Sunday, 30 October 2011

What time is it?

Is anyone else completely confused by the whole clocks changing thing?

I know it should be simple but I just can't get my head round the fact that you lose an hour. Now I can hear G Kisby in my head, "you don't LOSE an hour, you just change the clocks". But in my head we have lost an hour and how does that happen?

All day I do the whole, "is it 6pm or actually 5pm?"
To which I receive short shrift, "it is 6pm, just accept that it is 6pm and let it go"
("it is really 5pm then" I say to myself)

And babies clearly don't come programmed to manage a time change. So after deciding to hit the town last night to spend time with friends that we haven't seen for far too long, having a few too many glasses of wine so that things like, "lets get another round in" and "yeah I am up for staying out," started coming out of my mouth, then going for a late night curry and getting home about 1.30am, it was painful, yes painful to realise that Mabel's get up time of 5am was actually 4am (though it wasn't really, if you know what I mean).

Two of our best friends announced they are having their first baby - too exciting - I was giddy sharing and discussing the whole experience but being really careful not to give too much advice. I kind of think it is a journey you should travel yourselves, not cutting any corners and enjoying every bit of it along the way.

This afternoon in a bid to fight off the urge to nap (dangerous when so tired I find) we went for a family walk in the Autumn sunshine. G Kisby claimed he needed a farm shop pork pie to help with his hangover which meant we almost missed the sunset en route but just managed to capture the last of the days glimmer.

The light was just gorgeous, I think late evening sunshine might be my favourite time of day...

And Mabel debuted her bear suit, wouldn't you just love to be carried around wearing a fleecy all in one?

So I have realised, if I didn't already guess, that with a baby the reason you don't go out drinking that often is not the absence of a babysitter. No no, it is having to make up a bottle with a shaky hand, feeling slightly nauceous and counting in your head the hours till another sleep may be due. G Kisby nearly fainted in the curry house due to not eating all day so I decided to take one for the team and let him stay asleep.

Feigning illness in advance - the lengths some people go to to avoid a get up!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

9 months on...

9 months ago today our lives were very different!
And oh my do our lives continue to change...

Mabel can now crawl but primarily she chooses to climb and wants to try and walk. She coasts along any furniture she can find and takes her hands off despite being far too unstable
She copied me tonight when I showed her I was giving Katie doll a kiss - too cute.

Product DetailsShe has developed a love affair with her grey rabbit - whose ears are always wet from being sucked when she is falling asleep. She knows where all the flaps are on Dear Zoo (her favourite book by far) and loves turning the pages.
She copies you with an 'oh dear' noise after sneezing or coughing (which she does all the time since her constant nursery cold started).
She has definitely started to realise she has options. I regularly now have to employ the tummy chop to get her in the car seat / high chair or just to sit down for a second and I knitted her this hat (G Kisby calls it the condom hat - harsh) but she refuses to wear it. She'd take her coat off if she could negotiate the arms.

She never fails to laugh at her Daddy saying 'a tissue' (what the hell and I barely get a smile for the high quality entertainment I provide) and generally has such a gorgeous temperment.
I don't know how we got so lucky!?!

Sunday, 23 October 2011


This weekend has been a complete wash out due to a tummy bug hitting the girls in the house. Mabel and I visited nursery on Saturday morning for a baby signing workshop and on the way home she pretty much covered herself and the car in porridge sick. And once it had started it just kept coming all day, and all over us mostly.

"How glad am I that this has happened on a weekend" I exclaimed to G Kisby, "someone to help me clean up sick and give her cuddles."
About 2 hours later I realised just how glad I was that G Kisby was around as I started being sick myself. It was hard not to worry about Mabel dehydrating since she couldn't even keep water down but eventually just before bed time we did manage to get her to take a few sips. II'll stop there on the gory details but the night wasn't pleasant for any of us!

We had planned to get a load of odd jobs done and visit friends for Sunday lunch today. Hey ho, can't be helped, Mabel is much better today which is the main thing.
It did also make me stop and appreciate how lucky we are to normally be in good health. Looking after children whilst poorly must just be awful.

