Friday, 27 September 2013

Food Friday


Normally I try to do menu planning on a Friday, hence 'Food Friday'. But as I have been doing bulk cooking for the freezer and IP hasn't been on top form recently I thought we'd use up some ingredients from the cupboard to do some baking...





New vests had to be 'tested' immediately so she had about 4 on in one go! Then stuck her arms, etc, in the icing...


So DP had the idea of putting her 'art' smock on...


Andddd the finished article!


Bath time tonight do we think!?

*28/09/13 Update: IP must have eaten a green cake without us noticing because this morning the contents of her potty nearly scared me! ;) DP seemed remarkably calm & just thought it was cool! ;)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Why I love my cat...

I can always remember having kept cats and they feature in many family photo's from when I was little. So when DP and I bought our first house I immediately wanted a cat. DP wanted a dog but agreed that maybe a cat initially would be more practical. And so, we went to the Cats Protection League and Firby (then called Shadow) was the friendliest, apart from a little nibble to DP. Who jokes that this had the cat sold to me! ;) This was a while before we got married so I think maybe 5 years but it might be less.

Firby was fine initially. The first week we had him some friends came round, we had a bit to drink and DP decided to show off, blowing down his 'Diggery Doo' (no he's not joking, he does have one). He didn't wait and I was holding Firby at the time, about to put him out the room so he didn't get too distressed. This resulted in Firby flying in one direction, scratching down my wrists as he went...


I must admit I think DP and Firby felt the worst, I wasn't too worried. I do have a slight scar left but my attitude was I've never planned to be a wrist model so what did it matter!? :) I had to see the Doctor later that week for something else and was a bit shocked when the Doctor typed 'laceration to wrist'... (she was saying as she typed).

So from the start you could say Firby has always been a fun cat to own! 

Not long after we realised he seemed a bit lonely and I persuaded DP to get another cat to keep him company. This didn't work quite as expected because Pippin really was not the friendliest of cats :/






When I went to get her from the Cats Protection she was so bad tempered they said I'd have to get her checked at the vet myself. And when I did that, the vet had to sedate her. It turns out she has an extremely bad reaction to anesthetic, the vet who dealt with her said she hadn't seen it that bad in 20 years! So Pippin had a tough time initially!

She was on medication when we got her for arthritis but it wasn't that long after that the vet suggested we take her off it as it's bad for cat's stomaches (which explained why she had a tough time) and he felt it was improving.

We had various ups and downs but then in about September 2010 I asked DP to take her to the vet as she didn't seem well. I happened to have that week off work and by the end of it when she had a repeat trip (and she HATED the vets!) it was clear she had a tumour and it wasn't going to improve. That week by the way, was horrible. The vet had said she needed to eat more as she'd lost weight so I had to feed both cats separately, we had a litter tray for her indoors and she must have gone down hill during that week rapidly because she fell off the sofa at one point, walked into a wall and tried to eat her own litter! Then when DP got home she'd be loving and 'fine' for him. Having had her put to sleep (the first pet as an adult I've had to do that to) we then dreaded ever having to do the same or anything with Firby...

It was a few weeks after that we decided it was time to consider having a baby. First DP had his tonsils out though! It was a crazy few months! ;) 

Then, having got pregnant rather rapidly I had a tough time. I don't really feel the need to go into detail about why things weren't so great but I was signed off work sick and even that didn't go according to plan. 

On Saturday 11th June 2011 when I was 32+4 weeks pregnant, DP had a week booked off work, I had been to the hospital on Thursday morning and was on medication for high blood pressure. It really had been one thing after another after another. The plan was to discuss our finances for our upcoming arrival... But instead I woke at 5am not feeling well. I won't go into detail (now) but it turned out that I was in early labour and didn't know it. Firby stayed in the room with me right up until the last minute. I still look back and think if I'd paid more attention I might have realised. IP arrived 5.5 hours later and we called an ambulance. 

So when I have referred to Firby as like my 'midwife', that's what DP meant! 


