Monday, 31 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday (31/12/12)

Back on the weight loss bandwagon 'alledgedly' to see in the New Year with a healthy start, this weeks menu is gravitating towards slimming world. Seeing as 2012 saw me gain a stone, I probably need to read the books again as clearly whatever I was doing last year didn't work a fig....

Anyway, here's our first week and remember to check what Mrs M's got cooking over at her page.

Monday - spaghetti bolognese using the leftovers from yesterdays stew
Tuesday- a big old roast for my big old appetite.... plenty of good veg to balance it out though!
Wednesday - Beans on toast
Thursday - Pasta with whatever I can lay my hands on to make a sauce
Friday - Grace and the Husband are having pizza, I'm off over to Sharon and Tania's for a girls night in and a steaming great big bowl of homemade chili.
Saturday - Vegetable chili from the freezer and rice
Sunday - Shepherds pie

Looking at my use of words like 'great big bowl' and 'big old roast' I can see why I put a stone on this past year. Probably given a helping hand by my lack of exercise in the second half of the year.... something to be addressed for 2013 I think. I don't like to make resolutions as I rarely stick to them, but one things for sure, I need to eat less and exercise more next year. Wish me luck!

What are you putting on the table this week?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Trend setter

Opting to put her vest on upside down this morning, Grace proves she's a trend setter.

Stepping out in M&S cotton with lace trim, she show off the latest in designer toddler fashion before being chased round the bedroom by a rushed Mother trying to voice reason and I hear myself saying things like "you're not leaving my house dressed like that..."

One leg into each arm and the waist up under her armpits, this curly haired beauty is set to give the catwalk a run for it's money. Fortunately, bribery comes cheap in the fashion industry and a Mother triumphs, swapping the upside down number for a chocolate mouse. In no time at all I've rejigged the vest and we're on track for a fully dressed Grace. And all before dawn. A real trend setter!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Moments like these

With the excesses of Christmas already nagging at my waistline, I'm breathing in and soldiering on as every good Mother and Wife must. To purge we took advantage of a break in the bleak mid-winter gloom to get out for a breath of fresh air in the, erm, fresh air.

It was a glorious day, brilliant sunshine and lots of muddy puddles for Grace to splash up and down in. Cue long afternoon nap from a well worn out little toddler (and Husband)! In the moment in between I've been mulling over all the good things in our lives and how something as simple as a walk in the park can lift ones spirits.

It's been a fickle year. I've been made redundant, a process that left me shell shocked despite having the foresight to see it coming. I've been fortunate to find another job to start straight away but the adjustment is hard when I spent so long in my last. I'm sure I'm going through a mini-mourning for my old workmates and banter! I know the period of change has come as blow to Daisy-woof as well who had enjoyed playing with other dogs all day long for a living and now has to make do with a dog walker, albeit a very good one. And the Husband has lost the indulgence of sleeping in until 7am now that we have to exercise the dog before the work day so he's been out in all weathers jogging the dog the minute the alarm goes off at 5.50am, tiptoeing out of the house trying not to disturb a sleeping toddler.

Grace has breezed through the year, taking nursery in her stride and taking learnings from every waking day. She's accomplished a lot in 2012.... walking, talking, potty training.... singing ('the bingbong song', 'twinkle twinkle little star', 'baa baa black sheep' are on repeat)..... dancing (her firm favourite Gotye's hit 'somebody that I used to know' when it comes on the radio).... and books - reading lots of wonderful stories to fire her imagination. Drawing and painting has come top of her list of enjoyable passtimes and I can see now she's likely to be a leftie. Mummy's little artiste. She's coming on a treat.

So with all the happenings this year, it's nice to find the odd hour to go out as a family to enjoy something simple like walking the dog and splashing in puddles. It clears your mind.

Or at least it helps!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

A 'little deer teddy' from Santa
Santa's been!


