Yep, here we are ‘in the bleak midwinter’. Have I mentioned before how much I hate January? Very probably! The cold days, the long dark nights, not being able to get outside with the children, endless coughs and colds… I looked up images of wintry scenes and of course they’re all of twinkly snowscapes with bright blue skies. In reality, in the south of England this week it has been occasionally icy, windy, rainy, cloudy, grey and dark with very brief low sunshine breaking through. Sorry, this is turning into a weather report. I’ve always thought that one day, in retirement, it would be nice to spend the winter months living abroad somewhere warm and sunny.
After recent weeks of hyper planning for birthday parties and JJ’s first week at school, uniform and wrapping and baking, this last week I have let it go a bit. On my day off I did my cleaning but I didn’t push myself to cook something new or tick anything off any particular list. When I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands yesterday I didn’t try and cram in a hundred and one jobs or finish my book or start a new project. I did a little bit of catch up blogging (the wireless connection had been down the night before), read some of my book and had a cup of tea.
This week we have been having our bathroom ripped out (floor to ceiling tiles, plaster, everything) and a new one installed. This work is still ongoing. Needless to say its been a bit of an upheaval. We have one man doing all the work on his own – he’s a lovely Polish guy called Slav (although JJ insists that he’s actually named Scarf). There is so much work for him to do on his own though, including demolition and removal of the waste, tiling, plumbing, electrics and installation of the actual fittings. He will still be working this Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. This is all arranged and organised through the bathroom fitting service at B&Q so I guess they’re saving money by using one man per job.
Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of sunshine can turn your life around in 24 hours? Last weekend we had two outings – one to Fisher’s Farm Park and one to Hampton Court (post to follow!) and on Monday we were very kindly invited over to a friend’s house to take part in a little impromptu Easter Egg Hunt in their garden, which will be the first of three for the munchkins! (God help us when the chocolate *really* kicks in!!).
My mum also took the pair of them to Alice Holt Forest on Wednesday morning for a picnic and apparently the place was heaving! She was relieved that they had arrived relatively early because cars were literally being turned away by the time they left.
OK, so it hasn’t been a completely indecisive week – I finally got around to making provisional bookings for both children’s birthday parties (July & September) and I was really quite decisive about how I wanted my hair cut (a bit of long layering) (and besides, after an 8 month wait anything was going to be an improvement!).
But then, I went to book an appointment for a (well overdue – slapped wrist!) cervical smear only to find that the only day I’m really free is the one day of the week that there is no Well Woman clinic running at my surgery. So now I have to decide whether to take annual leave from work, or try and find a babysitter to get this unpleasant, but ultimately essential task done…
This week has been a bit of a weird one for me, after being very upbeat for the last few weeks, following all the tenets of the Happiness Project, and generally feeling very resilient a few negative things happened in quick succession and I’ve found it very difficult to clear my mind of the debris left behind. Sleep took a turn for the worse and I feel the blog has suffered somewhat as every time I have sat down to write its like the ink has dried up in my brain. This culminated, last night, in me sitting down to a bit of web surfing and finding myself unable to read the words of any given paragraph in order (or even in the right words!) I could feel a headache coming on and it was a very weird and disconcerting experience. I realised that I was very tired, having woken at an ungodly hour the night before, fretting over a piece of nonsense in my life that I don’t seem to have been able to let go of. And then I threw in the towel and went to bed at 8.30pm.
Both children have succumbed to a little virus in the past week, and the knock-on effect for me has been increasing tiredness and now, finally, the first signs of a cough rearing its ugly, phlegmy head. Just as Spring is attempting to stamp down the last of Winter and allow us all to move on, it feels like we’ve fallen at the last hurdle.
As we speak I am desperately squirting Vicks First Defence up my nose and swigging down a pint of effervescent Vitamin C with Zinc, but I fear it is all for nought as the sleep deprivation is determined to drag my immune system down with it.
Sorry if this is really two words and a bit of a cheat! This week as EJ turned 19 months, his behaviour has suddenly transformed somewhat – he has begun throwing things, hitting his brother over the head with his tippy cup/anything else to hand, dragging me about by the fingers and literally lobbing bits of chewed up food around the kitchen once he’s decided he doesn’t want any more.
I mentioned the fact that the Terrible Twos appear to have started early and my sister pointed out that this is why she always says the cutest age is 9-18 months. Almost immediately after those precious months the tantrums kick in and all the memories of early challenging behaviour in JJ have come flooding back (although, to be honest, JJ’s behaviour was challenging to me from birth onwards!).
And this week’s #WotW is:
As I was contemplating how my week had gone I realised that, despite only working part time (I head to the office four days a week – one of them is a half day) – I really only see my children for a couple of hours a night Monday through Thursday. For this reason I generally always reach Friday and my week cannot really be summed up by anything central to my role as a parent or to my time with the kids without looking back to the previous weekend. Then I realised that I spent all last Sunday morning at work doing overtime.
Last week I missed entering this new linky set up by Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence but I’ve had a chance to dip in to most of the posts that went in and I note that the general theme for the start of the year was ‘organised’, ‘optimistic’, ‘patient’, ‘prepared’ – so it looks like I’m not the only one who has big plans for getting life sorted in 2014. The idea behind the link-up is to pick your word of the week and provide a brief explanation. So, in an effort not to repeat the world at large, this week I’m choosing “Date”.