Time to blog….

It’s been an absolute age.  I just have not had the time or inclination to sit down and write for this blog recently.

What have I been doing for the last month?

Well, I am setting up a new music group for kiddies in my town.  I have bought a franchise called Moo Music and it’s something I feel I can really behind and endorse.  There are 100 original children’s songs, characters, a farmyard theme and I’ve been setting up two Monday morning sessions at a town centre church.  I began with free taster sessions in half term which were well attended and seemed to go down quite well.  13 of the mums said they’d return.  I set my hopes at 8.  One of them emailed me immediately to say that they’d loved it but would prefer a baby session.  She said she could bring a couple of friends with her and the church preferred to rent their hall for two hours minimum so I decided to go for an all age session to start with and a baby session afterwards.

Last week I was very nervous to see if anyone would turn up.  People had said they’d pay directly into my bank account but no one had!  So I went along and there was one mum and child at 9.39 (I begin at 9.40) and so we started with me feeling a bit deflated and then two more came along a bit late.  The same happened this week but newcomers are as good a chance to sign up so I’m just working on boosting numbers for that session.  My BabyMoo session however is going well.  I have five mums who have all signed up for this half term and it’s a nice little group.

Last week at the all age session two new mums came along with two incredibly wild children who didn’t sit, engage or anything helpful, just ran about scaring the one baby (who has now changed to babymoo!) and causing chaos.  I was almost pleased that they didn’t come this morning.  Instead I had a new mum with her son who had picked up the songs quickly, and joined in beautifully!

I am going back to my day job next month so can’t really do as much with Moo Music as I’d like right now.  But building up a couple of groups will do for now.  if the opportunity for voluntary redundancy comes along I will take it and then look at extra groups in pre schools and nurseries.  I’m really excited at the prospect of a change.  I know I don’t want to commute to work so when my office closes next year and Joel begins school I want to be the one to collect him every day.  And I’m looking forward to creating that opportunity for myself.

Facebook Cover Photo

Off the Wagon

This week, I’m feeling a bit like the weather. Bleurgh.

Work is stressy. I’m not sleeping well again and to top it all off, Aunt Flo woke me up at 5am this morning. I tried to tiptoe to the bathroom like a mouse but Joel was obviously awake as well and shouted ‘Mama’ so I popped in to see him and his nappy smelt funny.

I checked him, and he hadn’t pooped, but it was full to bursting and smelt really strong (sorry, tmi1!) so I think he must be teething again as his urine gets very potent!!

I sat him in my bed next to a sleeping Steve and he snuggled down, and I nipped off to the loo to sort myself out.

When I got upstairs he was clambering all over Steve to try and reach his i-phone and Steve was either pretending to be asleep or actually in a very deep sleep, and I got into bed and Joel snuggled into my arms and we cuddled for an hour until Steve got up for his breakfast meeting. Neither of us slept. Steve had set 3 alarms to all of which Joel shouted ‘uh oh’ when they went off, but when he did finally get up, he brought me a cup of tea in bed which was nice, and I got up and ready whilst Joel played on the i pad.

And we walked to work in the freezing cold, and then it began to snow. Great.

And now my day is stressy still, so I’m consoling myself with a BIG bag of quavers, and a terry’s chocolate orange bar.

Bye bye diet. It was nice whilst it lasted. 😦

Friday Feeling

I’m so glad its Friday.

Mainly because Joel has been getting up within the hour of 5am every day this week. I’ve been trying to get to bed by 10pm to compensate, but I’d love to just be able to sleep in till past 7, or even 8 at a push!! I’ll get a lie in tomorrow and Steve will get up with him. I’ve been insisting on a Saturday morning lie in for a while and I look forward to it.

It’s been a nice week. Work has been busy but that made the days go quickly. Joel has been fun to play with of an evening, although getting him up and out in the morning is getting more stressful!

I try to put his coat on him and he flops down like cooked spaghetti and shouts ‘no mama, no mama’. Once he’s in the buggy it’s fine. Noonie and thumb go in and he’s happy for the walk to nursery or my parents. In the evening, we’ve been going up to bed and he’s had a bit of play time in his room. We don’t have the space for all his toys downstairs anymore, so it’s nice for him to have some variety upstairs. Last night, we spent an hour playing with his wooden ark set. We stood the animals in line and knocked them down like dominoes. We picked out the pairs of animals and he could identify the elephant, giraffe, bear but struggled with the rhino!! He also likes making Mr and Mrs Noah interact.

He then didn’t go to sleep till 8pm. He went in his cot at 7.40 but played with Violet his Puppy Pal and a book till gone 8.

