recording the event on my camcorder for hubby and my Mum to watch, who couldn't make it due to illness. We dutifully smiled on entering on cue, walked the walk, sat in place and sang 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' for the finale. Poppy got very excited, shouting 'Bampa!' repeatedly, laughing loudly, clapping and cheering. As Poppy's part was right at the end, I was looking forward to watching the whole thing through myself too.
So once Poppy was in bed I eagerly switched on the camcorder and set it to play. Then got a bit puzzled as to why my Dad had filmed his leg. And why there was no footage of the nativity play. Then I realised what he must have done - had it recording when he thought he wasn't then pressed Record again when it started, therefore turning it Off. Oh dear. Breaking the news to hubby and Mum wasn't fun. I now have a desperate plea out on Facebook for a copy of someone else's video. However, as hubby pointed out, it will be from the point of view of that parent, zooming in on their little king or angel, and not of Poppy. Hopefully someone took a wide angle view of the whole thing and we can watch that. My poor Dad, he'll not live this one down for a while.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Mission accomplished

The dogs now live with a nice mother and daughter only 30 minutes away. The meeting went well and after a few text messages back and forth they seem to be settling in well. I think we're coming to terms with it all slowly after all the trauma.

Went to visit a friend this morning that had her daughter the same time as I had Poppy, who gave birth to a son 2 weeks ago. He's so tiny! And so quiet. I was there 2 hours and he only woke up as I was leaving for his feed. Just asleep in his moses basket or in my arms. Why did I find the newborn stage so difficult again? Although Poppy was never really one just for sleeping inbetween feeds, more like squalling and fussing a lot. We were talking about when the girls were little and we used to go to a breastfeeding support group every week. Poppy was very demanding and I remember spending a lot of my time there trying to settle her so that I couls talk to the other mums and drink my tea. And then giving up after an hour and leaving, close to tears, feeling like a failure as everyone else's baby was asleep or content on the playmats. After telling S this she was surprised that I had felt that way, she and the other girls thought that I was leaving to put Poppy down for her nap. That I was trying to get her into a routine etc, she had no idea that I had felt that way. It just goes to show that the way you perceive a situation can be completely different to how others view how things. And how if I'd opened up a bit more as to how I was feeling instead of running away from people that potentially could have shared my stress, perhaps things would have been different. I may have thought 'sod it' and gone to the lunches and meet-ups outside of Boob Group, instead of thinking that I couldn't handle it and Poppy would ruin any attempt at me having a social life.
Lesson learned for baby number two, if and when they come along in the next few years.

Friday, 26 November 2010

So it starts again

Turns out that the friend who jumped in to save the day and take our snappy pooches off our hands has had a change of heart. Not that the dogs are the problem, it's her somewhat emotionally labile state after the death of her previous dog that has stirred up feelings that she can't manage. She doesn't think she should be a dog owner after all. Fair enough. Now I have to find somewhere else for them to live. I knew it was too good to be true.

This all transpired at the beginnings of this week's episode of the Tummy Bug, so I entered an advert into the local newspaper to run this weekend and went to bed to try and forget about it all. Today is the first day it has appeared and we've had 2 phonecalls that couldn't be more different.

The first immediately made me think 'there's no way you're getting hold of my animals even if I have to take them back' and realise that (not even deep down) I am quite a snob. When someone phones you and the first thing they ask about is that if they're definitely for free, you don't get a good feeling. And then say they haven't got transport can we bring them to them, and if it's too much hassle we'll go elsewhere thank you very much, that adds to the general unease and dislike for the exceedingly stupid sounding person on the other end of the line.

Thankfully, the second caller was entirely more sensible. My instincts are telling me that this may be the family for them. Teenage daughter, no toddlers, previous dog experience, friendly voice, asking questions about dogs and freely speaking about themselves. Meeting is set up for tomorrow morning at a park so that everyone can have a walk in peace and no pressure is put on either side. Poppy will be with my Mum and hubby in bed after nights so no-one need get upset by seeing them again once I pick them up from my friend's house. Except me. But I'd rather me be upset alone than my whole family again. I think if hubby had to say goodbye again after just getting them back it'd take a while to recover. And in case you're worried my Dad is accompanying me to the park. I hadn't had a thought for my personal safety until he pointed out to me on the phone it probably wasn't a good idea to meet a random stranger in a park on my own. Doh.

Ucky tummy bug strikes again

Don't know whether it's because my immune system is lowered by this new arthritis medication, if it's the medication causing it, or just coincidence but I've had two tummy bugs in two weeks now. Yuck. Finally feeling bit more human today and up to turning on the laptop.

After starting my words table pre-vomiting, and then updating it a bit after reading another blog post inspired by my blog post (bear with me, I know it's complicated), this is the current list:


Doggy/Oof Oof
Cai(boy at nursery)

Monkey/Oo oo ah ah!
Down/with pointing
Thank you/Kew

Penguin(well, waddles like one!)

I'm sure that I've missed some out and to make the next update easier I'll try to keep a running tab on new words on the fridge or something.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Chilli hotpot, lost Visa card and Banguage

Trying to get the hang of my slow cooker before going back to work and figure out all the timings, so attempting a chilli con carne today. Trouble is when I went to get the kidney beans and canned tomatoes from the cupboard there were no kidney beans, so its a chilli-with-a-few-baked-beans-strained-from-the-sauce con carne. Plus with some bell peppers thrown in for added veggie points for Poppy. I'm sure the hubby will have something to comment on with the new recipe but hey-ho I'd already been out today and wasn't about to make another trip just for kidney beans.

The trip I'd already been on involved returning to our local Tesco to see if please please please they had my Visa card locked away safe. As when I was rushing to buy sheets for the new kingsize bed that arrived yesterday before dashing to pick up Poppy, I believed it must have left it in the self-service till point. Thankfully, yes, the nice lady at Customer Services produced it from a tin under the counter, that rather worryingly didn't appear to be locked and contained at least another 5 lost cards. I'm not the only muppet in the area then. I discovered the fact that I didn't have my card when paying for stamps and a newspaper at my local shop, after driving Poppy to nursery and practically passing said Tesco and the driving all the way home again. To ease my embarrassment at my obvious confusion I was lucky that only the cashier was present when I opened my purse only to stare at the slot where the card should have been for 20 seconds. And muttering repeatedly to myself 'my debit card isn't there....

My fun task I've set myself for this afternoon as I have the house to myself is to make a list of all the words Poppy can say, be that clearly or in Banguage (term I like from The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers meaning Baby Language). Or does the sign for. I think that I'll be surprised at just how many.

Monday, 22 November 2010

No longer a dog owner

Never thought I'd be able to say that about myself, apart from maybe the brief period of time for grieving in between the departure of one dog and the arrival of the next. However after one of our animals snapped at Poppy again last week we finally made the decision that they had to go. We had two shih-tzu males that are perfect lap dogs for adults, cuddly and cute, and such a part of our lives from when we bought our first home together and then got married. Once Poppy got mobile, they got grumpy and possessive over our lap space and their personal space. Snappy dogs and a toddler do not mix.

We have been very lucky that via a combination of a random spouting on my Facebook status about the situtation and a friend recently losing her beloved Westie, we found the way to make the best of a shitty situation. She was able to take both dogs to keep them together, as they adore one another, and we didn't have to give them away to a random or, worse still, the dogs home. She lives 20mins away and we can visit whenever we like. Not that we're planning on it, for their sakes and our emotional sanity.

Now we just have to get Poppy to stop calling for them whenever we pull the car onto the drive outside the house. And finding random chewed up golf balls where she's hidden them in a saucepan after Ozzy mutilated it. Or missing them whenever I sit on the couch and he's not there waiting to jump up on my lap. Sigh.

