Archive for June, 2010

Settling into our new life

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Well this is the end of my first full week on my own in the office and I think I’m just about settled into my new routine.  Owen is certainly settled into his as its his second full week at nursery.  He seems to love it there, on his 7th full day he didn’t cry one teardrop all day – so that’s a good sign.  There was one morning this week when I took him in and he immediately held his hands out to Angela.  That was quite hard for me as its usually me or Daddy that he wants but it does make it much easier to leave him with her knowing that he’s happy with her.  The girls that work at the nursery all seem lovely and I think Owen’s really enjoying all the “new” toys and meeting the other children there.

Yesterday I was told what a contented wee boy he is and that he’s so easy to settle for his naps, apparently some wee ones kick and scream but he just lays down and goes to sleep with the occassional gurgle to himself!  He’s the same at home so I’m not surprised really.

Nursery is working out better than I had hoped.  The first day he came home with his report card:
Report card from Day 1 at nursery

I noticed that he’d had porridge for a morning snack – as well as I’d given it to him for breakfast! (Perhaps this is why he only ate half his lunch that day!)  I asked about this and some kids don’t have time to have breakfast before they leave so this is an option for them all.  I had been sending him in with his formula for 10am before his nap, so now I’ve swapped around.  I give him his bottle before we leave the house then he has porridge at nursery.  Its a lot less hassle for me, and will save us a bit of money!  Saves the nursery making up his formula and keeping his bottle seperate as well so better all round I think.  Owen still seems happy so that’s the main thing!

As for me, I’m settling back into work fine.  Spent most of this week trying to get things back to “how I like them” and working out the Childcare Voucher Scheme which my work were kind enough to agree to.  Bryan’s work has agreed to set one up too so that’s fab.  Basically we can have up to £243 a month each in vouchers, tax and NICS free.  We loose that much in our salary (salary sacrifice) but it will save us over £2,000 a year in deductions and will save each workplace about £300 a year in their contributions to NICS for us as well.  So its a win/win situation really!  Just a bit of a faff to set up!  There are companies that can do it all for you but you have to pay them a fee obviously and as each of our workplaces only have 1 employee that qualifies for the scheme it makes more sense to do it ourselves in house.  The other bonus is that our nursery takes credit cards, so once they’ve had the £486 in vouchers I can pay the rest of the month’s bill on our visa and get points for it!  And we all know that points make prizes!

Anyway that’s the man here to fix my boiler so hopefully he’ll be done soon and I can get to work!  I now have a bus pass as our new routine is: all get in car in morning and Bryan drives us to the nursery, he drops off Owen and I and drives off to work.  I then get Owen settled and walk down to my work (although when its bad weather I will jump on a bus).  After work finishes at 4pm I then walk back to nursery to get Owen (again have bus option) and then we both get on a bus and go home.  We can then get him fed, and sometimes bathed, before Daddy gets home.  We then have a bit of time to play before its bottle and bed at 7pm for the wee man.  By the time we’ve had dinner and done our chores that’s pretty much bed time for us too but we sometimes fit in a film, or Bryan plays xbox and I amuse myself online.

If I prepare stuff the night before it means that I only actually need to get up 15 minutes before I used to in order to get Owen and I ready in the morning.  Bryan gets up 15 minutes earlier than he used to as well so that I have some time just before we leave to straighten my hair and try and look presentable!  So pleased I got Owen into the routine that he has to stay in his cot until 7.30 even when he wakes up early, it gives me time to have a shower and my breakfast.  Then once I get him up I can concentrate on him until I get my 15 minutes before leaving.

I love it when a plan comes together!  Oh and what happened on my first day in the office?  There was a CPD and there was some leftovers so I had to “dispose of them”.  I’ve got a hard life, me!
Ah how I missed my staff benefits...

Cultured boy!

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Yesterday Owen had his first trip to the theatre.  We went to see Peppa Pig, the live stage show.  I was slightly concerned how an 8 month old wee boy would take to the theatre but he totally loved it!

As usual I had free tickets as I was writing a review so we had really good seats, we also got spoilt rotten in the interval!  We had exclusive use of the stalls bar with Owen getting free ice cream from lovely Joyce – which he also loved, although it was cold, don’t you know?!

Having some ice cream at the interval of Peppa Pig

Now I’m not saying he sat still right through the performance, he spent most of the time either standing on my lap or sitting on my hand on the arm of the chair!  But he watched most of the show, with just a few distractions of other children playing with their fibre optic light stick toys from the merchandise stand.  We had taken his George toy (that’s Peppa’s brother for those of you who are out of the loop) and he cuddled/sucked that for some of the time.

