Food, General, Parenting, Parenting, Personal, Uncategorized

What’s Been Going On?

It’s been a while Again since I have written a blog post, it’s been Christmas and New Year, and then the struggle of getting back into the swing of work/housework/parenting after having a little time off at Xmas is always draining. When is it you should stop eating crackers and cheese and pate and chocolate for every meal..? Asking for a friend that’s all.

So, as usual, Christmas was hectic and stressful, but honestly this year has been the first year that I have ACTUALLY enjoyed Christmas Day from the beginning to the end. We had Norms’ family over in the morning, and then Will had a sleep after playing with his new toys, I prepped Xmas Dinner, then we ate, opened more presents and just played for the rest of the day. It was very relaxed, none of this to-ing and fro-ing which I HATE doing, as awful as it sounds, we always say to people that if they want to see us on Xmas Day, then  they can come to us, as our parents live at complete OPPOSITE ends of the city. We did it for a couple of years Pre-Will, and we weren’t getting in until late afternoon and we were having to please everyone else instead of pleasing ourselves. So we knocked that on the head, and Norms’ family just come and see us because that’s what they like to do.

As some of you may know, I found myself worrying and getting myself so stressed and anxious about Christmas. Would William enjoy it? Would he have enough presents from me and Norms? Will I get good pictures that I should share on social media? Will I need to buy him more presents? Should I of bought Norms more presents? Will the dinner be nice? Will Norms Grandma be out of hospital? “AM I GOING TO PLEASE EVERYBODY ON EARTH AND THERE WILL BE WORLD PEACE??”

I was driving myself crazy, not sleeping, seeing the Instagram stories of people buying their kids all these bloody gifts, several stockings full of presents, their partners expensive watches or designer clothes. And there was me, with a book shelf from eBay  and a stuffed toy duck for William, and a Body Shop gift set and a top from Sports Direct for Norms. I felt so inadequate, and I know, I know, it’s not about the money, but sometimes, let’s be honest, it is. You work all year, and want to spoil the people you love the most. And unfortunately (because 1. I don’t earn a great deal of money and 2. I am shit with money and don’t save up and buy kebabs with it instead. #real) But, the gifts that William received were fine, lets be honest, the kid is 2 years old and hasn’t got a clue about what day it is, I mean he didn’t give a toss about his Xmas dinner. Do you know what he had for his Xmas dinner? Tomato Soup. So festive. And Norms fully understands the circumstance I am in with the whole money situation, but he liked his gifts he received, and to be honest it was just nice to be able to spend some proper quality time together, as his hours are erratic with his job, so we rarely spend proper time together as a family, so just to be able to do that was lovely.

As usual, Christmas comes with a stereotypical family crisis. Norms’ Grandma has been unwell and was in hospital over the festive period so the family was a bit upset about that, and also there are some other things happening with his family at the moment, which I wont go into as it’s not for social media, but things were a bit fraught sometimes. Plus my mum was poorly over the festive period with that horrendous flu bug thing that makes you feel like you’ve got the Bubonic plague and are on death’s door, so we didn’t get chance to see as much family as we usually would over the festive period. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes. We just chilled out, spent time together as a 3, and that was lovely in itself.

I also spent a little less time on my phone over the Christmas season. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision, I just have realised that a lot of the time I have spare at home is often spent with my face in my phone on instagram, and not concentrating on the here and now, and I was missing out on family time, things that were perhaps happening and would maybe not happen again, all for the sake of what? A double tap and a funny 15 second video? Plus, because me and norms don’t see each other a great deal, when we are together I am aware that (as the majority of other couples probably do as well), most of our time is spent with our faces in our mobile devices, when we should be talking and interacting with each other. And to be honest, it was good to get back to basics.

