Posts Tagged ‘babies

Hello everyone!  How long has it been since I last posted? A year? Goodness knows.

Well, I am firing the brain dribbles back up again, and specifically on this night, because in exactly 6 months’ time I will be doing something really rather crazy. In my opinion, anyway.

Let me rewind three months and tell you the story from the start…

Back in July, I resolved to myself that I would do a parachute jump for NCT and raise some money to help us set up a much needed baby café (breastfeeding drop-in clinic) in Wycombe town centre. I had always wanted to give it ago, and had already put it off three years running. A bit too much alongside having a baby and moving house…

So I emailed head office to enquire.  They emailed back, saying, sorry, not doing it next year.  How about something else? Maybe the London Marathon? Applications available in a month’s time.

My eyes popped out of my head. If you don’t already know me, I’m overweight, technically obese, and haven’t run in 20-plus years. I haven’t done any regular exercise since having my children. It was out of the question. And how disappointing not to be able to do a parachute jump after all.  So I replied, saying, not for me, thanks, not for an award-winning couch potato.  I’d had something altogether less strenuous in mind. Jumping out of a plane is easy by comparison.

But then I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  It’s as if they had sowed a seed and it had taken root.  The more I thought about it, the more I realised that by doing something WAY out of my comfort zone, the more it might be worth sponsoring.  And, for me, it doesn’t get further from my comfort zone than running a marathon.

So, when the applications became available, I sent it in the same day. Amazingly, they accepted me as one of the 8 NCT runners nationwide.  And all the money I raise (£2014, so I’ll need all the help I can get!), can go towards setting up the breastfeeding drop-in that mums of new babies so badly need in the Wycombe area.

Now it’s real, and I am training.  I think it sunk in when I ran in the pouring rain yesterday and I had to take my specs off to see where I was going…. So please sponsor me if you can!


A redirect

Posted on: 20/01/2012

Today I am cheating.

I felt inspired to write a poem about birth. But I have another blog about birth, which is in need of even more attention than braindribbles, so I wrote it there, not here… Do go and see!

For those of you who haven’t come across Doodlemum, well, let me introduce you to some of the best (and funniest) pen-and-ink sketches capturing those essential moments of family life.  I am amazed at her talent, and amused at how, in our little homes hundreds of miles apart, the same things seem to happen.

This one I particularly liked…Enjoy!

Changing your child's nappy in public. Title says it all really, one big battle waged at four feet off the ground with poo thrown in for good measure. Joyo. … Read More

via Doodlemum

thanks to for the imageFor some reason, I just can’t bear the thought of arriving somewhere on holiday and have no food immediately available.  It preys on my mind.  The concept of foraging for food after you’ve got somewhere, spent two hours setting up and are utterly ravenous (and did I mention grumpy kids?), is abhorrent.  I generally order online and arrange for the food to be delivered to our destination soon after our arrival, or pick it up (ready packed) en route.  It makes me feel much better.

On the day of departure, having packed the bulk of the car the night before, having deposited the cats at the cattery, and having cleaned the house thoroughly as soon as the kids were packed (literally) into the car – you never know when you might get a viewing – and then gone back in for the piece of paper that told us where we were supposed to be going, we headed off.  Only an hour and a half later than planned.

Up to the Lincolnshire Fens we drove.  As is traditional on one of our family holidays, we listened to a Harry Potter audiobook.  Annoyingly, it wasn’t the Order of the Phoenix, the next instalment, since nobody seems to stock it any more (has the film franchise bombed the audiobook market??) and I hadn’t got around to ordering it online.  So Prisoner of Azkaban it was.  Kids happy in the back, in spite of barely being able to see/breathe/move under all the paraphernalia they were sitting in/under/amongst, listening to the story. Smallest one gets the biggest seat and nothing on top of her, so she’s particularly happy and snoozles contentedly for most of the journey.

Lunch break and food pickup in Peterborough, roughly halfway to the fens. Wanted to stop and SHOP! since I don’t get much occasion to venture into a shopping centre these days. But we settled for an extremely nice, if rather pricey, John Lewis meal at a table overlooking all the shoppers. Great for making up little stories about the people we see for kiddie entertainment purposes. Sorry, Peterborough.

We wheel the trolley with the best part of a week’s groceries to the car. We then play food tetris.  Loved one, though not a fan of the original computer game, is particularly talented in this area.  Somehow, I’m not sure how, he gets all the cold stuff into the cool box.  Then he gets all of the ambient stuff to stay in various nooks and crannies of the car boot and kiddie laps, without anything falling out.  Respect.

We head on. We are now about two hours late. Lunch was too nice to rush.

I drive along increasingly narrow roads as we pass through Spalding, then Boston. Finally just five miles from our destination, having noticed several ‘High Casualty Route’ signs over the last hour of driving, we see blue flashing lights in the distance and a prominent ROAD CLOSED sign.

I’m sure you can add two and two together.  Our diversion was lengthy; those fens don’t have quite so many roads as I am accustomed to.  At least it was all very pretty, and we hurtled past a beautifully maintained old windmill in the process.

Two and a half hours late, we arrive at the campsite.  ‘Bijou’ is not a word I would usually use when it comes to the joys of camping, but it fits this beautiful bit of land, dotted with caravans and tents, with a picturesque little fishing lake in the middle.  Mark comes out to greet us.  A mop of curly hair, a friendly smile and laid-back attitude. Exactly what we needed. He guides us to our pitch, brings over a fire pit and firewood, and leaves us to set up.

We open the car boot. Amazingly, nothing falls out.  Out comes the Blueberry Hotel, in its two bags, plus the poles we couldn’t quite squeeze in after the last trip.  We lay the groundsheet.  It fills the entire pitch.

