Black and white

Well, I thought it was about time for another of those black and white arty shots:




So, following in my father’s footsteps, I’ve made my son a whiteboard, so he can draw pictures and wipe them off and draw more pictures. Ingenious really. However, as we should strive to do better than our predecessors, my whiteboard creation is technologically more advanced, in that it can support magnetic materials. (i.e. it’s made of steel).

Anyway, when he is old enough not to choke on the letters, we can have a bit of fun, hopefully. It has a couple of design flaws, though, namely that it’s bloody heavy, and has sharp edges, making it the most dangerous educational tool he’s likely to encouter before he hits high school chemistry. (God bless those institutional gas taps!)

I’m very proud of my creation, and I have to mostly thank the esteemed Mark Killingback for kindly donating half the raw materials!



So, weaning continues, and Thomas had his first kiwi fruit today. I disguised it in some baby porridge, and he certainly gulped it down. I left it quite lumpy though, (barely mashing the kiwi fruit) and he did eventually gag on a lump, so he gave up.

He’s doing well on it though – he can do something we didn’t realise he could:


Following my baby book, he now gets a chance to stretch and strengthen his leg muscles every day.

His drumming skills are also improving, and hopefully some video of his tabla-playing will be available on his site at some point: www.thomasplans.me.uk


3 men and a baby

well, i normally try to avoid cheese online. ( i eat enough of it offline) But, given the opportunity, we couldn’t help but take the photo of 3-men-and-a-baby, when Thomas was lucky enough to attract a couple of extra baby-sitters for a friday night:



High Chair!

So I finally made a decision, after much umming and arring. I got this high chair from Boots for £20. I feel a bit guilty buying something new, after spouting off the other day about how we must only buy used stuff to save the planet etc etc. But I was running out of time:

Thomas wasn’t eating well anyway, and in the bumbo, he’d start to get very upset after a short while, which I think was more due to the seat than the food. I brought this one home, set it up and put him in – and he LOVED IT!!! He gobbled up 3 times his usual amount of food!

Also, it now allows me to give him finger food. So after his puree, I let him play with banana slices. He certainly enjoyed it, but only really ate one slice – he wasn’t impressed that I expected him to chew without teeth. Then I gave him frozen peas to play with, which according to my “Smart Start” book encourages his fine motor skills to develop, can ease sore gums, and won’t kill him if he eats them!

You can see him concentrating. He managed to very carefully, one by one, meticulously drop each and every pea onto the floor. Except the one i put in his mouth, which he only spat out half of, I assume the other half went into his “warm dark inside cupboards”. (see How the Whale Got His Throat by Rudyard Kipling.

Anyway, so I’m very happy with it so far, it packs up really small, and has different settings for Thomas to grow into.


next stage weaning…

Well, I don’t know if it’s officially next stage, but it is for me anyway!

Thomas has now had his first taste of chicken. I roasted a chicken breast in the oven (under some foil first, to stop it drying out) then turned up the heat at the end to get a bit of brown edges. I steamed some potatoes and carrots, then put it in the hand blender. I also added what I’d like to call “baby gravy” which is basically the vegetable water swished around the baking tray, which washes all the brown bits stuck to the tray into a gravy-like substance. Anyway, I pulverised it all, though its slightly lumpy. It looks absolutely disgusting! I did taste it though, and it’s not bad! Thomas screwed his face up to begin with, but he did eat a few spoonfuls, so I’m holding out hope!

Also, I’m really please with his hand-eye co-ordination so far. Someone told me you have to get babies used to cups as early as possible, because some find it hard to stop drinking out of a bottle. Well, Thomas doesn’t have any trouble with his cup, which was yet another hand-me-down from my guardian angel, Maria:




6-months hurdled

So, I’ve now been a mum for 6 whole months, which seems impossible, as it still feels like a shock. I wonder how long it will be before I can wake up in the morning and not be surprised to find a mini-human in my bed!

Thomas is taking everything in his stride, and starting to show “will” which isn’t my will! I suppose this is the first sign of individuality, but it means we have to start dealing with discipline. – erk!

So many milestones reached. I had my first night out by myself, and my first day back at work this weekend. Being out at the pub was great, and I remembered how to talk about non-baby things, and laugh a lot. This was all thanks to Ellen, who even though she has moved to Birmingham, still continues to provide steady support.

Also, the best news is that following a viscious attack of gastroenteritis, I can now fit my pre-pregnancy clothes again! A bit of a cheat, I know, but a much needed boost to getting back into shape.

As a record, Thomas had his first yoghurt yesterday, and is eating baby cereal. He’s also nibbled on Farley’s rusks, even though we were told that these are evil (something to do with sugar and salt or sommit). He still hasn’t had a “bought jar” of baby food, so I’m kinda proud of that, though, I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up. I hope to post a record of our trip to spain, but I’d better do that when I’m not at work! (oops, bit of a giveaway!)


baby inna box

We’ve just found something else fun:



Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’…

Lots of exciting developments this week. First of all, when I have to do something, cooking, washing etc, I put him on his playmat on his back, with some toys around him. So he normally grabs a toy, plays with it for a bit, then grabs another and plays with that, working through the collection til he’s too bored or hungry. Well just now, I put him down to play as usual and went to steam some pears. When I looked round to check on him, here he was:

Trouble is, he can’t yet roll back again, so he gets frustrated.

The next thing is he has started making his dad and me wet ourselves laughing, by practicing his pelvic thrusts at every opportunity! It looks so funny.

Also, yesterday, he gulped down a new flavour: courgette! I was surprised, as when I tasted it, it is quite bitter, but Thomas seemed to like it.

Yesterday, we all sat at the table to eat, and Thomas took this quite literally:

Luckily he doesn’t have teeth yet, so no gnaw-marks on the table to worry about!

I too had a liberating experience yesterday, as I met up with some of my post-natal group for a coffee in town, for the first time. It was wonderful to have an in-depth half-hour conversation about baby-poo, I enjoyed it as much as a conversation about quantum physics and time-travel and without having to use long difficult words!

I realise that some people might think that I mean a conversation about quantum mechanics is really boring, but of course, people who know me, know about my geeky tendencies, and to compare baby-poo with quantum physics is praise indeed. It looks similar too, but I imagine smells rather different.


more weaning

So, we have been in Woking for 5 days, where Thomas surprised me by a) eating with serious intent! and b)being just as enthusiatic with new flavours: potato and sweetcorn. This has all been a relief, as I had been so down about it on Tuesday, when it looked like it wasn’t going anywhere.

Also, we had a really good baby massage group today, with lots of chat. I felt much better when I came home, and I think I will renew my efforts to relax about everything.

We are still struggling with the sleeping-in-cot development, though it is getting better. Thomas has given us some very harsh nights recently, which could be because he’s getting used to solids – he has been producing some very “grown-up” poos lately! Still, I’m getting better at treating it as what it is – a tiny moment in a hopefully long lifetime, which makes for a very tiny fraction! Most importantly he still surprises me with his good moods and cheerfulness when I’m least expecting it!

I have to post a picture that I came across the other day. Now that being a mum is becoming more a normality than a daily surprise, thoughts have turned to myself now and again, and I’ve begun to lament my not-so-new mum look. I did get my hair cut on the weekend (stylist “my mum”) but the spotty skin, saggy front and shabby food-covered clothing remain! So here is a picture of me with lovely skin and hair brought on by pregnancy: