Sunday, November 05, 2006

Twinkie, Twinkie Little Spud

Spud's 20 week scan was last Friday, and it was sooo good. Spud was swirling around as usual, sucking "its" thumb and being active -this baby seems to be moving constantly. I think we probably won't get any sleep for the next two years!

Here's Spud, in a rare moment of peace:

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Notice how different Matilda's profile was in her scan pictures? It's amazing how individual they can look at 20 weeks:

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And, most excitingly, we finally got to see bits! No more of that he/she business! In case you weren't looking closely enough in the picture above, I'll make it more clear for you:

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Spud is as boy as boy can be! Poor Matilda is going to get a stinky little brother to mess up her room (speaking from experience here) -Awwww!

I suspect she'll be able to take care of herself though. The child knows no fear. I've blogged before about what a climber she is, but recently she's really surpassed herself. She can now climb into her buggy, falling in it head first over the tray, and more impressively, she can get in her highchair on her own. This amazing feat involves:

1. Climbing on the coffee table.
2. Grabbing hold of the highchair tray.
3. Hauling herself onto the highchair tray.
4. Rotating and sliding into position in the seat.
5. Getting really excited and exclaiming "Tidda! Tidda!" (Translation: "Matilda! Matilda!" I.e: Look what I did, all by myself!)

She can also manage climbing on a slide all by herself, sitting down at the top and sliding down, with no help at all. This is amazing to me, because I am so afraid of heights that I still can't get up a ladder, and I must have been almost in the double digits before I got up on a slide on my own. (Err... no. You didn't just read that. You're making it up, ok?) I am really proud of her, but realistically I suspect I'll have to pay someone to follow her up the climbing frame.

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Another sthing she does is climb on the sofa, stand on the arm of the sofa, pick a book from the book case, sit down and read it (upside down!) Or if she's feeling a bit less independent, she'll bring me a book and pester me until I read it to her: "Iss! Iss! Iss! Iss! Boop! Boop!" (Translation: This! This! Book!) And she'll get this expression on her face:

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Could YOU say no to that?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Holiday, take 2 (how not to have a good one)

If you are going to have a bad holiday, you might as well have the Best Bad Holiday Ever, apparently.

In case anyone didn't know, we were in Greece for Matilda's Christening, and to see family and friends we hadn't seen in two years. We'd stay in Thessaloniki for a week, with my cousin Katerina (Matilda's godmother,) then go back to Athens. Peter would come back after a week and I'd follow with Matilda two weeks later. After not having been home for two years, I was hugely looking forward to the trip.

The Christening went very well, with the highlights involving Matilda dancing to the chanting of the priest blessing the water she was to be baptised in, and Marilena saying the priest looked like one of the Paparokades (greek priests who have formed a rock band. Don't ask.) We spent a blissful four days seeing relatives, and on the day before we were due to go back to Athens, Matilda woke up with a minor temperature -so minor, I was thinking it was probably teething, as she seemed to be in very good spirits otherwise. The temperature stayed reasonably stable, until the late afternoon, when Matilda stopped breathing and passed out (or so we thought;) After what seemed like ages she started breathing again, we called an ambulance (I was so panicked I could only remember the emergency numbers for England, luckily my cousin was there,) we rushed to hospital and we were told that what Matilda had was a febrile seizure episode. I had them as a child, my father had them too, and I was watching out for them, but when it happened to Matilda, I really had no clue that's what it was; what seemed to happen was that she went all limp, and apparently lost consciousness (her eyes rolled back too, and according to my cousin she was rigid for a very short time too, but I didn't feel that because I was doing my headless chicken impersonation at the time.) There was no twitching or shaking, anything that I would associate with a seizure. We were admitted to hospital and stayed for three days for observation (more about the hospital later.) On the third day, Matilda's temperature was down, and we were discharged with instructions to go back a couple of days later for an EEG.