Life can be so fucking crappy at times.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Other people's blogs

After a dear friend finally blogged and filled in the 2 month void since her last post, it got me looking at the other blogs she follows and searching for some new material. Especially from other mothers. It's strange how sometimes you look for more to life than your child, like me buying fashion magazine even though I have neither the cash nor the body I used to have to acquire and look good in said fashions. And then rather than looking for blogs from hip young things or thought-provoking souls, I go for what my everyday life is about and would rather laugh out loud at some other mother's child related misfortune than keep on trend with what's hot this season. We all crave a familiar and comfortable world. And what's wrong with that? It's cheering to know that women everywhere are having the same thoughts about parenthood, sleep training, discipline, their lives (or lack of them). We are not alone.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Slow cooker purchased!

Thanks to the arrival of my Tesco vouchers and their 'double your points' promotion, I now own a slow cooker. Bring on lots of tasty casseroles, soups and other assorted dishes. Even puddings from what I can see of online recipies!

Morning hunger

Is it bad that the only thing I can face in the morning when Poppy's up at stupid o'clock is dry Cheerios in a bowl in front of the TV? She's so damn grumpy and all she wants to do it eat. She's demolishing the Cheerios even after eating a whole banana within 10 mins of waking up. And then she'll probably eat at least half a slice of toast about 8am before nursery. Don't think we'll ever have to worry about her appetite or her being underweight at least!

I'm loving the 'I Can Cook' programme on CBeebies. The recipes look delicious and as they are for young kids to make they are easy to make too. Hmmm. Will have to investigate the website and see if I can download some recipes.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New sticker obsession

Involves putting many, many stickers on chicco the dog. Funny as hell.

Hello, hello, How are you?

In the words of Justin/Mr Tumble from 'Something Special', a kids tv programme that is the only thing that keeps Poppy quiet when agitated. And what she asks for after her bath every single evening by signing 'J' for Justin and saying 'Mumble?' So cute.

Can't believe its been almost a month since my last post. Time is flying by even though I'm not back at work. Have been off almost 7 weeks now. 7 weeks! And still not ready to go back, I'm so stiff and painful. Had a 24 hour sickness bug this week which meant and I couldn't eat, and therefore couldn't take my anti-inflammatories. Oh the pain. I didn't think that they did much, but oh boy, when they're not in my system I can feel the difference.

The rheumatologist started treatment when I saw him 2 weeks ago. But it can take 4-6 weeks to work and even up to 3 months. Luckily hubby has been off work too for a few weeks but he's going back this Saturday. So I think I'm going to have to take the steroids again else I won't be able to dress Poppy or change her nappy if she's anything other than completely compliant. Which these days is pretty unusual.

Reading an interesting parenting book at the moment - 'Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers'. It has a type of personality quiz for your child at the beginning, and after taking it Poppy is mostly a Spirited toddler. The description matches her completely. Just need to read the rest of the book now to find out ways of matching our parenting style to her, rather than trying to change her personality or beat her down to being someone she's not. On the plus side Spirited children are natural-born leaders. So who knows, maybe she'll be Prime Minister one day!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Me and Poppy

After being bored waiting for my doctors appointment this morning I figured out while fiddling on my phone I can send photos directly to my blog from my phone. Fab!

Below is one of Poppy and I sat on a bench at our Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust center, after me showing her that we both appear on the phone if she smiles at it. Cutie pie.

Me and poppy

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Simple Life

It's funny how the little things in life can bring pleasure. Yesterday my day consisted of doing laundry - weather is gorgeous at the moment so managed to wash, dry and iron pretty much all of it. The satisfaction rating was pretty high. Today I've made blueberry muffins and banana scones, and have done a lot of baking recently. The process of measuring, weighing, sifting, mixing, stirring, rubbing in, the heat of the oven, soothes me. Yes it makes my hands and wrists ache more but brings me some peace. No noise around me, relaxing.

The Rheumatologist confirmed that I have some sort of undifferentiated poly-joint arthritis that will require treatment with medication. I have to reduce the steroids right down and see him again in 3 weeks, have some more blood tests and xrays, and will probably start it then. It could be a rough few weeks until the right dose is found for me and of course the side effects. Plus to have any more children I have to be off the meds for 3-6 months which will make it all flare up again, and as we had some trouble conceiving Poppy it may mean that I can't be off it long enough to get pregnant without becoming ill again. But I suppose all that is way off and I should concentrate on getting through the next 6 months.
He said also that as treatment is started earlier and more aggressively the joint deformities don't occur, which made me feel very relieved. I shouldn't have the stereotypical RA hands, as that happened 10-15 years ago to everyone when treatment wasn't as good.

Poor hubby has been signed off work with stress down to me being ill and his job not being any help whatsoever in accomodating his need to not work extra hours on top of his usual role. He's really struggling with the idea of being off work as neither of us are the type of people who go off sick willy nilly. We feel the guilt. I told him that give it a day or so and that'll pass, I always feel sick when I first phone in etc. Still can't decide what to do myself about going back, I've got to expect to get worse before I get better as I bring down the steroid dose. As hubby said, my current state is 'chemically induced'.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Word of the day

New word from Poppy today = Bampa (welsh term for Grandad). Very very very very cute.

Biggest achievement for Mammy = letting go of Poppy to go down the slide on her own at the park. This was after numerous attempts of going down on my lap, and then alongside me holding hands to judge the speed. And she was lying on her back when on her own. Still pleased with myself tho.

6am start today has really wiped me out all day. I was dozing on the couch while Poppy watched Something Special on my lap. Haven't felt that out of it for months.

Oh and she had a poo in the bath this evening. Thankfully that has been the one and only time as it was completely gross and I now have to go and scrub the bath with the bleach that's soaking in there. Uch y fi.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

2 more sleeps

Hubby asked me in bed last night to please tell him what's the matter, asking if he'd upset me or done something wrong as I seemed off him. I don't think he realised how much I'm building things up in my mind for Friday's appointment, I want to know what's going on once and for all but don't want to get bad news either. I put it bluntly that I'm not just off him, I'm off everything - I can't sleep for thinking about it and am just counting down until Friday. That seemed to satisfy him anyway. Why does everything come back to bloody sex with blokes?? It's the last thing on my mind at the moment!

Mum picked Poppy up from nursery today, which usually involves her taking her back to her house and giving her dinner. However she was at my house by 345pm, me rushing out the front door to see what the matter was - she didn't know I was expecting her to feed her. Duh. That was never explicitly said but the other 5 times she's picked her up that's been the routine. So she basically just drove 20mins past her house on top of her normal journey home to pick up Poppy and bring her to me, instead of me doing a 20 minute round trip to get her myself. At least she stayed for about an hour for a cuppa, managing to irritate me more by thrusting toys in Poppy's face and trying to distract her from reading her books quietly by herself. Ungrateful? Me?

Poppy seemed to be trying to tell me earlier that she'd done something in her nappy, by pulling up her top and looking down at her belly/crotch. No poo on inspection so perhaps it was a wee. Then she did it again 10 mins on and she had pooed. After being changed she did it again after 5 mins as if to point out her first wee in the fresh nappy! Bless her. It's fab if that is what she's doing, I hate it when I find she's dirty and am constantly checking her nappy. Cloth-bummed babies are meant to be easier to potty train too, and with her keen little mind I'm sure we'lll have no problem when the time is right.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Steroid tablets are my new best friend

Finally a dose of steroids that's doing the job. I can sit on the floor, with my knees crossed, bend my thumb, not have to double-step down the stairs...I could go on. Even managed a whole day out to a museum and Mothercare today with hubby and Poppy, with only a slight limp and achy legs to show for it.

Poppy is starting to vocalise so much now. Anything you tell her the word for she pretty much has a go at saying it. She points out every car she sees 'Car!', calls the dog 'Oz!', shouts 'Mama!' when she wants pretty much anything. So cute.

