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.