Thursday, 14 August 2014

23 Months old

My Gorgeous boy, 

How can it be possible that this is the last letter I'm going to write to you as a one year old? If I thought your first year went fast, it's been nothing compared to your second year. It literally feels like no time at all since I was planning your first birthday party (whilst moving house and starting a new job)!

This summer has been kind to us weather wise. We have had warm weather on and off now since May. For the first time in July, I was able to get your paddling pool out and you've had so much fun in it. It was actually a bit of a god send for me, because I could get on with making tea whilst you splashed in your pool (it wasn't very deep and I was always watching from the window not very far away). You would spend so long sitting there pouring water from one dish to another or splashing about or washing your toys. It was a joy to watch. 

I feel like you have grown up a lot this past month. You are so much more independent and are now using yes and no in context and we can have a full conversation with you and you understand us and you will very often copy things we say. For example, if you are getting a bit too giddy and we tell you to calm down, you will say ' oh careful. Don't fall over' and things like that. You have really learnt what sort of things we say and when. Like going near the oven... if you walk over to it when it is on, you will say 'oh too hot, don't touch, burn'. You are so clever. I still can't get over the fact that you know what a transporter is. You'll point them out when we are in the car. As I said in your 22 month letter, we are still playing the games on the motorway whereby you will point out a truck / van / car and want us to chase it so you can shout 'got ya'. Sometimes when we get in the car, you will literally not stop talking from A to B and it still amazes me just how much you know. I can't even begin to describe how communicative you are. So many people are still telling us how amazed they are with the way they can have a full conversation with you when you aren't even two! 

Eating has been much better this month. You have not been as fussy and it's been a while since you have thrown your food on the floor. I have decided that we do need to cut back on your treats though. In the morning's at your Nan and Grandad's you would usually have porridge, but now you are having coco pops sometimes which I don't mind occasionally but then at home, you are very often going helping yourself to your treat drawer as you can fit your little hand in the gap even when the child lock is on! Cheeky monkey. I said to your Daddy the other day, we really need to cut it back. Last week, you had an absolute meltdown because I wouldn't let you have any chocolate before your tea. I've started offering you fruit instead, which so far seems to be working ok. 

You've also started to take a liking to making and drinking tea. Over the past couple of moths, you've really thrived on helping Mummy and Daddy, be it swapping the washing over, helping with the dishwasher or tidying up. Daddy let you help him make me a cup of tea one day and since then 'make Mummy cup of tea' is one of you favourite things to do...Much to Mummy's delight (and Daddy's dismay).

We bought you some trousers and shoes this month for our Wedding and I have to say you look absolutely gorgeous in them. I have tried them on you twice now and I just can't get over how grown up you seem. A lot of our time is still being consumed with wedding planning so we're trying to make the most of the free time we have. That said, I am wishing the weeks away to the wedding and I can't wait to see you in your suit.

As it was my hen do this month, I went away for the night, and it was the first time I'd left you overnight, without your Daddy being with me. Whilst I was in Manchester, I spoke to you on the phone lots as that's another thing you've picked up this month - holding our phones to your ear and saying 'ayo' to whoever is on the other end. We also facetime whilst I was there and it was so lovely to see your little face get so excited because you could see and speak to me on the phone. As much as missed you, it was nice to have a little night away for such a special occasion and you had a boys night with Daddy and Grandad at Nan and Grandad's which you loved. 

Sleeping is still very much the same. The nights that you are difficult are few and far between although I've got into the habit of letting you fall asleep downstairs again at nap time then carrying you upstairs.  Naughty Mummy. 

I feel like you've become closer to Nana and Papa this month too, which has been lovely for me. You have a very special bond with your Nan and Grandad as they've looked after you since you were 9 months old so you've not been able to see Nana and Papa as much, but they've helped out with looking after you over the Summer as it's the schoool holiday's so your Nan and Grandad have had Jack and Holly too. Papa has taken you on some walks and sent me some great pictures. You still favour the men in the family - when your at Nan and Grandad's you always go to your Grandad 1st and likewise, when your at Nana and Papa's, you always want to play with Papa. You've also formed a much stronger bond with Jack and Holly now too, and it's very clear that you are real friends now and you love being around them and very often talk about them or ask for them or watch video's of them on the iPad.

Speaking of which, you've picked up how to use the iPad just by watching us use it. It's amazing to watch. One day, you were being particularly difficult whilst I was making tea, so I sat you in your chair and put Peppa Pig on the ipad for you and you've been hooked. It's a blessing really as it gives me that bit of time to get tea made whilst you are occupied. You still watch banana's but Peppa pig seems to have overtaken it this month and you've taken a real liking to it, which is nice because it's such easy watching and we'd got to a point where I think we'd seen all the banana's in pyjama's we could!

The month has flown by again. We've not been on as many adventures as I'd have liked an we've not had chance to go on any picnic's with being so busy, but we've had a great month regardless. As so much of this year has been tied up with wedding related things, I'm very much looking forward to coming back off honeymoon in September and planning your birthday party and making a full day about you. You deserve the absolute best my darling boy.

