2006
12.31

book catchup

It has been a while since I listed some of the books I’ve been reading, I think the last one I mentioned was “An Equal Music” by Vikram Seth. I followed this with “Canal Dreams” by Iain Banks which both have musicians as the lead character. Somewhere before those two, I read “Stuart” A life backwards by Alexander Masters, which is a non-fiction account of a homeless persons life. This was absolutely fascinating, and occasionally harrowing. Along the way I’ve been reading Toddler Taming as I mentioned. I have just got “Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze?” which is the New Scientist collection of questions and answers from the column on the back page, which I think is called Feedback. It’s excellent, and throws up interesting conversations for dinner parties, not that I have been to, or am likely to go to any in the immediate future, but it’s interesting stuff all the same. Also for Christmas we also got “A Wayne in a Manger” which is a hilarious collection of anecdotes from a school inspector, of some of the things he has witnessed at the various schools he is in charge of. That was an evening of giggling for me!

I am currently reading an Artemis Fowl book (by Eoin Colfer) called “The Lost Colony” which is great fun as always, though I got halfway through in the first evening. I am dipping into “Why don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze” a little at a time to make it last longer. I also got “A Little Stranger” by Kate Pullinger for Christmas, so I’m looking forward to that next.

2006
12.30

The end of 2006

This is just a quick post, but with a couple of links. Firstly, I got the best Christmas present ever – David got my blog made into a book at blurb and it has come out really well – it’s perfect for what I want to show Thomas when he is older. It is even available for sale, though I suspect it won’t make the Sunday Times bestsellers list! It might be useful for family members who want a copy though.

Also, Thomas got some really lovely clothes for Christmas, including some from Spain, so I took some pictures of him wearing one of his new jumpers from Josep and Rosa, which turned out cute enough to publish here: thomaspics.html

2006
12.27

plans xmas dinner

Just a quick post to show what we got up to on xmas day, ‘pologies to family who read both blogs for cross-posting.

I followed Delia’s roast duck recipe, and the duck came out great. Also her roast potatoes came out the best ever, though we could have done with a few more, as, per usual I over-parboiled the potatoes, and I’m sure David was a bit over-zealous with the shaking in the pan bit, so we ended up with half a saucepan of mash potatoes! Nevermind, the ones that survived to roasting were bloody lovely. My gravy was the usual, whereby it all looks right, and all the ingredients are there, but somehow the taste is lacking. I even cooked the giblets for the gravy’s sake, but to no avail… still, the overall effect was reasonable, but you can’t expect perfection every time, and the atmosphere was warm, cosy and lovely – hyggelig – which was the main thing.

xmasdinner

2006
12.22

look back

Just a quick post to say that I’ve finally posted the 20-week scan of baby number 2, back when it happened on the 5th december (I’ve modified the post title to refer to it).

Also, I’m already fed up with being pregnant, possibly because it doesn’t seem very long since the last time. Just call me “perma-preggers”.

2006
12.18

good day

I have to make a note of the good day we had today, as this is the sort of thing you need when you are tearing your hair out, to remind you that sometimes, it isn’t so bad!

Thomas needed re-settling twice in the night, and I’ve gone back to the “put him back down without speaking” and then tucking myself into the spare bed routine. This had been suspended for a couple of weeks since the move, but he seemed to remember it, as both times he settled straight away. Unfortunately I then had insomnia, so spent the rest of the night staring at the ceiling, and thinking of all the friends I wanted to email the next day!

Thomas woke us up just after 7, and amused himself at my bedside (back in my own bed by this time) until I dragged my sleep-deprived body into some clothes, and made it to the coffee-machine.

That morning, Thomas and I got loads of errands accompished in town – we even got out of the house before 10! I let him walk around in the town centre, which was terrifying, as busy adults were rushing all about him, and of course he refuses to hold my hand. I followed him into superdrug where he very carefully picked up 1 item from every possible range of facial-care product, and looked at it, and then carefully put it back again – strange boy. I had to carry him out again as I was bored to insanity – it’s bad enough having to do it with people who actually need the products, let alone wait for someone who has no possible use for them! Anyway, we went to the library, which Thomas enjoyed very much, and even allowed himself to be put back into the pushchair without a fuss when we left, though I admit, he was bribed with a biscuit.

We got home and had pancakes for lunch. Thomas had savoury ones, while I had maple syrup on all of mine! Actually, I did let him have some chocolate spread on one half of one – a new addition to his diet. He sat happily with a marmite slice in one hand and nutella in the other, alternating bites. He was really sleepy so I put him up in the cot, and after about a 5 minute scream, he fell asleep.

