Saturday, 1 October 2016

A fail

Soooo the blogging every day in September didn't really go exactly to plan did it?  In fact, I don't think September has gone to plan at all. So I thought I'd just give up.  Not on life or anything extreme, but on blogging.  I literally couldn't face even turning my computer on. I didn't even know where to begin.  

As those of you who read my blog regularly know, I've flitted with the idea of ending this blog before, but somehow I always come back to it. This time felt a bit different though. 

I started to feel really uncomfortable with putting personal posts up.  I am such a private person in real life, my friends laugh that sometimes trying to get me to open up is like getting blood from a stone.  I know that as my audience has grown that people whom I wouldn't necessarily want to share private things with were logging on and reading which made me feel self-conscious about what I was typing.  

I also can't help but compare myself to other bloggers, which I know is ridiculous and I know you shouldn't do it, but sometimes, I just can't help it.  I see other bloggers who have blogged for much less time than me with their huge fan bases and book deals and at the same time as wishing them every success, I begin to question my own ability to write at all.  

And there's more.  A few people have commented that I don't sound happy in my blogs, that I come across down or sad, or full of self-pity, and that's not who I am at all.  I think that some of the topics I have blogged about recently have just been quite personal and I think they are always the best and rawest blogs I've written.  Those are the blogs that show the real feelings of being a mum, which isn't about being a perfect, happy person 24/7. 

And so here I am. 

Today I received an email from a reader that brought me tears.  I won't go into too much detail because it was very personal, but the person was actually thanking me for writing about LL's reflux.  They said I actually helped them get through some tough days they had and when they felt no-one was listening to them, they had read my blog and knew someone else was going through it too.  I can't thank that person enough for reaching out, because if this blog helps just one person out there, then I've done a good thing. That makes me feel like all the self doubt, the worries and people judging, is all worth it.  

And so here I am.  And I feel that I can't just end Laura Evelyn Bee abruptly.  I feel I owe it to this blog and also all the amazing readers I have to at least finish this part of our journey. 

In the words of Taylor Swift, haters gonna hate.  I can choose to stop blogging to avoid people's judgement and being my own worse enemy, or, I can hold my head up high and, well, shake it off.  For now, here's to shaking it off.     

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Some fresh air

Some days just don't go to plan.  Today was one of those days. 

What these photo's don't tell you is that we had an awful school drop off which stayed with me all day.  I managed to break a glass jar my husband had bought for me last year and Bee dropped a bowl and broke that too just for good measure.  

I needed to get out of the house.  Me, LL and Pablo T Dog went for a wander around a nearby hall and gardens.    

What these photographs further fail to tell you, is that as lovely as the fresh air was and beautiful the sky, I began to melt because it was so so hot and pushing a pram on grass is like a mini cardio workout. I then trod in sheep poo. Good times. 

I wonder when I look back at these pictures in years to come if I will forget all the drama and just think what a beautiful day it must have been, or whether I will actually recall the sheep poo and tears.     

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Night feeds

A part of me feels like I will still be doing night feeds when LL is twenty.  She is now ten months, and thanks to horrendous reflux (which still isn't under control), I have at least two wake ups a night guaranteed when I'm up with here.  I guess this is the bit where I type that my body would still wake up if she slept through as I'm so used to it. Er, no, my body would go into a zombie-like state and I would actually SLEEP.  

The thing with night feeds is you suddenly have a few extra hours a day to play with. Now obviously you can't use your extra hours sleeping, cleaning (why the hell you'd want to do that is beyond me), or actually doing much.  You are stuck feeding this little person, so you are quite limited in what you can do.  When LL was really little, I was up so much, I actually got through a book every day.  Now however, I don't have the concentration for reading.  Instead, phone in hand, I have two very good friends I meet up with every night. Meet my shopping apps and Mr. Google. 

I love a bit of a shop at night.  Very occasionally, it depends on my mood, I also make internet purchases.  With a tap, tap, tap, I bought two winter coats from Zara last week. I also bought a bright yellow fisherman's jacket from Topshop.  To be honest, all items were returned as I resembled an IKEA bag in the fisherman's jacket and the coats didn't look as appealing as they did when I saw them at 4am. 

