Wednesday, 30 November 2011

This Toddler Does Not Eat Breakfast!

I think breakfast is over-rated.  These days, I won’t eat it, whatever they give me.  Any of it.  If I’ve been asleep for hours (and sometimes I have, sometimes for really a very long time!) I want to get up and make the most of the day!  Why waste time eating?  There are toys to be played with, pictures to be drawn, not to mention the attention that must be lavished on Hairy Dog when I’ve not seen him in so long.  So, to assert my authority, I, the toddler, won’t eat breakfast.
It’s a small stand to make, but it does have Mummy’s attention focused at the moment.  All credit to her, she’s been quite inventive with the breakfast menu of late.  There’s been a bit of repetition, but generally there’s been something different every day for the last couple of weeks.  I might almost get excited to see what she’s come up with every day!
I’ve had the standard baby breakfasts of cereal with milk or yogurt.  We’ve done bread, sometimes toasted, with just butter or something a bit more interesting like jam or Marmite.  There was even chocolate spread this morning but I only know that because a little bit smeared on my thumb as I threw the plate to the floor without tasting the food.  I had to surreptitiously lick off the chocolate on my thumb so Mummy didn’t think she was making progress.  I’d be amazed if she thought chocolate spread was going to be a sustainable option because she’s quite insistent on me “eating properly.” I guess that’s why this breakfast lark has her knickers in a twist.
I’ve had an array of cooked options, too – omelettes, with ham or mushrooms or cheese, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage.
There’s always fruit on offer, and a couple of mouthfuls of banana is the most I’ve had for breakfast in ages and that’s only because I forgot myself and tucked in before I remembered I don’t eat breakfast.  Hairy Dog had the rest.
The clever thing about this game is that I’ll eat any of these things later in the day, I’m not a fussy eater, I just don’t want to eat first thing.  We often have a play before breakfast now as Mummy tries to make me think more time has passed than is actually the case, but I’m not stupid.
Milk, on the other hand, is something I will not miss out on.  The milk routine is much stricter in this house, and I’m quite insistent that we maintain those standards.  Mummy and Daddy have approximately ten seconds longer than it takes for me to walk from my bedroom to the kitchen in the morning before I go into a milk-deprivation-induced meltdown.  It can be done, but they need to be quick!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Quick, While No-One's Looking - SatCap

So I found one!  SatCap over at Mammasaurus here and I’m there in the nick of time!  What have you got for this one?

You Get The Picture

I have another glitter masterpiece for you this week, this time using paint, too. For me, this is one of the very best things about nursery – I get to ‘create’ with glitter far more frequently than Mummy and Daddy would ever allow!

I’m looking forward to seeing some more pictures from talented young artists, so link ‘em up! Don’t forget, the ‘no rules’ rule of You Get The Picture is that anything goes; pictures, models, other creations, photos (including shots of artists in action) – whatever you’ve been impressed by this week, or just fancy sharing this week.
Here’s the list . . .

Friday, 25 November 2011

Where I Do It . . .

I’ve been tagged by several people in the “Where Do You Do It?” meme – apologies for taking so long to get round to actually sharing with you all.
I generally do it here, on the sofa.

Sometimes I face forwards but other times I spin round and put my feet up on the sofa.  That way, I can see Daddy sitting in his chair, but I can also see the fire, which I really love.  I have my feet up tonight and the flames are licking the logs, which just makes the whole house feel so cosy.
I would love to have a proper office to write and work from, perhaps in the garden, and I (and Mummy) believe it will happen one day. Until then, I make myself comfy in the sitting room, beside the window, with my drink and my things around me.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wot So Funee? Good Vibrations From The Cat Next Door

Our next door neighbours have a beautiful cat.  He’s white and really fluffy, and his name is Dylan.  He drives Hairy Dog crazy but does seem to enjoy taunting him.
Anyway, we were watching him yesterday and Mummy said, “Look, there’s Dylan. Can you say ‘Dylan?’”
“Dylan,” I dutifully responded.
“Oh, clever girl!” Mummy gushed, “Can you say it again?”
“D*ldo.” (I can’t put the vowel in for fear of weird traffic, but in case you’ve not figured it out, replace the '*' with an 'i'.)
Mummy sniggered.
“D*ldo.” I said again, and have done ever since.  I don’t understand – Wot So Funee?
Have a look at some of the other Funees at Actually Mummy here.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

