More than being a Mum?

More than being a Mum?

It was that point when you’ve recently had a baby and your new normal life has kicked in and you’re thinking “Is this it?”. Not that your unhappy or ungrateful for all you have but just the new routine is sometimes really hard or really dull or both. You feel like maternity leave will last forever and you’re not sure how you will be able to be the mum, the wife and the housekeeper for all that time without having something just for yourself. Well that’s how I felt a few weeks ago.

I feel that in the first few months, or maybe even years, of parenthood you lose yourself as an individual. You are a mum now and your own identity can be lost in this. I think partly it’s down to confidence. You put all of your effort and focus into being a mum so anything outside of that comfort zone feels scary and alien. Right now I look around at my wonderful girls and I feel exhausted. I’m a mum 24/7 with no time for me, Katy. I wonder if all I am is a milk machine feeding round the clock, preparing food for the older girls, constantly doing household chores which are never ending but battling with who I am and how do I flourish in all of this when I don’t even have the time to dry my hair or shave my legs.

My confidence was knocked. I rang the gym to book a class but hung up before I got through as I chickened out of it. Perhaps part of it was the thought of the physical exertion but the other part was being in that environment meeting new people and being on my own! I know! I moan about how I can’t even go to the toilet on my own but then I am scared to be on my own too. My children have become my safety net. When I was pregnant I always felt so confident and sure of myself. I’m not sure if that’s all those hormones boosting me or if it’s just the empowerment that comes with knowing you are responsible for growing a life. But with that gone the thought of me being on my own in some situations is oddly frightening!

For some I know it is enough to be at home and provide for your family but that’s not me. When I’m feeling nervous or scared I think I could be that person but deep down I know I couldn’t.

I was invited to an award ceremony at work. When I first heard about it I said “I’m not going. I won’t fit in my clothes and I don’t feel up to it”. Thankfully L and my good friends encouraged me to just go and enjoy it and I’m glad I did. 9 weeks since the tiny human arrived and I managed to fit into my tailored undress uniform that was measured for me in 2010. Pre kids!! That’s an achievement in itself. Plus I received a certificate for some work that I did last year.

Being at work gave me the reminder that I needed that I am more than just a mum. That I have successes and achievements at work in a career I love, which I want to build on. I felt proud to receive an award especially since my work is so enjoyable and rewarding.

I helped at the local church office the other week and a few people commented on how good I was. This is where people forget that you’re not just a mum but you’re a professional who manages a career. So there is more to me than the tired; dishevvelled looking mum dragging 3 small children around.

Work made me feel like Katy. I came away from the awards really buzzing. It was a blessing in disguise, exactly when I needed it, which was two fold. It made me feel excited about my new role going back to work and that I have something for myself more than being a mum and housewife but what it also did was remind me how this maternity leave is so precious. That before I know it I will be back at work and juggling that work life balance (and probably moaning about it) so I really need to make the most of it as already it is going too fast.

It’s only now that I’m feeling more at ease with my new normal and I’m certainly not going to wish this time away.

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It does get better!

It does get better!

I’ve just been chatting to a lady in a coffee shop who was cooing over the tiny one who is now 7 weeks old. I now have the ability to chat to strangers and I’m enjoying showing off my not so tiny, almost 10lb, baby. At the end she said “You look so well. Unbelievably well in fact” and at that point I no longer felt like a fraud. I do actually feel better than I have. Don’t get me wrong I’m not 100 percent yet but things are improving. It’s likely I’ll have to have another surgery soon so physically that’s a setback but feeling better emotionally is really helping. Plus who wouldn’t be happy with a hot chocolate, whipped cream and a big fat slice of carrot cake for breakfast! But seriously, I’m not crying all of the time and not wandering around like a complete space cadet feeling unable to cope, and I’m laughing again. It’s baby steps but hey I only produced a whole new life 7 weeks ago!

Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Far from it. I feel like I’m stretching myself so thin and constantly overcome with guilt when I can’t meet the demands of my young family. But I’m giving as much as I can. After the girls have had my all there’s nothing left for L or me but I do know it will get easier….maybe in 18 years!

I’ve had to lower my standards a lot. The baby was out in non matching pink clothes yesterday and G went to nursery with two pairs of knickers on this week which I spotted when she was on the toilet before nursery but by then she had her trousers on and shoes so there was no way I was even trying to rectify that at 08:45 when nursery starts at 9. The next day I completely forgot to put her in the shower after she’d wet the bed in the night so off she went to nursery probably smelling like pee. Poor soul. But in fairness I was flying solo as L was on holiday. Well she’ll tell you she was away with work but she stayed in a hotel, ate hot food in a restaurant and drank alcohol with friends. That sounds awfully like a holiday to Me! She says she’s just getting me ready for when she jets off to Vegas next month with her bestie. Don’t worry I’m making a note of all of these trips and I’m sure by the end of the year I can cash it in for a month in the Maldives ALONE. I daydreamed about it in the bath. I closed my eyes while the big kids were in bed, and before the milk bandit strikes again but just as I was feeling a little bit relaxed I hear “Mummy I need a wee”.
After an eye roll and a few choice words muttered under my breath establishing if she really does need a wee as Mummy is in the Maldives I get up and take her to the toilet then get back in the bath while she sits on the toilet having a FAKE wee as she’s already had 3 wees before bed.
“Mummy why are your eyes closed?”
“I’m wishing I’m on a desert island alone right now”
“Why’s your bath big mummy”
“Because I’m big, now have you finished your wee?”
“I need 5 more minutes Mummy”
I give up! I just wanted 5 minutes of nothing….who am I kidding???

I can’t stop thinking about how lucky we have been with our little newborn with her being so content and relaxed it has made all of the heartache and struggles I’ve been feeling so much easier. Then we got to 4 weeks. Now we always have a little chuckle when people have just had a baby and they’re all excited still and there’s a million pictures on Facebook of how great they are all doing and how good their baby is and you know it gets to about 4 – 6 weeks and things change. The baby stops just feeding and sleeping and starts fussing and you have no idea why or how to stop the terrifying sound of a newborn shriek and you realise you’re still learning about what they like and what will soothe them. Well that’s where we have been but thankfully coming out the other side. It’s when the honeymoon period is over, the adrenalin has dried up and the tears are flowing…from all of us. The low point was when it took me 3 hours to settle the little one for bed one night. I’d feed her she’d settle then she’d poo so I’d change her she’d cry then feed then poo. This went on for hours. The last time I changed her she pee’d on my bed. L was asleep next to me so I couldn’t even change the sheet. To say I was pissed off was an understatement. So I got a towel to cover the wet bit and tried again to settle her. Then the screaming started again. It woke L and then we ended up having a row about what was wrong with the baby and I asked her to go to the spare room and leave us alone. I don’t see the point in us both being tired. Not just because L is like a bear with a sore head when she’s not had enough sleep but because she has to go to proper work tomorrow. Anyway she left then the baby cried and I cried. That was that. I’ve now purchased a dummy and hoping that helps with the 6-9pm witching hours. Obviously I stood for ages perusing the dummy aisle with heart wrenching guilt coming through my body that my baby shouldn’t have a dummy but I managed to stop the tears and have a word with myself. I’ll not be upset about it tonight when it keeps her calm and quiet while I’m catching up on Greys Anatomy!

It’s ok to not be ok. Supposedly.

It’s ok to not be ok. Supposedly.

I can only describe the last couple of weeks as a continuation of the longest rollercoaster of my life! I’m experiencing highs and lows literally every single day and if I wasn’t having to keep the fluids up for feeding the milk monster it would be to stop me from becoming dehydrated from all of the tears!

