Archive | September, 2010

Tidy house, tidy mind…

30 Sep

As anyone who knows me will testify, I have an obsession with things being clean & tidy that is bordering on the obsessive.

If my house isn’t exactly how I want it I feel very depressed.  Things not being spotless or in the correct places makes me feel out of control and that my whole life is in a mess and as for my books, well, don’t get me started on that!  Let’s just say that if they’re not in alphabetical order you’d best fetch me an oxygen mask!

I realise that this is not a good thing.  Sure, we all want our homes to be clean, who wouldn’t? But, with a toddler in the house a certain amount of untidiness is probably completely normal. Not here!

I have tried to become a bit more relaxed about it all as I don’t want Aidan growing up with an unhealthy attitude to these things.  He already gets a bit upset if he drops some crayons or something similar shouting ‘Mess Mummy, mess!’ so I want him to be more chilled about that kind of stuff, he’s a child and shouldn’t be worrying too much about tidyness.

However, my relaxing went a bit far and I was becoming very down about things not being where they should.  So, on Tuesday morning, I dropped Aidan off at his Nanny & Grandad’s and started my mission.  Well, 2 hours later the house was more or less straight and I felt 100% better.  I didn’t only feel better about the house, I felt better about other things too.  It gave me a much more positive outlook and I feel more able to cope with whatever is thrown at me this week!  Now, I just need to shake off the dreaded cold I seem to coming down with…..

What about you?  Anyone else feel that if their house is cluttered so is their state of mind?

Image Credit

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Food, glorious food!

30 Sep

Food is one of my greatest loves, much to the disappointment of my waistline!

I love eating (obviously!) and experimenting with new ingredients and flavour combinations but I also love just reading my cookery books from time to time as I find it incredibly relaxing.

As you can see, I have rather a lot (newest addition taking pride of place front and centre!) but I’m ashamed to say that I have only attempted recipes from a handful of them – its a disgrace! (Actually, I can sense a personal challenge forming here…..)

Apologies for a rubbish photo, I was rushing…

Ah, the lovely Nigella.....

This post was for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.  Go and join in yourself!

Libraries are not made, they grow

24 Sep

I agree with this quote wholeheartedly, even if I may not have agreed with all of Augustine Birrell’s political ideals, particularly his opposition to The Suffragettes.

The idea that our public libraries might start vanishing is a terribly sad thing.  I firmly believe that my interest in books is due to the numerous visits I myself made as a child. A love of books and literature is something that, like anything that grows, should be nurtured and encouraged at every opportunity.

As an avid reader and lover of all things ‘booky’ one of the things I looked forward to the most about having a child of my own was getting them their first library card!

I distinctly remember the first time I took Aidan to the library.  He was about 9 months old (I’ve no idea why it took me so long!) and he was completely enthralled with the hamsters living in a cage on the information desk.  So much so in fact that his excited shrieks caused us to cut short our first visit, grab his membership card and run before we were ejected!

Since then we have made several trips to our local library.  Sometimes for Story & Rhyme Time (although this was never a huge hit with Aidan who point blank refused to sit still for any length of time) but mostly just to browse the huge selection of books, read one or two together quietly and choose a select few to take home for bedtime stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love to buy books and Aidan already has quite an impressive collection for a 2 year old! However, his attention span is still relatively short and he goes through phases of what he does and doesn’t like.  Where better to try out different authors, different characters and even different styles of book?

I took Aidan to our local library yesterday and he helped me choose a small selection of books to take home with us.  We read two of them just after his dinner, sitting quietly together on the sofa, a really cosy time that I loved.  Another one was taken upstairs for his Daddy to read as a bedtime story.

I’m really pleased with Aidan’s choices; the Little Red Train books are ace with lots to talk about in all the illustrations; I can remember Usborne books from my own childhood, frantically searching for the tiny yellow duck hidden on every page; Paddington is just an absolute classic; Shirley Hughes books are a massive love of mine & my mother’s and Maisy books, although new to me, really appeal to Aidan with their simple stories and bright, colourful pictures.

I hope that Aidan will grow up with a healthy respect for, and interest in, books and stories and that the public libraries will still be around for him to take his own children to.

This post was written after reading Mummy’s Shoes’ post about Saving Our Libraries

Progress?

24 Sep

Picked these up this morning ready to make a start, maybe the tide is turning? I certainly hope so!

What am I Waiting For?

23 Sep


At the moment I feel just a little bit like I’m frantically treading water, trying to keep my head above the waves and getting more and more exhausted by the day.

I know the things I need to do in order to feel more in control, more organised. I know I need to get my house in order, my brain de-cluttered, all my ducks in a row and I also know that the best way for me to achieve this is to start with a list.

Easy, you say. Hmmm, not so much lately. I can’t even put pen to paper and start to write a list!

I’ve always been a procrastinator. My motto has always been ‘Why do something today when you can easily put it off until tomorrow!’ But it’s not even procrastination that’s delaying me now. I feel as though I’m waiting for something. Something that’s going to spur me on, give me focus and make me determined to accomplish my goals.

