Tick Tick Tick

February 25, 2011

I am waiting by the phone for the head of childrens services to phone me with feedback about a job application which did not result in an interview :-(. I missed her call yesterday….Error error error! I know more or less what she will say, that my 3rd year placement wasn’t statutory and that I need to ‘sell my sw experience’ more. I also know that Plymouth do this kind of unofficial policy where they only invite you to interview after the second application (much research amongst colleagues). Better still the rolling recruitment programme has closed for the time being due to the ConDem cuts so I can’t reapply again soon anyway BUT I can apply to Devon and Torbay but I think I need to get this feedback first. This is not making me very motivated or productive right now.

I want to go back to work now! Its the last big hurdle post baby. Driving test passed, small is settled at nursery and we are way past the new baby chaos stage where doing ANYTHING seems like a huge effort.


January 22, 2011

Um, well ok. Since I last blogged with any regularity, you know, stuff has happened so here’s my bridge back 🙂

These are some things which happened since May last year.

Driving. Farking hell learning to drive was hard. I passed my test 3 days ago though 🙂 I inherited my driving instructor from my most neurotic friend so I had high hopes. Jim* was an ex marine from Leeds who has a catchphrase for everything and chattered constantly about Audrey*, ‘the wife’ (he was actually saying that! not on a sit com!!) and to his credit, didn’t lose his rag with me when I freaked out for the millionth time abotu scary lane changes. I am now driving on my own (watch out) and its going just about ok. Excpet this afternoon when I thought I’d trapped myself in a parking space so badly I thought I would have to go back inside the Devonshire and ask them to do a tannoy for me and make the owner of the car next to me move to let me out. I might have just died of shame if it had ocme to this 😦

Nursery. Small goes to a montessori two days a week now. Obviously I am supposed to at work whilst she is there but I’m not quite yet so in the meantime I finally have some time off from being a Mum. Before you judge me, my husband works away most of the time, I don’t get a break at weekends like most parents. I haven’t really had a break for a long time. Last time Small was poolry we stayed in the house for a week. 1 because I got it too and 2 because all of the lovely people who offered to help also have babies and I felt too guilty. Friday was my very first real break day when I drove Small to nursery and then had what seemed like one million hours to myself. I have been bouncing off the walls with joy since then!

Friends. Mmm friends yes. Massive cliche I know but having a baby fucks with your social life big style. Actually having a baby and graduationg fucks with your social life. In hindsight what happens is that big lifestyle changes act like a big old filter and do you a favour in the long run. Before this gets a bit crap and cryptic, my (perceived) bestest uni friends are no longer BUT I made lots of friends through having a baby who are amazing. The irony was that I looked everywhere for clever, cultured, self assured women who lean toward the tree hugging hippy lifestyle choice. And then I had Z and they just kept on turning up at the same baby classes. So as well as me having 5 new friends who I see twice a week, Small has 5 little friends to share her life with.

Job. I don’t have a job quite yet. My 12 month goal went out the window when driving terror fell in! I have an application deadline of February 5th and a heap of agency leads, well two. My hope is now to get back to work before easter. I have a social worker social do on Friday. I expect the shop talk to be depressing. There are lots of jobs but no money to do anything. I think the Riven Vincent case may be very topical.

House. We are atrempting to upgrade from Shep Towers. Wanky bachelor pad + truck loads of baby junk/diving kit/imaginary 2nd baby = chaos and arguments. When we have sold Shep Towers we have to enter the world of scary school catchment area issues. Yes, I have become someone else. Luckily I have mumsnet for this alter ego 🙂

Self. Well after nearly 16 months my size 8 jeans are too big he he. I know that makes me osund like a wanker but I NEVER thought I’d be me again, ever. Only thing for it is to walk everywhere shoving heavy pram, lots of gym ball crunches and a few gallons of Bio Oil. Yeh yeh. I had a baby and now I’m thin again. Dull isn’t it? I shall say no more 😉

And now its time to write proper posts, present tense like 🙂

Not extinct, just dormant.

