What happened to my house?!

Do you ever have one of those moment when you look around you and think, what the hell happened to my house?!

I just did!!

My once very minimalist bathroom is now littered with multi-coloured plastic ornaments and a Darth Vader* toothbrush and the tv unit in the living room has been turned into a lorry car park!



I say this smiling by the way. I’m not complaining, just sharing my amusement as this seemed to happen without us realising. I won’t get started on the what once was a ‘sun room’ room! 🙂



* It has just been pointed out to me that the toothbrush is not Darth Vader. In that case, I don’t even know what the toothbrush is! That is how little control I have over the plastic!

The Nonna Diaries – The Final Countdown

And so, as we begin our journey home. Nonna reflects on her busy week in charge of Baby B. Love them both! Thank you Nonna.

Day 6

My last day, mummy and daddy back tomorrow.

Whilst part of me is thinking ……. rest, the bigger part is sad. I will miss him. Miss his voice, his calling out “Nonna where are you” even though he can clearly see me !!! Miss his beautiful smiling face beaming at me first thing in the morning. For heaven’s sake he is only going home, not moving to Australia !!!! As you can tell I am feeling quite emotional !

Even our occasional arguments, mostly over the use of his favourite word of the moment …… NO, will be missed ! I must admit to really struggling to keep a straight face and not laugh. He gets a frown going, stares at me and very seriously says NO !! Bath B ? NO. let’s get dressed ? NO ! Come put your shoes no. NO !! You get the picture !!

Watching a child grow and develop is a fascination. Seeing in that child characteristics of both parents coming through so interesting. The love of eating from his mother. His father’s outgoing, entertaining manners. Apart from an obvious temper and stubborn streak, apparent when he is trying to do something that doesn’t happen fast enough for his liking, he is a delight. His good nature and sweetness obvious. Am I sounding biased and proud ??? I hope I do because I am.

I know his parents appreciate my involvement but I value the trust they have in my capabilities by leaving their most treasured son in my care.

Homeward Bound.

I write this as I sit in the lounge waiting for our flight, its just after 7pm. We got here a bit early (4 hours to be exact!) but you know what’s it is like on a travel day when you don’t really relax because you just want to get home.  This is of course heightened when going home means getting to see our baby boy, who we haven’t seen for 5 whole (long baths and lie in filled) days.

If you are a reader of Up All Hours, you will know that B has been with his Nonna, who has done a sterling job of looking after him. So much so that B has often been too busy to speak to us on Skype over the last 5 days.

So I am sitting here writing and my other half is filming every plane that takes off and lands for our aeroplane obsessed son.

Aeroplane Heaven

Aeroplane Heaven

Travelling without your child is strange. I have spent the last 21 months moaning to my long suffering other half that I miss my freedom and my travel. I used to travel a fair bit with work and loved it. And now that I have jumped back into the saddle as Baby B is a little older, I find myself travelling, but still moaning. This time because I missed him.

The grass just isn’t greener! Travelling sadly, just not the same anymore. Damn, you Baby B – can’t travel with you and can’t travel without you!

There were a few perks to the last 5 days however. Mainly food related if I am honest. My greed often gets the better of me and although I have been promising my other half for the last 21 months that I will lose that last post pregnancy stone, the large portions and frankly ridiculous combos were too much to resist. (Pictures to follow!)

I woke up at 8am one morning which I haven’t done for well, 21 months and even indulged myself with a 20 minute soak in the tub but all the while, missing my little man and watching and re-watching videos of him that Nonna had been sending us.

So I sit here necking red wine to wash down my sleeping pill (don’t worry its not a proper one, nothing Valium related, not through lack of trying to get some) because we land at 8am and I walk straight back into mumma mode and have to try to survive a whole jet lagged day.

Honestly though, I can’t bloody wait.

The Nonna Diaries – Day 5

Update, from yesterday. Today is the last full day before we return! B at nursery today then we land at 8am tomorrow! Yippee. Nonna, thank you, you have been amazing.

Day 5

It’s been a lovely day full of traffic lights, police cars, ambulances and even a fire engine ! Not, I should stress, all out at the same time but spotted by the ever alert B !!! We were on the road to see B’s Aunty & cousins. The plan was to give B his lunch at home then set off when he would then sleep all the way. Huh, best laid plans and all that !!! I have mentioned before his love and fascination for the common traffic light. My fault really. In trying to distract him on car journeys I started pointing out traffic lights, you know …… look B green means go, red light means stop etc.

