Saturday, 30 April 2011

Should I post photo's of my daughter online?

This is a subject that has been really bothering me all week and I have spent some time on twitter asking people's advice.

I am very new to the world of blogging and for the first time on Tuesday I checked where the traffic was coming from on my blog.  I found that a few people that were searching for disgusting things on google had been coming to my site.  Not many, and to be fair it didn't look like they had stayed long, but still if after a month of blogging this is happening surely it can only get worse?

When I first started blogging I wasn't going to reveal my real name and I most certainly wasn't going to put on photo's of me and my family.  However when I started looking into blogs and started to put together my own reading list I discovered that a lot of mummy bloggers did post photos of their children.  I am exceptionally proud of my daughter so I thought well why not?  Plus I also noticed that the blogs that I enjoy the most are ones with personal photo's on there, these are the one's which seem to engage me and grab my attention.

All was well and I was really enjoying blogging about my family and putting photos on of Mads for my Gallery and Silent Sunday posts.  Then on Tuesday I found out excitedly that I could check my stats and see all sorts of reports on how people were getting to my site and how they were finding me on google.  Some completely innocent, some a little bit strange. (A lot of people have found my site by looking up Hairy Daddy?!)  And then a few people were finding it by looking up obscene search words.  

When I first saw this I completely panicked and posted on twitter asking for advice.  I got some lovely reassurance from Karin at Cafe Bebe, and also Emma at The Real Supermum and Karen at Would like to be a Yummy Mummy who also explained that they had the same worries.  (If you click on their two blog names you will be directed to their thoughts on the subject.)  I also spoke at long length with Mr E who said that as long as I was careful why should I stop doing something that I enjoyed, at the end of the day there could be weirdo's looking at Mads in Tesco's, and if you thought that way you would never leave the house.  I decided it was right to be cautious but to put it down as a lesson learned.

Today however I have checked again and now I have noticed that I have been getting a lot of hits from a referring URL which is an image sharing website.  Again this could be completely innocent but I am now worried that people are sharing my photos.  I have decided that I am going to try and put a Copyright logo on my images from now on (or when I can get Mr E to design me one!) but again it has made me wary.

I understand that this sort of thing happens a lot and that I shouldn't be so sensitive but the thought of someone looking at my photos of Mads in a strange way or sharing my photos as their own makes me feel physically sick.  I have spoken to my Mum about it too, as well as discussing it with Mr E again and they have said that I should just relax and try not too worry but I do find it really difficult.  I don't want to stop posting photo's but I just have this at the back of my mind now and I am finding it really hard to shake it off.  When it comes to my personal facebook account I have thousands of photos on there but I have the maximum privacy levels so only friends can look at my photos and content, therefore why am I posting photos on my blog which is completely open and free to all?

Am I being over sensitive?  Should I just accept that I am putting on innocent photos that you could see in any magazine or television advert?  Should I stop putting photos of her and my family on there?  If I prefer blogs that have photos on does that mean I will lose potential readers by not adding them?  Does everyone get dodgy searches?

If anyone has any comments I would really appreciate it.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Flashback Friday- The One Where We Get Engaged

As there is a rather small, low key wedding going on today, I felt like it was only right that my Flashback Friday for this week had a wedding theme.  Last week was my hen do and this week I have decided to take a trip down memory lane and write about the day Mr E decided to ask me to be his wife.

Mr E and I were living with my Mum at the time to save up some money for a deposit on a house, having moved back to Cambridgeshire from London.  He had told me that we were doing something exciting one weekend so as to make sure I didn't make any plans.  I had been going on and on about going to Go Ape so I honestly thought this was where we were going!

On the Thursday evening before said weekend we went out with my Mum and her partner to celebrate Mr E's 30th birthday as my Mum's partner was going on a climbing holiday and wouldn't be around for his actual birthday which was the following week.  We had a lovely time and drank lots of champagne and were quite tipsy so when Mr E awoke around 6am on the Friday morning I presumed it was because he was a bit hungover.

He was tossing and turning and obviously couldn't sleep so in the end I asked him what was wrong.  He turned round and out of the blue said 'Look under your pillow I think a fairy has been.'  I had just woken up and hadn't got my contact lenses in so was all disorientated!  I looked under the pillow and pulled out a small box.  I still don't think it really sank in but all of a sudden he uttered the best words 'Will you Marry me?'  I started crying my eyes out and jumping round the room.  My engagement ring was a beautiful platinum solitaire diamond.