Finally the time came for catheter out day. As if the general birthing a child ensures you’ve lost all dignity and privacy for your body after people have prodded and poked around, put things in places you’d rather not; then carrying around a bag of your own waste fluid is just a continuation of this unwanted experience. The doctor pumped my bladder full of dye until it was full and I felt like it would explode then took a load of pictures of it to check that it wasn’t leaking. It wasn’t which meant I could have the catheter out and just had to pee a certain amount during a few hours. Totally nailed it and did a happy peeing dance to celebrate. Never been so relieved (literally) than I felt right then. Only problem was by being so fixated on the catheter coming out I hadn’t considered I’d still be feeling pretty shabby, both physically and emotionally, once it was gone so that added to my frustration and upset.

The following day we registered our teeny tiny human and made her all official. Funnily enough her name wasn’t on the list of the top 100 in the registry office but that didn’t surprise us as we went for something she will definitely have to spell out or clarify whenever she rings a call centre. Poor kid. The big girls were at nursery so we went for a lovely peaceful meal just the three of us to celebrate. You forget how easy eating out is with only one child in tow – hot food and everything!

We have also celebrated our anniversary. 1 year since we turned our civil partnership into a marriage and 11 years since the civil partnership. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone since the big party in Windsor. We had agreed not to make a fuss since we have quite a bit going on with the arrival of the little one but L surprised me with my wedding flowers all over again with our first dance song “Shut up and Dance” playing. There were free flowing happy tears and that warm, fuzzy feeling at just how thoughtful she is. I felt loved. She’s got to love me to put up with me over the last few weeks I know it’s not been easy for her.

Next, to add to the ride, it was time for L to head back to work. This is it. This is me on my own with our three children. This is us having to begin our new normal. I felt ready for it. I mean the OCD in me was starting to get annoyed at how L was doing things round the house which is usually my territory. I mean she’s let G have potato waffles for breakfast most days with the giveaway sign of ketchup on her face and who knows how many chocolate biscuits the chaotic one has had. L wasn’t bothered though she said it was a clear sign I was getting better now I’m bossing her around again. Plus I made it to nursery only 5 minutes late with all the snow, three kids in tow and homemade costumes for world book day. Felt epic! Maybe it’s the Northern in me, or maybe it’s just the determination that I want to feel better and back to me, that I got a bit of fire in my belly.

So imagine the disappointment that the first week going solo the tears still kept coming. I found it hard for so many reasons. I was in pain manouvering through the day from lifting the kids into the car and going about my day to day tasks as well as coping with the tiredness, so it was no surprise when the health visitor asked me how I was coping and I became this blubbering mess of tears and ugly crying face. Now I don’t know what your experience is of a health visitor but I hear a lot of people grumbling about them and their faults but I guess I’ve been pretty lucky with mine as they’ve always been fairly helpful.

I’ve only had one awkward moment with our first health visitor who discretely shuffled the ‘contraception after a baby’ leaflet out of her welcome pack she was about to give me. Yes I’m not sure I’m going to need that love! So this time round and I’m a mess expecting her to be all judgy and critical at my ability to be a good mum and her advice was “you’ve had a baby. Go easy on yourself. It’s ok to feel like this.” Phew! It was like the fog had lifted a little bit. Maybe it was ok. Maybe I’m not completely crazy. My friend told me it’s ok to not be ok. Maybe she is right. Still keep trying to tell myself that and remind myself I’m trying to get over a hugely traumatic birth, whilst juggling life with three children and not to mention the physical healing which is still not where I want it to be. My stomach for instance is a mess. I’d expect it to start resembling some sort of normal by now, maybe a little podgier, but it is still really abnormal, hugely swollen and painful in many areas – probably about 5 months pregnant looking. Trying to be patient but it’s not really my thing.

