Boobs

I am sure some, if not all of you reading this are going to be bitterly disappointed with the content, especially the lack of visual aids to help you digest it. However I make no apologies. This after all is my rant and as the subject really surrounds my lack of boob contact, I figure you can do without.

It’s safe to say I’m a fan of boobs, I am trying hard to ensure this doesn’t sound too perverse in any way but it’s true. I like boobs and I especially love my fiancée’s, or from what I can remember of them. You see 18 months ago my OH fell pregnant and as you would expect she became beautifully round, but the transformation to her boobs was simply stunning. They were never small by any standards but now they were jaw dropping. I loved the thought of having these new improved assets around for a while but it wasn’t to be. I had to say farewell to them; my son was born.

The instant my little man was born, those boobs I had loved for years went on loan and I haven’t seen them since. My OH has stuck to her plan of breast feeding religiously and I can only commend her for it. It has been incredibly difficult at times; who wouldn’t find it hard feeding the hungry monster 22 times in 24 hours. Night after night of getting up anywhere between 2 and 5 times to feed him, where I can only look on and watch her struggle. I know it’s done him the world of good, he has never been ill where all around him have dropped like flies. His weight, whilst he is small,  has been steadily following the same trajectory and has been no cause for concern.

As a father at times however I have almost pleaded with my OH to switch to formula, let me take on some of that pressure and workload. It is extremely difficult watching as someone you love gets more and more tired. Yes I know it’s better for him but I have 2 people to care for and have to try and consider what is better for all concerned. My pleas however always fell on deaf ears as she rebuffed my overtures to switch and as we near the end of the breast feeding all together I am glad she did.

It’s fair to say I have missed those boobs but we have one healthy, growing and developing little boy. Much of that is down to the time, effort and patience my OH has put in and for it she deserves a medal. As we do draw close to the day the loan period finishes I look forward to welcoming them back and reforging my relationship with them. It’s just a pity I won’t get to spend any time with them in their improved form.

Out of sight out of mind

As a working dad I have never had as much time with my son and fiancée as I would have liked, but this last week has been even more difficult. In fact I would go as far to say it was heart wrenching at times.

It started at the weekend which I spent away from my family at the Open golf championships in Lytham. Don’t get me wrong it was a fantastic two days, sun was shining, the golf was excellent, but I missed them terribly. Unfortunately the weekend came and went and my working week has not helped. Two long meetings at the wrong end of the day saw me getting home late, either side of a game of golf that also resulted in a late finish. All of this together has meant I have seen very little of my son this week.

That is bad enough in itself but it has also effected our interaction. I used to come home and would come scurrying over to me with a big grin and we would sit and play. This week he still comes scurrying over but as soon as I go in for my cuddle he shifts and starts to look for his mum. If she had left the room he starts to get anxious. God forbid she leaves the house, we had to sit on a wall on the drive while he watched every car come past in the hope his mum was returning. It is the first and only time he has cried when I have been on my own with him, not a happy time for either of us.

Is this his way of punishing me for not be around to spend time with him as much as I should? Has his bond with his mum become that strong in the last week that me, his dad cannot break it and make him feel comfortable in just my company? I will be honest it has hurt, I know it isn’t his fault or my OH’s. It isn’t in fact really my fault, the golf was a gift, the meeting unavoidable yet I do feel guilty.

There is as always a silver lining and this morning after a good sleep he woke a very happy and chirpy boy with the biggest smile when he saw me. Tonight I will race home and hope he has remembered who I really am.

The guilt of discipline

My little man is fast approaching ten months and is now at that stage in his development where is starting to test the boundaries. We as his parents are embarking on that wonderful challenge that is teaching him right from wrong and discipline.

This can’t be so hard can it? I like to think my own upbringing was a good one, I know the difference between right and wrong. I am polite, I’m not rude, I treat people with respect so all I have to do is instil these values on to my son. What I didn’t take into account was the reaction my son would have and the effect this would have on me.

As a family we take all meals together, we eat at the table with the little man in his high chair. From six months old we have gone down a baby led weaning route, so he eats all his own meals by hand that we place in front of him. One of the little things he started to do, is once he has had enough food, he holds what ever remains over the edge of his tray. We know this is him testing the boundaries because not only do we tell him “NO” but just before he drops it on to the floor he looks at one of us with a sort of look. You know the look, it’s that I hear you say no but lets see what happens anyway.

The first time he decided to drop his food on the floor I put on my best, stern, parenting voice and firmly said his name “Henry no, that’s naughty”. He promptly cocked his head to one side and gave the biggest smile, to which I burst out laughing. Epic discipline fail.

Then just this week, the same incident. As the food landed on the floor both me and his mum in unison “Henry no” and he burst into to tears. I had to leave the room as a feeling of guilt ebbed over me. I had just somehow made my little baby burst into tears, I just wanted to pick him up and tell him I was sorry.

I think it was a realisation for him that he had been told off and that we weren’t happy with him which prompted the tears. I also know that we did the right thing, we cannot and will not just allow things to slide. Yet that feeling when his expression changed and the tears came was not one I will enjoy.

