Thursday, 30 July 2009

I guess that's why she wins hearts..

She runs at a hundred smiles an hour.

No pets allowed

Tuesday, next door’s cleaner let their cat out, she couldn’t get it back in so she left me a note asking me to do it, believe me this is not a simple task. As a rescue cat she is skittish to say the least, lovely when she knows you but skittish.

Having to get a cat in when on my way out was not my ideal way to spend valuable socialising time. Anyway.

Next morning I thought I could hear said cat, so between getting little girl dressed, me dressed, readying our selves for our days at work and nursery, I popped round to check. On my way I found myself trying to remember the alarm code. Fatal mistake. As a girl who, in the days before mobiles, could only remember phone numbers by pretending to dial them, I’m best just stepping up and pressing buttons, not THINKING about it.

So, at 7:30 am I was standing in the middle of someone else’s houses with a crying little girl, an escaping cat trying to call my neighbour to remind me of the code. (I don’t know what it says about me, but she thought I had forgotten my OWN alarm code).

Funnily enough with the house screaming at it, the cat ran away again.


See I love cats, but blimey.

AND THEN…

Last night at around nine o’clock I could found standing on my settee, screaming. Yes Tom and Jerry style screaming. There was a mouse in my sitting room.

The only differences between me and the cartoon were the colour of my skin and the fact that my stockings weren’t saggy.

The Gruffalo will tell you the mouse is the scariest animal in the woods and I would I agree. I cannot stand furry rodent type creatures. It makes me wince just to think of it.

Luckily I had a pair of four inch heels nearby which I donned like stilts to take me to safety of my bedroom; if 5 foot something of me wasn’t enough to scare it I was going to make damn sure it couldn’t make a vicious lunge for my well turned ankle.

If Isobel wants a ratty, hamstery type pet she can appeal to PD’s absent parent guilt and he can keep it for her.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I love to love

I love weddings, I love birthdays but I love weddings too.

I mean what’s not to love; peeps in their finery; beautiful princess brides; parties; eating; drinking; being merry… Not to mention all that LOVE. Even as a jaded singleton I love love.

So, when an invitation popped through my door a few months ago it took me only seconds to decide to sell the Camp Bestival tickets I had (I bought Bestival ones instead and added Camp Bestival to my ‘things to do next year list’) and head to Newbury instead.

It was a great wedding, but exhausting.

The church was beautiful and Isobel wasn’t struck by lightening on entry; obviously always a possibility as she had never been in a church before.



The bride, my cousin, Verity looked stunning and Isobel ran around.



The service was lovely, (I have had to order a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit now) and Isobel made piggy noises while reading a Squash and a Squeeze, thus reducing those in the pew behind us to tears of laughter. I hastily swapped the book for The Owl and the Pussy Cat feeling that ‘Twit-twoo’ may be less of a distraction.



Oh, and Isobel ran around. She was quiet, but very mobile.

I couldn’t believe how many of my family hadn’t met her before, some of my favourite people including the bride were introduced to my lovely girly and she to them, and she ran around.

We’d booked into the reception hotel for the night, so that I could enjoy the evening too. I tried to put up the travel cot and Isobel ran around, actually she climbed in the wardrobe and shouted to be released from the room so she could have more room to run around.

Don’t get me wrong, she was beautifully charming and loved (well I would say that) by all but she did not stay still. Too many people to smile at, too many stairs to climb…

The speeches were good but long, Isobel clapped and agreed in the right places while standing by the top table ready to absorb all the applause, even though she was by now in her PJs.

At 8:15pm Isobel stopped running around and I put her to bed, returning to see Verity trip the light fantastic in a Strictly Come Dancing Outfit that only she could carry off, to the strains of a big band.

No longer having Isobel to run after you’d think I’d sit down, but no, I spent the evening being twirled and swirled, so much so I ached the next day.

My aging and shrinking Grandparents danced, we all danced. We laughed, we drank, we admired and we loved. (Isobel loving my brother Ross over everyone else)



The next day we had a Full English. What more could a girl ask for?

(Someone else to do the running after perhaps?)

I’m afraid I was too busy running to take many pictures, if I see any family snaps I will post them later, if I get hold of the video of my Grandparents dancing be sure you’ll see that too.

Monday, 27 July 2009

And the mummy cried

all the way home.

I drove back from a family wedding this morning.

I had such a wonderful time I cried all the way home.

(Proper post to follow...)

Friday, 24 July 2009

Spot the odd pair out

Isobel has started putting her own shoes away...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Bu-bbles

Isobel loves bubbles. It was one of her very very first words and is one of her clearest too.

