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Birthday Boy

Henry had a brilliant first birthday. We spent it with loved ones, floating through a sea of new toys, and eating cake until the children were so hyper they started to resemble a tornado.

The jungle theme was brilliant, and the cake was a success! I spent the whole day before making it, but it was worth it. For my first attempt at a birthday cake of any kind, I was rather happy with it!

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I’m so chuffed that so many people came to celebrate with us too. We all had such a good day, and it just shows how many people love and care about my beautiful boy. He’s such a lucky little baby. I feel so proud of him!

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Photographs & Facebook Friends

I’m one of those people who hate photographs of themselves. Sometimes I’ll get an okay-ish one and feel alright to have it floating around on facebook, but normally I’m a camera dodger.

Having a baby may lead you to believe the camera will be firmly fixed on the most lovely looking thing in the room (and I don’t mean my beautiful, new, ivory, lace boots I just bought for a friends wedding) but this is certainly not the case. You hear the dreaded words ‘and one of you all together’ and immediately think ‘one for the private album’. There’s nothing that makes you feel as rotten as looking and feeling like you do when you’ve just had a baby, and then having a camera shoved in your face by a well-meaning relative.

Having said that, I am glad that the occasion is well documented, and I wish I had taken more photos while I was pregnant. I just hope that people don’t decide to post them on the internet before consulting me. It’s like the time I sent a personal text to everyone in my life I felt I wanted to tell at the time when Henry was born. Then it immediately started popping up on facebook, against my wishes. Congratulations poured in from pretty much everyone on my facebook.

I sound ungrateful, but it was our time as a family, and not a time for our ex’s to get back in touch after a horrific break-up to wish us well. But once it’s done, it’s done, and I had to go along with it.

I’m far more open about it now, but I didn’t want my son to turn into gossip. He deserves more than that. I know a couple of the people I told at the beginning did just that and spread the news as if it were cheap and frivilous. I will never tell them personal information again, as long as I live.

You learn a lot after the event. About how there maybe 300 odd friends on your facebook saying ‘I have to come and meet him’ and then they do, perhaps once or twice and then nothing.

I guess they think I’m too busy for friends, when the truth is that everybody needs friends whether you’re busy or not.

I’m lucky though. I still have those few that will always be there for me, who make the effort and will be standing by my side when I say my vows.

And it’s those few, who I truly love.

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Night Out

It was one of my best friend’s birthday this week, so the plan was to go out Friday night. I put Henry to bed, left his daddy in charge, and set out for the pub. I haven’t been on a night out for so long now, well over a year. It was so lovely to go out without a nappy bag for once, and to see my friends and to have an adult conversation! It’s all the little things that you take for granted when you are young and carefree, pre-pregnancy and pre-responsibility. It was also very strange seeing people that I knew from school, but a couple of years below me. It’s almost as if time is playing tricks on me. The last time I went out, I was one of the youngest, and I used to know everyone in all the bars and clubs and in the street. But people move on, and I would much rather have Henry and the life I have now than a few good nights out. It’s a very small price to pay.

It was nice knowing that he was asleep and all safely tucked up in bed, not missing me at all. It gave me the chance to not be relied on for a few hours. He didn’t wake up until I had been home for quite a while, so it all went without a hitch. The other half got some alone time with the xbox, and had a little time off. Of course being a mother doesn’t change just because you are away from them, and I still really missed Henry, but it was so great to have the change and I really did enjoy myself.

I’m unbelievably tired this morning though – it’s funny how much it hits you when you’ve been in the same routine for so long and then to suddenly do something to interrupt it. It’s like going on a ‘refreshing’ holiday and coming back more tired than when you left.

I’m just glad I got the chance to go out, it means a lot to my friend that I managed to be there for her birthday night out, and I know she appreciates the extra effort it takes to arrange things when you have a young child!

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Eating a Roast Dinner With One Hand

I had a lovely lunch with a good friend today. Henry was only a little moany, but I think that was because it was sweltering in the restaurant. He was crying and refused to settle down, so I attempted to eat my roast while holding him. There was a few well-meaning fellow diners around that offered to hold Henry while I ate. I smiled politely and rejected their offers. One kind lady even asked if I had a bottle she wanted me to feed him so my food wouldn’t get cold, but I informed her that he was a breastfed baby, and we all made a joke of it.

It isn’t that I wasn’t thankful for their willingness to help, it’s lovely that they understood the difficulty of juggling a crying baby and dinner in a public place, it’s just I don’t feel comfortable letting strangers hold my child let alone feeding him. I’m sure they are lovely people, but for all I know they could be one of those few psychotic child-snatchers. I’m pretty sure they aren’t, but I can manage, so why take the risk?

My friend had the good sense to suggest maybe sitting outside. It was cooler and we were the only ones out there so it didn’t feel so stressful. If Henry cried there would be no one to tut or to make judgement, and no one to make me feel like I was ruining their dinner by being there. I know I have a right to be there too, but sometimes it’s nice having the seclusion and privacy. He was calm after that, and fell asleep in his pushchair, allowing us to eat our lukewarm vegetables in peace.

I love my little munchkin, and I am so proud of him. Sometimes I over-stress about him crying in public, which I know is ridiculous but I do get the occasional glare from someone who has obviously had no experience of babies whatsoever. They must think that if he is crying, surely I have done something wrong.

It really helps to have a friend there too, especially the lovely lady I spent lunch with today. She’s a calming influence, the type of person that says ‘oh dear’ with a smile when Henry grumbles, then picks him up and plays with him instead of panicking that they don’t know what to do. I used to be the one who panics, because I’ve never had that mothering instinct. I was never too fussed by babies growing up, unlike most girls. I’m turning into a more natural mother, quite slowly, but I’m definitely getting there.