And Then There Were Three….

…..Or four of us in the household now, if you include the cat, which I 100% do BTW!

Please allow me to introduce Dylan Milo. He was born on Saturday 24/12/16 weighing 5lb 15oz at 3.08am.

We are totally smitten with the little fellow and we are on a sleep deprived cloud nine high ATM!

Of course it would not be a typical Helen and Rob type of story with out some kind of hiccup involved around the time of his birth. And sure enough, before he was born, the van broke down on Saturday the 17th Dec, four days before my due date on Wednesday the 21st Dec!

We hastily organised a list of local cab firm numbers to keep to hand, sorted some cash out ready to pay for midnight taxis, and hoped, that while I did not want his birthday to be too close to Xmas day, that in a way it might be better if I kept my legs crossed for a little bit longer while the van was being fixed at the garage!

On my D-Date Weds 21/12/16 we were loaned a courtesy car by the garage. Then on Fri 23/12/16 we got the van back at around 3pm just in time for our 6pm drive to our local hospital, as by then I was in labour!

Just in the nick of time, eh!

Thankfully, it all worked out perfectly, as Rob was really looking forward to bringing him home in the van rather than the damp, smelly, ancient, ex learner vehicle, crappy Vauxhall Corsa that the garage gave us as a courtesy car!

There will be no birth story on here. Although for some reason I really want to share it (it must be the hormone high!) But when I see birth stories on other peeps blogs, I find them dull and long, and they all seem to be either on the hardcore, grisly, birth olympics type of survivor story end of the spectrum or the smug, showy, “I just breathed my baby out”, hypnobirth type of tale! Dylan’s birth was fine BTW. It was fairly quick and not as painful as I was expecting, and was kind of a mixture of the two! But I don’t care about any of all that, I am just grateful that he is here!

I had to stay in hospital overnight, and Rob and I spent most of Xmas day on the ward. I cannot praise the all NHS staff enough, they were amazing, and fed Rob and I a Xmas dinner and the midwifes even gave Dylan a  Xmas present – the little bear rattle thing pictured below! We got home at about 6.30 pm on Xmas day and enjoyed the rest of the day as a family of 3 (although I missed the GBBO Xmas special! Boo!)

Here are some more piccies of him. He is so tiny! I thought that because I was overdue and we have a history of bigger babies in the family that he would be a 10lb-er chunk! Nope, he is so dinky! Even tiny baby sized clothes seem so large on him!

Oh well, that’s enough of my baby waffle! I have a couple of badly written, unedited (like my last 15 Years post) scheduled ready to go live and I hope that I will be back blogging again in a month or two. See you all soon!

Wish me luck with the sleepless nights!

15 Years!

Today marks 15 years of togetherness with Rob.

We met towards the end of 2001 in our local indie dive bar and sort of knew each other through our friends (his best mate used to go out with my BFF at the time’s cousin). I had heard of this mate who drove a VW Beetle, and I used to walk past his flat and old VW Bug on my way home from college, but somehow we had never crossed before until then.

After another drunken night drinking cans of Red Stripe, smoking too many cigarettes and dancing to Britpop, when we finally met I must have made some kind of impression, as Rob asked one of my friends for my mobile phone number. How retro!

He texted me, and I accidentally deleted it, so I could not text him back. I bumped into two of his friends in town a few days later and explained the situation and they gave me his home number (again, how retro!) to call him back.

At the time, the last thing that I wanted was a boyfriend, as I was having far too much fun partying with my mates! But I felt a bit rude for not replying, so I called him up and the rest is history.

Rob, to me, was kind of a “what the heck, I have nothing to lose” situation and at the beginning he was way more into me than I was into him! But he grew on me like some kind of infectious, irritating rash! And four houses, four cars, three pets, 15 years later (minus a 3 month break up), and finally, with a kid on the way together (it took me a lo-ooong time to come round to the idea!) we are still together!

I cannot remember exactly how we got together and where and when our first dates were (as I said, I was drinking and partying a lot back in those days!) but we shared our first snog on Xmas eve 2001. So this is our anniversary.

We’ve had our ups and downs and weathered many a storm together. We are not the perfect couple, far from it. But we share a similar sense of humour, a similar taste in music (that’s v.important BTW!) and the same work ethic, outlook on money and set of morals. I think that’s what made our relationship work, really.

