Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer Holidays - Days 3, 4 and 5

Day 3 of the summer holidays was Saturday. I was off work, so wanted to take the boys out of the house. They’d been bouncing off the walls the last couple of days, so I figured it was due to boredom / needing a change of scenery and something to do.

We went to the library, and J signed up for The Big Friendly Read. He has a little passport type book to fill in with six books that he reads over the summer holidays – any six books he likes – and he is rewarded if he completes the challenge. It reminds me of the Book Trail I used to do at my local library as a kid – does anyone else remember that? Anyway, he was well up for the idea, so we have hired three books to kick him off – one is short stories about dragons, the other is short stories about robots, and the third is short stories about dinosaurs. While we were there, we saw that the library was running a treasure hunt that day – you had to find six Roald Dahl images around the library and note down what number they were marked as, and what the character name of the image was. It took us the best part of an hour, but J was well into it and interacting with all the library assistants happily discussing the characters, where he’d found them, and the ones that took a bit longer to find. I was surprised there were so few people there, but I suppose as the weather was nice very few people thought about visiting the library to waste some time that day – it tends to be busier on a wet afternoon in the holidays, not one when the temperature outside is almost 30 degrees!

After that we headed to the market and had a mooch about for a while, then we went to Subway and got some lunch. J said it was too crowded and noisy in Subway to eat there, so we headed down to the riverside and found a quiet spot to sit on a bench in the shade of a willow tree. By the time we got there, Baby A was fast asleep in his pushchair, so he slept while J and I had our lunch and a chat and generally relaxed in the sunshine.

Sunday was day 4 of the summer holidays, and we went over to Grandma and Grandad P’s house for the afternoon. Grandad P cooked Sunday dinner, Baby A rolled around on the living room floor quite a lot (he’s crawling backwards and rolling brilliantly, but still not found forward gear with his crawling so he backs into corners and gets annoyed quite a lot) J was quite overexcited so after dinner he went to the park with Grandma and Daddy P for a little while to let off some steam. We got home late, he was put in bed, but then was back downstairs again by 9pm and ended up sitting on the sofa cuddled up, first with me and then with Daddy P, until I went up when Baby A woke up around midnight and when I got back downstairs again after settling him I found J asleep on the sofa and Daddy P asleep in the armchair. I woke Daddy P to carry J up to bed and went to bed myself.

Monday / Day 5 – I was working from home today, and this morning the internet connection was completely rubbish so it kept messing about and dropping my connection. The boys hadn’t slept well and they were grumpy and Daddy P hadn’t slept well so he was grumpy. It was a rocky old day with arguments, cross words, I struggled to get my work done, Daddy P wanted to get the gardening done, the boys wanted our full attention … It was rough. I have an ultimate plan though. I’m off work tomorrow and Wednesday, so have made plans for both days with friends of mine who have kids in J’s class at school, so J has someone to play with while I get some adult conversation and we get out of the house. As I’ve managed (finally) to get a decent amount of hours work done today, it means that for Thur, Fri, Sat and Sun I’m not under as much pressure to get as much work done, so I can take it a little more easy and take a break every so often to concentrate on the boys rather than trying to get my head down and crack on with lots of hours like I was trying to do today.

I love my job, I love being able to work from home and on the whole work around the boys – but times like this, not even so much today because Daddy P was home to help with the boys, even though he was grumpy about it, it’s the holidays that are really hard because J deserves to be going somewhere, not sitting at home playing computer games and watching TV – he deserves my attention, my patience, not me telling him “in a minute” and snapping at him for wanting a moment of my time. I hope we can enjoy tomorrow and Wednesday without any huge issues, and I can relax, and we can muddle through the next four days before we go on holiday and I have 2 weeks off work to devote every moment to my gorgeous boys and doing all kinds of things that they’ll enjoy.