Another thing which has happened recently is William’s speech. He is coming along SO MUCH at the moment. He can say a few little words, and I feel like now I can actually COMMUNICATE with him and he can communicate back to me, don’t get me wrong, there are still PLENTY of times when I just look at him in disbelief and think to myself “what the actual hell is he trying to tell me??”, but the difference just in the last few weeks has been amazing. And because he is speaking a little and can communicate with me, the temper tantrums are becoming gradually less, and I believe it’s because we I can understand him and what he wants and needs. His personality is now starting to come out too, and his nursery have even told me that he is coming out of his shell more and more, and is willing to get involved and play more, which for me as a mum makes me SO happy, knowing that he is going to be there for the day and not be feeling sad or upset or scared, he’s getting stuck in and making friends and it just makes my heart hurt with pride and love.  We also had a health visitor appointment just after the new year, I am going to write a blog post about how it went and how the whole lead up to it made me feel, it didn’t go as badly as I was expecting it to, and afterwards I felt relieved, one because it was over but two because she didn’t say she was concerned about him, so that was also a massive weight off my shoulders.

I have also been receiving a lot of positive feedback from my instagram account, which makes me really happy. I’m not going to lie, when I gain new followers it DOES make me nervous, because I feel like sometimes you are expected to keep up this massive “insta-prescence” , but in reality I am just a normal working mum who just does silly stupid shit on a social media app, and people seem to like it. I will be writing about how it makes me feel personally too, as I feel that it’s probably how many people who use social media probably feel too.

And that’s about it! Nothing exciting really, however I just thought I would check in with you guys and let you know I am still here,  I’m going to try and blog more, but do let me know what sort of stuff you would like to see, I am always open to suggestions and ready for a ramble (understatement on my part).

Food, General, Parenting, Uncategorized

St Stephen’s Hull – A Family Day Out

*This post is in collaboration with St Stephen’s Hull. All views and opinions expressed are my own*

As the Summer Holidays come to a close, and the days are drawing in a little earlier and the weather is getting a little more, brisk, shall we say, you can sometimes be left wondering what to do with the kids on a weekend or during the holidays. Even though William isn’t at school yet, I still often have to rack my brains for ideas of things we can do that are fun and that will stimulate him but also not leave me wanting to pull my hair out (or cost the absolute earth).

So when St Stephen‘s got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to go and see what their leisure attraction, Rock Up, was about, I of course jumped at the chance – especially as it has a special section for small children and purpose-run toddler sessions, as well as a soft play area (which of course, William would be ALL OVER).

Rock Up is a purpose built indoor climbing and adventure centre, situated in the popular shopping centre within Hull city centre. It has several rock climbing walls that adults and children alike have access to, as well as a soft play area for the under 8’s, and a lovely little café for you to refuel (before, during or after!). The centre also offers parties for kids and team-building experiences for workplaces or friends/families (if that’s your sort of thing!).

When we arrived we were taken through to the main climbing area and William had a harness put on him. He was intrigued by what was happening, and the instructor was so helpful and was showing Norms and I how to attach him to the walls and how to unstrap him etc.

Now William, bless him, didn’t actually manage to do any climbing, I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by being strapped up, he LOVED watching the other children though, some of them were fearless! On a Sunday morning there is a toddler session and a children’s session, where no adults can climb and it’s just kids, and I can honestly say that it is something we will be taking William to again. He was so intrigued and interested in watching the other children, but he IS quite shy so daren’t have a go himself, but I’m sure the more we take him the more his confidence will grow and I think it would be a different and fun hobby for him to get into (if he wanted to of course – I’m not about that pushy mum life).

One thing that, of course, appealed to William was the soft play, he played in there for (no exaggeration) hours! There was a separate area for toddlers and then the main area was for children up to the age of 8. There was a brilliant slide in there which William absolutely LOVED! While he and Norms played I sat down with a drink and snack from the cafe and sat down and chilled (something which doesn’t happen that often these days – TRUST ME!)

We left Rock Up around mid-morning, the time flew by so quickly and we decided to go to Krispy Kreme for a coffee and a little weekend treat! I mean – who doesn’t like Krispy Kreme? I always walk past and try not to look as I know that I will be lured in – I just can’t resist! We sat down and watched the world go by for a while – FYI the Reeses peanut butter donuts are THE ONE. And I got to drink a hot latte. Winning. At. Life.

