Thursday, November 30, 2023

NaBloPoMo 30 London Baby

Up with Phoebe at about 630am for a short feed and then getting her dressed for nursery. She's just starting to have opinons about clothes which is both cute and annoying. Then went in to wake Lydia about 7am. Tom came down to get her dressed whilst I went to get dressed, with Phoebe being my little shadow and trying to get things out of drawers for me.

Dashed downstairs to leave, Tom taking girls to childcare whilst I went to the Southampton Airport station to get train to London.

Listened to music for once on train and knitted on way there, all cosy in my cocoon coat. Treated myself to a coffee, and then day of team planning, which I think went well but I can never tell.

Home again about 4pm, listened to meditation tracks on way back and had a nap. Probably snored loads, but I don't care.

Made it back home for about 5:30pm, had dinner whilst helping clean Phoebe up from a potty trainin accident and meeting all Lydia's endless food demands. Then did quick bath for Phoebe, and sorted her hair out, then swapped and did Lydia's bedtime. She really didn't want to settle, up and down a few times. 

Evening of admin sorting Tom's passport and driving licence renewals, Christmas food orders and working on my 2021 photo book. I'm very behind with these. 

And that's the end of November for another year.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

NaBloPoMo 28-29

Tuesday 28 November
Working from home today. Got extremely frustrated with my slow work computer when trying to edit this reel. Went out at 245pm to pick up Martin from the airport, then carried on working from home until Tom and the girls got back. Played with kids whilst Tom got tea. They were adorably excited to see Martin. Phoebe wanted me to do get bedtime and sing the 'baby Jesus' song again. (Away in a Manger). Had to swap with Tom as she wasn't settling, went in to cuddle with Lydia instead. Then worked on reel all evening, eventually switched to my own faster computer. Came out all right!

Wednesday 29 November
Home with kids today. Tom out early for work, morning went pretty ok for once. Phoebe desperate to wear her super sparkly tutu dress again. After school drop off went back home to get Martin and went to Places Leisure in Eastleigh for one of their Crafty Tots sessions. Phoebe mega into it and didn't want to leave. 

Short play in the playground, then off to Smyths Toys in Hedge End and Sainsbury's for Christmas shopping and grocery shopping. Phoebe very excited about everything in the shops, kept her in the trolley to keep her contained. Wanted to hold Martin's hand the whole time too.

Then back to school for pickup with a pit stop for potties and to pick up ballet gear. Got Lydia and went straight over to ballet, stuffing snacks in the kids. Traffic in Southampton has been so terrible, I wanted to try and beat it by going straight there.

Managed to get Lydia in ballet ok, so after another potty stop, walked from Highfield to Portswood with one of the ballet mum friends and Martin and I went in search of hot chocolate whilst she went to shop for advent calendars.

Back in the car for a looooonng journey home, Phoebe feel asleep, disaster! Home for dinner that Tom had cooked in child free peace, then straight in to bedtime and snuggled with Lydia for ages where she couldn't get to sleep.

Downstairs to rewrite school playground equipment grant application and to check emails ahead of day in London tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

November 22 - 27

 Apologies world, life got away from me!

Wed 22 November

Second day of team conference. Woke up well rested from un broken sleep, had hotel breakfast, spent day listening to some very interesting nature campaigning sessions with Haroon Mota from Muslim Hikers and Tayshan Hayden Smith from Grow2Know. Left a bit early to beat traffic, got home in time for kids bedtime.

Thursday 23 November

Usual day of meetings and then went to my sister's after kids' bedtime to be her body double and help with sorting out my neice's toys. Gots loads done with her, felt really productive.

Friday 24 November

Glorious day for me, usual school run then off to Hinton Ampner to film some video for social media content of their Neverland themed Christmas offer. Absolutely stunning, such a treat.  Even got to have a hot chocolate! Then home to start uploading all the footage. Knocked off in time for Lydia's school Christmas fair - absolute choas and extortion, but she loves it. Took her swimming then home for tea and dancing.

Saturday 25 November

Got kids up and dressed, then off to Robin and Olivia's extension warming party over lunch, Lydia adorable in her Victorian lady crinoline dressing up dress. Then off to kids opera at the Mayflower by the WNO with Ellie, Andy and Aoife. Met Lydia's friend Rosa there, much shenanigans over seating arrangements. Opera good, had some famous pieces and a kids friendly story poking fun at opera tropes. Phoebe quite wiggly, but liked 'the sad lady singing' Walked over to Nandos in Guildhall Square after as it was kids tea time, again chaos but fun.

Sunday 26 November

Quiet day at home sorting out old toys before Christmas, doing the washing and the washing up. My parents popped in for a cuppa on the way home from seeing my Grandparents. Hadn't told Lydia she was very excited to see them.

Monday 27 November

In the Micheldever office today for 1:1 with one of my direct reports, lovely and peaceful. Lots of meetings! Home in time to help with tea, kids went to bed pretty quickly, then had takeaway curry with some mum friends from school.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

NaBloPoMo 20 and 21

Monday 20th 

I can't even remember much of what I did today. I think everyone slept in a bit after our late night with friends round for dinner and there was much shouting and gnashing of teeth trying to get out the door. 

Home from the school run via the newly reopened bakery to pick up bread, and then a day of work calls. Also spent a lot of time calling various mental health services to try and work out what other talking therapy I can access which took a lot of my time and energy.

Made roast dinner left overs for kids but neither very interested when they got home from school/nursery.

Had lovely dance party before bed, I love dancing with the girls, trying to find interesting songs for them and messing around. Lydia decided on a new special dance move with Daddy where he swings her between his legs rock and roll style to go with the special one I do with her where I swing her round from one side to the other whilst stepping over her.

Phoebe wanted me to put her to bed tonight, I sang her to sleep to try and avoid feeding to sleep. She asked for the 'jesus song' which means Away in a Manger apparently.

Then off to dancing afterwards. I love going to my Ceroc class. The act of following a lead, concentrating on the moves, takes up all my brain. I can't think about anything else. I live for when a lead gives me the space to breathe into the music, add my styling, take it one step further. I can't wait for Martin to be here so I can dance with a familiar partner and really play and improvise.

Home about 1130, faffed with packing, bed about midnight 

Tuesday 21 November

Phoebe woke up about 3am, wouldn't really go back to sleep, so took her to spare bed. She fed and slept on and off until about 6am. Took her back upstairs to my room and sat her in bed with the Twirlywoos on my phone to occupy her whilst Tom dozed and I showered and got ready to leave. She very sweetly "No want mummy go work, mummy stay in our house" all soft round cheeks and cuddles.

Left to collect my colleague Job from Romsey at 6:35, arrived 7:10, then off cross country to A34 and M4, wanting to avoid the Swindon rush hour. Delightful convo all about her new house purchase. Stopped for breakfast and coffee, arrived at head office about 9am.

All day in Marketing Directorate team day, kind of conference thing. Great to catch up with central colleagues and former regional team alumni and interesting session on being good ancestors thinking about our legacies. Day in opened with fantastic voguing performance from the dancers from the recent NT Space to Have a Ball Outernwt project. 

Spent evening catching up with regional colleagues in a local bar, my team is fully dispersed round region so a real treat to all be in the same location for once.

Back at hotel now, enjoying the freebies with my accidental room upgrade due to the hotel being busy - chocolate bar and cans of Pepsi and posh coffee. Bed soon!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

NaBloPoMo 19 - music

Lydia appeared in our bed at some point in the night last night. My back was sore and I couldn't carry her back down and Tom was unwakeable, so I went to sleep in the spare bed instead.

Managed to get a pretty decent amount of sleep in there, and went to help get the kids dressed when Phoebe woke up. 

Did some tidying in our room before breakfast, lots of clean clothes to put away, whilst the girls caused chaos around us. Mainly clip clopping around in my high heels.

Then downstairs for breakfast, and some tidying. Tom started to prep this evening's roast dinner and I took Lydia to the shop for some supplies. She bought some of her pocket money with her and bought a comic. She likes to pay with her cash herself which is sweet 

Tom had an alarm go off at work so he went out to check on that whilst I got Phoebe down for a nap, and got some lunch ready. Lydia was tickled by drinking soup out a mug rather than a bowl and busied herself for the rest of the morning making birthday cards for people.

Once Phoebe was up again, gave her her lunch, and started packing to go out to the Turner Sims Family fun day on the bikes. The Turner Sims is the University of Southampton concert hall. We were meeting one of Lydia's school friends and their family there. They had craft activities and free facepainting, singing workshops and a musical performance from London Rhymes who were very good multi-instrumentalists and singers. I think I will be singing the 'Eight Tickly Tentacles' song as an ear worm for a while!

