Friday, 30 January 2009

Party Girl!!

Darling Baby Kay - today you were at a birthday party - your first official social engagement!! You were invited by J to N's first birthday; she was your wee friend from Jo Jingles who moved up to the toddlers group because she started walking! She had a wee party over at Funky Monkeys with music, wee songs and cake - but you were actually only interested in the melon and your Tippee Cup - which is your current favourite toy!!

You are so steady standing up, but still no signs of cruising or walking. Funky Monkeys was great because it is a totally padded soft area for babies - so you were able to wriggle about and lean on things without me having to hover around in case you fell over. You had a great time leaning over the cushions and the sides and pulling yourself up by the handles! You had a look on your face like 'How on earth am I doing this!! This is great!!!' At one point you pulled your leg up as if you were trying to climb over, but you thought better of it when you realised you were going to have to go for it or let go altogether!!

And the best part of the day?? Daddy is home!! And was able to give you your bath and your bottle before bed. We are all together again under the same roof little darling! Welcome home Daddy - we both missed you x x

Show and Tell Friday!

Show and Tell

Today for Show and Tell I am showing a vase that I got about 7 years ago. It is a Poole pottery purse vase - the design is called Odyssey, and stands about 12 inches tall. It really is quite a big heavy piece of pottery. I adore it because of the very vibrant colours and lovely sheen off the the surface. I am not really an ornamants or vases person, but this one had caught my eye many times in a John Lewis department store when I lived in St Albans - a whole lifetime ago!!! :)

It would never have occurred to me to buy it - I had no need for it, and anyway, had I had the money I would have probably been spending it in the book department instead! But having seen it so many times it really stuck in my head. Then, unexpectedly, the company I worked for at the time gave everyone some John Lewis gift vouchers as a Christmas present following a good financial year. I felt as if this was serendipity and just blew the whole lot on the vase!

Immediately afterwards I panicked at having spent so much on something that was going to be no use to me at all, but I have always loved it, and grow to love it more as time passes, so I don't believe it was a waste. Some day Baby Kay will have it I hope and enjoy her Mother's outrageous splurge in the China department!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Learning to read!

Darling Baby Kay, today we were up in Carrickfergus at Nanny's house. You slept all the way there and back in the car, which was great, but it meant you didn't get any good quality naps today so you've had to have your bath a bit early and were fast asleep by 6.45 - totally exhausted!

You had great fun with Nanny. That's the great thing about going up there, Nanny has made sure she has nothing to do all day so that she can spend the whole time playing with you. When I was very small, about your age, Nanny tells me that I also was not a very cuddly, kissy baby - but the one thing I would do is sit on someones knee if they had a book to read. Your Nanny started a lifetime passion of reading very early in me, and looks very like she is going to do the same with you! You were very happy with reading the same one over and over again, and pointing at the little pictures with her. I think it made both your day!

Daddy is still away this evening - he slept very badly last night he tells me. The hotel room overlooks the street and he is a very light sleeper - so he is tired and has had a busy day in the office. If he is reading this, I hope he knows we are sending him all our love tonight as always - and that when he gets home on Friday we will have a great weekend together - back under the same roof. Goodnight Darling Baby Kay, Goodnight my darling Husband - we love and miss you x

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Hello Daddy!!

Darling Baby Kay, since Daddy is in Barcelona this week I am going to use your blog to upload a picture of you each day with a little synopsis of what you were doing, so that he can log in from Spain and see what you have been up to!

You are well over your snuffles and back to your wee self again. We had Jo Jingles today and there are some new Mummies and Babies so we are back up to a class of 8 again. Your favourite part is still doing the Fancy Dance, and the quiet time before the end with the bubbles. Once you get crawling or toddling, sweetie, a whole new world will open up to you, for you are just raring to go when the music starts - if you could just work out how!

After lunch today you had some strawberries. They aren't in season so I was a bit worried they would be too tart, but you had great fun with the wee pieces - that's another different fruit you have tried. You are such a delight to feed - I hope it continues when you are feeding yourself and you'll still be prepared to give new things a go! You had your bath and bottle and have gone down to sleep happy and rosy-cheeked in one of your new sleepsuits. I have unpacked some of the next size up ones we got when you were born, so you have a bit more room to wriggle!

I have settled down for an hour to catch up on some emails now with my cup of tea - and will be joining you very soon upstairs in bed for an early night. We have a busy day tomorrow - we are heading up to Carrickfergus to see Nanny for lunch which will be great fun for you (providing you doze in the car - fingers crossed!) I have posted a link for Carrickfergus for Lisa - because she astonished me in an email yesterday by telling me that her Dad's neighbour is a retired Presbyterian Minister from Carrickfergus - where I grew up and lived for many years, and where Nanny and Granda still live! Such a small world!