Friday, 1 October 2010

How much parents do to pacify

My parents were at my house tonight to help me do bath and bedtime with Poppy as hubby's away overnight on a golfing/drinking trip. It was a huge help but at times quite stressful, it showed me how much we as parents do things in a certain way so as to avoid crying and/or tantrums. Just getting her dressed after her bath nearly resulted in a meltdown (on both Poppy's and my part) as my Mum obviously did things differently to how I or hubby would. And while we ignore the shouting and screaming Mum tries to calm her down instead of just getting on with it. It won't work! Just get the pyjamas on!

Plus they always want to pick Poppy up for cuddles or kisses. I think I may have blogged this before, sorry if so. She will give HUGE hugs and lovely sloppy kisses, but on her terms. Just sit back and she will come to you. Insisting on a hug when gripping a squirming toddler who is screaming to be put down just isn't going to work. And (sorry, rant nearly over) if she's engaged in one activity, enjoying herself, concentrating, why try to distract her with another? She's quiet, happy, not tantruming - is that even a word? - so just leave her alone. She doesn't need to BE entertained every second, it just winds her up and makes her more prone to temper.

Rant over.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Uncertain future

I'm off work for the next 4 days at least. I can't cope with struggling this week, with hobbling around and putting on a brave face. I need a rest. I need to try and think everything through and face what it will mean if I do get this diagnosis next week. All I can think of at the moment is what I am missing out on, what I am unable to do now and how much it will affect my future as a mum. I don't want to stand at the edge looking in on the fun, like I was on Saturday's family outing to Folly Farm. The one time I tried climbing on the wooden climb frame to make sure Poppy didn't fall off the other end I got stuck up there as to step down is so painful, let alone to jump off something. I was relegated to photgraphing the day, instead of being a part of it.

The running machine is a constant, silent, lurking reminder that I can't run. Jog. Walking barely. Hubby hung clothes on it the weekend and I felt so angry at him. Just the machine being there is depressing enough without it being used as a clothes hanger, like everyone teased me about before I bought it. The Swansea bay 10k race was this weekend too. I know I couldn't enter because we had guests but knowing that I wouldn't have been able to run it anyway was another poke in the ribs.

Sewing and needlework, projects that I have half-formed in my head, are now also put on hold as my hands are so swollen that doing fine movements will antagonise the joints even more. Another hobby out of reach.

The more I research rheumatoid arthritis online, the more convinced I am that this is what my problem is. There are new diagnostic criteria for 2010 from the American rheumatologists and I fit it. Am I being a hypochondriac? Who knows. I do know that I am not making up any signs or symptoms to fit what I read, but after all I am no expert. I just remember that lecture at University on the subject and meeting an actual patient with RA, the class asking questions on how her life is affected, and her hands. Most of all her hands. Twisted, warped, knarled hands where the joints swell and distort and fingers bend inwards. Ugly hands. I've always had nice hands, pretty hands, good nails. I don't want such an outward sign of being ill. I don't want to be ill. I don't want to take medications that have hideous side effects, not being able to drink, blood tests, monitoring, clinic visits...I just want to be a normal wife and mother who doesn't need help changing a nappy or opening a bottle of coke.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


That one word describes my mood quite well. After such a fab weekend last week with hubby being off and having a night out together, this weekend has been total shite. Worked yesterday morning then had to amuse Poppy and me for a whole day whilst feeling like I wanted to curl up and hide under the duvet instead. Managed to drag us both to the local wildfowl centre and look at the birds, do a craft activity, then console myself with that perhaps my mood would improve during Poppy's nap. But then she wouldn't take one. After babbling to herself for almost an hour, interspersed with some very loud screams, I gave up. Thankfully she was happy to potter about with toys while I just lay on the couch and tried to summon up some dregs of energy, something, anything...Poppy bless her tried to get my attention for something and pulled on one of my fingers which shot excruciating pain into the joint and through my hand, and made me cry. How am I going to get through work this week? My body aches all the time, escalating to stabbing pain if I put pressure somewhere sore or stay too long in one position and then move. This is why I'll be paying privately to see someone who can tell me what the hell is going on, I can't wait months with this restriction on my life.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Confirmed anaemic

Blood test results confirmed that I am anaemic and one of the inflammatory markers is raised. Not enough blood was taken to give a result for the second marker so have to have more taken. Got iron tablets for the anaemia, although I had no idea that I was due a prescription as the Co-Op pharmacy van just dropped a bag off with the tablets in and a leaflet about iron supplements. Great communication from the GP's as usual.

Went back to see the GP again today, after the iron delivery, as when I woke up this morning due to Poppy waking for milk I couldn't make a fist or completely straighten my fingers as they were so swollen. This really worried me, thank goodness hubby was home to get up and sort her out for me. After giving me another blood form she said to go back to the original painkillers, and again warned me that sometimes they never know what's causing it and it goes away on its own. Not much help to me when I can hardly carry Poppy down the stairs or change her nappy.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Walking like I'm 80 again

The joint pains are back with a vengeance. After about 6 months of it being manageable with anti-inflammatories it's worse than it's been in ages, even with the medication. Cue more blood tests, change in tablets and some co-codamol so that I can sleep better without my hands waking me up with the pain. My GP was lovely about it but did say in some cases they never get to the bottom of what's causing it, which is pretty much what the rheumatologist said back in March. Sneaked a peek at my blood test results before leaving work and the one's that were back do show inflammation, I'm slightly anaemic, and my white blood cells are raised. Ho hum. We'll see how long it takes the surgery to contact me to come back in.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Baking spree

Poppy is back to sleeping better again now, thank god, but have decided that instead of blogging and facebooking every day I'll chill out a bit. Spend time with my husband instead of sat next to him on the couch, half watching a tv programme while typing away on this laptop. Instead I plan to close the computer and settle down to enjoy a cwtch over on his side of the sofa, and actually concentrate on the tv we're meant to be watching together.

A quick catch up seeing as he's on nights tomorrow. Had a lovely weekend involving a birthday party for my friend's daughter and a reunion of the Boob Club mothers and babies/toddlers. Poppy was kept amused the whole time and was happy, therefore I was also happy.

It's our 5th wedding anniversary tomorrow. Hard to believe it's been 5 years already! My parents have Poppy overnight and we're going out to dinner (complete with a new dress for me) and then out for a few drinks. Not sure what our night will be like as have heard mixed reviews of the restaurant and Llanelli is not the hottest night spot around, but just a night together with alcohol and no baby to worry about getting up for will be bliss.

After buying a book on cupcakes and muffins in the book club at work, I baked blueberry muffins and apple & blackberry muffins. Very tasty. Well, hubby and I thought so even if Poppy refused to eat a blueberry one. I baked 24 of the damn things so I will keep trying her with them, they're safely into the freezer except for a few to see us through the weekend.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I am still alive, just about

I haven't posted in forever. Poppy is not sleeping well currently and with having to work it has hit me hard. Each day feels like I have to just get through it until bedtime, where I sink into my pillow and then get woken up all night. And have to do it all again the next day. Yuck. As you can probably tell my mood is suffering and I am struggling along, despite some good days and good times such as a friend's wedding over the Bank Holiday and a visit to my Aunt and Uncle in Newport 10 days ago. But the overwhelming feeling that pervades everything is tiredness and dread of the night time.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

British Summertime

This rain sucks. Constant rain. Varying from a miserable, stick to your clothes and hair drizzle, to a vicious downpour. But never-ending.

Poppy woke at 145am last night and didn't go back until gone 3am. Don't know if it was the teeth or what, she was having full on tantrums in the cot and then on the bedroom floor. What really didn't help was I hadn't gone to bed myself until after 11 after watching last week's Mistresses episode with a glass of wine. So when she woke up I'd only been asleep 2 hours and definitely felt like it.

