Mad Busy

Took kiddo to get new shoes yesterday in amidst the chaos of the busy past three weeks, finally managing to squeeze it in! He is 7. Of course we decided not to buy from Clarkes after the fitting as they are just too damn pricey. Bought a bunch of 7s only to find out they were too tight. Went back and got him an 8! He is clearly taking after his grandfather heightwise, who is 6 ft 4. We also had him registered at the dentist. 6 month waiting list for this place off Roman Road but worth it as they were brilliant. No waiting at all. Got myself checked out whilst there and dentist recommended a filling. Not because of decay but because my tooth was grinding down. I grind my teeth, I know this. So I had my first ever filling in my life and can honestly say I would sooner not repeat this experience. Otherwise she was shocked at how good my teeth are considering I have not seen a dentist in 25 years. Well thank you mum! All that dentistry we had as kids at her insistence has paid off. My son refused to open his mouth but that’s ok at least he is on their register! I intend to be as strict as my mother about caring for teeth at least until 18! We also booked a holiday to Menorca which I am so looking forward to. My son was conceived there, we thought it would be fun to head back. Beautiful kid friendly beaches, lovely countryside, calm and peaceful. Quick flight, short car journey. Win! This little spot on the net is my diary and I am behind with so much of it including kiddo’s birthday, farewells to friends and my husband’s promotion and our wedding anniversary. I want to chart this as soon as I find a spare 5 minutes. We are also hoping like crazy that we can have my mother in law come over to stay. That would be wonderful. I love the woman to pieces!

Small blessing

I had decided to put money away for some plastic tables and chairs for Joseph’s party, thinking I could use them for the playgroup on Fridays afterwards and maybe claim the money back if we ever get funding. Then I realised the tables were £8 each from the local market, corner store thrift shop and not £4 as I had stupidly imagined they were. I imagined kids eating on a mat on the floor which isn’t ideal. The little playgroup we attend inside St Dunstans church may have come to our rescue. The lady there is lending us her collapsible tables and little chairs. Very sweet of her. Just need to figure out how to get them from A to B without spending a fortune. I think a taxi would take them if they fit. Hope so.

Yesterday my son turned two. We have a party planned this weekend. In the rather sad absence of so many family dotted all around the world birthday celebrations tend to be a bit “light” so we thought we would get a few buddies along for him to share it with us. I hope it goes well. I’m making most of the food which I am keeping simple and we have scrimped and saved to get an entertainer to come along for an hour. Hope she’s ok. 

But it was yesterday that he turned two. On Sunday night I got a text from a mum who asked me if we fancied making a trip to Greenwich for a picnic. Very thoughtful of her as I was expecting a low key, normal day and hadn’t said anything to anyone. Having family far away herself she knows too well how it feels I suspect. I woke up and had a bit of a blub. I find it hard to fathom that he is two already! Then we set off to Greenwich. We took a big red bus of course. Followed by a ride at the front of the DLR. We headed to the Maritime Museum at the other mum’s suggestion. It’s a wonderful bright airy space inside an historic building and was much fun. A huge space for toddlers to race around in safety, while we watched sipping a “Paul’s” coffee. Yum. We had our picnic. Joseph stuffed his face. I am convinced he is just on one long growth spurt the amount he is stuffing at the moment. We took photos of the two of them racing around the world map. With photos of him in the USA and Brazil because family in these parts of the world cannot join us. Thought it would be nice to make them feel a part of it all. Outside it was sunny and quite warm. After a stop to take in the park and the water features, we headed home. Front seat DLR again with people only too happy to relinquish their seats for him without me asking. Thank you London. I may be at a miserable distance from family who long to be with us and vice versa on a day like today but you have a habit of filling our lives with wonderful adventures and distractions. 

Two years ago today

Today two years ago I was induced at the Royal London. I can quite safely say I do not have fond memories of the dreadful care, complete lack of interest (rude to careless) or failure to spot an issue which left me in an unnecessarily long labour or without pain relief for a long period of time for a “back to back” labour.  I lost way too much blood as a result and wasn’t well for days. I was to put it mildly terrified. To read of the cases of women dying at the hands of the NHS in childbirth has only made my anger grow. I was also then bullied into breastfeeding. Should I mention the posters all up around the wards saying “ask a midwife how to breastfeed”? I asked. Noone came. In the four days we were in I asked about a dozen times. I was self taught completely to begin with. All in all not wonderful. I am grateful to God for my beautiful son. The NHS, nope.

