Monday, November 11, 2019

NaBloPoMo 11: dusk

Difficult night with Lydia last night, a couple of wake ups and me needing the loo urgently not leading to much sleep for anyone. Finally got her back to sleep at 5am and we all slept in till gone 7.

After nursery drop off, I was off up to Berkshire to do some training, and then worked there for the rest of the day. Had to stop on the way to buy snacks as I was starving, Lots of emails about the content training. Then driving home as the sun set, the pink dusk rolling over the horizon.

I discovered Scala Radio, and enjoyed the light classical accompaniment for most of my drive. Home in time for an hour or so of playing before bedtime. Lydia was showing me the 'treasure' my mum had bought her, plastic beads and bracelets.

Quick bedtime this evening thanks to Calpol again. Think there's some teething going on. Then have spent the rest of the evening renewing my DBS for church. Bedtime for me soon!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

NaBloPoMo 9+10: rain and shine

Sorry first fail of the year.

Yesterday Tom was on call, and was called out pretty early doors until teatime. So it was a mummy and Lydia day. We started it by going off to church to do the remembrance flowers.

Flower arranging with a toddler in tow was nearly impossible, but I eventually managed it. We had a brief tour around the craft fair happening at church that day, and set off to the baker for bread, and buns for a mid morning snack.

Eating our buns in the pouring rain, we carried on into the park where Lydia went on the swing, pretended to drive the pirate shop and splashed in puddles. We carried on till we were completely soaked, then went on up the hill home. Even the swans seemed to be hiding from the rain under arches of the bridge.

I thought she might nap on the walk, but no such luck, so after a swift nappy change, I caved and gave her some milk. This did the trick. I lunched, knitted and watched some more Gentleman Jack whilst she napped as I'm coming down with a cold and feel rotten.

Tom came home to Lydia having her late lunch or early tea, then we had some playtime until we were surprised by tom's mum and stepdad. We’d said they could stay the night as they had a patry to attend in Southampton, but we'd completely forgotten about it.

So there was more playtime for Lydia whilst I madly tidied enough space in the spare room and Tom made drinks. Once they were off out again, Lydia had a very extended bedtime which was challenging. So we didn't get supper till 930 or so. The others arrived back just as we were going to bed.

Tom was called out around 2am just as I was coming back to bed after a Lydia wakeup and he came home again around 5am to Lydia feeding in bed with me after another wakeup. We all slept till 8am ish when I could hear the others helping themselves to breakfast.

We left Tom sleeping and Lydia and I went down to breakfast after an extended session of getting dressed, including putting on her snowsuit. It wasn't long before we waved them on their way back to the farm. Tom got up around 9am and we were out the door to walk to town to meet NCT friends for soft play.

We were trying a new soft play in the Marlands at the recommendation of a friend, and as these things go it, it was well done. Clearly defined arras by age, an arts and crafts room and themed rooms like a vets and shop to play in too. It was great to catch up with everyone and see how the children had grown.

Come 1130, Lydia was asking for food, so we made a move. As she snacked,  we did a bit of clothes shopping for her, then had a pleasant but very wriggly lunch in Yo Sushi. I wanted some wellies and pjs for her, and had had no luck trying to get second hand. I hate how most kids stuff is covered in branded characters, so was on the look out for plain bright colours. Find pjs, but not wellies.

Then we were on the look out for anti tip straps for furniture ahead of moving her to her toddler bed, but none of the shops had any in stock. So ordered those and the wellies online. A bright walk back in the golden hour crisp autumn light whilst Lydia finally napped, with a stop for veggies for the week on the way.

Once home it was the usual work of writing week prep, all packed lunches and sorting nappies for the nursery bag between playing with Lydia and video calling the godmothers. Another extremely long and arduous bedtime. Think we're in the 18 month sleep regression, with separation anxiety mixing with teething. Eventually a dose of Calpol did the trick in time for me to have another 930pm dinner.

And now to bed.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

NaBloPoMo 8: home

Tom up early with Lydia this morning, then we swapped whilst we got dressed. She was charging about joyfully when she came into our room this morning and having a good old explore of the jewelry drawer, and trying to dress herself in dirty clothes.

After dropping her off at nursery, a working from home day at ours today. We're doing a low travel November at work, something I've pretty much been doing since I came back from maternity leave, but it's really good to see colleagues getting more into video conferencing etc...

I had a content call, then spent the day on tech support, update emails, planning deadlines and connecting up properties and curators on a project. Social media stats, Christmas content auditing, more update emails and a property meeting on Monday.

Tom and Lydia came home in the early evening and I played with Lydia whilst Tom made us leek and potato soup for tea. I had to invent lots of new verses to the 'See the sleeping bunnies' song, and I especially enjoyed Lydia making me 'sleep' on the kitchen floor to sing 'see the sleeping mummy sleeping on the floor' then doing 'ooh ooh ooh ' like a monkey when at got to the last bit and I asked what I had to do when I woke up!