I love organic health products, can't help feeling that the less chemicals and sulphawotsits the better. This is especially true when it comes to stuff for my baby's skin. She even uses Organic shampoo (which I've just realised I don't).

The problem is organic bubble bath just isn't that bubbly.

The bubbles don't survive the slightest wee, let alone the onslaught of a baby with a fishing rod (which, by the way Grandad and Grandma Gill she loves) and plastic cups.

So I have bought Johnsons baby bath, as used by the professionals apparently (saying 'the professionals' makes me think of my Mums crush on Bodie and Doyle in the 70s). For me it's Johnson and Johnson's so it has to be ok doesn't it?

Well the bubbles are great.

(So great I just deleted the bloomin photo)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I would take a picture if I could, but it would get wet

In the mornings I tend to pop Isobel back in her cot while I shower.

She knows it's not sleep time because she isn't in her sleeping bag, the light is on, and she has books.

Sometimes she grumbles a bit.

But from my viewpoint in the shower, I can see her and I know she is just trying to make me feel bad.

Other times I have my shower to the the strains of 'uh-oh, oh-no', this means she is reading 'We're going on a bear hunt'. You know how it goes:

'Uh-oh, long wavy grass
We can't go over it
We can't go under it.

Oh-no! We'll have to go through it!'

If it's The Gruffalo I hear my current favourite Isobel word 'Twit-twoo' from her it sounds more like 'bwit-woo' but I know she is talking about the owl. (Sss = the snake)

This morning though it was 'e-i-e-i-o' obviously for Isobel it is a pig farm that old MacDonald has because her piggy grunt was the animal noise I heard.

And then, when Isobel laughs at me from her bed, I like to think it's because I'm playing peek-a-boo and not because I'm naked.

Ps. This evening she actually said Gruffalo, well at least I think she did, and because I am the Mum I must be right.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Daddy loves, mummy loves, Baby really loves Disco

On Saturday I went clubbing. The usual stuff: dance floor positively exuding energy; place strewn with tired folk and water bottles; bodies reclining in the chill-out room; skinny women clad in shiny leggings....

Partied til 4:30, leaving when it was light.

The difference being it was 4:30 in the afternoon and PD and I were accompanying our little girl as she strutted her funky stuff with Baby Loves Disco at the Southbank Centre, and any illicit trading was in raisins.

To be honest the sight of all those 6 month to 6 years olds and bright flashing lights in the middle of the afternoon, gave us the fear. So, much so that no sooner had the directions to the bar left the lips of the lady at the door, we were there. I was in such a hurry I tried to escape through the locked glass door that lead to Canteen restaurant outside.

But it was, after all, the nearest I've come to a DJ in the last 18 months.

Having mainlined some cold pink wine, I was ready to enjoy the afternoon.

And I would say it was a BIG success:


video

As you can see one of Isobel's BFFs Elif was there, although she seemed as disparaging of Isobel's Dancing as PD is of mine (actually I think it may well be a raisin deal going down).

Little Sammy came out too, he's the son of one of my BFFs, Neil. Here's Sammy:



Isobel led him a merry dance on the stairs...

And here's Isobel chilling in the 'chill out room'. (I have told her that when she grows up it is unlikely that she will find a club with tunnels and books in the zone)




Be warned little miss Genevieve I'm getting my sewing machine out before the next visit - I think girls it will be rock tutus all round.

And the dance offs WILL be taken seriously.

Sunday suspicions

I'm begining to wonder if my daughter has worked out that if she gets
me up early enough I'll be too tired to go to yoga and will hang
around with her and PD instead.

I have been playing for over an hour while trying to do complex
mathmatical calculations as to when she might go back to sleep and can
I fit in a nap before yoga.

I DO hope you are enjoying YOUR Sunday morning lie-in.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Social Saturday part one

Isobel has had a very, very social day.

She is such a social butterfly that she has been getting rather tired
of Mummy and Daddy of late.

On Tuesday she elected to eat her cafe lunch sitting at the table of
another regular and his work mates rather than me, even though they
were talking project management. I mean, come on, if you had your
whole life ahead of you would you choose to listen to that?

And today? Well, don't let this picture fool you, she chose Albert
over Daddy.


Part two is coming tomorrow... Baby goes clubbing for her very first
time...

Oink, sneeze or as Isobel would say grunt, choo

Swine flu, piggy flu, something beginning with H, whatever you want to call it, it really is EVERYWHERE.

