#she’s awake

Is it advisable to blog at 2am? Not sure. At the very least perhaps I’ll draft this and reread in daylight before sending. 

It’s my own fault I’m awake at 2am as I retreated to bed at 7pm along with Monty. When Mr H came to bed a couple of hours ago I woke up and have been ‘thinking’ ever since. So I’ve had man flu this week, firstly hayfever which I only get mildly but easily confused with a cold. But the symptoms of female man flu include (and obviously observed by some including my work colleagues):

  • Complete inactivity when required to perform basic tasks, one colleague said to me on Tuesday (very gently and kindly) – you are literally doing nothing 
  • Wondering if anyone has ever felt this bad, ever before, ever, as it simply can’t be possible
  • Thinking (seriously) that child birth was less painful than the head flu occurring 
  • Copious complaining 
  • Tears
  • A concerned husband who sprang into action (a much better nurse than me)

Anyway I’m through the worst you’ll all be relieved to hear and despite probably running before I could walk by attacking a  busier than normal Thursday at One Media, I had a slight relapse, got ear ache and once again retreated to bed at the same time as my one year old. 

I’m not quite ready to ‘man up’ yet, tomorrow may be mainly spent in pjamas and watching the Smurf movie (Monty will be delighted) but there is a gradual return to the human life form occurring. 


Now that the immediate has been dealt with, the emotional backdrop (possibly linked) is of course Br….what a mess we have here….exit. I’m not going to fill more social media space with negativity but merely say that while I generally enjoy drama and welcome change – hey this is the most I’ve ever been interested in politics and the most I’ve ever witnessed it being discussed, debated and understood/misunderstood, it’s difficult not to feel uncertain and concerned.

I do have faith in our leaders generally. I certainly do not have faith in much of the population in the UK, which is why they don’t LEAD. You see, the anger does rise… Who will sort out the DK (Divided Kingdom)? Will it ever be the same again or is this permanent? Waiting to be rescued by Iron Man. Or Postman Pat. He normally sorts problems out by the end of the day. 

Wow I feel better, writing does that for me, it’s like lifting heavy weights (feelings) off my body (mainly chest) and transferring them via brain and language muscles onto a page (or sometimes screen as in this case) to be absorbed by the universe and perhaps some eyeballs/humans if they can be arsed/are interested. Free therapy really to a faceless voiceless non-being.

I’m in the middle of writing my first book, (not about politics (yay!) but about the (invented) adventures of my beloved dog – Finn) although progress is slow and I don’t know if it’s ever going to be finished. Also not much has happened in it yet so ‘adventures’ might need a rethink. I’m collating more and more material in my head all the time and just waiting for my hand to start converting it into words. It may be terrible, not even sure who would want to read it, what age etc. I have no idea. I’ve started reading it to Monty before bed, he can be my first critic I suppose. 

Our new (old and shabby) house is wonderful. We have a lot to do but the time to do it gradually and our rocks in the garden are so fantastic. Badger rock is imposing, permanent, beautiful, majestic and we will work with it to create our desired space. Our resident badgers are quieter than they were in our first week but I’m hopeful that they are being cautious and they will get braver. The foxes have been quite visible, it’s like Animals of Farthing Wood sometimes. We are making a right old mess as we start to clear bits of the jungle near to the house but there is plenty that will just remain, untouched and wild as its so beautiful and was the magic we fell in love with. 


Well it’s not quite daylight but I’ve re-read and no glaring typos so the only other possibility is that the night ramblings of a slightly post-viral, Lemsipped, Nurofened tired mummy are irrelevant. If so, never mind it will get lost in blogger sphere. Otherwise, hope you’re all sleeping soundly and wake up to a better Friday than the last one. 

❤️

House buying

We are in the midst of buying our first (and hopefully last) family home. It has been a 5 year journey to get to this point and it’s still not over #pleasehousegodsletitgothrough 

Here is what I’ve learnt

  1. We are difficult to please – we must have seen 150 houses at least by now. I mean like actually booked viewings and been to see them. That’s a lot of hours of life. Nonetheless if the keys to our house are in my hand in a few weeks I will not regret a single thing!
  2. It was difficult to buy a house for children without having a child. Now that Monts has been able to be part of the process he has shown us the way to certain criteria such as a garden (we contemplated, even nearly bought) a flat with a roof garden, actually more like just a roof. Glad that one fell through!
  3. Phil and Kirsty are amazing. In the absence of being accepted into their programme we watched Location Location Location regularly for some property purchasing coaching. 
  4. You have to save a LOT of money to buy a house. Manicures have been cancelled, we have a money logging app installed on our iPhones, we haven’t been on holiday for nearly a year. Oh woe is us you might think but before house purchasing we were away a LOT! Sacrifices! 
  5. This period feels like a weird time warp between present and future as so much of our future hangs in the balance. Trying not to think too hard as it hurts my small brain. 

