Bye Bye Maternity Leave

It's all go around here these days. I spilled water on my laptop a few weeks ago and it's now sort of half broken. It will only turn on if it's left in the hotpress all night, but then when you turn it off it won't turn back on again unless you repeat the hotpress sleepover. It's a pain in the bum - I can't afford to be leaving the immersion on all bloody night just to turn my laptop on. But anywho, that's the situation. Last week I discovered that if I just don't turn it off it's fine. It goes on to standby but then turns back with no issue when you press a key. So it's a case of leaving it on and charging it when I see the battery running low. It also isn't exactly economical (or safe) to leave it plugged in 24/7. So that's the crack!

In other technology news I ordered a new phone. It's been a long time coming. I've been using the same I phone for the past 4.5 years now and it's gone to I phone heaven. My mother gave me a lend of a Samsung she had, and I smashed it within two days of having it. So now I'm using Peter's old phone which turns itself off when you open an app. As you can see I'm a real success when it comes to technology! I've ordered this phone. It's the one plus one. Some of you may have heard of it. I'm not too well up on the lingo but it's basically as good as the brand new i phone and Samsung spec wise. I just said spec and I don't even regret it. It's so slick. Peter has it and the camera on it is the business, it's got a gorgeous big screen which is so crystal clear, and the memory on it is unreal. The thoughts of being able to take decent photos and download apps again is just so exciting. I cannot wait! So for now you will have to excuse my really awful photos - there's only so much I can do with a pensioner of an i phone. Somehow I still managed to take a mirror selfy to show off my new hair though. I just got my colour done. Bright and blonde again. Goodbye roots! 


So I work now. I'm a tax-paying citizen once again. Part time. I still get excited just saying that. I had hoped and prayed to find something part-time. Lads, I know how lucky I am trust me. I'm working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 8.30-5pm. It means that every weekend is a long weekend and I have every Friday and Monday to spend with my little man. Quality mammy and son time. It's so special and I am incredibly grateful. We use those days to run errands, go on playdates, go to the park or out for lunch and a long walk. It also gives me a chance to catch up on some of the housework that takes a back seat from Tuesday-Friday when life is generally a blur of activity. 

So there I am, at my desk. Yes - I am the girl who took a selfy on her first day of work. Guilty!

I'm still a bit excited about my little lanyard thing. I get to use a fancy little card to access the building too. I might as well look at the positives of this work stuff. Turns out I work for a really nice company too. Everyone is lovely, helpful and generally easy to approach about anything. I'm feeling very lucky. 


As I said above the work-week is a bit of a blur to be honest. It's a flurry of packing, cooking, cleaning, bathing, locking up, and drinking lots of coffee. We have a little routine now and we know what time we have to leave the house at to make it all work. We get up at about 6am and we leave by about 7am. Billy munches on a piece of toast in the car and then I give him his breakfast in my mam's house while Peter heads off to work. My mam is minding Billy for the three days I'm working and that is honestly a dream come true. My mam and me would have very similar attitudes and principles when it comes to raising children. I like to say I learnt (am learning) from the best and I've made no secret of the fact that I want to be the mammy she was (is) to us five. She is an amazing woman, is so good with Billy, and I can completely trust that he is being looked after unbelievably well while I'm away from him. That really helps. He also gets to see a lot more of his uncles and auntie this way which is always a good thing. He loves the attention. This means that I can keep the head down in work and really give it my all. It's a new position in a new company so I am still learning the ropes and brushing up on different skills that I haven't used in 14 months! 

In terms of the logistics with him being minded by my mam - we decided to buy a new car seat and a smaller stroller to leave there permenantly. It was the best decision every because even without the task of swapping the carseat from car to car, the schedule is tight! We bought this carseat and this stroller. Here we are road testing the stroller the weekend before I started the job. It's a lovely little thing. It was on sale for €65 in Mothercare. It's light, easy to collapse and fold up (fold up? great grammar here..) and it reclines all the way down so that he can comfortably sleep in it in it's flat form. This was particularly important because we knew that he was going to be napping in his pram while I was at work. So far so good - he's been having nice long naps and also a serious amount of walks with my mam. Great purchase! 