I have been living in this weird blur for the last few weeks. I’ve even gone through some of my pictures and texts and can barely remember them happening or as if it was from another time. It’s weird and surreal but my control freak nature hates it plus I feel like I’m not getting to enjoy the best bits like I would want to. Also with this emotional side of things my ability to interact with many humans, be them friends or strangers, is becoming affected. When people tell me I look great or that I’m doing so well I feel like an absolute fraud as inside I’m hurting. When people ask me how I am my response is the usual “I’m good” or “I’m ok” but really I’m not but I won’t tell you because I want to be these things I’m just not there yet and that’s ok. Supposedly. I don’t quite feel up to big groups and I certainly am out of my comfort zone with strangers. Strangers are the worst. They see you with a fresh baby and feel its essential to impart their tales about their uterus, vagina or c-section during birth when I don’t even know their name. I can’t be held responsible for my actions if this happens again; my smiling politely has ran out.

So trying to take one day at a time and be kinder to myself lowering my expectations and slowing things down. I know I’ll get there and there will be less tears and more smiles just don’t know when.

The birth!

The birth!

It’s a girl! I can’t begin to describe how elated we were when we found out our little baby was another girl. I’ve said all along in my pregnancy that it was a girl so I was relieved that my mummy instinct was right. Deep down I think we were both wishing for a girl but didn’t realise it until they arrived. I think we need more bathrooms in our house for the future.

This time we agreed to have the screen lowered during the section and watch our baby being born and it was wonderful. A really special moment that we will treasure forever as it also meant we could learn the sex ourselves too. This little one didn’t cry like the others which obviously panicked us no end but we were reassured that she was fine. Could this be a calm addition to our family? Hmm…I doubt it!

Our baby was here and she looked so tiny. She was much smaller than the others so I expected her to be 6lb something but L shouted over from the scales in the theatre that she was 2700g which is pretty much bang on 6lbs. The smallest of our babies by far. No wonder my bump kept measuring small. I should’ve eaten more cake.

She has a real look of both of her sisters. They certainly all have the same eyes but at different times of the day she looks like G then it will swap to the chaotic one.

L cut the cord and brought her over to me for some skin to skin and we got some amazing pictures with the two of us sporting the biggest grins I have ever seen. I love looking at that picture as each time I see it I feel the moment again and again and it is lovely. I still find it all a bit crazy that a time which can be the most special day of your lives can also be one of the most terrifying, but that’s my experience of having babies I’m sure others may feel differently.

There was a real sense of relief that our baby had arrived safely, that she was finally here after all this time. But not long after her birth I was told by the consultant that they had punctured my bladder and they needed a specialist from urology to come and look at it. I have no idea how but I was pretty calm about all of this. It was surreal me lying awake on the operating table my body open and us all having a general chit chat while we waited for another surgeon to arrive. To be honest I was trying to play it cool for L’s sake as I could see the panic and worry coming over her. It really was mind over matter for the rest of the surgery. I’ve never had to dig so deep to keep it together and have no idea where that strength came from. It also didn’t help much that the tiny one was starting to exercise her lungs and let us know she was hungry.

The surgeon arrived and it was like watching a tv show about yourself that somehow wasn’t real. He said my bladder needed dissecting as it was attached to my uterus which unfortunately is a common problem when you’ve had a previous section but in doing so I managed to get another tear in the bladder. To cut a long story short what was meant to be a 1 hour operation turned out to be 3 hours with my spinal injection wearing off but I was adamant I couldn’t be put to sleep mainly because I didn’t want to leave L on her own as I knew how upset she was and I didn’t want to come round all drowsy and not be able to feed our baby so I did the last bit of surgery on gas and air and talked a whole load of nonsense but it made L laugh so that’s good. Every cloud and all that. I was also told I would need to have a catheter in for 2 weeks before they could check if my bladder had healed but right then I just wanted to get through the surgery and I would deal with that later.

Finally when they had repaired me and stitched me up I was able to go to recovery with L and our little miss and start feeding her which she took to straight away. What a relief. The hardest part was done and now it was just a case of caring for this utterly perfect tiny human who I was already in love with and getting myself recovered so we can begin our adventures as an all female family of five.

