Petits Filous Thursdays

If you know me or my son you will know that Petits Filous is one of his favourite things to eat and a very important part of our lives.  If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably have read tweet after tweet about it – going to buy some, paying a ridiculous amount for it and, sometimes, not being able to find any!

Thursday is Petits Filous day.  The supermarket that stocks Petits Filous sells it on a Thursday.  I once went on Friday morning and the whole fridge section was completely empty!  So, buying Petits Filous is what I do first thing on a Thursday morning.

I took V with me for the first time last week.  He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw stacks and stacks of them!  I took him again yesterday.  He started bawling on the way home because he wanted to hold it *rolls eyes*

Just wanted to share a couple of pictures with you!

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Will he ever grow out of this obsession?  Or will I have to keep paying £1 per pot until he’s 18??

Our First Diwali

Yesterday was Diwali.  Diwali is the Hindu new year.  It is also known as the Festival of Lights.  I won’t go into detail about what it’s all about, etc.  But you can read here, if you’re interested.

Growing up, it was a very exciting day for us.  Various aunts and uncles would send gifts to my family – sweets, chocolates, fireworks, whiskey, champagne (for our parents, of course) and all beautifully gift-wrapped.  Of course this meant that my mum (dad had nothing to do with it) was also busy wrapping and sending gifts to their friends and family.

Then there were the fireworks, lighting of diyas and going to parties at friends’ houses.  I remember, one particular year, an aunt sent us a huge jar filled with Smarties.  My sister decided she wanted all the orange ones; and I actually spent time picking them all out for her (and eating the rest myself).  

I never appreciated how much hard work went into the whole production.  It is only after I got married and had to start wrapping (badly) and sending gifts from Hub and I, and organising my own home, that I’ve come to realise how stressful it must have been for my mum for all those years. 

Apart from the gift giving and receiving, we also had to prepare for the Poojas.  These happened at our home and at Hub’s office.  My family were always quite relaxed about it all.  Hub’s parents are a bit more religious and… Gung-ho about everything.  We needed to take an assortment of silver bowls and plates, flowers, prasad (food offered to the deities), rice (uncooked), milk, fruit, coconut, etc.  It isn’t easy to organise!  Luckily, my MIL sorts out most of these things πŸ™‚  She asked me to bring the flowers and the iPod and speakers.  I forgot both.  Oops.

This year was extra special for us.  This was our first Diwali together as a family.  Last year, V was only a few weeks old and we were still in London.  Hub wasn’t able to get away from work to spend it with us.  I was very happy to spend Diwali with both my parents (the first in six years), but we missed Hub.

Usually we do our prayers at home in the evening.  This year I decided we’d do it in the morning.  Apart from getting it out of the way, it meant that V would be fresh from his nap and bath and hopefully enjoy it.  Because it was just three of us, it didn’t take very long.  V was most interested in the uncooked grains of rice and spent most of the time playing with it (and trying to get some in his mouth).  He was also quite mesmerised by the incense sticks!

MIL told us to be at the office by 4.30pm for the Pooja over there.  But of course, as usual, things were running late and we didn’t start until nearly 6pm.  Keeping V entertained wasn’t as difficult as I envisaged.

First he just toddled around and played with the safe.

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He then entertained himself by emptying my wallet and playing with its contents.

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Once we started the Pooja, he lost interest quickly (can’t blame him, really) and desperately wanted to play with the collection of mobile phones sitting on the desk.

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It was time to eat after that – V was quite exhausted by this time but tried some new food and was quite happy πŸ™‚

My parents made sure we enjoyed every Diwali.  Although he is still too young to enjoy the fireworks and gifts (especially the cash gifts), it is my duty to make sure V enjoys all his Diwalis as he’s growing up.

Music As Therapy

The Boy and Me has tagged me in a new meme!  It’s called Music as Therapy and was created by Mammywoo.

This is a great one because I hardly ever get to listen to my own music anymore.  In the past I always had music on in the background – ALWAYS.  For the last three days we’ve been listening to The Wheels on the Bus and Yankee Doodle (over and over and over again).  Before that it was the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song and before that it was Hub’s crap music!

