{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #7 – Meet the Au Pair

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #7 – Meet the Au Pair

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I’m noticing that a lot of our ‘ordinary moments’ are firsts, but I know that’s because I can foresee that this is part of our routine now.  Our normal.  I like documenting the first time we do something that becomes part of our beautiful ordinary.  It’s great to look back and see how we’ve started our little traditions.  We have a new family member for the foreseeable future so I wanted to take the time to welcome her into our home, and of course on our blog…

Friday evening I went to the airport to collect a beautiful young lady named Martina.  We started toying with the idea of having an au pair when James went to work in October, before I’d really acknowledged to myself that maybe I was postnatal and was literally treading water in all things at home.  I always felt like I was flailing and we started to think of solutions.  I have a friend who had three under three about a decade ago and she mentioned that they had an au pair as a family.  This is something I would never have thought of.  I assumed it would cost the earth and was definitely not for paupers like us.  I started to do some research.  I will write another post about the process of choosing Martina, right now I want to talk about when the children met her yesterday morning.

Martina asked me on the way home from the airport what the children thought about having an au pair.  I told her that I actually did not have a clue.  That Judah didn’t understand, the girls had been told someone was coming to help me, someone who would play with them when I needed to do housework, so that we could get on top of the messy home, and endless washing.  Martina had brought the children, James and I gifts *bless* and she wanted to be up for when they had breakfast so she could give them their presents.  I explained she’d had a busy day, and it was late when we’d arrived back from the airport, she was able to just rest and have a lazy day, sleeping in etc.  she wanted to be up with the children.  Lovely.  I was impressed already.

About 8.10am I was finally pulling myself together to get the children ready and then go down for breakfast but Martina true to her word was already up and was playing with the girls and Judah in the girls room.  They were showing her the toys.  Martina speaks great English but words hadn’t really even been exchanged.  Our children were just happily playing with her regardless of who she was and why she was there.  It was lovely to see, she was an instant hit.

the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog

It of course was Valentines Day yesterday so we decided to have pancakes for breakfast, Martina has to have a gluten-free diet so we had gluten-free pancakes.  Whilst Martina was just chilling with the children in the Living Area (it’s open plan downstairs at our house) I was able to clean all the kitchen and tackle one of the first piles of random ‘dump everything here, this is a sideboard’ messes.  I told Martina, see it is helpful to have you here already.

Then the girls chose their Valentines hairstyles ready for us to go outside as it was a lovely winters day with a gorgeous warm heat from the sun when the wind wasn’t blowing.  Shayla chose the ‘Double Heart Twists‘ and Isis went for the ‘Twist-Braided Heart‘ both from the Cute Girls Hairstyles youtube channel.  They were both great ‘secure’ hairstyles that stayed in well all day, enduring the park and crazy wild dancing in the house in the late afternoon.

the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog

We had a lovely time at the park and it was lovely to have an extra pair of hands and eyes running around after the children with me… especially when they want to go on separate things.  The park near to us is large and spans quite an area if you have four little ones to watch.  Eden had gone down for a nap, and so had my husband so Martina, Isis, Shayla-Rae, Judah and I had escaped for some fresh air.  I loved seeing them all play together and bond in their own way.  Martina sat chilling with Isis on the swing, climbed on various aparatus with Shayla and ran around after Judah helping him run from slide to climbing frames to slides and deciding they were all too scary.  This is pretty much how Judah spends most of his time at the park unless he’s having a particularly brave day.

the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog

The children, James and I had made gluten-free heart shaped scones Friday morning for Martina to try so we had these as a snack whilst poor Martina was having her hair played with by Shayla for most of the afternoon.  James and Isis were sat playing with a translate app, having it speak Stephen Hawkins style in Italian about how Martina would soon be bald.  It’s a good job she has a sense of humour.  We then spent some time colouring together at the table, listening to music and Eden was amazing me with her dancing.  I’ve never seen her so excited.  Lovely to see the children just having a great happy day.  I was able to keep on top of all the washing up all day as Martina could supervise the children playing whilst I pottered in the kitchen.  They all relaxed and watched a movie on Netflix whilst I made a gluten-free spaghetti bolognese for dinner.  Then everyone was bathed and in bed about an hour later than usual, but it was a Saturday and they had all really enjoyed getting to know Martina.

