Friday, August 23, 2019

More thing to remember about parenting

11 months - Taking great delight in trying to feed us your food.

Then a torrent of language developing:
  • Saying quack when playing with ducks 18/3/2019
  • Saying Hiya, and up, signing for milk and food 2/4/2019
  • Saying teddy and baa for sheep 13/4/2019

Being able to cuddle us back at 13 months

13 months -  Words: Up, Quack, Daddy, Teddy, Baa, Hi, Bubble, mumumum, gone, granny, car, cup, banana, ball, hat, scarf
Signs: milk, food, all finished, quack, where's it gone

First steps on 12 may in France at granddads house whilst dancing to music. Tumbling across the living room into Mummy's arms chasing a rustling wrapper as Grandad encourages you on.

14 months - Words: owl, rabbit and flower, signs nappy

Walking round great granny's garden, being shocked when I throw the ball for you, laughing with glee as I lift you to make you kick the ball to great granny. Great granny being so pleased because you kept leaning out my arms to give her hugs and kisses and wanting to be carried by her. More gales of laughter as we play boo with great granny through the branches of the willow tree and she scampers through them tossing them out the way and roaring at you as you laugh.

You running with glee down the oak gallery at the Vyne making the room guides laugh on a day out with Uncle Martin, Mummy and Daddy.

16 months - asking for cuggles when you want be picked up, giving soppy kisses and saying aww whilst we hug, just like we do to you. Asking to take teddies to bed and for stories.

Words: Up, Quack, Daddy, Teddy, Baa, Moo, Hi, Hiya, Bye, Bubble, Bubby (Mummy), Gone, Granny, Car, Cup, banana, ball, hat, scarf, flower, rabbit, owl, giraffe, nappy, story, cuddle, shoes, floor, door, uh-oh/ohdear, Please, Ta, keys, bath.

Signs: milk, food, all finished, please, quack, where's it gone, nappy, sleep.

Waving at Mummy or Daddy if they're sleeping to try and get their attention, trying to open their eyes for them.

I'm so enjoying watching you develop your personality and character, your curiosity and telling me about what you're thinking even with your limited language, when you're just remembering bubbles or dogs, when there are none nearby to look at.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Fixing cracks, tears and elephant skin in fondant icing

I'm in the middle of icing Lydia's 1st birthday cake, and in the interests of time, I got Tom to buy me some pre-coloured fondant icing to cover the cake from a local supermarket. This stuff dried out very quickly when I rolled it out, probably due to the amount of food colouring in it to make it the blue colour.

So when I draped it over the cake, I got the dreaded elephant skin cracks around the edge of the cake despite my best efforts.

A LOT of Googling later, and it turns out you can make a paste of fondant and a small amount of water, and use this like polyfilla or royal icing to fill the cracks. Using a palette knife you smooth it on and scrape it off. Some people call this 'gunge'. I used it to fill the elephant skin cracks in the fondant around the edge of the cake, and in some cracks in the sides where I'd not eased out the folds of fondant very well.

The smoothed cake edges, no elephant skin!

I got a kind of smoothed buttercream look which was fine for this cake. Might not be so good if you need a pristine wedding cake for example, but better than nothing.

Sharing in case it helps someone else out!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

How to talk to your daughter about her body by Sarah Koppelkam

A friend passed this on to me and I thought it was brilliant:

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight.

If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

"You look so healthy!" is a great one.

Or how about, "You're looking so strong."

"I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.
~ Sarah Koppelkam

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A few more things to remember from the first year or so of parenthood

At 5.5 months we lie together in bed gently touching each others faces. When we are playing boo, you're able to remove the muslin from you're face. Little did I know teaching you this would mean you'd never wear a hat again...

The grumpy grimace face of trying food for the first time. Trying to eat hands free, carrot dangling like a cigar.

The gurgles sounding more like words, more distinct. Grinning when daddy gets home.

At 6.5 months, sitting up playing, over reaching for your toys and folding right over at the waist. Your little Bollywood dancing hands, twisting at the wrist. Your arms and legs wiggling madly in whole body excitement at yourself in the mirror

At 7 months, kissing your food, lips smacking at every bite, daintily lifting little finger.
Tipping your head on one side coyly, being cute, trying to get people to smile at you.
Recognising special people, reaching out to them. Starting to wave.

Being able to make you belly laugh by kissing your tummy, or clapping your feet together or turning you upside down or mnumming your cheeks

Saying good morning to the baby in the mirror everyday. Sitting up to peer out your carseat or buggy.

Missing feeding you lying down in bed and being cosy together now you're in your own room.

At 8 months, gently running your fingers through my hair as you feed, smiling happily.

Making faces at guacamole and curry but coming back for more

At nearly 9 months, just about clapping, delayed waving a few seconds after someone actually leaves, taking every hat off, pulling herself up on your hands or bars of the cot. 

At 9 months, backwards crawling, especially getting yourself stuck under our bed or the armchair. Studying the pages of books intently then trying to eat them. Declaiming your food. Waving goodnight to daddy whilst you feed.

At 9.5 months, proper crawling at high speed.

At 10 months, waving and clapping completely sorted now. Occasionally standing up on your own when cruising the furniture and toy in hand. Sometimes special noises of 'Ba' for balls and books, 'mumum' for food, 'nanana' when singing to yourself. Kissing yourself in the mirror.

I can remember the time before these pillow fort feeds with your cheeky grin in the gloom and "nahnah" when you wiggle off deciding one boob is done and it's time for the other, the painful and yet not painful pinching of your exploring other hand on my neck.

Absolutely gleefully and violently clapping the face of mummy or daddy to get them when they pick you up after a day apart.

Missing the cradle by the bed.

We're approaching your first birthday rapidly. You're a bit under the weather today, a bit of cold and fever hopefully nothing serious. So you've been feeding more and needing cuddles, and you had tea watching TV on the sofa with daddy. A while a go, Tom and I were talking about what it is to be a parent.  The absolutely fierce love for your child, like no other kind of love, and you can't fully explain it. Perhaps you can only understand if you have child of your own in the future.  

It makes us think about how our parents must feel about us. How they were with us when we were babies. And how grateful I am to them for all the times they looked after me when I was poorly when I was little. Because it's hard even though you want to do it. How much joy babies bring. The joy of watching your friends and family play with your child. How you can feel so content and happy whilst feeling knackered and bored in the middle of a random 4am feed.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Knitting for other people's babies...

...whilst gazing at my Willow Tree ornament that Mum got me for Christmas.

It's called "Our Gift" and I feel all sappy when I look at it.

I also feel pretty damn strongly that every new baby I hear of needs a handmade something to wrap around it so it knows it's loved. I pray for the kiddo and their family whilst I knit, and having had one of my own now knit practical solid colour cardis, jumpers and hats rather than gorgeous but useless booties that don't stay the fuck on. And no more stupid double breasted cardis. Parents don't have time to be doing up that crap. 1 down another 5 to go! #knitting #tweet #blog #babies #handmadeeverytime

via Instagram

Saturday, December 01, 2018

NaBloPoMo 30 food

Fed Lydia in our bed this morning then got up relatively speedily, had a look at the view out her bedroom with Lydia and played and got her dressed.