Happy Playday

It’s my son’s birthday on Monday. We are going on a mum’s outing, this time to Greenwich. His birthday will include a picnic, most unexpectedly - sounds lovely. 

Joseph’s life has been centred in or around the various play centres/groups he attends weekly for play. They have been good to us and for us despite my occasional grumble. Today was the last chance to attend the Under Twos session. 

I cannot believe he is turning two. I remember the first time we went to this session (which feels like last week) and distinctly recall how far off two felt.

We took along some extra food for snacktime. Cheese and pineapple plus a nice mango. Everyone tucked in. At the end of the session we all sang Happy Birthday at songtime. 

Rollercoasters

Lovely picnic in Victoria Park in the sunshine today with some mums and babes after Piccolo. All rather nice.

My son turns two in 5 days. What happened to the last two years? Really where on earth did they go. And judging his behaviour at Piccolo he really is entering the terrible twos. I need to buckle up and don a helmet.

My son was knocked off his feet by a cyclist in Victoria Park today. The loon was going way too fast. Joseph escaped the mummy collective as we sat at a table, then darted out. I didn’t get to him in time. The cyclist merely paused, watched to see if my son got up then sodded off without so much as an “are you ok?”. Wanker! Joseph said through tears “mama. bike, wheel, owie on finger” (he didn’t say wanker. I said that, quite loudly)

The first of three of his buddies since he was tiny, leaves very very soon and we are pretty much saying our goodbyes shortly. The other family leave in April with their two urchins.  I am very very sad to see the close of this amazing chapter in our lives. I shall miss each of them and their mothers a lot. They have enriched our lives, brought fun, laughs and comfort where it was needed through this two year rollercoaster ride. At one point I thought they would all three grow up together until nursery or school age at least but sadly that is not to be. I must admit I became quite emotional about it when writing the first of the good luck cards.

Texas is back on the radar and frankly when I consider how royally screwed we are as a family tax wise I am inclined to really push for this now. We have established that my parents can stay three months of the year on a tourist visa which would need to happen if we move that far away.  Let’s see.

Lent

So I settled on no wifi after 9pm. Or at all when my son is awake. This will be a challenge just as it’s meant to be. And good for us all too. I’m also trying to say the Rosary daily. A mum friend chants daily. She’s a Buddhist. Made me feel like an epic failure. It’s just all round good to meditate on life. Whatever your faith or none just taking 20 minutes to sit and focus on life away from it all is good for the soul. I always feel a million times better for example, when I leave Mass. That one hour of pure focus on the divine, family, community and one another lifts me right up. It was a chance return to Mass and precisely that feeling which brought me back to the faith I had rejected after Mums accident. I was an atheist for over a decade.

This week

Scary
Hectic
Frustrating
Weird
Comforting
New
Exciting
Relief
Unnerving
Worrying
Muddled


We often talk of experiencing all the seasons in one day. How about every feeling under the sun in one week.

Bubble & squeak

Cannot decide between American style fluffy dime pancakes or our family tradition of bubble and squeak pancakes. My Polish blood is singing to me so it is likely to be the latter.

Shrove Tuesday

Our favourite children’s centre, which we haven’t visited in a while, made pancakes for everyone today. Not shop bought either. They made them. With bananas and raspberries. It was bright and sunny and this just lifted everyone’s mood that much further. We then stopped by the ancient and rather beautiful church next door for Lentern lunch. Proceeds go to charity. Been years since I’ve had a proper Lent charity lunch! School I think. Home made soup and bread. All very pleasant.

Lent

I still haven’t decided whether to give up sugar or give up worrying for Lent. It’s not supposed to be an easy ride. That’s the whole point. And giving up either of these fits the bill. Giving up both would probably kill me!

Mum Friends

A mum friend recently returned from a trip overseas and brought me back a lovely gift. Most unexpected. It’s funny to think that I’ve only known her 18 months. It’s also lovely when people reach out in this way. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea! Generally I’m not a woman’s woman so I find women slow to warm to me. But I am very pleased with how things have turned out. It takes time to establish friends when you move into a new area, which this was to us before my son was born. I’ve had the odd weird moment such as when a mum exclaimed with huge relief that she knew my son was half Brazilian or similar because “he couldn’t possibly just be English”. Something she exclaimed AFTER I told her the Brazilian blood came from the fathers side. Go figure! But overall I feel very relaxed with the circle of mums I know and feel that I can be myself around them. With old friends and close family so far away things like this really matter a great deal.