Back At Work

Can you tell?  It’s been a very long while since I posted again hasn’t it.

I’m just finishing my third week today.  And life is busy busy busy.

My week currently looks like this:

Sunday – Church, lunch, family outing like a walk or something, Joel loves scooting about on his balance bike!  Tea, baths and bed for boys, Moo prep sorted (playlists and props) bed.

Monday – Up and at em, Joel to school, me to Moo, Josiah to my Mums.  Collect Joel from school, to my mum’s for lunch, then home for the afternoon.  Cook a couple of dinners to keep in fridge.  Make lunch, lay out clothes for next day.  Bed.

Tuesday – Up and at em, Joel to school, Josiah to nursery, me to work.  Lunch.  Parents collect Joel.  Home from work collecting Josiah on the way and then Joel.  Home to heat up dinner.  Bed.

Wednesday – Up and feeling tired!  Joel to school, Josiah to mums, me to work. Lunch. Parents collect Joel. Home from work collect both boys.  Dinner and bed.

Thursday – Up and miss alarm.  Joel to school, Josiah to nursery. Me to work. Lunch. Joel goes to nursery for the afternoon. I collect him and go home.  Dinner. Bed.

Friday – Pyjama day!  We relax!  Until I remember Joel still has school then panic and we all go out to get him there.  Then Josiah and I build towers, and he crawls to knock them over and we practise waving in the mirror and standing him up against the sofa.  Cup of tea later and its time to get Joel.  And it tends to rain at this time!  Then we have a quiet afternoon, maybe watch a film and have a bike ride (aka dog walk) and take away for tea as I can’t be bothered to cook any more.

Saturday – Family Day!  Except when Steve arranges to film a wedding, or go fishing in the Irish sea for the day!

On my first day back the Uni sent out an email offering managed severance.  I’m seriously considering taking it.  I know when the campus closes I am not going to be commuting there and back.  I feel I have another option now with my Moo Music business.  I’m not losing money.  I actually have made a tiny amount this term.  Paltry but getting better and it’s exciting.  I feel I have other things I’d rather be doing now.  Plus home life is wrecked as tidying is not getting done, laundry is taking over the house and it’s stressful trying to tell Steve 14 times that he has to pull his socks up more now.  He wanders about in a Steve world, where lights turn themselves off, curtains are opened by a magical fairy, the heating doesn’t need switching off because its free, his pants and socks pick themselves up off the floor and food miraculously appears in the fridge and on his plate.  At least it seems thats how things are for him!  I’m getting to a point of feeling that I don’t have time for work if he isn’t going to help out more.

On a child front Joel has loved his first term at school.  We had a wonderful rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ at the start of December with Joel as the mouse!  He’s been singing his songs all month and has made friends with one very special friend called Olly which is very cute.  He still comes out with such funny kidisms and I wish I could memorise them all but it’s an ‘in the moment’ moment!!

Josiah has settled at nursery remarkably quickly as well, I’m almost huffy about it if I’m honest!  He loves the girls in the baby room, and has started waving ‘bye bye’ and ‘hello’.  He is extremely mobile now too, and commando crawls for all he’s worth trying to get to where he shouldn’t be.  When I’m in the kitchen he is sat at the stair gate trying to break through and then turns and slithers to the front door and back!  He is a loud and shouty boy who loves watching his big brother and having a look at whatever he is doing!  I’m starting to hear ‘No Siah’ a lot coming from Joel!  (he calls him Siah and forgets the Jo part!!)

Joel is the perfect age for Christmas this year.  Every morning he looks for snow!  and we’ve been doing the elf on the shelf thing.  I’m having such a lot of fun with it too.  Joel really believes that Buttons McJingles is moving about and bringing him presents and having cheeky fun.  We’ve done a different thing each night and I’m almost sad he’ll be going back to the north pole on Christmas Eve.  Joel has loved having him.  Last night Buttons got the Ipad and took Elfie Selfies and Joel thought it was so funny he’d made it into the Ipad wallpaper!  We save the messy ones for the weekend when I have time to tidy up!  He’ll be messy in spaghetti tomorrow morning!