He presented me with a goody bag which had lots of different bits in it including two plane tickets to Edinburgh for later on that afternoon.  He also had arranged for me to have my nails done that morning (in order to look my best for showing off the ring!)  He also arranged for some of my family to meet us in a bar near us for a champagne breakfast.

That afternoon we flew up to Edinburgh and it was one of the best weekends of my life.  We spent the daytimes mooching around the shops (where I also got terribly spoilt with perfume and a new purse!) and the first evening he had booked for us to go to Harvey Nichols for dinner.  One memorable part was when we decided to order a bottle of champagne.  As we were deciding the waiter came over with the bottle we were going to pick (Laurent Perrier Rose if anyone ever fancies buying me a bottle- its my favourite!) and a card.  We were totally confused until we opened it and my Mum had bought us one with a little card saying Congratulations.  That made me cry again!  The tables are quite close together and I dread to think what the couple next door thought of us!

The second night it was amazing because it was late August and the festival was just ending.  There was a lovely fireworks display on which was very romantic.  We got very tipsy as we went on a mini bar crawl.

Below is a small snapshot of photos from the weekend.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, and Mr E made me the happiest person in the world when he asked me to be his wife.  Who would have thought that three years later we would have a lovely baby daughter!

Now head over to Cafe Bebe to have a look at some more memories...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My Passions...

I stumbled upon a rather good meme from Kerry at Multiple Mummy which is all about her passions and asking us what ours are too.  I love having a good think about things like this so here goes.  Below are a few of the examples of what I am passionate about!


I have a passion for taking photos.  I am not particularly creative when it comes to photography although I do try.  I have a Nikon D50 DSLR which I love but never get out much because I don't really know how to use it. (I would love to learn) I also have just a cheap Canon which I carry around with me everyday and also my pride and joy which is my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.  My hubby bought it for my birthday a couple of years ago and I just love it.  I also take a lot of photos on my iPhone.
I really do wish that I was better at it, I would love to learn how to take more artistic shots.


Leading on from the photography, I also am passionate about my photos.  I literally have hundreds and I spend a lot of money on making photo books to capture all our memories.  My friends and family get fed up with me because I am forever taking photos when we are out and about.  I also have so many photos in frames around my house, a lot of people don't like having them up around the house but to me they are my pride and joy.  (Although they do involve a lot of dusting!)  I am trying to do a photo scrapbook for Mads but unfortunately I never seem to have the time.


I am a real film buff and Mr E and I used to go to the cinema all the time before we had Mads as we had an unlimited cinema pass.  Unfortunately we don't get the time as much anymore, although my Mum often has Mads so we can nip off for a couple of hours.  I am afraid I do love chick flicks but I also love thrillers, and dramas.  I like a bit of everything really though, although I draw the line at Westerns.  I used to love horror films but find myself getting scared of them nowadays.  If I had to say my top five favourite films, in no particular order they would be Leon, Mystic River, Shawshank Redemption, Brokedown Palace, and Dirty Dancing but I do have many I love.

Our home.

We bought our house almost two years ago and it was horrible inside when we first got it.  We have spent a lot of time and money on it and have almost completely redone it cosmetically since we moved in.  I am so proud of it, and keep it obsessively clean.  When we have finished one room, I want to move on and do another one again but now I am on maternity leave unfortunately I can't buy as much for it.  Although we want to move to a bigger house in a couple of years, I will always love my first home.  Mr E has had a mortgage before me.


I have always enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember.  I read all sorts of different things, from Chick Lit to Thrillers.  I read very quickly and always have my head absorbed in a good book, although recently I have found myself not having as much time as I am always blogging when not looking after Mads!  On our honeymoon I took away 15 books in 2 weeks and read every single one.  I can not wait to read to Mads, I do read to her occasionally but I am really looking forward to reading her a story every night and reliving my childhood favourites through her.  I have lots but 'The Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton and all the Roald Dahl books have fond memories for me.

Crime Psychology

A bit of a strange passion but I have always been interested in crime.  At University I studied Psychology and wrote my dissertation on Murder.  Don't worry I am not a closet weirdo, but I am really interested in what makes criminals tick and have a lot of books on the subject.  I watch Crimewatch every month and know a lot about historical crimes.  Mr E thinks I am a bit strange!

