Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Four Colly Birds

I've not got my head straight enough to write what I consider to be a 'proper' post. But here I am anyway.

Little G has been pulling herself up to standing with increasing confidence since a couple of days before Christmas. She got farrrrrrrr too many gifts: just a few carefully chosen ones from Adriano and me, and a ton from other people who love her too.

We decided to open our gifts leisurely on Christmas Eve afternoon as our new family of 3, rather than it be a horrible rush on Christmas morning. It was lovely and all done at G's pace and I think we'll do it on 24th next year too. It was our time in a season of lovely but hectic family visits.

On 25th itself we managed to fit in a visit to A's grandparents as well as lunch at his sister's house. They now live in adjoining rooms in a care home, quite a nice one thankfully, and I'm happy to say that G cheered them up no end. She even played footsie with her Great Granddad whose feet were sticking out from under his sheets. I don't think I've seen him smile so widely since I've known him. A's Nan couldn't stop marvelling at G's crawling and how big she was and they seemed fairly delighted with each other. I felt really warm inside that we had brought her to see them on Christmas evening. It felt so right.

Adriano has been off work this week and it's been amazing to share G's needs a bit more than usual. I managed to read a book (great, I recommend it)! And get my hair cut! And have been getting up in the night to her in return for lie-ins each morning! Life is different with a bit more sleep. It's better.

There's plenty more to say but I want to get off here now. Au revoir.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

One day I will have the energy and creativity (and hopefully the willing company) to give this day the attention it deserves. My little Pagan heart would like to mark the day in some way and all I can come up with this year is a blog post, hey ho.

Anyway, have a relaxing peaceful break, anyone reading this.

It's been a totally amazing year for me, completely dominated by the birth of Little G who turned our lives upside down. I am so grateful. She'll be 10 months old on Christmas Day.

It's going to be our first Christmas without Adriano's Mum, which feels wrong and makes me revisit the whole tragedy of her illness and death all over again. It gets messy over here sometimes; it's still very raw.

We've had some snow which I've enjoyed greatly, apart from Saturday's misadventure of sliding down an icy road in the car with G asleep in the back. Miraculously we didn't crash, hurrah.

Take care, y'all.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

PS Today is Saint Lucy's day.

Like a haiku, but not.


Second tooth through - hooray!

Crawling creates chaos. But fun to watch.

Tummy upsets agogo.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Just a quick post to say that G is 9 months old tomorrow! And no, I'm not back to my pre-pregnancy shape. I only weigh about 2 lbs more but as for my stomach - bleah. Well, let's not linger there.

The last couple of days G has been getting her head around crawling.......FORWARDS!

Already I have had to rescue Adriano's X-Box - in 5 seconds flat she managed to crawl there, turn it on, open the DVD drive, kneel up and lean on it. She is not a frail little girlie, she is a strapping young lass! It was bending under her weight! We are looking for lockable TV cabinets. Urgently.

She's pretty much recovered from her nasty cough and now we're keeping our fingers crossed that she's not caught the 'hand, foot and mouth' virus which one of her little playmates has got.

When we're out she's so much harder work than she used to be, she wants to explore everything and everywhere, and who can blame her? I don't wish she was smaller though, it's tricky but it's also amazing to see her character coming out. She is very determined, and very vocal. And she has started dancing to music.

Oh she has just woken up. Bye.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Big day

Little G has just learnt to clap her hands! It's so cute to watch. Poor thing has a nasty cough so it's nice to see her smiling and looking pleased with herself; she's been a bit quiet and sombre otherwise.

Also this morning I can see one of her bottom teeth has FINALLY broken through her gum. It's been a long time coming!

This last week she has gone from being on her front to sitting up by herself and today she seems to be in the swing of it.

She loves turning the pages of books now, and is starting to feel the touchy-feely bits on the page with her little chubby fingers. Adorable.

Last night Adriano opened up our cupboard-full-of-mess in the lounge and Little G was watching very closely. I don't think I've ever opened up that cupboard in front of her and she looked very interested indeed. Sure enough about ten minutes later she was over there herself and had opened it up and was pulling wires out of it. And she still can't crawl forwards but she certainly gets around somehow.

