3 years ago, more or less exactly, I knew I'd be heading to the maternity unit any time soon. Since then I've had a rather sedentary lifestyle. The body is bearing the brunt, so 28 Dec 2012 seems a better day than 1 Jan 2013 to try again to change things. Not sure I need to change the DIY-on-the-fly-ness though. Told myself I wasn't bothered about making the boy a cake, until late in the evening when I suddenly decide to make a lion cake: no recipe, no design, just lets do it. Not really into competitive parenting, so just got to hope the boy can tell the difference between a lion and a flower. My mom said 'Meow' when I showed it to her; that's animal at least.
The toilet roll Nativity lost some impetus, but the Christmas tree decorations got made, even if there was neglible interest from the toddler. Christmas Eve sees me over-cooking the cake for pudding tomorrow and dispensing neurofen to said child with fever.
Tuesday night saw me sitting up till the small hours converting a pillowcase into a ghost costume - last minute, no design. The weekend saw the start of the conversion of toilet rolls into nativity scene characters - some idea of what we are doing, some making it up as we go along. Now my husband has tasked me with creating Christmas tree decorations for posting to the grandmother made by her adorable grandson. For this, I think, we're going to need a plan!
I've been thinking of doing a blog on this or that for ages... like most things my muscles are out of condition... so I'll dip my toe back in by merely saying, BBC you can stop messing with your website now.
I do like top tips and local knowledge e.g. go to the Post Office for a passport renewal form and be told to really not wear my glasses in the new photos and that the Boots machine is doing really good photos at the moment. I don't like nursery bugs, e.g. the one currently doing the rounds of the house.
Mainly a quick note to draw attention to two history sites I'm sure I should have been aware of before now: Historypin and History Carnival. Must find time to check them out. But also, since I'm here, really impressed that the resident petulant terrorist made up a rhyme today.
I guess much the same thing as happened to the follow up post to the trip to the Midlands grandparents, you know the one about the trip of the US grandparents to Ely shortly thereafter, the one I never blogged about. Well, to catch you up, the boy is growing taller, his parents are growing wider. I never did really understand that "A moment on the lips..." thing until quite recently. I think this is called mid-life. Bother.
...born on 16 Feb 1972, I have often heard the tale of the delayed arrival of the midwife to our house. The reason was that she had to make a fire up for her elderly mother first. What I had not appreciated, until today, when I watched a documentary on the early 1970s, was that this coal-related story, which saw me arrive almost before said midwife, was part of a much wider national story of the striking miners and the energy crisis, a story that was to reach some resolution less than 48 hours later. Look, for example, at some documentary evidence here. I've always known that outside certain medieval periods my knowledge of the chronology of British history is poor, but it seemed wrong not to know one was born in the midst of such crisis. Looking forward to learning more about the times I lived through but can't remember anyway.
Easter 2012 involved trains and cars, dogs and hamsters, and assorted relatives. In addition, on Easter Friday we participated in the Walk of Witness local to Nanny. Possibly other participants thought I was terribly moved by the occasion given the tears at the stop at St. James' Church, but this was really because I took the opportunity to visit the grave of a school fellow (d.1988), the only prior occasion I had been in this church being for this boy's memorial service. Lunch followed at the cousin's, being mainly memorable for meeting Flora the Gnawer (the hamster).
Easter Saturday saw us trek to Birmingham to go the Sealife Centre. The main attraction for the boy was a particularly stompy bridge, and some attractive buoys, but I managed to get him to take some interest in the clownfish and turtles. Nanny and Mommy hung out in the cafe at St. Martin's in the Bullring as the boy had, thankfully, finally deigned to fall asleep. A walk in the afternoon took us past a cockerel ("cockalaw" who said "cockalaw-doo-doo").
Easter Sunday took us to Baddesley Clinton and an Easter Egg trail, and a revisit to the hamster. The small boy's attempts to herd his relatives into the same place were greatly frustrated on this occasion, even more so than in the previous few days. The herding instinct was pushed aside however once a pretend priest hole that children could fling themselves in and out of was discovered.