We also video called my parents as Lydia kept asking ' where's grandpa?' She likes to try and hug and kiss the phone and and show them her toys, and they sing to her. Seeing them at home in their surroundings, sometimes I forget that they're on the phone and it feels like I could reach through and touch them. Or walk through and be right there with them, like something from a children's fairytale or Star Trek.

Tom was off put for the evening, so I did bedtime, but Lydia was too tired and grumpy for a story. She fell asleep pretty quickly which was nice, and I stayed cuddling her for a little while, soaking in her warmth.

Next was a quick tidy up, as Lauren, one of our ordinands at church was coming round at 8pm for a planning meeting. We use a very well thought out piece of software called Church Suite to manage things like our address book, attendance, event bookings and so on, so we were looking at how we could use that for a youth event.

After she'd gone, I spent the rest of the evening watching the Gentleman Jack box set on iPlayer before coming up to bed when Tom got back.

Remembrance flowers tomorrow, hopefully Tom's not called out so he can watch Lydia.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

NaBloPoMo 7: smoke

Off to the big smoke today for a planning meeting. Managed to get a seat for part of the journey so got some work done, phew! Treated myself to a Pret breakfast as I'd left too early to eat at home. Had a productive meeting and a productive digital interpretation call too.

Trains were delayed on the way back so didn't get back in time for pilates - boo. Had a quick play with Lydia who I found watching TV in her coat and wellies when I got in amusingly. She had a session of the naming of things, and we've recently discovered she can say her name, some times the whole name, sometimes "dee-da". Adorable. As is in the naming of people saying "my daddy" or "the daddy".

She went to sleep pretty quickly, so after dinner I changed our sheets, hovered the mattress, put a few clothes away, hung up some washing and prepped some pillowcases to make for Lydia's new little pillow.

London was crisp and bright today, sun gleaming on glass and steel. There's such a fizz in the air when I go to the capital, all those people and possibilities.

On the way home, I was sat on a table with two colleagues on their way home from a conference, older friendly folk for train travellers. After exchanging pleasantries, I carried on with writing through my work email and eavesdropped on their conversation that moved from their work to their relationship histories. From the body language, I'd say she was flirting hard, but from his relationship history perhaps she'd be better steering clear!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

NaBloPoMo 6: non working day

Wednesdays are my non working day at work so to speak. So I was on Lydia duty this morning, for another early breakfast and an early morning bath in order to fill the time! Tom then got her dressed whilst I dressed.

Lydia's second breakfast was mainly mushrooms that she helped herself to from the fridge. I didn't know she could open the fridge so that was interesting! Note to self not to leave her in the kitchen whilst I put the nappies on to wash!

I had to ring for a docs appointment for a few little Lydia health problems that needed looking at so she got to watch a lot of Sarah and Duck and eat more mushrooms whilst I was on hold. She was knackered after her early start so she had a nap before we headed out to the doctor's.

Inevitably, the docs were running late, so she ate all the bread sticks we keep for emergencies in the nappy bag and drank all her water. Then she charmed all the nurses, staff, and other patients by narrating what she could see and greeting every one with her "Herrow!" She was particularly interested in the babies in the waiting room and wanted to share her toys and blanket.

More of the same from Lydia as we walked between pharmacy and shops waiting for the perceptions and then up to nursery to fill in the medications form to save time tomorrow. She likes to greet the trees and dogs and get out the buggy and walk for a bit holding on to the frame whilst she tries to hold leaves.

We had a trip to the baker for bread and we shared a Chelsea bun on the way home, with lots of singing. I am surprised at how having a child has feed me even further from worrying about what people think, and I'm starting to enjoy their smirks as I belt out the "Grand Old Duke of York".

Once home we played until it was time to make dinner. Lydia wasnt very happy with me trying to make dinner, so it was a bit fraught by the time Tom came home. I made Muttar Paneer with Tempah and coconut milk instead of Paneer and yogurt and Tom and I both a agreed to stuck to Tofu over Tempah, but the coconut milk worked well. The texture of Tempah wasn't for me. Lydia loved it. Which was great!

Tom had a go at playing with Lydia whilst I sat down for a bit before bedtime, and then we had an extended bedtime where Lydia insisted she was hungry for food at one point and all sorts.

I was supposed to go to home group but Lydia didn't settle til 830, which made me 45 mins late so I gave it a miss. The rest of the evening Tom and I have watched a couple of episodes of Derry Girls and now it is bed time.

