Tuesday, November 26, 2019

NaBloPoMo 16: and relax....

Lydia with Tom's mum today, left them playing with the shape sorter and Lydia beginning to name the shapes and colours.

Managed to forget my laptop, but never fear, a desktop was free, woohoo! Made a round of bacon sarnies at work when I got in for those who wanted them. Loved seeing the surprised happy faces. Will have to think of something to do in December!

Got through a fair chunk of the to-do list, but will need to do a bit of catch up on Wednesday evening. I don't mind as I often finish a little early to allow me to see Lydia before bed and then do a little email or data entry in front of the telly in the evening. Ordered a new fridge freezer on my lunch break too.

Home time for Lydia cuddles and milk for her. She's under the weather and has been asking for breast milk when I come home from work the last few days, where as we'd pretty much stopped that and were only having a bedtime feed. Think she wants the comfort. She pretty much fell asleep on my lap by 630pm, so I took her upstairs and got her ready for bed. It seemed cruel to wake her, but she needed teeth doing and a nappy change.

She was soon back to sleep again, and I had time to get ready for dancing whilst Tom cooked dinner. He'd made chicken mushroom and leek risotto with the leftover roast chicken. I left him just before 8pm to meet Louisa who was joining me this evening.

Dancing was excellent as ever. Think Louisa enjoyed herself too, and I've managed to learn a few people's names which is good. Now in bed with pleasantly achy feet.

Monday, November 25, 2019

NaBloPoMo 24+25: Feeding crowds

Drama when we got back from Dad's party on Saturday, our old fridge freezer in the conservatory had packed up, leaving us with a sad amount of wasted defrosted food. The hunt is on for a new one and there was lots of cleaning up to do!

Off to church yesterday in time for the first hymn, then home again for a whirlwind of cooking and tidying as we were hosting the home group lunch. Only one family had RSVP'd and no one had turned up by 1pm so we were expecting to be eating alone.

But then three people turned up, then another two, then another two, then another four, then another two, then another one until before we knew it we were getting tables in from the garden and looking out more plates and cutlery. Fortunately Tom had made enough chili and people brought pizzas and side dishes. It was a bit chaotic, but I think people had fun. I still wish I'd had more warning on numbers as I could have moved furniture in to the conservatory to make more space for eating.

In the afternoon, we spent a lot of time clearing up whilst playing with Lydia. I had a woozy spell around 5pm and took to my bed for an hour or so. Fortunately I felt much better after, and was able to help with the rest of the tidying up.

Today I was in the office in Micheldever, mainly working on new seasonal guidance, and this evening, alongside playing with Lydia and a roast dinner, I've helped a sister of a friend with planning the digital and marketing side of launching her new business. My idea of fun that, telling someone what to do and coming up with ideas without having to do any actual work!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

NaBloPoMo 22 + 23: party

Sorry for another fail, too busy having fun!

A quick trip to drop Lydia at nursery, then working from home. Achieved modern life's pinnacle of working from the laptop over the mobile hotspot in the car in the way to my parents' house. Actually got loads done which is very satisfying.

Mum pleasantly surprised by our early arrival. And so a delightful evening with my parents and grandparents, even if Lydia took a while to get to sleep with all the excitement! I then stayed up late helping Mum decorate Dad's birthday, this year a Scaletrix two tier affair.

This morning, I got up with Lydia. Mum said she'd have her so Tom and I could have a lie in but once I was up I was up. Lots of playing all morning with Mum and Lydia and two lots of breakfast!

We were off to the pub to decorate for the party just after 11. I was sent off to find string for the balloons and pens for the quiz. Tesco Express was a bust, but Barnardo's came up trumps with present ribbon and fundraising biros.

Dad's friends, colleagues and family arrived from 12 onwards for drink and food was served from 1pm. Lydia was of course the start of the show. You could find where she was by the gaggle of admirers. But Grandpa was the favourite of the day, and she spent most of day in his arms or playing with the aunties.

He'd written a pub quiz with rounds all about himself and things he likes, including 'have I met them or moved them?' ' all things Irish' ' Disney princesses' and so on. I'm very pleased to carry my team won!

About 4pm people started drifting home, so we tidied up and went back to mum and dad's for some tea and birthday cake with my dad's brothers and wives. Really nice to spend time with them all.

