Thursday, 28 January 2010

Nnnnng blergh

I have a cold, again. So does Pearl, although hers is already waning thankfully. I've been breathing through my mouth all week. This is not attractive and needs to end soon. I want to be able to taste my food again, and to be able to sleep lying down without feeling like I'm suffocating. Additionally, a cold plus sleep deprivation can drastically reduce one's ability to behave rationally. Pearl's cold preceded mine, so for a few days before I got snotty she was stirring almost every 10 minutes overnight. My poor body just didn't stand a chance. I've got a mouth full of ulcers, which is my foolproof sign that I am run the fuck down. I don't just get one or two at a time, I get clusters of the buggers, and usually on my tonsils too. This time they're on my soft palette and going down to my tonsils, also under my tongue. Real nice, immune system, thanks.

Anyway enough of the poorly whining. Tomorrow I'm meant to be going out with my husband in the evening for the first time since Pearl was born. Snot and all. Pearl usually nurses to sleep, and during night-time hours she will usually only accept comfort from me, so it would've been unfair to her and to any potential babysitters for me to leave her after hours. At 18 months she still usually only wants me at night, but Bob's parents are the ones who will be babysitting. I know that she loves them so much and... well I don't know how she's going to act but I will only be about 1/2hr away, so can be back here quick if she really needs me.

Part of me thinks that she might not go to sleep at all. Maybe cos of the excitement of having her grandparents here, maybe because she won't get the warm milk and relaxing hormone nightcap. Part of me is totally panicking and thinking about cancelling, because I'm abandoning her when she needs me most and will she think I'm a mean heartless mummy? Part of me just knows that nothing Pearl has ever done has been predictable, and really what's the worst that could happen? One night won't permanently disturb her bedtime routine. I mean, she sleeps so unpredictably already, perhaps an evening shakeup might be what she needs. Who knows.

I won't be drinking but I am looking forward to some adult conversation, and an excuse to get dressed in something other than my daytime mummy clothes. I've been outfit planning all week, like an excited school girl, but it just occured to me that most of the clothes I'd been thinking about are probably in the giant mountain of washing in the bedroom. Tomorrow morning I will have to root around and see what I can wash on a quick cycle, so that it will dry in time for our evening adventures.

Fingers crossed I can at least make it to the party before I have to come back to my bubba.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Recipe for success

An additional hour's sleep for Mama, a lovely bath, the most delicious juicy orange we've ever eaten, drop Dada to the train station, a morning of playing, food shopping while Pearl slept in the pushchair, lunch at M&S cafe, a new owl rug for Pearl's room, Pearl biting a raw unpeeled garlic clove, cooking our best ever spag bol, a super-long pre-bed story session, 4 new words in one day, Green & Blacks Maya Gold chocolate, Design*Sponge blog browsing, and a present in the form of an American Apparel long hoody from my husband.

Tomorrow's recipe will include such classics as, "going to Carpet Right to choose new carpets", "buying a new nappy pail", "making rhubarb crumble", and "cleaning the bathroom".

(Forgot to say, this photo and the other one a few days ago were both taken by Bob. Still haven't charged my camera, crap.)

Thursday, 21 January 2010


We live in a hundred year old house that was converted into two flats (one on each of the two floors) about 10 years ago. It's great because we get high ceilings, and access to our own bit of garden, and some gorgeous original period features. Beautiful windows that let in lots of light and alcoves either side of the chimney breast. But it's rubbish because it isn't purpose built, so the sound-proofing is pretty much non-existant. The person who carried out the conversion obviously did not give a shit about helping the occupants of the two flats live peacefully in such close proximity. Downstairs have beautiful original wooden flooring, but combined with the high ceilings, open fireplaces and their lack of soft furnishings, we can hear 99% of what goes on in their home. When we're busy during the day, this isn't really an issue. (Aside from a couple of occasions of unusually loud reggae music, but thankfully that's been few and far between). However, like most young couples, their lives would appear to revolve around the evenings and weekends. Their kitchen is directly below our bedroom, and while I'm trying to help Pearl go to sleep, we can hear them chopping their food, talking, moving pots and pans, getting things out of the cupboard, even hear their boiler clunking as they use the hot tap. We hear them walking up and down the hallway, shouting down the length of the flat to each other, moving chairs at the table. The other night I lay in bed at 2.30am listening to the only slightly dampened sound of their television. The male neighbour has got such a deep booming voice, it sounds like he's speaking in a bloody megaphone. If he laughs or speaks loudly it wakes Pearl with a start.