The treadmill is gone.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Wedding shoes

Finally found a pair of half comfortable new black shoes for the wedding I'm going to over the Bank Holiday weekend. After ordering 3 pairs from Debenhams online sale and getting nowhere due to my stupidly wide feet and high instep, I admitted defeat and actually went to the shops to try some on. We had a fun playdate in the morning with a friend I haven't seen for weeks due to various holidays, which wore Poppy out enough to stay asleep when I brought her into the house from the car. That meant that I could leave hubby in charge of the baby monitor and turn on my heels back into the shops.

After a cursory looks around Clarks which had no going-out heels, M&S pulled through for me and gave me a choice of 2 or 3 pairs to choose from. Outfit then provided a beautiful wedding-styled hairpiece attached to a simple black headband. So I'm all set now I think!

The broken treadmill is finally being picked up tomorrow morning, and Amazon rang earlier to arrange delivery of the new (pink!) treadmill next Tuesday. Yay. Now I can finally get over this phase of being a slob and a chocolate Hobnob addict.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Black mood all day

Poppy was awake again last night during the night and very early this morning. This is the third night in a row of badly broken sleep for us both. When I gave in and got up with her I immediately knew that today was going to be a Bad Day as far as my mood is concerned. I haven't been able to snap myself out of it all day, despite eating a Starbar at 1030am with a much needed coffee and even a Boost at 3pm. The day at work dragged and dragged and dragged. I was so happy when it was 5 o clock. The sun was shining and I was determined that I wasnt going to take it out on Poppy, it's not her fault that she's got teeth coming through and it hurts. I did succeed and didn't lower myself to screaming at her like I did this morning during a particularly stressful nappy change. Even when she yelled at me for over 10mins during dinner I ignored it and carried on calmly eating mine. And she eventually stopped and ate over half of hers, plus some raspberries. Such an awful day required topping off with wine and chocolate Hobnobs. Compulsory.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Potato harvest

The end of last week we finally got around to emptying one of the potato grow sacks that we planted a few months ago. As expected, rather than 'baby' new potatoes they were pretty big, but delicious none the less.

Poppy joined in helping of course with her little trowel

And thought that I might need them all passing to me out of the bowl

Lovely weekend=extreme fatigue

Poppy and I went to stay with my in-laws as planned and had such a good time. Nothing much happened, but seeing her playing with her two cousins was great and it's always good to sit back and relax knowing that she's happy and safe. Their house is great, so child-friendly, I know that even when I can't see her she won't come to any harm or be able to destroy something she shouldn't be touching.

We went to Weston-Super-Mare on Sunday to this fantastic new outdoor water park for kids. I managed to keep Poppy away from the bit with water as the weather wasn't that warm and the only change of clothes I had for her was a dress, and after a few arguments over her wanting to go and explore the road outside rather than the park, she had a good wander about. Had a little go on the swings, on my lap as there was stupidly no baby swings, and found the sand pit. Then we all went for a pub lunch along the seafront and even managed to sit outside as the sun had come out, under the massive parasols.

After watching me steal one of her chips and dip it into ketchup that I'd put onto the side of her plate, she asked for the other half of the chip and copied me. After tasting it for the first time she decided she didn't mind it and actually the chips were edible with it on.

The best thing about the busy morning was that it tired her out and she slept all the way home in the car. If only I could have joined her, I was struggling to stay awake driving and today I am completely wiped out. Driving is tiring for me.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Yet more cancelled time off

Poor hubby is back into work on his day off again. A night shift this time. And again on Saturday for a day shift. Plus he's back into his normal 6 days on from Sunday. So we're not going to see much of one another for about ten days...I don't fancy a weekend all alone so I'm taking Poppy over to stay at my in-laws in Somerset for the night, and spend some time with her cousins. My sister-in-law suggested we see a movie in the evening so I even get a few hours out of the house.

Monday, 9 August 2010

First hair cut

Poppy's fringe has just been in her eyes for weeks now, so we decided it was time for a little trim. The trouble is I did it in the bath when her hair was wet and now it's dry it's gone a little too short! Oh well, the one thing that's certain is that it'll grow back. I think she looks super cute with it cut anyway as her eyes look even bigger than before, hubby thinks she looks Amish. But a cute Amish girl.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Baked beans

Poor little mite has got so many teeth coming through, all big bad ones too. She's been waking up screaming in the night, this morning it was 450am and she wouldn't let me put her back down. She did go back to sleep in bed with me and hubby, who'd just got in from work. He said he could hear her screaming when he got out of the car in front of the house! I knew she was loud but that's extreme.

Tonight for dinner I tried Poppy with baked beans again, up until now she's not eaten them at all. After picking one up and disdainfully looking at it she usually drops it over the edge of the tray. I bought the can with sausages in too as a way of bribing her (she loves any meat) and it seemed to work. After polishing off all 5 mini sausages she proceeded to eat every single bean on her plate, picking each one up with her fork. Seeing the concentration on her face, steadying the fork with both hands, spearing one on the prongs and then quickly chomping it down before going onto the next, it really made me proud of her. I have no idea when children are meant to start eating with cutlery but she's doing so well! When her food goes down she now automatically picks up the fork instead of tucking in with her hands like she's been used to doing.

Can't wait for my treadmill to get here. I'm going through a serious munchy phase at the moment. I can't get enough chocolate. I'm just going with the flow for now as I know it'll pass when I put a few pounds on, all the chocolate we've bought has gone, and the need for exercise kicks in again.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Movie: My Sister's Keeper

My goodness what a weepy one. It would be sad enough without being a parent, but now that I am it throws up all kinds of emotions. How far would I go if Poppy was that ill? The ends of the earth. Would I accept that my child was going to die? My first instinct is to say no, but that could mean not letting her live her life as she wanted. The scene where Kate is on the beach with her bald head, nasal oxygen tubes and blanket is so poignant. I hope that I could come to terms with things enough to see that she would be better off at home with family, not stuck in a hospital bed. But who knows how anyone would react in such an awful, tragic situation. How all the parents and family cope everyday looking after sick children. It makes me feel sick even thinking about it. Bleurgh.

But it was a good movie.

Friday, 6 August 2010

More antibiotics

Another trip to yet another GP has resulted in a different antibiotic for week, a different antibacterial cream and instructions to use the steroid cream also. So Poppy can't go into nursery today AGAIN. Hubby's boss would only let him have a half day off despite me already having taken 2.5 days holiday off with her illness since I've come back to work and him none. He's coming home by 1230 for me to leave and go in to start at 1245. What a palaver. If only I had more spare holidays I would have just taken the day off as there are no other Pharmacist's off today. Instead I'm having to faff about taking lieu time I don't have and try to work it back. It'll mean now I'll have to work 2 saturday mornings just to get out of the minus lieu time I'm now in before I'm even positive again! Yikes. I suppose I'd better get used to this. Really need to look into taking dependency leave where I don't get paid but I can just use at any time. Don't want to forfeit my time off at xmas or my week next March just because Poppy's got a bloody rash.

Monday, 2 August 2010


I spent some time over the weekend going through photographs from the past few months, choosing which ones to print and put into Poppy's album. It has made me so grateful that I have a good camera, some of the shots are absolutely stunning of her. Especially when the weather was hot back in June and she spent lots of time just in her nappy running around the back garden. So cute! Just wish we could get that weather back, since getting home from Center Parcs it's rained a lot. That's been good for our newly laid lawn but not for anyone's general mood. Sunshine just makes you feel good, optimistic, like you can do anything.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Everyone survived!

They managed to even change a dirty nappy, feed her lunch, go for a walk with the trike and the dogs, and have fun to boot. Poppy must have been tired out as her afternoon nap lasted for 2 hours once they'd left!

I've started the bedroom name banner this evening and it's already been a learning process, not sure if the letters are too fiddly to pad out with wadding and hem before sewing onto the front of the banner. May buy some felt instead and cut them out of there instead, and then pad out the banner itself with the wadding to make it a bit more substantial. Hmmm decisions, decisions...

