Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Au revoir

Well this is a post I've been putting off writing for ages but the time has now come.

I'm going to say 'au revoir' to the blogging world. I've said 'au revoir' rather than goodbye because I want to leave things open should I choose to return. Unfortunately juggling part time work, a new business and a very wriggly eleven month old means I can't devote the time and attention to my blog which my readers deserve.

Baby led weaning led me to start the blog and I'm so glad that I did. Little Legs is now a beautiful eleven month old baby who eats everything and anything I put in front of her (as well as all the little bits she manages to find in the carpet)and I put that all down to BLW. Now she's well on the way to toddlerdom I guess my blog has run its course.

I have been completely inspired throughout my blogging time by all the talented Mums and Dads out there who manage to produce such funny, heartwarming, informed and thought provoking posts. Thank you so much to all my followers and thank you to everyone whose blog has made me laugh and cry, you know who you are.

I'll still be popping in every now and again to catch up with some of the fabulous blogs and I'm sure we'll share some 'tweets' too!

Lots of love

Carrot x

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Boys and their toys

If I catch M trying to shut down a page quickly on the computer I never worry that its porn. I know fine well that if I dig deep into the browsing history I'll see he's been on Autotrader, or Piston heads or something similar.

I remember his best man at our wedding made me a sandwich board to wear, covered in pictures of cars. He said it was just in case the passion went out of our marriage.

To say M is obsessed with cars would be the understatement of the year. As we walk down the street and I see his head turn and hear him whistle, I know he won't be looking at some hot girl, it'll be an Audi, or a porsche or something like that.

Recently I arranged to visit my brother and his family. I mentioned it to M but he said he wouldn't be able to come with me "Can't get the day off" he said. Too much to do" he said. So imagine my surprise when the night before me and Little Legs set off he piped up "I think I'll come". Mmmmmmmm. Suspicious.

So we set off. After about an hour M said "Might leave you for an hour if you don't mind. I've seen a car I want to look at". I KNEW IT!!

Anyway, the day thereafter went something like this:

10:30am Arrived at my brothers house
10:45am M goes off to make phone call about car
11:00am Plan day trip with my brother and family
11:15am M gets in car to set off. Me, my sister and law and the kids get into her car expecting to be swiftly followed by my brother
11:16am I hear a screech as M drives off. I realise my brother has got in the car with him. He's also a car nut.
11:17am We watch the pair of them drive off into the distance laughing their little socks off.
1:00pm Whilst having a lovely day with my SIL and the kids I receive a phone call from my brother. "We'll be with you in half an hour. M's just signing on the line". "HE'S WHAT?"" I screamed

Luckily for him I am a very forgiving wife. He has managed to convince himself that he bought the car for LL, for her safety and comfort. I for a fact know LL doesn't need that much horsepower. I feel a very expensive shopping trip coming on...revenge is sweet.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Five years on...


Exactly five years ago today me and M went on our first date. This was quickly followed two days later by date number two on Valentines Day. I think we both knew even then that it was the beginning of something special.

We first met the November before at work and I remember even then telling a friend that I had met the man I was going to marry. There were no bolts of lightning or love at first sight moments, I just knew.

We got off to a fairly rocky start in the early days. M was the kindest, most honest, most genuine man I had ever met and for some reason this made me hit the destruct button and run for the hills. By August things had settled down and we moved in together and from then on began a closeness and a friendship so amazing and special that it is difficult to put into words.

M proposed in January 2007 whilst we were on a romantic trip to Prague. We were at the top of one of the towers on the Charles Bridge at sunset as M went down on one knee. It doesn't get any more romantic than that. I didn't see it coming though and whilst M was preparing for his big moment I was leaning over the side of the tower trying to see if I could spit on the innocent public down below. Nice touch!

We married on 31st August 2008. Our wedding invitations quoted 'Beautiful is the day that is touched by love' and beautiful it was. Whilst we made our vows we both shared a very special secret, I was six weeks pregnant with Little Legs. We remembered reading at the time that baby's heart starts to beat from about six weeks and we always told ourselves that LL's started the day we married.