We share a communal entrance hallway (about 1m wide by 2m long), which contains both of our front doors and the main front door to the outside world. Because of where these doors are, we have the stairs to our home actually within our own front door. Somehow, anything they cook or have within their flat that has any odour, manages to waft up our stairs and make our whole flat smell like whatever they've been using/eating/doing. Today that smell was marijuana. I got home from a frantic shopping trip with Pearl, during which she'd spent the whole time doing that back-arching tantrum thing because I hadn't let her bite into a raw onion ("Pah [Pearl speak for apple]?" "No Pearl, onion". "PAH!" "Bubba, it's an onion, look here's an apple!" "MmmmmNO Mama, PAH!" etc). I was laden with shopping bags and the nappy bag and a wriggling Pearl, trying to open the front door in the dark, and the last thing I wanted to do was come back to a home that stank like it had been hot boxed by some teenage stoners. Blergh. I've never smelt it before from them, so I really hope it's just a one off. I don't have a problem with people smoking weed, but it's just not something I do, particularly with a small child in the house.

Anyway. I'm sure they hear everything we do as well, particularly lil' Miss stompy pants. All her monster impressions must annoy the hell out of them - she may be tiny but she makes the floor shake when she runs up and down the hallway. And the other morning she was hitting her hammer and peg toy ten to the dozen, probably long before they had to be awake. How very considerate of her, hah! I'm sure they have no idea how much of their lives we can hear, and I'd probably be embarrassed if I knew how much they could hear of us. Still, annoying none the less, to have Pearl's sleep so unnecessarily disrupted every single evening.

All I know is that if we ever have the money to move, I want somewhere detached. No stinky noisy neighbour worries in my future, please.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


I get to spend every day (and night, don't forget the nights!) with this wonderful lil' human. Growing and learning and playing and non-stop all the time amazingness. Her speech and language are developing so quickly. She says new words almost daily, my favourite is still how she says 'flower'; "hlaw-lawh', lots of exaggerated mouth and tongue movements but she tries so hard to get it just right! Her co-ordination amazes me, especially how she feeds herself with cutlery. She can feed herself soup too, which took a few weeks of extremely messy lunchtimes but now she's got the hang of it there's no stopping her! She plays with toys and uses her imagination in ways I wouldn't have expected for someone of her age. She makes me cups of tea with her tiny tea set, she "COOK!"s multiple meals every day, mixing and pouring and "snip"-ping ingredients from her play food set. She loves going through all her animal finger puppets and making all the different noises together.

I know that every parent thinks their child is a genius, but I hope I never stop being amazed by all the things she is capable of. She is so considerate of others, too. I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but she seems to understand the concept of taking turns. And if she sees another child upset while we're at toddler group, she'll come to find me to tell me, or she stands near them making enough noise to alert somebody that she knows something is wrong.

I get kissed by that cute little face and climbed all over by that ever-growing body, I get hugs and I get my trousers tugged in a frantic manner when I spend too long doing something that doesn't involve her. I get my nose, eyes, mouth, and ears poked whenever she feels like she needs to remind me that she knows what all those body parts are called. I get to be the one who scoops her up if she's fallen over... or if she's landed on her face after trying to run down a slide! I get to battle with her to let me help her clean her teeth, explain to her that we mustn't empty out the whole pack of babywipes in one go. I get to make pictures with her and make sure she is clean and presentable. I get to wake up 20 times a night to help her get back to sleep, and yet still I feel a huge grin take over my face when she wakes up in the morning, immediately full of beans and excitement about the day ahead. I get to chase her round the supermarket, and let her chase me down the hallway while she practices being a monster.

