Tuesday, 2 August 2011

two rather large administrative errors

As I said in the title two rather large administrative errors seem to have occurred. If anyone can help me solve them that would be great thanks.

1. Its August. Quite simply I think it's supposed to be about May, maybe June at a push. Someone seems to have stolen some of our year and you're all going on with life oblivious to this. I'm not 100% sure what has happened but it's all gone wrong at some point and this year has been put on fast-forward somehow.

As Tabby B is off to nursery and I am off to uni in September I'm really not happy about it at all to be frank. It's six weeks away, six! I don't like the thought of it at all. I'm excited to do my PGCE but not to leave Tabby B. I have had hands-down-no-contest the best year of my life. It's so nice to get up and think "what are we going to do today" and saunter off to Wroxham Barns or the park. Structure, hard work and essays are some of the many things I'm sure I could live with out! Although the money from teaching isn't one of them so I'd better get on with it I suppose!

2. I'm supposed to have a baby. Something's happened and I don't know who is to blame but I seem to have a toddler now. As wonderful as that is Tabby B is supposed to lie on me happy to have cuddles and chats all day. Well she doesn't! We have a walker people!!

I am of course a very very very proud Mum. God, sickening isn't it! You'd think she was the first child to learn to walk right??! She's up and off, shakey on her feet, but doing really brilliantly. I can't believe it though. 10 months old and off exploring the world - she literally shakes me off her now and away she goes!

So yes. If anyone can help me recover my lost months and find my small baby I'll happily exchange August and a toddler with you! Enjoy the mini heatwave :) Guaranteed it won't last!!!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A hot holiday and a wet festival!

We just got home yesterday from Latitude Festival in Suffolk. It was so amazing! I'm now uploading some pictures so will put some on here in a minute. Tabby B and I had an amazing time, there was so much to do. I'd strongly recommend heading off to a festival this minute with all your children! Loved it!

It was very hot on the Friday and a bit rainy Saturday and Sunday. They have an ace children's area though that we enjoyed exploring. Tabby B was so good, we danced to music, ate lovely food, made nice friends and generally had a great time! She dressed up (read: I dressed her up!) as a fairy on the Friday. She loved all the attention and looked so so good :)

The Saturday and Sunday weren't quite such fashion fests. Mainly coats and wellies to be honest! Didn't dampen our spirits too much though. In fact Tabby B and I managed to get right to the front for Carl Barat's set which was amazing! I was very excited to see him (lots of you probably know my family and I love a bit of Pete and Carl!) so it was incredible being able to take Tabby B right to the front and have a sing and a dance about!

My pictures are now uploading so I'll add some at the end. Before Latitude my Mum and I (and Tabby B obviously) went to France. It was so good. Lovely and hot :) Went shopping, in the pool, to the beach and to a really cool sea life centre. Whoever said driving on the right-hand side was hard was wrong! I found it to be surprisingly easy to be honest!

Coming home from all these camping experiences has changed me a little bit though. Last night when I heard it was raining outside I recoiled and felt physically a bit ill, I had forgotten that I was back in a house made of bricks and I didn't need to fear the rain any more! I also found it very strange this morning having a large choice of clothes from my wardrobe, I've been so used to living out of a bag!

Anyway, here are some pictures for you all to have a look at! I think Tabby B is finally asleep, we're all out of routine at the moment. Night!!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Food glorious food

I haven't blogged for a long time. Sorry. Sometime life just gets in te way. I started writing about co-sleeping the other day, I will post that soon :)

Tabitha is lactose free. Also anything free at the moment. She's decided that she doesn't want to eat or drink at all. Queue a day at the hospital yesterday - what was the cure? Wotsits and orange squash! That's what she had all day.

Not quite a cure if you ask me. Or a diagnosis. When they're little everything is a "virus". I hoping that she improves over the next few days. She's done ok today - not had loads but has had something. Poor old Tabby B. She loves milk normally too! So much so that a few months ago the health visitor told me to stop her drinking so much!

I've also been packing for holiday - all things being well we leave Friday for France. I'm very excited. Doubly exciting is that next Thursday we are off to Latitude festival in suffolk for the weekend! It's going to be so much fun! I know Tabby B will love all the interesting people and things to do. It's really family friendly and has a lovely atmosphere!

My final exciting things are that I reached the 4 stone target at slimming world today! Under a stone now to my final target weight. I feel like a different person - my grandma showed me some pictures this week of when I lived with them for a while before Christmas. I look like a different person! Honestly I hardly recognise myself!