Like any couple we have our ups and downs but when I look at M and I look at our beautiful daughter I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Jack of all trades Master of none

Dear Agony Aunt

I've been back at work now for 4 weeks and boy am I struggling. I feel as though I've been spread thinner than my Weightwatchers Light spread at the moment with no hope of a reprieve.

I feel bad moaning, particularly because I know so many Mums who have no choice but to return to work, some of them full time, but I can't help it. I can't stop myself from feeling a bit down in the dumps. Well, a lot actually.

Little Legs (my daughter) has adjusted so well. She doesn't bat an eyelid whether it's me, M (that's my husband, my rock), or her grandparents who are looking after her. I'm the one who's not coping.

Don't get me wrong, the wonderful welcome I get from her when I walk through the door more than makes up for a bad day in the office but I miss the times we had when I wasn't working. Our pace of life has changed dramatically and I'm doing a very bad job of keeping up with it both at home and at work.

At work I feel as though as soon as I get caught up with what I've missed I'm off again. I've rejoined the team I was with before I left and they're fantastic but as a 'part timer' I feel quite vulnerable, like a spare part with no clue at all as to what's going on.

At home I cherish the days I have with Little Legs yet feel guilty when I have to spend some of that precious time catching up with jobs I won't be able to do when I'm at work. Throw a new business and a big fat lot of stress and guilt into the mix et voila, my life on a plate.

How do I get the balance right?

Yours sincerely

Mrs Desperate

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Baby you can drive my car

I had a very surreal experience the other day.

Picture the scene. I was driving along in my little Toyota Yaris with Little Legs sat in the back seat babbling away when I heard another car beep at me. I looked around thinking it was probably someone I knew but no one in the passing cars was paying any attention to me. I realised I wasn't doing anything wrong because I was on a long straight road and although I'm a bad driver I'm not that bad.

Anyway, it went quiet again so I tootled along a bit further and then I heard it again. Oh god I thought, there must be something wrong with my car. I pulled into a bus stop (naughty I know) and checked all around the car expecting to see a flat tyre or smoke billowing out of the exhaust pipe. Nothing.

Perplexed I got back into my car and continued my journey. Then it started again. By now I was really cross, ***! ?.**! ***!! I started screaming, looking around for the culprit.

It was in that moment that I caught sight of my cheeky little daughter in the rear view mirror. She was grinning at me. Sitting there grinning. In her hands was her little pink steering wheel complete with a realistic sounding horn. Darn it!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A story and a song

First things first, the lovely heartful blogger has tagged me with the very gorgeous sunshine award. I have been taken aback this week by the sheer kindness and generosity of Mummy bloggers who have all pulled together and blogged for Haiti. So, as there's so many of you, and rather than name names and run the risk of forgetting somebody, if you've done anything at all this week, however small to raise money or send aid to Haiti then please take this award and display it with pride.

Now for the story and the song following my tag from the lovely Emily O over at babyrambles. My song is "Dance with my Father again" by Luther Vandross as the song sums up perfectly my relationship with my own father.

I have very few memories of my Dad. He and my Mum got divorced when I was about seven or eight and sadly he died when I was sixteen. Dad was a naughty boy when he was married to Mum. He liked the ladies you see and eventually he left leaving Mum to take care of five children. Despite all of this, my Mum never has a bad word to say about him. She loved him and I think part of her always will. She tells stories of the parties they went to and how much he loved music. She laughs as she tells me that he was always the last one to leave any party, wanting it to go on all night. I take after him for that. One night he apparently paid a band to play on for a couple of hours extra only to find that everyone was pooped and went home as soon as he did. I still smile at that story. At another party, in his enthusiasm he stood at the door and thanked everyone for coming. Mum said the host was quite miffed but everyone knew how much my Dad loved to enjoy himself.

My memories of my Dad all involve music and my love of Motown definitely comes from him. When we used to come in from school we were never allowed the telly on, the house used to shake with music as we danced around to the Supremes and the Jackson Five. After tea there would be more music and dancing until we all used to fall asleep, tired but happy.