Then breakfast and playing and another feed and a nappy change and getting ready to go out. I also got some washing on and started some pork slow cooking for this evening. As ever the buggy lulled her to sleep and she slept for 2 hours after that.

This worked in our favour as Martin and I worked on sorting out the church website and email. Think nearly everything is sorted now thank goodness. When she woke up Lydia had another feed and nappy change and played on the floor of the office as we worked.

Home for lunch, and Martin then played with the baby all afternoon whilst I cooked for this evening. Think all the food turned out really nicely apart from my experiments in baking but you can't win them all.

Louisa and Elis arrived at 4pm so Lydia had baby company, then other people arrived as they finished work. We ate about 630 ish and Lydia loved sitting in the middle of the room chatting to everyone. She even had her bedtime story read by Charley and Twinkle.

After dinner and Lydia's bedtime we sat and chatted and I knitted and had birthday cake for Martin. It's been a wonderful way to end November. I obtruded introduced everyone to the trippy children's tv world of Sarah and Duck too.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

NaBloPoMo 29 reindeer

Lydia had her morning feed in bed with me, nice to have cuddles. She slept in again as well. Good that I checked the time of her docs appointment today as it was 850am rather than 950am as I thought.

So whilst she slept, I got myself dressed, then woke her to get her dressed for the day and took her downstairs for some yogurt as first breakfast. Off to the docs, fortunately only a 5 minute walk away.

She's reacted with a hives like rash on her face when eating egg, so I wanted to get that checked out. The doc thought it looked/sounded like a mild egg allergy, so no eggs for either of us whilst we wait for the allergy specialist referral. Lydia spent most of the appointment making eyes at the doctor from her pram.

Then home for a second breakfast of Weetabix and a nappy change and a bit of playing before going out again to Hartbeeps. Reindeer and sleigh ride themed today. Martin came with us and got to experience the joyous weirdness that is Hartbeeps. Lydia as ever liked the bubbles and the lights best.

We left sharpishly as my grandparents had rung to see if I was in today just before we headed out, and I'd said we'd be back for 12ish. A quick stop for extra cheese on the way, and I found 'The Great People' as they call themselves to Lydia, sat in their car dodging the train and waiting for us.

They had a cup of tea and chatted to Martin as Lydia was napping and I made cheese on toast, and then spent the rest of their visit cooing at Lydia as you would expect.

Once they'd gone and Lydia had a little lunch and another feed, Martin provided excellent baby entertainment and I put washing on and sorted washing out. Lydia had a sleepy feed mid afternoon, and Tom came home to find us all playing in the lounge.

Next came an early Christmas present for Lydia from Martin, a cuddly Jersey cow, so she knows what proper cows look like. She wasn't sure about wrapping paper but soon got the hang of it, and seemed quite enamored with the cow.

I left the boys to get dinner and feed Lydia and went off to Pilates. Our new to me but usual class teacher is back from maternity leave and she was very good, especially about giving me adaptions for my hip

Since coming back, we've had a bit of an evening of it trying to get Lydia to settle. Think her teeth are sore. She finally went down at 930pm, and I've just heard a cry. After dinner I put more washing on and went to eat my feelings with a bar of chocolate, knitting and Doctor Who. Bed now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NaBloPoMo 28 Martin

Lydia and I up really today to be ready to leave to pick up Martin from the airport at 8am. Lydia napped on my bed whilst I got dressed, and we were scuppered by absolutely terrible traffic. Just love her happy little face when you pick hey up or if bed in the morning, and her ah-ah-ahs as she's desperate for milk head bobbing.

We managed to find a Martin, and fought traffic to get in to town eventually. We had a Whetherspoons breakfast before picking up some bits from the Rice Up Wholefoods shop. One extreme to the other. We also went to Lidl to get Tom a pannetone.

The weather was both cold and wet, so we didn't hang around in town, and I managed to get a fast asleep Lydia from buggy to car to buggy so she had a decent nap despite traveling.

She's had a lovely day playing with Uncle Martin. I sorted washing and packed for this evening as we were off to see Post Modern Jukebox at the Guildhall.

About 330pm I packed up the car with pretty much everything and took Lydia to my sister Ellie's in Totton. We picked Ellie up from the dentist and stopped to get some frozen pizza for tea. Ellie then fed Lydia her tea and played with her whilst I set up the travel cot and changed.

Then at 6 I left them to it and drove back to Southampton, feeling a little like a bit of me was missing, but excited for the gig. I met Tom and Martin outside, and we queued for a bit.

Once inside, we enjoyed the usual PMJ selection of great covers and performers. It's different every time, as the cast is different, which makes it great fun. I feel so uplifted.

Tom went off to pick up Lydia and Martin and I have just got home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NaBloPoMo 26+27 Cake

First fail of this year. That's not bad!

Yesterday Lydia and I got up promptly and we went to visit my friend Claire from work for coffee and cake. I dressed Lydia up in a pretty outfit and we stopped at Romsey Aldi on the way to pick up birthday goodies for Claire and cake. Sod's law would have it that Lydia weed through her nappy which necessitated a full outfit change when we arrived *facepalm*.

However, she was a complete poppet for the rest of the time, napping on the sofa and making happy faces. Another work friend, Jo, joined us and we chatted for a good couple of hours which was lovely.

Then we came home again, and I left Lydia with Tom who had been sleeping off his long on call the previous night. He and Jon were fitting a new radiator in our family room. So off I popped to physio. Seemed to really help my hip and I have new exercises to do.

Once back, I made some lunch for Tom and I, and played with the baby. As we were having freezer dinner, which is nice and quick, we could all eat together which was jolly. Tom started and I finished bed time as he was off to a Montys meeting. I spent the rest of evening whilst Tom was out working on the church website and trying to get Lydia to go to sleep. Which she eventually did.

Today, Lydia woke up a bit later, but it was a quick get dressed and get out as I had a massage today. Priya, my pilates teacher, is training in sports massage and was looking for bodies to practice on for a reduced rate! She only loves 5 mins away, so we toddled down the road via the ATM at Tescos for cash, and Priya's lovely mum Suzie looked after Lydia whilst Priya worked on my dodgy hip and shoulders. She found some very lumpy bits of fascia in my right should and left sacrum and worked on those. Now I feel much much lighter which is great!

After that we went off to have coffee and baby play time with Rebecca and Mila from NCT along with some other NCT mums and babies. I loved their house, and Lydia had a whale of time playing with Mila's books and watching their cat Sakura stalking about. It was so lovely to just chill for a while.

We left at 2 ish to get back as Tom's mum was coming to visit, though she didn't arrive till 3 as the traffic was terrible, lots of accidents and bad weather. She had lots of fun playing with Lydia, and I  sorted out nappies whilst we chatted. She amused Lydia whilst I had a call with work about my return which was super helpful.Tom got home around 5pm and I started dinner. Again we managed to have it ready so that Lydia could eat with us. I love seeing her sat up to the table with us. She managed to feed herself the pasta and veg, think the giant pasta shells helped!

