Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

As this is F's first proper Halloween we decided to do lots of Halloween inspired activities. I aren't a fan of Trick or Treating but I managed to find a local Halloween party for Freddie & I to attend. As well as partying away (which ended in F being sick! Yak!) we did; Halloween inspired baking, spider handprint painting & a disgusting sensory activity with LOTS of spiders and of course, we did Pumpkin carving.

Here's what we got up to on Freddie's 2nd Halloween:

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Those pesky vaccinations!

Little F had his 13 month vaccinations yesterday! 

His first 3 lots when he was a baby were easy as he didn't really understand what was happening and as long as he was soothed with milkies & mummy cuddles immediately after, he was right as rain. 

However now he's bigger and not to mention stronger, I was particularly nervous about these ones! He is now the size of a 2 year old so he's certainly not your typical just tuened toddler. Initially I thought I was going to have to go alone as Mr C was meant to be working however as it fell, we had some friends up from the South to stay so he'd scheduled some free time and he was able to come along as well. 

It was a good job he did! Little F (ironic as he's no way little anymore!) struggled and shouted and said 'NO DON'T!!' at the Nurse over and over again! He is particularly clued up and even though we'd played lots of fun games in the waiting room, as soon as we entered the room and he was surrounded by two Nurses as well as me & Daddy, he pretty quickly realised that something fishy was going on! 

After a slight tantrum and then a very short Mummy cuddle, he was fine as we expected but it's still not nice seeing them sob. 

We are especially lucky to have vaccinations to help protect our babies from all these nasty diseases but the little monkeys don't make it easy for us Mummys! I swear F had practiced his puppy dog face especially for the occasion!

Here he is perfecting his 'feel sorry for me' face. He milked it for all it was worth and he ended up with 2 new pairs of pyjamas & a Minion toy for being brave! 

'Bridezilla' STRIKES!

As I have mentioned a bazillion times before, in near enough 9 months, I'm getting wed!

And last night we had the first 'Bridezilla' attack.

I swore I wouldn't be like this. I was adamant that I could retain my calm and collected composure at all times and let my natural 'planner' personality shine. Sounds simple eh? Well for anyone who's planned a wedding, you'll know when it comes to weddings... NOTHING is simple.

I was adamant I wouldn't let it consume me and to a point, because I'm such a busy Mummy; it doesn't. But when F is in bed and I should be winding down and recharging the old batteries with a glass of Prosecco, I'm not. I'm thinking table plans, colour schemes and god damn bleeding dresses! 

I mentioned before about my dress dilemma and after trying it on tonight, I'm still not sure but that's the least of my worries. We've gone into rockier territory. We've got into family politics.

I'm from a large family with quite a lot of women. I have quite a few female cousins and Aunts who aren't much older than me so sometimes, things can become rather bitchy.

Coupled with the fact that my psychotic younger brother has decided (somewhat sneakily/coincidentally/redicilously) that he is going to get married 8 weeks after me, I'm at the end of my tether. There should be some sort of unwritten rule that siblings shouldn't marry within the same year, I've decided.

Call me selfish, Bridezilla, a diva, I've had them all but I'm somewhat disheartened because last night was meant to be about me. I couldn't care less that they are getting married, it's the fact that they've chosen it so close to mine (even though they've been together two minutes) and therefore its already imposing on my plans. I know, it sounds pathetic.

Another thing is I'm still not 100% on my dress. I really don't think it's 'the one'. Last night it felt bigger than ever and with all the bitchiness at the minute, I feel like drawing attention to myself is the last thing I want to do. I can practically hear them remarking when I walk down the aisle and I think, if my dress was 'the one', then I wouldn't give too hoots about what the haters said. 

The culmination of all this led to my first Bridezilla moment (I'm assured everyone has them!) and then a build up of everything coupled with the fact that F isn't sleeping,  meant that I just broke down. Everything I have and every spare bit of money I earn is going into this and it seems like it's all going to go tits up.

My one saving grace in all of is this is that my wonderful chief bridesmaid and my older bridesmaid were amazing. And I mean amazing. They completely defended me when the others thought I was being ridiculous and my chief even genuinely offered to pay for a new dress. Of course I'd never take her up on the offer but it was truly heartwarming to know that she would and she really meant it. 

