Friday, 24 February 2012

The time has come

So the day is finally upon us. Almost. In about forty minutes anyway. I write this whilst staring an absolutely humoungous white box sat in the middle of my living room full of kitchen items.

For one thing, my back is throbbing. You wouldn't imagine the pain packing boxes causes you. Constantly lifting and bending down, then back up again only to put something else in the box. I should be used to it really, my old job used to consist of me basically lifting and moving heavy things all day long. But no, my back is in agony. And do you want to know the worst part about it? This is only just the beginning.

Tonight we have OH's friends staying round who are helping us move everything into storage. They'll be the ones lifting and loading into the van, but I know for a fact I'm going to end up chipping in. I don't like to just be stood still whilst other people are working so I'll probably start loading the van up with too heavy boxes and then no doubt complain about it afterwards.

I just can't believe how quickly it's come around. I've spent the last 2 years of my life in this house and this last month has just flown. And I've not even been having fun! It feels like all I've done is pack, organise and throw things away. It's been never ending. Now it's very nearly all done (I should probably be doing something useful rather than typing this, but everyone's nipped out so it's just me, the dog, sleeping baby and a laptop!) and it feels like the time has just slipped past me. I haven't been able to appreciate the house for what it's given me. I know that sounds sappy, but everyone remembers there first house when they moved away from home. Whether it was into dorms, or into a flat, everyone remembers. We were fortunate enough at the age of 20 to move into a 3 bedroomed house. Obviously at the time we didn't need the 3 bedrooms, but the house was pretty much the same rent as a 1 bed flat, and I absolutely adored the kitchen.

Don't get me wrong, we've had some problems with the house. If I'm being honest, it's falling to bits. There's cracks everywhere, the floors either haven't been fitted properly or are just decomposing, the kitchen was fitted by a complete amateur, and let's face it, I'm not in the best area. But all of that being said, I adore this house. It's my first home, I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks after moving in, spent my entire pregnancy here and have raised Princess here since she was born. We'd decorated rooms and colour coded them, we'd accessorised and made things out own. Everything we had was from scratch - we had no furniture, only what we bought with us from our parents and what other family donated. The last 2 years have been spent making this house a home, and now, it's all packed up in boxes.

I'm not going to have another home now for a month. Moving into OH's Mums house is our only option that will allow us to save for another deposit and application fees. I'm looking forward to it, it'll be lovely for Princess to spend some time with her Grandparents, but I'm not sure how I'm going to cope living in someone elses house again. I've spent a fair bit of time there before, and even though I'm comfortable there, it's still not my home. Nothing will be my own, apart from my clothes, so I've no idea how I'm going to adapt after spending so long completely independent. I suppose I won't know until I get there (tomorrow - eep!) but I'm sure I'll be fine.

So now all we have to do is move everything out tomorrow, come back on Sunday and clean the entire house from top to bottom and then give the keys back on Wednesday. After that, we should get our deposit back. I'm excited to look for new houses, to see the new home potential, but I will miss it here. I'm so comfortable and content that it's going to be difficult to find it again somewhere else. Okay, it might not be difficult, I'm comfortable pretty much anywhere, but it's going to be a big change. 

Before I bore you into a coma going on yet again about moving home, I'm going to leave it at that. Au revoir!

Monday, 20 February 2012

What a difference a weekend makes...

If I carry on harping on about the big move then I'm gonna end up losing followers, but I just have to share this with you. Well those of you who bother to read this!
I sent a letter to my landlord 2 weeks ago asking him to come for a meeting at the house so I could discuss a few problems with him. I told him I'd been having issues with the Estate Agents and that I wanted his personal opinion on the house, whether there was anything he thinks we should be doing or needs improving before we leave. 
He came round on the Saturday (he forgot mind you and I had to call him and ask if he was still coming!) and all I can say is: PHEW! I couldn't be more happier that I asked him to come round. There's a few problems with the house, for example, in our study there is a brown mark on the vinyl floor which for the life of me I can't get off. I showed it to the landlord to which his reply was 'don't worry about it'. Massive load off my mind considering that floor was put down whilst we were living here so any damage to it can only have been caused by us. 
At the side of the chimney breast in the kitchen, a huge crack had appeared which was making the paint chip off the wall. There's several cracks all over the place if I'm being honest but this one looked particularly bad. Ross offered to paint over it and the landlords reply was "that would be great, as long as you don't mind!".
The man is a bloody saviour. He's told us the marks on the wall up the second flight of stairs is fine, he will speak to the Estate Agents and tell them it's not our problem. Once he'd said this I nearly fist pumped the air with glee imagining the face of Jodie, the agent in charge of our property. It was her who had told me that we would have to repaint it even though it was there before we moved in. 
In all honesty, if we had just had direct dealings with the landlord then everything would have been smooth sailing. He's a lovely guy, he doesn't take anything too seriously and to him, as long as someone is moving in when we leave, the house could look like a crackden. 