I must've done something good.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Floor beans

Today was back to business as usual. A 'normal' Tuesday, the first 'normal' day we've had since before Christmas I think. It was fucking awesome! We had playgroup this morning, which Pearl loves. She got to make a snowman picture with glue and cotton wool, although I think by the end she had more stuck on her fingers than on the paper. She ran around and played with the dolls and the cars and the kitchen, and moved chairs around, and went on the mini slide a shit ton. She was super excited when it was time to do singing today, frantically clapping her hands and saying "Yeahhhhh" at every opportunity, which everybody seemed to think was adorable. Ok, I thought it was adorable. I'm just glad to have my proper girly back, and to be rid of that snotty whine monster.

It was also a return to business as usual for her eating habits. She's still asking for milk really frequently, but I can manage to get her to have a drink or snack instead, or to have a cuddle, or sometimes I can just distract her by saying "oooh look what's over here...". If I've tried those things and she then still asks for milk, of course I will oblige. But as I was saying; her appetite appears to have returned. Thank goodness for that! I'm feeling very proud of what she ate today, considering how little she has been eating, so I'm going to type it here for my own purposes. She has always had a relatively small appetite without being poorly, so this was a really amazing day for her.

1/4 of a bagel
1/4 biscuit and some raisins
Bowl of soup and 1/2 slice multiseed bread toast
1/2 orange
1/2 pack mini cheddars
2 mini sausages
1/4 banana
1/2 apple
1/2 avocado
Bowl of wholegrain rice and half a chicken breast
1 yoghurt
Loads of water and milk throughout the day

Written like that it may not seem like a lot, but it was superb for us. By the time she'd finished eating her dinner, she kept saying "poo", and rubbing her tummy... don't think she'd ever experienced having such a full stomach, she must've felt like she needed to poop! It was so cute because she looked really concerned about her lil tummy. I'm also really pleased that she ate that variety of fruits. She's always preferred savoury foods - for months she favoured green foods (broccoli, avocado, peas, spinach were top of the list), and would hardly touch anything else. She doesn't seem to have the massive sweet tooth that I have, which can only be a good thing really. Lots of parents complain that their bubbas won't eat savoury foods, so I'm not complaining because she loves vegetables! I also know that there are far better snacks for toddlers than mini cheddars, and usually she has something better than that, but I feel like I would be being hypocritical if I sat and ate mini cheddars and never gave her anything remotely treat-y.

Speaking of treat-y, I bought some bourbon biscuits today that I just remembered about. I'm going to get off the laptop and go eat those. Who needs exciting evenings down the pub when you can have a pack of bourbons while you watch Bill Bailey's guide to the orchestra?!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Whatcha gon' do, come back back again

Pearl is fiiiiiinally better! She's not completely back to her old self (see: excess snot, cough, and whining) but she's not sleeping/crying all day and night long, so anything is a marked improvement on that dire scenario. Fuck me that was a challenging few weeks. It was heartbreaking watching her get more and more poorly, and being able to do fuck all about it other than make her distressed four times a day, trying to force her to take some medicine to alleviate some of her discomfort. I have never been more grateful for the fact that she is still nursing, otherwise she would have had pretty much nothing to eat in over a week. I mean, she'd nibbled like a bird at some tiny amounts of food, and we'd offered her nutritious snacks and meals as usual, but the only thing she would regularly take was breastmilk. Now she's on the mend she's still asking for milk a gazillion times a day, but we are gradually getting back to 'normal'. She devoured all the food we had today and that made me do big smiles.

