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. 

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“Body positivity” ‘n’ all that…

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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! 

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.

A bit of an update.

The Big Lad’s one next month. Where did that year go? It’s taken eleven months. Eleven months for life with this small person to feel normal. I look back at my ‘old life’; a life of quickly nipping out somewhere, of nine hour sleeps, and basically doing what I wanted when I wanted to do it. It feels odd that these things I used to take for granted were ever the case. Yet aside from the fact I can’t simply pop out for a pint of milk (or in our case, a bottle of red) whenever I please without the kitchen sink in tow, or enjoy a full night’s kip, life with this small person is pretty darn good!

Our lives are pretty mental at the moment. I went back to work last month. I take back everything I said about being tired whilst on maternity leave. This is a whole new level of tiredness, especially now we’ve hit the ‘sleep regression’ stage with Theo. We’re convinced he has a built-in sensor that kicks in just as our heads hit the pillow and we open our books. We pretend for a while we haven’t heard him, and tell each other he’ll fall asleep again. He never does. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s usually stood up in his cot, asleep and crying all at the same time. Everyone keeps saying “it’s just a phase”. I bloody well hope so, because I feel I’ve aged ten years in a month. Childless people keep telling me to have a lie in before starting a late shift. Hahahaha! I laugh in their face. If only they knew. Weekday or weekend, T wakes up at 5:45am without fail. Please Theo, just let us sleep!

Last month we went mad. We decided it would be the best idea ever to go and spend a week in France. Did we book flights and a traditional chateau looking out over a vineyard? Did we use the week as an opportunity to chill out in preparation for my return to work? Did we buggery! We decided it’d be the best idea ever to travel across England, to get a ferry over the channel, to then travel miles and miles with a rucksack, a suitcase, and a buggy (not to mention a two stone baby) to spend a few days with my dad, who thinks anything and everything we do is weird and analyses our every choice and decision. Who knew eating a meal could be so difficult? “Don’t you know you’re supposed to eat the cheese course BEFORE desert?” Poor Alex had to put up with endless comments about not eating meat, and was forced to survive on the worst microwavable veggie burgers. Not only that, but we were forced to have family bonding sessions with my hyperactive 2 year old nephew, who constantly pulled his pants down and farted, bare bottomed, in my face at every opportunity. Needless to say we were glad to leave the Adam’s Family behind, and move on to our next stop; Rouen, where we had a fab time. Alone. So much so, that we’ve decided to be less adventurous next time. We’re giving in and booking a week in the Canaries. Somewhere with a pool, near the beach. Alone.

Anyway I’d best dash. Got to nip to Argos and pick up a plastic-y baby walker that probably plays horrendous monophonic nursery rhymes and gets in the way. Anything to save our backs and let Theo walk on his own!

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It’s two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring. 

It’s only Wednesday and I’m looking forward to the weekend already. It’s a different ‘Friday feeling’ nowadays. I no longer fancy town, no longer fancy drinking as much Stella as is physically possible, no longer fancy ‘lock-ins’, nor waking up with that horrific ‘kill me now’ feeling on a Saturday morning, and spend the day preparing to do it all again in the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still partial to a fine ale, or a tipple of G&T, but I’d rather do it at home with dribble on my shoulder and the faint whiff of sick surrounding me. Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.


My friends and I are at an awkward stage in life; half of them are buying homes, getting married, and having babies, while the other half are travelling, drinking themselves senseless, and moaning about their friends who have chosen to settle down. The latter isn’t for me. I’ve got that out of my system. No, there’s nothing I look forward to more than weekends with my two favourite people. I’ve noticed the look of peoples’ faces when I tell them this; the ones who are partying and ‘having a good time’. It’s a look of confusion, and in some cases pity; “Why would you want to go walking at weekends instead of ‘getting wrecked’?” “Aren’t you bored and lonely sat in all week with a baby?” I can’t be bothered with hangovers anymore. I’ve discovered nature; it’s beautiful, calm, and if you look at the right foliage you’ll find loads of berries to put with gin! Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.


I’m not bothered about clothes anymore. I know, I can’t believe it either. For those of you who don’t know me, I used to sing on cruise ships and had a different sparkly outfit for every possible occasion. It’s not a priority anymore. In fact I’ve just finished teaching, and realised I’ve taught for two hours with sick on my shoulder. Thanks for telling me, kids (not). I live in jeans, sick-covered t-shirts, and my DMs. Long gone are the lace knickers. I swapped them a year ago for ‘Bridget Jones style’ pants (sorry Alex). I even go to the shops with no make up now, and leave my ‘Brian May’ hair to do its own thing. I’ve even replaced the Topshop app on my phone with Baby Gap. Ok, I know, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring.


