The 'we' in this title refers to myself and the young Master, as we have spent a disproportionate amount of the past year cuddled up and reading - or at least one of us cuddled up, and the other reading, often in an attempt to stay awake whilst the other slept. Subsequently, I can't at all remember all the books we have read, but they have included:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
The Ice Cream Girls
The White Queen
The Queen of New Beginnings
A Stranger in the Family
Never Let Me Go
Some of these I can 'remember' as they are currently forming part of the trip hazard at the top of the stairs. Some because I read them early on. But most I have forgotten.
I have been attempting to tempt my young Master into eating different foods over the past few days. So far, however, we have refused vegetable lasagne, parsnip and sweet potato crisps and cheese and tomato tortilla pizza. We have accepted apple and pears in custard (but not the raisins) and orange jelly. The refusals are enough to make a tired mommy weep and turn to chocolate, but surely she will rise like on wings like an eagle and find the inner fortitude to plough on and keep trying. Well, tomorrow maybe.
It's been a while. Apparently it is Christmas in a little over a week's time. It is also the boy's first birthday in a little while longer than that. Somehow, somewhere (this is sounding rapidly like an excerpt from West Side Story), I have lost three months. The boy has started nursery and suffered endless days off nursery with various lurgies. Less than three months ago he couldn't sit up without falling over, now he is speed crawling (the last two days). But, I digress. I really post to share with you a link to Magna Carta, and the Henry III Fine Rolls blog. Lovely.
...(being the purported reporting of an almost 9 month old)
When you're very little you still know that the best things in life are, indeed, free. And these include the best things to do, such as, watch the rubbish and recycling trucks, watch the effect of the breeze on trees, play with your shadow, and make friends with the little person in every reflective surface.
But, since the school-term started up again, we've found a few other things to do. You can go to a variety of play-groups. We went to the Under 1s group at the Olive Tree. It wasn't great for Mommy since, obviously, its hard to plunge into a group who have been bonding together for the past nine months. But since we mainly went to reintroduce Carl to the concept of other children, it was ok.
We've also been to Rhyme Time at Ely library. As the first session after the long break, it was full to oversubscribed, but again good for reintroducing C to babies. I suppose I had thought it would be more singing, having attended Baby Music back in Milton, but it was more speaking the rhymes, often only once through, which I thought was silly as kids love repetition. Nevertheless it's free and, we hope, continuing, forthcoming Cambridgeshire county library cuts notwithstanding.
The only other baby centric activity we've done in Ely so far is swimming. C has had two lessons now - once with Daddy and once with Mommy. The pool isn't great (quite cold at 29C), and the changing facilities for babies are awful, but he enjoys it, so that's that. The swimming will continue when he goes to nursery (very, very soon).
Apart, that is, from spherical. Just back from a trip to the Ely swimming pool (still intending, at some point, to do a blog on swimming pools). I begin to see why government health advice isn't "live off take-aways and junk food and do occasional exercise every week or so if you really feel like it". Durham Beth was, by turns, hockey, rowing, netball, running and swimming girl. Wellingborough Beth was hockey and swimming lady. Cambridge Beth was swimming and rowing woman (until the arrival of a certain small person anyway). So let's hope Ely Beth makes a habit of something, and has the chance to make a habit of something other than chocolate, whilst there's still a vestigal amount of fitness in a corner somewhere.
...(being the purported musings of a 7 month old)....
So, we've moved. Apparently. There's still piles of boxes everywhere so it kinda looks like home. Old home, that is. I think Mom misses old home. She's wondering what to do with me, and herself, in a new place when the school holidays have just started and all the activity things have closed down for a month and more. I think she's going to try and import people to visit. Want to come? It's in my best interests to try and keep her somewhere towards sane...
...yes, that's right, I may actually be going to turn up to the Race For Life in Cambridge on Sunday. It seemed so obvious a move to make myself take some exercise to sign up for this event three months ago. However, I can count on two hands the number of walk/jog type activities I have engaged in since then, and only one of those in the past month. Just thinking about it sends me scurrying to the kitchen to "carb-load". I'm no longer wondering if I will beat my slowest time to date, and instead wondering if I'm going to make it around the course. Frankly I wouldn't be turning up but another recent mother is planning to use me as her excuse for not being able to jog it all, so it would hardly be sporting not to, even though she has been training and I'm much more likely to be a ball and chain around her heels. So, for my fourth attempt, with basically no training, I wonder how I'll do. The track record so far is:
1999 somewhere oop north, viz. Newcastle: with Rach and we did train, but by gosh it was awful, can't remember how long it took, at least 35 minutes, possibly 45. It was a flat race and a hot day. And then we thought we'd go on to do the Great North Run. Oh my.
