Lost: Me

I am supposed to be finishing my post for one of my favourite linkys’ #ChuckleMums, but I don’t feel much like chuckling this morning. I have been fighting the invisible hand of postnatal depression all weekend again. It’s always there, some days are better and I don’t contemplate legging it from the house with just my car keys for company. But this weekend it’s just sat there like an impenetrable fog. Not helped by being full of cold, which is miserable even at the best of times. I have stuck a brave face on it and carried on with the usual mundane housework, laundry and meeting all of the children’s needs, an outsider would probably not even notice there is anything wrong. But I can feel it bubbling inside me, quietly simmering beneath the surface ready to explode about something (most likely trivial) how it will manifest itself  will depend on who opens the box! If it’s Pie it usually comes out as rage but if it’s my mum or a friend it’s likely to be a flood of tears and a torrent of unintelligible words.Mummy cuddling newborn Pudding

I am hoping that this week might be the start of getting to grips with my feelings after Puddings birth. I have an appointment with Acacia who are a postnatal depression charity that run all sorts of helpful sessions. Looking forward to talking to someone and feeling able to be honest without being judged for not enjoying the kids.  Because it’s not about that, I love them both dearly, I just don’t feel like me anymore. Most days I feel as if I am living through Groundhog Day, I know that raising small children can be quite repetitive and that this is just a fact of life when you are a mother, but it’s definitely a fact I need some help to accept. I don’t know what the sessions at Acacia will be like, that makes me anxious but I hope that they will start to untie this guilty knot that’s still inside me. Things are better than they were a few weeks ago but I don’t think I am quite there yet…

As for the for the #chucklemums post? This is Pudding HQ something is bound to happen before lunchtime that will be worthy of featuring in a funny linky!

Love Pudding’s Mum

Pink Pear Bear
My Random Musings

Blissful Bluestone, Family Holiday Heaven

This is the picturesque view over Bluestone Wales this weekend as I dropped off the car in the main car park (Bluestone is a car free zone!). We had been lucky on the drive down, no major disasters befell us like they normally do, we did have two tired and slightly grumpy children but once we had decanted them into bed we could look forward to two blissful days surrounded by fantastic scenery and our choice of fantastic activities.

Bluestone view

Picture

Last time we stayed we had one of the two storey lodges cleverly designed to have the living quarters on the top to make the most of the views, this time we opted for a single storey chalet-type. We weren’t disappointed, although the space was not huge, it was a good size and the high ceilings made it feel very light and airy. I loved the open plan kitchen, lounge and diner, it mean that we could all chill out together without having to be on top of each. There was a slight issue with sound on the TV which almost pushed Mr Pudding over the edge, but a few jiggled wires soon sorted that out! The lodge was clean and tidy, we located the travel cot with ease, my only minor complaint was that there was no mattress provided but a few folded blankets and a super-sized muslin later and Pudding had a bed, it must of been ok cos we didn’t hear a peep out of her all night.
The lodges in Bluestone are allocated on the day and you don’t really get a say in where they put you (I guess you probably could if you paid extra), we were down towards the big lake, which was beautiful. However; it was very far from the pool and the adventure centre, we did try to hire a buggy but unfortunately there weren’t any left. Mind you the walk up the giant hill did wonders for my bum especially carrying Pudding. Our Ergo carrier came into its own, I did bring the pushchair but that would have been even worse to push up the hill!

Pudding

Pudding enjoying the Adventure Centre!
We decided the next morning to take the kids swimming, so we hiked up to the pool, Pie was in the worst mood ever and he whinged the entire way. I should have seen the storm clouds gathering but I figured he would join in the fun after a little while. The swimming pool is fantastic, it is set in a huge biosphere so lovely and warm. Perfect for Pudding who is not a fan of the cold and wet, Pie loved the lazy river and the waves. He was less keen about queuing for the family changing rooms and this caused another mini meltdown. We headed back for lunch before Mr Pudding and Pie had to be at their afternoon activities.
So you remember I ignored the storm clouds? Well that was a rookie mistake! As we headed back up to the adventure centre Pie kicked off for the biggest meltdown you have ever seen, he refused to walk and then finished with his party trick and promptly pooped himself. Even the promise of an afternoon playing at pirates couldn’t bring him down from the ceiling. Mr Pudding went off to do his high ropes course (which by the way he said was totally fantastic and he thoroughly enjoyed it!), I went into the adventure centre with an extremely angry Pie and spoke to the amazing Bluestone staff. Because of his accident Pie couldn’t join in with the other children, but the staff were amazing, they were more than happy to rearrange for us and booked us in for the following morning. We stopped into the main office on the way back and asked the fabulous staff there who promptly radio’d through to my husband at Steep Ravine to explain that we were going home for a nap. I really can’t fault them they were so helpful, another point to add about the great staff is that everywhere you go on the Bluestone site they say hello or good morning!