Trashy TV

Embarrassing I know and not really a passion but a big interest of mine.  I wish it wasn't but I have to admit I love trashy TV shows.  The Only Way is Essex, Katie Price, Take me Out, X Factor, Big Brother....anything trashy I love.  I love all reality TV as well.  

My daughter

I know everyone is passionate about their children, but Mads is a new passion of mine.  I am determined to enjoy every minute of my time off work with her and we are doing lots of activities.  So far we are doing Baby Yoga, Baby Massage, Swimming Lessons, Baby Singing and soon we will be doing Baby Signing.  I love reading books about her development too.


I absolutely love travelling and have been very fortunate to go to some wonderful places.  My favorite places in the world I have visited would be New York, Miami, Thailand, Barbados, Cuba, Mexico, Paris and Barcelona but I have been too many others.  Mr E always go abroad every year, even if it is just a cheapie holiday to Spain but unfortunately I do not think that we will be able too with MadsMads.

So there you have it, the above are just a few of my passions.  Hope it helped get to know me better!

Now I want to know about a couple of more people so I am going to tag these lovely two-

Mummy and the Beastie

Mummy, Mummy, Mum

The Gallery- Green Eyed Monster

So the theme for this weeks 'The Gallery' is 'Green.'  I actually thought this was tougher than the previous two weeks themes, mainly because I wanted to do something different than take a nature shot. (Basically because I am a terrible photographer it would pale in comparison to some of the amazing ones I am sure we will see this week!)

Therefore I thought I would do my own interpretation on the theme.

Yes that is me.  It is the most hideous picture I could find.  I was drunk at the time but thats no excuse.

Green eyed monster.  Jealousy.  Envy.  Green with envy.

However you say it, we have all been jealous at times.  It is human nature.

I have found recently that my green eyed monster has come out on several occasions, always at the same subject and it is not something I am proud of.

Going back to work.

I have been lucky to meet some lovely friends since having my daughter, mainly through my NCT classes and going to local baby groups.  I have met people from all walks of life, but a lot of the women that I have met do not have to go back to work and are going to be Stay at Home Mums.

I always thought that I was quite career orientated but since having Mads I have absolutely no desire to go back to work until she is older and goes to nursery properly.  It's not that I hate my job, its just that I want to be at home with my daughter and not have to leave her with someone else when she is less than a year old.

Don't get me wrong.  I have absolutely nothing against people who go back to work full time or people who choose to stay at home full time- it is their choice.  But I want to be at home with my daughter.  Not all the time, I do still want to go back to work a couple of days a week.  It isn't the fact that they are off work all the time that gets me jealous.  It is that they have the choice.

We are very lucky to have a wonderful home which I am very proud of.  Unfortunately with said home comes a massive mortgage and a lot of outgoings.  Basically we have issues every way you look at it.  We can't afford for me to go back to work full time due to the cost of childcare and travel.  We can't afford for me to go back to work part time because my part time wage won't even cover the cost of my half of the outgoing bills.  And we most certainly can't afford for me to be making no money at all.

And thats why my green eyed monster comes out.  Just because I wish for once we didn't have to worry about money.  Compared to a lot of people I know we are so fortunate, we both earn decent wages and have a lovely home, but unfortunately all our money is tied up.  In a few years it will be fine but not at the moment.  I just wish I could afford enough to spend time with my daughter and not worry about every single penny.

So thats what is making me 'green' at the moment.  A slight different interpretation on the theme I know.

Head over to Tara's blog 'Sticky Fingers' to see some more normal green themes.

P.S I am going to win the lottery so don't feel too sorry for me.

P.P.S I don't look like that in real life....honest.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Anyone for a spot of Orange?

One of my favourite brands is Innocent- of course we enjoy their smoothies, (and I am quite partial to their veg pots as well) but also because of their very clever and cute advertising campaigns and their approach to sustainable packaging and ingredients.  In fact I have their book 'A Book About Innocent: Our Story and Some Things We've Learned' on how they started and I really recommend it to anyone who is interested in the company.

Therefore I was quite happy to have a 'test' of their new orange juice. (Although lets just say it didn't hang around for long!)

First of all the difficulty was finding it.  Because it was nice weather all the local shops had sold out.  Finally we found some.  We decided to get the 'smooth' variety because Mr E is a baby and doesn't like bits.  However there is the 'with bits' option for adults and better behaved children than my hubby!  They also do a rather nice apple juice as well.