The chorus from the song I've chosen sums it all up for me and always makes me cry:

If I could get
another chance
another walk
another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
how I'd love love love
to dance with my father again.

I love you Dad x

I'd like to pass this meme onto the following and look forward to hearing their stories:

The heartful blogger
Young Mummy
Katherine
Mummy Limited
Yummy Mummy

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The big fat dummy debate

I've just been sat here this morning thinking back to the very early days of first time motherhood where I can only be described as dazed and confused.

One of the things I was totally adamant about during pregnancy was, and I quote "no child of mine will ever have a dummy". See when I was pregnant I was definitely in the "smug first parent to be" category. I used to listen to war stories from friends and colleagues and think to myself "how difficult can it be?". I used to say all the time, "When I'm a Mum, I won't do this" or "When I'm a Mum, I'm going to do this" But it was all hot air and blah blah blah, because then Little Legs arrived and our simple little existence was turned completely on its head.

I decided to breastfeed at first, I was totally clueless but I gave it a bash nonetheless. Anyway, after my second night of total sleep deprivation caused by a beautiful, but quite demanding little minx who wanted to suckle constantly, the midwife appeared like a fairy godmother. I told her what had been happening the previous two nights and her first reaction was that it was just a comfort thing and I should give Little Legs a dummy. I didn't tell her that I'd already kind of arrived at the same conclusion myself the previous day and had sent M out to buy a canny stash of the things which were now well hidden in the kitchen drawer.

That little secret stocking up hadn't been without some guilt though. I'd read all the arguments for and against the things and decided dead set against. Now here I was desperate to plug one in for even just five minutes of peace. Shock horror! "Was I a bad Mum? How would I explain myself to friends and family?". I remembered going to mother and baby groups in the early days, and almost trying to sneak the dummy in and out of my bag in case it was needed for an emergency. Seriously, that's how bad I felt. However, for us, it worked, and boy were we grateful.

Then things started to change. We began to realise that we weren't using the dummy for Little Legs but rather for ourselves, as a quick fix. Whenever we ventured out of the house we would arm ourselves with about ten of the bloody things, content in the knowledge that if things kicked off we could put a stop to trouble straight away with these wonderful inventions.

Then things got even worse! Little Legs decided to teach us the error of our ways and began waking literally every half an hour as she had lost her dummy. I remember hearing the rattle of the dummy as it hit the mattress, ten, sometimes more, times a night. It would only then be a matter of seconds before we would hear the whimper become a wail, become a scream and we'd traipse obediently down the hallway to remedy the problem.

After a fortnight of this we cracked and so began "Ditch the Dummy" week. It was cold turkey for both us and Little Legs. She had to learn to fall to sleep without her dummy and we had to learn to leave the house without the security of ten of them in the change bag. Five days of tears, tantrums and threats of divorce later we'd cracked it. It was, in hindsight, the best thing we've ever done.

I remember telling one of my friends at the time (who didn't have children) and her immediate response was "To be honest, I was really surprised that you of all of people even used one". I felt like a total failure, and a very bad woman. The jury's still out on dummies for me. It worked for us for a time but then it most definitely worked against us.

I am now a great believer in doing what you have to do to survive those difficult days. The people who are quick to judge aren't there in the early hours of morning when life is really tough. Do you know what else? My secret stash is still there. Waiting, just in case, for the next one. (I'm not PG by the way, just in case you get all excited!).

Anyway, what's your view? I would love to hear what other people think.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Lists

I have finally plucked up the courage to admit that I am completely obsessed with lists. The "normal" every day lists aren't the ones that worry me, neither do shopping lists. I sometimes find it a bit weird that I write things on them just for the pleasure of crossing them off but I can live with that. It's the newish weird lists which worry me a bit.

I'm now going to list my list of weird lists:

1) My book list. I choose what to read from a list. It's a list of top 100 books put together by Waterstones and Channel Four. Its a great list through which I've found some fab books which I otherwise wouldn't have read but there are some books on there which I really have no desire to read. "Complete Cookery Course" by Delia Smith is a good example. I keep telling myself that it's impossible to read a cookery book from cover to cover but there's still that little voice there telling me I have to read it to cross it off the list.

