Sidney Jake. The second born. 

It must be tough being the second born. Mum and Dad have already had the excitement of having a baby with the first; the positive test, decorating the nursery, bringing home a brand new person into a spotless home. Then there’s all the firsts that aren’t really firsts for Mum and Dad anymore. They’ve already puréed carrots, blown in a baby’s face and laughed when it reacted like enduring gale force winds, and seen them take the heir first steps. So to be the second born must be tough! 

Our Sid came into the world three weeks ago. We’re over the bloody moon about it. He’s the final ‘Cowie’ to complete our family. But I can’t help feel that old devil again; mega mum guilt! 

For nine months I constantly worried about how Theo would feel not being the centre of attention anymore. Would he think I loved him less? Would he feel abandoned? 

Having not had much to do with my younger sister until later in my life, I never experienced that sibling rivalry, so I’d been struggling to comprehend what it was going to be like for Theo. 

Of course, I was most definitely barking up the wrong tree! Since Sidney’s been with us, Theo has been showered with attention and gifts, and constantly steals the limelight with his Minions impressions, willy-tugging, and general cuteness. In fact, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s poor Sid that gets less attention! As much as I’d like to say it isn’t true, Sid has ‘second child syndrome.’ 

So it’s now, 7pm, first born in bed, candles lit, telly on, that Mum and Dad get their Sid fix. And it’s perfect. 


The ‘soft touch’ 

Today has been the day it’s dawned on me that we’re in the midst of renovating a house, my son has definitely hit the “terrible twos”, and it’s just short of 12 weeks until we start the crazy parenting journey again. 

Up until now, apart from an uncooperative placenta, this pregnancy has been a breeze. In fact due to all the distractions I’ve had recently, it’s not really registered that I’m 28 weeks pregnant and that this enormous bump is an actual baby. I mean, we’ve only bought 6 baby grows and a disco light! 

Anyway, this week I’m on annual leave. Oh good, a chance to unwind, rest, and perhaps time to fit in some baby shopping…Yeh right! Theo’s had other ideas. Why are two year olds so unreasonable?  

Here’s a list of my thoughts on two year olds. Not all two year olds. My two year old.

– I bloody love him. And each time I go to work, despite telling myself “it’s so we can have a better life” and “he’ll be so proud of me working full time when he’s able to understand,” I still get a massive pang of ‘mum guilt’ as I creep out through the back door before he’s woken up. So inevitably, I think this is why Theo tends to ‘get away with murder’ when we’re together. 

– Why when I do my most serious “no” does he find it hilarious, and still continues to poke his willy when changing his nappy? 

– “Arse hole.” That’s my thought as soon as we’re in Lidl and he immediately stands in the seat of the trolley chucking items still yet to be paid for across the shop floor. Why have Lidl not clicked onto fixing seat belts to their trollies? Have they not caught on yet that their Penne pasta sales are dwindling due to unruly toddlers tossing bags down the aisles? 

– Why does he go so floppy when I’m trying to pick him up to get him into his car seat? I struggle to carry Theo at the best of times. He’s not fat at all, he’s just bloody solid. And that’s what makes it so difficult to man-handle him when he doesn’t want to do something I’d really like him to do. (Like get in the car seat so we can go to Lidl so I can be bullied, yet again, by my disobedient two year old.)

– I’ve spent hours cooking a hearty meal, thought of all the ways to disguise vegetables, to be told “yuck” as soon as he’s caught sight of it. I’ve learnt that it’s best to avoid anything green, and if he’s had pasta today and he’s enjoyed it, definitely don’t fall into the trap of making it tomorrow, because it’ll most definitely be “yuck”. But the shittest looking cheese slices, (discovered by Theo at a BBQ the other week. Thanks Sammi), are the food of Gods. FFS. 

These are just a few irritating things he’s done this week that have particularly gotten to me. But then I get so annoyed at him I end up laughing uncontrollably at him, and we roll around giggling together. And I guess that’s why I’m what you call a ‘soft touch’ when it comes to my Theosaurus Rex. 

I know I’m not the only one who’s experiencing their kid going through the ‘terrible twos’. I’ve heard Gin helps. I’ll be trying that method in October. 

