Diary: Refunded Robbie Tickets? 31st May 2017

I have been in such a brain fug today. I wouldn’t say I’ve been particularly tired, I actually slept really well last night. I’ve just been seriously dopey. Dopey to the point where I’ve actually annoyed myself.

Turns out no refunds are being given on Robbie tickets so it looks like I will have to try to sell them. It also turns out that if you want an answer from Ticketmaster it helps to @bbcwatchdog and @livenation in your tweet. Why they can’t just issue a statement to this effect is beyond me. I wish I could go. I wish I could be brave and put the events in Manchester out of my mind, but I can’t. I know I wouldn’t relax and I’d never forgive myself if something did happen to me, not that I would probably know about it, but you know what I mean.

Elliott was in the garden when I went to collect him from nursery. He was so happy splashing away in some mucky water with a couple of plastic tennis bats with one of his little female friends. The room has been really quiet today with only him and one other child in this afternoon, so he’s been much more chatty. He’s just like his mummy and daddy – fine in small groups but give us a crowd and we’re shrinking violets who don’t have the extrovert nature to fight for our air time.

On the way out of nursery a little lad followed us to the gate (Elliott was in the garden) and tried to escape with us! I was having to shove the walker he was trying to wedge in the gate backwards so he couldn’t get out! In the end I had to let Elliott run off into the church hall whilst I dealt with this runaway child. I obviously didn’t want Elliott to hurt himself but I didn’t want someone elses kid to escape on my watch. Luckily the sight of Elliott running into the hall was enough to distract the older child and I podged the walker out of the way, slammed the gate, quickly locked it and ran into the hall after Elliott.

Tonight was shopping night, brought forward a night because I have tomorrow off to work on some projects and didn’t want to have the ‘big shop’ hanging over me. Another sub Β£50 weekly shop. Whoop-a-doop-and-indeed-doop!

 

Diary: Moving up to the toddler room at nursery – 30th May 2017

“Beeeeeep” went the intercom as the door opened to Elliott’s nursery.

I climbed the stairs to the baby and toddler room, took my shoes off and looked through the glass expecting to see him playing. He was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he was hiding around in the comfy corner?

One of the practitioners raced to the door.

“He’s downstairs.” she said.

My little baby, although obviously not a baby any more, was having his first stay-and-play in the toddler room (at our nursery there’s the baby room (0-2), toddler (2-3) and pre-school (3-4)(. I felt an instant and simultaneous tug at my heart strings and ovaries – where’s my baby gone???

If I was in any doubt of Ellitot’s toddler credentials he decided to showcase them by refusing to leave the toddler room. On the one hand, that’s great, at least it shows he had a good time. On the other, I could have done without the tears and tantrums after a full day at work.

It turns out he was only there for an hour this afternoon, but as he’s a delicate petal they thought he might need a few settling in sessions and decided they would get some in whilst the room is quieter during half-term.

Other than that it’s been work, chasing Ticketmaster about my Robbie refund and picking up washing from my lovely mom’s.

How’s your Tuesday been?

Diary: A Rainy Bank Holiday – 29th May 2017

Rain, rain, go away!

Oh! You’re not going to? Right…

Screw you weather! What with your being nice all week whilst we’re at work and being blooming tropical on the day I had to stay in and wait for the washing machine repair man who never showed up. Screw you!

Our original idea for today was to head to Worcester. Take a picnic, sit down by the river, do some shopping and maybe head to the gorgeous Cripplegate park. However, after being rudely awakened by an excitable toddler at 6am this morning we received more utter rudeness from the weather which was decidedly of the rainy poury variety.

Long story short, we went to Telford and then Merry Hill instead. There was no river. There was no picnic (jacket potatoes in Debenhams instead), there was some shopping (I purchased some tights, some new summer trousers, some summer clothes for Elliott, a gift and some groceries). There was certainly no park.