By the end of the show he was grinning like a loon, although so obviously fighting sleep as he’s not used to being out that late (yes folks it was after 5pm when it finished!).  Luckily nursery had been really helpful and given him his afternoon nap early so he was fresh and ready for the 4pm show but he was asleep almost as soon as I put him in the car seat when Daddy picked us up afterwards.

Theatre funs is tiring

All in all his first theatre trip was a great success and the way he smiled at me at the end, clapping his hands, I could tell he was saying “thank you Mummy, that was AWESOME”!  Just hope I can keep him away from all the merchandise now, he could end up bankrupting us and turning our house pink!! 

End of an era

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Gosh.  Well.  Yesterday was Owen and I’s last day home alone on maternity leave.  Bryan is off work next week and on Monday Owen starts nursery part time.  Every day next week he will be at nursery for 1.5 hours.  We will still go to our toddler group on Tuesday morning and music group on Wednesday morning but they will be our last visits to either. 

This last week we’ve had various visitors for one last visit before I go back to work and we’ve just tried to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. 

Happy swinger

We’ve had a lovely 7.5 months together, it really has been fab.  I’m so glad Bryan and I were able to save enough money up before I needed to go on maternity leave so that I could take the full 9 months that one is entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay.  We really are lucky in this country to have that opportunity.

Then on Wednesday afternoon I will fly off to Brighton for the BIALL conference that runs Thursday morning – Saturday lunchtime.  Quite jammy to work it that my first day “back at work” is at a conference but it is something I have been to most years since I got into law librarianship.  I thought it would be a good way to get my head back in gear – and after being away from Owen for that long putting him into nursery full time on Monday 14th June shouldn’t seem like such a big thing!

Bryan will actually be alone with Owen from Wednesday night till Sunday night as I am making the most of work paying for my flights and having an extra night in Brighton.  Thanks to my parents and one of my aunts giving me money for my birthday I didn’t even have to pay for the hotel that night!  On Saturday night I will be on a night out with various lovely people that I talk to on Twitter and I just can’t wait to meet them all!  I may worry a bit about the fact its called @BrightonPissUp and I’m very out of practice with drinking but hey, I’m willing to give it a go!! 

Once I come home I have the Monday as annual leave, partly so I’m available if anything goes wrong with Owen’s first full day at nursery and partly so I can do laundry and clean the house after leaving my 4 boys alone for 4 whole days!  Then I will be back in the office on Tuesday 15th June trying to remember what I have to do at that “work” thing…!

I keep getting asked if I’m just going back part time so I can spend time with Owen but unfortunately I will be going back full time.  The nature of my job, and the fact we need my full salary, prevent me doing anything else.  The good news is that my hours have always been 9.30-1 and 2-4, plus covering any events the Society is having so it should work out quite well with having a wee one anyway.

I used to get a lift with Bryan to and fro work and just be there extra time as he works 9-5 but now I will get a lift in with him, and the bus home.  If he drops Owen and I at nursery I can go in and get him settled and then get to my work for 9.30, then when I get finished at 4 I can go collect Owen and we can get the bus home.  Hopefully we will get him fed and bathed by the time Daddy gets home so they can have some time together before Owen’s 7pm bedtime.

Unfortunately this adds the cost of a bus pass to the cost of nursery so we will be rather skint for the next 4.5 years until Owen goes to school!  But at least we know he will be getting a varied programme, balanced diet and lots of other wee ones to play with each day.  Think he’ll have a whale of a time at nursery!  It’s really nice as they give you a wee report of his day each night so we know what he’s been up to, what he particularly enjoyed, and what he’s had to eat.

To mark the end of the era of my maternity leave Owen yesterday managed to pull himself up to standing position with only the aid of a coffee table.  He’s growing so fast and developing so many new skills, it really is amazing.  As usual I caught it on camera and added it to my Flickr page, which I have still been updating most days even when not blogging.
Link to video.

Prize!

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Owen’s prize arrived the next day, I just haven’t got round to blogging about it!  Here he is with it, HIPP really have spoilt him rotten, its ace!  He loves the cuddly elephant, especially when its long truck tickles his tummy.  He’s had some of the foods already and seems to like them all – not that I’ve really found anything he won’t eat!

Owen with his prize from HIPP

Owen won!

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Ok, so it was only a monthly competition which may not have had a lot of entries, but its still exciting!  HIPP baby food run a comp for cute baby photos and videos so I entered a video I took of Owen and I got an email today to say we’d won!  We get a hamper of HIPP food and a £25 Boots voucher.  They were even lovely enough to ask what Owen likes to eat and say they will pick foods accordingly!  Super!

Hug in an envelope