Busy bees….

Life has got rather busy of late.  We are having a sudden splurge on house sorting and last weekend on Fathers Day Steve suddenly decided to strip the paper from the hall, stairs and landing.  Not to mention he sorted out getting the garden finished, and found a fellow from church to finish the levelling and lay a patio.  Not to mention he went out and bought a patio, hired a cement mixer and has got everything sorted.  I can’t believe it really, but am very happy that it will be on the way to being finished this month.

In other news England are out of the world cup.  Steve was disappointed as he quite likes the football matches (not that he follows club football at all).  He cannot wait for Joel to be old enough to appreciate it and collect the sticker albums and things.  With it being in Brazil this year the matches are all on rather late for three year olds.  There was one match on at 8pm and it was a Thursday.  I know that Joel is always very tired on a Thursday after two days at nursery and this thursday was no exception, but Steve got him to stay up which ended in tears and a cross Steve that he didn’t have a football buddy yet.  It’s nice that he wants to hang out with Joel but he’s trying to make him grow up too soon!

And I think he’s totally toilet trained now 🙂  He has been dry at night for a while but on waking up, because he had a pull up on, doing a wee first thing rather than going to the toilet.  I bit the bullet last night and put him to bed in pants and ta da!  Knowing he couldn’t do it in a nappy meant he had to go to the toilet!  Hurray!

His chicken pox last month seems to have scarred him which I’m a bit upset about.  He has red marks on his cheeks, over his body and the pock marks around his eyes and forehead.  I hope that they fade.  Josiah has managed to escape it, so I guess there is something in the breast feeding immunity thing.

We are planning Josiah’s dedication for a couple of weeks time and I have ordered a cake, balloons and sent out invites this time.

Life has got busy and blogging is taking a back seat!



Well, I fell at the last hurdle!

Blog every day in May ended on the 29th for me!  With coming home from holiday and an injured dog and all hte other stuff I just didn’t get around to the last two blogs!  And to be honest, it’s been nice having a long break!!

Anyway, our holiday was nice.  I guess that life carries on as normal on a toddler holiday as it would at home, you’re just elsewhere!  You still have the early starts and disturbed nights and you have to make more of an effort when you’re with parents and siblings!! We have another family holiday now in August but are determined to have a holiday just the four of us next year.  I was hoping to book something for us this year, but Steve can’t take more time off work.   We will have a weekend in July with our church though which should be nice.  And I have a sneaky plan to tempt him to Centreparcs in the Autumn so we’ll have to see!

Anyway, here’s a few holiday pictures:

photo 5 (17) photo 4 (24) photo 3 (32) photo 2 (35) photo 5 (16) photo 4 (23) photo 3 (31) photo 2 (34) photo 1 (34) photo 5 (15) photo 4 (22) photo 3 (30) photo 2 (33) photo 1 (33)

What else is news?  We bought a new car!  A VW Passat Estate.  I collected it on the Friday morning before going on holiday and we packed it up and headed off the next morning 🙂  It drives like a dream and feels like a proper grown up car!  Plus, with the Mazda being taxed and MOT’d for a year we’re keeping it for now whilst I’m on maternity leave so I can use it as a run around.  Which has given me such a feeling of freedom 🙂  I’ve booked Josiah onto a baby sensory class in Stone and we drive there every Wednesday and I’ve got an annual pass for Trentham Gardens using Tesco clubcard vouchers and we’ve been three times already for sunny picnics and fun in the park.  With the summer looming in front of us whilst I’m on maternity leave it feels wonderful to be able to go out and enjoy it.  And even once I’m back at work three days a week I think we’ll keep visiting Trentham on a Friday or Monday as it’s been lovely having quality time with Joel.   We are big picnic fans at the moment!  It’s ironic that on Monday when we had horrendous thunderstorms I got in the car to go to toddler group and the battery was flat!  There was no way I was walking in that so we stayed in instead and jump started the car later on.  It’s been fine since.  Steve thinks I left an internal light on.  Hmm.  We’ll never know.

Josiah has discovered rolling onto his side and delights in wriggling about.  He spent his first two sensory sessions on his side looking at other mums whilst I was trying to sing at him!!  He has also developed a terrible excema rash which we went to the Dr with last week.  It started on his chest and quickly spread all over his torso, back, face, neck and down his legs.  He keeps scratching himself so I’ve had to put mitts on him and we are trialling a weak steroid ointment on him at the moment.   He keeps smiling though but it’s awful when you can’t really do much for them and he’s obviously bothered by it.  The heatwave at the moment doesn’t help either.  Joel had mild excema as well as a baby and has grown out of it so I really hope Josiah’s goes too.

