She’s on her way home, YEY!

Halloween snap from 2018, I had to use it because this is what my face has been like since she left. Ha.

I tried to post this blog on Monday but WordPress had other plans, I had issues uploading my photo’s and you know what? I’m kind of happy that it happened. Instead of blogging 24 hours after she left, I’m now sharing it on the day she’s due home! Que a title change, new paragraph and edits.

It’s been over 24 hours (1 whole week now) since I last seen my beautiful L. As you’ll all know because I haven’t shut up about it, she’s currently in Spain with her Nana Julie. Amazing – for her, 24/7 fun and people fussing over her. All the tasty food and ice cream galore! But what about Mama, and even my little M. What will we do without her?

Monday

I’ve kept myself busy today. I’ve been with a friend and we did some holiday shopping together, so that’s helped me massively. Bedtime was a breeze tonight, me and Ricky solo parent during the week and bedtimes can be, fun shall we say. It’s like I’ve gone back to parenting with one little, it is so much easier isn’t it? I’m so used to chasing the girls around, doing baths and story time.

Chilling in a coffee shop during our shopping trip, I can’t deal with how CUTE this snap is!

Marceline cuddled me last night, all night. It was like she knew I needed the snuggles. She kept rubbing my arm in her sleep and it was so comforting. I know it probably seems like I am being dramatic, but I know that I’m not. I just bloody love my kid and it’s the first time she’s been away from us properly. She often sleeps out but this is SO different.

Tuesday

Loralai rang this morning and said she’s already missing me, SUPER CUTE. But I know she’ll be too busy to be thinking about us. I’ve seen ALL the snaps from today and honestly it looks like she is having a blast!

Beach BABE.
In the sea with the girls.

The rest of the week …

Loralai has had THE best time, literally living her best life. I have so many photo’s but I’ll just share a few, promise! I’ve spoken to her pretty much daily, I’ve had to fit into her diary – she literally hasn’t stopped. She joined the kids club, went to all the kids disco’s, visited the beach and had a day out shopping in the village. She’s had loads of lush food with ALL the ice cream, obvs! She even found a rock bar and my Mam kept sending me video’s of her dancing and head banging – then raving! Can this girl be any cooler please?

Off to the pool.
Those flip flops though, I can’t wait to see what she’s bought!
Playing golf.

If you want to see more holiday snaps I’ve created a highlight on Instagram, it’s really helped me while she’s been away. Just seeing her face and how much fun she’s had. We managed a few video chats too – LUSH.

It’s been odd at home, very quiet. Marceline has been extremely clingy – she is teething and going through a developmental milestone but I can see that she misses her. The first time we video called Loralai, Marceline actually cried and wouldn’t really talk. It broke my heart. She much prefers talking on the phone so we’ve stuck with that. The first day or two I felt all over the place, I had work Tuesday and Wednesday and I found myself saying the wrong words, getting mixed up or dropping things. Which is so unlike me!

I’ve been cleaning and organising like mad. I’ve sorted out her room as a little surprise, I mean she isn’t going to be bothered about how clean it is, what kid cares about that? But I’ve done lot’s of little things that I know she’ll like. I’ve made it easier for her to get out some of the bigger toys and I’ve put some new things up on her wall. I’ve spent a lot of time in her room actually, playing with Marceline and pottering about.

I’ve missed her. Like really missed her. I was sad when she left but as time went on my heart ached. Even with all the photos and phone calls. I miss my baby! She will be home late tonight and I honestly can’t wait to hug her and hear all about her week. I’m so glad she’s had the opportunity to have a holiday though, the experience’s and fun with some of the family, they’ll be cherished memories. But we are SO ready for her to be home, changing her outfit a thousand times a day, eating all the apples in the fridge and demanding Hotel Transylvania 3 on the TV – I wouldn’t want her any other way!

Airport smiles last Sunday.

And a big thank you – to all of you who checked in on me, asking if I was ok. You ladies ROCK.

Easter Feels.

My Babes.

It’s Easter!! And we welcome the school holidays – for us Northerner’s that is, two weeks off the school run! YASS. Weeks filled of with chocolate, chilled mornings, play dates – anything to keep the littles happy and us parents sane.

Our timings haven’t worked out so well this time, Loralai is going to Spain on Sunday with her Nana Julie. EEEKK. I’m full of excitement for her, the lovely weather and all those amazing memories to be made but man am I ANXIOUS. I’ve had every possible accident run through my head, I already feel sick with worry and I really don’t know what I’ll do, or all three of us for that matter.