Now on the way home with Lydia asleep in the car!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

NaBloPoMo 20 + 21

Here are my autumn socks:

Sorry about yesterday, we had a very extended bed time that used up all my writing time

Took Lydia to our first swimming lesson yesterday. She loved it. Was a mix of singing, games and basic swimming technique. Looking forward to next week. Went to get bread and fruit in Shirley afterwards and looked for some Christmas bits. Treated my self to lunch out whilst she napped in the buggy, but think I got nap times wrong hence the long bedtime!

Tom up with Lydia today, then I did nursery drop off. Off to Surrey for a team meeting on new audience segmentation. Very interesting! Home again in time to cuddle a grumpy Lydia for an hour before my pilates class. Think her teeth are sore again. Then pilates and another extended bedtime. Tom on call for some of the evening so ended up feeding her to sleep in my bed. Been packing and tidying since as off to dad's birthday party on Saturday.

Time for bed now!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

NaBloPoMo 19: Autumn Socks Day

Tom up with Lydia at the joyful time of 6.30am, then a swap with me once it was time for him to go. We read the Baby Catalogue by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, a favourite of mine from childhood. I love Lydia pointing and naming all the things. It takes me right back to cosying up to my mum and reading together.

I took her down to have her breakfast with Tom's mum, got her started and then went back to stairs to dress. She wanted all her cutlery out today, and was sorting them by colour. Quick breakfast for me on the run. of last night's Dorset Apple Cake.

Traffic to work terrible due to an accident on the A34 so went all through the houses to get to the office. Once I'd dumped my stuff, got on to making bacon sarnies for those who wanted them using the magic microwave grill tray. Though forgot the sauce. A few years back, bacon sandwich days and hot chocolate days and wreath making workshops were part of our office culture, but it's died down of late, so I'm going to try and bring it back.

Work went ok today, managed to get one huge thing hanging over me done, will try and finish the next one later this week.

Home in more bad traffic, back in time for big cuddles from Lydia and a little walk en famille to the corner shop for spring onions and chilis for the Brazilian Chicken and Beans Tom was making for dinner. Lydia walked 7/8 of the way there and back which was great, and she goes so fast now. Lots of "hello cars" and "walking, walking". She loves to help us, and carried the spring onions all the way home. When her legs got tired, she asked to be carried and then spent the last little bit saying "hello mummy" to which I'd reply " hello Lydia" and repeat, or adorably " hello my daddy".

She wasn't so keen on eating dinner with us when we got back, so she sat on our laps and nibbled at rice whilst we ate. We also swapped socks as it is our family holiday of Autumn Socks Day. I got Tom bright yellow ones with pink, purple and orange ones. Lydia, who actually needed bigger socks, got a selection of animal and spots, and Tom got me the best such I've ever had, which have a whole pastoral hillside and lake scene complete with ducks and goats. Pics tomorrow.

Lydia was getting sleepy over dinner, so Tom took her swiftly off to bed, and I got my self ready to go out dancing whilst she had her teeth brushed etc. She was so tired that she had barely any milk, and I was off put to dancing to catch the end of the beginner class. Winning!

Dancing was good. It's always good. Less people there which meant dancing with people more than once which I like, helps me get to know people's styles. Took a change of clothes with me which helps with me getting sweaty too! Should get someone to film me really, I'd love to see what I look like dancing.

Now home and in bed after a much needed quick shower.

Monday, November 18, 2019

NaBloPoMo 18: Happy Birthday Dad

He's 60 today! Here's the paper gift I made him to unwrap in lieu of the trip to the Proms we clubbed together to buy him:

Sunday, November 17, 2019

NaBloPoMo 17: busy busy

Tom up with Lydia for first breakfast, then as swap at 7am, upon which she fell asleep on me, so she got to have a short nap whilst I got dressed.

Bags packed for swimming whilst Tom got up, second breakfast and some playing, then off to church, only a few minutes late.

Lydia is really in to drawing at the mo, so the pack of crayons and notebook is stuck in the nappy bag kept her occupied for most of the service. Vicar kindly offered to let Lydia bounce post service on the Winchester Cathedral shaped bouncy castle from last night's church party, but she wasn't keen, I think because of the noise.

Home for third breakfast for Lydia and first breakfast for adults, and to pack the car for swimming. Lydia totally getting the idea of kicking her legs a bit in the water now, and liked the slide, but think she got a bit cold as didn't want to stay in as long as we usually do. We're starting lessons together next Wed for a term, so we'll see how that goes.

