Diary: Worcester – 3rd June 2017

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Ah! Today has been a contented kind of day. We had originally planned to visit Worcester on Bank Holiday Monday, but rain literally stopped play. Fortunately, today’s sunshine meant we could go!

This morning was a bit of a mammoth mission, what with simultaneously preparing breakfast and lunch, but so worth the prior preparation.

Worcester is one of my favourite places to visit. There’s some brilliant shops, the iconic view of the Cathedral presiding over the impressive, River Severn and some fantastic outside spaces. Today there were also buskers aplenty (but like, really good buskers, ones that should be getting through to bootcamp on Britain’s Got Talent) and a fabulous street market.

We browsed a few stores. Mr H spent some of his birthday money on a T-shirt from Fat Face. Then we headed to Cripplegate Park for lunch. The ground was still a bit too soggy for a proper ‘picnic blanket’ style picnic, but we found a nice bench overlooking the tennis courts and settled down for some soggy sandwiches (an English picnic essential, non?), crisps and jelly. Elliott roared at the lions on the fountain in the centre of the park and then we headed to the children’s play area.

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I love the children’s play area at Cripplegate. There’s just so much to keep little ones entertained. Elliott was in his element and once he found his confidence was happily running around from play thing to play thing – driving the boat and demanding that Mr H and I be passengers, inviting us in for tea in his little house, repeatedly sliding down the huge slide even though it was super-fast and he kept sliding off the end, bouncing on the trampoline. He was so happy.

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A bit more browsing and then we headed to one of the cake stalls at the market and purchased two of the biggest slices of cake you’ve ever seen. I opted for Strawberries and Cream and Mr H had Black Cherry Sponge, we picked up a coffee and a smoothie and headed back to the car with the intention of sitting down by the river to eat our cake, but it was a bit blustery so we decided to have an in-car picnic instead. Oh my word! The cake was delicious.

Cake, fun at the park, a mooch around the shops, a well-behaved and now napping toddler, sunshine, people watching people attending Worcester races for Ladies Day (oh the outfits!!!), picnics – this is the life!

Now we’re on our way back home. We have a wedding party to attend tonight at the same venue we got hitched. It’s going to be a late one and we’re taking Elliott with us, so who knows how it will go, but we thought we would give it a try! Even if we have to leave after half-an-hour the rest of today has been so perfect that I wouldn’t even care.

Diary: Holiday – 1st June 2017

Alas! Nope, we’re not jetting off to foreign shores. Not even taking a UK mini break or a staycation. Instead, today I booked a day off work and popped Elliott into nursery just so I could catch up with life. And I did I catch up? A little.

Finances were checked and reconciled.

Emails were checked.

Messages replied to.

Money making schemes were researched and carried out.

Face and hair masks were applied.

Robbie tickets were put up for sale.

A long shower was taken.

Make-up was applied.

Hair was styled.

Nails were painted.

Episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians were watched.

Phone calls were made.

Cards written and gifts wrapped.

Lunch was eaten.

Shops were visited (mostly to get my freebies from my Shopmium app and another cashback app that I will tell you about soon).

More research was carried out.

Coffee was drunk.

Tea was cooked.

Duplo was played with.

Tidying took place.

eBay feedback was left.

Future actions were scheduled.

Gift ideas for Elliott’s birthday were researched.

And now? Now, I am tired and a bit gutted that today went so fast and I didn’t get to tick everything off my to do list. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

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 £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!