Well that was the start, now he thanks each green light and oh ohs the red ones !!! His excitement when spotting a light is just wonderful, his whole face lights up (lights up ….. get it !!) The only downside of this is on roads with no traffic lights ! He can become quite distraught and I find myself searching desperately for routes with the most traffic lights !!!! Well the route to our destination has lots of traffic lights so consequently B had no time to nap !!! Too many to thank !

B made himself quite at home and was thrilled that his cousin had a helicopter (another one of his passions) even though it was pink !!! It is nice to see family and especially watch the children play together.

Helicopter love

Helicopter love

Predictably, he fell asleep on the journey home. Even the lure of the traffic light could not keep him awake !

Shattered - Not even the traffic lights could keep him awake

Shattered – Not even the traffic lights could keep him awake

So all good here. He now sleeps soundly and peace reigns.

The Nonna Diaries – Days 3 &4

Here it is, the next and rather controversial, instalment of the Nonna Diaries.

This Nonna doesn’t hold back!

Day 3

No school today so entertaining my boy, and making sure the day is not too long for either of us, is top priority. So pleased with myself when on my last trip to Guildford I found a free Kids Club. And even more excited to discover that there were events planned for the two days B does not have school. Today was to have been Balloon modelling. Great, we would aim for the early session. Must admit to getting into town slightly earlier than I needed to, but did have a few things to do before the 11 o’clock kick off. But 10 a tad too early, my errands having been completed by 10.15 !!!

Still never mind. 15mins on carousel, 10 minutes buying Noisey Fire Engine book, which by the way is a faithful title. The sound of the fire engine going full blast through the shopping centre (giving the odd elderly shopper a slight ‘turn’) really made me wonder why on earth I bought the bloody thing ! He then spotted small soft play area near the Club so because there was still time to kill I relented. Off came the coat, hat, scarf and shoes and B launched himself into play mode. He was mostly good but really did not like other children around playing in what he classed as his space ! But he did allow them in and all was good.

By 11.15, this club place was still not showing any signs of opening and by then both B and I were ready to go home ! Great excitement on the drive back, not just the traffic lights for which he has an obsession, but the two fire engines that were side by side with us, and to top things off an ambulance siren blaring ! What more could a little boy want. I am having my ‘happy hour’ now and trying to decide what to do this afternoon !

Day 4

To carry on from yesterday, after B woke up from afternoon nap it quickly became apparent that I would not be able to contain him until dinner/bed. So drawing on whatever inner strength I have we went off to ‘soft play’. Believe me it took all I had not to turn into an avenging vigilante !! What a horrible place. Full of hyper children running at great speed not looking where they were going which meant that the younger ones (my boy being one of many) where left lying in their wake looking like the victims of some massacre ! Worst still were the mothers. Some on their phones, others chatting away, some even on computers and not one watching their own children who were running wild ! Whilst yes I agree the little ones need to ‘learn’ to look after themselves I find myself asking what has happened to parenting ??? Having said all of the above I will probably be back there tomorrow but issue this warning ….. the gloves are off !!!

My boy did not want to go to school today. All the way there he was pleading “no school nonna, no school ” felt so guilty leaving him. But no worries, have phoned and been reassured that he is having a wonderful day. Crocodile tears master B !!!

He is a delight and even though yes it’s hard work I love every minute of it !


The Nonna Diaries – Day 1 & 2

Whilst we are both away with work, Nonna has Baby B. When we went away before, she kept a wonderful Facebook diary of their time together. She has begun to do this again and I thought that I would share it with you.

So lets begin, the Nonna and Baby B diaries, day one and two.

Day 1

“Do I count this as day 1 ??? In theory I suppose I should as he has been with me most of the day. So, that being the case I will begin my diary of my week with Baby B. After picking him up and wrestling him away from his crying mother and fairly emotional father we picked up Aunty F and made our way home. I must tell you that our boy was quite unwell last week with the sickness bug. He has recovered thankfully, and the only reason I mention this is because it seems to be his sole aim at the moment to eat as much as he can fit in in a day ! So most of today has been B asking for, let’s face it anything ranging from bananas, Apple’s, biscuits, toast, to consuming his lunch, pudding, followed later by sausages, baked potato with grated cheese and baked beans for dinner ! And, I assume, because of all this ‘fuel’ he has put in to his engine he has been running at full throttle all afternoon! He is turning into quite the comedian and very entertaining and has hopefully worn himself out ! Nursery tomorrow and brief respite for nonna ! Thank you to Aunty F for being here today. Night night all.”