The juice comes in a 900ml carafe and there are 11 juicy oranges squeezed into it.  That is a lot of oranges! You can really taste them: the juice is sweet, thick and has very strong flavours.  We will definitely be buying it again.

As you can see Mads really wanted to have some like her Mummy and Daddy.  She is a bit young yet at only 17 weeks, but that didn't stop her having a nibble of the bottle!

Why not head over to Innocent and 'Shake the Tree'for your chance to win one of many great prizes? 

A little leak...breastfeeding problem!

We have all heard the horror stories.  The dreaded 'leaking in public.'  A thought that scares even the most hardened of breast feeding mums.  And it happened to me.  Yesterday in fact.

The weather has been so beautiful recently and it has really got me in a fashion dilemma.  I have lots of beautiful floaty summer tops and dresses (perfect for hiding the still look three month's pregnant tummy) but unfortunately there is one problem.  My bras.  Being a breast feeder I have to wear mammoth strapped, passion killer bras with the added turn on of breast pads.  Not only does it ruin any 'heat of the moment' action, it also plays havoc with my summer wardrobe.  In short I can not find any pretty clothes that cover these monstrosities.

Back to yesterday.  We were going on a family day out to the races.  The weather was glorious and I decided that just once I was going to rebel against my ugly friends.  I was going to wear a pretty summer top and wear a strapless bra.  Shock horror.  With under wire.  Having suffered from mastitis five times during the course of nursing my daughter, once because my bra was too tight, this was no mean feat.  

Anyway I donned my outfit and felt pretty special let me tell you.  I was a yummy mummy.  Added with some tight skinny jeans, high heeled wedges and the floaty top to cover my bulge, I didn't scrub up too bad for someone who has just had a baby. (Well four months ago but whose counting?)

We arrived at the races and everywhere you looked there were gorgeous, glamorous ladies in dresses and looking as orange as David Dickinson in the summer.  But I felt OK.  I may not be the epitome of glamour but I was looking alright.

The friends we were with bought champagne and I sipped on my one and a half glasses that the health visitor advised me was OK.  Mads was in a pretty dress and being as good as gold and we were having a lovely day.  

Fast forward a few hours.  We were half way through the day when my boobies began to hurt.  As in throb.  And go red hot.  I know the early signs now and when I felt them they had lumps.  My dreaded friend beginning with M wanted to make a comeback.  (That's Mastitis not Mads!)  I panicked and in a moment of madness decided that the best thing to do would be to remove my bra.  It was my fault for being vain and now my boobs had decided to punish me.

Nipping to the disabled toilet (with my Mum might I add, who had had a few more glasses of champagne than I had, and thought she could be of use) I removed my bra.  Unfortunately the pretty, floaty summer top was also rather see through and you could see my nipples through it.  My Mum lent me her pashmina and I shoved some tissue down there to stop any leakages.  As you could see the tissue through it I had to make sure the pashmina was covering me at all times.

All was fine for a while and no one noticed a thing.  I was on the home straight with only a few races to go.

It was the last race of the day and we were all stood amongst the crowd waiting for the horses to start.  I felt a wet patch and thought at first someone was dripping their drink on me as it was busy.   But no it wasn't.  My right breast had decided to leak through the tissue, through my top and through the pashmina.  And not just a little bit, a lot.  Luckily everyone was too engrossed in the last race to notice me but I did notice a few people glancing my direction.

I am going to start weaning Mads soon and slowly I will start to wean her off me and on to follow on milk.  Hopefully just in time for when summer actually begins!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Whats in a name?

One of the first important responsibilities as new parents to be is to decide (without fighting) on a name for your new bundle of joy.

I think it is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly.  After all your new 'Princess Tiaamii' or 'Apple' is going to have to live with their new name for the rest of their lives.

We made the choice to find out the sex of our baby at the 20 week scan.  We thought it would be easier then to decide on a name if we knew what 'flavour' we were having.  Unfortunately not.  We still couldn't agree on a suitable name for our new baby girl.  Millie, Isabella, Charlotte and Madeleine were our top contenders, however in the end we had 99% settled on Madeleine before she was born.

