Archive for the ‘BabyC’ Category

1. Feeding the baby, I realise that this is a beautiful thing, that we’re lucky enough to do together several times a day.

2. At the park with two little preschooler friends. We all play together. I ride on the seesaw with my friend’s son; every time I check whether he’s had enough and wants to get off, he replies with a firm “No”, and we bounce for about 15 minutes, talking about planes and lawnmowers and watches. Baby is in the sling on my back and bounces off to sleep. Later we’re playing and my four-year-old friend pulls me around by the hand, looking for the pirate captain’s missing brother in jellyfish-infested waters.

3. Toddler’s new CD’s arrive. Instead of listening to Paddington in the car (again!) we have Winnie the Pooh, read by Alan Bennett. The children both fall asleep and I carry on listening regardless.

4. Teatime. More creative playing with food. Perhaps I should discourage this, but at the moment I love it. His pieces of fishfinger are arranged into a caterpillar, a bird, an elephant (“here’s it’s head, Mummy, and here’s it’s toes”), a frog, and a kangaroo. He’s so inventive and full of ideas.

5. Baby is becoming an expert at the “How big is he..? This big!” game. He finds it utterly hilarious.

6. I make plans for Husband and I to go for lunch in a couple of weeks, by ourselves.

7. Husband gets up with Baby and I sleep soundly until 9.00 am.

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This post is part of Silent Sunday at Mocha Beanie Mummy.

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1. At a ‘playdate’. The dressing up box comes out and Toddler actually wants to dress up (this is a first). He’s a cowboy with a hat and waistcoat, riding on the little furry rocking horse. He’s a knight in shining armour, complete with helmet, although we leave the long wooden sword in the box for another day.

2. Making biscuits. I’m a bit fraught before we even start, so when Toddler knocks the bowl off the scales and spills flour and cocoa powder over the table, I get a bit cross. “What are we going to do now?” I snap, angrily. “Wipe it up,” he replies. Of course. What else could we do but wipe it up, forget about it and carry on?

3. Baby has a nice long nap this morning, so Toddler and I fit in some jigsaw time. When it comes to the Gruffalo jigsaw he says “You do that one, Mummy,” but then, as usual, he ‘helps’ me and does the whole thing himself with very little input. “I do these jigsaws really fast, Mummy.”

4. At home, Husband calls to ask me to turn on the computer. He needs to access it remotely from work to copy some files. As we potter around I see folders flashing up on the screen and the cursor whizzing around. When I next look, he’s written a little message to us.

5. At my Grandma and Granddad’s house. Granddad has made salmon fishcakes for the boys – he’s scaled down the recipe, but there’s no way to scale down ‘one egg’ so the fishcakes are kind of omlette-like. The boys love them and eat them with gusto.

6. I watch the last episode of Michel Roux’s Service, and shed a tear when he awards the final scholarship.

7. Toddler is going out with Daddy. I ask him for a kiss and a cuddle goodbye. He decides he wants to give Baby a kiss and a cuddle too. As Toddler and Daddy leave, Baby crawls at light speed to the back door to see them off, and when I pick him up he waves goodbye.

These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.

I’ve been posting three beautiful things every day for four weeks now and I haven’t missed a day. Sometimes it’s been hard to think of three things (especially this Tuesday) but most of the time I have plenty of moments that have made me smile. It’s struck me that a lot of my beautiful things are very similar – there’s lots of brotherly love, lots of baby development and lots of nice evening meals and wine. Lots of simple pleasures.

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1. At home, baby is learning to pull himself up to standing, but takes a tumble. As he cries, Toddler races over. “Don’t worry, Baby”, he says. “I’ll give you a cuddle.”

2. Baby naps for two hours in the morning. Toddler and I have lots of quality time, getting dressed at his pace, doing his beloved jigsaws, playing with toys and baking chocolate cupcakes.

3. Very early morning. About 4.30, in fact. The baby is awake and refusing to go back to sleep. I give in and play with him. We cuddle and I squash my face against his cheek and he laughs lots. Eventually he does go back to sleep.

