Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking after Mum - Oh, hang on, that's ME!

Serenity Loves: Peterborough Hair and Beauty Salon with Creche

I think I can safely say it's a universal phenomenon that every mum wants to be the best mum they possibly can for their child. We think about everything from our child's perspective. We constantly frame our lives around what is best for them, and are always thinking about how we can help them to develop this skill, or avoid that danger, who they mix with, where they go to school, what we feed them, the best routines, establishing good habits, developing positive relationships, what activities and groups they would benefit from and enjoy the most… the list goes on.

Without a doubt, mothering is the most demanding, full-time and relentless job many of us will ever have.

It is somewhat odd then, that whilst we regard our role as a mother as being of the highest importance, we place we so little value on ourselves during this time. We frequently come last in our list of priorities. Yet, if we are really to be the mothers that we aspire to be, shouldn't we be taking great care of ourselves, assuring that we are always in the best possible condition, that the engine is running smoothly, without hiccups or break downs, that our tank is always full of high grade fuel and our energy is limitless?

One of the messages that I will be constantly be delivering in my role as BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teacher is the importance of taking care of your self, so that you can be the mum you really want to be. If I am going to do that with any kind of authenticity, I really need to make sure I follow my own advice!

Its hard though, right, when you're a mum? You have now entered a phase where even doing a wee in private feels like self indulgence. How do you find time for yourself? You can't just go to the gym, or for a run or a swim. That relaxing dinner and glass of wine with the girls is out of the question. Even getting your hair cut is challenge, a bikini wax a distant dream. Personally even finding the time to watch a TV show is rare, by the time BB is in bed, the chores are done and my work on my three different self employed 'work from home when the kid sleeps' businesses is complete, I am more than ready to collapse in heap of fatigue into my bed. There's just no time for leisure or pleasure!

An absolute saviour when it came to me finding a way to take a dose of my own medicine before I start prescribing it to others, is a business local to me called Serenity Loves. My first thought when I heard about Serenity Loves was what a brilliant business idea! It is a Hair and Beauty Salon with an onsite creche! You can have your hair cut, your lip waxed or your eyebrows shaped whilst your child plays happily in a brilliantly equipped play area, staffed by a childcare professional. Not only that, but you have the self assurance of watching them having fun on a high definition screen from within the salon.

It's great because you can now take a moment for yourself, without asking someone to babysit. My mum is great in that she will sit with BB when I have my hair cut, but would I have the guts to ask her to do that while I went for a massage or an eyebrow wax? Absolutely not! I also have a persistent back problem that requires regular massage or I am incapable of picking up my own child. The worst case scenario was Oct 2012 when I trapped my nerve due to long term (all of motherhood) negligence of my back issue and my own Mum had to come and look after us both!

Shortly after my discovery of Serenity Loves, I was lucky to meet it's owner, and the brains behind the whole idea, Jo Bevilacqua. Jo was mum of one, and 32 weeks pregnant with number two when the idea struck. She used to take care of herself and her appearance, but when she became a mum there just wasn't the time. She felt way too guilty to ask someone to look after her daughter so that she could spend time on making herself look and feel better, but really needed to do that for herself. As a qualified childcare professional, Jo began to explore her idea, why not have a place where mums could go to get their hair and beauty treatments done without having to worry about childcare. Bring your child along, we will take great care of them on site!

Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves
Serenity Loves - Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon
With a supervised playroom!

Between this epiphany at 32 weeks pregnant, and the birth of baby two, Jo wrote a 40 page business plan and began to look for premises. By the time her second child was seven months old, she was up and running, employing five staff. The business, which has now doubled in size to 10 staff, will celebrate it's 2nd Birthday in March. Without a doubt Jo has worked hard to make this happen, and as a result she is enabling women who would otherwise be unable to access hair and beauty services, to get themselves a treatment every now and again. We all know that a little self care and self indulgence goes a long way when it comes to rejuvenating a mum.