We then had a wander around the shops – I never really venture into town, what with one thing or another, but we spent a good few hours having a look, there are loads of shops there to cater for everyone in the family. I was particularly eyeing up some new trainers in Foot Asylum (*hint hint Norms*). Plus William had a sleep after all the excitement from the morning, so we were able to actually LOOK around, rather than pick up clothes/shoes/other miscellaneous items that William has pulled off the rails and frantically try and put them back in the right place before his little hands appear out of the buggy to strike again. (#mumlife #blessed)

All in all a great day was had, and we are definitely going to be going back to Rock Up again! I wonder if I can persuade Norms that we should go to look at trainers again. Or donuts….

Baby, Food, Friends, General, Parenting

Christmas 2017 – what I found.

Thought I’d just do a little post about what I found during the Christmas time with a 1 year old and a few things I learnt and will hopefully remember for next time! 
Christmas as we all know is a time for joy, and giving, and family, however we all know it can quickly escalate and things can get out of hand financially, mentally and emotionally. So here I have compiled a list of the things I have found and learnt over the festive period. 

  1. You will have to start planning and saving like..in the summer. Especially since having a child. Because sometimes you can get some really good bargains but also because everything is so bloody expensive. 
  2. Have a word with grand parents, friends, anyone who wants to buy the little ones gifts. Because you just KNOW that if you don’t, your child will end up with some all singing all dancing stuffed 8ft rhinoceros which you have nowhere to put and your child cries everytime they clap eyes on it. 
  3. Sometimes you have to put your foot down and just say no. Following on from the previous point, I completely understand that grandparents, aunties, Thelma from 5 doors down etc, want to spoilt your little bubba, however you can clash when it comes to presents. If you as their parents want to buy them x, y or z and they don’t like it because they bought it in the sale 2 weeks ago, but you’ve wanted to buy them it and bought it in July and have been soooo excited about giving it to them, then Sometimes, they just have to like it or lump it. You are always going to piss someone off. Might as well get it out of the way early. 
  4. YOU WILL ALWAYS PISS SOMEONE OFF. Whether it be hubby, mum, gran, mother in law (always me) etc etc. It’s a bit like your wedding day. You are never going to please everyone, whether it be presents, where you have your Turkey, who you have it with. Just do whatever makes you and your family happy.
  5. Don’t get too pissed. Self explanatory really.
  6. Be strict. At the end of the day, if people want to come round that’s cool, but if you had a plan and you want to stick to it, then make sure you Do! It’s your Christmas as much as everyone else’s, remember that.
  7. Eat loads. It’s a given really. If you haven’t put on at least a stone in December, have you even done Christmas properly? 
  8. Take some time to enjoy it. Sometimes we get too caught up with the decorations, the cooking, the present buying, the wrapping, the cards, the social gatherings, that we forget about what it’s actually all about – family and spending time with the ones you love. If you haven’t sent someone’s cousin twice removed from Dover a Christmas card, then don’t sweat it. You just might not get one next year from them. (HOWEVER WILL I LIVE.)
  9. Following on from the previous point, don’t worry about pleasing everyone. You will never do it. Just accept it, if people go in a piss with you then so be it. Pour another prosecco and worry about whether you remembered to take the giblets out of the turkeys arse. 
  10. Don’t get too caught up with what everyone else is doing on social media. INSTAGRAM IS NOT REAL LIFE. Real life is arguing about when the blue bin is going to get picked up because it’s overflowing with wrapping paper and cardboard boxes and empty bottles, what time you put the turkey in, did you know cousin Alice is now a vegan, have we got enough gravy, etc etc. It’s not all Jo Malone candles and unicorn prosecco. It’s what people want you to see. I guarantee that everyone is still having all the same tears and tantrums as you are on the big day. Besides, it’s not Christmas unless someone has an argument, right? 

These are just a few things, I could go on and on and on but you get my drift. Christmas a lot of the time gets consumed with the monetary value and the gestures and how big they are, and people forget what it’s actually all about. Saying that, of course you want to spend money on the ones you love, who doesn’t, but its hard not to sometimes feel inadequate or like your gifts are rubbish compared to what you see on Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes, the CD and bottle of Britney bitch perfume you got your mum looks a bit feeble next to someone who got their mum a weekend away at a spa in the Himalayan mountains where they only drink coconut water and eat vegan sushi. (Is that even a thing? I dunno.)  I can’t lie and say sometimes I didn’t  compare my Christmas and the lead up and the decorations etc to people’s I follow on Instagram. But then I remember it’s not real life. And we all go and take a shit, so we basically are all the same, coconut water or not.