In another one of my perhaps-I-should-wear-hooped-earrings-and-own-a-crystal-ball moments on Tuesday evening, well it was about 10:30 pm so I guess that is night, I rang PD. No it wasn't a dirty phone call, I was just having a bit of a non-defined, not quite worry about the whole swine flu thing.

The next day, when I picked Isobel up from nursery we were told they had had a child diagnosed with it.

The thing is, what do you do with this information? Do you take your child out of nursery indefinitely? Just in case?

Well, I haven't done that.

I have started putting pro-biotics in her milk though.

Ps. Isobel now makes a fabulous grunting piggy noise.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Daddy dear

There are somethings only my daddy will do:

Only my daddy will make funny noises on the phone,
Even when he really isn't alone.

Just my daddy takes pictures of me and only me,
and posts them here for all to see.

You know my daddy comes from far away,
but I have no fear, he's here to stay.

Happy birthday daddy.

PD's Birthday

It's that time of year again. The time PD becomes more reflective than usual (for reflective read moody), he hates birthdays.

But I love birthdays, mine and those of those who are important to me.

And PD is important to me.

Dear PD,

I have a lot to be grateful to you for, and I'm not just talking about the fact that you are, at present, funding this lovely life of ours.

No, it's more than that.

While I like to think I have invested my heart, body and soul in the creation of the beautiful little girl who I am proud to call my daughter, I have to concede that you too have something to do with what makes her so special.

I thank you for our daughter, the greatest expression of your creativity there will ever be.

And I thank you for being you.

Happy birthday,

With love,

Isobel and Me xxx




Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Don't sneak up on me like that...

Two things have have brought a tear to my eye today (yes I know:
bloomin heck women do you constantly view the world through a veil of
tears? No, not really; in fact many people think I'm quite jolly.)

Where was I, oh yes nearly crying...

I thought I was more than happy with having only one child, in fact I
kind of felt that I would only have two because that is what you are
meant to do.

And let's face it, being a single mum in the wrong half of her
thirties, even with the hotest date in town, it's unlikely I'll have
the opportunity for more.

Not to mention my daughter is more than enough adorable for me.

See, not bothered; look at my face, do I look bovered?

But then I was asked if I had finished having children and my eyes
spontaneously got wet.

Then I read Dooce's labour post and that too poked me in the eye.

I am 'one and done', aren't I?

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 11 July 2009

A little more conversation

I wouldn't say my child is a genius, but she is fairly bright.
(actually I'm being kind of modest; of course I think my child's a
genius, it's part of the job description isn't it?)

Anyway, Thursday afternoon I was having a little sit down in the
bathroom and Isobel was running around. Yes, the door was open and I
have LONG got over the fact that there are somethings you'd rather do
alone. One day ...

From my vantage point I noticed Isobel too had been busy so I asked
her: "Have you done a poo, do we need to change your nappy?"

"Yes." Came the reply as she ran off.

She returned with the babywipes, lay herself down on the bath map,
merrily singing "Doo Doo".

Since then if I miss the 30 seconds she spends concentrating on
apparently nothing, or fail to notice her new aroma, it's ok because
she tells me "doo doo". *

Thursday evening her synapses were definately firing because where as
the night before I had only managed to get her to point to the cat and
dog, that evening we kind of got a "woof" well maybe it was a "doof".

But we definately got a "twit twoo". And the feat has been repeated
many times!

For once I actually mean 'we', PD was there too.

Of course he agrees: little girl is a GENIUS!

*for those in SA please note, she is definately saying poo not sleep,
you see here doo doos is something a dog does on a pavement, not
something you do on a pillow. (Mind you I don't know you all that
well...)


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 10 July 2009

A thought but not a very Friday one

A little over a week ago I dreamt I only had three weeks left to live. This made me feel strangely calm. It’s not that I have a death wish, how could I? I have a beautiful little girl to live for, so I guess I have a life wish. It’s just I don’t believe it means I’m going to die.

I believe it means that I am coming to end of something, that there is a new beginning out there for me. It may not be a radical change, but something is going to shift.

Oh don’t get me wrong I have thought and talked about what I want to happen if the unthinkable does happen. PD would of course raise our little girl, my mum would undoubtedly be here like a shot to help him and I’m sure the NCT girls would beat the door down to offer support. PD and Isobel would live here, at least for a while, even though he says this house is strange without me in it. And yes it would be scary for him to raise a little girl alone, but he would manage and manage awesomely at that.

