Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fridge Fantastic!

After dropping Matt the Husband at the station this morning, where Grace dutifully waved him off through the window as he walked down the hill to the platform, we returned home for breakfast. Weetabix and yoghurt under our belt we set about a few chores in the kitchen. Like most families I should think, the door to our fridge is a host of reminders of things to do, art sent home from nursery or school, a few unpaid bills and of course the odd photo pinned up from earlier on in life. So it isn't suprising then that Grace shuffles herself across the tiles on her bottom to pull everything she can reach off.

Not this morning. I'm still getting over the cuteness of it now - turning round to see her merrily waving at a piccy of her Mummy and Daddy, and another one of her Nanny and Grandpa. Cute? Heck, it's super cute!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Lotherton Hall

Been a busy been bee with Buzz and Matt the Husband this fine bank holiday Monday. Up early and out for a walk at Temple Newsam estate with Daisy-woof so she could stretch her legs and we could enjoy the fresh morning air. Grace seemed to wake on the wrong side of bed this morning cheering up briefly for feeding the ducks and moorhens on the pond.

A dose of calpol later, we met with the Village Ladies at Lotherton Hall for our weekly jaunt and picnic. Husbands in tow today, we enjoyed our natter while the men pushed the buggies and got to know each other on their first meeting. Grace and her friends Scarlett and Berry were a picture as we made our way round the bird garden - the laughing kookaburra's had us all grinning and the babies clapping their hands with delight. It's a nice trip if you've never been and good value being included in the price of a pay & display ticket so make the trip if you can. We missed Emma and her little girl Grace today, not seen her for a few weeks as she's holidaying in Wales lucky Bee. Still, we'll have lots to catch up on when we see her.

So Matt the Husband is out for Monday night ice-cream for me as I write this, Grace is tucked up in bed, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow which with luck and the wind behind me will be another fine day. Night all! x

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Spot the difference!

What a difference a year makes. We were taking a pic of Grace with her first hair grip in this week and all of a sudden it brought home to me how much she has grown and developed. Sitting on her Daddy's lap just hours old she's so tiny even though she was a 'big baby' and here I am a short 12 months later putting in a hair grip and asking her opinion if she likes it. She doesn't answer me yet of course. Her repertoire remains limited to Dadadada and Babababa etc. But I chat to her nonetheless - it pleases me to ramble on as I go about my day and it seems to cheer Grace as she enjoys the interaction, albeit on a basic level. People on the high street surely think I'm crackers as I babble on and play racing cars with the buggy in the supermarket aisle. They're welcome to think what they think - I know I have a child who hasn't had a meltdown since she was in her first quarter, and I'm happy with that. I don't tire of looking at her, big blue eyes staring up at me, blinking, and I think to myself what I lucky devil I am. Love her to bits and she's mine, all mine.

Grace 4 hours old, August 2010.

Grace at 12 months, August 2011.

Grace 5 days old, August 2010.

Grace on the road, August 2011.

What a difference a year makes.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Potter Logic

For some time now, Gracie-bear has been hanging out at Grandma's house while I go to work and swan off to do Mummy things like swimming lengths. This combines nicely with nursery days and brings some balance to the week for Grace as well as keeping Grandma on her toes. We've worked hard with Grace to help her on her way to feeding herself, and as these pics show, she's even tackling the Big Five with finesse.

Tucking into one of her five a day

Reading a book with Grandma in between meals!

Lunch... with spready cheese (lump cheese on alternate weeks)...

Beans on toast! Yummy!

So yes, thanks to Grandma, Grace is growing up, Mummy is retaining a shred of her former life at work, and Grandma is busy keeping us all amused. What's your favourite type of cheese? Spready cheese :0)

Gotta love her x

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Out with the old...

Out with the old, in with the new... Grace's birthday haul has seen me searching for storage space high and low. I've said farewell to my oak tv unit and instead swapped it for an Ikea baby proof storage unit to accomodate toys, toot and the Tv remote. So while Matt the Husband sits in a clutter free lounge with his feet up flicking through the channels on a Sunday morning, I'm slaving away relentlessly with our old clutter getting it all listed on eBay to make the most of the free listing weekend. 113 items for sale later and I have developed an RSI.

