Letter to Sainsbury’s

Dear Sainsbury’s,

I am writing to you to apologise, I committed a crime in your shop today, unintentionally I assure you, but still a crime. I stole a kiwi. This is what happened.

This morning, I went to your shop with my 23 month old daughter. We were having a lovely time wandering through your aisles and filling our trolley. My daughter, Elisabeth, was eating a snack (basically I bribed her to sit in the trolley by promising her a snack, believe me, you do not want my little whirlwind running around in your shop) and deciding what leggings she liked better, the red ones or the green ones. We went with red, but I digress.

Anyway, when she finished her snack she realised she hadn’t brought her teddy with her. She got a little upset because ‘her ted’, as she calls him, goes everywhere with her. To soften the blow a bit, we went to the fruit aisle and got her a kiwi. Don’t ask me why but she likes holding (and eating) kiwis, this made her happy.

When we were nearly done, Elisabeth said she was thirsty and she wanted a drink. Luckily I had remembered to put a cup of water in my bag for her. So, I got her cup out of my bag, gave it to Elisabeth, she gave me the kiwi as she couldn’t hold both……..and without thinking………I put the kiwi in my bag……….

It wasn’t until we got home that I realised I had accidentally shoplifted a kiwi.

I am very sorry Sainsbury’s for stealing a kiwi and I promise next time I visit the shop I will pay an extra £0.35 to cover the cost.

Kindest Regards and Sincerest Apologies

Baby Brain.

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Surely getting old is better than dying young?!?!

A lot of people reflect on their year at the end of the year, I like to do it on my birthday (or in this case the day after). I turned 35 yesterday and had a great day. One of my best friends treated me to a lunch with some of my lovely colleagues. When I came home from work, after picking up Elisabeth from the childminder‘s, I was greeted by my husband who had come home early and baked me birthday cupcakes! With candles and all! How cool is that! In the short time I got my and Elisabeth’s stuff out of our car he had taught Elisabeth to say happy birthday so when I came in she said: ‘Happy birthday mummy’. I also received some great presents, so all in all a great day!

Some people moan about getting older, they find it depressing that they have lost their youth. I don’t. I know getting older isn’t always fun, and it is inevitable to sometimes wish that you could go back in time and re-live your youth. However, every birthday that passes makes me grateful for the simple fact that I am still alive and have the chance to embrace another year. Surely getting old is better than dying young?!?!

The past year has been brilliant, my darling girl turned one last February, she started walking, talking, SLEEPING and we have had all sorts of other wonderful firsts. I got a new job and my husband has been offered a promotion. My amazing nephew turned 3, my brother in law got a new job, my dad moved house, my mum started writing a book and I finally saw most of my Dutch family all together in December. So the past year has been good and I have a lot to be grateful for. But enough of looking back, let’s look forward to another great year to come. Bring it on! I am ready!

De-icious, children do say the funniest things!

After a good three weeks of feeling rotten with the cold from hell, I finally feel better. I still get out of breath from walking up the stairs (although that is probably lack of fitness rather than cold) but I have been able to sleep without having to take cold medicine to knock me out, so I can’t complain 🙂

Elisabeth’s talking has really improved over the last few weeks and she comes out with some funny stuff.

Everytime Elisabeth eats or drinks something that she likes she will lift her little face up, put on this huge smile and say: de-icious! She is also really into talking on the phone, whether this is the real phone or her toy phone doesn’t seem to matter to her. She has regular conversations with Bob the builder, Peppa Pig and Dora the explorer 🙂

Last Wednesday she happily spent an hour and a half in her cot without having a nap and when my mother in law went in to get her and asked what she had been up to, Elisabeth looked up and said: “washing” as if it was the most logical thing to do when in bed 🙂

The funniest things though are the ones that they don’t get quite right. She knows that she needs to ask me for help if she is struggling with something but she doesn’t quite get how. Several times a day she will come and take my hand, walk me to whatever she is doing and she’ll say: “Mummy needs help”. Ha ha, they do say the funniest things!

Something’s wrong with the world today…

It’s snowing!

I know this probably isn’t a big deal for a lot of you, but here in England it is. It has been properly cold for a while now and last Tuesday we got our first taste of the white stuff, but yesterday it really started and today everything is pretty and white.

Outside our house is a big field, probably about the size of two football pitches, I think. Anyway, it’s big, and it is covered in a thick layer of snow. Now we live in a reasonably new estate where there are quite a lot of young children, so I was expecting lots of them to be out there making snowmen, having snowball fights, making snow angels, sledging or just running around in it. But when Elisabeth and I went outside for a play with her new sledge, there were only two people out there, me and Elisabeth.