So, with all that covered, and Isobel’s scrapbook given a whole new level of importance, I am getting back to what this dream means to me.
What a silly thing to write. I am obviously not yet sure what it means but I trust the universe enough to wait and see.

But, I have bought this pretty little ring and made a vow to watch out for, and write about, all the little signs that happen over the next two weeks as I drift gracefully (I hope) towards whatever it is that is going to be.


I’ve had an oddly tearful day, yet I cannot put my finger on what I am crying about. Perhaps I am just letting go of some pent up emotion. Perhaps I’m just hanging over a little.

Maybe I am regaining the beautiful perspective I had on life when I lost James. That gift he gave me with his last breath; the gift of knowing that life is pretty damn special and we only have one, so live it, live it well and live it full of love.

So with love in mind, here is a picture of the love of my life and me, living.



*Picture credit here goes to Hugh

Thursday, 9 July 2009

South Pacific

Apparently the song 'I'm Going to Wash That Man Right Out of my Hair' may actually have some truth in it.

Your hair stores energy, you know just like your muscles store emotion? No? Haven't you ever felt like crying during a massage? No again? Oh, well moving on, just imagine you know what that is like.

So a friend told me how she shaved her head to clear some negative energy, and I must say I feel better after a haircut yesterday.

But that said, if it only takes a hair wash to remove a man, as I shampoo daily that means I can have a new man every day of the week. Wash and go as it were!

I have new hair; new undies; and am on the quest for new perfume (found one, love it but £110!)...

I'm ready, bring it on...



Yes, I can hear the applause, and the 'go girls', and it sounds great in theory, but right now I think I'm happy with me and my little girl.

Hey it's me

I'm in a top 20!

How lovely of the lovely Gurgle.co.uk to mention me.

Actually Gurgle is pretty useful for many, many parenty things... check it out

(I could have said check ME out as I nodded my head in a V. cool fashion, but I didn't...)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Jack in the Box







Hmm not ideal

For the first time since I started back at work I find myself on the
train crying.

Actually that's not entirely true, but it's the first time leaving
Isobel at nursery while I trot off to work has broken my heart so
badly.

Little girl used to practically dismiss me with her wave and kisses
bye bye, now she can't even be consoled by toast.

Today she wasn't even consoled by cuddles.

I just have to hand her over and dash to minimise both our trauma.

Today I couldn't even bear to look back through the window.

I'm sure I'll get a call later telling me she's fine. (I think my
tears told the nursery I wasn't!)

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Update

Doh! Who would have thought it - teeth pain = tantrums. *

Ok so tiredness also equals tantrums.

But today I have kept Isobel on a very low level dose of Calpol or Neurofen and a very busy morning has passed without incident.

We have been to the park; Iceland (yep, the shop in which I always feel I should proclaim loudly "we'll pop to Waitrose now darling"; visited the doctor - for me not her; had blood tests - me again; and been to a very busy cafe for lunch, her not me this time.

I'm not sure if she is ready for a nap , but I certainly am.


*It's not that I'm being particularly dense; Isobel's first 8 teeth arrived with not a murmur and even now I can't complain, it's not that we are up in the night or anything, it's just these pesky molars are HUGE!

Book bashing


Last week I was feeling under the weather (again) and it felt like
Isobel's early waking had reached epic proportions.

I was super tired, super fed up and feeling like a decidedly not super
mum.

So, I went to Amazon and ordered a bundle of parenting toddler books.

I don't really know why I did this as I felt much more confident and
happier as a mum when I STOPPED reading baby books.

I mean why bother opening the package, why not just let PD beat me
about the head with it.

But, I had tried pretty much EVERYTHING

When Isobel was 4 or 5 months old she started sleeping through the night, it only took two nights of rocking instead of feeding and I had a baby who slept until 6:45 and woke up happy and chatty.

Then at 8 months she got sick, vomitty sick and by 9 months would wake up hungry at 5:30.

Once she was well, I tried the rocking thing again, often holding her crying until it got to 6 and then I would feed her, to get her out of any habit. Limited success from this one.

Then after a few months I just started passing her her bottle into her cot, she'd drink and go back to sleep until 7 ish - not a bad deal. Reducing the milk I thought she'd just grow out of it.

Until she stopped going back to sleep. Then I got super tired...

I browsed the world wide mummy web and everyone said it was bedtime routine. Well, as Isobel has a bath, a cuddle, a bottle and then waves bye bye and blows kisses from her cot, our bedtime routine isn't an issue.

And, she has always been really good at waking up, making a noise and then getting herself back to sleep. Unless, she is hungry...