I am so looking forward to the month ahead for many reasons - Mummy and Daddy's wedding, our 1st holiday abroad with you and a 2nd birthday for a very special little boy. 

Thank you for being such a joy for the last month, you have drove me mad at points, but my god you bring me so much happiness and genuine joy. I cannot describe how much I love you. You are literally the centre of my world and I love your very much. 

Love you to the moon and back 

Mummy 

xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hen Doooo




In 5 weeks time I get married and I celebrated my hen do at the weekend. It was organised by my best friend Amy who did an absolutely incredible job with everything. It absolutely exceeded all my expectations! 

I chose where I wanted to go, but the rest, Amy organised. 

We arrived in Manchester around 2pm and checked into our room at the Holiday Inn Express. 

To start, we went to Annie's in Manchester city centre for afternoon tea - I love tea so this had to be factored in somewhere. I also thought it'd be good for us to be in a relatively quiet environment for people to get to know each other. 

Upon arrival, I was presented with a bag fully of goodies, I had a bride to be tiara with veil, bride to be garter (which I wore over my jeans!) a bride to be sash, L plate, rosette, a willy whistle, several willy straws!! a huge flashing ring, a picture for all the hens to kiss which is such a lovely keep sake! The list goes on! I was so pleased that I was dressed up :) 

After Annie's, we went back to the hotel bar for a few drinks and played a game ... everyone had to write a funny / embarrassing story relating to sex / dating and I had to guess who it belonged too...... I am usually such a prude, but it was hilarious and everyone really got into it, even my Mother in law! It was such a great laugh! 

For the evening part, we had a meal at prezzo, which was just gorgeous, the food, the service, the atmosphere... everything was just perfect. After prezzo we moved on to the Birdcage. I had never been before, but heard so many amazing things. As soon as we got in there, I knew it was right up my street! It was a cabaret, with a mix of 80's, 90's 00's music. They'd have music on for half an hour or so, then they'd have a show on which was usually some kind of drag act, but it was amazing! I literally had the best night I could have wished for. I danced all night until my feet were numb with the best people. It was epic. I really cannot thank all the girls, especially Amy enough for making it one hell of a night to remember. 

I was sharing a room with Amy and my cousin Gemma who have actually become friends due to both being bridesmaids and I sat in bed at the end of the night realising how lucky I am to have such awesome people in my life. I'm one lucky, lucky girl and my hen do was beyond perfect from start to finish!  





Opening my bag of goodies
With my beautiful Bestie, Amy
with my fab bridesmaids, my L-R
My cousin Gemma, Best friend Amy
Sister in law Paula and my sister Emily

All of us at Annie's

With my amazing cousins - Anthony and Gemma

Ready for the night do

With My mother and sister in law
With my sister

Group shot in Prezzo
With my bridesmaids in the Birdcage
With my Mum 



Perfect way to end a perfect night

Saturday, 12 July 2014

22 Months Old

My beautiful boy,



What a month we have had!
 
These months just seem to be whizzing by at an alarming rate! It's now only 6 weeks until me and Daddy get married so I've been really busy planning that and as such, the past few weekends have been running errands and doing jobs.  
 
At the start of the month, Daddy decided he was going to do controlled crying with you because you were getting more and more difficult going to bed at night. Long gone are the days you would fall asleep whilst having your milk and sometimes it was past 9pm when you were going to sleep, which meant me and your Daddy weren't getting much of our evening. So he decided enough was enough. The first night was absolutely awful. You screamed and screamed and cried and shouted for us for a long time. I couldn't bare it. Eventually, I came in your room to sit with you and held your hand. I made sure not to talk to you or get you out. It seemed to work because you eventually fell asleep. The following night, you cried for 15 minutes on and off, which was much more bearable. By the third night, you had cracked it. I had my bridesmaids round for a hair up trial that night, so Daddy took you up and when he put you down there was no crying. I was amazed because on that 1st night, I didn't think you'd ever get the hang of it.
 
Once we had bed time sorted, I still had to work on nap times. They can be hit and miss as sometimes you'll look tired, but when I settle you down for your nap, you will want to keep playing, which is fine if we are downstairs but what I didn't want to do, was to put you down in your cot too early and have to get you back out as I was worried that this would make you want to get up at night. A week or so after you'd started going to bed on your own, I would let you fall asleep in my arms at nap time,  then carry you up to your cot, so at least when you woke, you'd be in your room.  One day I asked if you wanted to go to your cot for a sleep and you pointed and said cot, so I took you up and you went to sleep and you've been the same ever since. We have cracked the sleep thing completely now though as you are napping in your cot and going down on your own at night. It's such a relief. I'm so very proud of you for grasping it in only 3 nights!
 
We had Father's Day this month. Unfortunatly, we didn't spoil Daddy as much as I wanted... The night before, you'd been on a sleep over at Nan and Grandad's as me and Daddy had been out with friends and I was working on the Sunday morning so it meant Daddy woke up on his own. As he'd stayed out the night  before with his friend until very late, we didn't really do much on Father's Day. But I promise we'll make it more special for him next year. You will be 2.5 then, so I will need your help!
 