Where were all the children? Why didn’t they all come out at first light and play in the snow? Where were their parents? Why weren’t they pulling sledges and helping with the snowmen? I was confused.

Elisabeth and I had a great time though. She wasn’t too keen on sitting in her sledge, but she enjoyed pulling it along. She also loved the snowman we made and put on the sledge to take to our back garden.

When we were both soaking wet and cold through and through, we went home, and the field was left empty. Something’s wrong with the world today…….

Just Another Sleep Journey

A new year is for new things right? So why not post on someone else’s blog for a change, great idea don’t you think? And what better to write about than……sleep, or the lack of it. I think I might have mentioned this subject once or twice before 🙂 and as my friend Meghan over at Ratnam Residence has had very similar experiences since her little boy was born, we thought it be great to share our stories on each other’s blogs. So pop over to Ratnam Residence to read my story. But first have a read of this…

Hi, my name is Meghan. I blog over at Ratnam Residence about everything that goes on under our roof…. home renovations, family & finance, keeping healthy, and what recent shenanigans our 15 month old man of the house, Avery, is up to.  Like my lovely friend Elske, we’ve had our fair share of sleep struggles since Avery joined us.  I can honestly say, I didn’t sleep until he was a year old.  Up until then, we had tried EVERYTHING.  Or though we had.  Then one suggestion from his doctor at his one year check up, and boom. Now he sleeps 11 hours a night!

0 to 3 months Avery’s early arrival (3 1/2 weeks early!) should have been a clue to me that the little bugger was NOT patient.  After bringing him home, we were on a 2-3 hour schedule of feedings (A typical day with 1 month old Avery.).  I wasn’t producing milk, so after a diaper change, we’d try to nurse, then I’d feed him formula, burp him, then he’d be swaddled and put in his bassinet, I’d pump, then I’d rest for an hour and do it all over again!  Man was that exhausting.  At night, the cradle was beside my bed, so I was able to sleep for an hour or two at a time thru the night, add in nap or two during the day and I’d be lucky to catch 8 hours of broken sleep.  I look back at the posts from our first few weeks with Avery, and I wrote: “Sleep.  What’s that?  Since Avery was born, I have not slept more than 3 hours at a time.”

baby sleeping

3 to 6 months Unlike my lucky friend, Elske, my maternity leave ended at 3 months (her’s was 10 months!  Lucky duck!).  So ended my mid-day napping and our cuddle sessions on the couch in my pjs.  I was back to work and Avery was off to daycare. At this point, we had stretched Avery’s feedings out to 3-4 hours, but trying to hold him off with a pacifier or distracting him, even if it was just for a few minutes.  And we instilled a bedtime routine.  Bath, jammies, lights out, humidifier on, music & books, and bed.  Sure, he still got up in the middle of the night, but I kept the lights off and rocked him back to sleep, so he’d start associating dark and sleep.

Since the nightly feedings didn’t stop, I was exhausted at work, but I chugged along. It wasn’t too long before Avery caught his first daycare cold, followed by an ear infection and pneumonia. He was such a trooper though, and it must have tuckered him out because just before he turned 4 months, he slept thru the night. Hallelujah!  Well, so I thought.  Months 4 & 5 we struggled getting Avery to sleep at night.  He was up multiple times a night and we thought maybe it was a growth spurt, or he was hungry(although he ate like a champ), or it was a stage?  Even with a nightly routine and naps during the day, I was frustrated and started looking into changing things up, or sleep training, at that point… we’d try pretty much anything.

baby sleeping

6 to 12 months Our sleep struggles only continued for the next six months.  It was a constant try this, ok that doesn’t work try that. Scratch that, and switch this up.  In month six we implemented sleep tactics from the book ‘12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks.’ We tried putting Avery to bed earlier, creating a quiet down time with dimmed lights and music during his last feeding, limited rocking after he was fed, and put him to bed awake.  He would cry, and we’d check on him, but never pick him up.  He’d fall asleep after a few checks and in the middle of the night he sometimes puts himself back to sleep after crying for a few minutes, but I was still up a couple times a night with him.

In month 7, we put Avery’s crib bumpers back in because he kept moving around in his sleep and waking up when he bumped his head on the crib.  We thought it would help him to sleep thru the night… not really.  To this day, Avery still moves around a ton in his crib at night.  When I go in to adjust his blanket at night, sometimes I find him with his feet up on the sides of the crib, vertical in the air… silly kid.

