One Whole Year

My blog is 1 today….One…whole…year! Who would’ve thought! One year ago today I was cradling a 4 and half month old Baby Z and still getting to grips with the weird world that was known as CBeebies. I remember wondering who the hell would make a programme about a blue boy running around with his red blanket and not actually ever going to sleep. You don’t see him ever sleep do you? Right till the end when he’s floating off in his boat? That’s supposed to be calming to kids?

We have now booked tickets to go see that blue boy in August and I bloody cannot wait!

I had wanted to blog for months but never taken the plunge. Who would read it? What was I going to write about? Would I even get past 3 posts?

I have a few people to thank for encouraging me to take the plunge. The lovely “Me” from The Boy and Me pushed me a few times, as did Elle from This is Mommyhood. Me? Blog? I was spending more and more time on Twitter getting to know other mums through the massive mum community and I would read blog after blog through the night to keep myself awake during those, oh so many, night feeds. I decided I wanted a diary of my own. Something to record Baby Z’s milestones and one day the lovely Jayne from Mums the Word asked if I’d like to guest post on her blog. Umm, me? So I did. All about fake cleaning!

After that I decided I wanted one all of my own and Not My Year Off was born. It started out as a way to blog about my maternity leave. What I thought was going to be a year off work very much wasn’t! But as hard as those first months are raising a baby, they are filled with nuggets of gold. Little steps that are such huge milestones. My first post was aptly named Finally! A blog!

I have to admit I have written some utter dire posts. At the same time I have written some posts that, even now, make me laugh for ages and in that I have achieved my goal.

So Happy 1st Birthday to my blog and hopefully, here’s to another year filled with waffle, laughs and good memories waiting to be written.


Dearest Baby at 16 Months!

Hello Little Man!

16 months?  That’s two months away from “18 months”!.  You know?  When I can say “He’s one and a half!”.  That’s like saying I am the mum of a little boy, not a baby!  I know I should be calling you a “Toddler” now and not “Baby Z” but that just makes you seem so grown up.  I’ve been thinking I might call you “Baby Z” for a few years yet.  Maybe till you start high school or something.

So what have you been doing?  Well, its been a busy month with wedding galore.  Your “uncle” in Leicester got married and we drove down without Daddy for 4 whole days.  I had it all planned out.  Packed absolutely everything I could think of and was so prepared I could have opened a baby shop from my car boot!  You were absolutely great.  For the first 3 hours I mean.  Then it came to bedtime ad you screamed the place down.  You wanted your own bed and your own daddy and nothing else would do.  No amount of rocking, singing or walking around with you would work.  After about two hours you decided to give in and go to sleep.  I was so frazzled that I vowed I would drive back home first thing the next morning.  I was half tempted to drive straight back that night but I was so knackered I fell asleep even with you sleeping almost glued to my side with your arms wrapped tightly around me to make sure I wouldn’t leave you.  I woke the next morning with aches in places I didn’t know could ache.  You woke up like a little chatty sweet angel, as if you were home again.  You then spent the next couple of hours having a glorious time in the kitchen of the person whose house we were staying at, slamming doors, running off with pots and pans and slamming even more doors.  I decided I would see how we went and we ended up having a great time at the wedding.  I’ve decided though.  We will never go to another wedding without Daddy.  Ever.

This month you’ve also learnt a new game.  Running through people’s legs.  You pretty much hurtle, full throttle, towards anyone that’s standing up and then try to run through their legs.  Now, for your tall Daddy, this isn’t a problem at all.  But at 5 foot nothing, this is a slight problem for me.  And when you do it in view of others, its slightly awkward trying to stop you.  You either just try harder or will demonstrate your dramatics and swoon backwards in a majestic tantrum.

You’ve also learnt a few words (hurrah hurrah!!).  You’ve started saying “Happy Birthday!” …which actually comes out “Aapeee Daaaay!” but you can spend about an hour just repeating it over and over which sounds very cute.  I sometimes try to trick you into repeating “Mumeeeeee” but you will stop abruptly as if you have busted me and stare for a couple of seconds before carrying with your “Aapeee Daaaay!” chanting.   You can also say “Three!”  (it comes out “EEEeeeee!”) if we say “One! Two!…”  This second one is really cute and we love being pushy parents and showing off these new party tricks.

If over the next month you’d like to say “mummeeee” then that would be lovely!  Not that I mind being called “Daadaa!” but, you know…just, if you want to! 😉

We took you to the zoo for the first time this month and you were so fascinated with the little monkeys.  You kept touching the glass to touch them and you couldn’t take your eyes off them.  You weren’t too bothered about the other animals but your Daddy had us running around the entire zoo so we wouldn’t miss any of the feeding times.  Between the both of you I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a pair of excited boys.  We came home completely shattered but it was a lovely day out.

You’re still fairly scared of the robot hoover but we can see you’re trying to psyche yourself up to go near it.  Recently you even go right up to it and try to touch it.  Once though you managed to switch it on by accident and as soon as it started moving you promptly ran away screaming.  That was really funny! 

Oh, and one last thing…today I booked tickets for In the Night Garden live!  I know.  It’s just SOOO exciting isn’t it?  It’s not till August so you’ll be a bit older by then and not freak out hopefully enjoy it properly.  We’re even seeing Iggle Piggle afterwards!!

So, until next time baby! Mmmwah!!

When To Change Car Seats

Baby Z is at a weird in between stage at the moment. Car seat wise I mean. He still fits quite safely into his first car seat but his legs dangle over and he looks more than a bit squished when I stick him in the car.