A couple of days later, Matilda's temperature came back with a vengeance and was not responding to medication especially well. After trying to control it for several hours, still shaken from the seizure episode, we drove her to the overnighting hospital at 3:00 in the morning. The doctor on call there was impressively unimpressed by our plight ("Well, if she's going to have a seizure she's going to have a seizure. Give her ibuprofen and warm baths, and bring her back if she has one." - MIGHT have been sound medical advice -I couldn't tell you- but really not what we wanted to hear in our panicked state.) We drove back home, and called the hospital in the morning to tell them what had happened and ask if we should still bring her in for the EEG. To our great surprise, after the blase attitude of the doctor on call, Matilda ended up being admitted again for more monitoring, to determine the cause of the fever (We now think the doctors were worried about liability, because they had discharged her two days ago.) More blood tests and an EEG later, they decided that she had picked up a second virus from her first stay at the hospital. At that point we signed our own discharge form and left, for fear that we'd spend the next month in hospital, sampling the local viri.

Then, after a day and a bit that she didn't have a temperature, we took the train to Athens, where I promptly managed to scald my hand with boiling water. It was quite a bad burn, and because I didn't want to expose Spud to prophylactic antibiotics, I had to go to (you guessed it) the hospital for dressing changes every day, until the doctor was satisfied I wouldn't get an infection.

We are now taking names for our "How to have a crappy holiday" weekend course.

On the up side, Matilda amazingly decided to wean herself during the holiday. I breastfed her for the last time on the plane to Greece, and one week later, that was it. We went through a brief period where I wouldn't mention the b-o-o-b word or let her see me without a shirt on, to avoid reminding her of what she's missing, but now she's apparently forgotten all about it and is happy just lifting my shrit, finding my nipple and going "Beep! Beep! Beep!" on it. Sends her to paroxysms of laughter, and you should see the looks Peter gives us when he walks in and finds her doing that. At least I won't have to pack so many(other) toys to keep her happy on the next trip (or don't you think that's a good idea?)

Matilda with her Godmother:
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Matilda with my brother and his girlfriend, Gianna:
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Matilda with Gianna again:
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Matilda with Evi (Yes, that Dark Figure apparently getting ready to choke the baby IS my best friend:)
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Matilda having a friendly chat with Marilena:
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Sunday, September 17, 2006


We're back! Matilda had a great time playing with her cousins and being the centre of attention, and generally acted like the perfect little thing she is. She got plenty of compliments from everyone, and her Popop said "She just walks around with a permanent smile on her face, doesn't she?" Yes, she does. She's a happy little thing; but it's always great hearing other people say so (you know, because I can be terribly biased.)

Interestingly, she's had the best sleep of her life the week we've been away, with only one or two feeds per night and even went 48 hours without breastfeeding at all (at which point I panicked and had to go wake her up -teehee.) We pushed one of the two single beds right next to our double bed, because it was too narrow. Check out the ultimate luxury:

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She's back to her old bad habits now, and we're wondering if she just enjoyed having the extra space to sleep in. I am seriously considering just losing the bedframe and putting two mattresses on the floor of our bedroom to re-create the experience, but then where is Spud going to sleep? And how are we EVER going to manage staying over at anyone else's house if that's the sleeping arrangements our two are used to? Decisions, decisions... (Right now we're hoping Spud will be in the bed-side crib and Matilda will stay in our bed.)

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Matilda on the beach. She got very excited, running up and down, and really enjoyed playing with (and eating) sand.

