29 May 2012


Sorry it's been a bit quiet around here, we're in Madeira and don't have the Internet where we are staying, which has actually been great to have an enforced break from it! But I thought I'd let you know that we're all alive and well and enjoying the sunshine!

We've had a lovely few days here, but it seems as though it's nearly over already! We went to the capital Funchal, have driven over the island, went on a nice walk on a peninsula with amazing views, swam in the pool and just generally relaxed. I'm looking forward to doing a little more exploring and going back to Funchal and maybe even braving the sea (I'm pretty scared of it!)

26 May 2012

A serious subject

So the weather has been lovely this last week, and I'm sure most of you have been enjoying it to! The sun does seem to bring out the best, sitting in parks eating lovely picnics, being able to wear summer dresses and sandals everyday, and more importantly being able to spend the day outside, all day! But sometimes I think the sun does tend to bring out bad things too, mainly, men taking their tops off (c'mon I don't want to see it!) girls wearing way too short shorts (again, c'mon I don't want to see your bum cheeks, thanks!) and more importantly people smoking everywhere.

Like I said, it's been amazing to take Theo to parks and sit around, but I've noticed that since the weather has been better the more people are sitting around smoking. Now I know it's a free country and people can legally smoke outside, and if they're an adult that's fine, (just please don't smoke too near me or my child!) but what really makes me feel sad is all the kids I see smoking. I know it's a fashionable thing to do, I used to smoke when I was about 16, then stopped for years, then started again, then stopped right before I got pregnant. But the thought of me smoking now makes me feel weird, I can't imagine it, and I can't imagine Theo growing up being around people who smoke. I know that there might be a point in the future when he is old enough that he might try smoking (I hope he doesn't!) but it's something that might not be within my control. But I'd just hate him to fall under peer pressure to look cool, and to have been drawn in by advertising and packaging.

When it was made illegal for big shops to display cigarette packets I thought this was a great idea, and I only hope that the move is made to all shops, and I really think that changing all packaging to plain packets would really help too. I know when I was younger I definitely had my favourite brand because of the packaging, and you were a certain type of person defined by what cigarette brand you smoked...weird. So take away the branding, and maybe cigarettes would loose some of their appeal.

I've been reading the info on this website that is trying to gain support from the public to help the government adopt of plain packaging policy for all cigarette brands.Take a look and sign up too if you feel it's an important campaign.

Smoking facts for kids
Protect our children. Visit the Plain Packaging Campaign for more information and to pledge your support.

I think it's such an important campaign, especially as I'm a mother, I hope that when Theo is old enough something like this will help change the way kids are pressured into smoking, and hopefully it will put kids off altogether. 

24 May 2012

Some news

So, this is a little weird to write since I made a big announcement and told everyone about it, but I've decided not to take the job at the Zoo.

The reason behind this is, is that when I got my contract yesterday I read it through and realised that the job was only seasonal and would end at the beginning of September. I wasn't aware of it being a seasonal job (it wasn't mentioned in the interview, but I think I misunderstood something in the application) and suddenly the job didn't seem so right anymore. I wasn't sure whether it would be worth it to go back to work just for three months. There was no permanent job guaranteed at the end and I wasn't sure whether there would be much point in me working there for such a short period of time, especially with the upheaval it would cause to our routines, which might have been fine if it were permanent, but not for such a short period of time. I feel like I would just get back into working after such a long time, then it would end again.

Also I feel that if I were to just work the summer I would miss out on all the weekends that we could spend out together as a family, and since we've been having such lovely weekends recently, that would make me sad. Also I don't think it would be fair on Theo to put him into a different routine, such as spending the days without me, for it only to go back to normal a short while later. It just doesn't feel right to do that. I know it may have been a foot in the door of a good place to work, but I don't think it's worth taking the risk of nothing coming from it. And I can always apply for a job there again if something permanent comes up, now that I know I can do it!

I said before that if it was right then it was meant to be, but when I realised that it was only temporary it didn't feel right. Rob and I then talked it over, and when we thought that it would be better for me not to take the job, I felt a huge sigh of relief and a bit of a weight lifted off my shoulders. Yes I was excited about the job, but over the week I kept on thinking of spending every weekend away from Rob and Theo, and not being able to spend proper time as a family, which is the most important thing, and it made me sad.

Also financially I'm not sure how much better off it would make us, and it wouldn't really be worth us having to change all of our tax credits and other things, only for them just to take effect, then the job end. That's a whole lot of hassle I'd rather without. I think I'm just going to take this time to enjoy the summer with my family, and make a start on a little project of mine, and perhaps start seriously looking for a job in September, when we will have a better idea of what shift patterns Rob can get and make sure that the job is really right for me, and us.

Yes it would be cool for me to work in the Zoo, and for Theo to visit me there, and enjoy the zoo, but maybe we'll just buy a membership and we can enjoy it together. And plus maybe in the future I could end up working there, as it still interests me. But just not now.