So, in the interests of practicing what I am about to preach, I booked myself in to Serenity Loves, and last Thursday I indulged a little, spending time on improving how I look and how I feel. I had and eyebrow and lip wax, a back massage and a facial with beauty therapist Tirren, followed by a wash and blow dry with hairdresser Steph. The wash and blow dry was actually the most ridiculously self indulgent thing I could think of, based on the fact that I could so easily do it myself,  but it's so amazing when someone does it for you!

Both massage and facial were wonderfully relaxing. I am often a bit cautious of having a massage at a beauty salon - I have been to some where they just stroke you so lightly it almost tickles, but this was perfect. Deep enough to make a difference, but not too painful, so i could relax. I almost fell asleep during the facial - I was really trying to stay conscious and not let out an embarrassing snort! As well as feeling better, I look better too. I hardly ever have time to straighten or style my hair, and I don't think I had an eyebrow wax since BB was born.

Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves
A photo of BB on the big screen that I took whilst having
 my hair dried - you can even watch your child on TV monitor!

All of this took place whilst BB had an amazing time in the play room with Lesley. I had arrived early, thinking I would need to spend a little time settling him in, but there was train set and Lesley was very friendly, so he was more than happy right from the start. The play room is really well equipped with books as well as a large amount of toys to suit all ages. As a special offer for February 2014, the play room sessions will be FREE!

Having sat in the chair for a while, I can see that the place has value beyond the on site creche - it's a great place to meet other mums, to chat and find support and connections for all sorts of other family friendly services. Better still, I even managed to persuade Jo to provide discount vouchers for all the new mums that come on my courses!

Peterborough Hair & Beauty Salon with Creche Serenity Loves

You can Find Serenity Loves on Facebook or Twitter  and check out their reviews on TripAdvisor or Best of Peterborough

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BB is 2 1/2 today

Life has been pretty crazy around here for the last few weeks as I continue to work on two self-employed projects, and start to build a third, so I haven't been posting as much as I would like to. However, as today is a bit of a milestone in BB's life, I thought I really should make an effort to record where he's at in his little world.

He is still breastfeeding on demand, which is every night, every morning, sometimes during the night and sometimes in the afternoon if he is having a nap. His morning feed still takes ages, at least half an hour. Still, it is a nice slow wake up.

He's really good at eating breakfast - he likes porridge with blueberries or chocolate weetabix. He likes to pour his own milk. He also climbs up onto the bench to get his own cereal from the cupboard (and gets annoyed if you help him).

He is a big fruit lover. Pomegranate is one of his favourites, as are blueberries, strawberries, mango and grapes. He's not so much into his vegetables these days, with the exception of carrot chips, green beans, peas and corn.

He eats much better at lunch time than he does in the evening, so whenever possible I try to have the main meal then. For tea he is happier snacking on a plate of cucumber sticks, ham, avocado, grapes, and that sort of thing. I think he's getting all the nutrients he needs so I'm not too worried about how that works - except when he doesn't eat enough and wants booby all night!

He is also a big fan of pomegranate tea, raisins, apples and chocolate!

He is currently sleeping in my bed at night. He did move out for a little while. You many remember back when he was 7 months old and became more mobile, I wanted him to learn to sleep in his cot so that I could put him to bed and come back downstairs for some grown up time knowing he was safe. He took to that quickly. My plan was that he would have a couple of hours in his cot and then come back to my bed when I got to bed. He didn't agree though, and me going to bed disturbed him so he ended up in his own room. I missed him. More to the point it was harder when we were away as he wasn't used to sleeping with me anymore. Then some time between one and two, he started to come back to my bed when he woke up. Now he goes to sleep in my bed. He's really very cute. We have a story and then booby and then he will lay down and say "a little bit share my pillow Mummy", so I lay with him for a moment or two. I LOVE that time. I can't stay too long though as he finds it hard to fall asleep when I am there.

