Camping At The Seaside (Part One)

I got lots of Twitter sympathy when I wrote about The Good Friday Tent Disaster, but I don’t want you to feel sorry for us. That isn’t the end of the story. 

By the time we made it back home on Good Friday the kids and Trev were pretty determined to fix things and try again. I’ll be honest, I just wanted a mug of tea and a weekend at home with the heating on. 

Trev got up at the crack of dawn on the Saturday and was in Cardiff waiting when the Camping shop opened. Somehow he managed to convince them to replace the tent. Meanwhile I talked the girls into showering and getting dressed (not their favourite activities) and we were ready to go again by the time our hero returned. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find it was no longer the bleak midwinter outside. In fact it was exactly how you imagine the Easter holidays! All sunshine and daffodils. 

By the time we got back to our campsite in Rhosilli it was glorious. You’d be forgiven for assuming we were on an entirely different continent from the day before. The kids put a picnic blanket down and entertained Iris while we set to work on the tent.  

 The manufacturers weren’t lying after all! The tent IS easy to pitch! Even without a campsite worker or a man from a caravan next door. 

Iris loved the tent!  

 Still tired from the day before we didn’t do much. We sat around enjoying the sunshine. We ate chips and ketchup on the tent floor. Then we walked the dog. Somehow we found ourselves surrounded by friendly cows and then on a cliff edge in the dark. Standard Mouse Family adventure.  


Then we zipped up and snuggled down for a freezing cold night. 



Park Run Fail

Funny story. 

I registered for Park Run because back in February I ran a mile without stopping in less than 12 minutes. It gave me hope. Ha! 

I was late. This is just a thing that happens when you have a baby. I do my best but somehow I’m just late for everything all of the time, and usually forget everything I need too. I heard them start the run from the park gates. By the time I got to them even the slowest runners were so far ahead that I quit. I quit before I even started. Great job, Mouse. 

After nipping to the loo I made the decision to run home. I must be about the same distance as the 5k Park Run anyway, and as Trev was in the supermarket with Iris there was no rush to get home. 

It’s not 5k from the park to my house. It’s 6.4k and I can’t run. 

Seriously. I can’t. I used to. I used to run a lot. Before Iris. But now I can’t. I just can’t. Well, I can but its just no fun. 

I hadn’t stretched properly. I overlooked it because I was pissed off with myself. My trainers were too tight. So tight that my right foot ached and then basically lost all sensation. I loosened my laces and the pain came through. I was 2k into it. I limped the rest of the way. 

It sucked. 

So from now on its all about FitMums (cringe – terrible name) and those Davina DVDs gathering dust on the shelves. 

Ten Months (A teeny bit late)

  Ten months! Ten whole months! I can hardly believe it! 

Yes, I am aware that I say that every month. 
This kid is so mobile now. She crawls at high speed, pulls herself up to standing using anything she can reach. She walks around furniture holding on, and pushes a walker across the room. There is no stopping her. She seems to have grown up so very very much lately and it terrifies me. 
With the improvement in her mobility has come frustration at anything that makes her stay still. Nappy changes, the pushchair, the high chair, the car seat, changing into pyjamas. All are met with screaming and wriggling and everybody getting flustered. I don’t even wipe her face when it’s covered in biscuit anymore. It’s just not worth the fight. The other day she had a blob of yoghurt on her forehead all afternoon and evening. She likes bathtime. All mess can just wait til bathtime. 
Her chatter is constant now. I can tell when she’s telling me she loves me and when she’s telling me off! She uses two actual words now. ‘Mama’ and ‘hiya’. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that she said mama before dada. In your face Trevor! Mama is reserved for when she’s crawling after me or trying to climb my leg. Hiya is used in context too, and usually comes with a wave. 
 Suddenly much more confident in taking her out and about. She can go on the floor now! No more guilt at her moving from car seat to pushchair to high chair and back again all day long. Now I take her somewhere and plonk her down. She explores til she’s tired. It’s wonderful. Baby groups and play groups are actually worth going to for Iris’ benefit now, not just mine. 
She eats like a horse still. She’s developing preferences now, and knows what she likes. I try to give her meals at the same time every day, and she seems to know when it’s nearly a meal time. She barely Breastfeeds in the day. Only to sleep of we’re at home or sitting quietly somewhere. She has a big morning feed and a big bedtime feed. At night she generally wakes and feeds twice. Only once if she’s had a late night. I suddenly miss the constant breastfeeding (and box set watching) that frustrated me so much at the time. 
Iris sleeps better. It gets better every month. She goes to bed at a sensible time and gets up at a sensible time. For two weeks she got up at 5am every day, but thankfully it’s returned to a more human 6:30 now. 
The big first birthday is loomin over me. I think of little else. How the hell can my tiny new human have been here so long already? There will be tears from me when those candles are blown out.  


Money On My Mind

Something new happened yesterday. A bad something new. I went to a baby play group in a local church. We’ve been a few times before and really enjoyed it. Iris feels confident there so, as long as she can see me, she plays on the floor. I get to drink coffee without a kid in my lap and chat to other parents. 

Usually I keep my handbag with me at all times. I’m very concious of my valuables and keep an eye on them. Yesterday I just left my stuff on the pushchair. I just didn’t think. It was stupid. 

After the group I intended to take Iris for lunch, but I opened my purse in a charity shop to find all of my cash gone. It can only have happened at the baby group. 

I’m very glad my bus ticket home was still there. 

I cancelled lunch with the friends we were meeting and called Trev feeling very upset. 

I’m new here. That group has become one of my safe places. I shouldn’t have left my stuff on the pushchair, I know, but I wouldn’t for a minute have predicted that would happen. 

