Since my last update at the start of March, our weekly routine that sees the girls going to nursery and me heading to work has become a bit more normal. After a couple of tougher nursery weeks during weeks three and four, Little Z got back into the rhythm and has seemed to enjoy her time there since. Her key worker has said that her personality is really starting to shine through and most afternoons when I collect her she is just cruising round the play kitchen (or last week, a random chair), chewing away on something as she surveys the room around her. It makes it much easier for me to go to work knowing that she has now bonded with the girls in the room and, for the most part eats and sleeps well. Whilst it could quite easily go wrong again, for now I’m fortunate to pick-up two happy (albeit usually very tired) girls three evenings a week.
Whilst getting back to work has been quite draining, at times stressful and at time daunting, I have actually found it much easier to go back than after Little H was born. Returning after my first maternity leave involved dealing with a continual list of new and unsettling experiences: leaving Little H at nursery, learning to do my job part time, trying to refind my confidence in my job again, getting-up to speed with a new area of the business, training myself not to feel guilty for having to leave on time whilst assuming everyone is judging me and squeezing in the nursery pick-up. This time so many of those things are now just part of our daily lives so it didn’t feel so unusual going back to a 3-day week, leaving just before 4pm and heading home via the nursery. I also have returned to the same area of the company I was when I left so there was far less of a learning curve. The knowledge that I successfully got back into the swing of things last time also keeps me strong through the inevitable dips I experience at the moment. The only thing that has not been easy is learning to leave Little Z. But as already mentioned, she’s adjusted incredibly well!
One exciting event that happened is that Little Z turned one! Exactly like her sister’s first birthday, I was in disbelief that the first year of her life had already gone by. It genuinely felt like only a few months ago that she arrived and we were bringing her home from the hospital. But the reality is she’s rapidly moving towards being a cheeky toddler as she now scampers around the house trying to get hold of anything and everything she shouldn’t be playing with. It is both a joyous and concerning reminder of what is to come over the next 12 months as her personality and independence continues to grow!
The (marginally) warmer weather has meant time to get back out in the garden. After trying to work with some of the long-established shrubs in the garden since we moved in, I decided it was time to take them out. So after a lot of hacking and sawing, they were gone. The most challenging was the vicious pyracanthas and I hadn’t realised how it dominated the corner of the garden. It feels so much more spacious now. I have planted out a number a of new shrubs and plants but, whilst it will take some time for them to grow and establish, should make the garden a lot more vibrant and how I want it to be. I have also spent some time plating out the vegetables – the onion sets and potatoes are out. The leeks are growing well enough from seed but I’m finding them trickier to deal with; only time will tell if I have success with those!
As it was the end of the holiday year for Sam, he had a couple of days of holiday to take so he enjoyed a day at home alone and then I took a day off with him. Originally we had planned to go for a nice lunch but then we decided instead to go on a trip to Ikea and look for some new bedside lamps. We had a nice lunch there instead and enjoyed a mooch about looking at the various mini homes but whilst also feeling chuffed that we didn’t buy anything on a whim. Well, apart from a lovely aloe vera plant. It was the first day that we had together without at least one of the smalls since Little Z came along!
One additional purchase we made at Ikea was a mini kitchen for the girls. We bought it for Little Z as a birthday present even though it’s likely Little H will use it mostly for the time being. We put it in the conservatory and Little H has enjoyed playing with it on most of her at-home days, making drinks and food for Nana, Grandad, Daddy and her toys! Little Z does get involved too as she cruises round it, trying to grab everything she shouldn’t and pushing the buttons to turn on the battery powered hob rings!
Then at the end of March we had an enjoyable outing to London Zoo where we met my Dad and her sister. We also got to meet my sister’s boyfriend for the first time which was really nice. Little H quickly accepted him into the gang and was dragging him around to see animals and making he and my sister swing her around! Unfortunately the weather was chillier than we’d have liked, especially after a week of warmer temperatures. But it was lovely to spend the time out in the fresh air and Little Z had a good nap in the buggy which meant we avoided tired-related grumbles and strops!
So a hectic but great month. It’s definitely still quite tiring and requires a lot of effort and coordination to keep on top of everything. But despite the ups and downs, I feel like the routine is slowly bedding in and that with a bit more time it will become more second nature!