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CBT: Session Three – Oh, There I am! #PND

As I walked into the third session, I was still feeling so so down from the session before and then my failed attempt to socialise, that I wondered what the point was. But I wasn’t about to lose my place on the course and I really loved the creche aspect! Honestly, possibly not the best reason, but I’m not going to lie – it was not hope and optimism that made me go on the third week. Haha! The third session was all about rumination (I tick all the boxes, so, yep, I ruminate. A lot) and introduced SMART Goals.

Well, somewhere in the week afterwards, I began to see some light.

I think it happened when I set my SMART Goal in front of everyone in the therapy session. Because that meant I had to stick to it. Right?

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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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My Planned Mummy Moments

Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog about things I desperately wanted to do — it was written in a sleep addled, desperation for some sort of normality in those first few months where suddenly you are no longer a person in your own right – you are a mum and that is all!

Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones.¬†Not managed that one yet. I started to think about doing it this Autumn, either leaving Elvis with Nanny for a day away, or taking him with us, but I can’t survive a whole day like that, especially not with Elvis in tow. My body¬†sometimes aches before I even get out of bed!

2. Go on the London Eye. I promised my mum a trip on the Eye when she had foster children. Well, they left as I had my IUI so we still haven’t been. Not even really considered that one, still really want to do it and maybe in another year or two. I like the idea of a weekend in London with my mum. See the Christmas lights from up high and visit all the Christmassy tourist things!

3. Have a pedicure. Or more than one. This might be doable sooner than a lot of others. Done. Just before Elvis’ first birthday in time for our first family holiday.

4. Visit a spa. This mummy needs a day of pampering! April of this year (actually around the time that I conceived), a friend invited me for a day of jogging, cycling, swimming and saunaing it up! I loved it!

5. Enjoy an afternoon tea. Some friends recently went to a local hotel for afternoon tea and it looked so yummy. It may have a spa there too. Still considering this as a pre-Christmas thing, either with a bunch of friends as a kind of second baby shower thing, or just me and hubby as one final date. I really want scones, cream and all the other fancy cakes. I’d love the spa aspect, but I can’t use half of it so there is very little point.

6. Have a lie in! Can’t remember how frequently this happens! There have been a number of occasions on the weekend that I have had to go and wake hubby up as he’s still asleep, as is Elvis – I try not to wake Elvis up on weekends as we often have to on weekdays. I think this Mummy Moment was written when I was listening to everyone’s horror stories about never sleeping ever again. My first child is a very good sleeper. My second? I hope to God s/he will be!

7. Sleep 8 hours with no interruptions! Has definitely happened, but with my pregnant bladder issues, I can’t remember what it feels like. I definitely got there, and not just the occasion I got a stomach bug.

8. Have a date, or two, with my hubby. Our wedding anniversary last February was the first date since Elvis arrived. It probably won’t happen at the next anniversary, Robin will be far too little. We’ve also had a few Sunday Cinema dates and evenings away for parties.

9. Go to the cinema. With me only managing to get in Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 before giving birth to E, there are many other geeky films that I missed. I’ll settle with most of them on DVD for Christmas though. I didn’t miss a single Geek film that I wanted to see. Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Soldier and the X-Men film. We didn’t get to the Spiderman film or Guardians of the Galaxy, but we only watched the first Spiderman film on DVD this year! I watched them all in the cinema, and even took Elvis to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2.

10. Go shopping for new clothes. And I mean when I know what my body’s like and normal tops that don’t need to be nursable. Ummm, yeah, did this and then discovered I was pregnant. I did not get back in to wired bras and I only wore my new wardrobe for a few weeks, including our May family holiday. Next time, eh?

11. Attend my conventions. Now, I’ll happily take E to most of them, but he probably can’t do the Milton Keynes ones due to the distance and cold location so I’ll do those alone. Hopefully! I tried in July, it was an organisational disaster, but I did get there, just never got in. But I went to one in London, October whilst 6 months pregnant and I loved it. I needed lots of breaks and seeing other mums with their toddlers made me crave a cuddle with Elvis (who coped perfectly fine not seeing me all day), but it was really nice just being me!

12. Spend a night in my bed. Maybe with my hubby, but certainly without E! When do night feeds stop???? It’s so strange that I wrote this at the beginning of August, within a few weeks, I had made the decision that I could not handle it anymore, that enough was enough, and Elvis transitioned into his Moses basket by the side of the bed with perfect ease — we had maybe a week of partial co-sleeping. As for his night feeds stopping, well, that was only two months later at the beginning of October. We’ve bought a co-sleeper cot this time to try and keep hubby in our bed!

Is there anything I would have added? No, and, yes, in retrospect, a lot of the above didn’t matter when it came to it. But they did matter at that time. I read somewhere the other day that, once you become a mum, you are never, ever the same person ever again and it is completely true, but I do think that you can start to feel like a new normal. Some mums seem to jump back into their life, have nights away within weeks of giving birth. Some mums still desperately miss their child a year later or refuse nursery places because they can’t bear to be separated. There is no right or wrong. I’m pretty happy now with the balance I have in my life (aside from the pregnancy pains) and I do worry about those first few months when Robin, like Elvis, will depend on me and I will simply, only, just be their mother. But I also know that the day will come when I can spend a night away, go out alone with hubby, socialise with work, be an adult. It might not be at 4 months when Elvis started sleeping 9 hours for Robin, but it will happen.

Hopefully that thought alone, that sentiment from this post will keep me going through those months where all I am is a milk machine. I can remember wishing for 30 minutes to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs and have a relaxing bath. It was so important to me to be able to do something so normal as paint my toenails. Now? I get a bit bored sometimes and really couldn’t care less about painting my nails!

I do, however, have a few pregnant mummy moments that I’d like to plan in!

1. To have a glass of cider. I don’t enjoy alcohol at all whilst pregnant, not even a sip, and I spent all summer wanting a nice icey cider. Hello, next summer!

2. The above mentioned afternoon tea and/or one final hubby date before Robin comes along, or as a first date after Robin’s here.

3. To go swimming and actually swim rather than be in pain and feel utterly inept at simple breaststroke. I may never pay for a swimming membership again, but I will go swimming again. Hopefully next summer.

4. I’m going to say a jacuzzi which obviously I can’t do whilst pregnant, but I only actually really want to do it because I don’t fit in my current bath and I can’t submerge myself in it. A jacuzzi I could. This desire will probably wane, especially if we get the bathroom redone in the next 6 months (yes, I might be crazy).

I’m going to call these 4 things my New Year’s Resolutions and that I will do them all at some point in the New Year. I know I can and will, because I did the equivalent last time!

Happy New Year!

~ P x

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First Date: Captain America and the Winter Soldier

To further get Elvis used to staying at Nanny’s (although I think we can safely say he naps there fine now), Daddy and I took the opportunity to go on a daytime date. The date for our anniversary was once Elvis was in bed at our house, for the cinema we opted for going during the day as Nanny gets bored at our house.

The film ran so late we missed dinner! Which I had left with Nanny just in case. Although I’ve been to the cinema since Elvis was born (Thor The Dark World) and I kept up to date on the Marvellous Marvel whilst very heavily pregnant (anything for RDJ and Iron Man 3) so with the Captain making his second solo outing, we had to pair up to see it!

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