Tag Archives: Humour

Mummy the Surgeon

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We had a horrible time last night. Dexter’s best friend had a nasty accident and sustained a deep and potentially life threatening gash to his leg. It was absolutely heartbreaking and I’m still feeling shaken by the incident.

There wasn’t anyone else to blame for the incident other than ourselves. Charlie lives with us and is our responsibility. He and Dex are truly inseparable and Charlie comes everywhere with us. Both boys came around Nanny’s house with us yesterday and unfortunately we forgot to strap Charlie in his car seat when we drove the short journey home. When we got home we found Charlie on the floor by the back seat in a mangled heap. Craig quickly carried him the house and we noticed he’d cut himself really badly.

Charlie wasn’t breathing and we knew we didn’t have time to get him the hospital. His eyes were vacant and it was clear he had slipped into a coma. Dexter was very upset and kept trying to kiss and cuddle his little buddy better. It was obvious I’d have to save Charlie myself as there was no way we give up on him.

Through tear-soaked eyes I set to work on Charlie on our kitchen floor. Craig took Dexter aside and explained that Mummy was doing her best and he had to be a brave boy. We popped Dexter in his cot and told him that Charlie would join him later and be with him when he woke up in the morning. The pressure was certainly on to save Charlie and reunite the boys as soon as possible.

Two hours later, I emerged from the kitchen to find Craig sitting stone-faced on the sofa. He looked into my eyes to search for a sign of how things had went. I gave him a little relieved smile and he leapt to his feet and sprinted to the kitchen to see Charlie. Just a few minutes later we tucked Charlie in bed with Dexter so they could both sleep off the ordeal.

Charlie will never be the same. He now has a twisted black scar on his leg and is sporting a bandage whilst he recuperates. He’s being very brave but has had a few diva moments. This morning he insisted on trying some of Dexter’s breakfast and made a right mess of himself. All in all though – we’re so glad he’s okay and both boys are (mostly) all smiles this morning.

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Worst Customer Service Ever?

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Whilst ringing around to gather some quotes for getting our chimney swept:

(Phone rings)

Anon: Yep

Craig: Um… This is XXXX? You sweep chimneys?

Anon: Yeah

Craig: Excellent. I’m calling to get a quote for having our chimney swept…

Anon: (laughter) … You must be hard up then mate

Craig: Excuse me?

Anon: Money must be tight!

Craig: No. We’ve never had a chimney swept before so I’m just calling around to find out how much it will be. It’s an open fire…

Anon: Best keep calling around then mate (hangs up)

I’m absolutely shocked! I figure he must have had a shocking day. Perhaps his pet died, he walked in on his wife in bed with the Gas Man, or maybe his numbers came up in the lottery and he forgot to buy the ticket… must have been pretty awful to think that this conversation was acceptable.

Craig actually made this call at work and was laughing about it by the time he returned home. I guess my other half knows me pretty well as he refused to tell me the company name. I’d definitely be on that phone now giving this idiot a piece of advice or two.

I appreciate we’re in a recession and local businesses are feeling the strain. It must be a competitive industry and frustrating to be constantly priced out of the market by bigger competitors – but this is essentially a service industry. This guy probably relies on repeat business from homeowners – and this is probably his busiest time! He needs new clients right now to keep the money coming in to keep him afloat during the slow summer months. What a ridiculous way to speak to people!

Turns out we were pretty naive as it’s only costing us £50; so a pretty minor sum. But we weren’t to know how inexpensive it was when we made that enquiry. He could have quoted us £70 and we’d have gone ahead and booked. A prize idiot it would seem.

Have you had got any incredulous customer service stories? Would you ever name and shame?

A fairytale wedding and excellent first holiday for Dexter (… & some serious eye candy for the ladies)

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So here it is – the post I’ve been putting off. There’s just so much to say about our recent holiday that I’ve been finding housework to do rather than contemplate it. But its such a major event in Dexter’s life, it deserves a good write-up – so here we go.

Our holiday began at 2am on Friday 14th October – we drove to Gatwick in Grandad’s car with Dexie fast asleep beside us in his car seat. We thought we’d left plenty of time to clear all the airport formalities but we ended up having to run for the departure lounge! Our meet-and-great service was terrible and the TravelEx girl was desperately flirting with Craig so we were held up before clearing security. Luckily having Dexter with us meant we had speedy-boarding with Easyjet – so we had a few minutes to recover from the airport dash before the plane took off. The flight was largely empty which was excellent news as Dexie got his own seat in-between mummy and daddy – he was amazing and slept virtually the whole flight.