Eating is hit and miss again. Some meal times you are a joy and will eat every scrap and ask for more, other times more of your food will end up on the floor than in your belly. You are getting better though - it helps because I will allow you to watch Peppa Pig on the iPad whilst I continue cooking for us, so I think it disctracts you enough. Whenever I ask you what you want for  dinner, you will always ask for 'pata and brocci' which is pasta and brocolli. This makes me really happy as I don't like the little green trees. Another favourite is choc choc. We have child locks on the drawers but you can reach your little hand in to get whatever is at the front of the drawer and you will very often help yourself, even if Mummy has said no, but you are so cheeky with it that it's hard to stay mad!
 
Speech - where do I begin with this one? I have said this every month since you started talking, but I am literally blown away by how much you know. The other day we were in the car, and you were saying a word that we couldn't understand... when we figured out what you were saying, it was 'transporter' How on Earth a 22 month old can remember the word transporter and recognise what a transporter, is just totally beyond me! You can easily put sentences together now and you will still take us by the hands and say 'show Mama' or 'show Dada' if you want to show us something or take us somewhere. When we are in the car you will play a game with your Daddy. You will see a van or a bus or something and you will shout what it is and tell daddy to chase it. As we get closer to it, you will say, we're coming, Mummy, Daddy and Alfie coming, then when we pass it, you will shout 'got ya'. It's the cutest thing!!! There's far too many words in your vocabulary to list and you speech is just so clear. I've put a couple of videos of you on facebook recently, one saying Alfie George Bradbury and the other one saying best thing ever and so many people have commented on how good  your speech is for you age, which just makes me so incredibly proud. I am so excited for you to be talking properly. (Although I may regret saying that haha ;) )
 
The cutest things you say which we love, are; 'dub ew' (Love you), best sing eber (best thing ever), Alfie Dorge Brabry (Alfie George Bradbury) ordindge (orange). Gosh Alfie, there's just so much stuff you come out with in your own little way which is the cutest most adorable thing ever.
 
You are very head strong and know what you want and don't want. You've taken to paddying this month if you don't get your own way. We have had a few instances where you have thrown yourself on the floor in a supermarket  and not let us pick you up if we don't let you run riot. We don't want you to be one of 'those' kids, but it's so funny adn we tend to just laugh at you rather than shouting in the middle of the shop. It is so funny ;)
 
Overall, you are such a good boy and I know the naughty spells are just you testing boundaries and knowing what is right and wrong. It can be tricky sometimes as you really can try our patience, but the good far out weighs the bad.
 
I really can't imagine my life without you in it and I am so, so proud of you and I'm so proud to be your Mummy.
 
I love you so much
 
Mummy xxxxx
 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

21 Months Old

Dear Alfie,

I have been a bad Mama and not wrote your 21 Month letter!

The months are whizzing by and with us getting married I'm getting lost in the day. I will try my best to remember as much as I can. 

Your speech has continued to amaze me this month and so many people are saying how great it is for your age. This is lovely to hear as of course, we have nothing to compare you too! You are making us very proud though. 

I've managed to get a couple of video's of you talking this month. The 1st one I got was you saying 'Best Thing Ever' You have also learned how to say your full name too, which I don't think I'll ever get bored of hearing. You are just super cute! 




So many people keep telling us how advanced your talking is but to us, you are just Alfie and we are happy for you to learn at your own rate. I do love being able to have little conversations with you though :) 

It was my birthday in May which was lovely as the weather was the hottest of the year so far. It was very different to all my other birthday's though as we went to Manchester for the day with your Nan and Grandad to watch your Daddy run in the Manchester 10k. It was an amazing day, the weather was perfect, the atmosphere was great and your Daddy did brilliantly in the race. He was so quick that we actually missed him crossing the finishing line! We didn't make proper arrangements, so I was waiting with you and Nan and Grandad by the finish line and we ended up missing Daddy and it took us an hour to find him. I was so proud of him though and you even got to wear his medal :)

At the end of May, we went to London for the weekend and stayed with Uncle Ant. You were an absolute star on the journey there and were so well behaved. We couldn't have wished for better behaviour. Not long after we arrived in London, you fell asleep, which worked out quite well for us. Once you'd woken up we had a walk down the Thames and we saw the London eye. You were in your element being able to run around and pointing out all the different things. You went to bed really well too -  you shared with me and Daddy that night. The following morning though, you woke a 6.30am and it was quite difficult to keep you settled until it was a reasonable time to get up! Once we were all ready, we went out to a little diner and had brunch and afterwards went to the park for an hour before we had to leave. I think this was quite possible your favourite part of the whole trip - you absolutely loved running around the big open field chasing your football with Daddy, Uncle Ant and Jason. It was a joy to watch you be so happy and I know Daddy is secretly over the moon at how well you've taken to kicking a ball. Sometimes, you even shout 'goal' which is super cute.  The train journey back was a bit of a nightmare though, as you woke from your nap just as we boarded the train, meaning we had to entertain you for 3 hours. It was not easy, let me tell you. Daddy did a great job though as it seemed you only wanted him on that journey. I was so glad to get home that night! 

