Christmas work do 2017: a sober(ish) affair

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I got a free pass on Friday afternoon to go out for my work Christmas do. I tempted my dad over with freshly baked sausage rolls (he’s very cheap compared to nursery fees!) and off I went.

I knew I would have a drink or two. It’s my first in a while that I have been able to drink. But when I found myself downing my second shot (vanilla vodka and Cointreau – it was horrible), the little voice in my head sternly told me to stop, and I reached for the water. It’s a far cry from the year I puked into someone’s pint and staggered home. I’ve never liked to be a conventional boss!

The taxi journey home was weird.

To start with, it was very early. 6pm. I hopped into a car, and the guy straight away asked me how old I was. Peculiar. I asked why he needed to know and he said that the taxi office had radioed over and said I was underage. Seriously?! I spent the rest of the journey trying to convince the guy that I am, in fact, 29. “I’m a mother, don’t you know!” He didn’t believe me. I left the car shaking my head. First impressions are a funny thing.

And if the water hadn’t already started doing its job sobering me up, Ralphie chucking his dinner all over me certainly did the trick. He’s had a horrid cough and has been quite off his food. I’ve always been proud of his communications skills, but really? A simply head shake would have done the trick, matey.

Ryan thankfully stepped in to help with bathtime. A few direct splashes in the face later and my make up was pretty much off. And even though I had eaten a two course meal (I missed the starter) only hours earlier, it would have been rude not to have eaten the takeaway curry. It’s basically our Friday religion.

You know what, I didn’t even have a hangover in the morning. I feel almost human. Please remind me of this very wise approach to drinking the next time I am out.

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The troublesome knickers

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For the last goodness knows how long, our washing machine has been temperamental. Sometimes it did a cycle no problem and others time it decided not to bother. My favourite was when it stalled on the spin cycle so you ended up with a full load of dripping wet clothes.

Anyway, just before Christmas it pretty much gave up on us entirely. All it did was make a pathetic whirring noise, which wasn’t particularly helpful for washing clothes.

I know it’s obvious, but babies sure do generate a lot of washing (pictured is Ralphie in one of his many outfits; he’d already pooed through one when I took this picture). These last 15 weeks that poor machine has been working back-to-back shifts, so I can’t complain too much, other than criticise its poor timing. Getting someone out to fix it during the festive period was nigh on impossible.

The laundrette up the road proved a god send. Although Ryan was stingey with the dryer and brought back three washloads of damp clothes, which we had to hang all over the house. Annoying as it was, I had to bite my tongue on that one.

We then descended on my mum and dad for Christmas and took full advantage of their washing and drying facilities. Ralphie had the freedom to do as many poo explosions as he wanted. What luxury!

We finally moved back home on Friday and had to make do without a working machine until yesterday. And wow the washing piles up quickly!

The first thing the washing machine guy (sorry, I’m sure he has a much more professional title!) asked me was if we’d cleared the filter. Well of course we hadn’t. I have absolutely no idea how these things work. The look of disdain on his face was unmistakeable, but I took it as best as I could and quickly trotted, with Ralphie in tow, to get the towel he had requested.

I won’t go into the logistics of how he opened up the filter. All I will say is that it was annoyingly easy. I also won’t bore you with a description of the stench that filled my nostrils as stagnant, grey water poured all over my clean kitchen floor. I cried a little bit inside! What I will tell you, though, is that the guy pulled a rather pathetic looking pair of knickers from the filter, along with some other indescribable mush similar to what you find in the plug hole.

And that, my friends, seems to have been the cause of all our washing woes – knickers! And if you must know, I don’t think they were even mine.

 

Another year, another Christmas

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It’s that time of the year when I don’t even know what day it is. We’ve eaten what we can of the turkey leftovers and I’m pretty sure it’s still acceptable to eat a mince pie or two, but it’s not really Christmas anymore. Urgh!

As I waddled into work in the heat of the summer, I dreamed about how brilliant Ralphie’s first Christmas would be. And it has been every bit as lovely as I hoped.

The last few days have been a blur of giggles, food, cuddles, food, laughter, food, and more food! Ralphie has loved being the centre of attention. His conversation skills are coming on leaps and bounds; you should hear the way he squeals! He’s picked up and subsequently recovered from his first cold. I think he’s also gained a good few pounds judging by the looks of it.

The main festivities may be over, but I’m going to really enjoy the next few days with the family before everyone goes back to work. Next week we have Ralphie’s second lot of jabs to look forward to. I’ve also enrolled the two of us into our first baby class – Rhythm Time. Let’s hope he enjoys it as much as my singing.

‘Tis the season

A carol service and a Christmas do in the space of two days – the festive season is well and truly upon us.

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I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my mum is the proudest grandma going, and on Thursday I took Ralphie to her school (she’s a headteacher) to see the carol concert and basically get shown off to everyone. Now Ralphie loves a good sing song and I always end up humming something to him to help him get off to sleep – sometimes a well known nursery rhyme or, more often than not, something I’ve made up – and what could be better than a few hundred children singing ‘We three kings’ in unison to send him off to the land of nod?