Obviously I am gutted that things happened the way they did in surgery but I’m just relieved that we are all ok and keeping my fingers crossed that once I get my catheter out I’m not destined to a life with tena lady or avoiding the trampoline park with the girls. Here’s hoping it all resolves itself over the next few weeks.

L and I haven’t had it easy with 2 of our daughters births being pretty awful but I just keep thinking how I’m glad it was the last one that was complicated as if it had been chaotics birth then we would never have gotten to a third child. It also helps that we have each other to get through these moments and take care of one another. L and I can do anything together and this just proves it. Plus the hardest part is how we negotiate the hormones of having 5 females in the house. Hopefully we will survive that!

Baby countdown: the wait is over!

Baby countdown: the wait is over!

Well that has to be the quickest week of my entire life. In my silly little head I had longed for slow days which are productive and relaxing in lounge clothes (since that’s all that fits me now) in front of the telly, maybe even starting a box set. But that was never going to happen as I’m so rubbish at relaxing.

We had a great time for G’s early birthday celebrations and I even managed to finish the cake extraordinaire and felt pretty chuffed with it. There’s something so satisfying and heart warming with making your little ones birthday cake although the thought of knocking 3 up per year seems a bit daunting!! L doesn’t know why I don’t just buy one, but even she admitted I’d pulled it out the bag this time and it wasn’t a ‘nailed it’ moment. Whoop whoop! Totally high fiving myself here.

So somehow I managed to take a little tumble at the soft play party as I tried to avoid tripping over one of the little guests. Thankfully I managed to save myself from squashing my bump and avoid too much trauma but it did give me a fright. And that night, what I assumed was braxton hicks, started again. So the next couple of days with the lack of sleep and feeling that time was getting closer I just ended up weary and teary by Monday. It didn’t help that the chaotic one decided it would be good to start waking a few times a night for no good reason than ‘tickle me’! Full on psycho screaming and then you’re faced with that beautiful smile and those words. No wonder she gets her own way.

I was overwhelmed by everything on Monday. Felt like I had so much left to prepare on a never ending to do list and I was anxious I’d never get through it. It was all tiredness and me being absolutely moronic. Then the braxton hicks settled but I was in for another dreadful night with the tickle monster.

When Tuesday came around I knew the only thing that would be of any benefit was sleep. And that I did. When I woke up something must’ve clicked in my head and I had a super productive day getting through all of the jobs I had nagging away at me. I even had a good workout with Henry to give the carpets a right good seeing to. It was probably all of that which is why I ended up in hospital that night, or maybe it was finally me relaxing and feeling ready that yes now this baby can come!

I was admitted into hospital with tightenings which then became regular contractions. I’d driven myself there in the hope I’d be told it was nothing and they would send me packing with some reassurance and a “see you on Thursday” but that wasn’t the case.

After being admitted nil by mouth, with the possibility of doing the section the next day, I checked in to what I can only describe as a luxury holiday. It was peaceful and there was nobody I had to look after. L came to visit me the next morning and asked me several times if I wanted anything to eat whilst scoffing hula hoops and drinking tea. Always brilliant when nil by mouth but like she says she has to keep her strength up! Seriously though as always she’s done nothing but run around after us all over the last few days. She is my rock and I’m missing her now.

Finally the decision was made to wait until the planned section date the following day but to keep me in the hospital until then. So I spent the day listening to music, talking rubbish with L, I had a bath in peace and when I came back to my bed my dinner was sitting waiting for me without any effort on my part and no clearing up afterwards! Seriously why did I not check myself in here sooner it was absolute bliss.

L brought the girls in to see me and they gave the most lovely cuddles which brought tears to my eyes. I really hope they are going to do well with this massive adjustment to their lives. I felt so guilty for them on Tuesday I made them star shaped sandwiches for their nursery packed lunch. Hoping that the extra effort would go a long way to show that I loved them so much but I’m pretty sure they would’ve got flung to the side and favoured by some other lunch box item. This is motherhood guilt creeping in.