He sleeps for about 11 hours at night, sometimes waking for a feed but not always. He has recently dropped his official daytime nap, though he does still have one about three times a week -he is asleep on the sofa right now, and he will fall asleep in the car after swimming lessons or a big day out to Nana's house. He won't sleep in his cot now though - if you suggest he goes for a nap in his cot he is very resistant, so now when he is tired I ask him if he wants to lay down with me on the sofa - he soon drops off and I sneak away.

I have talked to him about getting his own bed, but he says "No thank you, I don't need one Mummy". That said we did go into a bed shop the other day and he did quite like the idea of a single bed. When we got home he wanted the tape measure. He took it upstairs and started trying to measure his cot - he said "take that down, new bed go there" though when questioned further he didn't actually want to sleep in it! "I sleep in Mummy's bed" Still - I am thinking it might be time to make the purchase, so that it is there when he is ready.

Our latest artwork -
BB wanted to make a train with glitter, so here it is!
We still swim every week, and have done since he was 7 weeks old. We have just moved from baby swimming, which was essentially about bonding with your baby and enjoying the water, to more grown up swimming, where they're actually learning to swim. BB loves swimming, though I think the main attraction for him is his friend L who has been his swimming companion since the beginning.

We dropped TumbleTots just after he turned two. The classes changed at that point from being a place to experiment and explore, to being a place where you line up and take turns and do a specific thing. I can see where they are coming from with that idea, but two is too young - BB certainly thought so, he hated it with a vengeance - so much that by the time we went to our third session of the new regime he didn't even want to go through the door.

TumbleTots day has now become a day to catch up with his friend T. If the weather is good we go to the park or somewhere outdoors for a run around and some fresh air. This has the added bonus that T's mum is a great friend of mine and we can keep each other sane at the same time.

BB also loves his train. DD started a set of Brio for him for his first birthday and we have been adding to it ever since. Trains and train tracks and tunnels are 3 of his favourite things. He is also big into playing shops - he has his own shopping trolley and a great vegetable set, so we play the game that he calls "pay" every day too.

He enjoys craft activities too - though it always frustrates me a bit that it takes longer to set up and clear up than he spends on it. I used to design the activities for him quite carefully, but I don't anymore as he is able to self direct. He will tell me if he wants to paint or stick or whatever, usually by getting out the equipment himself. He has started doing things with DD when he's here too which is great. Here are a couple of his recent works. The "Christmas sheep" he made with DD, and the elephant he did all by himself - I do think it looks like an elephant, though I think he decided what it was once he had finished rather than before he started! He pointed out to me the four feet, the ear and the trunk squirting water - can you see that?

Christmas Sheep


He also likes to help out with all the chores. In fact, if I turn the washing machine on myself he gets very upset. He likes to carry the washing to the machine, put it in and turn it on. He also likes to put in the dryer, and constantly opens the door of the dryer and then closes it and turn it on again! He likes to help out with cooking still, and to put things into the washing up. Sweeping is also one of his favourites. He has been scared of the vacuum cleaner, but recently has stated to be brave - he now cautiously presses and then quickly lets go of the button that retracts the electric cable, and then giggles.

He goes to nursery for two mornings a week now and he enjoys it too. He loves his key worker "I love Emma long time". He does very similar things there to here, from what I can make out, like play trains! He always eats everything - sometimes X2.

He talks a lot now and can have a proper conversation. He'll try any words, but he can't say the th sound or the fl sound, so them sounds like lambs and floor sounds like fool, but I can understand most of what he says. He recounts events from ages ago and remembers people we only met once, and what they ate, or what they did - I find it quite remarkable really. Some of his language I know he learnt when he was really small too, for example as an infant he had reflux and was constantly spewy - I used to say to him as I cleaned him up "you did a sick". I don't know where that choice of words came from, but anyway - I don't use them normally. He has vomited a couple of times in the last few months and his terminology is "I did a sick!" - I have not used those words since he was about 10 months… scary in a way - hopefully I didn't teach him anything else unwittingly!