Friday, 30 July 2010

Babysitting duties

Due to it being my turn to work a Saturday morning this weekend, hubby working a night shift tonight and my parents being away in their motorhome, Poppy-sitting has fallen to my brother and his girlfriend. Now, while Poppy loves them to pieces and is quite happy to give them all her toys, be tickled half to death by my brother, and show them her belly (newly acquired skill), they have never changed her nappy or given her a meal. So I would love to be a fly on the wall for the 4 hours or so that I am out of the house in the morning; no doubt she will behave as she does in nursery or with anyone else that isn't me or hubby - perfectly. And I hope she does. They'll then love their new-found role of responsible Uncle and Auntie and beg us to have her every weekend for a few hours of fun and frolics ;-)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Rasberry cheesecake

After a few weeks of hubby begging me to make the cheesecake that adorns the front of one of my cookbooks, I finally got around to it today. When I say today I mean this evening after Poppy's bath. We have discovered the last few days that keeping her up until 8pm in the (pointless) effort to get her to sleep until after 6am brings out a lovely, contented, cute-as-pie little girl. We thought she may get overtired or grouchy but it's the opposite. What a revelation. It feels like our evenings are less stressed and rushed trying to get her to bed for 7pm. We've been having leisurely walks with the dogs for weeks now pre-bath, but now we can abandon the trike and let her walk with us. It takes ages with her little toddler legs carrying her around the block, picking up stones and pulling leaves off bushes, but oh what fun.

My next sewing project is set. A flag bunting spelling Poppy's name out for her bedroom. I bought the fabric earlier from Dunelm Mill and picked up a very interesting book called 'Applique for little ones' that has great ideas in for bedrooms and for gifts. I know quite a few people having babies this year so I'm hoping this will be useful then. One of the very best gifts we were given for Poppy was a handmade patchwork quilt, I still love it now. If I can make something equally as precious for a friend's newborn I would be really pleased with myself.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Movie: The Reader

Watched the film 'The Reader' this evening. Not exactly heart-warming but quite thought provoking. How one person can have such a major impact on another's life, affecting decision they make and the way they behave and react to others. I know how much I am a product of my upbringing and how certain behaviours are ingrained in me without me even realising why I do certain things. Although I'd like to think that it also makes me a good person, that I was brought up to be kind and caring and always thinking of others, and that I will be able to instill these qualities in Poppy too. Just not the need to obsess over every little detail when it doesn't matter, or make her feel that anything less than perfection isn't good enough. It makes me thankful too that I have my hubby, who is the ying to my yang, the calm when I am the storm, the voice of reason when I am beyond thinking straight. 12 years together this year and it keeps getting better. I hope that Poppy is lucky enough to find someone who will look after her as well as he does for me.

Ilness strikes again

After one GP diagnosing a viral/warty skin condition last week over the weekend poor Poppy came out in what seems like a hundred spots that turned red and weepy. A second trip to a different GP ended in antibiotics that meant she can't go to nursery for 2 days, and a disagreement with the original diagnosis. So I'm off work today with her much to the delight of my boss, who is so short staffed she just sighed in despair when I explained I wouldn't be in. Plus a head cold meaning a very runny nose (making the spots on her nose VERY scabby) and teething making her chest wheezy. All this adds up to a miserable baby.

Plus my new treadmill arrived earlier and it's broken in the box.

Bad times.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Race for Life a success!

Today was the big race day. My friend and I decided we fell into the 'joggers' category (not intending to walk, not fast enough to say we're 'runners') and joined in the en-masse aerobics warm up. 6000 women all joined together in a field intending to raise money for Cancer Research UK, jumping up and down with numbers pinned to their chests. And then we were off! About 2km in (out of the 5km) I realised that no matter how much I ignored it that stitch under my ribs was not going to go away. Boy was it painful. I had to psyche myself up to take a deep breath as it hurt so much. I never got a stitch during any of my training so didn't really know what to do apart from slow to a walk, but my running partner kept me going and I was not going to give in. The km markers kept passing and I kept going. Before I knew it we'd passed the 4km and the end was near. We spotted our personal cheerleaders (both husbands plus our children), waved as we ran past, and crossed the finish line at 37m52s.

I know it's only about 3 miles but I am so pleased with myself. I set myself a goal back in March and I did it. Something for myself that also will help others. It's sad but I've worn my medal since getting home ;-)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Sleep is for the weak. I'm weak - I admit it.

I'm getting REALLY tired of getting up at 5am everyday. Sometimes it's 530am. Whatever, it's too f-ing early. And she's so grumpy it's unreal. She's so tired even getting out of the cot she had a tantrum while I'm trying to pick her up from it. And I'm too stubborn to give in and give her a bottle at that time of day when she'll maybe go back to sleep and therefore make me late for work, or maybe not and carry on screaming at me until we leave the house. It tarnishes the whole day when I'm feeling this shite. When I'm at work the day passes and I can forget about my black mood, but on a day off I let it fester and give into the self pity. It's pathetic really, I should just snap myself out of it.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Good playdates rock

Spent a few hours at a friend's house today, whose son is the same age as Poppy. They were so cute together, babbling to one another over toys and following each other around and around the circular route through the kitchen and hallway. After lunch and a dual nappy change in front of CBeebies to distract them, we headed home. Managed to get her into the cot from the car so she stayed asleep, then after a bit of pottering in the kitchen a nap for Mummy was in order. Got to be done on my day off right?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Bedtime cuddles

Aren't those some of the best minutes of the day? When your child is all clean and bathed, smelling lovely, in their pyjamas and tired enough to spend a little time sat on your lap looking at a story book. I had a warm and fuzzy 10 minutes this evening looking at the fuzzy felt book and sticking on the pictures (me first in the right places and then her upside down and on the wrong page, but she enjoyed it). And practising our signing, she's just about got 'pig' and I think 'car'. The pig sign is mostly to do with her new Peppa Pig slippers which we sign for each time she wears them.
Those little 10 minutes more than make up for any whinging I've endured during the whole day.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Making dinner with one hand

Tonight was the first time that when I picked up Poppy from nursery she put on a sad face. The 'why have you left me here?', gonna make you feel really guilty face. She stomped over to me and put her arms up to be lifted, and practically from then on (minus the car journey) she wouldn't be put down until bathtime. As if I didn't feel bad enough all day because of the crying and clinging around my neck this morning at drop-off. It was worse than when she first started there as at least then she didn't make me feel like shit each time. Hopefully it won't last too long and is just the result of having 2 weeks off.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


The weather has turned back to the usual British summertime. Rain. It was so cold this morning that I've got socks, jeans, tee and a jumper on. And the fireplace lit in my living room.

Poppy is getting decidedly fidgety today after almost a week of just pottering about the house after coming home from holiday. I, however, just feel like lying on the sofa and watching films. Not an option. Think I'll go visit my parents and have some time on their couch instead.

This photo sums up how bored my little girl is - sticking the fuzzy felt pictures from her playbook on the dog.

And her enjoying the new-look garden yesterday during a rare bit of sunshine.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Summer Ball 2010

After much too-ing and fro-ing over whether to go or not, I decided that a £35 ticket price was reason enough to make the effort to go to the Summer Ball with the hospital where I work.

It turned out to be a good night, albeit with a band that were alright but got far too much play time. We just wanted a good old-fashioned dj playing tunes for everyone to bop along to. My mum was supposed to be having Poppy overnight but after catching my cold she wasn't well enough and I didn't want Poppy to recatch it. So I held back with the wine intake which paid off when I had to get up with her this morning (hubby's first day back in work). It's always good to have a night out with work colleagues, you learn things you wouldn't about them otherwise. Although I am lucky that I can count quite a few colleagues as friends also, which makes a night out even more fun.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

I'm back!!