Marceline misses Loralai when she’s at school, what will she be like for a week? AAAHH. Listen I am so excited, I am. It’s amazing having a holiday and when you are a kid everything is a thousand times bigger and better – I know she’s going to have such a good time. AND she’s in safe hands, she’s with my Mam so … Yea. BUTT I am still full of worry, I can guarantee I won’t sleep and I’ll probably be half a stone lighter from the stress.

But back to the timings. I have work this week, two late shifts so that’s those days gone. I’m going to London on Friday (YEY) but that’s another two days away from her. We get back on Saturday so that gives us time to hang with her and the flight is late afternoon Sunday – so ALLLL the snuggles, kisses, play time, movie watching and things will be crammed in as much as possible.

I packed her case a few weeks back, I plan on checking it over this week so I can make sure she’s all set. She’s got some lovely new bits, thanks to Nana Jules, and that’s worked out nice as we have a family holiday in May. We’re off to Turkey, I’ve never been so if any of you have any recommend things to do just pop them in the comments!

I feel like next week when I blog I’ll be full of tears and snot! Anyway, I hope you all have some lovely plans this Easter. Whether that is family time, meeting friends or trips away! I am LOVING not doing the school run and it’s only day one haha. Excited for all the chocolate too!

Already missing this little cheeky face.

Wish me luck for next week, I’ll need all the love I can get!

All the fun with some tantrum’s.

I’m always on the look out for things to do with the littles. Aside to the local baby group crafty sessions and all the messy stuff at home I’ve never really done anything arty with Loralai. When I saw the opportunity for a blogger to attend the new Katie’s Garden #sundaysessions I just had to put myself forward!

https://www.katiesgardenuk.com/

I was very kindly gifted a spot for myself and Loralai to attend a Mandrake session, and I can honestly say it was SO much better than I even imagined. I mean, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was excited, as was L! I showed her a picture from Katie’s Garden on Facebook the night before so she could get a little idea of what I meant. She got really giggly and went straight off to sleep, what a great bribery trick for bedtime haha.

https://www.facebook.com/katiesgardensunderland/

Our morning was very eventful with tantrums, tears and upset from Loralai – this was before we even left the house! I was so glad we managed to get a taxi or we would have been so late. Loralai hasn’t had a drama about her clothes in a really long time, I thought we were passed it all but it seems to have crept back in. I always like to keep things honest with you all, I was feeling very stressed on route!

Kisses and hugs always make things better though.

Loralai was full of smiles in the taxi, it was great to see the Stack Newcastle’s space being used so creatively! And what a fab way to attract families into town, doing some fab activities and then having a cuppa or bite to eat. Of course we visited Coffee Yolo, it’s Loralai’s FAVE. She loves their unicorn milk!

https://www.facebook.com/stacknewcastle/

https://www.facebook.com/coffeeyolostack/

Look at that sparkle – @coffeeyolo

But let’s get down to the fun stuff! The Mandrake making, any Harry Potter fan’s here? Loralai has only recently watched one of the movies with her Dad so she didn’t really know that the two were related but it didn’t matter. You could go there without seeing the film because the workshop is so engaging, fun and magical!

Check out the cutest snaps of Loralai crafting, making her Mandrake!

Making the Mandrake’s body.
Getting potted!
Even from this point the Mandrake was SUPER cute.
Loralai decided she would name her Mandrake – Devil, it made us all laugh anyway!
Adding in some final touches.
Hello Devil.
Proud as punch.

Everything Loralai used was provided by Katie’s Garden, the staff were extremely welcoming, friendly and helpful. They were full of smiles and checked in with us regularly – to see if we needed some help. Loralai got some inspiration from one of the girls actually. She had a witches hat on so L decided her Mandrake was a girl witch called Devil – but she was a good witch! One of my favourite things was the music playing in the background, it really added to the atmosphere and excitement!

All the smiles and ready to wash up.
I loved the decor, such a fab idea and added to the magic of it all.

I would like to thank all the girls for having us, Loralai had the best time and it was so lovely to try something new. What a great way to spend a Sunday morning with my little. I highly recommend any of my North East readers to give the workshops a try! If you are local to Sunderland Katie’s Garden offer #saturdaysessions at the
Beacon of light, local Newcastle Mama’s the #sundaysessions are held at the Stack. You can check out all the up coming workshops on their Facebook …

https://www.facebook.com/katiesgardensunderland/

I will definitely be taking L back, she’s talked about it non stop and I had just as much fun as she did. A recommended family fun day from us, they have some Easter activities coming up soon, make sure to book up as the spaces go quickly. And I’m sure you’ll all like to know that Devil is happily living on our hallway windowsill!