I know I'm blessed. I am marrying the most wonderful man and we have the best son we could ever wish for to be part of our day. Our chief bridesmaid proved her self to be entirely worthy of her role (not that I'd ever doubt that) and I found out that the people who'll be standing at the front, are the people who I live and cherish the most. 

But still, families. Why are they so stupidly complicated?! 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Am I wrong to put my child in 'designer' clothes?

One thing I've learnt since I've become a mother is that everyone has an opinion on how you bring up your child. From the woman at the bus stop to the postman and his dog, parenting is this unchartered territory where everyone thinks they can stick their two'penneth in.

I've been told that; Fred should have been 'having real milk straight from my 'babylons' as some old perv so kindly put it, lectured about giving him a pink beaker as it's sure to turn him into the next Shirley Bassey and the latest, that I am 'stupid' for putting my child in designer clothes.

Before I was pregnant, myself and Mr C both had relatively good jobs which meant we could afford nice things. I've been lucky that I've always had the privilege of nice things and I appreciate nice things. At 16, I worked hard to save my own money to buy a Chloe handbag. The satisfaction that I got from knowing that I'd worked hard to buy such a beautiful piece made me feel proud. The majority of my friends  had never even heard of Chloe; never mind it's £800 price tag so it wasn't about showing off. To me, it was the feeling of accomplishment that came with the smell, the feel, the everything about my wonderful new bag.

Quite simply, I'm one of those people that would rather have one nice thing than lots of medioke things. As that sort of person, naturally this carries through to my son.

I like to buy him designer clothes.

I'm not talking high-end catwalk designer. I simply cannot afford that anymore with all of my responsibilities. I mean 'high street' designer such as Ralph Lauren. 

The majority of Freddie's clothes are from Next but he has quite a few 'designer' bits such as RL or Levi jeans. He has clothes from Asda and I'm a big fan of Tesco for some stuff.

But still, I'm 'stupid' for buying him designer clothing.He has a Ralph Lauren winter coat that I actually bought from an outlet so it was half the RRP. He has some Ralph Lauren trainers that I got from a discount website for 70% off the RRP. He also has some bits that I loved so I paid full price for them.

It isn't about the money as the majority of his things are from outlet stores or online. Even if I did pay £80 for a polo or £130 for a coat, what's that to do with anybody else? I don't smoke, drink or go 'out'. I very rarely buy myself anything as I prefer to spend MY money on nice things for MY son.

Notice the MY? Yes he's my son and I like to buy him lovely things with my money which myself or Mr C earn.

I agree, he grows fast and he doesn't know the difference between designer and supermarket clobber but as his mother, I do. Whilst I am still in control of dressing him then I will choose to dress him how I want. If I like a particular item of clothing, regardless of price, then I will buy it. I also find that spending a little bit extra on something means that it is better quality, washes well and lasts longer. 

I would not dream of slating someone for dressing their child in Primark so why do we feel that we can slate others who choose to dress their children in designer? 

Freddie in Ralph Lauren at 3 months

More designer at 4 months

Designer shorts at 8 months

Monday, 21 October 2013

It's hard work being a Mama...

For the last few days I've been feeling pretty shitty. Sore throat, head ache, general all over body achey feeling, you know the sorts. 

 If I'd have been a man, this would have been man flu. Full blown man flu in all it's glory but instead, I'm a woman and I have to get on with it. Yesterday when I felt like I wanted to curl up and fester in self pity, I went to work for 8 hours.

Today, after just 2 hours sleep, I was awoken by a cross Freddie shouting MAMA MAMA because I'd dared to be asleep when he'd woken and not greeted him within the obligatory 3.25 seconds in which he expects.

If I thought about it, I could cry. Instead, I've cleaned my kitchen cupboards and we are in the process of getting the craft kit out and making Halloween cards. 

Being a Mama means that we don't get sick days.  It's a real test of how I've honed my skills to survive in this world of being a 'parent'. I think I've coped with this feat quite well. How I'll cope when we get orange paint on my carpets we will see. 

It's hard work being a Mama... but it's the best work I've ever done.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wedding Dress DILEMMA!

As a little girl I always dreamed about my wedding dress. It would cost a bazillion pounds, be designed by Vera Wang (even as a 5 year old I had style!) and be a Princess's dream. 