Here’s some photographs of our Christmas day. As you can see, the joy is just pouring out of my son.

      Baby, Food, General, Parenting

      The Choke.

      Ok, so I said in my last blog post that I would write about weaning, and I will, but first I wanted to get this “experience” out the way, as it’s quite shit and it put a proper downer on things, brought out the old friend MUM GUILT again and I’ve found it quite hard to move on from, as it was really scary and I dread to think about what would of happened if circumstances were different within that split second. 

      So, as you may or may not know, my boy William is a hungry lad. We started putting baby rice in his milk from about 10 weeks old as he was just NOT FULL after having 9oz bottles. A lovely friend Emma gave me some fab advice as she has a similar hungry little boy and after speaking with her, and looking into it a bit I decided to give it a go. Shortly after this I started weaning slowly. When he was about 16 weeks, on my health visitors advice. 

      When I say weaning, I mean offering him a taste of a fruit of vegetable puree at tea time. I was adamant I was going to be this super-mum and puree all my own food and he was only going to have organic and it would be loads cheaper and he was not going to have jars of baby food, and all the rest of it blah blah blah. 

      Well, it all started off so well, I did a small variety of fruits and vegetables; mango, apple, pear, banana, sweet potato, butternut squash, that sort of thing. I spent one (long) afternoon doing it all and blending it all up in this blender hubby once got me for my Christmas present (don’t ask, you can imagine my reaction on Christmas morning when I open this present to see a Kenwood fucking blender there on my bed surrounded my soap and glory gift sets and frigging lindt chocolate reindeers), and had them all in little ice cube trays in the freezer ready for each day. 

      So, as time went on and William was enjoying more and more food, I thought I’d mix it up and do some broccoli puree for him. So I did the whole boiling to a pulp, making the house smell of fart and death (what is it with green vegetables they REEK) and froze them all ready. I used one the next day. I used to get excited to see what flavours he would Like, and also felt proud that he was having food I has made for him. 

      I sat him in his little Mamas and Papas bumbo seat thing and bless his heart he sat there patiently waiting for me to defrost this green slop in the microwave, and he had a couple of spoonfuls of it. He seemed to enjoy it! I was buzzing, I felt like superwoman as he had tried and liked all my homemade purees. I was at one with nature. I was at one with my child. I felt like Yoko Ono. 

      However. I think it must of been the 4th spoonful, he started to gag a little. I know that this is all part of the learning experience for them and they have to learn how to gag and bring up any food, so I let him cough and splutter a little bit, gave him a little pat on the back to help him alone and get it up. 

      But he didn’t manage to get it up. He coughed a little bit, and made gagging noises and actions, but nothing came up. Then he kind of…froze. it was literally the scariest moment of my life. He went really still, sort of leant forward in his seat, and his mouth was open. His eyes were staring, wide open, at nothing, and he wasn’t really blinking. There was no sound from him. He looked like he was struggling to breathe. 

      He was choking.

      Even writing this now makes me feel sick to my stomach .  Like..it literally makes my stomach churn. The memory is so strong. For that split second I didn’t have a fucking clue what to do. Then all of a sudden, I dunno, instinct I guess kicked in. I screamed “William!” Threw the little play tray off his seat, grabbed him and just kept saying his name over and over. He was really stiff, like he was tense. I put him upside down, my hand on his chest, near his neck, and quite literally, smacked his back like fuck. Like, so so hard. I think I did that three times and he finally coughed and started wretching and gagging, and some spit came out, and he started crying. I flipped him over and sat down, and had a look in his throat and mouth. There was nothing there. He was proper crying his eyes out, I must of really hurt him. But he was crying. He was safe. He was alive. 

      We sat on that chair and cried together for a good 10 minutes. I just kept hugging and kissing him, asking him if he was Ok (fuck knows why, I’ve just slapped the fuck out of him and he at the time was about 20 weeks old, it’s not like he could answer is it?!), I looked for the piece of broccoli that he had choked on but I couldn’t find it. It must of been so so small. Or, maybe the puree was still a little cold from being defrosted? And he was storing it in his mouth rather than swallowing the small spoons I was giving him? Who knows. I mean, I have always been very cautious with what I give and do give William. I’ve never loaded the spoon up with a shit load of puree, or left him unattended whilst weaning. And he seemed to be really enjoying the flavour and the taste, and I believed that the puree was smooth. Obviously for him at that time of weaning it wasn’t. 