Some nights I'm not in the mood for a shop.  Some nights the only person I want to see is Mr. Google.  You would not believe the things I Google at night.  In the early days, it used to revolve around if I was a good mum (because obviously Google would know), and when the hell do babies sleep through (never).  Now, however, I've found myself Googling all of those annoying questions, that in reality, I wouldn't really care about, but at 4am, I need to know the answer to.  

Are they making a new series of Breaking Bad (no), can you bandit a marathon (no), how old is Beyonce (35), how do you write on children's water-bottles (there were alot of expensive tips...I'm using a sharpie), who is the Muppet who goes 'mimi' (Mimi).  I know, fascinating.  I also have extensive knowledge of the fire of London, the plague, black death and also Chernobyl.  I couldn't even tell you how I got onto these topics.  Light reading for 4am eh?   

During the day I can sometimes barely remember my own name, struggle to dress or brush my hair, but by night, I'm more up-to-date with fashion than Anna Wintour and more knowledgeable than Brian Cox (kinda).  Roll on 4am.  

Monday, 12 September 2016

Solo Sunday

My husband is currently away for the week so yesterday, me, Bee and LL popped into town. I had ordered four coats from various shops online and sadly I didn't want a single one of them (the downside of ordering clothes during 4am feeds is that sometimes my shopping clarity goes out of the window).  We returned all said items, and then for some reason I agreed that we could go to Pizza Express as a treat for Bee.  The girl adores Pizza Express.  

Now I'm pretty used to flying solo with the girls when my husband is away with work, but even for me, a sit down meal can be a little hectic on my own with them both.  Especially at the weekend in a very busy restaurant. 

Bee was an absolute dream though, and I have a feeling this post would be very different if she had decided to not be so good.  LL was good too, though decided she wanted a feed the minute we sat down and then she couldn't quite decide if she was happiest licking the highchair or bouncing on my knee, so we spent the meal juggling her between the two. But it was all good.  We survived.  And we all got fed and I didn't have to cook, so that seems like a win win to me. 

I always feel a bit self conscious when I'm out on my own and I have to feed LL.  I can't quite put my finger on why, as I love breastfeeding and I feel confident doing it now and I've fed her in restaurants, on planes, cars, museums, farms.  You name it, the girl has fed there (she loves her milk). I think my fears stem from if anyone said something to me whilst feeding, I'd feel less confident sticking up for myself if I'm on my own than if I was with someone.  I can remember Katie Price saying on Loose Women that she would feel uncomfortable if she saw someone breastfeeding in a restaurant, and comments like that don't exactly make me feel better when I'm on my own. I guess before people have judged me, I've already judged them and thought they might feel uncomfortable with me, which isn't exactly helping anyone. 

A young couple were sat near us and I thought they were judging me for sitting and breastfeeding in Pizza Express (based on nothing factual obviously). However, at the end of their meal, the girl came over and gave me a gift card as they had some money left on it and they thought that I may as well use it.  How kind and lovely.  

The fears I have are mostly in my own head and the lovely young couple weren't judging me at all.  At least not on breastfeeding. Maybe they gave me the card because they felt sorry for a mum attempting to eat a pizza with two small children, which to be fair, is no easy feat. But actually that's OK.  I totally had a pudding with their gift card, so judge away.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The first week of school

We've done it, we have survived Bee's very first week of school.  I say we've done it because I think it has been a bit of a joint effort.  As a family we have had to get used to new routines and making sure we're out the door on time, fed, clean and dressed (with all of the right PE kit and books).  And it's gone OK, it really has.  

The first few days were a bit of a novelty for us all really.  The excitement of a new school, Bee had her brand new uniform to put on, new friends to meet and make. As the days have gone by, I can see she is getting a bit more tired in the mornings (we had to wake her up on Thursday which we never usually do), and there has been two mornings where she has been a bit reluctant to go into the school gates.  

