Monday, 21 January 2013

Snowy days...

We have been snowed in here for the past few days. It has got heavier and heavier. I am a big fan of the snow and will happily play out there for some time so was pretty disappointed when Mabel wanted in after about 10 minutes. Something about being cold and that the snow was so deep it kept going down her boots and she couldn't use her hands to help build my our snowman due to her gloves not fitting very well. I got a look from G Kisby at my suggestion that she needed to man up a bit. 
However, I too have been cursing the snow today for a number of reasons.

1. G Kisby is on holiday this week and we had plans. Plans to go out on a cheeky lunch date whilst Mabes was in nursery (we had Wilf but managing one child now seems simple, obviously. Curses to hindsight). Plans to get things done that have been on our jobs list for months. Plans to go on some fun days out. Not plans to stay indoors for yet another day.

2. Mabel has decided that now might be a good time to start acting like a true two year old. Today we had to use the 'thinking step' for the first time (we have been saving it) due to a kicking incident. I asked G Kisby afterwards how we were going to cope with her internal anger issues (thought it was a good time not to be over dramatic). She has started bearing gritted teeth when she gets frustrated. Alfie (cousin with whom she shares certain attributes) used to make a very funny 'claw' with his hand in similar situations. I can hear Fee now saying, "put the claw away" as we struggled not to laugh. Hmm, not so funny now. I just long for the days when not everything was a negotiation. 
Like butter wouldn't melt
This morning G Kisby heard me from the other room negotiate for some time on how many pairs of socks she could bring downstairs. He followed me down shortly afterwards to see pretty much every pair she owns on the sofa. He literally wet himself (delirious laughter) as I tried to justify my weakness. You gotta choose your battles man (is what I said...weakly, before gearing up for my next internal battle not to beg her to come over for a nappy change). 

3. We are all going a little bit delirious from too much time inside. Yesterday we found ourselves both doing a full on dance to 'jitterbug boogie' much to Mabel's amusement. Then this morning over breakfast I found myself 'acting out' the story of Goldilocks over breakfast in the kitchen. She has a new CD in the car (thanks Grandma) which she is very much enjoying, full of your classic tales. G Kisby mentioned he had enjoyed Snow White and the 7 dwarfs. I tried to persuade him to act it out. Ha, the very thought of that still makes me laugh. Wilf laughs at anything (in fact sometimes nothing at all, which makes me question whether he really does find me funny or is in fact humouring me).

Even Mabel has reached a new level of strange. She hates it when Wilf cries ("don't we all" I tried to explain). Quite sweet actually since normally she runs over to "check baby Wilf o.k" (shouted in his face, normally accompanied by a toy shoved under one of his chins). Apart from over the last few days she has started to do a 'mooooo' noise constantly when he does, almost to try and block it out I assume, At one point on Friday, when G Kisby was at work so I had no other adult, the 'mooo' noise went on for so long I almost decided to make my own noise, along with perhaps a rocking action. Then I realised this was in fact close to being actually crazy so instead decided it might be a good time to do some other inappropriate activity, like say painting. 

So come on snow...melt God dam it. I am worried for my sanity...

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Back to my old ways...

Last week we had a lovely trip out to Eureka with one of Mabel's favourite friends Belinda and her equally lovely Mum Jodie. Now the trip went without incident, strange since pretty much every time Jodie and I venture out together we have some sort of drama. 

We have had two blood injuries from falling. On one of them we were at a sand pit where another Mum (who had obviously witnessed Mabel fall) commented, "oooh that looks sore" to which I replied, "oh no I think she just got a fright, the redness on her mouth is her teething". About 5 minutes later when I looked at her face on I realised she had a great big shiner starting. Oops, yes yes, that does look sore. We have also given them both heat rash from over exposure to the sun and almost got stranded at the bottom of a large hill walk back to the car with me fairly pregnant and very tired. 

So I was amazed by the recent trip. Perhaps things were taking a turn for the better.

Turns out the drama was just delayed. And since it then occurred in Jodie's absence it leaves me worried about who is the root cause of said incidents. 

The first drama happened on a very cold walk feeding the ducks at the park. Mabel was in a particularly challenging mood and after refusing to get back into the pram after a go on the swings she then twisted her body pretty much out of the straps that I had forced her back into. So I (we) compromised that she could get back out again to feed the ducks for a second time (I had no more bread but thought this a minor issue). 
Keeping my word we headed back to the pond and she was fairly happy pretending to feed them and kick leaves in her wellies. I was happy to watch and supervise. Wilf was not happy to sit still in the pram getting ever colder and chose to express this with a large wail.

My explanation for why she needed to hop back into the pram so we could return to the car was met with disdain. I had nothing in the locker to negotiate with, having used up all raisin packets on some earlier incidents, probably at Eureka!

So, noticing that a steep little path went 'off road' through the bushes back to the car (a short cut) I persuaded her that we should go the 'secret way' back and that she could walk. And so I sent her up first. Minutes later I was reminded just how not 'off road' the pram was as I struggled to get it up said muddy path. Mabel, in front wearing too big wellies, started to slip. 
"Keep going" I tried, keeping my voice calm
"I fell over" came the reply as she was by now pretty much trying to crawl up the hill on her hands and knees in the mud.
"Don't worry, keep going, it's just a bit of mud", slightly less calm since the pram wheels were now getting well and truly stuck in said mud and I couldn't get round to help her
"Carry?" came her cry
"The pram is just getting a bit stuck Mabes, You need to keep going.."
She obviously heard the slight panic in my voice and as such stood up from her attempt to crawl up the hill and looked back at me only to start to lose her balance and do that comedy arm roll when you try to regain it. Behind her, on the stupid secret tunnel of a path, were holly bushes.
"Wo Mabes" I shouted, not exactly sure how this was going to help.
I literally watched in slow motion, with the pram stuck in the flaming mud rendering me completely unable to save her, as she almost fell backwards into a holly bush. It was gonna literally be my first test on which child do you save.