Aside from buying the stroller and carseat for my mam's we left some toys there too. Much handier than lugging them to and from her house every day. We left some books, rattles, a megablocks tracker, some sensory balls, lego (the chunky type that's suitable for his age) and his little vtech walker. They just go in a little bag behind the couch in my mam's and I take them out every morning for him to have there to play with. Oh, I forgot to mention, we actually bought a high-chair for my mam's too. We use the IKEA Antilop and it's the bees knees. We had a Graco one but he hated the fact that it made him slouch backwards. Really bad design and any one that I know who purchased it seems to say the same. We decided to give the IKEA one a try and for €16 how could you not. It's fabulous. He loves it! We decided to just buy another one and leave it at my mam's purely because it was €16 and it would be a bit mad not to. It's working out perfectly! It's a handy one for just wiping down with a wipe too. Anything to make life easier. 

There are other things I do during the week to make life easier for us all. I've started only bathing Billy twice a week. He'll have a bath on a Monday night (usually with his Mama which is a special little time for us to reconnect before the work week starts again) and then on a Friday night or Saturday morning. I was bathing him every other day but the poor little mite has bad excema on his back and it certainly wasn't helping - even though we don't use any products on him other than Silcoks base or Aqueous cream lathered in to the warm water. It means that we don't have to worry about baths from Tues-Thurs when I'm working which helps things run smoother in the evenings when it's a bit of a rush to feed us all, clean up, pack up for the next day and get Billy to bed at a reasonable time. It also maximises my time with the little man. Very important. We like to cuddle up and read one of his books. He seems to really love books which makes me very very happy. 

                                                                 His little PJs. Just because. 

I also batch-cook at the weekends to make dinner-time as easy as possible Tues-Thurs. For example, right now I have Spagetti Bollognaise in the slow cooker for tomorrow. When I get in from work all I have to do it throw on some pasta and bob's your uncle. I usually cook two dinners and freeze them so that they can easily be left out to defrost that morning. The third night is usually a handy dinner such as burgers or questedillas! I'm much more relaxed on a Thursday night when I know I don't have to go to work on a Friday. I don't have to pack Billy's bag, sort his lunch or organise myself for work either. That's usually the night I just make a handy dinner. 

I also batch-cook for Billy. Soups, stews, curry, whatever. I freeze them in little tubs and I always have a little stock that I can easily send to my mam's for him. I am a control freak so this pleases me very much. I wouldn't mind but my mam is totally stocked up on all his little food items. He's a spoilt little man. He's going through a really picky stage with food so he can take or leave what I give him in general, but I feel better knowing I'm at least giving him options. 


And before I know it it's the weekend and the work week has flown by. We love our weekends. A chance to reconnect and relax (and do housework, who am I kidding!?). We love Friday nights. A little ritual has developed where Peter does the food shopping (and I let him, I know. He actually does a great job) and I get Billy off to sleep. By the time he gets back we order a take away and relax for as long as Billy will let us. One night we even had a drink in the garden Al Fresco. Twas lovely. 


My days off with Billy are so precious. We might go out for lunch (if he doesn't scream the restaurant down. Another part of this recent phase he's going through. You can read more about it in my last post here)! We also go for walks, on play-dates or in to town on the bus. I like to have a bit of a balance and use his nap-time to catch up on the house work and then when he's awake we make the most of the day. 


Work is a needs-must type of thing so I just have to get on with it but in general I'm feeling really positive about the whole experience. We've found our flow and it's going quite smoothly. It also helps that I am enjoying the job and the company I am working for. 

Oh, and in 9 weeks time we will be here. That also helps IMMENSELY. Eye on the prize!