Friday, 31 December 2010


It has been a funny old year. I know that it's generally felt that it has been one of the worst, particularly by pinko liberal lefties like myself, but I can't feel that distressed by it really. I was pregnant for most of it, and our baby is just gorgeous and lovely.

New baby!

Lucy has continued to be a joy and a treasure and a ratbag in equal proportions. She loves her little sister and is looking after her very well.

Two girls in the bath

I'd come to terms with having to have a Conservative government a long time before they were actually not elected, so that wasn't a shock - still a shame, but not a shock - although the Lib Dems have surprised me by their general slimey uselessness. The recession hasn't hit either of us too badly and it looks like things are gradually on the mend. The glee and unprofessionalism on the part of the Conservatives as they watched the State being cut to the bone and beyond was disgusting, but what else can we expect?

Other personal low points were the deaths of my great-aunt Heather and a friend Jerome. They will both be missed. Cancer is such a sodding horrible disease. Three people I know are running the London Marathon next year in Jerome's memory.

The volcano erupting over Easter was a bit of a pain, as we ended up stranded in South Africa for an extra fortnight, but we bravely managed to get through it.


My brother and his girlfriend became engaged and will be getting married in July next year, and one of Simon's friends is also getting married, so that's two weddings next year. We've been to several weddings this year - my cousin Simon to Ilana, Kate's to Ric in the Lake District, Katherine's to James in Royston and Kaili's to Ben in Linton, and they were all lovely in their own ways. The family one was a bit more stressful, as is the nature of families, but we enjoyed them.

I've knitted several miles of wool into various useful things and made 11 adult sized jumpers, several socks, most of a blanket, some of another 2, half a cushion, a toy rabbit, a hat, some scarves and a whole heap of baby clothes. I've made a couple of lucky babies pretty little baby gros, and plan to make a whole heap more for the babies born to my web of friends next year.


Laura front

What with all the cooking and reading and teaching and playing with other people's children as well as my own and blasted Timmy Time watching, it's been a pretty good year.

I hope 2011 is as happy.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Back home

It's been such a lovely break, but I'm really glad to be home. Although last night we had a freezing cold house as the boiler had turned itself off during the time we were away. Wonderful. As it's a brand new boiler, we were a little bit concerned, but it turns out that the gas had been cut off further up the road, so we were best off being away. The house is much better now, but still not as warm as it could be.

Lucy was very difficult last night, not wanting to go to bed at all. She misses her Granny and Grandpa (particularly Grandpa) and wants to be back with them lighting the fire and generally being spoilt. She's starting to forget the details now though, so I'm hoping that tonight will be better. I nearly walked out and left her yesterday, especially when she refused to put her nappy on. I've had a difficult time with her recently - she's going through so many huge changes, and it's really affecting her. She loves her sister, thank goodness, but is not so keen on me at the moment. She punishes me by being horrible and yelling at me to go away, and then flings herself on me and wants my attention, which is lovely, but means that I'm pulled from one extreme to the other. On Boxing Day, when asked what she wanted to do, she replied "Nursery", so as soon as that reopens the better for all concerned.

I've got some lovely photos, but they're still on the camera, so I'll try to put them up soon.

Sunday, 26 December 2010


So. We went to Cambridge to my parents for Christmas, and it has been very lovely indeed. Obviously, there are slight tensions, as always happens when families are together without a break for a week, especially when one family member is 2 and suffering from a cold, another is a new born and two others are her parents and completely drained. The wonderful Harriet, while still wonderful, is finding sleeping in her own bed a bit of a challenge, waking every couple of hours for either a cuddle or a feed. She sleeps beautifully during the day, so we are taking it in turns to rest a bit. At least I've remembered how to breastfeed and read at the same time, so I've managed to finish "Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day", "The Making of a Marchioness" and am nearly all the way through "The Angel's Game".

Lucy was very hard work earlier in the week, and yesterday got completely over-tired and grumpy, something we're putting down to her cold, as she's being adorable today, and we haven't had any tantrums. One of my New Year resolutions is to be a bit firmer with her, as I can be a bit indulgent. She hit me once or twice yesterday, so that's got to stop.

Anyway, we all had a very lovely and indulgent Christmas. Simon got me an ipod Touch, which means I can waste even more time mucking about on the internet. It's the perfect size for reading blogs so I can read while I'm feeding Harriet. It's brilliant. I'm sure we both over-spent horrifically, and Lucy really had far too many presents; in fact she didn't want to open all of them and was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience. We did have a lovely day, and went to the village church - I haven't been there for ages, as we didn't like the last vicar (what great Christians we are) and it was a lovely service with a short and completely appropriate sermon, so the day started very well. I didn't feel too unwell after all the food, because I really need the extra calories at the moment, and so three helpings of trifle was not excessive, it was necessary.