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Here I am now literally hours from holding our little baby, the final piece to our family jigsaw, and I’m thinking about the moment and how exciting it’s going to be but still a little bit sad that now the pregnancy journey has come to an end. L hates it when I get like this. She says I get all thinky and it seems all gloomy when I get to the end of anything but I’m not gloomy I just like to reflect on what’s has happened so I can look to the future for what will be next. She says it’s too deep. And yeah it is but we’ve come a long way. It’s not just the 9 months I’ve been cooking this little tiny human, it’s all of the discussions before hand, the IVF treatment, the donating eggs (I mean how excited must that family be about to have their first child after such a long journey) and then the miracle of being pregnant. Plus this has been the pickle of all three of my pregnancies which has certainly kept us both on our toes.

This will be the last time I have my bump and feel a new life competing for the gold medal in gymnastics inside me. I guess I am a bit sad that’s all over and apprehensive of what’s about to come, but once I’m holding that fresh little life in my arms, smelling its unique newborn smell you wish you could bottle and feeling their heartbeat on my chest I know I’ll be ready for the next chapter – when the Robson-Malone’s become a party of five!

Our First Nativity

Our First Nativity

We had our first nativity last week. L was like “one of those parents”. You know the ones you eye roll at and think get a grip it’s only a 3 year olds nativity.  She was almost nudging people out of the way to get the best spot at the front so she could capture the slightest movement or even blink of G in action! This is so not her.

I on the other hand was an emotional wreck. I had free flowing tears which I couldn’t hide and saw the whole show through a wet blur of happy emotions and deep pride in my first born baby. Thankfully I had the chaotic one to cuddle into and try and disguise my hormonal mess. Totally playing it cool NOT!

G was so confident and stood so tall in her Angel Gabriel costume. This was enough to shock us since she hates dressing up at home and never likes to be up on stage or anything like that. It’s a testament to her nursery and the time the staff have invested in her to help her grow, especially with her speech development. She was joining into songs with words I didn’t even know she knew. It’s was beautiful! Then there was the chaotic one who decided to join in when it was over running up and down the pews. Luckily she was the cutest shepherd I’d ever seen which is how she gets away with pretty much everything.

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All in all its been a humbling week reminding me of the things we need to be thankful for. I know how easy it is to get caught up in silly little day to day niggles which in the grand scheme of things don’t really mean anything but that’s life. This week I had that reminder that life is fragile and in a second it can literally change good or bad. I found a lump on my boob a couple of weeks ago and although expected it to be nothing I was pretty taken aback when I was referred for a scan by the GP. The “what ifs” started going round in my head, thankfully the two kids and our hectic life kept them at bay most of the time but there was still the odd few moments where you do wonder what could happen. Anyway I was lucky enough to be told I just have a lumpy bumpy breast by the consultant which was great news still I knew that in those few minutes in that room it could’ve changed everything. I’m so relieved but it’s a good wake up call to have as so many people are not as lucky and you never think it will happen to you but it can so please please please check your boobs!! And if you’re unsure go get it checked out it will only make you feel better and put your mind at rest.

Following that I’ve definitely had more than a fair share of my time with the NHS this week. I clearly had a fever as I wore pyjamas and Ls polar bear onesie in our house where the kids are running round in just their pants because it’s so tropical with L still insisting 26 degrees is the optimum temperature. Next day within 30 minutes I had seen my midwife, checked on the baby who was absolutely fine just taking all the good stuff from me and leaving me to feel like utter crap, then saw a GP who confirmed I had tonsillitis and sent me off with a cocktail of paracetamol and penicillin.  Rockstar life me. So the last few days have been  a blur of me trying to sleep as much as possible, our amazing nursery sorting out all of the childcare, including transport in the mushroom car as the kids call it, and being tucked up in bed by 7pm each night. Although L did stay up until about 8pm one night after watching a train show with Judy Walters! Geepers we are so dull. I was invited to a party this week which we were considering going to but then I realised it started at 930! I mean for a second I thought they meant 930am and thought yeah that could work but 930 pm. That’s almost the middle of the night!