Overall, it's been a good month for us and on the whole you have been such a good boy. We really have to be careful what we say now though as you are picking up so, so much on a daily basis! It still amazes me that you are learning so much from listening to me and Daddy and copying us! 

You are one very special boy Alfie George. I love you with all my heart 

Mummy xxxxxx

Me and Mine {May}

My blog has been extremely neglected of late... Planning a wedding single handedly will do that!

I've been taking the pics for Me and Mine, but just not posting them... Ooops! 

This Me and Mine picture for May, is quite possibly my favourite picture of the 3 of us to date


A birthday family selfie


It was taken on my birthday. We were just on our way out for a meal and I'd asked Dad to take some pictures of the 3 of us, only Alfie wouldn't co-operate as he wanted to keep playing. As we were leaving I managed to quickly snap this picture and it happens to be my favourite picture of us. I just adore it :) 


We actually got  quite a few snaps of us this month with it being my birthday and us having a weekend in London. Here they are: 




Dad's attempt - Alfie was not one bit impressed!
In London Baby!


Just before we left London

You can't beat a train selfie ;)

20 Months Old

My Beautiful boy,

This blog has been somewhat neglected over the last few months as I've been so busy planning our Wedding. I've still been writing you letter, but just not posting them, which I intend to catch up on now... So here is your 20 Month Letter: 




I’m a few days late with your letter this month. So much has happened, I’ve struggled to be able to find time to sit down and write to you.
What a month it’s been. At the start of April, we had our 1st over night stay away in the Lake District and you absolutely loved it. You were in your element exploring your new surroundings and going for a walk on the nature trail. I loved seeing your little face light up when you were pointing to new things or you saw birds etc. It was so lovely.
The following weekend was very different. You became really poorly. We’d been out on the Saturday afternoon and when we got home you started acting out of sorts. I’ve written another post about it, so I won’t go into all the details here, but it was horrible to see you so poorly. It was like you were my baby again and you just wanted your Mama. When we took you to A&E, the doctor told us you had tonsillitis. After he’d given you some medicine you were back to your best in no time. I am so proud of how well you take medicine. You never fuss or spit it out and you are such a good little boy which makes us very happy.
We’ve had a couple of long weekends this month with it being Easter and the May day bank holiday, so it’s been lovely having your Daddy home a bit more than usual. For Easter, we managed to see the whole family. We went to your Nan and Grandad’s in the morning, with Auntie Paula, Uncle Mark and Jack and Holly, then later on we went to Nana and Papa’s for tea, so you were spoiled that day as everybody made a big fuss over you! I really enjoy it when we all get together, especially with the kids because you are becoming firm friends with Jack and Holly. In fact, you’ve started to ask for Jack all the time and will give us our phone so we can find pictures of him for you to look at which is seriously cute.
During this month, we’ve had a couple of incidents with you where you have been naughty in that you have head butted me twice and cut my lip. It’s been really hard because I know it’s just your way of expressing your frustrations as you can’t articulate them. I forget sometimes that you are still so young and you don’t know right from wrong. Thankfully, it’s not happened since and on the whole you’ve been much better behaved.
Your talking has taken off totally now and you are putting sentences together and can pretty much say anything we ask of you. The letters you struggle with most are your l’s and h’s. I’ve been totally amazed by how much you know and have picked up in such a short amount of time though and you really are a little brain box. 
Your favourite thing to watch is still banana’s in pyjama’s and now that you are talking, you will ask us which one to put on for you. For  example, if you want to watch the one about the Ducklings, you will tell us ‘Peck’ as that’s the Mummy Duck. Bernard seems to be your favourite character at the moment though. The thing I’ve noticed more this month is you are starting to say full words more.
Daddy  still takes you to the Chickens after tea every night and when you 1st started talking, it would be chick and pea (for peacock) but now you are saying the words in full no problem. You are leaving your baby days behind more and more all the time and whilst I’m excited for you it is very bittersweet as I miss you being my tiny baby. 
I will sign off for now. 
Love you more than anything
Mummy 

xxxxxxx

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Ordinary Moments #2

When I first had Alfie, anyone who was anyone told me that babies love routine. For the 1st few months after having Alfie, we would bath him in his baby bath downstairs, feed him and put him in his moses basket and take him up to bed when we went. This seems crazy when I look back as we would have to creep around and have the tv turned down, the lights were low and carrying a moses basket with a sleeping baby upstairs isn't easy, as I'm sure Michael will vouch for ... but neither of us wanted to be away from him or leave him upstairs on his own when he was so tiny. 

A few months on and we started would would become our permanent routine. We will take Alfie upstairs between 7.15-7.30 and he'll have his bath, get dried and dressed and have his milk. Once he goes upstairs at bedtime, he doesn't come back down until morning. 

As Alfie has got older, bath and bedtime has become Alfie and Daddy's time. Michael will take him up and I will hear them laughing and playing and it's lovely to hear from downstairs - this is very much their bonding time. Usually by that time of day, I'm exhausted and glad of the break to sit and have a hot cup of tea, or I'll clear the tea things away, but sometimes, I'll go up with them and join in the fun. 

