Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Right Royal Occasion

We decided to head on over to my Mum and Dads house to watch the event. I hadn't wanted to make a big deal of things, but you know how things can go when the ball gets rolling. I did end up buying some bunting and flags to wave, one of which Joseph had some fun with. My best achievement was some iced tray bake cake that I drew little union flags on with writing icing. Thanks to Sainsburys being out of stock of red, the flags were pinker than I would have liked, but they did look good. I also made cupcakes with little edible ball-bearings on, something which as a Dr Who fan is an absolute must on occasions like this.
Joseph slept through a lot of it and what he was awake for I doubt he understood, but he does like spending time with Grandma and Andy was glad of a day off from bathroom related DIY.
Much cake was eaten by all and much indigestion the following day. There's some leftover cake in the kitchen and I can't face it, I feel a bit all caked out!
There's been a bit of background mumbling about the whole Royal thing. I think it's great that this country has some history to celebrate and whilst I have had some republican leanings I think the Royal family are a part of this nation and lets face it, we do need an excuse to wave flags every now and again. I'm keeping the bunting for the diamond jubilee celebrations and this time the supermarket had better have the right colour icing!
On second thoughts, I might just have that bit of cake after all!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


At almost five months old, I was expecting to have to wait at least one more month before thinking about solids, especially as he's a formula fed baby - but here we are!
It's been a busy few days. I did the big Easter meal - lamb shank - and Mum did a truly delicious pudding of strawberry shortcake. Now we've started pulling our bathroom to bits, the old suite being described in loving terms by the previous owners as "turd brown". We have to think about moving house soon and what with the nasty nasty suite and the rather disastrous experiment with tile paint, something needed to be done.
Andy has spent two days ripping off tiles and pulling out the bath only to find that the new bath is bigger by a fraction of an inch, which is just enough to be a total pain. More ripping out must be done and what was going to be a horrible job has turned into something Dante might find in one of his circles.
Joseph, feeling a little left out, has had a day where he's not wanted to be put down and has been even fussier than usual with his feeds. By 7pm things were not going well at all and he was pushing the bottle away with a new level of ferocity having taken barely half.
We made up the baby rice with some of the refused bottle milk in more hope than certainty. However, Joseph took one spoonful and was hooked. We added a little more rice to achieve a more wallpaper paste texture and Joseph was actively looking up at the spoon, leaning forwards and opening his mouth for the spoon! After quite a few spoonfuls I realised we had better stop, after all this was his first attempt at something more textured than milk and I didn't want him waking up with indigestion. He took the rest of the bottle without protest and was rewarded with one more spoonful of rice.
He was taken to bed and managed another first, the discarded dummy in the cot caught his eye and straight in the mouth it went. He's grabbed his dummy before and attempted to get it in his mouth, but never with any success, he usually ends up chewing the side. This time, in it went!
He's growing up so fast.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Getting Mobile

He's started trying to roll over. He hasn't got further than from his back to his side, but it's good progress. The first few times were on the nappy changing mat, he likes to make a grab for the packs of wipes. I'm not sure why they're so interesting to him, but there you go!
Yesterday we were at my parents house and he was lying on the floor in the living room. Something about my Mums sofa caught his eye and he rolled to his side and began playing with the skirt of fabric around the bottom. Then he lifted it up and stuck his head underneath, it was bizarre but fun to watch. He's also making great leaps in the sitting up stakes. He's been happy to sit supported for quite some time now, but recently I have noticed he's been needing a lot less help. Sometimes, if you sit him just right he can sit for a minute or so without me holding on at all! Not that I go very far, sudden movements make him topple over.
Yesterday while Andy was eating his breakfast, Joseph was sat in his bouncy chair, watching him like a hawk, clearly fascinating by the whole eating thing. That's another sign of wanting to wean to tick off, he's sucking on everything he can reach, he can sit up (with help!) and now he's clearly interested in us eating. The last thing to watch out for is him getting hungry earlier than usual as milk isn't satisfying him any more. This will be more obvious in him as I have him on a pretty good routine and he's been sleeping through the night very well. He has starting waking up early, but isn't showing signs of being hungry so I think it's just the higher light levels early in the morning. I shall watch and wait and I have a pack of baby rice in the cupboard just in case!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Sleep Happenings.