I hope that Daddy is getting on fine in Barcelona - and that if he is reading this he knows how much we love and miss him. I hope he isn't working too hard, and that he gets on well in his meetings tomorrow. He is never far from my thoughts, and I know you will be so excited to see him when he gets home, precious Darling. Only 3 more sleeps x x x

Monday, 26 January 2009

5 things.....

Darling Baby Kay, tonight I am going to do another 5 things for you. This time I am going to do 5 things you absolutely love at the minute, in case I forget about them as you get bigger.

1 - You love labels - of any description. You can find the smallest label on the most complicated toy or piece of clothing, and once you have carefully examined it you give it a good suck and chew to be sure that you have tested it fully. Even the same toy time after time - you turn it over and around just to be sure it hasn't changed since the last time you checked it. This picture is of you with a lovely wee rag doll that J&J sent you for Christmas. Her label is actually underneath her clothes - you have to work her top up and untuck her skirt to find it, but it didn't beat you! Fortunately she is machine washable!

2 - The TV remote control is the best thing ever invented. We have a spare one that you can 'turn off' which you used to be fooled by, and would happily have pushed the buttons on but you know that the 'good one' ie the one you aren't allowed to play with, is the one you really want, and you'll make a grab for it anytime it's in stretching distance and we haven't noticed you heading in that general direction. The same is true of the spare telephone handset that Nanny has for you - you look at it, then at Nanny, and then back to the handset as much as to say 'But sure, there's no batteries in this Nanny!'

3 - Playing with the car keys - this fixes everything! Every tear dries up, every shout stops! You can even recognise the noise of them in my handbag if they are jiggling around.

4 - Mandarin oranges and Clementines - you eat these up like there is no tomorrow! I bite the wee segments in half so they are small enough for you to manage and you love squashing them around and gobbling them up!

5 - The weather forecast! No matter what is happening in the house, no matter what you are doing, no matter what toy you have (even the car keys....) EVERYTHING stops when the weather forecast comes on. And I have no idea why!! There is no jingle music for it, it doesn't matter what channel it's on (you don't seem to have a favourite presenter!) but once the weather map appears you are hooked for 30 seconds. You are definitely British my darling - already obsessed with the weather!!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Simple Abundance

Darling Baby Kay - I have a great book that I love to read called Simple Abundance. It was given to me by my dear friend KB, and the inscription reads:-

'To Fee, I hope this book changes your life. Love K x o (8-9-2000)'

This book is a daily reminder that I have been friends with K for almost 9 years which in itself is a wonderful thing. But the idea of the book is that you read a section every day and it inspires you, comforts you or gives you reason to think more about what you are doing, in your life, your home, your relationships, with yourself, with others and with your faith. Sometimes it is easy to skim through it, or over it, but sometimes - some days - you read the section for that day and it speaks to you more deeply. Perhaps I am just at a different place those days, or more open to the ideas, or less cynical, or less tired, or more optimistic. I'm not sure. But I am sure my Darling Baby girl that some days I definitely get more out of what I have read than others.

It is at these times as I try to put my Faith back on track and regain what I feel I have lost that I wonder whether there are women out there reading the same book on the same day, thinking the same thing and wondering whether today's thought was written for them too?

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Poor little Darling Baby, tonight you have gone to bed snuffling and cross! You are just struggling to get your head cleared little one. You are off your food and unsettled, but trying hard to not let it bother you when you are playing on the floor, or 'reading' your books, 'or trying to get the remote control for the TV! It is when is comes to lying down it is harder - your little nose is blocked and you can't suck your dummy and breathe at the same time.

Daddy is not home this evening - but you had a great time this morning when we were out shopping. He carried you instead of putting you in your pram, so you could see what was going on and he could keep you close and safe, and make sure you weren't uncomfortable. You are his little princess and he is so clearly your hero!

I have read a quote on another blog - the lovely Becky - and it has made me think about this deeply this evening. My Faith is not all is should be little darling - I have felt at a cross-roads for a few months, that I cannot explain, nor reconcile. But the gorgeous quote and sentiment on Becky's blog has reminded me of the man who's Faith is strong, and who looks after the both of us. He is both our hero - and I think that is a good place to try and start re-focusing myself, and remember all he does for us. Sweet dreams, little darling x

Friday, 23 January 2009

Show and Tell!

Show and Tell

For my Show-and-Tell this Friday I am going to show this gorgeous Noah's Ark that Baby Kay was given by her God-parents before she was born. They knew I was working through a Noah's Ark cross-stitch for her nursery (which finally got finished just before Christmas, when she was 8 months old, instead of before she arrived!) You can see the cross-stitch here.