At the beginning of April, we went away over night and the hotel only had a shower, so Alfie had his 1st experience of a shower and he loved it! Since then he does tend to have showers more than baths, meaning the whole routine has somewhat been shortened so Alfie isn't quite as relaxed when it's time to get dried and dressed. 

Last night, I was aware that I didn't really have any 'Ordinary Moment' Pictures from this week, so I joined in the bath time fun in aim to get some pictures. Fortunately, Alfie is on form after his bath / shower and last night was no different. 

I love this picture I got of him - Daddy had to help and was pulling very silly faces behind me, but it really just sums up what every night is like for us (me snapping away with my phone, Daddy being silly, Alfie chattering away). Once Alfie is showered, we call come together and we'll talk to Alfie to practice new words and go over what he's done during the day whilst getting him dressed for bed.

Bath and bed time is a very ordinary moment which happens every night, in every house hold, but it is a time I really cherish when we can have lots of cuddles and kisses and finish the day together.


Monday, 5 May 2014

The Ordinary Moments #1

When Alfie was 6 months old I decided I wanted to get into blogging…. My only problem was , I knew less than nothing about where to begin, so the idea got shelved for many more months and I settled for reading, admiring and being totally in awe of the blogs I was reading.
I started to become more active on Twitter and soon started discovering more and more ‘Mummy Bloggers’. The first one I came across was Mummy, Daddy and Me Makes Three. From the first post I read, I was hooked. 
Katie started the linky ‘The Ordinary Moments’ which I’ve been an avid follower of ever since it first went live. A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and started this blog but I’ve not been very good at keeping up with it. Between working, looking after Alfie, spending time with Michael and running a house, life just kind of gets in the way and in the evening’s when Alfie is asleep, I like to catch up with Michael about our day’s or we settle down and watch the latest episode of whatever series we are watching, so blogging does take a very back seat unfortunately. 
So I’ve decided I’m going to make more of an effort going forward. After all, the whole reason of this blog is to have something to look back on with Alfie in the future. 
Which brings me to this week’s Ordinary Moment: 
During the week, we have a very structured routine. Alfie goes to his Nan & Grandad’s four mornings a week for four hours whilst I work. My Mother In Law is great and takes him everywhere: soft play, toddler group, salvation army, to name a few. I am grateful for this because once I finish work at lunch time, Alfie and I will go home, have our lunch, then we’ll have a bit of a play and within an hour or two, he’s ready for his nap and will usually have a couple of hours. By the time he wakes up, we don’t really have much time before I need to get started on our tea. Whilst it would be so much easier to just see to Alfie and for Michael and I to eat later, I really enjoy us all sitting down together and enjoying a family meal. Because of this routine and the fact that I’m so strict with nap times it does mean I don’t get as much time to play with him as I would like. Which is why our weekends are less structured and I really cherish the moments where he can run around freely. 
Yesterday after I’d finished work, we nipped to do a bit of shopping and Alfie woke ridiculously early from his nap so when Michael said we were going to go and play and he asked to go to the park, that’s exactly what we did. 
This was the first time Alfie had been through a tunnel and I was so proud watching him. It’s made me realise how independent he is becoming and how much he’s growing up. These pictures are screen shots I took from a video I filmed on my phone. He just loved it and was loving going in and out of the ‘tummel’ as he very sweetly called it.

I am hoping this will be the first of many ‘Ordinary Moments’ I will capture.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Me and Mine {April}

I can't believe I am so late posting this, especially as this month, I was super organised and got my Me and Mine photo during the first weekend of the month as we were away for the night. 

We went to a place called Shap in the lakes and the place we stayed was in the middle of nowhere but had this beautiful nature trail. On the first afternoon, my camera batteries ran out, meaning I couldn't use the self timer, so I decided we would get our photo on the Saturday. But of course, the good old British weather let me down and it was pouring down. As we were leaving, I was so disappointed because the location would have just been perfect. Just as we were about to leave, there was a break in the rain, so we all jumped back out of the car and I balanced my camera on a grass ledge and here is the result.


I'm not overly happy with it as it was such a  rushed job to get it before the rain started again but it's got happy memories attached as it was Alfie's first night away in a hotel and he had a brilliant time exploring. 

We also got some good old selfies, which I love.





Over Easter, I regretfully didn't take many pictures despite being with both sides of the family. I don't think they understand my love of capturing the ordinary moments and so I tend to shy away from taking too many pics, or asking that someone takes a picture of the three of us. So when we returned home from my Mum and Dad's on Easter Sunday, we were all playing upstairs before Alfie's bath time. Usually, this is Daddy and Alfie time, but I decided to join them and we ended up getting some really great pictures... Ok, I know the quality is terrible and it's grainy as it's a good old iphone shot with the camera forward facing and the lighting is awful, but I love Alfie's expression! 



I think it's my favourite family selfie I've taken :) It did take a few attempts. Here is one of the out-takes: 


It makes me smile every time I look at this photo, because it just sums Alfie up completely - he's so cheeky and has got his own personality and he just loves to pull his tongue out whenever he sees his reflection. 