Roll on 20 years and I'm getting married and in search of said wedding dress. Except we have some slight problems...

I have a baby therefore I do not have a bazillion pounds. Even if I didn't have a baby, I wouldn't have a bazillion pounds!

I'm not too sure but I expect Vera Wang dresses come up pretty small. I I highly doubt she will have something to cover my fat arse, even with a 2 stone weight loss.

And lastly, and the most saddest for my 5 year old self, I aren't a Princess. Even if Mr C is my handsome Prince.

When it initially came to planning the wedding, low key and intimate was the vision. We're still having intimate but low key went out the window after precisely 3 hours. With low key, normally comes low cost so to the shock horror of my dear Dad, the budget spiralled.

Myself and Mr C insisted that we wanted to foot the cost of the wedding ourselves but my Dad is the most traditional man you could ever meet and he wouldn't hear of it. We've managed to come to a compromise that consists of him paying for the venue & the food and maybe a few extras dependent on the contents of our wedding pot at the end. 

The poor guy has had to sell his beloved weekend Porsche to fund his side so I am adamant that he wouldn't be footing any bills that I am responsible for.

Mr C has his own business, and although in time, it has the potential to earn us a nice comfortable living, right now we're pretty much making peanuts because of his outgoings. I'm working 16 hours whilst looking after Fred. We have a house to pay for and we've recently had to buy a new car so as you can imagine, the wedding pot isn't exactly over flowing. 

In the beginning, one of the things that I was willing to comprise on was my dress. I figured that I could get a 2nd hand one for next to nothing and still have my Princess dream. And luck may have it, I did. I bought a beautiful dress from a lovely lady who lived not so far from me for a bargain price of £300.

Bargain hey?! 

But I haven't dreamed of being a bargain bride for all those years and I'm having serious wwedding dress depression. Yes my bargain dress ia beautiful, stunning even but I don't think it's 'the one'. 
So now I have a dilemma. Do I attempt to sell this dress in a bid to buy my dream one with funds from my dwindling budget or do I put up and shut up? 

I know I am lucky. I am having a beautiful wedding that I would never have dares to dream of. If it was down to me, it'd be social club chic so I am eternally greatful.

I also know it's not just about 'the dress'. I consider myself religious and I know why we are getting married  part of me (the 5 year old Princess) thinks sod the budget, buy the dream dress.

Here it is if you we're wondering. (I've taken the risk of putting it on as Mr C has forgotten my blog exists and I highly doubt he could find it, even if he knew I was still scribbling my thoughts into a piece of the web.)

So please help, what do I do? 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I miss my baby...

I miss my baby. 

My (not so) tiny Freddie with his tiny hands and his tiny feet. I miss the closeness of a newborn, the unfamiliarity of it and the getting to know you stage. I even miss the night feeds.

I miss this 10lbs 1.5oz bundle of complete & utter wonder. 

He hasn't gone anywhere and he is more and more wonderful everyday but I'm finding myself longing for my "baby' back. I want to rewind the clock and start again and experience the last 13 months all over again.

In the first few weeks I found myself longing for him to grow.  I remember being desperate for him to be older as I figured that he was safer the bigger he was. I was bursting with excitement at the prospect of hearing his first word, watching him take his first steps and having a full night of uninterrupted sleep. 

Now that we've been graced with all of these,  I am gripping at time pleading with it to stop. I am no longer mother to a baby, I have a toddler and along with a toddler, comes their independence. 

Fred is a stubborn little monkey and as much as it pains me to admit it, it's a trait that he's inherited from me. I am fiercely independent, resilient and determined and it seems that all these have passed straight through to my son. 

He no longer wants to snuggle and stroke my hair. 

He no longer wants me when he wakes in the night.

He no longer needs his milkies or me to feed him with a spoon. 

I feel like he no longer needs me. 

Don't get me wrong, I love this stage. We play in the park, we have little conversations which I doubt either of us will ever understand and we make up the most wonderful imaginative games. He laughs, smiles, shouts and gets cross. He escapes out of the room then waits for me to see him before he climbs up the stairs frantically laughing. He squeals with delight when you chase him and he is a nightmare to clothe.

He has the best personality of anyone I've ever known. He picks up new skills everyday, grows that inch taller every time I blink and has a brain like a sponge.