Mam! This is my worst ever dream.

Aaahh how I have missed using Loralai’s words for the blog! She said ”Mam! I hate skirts, this is my worst ever dream” the other day when she was getting dressed for school. I had to look away and smirk really quickly before I turned around to talk to her. Kids are so funny. She has refused to wear trousers since, well, for ages and has never worn any for school. Then out of the blue she hates skirts and wants trousers! Such an interesting bean Loralai, you quirky thing you.

It feels SOO good to be back blogging. I’m just so excited, motivated and feeling super organised. I feel like the world is my oyster! How about a little catch up on things? I think the main thing for me is that I have finally set up my own shop, eek. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MerPinz?ref=search_shop_redirect

Yup, MerPinz has finally become a reality and I am LOVING IT. It has taken some time to adjust to a new routine, as such. Before it was Mama life, part time work and the blog. Now I have added a shop into the mix – I really don’t know where I find the time. Unfortunately the blog took a little hit, it was the one thing I took a break from. Plus I was mega keen to update the website and give it this new look, which I am also LOVING. I took a week off work and I thought to myself – time to blog! But nope, life is just so busy with two little humans and all the other things. I did get a little time to update the website and I am thankful it’s finally done. WHOOP. WHOOP. YEAAA.

So I’ll be back to weekly blog posts from this week. You’ll either have some Mama update from me or I’ll be sharing a blog post in one of my other pages, breastfeeding or shopping small. I have SO much to say for each space so be prepared for all the chats. Weekly Mama features for #titsandtearz will also be happening – every Friday! I was very strict whilst I was away from blogging, I made sure that #titsandtearz still happened as I know how much you all love the feeding journeys.

While I’ve been away from the blog, I’ve been doing a lot of napping, YASS.

All the sleepy snuggles with M.

Spending some quality time with my husband, we even managed a trip away to Glasgow. We didn’t get married there – I just bloody love this picture from our wedding. Glasgow was AMAZE though, I really want to go back. We stayed in an Air B+B, eat lush food, went to a gig and then had one the best breakfast’s I’ve ever had – in one of the coolest spots ever. I was so happy that I had scouted the place out on Instagram before we went! – https://www.instagram.com/g00dtimesroll/

Wedding day – back in October 2016.

I’ve had actual real life ALONE TIME, with my friends. Drinks, a comedy gig and even a sleepover. Literally giving me life. It’s SOO important to be you, have fun and just let loose. Yes we are Mam’s but we are still humans who need to dance, have a cocktail or giggles with friends. I have so many things coming up with friends, and I can’t WAIT.

Lucy, Max and me – my first, PROPER, real night out. All the dranks!
All the giggles and wine with Kirsty @thestandcomedyclub

Lot’s of stuff. Lot’s of hangs, lot’s of LOVE. Mixed in with my littles, the school run, house work and setting up shop. A bunch of illnesses, trips out, prepping for HOLIDAYS! Ah the list could go on. I just thought a little update was needed, and I am SO happy to be back! Going to finish off this post with a snap of the coolest human I’ve ever met.

GRL PWRRR.

We won’t be long!

2Mermaidz is currently under going a little make over, I’ve made a start tonight but there’s still lot’s to get through.

While this is happening there won’t be any blog posts aside to the weekly breastfeeding stories I share on #titsandtearz

BUT we won’t be long, a new look, a new way of sharing content and a bunch of other stuff.

You can still catch us on Instagram though, much LOVE!

This is Halloween!

Happy HALLOWEEN!! 

I can still say that even though it’s November right … ?

I was hoping to share this on Halloween but some teeth (her first two, yey) from little Marceline decided to make an appearance, steal all the sleep and so I’m a week behind with sharing – the cuddles are worth it though.

I just had to blog about Halloween, it’s THE BEST holiday of the year – no questions asked! This year I’ve made much more of an effort with the house decorations, it’s been SO MUCH FUN.

I thought I would start by looking back at some Halloween’s with Loralai …

A nearly 2 month old Loralai (2013)

Pumpkin L (2014)

Mama Cat and Mini Witch (2015)

Oh I’m a cat again, haha totally didn’t realise until right now! Little skeleton Loralai and my beautiful baby M bump (2017)

As you can see I’ve missed out 2016, we’d just been married and on Halloween we flew to Mexico for our honeymoon.

I blogged last year about Halloween, twice if I remember rightly. Sharing what we had done, our costumes and Loralai’s experiences. It’s really been fun to look back at snaps for this post, lots of AWWW’s from me at the baby pictures of Loralai!

