Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Happenings

Gripping on for dear life, Grace has taken to her feet and wants to walk, a lot. Crooked backs and lumbar pain has become par for the course as has a gaping cleavage if one dares to stoop with a flimsy T on. At the same time as Grace is advancing, Matt the Husband has gone through regression and is merrily reliving his childhood. Carving pumpkins, getting giddy over crispy autumn leaves and tugging at my apron strings asking if the pumpkin scones are ready to eat. Much to my amusement, he's discovered pumpkins are hollow and filled with seeds. Cue more amusement at the image of him bending half of his Mothers steriling silver spoons trying to hollow out a Turnip some 25 years ago. Turnip lantern. Has a ring to it, doesn't it?

Sticking with the americanisms of pumpkins for Halloween, we chowed down on pumpkin soup tonight under lantern light as Daisy-woof fended off a steady stream of trick or treaters.

Here are some of my favourite pics from the last few days...


Gracie-pumpkin by Little Bambini
Gracie-pumpkin, a photo by Little Bambini on Flickr.

Hanging out for Halloween with her buddies Scarlett and Berry (both little witches today!)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Freedom Friday 28/10/2011

A spot of dog walking in the morning sunshine. A spot of lunch with the ladies. And a play date with a hottie three months Grace's junior. What more could a Mummy want for a Friday?

Grace with Sheli and Ethan-the-hottie

Looking very country mid-west sporting a napkin bib

Grace 14.5 months old

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Post-natal depression

This picture captures perfectly how I'm feeling... dead end.

Autumn chill? Not in Norfolk!

Apparently there is a north south divide afterall. On a night when we return from work to find the house at a chilly 14c/57f, I get a text from my Aged Pops boasting he is in SSSV&S. At 77 going on 100, Dad has more abbreviations under his belt that your average street hoody. My Husband has given up trying to de-code these messages when they come through, although for me I seem to know precisely what he means (it must be because we're related)... simples.

SSSV&S? Short sleeve shirt, vest and shorts.

It's 71f in his sitting room, apparently. He does confess to having a cardigan on as the evening draws on, and a blanket over his knees. Lucky him.

In Yorkshire, we're flicking the heating on for a quick burst while I cook dinner, sipping Peppermint tea to keep warm and hoping Grace doesn't wriggle out of her sleeping bag in the night and wake up with her nose frozen to the bedsheet where she's dribbled.

We're pretty tight when it comes to heating. Well, I am. My Husband is Mr Frosty and would have the thermostat set to 70f all day long. I overruled him. told him to layer up and bought him longjohns to ram the message home.

BRRRRRRR! Winter is coming.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Colouring at Chiquitos waiting for Burritos...

Patient as a lamb, Grace made some marks with crayons kindly provided by the restaurant. She ate half a green one, followed by nachos, chilli beef burrito and shredded duck chimichanga. You go girl! x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

EU Party Poopers!

Children blowing up balloons? "...not anymore and they will be safer for it."
What a load of cobblers.

Now I work in Health & Safety, for my sins, but having just read the latest EU regulation to hit our shores in the Telegraph online, I can fully see why my dear old Dad thinks the profession is barmy and it's all just a political ploy to make money out of us. (Yes, he's anti-EU before you ask).

I'm not anti-EU, per se, nor am I convinced health and safety is a ploy to make money out of the common folk. But when some white-collared dickhead in Brussels decided children under 8 are no longer permitted to blow up a balloon at a birthday party for fear of death-by-rubber, I fear the world, not just the EU is going crackers.

Alas, it's not just the common party balloon to take the hit. Teddy bears intended for hugging by the under three's will now have to be machine washable to prevent the risk of bacterial or disease transmission from the nasty nightly dribble from your precious little bairn.

Talk about micro-managing our next generation.

Forget blowing a party popper at Christmas or New Year if you're under 14 and unsupervised. The Big Brother EU are watching you, and you might get your arse whipped if you don't follow the guidance. Forget 'nanny state', it's more like 'fanny state'. So how will you know if it's 'safe' for your child to play with? The packaging of course will be clearly labelled with suitable and sufficient warnings. I wonder if colouring books will come carrying the warning of 'risk of paper cut'???

Don't get me wrong, I'm pro-safety and I'm sorry to learn of the number of children who choked to death on a latex balloon in the world last year. But parents must be allowed to take responsibility for the choices they make in parenting, and provided we're informed and aware of the risks, do we really need to have warnings branded all over?


Lovely lentils!

