Festive Tidings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and a lot has happened! Christmas, illness, family visits etc….

Last week we trundled down to Exeter to stay with Steve’s family for a Christmas visit. He had wanted to go on the Thursday night once I was back from my office meal out, but I put my foot down and we headed off at 7.30am the next morning. And there was no traffic, the roads were dry, we could see scenery and got to Exeter with a happy Joel in time for lunch. His parents were pleased!! He went down for a nap in his cot there after lunch and we had a nice day!

On the Saturday, we went with them to a farm which puts on live nativity scenes where the children get to dress up and be in it too! Joel (and I) were innkeepers and he had to wear a furry hat and gilet which he wasn’t sure about but didn’t mind in the end. I got to wear a silly hat too. Yay.

It was a lovely little skit, with carols and all the animals were very good!! Except near the end, the sheep were just behind us and tried to eat a shepherds costume which made Joel cry!

After a hot drink and a mince pie it was time to visit Santa and Joel gave him a hi-5, and had a lovely little cow toy. We took a look around the site (as it’s somewhere to visit in the summer) and they have a baby bouncy castle, which he thought was very funny, and diggers in sandpits, and he had a lovely morning.

On Sunday I wasn’t feeling too well, so missed church, but we had Christmas dinner and then opened presents with all Steve’s family. Joel had an aquadoodle from his grandparents, some new clothes, an echoing microphone and some bubbles of the others.

Then on Monday I woke up and felt like death. We managed to get me into the doctors, and I had an upper respitory infection, so onto the anti biotics for me ūüė¶ I did not want to be ill for Christmas Day!! But it seemed inevitable.

We set off for home before lunch and Joel slept all the way home, I couldn’t sleep through feeling bleurgh, and on getting home I crashed out for 4 hours! I didn’t do anything. I’d meant to set up Joel’s brio train track but didn’t bother. I just about managed to stuff his stocking, and we threw the reindeer dust onto the path (porridge and glitter!!) and off to bed I went.

Christmas morning came, and Joel was awake about 6.30. So up we got, and opened his stocking in bed with us. It was really nice. He enjoyed opening his presents! In his stocking he got bubbles, a harmonica (which he can’t blow yet!)! stickers, a notebook, crayons, a DVD, books, and his Charley Bear. Steve got me a Thomas Sabo bracelet, and Joel got me a charm which was nice.

Joel in turn loved his little electric guitar toy and keyboard, and when my parents brought out a cosy coupe car he was ecstatic as he’s loved the one at toddler group, and he spent the rest of the afternoon trying to climb in and out of it whilst holding his guitar and bopping to the music!! My sister thought he was hilarious and very cute. My Mum had got him and Martha matching fleecey onsies, with In the Night Garden’ on them and they looked adorable.

We managed to have a good day, although Steve then came down with some lurgy and neither of us could eat much at all. And the rest of the week has been us off our food, tired and lethargic and just about feeling ready for work on Wednesday! Typical!! I shall plan to not be poorly next year.

And now it’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re staying in to watch a film together and have a bottle of bubbly to open, possibly before midnight!!

And for 2013, we’re hoping for a new house, and a new baby and good health. And although this year hasn’t been terrible, it could have been better! So come on 2013, let’s see what you have to bring.


Steve’s family came up for the weekend.¬†We had a lovely Friday, Steve was at work, and his younger brother was left with him to do some inputting (he’s fundraising for a trip to Malawi and we’re paying him some money for work he does for Steve), so Steve’s parents came to our house to see Joel.¬†

After a cup of tea (well, tea for me, and herbal stuff for them!!) we walked to town to show Joel the Christmas lights.  He liked them a lot and pointed, and cooed.


As it was quiet by 5pm, we let him out of the buggy and he ran around the town centre, and looked at the giant tree and the nativity set. 


Hello Bob

We’re telling him all about baby Jesus this year, and the Christmas story which is lovely.¬† We have a lovely Usbourne book with touchy feely bits that he’s liking ūüôā

We then took him to our favourite Indian restaurant, and we had poppadoms to start, with mango chutney, which he liked.  Then he had some rice with passanda sauce and a bit of naan bread for his main. 



He liked sitting on a chair on his own (albeit a bit low!) although we could tell when he was getting a bit tired.

On the Saturday we took him to the sensory room within our library and did a bit of shopping.¬† In the evening, Steve and I went to a party and were only out till 11pm, and on returning, found Joel to be awake, with tear marks.¬† Apparently he’d woken up quite upset, and had cried for 45 minutes (I wished that they’d rung me to ask me to come home) and wouldn’t settle, and had kept crying.¬† The most bothersome comment was that ‘it was becuase I’d not told Joel we were going out and Granny and Grandpa would be there instead’.¬†

He’s 19 months old, and if I’d said we were going out, I’m not sure he’d (a) understand, (b) understand and be upset, (c) forget after a sleep anyway

So I was upset after that, and he wouldn’t settle for ages, so we were all tired and grumpy on Sunday, Joel was extra pickley at Church, and I was stressed out and burst into tears at church as everything seemed to go wrong.¬†


So I had a little lie in on Monday which helped but Joel’s routine was all out of whack, which these visits seem to do to him.¬† So Christmas will be hectic as Steve is cross my work do is on Thursday 20th, as he wanted to go to Exeter that night, I’ll have all the packing to do, the last days of wrapping I won’t be at home for, and I’ll need to be super ready and prepared.¬† Christmas just isn’t relaxing when you have to travel with a baby for hours.¬† And it doesn’t help that Steve feels I’m keeping him from his family and home so Joel can have Christmas morning in his own home and go to his own church.¬†

I’m trying to find my peace and goodwill at the moment.