And on the house front Steve has surprised me by organising the garden to be sorted.  There’s a fellow at church who is out of work at the moment but volunteering with the BHF, and he can do patios.  So Steve booked him and he came today to begin levelling the garden for turfing, and he will break up the rubble to set the patio, and sort the front garden out to park two cars out the front so the Mazda can get off the road!  And he has stripped the wallpaper off the hall, stairs and landing!  I don’t quite know where regular, non handy Steve has gone, but this one is pretty useful!

We have picked a patio set from a local place and have just got to measure up and order it.  It should be sorted within a couple of weeks as long as this fellow from church keeps at it!  He’s really helping us out as well and not charging a lot at all.  Which obviously pleases Steve a lot.  So the last projects which are a couple of months behind my original plan are now underway and then we can have a breather before contemplating an extension!

obviously work is also looming in the far distance.  We’ve decided I’ll be off for the year and return on the 26th January.  Next year is a much nicer thing to think and well after Christmas too.  We’ll just have to really tighten our belts and have a homemade Christmas as we’ll have very little spare money.    I should start researching ideas for gifts and things, although I’ve already been picking a few bargains up here and there.  Josiah is sorted and most of Steve’s family.

Right, there is still a very awake three year old and at 20.10 that’s too late, so I’m going to have to sit with him until he falls asleep as Steve is stripping the paper which is distracting him quite a bit.

Tally ho and nighty night!!

So that’s a little summary of life at the moment.

Little Amendment

I thought the dining room was looking a little bland and envisaged a striped paper on the chimney breast in duck egg and blue to match the colours in there.

Lo and behold a brand new wallpaper in the perfect colours was half price in Laura Ashley!


I love it! Next step the flooring!!

Bye bye Pink Bedroom!

It has been a while since I’ve reported on our house decoration!

And that’s because it’s hard to think about decorating with a new born baby!!  Ha!

But yesterday my lovely Dad came round to help remove the three shades of pink that was our bedroom.

photo 1 (25) photo 1 (26)

I started to help but that was with Joss being asleep.  He soon woke, and needed a nappy change, a feed, dressing, a bath and hair wash (due to the oil all over him) and then we nipped out to get his hand and foot prints taken in clay.  We’d had Joel’s done at 8 weeks and therefore I felt we had to have Josiah’s done the same!  It’ll look lovely when finished and I think I’ll hang them in the dining room.

Then it was back to it and more stripping.  Then I made us pizza for lunch with salad (leftover really from the previous nightmare Tesco shopping trip of yester post) and my work colleague popped round with some large round cake tins!  A lady at work had seen my facebook plea for something over 9inches and had responded!  Yay!  So I sat and chatted for an hour whilst my Dad carried on without me.   Then he asked what paper I’d got, and the answer was I hadn’t!  So off to B&Q I went to return a towel holder, but that had gone over the 45 day return thing, so I got a credit note.  I bought more lining paper, wallpaper paste, filler and a pot of paint.  I didn’t like any of their wallpapers so went to Laura Ashley instead who were having a sale.

I’d decided on a shimmery but neutral white paper for one wall and the paint colour is Jasmine white so Steve is going to get his white walls, and then I think I fancy a nice blue floral/stripe duvet and curtains.  I think.   I’m still not entirely sure, but blue and white feels clean and relaxing to me at the moment.  Still, anything will go with the white paper and walls so I will head to Dunelm Mill to see what they have in after payday I think.  I didn’t like any of the Laura Ashley sets and they were very expensive indeed.  And by the time I got back, my Dad had removed all the wallpaper.  We’re hoping to put the new paper up tomorrow and then paint at the weekend 🙂

I have also been looking for some new furniture as nothing in our room matches at all.  One wardrobe came from my Grandma’s house, one from my sisters and I have a very cheap Ikea chest of drawers.  We can’t really afford expensive furniture, but we could go a bit more high end from Ikea now!!  I think some white wardrobes, bedside tables and a chest of drawers would do.  And a full length mirror as I don’t have one upstairs so never really know what I look like at the moment!!  I could sort all that for under £1000 so am saving towards that now.

With Joel’s room done, the nursery done and the bathroom done, once our room is sorted we can then think about hall, stairs and landing and a new front door!  Oh, and the garden which my mother in law assures me, Steve’s Dad can sort in three days!  I’m not sure he wants that level of a project whilst they’re here next week, but something has to be done in order for the climbing frame to be assembled in time for Joel’s birthday!  And Steve wouldn’t let me book the professionals to do it, (all of whom said it would be a week’s work for two men plus a mini digger!!) so it’ll be all hands on deck and I really hope that the sun shines all next week!!


I don’t know what men think sometimes at all.   Or in fact, ever!  And they think we women are hard to work out.

Take this morning for example.

