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Half-term song

Hello all, So after a few days off I thought I’d share with you all what we have been up to over the half term, some I may even make into blog posts….. Extra stress on the MAY as I’m sure you’re still awaiting the rest of my experiment… cough…. cough, never set goals, you’ll only feel like a failure when you don’t succeed.
Anywho, given that there’s less 8 weeks till Christmas I thought I’d break into song…

For the half-term holiday the Macdonald family (had)

12 Plastic SpidersDSCF3585edit
11 cups of coffee
10 dirty nappies
9 home-made cupcakes
8 loads of washing
7 hours Ikea-ing
5 days off work
4 calved pumpkins
3 lie ins
2 days in Bristol
And a fast trip to A and E

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Not as young as I used to be

Do you ever feel like you’re still 18? Oh I know I have a house, a family and a respected job, but every so often my little world is jolted by the reminder that I’m not as young as I think I am.

This weekend, in a rather belated family celebration, we went out for a meal. Now, going for a meal in our household is a rare treat, not because I like cooking so much (we have the obligatory fortnightly take-away), but because It’s too much hassle sometime to get, the children out the house, get ourselves out the house and be back in time for the bedtime routine. On this occasion my fears are confirmed, when, arriving at the family friendly restaurant (no swanky candlelit bars for us) we realise we have left the changing bag at home. The baby had done a poo and we don’t have his meal time paraphernalia, cue trip to local Tesco for husband while I wait for our order to arrive!

In walks a group of young people, I expect them to glance over (as young people do when either checking out the talent or the competition) they don’t see me, they order their Alco pops and instead, I’m greeted by a family of five and their screaming toddler… I send the mother a sympathetic look. Yep I’m not 18 anymore.

Our waitress is also in her teens, she looks affronted when I ask her to clean the highchair again (we had a terrible gastro incident involving a trip to hospital last time baby Roo ate from an unknown high chair) I feel like one of those clean freak mums, which if you saw my house, would def cause a raised eyebrow to these demands…. I waitressed once, I sneered at disinfectant wipe mothers but OMG I’m one of them now.

The waitress returns to bring our drinks, neither hubby nor I are drinking alco pops, or alcohol at all for that matter. Oh don’t get me wrong it’s not because we want to be responsible parents, I even offered to drive so he could have a West Country Cider but, we decide, neither of us want a sore head (or the other to have an excuse not to fetch baby from the cot at 3am). We have a coke each and I set about trying to calm the baby by whipping out my boob, the other mother throws back my  sympathetic look and the teens look a little disgusted. They are talking about music festivals, I on the other hand am reassuring the eldest that it’s fine to use a single crayon to colour in the menu: leave them out in the cold long enough and all veg turns blue….. Harriet is not convinced!

When did my life change? When did blue crayons become more important than blue vodka drinks and hairspray…. I still feel 18!

Just as the meal is brought out, hubby returns with plastic cups, nappies, wet wipes and, low and behold, disinfectant wipes!!

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Damned if we do…..

So, during preparations for my earth mother experiment (real nappy, breastfeeding and sling research) I came across a fantastic article on extended breastfeeding, this got me thinking about how us mothers are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts with you:bitchymoms

  • Are you breastfeeding?: This question, if coming from genuine interest, maybe a curious mum-to-be or a health care professional is all well and good, but if it’s to gauge my suitability to join your baby gang you can sod off!
  • Are you still breastfeeding??: So, you’d judge me if I didn’t but beyond the age of 12 months there must be something wrong with me for continuing…. Right!!
  • You’re doing baby lead weaning: Won’t your baby get really hungry? Throw most of it around? Won’t he choke? no I wont look at the book you bought to understand it better.
  • You’re mashing his food: Oh,how will he learn to feed himself, you’ll never get him to eat lumps, you’ve made a rod for your own back (agrahhhh I hate strongly dislike that saying).
  • Make noise around your sleeping baby so he gets used to it: who really feels like hovering when you have a new born? and at 3am I’m not risking it….sorry
  • Sleep when he sleeps: I thought I was meant to hoover?! (also this advice only counts for the first 3 weeks after that, no matter how little sleep you’ve had, you’re lazy for wanting a nap)
  • Is he still not sleeping through? No, I like my two hour a night cuddles. (if I’ve not offered up the info, or said I’m struggling its NOYB)
  • Its psychologically damaging to let your baby cry it out: agrahhh I can’t win

Can you think of anymore??