Quick cycle ride home, Tom on cooking duty whilst I got dining room sorted. Same little friend and parents round for dinner, the older girls disappeared upstairs to play fancy dress whilst Phoebe made friends with the parents. She decided they were her friends and wanted to know if they were coming back when they left! Lovely evening of chatting away. Feels nice and normal to have people round for Sunday dinner again.

They left about 7pm, did a speedy bedtime for the girls before tidying up the kitchen. Lydia fell asleep holding my hand, adorable. Then I wrote the first of the Christmas cards on front of the TV.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

NaBloPoMo 18 - birthday

 Up bright an early with the kids this morning. Snuggled up on the lovechair feeding Phoebe and cuddling Lydia whilst looking at cake icing videos to discuss very advanced plans for birthday cakes. So far Lydia wants a Teddy Bear's Picnic at the Seaside theme, and Phoebe wants a 'Red cake' :)

Got them dressed - both selecting party dresses as we were going out for my Dad's birthday today. Lydia wearing one of mine from when I was little. Usual chaos trying to get out the house, but good natured all round. Quite a delayed journey due to going in to town to get a click and collect order of a new raincoat for me, and three potty stops for Phoebe.

Lunch was at the InExcess garden centre at Landford near Salisbury. Very nice cafe, very understaffed. Poor team there, they did a brillant job all things considered and the food was nice. Lovely to spend time with the family. There's 11 of us when we all get together now, with sisters, partners and nieces. My godfather Kelvin, dad's old uni friend joined us too and it was lovely to see him too.

After much walking around the garden centre to entertain Phoebe and chatting and drawing, we went home about 3:30pm and curled up for a bit watching TV before I made a quick pasta dinner.

Went out to babysit for a one of Lydia's little friends tonight whilst her parents went out to a concert, got a lot of online Christmas shopping done. 

NaBloPoMo 17 family

Up early with kids, had fun time playing with them and getting them dressed. So much so thatv it got to 8am and Lydia hadn't had breakfast and I wasn't dressed.b Phoebe took some convincing to wrest her PJ's and dressing firm to nursery as a fundraising thing for Children in Need. Lydia also had non uniform day in exchange for bringing in peizes for the Christmas Fayre next week.

Quick turn around later and it was a fast march to school in the rain, carrying Lydia over a big muddy puddle. Just made it time for the bell. Then big quite at reception to hand over bottles. Lots of jokes that we were actually stocking the bar for the staff Xmas do.

Then home via a peep at the reopened baker at the Triangle, for a morning of NO MEETINGS! Managed to finish a task that had been hanging over me and to run training in the afternoon.

Finished up in time to cook tea and watch Phoebe whilst Tom took Lydia to swimming. My sisters and Aoife arrived for Family Friday dinner and then it was a fun evening of kid chaos and Friday night disco and giving Aoife her second birthday present of a scooter and accessories.

Ellie and Verity stayed until 1030pm having put Aoife to bed earlier, and we had a great chat. Such a good time.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

NaBloPoMo 15 16

Wed 15 November

Swimming day with Phoebe today after dropping Lydia off from school. She absolutely loved it and was so keen to keep jumping in off the side. She's turning in to a regular little fish. We stayed for a bit of the stay and play and she took great pleasure in watering my hair.

Home for nap time and and then Tom came to mind Phoebe whilst I went to the doctor's, but turns out I had a telephone appointment! They're finally going to refer me to endocrinology to look at my PCOS etc.

Then off to school to get Lydia and off up to ballet. Bit of stress getting there but managed to have nice coffee with the school mums. 

Whizzed back on the bikes, Tom had made delicious dinner.
Bedtime not too bad, watched some TV and tidied up before my bedtime.

Thursday 16 November

Everyone had a bit of a stressy morning, but got Lydia to school on time. Back to work this morning for meetings. My sister and neice popped in for a cuppa over lunch after their swimming lesson nearby. Then off to hospital for some tests to look at some gastro issues I've been having. 

Whizzed back across the city to get back in time for Lydia's parents evening. I've not cycled so fast for a very long time. But made it with 5 mins to spare. Lydia doing well at school, very proud of her.

