Persephone: Parent

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M I C K E Y M O U S E

Elvis loves the Disney Channel (Junior) and really likes Mick (Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse). I don’t mind. I love Disney and quite enjoy Sofia the First, too. Not sure about Doc McStuffins or Curious George yet.

But I have some questions!

Why does Donald talk more like a duck than Daisy?

Why are Goofy and Minnie the only ones fully dressed?

Are Mickey/Minnie and Donald/Daisy dating/married?

Why doesn’t Donald wear shoes? The others do.

Is Goofy a dog? If he is, why isn’t he a pet like Pluto?

Finally, is letting my toddler watch this much TV a sign of lazy parenting and going to do some form of long lasting horrendous damage?

~ P

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Introduction To the Other Me: Two Words

There’s a side of me that I keep quiet about online now. It’s a side of me that was the first me on the internet, almost 20 years ago and over the past few months, slowly some elements have crept into this blog. I’m a sci-fi geek. I used to never talk about my love of TV, attending conventions and writing fanfiction, but I now have some TV based blogs on here. I have discussed my conventions on here. But my fanfiction has never appeared.

Until now.

Where I house my fanfiction online, it has work dating back to the early 2000s if not maybe late 90s and I was a very different person then. God, I was barely an adult. I’m not going to go into great depth about the stories that I have posted online for the world to read. I won’t go into graphic detail into why I write fanfiction, which my favourite show is or what my favourite pairing is, etc, etc. I go through random periods where I write and others when I don’t. I haven’t written in almost a year now, but I keep thinking about it at the moment.

If you hit the more tag, there is a story beneath. It’s based on a TV show that I watch and love but you truly, really don’t need to know anything at all about that show. There are barely any names mentioned and the piece is very different for me. It is one of a few pieces that were written to work things out in my head and as we approach the second birthday of my first born, this is the story I wrote for him just before he turned one. And I guess this post, the story beneath are evidence of a different me – the me that writes fanfiction and keeps it hidden like a dirty little secret and the me that I was before I was blessed with Elvis and then Robin.

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Potential Convention Plans 2015

Here are my possibilities:

 

Milton Keynes convention is on the list for the potential of attaching the trip to our staycation and because maybe Hubby and Toddler can go and do something else whilst we’re there and/or make a weekend of it. I’m still unsure of taking Robin somewhere overnight and especially all four of us being in the one room for a whole night!

The activities I’ve found in Milton Keynes are:

For Bournemouth, I already know about the Oceanarium, which we should be visiting for our staycation, and there’s the beach. What else could we do?

Any tips on hotel staying with two little ‘uns? Or on visiting Bournemouth and Milton Keynes?

Or taking babies and toddlers to a convention filled with cosplayers and famous actors/actresses?

~ P

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Staycation Plans

Plans for my Staycation:

We’re going to have 5 daytrips over this summer rather than going away with Robin being so little and it’s easier on hubby’s job to spread the time off, and I want to include a trip to the Isle of Wight (to take Elvis on a boat), a farm to see the animals, a zoo and then a theme park type place.

Out of the three farms on the list, Longdown farm sounds the best on their website, Staunton next and then Manor. Longdown recommended by friends, but the most expensive. Seems far more tailored, by website anyway, for visitors. Hubby and I also have tickets for afternoon tea at Staunton which I was hoping to use over the Summer with either Nanny babysitting or accompanying us and taking the children off around the farm/park part. It’s also really quite close to home so perhaps more tailored, for us, for weekend regular visits when we just want to get out of the house. Especaily as their season ticket price is pretty decent. So I reckon Longdown is the one we’ll end up going to.

As for Theme Parks, well, there’s no Disney or Alton Towers in there, is there? We did Paulton’s last year and Elvis preferred the play park areas to the rides. I’m sure that will have changed by now, but it’s not as if us adults can do much there so does it matter about us at all? I like the fact that Jennifer has been to Legoland with toddlers, as had some commenters on her blog. I reckon it could be a nice different place to go rather than Paultons. Especially as the Junior part of Paultons is all about Peppa Pig and I’m not too keen on her. Elvis has never watched her either. Daddy might prefer Legoland, too.

