Friday, 27 May 2011

Bank holiday plans

Yet another Bank Holiday is upon us, after the TWO recent long weekends in April which were fantastic and sunny. And finally hubby is off work for one, hurray! We are off to visit his family in Somerset tomorrow afternoon for two nights, which will hopefully involve lots of sitting down for me and Poppy being amused by her cousins.

Took the last dose of steroids yesterday so have been feeling progressively worse today, and now that I'm sat with my feet up it feels like everything is swelling and stiffening by the minute..yikes..still 4 days until I see my consultant and then who knows how long for any new medication to kick in. Perhaps I can take some more steroids after I've seen him to get through it all again. Who knew that rather than getting 'hooked' on prescription painkillers it would be prednisolone?

Poppy will be getting a lot of Grandma and Grandad exposure the next few weeks-this weekend, next weekend at her cousins birthday party (just me and her driving back to Somerset as hubby working this time), and the following weekend when I go to London for a girly weekend and they are coming here to babysit. Not looking forward to all the driving involved in these plans, bring on the stiff knees, but nothing will stop me visiting my London friend-we haven't had any time together without kids involved since just before I was pregnant with Poppy. Making it...ummm...2008! Wow! 3 years ago. This is a friend that I met while working in Wallis when a student, and another friend who also worked there is coming along too. I always thought I was rather odd, having kept in contact with people from when at Uni that I didn't meet AT Uni but through working. Guess that's what happens when you're not a typical student and go to Uni engaged to be married and living with your fiance!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Big girl at dinner

This is Poppy at dinner last night, she is growing up so quickly. After seeing me scoop rice towards my fork with my knife a few nights ago she asked for a knife too, then copied me exactly. So now she had a knife and fork at dinner. If that wasn't big-girl-ish enough she found a Diddy cup in the back of the cupboard and immediately asked for water in it. From her gleeful giggles when she saw it perhaps she uses one at nursery, I thought, which was confirmed when she carefully lifted it up and drank like a Big Girl. And then slowly set it down on the table to carry on playing, obviously aware that it will spill out if she's rough with it like she is with her milk beakers. So now she has a knife, fork and open cup at dinner. Wow.

Anyone reading this who is not a parent cannot possibly fully appreciate how these small but significant achievements can really make your day. Confirmation that you are doing ok, you are teaching your child how the world works.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Real Nappy Week 2011

Yes it's here again. This time last year we were still pretty new to the whole reusable nappy thing, I was pleased with myself for starting to use them and content with my limited product knowledge. We bought a set of Motherease One Size nappies and wraps, boosters and liners, nappy bucket and off we went. I wasn't aware of the HUGE range of cloth nappies available, varying in technique, sizes, fabrics, colours, wraps, fastenings etc etc.

Now that I am truly a bum-fluff addict it becomes difficult not to buy yet more with all the special offers on for RNW11. We don't need any more nappies, especially after my recent raffle prize win at the local Guiness World Record attempt for changing cloth nappies. So perhaps I'll restrict my purchases to a swim nappy or two for our upcoming holiday, and a pretty new wrap to brighten up our rather boring collection. A girl has to have pretty knickers on when wearing a dress and playing like a little tomboy at the park, right? Poppy is often to be found upside down climbing on something and flashing her underwear, yet another reason to be grateful for using attractive reusables rather than crinkly, smelly disposables....

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Sunday, 15 May 2011

You can't choose your family

But at the end of the day, would most of us actually change them? Yes, there are things about your parents and other family that drive you absolutely crazy. Why do they do that? Where did that habit come from? For example my Mum always finishes her sentences in an email with a question mark - each and every sentence even when it's not a question - and signs off with 'LOL'. What could be causing her to Laugh Out Loud as she types 'love from Mum', I ponder as I read the email. She's got the whole technology thing down now, it can't still be amusing to type and send an email like it was the t'Internet was all new and spangly. But if she didn't do it then it wouldn't be her, would it? No-one else I know does that, it's a completely unique quirk that is only hers. Only your Mum would worry about you, their child, enough to go on at your Dad that they need to put the house up for sale and move closer to you so that she could help out more, because you're ill and struggling with things. I hope that Poppy will come to realise, once the dreaded teenage years are behind us, that family isn't all that bad. I know it took me a long time to even contemplate the notion.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

I admit it, I'm a nosy neighbour

Now that I'm back being a cripple/couch potato and we have new people moved into the house across from ours, I just can't help but sit in my seat and watch their coming's and going's. I was particularly impressed to see the older lady up and outside painting the decorative metal lamps either side of the front door when I opened the blind at 745am. That's early for a Saturday morning when you don't have a child, from what I remember. And the younger bloke is very good at keeping his car clean, and that's compared the bloke who lives next door to them who can clean his car for a whole afternoon. The same guy also mows his lawn by hand with a manual machine and trims the edges by hand with a scissors. A scissors. I just Googled fastidious to make sure I had the definition correct and yup, he is fastidious about his garden. Hubby and I often wonder why he doesn't work and is home all the time to clean the car/mow the lawn and hedge/walk his dog 3 times a day (and wipe her behind with a wetwipe when she does her business - I've witnessed this myself). His nickname is Mr P, which is short for Perfect. We are, however, very fortunate to have a fabulous set of neighbours right next door to us who are the same age as us and pregnant with their first child. Lets just say that before I was pregnant there were quite a few evenings involving a copious amount of alcohol and PS2 Singstar. It was them that gave us the Mr & Mrs P nickname, so I'm not to blame for that one! I do feel fortunate to have them there as they have helped out on more than one emergency occasion with the house, dogs and Poppy. I hope that we can be good neighbours and return the favour one day to them. Gone are the 'good old days' where everyone knows everyone in the street or village, but there is something to be said for saying hello when you pass people you see everyday getting out of their cars and offering to help out now and again. You never know when you may need them.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Brightening up my day

With a vibrant, shocking coral nail polish. Why not? What else is there to do when you have to sit down after being worn out by going to Tesco for a paper and wetwipes and WHSmiths for a card index box to organise recipes. Sit down, take off the chipped pale pink, shorten and file, moisturise, base coat, colour coat times two, top coat. Done. A familiar ritual that I can still accomplish to make me smile when I catch sight of the summery colour through the day.

