Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The best thing in the world ever...

is when Immie is tired and crawls over, puts her head on my chest, looks me in the eye and drifts off to sleep. She isn't normally a very cuddly baby, too independent, so this is a rare treat. I'd quite happily go off to sleep like that with her cuddled up but I fear I may squash her in the middle of the night so at some point she has to go back to her own little bed.

Sleepy baby cuddles FTW!

Mama x

Monday, 30 May 2011

Praise, praise and more praise

As a teacher you are always told that children respond well to praise, this weekend we have seen how even at the age of 1 Immie loves praise.

Immie has one of those stacking rings toy. We bought it after nursery sent home a bunch of learning stories for us to comment on (basically they are observations that the staff have done on Immie when she does different things, they get written up and go in her file - I swear we get loads of homework from nursery!!). One of the stories talked about how Immie had been placing curtain rings on a kitchen roll holder. So the OH bought her a set of stacking rings. She loves them! She is very good at taking them off and putting them on again. When she manages to get the rings on, we clap and cheer. Her little face beams with pride and she continues to 'show off'. She will play with the stacking rings for a good 30 minutes if you keep the praise up. While she is playing she looks to you, just to check you are watching and paying attention. She is waiting for the praise.

I hope this love of praise continues when she is at school.

Mama x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The worst bit about being a working mummy....

is when your baby is ill.

Today at lunchtime I had a phone call from nursery. Immie's temperature was sky high, she'd slept all morning (unlike her), refused food (definitely unlike her) and generally wasn't right. They'd stripped her down to her nappy, given calpol and just wanted to let me know. 10 minutes later they called again as she was now beginning to shake and her temp just wasn't dropping.

At this point I had to ask to leave work, set cover work for my year 9 class, grab some marking and drive across town to pick her up. Whilst driving I called the doctors (hands free of course) to see if they thought they should see her, they decided they wanted to see her.

When I got to nursery she was sat there nudey, with just her nappy on, bright red and boiling hot. I took her to the doctors on the way home just to get her checked. He suspected earache and told me to keep giving her calpol and keep an eye on her.

And this is the most difficult part of being a working mummy. It is difficult for 3 reasons

1) having to ask for time off to look after your baby, catching up on the work you have missed etc
2) the logistics of who will stay home with your baby if they are sick over a number of days
3) the guilt of wanting to stay home and look after your baby Vs the guilt of having a day off work

It isn't easy.

Mama x

Friday, 13 May 2011

Calamity Jane and the pressures of being a working mum

Today when I picked Immie up from nursery I had to sign a bump form (to say I was aware she'd had a bump at nursery). This is the 3rd bump form either me or OH has signed this week.

Immie is sporting a rather nice red mark under her right eye, she looks like she has given Vinny Jones a run for his money and Im sure by tomorrow it will be a nice bruise! Apparently she was playing with "another child" (I love how they cant name which child, incase you have a demented mother revenge attack LOL) and some big tubes and toy cars, apparently she got a bit carried away and the tube whacked her in the face. After a cold compress and a cuddle she calmed down and has been fine all afternoon!

Bumps are all part of growing up, but I do hope she'll work out where her limbs are in relation to other objects soon!

This week has been a disaster week. After feeling crappy last weekend and Monday, I went down with the most hideous mouth ulcers and sore throat. I have been off work ever since. I can't believe Im only on my 3rd week back and already had to have time off for illness. I'm sure a lot of it is because I've lost some of my immunity since I've been off, my immune system needs to get back to full strength. But also I am tired and run down. The pressure of going back full time Vs the guilt of not being a SAHM is unbelievable.

I'm sure some people at work think I'm swinging the lead but I'm really not. I'm finding it hard to be back at work and not be the same work-a-holic I was BI (Before Immie!) I want to be a good teacher and do my job well, but I also have my family life to balance and suddenly I can't be doing all the extra's I was before. Some people have been very supportive. But I'm sure some people don't get it.

Being tired and drained also makes you paranoid. The lack of a text or email, sends your mind in to overdrive. Why haven't they responded? What have i done wrong? etc

I knew it would be hard going back, but I didn't envisage it would be this hard. I've worked in my current job a long time now. I know the staff and pupils pretty well. But since I have been on maternity leave I feel like everything has changed and it's not that easy to just snap back in to place. I don't think it's anyones fault, just the way life is and Im sure it would be the same in any job, doesn't make it any easier to swallow though.