On days like this, I feel bad that the sorting that needs doing in life means I don't really play with Lydia. I hope she remembers the good bits like singing together and not the bad bits.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

NaBloPoMo 5: Bullets

Too late to type properly so quickly:

  • Left Lydia with Tom's mum today. Perk of her doing one day a week childcare is the babysitting on the night she stays over. Thanks for the lovely dinner Smiths! 
  • Used park and ride to get to Winchester today. Impressed by the environmental migations used on the site according to the car park signage.
  • Pleasant 1on1 with boss then lunch with boss and another colleague to talk auditing.
  • Got two of my three to do list things done today - all three hefty so pleased to have managed two.
  • Got Tom's Christmas present which I didn't hide well enough when I got in. Oh well.
  • Traffic home was shite, but just beat this evening's guests to ours. Hello Wilsons - hope Julian went back to sleep ok at yours!
  • Fish and chips for tea as we knew wouldn't have time to cook, have decided that good hospitality = a warm welcome, does not = home cooked food every time.
  • Absolutely knackered now but really want to finish my date planner editing so it doesn't dance through my dreams.

Monday, November 04, 2019

NaBloPoMo 4 : nothing of note yet

Tom got up with Lydia this morning so I got to sleep until 7am. She was enjoying in pacling my jewellery drawer whilst I got dressed, hunting for treasure.

To Wisley and back to support content training today. Traffic wasn't  too bad on the way there, the usual rubbish on the way home. Had to  stop both ways to get a drink as feeling drowsy. First time really driving the Passat, haven't got the hang of reversing it yet.

Back just in time to start bedtime with a sleepy Lydia who was playing with Granny. Tom's mum stays over on Mondays so she can look after Lydia on Tuesdays. It's a bit ridiculous that she drives all the way from Dorset to do it, but she says she wants to.

Lydia grumpy about getting ready for bed,  but currently sleepy feeding. Then I will be off to get changed and look out the chocolate  roulade I made last night as we're  put to dinner at a friend's house.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

NaBloPoMo 3 : wooooaahhh

Another early wake-up from Lydia. I caved and fed her in bed for a bit too stave off the crying and walking the house. I honestly can't remember the time she woke up, it feels like a bloody life time ago. I had 3 conversations with 3 other adults today about looking at the clock at 9am and thinking 'how can it only be 9am, I feel like it's 4pm. Oh wait I've already been up for 4 hours'.

I whisked her downstairs for incredibly early breakfast. I couldn't face bright lights so we had one set of kitchen spotlights mood lighting whilst she nibbled on one of everything on offer then got cross until she had some of my Crunchy Nut cereal. Yes I know, but we were on holiday right....

Lydia made me laugh by demanding food everyone someone came down and sat up for breakfast. I think she had 4 or 5 today. Must be growing as she delightedly demolished half a jacket potato at lunch, all the snacks in the afternoon and all her dinner plus yogurt and a rice cake. Tom says you know she's hungry when she it's willing to eat a plain dry rice cake.

We packed up and cleaned up around playing children, doing the dance of can you eat the last... Croissant... Slice of bacon... Pint of milk...I don't want to take it home, and divided up the sensible food leftovers. I have a wodge of Jess chocolate cake so I'm golden.

Then we were off to Basildon Park for a mooch round the garden and lunch. It's always extremely popular, especially at lunchtime, so we were sat in the café overflow seating across the courtyard. Worked in our favour as we were able to get a massive table for all of us. Lydia was so excited to be walking up to the house holding Ethan and Lara's hands, and completely besotted with the fairylights in the trees on the woodland walk from the car park. Her 'woooaahh' is adorable. Can't wait to see her reaction to Christmas decorations this year.

The others made their merry ways home after lunch, and we were going to stay and look around the house, but we were having too much fun looking at the cows and playing '123, Jump!' with Lydia that we decided to live in the moment and go with that. We were having a great time!

Obligatory nappy change and shop browse done, we stopped for dessert supplies in the way home at Winnal, and the rest of the afternoon has been spent unpacking and supervising Lydia. We've also watched some Sarah and Duck, and video called my parents. For all the bad stories we hear about modern tech, being able to video call my parents so they can watch Lydia playing is soooo happy making for me.

Lydia ' helped' with cooking dinner by following the ' one for me, one for the pot' mantra, but there was still enough for all of us, thank goodness. Now I'm feeding her to sleep again and I'm about to go make this cake for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

NaBloPoMo 2: Rain

Tom's turn to get up with Lydia today. So I had a bit of a lie in, and I eventually joined them downstairs for an excellent breakfast of Jess' sourdough cinnamon buns. We followed this with a morning of chaotic kids playing before heading out in the pouring rain to visit the Vale and Download Museum in Wantage.

This was a really well done local history museum with sections framed with different building types through history, and plenty of interactive displays for the kids. The hook a duck in the river project section went down very well with the kids!

