Making progress!

So there’s a few things to share today in terms of house update! 
First major thing is that we now have some central heating! Something you take for granted in most houses, but to go from having no heating at all to having radiators in every room is like a dream! The house will now finally be able to fully dry out, after all these months of being cold and damp!

See the big white patches in the wall in the last picture above? When we took all the wallpaper off, some of the plaster came off the wall too. So frustrating! So in order to patch the wall up and save on the costs of plastering, as well as the time that plastering takes, we used smoothover. Its not perfect, but another layer and it won’t be far off! So pleased with how well it’s worked! 

The other thing we have done is finally make a start on the decorating – I painted a skirting board! Felt like quite a momentous occasion! 

Jobs for tomorrow are to take out the rest of the kitchen, ready for it to be rewired next weekend and ready for the gas supply to be piped round to where the oven is going. 

House progress!

So we have almost finished stripping all the wallpaper off the bedroom walls now. Wiped our bedroom down with sugar soap and filled all the holes in the walls. Bought some smooth over paint that will hopefully make the paintings bit more forgiving on the walls as we are really trying to avoid having the rooms all skimmed (may regret this later!). 
I’m back at work tomorrow after a 4 day weekend for the house move so I’ll be back to the house again after work. So hard juggling that and the kids, but it won’t be for long in the grand scheme of things and it will be so worth it in the long run!

Progress Pics:

We finally got the keys to our new house!

At last, after what felt like forever, we got the keys to our new house. It’s a massive project for us, which isn’t the easiest with 2 small children! 
At the moment, there’s no central heating so we didn’t feel it would be fair on the kids to actually move in to the house as it is. So for the next few weeks we’re all staying at my in laws. We are so lucky to have somewhere to stay while we get everything sorted at the new house. 
We got the keys on Thursday, hired the van, moved more or less everything from the old place over to the new place in boxes and have then spent Friday and Saturday steaming, scraping and sanding. Two of the upstairs bedrooms are already coming along nicely. Still a lot of work though. 

We have so much wallpaper stripping to do and a lot of it is either the woodchip or anaglypta wallpaper, which is notoriously hard to remove. So we used something to “prime” the wallpaper before stripping. A paper tiger is what it’s called. Worked wonders, definitely made it much quicker to remove!
We had two tradesmen round today to quote up. One for fitting our new kitchen and one to knock a couple of walls down (watch this space!! 😬). Can’t wait for them to properly start our work for us!
When I look at the pictures of our house I can’t quite believe it’s all ours! I’m really going to try and keep up with posting before during and after pictures for those moments when I feel like giving up, to remind myself of how it was at first and how far along we’ve come!
Jessie is so excited about our new house, but a bit unsettled about all the changes going on around her! Freddie is just getting on with it, but he’s too little to really understand anyway.  I just feel a twinge of guilt every now and then, because of all the time we’ve spent at the house and not with them. Just got to keep telling myself that all this work is for them! And it won’t be forever!

Teething times

Anyone else struggling with their little ones teething at the moment? Fredster has been so grumpy the last week!

Monday night he was horrific! Screamed solidly from 6pm til 11pm took a little break, then screamed at 1am, 3am and 5am. Tuesday at work I was shattered, walking around like a zombie! 
He’s not had another night quite that be since, but I can tell it’s causing him a lot of pain! My poor little pickle!

Our trip to A&E

It’s really hard being a parent. Like. REALLY. Hard! 

Within the last week we’ve been to A&E with Jessie with a temperature over 42C, rash on her legs and tummy pains. With her more unusual medical history I always like to get these things checked by a GP. For reassurance mostly, but I have seen first hand how quickly a sick child can deteriorate, so I’m always on the cautious side of things, but it’s justified IMO! 

Long story short, the hospital, like the GP, didn’t know what was causing the temperature and rash, and at one point was talking about keeping her in overnight for IV antibiotics! Thankfully for us all we were eventually discharged with oral penicillin and sent on our way. But not before they had been given urine sample (not easy to get from a 4 year old!!) and a blood test.  Now I really felt a mixture of sympathy and frustration with the doctor about to take the bloods. A) because it is notoriously difficult to find a vein with her, poor girl usually ends up so bruised 😩 and B) because she will create HELL as soon as the needle comes into the room, let alone near her skin! Anyway, this doctor was about to attempt to do the blood test. Without anyone even holding Jessie! In the end, it required 2 attempts to take the blood, and two people holding her down. And the most blood curdling screams. As distressing for me as it was for her and usually I’m less phased by this sort of thing. 
And while she is showing no signs of distress now other than telling all her school friends in great detail about her “test blood”, I am still feeling so guilty. It’s hard to forget screams like that!
Safe to say I don’t want to be in a hospital for a while now! At least until our next appointment in London mid November anyway!

The reality of holidaying with your children

We have just got back from our family holiday – our first in 2 years and our first as a family of 4. And our first time on a plane with a baby, as Jessie was 2 when we first took her abroad. 

Now, we all had a great time, and made some incredible memories as a family, but there are definitely things that we took for granted when we have just holidayed as a couple.

1) Airports. As a couple, we would leisurely make our way to the airport, check our bags if necessary, make our way through security and then make our way to the airport bar!! We were on holiday after all!!

This time, with the kids, it went something more like this: get to the airport, Alex dragging 2 suitcases, carrying a backpack, changing bag, car seat and Jessie’s bag, me wearing Freddie, carrying my handbag and dragging a suitcase. Leaving us both without a free hand to hold Jessie’s hand. Pretty dangerous in a busy airport! To then spend 45 minutes queuing just to check in Freddie’s seat (everything else was hand luggage). 