Some of our favourite toys from little G's first year are moving on to new homes - so long, farewell olf friends!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Coming of Age

It's official. If motherhood wasn't signal enough for turning the corner and becoming a bona fide adult, then surely doing the grocery shop online is. Thrilling it might not be, my Friday evening has had a very riveting start as I'm sat watching the Channel 4 News and adding goods to a virtual shopping trolley at the same time. Gracie bear has had her supper after nursery and is singing herself to sleep (I can hear her) while Matt the Husband sends a few gallons of water to waste in a bid to get clean in the shower. I don't know if shopping for groceries online is going to be cheaper but it has done a jolly good job of stopping the impulse spends that aren't on the list - usually whatever is reduced in the fridge, maybe some new threads for Grace, probably a bar of choccy and a magazine for me. (Don't tell the Husband).

Evidently I wasn't shopping online when this photo was taken, although it does show I have already benefited from stuffing less goodies popped into the trolley at check out.
Of course, the diet had a rocky weekend with our friends visiting from Wales and the party for Grace (read gluttony). I am back on track as of tomorrow. I did think about taking the dog for a jog this morning when I woke early and of course you and I both know thinking about doing something and doing something are different matters entirely. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. One thing I do know - there will be as Asda van on the driveway at some point between 7 and 9pm. Night all!

First Birthday - a few pics

The cupcake mountain

The cake that Grandma made

The new playhouse unveiled

Sheli and Grace on the drums...

Laura and Canoe-matt opening pressies with Grace

Grace and Michael playing with Dolly

We took hundreds of pics on the day - some of them are on our flickr link so do take a look!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Birthday Belle: 1 year

Wow! Your birthday has come around so quickly Grace!

It's been a rollercoaster year, I won't lie to you! That said, I have cherished every moment and can't wait for the next. My raison d'ĂȘtre has emerged and I'm so grateful after all these years of searching for the perfect career path and I have found it completely by chance. We've had our ups and downs, our good days and bad, but we have always found patience with oneanother and for the first time in my life I can admit to having real peace - I want for nothing, I long for nothing as little G is here and she is everything I need. Matt the Husband is the same - he rushes home every night after work so we can all enjoy dinner as a family before taking Grace upstairs for bathtime, snuggles and bed.

We know we are very lucky. We are grateful.

Happy birthday little Buzz - we call her that - it's short for Buzzard... She eats anything.

In twelve months Grace has come a long long way... 12 teeth, size 4 nappies and a steadily growing 2 feet 8 inches tall! Weighing in at 21lb 6oz (pre-birthday cake), Grace is going strong. No real signs of movement on the crawling/walking front, although she's jolly good at sliding around on her bottom so she can reach the things she wants. Her favourite fruit is the blueberry, cereal is weetabix and favourite dinner is definately pasta or curry... spicy of course. All this goodness has made her stretch every item of clothing in the wardrobe and she is now reliably into size 2-3 years old, mainly as her legs are so very very long.

We had a wonderful day celebrating, more on that another day when I have more time. For now, Grace - one year old.

My favourite time of day - watching Grace wake up, refreshed, bright as a button and ready to take on the day with cheer...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

With furrowed brow

Birthday party planning has come to a standstill. The invite list is complete and I have had all the RSVPs. We're assuming the day will be sunny although the Met Office aren't especially supportive of this assumption. I have yards and yards of home made bunting, charcoal for a barbecue, a cake planned and yet if it piddles down with rain we will all be shoe-horned into the house to play squishy sardines (a rainy day version of dead lions if you're wondering). How on earth I figured I could fit 30 adults and 10 little nippers into the house if the weather was foul I have no idea. I must have been blinded by the Jones's again. My brow is furrowed.

The attempts at cake making have been... and gone... to Grandma's house. We bought silicone cake moulds spelling G R A C E, and we're hoping Grandma can succeed where we failed. Apparently the art of silicone moulds is to let the cake cool before you tip the cake out. Failure to realise this must be why Matt the Husbands efforts popped out looking like they'd had a run in with a combine harvester bless him.

The house this week is gradually coming under control - clean and tidy again after a period of mayhem. We have been concentrating our time on the garden and this has too been stemmed by the weather with both the shed and the play house being one coat of paint and a door knob short. People at the party will think the unfinished look is planned no doubt, that is what I am hoping.