And while I remember, our first full week of new routine went well too. I already feel like I have never been off work, though for the first day it did feel like I was just visiting. I managed to avoid pulling out sudacrem when looking for lip gloss and enjoyed wearing my hair down and clothes not covered in dribble or snot. Though my feet were absolutely killing by Wednesday, clearly they are not used to be shoved into a heel. The evenings felt really short and she is so tired from nursery that it doesn't feel like quality time together but I try to console myself with the fact that she is tired due to all that positive stimulation and interaction. And avoid where possible doing jobs so I can concentrate on her for that period.

And oh my did I enjoy finishing on a Wednesday for the 'weekend'. I really appreciated our time together and still feel really lucky to have it since I know G Kisby would love some more.
So no doubt there will be some weeks harder than others but for now things are going well, fingers crossed it continues...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Late for a very important date...

At the weekend we were in York for the wedding of two of our very close friends. We planned to take Mabel but after much deliberation decided that it was more for our benefit than hers, what with being whisked out the ceremony and held when just wanting to crawl. We thought that she would be much happier in the capable hands of her Granny.

So on Saturday morning we head off to York, Mum kindly encouraging us to leave early so we had time to change and get ready at the hotel. We stopped at M&S to get a picnic, I was really hoping the room would have a bath. Enjoying our time together we chatted all the way, too excited about seeing our friends tie the knot and guessing what the dress would be like etc.

When we pulled up at the hotel I saw a couple dressed for a wedding walking in the main doors.
"How funny" I exclaimed
"Why would you get here so early"

It took me about 10 seconds.
"Oh my God."
"Did you check the invitation, you were really sure it started at one?"
"Yessss" I replied slightly firmly (obviously not)
I literally jumped out of the car while it was still moving and dashed to the boot to pull out the invite, knowing what it was going to say...
"Oh. My. God. It is about to start at 12. Park the car, park the car, I will check in"
It is 11.45 at this point.
So I dash past bridesmaids arriving, staff tinkering with bouquets, guests stood pleasantly enjoying the surroundings, lugging my case behind me, arms wailing about like a crazy, bounding over to reception.
"Hi, er we have been stuck in traffic (in response to some guests stood a little too close by) and I am here for the wedding pls can I have our key"
"Hello madam, nice to welcome you to our hotel today. Can I ask which name please" said in the absolute stereotypical way a reception speaks, up at the end
"The wedding which is about to start..." I try again
"Oh the wedding at 12?" glances me up and down, hair scraped back, jeans and jumper
"Yeah can you just give me the key, I will come back and check in properly afterwards"
"I will need to take a few details from you today madam.."
"Give. Me. The key. I will come back" said more firmly but as quietly as possible
 "I suppose I can give you the key but you will have to come back and..."
I literally swiped the key out of her hand and ran. I didn't even listen to where the room was so found myself running down corridors asking every other person the way. At one point they pointed me through the main area where guests were congregated, my eyes started searching for a fire exit.

So we just made the ceremony. I chose makeup over hair (clearly no time for both and wearing red without makeup turns starlet into hooker). G Kisby nonchalantly strolled up to the room just after me, having tried to park in the space reserved for the bridal car and no doubt taken the more direct route to the room following directions given at reception. I had that horrible feeling you might have a zip undone somewhere or knickers hanging out the back of your dress but apparently not.

And I am so so glad we didn't miss it. It was one of the most emotional ceremonies we have ever attended (Adele's version of Make Me Feel Your Love being sung sent me grappling for the hand towel - classy - I had grabbed from the toilet on the way in). The vows were personalised, they both looked so in love, it was just fab. We slipped back upstairs straight afterwards to dress properly so all was well.

A slight hitch later in the day with the bridal suite setting on fire (first time lighting the open fire in the main room underneath apparently, not the curling tongs I panicked were still on in our room) - a couple of hours in the car park, fire engines the lot - so glad we didn't take Mabel. But even that didn't overshadow what was a beautiful day, stood outside in October (?) sunshine, drinking champagne, celebrating the best day of our friends lives - lovely!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Nursery time - phase two

Oh my, where to start about the last week..