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Talking a walk on the cliffs

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The cottage also had a swimmingpool. Have a look at Matilda floating around with her armbands (like a little cork, her Nanny said.) She was trying to immitate me and blow bubbles in the water.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Biting the Boob that Feeds you

In case anyone was wondering, we're still alive; just too busy playing peek-a-boo with Matilda to write a post.
Last Thursday I had my 12 week scan and got to see Spud, who was kind enough to put on a show for our behalf. Matilda was generally a quiet fetus and hardly ever kicked, but Spud was doing sommersaults in there, reaching for his/her toes, waving his/her arms and generally being hyper. It was so much fun to watch, and everything looked fine:

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Matilda was with us for the scan, and although she seemed content chewing on my Maternity Notes, she apparently got the idea that she's going to be a Big Sister soon, because she decided to start walking that very evening. Yes, that's right, after a month-and-a-half of taking a few steps every few weeks, last Thursday she decided that the time was right, and started walking; she just suddenly let go and spent the next half hour walking up and down the room very pleased with herself, and hasn't stopped since. No more crawling for MY baby, and a lot less washing to do for me. Ah, the relief of not having to see the black patches on the knees of her trousers every evening. Now I can just go back to pretending that I think my floors are clean. Mwahahaha!

She's also cut both of her top teeth, and is coming up with so many new words constantly that I'm going to have to stop recording them (sigh...) She now nods and says "nuh" if you ask her a question and the answer is yes, and she's doing the actions along with many songs (she goes to singing groups twice a week. Yes, we're hot-housing our baby; only she enjoys it too much so I don't feel guilty!) She tries to hug and kiss the cat, and also kisses my belly a lot. She is just so unbelievably FUN. I keep thinking that this is as good as it's going to be, and that she'll start getting more difficult now that she's crawling/ walking /getting strong willed etc, but she just gets funnier and funnier. It's starting to look to me like this blog is turning into just post after post of what Matilda is doing now, and ramblings of how great she is. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be boring.

Thinking mummy is a riot:

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Incidentally, just so you don't think everything is just peachy and wonderful, you know, these lovely new teeth? Well, combined with hormonal pregnant boobs they make breastfeeding a bit less fun. I'm being all stiff upper lip here, if you want to be a bit more litteral you can substitute "less fun" for "similar to having a bikini wax performed by a nazi officer with a grudge." This has led to all sorts of fun scenarios, especially in public; Say I'm talking to someone and Matilda insists to nurse; you might overhear me sounding a bit like this:

Me: "Did you see that programme on Channel 4 last night? Yes, I did too, I thought it was -AAAAAAH...WOW THIS IS...UUUUGH...BLEEPING PAINFUL! -erm, yes, I thought it was very interesting. Yeah, sorry about that, I'm a bit sore these days."

Which makes me very motivated to try and distract Matilda when she asks to breastfeed. Now she's getting better at talking, this can be quite fun to do.

Matilda: "Boob! Boob!"
Me: "What's that? Book? You want mummy to read you a book?"
Matilda: (pulling my shirt) "Boob! Boob! Boob!"
Me: "No, SHIRT. This is mummy's SHIRT, that's right. Where's Matilda's SHIRT?"
Matilda: "Boobooboobooboob!"
Me:"I know, let's sing a song!" (Jumping up and turning the stereo on.)

You know when they tell you that you're going to show earlier with the second pregnancy? THEY'RE NOT LYING!

21 weeks pregnant with Matilda:

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14 weeks pregnant with Spud:

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And yes, there is just one in there, we checked!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Today it's Matilda's birthday. Happy Birthday my Thingy! It's been such a fun year to share with you. (Well, I'm feeling sentimental so I'm going to ignore the first couple of months -known around here as the Dark Age.)

One year on and Matilda has changed from Wrinkly Monkey-Baby to Cheeky Monkey Baby. If you haven't already, go read her birth-story.

Matilda at a few days old:

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And at 11 months:

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She is funny and determined, cheeky and fearless. She holds on to the headboard on the bed, says "Whee!" and falls backwards, and you HAVE to be there to catch her, or else. That's trust for you. She tries to stroke the cat and says "Oooooh... Oooooh..." while she does it. She walks holding my hand, she dances to music and she says so many words now... Cheese (pronounced "sheesh",) bye-bye (bee-bee,) cat, water (tata.) She also says Boobie (bew-bew. And points at me. Peter says he's daddy and I'm boobie.) She whistles -she whistles!!! Have you ever heard anything like this before? The first time she did it I almost had a heart attack -I thought she couldn't breathe! Then I noticed she was smiling. Like the cheeky, funny, funky little person she is.