I have no idea what I really want to do on the Isle of Wight, but I found a link to Blackgang Chine and I just might have to do it. The website may make it look a bit tacky. May make it look a bit old and rundown, but Elvis is not going to notice. I quite like the idea of wondering through Fairy Land and the Giant Bug Walk, or singing along in Nursery World. Just me? Okay then.

The oceanarium at Bournemouth is really a test run for potentially heading that way for a convention in August and visiting a bigger aquarium than our local one has to offer. Elvis loves the Blue Reef Center when we go, so he will love it, along with the animals at Marwell and whichever farm we end up deciding on.

I don’t even know when we’re doing this, maybe in June or we might start in May and we might be adding a weekend stay in Milton Keynes for me to attend a convention with both kiddies.

Any recommendations or other suggestions?

~ P

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Toddler Quirks 1

The ten most recent quirks of my toddler –

1. Dinner time is filled with tears when Elvis accidentally breaks his cracker or piece of bread. Because he asks me to fix it. I can’t remake a cracker. He won’t accept new either. So we get tears.

2. Elvis already copies me at breakfast by spooning up the leftover milk in his cereal bowl. Then he saw me lick a spoon I’d stirred my milkshake with. Now he spoon drinks his cup of milk.

3. He knocks his knuckles on lots of things saying “knock, knock, knock” which is quirky and cute in its own way but recently he did it on his bottle of sun cream!

4. When he wanted more milk on his cereal, Daddy did so by pouring somw from his cup. Moments later? Elvis drowned his cereal, the table, his lap and the floor.

5. During a recent bad teething day, Elvis demanded his dummy ALL morning. It was strapped to his pushchair when I took him swimming and I refused to take it off. After much pulling, the dummy pulled off from the strap. Well, Elvis went crazy (even though he now had a free dummy) until I put it back on the strap.

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Newbie Cinema: Avengers Age of Ultron

When Elvis was about 5 months old, I took him to our nearest Odeon Cinema to a Newbie screening. We saw a random film really, we went for the experience, so when Avengers Age of Ultron came out, I hoped and hoped that it would be shown on a Newbie screening nearby.

And it was.

But Hubby couldn’t get the day off and it’s quite difficult to get to our local Odeon without a car. Searching nearby I found a screening on a different day at Guildford.

Newbie screenings are designed for parents with young children,  namely babies really. The volume is lower, the lights aren’t dimmed as much and everyone expects crying, screaming and other general baby/toddler related noises. At Guildford there was somewhere to leave your pushchair, but we took our pram in and sat at the back with it when Robin napped. I saw other parents easily manoeuvre their pushchairs down the shallow, long steps. As long as you don’t block the aisles/exits we were told it was fine to put the pram anywhere.

Guildford’s Odeon is kind of secluded. It has it’s own Costa with outdoor seating  and the usual cinema food. And I guess the walk to the shops, restaurants and coffee shops aren’t really that far but after getting there and wanting a drink, with baby in tow it felt like further away. There’s also a carpark attached to the cinema, but we parked the other side of town.

I also have no idea about the baby changing facilities because I just use a changing mat on the floor in the cinema (I’m going to miss enough of the film with random crying) – yes, that’s how light the cinema is.

I think the best thing about Newbie screenings isn’t fully the fact that you get to see a film without needing a babysitter, without worrying it’s going to be too loud or so dark that your child will be scared, but that when your baby starts crying (which they all do at some point), you don’t have to worry about annoying anyone.

The worst thing is the volume. Haha! I missed most of the farmhouse scene and all of the Banner/Widow talks because they whisper and the volume is low for all the film. Whilst you want the action scenes to be quieter, a remote control to up the volume would have been handy at times! Hubby also really disliked how light it was; he did not get the cinema experience. But we did get to watch the film!

I really enjoyed it. I loved the little cameos that some only lasted seconds, but are well worth it and fans would complain if they were missing. I loved the Banner/Widow scenes, or what I heard of them, especially after watching the first film the night before and loving the chemistry they had. I loved the Hawkeye developments and feared for him due to them. I loved the infighting and teamwork, they all just gel and pick up on each other’s next move before it can be vocalised. There weren’t as many perfectly paired scenes as Avengers Assemble, but in this film things are established and they are that team, they do know each other’s next move, they do all think together and fight together.

