29 September 2011

Happiness list

Since some of the lovely bloggers I follow (Fritha, Naomi and Jo) have been doing the same, I thought I would hop on the old bandwagon and make a list of things that make me happy.

Since reading the others last night when I was in a terrible mood and feeling unhappy, I thought I would make a special effort to think of at least 10 things that are currently making me happy:

- Knowing that an the end of an argument, you are no longer angry with each other, but are still trying to pretend to be in a mood, but both just end up laughing at the whole situation

- Theo's face and squeals of delight as he crawls naked to the bathroom having his feet and legs bitten by his daddy

- a perfectly timed hug that makes everything ok again

- seeing how much Theo loves Rob when his face lights up and all he does is giggle whenever he is around

- falling asleep next to Theo with Alma curled asleep on my shoulder

- smelling the clean washing that has been hung outside to dry in this 'heatwave'

- hearing Rob come down the steps home from work and sitting Theo by the window to say hello

-visiting my mum and knowing she is only an hour away

- the thought of a mini break at the end of October, with just our little family

- and this video:

That's all, I'm sure there are plenty more, but I don't want to bore you of everything that Theo does everyday that makes me so happy!

27 September 2011

8 months

So today Theo is eight months old!

Who'd have thought that he would have arrived at this age with a stinking cold and lots of teeth coming through?

But I'm glad we've made it all the same! Over the weekend at my mums we were discussing what Theo used to be like, but it saddens me that I can't actually clearly remember it all. I can sort of remember his first smiles, how he used to sleep on my chest and how perfectly he fitted there, him kicking his legs about naked on the changing table and when he first started to roll over.

But it's all going so fast. There are so many great moments that are long gone, and we're never going to get them back. I know there are so many new exciting things that are going to break my heart over and over in the future, but sometimes I miss my tiny bundle. I miss the smallness and the cuddliness and the feed and fall asleep on me anywhere-ness. I miss my newborn!

But onwards we go! So here we are Theo, welcome to 8 months old!

Dear Theo, in the last month or so you have grown and changed so much. You are bounding about and investigating everything and I love to see your little face working things out. It's so easy to make you laugh and you do a lot. You are the happiest baby I have ever met! When you are surrounded by other babies you smile at them and don't ever hesitate to make friends. You have such a warm heart already!

You make me laugh all the time and you are constantly getting into mischief. But at the end of the day when you've worn yourself out your sleeping face melts my heart! It's been tough for you these last few weeks what with all your new teeth and new skills you have been learning, but I'm so proud of you! You are turning into a proper little person who I feel privileged to spend everyday with!
You are repeating da da da all the time, but I'm convinced this is just noise and not a word, until this changes to ma ma ma ma of course! But you now follow me around and show me when you want me to pick you up, it's very sweet. Your eating skills are so much better and currently you are obsessed with baby sweetcorn!

And lastly I just can't believe how big and handsome you are now! But we all knew that already...

I love you more everyday, my baby boy

25 September 2011

The country fair

Yesterday I felt the need to get out of Bristol and do something other than sit inside my flat with a grizzling teething baby. So I rang up my mother and arranged to go to Malvern and join her and Andy at the Autumn country show at the show ground.

Oh the ease of driving to her house in an hour! What a treat, and it's such beautiful countryside and lovely to be out driving around.

I haven't been to a proper country show before, and this one is HUGE! There was so much there, tons of country wear type stalls, vintage tractors and trucks, gardens, giant vegetables, a whole poultry tent, more animals, craft stalls, flowers, an amazing food tent, dog and horse shows and lots more! I was so tired by the end of it...

Think my favourite part was eating buffalo milk ice cream, tasting lots of cheese and yummys in the food hall, and letting Theo pet the horses and doggys...he was laughing and getting so excited. And the giant pumpkins and cabbages of course! Theo did really well considering we were out all day, and even managed a sleep in the middle, and as ever he was charming all the ladies...

But does this mean i'm a proper adult now, as I enjoyed a country fair? 

22 September 2011

The pinky promise

This week, I guess because of the teething and the lack of sleep, I feel sad to admit that Rob and I have been arguing more, and I don't really feel like I've seen him properly recently, or that we've had any nice adventures together.

There is this constant battle of who is more tired, and we have assumed stereotypical roles...me the nagger and him, well perhaps someone who needs a little promting.