Cycled her back, gave the kids cold bits for tea. Bath time then bedtime. Made pasta for tea whilst Tom got Phoebe down, and we're now watching TV. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

NaBloPoMo 13 14 flickers of joy

Monday 13 November

Lydia had an inset day today so we had a relaxed morning bumbling around playing before cycling up to the hospital for her blood test. She was very brave about it, even though she was very scared.

Went into town afterward for well done ice cream and to buy Christmas and birthday presents and autumn socks. She was an absolute star all day and we had such a nice time looking at all the decorations and lights and her playing at being my personal stylist. It was so good to have a good day with her, not a day of shouting.

Home for leftover beef stew and pasta, Tom played trains with the girls before bedtime. He also started bedtime as I went to Phoebe's nursery parents evening. Nursery very happy with her, and say she's very kind and caring towards her friends which is nice to hear.

Ceroc class for me in the evening. They had one of their monthly advanced masterclasses on tonight, which I've always managed to miss before somehow. Really enjoyed it and got to dance with some new people which was great. I'm still a bit rusty, funding it hard to find the cues from the leads sometimes, but it was still absolutely life giving. And makes me want find other dance classes to try. 

Tuesday 14 November.

Phoebe up at 4am, didn't really go back to sleep. Tom Tom over at 6am and I went back to bed until 8am. Rushed to get dressed but got Lydia out of house and to school in time.

Back for a morning of back to back calls, and catching up on emails from being out the office for two days. Then went to town for a cuppa with my friend on my lunch break and then up garage to pick up my car. £500 lighter for a new bit of plastic and a wiring loom for the cruise control and needing to go to a specialist to get it recalibrated, home for more work on summer evaluation before the girls got home.

Savoury pancakes for tea, then bedtime. Seemed to have cracked Phoebe going to bed with no milk, with Tom doing her bedtime and I doing Lydia's. Lydia settled quickly after reading me three stories to get ahead on her reading challenge.

Then back to work for a bit, and tidying up before bed. Just sitting down to chill out for a bit before going to sleep.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

NaBloPoMo 10 11 12

First fail of the month.

Friday 10th Nov

Car had airbag warning light comes on last night, so after walking Lydia to school, took car to garage with Tom and he drive me back home. Worked from home in morning, had afternoon off. Got house tidied up for Bradshaw weekend guests coming this evening. Collected Lydia from school with Phoebe as Tom had burnt his hands (not too badly) trying to grease a shredder. (Don't ask.)

John and Adele arrived after kids bedtime with a Vietnamese takeaway, Jess and Andy and kids later still. Evening of wine and chatting.

Saturday 11th Nov.

Up early with kids, Tom went out early to get bread and milk. Much chaos, but all made it out to Milestones museum in Basingstoke for 11am. Kids enamoured with vintage arcade. Dragged them away to get lunch in cafe, Phoebe then getting fractious, so left others in museum and drove her around to get her to sleep. Kids apparently enjoyed 1940s sweet shop. Phoebe very sad on way home, had to bribe her with snacks.

Did firepit, hotdogs and toasted marshmallows for tea, lots of fairy lights and mulled wine. Very festive and jolly including an outside disco with Lydia, Lara, John, Andy and me whilst Tom put Phoebe to bed. Then more wine and chatting whilst Tom made Beef Bourgogne for tomorrow's lunch.

Today 12th November

Phoebe awake at 4am for an hour, always amazed that Lydia doesn't stir when they're in the same room and Phoebe cries. Went back to bed till 9am, Tom up with kids at 6. Much playing all morning from kids whilst chaps typed up their trip a bit more. Took Phoebe up for milk and a nap just before lunch, which was delicious.

Film time after lunch as kids knackered. John and Adele left about 3, then picky bits for tea and then Treharnes went home. 

Watched Diwali fireworks out of loft bedroom windows with Lydia whilst Tom got Phoebe to bed, Tom read Lydia's story and I chilled out in bed. Cut Tom's hair when he was fine with kids, and did a bit of tidying.

Always impressed at how our kids and the Treharne kids just muck on and start playing with each other like they live next door and play together every day rather than living 2 hours away. They're both really sweet about Phoebe wanting to join in.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

NaBloPoMo 9 nothing sort of day

Sometimes I marvel at how small my life has become.

