Persephone: Parent

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Yummy Mummy: Three More Bags for Charity

Well, I was really hoping that I could announce I was back to pre-second-pregnancy weight already in this post, but apparently I have lost no weight.

None. At. All.

And I’ve had a really good week, so I am a bit miffed, however I am trying to keep in mind that when my size 16 jeans became too loose a few weeks ago, I started wearing my 14s which where a bit too tight. Now, they fit much better. Okay, that could be that they’re stretched a bit, but I’d like to think it’s because I’ve shrunk a bit. Until I weighed myself, I felt on top of the world so I’m going to ignore the lack of weight loss. Plus, it wasn’t a weight gain!

As for the decluttering, well, there are currently three huge charity bags waiting by the front door for us to take out later on today. Plus another bag filled with glasses, cups, ornaments and another bag with even more glass in it. I’ve been quite ruthless. I went through all of my cups and decided that my husband and I could each keep 3, then there are 4 spares (a nice set that match our kitchen), the rest have gone. It includes cups I was using to hold pens and other things in my wardrobe (that is how much of a hoarder I am), cups that I got in my first ever full time job, a cup that I bought with one of my best friends who is still one of my best friends. But I don’t need 4 cups. I don’t even need 3, but 2 are my favourites and the 3rd was bought “by my son” and says Mummy on it. I might be being ruthless, but I’m not heartless.

I put a dress in the charity bags that is brand new, still has the labels on, which cost me £50 and I really wanted to wear to afternoon tea at the Ritz. But it didn’t fit. I kept it in case it ever fit. It won’t ever fit. I can’t cling on to these things.

I went through my dressing table drawers three times. On the third time I ditched the nail varnish from my graduation ball. I only know one person that I went to that ball with. It wasn’t a highlight. I don’t remember much about the night in total, so why keep the nail varnish except some twisted notion of nostalgia?

The way that I decluttered my room was chuck everything I wanted to get rid of on my nursing chair (which also needs to go!) and then I bagged it up a few weeks later. That way, I did get to view it all one last time to make sure. A few items I realised were not good enough for charity and instead went into the bin. I took ONE thing back out. It is a little handbag with a wrist strap, which I think will be good for when I take up jogging again in the better weather. It is big enough for my phone and keys, but also small enough to fit in my hands. Everything else stayed in the bags. I’m pretty sure that my bedroom is almost done. Elvis’ is fine. Robin’s needs some work.

Here’s what my decluttering list looks like:

  • DVDs
  • Under my bed – clothes, bags
  • Under Robin’s bed
  • Top of our wardrobes
  • Over the Bed unit and the jewellery collection
  • Bedside drawer and bedroom shelves
  • Kitchen crockery and above the cooker cupboard
  • Glassware
  • Under the Stairs
  • Top of stairs nook
  • Cookbooks
  • Photo Albums
  • Books – fiction, non fiction I’m going to be ruthless, and only the keep the fiction books that are part of a collection or I haven’t read yet. I might even check out all of my Start Trek books in the loft!
  • Bathroom drawers and cupboards
  • My bedroom corner
  • Top of the kitchen units
  • Clothes hangars
  • Back room – filing cabinets, shelving unit, shelves, mantle, window, craft boxes I can’t even get in to this room properly at the moment due to baby stuff to sell. Oh, well.
  • Loft Goodness knows what’s up there!
  • Side shed this needs sorting if we want to clear the conservatory for more practical use in the summer
  • Conservatory some of the stuff needs to go in the loft and I deemed that too much hassle! Especially when the loft needs sorting!

What else is new in Operation Yummy Mummy? I’ve been arranging playdates with neighbours that have children the same age as Elvis. One of our neighbours’ daughters goes to nursery with him, but in the year above and they seem to like each other. I also potentially have a mum date tonight. Unless a child gets ill or something. I’m sorting out the last of my nursing tops for the Little Pickles market which is in 2 weeks and yesterday, a courier came and picked up 5 boxes of DVDs, games and consoles for Music Magpie. We’re just finishing off a second Music Magpie order and I need to list a few items on ebay in a minute.

Oh, and I just emailed a company with regards to hiring them for Elvis’ third birthday!

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Operation Yummy Mummy: 0.8kg Down!