We didn't take many photos though, although I have a lovely one of a very bemused Lucy leaving a whisky and a mince pie out for Father Christmas. We told her that he was bringing us all presents to celebrate "bibi Jeesoo" 's birthday, which confused her. She knew it wasn't my birthday or anyone else's in the family, but found it hard to tell the difference between baby Harriet and baby Jesus. I think she's got it sorted out in her head, and has some idea that yesterday was a special day; it must be very confusing for her.

In other news, I am attempting to knit an owls sweater before the end of the year to finish the IntSweMoDo challenge, something that might prove to be a bit foolhardy. I like these challenges that don't actually matter. I sat on my sock sticks and snapped yet another one, so I've bought myself some metal needles. I'm not sure about them as I really prefer wooden ones, but they are a lot cheaper and I can't break them.

Harriet is still sleeping peacefully; I'm tempted to wake her up - see how she likes it!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow? In December?

Lucy was not happy to come inside after all this excitement. Needless to say, Harriet and I didn't go out to play, I don't think snow and two week old babies are a good mix. She didn't have a good night last night, so is sleeping peacefully now.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Two weeks with Harriet

Harriet's cushion
Originally uploaded by juliaclare123

It's been an experience having a new born again, but one that I wouldn't have missed for anything. I don't think I want to repeat it though.

Lucy has been an angel, except for yesterday when I was reduced to tears by her having two tantrums at bedtime and had to just put her in her bed and go and have a cry on ours. I went up when we'd both calmed down, and we had a lovely cuddle and a happy bedtime, but it was super stressful while it lasted. What a little ratbag that child can be. Today was much better, although she is pushing it a lot with more and more stories, as she doesn't want to go to bed yet. It's only a phase though, since she's developing more and more language and soon we'll be able to negotiate with her a bit more and compromise on 3 books a night. I hope.

It was her Nursery show today, and very lovely. The Nursery ladies had helped her make a hat with Lucy on in glitter, and she joined in some of the songs, so we were very proud and happy. We also had a chance to look through her "day book" with all the observations and work that Lucy's done this term, and lots of photos, and it was lovely to see. I know that they know her pretty well, as they mentioned the stropping when she's told not to do something and a couple of observations mentioned that she acted "with purpose". Everything my elder daughter does is with purpose; she is extremely determined at all times, and always knows what she is doing.

This post was meant to be about Harriet, who is continuing to grow and be lovely and snuggly, but as she is only 2 weeks old, there's not a lot else to say about her. I will take some more photos next week and talk about that.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Spoke too soon...

Oh yes, Harriet loves to sleep at night. Oh yes, I've got tonnes of milk and there's nothing wrong with our feeding pattern. Huh. We were up a lot of this morning - a brief wake up at 3, then at about 4.30 until 6.30 and then again at 7, which I suppose is alright. I then slept in until quarter til 11, and then read and dozed and listen to radio 4, while Harriet slept and slept and slept. We did get up eventually, and then went to Waitrose and then up to collect Lucy, which made me feel as if I'd run a marathon. It's not very far and I didn't walk that fast, but it pulled on my scar a bit, so I'm feeling shattered now.

I don't think I'm eating enough; I weighed myself and I've lost almost all the baby weight and got down to less than I was before I got pregnant, so I think I got a bit over-excited and thought that this could just keep on. So today, I've eaten masses of food and have lots of milk (I hope) and am also going to take a bottle and some Aptimel up to bed in case we have another disturbed night. I think an early night is called for - Simon has taken Lucy to a cubs party, which will be a riot. I'm sure he'll want a drink, a hot meal and a bath as soon as they get back, so I am resting and feeding Harriet and encouraging her to sleep more so that I can take over Lucy as soon as they get back.

Lucy is being a bit foul in the evenings as she doesn't care to sleep during the day anymore and by 5:30 is only good for watching TV and drinking milk. She is also going through a phase of squishing up all her food in both hands, which is disgusting and we can't seem to stop her. I'm sure it'll stop soon, but it really winds up Simon and I think that's why she does it.

I've nearly finished my 11th jumper for the IntSweMoDo 2010, and am going to start the 12th either tonight or tomorrow; I don't think I've got enough yarn for it, so I've ordered some more, which, of course, has to come from the States, so let's hope it arrives in time for me to finish the challenge. The 12th is an owls jumper, which took me less than a fortnight to make earlier in the year, so I am hopeful.