Soooo our story isn't over yet! ;)

DP was offered a job in Luxembourg in 2012 and we decided to move. Part of the agreement on my behalf was if Firby could come too. I took him to the vet who said he just needed a rabies jab and a passport, it actually wasn't too difficult. I think it was around then he was shot in the leg (see this post). So we bought the biggest cat carrier we could get, puppy training pads, booked to take the car so he could come in the back, a cat harness/ leash... Um I think that covers it! :) Oh and when we were investigating where to live we specified that we had to be allowed to bring a cat and have access to outside - Firby does not like being kept indoors! 

Getting to Luxembourg wasn't too hard. It wasn't much fun for him but it could have been a lot worse. Once we got here we then bought the biggest litter tray that's enclosed with a filter so that's made life a little easier as well. And as I say, he was already on prescription cat food for a medical condition so I did have to do a ring round vets - firstly to check they spoke enough English and secondly to get enough food. Oh and then we returned to the UK for a week a month after moving so I then had to find someone to look after him. 

So by September/ October 2012 he was allowed out of the house. He then came back in and promptly threw up blood. We didn't have a car at that point so I rang the vets we'd bought the cat food from and arranged an appointment. I got a taxi there. They couldn't fathom why he'd thrown up blood but he was on a medication at the time that they think maybe affected it (and as we'd just been away we just assumed it was due to the people feeding him misunderstanding) and he seemed ok. It was at that appointment that they did the x ray and discovered he'd been shot... I left with IP and was to go back at 5pm...

The plan was to get 2 buses to pick him up but then a taxi home as we didn't know if it was the car or the vets he didn't like and we didn't want him pooing or crying etc on the bus! So I walked down the street, telling DP on the phone about it, IP in a baby carrier attached to me... And it turns out that the vet hadn't shut the carrier properly so Firby jumped out the carrier on a busy road and ran down a nearby 'hole'. I screeched, told DP and hung up, then panicked. Luckily for me, there was a lady nearby who seemed to speak English and having got IP out of her carrier, she offered to look after her so I could run into the area Firby had run down and get him back. I said to DP later that it was one of those horrible moments where I had to make a split second decision, was this lady friendly and would she run off with my baby or do as she said and stay there? Because as DP said, if I'd left Firby then that would probably have been 'the end' - we were too far from home for him to be able to find his way back and that was a very busy road! I had tried to coax him out but he wasn't interested. 

So this lady held IP whilst I ran round - the best way I can describe it is a low wall with some trees the other side. There was a small gap at one end and then the entry way at the other. So I couldn't crawl under the gap where Firby had gone but I could run round the other end and hope I didn't get into trouble and that Firby could be caught easily. Luckily I was able to grab him by the scruff of his neck (the safest most secure way with cats) and I then held on for dear life, put him back in the carrier and made sure it was properly shut! I did the latter in front of the lady, in the street whilst profusely thanking her in French! I still have no idea, she might well have been English, and I now know that Luxembourg is actually pretty safe but at the time I couldn't be sure. 

The first time I went away overnight in the UK having got Firby, DP let him out and he didn't come back. So DP and I camped out in the living room waiting for him to return and when he did, I took this picture:


So I think that just about sums him up and gets you up to date! ;) He's certainly not perfect and he does cause me grief (Cushings Disease basically makes him very hungry all the time :( ) but I am hoping and looking forward to a time when we can move next year to a house and let him out much easier... Ie with a cat flap (like we had in the UK) rather than leaving our back door open which is not the safest or warmest... Oh and IP loves him. She does get possessive when he sits on her chair but I think she likes shouting at him to get down! And she loves calling him and giving him his dinner and I love that he does come running when she calls him... 

Firby Cat Update


So firstly, I mentioned here that Firby wasn't well. I won't go into massive detail now about our history of cat ownership but Firby is very special to me. When we moved here a year ago I registered him and took him to a vet pretty quickly because he already had had cystitis so was on a managed diet to prevent it reoccurring badly and then I thought he might have developed arthritis.

No, even DP agrees that our vet is fantastic (total coincidence) because they took the time to x-ray him and discovered he'd been shot! In the UK at some point he'd been shot in the hip with a lead pellet gun (illegal by the way)! It makes me very angry because I try to be a responsible cat owner, he is primarily my cat and it not only hurt him but it costs us a lot of money. To be honest the whole experience is a post in itself but hopefully it explains part of why I worry about him. When I was in labour with IP, Firby was there for a lot of it, DP recently said to the Vet to explain it 'he was like our midwife'.