“Body positivity” ‘n’ all that…



Not for one minute did I think anyone actually read my blog, but the other day, someone requested on Instagram I update it as they missed reading my ramblings. Crazy! And very flattering! Thank you; it made me happy to think I was entertaining a fellow knackered mama somewhere. So here goes! 

I follow some pretty great women, like Mother of Daughters and Clemmie Telford, who have started a mini Instagram revolution for all the mamas out there. It’s all about body positivity, embracing your post pregnancy body, and feeling comfortable with all the changes that have gone on. 

I don’t know if I’m an exception to the rule or what. I was so worried when I had Theo that I’d go back to ‘the old me’. I’ve never been a size 18, but before I met Alex I was pretty overweight for my height. One day something just clicked, and I decided to tackle something that had haunted me forever; the chub! I’d like to say I began treating my body like a temple, but I’d be lying. I did hit the gym hard in order to fight the fat, but also so I could continue with my life, which at 23 is all about drinking gin and having a good time, isn’t it? In about 9 months I’d lost 3 stone, and I felt great about myself, so obviously when I was having Theo, I was worried I’d go back to my old, hefty self. 

I was worrying about nothing! Ok so the wabs definitely aren’t what they were, but they fed Theo for a whole year and by doing so helped me lose all my pregnancy weight, and more. Thank you boobies!!! 

But now I’m pregnant again, and all my old worries are back. I’m loving feeling the baby squiggle about, but I’m not liking my body at all. It’s not really like the first time, ritually checking the size of my bump in the mirror before bed. I’m that distracted by Theo, the house, and work, that I don’t often have time to inspect the gut, and when I do, it’s a shock! 

Pregnant friends, and women, like Mother Pukka who I follow on Instagram, are all taking cute photos of they’re bump, but I’m just not there yet. Even a Valencia filter isn’t working for me. I’m looking knackered, for some reason I got my hair cut shorter and it’s not for me, I’m white and pasty, and my boobs DEFINITELY aren’t what they were. Above all, I went to the doctors for a check up today, and I’ve put on a stone since getting pregnant! A whole stone!

I can’t get enough mash and gravy, jacket potatoes, chips; basically anything potato based. And then it clicked as I looked at my sad, naked self in the mirror this evening. I’m turning into a potato! Pass me the salad! Pass me the greens! I will not be defeated by the ‘mum bod blues’! 

So to all the second, third, or forth time pregnant warrior women out there: we will not let the potato get the better of us! We will all be cucumbers eventually! 

But seriously, as my potato-avoiding-will power isn’t great right now, any tips to help the wobble until October? Good fake tans (because everyone looks skinner when they’re brown, right?)? Holdy-in underwear? Basically anything to help me embrace the change? Plus I’m going out for the first time in ages on Saturday night and really could do with all the help I can get. All offers welcome.

Anyway, I’m signing off for tonight. We’ve taken the side off Theo’s cot and I’ve just heard ‘the thud of doom’. Again. I’ll write again soon! In the meantime, why don’t you give me a follow on my Instagram page?

The Snagging List 

Ok, so I haven’t done my thing on here for a while! I can’t even remember what I blabbed about in my last post. Did I mention we bought a house? Well WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. A true victim of the 1980s; Artex plaster, humongous fire places, even good ol’ Lambrini bottles under the floorboards. The works. 
It took less than two months, and several near misses to A and E, for Alex’s itchy fingers to start work on our gaff. Simply knocking two tragic fireplaces out manifested itself into dilemma after dilemma. Here’s a list of what I’ve learnt throughout this long, arduous process: 

1. Always have a real good thing before getting the lump hammer out. 

2. It’s never just a ‘small job’. 

3. There are always more jobs to come. 

4. Five months into said ‘small job’, and our ‘snagging list’ is rather monstrous. 

5. One daily trip is never EVER enough to B&Q.

6. It always involves at least two more. 

7. If you forget the dreaded tile dividers on the third trip, give up and go tomorrow. 

8. Always open and check everything purchased online. Don’t wait three months to open the box with the radiator in, only to find its bent to buggery. 

9. Always keep receipts safe, or you’ll never be able to return the bent to buggery radiator, then will end up buying another, more swish one, because you’ve had more time to research. 