2003 somewhere else oop north, viz. Gateshead: another hot day, this time on a hilly course, and it took 22 minutes. And the training had been immense as I was fully engaged in a schedule with the future hubby to get us around the Great North Run.
2008 Cambridge: no running training occurred but plenty of rowing and swimming, a flat course and a fairly remarkable 21-22 minutes.
2010 Cambridge: life as a pillow with ready access to caffeined sugary confections hasn't been too kind, so we can only wait and see. If I don't blog again for two months, send someone to Jesus Green to see if I'm ok. Don't worry too much though, I've learnt my lesson about the Great North Run.
1. Get up again (obviously you have already been up to feed the small child) 2. Get self and 2 boys organised for swimming pool and out the door 3. Have stressed parent type conversations on way to bus stop 4. Get to pool and hunt for/fight for your right to use a family changing room 5. With the baby look longing at the real swimming pool, whilst splashing ineffectively in the more babyish pool 6. Do the return fight back home 7. Start to make the lunch you planned to take as a gift to a very new mother tomorrow, but realise you have neither appropriate cookware nor recipe 8. Buy cookware but plough on without recipe 9. Admit there may be a place for recipes, and hope that your friend does not primarily eat with her eyes, nor, come to that, her tastebuds 10. Get nearer to washing off the horrid chlorine that is still all over your skin (don't worry, the baby got a bath as soon as we got home, I'm not that cruel).
C is desperate to crawl but can't. I'm pretty desperate not to go back to work, but its looming, and I have to spend the next week in the library. We pretty desperately need to move house, but haven't yet (this is one reason its good that C doesn't yet know how to crawl).
So I managed to watch the last two-thirds of the final television debate between the leaders of the main political parties last night. I'm in danger of thinking my democratic duty is now done. Certainly the effort required to watch it compares with that expended on photocopying, and everyone knows photocopying something is the same as having read it.
Ok, this isn't via an I-phone, but clearly the internet has an answer for everything. Don't know who to vote for? Go to Votematch, a website that claims to match your views with those of the political parties. Don't like the answer it gives you? Go with your guts.
I haven't actually noticed any election fever, not since 1997, anyway. That's the last time I got a sense people thought they could change things through the ballot box. The most strident politic comment I've come across locally was posted outside my local last week, viz:
Not that I really know what that was specifically about either.
So I thought I'd better write something before April slips past me, as well as January, February and March. There was definitely going to be another blog in March about cake, the meaning of the phrase 'slap-up' (which my husband understood differently from me, as it transpired) and other things, but then I ended up spending six days with the boy (little one) in hospital, and I'm still trying to recover. In the meantime the season of Spring marches apace. I first noticed that the buds were out by pointing them out to He Who Must Be Obeyed. Now there are leaves and flowers aplenty. Moreover, the May's out, so its time to consider putting coats aside.
OK. These two don't necessarily go together, although in the competitive drive to lose weight in the postpartum world, many new mothers would refrain from crisps, I'm sure. I merely mention them because I was wondering yesterday if I could consider them health food as the packet mentioned, presumably as a warning, 'May contain celery'.
So, onto the parenting. I can't help noticing how, as a mother, many comments about your baby are judgment-laden. The ladies from my NCT (National Childbirth Trust) ante-natal group are generally good about this, with the exception of one who, for weeks and weeks, has been commenting on the boy still being in his pyjamas (babygrows). So I'd like to state, for the record, that it is not because I think my son ought to be dressed up like a little man that he has "proper clothes" on today. It's certainly not to aid the nappy changes. Rather its because I've just realised that the clothes he got for Christmas from his aunt, which I was blithely thinking still way too large, are just about right today (and hopefully for a few days more). To serve me right for dressing him up in order to send a photo to said aunt, he decorated said clothes with the ultimate baby accessory. Good for him.
Today the weather was glorious: sunny, with a blue, blue sky. You could believe spring might be on its way, and indeed, the snowdrops have been out for weeks. Its the kind of weather that makes me long even more for a garden.
In other news, February seems to have gone the way of January. The boy is growing exponentially and changing constantly. Eating, sleeping, some playing: such is Carl's universe. His mother's is not much different, although there seems to be some baby admin involved. Housework, however, hasn't a chance.
January seems to have come and gone. I guess that is what happens when there is a baby in the house (or, rather, flat). This is my first day home alone with said baby who is 5 weeks old today, his Dad having gone out to do some temping. What exciting things could we possibly have got up to? Mainly sleeping (the baby anyway).