Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Blissful Weekend

Sunshine, blue skies, warmth, family, picnics, garden dining, and a boy who has started to sleep for 10+ hours straight at night. What more could a Mama want!

Yesterday I spent a full day away from BB, for the first time ever, as I attended a training day for NCT volunteers. I was very anxious at first, every time I looked in my mirror on the drive to the venue, my heart would skip a beat on seeing that BB wasn't in his seat, but once I arrived and got into the swing of things it was good.

BB got to spend the day with Daddy, which I am sure was lots of fun for both of them. They danced to all the Eurovision songs being played on the radio and went to the summer fayre at the local pre-school, the one that BB may attend.

Uncle P also came to join us for a day, we had picnic in a local garden that was open as part of the National Gardens Scheme. After lunch, Uncle P and BB did some walking practice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Gardening Project

So, when you have farming and gardening genes on both sides of your family, it's never too early to start gardening.

BB and I have been watching closely as the orchid in the bathroom (bought for me by my 96 year old Nana, to celebrate BB's birth) has gone in to bud and is now starting to flower. We look everymorning at how it's doing, count the flowers and buds. It always seems to make him smile.

On Sunday we went to a family event at Ramsey Heights to celerate 100 years of the Wildlife Trust. BB was given some sunflower seeds in a little growing pot. We had five seeds, which was too many for the pot, and so today we put them each in a little pot of their own. Obviously Mummy had to do the actual work - but I think there is a keen interest here don't you!

Mmmm - this looks fun!

We almost lost them!
As you can probably tell, I was moving when I took this photo. Saved the seeds though!

Our seeds on the kitchen windowsill
We will watch them grow, and then when they are ready, transplant them into the garden.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Something Blissful

I am aware that my last two posts are not so Blissful, so to bring a little balance, here's a gorgeous photo of my Blissful Boy that Gramps took today.


I want to write about Hannah.

I have wanted to write about Hannah for a couple of years now, but I didn't know where to begin.

I still don't really.

Hannah would have been 40 today, but sadly she is no longer with us.

Hannah was one of the world's most beautiful people, both physically and in her kind and generous personality. She is one of the best friends I've ever had.

I remember when we first met, we kept our distance a little... we were young and insecure, and there was a mutual sense that we could not hide who we really were from each other, 'because she knows'.  Thankfully we got past that very quickly. We had some great times at uni and beyond.

Hannah struggled with her mental health for many years, yet no matter what she was going through, she always thought of others. I think of her often. I wish I could have done more to help her, but I just didn't know how.

Gone too soon, but hopefully now at peace.

I love you and miss you Hannah.

What kind of person steals a baby's lunch?

An odd question I know, but one that I have been pondering since Thursday when someone stole BB's lunch bag, complete with his lunch, while we were swimming.

The swimming centre we attend is lovely. Lessons aren't cheap. Everyone I have ever met there seems great. There are little lockers provided for your wallet and phone, but to be honest I never use them (I will now!) as I have never thought them necessary in such a wonderful place.

There were several levels to my horror when we discovered the lunch was gone.

Firstly, BB usually has lunch around 12. By the time we have finished swimming it is 1.30, so he is starving. Hungry baby and no food is not a good combination. Thankfully this problem was solved immediately by a lovely mummy and baby girl duo who took us back to their place for lunch.

The second was that so many of BB's lovely things have gone. He loved his ladybird. He has been fascinated with the red spotty insects for as long as I remember, since one of the photos used as a screen saver on our computer is of a ladybird. He also lost his special cup, which Grandma bought him for Christmas, and one of his bibs, my favourite one, in navy blue.

Then there was the realisation of how much this will cost to replace. Lunch bag £14, mum2mum bib £9, cup £6, plastic tubs - about £3, baby spoon £2, Milton wipes £2, baby wipes £2. Who would have thought it would come to so much.

Finally, and perhaps the worst part is the fact that the bottom dropped out of my world a little bit when I realised that the world, and in particular our fab little swimming centre, isn't as safe as I would like to believe.

