Thursday, 29 May 2014

Lately

I have been trying to eat less of this.


And more of this. (Sometimes I forget.)


I danced around the kitchen at a girls night in, raising money for Cancer research in the process.


I've been reading the monkey book to Tommy. He likes stroking the furry tummy and opening and closing the book.


I've been watching Tommy play with his cookie jar. He's determined to find the singing voice.


That's what I've been doing, lately.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

I love this time of the year because

Blossom sprinkles on the trees.


The sky is often a pretty shade of turquoise.


A blanket of bluebells can be found in the forest behind our cottage.


The garden centre, a couple of minutes stroll from our cottage, is a delight to browse around.



It's fete time! This one was held at our local primary school.





Gigantic bright flowers bloom.


Pub lunches can be enjoyed alfresco style.


Tommy can wear his sun hat and catch his first glimpse of sunshine.


Tommy can sit on the grass. Look at me mummy!


The local supermarket is stacked with tulips, which compliment our lounge.

Monday, 19 May 2014

A trip to the hairdressers

Something was missing.
I was walking past the neighbouring cottages. Past Rose Cottage with the whimsical flowers growing inside the stone Wellington boots, past Button Hall, the white weatherboard house which was situated next to the duck pond.
My arms were merrily swinging by my side, and when I reached the red post box I checked my mobile phone for the time. My brown suede boots hurried a little when I realised I was walking too slow for my appointment.
So what was missing? Why was everything different?
Had I forgotten to wear my jeans? Nope, I'm not quite silly enough for that. Had the sun suddenly disappeared and the sky turned a deep shade of purple? Nope, not as far as I could see.
Have you guessed yet, dear reader?
I was minus Tommy!
He was not in my arms, pulling my already untidy hair and trying to remove my glasses.
He was not in a pram I was pushing, sucking his teddy bear dummy and gazing up at the fluffy clouds above.
At this point, let me step in and confirm he was perfectly safe. Mum was babysitting, I'd left him clawing at the cupboard box on the sofa (he does have toys, but it really is true what they say, kids are quite happy playing with the boxes).
I was off for a much needed trip to my local hairdressers, and boy did it feel different without Tommy.
I stepped inside the salon and within two minutes I was talking about him.
"Yep, it's my first time here. Mum's babysitting my little boy and told me to have some Nikki time and sort my hair out!"
With that, the nice two ladies who worked in the salon were asking me all sorts of questions about my little 'un. Even the Italian lady, who was sitting next to the chair I was shown to, asked if I had any pictures. Of course I was happy to oblige, however this time I only showed the one photo, I've seen the restless eyes when I exhibit my mobile's entire camera roll.
There were lots of appreciative noises when I paraded his cheeky smile. I sipped the coffee which appeared on the silver trolley and tried to think of another conversation apart from Tommy. Might I add that a hot drink was a rare treat, I'm normally too concious of spilling anything hot on Tommy's head/hands.
I enquired how long the spiky haired lady, who was searching for the colours for my hair, had worked at the salon. It turned out that she also owns the pet grooming parlour, next to the new interior design shop. It's always good to gather background information regarding the village and soon I realised I was babbling away.
You see, normally on a Tuesday I'm watching a dog who DJs on a tropical island (Tommy loves it, he smiles at the dog as though he's real and talking to him) or I'm singing along with the cookie jar which Tommy is poking his head into.
Therefore, I think you can understand why I was lapping up adult conversation.
In the middle of discussing why the interior design shop was not allowed to advertise on the barn facing the main road, my mind wondered. Was Tommy okay? Had he finished all his milk? He was due a nap about now, I hoped he wasn't over tired. Had he realised I was missing?
It was no good, I had to text my mum.
Excusing myself from another foil placed in my hair, I bent down to scoop up my phone. Relived, I could see my mum had already texted an update. All was well, Tommy was sleeping.
I continued babbling. Maybe it was the coffee? I lead a virtually caffeine free life these days.
After all foils were placed in hair, I was presented with a magazine. Wow, a whole magazine for me to read. Not skim through whilst Tommy's little hands were scrunching the pages. Or place in the basket on the brick fireplace with all the other magazines to read at a later date.
Through habit I read the magazine at top speed, still expecting a little hand to cover the page, doing it's best to interrupt and destruct.
Well this is great, I thought to myself, as I agreed to another coffee and a digestive biscuit. My second hot drink, and a sugary snack, what a delight. The biscuit was very much needed as I had been too busy sorting Tommy's bottles and stage one of weaning food for the day, that I'd forgot to feed myself.
After ear wigging the Italian ladies plight, she'd fallen over, banged her head and as a result had not been able to smell or taste for eight months (fancy that!) I decided to text all my friends to see how they were. I rarely have time to text these days, unless Tommy has fallen asleep on me and my phone is to hand, annoyingly it's often not.
Next it was time for my hair wash. So relaxed was I that I nearly fell asleep (the caffeine had worn off) until I remembered to check all was okay with Tommy. Had he had enough sleep? Enough milk? Had he realised I was missing?
Half an hour later my hair actually looked half decent. No dark roots rudely peeking through, no hair clip failing to keep it neat and tidy. It was blondish again, it was clean, it was brushed.
I thanked the spiky haired lady, whose name I learnt was Kelly, wished her good luck for her appointment with a medium next Monday, which had been discussed mid-thinking and talking about Tommy, and feeling like a new woman I exited the salon.
I immediately texted my mum to inform her I was on my way back and was Tommy okay?
What a lovely afternoon I'd had, I thought to myself, as I hurried home. Without a huge bag full of nappies, baby wipes, changing mat, nappy bags, bottle, spare outfit, etc.
My empty arms were swinging by my side, my lonely brown boots walked as fast as they possibly could. I barely noticed my surroundings, I was desperate to be home again.
Crikey I was missing Tommy.