I may dance around like a jerk and drink a lot of champagne if the deal finalises soon. Please please please please please. 

   
  

 

Nearly one

So our little man is nearly one. It’s quite a milestone to behold, one of survival (him and us!) and marks his transition from baby into toddlerhood as he literally toddles around having just started to try. This time last year, aside from being hugely pregnant, life was very different. It was just us and really everything was about  just us. Having a baby has been simply the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done. Monty is joy embodied in a very cute human form. He is so like his daddy, so a bundle of fun – a mini version of my favourite man. For sure I understand when people say having a baby won’t mend a broken relationship as there have been times in the last year when we have been under huge strain and needed each other. If we were on rocky ground already we would not have stood a chance. But having Monty has bonded us even more strongly. He reflects us and he is happiest when we are both there showering him with love. A lesson in that strength that comes from co-parenting and being a unit. 

 I am still on a post baby diet, I want to put my pjamas on at 4pm (no actually I don’t want to take them off ever), I can’t really do my favourite sport as it’s dangerous and costly in time and money, I can’t go out on a whim, I can’t claim to be a party girl at the moment – I’ve certainly put some of my identifiable features on hold for a few years. What made me me has changed. But I’m a mum, I love my son so much it is too much to bear sometimes. An emotional vein in me has been tapped that I didn’t know existed so I’m allowing myself to adjust to this new reality, accepting, marvelling, changing, growing and watching as our little man blossoms into the centre of our universe.

Sleep bootcamp

  
Sleeping baby = smiling baby = smiling parents. 

Signs of sleep deprivation include:

  1. Mr H slicing most of his thumb off while bleary eyedly making our dinner once the Montster had finally gone to bed one night. Blood. Yuck. Wifely first aid required including bandaging. It’s a good thing I learnt to bandage horses so well.
  2. Mr H falling over his own feet multiple times while walking Finn the dog. Wifely laughing. But also deep concern. Pahahahaha 😀
  3. Spilling coffee (full cup) all over meeting room at work one morning for no apparent reason other than faulty brain-hand connection. That was me.
  4. Spilling coffee (half full cup) all over car for no apparent reason apart from it obviously being my fault. That was Mr H.
  5. Consecutive days of going to bed at 8pm/as soon as Monty goes to sleep – whichever happens first.

Although I can proudly report that after a desperate night of zero sleep with Baby H in our bed, I dug out my Baby Whisperer book and read in earnest. It really is a good book and has helped many times in these first nine months. I proceeded to implement the Pick Up Put Down method for the last two nights. More like, Monty looks tired, it is bedtime. Monty is put in cot. Monty screams. Monty sobs. Monty stands up. Mummy hugs him but does not pick up but gently puts him onto his bottom in cot. Monty screams. Monty sobs. Utter devastation. Despair. Monty stands up. Repeat x 25 the first night. Monty collapses in sobbing heap. Monty falls asleep. Mummy creeps out. Last night it only took about 8 repetitions and he didn’t wake up at all 7.30 until 6am. Such a clever and responsive baby. Cottons on fast. 

Happy parents. We even stayed up until 10pm. Rock and roll! 

Bugs galore 

  
First school photo! Cute overload. I know I’m biased but come on…

In my last post I suggested that there might be a request for sympathy during the weeks of returning to work and Monty starting nursery. Certainly it felt a bit odd abandoning him into the arms of his friendly nursery ladies and heading off to work for the day, but emotionally I’d say all three of us, Mr H included transitioned well. Actually all four of us as Finn the dog also had to get used to three days of less human time again. 

The routine works well in principle, Mr H gets up early and heads into the big smoke (we love mornings when his alarm goes off and we realise we’ve had a whole night of sleep without baby or fur baby interrupting us – not had one of those for a while!!). Monty and I transform from bed head night grub status to mildly clean, clothed and awake. We trot round the corner to his nursery and then I undertake a golden hour of exercise before work starts – run, swim or gym. Then a quick makeover into professional person and at my desk for 8.45. At lunchtime I nip home to rouse a sleeping Finn the dog for a jaunt in the park, back to work for the afternoon and then pick Monty up on my way home to play, cuddle and wait for the return of the daddy who undertakes bath and bed. Clockwork!