This Noah's Ark advent calendar was being sold in a gorgeous (and very expensive) gift shop in our town. I had seen it in there in their Christmas display a few times, but it never entered my head to even ask about it (I am conscious of the adage 'if you have to ask the price then you can't afford it!) nor had I mentioned it to anyone. Baby Kay's Godparents had gone out to do some shopping of their own while they were staying with us last year, and when they arrived back they told me that they had bought their God-daughter her first Christmas present. I was so stunned by their thoughtfulness and generosity - and their kindness for this little girl who wasn't even born yet. It has pride of place in Baby Kay's nursery, on a shelf by her cot at the moment.

It has 24 little doors for treats, or to hide all the little pairs of animals in for a child to bring out during Advent, and rotates on a central pivot so you can turn it around to reach the doors on the back. It is just beautiful to look at, sadly my photographic skills don't stretch to doing the lovely colours any credit. The details on it are just perfect - it is handpainted, and all the animals come in pairs (naturally!) The Noah even looks a little bit like the Noah in Baby Kay's cross-stitch!

And I love the rainbow with it's little doves. It is so bright and pretty and looks so sweet in her nursery.
At the moment Baby Kay is too small to play with it (and probably for a few Advents to come!) but she points at it when you are lifting her from her cot, and then has to be held up to look at it while she makes 'Hmmm... Hmmmm' noises at it! I tell myself that's her recognising Noah and saying 'That's him again!' I look forward to telling her all about the story when she is older, and filling her little Ark with surprises when she is old enough to understand the significance!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Are you sure there's no more in the pot???

I love this little verse - by Christina Rossetti. All you need to do is change 'honey' for 'yoghurt' and you are proof that it is true my darling!

What does the bee do?
Bring home honey.
And what does Father do?
Bring home money.
And what does Mother do?
Lay out the money.
And what does baby do?
Eat up the honey.

You are getting the start of wee cold this evening and have been sneezing away (which you find hilarious) and your nose has been running (getting it wiped is not quite so hilarious!) I hope you sleep well my darling and it doesn't amount to much. It ain't much fun when you're little and can't blow your nose!

Ladies (and babies) who lunch!

Darling Baby Kay, today we went up to Holywood in County Down to meet a friend for lunch at her house. I met L at a workshop I went to about this time last year, when we were both pregnant. She was 43 weeks and holding fast, and as I was so determined to have a natural birth with you I was fascinated by her calm, and her resolute belief that her baby knew what it was doing. When Baby N finally arrived she was right - no woman stays pregnant forever! - and it gave me a sense of support as we clocked past 40 weeks, then 41, then 42 ourselves!

L is a wonderful person - Baby N is her second little boy and she is a real example of a calm, happy homemaker. We had a great lunch - talking about nursing, weaning, other babies, working, homemaking, crafts - the time just whizzed past. She made the most wonderful lentil curry soup, and then berry crumble for pudding, both of which you tried and loved! And you played happily on the floor with Baby N, just glancing over every now and then to see if I was still there!

L's home is a lovely, warm place too, with lots of pictures and photos around the walls, and things to look at. I have come home this evening with renewed vigour for putting up some more of our pictures and maybe being a little less rigid on the 'no-clutter' approach to homemaking. I think that sometimes I walk along the wrong edge of the minimilist line when it comes to home decorating!! Having nice things out needn't mean the house coming down with clutter! I need to leave the accountant behind and embrace the homemaker in me a little more. And I can start with something simple - finally getting curtains for the dining room and sitting room!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Wet and windy!

Dearest Baby Kay, today we have had a lovely warm day indoors together while it has been blowing a gale outside. Today was one of those winter days where it feels like it is 4.00pm in the afternoon all day; the sort of day where you feel you should draw the curtains and put the lamps on shortly after lunchtime. We even had a flurry of snow this afternoon, but it wasn't very long, or heavy enough to lie. It was a good excuse to stay inside together and keep warm, and get some housework done - and some time together to make up for the lost days at the weekend.

We spent alot of time playing on the floor together and you showed me all new things you are learning to do. Your favourite game at the moment, apart from tearing up any paper you can get your hands on, is moving things from one box to another! You have a little square carton that you got some lovely soft skittles in at Christmas, and a beautiful little Lamaze fishbowl with squeeky, rattley fish and toys! You just tip them all into the floor and then pop them all back in again, and tip them out, and put them into the other one. You could cheerfully entertain yourself for a good 20 minutes before you need something else to change the scene!

This evening I have been batch cooking for you, salmon and broccoli pasta - so the kitchen smells a little pongy!! Tomorrow I will have to air the room, cold weather or not, because Nanny and Granda are coming to see you. You'll be able to show them your new tooth! Yes, finally after weeks of rosy cheeks and a lot of dribbling and gnawing on things your first top tooth is there. You got your first 2 when you were only about 20 weeks old, both on the bottom, within a few days of each other, so I suspect that your top 2 might come as a pair too.

