Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: Matilda (page 2 of 13)

What do you do for work daddy?

Today was my day to take Matilda to preschool, I try to do it once a week to give the lady of the manor a break from getting out the house early and also simply because I quite like being part of what the children do each day. On Tuesday’s it’s just Matilda, Henry has a day at home, which is great because we get a little one on one time to bond. However it also means Matilda has 10 minutes in the car with me alone to interrogate me. The subjects vary wildly and normally start with a seemingly innocuous question before BAM she hits you with the killer punch.

This morning it started all very light with a chat about why there weren’t animals in the fields (grain was growing) and whether she would be making her Easter basket today (she is). But then the real interrogation started:

Matilda: Mummy works at a hospital doesn’t she?

Me: She sure does

Matilda: She looks after people and makes them better if they bang their heads or break their legs.

Me: Exactly, she looks after children just like you.

Matilda: what do you do at work?

Me: well, I, err, use a computer. And help people manager their money. And make sure they spend it on the right things.

Matilda: *puzzled face*

How exactly do you explain to a 3 year old that you’re a management accountant? As I tell her what I do even I realise it sounds a bit bonkers. When you compare it to the lady of the manor who has a ‘real’ job mine sounds a bit pointless. Maybe that should be a new rule? If you can’t convince a 3 year old that your job is worthwhile then it shouldn’t exist?

Precisely the reason also why the lady of the manor and I now have a 3 year plan to make some big changes to our lives and the work we do. I’m not quite ready to share them yet but soon maybe. In the mean time I’m going to enjoy watching Matilda become the strong, intelligent and fiercely independent girl she’s shaping up to be.

Matilda on rope bridge

Me and Mine February

DSC_6031

 

February was a tough month, one of the toughest we’ve had as parents and March has started even harder which is why this post and my blog have been untouched for a week. On Monday last week the lady of the manors mum and the kids much loved Nanna passed away, something we knew was coming but had hoped it wouldn’t be quite so soon. Having to explain to 2 small children that they won’t see their Nanna again broke my heart, I’m not sure it’s really sunk in for them so no doubt we have many more questions coming. But I hate that they have to deal with something like this at such a young age and that Rupert won’t get to know his Nanna.

The children also spent two thirds of February sick with one bug or another, Henry went through 2 different lots of antibiotics and then we ended up with him in A&E one Friday night as he screamed the house down with stomach pain. We thought his appendix had gone but it turned out the virus he was fighting off had caused the glands in his stomach to swell up. Apparently very common in small children but a scary few hours as I fought to get him seen quickly and by an actual doctor.

All this meant that we didn’t really do a whole lot else last month other than just keep getting up each day. Rupert however being completely oblivious to everything going on decided that it was time to start eating some solid foods and hasn’t looked back since. He wolfs down 2 meals of the finest purees every day and seems to be a very contented little boy as a result, albeit one who still doesn’t sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.

With Mothers Day looming and the funeral in a week March is going to be a fairly bleak month with lots of cuddles needed to see us through.

Me and Mine January 2015

What a difference a month makes! When I wrote my me and mine post for December the lady of the manor and I were a bit stressed out, we weren’t getting much of a break from the children to have time together or just have some peace. A month later Rupert has changed massively as happens with babies of this age, he is after all 50% older than he was at that time. Which is quite crazy when you think about it and is clear in how he’s behaving (more of that later).

We also had our first break away from home for the first time since June as we visited Bluestone in Wales. Amazing what having 5 days away from normal life does for you, no chores to think about or child care to manage, just lots of time to enjoy being a family. Which is where we took this months photo while on a lovely walk down through the forest that is part of the site. Taking the photo was a challenge though with the camera wedged on a slope and no remote so the lady of the manor was running back and forth to take the photos while we tried to stop the children falling in the river. The things we do!
standing in the Bluestone river

This month I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future and some changes I want to make to my work life, we may even have something resembling a 3 year plan written (in our heads at least). Potentially some exciting changes to come and hopefully a chance for me to focus on my passion for running and the outdoors. I’ve also just embarked on training for a triathlon in the summer which has the added bonus of allowing me to shop for all sorts of new gear. Awesome.

