In exactly one month I begin a whole new decade of my existence. Yep, bye bye twenties. I wish I could say I was sad to be leaving them behind but in all honesty I’m really ready to start a fresh page.
My twenties were really hard. Illness and fairly gruelling rehabilitation seemed to eat up so much of it and obviously relationships haven’t quite gone as I had planned back when I was a fresh-faced twenty year old dreaming of moving in with her boyfriend. But it gave me my boy, and I’ve grown. Not grown-up, but grown, hmm, I dunno, in? I am a different person after these ten years. A better one, stronger, more in touch with how I tick and with the world around me and why I’m on it.
It really feels like a new start, this. I’m excited. Excited to see what happens next and the people I’ll meet and what I’ll discover. I feel lighter, somehow, than I did ten years ago, even though I have much more on my shoulders.
The people at Journal10 offered me one of their ten year journals and I said yes. In it I have space to record a couple of lines every day, laid out day by day so I can see what I was doing every year on a particular day, all the way over decade. I think I will aim to record just one thing from every day. Something I noticed or did or read or something that was said to me. And then I can watch which way I grow and which way the wind blows me.
Thanks to Journal 10 for my new companion. It comes beautifully leather bound, with extra space for longer, continued entries and pages to mark down important dates and occasions. There’s pages to plan your dreams and mark your accomplishments each year and keep track of addresses and other important info. You can buy them via here.
My whole house smells of lilies today, and that’s because a knock on my door on Saturday morning bought me these. A huge thank you to the Flower Council of Holland who are giving away bouquets every day for 100 days and decided that I should receive some. Flowers make me a special kind of happy and waking up every morning to see a few more blooms opening has been an absolute joy. Thank you to lovely Jack at Cow PR for getting in touch and making my day. (more…)
Rainy day stories and a big bag of children’s books to win
Me and the boy are starting to settle into a new winter routine. Busy mornings at pre-school for him, and study for me, and then home early afternoon to crash. Afternoons spent kicking leaves are becoming slightly less fun, more soggy than crunchy, aside from the odd bright day, with temperatures dropping and more rain and dark dark dark coming quicker and gloomier. But truth is, although I’m missing more time outside, I’m loving our afternoons, (for the most part, don’t quote me on that one on a day I’m begging for bedtime. Ahem.) Curtains get closed early and our sofa is now a permanent nest with cushions and blankets. Kai is usually content to play on whatever adventure he’s dreamed up that day (mostly involving transforming robots and lasers at the moment, I have to say), and I knit, or clean, or work a little and we chat our lovely secret, in-joke chat and make each other laugh and fend off the grumps with snacks and painting and other indoory things. There’s definitely a touch of hibernation-mode kicking in – even I’m going to bed earlier. There’s something about winter, inbuilt in us, that breeds sitting, and hunkering down, and, oh and stories. Yes. It is definitely a time for books, too.
The people from the new Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club got in touch lately to tell me about their new site and share news, specifically, of the Kids’ Book Club videos that they’re starting to preview. On them, a host of famous celebs such as Alison Steadman, Caroline Quentin, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, read aloud some of the best new kids’ books, accompanied by the books’ gorgeous illustrations. The first videos are up now, with lots more planned, and cover the whole spectrum of toddler, pre-school and primary-aged children, from picture books, right up to chapter books for older kids. As well as videos and reviews, the site shares news of new books, exclusive author content and parents’ resources. Honestly, it’s brilliant. And I’m not usually quick to endorse things. (more…)
Win a huge big stash of Disney Cars Lego Duplo!
Me and Kai are proud to be part of a handful of bloggers working in association with Lego Duplo as their ‘experts’. And between us, and thanks to our friends at Lego Duplo, we’re offering our readers a chance to win lots and lots of Lego Duplo, including some great Disney Cars sets, in time for Christmas. There’s 15 prize lots up for grabs, and all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning the name of my blog (Sleep is for the Weak) in the subject and providing your full name and postal address. The competition closes at the end of this week on November 6th, so get your entries in quick and you could win one of these extremely smashing prize bundles… (more…)
How to occupy your three year old on a miserable Sunday when you have a cold and all you want to do is knit and drink tea.
You give him a bowl of giant, toddler-sized Hama beads and a dinosaur pegboard and while he does this…
Our Premier Inn Adventure
There has been lots of new milestones to face since I became a single parent. The first time he was ill, the first time I was ill, the first time we were both ill together (THAT was a fun one)… stuff like that. One I’ve been a bit nervous about facing was taking two year old Kai away somewhere on my own. I don’t have a car, so the whole getting there/what to pack/how to carry it issue was a bit, well, ARGH. But my confidence has grown exponentially over the last year, with Kai anyway – it’s had to, to be honest, so when Premier Inn kindly contacted me about sending us away for a couple of nights to review one of their hotels, I thought I’d take the plunge.
