Friday, 27 May 2011

Dear So and So....

I’m long overdue some post card therapy, a la Kat’s Dear So and So party. So with a flourish, here goes:

Dear Kitchen Floor,

Well, we’ve developed quite the relationship. If someone told me a year ago I’d spend my days crawling around and rubbing you down with a baby wipe daily I’d have told them to go jump out a window. Little did I know what the aftermath of LLC dinner-time would bring.

I stand corrected,

Servant Mama


Dear Oblivious I-pod Wearing Pretty Young Thing,

When you’re crossing the road next to a mother with a stroller, don’t cut her off as you reach the sidewalk. I admit, I don’t always walk straight but your veering antics managed to barricade us from the sidewalk just as the traffic started to move. Lucky for us the commuters weren’t in too much of a hurry.

Bring some reality into your reverie,

One cross mother


Dear Inch Blue / Robeez / See Kai Run baby children’s shoe manufacturers,

Bloggers and friends recommended you to me and now I see why. Why are your children’s shoes so adorable? Are you trying to wreak havoc with my bank balance? We just managed to buy LLC her first pair of outdoor shoes today. They cost the same as a pair of sandals I purchased for myself, however they’ll last her for 3 months where my sandals will probably last me three years. And you now offer me a fine host of both indoor and outdoor shoes, which are not all pink?!

Where’s my debit card,

A girl who can’t afford to shop like this


Dear telemarketers,

When are you going to call up and say that you can save me some money? And do you really think you’ll win my custom calling at dinner-time?

Save your breathe,

You lost this Customer


Dear Jamie Oliver,

I don’t know who at your empire came up with this bath milk, but it is pure bliss. LLC is not the only one who likes a good bath around here, and you have made my last evening soak all the more enjoyable.

Loving it,

One clean, calm lady


Dear LLC,

What a surprise to find that strange video on my phone. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but then I realized it was the palm of your hand as you went about your business, chatting on my mobile. At least it wasn’t an international call. And you did sound so cute!




Dear Fairy Hobmother,

You visited me from Appliances Online, who sell cookers, dishwashers (ahhh I wish) and pretty much every major appliance under the sun to surprise me with £10 Amazon voucher, and I love Amazon! Hopefully you will pay another visit to one of the readers who comments on this post.

Thanks again,


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Back from the brink

At times like this I’m my own worst enemy
Why did my inner demons come out to play?
To dither and scold
To time waste and wallow
To tie my hands and mind as time ticked away

On the losing side of life’s tug of war
My confidence stumbled and fell
To unanswered emails and unfinished writing
Sink full of dishes and work tasks piling
A sense of defeat was difficult to quell

Why haven’t I
Migrated this blog
Made those homemade rusks
Written that novel I’ve been brewing
Pressed flowers with LLC
Mailed my already overdue cards
Planted some vegetables in the garden
And on and on and on.........

And why does everyone else
Seem so much more creative, crafty and put together than me?
And how does everyone else
Find the time?
Maybe they just get on with things and be?

I shouldn’t compare
But sometimes I do
I should take more productive action
Not get lost in futile, thought
That thwarts progress and leaves me to stew

Then I hear her
Then I see her
A drunken run
Then I come up for air
From my inner doldrums
And she hugs me tight
And brings me back to reality

Reminds me of what I have achieved
And all I have to give
As a woman in my own right
As a positive example for her
If I’d just get on and live


After all, we are in the process of buying a new house, I was recently paid a nice compliment by my boss following some successes at work, Chris was thrilled with the birthday card LLC and I finger painted for him and LLC and I managed to make it back to the pool this week for a swim together. Life is good and I won’t lose sight of that.

Maybe it was just one of those days?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Night Terrors

The high octave of her cry jolted us from sleep. I picture whispers in black and white; this sound surged in red hot color yet made me shiver at the same time. This was not the quiet cry of a sleepy bad dream, this was pure terror.

Our lethargy evaporated and we made for her crib where she sat shaking, face contorted fear, shrieking. We scooped her up, attempting to hold her close but she refused the comfort of our cuddle. As if possessed, she stared straight ahead, lips quivering and then parting into a scream every several seconds.

I waved my hand in front of her delicate, trembling face but she stared through it, eyes open though clearly not awake. Our hearts pounded with adrenaline, worry and fear. It was unsettling to see her in the trance of so gripping a nightmare. How to ward it off without startling her? Cue gentle back rubbing, shh shh shh sounds and soft murmurs of “It’s okay LLC.”

And then, her screams stopped as suddenly as they started. Her eyes re-focused on us and she smiled, and returned our cuddle. She soon went back to bed only to wake three hours later in a similar state, after which she spent the rest of the night in our bed sleeping soundly.

I’d class this, as they in the UK, as a night terror. I don’t think we use this term in the States but I’m not sure. But it was certainly a nightmare of the highest proportions.

Do children’s dreams derive from their experiences / perceptions? Did something happen during the day that unsettled LLC? I don’t know but I hope we don’t we don’t have to investigate this again anytime soon.

Have you ever had a run in with the night terrors?

Monday, 16 May 2011

Trip, Teeth, Tears, Toddling, Time...

We’re fresh off a holiday to South Wales with Chris’ folks and I feel much refreshed for it. The end of April was a fun but busy muddle and it was invigorating to step away from daily life and into the undulating serenity of the Welsh coast. We stayed in a self catering cottage near to Llansteffan, which lacked both mobile phone reception and Internet access (shock, horror fellow bloggers!).