I'll move on to a slightly happier subject now. We spent Saturday at Charlotte's house where we had dinner and just chilled out really. One thing that was different this time though was the way Princess and her cousin Tyler played. They spent the whole day chasing each other round, wrestling and laughing. It was so lovely to see considering they'd never really played together before. Usually the day would consist of one of them taking toys off the other whilst the other burst into tears. Or attacked them in Princess's case. 
I'm bursting with pride this week, Princess is coming on so quickly it's almost scary. Last week I taught her how to say 'Me'. It's nothing big, but now when I ask her 'who's gorgeous' her reply is 'meeeeeeee!' or 'who's done a poo!?' she happily shouts 'meeeee!'. She shouts down hoover pipes copying her Dad. She sits on the sofa with her blanket and beaker. She watches 'Little Einsteins' and pats & claps along with them, as well as raising her arms in the air when they do. She puts her own arms into her coat and t-shirts. 
At 16 months she's growing so dramatically. Not in just the physical sense but mentally too - although she is incredibly tall for her age! She's not a baby anymore, she's a little person with a personality and an opinion. She might not be able to express it verbally yet, but she will definitely let you know whether she likes something or not. The other week I asked her to bring me a book, and that's exactly what she did. Tottered off to her toybox, picked out her favourite Humf book and came and sat with me on the sofa whilst I read it. Sometimes I'm sure she understands exactly what I'm saying.

As much as I would love to sit here all day and type about Princess or moving home, I think I should actually get a move on and do something that resembles packing. We have 5 days left before everything needs to be out of the house and the majority of stuff is just sat around waiting to be organised. 

I'll get to it in five minutes.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Five Shuffles

I was tagged in a meme by the lovely so here it goes!

The name of the game is to put your ipod/mp3 player on to shuffle and list the first 5 songs that come on. I'm not quite sure if the songs are embarrassing or not, it was updated not that long ago so all of the crap was deleted. But even though it may not be embarrassing to me, someone else may be cringing.

Number 1
Now I didn't see that one coming. This was a recent download after watching a favourite episode of Sex & The City. If you're a fan, you'll know which episode I mean!

Number 2
One of my favourite songs from my all time favourite band. Not that I always admit it. Shane Filans voice is enough to melt me.

Number 3
I remember hearing this song for the first time and loving it. It was probably the themetune to my pregnancy, everyone remembers me singing along to it looking like a beached whale.

Number 4
I am vaguely remembering thinking this would not be embarrassing. To hell with it, Harry Styles? Yes Please!

Number 5
Another oldie right here! I love this song, and I love Lighthouse Family, always takes me back to my childhood. That man has a beautiful voice!

So there you have it, my 5 shuffles! Much more embarrassing than I thought BUT I am proud of the selection. Each of these songs I love, and they're all on there for a reason.
Now to carry on the trend I must in turn tag 2 more bloggers to continue this meme. My choices are....       @amumonamission

Now get to it ladies!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Oh the joys of moving home.

Now I stated in my last blog that I am excited about moving. After 3 weeks of non stop packing, repainting and check-up's from the Estate Agents, my excitement has now dwindled to stress.

I'm still looking forward to looking at new houses and all the new prospects that come with it, but I am absolutely hating the running up to it. As I said before, it took absolutely ages for me to pack up my one bedroom back at my Mums house, this time around I have an entire 3 bedroomed house to pack aswell as redeorating it.
In the last 3 weeks, the OH and I have so far repainted Princess's room back to white, reglossed the entire house minus the 3 bedrooms, painted the living room white, repainted the study, bathroom and stairs. I have packed up ours and Princess's bedroom, including a tip run and a council bulky waste collection. Suitcases are half packed whilst simultaneously living from a clothes rail. 
Majority of my shoes have been sold on ebay, including 2 more I need to post. This coming from someone who had well over 70 pairs of heels is a shocking achievement. I very nearly cried when I threw out the pairs I would most likely never wear again - including a pair of metallic gold wedges. Why, I will never know.
The only things left to do are pack up the last remaining bits we don't need, sort out the garden (which I'm doing today!) and repaint the very top bedroom.
This sort of leads me into a ranting area. We have never used the top bedroom for anything except storage. All of Princess's old baby things went up there in bags & boxes, tables, computers etc, everything was in there (including boxes I failed to unpack 2 years ago when we moved in, oops!) There was a bed up there too for when anyone stayed over. Now when we moved in, the top room had marks all over the place. Seeing as we didn't use the room, we never felt any need to redecorate - plus the fact we actually had to get permission from the landlord and also, we didn't cause the dirty marks so why should we? Anyhow, now it's getting closer to the date to move out, we've had the estate agents round for a 'pre-check inspection' where she basically told me what needed doing to the house in order for us to get our deposit back. At this stage the packing had only just started and so had the redecorating so the house was full of half packed boxes and half-painted walls. The estate agent told me she was happy with the house and the way we were redecorating so there wouldn't be a problem - as long as the top room was painted.
Now don't get me wrong, I understand the house has to be clean and back to it's exact decor before we moved in, but why should we spend our money righting something that was already wrong when we moved in? The dark marks and dirty handprints on those walls are not ours and were caused by someone who lived here before. It's been stated in our inventory about these marks so they can't even turn around and say they were caused by us. 
This has now started a mental panic. I spend 2 and a half hours cleaning the bathroom the other day terrified that any speck of dirt left would mean we would say goodbye to our deposit. I researched horror stories on the internet of families who were refused their deposit because the toilet had limescale or they left a plantpot in the garden. I am in full panic mode and only have 10 days to make sure this house looks like a palace - despite it looking like a slum when we moved in. I have arranged a meeting with the landlord on Saturday so he can come and take a look for himself because at the end of the day, it's his opinion that matters. If he's happy then there's nothing the agency can do about it.