Other developments
He is still wearing nappies. We did have a time a few months ago where he tried to do a wee on his potty before he had a bath - but he doesn't want to do that now. He is taking an interest in what others do on the toilet though, but when asked if he wants to do a poo or a wee on the loo he says "yes, but not today". I am not pushing it. Hopefully he will just do it when he's ready.

He can take off some of his clothes too, like his shoes and his trouser and socks. That said he doesn't always do it - the other day when I asked him to take his shoes off he said he couldn't do it. I told him I know he can, to which he replied, "I can do it at nursery, but not at your house!" He can put his own wellies on, though not always on the right feet. He also likes to choose his own clothes.

He still likes lots of close contact. He loves cuddles and sitting on my knee, he snuggles up to me at night, and likes to ride on my back to come down the stairs. I figure that's all part of how we should develop naturally, part of our evolutionary history, but some would say I indulge him. They can have their opinions - and I'm happy with mine!

I am probably biased here, but he seems to be a really likeable child. He's mostly happy, and he enjoys interacting with others. He can be a bit of joker already and loves making people laugh. He's quite sociable and friendly and plays well with other kids. I sometimes worry that he will be a pushover as he usually gives in without a fight if the other kid wants something, but hopefully that's just because he's nice and he can see from they way they behave that they want it more than him. He is often perplexed when other kids have tantrums or take things from him. He doesn't really get upset like that.

He does have tantrums though, but they are usually at home in private. One of his funniest was when I changed his nappy and he screamed  "I want my poo come back" for what seemed like forever! Doing something he wants to do himself is also a trigger, like putting something in the bin, or getting his spoon out or pouring milk on his cereal.

He loves to look at himself too. It is part of his bath time routine to be picked up and look at himself in the mirror when he's done. He also has a mirror in the car - one that I used when he had a backward facing seat. We went in my parents car the other day and he told me that I should buy them a mirror so that he can look at himself in their car too! He loves having his photo taken, and if he is doing something that he thinks is worthy he will tell you to get your phone and take a picture of him - posing in different ways - this sequence of him hiding in the toys was indeed directed by him!


How I am 
I am totally in love with my little man. Now more than ever before. He is great company, we have a lovely little life together. In general I feel like I am doing OK with this motherhood thing, but then I have times when I just wish I could press rewind and start over. Parenting is teaching me a lot. The hardest part is dealing with myself, but I am definitely becoming a better person for it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Hive Active Heating App

The Hive App

People that have been reading my blog for a while will know that I am a fan of both gadgets and of saving money wherever I can. Imagine then, my geeky excitement at discovering a cool new app that has the potential to save you money.

The thing I am talking about is The Hive App. It allows you to control your heating and hot water from wherever you are using your phone.

This of course means that if you are unexpectedly away from home, or if the frenzy of getting the kids out of the house to go on holiday causes you to forget to turn the heating off - you can do it from your phone. You can also turn it on again a few hours before you come home, so its warm when you arrive.

I have shared my excitement with a few friends - ALL of whom have told me that they heard of this already? Really? Where have I been? One person I know has this installed in his holiday home in the Alps - he can can have the heating off when there is no one home, and turn it on a few hours before his arrival so the house is warm and the hot water is ready for his bath. There is even a feature that functions as an automatic frost protector, so when he is away with the heating off saving his €, he can be comfortable that he's not going to return to burst pipes.

It's genius!

It does require a bit of an investment - £199 for the purchase of the gadget to go on your boiler, including it's professional installation. They do say that it can save you up to £150 per year though. I don't think I would save that quite much as I live in quite a modest and energy efficient property, but I can see how it could work to significantly reduce our bills by using its scheduling features on a daily basis. I have often thought about how great it would be if you could set your heating to come on a different times on different days - you might get up later at the weekend for example, or always be out on a Tuesday. The scheduling function not only allows you to have the heating on at different times each day, but also you can have it at different temperatures - lower at night for example, and if your plans change, your heating can too.

Hive Active Heating Schedule

I want one! I just have to decide if I am staying in this house or moving - and that, as you know, is very much an ongoing dilemma!