My plan for the next few days is to try to get more organised in the house, so that I use the time I have more productively. There are some very organised ladies out there in blog-land who seem to get a huge amount done in their days, and a schedule might be the way forward! I will have to give this some thought, but for this evening I am just going to read these organised ladies blogs and drink my tea. Maybe there is a way to become organised by osmosis through blog-land? We'll have to see!!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Home again!

Finally home to our own house after a lovely weekend in Bristol; even if I did miss you, Darling Baby Kay, and Daddy too. It was wonderful to see R&C and to meet my gorgeous little nephew after all this time, but I missed you every moment I was away. When I wakened in the night to hear little M crying for his Mummy I was bolt upright in bed for a minute before I realised it wasn't you crying, and it wasn't me who was needed.

My flight out on Friday night was delayed 2 hours which was a pain, but I got there in the end. R picked me up in Birmingham to drive to their house. It was lovely and warm inside, on such a cold and windy night - and we had a late supper before bed. I can't get over how tiny M is compared to you. He was 9 weeks old on Saturday and is so wee by comparison, now that you are becoming quite the big girl! The amazing thing is he is 8lbs 5ozs in weight, and you were 8lbs 30zs when you were born. I was looking at him and thinking simultaneously - 'How little he is' and 'How on earth did I ever push a little person that size out!!!' I suppose size is all relative, but I am so conscious of how fast you are growing, and to enjoy all that we have while we have it.

We went out for lunch on Saturday, and spent the rest of the day just relaxing. It was lovely to have some more time with Auntie C and find out how things have been going for her over the last few weeks. She and R seem to be coping incredibly well with all the changes a new little person brings with them. Like most new parents they wouldn't say no to a little more sleep, but M is feeding and sleeping well for them, and they are starting to get back to a sense of normality. It was great to feed and cuddle such a tiny little one too. Now that everything is so new and exciting to you, Baby Kay, it is very tricky getting you to sit still long enough to get a cuddle before your attention is taken with something else - and a kiss is a real priviledge that has to be sneaked when you aren't paying attention, and don't manage to get your hand in to block it!! Little M is currently still quite happy to lie in your arms and be kissed and cuddled as long as you like!

Coming home was great - even if the landing was rather hairy! Coming down into Belfast City Airport, up the Lough and over the houses, there was quite a stiff breeze and rather a lot of tipping left to right onboard. There were a few bumps onto the tarmac before we stopped, and I was glad I skipped breakfast, as I felt a bit green!

Now that I am home it is business as usual! The washing machine is going, I am planning what needs to be done for the week ahead and Daddy is relaxing after his weekend flying solo with his girl! You had a great time together - I am pretty sure you didn't even notice I was gone. But you were very calm and patient with me when I was trying to clean your nose after the bath - so maybe you do know that this is a return to normal, and deep down maybe you did notice, and are glad to have us all back under the same roof.

Am very much looking forward to kissing you goodnight my darling, and then getting into our own bed again. It is so easy to take these things for granted, but tonight I will be so grateful to be doing them once more. Sweet dreams, little darling x

Friday, 16 January 2009

Bye Bye Baby!

Well Darling Baby Kay - I am off today to see your new little cousin. I am wearing my big girl panties and trying not to be so daft and emotional about leaving you. I have my iPod all charged up to listen to, and my book to read, and my bag is packed ready to head to the airport. Hope you have a wonderful time with Daddy while I'm gone and I will be back on Sunday, just 2 sleeps my love.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Booking through Thursday

Here is my Booking Through Thursday post. This week the question is about words for songs, and how those speak to people, so you can see what you make of this when you are a big girl!

Q: What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?

A: My answer to this question would probably be different had I answered this question 5 years ago, and 10 years ago, and 15 years ago. My taste in music doesn't ever seem to change, but it grows broader and more inclusive as I get older. I do sometimes listen to the radio in the car, and I hear my Dad's voice come out of my mouth when I tell my husband, 'Now, that is not music - that is just noise....' when something very modern comes on. But equally I love some really strange contemporary things too, so there is just no telling.

I love songs that make you want to jump around and dance, really upbeat things that you can sing along too loudly, and badly, and watch your little face in bewilderment at all the unfolding nonsense! But lyrics that touch you are something else indeed.

The singer and songs that most speak to me now are ones that I only started to listen to about 2 years ago. Daddy introduced me to Joni Mitchell, and I sometimes have a wee quiet cry in the car when one of her songs come on (more so when I was pregnant and overflowing with all the hormones Mother Nature was pumping round my system, gotta love the way you become the Mother of all Living when your baby is dancing along to the music in your belly!) Her voice is so poignant, and her lyrics so affecting. The ones which really do it for me are:-

'I remember that time you told me
You said "Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time'

These are from 'A Case of You' - and I actually have a version of Brian Kennedy singing this (from years ago) which I loved, before I realised it wasn't his song. I will play both to you when you are older and you can choose your favourite, sweetie.

