Here endeth Monkey Music 

Today was our last Monkey Music class and it broke my heart. We’ve only managed to attend 3 this term since I loathe waking Sam mid-nap, so I made the decision not to enrol for next term. 

Looking forward to his last class

 

Today, to demonstrate how much he loves the class, Sam was the model student. He rushed up to find monkey (for the first time), he willingly and happily returned instruments (usually he has a good cry when I request he hands the maracas back), he gave toys to other children rather than hoarding as many as possible, he clapped, joined in and had a great time. All the while, I felt awful. He loves his music class, but it’s not worth the hell we pay for the rest of the day. I hope we will return in the Autumn or Spring term, whenever his nap moves a bit.  

Fascinated by the geese

 

The journey home seemed to take hours. Windows open, loud talking, desperately trying to keep an exhausted Sam awake. A mile from home he almost went. Bless him, I probably scared the living daylights out of him as I ‘encouraged’ him to stay awake a little longer. Just about managed to get lunch into him before he passed out on my shoulder and I popped him in his cot. 

The unsettled nap reminded me why we are stopping Monkey Music. He woke crying after 40 minutes and it took another 15 to resettle him. Being so out of his natural routine is hard work for him, and for me. Although it can be hard that he sleeps in the morning – while others sleep in the afternoon – it’s much harder when I try and change our day around!  

Enjoying the sun…yes, I know his reins are on back to front…

 

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Life of a work at home mum

Today is my company leaving meal and Friday is my last official day of employment. 

I haven’t worked in an office since the 23rd December 2014, but this week still feels very final. This week truly feels like the start of my new life as a “work at home mum”. My office-based employment may be over, but I have started doing some work from home. I love being home with Sam, but I am so grateful that I am also able to do things I love at the same time. 

Choir and singing are so important to me and I have started working for inChoir recently. I love helping with the Dorking choir sessions and doing PR work for them. I’ve been a member of inChoir for 5 years and it is so wonderful being able to combine my love with work. 

Over the May Bank Holiday I will even be heading to France with them to sing at Disneyland Paris and in Epernay (within the Champagne region). Anyone who knows me will understand that these are 2 of my favourite things; combined with singing it’s going to be an amazing weekend! inChoir

I also set up a Facebook page with products aimed for or from our tiny humans. Feedback has been so good that I’m feeling really positive about the future. Bunting, cushion covers, scrabble frames, baby name frames, keepsake scrapbooks…and I plan to keep expanding the range this year! I currently have a Mother’s Day offer running with frames for £15 plus postage…feel free to take a little look! Tiny Human 

Frame examples

  All in all, I am feeling very excited about the next chapter. 

Bring it on!

Mums, do something for you

Each week, we have Monkey Music and swimming classes for Sam. We both enjoy these sessions, but I also need something for me. On Thursday mornings, we attend the new Dorking branch of inChoir

I’ve been a member of inChoir since January 2011, when the Crawley branch first opened. I was a regular attendee and performer right up until pregnancy got the better of me and I stepped right back. Since Sam’s birth, evenings have been tricky and I hadn’t been able to start up again. Imagine my happiness to hear that a Dorking choir was being opened! From 10.30-12 on a Thursday, you can now find me singing away in the Baptist Church on Junction Road. 

Sam seems to accept that this is my thing and is always brilliant. He might have a small grizzle, but he sits on my knee or the floor and either plays with toys or – more commonly – can be found grabbing my music to read it himself. He’ll be reading sheet music before words at this rate! I’m not sure if it’s because I always sing to him or because I had music playing constantly when I went on maternity leave, but whatever the reason, he loves it. 

During the last 2 sessions, he’s had a feed half way through and then gone to sleep for half an hour. Given the volume of singing, I’m impressed he manages to get any shut eye! 

There are always times when I need to stand at the back and rock or bounce him, but we haven’t yet had to walk out due to any tears. Given the high energy and non stop movement of my son, I’m so impressed that he’s happy to attend choir with me for an hour and a half. 

It’s important that mums make some time to do something for them. Sam may be with me, but it’s very much my time. It won’t be long before I’ll be able to pop him on a mat with a few toys and let him play throughout the session – then I’ll look round and he’ll have rolled or crawled off somewhere I’m sure!! 

If you’re local to Dorking or live anywhere in West Sussex and love to sing, then why not come along? The first session is free and there is no audition to join, so you have nothing to lose! Visit www.inchoir.co.uk to find out where your nearest choir is; with 12 adult choirs in 10 locations, you’re sure to find one near to you. 

 

The power of music

Being at home with a baby can be – dare I say it – incredibly dull. You’ve changed multiple nappies and are probably on your second outfit of the day. Baby has played on (and got bored of) the playmat. You already have some sick on you. Your cup of tea hasn’t yet been made, let alone drunk. You’ve run out of games you can play with a toy the baby isn’t interested in anyway.

You glance at the clock (surreptitiously so your baby doesn’t sense your boredom). 

It’s midday…if you’re lucky. 

At this moment, you see your beloved mini me’s face scrunch up…you know what’s coming…and lets out a cry that speedily increases in volume and ferocity. There are still hours until your other half arrives home, what on earth to do? 

It’s at this point that I turn to my favourite time killer – music. I sing to Sam all the time anyway, but YouTube is my saviour. Type in ‘Disney Songs’ and it now brings up playlists that you can let play through rather than hunting for a new song every 3 minutes. 

Sing and dance with your baby! 

I whirl, rock and gently bounce Sam around the house, singing to him all the time. I love Disney and singing so I really enjoy this time. When I tire of this, I’ve started popping him on my lap and playing/singing a bit of Disney on the piano. He’s happy to put up with this for a little while, until he wants to move again.   

I don’t know whether it’s because I had music on constantly while I was pregnant or because he hears so much now…but Sam has strong opinions on what he does/doesn’t like! If you play or sing a song he doesn’t like, he will immediately start crying. He also does this if you stop/cut short a song he does! Return to the likes song or move on from the one he hates and the crying will stop… 

One of the very first songs he heard after being born was Metallica’s amazing ‘Nothing else matters’ and he cried when Carl stepped away from the iPod, stopping when he went back to it! Obviously has good taste, despite my best efforts! 

Maybe this is what happens when you have music playing during labour…

Thank you for the music

We all get told that the first sense an unborn baby develops is hearing. As someone who listens to music pretty much non-stop, this has shaped my music choices somewhat over the last few months. I realise that while it’s perfectly acceptable for me to love the 90s music I grew up with, I’m sure Carl would have something to say if he came home to find us both dancing away to Backstreet Boys (FYI, this will happen anyway).

Out of respect for Bud’s future music taste and Carl’s sanity, each day I put on a different playlist or genre while I get up and ready for the day. When downstairs, I put my whole iPod on shuffle and rediscover a lot of music that way. A well-rounded love of music will hopefully develop, especially since I will always be singing or listening to music after Bud is born (and during birth!). Classical, pop, rock, country, jazz, music by decade…I’ve been listening to it all.

Last night though, I realised this may all have be in vain. Carl’s party trick is taking to the dance-floor whenever LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” comes on. As we sat waiting for the TV ads to finish, this song came on in the new M&M advert. Bud went mad. I’m pretty sure I could feel him/her wiggling in time to the music, just as Carl does. Ad finished, movement stopped.

Nature vs nurture…. I might just have to revisit my old sociology essays and add in a paragraph about a love of wiggling being passed down through the genes and starting even before birth. I haven’t even heard that song for months and months.

Oh dear. There are two of them.

Song for this post:
‘What a Feeling’ – Flashdance