We arrived at the apartment tired, excited, and desperate for a swim. Unfortunately my suitcase broke on the flight so I held everyone up at Faro airport reporting missing items with Lost & Found. The apartment was listed on both Owner’s Direct and HomeAway.co.uk and seemed to show stock photos of other apartments for sale in the complex. Because of this we weren’t 100% sure how they would look in the cold light of day. We weren’t disappointed as they were stunning. The decor was lovely, and the rooms were huge. All of us remarked throughout the holiday that you could quite happily live there. There were also some extra features like a touch screen stove, state-of-the-art air con and all the mod cons you could think of.

Dexter explores the beach – he liked the feel of the sand on his toes

My only criticism of the apartments would be the pool. There was some light maintenance needed and it was much too cold for Dexter. As I’m not a strong swimmer, I thought this wouldn’t bother me but it was so hot out there that the pool was essential for cooling off.

We were based in Quarteira – a small beach town that was largely closed for the summer. It was perfect as I didn’t want a busy resort given I’m still carrying my baby-weight. We spent a large chunk of our time relaxing on the beach or having a few beers at the beach-side bar. Dexter coped fantastically with the heat and was perfectly happy in his Koo-di travel cot laying on the beach. This was undoubtably the best thing we packed as it kept him in the shade and allowed him to nap wherever we went.

The worst buy has to be his pushchair. Although the Quinny Buzz 3 is brilliant and everything we want from a pushchair, we bought ours secondhand the wheels were very worn. They only lasted 6 hours in the heat before one burst unexpectedly whilst we were out. Unfortunately the apartments had already let out their only on-site pushchair to another couple so we were screwed. We tried his Mamas and Papas baby carrier but Dexter is really heavy and it was too hot to use this all the time. We ended up popping in a new inner tube (we brought one with us) and tying some rubber gauze around the hole in the tyre – this seemed to do the trick.

Somehow Dexter settled into a routine perfectly. We still gave him a bath every night using his Summer Infant bath seat and this worked perfectly. He was asleep every night by 8pm with no fuss, and woke up at 6am ready for play-time and a bottle. This was brilliant as nanny and grandad could babysit for us and we could grab a taxi into Vilamoura for drinks and food. We hadn’t expected Lynne and Terry to be so generous with their baby-sitting but it was much appreciated as Craig and I really enjoyed having time alone. We ate in some gorgeous restaurants (our favourite was the Mayflower) and talked loads about Dexter and the sort of parents we want to be. It was actually really romantic staring across the marina with a few drinks, and reminded me why I’m so in love with Craig and my little family.

Dexter really enjoyed having a whole uninterrupted week with daddy

Of course, the whole reason we were in Portugal was to attend the wedding of Alison and Kenny. Kenny is one of daddy’s closest friends and they used to live together back in daddy’s care-free days. Alison’s dad used to own a villa in the Algarve so it’s close to her heart. About 50 of us flew out to be part of their special day which is testament to them being so lovely. When Dexter was born, Alison and Kenny were the first to invite us round for a BBQ. I’ll never forget crying in their garden because Dexie wanted a feed and I was too tired to breastfeed. This BBQ was where Craig and I decided on the name Dexter after quizzing Kenny and Alison’s children Reece, Jay, Jess and Becca. They managed to convince Craig that the name isn’t synonymous with big glasses stuck together with sellotape and being dunked into toilets at school.

The wedding was beautiful. The entire day was spent at an exclusive hotel and we had the run of the entire grounds. The ceremony was held in the shaded garden and was pretty much perfect. The music was provided by an acoustic guitarist that looked like he’d starred in a Whitesnake video but he was excellent. The vicar was really funny and threw in a few jokes throughout the service too. Jess (Alison’s daughter) gave a brilliant reading too which brought a little tear to my eye. If I have a daughter and she grows up to be anywhere near as bubbly, friendly and confident as either Becca or Jess I’d be the proudest mum on the planet. To top it all off, Alison and the girls looked really stunning – it really was an idyllic wedding.