So, to have a go, just pick;

3 beautiful songs

3 different bands

3 sets of lyrics that touch you in anyway you want to show

I have to admit, I’m struggling.  I have many favourite songs.  I just don’t think they all fit into the same categories (as stated above).  I have specific songs I listen to when I’m furious, excited or a bit down in the dumps!  

So – three songs.  ARGH.

1. Frank Sinatra – Fly Me to the Moon

This was our wedding song πŸ™‚  I always ask Hub to dance when we hear it.  He usually says no.  HMPGH.

2. Deniece Williams – Let’s Hear it for the Boy

This is one of my all-time favourite songs.  It always makes me feel happy, plus I love the movie!  I like to sing it to Hub now and then – but he thinks it’s cheesy and hates it! πŸ™‚

3. Ne-Yo – Because of You

Love, love, LOVE this one.  It’s impossible to sit still when I hear it!  Also, when pregnant, V always kicked when I listened to it (as well as Usher’s OMG and Yolanda Be Cool – We No Speak Americano (I wish I knew why!))

So there you have it.  I’m not sure I even stuck to the rules, but oh well!

I’m going to tag…

Chatty Baby

Actually Mummy

Mammasaurus

and 

Mummy Alarm

Can’t wait to read theirs! *smiling already*

 

 

Proud Mama

As you may already know, we started going to Mum and Baby playgroup last week.  And we’ve been six times so far.

I was so nervous about it, but the first day went well and I now actually look forward to going.  And so does Vinay.  He gets so excited when we arrive and he realises where we are!

He’s still a little unsure of himself and wants to be reassured that I’m by his side, but he’s getting more confident.

On Wednesday, after looking at books – he decided he wanted to mess around with the shape puzzles.  He was happy holding the pieces and banging them on the table (as usual).  I showed him what to do with them a couple of times and told him to try.  He tried a few times and when he (eventually) got it right, I praised him and clapped my hands.  The second time he got it right, I did the same.  The third and fourth times, he clapped for himself and started looking around at the other mums to see if any of them had noticed.  Unfortunately for him, they were all too busy with their own children!

He’s never been too keen on swings before.  Apparently he is a little ‘bizarre’, because one of the mums said *all* kids like swings.  (Let’s not go there (*slap slap*) stupid b*tch)  So we tried the swing on Wednesday.  He enjoyed it.  A lot.  But had enough after two minutes.  Today, he LOVED it.  Smiling at anyone who walked past, looking at people to see if they noticed him (again, no) and showing me his muscles (don’t ask).

He loves listening to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (and is trying to learn the actions), Twinkle Twinkle and The Wheels on the Bus.  We sing them a lot at home and he does his own version of the actions, but during singing time he usually sits in my lap listening and observing the other children and adults.  Today, however, we were on the swing when singing time started and he indicated to me that he wanted to go and join.  He stood and watched for a few minutes.  Then I plonked him in a little chair.  He stayed.  He flapped his arms danced and did a couple of actions!  

I’m so proud of him.  I’m so pleased that playgroup has really helped develop his confidence – even if it just a little each session.

I was just tweeting with SAHDandProud two days ago and saying I was looking forward to V growing up a little, toddling off and being able to play independently.

But it’s happening right in front of my eyes and a little too quickly!

Making Friends

In our community, many married (and single) women don’t work.  They run their homes, go to the gym, book groups, lunches, teas and do charity work.  

Having said that, many of the ladies who *do* work manage to do all of the above as well.

I’m not judging.  I’m stating a fact.  If they’re happy, that’s great.  Each to his own.

But it’s never been for me.  Book groups, teas and lunches are just not my thing.  I’m happy to meet people – but I prefer small groups, with people I know quite well.

While I was teaching, I wasn’t able to go out to lunch with friends.  I couldn’t think of anything worse than coming home after a long day, getting ready and going out to tea.  Baby showers?  Really?  Did I really have to go?

And this is the reason why I am struggling today.

I did (and do) have friends, of course.  Some from school and some from our community.  We went out drinking and dancing every Saturday.  Our ‘group’ consisted of six of us.  Hub and me and four good friends.  They were (and still are) single.  We had some brilliant times!

But things are different now.

While I was in London awaiting the arrival of V, the other four kind of disbanded and started meeting and hanging with different people.  I don’t mind this at all. People change and sometimes you have to change your ‘group’ so that you’re comfortable with who you are.

However, Hub and I are wondering where we fit in now.