Yes, he does irritate the f**k out of me and I drive him up the wall. And we always bicker. But here is to more years ahead with my very own special irritating rash man! I guess I will keep him a bit longer!

The New House – The Finished Lounge

I am really pleased to say that we have finished decorating our lounge!

We actually finished decorating the room at the beginning of December, and now that we finally have brought some curtains (its a long story involving several trips to Dunelm, a £700+ made to measure quote* and a wrong sized curtain pole!) everything is done and ticked off our list!

We are both very pleased with this room. Its a nice room to hang out in and the space really works for us. I love it!

Right, lets begin by showing how the previous owner of the house arranged this room in the two estate agents photos below –

viewing b4 lounge 2viewing b4 lounge 1As I have said before, we planned to move in, leave things as they were, get settled in our new area, then eventually change the decor more to our taste. But then I got knocked up, so our timeline changed and we decided to get a wiggle on and to get all the stress and upheaval of decorating over and done with and out the way within our first six months of living here. So next year we can just get on with our lives. (In theory anyway!)

Plus all our furniture from our old house didn’t really fit in with the layout of the room, as you can see in the next three photos below↓. I think the big, massive window didn’t do us any favours really.

So I set about finding new replacements for most of our furnishings. I had decided before we moved, not to be too attached and sentimental about our furniture and possessions, so I sold on our G Plan Astro coffee table, teak starbust clock and vintage teak sideboard, then donated our old sofa, battered dining table and chairs, and replaced them with some new, better sized for the room, colourful versions!

I love our new green sofa. I am so glad I waited until we moved before buying some new cushions a new sofa!

There are more photos and more of me talking about the room in its before state this post here.imageimageimageBelow are a few shots of the decorating progress –

imageimageimageimageimageimageAnd here is how the room looks now –

I can safely say that now we are on our fourth house together, Rob and I know our style. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but we love it!

We stuck to our tried and tested grey walls (we did experiment with lilac, but it wasn’t really for us!) with a similar coloured laminate flooring to what we had in our old house (which we find much more practical for a dining room/area than carpet!)  and our retro inspired mix of vintage and modern furnishings with lots of bright pops of colour in the room.

Well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it I say!

When you walk into the room, we have our dining zone with our lovely (if I say so myself!) vintage Ladderax display and storage unit, which we use for meals, reading, and will do for craft projects and homework etc in the future. Then down the other end of the room we have our relaxing zone and future floor playing area with the telly, large sofa, fire and rug.

Anyway, I hope that the room is future proofed. ‘Cos I sure as hell am not in a hurry to decorate again that’s for certain!

And luckily we managed to find homes for all our prints from the old house! I was worried that we would not have room for them all and it was actually quite hard finding where best to hang them. This house is the newest house (built in 1969) that I have ever lived in (excluding a new build that we rented many moons ago) and I never realised how things like chimney breasts and alcoves in a room can make such a huge difference (i.e make things easier) with furniture and picture placement! But we got there in the end and I think it all looks great, even with the slightly odd, different sized frames behind the sofa!

Who wants boring, uniform, matching things anyway?!!

I love how Poppy is camouflaged when she sits on the rug! And yes, I have nearly trodden on her several times when she has been snoozing on it!!!

So there we have it. A full tour of the room with a little too many photos than probably needed! If you have any questions like where things are from please give me a shout in the comments. I hope you all enjoyed having a little virtual nose round my gaff!

*We didn’t pay a lot for the curtains in the end, thank goodness. We managed to find some ready made, just about wide enough, thermal lined ones for £69.99, then found a local lady to shorten the length to fit our humongous, monster sized window for £20! A much better price than £700+, eh!

Some Things That (I Hope) I Will And Will Not Do

So I said in one of my recent posts that I am not planning on becoming a Mummy blogger anytime soon.

And while out there in the blogosphere there are some really great family/parenting/lifestyle type blogs, there are a few (in particular a couple of the bigger American family blogs that spring to my mind) that slightly concern me about how the parents of the, admittedly very cute hipster kids, pimp out their offspring to advertise products and earn a living. Sometimes I just want to scream at them “DID NOBODY LEARN ANYTHING FROM MACAULAY CULKIN???!!!???!!” And then sometimes I find myself clicking on the links within the blog post! Hey, I am not immune to a good bit marketing, Im only human!!!

