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.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

NaBloPoMo 4 swimming

We all survived Lydia's first night in her own room. She woke up at 6:30am which was nice! After her first feed, we got up Harry promptly and breakfasted fast enough to get to church just as the first hymn started.

I enjoyed Nicky's sermon on how to find ways to pray throughout your whole day, and Lydia was only making happy noises which was nice. She did manage to need a complete outfit change after the service so we made a quick exit!

We had to sing one song to the tune of another in the last hymn, as we used the wrong track off our CD of organ backing tracks. It was a pretty hard tune to sing, not sure God would have been enjoying it much!

Lydia fell asleep on the short walk home so we let her nap and I sent Tom off for a lie down too as he looked knackered. I sorted out washing and prepped to go swimming until Lydia woke up.

Once she'd woken up and had a little feed and a play, we packed the car and trundled off to Oaklands Swimming Pool in Lordshill for their Floats Fun Swim. Lydia seems to like being in the water, and would kick her legs when floated along on her back or front, or whilst holding a float. It's lovely watching her get so excited. We have a little baby wetsuit/swimsuit for her that keeps her nice and warm which is great.

Eventually she started to look tired and a bit cold, so it was time to go. I wasn't sure how to manage changing her and me, but as she seemed happy wrapped in her damp towel and it was fairly warm in changing room, I decided to get me changed first so I didn't do drip water all over her.

She inevitably fell asleep in the car. Tom impressively managed to get her from car to living room floor whilst still asleep, so we tucked hey up in a blanket there and got on with preparing lunch. Fish finger sandwiches for us, and mash, fish fingers, cucumber and apple for Lydia which she seemed to like very much. Only just managed to avoid setting fire to the fish fingers by getting distracted by emptying the washing machine!

For the rest of the afternoon we bimbled around the house taking it in turns to amuse the baby and do chores. I made an apple crumble for dinner later, and some breastfeeding breakfast bars for a friend who's just had a baby. I enjoyed peeling the skins off the lightly defrosted whole frozen apples with my fingers. The flesh just under the surface had gone mushy and the skins came off really easily. No good for eating as is but perfect for crumble.

The breakfast bars are a Nigella recipe similar to flapjack that uses a tin of condensed milk warmed through in place of butter and golden syrup. She adds oats, cranberries, dessicated coconut, and mixed nuts and seeds to hers. I made do with the random content of my cupboards, berry museli, nut museli, ground almonds, sesame seeds, and raisins. Came out well though!

Tom prepared veggie stew for dinner, and took Lydia out for a little walk to get leeks whilst I made the dumplings. Our friends Dee and Sam came to be dinner, which was fab as we'd not seen them for ages. Stew, dumplings and crumble all turned out fine, phew! Lydia joined us at the dining table with her dinner which was fun and got put to bed between the main course and dessert.

We had a wonderful evening setting the world to rights with Dee and Sam. I'm just madly writing this in bed to squeak in the deadline, after some online Christmas shopping and Strictly Come Dancing. Remembrance flowers tomorrow.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

NaBloPoMo 3 custard

We got up gently today after a random 4 am wake-up for a feed from Lydia. It was a nice change to have a weekend in Southampton so we weren't rushing anywhere.

Tom and Lydia played in bed whilst I had a shower, then I took Lydia downstairs for her breakfast whilst he had his breakfast. She stayed in her PJs today so her costume for the baby Halloween party later on stayed clean!

We had time for a nice quiet sit down whilst Lydia played which was good as we're both shattered at the moment. When went for a short nap, I got some washing sorted too.

Then it was time to get changed into our costumes and go down to Rachael and Dan's for the baby Halloween party. We know them from our NCT classes, and they'd kindly invited all the babies and parents round. They'd gone all out on the decorations and amazing food, and had everything the babies might want too which made for a fun afternoon. All the babies were dressed up, we had Lydia as Tinkerbell with a matching mummy and daddy as Wendy and John from Peter Pan, a baby parrot and some pirate parents, a pumpkin, a skunk, a lion, a monster, and a couple of skeletons.

Lydia turns out to her father's daughter in not liking custard, as she cried when I made her try the sensory activity of custard with plastic bats and jelly with plastic eyeballs to play with. Tom has an aversion to slimy things which Lydia seems to have inherited. One of the babies was really into the lime jelly, and was trying to crawl headfirst into the bowl!

By 330pm, Lydia was shattered but way to excited to nap a the party, so we made our excuses and left. She conked out as soon as we started driving, so we went to get some shopping on the way home to prolong the car nap.

I'm now typing and feeding Lydia after quickly giving her some dinner and starting ours. We're trying her in her own room tonight, though picking to do this around Fireworks Night may have been a mistake!