Smallest one is keen to leave the car.  Oldest one, having frolicked briefly, kindly agrees to go on anti-drowning duty.  You see, the charm of this place is that all the pitches are set around a lovely little fishing lake. It’s exquisite.  It’s also a death trap, if you don’t watch your non-swimming offspring.   From tent door to lake is a swift ten seconds for smallest one, given the inclination and the opportunity.  We decided we didn’t mind one, but both didn’t bear thinking about.

In spite of a broken pole, the tent goes up in one hour flat.  We pat ourselves on the back.  Last time it took two hours, with no broken poles. The porch takes another twenty minutes, and then smallest one declares vehemently that it’s time for dinner, and can everyone please stop fussing about with that big blue thing over there.

So we cook.   In twenty minutes flat we have a hearty meal, and we huddle round our surprisingly unwobbly camping table and eat, eat eat.  Yum.

Then we wrap smallest one up like a Michelin man, followed swiftly by the other two.  I strum a few lullabies, and then loved one and I grab a couple of beers and stroll outside.

We soak in the sunset.  And we are glad to be here.

Time out

Posted on: 30/04/2011

I have technically been on time out from my studies for the last eight months. Mainly because smallest one’s needs (mostly identified by noisy, attention-grabbing gestures of the cute but extremely distracting variety) were not going to comply happily with the needs of an all-day tutorial group.

As it happens, I’ve got a fair bit of work done anyway.  Knowing that I didn’t want to hang around forever, I did my best to get completely up-to-date, if such a thing can be said for a no-deadlines distance learning course.  Unfortunately I’ve got a lot more to do before I return to tutorials once more in a fortnight’s time.  Yes, it’s a self-imposed deadline, but my tutor may delay my teaching plans (and quite rightly so) if I don’t get it done.

Giovanni Sades /

So I’m just trying to get my head around how to get any work done around the needs of  baby and the rest of the family. Here are my thought processes…

Idea one: work like mad every nap-time.  Very tempting.   Not enough, though.

Idea two: work in the evenings after the kids go to bed.  What, and lose any time to blog?  I barely know what a TV looks like any more.  Not only that, but my brain is fried by eight o’clock at night.  Yes, it probably explains a lot about the kind of blog I have here, I know.  Even more reason, then, not to try and study at this point, not even to get you all off the hook.

Idea three: work at the weekends so that loved one can take care of the kids.  That would be fine, but for two major issues. This weekend he’s away. Next weekend we’re busy.  Oh, and a third issue: being a man, for two full days of childcare while I lock myself in the library, he would of course require an extremely large medal.  (And another one if he worked out how to use the washing machine, of course..)

Idea four: get up early.  I did this for a stint in the past when middle child was this age and I had a presentation to prepare.  It worked a treat.  Not sustainable long term, though, and really, really bad for getting to school on time – I get carried away with the work and am still typing in my pyjamas at half past eight.

Two of those ideas are manageable, though.  If I work during nap time , and I get up early for the next two weeks, I reckon I might actually get it all done.

There’s just one thing. Housework, laundry and cooking, and to an extent childcare will be as good as abandoned for the next fortnight while I am in the throes of essay-writing and presentation-preparing.  (I may be female, but I just can’t multitask when it comes to studying.)

Neglect?  I dare use the word? No, but the terms ‘fobbing off’ and ‘putting off’ may be pretty accurate by the time I’m done.

Life’s little ironies.  There are many of them.  Once upon a time, Alanis Morisette wrote a song about it, just in case we needed any more.

(If you didn’t know what irony was, the Oatmeal can set you straight.)

Anyhow, today was one of those moments that mums everywhere will no doubt relate to.

You change a nappy.  You take baby downstairs.  By the time you have got  to the bottom step, you have to turn round and go back again, because baby has done something so smelly you can’t possibly pretend it was merely passing wind.

This is extremely common.  It happens more than 50% of the time.  I’m fairly sure that smallest one waits for a nice clean nappy to do her business in it, but her motivation perplexes me.  Is it that she wants it done cleanly? Is it that she wants me to get through an adequate number of nappies in a day?

photostock /

Isnt this baby the cutest?

Or is it my undivided attention on the changing mat that she craves more of?

Crafty little thing.  But that’s fine by me..I get her undivided attention too.

Today, for the third time since we got here, we went to the beach.

chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.netSmallest one got her first taste of sand. Quite literally.  She also got a foot caught by a freak wave, which was a little upsetting for all of three seconds, but then found some shells and a wet foot didn’t seem to matter.

I gather in the UK it’s summer already.  Here, on the other hand, it’s a little cloudy, and in spite of a hot sun when it appears, temperatures tend not to go above 20 degrees Celsius (I believe that’s just under 70 in Fahrenheit). Nevertheless, it feels lovely here.  The sea was warm, would you believe (I found out by accident when a wave crept up and washed over my ankles when I still had my shoes on).

Middle and eldest ones immediately got stuck into sandcastle building.  Sandals flung aside, spades digging furiously, the noisy sea battering our eardrums.

A perfect day, near enough.

Every so often, since my wedding day, I’ve taken the opportunity to stop and absorb moments like these.  Without them, my poor little brain has no hope of recalling such perfect moments in time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer of living in the present.  I’m lucky; with three kids I get special moments all the time. On the downside, I’m often so busy looking after them that I don’t take the time to let the wondrousness sink in.

Now that I’m a bit more relaxed out here, though, I’m getting more and more opportunities to soak it all up.  Middle child is being especially adorable at the moment.  Smallest one just learned how to say ‘raahh’ with a tiger swipe. Eldest child seems to have captured the essence of being sardonic to a tee.

Just wonderful.