I’m starting to wonder whether he needs to lose his lunch time nap. I love his nap time! It’s a bit of peace in a busy day for me, and some days I need a nap to. (I think today will be one of them). but if he’s waking up earlier and going to sleep later I guess it’s something to consider.

We’ve not got a lot of plans this weekend. I know Steve wants to take him to a Wacky Warehouse, but I worry about other kids being too rough as Joel isn’t used to rough play. We’ll see. The main thing is that I get my lie in tomorrow!

Winter Wonderland….

It’s lovely that Joel has experienced the snow.  I did think he wouldn’t this winter at all!  He seems to like wandering about in it but not touching it (and who can blame him as its really cold!) and he’s enjoyed he little sledge we bought him.  His all in one padded suit is getting lots of wear too…


On Saturday we went up to the Uni in the morning as it was all lovely fresh snow and gentle hills. Steve tried diving down the hills, and running about with Joel in the sledge, but he took a corner too sharply and Joel toppled out, face first in the snow. He did not like it. It was cold and he cried and wouldn’t go in the sledge again. So we walked round and about, down to the Tech park so Steve could go down steeper hills, and walked back again.




And we even made a snow lump (I can’t call it a snowman as it’s too little)…


We went to toddler group yesterday morning and it had been said on the Facebook group to take your sledge, so rather than walk or wrestle with the buggy, he sat on the sledge, held his nappy bag and was dragged there instead! It’s not far, and he seemed to enjoy it! Mummy goes slower and Joel likes it!!

And now I’m back at work in line for a hectic week. Mondays are like my Sunday nights where I feel blue about going into the office. It’s not too bad when I’m here, but yesterday afternoon me and Joel had fun getting all his toys out.

We played trains and built a Brio train track. We aquadoodled. We coloured in a picture book. We raced cars. We jumped on sofa cushions put on the floor. We did puzzles (although I think he find them too easy now so have bought some more difficult ones for him). And then we had tea and a bath before Daddy came home which was an extra long and splashy one.

I felt like a great old fashioned housewife as well, as you know I mentioned my old Mamas and Papas Rubix buggy had got mildewy? Well, my Dettol mildew remover arrived and I set to work during Joel’s nap. I sprayed, and soaked, then rinsed in the machine and most of it came out but for two spots. So I repeated the process, and rinsed again in the machine and bingo….. good as new! I’m so chuffed. Once dry, I’ll keep the fabric bits indoors and won’t risk the shed ever again. I’ve learnt my lesson.

I also washed the inside of the washing machine (with a cleaning product thing) and made a chicken curry in my slow cooker. The slow cooker is booked for lots of use this week. Tonight I’ll be getting home to beef and ale casserole, tomorrow will be sausage and bean casserole and Thursday will be chicken in red wine sauce. So easy, and quick and all counts to help towards weight loss.

I lost another 1/2 lb last week. It’s not much, I don’t seem able to go more than 1lb a week, but if I can get my club 10 by Easter (have lost 10% of my body weight) I’ll be pleased. It’s a very slow process.  Because I have to eat!  I can’t do small portions as it’s cold and I’m hungry!

Oh, and the other news is that Joel didn’t have a chest infection at all.  We went back to the Dr’s on Friday as the antibiotics didn’t seem to have touched his wheeze, and were told it could be an asthma instead.  So he had steroids all weekend and had to go back Monday to see the same doctor again.  And there was a vast improevment.  So he’s now got a steroid inhaler just like Mummy.  My chest has been wheezing more and I’ve developed a hacking cough too, so I’ve had to have one as well.  If I can avoid bronchitis again I’d be pleased.  I can’t be signed off at the moment from work, it’s too busy.  And they’re short staffed as it is.

But I am glad to be doing three days only.  Part time is lovely.

I wonder if the snow will be here on Friday still.  Jingle bells, jingle bells……

The Official Santa Visit……

Well. I have only two days left of work this week as I’m off on Thursday to pack our suitcases and go out for my office Christmas lunch! Thank you flexible working!! I love you.

So that is exciting. We’re heading down to Exeter for a few days to see Steve’s family and driving back on Christmas Eve (I’m hoping the traffic is kind to us!) in time for carols by Candlelight at Church.

On Friday, after hearing him cough a lot we booked in at the doctors and I was glad I did, as he had a chest infection, so had antibiotics and another inhaler. We had a nice morning on Friday, with some mooching, playing, and Steve and I went for a lunch do, leaving Joel at my parents!! (Oh, and we also went to weigh in and I’d lost 1 1/2 lbs so still not a lot!)