After swimming, and playing the follow the toddler as she explores and is all proud because she sat on a bench my herself game around the car park, it was off home for lunch. Inevitably she fell asleep on the way home, so I sat for the rest of nap hour with her on the car and Tom made lunch.

She had a nasty histamine reaction to something in the lunch, I think the sweet peppers, all little hives on her face and hands. So anti histamines for her, and I'll be ringing the docs for a chat tomorrow. She's got an egg allergy and reacted to peppers and tomato over the last few weeks.

After that drama, Tom took his little blue sports car for a final drive before selling it to a garage near Winchester. He haggled them into giving him £900 for it, which was much more than we were expecting! Lydia and I followed half an hour behind to pick him up, having got the chicken in the oven for dinner.

We sang lots of songs on the way, which I always enjoy. Though apparently there's a third song about rabbits that I don't know, See the Sleeping Bunnies, and Little Peter Rabbit not cutting it! We took Tom's work car, and I'm also amazed at the fact that I can just get in any car and drive it these days, given how hard I found learning to drive.

Tom sat in the back with Lydia as she needed to be given drinks and snacks, and she was telling him she wanted to get out and walk and run. Yay for language skills! So we had a stop at the park on the way pack and delighted in her amazement at BMX tricks, her naming of all the things she could see and her "runrunrun" as she ran and jumped with us.

Home as it was getting dark, just in time for the timer on the oven to finish. Tom prepared the sides to go with the chicken, and Lydia and I watched a little Sarah and Duck whilst we waited. Roast chicken a huge hit as always, seconds consumed by all. I then did some washing up and tidying and Lydia did drawing with Tom until bed time .

I sorted nappies until a very short bedtime milk session. Fortunately it was short, as I was supposed to be advising a sister of a friend over the phone on digital marketing basics for her new business. I think she got what she wanted from the call, even if we did have to start a little later than planned!

The rest of the evening has been booking tickets and accommodation for our Christmas trip to Normandy to see the father in law, and watching the Crown, such I just love!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

NaBloPoMo 15+16: Company

Sorry, another fail - getting too tired these dates!

Yesterday was another working from home day. Enjoyed saying hello to Lydia at lunch time when Tom picked her up from nursery, and getting some baby Jasper cuddles in the afternoon whilst Jon went to pick his car up from the garage. He and Jasper went to the park with Lydia and Tom whilst their car was in the garage. Lydia slept through most of it, nothing like a fresh air nap.

In the evening, Jon, Hannah and Jasper, Twinkle and Ben and Laura came round for pizza. Tom managed to see a bit of them between being on call and eat his delicious pizza, and I had a great evening chatting away to them all. Yay, Fridays!

Today, I got up and gave Lydia first breakfast around 7, and then swapped with Tom whilst I got dressed. Lydia and I did some colouring and watched some Sarah and Duck whilst Tom got his car ready to go and be assessed to be sold. Unfortunately, the battery had lost its charge since its last outing two weeks ago, and we had to call on friends and neighbours to help him push it back up the slope of the drive into the garage!

After that fail, we walked up to the post office to post Autumn Socks to the godchildren, and invited ourselves to my sisters' lunch outing in Dibden Perlieu at the Lovely Little Cafe today. I'm so glad they didn't mind us gate crashing. Lydia was made up to spend time walking around with her aunties at the cafe, and then to spend the afternoon playing the piano, watching Disney songs and being cuddled and thrown up in the air by aunties and uncles! Tom and I enjoyed the food, and the chance to spend an afternoon sat down. We had to do the boring bits of parenting like a nappy change, but for once weren't on entertainment duty. Much appreciated.

I also really appreciate how well Tom has always got on with my family. Such a relief not to have to be worrying how he's getting on. We arranged our Christmas get together for the 21 Dec, which will be lovely.

Then home at Lydia's bedtime, and a supper of veggie soup in front of Strictly whilst I planned our Christmas trip to France. I've left our PJs on the heated towel rail and hot water bottles in the bed. Hurray!

Friday, November 15, 2019

NaBloPoMo 14

A fail I'm afraid, too sleepy!

Lydia at nursery today, and I worked from home. Ran social media training using some of my volunteering time from work this morning on social media and comms for the new staff. Am excited to see what they do with it.

Had fun giving Lydia piggy back rides around the kitchen whilst Tom cooked dinner in the evening. We had mussels, chips and crispy kale for tea - Lydia not keen on trying the mussels, but loved the chips. Then I rushed out to Pilates - feel like I'm getting much stronger! Bedtime ok today, caught up on work in the evening in front of the telly.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

NaBloPoMo 13: family

Lydia and mummy day today! Tom got Lydia up and gave her first breakfast and I took over getting dressed once I was dressed. Then downstairs for second breakfast for Lydia whilst I packed our things ready for our day out.