I woke at 4.30am with painful hips, ribs and pelvis.  I lay in bed until I just had to get up to ease the weight on my sides and went downstairs.   I was hungry so had some cereal and a cup of tea then worried that I hadn’t felt much baby movement over the past day.  I watched a few episodes of ‘The Good Wife’ to distract myself and try to monitor movement before feeling so tired again by 8am when I heard Joel up and about.  He’d been into Steve in bed who hadn’t woken up.  I got Steve up to sort Joel out and gave him clothes to dress Joel in, told him to sort breakfast and went back to bed.  I slept well and woke at 9.40.

Then I found Steve had done nothing all morning.  He’d laid on the sofa to doze some more, hadn’t dressed Joel, hadn’t tidied, hadn’t washed up or walked the dog (all things I would have normally done on getting up under regular circumstances).   He was due to manage the sound desk at church and had to be there for 10am but needed a shower.  By 9.40 he was in the shower and at 10.10am he left the house to go and set up the sound equipment for a service which begins at 10.30am and is meant to be having sound checks by 10.10!!!

His parting comment was ‘I refuse to rush on a Sunday’.   Well, had he actually got himself sorted when he first got up, there would be no rushing and as a result he was very rushed but just didn’t care.  I don’t get how he can’t see things that need doing.  I would love, just once to come downstairs after having had a lie in (which doesn’t happen all that often, but at the moment my sleep is so bad I’m being a lot more forceful about it!!) and find he’s sorted all the chores which are now waiting and looking at me 😦

The other issue is the baby movement.  I had another cup of tea and the heat of it seems to have caused some wiggling.  I noticed in the bath last night that my tummy was lurching to the right rather than the left and I was getting little brushy strokes on the left side so I wonder whether baby has moved down and twisted sides.  That would explain why things feel a bit different today.  As long as he’s not gone breech or turned back up i guess its all ok.   I will keep checking today though and call the delivery suite if I’m worried by lunchtime.  Right now I’m trying to rest and relax for a quiet morning whilst Steve has Joel at church.  No doubt he’ll be using me as an excuse as to why he’s late and add extra drama 😦

My other gripe about Steve stems from the argument over tiles we had at Christmas where he berated me over buying bathroom tiles.   I had the final bathroom invoice from the builders the day after I’d enjoyed my first bubble bath in our lovely bathroom and I was so relaxed and happy for one evening.  Plus my best friend from school who has been trying to get pregnant for over two years and has just had her first bout of ivf rang to tell me she was 13 weeks pregnant and it had worked first go which has a 33% chance of success!!!  I was over the moon for them!

Anyway, the bill came in and they’d added an extra £1400 to it!!!!  I opened the email and instantly felt sick.   Getting money out of Steve for house things is difficult enough and I just thought Steve would flip out and have a go at me about it.  He had a busy work day on Friday so I didn’t tell him straight away as I thought he’d be better off focusing on his new client and filming his awards ceremony that evening.   He had a good day and I had a privately stressy one wondering how we’d get the money, how they could add extra on like that without discussing it first, whether it was my fault, and pretty much feeling wretched all day.  Steve had really seemed to like these builders and had asked them for quotes on the garden jobs and widening our drive and rebuilding the wall and I saw these things disappearing away, never to be done as Steve seems to have to know who is doing the jobs and develop a sense of trust with them before being happy about paying them!!!

Anyway, Steve got back about midnight and I’d tried to sleep but just couldn’t switch off so sat up and waited for him to get in.  I had looked online and the law was totally on our side about it as they’d given us a written quote of £2498 for the job.  They’d even asked for an advance midway through so we’d paid them £1100 to help them out with their cash flow and I had the remaining £1400 ready to pay them on completion.   And at no point had they discussed adding that much to our bill, they hadn’t mentioned extra costs at all and I’d assumed because it was all specified individually in our quote it was covered under that.

I was terrified Steve would get crazy cross again and we’d fall out and it would be as bad as the tile argument at Christmas.  But for some reason I still can’t really fathom he was fine about it.  He said he’d call them up on Monday and discuss it with them.  He didn’t seem to mind whereas I was really cross with them and felt taken advantage of.  I guess he just put his business head on and negotiating is something he’s good at.  He told me off for stressing and asked why I was so upset over it.  How he can be ok over £1400 and flip out over £70 (when he doesn’t even know how much tiles cost and hadn’t measured the space requiring tiling) I don’t know.  (He still thinks he’s right over that argument whereas I know he’s totally wrong, but we’ve moved on!).

So I get to leave it to him to sort out.  I’m not so silly as to think there wouldn’t be hidden charges.  The builder fitted the door for us, and had to buy little bits here and there, so we were expected a couple of hundred more at least to the original quote.  That’s normal and to be expected, but £1400 is a lot of money we don’t have to hand and was a nasty surprise.