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This week we also moved the girls into the same room as we’ve got them these super cool bunk beds with stairs and we are conscious we still need a spare room for one of us to catch up on sleep when we have the newborn non-sleeper. Gulp! Chaotic has just started sleeping through thanks to the healing hands of the magic chiropractor so we were a little anxious to say the least. One week in and they are both sleeping really well and thankfully it doesn’t seem like this is the worse thing we have ever done. They’ve even stopped by and given the baby a check up with their medical kit. Too cute. It’s just nobody needs a non sleeping 2 year old in their lives.

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Slow it down!

Slow it down!

The countdown has really begun now, and not just for christmas, it’s less than 10 weeks to go until we meet our little baby.

My head is telling me to enjoy these last week’s as much as possible and soak it up but my body is saying it’s hard, I’m tired, I’m fat and I can’t wait for the time to pass. Hate wishing my life away though. 

I’ve never had any problems in any of my pregnancies so it gave us both a real scare when I had a bleed last week. Everything with the baby and I are absolutely fine now but it was a real wake up call that I need to slow things down and realise I’m now in the 8th month of pregnancy as if this giant Christmas pudding sized bump wasn’t enough of a reminder. Slowing down and taking things easy are not really sentences that I use in my hectic life where everything tends to be full speed ahead. How can it be any other way with two active little ones and working!! I even felt bad for L this week as I haven’t managed the housework! Not that she cares it’s just me being an idiot. If somebody has the magic answers to balance it all please send them my way.

Meanwhile we are fully immersed in festive events with the girls who are super excited for christmas. This is the first year when they have shown any interest in this season and it makes it so magical. We’ve been doing something Christmassy every weekend I think that’s probably why the time is going so fast. Isn’t it great using the elf and Santa as an extra bribing tool. We got G to eat shepherds pie the other night playing on the fear that Jupiter the elf would tell Santa if she didn’t. Who knows what we will do in January.

Last weekend the girls had festive face paints, a trip to see Santa and then put the Christmas trees up. Obviously we’ve designated a kid tree and a good tree (for in the good room) so that we don’t get antsy about how it’s decorated. We also made Christmas cards with their hand and footprints to give out to family and my work as I was hosting an afternoon tea for the elderly this week and I wanted it to have a really personal touch. The girls loved doing them and I think I handled the mess of the paint all over our lovely kitchen quite well. Not neurotic at all. Little chaotic one was so cute trying to clean G’s foot. It was a real warming memory swiftly followed by a bold reminder never to leave them unattended with some bright green paint on our new wooden floor. Not even for 30 seconds.

The afternoon tea at work was really wonderful and one of the reasons I love my job so much. We had 30 elderly folk over at the station for a ridiculous amount of cake and tea followed by a Carol service. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and it felt so good to give something back to the community especially at this time of year when some people feel very lonely and isolated. Although I totally overdid it and I’m feeling it today, I’m still beaming from them telling me I only looked 25 and was too young to have 3 children. Might need to recommend they get their eyes tested.

I was actually 35 last week. 35! I don’t know where time is going. I hope I make it to 99 like one of the men I met at the tea party. L really struggled with my birthday as she felt really limited on what we could do. It was the weekend I had been in hospital so since I was meant to be resting she cancelled the sky diving and cocktails! I think she was more disappointed about it than me as I really enjoyed the day beginning with the girls opening my presents then a special meal out just the two of us. Supposedly she has BIG plans for next year when she is excited that she “will have her Katy back”. What she is referring to is me being pregnant at my 31st and 32nd birthday, breastfeeding on my 33rd and pregnant again on my 35th. It’s been a few years dedicated to child rearing but it has absolutely flown by. Excited to see what she has planned but got a pretty busy year before now and then!!!