Midweek Musings: We're back

holiday-lifebylotte We are home from our lovely 'holiday'! We survived. Lots of people have read my last post and asked if it was as bad as I made out - everything I wrote in the post is true, but things did get a bit better! We had one day of lovely sun on the Thursday and so we went off to the beach for an hour in the afternoon, and Daph played with the pebbles (cue me being a helicopter mother convinced she'd choke on one of them) and stared at the sea and we had an ice cream and it was almost like a real holiday. We went for a few walks with Daph in the baby sling too - that was a great solution to our non-off-roading buggy, until we both got sciatica (she's a heavy little monster these days). Ah well.

We also went back to Totnes when the shops were open and I went a bit crazy buying things for Daph in Gazebo - which is the coolest shop ever (I've been going to Devon since I was a kid and it was my favourite shop back then too). We got loads of decorations for her first birthday - banners, cake decorations, napkins etc, all in Liberty print. They are SO lovely and I can't wait for her birthday now.

baby hairclips lifebylotte

I also bought this cute 'letters to my baby' book (above) - which contains lots of empty envelopes with prompts on, such as 'What I want you to know about me is...' and 'My first impressions of you were...'. The idea is you write a letter to your baby in each envelope, seal it up and then specify a date on which they can read them. It's quite a sentimental idea, I know, but it really appealed to me. When I was a kid, I actually wrote letters to the future me (yes, I was a geek) and I loved opening them up and reading them as an adult - it was crazy how much my thoughts about things had changed over the years. You can find Letters to My Baby at Leafcutter Designs, along with a host of other amazing and cute things (the tooth fairy letters are so fab!).

But I am sorry if my post came across as massively negative as it was meant to be quite tongue in cheek really - I don't mind laughing at these kinds of situations, all of the bad luck kind of amused me in the end. Worse things happen at sea and all that. Our journey back was a lot better too as we stopped off twice to visit relatives which broke the journey up nicely for Daph. And now we're home, back in our claustrophobic flat and I've done eight loads of washing since we got back, and am now staring down the barrel of a lot of work. But hey ho.

In other news it's Oli's birthday this Saturday and so we are going out for dinner. In the evening. Alone. (Well, alone with each other, IYKWIM). My parents are kindly babysitting. It'll be the first time we've been out for dinner together since Chip was born. Isn't that a bit tragic? The thing is that my family don't live that near me, and trying to find a babysitter seems like an impossible task as I know no one in my local area really. Which is quite sad, but that's London for you. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it, and hoping we both manage to relax and not rush home the second we put our knives and forks down. We shall see!

Midweek Musings: Our 'holiday'

holiday-lifebylotte So, I read somewhere once that a holiday with a baby is just an excuse to be exhausted in a different place. How. Very. True.

I don't understand how some parents seem to take their babies off hitchhiking around the world, climbing Everest and suchlike, and we can't even manage a week in the West Country.

The annoying thing about all this is that I had to practically drag Oli on holiday - he was convinced it wouldn't be worth it, that it would just be too stressful with our challenging little madam in tow. And he was bloody right. Nearly. Almost. Grrr.

I will add a caveat here, that we're both control freaks and like everything to be 'just so' and we're definitely NOT the sort of people who would go hitchhiking round the world even without a baby. But still. Here's what we've been 'enjoying' so far this holiday...

1) We got lost on the way down because we have a new car with a fancy built in sat nav that confuses the hell out of me. It tried to be all clever and avoid the M25 which was congested, so instead we ended up going to Farnham or something, then I missed a turning and before I knew it we we'd added an hour to the journey. Adding an hour to the journey when you already have a grumpy nine month old who doesn't want to be stuck in her car seat for five hours in one day is a Bad Idea.

2) The new car makes me very, very car sick. I only don't feel sick if I am driving so I drove the whole way down. This would be fine if it weren't for the fact that I have now apparently 'ruined' the new car's engine by revving too much. Uh huh.

