Wednesday, 19 April 2017

PARENTHOOD | It's All Going Too Fast.

At 5.30 yesterday morning I was wide awake and couldn't figure out why. As I gave up trying to get back to sleep I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and found that many other parents couldn't sleep either but unlike me, who had no reason to be awake, they were anxious about finding out if their children had gotten their first school choice for September.

Throughout the day yesterday I spoke to mummy friends, most of whom seemed elated because their child had gotten into the school they had desired and while I was thinking how great that was I was also thinking 'How the heck are they starting school in September already?!'


Savannah is now three and has already been going to Pre School for a year now (a fact which also blows my mind) and because she now gets government funding, from today she now goes twice a week for two full days. I am excited for her because she loves school so much but at the same time sad knowing this is the summer I need to be researching local schools and attending open days, as come September we too will be making the tough decision in picking a primary school for our little girl.

I truly can't believe how quick it goes. Two friends of mine who I know separately but are both close friends had children a week apart. Both of them text me at some point in the day elated that their little ones had got their first choice school. I too was happy for them knowing how stressed they must have been about it but couldn't help remembering both of them meeting at our housewarming, October 2012, both heavily pregnant with less than a month to go until their due dates.

So much has changed since then for them and for us, so much does change in four and a half years we just don't always notice it. When you sit and think about it you realise just how much has changed from silly things like waistlines and hair styles to big things such as children or moving house.

I have already started looking at schools and will be contacting a few this week to get the ball rolling regarding open days / visits. I feel a bit more daunted than I think I would have done were we still living in Essex because at least I would have an idea about the schools. Having only lived in Norfolk for seven months I don't have a clue about any of them although I do only hear good things about the schools nearby so am pleased about that.

What scares me though is in no time at all another year will have passed and I will be one of the anxious mums not being able to sleep because I want to know if my baby got her first choice school place. I will no doubt be then writing another blog post similar to this one, harping on about how it only feels like yesterday I was writing this one.

I hope any parents reading this who's little ones start school in September got their first choice places and I wish your child all the very best in starting a huge new chapter. I also wish you - the parent - luck in holding it together because if you're anything like me you will be a sobbing mess when the day comes(!!)

Make the most of now. Cuddle them when you can, play with them when you can and enjoy them while you can. While I will enjoy having an extra day to myself to get work, the gym and housework done I couldn't have Savannah going anymore than two days a week because I wouldn't want to miss that time we have left together. When she goes to school for five days a week next September that will be it. There will be no choice. That will be the end of our time together too. While I know it is just under 18 months away yet it makes me shudder to imagine how quickly it is going to come around.

I feel as though I am getting way too deep with this blog post now but just wanna finish it off by saying it is only in time frames like this - children starting school or pre school or just generally growing up - that we realise how quickly time has gone so we do just need to let go of the bad stuff and enjoy the little things like our kids. Even when they are being little shit bags, which I know can happen a lot, enjoy them. I may be being sentimental in this post but don't think I am being naive to the amount of times we rally our kids off to school or an overnight stay at the grandparents with glee because they have been bloody hard work and we want some peace and for nobody to call us mum for a few hours. That happens a lot I know. I guess I am just saying don't get too caught up in the here and now and the trivial things and miss the bigger picture. Enjoy the peace and quiet when you need it and then enjoy the little darlings again when they're home.

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

FAMILY | Making The Most of Limited Time.

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Savannah and me enjoying the evening sun.
When you have been married for a few years (well five and a half) and been together nearly ten years (gulp) it can become all too easy to fall into a mundane routine or take each other for granted. We are all guilty of it. It doesn't mean that we love our partners any less it is just that after that initial haze in the first two years where you can't live without eachother, that 'fire' that kept you together has gone and you have to put work in.

Do we always put 100% into our relationships every single day? No, of course we don't.

While the first part of a relationship is wonderful I much prefer the part where you are comfortable with each other enough to clip your toe nails or wax your tache in front of them. It means you have formed such a strong bond with another human being that you feel you can relax and lower your guard with them. Be the real you. Not the 'you' that you put out there to the rest of the world.

You trust and love them and become one with them.

While that is a bloody beautiful thing it can also be an ugly thing. Cue no inhibitions about farting in front of one another or going weeks without shaving your legs. Cue throwing up in front of your beloved because of an awful hangover or dirty washing being left all over the place to be picked up by anyone else other than the actual owner of said dirty washing. It can be a pretty rocky road out there in the land of long term romance guys.

It is hard work. Many of us forget that.

Lately, our circumstances have changed majorly and hubby now works away in the week and is only home at weekends. I, in turn, work at weekends so as you can imagine our time together has now become extremely precious. The nice thing about that is some of the annoying bits about life together such as a messy house actually gets pushed aside because that isn't important when you only have a certain amount of family time a week. The house in the week is pretty clean and tidy, it isn't perfect but I have a three year old to entertain and work to do. It is however presentable should someone turn up unannounced. Over the weekend it is a hole; bags and general crap everywhere, I am never quite sure how it happens and while yes, it annoys me slightly it doesn't annoy me as much as it would were Patrick home all of the time. I know he is making the most of the one on one time he has at the weekend with Savannah. He wants to take her out, he wants to do activities with her and make memories with her and I totally understand that. The main reason I get all of the housework and washing done in the week and don't even think about any of it again until Monday is because I don't want to waste what little family time we have together.