This year We are having a Christmas meal with my parents on Christmas Eve, then going to our Church service, home to our own beds and opening presents and stockings in the morning before going down to Exeter to have a late lunch with Steve’s family.  My parents are going to my sister in Nottingham on Christmas Day then my other sister in Wales on Boxing Day so they’re happy with that and we will be home on the 27th.  No idea what to do on New Years Eve yet.  It’s hard with two small children and I’m so tired still!  Josiah still wakes for a breast feed at least once a night, (although saying that it was after 6am this morning and he went through from 10pm so I think we’re turning a corner!).  He has 6 teeth now, the 6th came through after two awful nights.  I just wish I could have a memo or something saying ‘this is why your baby is screaming at you’ as in hindsight I’d have given him calpol.  Mind you, he hates calpol and would have refused it and spat it all over me.  Sticky stuff too!  😦

Anyway, that is a brief summary of where we’re at for this month!  I’m looking forward to having a break over Christmas, that is why I came back to work at this time of year, to get it over and done with.  And if I don’t get round to posting again soon, then I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a peaceful New Year 🙂

6 Weeks Off…….

For teachers!  And no playgroups or things to occupy us.  Not that I’m resentful against teachers at all!!  I know teachers deserve all the holidays they get, but they do leave a big gap to fill!!!   Joel has got to the stage where he really needs the extra stimulation.  It reassures me that pre-school will be good for him.  His last days at nursery are this week.  He has Wednesday and Thursday morning left.  He keeps saying he’s not sad and he wants to go to school!  On Thursday we are going to visit Steve’s grandparents in Kent for a couple of nights as they’ve not yet met Josiah so we’ll drop Joel off for the morning and take him away from everything he knows and loves.  I wonder whether I’ll be emotional.  Josiah will be starting after Christmas.  I guess it’s just growing up.

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Joel was a very cute boy this morning.  I passed him a t-shirt to put on and he said ‘oh, thanks Mummy.  Is this a new one?  It’s lovely’ and it made me laugh!!

Then we walked to the shops to go to the post office and we saw a new Thomas magazine, so we bought it and once home and Josiah was asleep we sat down to work through it with lots of counting, drawing numbers and sticking.  It’s a nice way of having some quality time with him.

Josiah now has two teeth.  We’ve had a couple of upset nights, mainly due to the nasty nappies he’s been producing every couple of hours, but they are through and they are little pearls!!  He’s trying hard to sit up, but throws himself forward too much.  He is such a happy baby and whereas Joel was always placid and good, if Josiah is happy he’s extremely happy.  If he’s grumpy he’s extremely grumpy and lets us know about it!  He takes things to the extreme!!  Walking back from the post office this morning he was just shouting, he loves the sound of his own voice and a fellow walking behind us commented on how loud he was!  I think this is a sign of things to come!!  🙂

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We are heading off on a holiday with my in-laws to a caravan in Wales next week so that will be a nice change, and we have a day out planned for my sister’s 10th wedding anniversary first at Portmerion where we’re having a sort of wedding breakfast meal!  I’ve bought a new dress which should be boob accessible and hope it’ll be ok.  Breast feeding is still going well.  Josiah doesn’t seem to want to start on solids yet.  We’ve tried a few different purees, and he just rejects them all apart from babyrice with expressed milk.  I think we’ll keep on with that for now, then we can have a go at baby led weaning in case its the mush and spoon he’s anti.  Although it is nice that I feel needed by him.  Joel began weaning, loved it and soon didn’t want breast milk either, so I’m hoping to go past 8 months with Josiah.

As we didn’t have any holiday plans just the four of us this year (at least none that worked out) we’ve booked a cheap break at Centreparcs for November.  I can’t believe how expensive the place is, but by going the week after half term the cost goes from £1000 for 4 nights to £350.  Plus we’re looking at an abroad holiday next year for us.  I quite fancy Greece.

So that’s a bit about where we’re at!  This blogging lark and entertaining two children of different ages is really taking its toll!




Last Push

We started the day off very cheery and bright.   Joel didn’t wake till after 7 which was nice for me.  And we had a leisurely start to the day before going up to my parents.  He got out of the buggy on the drive so he could walk down the path himself to the door.  My mum opened the door to a lovely ‘Ga-ma’!  We were going to Trentham Gardens to meet my Aunt and Uncle who live in Scotland but were visiting Stoke for a weekend.  They’ve not met Joel before so it was nice to see them.