Day 2 

“Had planned to write my journal at the end of each day but just too excited this morning !!! B woke up at 7.10am !!!!! I on the other hand was up, 6am, bright eyed and ready to go !! All quiet. 6.30 still nothing so decided I would come down and put the kettle on, sure that as soon as I had made my cuppa he would wake up (little chance of a hot cup of tea when B is about !). By 7am I’m beginning to panic …….. up I go just to make sure that he is still breathing !!!! Fast asleep and breathing thank God. Blimey ! The little man finally announced he was awake with a ‘nonna ou est tu’, yes he speaks French !!!! Don’t worry friends, am not expecting this every morning but wow wee a good start to our week together no ??? After a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast and sausage we were dressed and ready for nursery. Sad and tearful drop off (even though I know that no sooner is my back out that door he is fine) it breaks my heart to leave him. Now I look forward to pick up. Hope you all have a lovely day. A demain mes amis (B’s not the only one who speaks a bit of French !!)”

A child free long haul business trip (Like the old days!)

I am travelling with work this week. Proper travelling, I am talking 8 hours on a plane, without my baby. I cried twice on the plane (not to mention the 4 times before we even left the house this morning). I have Baby B’s soft toy cow with me. The spare of course, i haven’t been so cruel as to steal his comforter for my own comfort this week.

I used to travel a lot before having Baby B so this is nothing new but my god how it changes when you have to leave your Baby behind and spend a week in a different time zone missing kissing his face.

B is with his Nonna for the week as the other half is with me. We met at work and still work together now. Is has it’s perks but it can also be bloody hard work!

So off we went. Bags packed, feeling slightly like the old days but with the a soft cow toy tucked into my laptop case and a Kleenex on the go.

Flight was good. I watched two films. The WHOLE way through! Parents do you remember when you did this without having to pause or abandon all together? I haven’t done this since the famous New York flight of 2010.

After the films I got bored. So I turned to some audio. I flicked through the ‘pop’ music CD options BA had to offer before settling on ‘Now 83’. I acknowledge that is sad enough in itself, but what is more sad however, is that I knew none of the songs on the album. It didn’t help that the songs were displayed without the artist. I didn’t stand a chance. Who knows just the name of songs these days!!!

So I admitted defeat and settled on the Gypsy Kings. Which for the record is in the BA ‘essential albums listings’. Yes that’s right, I am with it!! Listening to Bamboleo, doesn’t make me feel old at all.

I spent the last hour of the flight wondering how on earth you would fit a 21 month old onto this changing table in the toilet

Changing table about the width of my thigh!

Changing table about the width of my thigh!

And wondering whether I was the only 31 year old on the plane listening to Susan Boyle because the Gipsy Kings had finished!

Good old Susan

Good old Susan

Let the work commence and the countdown begin till I see my baby.

Are we entering the terrible twos?

Ummm, so my toddler has turned into a teenager literally overnight. The irony is if you read my last post ‘A successful Easter Sunday‘ written only last Monday, I praise my little man for a tantrum free day. That now seems a distant sweet memory.

Everything now is ‘no’, complete with frown and vigorous head shake.

Me – “Can I have a kiss?”   Baby B – ‘No

Me – “Come and get dressedBaby B – ‘No‘ as he runs off in the other direction

Me – “It’s bath time”  Baby B –  ‘No‘  as he arches back when I go to pick him up so I nearly drop him

Me – “Time to get out, bath time’s over. Say goodnight to the shower”  Baby B – ‘No‘ and does back arch again which is even more hazardous when wet

Me – “Do you want to watch Tree Foo Tom”  Baby B – ‘No’  as I think, shit we’re in trouble, that was one of his favourite programs!

Anyway, you get the drift.

I’m guessing the ‘terrible twos’ don’t literally start as the clock strikes 12 on his second birthday, so is this what this is?!

The only question that I don’t get a ‘No‘ to is ‘Do you want something to eat?’. The boy is eating like it is going out of fashion. In fact, it is role reversal and after he has had his fourth breakfast of the morning this is how it goes;

Baby B – “Toast”  Me – “No, you have had a slice

Baby B – “Egg”  Me – “No, you have had one. Remember you had it after your toast

Baby B – “BanannnnaMe – “No, you had a whole one 6am!”

Baby B – “Apple”  Me – “No, you can have one later

Baby B – “Coookie”  Me – “No, its only 6.30am. Ok fine, you can have an apple“.

Are the terrible two’s often accompanied by extreme hungry by any chance?! How do you combat the constant ‘No’s’ and most importantly, how long will this last people?!