Nothing else. I want a couple of these little things but at £30 each, I think I'll settle for 1.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Future Knitters of the World Unite

It's an old photo, but a good one. She's grown a bit since then, as has my stash.

Harriet isn't showing the same interest in knitting as her sister, but it's still early days. She prefers being snuggled up in a rainbow blanket, having a little sleep on the sofa.

We are getting on very well really, especially at night. Considering she's only ten days old, it's a real benefit that she only really wakes up once or twice for a feed. I woke her this morning for a feed as I was leaking unpleasantly into my nightdress (lovely) and everything was really quite uncomfortable. Obviously my milk is coming in properly as Harriet has put on lots of weight, and is now 200g over her birthday weight, and I am 200g under my normal weight, and as such we've both been signed off by the midwife and into the tender loving care of the health visitors. She's paying us a visit this afternoon, and I suspect she will ask me the same stupid question she asked me last time - "are you a victim of domestic violence?" It's as direct as that; how incredibly bizarre.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A week and a half

Gosh. Well, I had my baby, as you can see. Her big sister adores her and is as gentle as any 2 year old can be; she keeps on kissing her and she looks at her, and then says "I like my bibi" to anyone who'll listen, which is great. We've had a few little problems - some tantrums, some refusals to do as she's told and a lot of food mashed into the table, hair, clothes and floor. Lucy was very upset the first time she saw me feeding Harriet, and said "No bibi, no eat up mummy" and went to get the phone to "ring doc-doc" to check that this was the right thing to do. She is a very determined young lady.
Harriet is gorgeous and spends most of her time snoozing peacefully. She sleeps in the day and at night, and we've all been getting between 3 and 5 hours consecutive sleep a night, which isn't great, but is wonderful for a week and a bit. Simon's been home on paternity leave and that's been really lovely. He takes Lucy and spoils her rotten - they've been swimming, to the cafe with Uncle Jamie and all over the place, including the supermarket, which Lucy perversely loves, especially when she can eat 4 satsumas, one after another. I'm able to do bedtime with Lucy and we have lots of cuddles, and read lots of stories, especially Charlie and Lola, and we play and sing songs and the whole thing takes about an hour, so I hope she's not feeling too sad about not seeing as much of Mummy as she's used to. It helps that she's suddenly decided that Nursery is THE greatest place in the whole world and that every day that she is not there is a wasted day, and so it makes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that much more straight-forward. Plus we're going to see Ninny and Owl (Granny and Grandpa) next week for Christmas, so that will be another distraction.
Despite the sleep, I'm still very tired; the whole elective c-section thing was OK, but surreal, and even though I lost barely any blood, it was still a pretty shattering experience. I'm breast-feeding as well, and have lost a lot of weight, in fact I'm almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which is great. Sadly, that is about a stone more than it should be, so I've got a little way to go after that. Ho hum.
I think I might have to go and have a bit of a lie down and a cuddle on the sofa now.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Only 3 days to go now

So. The baby will now be born on Friday. I have "elected" to have a c-section on consultation with two senior obstetricians, and she will be coming out then. I'm a combination of excited to be seeing her and pissed off that it has to be this way. Apparently, my chances of a natural birth are slim to none, having been an excellent candidate last time who didn't make it, I'm now a high risk candidate and it's "better" medically for me to "just" have major stomach surgery resulting in me being unable to carry my older daughter for 6 weeks. Although, she did say that as Lucy had been in the right position, I'd had the oxytocin drip, I'd gone into labour naturally and it was bang on 40 weeks, and then things just got stuck, it's probably something to do with my pelvis, and a natural birth was never really going to be an option.

I'm trying to be philosophical about it. This little one is really quite large, and I'm feeling pretty terrible all the time, not being helped by having a cold at the moment, so it's better to get her out so we can get on with things. Also, it means I'll be able to stop worrying so much about what I'm eating, as the gestational diabetes will be gone on Saturday. Hurrah. I've already bought some brie and pate, and I think a Mars Bar will also be a good post-op snack.

Can't wait.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Some crafty things

It probably won't come as much of a surprise, but I love Cath Kidston's stuff. Especially the stuff that you have to make yourself. I think what she sells is a bit over-priced, so I don't really buy it, and then she brings out two books that I fall in love with - above and below.

and they become the basis for a whole new interest in making things for people.

I've yet to make anything exactly the same as the things she provides patterns for, and I've got no interest in embroidering two thousand damn birds onto a towel, but I've used both books extensively as inspiration for my baby gros.