So Ralphie slept through the service, but he woke for the important bit – the opportunity to grin at grandma and meet his adoring fans! I tell you, this boy is going to have a seriously big head (it’s already measuring in the 90th centile) if he continues to get this kind of attention in the coming years. If I hear the phrase “he’s going to be a little heartbreaker” one more time…

And then yesterday I left him with his dad while I snuck off in between feeds for my work Christmas do. Don’t judge me, but he may have got a little wine in his milk that evening, not that it helped him sleep any better!

Now I have been known for letting go a bit too much at these parties in the past (don’t even ask Ryan about the time I drank so much I vomited on our bedroom floor), but now I’m a mum it’s a much more civilised affair. I ate my lunch, sipped on half a glass of red, and was reunited with Ralphie by 4.30pm, just before the fun really got started. Turns out I could have stayed an extra half an hour as he was still completely zonked when I got back.

It’s 13 days until the big day and I couldn’t be less prepared. But if I’m honest I don’t really have much to prepare for. The materials to make the homemade Christmas cards are on their way; I’ve still got time to make some mince pies (mine will be with puff pastry this year); and if I’ve not got around to buying everyone a gift, they can have a cuddle with Ralphie instead.

The day my sister chopped off her finger

Okay, okay, she didn’t chop off her whole finger, it was just the top, but still…

As things go, today has been a bit of a roller coaster. Ralphie laughed for the first time last night – a proper belly laugh that went on so long that he gave himself hiccups. It was honestly the best noise I’ve ever heard and I woke up this morning still smiling about it. I then found out via the power of Instagram (god I love this app far too much!) that Ralphie has been chosen to be a brand rep for the baby clothes shop Bee Bee’s Boutique, which basically means that they send us clothes and in return I take some cute pics of him and spread the word on social media – a bit like this one…

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Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh? It’s our first brand rep gig, and with his adorable little face I’m hopeful it’s the start of many more to come.

Anyway, the finger! Excited about the brand rep news, I dropped my sister a message to let her know. It was then that she told me she’d spent the night in A&E because she’d damaged her finger. I won’t go into too much detail in case you’re squeamish, but the long and short of it is that a fire door slammed shut on it and chopped off the fleshy bit at the top and fractured the bone. Yuck! It still makes me wince just thinking about it.

Thankfully, it sounds like it’s not damaged beyond repair, but it’s still a pretty horrific injury for something as trivial as opening a door. The only positive to take away from this is that it now looks like she’ll be coming home early for Christmas. I know it’s not much of a consolation for her and her finger (it’s a nightmare injury for an art student), but I can’t wait to give her a hug. And I’m sure Ralphie will cheer her up.

I just hope he doesn’t laugh at her.

Feeling festive

Christmas has arrived early in our household this year; the tree is up, the lights are twinkling, and the novelty Santa is sitting pride of place on the coffee table.

We usually leave it much much later to get all festive, but as it’s Ralphie’s first Christmas we’re more excited than usual. And yes, we know he won’t have a clue what’s going on!

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One thing I will say is that you get loads more trees to choose from when you go shopping for one in the first week of December. No sorting through the scraps for us this year. Just appreciate the shape of that tree!

Considering how crazy we’ve gone buying in stuff for Ralphie (his 3-6 month wardrobe is, quite frankly, ridiculous), we’ve done a deal with Santa not to overdo it this year. We’ll see how that goes! Either way I don’t mind. Ralphie’s hand-eye coordination still needs a bit of work, so it’ll be lucky me unwrapping all his presents.

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What I’m most looking forward to, though, is getting together with the family and generally having a jolly good old time together, with Ralphie at the centre of attention. Yes, it’s soppy, but it’s true what they say: as you get older, your Christmas list gets shorter. Not because you want any less, but because the things you want can’t be bought.

Last year I asked Ryan for a baby. I don’t think you can really better that!

 

So much washing!

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When this came through to my inbox I thought it was a joke. The timing couldn’t have been any better! Because as lovely as this weekend has been so far, if I had to use one word to sum it up it would be “poogate!” I know it’s very clichéd to talk about endless nappy changes as a new mum, but this weekend has been seriously pooey…and leaky 😬

It all started yesterday morning when Ralphie simultaneously pooed and vomited in our bed, causing his dad to leap a mile! It was hilarious until I realised that poo was leaking out of Ralph’s nappy. It was everywhere! And from thereon in that’s been the theme of the weekend.

I had a curry on Friday night, so I have a feeling that’s the cause…but I have a curry most Fridays. Maybe it’s a duff batch of nappies, although I don’t think even I can blame Pampers for Ralph’s poo explosions that go all the way up his back.  Whatever it is, I hope it stops soon because I’m getting through my huge tub of Vanish like there’s no tomorrow.

We’re planning to walk into town shortly to see the Christmas lights switch on. I think I’ll let Ryan wear him in the snuggly. My jumper’s too nice to get ruined!