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Christmas break

It has felt like a long time since I’ve had so long off. Well, in reality I’ve been on the go for months rather than weeks at a time. Being a full-time student and part-time worker has left me less than a full-time mum. There is guilt that goes along with that, but I know that I’m doing the right thing for us now, and I hope, for the future.

I had a whole three weeks off (minus two days at work) over Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014. It was fantastic!

Christmas street party

Christmas street party with my beautiful boy.

My baby really enjoyed having his mummy, and for five days mummy and daddy, around for playtimes and cuddles and general fun and laughter. I baked a lot. I had Henry help me eat all the cakes. We made a gingerbread house and homemade mince pies and pavlova and banoffee pie and probably 4 or 5 batches of cupcakes.

We told stories of Santa, and left out one of said mince pies, a carrot and a glass of milk for him on Christmas Eve.

He rode the train with daddy!

He rode the train with daddy!

 

On Christmas day, Henry woke up and said, ‘Merry Christmas, daddy. Merry Christmas, mummy’ and opened his stocking presents from Santa wrapped up in his duvet in his bed. He was so excited about the crayons and pencils and colouring books and cookie cutters I’d filled his stocking with. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he walked into the living room as saw a huge pile of presents, all neatly wrapped up, and a chalkboard easel ready for him to play with.

Presents for my sweet.

Presents for my sweet.

He has done lots of drawings already. Lots of squiggles that he tells us are trains, or rockets, or tractors. He also got a Peppa Pig spaceship. That was a successful gift. There was also his ‘main’ present; a Buzz Lightyear action figure. The proper one that looks just like the movies. It’s wings have lights on the ends and it has karate-chop action too. Henry’s daddy and I were very impressed. £25 worth of impressed. We now have a two-year-old who excitedly runs around saying ‘to infinity, and beyond!’, when he’s not singing Jingle Bells or Happy Birthday. I feel he’s a little confused about these different events.

My little artist.

My little artist.

We went on to have a lovely meal and evening at the in-laws. It was fantastic. We all ended up in onesies (2013, the year of the adult onesie…) and ate until we had to roll out of the door and into our beds, all sleeping like babies. If babies slept well, that is.

And now I’m back to work. Back to uni. Back to only seeing my baby evenings and weekends. I look forward to summer now. I cuddle him and don’t ever want to put him down. He’s so lovely, and perfect, and squishy and when he laughs, I laugh and feel so warm and happy.

The gingerbread house, demolished on Christmas day.

The gingerbread house, demolished on Christmas day.

It’ll be worth it, I keep telling myself.

At least I truly appreciate how special he is. When I see him, and he smiles and says “it’s mummy!” I feel like the best person in the world.

Such is being a mother.

This is happiness.

This is happiness.

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Breaking News: New Development

Henry stood up yesterday, without holding on to anything. I couldn’t believe it. He’s only just turned nine months last week, and he’s already capable of so much. The concentration on his little face was incredible. I could see his muscles tense in his whole body, wobbling slightly, trying to balance. He realised he was doing it without falling, and gave me the cheekiest grin as I stood there, mouth open wide in awe.

He’s just so clever. He waves really well now, and claps all the time. He said ‘grandada’ for the first time a few days ago too, adding to his list of words he says out of context but impressing us nonetheless.

It’s amazing how he’s growing so fast into this little boy I can’t help but be insanely proud of. It’s just shocking how much emotion one little thing can make you feel. It’s crazy how much love and pride can explode inside you, and I understand now when you get grandparents telling you stories about their beloved grandchildren. I can completely relate to all those parents whose first words to you after ‘Hello’ are ‘I have two of my own, you know,’ before launching head-first into a story about how they once did this and once did that.

And I can appreciate why you would feel the need to write about every little thing your pride and joy has achieved in an online blog.

Thanks for listening. What did your son or daughter do that made you smile with pride and love today?

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Mind the Child

I’ve officially returned to work now. Henry has adapted so well, I don’t even know what I was worrying about. When I go to pick him up, it’s almost as if he’s having too much fun to leave. He crawls around with a cheeky grin on his face – as per usual – and he’s busy chatting away to his childminder.

It makes it so much easier for me to go to work knowing he is doing just fine. I do love being back at work. I’m a working woman. I want to contribute to society, to feel like I have my own life beyond cleaning poop and counting out scoopfuls of formula, and to be able to support my family financially.

And then I’ll come home and be the best mother I can possibly be. And I will give him lots of cuddles and chat to Henry about his day. I will make the most of the weekend; take him swimming, to the park, to soft play, to the zoo and the library and the beach. He’s one well-loved baby. Being apart for a short time will only enhance our relationship, I’m sure of it.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to come home to this:

 

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Cranky Pants (Not Really)

I think Henry is teething. He’s being a little cranky pants lately, and a little cheeky rascal! He screams as if he’s in pain, not the normal I-want-something moan. It’s higher pitched and more urgent. And he’s slobbering like nothing I’ve ever seen. Saying that, he still tries his best to be cheerful. He laughs when you play with him – he’s still the good-natured little bubs that he’s always been. And he loves being tickled!

I’ve invested in a tube of Baby Bonjela Teething Gel, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. It soothes him even if it is only a distraction. He has a really hard bite now, too. Deceptively hard for something so small and innocent.

Then he’ll look up at you, his eyes all wide with a cheeky grin flashing across his face, and he knows he’s adorable. He knows he can get away with anything.

 

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Funny Baby

It really makes me laugh when Henry has hiccups and it shakes his whole body. His head gets thrown back and he gets out of breath. It’s just too cute.