The girly ones are more fun to make, but I think I need some different, more subtle felts.

I've also made one for my new baby, but I haven't quite finished it yet. It's the most Cath Kidston-y one as it uses fabric very similar to the stuff she designs and sells. I think it's a Liberty print though, and a remnant at that.

Some knitting:

Next stop, a sewing machine. And as soon as I get myself organised, some pictures of my new craft room. Yay.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

29 days to go?

It's all rather exciting really. I'm feeling completely full and fed up of waddling around like a weeble, but the end is in sight. Hurrah.

Our house is now finished. The loft is done! Lucy slept in her big girl's bed in her big girl's room last night and is very happy with the distinction between "bibi" and "me" which is great. I've managed to persuade her to give some toys to the baby - of course, it is debatable whether this will last the week, but so far, so good. She's even given away some of her books, but as she's just about to get a huge load of new ones from my teaching stash, I don't think she'll notice. She's far more into picture books now, and isn't so keen on the touchy feely ones that she used to love. So these have gone to "bibi" and she was very happy to say goodbye to them.

I've stopped work at last. Thank goodness. We had a small tea party on Friday, and then that was it. I'll miss my little degenerates, but not that much. They are now mostly settled and happy, so at least it won't be too much of a nightmare for Lisa and Beatrice who is replacing me. It's very strange to think that I potentially won't see some of them again as they won't go to our Reception Class. I'm glad and a bit sad that I won't be there until September next year, but I'll have far more to worry about soon, so work will just be a happy memory. My colleague, who might also have diabetes, is clinging on until the end of term - she's not due until January, so I suppose she feels that she just has to keep on going. It's her first too, so she's got more energy than I have.

I've been making little baby gros for my friends' children:

as well as knitting socks, blanket squares and other fun things. I've started a red jumper - the Boatneck Bluebell Sweater, from Fitted Knits, but will be making it without the bulk increasing garter stitch around the tummy panel. What a stupid idea. How to make yourself look even more dumpy and unattractive.
I don't think we have any other news. My birthday came and went in a blur of pregnancy, not eating cake and decorators, so I am thinking that I should have a non-birthday party in May to make up for it. Oh yes, and my brother is getting married in July, so that's something to be excited about.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

What? Twice? In one day?

I thought I'd put a picture of Lucy on her birthday up. She is so beautiful. I can't believe she is 2 already, and that that happened a whole month ago! I still haven't written my thank you cards, I've just been too disorganised and tired. Yes, tired. That's it. Not lazy or ungrateful, tired.

My twins were fine today, but Natalia twith the mental mother had a proper 2 year screaming tantrum when mum finally consented to leave, and Hasna who had no problems settling, and who we had such high hopes of, has shown her true colours by having a tantrum every couple of minutes. I am living on paracetamol.

I appear to have broken facebook and my computer by trying to upload all my photos at once. Ho hum.

Month plus round up

I haven't had the energy to write recently. It's not that we haven't had anything happen - off the top of my head, we've had Lucy's 2nd birthday party, a funeral, a couple of hospital appointments where I've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a load of children starting at Nursery who have been "difficult" and lots of finished objects that I can't be bothered to photograph.

I've got some pictures on my camera that I can't get off - I was going to pop some up today but the battery is completely dead, so that will have to wait. Lucy turned two very happily, she enjoyed her party and was actually reasonably well behaved.

I had my glucose tolerance test last week, and, as I'd been having pretty bad headaches, was shoved on a machine with beeps and all sorts to check I didn't have pre-eclampsia. I don't, but I do have gestational diabetes, so I have to go to a clinic tomorrow and see what's what. I think, in practice, it'll mean having to go on maternity leave a bit early - work is stressful, and it's really not worth putting any extra stress on my body. It's working pretty hard at the moment, and having a toddler and a loft extension is taking its toll. It might also mean that the baby is induced/removed by caesarian a bit early, so we're probably looking at early December. I can't say I'm either that worried about it, or that upset - the baby will be 38 weeks, so ready to come out, and I won't have that interminable wait that some people have. I think we're ready for her to make her appearance.

I've been cleaning a whole lot recently too - the house is full of bloody plaster dust, and wood dust and more dust and I can't bear it. It's giving me super headaches, and forcing me out of the house during the day as it's too much. This isn't a bad thing when I've got Lucy, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it means that I go into work. Which is rubbish.