Woohoo! So, after yesterday’s God awful mood, apparently it paid off! I really was not expecting to have lost 0.8kg. I really didn’t. I mean I was super good. I used my fitbit to track my calories in (although very roughly because I am not about to start weighing all of my food), I only went over my allowance yesterday – which was more because I really was not very active. Today and tomorrow might be a problem, but my baby girl only turns one once! I also did have some junk food (that which is forbidden), like jelly babies, some left over Christmas chocolate, but I ate far more in moderation than normally.

Apart from today perhaps, but I needed to make birthday cakes and check the icing tastes nice!

I think I also did well with my step count every day last week including Friday. And I did some Dance Central on my Xbox, which really works up a sweat.

According to my weight goal (the first of which is my pre-Robin weight), I am only 1.3kg away. Then I’ll only be 10 away from my ultimate goal, 15kg away from my I can dream that I look like my 18 year old self again, can’t I? goal, which I think I’d actually be too skinny if I lost that much weight.

I have 7 weeks until I return to work, about 5 until I head out to do the return to work clothes shopping, I reckon I can reach my first goal and be on the way to the second. I’m assuming that it’s going to start to get harder the longer I go though. The fat will be more stuck on me and it’ll be less pregnancy weight and just I ate too many cookies weight. But I am also hoping that my activity levels increase once back at work.

On other Yummy Mummy news, I am almost at the end of Hester Browne’s Swept off her Feet. It took me forever to get into, but one of my goals from therapy was to read more, to dedicate time to it and enjoy it, so after my Dance Central fun, I have a bath and read at least a chapter. I am so enjoying it and am, of course, rooting for Evie and Robert. But then, I always root for the main character in most books but definitely in Hester’s (except Little Lady Agencies, where I never liked the American and always preferred the best friend… 3 books later!). I really really want Evie to stay and help run the castle with Robert!

I haven’t done anything on the social side of things, but Hubby had football which takes him out ALL day and I didn’t want to risk a bad night’s sleep the night before. This coming week looks far more promising…!

So, as we pretty much literally approach the dawn of my baby girl reaching her first ever birthday, I do finally feel like I can say that I’m happy.

 

I’m happy!

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Wacky Warehouse: Netley Grange

We have a Wacky Warehouse very local to our house and I’ve used it multiple times with foster children and on under 1 mornings but haven’t gone since Elvis became fully mobile (I was heavily pregnant) but we got invited to a birthday party at the Wacky Warehouse at Netley.

Current prices are £50 for a party of ten kids with access to the play area. This is not private access so it can still be busy with strangers. And, as with other Wackies, they have offers for daytime play, membership cards and you can collect points on the Fayre and Square pubcards inside the Wacky.

Drinks bought at the main bar need to be in plastic cups but can then be brought into WW, food can be ordered an eaten inside too.

My two biggest problems with any WW are:
1. Hot drinks in proper cups. So your beer has to be in a plastic cup in case of breakage but your scalding hot drink can be in a breakable cup filled to the brim. Doesn’t make sense to me.
2. Older children. There’s a height limit but I’ve never seen it be policed. Even the taller children allowed in are drastically different in age to 1 year olds.

This particular WW seems kind of in the middle of nowhere but is very separate from the pub. I consider this distance, and completely separate entrance as a very good positive. It helps to distinguish for a child if you’re only going to eat. This WW had only the one entrance/exit (which is monitored so children cannot open it) which did cause some queue issues at times. I also couldn’t figure out where pushchairs could be kept to one side despite information on the website stating there is a buggy park and an under 3s section. The photos also didn’t all look like the WW I saw earlier today!

My local WW has an in and out gate (both monitored) and a pushchair area.

In the seating area there were about 4 comfy chairs and maybe 6 tables seating maybe 4 chairs. At the party table end there was more space for tables. Both ends had in/outs for the soft play so both have children running madly everywhere. Hence my hot drink issue. It seemed a bit oddly organised. As you enter there’s seating, then the soft play. Past the soft play is the party/seating area. Children can run in and out at either end and then between them. There are three main veins of play heading up – one at one end, 2 at the other. As a parent of young ones, which end do you sit at? How do you keep an eye on your child? I fully appreciate that as Elvis ages, I might become far more lax in constantly following/watching him. But he’s not yet 2 and I have the baby to monitor.

I couldn’t watch both and my possessions very easily here.

The play area was massive, covers at least three levels, has tunnels, slides, ball pit, hangy “punch bags”, spongy cushions, mesh netted walk ways and more. It was so tall. I think I got a bit of vertigo. I also got a bit claustrophobic, but it really isn’t designed for me!