3) It rained the entire way down. We stopped at a Little Chef to change Daph/have a wee. We got soaked just getting in and out of the car. The Little Chef toilet will forever haunt me. No baby deserves to be changed in a Little Chef baby change. Not even the screamers. (Sidenote: good business idea - can someone open a NICE place to stop midway between London and Devon for all the middle class twats like us that want a decent cup of coffee and some avocado on sourdough as their motorway meal. I'm thinking farm shop type affair - maybe with a play area for kids? Any takers?)

4) We got to the holiday complex late and got told off by the lady on reception for not phoning her back when she'd kindly rung earlier to say that our cottage was ready at 11am. HA. As if we could make it down to Devon by 11am. We couldn't even do that Before Baby. (We arrived at about 5.30pm - it took us three weeks to load the car FGS).

5) Daph missed her third nap in the car and spent the last hour of the journey basically screaming with frustration and trying to bite her way out of the car seat. When we got to the cottage we had a race against time to get her into her cot and to sleep as she'd been awake since 1pm. More than four hours of awake time in a nine month old = the release of the devil.

6) Daph predictably screamed with overtiredness and freaked out at being in a new place. For TWO HOURS. I had to suffocate her to sleep (obviously not really, but I had to do the pin down arms thing for about an hour before she finally went - sob).

7) The next day, we went to Totnes because Oli had seen in the information pack that on the third Sunday of every month there was a farmers' market on. Once we'd paid £4.50 for the car park we realised that it was the fourth Sunday of the month. And that all the shops were shut. And then it started to hail. We went home after visiting the... Co-Op.

8) On Monday we decided to prioritise Daph's naps, as she'd been waking in the night. This meant we basically couldn't go anywhere as she sleeps for two hours in the middle of the day. We headed off to a farm shop in the afternoon to buy some lovely bread. They'd run out of bread. We stopped at Sainsbury's on the way back.

9) Yesterday we went to Dartmouth - my favourite place in all the world. It took us about an hour to find a parking space. Then Daph started screaming, and didn't stop. We had a delightful fish and chip lunch where Daph made As Much Noise As She Possibly Could - including tipping my pink lemonade all over my food, choking on a piece of haddock, throwing the metal tray with the bill onto the floor and screaming at all the waiters who tried to be nice to her. We then realised she's teething so badly that she's got little blisters on her tongue - I think she might have started to chewing it to ease the pain. She refused to eat her lunch or her dinner and only wanted milk. She cried a lot. I cried a lot.

10) I realised I was getting PMT. So much for the holiday reigniting 'that side of things'. Oli and I stopped speaking to each other directly and instead simply slagged each other off under our breath all day. Standard.

11) While desperately marching around Dartmouth trying to get Daph to nap, a random woman came up to me and told me that I was at risk of suffocating her because I'd covered the buggy with a towel. Apparently she'd seen an article about it on Facebook. If it wasn't for the fisherman nearby who overheard and said 'Why don't you mind your own business you nosey bitch?' I might have punched her. Or cried. Again.

12) I saw the weather forecast in London. It's a good eight degrees warmer up there.

So yes. That's our 'holiday' so far. We are staying in the middle of nowhere, which I thought I would like but I do not. I have realised that I hate being in the middle of nowhere. I hate not being able to walk to anything. Having to get in the car every time we want to go out is such a pain with a baby. Sure, the views are lovely, the sounds of sheep bleating (they don't baa, apparently, they bleat, although I am still yet to discover why) are lovely, the cottage is beautiful and very well equipped. But there's nowhere to walk to with a buggy (we don't have one of those all-terrain ones), unless you want to risk your life on Devonshire country lanes.

We have spent a lot of our holiday sitting on our iPad and laptop which is pretty much what we do at home.

I'm trying to think of some positives because I know I sound like a whingy old cow. We DID buy some bloody nice fillet steaks in the farm shop. We've been drinking a lot of alcohol. There's wifi. At least I remembered my coat, if not my gloves (brr). There have been the odd moments of beautiful weather and deep breaths of non-polluted air. Everyone we see loves Daph (apart from the waiters in the fish and chip restaurant) and she's loving all the attention. She's still adorably cute even with the grumps and a sore mouth. At least we didn't spend stupid money trying to go abroad *mind explodes at the thought of the stress*.

But I must confess, if you follow me, my Instagram feed... it's basically a lie. But I reckon they all are, so never mind.