The lady of the manor has been working her magic with Rupert and slowly coaxing him into a routine. She’s also started the long road back to fitness after being pregnant and been on her first run. Yes that’s right she is also a bit running obsessed like I am! I think she may also be taking the opportunity to do some shopping soon as well, not only for running gear but for new clothes as well.

Matilda has spent most of January as the perfect example of a threenager; one who most definitely knows what she does and doesn’t want to wear, who will cry and the merest hint of being told no and is testing out her physical abilities, most on poor Henry. She has also been telling us that she’d like to go to school now and not just preschool, I’m glad she feels ready but it also feels like such a big milestone. Fingers crossed we get her into the school we’ve asked for as it’s such a lovely place.

Henry is now completely toilet trained and threatening to be dry and night before Matilda, we keep finding that he’s taken his nappy off at night because it was wet! He’s rediscovered his love for trains this month and thanks to some presents from his nan and pops we now have the makings of a fine Brio collection that the lady of the manor enjoys making into tracks just a little bit too much.

Rupert has finally decided that he will go to sleep in the evenings, as I write this we’ve now had a whole week where he’s been asleep by 7.30pm and normally sleeps until just after 11pm. It feels quite amazing suddenly having our evening back to do things rather than one of us carrying a baby around. He seems to have grown out of some of the wind issues he had and is such a happy, chatty little boy now.

The party is over

This is it, the party is over, 2 and a bit weeks of glorious paternity leave are finished and it’s back to reality tomorrow. I’ll be honest I bought a few Euromillions tickets last week in the hope that maybe I could extend my time off but alas no luck and the bills won’t get paid because I’m a good dad will they? Like when Henry was born one of the best things about being on paternity leave is actually having time with the older children. Matilda and I spent so much time together while the lady of the manor looked after Henry, we walked Bracken every day and did bath time together it was just great. What dad doesn’t love the thought of waking up and playing with his kids every day?

This time was similar, most days I’d get up with Matilda and Henry to do breakfast and then take food up to the lady of the manor so she could eat and feed. Having 2 weeks holiday is always great but I think being ok with living life as normal rather than trying to have a ‘holiday’ makes it better. You just do regular activities but do them together when normally things like taking Bracken out normally get fitted around everything else. You have time (not much with a baby in the house but some at least) to do all those things you want to do at a weekend but never get around to.

We did Halloween craft and I got to join all our NCT mum friends at a Halloween party, we walked the dog, we jumped in puddles and played in the forest, we baked bread and cooked, we had many many games of hide and seek, we snuggled on the sofa watching TV when it was cold, we did jobs in the garden with nanna and gramps, we went swimming played on the swings, we went to the kids first ever fireworks display and tried candy floss. The list goes on and actually despite all the sleepless nights and moments of chaos where we wanted to scream it’s fun and I think we’ve done an awful lot.

Don’t tell the kids but we may also have taken advantage of their preschool days to go out for coffee and cake and pretend that we only have 1 small baby for a while. No need to persuade 2 children to sit still and eat their food without knocking drinks over and most of all some peace without all the questions. We all need some of that down time as parents don’t we?

Rupert is in general a very chilled and happy baby and so strong! He’s 3 weeks old on Wednesday and already is holding his head up and moving onto his side when lying on the floor. He’s also packing on pounds, at 11 days old he weighed 10lb’s vs. his birth weight of 9lb 6oz so clearly mummies milk is gold top. Still weighting to see if he ends up a blondie like me and Matilda and Henry, the lady of the manor is hoping he’s going to be a red head like her but no signs of that yet.

I’m not sure how the kids are going to react to me not being around, there are already murmurings about not wanting me to go to work, but they’ll adjust again I’m sure. Certainly isn’t going to make sitting in an office again any easier, but I do at least have some great memories to take with me. I do hope also that Matilda and Henry have enjoyed it fully too, there has probably been a few too many shouty moments born out of tiredness and frustration on my part. I didn’t run much at the start, there was just no way to fit it in and that just makes me grumpy without the broken sleep also. We’ve tried to give them lots of attention and not just focus on Rupert but it’s not easy is it? Having a newborn can be quite intense and demanding and all consuming if you let it.

As I’m falling asleep writing this I’m going to hit publish and try to get some sleep before attempting to get out of the door for work tomorrow for the first time in 2.5 weeks. An attempt that also includes a preschool drop off for Matilda, wish me luck!