Had a fantastic holiday, we're all exhausted after a week of fun in the sun. There was so much to do, every day was full with activities, walks, cycle rides, picnics, feedind the birds from our patio, swimming...Poppy surprised me and hubby by being well behaved for the most of it, even napping in her pram twice a day. After the first night where she screamed for 2 hours at bedtime and had to be rocked to sleep, she went to bed without much fuss and came into our bed for cuddles about 5am. Lush.

After all the exposure to wildlife she can now sign and say 'duck' (well, she signs 'bird' but i'm not fussy) and loves to point out any fish she sees with the sign for it.

Dare I say it, that she is actually getting easier? It'll probably wear off when I go back to work next week.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Not my fault this time!

My internet connection was down last night so that's why I didn't post, honest!

Had a decent day yesterday - a play group in the morning, home for a nap (eventually even tho she was exhausted), then out in the evening for me to a coffee and cake catch-up with two friends. We only had an hour as hubby was nights so had to get back for Poppy. It was really good to see them but I don't recommend the victoria sponge cake in Costa Coffee, it was very dry...

Have done the packing for Center Parcs, the clothes anyway, now to tackle all the extra bits like cutlery, bowls and bottles for Poppy.

So I'm signing off for a little while until we get back from our holiday. Bye all and wish us good weather!!!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Holiday has started

I will try harder to do my 100 words each day I promise. I've been rubbish since I decided it the other day!

Today was my last day at work for 2 and a half weeks. Strangely I didn't feel excited and have been in a pretty crappy mood all day as once again Poppy is waking at 530am and refusing to go back to sleep. And once again moaning and crying for the 3 hours until we leave the house because she's so tired. I thought we'd moved passed that phase as she started taking a bottle and going back for an hour or more, the past three days it hasn't worked and I'm tired out again. And tired of the whinging. Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet that I'm off. Or perhaps the thought of having no break from the difficult part of parenthood is making a small part of me wish that I wasn't off work. That probably makes me sound like a bad parent, I'm sure there are others out there that have that thought occasionally. And the certainty that their chid prefers being at nursery than at home.

Monday, 28 June 2010

My baby is growing up fast

When I arrived at Poppy's nursery to drop her off this morning I was told that it was her first day in Toddlers - the next age group up from the babies section. I had to leave her at the door instead of taking her down to the room. Ahhh! I wasn't too happy as I didn't know about it beforehand. However as hubby pointed out she's quite often down with the toddlers as she's been one of the older babies, so it's not like it was all new to her...
When I picked her up the carer went through all the different areas, what the day is structured like, where she eats, how they sleep (roll out mats on the floor all together), the activity areas. Plus more. I CAN'T BELIEVE she slept with all the other children in one place and didn't just crawl about climbing all over them giggling. She apparently was a bit fidgety to start and took about 5 minutes to go to sleep. 5 minutes??! That's a miracle in my book. She also has her own coat hook with a photo of her face above it as you go in. Plus when they start off the day they all sit together in the story corner for register before the story, and get to put a Photo Bee on the board to show that they had been there that day. How cute??

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Scorching weekend

Phew what a scorcher it’s been this weekend. I had to work Saturday morning but it was quiet and we got out on time at midday. Poppy was being looked after by my parents and had an excellent morning while I was at work, playing on the swing and slide, getting covered in sand in the sand pit and then getting clean in the paddling pool. My Dad took lots of photos for me and she looked like she loved every minute.

Today I went to the local country park with my parents and Poppy for the day, and after a morning full of moaning and sleepy eyes, she had an hour and a half nap in the pram after lunch there. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for when we go on holiday and she will be willing to sleep when we’re out and about.

Friday, 25 June 2010

100th post and a 100 word challenge

After following another wonderful Mummy’s blog who has recently challenged herself to write 250 words a day, I thought that I could manage her previous goal of blogging 100 words a day. I’m not trying to be funny, inspiring, or even particularly interesting every day but at least it will be a snapshot of each day and I can even look back and remind myself of things that I would otherwise forget.

Tonight after Poppy was in bed the sun was still shining strongly into our front garden, so to have half an hour to us that didn’t involve sitting in front of the television Hubby and I ate ice lollies on our garden bench. It was nice and quite relaxing.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Baby walking and our first Evening Meal Out

Isn't it just too cute to see your child starting to walk? A friend's baby has also begun this week and this video is brilliant.

Tonight we were brave and decided to eat out for our evening meal, including Poppy. It didn't start too well as the local pub we'd decided on didn't start serving until 6pm which would have been too late for Poppy to eat when she's used to having dinner at 530. So we legged in back into town to our local Brewers Fayre chain pub, which also has a soft play area. After ordering we went in to play. This is an entirely different experience when you have a toddler, not an immobile baby - she could go where she wanted and go she did. Instead of being confined to the baby ball pit she was off, exploring the areas for older children, climbing, squeezing through holes and following other kids around. Hilarious. As we were leaving to go out for dinner she also walked from my dining room right to the front door, pausing only once to rest her hand on a doorframe, a total of about 20 steps. Think this is the most I've seen her do so far.

How do they have no fear of falling? They know it's going to happen at some point and yet get up and keep going. I think that this is the main stumbling block for me learning to rollerblade and ice skate properly. I'm just a big wimp afraid of hurting myself.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Father's Day Fun

A trip to a local farm shop that has a few animals to look at, a playpark and restaurant, and lots of lovely food to buy = fun had by all and a lighter purse.

1. Cuddle with Daddy 2. Horsey Horsey 3. Chicken watching
4. Walking with her grandparents 5. Me and Hubby 6. Driving the tractor
7. Choosing the best homemade jam 8. Horsey up close 9. Climbing the tractor

Seedlings update

The little seedlings are now fully fledged plants that we are beginning to enjoy for our dinner. This is the planted out box that Handy Daddy made.

And this was the basis to our yummy salad last night.

Hopefully it won't be too much longer until the potatoes are ready too!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Relaxing day in the sun

The weather is so nice at the moment, I make the most of each and every opportunity to be outside. This morning we took a trip to the park, an albeit short trip after Poppy had a 90min nap. Despite a major tantrum under the boat climbing frame, because of what I'm still not quite sure, the hour was pleasantly spent overall. On the way back to the car Poppy walked most of the way holding to the pram, and when she'd had enough cruised around to the front to be sat back up for a little rest. Bless her.

I've not had time to post but she had finally starting taking some steps unassisted!! She's been doing a little more each day. She looks so very pleased with herself when she does a few steps.

This afternoon a friend and her two daughters came over for a visit. I set the garden up so that the kids were able to play with us sat watching, the sun was shining, a parasol kept the baby in shade, and we both chilled out for a few hours. Its amazing how much happier I feel when the sun is out and I can spend some stress-free time outdoors.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Missing seeing my husband

Having to work is really crappy. My poor hubby has been working non-stop all week, has only 1 out of his rota'd 4 days off thanks to a music festival in Swansea and a court date on the other two days (as an evidence-giver, not the accused). At least his one day off is tomorrow, a Sunday, but bless him he'll be so tired who knows what time he'll get out of bed. And speaking of 'who know what time', when will he get to come home this evening? Was meant to leave at 9pm but it's nearly 10pm and he's text saying they're being kept on.

On a different note, I was pleased today with my ability to be flexible with Poppy's routine. I took her to visit my aunt and uncle in Newport, a 90 minute drive. So that I could see as much of them as possible we didn't leave until gone 430pm and she was going to bed almost an hour late. But so what? She slept the entire journey there and back which was blissful, and has been pretty contented all day. Result.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Folly Farm trip

A rare day out as a family ended up in a trip to Folly Farm, near Tenby. Poppy loved having the new freedom of toddling around rather than being pushed in the pram, albeit holding onto any free hand or finger.

These are the highlights of the day as pictures:

Poppy Pigtails

Have been accumulating a collection of hairclips and hair bobbles since Poppy was little for when her hair is long enough for a ponytails or pigtails. I've been trying to put a bobble in now and again, and today was the day that her hair was finally long enough for them to make little pigtails!! Yay!!


