Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mommy rant

Ok so this is why people start blogs, right? To rant about things they are annoyed at. I like to think I am not easily irked about things and I actually think motherhood has already made me a much more patient person. That being said, today I had to force my eyes not to roll in annoyance.

We are getting new windows put in our flat (exciting!) so today we had the windows guys come and take measurements. I, of course, had forgotten about this. We all know I have a bad case of baby brain so I'm sure this comes as no surprise to you either. William called me at 9am when he got to work to remind me and said the guys would call and tell me an hour before they would be here. Ok, that's fine, I can go with the flow I said. Slightly bugged that I had to put on makeup and something other than pajama bottoms but it was fine (and probably better than wearing my bathrobe all morning anyway).

So, they call around lunch time and say they are coming between 3:30pm and 6pm. As far as I'm aware, that is not a one hour time slot. But again- I am flexible- so I said no problem, see you then! Freddie and I have lunch and he goes down for a nap at 1:15pm. A half hour later (!) he wakes up and is majorly bugged. I'd just finished pumping and had started making soup- very ambitious for me but I thought it'd be easy since he normally sleeps an hour and a half. Could be the new teeth, the fact that he is learning how to pull himself up on everything (more on that below), who knows. Anyway, he was wrecked but would not go back to sleep.

And, not only would he not go back to sleep but for the next hour he would not let me put him down. He was sad, mad and clingy- a triple threat. So, I made soup with one hand and held him on my hip with the other while periodically trying (unsuccessfully) to get him interested in the dozens of toys sprawled all over the floor. You know how I love to multitask so this was not a huge problem for me.

The windows guys get here at 3pm. They come straight in, with no small talk, and just start measuring everything. This is fine with me since Freddie and I are still literally attached at the hip. I totally forgot (baby brain strikes again) that I have to let them out to the garden so they can see the outside of the bedroom windows so I am now also frantically searching for our key to the back door while holding Freddie and trying to finish the soup. I can't find the key so I knock on my neighbor's door and borrow his.

I then realized I haven't offered the windows guys tea or coffee. Now, for my American readers you might think this is overkill in the hospitality department. Well, it's the thing to do here anytime someone steps two inches inside your front door. I actually think it's a nice, friendly thing to do when you have visitors and I myself always appreciate the offer when I go to peoples houses. That being said, I was currently STILL holding an upset Freddie, cooking soup and trying to figure out which of the 5 keys on my neighbor's keychain was the one for the back door. But, I do the nice thing and I offer the two guys tea or coffee.

The younger guy looks at Freddie's red eyes, my greasy hair (I put on makeup but had skipped the shower- I'm not superwoman!) and the sweet potato on my shirt and said no thanks. The older guy glanced over from the living room window and said "thanks, I'd love a cup of coffee! One sugar and a bit of milk please." WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT! Are you serious?! It was seriously all I could do not to roll my eyes and glare at the same time (an impressive feat in and of itself). So, I wiped my sweaty brow (Freddie is getting heavy!) and made him a cup of coffee while finishing the soup, holding Freddie and trying to figure out which key to use.

I mean can some people honestly not tell when you are just asking to be polite? Come on! It was so obvious! I could not have looked more frazzled. UGH.

Anyway, on a lighter note- this is what I encountered when I went in to get Freddie after his morning nap:
What a show off only holding on with one hand!! :)

Monday, 28 January 2013

Food for thought

Freddie's been eating solid foods for just about 3 months now. We started with baby porridge mixed with milk, transitioned to finger foods like overcooked carrot sticks and plain toast and now, it thrills me to say this, we are to the point where we are all (sometimes) eating similar things.

This is exciting for one major reason: I don't have to cook three completely different meals (for William: a meat version, for myself: a veggie version, for Freddie: a baby version). And trust me, when you are trying to have dinner ready at 5-530pm and have an 8-month old trying to bust into the kitchen- this is a challenge. Depending on what was on the menu, I would sometimes have to start cooking at 4 in the afternoon. 4pm!!

Now that we have the baby gates up, Freddie just sits patiently in the hall and waits for me to get dinner ready. HAHAHA. Just kidding- what actually happens is he plays with a toy for about 2 minutes and then looks at me like, "what else have you got?" I end up throwing him whatever is close by and not sharp to buy me another couple minutes. Lately this has included tupperwares, measuring cups and the spatula.