We came back last night from a weekend away in Brighton with family. My dad-in-law treated us all to 2 nights in a fab hotel with sea views and yummy meals. It was sometimes a bit challenging to be all of us together for so long (lots of strong characters!) but we all had a lovely time. I particularly enjoyed getting to know my 2-and-a-half year old nephew better. In face he fed me some of his broccoli at one meal - a memorable moment and really generous as it's his favourite vegetable! (And possibly mine too, luckily. He wouldn't take no for an answer.)

I also had my first ever manicure, thanks to my sister-in-law. It was fun and relaxing, even if I did think I could have done the polish better myself!

Adriano and I reminded ourselves that we've now been trying to move back down to Brighton for ...oooh about 5 years now... and what on earth was stopping us? We say it's getting jobs. Maybe we should just do it though? And let the rest of it fall in to place? In fact I am applying for a job there right now, and we have vowed to ourselves that we will move there by end of July next year no matter what. We've said that before of course, but this time I really hope we actually do it.

This morning I've been productive and have done some annoying and/or messy jobs such as wash out the compost bin (ewwwww) and changing duvet cover etc

Got to go, G is reversing into the downstairs toilet and the floor's not as clean as it might be.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I'm finding it a huge struggle to assess any of my kids' 'work' at school in my teaching job. I can only just about remember their names, let alone how well they have contributed or whatever (hell, some days I can only just about remember my name. I wish I was joking.). Next term I'm supposed to answer to the senior management team in writing about it all, and I just want to hide under a rock. It's too much. I want to do choirs and all that as well but WHEN? Two days a week teaching kicks my you-know-what as it is.

I just want to provide musical experiences which keep the kids interested and open to music. Why do I have to measure their attainment formally as well? I just don't want to. So there.

what's occuring

Little G is now into turning book pages.

She gets very very upset when you take the baby wipes away from her and if left to her own devices will pull all of them out of the packet faster than you can say 'pooey bottom'. Today she spent a solid twenty minutes exploring the sticker that covers up the opening hole.

Her teeth have not yet made an appearance and she still can't crawl forwards but she does a mean 'downward-facing dog' yoga pose.

I think I am pre-menstrual again. Thrillsville.

Adriano and I keep arguing because I ask him to pick up after himself.

I know he is jealous of me being able to look after G most of the time. I feel for him. For my part I am exhausted from looking after her and keeping the house running. I would rather be in my role than his, and I am very grateful to him for working so hard for us. Also, I am very tired.

Our house is very cold.

I have work tomorrow and the next day. I am not managing to feel any joy about that whatsoever.

G has had one of those days where she doesn't smile or laugh as much as usual and when that happens I always think she doesn't love me anymore. Psycho mum!

I keep unsubscribing from various emails and they don't seem to take any notice.

I liked being outside today even though it was cold and rainy and the piles of leaves have largely turned to sludge. I got my gloves out for the first time this year.

I have been doing a bit of baby-signing with G. She hasn't signed back yet but I'm hoping she will at some point. I've been doing 'finished', 'bird', 'plane', 'food', 'milk', 'home', 'bubbles' and 'drink'. Can't think of any others right now.

G made friends with about ten old ladies today in a cafe. A couple of them thought she was a boy even though she was wearing tights, a skirt, and a pink jumper. *sigh* It'll be good when her hair grows a bit more although she's got more than a lot of babies her age.

This morning I found out that a friend of mine is pregnant with her 2nd baby. Also this morning there was a 6-week old baby at the playgroup I took G to. Both things made me feel broody even though I'm tired (did I mention that already?) and I don't want to feel sick til week 16 again.

I heard this last week that a teacher I used to work with was recently killed in a car accident. That gave me a lot to think about. The friend who told me about it has worked in the room next door to him for 10 years. Today my friend had to clear out his room. She says she feels lost.

Today is my father-in-law's birthday; his first without his wife. He is keeping himself madly busy, presumably to fend off the inevitable wall of grief. When it hits him we'll be there, but in the meantime it can be a little hard to watch. Adriano and his family are all experiencing that dreaded list of 'firsts' that come after a loved one's death. Christmas will no doubt be very poignant; thankfully we have G to help us through. I suspect she'll go mad for the present wrappings and make us all smile and laugh.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Frustration at Fabulous Funky Wedding

I want to give proper time to this post but am chasing my tail with errands today.

