Monday, 27 June 2011

Pushy Parents

Not in the realm of anything your kid can do, my kid can do better... and certainly not along the lines of baby ballet Monday, baby signing Tuesday, baby swimming wednesday, baby zumba thursday and so on and so on.... I'm referring to buggy fit. Or buggy flop as it turned out for me today - which peaked at 32c sometime late afternoon as I took cover in the haven that is an air conditioned car.

So what's pushy? The buggy silly!

We started off, Grace and me, by taking Daisy for a spin at Temple Newsam park where normally she would run crazy darting from place to place and generally giving herself a monster cardio session without much thought or effort from yours truly. Grace full from weetabix and yoghurt for breakfast conked out in the buggy and so I was left wheezing like a retired donkey as I pushed Grace up and down the hills while Daisy (much to my annoyance) reckoned it was too hot and simply plodded along beside us.

Job done, Grace and I headed down to Canon Hall near Barnsley where we met an old friend Amanda and her 19 month old daughter Brooke. (Note: Amanda is not old, but I have known her 18 years so it makes me at least feel old).
Last time I saw them both Brooke spent much of her time munching healthy snacks and generally babbling and smiling at anyone and everyone. Not much has changed - the first dog walker we met had to divert into the rhodedendron bushes to avoid the chatter - the second couple, older folk out in the park for a late morning stroll, were happy making baby talk and actually commented "you talk alot don't you?"... "yes" Brooke replied with a big smile. Cute child!!

Grace did good taking it all in and plotting how best to fast track her current capabilities to be able to chase Brooke across the grass and eat the little stones from the pathway, just like Brooke. And Brooke bless her was probably doing the same with Amanda and myself, since she took on role of Mummy and shovelled her own fromage frais into Graces mouth with a wobbly spoon and stole sips of drink from the water cup (just like Mummy does).

Anyway, back to the pushy parents - we took a nice walk round the park pushing the buggy's, some of it up hill, and I'm not sure it was the heat of the day that had my legs aching towards the end. UNFIT ALERT!!
I'm not bothered - I don't have time to be bothered - especially since I will try not to leave it six months before I meet up with Amanda and Brooke again.

Our work here is done....

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Jolly in June

Beautiful blue eyes... I'm keeping everything crossed that they stay blue!

Busy busy week this one! Matt the Husband has been on leave from work and we've been taking every opportunity to get out and about in the sunshine, Grace and Daisy-woof in tow. We've met up with the Aged Parents at a half way point near Lincoln for lunch which saw Grace grizzly with a fever and ear infection (since fixed by a wonderful GP and a bottle of drugs). Grace has learnt to bum-shuffle on the kitchen floor (albeit backwards) and has also been relishing the zinging of her taste buds with new additions to her menu such as gooseberries and dates.

The clock is ticking and we're making a mental note that somebody's B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y is not too far away now - wow, a year in the making! The reminder came when we went to Berrie's birthday party - one whole year since she came into this world, and Grace bless her is only seven short weeks behind her. Seven short weeks but the endless differences between their development are truly amazing to me. Berrie is just about tottering her way across the lounge, kneeling to open presents and generally commanding the stage as every good birthday girl should do. Grace on the other hand seems content sitting on her squishy little bottom, stretching for the odd toy and occasionally rolling over in her cot.... she's a girl that is going to like Sundays I think.

Bounding towards the camera at Berries 1st birthday party...

Talking of birthdays, Matt the Husband is predicted to go 100% grey in just the few short weeks between now and when Grace turns one sometime in August. A natural faff at D.I.Y he's spent two perfectly sunny afternoons pacing the grass in the garden scratching his head and wondering if he's bitten off more than he can chew.
Don't be silly (i hear you cry - he's a Langdale - good appetites them lot).
Seriously though, his comfort zone when it comes to D.I.Y is going through the self-service checkout at B&Q - doing it himself - not necessarily heavy graft, and certainly nothing that is due to be there in the garden for all to see for a very long time. Yes, he is in charge of PROJECT BIRTHDAY. Shhh, don't tell the baby, (and of course any donations for a bottle of 'just for men' can be sent to my paypal account).

Enough of my prattle - it's because Grace is in bed now and I'm writing this and watching a re-run of Coldplay on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2011 last night. Grace, for future reference - they are a very good band indeed.

What else did we do this week? We went swimming again (although it did take a fair amount of coaxing on Matt the Husbands part), visited the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and flitted around Yorkshire in the glorious weather making the most of our time together before work starts again tomorrow. Bar humbug. Anyway, happy June - the longest day has been and gone and it wont be long before I'm digging out the 10 tog duvet to keep us toasty at night - in the meantime, Grace is in her smalls tonight - its 27c in her bedroom as she sleeps - it's 9pm. Happy heatwave Yorkshire!!

The look on her face? Suncream tastes funny....

Refusing to give up the empty box of raisins...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Hi friends! I hope you enjoyed father's day as much as we did. Marking the first of many father's days to come we started off with a morning trip to the local swimming pool. This speaks volumes as only once before in the history of Matt the Husband and me have I known the hairy beast to strip down to his shorts and take a dip. It's a long story and I'm not going to go there today, just take it from me that Matt + Swimming pool = ACHIEVEMENT!