I now have 18 children in my class, but 5 of them aren't really settling properly, so we're having to try all sorts of different tactics to encourage them to enjoy Nursery. It's really hard; it's not their fault, of course, how can it be, they are three, but sometimes I really think that they are playing us and playing their parents, and know exactly what they are doing. Everything is complicated by having a multitude of different languages, and the parents don't always speak or understand English either, so it makes things that bit harder for everyone. We have extremely spoilt twin boys who have clearly been treated like princes since they were born, and they used to scream the place down. At the moment, they are crying in a sort of half hearted manner for 5 minutes or so, and then going and playing; refusing to have anything to do with us or the other children, of course, but playing in the Nursery and actually very happy.

We also have two Polish children with absolutely no English at all. Difficult. Still, two more weeks until half term and then I've got 12 working days before my maternity leave starts.

Hey ho.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


I'm feeling a bit emotionally highly strung today. I don't how to feel - I am very tired and confused. A friend, who we loved dearly, died on Friday after a short but incredibly ferocious fight with a vicious form of blood cancer. We hadn't seen him for about 2 years, but we knew him online well, and he was the most generous, kind and wonderful man you could ever hope to meet. He will be sorely missed.

Then on Saturday we went to the wedding of one of my best friends, who is also Lucy's godmother. So we went from very sad to very happy in the space of a few hours, and I cried quite a bit over the course of the weekend. I think I need a few days just to absorb everything, and let it all sink in.

Life is an odd thing.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Back to school

Nursery started again today. We had 4 children in, out of a possible 7, so not bad. I think that things will start getting really busy again next week - we have new children starting on Tuesday and Thursday, and then Friday off, as it's Eid. By "off", I mean that the children will not be coming in, but we will, for some sort of training, but it's as good as a rest, particularly as I will be doing a full day, and therefore not be looking after the toddler for the morning. Much as I adore her, she is starting to be very bossy and demanding and just very, very hard work, so it will be nice to have some time to myself, even if it is at work. How weird, looking forward to a full day at work! Pregnancy does weird things to your brain.

My colleague Anna (who is now technically my line manager, I suppose) is also pregnant, having a boy in January. I want to make her some little things for him, especially as knitting for babies is so easy and painless. I've made some lovely things for our new baby, I haven't photographed them yet, but I will as soon as they are blocked and done. The dolly dress I made for my friend Rachel's little girl is just too small, so I will make a larger size for her and keep this one for my little one - by the time it is blocked and sent to the States, the baby will have grown out of it, whereas Hattit will fit into it straight away. So it's "make another one" time here.

In other knitting news, Lucy's blanket that was going to be finished by her 2nd birthday is still mostly balls of wool, but the one that was going to be finished by Christmas is half way finished, and I have run out of purple cotton. Bum. I don't want to order just one skein, so I will have to get some of the other colours too. Do you understand how hard my life is?

Lucy is being a bridesmaid this weekend. Ha. What could possibly go wrong? Pictures to follow.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


I was reading this today; the Yarn Harlot is a very funny Canadian woman, totally obsessed by knitting, and she writes thoughtfully and intelligently on a whole heap of things. She's, in effect, the antithesis of Jane Brocket, who I also love, although superficially they have similar interests.

Anyway. I commented on her blog, which I never do, then thought that I might as well put my comment here as well, and then maybe add to it if I'm feeling creative.

For what it's worth, I regard "babysitting" my own daughter those times when I'm in on my own in the evening, she's fast asleep upstairs and I'm watching rubbish television while eating chocolate biscuits and knitting. I regard my husband as babysitting her when he is doing the same thing. We also share the housework - he tidies and I pay the cleaner (exaggerated somewhat but basically true). My parents are occasionally horrified that he irons his own shirts, but I don't like ironing and the couple of times I've done it, I didn't do it properly, so what can we do?

I think that as more and more men live alone for a period of time before marriage/co-habitation, it will become more common for them to do "women's work". I'm in my thirties, and I wouldn't expect to run around after my husband, and I hope that my daughters will feel the same. As far as I can tell, at least here in the UK, the next generation now assume that both parents in a family will have to work and that everything needs to be shared, from childcare to emptying the dishwasher to the laundry to the DIY and basic car maintenance.

We need to keep on telling ourselves that things are not fair at the moment, and working to make them more fair and equal for both parents, so that we can change things for our children.

Rant on!

Simon is a wonderful husband and father. We are partners in every sense of the word, even though I occasionally feel guilty for earning considerably ess than him. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that I used to work much harder than him, my job traditionally pays bugger all and I get to play with Lucy during the mornings and do my job in the afternoons, which is the best/worst of both worlds. Simon is not an "alpha male"; he doesn't think about "status" at all, and I think for this reason, we are very happy together. He's also a natural carer, having looked after his parents and his brother for most of his adult life, and looks after me very well. He makes decisions about things and organises things, and while I'm often frustrated that his preferred method of relaxation is playing endless computer games, it works well with my knitting and every now and then he plays one like Zelda, which I love. Anyway, he is the best husband in the world, and I wouldn't be without him.