Picture

 Having recovered from what can only be described as an epic tantrum, Pie woke with a smile on his and to two little friends! These little friendly little ducks were knocking on our patio door with their beaks the next morning, they were so tame the took bread right out of Pie’s hand, clearly they are well versed in guests at Bluestone. We took this as a good omen and after some breakfast headed back to the Adventure Centre for some pirate fun! Pie loved it, he went off for 2 hours with a group of children and didn’t even look back, they all looked great with facepaint and pirate costumes. Pudding, Daddy and I enjoyed an hour of baby massage and yoga which was lovely, great sensory room and our instructor was really friendly (another credit to the Bluestone staff). Our afternoon was spent back at the pool, before we headed back for some chips from the chippy van, again the staff were great and we avoided another Pie meltdown when the chap kindly gave us a free ketchup as we had run out of cash!

Overall, I can’t praise Bluestone enough for their family friendly environment, the staff were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. I wish we could have stayed longer as there is still so much that we would like to have done, this is my second visit and I still haven’t managed to try out the Spa! We will definately return again in the future, but a few tips for those who are planning a visit:

1. Book a buggy – firstly they are awesome and secondly little legs get tired!
2. Upgrade the WiFi to premium if you want to stream anything, or get any blogging done.
3. Take advantage of the kids activities, they are good value and give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the more adult activities as over 4s don’t need adult supervision.
4. Remember a pound for the lockers at the pool (we were lucky another fab member of staff let us leave my bank card and gave me a pound to use in the lockers)

Thank you Bluestone for another fab visit and we look forward to returning again soon!

Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard
Petite Pudding

Generate your button code

The Great Car Journey

 

It all started like any other car  journey from my parents back home. I gathered the various items that had been scattered to the 4 corners of the house. I then stuffed them into our suitcases before attempting to play Tetris with various items in the boot. I don’t know why I I insist on bringing the pram wheels.  We never use them but I like to be prepared. So having finally stuffed everything in I begin the task of wrestling Pie into his shoes and persuading him that yes he will need a wee before he gets in the car.

Meanwhile Nana is changing Pudding and attempting to feed her some milk. Nappy change went well, getting milk in her, not so good. Pudding is one of those babies who eats only when she wants too and all of natures elements are in line. The sausage dogs have yet another toilet run. My dad mentions something about my boy sausage but I figure it’s probably nothing and finally I load two children and two dogs into the car. Phew what a mission, but least now they are all confined it shouldn’t be too bad right?

Sausage Dog

Oh had I known then what I know now…. We set off and I tell Pie we will need to stop for petrol, and he immediately starts listing all the things he wants from the garage. We stop and fill up, I notice as I am paying they have one of those traffic board things and its flagging up problems on the M25. I moan to the chap at the desk, he laughs and says we usually just leave that one up as there is always some problem! At this point I think; it’s all right for you mate you haven’t got the equivalent of an H bomb sitting in your car….

I climb back in, surprisingly all is quiet and Pie takes it quite well that I have not brought sweets. Quick check on Google maps shows the M25 is at standstill. Damn, work out new route to join the motorway a bit further up, battery on phone really low but I reckon it will last, off we go….

The first part of the journey is a doddle, all kids and dogs have a snooze and I sing along quite happily to the radio, admiring some of the beautiful towns near where my parents live. As we join the motorway I am feeling quite smug all the cars are moving quite well, my plan has worked. Well it has for 3 minutes and then we found the traffic. An hour later Pie woke up and we were still sat on the motorway. I handed him a sponge finger and we talked about the aeroplanes that kept flying over our heads. It was at this point Pie said ‘never mind the sick Spotty Dog, I have some on my trousers too it’s ok’ to which I said ‘what sick mate?’ Well it transpired that the boy sausage had been sick on his bed.

When the traffic stopped again I turned round to see two huge piles of sick on the dog bed and my boy sausage looking very sorry for himself. My girl sausage was disgusted with him and she had got down and was lying in Pies footwell. Pie just shrugged and said never mind Mummy, I couldn’t believe he was taking it so well!

