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Archive for May, 2015

In England mothers get 1 year of maternity leave. 9 months of that is paid (by the government) and the final 3 months is unpaid. You can take as much or as little as you like (birth mother must take the first 6 weeks to recover from the birth and to breastfeed if desired).

We also have the option to transfer a portion of that year to the baby’s other parent.

We decided to do this the moment we found out I was pregnant. Of course we always intended for Stacy to carry our third baby and when that didn’t happen we wanted her to have some time off work to enjoy the children.

2 weeks ago my leave transferred to her and she is having 4 months off!

I am doing 3 days a week at work and more if they need me to cover the shortfall in earnings. I am finding it a bit difficult as I am still doing all of the night feeds (breastfeeding) and she wakes at least twice each night. To then get up and go to work is a bit of a shock to my system lol.

Stacy has grand plans for her mat leave. It was obvious to me from the moment she started forming these plans that she believed she would have endless amounts of ‘free time’. Oh how I laughed. She has taken on an allotment, she has house things she wants to do, she joined a gym and a pilates class! Oh I do jest, but actually as I am home for some of the week she is going to be able to do some of these things. She has taken on doing more of the cooking as well to mixed responses to me. I do like to be on control of our diet and the dinner choices. I am a very fussy eater ( I don’t like carrots Stacy!!!).

She is enjoying doing the school run and pick up. It is nice for her to get to do some of the more mundane take for granted parts of motherhood that the working parent usually misses out on.

I am expressing milk at work and that is a weird experience! Getting your boobs out in a strange place and getting them to let down is all very uncomfortable. I have found that a large slab of chocolate helps. I have noticed a drop in my supply since I stared working more as well. I only pump once during work hours and at home Cleo would have had 3-4 feedings during the same time period. Obviously boobs work on a supply and demand process and I have to work hard on my home days to produce enough to satisfy her. I am using Domperidone as a result 😦 Not sure how long my GP will let me have that for either.

It is nice having her here more ❀

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Never finished this series! The last day of being on my own was spent meeting up with a lesbian couple I had met on facebook. They have a little baby boy the same age as Cleo as we ate cake and chatted for an hour in the morning at a local cafe. They were really nice and I hope we become friends πŸ™‚

Afterwards I took the children on a walk around the woodland. It ended up being a much longer walk than I had anticipated and both children were lagging. I sat Rosa on the front of the pushchair and that got us back to the car!

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We also had time to play on the park.

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We came home via KFC (cheeky!) and then I did a big tidy up and clean ready for Stacy who got home about 4pm. Every one was very excited to see her! She brought us all home presents. I got a beautiful necklace and a HUGE bag of kool-aid. The children got new outfits, pencils and lip glosses and a train for his train set.

We were all VERY happy to have Mammy home ❀

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Saturday! Woohoo no school run and my cherubs let me sleep until 8am, was so grateful!

However that was probably the last time they did anything nice today. They have been very *difficult* to say the least. Hanging off me all day, whinging, whining, saying ‘I’m still hungry’ pretty much all day. If I listed all the food I had given them I would run out of space, fighting and being down right naughty!

My mistake was thinking we could just have a chill day at home. When I was a kid, I loved chill days. I would play in my room with my sister all day, on our own having wonderful games of imagination and exploration. My children just don’t seem to do this. If I send them up to their room to play (which is jam packed full of toys) they protest. If I make them go they either fight or find a kindle and sit down and watch it. How the heck do I get them to actually play???

They have been under my feet all day, wanting bodily contact for most of that time. Three people all wanting to touch and maul me all day *sigh* I have been a bit shouty today if I am honest.

At one point, I gave Charlie his dinner of lasagne to carry though from the kitchen. He immediately looked down at it and said he didn’t want it, despite it being his request earlier. This angered me. He then dropped it all on my carpet. Red/orange everywhere and I didn’t get to eat MY dinner as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing tomato stains. Then as I finished the job and went to get my plate, Rosa tipped the whole bucket of dirty water all over the carpet. Whilst I was clearing that up, she found a book of stamps and started sticking them all over the place.
Give. Me. Strength.

The children begged me to make bread with them after watching Paul Hollywood on TV this morning. So I dutifully made some parmesan and sun dried tomato dough with the intention of them forming it into rolls (or whatever shapes they wanted) and cooking those.
EPIC. FAIL…..
The dough was very very sticky and Rosa could not stand the feel on her hands. She has cried for 20 minutes after her ‘ordeal’.
Charlie gave it a good go, but it was impossible for him to make any kind of shape whatsoever, not even a ball, he couldn’t get it off is hands!
I then spent half an hour cleaning up the almighty mess it created.

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I could not wait for bedtime.

Cleo on the other hand was an angel, just like she always is.

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but they did enjoy the actual bread (not that it filled them up, that was impossible today!)

