Monday, May 31, 2010

Keeping busy

I went to a stress management course a few years ago and determined that on one hand, it is important for each of us to accept and acknowledge all the many and varied strings to our bows that we attempt to pluck/strum/fiddle with simultaneously and therefore accept how very busy and clever we are to remain standing at the same time… On the other hand, though, I was shown how important it is to my sanity and sense of self to create a veritable cacophony with all the many and various strings I keep taut at any one time… Perhaps as long as you’re able to acknowledge all that you’re playing you will be more likely to hear whether you’re creating a tune or a ear-bleeder…

Right, that’s enough of that metaphor. Suffice to say, at the moment I’m torn between attempting to do nothing but be at one with my child and getting fun things done in order to make me feel that each day has been well spent.


It doesn’t help that the Boy is currently on nights and so I’ll be with the Tilster 24 hours a day until Friday lunchtime. To add insult to injury, on Saturday I will be co-hosting a table at a local craft fair and so perhaps, this week, I will attempt to focus on two tasks alone.


Being at ONE with a short-tempered and short-attention-spanned baby and MAKING STUFF in order to be able to hold my head high and my table FULL come the weekend.

Busy but focussed but chilled but happy but not over-stretched and not over-tired and not over-wraught…


In theory… 

Images of recent busy-ness – Nigella’s Black and White tart and a Tea Mitten Cosy for a gorgeous friend’s birthday pressie.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blue and bells

P1040158Spring is a funny thing. You wait all winter for the longer evenings, for the glimmer of sunlight that lengthens the days, for the signs and symbols that there is light and life beyond 3pm, for the chance to venture out without layers upon layers of woollen rigmarole…

P1040153I recall being sent to bed on a school night while the daylight remained strong, listening to the shrieks and delighted chattering of others who still enjoyed the sunshine. I recall vowing that when I was a ‘grownup’ I would savour those evenings and make sure that I would not waste the long days.

Now, though, the days seem to go on too long. The early nights that I yearn for are blighted by the bright light in our south-facing bedroom. The teething Tilly who moans and shrieks by day sleeps fitfully at night and her parents are left as broken shells who cannot speak, let alone frolick and play in the sunshine,. The 6pm watershed that marks the moment that the bottle of wine can be opened is, all too often, long in coming and bitter when it does arrive.

I am feeling blue.

And today, the memory of a beautiful weekend walk in the wooods is succeeding in keeping me a slightly brighter lavender blue rather than a bluey-grey.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mobility Issues

Hmmm…. I am reminded of the Friends episode (The One with the Stain) where Joey tries to convince Rachel that there is enough room in his apartment for the baby after it’s born:

No room? It’s a baby. It’s like this big. (Holds his hands about a foot apart.) Y’know, I mean you-you could you could put it over here. (A desk.) Or-or-or we could put it right here. (The chair.) Aw, it’s cute, right? Or-or we could put it over here. (By the bathroom door.) You wouldn’t even notice it. Where’s the baby? (Mumbles that it’s over in the corner.)

For the first five months of her life, Tilly was that (holds hands about a foot apart). If I left the room, she would be where I had left her, which, on more than one occasion, was the kitchen table, the bed, the rug and propped in the corner of the sofa cushions…

P1030799 We travelled to Washington DC last week to visit the Sis who departed there before Christmas and thus had not met the Tilster.

Tils was a model baby, despite jetlag and so much sightseeing activity, and the Sis is besotted.

So far, so soppy.

However, the one glitch in the plan was her sudden success at movement. My child is now a spinning top and cannot be left anywhere. Name a surface and I can guarantee you it will not be safe. The bed? No – she has [nearly] fallen from there to the floor… The floor? No – there are a myriad of dangers and perils awaiting the speedy steamroller including walls, tables, chairs, sofas and even soft toys, which interrupt her intended trajectory and send her speeding into said dangers even if she –and I- had thought she was going to avoid them.


Thankfully, the bedding plan worked for the duration of the week (strategically piled towels, a rolled yoga mat for bumper, all covered in a cot sheet) but had we travelled even a few days later I fear she would have been up and outta there quicker than a prison break!


There is nothing for it but to strap her to or in various objects in the hope that she does no longer term damage to herself.


When left to her own devices on the floor, she rapidly descends into a shrieking harpy who cannot decide whether she prefers to be on her front or back.

‘Tilly, if you don’t like it, you can roll over…’

This is taking some time to sink in.

One skill at a time… one skill at a time.

Pretty pictures of DC to follow – oh the knitting, oh the paper goods, oh the ‘old towns’…

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I know I’m biased but…


When she’s not screaming, she is pretty damn cute.


PS. It’s important to know that I photoshopped the above picture to remove the dangling bogey from her schnozzle. Parental delights know no bounds.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Admiration and Organisation

Have you ever had those moments where you realise that childhood experiences you COMPLETELY took for granted were in fact GARGANTUAN feats of planning and preparation on the parts of your parents and not, as you presumed, your god-given right as a small human being??


In trying to prepare for the much-anticipated trip-to-meet-her-Auntie, Tilly, the selfish wench, has entirely expected us, her thankless parents, to orchestrate her travel to and survival in Washington DC for the next 8 days. She hasn’t raised a single finger to offer assistance in the week long frenzy of washing, sorting, list-making and buying that has occupied our existence since Easter.

How my mother managed this on a regular basis (with a pilot dad and us living in the US with British family to visit, trans-Atlantic flight was a pretty regular occurrence in my childhood) with three/four children and often on unbooked, last minute seats scattered around the plane… I will never know.


We have sufficient muslins, babygros, milk powder and sunhats in small sizes to open a local nursery school, while the Boy and I are likely to wear the same three items of clothing on rotation for 8 days. We can only assume that the varying degrees of vomit, sweet potato and poop will single us out as ‘new parents' as well as ‘tourists’…

Oh hell.

The Boy has never been to the East Coast and is OBSESSED with the West Wing so I will be sending him on reccies to find President Bartlett while I wait in a variety of locations to see if Bradley Whitford may want to discuss important campaign issues with a young Mum with a beguiling accent.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Of purees and dribble…


Have plastic accoutrements…


Have pureed sweet potato…

20 April

Have a VERY messy baby…

Successes so far include broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato and BANANA in a big way.

Dried fruit with apple not so successful…

Carrot a complete write-off.

Ah well, live and learn…