I feel slightly embarrassed writing this post as I pretty much shouted from the rooftops about it in an over excited fashion, but I think we'll just put this one down to experience and move on. As I said in my last post, that if it didn't work out, it wasn't the end of the world, and there will be other, better suited jobs out there. I didn't want to start the job and then it not work out half way through, so this feels better for me.

But thanks for all the support I got anyway!

We're off on our holibobs tomorrow, hooray! 

22 May 2012

the carousel

Hi! I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious weather?! We've spent most of the time outside in the garden and it's been lovely, we're getting geared up to go on holiday on Friday, where the weather should be great too (hopefully!)

Anyway, I thought I would share a few bits from Sunday as I saw my dad and had a great little day out at a garden centre...

But first I thought I would share with you this little video I took of Theo on his first ever carousel ride. I just couldn't stop saying 'look at his face' as he was so sweet on the ride. He held on tight pretty much the whole way round, and even though we were calling his name he wouldn't really look at us, or it would be too late by the time he did! He was fascinated by the middle coloumn and the lights on it. I was worried he was going to hate it, but he seemed to enjoy himself!

When I showed it to Rob and watched it back we were both pretty moved by it. It made us feel such strong mixed emotions, of such pride of watching Theo ride it all by himself, but also one of sort of amazement that he could be that big and old to sit so independently on such a ride. It made me suddenly realise how grown up he looked, how separate from me he is and how much of a little boy he is becoming. I know I've said it a thousand times before, but he is no longer a baby, and I think it just finally really hit home. I just can't believe how quickly it all changes, and sometimes I feel it's moving terribly fast, and you do truly blink and miss it. Things recently have seemed to have sped up, we moved him to his own room, he's stopped feeding at night and not needing me (we've had two nights of 8 or more hours straight sleep!) and soon I will be leaving him for two days a week to go to work. How did that happen? But the thing is, he seems fine with all of this, and like he's ready for these changes and steps, and that makes me sad. I'm glad he is ready and we are finally (hopefully) getting there with the sleep thing, but it still makes me sad that he doesn't need me, and I can no see a point in the future not too far away, where he's going to stop nursing altogether, and then that the last of our special things that we share gone. That's what I loved so much about be pregnant, that relationship that you have between you and your growing baby, the secret kicks, the conversations and that indescribable feeling of protection and love. It's something that no-one else can know, and private friendship available to only the two of you. Then when they are born suddenly there are other people added to the equation and that relationship slowly fades. That's not to say that Theo and I don't have our own special relationship now, we do of course, and I love him and the things we have together more and more everyday, but it feels different. Sometimes I just wish I could squeeze him tight and freeze time for a little bit so I can stop and fully soak up the moment and feeling. It's just too scary how fast it all goes, and before long he's going to be talking and communicating better and becoming a whole lot more independent and  his own person, which I can't wait to experience, but at the same time I'm happy for that to take it's time, and him to remain little for some time more thanks!

Anyway, aside from all the excitement we had a really lovely day. I drove over to Bradford On Avon, to visit my dad who was staying at my Great Aunts. We played in the garden with some bubbles, and the dog, and Theo was equally obsessed with both! We then drove a little way to a garden centre to have a look around. They had a great playground just for toddlers, and we spent a long time in there as Theo could play on EVERYTHING! We then took a little ride on a tractor/train around the grounds, which was fun. We went to look at the chickens and the fish and some nice plants. We stopped for tea before heading back and driving to Saltford where we met Rob, who cycled from Bristol after work, at a nice pub by the canal. We saw a canal boat come into the lock and we stood and watched them go through it, a first time for both of us! We ate some food, then headed home with a very tired out baba. It was nice though to spend time with some of my family, especially my dad who lives on the other side of the country and doesn't get to see Theo nearly as much as he would like. Anyway here are a few photos!

20 May 2012

Out and about: Grimsbury Farm

Yesterday morning we decided to go to another nearly new sale near us, but somewhere where we hadn't been before on the other side of Kingswood. We've not really explored that way, and I don't know anything about it! We went to the sale and bought a few good things, including a ride on car for £2.50 and a whole wooden train set for £5. Bargains!

On the way we caught sight of a sign to 'Grimsbury community farm" and thought it sounded promising, so on the way back we decided to pop in to have a look around. I'm so glad we did! It was beautiful! There were great views of the countryside and it felt very fresh and open, the sun even decided to show itself a little whilst we were there.

We spent an hour or so making our way round and looking at all the farm animals, and Theo practiced all his farm animals noises. There were sweet lambs, and lots of ducks and chickens in the first little bit, all who were pretty tame. We then found a funny snuffling pig and fed some cows, much to Theo's delight. We also found the guinea pigs and rabbits, some of which were for sale, and at £10 each we nearly went away with a bunny. I really really want a bunny rabbit, and hopefully when we have some more garden space we can get one! And also chickens and goats and ducks and maybe a pig when we live on our farm...