Still can’t believe she is 5 now!

So, Halloween 2018.

I upped my game with the decor this year and I am aiming to build up our decorations each year, kind of like what everyone does for Christmas. I’ll share some pictures with you of our home later in the post. We had so many plans this year with a bunch of them not happening (BOO) no pun intended. But I have decided that next year I want us to host a party! I’d love to make some traditions too, let me know if you have any in the comments.

We’ve had SO many treats this year, we have literally spent all of October dedicated to Halloween. Halloween doughnuts, sweets, pumpkin carving and painting. Spooky sticker books and Loralai’s first Halloween school disco! On Halloween, Loralai was in school and I took Marceline shopping – nothing spooky about that BUT as soon as she got home she dressed up, I did her face paint and changed M into a matching skeleton babygrow. We did a small Trick or Treat and then hung out with a friend. Loralai stuffed her face with Casper marshmallows, cutie!

Here’s a few snaps of our little Halloween at home.

My Skeletons.

Coolest babes and a pumpkin.

A scary L …

ALL THE MARSHMALLOWS!!

A few more snaps of our treats and pumpkin carvings.

Lidl was a great go to for us this year, the Halloween doughnuts in the pictures were beautiful. We bought the activity book, I got L some costume bits, M has some cute spooky baby vests and this little grave yard set up was SO much fun too.

Most of our decorations from last year came from Wilkinsons, this year Ricky went wild and bought loads in Asda. I took SO many pictures of them all but I’ve tried to condense them down … I said tried.

I even decorated the girls bedrooms and the landing but we would literally be here all day with snaps. So last few, promise!

Check out how creepy it looked walking to our house …

Last but not least!! I didn’t take any photos at Loralai’s school disco, IT WAS MANIC. My first ever school disco with her, it was fun but so, so busy! Marceline loved it and danced just as much as L. I did manage to snap a picture once we got home, how cute please?

I am so sad it’s come to an end, but that only means one thing …

CHRISTMAS!

SUPER quick edit – I can’t miss out that we reached 11 months of boobie feeds just before Halloween, those fingers on the pumpkin though, the nipple twist is real. If you know, you know!

Milestone cards from Milk Making Mama.

https://milkmakingmama.co.uk/

Back to work FEELS

How have I been back to work for nearly a month?

I really can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. At first I wanted to blog straight away but then I realised a few shifts in that there’d be more I’d want to share, so I waited. I actually think I’ll have a follow up blog from this too.

I tried hard during my maternity leave not think about work, just embrace my time, take it all in. I called in with Marceline often and I didn’t do any of my keeping in touch days, for lots of reasons and weirdly it felt like I’d never really left. Each time I called in everything felt the same, aside to some lovely new workers! When Marceline got to around 6 months I began to feel stressed about my return to work, I am a very organised person and I always like to know what’s going on, feel in control of what I’m doing etc. So I decided to get in touch about my return.

Hello stress, anxiety and worry.

I can’t lie and say I wasn’t super stressed out, returning from maternity leave is hard enough never mind asking to come back on different terms. Of course there is a lot of help and support out their but maternity discrimination exists, it’s very real and I was so worried that my request to drop hours was going to be a hard slog.

Why did I worry?!

After my initial email my stomach was in knots, what if they say no? What will we do? Can we survive finically with less hours? SO MANY THOUGHTS. After a few emails and a phone call I went to meet with my bosses, it. went. fine. All that stress for nothing but at least my mind was at ease and I could enjoy the rest of my time off, going back 2 days a week sounded good to me.

I had to let work know a few months in advance about when I wanted to return, I decided to add some holidays on so that I’d be off for 11 months. Marceline would be 10 months (I used a little time off pre baby), but then a whole new situation consumed me.

Breastfeeding, what will we do?

This thought took over way more than my thoughts about returning to work, I chatted to SO many women, in my local BF group, some online groups and I spoke to all you AMAZE boobie Mama’s on Instagram (HUGE thanks). My mind tossed and turned for weeks about what we’d do and in the end I did no test runs, no prep, I just went to work. Simple. If only I’d known how fine things would be I would have slept so much better at night!

In the final weeks up to my return I was often teary, I didn’t want to go back to work, I just kept trying to think of ways which would enable me to stay off for longer. Of course there was no other option, it really was time to go back. A lifeline thrown in by my boss – Team Building Day – YASSS. He asked me to come in on the Wednesday rather than the Monday so I could join in with the staff away day, doing high ropes! How fun? This made me feel a lot happier as I knew I’d be having fun on zip wires, catching up with friends, enjoying undisturbed food and drinks (YEY).