Went to Pete and Emma's wonderful wedding at the weekend in Totnes. Crazily we left the house at 4am so that most of the drive LittleG would still be asleep. She was soooo excited and happy when I got her out of her cot at that time of night! She was awake for about an hour with the intrigue of it all and then fell asleep for 2 hours: perfect. It was so cute to stop at the services for breakfast with G still in her sleepsuit and sleeping bag. Awww.

The hotel was lovely, I recommend it. I enjoyed Totnes - have been before but ages ago. But my god I was SHATTERED because although on the whole G is sleeping much better, she had a cold and teething which caused her to wake up 3 or 4 times before the 4am excitement, and I barely slept in the car (Adriano will insist otherwise). Adriano was v tired too after the short night and all that driving. I am still learning to drive so couldn't share that with him.

I loved the ceremony, Emma looked gorgeous in her halterneck green dress with to-die-for shoes (wish I had taken a pic) and funky pink short hair (a true offbeat bride). Loved Pete's waistcoat and tie colour combo and frock coat thingy. LittleG growled, yes growled, with gusto at an important point in the proceedings but luckily only those around us noticed.

LittleG completely skipped her second nap of the day as everything around was so exciting. My back ached from carrying her around and my head spun from so little sleep and from concentrating on keeping the plates spinning with regard to her needs. But it was gorgeous to be there, and to chat to people I'd met on Emma's hen day, and meet family members I'd heard about...

On the tables at the meal there was a great little booklet whose pages represented Emma and Pete in various ways: colouring in pages, poems, music compositions, photos,... loved the idea.

I was gutted that by the time the ukelele band (yes! I told you it was a cool wedding) came along, I just couldn't find my mojo and I just popped in to have a look before slinking back to our room.

In the old days (I won't say 'good old days' because life has never been better than now) I would have taken a ton of photos and been really proud of them, but sadly my efforts this time were a bit distracted (and LittleG-centred) to say the least.

Got to go, G has just ripped half a page out of Adriano's book 'Manhood' by Steve Biddulph. Oops, sorry Adriano.

Monday, 19 October 2009


...is G's favourite sound at the moment. Usually expressing displeasure, it can mean 'get me out of this cot right now' or 'feed me that stuff faster' or 'I'm bored' or 'why can I only crawl backwards' or 'I don't want to stay on my back while you change my nappy'.

She's now changed her wave to the more delicate hand-opening-and-closing variety, rather than the whole arm shake. Sometimes with one hand, sometimes with two, and sometimes with an arm stretched out towards you. She did it to a lady we were standing next to at a pedestrian crossing the other day, who offered her finger, which G grasped and they shared a smile. The lady said it made her day.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Little G has two white lines on her lower gum where teeth are trying to come through.
No wonder she's cranky.

Although she totally won the hearts of the two grandmas I sat next to when we were out today. She giggled with them and flapped her arms and squealed excitedly.

I am quite a baby bore these days, I know it.

Monday, 12 October 2009


Little G now copies waving. It's gorgeous. She even waved at Iggle Piggle earlier today.

Adriano and I went to the local deli for lunch, and G was cuddled by both the ladies in there for ages. She didn't mind at all.

She's taken a liking to a largish Winnie the Pooh toy given to her by a colleague at my work. She grabs his nose and eats it.

She can slide backwards but still not crawl, much to her frustration. She now goes up onto all fours sometimes though so we'll get there.

She likes it when you hold her so she can practise standing. She goes after my handbag and its contents whenever possible. If you say 'bang bang bang' she will often tap whatever toy is in her hand or in front of her, and she likes a good game of Peekaboo.

She doesn't laugh as much as the other babies her age for some reason, but we're in no doubt about her sense of humour and her understanding, as she smiles a lot, and wrinkles up her nose as well if something's especially fun. She has one dimple on her left cheek when she smiles hard.

She enjoys bathtime and likes to pull out the plug herself. She doesn't cry when I pour water over her head to rinse her hair, although she sometimes gasps and flaps her arms in surprise. It's much easier since she can sit up well.

She eats almost anything with gusto. At the moment she's on 3 bottles a day and one breastfeed, plus 3 meals a day. Soon I'll be reducing her formula intake a bit but not too much just yet. When her meals are finished we make the baby-sign for 'finished' which usually makes her smile sweetly.

I've had a cold, cough, sore throat, and painful ear for two weeks now. I hope it's on its way out.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Minty Moo

Recently I bought Little G a cream and green stripy cow from Habitat, which says 'Moooo, moooo, moooo' when you squeeze it/her.