Me and Mine October

This is it, the me and mine post that we’ve been building to for almost the whole year, the one where we become a party of five! It’s also the reason why I’m sat here at 10pm the day before the post goes live trying to write it after finally sorting out the chaos in the house. Rupert is now 9 days old and so far is a perfect little baby, sure he doesn’t sleep all night but no one would ever expect a little baby to do that, but he doesn’t cry much, he feeds well and he is generally a chilled out little boy.

Rupert just born

The first 9 days together has been exciting, manic, chaotic, tiring, beautiful, exasperating and testing but most of all awesome. But after a number of days at home trying to rest and adjust the lady of the manor and I were starting to get fidgety and cabin fever was definitely setting in. So yesterday we headed out for our first proper trip as a family for a walk around a lake at the Cotswold water park that conveniently ends at a great cafe that serves an amazing cooked breakfast. The first challenge was getting in the car though, you see we’re waiting for our new car to be delivered in a week or 2 (the dreaded people mover) and our current car while large doesn’t fit 3 car sits across it. Which means one child has to sit on the pop up seats in the boot, a situation I assumed Henry or Matilda would love but alas no. Instead we had lengthy negotiations before persuading Matilda that it was indeed the only place she could sit, the key issue it turned out is that she wanted to be able to see Rupert *pulls remaining hair out*. We did manage to take a good photo though even if we did look a bit crazy setting up a tripod next to the lake.

Cotswold water park sculpture

This month I’ve been mainly running a marathon and jumping every time my phone rang in case it was ‘the call’. The marathon was in York and just a few days before due date so I half expected my phone to ring at mile 16 to tell me that the lady of the manor had gone into labour. At which point of course the quickest way back would be to finish the race; that would at least give me a good excuse for being tired in the delivery suite right? I have a full race report up on my running blog if you happen to be interested, the short summary is that it was a beautiful race and a PB for me.

The lady of the manor has of course spent most of the month wishing that her baby boy would arrive, she was of course magnificent during labour and now that he’s here such a amazing mum. That’s 3 babies delivered now with only gas and air used and a small amount of swearing. She’s also very content having a breastfeeding little boy again and I think enjoying having time with me at home also. This week she demonstrated her prowess in pumpkin carving, putting my funny face to shame with her carefully crafted owl (there was a stencil involved).

Henry spent the first half of the month mainly growing despite the fact that it seems to be mainly bread and pasta that go into his mouth. However the second half since Rupert arrived has been spent being a most affectionate big brother, a little too affectionate at times when Rupert is happily asleep but it’s so lovely to see how much he loves him. The first time he met Rupert was when he got out of bed the next day and he immediately rushed over and gave him a hug and a kiss. We were a little worried he would get jealous of the breastfeeding as he was fed up to 18 months but he hasn’t seemed bothered at all.

Baby wearing toddlers

Matilda has been making friends and has her first birthday party to go in a few weeks for a preschool friend which feels all a bit grown up to me. She’s also started to trust me to do her hair which I take as a great privilege but is definitely testing my dad skills to the max. Without wanting to repeat last months comment on her she appears to have grown up another 2 years this month, part of this I think is learning new things at preschool. My favourite thing she’s learnt is counting using her fingers, she’ll hold up 2 fingers and say ‘we need to read 2 books’. Too cute. Like Henry she also loves her new little brother and is so good sitting on the sofa with him on her lap.

Rupert has mainly been coming out from his cosy home in his mummies tummy. Oh and sleeping. And pooing. And drinking milk.

Me and Mine September

The observant among you will notice that this weeks post features 2 children not 3; baby boy has still yet to make an appearance despite the lady of the manor being adamant that he was going to be early. We’re now less than 2 weeks from due date so this should definitely be the last me and mine with only 4 people in the photo. September feels like it’s been a busy month but sitting down to write this I can’t exactly remember what we did that made us so busy.

This months photo was taken just last night after we’d been for a very rare dinner out with the children to Pizza Express in Marlborough. It’s the lady of the manor’s birthday today you see and the week’s schedule meant that last night was the best night to go out for dinner. We had such a lovely time eating and chatting with Matilda and Henry and then a lovely walk down Marlborough High street to look in the shop windows and enjoy this balmy late September weather. It’s also I think the first selfie that I’ve included in the me and mine posts this year, although technically I guess a lot of them are selfies just with a remote for the DSLR rather than holding a phone!