So that was us in April.... I'm already planning May's photo as Michael is running the Manchester 10k on my birthday which will be a great photo opportunity and at the end of the month we are off to London over night to stay with my cousin. I'm already looking forward to taking photo's of us all in the Capital!


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Me and You {April}


If I had to pick, I would say this picture is my favourite one of me and Michael - it was the first ever picture taken of us back in 2010 and we were out for my 24th birthday. It was the night that would quite literally change my life.

I met Michael four years ago this month, at work. At the time I was in a relationship with someone else and we were living together. I was so drawn to Michael though. I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to get to know him. I can't explain it and I don't know why. I'm quite a shy person and rarely strike up conversation with people I don't know so there was nobody more shocked than I was when I suddenly felt like I had to talk to him and to get to know him. He started in the same department as I was working and at first we would talk about work and swap stories about customers. Very quickly I felt totally at ease with him and it wasn't long before we were confiding in things we hadn't spoken to other people about and before I knew it, we were 'best buds'

As the weeks went by we were getting on so incredibly well and I felt like I’d known him forever, I was instantly at ease with him and could talk or listen to him talk for hours on end. It wasn’t long before he was all I was thinking about. Our paths had actually crossed for many years as his first job was at a place where a lot of my school friends worked meaning we’ve lots of mutual friends and he used to live with a girl who was in my form in school… Little things like this kept cropping up and I really started to believe that fate had brought us together…

There was just one problem. I was in a relationship and living with someone else at the time. The relationship was on its last legs and had run it’s natural course - me and my ex were living separate lives. It took meeting Michael to realise how unhappy I’d become with my ex and how much I was missing out on. I was 23 and had the weight of the world on my shoulders, I was the breadwinner and did all the housework, cooked all the meals… It was just too much for someone so young.

For my 24th birthday a big group of us from work all went to town as there was a few other birthday’s as well as mine. It’s still to this day my favourite night out ever and it was the night I realised I’d fallen head over heels for Michael. I’m very fortunate that he felt the same. I knew I couldn’t risk losing him and what we had. So I did what I’d tried to do for a long time and ended my relationship. I had no idea if me and Michael would work out and if he was even ready for a serious relationship, but I knew I’d spent the rest of my days wondering ‘what if’ if I didn’t at least give it a go…

I’m happy to say, I never looked back. After 9 months Michael proposed on his 26th birthday and I felt on top of the world.

I feel so lucky to have met my soul mate. I never really believe in love at first sight or soul mates before, but as soon as I met Michael there was just something about him and I was drawn to him like I’ve never been with anyone before.

He’s the kindest, most selfless, caring person I know. He isn’t the most romantic and he sometimes doesn’t listen to me, meaning I have to repeat myself over and over again, but I wouldn’t change him for the world. He’s an amazing fiancĂ© and the best Daddy I could wish for to Alfie and I feel so lucky to have him in my life.

We’ve been through a lot in the four years we’ve been together and he’s been an absolute rock to me through really difficult times with my ex over the house we own, but everything life throws at us just makes us stronger. I really don’t think there is anything we couldn’t deal with. We are a team, we each have our roles. I feel very, very lucky that he’s such a hands on Daddy. Alfie absolutely idolises him – as do I.

In August we will get married and I can’t wait to be his wife. I’m so lucky to be marrying my very best friend.













Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guilty


On Sunday night, we spent the night in A&E with Alfie. It was truly awful.  

We first noticed him being out of sorts on Saturday tea time. He wouldn’t eat his tea, even though it was his favourite of ish fingers and mushy peas. This isn’t unusual as he is a bit hit and miss with food at the moment because of his teeth, but what was out of character was he was getting quite upset at being offered food or asked to eat. Michael was giving him tea, or at least trying, so when he’d given up, Alfie started to wonder round crying. At one point, he went over and sat in the corner with his back to the living room door and sat there quietly crying on his own. It broke my heart. I went over and scooped him up in to my lap and he never moved. He was actually really warm, so I stripped him off and gave him some calpol to bring his temperature down. That’s when I really knew he wasn’t himself, he was so quiet and looked so sad, which is totally not like him as he’s usually a whirlwind. It was typical that we’d actually planned to go out for the night on Saturday. Michael’s mum had invited us round, along with Michael’s sister and his brother in law, for a meal for her birthday and to all get together without the kids, which we’ve not done for a long time. My Mum and Dad came to babysit Alfie, but he didn’t want anyone other than me. I tried a couple of times to give him to mum so she could give him his milk, but he just cried holding his arms out for me.  

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want Michael to have to go on his own, especially as initially I wasn’t able to go with not having a babysitter but Mum and Dad’s plans changed meaning they could have Alfie. Luckily, Alfie drifted off to sleep in my arms pretty quickly so I put  him down and hoped for the best. As we only live 10 minutes away, I still went knowing I could be back really quickly if I was needed.

We had a great night with Michael’s family. It was nice to all get together and celebrate and be in good spirits. Especially given how hard the last 6 weeks have been with Michael’s dad having a heart attack, followed by a triple heart bypass! To be able to all be together over good food and chat was really lovely.  

I’d text Mum a few times during the evening and they’d not heard a peep out of Alfie, which did make me feel better, but I was still on edge given how clingy he’d been before I left.  