I think really, he'll always be my baby... even when he's 21 (Beware potential future girlfriends!) but I'm stuck in this horrendous cycle of missing who he was yesterday and being impatient to meet who he'll be tomorrow. 

As with lots of these journey's I've been on over the last 13 months; you can't bloody win! 

He's so grown up, he can unwrap his own chocolates.  I've taught him well! ;) 

I'm sorry I've been a crappy friend...

I only really have 2 close 'friends'. I have friends who I went to University with who live in different parts of the country, I have friends who I know via Mr C who I've enjoyed many a double date with and I have mummy friends within my village who I know through baby groups that I may bump into from time to time.

But in terms of actual, let them see me make-up free slobbed in my 'jama's and know all my biggest secret friends, I only really have two. 

Both of these friends are wonderful. We've been friends for around 15 years and have enjoyed and embraced some amazing times as a trio. 

I've grown up with these girls and they have most definitely influenced who I am, they have been like sisters and are the sort of friends that know EVERYTHING; things that I wouldn't dream of telling anyone else. 

So although we are all best of friends, recently since the birth of Fred, I've felt guilty that I've been a rubbish friend! I never realised how time-consuming a small child was until I was blessed with my hyperactive whirlwind of joy.

I was beginning to beat myself up about it (typical of me!) but when I really thought about it, I realised that I don't really care! Terrible of me isn't it!? 

As the only mother of the group, I have a totally different way of life to my friends. They both work stressful long hour jobs and spend their weekends winding down with wine. I spend my days chasing Fred round the house and winding up his favourite toy. I then spend my weekends working long days so really, I don't have time to fart, nevermind be the social butterfly that I once was.

Truth is, my priorities have changed now. If I get a spare minute where I don't have bean juice on my jumper or a screaming child hanging off my thigh, I normally want to take 5 to have a breather. 

One of my dearest friends, (bless her heart!) asked me what I was dressing up as for Halloween, just the other day. To my absolute amusement and her bewilderness, I told her that my days of clubbing dressed as a devil are well and truly over and I would be taking Fred to a party whilst he dressed as a vampire and I frantically chased round after him like a blue arsed fly. 

Sad as it is, I can't be an awesome Mum and the friend I once was. When I was 18, I was the life and soul of our trio; first on the dance floor, always the most drunk and usually the one making a fool out of my self. I can't be this awesome friends anymore, I'm too busy doing a chicken dance or making a fool of myself for Fred's pleasure.

I can be the best friend I possibly can, sometimes long distance or over the phone. Sometimes they'll have to hold the line while I retrieve the gold fish from the toilet or untangle a small child from the curtains but I'm there for them to listen whilst they tell me about their most recent Topshop purchases or who's sleeping with who's boyfriend. 

Their lives are so far apart from mine now but I remember how we used to be. I understand that they don't have as many responsibilities or (welcome!) restraints as me and I hope they understand, as I've told them many a time, one day they'll both be in the same boat and we'll be a trio again.

And on the bright side, when it's their turn one day when they are blessed with a horror like mine and I hear 'I'll have to call you back, he's eating the dog biscuits" then rather than being annoyed, I'll have a slight little chuckle and think 'I told you so.' 

Monday, 7 October 2013

A Real Mum's Journey with #SlimmingWorld

In less than 10 months, I will be walking down the aisle. Have I mentioned that before? 

When Mr C popped the question, the first thing on my mind was the dress. Obviously the dress isn't THE most important thing but ever since I was a young girl, I've dreamt about my wedding dress. This

Although super important, I knew I didn't want it to be super expensive. I just couldn't justify spending £1600 on something I'd wear for a few hours, no matter how beautiful! Luckily, as if it was fate, I found my dress 2nd hand from a lovely bride who only lived a few hours from me. The only problem, it was too small! 

It was such a bargain that I snapped it up anyway even though I couldn't do up the corset properly. It was the kick up the arse I needed to start my journey with losing these extra lbs! 

I've always been quite big. Curvaceous as I like to call it and I've always been very body confident and felt healthy although I wasn't 'slim'. However, over the last few months I'd started to feel that I was bigger than I should be and it was time now, as a parent,  to make a change. 

In order to make that change I joined Slimming World.