So following our intro sessions we had 2 full days at nursery prior to me actually starting work. The first one went o.k, Mabel managed a short sleep but seemed
fine although absolutely knackered by the time she got home.
Then the second was a bit up and down. Mum and I made the most of the rare opportunity to be without any responsibility and went for a shop in Leeds. I dropped her off, leaving a bottle since her sore teeth were stopping her eating.

Around mid morning I rang to check how she was (in true first time parent style). The reply came that she hadn't eaten her breakfast and had only had 20 mins sleep which was in a pram since all the beds were busy. When I asked whether she had then had a bottle instead I was told no but they would give her one over lunch if necessary. 

Now this left me a bit irritated since I really want her to settle and have consistency so on the 2nd day to be in a pram was annoying. I had that horrible feeling in my tummy and literally wanted to just drive home and pick her up. However, Mum was very good at counselling me on the need to keep some context. I was absolutely jumping to all sorts of random conclusions. I liked that it was a small nursery, knowing that there were just a couple of baskets (research points to them as good for babies to sleep in). And I had no idea whether she was even wanting food - just because I am a feeder (adults or children to be fair, I am well known for force feeding) doesn't mean it is right.
To make things worse, when I arrived to collect her the sheet we receive every evening on her day said she had eaten all her breakfast and slept for 40 minutes. I did try and question why the difference but didn't really receive an answer.

I found it really difficult to know how much to say. On the one hand I want it to be right, she is the most precious thing to us in the world, but on the other I am aware we are trying to build a relationship with the nursery and work together to get her routine right. I basically didn't want to just pxss them off. Hmmm tough call.

But it left me feeling really uncertain and disappointed.

We decided that since it was only the first week to let it go and see how this week went - in actual fact it has been much better. She has slept in her basket every day and we are now up to an hour in the afternoon. And despite still being exhausted end of day, when I collected her yesterday I was greeted with a big smile and cuddle before she crawled off to continue playing. And at the end of the day I would rather they were engaging with our child than filling out paperwork.

And for me going back to work has been a very positive experience. It has been fab to see all my work friends again, I am looking forward to new challenges from my slightly different role and despite of course missing her terribly I have really enjoyed using my brain and the rest that comes from not looking after a baby full time.

So I have learnt a few things this week...

- The world of childcare does take a little time to adjust to - for both us and Mabel
- Part of this is letting go of control and building trust - I fully appreciate that second time round it won't be nearly as hard!
- It isn't wrong to discuss concerns and talk to them about how that first week was for us, but perhaps not in the heat of the moment - so when the time is right I will give some constructive feedback.

Oooh giving some feedback, you see I am right back into work mode already!!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Nursery time

Last week we had our nursery introduction sessions - a play date together on Tuesday then a further 2 hours for her alone on Thursday.

They were absolutely fine. I did come away feeling a little flat. Two things really stuck out,
a) I hadn't fully considered how she is going to (not going to?) nap in a room with so much else going on
b) Although I know she will gain so much from the experience, she won't get the 1-2-1 really focused attention which I give her on a daily basis. But this is potentially no bad thing!

We had a few things to buy for her nursery basket (nappy cream / calpol etc.) and a fabric pen so she doesn't lose anything. And to help her settle I took with us her favourite book (Dear Zoo), grey rabbit, a blanket she tends to use for sleeps and her photobook (which contains photos of family, favourite toys, her bedroom etc)

I know she will be absolutely fine and I enjoyed my few hours off (a quick trip to Piece Hall in Halifax to mooch round some vintage shops, lovely). Apparently there were a few tears when I left but then she was off making friends (she will have been climbing on them but I think they were being polite). When I returned I was greeted with a cursory glance before her attention returned to some sort of shaker. Perfect, she was happy.

I did have to warn them that she climbs. Everything. I find myself moving away from her sometimes because she just climbs on me. When leaving her in the sitting room now my issue is not with her crawling but pulling herself up - the sofa, the walker, the t.v unit. And she really isn't steady enough on her feet to stand one handed but appears to have no fear and does it anyway.

Think we got the stair gate up just in time.