Time out after all the unwrapping

Merry Christmas, time for bed

Monday, 24 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday (24/12/12)

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas..... the fridge is full, thanks to Asda home delivery (and a very random set of substitutions), the wrapping is done, and Grace is on track to experience the merriment of Santa. She's still bubbling with enthusiasm after sitting through the Festival of Lessons and Carols at our church last night, a giddy kipper indeed. I'm feeling very rotund after trying to alleviate my toddlers temptation by snaffling all the chocolate in the house she is being given, and yet there is still enough sugar in her goody box to fuel Santa's sleigh tonight. Turkey is a given this week... wouldn't be Christmas without it! So what's cooking?

Christmas Eve - a fajita bonanza.... it's going to be very messy with Grace in full control of loading her fajitas, so looking forward to our Christmas Eve tradition!

Christmas Day - turkey (of course) with all the trimmings. I'd be a fool not to!

Boxing Day - turkey, sausage and cranberry casserole - done in the slow cooker so I can sit back and enjoy with the in-laws.... hopefully!

27th - a day of rest while I ship Matt the Husband off to work and sit back and have a duvet day with Grace enjoying some of her presents. We're dining on pasta carbonara and garlic ciabatta crafted with my very own hands. Mmmmm.

28th - we're heading off to my cousin Christina's for the day so I'm sure we'll be feasting on a delightful menu painstakingly prepared by my aunty Mina, with a twist of the Greek heritage.

29th - traditional Hungarian goulash, a real belly warmer.

30th - stew and dumplings... haven't you noticed my love of anything comforting at this time of year?

So that's it. Christmas is on the doorstep, New Years Day is around the corner AND summer is on it's way! Hurrah!!! Yep, the shortest day has been and gone so I'm dusing off my flip flops and getting in the mood for better weather. Merry Christmas everyone!

Chin chin!


For more meal time inspiration, head on over to Mrs M's page here

Sunday, 23 December 2012

At times like this

At times like this with Christmas around the corner it's refreshing to see we can take pleasures from the simple things in life. Take a brown envelope. Ignore the fact I've had to traipse to the local post sorting office to pay £1.09 in underpaid postage to take receipt of said envelope, and we're granted with a wonderful opportunity. The look of wonder on Grace's face when we're handed the envelope, containing nothing more than some forms from our bank to sign. The excitement is in the opening, the rifling through the paperwork to see if there is anything else of interest, and the creation of a wizards hat using nothing more than a few carefully crafted rips and tears.

With Christmas around the corner, it's feels good to know that if we had nothing but a brown envelope to our name, Grace would be content. Everything she needs is in the excitement of her imagination, and ours. Of course we have a few little surprises for Christmas Day, things she will enjoy and appreciate... and seeing her today makes me relax in the comfort of the knowledge that we didn't need to spend an arm and a leg to see her smile on Christmas morning.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Little Miss Independant

When Grace went to Daisychain nursery for the last time, my heart broke just a little bit. For nearly two years she has been going, her home away from home. She loved it, and I loved that she loved it. She's learnt so much from them, not least of all how to start out in life being little miss independant.

"Gracie do it!" has become one of the most-heard phrases in our house.

Take the bedtime story for instance. We have been reading "We're going on bear hunt" since it was passed down to us from a good friend of mine just after Grace came into the world. She knows it, the way it rolls, whats on the next page. I didn't realise how soon it would be before she started telling us... "No Mummy, Gracie read it!"

Of course she's not actually reading, she's recalling the pattern of the words, remembering the pictoral cues on each page. Nevertheless, my little miss independant is pretty darn good!

"Going on a bear hunt.... big one... not scared.... beautiful day"
"Grass! Swishy swashy, swishy swashy!"
"Going on a bear hunt.... big one... not scared... beautiful day"
"Mud! Squelch squerch!"

it goes on, through the snowstorm, through the river, through the dark wood....

"stumble trip, stumble trip"

to the cave

"dark cave, not scared. Tiptoe tiptoe. It's a bear! Raaaaaaaaaaa!" she mimics a bear at this point, claws ready to pounce!

"quick! back home, upstairs, door, stairs, bed"
"no bear hunt again"

I'd video or soundbite it, but I'm not allowed. Little miss independant tells me "No Mummy. Away!"
So I put the smartphone away. I've been told.

And I ask her, has Mummy told you she loves you today?