So, as cheesy and unrealistic as this sounds I watched my husband take the girls away in the car (school run) as I stood in the door way with a lump in my throat. I watched them drive away, feeling full of anxiety, sadness and uncertainty. My boss picked me up and then another colleague, we arrived and my day begun. I had no signal the WHOLE time so I literally had no idea how Marceline was doing, I’d never left her for a whole day before, how was she coping with water and a snack instead of boob? How was Ricky on his own with the girls? I just had no clue of how things were, which made my anxieties feel a little more intense BUT I had crazy amounts of fun climbing trees and doing zip wires, so much adrenaline. I kept wondering if my boobs would hurt, how was M, home, ah just everything kept crossing my mind but I honestly felt so eased into my first shift. It really felt like I was socialising with friends, which I was, and it was AMAZE.

I made it home for bedtime and boob, YEY. I won’t ever forget Marceline’s face when she seen me, it still warms my heart now.

Quick run down of day. 1, woken up by my littles, an undisturbed shower (YASS), presents, cards and flowers for heading back to work (sob), a sad and anxious goodbye, LOADS of fun with friends at work and home just in time for the girls bedtime routine. Not as bad as I thought, not a tear shed but I was very aware that this day wasn’t a usual day, it wasn’t an actual working day … but what a lush way to come back after 11 months off!

Just a few pics from the team away day!

Snapped by the AMAZE Ange …

County Durham Family Photographer | Angela Fenwick Photography

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Angela-Fenwick-Photography-986605621366805/about/?ref=page_internal

The Friday of that week was my real first shift back, my late shift, I’d miss bedtime and I’d be working outside with some new staff too.

SO MUCH TO TAKE IN.

I spoke to the girls on my break and hearing Marceline’s baby babble made me teary. I’m used to working and leaving Loralai and Ricky but I’ve never left Marceline and I didn’t breastfeed this long with Loralai either so this was all new feelings for me too. Marceline has taken to all of this like a right trooper, she has been fine missing boob (having water and a snack instead) and she’s had so much fun and quality time with her Daddy. I really feared things would have been harder but she’s proven that she is just like Loralai and takes to things with ease, my two confident babes.

As the time has gone on I’ve thought, ah this will feel easier, I’ll feel ok and actually my first few shifts were fine, I was fine. It actually became harder as I done more shifts but then it’s eased again, if that makes sense? I’m always keen to know how my girls are, I panic if I see a txt from Ricky (even though everything is ok), I worry when I don’t need too, I miss them like crazy …

BUT …

I am loving seeing everyone, I have adult conversation, I laugh, drink hot tea, pee alone, I get on a bus and I don’t have to rush or worry if the pram can get on, I can wear lush clothes without worrying if I can boob in them or not. Work feels like me time, some normal time, Sarah time … Of course it’s hard, it’s work, work isn’t easy even if you don’t have kids, I am sleepy, like sleepy AF but 2 days feels good. Good for me, I can work and also be at home, I feel so lucky to have the best of both worlds.

It’s made me crave more me time, time with friends and it’s also made me teary, missing my littles but I’m doing things to help me feel good like joining in with #whatmamaworemonday (snaps below), building up to potentially having some Monday night wine sessions with friends, it’s helping me find Sarah again. SO CHEESY. Haha, but yeah it’s hard, I’m so sleepy, like crazy sleepy and I still miss the girls like mad but I know in a few weeks time and as the months go by things will feel a lot easier. I can’t believe how well Marceline and my boobs have taken to this new routine, although she has lost some interest in the day time feeds, which makes my heart heavy. I’ve found a new routine to keep up with my blogs and weekly #titsandtearz posts, so things are looking good.

It is hard going back to work but it’s worth it, when I get home and see their faces I just breathe them in, I’m more patient and observant. It makes me use my days at home with them differently, there’s been so much change over these past few months for my little family but I couldn’t be prouder of us all.

I’m SO loving wearing whatever I want, it’s making me desperate for a shopping trip though. Something I haven’t done in SO, SO LONG.

You’ve got this Mama’s, if I can do it, you can.

Hello Big School

Following on from ‘Goodbye Little L’

We set our alarms for super early, like 6am early. We don’t do mornings very well, actually Loralai loves mornings but we take a little more time to come around. We were trying to figure out a ‘school routine time frame’, my eyeballs hurt that day, they really did.

Loralai’s first week was a mixture of mornings and afternoons, her first day was the Tuesday and although my stomach was in knots and everyone (especially me) thought I would ball my eyes out at the gates, I didn’t. I couldn’t believe I didn’t cry, it was around 11:40am when I saw the school ringing me. OMG what’s happened, is she ok? Has she had an accident, what do I do?