Maybe this discipline side of parenting will not be so easy after all.

My week that was

So today I returned to work after nine glorious days in the company of my favourite 2 people in the world, my son and wife to be. Not since my paternity leave have we had so much uninterrupted time as a family. Not since my paternity leave have I been so knackered. It was an amazing week where we got out of the house, doing things as a family. It was also a reminder of how hard my OH has worked over the last 9 months and how easy I sometimes have it.

The week was a mix of days out and some quality father-son bonding time. We paid a visit to Chester Zoo where our little man took a big liking to the baby elephants. The Blue Planet Aquarium where he took a liking to watching all the school children on their day trip. I think he may have missed the concept of this particular trip out. At soft play he roamed about with his new-found crawling skills and mum and dad were able to relax, happy in the knowledge he was in a child friendly zone.

At home we started to clear and plan out his play room, which is to be his birthday present. Mum had some meetings to attend in preparation for returning to work so it was left to dad to entertain for a couple of days. I cannot begin to describe how much I enjoy just a few hours the two of us get to spend together, or the tiredness that envelopes me once his mum comes home. Especially as he is now at the age where he wants to be on the move non stop. Crawling, cruising, climbing over mostly me but anything that seems to get in his path. It’s tiring yet thoroughly rewarding, but also reminds me that his mum does this day in day out and what an amazing job she does.

So now I am back at work, it’s almost like I was never off, being thrust straight into staff problems and excuses. It wasn’t half as tiring, yet I still missed that afternoon nap I took on occasion. It certainly was nowhere near as rewarding or enjoyable, but such is life. It just makes you enjoy that precious time off when it does come around again. So here’s to September when another week combines with the little mans 1st birthday.

Hip Hip Hooray

Silent Sunday 15/7/2012

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Opi Malbec 2011

  • Name : Opi Malbec
  • Vintage: 2011
  • Grape: Malbec
  • Vineyard: Rodolfo Sadler

My first wine review and it would be remiss of me to not review a Malbec given this is my favourite grape. I have always favoured big reds and wines from smaller wine makers, against the major vineyards form around the world. So it really was a pleasure to drink and share with you this stunning bottle from award-winning wine make Rodolfo Sadler.

First thing to note is the fragrance which had a smoky edge to it. Now the wine has been oak aged for 6 months but the smoky aroma giving off when first opened was unusual. The blurb suggests and aroma of Cassis fruit but as this is an unknown fruit to me I can’t really comment. Pouring the wine you are left with a dark red and as the smoky fragrance evaporates you are left with that more traditional oak smell.

The reason I love Malbec grapes so much is the sense of the big red you are drinking yet with such a smooth finish. This one didn’t disappoint, such a smooth wine that makes a mockery of the 14% alcohol content. A hint of blackberry’s and that oak aged taste that wasn’t over powering but enough to be sure it had been sat in barrels. I would suggest Rodolfo has got his ageing absolutely perfect for his wine.

I’ve given this wine a 3.5 out of 5, which some may think is rather harsh given my rave review. It doesn’t particularly lack anything, it is a great wine perfect for accompanying food or just to drink on a Saturday evening. At £7.99 a bottle it’s reasonable in price for the quality of wine you are getting. However it isn’t a wine that will blow you away or get the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. I do believe this is what a Malbec brings you, a very enjoyable wine that will want you coming back for more, yet at the same time a very safe wine. There are bigger and better bottles to be sampled, but I will certainly be drinking this one again.

Lions and Tiger and Bears….or Elephants?

What a week, 5 amazing days off work, spent with the little man and his mum. We have spent the time enjoying days out and one of those days was spent at Chester Zoo. Now me and my OH love the zoo and albeit he wasn’t quite of this world yet the little man has been before. When his mum was 8 months pregnant was the last time we were there, although I am hoping the sounds he remembers are not my screams as I ran out of the bat cave like a scared little girl.

We were really looking forward to this visit as it would be his first and we felt he may be just about old enough to get something out of the day. We arrived and my usual rule of thumb is hot foot it over to the Tigers. I love Tigers, my favourite animal and I love to see them whilst they are awake and to do that you have to see them first. So we shot past everything and made it to the Tiger enclosure. Perfect timing 2 cubs playing about, toy fighting, chasing each other. Dad prowling about, protecting his family and mum taking in some sun. Tempted to throw in a lazy mum joke here but thought better of it and we will just say she deserved the downtime.

I shot a few photographs and looked over to see if my son was sharing my own excitement at these wonderful animals. Not a flicker, in fact I am not even sure they registered on his radar. I wonder what will?

Lions and leopards came and went with much the same result. Our little man seemed more interested in all of the people around him, nosey boy that he is. Bears up next and they were just being fed. A big old bear eating his lunch and a cub whom we watched sniff his out, grab it and run off. Still no real sign of acknowledgement.