the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog

the ordinary moments, au pair, meeting your au pair, blended family, dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog

This was such a normal, stereotypical day in our home, it just felt more calm having another person around.  I guess Saturdays will never really be a ‘work day’ for Martina as James is at home on the weekends, but it’s good to know that they all can enjoy spending time together and having fun.  Shayla true to form is already besotted with her and although it’s only been a day.  I think we have chosen really well.  Martina is lovely and hope she enjoyed her first day with us as much as we did.
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The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

week 21

Most people like to use the excuse of ‘eating for two’ when they’re pregnant, although scientifically this is inaccurate.  Your body is actually more efficient when you’re pregnant, your metabolism increases causing you to need about an extra 500 calories a day.  Sorry.

My pregnancy journal as seen notes that your appetite will increase at around this stage.  For me this wan’t the case, Due to my hypermesis gravidarum I could barely keep anything down and as a result had become very fussy, just wanting bland stodgy food like toast, potatoes etc.  I pretty much took my only bump photo on this holiday, I stuck my tummy out as I liked looking pregnant (especially as I’m overweight to begin with, it was nice for a season to look like I had a genuine reason to be fat haha).

Bump_1.JPG

How beautiful is Paphos? and to think this was early February, being in the warm was definitely a welcome break.  I enjoyed being on holiday a lot, we seemed to go at a season and to a resort were most of the people were aged 50+.  Obviously we weren’t going to be out drinking and partying, we had gone all inclusive so that we didn’t need to worry about cost, so I had a lot of virgin cocktails whilst James enjoyed the watered down limitless spirits and cocktails.  James and I decided to embrace the fun and join in most of the activities, I won the darts championship one day, shuffleboard (haha, now I sound old), sucked at the archery and rifle shooting, but obviously as an ex entertainer won their version of X factor singing Leona Lewis’ version of ‘Run’ in the talent show.  We thought it was funny collecting the certificates and there wasn’t much else I could do as on the odd days we did do trips round the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ and to some beaches, and shopping, I was just too exhausted as it was hot and I hadn’t been able to keep down much food.

I have to say the only thing that upset me on this holiday was not having the girls with us.  We kept seeing things that they would enjoy, activities they would be good at, sights we wished we could share.  We vowed not to go away without children again apart from overnight or long weekends at a push.  It was important for us to have that couple time before the babies came along and it continues to be important for us to have dates.  Something we struggle to schedule in but are trying to get better at.

holiday selfie
holiday selfie

We would go swimming every day in the afternoon, so my hair spent most of it’s time plaited to not become a hassle.  I hated dealing with my hair when I was pregnant.  It just irritated me, funny what hormones do to you, I think if I could carry it off a pixie cut would have been adopted quick smart.

Here are the notes I made in my pregnancy journal this week :

How am I feeling this week?

Energy : Good, joined in most of the games, went swimming every day, early nights were still needed though.

Mood : great, had a fantastic holiday in the sun with my hubby to be.  Took lots of photos in and around cyprus with bump.

tomb of the kings
a much needed sit down in one of the tombs

Appetite : very little I can eat on this all inclusive, and I have a very little appetite.

Cravings : mainly salted potatoes ie. chips, hash browns etc. and ice-cream as it’s been hot but my body doesn’t want dairy.

Sickness : not really subsided but travel and heat won’t have helped.

The best thing was I got to spend Valentines Day with my amazing fiance, who was crazy enough to go into the freezing swimming pool, that NO other guests were using.  Daniel Craig eat your heart out lol.
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Daniel Craig eat your heart out
Daniel Craig eat your heart out