”Hi, is that Loralai’s Mam? She’s still waiting for you to pick her up”.

My heart sank, me and Ricky thought the first pick up was 12:30pm, I couldn’t believe on her first day we had left her! We jumped in the car and headed straight for the school, luckily and now funnily enough another set of parents thought the same thing, plus they knew each other from nursery so it brought everyone some comfort! After the initial shock and OMGG moments, I gave her a huge hug as we all walked to the car.

”I’ve made you something Mammy”.

As we got into the car she passed me a little paper bag, inside it had a penguin biscuit, a tea bag, a tissue and a poem from her teachers. Ricky started to drive as I read the first line … FLOODS of tears came out and I literally couldn’t speak. I tried to keep reading the poem out loud and I couldn’t.

”Mammy this biscuit is for you, we can share it and you can have the bigger bit. Do you know there’s a tissue for your tears Mam”. 

There they are, there’s those tears you knew were coming.

Goodbye emotions and hello to Loralai’s first ever sickness bug!! Yup, one whole day at school and she catches a bug! She was up for three whole hours being sick, we had to put a bunch of her stuff in the bin, she was sick in the bath, she ended up in my bed with a bucket, ahh the list could go on. Poor bloody soul, I was so gutted she was unwell but also massively gutted she would be missing time during her first week. School said to keep her away for 48 hours, so we did. She was totally fine by the Thursday, she napped and watched movies on the Wednesday. And that was it, week one done!

Her second week consisted of five full days, that was it, officially in! Homework straight away and talks of ‘I don’t know what I did today Mam’. One of the things I’d been trying to figure out was the bus routes, the times and guess what? NONE are in sync with the school/getting us anywhere near to our house. I have to add that we live close enough to school, in the car its under 10 minutes (that’s with traffic), walking is around 20 minutes but up a very steep hill which is now my best fitness friend … Haha. Day one of that was TOUGH, actually the first week, week and a half I couldn’t breathe when I got to her school, sweating and gasping for air. Now I just feel a burn in my legs, a little hot if the suns out but only a few weeks in and there is a dramatic health difference (for me). Basically Ricky drops her off, I walk up and back down to pick her up and bring her home. At first she really wasn’t enjoying the walking home but now we chat about her day and it doesn’t seem like two minutes and we are home!

Lets see how I feel about that when it crazy rains and snows …

Ricky had a week tour with the band shortly after Loralai started school, which is one of the reasons why I held off going back to work. New house, new area, new school, routine … AHHH. So yeah it made sense, WHAT A WEEK. I am going to blog about that week separately but I have to mention that during that time I got up everyday at 6am (ahhh), got us all up and out of the house, up to the school and back, it felt very military, but I did it. I impressed myself, but of course there were things to remind me that nothing can ever be perfect, who was I trying to kid? Marceline crawled as soon as Ricky left! Spanner in the works, she crawled to my sitting room plant and eat the soil, TWICE. She also climbed out of/fell out of her high chair which made me so ill, that night I was still awake at 3am! So lets just say that although I bossed the school runs, THIS MAMA WAS TIRED AF.

So, weeks down the line I don’t feel the lump in my throat, the tears in my eyes, I still worry (who doesn’t?) and I’ve learnt a thing or two.

School Uniform – GETS BROKEN IMMEDIATELY.

School Friends – I still don’t know their names but Loralai sounds like she’s having fun, haha.

Mam/School Yard Friends – I’m super chatty but have found that people stick to who they know, I talk to a few Mam’s and it’s pretty much been the same since day one.

School Dinners – Are mouth watering, what an amazing improvement since my childhood!

Home Work – She has LOADS, and I am enjoying it more than I thought. She already knows some words from her reading homework, HEART MELT.

School Shoes – We are on to pair THREE, my Mam bought her some and on her first day they didn’t fit. Luckily she had some school Kickers but they were the next size up. Being boots it hasn’t been too bad but they are too big so I’ve been out to buy another pair!

Moments – When she comes home with a sticker or a note to say she’s done something well, it gets you in the feels. She’s already had the head teachers award and I am so proud. Her sticker collection is pretty cool too.

Accidents – I’m guessing she is ‘that kid’ who falls all the time, she’s come home with so many accident slips, my heart is kind of in my throat with nerves!

Big School – It’s not as scary as I thought, I knew Loralai would be fine, it’s been me and Marceline actually, who have had to adjust to her not being around. I still long for school holidays and weekends because she is the COOLEST kid to hang with. And man I bloody miss her, I’m treasuring her even more than I did.