Anyway, I was last told (and I even got a second opinion just in case) that Firby had Cushings Disease but the medicine normally given is actually for dogs and hadn't helped. So we had to keep a close eye on his health. I was told to make another appointment in October but as that's when Munchkin's due and DP had a few days off this month I asked him if he could take Firby. He also didn't really believe me regarding the diagnosis from the vet (I will explain why later) so I thought it would help hearing himself.

So he took Firby the first Friday and the vet said we need to start checking his blood sugar levels several times a week. He (the vet) checked him there and then and said it wasn't great but it wasn't awful. So then within a week a kit had arrived and we booked another appointment for the Friday after. And as this would be the rest of Firby's life, I came along as well.

At the first appointment DP had forgotten to ask a few things so I asked them:

Randomly my cat seemed to be very ill with a cough or the flu but literally within that week had recovered. The vet even sounded concerned on the phone but then listened to his heart etc and said he seemed fine! Most peculiar... DP wondered if he was run down due to other issues and once they were resolved he got better (and the vet agreed).

Cushings Disease in cats is VERY rare. DP had done a google search and it basically said if your cat has Cushings Disease it will probably not survive more than a few months. Firby had it nearly a year at this point! Plus I had been told that it's even more rare (like unheard of) for cats not to respond to the treatment prescribed for dogs. I gather 'it just doesn't happen'. Then in turn, if a cat gets Cushings Disease they are a lot more likely to develop diabetes. Well Firby seems to be up and down all over the place with all of this. The week before his cortisone levels were high but not too high. When the vet showed us how to use the testing kit they were back down again?! He definitely doesn't like vet visits but DP did suggest that he'd been under additional stress the week before. So we now have a diabetes testing kit and are supposed to test a few times a week. I will take photo's when it is successful. We have tried twice and the machine + Firby have not co-operated. And it's frustrating cos DP has to 'prick' Firby's ear to get blood so if he doesn't manage it the first time we don't want to keep upsetting Firby...

Take from google images! 

As part of this visit DP had already indicated that he didn't really believe me (I wasn't sure I'd understood it correctly to be honest!) so I asked the vet if I had understood and he said yes and reiterated to DP and we were all able to ask any questions. Which was fantastic as DP and I both trust this particular vet - they always seem to check things, rather than just assuming (like x-raying his leg rather than prescribing a medicine for arthritis that's not nice for cats).

So fingers crossed for the foreseeable future (but we don't know how long) Firby will be ok...

Monday, 23 September 2013

What I've learnt so far.

I was lying in bed yesterday morning listening to IP & DP and deleted the facebook post I was about to post. And it occurred to me that it would not only make a good blog post but wow, have I come a long way...

With this pregnancy in particular, and more recently, I have started to make a true conscious effort to stand on my own 2 feet, not always ask others for advice and opinion and more importantly I have consciously moved away from unwanted opinion. For example:

I have left a lot of facebook groups that I was in - I have no idea how many I was in before, but it was a lot. I am also considering leaving more. I have deleted most of my facebook profile. And this morning when I pondered a parenting issue I realised I didn't want to ask the question that I started to type on a particular group, I wanted to just assume I know my little girl the best and go with it. There is no right or wrong answer, I'd only get upset or more confused if I had other people's opinions or thoughts on the matter. And I hope whether I am right or wrong will become obvious soon anyway...

I have also started very recently to make a more conscious effort not to ask for thoughts and advice from everyone. I still google search and I still read on subjects (mostly blogs I might add) and I have been recommended a few websites that are now my 'go to' on certain things but I started to really think about the people who I asked for advice, do they come to me constantly? And when I realised that no they didn't I wondered why. Then I realised it's because they either go elsewhere or because the reason I go to them is because they're self assured enough to have the courage of their own 'conviction' - or in this case, they are happy enough to believe they're right. And in turn I thought about my own parenting and realised that sometimes I just ask a question because I want someone else to tell me I'm right, not because I want an answer, as such. Anddddd I know that DP gets frustrated because I ask and quote other people so much, he has much more self assurance than I do in that respect...