The thing that shocked me the most is that I’ve developed an interest in politics. I fully support Britain in taking on the Syrian refugees, I think it’s fantastic that Corbyn got in, and I’m considering joining the Labour Party. Perhaps I’ve got too much time to tap away on the iPad whilst I’m feeding Theo? Who knows? I’d rather be doing that than watching Eastenders (which I’ve secretly been known to do). If you hadn’t guessed by now, I’m two weeks off my 25th birthday and I’m boring. And I don’t care.

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How To Deter Your Health Visitor

I’m typing this in the bath. These twenty minutes are very precious. There’s nobody else here, and it’s bliss! Writing my blog clears the mind, and prepares me for the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes of the day.

Today’s been particularly tough. I’ve no idea why. Perhaps it’s the two hours sleep I’ve missed out on every night for the past eight weeks? Maybe it’s the fact we had a brilliant day in the Lake District yesterday, and staying in today, staring at ‘Washing Up Mountain’ isn’t quite living up to it. Or maybe it’s because we’ve just used the last of the coffee beans; the thing I’ve come to be most reliant on. Whatever it is, I know that having a good old moan via my blog will fix my mood. Here goes…

There’s few people in life that really get on my wick. It’s easy to avoid the ones that do; delete them from Facebook, pretend you haven’t seen them in the café because you’re far too busy being busy to notice them. I sometimes don’t even open text messages from certain people, just so it doesn’t say ‘read’ on their phone. I’m well practiced in this. There’s one person I can’t seem to get away from though. The Health Visitor.

She hates me. I can’t say I’m too keen on her either. Don’t get me wrong, she’s pleasant enough and is obviously good at her job, but she doesn’t half nag! I don’t know how many more times I can tell her I’m not depressed. Unfortunately on her first visit I responded to the question “Have you felt tearful at all since bringing the baby home?” by saying “Yes.” Red alert! Red alert! Her iPad didn’t like my answer at all. Why, oh why did I say this? I cried the first evening we came home. Most probably because I’d just had a baby via a very unplanned Caesarean, for three days had been trapped in a hospital ward surrounded by undesirables, and had literally slept for five hours within 72. Who wouldn’t shed a tear upon stepping through the door to their home with a beautiful new baby whom you’re responsible for forever, a clean bed, your own toilet, and your partner making you a proper brew instead of the crap they provide at hospital? I’ve always expressed exhaustion through crying. I remember when I was 10, I was in a production of ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’ (I was a badger.) The dress rehearsal had been so tedious, and I was so stressed with remembering my one line, that Sunday evening I sat in the bath with the muffled sounds of ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ theme tune coming from the living room, and balled my eyes out. So I’m sorry if I cried once on the first evening in our own home with our new baby. It does not by any means suggest that I’m depressed. I was just bloody knackered!

And I’m not being abused either! I’m sure that sadly there are many women out there being abused by their partners, but I wish she’d take my word for it that I’m not one of them! No amount of questionnaire-filling in, or book marks with help line phone numbers on them are going to change that. Please desist!

Last moan now: I accidentally told the Health Visitor that I’ve been giving Theo a bottle of formula milk every now and then. I know I can’t ‘run out’ of milk. Believe me, I’ve read every bit of NHS advice regarding breastfeeding. But we had a couple of horrendous nights where he seemed to be starving, and it didn’t appear as though I had enough milk to meet his demand. So Alex nipped to the shop and got a tin of formula. Wham, bam, thank you mam! Theo fell asleep a happy baby in the end, and my boobs had enough time to build up a better supply before the next feed. Needless to say the Health Visitor took this news badly. Despite having just told me how well the baby was doing, that he was putting on weight, and that a lot of the things he was doing were quite advanced for his age, she went on to recite a monologue recalling the downside to formula fed babies. With the way she was blabbering on, you’d think all the millions of formula fed babies out there were malnourished, quivering wrecks. I’d like to see how she’d cope when reality hits with a baby who had been screaming uncontrollably for four hours! She wouldn’t be so quick as to throw her ‘rule book’ at me then. I must remind myself however, that this is her job. Boxes must be ticked!

So here are my top three tips on how to deter your Health Visitor:

  1. Don’t get depressed.
  2. Try to avoid domestic abuse at all cost.
  3. (And this is the worst thing ever…) Feed your baby a few bottles of formula milk a week. She’ll soon get the message there’s no need to come back.

Anyway enough moaning. I’d best dry off. I’ve gone all wrinkly and can hear the grunts of starvation coming from downstairs. Don’t worry, Theo, it’s Wab Time.