As days go it’s been fine. Not massively exciting, but fine. I think there’s always such a pressure to do something exciting on a Bank Holiday and you feel as though you’ve wasted the day if you don’t. This, of course, is stupid – especially given that I don’t work Monday’s anyway. Plus, it’s like the weather gods know and always make it rain when it’s a Bank Holiday.

Elliott has swung between being a little monkey and being super-cute today. He really wants to walk around the shops, which is fine until I actually want to look at something. He also intermittently hides in the middle of a clothing fixture. It’s a challenge, but y’know.

Anyway, gotta go. I feel a little overwhelmed at the moment so need to get some stuff ticked off the to do list so I can calm myself before back to work tomorrow.

How did you spend the Bank Holiday weekend?

Diary: Are we JAMS? 28th May 2017

We recently audited our finances, It turns out we’re officially JAMS (Just About Making Do). I must admit that term does irk me a little as ‘making do’ means something different to everybody, but for us it means what goes in, goes out, leaving little for extravagances, or more worryingly savings.

There are some more savings we could make. Maybe just have one car. Stop Elliott’s swimming lessons – which are brilliant but bloomin’ expensive. But, in general, our outgoings are fairly lean. So rather than make further cuts to our spending we decided to take a different tack and boost the money that’s coming in, which is why I spent most of this morning holed up in our local library completing eBay listings, completing online surveys and mulling over our future financial plans. It wasn’t exciting. In fact, at times it was plain weird – just how many men come to the library to read the paper? And, why do those men insist on making the strangest sounds?

My reason for heading to the library? We live in a two bedroom apartment, which is mostly open plan, so it’s hard to hide from Elliott when I need to get something done. Mr H and Elliott were swimming this morning so I did manage to do some work from home before heading to my library office. I have to admit I secretly quite enjoyed being in the library. It reminded me of being a student and the abundance of opportunity you feel when you are a student. Not a bad feeling to have as I embark slowly and shakily on my #mumboss journey.

When I got back Elliott was just stirring from his nap so I cooked us all lunch and played Lego with the little man before heading to a nearby park to play on the swing and slide. I made the fatal faux pas of saying ‘these are my only clean jeans’ – you can imagine what happened next? Yep, mucky toddler footprints all over my clean grey jeans, sob! And, yes, our washing machine is still broken, so…

I’m so tired right now but I still have a heap of things I need to complete. Going to try to fly through them so I can get some shut eye soon!

Have a great Bank Holiday xx

Diary – Eerily Quiet – 27th May 2017

Gosh, I was bleary eyed this morning, plus my voice had disappeared again. Mr H brought Elliott into bed with us, which was lovely until Elliott jumped out of bed and started attaching the ornaments on my bedside table and I didn’t have a voice to tell him to stop. Coffee helped, although I’ve been pretty sleepy all day.

Breakfast was a bit of disaster. Mango and porridge, we thought. That will be a nice combination, we thought. We were wrong. Mango and porridge separately – yum. Together? Gross! Not even Elf proportions of Maple Syrup could rescue it! Thank goodness for standby Rice Krispies.

I headed to a spa appointment at our local shopping centre this morning. It was eerily quiet – apart from Primark, which is never quiet on a Saturday! It was nice to have a break from being mummy for five minutes as I lay down on the therapists bed and we proceeded to talk about our little ones for the length of the treatment. Being a mum seriously gives you verbal diarrhea about your kids and you’re kind of excited when you find another mum you can talk to about it. It’s nice and sad in equal measures!

I also got into a bit of a Facebook spat today. Robbie and Ticketmaster are still keeping schtum about any potential ticket refunds. I’d backed up some other ladies who had posted on a Robbie post saying they were scared to go, only to have a load of (childless) people tell me I should stop ‘wrapping myself in bubble wrap’. There’s another blog post for another day, but it did rattle my cage!