I had a very rocky pregnancy with IP. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can now say, in comparison to how I felt before (and after) I got pregnant, I had some form of low level pregnancy depression

That said, certain parts of how I felt when pregnant with IP I loved. I felt a new found sense of protectiveness and when certain things went a bit 'wrong', whereas previously I tended to get emotional, I suddenly found myself feeling very angry, protective and slightly aggressive. Unfortunately my blood pressure rose around about 30 weeks and IP arrived prematurely during her 33rd week of gestation (32+4). This post isn't about everything that happened, that will come later - if nothing else it's a massively long story! But I do distinctly remember DP driving me home from hospital and discussing how it wouldn't happen next time anyway and how we were going to deal with having a premature baby, etc etc.

I also remember I loved nesting during pregnancy because I became very ruthless about certain things that I never had before. I have always liked decluttering things and reorganising things but I always had a habit of saying I should keep certain things. When I was pregnant that went out the window. And actually, thinking about it now, I do not miss a single item that I got rid of!

So of course this pregnancy I haven't achieved everything I wanted to - like taking bump pictures regularly - but I have nested on a whole new level and been protective when I felt I needed to. This time my blood pressure has mostly been low if anything...

Just to clarify, the last few weeks have been a little rocky with IP. I suspect it's due to us all getting impatient for the arrival of Munchkin - she  knows something is 'up' and something is about to happen and we're all fed up and frustrated for a variety of reasons. So our previously fairly late sleeper (8 or 9am!) is suddenly not sleeping through as well and now waking up anything from early (6 or 7am) to mega early (5am). Plus DP very kindly informed me that until Munchkin is born (at least), he will get up with IP if I'm asleep as I need my rest (previously I've got up on a Saturday & he's got up on a Sunday which has worked very well). So over the weekend I think was about 5am and 6am that I was laying listening to them both (whilst I was half asleep I should add). Yesterday I attempted to get up with IP and even started to write this post but she was determined she wanted DP.

So I needed to reflect, I think, on what I have learnt and changed.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What not to say to a new mum...

Firstly, please note, I found this originally on The Mumologist:

& it is not my own work! However, right now, it seems a good thing to post...

CRIB SHEET FOR VISITORS

Just a few words for grandparents, in-laws, helpful relatives, friends, healthcare professionals and strangers on the street. Thanks to all the lovely mamas who contributed.

Things that are appropriate for you to say:
How are you getting on?
What’s changed since I last saw you and the baby?
Where’s the Hoover kept?
What do you want for dinner?
What can I do to help?
Let me know if you want a bit of time to yourself, I’m happy to watch the baby for an hour or so
Here – I’ve brought a little something just for you
Wow, aren’t you a natural!
I LOVE the name you’ve chosen
I’ll just pop in with some food then be on my way
Trust your instincts, you know your baby better than anyone
(If breastfeeding) How’s it going – it can be hard work! (Come armed with the National Breastfeeding Helpline for bonus points – 0300 100 0212)
Oh look how adoringly he looks at you
She looks just like you
You’re such a good mum
You’re obviously doing a brilliant job
That’s the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen
Being a mum IS a job and a very productive one!
Can I get you a cup of tea?
Nap when your baby naps….and I’ll sort out the housework
It’s normal
It will pass

Things Never to Say to New Mums:
Blimey you look tired
Ah, enjoy every minute (what if they’re not??!)
You’re looking too skinny
You’re still carrying the extra weight, then?
Don’t you think it would be better if….
So, why did you choose THAT name?
She cries a lot doesn’t she?
He’s definitely hungry/tired/windy
Oh don’t worry, she’ll soon fill out/slim down
You’re breastfeeding? Isn’t that a bit…
You’re bottlefeeding? But what about…..
You’d feel better if you put a bit of make up on
We’ll just drop in for the day. With our kids. And pets….
You’re creating a rod for your own back with that rocking/nursing/cuddling
In my day, we did things like this
Is that normal?
Oh, you must be struggling.
She looks just like your great uncle George
My baby slept through from 2 weeks
How long will it take for your tummy to get back to normal?
Nap when your baby naps. Can I have a cup of tea?
Should you really be doing…
Never….
You musn’t….
You should…

Just to clarify, the reason I have posted this today is because I had similar comments and worse when I had IP prematurely so whilst I would love to say that people aren't really that stupid or insensitive, unfortunately they are. I will cover this in far more detail later (& I'm also not aiming this at anyone in particular)...

