Exploring our new home town

 

The Lupie Mummy blog has been quiet over the past few weeks, our little family has been sharing and battling colds and chest infections. Last week was particularly bad, with Pumpkin having a trip to the Dr and being kept at home rather than going to Nursery. After three days at home, both Pumpkin and myself were getting a severe case of cabin fever, so on day four, we were both raring to get out and go exploring our new home town!

Since moving to Somerset, we have been having fun exploring our new area, and our family are equally excited about our move and have already booked their holidays to come and stay next year! Whilst my sister was booking her holiday to visit us, staying at the rather gorgeous looking Sutton House, she got chatting to the owner, Ben; who told her about a bakery nearby that was not to be missed during their stay! Well, all I needed was the word “Bakery” and I needed to go and explore!

So, after a bit of research, the Barley Sugar Bake House was located and it’s open on Saturdays from 7am through to 1pm. As luck would have it, that was the day, Pumpkin and I was heading out for a walk; we wrapped up nice and warm, headed out into the chilly outside world and went exploring our new home town.

Tucked away on a little side street, is the bakery, and as you step in, you are greeted with a counter full of delicious treats and the smell of freshly baked bread is just perfect (and also makes you wish you had more cash in your purse!). As Pumpkin’s “Nan Nan” was coming to stay, it made my choices easier, I bought the hugest Donuts I had ever seen, a loaf of bread and a Lardy cake!

If the smells wafting from the bag of baked goodies was any indication to what they were going to taste like, we were all in for a treat later! Seriously, my stomach was rumbling by the time we had walked home and it took all my will power not to eat my way through the bag of donuts when I had a coffee, before Nan Nan arrived!

When Nan Nan arrived, Pumpkin was very excited and kept giving her big cuddles and kisses, whilst showing her every toy that he has, then all his books and all his doe-dees! Once, Nan Nan was settled, we brewed some coffee and had the donuts. I can honestly say, I have never had such a yummy donut, it was huge, light and fluffy, it was filled with a generous helping of jam and I will say it again…it was so yummy! I can’t believe I have to wait until next Saturday for another one, actually, perhaps that’s a good thing!

I think the Barley Sugar Bakehouse, will become a regular part of our weekends and next on the list to try is their Mince Pies, seeing that Christmas is just around the corner!  Thank you Ben for the recommendation!

Ten things I have learnt from having a Toddler

1. Pumpkin may have little legs, but those little toddler legs can run fast, especially when there are clothes to be put on or a nappy to change.

2. Dressing a toddler is like trying to stop the drunk person dancing at the end of a wedding…no matter how many times you try to reason with them, they will continue to wave their arms and legs around like propellers and throwing their head back, as if they are singing along to their favourite wedding disco song!

3. A Toddler will inadvertently use an inappropriate word, as they broaden their vocabulary! Pumpkin is picking up lots of new words, particularly ones from his favourite nursery rhymes; his current favourite is “Hickory Dickory Dock” and whilst we were in the queue at the chemist, he proudly pointed to the clock and at the top of his voice he declared to all that this was a “cock”!, cue pitying looks from other customers and smirks from the sales assistant who was trying not to burst out laughing.

4. What a Toddler may love to eat one day, he will absolutely loathe the next and will behave as if you have poisoned him if you attempt to give it to him again. This will be particularly the case if you try to feed him in public.

5. Whilst on the subject of food, a toddler will start to eat all kinds of lovely home cooked meals at nursery, which you would have tried on numerous occasions to feed him at home, but with no success, however at nursery he will be demanding seconds.

6. When a Toddler learns the word “No”, this will have all sorts of meanings to him and you will need to learn from the tone of his voice to whether he actually means yes. This minuscule difference, will determine whether you will have a “love you forever” smile, tantrum or a riot on your hands!

7. You get to watch the sheer delight on their face as they explore the world around them. As grown ups, we have long forgotten the simple things like how interesting a little stone is on a pavement, or how it feels to just let the rain fall on us and feel the wind blowing around us (and messing up our straightener hair), and do you know what it’s a pleasure to rediscover those things again, who cares about straight hair (ok, maybe I do a bit!!), but just hearing Pumpkins delighted squeals and beaming smile, is absolutely priceless.

8. A Toddler will start putting you through training for when they become bigger children; Pumpkin loves Mega Bloks and I am forever tripping or standing on them and yes it hurts. This is just the training for the big guns…Lego!

9. In a Toddler’s mind, what is yours, belongs to them and what is theirs, belongs to them as they are still mastering the social skill of sharing! A fine example of this was this morning whilst getting dressed, Pumpkin grabbed my bra and toddled off at speed (see point 1), so whilst tying retrieve bra and provide an alternative toy, alternative toy was also taken and Pumpkin was off down the hall waving both arms in the air with bra and toy in each hand…it was too early, not worth the battle, so I gave up and got another not so colour coordinated one!

10. A Toddler will give you an enormous sense of confidence, my fiancé and family never heard me sing before Pumpkin was born and now I spend most of my day singing with him, whether this is indoors or out and about. It makes pumpkin happy and that makes me happy.