The new baby is growing very, very fast, and judging by how much I weigh, must be at least 2 stone by now. Hem hem. She looks almost ready to pop out, but we've got a long way to go before December and her grand entrance. I've more or less decided that she will be called Harriet Louise Johanna, after her great-grandmothers, although Harriet did not test positively when we were with my dad's sister in France last weekend. Silly old cowbag. I don't actually care what she thinks, and she'll be lucky to see either of her two great neices more than once a year. So there.

It feels like Autumn here, what with the almost non-stop torrential rain, so we are having lasagna and peas for supper.

Monday, 9 August 2010

New baby

My friend Agnes has had her baby. She is a girl called Flora Elizabeth Anne, which is a lovely name. I briefly wanted Flora for our new one, but I'm glad I haven't set my heart on it. I'm going to make her an Anouk tunic/dress in a six month size, which will fit her around about January, when the weather is more suitable for woolly dresses. I think I'll make our new baby one as well. Gosh, how madly interesting.

We went to visit my parents this weekend. It was my dad's birthday the week before, so we were celebrating. I find it all rather a strain, and am very, very tired today. I'm not sleeping properly either, so it's all good fun. Today, we are watching Third and Bird and then going shopping for various things, then socialising a bit. It's all go here.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

It's a girl!

We had our 20 week scan today, and it's another little girl. How exciting. Haven't quite decided on a name yet, but possibly Harriet Johanna.

I'm very happy, so is Simon, Lucy is not fussed.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A Jumper

Originally uploaded by juliaclare123

Finished the other day, it's a bit small at the moment, thanks to the rapidly growing baby, but I'm pleased with it, and I'll be able to wear it next winter, and many after that, I'm sure.

Potty training, take 2

Today her ladyship has brought the potty over twice and demanded her nappy be removed, before sitting on the potty. Nothing else happened, but it's a start.

I am so relieved. She seems to be doing this mostly for her daddy, as mummy has been in bed most of the afternoon. I am so tired, and I feel completely drained. The baby is stretching my tummy to a very painful extent at the moment, and I've gone back to feeling sick. Hurrah. Oh well, only 146 days to go.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Sad things:

My great-aunt died last Thursday. My parents were in Paris with my grandmother until this afternoon, so they only found out today, and rung me just now. She was very old, and in very poor shape. I think she was coming up for 90, and she'd had a fall which had lead to her developing pneumonia, and she just quietly slipped away. Very peaceful. She came to our wedding and insisted on being brought down to see the disco, as she'd never been to one, and wanted to see what they were like. She also met Lucy and thought she was a wonderful child, so clearly there was nothing wrong with her brain. The best thing is that Dad managed to overcome his difficulties with her, and was friends with her at the end. We'd been to visit her earlier in the year; I'm very glad we made the trip up to Cheltenham. RIP Great Aunt Heather.

My Dad also told me that my grandmother might "pop off" at any time. She's got diabetes, and doesn't look after herself properly. It's well within the bounds of probability that she will slip into a diabetic coma during her sleep and not make it through. I'm glad we're going to see her in August, even though it will be a bit stressful. She's very keen on Lucy, which is a good thing of course, but Lucy is not very keen on strangers at the moment. Oh well, I'm sure she'll behave herself, and if it gets too awful, we'll run away and hide in Paris.

Happy thing:

Our new Nursery is all signed off, and the building will go ahead, Michael Gove or no Michael Gove. Hurrah. Although, of course, my colleagues Gaby and Lisa are very negative and don't seem to feel that it is actually a good thing to get rid of an admittedly big but unpleasant, disgusting and unhygenic space. NNNNNNNNNNGGGGGHHHHH

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Does pink stink?

I like pink. I used to wear it a lot (none of my pink clothes fit any more :( ), I knit with it a lot and I put Lucy in it a lot of the time. She also has green clothes, blue clothes, jeans, trousers, "boys"' teeshirts and is currently wearing a green and white teeshirt and jeans. She doesn't have many pink toys, except for her baby pushchair and some blocks that my parents got her for Christmas that we don't use as she has two big bags of blocks, and the pink ones should really stay at their house.

