Thursday, 30 December 2010

Pee on a Stick

You are now looking at a picture of a stick that I pee-ed on - yuk...but obviously its more than that, it's proof of another baby on the way!
It was planned (but to hit the bulls eye on the first go wasn't exactly expected.. Bully's special prize...) and we're excited but it has thrown up all sorts of questions and feelings, some of which I experienced last time but others that are new. Here they all are:

- Should we find out the sex? We did the first time round - this was because I'm no good at waiting to find things out - I hate surprises - and I really liked being able to think of names for one gender. This time around I'm not so sure. I had a terribly long latent phase of labour and then when finally in the hospital I had a dreadful time so I'm wondering if not knowing the sex might help to spur me on - or is this just poppycock?

- If it's a boy will I know what to do with it? This one is ridiculous I know, but I'm obviously female, I'm one of two sisters and I have a little girl. Will I enjoy watching Thomas the Tank Engine and doing rough tough boy stuff? And boys names, they're just not as easy to decide on than girls!

- Is the age gap going to be a nightmare between new baby and big baby - 2 years = terrible two's doesn't it? 

- How will we afford 2 children? This question came up the first time around and I keep telling myself that it worked then so it will work again - somehow!

- Will me and hubbie survive the sleepless nights again and more importantly weather the teething storm with another baby - praying that big baby has all her teeth by then or we'll have double trouble!

- How will our number 1 girl feel about being a big sister?

- Will Bobcat finally leave home as he realises that his home has been invaded by not just one but two marauding monsters!

- Most important wilI I ever find the time to get my hair cut again? Not had a cut since February (!), and while I'm on the subject I could do with a full mummy makeover, so any TV execs out there - I'm your haggard example of a 35 year old who once liked to look nice, who now is lucky to have time to drag a brush through my hair.

There are plenty more questions and thoughts where they came from but I'd be all night, these are top of mind right now. Typically they all enter my head as I'm about to crash out for a nights sleep. All I know is that we're entering the next stage of the adventure of life and who knows what it will bring?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Library

Once you've been home from hospital for a couple of weeks with your new baby and your partner has finished paternity leave, the best thing you can do is to get yourself and baby out and about. I realised this after about 3 weeks and found that the days where i had no plans were the ones where i got the most stressed and fed up. It's hard when you're a new mum and it's not always the 24 hour 'love-in' with your baby that you think it will be, sometimes you can really feel isolated and wonder where your own identity has gone.


In the early days with Isla I would spend lots of time with my best friend and her little boy and also my new NCT friends who were really good at setting up weekly get togethers. Some mornings after a rough night of no sleep I'd really not feel up to leaving the house but I knew that once I'd closed the front door behind me and started my trip out I would feel better. I'd also have the fear of her crying when we were out. I think this is a common fear, we're worried about how other people see us dealing with our new baby.

Once I was a bit more confident with Isla I started looking into places to take her for play and stimulation (and a chinwag and cuppa for me!), as I realised we needed to do a bit more than just take a weekly walk to the see the health visitor! One of the things I loved doing was going Rhyme Time at the local library. It's basically a half hour nursery rhyme sing song. The first time we went she was only about 8 weeks old and spent the entire 30 mins snoozing, while I probably looked like a zombie singing The Wheels on the Bus. As the weeks went by though, she usually stayed awake for it and loved looking at all the slightly older babies and children and defintely loved the songs involving being lifted up in the air and swung around. A trip to the coffee shop would usually follow whereby the smallest coffee shop in my town would house up to 20 mums, babies and buggies, all huddling over 1 cup of coffee each and all asking for our bottles to be warmed up! It was so nice to be out of the house, looking at the four walls could really get me down, especially as the housework had taken a nosedive and our house was a sh1thole!!

The other good thing about the library is it's where you can collect your baby's 'Bookstart' bag. Bookstart is a national programme that encourages parents to enjoy books with their children from an early age. The best thing about the bag is it contains 2 board books. We love reading to Isla and she's always had bedtime stories since we started a bedtime routine at 3 months. She now knows when we're asking her to fetch particular books and can point out things within the books and name them. Her books of choice are 'Spot', 'In The Night Garden' and 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. 

We try to go to the library at least once a month now, either for Rhyme Time, where she interacts a bit more these days and imitates us singing the songs (Row, Row, Row and Baa Baa being her favourites) or just to let her roam around and look at the books. I know not all local libraries are that warm and welcoming but it's worth checking out if yours has mummy and baby sessions as it can be a really great way of meeting other people and sharing fun times with your little one!



Sunday, 5 December 2010

Silent Sunday - Bribery


For more Silent Sunday entries pop over to MochaBeanieMummy

Saturday, 4 December 2010

White

As a relatively new blogger I've only just come across Tara Cain's Sticky Fingers blog and 'The Gallery'. The idea is that Tara will give a prompt (can be a word, phrase, object etc) and then people respond by posting a photo that captures that prompt for them. This is my first time having a go at The Gallery, but when I saw the word was 'White' the only thing that came into my mind was our cat, Bobcat. Here he is:
He is our big, beautiful, white fluffball, I like to think of him as the Liberace of cats! We've had him for nearly 3 years since a good friend of mine moved flats and no longer had a garden. He has settled in and really has a big place in our affections - see previous blog post 'Nocturnal Awakenings' for proof of just how much he gets away with. He has dealt with having a new baby (now toddler) in the house very well, although he spends a bit more time under the bath than he used to! He's found this week a little bit trying with the snow, only ventured out once, for 30 seconds and the scuttled back pronto. This caused havoc with his daily ablutions - he's very modest and doesn't like an audience when he's in the litter tray....
Isla adores him but the feeling isn't reciprocated - he's not so keen on her shrieking "Bobbeeee, Bobbeeee". My favourite picture of them together is this one:
And speak of the devil, he's just hopped up on the sofa to keep me company now. We love you Bobcat!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Recipe Time - Mince Pies!

There is no better time to get cooking than when you've been housebound for a week due to the white blanket currently covering the country! So, yesterday we all rolled up our sleeves and made some yummy mince pies. Isla played her part (mostly by covering her hands in butter and eating it!) and Hubbie did the eating part afterwards....

Mince Pie Recipe

Ingredients:
225g cold butter, diced
350g Plain flour
100g golden caster suger
Pinch of Salt
280g Mincemeat
1 small egg

To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine pastry into a ball. You may need to add a dash of water at this point to help it combine. Knead pastry briefly.

Preheat oven to 200C/ Gas 6/ Fan 180C. Grease cake patty tin - we made 12 mince pies from this recipe (with a bit of left over pastry to stick outside for the birds!)

Roll out pastry to about quarter - half cm thickness. Then use cutters to make the bases and lids for the mince pies. Put bases in the tin and fill with a full teaspoon of mince meat. Top pies with lid and then brush with some beaten egg.

Bake for approx 20 mins until golden. Pop onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar. Put the kettle on and once the teas made, your mince pies should be just about cool enough to scoff down with a brew! Yum!