The food is planned and shopping list written - I'm off to the store to accomplish that task after Grace is in bed tonight. Then that's it - planning over, birthday celebrations commence. Our good friends Laura and Canoe-Matt arrrive Friday night from Wales and from then on it's go go go until bed on Sunday. I have my jammies on the bed stand ready.

As you can see from this pic, Grace's teeth are coming through thick and fast - 8 fully in place and 4 more coming through at the moment amidst plentiful drool and doses of calpol. As for her snotty cold and cough, she slept better last night and is on the mend. Tea time this evening should be telling - if she clears the plate we're on the home straight to wellness. Fingers crossed.

So I'm at the end of the first week of frugal living. Enjoyed it and steaming on into week 2 - pleased to have had several NSD's (no spend days) this week and its a great feeling to be making a stance on taking the road to recovery. Money aside, as Grace's first year comes to a close I'm ignoring the budget at this fleeting moment in time and adding a little bottle of bubbly to the list for the party on Sunday. Check!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cold Turkey

Well life can be a sod sometimes. The hard drive on the Mac has given up the will to live taking with it all of our photos and my personal files. Shitty crap arse. I don't often swear on here but I am a tad wired and ready to chuck the bloody thing through the window. Luckily the favoured few are on our flickr page so we still have our life in pictures but it's still a bind and I'm angry. Lesson learnt, I will now keep the pics on the memory card as well. GRRRRRRRRRRR! (Angry Mummy!)

Cold Turkey week one is going well. I'm out of cash this week, but we have everything we need until the end of the week so we're on track. I was dead impressed with our shopping bill and to be honest seeing as we spent less, Grace was simpler to occupy as the trip round the store was quicker. Our weekend was spend-free too - walking both days with the dog, enjoying the fresh air and making the most of what's left of the summer season... we got soaked both days. We loved it though and after five hours even the dog was ready for an early night after a good feed.

My diet is on hold since Matt the Husband has been baking trial batches of goodies for Grace's up and coming birthday party. Shortbread, cake, flapjack. I'm suprised I can still move. I argue this is ok seeing as we spent so many calories walking at the weekend, plus I swam for an hour yesterday while Grandma Potter had Grace, so I'm even stevens. The scales say different, but I'm not bothered... muscle weighs more than fat ha ha ha!!!

Grace has been struck down with a stinker of a cold and her new batch of teeth are coming through thick and fast. She has been very cuddly as she struggles to keep on top of everything, dosed up on calpol and lots of rest. She's sleeping loads but the bags under her eyes tell the true picture. Fingers crossed this episode passes quickly.

Oh and get this - Grace can support her weight leaning against the sofa for a nanosecond. You heard it here first ;0)

That's us for now, keep well friends! x

Thursday, 4 August 2011

It's flown

A year ago today, I was waddling like a duck and tapping my fingers impatiently on the TV remote, swigging pineapple juice by the pint and hoping something, anything would trigger labour on my due date. Of course she was late - the early surefire sign Grace has genes from the Langers side of the family!

A year on I'm still waddling like a duck as I try to shift the baby-weight (10lbs down since I last mentioned it!!!), but nothing more exciting happening today than a meeting in a steamy office with no air-con while its 27c and thundery outside while Grace is having fun at nursery.

Today is a monumental day for me and Matt the Husband. We are going cold turkey. Not just on food and drink but on everything. See here today is the day we are going to step towards real wealth in a bid to be debt free. I have our family debt on a loop on my screensaver and the numbers scare me! I have cancelled all the unecessary direct debits and memberships we didn't truly need or rarely used. I have even taken little G out of nursery one day a week in an effort to become debt free that little bit quicker - a hard nut to swallow as I firmly believe nursery is valuable for so many reasons. But Grandma's are valuable too so there's an upside to everything.

I've snowballed on a nifty little calculator I found on a website called whatthecost, and it's many months, years, suns and moons until our debt, our mortgage is paid off.

I'm a woman on a mission, and nothing is standing in my way!

Just one bottle of Veuve Clicquot tonight while Matt the Husband is out on a work frolic and we're good. Pronto.