I've just noticed that when we get it to make the moo sound, G copies it!

I feel so proud :D

Friday, 9 October 2009


Little G has been saying 'dadadadadgagagagagagdadadada' a lot in the past few days. She goes through phases of it.
She sits up so strong, and gets frustrated at not being able to crawl but hasn't got the hang of getting up on to her knees. She increasingly likes to stand (with lots of help) and looks so proud when she does it.
She likes to bang things together and seems to know what we mean when we say 'bang bang bang' to encourage her to do it.
She is fascinated by our mobile phones, especially Adriano's as it's shiny and silver. She looks at it for a while before stuffing it in her mouth.


We are coping with a family bereavement over here. Please send your love especially to A's family at the moment to help them through.

I feel privileged to have been so close as this passing of a beautiful but too short life was witnessed.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

'My hair needs help', or 'What have I done?!'

So I bit the bullet and dyed my hair blonde on the first day I had more than 5 minutes to myself since G was born. Looked in the mirror; didn't like it.

I rang the hairdresser for advice and ended up spending 2 hours and £83.00 from our dwindling pot of gold for even blonder half-head highlights. Slightly improved. I think. Not sure.

Honestly I thought it pretty chavtastic but what could I do?

Fast forward about 4 weeks. Oh sh!t. It looks worse as I now have roots to contend with. My hair is three colours. Or tricolore, if you like.

Trouble is, I really want to continue the quest for blonde hair I actually like. But £83.00 every 6 weeks or so? Um, no. Adriano and I have just been having serious conversations about how to cut down our expenditure and live within our means etc. To add to the confusion, he hates it when I do dramatic things to my own hair (he's scared I think) and, let's face it, dying it blonde myself did not work well. I've successfully dyed it other colours and been happy but I can't do that now: red would go orange; brown would go blue-ish. Part of the £83.00 was for the cut, which wouldn't have to be done every visit, but my god it would be nice... usually I only have my hair cut annually if that.

Any suggestions?

Friday, 18 September 2009

Bracelet made by a colleague and friend for G:

Monday, 14 September 2009

all twittered out

I think I'm going to give up on twitter. It feels like one too many things to check. I still like my blog and I'm really stuck into facebook now too. I check the BBC and Guardian news sites and I'm slightly weather-obssesed as well. But that's enough.

Now I've said that I'll probably be compelled to write something on there very soon.

I'm feeling very pre-menstrual today. As our satnav likes to say: "Beware".


Friday, 11 September 2009

quick update

Very quick update in fact.

Gracie can now sit up unaided. She eats toast, lumpy veg or fruit mush, and pretty much anything really. She can SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT. Hallelujah. I became desperate and 'trained' her out of the habit of waking frequently. After one night things got better; within the week she was sleeping through. She's now in a cotbed which should do her til she's about 4 or 5. She looks tiny again because it's so big for her right now.

Some days she chats away all day and says 'dadadadadada' although she doesn't yet link that sound with 'daddy' of course.

I went back to work for 2 days (I'm very lucky to only be doing that much). It was OK and hell, in equal doses I would say. G didn't seem to miss me; she adores her Grandma and had a lovely time with Adriano too.

We have some sad news in Adriano's family that we are coping with at the moment. Please send your thoughts and prayers. They will be much needed for some while.

Got to go and catch up with some domestic loveliness!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Stream of consciousness

I am a zombie. I have nothing interesting to say. G is now 5 months old. She continues to love her daily mush, and now takes a bottle of formula a day too. From tomorrow it'll be 2 bottles, and it feels sad but necessary. I'm glad she's taking it without fuss because it stops me from being so melodramatic about it. Adriano is cooking us fish and chips and peas for dinner. We are both shattered: him from a stag do, me from a night of looking after G on my own. It was such a help to have him around for the bedtime stuff tonight. I sometimes 'over supervise' him (his words and I know they're true) so I'm trying to back off! I don't want to do that. I don't know how he puts up with me sometimes. We've had G in our room these past months, and we're now planning the move from her crib to a cot, and on her own. At the moment you have to go through our spare room to reach the bathroom so she can't sleep in there because we'll wake her every time we get ready for bed etc. So we're probably going to leave her in our current bedroom by herself and move our bed into the spare room. But it's smaller so we can only fit the bed in there and nothing else. So instead of sleeping with us, G will be sleeping with all the stuff that is currently in the spare room. Ugh.

