Tag Archives: wee man

Home organisation – Mum-style

I do not follow Mrs Hinchliffe.

I take no pleasure in bleaching tiles or cleaning under stuff.

I mean – I live with three boys.

home organisation

For background, I have two sisters, a homemaker mum and a dad who works away a lot. I grew up in a girly house, so I’m still adjusting to the noise, mess and destruction of my own (despite being married 12 years and entering motherhood eight years ago).

home organisation

So although I clean up after my thugs mutinously and remind, cajole and nag them to put stuff away, or in the bin, or outside (“no you may not have a scooter race in the hall”) – I don’t relish it in the least.

What I do enjoy is organising.

Home organisation

My friend Craig wrote a post about sorting out the cupboard under the sink. He made it look so pretty with colour coded cloths and baskets that I wondered if I could do that.

home organisation

Craig makes things pretty

Jeez, the shit that was under there.

Once I’d ditched the random lids and stained cloths and burst-open dishwasher tablets, I sorted all my cleaning products into two baskets. I found rubber gloves that matched and actually made a pair. I realised I had three cans of oven cleaner. I emptied detergent tabs into a clear tupperware and put all my rolls of bin liners in an old Ariel tub. (I had six; white, black, organic compostable, tie-top, industrial strength and stolen.)

The process was cathartic.

The result was beautiful.

The effect was incredible.

If you have children or pets – think about how often you go into your cleaning cupboard. Is it on the hour, every hour? Now imagine the annoyance of other people’s spillages tempered both by a moment of beauty and an efficient solution. I could always find a cloth. I could even choose between the spray, foam or miracle paste that would best unf*ck the situation. My crazy life got a little bit easier.

Home organisation – advanced

Converted, as I was, I started to notice other cupboards that annoyed me. Of course, I never had a second to do anything about it – until today.

Between my angel Allison and my lovely babysitter Jacqui – the kids are away for a good few hours.

It’s been kind of a shitty week, so I was going to just lie about drinking coffee and watching Netflix. But there was no sugar – or anything else for that matter – so I dragged myself to Tesco. Unloading the shopping made me remember how annoying my cupboards are so look what I did:

And look how pretty it is:

home organisation

I am ridiculously – and inordinately – pleased about this.

  1. my kitchen floor no longer goes crunch under my feet because of all the pasta falling through the shelves
  2. my son and husband can be safely fed (the Wee Man’s epilepsy can be set off by accidentally eating gluten)
  3. my other son and I can still have pasta that tastes nice (sorry but GF pasta is rubbish)
  4. lunchbox making is now that tiny bit easier because all the snacks are in one jar
  5. supermarket shopping is now that tiny bit cheaper because I can see what needs topped up
  6. I even put all my risotto rice in jars – it’s a bugger when it spills too
  7. I idiot-proofed the system by using plastic jars for GF and glass jars for regular – and colour-coded the labels
  8. I enjoyed making the labels
  9. it’s so pretty

If you’re wondering why I had both glass and plastic jars lying around the house unused – funny story.

Instagram made me want to do a pick’n’mix table at the Wee Man’s 8th birthday party. I ordered jars from Amazon that arrived three days after the event, so Rod shot to B&M and bought glass ones for £1 each. They’ve been lying in my “must return these at some point” corner for a month.

What else can I put in jars?

…to be continued

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What Would the Wee Man Do?

When I found out Edinburgh schools go back on the 10th of January, I was tempted to call the council.

What on earth was I going to do with them? When would I ever get back to work?

When in doubt - balloons

When in doubt – balloons

Rod probably wouldn’t admit it, but he must have been glad to get back to work on the 3rd. No one pulling anyone’s hair, repeating his name over and over and over or undoing everything he did… Actually, he works in the car trade, maybe that’s exactly what he went back to.

Thank God the nursery reopened on the 4th – only the Wee Man to entertain for three out of the six extra days.

Two days in and I’m kind of astonished to realise I’ve loved it.

What? So we're at the park again...

What? So we’re at the park again – what’s your point?

If anyone is struggling to stick to their “Healthy January” resolution, may I suggest hanging out with my son? He makes every minute of the day count – and I love that about him. Some of my friends’ kids are content to watch movies, play with their Christmas presents and generally hang out at home. Not him.

Yesterday, after dropping KD at nursery, we went straight to soft play. We were the first ones there and he whooped with delight. One other family arrived, with two small kids, one of whom introduced herself to the Wee Man and off they went. She was adorable. I played football with them and cheered them coming down the slides. They got on so well that her mum and I swapped numbers and arranged a playdate.