Then for the fun of security. More fiddly when you have a baby strapped to your front! And a 4 year old that is already fed up!  

2) So finally on the plane. Pre kids, Alex just put his earphones in and promptly fell asleep and I would read or watch a film. This time round? I had a squirming 11 month old on my lap who fought sleep until 10 minutes before we landed, and my darling daughter watching Frozen with her headphones in on the iPad. Seemed like a good idea at the time, until she INSISTED on singing ‘Let It Go’ at the top of her voice!

3) Now for the actual holiday itself. Getting up at 10, drinking cocktails by the pool, taking a swim, chilling at the beach etc. If only! Woken at ridiculous o’clock by the kids, the never ending cycle of applying the kids sun cream, making sure they aren’t getting burnt and staying hydrated. Dressing and undressing them into their swimwear, as well as yourself! Stopping Freddie eating sand for the thousandth time, while trying to encourage Jessie that she can go into the sea deeper than her ankles (with a ring and armbands on!). Along with trying to find food that our fusspot Freddie will actually eat (apparently not much in Spain). 

4) Then for the journey home. Pretty much repeat 1) and 2). Only it seems so much worse because you’re on your way home!

5) Then once you’re home: Spend the next week recovering! 

Missing my munchkins!

It’s so hard coming home just as the kids go to bed! It’s days like this I can’t wait for the weekends and for my holiday!
Freddie is finally crawling! Well, sort of! He’s doing the commando style crawling, pulling himself along with his hands, and pushing himself forwards with his feet. And wow, he has got some speed now! We can’t take our eyes off him for a split second! And if we do? He darts straight for the nearest pair of shoes. No idea why but he loves them! Especially for a chew on! Yuck! 
And Jessie? Such a little trouble maker! Determined not to go to bed at the moment when she’s told. And while it would be nice if she stayed up and we could snuggle on the sofa, we have such early starts in the morning it just wouldn’t be fair on her as she gets tired enough as it is.  We got her September MRI appointment through today. We have to be at the hospital by 7.30am! So early!! Especially when it’s 2 hours door to door! Ugh that’s going to be an early start for us! But we’ve been told she’s a “golden patient” so she’ll be up first and hopefully we won’t be kept waiting all day like last time.  And then back again in October for the results. 
Anyway, early night for me tonight, busy day at work tomorrow! Roll on HOLIDAY!!!

Week 3 at work – done

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t quite believe I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks already! Where does the time go!?
My main feeling right now: exhaustion. Seriously, I don’t know how other people manage to pull this off and make it look effortless! Because it is hard work!! The early mornings, the late nights, it’s a major adjustment after having been off for 10 months! And I have realised while I’m at work I don’t really miss the kids. That may sound strange but it’s true. When do I actually miss the kids? 10 minutes after I put them to bed having spent only an hour with them in the evening. BUT! I have the weekends to look forward to for fun times with the kids and that time feels so much more special now. 
One thing I’m loving is being back around my colleagues and having a chance for some “me” time. Yes you read it right – work is my “me” time! Well it’s as close to it as it’s going to get so I’ll take that one! It’s just refreshing to be called my actual name and not “mummy” all the time! And there’s much less whinging and crying at work (mostly!! 😂😂) and definitely no nappy changes!!!!
Though naturally being back has it’s downsides: our washing pile is getting out of class control and the fridge is almost empty. How do people have time to do everything?  I come home from work and once the kids are in bed, most nights Alex and I just collapse on the sofa. Too tired to move until we go to bed. 
Ironically, someone at work actually called me Supermum and an inspiration this week! I feel so far from it it’s unreal! What I have realised, like with most things in life, you just get on with it, work with what you’ve got and make it work for for you. So that’s what I’m doing. 

Week 1 at work – done

With week one at work over I feel an overwhelming feeling of relief. That’s the worst part done, surely? As each day passes I feel like I’m finally beginning to get it again, slowly but surely remembering what it is my job actually is! Sounds silly but having 10 months away from it makes it surprisingly easy to forget, especially as I haven’t even been near a calculator, let alone a spreadsheet in that whole role!
And as for the kids? Jessie is finding it the hardest out of all of us. She misses me taking her to school and just generally being around. And I’ll admit it, I feel far more guilty about leaving her than I do Freddie. I couldn’t go to her sports day this week because I was working. It’s the little things like that that some so easily take for granted, but I would have loved to be there. For her. To see her face when she realises in there watching her, cheering her on. I feel I’ve let her down not being there.  I feel like the worst mother ever. 

I’m just going to have to learn accept that there will inevitably be some things I miss in their lives, and make the most of the times I am there. 

Back to work

I don’t think I was quite prepared for the reality of being back to work.  And it’s not even related to leaving the kids. That part of it I had come to terms with; after all I did it with Jessie, and while it’s not easy, I knew more or less what I was letting myself in for.  
What I’m finding hard? Feeling like the new girl all over again! I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and as of yet don’t feel like I’ve really found my place on my new team. Who are all lovely, but I’m still to find out more about what is expected of me and what my responsibilities will be. So I feel in a bit of limbo really, and it’s not something I’m enjoying! I like to be the one feeling in complete control, and right now I feel I have none at all!
I’m sure I’ll get used to it. And in the mean time? Back to treading water I guess!