2014….. Taking time for me

I’ve been thinking about what the new year will bring for me, I know that in the next 8ish weeks I will have a new member of the family, which will change things again for the three of us. How will we adjust to life with a newborn again? Daniel will only be 16 months but I am sure we have already forgotten just how tough those first weeks are with a new baby. I worry how I will cope and meet Daniel’s needs, as well as that of a newborn as well as ensuring I allow myself to recover from the birth.

I also know that, despite the huge changes afoot, there are many things I want to achieve. When I worked, I was a project manager so I knew what the targets were for the forthcoming year, and could look to see what I would expect to achieve. Now I am a stay at home mum, its all too easy to meander through the days and weeks and not do anything for me. Being a parent (whether you also work or are full time at home) is all consuming and I worry that I am losing a sense of personal identity. I found the beginning of this pregnancy exhausting, and I am beginning to feel the exhaustion hit again. So with that in mind I am determined to set some challenges and targets for me.

Pre Daniel I loved to read. I was always found with either my kindle or a book in hand, often with 3/4 books on the go at any one time. Once Daniel arrived I found it hard to find the time and space to concentrate and lose myself in a good book. A quick look at my goodreads profile shows that in 2012 I read 77 books, in 2013 I read around 25 books. I’ve set myself a target of 40 books this year, with an added target of wanting to finish all of the Jo Nesbo series, I’m about halfway through so I think that is achievable. I will also make use of my local library as I rediscovered the library towards the end of 2013.

The first book I will finish in 2014 is this Jo Nesbo…

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Once I have finished it, probably later this week, I will make a start on one of these two that I picked up from the library on 2 January.

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I’ve heard good things about cupcake cafe and I have enjoyed the Catherine Alliott ones I have read in the past.

I will then need to make a start on my big pile of books, a lot of these I received in December for my birthday and Christmas and others are ones that I have either picked up in charity shops or have been found whilst clearing out the upstairs room for the new baby…. And there will be more to add to this pile! Perhaps one of my resolutions this year should be to not keep buying books!

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As well as reading, I want to reignite my love of crafting. I think that the early pregnancy tiredness killed off any creativity, but having taught myself to knit, we’ll a very basic knit, towards the end of 2013 I want to knit a cardigan for the baby and maybe a hat or something for Daniel. I also have an order for a blanket to complete, a cushion cover to make for Daniel and a blanket for the new baby. I also want to have a go at making some breast pads and some csp too.

I also intend to finish off this Frosted Pumpkin stitchery cross stitch…. Before Christmas 2014 at least….

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I also have another cross stitch in progress and more crafting stuff than I will ever complete… Perhaps another resolution should be to not buy crafting stuff!

I also intend to continue the letter writing and postcircle that I joined in during 2013. I find it really relaxing to sit and write a letter, and have been lucky enough to meet some lovely people this way. Today I received my first happymail of the year…. Such a pretty envelope and I can’t wait to get my first reply of the year out 🙂

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I intend to produce a monthly update of number of books read, number of crafting items completed and number of letters sent and received…. I hope this will keep me on track to take time for myself to relax. Life with two under two is going to be hard and at time testing, so it’s important to take time out for me.

What are your plans for taking time for yourself in 2014?

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We Love to Read

One of the things I have been really keen to do is to foster a love of reading in Daniel.

 

My husband and I have read to him since a very young age, and he already, at nine months, recognizes his books.

 

His favourite book at the moment is ‘Say hello to the animals’ and all I have to do is recite the opening lines of ‘Cock a doodle do…. ready, steady, off we go…’ and he will turn to me and begin to bounce.

I love everything about this book, it is very well illustrated with lovely bold pictures that a small child can see and interact with. The story follows a dog who walks around the farm, saying hello to the various animals. The story rhymes so it is nice and easy to read and Daniel really enjoys listening to it. He will crawl across to stroke the pages and is beginning to help me turn them.

 

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I do a lot of sign language with Daniel so this is a great one for signing the animals and of course, waving hello and Daniel is beginning to make some of the animal noises back to me.

 

Daniel adores this book and likes to touch the pages. He is beginning to point to the various animals, and its great to reinforce which animal it is, and the noise that animal makes.

 

The ‘Say Hello’ series is a big winner in our house!

 

BOOK REVIEW : My Humongous Hamster – Lorna Freytag

Today I received this book from the lovely people over at Piccadilly Press. Whilst I have been sent a free copy of this book, this is a fair and honest review.

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This book is aimed very much at a young child, it is a picture book that follows a rather large hamster. Daniel and I have read this book and we rather liked it.

The accompanying press release says:

An imaginative story which grows! Lorna Freytag’s stunning photographs are surreal and comforting at the same time. It is certain to delight children and adults alike.

Now, the story itself isn’t one of the best I have read, I quite like stories that rhyme and I think rhyming stories hold my son’s attention better. But, that said, it is a lovely book and the pictures are brilliant. There is a lot of detail that, as Daniel grows, we will be able to highlight and talk about.

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As Daniel is just under 17 weeks old, he isn’t really enjoying books at the moment. I find that he often gets bored very quickly when we read. However, this book did hold his attention until the end, and he certainly enjoyed looking at the pictures, especially the brilliant one of the hamster nose up. It is rare that a book keeps him engaged for so long. It is 32 pages long so no mean feat for a small boy!

This book would make a lovely gift for any child, and I’m sure will be one that Daniel and I read time and time again. It will also be a good opportunity to talk about hamsters and how they are looked after etc.

My Humongous Hamster is due to be published on 25 April and is priced at £6.99 for the paperback version or £11.99 for the hardback version. There is more information on the publisher’s website here.

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My Humongous Hamster is published by Piccadilly Press and is available to pre-order from amazon here.