When you are pregnant everyone wants to put their two pennies worth in about your own personal decisions.  First everyone wants to know whether you will find out the sex and gives their opinions on what you should do.  Next people want to know what names you have thought of.  I have friends who have not mentioned any names until the baby has been born in order to keep it a surprise but we did tell a few people our shortlist.  Most people told us their favourite off the list and that was it.  However I did tell one guy I worked with that one of our favourite names was Madeleine.  He turned to me and said 'Oh don't call her that, she will be forever associated with Madeleine McCann.'

He really upset me.  If I had told him that after she had been born, I am sure he wouldn't have dreamt of saying that so why say it to me before?  Why do people find it necessary to give their opinions to a very personal decision?

I have always loved the name Madeleine and one imbecile almost stopped us calling our daughter a name we both loved and agreed on.  I know I shouldn't have cared what he thought but I started to question whether others would think this as well.

If no one ever called a baby a name of a celebrity/historical figure/person from their past then there wouldn't be many names left.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I know that not everyone will agree on names, but I think for our next baby we will keep quiet about what we are calling them until they are actually born.

According to Bounty the top girl's name for 2010 was Olivia and the top boy's name was Jack.  Madeleine didn't make the top 100 but Katie was No 20.  At least I can say to her that her Mummy is still trendy in some respects!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Flashback Friday- Cluck Cluck

So it's Flashback Friday time again and I have decided after my post yesterday about how I 'Used to be Cool' (not really!!) I would write about the memory of the last drunken night out I had with all my friends- my hen do.

My hen weekend was in November 2009.  We got married a month afterwards in December and then I fell pregnant in the March, so it was my last real night out with my girl friends. 

My bridesmaids and another one of my good friends had the task of planning my hen do.  I had no strict requirements so I ultimately let them decide, the only thing I wanted was for it to be a surprise.

I knew that we were going to Newcastle but apart from that I knew none of the other details until we got there.

My friends totally surpassed themselves and I couldn't have asked for a better 'last weekend of freedom.'

They had hired us a penthouse apartment in Newcastle and on the Friday night we decided that we were just going to have a couple of drinks and a girls night in chatting and reminising.

It started off that way...

However it soon progressed to us deciding it would be a good idea to go out into Newcastle city centre in our pj's.

This is how our 'quiet' night in ended up.

The next day they told me that we were going to do a secret activity.  This turned out to be pole dancing.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have absolutely no rhythm or coordination so I was a little nervous about the whole experience.  However the instructor was really good fun and we all had to dress up in the costumes that she provided.  I got the 'bride' outfit which looked like something the Bride of Frankenstein wouldn't even be seen dead in.

I can definitely say that pole dancing was not my forte!

On the Saturday evening my bridesmaids presented us with coloured tights and we all wore black dresses.  We had some cocktails in our apartment and they organised me a 'Mr and Mrs' quiz.  They had already asked Mr E some questions and we had to see if our answers matched.  I am pleased to say I did quite well.

We all went out again, first to a teppenyaki restaurant which was really nice and then to a karaoke bar, where we managed to get the whole bar up and dancing on the tables!  We then went and danced the night away in a cheesy nightclub.  (The last time I was in a nightclub!)

This is how the second night ended.  The perils of high heels!

All in all it was a fabulous weekend and it made me realise how lucky I am to have such brilliant friends.  Unfortunately none of them live near me since we moved, a lot are in London, and a lot are up North but we talk on the phone all the time, and they really are the best friends I could ask for.  We all are at such different stages in our lives, some are married with children, some are in long term relationships, some are single, some are travelling, some are working, but I know that if I needed them they would be there in a flash.

I enjoy nights like this occasionally but it has been so long now, I think I would be tucked up in bed after one glass of wine!  

Now head over to Karin's abode and check out some more...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

We used to be cool...honest!

We went out for dinner last night to celebrate my Mum's birthday and were having a jokey discussion with my sister and stepsister and her boyfriend about how we honestly 'used to be cool!'  My step sister used to live in America until a year ago so we have only known her and her boyfriend since she moved back to the UK.  When she first arrived I was 12 weeks pregnant so she has only ever known me as a Mum to be and a Mummy.

I was joking around with them all and saying that when Mr E and I met we honestly were good fun!  It was all said in jest but it did get me thinking.  Has parenthood changed us?

Take a look at these two photos.