"Yes Mummy. Love you too. Gracie do it".

And we both go to bed.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday (17/12/12)

It's been so long since I sat and thought about the week ahead - starting a new job is soooooo tiring! Anyway, here we are a month in, and I'm getting back on track for meal planning monday with Mrs M....

  • Monday - chorizo and bean chili
  • Tuesday - I'm being fed at a regional meeting so there's some pasta sauce in the freeze for the Husband and Grace.
  • Wednesday - Mexican rice, ham and brocolli
  • Thursday - Sausage, mash, peas and gravy
  • Friday - Chickpea curry
  • Saturday - Bacon & mushroom risotto
  • Sunday - Sausage and three bean casserole (just realised we're having sausages twice this week but my thinking cap has been filed for the week so we'll just have to grin and bear it!!)
I'm most looking forward to the bacon and mushroom risotto this week as I haven't done it before. Grace likes all the ingredients, just be interesting to see what she makes of it all thrown together in a dish!

What are you planning this week?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Bar

It's not often you find Grace and me behind the lens of the camera together. I try to avoid it, much to my Husbands annoyance. Nevertheless, here's one for the album. Beautiful but nippy out this morning at Newmillar Dam, Grace ate more bread than she fed to the ducks and seemed to enjoy spotting the blue lights on the passing ambulance more exciting than tossing crumbs to the critters.
I'm over my blue fit earlier in the week over her singing Twinkle Twinkle and making it 'her own'. SiCo would be proud, as would every other x-factor judge that has ever been. Taking a classic song, and making it your own. That's my girl.

So I'm listening to the sound of Father - Daughter cameraderie during bathtime, while I amused myself washing dishes in the kitchen. Proud to hear her singing along to whatever nursery rhyme took her fancy. Then I hear 'twinkle twinkle chocolate bar....'

I stop to listen. The Husband sounds confused. (It doesn't take much, nursery rhymes are tricky).

'Daddy drives a rusty car....'
'Turn the engine, pull the choke'
'Off we go in a puff of smoke.....'

Hm. Money well spent at nursery it seems.

On speaking to other parents in the same situation, it's common. They are conspiring against us. They are now, officially off my Christmas List. Hmph.

Today saw for me the first frozen lake of the season, it will have frozen earlier in the week and is thawing since the mercury has risen a few notches overnight.

Here is Grace spotting the flashing blue lights..... ne-nar, ne-nar, ne-nar!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Full steam ahead!

Apparently I am a very poor judge of time. Talking to my good friend Frances on the phone last week, I was telling her how it must be a good 20 years since I'd sat on Santa's knee on a Santa Special at Nene Valley Steam Railway. She chuckled. As a lanky teenager, sitting on Santa's knee with my 16th birthday looming was the last thing on my 'things to do near Christmas' list.

In making that closer to 30 years, we went on a trip down memory lane...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Let battle commence!

 Each day a new battle. A battle of the wills. A battle of the patience. A battle of the fashion sense even. None of which I seem to be capable of winning. So I'm just going with it. Blue it seems, does in fact go with green.

"Gracie do it!" has become the phrase of the moment. Be that dressing (her first full outfit yesterday, very proud moment), preparing a sandwich or completing an expenses claim in a mad dash to meet the cut-off. Yep, "Gracie do it".

This brings with it it's own challenges, the main one being time. Of which I never had much of, and since going back to work full time has become less and less. Trying to squeeze everything into that minute space between Grace going to bed and me going to bed is becoming tougher. So sometimes its best just to say to hell with it all, and pack up the car for an outing. Life can be tiring at times, obliging everyone else and their needs, and sometimes it needs to be more about the toddler. So we scrapped our to-do list and went to The Deep for a fleeting visit yesterday, amidst the chaos of family life on a shoestring. The only problem being who was going to drive... Gracie do it.


Friday, 30 November 2012


Sound asleep last night, I'm aware of Grace calling from her bedroom.... "Poo, Daddy Bear! Poo!"
Nudging the snoring being next to me, I point out that although I'm now awake, it's not me being summoned by the Little One. "Daddy Bear! Door open! Poo!"

