Thursday, 10 September 2009

Little Miss Chatterbox

I have just finished reading the most excellent book, "Toxic Childhood" by Sue Palmer - a superb read which I recommend wholeheartedly to all parents to be, parents, grandparents etc. It talks about the importance of outdoor play, imaginative indoor play, restriction of TV and screen time etc etc.

One of her throwaway remarks (or it may, in fact, have been in her subsequent book, "Detoxing Childhood" which is basically a precis of "Toxic Childhood") was by 18 months a child should have up to 50 words and, by 2, up to 200 (one of her points was that children are increasingly coming to school with less and less language than they used to which is part of the reason for the difficulty teachers are having in getting them to read and write). Now, I promise you, I try my utmost not to be a competitive parent. I know that that is not good for me or Immy (there is no way I want to be like either of the mothers in the "Goodness Gracious Me!" sketch!).

However, it set me wondering - how many words does Immy know now, at 19 months and a week? So, I started making a list. It is now quite a long list. About 150 words, in fact. And those are just the ones I've remembered. (I'll spare you the actual list. Partly not to bore you and partly because I don't want to sit here copying it out!!) If ever I wanted proof that there was any of me in her (she's the spit of Marc and I struggle to spot my contribution), then I think this is it. Hopefully this is a small sign that I'm doing at least SOMETHING right.

Friday, 29 May 2009

It's about time

I got back into the habit of blogging.  Over a year since the last post - disgraceful!  Marc is away on some boring training course in Watford and has been since Wednesday.  He won't be back until late tonight.  Weirdly, during the time he's been away, Immy has actually managed to go to bed at a sensible time.  I don't know what to make of this, but perhaps she's just going to have to have her tea at a sensible time as that appears to be the only thing that's being done differently.

I have made a start on Sarah's Urchin hat (Ysolda Teague).  It's my first time using a provisional cast on and, frankly, I'm terrified.  Oh well, worse things happen at sea and all that.  Hopefully I'll get it finished by the end of the weekend (Tilly's party on Sunday notwithstanding) and then I can get on with Anna's beret and 101 other things.  Plus, there is the small matter of tidying the flat and trying to get it vaguely reasonable.  Although we don't actually have anything other than a vague timeframe for the move to Huddersfield (some point next year, provided Marc can get the transfer), I would still like things to be vaguely reasonable before then so that it's not all a mad panic.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Greenbelt, weaning and everything

Goodness, it's a while since I last blogged.  Immy, Marc & I all absolutely loved Greenbelt.  It was brilliant seeing so many of my friends again and fun camping for the first time in ages.  Especially since it appears that all you have to do to pitch a modern tent is say 'Piff Paff Poof', pretty much.  I was very impressed as I have many memories of having to hold precariously arranged poles while my parents tried anxiously to drape the tent over it and prayed that it wouldn't rain during the whole tortuous process.  The speakers I saw were excellent and the music was wonderful.  Immy particularly enjoyed Julie McKee and the folk club. We were sorry to have to go when it all finally came to an end.

Since we've been back, weaning has obviously continued.  So far, Immy has tried: rice cakes, dried apricots, apple puree, sweet potato puree, greengages, mashed banana, butternut squash puree, carrot puree and a bit of apple & strawberry fruit leather (a lot nicer than it sounds!).  She appears to have taken a dislike to the greengages and the butternut squash.  Oddly, despite now having three lots of solids a day, the breastfeeds have increased.  Particularly at night.  Whereas previously she had just started on giving me 6-7 hours sleep at night, she is now back to her newborn habits of 2 hourly feeding.  I'm finding the whole process very draining and stressful. Marc keeps reassuring me that all babies are weaned in the end and I won't be having to send expressed milk with her to university, but nonetheless I worry and find things frustrating.  You have this image in your head of babies taking to solids like the proverbial waterfowl to their water and I have found that that is thoroughly incorrect.  I really hope things calm down soon! 

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Millet porridge gets the thumbs up!

So, after a two day break to allow Immy's illness to go completely, we restarted her on solids today.   She had millet porridge for breakfast (1 tbsp millet flakes to 150 ml water for those who are interested).  It was to have had am ice cube of apple puree added to cool it down quickly, but I was too late adding it, so it stubbornly refused to melt.  However, as it turned out, Immy loves plain millet porridge.  Rather a lot.  Especially with her new 'Reggae for Kids' CD playing in the background (it's surprisingly good, actually.  The CD, that is.)

I therefore learned two things today.  Plain is often good.  And millet porridge gets absolutely everywhere and is a total swine to clean up.

Monday, 18 August 2008

It's about time....

... that I started blogging again.  Remarkably, despite the fact that this is basically a personal thing, I've been feeling guilty about not doing so.  Amazing the things that one can feel guilty about, frankly, but there you go.  Part of the reason for the guilt, however, is that I intended this blog to contain some record of Immy's progress and I have been very remiss in not noting this.