The toilets designated for WW have a boys, girls and disabled/changing room. The cubicles in the girls were tiny which is a problem with a toddler in tow. There was very little room to get us both in and close the door. Meanwhile there was room in the disabled/changing but why would I use that when it was me who needed the loo. I used the changing room twice. For Baby, it was ok but I found the table quite high. Pethaps I’m a shortie. For Elvis, it really wasn’t long enough for him. His legs were dangling off the edge as I changed his nappy. There could definitely be improvements.

Personally, I don’t think it’s designed for under 2s. Maybe even 3s. Elvis couldn’t get into anything but the ball pit as he’s too short to climb up the steps. He’s about 80cm and not short for his almost 2 years of age.

There was also an outside play area which we didn’t look at due to it being grey outside and we were there for a party.

It was generally clean and well maintained; I didn’t notice any dirt. However there was a section of exposed wood which could be a hazard if a child fell the wrong way. I really liked the height and variety of things to do, however I would prefer a separate toddler area and easier adult vantage points. It isn’t somewhere I’d go out of my way for and I possibly wouldn’t rush back in the next year or two until my children are a bit more independent at playing.

~ P

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What Makes Family?

At around 6 months of life, there became a serious issue known between members of Elvis’ family. I assume by the time that this scheduled post actually gets posted, it’ll be Elvis and Robin’s family. I’m writing this at 40+6 as I consider my contact list for people to be informed about Robin’s birth and that contact list has seriously made me consider what family means.

So, when Elvis was 6 months old some adult members of his family had a falling out. Even if I knew what happened, whether it’s about me, because of me, my fault, whatever, it doesn’t matter. The reasons behind some adults having a falling out is completely irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is my child. This adult falling out occurred and a few weeks later it was Christmas. Now, in this exact example it was nothing to do with me. I spent a few days in tears, sobbing to some of the parties involved that they only get one shot at this, but all other parties are still over a year later being stubborn. In this exact example, I have no idea what happened. I was not told in an effort to protect me, I believe. I think the rationale was that there was a chance of the other parties eventually getting over their issues. But I remember and I don’t forgive, so I wasn’t told as I would never forgive the other parties.

Then it was Christmas. Elvis’ first Christmas. And there was no card from these members of his family.

And then it was his birthday. Elvis’ first birthday. And there was no card from these family members.

I don’t care what happened between the grown adults, either side, what I care about it is the people that chose to let it affect my son.

My son, at 7 months and then 1 year old, completely innocent in life let alone whatever family issues that were/are occurring, dipped out on cards from people he should/would/could consider family. It should not matter what so ever what happened between the adult members of the family, they should still consider themselves part of Elvis’ family. They should still send cards addressed correctly to Elvis. They should hope that my husband and I are grown up and mature enough to allow our son to have them. This is not about gifts. This is not about money. This is about recognition. This is about innocence.

From that moment that my son did not receive a birthday card from someone who is his family (who he would have normally received a card from), it no longer mattered what happened with the various family members involved. You do not make my son pay for something his parents have or have not done.

As soon as we discovered we were pregnant, I asked if we were telling the people who had already dismissed Elvis from their family and the answer was no. They still don’t know. These people were the second people to visit Elvis after he was born – completely out of the blue and with a host of rude comments directed at me about my feeding choices and weight gain – that was how excited they were to see him. Except 7 months later, through no fault of Elvis’ whatsoever, there was no card. 5 months after that there was no announcement from us that a sibling was due for Elvis.

And now, as I type this at almost 41 weeks, a birth is impending by some means, and Robin has family that don’t even know he/she exists and is about to be born. There are ex-family members that will not be told about Robin’s birth because of how they have dismissed my innocent toddler over the past 20 months. I do feel sad that Robin won’t have those photographic memories that Elvis has. I do feel sad that I might remove those photos from Elvis’ life so that there can be no jealousy. And I do feel sad that there are adults out there that can remove a child from their family because of other adults. Why should my child pay for the sins of his parents or for the sins of other family?

I guess, you have your own family and you realise who exactly is worthy to be called family. Some aren’t. You realise that some people are petty enough to put children in the middle, as in a horrendous divorce. You realise exactly how much you would do for your child, even over a lack of a birthday card or a present being labelled incorrectly, the disrespect it shows an innocent child.