Grace hasn't been swimming for a while as we've been so very busy getting into the swing of life now I'm back at work but we're planning on making it a regular thing now Matt the Husband has his water wings out of the closet. Grace took a while to warm up but a few songs from her Daddy to get her in the mood had her giggling and waving her arms about like the crazy child she is. For me it was a nice excuse to rattle off a few lengths and it felt good!

In the afternoon we took Daisy-woof for a long walk through the woods and across the meadows on the outskirts of Leeds. The rain held for us and the sun came out which made a wonderful end to a wonderful day.

Here's the card that Grace made....
You can't quite make it out on the photo but there are some very random crayon scribbles on the grill of the car - clever bear!

A little father's day prayer inspired by our local church -
Celebrating fathers today. For the joys and privilege of fatherhood, we give thanks to God our heavenly Father.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Cotton Eye Grace

My beautiful, beautiful girl - 10 months young as we speak. Dressed by Matt the Husband for a public appearance at Honley Country Show last weekend, he somewhat suitably dug out a country-looking outfit complete with denim dungarees and sun hat which left her looking like a hay bale slinging cow girl from the farm, oo arr oo arr.

Believe it or not this photo of Grace with Charlie is taken on the same day - typically inclement weather that day - sunshine enough to leave the bridge of my nose a little scorched, rain heavy enough to have us running for cover and wind windy enough to be looking to the dog looking for someone or something to blame....

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Step away from the bowl!


Gracie having a thoroughly cracking time at the breakfast table - getting to grips with a bowl of yoghurt.

Not bad for ten months when one considers this is the first time she's had anything in her hair!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Flying the nest

Not Grace - me.

I'm having a peculiar day. A good friends' Father once said I was a peculiar girl, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that I am having a peculiar day. Weird weird weird.

I am leaving Grace for the first time for, not just a few hours, but for 3 nights as I trot off to Madrid for work. We've spent the whole weekend together, me and the little lady, and I have to say I don't much feel like leaving her behind. Pocket size as she may be at the moment, I doubt Grace would fit or go unnoticed in my little case, since she is already taller and noisier than the worlds smallest man - Junrey Balawing from the Philippines, standing a mere 56cm tall. (Grace at last count was about 65). So as it stands I will be leaving her behind with Matt the Husband, Daisy-woof and a list as long as my arm of things I think are important (but to most are probably pointless and unnecessary twaddle) as I fly off to a very nice hotel in Spain for a two day conference on Business Continuity Management, thank you very much.

It's not that I am worried that Grace will go without while I am gone - Matt the Husband dotes on her. But a mother is a mummy... and Gracie needs her Mummy.

We had a wonderful day together today and I am sad to be going away.
A late Sunday morning breakfast of bacon on warmed ciabatta with a rather large dollop of ketchup followed by a mid-morning snooze that embarassingly took over much of the day seeing us wake a little after 1pm. After a rather late picnic lunch at the park, we enjoyed a wonderful sunny walk with D-W bouncing through the wild grasses with Grace chattering and giggling up on her perch on her Daddy's back.
Grace and I then had a particularly indulgent afternoon cat nap, snuggling in the double bed together while Matt the Husband made another bumbled attempt at DIY downstairs. It's the first time since the London Marathon weekend we have fallen asleep together, my heartbeat soothing her to sleep while her fluffy chicken hair (which is getting thicker by the day) tickled my nose... I wish to God those moments could happen more often - life is too busy and it's rare we can just BE.
A little magic later we ate together as a family, as we always do in the evenings, before Grace had her bathtime and bedtime routine.

It's her first night in her new lowered mattress cot - she's rolled over twice this weekend, which is a new trick for her, so we have moved the mattress level down so there is no risk of her pulling herself up and over. Bless her heart, when we put her to bed this evening she was dozing after a bottle of milk as she always does, but looking quizzically from side to side thinking to herself - I know this is my bed... and yet I know something has changed. She melts my heart.

In a nutshell then, I'm leaving my baby girl for the first time. I love her to the moon and back, Mummy's little button.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Toothy pegs

You might have noticed Lady Grace is sprouting teeth faster than my garden sprouts weeds... and that's fast by anybody's standards. We have been brushing since spotting the first berg back at Christmas only now we are spending more time on it as her smile fills out.

On last count this morning we had 8 mountain peaks. Two minutes of brushing seems like a long time, so we're singing the Brushing Song that I found surfing on google. We sing it to the tune of Row Your Boat and lucky for us, that is one of her ladyships favourties. We try to make the bathroom routine fun so I thought I'd share...

Brush, brush, brush your teeth, at least two times a day.
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, fighting tooth decay.

Brush, brush, brush your teeth, every single day.
Gently, gently, gently, gently, whisking Plaque away.

Rinse, rinse, rinse your teeth, every singly day.
Swishing, swishing, swishing, swishing, fighting tooth decay.

I believe it wont be long before Grace takes over the brush herself - we let her dabble now and apart from blobbing the toothpaste all over her face and popping the handle in her mouth in the meantime, she's doing pretty well. I imagine she'll master it a long while before she masters the words to the song. A bit like Matt the Husband in a way, only different. He can grasp the words, it's the tune that eludes him :0)