Monday, 16 September 2013

The achievements of the day.

When writing a post about what we'd done to prepare IP for becoming a big sister, I happened to stumble across another post on 1 blog. I made a note of it to reread later.

It's actually taken from another blog that has taken it from somewhere else so it's travelled a bit and I am also not at all religious and some of the posts are but I hope to review it when I have some more energy and try to come up with a list of questions. 

In fact, it brings me on to another topic or blog. I was sad when Kelly announced she couldn't continue with this blog because, if I exclude the religious parts, I love the idea of it. I feel the minimalism that I have found and am striving to achieve at the moment is kind of like living 'intentionally' without the religion of Kelly's goal or blog.

I have spoken to a friend here about some ideas I've had for the future and she was positive so I am hopeful. The only thing stopping me from trying immediately is the imminent arrival of a small baby! ;) I have decided to put a deadline on the challenges, goals and ideas that I want to start on, of early 2014. I would say January but as I don't know how crazy busy we'll be, I'll say early 2014 ;) I will cover this more later, though...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

House keeping :)

What a day. I will cover more in another post shortly but briefly before I forget, I haven't as yet mentioned that this 'round' of Project 333 is coming to an end and it'll be time to restart on 1st October. I hope to continue but have learnt some things from this particular 'round' - here in Luxembourg at the start of this month it was VERY warm and humid for me being about 8 months pregnant but suddenly this week it is now much cooler and has rained. Not as many of my maternity clothes fit which is a bit of an issue but more importantly, having thought we were being good and taking IP to creche in tights (dug out from storage!) on Wednesday, they still put her in a baby gro' for extra warmth! So next year (assuming I'm still doing this!) I must make sure I remember to keep 1 or 2 warmer items out for her. If nothing else it's hard with IP because she's so unusual in shape:

She wears the equivalent of 12 month old clothes in the UK but is over 2 years old and is potty trained so finding knickers that fitted was a challenge. And certainly when she was small she didn't like extra layers (she scared me the only time I did it by going limp and sluggish, refusing her bottle. I took a layer off & suddenly she perked up!)

So if you need a reminder or are curious as to what I do clothing wise, I wrote about it in these posts.

And the additional parts of house keeping: 
I hope that today's behaviour has been that IP is getting her molar teeth in. It has been a long day! Mind you, last night wasn't so great and when I went to collect her from creche yesterday, one look at her face said it hadn't been good... 

Oh yes and I had planned to do some cooking yesterday and today but IP informed me she didn't want to today (and I was missing an ingredient and exhausted yesterday) so I'm not sure what will happen in terms of food...

We have a busy day tomorrow - DP and I have an appointment that signifies it's getting closer to the arrival of Munchkin and then in the afternoon Firby hasn't been so well so we have to take him to the vet again. At the moment finding 'time' to write posts hasn't been too hard but if suddenly the style changes it's because time has gone! ;)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Up for discussion?

I have literally just seen this post and found it fascinating. If you look at the blog, there's a new post above it that's the same but with different pictures. Anyway, I happened to see this on facebook and it really made me think. I'm curious what others think of this post, the subject and for me, the response?

The readers response (400+) is a mixture of 'yey mom good job', 'nice point but double standards' and some very lengthy 'you're awful and have total double standards'. The writer actually says she's shocked at the response because she normally gets about 20, including family members. Whilst I do feel she's been a bit naive & guilty of double standards, I know I am totally at fault for this so that doesn't worry me too much.

Now I don't have masses of time right now & hadn't planned to 'cover' this topic in great detail but I've just typed into google images 'lady beach' etc to look for an appropriate photo to go on this post and I don't think I should post any of them! Which makes me think even more so this is interesting.