I don't blame her to be fair.  As brilliant and exciting as school is, it's alot for her to take in and process.  She has to get used to the school day and going every single day Monday to Friday too, not to mention actually concentrating and learning. 

But she's doing OK and I'm so proud of her.

I don't know if it's silly to say or if it's in my imagination, but sometimes I look at her when she comes home and I see something different.  Something I can't quite put my finger on.  She seems that bit older than she did last week.  Although she's still my baby, I feel almost like she taken a baby step away from me, that she is growing and changing without me doing anything at all.  

I love hearing her edited version of the days events, which usually centres around what she has eaten for lunch.  But other snippets are coming through. She has been telling me about diagraphs (nope, not really any idea either), and space rockets and making sounds for the letters of the alphabet in a slightly different way than how I have taught her.  

Every night we look at her school reading book and I feel just as excited as her.  I really hope that never wears off.  I'd sort of prepared myself for the almost sad feelings of Bee's first day of school, and I hadn't really thought of much else.  After that initial sadness really comes pride and excitement and just wonder that this little person is learning oh so much.  

We have survived the very first week of school and now I feel our learning curve has only really just begun as we begin the daily Monday to Friday school term.  I'm looking forward to things settling down a bit and finding our own rhythm.  I'm officially a school mum! 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Pretend Play

Pretend play isn't just for toddlers.  Sometimes as adults we fall into playing out a particular scene, because, well, sometimes going along with a lie is alot easier than explaining the truth. 

Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about, and if that is the case, lucky you.  I, on the other hand, seem to find myself in strange situations, all of the time.  Let me explain. 

Today, I popped to Marks & Spencer with LL to get some food for dinner.  I needed a trolley as trying to carry LL and actually getting any shopping done I have learnt from past experience is just asking for trouble.  Having located a trolley with a child seat in, I found that the trolley already had someone's coin token in so I didn't need to put in a pound.  Great, I thought, I'll be taking that coin token later too. 

I did my shopping and loaded it into the car and then took the trolley back with LL.  As I had my hands full, it was a little tricky trying to get the token out.  As I was trying to do this, a lovely elderly couple came up to me and asked if I needed help.  Before I knew it, the woman was trying to get the token out for me.  Then the man was.  At this point, I probably should have confessed that the token was already in there so it really didn't matter, but for some reason, these words didn't escape my mouth.  Try as they might to release the token, it was not budging.  It then gets worse, someone else saw us struggling, and came over to try and get the token out. 

As the situation escalated and all three of them were trying to remove the token (that wasn't even mine) I told them not to worry.  I said I'd go inside to ask a member of staff to help me instead.  I quickly wandered inside with absolutely no intention whatsoever of asking someone to help me.  My plan was to do a quick walk around the frozen fish aisle and dive back into my car.  But, inside I saw all three lovely people who had been trying to help me.  

I then decided the best course of action (because I'm full of great ideas) would be to pretend my phone was ringing and act like it was an important call that needed to be taken outside.  Cue me looking concerned while walking swiftly to my car.  The shame. 

A quick pop to the shops suddenly ended with a mock phone call and Oscar winning acting skills.  I'd like to take this moment to apologise to the three lovely people who tried to help me.  I am a fraud. 

And the problem is, I have plenty more stories where this came from. These kind of situations just always seem to find me.  I would love to hear if you have ever done anything similar? Have you ever lied or pretended in public? Or is it just me? 

Have a great Saturday. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Milk Edit 09.09.16

I have found some lovely pieces for this week's The Milk Edit, and a few have already made it into my wardrobe.  The dress just below to the left, from Just Polly can be worn as a maternity dress but it also looks great if you're not pregnant as the belt pulls it in at the waist.  The button positioning is perfect for undoing to feed a hungry baba.  I also need to mention the Itat All Saints shrug which is just below in the centre. I bought this item last Autumn and never took it off.  It can be worn as a jumper or cardigan (clever), and it is perfect for breastfeeding discreetly and layering too.  You can see me attempting to model it here

I hope you enjoy this week's Edit, and I'm blogging every single day in September, so please do come and say hi! Thanks for reading,