So that is where things are at.   I’m feeling very ‘argh’ about it all.   Baby worries, getting fed up being so heavy, not sleeping, being tired and grumpy and tearful all the time isn’t good.    Builders invoices.  House needs tidying and I have no energy or inclination to do anything about it.  I feel like being a hermit and don’t want to go out or see anyone.   As I missed church last week Mum got inundated with questions as to how I was, and I just don’t want to have to keep repeating myself that I’m weary and achey.  So it’s just easier to stay in.  Then I ache if I stand and ache if I sit, ache if I lie down.

The only positive is that during this typing baby is wiggling away again which is reassuring.  But right in my ribs again which is uncomfortable.

9 days until my due date.  Please make a move soon baby.  Please please please.   I want to feel back to myself again!!

Bathroom Completion!!

I think its now safe to say that our bathroom has been done!  We have a working shower, bath, sink and toilet, and how I have missed these things!!  Steve is in the bath now as he apparently has been converted from showers.   I don’t think that’s a good thing as he spends at least an hour with his lap top all set up on a pile of stools and boxes and lies in the bath to watch a film.   It means the bathroom is closed off for ages.   He used to spend a long time in the shower anyway, but his bath time is ridiculous.

Anyway, here’s the before just as a reminder:

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And the shiny new:

photo 4 (6) photo 3 (14)


It looks so much brighter and fresher in there and I love the look of the shower with it’s big rain head and hand held bit too.  The mosaic border just breaks up the white tiles but keeps it simple, and I think it’s classic but contemporary which is in keeping with the age and style of the house.

Considering how begrudging Steve was, and how little he actually contributed in any decisions or help on organising (other than providing some money for it) he has agreed that it’s been a job well done and it needed doing.  He does this every time.   Fights and grumbles and makes a massive deal out of something then is happy once its done and acknowledges that it’s good.  I wish he could just accept from the outset that it’ll be good and worthwhile and not argue about it so much.  He even seems happy with the amount of money we’ve spent on it.  Maybe he’s done what I suggested and talked to his colleagues about their bathroom costs to see that we’ve actually had a very good deal.

My next mission is to get him to agree that the garden needs making over in time for the summer.  This one is a bit harder as Steve cares nothing for gardens.  He’s said he doesn’t want to put any money into it, as he does not see it as a worthwhile investment.  He said he would never mow the lawn or tend to anything and is being very resistant to my very simple plans to make it Joel safe and friendly.   He feels that his garden growing up was an unkempt mudpit and it did him no harm.   His mum doesn’t agree, and isn’t sure why he feels that way but I’m not happy with how things are now.  It’s a big mess and we cleared it in order to progress so progress we shall.  I just need to keep working on him when he’s in a good mood.

But at least the bathroom is done and I can invite people over and not be embarrassed at the state of it now.  The builders are back tomorrow to fit the door and tighten some bits on the towel rail.  I need to buy a new bath mat to match as Steve tipped the old one which matched all my towels (maybe a few new towels are required to match the new bath mat too) and then it will be done.


Bathroom Progress………

This is the end of day two….

photo 3 (11)

The bath has gone and a stud wall is being fitted at the shower end for pipes to sit behind it for our new shower and to hide the previous bad boxing in.

photo 2 (11) photo 1 (12)

Pregnancy brain struck yesterday when the builder asked if I could do without a sink upstairs and I thought he meant forever when of course he meant for a couple of nights.  My face must have said it all as he said he’d sort it out and leave it, but all day I wondered why on earth they thought we wouldn’t need a sink upstairs until my Dad said it would only have been till the new one could be fitted.  I felt like a very foolish girl indeed.   It really hadn’t clicked with me!!  Doh.

This is the end of day three with waterproof plasterboard going over the walls to be tiled along the showerbath and toilet and the other walls will be plastered and painted with a tile splashback behind the sink.    And we now have electrical cables in the ceiling ready for a new extractor fan and posh lighting!!

photo 3 (12) photo 2 (13) photo 1 (14)

We now have our lino flooring and taps all delivered too so everything is here and ready to go!

It won’t be finished by the weekend though for sure.   They’ve worked on it for three days so far, and have encountered a few more issues with the previous fellow’s DIY efforts such as pipes held together with putty and all manner of things!!  It reassures me that it’s worth having it done properly this time as they can’t understand how we’ve not had dreadful leaks so far!!  And we’ll know that they’re doing a good job and things will last.  In a way it’s good that the bathroom was so awful and needed doing to our exact specifications as if you move into a house where it’s ok and not worth updating and something you can live with its not quite what you want for many years.

Anyway, we’re having to get by with just a sink and loo and go to my parents for showers and baths, which reminds me, I need to go this afternoon to wash my hair and shower and take my wash bag!!  It’s a pain, but will be worth it.  I just hope it’s all finished this week now.  I don’t want it hanging into next weekend too!!