It's a big weekend in the Calico household. Not only is it August Bank Holiday Weekend and threatening rain, but it is also the most expensive weekend of the year for me so far.
Cash is one today, Andy is forty on Monday and Presley is two on Tuesday.
We've allocated three separate spaces for birthday cards and Andy's Mother has made cakes.
Andy and I travelled down to London on Thursday for a night out with friends. This was the first time I had spent a night away from Cash and only the second time I had been apart from Presley. The first time was a year ago when I was in hospital giving birth to Cash. I cried when I kissed them goodbye. I knew they would be fine with their grandparents, but it was still difficult to leave them.
There was a moment on the train when I felt like the old me. I was reading a book and listening to my MP3 player, looking forward to my first glass of wine. Then I felt guilty. It felt wrong to be child-free because I am a mother now. I wondered whether it was to soon to phone home, just to make sure the boys were okay. I stopped myself and resolved to relax and enjoy myself.
We arrived in sunny London. We had a lovely meal with our hosts Paul and Dez and then ventured into town. We had a few drinks and some good conversation with friends in a pub in Soho. At 11pm we made our way to Karaoke Box. This was quite appropriate as Paul and Dez had just returned from their honeymoon in Japan. I love Karaoke Box. Apparently I sound like Debbie Harry. Who knew?! Andy dedicated a couple of Elvis songs to me. Ah (wipes tear away). We ended with a jolly (okay, pi**ed up) version of Bohemian Rhapsody, followed by the definitive Virginia Plain.
The next morning we woke at 7.30. It was difficult getting back to sleep, even though this was our only opportunity for a lie in EVER (well, in the last year anyway)! I had a headache and a sore throat, but it was worth it.
Having a day away from my everyday life gave me a chance to reflect. I took out some photos of my boys. They are the most beautiful, amazing creatures. My goodness, they're ours. Andy and I made these two new people. I couldn't wait to get home.
Warning, the next part of this post is sentimental.
You'll be forty very soon. They say life begins at forty. For me though, life began on 18th March 2006. This was the day we met. I'm not sure about love at first sight, but love certainly followed fairly quickly. I wrote a bit about it here.
With you I can be myself.
I'm comfortable, but I don't want to take you for granted. When I apologised to you for putting on weight, you immediately replied with 'I love you unconditionally'. I am so lucky to have met you.
You are a wonderful husband and an amazing father. I love you.
My first born. My special boy.
You melt my heart when you smile. You break my heart when you cry.
I remember when we brought you home from the hospital. I stood with you in my arms and wondered what do I do now? I sat down and looked at you and felt a thunderbolt. I had never felt such over-whelming love before.
I feel such pride watching you grow in confidence. You love life and you love to laugh.
You are my sunshine.
Before you were born I was worried I wouldn't have enough love for a second baby. I needn't have worried. I didn't get the thunderbolt with you, it was more a gradual realisation that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with you.
You are always ready to smile and what a giggler! I see you grow and change every day.
You have taught me that I can relax and still be a good mother.
You are my little poppet.
So, what are we doing today?
Andy has taught Presley and Cash to say 'Ding Dong' in the style of Leslie Phillips. I'm not sure I should be encouraging this, but if you can't beat them, join them! Well, hello....