Another installment for Matilda-The Musical:

I'm a little Fusspot
short and stout.
Here's my whine
and here's my pout.
When you hear me shrieking,
don't take fright,
pick me up and
squeeze me tight!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Insania Sanguina Sufferers Unite and let's Kill Them All

I see, no one could bother to leave a comment to my last post eh? I'm not too impressed with you lot, I have to tell you. Is anyone even reading this wretched blog? Or did I imagine you all?

I tell you, now is very bad timing for crossing me. I seem to be coming down with a nasty case of insania sanguina (i.e. I'm going bloody mad.) I'm not kidding, the hormones were nothing that bad last time around. It feels like I'm always looking for a head to bite off (Ah... I love that expression. It feels almost cathartic saying it -the next best thing after doing it, really.) It's so weird it's almost funny. As you all know it's impossible to have a fight with Pete, so my hormonal mind's way of dealing with the rage (the rage) is to dream about having a fight with him during the night. Then I wake up so annoyed it's all I can do not to kick the poor guy, sleeping next to me unsuspecting. Or else, I make things up. Last week I was looking in the fridge for Matilda's yoghurt and couldn't find it. Cue in internal monologue: "Aaaaargh, where's the bloody yoghurt, I bet Pete ate it. I wish he would tell me when he finishes it so I can buy some more, he always does this, why do I have to remember everything around here, grrrrr, arf arf. Oh wait, here's the yoghurt, behind the (mountains of) cheese. Still, Pete COULD have eaten it, and if he had, he wouldn't have told me, so I wouldn't have bought some more, why do I have to remember everything around here, grrrrr, arf arf."

We get to see spud wave hi at our dating scan, on 24 August.

Matilda was invited to Atticus' birthday party last weekend and had a great time trying to keep up with the big kids. Actually, she was trying so hard she took her first step or twelve. She took one step, and then we placed her a bit further back and she started walking towards her daddy (twelve steps. We were counting.) At that point she sat down and started clapping herself, while I was squealing "She walked! She walked! Did you see that?" Since then she hasn't done it again, and I don't think she will until she sees Atticus and gets shamed into action again.
Also, now she can say tata (water) ba ba (bye-bye, while waving) dat (that, while pointing at something) tap-tap-tap (clap-clap-clap, and claps) uh (she means yes) and boo (while playing peeka-boo) -which is ultra-cute, because lt sounds like bew when she says it.

Matilda parties hard

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And goes on her first date:

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Sunday, July 16, 2006


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a. I'm Fat
b. I'm Pregnant.
c. I'm Fat and Pregnant.
d. What are you talking about Dahling, you're gorgeous.

Get voting NOW!!!

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Slugs, Snails and Domino's Tails

I came across this and it made me quite angry. The author, who is a university professor, is apparently concerned that increasing numbers of women with high profile educations (what she charmingly calls Elite Women) are choosing to stay home and focus on raising their families, rather than having successful careers.

Half the wealthiest, most-privileged, best-educated females in the country stay home with their babies rather than work in the market economy is how the article begins, and it continues in much the same tone.

The author's views can basically be summed up in three points:

1. The work involved with being a stay at home mother is so repetitive and uninteresting that it couldn't possibly stimulate you mentally or do your education and your intelligence justice. Also, it's not important, and you are not contributing to society unless you're out there "wielding real social power".