Dinner's ready, got to go.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Matchsticks required

Last night G was up at midnight, 2am, 3am, 4am, and 6am.


Thursday, 23 July 2009

I am so effing tired.

G's sleeping has been dire for the past month now.

I got 'nothing' done today but we had a good day. We ended by actually enjoying the bedtime routine for perhaps the first time. Far fewer tears. Longer bath, which I think helped.

Need to go to bed now.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Where to start?

I've been trying to write a blog post for a long time.

I've been having huge issues with sleep, or rather lack of it, and it's not over yet. (Maybe when G is 3, suggests one cruel-but-honest friend.)

I'm coping. Just. With a lot of support from Adriano. Who is also exhausted. And has lots of family issues among other trials. And why am I typing weird short sentences?

I love G so much and understand why people call it a 'fierce' love.

I like being the mum (and even 'the wife'!) in our new little family unit. It feels so good.

I'm such a worrier; I lie awake at night and wonder how to work the logistics of leaving G while I go to work for 2 days a week in Sept. I realise I am very lucky to only be going 2 days per week.
G can now roll over in both directions although occasionally still gets stuck. I love the look of triumph on her face when she manages it.

She's had 2 lots of baby rice now (in spite of the WHO saying wait until 6 months. I have my reasons.) I'm considering starting to mix feed her with formula soon and am trying to come to terms with that because in many ways it will cut a lot of stress. And I'm hoping she can still have a breastmilk feed at least once in the day or night. I won't miss the mastitis. Or the leaking, although I guess that can still happen. Lovely.

She giggles in an understated but very cute way when I kiss her neck or ribs. She continues to look just like Adriano although every now and then I catch something of me in her look.

Seeing friends helps on my darker days. It's mostly just lack of sleep that drives me crazy.
She's napping now but I know she'll be finished in 10 mins and I just had to eat something, otherwise I would be napping now too.

I have read a hell of a lot of sleep books now. Apparently babies her age should have a minimum of 4 hours naps per day. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Although at times I desperately need a break from G, when I have an hour or two without her I miss her. Classic!

I often change her nappy around 5am and she gives me such lovely smiles in the quiet early morning light.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


LittleG has really got the hang of rolling over from front to back today. She has done it a couple of times before but then not repeated it for a while. But now every time I put her on her front, I'll look round and she's rolled!

She'll be 4 months old tomorrow. Amazing.

First Fathers' Day

Washing on the line (with and without 'saturation')

Sunday, 14 June 2009


I can't stop thinking about the miracle of breastfeeding. I can't stop worrying about how I'm going to continue it when I'm working 2 full days a week from September. Teaching and 'pumping' just do not mix. It may be possible but my god it sounds sooooooo stressful.


Friday, 12 June 2009

Today I went down Honeypot Lane, Salmon Street, and past Welsh Harp Reservoir.

No honeypots, salmon, or Welsh harps were to be seen, however. London can be such a disappointment sometimes.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Some things that have made me happy recently

Adriano saying that I am 'calm and patient and strong' after a gruelling get-littleG-to-sleep-for-the-night session.

My father-in-law saying I was 'born to be a mum' when we visited last Sunday.

All the flowers in our garden and beyond.

Lovely weather for days without a break.  

Washing flapping about on the line.

LittleG's face-splitting smiles when I sing to her.

Breastfeeding is still going OK and there have been fewer bouts of threatening mastitis.

Seeing new friends' babies grow bigger and begin to smile and wriggle and look alert and interested.

Adriano buying me Sarah Waters' new book (am finding it v scary!).

Watching littleG's reaction when Adriano plays guitar and sings to her.

The weather being warm enough for littleG to just wear vests with cute little skirts.

The dimples in littleG's elbows. And chin.  And cheeks.  

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Friday, 15 May 2009


LittleG just giggled for the first time ever!  It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard :)
...and if you're sick of baby photos, here are some of my other favourites.

party dress (cousin's 2nd birthday)

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* proud new mother * last child * youngest daughter * tallest sister * favourite auntie * honest lover * furtive photographer * diary writer * compulsive dancer * tree hugger * mooncup promoter * chocolate taster * house plant murderer *

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