We had a tasty lunch in the museum cafe, and then went on a short rainy walk around the down so Lydia could stretch her legs having napped around most of the museum. She was very very taken with puddle splashing and we had to make sure she didn't try and paddle in puddles in the road. *le sigh*

Once we were home again, again there was more chaotic kids playing, with lots of stretching out playtime until tea-time. Lydia has decided she likes cuddling people, so we had lots of her cuddling Ethan, who was very good about this annoying toddler, and lots of talking to Lydia about asking before launching herself at people.

Lydia was in bed in time for me to watch Strictly, so I've been watching that and eating chocolate cake.


My friend Claire asked on Instagram "Where would I like to see in the world?"

There are so many places I would like to see, and there's a twinge of selfish sadness that avoiding flights due to climate change means I may not see some of these - unless we go on some epic slow travel adventure.

When I think about it, most of the places I would like to visit are cities. I find there's something exciting, dynamic, full of possibility about a new city. So the places that leapt to mind were Venice and Lisbon. I've read plenty of novels set in both, and I'd love to explore their food culture and marvel at their architecture.

Friday, November 01, 2019

NaBloPoMo 1: working from home

Welcome back to my annual blogathon.

Today I woke up to Lydia grumble crying around 5am. So I went in to get her up, gave her a cuddle and then took her down stairs in her pijamas for first breakfast. In this phase of toddlerdom she is a regular hobbit and requires first breakfast as soon as she wakes up in lieu of the morning breast feed she was having until recently. It was Tom's morning for a lie in as he had the whole day off today.

Lydia feasted on multigrain hoops and fizzy water, and we spent a happy hour 'talking' together whilst she ate and I drank my tea. When the kitchen became boring, we moved to the family room and played with the crayons and Lydia practiced getting on and off her new little chair.

Around 6am I took her back to upstairs for a nappt change and to get dressed. After some negotiation over which clothes were acceptable, Tom helped her choose some socks whilst I got dressed. When I took her in to him, she woke him with gentle pats on bed saying 'Daddy' and gave him a big hug before insisting on playing Horsey Horsey.

Then it was off to nursery, with a short pitstop for Lydia to don the new ladybird raincoat bought by my mum, currently 3 sizes too big, but oh so appealing. As ever, she did not give me a second glance as I left, much more interested in her second breakfast of toast.

I pootled off to what would be one of my last drives in my black Golf to acquire rolls and sausages for breakfast. Alas the butchers didn't open till 830am so the Sainsbury's ones had to suffice. I joined a queue of pensioners waiting for the supermarket doors to open at 8am. They were bemoaning the lack of trick or treaters round their way, sweets going to waste and bemoaning great grandchildren traipsing mud through the house.

Breakfast acquired, I drove home, and once we'd cooked and eaten breakfast, I settled down to crack on with some work. Tom spent the morning packing for our trip and getting the cars cleaned up. I'm selling my Golf to my sister, and buying Tom's former company car, his Passat. Whilst he's waiting for a new electric Golf company car.

I'm excited about the electric car. Whilst it being smaller will mean some some work inconvenience for Tom in having room for a bit less gear, having access to an electric car for our trips around Southampton that can't be done by bus will be great for our emissions. The cost of an electric car outright was putting us off, so the offer of an electric company car is a real gift horse.

We've been making as many planet friendly small changes as we can recently. Something that I'm also excited by is that we're managing more and more veggie and vegan meals since our friends Jo and Sarah introduced us to smoked tofu from Tofoo. Tom's using it to replace chicken in a lot of dishes, like stirfries and so on, and it's really tasty.

After catching up on emails, thinking through a Christmas PPC approach and taking to one of the region's directors about collections content on social media, I ran out of time to actually do what I was supposed to today on my half day, so I will look at that this evening when Lydia is asleep.

Tom collected Lydia from nursery and dropped her off before going to get the Gold cleaned, so I spent another hour packing last minute things, stuffing Lydia with snacks and playing with dollies and trikes.

Upon Tom's return around 2pm, it was time to set off. It's another Bradshaw planning weekend, this time in Wiltshire, in a modern Airbnb. Tom left the Golf at Ellie's and I met him there, before driving the first leg to Newbury where we shopped for supplies. Lydia was starving after her nap, so I went ahead with her and bought bread sticks for her to munch. She was insistent on milk so we went and sat in the car whilst she drank her cup of milk.

Then we were off again, eating a late picnic lunch of Waitrose's finest reduced food and admiring the autumn colours. When we arrived, we admired the minimalist decor of the family home we're renting, something we could never achieve, nor would we want to, in our own home. It's fun to try and piece together the owner's personality from their decor.

Lydia refused to eat tea, settling for a slice of bread and peanut butter and explored all the new toys. I'm currently tag teaming with Tom as she's still awake after her late nap. The first set of friends have just arrived, and the others will be here shortly with curry....

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!