I am interested in what you all think? Is there too much thought going on? Too little thought going on regarding young girls posing provocatively? Do you care? And if you don't, are you a parent? Does that make any difference? Does it make any difference whereabouts you are in the world?


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Introducing a toddler to a baby sibling ~ Part 2

Ages ago, probably at the start of my pregnancy, I had an unexpected facebook chat with an ex work colleague about introducing IP to Munchkin. She gave me some tips. Here's the ones I can remember:
  • Ensure when visitors come to meet the baby that IP introduces them.
  • Let IP choose a doll for herself.
  • Take her to as many appointments as possible, such as scans.
  • Then other people had mentioned making a box of activities, as I covered in this post
  • Lastly, I happened to notice an idea on another blog:
I had already thought I'd like to let her choose her own doll and we wanted to get some sort of 'matching' outfits for their going home day - not easy when you don't know the gender of your new baby (we were going to let IP choose but then realised it was nigh on impossible)! So when I read this blog idea of making a bag of 'presents' including a tshirt for IP I mentioned it to DP. Particularly as he'd already made her a baby gro' that had our first scan of Munchkin & 'I'm going to be a big sister' (in English & French for creche I might add!) so I knew he could do it and would probably like to:

Grandad Bill & IP way back in March when we 'announced' it all...

*25/9/13 Just added: I have finally just got round to digging out the tops and taking a photo! :)

So we now have a bag for IP (not personalised because I already had it), a tshirt for IP & a baby gro' for Munchkin (DP has yet to sort the personalisation out, we've just printed some wording and got IP to 'colour' it in). We happened to discover an amazing range of dolls in a shop so after a long day (first attempt involved IP crying. We returned after she'd had a nap & second attempt was much better) she chose this doll:


She hasn't questioned where it's gone, thankfully, so I've been able to just wrap it up. DP has also bought her a toddler camera because we all love taking photo's and she's rapidly catching on so we thought having her own camera to take photo's of her family would be good. And then I had bought a bead threading set that I have just wrapped up, for her to play with in hospital if she wants.

I will of course, be updating when Munchkin actually arrives on how IP deals with it then. In the mean time though, we have been recommended to keep things as 'normal' as possible so aside from me making an effort to go swimming I haven't changed anything. We've mentioned it a lot to her and suggested things she could do. 

Technology

One part of minimalism that I hadn't expected is reading and learning about less technology. When I first heard about Minimalism I assumed and thought it was all to do with getting rid of most of our stuff. Then about being careful what we bought so that hopefully had more money as a result. And then thinking more carefully about what we wanted to do with that money.

For example, just before we moved to Luxembourg, I wanted to look at buying our 'Forever House' - we had spent a lot of time prior saying 'in our next house we'll - ' and I was fed up of it. So I was sad to learn when we moved to Luxembourg that it would be a LONG time before we could consider buying a home here.

Well having lived in a small (compared to what we lived in before) apartment in Luxembourg, I like things so much that I said to DP the other day I am actually more than happy to consider longer term rental. We are *hoping* to move in the next few years and I was pretty surprised when it was actually DP who mentioned it may be better to look at buying at that point (at the moment we rent out our UK house as it's more cost effective for now).

Anyway, that is just home related. I have announced yesterday I am deleting my facebook account. I have to be honest, I haven't gone the full 'hog' with this yet, I have a blog page that I plan to use and I'm still in a few groups. *But* the main reason for the groups is that I seek advice from them or sell things in them and I will probably want them in the next few months when Munchkin is born (for example breast feeding & selling a sling). If I don't then I will leave them (& I am seriously considering leaving them already but I fear I would drive certain friends bananas :D). I have also left already more than I thought I could. I have already deleted quite a few friends from facebook and this evening plan to delete the rest. I spent some time yesterday deleting all my photo albums from my profile. I have found in the last week I have got particularly hacked off with certain comments so I definitely feel it's the right thing to do. And then this morning I discovered a local school returns back next week and they were the venue for one particular playgroup so I will be calling them to see what's happening. My mother always said that if you clear things out, it opens the door for new things and that certainly seemed to be the case! In the process of leaving various groups I checked a few of them and discovered charity and volunteering options in one of them so have messaged 2 ladies regarding that...