10. Consider the job carefully before commencing, especially with a toddler in tow and both of you working full time. 

11. You’ll always have to stop to change nappies or prize your favourite Mac lipstick from his chubby vice-like grip. 

12. Before ripping the bathroom out, question whether you’d seriously be able to cope with balancing on an unfixed toilet, and then having no sink to wash your hands in afterwards for five months. 

13. Is there actually any point in washing your hands when the whole house is covered in plaster dust from the unexpected rewire you had the fork £900 out for? That’s not including having to replace all the floors, because of the rewire…

14. Always have a decent sized shed that’s wifi ready before commencing any work; you never know how long you’ll have to live in there for. 

15. Buy a radiator for the shed. Winters here are bloody cold!

16. Be patient with each other. It’s not always his fault that he’s been to B&Q with a list of six items and has come back with only three of them, because a) he didn’t check the stock online b) he’d forgotten he’d even made a list and c) once again he got distracted by another power tool. 

17. Lastly, always attempt to finish the bathroom before you get up the duff again and spend a heck of a lot of the time fixed to that old, wobbly toilet. 

Ah ok, now that Spring’s here it’s not so bad. We’re more than half way there. I can almost see the finish line! 

Mum guilt 

I called Theo a ‘dick head’ today and instantly felt the familiar feeling of ‘mum guilt’. I usually get this feeling when we’ve had a brilliant morning, then I have to abandon him screaming at nursery whilst I have ‘grown-up time’ at work. Or when, for the third day running, I feed him fish fingers,chips, and peas because I can’t be bothered entering another super market after spending 40 hours a week in one. But I’ve never before called him a ‘dick head’.

I knew it was a bad decision before it began. Pressure to actually start Christmas shopping had begun, and instead of doing what I now realise was the sensible option of online shopping, I thought we’d have a fun day out in Hebden Bridge and combine it with visiting my ancient relatives. 

I took the pram. Great. By the time we’d got there Theo was asleep. I could get what I needed, then he’d wake and we’d go to a cafe for mummy/baby bonding. In theory. Wrong! Hebden wasn’t made for prams and neither were the people. I struggled to get in most shops whilst customers and shop owners looked at us like we had the plague. In the end I got so pissed off, I couldn’t face a cafe full of mums with babies in slings (smug bastards. I challenge you to carry a 2.5 stone toddler on your back), we ended up getting a pie from a bakery. Theo didn’t like his. He decided mine looked better. It did, but I was marvin’ and didn’t want to share. Two mouthfuls in, the tantrum kicked in. That’s it! We were going home. In theory. When we got to the car, Theo was hysterical. A rigid, spitting, biting, smacking, hair pulling animal (he definitely didn’t inherit that from me). That’s when I called him a “dick head”. Forty minutes of trying not to be violent, of offering rice cakes, bananas, and water, the FUCKING parking attendant told me my time was up. Theo stuck up for me, glared at him, looked at me angelically, and politely allowed me to strap him in. Thanks, son. 

We went home. Traumatised. So it’s a massive thumbs down for the people of Hebden Bridge. Small businesses, I tried to support you. This year it’s all about internet shopping with a brew and on demand Peter Rabbit. At least the thought was there. 

Is it that time already? 

When I first started blogging I had every intention of being prolific, writing funny, witty, and inspirational guides on parenting whilst sat in coffee shops with Theo sleeping peacefully in his Urbo2. It hasn’t exactly worked out like that. WordPress reminded me that I haven’t blogged for four months! That’s crazy! Why haven’t I done something that makes me feel so much better? Blogging is like a cleansing, letting me rid my mind of all the annoyances I bottle up. So as I sit waiting for a meeting that’s been delayed half an hour, I thought I’d offload. 
Where do I begin? Four months have flown by; we’ve moved house, been on holiday (the less said about the “japoozi” the better…those poor, poor girls…). We’ve knocked down walls, and worked a hell of a lot. Life’s been pretty chaotic, but it’s starting to sink in that this is our new ‘normal’.  