Woke up to feed Phoebe about 7, she asked to feed in Mummy's bed which is what she calls the spare bed as we go in there so as not to disturb Tom.

Got her dressed for nursery, Lydia came in to play, they played baby seals really nicely for about 30 mins. A glimpse of the future I hope.

Phoebe off to nursery with Tom. Lydia and got dressed, and ate our pancakes on the way to school as we were running late again. Not too many dramas this morning.

Then home and straight into work. Loads if emails to catch up on, couple of team meetings. An award nomination for regional work awards, that was nice. Too much to do and bit enough time as always.

Stopped at 5pm and started cooking the tea Tom had prepared. Girls came in desperate for me, so fed Phoebe and watched a programme with them whilst snuggling on sofa.

Fajitas for tea, gobbled up by Lydia. Phoebe bit snotty and under the weather so took her up for bath early. Full curly girl hair wash routine for her, then took her for milk. Swapped with Tom so he could read her stories and get her to sleep and went to finish up Lydia's bath.

Managed to get her in bed by pretending she was a big baby. Lots of her threatening me and trying to negotiate but tried to keep it light and plain. She was alseep by 1930. More house tidying to do tonight.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

NaBloPoMo 8 - very soggy

Stupidly agreed to walk to school in the pouring rain and to Lydia scooting to school. So off we went togged up in our raincoats, and a bush wee in woods on the way from Phoebe delayed us further. Only just managed to squeak in before the bell.

Went for a very rainy walk around Bitterne precinct with Phoebe to kill time before swimming. She is such a delight at this age, constantly singing and saying hello to people.

She loved her swimming lesson especially jumping in off the side. We stayed for a bit of the stay and play after, mainly her watering me with watering cans but she likes it.

Then she was starving and I wanted to warm up so we went to hide in the Wetherspoons. She wanted milk as she was tired so she fed to sleep and ended up napping on the banquette wrapped in my scarf. Meant I could eat my lunch in peace and she then really enjoyed eating when she woke up. Panini for me and veggie pasta for her. She was really intrigued by the open fire and flirted with all the pensioners having their lunch.

Next we went to the Rhyme Time at Bitterne Library, where Phoebe was a bit braver about joining in with the songs and really loved the craft activity of making a little paper duck. She seems to quite like arts and crafts like Lydia.

Very quick march down the road to collect Lydia from school. Happy to see my mum friends in the playground, feels a bit like being part of a gang now.

Home with a grumpy Lydia despite me stuffing her with snacks. Just about managed to get her out of the door and changed for ballet in time. 

Had coffee with the ballet mums whilst class was on, took 30mins to get home again. Need to cycle next week.

Only managed half my tea as Phoebe very tired and grumpy. Abandoned it to take her upstairs, she fed to sleep, had to try and get her in PJ's without waking her.

Then bedtime with Lydia who was pleased to have mummy and daddy for a change. But stressful but she was also by 745.

Finished my dinner and tidied the house with Tom before 30mins of TV and bed 

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

NaBloPoMo 7 - inclusivity

Early start for me today as off to hear office for some inclusive leadership training. Lydia still asleep when I left.

Traffic not too bad, arrived with 20min to spare. Trainers very, very good. Lots of inclusive training practices which I want to work into my own work, even little things like acknowledging people's energy levels and saying you don't need permission to take a break at any point.

Training itself well structured and thought provoking, again a few actions I need to take on for my whole team, like all leads doing the inclusive recruitment training as they support with recruitment even if they don't lead it. 

Burrito for lunch with my team members also on course, nice to catch up 

Traffic home pretty bad, had to stop for a coffee as falling asleep at wheel.

Lydia grumpy on my return, as was Tom. Managed to keep bedtime on track, nice reading time with Lydia again, but harder to persuade to go to sleep this evening. Just about to have some cold bits for tea myself, Tom's out at home group.

Monday, November 06, 2023

NaBloPoMo 6 - another boring day

Up early with the kids. Lydia very grumpy, asked Tom to take her to school so we did a kid swap rather than our usual school runs.

Normal working day today at home for me, back to back calls, pretty boring, and long. 

Finished up at 5pm to sort cold bits tea for girls. Again Lydia pretty grumpy but managed to get them all in to bed. Spent nice half hour reading with Lydia.

