Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Artist in the making

I forgot to post this a few weeks back. This is a painting Grace did at Dad's Group with Matt the Husband at the Children's Centre in the village.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Snuffle, Crackle and Pop!

Not cereal by any means. A poorly baby. Runny nose, chesty cough and the trots to round it off nicely. Poorly Grace has a chest infection and a viral bug in her gut as well. Again, Calpol is our friend, and that is followed a close second by Amoxycillin given to us by our kindly Doctor who took pity on us for the fact that Grace had done nothing more than want cuddles for the last 24 hours straight. Not even milk has raised a smile and she's at the point now where she's not producing any wet nappies. NHS Direct have been great since giving us advice on getting fluids into a reluctant baby, and we haven't done too badly with that so far. Having said that, she's not taken any milk at bedtime so we may be in for a sleepless night. Wish us luck... or I should say wish Matt the Husband luck - he does the night shift, bless him. Night all x x

6 months in pictures

6 months old

5 months old

3 months old

2 months old

Birth day

Saturday, 12 February 2011

6 months

I'll get the cliche out the way with 'where has the time gone' and 'it has flown by' although I will say I agree with the cliches - IT HAS!!

Dear little Grace Mae....

You are now 6 months old. I feel I should be popping a cork or blowing a whistle to let people know of your coming of age, as your Daddy and I are proud as punch. Although we see you everyday, we never tire of looking at you and we were only saying to each other yesterday how much you are changing so quickly. After swimming today we said how we thought you were already becoming a little girl and I say that with a heavy heart as I'm not ready to let my baby grow up just yet! You love your swimming so much and your swimming teacher Debbie loves to see you and always spends time making you smile and your eyes open so so wide with excitement when we get the pool toys out to play with - your favourite is a green rubber fish and he never fails to delight you! Swimming, along with bath time is the only thing you will tolerate when you are tired or grumpy. It seems no matter how tired, water raises your spirits, clears your head and leaves you full of enjoyment for the moment.

On the whole you're taking to weaning with great gusto, and there is nothing you aren't prepared to try. You make life so easy as you will merrily stuff anything in your mouth, and as such you are enjoying sharing mealtimes with Mummy and Daddy. I speak on your behalf when I say your favourite dinner to date is Toad in the Hole, as you tucked into the Yorkshire Pudding with such vengeance, one might have thought we had forgotten to feed you that day! You're still developing your technique and finger foods work best for you at the moment (carrot batons, broccoli stalks, other veg cut into 'chip' shapes so you have a handle), although you're becoming more dexterous and are taking great joy in trying other foods too. I believe you share our love of spices as your 'chickpea curry face' had us both laughing out loud, and you've made a pretty good effort with cous cous too. Well done!!

You're a joy to spend time with and we never tire of the noises you make. Our favourite by far is the sigh you make over and over when you are content and resting, we reply in the same tone, and you sigh again. We love it!! Please don't grow out of that sigh! You have learnt to wave, I think they taught you at nursery, and we spent the afternoon today watching you practice with Grandma and Great Gran Fran. I think it's only a matter of time before you learn your first word... I am still thinking it will be milk! Your Nanny and Grandpa from Norfolk are coming to see you next week and they are so excited not having seen you since Christmas. You will impress them with everything you do and everything you are. We are all so proud of you poppet. I can imagine we will share a laugh over the way you lay on your back exploring your toes, and put your foot in your mouth to nibble on it. Once or twice you have bitten yourself with those two lower teeth (that are sharp now) and you look really put out and sometimes cry. You then seem to take comfort from sucking on your foot again.... until you bite it. It's only a matter of time until you master the principle of cause and effect, I am certain.