Dexter was supposed to make an appearance at the reception with nanny and grandad but the taxi drivers out there were shocking and failed to turn up. Lynne had already woken Dexter to dress him and felt it would be cruel to take him when he was so sleepy. I was a bit gutted as I’d been raving about him all day and wanted to show him off (but to be honest we were both a little drunk!). Lynne was also going to bring a much-needed pair of flip-flops with her as my feet were ruined in the heels I was wearing. To be honest I picked the worst outfit ever. Everyone else was in maxi dresses and managed to keep cool. I, on the other hand, wore a silk shift dress that showed every lump and bump. It also marked easilyand I was stuck with a water mark from a champagne glass before the ceremony even began. I’ve had to untag myself from a few pictures of me that were posted innocently on Facebook as I can’t bear looking at myself – time to hit that diet and get back into a size 12 I reckon.

Craig was on form as always. He looked really lovely and was really funny after a few drinks. There was some ‘dad dancing’ on the dancefloor and lots of bad jokes. The after-dinner speeches were great with Py (the best man) and Kenny trying to outdo each other with the comedy. It’s really lovely that all Craig’s friends are so close after all these years. Many of them have known each other since secondary school (that’s a good 30 years). They’re a really great bunch of guys and I guess our own wedding will be just as fun if we get everyone drunk enough.

The resort in the early morning – everything was perfectly manicured

Our apartment from the beach – we were seconds away from this everyday – bliss!

We were so close to the beach!

On the last night we took out nanny and grandad for a posh meal to say thanks for coming on holiday with us. It was a really relaxed week with them, and their support was invaluable. They were really lovely company too and we had a few giggles along the way. Dexter is lucky to have such awesome grandparents. As we were waiting for the meet-and-greet service at the airport on the way out to Portugal – mummy overheard nanny Lynne chatting to a lady and heard her say “We don’t see enough of him” (about Dexter). It broke my heart a little bit. We should all see each other much more than we do – hopefully Craig can take Dexter to see his mum and dad more often now he’s in charge of day-time childcare.

Terry and Lynne at the Mayflower Restaurant in Vilamoura Harbour

So what did we learn about Dexter on holiday? We learnt that he’s an amazingly well-behaved and happy child. He handles change brilliantly and always has a smile for us. His sleeping is much improved and he’s regularly managing 12 hour night-sleeps, with a few naps throughout the day. We can now leave him with babysitters with confidence knowing he won’t fuss throughout the night. This is excellent as it means we can go out for dates more regularly. We’ve also learnt that Dex hates cold water and it’ll take a while for him to enjoy swimming. We’re going to try taking him to the local pool here in Reading as its heated – if that doesn’t work we might have to leave it awhile before trying again. Finally, our little lad will sleep anywhere. The one night he came out with us in the evening he sat in a bar with us whilst Craig watched a Champions League match – the noise was deafening. After this there was a live band and karaoke… Dexter slept through the whole lot!

Craig and I have now promised each other that we’ll go away a least once every year. It’s important for us that Dexter grows up having seen and experienced different places. He needs to realise there’s more to life than ‘home’ so he grows up worldly and responsible. This was a relaxing beach holiday and one spent with family and friends. In the future, when he’s old enough, we’ll take Dexter to places where we can explore the local culture and we can entertain him easily. We’ve spoke about Disney World (my idea of hell but a rite of passage for any child), Safari’s and other clichéd holiday destinations. They’ll need to be lots for him to do so we can fill his days with new experiences. Until he’s old enough to appreciate it, we’ll pick parent-friendly destinations where we can enjoy the peace and quiet. I know Mauritius and the Maldives are high on our list.

As there is so much we want to see and do as a family, it’s unlikely we’ll go back to Portugal. It would have to be somewhere really special for us to visit somewhere twice. As a relaxing beach holiday however, we’d definitely recommend Portugal. It was so family-friendly and the climate was perfect in late September. I really liked the way that the Portuguese seem to really love spending time with their children. They eat late into the night and there were countless buggies past 10pm down on the Marina. The prices are excellent and there are lots of water parks and boat excursions in the peak season. We didn’t do any of these as it wasn’t what we wanted from this holiday but I’ve heard that they’re well worth the money. We stayed at the Cavalo Preto apartments in Quarteira (right next to the beach). These apartments were truly stunning and great value for money given they are a short taxi ride away from the action-packed Marina.

Finally, I know I promised some eye candy for the ladies. So here’s my Craigy! He was separated-at-birth from David Beckham don’t you know!

Who are you at 10 weeks?