Mama x

Thursday, 12 May 2011

I think she's beginning to understand things

Immie has always been very good at copying things. You blow a raspberry, she blows one back, you poke your tongue out, she'll copy. Recently we have noticed her doing lots of new things, which she has learnt at nursery, presumably by copying.

We noticed a few weeks back that if you sing "Row row row your boat" she will rock back and forth chuntering "row row row". If you sing the bit about "if you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream" she puts her hands up and screeches "aaaahhhhhh". The other day in the car "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" came on and she started to clap, in all the right places.

This is of course very cute, but last night I noticed something different, something that wasn't down to copying or learning by rote. She was in her cot and had a few books. I said "Imogen, pass mummy the book please" (accompanied by the makaton sign for please, which she has learnt at nursery!) and low and behold she crawled over, picked a book up and passed it to me. I let her play for a bit, then tried again with a different book, again she passed it to me.

I think she actually understood me. She knew I wanted her to pass me the book, she could have picked up anything in that cot, dummy, cuddly toy, mussy but she knew I'd asked for the book! Amazing!

In the last week nursery tell me she has been counting to 4 (I cant get her past 2 at home though LOL) and she now knows the makaton signs for please, thank you and rabbit!

We of course think she is a genius! Im sure most babies do these things, but the speed she is picking stuff up is astounding. She's growing up way too fast. Already she doesn't seem like a baby anymore, this makes me a little sad, but Im also very proud of how fast she is developing.

Mama x

Friday, 6 May 2011

Mr Bump and Little Miss Bump!

For her birthday, Immie received a cuddly Mr Bump from her Auntie Alex and Uncle Chris. Weirdly today, Immie also got her first bump at nursery!

Immie's latest obsession is to kneel up to do EVERYTHING! Apparently she was kneeling and another baby toddled over to give her a cuddle (ahhhh), took her by surprise and they both toppled over bumping their heads. When I went to pick her up at 5.15pm, I had to sign an accident form. Apparently they put a cold compress on as it was a bit red, gave her a cuddle and she was fine.

It is difficult as a working mum not to feel guilty about stuff like this. "Oh if only I was a stay at home mum, she wouldn't have accidents!" This is of course, total rubbish!!! Immie is forever clattering in to things at weekends, infact last night she slipped and took a bump against her trike. Doesn't make you feel any better though! Least I have total confidence in her nursery to deal with such things.

So I have come to the end of my 2nd week back at work. I feel tired, run down and no less guilty than I did last week! Next week is a full 5 days, it's going to be a killer!

Mama x

Monday, 2 May 2011

1st Birthday

This weekend saw Immie finally reach the age of 1!

Saturday we had a BBQ party for some family & friends, Sunday all 4 grandparents and us went out for lunch. Today we have been to the lake district to visit our friend Steve who is over from Boston and who finally got to meet Immie!

The BBQ party was ace! Lots of party food, party bags, a hello kitty cake made by the OH and a pinata which resulted in my OH hoovering the garden! (He objected to the pinata glitter I filled it with!)

Immie received a ridiculous number of lovely pressies (I got a few too!) and we are very grateful to be able to spend her special birthday weekend with lovely friends. OH and I bought Immie a swing for her birthday, this has proved to be a big hit as she grins like a loon when in it!

Then the meal with the grandparents yesterday was lovely. We all went to the Lord Nelson in Hoylandswaine. It was the first time we'd all sat together for a meal since our wedding! Immie had popcorn chicken and chips (just as a special birthday treat!), she loves sitting up at tables being all grown up.

Today we took a trip to the lake district. Steve (who was best man at our wedding) was over from Boston, Massachusetts for a conference. So we drove up to see him & his parents who were staying in the Lake District with him. We went to the house where Beatrix Potter lived and wrote her children's books. Immie loved meeting her Uncle Steve, and gave him a cuddle (whilst trying to snap his glasses!) She was also pretty taken with Steve's dad (especially when he blew raspberries with her!) Uncle Steve bought her a Mrs Tiggywinkle book and a peter rabbit buggy book. We bought her a Peter rabbit book and a Jemima Puddle-duck book. The weather was fantastic and the scenery was stunning.

Immie despite teething has been brilliant all weekend. She loves hanging out with lots of people. I am sure this is because she goes to nursery and likes lots of social interaction!

So now I have a 1 year old. It is scary how quick the time has gone. I keep remembering what I was doing this time last year. It is fair to say I wouldn't want to repeat those first 3 months in particular, but I wouldn't change them or Immie either!

Now I'm off to pack my bag for school tomorrow. I really am back to reality!

Mama x