The heatwave we enjoyed last week seems to be something of a distant dream. I've gone from trotting around in flipflops and leggings to digging out the fleecy jumpers and hovering a finger over the central heating 'ON' button. Of course I have refrained, being frugal and all, though I do confess it's been a temptation. Grace is enjoying a revival of the cardi's and jumpers that haven't seen daylight since our week in Wales and we've upgraded her sleeping bag to 2.5 tog.

I made a scrummy lentil curry for supper last night. It's one of Grace's favourites and it's a real belly warmer. I tend to save it for nights when I'm in a rush - you know the ones, just in from work and running around like a blue arsed fly trying to get a meal on the table in the hour between getting home and Grace having an overtired meltdown.

Add to a non-stick pan, red lentils, vegetable stock, diced onion, 4 cloves of garlic (yes really), a tin of chopped tomatoes, and as much or as little curry powder as you like. We like it medium so we use a heaped teaspoon full. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft, it looks done and tastes ready. Dead simple and simply tasty served with fluffy white rice.

Let me know what you think if you try it.

Grace loves feeding it to herself. She bashes the spoon on the bowl for a while, trys to scoop some up. She then holds the spoon out for Mummy to do one, by which I mean loading the spoon and handing it back to her. We carry on like this and she's thrilled to be feeding herself. Mummy's little star.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Flash Cards

There are two schools of thought on teaching babies early. Those who think it's a great opportunity to embrace the early years ability to absorb information effortlessly, and those who feel it in some way stops children from being children. It's a highly personal decision. For me, it's about having fun with Grace, and if I can make this educational then that's great. Let's go!

I've been doing some reading on the BrillBaby website and there's heaps of good tips on what to do, when to do it and what to avoid. Obviously being a pushy parent, Grace has a full timetable set out and we're going to test her at the end of phase-one brain-training. Joke... we're keeping it light.

I've printed off some flashcards from BrillBaby, simple colours, animals and other things we see on a day to day basis. We flick through the cards at quite a pace, maybe one card every 1-2 seconds; the speed keeps her interest and it's said thats the optimal rate for learning at her age. I read the title out as she see's the card. Over time I'll start to flip the card over so she can see the word straight afterwards - it suggests this on the website. We do 3 sessions a day when I'm home, usually when she's fresh and fit for activity - when she's fed and watered and not tired. After breakfast is a great session - she's almost grabbing the cards out of my hand to get to the next one.

Anyway, have a look at the website, see what you think. Grace is enjoying it, so I'm in the
it's a great idea

If you click on the header for this blog you can go straight to the Brillbaby website where I downloaded the flashcards from.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Freedom Friday (7/10/11)

Thank heavens it's Friday. It's been a long week, the same seven days as normal, but a long one nonetheless. I've been to Manchester twice on business, hobnobbed with men from Mars, and grunted my way round not one but two health and safety inspections. Life is clearly RAMAMATAZ in Yorkshire!

Freedom Friday couldn't have come soon enough. Thank heavens it's Friday... Freedom!

Grace and I started the day being super nice to Daddy by driving him to the office instead of the train station. After a good rough and tumble at playgroup we headed home for lunch and a nap. I slept well - I assume Gracie-bear did too as I didn't hear a peep out of her until around 3pm. Sun shining and dog bouncing off the walls, we decided to take a stroll along the canal to stock up on our vitamin D before winter takes hold.

Collecting acorns and conkers, Grace was far too busy being at one with nature to even look at Mummy taking a photo.

At 10 pence short of 14 months old, Grace is developing a firm mind on what she will and wont do... looking towards the camera for instance.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lightening Langers

Matt the Husband is many things. Talented guitar and bass musician. Hardy marathon runner. Skilled lawnmower-er. Passable fudge-it DIY-er. Excellent bun-baker, and rather good at paint-by-numbers dinner cooking. He can even turn his hand at household chores.

One thing he is not, is fast.

Last night Grace and me were home alone while Matt the Husband stayed over in London on a course for work on hunting down nasty misters who carry out fraud. I worried the end of day routine would be long and protracted, slow and stressful with one less pair of hands available to get dinner cooked, Grace fed, bathed and to bed. We usually eat together the three of us, then Matt the Husband does bath and bedtime routine with Grace while I clear up the kitchen, do some tidying and get things ready for the next day.

Suprised was I then when I out my feet up in front of the TV with a little glass of vino.... not later than normal... but actually half an hour earlier.

Help or Hindrance? What camp is your Husband in??

Monday, 3 October 2011

Holding Court

Out this morning with the Village Women, Grace seems to be telling a tale in this pic I took this morning. Her friends Grace, Berrie and Scarlett look like they are captivated by her as she sits grinning like a monkey.
We had a splendid walk around the RSPB centre at Fairburn Ings - very peaceful on a manic Monday.