You Get The Picture

Yay! It’s “You Get The Picture” 2!  Back for its second week, my new weekend-long meme is a chance to showcase your children’s artwork or photos, from any time, with or without accompanying words.
My entry this week is a felt pen on paper effort, what Mummy has entitled, “Blue Rage.”  I was playing with Mummy and Daddy this week and I found Mummy’s headphones.  Silly or her to leave them within reach, I agree.  I started twisting and stretching them till Daddy could take it no more and asked me to give them to him.  “Get your own,” I thought, and told him quiet firmly, “No!” 
He asked another couple of times, then counted to three.  On three I got up, walked over to him, reached out my hand with the headphones but then swiped it back before he took them, and ran off laughing.
I was quite affronted when he then took them away, and that’s where the rage bit came in.  Rage on his part too that he’d been mocked by a one-year-old.  Mummy was stifling a laugh. She thinks I didn’t see but I did.

(Please excuse the big white spot in the middle - it's the flash bouncing off plastic because this work of art is laminated!)
And now it’s your turn!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

My Birth Story

I’m joining in with the blog hop over at Actually Mummy.  It’s sharing birth stories, so I thought Mummy would be better placed to write this one.  Have a look at the others here. She’s done me a letter to cover it all:
Dear CB,
I had what you might call a ‘text book’ pregnancy so I was hoping the birth would be straightforward, too.  We were so excited about meeting you, but then when you were two weeks late it was so frustrating.  We tried everything to coaxe you out; pineapple, curry, long walks.  No luck.
Then, the night before you were born, Daddy came home in a bit of a grump, saying how tired he was and that you’d better not come that night because he wanted some sleep. I was talking to Auntie K and we giggled thinking it would serve him right if you did decide to make an appearance that night.  And sure enough, as we lay in bed, I felt the first contractions.  I didn’t tell Daddy for the first hour or so because I wanted to be sure, but I was timing them.
He went to turn off the television at ten o’clock and I told him then that you were on your way.  He said a naughty word (in fact, he said a few) and told me to time the contractions and wake him up when they were regular.  More naughty words when I explained that I had already, and we got up.  I phoned the hospital and spoke to a midwife (a man, do we call him a midhusband?!) and he trotted out the spiel about timing contractions, asked if this was my first baby and told me that it would be hours yet but to call back when contractions were at least 45 seconds long and about 4 minutes apart.  Ok, I said.  I was at that point within an hour so rang him back to say we were coming in.
Daddy had had our bags ready for ages, but we still didn’t on the road swiftly.  He was making sandwiches!  It was quite a surreal moment, me pacing round the table in the kitchen with Daddy asking me if I wanted mayonnaise on mine.
It took us about three quarters of an hour to get to the birthing centre, which was in total darkness, as if no-one else was there.  In fact, it was just us and the mid-husband.  It was just after one in the morning.  He wasn’t that keen on coming to see us, or at least it felt that way; we were interrupting a quiet night for him.  At least we had the place to ourselves.
Daddy and I had been to NCT classes and had a very rose-tinted idea about what the birth would be like.  I thought it would be lovely to have a waterbirth, with calming music playing and gorgeous scented candles filling the room with relaxing smells.  They’d told us that if the water became impossible, then on no account was I to end up on my back, because that’s absolutely the worst and most difficult position.  Daddy knew that, and he knew what I wanted in the way of pain relief, too.
As it happened, the mid-husband tried to persuade us to go home, saying it would be hours yet as I was only 2cm dilated.  I didn’t feel totally happy with that because it’s such a long drive, and because Grandma and Auntie B both had very quick labours.  Daddy was trying to help me, but felt that the professionals would know as they had far more experience than us, so we were discussing getting a cheapy hotel room up the road.  The mid-husband offered me bath while I made up my mind, but once I’d had it, the contractions were coming so hard and fast that I told Daddy in no uncertain terms we were going nowhere. 
I was walking around all the rooms in the birthing centre, because I could and because I couldn’t really stay still by that point.  I wandered past the birthing pool, annoyed that it still wasn’t being run for me, even though no-one else was there, and I’d been told it could help with the pain.  It had been my plan all along.
Then my waters broke. Everywhere.  A massive whoosh, and suddenly mess all over the floor!  There was blood and meconium in there too, which put paid to the water birth and meant we’d be on our way up the corridor to the main labour ward.  
What happened next was completely unexpected for me.  I went completely primal and went off into the bathroom on my own, looking for a quiet corner I could lie down in to have my baby in.  I sat in there, rocking, and suddenly had a huge urge to push.  “Overwhelming” doesn’t quite cover it!  Daddy came in with a lady and a wheelchair to take me up to the hospital, but they were just getting in my way!  I did go with them, but I really didn’t want to because I was convinced you were minutes away.
It did all happen quite quickly upstairs.  A nice lady came in to see us and told me not to push.  I believe I said quite forcefully that I was going to, so she agreed to have a look, and lo and behold, 10cm, ready to go.  Suddenly, the room was full of people, amazed at how quickly this first time mum was doing, and finally someone gave me some gas and air!  Entonox is wonderful stuff!  In fact, I wouldn’t give it up.  The midwife who took over was brilliant.  Scary, but brilliant.  She took charge straight away and looked a bit like I imagine a military matron would look.  I remember her saying, “Baby’s distressed,” but she acted very quickly and I trusted her, so we did as we were told. 
I was on my back by now, with my feet in stirrups, (about as far from my birth plan as I could get!) The cord was stuck around your neck, so the pushing was tightening it. She had to make a bit of a cut, to help you out quickly, and suddenly, there you were! 5:21 in the morning. Only six minutes for the second stage!  I bled quite a lot, so the midwife ordered Daddy to take off his shirt and he did the important skin to skin time with you while I was fixed up. 
Daddy’s version of this bit is quite funny, but not something you need to hear until you’re much older.  Suffice to say, I was caught by surprise when the midwife had to check that she hadn’t sewn through anything she didn’t mean to!
We took you home that evening and from then on, we have been the proudest parents you can imagine.  We love you so much, CB!
Mummy x