You are very long now. The health visitor tells me we can't call you tall until you are able to stand - so until then you are 'long'. Maggie and I measured you for your 6 month milestone and you are 2 feet 4 inches already! If you carry on growing so well we think you will be 5 feet 9 inches when you are a grown up. We shall see! You weigh 19lbs 10oz now and you are consistent in your gain. We have swapped you onto follow-on milk now and touch wood it wont affect your night time sleep habit, which is still without fail impeccable. You did wake twice the first night you were suffering with your first common cold, but we knew you needed comforting and in the middle of the night I thought to myself, this is what it's all about. Being here for you when you need us.

Grace dear, before Mummy prattles on and gets way too mushy and sentimental, I will sign off now, but leave you with a snapshot of what is happening in the world, on your 6 month birthday. Remember we love you to the moon and back.

Mummy and Daddy (and Daisy-woof) x x x

So what's going on in the world today? Call this an e-timecapsule if you will...

A can of diet-coke costs 60p from a vending machine.

Diesel is 129.9p per litre.

A cinema ticket costs £7 for a Saturday night showing.

Our favourite red wine: Torres SANGRE DE TORO from Catalunya in Spain costs around £7.44 per bottle.

The movie, 'The King's Speech' is set to top the bill at the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes, for actor Colin Firths depiction of King George VI's effort to quash his stutter.

This week Mohammed Hosni Mubarak the Egyptian president has resigned after a 30 year reign. This followed weeks of protests by the people of Egypt.

US marine archaeologists have found the sunken whaling ship belonging to the captain who inspired Herman Melville's classic 19th Century novel, Moby Dick.

Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs has been taken to hospital after suffering a suspected stroke. Originally from Lambeth, south London, Biggs was among a 15-strong gang which attacked the Glasgow to London mail train at Ledburn, Buckinghamshire, in August 1963, making off with £2.6m.

(news items cited from

Piccies of Grace to follow when she's less tired :0)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Back in the saddle

I am talking about the end of another era - the stay at home mum... has returned to work proper and is back in the saddle and ready for the ride! It feels better than expected and so far the horse is behaving. I know I have already dabbled with working by using my KIT days to keep in touch (which I gather does as it says on the proverbial tin), but this is the real deal, full shifts and three of the beauties every single week. Yee Ha!

I'm not the Sheriff in town anymore though, I shall no doubt find it hard letting the new one get on with her work without feeling the need to look after the corral. But one things certain, my new office is well within spitting distance and so I'll be right on hand to step in to oversee any shoot outs that may occur.

Talking about bluetac at twenty paces, I had a good few hours yesterday shuffling my desk space around and sticking up pictures of Gracie-wiggle. It's starting to feel like home and after just two shifts I have a smile on my face and I'm ready for the long haul. Working hard is guuuuuud!

So if I'm not the Sheriff, what am I? Well, time will tell. Thus far I have worn several hats and I have room on the rack for a few more. And the more the merrier in my book. Why be dull? And what's more I've been offered some overtime which a) is great because I'm chaffing at the bit to clear the backlog of stuff that's been accumulating and idling while I've been away and b) I may now be able to provide Grace with nutrition other than beans on toast. I'm joking.....
We can't afford bread. Ha Ha!

Anyway, this isn't strictly a developmental milestone for the baby bear, but it is in a way, as from this week, Mummy is bringing in the bacon again and good times are on their way. And it's Grace's first step in becoming a proper little independent person, spending real time on her own in the world with others.

So will it affect her? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on your school of thought, and there's a prolific amount of research out there to support you in them, whatever thoughts they might be. My personal feeling is that by being at work a few days, Grace will ultimately benefit. She gets to spend time with her Grandma regularly, and she gets to start to mix with other children every week at nursery and everything else that goes along with it. Apparently the use of good quality childcare while Mum is at work can help offset the negative effects of non-paternal childcare (i.e. when mum 'abandons her child to pursue her career' - their words, not mine). But seeing as I only have one child and one option I feel I can't really contribute to the research base on this issue, as clever Grace might be, but she can't be in two places at once. In essence, I feel a lot more laid back about it compared to when I first went through my options of returning to work full-time, part-time or not at all. Now I'm happy to go with the flow.