So, then, some basic Immy facts.  She started babbling on the Thursday of the final week of her 5th month (if that makes sense).  She managed 'baba' and 'dada'.  Rather irksomely, given that I'm the person she spends most time with, 'mama' was not amongst the list.  I appreciate that these were not real words and that she was just playing with making new noises and that 'm' is a far harder sound than 'b' or 'd', but I was, nonetheless, slightly piqued.  

We started weaning her when she hit 6 months.  It might have been sensible to wait a little longer, since she still has the tongue-thrust reflex, but never mind.  So far she has tried banana puree, apple puree, rice cakes, carrot puree and sweet potato puree.  Unfortunately all that has gone into abeyence (sp?) for a few days since she got a sick bug last week and we realised too late that the solids were prolonging it.  She seems a lot better today, though, thank goodness and seems to have acquired a fondness for 'The Proclaimers'.  (Her eccentric musical taste also includes John Philip Sousa and other military music such as 'Colonel Bogey' by Kenneth Alford, trad jazz - especially Kenny Ball and Chris Barber; Lonnie Donegan, La Bottine Souriante, reggae, calypso and some god-awful rock stuff that Marc likes.)

This weekend should be fun.  We are all going to Greenbelt.  Marc being a clever bod is writing some comedy for it and therefore counts as a Contributor.  Thus we are going to Greenbelt for cheapness, which is even more of a Good Thing (TM).  'T'will be interesting seeing how she fares camping, but since she's a very cheerful and resilient little soul, my prediction is that she'll have a whale of a time.  Quite how I'll cope with the night feeds on a tiny little supposedly self inflating mattress with no back support should I need to sit up, heaven only knows.  I intend to sink to the challenge (IYSWIM), however, and thoroughly enjoy myself.  Particularly since I shall be surrounded by lots of lovely friends.  Hopefully I'll get some nice piccies, too.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Momentous Occurrences

So, yesterday was the first time I left Immy alone with her Dad for more than just a few minutes.  It was the first time, in fact, that I went out alone in a very long while.  And it necessitated the purchase and use of a breast pump.

Goodness me, they're weird contraptions!  It took me quite a while to get the hang of it.  And when I did, it was very bizarre indeed.  The noise it makes, and heaven knows why this surprised me, is EXACTLY like the sound of goat's or cow's milk hitting the pail.  And I mean, exactly.  I managed to get 6 1/2 fl. oz, which I'm told is not bad for a first attempt.  I must have been mangling it to start with, however, since I managed to make myself sore in the process!  But it does at least mean that I have the option of going out again at some point in the future.

And what was the occasion that set this all off, you ask?  My first cinema trip of the year to go and see Sex in the City with a friend and friend to be (I hope, anyway, since she seemed very nice).  I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the series.  Parts of it were very emotional, as per the series, really, I suppose.  But mostly it was funny and sweet and felt like just a long episode of the series.  Well worth going to see!

The only downside was that when I got home I found out that Immy had apparently been missing me so much that she cried non-stop from 9.15pm to 10.30pm and nothing would placate her.  I'm not sure whether it was helpful for Marc to tell me this or not because it was quite upsetting.  Although, I have to admit that a tiny part of me was a bit gratified since it's a bit difficult to tell if someone loves you if all they do is eat and sleep.  I mean, she does giggle and smile, but you don't know if that is because something is inherently amusing or if she genuinely enjoys your company.  Last night I realised that it was the latter.  Hopefully she will be less upset the next time I go out since she will now know that I am coming back!  Poor little mite.  Needless to say (so I'm going to say it!) she got lots and lots of hugs and seems contented enough now.  She is gurgling and examining her fingers as per usual!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

May the Saints in heaven preserve us

Big Brother 2008 has just started and Marc, in his infinite wisdom and equal stupidity, has decided that he simply HAS to watch it.  It's enough to drive me completely demented (which state I'm not too far from as it is, frankly).  I've warned him that he can't watch the whole series, but I'm not convinced that he was listening.  Knitting was slightly distracting me, but not altogether and I'm worried that the stress of putting up with Davina MacCall (sp?) squawking in the background has thrown my tension off.  So I've come out of the lounge to use the computer instead, in the hope that something online will soothe me.

Progress on the scarf is coming along.  It's been slightly slower going than I'd hoped for because Immy has been teething over the past few days and she's not been best happy about it - poor thing.   I've calculated that it will take about 300 - 325 rows to reach 54" and I've now completed 240 rows.  Anna's birthday is on the 12th, apparently, so I'm hoping to have completed it by the end of the weekend (including blocking) so that I can post it on either Monday or Tuesday.   The yarn really is very lovely and there will easily be the best part of a skein left so I'll be able to make me a hat, which I'm very pleased about.