Tom and his mum started bedtime, and she did story time, it was really fun listening to her do very accurate farm animal noises from downstairs. Then I did the bed time feed, and have been working on the church website move since. Done for today, think I need to bite the bullet and just change the nameservers.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

NaBloPoMo 25 alone

You know what blog? I'm so brain tired, I can't really remember what happenned this morning. I think I fed the baby in our bed this morning and Tom got her dressed and changed her nappy before going out on call and left her with me for more in bed feeding. But I'm not sure.

We were still in bed at 9am so missed our normal service at church, but I managed to get dressed and ready to go out for the 10.45am service. I don't normally go to this one as its the one with the modern music which I'm not so keen on, but I wanted to see people. I sat in baby corner and mainly played with babies which was nice. Still not keen on modern worship songs. They all seem to be the same speed, slightly whiny. Never find God in them - but if they do it for other people what's great.

After church as Lydia was napping went to get sultanas for Christmas pudding. Lydia woke up as we were shopping but went to sleep again when I left her in the pram when I was unpacking as we got home. So spent the 2 hours of quiet working on the church website and email.

Then lunch for her, and lots and lots of playing. I was knackered, and my hip was sore, so we had a feed on the sofa in the front room so I could watch Netflix, and she seemed to like watching the dancers on the programme I was watching. 

She sat in the highchair and played whilst I made Christmas pudding, and she 'helped' stir it as its Stir Up Sunday. I wonder if she wished for more milk. Next was a nappy change, a short nap and more playing with mummy before dinner bath and bed. Bathed her in the bath proper to see how that went, was fine.

She's been very happy and smiley most of the day, not hard work really, it's just tiring doing the whole day of parenting on your own.

I'm trying to work up the energy to do all the tidying I need to do before the cleaner comes tomorrow.
Tom's still out at work. I'm not entirely convinced his on call is legal or healthy as so far he's been at work 13 hours, and will only get sleeping off time tomorrow if he gets home after midnight.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

NaBloPoMo 24 Crafts

Lydia woke at 5:45am, so I brought her into bed for a sleepy feed, and she had some from each side, and then woke up again at 8am.

I got her nappy changed, but then had to put her back in the cot just in her nappy as I desperately needed the loo - but she stayed happy and bright and played with her toys in the short time I was gone.

Then my mum came in to say hello and chatted to Lydia whilst I got dressed. We left about 8:50am for mum's church, there was lots of fun trying to fill my car with craft stuff. I draped a muslin over the baskets next to Lydia so she didn't try to empty them as we were driving along. There wasn't any where to put Lydia down whilst we were loading, so I woke Dad up from his lie in - feeling bad as he'd got in later from work again - and asked him to play with the baby. But he was more than happy and Lydia sat and played in bed with Grandpa very happily. Though she wasn't sure what to make of his hairy chest!

Once at church, I gave Lydia some breakfast and she sat and played whilst we set up the activities around the back of the church for the Christmas crafts day. We had print your own wrapping paper, ice a biscuit, make a fluffy lamb, make a origami present pot decoration, make a decoupage jamjar tea light holder and make a star and glittering pasta pipe cleaner wreath. Dad arrived just before 10am and was on tea and coffee duty and giving out chocolate coins for the present pots.

It started off slow, but there were about 35 kids and 20 adults over the course of the 2 hours. I mainly played with Lydia and gave pointers and welcomed people. The kids seemed to have fun. Lydia fell asleep as we were packing up so I went over to the bakery to buy pasties for lunch and then as she was still sleeping, mum and I went to hang up banners for next weekends Christmas Tree Festival.I came back to find Dad and Lydia having a nice chat. She just about learnt to wave today waving to Grandpa and started reaching out to be picked up by him too. So so lovely.

Some friends of Mum's popped in to see the baby too which was lovely. She's so loved by all these people who've only really ever seen photos. They're even knitting for her.

All packed up, we went back to mum and dad's and I gave Lydia some lunch before a nappy change and a bit of playtime with the grandparents whilst I packed up. We hit the road at 3:30pm and were home by 5:30pm after a short detour to drop forgotten hats to Louise and Elis in Eastleigh. She played for most of the journey and slept for a bit of it.

Since coming home, Tom fed Lydia her tea and we made dinner together. Dinner was inevitably ready at her bedtime, so we kept her up a tiny bit later whilst we ate, and she's been asleep ok so far this evening bar her usual 10 mins or so of squawking sleepily.

I have been trying to fix the church wordpress to no avail, and am now frustrated and ready for bed.

Friday, November 23, 2018

NaBloPoMo 23 granny

Lydia up at 630ish, had cosy sleepy feed and pumped milk, said goodbye to Tom, got her dressed bar her tights and bought her into my room to snuggle up in bed whilst I got dressed. Then downstairs for a leisurely breakfast, dishwasher on, another sleepy feed and playtime whilst I packed the car and made packed lunch.

Off to deliver new baby meal to people from church on the meal train around 12noon, then to Westbury to stay with my mum and dad for a night whilst Tom is out walking the Itchen on a night walk with Rich. Lydia napped most of the way.

Met mum at the parish office so she could show Lydia off to her friend Lynne, who's the administrator, then back to mum's. Verity stopped in to say hello on her way to the docs, and she came back after and stayed for tea, so the afternoon has passed in the joyous haze of chatting, tea and playing with the baby. Lydia had a carpet picnic lunch, a sleepy feed and her dinner amidst all this, slobbered all over Auntie Verity and Granny read her two bedtime stories. It's du joyous to watch your child play with your family.

We had Greek takeaway for dinner, yum!

One wake up so far since bedtime, currently asleep next to me, need to pluck up courage to put her to bed again and go cut out birds for mum's craft thing at church tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

NaBloPoMo 22 singing

I can't even remember what time Lydia woke up today. We had our usual feed, then I got her dressed right away as we were going out this morning. She wore her green babygrow and a little red pinafore that was my sister's, to match her strawberry hat that Laura had made her. This was because Lou who runs Hartbeeps encouraged us to bring the babies dressed as elves today and this was the closest we had to an elf outfit! She did look adorable. I also discovered she had a new tooth on the bottom left, her sixth.

She then sat and played whilst I used the bathroom, then came and sat on the bed whilst I got dressed. Where I have to wear my hair up everyday to stop her grabbing out so much, I've gone back to all the fantastical styles I used to do as a teenager. Two dutch braids today, which Lydia liked trying to suck!

She had a sleepy feed in bed, which was nice to have a cuddle on such a cold day. Since we've moved her into her own room, I do the bedtime feed sat on the sofa, where as when she slept in our room, I'd do it lying on the bed. I quite miss it, not quite as comfy or cosy!

Then once we were all dressed, it was downstairs for a fruit, yogurt and toast breakfast, a bit of playing, a nappy change and off to Hartbeeps. The Hartbeeps songs are right earworms, I'm still singing them now. Alongside the usual ones, we pretended to make Christmas puddings with ribbons and plushy cakes and shaky eggs in plastic bowls, there were presents to wrap and fake Christmas trees with lights and tinsel to explore. Apparently we're getting our sleigh driving licences and there might be snow next week.

Lydia napped in the buggy on way home, and blessedly stayed asleep for 2 hours whilst I made lasagne and put washing on. There's a meal train for a family with a new baby at church, and I'm down for tomorrow, so I made lasagne for them and one for us. Had to get the mincer attachment out to mince up some of the diced pork from Tom's mum's farm, and added spinach and olives to try and up the veg content.