But this is silly, because in reality we are well balanced and don't need to become these people. We have worked out with speaking how to balance domestic life and looking after the baby. And if I do say so myself, I think we are doing a pretty good darn job with the babe...because he is wonderful (teething tantrums aside)

Rob does so much for us, and works incredibly hard, and unlike lots of other people doesn't stop working when he gets home. And in reality I wouldn't change him for the world.

This thought struck me early this morning, as I lay awake feeding Theo. In all my previous relationships I have always felt that I knew they would end, or there was something I would want to change about them, or us, or myself to make it right. It would be a battle, and deep down even though I felt 'love' it was never truely what I feel now. When I think of Rob I am filled with a huge sense of relief. Relief that I've found him, and that there is not one thing I would change about him, or our lives. Relief that I will not have to look for another partner again, and relief that there will be someone who will come home and give me a hug. Last night I told him of my worries and my fears that we had been arguing more lately, and he simply shrugged and said it was just the way it is sometimes, and we are both under lots of stress. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Not that there were things that we drastically needed to change, but just that it's ok, we'll get through it, and we'll still be there for each other at the end of it all. Nothing silenced my worrying heart better than that.

When I think of Rob when I'm alone, I just feel so proud. What a wonderful person he really is, and even though our story hasn't been wildly romantic, it's just fitted, worked and made sense. And after all we have produced a beautiful thing, and that's a pretty good testament to our love story.

In a few weeks Rob will turn 23. To think he has achieved so much and is the strong, responsible, capable of so much loving person he is at the age of 22, makes me love him all the more.

When we eventually get married, I know it will be the best most wonderful feeling, to have it confirmed that we will always be there for each other. And we'll be sure to pinky promise that one.

Written listening to this:

(by the way Fionn, it's good to have you back)

21 September 2011

Mum vs Dad

How is it that when the baby wakes up in the night I can't go back to sleep until I know, until I'm sure he is back asleep and not going to wake up again.

This week we have an eye tooth coming through, so there have been grizzly days followed by broken nights. A few times he has been sick, then we all have to get up and change the bed. When we finally get back into bed, Rob rolls over and falls back asleep! How can it be that easy?! This is until I poke him and get him up to walk Theo around until he settles back down. I'm not complaining about Rob, he helps as much as he can in the night, but it just bugs me that dads, all dads have this power to get back and stay asleep really quickly!

I know he is the one who has to get up and go to work, so sleep in important, but that man can sleep through anything! And I need my sleep too...ugh the ever ongoing battle between parents as to who is more tired.

Theo is currently making circuits around the living room, in a few days he has gotten really good at crawling, and is following us everywhere, getting into everything and generally causing mischief.

But here are a few videos that make it all ok!

Theo is going to be 8 months next week! Can you believe it? I really need to do a catch up and round up of the last few months, maybe even a video too?

Right, that be all for now, I'll be back

16 September 2011

well looky here!

Today we have a few new developments, firstly we have a new tooth arriving, this time up the top and again with no real signs of pain. (Except he was a little wingey tonight so I gave him calpol)

Also the second is that after a few weeks of trying, Theo can finally crawl! I'm so excited about this, as he can not be so frustrated all the time trying to move around. He can also pull himself up to sitting from lying down. Its all so amazing to see him learn to develop over the weeks, and to finally succeed! It makes me so immensely proud! I'm still a little scared for when he gets really good and is into everything, but for now the pride is taking over the fear. Also today we learnt to do high fives, it's so sweet. I love seeing his little brain work and his body responding, it makes me fall in love with him all over again, and again. Babies really are fascinating aren't they? But he's not going to be a baby for much longer...

This week has been good, but hard. I'm trying my hardest to get to work on my new business, but things keep on getting in the way, and once again time evades me. Next week I'm hoping to set up a set few days with Rob's mum (hopefully) where I can work and she can watch Theo. I really really want this business to work, and I need to start getting serious and set aside real time to do the work.

Today we spent ALL day at the citizens advice bureau, getting advice on going back to work, tax credits and being self employed. To be honest I'm not a lot clearer on anything than I was before, it's all so confusing. I know that I'm technically on 'extended maternity leave' which means I'm on leave for a full year, but obviously not paid for all of it. I know also that my old work have to at least give me my 4 hour contract back if I want to go back, otherwise they are discriminating against me. I now know that I need to work out a real business plan with budget and costs etc sorted out, so I can work out benefits. But that still doesn't really help me now. We still have lost income, and I don't know what benefits I can apply for, and when I can become self employed, and what I can apply for then. So the advice didn't really help that much. I still really need someone to sit down with me, or some time to think and research online about what my REAL options are, and how we can possibly earn a little more money. Gah, my head is literally full and I can't switch off. There is so much that I have to constantly worry about and I don't have the answers or even time to think of them.