      Afterwards I threw the bowl of puree in the bin, and I started to feel really shocked and shaky, I was shivering and was feeling so bad and guilty. I believed it was my fault William had choked on this broccoli. I rang hubby crying my eyes out, i felt so bad, how could I of done that to our baby? 

      The rest of that night went the same as usual, we had a play, I was a little (ok a lot) more cautious with William, when we had a bath I sat there staring at him crying, apologising for weaning him, apologising for hurting his back, apologising for being a rubbish mum. When he fell asleep in my arms that night I didn’t want to put him in his cot, I was petrified something would happen to him, what if he choked again while I was asleep? (Just for the record I have always had a phobia of this, as he was a very sicky new born baby and would often be sick in his sleep when he was laid flat, I used to sit up awake all night at first, just watching him sleep to make sure he didn’t choke on his own sick. I completely understand I sound like a lunatic. That’s just me, I worry and overthink every possible little detail or possible outcome. I’m always the one who says “yeah but what if…”) I think that night i maybe had about 1.5 hours sleep. Not just from the worry and watching the monitor endlessly all night. But also because every single time I closed my eyes all I could see was his little face , his eyes wide with fear, and it made me shudder and jump out of my skin. I still see it now sometimes. Thinking about it makes me feel cold. Writing this, it upsets me.

      Now some people (if anyone is still reading) may be thinking that I’m over exaggerating, or just think I should get over it, and yeah, you’re probably right. But I you can honestly say, it is exactly how I described it. Afterwards I didn’t give William any puree for I think it was 5 days. Norms had to sit with me when I finally plucked up the courage to do it, and i was literally sweating and shaking the whole way through. He even had to tell me to stop and calm down at one point because the spoon was shaking so much from me being frightened it was going to happen again, that I kept getting it all over Williams face. 

      I know now that it wasn’t my fault, and it was just one of those things. Babies have to learn, and in this instance he just didn’t have the knowledge and didn’t know what to do, or whether the puree was too cold or whatever, but the fact is, it happened. I have been very cautious (even more so than I already was), with what I give William, I analyse how lumpy or smooth something is, and I now don’t trust my own purees. So since this incident I have just weaned on shop bought baby food.  Because I honestly don’t trust what I have made for him. Which is silly really, because he was doing absolutely fine before and didn’t have a problem with any of the others I’d made for him. But the thought was in my head. I had mum guilt and self doubt. And one thing I have learnt since becoming a mum is, even if your not sure , you have to just suck it up and go for whatever decision you’ve made with pure confidence, and with this I had gone from being quite confident and enjoying weaning, to having zero confidence and not trusting myself, and dreading mealtimes.

      Another thing that it has made me think is that I would love to do a first aid course for babies/children. I am going to look it up for my area, as it just shows that you really don’t know what is going to happen, and I am one of those people who like to be prepared for every eventuality, no matter how good or bad (but of course you all known this as you’ve seen the endless amount of shite I carry about on the daily). So if anyone in the Hull area wants to come on a first aid course let me know! 

      Of course, William was fine the next day and was his usual happy self, as if nothing had ever happened. And he is loving trying all the new foods again, I am slowly building my confidence back up with the whole weaning thing. I do still over analyse every thing I give him and I sometimes panic the whole 45 minutes of a meal time, but I think as time goes on it will eventually all just be a distant awful memory. 

      As for being an earth mum and doing all my own purees, I have one thing to say about that. 

      FUCK. THAT. Let’s be honest. I don’t know who I thought I was, Mary fucking Berry, making all these purees, half the time it goes up his nose or on the wall. I might as well just buy the bloody stuff then when he doesn’t eat it for whatever reason, I can’t be offended. But fair play to those who do make all their own food, i take my hat off to you all!

      Besides, I don’t buy organic fucking sweet potatoes or bananas. I buy the cheapest. 

      I’m going straight to earth mum hell.