Diary: A Day out to Weston-Super-Mare – 13th June 2017

The vlog is back-ish. Take a look at what we got up to on our recent day trip to Weston-Super-Mare here:

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Don’t tell me how to feel

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Today I should be going to see Robbie Williams perform in Coventry. I excitedly purchased the tickets months ago, it may have even been last year, I really can’t remember.

In my mind the concert would be on a hot June day. We would drop Elliott off at nursery and let him know that Nanny would be picking him up that evening and he would excitedly wait for her to come and collect him. Mr H and I would head off in the car and join the daft queue to get near the front, I might even force him to do the silly run as soon as we’re through the gates, like I did at Wembley last time. We would sing and dance our hearts out, the setting sun glinting off our smiling faces. We might drink beer. We might sob during Angels (there’s no might about that, of course!). We would then return home to find my mom watching her soaps on TV and Elliott tucked up in bed.

First up, we’re perhaps not where we want to be in terms of childcare at the moment. My mom has looked after Elliott for short bursts when we’ve been out for dinner, or if I’ve had to attend a meeting during the week, but not for a long stint and she’s certainly never picked him up from nursery. So that was one warning light for us to be cautious about attending.

Then came Manchester. The horrific bomb explosion at the Ariana Grande concert. At first it didn’t put me off. ‘Dunkirk spirit’, ‘We must stand up to them’ and all that shizz. Then the threat level got raised to critical, there were police everywhere, even on trains. I don’t recall there being police on trains after 7/7. This seemed different. This seemed worse. And if the actual terrorists weren’t bad enough there were nutters and copycats using the Manchester event as an opportunity to let off fireworks, run amok with knives and just cause general havoc.

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I started to feel uneasy about attending. I had never been like this before. I had always been of the persuasion that if you change your way of life – they win and I still stand by that, even though, at the moment, I can’t walk the walk. I lived in London for a year and faced frequent evacuations of train and tube stations (although life seemed less sinister back then), I vaguely remember being evacuated from New Street Station in Birmingham a few times in the 1980s when people suspected the IRA of planting bombs. I’d visited London a couple of weeks after 7/7 and not batted an eye-lid, other than to show my respects to those who unforgivably lost their lives. I’ve visited Sri Lanka, fallen asleep in the back of our transfer taxi and been woken up by the sight of man starring in at me whilst holding a machine gun. By no means am I a wuss, or one to hide from potential danger.

I spoke to Mr H about it and he was the same, although he was never going to be as invested in attending a Robbie Williams concert as me, so may have been looking for a get-out opportunity anyway. But, for me, I’ve been to every Robbie tour since Knebworth, before that in fact. I buy all of his albums on the day of release on CD. It’s the only physical CD I ever actually purchase now.

So, here I was a crazy mad Robbie Williams fan, who showed no fear in the face of previous threats, bottling it and considering selling my tickets. What had happened to me? I took to social media – some people were having the same thoughts – others told me not to live in fear. I noticed a correlation. All the people who were scared to go had kids. And that’s what it was for me. Whilst I wanted to stand up to those pesky terrorists (I prefer to refer to them as patheticists) I didn’t want to do that at the expense of my son. My son who I love. My son who, if something did happen to me and his daddy would be kinda screwed being as no one other than nursery has looked after him for more than a few hours. Sure, it was unlikely that something would happen, But what if it did? One girl helpfully reminded me that I could walk out of my house and have a tree hit me on the head and kill me. Sure, yes, I could and if that’s natures plan for me then so be it. But a fake headline of ‘Mother killed at concert that she didn’t really need to go to’ just kept flashing into my mind and I knew that for me, if anything did happen, I would feel so selfish (if I, in fact, had enough life in me to feel anything).

A lot of people tried to correct me. ‘Tree girl’ and some others. You shouldn’t live in fear, you should go they said. Sometimes their demands were so strong I almost felt like I was being told off by strangers on the internet. I asked them to respect my wishes and I still stand by that. Different things affect different people in different ways. Sticking two fingers up to the patheticists and going to a gig might feel right for some people. Taking flowers to a memorial might work for someone else. For me, it’s protecting those closest to me. Everyone should be allowed to deal with these events in their own way.

So, today, someone from Walsall will be taking my place at the Robbie concert. I’m sure they will have a great time. I’m not even upset that I’m missing out on the concert as I’m off to the seaside with Mr H and Elliott. These recent events certainly make you realise who and what are important to you.