I would like to apologise for my incessant rambling and what was a random post being turned into a slight rant, but this is exactly what it's like to be inside my mind at the moment. Nothing is fitting together in complete sentences and as soon as I manage to finally finish something, there is always something else that needs to be completed.

And on top of all that, I have chipped yet again, another tooth.

I will leave you with that!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Call me a big kid if you will, but there's something magical about when it snows. Don't get me wrong, I moan along with the rest of you about how much more difficult it's going to make everything, but inside I'm buzzing like a five year old after a can of coke. 

Snow seems to make everything peaceful again. The slate is wiped clean and everything looks so gorgeous. I never thought it would snow, only that morning I had been on the phone to my Mum saying "it won't snow. They've been saying it's going to snow since November and it hasn't. It's not going to happen". Imagine my surprise when later on that day, a quick glance out of the window proved me wrong. It was't falling thick or fast, just a light sprinkling of snow falling. However, that light sprinkling of snow continued for 6 hours straight and absolutely covered everything in sight. It wasn't quite the 10-15inches we'd been promised, but it was definitely just as exciting. Being the big kid I am, I had to put my footprints in the first falling of snow. There is nothing better than walking in untouched snow!

My excitement continued, even as the snow stopped at the thoughts of Princess waking up in the morning and seeing it! She's seen snow before, we had it last year, but at that point she was only a few months old and didn't understand. This year however, she's walking, running and getting excited over anything and everything so I couldn't wait for her to see it. I also couldn't wait for her to finally be able to wear her Vertbaudet snow suit that she got for her Birthday back in October! Unfortunately, a bunch of students who live across the road came out during the night and trampled every single piece of snow having a snow ball fight. Fair enough, they built a snowman, but c'mon, leave it to the kids. I'd have quite gladly built a snowman in my own back yard, but when I know children are going to be playing in it, I'd leave it for them. 

The next morning was a slow one, we were late getting up, late getting ready etc etc, you know how Sunday mornings go. We had to make our way to Charlotte's and would the pushchair go through the snow? Would it hell! So out of the pushchair Princess comes and straight into Daddy's arms because there is no chance in hell I can carry her up the street! (Lets be realistic, she's half the size of me already and at her last weigh in was just under 2 stone!) Daddy put Princess down on the floor and let her gaze in wonder at what the white stuff covering the ground was. She loved to walk in it! Didn't like the touch of it so much, but she couldn't get enough of walking over all of the lumps and bumps and stamping her feet in fresh snow! By the time we got to Charlotte's and the kids had convinced their Uncle to build a snowman, Princess was back outside playing in it. At one point she face planted the floor, and bless her heart, she didn't so much as whimper. 


Sadly though, snow has now ceased to exist. It has been replaced by an ugly looking grey slush and has made it impossible for me to leave the house. Ice I can handle, I can cling to the handles of the pushchair for balance and skate my way to wherever I want to be, but slush, now that's a different story. I needed the Post Office yesterday and I didn't even manage to get half way up the street before I had to turn around and drag the pushchair back home. There is no chance the wheels can be pushed through, and everytime it gets stuck and I have to push it forward, my soaking wet feet go sliding behind me. 

Don't be fooled by the expression!

So the snow may have only lasted for a few hours, but it was everything it needed to be. Princess got to play in it for the very first time, I got to feel the excitement of a child at Christmas, and it made everything feel new again.

Friday, 3 February 2012

To Section Or Not To Section...?

Now this post may not even be relevant, and the points I put across might not even be true, but yesterday I read something interesting and I can't really get my head around whether I agree or not.