Also when he sneezes, the force of the sneeze catches him unawares and propells his body back, as if he were a little jet-powered baby for a second. I’m sure he doesn’t know what I’m laughing at but he quickly joins in anyway!

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Weddings and Babies; Fun in a Suit

We went to a lovely wedding yesterday. A couple of our close friends married on a beautiful day, with lovely hot, sunny weather and it was glorious. My other half was best man, so we decided to dress Henry in equally suitable attire (pardon the pun). When we dressed him after his lunch to avoid the main bulk of dribble and mess, we couldn’t stop giggling at him. He just looked too adorable in his little suit and shirt, complete with baby velcro tie. We had to remove his suit jacket, as I mentioned before about the weather being so incredible. Also the tie did eventually become a chew toy, and completely covered in slober, but it was worth the £38 spent in BHS, just for the single photograph below.

 

 

Henry was very good during the ceremony also. He only got a little grisly near to the end when I just stepped outside, and then had to leave quite abruptly after because the amount of strange faces spooked him a little. Other than that though, he behaved very well, and I am so proud of him! We had a wonderful day, and now I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate the two newlyweds and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

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Yeehaw Cowboy

We popped into Mothercare today, just as we happened to be around, and had fun browsing all their toys in the Early Learning Centre. I heard my other half call my name, and I turned round to see he had put a child’s dressing up cowboy hat on Henry’s head. He just looked too cute! It was a mixture of ‘aww’ and ‘haha’. We decided to get it for him, as the photos alone are worth the four pounds.

My little Indiana Jones.

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Busy Bees & Eager Beavers

I feel so drained, but in a good way. It’s as if we’ve crammed in a massive amount of activities in a very short space of time. It’s been a long day, but at least I know I’ll sleep well tonight. We took Henry swimming again today – another successful session! Seeing him splashing about all happy and having endless amounts of fun makes it all worth it. He doesn’t even cry when we’re getting him dressed or anything. He just falls asleep after.

We’ve gone and booked our wedding reception too. It’s all very exciting! I love all the planning of it, and thinking about how Henry fits nicely into our plans for the day. He’s going to look so handsome in a miniature suit and little waistcoat… not that it will stay clean for long!

I have also, for the second time this week, managed to make it to the gym! It was my first time back in over a year on Sunday, and then again today. Juggling work, relationships and pregnancy all took over my already bursting schedule. My filofax is well-worn and well-loved. I do really enjoy going for a nice workout though, and a relaxing swim afterwards. It makes me feel a little more human, and it is very much ‘me-time’. I have to make the most of that when I can. Two swims in one day though! I never thought I’d see the day.

It’s unbelievable just how much of a toll neglecting my health a little and the pregnancy/baby has taken on my general fitness. Twice a week though, and I shall see improvements.

Henry will thank me for it, when he’s a little older and wants to run around the park and do all those things that children want to do. I just need to stick to it, like I have with taking Henry swimming, and to his little rhymetime mum and baby sessions.

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Swimming Success

We took Henry swimming again this morning, and with a friend joining us too. Henry adores other children and babies. He finds them fascinating and stares at them, attempting to copy their actions. He’s a baby with an inquisitive nature, and he learns so well in these situations. I really relax around other mums too. It’s nice to be with someone who knows exactly what it’s like.

And this time, unlike the less successful swimming session we had pre-wetsuit, Henry had so much fun! It was by far the happiest he’s been in the water so far, and the most animated he’s been. We held him on his back, floating in the water, and he splashed his little, podgy arms and kicked his chubby legs making massive splashes and laughing and smiling all the while. He loved it. He splashed himself with water then laughed about it. He’s never been like this before. It makes it so much nicer that he’s clearly getting a lot of enjoyment out of it, and it makes it far more rewarding for me. My persistance is finally paying off!

I don’t even dread going back next week. I want to go, I’m actually looking forward to it. Wow, I never thought I would say that.

And Henry didn’t even cry when we were getting him changed. A few little grumbles as he was being manouvered back into his clothes, but what baby doesn’t prefer being naked and free as nature intended? And nature obviously intended for Henry to be a little water baby… eventually.

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“Don’t Dribble On My Wedding Folder!”

I take on too much at once. I can’t wait for anything in a good and reasonable time. It all has to happen now. These are the things I know I am guilty of, and so leaves me quite stressed at times. I started a new job, had a baby, moved house and am now planning a wedding all in a really short space of time. So aside from bereavement and divorce, I’m tackling the top stressful life events all at once. Hoorah.

I am really enjoying planning our wedding, at the same time as hating the family politics of the guest list and trying to fit in appointments to see venues and meetings with various people in between Henry-schedule. It is lovely to think about including our lovely little boy in our plans though. I’m looking forward to buying him a tiny suit and waistcoat, and the plan is to tie our rings onto a little ring cushion so he can hold it when he walks down the aisle. Our beautiful, little ringbearer. I can’t wait.

It is stressful though, and that’s not even mentioning budgeting and how expensive everything is. Twenty-five pounds a head doesn’t sound so bad, but when you start to multiply it by numbers starting at eighty… and that’s just for food. It makes me want to sob into my pillow. It’ll be alright on the night though, I’m sure. When it all comes down to it, I just want to be married to the man I love, and I hope that people I haven’t included in the celebration (down to money and limited numbers, and that is all) will be happy for us instead of being offended. After all this is done, I just want to be able to say I enjoyed my day, and now we are a family in the eyes of the law as well as in our hearts and minds. Henry deserves to know how much his parents love each other as well as him, and that he is included in our own little family.

My wedding planning folder has recently had a lovely contribution from Henry too; pages and pages of drool.

Eloping sounds so tempting right about now.