4. Toddler gets up early today. He has boundless enthusiasm, constantly talking to me about what is happening, what he would like and what we might be doing next. He keeps going and going, through toddler group, lunchtime and a walk into the village. As we’re walking along the street, he points to a drainpipe.

“That’s a drainpipe, Mummy, spiders fall down them, like Incy Wincy Spider, like my Incy Wincy Spider jigsaw at Granny’s, like my Humpty Dumpty jigsaw.”

I love that he can tell me what he’s thinking; the connections his mind makes, and the things he’s been doing when I’m not there.

5. My kids are getting better and better at playing with each other. Getting ready for the bath, Toddler ‘chases’ Baby, both of them crawling along the floor and laughing uproariously.

6. My Mum comes round in the morning to collect Toddler. He’s staying with her overnight. She sneaks me £50 in cash, to spend on shoes for Toddler and maybe a treat for me. The best bit? It’s the money she’s saved by not smoking for the past four weeks.

7. At Nana and Granddad’s house. Baby and I look at our reflections in their shiny silver kettle and he waves at himself, grinning and gurgling.

These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.

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This post is part of Silent Sunday at Mocha Beanie Mummy.


*whispers* If you like what you see here, why not take a look around my blog? You can subscribe or ‘like’ my Facebook page using the links on the right.

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1. Leaving SureStart, the nursery kids are playing outside. They’ve been dressing up and there are two robots marching around, and a fairy with wings and a billowing skirt on a tricycle.

2. After lunch, Toddler steps on half a discarded grape. “I’ve been graped!” he exclaims.

3. Baby learns to clap. Grandparents and I all say “clap, clap, clap” in suitably enthusiastic, high-pitched tones, with exaggerated actions. Baby thinks hard, clumsily but deliberately claps his hands together, and looks very pleased with himself. It’s not just a fluke: he claps on demand for the next half-hour.

4. We make it to toddler group in the next village just after the 9.30 start, leaving the car at home. This is a rare feat for us. We have a lovely time; I catch up with some old friends and make a new one too.

5. Early morning. Toddler comes to see me and Baby in bed. He snuggles in the duvet with me and, unprompted, plays peekaboo with Baby. They both laugh, delighted.

6. Daddy takes care of baby bath time while I relax and cook a proper meal: pork belly, with a sauce made from onion, tomato, honey and a can of coca-cola. Baby asleep, we eat the pork with sweet potato and spring greens.

7. One of the things I love about Beamish is that there are always lots of people taking photographs – not just family snapshots (although there is plenty of that) but serious photographers with big cameras capturing images of a time gone by. Husband uses our big camera and I take some shots with my phone. Lately I feel like a real photographer, a creative person.

























These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.

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1. Lying in bed feeding the baby, I remember a time when the length from the top of his head to his toes was less than the current length from head to bum.

2. After a disastrous bedtime with baby and toddler both demanding attention and each keeping the other awake, I finally get the baby off to sleep. Toddler and I have a cuddle in bed; he tells me he’s my friend and he loves me. He falls asleep smiling.

3. We’re very lucky to get the vast majority of our kids’ clothes as hand-me-downs or gifts. Today the toddler actually wears something that I’ve bought and chosen for him.













4. On his way to bed, my husband takes time to stop and tell me that he loves me.

5. The toddler tells me that Daddy is old, but Mummy is young.

6. I throw caution and frugality to the wind and add both chicken and bacon to the pasta sauce.

7. We go to a birthday party. The cake is covered in fondant icing; to get a vivid ‘lego brick’ colour, it’s been painted with neat food colouring. When we eat it, our fingers, lips, teeth and tongues turn bright blue.


These Seven Beautiful Things are taken from my Three Beautiful Things posterous blog, where I post three beautiful things every day.


This post is also linked up to the British Mummy Bloggers’ January Blog Hop. You can follow the links to read a selection of funny, interesting and diverse posts from a host of brilliant bloggers.

