Signs I’m old already

I’ve long been aware that I’m old before my time. Even during my university days, I was always asking what song was playing in the clubs and was never one who could stay up much past 2am and 9 times out of 10, I was the first to call it a night once I’d hit my limit.

But now I’m nearly 30 and have my daughter, I’m embracing my OAP status fully and wholeheartedly, luckily my husband has never been much of a clubbing person either and more often than not, a wild night for us involves opening a bottle of wine when Isla has gone to bed.

But I admit, there are some parts of me that make me seem older still…

  1. I hate listening to Radio 1 – no offence to the DJs, but I really can’t stand Radio 1. To me, all the music sounds the same (more on that later) and most of the time, it just seems like the rest of the shows are just the DJs having very shouty conversations with each other! Give me Radio 2 and the soothing tones of Ken Bruce and a decent variety of music any day!
  2. Get home, not going out again? Pjs on! – I like to think that most people do this, not just me! But once I get home and if I’m not planning to go back out again, I’ll change out of my jeans and either pop my comfy lounge trousers on (which are an old pair of Hubs’ Calvin Klein pyjama bottoms!) or just go all out and put my pjs on. I think if I don’t need to go anywhere, there’s no need to be uncomfortable in jeans while slobbing about! Having said that, signing for a parcel in my pjs at 2pm doesn’t make me look good…
  3. What is she wearing?! – honestly, the youth of today! Hubs and I will see girls walking down the street wearing those high waisted jeans and tiny crop tops that show off their stomachs, all I can think is “she must be freezing! She’ll get a chill in her kidneys!” And during the summer when girls were wearing denim hot pants and crop tops, we both agreed that Isla will NEVER leave the house looking like that. You heard it here first.
  4. Modern music? Pah! Pass the Queen CD – I’m really, really not a fan of modern music, something my cool, childless friends find hilarious. My musical taste leans more towards rock like Muse, Within Temptation and Evanescence and the most modern song I have on my Apple Music is Runnin’ by Naughty Boy and Beyoncé. Seriously, I look at at the charts and I’ve probably not even heard of about half of the artists (who the hell is DJ Snake?!) and most of the chart music sounds the same to me. Beat, beat, electronic auto tuned voice, beat, beat, blah blah. I was raised by parents who are very into their 70s glam rock so have grown up listening to Queen, Slade, ELO, DireStraits etc etc (ask your parents kids) or as I like to call it, proper music!
  5. I read newspapers and paperbacks – most people get their books and news by downloading them, whereas I’m old school and love to turn the pages of an actual book or newspaper. That’s why on holiday (before child of course) my suitcase weighs a ton because I bring about 7 books with me!
  6. I mother my friends – I’m constantly making sure my friends have eaten/drunk enough when we’re together, and my handbag is a goldmine of tissues, paracetamol, lip balm, nail scissors, a mini sewing kit (yes really, I pinched it from a hotel room and it’s come in handy on a few occasions!). One of my friends never eats enough so I’m constantly trying to feed her up.
  7. Nights out? Nope! Nights in! – before Isla was born, if we had friends over we’d either start the night with a few drinks and maybe a meal in our local restaurant before making our way back to our and getting stuck into a few bottles of wine. To be fair, not much has changed here, except nowadays we tend to cook for our guests before getting stuck into the wine and I’m normally ready for bed after 2 or 3 glasses of wine! Recently we had some friends over and I managed to stay up until 11.30, and bloody hell I felt it the next day!

I’m thrilled that this post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…


A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!