Joel was very good.  He had a little trot around the hotel lobby, and was amused by the automatic doors which he realised he could set off by standing in a particular place.  We just had a coffee with them as they had lots of friends to meet on their visit.  During the coffee, Joel seemed to go tired.  He slumped on the chair, and just went very quiet and began sucking his thumb.  I asked if he were tired and wanted to lie down, so he just lay down on the chair as if to go to sleep!  I went to get his buggy from the car, and laid it flat ready for him, and on seeing me, he clambered down from the chair, sleepily toddled to me and put his arms up to be picked up.  He really just wanted to be asleep.

So he dropped off pretty rapidly, and Mum and I went to have lunch in the garden centre, I bought Joel another Wow toy on offer there, (it’s a big fire engine!) and we came home.  I presumed he’d be really hungry having fallen asleep just before lunch, but when we asked if he wanted anything, he burst into tears.  I asked if he wanted to go to bed and he said yes!  So we popped him into Mum’s cot, and he slept for another hour and a half.

When he woke, he was boiling hot but wouldn’t take his jumper off (my mum had knitted him a George pig jumper which he loved!!) so he was bright red.  I quickly got it off him, and took his socks off and we dosed him with calpol.  He just stayed floppy and tired all afternoon until bedtime.  He’s not eaten anything, and only drunk tiny sips.

I think it’s his molars coming through.  He kept putting his whole hand in his mouth to chew on, which made him keep gagging, but once I got a teether from the fridge, that went straight in.

I really hope these are the last teeth to come.  His canines are all through now and he has a mouth full of gnashers when he smiles and laughs!  I just hate to see him so in pain and and bleurgh like this.

Goodness knows what tonight will be like.  I shall go to bed early just in case I’m up in the night with him.

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. 😦


…is Joel’s new word. He likes to point at them, say ‘door’, to which we reply, ‘yes it is a door!’ and then he’s happy.
I think he’s just enjoying the novelty of being understood. Of course, when he says, ‘Mama’, and then goes into a big lot of baby babble, he still looks at me as though I ought to understand everything he’d just said.

I think he’s got more teeth coming through. He’s been gnawing on his thumbs in the back of his mouth and a bit off his food recently. He would’t eat any tea last night (roast lamb and potato bake) although he did eat a few green beans. He wouldn’t have any lunch today (cheese sandwich, although he had a bit oc cucumber). He was however tempted by a white chocolate pudding thing and a fig roll. He certainly has a sweet tooth regardless of mouth pain.

Dinner however was a huge success. It was a slimming world recipe for Chicken Parpadelle, which I served with tagliatelle instead. I could only find a mixed bag of green and normal, and although he eyed the green pasta with suspicion, after a little lick, then a little nibble he realised it was the same as regular pasta then managed to clear his plate apart from a few bits of chicken, which although they went in, soon came out again into his bib, and the sauce was all made of up hidden veg so I shall be making it again. I added smoked paprika to the sauce to make it tastier, and then some chilli salt to mine once at the table. Delicious! Pasta meals are the one that I know Joel will eat up.

I’ve not been out much today with the little dude. I’m still deaf in my right ear. I saw the dr, and he said the infection hadn’t gone down, so I’m now on different antibiotics for another week! I just want my ear to clear. He said the ear drum was bulging and I had fluid behind it. Sometimes, when Joel starts sounding a bit whingy in a higher pitch, I hear it in a tinny, harmonic which wounds like mini robots in my head. I don’t fancy going to work tomorrow so may ring up for a holiday day in the morning if they’ll let me. Being deaf at work is no fun at all.

We had a good weekend though. Saturday was spent with the morning taking a walk up to the hospital field. Joel walked all the way there, had a good run around in the grass and was highly amused by a bike rack, some steps and a railing. He just climbed, and peeked and had as much fun as the previous weekend at Splash Landings, but for free!

Sunday we went to Church and Joel was really good. I wasn’t playing, (due to the afore mentioned ear) and he just sat with me, went to dance with the other toddlers, waved a flag and happily went out to creche so I could stay and enjoy the rest of the service. I then headed off for my choir practise and left Steve to it! I got back with both of them lying on the sofa with Steve watching the tv and Joel watching the laptop. So Daddy time wasn’t so much building dens and rail tracks as Steve looking one way and Joel the other. Tch.