When I first announced on my private facebook page that I planned to leave I had a lot of friends ask why. Well part of the reason is that I don't feel I'm very good as a mother when I'm glued to facebook/ on my phone (I am not suggesting others are like this, I just know that I'm not good!). I also find I get stressed at people being so judgemental. So I decided that enough was enough, I would spend my time taking my children to local groups, prepping when we're at home for the next activity and enjoying them. If they go to local groups they don't need as many toys at home, hence less clutter and if asked for present ideas we'll either say nothing, membership (eg the local swimming pool or playgroups) or possibly books. One such local group that we've paid to start in November is actually run at a local international children's library, of which membership is mandatory so I am hoping that as we will be going weekly anyway, to borrow books as well. IP has suddenly got very interested in books so this may be a life saver... And non parenting wise, years ago I barely checked facebook & I remember driving into work one day, listening to the Radio where they said about a challenge of giving up facebook for a week. I sneered at the idea of it being hard to 'give up' facebook because at the time I had probably done more than what they'd suggested. Now I check it far more often than I should!

Some posts that I read that got me thinking about technology:
http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/07/16/the-day-i-stopped-saying-hurry-up/

http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2011/06/ill-pay-you-100-to-take-my-iphone/

I sent the above blurb to DP because I would LOVE to be able to say that I am even part way there. I remember years ago a time when I hadn't even heard of Facebook. I am of the generation that didn't have a mobile phone. And when I actually stop to think about my social activities, most of them are arranged via email. I do have access to the latter on my mobile but my point being that I don't feel I'm missing social occasions through not being on facebook. So what do I miss? DP definitely approves. IP shouts at me for having my phone or laptop out and at a very young age could attempt to 'slide' to unlock an iphone. At the time I thought it was 'amazing'. Now I'm shocked and appalled. It's all very well me being grateful that my daughter doesn't watch much tv (well under the average that is 'ok' for her age) out of coincidence but that doesn't help much when she sees so much other media around her?!

I cried when I read the post 'the day I stopped saying hurry up'. All of this really hit home. I want to put my skills and personality to good use. I don't want to be getting cross at comments on facebook. I don't want to be stressed out at the latest app on my phone, or having to upload photo's to 20 different places. Incidentally, the last time I checked I had well over 100 albums on facebook, I'm pretty sure it had made it to over 200...

The main technology I still have and use is:

  • Satellite tv - DP won't give that up just yet but we have dramatically reduced the amount we watch. I also find it useful for 'quiet time' with IP and I suspect it will be a godsend when Munchkin arrives...
  • Iphone - I still have and use an iphone, I'm just going to try to be more like the lady in the post above. Whilst I probably should delete my emails app, the ability to check if there's anything relating to the management of the rental of our UK house, any comments on this blog, any play dates, etc, is too tempting. Things like google translate app is a godsend sometimes, particularly in the supermarket. I also use duolingo.
  • My laptop & the internet.


What I am intending and hoping to do is have specific times and evenings for different activities. At the moment we have a French night, a date night and certain nights for certain tv programmes, for example. I will also need to be incredibly organised with what things we need to take with us each day (eg snacks, drinks bottles, etc) and try to get to bed at a decent hour. None of which happen if I continue spending all evening on facebook/ watching tv. I also hope to schedule time to write this blog... ;)

And during the day writing this post I have seen a video on facebook via Hands Free Revolution which has further confirmed my thoughts and feelings on this.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Food Friday +

Well this isn't going to be a usual Friday food post - ie what we plan to eat next week BUT I have been trying to do a little bit of bulk cooking in preparation for Munchkin's imminent arrival (I'm nearly 34 weeks) and today whilst DP took Firby cat to the vet, with IP to help, I took the opportunity to use some of the bulk bought ingredients up (Auchan recently did a promotion where you could buy things in 'bulk' for less than normal), making a massive chilli con carne with our favourite recipe. IP LOVED this particular meal on Thursday when DP made rice & reheated the chilli (I fell asleep!) so I feel it's a good thing for us to have in the freezer as a back up...