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Summer Bucket List

So my VERY good blog friend ‘Fluffy’ aka Amanda, had a great idea of a summer bucket list. Although our summer in the UK is further away than a USA summer (haha!) I thought I could begin to muse on some things I would like us to do:

1: Go to the beach and eat fish and chips and collect shells

2: Visit a castle

3: Get the children to dye me some yarn and then make them something of their choice from it

4: Play with water beads

5: Grow lots of fruit and vegetables

6: Have a sunflower growing competition with each other!

7: Visit a splash pad

8:Β  Teach Rosa to ride a bike

9: Try some Kool-Aid

10: Ride in a train

11: Camp in a tent

12: Paddle in a river and try to catch a fish

12: Make Papier-mΓ’chΓ© masks

13: Play with bubbles

14: Watch the life cycle of a butterfly by hatching some caterpillers

15: Look at the moon though a telescope and try to spot a shooting star

16: Go strawberry picking

17: Have a move night with popcorn

18: Try out the pitch and putt course we have still never made it to

I’ll add more as I think of them!

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I didn’t find it difficult to get out of bed this morning, I was too excited to turn the TV on and hear the results of the general election. I got the result I wanted and was pleased. A lot of Facebook was very unhappy though, and there were personal insults flying around and it made me feel awful for most of the morning until I stepped away from the internet and took Rosa along to Bloctots.

I met a lady there I knew from playgroup and we had a good ole chinwag the while time we were there. Rosa went up and down the climbing walls and played with another little girl her age. I ate a huge piece of rocky road.

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We came home (via KFC!!) and watched more election coverage as some seats were still yet to be announced.

I dyed some yarn πŸ™‚

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We had a chilled out afternoon. There was a slight panic when I found one of the chickens in the living room hovering over Cleo under her play gym whilst I tried to make dinner!!!

I also managed to completely forget to take Charlie to his swimming lesson 😦 I am gutted by this. I am just in survival mode really. Charlie misses his swimming lesson and I lose £13. I almost cried when I realised, think I am getting a bit emotional being on my own.

I had a phone call from the surgery to say that Charlie had tested positive for Streptococcus infection in his tonsils and we were to start antibiotics. He now has an appointment at the hospital to assess if we can whip those out and this result will help our case.

A question in the comments section yesterday asked about the crocheted bees. She is a teacher and sings a song where she gives each child a bee to hold. I got 2 done last night, here is one πŸ™‚

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My piece also made it into the newsletter from school today.

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Off to do some crochet with my slightly damp wool I can’t wait long enough for it to dry haha πŸ˜‰

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I had a lovely day today when I met with a friend for lunch. It was her 30th birthday 2 years ago and I had crocheted her a giraffe but never finished it’s front 2 legs. TWO years she nagged me to finish that giraffe. So I knew I was seeing her at 1.30pm after I finished all the housework I sat down and I crocheted those last 2 legs and I finished the damn giraffe and wrapped it up for her. She was delighted to finally receive this long anticipated gift but felt sad she no longer had anything to nag me about..until she realised she had brought me along 2 balls of wool in black and yellow and asked me to crochet 30 bees. Fabulous lol

We spent our afternoon scoffing large amounts of cake, drawing pictures and playing/gardening outside. She is a dear friend who dotes on my children and she confided in me that after many many years of trying, she is now 12 weeks pregnant πŸ˜€

I also scooped about 1500 pieces of chicken poo off the lawn. Stacy!!!!

Of course something else also happened today. I voted in the General Election for our new government. I also voted for Stacy by proxy seeing as how she is gallivanting around the USA right now having a fabulous time and eating lovely food and doing lots of kool-aid shopping! (She bought me 30 packets of lemonade today!)

No ones knows how this election is going to play out, it’s all quite exciting!

I am now sitting here watching the election coverage and crocheting 30 bees…..

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The day of the furious Mama bear!

Last Friday I had a horrible experience during the school pick up. Rosa was very nearly reversed over by a car parked on the pavement where she was waiting for me to cross the road with her.

Today I saw the same thing almost happen to another child and I was hit was a very strong sense of conscience that I MUST do something to try and make this situation go away. I was met with excuses and a shrugging offΒ  of ‘it’s not our problem’ from the school itself.

I then came home and contacted our wonderful residents association for help. They contacted the builders for permission to put out cones which they have granted and this is going to happen.
The school rang me back and today and for the rest of the week there is going to be police officers patrolling the outside of the school.
I have also been invited to write a piece for the newsletter to go out on Friday.
I am also going to put fliers under windscreen wipers and write directly to the taxi firms (the worse offenders!)
Think I am happy now πŸ™‚
For a more permanent solution I think I am going to campaign for a zebra crossing there to permanently stop people parking opposite the school gates….RA are going to help me.
If anyone does get hurt, my conscience is free from knowing I did plenty to sort this issue!

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