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Where's The Baby?

I think this is a particularly tricky one for you this week, but I’m sure you won’t disappoint.  Leave your captions below, please, then check out the others at Mammasaurus here.

Friday, 11 November 2011

You Get The Picture!

Welcome to “You Get The Picture!”  It’s very simple.  I love looking at pictures, whether photos or handcrafted masterpieces.  I particularly love those that tell a story or that really show a lot of effort and love has gone into it.
There are some great photo memes out there already, but I don’t think there’s one that includes children’s drawings and paintings, and I think they’re the lovely things that should be cherished and shared.  I think too often ‘masterpieces’ are filed away there isn’t enough space for them all on the walls, or they upset the decor, and certainly these days people take more photos than they ever print.  This is your chance to share them!
There are no rules to “You Get The Picture.”  You can just post a picture or photo, or you can elaborate and add words as well.  A lengthy essay, if you really want to.  Anyone can join in – you don’t need to follow me or have commented on anything I’ve done, and if you join in this week, you’re not committed to posting next week.  I won’t even be upset if you never join in again.
All I ask is that you have a look at some of the other entries (fingers crossed for some of them!) Oh, and tell your friends!
So, here’s my first picture.  It’s inspired by the fireworks we saw last weekend and it’s created using glue and glitter.

The linky will open at 00:01 tonight and stay open over the weekend until 23:59 on Sunday.

There will be a badge and a page but I’m having a few technical difficulties again.  Sorry!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

An Impromptu Nappy Change!

Beware, rant alert!  I wear nappies, I know that sometimes when you want it changed, you want it changed NOW, if not sooner.  But saying that, I still believe there is a time and a place.

I have had my nappy changed on the grass in a park, in the boot of a car, and even in my pram when we were in France and there was no baby-change anywhere to be seen.  Even then, Mummy made sure everything was covered and no-one would possibly have known what we were doing.  These nappy changes happen as a last resort, when there is no other option because there is no formal changing area to hand.
Mummy and Daddy are prepared for such situations with a change mat, so I don’t need to lie on anything dirty or sharp, clean nappies, nappy bags, baby wipes, and hand gel, so once I’m clean they can make sure their hands are too.  So many nasty things are passed on through people not having clean hands after coming into contact with the ‘nappy area.’
So, here’s the gross bit.  We were out to lunch on Sunday, happily tucking in to our food, and a family came and sat down beside us.  There were several generations, including a baby boy a little bit younger than me – less than a year, I’d guess.  You’ve probably worked out where this is going by now . . .
Yes, the woman changed the baby’s nappy AT THE TABLE!  Gross, gross, gross!  She did not use any wipes and she did not use anything to wash her hands!  A lady at the table the other side asked her not to do that in the restaurant, but she just replied, “It’s only wet.”  Phew, ‘cos there was I thinking it was disgusting and not washing your hands after going to the toilet was a pretty anti-social and germ-spready kind of thing to do.  How does handling a nappy, albeit one that doesn’t have any poo in it, differ in any way?
As I said, I know sometimes there are no facilities, in which case you might need to do it in a quiet corner, or outside, but not on the table!  Where some unsuspecting person would sit down later on and eat their own lunch!  But, I know that this place does have perfectly good changing facilities, with soap and somewhere to hygienically leave the dirty nappy.
Are we just obsessively prudish and clean freaks, or is that totally unacceptable?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