Monday, 12 May 2014

Birthday tea in the crooked house

My dad has turned 80. To mark the special occasion my aunt kindly and generously organised and paid for my parents, Mark, Tommy and I to stay in a holiday cottage in her charming Suffolk village. She also arranged birthday tea in a crooked house.

Here's the crooked house, built in 1425.



There was a very palatable buffet.


Champagne to toast the birthday boy.


My dad and Tommy.


Daddy and Tommy.


After a thoroughly enjoyable night, we trotted back to our holiday cottage.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The family fun day

There was a gentle tapping on our window.
We still hadn't fixed the door bell, the batteries were still being used to project pictures of Winnie the Pooh on the ceiling. As I peered through the blinds I froze when I saw our nice next door neighbour. (But guess what, we now know her name because she kindly sent Tommy an Easter card and helpfully wrote 'from Maureen and Terry at number 97'.)
"Oh no, she wants to use our toilet!" I said in a very high pitched voice to hubby, after spotting Maureen waving at me. It's not something which frequently occurs. My neighbours do own their own lavatory, but as they were in the process of installing a new bathroom, Maureen had asked if she was caught short she could pop in to use our loo.
"Of course you can," I remember saying, mentally noting to myself that during these days the bathroom and house must be spotless at all times.
However, I was not planning on my neighbours new bathroom taking as long as it was taking. I admit, dear readers, my house is by no means dirty and messy but I had lapsed. I figured all was safe and it was no longer necessary to be a domestic goddess. With a six month old baby it is virtually impossible to be obsessively cleaning, but I do try. Particularly with the threat of my neighbour visiting.
"Well we can't ignore her," said Mark.
Alas, I wished that we could. Because all I could think about was Tommy's soiled clothes in the bathroom sink, swimming in pool of Vanish remover. And had I remembered to chuck bleach down the toilet, and scrub the taps with Flash wipes?
I looked at the staircase and wished I was Superwoman and could whizz up the stairs, remove offending items from sink and clean the house from top to bottom, before opening the front door with a huge beam on my face.
I'm not Superwoman. Mark opened the front door.
"Nikki said it was fine to use your loo should ours be out of action. Do you know they are still plumbing! I've been crossing my legs all morning but I can't wait any longer!"
"It's fine, come in," I was trying to hide the hysteria from my voice and the horror from my face.
For not the first time, the soiled baby sleeper and vest were racing through my mind. Embarrassed I explained the dilemma and hoped that as a mother and nan, Maureen would find it in her heart to forgive me and understand the situation.
Maureen said she completely understood and disappeared upstairs.
I pulled my stressed face at Mark, who calmly told me it was okay, as I was rushing around like a loony, placing Tommy's toys in the wicker chest, etc.
I have this rule, dear readers. If, at any point of the day, I would be ashamed of my abode if anyone should pop in, I have to insert Tommy in his play station (don't worry he loves it, and I would not do this mid-feed or nap)and clean and tidy. It's a habit of mine I'm afraid.
Due to the fact we were literally about to leave the house for the family fun day at our local pub, and we were already running late, I had to break my rule. Plus I wasn't counting on Maureen's toilet still not working!
Just as I was stuffing Iggle Piggle in the toy chest, Maureen reappeared, her eyes darting around the house, taking in her surroundings. She was making me nervous. What else could she catch me out with? Had I forgotten dirty dishes? Left laundry in the washing machine? My eyes frantically followed hers around the house.
Once I was sure there were nothing else to make me look like a slob, I apologised profusely for the contents of the sink, and my relieved next door neighbour finally left.
"Typical!" I exclaimed, after shutting the front door.
How's my luck? All week the house, well mainly the bathroom, had been bordering on immaculate. Oh apart from the day Tommy knocked his mushy sweet potatoes and carrots everywhere, that was messy. And very orange.
"It's no good," I said, leaping up the stairs with a bottle of bleach and Flash wipes, wondering where to dispose of Tommy's clothes. I couldn't risk another surprise visitor or stop thinking about the state of the bathroom, "We will have to be even later for the family fun day!"








Monday, 5 May 2014

All aboard the miniature railway

It began with an invitation (can you see it in the middle, to Tommy).


This glittery invitation contained a train ticket.


For a special boy's birthday.


And his special brother.


When the day arrived there was a bouncy castle.


Animal birthday cake.


Lots of yummy food.


For a fun picnic for everyone.


Not forgetting the miniature railway.


Which everyone wanted to ride.


All aboard!


We played musical statues.


The three of us had a lovely time.


My best friends made a fuss of Tommy.



Then it all ended with Tommy's first party bag. Thanks Caron!