Finally, if you're a Norfolk or Norwich reader and know anyone who wants a dog or two please let me know. Tabby B's dad is getting rid of the dogs that we had when we were together - I would love for someone to have them for a year until I have a house with a garden. I will be so sad if we have to give them up. Tabby B loves dogs so much, I really want her to grow up with them.

Anyway. Apprentice time! Xx

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Over 20kg & two other pieces of news!

We've just got back from a weekend in Scotland. Going away with children (well, in my case one child) is really not as stress-free or easy as it looks. As you know by now I'm all for a stress-free lifestyle. I make our life as easy as possible and try not to get hung up on the small things. My attitude is difficult to extend to travel though.

Tabby B has been on 3 trips now on a plane, that's 6 flights and she's only 9 months old. Utter madness! She's not as spooky as she sounds, my Dad lives in Scotland so it's lots easier to fly for an hour to see him rather than drive up which takes a whole day.

Our suitcase was OVER 20kg! For 4 days! I don't know how that's even possible. Luckily my brother came and he had packed light so I was able to put some things into his bag. I didn't even take anything unnecessary, juat clothes and bottles etc!

Tabby B is always very good on planes, sleeps mostly. They say that you should feed your baby on take-off and landing to try and help their ears. I'd definitely recommend that advice. Has worked everytime for us. We had a great time in Scotland, missed all o te lowly weather that everyone else had in England though!

People did help with Tabby B while I was away but it is quite tiring doing it alone. Just because we get so out of routine. I think Tabby B likes knowing where she is and what's going on. I firmly believe that babies and children thrive on routine. The stability helps them feel safe.

Two exciting developmental pieces of news for you :) the first is that Tabby B can confidently get up stairs! I lost her the other day and low and behold she was half-way up the stairs! Need to put a stair gate up pretty sharpish! Also Tabby B has just woke up. She slept 6pm-6am. Amazing! Never in her life has she slept so good!!

Have lovely Wednesday's. Thanks for reading :) xx

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

"oh my giddy aunt"

Just a short one today. Lots of things over the past (nearly) 9 months have lead me to say "I'm such a mum now!" today was no exception.

I have changed a huge deal these past 18 months. Since finding out I was pregnant, giving birth & raising tabitha I have grown up and got direction and a sense of purpose in my life. I think this happens to most mums.

Today tabitha climbed the two steps from our bathroom into the bedroom. A MASSIVE deal for us! (although probably not for you hearing about it!) Nowhere in this house is safe anymore! She's supposed to be my litte girl. However my response was the most amusing. Previously I would have sworn a lot, blasphemed and shouted. Today, for some crazy reason I declared to myself "oh my giddy aunt!"

Immediately I laughed, as did Tabby B for some reason, small things like that make me realise. I am a mum. A proper bonefide mum!

I'm very proud of Tabby B though. She's crawling, cruising, pulling herself up and now apparantly can tackle a few steps without breaking a sweat! At 8 months I'm really very impressed! To be honest I'm a little worried that she's peaking to soon and it might all be downhill from here!

As if that wasn't enough excitement we have booked our holiday today, we're off to France camping in a few weeks time! Very exciting, very worrying that I have to drive on the wrong side of the road, but very exciting! I like challenging myself to do new things these days, as I'm fulfilling a mum and dad's role a lot of the time I can't back out of difficult situations. I don't mind though, I'm quite relishing the challenge to be honest!

We come home from France, have a sleep, and then are off to Tabby B's first festival, Latitude. July is going to be a very exciting month for us. I'm cramming it all in before the hard work of real life resumes in September!


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Zzzzzz .....

Sleep. A massively important thing when you have a child. Partners argue over who has the least sleep, friends lie about how much their child sleeps and one of the most asked question from strangers is "does she sleep well?" No is the answer to that.

Tabby B has slept through the night twice in her life. Combined with the fact that I have never left her for an evening these two facts mean that I have had 2 complete nights sleep in about 9 months. Broken sleep can be a killer for some people, they find it really hard.

Unfortunately the professionals forget to mention the following 2 facts that I'm now going to reveal to you. Remember them!!

1. Newborn babies do not like sleeping by themselves. A tiny tiny percentage of newborns sleep perfectly in their Moses baskets, all the rest don't! I bought a Moses basket because that what people have when they have babies. I never used it. When we got home from hospital I tried to put Tabby B in it but she wasn't having any of it.

It's understandable really. 9 months living inside your mum all warm, comfortable and happy and then people expect you to sleep in funny sheets & clothes all by yourself. No way! A huge percentage of people co-sleep at the start, so long as this is done safely and the guidance is researched theres nothing wrong with it. In fact it can be a really lovely experience for you, your partner and your baby. It's funny because not many people admit that they co-sleep but for the first couple of days a surprisingly large amount of do do it!

