Thank goodness, we’ve survived January. I know everyone jokes about it going on forever but seriously… it does! I feel like it took us an age to get through the first few weeks and then those last few days sped past. Now I’ll spend the next few weeks saying ‘how is it February already?!’, what can I say… I’m British! I decided at the end of last year that I’d make more of an effort to write these rambling posts about our day to day lives so here you go; a little update on what we’ve been up to in the first month of the new decade!
Back to reality for this kiddo as we went back to pre-school and nursery after a few weeks off. I always feel a twinge of guilt when I send them back, and I’ve found it even more so this time. Knowing that this year he’ll be starting school makes me really question him being in childcare so much – it’s such a hard balance for working parents! But I know that he enjoys it and he’s at a stage where he wants to be with his friends so the guilt doesn’t last for too long. January started with us having to make a decision about where he’ll go to school and it’s the first time that I feel we’ve had to make a really adult choice for him. I’m not ready!! We spent a lot of time going backward and forward between two of our favourites but ultimately decided to go for the school where he’s currently at pre-school. They mix pre-school and reception already so our hope is that he’ll have a seamless transition and we know that he’s thriving there. Now just the agony of waiting to confirm that he’s got in – argh!
January also saw us crack and attempt to re-introduce sleep training. It was getting to the point where he’d be in our bed before us each evening! Every time we put him back, he’d appear an hour or two later and sneak in between us whilst we slept, leaving us all permanently exhausted. We took one night to offer a hefty Brio bribe to see if he could stay in his room until his gro clock (previously completely ignored!) came up and despite numerous wake ups shouting for us, he made it! We’ve then used reward charts to stretch it further and further between rewards and as I type we’re nearly two weeks into it being successful. Yes, it’s cost us a small fortune in train track but I’ll take that for a better night’s sleep. Even if I do miss his little warm bod snuggling into mine in the middle of the night… never bloody happy, am I!
Nineteen months old and the Christmas break seemed to make her age about three years. Her conversation is exploding and you can now have a (very broken) conversation with her, even if it is mostly about what she wants to eat! Some of my favourites are hearing her shout out that she loves us when she goes to bed, or her shouting ‘cuggle!’ before launching on top of us and squeezing us tight. She’s so full of personality and a real fire cracker that there’s never a dull moment; she’s forever making us laugh. Don’t be fooled though, she has the most amazing tantrums at times, I’ve never known anything like it! Whilst her brother was more of a silent sulker, she lets everyone know her displeasure… even down to dropping to the floor like the world is ending! I think we’ve got a real drama queen in the making!
As she’s developing, so is her relationship with her big brother and it’s blossoming into something that makes my heart melt. They play together, laugh and wind each other up constantly. He loves comforting her and she wants to do everything that he does. That often ends in the odd tiff when she steals his toys or crashes into his games but they love it. There’s nothing that entertains either of them more than causing havoc together… usually at my expense. This mega babe is an absolute ray of sunshine right now and is the ultimate multi-tasker; doing everything with a ‘baby’ tucked under her arm and her welly boots firmly on, whatever the weather!
This month we’ve made no real home plans apart from finally getting the garden cut back. We admitted that it was time to trim the large tree at the back and got someone in to do it. The difference it’s made! We love the greenery on the borders of our garden but it had gotten to the point where we were getting little of the low winter sun; a good chop back of the hedges, pruning of the tree and taking some bits out here and there and wow, glorious daylight everywhere! We’ve even discovered that we can see right out into the distant hills now… an unexpected bonus!
I spoke before about us deciding not to move for a while and so the next step is to explore the costs of extending our home. We’ve got planning approved for one option but there are others that we could explore so there’s lots to think about for the next few months. We’re in no rush but it’d be nice to know where we stand – until then we’re all about saving hard and trying to pay off as much of the mortgage as possible. At least, that’s the goal!
Where to start?! This month I’ve tried to get back into calorie counting again; consume a few less and burn a few more. I dusted off the treadmill in the garage and forced myself back onto it – I got to the point where I was loving it before but kids and life have gotten in the way so I’m right back in the hating phase… and the beetroot red face bit! Still something is better than nothing, right?! So far I’m happy with a slow but steady progress, even if I do moan to Dave about it far too often. Well, a girl’s got to have something to grumble about, hasn’t she!
Additionally, I’ve been working hard to put in place more boundaries between work and home life. When an element of your role requires home working, there can be the temptation to feel like you have to be permanently present. That then means there’s little down time or real quality time spent with the children. Over Christmas a bit of time out made me realise how stressed I’d been getting over work and how unimportant it is in the grand scheme of things. Sure, I love my job, but if I had to choose between my kids (and being healthy for them) and my job, there’s no contest! One month in and I’m finding it oh so hard to be stricter with when is and isn’t work times, but we’re getting there and that’s the important thing. I’m also trying to prioritise a bit of me time; January has seen not one but two nights out… practically unheard of these days! It’s been lovely to just step back a bit from the parent role and find me a little more, even if me regrets a late night the morning after!
We’re finally looking at booking a holiday! Well… we’re talking about it. But I feel like if I write it down and it’s out there for the world to see then we might actually make some progress with booking it. The only thing is we need to decide what we want to do and where we want to go – that’s why it’s taken us so long, we’re just so indecisive. Wish us luck!
Blimey, what a ramble. Well done if you made it to the end – I think this post lasted almost as long as January did!