I'm sure everyone will have heard of them before so I won't bother you with the details. I've found that the plan is not just a diet but a different way of life. Meals that we can all eat, even Freddie!

It doesn't cost me any extra on our weekly shop, just £4.95 per week for the weigh in and weekly meeting. 

So far I've lost 23.5lbs in 12 weeks! 

I've dropped a dress size (and a half!) and feel FAB!! 

I know that some people don't have time to join a weekly class so as part of my journey I am going to document some of the recipes that I make in case anyone else fancies giving them a go! 

All my future Slimming World posts will be #SlimmingWorld and I would love to hear from any other bloggers who are also doing the plan! 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

13 Months

A month has spiralled by in a breath since F's 1st birthday and as with all children, he is developing so fast and I swear I blink and he's grown a centimetre taller. 

Here is my baby at 13 months:

He is approximately 27lbs.
He is wearing 18-24 month clothes. 
He is sleeping 13 hours a night.
He is wonderful.
He is obsessed with Toy Story. 

He can walk unaided for about 20 steps.
He can wave, clap & point.
He can say around 12 words; Mama, Dada, Nana, Grandad, Car, Buzz, Brum, Yes, Sit, Down and Shut Up! (Don't ask!) 
He can feed himself, although somewhat messily. 

He can ask questions such as 'Whas' sat?'
He can follow instructions such as 'Go find George' or 'Sit down'.
He can climb onto the sofa & the dining chairs.
He can drive me round the bend and then make everything ok in a moment with his cheeky smile.

He has 6 teeth.
He has given up his bottles and has for the past few months, had his milk from his 'big boy cup'.

Teething Problems.

It's safe to say we're having more than a few problems in our house right now, many of which are to do with a certain little mister and his new teeth.

 Up until the week before his first birthday, F was a proper Gummy Joe until, overnight, 6 appeared within a few days of each other. 

 F was, as to be expected, dumbfounded by the arrival of his new pearly whites and since then, has put them to use. 

He's a biter! 

He's taken to chomping on everything and everyone and I'm getting to the end of my tether now with what we do. I take him to lots of groups and he especially loves play gyms where recently he's taken to playing independently on the equipment whilst I watch tentatively at the side terrified that he might bite another child. 

In the past weeks, he's bit my heel whilst I knelt folding the washing, he bit my armpit whilst I cuddled him and he bit my nose when I was asleep! He bites when he's happy, when he's cross, when he's excited and especially when he's tired. 

So I need your help blogging world, what do I do? 

I don't want to shout, smack or bite back; this isn't my parenting style and something that I'd never resort to. I've tried ignoring and he carries on. I've tried been firm and he bites again. This is most definitely the biggest hurdle I've faced so far! 

Who could believe that this gorgeous little man has the bite of an Rottweiler?!


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Here I Am.

 In case anyone was wondering, I've not disappeared. Here I am.

As it often does, life got busy and any 'me' time that I had the luxury of disappeared. Running round after a 13 month old toddler means that I am shattered come 6pm which put the blog on the back burner for a while! 

I had a panic earlier this week though when I thought that 'A Whole Nine Months' had been deleted from the blogisphere! I was absolutely devastated which made me think that it was high time I pulled my finger out and got back here. 

So, here I am.

Nothing major has changed and we're still plodding on like you do. Freddie is now 13 months old. (Time flies like you can hardly believe!!) He's such a character with a real personality;  cheeky, curious and with that glint of mischief in his eye. He's also fiercely independent and at times, a bit of a rascal but we wouldn't change him for the world. 

I made the decision not to go back to my full time position a few months back as it meant a 90 minute motorway drive and leaving Freddie in a nursery which I just couldn't handle. As it works out, I'm now much happier working in events for just a few hours a week. It means that I can juggle my childcare around work commitments so I can be a working and a stay at home mum! Fabulous! 

The wedding plans are well underway and with less than 10 months to go, this too is flying and I'm sure that it'll be here before we know it. It's ever so exciting!

I'm hoping to take the blog in a new direction with lots of arts & craftsy type things that we have been doing recently which I'm keen to share. I'm sure they'll be a few more wedding planning (read, rant bridezilla style!) posts to feature also. 

I know I've said it before but I'm going to try my hardest to return. I miss this world!