I’ve been in a bit of a dilemma about whether to start using his brand spanking, new, forward facing, better sight seeing providing car seat. You see, whilst I can use the baby car seat it means I can transport him, sleeping, from one destination to another. Whilst in the toddler seat he’s more likely to be woken up.

So, I thought, let’s leave it for now. All was well till a few days ago when I was in my mad rush to get home. Baby Z was fed and instantly put into his baby car seat and off we set off for home.

About half way he started playing up and no amount of (my acoustic) version of the Iggle Piggle song would placate him. Great. I pulled up and decided to give him a face to face rendition of something from cbeebies.

And that’s when it happened. There was a second of silence. Fab! Mummy’s face is all he wanted. Then an almighty eruption. Of vomit. Absolutely everywhere. In that split second the earth mother / Stoopid head in me (probably the latter) dived with hands cupped under his chin and attempted to catch the vomit. He threw up all over himself, my hands, my coat and my brand new month old, straight from the dealer, car.

At this point all logic left my brain and I forgot I was in possession of cleaning materials such as muslin clothes and baby wipes. Instead, upon examining the orange coloured explosion that had taken place on my “midnight black” car interior, I proceeded to clean the mess up with my hat. Suffice to say I didn’t do a good job as I cradled an ecstatic, now free from the clutches of his car seat, Baby Z with one hand, whilst trying to mop up orange sick with the other.

After a few minutes my poor hat gave up and I resorted to wiping my hands on my trousers. Baby Z couldn’t have cared less he was soaked through and was happily playing with the steering wheel whilst squealing with excitement.

Somehow, after prising Baby Z back into his car seat we both made it home walking into the house looking like we’d both been gunged at a Nickleoden event.

After being laughed at hysterically by the husband we attempted to dismantle the Maxi cosi with the cunning of a Krypton Factor contestant (I mean, come on Maxi Cosi. How hard is it just to get the cover off. They are by no means user friendly!). Eventually we managed to get everything hosed down and freed of orange sick.

After several failed attempts trying to get the Maxi Cosi cover back onto the car seat, it was decided.

He is ready for the next one.


Baby at 13 Months

Hello Dearest Baby,

Well, it seems you sensed January was going to be a big change for us and you decided I couldn’t miss your first steps. So one day you just decided to step away from the couch, take a few steps, before your wobbly baby legs collapsed into a giggly heap on the floor. Since then you’ve decide walking is actually a game and you’ll “play” for ages, taking a few steps, falling, crawling back to where you started and then starting again!

You know that baby down the road? Well, apparently he is now “running and talking properly!”. If we’re lucky, maybe one of these days he’ll just keep on running, having asked for directions to Disney World or something, then we won’t hear about him again for a while. It could happen.

You still don’t say any words but you do point at absolutely everything, which is great! Even with your little diva-esque tantrums I mostly know what you want, which saves my ears from ringing all day long.

Mind you, no amount of pointing has helped you open the kitchen cupboards with the locks on them. You yank them open as far as you can, then you put your hand in and try to pull out the Mr Muscle… Then I hear you scream because it’s stuck and your mission has failed. My poor ears.

This month you’ve learnt how to climb the sofa and stand up without support. Complete with a big cheeky grin you wait for either Daddy or I to come running for you and you’ll try to bolt completely off it with an excited squeal. Our blood pressures have never been so adventurous!

I went back to work again last week and I was really worried about how it would affect you. Surprisingly, you don’t seem that bothered, even getting up at 4am to help me “build up” to the day. At least I think that’s why you got up so early on my first day back! I know you’re only trying to help but it’s ok if you want to sleep till 8am. Really!

Until next time baby… Mwah!

Things I Have Learned in 2011

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As 2011 ends people tend to ponder how their year has been. Mind has been mostly about being a new mummy to a new baby. The year has flown by so quickly and has been filled with extreme highs and lows that seems to come part and parcel with becoming a new mum. These are some of the things that I’ve learned this year…

1. Boy Babies will wee all over you the minute you take their nappy off/take their nappy off.

2. You can be as meticulous as you like when bathing a baby and carefully prepare everything before you put the baby in the bath. As you take baby back out of the bath you will realise the towel is at the other side of the room.

3. How not to wean a baby.

4. The first few months with a newborn make you cry. A lot. At random things.

5. Being a new mum bring out the inner tigress in you. The saying should actually be “Hell hath no fury like a new mum scorned”.

6. Baby sick doesn’t bother you after your baby has thrown up on you for the 102747th time. If it doesn’t smell and the wipe gets it out then that is perfectly acceptable attire.

7. You can spend all evening admiring your little one and being amazed at how they can place one cup into another.

8. If you’re short, like me, it’s bloody hard to put a sleeping baby into the cot!

9. Planning two parties for a first birthday party is stressful. Men don’t seem to get *it* and will offer such helpful words of comfort such as “why do we need to have a party” and “I didn’t tell you to plan it, why are you taking it out on me”. A helium tank and balloons will get said man to come running to help like a little excited boy.

10. It’s not advisable to glare at the little Damian replica (straight from the Omen movies) at your child’s party. His mum is most likely watching you watching him.

11. Having a pull string piñata is no less violent than having one that you hit with a stick. Little people will still run around like mental lunatics.

12. Despite all the stress, during the moment of lighting the candle and singing the Birthday song, your precious boy has turned one, nothing else matters and people are genuinely happy for you. Bedlam recommences as soon as the candle is blown out.

13. Blogging has helped me capture a lot of baby memories and I love looking back over my baby posts.

Happy New Year everyone!!