And yes I am that sad and overly-organised that I want to set up an index card system for recipes that I have handwritten down on a bit of scrap paper, and keep moving around the kitchen. Hopefully it will prompt me to cook some new dishes too once I sort through them and get inspired. Or at least that Crunchie Chocolate Cheesecake that I saw lurking at the back of my current messy ringbinder. Yum.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Alternative universe

After our cleaner's first visit today we returned home to a nice clean home, in parts (she ran out of time to do all we asked as we can only afford 2 hours a week), and to my keen eye we have begun to live in an alternate universe. One where all of our things are the same but in a slightly different place on the shelf, or somewhere that I had never put them - still in plain sight but not where I had left it. Slightly disconcerting but at the same time not altogether unpleasant. After all, turning that photo frame slightly to the left means that it catches my eye on the way through the hall. And photos in frames are generally meant to be looked at. So that's a good thing.

And we have clean floors. I can't tell you how nice it will be to come home once a week to floors that have been vacuumed and mopped. Money well spent.

Monday, 9 May 2011

3 months on..

Wow. 3 and a half months ago was my last post. Just before I returned to work after having a prolonged period of sick leave due to the arthritis. And here I am again, off on sick leave due to the arthritis. And feeling very annoyed and frustrated that the treatment that seemed to have finally kicked in has begun to stop working, and that my long-awaited consultant appointment STILL has not dropped through the letterbox.

So what's been happening since I last posted? A brief rundown of the highlights that spring to mind are (not necessarily in date order, just in a random order of how my mind works):

- Poppy turning 2 in April. Celebrated by a day at home playing with new toys, some time with just the three of us and lunch by the seafront, followed by a family meal involving more presents and 3 renditions of 'Happy Birthday' and candle blowing-out. Good times. A party at the local family center followed on the saturday which was a huge success and once again surprised and delighted us with our friends generosity after all the wonderful gifts she received. Thanks to you all.

- Finally feeling like I was back on form at work, clinical-skills wise and professionally. Long may it continue once this (hopefully short) break is over.

- Lots of lovely weekends enjoying the unseasonally warm spring weather by spending many hours outside. Thanks to birthday gifts of a playhouse, new big-girl slide and sandpit Poppy is content to while away the time in her wellies and a coat no matter how cold it is, usually with bare feet even if it is really not warm enough for it. She seems to be an outdoor person, happiest pottering around digging up treasures in the sand or lying prostrate on her belly examining and decimating the ant population of the garden.

- Family time over Easter and the Royal Wedding bank holidays with hubby's relatives in Somerset. Again thanks to the weather this even involved a paddling pool and ice-cream, picnics and sunbathing.

- A spa day courtesy of Poppy/Hubby for Mother's Day. Nothing much more to say other than 'Ahhhhh...and relax..'

- Hiring in a cleaner. This is a bittersweet highlight as while most women would, in theory, love to give over those dreaded household chores to someone else, in my case it is because I am unable to keep up with said chores thanks to my illness. We produce a surprising amount of washing and ironing for only two adults and one child, which hubby manages to keep in check thanks to me having wrists too painful to lift the iron; however with his shifts and me working almost full-time too our house mostly seems to consist of mucky carpets, dust and a grimy bathroom. All of the time. We literally only have the time to give a quick clean if we have guests to stay. I know a lot of working families are in the same boat but we are lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for some help, and are fed up of the battle, so we thought why not?

- Acceptance (to some degree) that we are unlikely to have another child in the near future. This is quite a big one, as after strenuously protesting against ever having to give birth again for at least a year after I had Poppy, I had mellowed to the idea. Then wham! the arthritis was diagnosed. And the yucky nasty medication I am on means that if I accidentally got pregnant then it would have to be terminated or be born very severely malformed. Now, after the brief respite of relatively good health, it looks like more medication is to be added to the cocktail; this would complicate matters in withdrawing my treatment in order to get pregnant and the chances of me becoming very unwell whilst TTC are high because I would be meds-free. Therefore, while this has been a difficult one to come to terms with I feel that I am slowly getting there. The intense flares of jealousy that I felt when another friend announced she was pregnant again are now presenting as little aches in my chest instead.

- Poppy turning into a real, live, proper Little Girl. She is so adorable, loveable, beautiful, full of life, spirited, determined, opinionated, chatty, bossy, wicked, energetic. The new photo banner for this blog is of her at her birthday party, upside down in the bouncy castle, having the time of her life with her cousins and friends. This year's party was so different. She didn't need or look for me or hubby for the whole 2 hours. She's her own little person, content in the safe world we have created for her, happy surrounded by the family she knows and loves.

- A Day Out With Thomas at the Gwili railway. Lots of fun with Poppy having her first ever ride on a train, spending the day with a friend and her family and Poppy's little mate E. Being thankful that I have friends to rely on for support and help when hubby is at work and I want a day out, but can't manage it alone.

I think that's enough of my random recollections for now. Back to the job that I can manage to do sat down at the laptop - selling our unwanted junk on Ebay. That is now including some of Poppy's clothes which before now have all been safely squirrelled away in the loft 'just in case'. You see? Acceptance in its purest form.