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.