Louisa and Elis arrived around 2pm for a drink and a biscuit and a chat and a play, as Louisa had been picking up the second hand cloth nappies she'd bought. We had a lovely time, and the babies really try and interact with each other now. Elis would jump every time Lydia screeched which was cute.

Lydia and I played some more and then she had another feed so we watched some Strictly together, which is how Tom found us when he got in. He then played with Lydia whilst I packed for going away to my mum's tomorrow and got changed for Pilates.

Pilates was hard but good as Priya taught tonight's class. Really felt it walking home. It was so cold tonight as well, glad I put my leg warmers on.

Home to a Lydia in her PJs after apparently vomiting up her dinner, hopefully just a one off due to fingers in her mouth and not coming down with anything. She seemed jolly enough. She went to have a bedtime story with Tom and I loaded the dishwasher. Then went to feed her before having our dinner. After dinner, Tom and I had a chance to sit down together and chat for a bit and I've been knitting whilst he had a shower. Bed now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NaBloPoMo 21 out in town

Lydia slept till 7:30am after her difficult evening which was a blessing. She was super chirpy whilst getting up today. She had her morning feed and a look at the foggy dawn out the window.

We had breakfast together, stopping on our way in the hall as always to say hello to the baby in the hall mirror, with her shouting and her arms and legs going wild with excitement. Then we had a play in the family room, with cups and books, and when she started getting grumpy we went upstairs for a nappy change and a sleepy feed.

Then more playing and 'helping' mummy whilst I sorted the washing out in her room before another nappy and a feed and then a long nap. I prepped her lunch and did chores whilst she napped.

Then once she woke and fed again, we were off to town to meet Louisa and Marmers for a coffee at Harbour Lights after they'd been to baby cinema. I didn't fancy the film this week, and I was trying to be frugal with my money as it's nearly payday. We saw Hannah walking out from her office on the way past in Ocean Village so invited her to come along too.

So we passed a fun hour or so chatting, the other all having tasty looking pies, and I having a cookie and feeding Lydia her lunch.

Once it was time to go, I parked the car in Eastgate, and Lydia and I wondered around the Christmas market and got Verity's present, which is good, another ticked off my list. Lydia liked looking at the pretty lights on everything. It was very cold though. She'd napped on the short journey to the car park, so I kept her in her carseat and bundled her up in blankets whilst she slept. I shall be sorry when she outgrows that carseat and we can't put the new one on the pushchair wheels. I dropped my carparking ticket in one of the shops when I got my phone out to pay, but managed to track it down. It was one of those days as I'd left my purse at home. Thank goodness for Google Pay!

We came home about 4:30pm, and Lydia napped a bit more on the way back. Once home, Tom helped me unload the car, and I then fed Lydia her tea and unpacked from being out all day and put nappies on to wash. Tom was out to homegroup tonight, so I had to do a solo bedtime, which is unusual. She has been asleep ok so far tonight.

Since her bedtime, I've had my dinner, and worked on some more Church Christmas publicity.

Bed time for me now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NaBloPoMo 20 cold rainy tired

Little Lydia woke up at 3:30am and didn't settle till 4:30am, would settle for a bit of I fed her, but also needed a nappy change. Those cloth nappy boosters cannot get here quick enough. Managed to get back to sleep till 6:30am when I had to get up for my physio appointment. I hasn't helped myself by staying up past midnight reading, bit sometimes I like the peace and quiet and tiny bit of grownup time when everyone else in the house is sleeping.

I'm reading Holly McNish's Nobody Told Me and I'm so glad someone has been able to capture the experience, both glorious and painful, of the early days of parenting with such raw honesty. I think I will be buying it for all my expecting friends.

We all managed to get up and out the house for my physio appointment. My hip has got worse this last week, and the current thinking is that my hip flexors have tightened and are causing my SI joint pain. So I have more stretches to add to my exercises.

We were done by 8am, Tom dropped us back and went to work, and I got Lydia dressed and we had breakfast together. She had gone out in her PJs to save some time. After breakfast we played together and read some stories and I put some more washing on, and dried some, and paired some socks. Lydia was keen on 'helping' with that so I put her toys in a different low basket so she could take them out one at a time and throw them across the rug.

In the midst of this I arranged to pop to Hythe to have a cuppa with my aunt. Once Lydia had had a few more feeds and a nap, during which I packed the car, we were off. We had a nice little chat and Lydia ate her lunch there and was bemused by Scout, their cockerpoo who barked if she cried or laughed.

Traffic was building up on the way home, and we had to stop to pick up a few bits we'd missed shopping wise. It took a long time to get over the bridge to Bitterne Park because of all the road works.

Once home, Lydia watched a couple of episodes of Sarah and Duck ( which I adore) whilst I started getting dinner ready and blending up frozen summer fruit and stewed apple to make freezer portions for porridge. Tom came home about 6pm, and helped with feeding Lydia her dinner. As ever, dinner for us was ready just as it was bedtime.

She's not settle well at all this evening, with a wet nappy and waking up everyone we put her down. She's mid leap at the moment so that might explain it, learning too many new things for her little brain.

Right, kitchen to clean up and then bed.

Monday, November 19, 2018

NaBloPoMo 19 Autumn Socks Day

And lo it came to pass one November that Tom was complaining that Autumn sucked, and Alex said nay, Autumn rocked and time passed with them arguing good naturedly until Tom accidentally said "Autumn socks" and they laughed and laughed. Alex bought Tom some special sock to cheer him up a day or so later.

Since that day on, every year on 19 November, the Tarlings ritually buy each other a pair of Autumn socks.

This year was Lydia's first Autumn Socks Day. I'd sent socks to all my godchildren in our guise of the Fairy Sock Parents.

I think we did well this year!

Other than swapping socks over dinner today, we had a busy day.

Lydia woke up at 5:30am and then went back to sleep for an hour. She then had her 6:30am feed and went straight back to sleep! She was still asleep at 9:00am when I woke her as we had Tots at church at 9:30am. Did mean I could get dressed easily enough!

I had to take a pouch for her breakfast and feed it to her at Tots. We had a nice time, Lydia playing with all the noisy toys and me chatting to the other parents. Helpfully there's a fruit snack during story time so Lydia got a bit more breakfast!

Once we were done singing at Tots, we came home for a nappy change, a feed and a spot of cheese, tomato, pepper and fruit porridge for lunch. Then popped some washing on and I packed the car up with shopping bags for an afternoon of shopping around 1pm.

Where I'm in the bit of my maternity leave with no pay, we're trying to be super frugal. So I'm doing lots of price comparisons from supermarket to supermarket. I started off in Lidl today, because they have a good price on fresh bread, and then went on to Asda as they were cheapest for all the things I couldn't get in Lidl and for baby vests and babygrows as Lydia needs bigger ones. Oh and I bought some ridiculous baby shoes.

Managed to get a few more Christmas present bits too, so nearly there! And we saw Angie from church in Lidl and had a nice chat too.

Lydia manged really well, taking in all the colours and lights until we were nearly finished at Asda when I resorted to feeding her propped up across the handle of the trolley!