I can see where these people are coming from - when I go to the Early Learning Centre, it's quite sickening how much stuff is pushed at little girls that emphasises good behaviour and low expectations (especially slogan teeshirts aimed at older children - My Daddy thinks I'm a princess, Future WAG, Playboy branded things for children for God's sake) but at the same time, we don't have to buy it for them. Lucy is not an independent consumer, and she may want things, but I don't have to buy them for her. I can buy her things I like, things I think she might like later on, but they don't have to be pink cash registers and bikinis and princess dresses.

More positive role models for girls would be a good thing, I understand this; after all I do teach young girls, and it's sobering to find out how many idolise Barbies, but it's also heartening to see them playing football, watching Ben 10, loving Thomas the Tank Engine and other "boys" things. Children have limited horizons - 10 is old to a 5 year old, 15 is ancient to a 10 year old and you may as well be dead as be 25 when you're 17 - and it's our job as adults to help them learn to make good decisions. We should be teaching them to ignore marketing ploys and to see through the surface to the substance.

So, on the whole, pink doesn't stink, but the stuff that is painted bright pink to appeal to little girls does, and we should watch out for it. But overanalysing and obsessing over our culture is rapidly turning into a disease and stops us noticing the big stuff. The marketing of things at children is far, far too widespread and dangerous, and obsessing whether pink things should be for girls misses the point.

So there.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Tedious Work Induced Rant

I don't feel like a proper member of staff. My little class aren't welcome at whole school events; one of our colleagues is leaving and we are having a whole school party for everyone except Afternoon Nursery and we are specifically left out of other events such as author visits and explanatory trips to the new "outdoor classroom" (garden). Also, my colleagues have all had 3 or 4 observations this year, I have had none. I know I'm part-time, but I'm still a professional, and I need to be treated as one. I'm getting more and more keen on the idea of looking for another job while I'm on maternity leave and buggering off, instead of coming back. I'd like to do another year part-time, and I'd like to be around for the new baby as much as I've been for Lucy, but I can't spend another year standing still and getting more and more frustrated. I've even tried saying something, but what's the bloody point? It doesn't make a blind bit of difference.

In return, I am absenting myself from whole school events - I'm not at a birthday party this evening, I may not go to the colleague who is leaving's do, I am not going to be in the staff room unless specifically asked. If they aren't going to meet me half way, I'm not going to take part. I'm very, very good at absenting myself, and I have the perfect excuse in Lucy and the whole "being pregnant" thing. It's the holidays soon. I cannot wait. I will still see Dan and Anna and Gaby, but I can't be bothered with official things. Anna will be my line manager next year, I bet I can get her to come and observe me once before I go off.

In happier work related news, they seem to have taken on board my suggestion that it's stupid to fill up the Morning Nursery and then the Afternoon, and we should both have 10/11 children in our classes by half term. Good. If I have 3 again in September, I'm resigning on the spot.

Still no news on our new building.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Twit Twoo

I got my owl print for Lucy's new big girl's room. Hurrah.

We are getting our loft converted into 2 children's rooms and a little shower room. The work hasn't started yet, although we should be getting the plans back in a few weeks time, and then a start date, so it should be done by the time the new baby arrives. I don't want Lulu being moved out of her room so that we can move the new one in, I want her to have a special big girl's room before the annoying sibling arrives. Also, we'd like her go into a proper bed, and doing that while we have a new born could be very tiring.

New baby is still growing, I have a hospital appointment tomorrow morning, so today, we are living the dream by going to Sainsbury's in Chiswick.

It looks as if we aren't going to be getting our new Nursery at school. There are no words to describe my feelings about Michael Gove.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Potty training

We are attempting to potty train Lucy. She has a potty which she regards as a toy, so spends a lot of time with it on her head or using it as a megaphone. She's sat on it, but not managed to do a wee in it yet. We had a little accident the other day; Mum and I were inside and Lucy was outside in the paddling pool and freely roaming around the garden, naked. She came over to me and said "Bo", so I asked her if she needed a poo, she said "Na", and wandered off. 2 minutes later, a very embarrassed and ashamed Lucy came over. I cleaned her up and sloshed dettol over the garden and the paddling pool, and we had another go at sitting on the potty.

I think she's not ready yet; Elsie, her best friend, is ready, as she can tell me when she needs the potty, and sits on it without a fuss. Oh well, Lucy will learn that she needs two different words, one for yes and one for no, and saying the same word for both, is confusing.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


So much for updating more frequently.