We had a lovely weekend with a visit to the Shugborough Christmas Fayre on Saturday. I have to admit feeling a little disappointed. I was expecting more! The website talked about a walk int he gardens which was nice (and they couldn’t help the rain!), a live nativity scene (two very dodgy dummies, a doll and two smelly sheep!!) show showers (a snow machine blowing out shaving foam), craft activities (balloon man wasn’t there when we went and Joel didn’t want to make a card), and a visit to the Big Man himself (queued for an hour getting hotter and trying to keep Joel happy).

So it wasn’t quite the picture perfect moment I’d hoped for, but that’s life! Joel enjoyed bits of it, and was too hot and bothered to be happy with meeting Santa, especially as Steve filmed it on his iphone (rather than getting a photo grr) and he wanted the phone and screamed when he saw it. He waved bye bye quite happily though and said thankyou for his present.

So we went home for Sausage and mash tea, which he ate all up! Including potato! I don’t know what we did any different to normal, and were trying to not be over excited and make a scene, but he ate potato!!! I was so happy! And two sausages!! He was hungry!

And I can’t wait for Christmas! I’ve got him a little Charley Bear toy to go in his stocking, and it’s all ready to put together. He’s had a few presents from various Santa’s he’s met and he’s wanted to open them, so he knows what he’s doing.

We’re stopping at my parents now for Christmas lunch which will be nice. Not that going to my sisters wouldn’t have been nice, but it’s less driving for us! And I shall have a glass (or two) of wine with lunch.

And it’ll soon be a new year, so lets see what it brings!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you have a joyful and festive time, wherever you are, and however you celebrate! 🙂

I realise this sounds as though I’m done posting for Christmas, but I’m sure I’ll get on at some point. It’s still hard being laptopless, (hint hint Santa!!)

Our First Part Time Day

So, yesterday was my first day as a part timer!

It was nice to wake up and not have to rush to get ready, so we had a leisurely start with just toast for breakfast after our weekend of poorliness.

We took Izzy for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine and to play with her ball launcher round the woods nearby, and then walked her home again to carry onto a toddler group which takes place in the church hall near me.  We’ve not visited this one before, mainly because when I was on maternity leave, we were out every day, except Monday, and that was our lazy day!

However, now that Monday is a special Mummy and Joel day, we want to make the most of it, so off we went.  It started at 10, and we got there to see lots of Mums and toddlers.  There were lots of toys out so after a bout of initial shyness, Joel toddled off to play.  He loved the coupe car, and kept just sitting in it, and waving and then getting out.  He didn’t quite get the concept of moving his feet to go forwards.

There was a craft activity of making a firework picture, so we glued shapes onto black paper and used chalk to make fireworks. We had a snack time.  Parents are all asked to bring a piece of fruit to share, which is then chopped up, and parents have tea and biscuits.  Then it was story and singing time by which time Joel was getting very sleepy indeed, and his head began to loll on my shoulder as he’d wanted to be picked up.

We got home and I sat him on the sofa and within five minutes, the second I looked away to serve up his spaghetti on toast (with beaten egg and grated cheese mixed in, yummy and nutritious!!) he was asleep!!  So up he went to his cot for a good 2 hour nap, and I ate his lunch, and saved him some for when he woke, tided the kitchen, did a load of laundry and caught up with the finale of Downton Abbey, and had a general relax.

After lunch we visited the town library and tried going to the park, but he was a bit too tired, I guess not fully over his sickness bug, so we headed home and played with his toys instead, piling them up into colours.  I don’t think he gets colours yet.  But he can walk backwards now!!  And at one point, he pointed up to a shelf where we have a pot of bubbles and shouted ‘burb’, ‘burb’ so I got them down, he laughed his socks off, and ran to the front room shouting ‘zeeee’, ‘zeeee’, which was him calling the dog in to play as well, because Izzy loves bubbles too!  In  fact, he just watched her bounce and catch them all in her mouth, and that entertained him more than trying to pop them himself!

After tea which was rice, with chicken and brocolli and fully rejected, we had cuddles on the sofa reading our new library books before Daddy got in.  Then after a short play time, Daddy had to go out, which reduced Joel to inconsolable sobs.  Mummy just wasn’t the same as Daddy and it took him a while to go to sleep.  Joel loves his Daddy time, so Daddy won’t be going out tonight, and will be on bedtime duty, to wrestle, and play and read stories!  Which will be a nice break for Mummy too!!

The Entertainer

I’ve been so busy fixating on going part time, that its only really hitting me this week that it’s actually happening, and I’m going to need to entertain a boistrous toddler for two whole days a week on my own!  It’s not going to be easy, and it will probably be more tiring than being at work, but it’ll be quality time for us, and I’m a bit worried to be honest I won’t be good enough at it!