It sure is a bright spring day today. The birds sound happy, the mice are multiplying in the outside store (one day they'll discover advanced calculus, then we'll be in trouble), the Cat is having a sleep on the bed next to the cot which contains a contented little boy, lost in the land of nod.
Did my ironing yesterday, got everything out and then realised I hadn't got any coat hangers to hang the shirts up as I iron them. I slipped into the bedroom where Joseph was having a nap and managed to dislodge several hangers from the tangle in the wardrobe without making a noise. There are two things in life guaranteed to tangle and get messy, one is coat hangers and the other is power adapters.
Thinking myself lucky, I stepped backwards into the crib, brushing the drop side. It hadn't quite been pulled back into place properly and it slipped back with a loud crack. Josephs eyes shot open, as did his mouth and he let out a startled cry. All was set for a totally ruined nap time when just as suddenly his eyes snapped shut again and the screaming was replaced by the soft sounds of a sleeping baby.
My heart remembered to start beating again and I slowly let out a long deep breath. Joseph was a picture of serenity, fast asleep and still tucked in. I crept downstairs, still baffled at his ability to go back to sleep so fast.
It's not the only funny sleep incident. Earlier this week we were awoken by what could possibly have been a short sharp earthquake, but was in fact Joseph doing a fart. He did another of even greater magnitude and I was expecting the little boy to propel himself out of the cot to ceiling level simply by the force of the emission. Andy wondered if we'd have to apologise to the neighbours for so rudely awakening them. Joseph seemed entirely unmoved by the whole event, chattered to himself for a while and then went back to sleep.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Happy Days