We got home around 11pm and they’d still not heard anything. However, no sooner had they closed the door when leaving that we heard Alfie start sobbing through the monitor. We rushed up and he’d been sick in his cot the poor thing. I took him in to our room and gave him some more calpol as he was on fire. He slept with us that night. Once he’d gone to sleep he didn’t really wake again, but I was on edge all night as he was so hot. I really felt for him.  

Yesterday, I had to work at 8am, so I was up and out before Michael or Alfie were even awake. He woke at about 9.15 and was still warm. I stayed in touch with Michael throughout the morning and he said Alfie was getting better and had perked up loads. When I arrived home just after 12, he was playing with his balloons. However, within the hour, he’d gone rapidly downhill again and was sat snuggling on Daddy’s lap. With it being my Mother in Law’s birthday, Michael had to go out to take her card and present, so me and Alfie stayed home. I’d been asking him to phone NHS direct, but he seemed to think they’d just say keep him topped up with calpol and fluids. When he did try to call as he got to his sisters for his mum’s birthday, they asked him to call back when he was with Alfie. 

Michael left about 3 and no sooner had he gone than Alfie had a screaming fit. He was visibly distressed and in pain. It was awful, totally heartbreaking to see when there was absolutely nothing I could do. It lasted for 10 minutes or so, then he settled back down and drifted off again in my arms. This was pretty much how the rest of our afternoon was. Shortly before Michael got home, Alfie had another crying fit. He wouldn’t leave my knee all afternoon, until Michael got in and he went to Daddy to give me a bit of a break.  

By tea time, his temperature was still high but we couldn’t give him anything as he’d had his 4 doses of calpol in 24 hours. Around 7.30, I’d asked Michael to call NHS direct again because Alfie had now had a temperature for over 24 hours and within an hour it’d gone from 37.6 up to 38.1. The NHS Direct staff were helpful and offered to get a doctor to call back within the hour. The doctor’s call came around 7.45pm and he wanted us to take Alfie in, but couldn’t get us an appointment until 10.30pm that night. I told Michael there was no way I was getting Alfie out at that time as it wasn’t fair on him and they’d said there was no guarantee how long we’d have to wait cos they were really busy.  

We decided to take him to A&E. When we arrived I was so disheartened to see the wait time was 2 hours! Alfie, bless him was an absolute angel. Despite being so poorly, out of his routine and in a bright and busy hospital, he never moaned once and just sat on our knee’s the whole time. He drifted off to sleep about 10pm. As I sat there holding him, I started to cry. I felt so incredibly guilty that we’d left it so long before getting him seen. I felt like I’d failed him. As I sat there holding him, tears falling, Michael did all he could to assure me we’d done the right thing because we may well have been turned away if we’d taken him before his temperature had been raised for 24 hours. Whilst I understood what he was saying, I still couldn’t stop myself feeling so terrible. Why had we left it so long? Why didn’t we bring him in the afternoon as soon as Michael got back? Why had I left it til bedtime and then dragged him to a hospital that was too hot, too bright, too noisy for my poor little boy. The guilt was almost unbearable.  

We finally got seen at 10.40pm Alfie did not like the doctor one bit and literally screamed the place down. He was over tired having barely slept all weekend. He was poorly and he had this strange man prodding and poking him sticking things in his ears and forcing him to open his mouth.  

The doctor diagnosed him with tonsillitis. I was relieved that we knew what it was. The frustrating thing was that the doctor didn’t seem 100% sure with his diagnosis. He wanted to send us to the Children’s GP. By this time it was 11pm and there was no way in the World I was going to make my poor boy wait longer than he had too. I was also aware that Michael had work the next morning. The GP didn’t really instil me with confidence. He seemed more concerned about us complaining about him misdiagnosing Alfie than what was best for him – which in my opinion was getting him home and to bed to rest.  

We were finally given amoxicillin. I just wanted to get my poor baby home. None of us had eaten tea. Michael and I had just picked all day with us seeing to Alfie so we were all exhausted.  

We got him at 11.30 and Alfie was full of beans. Totally got his 2nd wind. As late as it was, I was just relieved to see a little glimpse of my boy back. At 1.30 he finally gave up and went to sleep.

He’s been better today, although still not himself, but we’re on the road to recovery. I can honestly say it’s been one of the most awful experiences and I really did feel like I’d failed him. 

I’m just so thankful that I had Michael by my side. Whilst I sat there silently crying and cradling Alfie in my arms, he was the one who held my hand and told me it would be ok. Despite not having much sleep all weekend, he still got up extra early this morning so he could go to the chemist and pick Alfie’s medicine up before going to work. He’s looked after Alfie tonight so I could come to work then I didn’t get marked as absent and I still got paid. He’s an absolute rock and Alfie and I are so very lucky to have him.  

Here’s hoping my boy will be back to his usual self sooner rather than later. I miss all the mischief he causes and his cheeky grins and having a conversation with him.  