It's Important To Excercise From A Young Age

You know the score by now, it’s SatCap again!
Leave me your suggestions for my photo, and have a look at some of the others over at Mammasaurus.


Friday, 4 November 2011

Melissa & Doug's High Sea Symphony Review

This week, I’ve been testing out a new Melissa and Doug toy and here’s what I thought by way of a review.
I love music. I am a pretty talented musician in my opinion, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and I can thrash out a beat on virtually anything.  Now, some might say it’s a sound only a mother could love, but I figure if I continue to practice every day, I can only improve.  And practice I do.
Imagine my delight then when Mummy said there was a parcel for me at home, and inside were some musical instruments!  For me! That’s my kind of delivery.
The lovely people at The Wooden Toy Shop ( had sent me the High Sea Symphony by Melissa & Doug.  Melissa & Doug toys always go down well in our house.  You should see Mummy’s ears prick up at the mere mention of their names!

These instruments are aimed at little people from about 18 months, although in my opinion, babies a lot younger could handle them under supervision.   They’re pretty chunky so easy for small hands to grab hold of, and they’re nice and light.  They’re brightly coloured and each one has a face on it, which my friends and I quite like.  Beware though - we like to throw things at the moment and I think they'd properly hurt if they got you in the face!
I liked that they look a bit different from other musical sets around.  Each instrument is in the shape of an ocean creature, so they stand out from ‘regular’ rattles and tambourines. 
If I had to pick a favourite, it would be tricky but I’d go with the octopus tambourine.  The head of the octopus is just so lovely to hold and shake for my little hands, and it makes the loudest, most satisfying noise.
Mummy loves the oyster castanets because of their cheery faces, the different sounds the two sizes make, and quite frankly, because I’m not very good with them yet.  I haven’t really mastered the co-ordination for those yet, (perhaps that’s another reason the box says “from 18 months”) so they’re also the only instrument I really let Mummy touch.  I gave it a go though!

The crab bell would be second choice for both of us. It’s beautifully painted again, and the bell has a satisfying ring.

The final instrument is a seahorse rattle.  I like this one because it’s one solid, smooth shape, but for me, the sound of the beads inside is just too quiet.  The noise is far too easily over-powered by the octopus and the crab and it does take a lot of effort for me to get a noise I can really hear.  It is a bit frustrating so I thought I'd see how it tasted instead. (Not that good, actually.) Each instrument is built to last though, so I’m sure there will come a time when I want a rhythm that isn’t quite so dominant.  Perhaps an accompaniment to my beautiful singing. 

The bright colours are great for stimulating other senses though, and that adds to my overall enjoyment of the toy. All in all, I’d give them an 8 out of 10. It's on sale at The Wooden Toy Shop for £19.29 but if you'd like to win one, the lovely people at The Wooden Toy Shop have agreed to give a set away to one of my readers.

All you need to do is leave me a comment below with who you'd like to win one for, and follow Wooden Toy Shop on Facebook - you'll know them by the little train picture. Mummy will pick a winner at random when the competition closes at noon next Sunday, 13 November. Good luck!

Leaving the toys aside for a minute, Mummy says that in these days of strong competition in the toy market, and the supermarkets trying to undercut everyone, little guys and big guys alike, customer service must play a big part. We cannot praise The Wooden Toy Shop enough on that score. Every dealing we’ve had with them since the very first contact has been prompt, polite and helpful. Their stock is beautiful and my parcel came very quickly and well-packaged. With Christmas just around the corner, I recommend a look at their website.