It was 5 minutes later when Pie started laughing like a mad person that things really went down hill. There was a slight squelchy bottom noise from the back, followed by ‘Mummy, Toby is having a poo’. Good lord that wasn’t a poo, that was explosive dog diarrhoea, all over the back of the car! I can’t even describe to you the smell, but suffice to say in a hot car it was pretty awful! Pie and I looked at the stand still traffic and we just laughed and laughed, what else could we do?

I have to say an hour and half later we were not laughing quite so hard. Pudding had woke for a feed and was screaming her lungs out, the air in the car can only be described as chewy. Finally we turned off the motorway and into the service station. The clean up operation was a nightmare. Pie was a star, he stood outside the car for 20 mins while I removed the dogs and tied them to a tree, threw their bed in a bin and wiped the whole back seat down with a baby wipe. (Honestly I haven’t found anything that a pack of baby wipes can’t clean).

Once the dogs were loaded back into the car, we went to grab a MacDonalds, because at times like this the only thing you can do is eat. Unfortunately we had to go back and eat this in the car, which was still pretty grim but we couldn’t leave the dogs in the car on their own. Once everyone was fed and watered we got back on the road and finally got home after 6 hours of travelling, luckily with no further disasters!

This trip has taught me a valuable lesson, when Grandad says ‘your dogs got a bit of an upset tummy’, you should listen to him and take travelling precautions. Suffice to say the car has had to be valeted today.

Photo Credit: MAIDMENT via Compfight cc

Pink Pear Bear

Pink Pear Bear

Motherhood: The Never Ending Shift

crying baby picture

Our new arrival is now nearly 3 months, cute little dot she is, very smiley and pretty easy going. Mind you she has to be as our 3 year old (4 next month, where did that time go?) has decided that his only aim in life is to push his mother to the brink of insanity! It’s not that he is a bad kid, he just is struggling to adjust to not always being the number one priority in the house…
Last week really saw the tipping point! My other half hasn’t been working any more shifts than usual, it just feels like he has because he seems to be gone for days at a time. Our sons first question is always ‘where’s daddy? Is he working again?’ I guess it’s pretty hard on him as when either of us go on shift he doesn’t see us from one day to the next, we are up before he wakes and home long after he has gone to bed. Or worst still he has to be quiet round the house because one of us is sleeping for nights…. Any way; I digress back to the story I was telling.
So it’s Tuesday, and we are heading towards bed time, always a time where there is a risk of explosion in our house! It’s even worse this evening because the 3 year old in his infinite wisdom woke the baby from her nap and she is screaming. Unfortunately this happened around 6 hours ago and she has screamed like a banshee since then, my ears are ringing and my son looks like the world has ended! The sausages are cowering on their bed with their paws over their ears…
Dutifully I run my sons bath plonk him in and pick up his squalling sister who redoubles her efforts to sing me the song of her people… As I dance round the bathroom, swaying on the spot with my eyes momentarily closed to attempt to block out the noise my son decides to pick up his dad’s razor that has been left on the side of the bath (I hadn’t even noticed it was there…) he nicks his finger, cue major melt down from him! Without thinking I pick him up with one arm out of the bath, now I am soaking and have screaming in stereo. To add insult to injury the sausages have reached their tolerance limit, Toby turns to look at me and promptly vomits all over his bed, Flick takes flight upstairs to hide under my bed (I later realise her intention was actually to hunt out a forgotten used nappy and rip it up all over my bed, takes dirty protest to a whole new level). It’s at this precise moment my husband rings to see how we are doing and to find out what’s for dinner as he will be finishing on time, he is greeted by what can only be described as manic laughter….
Suffice to say bedtime could not come quick enough and it was with a great sigh I sunk onto the sofa at 7.30 with my ears still ringing. The reality of having two small children certainly hit home and my heart goes out to all those single parents out there or those whose partners work away. I only have 3/4 days a week utterly unsupported fighting the continuous demands of my offspring – believe me that is enough. No matter what my job as a nurse chucks at me least I know the shift will end, being a mum, now that’s a shift that never ends!
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
Pink Pear Bear

Dear Pie – A letter to my 4 year old

< div align=”center”>Cuddle Fairy
Picture

Dear Pie,

I wish you could explain to me why you have woken every morning of your entire life with a scream. When you were little I knew it was hunger that made you wake squalling. But now you are nearly 4 and still most mornings the first thing Mummy hears is a whinge and a few sobs. I think this probably happens before you even open your eyes! If you don’t want to wake up at 7.30 then you really don’t have too, don’t think you are doing this for my benefit, I would quite happily lay in bed until 8-8.30. Are you hungry when you first wake up? I understand that hangry is a pretty serious problem but flinging yourself into my room and screaming into my face as your Dad opens one bleary eye in shock is not really the best way of requesting your breakfast. In all honesty it makes me feel less inclined to get up and make it…

I wish I understood where all your raging comes from. You can be so sweet and loving, most of the time I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a big squidge. But the monster is always hiding underneath – an ill timed request to use the toilet, a slight struggle to get your socks on or worse still a wet sock and the world is on its head! It’s not just a quick scream, it’s a full on total melt down, even the Sausages take cover as you fling yourself all over the floor and scream. The neighbours must think we are torturing you, they don’t realise I only asked you to go to the loo and wash your hands before lunch. A very simple request requiring full riot control.