Oh and she is CRAZY sleepy, but she disagrees!

I’ve got this, tears and all.

I’ve just had a week on my own with the girls and I always worried about it because I knew that after, I’d be heading back to work. I’ve fallen lucky really because my actual first day back was supposed to be today, work have planned a team building trip on Wednesday so my shift got swapped.

Ahh, an extra few days with my littles.

A day doing high ropes is WAY more exciting than catching up with emails and policies – which are important of course – but something fun may help hold off my tears, because I feel plenty coming.

Pre pregnancy I was working four days a week, which included a Saturday shift. I’ve had quite a few messages recently about work, it seems a lot of you guys thought I was a stay at home Mam (which I would love) but I have to say I am lucky enough to have the best of both worlds. On my return (sob) I’ll be working two days a week, which doesn’t include a Saturday now, YEY. I love my job, and its been my chosen career since I was eighteen. So from that point of view I am happy, I have a job that I love, with people I love. Listen I’m not going to lie, I do look forward to adult conversation, a hot drink, peeing alone, you know the luxuries you don’t get at home haha. I work with young people so my days are always varied, it can be fun but it can also be really serious.

I’ve had eleven months off, which is two months longer than my last maternity leave, again I feel lucky! I should have been back in August really but with a house move, Loralai starting school and Ricky being on tour, it just made sense to wait a little longer. Those things are big, emotional, grown up stuff right? All of which I will be blogging about soon.

But back to the work chat now …

Both times (returning to work) I’ve felt sad, heavy hearted, tearful, just wanting to stay at home and have all the fun with the babes. Doesn’t it make you forget about the hard stuff? Those days you don’t get to eat or have two minutes to yourself? It all looks rosy when really motherhood is hard, bloody hard at that. I actually had a full time job when I had Loralai and upon my return I quit to start a new one (my current job) I used to work fifteen hours on an evening so I feel like the work transition wasn’t as hard as what I am feeling now. I spent all my days with her, my weekends and a Monday! I would leave and she’d be going to bed. I worked outside, in all weathers for nearly three years as I slowly transitioned into some day work. Me and Ricky both don’t have family close so our work lives have always had to work around Loralai, childcare (crazy expensive) and that’s why we waited so long (and for the free hours) for me to change my work pattern.

We are in the same positon now, well kind of, childcare is still a no go, too pricey! Still no family close by but this time we have to think about school runs and we have two kids, not one! I was anxious about how things would turn out this time, wondering if I would be able to reduce hours, what would things look like for us finically if I did drop hours? So many things to think of. And this time I am returning to work breastfeeding, something new to me that has actually added questions, worries and stress to my return journey! Only due to the ‘I am expressing? Bottle or Beaker? Formula? Just boobing morning and night?’ … Questions which still are unanswered and I’m back in like two days, haha. I have an amazing support network online, the breastfeeding community is SO good on Instagram so I am in good hands.

I haven’t done any practice or trial runs with Marceline, she’s literally been with me her whole ten months, I’ve been away from her for the odd few hours, four times. Just four times, so I’m anxious for her, not just me but I do feel some happiness, some calm, some reassurance because she’ll be with her Dad. Someone she knows, loves and it’s also going to be so great for Ricky, he didn’t get time like this with Loralai. The stay at home time, it’s going to be hard though, tough even! Ricky will work three long and late shifts mid week so I can work my two days, he’ll also work the odd Saturday to make things all balance out. We are back to making things work, whatever we can to ensure our girls are good, that we are finically stable so it can all work out. We won’t see each other that much through the week but we’ve done this before, we can do it again, as Marceline grows I’ll have more freedom with work.

I haven’t wasted time worrying, thinking, focusing on returning but it has always been in my mind. I felt stressed when I asked to reduce my hours but everything worked out fine, as the weeks and days have become closer I have felt the ‘dread’. Its not work though, its me, having to leave my bubble. My comfort, my girls, this life, it just shows how quickly life goes by. We’ve had SO much fun, me and the girls, I’ve had beautiful moments alone with them both and guess what? That’s never going to stop because I’m their Mam and I still have most of my week at home or out with them. I’m really happy to have my weekends back too.