After a couple of hours at home we were off again, to visit Auntie Kaka and play with all her daughter’s toys. Then it was the big one: his first swimming lesson. That half hour in the pool made me so proud I could burst. For once his general lack of fear played in his favour – he was leaping into the water, swimming valiantly as he sank lower and lower and laughing the whole time. I think his instructor fell in love with him a wee bit – I could see she was proud too.

Today we went back to the pool after the nursery drop off and practised. To say he was delighted was an understatement, I actually feel bad for keeping his arm bands on this long. There was an aqua aerobics class going on at the same time and he kept trying to join in, dancing even as he drowned a little bit. There’s a soft play at the gym so I managed a quick coffee as he played, but soon we were off again, home for lunch and a wee bit of telly before donning full waterproofs and heading to the park.

A dot in the distance

A dot in the distance

As he shot off across the field with his football in the sunshine I thought “He’s just a free spirit,” somewhat indulgently. With no KD to slow us down we must have covered the length and breadth of that huge field several times over. He only stopped to hang over the fence and chat to the woman poo-picking in the horses’ field. She’d heard the rumour JK Rowling owned the sprawling stables across the bypass too and we commiserated in our jealousy.

After an hour in the zero degree cold we headed back to the car and popped in to see his great pal and her brother who, in his mother’s words, is “mad on the Wee Man” (rather than mad with him)… His energy was undented. They tore around the house, laughing their heads off, as Allison and I drank tea and discussed whether boys or girls were more of a challenge to parent.

"You be Anna and I'll be Elsa"

“You be Anna and I’ll be Elsa”

In the end the only thing that stopped us was a clamp on the wheel. Yes, they may be saving paper by doing away with tax discs, but they have opened up a whole new cash generator. I had just loaded KD into the car seat and was going back for the Wee Man when I realised the junk mail on the windscreen was in fact a £100 fine.

Drinking through the pain...

Drinking through the pain…

We have a joke in our family. Whenever we’re stressing about something we think of Big B, my so-laid-back-he’s-horizontal brother in law, and say “What Would Brian Do?” I’m thinking of adapting it to “What Would the Wee Man Do”? He is joy personified. It’s exhausting, but when it’s all about him, it’s incredibly uplifting. And fat burning.

So whenever you’re fed up, go ahead and borrow my new catchphrase. At least it will get you through January.

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Protected: The Wee Man starts a new chapter

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Unrolled rolls, motorway escapes and the joys of motherhood

I am at the stage in my life where I can’t leave keys in the door; tea on low tables or biros anywhere.

My fruit bowl always looks like this:

mummykimmy fruitbowl

and my loo roll always looks like this:

mummykimmy loo roll

I have to leave the toilet seat up for the misfiring four-year-old, but down for the fishing one-year-old. I want one to sleep during the day and the other to stay wide awake till bedtime. I’m delighted when one uses his knife and fork properly but watch in dismay as the other tries to use cutlery.  It’s a relentless, trouble-shooting, fire-fighting business raising two small boys and the noise levels would never pass European laws.

At the weekend, the Wee Man, having surreptitiously listened to a conversation I had with a friend about his 20 month old calling the police to the actual door, dialled 999. I was oblivious, being busy with the dinner, and grumpily answered a ringing phone only to hear an efficient voice say: “This is the police control room, we’ve had an emergency call from this number, is everything alright?”. I was mortified. I quickly reassured her and confirmed our address – then grudgingly admired my son’s awareness. At least he knows the number 9 and what three of them do, I reassured my husband later that night.

As entertaining as my sons’ mischief is for my friends, it is a source of constant stress to a person like me who likes things to be tidy and quiet.

“You were exactly the same until you learned to read,” my mother loves to tell me. I doubt my naughtiness was ever as ingenious, but at least I have some hope for the future. KD at least seems to be channeling his inquisitive nature into engineering tasks, like taking toys apart and opening car doors on the motorway.

Usually though, just when I’m at the point of total despair, something happens to set me back on track. A glowing nursery report or a new word, perhaps. Or a conversation like I had today. The man in question was apologising for yawning – his 10 month old had kept him up most of the night. “She’s a bit of a golden child,” he admitted, before telling me a harrowing story of a longed-for pregnancy confirmed just hours before a miscarriage and emergency operation. They had the fallout of post-natal depression to deal with regardless, following the news they may never have children. And yet here they were, the adoring mum and dad of a teething daughter. This was in the back of my mind as I watched an episode of Call the Midwife, and empathised with a character struggling to come to terms with motherhood and the responsibility it brought.

I went straight onto my WhatsApp group of mummy friends, telling them all how wonderful they were.