This is actually me making 'fish pie' the other day. DP has next Friday off for something else so I am hoping that during the week and on Friday I can make a pasta bake & another fish pie to freeze...


IP, DP & Firby 'bonding'... Ok maybe not but Firby is very good at letting IP be silly & in turn she seems to love him & understand if we say 'no' we mean it. So I tried to make a boat & made a hat instead that went on her, DP & me, then finally on Firby... :)


More bonding after dinner during the week. Firby's vets appointment today wasn't very nice for him. 'We' thought he had a rare disease but he's now being tested for diabetes :( I am not looking forward to the coming weeks when we'll have to start checking his blood to determine whether he does or not :( And the prospect that Munchkin is due to arrive in the near future as well... Yes I think any preparations we can make now are a VERY good idea! ;)


And last but not least, I am gutted that we didn't make it back to the UK today for my cousin's wedding, but hope all goes well and wish Kelly & Matt all the very best for tomorrow & of course the future! :) 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Well who'd have funk it?!

I made & froze Salmon fish cakes from the Jamie Oliver cookbook and finally this evening got round to taking IP to get sweet potato so we had sweet potato wedges & fish cakes...

Well it turns out that DP thought they smelt amazing - he didn't actually realise it was his own dinner cooking that he could smell! Andddd IP just kept eating and eating and eating sweet potato! So methinx that'll be repeated another night! She must have eaten at least half a sweet potato, if not close to a full one! :)


Quote of the weekend:

Thought I'd share last night's input from DP ~ his favourite "quote of the weekend":

We were walking round a 'gardening' shop y'day that had a pet section & the whole shop is silent...

"MAMMMMA, MAMMMA! It's PETER RABBIT! RABBIT!"

I tend to go through phases of finding a tv programme and recording it and then putting it on occassionally for IP - first it was Little Einsteins, then it was ZingZilla's. Now we have Peter Rabbit, Doc McStuffin's & Dora recorded. Oh & different Bedtime Stories. Oh and they start repeating so the Peter Rabbit is repeats.

IP will point at the tv and say 'Rabbit'.

We were walking round this shop & she saw the rabbits whilst with DP and shouted very loudly to me...

Found on google images.
What I also appreciated about DP telling me this (I'd forgotten) was that he's the one that makes an effort to ask IP at the end of the day/weekend what she's enjoyed the most (on Wednesday she told me 'cutting' - cutting out salt dough shapes! ;)) and I'd noticed we had a packet of chocolate chip cookies in the cupboard so asked IP if she would like hot chocolate (room temp for her) and cookies with Mamma & Dadda before bed. She was sooooo excited! She said 'wowwwww' immediately, carried on eating her pear and then had 2 bites of her cookie before saying it was for Mamma! :)

So I think this weekend has been all about 'the little things' ~ I didn't sleep very well and had a thumping headache as a result so it was good to get a few bits done but nice in particular to appreciate my daughter enjoying little things & husband/ her father enjoying similar little things...

What we have achieved 'otherwise' though:

DP has updated our finances & moved them onto a new budget system. We're having some teething problems but it's good to at least try.

We have bought a few things but I feel good about what we bought: I wanted a scrubbing brush or something so bought a wood & metal cheapest scrubbing brush. I found some reasonable maternity jeans - I had one size that were too small and the next size were too big and I only had 'shorts' and summer trousers so at least these jeans were in the sale and will last me the remaining few months (due mid October).

DP took IP out to the fair today so that I could either get some rest or do whatever. I don't like staying at home but I couldn't have managed going as well and it was a case of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' so...
Anyway, I finished some craft bits and pieces, we got IP to finish some bits & I finally got round to using my hair dye up! So I will take a photo of all these things.

I am now winding down a lot more physically for the end of pregnancy ~ with IP I didn't make it this far in gestation and I have just realised that I am definitely feeling the difference physically! I have, however, pre planned some posts, though they are likely to be quite trivial, to publish when I've actually had Munchkin. I keep meaning to sit and write up the posts I've had ideas on so when I get to this stage of physically finding it harder, I can just set them up to publish but I haven't done it yet, so fingers crossed this week sometime! :)