Washing was duly dropped off at the ‘rents and this afternoon and evening we’ve enjoyed watching the FA Cup final, playing with Lego and just chilling out.

Now I’m off to spend some time with Mr H, ahead of getting my werk, werk, werk, werk on tomorrow morning!

Ciao! x

Diary:

Oh my god! I have been such a grumpy woman today, here’s why…

  1. I’m still suffering with laryngitis. I don’t feel ill, but my voice will be there one minute and gone the next. My throat is also really scratchy and annoying whenever I try to eat or drink anything. Tres pants!
  2. The washing machine repair man didn’t turn up, although apparently he did and our buzzer wasn’t working a-fucking-gain. He then got told off for where he had parked – by someone who has no business doing so and so buggered off.
  3. When I called to say he hadn’t been and was told the above, the lady said she would look into what she could do for me in terms of rescheduling for later today. Two hours later and she hadn’t called back, so I called them to be told the repair guy had to go to another area so the soonest he could come would be next Friday. My response ‘It would have been nice if someone could have phoned me to tell me that.’ Grr!
  4. Hot weather and toddlers – oh my god! It probably didn’t help that we had to stay in this morning, but even when we went out this afternoon. The constant whining, the never-ending ‘No’s’ it’s truly tested my patience today!
  5. Me thinking I’ve been smart and purchased Elliott a lovely basic warm weather capsule wardrobe, only to discover the shorts are so big on him they fall down and he seems to be scared of the sandals (edit: he did eventually wear them, thankfully), even his trousers from last summer are big on him, despite his winter trousers fitting him fine – I don’t understand?!
  6. Ticketmaster’s bizarre Customer Service. I’ve decided I would ideally like a refund on our Robbie tickets and upon hearing that Live Nation are issuing refunds I assumed Ticketmaster would be doing the same. However, no one knows. Contact them on Twitter and you get an elusive DM directing you to a generic web form to submit your query. Surely they should have some ‘company line’ by now, even if it was just ‘In light of recent events we are considering our refund policy and will make a statement as soon as a decision has been reached’ – there you go Ticketmaster – you have that one for free!

There have, of course, been some plus point to today too… My main highlight was Elliott pointing to one of our wedding photos and saying ‘Mummy, pretty’. Awww. Yes, Elliott in the photo with my perfect hair and make-up I do look quite pretty, today however, I have Dairylea smudged in my hair and basically am the dictionary definition of a hot mess! He did also spoon feed me some of his lunch and when I popped him down for his nap he grabbed the pillow we keep in his nursery (for parents laying next to the cot purposes) as if to say, ‘I will go to sleep mummy, but will you stay with me please?’.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and I have a wax appointment. After today, both of these sound like bliss!

Diary: Terrorble Times – 25th May 2017

We’re off to see Robbie next month. The tickets arrived today.

Usually I would be really excited about going to see Robbie tour. I don’t think I’ve missed one of his tours in about 15 years which, apart from anything, makes me feel frickin’ old!

Childcare

This time I’m less certain. There have been a few things in the lead up to the gig. For one, when I booked the tickets I naively thought we would be a bit more sorted with childcare and that maybe Elliott might have done an overnight stay at someone’s house, or be used to someone else taking over the rhythms and routines of his day. Maybe it’s us being too controlling but we’re not really there yet and for a while I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable leaving him for so long and having someone else pick him up from nursery. That in itself was enough to make me question going. I even thought about trying eBay the tickets – crazy talk for a Robbie lover like me!

Even though childcare is sorted now. It’s not sorted, sorted. I still need to go through routines and nursery pick ups and all that kind of stuff.