Your Dad and I can be tired and we understand we have good and good enough parenting days. It must be hard when we disappear for 2 or 3 days at a time to go on shift leaving you with the other parent before everything swaps over again. We know you can’t understand that we have stressful jobs or that we only got 2 hours sleep and aren’t at our best, we only ask that sometimes you are kind to us. Could we perhaps watch Harry Potter on these occasions without having to constantly protect our eyes from a wand? Better still maybe we could just sit together and cuddle.

I know you truly believe that everyone loves soft play and biscuits as much as you do, and that may be true of biscuits! However; Mummy does need to tell you that although she enjoys taking you to soft play, the bit she really likes is when you go off to play with the other children and Mummy can have a hot coffee and 5 minutes without you asking her why. Now Daddy, he loves nothing more than jumping round the play area and chasing you…

Finally I wanted to say You have been so great with Pudding since we brought her home, Mummy and Daddy can see how much you love her. It’s been a difficult time for you coming to terms with having to share Mummy and Daddy with someone else, but we are so proud of how well you have coped. Such a helpful sweet boy to your sister, she already adores you and we promise that it won’t be long before she is a big girl and can play with you. I know you get cross sometimes when Mummy cannot drop everything she is doing, it can be hard to be a big brother but you are doing a fab job!

Lots of Love

Mummy xxx

Introducing Pie

Picture

Hi Pie here, I am 3 and have recently been lifted to Big Brother Status, this is quite exciting but it’s not quite what I thought it would be. For starters Mummy and Daddy told me that I was going to have a baby brother or sister months and months ago and they kept taking me to see this greenish blob thing on a screen and trying to tell me this was the baby. Then there were all those times Mummy said she was tired and then she got too fat to help me put my shoes on or chase me round the soft play, she also got quite poorly and I was scared to leave her alone. Daddy said that my baby sister would be here just before Christmas, I thought maybe Father Christmas would bring her, but she arrived a few days early. Mummy said Pudding came out of the little red line on her tummy, and that the red line would be sore for a little while and that she wouldn’t be able to pick me up and that we would have to have low down cuddles. This made me quite sad as I love to play rough and tumble with Mummy and Daddy. I got to be the first person to see Pudding at the hospital, Daddy took me in to see her and Mummy. She wasn’t very interesting she was asleep, I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to play with her, luckily Mummy had saved me some biscuits!

The first few weeks home with Pudding was really hard for me, I love her lots and like to give her cuddles, but she takes up lots of Mummy’s time and sometimes I feel a bit sad when Mummy can’t respond immediately to my demands. Daddy and I have done loads of things together since Pudding arrived, we have made an awesome den in the park and we have been doing lots of soft play together. Its been really cool to have him at home to keep me entertained and to play with me when Mummy is sorting out Pudding or trying to get some sleep. I think Mummy has been a bit sad and has been crying quite a lot since Pudding was born, Daddy says its not my fault but that I just need to be as nice to Mummy as I can be. This is quite hard because I feel very cross at the moment and little things get me so mad, sometimes I find myself raging for no reason at all and it takes Mummy a long time to calm me down. I didn’t really like Mummy feeding Pudding either, she used to try and read to me  when she was feeding but Pudding kept messing about and ruining story time. Its much better now that I can help to give Pudding her bottle. I love picking out little outfits to dress Pudding in and I am great at finding all the things Mummy needs when she is changing Puddings’ bum. I had few problems with my talking and my toileting when Pudding was born, I really struggled to get my words out for a few weeks. It was very frustrating for me but its starting to get better now. I am still having a few accidents in my pants but I am getting lots better and Mummy is trying very hard to help me.

Life with Pudding is getting easier now, she smiles at me all the time and has started making funny noises at me. I am enjoying having Mummy home and not at work, we get to do lots of exciting things with my friends and I love going to preschool. Can’t wait for our holiday in a few weeks!

Love Pie xx

Mami 2 Five