After lunch we were essentially at the start and the big elephant compound (we by-passed first time around to get to the tigers). They were all congregated at one end feeding. As we stood there watching he started to get animated. His babbling increased ten to the dozen, then the most amazing thing. As one of the baby elephants wandered off from the rest he started to watch, smiling. The young elephant started playing and splashing in a pool and he was squealing and laughing with excitement. Was this something he could relate to, he himself loves splashing around in water. We spent 10-15 minutes or so watching this baby elephant and not once did his eyes divert away. In fact whilst he was infatuated with this scene he himself had become the centre of attention of those around him, as they laughed at his excitement.

Butterflies also had some impact on him, all those colours in a small environment. Much like the bat cave however I will not go anywhere near. Beyond all those pretty colours lurks a rather sinister looking creature, do not be deceived. However, I apparently cannot teach that to the little man, so he went in with his mum.

So it’s not Lions or tigers or bears. It’s not the orangutans that his mum loves to watch. He has found his very first love of something that is different from his mum and dad. Our little man likes elephants, I wonder if it will last?

Boys night in

I love spending time as a family but it is sometimes just nice to get some father and son time. Last night my fiancée went out for the evening for a much deserved meal with a friend, leaving me and the little man home alone.

I must admit there was a small amount of trepidation. Not because I was on my own with him, but because it had been a difficult day for his mum and he was in a bit of a clingy mood. I needn’t have worried, it’s as if he wanted our boys night in as much as I did. As soon as I got home from work his mood seemed to change, much to his mums disgust, but she was off on a night out so I didn’t feel so bad.

It’s not so much that we did anything different with the evening but it felt special it being just the 2 of us. I cooked him his tea and we ate together, some fish, couscous and roasted peppers and parsnips. We are baby wed weaning so he eats what we eat and loves his food. He had some yoghurt for desert which he insisted on having the spoon himself. Needless to say the yoghurt was most places other than his mouth but he had fun non the less.

We played, we read, he trotted about on his walker then came back for hugs. He fell over (only on the carpet) and burst into tears. which of course was only cured with a magic cuddle and rub of the head, all was well.

He got tired his normal 7 o’clock so I fed him a bottle and then it was in the bath. Now the next part is always a bit tricky because we have weaned him away from falling asleep with his last feed and instead trying to read a story before bed. Because of this change his mum was the only one successful in getting the story part done. He would always fall asleep for me after a few whines but the story was never possible. How different last night was, 5 pages of Winnie the Pooh, the little man’s head was settled against my chest as he listened, contented. I eventually put him down kissed him good night and turned the light off. That was the last murmur I heard until 6 in the morning.

It wasn’t long or different in terms of what we did but father and son time will always be a little bit special.

A time to exercise

I have never been the thinnest of individuals despite once upon a time being relatively fit. I also really enjoy my food and over the last couple of years have developed a sweet tooth, which I was never before prone to. Therefore it is imperative I exercise, at least on a semi regular basis.

Now I used to be quite good with this, coming home from work I would go for a run. As I’ve gotten older and running became harder on my knees, I would replace one run per week with a swim. If my weight ballooned like it did during a holiday to America then my routine would bring me back down in a matter of a few weeks.

Cue the birth of my son, which coincided nicely with the rising girth of my waist (it’s starting to sound like I was the one who was pregnant). I now cannot seem to get motivated to do anything. All I want to do when I get home from work is spend some time with the little man. I don’t get long as it is, maybe 2 hours if I am lucky and we have to fit eating in during that time as well. Therefore the last thing I want to be doing with that precious time is going out running or swimming.

So now I am caught in that quandary. I still like to eat, I still have that damn sweet tooth. Yet the only way I can stop the middle age spread, spreading at a rate of knots, is to get my ever-increasing arse out of the house to do some exercise. Yet I really don’t want to, I want to spend time with my little man and fiancée.

Just before anyone suggests going in the morning, I really do not do mornings. Coffee, toast, a smile and a cuddle in the direction of a wide awake boy is as much as I like to muster before 9am.

I very much doubt I am the only one in this predicament, when do you all find the time to exercise?

Something is going to have to give, the question is what?

A Moment

I recently wrote a peice that has been published as a guest blog at therealmattdaddy.com and I would like to share it with you.

There is a moment in everyone’s life that stays with you forever. A moment that encapsulates every raw emotion and not only makes you question but realise why you were put on this earth.

For me that day, that moment, was when my son was born. As the midwife held him aloft I was in awe and wonderment of what had just happened. It truly was the definitive moment in my life and I knew right then I was the happiest man alive. Cutting the cord of this tiny baby that was mine to look after for ever more, my hand was calm but inside I was shaking like a leaf with sheer excitement and in some respects trepidation. The elation quickly turned to panic and fear as he was whisked to a scary looking machine and given some oxygen. Then relief as I was told it was just to clear his lungs and that he was fine. As I held him in my arms not 5 minutes old and he was looking back at me it was a wonder I didn’t burst into tears.

To read the entire blog please go to therealmattdaddy.com

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