I know that’s a bit silly, but it is something on my mind.  I shall have to start looking at structures of days, and get ideas for trips out and places to go and things to do.  Dry day plans and wet weather plans.  It’s going to be a challenge, but I did it before going back to work, so I’ve just got to get back into that mode again!

Bank Holiday and Other Stuff

I’m really missing my laptop and I’m not updating this as often as I should.

Joel is a little comedian at the moment.  He has real comic timing and loves to tease us with his cheeky smile!  He finds it hilarious to feed us his food and sometimes offers it and then whips it away and eats himself whilst laughing at us!

He’s getting good at communicating with us.  He nods yes and no when asked a question and seems to have a good understanding of what we say.

His eating had been a little bit picky but he’s got better recently.  He seems to love green French beans, quiche and corn on the cob this week!  I made roasted corn and having cut it from the cob for Joel’s plate, he saw me eating it and wanted to try it that way and liked it!

His walking is brilliant now.  He has no trouble with corners or bending down to pick things up.  It’s as though he waited until he could do it properly rather than have an inbetween stage!

The other good news is that work have agreed I can go part time from October.  I’ll be working three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and the Faculty Management Team have approved it too.  It just has to go to executive first for the final decision.  I can’t see it being turned down though.  I can’t wait.

I was ill again last week with another lurgy which means I’ve had too many sick days this year already and I’ve only been back at work for 5 months.  Hopefully being part time will be less stressful.  Joel will be going to nursery on a Wednesday and Thursday and my parents on a Tuesday.  I then will have him on a Monday and a Friday.  It’s exciting to think we can plan some activities.  We had a card through the door advertising Tumbletots and Steve thinks I should take him there!  I’d like to take him to Waterbabies to learn to swim but it’s expensive.  We’ll have to look into it.

We’ve been down to Exeter for the Bank Holiday and we had a nice time.  On Saturday I had the day to myself and went to a hairdressers for a major cut, and got some shopping done for work clothes as I don’t have many clothes for work in winter.  It was nice to have some me time, knowing Steve’s parents were happy to be entertaining Joel!  In the evening, Steve and I went out for dinner with Steve’s brother and sister-in-law.

On the Sunday we went out on their boat at Teignmouth which was fun but scary as it’s a power boat thing, and you sit on the edge and bump across the sea.  How I didn’t fall in I don’t know.  Joel loved sitting on the beach and digging whilst watching all the kids and folk in the sea.

We also discussed Christmas plans as I’d like to be at home for Christmas day so had thought if we went down before and drove home on christmas Eve it would mean we get Christmas week in Stafford which is easier for us and we get to go to our Church.  It seems early to be thinking about it, but it’s September soon!!

So Joel is 16 months old now and a proper little toddler.  He’s brilliant and we love him so much!!  It’s amazing to see what will happen next!  he’s learning so much all the time.

Slap In The Face

Friday made me grumpy.
You know how I keep moaning about having to work full time at the moment. (I am sorry for sounding whingy but it is what it is). I know I could resign, but that would mean I’d have no job. And I’m not someone who would give up a job without having another ready and waiting. And the current job climate is against me.

Anyway, I’m getting off the point.

My work colleague currently on maternity leave has been restructured into a different Faculty (our workplace is undergoing a big change from 6 Faculties to 4 meaning loss of jobs) and she has new managers.
Two weeks ago she wrote asking to go part time. Last week she heard that it was all approved and ok!

Just like that. Kind of like the way it’s meant to be.

It took 5 months for me to get my request turned down. Twice.

I was so upset. Not for her of course. I’m glad she’s got what she wanted. But it just smacks of inequality and unfairness and unjustness and everything else like that.

I cried (again) as it just feels as though I have had to miss out on Joel, and I’ll never get this time back again. And it totally is down to who the manager is. If my manager were a man, or a woman with a family I’ve no doubt I’d have been received with more sympathy. And for a workplace as large as this not having the same ethos in every office – tis shabby.
I’m on the warpath again. I’ve emailed personnel to say how disgruntled I am. I’m trying to find out whether they’ll accept an earlier request from me. And I’m going to ask to go part time rather than job share. I’d like 20 hours. I think it could and would work. I did it all their way last time and got nothing so this time I’m going to do it my way and ask for what I want. I tried to be as helpful as I could to no avail so I’m going to be grumpy about it and make so much fuss they’ll wish they’d accepted me last year!

Interview Hurrah!

Hey world!  I got an interview for the part time position.

And I’m rather chuffed as it was advertised externally so would have had a lot of applicants; (edit: 120 to be precise!!)

One hurdle down, one to go!

I’ve got butterflies again!