Wednesday, 30 April 2008


At 16:18, through a Calpol haze, I received my smile.

Heart Break

The Doctor pronounced her as perfect: perfectly proportioned and perfectly pretty (but we already knew that!).

The nurse stuck pins in her... She screamed... and screamed again. Screaming as if her lungs would burst, and my heart broke.

She wouldn't even take solace in the boob, the boob had betrayed her and I'd let her be hurt. That's not what Mummies are for.

So, just as I'd cried on the way there, I cried on the way home.

Now Isobel is drifting in and out of sleep in my arms and I'm eating chocolate, just waiting for a smile to let me know I'm forgiven.

Guilty Smiles

Isobel is being a very chatty, smiley baby girl this morning.

I'm filled with dred and guilt about this afternoon's jabs; they are going to hurt, and then she won't be such a happy baby anymore.

Isobel, I'm sorry in advance, I promise I wouldn't do it if I had a choice. I'll try not to cry as much as you do, and I promise to spend the afternoon cuddling. x

Slummy Mummy Confession 73

My daughter fell asleep on the bathmat while I showered this morning.

It was only a quick shower - honest; it must have been my singing.

(We have jabs today, so I'm hoping there will be a lot more sleeping and not too much screaming)

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Slummy Mummy Confession No 72

I don't clean my own house. I'm a stay at home mum who has a cleaner.

What I ideally wanted was a 50 / 60 year old English woman who would lavish care and attention on my home. Paying attention to detail and keeping everything spick and span – in fact the sort of lady who would use the words ‘spick and span’ and would clean my windows with vinegar and newspaper and my oven with bicarb.

But these don’t seem to be readily available, so I 'm stuck with an agency and instead of being English, my cleaner is East European; doesn’t speak much English; wants to use the most toxic cleaning products available (which I accidently forget to buy).

I have a, long time ago got used to the fact that having a cleaner doesn’t mean the house is spring cleaned every week, but it still beats scrubbing myself.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Lazy Days

It's probably my fault for letting Isobel stay in her pjs, but all she wants to do today is eat and sleep.

Is she a teenager already?

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Flip Flops and Sun Tan Cream

Four weeks ago we celebrated Linda's birthday and Isobel's first month

Today, with sunnies, flip-flops and sun-tan cream, we met Linda for a picnic in the park.

Haviannas, piz-buin and fizzy wine on a picnic rug all mean summer to me!

Bring it on!

Eight Weeks

Isobel is 8 weeks old this afternoon. She is a happy, healthy growing baby who seems to aquire new skills by the day - smiling, then giggling for example. I don't want to miss any of these things, but undoubtedly I will.

The past 8 weeks have been the best weeks of my life. I love being Isobel's mum: I love the fact that the first smile of the day is nearly always for me, and that each one that follows during the day is equally charming, and equally heart melting. She is becoming a very smiley little girl - yes even when a little overtired.

Yesterday she weighed 10lbs 2 ozs(4.58kgs) and was a whole 56 centimetres tall, although with all her stretching I'm sure she must be taller today! (Both measurements are just below the average but above the 25th percentile - in case you were wondering!)

This morning I have signed off my Company Accounts and I am feeling a little sad. The figures were healthy, as is the hefty cheque I now have to write the taxman, but I'm sad because it reminds me that all too soon I will have to look for a new job.

What skills do I need to secure a job that enables me to work only 3 or 4 days a week? Do I therefore have to give up some of my Isobel time to train myself? Can I ever afford my bookshop so Isobel can grow up running around the shelves?

I'm a third of a way through my Isobel time...

Thursday, 24 April 2008


Sometimes I'm a little envious of other Mums and their baby's 3 hour feed routines;

Sometimes I like the idea of a baby in a routine (ours often drifts like the tide).

Sometimes I wonder if I could do something to help my baby sleep longer in the night (although I'm happy with my 4 hour stretch).

But then Isobel smiles at me, again and again, and then I remember that...

I am the perfect Mummy for Isobel and doing what we do makes us happy.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

What a Difference a Sleep Makes

This morning both Isobel and I got out of the bed the wrong side.

I was tired and emotional and Isobel was just tired, too tired to get herself to sleep and too tired to let me rock her to sleep.