We came home about 5pm and as Tom had got back a bit earlier and had managed to start dinner, we were all able to eat our Thai Green Curry together. We had fun watching her eat her halved blueberries too. She'd manage to pick them up then drop them on her bib and then try and lift the bib to her face to eat them.

After dinner, we opened our socks together. Tom started bedtime and I put more washing on, and we swapped as I went to do the bedtime feed and Tom went off to PCC. Once Lydia had settled down for the night, I did a bit more sewing, converting ancient terry nappies from my mum into boosters for our nappies. I need to replace some elastics on our nappies too as some have got have got a bit slack where they were second hand.

Since Tom got back, we've had a fancy hot chocolate and are catching up with Doctor Who. I've got some church comms work to do too.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

NaBloPoMo 18 swimming

Up with Lydia again this morning, very hungry for milk today. Tom got her dressed whilst I got dressed, and I took her downstairs for her breakfast whilst he got dressed. Then off to church.

Once we got there, realised we'd forgotten it was Baked Potato Lunch day, so reworked our plans in our head to accommodate it. Lydia was quite cheery throughout the service, though at one point I was lying on the carpet with her sat on my stomach.

Once the service was done and we'd had a cup of tea and a chat, I went and bought some potatoes and left them with the kitchen team to be baked with everyone else's, whilst Tom went back and packed the swimming things. Then off to Oaklands pool once we got our swimming clothes on under our outers.

Lydia fell asleep in the car, felt really mean waking her, but she was bright and alert in seconds. Tom's turn to get her ready, so I was changed really quickly. I'd forgotten how fast you can go when not entertaining a baby.

She seemed to like being in the water again, not so sure about the showers. We got her to hold on to a float and zoomed her about and when she kicked her legs, let her move under her own steam. We practiced being jumped in from sitting on the side, and splashing her hands, which she got the hang of pretty quickly.

After half an hour, it was time to go back to church. There had been an oven mishap, so we were some of the first to get our potatoes. We sat with some of the kids, and everyone avoided our table like the plague. Probably because of the kids, but they were really well behaved. Lydia had fallen asleep again, but woke up near the end as had her dinner of Friday night curry. We also had a great chat with the Nichols family.

After helping tidy up, we trundled off home again, and spent the afternoon sorting out clothes as Lydia's ready to move up a size, and sorting washing. Lydia had a sleepy feed around 4pm and I enjoyed some tea and leftover rhubarb cake over her head. It was very cosy all curled up together.

For tea, she tried some manderin segments or OngPongs as Tom's family calls them, and they were a great hit. She was even trying to eat the fallen pieces from her bib.

After she went to bed, we had dinner and tidied the kitchen, made lunches, sorted washing, and in my case, caught up with Strictly and wrapped more presents. Nearly there!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

NaBloPoMo 17 party

Slight fail, but here's the story of yesterday.

Lydia's woke up at 645am, and after her milk and a nappy change, I bought her into our room to play for a bit. She played with Tom whilst I got dressed then I took her downstairs for breakfast. Because Tom was able to play with her, I was able to do my hair and even put on some makeup  which was a pleasant change .

Lydia had apple and Weetabix and I had a microwave egg on marmite toast. When Tom Tom came down and was able to supervise, I finished packing bags for the day and put more washing on.

Last night I had some clogged milk ducts, probably from not feeding Lydia enough where we were driving a lot, so I made sure to feed her on that side before we left and did some hand expression and massage to try break up the blockages as I wanted to avoid mastitis.

At 11am or near enough, we were on the the road to Salisbury. I quite like being a passenger at the moment as it gives me uninterrupted knitting time and I managed to get a good chunk of sleeve on Lydia's cardigan. We arrived just after midday and had a delightful little stroll around the cathedral grounds. Lydia was very keen to see out the buggy, so we turned her round to be forward facing. Whilst it's true you talk to them less she was much happier looking at everything.

At 1pm we went over to the Cosy Club to wait for my family as we were having lunch together to celebrate my dad's birthday,  which was the following  day. Much fun and merriment ensued, including my mum crawling under the table top retrieve things just as the drinks arrived and making the waiter laugh. We had bought the birthday balloon Lydia had taken home from Verity's birthday a month ago, and she kept everyone entertained playing with that.

We stayed till gone 4pm nattering. Ellie and Andy left us then to go on to another engagement, and the rest of us had a mooch around the shops before going our separate ways. Lydia had a feed before we left in the carpark and we were home by 6:30 in time for her to have her dinner.

After she went to bed, Tom and I had a light supper in front of Star Trek and I wrapped some more presents.

Friday, November 16, 2018

NaBloPoMo 16 pork

Up around 6 with Lydia, had a play and got dressed fairly sharpish as lots to do today. Lydia needed lots of cuddles and attention today so she had to come and sit on the bed and watch me get dressed today.

Once we'd had some breakfast of spiced apple porridge, Lydia played in her highchair between feeds and nappy changes whilst in made curry for tonight and got the nappies on to wash.

We had an really early lunch and then went to Testwood Lakes to meet our friends Louise and baby Chloe and Hannah and baby Lily for a walk. It was nice to catch up, though note to self it's a carrier not a buggy walk. We went for a coffee after at the Morrisons cafe. Supermarkets are the safe bet for baby friendly snacking.

Then off in the car for an hour to pick up the Southampton pork delivery for our friend from my mother-in-law. I was super early so drive around for half an hour whilst Lydia slept.

Pork acquired, we had a long journey back due to very bad traffic. Lydia was very sad, so we stopped as soon as we could so she could have a feed to keep her going. I was quite stressed by the time we got back.

Our usual Friday night crowd had come over, and Tom had made Persian rice and lentils to go with our curry. We let Lydia stay up a little to play as lots of people hadn't seen her for a while. Charley arrived just in time to read Lydia her bedtime story.

Once she'd gone to bed, I ate my curry and then we had excellent rhubarb and lemon cake that Charley had baked.

We're currently playing the Times Quiz. It's really nice to see friends and hang out. We did amazingly well in the first half but it's not going so well now.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NaBloPoMo 15 pyjamas

Lydia woke up at some time I can't remember, apparently on her front so that was ok. I fed her and then changed her nappy and had a little play. We didn't need to get dressed today as it was a Children in Need Pyjama Party at Hartbeeps today. The Ocacdo delivery arrived at 830am, mainly Christmas presents as I had a 15% off voucher

We shared Weetabix and Banana for breakfast and Lydia had another long sleepy feed. When we went to leave, nearly forgot the teddy we were supposed to take, so had to go back and get it.

Arrived just in time for the start, most of the babies were in their jimjams bit only a few of the parents had, boo! We had fun singing and dancing about with teddy bear ears on and entered the raffle. It's carnage with all the babies crawling about, and the songs are earworms, but I love it.

Walked home with a detour around the Travel as Lydia was starting to nap. Was feeling a bit low when I got in, so put my salt dough on to cook and watched some Netflix whilst I ate my lunch during nap time.

When Lydia woke up, it was time for a feed and a nappy change, then set her up with her toys in the family room whilst I wrapped presents. Aware she's not heard much music around the place as I prefer Radio 4, so put on some advent tunes and the Misa Criolla which she seemed to enjoy.