Right I'm going to have a bath. Good night.

11 September 2011

the ugly duckling

happy Sunday everyone!

It's lovely and sunny, and I'm, well inside writing. I should really go out and make the most of it, but the baby is napping, so for now I shall enjoy it through the window...(even though the curtains are drawn because I can't see the screen otherwise) But Anyway...

Just want to share a few photos of the adorable Theo. Sometimes (all the time) when I look at Theo in the mirror next to me, or look at photos of us together, I feel ugly...that's really weird right, that your own baby can make you feel a bit ugly? It's just because his face is so perfect, and I could look at it for hours and like every single feature..but then I look at my own face and scrutinize all the bad points and see all my flaws. It's weird. Theo has my features and often looks loads like me, but I still can't help but feel inferior to him!

But anyway, Rob borrowed a fancy camera from work so we went out for a little walk around Clifton to take some photos. I really want to try and get some more (decent) photos of myself and Theo, as they are few a far between (ahem Robert)

See what I mean? i know I'm completely bias but he really is the most smashing, dashing, gooouulashing baby I've ever seen...c'mon look at this face!

Baby modeling anyone?

Oh and here's us chilling infront of some of our dream homes...

dream on!

Yesterday we went to visit my mother, as she has moved to Malvern, nearer me! Rob cycled to Gloucester as he is training for his sponsored bike ride he's doing soon...(what's that, you want to sponsor him to raise money for the British Heart Foundation? ok here's the page!)

We arrived and had a play in the garden. The people before left some toys and a trampoline and this great baby swing, which is perfect for Theo..

It was a nice day, but busy and tiring, but so lovely to be able to drive home in an hour! Best be off because the boy is awake and making a groaning sound at me..

09 September 2011

My favourite topic: money

gaah! I really do hate it, but there is a time when you have to face it!

So this month, well today to be precise, marks the end of my maternity leave and more importantly my maternity pay.

Also after completing our tax return for this past tax year, we have also been awarded £40 less a week, A WEEK, from now on. This means that we are set to lose a lot from our monthly income.

I have business ideas in the pipeline, which are coming along well, but slowly. (Trying to set this thing up with babies is pretty hard, with all the unforeseen problems they throw up!) And also it's going to take a while before we can make any money off of it. I'm really excited about doing it, and definitely want to carry on working on it, but the lack of money, and need to pay rent is worrying me slightly.

So like I said before, I think I need to get a job. Even if it were just for one day, to earn back the amount we have lost from tax credits. I don't know whether to go back to my old job, as last time I went in there the (new) manager didn't even recognise me, even though I've talked to him a fair few times about getting my job back. So I got scared and ran away before I could ask him about my old job. Also I was thinking that having a job all the way in town wouldn't be ideal, but if I were to get one nearer home then I could pop home at lunch to feed Theo and give him cuddles. So if anyone out there, in Bristol, knows of any jobs for one or two days a week near me, please help me out, or alternatively, someone could just give us loads of money? Yeh?

I went to finally go to the citizens advice bureau, and the only time I bloody go is when it shuts early on a Friday. Bugger Bugger. But hopefully I can visit next week and work out what we are entitled too now.

Other than this (constant) worry, everything else is going ok! Crawling is very nearly happening:

how is he this big already? He's not a baby anymore is he?

Tomorrow we are going to see my mum, only a short drive away, as she moved yesterday! I'm so excited that it will only take just over an hour to get to hers, rather than the painful 5 hours! 

Hope everyone else has a nice weekend planned! Adios

06 September 2011

Play days

So it's nearly been a week since I last posted, and I'm sorry, but it seems to have become a habit.

Today I went to get Theo weighed. He now weighs a grand 19lb 15! (9.05kg) big baby. So he is still gaining the right amount of weight, which is reassuring because Theo hasn't really been that into food this week. I spoke to the HV about the fact that Theo isn't really sleeping at night, and she was really good about it. I was a little bit worried that they would try and persuade me to give Theo purees, and make me feel bad about him not eating loads, but she was really good. She just gave suggestions on what I should be feeding him and just said that hopefully when he's on 3 meals a day he will not need to feed as much at night. So fingers crossed that's the case!

This week he's been pretty into fruit and yoghurt again, and baby sweetcorn!