Anyhoo, in honour of one of my favourite family/parenting/lifestyle blogs Mother of All Lists (please click on the link and have a gander, its a great blog that has something for everyone, kids in your life or not!) I thought that I would write a (over opinionated and rather ranty!) post about what I hope that I will and will not do when I become a parent, both online and in everyday life.

….And so that you can all laugh at my naivety and remind me how I am a hypocrite and have completely contradicted myself in a few months time!!!!

  • I am not going to put any photos of the kid on my blog. Sorry about that. I will probably put one or two up when he is born to announce it, but that will be it. This is my personal blog about my life in general and thoughts and feelings etc. So I will stick to writing about the usual mundane stuff like decorating the house, days out and camping trips (if we manage to have any that is!) etc, rather than mundane baby stuff like sleepless nights, weaning and potty training etc. If I find the time to keep blogging of course.
  • The same goes for social media. Rob and I have agreed that we want to respect the kids privacy and we will only share his photos online with our family directly through Whatsapp, a private shared iPhoto album and personal emails. Plus I really hope that I do not post statuses moaning about sleepless nights and all the rest on Facebook! But who knows what my hormones and extreme tiredness will drive me to?!!!
  • I hope that I do not become a baby bore who talks about nothing but their kid. We all know that person. Even after politely listening to the latest news about the sprog, when you try to change the subject and get them to talk about themselves, they somehow always turn the conversation back to junior, bless ’em! BTW I totally did this when we first got the cat. I didn’t realise that I was boring people going on about her all the time!
  • I am not going to neglect my cat. She is still my little baby. Be it a 10 year old black and white, slightly chubby, totally spoilt, furry one who poops herself occasionally, pukes on the floor, has fishy breath, whinges a lot, cries to be fed on demand and needs to be cuddled to sleep all the time!
  • I am not going to call myself mamabear, wear a mother of dragons t-shirt or change my Instagram profile name to “*****’smummy” (whatever we decide to call him, still not made up our minds yet!)
  • I am not going to allow my house to be taken over by toys and kid clutter. Please do feel free to laugh at my naivety here!!! I just really hope that our lounge does not turn into something looking like a soft play area. I have loads of empty storage space in the lounge Ladderax unit for any future Lego, games and craft supplies etc. But who knows who will win the battle against the influx of plastic crap entering the house!
  • I hope that I will not become one of these “holier than thou” types who thinks that they are a more compassionate, understanding person just because they are a parent. True story – one time Rob and I were sitting in the pub next to a friend of a friend of a friend, who asked if we had any kids, then started going on about how wonderful parenthood is and how much having kids makes you a better person. I had to bite my tongue and hold back while he waffled on and on about how selfless and wonderful he was. What a dick!!! In fact, at one point I did actually say to him “so you are telling me that I am selfish because I don’t have kids” but it seemed to go over his head. Surely common sense tells you that not everybody has a choice in these matters and there are plenty of terrible, evil people out there who also happen to be parents? Grrrrrr, what a dick!!!!!!!!!
  • I hope that I do not say to other first time expectant mums or couples, the one cliche that everyone has told us that “our lives are going to completely change”! For some reason this perfectly innocent, meant well statement has grated me a bit during my pregnancy. I think its because its so obvious. And your lives also change with other major life events – like when you break up with someone, lose a loved one, get made redundant or change your job and move house etc, but no one seems to say it to you then. On a personal level, I have sometimes wanted to tell people “yeah, well so does having a miscarriage (*change your life that is*). It makes you appreciate that you cannot predict anything in life, that life is short and you need to be thankful for what you have”. But I am too polite to say so and I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable!
  • I also hope that I will not tell child free couples when they see my future babe that they “will be next”! As if just by looking at my child it will magically cure their infertility or make them change their minds about their personal choices in life!!!
  • I hope that I can bring my boy up to be a feminist.
  • I hope that if he does like Disney’s Frozen that I can support his interest and will not have a near nervous breakdown after hearing Let it Go for the millionth time! Gah, I hate that effing song so much!!!
  • I will not be a miserable cow about Xmas anymore and will try to make their childhood memories of the festive period good ones! Bring on the Elf on a shelf, tinsel and turkey!!!
  • And I hope that this will be my last personal/thought dump type of post on here about the kid. But who knows?!!!