Marlborough selfie

This month I have been mainly building things and catching up on odd jobs before the baby comes; I built a pergola (finally) to go over the bench seat we put in the garden a few months ago. It’s lovely having a seat half way down the garden to sit on and has become one of Matilda’s favourite spots, I think she likes having the ‘roof’ over head. We plan to grow a rose up and over it next year which should hopefully make it even nicer to sit under. The second thing I’ve been building is a log and bin store to go behind our garage, with the log burner installed we now need somewhere to store and season the logs of course. I’m really quite enjoying building things like this, they may not be perfect but it’s great doing something practical. I have of course also been running and training for York marathon in 10 days (assuming baby boy doesn’t arrive before then).

Finished pergola

Matilda has seemingly spent September growing up by at least 2 years; she’s now going to preschool 3 days a week and it’s amazing the change in her as she gets more grown up and learns so many new things. She’s absolutely loving being there now and the ladies that run it are full of praise for how well she behaves and how she now looks after the ‘little ones’. I don’t want to boast but I’m claiming that as top parenting skills! She’s also started gymnastics this month and now spends 45 minutes every Saturday morning learning to balance, jump and roll around which is right up her street and a nice way to channel all that energy she has.

Henry has been enjoying some time with his mummy this month on the day Matilda is at preschool and he isn’t, I think he quite likes the peace and quiet and home and not having to put up with being told what to do by his sister all the time. He’s also spent much of the month scooting around on his balance bike and will happily spend most of the day going around the garden and doing races. Despite being 13 months younger than Matilda he’s as good as if not better on the bike than she is.

balance bike

The lady of the manor has spent September putting up with an awful lot of pain from the baby boy in her tummy; she had a growth scan last week as they were worried he was getting too big and found out that he was lying transverse. Certainly explains why her bump had been hurting so much! She’s also been organising everything we need to have the beautiful home birth that we’re hoping for, although not entirely sure the kids needed new clothes and beds for that…

Next month I will hopefully bring you a very exciting first family photo of us as a party of five. Which will be pretty darn cool. I think that might well be enough to keep us busy for the next few months!

dear beautiful

Matilda’s book reviews – The Faery’s gift

The lady of the manor and I love Roald Dahl, you’d never guess with a daughter called Matilda would you? (Who incidentally would have been George if she’d been a boy) I can’t wait until Henry and Matilda are old enough to start reading some of his books, in the mean time we’re making do with some of Quentin Blake’s books which are a bit more suitable. But if you love Road Dahl as much as me then you might be interested in the Marvellous Costume make (note this isn’t a sponsored post, just thought you’d be interested). Although having read all the tweets about world book day maybe you won’t all be so excited about making costumes?

I wonder if I can enter just by dressing Matilda in her normal clothes? Although she definitely isn’t opposed to a bit of dress up so we might have to get our thinking caps on. I think Henry mike make a rather good Fantastic Mr Fox and Matilda, well she’ll have to be Matilda won’t she?

This week we have been mainly reading The Faery’s gift 

Faerys gift coverThis is a really lovely book published by Barefoot books who if you haven’t checked out you really should. They make some of our favourite books, books that are original and a little different in terms of style (Bear on a Bike is another firm favourite). What I also like about their books is they often have a moral story in them or some educational message, all wrapped up in some beautiful words.

The Faery’s gift is a simple story; a wood cutter and his family are poor, cold and barely sustaining a life when one day he does a good deed and saves a faeries life. In return the faery grants him a single wish, which sounds great but he has to decide what to wish for (here comes the moral bit). Does he wish for the baby that his wife so desires or for his mother to get her eye sight back or for lots of money? I won’t spoil the surprise of what he does but I will say that he fails to wish for 3 more wishes which surely is the obvious answer?

Faerys gift picture page

Matilda loves this book, she seems to really like fairytale style stories especially when they involve some magic. She also likes the illustrations, which I think you can see from the photos are just beautiful, so full of colour and covering a whole page each time. As a bonus the book also comes with an audio CD where the story is read by Niamh Cusack, I like to think I’m good at reading books but not sure I can compete with her voice.

If you want something a little different to read do have a look at The Faery’s gift and the other books from Barefoot Books.

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