And the other one that makes me cry without fail is from 'Little Green' - another one that blows the pregnant mind. I think I remember reading that Joni Mitchell wrote this for her little girl, who she had secretly while at college and had adopted without telling anyone. They were later reunited when her daughter was older, but having had a daughter of my own hearing this song reduces me to sobs as soon as it starts, just thinking about what she went through alone with her little baby girl.

Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you are sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You're sad and you're sorry but you're not ashamed
Little green have a happy ending

It is nice to know though, that having been reunited in later life both did have that happy ending.

Put away the camera!!

Don't take a picture of me while I'm trying to learn to crawl, Mummy!!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

5 things

Darling Baby Kay - today I am going to give you a little list of 5 things I love to do when you are asleep during the day!! I am not talking about the things that I do which are part of my daily routine - rather those little surprise things I do - when you sleep for 2 hours rather than an hour and a half, and suddenly I have an extra half hour in my afternoon that I didn't expect to get!
  1. Read something - at the minute I am reading 'The Olivetti Chronicles' which is a collection of the articles written by the late, great John Peel. When you are older and wondering why your Mummy has such weird taste in music I will give you this book, and that one that went before it (Margrave of the Marshes) and it may go some way to helping you out!

  2. Sit on the settee, with my feet up and put on hand cream after hand cream after hand cream. Because I am in and out of water all day, with dishes and laundry, and changing nappies my hands are about 20 years older than the rest of my body right now. Daddy gave me a voucher for a deluxe manicure and hand massage as part of my Christmas present, and I am going for it next Saturday. In the meantime I am hoping that my hands will calm down before the rest of me catches up to the same age!!

  3. I straighten my hair! I go upstairs and heat up my straightners and give myself a 'do'! Normally I just blowdry in the morning, or go au naturelle - but lately au naturelle is a little too 'Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.' I hope you do not grow up to have hair like mine - it is thin, but wavy - so it grows up and out - old lady bouffant stye, rather than long and lustrous. For that reason it stays short in an attempt to keep it tamed, but still develops it's own unique kinks and twists, especially if I am trying to make an effort to look nice and it is in an evil mood!

  4. Have a hot cup of tea. You have no idea how wonderful this is. To not have to get halfway down and realise that there is a funny looking top on my tea because it is going cold and grey. A hot cup of tea (and at the minute 2 or 3 Quality Street chocolates while we eat up the last of the Christmas goodies!) is a great way to spend 10 minutes!

  5. The crossword! If we still have the Belfast Telegraph paper from a Saturday night I will have yet another go at solving a bit more of the cryptic crossword. I have managed to complete it once - only ever once in my life - and I submitted it for the prize. But the odds aren't great of winning something like that, particularly if you only manage to do it once!

So when you are bigger, and wondering what on earth Mummy was doing while you were sleeping during the day, this is it. One of the above, or blogging!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Will work for hugs and kisses

Darling Baby Kay, today was Jo Jingles day again, and despite missing your mid-morning nap you kept yourself going right to the very end for the bubbles and the Goodbye song! No mean feat for someone so small who had been up like a June bee since 6.30am!!

This evening I am making Shepherd's Pie for tomorrow night's dinner and thinking about all the useful things I read on other people's blogs in the evenings when I am having my cup of tea. Like Lisa's Mint couscous which I will be trying some day very soon!! I could so easily spend the rest of my life doing what I am doing these days - looking after you and Daddy, cooking, learning to bake, sewing, reading, house-keeping, writing - being the Mummy and the Wife. And I tell you something sweetie, I have never been more tired, existed on less sleep, been seen so often in public without make-up, worn so many clothes more than once before washing or complained so often to your poor Daddy that my back hurts - but also never been happier or more content with my life. Strange but true!

Deep down I know that there are people in my life who are surprised that I haven't gone back to work now that you are approaching 10 months old, and that I am 'opting out' of the working world. From now on when people say, 'Oh, you don't work, do you?' I am going to say, 'Yes, actually I do. I just don't get paid for it.' I am not bothered by people's surprise at our choice, but sometimes I wonder whether I am doing justice to all the years of school and college, and the years I spent building up my career. Then I ask myself if I am happy now, and the answer is 'Yes, happier than I have ever been in my life.' I am going to learn to ignore the raised eyebrows and quiet discontent from those who see a different me to the one there was before I became a mother, and wonder where the old me went. I like to think that this is the old me, I was just underneath the 'outside me' that I had to put on in order to get on in the world!

I think of L - who has had to go back to work, and is so unhappy about it. She confided in me that if she were made redundant in the current economic downturn she wouldn't be remotely fussed about it, and would take it as a sign to try for baby #2. This is the right choice for our family, and for you, and especially for me.