Here are a lunch and dinner we've had recently:

For me: an open-faced bagel with hummus, quorn chicken slices, cheese, avocado and rocket, an apple, two clementines, a yogurt and water.

For Freddie: cooked parsnip sticks with a little peanut butter, cream cheese and avocado on toast, half a banana, yogurt and water.

For ALL OF US!: angel hair pasta, tomato and basil sauce and fake-meat meatballs (these are the Sainsbury brand and are actually SO good).

Kinda makes ya hungry huh! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Highchair acrobatics

Freddie, for the most part, loves the time we spend at the table eating meals and socializing. He eats with his hands or else from the spoon when we feed him, drinks from a cup on his own, and participates in the conversation (latest sound: "babababa"). He also loves sneaking his feet out from under the tray. Sometimes he just looks at them and holds his toes and sometimes he pulls his entire foot (or feet!) up onto the tray.

I'm impressed with the fact that he can do this and continue to eat an entire meal. I don't think I'd have the dexterity! I guess eventually we have to teach him to keep his feet off the table but for now it's just too darn cute so we'll let it slide.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Photo of the week- Our little jailbird

We had to put baby gates up recently for safety reasons- it's just too dangerous having Freddie crawl into our little kitchen when we're cooking dinner. It's small enough when William and I both try to squeeze into it but add in a crawling 8-month old and you have a whole 'nother story. I'm just too scared of stepping on his little paws or dropping something on him. So, the gates were a must.

As you can tell, he had somewhat of a hard time adjusting to them. The poor guy looks like he's trying to escape from jail! The worst is when he grabs onto them with both hands and shakes them as hard as he can. Talk about making me feel guilty!!

This was taken a few days ago though and, thankfully, he has gotten used to them a little bit. He now likes to hold onto the bars and pull himself up or else gnaw on them to soothe his incoming teeth. They have become useful to all of us.

The only slight problem at the moment is when I try to rush through them. Only part of it swings open so if you don't go straight out you end up hitting your thighs off the edges of the gate. I have the bruises to prove it! I guess there's a period of adjustment for all of us. :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Unconventional Toys

You've seen Freddie play with cereal boxes before but he's taking it to a whole new level these days. We got a new, easy-to-fold umbrella stroller for our upcoming trip to Seattle and Freddie has spent the majority of this week playing with the box it came in. He's getting better and better at standing up on it and loves shoving the toys I put on top over to the other side. He then sort of nose-dives over the top to retrieve them.

William has also invented a game with the box that Freddie just loves. William holds the box at one end and Freddie holds it at the other and they send toys back and forth to each other. Freddie does a little jump every time one slides down and falls out on to his lap. It surprises him every time!

Another favorite "toy" at the moment? William's new shoes. And any shoes for that matter! This is our go-to toy for diaper changes, getting him into his PJ's and basically any time we need to distract him for 30 seconds while we do something. Some of his infant-sized shoes (hilarious that they even sell those) have also become strictly teething toys. The rubber soles have definitely helped his latest installment (the two front teeth!) come in.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Day!

The snow has been falling in Edinburgh the past couple days and we've been out enjoying it as much as we can! Freddie even helped build his first snowman!

We are lucky enough to live right by Holyrood Park so we head there almost every day for a walk. It's beautiful any day of the week but the snow brings something extra special to the scenery. Freddie definitely noticed there was something different going on. He loved watching all the kids sledding (sledging as they say over here) and making snowmen. Next time it snows we'll have to lay him down to make a snow angel.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Extreme Multitasking

I've touched on this in a previous post but I have some days where I'm SO impressed with my multitasking skills that I want to brag about it to everyone. I can get so much done in a short amount of time that I surprise even myself at times. Now you, my lovely blogger audience, get to hear all of the way-too-specific details of what I refer to as extreme multitasking.   

Most parents will probably agree that when your kid(s) go down for a nap it is time to MOVE. This is your (only) time to get things done so you better make the most of it. Yesterday I put Freddie down for a nap at 1pm and before he was even asleep (took him 4 minutes) I had done the lunch dishes, put a load of diapers in the washing machine, cleaned the high chair and vacuumed the living room and hall. I know, I know, it's thrilling stuff. But seriously- 4 minutes! You're impressed, right?