I wrote this post at the weekend and for some reason it didn't publish. Gosh with this and still being unable to comment on other blogs, blogger is starting to drive me mad. We have now had our first few days at nursery so I will write a new one shortly with the full saga!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Crazy in love!

I am trying to keep Mabel going until her mid morning sleep at the moment, rather than cat napping earlier, which means a fair amount of entertainment around breakfast time.
This morning Beyonce Crazy in Love came on which led me to do what can only be described as a 'performance'.

Suddenly I thought I was on the stage; we had singing full pelt, a routine with lots of extravagant moves (the more Mabel laughed, the more I stepped it up a notch), the iconic walk across the kitchen - there was no holding back.

For a minute I actually thought I looked good. Admit it, we've all done a routine (albeit most people are probably drunk at the time) and it has crossed our mind that we actually look o.k? No? Just me?

Then I caught sight of my reflection in the conservatory window, it is actually making me cringe even writing this.

Isn't it a funny feeling when you are embarrassed when on your own, embarrassed in front of...yourself. Obviously it wasn't Mabel I was bothered about, she was looking at me in complete wonder (gobsmacked perhaps at some of the moves I was attempting? You can imagine which ones..Or perhaps she was thinking, 'oooh good rendition, I have seen Auntie Fee Beyonce live only recently')

I did not look good. Oh no. Crazy in the community is what I looked like. Awful. The kind of crazy that could possibly end my marriage should G Kisby have been around.

I decided there and then, I am all for making my child laugh, I am happy to make a fool of myself on most occasions, but a pale white girl with bed hair, wearing sweat pants and covered in weetabix should not be busting any kind of moves - except perhaps say a gentle sway to something on the lines of Buble.

Oh and on another note altogether I appear to have lost the ability to comment on blogs. I write something then when I press post it just disappears - can anyone help? I have tried writing on a number of my favourites and at different times but to no avail.

Help, I might otherwise be forced to go back to doing something more practical like cleaning...

Monday, 3 October 2011

All the better for being unexpected!

How fab was that last little spell of summer sun, all the better I think for being so unexpected.
So much so that we were too busy to do any blogging - I did momentarily wonder if a lack of blogging had contributed to a tidier house then dismissed that thought back to where it belonged in the filing cabinet in my head titled 'denial'.

We managed some alfresco dining - don't you just LOVE having breakfast outside!

And lots of walking to collect blackberries to make jam.

It felt so strange to be crunching through fallen leaves with your toes out, having to choose your picnic spot carefully because of spiky conkers.

We have had some amazing sunsets recently - you know the type where the whole house becomes bathed in an almost eery red light. I wished I had a better camera to capture this one since it never looks as good as the real thing...

Today we came right back into Autumn with a windy walk to the shop for milk. Note to self though, it is still not cold. Really wished I wasn't so wrapped up when trudging back up the hill sweating. Think there will be lots of fashion errors over the next week, sandals in the rain are never good (or safe)
Anyhow, the guy who served me in the shop asked, “Is that a boy?”
“Er, no she is a girl” I replied (‘that’?)
“Oh, it looks just like a boy” ('it'?)
“Right”. Really not sure what to say to that. Note to self, must have wittier response when someone insults your child so blatently.
Anyhow, I digress. We had great week including a trip to see friends we hadn't seen for way to long which was just lovely.
Mabel is pretty much crawling now, though her technique is a little odd (if she is anything like me she will be bored of it in a couple of weeks anyway and just move on to the next challenge. When falling over trying to walk she will no doubt look back and think, "ahh, wish I'd stuck at that crawling thing")
We have finally had to look at how safe the house is. I suggested a full health and safety audit (think I may have had a pad in my hand). G Kisby looked at me with a mixture of dismay and pity.

It is funny how since she was born I have said, "If she could just do xxx, I think it would be easier". I said the same for crawling. Turns out it never does get easier, just a different type of difficult. But notably she is loads less frustrated now she can get around. And it is fab watching her glee at reaching something previously denied.

We have our first nursery introduction today, all starting to seem very real now. We completed a form last night stating all her likes and dislikes and I have made her a photo book to take.
I will keep my blog updated with how it all goes...