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The Bedtime Rout…..

The bedtime routine in our household starts around the dinner table, as this is when I start mentally preparing for the task ahead. Each evening we play a round of ‘what did you learn today’ in which all members of the family are required to contribute to the discussion.

H has learnt that, if you’re the boy next door, you get into trouble for trying to sell her conkers. I for one can’t understand this; I think this boy must have been fairly ingenious, what’s that saying? ‘Selling ice to Eskimos?’ I think him rather entrepreneurial myself.

The hubby has learnt that, if you complain to the railway network that there are too few carriages on the rush hour service, you actually get a personal phone call to discuss your grievances….. wow, who knew?

Baby Roo has learnt ‘mmmmmammma’, I translate this to mean ‘if I empty all the nappies from the box every half an hour, mummy stops the dishwasher shuffle to pay me extra attention.DSCF2680

But what have I learnt…… hmmm, if you question why the Christmas present delivery didn’t arrive as expected, the company will explain that the courier delivered them instead to a Mrs J Hillman?! Who happily signed for the items despite having no recollection of ordering them….. I hope you’re enjoying Harriet’s fashion designer set and Rupert’s wooden blocks B”%*H!!! (Bet ill see them on ebay soon).

Once dinner is over and the crock pot left to soak for a few days, all attention turns to bath-time. While the husband negotiates the baby I survey the carnage of the day: the nappies out of box, the train set chewed then discarded, the dressing up box upturned, the cushions now a fort in the centre of the living room and a half eaten gingerbread man squished into the rug…. I think bath-time would be preferable to this lot! Trouping up to the top floor I casually ignore the debris on the stairs begging to be taken up, stop by my office to count the coffecups and note the trail of mashed potato which has fallen of the baby on his way to meet ducky and boat….. No wonder I’ve not got around to putting the pictures up in the hall or painting my chalkboard list…..DSCF3345

Harriet has pulled out the entire bookcase to find her favourite story; she is prancing about to ‘the Disney collection’ CD and clearly doesn’t understand that calm down time does not include demonstrating a new dance routine. The baby is chewing his tooth brush and the husband is searching for the shampoo with one hand. Perhaps that gingerbread man downstairs needs some company after all? I settle the eldest to read and get a rundown of every bruise and bump from the day at school, this is from a football, this is from the adventure playground, this is from the where I bit my nail… it’s thrilling stuff! But it’s also ‘CALM DOWN TIME’

Next begins the ‘which teddy to cuddle tonight’ fiasco, everyone gets an equal turn but it appears, Sally dog has gone walkies on her designated night…. She needs to be located otherwise she will miss out! Ofcourse you can’t swap the order, it could cause a rift and apparently the stuffed animals in particular are still recovering from the shock of moving house.

I leave her to deal with teddy anxiety issues and manage to catch the final page of ‘That’s not my monster….’. Hubby and I do a swap, he locates Sally dog, inside the fort and manages to squish the gingerbread man further into the rug with his bare feet…. Cue the sound of running water and the eldest needing to inspect the damage…

I feed the baby and, for a few serine minuets, I consider falling asleep also, but, baby must be put in cot awake, or I’ll be up and down the stairs for the rest of the night while he tries to remember how to ‘self soothe’…… I lower him into the cot, nice and drowsy…….very calm and content, he might just drift off….BANG!! H is showing Hubby the dance routine, baby starts to cry and I hear from the eldest’s room… ‘ITS CALM DOWN TIME’.DSCF2994

Baby settles on boob once more, I lower him down into cot…. He Parps, then throws up the extra milk down my top…. Still, I think he might actually go to sleep……yes, yes, he’s rolled onto his side, I close the door, locate the monitor and WOOOO HOOOO, one down!