At some point I am going to have to think about working again - in the 'turn up, clock in, sit at a desk and get paid at the end of the week sense.' But maybe, just maybe I'll come up with something that will let us have this life for the longer term. We shall see!

Monday, 12 January 2009


Well, this is my first tag - from the lovely Heidi Pocketbook!

The rules were that I had to:-
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same

The strange thing is, by utter coincidence, the photo in question is one of my wedding, and the second one of my wedding I have posted today, having not looked at them for many months. I'd been looking for wedding photos earlier for one which had my wedding cake in it (as per my last post!) and the following picture is the 4th one from that same folder!

This is a picture of me and my husband outside our church just after we got married. It is not by any means a picture I would have chosen to post; it is out of focus, and I am not smiling - but rules are rules, and this was the 4th one in the folder! You can see the lovely flowers though - these, like the cake, were inspired by the amazing colours in the little lizard. I am not a big fan of conventional so something a little more colourful was more in keeping with what we both wanted.

I am tagging the following people now to do the same if they would like to:-

CuteasPieCottage - the wonderful Lorri and her gorgeous blog;

Everyday Elegance - exuberant, organised, colourful, funny Sarah;

AkaWest - lovely Lisa, with cracking recipes as an added bonus;

Simplistic Treasures - dear Kelly, with her inspirational posts and faith!

If anyone is reading this blog, please do go and have a look at these other wonderful, inspirational, funny, warm and uplifting ladies sites. You will not regret it!

Lizard for Lisa!

Little picture of the lizard from Friday's show and tell - but in his pride of place on the top of our wedding cake. Lisa from AKAWest was curious, so it gave me an opportunity (not that I needed much pushing!!) to have a look through my wedding photos to see if I could find a good one of him!

Didn't occur to me that it would be sensible to add one when I did my show and tell - am still a newbie when it comes to these things!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Another New Week

Darling Baby Kay, it is Sunday evening and the weekend has whizzed off past us again faster than the rest of the week ever does. It is pouring with rain outside, and has been blowing a gale all day, but we haven't ventured too far from home so it hasn't given us too much trouble. Daddy is watching the American Football on TV (he loves any kind of sport, from any country, it doesn't have to be from here!) and getting ready for his week at work. I am finishing off some emails - to my good friend K who is expecting baby boy #3, and to M, who has just had baby #3 (who also happened to be a boy!) and updating my blog for you for years to come I hope.

This week is going to be a strange one, because I am off on a trip at the end of the week - over to Bristol to see your new little cousin M who was born in November. It sounds lovely, and I am sure it will be great to see your Uncle R and Aunt C, and also to get a little cuddle of my new nephew, but I have never been away from you. Ever. Since I found out I was pregnant with you all those months ago, you have been physically with me. The longest we have been apart is 4 hours, and that was tough, because I thought about you all the time. And I was so glad to get back to you that evening, even though you were with Daddy and nothing was going to happen to you, that I ended up accidentally wakening you when I went in to see you before I went to bed.

Going away is already casting a shadow over me (which I hate) and making me anxious and not a lot of fun to be around for Daddy. My dear friend A, from Lincoln - Nebraska, would tell me just to pull on my big girl panties and get on with it. I know it means I can read a book on the flight, and buy a coffee and drink it while it's hot (a luxury I have discovered is only for those who haven't got a baby with them) But it is just a rotten feeling knowing I will not be there for you, and you will not be there for me to cuddle and hold when I want to see my gorgeous little girl. This is such an absurd situation - I am only going to be gone for 36 hours but it will be so very strange - and I can't seem to get it back into real world perspective.

I really feel for those women who have to go back to work, and aren't in the position I am in, thanks to Daddy, who can cherish this time and spend it with their little one. This week I plan to try to make sure that all the time we have together is quality time, and that when I leave on Friday you hardly know I'm gone. But for tonight I think I am just going to feel a bit sorry for myself. And dig out those big girl panties for tomorrow.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Show & Tell Friday

Show and Tell

I always really love reading other people's show & tells, and marvel at the amazing china, crockery, ornaments, decorations and dainty things people have in their homes. When I was growing up dusting was one of my weekly chores, and I loathed it. My mother has to this day a house full of beautiful (and dustable...) things which I love to look at, but am so glad I don't have to look after any more! I was determined that I would admire these things in other people's homes too, but avoid as much dusting in my own house as I possibly could. It also makes it much easier now that I have a little one - hopefully fewer things to baby-proof against. The downside is that I have a lack of pretty things to show & tell, so once again my choice is a bit odd. I trust you will bear with me - Baby Kay will thank me when she's older and dusting is something she is helping me with; a much quicker job than it was for me!!