Disclaimer: This is a featured post with Hive Active Heating

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No… ?

And the update for this week is…

I don't know!

I am still struggling with this whole decision making process regarding both moving house and whether to go for IVF or not.

I have spent five days of this year so far looking for a house. I think I have somewhere that I might want to live, and then I spend time in that place looking at houses for the day, only to feel a huge relief when I emerge into the outside world again. Everything in the city seems so closed in, not good for a girl with a love of the wide desert and the open fen landscape. I have gone from suburb to suburb, development to development and I still haven't found a place where I think I would be happy to live.

Then there's my house. My house is perfect for us. It is perfect for us because I spent loads of time and money making it so, converting, renovating, improving the design and flow, insulating and adding the solar panels to keep our bills down. I honestly haven't found anywhere as nice. To confirm that, I have now had 3 real estate agents come to value it, and they have all said the same - there is nothing you could do to improve it.

The best new place I found, within our budget, was a brand new three story terraced house on a square, which had a playground for the under sixes and a grassed area for bigger kids who want to kick a ball around. BB could have gone outside and played when he was older and I could have spied on him from the window. The middle floor was great - a lounge at the back, dining area at the from and a lovely central kitchen. It had enormous windows so it was light too. But the ground floor and top floor were less than satisfactory - tiny bedrooms, and a garage that's too small for a car! The roads were narrow and clogged with cars already, even before all the houses are occupied, and it was situated in a real rabbit warren part of the development.

So, I am getting a very strong feeling for staying put. I do know that the preschool and infant school near here are great. We have all we need. BB was pretty taken with the idea of a "really tall house", but he also really wants some chickens again. I have asked him 5 times now if he would rather have a really tall house or chickens - It's 5:0 to the chickens. I think we will stay.

Another thing that is persuading me is that I am just beginning to get things moving with my BabyCalm business. A main motivator for training in the first place was because there was nothing similar at all in our town. I really wanted to provide something for new mums here. I started promoting it on Tuesday and already I have had two really heartfelt emails from people saying just how much it's needed here. Although I could get much more work on this in the city if wee moved, if we stay here I won't need to work so hard because we will need less money - I can still travel to the city one or two days a week and I will still provide a much needed service in my local community.

So yeah, today we are definitely staying. Lets see what I want to do tomorrow!

Then there's the IVF decision. I am not pregnant again. Since DD said no to using a clinic six weeks ago I have been thinking along the lines of just giving up. I am very happy with just BB and me. Our life is good. I have been thinking about holidays and things we could do together if we are just 2. I am happy with that. DD told me yesterday though that he is now thinking we should get straight on with IVF. I wasn't expecting that. Do I want that? I really don't know. I would love another baby, yes. but can I put myself through it? Before our conversation last night I was thinking I would commit to 2 more cycles of AI and then call it a day. But will I be able to give up then if I don't actually have to? If not, when will it end? How much longer should I let it go on for? I'm kind of over it. I have to call it quits one day, and that day is definitely getting closer.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why Mums Might Want To Drop The Glasses

If you’re the mother of a young child, or you have a baby on the way, you’re probably quite familiar with all of the common issues discussed for mums of infants. Really, it all boils down to one simple claim: nothing matches the joy of motherhood. Yet, at the same time, you’re facing some of the biggest, most annoying hassles of your life. These include stocking up on Huggies, assembling cribs, waking up all night, etc... But one such hassle that doesn’t tend to get a whole lot of attention is corrective vision.

No, having a baby won’t change your eyesight or vision-related needs, but it will absolutely make you think twice about wearing glasses for the following nightmarish reasons:

  • Nothing is messier than a newborn baby, except for possibly a baby who’s been around for a few months. For this reason, you’ll be dealing with all the lovely motherhood side effects: spit-up, messy foods, milk, formula, sticky fingers, etc... And make no mistake, some of it will end up on your lenses. You can always clean your glasses off, but continually dealing with smudges, stickiness and obstruction is a pain.