Betty Friedan’s original call to arms compared housework to animal life. In The Feminine Mystique she wrote, “[V]acuuming the living room floor -- with or without makeup -- is not work that takes enough thought or energy to challenge any woman’s full capacity. ... Down through the ages man has known that he was set apart from other animals by his mind’s power to have an idea, a vision, and shape the future to it ... when he discovers and creates and shapes a future different from his past, he is a man, a human being.”

Here’s the feminist moral analysis that choice avoided: The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust.

Measured against these time-tested standards, the expensively educated upper-class moms will be leading lesser lives. At feminism’s dawning, two theorists compared gender ideology to a caste system. To borrow their insight, these daughters of the upper classes will be bearing most of the burden of the work always associated with the lowest caste: sweeping and cleaning bodily waste. Not two weeks after the Yalie flap, the Times ran a story of moms who were toilet training in infancy by vigilantly watching their babies for signs of excretion 24-7. They have voluntarily become untouchables

It always gets to me how whenever "feminists" talk about staying home and taking care of a family, they basically sum it up as "vacuuming", "dusting," or "cleaning bodily waste" or something similar. Clearly vacuuming is not a challenging task, but I'd like Ms Friedan to tell me if she thinks a Judge, Politician, Banker or whatever profession she considers challenging and fulfilling enough, really gets to spend their entire working day on deeply fulfilling and challenging things that make a difference to the world. As far as I'm concerned, being a Stay at Home Mum is just like any other job: it involves some mindless tasks (vacuuming, cleaning -hey, I see it as the equivalent of filling endless forms,) but it also involves very important, challenging, world-shaping tasks. Answering a child's questions. Teaching a child what it feels like to be loved, how to be responsible, how people behave in a healthy loving relationship, how to think, how to be a person. Personally, I think training the next generation is as close as you can hope to get to changing the world.

One of the reasons I'm writting this blog is as a way for Matilda to get to "know" me when she's grown up, and to share in the experiences I might have forgotten by then. I really hope she reads this post and instantly discards it, because she KNOWS that being her mum has always been a pleasure, a joy, a challenge and an adventure (with several bumps on the way) but could NEVER be reduced to crude manual labour. I feel so lucky to be able to stay home with her that I can't put it into words.

2. Oh yes, did I mention how you're responsible to yourself and your fellow women to try as hard as you can to wield social power? That touching sentiment basically means you ought to jump in the hamster wheel, yelling "SHOW ME THE MONEY" (in three different languages, if you have an Elite Education.)

The best way to treat work seriously is to find the money. Money is the marker of success in a market economy; it usually accompanies power, and it enables the bearer to wield power, including within the family.

There are three rules: Prepare yourself to qualify for good work, treat work seriously, and don’t put yourself in a position of unequal resources when you marry. So the first rule is to use your college education with an eye to career goals. Feminist organizations should produce each year a survey of the most common job opportunities for people with college degrees, along with the average lifetime earnings from each job category and the characteristics such jobs require.

Oh there you go, now we're getting to the bottom of it. Never mind making a difference to society, all you need to know is average lifetime earnings. Peter and I have made a lot of effort to create a budget that will allow us to do what we do: me to stay at home and him to work in a job which he likes, and which also has predictable hours, relatively low stress levels and is conductive to actually *gasp* spending as much time as possible with his family. If I used my degree we'd have a lot more money. If Peter used his PhD from Cambridge (is that Elite enough for you Ms Hirshman?) to get a job in, say, finance, we'd be rich and we'd see a lot less of each other. Instead we shop from thrift stores, only eat out on special occasions, drive a VERY old car and we never think we're making sacrifices. We just think we're doing what we have to do to live what we think of as a happy life.

3. In case I haven't convinced you yet, I'll use my final and strongest argument. If you don't agree with me, you're stupid and you don't know what's best for you. Let the Feminist Sisters tell you what to do, you sad little bourgois.

The privileged brides of the Times -- and their husbands -- seem happy. Why do we care what they do? After all, most people aren’t rich and white and heterosexual, and they couldn’t quit working if they wanted to. We care because what they do is bad for them, is certainly bad for society, and is widely imitated, even by people who never get their weddings in the Times.