Fast forward to month 9 and we were still struggling.  We had a nightime routine, and an arsenal of tools to help him get back to sleep.  It also didn’t help that Avery could now pull himself up in his crib…which made getting him to sleep just that much harder.  Finally, by 10 months, we had made progress.  How?  We took away the nightly feedings.  This was no easy task, and I chose a few days my mom was visiting to help share the long nights.  We swapped Avery’s bottles with water and when he woke at night, expecting (but not needing cuz he ate and drank enough during the day) milk, he was pissed!  After a few nights, he was down to only waking twice a night.  Progress.  Before his first birthday I also added a foam mattress top to his crib (maybe he wasn’t comfy in his crib?) and a white noise maker (which didn’t help and I returned).

baby standing in crib

12 to 15 months At Avery’s one year check up, his doctor was appalled that Avery wasn’t sleeping thru the night.  She asked about our routine and caught one thing.  She said to STOP rocking him before bed.  He was associating sleep with the rocking motion, so to get him to learn to fall back asleep after waking at night, we had to put him to sleep awake after our nightly routine – sans rocking chair.  So, that night we sat on the floor reading books with the lights dimmed before bed.  He cried a bit when we put him down, but eventually put himself to sleep. And guess what?  He slept thru the night!

one year old sleeping

In the months since, Avery has been (mostly) sleeping thru the night.  Some nights he wakes himself from coughing and needs a pacifier to put him back down, but for the most part, he sleeps 11 hours a night, and takes a 2 hour nap at daycare.  To think, after trying ALL those things to get him to sleep, and changing just one thing got him to sleep thru the night!

Oh and go figure, I plan to write this and the past 4 days Avery has been waking up 1-2 hours earlier than usual… no idea why, but I’m starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation again and I’m not liking it!  I guess Avery just likes keeping me on my toes… hopefully it’s just a phase, or else it’s back to the drawing board….again!

Happy sleeping!

It’s the words that count!

Ever since my husband bought me a kindle for Christmas just over a year ago, I have been involved in several discussions on whether they are a good thing or whether we should stick to books just to make sure they will still be around in a hundred years time. I have also read several posts about the subject and I have even written one myself.

This Friday I heard a line that solved the whole debate for me forever. I was watching room 101, a brilliant program where (for those of you who don’t know it) well known people get to choose something they would like to get rid of, they argue the case why and the presenter then decides whether the object will go into room 101. Anyway, one of the guests wanted to put e-books into room 101, this fired the usual debates of 1 person saying they love books too much to own an e-reader and the other person saying they love reading so much they love being able to carry hundreds of books with them on their e-reader. But then came the line, the line that was going to, in my opinion, solve this problem forever. It wasn’t anything philosophical or deep and meaningful. It wasn’t particularly clever but it made sense. “It’s the words that count, not how you read them”.

And that’s just it, it is the words that count.

Enough said.

Honey, I think I have man-flu!

The new year didn’t get off to a great start in Newman Towers. Both my husband and I are not big fans of new year’s eve we started a little tradition of our own about 6 years ago. Basically this involves having a nice relaxing evening, going to bed about 22.00 maybe 23.00 and briefly waking up at midnight to mutter something that might sound like: Happy New Year darling. For us this has been a very satisfactory way to celebrate the turn of the year.

This year we had no intentions to breaking this tradition. We were in bed by 23.00, but still awake at 2.30 because the idiot next door was having a party…..again! But as it was New Year’s Eve there really wasn’t anything we could do about it. On top of that I didn’t feel that great, so after having only 4 hours of sleep I struggled through the first of January with a headache, sore throat and nasty sounding cough.

On Wednesday morning, the first day back at work, I woke up and said to my husband: “Honey, I think I have man-flu.” He looked somewhat confused, gave me a hug and said: “Poor darling, hope you feel better soon.” Bless him. Just for the record the definition, well my definition, of man-flu is where the level of feeling sorry for thyself is much higher than the level of illness. This was most definitely the case on Wednesday, so I went to work and felt sorry for myself all day.

Come Thursday the man-flu had gone, it had turned into the real thing! Blocked nose, a red Rudolph like nose from all the blowing, headaches, burning feeling in chest, sneezing every two seconds etc. etc. And all this on my day off, which is great news for my boss, because if I would have felt like this on a work day I would have phoned in sick, but not such good news for me as there is no way I can rest with Elisabeth around. So we tried to have a fun day in between the sneezes and coughs. Luckily my wonderful husband was home early and cleaned up the kitchen after dinner and looked after Elisabeth so I could have a hot bath, very much appreciated. I do suspect I probably have the best husband in the world.

After a good night sleep there seems to be a little more time in between the sneezing and coughing fits. I still require the maximum dosage of paracetamol to keep the killer headache at bay, but it’s going in the right direction. I’m sure I’ll be better ready to go back to work on Monday…..all I need is som rest…..yawn.

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