Being a proudish mother, like all proudish mothers before me, I proudly announce that the young gentleman can, when he puts his expanding head to it, count to ten (actually fourteen: there are two lots of fourteen cars). He cannot, of course, sit down nicely and eat a meal. Or lie down nicely and go to sleep. Indeed, at the moment he is most likely to say 'Go away', possibly to be accompanied by an imperious little wave of the hand, or a distinct shove, depending on his mood. There is no limit to what can be told to 'go away', but it is most usually mommy or daddy. Mind, you can get in real trouble if you 'go away' and do it.
Mainly go for walks. Walks down the street, playing with your shadow. Walks down the street, to watch cars park. Walks down the street, remember there is a park at the end, and go to play there too. Walks away from the park in the opposite direction from home on a big exploratory adventure.
The baby likes to walk. This I am not discouraging.
Thus far not that impressed with this life beginning at 40 malarky. Seems to involve getting no sleep, nursing sick child and missing out on mother's birthday etc. If life post 40 continues in the vein in which life at 40 began, please tell it I'm not so interested.
I have been slack in reporting, excuse me, but I have been busy screaming all day. I know it frustrates mother no end when, a two-year old such as myself, who can communicate quite complex things if he wishes, decides to fall back on the tried and tested and enjoy a day of throwback.
So, things to do in Ely since I last told you, 15 months ago. Hmmm. There are still some good free ones. Our weekends focus around the library and playgrounds, obviously. More Ely specific are lorry (truck) watching down at the level-crossing, and rampaging around the cathedral. Wish mom had taken a photo of their Christmas tree - it was a beauty and really tall (or high, as I like to say). I like the singing in the cathedral, the really high ceiling, and lighting candles, as well as the hugeness of it. (And, yes, of course mother is trying to get me to appreciate historic buildings from an early age).
2011 was also the year of baby signing and baby music (having given up the swimming due to the temperature of the pool). I did two terms of one and one term of the other. Baby signing was fun, mainly for the biscuits (by the end I'd graduated onto nicking the adults' chocolate ones), and watching what older children got up to. I started signing after we finished going to classes. Baby music was also cool. We chose Music to Grow to over Monkey Music. Wish I could still go but mom's new job is full-time so I can't. I guess I get to do loads of stuff at nursery, so perhaps mom should try and shrug off her middle-class-mommyhood guilt.
So, I was sadly right about the good intentions/resolutions not lasting long, viz. nothing more to report on that front. Been quite a time actually as the larger of the two boys has been ill for some time. Spent most of last week saying, 'look I don't have to go to this conference', to be told, 'no, no, you go, we'll be fine'. Until the night before the conference. Then it was no longer fine. Then 24 hours later a reversal of opinion had me getting up at 5am to start the taxi, train, train, conference journey. Two papers in before I got summoned back south: taxi, train, train, train, train. The elder boy has gone back into work today. Hoping he does not exhaust himself as I would like five minutes off this weekend!
The year in which I turn forty (how did that happen?). New Year's resolution is do something nice for myself every day. Anyone who knows me at all well, will know being nice to me isn't something I'm great at, so this is quite a resolution.
Day 1: not only had a bath, had a long, hot bath.
Day 2: went for a swim.
It's back to work tomorrow, and a new job at that, so that will be when testing the resolution really begins.
The progress towards sentences by the young boy continues, as evidenced by 'noise...daddy...warm', which can be unpacked as '[I can hear a] noise[. It's the water running.] Daddy [is filling the kettle to boil water, which he will use to make my milk] warm.' More usual, of course, is 'No, Mommy, no' as we fight over every imaginable boundary possible.
Family quotes that made me smile this week:
Boy to chocolate bar (Kit-Kat): 'Meow, meow' (the cat obsession continues).
Boy re: Communion Wine: 'Mommy juice'.
Husband on realising that we had Hob Brite because he had refused to let me throw it away despite not having a hob that could be cleaned with it for the past 3 years: 'I'm a nut job, but hurrah for me'.