January 19, 2011

Like the little prince’s volcanos.

I can’t be a ‘mummy blogger’ its just not me but in the same vein I can’t write about dating anymore, sadly 😉 (thought that might be an angle!). I can’t write about study anguish because I completed 16 months ago. I suppose I could write about tryi ng to get a job except I haven’t tried excessively hard yet (waiting for blardy driving test – now passed hurrah).

I spend hours ranting about various parenting practices/theory but i’ll keep that for facebook and my ranty chums.

Which leaves me with erm…………………..(looks around) a vacancy for ablogging theme. Yes, that.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.

November 5, 2010

Going to blog again. I’m resolute. It will happen……

Think I need a blogover first though.

For my parent friends and I x

May 10, 2010

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

February Fill the Ditch

February 15, 2010

Actually it hasn’t rained too much down here the last few weeks, its more cold and nippy. Its a serious business, the weather. Inspired by PennyGolightly I am giving serious thought to what I should plant at Shep Towers this year. As instructed I have seeds from thr Aldi and Poundland so I am starting with windowsill herbs and 3 kinds of bean. I want to give tomatoes another go this year as we have the perfect greenhouse environment in the kitchen but need to find a better indoor variety.

On the baby front we are all well and good. The wee baby is much more co ordinated these days and is all about clutching and slobbering over her little collection of rattles and stuffed friends (the me to you blue bee is v popular this week). She is very jolly and rewarding.

Meanwhile I still haven’t had a driving lesson ( i have a start date though) but am enjoying not really having a schedule and actually not being really stressed for the first time in a good few years!

Meanwhile meanwhile I am now addicted to mumsnet and arguing!

January Stuff

January 22, 2010

Everyone who has kids kept telling me that after 3 months it would start to get easier and I didn’t believe them. Then the 3 month mark came and went and suddenly it did. Zadie has a routine now and goes a few hours between feeds now instead of every flipping hour (Gina Ford can poke it – every 4 hours – yeh whatever). Actually going completely decaff helped with that too.

The wee baby is not so wee anymore and growing likes it going out of fashion. She has moved off her centile curve and it heading to the next one up which is the middle average. Shei s very jolly and friendly and has recently started laughing.

I went to look at a nursery for her yesterday. I found a montessori in Plymouth for her which is very nice and i’m hoping if it works out that she can stay there until its time to go to school.

Meanwhile I have finally started losing weight. I can’t go mad because I am feeding Z still but I have organised myself a bit and gone for low fat options here and there. So far I have lost 5lbs! I have also been swimming at the gym over the road as a way of building up to working out properly. Now I feel a bit stronger I have ordered one of those arm band things you put the ipod in and when it arrives I reckon I have to start the gym proper.

I think I will mourn the loss of LivingWell in Leicester when I moved south forever. There is a Cannons in Plymouth but its a bit of a walk and I decided that going there and putting Z in the creche after I’ve trained her to take expressed milk from a bottle was just way too much hassle when the hotel gym here was open until 10 weeknights and my baby goes to bed at 6.30…and she only has 2.5 months left until weaning anyway. I digress. The gyms down here are generally quite provincial and quirky and not always in a good way and patronised by some right types. Old men wearing thongs was a feature of my Torquay gym.

Recovery from the c section is funny thing. I can’t seem to gaugue it. I feel for ages as if nothing is happening and then periodically I wake up in the morning and realise I’ve got a bit better. But its a slow slow process.

ps. Since I can rarely get to the cinema I bought the book on which the forthcoming and much critiqued film ‘Precious’ is based. It is the most social worky book ever and well, shocking isn’t quite the word.

Happy Holidays!