Anyway, having boosted the economy by ordering books, I set about fixing it myself.

Cereal in bottle, helped a little. A snack at 6 in front of telly was not quite so helpful. But, supper at the garden table after nursery (where they give them tea at 4pm) seemed to help considerably.

We are still working on it, but I think we are getting there (except on days like Sunday when Isobel doesn't want to eat).

The books have arrived and at first glance I don't like Toddler Taming; the opening of Gina Ford is a good explanation of age groups and worth PD reading, nothing new in it for me, but, shock, horror, I actually like the way she has written it; Baby Whisperer for Toddlers seems OK; Potty Training in one Week again nothing really new but love the idea of getting baby out of nappies in a week. Yes I am aware that I preferred Baby Whisperer over Gina when I was pregnant but I'd still say best Baby book was Baby Development Week by Week.

So, I have books, but I suspect they will end up like the others - on eBay



Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 6 July 2009

Oh my

Before I get on with the post I want to write, I have to tell you that my precious, sweet tempered angel of a little girl has just had the longest tantrum in the history of tantrums.

She cried all the way home from nursery; she cried when I took her out of her pushchair; she threw her self on floor and cried some more...

She finally stopped crying, well briefly, when I gave her a beaker of water.

What followed was a stressful half an hour, until either the calpol kicked in or I got clever.

Then we had a lovely bath time and she asked to get into bed at 6:30. There she sang and drank her milk, asked sweetly for more milk and is now fast asleep.

I look at her sleeping now, the tantrum is forgotten and I want to wake her up so she wave me goodbye and blow me goodnight kisses again.

*The calpol wasn't just me drugging my girly, although at one point I might have done so gladly; I can see her little molars trying to poke through, it has to hurt and may well explain the temper, well I definately HOPE so.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Let me explain...

Mamma Po's request to write about my bicycling couldn't have come at a better time.

You see you nearly got a post about how I am coming off my anti-depressants and am swinging between extreme anxiety and normalcy, all a bit dull really, not that I can guarantee that this will be any the more interesting.

You see I didn't learn to ride a bike as I child; I never cycled down the street yelling 'look no hands' (although metaphorically speaking I may have done that a few times in life); I never really got the 'it's as easy as riding a bike thing'.

10 years ago I bought a mountain bike and paid a man to come out and teach me to ride it. He did, within an hour I could, somewhat shakily, ride a bike. My then boyfriend spent many an evening running alongside ready to catch me - ah that must have been love. You see the thing about learning to ride a bike as an adult is that you are fully aware of how much it will hurt if you fall off.

For the next few years we did go on the odd bike ride, but we always put the bikes on the car to get somewhere to ride, say Richmond park for example, we would ride a fair bit when we got there, so much that at a dinner party on an evening following a bike ride my bottom hurt so much I had to have a beanbag on my chair before I could sit down.

But, I never really felt I could confidently say that I can ride a bike. To me riding a bike is when you can hop on it to pop to the shops and return with your shopping merrily swinging off the handle bars.

For the last six years my bike lolled about in shed, simply serving to get in the way of the lawn mower, and with each year that past my confidence in riding shrank to pygmy proportions.

This year, I'm not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with an image of freedom, I once again decided I really, really wanted to be able to ride a bike. I want to be able to cycle to yoga, ride to the park with my daughter on the back, I just want to ride with the wind in my hair and feel free.

My mountain bike didn't fit the picture and with that aid of the City of London, a sale in the bike shop and the sale of my bike on eBay I bought the beautiful Pashley you saw on the previous post. This bike is much more me.

But, the first time I rode it I fell off. I already knew I couldn't take my hand off to signal and that I couldn't just hop and go wherever I wanted but this just confirmed to me that I couldn't ride a bike. The graze on my knee to took four week to heel but my pride and my confidence seemed permanently dented.

Until yesterday.

I tried to ride to my lesson but the knot in my tummy made me zig-zag too much.

The nice man, moved things about to make my bike truly mine. He built my confidence little by little until I could slalom around objects, cycle in ever decreasing circles...

The thing I'm most proud of - I can now release my white knuckle grip from the handle bars and signal where I want to go.

At last I feel like I can ride a bike.

I might even cycle to yoga tomorrow.

(I promise I will practise more before I take Isobel on the back, apparently I need to practise with potatoes first!)

Friday, 3 July 2009

Bicycle!

My beautiful bike and I have a hot date this morning with a cycling
instructor.

But I think rain may stop play.