Sunday, 27 February 2011

The One Where the Boy Turns One!

Today the boy turned one!

It was a huge milestone! For him and for me!

I love birthdays and if the boy takes after his Mum then he does too. He really enjoyed his. We had a big party at Nanny P and Grandad G's for family and friends.

He had all this grandparents together which is a rare and exciting treat. He had lots of presents. And I mean lots of presents. So many in fact we have kept some back to open another day. He had Pom Bear crisps, party rings and cake! Scrummy cake shaped like the Waybuloo's!

In short he had an amazing time.

But the most important thing about today is that the boy is one!

That's a whole number. Not weeks or months. A whole number.

And that means that I no longer have a baby anymore. I have a toddler. I can't say "I've just had a baby" either. Because that was a year ago! A year is a long time. Too long to excuse the baby
weight I'm still sporting. 

But this has been an amazing year. A life changing, awe inspiring year.  

This time last year the boy and I were preparing to spend our first night together. In the hospital, frightened and alone, hubby dispatched to home with a Chinese take-away and Oscar for company, I remember how scared and tired I was.

And tonight, exhausted from his party, the boy is asleep in his own room. A big boy now. A one year old.

I'm still scared and tired, just like that first night, but I'm happy.

Very, very happy!

Oh, PS - another big milestone for me today too is that this blog has reached 3000 hits. Thank you all for reading the randomness. I couldn't do it without you xxx

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The One With the Second Birthday Party

Today saw the second of the boys birthday parties!

Yesterday I didn't think we'd make it. I was shaky, headachy, hot and cold. It felt like flu. It was in fact lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep is evil! Official!

The boy was out of sorts too. Bit snotty and red of cheek.

But as the old song goes, what a difference a day makes!

The boy seems to be teething again but as long as we keep dosing him up on Calpol he's in good form and I went to bed at 6.45pm!

So today was birthday party number 2, this time with four little friends plus Mums and one Dad keeping hubby company.

There were snacks and cake and presents and lots of playing with his chums.

The boy had a ball!

I'm just glad hubby had taken a days holiday. He did a sterling job of looking after the boy, who decided he didn't want to have a nap this morning and eventually took him for a walk in his buggy to try and entice him into having a sleep. This meant he missed the start of his party but hey ho better that than falling asleep half way through!

While my boys were out I could bake and decorate and tidy and generally put the party on.

And while I was doing this it occurred to me that I'd never done this before and this was the start of a new part of the journey. It was my first birthday party too. My first time hosting one as a Mum!

And this year will be the easiest one to stage. As the boy gets older, no doubt the parties will get more complicated, elaborate and expensive.

So for now I'm enjoying the relative simplicity of a one year olds' party.

Even if it is three times over!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The One With The 1st Birthday Party - Part 1

Yesterday was the start of the boys birthday week!

And the first of three, yes count them, three birthday parties.

This one was the NCT gathering of all our bubs slap bang in the middle of all their birthdays. Most of them were 1 already but some are still to reach that milestone, one of which is our boy.

Amazingly all the babies were well enough to partake. We were only missing one due to a prior engagement not through any thing nasty so we were an almost full compliment of 8 babies and 14 mums and dads (and before you write in and correct my maths we have twins in our group).

We had hired a hall, ordered some sandwiches and bought an enormous amount of crisps. I'd made my trademark sausage rolls previously known to make grown men weep until I was reliably informed that you can "poke 'em" in favour of my boozy rocky road now known to make grown men tipsy!

One of our number had made an amazing castle shaped cake which was duly cut, the cava was popped and hubby was called upon to make a toast.

All very civilized!

Of course that was the adults.

8 one year olds had an equally fantastic, if slightly more chaotic time, completely oblivious to the fact it was a party let alone their birthday party.

They had food, presents, toys to push, pull and ride on and a huge hall to crawl around, and for some of them, to walk around!

That's right, walking!

How time flies!

To think that over a year a go when I met all these fabulous people we were babes with bumps and frightened fellas. Now we are mums and dads with toddlers! 

Incredible little people whose personalities are growing as fast as their little legs.

Sure, sometimes they cried, or grizzled or ground breadstick into each other's hair. And that was just the dads! But watching the little ones yesterday made me realise just how far we'd all come together.

We don't have babies anymore. We have people. Wonderful little people.

Go the NCT class of Jan/Feb/Mar 2010.

Just like the sweet, boozy, marshmallow road, we rock!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The One With No Sleep, An Excel Spreadsheet and a Bacon Sandwich

I'm running on auto-pilot!

The boy has renewed vim and vigour now that the third lot of antibiotics have kicked in and infections of an ear, nose and throat variety are clearing up. As a consequence he's eating better but not sleeping as much.

He seems to want to wake up around 2 am, frump and grump for a bit which then turns to a full on cry and a bottle of milk is required. All 7 oz downed you'd think he's go back to sleep but no! He wants to stand up, jump around, play and chat to bunny. I have no idea what they're saying to each other but from the noises emanating from his nursery in the early hours of this morning I can only assume it's hilarious!