Then went to Ceroc class in Chandler's Ford. Very good for me to do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone and had a few superb dances amongst lots of good ones. Finding it hard to relax into it and making a fair few mistakes, but only my second class back after a very long break so hoping it will settle soon. 

Sunday, November 05, 2023

NaBloPoMo 5 - coming home

Jess and I got up in a leisurely fashion around 8am and I w went to the gym before breakfast. Made the most of having the chance. I've been diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver disease, a side effect of PCOS insulin resistance and need to work on staying healthy, easier said than done when you've small kids and work nearly full time.

Met Jess for breakfast, chatting to the restaurant staff, apparently there were only 9 people staying in our hotel that evening.

After going back to the ton to get changed and packed up, drove back to Jess' via garden centre and a farm shop. Picked up a new waterproof coat for me and some Christmas bits for the girls.

Greeted by some very excited to see me kids, which was nice. Stayed at the Treharnes till bed time to give us a chance to get packed up.

Lydia wanted to come with me on the way home, so listened to lots of Cbeebies bedtime stories. Had to charge car on way, ended up in some random car park in Hemel Hempstead as they had rapid chargers.

Home about 1130pm, and to bed, absolutely shattered.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

NaBloPoMo 4 - relaxed

Today we woke up about 8am and leisurely meandered to breakfast. There was only one other couple eating breakfast in the huge restaurant space, and some kind of training event setting up the other side of the building. It must be very busy here on a weekday.

Then it was off to the fancier hotel for our spa day. They have a thermal spa suite as well as treatment rooms. We've had a really relaxing day with a hot stone massage and facial, and then floating away in the hydrotherapy pool outside whilst it rained on us, and enjoying the different temperatures of sauna and steam room.

A mezze platter lunch was included, and one of my favourite bits of the day was curling up in an egg chair with my book for an hour.

After floating back to our room to drop off wet cossies, we found a cosy pub for a couple of drinks and a chippy for some substance to take back to our room. We're now relaxing again and settling in for a night of Strictly and sloe port. What an absolute treat.

Friday, November 03, 2023

NaBloPoMo 3 - away away

Man I have such a Moana earworm. 

Day off today for my annual spa weekend with Jess, pay back for Tom and Andy going away with John for their Bradshaw train adventures.

Sheer the school run and loading the dishwasher, drove up to Leighton Buzzard to get Jess. First time doing kinder distance in Tom's electric car, had to stop at Fleet for a top up. His is an older model so range is only 150 miles. Almost felt quite luxurious stopping and having coffee whilst it charged.

Was bit of traffic on M25 but not too bad. Had cup of tea at Jess' before heading off again. We went for lunch in Leighton Buzzard to a very nice Turkish restaurant which had a great fixed price menu. We had falafel, borek, lamb and chicken yogurt beity, baklava, kadayifa and ice cream. It had very dramatic interior design, all black and gold, and the food was really really good! 

After a short mooch around the charity shops we headed off to our location for the weekend, the Wyboston Lakes Resort. This weekend away, rather than doing a full overnight spa package somewhere, we'd gone for a day package somewhere with a thermal spa, and booked our accommodation separately.

This site has three accomodation centres, one aimed at training, one at events, and a more upmarket hotel with the spa. There's also some offices with a co-working space, a leisure centre, something called a knowledge centre, and a water sports centre on site. It's quite pretty with lakes and nature reserves surrounding the mainly 1980s building.

We'd booked to stay in the midrange event centre, but due to low occupancy there, they'd shut that site and moved us to the training centre. I wasn't impressed that they'd not reduced the price as the training centre rooms were a lot cheaper, so I complained and we got given a superior room in the training centre instead.

We checked in about 5pm, and spent the evening chilling, eating our leftovers from lunch, and going for a swim and sauna at the leisure centre. We also walked to the nearby Lidl to pick up some supplies for the evening. It's so nice to be catching up with an old friend.

Thursday, November 02, 2023

NaBloPoMo 2 - stormstuck

Lydia's school was closed today, like all Southampton schools, because of the weather warnings. When I checked the Daily Echo website in the morning, it seems like Southampton got off pretty lightly, but there was a bit of flooding about the city.

So working from home and home-schooling it was. Tom took Phoebe off to nursery after breakfast as that was open as normal. I set Lydia up with some TV and some workbook type books we have for Maths and English, and tried to get on with my work.