We trundled off to see my grandparents around 9am, stopping enroute at Waitrose to pick up the word is ordered for Kudus and some biscuits to take with us. Lydia had fallen asleep on the car, and stayed also on my shoulder throughout the whole visit to the shop which made carrying things interesting. Thank you to the nice employees who helped carry the packages out to my car!

Once we arrived at my grandparents, Lydia played with the toys is brought with us, and with the selection Granny still has at her house. Lots of feeding toy food to various objects. She also asked Granny to read to hey over and over. I'd forgotten how good my Granny especially is at playing. It was a good reminder to me to stop and actually join in with Lydia's games. I had nice chat with my Papa whilst they were playing too. I love that Lydia recognises my grandparents and wants to play with them. All those picture galleries on the TV thanks to the Chromecast are paying off.

I have Lydia her packed lunch whilst we were there, then in was back in the car to do a bit of shopping on the way home. We stopped at Rogers Wholesale in Milbrook, who sell past best packaged food by the case. Tom's been and friends recommended it but I wanted to check it out myself. There wasn't much to tickle my fancy this time, bit I think it's the kind of place that has a quick turnaround. I still managed to buy a couple of cases of snack bars to keep in my car for emergencies and some snacks for Lydia! She was very in to helping me push my trolley and really good about holding on to it so that way round.

Sainsbury's next for a few groceries and autumn sock shopping. Lydia was not happy about going round the supermarket! Fortunately I was using one of the self scanner handsets, so I could scan some bananas at heavier weight and give her one to eat as we walked round. I enjoyed hey pretending a packet of cutlery we were buying was a phone to phone Glitter Granny and Grandpa Bear, (my mum and dad) and pending it was a baby to rock!

We made it out eventually, with lots more nursery rhyme singing, and I'd hoped to stop at the park on the way home. But there was no parking as it was school run time and I couldn't face going home to go out again. So home it was. Lydia fell asleep on the short journey, so was very grumpy when we got home.

I placated her with Cheerios to nibble on and a cup of oatmilk, and a cuddle in front of Sarah and Duck, before Glitter Granny video called us for a little bit. Once Tom came home, we made dinner together, and then Tom played with Lydia whilst I drank a cup of tea and did some washing up. Tasty dinner of Salt and Pepper Smoked Tofu and stir fry veggies today.

Bed time wasn't too bad again today, and once Lydia was asleep, Tom was away to homegroup and I spent the rest of my evening watching Pose and prepping for my church comms workshop tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo 12: dancing

A more gentle exit this morning as it was a Lydia and Granny day, so I got to eat breakfast at home for a change. The bottomless pit of my toddler wanted all the fruit this morning!

Busy traffic to and from my office today, didn't quite make it through the to do list, but getting there. Starting to feel comfortable in my role again, hoping I can do something fun and innovative with next year's content.

Then home again to find Lydia 'helping' Tom make dinner, so took her off to watch some Sarah and Duck with me and have a cosy cuddle until tea was ready. This was followed by a splashy bathtime, where Lydia took great delight in shutting herself in the "Shoaw-ah" cubicle and pulling faces at me through the glass!

After not too arduous bedtime, I left Tom putting washing away and escaped to my Ceroc class. Made it in time to join in with the beginners which is helpful for getting to know some people for the freestyles later.

It's interesting how sometimes when you're facing with someone it can just click and you feel like you're in another space, becoming completely unaware of others on the floor. There's a lot said about being a good lead, but I think there's a lot to being a good follow too, trying to stay focused on where you're being taken and not drifting off. A lot of the people in this class have very light leads, with subtle shades of firm and light pressure. It's nice not to have my arms yanked off put it takes more concentration on my part. I love the sense of momentum, of my body being moved through space when I'm spun at double time or someone slingshots me around them. I also love that same gender partners are welcomed or even encouraged, and you can choose to be a lead or a follow whatever your gender.

I didn't have a partner for every dance, bit I've only been to this venue twice and so I'm only just getting to know people. I'm just about getting confident enough to ask others to dance too.

I'm home now, feeling very revved up on other people's energy. But I have had a shower to get rid of all the sweat! Roll on next week if Lydia lets me out!

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....