The first one is when Mr E and I first got together.  Life was just one big haze of pulling all nighters, drinking far too much, and having no cares in the world except which outfit to wear on a night out and which cocktail to choose.  I was working in a bar having finished university and was just enjoying myself.  We had no responsibilities.  I lived in a gorgeous rented flat in Leeds city centre and all my money went on clothes, alcohol and going out to nice restaurants.  

The second one was taken on Mother's Day just recently.  Life is now completely different.  We have a lot of responsibilities, we are parents, we have a huge mortgage and money is tight because all our wages go on paying our outgoing bills.  We both have different jobs, I am an account manager (when not on maternity leave eating cake) and Mr E is a web designer.  I get tipsy after a glass of wine and I haven't been in a nightclub for well over a year.  I can't remember the last time I was outrageously drunk.

We have physically changed in the photos.  

Six years has passed and we look older.  My hair is not so shiny and long and I have realised that sunbeds are bad for you.  Mr E's hair is going a little thin up top. (He told me yesterday he reads my blog at work so I need to be careful what I say!)  We both have added a few pounds to our waistlines!  

But its not the physical differences that I am talking about.

Its the emotional changes that you can't see.

Have we changed since having our beautiful Mads?  The answer is yes we have.  Not in a bad way, just different.  And not really since having our daughter, just since 'growing up' and having responsibilities.  
We don't have the money to go out all the time.  And I most certainly wouldn't want to anymore.  I would much prefer to go out and have dinner in a nice restaurant than go to a nightclub.  I would still like to buy lots of clothes but now I enjoy buying them for Mads even more.  

I do worry that we don't get to have time as a couple as much anymore but we are lucky that my Mum loves babysitting Mads so we try and go out for a drink for an hour once a week.  Life gets in the way and we don't have much disposable income but buying our home is helping us secure our future.  Compared to a lot of people we are very lucky that we have managed to get on the property ladder so we shouldn't complain.  In a few years once we change our mortgage deal we will be in a fortunate position so its just a case of muddling along financially until then.  We get tired, we snap at each other occasionally but we are so lucky.

Lucky to have such a beautiful girl, lucky to have a fabulous home, lucky to have a supportive family and lucky to have each other.

Yes a Slippery Nipple is more likely to be something to do with breastfeeding than an alcoholic shot these days but I wouldn't change it for the world.

However I know what we used to get up too, so when we have these discussions in the future I can safely relax in the knowledge that we did 'use to be cool!'

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Gallery- My Blog

This weeks Gallery is the theme 'My Blog.'

I am very new to the world of blogging, having only had my blog for around a month.  However even in the first week I was enjoying it so much I knew that it was going to be a big part of my life.
I have always enjoyed writing but since having Mads 16 weeks ago, I decided that I wanted a place to document her life growing up and a means to chat to other people going through the same experiences as me.

When I first started it was really going to be just a place for me to write, I had no idea about the world of parent blogging but after starting to look at some blogs online as inspiration, I realised just how many mummy and daddy bloggers there were out there, and that was it, I was hooked.

Primarily this is the reason why I blog!  For my little family.  To document my daughters life as she grows up.  For me.  I find it therapeutic typing away and socialising with other mummy bloggers.  I want to make friends.  I want people to accept me.

I love it when my blog gets comments and I love getting followers.  Its nice to know that people are reading what I am writing and when they comment it is even nicer because it means I have written something that they want to reply too.

I want to shout to the world how much I love my little family and I want to learn from other more experienced mummies about how to raise my daughter and what has worked for them.

I know just from being part of this world for a few weeks that it is a very close knit community but I hope that I will be able to be a part of it.

If I can achieve these things from 'My Blog' then I will be a very happy girl.

Grandma or Nursery?

Although it is only April it is soon going to be time for me to think about my plans for when I go back to the dreaded word beginning with W and ending in K.  I am still desperately trying to look for a job that enables me to work from home, but unfortunately all the jobs that are more flexible don't make enough money for me to cover my part of our outgoings.

I am also hoping to work part-time if my work will let me, but even then it is going to be a stretch.  However at the moment it works out more financially viable for us if I work part-time rather than full-time due to the ever increasing costs of childcare.

I was interested to read an article on the Ask a Mum website titled 'Do we rely on 'super grandparents too much for our children's childcare?'  The article basically states that on average four million grandparents in the UK are providing at least 10 hours childcare a week for their grandchildren.