Luckily she regained her balance and continued to plough on. I managed to dislodge the pram in my panic to move forward so could follow on until we reached the clearing of grass at the top. What was I thinking?

The second incident involved yet more mud in the form of a puddle. Lets just say we were very glad our more organised friends had wipes in their pram to help us out. She was very brave after this one. No tears (possibly because I had trouble controlling my laughter, how wrong is that), she just looked bemused. O.k maybe shocked is a more appropriate word.

So yet again I have learnt some lessons (or not).

Wilf meanwhile had a lovely time at the weekend watching bubbles with his gorgeous pal Monty (who notably is 7 months old, no difference in size that I can see. No Wilf is not bigger, it is just the angle of the camera)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Where has 2 months gone?

Just a quick update on Wilf turning 2 months old. Yes I realise that this was now nearly 2 weeks ago. Here is the monthly photo (stupidly he is wearing the same baby grow as last month so that will be confusing). The second picture is blurred but check out our chunky boys smile. Mabel pointed to him today and said, "two chins". To be fair we were naming body parts, it wasn't an unprovoked attack on his appearance. She was right though. In fact I could see three.

He is still the most gorgeous of babies. He has started going to bed at 7.30pm with Mabel this week and (touch wood) sleeps through 'till 4am ish. He chuckles, especially when sat in front of a mirror, and loves having a bath (which we have to give him slightly more often than we'd ideally like because he has the clammiest hands and feet that collect clumps of fluff). 

On a different note I was thinking this week about to what degree your expectations as a parent impact upon their lives. I think because I am really conscious of the whole 'second child' thing and making sure Wilf isn't at a disadvantage. I wondered if I am almost suggesting already that he won't be as academic as Mabel or won't develop as quickly because he doesn't have the 1-2-1 attention. And if I am expecting that will there be some self fulfilling prophecy? 
Though there are clearly benefits too from being the second, definitely in that we are more confident in our parenting decisions (try things out with Mabel, watch as they largely go wrong, improve them for Wilf).

I find the whole nature nurture debate just fascinating. Mabel is really good at literacy. Is it just a coincidence that we are both that way inclined, is it genetic or have we influenced her in the focus we put upon reading and writing on a day to day basis? Needless to say there are now numbers on our fridge! As we have both found, doing English as a degree is not quite as lucrative on the job front as say, medicine. 

Anyhow I have decided to stop thinking about all of the 'second child' talk and just focus on ensuring that both get all the support and attention they need to be whatever they want to be. I want them to believe there is nothing they can't achieve if they want to. 

That's what going for a long walk on a cold but gorgeously sunny day me too much time to reflect!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

No holiday blues for me...

Apparently. Short shrift yet again from the husband on this front. And actually I have too much to do / look forward to anyway. I have a birthday in a few weeks, Mabel turns two at the end of January and G Kisby has another week off work - hooray.

So Christmas was lovely.
Mabel didn't really get it, though told people "Father Christmas chimney and ate all snack " with particular emphasis on 'all snack'. Thinking she might have been more concerned that he had eaten the chocolate rather than any present recollection (she has stalked, literally, anyone who has food this christmas in the hope of finding chocolate).

When she arrived downstairs on Christmas Day morning she was slightly perturbed by the blanket we covered her Peppa Pig toys with (we didn't bother wrapping everything since we realised taking paper off was short lived fun for someone under two. There is no hope for Wilf if we are cutting these corners with our first I realise). But we got some good video of her excitement at revealing her gifts. And even more excitement when eating a chocolate croissant for breakfast (she ate so much she was then sick before we had even left the house - bad parents).

Wilf ate and dozed and was generally just a little fat bundle of gorgeousness.
They both slept fine in their pop up cot tents at Grannies and I even got one full night sleep through, amazing. Mabel was obsessed with her older cousins and early mornings were a challenge to stop her standing at Grannies door saying, "go upstairs see the boys". On repeat.

We ate, played constantly, relaxed (relatively, child to adult ratio was a dream), ate some more and revelled in how lucky we are (G Kisby surprised me with a very cool watch and a kindle, I was very smiley it has to be said). Just some of the amazing food included the legendary Boxing Day ham and a very special desert from Grandad Kisby:

Then for New Year we had two of our best friends round for dinner. Four courses including amazing baked eggs and venison. We opened some champagne to toast the New Year, alongside Wilf's birth (yes I do appear to be gripping the glass - I have drank very little for such a long time so was perhaps concerned G Kisby was going to swoop in and offer to finish mine for me).

I got back to my old self on the games front and designed a, "minute to win it" competition. Too funny being the sober one watching others try and get a chocolate from forehead to mouth without using their hands. We even managed to see midnight (admittedly by this point everyone was drinking water or tea). 

Amy then happened to mention to me the annual yearly planning quadrant she has Matt doing, 'health, home/finance, hobbies and career'. They do say having a plan means you are much more likely to achieve it. Unfortunately for G Kisby I have taken on this idea with gusto and had planned to have us do it last night. Fortunately for him I am also still v tired so ended up in bed by nine without so much as a pen to paper. Hoping that isn't an indication of the next 12 months.

So it is on to taking the decorations down (I hate this bit), writing thank u cards and getting back to my fitness regime to try and retrieve all my previous good work. Just wish someone would remove the left over Roses tin, I don't even like the Brazilian Darkess ones yet I keep eating them. What is with that...