Or fight each other at points with perfect logic. I didn’t fully get all of the dream thoughts but my attention wasn’t 100% on the film all of the time (and apparently Black Widow’s links to Agent Carter which I have yet to watch). For that reason I do begrudge paying normal prices, but it is my choice to take my baby. Except at 11am on a weekday morning, when there are specific showings for older people and students – both at a discounted rate – who else is really going to be going to the cinema? That said, I, personally, would only do a Newbie screening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,  especially as I wouldn’t want Agents of Shield to spoil a film! It also depends on your child. I would only take Elvis to a Newbie screening if it was a film he’d enjoy, but Robin slept and fed through it.

From the few shops in Guildford we saw, it looked quite good – a mothercare and Entertainer, Cath Kidston for those with more money and there were restaurants and plenty of clothes shops. As I said, the cinema seemed in an odd location with the entrance really hidden but I guess the town center is spread out more than what I’m used to. Next time I think I might go by train.

When the next Marvel film comes out, if I’m still not comfortable with a baby sitter for both kids, I’ll look into Newbie again and Guildford will be an option if I can’t get to my local. And the film?

It certainly fits with all the others, had a great feel to it, some funny moments and a decent baddie. Probably not as good as the first, but that had a bit more heart and Loki. I can see it as having set up a third Avengers and even the next Captain America. Its ending was perhaps a bit understated or maybe it was just me who felt sad at it ending. Shouldn’t it have made me a bit saddened and excited? I don’t think I felt either.

And the final line – I actually laughed out loud. I was the only one. Avengers…

~ P

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Monthly Update: Month 3

Weight, Length, Height: 14lb 14oz.

Routine: NONE! At 9 weeks anyway. Well, except bedtime. I think I need to be stricter, I need perserverance, but I keep getting lazy. Somewhere around 10 weeks, bedtime started to alter but the morning firmed up. She wakes between half 7 or 8. I won’t get her until as near to 8 unless she’s upset or still asleep. I love that hour! She feeds by 9 and then by half 12. There’s another afternoon feed between 2 and 4. The bedtime cluster feed starts as early as half 6 and lasts over an hour.

Bedtime: At 9 weeks old, Robin goes to bed at 9pm with me and, aside from 1-2 night feeds, sleeps until half 7 or 8. Sometimes she can sleep on me for most of 7-9pm. I wish she had an earlier bedtime.

Naps/Length: Nothing definable at 9 weeks. I know it’s still early, but I’d like there to be. She doesn’t sleep alone during the day. She doesn’t stay asleep if I put her down. She doesn’t stay asleep in the pushchair once we’re in the house. She refuses a dummy, needs rocking in the nursing chair. I’d like this to change. Partly so I can play with Elvis on an evening.

Number of feeds in 24hrs: At 9 weeks, 7-8 feeds. If she went to bed at 7pm it might change.

Favourite toy/objects: She quite likes her Fisher Price Gym and doesn’t like the Tiny Love one as much.

Clothing age: Into 3-6 in basic clothing by 11 weeks, clothes are far roomier and she’s in 0-3. Now in size 3 nappies.

Foot length/Shoe Size: 9cm

Milestones: Definitely reaching for objects. In her pram she was trying to get the hanging toy. On tummy time she can hold her head up at 45 degrees maybe getting close to 90 and she has amazing neck strength.

What I’m reading/Favourite Books:

Signs: I randomly have signed milk and mummy to her.

Number of Teeth:

Fears:

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#getoffthesofa

I think I decided to start getting off the sofa just after Easter (probably with the thought that I’d start it properly once all of that chocolate was gone. Ha!) And I think I posted about having an April’s Resolution, well here I am a month later.

I’ve definitely been more active in the past month. Partly with help from some Mummies from my local breastfeeding group – the group isn’t on over Easter so we went walking instead. Since then the 4 mornings that Elvis is at nursery I go for a walk and Robin falls asleep in the pram. I think it’s getting her into a bit of a routine. A bit.

I have bought chocolate and cakes since I started my resolution but they’ve always been my weakness. Because, yes, the goal is to be healthier and help shift some of my pregnancy tum but it’s also just to get me out of the house.

With Elvis I could leave the house whenever I wanted. Go for a walk. Wander around the shops. He napped every morning at half 9 and evening at half 4 in the pushchair because I went out. It’s probably why I was far less achey with him. I don’t have that luxury now.