After another sleepy feed at 4pm, popped some Sarah and Duck on the telly to entertain Lydia whilst I started dinner. Fish pie tonight, and with Sarah and Duck's help, had it in the oven when Tom arrived home just in time for me to go to Pilates.

Pilates was hard tonight, and I didn't really enjoy it. I had Hartbeeps songs going round my head and I'm not sure I was in the right place for it. Still, probably did me some good.

Ate dinner as soon as we got back, Lydia joined us at the table and ate some finger food. She was fascinated by the pepper mill tonight.

When Tom took her up to bed, I did some washing up and a bit more wrapping. Now feeding again, hoping Lydia goes to sleep soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NaBloPoMo 14 parcels

Lydia woke up at 630am again. I got up and fed her and changed her nappy. I quite like the quiet early morning feed watching the sun rise over the city. I bought her back into bed for a cuddle with Daddy as Tom didn't have to rush off this morning because his car was going in for a service.

After Tom had gone to work, I got Lydia dressed. The first lot of clothes I tried on her were way too small, so they went in the 'to pass on' pile and we tried another outfit. She's currently between her 6-9 and 9-12 months clothes and some of the 9-12 vest barely fit over her cloth bum without vest extenders. I've decided baby clothes are communal property like hair ties or lighters, and am passing on most of her clothes as most were hand me downs to us. They're in them for so little time. I'm sure if we have another then a batch will make its way to us. I've kept a few favourites back of course, but less than I thought I would.

Once dressed we went down for breakfast, today's was porridge with grated apple and mashed banana. I tried the fancy granola that was a welcome present at the cottage we stayed at the past weekend. Got some washing on, had a little play and then went out to drop off and pick up parcels.

We have a Quinny Zapp X pushchair and the end of one of the frames in the hood had worn through. We've got their lifetime warranty on it, so after a short email, they'd posted out a new one. Which is great. They'd accidently posted out the wrong part, and I kept missing the DPD driver, so I'd arranged to pick up the new parcel and drop off the old one at the depot in Hedge End.

When I got there, there was a bit of palaver getting in as I couldn't take the buggy through the turnstile, so need to use a gate, and then they couldn't find the paperwork for the parcel I was dropping off. But we got there in the end. Autumn Socks Day approaches, so I had sock parcels to send to the godchildren. As we were on Hedge End anyway, I decided to go into the village proper and use their post office.

Inevitably, Lydia fell asleep on the short drive, so I kept the carseat on the pushchair wheels and she slept through the post office and most of a charity shop browse. I picked up a bargainous new santa hat for £1, and then we had a little walk around the high street back to the car. She fell asleep again in the car, so I treated myself to a Pepsi from the KFC drive through and sat on our drive again to make sure she got a good nap.

When she woke, we then went up to the pharmacist and the doctors to get my online patient access login. For some reason I'd been deleted!

Once home, it was time for a feed and nappy change, then lunch. Lydia had cheesy mash, with carrot sticks and cabbage strips to play with. She wasn't in to using a spoon, so I put her mash on the table and she ate a bit with her hands. She got fed up eventually, so I got her cleaned up and we went to play again. I put some Advent music on Spotify on the family room TV, and she had a nice time playing, rolling around and then quietly lying back to listen every now and again.

Whilst she was playing, I wrapped some Christmas presents, stopping to join her on the floor when she wanted a feed. I do worry a bit about how she'll cope with no feeds at nursery when she goes but that's still 3 months away, who knows what her feeding pattern will be like then.

Tom got home relatively early, and he and Lydia played together for a while. She's obsessed with his retractable work ID holder and makes a beeline for it if she can see it. She's so determined to get it. We started dinner together, and Tom fed Lydia her tea and rang his dad for a catch up. I made some salt dough whilst we were waiting for dinner to cook, and made some Christmas decorations to give as presents. I'm going up paint them blue and get Lydia to finger paint or hand print on them in gold paint.

I've wrapped a few more presents after dinner, done a little more knitting, tidied the kitchen, unloaded the tumble dryer and done my physio stretches. Lydia was on her front when Tom went to check her before bed, so we tried rolling her over, but she woke up and rolled straight back. Where she can roll both back to front and front to back in the day, hopefully she'll be ok on her front. There's been a few cries, but I think they were more like when she cries in her sleep teething.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NaBloPoMo 13 Cinema

Lydia woke up at 6:30am today - score! My boobs were so sore and full where she'd slept through. Got up with her, fed her and pumped at the same time - much harder these days where she tries to grab the tubes compared to when she was littler. Got her dressed, then she wanted to feed again. She's taken to grabbing my top and pushing her face down it, so very easy to tell when she's hungry at the mo. She then fell asleep whilst feeding, and when I tried to put her back in her cot, she woke up. Left her to play in her inflatable ring whilst I got dressed, Then shared a breakfast of Weetabix and banana.

Got a load of washing on and sorted out washing whilst she played, and packed the car up ready to go out. We were off to the cinema today. I've been going to baby cinema at the Harbour Lights every now and again since she's been about 8 weeks. They call it the Big Scream showing, and the lights are up a bit, the sound is down a bit and they put the subtitles up. You get to see all kinds of films, not just kids films, and it gives you something else to talk about other than the baby, That's on Wednesdays. I mentioned this a new friend Tammy who has a little girl a little bit older than Lydia, and she said to let her know the next time I was going. Well I fancied it this week, and as she couldn't do Wednesday, I looked into the other cinemas. Odeon do Newbies on a Tuesday and Showcase do Baby Pictures on Thursdays. The Showcase and Odeon are the cheapest, but there's a nice sense of community at the Harbour Lights and people often stop for a coffee afterwards.

Once I'd picked up Tammy and Sofia and had a chorus of baby singing on our drive, we successfully negotiated ticket pick up and registering for parking. We got settled in the cinema, thinking we'd have the place to ourselves but three other sets of people arrived just as the adverts started. Lydia watched for a bit, then had a feed and slept for an hour. She then needed a nappy change and had her lunch. Sofia made friends with one of the other babies who I think was actually after her snacks and then had a nap too. I quite enjoyed the film which was the new Disney the Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Would have liked more ballet in it, but that's me. Lydia liked watching the dancing at the end and was bopping to the music.

After the film, Sofia was still napping and we had a bit of parking time left, so we walked over to John Lewis so we could buy Tom his autumn socks. Lydia wiggled more enthusiastically when presented with one pair over another, so I hope Tom likes them.

We dropped off Tammy and Sofia, and then went home. Lydia inevitably fell asleep on the short drive, so I locked us in the car and had a nap with her parked up on the drive way as she would only have woken up if I tried to move her inside. Once inside, she played for a bit whilst I sorted nappies, unpacked a bit, and started wrapping Autumn Socks and addressing Christmas cards ready to post.

Tom got in relatively early today as he'd been on a course, so he had a good time playing with Lydia before her tea, and fed her her tea tonight. I cooked sausages and mash for tea. with some of the really tasty French sausages we'd bought back and frozen from our last trip. They're all meat and onion and slightly cured so have a really delicous taste. After dinner, Tom got Lydia ready for bed and I fed her. Got her into her cot but then she woke up and was wide awake so had to feed her again. There's been a couple of crying very short crying spells, but she's not actually been awake, so have left her to it tonight.  Have finished wrapping the autumn socks parcels and knitted a bit more of Lydia's Christmas cardigan. It's using up scraps from the jumper I made myself.

