Can I take a sick day?

Just putting my head in the oven, be with you in a second.
Not quite.

Oh the joys of looking after a sick child. Everything is either amplified and they get on your nerves more than they normally do or they turn into sad little mice. Fortunately she only has a cold, unfortunately that means her inside voice has turned into a shrill shriek alongside one billion demands per second. Oh my ears!

I've never had a ton of patience, especially when I've had to nurse my husband on his sickbed (ie. never because I NEVER get nursed on mine and I don't get a day off to be ill either but you get my drift... manflu is enough to drive any sane woman to madness... manflu does not equal death) but I thought having a child went hand in hand with having all the patience in the world. Yesterday I realised that's a crock of shit, having a child doesn't mean you're any more patient than... well, I don't know what really.

Dear men...

And don't get me started on looking after a sick child when you're not 100% yourself (I don't remember my body aching like this since the newborn stage). I'm as snappy as snappy the alligator (who?!). Every single demand that's thrown at me is met with a tut and an eye roll (ok maybe not the reasonable ones - cuddles, calpol, watching a dvd... I'm not a complete monster) and a countdown until bedtime until I remember that bedtime is sure to be a pain in the arse and the hours that follow, equally horrendous.

When do we, as mothers, get a break? When will we hear that all mothers are entitled to 5 sick days a year (PAID), 30 days holiday and a hefty bonus? Somebody, please?

I'm asking for what's left of my sanity.

Olive and Vince and a princess nightie.

Lilian is obsessed with princesses. This isn't the road I thought she'd go down, we've always opted for gender bending toys and pink was never an option. It's funny how things turn out because she's such a girly girl and loves swirly dresses and her favourite colour is, of course, pink. I won't lie and say I'm pissed off she's turned out this way because secretly I'm delighted. I used to be the same. Oh sue me.

The other day we were in Marks & Spencer and she spotted a Peppa Pig nightie, 'I like that dress Mum'. I explained to her that that was a nightie and you wear it to bed. A bit like pyjamas but dress pyjamas. 'Rapunzel wears nighties to bed mummy...' And then I thought... why doesn't Lil wear nighties? Because she wears pyjamas.

I thought about getting her a nightie but those god awful ones in M&S resembled vomit on a dress (sorry M&S - I love you still, lots) so I did what I always do, every day without fail... went on Etsy. I scrolled down for ages before I stumbled across Olive and Vince and what a find!

In a little workshop in England, we take pleasure in producing by hand fun, practical and comfortable clothing for toddlers. We hold a strong belief that style should never compromise comfort, nor overlook practical issues such as quickly dressing and undressing a toddler. With us you will never find a crunchy denim, itchy lace or clothes that restrict a bendy toddler’s movement. You can have total faith that anything you find in our store will have been made with comfort as THE number one priority. Our own little ones inspire our sewing and we make the stuff we want for them. You’ll see hints of retro styles, symmetry and simplicity, but most of all fun!

Simplicity and fun - the two things I always look for in clothing I buy for Lil. This is the kind of nightie she needed! Traditional and made of 100% cotton. AND the type of nightie she could wear in the summer during the day too, perfect.

And the story behind Olive and Vince is as cute as their nighties (they sell other kids clothes too - tie dye and leopard print... ALWAYS a winner).

Naomi and Natalie both live in Devon, Naomi by the seaside and Natalie in a little leafy suburb. They have been good friends ever since their children were born in 2009, with little Vince belonging to Naomi and Olive belonging to Natalie. Shortly after meeting, Naomi and Natalie embarked on an amazing mission to learn to sew and make clothes together. 

When Lil unwrapped her package (not daintily like a princess), her eyes almost popped out of her head...

'It's a dress!'
'It's a nightie Lil, for you!'
'Wow, like Rapunzel!'

Yep, she looks like a princess.

Her little nightie is so beautiful, I'm going to frame it when it no longer fits her. Such amazing quality, I'm going to buy more!

Read more about Naomi and Natalie here.  

Olive & Vince are on Twitter (although not actual Olive & Vince!). Visit them on etsy here.

Dorset Apple Cake

I'm really shit at baking, as I have pointed out before, but on Friday we got a delivery of local fruit and veg in a box from a nearby farm. Inside were some cooking apples so naturally I was going to make an apple pie but then I remembered how rubbish my last attempt was so googled apple recipes and this one popped up.

I'm not very good at following recipes and like to experiment so really baking isn't for me. But this time I decided to follow every word and see what happened. The only thing I kept out was the almonds as I really don't like them.

It doesn't look too interesting, does it? But it was so good. I excelled myself if I'm honest (although it's not really hard considering how bad I usually am at baking). Perfect with a cup of tea and even better as a Mother's Day treat. And it's super easy.

