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....