2. Newborn babies do not self-settle. No way no how! Some people expect a lot of their children, but it's not their fault. There is a perception that 6 week old newborns all get put down in their cots at 7pm, get themselves to sleep and sleep through the night. Hahahaha, if only! Tabby B still doesn't self settle. Now some people say that I'm "making a rod for my own back" but in actual fact lots of friends, family and other mums all have the same experiences as me.

From birth Tabby B stayed up until around 11pm and fed to sleep. She came to bed with me and woke 3, 4, 5 times a night. At around 3 months I started to think that 11pm was a bit late. I was getting seriously tired!! I started taking her to bed at around 7pm and after a few nights she adjusted her routine to this. Now I go upstairs at around 5pm, Tabby B has a bath every other day (it's not advised to bath everyday to begin with) and she has a bottle (or 2!) and goes to sleep. Then we have a cuddle for about half an hour and I put her down. She wakes a couple of times these days, it varies really. She's been getting better.

Co-sleeping is ace though. I really like the fact that when she wakes up I'm there. I've never not been there for her in the night and that's something I really like. I don't judge people who go out and leave their babies it's just up until now it's not something I've wanted to do. We can have a cuddle in the night and I know that she's ok all the time, I don't have to get up and check when I'm worried. The only thing I'm struggling with at the moment is that Tabby B wakes for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night! We have a play and a chat, read a book and have a bottle. This means that I do get quite tired though, ugh, really quite tired!

We had a nice day today, I got quite a lot of sleep last night. We've been to Holt and to see some family. I've done some cooking for Tabby B too which is good. I feel a lot more positive since my money troubles. I still have them but am managing to see past them! They're not the be all and end all! Anyway, bath time! I hope you all get some good sleep!!!


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Pounds, Dollars, Euros and Yen

Yes I'm talking money people. Makes the world go round eh?! Well at the moment my world's stopped turning!

The CSA, now that's an interesting system. One department has no way of communicating with another. There's anacronyms coming out of your ears and it's certainly not a "don't call us we'll call you organisation". I am right in assuming that in their lifetimes most people don't choose to have any dealing with the CSA, that's the way it should be. People only speak to the CSA when they are in need and it is truly necessary. You'd think they'd be more helpful.

My claim which has been in since February is "under investigation" - no one can even tell me what these words actually mean. I can tell you the results of those words though, hell yes I can, it means no money for Tabby B and I. A month I'm told and they might be able to release some funds, but that's not guaranteed. Crying on the phone to the CSA is not a good look people, not a happy end to a Thursday that I'd recommend.

I also have had a couple of lovely phone calls to the Job Centre this evening. No income support for me. So no money. No legal aid. No nothing.

I am not a "Daily Mail" single mum who feels entitled to numerous benefits and a huge amount of help from this government. I am a straight A student. I have never claimed a penny before. From September I am doing my teacher training and will then be working helping society for the rest of my life, educating the adults of tomorrow. I am not a sponger or a scrounger.

I do question today's society's viewpoints on single mums. 99% of us are working hard to bring up our children in very difficult circumstances. Why in the press are we vilified? Made to feel like we are taking money from the state? There are numerous (not all, but there a lots) of "Non Resident Parents" - ex's to you and me - living it up. Enjoying their money and their lives. These people have no negative connotations attached to themselves. Society does not view them as lower class citizens, women do not avoid them, friends do not tell them what they think. Entirely backward. 

"Get a job" some of you will shout. I would. Unfortunately our country has pushed up the price of childcare to such a point that there is no way I could find a job that would even cover my nursery fees.

So back to square one. I don't want to moan. I am thankful for what I have. However being left with a tiny, ridiculous, minuscule amount of money after paying my rent (I won't tell you how much, about the same you'd spend on a Friday night takeaway) leaves me in a difficult position. Thank god for overdrafts!

The thing is I'm not just self-indulging. I don't want anyone's pity. There are hundreds if not thousands of families, some with one, some with two parents, who are struggling just as much. We all want the best for our children. We all work so hard. But sometimes you can have a period of time when it feels like you're walking into a brick wall, trying to smash through locked doors. Unfortunately I have no advice. No solutions. Just carry on. Hold your head up and keep going. I need a pep talk myself this evening. I hope that I can listen to this. It's all worth it in the end. Everyone has struggles, tests to get through. Every breath Tabby B takes helps me realise this is worthwhile, every laugh and smile ensures that I keep going.

Fight for what you believe in. Stand up for the people you love. Sometimes there's only you to battle through for them.