You're welcome.

Look Mum, a snake!

We've kinda gone back to our co-sleeping ways just lately. Mainly because of the nightmares and terrors but also because getting up and down to see to her so many times in the night has broken me and is a pain in the arse.

She settles down quite quickly once she's in bed with me and some nights when she gets into my bed (not every night), she doesn't move. But last night was a different matter. According to Lil, there was a snake slithering around the room... 'Look Mum, a snake!' At first I thought she was just dreaming, then possibly hallucinating until I freaked myself out. A fucking snake in the room! Turns out it was a dream although she was pretty adamant she could see one.

There's nothing quite like settling back to sleep at 2am knowing, smugly, you have another five hours left of sleep. It's pretty blissful. And then... 'Mum, an owl is sitting there LOOK!' An owl. I knew that wasn't possible so I cuddled her back to sleep, telling her there was no's just a dream.


What is this kid on? She didn't eat anything she doesn't normally yesterday except for an ice cream. It couldn't have been that, could it? She's had more sugar than that in one day and it hasn't affected her other than she's bounced a little harder off the walls.

And then, tonight, we read Rosie Revere, Engineer and it clicked. That's where it came from! She'd pointed out a snake, a bumblebee and an owl in the story a few days prior. They had obviously stuck in her mind and she'd dreamt about them.

Kids and their imaginations.

Although I'm still not so sure about the snake.

Don't worry, Mum.

We seem to be going through a period of zen in terms of Lil's shit fits and it's really nice (obviously). What I've learnt this past ten days is that when my child isn't being a highly strung almost three year old, she's actually very chilled out. She doesn't have many cares (except, perhaps, whether or not she's going to get some form of chocolate that day) and although kids generally don't, it's come as a shock.

You see, if you haven't worked it out yet then you'll need to know that I'm a bit highly strung (thanks to the father of my child for pointing that one out), it runs in the family (both sides) and because Lil is much like me (stubborn, creative, witty), to see her so carefree (when she's not throwing shit fits) is refreshing. Before, she would have a shit fit if she spilled water down herself (I'm hoping this phase has passed) but now she just laughs and says 'not to worry mum, we can clear this up' and it makes my heart flip. It just isn't a big deal to her (or me, I might add) whereas four weeks ago she'd scream blue murder.

But, much like her father, she's beginning to become so carefree and chilled out that she just isn't bothered about certain things that bother me. Like tidying up, for example...

Lil, I need you to tidy up before you get more toys out because it's getting very messy.
Oh don't worry, Mum, you can just clear it all up later.


Lil, if you drop play-doh on the floor you need to pick it up because Monty will eat it otherwise and he'll have a poorly tummy.
Don't worry, Mum, at least his tummy will be gold and purple like the play-doh. You can pick it up for me.

And then she smiles sweetly.

Headband from here.

See. Not a care in the world.

As much as I don't want this lovely carefree attitude to change right now, if I have to pick up one more fucking toy or prise play-doh from the dogs mouth one more fucking time I am going to lose my mind once again (ohmmmmmmmmmm).

Ah, parenthood.

Night terrors and potty training.

I'm tired. We are going through a rough period also known as night terrors, the very awful threes (even though she's a month off three), constant 'I wants' and general exhaustion that they don't tell you about, you know... the exhaustion that you thought wore off once they stopped teething? Yes, that exhaustion. Turns out it sticks around for much longer than you anticipate. You won't find anything about that in those dickhead 'how to' parenting books.

Everything has started to annoy me, I'm agitated and I'm losing my temper quite a lot and quite often it's with the wrong people. Sorry about that. And to make matters worse, my child is straight up refusing to have anything to do with her potty. She couldn't care less about it and even with the most magnificent bribes, she's still not budging. I've tried the right way, the patient way and my way and nothing will coax her out of those damn nappies.

I don't know what to do. I'm at the end of my tether. I'm going to wait another month and try again.

I've read up on night terrors and nightmares until I've gone cross-eyed, she seems to alternate between the two and every night ends up in my bed and I start the day on broken sleep which, regardless of how many hours of broken sleep, is a recipe for disaster and often results in a very unproductive day. The amount of TV she watches has been reduced, she doesn't have her ipad anymore (only for long journeys) and she doesn't have anything sugary after 2pm. She goes to bed around 7.30 and for the first three - four hours she sleeps very well but as soon as I get into bed it all kicks off. I just don't know what to do about it - see a doctor? Cut out sugar completely? Am I doing something wrong?

If you've had experience in this, please let me know how you went about making it better. She doesn't wake in the night (if she does, she goes straight back to sleep) but she tosses and turns quite a bit. I'm really starting to lose my sanity over her sleep.