2)When I started weaning Little Legs I kept a list of foods she'd tried just as a starter for ten really so I could monitor her progress. Now, she eats pretty much everything, there's nothing really that she doesn't like but I can't stop writing the list. Not content with just rice cakes, we now have apple rice cakes, blueberry rice cakes etc etc. You get the picture. This list now runs into pages. I don't refer to it or use it any way, I just keep adding to it.

I know two items probably doesn't count as a list but if I don't stop I will go on forever. Okay then, I'll also tell you about my

1)"Things to do before I'm 40 list" my
2) "What hair colours would suit me list" my
3) "Pre baby list" which has now become my
4) "Post baby list" my
5) "Things I would love done in the house list" my
6) "Things I will never get done in the house list" my
7) "Cars I would like to drive list" my
8) "Cars I can't afford to drive list"

Is there a name for this conditon? I tried to google it earlier but only came up with a list of manias and obsessions. Ironically I couldn't find list obsessions on there. I did however find "oenomania" and it means a craze for wine. Oh well, at least one of my problems has a name.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

High five

Hot Cross Mum and Very Bored Housewife, two very kind ladies have tagged me with the high five meme. So here goes with my highlights of 2009 and check below to see if you've been tagged.

1) The birth of my beautiful daughter, Little Legs has been the biggest highlight of my life, nevermind 2009. Nothing prepared me for the overwhelming love I felt when I held her for the first time. I found the first few weeks (ok, twelve) really really hard but I got there. Every day she amazes me and I am so proud of her and my little family.

2)My first wedding anniversary was lovely. It was incredibly special to think back to our perfect day remembering that Little Legs was there with us. A tiny little bean in my belly but there all the same (sorry Nana but the dates do kind of give it away!)

3) Creating my blog is definitely up there. Over the last few months it has become an outlet for my hopes and dreams, fears and worries and sometimes just a place to share special moments. I love writing my blog, and I love being a part of this wonderful community and I love the fact I have a record of memories to look back on. I never ever thought anyone would read my blog let alone take the time to comment and I love discovering new blogs which can make me laugh, or cry, or sometimes both at the same time.

4) The inspiration Little Legs gave us to set up our own little online shop. It's early days and who knows whats in store (apart from a load of baby hats) but we are proud of our youngest "baby" and working side by side with my husband has been a pleasure.

5)Our first Christmas as a family. Christmas has always been a special time of year but it begins to lose its sparkle as you get a bit older. Little Legs has given us back our Christmas spirit in bucketloads. Santa Claus really does exist you know.

Well that's it from me. I really hope 2010 is another belter. Happy New Year everyone and to my 5 newest readers, thanks for following and you're tagged. Sorry if you've already had the pleasure:

Mummy Mania
Hearth-Mother
Northside Mum
In Monkeys shadow
Eoforhild

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The day has arrived..

The most important news of all is that Little Legs is crawling. She's slow and steady but she's definitely away. SO EXCITED! I'm sure the novelty will wear off as she destroys my house but for the meantime I am enjoying this special moment in my daughters development.

She was eight months old on Christmas Day and she seems to be growing so fast now. She's down to three bottles a day and is well away on her solids. I've started to give her her breakfast milk in a beaker so the ever dwindling need for bottles to be washed and sterilised is great but it's definitely making me realise that my baby is growing up. Don't get me wrong I'm incredibly proud of her achievements, it just all seems to be happening so quickly.

The second important bit of news is the launch of my new website - www.hatsmybaby.co.uk - Funky hats for Funky babies. Its taken a lot of hard work and lots more to come but I'm quite proud of what I've achieved and I'm keeping everything crossed for success. The business really was inspired by Little Legs and its something that I never thought I would be able to achieve but small acorns and all that.I feel scared, nervous, excited, intimidated all at the same time but Little Legs has given me enough perspective to realise that if things don't work out I still have my family, the most precious thing in my world.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2010.