Nappy changing and the art of Zen

nappy changing and the art of zen

You discover things about yourself when you become a parent, some more surprising than others. And nappy changing is one of the most educational parenting experiences of all. It occurred to me that in rising to the challenge of a stinky nappy, you attain a certain sense of zen.

Warning: this is not a post for the easily disgusted or anyone wanting to preserve some mystery about parenting.

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Picture summary of the last two weeks

The last couple of weeks we have been:

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Celebrating birthdays


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Planning to move house

(and savouring the favourite views in our current house, like the sun on the stairs on a weekend morning)

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Attempting to take a lie-in to get over all the action

Normal blogging service will resume soon… probably.

An intense day of parenting

One thing that non-parents don’t understand is that an intense day of parenting can take it out of you just as much, if not more, than a hard day at work. Hey, no one does understand it until they have kids. But after a few (lovely, well-meaning) people told me to have a nice day off and relax when I finished work last week, I thought I would share exactly what I have been up to on my day away from the office, to show just how relaxing and rejuvenating it was.

Hint: not that much.

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LP at 19 months

I wasn’t feeling well last weekend. For once it wasn’t LP’s fault, I caught a terrible cold from someone at work, so unfortunately, it was me infecting him this time around.

Portrait Drawing of a ToddlerThis resulted in me not having the energy to do much apart from sit on the sofa and LP blessedly having a three hour nap to get over the bug. So I took out my sketch book and decided to draw something based on this photograph. This was LP’s first time on a boat – a ferry – taken on our recent family holiday in Padstow. Which is a gem on the Southern coast by the way – sea, white sand beaches, beautiful countryside and good food.

Anyway, here’s the drawing:

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20 minute workouts for people who just don’t have time

20 minute workout videos for busy women

If you have a personal jetty you can exercise there – if not, your bedroom will work

We’re all busy and it doesn’t matter what the government recommends, sometimes 30 minutes of daily exercise just aren’t possible. Where can a gym session fit in, between getting up early to dress the kids and yourself, making lunches, working, a two hour drive to a client meeting, getting home late and then preparing dinner?

Lengthy exercise doesn’t always fit into the schedule and there’s no point beating yourself up about it!

However, even a 15-20 minute workout can get the blood pumping, loosen up stiff shoulders, cheer you up, relax you, give you energy or help you unwind before bed. I’m not a sporty person, nor could I ever be described as a “gym bunny” (yuck) but getting a bit of exercise always makes me feel better.

20 minute workouts anyone can try

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Getting FAT with your work inbox

FAT email management system

474 unread emails *shudders*

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who don’t mind letting their emails mount up and up, and those who have to keep a tight leash on deleting them. I fall firmly into the latter category, and little icons like the above would drive me a teeny, tiny bit crazy. 474 isn’t even that high a number by many standards – I’ve seen friends who have little red numbers in thousands. Personally, it just doesn’t sit well with the little OCD voice in my head. But I have an answer if you want to gain some email control.

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Baby & toddler friendly quesadillas

Baby friendly quesadillas

Vegetable or chicken quesadillas for the whole family (with guacamole)

Quesadillas are great – easy and quick to make, a great way of using up leftovers and a perfect way to get a hit of vegetables.  If you’ve never tried them, they are a bit like cheesey, fajita flatbreads – with the filling sandwiched between two wraps and lightly fried until the cheese has reached perfect meltiness.  They are simple enough to make after a busy day of work / running around after children, but also make a fun Friday or Saturday night meal.

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How to holiday with a toddler

Holding hands with my 18 month old son as we look out to sea - how to holiday with a toddler

Sunset sea adventures

We just got back from a 10 night holiday in the Algarve, near Albufeira, which is why I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. It was beautiful, relaxing and wonderful to have some sun. The last one seems especially important as I’m now back in UK’s July, sitting in the house with the heating on while it rains outside.

It’s fair (obvious?) to say that holidaying with a toddler is a completely different ballgame to pre-parenthood vacations. It was still fab, but there were a few things I learned on our first trip abroad as a family, that I’m going to bear in mind for the next time.

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6 times Mr Tumble was an absolute legend

Mr Tumble is a legend in the world of pre-school entertainment. His cheerfully coloured program, Something Special, has provided countless hours of useful child distraction, with the vaguely educational reassurance that it isn’t just televisual junk food.

In fact, the more I’ve seen of the guy, the more I’ve liked him. He’s a top bloke and that Justin fellow isn’t too bad either. I could have gone on but, for the sake of brevity, here are 6 of the times Mr Tumble was awesome:

  1. All the times he distracted LP so that I could fold some laundry, cook a meal, put some make-up on or just sit down and have a coffee:


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Ridiculous nicknames we have given our baby

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Cool names AND cool hair

Do you like to come up with silly pet names for your children? My husband and I love to come up with different, affectionate names for our son.

At first, this was a way of amusing ourselves under the pressure of new parenthood – spurred on by sleep deprivation. Now they are an insider’s language, where we express how cute we think our son is – and how much we love him.

I do hope he can forgive us for this when he is older.

1. Little Pickle (a.k.a. “The” Pickle)

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