Sometimes, like last night, he's fine, other nights, like Tuesday for example, he wants myself or hubby to be in there with him and screamed the house down if we left.

Either way it's exhausting!

From the first murmurs to the last stirrings of sleep it's about 2 hours all told, either in and out calming him down or laying listening to him. We've turned the monitor off but Random House is not a big one and you can hear him as plain as if he were still laying next to me. In fact I have become nostalgic for the days when he was in the Moses basket beside me and I could feed and wind him and back to sleep in half an hour without leaving the comfort of my bed!

Of course I'm back to work now so on Wednesday, having had three hours kip, I was confronted with putting figures in an excel spreadsheet and changing formulas. The only formulas I've been bothered with over the last year have been Aptamil and  Cow & Gate!

My brain was mush, my eyes were heavy and by 4 o'clock my sanity had packed up, left home and was running towards the horizon with it's arse on fire!

Last night I was "that' close to saying sod it and making a cuppa and a bacon sandwich until the chatter and what sounds alarmingly like Frankie Howard impressions, cease!

But I didn't!

I've just had the bacon for lunch instead

And as I've got work again tomorrow and more figures to fiddle with lets just hope I don't need it tonight.......

Monday, 14 February 2011

The One Where I Go Wireless

I am currently blogging on my sofa!

My belated Christmas present, of a shiny new netbook, turned up today so now I'm fully wireless and can blog anywhere.

For wireless also read hopeless! And remember I work in IT! So hubby had to help me set it all up but now I'm up and quite literally running. I can blog in any room of the house, from the sofa in front of the TV, from my bed, even from the loo, although I promise not to tell you if I do decide to do that!

Random Woman is in the 21st century at last.

It's a frightening prospect for everyone......

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The One Where I Realise I'm Quite Naive

Apparently Marks and Spencers charge you on average 40p more for a pack of sandwiches if you buy them at a motorway "Simply Food" store than they do if you purchase them at one of their high street shops!

I heard that on a news item today about price mark ups on the motorway. Not just sandwiches but big companies charge more for take away burgers, drinks and petrol too.

I was a bit taken aback. I naively thought that a country wide chain like M&S had a standard pricing policy across all their stores. Surely that's only fair isn't it? A prawn sandwich is a prawn sandwich whether you buy it in Morecambe, Manchester, Milton Keynes or on the motorway? And by this token it should cost the same whether you are consuming it at your desk, at home, on a car journey or in the hospitality boxes of Old Trafford!

It would seem not!

I'm a bit too trusting me.

Tonight I purchased online my belated Christmas present from hubby, a netbook , so I can blog and write and research various projects I have on the go wherever I am. I filled in the form on the PC World website and it asked for my date of birth. I duly compiled and filled all the fields in.


Why did they want to know my date of birth? It's not needed for my credit card details or my billing or delivery address, it's not a password or security question! It's just them being nosey, doing consumer research into who is buying what I guess.

But I don't question it. I just fill it in. If I'm asked something, I answer it.

Half of me just doesn't think about these things and the other half of me can't be bothered anyway!

So should I be less trusting and more cynical? Less compliant and more challenging?

Or should I just make myself a packed lunch next time I go on a long car journey.....

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The One with a New Top!

That was the week that was! It's over let it go!

And before anyone who remembers the satirical 1960's show "That Was the Week That Was", or TW3 as it was known, thinks that dates me then I wasn't around then I've just seen repeats and have an almost obsessive love of old comedy!

So anyway I've had a tough week so I went shopping this morning with Lemon Cake Lady to cheer myself up.

This can be something of a double edged sword. Shopping can be therapeutic, exhausting and frustrating all in the same trip.

There are a few things that can help here. Set off early so you can park and there's not many people around. Have a break for a hot beverage and something sweet and sustaining (in our case Costa's chocolate twists)! Shopping after all can take it out of you. And don't expect to find anything you either like, can afford or will fit you.

Early starts are no problem now we both have children and the days of a Saturday morning lie in and not going "up the town" until lunchtime are long gone.

Having a cuppa and a cake is no hardship either and to be recommended.

So it's the last of my successful shopping trip tips that can cause the therapy to turn to angst in a single turn.

To quote today's Facebook status;

"I'm going shopping. Nothing will fit and it'll all look a bastard but I'm going anyway."

Nothing ever fits me! Lemon Cake Lady has the same problem but in reverse. She's smaller up top than she is at the bottom and I have a chest that would've graced the Carry On films but slimmer hips and legs.

We are like two isosceles triangles pointing at each other. If only we were the same sizes and handy with a sewing machine we could effectively cut and paste dresses and make whole new custom made outfits.

Unfortunately this is not the case and as a result when we go shopping together we end up bemoaning the fact that "they don't make things for real women" and have to buy shoes, bags and cosmetics instead as "they always fit".