“Hard work is what makes a mother,” one of the Call the Midwife characters said in the episode. “We like to think something magical happens at birth…but the real magic is keeping on when all you want to do is run.”

And the rewards are priceless.

mummykimmy KD

mummykimmy weeman

 

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No room for the muse…

The muse has temporarily deserted me.

I used to really look forward to writing a new mum blog post, those days something funny happened or life taught me a valuable lesson. It would be a treat to open the laptop, upload the photos and indulge my creative writing hobby while the wee man slept.

Maybe that’s been the problem – the lack of sleep.

The naps – those wonderful oases in our crazy days – are long gone, and this summer the 12-hour-straight slumbers from 7.30pm have also disappeared. Some nights it’s been 9pm before he’s finally conked out, only to be up again three hours later. Those nights there’s just time to eat something before passing out ourselves.

But something else pretty big and important has taken over my life recently, and it’s no exaggeration to say it has totally floored me. Pregnancy.

It’s been a totally different experience from first time round. I haven’t enjoyed it at all. I’ve felt generally under the weather the whole time – bone tired, over-emotional, nauseous, achey and completely lacking in energy. I’ve fought it, of course. I’ve taken the supplements, eaten healthily, drunk lots of water, tried to stay active (even though my pelvis has had to be realigned and I’m doing physio every day) and clung to my perspectacles. I’ve made huge efforts to stay rational, to count my blessings that the baby’s been growing healthily, to control the tears and rages, and to continue to be a good mum to the wee man. It’s been a huge effort, especially for a woman with no energy.

Filming for the local business news broadcast - and hiding the bump!

Filming for the local business news broadcast – and hiding the bump!

My business, meanwhile, has taken off. It’s been the best trading year yet. It’s been my escape, living three days a week in a world where success can be measured and to do lists can be achieved. I’ve formulated and delivered effective strategies, returned to some proper journalism, met interesting new contacts and received praise for jobs well done. I’ve felt in control and successful, a nice contrast to toddler battles and a body that challenges me in some new way every day.

mummykimmy press call

Now though, I am four weeks away from my due date. I have finally, and reluctantly, gone on mat leave. The wee man has moved up a class at nursery and now goes three and a half days, which are more evenly spread out during the week. We have found a second babysitter – a trainee paediatric nurse who lives locally – and who the wee man loves. The sleeping has improved – though he is still up once or twice through the night – and even I have to admit that the headspace freed up by not working has allowed me to relax a bit.

Four weeks to go...

Four weeks to go…

I’ve bought myself a new notebook, glued the scan pictures into the first pages and started writing lists. Baby names, suggestions from other mums, things to organise before the wee one arrives… and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to having time alone at home to nest. I can’t wait to go through all the wee man’s old baby clothes and wash anything white, yellow or green. I’m delighted the joiner is coming to build a fitted wardrobe in the baby’s room and paint the whole place white. I’m even up for the challenge of scrubbing the pram and car seat.

I feel a sense of achievement already. And maybe the muse is returning…

 

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Protected: It’s time to start potty training – part 1

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Finding calm

running through the cactiI’ve been doing a challenge called Janathon, which involves running or exercising every day in January and then blogging about it. It’s just as well really, as I put on four pounds over Christmas.

Today the wee man and I hit Duthie Park so I could tackle today’s workout (read more on it here). It had been such an effort in the howling gales that I thought we more than deserved a wander round the winter gardens. Clearly the universe thought we deserved it too, as the huge part that had been under renovation had just re-opened.

wandering free

Having patiently sat in his buggy for the half hour that mummy was running about daft, the wee man was delighted to run down all the new paths. The tropical house led into the arid house and the contrast was remarkable. From lush foliage and exuberant flowers to beige pebbles and towering cacti – from huge waxy leaves to short spiky thorns, the two houses were polar opposites.pink flower The fabulous part was they were both toasty warm, so I was quite content to meander around while the wee man explored.

At one point he stood for ages just sifting the pebbles through his wee fingers. It’s so rare that his inquisitive mind is focused on the one thing for so long that I enjoyed just watching him. I wonder what he was thinking. Soon he was off again and when I suggested we go and find the fish he happily held my hand and trotted beside me. I think these winter gardens have a calming effect on him. They certainly pebbleshave that effect on me. Maybe he’s calm because I’m calm. Maybe he’s calm because I can let him roam free without always having to call him back or tell him off (like in the real world where he seems to find danger at every turn).

He watched the fish and chased a sparrow who was bravely hopping by his feet looking for cracker crumbs and helped me choose some primroses and a hyacinth to take home.

I think we’ll go back tomorrow.

cacti collage

Don’t these remind you of something? …

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