Continuing Potty Development.

It seems Grace has made the transition to a stage where she wants to be clean at night as well as during the day.... something to celebrate for sure. Just not in the small hours when really at the moment I'd probably rather she just crapped in her pull-ups.

Night all x

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dry seven

Celebrating Grace being dry on the potty for seven days on the trot, I'm so proud how quickly she's cottoned on to what it's all about. We didn't quite make the 3 day potty training technique I mentioned a few weeks ago but to be fair, we did it in 7 days, so I really really can't complain. Go Grace!! Proud as we are, she has a little sticker chart on the fridge now and is filling it up with stickers everytime she keeps herself clean and dry.... she's one happy little girl.

In reward for her efforts she's plastered in little red spots so it looks like chickenpox has come to visit. HE moves in mysterious ways!!

Must dash, off to catch the chemist before it closes for some calamine lotion. Byeeee....

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My giddy aunt

So it turns out that my aunt isn't giddy, and neither am I as it happens. Nevertheless sometimes one does have to sit back and take stock. Taking stock done, I'm wondering how on earth I used to blog nearly every day, somedays even twice? How time flies. Or rather how life passes us by.

But let's not be picky, I've had a busy few weeks since saying goodbye to all my work mates and friends at work, closing the door on a chapter of my life that's taken up a quarter of it (scary thought) and sitting on my backside for four weeks watching daytime tele, walking the dog and generally being slothenly... garden leave has its perks. I've never been paid for being slothenly before.

Mores the point, I've never been made redundant before, and great timing too right before Christmas. Lucky for me, I've been in my new job a week and every day now I'm hearing from more and more work mates who are starting other jobs or have them in the pipeline. Bad times, good times, it's turning around. Redundancy pay has been and gone, threw the chunk at the bank to pay off some credit that has seen both me and Matt the Husband walking around with a spring in our step until we had the car serviced and it needed two tyres, a cambelt and a bit of TLC and I though to myself, f***ing typical - should have kept some of that cash back. It was nice while it lasted.

Grace has settled into her new routine already, flitting from day to day without a care in the world. The bags under her eyes this morning tell the true picture though as she adjusts to three and a half days in nursery and the rest with Grandma. She's  had a great week with the Children in Need activities going on, fancy dress, painting, baking. One happy child. Even ballet in her PJs... felt like I had a teenager on my hands already.

The dog is a little more unsettled as we haven't quite figured out a routine for her yet. My induction period for work is being held mostly off patch so the travelling even after one week has left me knackered and the dog in a position where she doesn't know what day it is. Still next week might bring better things, I'm trying to get her into a doggy daycare not far from us where she can run amock with 3 other dogs, have two walks and probably get lots of cuddles from Sally the woman who runs it too. Fingers crossed we can get her in there two days a week, as for me, its so important for D-Woof to keep up her social life and not turn into a hermit like her Mum.

Talking of which, Mum, get well soon x x

Back to Yorkshire again, sorry I diverted there, and I'm seeing lots of promise in this new job. It's a new role that's been created and between now and the end of the year I can work with my counterpart to shape it ready for going live in January. Exciting times. Spare a thought for me though. I'm driving a hire car at the moment, and found myself running on fumes because I couldn't figure out how to open the petrol cap. Damn you Chrysler.

After all that jazz, I'm ready for a sit down. Pity the house needs cleaning and I have a mountain of batch cooking to tackle. Toodle-oo!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Picture me on Monday, doing a dance around the kitchen when I realise we've got through the day... dry AND clean. Three wee's and a poop on the potty. Not one change of clothes. Happy? I may even have raised a glass (or two) of wine in celebration.

This is the high.

Tuesday formed the low, several misses, and a washing machine wondering what's happened that warrants a mid-week load. Hmph just about summed it up.

Today? Today is a mid-roader. Not bouncing off the walls, but considering Grace has been in nursery all day today, I'm satisfied with her 50% hit rate. Talking of 50%, I'm off to nail the rest of that bottle that I opened on our 'dry day'. Might as well get the mid-week sip of vino off of my chest before starting the new job on Monday..... good times are a coming!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

4 days in...