It’s opened a whole can of worms. 

I have a completely irrational need to be home. Not here. My HOME. Which is silly because home is Bristol, and these kinds of things happen far more often there. Still. I have more safe places there. More friends there. 

It’s also, oddly, made me worry once more about my finances. It wasn’t my money, really. I don’t have any money. I don’t have a job that pays. Iris doesn’t pay me. It’s all Trev’s money and I hate that. I don’t hate that financially he’s able to support us. I’m incredibly grateful that I am able to stay at home and look after our kid. I can’t imagine dropping her off and going to work. I’m so not ready for that. 

I hate that if I want to take Iris for lunch I have to ask for some money. If I need new shoes I have to get them on somebody else’s card. If I just feel like hopping on a train and visiting friends I have to ask. Of course I actually CAN do all of those things because, as Trev repeatedly says, it’s OUR money now. It doesn’t feel like that though. 

I have always worked. Since I left school. Even when I was studying. I’ve always had cash that is mine. Never very much of it, but enough. After every relationship break up I’ve managed to figure it out and look after myself. 

If Trev ever boots me out I’m screwed. 

The thing I hate most is that when a stranger puts their hand in my purse and steals from me my first feeling, my overwhelming feeling, is guilt. Guilt that I let somebody steal money that I didn’t earn. That wasn’t even mine. 

Perhaps it’s time I got a job. 

The Good Friday Tent Disaster

In the run up the the long Easter weekend, this family had a tummy bug. All of us. Five people puking and groaning and feeling sorry for ourselves. Six if you count Trev’s ex wife who caught it from the girls. It was unpleasant. Dealing with a baby with a tummy bug when you’re suffering yourself is no fun at all. 

I’d been hoping all week that we’d all be well again by Friday, as we’d booked a campsite for two nights. Actually we booked it ages ago when we heard the news that a heatwave was predicted. Unfortunately we woke up on the Friday to find that the heatwave had very much not turned up. It was nowhere to be seen. Instead we opened the curtains to be greeted by dark grey cloud and patches of rain. 

It’s not our style to back out of an outdoors adventure because of a bit of weather. This family don’t do that. We pull our welly boots on and we just go for it. 

On arrival at Pitton Cross Caravan and Campsite in Rhossili, we were greeted with freezing cold wind. Not a little bit of wind. Full scale seafront gales. You could barely stand up. So we packed up the tent and went home. 

I’m joking. Of course we didn’t. 

With a bit of help from a campsite worker person and a man in the caravan next door, we ploughed ahead. The children (ours and one belonging to caravan man) held the tent down at all four corners. I say held it down, but I’m pretty sure that at one point nobody had their feet on the floor. The first pole went in only to snap as the wind pulled the tent into the air and our wellies sunk into the mud. 

That’s the point where Iris decided she’d had enough of her perch in the baby backpack peering over my shoulder. The poor kid had gone a bit purple from the cold anyway, so we hid in the car for a bit. An hour or so later it looked sort of like the tent was finally going to stand. 


The whole camping trip had been my idea. At this point I was regretting it slightly.  The car felt like it might take off if we didn’t peg it down, and it’s quite a bit heavier than the tent. The kids were running back and forth to the campsite shop buying more and more pegs. But it stood. The tent was standing. 
Very very briefly. 

Then I heard a commotion and Trev declaring it was game over. Back in the car. We have to go home. Eldest kid had previously been wailing ‘we’re all gonna die’ at the top of her lungs so maybe heading home was the right thing. 

The broken pole had ripped through the side of the tent. It really was game over. 

A silently relieved me and a very grumpy family headed home. 

The dog made it quite clear that he thought we’d all lost the plot. 

Mum Tum

Oh wow, I’m so bad at blogging these days that I shock even myself! When was my last post? I don’t think it was even this month.

I went to a new thing this morning. 

I’ve missed running, and with Trev often coming home after dark I really needed to find something else to keep me moving. Something Iris could come along to. 

FitMums. That is actually what it’s called. The name disappoints me. I’m not sure why. I guess I just think they could come up with something better. It makes me think of ‘fit’ used as a word to describe somebody who is very attractive, rather than physically in shape. I definitely am not fit in that sense. Not in any sense, actually. I have no desire for anybody to ever describe me as ‘fit’ again, and frankly I don’t need the pressure. I wouldn’t mind being able to run up the stairs without it killing me though, and wearing my old jeans would be a bit nice. 

I moan on and on about those old jeans, don’t i? 

So Iris sat in her pushchair eating (she won’t be in a pushchair unless she’s eating or sleeping) and wearing a WTF expression while me and several others ran around, squatted, did push ups and the plank. Apart from the boxing part where the gloves stank so badly of old cheese I could hardly bear it, I really enjoyed it. It’s always amazed me how we avoid exercise when it feels so so good. 

I’ve been doing Slimming World again too. Not the groups, just the online version. I’m 5 days in and apart from one hiccup where I ate more chocolate than I can count in syns, I’m doing alright. I’ve avoided the scales because I have a terrible habit of weighing myself daily and obsessing over stupid fluctuations that mean nothing. It’s the jeans that count anyway. Screw the scales. I just want to wear my old jeans because new jeans means shopping and I hate shopping. 

I might even start using my old kettlebell as a kettlebell, not a doorstop. 

As odd as it may seem, I’d like to keep a bit of this belly though. This wonderful belly that stretched and itched and ached, and grew a kid that eats dog food when I’m not looking. Even the crinkly lines where the skin gave up and couldn’t stretch anymore. They can stay too. 

But the dimples in my bum have to go.