P.S. Don’t even get me started on Ticketmaster’s shoddy customer service!

Diary: Cr*p Friend – 12th June 2017

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Today’s plans involved heading into town to pick up some bits and meeting friends for soft play. Neither of which were great successes.

Our trip into town was delayed, partly because I was that kind of tired where your brain isn’t working properly this morning, which meant breakfast seemed to take forever to prepare; partly because Elliott flat refused to wear the shoes I put on him as for some reason he doesn’t believe they belong to him (!) and partly because Elliott then decided he wanted to walk into town which kind of slowed things down.

I did manage to get to the Post Office, Waitrose and Home Bargains before heading to soft play though, so at least that was a few things ticked off the list.

Soft play was fun. However, catching up with my friend was nigh on impossible. We literally could only keep our little ones in the same area for about two minutes, so we stole snatches of the briefest of brief conversations. I also totally forgot to give her her little girls birthday gift. I took it along and everything and it was only when I got home and found it in the bottom of the buggy that I remembered. I felt awful when I saw it. Elliott loved dashing around and playing in the ball pits. I can’t tell if he lacks a bit of confidence, or just enjoys the novelty of me playing with him but he does like to keep me close by at all times. Kindly he let me know when he was ready to go by walking over to his buggy and picking up his shoes.

Elliott’s nap time was my #mumboss time and it’s been a productive day indeed. A cheque came through from a project I completed a few weeks back, I’ve had interest in some freelance articles and I managed to get a pay out from some online survey sites. Plus, I actually got around to recording and uploading a little life update video.

After lunch we headed back into town for part two of our shopping expedition. I paid my cheque into the bank, got Elliott a stand-by toothbrush from Wilko (I always have to keep one in stock as he chomps on them so badly) and then headed to Tesco.

So a kind of successful and unsuccessful day rolled into one.

Diary: Being a #MumBoss on eBay – 11th June 2017

Today has been pretty boring. In my bid to become a #mumboss I have decided that Sunday’s are a ‘work day’ for me whilst Mr H looks after Elliott. I’m currently hidden away in our bedroom and can hear the two monkeys squealing with fun in the living room. Sob! The only consolation is that I get a full day of fun with Elliott tomorrow, followed by two full days of fun with Elliott and Mr H on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Today has mostly been about eBaying. There’s been a few pitches thrown in, but it has mostly been eBay based. There’s very little that I can say about eBay that will be interesting, so here’s a video of everything I listed today instead. If you want to purchase anything I’m 6662samantha over on the land of eBay.

Elliott went swimming this morning and really enjoyed it again. I was having a chat with him about it when he got back. So cute!

Diary: No one told me about ‘Mummy Thumb’ – 7th May 2017

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I’ve been experiencing pain in my thumb for a few weeks now. I suspected that it was from picking Elliott up and trying to grasp hold of him as he wiggles about. What I didn’t suspect is that this is common ailment for mum’s of little ones, called DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis (or ‘Mummy Thumb’ to give it it’s cutesy name). By no means is my thumb pain debilitating, but not knowing what it was (and Dr Google not providing any answers) I decided to make an appointment with our Occupational Nurse at work who diagnosed it straight away. I found a really useful guide to it online, it you want to take a look. Whoever even knew ‘Mummy Thumb’ was a thing?

Of course, trying to rest the thumb is part of the recovery plan so I’ve been trying not to pick Elliott up this evening, which is much easier said than done…

Elliott had a lovely day at nursery today. He and one of his friends were role play spoon feeding each other, so cute! He was also commended for his kindness as apparently he’s always making sure the little ones in the room are OK and patting them on the back to comfort them. Proud mummy moment, or what?! There was also a rather hilarious conversation between him and one of the practitioners which resulted in Elliott saying he was going to wipe Daddy’s bum! How funny!

Diary: Operation #MumBoss – 6th June 2017

Operation #MumBoss is officially underway and I have to say it’s as exciting as it is exhausting. Last night I was up until 12:30am pitching articles to magazines and looking out images, my alarm then went off at 5:45am this morning. Needless to say countless cups of coffee have been consumed today.

Part of me feels like ‘calm down woman’, but another part of me is powering me on. I’m already starting to see some results from the work I’ve put in so far and, after all, nothing comes for free in this life so, for the time being at least, it’s all about burning the midnight oil and taking out shares in Nescafe!

My new #mumboss plans are one of the reasons that this blog has been so ignored of late. I’m hoping to incorporate the blog into my bigger plan, but at the moment I have to focus on some quick wins to start getting some extra income in. And on that note I will bid you farewell and start planning out my money making activities for tomorrow.