The Debate Club

When I’m with my mummy friends, we often put the world to rights about various issues that everyone seems to have an opinion on, including the choices us mummies face and often, the criticism we face for making the “wrong ones”. Here’s my two penneth on some of the topics we’ve talked about. FYI, these are just my opinions, I’m not saying they’re the right ones, just that they’re mine…

  • Breastfeeding in public – I really wish I had been brave enough to be one of those mums who could breastfeed her baby in the middle of a shop or restaurant, but I just couldn’t. If I ever had to feed Isla in public, I found a baby changing room. I really admire those who could, and I believe that if baby needs feeding it shouldn’t matter where you are, you should be allowed to just crack on and feed them, but I’d heard too many stories (mostly in the Daily Mail) of poor mums who had been confronted by “offended” onlookers to do it myself. Maybe next time…
  • Vaccinations – surely this one is a no brainer? Why would anyone not want to protect their children from deadly diseases? Yes, some do come with side effects, but I’d rather take the side effects than the disease itself. If anyone can come up with a good reason not to vaccinate their children against meningitis, rubella and so on, I’d like to hear it!
  • Dummies – most of my friends have given their babies a dummy, but we didn’t give Isla one. I know many babies find a lot of comfort in dummies, but we decided not to give Isla a dummy as we were worried that it would be hard to wean her off it. Luckily Isla has always been a very placid, settled baby and we’ve never had an occasion where she seemed like she needed one.
  • Breast vs bottle – I’m very pro-breastfeeding and breastfed Isla until she was 6 months old with no problems. But I’m also very aware of how hard it is and that many women struggle with it. I know I was very lucky to have found nursing relatively easy, that it’s not for everyone and I very firmly believe that as long as baby is being fed, it doesn’t matter whether it comes from a tit or Tommee Tippee. Although I’d definitely recommend all women give it a try, especially in the early weeks, as I found it so much easier to just scoop Isla out of her Moses basket and feed her straight away rather than faff about sterilising and making up bottles multiple times a night! 
  • BLW vs purees – both are brilliant! I’ve got splinters on my arse for sitting on the fence, but we’ve tried both with Isla and they both had their positives. Baby led was great for teaching Isla to feed herself, while spoon feeding her purees was also great for making sure she actually ate something.
  • Cry it out – I admit, I’m not a fan of crying it out but for a somewhat daft reason. When Isla was going through sleep regression, we tried sleep training which was a great success eventually as she learned how to settle herself, and while we were going through it I read a poem posted to Facebook written from the POV of a baby being left to cry it out and it made me sob. With lines like “I need you mommy, where are you?” it broke my heart. I know there’s absolutely no way to know what goes through a baby’s mind when they’re crying it out but it just stuck with me. 

The first time your child is “ill” ill

We’re sending your baby up to hospital.” The words I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to hear, the moment I had been dreading, happened on Wednesday.

I knew all along that babies and toddlers catch bugs and get ill, it’s just one of those things. And we’d been lucky to make it til Isla was nearly 15 months before we had to whisk her up to our local hospital lickity split, but none of this prepared me for how worried and scared I’d be when it actually happened.

Isla had had a cough and cold for a few days prior and it didn’t seem to be bothering her. I’d dropped her off at nursery on Tuesday as normal and she was perfectly fine in herself, giving the nursery staff a big cuddle when she arrived and launched herself straight into playing. But a couple of hours before I was due to pick her up, the nursery rang to say her cough was worse and she had a temperature. She slept well that night but the next day she wasn’t herself at all. She showed no interest in playing or reading and only wanted to cuddle me. I got her a doctors appointment and she was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics and an inhaler. But later her temperature went up to nearly 40degrees so we went back to the doctors, only to be told we were being referred to the paediatric ward at our local hospital that evening.

I was so scared. I’ve read far too many horror stories about children being misdiagnosed (damn you Daily Mail) and was terrified my little girl was seriously ill. Even worse, Hubs was down in London, half way back from a business trip to Belgium. Luckily our hospital was wonderful and we were really well looked after. Her blood oxygen levels, temperature and heart rate were monitored and weren’t quite satisfactory enough for us to go home after a few hours so she was monitored through the night too. None of us got any sleep on the noisy children’s ward, but luckily Isla improved massively through the night and by morning, was back to her usual cheeky self with all her vitals back to normal. We were back home by lunchtime with instructions to keep up the inhaler for 3 days.

Seeing Isla so unlike herself and lethargic has been horrible and while I’m not daft enough to think she’ll never get poorly again, I hope we’ll never have to see the inside of the children’s ward again.