Being a parent is hard. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
 
                                                                        From L-R:
                                                  Red hot cheeks and looking very poorly
                                                  Fallen asleep in Mummy's arms
                                                  Cuddles with Daddy at the hospital
                                                  The morning after the night before
                                           
 

Monday, 14 April 2014

19 Weeks

In 19 weeks, I will become Mrs Bradbury. I’ve dreamed of having the big white wedding since being a little girl… don’t all girls dream of this? It feels quite surreal that in 20 weeks I will be walking down that aisle to marry my best friend and we will be man and wife and I will get my happy ever after.
 
There is just one thing holding me back from being excited and allowing myself to daydream about the big day, of twirling round the dance floor in my beautiful wedding gown… and that is my weight.
 
This battle has been ongoing since having Alfie 19 months ago. I’m not very good at eating healthily – not because I don’t want too, but because there are very few fruits and almost no veg that I like. When Alfie was 5 months old I joined slimming world. Getting on the scales that first time, I could have cried when the numbers flashed up in front of me. It was the heaviest I’d ever been. Ironically, even though I love everything that is bad for me, during my pregnancy, I craved everything which was good. I started eating more fruit and I watched what I ate. It wasn’t until the last couple of months that I started to gain weight in places other than my belly. I developed a mild form of SPD, so I had to rest which didn’t help when I was at home for 5 weeks.
 
I was determined when I joined Slimming World that I was going to shed the weight. When I got my half stone award, I was so pleased as it had been relatively easy. I’d lost 1lb almost every week. My Mum was joining me at the classes and it gave me a real boost having that morale support. I continued with the classes for about 3 months until I went back to work after maternity. The job I’d be starting meant that I would be working 2 full days a week and one of the days was on a Thursday, which is when I went to group. This meant I’d be working from 8.30am-5pm. Getting in about 5.45 then I’d have to be back out at 6.50 for group. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sacrifice that extra hour and a half with Alfie after being away from him all day at work. Although I enjoyed being back in a working environment and having adult conversation, I missed Alfie terribly. By this point, my Mum had already decided it wasn’t for her and had left group. This only added to my decision to quit too. The last thing I wanted was to feel guilty for leaving Alfie at bedtime, after not being with him all day, and to sit in a class on my own. So the week before my birthday last year, I told my consultant, I was leaving too. It was hard and I was gutted but I just couldn’t find a way I could make it work. Alfie was only just 9 months and I missed him terribly when I had to go to work, so group just seemed like a luxury and it was one I was willing to sacrifice for time with my precious boy.
 
In hindsight, it was probably the worst decision I’ve ever made. I fell off the wagon and didn’t do very well at sticking to plan once I wasn’t going to class. I didn’t put all the weight back on, but I have put a 3lbs back on since leaving. Which in a year I don’t think is that bad.
 
My biggest weakness is weekends. I’m quite healthy during the week and I always make home cooked meals but as soon as Michael finishes work and gets home on Friday, I just want to binge on junk and we’ve renamed Friday nights ‘nacho nights’ and we’ll share a plate of nacho’s whilst watching a film. It’s what I look forward to all week.
 
Since leaving slimming world, I’ve tried to be healthier and exercise, but if truth be told I’m just not a fan of working out. With having Alfie, I don’t have any time to go to the gym or trying to going jogging / running as I work til lunch, then I’ve got Alfie every afternoon. When Michael gets home we eat tea together and when it’s Alfie’s bath time, I clear up the tea things and his toys, or sometimes just relax if I’ve had a particularly stressful day.
 
Enough is enough.
 
I can’t keep making excuses. I recently discovered the bootea teatox on Twitter, so thought I’d give it ago. Michael wasn’t overly happy as he thought it was just another fad I wouldn’t stick too. At the end of the 14 days, I’d lost 3.5lbs.  I was gutted it wasn’t more, although pleased it was a loss. I hadn’t changed my diet too much (I’d just cut out red meat as it contains toxins which the bootea is working to flush out of your system) so I switched it to chicken / turkey or fish. I enjoyed the bootea so much, that I ordered my 2nd lot and I’m really enjoying it. I feel better in myself. I don’t feel as sluggish or bloated. It really is great stuff and I really recommend it.
 
I’m making a vow that I am going to change and I am going to fit into my wedding dress (which I’ve ordered in my pre baby size – just one dress size smaller than what I am now). I’m going to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, I’m going to drink more water, I’m going to find a veg that I like and eat it, I’m going to make salads more fun rather than having the same things all the time.
 
I AM GOING TO DO THIS!
 
I cannot keep feeling the way I do. I feel miserable, I’m so unhappy. I could cry every time I look in the mirror. I cover up in baggy clothes all the time. I want to feel good about myself again, I want to be happy and healthy. I don’t want every spare minute I have to myself to be consumed by thoughts of how fed up I am with my weight, or how much I dislike myself for my weight.  Most of all, I want to be fit and healthy for Alfie’s sake (and for any future children we may have).
 
I’ve no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be a long hard slog for the next four months but my motivation needs to be walking down the aisle in my beautiful dress to marry my best friend and being able to wear a bikini on honeymoon and feel better about myself.
 
This is one challenge I’m ready for.
 
Once I'm back to looking how I do in this picture, I will be over the moon!