I have stayed in a few budget hotel chains and I have to say from the get-go, that Premier Inn is by far my favourite. It’s no more expensive than its competitors but you always seem to get a lot more bang for your buck, and our stay in the central Birmingham’s branch confirmed that. Birmingham is only 40 minutes on the train from us and within walking distance of the train station, which made it a nice, doable first expedition, and with a trip to Cadbury World thrown in, we were looking forward to a bit of an adventure as Kai experienced his very first two night stay in a hotel. (more…)
Cybermummy, Lego Duplo and YES, I AM SHORT
It’s that time of year again when bloggers of the mother-persuasion (and a few daddies, too) start to wake up in cold sweats worrying that someone has bought the same outfit as them and whether or not there’s a spelling mistake on their business cards. Yep, folks, it’s Cybermummy 2011. Now, I had a blast last year, and was delighted to have spoken on the main panel, met some amazing people, made some useful contacts, AND managed to only accidentally flash my knickers at a handful of strangers. So although not quite in the almighty hysteria-driven hyper-excited state that most on my Twitter timeline seem to have driven themselves into, I am looking forward to it.
Now, although people seem to recognise me fairly quickly, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that one of the first things that almost every blogger that has met me in ‘real life’ points out is that I am much smaller than they expected. I’m not quite sure how I’m managing to exude this virtual aura of height, but you should probably know, in case you’ll be turning up on Saturday expecting to see me towering elegantly over other delegates, that I am a short-arse. I’m 5′ 2″ and fall over in heels so will be in flats, so perhaps look about a foot lower than you’re expecting and towards the back/cake and there you will probably find me. Please come and say hello. I’m quite nice.
This year I’m attending thanks to the lovely people at Lego Duplo, who are paying for my ticket, travel and accommodation, along with other Lego Duplo ‘Experts’ who are lucky enough to receive occasional goodies from Duplo for our kids. (more…)
Spring and Scooters and the Boy that Grew
(this post mentions a product I was sent for free. If you’re not into that no worries, but it is about other stuff too…)
Spring has definitely sprung here, thank God for that. Kai and I are neither one of us are very sitting at home types and spend most of the winter with our faces pressed up against the window waiting for it to get warm enough to go outside more. Kai’s fairly hardy but at two, little hands still get cold, and wind bites and cold rain makes for miserable outings, however many dinosaur umbrellas and warm pairs of gloves we have.
So ironic really, that the first really warm weeks are ones where Kai and then me get struck down with lurgies. No, not ironic, sorry, annoying. Wrong word. Ah well. Better now.
Still, we have managed a few forays none the less (Kai especially as I made sure to pick a nursery that turfs them outside for as much time as possible), and more than anything I have been so struck at how different the end of our winter hibernation is this year. And I don’t just mean the practical, life changes – I have a wholly different little boy! LAST Spring I had a 20 month old, who as a late walker, was just getting really confident on his feet, learning to RUN, even, in that wonderful new-toddler shuffle. We had just stopped breastfeeding and Kai was learning about how to be a separate person, as I was I. He was learning that the tether between us stretched further than he had thought, beginning to learn about exploring, about not holding hands thank you very much, and about things like balls and climbing, and I was learning too, about a new way to see the world as the mum of not a baby any more, but of a boy.
This year I have a nearly three year old, a world away from that tottering 20 month old who loved to ‘walk the line’ – now he runs along them pretending to be a steam train. Now he can do this!
Many, many thanks to micro-scooters.co.uk for sending Kai his first ever scooter and giving us both a good smile last week. Kai’s blue mini micro scooter has been perfect for him – nice and low to the ground with three wheels so it’s nice and stable and hard to fall off. He’s soon got the hang of it scooting in a straight line, and is just learning how to steer it by leaning on the handlebar in the direction you want to go. It feels a bit more like a surf board than a scooter, super smooth, sturdy and flexible and really light to carry for when Kai’s legs get tired and it’s time to go home. It’s going to do wonders for his balance, which for a boy that’s physically a bit behind is a good thing, and is proving a very helpful way to wear him out a bit before tea-time. He loves it, and I love it too. Thanks so much.
Now, here’s to the Spring and Summer and all the other new adventures it brings my wonderful boy who seems to change and grow by the day. We have a new park nearly finished with sandpits and an adventure playground and fountains that squirt you. I can’t wait to see what he makes of that.