I have run a marathon. Not literally, but definitely metaphorically. I have not let Grace out of my sight for four days on the trot, and I am what you might call bushed. On Thursday, we started out on our potty training journey and you might remember me saying how we were using a 3-day technique which I wrote about here.

Safe to say, we are on track, though clearly there is more to be said for being 'potty trained' than a few well timed wee's on the pot. That said here's a run down for anyone that's interested...

Day One - 5 misses, 1 hit.
Day Two - 3 misses, 1 hit.
Day Three - 1 miss, 3 hits.
Day Four - 1 miss, 1 hit.

Around that, we have cheated a little by letting Grace wear a nappy in bed at night and when she day time naps. Needless to say, poops on the potty are uncharted territory as she has managed to do these in the nappy every day. Some bridges still to cross I think!

It's been hard going, tiring. Grace has been very keen to please, and this had led to a lot (and I mean a lot) of false starts. Time spent running for the potty from her cries of 'wee wee' only to have a dry run. It's been worth is though. She has definitely twigged that she needs to tell us when she needs to go so we can get to the potty to keep her pants dry. Reward stickers all round.

Tomorrow the real world starts. She's off to Grandma's in the morning so I have the perilous car journey to make in rush hour, via the station.... we'll be on the road about 40 minutes and I'm so tempted to put a nappy on just to make life simple but I WILL NOT. I will not cave!! It would just send mixed signals to her and I want to build on the successes we've had the last few days. It will come. She'll learn to tell me when to pull over for a road-side bio break. I'm dreading it. A spare potty potty is in the car ready so I have no excuses.

And then on Tuesday and Wednesday this week she's back in nursery... how will they cope with her crying wolf? Even I've been a bit frustrated at it.

Anyway, Grace has gone to bed early. I'm in need of some much needed feet up on the sofa time. Night all x

Friday, 2 November 2012

News just in

Amidst a busy week juggling garden leave with the mad dash of taking Matt the Husband to the station in the morning, I have found time to start potty training the little one. A bit like my life, I've turned my back on the conventional and instead chosen something a little more oooo. Setting aside a few days where I could commit to being home all day to concentrate on things, Grace started out yesterday morning, day one, without a nappy. No nappy, just big girl pants. And instead of getting her to sit on the potty to 'try' every half hour or so, we're going with a method set out in an e-book by Lora Jensen called 3 Day Potty Training....

.... we remind Grace to let us know if she needs a wee or a poo, and we praise her for keeping her big girl pants dry. On repeat. Like every five minutes. Again and again and again. And the minute we see her start to wee, we run the gauntlet to the potty so she can finish (hopefully) on it, followed by praise and the reminder she needs to let us know when she needs a wee so she can go to the potty and keep her big girl pants dry - because wet pants is yucky!

.... we've just finished day two. Thus far, I'm glad to have waders and a shovel in my arsenal. One full wee on the potty (yay!!!) and one dribble. Many on the floor and nothing to report on the poo-bomb. I'm looking forward to day three. Grace definitely seemed to know what was expected. I was a bit miffed when she did a wee in the bath today as we didn't get to practice after the success of her potty-hit before her afternoon nap. Hey ho. All in a days work. Anyway, wish us luck!!

Another new thing for Grace this week is talking on the phone. She likes to phone her Nanny and Grandpa in Norfolk.... tonight Grandpa was asleep, so Grace was telling Nanny about her day, and singing Twinkle twinkle little star.... too cute!

I'll be checking back in with a progress report in a day or two, there's the weekend left to get the potty training under her belt before back to childcare on Monday.... let's go Grace, I've got everything crossed.

If you're interested in the method described, go to Lora's website here

Monday, 29 October 2012


That sinking feeling flooded over me, as I sat listening to Mummy's little angel perfecting the delivery of her expletives...

"Bitch-tits Mummy!" she smiles at me sweetly.

I'm aghast. I'm not perfect, I know it. I swear occasionally. I try not to do it within earshot of Grace, but I'm no angel. And now seemingly, neither is Grace.