So we went for a walk in the sunshine. I walked for 2 hours, she slept for 2 hours. The things we saw that made us happy:

People hiring row boats on the river;
A gondola pulled up on Twickers beach by the White Swan;
Children playing in the park;
Adults sleeping in the park;

Isobel smiling in her sleep.

Then we came home to play.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Time On My Hands

With Isobel's newly extended feed cycle of somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 hours, I find I have a little more time on my hands.

I could spend this time scouring the papers to bring myself up-to-date on current affairs; I could mow the lawn; I could even tidy-up a little more.

But I'd much rather eat biscuits and read a trashy magazine. (Note a recurring theme: biscuits!)

Besides that, I kind of miss her.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Too Busy to Take Pictures

A heavenly weekend with an Angel Baby who is now 7 weeks old.

Just spent it hanging out with PD, pottering about. At last he got to see what a pleasure our daughter is, and how lovely life is with her in it.

I think we even made her Godfather broodie when we had lunch in the pub with him on Sunday; a lovely silly afternoon of perfect pints and even more perfect roast potatoes.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Me, Myself and Mummy

I have taken to referring to myself in the third person.

That personal commentary that often ran in my head is now voiced out loud and is generally about someone called Mummy. And I tell you 'Mummy' is quite busy:

'Mummy is just going to have a cup of tea'.

'Mummy is going to put your cardigan on now'

'Ooh is there a nice yellow poo in there for Mummy, isn't Mummy lucky'

You get the picture.

Hooray, at last an excuse for talking to yourself - child development!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


Overtired is when your baby decides that sleep is the enemy and must be avoided at all costs; refusing sleep until they no longer know what sleep is and neither do you.

Only solution: settle down for an afternoon of English village crime drama while cuddling said baby. (It's tough but someone has to do it!)

Failing that, take a walk.

(I recommend the former, it works best if Mum has a plentiful supply of tea and biscuits)

What is a 'Growth Spurt'?

A growth spurt is when your child wants boob constantly - a bit like a man.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Things Change So Quickly

I've just been flicking through PD's photoblog and as much as the pictures make me smile, they make me a little sad too.

I cannot believe how quickly our little baby is growing up.

If she has changed so much in six weeks, how will I ever keep up?

(Especially as we are heading for a growth spurt. I wonder if I'm having one too because I seem to be super hungry as well - step away from the biscuits!)

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Confession of a slummy Mummy No. 32

I've just let my baby fall asleep in her bouncy chair.

We seem to have got so caught up making sure she sleeps and doesn't get overtired we'd forgotten to enjoy her playing and let her just nod off!

Six Weeks and a Valuable Lesson Learnt

When I was pregnant I loved buying and reading books about babies. Not so much for the information but to wallow in the amazing fact that I was pregnant, yes me, having a baby. Wow.

Now that seems to be all a little too much information.

Being a parent seems to have become all about 'shoulds', books tell you should do this and not that, and none of them agree. Advice is offerred and the 'should's are often tempered with 'try', all this advice comes from the heart and is well intentioned and I know it is up to me to take it or leave it.

Right now I think I need to 'leave it' a while. I've packed away the books because my instincts cannot be heard over the sound of all those 'shoulds'.

There is no greater body of knowledge than a mothers instinct. Here's to getting to know my baby a little more every day.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Fannying Around

While I fanny around in the bedroom getting dressed in the morning, Isobel is busy learning to focus, track and anticipate objects, all while listening to classical music.

Yes, she is playing with her mobile.

Thank you Freeview - you know who you are. x

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The Greats

This week Isobel met some of my favouritist people.

She met her Great Auntie Gada and Great Uncle Birdie who I'm sure will provide many new names and hours of entertainment for her just like they did for me; it was always fun at their house.

Very, very importantly Isobel visited Great Grandad and Great Grandad-Grandma (so named because she is the Grandma that lives with Grandad).
My Grandparents were always my rock and 5 High was always my true north, but now they are shrinking. So, it means the world to me to have this picture:

Hopefully we have many sunny days to spend at the beach hut with them.

Maybe we'll even take a dip

(These pictures were taken in 2002, but they still swim and spend most of the summer at the hut, they just use scooters to get there.)

My Family and Other Animals

Isobel has been reunited with her Grandma, last seen when she was 3 days old

Her Uncle Dan forgave her for being the third neice and not a nephew

My sister, Auntie Amy, and Isobel's cousin Isla were pleased to see us

And cousin Hayley baked chocolate cakes
and wrote a card for her.