There are exceptions to this where the boutique is so intimidating and trendy that once the staff realise I'm not in there with a teenage daughter they give me a look of such disdain that I begin to question whether the nail varnish would even fit me!

But today! Today I found a top!

Singing out to me like a siren on the rocks it beckoned from across the store and lured me to it's chiffon sleeved, spangly loveliness.

"Try me on" it called "And get your credit card out"

I tried it on!

It fitted and looked good. Even Lemon Cake Lady agreed and she doesn't mince words where my clothes are concerned. If it looks a bugger she'll tell me which is what you want. I mean I know I'm earning again but at 28 pounds a go you can't afford to mess about can you?

I got my credit card out!

I have no idea when I'll wear it and if I dunk the sleeves in Weetabix I'll never prise it off them but hey it's made me feel better and that's what counts.

I did say I wouldn't spend money straight away and carry on with a frugal lifestyle so I could save for possible leaner times in the future.

But when you're earning again and you visit the shops for the first time in a long time it's amazing how rapidly you can feel the quicksand of spending gather around your feet.

Which begs the question is the economy in recession because I was on maternity pay for a year and didn't shop?

Only time will tell.....

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The One with the First Day and the Kitchen Sink

So as yesterday was a days of lasts today was a new start.

My first day back at work for just over a year!

The boy obediently obliged and slept through last night. I, on the other hand, did not!

I lay awake worrying and fretting in the small hours. Mind racing. Stomach churning.

I eventually got up at 6am a full hour before the boy and for some reason cleaned the kitchen sink!

I spend a whole year at home avoiding housework only to go all  Aggie and Kim on myself the morning of my return to paid employment and start cleaning!

The mind is a terrible thing. I'm sure this was some sub-conscience message to the world that I really, really want to stay at home and I am a good housewife - honest!

So how did it go?

I'm on my second glass of red and second orange Kit Kat of the night!

I think that tells you all you need to know!

It wasn't awful and the boy had a lovely day with his Nanny P and Granddad G. He didn't even know I was gone. No it wasn't awful. It just wasn't me! A year is a long time and in some ways I've out grown the job and it's out grown me. For parts of the day I felt like a 14 year old on work experience. Out of my depth and not really needed.

So I can't help wishing I'd tried harder to convince myself to not go back.

But then I did try and come up with every reason and excuse in the book.

Everything but the kitchen sink it would seem.....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The One with the Last Day and the Physio

Well that's that then!

My last day of my maternity leave is nearly over. Tomorrow I go back to work. Yeah I chickened out and didn't hand my notice in. I'm giving it a go for the three months of my trial period. At two days a week I've worked out I only need to go 23 times (a bit of holiday and bank holidays considered - god bless Kate and Wills)! Then we'll look at it again. Or they will!

The boy is currently watching me type this while destroying a scotch pancake and trying to feed it to Oscar. Oscar's not bothered by Scotch pancakes and snoozes through the carnage of bits of food on the floor around him!

Just an average day in the Random household!

It's times like this I'll miss.

Buy hey it's only two days a week - I won't miss that much! (come on guys I'm trying to convince myself here).

But not only is today the last day of my maternity leave it also marked another watershed in this whole journey of motherhood I never thought I'd embark upon let alone enjoy so much.

Today was my last session of after maternity care.

Now I've not shared my birth story with you all and too much Calpol has washed under the bridge to bother going into that all now, but it was classed as "traumatic" by the midwives and should we want another baby I've been told to have an elective C-section, so you can imagine I wasn't a pretty sight "down below". Hubby has since told me that when he returned to theatre after having the boy weighed and he saw me being attended too it reminded him of the first twenty minutes of "Saving Private Ryan"!

So my after maternity care is treatment of an "intimate nature" brought about by my "traumatic birth"!

Of course this being the Random household we don't beat around the bush (what an apt expression) with a nickname for this and it's known affectionately as "Fanny Physio"!

So today the Fanny Physio lady said I could be signed off the treatment, keep doing the exercises and remember to pull up when you cough, sneeze, laugh or go to a fireworks display! This is all very well but I live on a main road and if a car backfires suddenly there isn't always time to squeeze. But still it seems I'm getting better so that's something. Expect a dip in the share price of Tena lady any day soon.

It does beg the question does anyone actually want to be a fanny physiotherapist? I mean did that come up as an option in her careers lesson?

"Well Sir I'd actually like to poke about with ladies front bottoms and stop them involuntarily wetting themselves for a living".

So there you go! This part of the journey is at an end and a new one begins.

When I started this blog it was a record of my first year of motherhood at 40 and I nearly called it "The Diary of a Reluctant Mother" as I'd spend the first 35 or so years of my life convinced I wasn't mother material but as time went on I realised that I was anything but reluctant and in the end I love the boy and being his mum more than anything in the world.

So now the blog will evolve to Random Woman as a working mother and all the humour and randomness that will bring....

Jump onboard and come on the next part of the journey with me!

Now I'm sorted I won't even need to keep stopping for a wee.....