~ P

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Craft Corner: First Birthday Card

I don’t really like birthday cards. I feel like they’re a waste of money and normally just get thrown in the bin, so for Elvis’ first birthday I decided to make, I guess a signing book instead. We did still receive some birthday cards (people who couldn’t make his party), but I tried to even send on the “guest” pages to family to send back! All I needed for this was:

  • a pinboard
  • sparkly/holographic card
  • scissors
  • wool
  • pins
  • blue paint and blue glitter paint
  • a star shape
  • pens

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Craft Corner: Buttons!

For Elvis’ first birthday, I saw two amazing pins that I decided to adapt. One was a collection of 3 images, in each one the birthday child is holding a stencil of the letters O, N and E. The other pin was a button letter, probably from an Etsy listing. Well, I decided that I wanted to combine the 2 pins at a minimal cost.

Then, after finding that a success, I decided I would make a set in advance for Elvis’ second birthday. Oh, and I decided to try and make a button Christmas tree and maybe some button Christmas cards (again, from a pin). I’m not sure if I got the button Christmas tree idea from pinterest.

All I needed for all of these tasks were:

  • Buttons – blue, yellow, green and red
  • Canvases – at least 3 the same size for O, N and E and a more oblong shape for the tree
  • Some blank cards
  • Plain, white or colourless thread with a needle (or superglue)
  • Coloured thread for the cards

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My Breastfeeding Journey: 12 Months Later

I might post this a little after 12 months, to see how the holiday affects our feeding, but I do know that I am so proud of myself. At the beginning, I could not imagine even making it two weeks, then one month and then six months seemed doable and manageable. In fact somewhere after 4 weeks, it all just clicked and everything blurred until I realised he was six months old and BAM! Now we’re at the ultimate goal, the finishing line I really thought I’d never even see.

In those first few weeks I read the horror stories – breastfed babies who only feed to sleep, breastfed babies who drop all of their daytime feeds at 4 months and feed every 2 hours overnight, babies over one who still need to feed constantly overnight whilst you’re trying to manage work, parenting and being a person. All of those fears coupled with the pain and the fact that neither of us were naturals, meant that the idea of keeping going for a year was just a dream.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Elvis Has Left the Womb

This is a reposting of the blog I wrote 365 days ago, on day 288 of my pregnancy. I have no recollection of writing it or even what I wrote. That makes me scared to read back the other early day blogs!

Day 288 or term plus 13 according to scans and I am well and truly utterly in love with my son.

I am alone with him on a post natal ward (there is a mother with her daughter) and I am already terrified as I have no idea how to be a parent. It brought tears to my eyes.

I also know that I love him like no other, which brought tears to my eyes.

I got rather high on gas and air earlier and was convinced of so many ludicrous things but one, quite logically if you read my blog or know me, was that we wouldn’t end up a happy family of 3. I was convinced of it (high) and demanded my husband choose our son (drugged up) when neither of us was ever at risk!

But after these two really long days I can say with pride that I’m finally a mother and have made it from the trenches, across No Man’s Land, survived the Waiting Game and am now on the other side.

Elvis has left the womb, folks, and entered my family.

Love to everyone who reads this,
~ Persephone M

Here’s to the next 365 or 288 days!

Happy first NameDay, Elvis, first of your name!

~ P

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#WordlessWednesday: 365 Days Later

Elvis shortly after birth

Elvis shortly after birth


image

1 year on, after a swim

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Out with the Old…

… And in with the new.

That’s how I’m seeing Elvis’ birthday and holiday to Spain; when we return there are about 5 weeks until we graduate and start nursery/work. That is 5 weeks to establish a new routine to at least guide the nursery as best as we can.

Currently our routine looks roughly like this most days –
0700 Mummy get up
0730 (unless still asleep) Elvis get up.
0930 (unless a baby group) Elvis nap until 1130
1200 (unless his nap started later) Elvis lunch
1500 Elvis nap, unless he had enough or had a late nap in the morning, then this is at 1600
1700 Elvis dinner
1815 Elvis bath, story, milk and then bed at 1900.

All I know about the 5 weeks post holiday, and graduation, is that I want the 1700 onwards routine to remain un-altered and that we’re all going to have to get up at 0630. Presumably I will have to add one or two snack times in if breakfast is earlier and his naps may simply time shift.

Or they may not; that’s what the 5 weeks prep are.

I’ve never fully dictated Elvis’ schedule before, not how I will dictate and change his waking time and it is a little scary!
~ P

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