December 29, 2009

I am still too absent minded to blog properly so again here are some updates from Shep Towers…

1. Naturally Zadie got a least 3 times as many christmas presents than Shep or I. The only ones she was interested in were a fluffy sheep with a bell inside which she rammed straight into her mouth and cuddled and a little gadget which you hang on the cot that plays Bach and Mozart. Grandma also bought her a posh wooden baby gym which she has been bashing away at and grabbing happily.

2. Zadie is thriving and I think I have got over a hurdle with the breastfeeding although I still often find it less than ideal. Only another 3 months to go until weaning time.

3. We had all the best intentions about using washable nappies. I bought 40 terry nappies from Green Baby and all the other kit you need with a view to using them full time. I bought biodegradeable disposeables for the hospital (although they come from Israel so I’m not sure about their green credentials once you count the air miles!). Of course the terry nappies were too big for Zadie when she hatched so we didn’t start them for a while but when she grew a bit we did persevere. However, I know now that we will never go 100% reuseable. Zadie will tolerate a wet disposeable for hours but will not bear a wet terry for even a minute – Grandma says this is a good sign for potty training later on though. We have a sort of routine with them now where Z has a terry for at home during the day and a disaposeable eco nappy during the night and if we are out and about and if I’m being honest when I am having a difficult day with her and want to get her to sleep! I really tried!

4. Z is 3 months old next week and is just growing out of newborn sized clothes so I still have piles of posh baby clothes I was given when she was born. She is bang on her centile curve though.

5. Passing the 3 month mark means Z is allowed to try out a whole new set of kit I bought her including the front facing baby carrier, her bumbo seat and best of all the baby bouncer you hang of a door frame. We bought her a swimsuit today – it was exactly what I imagined – red and white polka dot with a frill around the waist – we can take her in the pool on friday – very exciting!

6. Meanwhile I was given BSM driving lesson vouchers by two of my friends for christmas and told to get on with it! Grandma has agreed a regular babysitting day on Wednesdays so I can book lessons. I am bit scared!

7. Lastly I am starting my power pramming (yes, really) class after new year and hope to run the half marathon yet – heres hoping!

Who Knew

December 9, 2009

The last few days have been a period of almost enforced reflection. Myself, the wee baby and Grandma took a trip up the line over the weekend all the way to North Herts. It had indeed been a while. I think the last pilgrimage was for my Grandad’s funeral sometime in 2003. My Mum had been a regular visitor until George died on 2007. After we unpacked the baby she went out to the car again. She said ‘i’ll knock on the door to get back in’….to which i replied ‘who else would it be?’. Mum said ‘no, it won’t be him will it?’. I think it was a rhetorical question.

Since my mother is part of some discount club for adventurous pensioners we stayed at the Milton Keynes Hilton so we could march around Ikea (we have nothing of the sort down by ‘ere) to procure a coveted wooden baby gym. This was an unsuccessful venture and Grandma was quite furious that Ikea were displaying it but not yet stocking it. We had more of a shuffle around the big mall in MK and I was quite brave and fed the baby in the restaurant in John Lewis but the christmas crowds got a bit much after a while. I did buy Grandma a new knitting pattern book so the wee baby can be kitted out in all manner of cardigans and bobble hats before it gets old enough to be embarrassed by them. I wish Plymouth had a John Lewis. Very much.

Anyway the point of the trip was to go and visit the clan so that my cousin and I could look at each other’s babies for the first time which was fun and strange because even though Emma and I are parents now, my 3 cousins and I still seem like the kids in the family. After that it was back into the familiar territory of Letchworth Garden City to inspect my aunt’s new Great Dane (size of a pony but scared of me unless I approached it on my knees – absurd!) and my middle cousin’s enormous, credit crunch bargain house, complete with heritage protection and original arts and crafts features.

After all that excitement we retired to the Pizza Hut on Eastcheap, long familiar from eating there since 1989 during visits from Mum when I still boarded at school just up the road. I could never have imagined we’d return 20 years later with my baby daughter.