I had a day of feeling like a bad mummy today, feeling guilty for trying to juggle work and home life and feeling like I dropped everything instead, having total mum guilt for having to work at all, but I tried my best and I have to remember that’s all anyone can ask. Tomorrow is another day!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Maxi-Cosi carseat Summer Cover

When Baby A was born last August, I wasn’t up for going out much in the car, and by the time I was taking him out I was using the Pebble carseat with the matching Footmuff. I love my Pebble, and I love the Footmuff, too. Its lovely and snuggly, the inner fabric is like t shirt material so its nice and cosy and soft against baby, and because it’s the official Footmuff to use with the carseat you know its safe, because the harness goes into the back of it, does up directly around baby, and the Footmuff does up over the top, so baby is securely harnessed in correctly. It kept Baby A gorgeous and warm through a long, chilly winter, and I was a bit sad when it was time to take it off when the weather got warmer again.

My ickle dinky dot was 6 weeks old in this photo

The weather turning warm meant that Baby A was getting sweaty in his carseat. Like his big brother, the combination of warm weather and being in a carseat means his hair is soaked and his clothes are sticking to him within ten minutes of travelling. I had learned with J five years ago that the summer cover for the CabrioFix was an invaluable piece of kit – and the summer cover for the Pebble is proving itself to be just as invaluable for Baby A.

The Pebble carseat with Cool Grey summer cover
(as seen on the Maxi-Cosi website)

I went for the Cool Grey colour summer cover, because I think it goes best with the existing Denim Hearts fabric. Although you don’t see any of the carseat fabric as the summer cover goes over it entirely, the harness pads are still the same (denim blue) and the rubber trim of the carseat is blue. I’m still using the headhugger in the carseat even though in just 2 weeks time Baby A will be a whole 12 months old, and this is a soft, grey, t shirt fabric.

I felt a bit sad, covering up my beloved Denim Hearts fabric. Having said that though, I cannot deny that Baby A is much more comfortable with the summer cover in place than he would be without – temperatures have been high 20’s / early 30’s here recently, and I think he would have been seriously hot and bothered using the carseat without the summer cover.

The summer cover is made from towelling fabric, so it keeps baby cooler by wicking away moisture from around the baby to keep them cool and comfortable.

Summer covers really are fantastic, I highly recommend them – I’ll be getting one for Baby A’s next carseat, too, and I’m considering one for J though he doesn’t get as sweaty now he’s in a high back booster seat – I think because it’s less closed-in than a carseat with harness. If you have a Maxi-Cosi carseat and you’re interested in a summer cover, you can buy them direct from the Maxi-Cosi E Shop for all current style Maxi-Cosi carseats, RRP £30.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

The Beach Fixes Everything

I love this quote, because for me, it’s so true.

I’ve been stressed and harassed and short tempered and irritable for a while, just the usual uphill struggle of being mummy, being wife, being housekeeper, juggling responsibilities of those roles with working, plus I’ve not been getting enough sleep, and I’m having a bizarre allergic reaction to something (it’s been going on for ages now, nothing huge just an intensely irritating angry red rash down my arms and on my chest which itches like crazy, and I’m popping anti histamines and using Benadryl cream but it’s not helping so I think my next step is a visit to the doc)

Today, a last minute decision to go to the beach. Mum was there already, she came over to our house yesterday and since Baby A and I were up so early this morning and it looked like it would be a gorgeous day, I did a couple of hours work first thing then packed a bag, got the boys in the car, and we headed for the caravan to spend the day with mum. After lunch, we drove to the beach, and from the moment I kicked off my sandals and felt the sand between my toes, took a nice deep breath of fresh sea air and listened to the waves crashing and I immediately felt more relaxed.

The beach unfortunately can’t pay the bills, it can’t get rid of this annoying allergy, it can’t stop me getting stressed when I’m asking J to do something for the millionth time, it can’t stop Baby A from waking up six times a night and me being overtired all the damn time, but you know what, it does fix everything. For a few hours this afternoon, with the sun shining, the waves crashing, the sand between my toes, watching J run around like a loon because he had space and freedom to do so, watching Baby A curiously touching and playing with the sand, wiggling his toes in it and giggling happily, I felt fixed. I felt relaxed, I felt calm, I felt content.

I must go back again soon.

Mummy P