  • The baby won’t care about the integrity of your lenses or frames. What this means is that he or she will likely knock your glasses clean off your face at some point, simply in the act of squirming or thrashing, or at the very least you’ll have your glasses constantly jostled. Handling your child is demanding enough without having to worry about holding onto your only source of clear vision.

  • Another factor is that glasses are one more thing to remember. The day will come when, in the hustle and bustle of throwing together a baby bag to leave the house, you forget your glasses sitting on a desk somewhere and won't realize it until you’re out on the road and can’t read street signs. Needless to say, this is less than ideal!

It is for these reasons that a number of new mums can benefit from an alternative source of corrective vision. The simplest, and still most popular option, is to switch to contact lenses, and truthfully after a quick adjustment period you’ll barely know you’re wearing them. Acuvue has some helpful articles and tips available online for those switching to contacts for the first time, so you first-timers out there will want to take a look.

The other popular option, if you’re not interested in contact lenses, is laser eye surgery. This is now a fairly advanced practice and perfectly safe for many women. However, it’s a bit more daunting. It’s also a bigger expense, which can be troublesome when you suddenly have another mouth to feed!

In the end, this little bit of advice is well worth heeding: try something besides glasses. Contact lenses can free you up to deal with your child without having to worry about messiness, clumsiness, destruction, loss, and other detriments. Something other than glasses will also give you one less thing to worry about in what will be some busy days ahead.

This is a guest post written by Cameron Hoyle. Cameron is a freelance writer and designer, as well as a busy mother of three, who loves incorporating her family experience into her work whenever possible.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

BabyCalm - Book Review

BabyCalm by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
BabyCalm by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Although I knew of the philosophy behind BabyCalm™ before I read this, I still found it a really pleasant surprise that the opening chapter goes straight into the idea that it is the reader who knows what’s best for her child not the author. I still read on of course, because like most parents, I need to hear that.  We as Mother's face so much criticism, we are bombarded by sensationalist press articles about how we harm our children, and are offered so much well meaning advice from people that think they know better. We are often told that our babies should be independent as soon as possible, that they should sleep through the night, and not be 'pandered to' when they cry. We still need to hear that what we do intuitively (comfort our baby) is the right thing, that we can't spoil our children by holding them too much, or comforting them when they cry. We need to hear that we won't create a 'rod for our backs' by bed-sharing (if thats what we choose) and that feeding on demand is what nature intended - not your baby manipulating you.

In some ways then, this book negates the need to have a parenting book at all, but you probably won't believe that until you have read it! 

The book deals with everything from bonding with your baby, understanding them and trusting your maternal instincts, right through to sleep, feeding, and nurturing yourself. It also comes at parenting from the perspective of what the baby needs for their physical and neurological development (as evidenced by science) as opposed to what the parent should do to it (as proclaimed by some parenting 'expert' who often has no scientific knowledge or kids of their own) which I really like. 

I particularly liked the chapters on parenting around the world, as this illustrates just how alienated from our own true nature that we have become, and how normal it is to keep your baby close to you at all times. In addition to valuing our primal instincts, the book is totally informed by science, giving you further confidence that what you are doing is OK. The book is well organised too - with just enough information in each section it’s easy to read, understand, digest and apply, even if you are in the early weeks of parenting and life is hectic with constant interruptions. 

Perhaps most importantly of all, this book nurtures the MumRepeatedly, throughout the chapters, the reader is reminded to trust their instinct. The author, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, mother of four, actually says publicly that her interest is not in babies at all, but in the emergence of mothers - this really shows through out the book, and it is affirmative as much as it is informative.  I also found it to be therapeutic - over 2 years after my birth, even having written my birth story a couple of times, I found reading the chapter on birth trauma allowed me to peel away another layer of this experience for myself.

For me, this book, along with a brilliant ToddlerCalm™ workshop that I went to in October, was enough to persuade me to train to become a BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teacher myself. In that sense perhaps I am biased. At the same time, you can hardly have a better recommendation. You can read why I chose BabyCalm here.