I am a HUGE emotional mess, I will cry and more than once too, I have fears about breastfeeding, general anxieties, just SO many feelings. My sleep right now is so awful too, a mix of late nights, not being able to sleep and Marceline boobing. Then I remind myself I function everyday, I’ve just done a week on my own too, I’ve got this, right? I know that I have support in work colleagues, my husband and I hope that Marceline takes to me leaving just as well as Loralai did. And I know you are probably thinking, ‘she’s only working two days’ but man I will miss my girls, they are my everything and I really don’t feel ready to leave my maternity life. Marceline is our last baby too and as time brings us closer to her first birthday I feel like that’s adding to my emotions, and my fears of breastfeeding ending.

I think I could talk, talk and talk about this for ages but I’d only be repeating myself.

So Sarah, get your big girl pants on, its time for a new chapter.

YOU CAN DO THIS SAZZLE, you can.

And to all of you lovelies who are due back too, or soon  … 

Image:

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Goodbye Little L

I’ve decided to blog this whole school experience over two posts, my emotions are a lot less (WHHAAA) now so I feel like its a good time to share. I figured I would talk all things leading up to school, leaving nursery and our final GRL GANG hangs … Ok so that’s a little over exaggerated, but it did feel pretty final, at times, like all the time … Ok I’m just an emotional Mam wreck.

I best get down to it, this year Loralai spent her summer in nursery, which meant she didn’t really have the ‘six weeks’ she got to spend three days a week with her lovely nursery friends and the staff. She had the best of both really as she also had time at home, lots of girl hangs and days out too. I think it also helped with the school transition, she didn’t have six long weeks to wait, she just had nursery one week and then it was school the next.

Oh and turning five right in the middle of it all, WHY all at once? Why!

So yeah, nursery. Loralai started when she was three and she loved it from the get go, she was very keen to start and we have some amazing memories and a HUGE box full of creations, photo’s and keepsakes. Loralai’s nursery was such a key part of her young life and I still don’t think its quite hit home (for us both) that she isn’t ever going back. Like, ever. I can remember her first ‘settling in’ session, I blogged about it actually!

Look at this snap of us, her first EVER time hanging out at nursery.

It really doesn’t feel like that long ago, and it feels like she’s always been in nursery at the same time. I can’t believe that little three year old girl is now five and in school, MY HEART THROBS.

We had a huge summer, lot’s of life changing things which have probably added to the emotional roller-coaster I’ve been on. We put our house up for rent – we haven’t moved for such a long time and although I’ve always wanted to move out since I moved in with Ricky (true story, ha) I got really sad when it all started to happen. I had my children in that house, we got married, I wasn’t far off 22 when I moved in with Ricky and I think the emotional attachment to the house began to come out, something I really wasn’t expecting. Then add in school, Ricky going on tour, my return to work and lots of worry about future breastfeeding times with Marceline. It was a lot to feel all at once.

Basically, all the feels and ALL the stresses.

I was very, very happy that we were able to rent our house out and move into our new house (blog post coming) all before Loralai started school. That was a huge anxiety for me, I really wanted to be in the new place before the next few big chapters in our lives. She had about five or six weeks roughly at nursery whilst living in the new house and its really given us all the time to settle as a family, and unpack … Oh the unpacking.

Loralai had a nursery graduation a few weeks before she left, that hurt my eyes, my face, my chest, my heart … Haha.

Here’s a few snaps of her being the coolest.

She was full of smiles, singing songs and at the end we all got cuppa’s and cake.

She told everyone she wanted to be a teacher when she grows up, that’s changed now of course!

Then came her last ever day.

She was full of smiles, took to it like a champ. No tears or sadness, she’s been braver than me! I kissed the staff and gave them all a huge long hug, I shocked myself that I didn’t cry!

And this was her final bits, the last of the arts and crafts. The notes on her journey and learning, I’ve read some and I think that’s when it sunk in a little. I’ve planned some time in my head, I’m thinking a hot cup of tea and some biscuits so I can have a good read through, undisturbed.

It just doesn’t feel like the end, I keep thinking oh she’ll she Karen and Zoe next week but then I quickly realise she’s not my Little L anymore, she’s making new friends and memories somewhere else now. But a recent group on Facebook has been made and the parents of the nursery kids are planning a soft play date, and we couldn’t be happier!

Loralai started school on a Tuesday, after a weekend of birthday madness (how is she 5?) and I just had to take her out, treat her, just BE with her. We had so much fun, we eat pizza, got some new toys, had a whole day out and then we prepared all her uniform together, ahh.

Just seeing it all lay out made it feel real, up to this point I hadn’t shed any tears, but I knew they were coming.

I’m ending part one with some pictures of our day out, I’ll share part two next week with the run down of the craziest school week ever!

I’m already yearning for the school holidays, yes I am that Mam who just wants hang times 24/7.

My two girls are my whole world!

Goodbye my Little L.