It's been a busy week. On Sunday, we drove across London to Greenwich (miles and miles) for a birthday party, which was fun, but exhausting, particularly as the birthday girl is only 1 and her big sister can be somewhat of a menace, especially when over-excited, full of cake and arguing with her best friend. Lucy was very well behaved, on the other hand, no tantrums, no yelling, lots of eating of vegetables, and a joy to be around. For a change. She really likes houmous and cucumber, which is nice and cheap, so I'm pleased. So middle class.

We had our school trip on Thursday. It was fine. We took 21 3 and 4 year olds to the Bunny Park, and we brought 21 back, no one wet themselves, no one cried, it wasn't too hot, but it didn't rain, and everyone enjoyed themselves, including the mums. I was really pleased with the mums, they all mucked in and got on with it, even the one I was a bit concerned about. She can be difficult, particularly around Christmas. She is a very devout Muslim, and went off for a little pray, but didn't let that stop her pushing the children on the swings and on the seesaw, so everything worked out for the best. Good.

Last night, I went out to a Greek restaurant with four of the girls that Simon was at school with, so people who have known each other since birth practically. I've only been around for the past 6 years, but they are now my friends too, and it was really nice to be invited. Shame I only managed my starter before having to go and be sick, and then having to go home, but it was fun before that. It was a combination of the heat and the baby, and I'm tired of this constant nausea. I'm feeling a bit queasy now too. It's rubbish.

I've have a really nice day - I went across London to Bethnal Green to the Bust Craftacular, which was OK. Some of the things were a bit naff to be honest, and the sewing/knitting things were all things I could make myself without thinking twice, so a bit disappointing. I looked at some lovely ceramics, but the women on the stall were super unfriendly, so sod 'em, I'll get some interesting things from a charity shop instead. I bought some teatowels from, and I really want an owl print, but I can't make their website work. I hope they'll answer their email on Monday and I can get it sorted then.

It was a bit too hot on the tube. I kept on spraying myself with 33 year old Evian, the stuff my mum bought to use when she was in labour with me, and I drank about a bucket of water, so it wasn't so bad in the end.

My parents should be here any minute, bringing my husband and baby back, hurrah.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

All things considered

it's been a pretty good day. We went to see Simon in Southall in the morning, and Lucy ran around in the sunshine with the cubs, having a marvellous time in and out of the tent and generally being a happy toddler.

When we got home, we had a visit from friends of ours borrowing the camera, and they brought cake, which was kind, so we sat in the sunshine and ate cake, and watched Lucy jumping in and out of the paddling pool. They don't have kids, so I think she was a bit of an eye-opener for them. The first time they came to visit her, Jamie sat and stroked her head and hands, and Ben stood at the other side of the room, unable to approach in case he spilt tea on her. Funny, clumsy man.

We then went to Hobbycraft, where Lucy was excellently behaved until she decided to run out of the shop and into the carpark, fortunately not in front of a moving car, but still. Little ratbag. She also threw a tantrum in WHSmiths, when she was stopped from throwing all the cards on the floor and stamping on them, and another minor one in Boots when she was told that she had to come with Mummy and leave the very interesting necklace display with a mirror backing that she was admiring herself in. I gave in on that one, and got her godmother something from the Benefit counter which was next to the display, thus spending far more than I was intending originally. Oh well. I had to buy a "reward for good behaviour" for her in order to get her in the car. She threw her water cup out of the car on the way home, which was good of her. I'm vainly hoping that by the time she's actually two, she will have got over the tantrum phase.

My colleague Anna who was a bit junior to me and is now my line manager is also pregnant, so we will be on maternity leave at the same time. She's really happy, and it should be fun to have a friend at home too. That's what I'll miss this time around, having lots of people around. When Lucy was tiny, I had 6 friends from the NCT around and my friends Gaby and Susie with their little ones. At least I'll have Lyn and Anna to go to coffee with, and I'm going to be doing a breastfeeding course, so I'll meet some new mums from that. My friend Agnes is having a baby in August, so we'll see her, although she lives miles and miles away. I'm really looking forward to it.

I've started knitting the front of the Viv I started ages ago, and it's a really quick knit once I'm passed the ribbing, which will make it 7 jumpers and cardigans this year. Hurrah.

New home

I felt like a change. Maybe I'll update this a bit more often.

Currently, we are home alone Lucy and Mummy, as Simon is at Cub Camp in Southall. It was alright until I woke up this morning, all alone. *sob*

I've finished the knitting on my Garter Yoke Cardigan, hurrah. It just needs washing, blocking and buttons. We are going to HobbyCraft in a bit, so I will pick some nice buttons up. I don't have enough matching ones in the box.

Baby 2 is still growing away, I'm sure I felt it again last night. So relieved.