Manchester

And, then in the midst of all this. When I’m already feeling uneasy about going there’s Manchester and the worry that comes from attending a concert. I absolutely hate the fact that I feel this way. If I’m honest, if I didn’t have Elliott I think I would be like ‘f**k the terrorists let’s go and have a party’. But – as morbid as it might sound – I have this real fear of going to the concert and not making it back. Of how, weirdly, selfish that would make me. Mum killed going to a concert that she didn’t really need to go to. Of course, this is what those cretins want. They want to stop us living our daily lives…

I don’t have the answer at the minute, but it’s definitely food for thought over the weekend! Out of interest, does anyone else have gig tickets in the coming weeks? If so, how are you feeling about going?

Heatwave

Today, has been scorchio. It’s been so nice to wear a summer dress and no leggings! Although less nice was the fact that I completely lost my voice this morning. I’ve had a sore throat and felt ropey for most of the week, so I think I may have had mild case of laringytis. It seems to be on its way out now though, thank goodness!

Nursery

Elliott had a lovely day at nursery again. When I went to pick him up it was so warm in his room that he was just there in his T-shirt, nappy and shoes – a sight that definitely made me chuckle! He’s been playing peek-a-boo, lining up the tins from the cooker in the mud kitchen (his favourite part of the garden), pointing out the animals which correspond to the animal sound in the Old MacDonald book and eating and drinking lots.

Free Groceries!

I headed off to Asda this evening to do the weekly shop. We’re trying to cut down on how much we spend and I find I can get better bargains by going in store. I usually feel as though I’ve drawn the short straw but as I left Mr H and Elliott at home and headed to the air conditioned supermarket in my air conditioned car it didn’t feel so bad. I managed to pick up some freebies with my Shopmium app too – woo hoo!

How was your Thursday?

 

Diary: The Trouble With Co-Sleeping – 24th May 2017

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I’ve been straight up knackered today. Elliott woke up at around 9pm last night and was obviously in pain. I was guessing teeth, although it may well have been stomach ache from the way he was writhing around. Calpol and cuddles were administered until he fell asleep on our bed. Mr H tried to transfer Elliott to his cot but, alas, as soon as Mr H picked him up off Elliott started to wail and cry and reach out for me. Co-sleeping it was. The trouble with co-sleeping is the only one who really gets to do any sleeping is your toddler. In between making sure they’re not banging their head on the headboard (or the bit of wood at the bottom), ensuring they’re not going to fall out of bed and that they haven’t secretly woken up and are raided my make-up stash! So Elliott was well rested while the rest of us are knackered.

Afternoon Nap

Of course, Elliott was also the only one who get to take a two hour afternoon nap today, although I must admit at one point this afternoon I was packaging up some boxes and one was just the right height to form a pillow on my desk. It was tempting. I only rested my head there for the briefest nano second, but it was bliss!

Nursery Fun

Sounds like Elliott had an equally enjoyable day at nursery. Splashing around in the paddling pool in the garden and amazing everyone by copying one of the practitioners saying ‘thank you’ as someone held the door open for them. I’m so pleased his manners are started to kick in.

And now I’m off to catch up on all the stuff I didn’t get done last night… Including, if I’m lucky, sleep!

 

Diary: Manchester – 23rd May 2017

Ugh! Days like today make my heart ache. How the actual fuck can someone think that detonating both themselves and a device in order to kill people will make us sympathetic to their cause? Will make us stop and listen to what they have to say? Will make us sit up and pay attention and say ‘well actually, you may have a point’. And what is their ideology anyway? They use the name of Islam to cause destruction, but they’re not Muslims. Not in the true sense. I just don’t get it.

I don’t really know if pushy door-to-door double glazing sales people exist these days (we don’t really get cold callers thanks to living in an apartment block). They were rife in the 1980s and the common stereotypical image was of them wedging their foot in the door as you tried to close it and tell them you’re not interested. To compare these terrorist to double glazing sales people obviously isn’t fair on the sales men, but hear me out. Realistically you’re never going to purchase something from someone who is pushy. Someone who tries to ram something down your throat. Someone who won’t take no for an answer and will stop at nothing to get what they want. On the flip-side if someone takes the time to have a reasoned debate with you, to highlight the advantages to their product, their way of life, their whatever it is, you’re more likely to listen and make a reasoned choice. ISIS, lone wolf attackers and anyone else who think mass destruction is the answer are so deluded. All it makes us want to do is mute them and focus on the good people in the world.

