The theme in the Gallery this week is Beauty.

Since having Little Z my entire perspective on life has changed. I guess this is a natural passage into parenthood isn’t it? The way you are no longer the centre of the universe, your child is. The way things matter more now, or less now than they did before my little boy came along. Or the way we plan our outings, with much more planning and much less spontaneity.

One big thing that I realised recently, since Little Z has learnt to express himself through words of one or two syllables, is how I’ve rediscovered things through his eyes. He is discovering his likes and dislikes and nice things or pretty things are “nice!” whereas things he doesn’t are simply graced with a vigorous shake of the head.

His perspective on nice, beauty and interesting are so lovely to see. It can range from a little daisy to an adult sized football to his latest pair of trainers (which I’m pretty sure he gets from his dad!).

On our most recent trip to the Lakes there was a rare moment of silence where he admired the massive and very beautiful lake.


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Before I Was a Mum…

I got one of those lovey dovey texts messages about being a mum the other day. Or rather, what life was like before one was a mum. It went something like this…

Before I was a mum…I never learned the words to a lullaby. I never thought about immunisations. I had complete control of my mind, my thoughts and my life. I slept all night. I never looked teary eyed. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces with both hurt and pride…

It went for a bit longer and was completely ahhh and mushy, filled with baby loveliness. It made me smile at first and well up, because…well, everything makes me well up at the moment. (I used to be hard as nails and it was rare I would cry. These days anything can set off the waterworks! I can cry on demand (I think. I haven’t tested it out yet)). Then it occurred to me that the text had missed out a fair few vital points. Granted, it’s probably because it is just a text message and has to be limited in characters. If it was an email, say, it’d probably carry on to include the following…

Before I was a mum…. (the unedited bits)

I never knew how to hold a baby. I used to make babies cry with my stiff nervous arms, frozen into a cradling position. I used to worry about things like “What if I can’t hold my own baby!!!”. Somehow though, you seemed to fit comfortably into my arms like a
Mummy / baby jigsaw and the curse of the “she makes babies cry” was been broken. I am a complete pro at holding other peoples babies now as well.

I never changed a nappy. Ever. The first time you poo’d after you were born was my first nappy change. And it was fine. I don’t regret not having changed a nappy till now though. Some things you’d easily pass onto someone else if you had the chance!

I never had to leap out of the shower mid shower and come running to you because I thought I heard you cry. Turns out you were sleeping so I had to reshampoo my hair because hair with unwashed shampoo in it feels a bit manky

I don’t think I ever used the words “poo” or “puke” as frequently as I do now.

I used to love shopping. In the sales, online, outlets… Anywhere. I still love it but it’s now all about you and I love it even more.

I hardly ever saw the doctor. Now they know me (and you) on first name terms.

It was all about me, myself and my holidays. Now it’s all about you, me and what holidays we can go on as a family. Still haven’t figured out where but we will. Yes we will. I am determined!

I still had sleepless nights but life back then was all about going out on a Friday night or watching movies till 3am. Now it’s meant to be about the night feeds and grabbing sleep where I can!

I hated sleeping face to face with anyone. Anyone! Now I love having naps with you in our bed, cuddling you, face to face, sometimes pretending to sleep so I can watch you watching me. I don’t do it often, honest.

Tears, Tantrums and The Baby

The last couple of weeks have been slightly strange. Ok, not strange. More like, bloody exhausting. A fresh wave of sleepless nights is visiting our household which I think I owe to the lovely age of “teething” we now seem to have entered. Coupled with the transition of getting the baby to sleep in his cot rather than the (3rd borrowed) basket that he has now grown out of, it has been tiring to say the least. It felt like I had a new-born again and, unfortunately, unlike the first lot of sleepless nights which I got through probably just on sheer baby euphoria, on this second wave I felt like I was starting to lose my patience a bit and go bonkers. Slowly.

Baby boy is now 6 months old and doesn’t sleep through yet. I know this is normal for a lot of babies so I’m not really worried and have become used to 1- 2 wake ups a night. This particular wave of sleepless nights though seemed to come from the depths of sleepless nights hell and meant I was regularly waking up about 4 times a night to provide feeds, cuddles, transfers back to cot, waiting at base of cot, waiting outside baby’s bedroom door, more feeds, cuddles, and so forth.