And this is her being a Big Girl, drawing on her new favourite magnetic board, sat on the sofa before nursery. Again, how cute?!

My inner Domestic Goddess

Last week I had an impulse to buy a sewing machine. When the weather was hot Poppy was too hot just in a vest and a 1 tog sleeping bag, so I thought how hard could it be to make a lightweight bag from a sheet? Turns out not so hard. It doesn't look perfect, it's plain and boring as it's from an old cream duvet cover, but it does include a zip up the side and poppers at the shoulders. Impressed? So am I.

This is the basic pieces cut from the duvet cover

And this is the finished product!

My next project is a tablecloth for my dining table. Need to find some funky material as it'll be a piece of cake after the sleeping bag. Just measure, cut and hem a rectangular piece of cloth! But it'll stop the marks appearing from the food missiles Poppy launches at it and the scratches from its role as a general dumping ground.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Terrifying Tantrums

This morning before work was the WORST ever morning. I am still feeling completely incompetent and emotionally wrecked. Poppy woke at 620am, late for her as you'll know if you read this regularly, so I decided to get her up and give her a bottle downstairs rather than putting her back to bed after it. I don't know if this was the reason, if she was hungry after her milk, or just being a total cow, but from then on she tantrum-ed for 2 hours until we left the house. And I mean this new, extreme, eye-wateringly loud kind of tantrum she's developed. All I was trying to do was have a wash in the bathroom so I put her down on the floor, like I do each morning; today it resulted in a spectacular display of anger and frustration, seen as her throwing herself onto her front and screaming at the top of her lungs, arms and legs going rigid and throwing her head back. Poor hubby was trying to sleep before going into an afternoon shift, but could only withstand his natural curiosity for so long before coming to see just what the fuck what going on.

And that was just one of the many she had in that 2 hour period. I went into work feeling the worst I've felt for a good while, that pressurised & trapped feeling back in my very core. Wondering how I ended up with such a horrible child. If she will ever stop this melodramatic behaviour. Maybe she's just not very nice and will always be like this. I don't want to dislike my offspring, it goes against the natural order of things. Even a colleague asking if I was ok, I wasn't my normal self today, brought me close to tears as it meant that the facade I was usually pretty good at maintaining when I feel crap was too much to keep up.

There's only one solution to this dreadful day. A glass of cold white wine.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sex and The City 2

Just been to see it with some friends. And although it is hilariously funny and very fashionable, I still cried a little tear. There is this one scene where Charlotte and Miranda are discussing the lesser-spoken-of side to being a mother. Charlotte needs some serious encouragement to admit that it is bloody hard work and sometimes she can't handle it, alongside some cocktail drinking (of course - this IS SATC). Miranda just listened to what she said and agreed with how she felt, didn't judge her, and gave her alcohol.

It made me realise that everyone feels the same way as me at some point or another, even if on the outside they are maintaining this facade that their life is perfect and parenthood is a breeze. And it made me immensely grateful for the Mummy friends I have met that say it how it is and don't bullshit about how their child can be. You know who you are you loads...Oh and we seriously need a night where we all drink cocktails and say it how it is ;-)

Memories of freedom

With all the features on the radio and television at the moment about exams, it's reminded me of that feeling of complete stress and pressure surrounding my revision and exams. And then the bubbling of excitement in the pit of my stomach when the last exam of the summer is over, you're walking out of that exam hall but wanting to run and shout "I'm free!!! I'm free!!"

Then that 2 whole months of NOTHING to do but have fun with friends and sunbathe. Waking up when you wanted. Staying in your pyjamas all day if you want. Staying up all night talking crap with a friend. Lying in the sun in the garden with the radio on. Taking trips to the beach whenever you wanted having just passed your driving test. Having BBQ's on the beach after bodyboarding all morning, your stomach grumbling and body tired, with bad surf-hair hidden under a bandana.

Then waking up to the reality of a crying baby upstairs when all you're trying to do is blog...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Baa baa goats milk

Having a trial run with goats milk for Poppy. I put her back onto cows milk, mixed with formula, and she has started having bad nappies again. Health visitor wasn't too helpful about cows milk intolerance last time I tried, so not bothering speaking to her again! Goats milk is worth a try, apparently it's all a bit trial and error if they won't get on with cows milk, but whatever. Just want to move past sterilising bottles and making up formula!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Parked out

Took Poppy to the park I went to last weekend again today, to leave hubby a peaceful house after an afternoon shift that turned into a night shift. She wouldn't have a morning nap so pretty much crashed into a moany mess at about 11am, but that was after a good hour or more of cruising about, walking one handed, climbing, picking flowers, and swinging. After a tiring walk that involved too many uphill pushes in the pram for my liking, she wouldn't fall asleep so we had an early picnic lunch and then went to Asda. Of course on the car journey inbetween she fell dead asleep and so I had to sit in the car park for 10mins so that I wouldn't have a horror-bag of a baby going into the trolley. Was worth it though as she didn't moan (too) much and we got a cool play sand/water table, sand and a bucket and spade all for £20. Bargain.

Said play table was put together on our return by a tired Daddy, and she proceeded to get very wet and sandy for about 10mins before losing interest. And after about a million times of us telling her 'no' to eating sand she got a bit fed up of us spoiling her fun ;-)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Bank holidays are a letdown

I've never really been one for spending all of Bank Holiday sunday drinking, like a lot of youngsters do, having an oh-so-special Monday off for free. Having met my husband at 16 and spending pretty much every free weekend together since we met (he lived 120miles away and so a few weeknights was not an option), that sort of thing we used to do a lot anyway on a friday and saturday night. However, now that I'm all Grown Up and Responsible I long for the freedom to get leathered and sit in beer gardens all afternoon. The last bank holiday that hubby wasn't working it was Easter and therefore Poppy's birthday. Other than that he always seems to be at work, making the conversation when I go back into work on Tuesday pretty much the same as every other Monday ("How was your weekend?" Me: "Alright, D was working. Didn't get up to much"). I know the grass is always greener but it would be nice for him to work monday to friday so we actually get to see one another now and again. We would like an evening out just the two of us, just a cinema trip or something, but my parents go on holiday in a few days with my brother and his girlfriend, so all of our babysitters will be MIA.

We're going to stay at my in-laws overnight this coming wednesday as my nephew turns 1 on thursday. We can't make his birthday party next weekend as - surprise, surprise! - D is working. At least we'll see him on his actual birthday and spend a few hours with all the family before having to turn around and come home again. Hopefully we'll go out for lunch or to a play village to celebrate. Only 5 weeks until we all go to Center Parcs too, so we'll have to decide on which activities everyone wants to do and get them booked. I don't want to miss out on anything with Poppy, there are several play sessions and a Make A Memory session I want to do. Apart from that I wouldn't mind having a go at archery and doing a yoga class perhaps. Although we'll be on holiday I won't really feel like drinking then either as Poppy'll be in our room in a cot and who knows how she'll sleep...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Nights out in the week=tired Mummy

Went out with a few work mates last Wednesday evening. First we met at La Tasca for a LUSH meal, made even better by a half price voucher from their website and free drinks as they didn't bill us for them. Then off to The Grand Theatre to the monthly Comedy Club which was brilliant - very very funny MC and 3 great acts meant lots of laughter, and cheek-ache from smiling so much. Although there are many smiles during Poppy's day to day antics, there's nothing like a belly-aching laugh induced by some good comedy. The kind of laughter that leaves you wishing for breath, throwing your head back laughter, tears in your eyes, and wishing you could stop laughing when everyone else has gone quiet but that last joke really got you going.

I didn't get to bed until 1115pm but it was worth it.