I don’t feel like dancing

December 1, 2009

Been meaning to write blog posts for ages but i never seem to finish one. Its not so much the demmands of a 7 week old baby, (she is still very easy and goes to bed at 8 and sleep through until at least 2am) more not knowing what to say. I feel like having her has sucked the personality out of me. People come around and I have nothing new to tell them except bits and pieces about the baby, and this only really appeals to friends who have children.
I have also been through a period of feeling very low about my body although this seemed to lift unexplicably a few days ago. A post baby body coupled with major surgery induced constant fatigue had led me to empathise with that analogy older people use when they say ‘I’m ready for the scrapheap’.
There have been small mercies. Yesterday a friend’s mother enquired how I was feeding Z, when I told her she was breastfed her response was ‘That is HARD WORK’. YES IT IS!!! This made me feel better because amongst all the praise I have had from midwives, health visitors, GP’s, family and the general public that was the first acknowledgement that although very worthy and effort, breastfeeding is not easy.

BF is so physically demanding I have a silent strop about it most days. I cannot ever miss a meal or not eat enough- Z will feed heavily and not get enough from me and get very distressed. I learnt this the hard way a few times but I did get a call back through NHS Direct from a very understanding nurse who explained all this to me so I was able to take a break and carry on. I think unaided we might have resorted to formula by now which would have killed me. BF is also extrmely inconvinient. I cannot leave the house until Z has fed enough and during the day she prefers to graze feed and fiddle about with feeding so I never really know. Luckily she doesn’t do this at night. Thank god! Once I have gone out I have to think about where I can feed her if I am not in the car which is most of the time. Despite my mother and others campaigning in the 70’s for breastfeeding facilties they are very thin on the ground and always busy. Mothercare dutifully provides a changing/feeding room but thats one venue in a city of 300,000. It also irks me that the (usually crap) baby changing tables are usually located within disabled toilets. I have resorted to feeding Z in toilets a few times but feel resolute that I won’t do this again (although she seems to like it because of the quiet). I have been braver lately and fed her in Sainsbury’s cafe, outside a pub and in Debenhams restaurant. So far no one has given me any grief but I am a bit worried as it was on the news recently that a lady was asked to leave a cafe in London. I have decided that if this ever happens (and I’m feeling very brave) that I will stand up and ask all the customers at once if they mind me feeding my daughter and see what happens!

But wait…I have more! I still have wardrobe issues. I have to plan not only what is breastfeeding friendly but also tummy friendly too. I am still sore from my c section and anything tight or chunky (belts/jean waistbands) gets really painful after an hour or so walking about. I bought control pants to wear imediately after the birth which are very unsexy but at least allow me to wear jeans as they protect my tummy a bit. Thank god its winter! On a lighter note I bought some hareem pants from primark yesterday which have a loose, wide waistband (much comfier), shame they are so thin and flimsy. All this amounts to not feeling very carefree before the baby even comes into it.

I do, however, fit into my disco leggings and I did manage a brief night out on saturday. However I don’t think I was quite ready for it and felt far too fat, poorly attired and self concious to enjoy it that much. My friend got the dj in the club we went in to play Scissors Sister for me and I just burst into tears. We went to a gay club. It was a good call by my friends. I was ready for upbeat, fun and lets not take ourselves too seriously. I am not ready for posing in trendy bars.

Meanwhile I am starting a post natal excercise class after chirstmas which involves using the baby as a weight and power walking with the pram which sounds hilarious to me. If I can manage that I am starting at the gym fomerly known as Cannons which has a creche and a pool etc and will hopefully enable me to run the Plymouth Half Marathon in May. Yes I know I might not manage that but I’d rather be motivated to try than presume failiure.

Aside from all this the little baby is for the most party very jolly. I bought her those pram books with the black and white faces. She concentrates very hard and smiles at each page. I am relieved to put her to bed at night but miss her when she is asleep.

Over and out.