My show and tell is this little lizard - bought in Barcelona by my husband and I, and used to top our wedding cake instead of the more traditional bride & groom when we got married in 2006. It is a replica of the lizard/dragon which welcomes you at the gates of Park Guell in Barcelona, inspired and created by Antonio Gaudi. He is also the man behind La Sagrada Familia - the magnificent unfinished cathedral, also in Barcelona - an awe-inspiring testimony to one man's faith, and to this day a controversial and breathtaking place to visit. It is also the place my husband told me he loved me for the first time.

We hope to take Baby Kay there in March for her 1st birthday to square the circle as it were. The stationery and the colour scheme of our wedding was all tied in with this little guy - to echo Gaudi's love of mosiac and colour. My husband spends a lot of time in Barcelona with work, and before we two were three I would regularly join him there for weekends. It is a city we both love and if we came into an unexpected fortune we would buy an apartment there and split our time between her and this amazing heart of Catalonia. The little lizard sits in the kitchen of our home, so we see him every day; a perpetual reminder of our wedding, and the city we both love so much.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Fruit and more fruit!!

Darling Baby Kay - today you seem to have eaten an awful lot of fruit the way things have worked out! You had your usual pear puree with your porridge for breakfast, and then when we were out with L and Baby I for coffee you had share of Baby I's mandarin orange - I just bit the little segments in two and gave you half at a time. Once you got over the initial sharp taste you had a blast with it. It is very funny watching you try to chew a piece of orange as it scoots about in your mouth, squashing it between your wee pink gums!!

After your lunch you had half a mashed banana for pudding, and then after dinner this evening you had some chopped up pears and blueberries. Instead of blitzing the blueberries up over the pear I left them whole since you did such a great job with the orange, and you polished them all off. Another step on the road to regular food instead of baby mush!!

I am preparing myself for some funky nappies tomorrow!!

Sleep tight, my darling!!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Who's that happy little fellow!!!

Today has been another busy day, little one. Jo Jingles started back after the Christmas break, and after having been the baby of the group since September, you are now the 'big girl' of the team. There are some new Mummies and Babies - but you immediately recognised where we were and what was going on. You were very excited to see Olly, and when the music started, just like in church you decided you were going to sing along too!

There was quite a lot of of 'Dadadadada' to the music. The biggest challenge now is that as you know how to balance and stand up straight you are not content to sit on my knee. You were ok when the musical instruments appeared and were very happy to sit and bash your drum and sing along, but any attempt to get you to sit on the mat and clap hands was a non-runner! By the end of the 45 minutes though you were tiring out and a bit happier sitting down for 'This is the way the Babies ride...'

You still have no interest in trying to crawl - you'll sit quite happily on the floor at home, or in your chair if you have something to occupy you; and your favourite thing is sitting on someone's knee with a book. But given the choice you seem to prefer to stand up with someone supporting you under the arms. Everyone tells me we'll have our hands full when you are mobile, and something tells me from the twinkle in your eye they might be right!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Caught napping!

You so seldom do this, little darling, that I had to take a picture while I had the chance. On our busy morning out and about you decided to have 40 winks in your carseat. Not even the excitement of the car wash roused you from this one!

Sunday, 4 January 2009


As promised yesterday, I have committed my aspirations for the coming year to my blog. I hope that having them here will be a reminder to me throughout the year of the things that meant enough to me at the start of 2009 to commit them to the great ideas repository of the www. And the picture is one I saw and loved - cherry blossom is so beautiful and fragrant, and a real sign of promise and springtime - so very apt for the start of a new year and some new hopes and aspirations.

  • I aspire to cook and eat in a more healthy way in 2009 and lose some of the weight that has been bugging me for longer than I care to remember. I want to be a Yummy Mummy, not a Tummy Mummy!
  • I aspire to spend my freetime more creatively, and not let it get sucked away by the nonsense on the TV. I want to read, write and stitch more in 2009 and make the most of the evenings.
  • I aspire to take some exercise. Any exercise is an improvement on the current situation - and since you love being out and about in your pram, my darling, there is no reason not to wrap you up like toast, put the raincover on and hit the road for a tootle about.
  • I aspire to learn to bake (!!) so that when you are looking for treats I know what went into them as far as I can. There will always be snacks and things I will not be able to make, but there is no reason to not try to learn something new!
  • I aspire to try to be more patient and tolerant when life does not go how I planned, and to learn to breathe deeply and accept the changes that happen along the way.
  • I aspire to try to understand why my faith is so challenged at the moment, and why I feel so detached from something which has been such a key part of my life for as long as I can remember.
  • I aspire to be the best wife and mother I can be to my Darling daughter, and my beloved husband.

I am sure there are other things that will come to me over the next few weeks. I seem to have a very long 'to-do' list this January - so perhaps as things calm down I will revisit this my darling and update you on how things have progressed. All my love x x

Saturday, 3 January 2009

New Year, clean sweep!