While we really enjoy and find nothing wrong with meeting our single friends, it has become more apparent that we have no married couple friends who are in the same phase in their lives as us.

What would happen if our best friend married and his wife wanted them to hang out with another ‘group’?  What would happen if one or both of the women in our group got married and moved (this happens a lot) to another country?

We *know* lots of married couples, but their groups are ‘tight’.  The wives are all fine on their own when it involves the children, etc.  We meet at the playground or birthday parties, and it’s all great.  

But with their husbands?  God forbid they should include anyone else in their weekend plans!

There are other groups and other people, of course.  But because I didn’t make too much of an effort before, it’s harder now.

So where do we go from here?  

Hub seems to think it’s my responsibility to make more of an effort, make friends and make plans.

In some ways I agree with him.  In others, I think, ‘wtf?!’

Whether I agree with him or not, is hardly the point though.  The point is that we *do* need to meet more people.  And we *do* need to make more and/or new friends.

The question is, how?

Listography: Top 5 Keyword Searches

This week’s Listography looks like a fun one.  Plus I don’t have to think too hard!  I do look at my keyword searches from time to time – but I’ve never looked at them all in one long list!  

So here goes… (excluding blog name)

1. Matt Bomer

Ohhhh, I so would!  There are just no words to describe how gorgeous he is.

2. Is baby food fattening?

Errr…  Yes.  I have proof that it is!

3. Lagos Mum

Fair enough πŸ™‚

4. Thinking Slimmer

Yes, I wrote about my Thinking Slimmer journey.  Twice.  I keep meaning to restart that, actually.

5. Zaggora HotPants

I was trying really hard to lose weight for the summer!

And there you have it.

Go on over to Kate Takes 5 and check out the other Top 5 Keyword Searches!

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Staying At Home

I am a stay-at-home-mum.

While I was pregnant, Hub and I decided that I would stay home for awhile and see how I felt about going back to work.  Right now, I don’t want to.  I don’t miss school.  I don’t miss the paperwork, the politics or (some of) the people.  And I certainly do not miss the very early (5.30am) mornings.  I am happy staying at home and being with my son.

I’m not saying I’ll never work again.  I’m just saying that for the moment, I don’t want to.

Believe me, I know how lucky I am.  I know how fortunate we are to have a choice in the matter.  There are so many mums that would leap at the chance to be a SAHM.  I thank my lucky stars every day.

But should I be made feel guilty about this?

Example

I was with a friend a few months ago.  V had just learnt how to roll over onto his front.  My friend’s child is a similar age to V.  She seemed quite impressed and said her baby wasn’t rolling over yet.  I asked her if she’d noticed the baby doing half a roll (does that make sense?), because that was how V started.  She replied with, ‘I haven’t noticed because I work.’

This same friend came to V’s party last month.  As she was leaving, we were trying to sort out a play-date.  She said she was a little busy for the next couple of weeks (as was I because my sister was in town).  I told her that wasn’t a problem at all, and that she should contact me when things were less busy.  She replied, ‘I’ll do that, but I’m not sure when it will be because, you know, I work.’

She was quite condescending both times.

I *know* she doesn’t want to work.  I *know* she would rather stay at home and be with her child.  And I know that she is not (yet) in a position to do so, which is why I have kept quiet and not said anything.

I’m not sure if she’s trying to make me feel guilty, or if it’s my over-active imagination at work.

Either way, I don’t like feeling like this! 

Similarities

On Sunday we went to a birthday party.  This was the first time everyone saw Vinay with his new ‘hairstyle’, and most of them said he looks just like my brother.  I understood what they meant, but still wasn’t too sure. 

Then I remembered ‘the chipmunk picture’.  It’s a picture of my brother when he was a year old where his head had been recently shaved.  

Here it is:

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And here’s Vinay:

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(I showed V the picture of his uncle and he just stared at it.  Then he touched his head for a few seconds before turning back to the picture.  He then looked at me and stroked my hair.  Maybe he’s missing it more than I thought?)

My mum says they look nothing alike – but I’m not so sure.

What do you think?

Playgroup: The Ins and Outs

Well…  We did it!  We went to playgroup and survived.  Yaye!