Monday, November 12, 2018

NaBloPoMo 12 shopping

Lydia woke at 530 today and had a feed and a nappy change before going back to sleep till 8am.

We got up and dressed and I chatted to her about what we could see out the windows. She was a bit snotty this morning so we gave Tots a miss to avoid infecting anyone.

Once we'd had our breakfast of toast and fruit and yogurt, we started our mammoth day of shopping. First to Lidl as I'd seen them advertising fabric advent calendars but alas, I think I wasn't quick enough. Lydia like to look at the bright lights in supermarkets. Got some bits for Christmas presents.

Then on to IKEA with Lydia napping in the car, taking a roundabout route to prolong her nap. There we met up with Laura and little Tamsin for a free IKEA Family cup of tea and a chat whilst the babies lunched. Lydia was very keen on the pasta and tomato sauce pouch I'd grabbed in a hurry. Had to make sure I saw someone today as Tom is on call. We did a bit of IKEA shopping together afterwards and then went our separate ways around 3pm.

On to Sainsbury's, again with a parking bay break to allow Lydia to sleep before picking up some bits I couldn't get in Lidl. Lydia was quite grouchy by now, but she'd charmed some cute older kids who kept coming to say hello and coo at her. Stopped at the seats after checkout for a feed and charmed the older chap who'd stopped for a rest as well.

Then home via the sorting office to collect a parcel. Some Sarah and Duck for Lydia whilst I unloaded the car, then a feed and Strictly Come Dancing for mummy. Lydia had her dinner whilst I unpacked the shopping. Only half a story at bedtime tonight as she was so keen to feed. She's taken to grabbing my top and burying her head in my chest when she wants food which is a pretty obvious sign.

Tom's been out on call all evening, so I've tidied the kitchen and sorted washing after my dinner. Now sitting down to some knitting before bed.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

NaBloPoMo 11 villas

Lydia woke up at 1:30am but Tom managed to settle her, then again at 4:30am with a wet nappy but needed a feed to settle her and then slept in till gone 8am.

I got up at 7:30am, got washed and started the packing. Then fed Lydia her breakfast whilst Tom cooked breakfast for everyone. The rest of the morning was a whirlwind of packing up cars and cleaning the cottage in time to leave at 11am checkout time. Jess was on child wrangling duty, and Tom used the plentiful left over food to make packed lunch for everyone.

A short drive northwest from the cottage to Chedworth for a cost effective NT members visit to the Roman Villa. It's properly tucked away, you'd never stumble across it. Gorgeous autumn colours on the hillsides as we drove there. Lydia a bit grumpy when we got there, so I had a quick look at the new building covering the mosaics that's gone up since my last visit as a teenager, then settled in for a feed whilst Tom looked round.

Our party reconvened for our picnic lunch, then I looked at the little museum and went to change a nappy in the nice warm visitor centre out of the wind. When I got out the loos, everyone else had drifted in to the shop too, so we grabbed some hot drinks and the Treharnes made the first move home. Once we'd finished ours and we'd had a chat with John and Adele, we hit the road too, leaving around 2pm.

A couple of stops on the way back so Tom could rest, but we made it home for around 4:30pm and spent the evening unpacking and sorting between feeds and playtime for Lydia. Put some toys in the bath for her for the first time today and she enjoyed those, and splashing really hard, soaking Tom!

We had cheese on toast for supper, and watched some Doctor Who - enjoying the wide eyed wonder of the new Doctor. Then have been typing up Bradshaw notes for Tom as I type faster. Think they're all caught up now. Bed in a minute!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

NaBloPoMo 10 gentle

Today Lydia woke at 1:30am, Tom wasn't able to settle her, think it was teeth so she had a feed and went back to bed. She woke up again at 6am for a feed and then stayed playing in our bed whilst I got up and had a shower.

The main bathroom here is in a gable so you have to sit in the bath and use the shower head attached to the mixer tap. Took me ages to get the right balance of hot and cold, but I got clean in the end.

I got Lydia dressed and took her downstairs for breakfast whilst Tom dressed. Our friends Jess and Andy and their kids were up breakfasting already, so I got Lydia set up in the highchair to join them. She demolished a Wheetabix, some toast and some Apple.

When Tom appeared, he started cooking breakfast with Andy and all the adults gently breakfasted on a small full English as they came down stairs. Lydia sat and played on the floor with the Duplo and the other kids whilst we ate. The smoke and steam looked rather gorgeous on the morning light.

We had some playtime whilst John and Adele did the washing up. But it was soon time to eat again. We drove the short way to Burford for lunch at the Cotswold Arms which was super jolly. Very busy, so really glad we booked. I had a fish platter, and Lydia ate most of my salmon pate! I couldn't manage dessert, but the huge portions of bread pudding looked amazing. The building was very cosy and quaint too.

Burford was a very busy village with a never-ending stream of traffic going through it, but it was very pretty. The heavens opened as we left the pub and we stoically had a mooch looking in shop windows. I was taken with the Mad Hatter shop that sold both books and hats, a very Alex combination.

Once we got home again, we had a little walk around our village. It has an outside pool open in the summer, allotments, bowling green, play area and a little shop. We were hoping to have a look in the shop, but it didn't open despite what it said on the website sadly. Tom and Lydia had a little swing on the playground.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent playing and napping whilst the boys type up their railway trip. We've sampled Jess' epic dairy free chocolate cake, and I'm just feeding Lydia again.

All about the food when I'm away with this lot!

Friday, November 09, 2018

NaBloPoMo 9

Blogger ate my post!

Traveled up to the Cotswolds today for Tom, John and Andy's Bradshaw railway weekend planning weekend number 1. Had a pub lunch on the way and stopped to get supplies near Swindon.

Cottage built in 1714, very hidiggly piggly. Curry and lots of wine for tea when everyone finally arrived after bad traffic

Here's Lydia's epic baby mohawk bed head from the morning.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Eunice's chicken and leek lasagne recipe for Robin

Serves 6 people

  • 1.25kg cooked chicken or or turkey, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 200g lasagne sheets
  • 450g leeks, sliced into thick rings
  • 100g butter
  • 115g plain flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 750ml litre chicken stock
  • 250ml white wine
  • 115g gruyere cheese
  • 55g cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 255ml single cream
  • 2tbsp grated parmesan
  • Handful pinenuts

  1. Pre-cook lasagne sheets if necessary. 
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200C
  3. Fry leeks in large saucepan with 15g butter until soft, then remove with slotted spoon and put to one side in another dish.
  4. Melt rest of butter in saucepan, stir in flour and cook over medium heat stirring for a minute. 
  5. Take pan off the heat, whisk in stock and white wine.
  6. Then return pan to heat, bring to boil and cook stirring for around 5 minutes until thickened.
  7. Remove pan from heat again, stir in 100g Gruyere cheese and cheddar cheese, season and add single cream.
  8. Spoon a little of sauce into ovenproof dish (approx. 3L in size) and top with lasagne sheets. 
  9. Follow with  a layer of chicken and leeks and sprinkle with parmesan, repeat layers but finish with lasagne and sauce.
  10. Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses and pinenuts
  11. Cook at 200C for 45 minutes and leave to stand for 15 mins before serving.
Robin - could leave out cheese and use more stock cubes in your stock for flavour?

