Yes. I'm well aware we're almost a week into March already, really i am. It's just i never got round to doing my little February summary, it was here and gone before i had chance, i guess that extra day doesn't make much of a difference after all?!
Anyway, February. It was a struggle at times, with the bugs and the tantrums and screaming, but we also had a lot of fun, particularly towards the end.
In terms of my challenges, i did fairly pants to be honest!
You may recall i am supposed to be trying one new recipe each week? And that in January i only managed one in the whole month? Well...February was the same! Ooops.
I made special sausages and squash mash. Which sounds like a total cop out because of course i HAVE made sausages and mash before, plenty of times. But i chose the recipe on purpose because sausages and mash are a pretty big hit in our house and one of those meals you can almost guarantee Toby will eat most of, although on this occasion, that didn't quite work out because he hated the squash mash so once his sausage ran out there were tears (and lots of them!)
The sausages were 'special' because they were cooked in a sticky honey, mustard and apple sauce (in case anyone was wondering) and the mash was made from a huge butternut squash and a couple of sweet potatoes. It was yummy but the mash was wayyy too watery, i think next time i wouldn't cook it for as long, and possibly choose a smaller squash!
I managed to achieve my goal of reading one book per month, but only just. I read "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J Cohen, and i found it really interesting. There were a couple of bits i wasn't sure about, but on the whole i thought it made a lot of sense, and there was one particular bit i found really helpful regarding crying babies. I think a huge part of why i have found the start of this year so stressful is the amount of crying Rudy does. I really was thoroughly unprepared for it! And there's nothing like holding a screaming baby to make your stress levels rise and your sanity slip away, especially as a parent, your baby may as well be wearing a babygro with the words "My Mummy is a Failure" or simply "YOU SUCK!" on it, as that's what it feels like they are saying when you're trying everything to stop them crying and getting nowhere fast. Anyway Cohen talks about crying babies and communication and how terrified people are of holding crying babies and something in there just really clicked with me. So much so that the next time Rudy was having a total meltdown because he was waaaay past tired and had no idea how to get back to that place where he could drop off to sleep, and i was having no luck helping him and nothing was working, i decided just to hold him. I stopped trying to offer him the breast, or trying to rock him, i didn't sing, i resisted the urge to put him down and lock myself in a cupboard, i just held him close (but not too tightly) and told him in a low soothing voice that everything was alright, that i knew he was tired and that he could go to sleep and that he was safe, and repeated myself a few times whilst he screamed hysterically and then after about ten minutes of solid screaming he fell asleep in my arms. Into the deepest sleep he'd had in a good while. Toby was even able to come over and sit beside us and we did puzzles right next to Rudy's head whilst he slept away. I know it won't work every time and that there are times when his crying is about something else, that i can do something about. But after reading "Playful Parenting" i felt braver about just holding him and letting him cry when it seemed like that's what he needed.
And films? Well, predictably i did much better with those. I'm aiming for one new one a month but in February i watched "500 days of Summer", "Tyrannosaur", and dipped in and out of "Bolt". I thought "500 days of Summer" was brilliant, i really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure what i was letting myself in for as Chris had put it on our Love Film list and when we sat down to watch it i wasn't sure if i was in the mood for a comedy but in fact it was just exactly what i needed and i actually laughed out loud at parts of it. "Tyrannosaur", on the other hand, was THE most utterly depressing film i have ever seen in my entire life. It was depressing, disturbing, awful and brilliant. The performances were amazing in it, and i thought it was an incredibly realistic portrayal of life for some people, which of course, made it all the more depressing. Because that sh*t actually happens. It was fantastic, like i say, but quite haunting. I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone in a sensitive or dark place in their life. I liked what i saw of "Bolt" but really only caught bits of it so couldn't say much more than that.
I think i'll do better this month with my challenges, certainly i should do better with books as i've already nearly finished one, and i have all the ingredients in to make some brownies so if i can get on with that in the next couple of days i'll be off to a good start with my recipes too :)