It wasn't that successful as for once Lydia was not obsessed with the TV and kept coming to interrupt my calls. Which was a surprise as she usually loves the TV. At lunch time as we were both getting very grumpy with each other, I made her go out for a walk, compromising on her wearing socks and sandals despite the rain, and we were both much better for it. We bought some pick and mix and a cake from the Bitterne Park Stores at the Triangle, and some lip balm from Boots.

After lunch I tried again for a bit, and got her doing some Cosmic Kids Yoga for a bit too. It was a bit too much like the Covid lockdowns hearing the theme tune so I'm gently re-traumatised.

I clocked off at 5:00pm and made Lydia some tea just as Tom and Phoebe came home. A bit of a fractured tea-time of playing and eating and wildness before I took Phoebe up for her bath time as she needed her hair doing.

I have to do a fully curly girl routine on her. Detangle spray and brush through, conditioner wash and brush through, then curl cream and brush through, all whilst she play away in the bath. She probably needs this doing twice a week, but we're lucky if I manage once a week. I sometimes refresh it by spraying it with water and reapplying a bit of conditioner on my hands. Her hair is soooooo curly and silky and fine.

Then a bit of milk for Phoebe before bed, and reading with Lydia. Phoebe is probably coming to the end of her time breastfeeding - she doesn't always ask for it in the morning or at bedtime, and Tom can now put her to bed on his own. She does still usually ask for it if I'm with her and she wakes up from a nap and when she gets home from nursery, though the last one I often manage to delay to bedtime, otherwise she won't eat her tea very well. I'm a little sad about it as it means my last baby is rapidly growing up, and I won't have the excuse for quiet cuddles in the same way.

Lydia read to me before bed, and then we listened to some of the bedtime stories on Cbeebies radio instead of having me read another story. She needs a lot of support for bedtime at the moment, so I am lying with her for a bit and giving her a cuddle until she's sleepy. I should probably try weaning her back off that, but she seems desperate for the attention and contact time.

Now for a bit more work to catch up before a day off tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

NaBloPoMo 1 - mainly in cars

 Welcome back to my regular but infrequent personal mass observation experiment where I blog everyday for a month.

Today is my Wednesday when I'm at home with Phoebe. I also do both school runs and take Lydia to ballet on Wednesdays.

Was a bit of a damp one, and we went to school by car as I had errands to run in the afternoon. Hard work getting everyone out the house, but managed it. Phoebe very good at walking holding my hand this morning, nice change.

After we'd dropped Lydia off, I tried going to pick up some of the online shopping I'd ordered, but it hadn't arrived yet. So we went back to swimming, halloween themed session today which was fun for Phoebe. She really enjoyed kicking a floating real life pumpkin to encourage her to kick whilst lying on her back. 

We stayed for a bit of the fun swim after where I had my hair throughly watered by Phoebe using all the little watering cans. We went back to Next after that, successfully picked up by order, and I had drive thru for lunch whilst Phoebe napped.

We went to Bitterne library after Phoebe's lunch to drop off a book. I'd forgotten they had a rhyme time singing sesson on Wednesday afternoons. She wasn't mad keen on joining in with the songs, but really wanted to do the craft activities. Will try that again another time. She was a happy little soul most of teh day.

Picked up Lydia at 3.15pm and drove home so she could get ready for ballet. Both girls downed a lot of snacks and Tom was fortunately home in time to watch Phoebe. Means she doesn't have to stand outside the Portswood Residents Association in the rain for the best part of an hour whilst Lydia's in ballet, and I get to go have a grown up cup of tea in a Portswood cafe with the dance parents I know from school.

Traffic was terrible coming home, Lydia and I were in the car for the best part of an hour, and it's only like 2 miles away from home tops. We had a big Moana sing along session as she's quite into the film these days.

Chicken and rice for tea, Phoebe and Tom had eaten whilst waiting for us. Then Tom was out for pizza with his friends tonight, so I did solo bedtime. Some shouting on my part as Lydia really didn't want to do anything she was asked. I am a pretty rubbish parent most of the time these days, I have zero patience for anything.

Lydia not actually asleep until 8.30pm, so only had energy to make cup of tea and flop in front TV before bed.

Very windy and rainy in night due to Storm CiarĂ¡n. Rain on the velux windows of our loft conversion bedroom very loud because of the angle, like rain on a tent, kept me awake for lots of the time.