Unless we are ill. Which we have been about 95% of the time! Damn nursery bugs. Sickness bugs, although YES 2kg lighter with minimal effort but fair amount of hardship. Not advised. Roseola, a constant cold, tonsillitis. Ugh! It will get better all the blogs and mumsnetters tell me! We will start school with no more than a sniffle as all the bugs will shy away from super strong immunity created by these months of hardship. The problem is with illness comes sleep deprivation. Our normally smug position of having the most amenable sleeping and relaxed baby is uprooted and we are thrown sideways into chaos of night waking and minimal shut eye. So we don’t get better very quickly. Mild depressive symptoms arise. There are tears. It hurts. Sympathy please! 

Thoughts in the sunshine

The view from my blogging bench today

 
There are few better places than the Pantiles in the sunshine. I could gobble up a lobster and glass of Sancerre right now but OH NO it’s a fast day. Tragic truth right there. Myfitnesspal app tells me if I have more days like yesterday (a new strategy using a formula and a macro…fatbusting mathematics) I will wallop my target in 5 weeks. Ok then. Which brings me  to point 1 of my thoughts today:

1. Being IN THE ZONE

There seems to be no logical sense to when this occurs. It is possibly derived from a number of insulting comments or horrifying mirror in changing room incidents. Obviously a major event like a wedding or a big holiday can cause one to get IN THE ZONE (getting married didn’t for me until the bitter end whereby I tortured myself with the three day military diet and lost 3kg – but that’s another story). 

By being IN THE ZONE I mean the moment when the penny drops, the gluttony can continue no more, the turning point has been reached. The simple truth that doing more exercise and eating less will lead to a slimmer physique suddenly makes sense. Just as a school child accepts that pie is just a number to be learnt for no apparent reason, a husband accepts that his wife is simply right most of the time, being IN THE ZONE happens when there is an acceptance and a subsequent plan of action. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times this cycle has occurred in life. The moment of clarity repeats with the same chime of cymbals signifying a behavioural change. Weight loss amnesia had occurred but there is significant memory recovery in this important minute of truth. 

So I’d like to announce I am back IN THE ZONE. Expect a pre-baby-weight Anna in the next month or so. Oh yes. Strong. 

2. In an unrelated slipstream of inconsequential thought I have realised over the past month, no no, it has been underlined for me how much I like buying things. New things. A realisation would suggest I didn’t already know this. Of course I, my dad particularly and now my husband know this. Our families know this. My friends know this. We are trying to buy a house soon and we have also had the very expensive Monty shaped addition to our household so in light of this, Mr H suggested we embark on AUSTERITY MONTH. This happened in May. So May was somewhat depressing, commercially limiting, lacking in new things and really quite dull from that point of view. Gone were manicures, gone were meals out, gone were frappucinos or any kind of gift buying (a challenge given we have so many June birthdays), gone were impulsive purchases while browsing the shops with Chief Shopper Aide Baby Monty. Joy was sourced instead from simple pleasures such as spending the afternoon in the park with Monty and Finn. Taking them to the beach. 

  
We had fun, of course we did. Who needs stuff when there are two little love bundles, one furry, one dribbly. However June’s arrival was a joyous day. I have hugely enjoyed shopping for gifts for family members during my now condensed window of opportunity and certainly a rebalancing has occurred. Austerity is good here and there, but in my humble opinion over-rated. 

3. I don’t really have a third point, I’ve not done a huge amount of thinking today. My brain is going to have to speed up as I’m back to work next week. Intelligent thought to complete mush ratio looks something like 1:17 right now. That will change swiftly I’m sure! It may be painful for a few weeks so expect some woe and requests for sympathetic reading. My advice would be don’t give me any. Tough love. 

Flextreme…for Tunny Mummies and babies

Today I tried Flextreme training with 2 trainers in Tunbridge Wells, the idea is that mums (or dads) can go with their babies/toddlers too – there are enough hands to manage the kids while we do some serious cardio circuits. 

  
Sweat factor high! A good workout and very accesibly priced too, wonderful to be able to get out to do some fitness training with other people without needing childcare. The trainers Laura and Aaron are so friendly and encouraging, I love it that both their mums are there supporting, keeping fit and on hand to help with the babies too. 

Monty tolerated it just about, normally he’d be fine playing on his own but he’s still not feeling great I don’t think so required being carried by interchangeable people.  

It’s a fast day tomorrow so Mr H and I are carb loading tonight with his delicious homemade chilli and jacket potatoes. Not sure that’s the idea really…it’s important not to over eat on non-fast days. My new size 11 jeans fit (yay!) getting closer to getting back in my size 10s! 

Monty is now able to reach the top of the drawers next to our bed…little rascal. I predict walking in the next 3-4 weeks. Exciting.