After about day 3 of sleepless hell, the lack of sleep was causing me to become a grumpy, stomping stroppy 5 year old type mooching about the house, trying hard to hold onto lunch dates / inkling of a social life / seeing other adults before 6pm (when the OH gets home from work). In turn, my moods were swinging from utterly weepy to utterly uber shouty bitch. Of course all of which was being directed to the Dear Husband. (“What do you mean you’re going to football / Do you never think maybe *I* might want to have a social life too??”). The OHs reaction to all of this is usually stunned silence or “don’t cry, calm down”. I’m not sure anyones told him that the only response to that is “What?! Am I not calm!??.  I am calm! Dont tell me to calm down..!!” etc.  On one particularly bad day, post bad night, I was meant to drive to a friend’s house about 15 minutes away and all I could think about was how tired I was.  So after some huffing and puffing I eventually wailed that I was “sooo tired!”

OH: “Why don’t you have a nap then?”

Me: “Because I want to go oooout!”

OH: “Oh, I thought you were tired?”

Me: “I want to do boooooth!”

OH “Shall I drive you?”

Me: “Nooo, its meant to be a girlie day”….[Insert more weepy whining here]

(Yes, there is something about lack of sleep that brings out the whining a bit extremely).

After about Day 8 of sleepless nights hell, the “teething” pain seemed to subside without any kind of visible result. Although i’ve realised that most unknown pains or cause for crankiness are now always classed as “must be teething”. This week Baby Boy is also taking to the cot which is a massive relief.  Not sure where we would have found yet another basket for him to sleep in that was actually big enough and wide enough for his little river-dance-in-his-sleep legs.  We back to the “normal” amount of wake ups a night. This week we (umm.. *I*) have had no tantrums. So far. But its Thursday already. That’s definitely good!

Long live 1 – 2 wake ups a night (for now. Sleeping through is very good too. Just for info).

Listography – Things I want to do this Summer

This week the theme for the Listography is Things I want to do this Summer, guest hosted by the Reluctant Housedad whilst Kate Takes 5 takes a break.

There are LOADS of things I would love to do this summer and usually you’d need to tie me down to the sofa to keep me still.  I’m not someone that can sit indoors much.  Since baby has come along though, things have had to change a teeny bit.  Like being home for his naps.  And feeds and other things that basically mean you need to be indoors somewhere.    Soooo…here goes:

1.  Look after baby and watch him grow.

This summer Baby Boy will be going through some of his major milestones, hopefully, as he learns how to sit up properly, unaided and makes a complete mess of himself discovering all the messy and yummy foods out there.  Will he learn to crawl soon? Will he pull himself up? Is he going to cut those bloody teeth quickly?  Is he ever going to sleep through?  I wonder if he’ll say Mama (oh pleeeease!) or Dada first.  Basically, tope of my list is to wake up each day with baby, after hopefully some decent sleep, and watch my baby grow in all sorts of amazingly perfect and utterly cute ways.

2.  Go on Holiday…

Somewhere…Anywhere.  It just needs to be a nice break away.  I initially started off with the idea of a long haul flight with baby.  That would not be crazy right?  Some nice hot sun, all his baby stuff packed; fully prepared.  The more I thought about it the more (I stress, reluctantly) decided it might be wiser to holiday closer to home.  So Europe?  Somewhere very modern where baby facilities are plentiful and the overall hotel is family friendly.  Not such a long flight.   Hmmm…but what if?  So now we are thinking about a holiday somewhere in the UK.  Where baby facilities will be plentiful.  Maybe in August or September sometime.

3.  Visit Witches

I live in an area that has a history of Witches.  Ever heard of the Pendle Witches?  In the 1600’s, during the reign of James 1, black magic and witchcraft were the most heinous crimes of the time and amongst those tried were a bunch of women from the Pendle area.  They were tried and hung for their alleged evil ways and ever since, the area has become famous as the home of the Pendle Witches.  There is a Witches trail that is still in existence and even a little shop dedicated to all things witchery called Witches Galore.  I keep meaning to visit the shop and check out the little town of Newchurch and never get around to it.   It is a stones throw from where I  live and is something I will be going to this summer.

4.  Attend the annual Family reunion.

We always have one BIG family function in the summer.  Usually it consists of a BIG sit down meal and a massive amount of organised chaos.  It’ll consist of about 12 adults (my parents age),  their combined total of 28 children (including moi!), 8 children under the age of 16 and 6 babies / toddlers (including Baby Boy).  That equals a hell of a lot of noise.

5.  Clean the Garage.

Well, more, direct the hubby to clean the garage.  Imagine a clean garage with wall to wall storage areas and a place you can store all your spare luggage and never-ending of shoes.  All neatly arranged into shoe racks.  On the opposite wall there are utility cupboards for all of hubby’s DIY junk.  And of course, the car is parked neatly in the middle of all of that.  Now imagine the complete opposite; that’s our garage.  Filled from bottom to top with all manner of junk, cardboard boxes and stuff we’re not even sure belongs to us.   The door just about shuts if you manage to shove stuff in far enough.  It does really need a good clean.  But its been two years.  And counting.