The list could go on, but Pumpkin is waking from his nap and I have some serious Megabloks building to do, whilst singing Hickory Dickory Cock, oops I mean Dock!

Returning to work

Yesterday, I returned to work after taking 16 months extended maternity leave to have Pumpkin and to relocate to Somerset.

Returning to work felt huge – my stomach was in knots, I wanted to cry at the thought of leaving Pumpkin at Nursery all day (the longest I have ever left him). This thought alone made my heart and chest physically ache. I know he will have a fabulous time with his new friends, playing with all the new toys and the mud kitchen in the nursery garden. Although in my mind, I still feel so guilty and writing this doesn’t make it feel any easier at the moment, as usually I find writing therapeutic.

I have started a new job, one that I have wanted to do for a long time; this is both exciting and yet it makes me feel vulnerable. Will I live up to their expectations, will I live up to how I portrayed myself at my interviews and will I remember everything? One my little worries is remembering everyone’s names, I admit it, this is something I am absolutely terrible at (sorry!) Luckily, I was given a company structure chart to who is who, so that helped, as long as nobody swap desks for the next month!

Yesterday, I started to regain part of my own identity again and not just being Pumpkins Mummy, although, I couldn’t be prouder and think of anything better than being his Mummy. Sometimes, over the past 16 months, I have felt myself get lost in the journey into motherhood, so wrapped up into caring for Pumpkin, that I forgot all about me. Me, the woman who loves baking, painting her nails, singing loudly and out of tune by her self in the car (to anything but the Wiggles!), who has an addiction to buying converse trainers, who is a bit of a coffee snob and loves peanut butter M&Ms.

OK, so I may not get all that back in my first week returning to work, but I will get to drink a hot coffee in peace, have adult conversation without bursting into song about “whose in the Wiggle House” (I will update you later to whether this happens involuntarily or not…), and go to the toilet without a toddler speed emptying all the cupboards in the bathroom! However, I may just order that kilo bag of peanut butter M&Ms to reward myself for surviving the first week!

 

The Autumn Tag

 

Thank you to the lovely Amy at The Rolling Baby who tagged me to do the Autumn tag. As we all know, I am new to the blogging community and so at first I had a moment of dread when I read Amy’s post as I didn’t know who to tag and then I thought about it for a moment (once I sent Amy a panicked message, sorry!) and thought I would seek out other new/newish bloggers to pass this on to. So here goes:

What is your Favourite Autumnal Lip Colour?
To be completely honest, I prefer lip balms and have a huge basket full of every different type available. I am a huge fan of Sephora tinted lip balms and tend to stock up when I go to see my Sister in France, normally I opt for light natural looking tones, so I don’t actually have a seasonal colour change.

What is your favourite Auntumnal Nail Colour?
Now, we are talking! I love all things nails! Sadly, this is one thing that I have seemed to have neglected since Pumpkin was born, I used to spend hours painting my nails or attempting to perfect gel nails at home. I have a purple MAC nail colour that I adore and looks fab in the Autumn. Perhaps, I should invest in some me-time and go and get my nails done!

Favourite Autumn Drink?
This is easy, I love Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, I eagerly stalk Starbucks on Twitter and Facebook awaiting the launch of their Autumn drink range and will be clawing at the doors at opening on launch day. OK, maybe I’m not quite that dramatic and crazy about them, although it’s pretty close. All this talking about them, is seriously making me want one.

Favourite Autumn Candle?
I am a huge fan of Yankee Candles and I have two favourites that I use throughout the year: Pink Dragon fruit during the Spring and Summer and as soon as Autumn starts to appear I bring out the Christmas Eve Candle as it just smells amazing: it has all kinds of lovely autumnal/winters spices that just make my home smell lovely.

Favourite Autumn Accessory?
This would have to be a scarf, I like to have a nice, long, warm and snuggly scarf to wrap myself up in on Autumn walks. I have quite a collection too, I didn’t realise how many until we moved recently: I have ones for work, for the weekend, for when it doesn’t matter if they get messy (cue going out on walks or to the beach with a toddler in tow).

Haunted House or Scary Maze?
Haunted House any day, the thought of a Scary Maze freaks me out and fills me with absolute dread and panic. I used spend many cold and dark evenings running paranormal tours in haunted locations in the UK, so find all things ghostly intriguing, so wandering around a Haunted House would not bother me in the slightest, I may just need my scarf and a Pumpkin Spiced Latte to keep me warm though!

Favourite Halloween Movie?
It has to be the Halloween films, they absolutely scare me silly, I never used to be scared of these films until I had nightmares about the main character “coming to get me” for months when I was in my late teens, when I stopped watching one of the films midway through it. To me the whole point of a Halloween movie is to be scared, so although I am actually frightened watching it, at the end of the day it’s only a film – although I have to watch the whole film, I cant just leave it midway – otherwise, I worry that I will be plagued with bad dreams again!