Finally, these choices are bad for women individually. A good life for humans includes the classical standard of using one’s capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way, the liberal requirement of having enough autonomy to direct one’s own life, and the utilitarian test of doing more good than harm in the world.

To paraphrase, as Mark Twain said, “A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read.”

This is my personal uber-peeve. You really can't have an intelligent debate with people who will stoop low enough to use that argument, because, ultimately, they believe they're smarter than you and refuse to hear what you have to say. I find it especially ironic that what the author seems to be saying is: "We must stop the men telling us what to do. Now go do what I tell you, so that we can make it happen."

I won't even gratify this with further discussion, but how about this little gem: A good life for humans includes the classical standard of using one’s capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way, the liberal requirement of having enough autonomy to direct one’s own life, and the utilitarian test of doing more good than harm in the world. Yes, and that is completely different to, say, using your autonomy to direct your life towards using your capacities for speech and reason to teach other human beings how to develop their own capacities for speech and reason, abilities they will hopefully some day pass on to their own children, along with the values they have been brought up with; I think it isn't unreasonable to describe this as doing more good than harm in the world.

Peter pointed out yesterday that if all men went out to work and all women stayed at home with the children, then women would have much more social impact than men, by shaping the beliefs, values and personalities of the future generation; I completely agree with him. But then, Mzzzz Hirshman would probably say that he's just a man wanting to maintain the status quo.

Matilda now can:

  • Crawl up the stairs really quickly and steadily
  • Give hugs on request
  • Clap
  • Wave
  • Follow simple instructions, such as "Go to daddy", or "Get your teddy."
  • Bite! She has 2 teeth

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  • Answer the question "What does a snake do?" ("Shhhhhhhhhh")
  • Stroke Domino without poking him -sometimes.

One thing she can't do, however, is stay clean for any length of time. I don't know if other girls are Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice, but mine certainly isn't. She's into everything, she's busy discovering the world, and she has the muddy face to prove it. (That, and I don't mop as often as I should.)

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Matilda showing her teddy who's boss:

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Matilda and her Organic Teether:

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Post of Shame


YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!!! I write this blog to keep in touch with my nearest and dearest, and my own brother and cousin don't bother to read it! Seriously, I have people I've never met in person reading my blog, you lazy sods! And they'll be reading this, because I'm sure they'll follow the link too (Caught 'cha! Nosy, aren't we?) You'll be publically (virtually) embarassed, and serves you right!

Yes, people, my own cousin and brother log in, look at the photos, but don't read my posts because, and I quote, "they're too long." How did that family produce me, I ask you? Maybe in the future I should make my posts in bullet point:

Today I:

  • Woke up
  • fed babes
  • came back
  • Had some deep thoughts, but they're too complicated to write about
  • Slept


(note: this post was actually published on may 24 2007)

Buggies Buggies Everywhere

This sounds like something out of a comedy, but our second child is still a twinkle in Peter's eye, and we're on our third double buggy already. First I got this lovely little number from a charity shop, which was great but too wide to fit through our door. Then Peter got hold of a Graco which was a bargain, but was missing several components that we couldn't replace, as it turned out, because it was such an old model. The too-wide buggy was re-sold through a newspaper ad, and the Graco was re-sold at the next NCT Sale, along with several other unused baby parafernalia, so we got our money back in the end. Peter finds it all very amusing, of course, and likes saying that we raised £70 for charity, just by being stupid. Haha. So after the first two failed attempts, we finally did our homework and got an almost-new second hand Graco, with all the bits this time. Here's hoping we get a baby to put in it soon!