Sure, their actions get us angry, mad, livid. But how do you reason with someone who has so little respect for themselves, for the religion they’re allegedly fighting in the name of and for the innocent people – including children – who they mindlessly slaughter? I want to be angry, but I can only feel pity.

I looked at Elliott tonight and thought that terrorist was a little boy once. Trying to spoon his pudding into his mouth, dropping crumbs on the floor and probably asking for ‘More milk, mummy!’. What the fuck happened to him to make him carry out that mindless, vile attack? And that’s why, rather than pointing the finger at people who are nothing to do with these atrocities, we again need to pull together, spread the love, hold each other close, help each other and make sure that love conquers.

As for Manchester. I have a deep love for the city. I was a massive Take That fan back in the 1990s and had many trips up there to see them play what was then the Manchester Evening News Arena. I’ve since been there for hen dos, shopping trips to the Trafford Centre, business trips and conferences, to see Peter Kay, George Michael and Robbie Williams. It’s a lovely and ever-changing city. It mixes old with new so brilliantly and the people are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. One things for sure, Manchester will mourn the loss of the innocent victims with the sombre respect it deserves, but it will not cower in fear instead it will saunter on with a Brit Pop swagger.

Diary: Sunshine and siestas – 22nd May 2017

Argh! I have a sore throat a-flipping-gain. To be honest, it’s not tonsillitis bad and I’m now becoming so used to being ill that I can push on regardless #mumskills!

Bed was so comfortable this morning that when Mr H got up to get ready for bed I asked him to grab Elliott, who was yelling out for us, and see if he would come snuggle with me for a bit. I managed about 10 minutes of cuddles before the dummy throwing lunacy started. But, hey, every second counts!

Elliott has eaten much more today and chomped his way through a large bowl of porridge and raspberries for breakfast. Our first appointment of the day was to pop to my mom’s house to pick up some stuff from my ‘to eBay’ pile. Nanny then accompanied us to the local park for a while and I think had as much fun playing on the children’s playground as Elliott did. It’s so much more fun now he’s a bit more of a daredevil and not afraid to climb the big slide and spin on the round-about. He even decided when he had had enough and walked off towards the gate which was pleasing. So much easier than him having a meltdown when I try to evict him from the play area. We had a quick look at the ducks but Elliott was looking tired, so I bundled him up in the car and we headed into town.

I really thought Elliott would fall asleep in the buggy, but as he hadn’t eaten much yesterday I think tiredness and hunger hit at the same time. Unfortunately I hadn’t bought any lunch with me and as I’m trying not to spend any money at the moment I was a little confused as to what I could offer him. A Organix gingerbread men biscuits left over from his morning snack hit the spot initially. Then I trundled to Boots to redeem some of my Advantage Card points on a lunch we could share – a tomato and mozzerella pasta salad and a flapjack. We sat out in the sunshine and ate together. It was unplanned and really fun. Elliott’s face when I accidentally dropped some pasta on him was hilarious and the way he was waving to the birds (or birdie wirdies as he likes to call them at the moment) was super-cute. We picked up our shopping and Elliott had fallen asleep on the way back to the car.

It’s amazing how much friendlier people are when the sun is shining isn’t it? I was having little micro chats with everyone today – it’s so nice.

When we got home I popped Elliott in his cot and set to doing some housework. Elliott had a super-long nap so I actually got a lot done. I actually had to wake him at about 4pm and even when he was awake he was quite content to lay in his nursery and watch me put his clothes away.

Not an exciting day, but a lovely and productive day nonetheless. Now, at 9:15pm I need to continue in that vein… A mama’s work is never done…