Favourite Halloween Sweets?
After spending a year in America, experiencing their Halloween and seeing just how big “trick or treating” is out there, I got to sample a lot of sweets/candy. A firm favourite for me is Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, I am so happy that you can buy them here now (through reading my blog, you will soon get to know that I have a bit of addiction to peanut butter sweets!).

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I didn’t dress up for Halloween this year, as my little one is still too young for the whole dressing up part of it; he did however choose a Frankenstein top, mainly because it was green and that’s his favourite colour of the week. I didn’t dress up, as it would have freaked him out too much, I did try on a witches hat and it made him cry…so I left it at that!

What’s your favourite thing about Autumn?
I love the changing colours in the countryside, watching the leaves in the trees and hedgerows change colours each day as I do the nursery run. We are fortunate enough to have an amazing view from our home and it has been just beautiful to watch the gorgeous Somerset countryside change over the past month.

The lovely bloggers that I tag are:

Lisa: Less Stuff 

Daisy: Daisarella

Amanda: Amanda Millie

First Shoes

Since moving to Somerset and having more space for Pumpkin to move about and explore, he has quickly reached the milestone of walking/stumbling around like an extra on the Walking Dead.

This only meant one thing…Shoe shopping! The fleeting thought of taking Pumpkin to the nearest town and letting him choose a pair of Converse, was abruptly pushed aside at the reality of the task ahead. After all, Pumpkin is still learning how to use his feet, they are still developing and growing and we need to give them the best start they can have. So all, thoughts of a lovely bright pair of Converse were pushed aside (incidentally, when Pumpkin was shown pictures of them on the iPad, he chose a pink pair…that’s my boy!).

The next day, off we went as a family, phones in hand to document this milestone, to one of the nearest shoe shop that offered a specialist fitting service for a child’s first shoes. Unfortunately, they didn’t advertise that their staff had a distinct allergy to small children/mini beasts. Pumpkin, picked up on this allergy immediately, the mischievous sparkle in his eyes was on high beam, as he yelled “shoeeeeeys” at the top of his lungs and promptly lunged for the nearest shelf to sample the shoes on sale. The shop assistant put on her best fake smile, whilst looking like she was sucking on a “Sourz” sweet, and came at Pumpkin with the foot measuring device. At this point, I should have called it a day, but the foot measuring device had caught Pumpkin’s eye and miraculously he had calmed down and was taking a keen interest in what was about to happen.

Please, picture the scene: Pumpkin is now sat angelically on my lap, beaming his best smile at the shop assistant and there is an eerie silence in the shop…I am putting on my best Mummy voice telling Pumpkin what we are about to do and that he will get a pair of shoes of his own etc etc. When suddenly, he makes a grab for the measuring device, no one is quick enough for this, he is delighted at this moment of glory as he swings it around, narrowly missing the shop assistants fake smiley face. Somehow, in this mayhem she has worked out his foot size, to this day I still do not know how she has done this, for the measuring device did not once go near his foot. Off, skuttles the shop assistant (probably to seek cover in the stock room) and I mouth to my partner to quickly gather our things and go.

However, in this moment, this one moment that we could have done a runner…this one precious moment where we could have avoided the horror of what was to come next…Pumpkin had caught sight of the toy box (let me just edit that, toy box is a very loose term, it was a plastic box, with tired, broken toys, that no child in their right sense of mind would want to play with, apart from our darling child of course!) and he had emptied it’s contents across the floor, grabbed the nearby shoes off the shelves and was sat in the middle of the mayhem looking thoroughly delighted with himself. I didn’t know whether to laugh or still walk out the door leaving the mess behind us. However, before I could make a decision the shop assistant was back (face now looking like it was about to explode) with the most hideous pair of shoes, I have ever seen (cue, horrible flashback childhood memories from me). I sit here writing with my hand on my heart, I can honestly say, they were the most hideous things I had seen, this includes the horrors that I tried on as a kid and had no choice but to wear as I had such wide feet. I did not want Pumpkin to wear those horrible things, to some that may seem petty, but I remember the feeling of wearing horrible shoes as a child, when all my friends had gorgeous dainty shoes and I had big clumpy ugly ones. So, I put my foot down at this point. I declared that Pumpkin was getting grumpy and I felt this should be attempted again another day. We tidied up the toys and the shoes and left as quick as we could, retreating to the nearest coffee shop for a caffeine and sugar fix to recover from what had just happened.

The next day, with Pumpkin in a better mood, we set off to a more well known high street shop, a little bit further away. We were helped to find the perfect pair of first shoes by a brilliant assistant called Megan. Megan became Pumpkins new best friend, she let him wreck her immaculate shoe displays, in fact she helped him do it and they had fun with the shoe measuring device, he wanted her to hold his hand as he walked around the shop to get used to his first pair of shoes. We were able to take photographs to make memories of this precious milestone in Pumpkins life. In the not so distant future, shoe shopping will become a mundane task, but for that moment, it was precious and fun for a little boy who is making his first little steps into a big world.