Thursday, 6 August 2015

Me, Being Mummy : Week 12

TO SUM UP: MY FIRST BIRTHDAY AS 'MUMMY'.

Hi Guys!

This is a post of firsts. My first post as a 29 year old, written about my first birthday as a Mummy. So many awesome changes since the last birthday and my 28th year will always be fondly remembered as both the year we got engaged and began our family. But my 29th year began brilliantly too.... with balloons!

Paulibear woke me up at 6am, excited to show me something he had been working on since 3am. As I opened my eyes, I was greeted with the sight of multi coloured balloons dotted all around the bedroom ceiling and Paulibear's face, hovering over me with a massive grin spread across it. To smile just milliseconds after waking is a lovely way to start any day, not just a birthday!

I was led into the living room to be greeted with Baby Bear fast asleep in his bouncer, with a massive bunch of balloons attached in manner of house in the Disney film 'Up'. It looked so sweet and funny, making me giggle my head off and reach for my camera. I didn't want to miss keeping record of such a priceless memory, and here I'm sharing it for you all to see:

My own little 'Up' scene

I had a pile of presents to open up from my Bears, consisting of my favourite perfume and some makeup goodies to help me resemble a human. But the real highlights for me were my two cards... One from each of them. Paulibear's was a cute one saying 'I love you to the moon and back' and then came the one I had never received before.... A card saying 'Happy birthday Mummy'! It felt so surreal!! It had a Mummy and Baby Owl on the front hugging and the caption inside read 'Owl always love you!'... not sure why but it still makes me giggle in my head every time I think of it! Am I the only person who loves a card on their birthday?? Some people say they're a load of fluff but I think they're awesome. Such cute keepsakes that are a written record of someone's love and appreciation for you, not to mention a giggle.

Paulibear told me to get ready for a surprise outing he had planned for us in the afternoon so I got showered and dressed up in a dress and heels (a very odd feeling after spending the majority of my time in leggings and flip flops) and we set out to see my sister, niece and nephew for a brief visit before handing over my balloons to them - that's how nice I am, I forfeit my balloons for the sake of happy little faces!! - before piling into the car and starting the drive towards Paulibear's surprise location.

Said location turned out to be Ashdown Park Hotel, set near a little place called Ashdown Forest (well known for inspiring a story about another little bear called Winnie the Pooh... d'you know him at all?) and as we drove through the gated entrance and were greeted with this HUUUUUGGGGEE country house hotel... I think my weakened pelvic floor gave way a little. Partly out of excitement and partly out of awe. It was a place that I like to call 'Swanky Danky'. Staff in uniforms, lawns more manicured than my nails and people walking about in tea dresses and tuxedos (I kid you not, TUXEDOS!). 

Paulibear and I were greeted by our smiling hostess, who showed us to a beautiful, grand sitting room  for our 'high tea' which housed plush sofas that were like sitting on a hug and antique coffee tables that were so polished they shone like mirrors. The curtains were so huge and heavy that I spent half an hour trying to figure out how they were kept from falling on people and then exactly how long and arduous a task it would be to try and clean them. There was a grandfather clock staring me out from across the room and the other two couples dining with us were of the old and stuffy variety, lost in their own deep thoughts and only conversing with one another when a remark about the weather and the size of the room was required. One pair sat directly behind us, most likely husband and wife, were both deep in thought when suddenly the man said to the lady 'Well... Happy Birthday then'. I think all I heard her reply was '...hmmmm'. Needless to say, it was a very sedate atmosphere with a sleepy sense of relaxation.

The sofa that hugs you!


Which is why, upon sitting down and trying to quietly park the pram with a snoozing Baby Bear inside, I began to wonder exactly how long the tranquility would last before we inevitably destroyed it. The answer? Exactly 14 minutes, by which time the staff were just setting our cream tea onto the table and Teddy took it upon himself to wake up from his slumber and loudly protest the fact that he needed feeding too! Cue us parents springing into action, Paulibear reaching for the baby bag and fixing up a bottle in amongst the bone china and finger sandwiches, whilst I hoofed our crying infant from his pram, bouncing him up and down in an attempt to mute the screams which were so loud they felt like a slap to the face in such a serene environment.

Afternoon tea was yummy... and funny!


Once the bottle was ready, I passed Baby Bear to his Dad who was urging me to start enjoying my tea. There was A LOT of cutlery on the table which left me a little perplexed. Ordinarily, I work my way in from the outside.... ever since learning to do so from that scene in Titanic where Jack gets briefed on etiquette for his dinner with Rose and the upper class cronies. Well, I couldn't do that here as the cutlery was placed on all different plates, of all different sizes. All I recognised was the tea cups, spoon and tea strainer! It was like a surgeon's table, all instruments and no idea what to do with them. So I just used one knife the whole way through.... or at least until I dropped it and had to take the one from Paulibear's plate. 

I thought I had managed reasonably well to pass myself off as a 'lady', until the moment I needed to shift in my seat. The jolt from sitting further back in my cloud of an armchair sent my cream + jam + scone combo slipping off my little plate and into my long hair that was coming down past my right shoulder. I was convinced I had managed to style it out before anyone noticed, quickly picking it up off of my chest and into my mouth. But when Paulibear looked up from feeding Teddy his bottle five minutes later and whispered to my poised and happy face 'What the hell is that in your hair???!', I realised that I had actually left a massive glob of cream and jam tangled into my tresses for all to see. I must have looked bloody ridiculous!

Soon enough, it was time to leave, Paulibear went to pay the bill at reception whilst I wheeled a milk stuffed Baby Bear out into the foyer and towards the exit. It was the funniest high tea experience of my life and I love the Bear for taking me. If any of you know how to use china tea and silver plated cutlery sets properly, and don't have a 12 week old baby who cries on cue at the sight of a scone, I highly recommend you visit Ashdown Park.

Additional information and findings from this week:

- Baby Bear is still trying his utmost to hold his head up on his own. He no longer looks like a drunken meerkat.... more like a little bobble head that you might find on a trucker's dashboard. 
- Prosecco is lovely at any time of day. Especially on your birthday.
- Having a birthday as a Mummy is a totally different experience to having one as a non mummy. Just because it is your birthday, doesn't mean that 'Being Mummy' stops. Paulibear did a lot to let me take a break but mummy hood can't be switched off. A birthday is just once a year... 'Being Mummy' is forever and always. 
- Falling asleep in the car on the way home, belly full of cake and a little hand wrapped around my finger completely made my birthday. 
- As did the family picnic we held over the weekend. Think sunshine, blankets, a completely dishevelled game of Rounders and lots of laughs with my nearest and dearest. 

My best Birthday present... time together as a family

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