We currently have this dilemma at the moment so I was really interested in reading more about it.  My Mum presently doesn't work and has said that she will quite happily have Mads if I went back to work three days a week.  

The problem is I don't want this.  Sure it would help us out financially as childcare is so expensive.  But when I think back to my childhood we saw one set of Grandparents about once every two weeks and the others a lot less because they lived further away.  I was always so excited to see both sets because it was a treat to go round there, and because I was their Grandchild and we didn't see each other a lot, I got spoilt, both in presents and attention.  I can remember my Nana playing jewellery shops with me for hours and my other Grandma making cakes with me.

I worry that if Mads goes to my Mums all the time then it will ruin the special time that she will have with her Grandma.  Don't get me wrong, she will have an amazing bond with her anyway because my Mum adores her and sees her most days at the moment anyway, but I never want it to have to be a chore for my Mum.  She keeps saying that she would never be a chore and she would love to have her, but this is just my personal choice.

I don't know what is going to happen in regards to my work but as it stands at the moment I would ideally like Mads to go to her Grandma once a week and into a nursery the rest of the time.  This means she can socialise with other children and become independent but also have a wonderful day with her Grandma that she will look forward too and so will my Mum.

I can understand why Grandparent's are being used for childcare a lot more in this current economic climate and my Mum can't understand why I don't want Mads to go to her more, especially as I am concerned about the nurseries in my area.  But it will be nice to have the balance between the two.

Or alternatively I will win the lottery and I can stay with her myself!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Should I be made to feel uncomfortable?

There is one thing that I have a real issue with when it comes to taking Mads out and about.

If she cries...

Unfortunately she is a ticking time bomb and can cry at any opportunity.  She generally is a good little girl but like all babies, can occasionally have grumpy days.  (Can't we all!)   

The other day I went out for lunch with my Mum to a nice pub.  I don't get to spend much quality time with her so I was really looking forward to relaxing with a glass of wine and having a chat.  As soon as we walked in I noticed that it was rather busy.  Mads was asleep in her pram and we sat down opposite a large group of about fifteen older ladies.  Straight away I clocked them and mentioned to my mum that I hoped Mads didn't wake up.

We received our main meals and unfortunately Mads did wake up.  However she woke up in a great mood and was smiling and giggling away.  She was due a feed and fortunately I had bought a bottle of expressed milk with me, so as I was having risotto and my Mum was having a salad, she said she would feed her while I finished my lunch.

She wolfed down her bottle and then I think she got some trapped wind.   She started whinging a little, literally just a small amount.  I am perfectly happy to admit when she is being a terror and she can scream the house down when she wants too, but this literally was the tiniest whimper which lasted about three seconds.  I was facing the group of ladies and as soon as she did it I turned my attention to them because I could see them all looking at each other.  I noticed that a couple of them tutted and rolled their eyes.

I felt so uncomfortable and said to my Mum that I would take her outside.  She told me not too, that she was fine and she wasn't making a noise at this point.

I carried on eating my lunch and Mads was as good as gold perching on my Mum's shoulder.  My Mum then went to move her on to the other shoulder and she whimpered again and then stopped.  Again I saw the same couple of ladies in the group look at each other and tut.  One actually whispered 'This is enjoyable over lunch,' it was loud enough for me to hear.

I got up and took Mads while my mum finished her meal and as I stood up I caught one of the ladies eyes.  This actually was one of the nicer ones who had smiled at me when we arrived.  I turned to her and apologised if we were disturbing their lunch.  She smiled and said 'Oh don't worry at all, she is being a very good girl, I haven't heard a peep out of her.'  She then started chatting to Mads and cooing over her.  They then all started asking me about how old she was, what was her name etc.  The two women that had tutted then at least had the decency to look down at their dinner plates.

The whole situation made me feel really uncomfortable and really made me wonder about these ladies.  I am a polite person and would never even dream of saying something to anyone but they made me really cross.  I am sure that they had children or grandchildren themselves and I wonder how they would feel if someone was making their daughter feel uncomfortable.

Doesn't a baby have just as much right to eat her lunch as they do?

I could understand if she was screaming the place down, but she barely made a whimper.  Unfortunately there are always going to be people like this around and I think that we all need to remember that we were all babies once.

Rant over!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

All about ME!

I have been tagged by Mammy Dolittle in the Question and Answers meme that's going around from The Guardian.

Without further ado here goes....