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“I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy…”

*baby whinges. baby rubs his eyes*

ok, well if you can stay downstairs and be quiet while I put the baby to sleep, then you can have my undivided attention and we can do whatever you want

“I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy…”

well then just be quiet for five minutes, so I can put the baby to sleep

“No no NO my wake him up”

but if you give me a minute’s peace, you can have a whole hour

“I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy I want YOU Mummy…”

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The Gallery has returned from it’s Christmas break with a challenging theme… body parts. I thought of photographing my husband’s ankles: the skinny left ankle contrasted with the shattered, scarred right, bulging in odd places with metal plates and pins hidden under the skin. But the story of how he jumped over a wall when the baby was six weeks old, through to still being bothered by pains seven months on… it’s not much fun, and it’s mostly in the past now.

I thought of posting a picture of the baby feeding, and writing about how after three years of pregnancy, breastfeeding or both, ‘body parts’ doesn’t instantly conjure up cheeky, sexy images to me. I know the Gallery can be a place for emotional posts, but I think I’ll save that discussion for another day.

So, I give you… the body of a chubby, cheery, 8 month old baby.

I’m really looking forward to the other posts this week; you can check them all out here.

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Yesterday my Mum and I took my kids to the Great North Museum, or as I used to know it, the Hancock Museum in Newcastle. We had such a brilliant time that I wanted to tell you all about it.

I used to visit this museum as a child myself. I remember going with my grandparents, probably in the school holidays while my parents were at work. The images I have are of a large, dark building, filled with dusty cases of animals. The butterflies were pinned in orderly rows in glass cases all along the upstairs balcony. There was a ‘Noah’s Ark’ feature, with stuffed animals in jaunty poses around a painted ark, again all behind glass. There were some interactive elements 20 years ago: I remember being very taken with the brass rubbing plates, and I think we built some sort of Egyptian pyramid or casket. But there was nothing like the displays and facilities they have now.

The museum underwent a massive refurbishment starting in 2006 and finishing two years later, changing from the Hancock Museum to the Great North Museum as it incorporated collections from three other local galleries. The change is extraordinary.

Upon entering the first main hall, you’re faced with a huge display of animals from floor to ceiling. Birds are suspended from the roof as if flying through the air. Some of the animals are still behind glass, but many are out in the open. Squirrels scamper across the roof of display areas and a wolf prowls through the trees as if they’ve sneaked out of their cases. The staid and stuffy museum has really come to life and the clever arrangement does justice to the collected animals.

This shot shows some butterflies suspended haphazardly in the window of a house-like display area, as if they were fluttering by. Anyone studying the collection could see them just as clearly as if they were mounted neatly in a case, but for the casual viewer or for children, the innovative arrangement brings a sense of life and of the outdoors, putting the artefacts into context.

My two-year-old absolutely loved it. He was delighted by all the animals. His favourite exhibit, though, was a journey into the afterlife, Egyptian-style. In a darkened room, a ceiling projector cast images of snakes, feathers and fire on to the floor, depicting the various stages of an ancient Egyptian descent into hell. The voiceover went quite literally over his head, but he would happily have spent hours dancing around trying to avoid the snakes or catch the feathers on the floor.

He was also pretty impressed with the dinosaur.

One of my favourite parts of the museum was a little gallery tucked away at the side of the ground floor. It was a gallery about museums: about how and why we collect things, categorise them and preserve them. The objects in this gallery were really varied, from a selection of skulls arranged neatly on a shelf to a drawer of My Little Ponies. This gallery captured, for me, the spookiness and oddity of the original museum. Amazing as the ‘animated’ collections are, there’s something special about the sense of past, the sense of wonder at this world full of diverse stuff, that a formal, ‘scientific’ museum collection evokes.

I took lots more photos yesterday and there are a few more of them on my Flick page. Unfortunately they aren’t as good as I’d like; my excuse is that most were taken whilst wearing a large and wriggly baby on my front. I’d love to go back to the Hancock Museum myself and take some proper photos with a real camera – perhaps I should add that to my plans for 2011!

This post is linked up to Something for the Weekend at Thinly Spread, a weekly link-up with loads of ideas for things to do with the kids at the weekend. Take a look for a variety of posts from some great blogs.

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