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All change in the Walker Household

The last three weeks have seen some changes here. Changes that we're all having to come to terms with, and not all of them good.

Where to start...

Well, we have had some fun. A few weeks back Gary and Jill through a BBQ party for Sarah's 30th, and that was a great night. Since they have two kiddies of their own, one only a few weeks younger than Jack, we would take our wee lad with us. I got there around 4pm with Jack and Yorkie arrived after work (having already panicked thinking he'd lost his bus pass and then finding it just as I was about to pack Jack up so we could go and collect him). Jack was wonderfully well behaved, charming every one, eating his jar of veggies (which I thought he would spit out as there was no meat), didn't vomit on anyone, and even sleeping in his pram in a strange bedroom. An amazing set up of multiple baby monitors ensured that if any of the 3 kiddies woke up at any point a parent, and even on occasion an honorary aunt or uncle, would be at their side within seconds.

Jen has started to bring her boys to the Wednesday morning 'Stay n Play' playgroup that I take Jack to. Everyone is really friendly and Jack has his own fan club there already, but it is especially nice to have Jen there as well - plus its keeping her Adam occupied a bit as he's getting more and more restless as he gets older and the weathers unpredictability has put a cramp on his trips to the many parks he loves.

We've been spending daft amounts of money on Jack too. More than we should since we are now newly 'skinter' (I'll come to that in a bit). We've bought him a door bouncer, which he can't use properly yet, but has his own way of playing in and he likes it (so there). He also has a high chair now, which he is also still a bit too small for but he's giving it a damn good go too, and looks so cute in too. There have also been a ton of other bits and bobs and we're really having to consider the next purchase to be a very large toy box!

The flight details of our trip to France so the Jack can see his Grandad have arrived (thank you Dad for forking out for that and some cash for Jack's passport) and Mum has given us a cash helping hand to get the kitchen finished off - so now we need to do some measuring and get back off to Ikea for a day.

That's the good stuff.

The not-so-good stuff is that Yorkie lost his job three weeks ago. He went in on the Tuesday and was told that the garden centre's nursery was 'unprofitable' and they were having to let him go, although how it is more profitable to buy in plants for greater cost than grow them at lower cost (even taking Yorkie's wage into account) is beyond us. We give them until New Year before they start to go bust. He's the second person in 2 weeks they let go. God knows how many more have gone.

The same day my Boss called me up begging me to come back to work early, even if just for a couple of weeks this month. I didn't want to do it (the thought of leaving Jack so soon was breaking my heart), but we need the money now so I agreed. I am in the middle of a two week stint that means I am having to work in the evenings. Yorkie is having to sort Jack out for bed by himself, and Jack is not used to not having his mummy put him to bed. He's screamed at Yorkie pretty much all evening, every evening, not been taking his food properly from him, and not going to sleep at the right time, which means the poor bloke is even more stressed and tired than when he was at work, and Jack's routine is thrown out for the the day time too, making the evenings even worse. After this week I am going to have to say that evening work is out of the question until Jack is older.

Having said that, our little Gonk Boy was 20 months old yesterday and spent his first night in his own room - in his big cot. And he was very very good, only waking to be fed once. In fact he slept in 45 mins this morning and had me worried to the point that I went into his room to see if he was still breathing. Of cause he was and didn't even know I'd been in to check on him.

However, he's been ill today. Running a high temp and wanting to do nothing but sleep the whole day. So we've let him. He's shown no real interest in his solids, breakfast was a trial, we've given him just mummy-milk through the day. When he seemed to pick up this evening we tried him with some dinner but he spat it out and cried, so it's just milk tonight too. Unfortunately my boobs are used to doing 3 less feeds a day now and are struggling to keep up with him today. The milk's there, but he's having to work harder for it and that winds him up. He's too used to good flow so having to work for his milk is something he's not used to. We do have formula as a back up, but he's not mad keen on that either!

All in all it's been an odd few weeks. I'm having to get used to being a working mum. Yorkie's having to get used to being a full time dad (even if it's just for now) and finding out just how hard it is to entertain and care for a child for a whole day. Money's tighter than ever before, and our son is growing up before our eyes, faster than we could ever have imagined. One thing about him being ill today though is that I have the perfect excuse to just cuddle him all day.


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Recipe: Pigsty Pie

This is one that we made up, although we are far from the first or only people to make a pie using pork or pork mince and call it a Pigsty Pie. So let's just say that this is our version of it. It smells great and reminds me of stuffing at Christmas, making it feel much more "naughty" than it is! This serves four people and it a nice 9 points per serving. You will need these for the mash: 400g potatoes 400g sweet potatoes 4-5 good sized carrots Salt Pepper Nutmeg Simply chop the roots, boil in salted water until tender, and mash! Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. The pie filling: 10 sprays low fat cooking spray (e.g. 1 cal) 1/2 lb lean pork mince 2 onions, finely chopped 3 apples, diced 1 leek, chopped 5-6 big mushrooms 2 tbs plain flour 1 tsp sage 1 tsp parsley Salt Pepper 1 vegetable stock cube 1/2 hot water 2 tsp English mustard Fry the onions in the cooking spray until they start to soften, add the mince. Once the meat starts to colour add the apple, leek and mush