Monday, 28 June 2010

Good news / bad news


Finally the weather has been good enough to get to Whitstable for our long awaited camping trip with K. We drove up on Friday afternoon, got sent on a wild goose chase by TomTom but arrived unscathed with K having slept most of the way. The tent went up and we squeezed the travel cot inside and a couple of roll mats. It took a bit longer than usual to get K off to sleep that night and it got so cold that we had to heap blankets on her but otherwise it seemed to work out fine.

The following morning we headed to the beach, did a spot of chazzing* and then found a spot on the pebbles to let K have a crawl about while Mr went off to get some oysters and wine (Whitstable is famous for them and even has an oyster festival in July). When he got back he said he wanted to ask me a question... and he asked me to marry him! I was so surprised and had to check he was serious, although after 15 years of being together it's not really the sort of thing you joke about. He even had a ring - the tackiest one he could find from Argos (see pic above!) until we go ring shopping. Of course I said yes and I actually like the ring in a kitsch way so he has agreed to let me keep it rather than returning it to Argos as planned!

The night I had a terrible nights sleep, partly due to amount of wine I'd drunk and partly thanks to our noisy camping neighbours. After grabbing something to eat the next morning we packed up and headed off with the idea of having a lazy day at home and watching the football. But about 20kms from home the car made a strange noise and Mr had to steer over onto the hard shoulder. The power had gone. We sat on the side of the motorway feeling dazed and confused until the breakdown man turned up.

This is the second time this year that something has gone seriously wrong with our car. I'm thinking it might be time to trade it in for something more reliable and a bit bigger - it's a 12 year old Seat Ibiza and was rammed to the roof for this trip. We got taken home on a tow truck (thankfully I'd just renewed our breakdown cover) but the car is still out of action and god knows how much it's going to cost to fix this time. I'm biting my nails just thinking about it and I don't want to go engagement ring shopping with manky nails!

I've also got MIL visiting for a week so I should really be tidying the house not blogging. It started off being that she and FIL were going to come down on Friday for a long weekend but gradually the date moved earlier and earlier and now she is arriving tomorrow, eek! I planned to take K to the childminder today so I could get the place sorted but we can't drop her off without the car. I need to do an online grocery shop as I can't get to the supermarket. It's surprising how much I take the car for granted when it doesn't feel like I use it that often.

Right, I'm off to do the washing up and daydream about wedding planning on a budget!


* charity shop shopping!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Gallery: Motherhood


Motherhood is the theme for this week's gallery.
Tara has arranged for an exhibition of all the entries to be shown at the Cybermummy event (but unfortunately I'm not going unless my fairy godmother turns up, so someone please take a photo to show me!)

I took this picture last month. I love watching K when she's sleeping; she looks so peaceful and perfect. Her nap time is also the time I can pause for breath and collect my thoughts.

I have a foot phobia but her's are the only feet I'm happy to kiss!

Then there's the missing sock which will turn up somewhere random (I had the manager of Tesco's chasing me round the store with a rogue sock in his hand the other day).

So that is motherhood to me: chaos, exhaustion and lots of love.

There are lots more entries over at Sticky Fingers and this week there is a competition too :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Three P's

Yesterday a parcel arrived which I'm assuming is from my Dad (We haven't spoken for about 6 months - not due to any huge falling out, just that he is crap at keeping in touch).

It was a Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe car (you can see it in all it's pinkness here if you must). Call me an ungrateful cow but my first thoughts were 'Oh my god, where are we going to put it/could I just sell it on ebay?' I wish Dad would see that we'd rather he just got in touch than send gifts that we know he can't afford.

My house and garden (and bank balance!) are small, so where toys are concerned it's quality not quantity. And I like to think that toys could be passed on to a sibling of either sex, so my rule is to avoid the three P's: Princess, Plastic, Pink. I'm not as extreme at the Pinkstinks brigade but I also don't want my child looking like a mini Katie Price in a sea of pink and glitter.

Thankfully my local toy library allows me to borrow tacky, bulky, flashing and bleeping toys and give them back after a couple of weeks when the novelty has worn off - and all for free. I spotted this little Wheelybug there that I'm dying to borrow for K when she's a bit bigger. Isn't it cute?
(Image from John Lewis website)


Of course it was inevitable that as soon as K laid eyes on the bright pink lump of plastic she fell in love. And the box it came in is getting a lot of attention too. So it's staying... for now.

Do you vet your children's toys? I can see this getting much harder as K gets older and grows attached to things.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Nanny hell

The Monday before last was my first day back at work. I'd found a nanny through the netmums.com childcare noticeboard and although Mr and I both agreed that she seemed a little strange, she had all the right qualifications and her references checked out. I had a trial run with her on the Friday and things seemed fine. On Monday she arrived on time and K didn't make a fuss when I left her. I managed to hold back the tears although I felt sick in the pit of my stomach.

At lunchtime the nanny sent me a text asking me to call her and I was pleased to have an excuse to check on how things were going. She said that K had started screaming when she was eating her lunch. This sounded strange as the one thing guaranteed to keep K quiet is food! She went on to say that K's lip was swollen and maybe she'd bitten into it. K is teething so I just passed it off as that. Mr was going to be home at lunchtime, he had an exam in the morning and could leave afterwards, so I asked her to point it out to him.

When I called Mr on the train home he said that K's swollen lip was pretty bad and looked like she'd had a fall. Was the nanny not telling us something?
I got home in time to put K to bed, the swelling had gone down but she cried a lot which isn't really like her and we had to give her some Calpol.

The next morning I got ready for work again. It got to 8.10 and the nanny hadn't arrived. I thought it was strange of her not to text us if she was running late. At 8.15 Mr tried calling her but there was no answer. "She's not going to turn up" he said. And he was right. (She still hasn't answered her phone to us or given us any explanation as to why she didn't bother turning up).

This really dropped me in the shit. Not only would I have to call the agency to tell them what had happened, I would also have to arrange some kind of child care for the rest of the week. And it looked like K's front teeth had popped through the gum and were chipped. Could anything else possibly go wrong?!

I spent most of the morning with my head in my hands wondering if this was a sign that I shouldn't be going back to work. I was also angry at myself for not trusting my gut instincts with the nanny.

Thankfully the design agency I was supposed to be working for know me and were very understanding. I booked K for an emergency dentist visit (her first ever trip the dentist) and what I thought were chipped teeth were actually ulcerations on the gums. The dentist said that she appeared to have had a blow to the head and her bottom teeth had hit the top gum - no wonder she was crying so much. One of the bottom teeth is wobbly but hopefully it will firm up again. If I had seen the nanny at this point I would have floored her.

I phoned a childminder that I had been put in contact with and asked if we could visit her that evening. We headed to her house in a dodgy part of town and I wondered if this was a bad idea but when she answered the door she was warm and friendly. Her house was filled with toys and children's artwork. This time my gut instinct was telling me that this was the right choice. She looked after K the next day and ever since.

I feel slightly guilty at not missing K very much while I'm at work but I'll write about that another time!

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