The following night was less exciting - a trip to the hairdressers - but on top of the previous late night and a relaxing head massage during the shampoo, I was yawning like a good 'un. Due to hubby not having seen me for two evenings, we watched a bit of tv when I got in so got to bed after 10pm again. Hence on Friday at work I wasn't good for much, and glad I was kept busy to avoid thinking how tired I was!

I'd like to add that an 11.15 and 10pm bedtime don't sound late to a non-parent, but to parents who are dealing with a year-long cumulative sleep deficit anything past 930pm is late ;-)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What is it about poo??

There have been two poo-related incidents in my household this week. I am ashamed to say it and I hold my hands up to being a Bad Mummy - Poppy got her hands on dog poo. I was cooking dinner and she was crawling about in the garden (which I had already checked for poo btw), with me watching her progress out of the window. I thought "what's that she's got?" as her hand moved to her mouth, screamed, ran outside to grab her, but a piece had gone in the mouth. GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS.

After scouring her hands clean, giving her drinks out of one clean cup then another to rinse any remainder away, swearing profusely at my dogs, and getting her in the highchair for dinner, I Googled "My baby ate dog poo". To see if I needed to properly panic. Apparently not if your animal is healthy and unlikely to have a parasitic infection (again GROSS), and if the quantity is small. And it made me feel marginally better seeing how many other parents it had happened to.

Then this afternoon after lunch I was changing Poppy's nappy and Chicco, the eldest dog, followed suit and chowed down on the liner containing Poppy's poo from the nappy I'd just taken off. My back was turned, trying to wrestle her into the waterproof cover whilst she squirmed free to cruise along the sofa, when I heard a suspicious noise. Looking over my shoulder he was tucking in, once again I screamed, dropped the nappy cover and lunged at him before he could finish. My god, it REALLY can't taste that good. Now I know this same dog has a penchant for horse manure from numerous trips to parks, but I thought that a dirty nappy was safe within his reach. Another reason to confine him to the kitchen.

After poo incident #1 I was on the phone to landscape gardeners to get quotes for sorting out the garden. We had been discussing putting turf down in part of the back garden, but now it's a definite. It'll be fenced off so the dogs can't get on it, they'll have their own bit of patio they can access thru the dog flap, and it'll mean a soft landing and play area for Poppy.

Monday, 24 May 2010

An update on my week

Apart from working, which lets face it is thought about enough while we're there, the past week has included the following highlights:

- a fabulous playdate with two Mummy friends, although one left after about 20mins due to her son being very upset about something which we couldn't figure out. To avoid more screaming and stress she packed him back into the car, leaving his new Clarks shoes here in her haste, and arrived home after a car journey of relentless screaming. Her husband opened the car door at the other end to get the little monkey out, at which point he belched very loudly in his Dad's face and was instantly relieved of his misery. This lesson teaches us all that winding your 1 year old is still worth a try if they are crying with an unknown cause, and will save you driving for an hour all in for 20 mins playtime. Anyway I'm getting off point - when my other friend arrived with her son, Poppy had gone up for her nap and so proceeded to miss all but 15 mins of seeing her BFF. I, however, had a lovely time playing with our visitor and amusing him with Poppy's toys, and games that she is still a bit young to grasp (he is a month older). As I had no baby to worry about it meant that I could also engage in a conversation and catch up with my friend, and even managed to throw together some coffees. The playdate ended with a bit of tired wailing and throwing himself about from Poppy's BFF, resulting in him smacking his head on the corner of my wall. Progress report on an impending black eye is still awaited!

- After my friend had left the weather had miraculously turned from misty, grey, cold, and rainy to glorious sunshine and cloud-free skies. With an hour to kill until dinner preparation, Poppy and I went to the local little playpark for some swings and exploration of the park. She spent about 15mins on a swing, kindly pointing out the birds to me each time she saw one, and then went for a little wander about to examine the bark floor covering and daisies in the grass. It was a happy hour where I mostly sat in the sun and watched her pottering about, generally being a toddler and enjoying seeing new things.

- On Saturday the weather was just as hot and sunny, so we headed off to the main park in Llanelli to meet up with another friend and her two children, aged 1 and 4. This park had more swings, a ship playframe to explore and walk around, and a big sandpit. Poppy enjoyed feeling the sand and, of course, sneakily shoving a handful into her mouth to get the ultimate sensory experience.

After enjoying a picnic where Poppy sat and ate everything in sight for about half an hour, including her friends crisps, and they ran about not eating anything, we got a little hot.

We decided to go back to the main field under the shade of the glorious trees and enjoy some ball games and relaxation. It was blissfully cool after an hour in the baking sun and the kids could just walk/run/cruise on the pram and explore the flowers and grass. Poppy decided her that she'd made another BFF in the form of the 4 year old and proceeded to cuddle her at every opportunity, much to B's delight. Time was getting on and the kids were beginning to yawn, so after a quick visit to feed the ducks we all headed home for naps. The ducks were decidedly uninterested in B's cheese sandwiches, leaving them floating on the water and paddling off in the other direction. Perhaps they're dairy intolerant.

- Sunday was once again a beautiful sunny day, and as such the whole house was heated to the point of the paint starting to melt on the walls. After 3 failed attempts to get Poppy down for a morning nap due to the heat, hubby got up after a late shift and joined me in the garden.

I was determined that she would get some sleep as we were going to a birthday party in the afternoon, during her normal afternoon nap time. After lunch she finally gave in and had an hour, during which I made the most of it and lounged in the sun in the garden. When she woke we reluctantly got dressed for the party (reluctantly as I'd worn nothing but a bikini in the house for 2 days and was wondering how I was going to managed to wear clothes without passing out) and headed out.

On arrival at the party I was hugely relived to find that it had turned into a garden party and there was plenty of shade under a beautiful tree in the middle of the garden. There was a ball pit, tunnels to crawl through, a paddling pool, little tables and chairs to climb and sit on, and colourful things hanging enticingly from the tree.

Another advantage to cloth nappies is when there is a paddling pool available and you are unprepared, they can just carry on in there in the cloth. This also attracts attention and admiration from adjacent parents, and ended in me promising emails containing details of cloth nappies.

- The last ever episode of Lost was aired this morning at 5am. We have Sky+'d it but it will have to wait until tomorrow evening as we are one episode behind, and all of that would mean me getting to bed about midnight. So although I'm VERY excited about seeing how it all ends after (6 or 7?) years of watching it, my sleep takes priority over a TV show.

Sunday, 23 May 2010


This was a few days ago, there are even more now but haven't got the energy to go and take a more recent one sorry!

How is it monday already tomorrow? I feel more knackered than I did on friday night...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Busy busy week

Between one thing and another it's been almost a week since I posted. Just wanted to say hi and that I am still here and nothing is wrong! Except juggling being a working mother with training for the R4L, trying to keep up with Facebook and other people's blogs, and spending time with friends during my precious time off. Oh and spending a few snatched hours with hubby inbetween his shifts and my working day. Ho hum.

Seedlings are showing, will post pics tomorrow!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Wet washing on the line

Don't you just hate that? I pegged washing out in the sunshine yesterday afternoon which wasn't dry by nightfall. So I left it out overnight and its bloody rained. Soggy, sopping, dripping washing is not on my line. Yuck. Think I'll just leave it there and see if the sun will come back out and save me.

Have discovered, since moaning to hubby that he never gets up in the night, that Poppy settles much better when he goes in than when I do. When she sees me she wants a cuddle and I end up picking her up, loving the snuggles, and bringing her back into bed with me as every time I put her in the cot she wakes up and screams. So last night I had an almost unbroken nights sleep until 545am when I got up with her as hubby shot out of bed when she woke up twice. Bliss.

Hubby's parents came to stay for the weekend to help out after his eye surgery but went home last night, so we now have a free day today unexpectedly. If he's up to it we may go to a soft play area or have lunch somewhere. We're skint until payday next week but what the hell.