Do you remember before paddling pools, babies got put in washing up bowls on hot days?!
The tradition lives on.
This was last week in the hot spell by the way! ¬†We’ve not had better weather than the rest of the UK this week! ¬†It’s been grey and bleak so this is to remind us of what’s possible!!

Mystery Solved

So we’re away on a Cranston weekend, all residing at a huge posh house down near Salisbury with a couple who are Steve’s uncles friends who say ‘yah’ rather than ‘yeah’ and shop at Waitrose, (and they’re very lovely, I’m not judging, just commenting).

They have a Welsh springer called Baggins who was shut out for most of the weekend due to some family members not liking dogs (poor thing, his own home!) and there are three generations of Cranstons there on this reunion. ¬†It’s a big deal.

So on the Saturday we discover whilst bathing Joel that he has head lice.

What great timing.

Yesterday morning I visited Salisbury to call into a pharmacy (Boots was open) and bought two bottles.  One for me and Steve to use and one for Joel (suitable for over 6 months but under 2 years).

I just kept thinking that he’d got them from nursery. ¬†Turns out there’s another answer.

Wendy had been watching Steve’s youngest brother for any signs and when he scratched his head she borrowed my nit comb to have a delve on his head and triumphantly found one on closer inspection so he was dragged off for a proper comb and shampoo.

30 minutes later she came back down to say that he was likely the source. ¬†He was riddled. ¬†As he is 14 she said she hadn’t considered checking him for ages and hadn’t noticed how long he must have been scratching. ¬†She said she found thousands and his hair was moving. ¬†*shudder* ¬†She also asked me to not tell the other boys as he was very¬†sensitive¬†about it and didn’t want teasing. ¬†How he could not have noticed I don’t know. ¬†His head must have been irritated beyond belief.

It must have been at Joel’s party two weekends ago. ¬†He had held him for a photo, involving close heads. ¬†Give it a week and the eggs laid at that point must have hatched last weekend. ¬†I’d noticed Joel rubbing his head about Wednesday of last week but just thought he was rubbing his eyes and head in a general tired motion. ¬†We did find a bug in his hair last Wednesday afternoon but it was just the one and we removed it and presumed it to be something else as we couldn’t see properly that it was a louse. ¬†It seemed too big. ¬†That must have been the nasty big mama.

I feel horrible for not realising sooner. ¬†I feel horrible as my head is still itching today after everything and I’m going to have to use more lotion as I don’t feel clean. ¬†And I feel awful for possibly introducing the lice at his nursery and having to tell them tomorrow that we’ve had to douse Joel’s head in nit cream and comb. ¬†I can still see lots of eggs (nits) at the roots of his hair behind his ears which the comb missed as it’s not fine enough which should be killed anyway by the lotion but I don’t like them being there. ¬†I’m trying to go through his hair like a monkey but he won’t take much of it as it’s getting in the way of playing.

What a palava.


Joel was at my parents yesterday (they have him for two days a week) and after work I went to collect him.

I walked in, and my Mum and Dad were beaming. ¬†‘Watch what he can do’ said my Mum.

She pressed a button on his walker so it began to play a tune, and she, my Dad and Joel began to do a bizarre wiggle dance which looked a bit like the arm movement from Thriller!

It was a very funny moment, Joel was giggling, and wiggle dancing, probably feeling smug he could make his grandparents look foolish, and one I wish I could have recorded to watch over again!

Mixed Bag

So here we are.

My last week off with Joel. ¬†He’s actually at nursery today but I might collect him a bit earlier than normal. ¬†I’m technically on holiday at the moment having begun work on the 5th March but it’s nice to be paid to be at home!!

I’m not sure how I feel yet about everything. ¬†It’s all very strange to think that on Tuesday I’ll be heading back to the office. ¬†On Tuesday and Wednesday Joel will be going to my parents for the day and on Thursday he’ll be at nursery. ¬†I only have three days to work before the Easter holiday and we’re heading down to Kent for the weekend to see Steve’s family there.

So three days is not too bad is it? ¬†I’m sure I’ll be ok with that.

But then it’s not the going back to work that’s the issue. ¬†It’s the missing Joel and missing his cute face, and funny smiles, his first steps and just having a lovely time with him. ¬†It’ll be someone else having the lovely time with him. ¬†I’ll just have a photo on my desk to see him.

Is it worth it? ¬†I’m not sure. ¬†But I know he’ll be fine. ¬†He seems to really enjoy nursery and he loves my parents and playing at their house. ¬†And he’ll have tea and play time here after work. ¬†And there’s the walk to and from work we’ll have together.

I just wish that things had gone my way and that I’d been allowed to go part time. ¬†August is ages away and I can resubmit another application on the 24th. ¬†But I’m a full time worker until then at least. ¬†I don’t think they could turn me down a second time. ¬†That would be awful ūüė¶

I also hope I don’t get used to the extra money and being back at work. ¬†This month on getting my first pay slip in months I went out and bought a stroller (Maclaren Techno XT!) a new vacuum cleaner (as our old one gave up the ghost and we’ve had it fixed once already for ¬£35 and paying a second time for fixing is silly when a new one is only ¬£70) and I bought Steve a new outfit and myself and Joel a new outfit, and some eye cream. ¬†And that’s it for now! ¬†We’re going to use my wages to start some savings towards the house and for Joel’s future. ¬†It was nice to have a day of spending lots of money though. ¬†It’s been a while since I could. ¬†I’d also like to get a new toilet seat. ¬†Wild aren’t I!!

Anyway, this week is all about Joel and getting the most out of the time we have together and I’m enjoying every day,¬†especially¬†with this sunshine which feels as though it’s been sent to ensure we have a nice time together! ¬†And we have the weekend, and then Monday. ¬†We’ll do something special on Monday like visit a farm and look at baby animals! ¬†And I’ll treasure the memories.