I also found a really good children’s worship group which teaches bible verses in song. I think it would be good for all of us, and the music is rock and funky, not saccharine either! We can listen to the songs with Joel, and take them with us to the church weekend away.

Other news, I put 1lb on last week. This ear thing has made me miserable and want to eat sweets and chocolate. Not good. I’m trying to make a better effort this week but so far I’ve already polished off a big bar of Cadbury’s chocolate.

Right, it’s time to bath Joel. He’s just invented this game where he shouts ‘un’, ‘oo’, ‘ee’ (maybe 1,2,3!) then throws himself from the arm of the sofa onto me. We’ve had one clonked heads episode, which was before I understood the rules. I think rough and tumble is better with Daddy!

Work Schmerk

Joel is so much fun at the moment. His words are coming on a lot and he’s amazing me at the moment.

He’s really starting to use words without being prompted. This morning, he had some grapes in a bowl to keep him going till breakfast at Grandma and Grandad’s. I went to the bathroom, came back to be confronted by an empty bowl and Joel saying ‘more’!! ‘More grapes?’ I queried. ‘Yes’ he replied. ‘Yes please’, I prompted. ‘Deees’ he said.

So cute.

We had a relatively nice day yesterday. His chest was sounding awful again. He was coughing all night and wheezing as he breathed. He’s been having his inhaler and antibiotics, and I really thought something would have started to get better by now but maybe not. I shall be back at the doctors on Friday if not.

We made it to toddler group and it was lovely and quiet. He played very nicely with some little girls and shared the buggys with babys. He got tired and wanted to leave after over an hour, so we went home and he went straight to bed and slept for two hours.

He was happy once he awoke, so we had a little jaunt to asda to take some bits back and buy Daddy some new shoes (his old ones had holes in and he’d been wearing them?!?!) then on getting home again I put a bed sheet down, sat him on it with some egg cups, baking trays and a tub of lentils. We had lots of fun scooping and poring the lentils into fairy cake trays, paper cases using hands and egg cups. It kept him entertained for about 40 minutes. Then he decided flinging lentils around was far more entertaining!!! It wasn’t too damaging though and normality was restored pretty soon.

I do miss him a lot when I’m at work and I look forward to the end of the day when I can collect him again. Work does get in the way!! He coughed a lot last night as well so I’ve not slept well. It’s been about 6 nights of disturbed sleep this week so far. Saturday night was awful, and Joel got up around 5 so Steve took him downstairs and put the Peppa Pig on the DVD to run while he dozed on the sofa. For a child who’d coughed all night and got up so early, he was crazy hyper until 10am when he fell asleep on my Mum and then was zonked all through church! It was helpful as I was leading worship and a grumpy toddler becuase he can’t get on stage is distracting. We had a great morning and it was nice to catch up with some old friends visiting, we had lunch there and relaxed through the afternoon.

I guess if I weren’t at work for these three days, I might struggle to enjoy the time with Joel more. I definatly feel that the time we have is quality time and he’s got such a lovely little personality emerging.

First Dentist Visit

I forgot to post about this last week. 

I had my 6 month check up on Thursday, so decided it would be a good idea to get Joel used to visiting the dentist as well.  So my Dad came too to watch him whilst I saw the hygienist, and then we both went into the dentist together. 

I had my suspicions that it wouldn’t go terribly well!  The dentist showed Joel the mirror he used to see inside his mouth, which he promptly took hold of.  So the dentist took his second mirror and Joel wanted that one too which he couldn’t have and that upset him.  Then when the dentist tried to feel his gums and look inside his mouth he clamped it firmly shut despite encouragement from me and Grandad!! 

He then began to howl, which did offer an opportunity to get a glimpse and he said he could see the molars and that the next ones would be canines.  The point was to get him used to the dentist so that happened, it just wasn’t simple!!

Then he watched me have my check up (all fine) and we went back to Grandads for lunch and for the afternoon, as I used flexi leave for the half day thinking it would be difficult to take Joel back to nursery, and it was nice to hang out with my Mum as I’ve not seen her for ages except for collecting and dropping off Joel!!

Molar Update

Well, Joel is now the proud owner of two fat molars on his bottom gums, and his temperature is back to normal and he’s back to his happy little self.