Friday, November 02, 2018

NaBloPoMo 2 trees

Up bright and early today for a physio appointment at 730am. Tom looked after Lydia whilst I was in my appointment. Since Lydia was born I've developed a pain in my left hip. It was both a stabbing pain in my left groin and an ache in my left sacroiliac joint, but the physio seems to be helping.

Once we'd got back send all had some toast, Tom went to work and Lydia played whilst I put some washing away. I had hoped to go to a messy play session with some baby friends but Lydia decided to nap at just the wrong point. So I arranged to see people for a walk later instead.

Whilst Lydia napped I sorted and stuffed the washable nappies, then when she woke up, we had lunch together and played for a bit until it was time to go to the Common. We had a short feed in the hope she'd nap again whilst at were out.

She duly obliged, and I even managed to transfer her from the carseat to the buggy with minimal stirring which is always a win. I met up with Laura and her baby Tamsin, and we set off across the gorgeously autumnal Common. We found Louise and Chloe, and had a fab stroll in the crisp air and a good old natter too.

We know each other from our NCT classes and we're just reaching the point where we're getting to know everyone a bit better and can talk about more than the babies which is lovely. We stopped for a quick drink on the Cowherds, and had fun watching the babies talk away to each other.

Once it started to get cold, we went our separate ways. Lydia and I collected a few leaves on the walk to the car which she duly decided to eat. We had a quick phone call with Tom to through evening plans and then popped home to pick up more baby stuff so we could go to Jon and Hannah's.

So here you find me, lying on the floor of their empty lounge as Tom helps them move furniture ready for their house move and I feed the baby. I have done nothing useful but hopefully Tom has!

....NABLOPOMO.... It's #nablopomo ! I don't even know if that's a thing anymore, but I'll be posting about my everyday life on my blog all month. I've done this every November for years, so it almost feels like a social history project. Here's a pic of the lush succulent the lovely @mrsannafabulous bought me from yesterday's post. Link in bio #blogging #blog #dayinthelife

via Instagram

Thursday, November 01, 2018

NaBloPoMo 1 grinning

"It's the most wonderful time of the year...."

The one where I crank out the old blogging mojo and get to it again.

Today, I tried to snuggle in bed with Lydia for as long as possible but she was having none of it. So I got dressed whilst dancing around to the Archers theme, as is our morning routine, bedtime clashing with live listening. She grins at me like a loon, I love it.

Then we went to Lydia's room to get her dressed. Today she was wearing the Snow White costume Glitter Granny (my mum) had bought for £1 in her local charity shop. It was Halloween themed week at Hartbeeps, our local baby sensory singing thing I go to, so I thought we could get away with some late dressing up.

Next up was breakfast. Lydia is enjoying exploring food, so we shared Readybrek and a persimmon. Lydia was quite keen on both which was great. She got to go and play on the family room carpet at this point and I sorted some washing and tidied up before getting ready to go. A quick feed and Lydia was bundled up into the pushchair for our walk to St Denys church hall. She had a little nap on the way which is good!

We arrived at Hartbeeps in plenty of time for a fun session of singing, autumn leaves, inflatable pumpkins, and gnome hats. Hartbeeps is my fave of the baby groups we've tried so far, as it's really chilled out and creative and the lady who runs it in our area is so kind and friendly.

We walked as far as the park on the way home with our friends Marika and baby Micah. I'd met Marika at pregnancy yoga so it is lovely to see the babies our bumps have become. I had to rush then as our lunch guests spotted us at the traffic lights and I didn't want to keep them waiting.

Anna and Valerie are another mum and bump/baby I met at Yoga. We had a lovely lunch catching up, and watching the babies play. She'd bought me a succulent which was really sweet of her. Got to decide the right spot for it now.

After they'd gone, Lydia and I spent the afternoon playing and feeding. I'm trying to encourage her to nap in the afternoons properly, so we tried that. Whilst she was sleeping I renewed my car insurance and got more washing on.

Hannah popped by to borrow our DIY vacuum cleaner and have a quick play with Lydia. Tom came back nice and early from his volunteering meeting so I had plenty of time to get ready for Pilates. Unfortunately when I got to my class, it looked like the teacher had forgotten about it, so I toddled home to Tom giving Lydia her dinner and making ours.

I'm writing now after her bedtime, having done the first feed, and now trying to encourage her to go to sleep sleep. Tom spotted her 5th tooth had started to come through which might explain all the dribble we've seen lately. Best go and write that in her red book.

Need to start my Christmas shopping and work on the christmas baby cardigan I've started for Lydia. Christmas falls over the months when I won't be getting paid so lots of second hand and homemade presents all round.