In a group I'm in on Facebook, a lady made a post that the NICE (National Institution of Clincal Excellence) has apparently announced that in the future, all women will be able to opt for a caesarean section birth despite it costing the NHS an extra £800 compared to a natural birth.

I'm not sure how many of you know, but my labour was traumatic. So bad to the point that I often still have flashbacks to the shocking amount of pain I endured and the agonizing screams that followed as the nurse told me "I'm just going to try and turn her around". After 26 hours of gas & air and a shot of diamorphine, I was asked to sign a consent form and was rushed to surgery for a c-section. I'm not the only one to have experienced an awful labour like this, many of the women involved in the Facebook group discussion had also had emergency c-sections as I'm sure have millions of other women around the world. However, I seemed to be the only one in the post who was absolutely terrified of ever getting pregnant again.

Which is what brings me to my confusion. My utter fear of labour is one of the main reasons that is stopping me from popping out more sprogs (because let's face it, I'm broody as hell and One Born Every Minute is certainly not helping!). So if a Midwife were to approach me and say "Yes, you can have an elective c-section" I would jump at the chance. However, I don't think that every woman should be given the option. Call me a hypocrite if you will, considering I would gladly take the option, but I have a million reasons for wanting to. A first time Mum has no experience of labour. She could quite easily push that baby out within two hours and three pushes - so why should she be allowed to choose a caesarean? Or the Mum who has previously had three children but would choose a section just because it's easier and she wouldn't have to experience the pain? Don't get me wrong, we've all been there for the first time, absolutely terrified of the pain we were about to endure to bring our precious ones into the world, but I can't find a reason as to why someone would willingly give up that experience without having tried it. Or even if they have tried it and managed it well, why would they not want to do it again?

I know that c-sections are still a normal way of giving birth, but let's face it, it's not really 'giving birth' is it? Your baby is whipped out of the sunroof before you're given the chance to even see them. I've spoken to women who after their babies had successfully been taken out that they were placed straight on their chest, but given the chance there were complications of any kind, you don't get this option. During my time in hospital I wasn't even the first person to hold my Princess, Daddy was. I would never begrudge him that right, she is just as much his Princess as she is mine, but after enduring 29 hours of pure agony to then be rushed to surgery, I sort of felt robbed.

Which again is what brings me to my confusion once more. To this day I still regret the fact that I wasn't able to give birth naturally. I'm not talking without pain relief, but to simply have just been able to push her out. To feel the absolute relief that the pain is over, to see my baby girl being held up to me and placed on my chest, to even see her being weighed and checked over. I missed every bit of it. I didn't even hold her until I'd been wheeled back to recovery. In my eyes I can't understand any reason for wanting to give that up. That choice was taken from me during labour, but for those who have a choice, why would you deny it? 

The other points that were raised by a woman who had recently seen her Midwife, were that the only women who would be given the option were those who had previously had a c-section. First time Mums and those who have had perfectly fine labours before would not be given the option. If that's the case then just completely disregard everything I have just said. If a woman has had a c-section before because it was medically needed, or like me, didn't have a choice in the matter, then by all means I think they should be able to opt for another one. 

Princess was my first child and nearly 16 months on, I'm still reeling from the labour. However, because of my feelings towards the c-section I feel that I would like to give natural labour another try. The only problem is, the other half of me is screaming that I just can't do it. I'm already suffering anxiety just simply from the thought of it, so I don't even see how natural labour is going to be an option for me. I don't even mind the thought of labour lasting another 29 hours, but if a Doctor could tell me that my baby would be born healthy with no complications and wouldn't be back to back as Princess was, I think I would go for it. Sadly, I think anxiety is definitely going to get in the way of this, plus a Doctor can never promise a woman that.

Overall, I have mixed opinions on this. I think it's great that Mums like me with traumatic labour experiences might be given the option to go down the same route as before, but there is also another hiccup in this. Apparently a c-section can cost £800 more than a normal birth. The NHS could spend this money on so many other things, for example, on more equipment in the NICU departments, or more staff. Even though an emergency section may end up costing them more, the likelihood of every woman who's had a section needing one again is quite slim. I cannot fathom why the Government would pass a right to spend more money simply giving women an option when they're already making so many cuts to other areas. In some parts of the country, entire maternity units have had to be shut down. This again, tips my opinion towards disagreeing.

I can't really make an unbiased opinion. From my experience an emergency c-section was not the route I wanted to take, but it was the only one available. My recovery time was approximately 2 weeks, but that was only to feel fully normal. After 2 days I could get myself around and see to Princess myself (not that I had much choice I was in hospital for 3 days afterwards). After a week I made my own way to see the Midwife for a check up, so to me the recovery time is not too bad. Even though I hate my scar, I hate the numb feeling I have underneath my belly button which is still so numb that I can pinch it and feel nothing, I am grateful for my caesarean. 

Like I said, this post might not even be relevant, but I just thought I'd put that out there.