Now the exciting part of this post comes – I know you’ve been waiting for it. This current pregnancy is playing havoc with the nerves that control my legs, and today I was in a lot of pain, and hobbling and collapsing all over the place. This, combined with the fact my belly was feeling really wrong after lunch (Braxton Hicks?) made me seize the opportunity to sit down and rest while Thomas was asleep, and read a book (more on that later). When Thomas started his waking-up squawks, as I wasn’t in the middle of doing something, I rushed straight up there, and went to pick him up, but he laid himself back down again! I went to lie on the spare bed, and managed to sleep for half an hour until he woke up again! I wish I’d known that I could get another half an hour out of him by getting there before he’s fully awake!

So, this meant he had a nearly-2-hour nap! I think this led to him being really really good all afternoon, and evening. He was just lovely, and we only came into strife twice, once for not letting him in the cupboard-under-the-stairs, and once because I refused to put him on the piano stool, and told him to play standing up, which he took exception to. It really was a refreshing afternoon.

Anyway, the book I was reading earlier is “(new) Toddler Taming” by Dr Christopher Green, and it is really great. I highly recommend it to everyone who has ever seen, or is likely to see a toddler, even at a distance. He starts off by saying that he used to think he was a real expert on childcare, until he had children of his own! (He’s an australian paediatrician). The book is practical and non-invasive:
“Don’t be brainwashed by what other people say. If your child is sleeping with you every night and you are happy with this situation, then as far as I’m concerned they can stay in your bed until they leave to get married, if it feels right and suits you.”

Sorry this post is long and dribbly, but I haven’t spoken to a person I know other than my immediate family for over two weeks, and I’m starting to fill up with things to say… I can’t wait for all the parent & toddler groups, baby-signing, and music monkeys to start up after Christmas, so I can start meeting people, and begin the daunting task of making new friends.

2006
12.15

settling down

This isn’t going to be a long post, as I’m rushing around trying to sort the house before Christmas, but we are really enjoying our new place so far.

A quick word about living back in civillisation again, I rang my norwich health centre to organise thomas’ jab, and was told that they couldn’t see him for 2 weeks – until the day we moved actually. In Uxbridge, I attended the Child Health Clinic, where you just show up without an appointment, and Thomas came out with an MMR in one leg, and his Meningitis C in the other!

Also, we are near a small river with ducks and geese and moorhens, and a big recreation park, and a state-of-the-art playground, all of which I had to walk some distance to get to in Norwich.

I am feeling a bit far away from friends, I must admit, so have been relying heavily on family, all of Whom have risen to be excellent substitutes, with Jo even whisking Thomas, mum and me off to Germany for a break, and some great shopping! My mum has also been a rock to lean on when my emotional legs have got a bit wobbly.

Anyway, this wasnt’ going to be a long post, so I just wanted to give you a picture of thomas, as I haven’t posted one for a while:

thomasatpiano

2006
12.05

New Home! + 20 week scan.

We have moved AGAIN!

Finally in new home, broadband up and running!

We are in Uxbridge, much nearer to the town centre than we were in Norwich, though the fact that our rent is almost twice as much should reflect this!

Thomas has handled the move really well, and followed his normal bedtime routing the first night we were here. We have met our next-door neighbours (we are in a semi-detached) and they are really friendly and have 3 kids, and two big dogs – bull mastiffs I think. The house itself is really good, we have a very large kitchen, which we can sit and eat in, and has a dishwasher – oh the luxury! We also have a downstairs loo which means we have elevated our status to a 2-loo family! The living-room is probably the least nice room in the house, but will probably be ok when we have organised it. (when someone gets unpacking instead of blogging!) We have two bedrooms and a study upstairs, though we can probably fit a bed in the study if we have to. And our shower is great, with a big nozzle, and the bath has a jacuzzi (not that i’ve tried it yet). We have a big garden, though more than half of it is paved, with just two little patches of grass, which seems a bit of a shame, still it’s big enough that I shouldn’t be complaining!

Uxbridge town centre is fabulous, with every shop you could possibly need! There is even a Maplin! The tube stop is right in the centre, and is the last one on the metropolitan line. There are so many good things here, I keep waiting for something to go horribly wrong!

David has started his job today, and seems pretty happy with the first few hours of it anyway, so all-in-all, I think we are going to be ok, even with a new baby in April.

Speaking of which, we had our 20-week scan yesterday (road trip back up to Norwich for Sunday night). Everything is ok, and the operator was trying out a new machine, so the pictures were unbelievably detailed, with a special option where you could actually see the blood going around the body. The installer was in with us, so they tried out lots of things, and presets etc. At the end he gave us two free pictures! That was definitely the best scan we’ve had so far.

20week scan

I’ve just registered with our new doctors, but it is a bit hectic trying to get “new patient” appointments, as I’m off to Germany for a few days at the end of the week with my mum and sister-in-law. I’m really excited about it, though it feels a bit hectic with having just moved and all!

I’d better stop for now – Thomas needs his lunch, and is starting to try and eat his toys he’s so hungry. I hope to write even more soon!