Baby Kay, today I took down the Christmas decorations and tree in good time for Twelfth Night. It seems such a shame when they made the house look so festive; so in the spirit of keeping a little decoration in the house for the month of January I am bringing our beautiful Christmas wreath into the kitchen to hang indoors for a while. I saw that Lorri on Cute as Pie Cottage has a wonderful fragrant garland up on her blog, so I figure it has to be a sign of excellent taste!

Our wreath was an unexpected gift from J next door, which she brought round for us after I admired the one she had hung up. I have been so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbour - we have only known each other a short while, and since I don't come from this part of the country I didn't know many people. J has become one of those lovely unexpected friends you make when you are older, and making friends can get harder as we grow older and more cynical about peoples intentions. She even overlooks the fact that I cannot bake to save my life and we have shop bought biscuits when she pops in for coffee with her 2 little girls. This is despite her managing to bake the most incredible cakes and pastries - she never judges or makes me feel bad about it.

You have had another busy day!! We went to Newry today to get you the next size of car-seat as you are too long in the leg for your existing one to be comfortable. This new one is front facing and much higher up, so not only can you see much more out of the window you can also see us in the front of the car. It was a complete revelation to you! You seemed stunned by the new world view as we drove home from the shop. And compared to how you were in your old car-seat you look so tiny in this new, 'big-girl' version! We are also packing up your baby recliner as your legs hang over the edge of that, and you would much rather be wriggling about in your Bumbo chair! When you are sitting there with your serious wee 'thinking face' on you look so like your Dear Granny Hannah - who died before you were born, but not before she knew you were on the way!

You have really got the hang of 'Dada' now, and have been practicing most of the day. I need to get you started on Mama now - you are a fast learner, sweetie-pie!! And when you have finished your dinner and we tell you 'All done' you hold your wee hands out to the sides and shrug your shoulders and say 'Aw Daw'. Every day is something new and amazing from you - you are an incredible ray of sunshine for everyone who knows you.

Tomorrow I am going to put my 2009 Aspirations into a post for you - at the minute my brain is a little tired and addled to concentrate, but I am treating Monday 5th as my starting point for the small things I want to change - hopefully to enrich all our loves, and make 2009 our best year ever as a wee family. Sweet dreams little darling x x

Friday, 2 January 2009

Show and Tell

I so love this this idea - it gives me a great chance to tell my little girl things about me and ours lives that I might not otherwise think of putting down for her. And I love reading everyone elses Show & Tells - they are inspirational, funny, interesting and a great thing to read with a cup of tea!

My Show & Tell is a perhaps a strange one - it is my collection of blank, unused notebooks. I have to hold my hands up and say, 'I confess, I have a problem.' That problem is I cannot stop myself buying lovely notebooks, journals and jotters, and being determined to use them for something great when I get them home. And then I decide they are too good to spoil with random jottings - and I'll keep them safe for something special when the inspiration takes me. And then I don't use them for anything for fear of spoiling them, since they look so pretty and pristine. My husband thinks it is slightly insane (and also very funny, and much less expensive than shoes and handbags, so he doesn't interfere with my addiction!) The photo I am showing is only a small selection of the total - the collection is actually much more out of control than the picture suggests!!

It all sounds rather sad in a way, but strangely I have always loved my collection of unused notepads because they hold so much potential. They almost speak to me of what could be in them in the future - they are just waiting to be filled with ideas and recipes and quotes and poems and verses and all sorts of wonderful things. This year however I am determined to realise some of that potential - whatever that happens to be. I am going to start using one of them for things as they strike me - my darling husband for one will be glad to see them starting to be used; a real sign that I am starting to embrace life, enjoy the amazing things around me, and take a chance on the fact that while I might not produce anything as beautiful or inspirational as the covers of my notebooks, what ends up being inside will say more about me than leaving them empty!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Booking through Thursday

These questions are so appropriate at this time of the year, and since one of my New Year ASPIRATIONS (!!!) was to read more than I did in 2008 I am looking forward to answering the questions very much!!

I started a list of books I would love to get around to reading in 2009 on my blog so that it would remind me every time I logged in that I could be reading a book instead of other peoples blogs - but aren't they the same thing??

Two books I have owned for a number of years (shamefully too many to admit....) and always been too daunted by their size to start (because something was always coming down the tracks that would get in the way...) are the Gormenghast Trilogy (Mervyn Peake) and A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth) Perhaps this is the year that one or both of those books finds their way into my handbag. That would be very pleasing.

I should also read more historical books - to get a better understanding of the past that has brought me to where I am today - but I think sometimes reading historical books is tinged with a sadness for what has been lost rather than what could be coming!

Whatever I read will be shoe-horned into those few hours my darling daughter is asleep and I am not, and the endless visits to The Wheels of the Bus - which I suspect will be what I actually end up reading in 2009.