As for other benefits of being back in the saddle. The dog is happy. She gets to come to the office with me and hang out with her 4-legged friends. Good times.

Is it wrong that I still think this is cute even though H&S is now my bag?!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Raspberry Ripple Effect

Giggles. Loud, wonderful, giggles... and plenty of them!

Grace has learnt a new skill and I'm so happy for her. Matt the Husband has numb lips and a red face from blowing so many raspberry's on her tummy and under her arms that he is starting to feel faint. The dog, bless her, is running scared as a raspberry to her is a signal she has done something a little naughty so we need to re-think that one as she keeps going to bed. As with any new skill, Grace is selective over who she practices with... evidently Mummy's raspberry's just don't cut the mustard. But I don't mind one little bit - my little girl can chuckle and laugh and I'm proud as punch.

I'd like to write a raspberry sound. Any ideas how?

Audience Participation

Just a quickie from yours truly. I thought I should get a bit more tech-savvy so here goes!

You'll notice at the foot of each post some new features where you can get involved as I was missing the facebook element of 'like'. Now you can 'thumbs up' if you like a post, and you can click 'more of these' if you like the style or content of the post. Anything else please feel free to write a comment - you don't need to be a blogger to comment and your post remains anonymous unless you sign with your name.

You can also now share the post on facebook and twitter by clicking the relevant icon.

Cheers ears! Happy reading... and thanks for the feedback :0)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

New Month's Resolution

Yes 3 days late I know, but we won't be picky, will we? And we won't hold me to this resolution either, as then it becomes pressure. And you know how I hate pressure. So we'll call it something I intend, ney, hope to stick to, as I know I will reap the benefits.

With my return to work looming... a mere 3 days left until the laptop gets an airing... I have been feeling increasingly blue and riding the waves of the doldrums - neither high nor low, just somewhat flat and going nowhere. Thanks to support from Matt the [long-suffering] Husband and Grace [the darling daughter] I have been motivated to shake off the blues before I get bogged down in the ever decreasing circles that are my head at the moment, I have decided to nip it in the bud before Spring arrives.

Up to Christmas I had been attending a yoga class with my favourite teacher Joanna with my good friend Sheli. We didn't stick it as the classes are such a distance and the weather over winter has been less than kind... you may have already heard the story of the snow and ice ride home that took hours and comprised several skids, spins and swear words. It was also denting my pocket somewhat as Joanna is Waitrose and I need Netto at the moment. Anyway, I'm rambling.

Yoga. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Clears the mind, tones the body and hopefully will get me off to a good start to each day. My goal is to do a home practice, even if it's just 20-30 minutes, every day in February. Ok so I missed 3 already, so just remember we aren't being picky! My self-imposed challenge starts here. The mat is out and I'm raring to go. How I feel about this in the morning when I wake with a heavy head to a hungry baby and a kitchen splattered with porridge remains to be seen. I know Grace will support me, in fact I rather feel she will delight in watching me balance on my head while the dog tries to lick me to death.

Wish me luck. I am certain to need it.

The daily grind

Brushing teeth [2 of] before bath-time

Helping Daddy with the laundry

Grace being a bath-time belle

Brrrr...idlington Beach

Grace hanging out with her Daddy

Grace smiling for the camera

The 3 Bears

So beautifully sunny but oh so windy! We had a lovely time letting Daisy play in the waves while we sauntered along trying to shield Grace from the gusts trying to blow her and us away. It's the first time Grace has been in the harness facing forwards yet she settled in quickly and enjoyed the ride facing outwards! She delighted in watching Daisy running about like a lunatic and even put on her special smile for a photograph or two. Our tired girly slept all the way home in the car (Grace and Daisy). It's not our first trip to the beach although both have been equally windswept - last time Matt the Husband very nearly lost the buggy to a strong gust over the cliff edge on South Beach. Today had no such dramas, thank goodness!