Living this way isn't ideal but it is how it has to be at this moment in time. The way we see it is it is what we need to do right now and we are setting ourselves up for a better future.

After I finished work on Sunday the three of us went straight out for a walk so I could enjoy some of the gorgeous weather and so we could spend time together as a family. We had a walk in some fields and woods near where we live and then finished up at the park where Savannah played for a while before we had to get home and start dinner.

It's lovely now the lighter evenings are here because the days feel longer and finishing work at 4pm when it is still light and the sun is still shining and gloriously warm feels like I have finished work in the middle of the day and that there is a long evening ahead of us. It goes quickly of course and before we know it we are both snoring on the sofa whilst trying to catch up on all of the TV shows we usually watch together. The main thing is we spend that time together enjoying each others company and not doing washing and cleaning.

This routine really makes you realise what is important here and now and what can wait until tomorrow. Whilst I will always be a bit of perfectionist when it comes to the presentation of the house and will always wish it was a bit cleaner and tidier, I have learnt that no one else gives a shit and actually neither do I because in the future it will be the adventures with my family I will cherish in my memory not having everything done indoors.

Monday, 10 April 2017

LIFE | Goodbye Bentley Bunny.

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I didn't do it. 
Last week you may have seen my post about our house rabbit Bentley falling ill, sadly he didn't get better and on Friday morning he passed away.

I had never had a pet before him, my mum - very sanely - never allowed my brother or me to have one when we asked because she knew she would end up being the one caring for it when we got bored of the responsibility. Bentley was my first taster at responsibility and to say I was (am) devastated is an understatement. I am overwhelmed by how much of a hole he has left in our lives and I will - and do - miss him very much.

We bought Bentley in 2012 around May time, we happened to be browsing in a pet shop and spotted him on his own. My husband said we should get him when a sales assistant said no one wanted him because they couldn't be sure on his breed, he pointed out I had always said I would love a house rabbit. I was tempted but the sensible part of my brain said no because we had no clue how to take care of a rabbit, our flat was rented and we weren't allowed pets and it was an extra cost at a time when we weren't earning brilliant money and were always skint. We left the pet shop and drove back towards home. On the way, Patrick stopped at a 'Pets at Home' store and suggested we see how much the stuff for a rabbit costs and not wanting to argue I humoured him by saying OK. I was surprised that the food and hay wasn't too expensive as I had always assumed that all pets were mega expensive and when Patrick pointed out again that no one wanted that rabbit he pulled at my heart strings so we went back and got him.

On the way home I had him on my lap, his cardboard carry box open and he was sat bolt upright not moving or even blinking with nerves so I continually reassured him that he would be OK. Once back in our flat we let him out to run around and explore his new home while we set about putting his cage together and bunny proofing! I remember I texted my friend Nicola who had not long moved in upstairs and told her we had a new room mate and she immediately came down to meet him. She also looked after him for us on a few occasions too. Patrick named him Bentley, after a car he would love to own but knows he will never have(!).

Once he was six months old and neutered, we got him a little play mate - Peaches - who we adopted from a rabbit rescue. I had learnt that rabbits were social animals and loved company and because of us both being at work all day I felt bad for him being alone. We never had to carry out any of the advice that I had been given on bonding Bentley and Peaches (who I nicknamed 'Benches' yep, I know, I am hilarious) as soon as they saw each other they were friends and were inseparable. On the first night we kept them separate just to be cautious but there really wasn't any need and from then on, Bentley was happy and content with his new little soul mate.

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Oh Haay.
Bentley was five when he died and in those five years, he saw us through a lot of different milestones such as moving house, changing jobs, becoming parents and entering our thirties just to name a few. His passing marks the end of a significant phase in our lives where we became 'proper grown ups'. We had been married about six months when we got him and now we will have been married six years in September, we rented a flat when we got him and now own our own house. He was the biggest responsibility we had ever had together when we brought him home that day and now we have a three year old daughter. I really had imagined him seeing a few more years with us and being there when Savannah started school next year as well as any other significant milestones that may come up.

I am so gutted he couldn't be saved. It was the first and only time he had fallen ill and he deteriorated so quickly. I really didn't believe he would die. Savannah understands that he isn't coming back but I don't think she quite understands why which I am happy with. I don't want to quash that childhood innocence just yet. She knows that Bentley got ill and fell asleep forever and became upset when we buried him as I think she still believed he would wake up. She was more upset that I was upset though and kept giving me cuddles which was lovely. I hope she remembers him when she is older.

Now we just have Peaches, I have been reading up on how to look after the surviving bunny so they don't get lonely. Luckily she is more the 'cuddly one' than Bentley was so she will welcome attention. I feel cruel but I won't get her a new companion, I just can't cope with the idea of losing another bunny again one day let alone another, then another....

So there we go, Bentley is gone. I never imagined this time last week when I was taking him to the vet that I would be writing this post. Pets really do creep into your heart and bury themselves deep don't they? I am so glad we did go back and get you from the pet shop that day little buddy. You made a massive impact on my life and I will miss you trying to steal my banana or nudging my leg for some attention. I will miss how nervous you were and how any unusual noise made you jump, I will miss our little stare outs and how you would binky about first thing in the morning and I will really miss watching you and Peaches snuggle up together.

Goodbye little bunna bun. Sleep well. I will never forget you. xxx

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'Stick on Emmerdale would ya?'