This week has been good, I've been busy seeing lots of friends and Theo has been having lovely play dates with his friends. Nowadays it's hard to go to a cafe with friends like I used to do, because the babies need to be entertained and more mobile, so recently I have been either going to other peoples houses or the park (before the weather turned bad!)

With Mersina and Jo in the park..Theo likes to pretend he's a dog

Theo and Oli

On Sunday I got invited to a lovely day out at St.Werburghs park to a little fete sort of thing! It was a bit of a twitter meet up, which was great, as I met some people in real life that I've never met before. There were lots of babies there too. It's so lovely to see how Theo is changing and interacting with his friends.

Theo, Kimberlee & Henry and Mersina
It was the last taste of summer, sitting on the grass, listening to music, eating yummy food and relaxing with friends! Since then its become a lot more autumnal, which I'm so excited about!

September is one of my favourite months, and I can't wait until its properly cold and I can wear tights and scarfs and coats. Its nearly a year since I moved to Bristol, and what a year it's been! I can't believe that I was moving into Rob's parents house, and we shared a tiny room for a few months. We also moved to our first flat, spent my first Christmas here, had the baby, of course, and moved again. I've had my first full summer here and am now welcoming another new season. It's been a really good year, a tiring year, but good. And it really feels like home, here in Bristol.

The business is coming along nicely, with the website currently being built. We're having a business day on Thursday, so expect some more developments! I'm really excited about it, but also getting a little worried about the money situation. My maternity pay stops this month, well now, and our tax credits have been reduced. Hopefully we have enough to make ends meet, but it's going to be tougher. So fingers crossed in a while we can actually start making money from the business, I just have to find some more time to work on it!

I have another idea for a pretty in depth post, which I will hopefully get round to writing soon.

Hope everyone is well!

01 September 2011

i got my baby back, baby back...

Hi! So today Rob went back to work. It's been lovely him being around for two weeks, helping with Theo and giving me a bit of a break and the chance to get on with some sewing.

Apart from the weekend away at my dads we haven't really been up to much, having lazy mornings in bed, tidying the flat and watching silly tv shows (our current addiction is Chuck..) It's been really nice to see Rob spend more time with Theo and their relationship grow, but to be honest I felt a little jealous sometimes! Rob can always make Theo laugh whatever he does, which is great, but sometimes I felt a little left out, and that all I was good for was being the milk machine! I know its sort of silly, but I missed being alone with Theo in the day, going on our little adventures and sharing that time together. I bet I won't be saying this in a day or two, but I'm quite glad it's just us again and Rob is back to work!

I also missed our routine, going to classes and seeing friends and other babies. It got to the point where Theo hadn't seen another baby for well over a week, and I think he missed his friends! well I did anyway. It's lovely being with Rob lots of the time, but sometimes its nice to have a break to and be with some of my friends too!

So on Monday we had a busy day visiting friends and having play dates!

Its so fun to see Theo interacting with other babies now, and really cute!

We went on a few walks, and yesterday we had a fun family day out to the M shed, where we went to see the Martin Parr exhibition and the Bristol museum.

So Theo turned 7 months last week, can you bloody believe it? As I said in my last post he's like a proper little person now, he looks like a real boy! Definitely not a baby anymore. And he is desperate to move! When he's sitting he tries to reach for things and ends up rocking on his knees, then eventually gets on all fours. He just sorts of stays there rocking back and forth and hasn't worked out how to move yet, but I really don't think it will be long! eeeeeeek! That is one very scary thought. In a way I can't wait until he can move about on his own and play and discover things for himself, but I'm scared that from now on i'm going to have to have eyes EVERYWHERE, and it's going to be tiring! Also it's just that one extra step towards him becoming even more independent, and he won't need me as much. Sometimes I wish that he was just a little squishy immobile baby again, who I could carry with me and cuddle...now I have a wriggling, strong determined boy. And it's not going to stop, next he'll be pulling himself up, then walking, then running, aaaaaaah! Where has my baby gone?!

He's also getting so much better at eating, and I'm very glad that we are sticking to baby led weaning, even though he may not be getting huge amounts of food at the moment, hopefully in a month of so it will pay off, and he will be eating more and more importantly, feeding himself!

Currently Theo is napping in the bedroom, not needing me to be there! It's getting a little easier when I put him down at night now too, he's sometimes staying asleep when I leave him which is a very good development! He's still waking up at night a few times, but has started to be able to settle himself to sleep sometimes if I just leave him, fingers crossed this will keep on happening!

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