Well, it's been a funny few days round here. Yesterday we had quite a long power cut and I ended up getting very bored and going to my mums. I appear to live an electricity dependant lifestyle and I hadn't realised until the power was off and clearly staying that way for a while. After boiling some water on the hob for a cup of tea (and manually lighting the gas) I gave up and left.
My mum's seen a lot of Joseph this week now as I had already decided today was going to be a sewing day, which at the moment is more easily done by going over there. She has more space and can watch Joseph. I'm getting back into the handbag making again, expect some shameless plugs on here when things get going properly.
Grandma gave Joseph a bath, which he wasn't too happy about. That's Daddy's job and the water was a little warmer than usual. We decided to go out for a meal in the end, which was nice and Joseph stayed with the grandparents, behaving himself and going to sleep well, which was a relief. I managed not to eat like a hungry horse for once, my dietary policy of eating less is paying off. I've almost lost the stone I put on during pregnancy and not eating a three course meal is one of my strategies. I was so full after the main course I didn't fancy a tiramisu for pudding. Anyone who knows me will realise that I must have been very full to pass up such a pudding, and indeed I was!
He's been a happy chappy today, lots of smiles and giggles. We've bought a collar with handles for his bottle, which he likes but hasn't got the knack of yet. He grips onto it well, but tends to pull the bottle out of his mouth a lot. We've also upgraded the teats on his bottles, we realised that he still had some of the size 1 newborn teats left, and at four and a half months they're not ideal. When he used the new teat today, it surprised him a little, but the feed was quicker!
Well I'm signing off for now, he's got bored and wants me to play.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Well, it's that time of year. The first bedding plants are in, the finches are making little nests and the Formula 1 season has started. Should be an interesting one, what with KERS back and the new DRS, we might get a lot more going on in the races. Malaysia certainly had plenty to talk about, it's a better track for overtaking in general and with the new systems we saw a lot more dancing about, although the sight of Vitaly Petrov attempting to make his car fly was a fun one. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for walking away with it and to Jensen Button and Nick Heidfeld for hanging on in there to complete the podium. Sorry Bahrain for not being able to open the season, but I think the people there have more important things to worry about - hope it works out for the best.
Joseph has been changing in the last month. He can grip more strongly and is much better at reaching out for what he wants. He was very sweet this morning, lying in his cot reaching up at his toys on his mobile. It has a bright red robin on it and he is determined that in the end he will get a hold of it. He he, he doesn't know that the moment his arms are long enough we will drop the level of his cot!
Andy is the bath time maestro and has seen some big changes there, too. Yesterday Joseph tried to eat his big yellow ducky for the first time. It's always interested him and he's finally been able to get a hold of it.
He's getting close to rolling himself over, just as long as there's something of interest to his side. At the moment his favourite item to reach for are the packs of baby wipes, I've had to stop stacking them up in a pile so he doesn't end up pulling them down on himself. I don't think a pack of wipes would do too much damage, but you never know.
He's very chatty now. Sometimes he's just a bit shouty, but you can hear him trying to make different noises all the time. He really likes the back of the throat noises and he absolutely loves it if you make them back. Still haven't taught him to stick his tongue out yet, but it probably wont be long.
He's got through the latest round of injections all right. This time he lost a little bit of appetite, he likes to do different things each time. I'm not looking forward to Friday 13th May, that's when his first blood test is due for the clinical trial. I have to slather him in analgesic cream an hour before the appointment, which should be fun! I will let you all know how it goes.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Well, I was going to start off with something nice, but a short sharp rant is about to follow instead.
You know, there are people you really don't want to mess with. One is the local martial arts group, lets face it, annoying people who are carefully trained to have the ability to put a fist right through your face is probably a very bad idea. Another group of people it's best to treat with kid gloves are new mums. We can be fragile, what with the massive hormonal changes we've experienced and we can't be messed about with.
Consider the baby clinic. It runs once a week and you drop in monthly to weigh little munchkin and you can ask health visitors for advice if you need.
I repeat, you're supposed to turn up once a month, which I have been doing. I turn up last week and find the whole surgery closed. It's locked up and dark and I, having hauled myself out of my sick bed (ok, exaggeration, but I wasn't feeling very well) am somewhat irritated.
Guess what happened today?
I decided to walk this time, what with the weather being nice and sunny. I arrive to find the surgery open this time, but a snotty little note explaining that the baby clinic had moved to Loddon Valley leisure centre on friday mornings. When I turned up last month, there was not one mention of this. Seriously, when you have a drop in clinic that people are supposed to come to monthly, YOU NEED TO GIVE OVER A MONTHS NOTICE TO PEOPLE! Especially hormonal new mums, we should have been given some sort of leaflet last time explaining the change. What with hormones and disrupted sleep, we're not the best group of people for remembering things. If Joseph had only been 2 months and not 4, I would probably have burst into tears in the middle of the surgery. To be frank, I'm not sure I can be bothered going again, I don't really know the leisure centre, it's a big place with lots of rooms and I'll probably get lost in its corridors. Joseph looks healthy enough and knowing my luck if I turn up of friday it'll probably be shut for some stupid reason.
End of rant.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mothers Day