I love cooking for Pearl (and Bobby). (And therefore me, I suppose!). It's especially more rewarding now Pearl is able to "help" cooking, and that she is able to "help" me pick out the produce at the supermarket. I think she's getting old enough to make the connection between what we've bought and how we prepare it, and the final outcome of the meal. She gets so excited when she sees the stack of broccolis for sale, and she was squealing "pepper" over and over when we were choosing red peppers. She understands when I say that we can't eat things if they're not cooked (see: trying to break into a pack of uncooked sausages while we were unloading the shopping). She appears to understand if we have to wait for something to cook. I love it when she bends down to look in the oven to check how something is doing! I desperately want to get her a toy oven of her own, but we have a fairly small home, and plus those things cost money. I'm keeping an eye out in our local charity shops for one, because I think I could sacrifice some space in our cramped home just to see the fun she would have playing with her own sized pots and pans. As part of her Christmas presents we got her a huge pack of toy foods. It contained loads of fruit and veg, but also fun stuff like pizza, and chicken, and pasta, and even some pringles. Not that she's ever eaten pringles, but still. She knows what crisps are! She spent ages on Christmas morning playing with it, and putting together plates of food for us. I think this 'role playing' stage of her development is already the most fun to be a part of and to witness. And there's so much more to come. My baby is growing so fast!

I wanted to say that I know my blog is visually boring because I never add any photos, but that will change soon I promise. Gotta upload all the latest ones off Bob's camera, and also gotta charge up my little point'n'shoot thing to capture more of the day-to-day stuff that Pearl and I get up to.

Friday, 1 January 2010


Life totally went into overdrive for a few months there. I didn't forget about my blog: but every time I remembered, I just didn't have the time to sit down and write something even semi-interesting. I kept thinking, "Oh I'll update when such-and-such has happened", or "When I've finished doing this", but nothing is ever really finished, so I don't know what on earth I was thinking.

Right now I can't think of anything else that happened since I last wrote a blog, because I am incredibly tired. Exhausted, actually. Pearl is very poorly. Today we took her to the hospital for the very first time since she left it after she was born. We're still at my parents' house, and since we arrived on Boxing Day, Pearl has been getting gradually more ill. Her temperature has been rising and her mood worsening. She's full of snot, and coughing, and vomiting... today she was crying inconsolably and just not herself at all, which combined with all the other things meant we took her to a&e. I'd originally phoned grab-a-doc (the local out of hours Drs service around here) but the Doctor I spoke to said that it sounded like she just had a virus that was going around, and that she'd be fine in a few days. My mama instinct told me that this was not a satisfactory answer, and calpol was doing jack shit. My Dad drove us to the hospital since I was all in Mama-freaking-out mode. The thing on the wall said that the wait was around 4 and a half hours, but we were seen within 10 mins. I haven't got the energy to type out the long and short of it, but basically her temperature was 38.6 when we got there (thats about 101 something or other, I think) and the Dr wouldn't let us leave till she was more calm and not burning up. She refused to take any medicine, so they had us strip her off and brought in a huge fan to try and bring her temperature down. It took about 45minutes for it to get to 37.8, at which point the Dr said we could go but that if we were at all unsure, or if she got worse, to bring her back in. We were sent away with antibiotics and a 'diagnosis' consisting of a severe upper respiratory tract infection, severe left inner ear infection, and suspected tonsilitis. My poor, poorly bubba!

As it turns out, today would be the first day ever that Pearl decided she no longer liked medicine. She's always taken calpol fairly easily if it's been necessary, but today - no way was that getting anywhere near her mouth! So getting some foul tasting antibiotic in her has been an interesting challenge. We've managed about 1 and a half doses so far, and hoping for better luck tomorrow. She is the most poorly I have ever seen her, and it breaks my heart. She's woken up a gazillion times since she went to bed this evening, just sobbing in her hoarse throated voice, smearing snot all over my shoulder and generally being not right at all. I hope the second day of 2010 is better for my lil jam.