There are enough motivating factors there if I really look at it.

Aidan
Biggest ever motivation to get off my bum and do something with my life. I want to be the best example I can to him and to inspire him to be the best that he can be.

Health
Something’s got to give and I’m hoping it won’t be my heart. The thought of not being around to see Aidan get married and have children of his own scares me.

Finances
Well, we all need money, don’t we?

So, with these 3 huge motivators why am I still stood at the bus stop checking the timetable?

This post was written for Josie’s Writing Workshop #36 over at Sleep is For The Weak

I chose prompt 5. Waiting inspired by lots of lovely ladies waiting for the stork to pay them a visit!

The smiles that melt my heart…

22 Sep

This is my first time at posting something for The Gallery so please be kind…

I haven’t been able to choose just one photo so I’ve actually got 3 (sorry!) which never fail to cheer me up.

This one is the first time I ever managed to catch Aidan’s cheeky smile (complete with craters for dimples) in a photo.

This is a recent one and came just after he told me ‘Aidan cheeky’, which I can’t really argue with!

Finally, here he is with his best friend and (I like to think) future wife!

I hope I’ve done this right…..

Maternal Chip Missing?

20 Sep

Let me just start by saying this post is not intended to be judgmental of anyone, we’re all different, we all cope with things in different ways and I would never presume my way or opinion was infinitely more valuable than anyone else’s.  In fact, I question myself most of the time!

I follow a lot of fellow Mums on Twitter who have children of a similar age to Aidan and recently a lot of the tweeting has been about their little ones starting nursery or pre-school and how anxious they (the Mums) are feeling about the whole process.

The hubby and I have been extremely fortunate so far with regards to childcare in that, although I work part-time, Aidan has always been able to be looked after by either of his Nannys on the days that I work.  It’s gone well, they love having him and he enjoys spending time with them and is really close to both sets of grandparents which we’re so pleased about.  We were also pleased that we didn’t need to put Aidan into nursery as soon as I went back to work which was when he was 8.5 months old.  The biggest reason for this was financial, nurseries are expensive!

As time went on we started to think about the possibility of putting Aidan into nursery 1 day a week when he got to 18 months old, mostly for socialising and developing confidence (although he’s full of that!) and sharing skills.  Work wasn’t particularly busy for me (I’m self-employed) so this got changed to 2 years old.

Aidan turned 2 at the end of July (future blog post warning!) and the following factors were still affecting our decision:

Cost

Work is still not that abundant for me so it’s hard to justify the £50 a day expense of nursery.

Naps

99% of the time Aidan no longer has a nap during the day and if he does he is a total nightmare come bedtime.  He just doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as other children his age.  Apparently, my brothers and I were exactly the same!  All of his friends who go to nursery sleep there for approximately 2 hours during the day and a couple of them go to bed much later than Aidan as a result.  I like my evenings thank you!  Obviously if I haven’t seen him all day then more time with him in the evening would be great, but if this became the norm and he wanted to do this on the other days too – no way! (Aren’t I horrible?)

Pre-school

We have put Aidan’s name down on the list for the local pre-school attached to the best (non-Catholic) primary school in the area.  In fact, the school being a 5 minutes walk up the road was one of the major deciding factors when we moved!  He can start there the term after he turns 3 (September 2011) and the lady who lived here before us gave us the impression that children who have been to the pre-school get a slight preference when it comes to admission to the primary school (her little boy went to both) which would obviously be ace.  However, I have recently found out about a few local pre-schools (not attached to schools) which will take children from 2.5 or even, in 1 case, 2 years old.  These seem to be about £10-£15 a session (2.5-3 hours) and he could possibly go for 2 mornings a week until September next year which would be a lot cheaper than nursery!  Also, a lot of nurseries around here operate on a 2 day minimum which we don’t need and can’t realistically afford.  So, it looks like one of these local pre-schools is the best option for us at the moment.

Anyway, I’m waffling… (I do that, sorry!)

My point is this:

I’m not worried about Aidan starting pre-school or nursery.  I have no doubts that he will play nicely and thrive in an environment geared towards learning and discovery through play.  I’m sure he will also relish the opportunity to play with other boys his age as all of his NCT friends are girls!  The only small concern I have is that he may miss a familiar face when he first starts but I’m confident that he will adjust to this quickly.

I’m also (and this is probably the most controversial bit!) not especially worried about handing over the care of Aidan to, effectively, a roomful of strangers.  I’m confident in our ability to have assessed the pre-school when visited, to have talked to the staff about their policies, watched the children playing there and determined how content they seem.  I also place trust in the systems in place for checking nursery and pre-school staff prior to employment.

So, my questions are these:  Am I being naïve?  Is there something wrong with me?  Do I have a maternal chip missing?  I’d love your comments!

* I reserve the right to completely change my mind and go to pieces the week before Aidan actually starts anywhere, OK?