As for the other animals, well there is plenty of time for great dane riding.

(We also had a girly lunch with Godmother Jen, but Isobel slept through it)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Sometimes it's Hard...

... not to cry when my baby cries; when her bottom lip quivers, her chin wobbles and her eyes are wet with, what will one day be, real tears, mine are too.

... to know I'm not hurting her when she screams for seamingly no reason.

... to remember that I'm not a bad Mummy and that she is...

a baby.

And babies cry.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Who's your Daddy

Isobel must think she has three Daddies:

One wears glasses...

One Doesn't...

And one has a stonking great black thing on his face:

But she still loves him.

We'll miss you PD x

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Snowy Sunday

It's a snowy Sunday here in London Town and my daughter is dressed as a very cool beatnik:

Perhaps we should move to Paris .

(Thank you Great Aunt Liz x)

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Our Fifth Week

I wouldn't neccessarily say I feel that much wiser at the end of week five.

I wouldn't say things are any easier, I think Mum's are built to worry at least a little, and babies are built to test, at least a little.

But I wouldn't say we are having any less fun either, we have a lovely life of strolls and meetings for coffee (mostly decaf - of course).

In fact mornings are our favourites. Here is our yesterday morning:

Smiles and giggles for Mummy

Then coffee and pottery painting with Godmother Chirsty and Alfie

A pram is a much better walking companion than a dog: it carries your shopping and you don't have to scoop the poop.

Friday, 4 April 2008

(What should have been) Slummy Mummy Confession No. 1

In the (unnecessarily) judgemental world of motherhood I have committed a sin.

In this age of environmental awareness and global warming, I have committed a bigger sin.

I use disposable nappies!

I know according to many I should be struck down. I did, albeit briefly, consider using re-usables but I'm afraid I succumbed to the convenience of disposables. Yes I know there are nappy services, and yes I know that re-usables are quite good these days but no, I didn't tread that path.

I do use quite environmentally friendly disposables though, promise. (Isobel's bottom also prefers these - she is a real princess after all.)


One thing Isobel has been consistent about ever since she was just a Bobbit is the Hiccoughs; she bounced around inside my tummy and now...

Poor thing, she often wakes herself up with them, but rest assured no Isobels were harmed in the making of this video - she doesn't get distressed.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Twilight Barking

If most babies are niggly in the evenings is it like the Twilight Barking in 101 Dalmations?

The Witching Hour

It has to be said evenings aren't Isobel's favourite time.

She enjoys her bath, that much is true. But, otherwise, she could very well shout the whole evening through.

Unfortunately for PD this the only time he gets to see his darling daughter - not ideal for bonding.

I think the witching hour is actually 5-6 though: whatever Isobel does then sets the tone - if she doesn't take a nap it is unlikely that she will until ten.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Slummy Mummy Confession No. 23

I just wiped my baby's mouth with a breast pad.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Proof is also in The Red Book

Isobel's life is documented in red books: my red diary logs the time and duration of her feeds, and her Red Book Health Record has everything medical.

Today, for the first time * we went to clinic to be weighed and to add an entry to the Red Book.

Isobel now weighs 4.12kgs (9.1lbs). PD calls her chunky, the Red Book says she's average.

I know the truth: she is beautiful and far from average.

I am relieved to know her 7-10 minute feeds are more than adequate, am no longer worried my milk isn't 'good enough'; most of all I'm happy to know she is a healthy growing girl who has moved from 25th percentile to 50th. (The Red Book also contains graphs.)

Me, I can fit in my skinny jeans, do them up and sit down, but it isn't comfy!

* I was a little worried about not knowing the form and looking foolish and being judged as a bad Mother. Silly, but it was a similar kind of anxiety I get meeting people in a bar I don't know or going to any strange place really, but with higher stakes.

The Proof isn't in the Pudding, it's in the Poo

I never thought there would be a time in my life when poo would be so important to me.

Not only do I change nappies, I check the contents for colour and texture: bright yellow in abundance is good, and green and seedy, while not bad is less good.

Bright yellow means her speedy guzzling is still delivering hind milk, green means she could possibly feed for longer.

Poo is very important, so important I am often to be found writing emails about it.