Matilda now can:

  • Crawl. Quickly. She sets her eyes on something and gets going; it doesn't matter if it's the (dirty) wheels of her buggy, the (dirty) cat food, or our (dirty) shoes, she's fast, she's persistant and she's got to have it. As long as it's dirty. *sigh*
  • Stand up holding on furniture, or people's legs. Bending and picking things up are so much fun, as is throwing everything on the floor.
  • Make her way around, holding on furniture. I think she'll be walking soon, and oh-boy won't that be fun!
  • Wave bye-bye.
  • Climb on the headboard of our bed. No, really. It's scary.

Our favourite haunt is still Ottakars, which has books that I can browse (read) while I have my coffee, friendly waitresses, and plenty of space for our critter to crawl around (unlike home.) Last time she discovered the plexiglass wall near the escalators, and she kept trying to crawl through it and banging her head on it. Actually, she does that a lot. I think our baby would grow up to be a genius, but she looses about 30 IQ points every day what with all the headbanging she's getting.

Look mummy, the floor here is full of interesting crumbs.

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Matilda had such a miserable night last night. She kept waking up crying, howling, and inconsolable. She never does this normally, why would she when she's cozy in our bed, with a supply of milk on demand next to her cute little nose. But last night, it was as if she was possessed. From 1:00 to 2:00, and then again from 3:00 to 4:30, it took two doses of Calpol and lots of singing, rocking and cuddling until she slept. I am feverently hoping that it's teething that's causing this, and she's going to see the Health Visitor tomorrow anyway, to rule out any other nastiness (an ear infection springs to mind.) After I sunk in an exausted slumber at 4:30, I dreamt that it was the next morning, and Matilda had 10 new teeth in her mouth. In my dream, I kept showing them to people and saying "Do you see how many teeth she has? They weren't there last night." If only...

Last night nonwithstanding, I so love having our little screecher creature in bed with us. It always surprises me how difficult it is for people to believe that it's not a problem, and we enjoy it. Peter likes cuddling up with her, I love having her snuggled up against me, all calm, quiet and content, and it makes us happy. I think part of it is that our society is not used to it, and part of it is that people are frightened, because they don't know how to co-sleep safely. The Times had a very interesting article on bed-sharing last week that might calm some of the more common fears, but really, I think what most people are worried about is rolling on the baby in their sleep. The best (anecdotal) argument I've heard against this fear was "How often do you fall out of bed in your sleep? Never, because even in your sleep, you are aware of boundaries, without realizing it." Well, it makes sense. If you think you are likely to fall out of bed (because you're drunk, on drugs, on certain medication etc) don't sleep with your baby.

When Matilda was tiny, I found that I always fell asleep with my body positioned like a parethesis around her; my knees drawn up, and my arm stretched out over her head, so it was really impossible to roll on her. Now that she's older and sturdier, and can kick us around, we don't need to be that careful.

Hands up who thinks Matilda is a bedhog:

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Then the model woke up:

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And had to be rewarded with lots of cuddles:

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Friday, April 28, 2006

The Many Faces of Matilda

I've now cut Matilda's hair a total of two times (just trimmed the fringe, but still...) and it still grows crazy. Things people have said about her hairstyle include:
"Does it grow like that?"
"Awww, is she having a bad hair day?"
"What a funky little hairstyle!"
"Oh look, her hair is like mine!" (From my hairdresser, who was sporting a mohawk at the time.)

and my personal favourite.....
"She looks like Woody Woodpecker."

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Current predictions are that when Matilda grows up, she'll think Mohawks are a hairstyle for Babies, and she'll want to do something reactionary and cutting edge with her hair, like use Breel Cream on it.