NaBloPoMo 8 failed potato cakes

Up bright and early again today. Bit chilly, so Tom bought my dressing gown into Lydia's room to cover my legs whilst I was feeding. Lydia wore her Frugi Parsnip Pants with the farm print today, that were a present from Jo and Sarah. They looked super cute and had plenty of space for her reusable nappy!

She played in her inflatable play ring whilst I got dressed, then we went downstairs for breakfast. Toast and pear for her, and toast for me. I had a go at making cheese and tomato potato cakes for her lunch, but I only had one egg so they didn't bind together very well. I ended up zapping all the mixture in a glass dish in the microwave the way you make porridge fingers, which worked a bit better. I was trying to use up left over mashed potato and didn't want to throw away all the other ingredients I'd added once I'd started.

After some more milk, a very short nap and a nappy change for Lydia,  we were off down the road for Hartbeeps, the baby singing/sensory group we go to on Thursdays. She's just gone up to the class for babies who are sitting and crawling so it's a bit louder and more boisterous. I love how chilled the sessions are, and she loves the activities. Today it was all fireworks themed, and we had fabric logs and sparkly bits like tinsel and foil blankets to make baby safe bonfires and flashy light tubes to make indoor fireworks.

She napped a bit on the way home, and has it was a bright autumn day, I treated myself to an iced current bun from the bakers on the Triangle for my lunch. She didn't stay asleep long, so we were then back into a a round of feeding and another short nap before she had some of her own lunch. The potato fingers were very crumbly, but she seemed to enjoy them. Then intermittent playing and housework again.

Tom's mum arrived around 3pm, and I took the opportunity of her being her to baby wrangle to pack a bit for our trip this weekend. Tom's meeting up with Andy and John for their annual Bradshaw train trip planning and we're making a weekend of it with WAGs and kids and staying in a cottage near Swindon of all places. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Mum was telling us all about her recent trip to India and had bought us souvenirs, a t-shirt from the tiger sanctuary for Lydia, a silk scarf for me, and tea and saffron for Tom. We had a look at her holiday photos when Tom got in, using the Chrome Cast to put them on the telly which was fun. It looked very busy and very colourful, and she said the food was amazing and that she wouldn't eat an Indian takeaway here again!

Tom and Mum gave Lydia her tea whilst I went to my pilates class at 6pm. A different teacher again whilst we wait for the usual one to come back from maternity leave. This one was much more hands on and gave lots of adaptions to each person which was good. It was much more advanced than I was expecting so I'm a bit achy now.

Chicken and Leek lasagne for dinner once I got back, then a bedtime feed for Lydia. Mum went home just after Lydia went to bed, and I've spent the rest of the evening sorting the washing up, hanging up wet nappies and adding things to Lydia's Christmas list at Mum's request. Off to bed now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

NaBloPoMo 7 London

Lydia and I got up sharpish this morning as we were off to London for an adventure.

We had some fruit and porridge for breakfast and Lydia bashed her toys and cups on the kitchen table whilst I packed the car with the travel highchair, the changing bag, the baby's packed lunch and bib, food for lunch, presents, sewing things and bridesmaid dresses. You know the usual.

We were going to visit my school friend Amey and her partner Adam and their new baby Harry. We managed to get to their bit of London in a couple of hours and there was even a parking space in front of the house!

Once I'd unpacked the kitchen sink, we had a lovely time catching up, cooing over babies and swapping parenting stories. After lunch, we walked around the block to try their baby carrier out, and altered some dresses.

There's something very special in seeing your oldest friend with their new baby. I've known Amey since I was about 3 and we went to ballet lessons together.

Lydia had napped on the way there and napped on the way back too. Unfortunately there was lots of traffic on the way home so she wasn't very happy on the last half an hour as she was hungry but there was no where to stop.

When we got on, we had a long feed, then she had a late dinner whilst Tom and I cooked ours. I managed to wake her up when I went to put her to bed as we'd forgotten to put hey sleeping bag on before her feed, so she had to have another, but she's sleeping now.

Tom had a slow journey back too, so we had IKEA meatballs and mash for dinner, pimped with cabbage and nigella seeds and carrots and cumin.

Now time to tidy up before bed. Lots of fireworks tonight, I think for Diwali.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

NaBloPoMo 6 werk werk werk

Lydia and I got up gently again today and breakfasted slowly which was very chilled. She had an early nap so I got on with some house work before a new friend Jon came to visit.

He was looking for some help with setting up a website for a new community project he's working on. So I got to exercise the consultancy part of my brain, helped him think through a comms plan and initial website planning. He has a little girl a just a little bit older than Lydia so he was a great help in playing and distracting her whilst we worked.

Once he'd left, Lydia and I spent the day playing and feeding, and whilst she napped, I was washing nappies and putting them back together. I caught up with another episode of the Bodyguard over my lunch.

Tom is on call today but came home in time for dinner. Whilst we heated up a freezer dinner of Pho, we had a video call with Lydia's godmothers, Jo and Sarah. Lydia was trying curry for the first time and they enjoyed laughing at her reactions. It was paneer curry with lots of yogurt stirred through, and she made some great faces as she ate.

This evening once she went to bed we tidied the kitchen and made packed lunches, and now I'm here writing.

So a not very much kind of a day but a day.

Monday, November 05, 2018

NaBloPoMo 5 poppies

Today Lydia woke at 5 am for a feed and was freezing, will make sure she has an extra blanket tonight.

Got up and dressed, put Lydia in my favourite red rosebud onsie for the last time as she's too big for it really. Mothercare seems to run small really as it's 6 to 9 months. She's long bodied but I'd expect it to last a bit longer.

Had a breakfast of toast and made Lydia a packed lunch before going to Tots at church. Lydia had fun playing with some toys, having a go at painting fireworks, listening to a Bible story and singing. She's started bobbing along to music recently and was shouting and chatting to the bigger kids. I did my good turn for the day by lending a muslin to a mum with another smaller baby who'd forgotten one.

There was an impromptu soup lunch after which was nice, and I got to chat in-depth with one of the other mums for a bit. Then I fixed an email issue on our church outreach workers laptop, before coming home to feed Lydia and pick up my dress makers dummy.

I got the dress makers dummy loaded up in the pram and Lydia in the sling, and enjoyed the funny looks on my way back to church as it was flower arranging time. I've made a rod for my own back with the remembrance Day flowers and it being the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, I thought I should do something special. My friend Emma has lent us her period nurses uniform with a clever design on the apron which shows the archaeological record of a battlefield which I've incorporated this year. So that covers land, we've got a blue attachment in the font for the sea, and a flying dove for the air.

Tom joined us at the end of the afternoon to help baby wrangle which was useful. Since we've got home, we've been tag teaming on baby entertaining, and cooking tonight's dinner and lasagnes for later in the week. Lydia has just gone to bed after a splashy bath and a spot of fireworks watching.