It was a hard week, and we bought him a present on Saturday to cheer him up.  Well, I say it’s for him, we’ve had as much enjoyment from it to be honest.  We got it because at his nursery they have a little sofa and he loves it, so when I saw this beanbag chair I had to get it for him!

Watching In The Night Garden
Nice and Comfy
Loving his Ukelele!

We Hate Teething

This is a short post because I’m headachey, tired and a bit grumpy from the disturbed nights this week.

Admittedly it’s not Joel’s fault.  He’s been ill with a virus, and his teething is really bothering him.

He woke twice last night and needed Calpol and I gave him a dose of teething powder as well.

I woke to hear him whimpering in the night, and it wasn’t too noisy, but I couldn’t leave him like that.  I went in and he was gnoshing on his hands and very glum about the pain in his gums.  Once he’d had his Calpol he settled down for another few hours.

Poor baby.  And poor Mummy.  😦


So where were we??

Oh yes, first steps.  Well, a week last Thursday Joel took some steps all on his own!  Steve had brought him up to my office and stood him on the floor and he walked towards me!  I was so excited!  Once we got home he did more toddling again and seemed happy about it.

Then that was it!!  He’s not really bothered since!  He’s gone back to crawling about, but standing on his own, and walking holding one hand.  I guess he’ll decide when he wants to.

He certainly has become Little Mr Independent these past few weeks.  He doesn’t want any help with things and lets you know if you’re doing something wrong in his eyes.  He bats your hand away, and shouts at you. We’re getting lots of ‘uh uh uh’s’ with pointing at things.  In a morning it’s ‘uh uh uh’ and pointing downstairs, or ‘uh uh uh’ I want my drink.  He’s a demanding little chap!

We’ve had some terrible nights with teething.  All you can see are his two top and bottom teeth, but further back some ominous points are forcing their way through and after last Thursday with the temperature and terrible nappies, we’ve not had a lot of sleep.  Except for Friday actually, that was ok and Saturday morning I felt relaxed for the first time in ages.  Until Saturday night when he was up five times between 10 and 2am and then proceeded to stay up till 5am.  I was shattered to the point of run down illness again.

Saturday we all went swimming and had a lovely day together.  It was nice to feel that we were spending good time with each other as every day I collect Joel from either my parents or nursery, then it’s feed him, bath him and put him to bed so I don’t feel I’m really spending enough time with him.  Not to mention at weekends there’s always something on or Steve’s family come to visit which isn’t a bad thing, but it means I don’t have quiet weekends very often like this one.  So it’s even more of a shame I felt horrid on Sunday.  By the afternoon I was swaying on my feet, so fell asleep at 4pm until 6.30 and woke up with a raging temperate and a very sore throat.  I’m off my food which is unlike me and work was a struggle again today.

Knowing on a Monday morning that there’s a whole week to go makes me weepy.  And I had a few crying episodes in the toilets today.  I know it’s silly, and I know its self indulgent but I can’t help it, and I can’t seem to care about work.  I feel that every day is a pity party and it’s just me, sat in a corner, wearing a pity hat and blowing on a deflated blower thingy.

On the plus side, I have two weeks off coming up, and enough overtime for a flexi day off when I’m hoping to catch up with some mums I’ve not seen since going back to work.

Oh, and I emailed personnel at work who’ve suggested I submit a flexible work request earlier than the 12 months due to the restructuring going on at work so I’ve drafted a letter already and have got my Dad to check it over!  If it’s turned down this time I think that’ll be it for me and I’ll have to hand my notice in.  I’m losing the will to carry on full time and my health is suffering too much.  Fingers crossed they approve it this time as it’ll be new managers looking at it.

Anyway, back to Joel!  He seems to be understanding my words a lot more now.  If I say where’s your blankie, he’ll scoot on over and pick it up.  He seems to know to respond to questions like more, or where with uh uh uh’s and pointing and we know exactly what he means all the time.

He’s climbing on and off the sofas with ease, and the other night, pulled all the cushions into the middle of the lounge and sat on them whilst playing with a new pack of socks I’d picked up for him.  He just pulled them about, tried to wear them, put them on his head and thought it was brilliant fun!  As much as he loves his toys, he also loves playing with non toys!  He’s started standing on his head and balancing like a triangle with no hands which he thinks is brilliant fun, and he’s taking more interest in Izzy and chases her around the room to her annoyance.    I’m sure she’ll learn to love him soon.