It was actually pretty refreshing to switch off from all online activity and chill, potter, read, explore the beautiful area and enjoy each other’s company away from every day stresses. The cottage where we stayed was very clean and well maintained, so if you are considering a venture to this part of the world let me know and I’ll pass on the details.

Aside from relaxing, here’s what we got up to:

This part of the Welsh Coast is full little gems and following Easter and April bank holiday madness it was fairly un-crowded. Some of my highlights included a cliff/cave walk from Wiseman’s Bridge to Saundersfoot, walking with LLC in the water along the beach at Tenby (a delightful town full of mostly non-chain shops) and climbing up the ruins of the castle at Dinefwr. Llansteffan beach had a pokey looking fish & chin van that produced the finest of chips (when it was open), and there was a sheltered children’s playground with a unique see-saw-esque structure that I really enjoyed (picture to come). One evening Chris and I took a walk along Llangsteffan Beach around to Scott’s Bay. Overlooked by the mighty ruins of Llansteffan Castle and edged by deceptively serene mud flats for as far as the eye could see, this part of the beach remained hidden from the ocean and an all encompassing whooshing sound, similar to that you get when putting a sea-shell to your ear, were our only signs of the nearby sea. Magical.

Teeth & Tears
LLC’s first bottom right molar popped through right after we arrived in Wales, but by mid-week she had three more teeth cutting through her gums. We’ve been really lucky to date with teething but as multiple larger teeth made their entrance LLC clearly felt the rub. She kept sucking on her finger, drooling a bit and crying. She wasn’t herself and was clearly in pain. I had a little tube of Dentinox in my handy dandy bag of baby lotions and potions, but this wasn’t really doing the trick. In the end I visited a pharmacy in Tenby where they suggested I try Ashton & Parson’s teething powder. I had a few friends mention this is the past so we tried it and that, along with some cold cucumber and much loving from all parents and grandparents gradually did the trick.

Since my last post about knee walking, LLC has been feet walking more and more, but still regularly speeding around on her knees. This changed when we arrived in Wales. Like the flick of a switch, she started more regularly toddling around and for the first time, seemed to suss that she could move just as quickly on her feet as on her knees. I took this moment to take her to a local children’s shoe store to have her fitted for shoes (when we went about 2 months ago her feet were only size 1 and too small for all the Clarks and Start-Rite shoes.) It transpired though her feet have grown, they are still too small for most of the shoes on the market. Has anyone else had this problem? If you have any suggestions of where I can source small shoes (or should I just wait) that would be great!

Well they say time flies when you are having fun – in the midst of this all I officially joined the 30 club!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Very British Weekend

It’s been a very British weekend in our neck of the woods. Here’s what we got up to:

The Royal Wedding – Most on both sides of the Atlantic either watched it live or have seen the footage, talked about it, blogged about it, etc. Chris had to work during the big event and though I always planned to watch it, I didn’t realize how much of an emotional chord it would strike with me. Sitting in my living room admiring Westminster Abbey in all its blooming glory and the wave of well-wishers making their way to Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to William and Kate, I felt a real pride for the British and the Royal institution. Even LLC took some time out of moving her stuffed animals around on her animal train to show her respects. My other highlights:
  • Harry taking many a cheeky glance over his shoulder at Kate as she made her way up the aisle
  • The locally sourced flowers / greens / trees adorning Westminster Abbey – gorgeous
  • The BBC presenter that commented that “William is a very good driver,” as he chauffeured Kate off down the Mall in the Aston Martin – I don’t know if driving slowly down the empty Mall is really a test of driving skills but he could practically walk on water at that point
  • Seeing two young people seemingly truly in love, pomp and circumstance aside
Then came Saturday. When the sun comes out and the temperature hits about 12 C, Brits seem to do one of three things: to the beach, have a BBQ, have a picnic. We went with the picnic option with friends in Greenwich Park. It really wasn’t warm enough for my sundress but I ploughed ahead with it, still delusional from the warm spell that came over the Easter weekend but decidedly exited this past week. So we had sunshine tempered by a slight chill mixed with friends, a ball, yummy picnic treats and bubbles followed by a drink at The Trafalgar pub on the river. A delightful afternoon for all of the family – LLC particularly liked taking one bite out of each item of our picnic food and then discarding it, along with sticking her fist into the middle of a quiche.

Next, the cricket tour. Oh yes, cricket in action. You may know that Chris used to play cricket for a league team, which consumed the every Saturday for the best part of the year and left me a cricket widow! (Though I hasten to add that he stopped this of his own accord). Anyway, Chris still plays from time to time with a mainly touring team so off we all went to Norfolk to introduce LLC to the sport. Spectator enjoyment of cricket, to me, depends on having fine chat, fine wine and other general distractions to my disposal. We had even better this weekend with all of the above integrated into a family friendly weekend that involved just one game of cricket.

The tour kicked off with a delicious seafood lunch just beyond Cromer (at a crab house manned by a fine but fierce lady – if I could only do justice in painting a picture of her hunting down a wayward smoker on her premises, or shooing out customers who headed for their table too early....) followed by a paddle on the beach and then garden sports for all of the family on the grounds of the large Hall where we were all staying. There were a few other children in the mix with LLC, and she certainly had no shortage of adult attention either as she tucked into crabs, practiced her walking during a rounder’s game, waved to daddy on the cricket pitch and sat reading magazines with the ladies.

So overall a very British weekend, but also a very social weekend, which is something that is important to Chris and me.  We promised ourselves we would try to integrate LLC into activities that we enjoy and this weekend it really felt that we are finding this new life balance where adult activity continues, enhanced by the little one we have on board.