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My little fluffy-topped darling can now:

  • Crawl. I was in the toilet the other day (with the door open of course, thanks so much Domino,) and I looked up to see a smiley baby looking at me from the doorway. She had crossed half of the lounge and all of the kitchen to get to see me pee. Awww...
  • Pull herself up in her crib, bend down, pick up a toy, and straighten herself up again. She's so proud of herself when she does it that it's turned into a game; she'll pick her toy up, give it to me, and I have to put it back in her crib so she can repeat the performance.
  • Eat grown up food. I mean, I could just cry. If you hand her a whole banana, she sucks it until it mulchifies, and swallows it. She's also eaten sliced toast with Marmite (Peter is ecstatic at that -plus, he happily eats her leftovers) and sliced peppers that I was handing her from my salad. I honestly have NO idea how she manages to eat all of these things, she still doesn't have one single tooth in her pie-hole, but she's certainly come a long way since orange gloop. And to think that before I dared to stop whizzing her food, the health visitor had to ask me three times, and sit through my demostration of Baby CPR. That's first time mums for you.

She also tries to feed you her food (and disolves in giggles,) and she does this thing where she wants to chew on your nose... and if you turn away she puts both hands on your cheeks and turns your face towards her and then THERE IS THIS GAPING MOUTH AND HUGE PAIR OF GUMS COMING FOR YOU, OH DEAR GOD, THE GUMS... THEY'RE COMING... THEY'RE HUGE....AAAARGH!!!!!

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The One where Food is mentioned Many Times

Natalie is back from Thailand and I saw them all yesterday, at Ola's birthday party. For which Natalie managed to provide an amazing spread of home-cooked foods, and gift bags for all the children with their names spelled on them in glitter, days after returning from a 10 week back-packing trip with 3 children under 5.
I spent an embarassingly long time hovering in the kitchen, picking things off the food-table (did I mention the food was excellent?) while every other parent in the room demonstrated their ability to actually listen, understand and respond to questions coherently despite the bloodcurling battle-cries emitted by at least 5 children at any given time. (Does parenting a toddler make your hearing sharper? Was I fighting a losing battle, because my baby is pre-verbal? I mean, it went something like "W..... You ..... Oooo?" "Excuse me?" "" "Erm...yes?" "No, I said" "Never mind, I'll go eat.") Matilda managed to avoid being trampled by the herd of rampaging toddlers, and got introduced to brightly coloured plastic balls:

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Image hosting by Photobucket That little cutie next to her, incidentally, is Atticus, who in the past two months grew hair and learned how to stand. Am I out of line for feverently hoping she'll hook up with the boy next door when she grows up? Do you think if I keep telling her "Whetever you do, stay away from that Atticus. I know what these boys are like," might help get them together? I mean, look at that scrumptious little guy (and I am refering to the one in nappies!)

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Me: (To Reggie, who was wearing a Spiderman costume) Oooh, are you Spiderman?
5 year Old Boy: Actually, that's not the real Spiderman.
Me: Yeah, the real Spiderman can climb walls.
5yo Boy: Actually no, the real Spiderman doesn't even exist.

Also, I got to see about a dozen flims' worth of photographs from their holiday, and after all the shots of children running around naked in idyllic beaches, I was almost jealous. Until Natalie mentioned that in Thailand everyone kept telling her "Oh, 3 children and another one in your belly, how lovely..." She said "Eventually I got tired of saying 'No, I'm just fat, not pregnant,' and started patting my belly and nodding." Incidentally, Natalie is NOT fat, and she certainly is a lot thinner than me. It must be that the Thai people are so tiny. Note to self: Never, under any circumstances, ever, and I mean EVER, visit Thailand.

We had a lovely time when Alan and Jill visited last weekend and got some hands-on Matilda-lovin'. Also, I got treated to a lovely meal out and the priceless information that when Alan was invited to parties as a small child, his mum would feed him a sandwitch before sending him off, because he would eat so much she was afraid he'd embarass her! So the Sprogling's tendency to eat anything you put in front of her does not NECESSARILY come from my side of the family. Phew!

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Do you think Matilda is starting to look a bit too much like me?

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UPDATE: Oh!!! Oh oh oh!!! Matilda just now this very minute mastered the art of pulling herself up in her crib! I had to put that down in writing!

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