Diary:

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Bloody hell, Elliott has been cute today. A pain in the ass at the times too, obviously – he is nearly two after all, but super-cute to go with it.

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It started this morning when he decided he didn’t want to sit in his highchair to eat breakfast. Rather than force him I thought I’d try him on one of our dining chairs with a cushion as a booster so he could reach. He loved it and as a result was really well behaved at breakfast and again at lunchtime when he sat there again. Less so at dinner time, but hey – you can’t have everything, right?

I snuck a quick shower and dry shampooing in after Elliott was ready for the day and entranced with Twirylwoos. Result!

Then, as it was pouring with rain, the plan was to do some painting, or make some krispie cakes. However, Elliott was so hyper that neither was going to be a practical option. So instead we took the cushions off the sofa and created a mini assault course! Elliott found jumping up and down on the cushions hilarious, especially when I joined in.

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We stopped for snack – breadsticks and almond butter and then Elliott ran into his nursery and pointed to the cupboard where his painting equipment is kept. How did he know? I set up a painting area in the lounge (think plastic covering over the carpet) and we set to work. Again, Elliott loved it. Or at least he did until he got over tired, then I was left wrestling the sponges and brushes off him and trying to stop him from smearing paint up the sofa. He then had a massive tantrum as I had to drag him to the sink to wash his hands. One of those tantrums that hurts your soul, so he got lots of cuddles afterwards. It’s so difficult. On the one hand you can’t pander to their tantrums, but at the same time they’re still so little and not in control of their emotions…

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I was then planning on starting lunch but Elliott looked shattered so I tried to settle him down for a nap. He wasn’t keen on going down in his nursery and quickly ran to the lounge and pointed to the TV. I made a compromise of putting the radio on, quickly switched it to Classic FM and swayed with him a bit to calm him down and give him some cuddles (as much for me as they were for him). He then decided he wanted to take a nap on the sofa, so I settled him down with a blanket and cushion and he happily napped there for a couple of hours whilst I ran around like a mad thing getting housework done.

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After lunch (pizza toast) we headed into town. Elliott did a sterling job of helping me get him ready and then insisted on taking a small Fat Face carrier bag with a pack of baby wipes ( which he had put in there) out with him – so cute! We bumped into his Nanny in the supermarket which was nice considering Elliott had been asking for her throughout the day.

There’s been cuddles and smiles and lots of chatting – so much chatting! It’s been lovely. Elliott, dude, I love you more than you will ever know and I love spending time with you.

Diary: Tired – 4th May 2017

Gosh! I’ve been tired today. I mean not newborn days tired, obviously. But certainly coffee doesn’t make any difference tired.

One night out and I’m wrecked, and not even a big night out, just a family wedding party. It was really nice by the way. Elliott did really well. He loved the music and the lights and the other kids and the big (decorative) milk churns. He also loved the fireworks, although he was a little tired by that stage. When we went to say our goodbyes the groom told us that we were blessed to have a cutie like Elliott as a son and indeed we are. Sometimes being a parent is tough and the events that are occurring in the UK at the moment just make parenting even harder as you worry about their future. But then when you have your toddler just having hysterics over the silliest things (like the way you take their socks off during nappy change), or coming to you for a cuddle. It puts everything into perspective and nothing really matters outside of that little bubble of family life at that moment.

Oh deep!

Elliott also made us chuckle, as we were saying our goodbyes I was holding onto Elliott when an elderly gentleman guest reached out to Elliott and stroked his hand. Elliott smiled back and then started to dance, resulting in the man joining in. Such a cute moment and totally indicative of Elliott’s fun loving personality. I’m so proud of him. At his age I would have been totally overwhelmed by a party of that size, but he just took it in his stride and enjoyed himself. Us adults could learn a lot from those toddlers, although maybe not the tantrums and throwing food.

Anyway, because of the tiredness and the need to get stuff done today has been pretty quiet. We’ve been catching up on the washing now that the machine is fixed, tidying up, listing a million things on eBay and wishing we could take a two hour afternoon nap like Elliott did.

I’ve also managed to sell my Robbie tickets! Hurrah! I wouldn’t normally say hurrah about that, but I just can’t face going, so I’m glad a. someone else can enjoy the gig and b. I’ll be getting some money back.

Now just watching the news, after having watched the #OneLoveManchester gig and I can’t actually believe the world we live in…