Neither Mummy nor I have received payment for this review, although we did get to keep the toys. The views expressed are entirely our own.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Music As Therapy - Guest Post From Mummy!

I’ve been tagged by several people for this one and I’m finally joining in with Mammywoo’s Music As Therapy meme!  In fact, I’m not; I’ve passed it over to Mummy because she knows more songs than me.  In fact, she knows too many which is her feeble excuse for why it’s taken so long.
The idea, I think, is that she has to give you lyrics from three different songs, each by a different band, that have touched her in some way.  Is that right?  So, heeeeere’s Mummy  . . .

This post has been so much fun, but so hard!  Mammywoo’s story of ‘losing’ music for a time struck a bit of a chord with me because like her, I don’t listen to nearly as much music as I used to.  It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but has been distinctly lacking recently.  My husband would far rather watch television than listen to music, and he’s not so keen on seeing live music.  Concerts used to be a regular thing for me, since my uncle took me to see Peter Gabriel when I was sixteen, but I can count the number of bands I’ve seen live in the last five years on one hand, without troubling my thumb.
I have an iPod which is regularly my companion on the train and it never fails to amaze me how a song can transport me somewhere completely different, and how something I’ve not heard for a while can evoke such strong memories.  Music can change my mood in an instant.
The tricky thing has been narrowing it down.  My favourite band changes with the wind, and so my favourite song very much depends on my mood.  It does feel odd to me to have a list that doesn’t have any Pulp in there.  Or U2.  Or REM!  But, rules are rules – 3 only – and this is what I thought tonight.
The song I always listen to when I think I need to pull myself together after a tough day at work or when I’m frustrated by something someone has done or said to me is Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be.”  I’m a pretty emotional person – I wear my heart on my sleeve – and this song reminds that that’s ok but helps me channel some of that emotion more positively.  Here is the first verse and the chorus:
Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause your tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted don't be 'shamed to cry

You gotta be, you gotta be bad
You gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know love will save the day
Next up, Guns ‘n’ Roses.  Bet you never expected to see them beside Des’ree in a playlist!  My music taste is nothing if not eclectic.
I’m not posting the full song because although I love the whole thing, lots of people know it and it's a long one, sorry - over eight minutes if you listen!  Of course I think of someone in particular when I hear the song, but not an ex boyfriend as you might expect.  We’ll leave it there. 
Do you need some time...on your own
Do you need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you

Sometimes I need some time...on my own
Sometimes I need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain
And finally, Supertramp’s The Logical Song.  I used to be quite idealistic but sadly that’s long gone.  I want to try and protect CB’s innocence and keep her cynicism-free for as long as possible.  I’m often pretty cynical about Society these days!
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world's asleep, the questions run so deep for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am.

CB will be back tomorrow and normal service resumed.  If you got this far, thank you for reading!
CB’s Mummy

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Three Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day - Part 2

Last week, my What?Wednesday took a bit of a different turn.  I ditched my post-it notes in favour of a tangible ‘thing’ for Joe Public to look out for and I released three rubber ducks back into the wild. Each one had a number and a label, asking people who found them to move them on to another location for someone else to find, and so their journey continues.  A duckie jailbreak, if you will.  It started at Cheddar Gorge, in Somerset.
Duck 1 was left on the roof of a car.  I picked it because it had a car seat inside, so I assumed the owner of the car knows a small person, and hence might be my ‘target market.’  I heard from the man who found it that night to say he had my duckie, but nothing since.  I hope the duck is in the process of being found again.
Duck 2 is my current success story!  He has crossed not one but two county borders and was last heard of in St Austell in Cornwall.  I left him outside the Cheddar Gorge visitor centre and the four year old boy of a lovely honeymooning couple found him.  He will be left somewhere new this week. (the duck, not the little boy, that is!)
Duck 3 is still Missing In Action.  He had already gone by the time we drove back down through the Gorge, so I’m hoping we’ll have news of him soon.
This week, there are three more ducks on the loose.  I've opted for central London this time, about as far removed from leafy Somerset as possible.  Ducks 4 and 5 were set free in Jamie’s Bar in Bishopsgate, and Duck 6 was last seen travelling in the back of a black cab.  Who knows where they’ll end up!  Send news if you find one!
I'm so excited about my quackers adventure, I've even set them up with their own page, so you can check here for updates on where in the world my ducks have been.