With Robin, she has to be in the pushchair 1230-1330 for the nursery run. Then for the rest of the afternoon I can’t go out as Elvis naps upstairs. It’s frowned upon. So mornings are for walking.

And it certainly is the weather for it. Hopefully once Robin manages to be put down for her naps (oh help me God, let her sleep in her bed during the day) then the snack food eating will stop. I only do it because I get so bored and lonely rocking her in the nursing chair.

Technically it should be #getoffthenursingchair as she won’t actually let me sit on the sofa.

Here are April’s stats:
Clothes – still in maternity trousers. My size 16 do fit bit underneath my wobbly jiggly bits. In all of my nursing tops from before.
Weight to lose – I started this wanting to lose 20kg. I still have 20kg to lose.
Aches and Pains – I have general relaxin based joint pains and my shoulders/neck hurt from spending so much time rocking in the nursing chair.

Now on with May!

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TV Watching: How I Met Your Mother

This is an incredibly late blog and, as such, I don’t think I need to put any kind of spoiler warning! The final season of HIMYM really disappointed me. The whole season. Each episode had me wishing for more. In fact the only one I remember enjoying was where we discovered Lily was pregnant – the only surprise in the entire season.

I guess Barney and Robin divorcing was kind of a surprise, but more disappointing given the circumstances, I mean had they actually even said their vows in the longest ever wedding?

Let me state two things – I do not ship any pairing in this show (I love Lily/Marshall and have a soft spot for Victoria with Ted) so I do not care who Robin ends up with. Secondly, I also don’t care that Ted ended up with Robin after everything.

What I do care about is that for 8 years I wanted to find out about the mother. I care about their relationship. And why shouldn’t I after an 8 year journey? But we didn’t get that, not in enough detail. Whole episodes didn’t even have the Mother in them. And I find that the truly unsatisfying part. Months after watching the final season I happened upon the first ever episode on TV (I rarely watch live TV) and I loved it.

I do like how they introduce Robin, everyone in fact, but also how Ted makes it clear that she is Aunt Robin. The kids at the end of the very first episode even point out they thought it was a story about how he met their mother not their Aunt Robin. I guess someone would then point out that the kids don’t need to know anything about after he met their mum because, you know, they lived it and we have seen points of Ted’s life post meeting their mom sans mom.

And that’s what gets me. She’s the point of the whole series. No matter how amazing Barney/Lily are, no matter how legen-wait for it-dary Barney is, no matter which side of the Barney-Robin-Ted-Victoria ship you’re on, the Mother is in the freaking show title and she got royally screwed over.

I saw the second to last ever Friends episode last week and it’s monumentally better. HIMYM has nothing to it regarding final episodes and the entire final season will remain a bitter thing. Even after all of these months.

~ P

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Coming Clean – Mummy Struggles

This blog is not what it was. When Elvis was newborn, when I was struggling so hard in the early months, I blogged and tweeted all of the time to try and cope with it. I don’t know what this blog is anymore, but it isn’t that.

I’m struggling.

The past 4 nights, Baby Robin has cried, screamed from 7-9. She cried everytime she’s tired and needs to go to sleep. She won’t take a dummy. She won’t nurse to sleep. She screams when I rock her. She screams when I put her in the pushchair for sleep. This screaming for sleep is all the time. All. The. Time. But after 7pm it’s Hell.

The past 4 nights, from 7-9 I’ve pretty much cried constantly.

I can’t handle it anymore.

She only sleeps on me during the day. She wakes as soon as she’s put down. She has no routine. She needs to nap at tea time when I’m trying to feed Elvis and SHE ONLY NAPS ON A PARENT!

I spend my day trying to get her to sleep and SHE SCREAMS.

It’s too draining now.

It all feels so hard when I know things are better, easier than they were. It feels so hard to me.

How do I get her to sleep that final nap when I have Elvis?

How do I get her to sleep for long enough independently?

How do I get her into a routine when Elvis already has one and she wants something different?

How can I do what she needs when it contradicts what Elvis needs?

Every time she’s screaming I feel like everyone nearby is wondering what I’m doing wrong. If I’m home alone, I think my neighbours are thinking I’m rubbish. That I’m a bad mother.

Why can’t I stop her screaming? I’m her mother and I should be able to.

How the fuck do I stop crying?

~ P

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