Yes, that’s rights, after deciding we definitely weren’t going to buy a house until the winter, we definitely went and bought a house slap bang in the middle of summer. We wanted a three bed in ‘the sticks’. We ended up with a two bed (although they are colossal bedrooms) in the middle of town. So life hasn’t gone according to my very rigid plans. But you know what? I’m cool with that. Becoming a mum has made me think “to hell with the rule book.” Me and Alex getting together was a surprise and that worked out well. Theo was a surprise and that worked out well. Buying our first house has also worked out pretty well! Come on life, what else have you got?  
It’s now getting to my least favourite time of the year. Puddles, snot, darkness, and the dreaded ‘C’ word. Yay. And since I work in retail, it’s been lurking in the back of my mind for what seems like forever. Everyone keeps asking what Theo wants for Christmas. They keep telling me about all the things they’ve got their kids, and that they “just couldn’t wait” and “had to give them a present (or ten) early.” I know we don’t deprive Theo. Believe me I’ve stood on every piece of his Duplo, gone flying on all three of his red vtech buses, and know every song on his Peppa Pig remote. I just don’t think we should be encouraging our kids to become mini ‘Dudley Dursleys’. I know my Instagram feed will be full of photos of present mountains on Christmas Eve, and excited mummies and daddies doing their Santa duties. But are we really helping our kids? We’ve got Theo a tool bench because he’s been helping Alex with the DIY. At the time of buying it I could imagine him busily hammering all the plastic nails in the holes, yet deep down knowing he’ll only be interested in the cardboard box, or hammering the cat’s head. Basically I think we’re all getting way too sucked into marketing. Our kids don’t give a damn! They just want to roll in mud, eat raisins from down the side of their car seat, and empty all the kitchen cupboards. 
I’m going to try desperately to keep my shit together through this dark time, and not fall into the consumerist trap. I hope you can do the same. Good luck fellow Mamas! 

Sod being mindful & let the good times roll!

OK, so I never actually bothered looking into ‘Mindfulness’. Quite honestly, I don’t think I can fit being mindful into my day. It’s hard to imagine babbling brooks and falling leaves when we’ve had hospital trips and first birthdays to deal with. Instead I’ve decided to embrace and appreciate the chaos in my life at present, and am finding time to be grateful for, come to think of it, most things.

Theo’s first birthday was an enormous event to feel grateful for. We survived a whole year together, buddy! Alex and I took the day off work. We slept lots, walked lots, and ate cake. Lots of it (note the photo of the AMAZING cake my mum baked!). The sun shone for his party, and judging by how full our recycling bin is, everyone had a good time! I read the blog I wrote about losing my mojo, and feel so silly to have ever felt like that now. I don’t like that ‘woe is me’ mindset, and that’s exactly the ‘head’ I was wearing when I wrote that (I reckon it was hormone-induced). The amount of people that turned up to Theo’s party, the letters, presents, and cards that arrived in the post are proof of the things and people I was blocking out the week I wrote that blog; the week I will now refer to as my ‘quarter-life crisis’. cake

My lust for adventure has made an appearance recently. After sailing the seas and living abroad through work for over two years, I’d had enough and just wanted a bit of ‘normal’ (what ever that is). I wanted to spend time with my family, settle down with Alex, and do everything all my friends were doing back at base. And I’ve loved it. I’ve had the chance grow some roots in this amazing town, meet new, bonkers people, and crawl out of my small, musician bubble, learning about new things I’d never have thought of before. Now though, I fancy exploring the world a little more. We’ve booked a mini-break. I know it’s not a six month stint in Thailand, washing my one bra in a jungle, or eating a chicken fetus in China. It’s not climbing Kilimanjaro, or cycling to India on a unicycle. But I’m so excited to go to Madrid, drink Rioja, and eat a decent Paella instead of the Uncle Ben’s 3 minute wonder we sell at work. I’m excited to see some art, wander the Spanish streets in my sandals, and to be warm! I’m mentally blocking out the fact we’ll have to fly with a 17 month old, a buggy, and the kitchen sink (surely that’s being mindful?) I’m confident we’re going to have a blast, no matter how little a distance we’ve traveled.

So I don’t really think ‘mindfulness’ is called for in my case. I think I should just stop faffing about crappy things. I hate the memes on Facebook that say things like ‘life’s too short for matching socks’, because inside I’m so anal about matching socks, but I get where it’s coming from. I’m letting go, embracing the chaos, and searching for small adventures. Who knows, maybe one day I might even wear odd socks*.

*This however is very doubtful.