This book can be purchased in both electronic kindle format and paperback, from WaterstonesThe Book Depository and Amazon 

Monday, January 6, 2014

More of what BB says...

Again it's been a while, but thankfully having my sister on my back to record these things and keep her posted while she is overseas has been enough to make me do it again.

I think I have to go back to about November, which was when he started on new little phrases that he would use lots, until he got the next one. The first one came to the fore when I asked if I could borrow his teddy - "Of course" he replied. After of course, came I think so, and then Why not?

Some other cute moments were when he has misinterpreted things I have said, for example, on Christmas Eve I said to him that we should put something out for the reindeer - he replied "It's not raining Mummy". Then just this week he was really tired and we had to make a car trip. He got in his seat, pulled up his blanket and then closed his eyes. A few seconds later he opened his eyes and told me he'd had his sleep already. I said to him that it must have been a micro nap, and he said "No, it's not your crow nap!" 

His inner Aussie is also shining through. He's not particularly happy with dark, dull, short days -"where is the sun? I miss it".

He recently started calling me his girl too - "You my girl Mummy!" which I do think is very cute. 

He also has names for his cups. Not sure why, but his sippy cups were called Mimi and Buzz. He has now starting drinking out of real breakable mugs. His favourite he used to call Fish One until I pointed out that it has no fish on it, so now he calls it No fish on it. "Milk, no fish on it" has therefore become a common request!

I'll add more as I remember them, I promise sis!

In the meantime here's a favourite photo from Christmas. Four generations of us. BB, me, my mum and her mum.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014

Image from here

I just took a look back at my goals for 2013, and I didn't do as badly as I thought. I did start running, and meditating, and I have been swimming. I also started getting a regular maintenance treatment on my back. I have started doing most housework when BB is around - he loves to help with most chores, especially washing and cooking.

I haven't read a novel, and after months of watching nothing I finally cancelled my film subscription yesterday. I didn't have a night out either. I have read lots of books for work though, and I have increased my earnings.

We do have an excellent play space in the house (well most of the time it's the whole house and garden), and although I have now stopped planning so many 'together tasks' it is because there is less need. BB directs the play around here these days. He's big into role play and I have to go to his 'vegetable shop' at least once a day, and be a dinosaur, a patient, go to his cafe or visit his house. He does cooking and painting and craft and swimming and walking in the woods or around the lake, visits to the park, we have regular play dates…

In September BB started going to nursery for a second morning each week too, meaning I have more time to work when he's not here and occasionally I have a evening to myself, which is really nice. I still struggle to get all my work done though and am considering having him go for longer on one of the days. I don't want him to go on another day as I cherish our time together, we go swimming, take my Nana out, and have play dates with with a friend, all of that helps keep me sane - I don't want to lose any of it.

Goals for 2014 are similar to 2013 - I still want to carve out a little more me time, stick to my commitments regarding running and meditation, and maybe the odd swim here and there. I still want to read more too. I am also aware that with the events that have taken place in the last year, I am not really sure what I want anymore. I want to work towards a bit of clarity there too - me time and meditation will help with that I think.

I want to be better organised with our meals too. I'm not thinking of going over the top with meal planning, but I think perhaps planning the main meal each day on a weekly basis would help to ensure a varied diet and stop us wasting so much food.

I'd like to increase our income so that we can have some little treats every now and again, and maybe even a holiday. I think I am onto that though - it has increased during the course of 2013 and I now have hard evidence that if I am organised and plan my time well I make more money - that's a good motivator. The BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teaching is additional work for 2014 and hopefully this will bring our income levels up a little too.

I want to be fitter and healthier - lose a little weight, feel energetic. I know the answer here - avoid wheat - so many nice tempting things contain it though. Pork pies and mince pies have been my recent downfall but I'm looking forward to getting back on track with food in 2014.

I think thats enough!

I am not even going to mention the baby this year. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. We'll see!