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Yes. You are now a whole 10 weeks old! You are growing by the day and turning into a lovely little boy before my eyes. Mummy and daddy are now well versed in your ‘little ways’ and you are getting much better at chatting to us and signing what you want. It’s certainly exhausting (and expensive) work keeping you occupied, but every little smile you give makes us all the more determined to fill up your life with wonderful experiences.

So what have you been up to so far, and who is Dexter Thomas Mills? Well…

You are prone to the odd diva fit

I’m sure every mummy in the world has dealt with mild hysteria from their babies. You however, take this to a whole new level. When you’re hungry, the whole world knows about it. I’m seriously surprised the neighbours haven’t called social services about the blood curdling screams emanating from our flat when we’re preparing your milk in the bottle-warmer. Nothing will distract you; no amount of cuddles and singing will calm you, and you’ve cottoned on to the fact that no amount of sucking on a dummy will ever produce the magical elixir that is your milk.

“Umm… Bottle please mummy… Mummy, bottle?… Bottle NOW please mummy… Maybe you didn’t hear me – Bottle NOW.”

Similarly, you’ll whinge at the slightest indication that you need a change of clothes. You’ll happily coo whilst mummy or daddy perform Operation Nappy Change, but lift a t-shirt over your head and your bottom lip wobbles. If there is even a fraction of a second where the fabric obstructs your view then we’re in for at least one full minute of unadulterated strop.

Surprisingly, nothing else will give you the hump in the same way. You can fall asleep anywhere, in any position, regardless of the noise around you. If you are bored, the simplest of things will nip a tantrum in the bud. You are in fact, so chilled that even your first set of immunisations only produced a 2 second whinge.

I’m convinced that your behaviour now is likely to be representative of your behaviour when you’re older. This means you are most definitely your daddy’s son. Daddy is the most patient, loving and funny man that mummy has ever known. Daddy, however goes into a Dexter-like meltdown if he’s tired, can’t find his mobile phone, is forced to watch Jeremy Kyle, or gets stuck in traffic. Any one of these world-ending events will result in daddy throwing his toys out of the pram in a momentous fashion.

You love water

Yep. You’re a water baby! It didn’t take you long to work out that washing is a daily necessity you can most definitely live with. Strip you naked and dunk you in the bath and you transform into a right old exhibitionist. You love showing off your newly acquired skills in your plastic tub in the hallway (we have to wash your here as mummy doesn’t like sitting on the tiles in your bathroom). Next to singing-with-daddy, bath time is the only time we’re guaranteed a smile.

Bath time with daddy!!!!

We are most definitely on Dexter-time

Many babies at 10 weeks will have settled into the semblance of a  routine. It’s pretty rare they will get a full 12 hours sleep at night, but many will reach a certain point in the evening and know that it’s bedtime. Most babies at this stage will also be feeding at regular intervals throughout the day (usually every 3-4 hours) and be steadily increasing the amount of milk they’re taking onboard. Unfortunately your obstinacy has led mummy and daddy to believe that you, Dexter Thomas Mills, are clearly either a trend-setter or set to be a very unpredictable teen.

We’ve tried everything, read every book, scoured every website and parenting forum… looking for answers as to why your sleeping pattern is so inconsistent. Although you are pretty consistent with the whole feeding thing, there is simply no dictating to you when you’ll sleep. You wake between 2 and 3 times a night for a feed and like to surprise mummy and daddy by changing the times of said feed every night.  You also enjoy the odd nap in the day and like to take said nap at different times everyday. There is simply no telling you otherwise. If I try and rouse you throughout the day when a nap is in progress, you play dead and refuse to open your eyes. If I try to set you down when you aren’t ready, you cry uncontrollably and thrash until I pick you up.

However unpredictable you are, there are some times we can guarantee, without fail, you will be awake; when mummy and daddy are watching a programme that requires concentration, eating their dinner, or bidding on eBay. But these few occasions of irritating regularity don’t end there! There are also guaranteed sleep times! Every time we step a foot outside the front door your eyelids come down and you enter a sleep coma. Many mothers might be jealous of mummy about this, and it does have its benefits, but it would be nice to show you a little more of the world than our two bedroom flat.

I’ll decide when I sleep

Butter wouldn’t melt hey Dex?

So there you are youngest Mills! Lots coming up for you over the next few months with a weekend away in Leicestershire (going to a theme park / zoo), a holiday in Portugal, a house move, and mummy going back to work! More on these as and when you allow mummy an hour on the laptop…

 

Love you baby!