Well, it was supposed to be a nice relaxing day. We were going to introduce Joseph to some of the nice local countryside, go for a picnic if the weather was nice enough.
The day before we were driving to Rugby and back to see my little nephew Sean, who had just turned one. Most of the family were staying over till the Sunday, but I had no intention of spending my first ever mothers day on the motorway, so we drove up and back in one day. This was going to prove tough as some kind person (sarcasm) had infected Andy with a really horrible head cold and I had caught it too. When we got to Rugby we found out that almost all the family were ill, mostly with colds. Even little Sean himself was rather under the weather with a suspected ear infection. I spent all of Saturday morning feeling a little nauseous, I presumed it was an effect of all the various decongestants I had been taking and didn't give it a second thought.
The Italian restaurant we went to was very nice, and for a while I didn't feel sick, but it returned in the afternoon along with some unpleasant cramps. We left a little earlier than planned, but Joseph was getting grumpy and I was feeling really quite tired.
Not staying over was the right call, but not for the reasons initially intended. By the late evening it was clear I was very unwell, but not with a cold. I spend all of the night and most of the morning running back and forth to the loo, getting more and more depressed. This was not how I wanted to spend my first ever mothers day, unable to actually spend any time with my child in case I infected him.
Thankfully, Andy bought me some medication which kicked in to stop the worst of it, but I still had cramps and I still felt quite sick. My lovely mothers day dinner became two slices of dry toast, the only solids I managed all day and even that felt a little iffy.
After a nice hot shower, I felt a little more human and decided to give Joseph his last bottle of the day. He was tired and pretty much fell asleep by halfway through. Knowing that a small feed would probably result in him waking us up overnight, we tried various ways of waking him up. My nasty cough, a leftover from the cold, helped a little, but was a temporary measure.
When I was pregnant, I had noticed that certain pieces of rock music would get him going. Specifically, Motorhead's "The Ace of Spades" got to him so much that when it came on the radio as I was driving home from work, I nearly had to pull over. We played it to him, but it had no effect. Neither did Status Quo, Slade or even Iron Maiden. I had hoped the sheer awfulness of the last might annoy him into wakefulness, but no. This meant we had to move things up a gear so we tried Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star", but not a peep. In desperation we even listened to M "Pop Muzik", but he didn't even react to that! Realising that we were in a desperate situation, we reached for that one pop track that should really be kept in a hermetically sealed box and covered in warning tape. It's quite new and really a new low for the music business.
Yes, that's right, Rebecca Black. Truly the worst song ever written or performed, with lyrics even Tim Rice would wince at. I have no idea if the girl can actually sing or not, there's so much auto-tune on her voice she sounds like the vocal equivalent of those processed cheese squares.
I kid you not, literally the moment the track started, Josephs eyes shot open, his mouth opened wide and he started crying. I put the bottle back in his mouth and he drank the lot without a pause. I promised him that if he took his bottle like a good boy every evening, he wouldn't have to listen to Rebecca Black ever again. Andy took him to bed and he went out like a light. I only hope we haven't traumatised the poor boy.
Next weekend we're going to pretend it's mothers day and try again with the picnic and walk.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Four Months

You know, I never thought being a Mum could actually be a lot of fun. I was expecting the broken nights, the tiredness and all the other negative things, but it had not occurred to me that I would actively enjoy the experience. That, now I read it back to myself, sounds a little odd and rather sad!
He does so many things that if anyone else did them, I would be rightfully angry at them. He wakes me in the night, shouts and screams and dribbles on me. I wouldn't go so far as to say I really enjoy finding that whilst he's been sitting on my lap his nappy has leaked and soaked into my trousers, but I simply can't get annoyed at him. He's my son and he needs me and this means more to me than I could have possibly imagined before he was born. There are things I will never forget, his first proper smile at eight weeks old and the first time he stopped crying simply by me picking him up to cuddle him. He does that a lot now, he cries out simply for a hug! Even if I'm in the middle of something heinously complicated and I have to stop because he's unhappy, I don't mind! I pick him up and he calms down and all is forgiven and forgotten. Andy has said on many occasions that nothing cheers him up like a smile from Joseph. He comes in from work utterly tired out, sits down by Joseph who responds with such a big smile! It doesn't matter what sort of day you've had, if you come home and your four month old son acts as if simply seeing you is the best thing that ever happened to him, you're going to feel better!
Right now he's sat next to me in his bouncy chair, kicking his little feet, chattering and grinning at me. I'm glad he's in a happy mood as I'm feeling quite rotten, I have a nasty head cold that has gone to my chest and I am coughing like a forty a day smoker. There's nothing like a happy baby to cheer me up and take my mind off the mucus monster that is eating me up.
He's developing well. He can support his own head now which mean we can play lots of bouncing on the knee games and he's discovered both his hands now and sits quite happily rubbing them together as if he's plotting something! He's focussing well and is getting much more accurate at grabbing his toys, which he can hang onto properly now. Everything is going mouthwards, I'm used to finding toys with soggy fur. You can very clearly see the two teeth in his bottom gum, two large pale lumps in the front.
Well, got to go. An ominous noise has erupted from the nappy region, guess I know what he was planning!
Just a quick additional note - Andy came home from work feeling very unwell. He and I have had quite a bad cold and he's very busy at work, unable to rest. Andy starts bouncing Joseph on his knee and Joseph starts laughing, his first proper laugh! That made us both feel better.