"Bitch-tits Mummy!" Grace says nicely, pulling me by the hand towards the kitchen.

Distraught at the gritty realisation that my little poppet has not only picked up swearing, she's doing it 'new age', I tell her in no uncertain terms that she mustn't say words she doesn't understand.

"Yes Mummy," she replies and looks a little confused and drags me to the cupboard. I'm still smarting at my parenting failures, when she opens the cupboard and pulls out the packet on the bottom shelf. "Bitch-tits. Please Mummy?"

Merrily munching on a Rich Tea Finger, she toddles off to play with her tea set.


Age is creeping up on me. I'm clearly bloody deaf.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Who shrunk Boris?

I have many aspirations for Grace as she grows up, although I'd never given much thought to a career as a celebrity double. Walking through the park yesterday gathering leaves and digging for moles, I realised with dismay that her windswept bed-head mop of hair reminded me somewhat of Boris Johnson. (Does one call the mayor of London a celeb?)

After taking a photo to prove the fact, I made sure she kept her hat on the rest of the walk, telling her she had more chance of catching a mole if she did so. Like most parents I'm happy for my child to go forth and prosper in whatever course her life takes. But Boris? Seriously? Not on my watch.

The moment I spotted Boris....

With hat to hide the fact...

Sitting in a tree...

Taking me at my word, digging for moles...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Star curry

Some serious heart warming curry on the menu for Grace's supper.... laden with veggie goodness, butternut and aubergine with a peanut, coconut and red chili sauce. Mm-mmmm. Needless to say this went down like a treat until she happened across a rather large chunky of chili that had seemingly missed my ninja style chopping during prep. Bad mummy!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mini Matisse

Bored to tears on my second day of garden leave found me delving into the cupboards to dig out some messy play for Grace. Kitted out with a very funky Hungry Caterpillar apron, rollers and easy-grip brushes, Grace got down with the paint and came up with some little gems. Mummy's little Matisse.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Back with aplomb

I blinked. It's almost a month since I've felt inclined to blog, Grace has learnt so many new things and before I even noticed I realised I've been distant (if not absent!). Back with aplomb, I've got heaps of stuff I want to offload, starting today with a few pics from our weekend visit to Cannon Hall to enjoy the autumn colours and give Grace her first experience of kicking around in a pile of leaves. Priceless.

Wow! I have never seen a toadstool.. what a gem!

As it happens, Grace spent more time playing in the autumn fall than she did walking around the farm. On the way home she sang through her repertoire of favourite songs, wheels on the bus, old McGracie had a farm, baa baa black sheep... very sweet to listen to. Must try to get a sound byte.

Am currently sat on my laurels with the dog by my side. Will be heading off into the wilds for another walk later. If we can brave the weather... the sunshine of Sunday seems a distant memory for today is blustery and wet as an otters pocket. Darn.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The 3 R's

Redundancy, Redundancy, Redundancy. That, my dear, is the 'just another day in paradise' euphoria floating around in my head as we speak.

You heard right. It's not good news. Why then do I feel strangely calm as opposed to headless chicken? It's not like I don't have the tendency to headless chicken when the crap gets flung. Maybe I'm in denial.

Who am I kidding? We knew we'd close one day. The overheads just outweighed the income. Doesn't matter how many customers will be lost without us. Doesn't matter how dedicated the team are. If the financial waters are murky (which they are, always have been, trust me), then it's only a matter of time before the plug is pulled and the key gets turned.

Seems like yesterday when PB cut the ribbon on the day we opened. I thought he was a legend at the time. Such a great business man, a brilliant concept, an amazing place to be. Seems he must have had his calculator upside down when he put the business plan together though, we were doomed from the get go. Dick.

I'm not here to bitch. I've had my highs and lows with the company same as everybody else. Laughter. A lot of laughter.
Pranks. A lot of pranks.
Friends. A lot of friends. Two legs. Some with four. Or three.

And prospects. One door closes, another one opens.
Silver linings.... and no I'm not talking about my knickers.