Which living person do I most admire and why?

I admire my mum more than anyone else.  Not for what she has done career wise, but for what she has sacrificed over the years for me and my sister.  She has not been very happy in relationships which is such a shame, but even though she has been hurt terribly she will always put us first.  I do not go a day without speaking to her and I only hope that I can be as good a mummy to Mads as she has been to me. 

When were you happiest?

I have been the happiest since I met my husband as we go through the course of our lives together.  We met during a real crazy, party stage of ours, where all our nights were spent getting drunk and not going to sleep.  We then grew up and got a mortgage and got married which was just the most amazing day of my life.  Now we have Mads and our journey has taken a completely different path.  Different but still happy.  I am so lucky.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

One of my most embarrassing moments has to be when I was at university.  After having a few too many drinks I challenged one of my friends to a race through Leeds city centre.  (In heels I might add!)  We were running and I didn't realise that there was a bus stop with the clear plastic sides, I ran straight into it and knocked myself out.  Mortifying. 

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought? 

Our wedding and honeymoon.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have three.  All of my photos.  I have millions from throughout the years as I am forever taking pictures.  Secondly my cuddly rabbit which I have had since the day I was born.  Thirdly is a letter my Dad wrote to me on my wedding day.

Where would you like to live?

I would like to live where we are now, but in a large house mortgage free.  Or I have always fancied living by the seaside but I would miss my family too much.
What’s your favourite smell?

I love the smell of vanilla and baby talcum powder.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I don't particularly look like any actress so I would have to say Natalie Portman just because I think she is an amazing actress.  (Believe me don't get any ideas that I look like her....we couldn't look less alike!)

What is your favourite book?

I love all the Roald Dahl books because they remind me of my childhood.  Recently I would say 'The Lovely Bones' and 'Room.'  I don't know if it is because I am a new mother but I was mesmirised by 'Room' and the way in which the author wrote about maternal love.
What is your most unappealing habit?

I say 'What was I going to say?'  all the time.  Its like my brain doesn't connect with my mouth sometimes.
What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

I love any fancy dress.  I am going to a hen weekend in a few weeks and the theme is 'sexy ladybirds.'  Not great when you still have a baby tummy!

What is your earliest memory?

Falling through a window when I was three.  My babysitter was looking after me and I ran to her to ask her to read me a 'Thomas the Tank Engine book.'  I went to jump over the dog and as I did he stood up and I smashed through a glass window.  I remember them rushing me to hospital and I can still see the blood.  They stitched me up and called my Grandma because in those days they didn't have a mobile phone number to get hold of my mum.  I remember sitting on her knee and eating smarties.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Chocolate buttons.

What do you owe your parents?

Everything.  Their whole life they have put me before anything.  I can never thank them enough.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

No one in particular, I would like to think if I have ever done wrong by anyone, that I have apologized already.  I am not perfect but if I have done something to upset someone I hope that I have made it up to them.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband. 

What does love feel like?

Love is waking up everyday and looking at your family and just feeling like the luckiest person in the world.  I would do anything for them.  That's love.

What was the best kiss of your life?

All the one's with my hubby.  And the first time I kissed my daughter.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

'What was I going to say?' 'Sorry.' 'Clutching at straws.'

What is the worst job you’ve done?

I worked in a factory when I was 18 to earn some money before university, I had to package Game Boy games.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?

Not chopped and changed in my career so much.  I still don't know what I want to do.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?

I have never come really close to death.  

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My daughter.

When did you last cry, and why?

The other evening, we couldn't settle Mads and she was crying a very strange painful cry and nothing we could do would comfort her.  I panicked and didn't like it so I got a bit upset.

How do you relax?

Sauvignon Blanc, a nice bath with candles and a good book, and a nice massage from Mr E.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

More money.  I know they say money doesn't buy happiness but I am already happy as it is, the only thing that ever causes stress is money.  We both earn reasonable money but we have a large mortgage and other outgoings.  I would love to win enough to move to a bigger house, pay off my mortgage and do a job that I really enjoy without having to worry that I am not making enough money.  Or I would like to own my own business.  Money would also enable me to stay off work until Mads is ready to go to school.  That would be amazing.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Find a career that motivates you.  And tell your family you love them everyday.

OK so apologies if you have already been tagged but I am going to tag-

Mummy and the beastie

Mummy Loves

I would really like to know more about both of you!