Friday, February 28, 2014

1 and 30

Charlie will be one on Wednesday and, the day before, I will be thirty, the big 3-0. I still don't know how I feel about being thirty. I certainly don't feel it anyway.

Anyway, this weekend, we are having a joint party for Charlie and I. I opted for the afternoon since it is half a children's party. I thought it wouldn't be that much work and even though my mum is helping massively, this week has been a bit of a logistical nightmare in terms of organising stuff and buying food etc! As you might know, we live on the Isle of Man, so I don't see my family very often, therefore, my parents are going to be staying with us, so I have had to ensure that the house is clean and tidy and that their rooms are ready. But this week has been mad busy at work with two meetings after school and an open evening! I feel like I haven't even seen Charlie and I've had a headache all week long.

Anyway, the food is all bought now; the parents are on their way; the cleaning is all done and there is wine chilling in my fridge! I just have to make it through a few more hours and then I can chill out and relax a bit.

I decided not to theme Charlie's party, after all, it is a joint one. So instead it's just a general birthday theme, although I did pick up some very cute Gruffalo party bags for the children! I never actually realised how much party bags cost to fill! I suppose I am a bit of a snob though and haven't gone for the traditional crap you get in a party bag; the babies are each getting a book, some bubbles and some Ella's Kitchen nibbles! The older boys are getting a make your own aeroplane kit and some sweets and the girls are getting hair bands and clips with some sweets too.

Hubby has bought me a new pandora bracelet for my birthday as my current one is full. He wants me to wear it for the party, but my actual birthday isn't until Tuesday, so I feel a bit uneasy about doing so. I probably will in the end...

We haven't bought Charlie that much for his birthday; he is one after all and won't really understand all the fuss anyway! But we have got him a few bits; a slide for the garden, a pretend Radio, several books and then I had a memory bear made for him out of his old baby grows and a photobook from Vistaprint made of his first year. I'm not putting photos of anything in this post, I want to save that for a post for his birthday, so you can have a peek of his book and memory bear then!

My grandparents are also travelling over to the Isle of Man, so on Sunday, hubby and I, Charlie and the step daughter, my parents and my grandparents are all going out for Sunday lunch, which will be really nice, especially as hubby and I don't have to pay!

So, we have a busy weekend planned and I will probably be shattered by Monday morning, but it will be worth it. I do feel guilty that Charlie doesn't get to see his grandparents, or indeed great grandparents as much as he should, but at the minute I can't do anything about that. If it was cheaper or easier to get off this little Island then we would be able to!

So stay tuned for birthday party posts and pictures next week!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I used to (silently) mock parents who complained about lack of sleep. I thought, well how bad can it actually be? Ha, how wrong I was. But I honestly believed that these parents were just moaning about it when really, it wasn't all that bad. I truly believed, how bad can lack of sleep make you feel. Well, I know the answer now and it ain't pretty!

Until you have lived through endless nights, weeks and even months of sleep deprivation, then I guess you can never know what it actually feels like....

In the middle of it, I was a wreck - emotionally, physically and health wise too. I was sick, all the time, colds, coughs, etc, that took their toll. I was tired, so tired, that some days, just getting a shower was the most effort I could muster. I was grumpy at work; irritable, preoccupied and unfocused. I had no inclination to do anything  - the washing, ironing, hoovering etc. Jobs piled up, the house looked a mess, I felt a mess. It was horrid.

And then, I don't know what happened, but something clicked. The reason I was getting ill so much became clear (not due to lack of sleep after all, although definitely was helping the recovery period), I decided that my house needed more care and attention and, more importantly, I stooped fretting about how much sleep I was getting.

Charlie still carried on (and still does) getting in bed with us at some point throughout the night, but he started waking only once, rather than 3-6 times! When he wakes now, I just pick him up and put him in with us; perhaps not the best method, I accept, however, when we have to be up at 6am then I value sleep and if he sleeps when he is with us, then I have actually stopped caring. Apparently I am only making problems for myself, children need a structure or routine, he'll never go back to his own bed, blah blah. I am sure that may be true for some children and indeed I may have problems to come, but we have to find a solution for our life and what works for us, right now. If he sleeps then I sleep and hubby sleeps. So where's the harm? I feel better, there's less arguments, there's less stress and so everyone feels better. It's not a permanent solution, but it is for now. It works for us now.

Of course, I do wish that he would go down in his bed and stay there. But he won't, not yet, so no point wishing for that... He goes to sleep in his bed and generally stays there for about 6 hours. That's pretty good I think. If I had more will power then perhaps we would get him to go back down in his cot when he wakes, but like I say, we all need sleep.

So the point of this post is, please do no beat yourself up if you are not doing what the books say, or you mum says, or the dreaded mother in law says etc. Do what is right for you, your child, your family. And be adaptable. This won't last forever, adapt to the changes and let them fit your family.

And don't ever feel guilty.