We're in the consultation period at the moment. A white knight in the wings, if you're there, buy us out quickly! Else there'll be 101 families this Christmas eating gruel.
My Husband is the quiet type. Moreso this week than normal. I can understand it.
The dog is sulking too. She KNOWS. I'm sure of it.

And Grace. She's just oblivious. I'm a great one for doing face-on, face-off, you know?

Tomorrow's another day. Another dime, another dollar. And you can sure bet, another job application.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

First days

Tired after her first day, Grace chomps on a cucumber stick in the car on the way home.
Up at the crack of dawn, Grace could be heard calling Mummy, Mummy from her bedroom. I was in the shower so Husband nipped in to raise the blind and say good morning. No Daddy! She wants Mummy. She comes through, doe eyed, pyjamas hanging off her bottom and chats to me while I get clean. Bubbles, she keeps telling me. Sitting on the bed while I get dressed, I prep her for the day. I'm a big believer in setting the day out to Grace so she knows what to expect, what's on the agenda, no suprises. I'm sure this is why most days for us are tantrum free zones. I'm explaining it's her first day at pre-school, that she's going to meet new friends, and play with new toys, when she remembers she can put the foot stool up against the wall in her bedroom to watch for Grandma coming up the road. She spends the next ten minutes there, calling back to me, no, no Grandma (she means she's not here yet). She gets excited when she see's the car - She's Here! she keeps yelling at me from her room.
From there, she starts breakfast with Grandma while we finish getting ready for work. Quick goodbyes, and reassurance from Mummy that she's going to enjoy her first day at pre-school.
And she does, Mummy's little star.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Quiet Contemplation

Nearly two months of inertia from me now, days where I have felt much to say but had little if any urgency to set pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. And it's not so much that the cork is out of the bottle, just a realisation that life has passed me by this summer and Grace is developing so quickly I'm slapping myself round the chops with said wet fish and getting back on the blogging horse.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, Grace, I have to say, is turning out to be such a joy to be around. These last few weeks have seen her turn from quiet, contemplative little toddler, to a chatty, quirky and funny child with a great outlook on life. I'm so proud.

Her vocab has flourished, it must be all the rain we have had this summer. Colours, objects, feelings... she's not afraid to express. One thing bothering me is her starting to use Mummy and Mum interchangeably. I keep telling her, Mummy has an E on the end and she mustn't call me Mum (she's too young), but I guess it's better than calling me Heather. Maybe that's next. She's counting too, not in the right order, one, two, six, ten. Must be those long legs working up the stairs a few at  a time.

Spending a week with her in Scotland has been such a blessing. A trusted Scottish friend has assured me that Ayrshire is well enough across the border to count, so yes, we had a wonderful time exploring the area around Ayr. Loch Doon, Dunure, Culzean Castle, beautiful, and super fun for a toddler. Shell collecting on the beach, splashing in muddy puddles, walking windswept hills looking for sheep to bleet at, spotting ships from the castle walls. Good times.

Back to reality this week, and with redundancy a real possibility at work, wondering if the news will come this week from the people who pull the strings is making this rotten chest infection I've acquired along with the post-holiday blues all the more difficult to shake off. Insomnia from worry (or coughing?!), is making the days drag and I'm getting by on caffeine, my dear friend. I shan't dwell, it hasn't happened yet, just watch this space for thunderous fingers if they do pull the plug on a business I have come to love (and hate at times) over the last nine years.

Matt the Husband is treading the pavements of Sunderland today, running the Great North Run. I'm watching Mo Farrah and his Olympian colleagues get ready to start the race off in half an hour. The chances of spotting said Husband in the crowds on the Beeb are slim, but I'm casting half an eye towards the tele on the off chance I might spot him in his yellow bib. Good luck Lightning!

I'm off to walk the dog and batch cook to make for an easy week when I can stop coughing and get my backside off the sofa. But sat under a blanket with the dog at my side and the heat from the laptop, it's  not going to be an easy up and onwards this morning. Grace is having a sleepover at her Grandma's. The house feels very quiet. Quiet Contemplation.

Quiet contemplation: windswept at Loch Doon

Spotting ships: Culzean Castle

Collecting shells: Dunure Harbour

Splash-happy: muddy puddles....