Upstairs she is in her Jammies and finally in bed, I lean down to give a kiss good night……thinking ahead to the carnage downstairs….. ‘Goodnight Mummy, love you too, don’t forget my costume for tomorrow’s School trip’

‘Oh crap!!!!’

When’s OUR calm down time??

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The best laid plans / Often go awry

We overslept, a rarity in this household. Mums don’t need alarm clocks you see. At 6:45 each morning we are awoken by the children, either the eldest asking about what’s for dinner next week or the youngest cooing accusingly into the baby monitor. For 10 seconds this morning we congratulate the children on letting us sleep in…. then the realisation kicks in: its 7:18 and we are quite possibly going to be late.

I have plans for today: I was going to try for the yummy mummy status, get up at 6 have a shower, do make-up, lay each child’s clothes out ready, maybe make the pack lunches…. Find some co-coordinating jewellery, locate my chic scarf. I may bake some cupcakes when the youngest has his morning nap later, I could unload and load the dish washer while they cook…sort out the washing that I’ve refreshed twice in the machine. Maybe I’ll start a blog on craft projects…. We have recently moved house you see, I’m quite into the idea of blogging my interior design ideas. I have written a list!

Despite sleeping in, the baby is tired…. Maybe he’s having a growth spurt? We are nearly out of bread. “its ok mummy, I like the end crusts” (thank goodness). I feed the baby porridge and throw a cup of coffee down my neck…. And dressing gown…. (see that’s why it’s good not to get dressed until the last min).

We all troop upstairs, I have no clean clothes, I really should sort out the wash…. Maternity wear it is then….. the coordinating jewellery is in a box somewhere…. I’ll go for the naturel look today… nothing worse than turning up for the school run looking like you’re going out for the night.

The husband leaves to catch his train; he breaks into a jog as he passes the garage…..

Throw together a packed lunch and I sort out some money for a school trip. The baby cries, he doesn’t want to get dressed this morning, He doesn’t want a banana, he doesn’t want his sister to play peek-a-boo with him, he doesn’t need his nappy chan….. oh wait, yes he does.

We’re late, we had better drive to school (actually no quicker, but these maternity trousers are a bit big for me now, would hate to expose hideous m&S underwear while pushing pram down the road).Made it to school, just in time. forgot lunch box!! As baby sleeps for 2 hours at 9:30, we will have to break into school trip money….. Harriet likes school lunch better anyway.

HOME!!!! Ooooo postmans been

Baby doesn’t sleep at 9:30, baby fills nappy (again). I empty all my pockets placing remaining trip money with the post and lay down to feed him…..  10 mins later I awake with him fast asleep and still attached. We begin the cot lowering mission. Slowly_creep_into_babys_room_gently_lower_him_into_cot_back_away and trip on a oh so stylish vintage crate……BABY AWAKE

I abandon my baking plans and spend the next hour trying to get him to nod off again. He keeps smiling, we give up, I empty, reload the put the dishwasher on with him in my arms….

Side note: how do other mums get anything done with a baby? This is the extent of the housework while he is awake….. a bit of dirt is good for building up his immune system anyway, don’t want him to be one of those sickly children who sees a speck of dirt and comes down with stomach flu….. Incidentally, if you were a child like this please put me in touch with your mother so I can ask her how she managed to keep such a spotless home…… maybe you had your nap at 9:30?

We have no bread, I have to boil up some pasta and stream some veg for little mans lunch…. Dish washer is full of clean stuff, I leave saucepans on the side, fill one with water to ‘soak’ I’m good at doing that, did you know, some need to soak for 24 hours atleast??

Moving house equals lots of phone calls; I aimlessly open the post while on hold. Baby seems happy, he’s playing with some paper….. OMG it’s the trip money, He’s eaten Harriet’s £10 note…..

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So there we have it

Hours spend napping (baby) 0

Cupcakes made 0

Phone calls completed 0

Loss: £10

Gain: 2 dirty nappies

Washes done 0

Dishes on the side in the morning 9

Dishes on the side in the afternoon 9 (but different ones)

School trips paid for 0