I don't think we even have a photo of BB and the ladybird - this is the best I can do.

Sadly, Ladybird Lunchies are all sold out so we will never have another. 

Bye bye Ladybird, we will miss you.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More about not enough sleep

So, apparently sleep is one of the most talked about topics among parents. I heard this bit never imagined I would be one of those parents!

We have been sick with a hideous cold for almost 2 weeks now, and it seems that any progress we had made along the sleeping journey is now forgotten. BB is going to bed around six, and then waking every 3 hours.

The first time this happened I tried to ignore him and put him back down without feeding. Then when I changed his nappy the next morning it was hardly wet. I felt so guilty! He must have been thirsty and I know it's important to drink lots of fluids when you have a cold. So, the next night I fed him.

Now I think he is in the habit of it again - we had got down to just one feed during the night. I will have to go through the sleep training thing again - I'm just not sure when to start.

The last couple of nights he has also developed another habit which is even less desirable. For the last two nights, and one other night about a week ago, he has been waking after his midnight feed and not wanting to go back to sleep. The first time it happened I thought perhaps he was hungry, he hadn't eaten his tea. So, at about 2 am I ended up bringing him down the stairs and giving him so of his baby cereal. He slept well after that.

It is however the 'rules' that you don't come downstairs after your bath, not until morning. This was the first time I had broken it, I was sick and tired and desperate, and I am not planning on making a habit of it.

On Thursday night the waking happened again. He was awake from midnight until about 5am. Crying for most of it. I tried everything, breast feeding, doing the comfort every 5 minutes thing, bringing him in to my bed.  Nothing worked. Until finally, exhaustion beat him into a slumber  - until 6.30.

Last night it happened again. After his midnight feed he would not sleep. I did the every 5 minutes thing for as long as I could, and then I brought him to my bed where I held him tight for almost an hour before he finally stopped crying and fell asleep. After that we had a good night together.

I don't know where to go from here.

I am regretting stopping co-sleeping. He can't really do sleeping in my bed anymore. He moves around heaps and gets too excited that I am there and wants to play. I did have to put him in a cot for the part of the night I wasn't in bed, but I am wishing that I had continued to bring him back to mine once I  got in bed. I'd get more sleep for one thing. But I think he was also more secure when we slept together. He definitely cries more since we stopped - though of course I can't be sure that this is the reason. He is in that particularly clingy stage at the moment.

So, should I do the sleep training, and make him go through the night alone. Or should I build on the work I did last night and retrain him to sleep in my bed?

Another thing. I am wondering if Ovaltine could be the problem. I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but I have a jar in the cupboard, left over from when I was pregnant and going through a milky drink phase, and I have been using it up. I drank some last night and the night before, and one night a few days ago, though I can't be sure which, so I am not certain if it was the same night that he woke up before. Do you think this is possible?  I tried googling 'Ovaltine wakes up baby' and found nothing - it did however suggest that I was actually meaning to search for 'Ovaltine wake up gay', and lead me to this old image... which I thought was worth sharing!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe


125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
3 eggs
1 cup self raising flour (sifted)
200g pot of natural yoghurt

Juice of 2 (or 3) lemons
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)



  • Mix butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl using an electric beater. Mix well, until the mixture is pale and creamy. 
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time
  • Add half the flour and mix in with a wooden spoon. 
  • Add the yoghurt and mix in with the wooden spoon.
  • Add the rest of the flour and mix in
  • Place in a greased loose based baking tin about 20-22cm in diameter
  • Cook in a fan oven at 160°C for 45-50 mins
  • Cool on a rack
  • Juice the lemons and place the juice in a small bowl
  • Add the icing sugar and mix well, then do the same with the caster the sugar

When the cake is cool turn out onto a plate. Use the underside (as it was baked) as the top, as the drizzle will soak into the cake better. Slowly cover the whole surface with the drizzle. Leave for a few hours before serving so that the drizzle has time to soak through and make the whole cake moist. If you have used a third lemon you may wish to use the zest too - sprinkle evenly over the cake to create an extra zesty finish