The playgroup is run by a group of volunteer mums and is at the British Deputy High Commission Club.  Three days a week they take children from 0 – 2 years and on two days a week, they take 3 – 5 year olds.  It runs from 9.30 am to 11.30 am.  But you don’t have to be there at 9.30 am on the dot.  Thank goodness – because we didn’t get there until 10.15 am!

Someone arrived just before me, so I was able to follow her to the correct part of the compound (phew – I didn’t get lost!)

I was pleasantly surprised as I turned the corner and saw the scene before me.  There was quite a large playground with swings, slides and various climbing frames – and it was all in pretty good condition.  The area in front of the playground was full of Little Tikes ride-ons.  There was a large covered area where all the changing bags were left – with tables and chairs for the little ones as well as the adults.

As I walked through the gate, I noticed a couple of mums give me the ‘top to toe’ look and then carry on with their conversation.  I wanted to turn and run, but somehow managed to keep walking!

I spotted the registration desk (I had to walk through the Little Tikes ride-on area, past the covered eating area with the tables *and* the playground to get there!).  I handed over all the paperwork and paid my temporary membership fees (you can be only a temporary member for the first three months – until they’re sure you can meet all their attendance requirements, etc).  The fees for the year was £24.  Plus another £2 for each time we go (minimum of 6 times a month). 

Right by the registration desk, there were two rooms – one was full of playmats, bouncers, ball pit, books, blocks, and other activity centre toys.  The other had a couple of playhouses, a colouring table and other toys and activities for slightly older children.  

All this time – Vinay was just looking around at everything with wide eyes.  There were children running, crawling, screaming, crying and squealing in delight all around him – he didn’t know what to look at first!

We went into the first room – with the playmats and books, etc.  We looked at a book and played with blocks.  There were two other mums in there at the time – they didn’t stop their conversation to look at me or Vinay.  

Then we went outside.  And I saw someone I knew!  And then I saw someone else I knew!  Then I recognised two other people from my pilates class.  And another lady whose son was in the other Year 2 class while I was teaching.  

We had a snack, we played some more, we chatted.  And at 11 am it was time for songs.  Vinay was exhausted by this time since he’d missed his morning nap.  We sang a few songs, including his new favourite – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – and then we came home.

It was actually not that bad at all.  And Vinay was very happy to be there (sigh of relief).

But now I know…  

Don’t wear any make-up (I only put on eyeliner today) – it’s too hot and sweaty.  

Wear comfy clothes – there was a lot of bending and squatting.  

Don’t wear low-rise pants (itchy c-section scar which couldn’t be scratched in front of other people!).

I’m quite looking forward to going back on Wednesday πŸ™‚

We’re Starting Playgroup!

I knew a playgroup existed – I just didn’t really know anything about it.    That is, until I came back to Lagos when V was 12 weeks old (Come to think of it, I still don’t know much about it).  I was advised to put us down on the waiting list ASAP as it was quite long.

So, when Vinay was about 16 weeks, I made contact and we were officially on the waiting list.  He was six months old when we got to the top of that list.  Unfortunately, we were travelling that week for a couple of months and wouldn’t be able to attend.  They did say we could keep our place if Hub filled out all the paperwork and registered for us.  It never happened.  And we went to the bottom of the list.

This week, I got an email from them – and we got a place!  Hooray!

Having said that, I don’t really know what happens at these playgroups.  Are there organised activities?  Will I keep him entertained?  Will there be music and singing?  Am I going to be very disappointed?

I’m nervous (for me) and excited (for Vinay).  He’ll get to play with other children, discover a new environment and, maybe, become a little less shy.

I’m also terrified.  For both of us.

Is he going to catch something and get sick (and we all know how well I don’t cope when he’s ill)? 

Will the toys be clean?

Will he be very clingy and not want to do anything?

Will his routine be all messed up since he’ll probably miss his morning nap?

What if no one talks to me?

If someone does talk to me, are they going to ask me if he’s sleeping through the night (No, he’s not.  He still wakes for TWO feeds!)? 

Will I find my way to the correct part of the building (I have no sense of direction)?

What should I wear?

What should I take? 

What if he doesn’t do his morning poo before we leave, does it there and then stinks out the place?

What if he does his poo over there and then refuses to lie still on the changing table for me to clean him up?

IS there a changing table?

Oh dear God, I’m going to drive myself crazy over the weekend, aren’t I?