Anyway, back to reality, they also had a great play park, which Theo could play on nearly all of it, which is quite rare for a park. He loved it. I'm so glad we found this little place, it's a little too far to walk to, but is definitely in cycling distance for the future. How many other little farms are there in Bristol?! You know we love them so, and we will find them all! 

19 May 2012

the job

So I did it, I went and got myself a little job. The subject of going back to work has been a funny one for me, and when I wrote about it here I definitely wasn't ready to go back to work, and I'm very glad I didn't.

 Up until recently I had no desire to go back to work, especially before Theo was one, and I'm so very happy we made that decision and I spent that time with Theo. But I have been feeling a little bit that I would like at some point to get a little part time job, not many hours, because I have been feeling like I would like to have some time for me,  and to be doing something in my life that doesn't 100% revolve around Theo. Plus the extra money will of course be good. I haven't been avidly job hunting, more casually browsing to see what was out there. I've applied to a few things, but thought that if nothing came of them then it wouldn't be the end of the world, and more than likely it just wasn't right or meant to be. Call me a hippy but I'm a great believer in that if something isn't the right thing or time for you or your family, then it won't happen, but if it is right, then of course it will work.

I have been looking for a job that would just be a few days a week, and would be fairly within my grasp, I wasn't about to start applying for jobs that I had never done before and trying to stretch my already tired out brain. (It still hasn't recovered from pregnancy brain, and it looks doubtful that it ever will, sorry brain) I also wanted to work somewhere fun and hopefully fairly relaxed, and of course one that could somehow benefit our family. I wanted a job that would interest me, and one that I could move in and find other paths through, and I think this one would be great for that.

So the Zoo. I just had a quick look on the Zoo website and saw that, two days before the deadline, they were hiring people for the front of house at the zoo. They were looking for someone to work 16 hours, only two days. That sounded pretty great to me, a job which I knew I could do, good hours and at a fun place that would hopefully enable me to have membership and to take Theo to lots and lots! It ticked quite a few boxes and I thought it would be a great place to try and learn about the different jobs there, and maybe eventually do something else within the company. So I applied. Again it didn't really matter if it didn't work out, I didn't really have anything to lose so I thought I might as well. I got my application in 5 minutes before the deadline! I then got a call the next day for an interview! Quick work.

Then it hit me. I was like 'oh crap, I might actually have to go back to work if I get this'. I thought quite a lot about it and Rob and I talked it over. I do feel ready to go back to work. I want to be doing something for myself and I want to be doing something fun and interesting. And after all it is only two days a week, and I still get to spend a full five with Theo. So I went to the interview, knowing that it wasn't a big deal if I didn't get it. But they gave me a call later that afternoon to say they would like to offer me the job! I was pretty shocked, I thought the interview went well, but wasn't really prepared for the fact that they'd actually want me! It's been quite a while since I last had an interview (September 2010!) and was suprised that I could actually be coherent enough! I was happy and proud of myself that I did it.

The job is going to be working every weekend, 9-5. This will hopefully suit us well, as Rob has some weekends off which means he can look after Theo, and the others hopefully family members can help us out. Which means hopefully we will save on childcare costs. It means that it won't really disrupt my week time routine with Theo which is good and we've also never really had proper 'family' weekends because of Rob's work he's usually always had to work them, so it won't be a massive change. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't really get to spend that much time with Rob, or all three of us, but every week except one (where he only works til 4) he has one day off in the week, so we would still get a day all together, and the evenings too. And this shift pattern might not be forever, where hopefully he can switch so he has a day off every week in the week. We shall see. The thing is, is that I hope it will be alright, but all I can do is just see how it goes, and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. There will be other jobs out there if not, but I'm sure it will be fine. Now we just really need to work hard at getting Theo to sleep through the night, so that I can get a good nights sleep, every night. It is possible, we just need to work at it.

The job starts in two weeks, and next week we go on holiday. Good timing if you ask me! I'm going to relish and soak up these last two weeks of being a non working mumma, but am also really excited to get out there into the working world!

It feels like the right thing to do, so fingers crossed it is! But if any working mamas have any advice for me about going back to work/ leaving their child/spending time with your partner that would be greatly appreciated!

Out and About: Bristol Zoo

So I took a little trip to Bristol Zoo yesterday, for a job interview. Most of you will probably know that I got the job, which is great! But more on that later.

After my interview I was allowed to stay and enjoy the Zoo, which is what I was hoping they would say, so I rang Rob's mum who was nearby with Theo, and they came in a joined us. We had a fun afternoon taking our time walking round the Zoo looking at all the animals. Theo really enjoyed it, but I think there was a bit too much for him to take in and he didn't really know what to look at first and just ran around everywhere!

We had such a fun day! I can't wait to visit more and more (hopefully with a free membership?!) with Theo, so he can go often and really get to know and enjoy the zoo and all its animals. It really is such a great place to grow up with as a kid. Rob has lots of memories from when he was a child, I think he even took his first steps there! And I can't wait for Theo to have the same!

More on the job side later!
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