It gets better. So at 1:04pm I see on the monitor that he is asleep. I check on him, make a cup of tea, sit down with the computer, open five tabs (email, bbc, rbs, dailymail and dlisted), start pumping milk (I told you I was going to get specific!), drinking tea and catching up on my news/online banking. Then the phone rings. It's William. I continue pumping milk, logging into my bank, drinking tea and now add talking on the phone to the mix. I NEED ANOTHER HAND!

Seriously though- maybe there is an opening in the market for this. We could call it a "helping hand" or "mummy mitt" and it could attach to your head like a headlamp but be an extendable, remote-controlled arm. I guess you would have to operate it with one of your other hands though, or a foot. So maybe learning to utilize our toes more is the answer. Anyway, I've left you with a lot to think about, I know. If anyone wants to go into business with me and help make and market this "parental prong" then let me know!

Until then- I would encourage you all to see how much of a multitasker you can be. Extreme multitasking is intense and unsustainable yet definitely necessary at times. If you start to feel like your head is going to explode then you're doing too much.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Photo of the week- A no-lip smile

Freddie and his big blue eyes! He's been doing this no-lip smile lately due to, we think, his new teeth. He has two bottom teeth and is currently working on the front two on top. How do we know this? Because we were all up at 4am trying to help our crying, drooling little guy through it! HEAVENS!

So far his set of teething keys seems to give him the most relief although tupperwares are the next best thing. Something about that hard plastic! I've also given him a wet rag and my finger to chew on although the latter is starting to become less of an option. Ouch! If anyone has any other suggestions about how to help him through this, please- send them my way!

The first two teeth didn't seem to give him as much trouble as these for some reason. I thought it was supposed to be less painful the more they got. Is that a myth? Wait- I don't want to know. I'll just cross my fingers these are the worst so he can get them in and we can all go back to catching some more Z's.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sleeping beauty

Ever since Freddie learned to roll over he has loved sleeping on his tummy. After William or I sing "Mary had a little lamb" (before every nap and before bed- heaven help us!) we put him in his crib and he immediately rolls over onto his tummy and worms himself to the corner of the crib. He usually falls asleep there within a couple minutes. He must like the secure feeling of the side and end of the crib.

Lately, however, he has managed to fall asleep in some pretty unusual positions and seems to like sticking his legs out in particular. Here are a few photos I've managed to take while he's been sleeping. I even risked the flash for one (I know, I know, I'm really living on the edge!).

Friday, 11 January 2013

Photo of the Week (we're sick) & More

Hellooooo readers. First off, I need to apologize (apologise for you UK-ers) for not posting much this week. Freddie got a bad cold as soon as we got back to Edinburgh and I caught it a couple days later. William, thank goodness, managed to avoid it (supporting his theory that I get sick more often than him because I don't eat meat) so he had the pleasant task of fetching Freddie and I anything we needed at any time during the day or night. Tank you William! (said in an Irish accent).

Thus, here is the photo of the week:

I am happy to report that we are feeling much better. Freddie is back to his energetic self and I don't have to spend the majority of my day wiping snot off both of our faces. Yay! Freddie's been crawling (still with his worm technique) and sitting and now....pulling himself up! Whatttttttttttt! This has all happened very quickly. You can tell he is proud of himself because even though his legs are shaking he sneaks a look at me as if to say- "look what I can do!" I'll try to get it on video but for now, here are some still shots of his moves:

I have one last bit of news for you all and it's a big one. Freddie has started saying "Mama." It started a couple weeks ago and I thought it was a fluke at first but he says it every day now and it's WONDERFUL! He doesn't really say it to anything or anyone in particular but it's still so great. I am trying to catch this on film too but he doesn't really want to cooperate- he always says it the second I stop recording!

TGIF and thanks for reading! Hope you all have a good weekend. William and I are heading out to see a show tonight in what will be our first "date" since Freddie was born over 8 months ago. It will also be the longest stretch of time I have ever been away from him (overprotective Mom alert). Thanks to Freddie's aunt and uncle who are babysitting- he can't wait to see you guys!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Down on the farm

Freddie had the opportunity to go to a real farm when we were in Ireland for Christmas. Quite different from the "farm" we went to for Santa photos, this farm had acres of land and dozens of cows. It was legit.

We saw a calf that was just weeks old as well as a number of pregnant cows. And- I learned what the difference is between a cow and a heifer. Anyone know? There's nothing quite like being out in the country air surrounded by cattle... As you might (and I should) have expected, we came home smelling like manure but it was all worth it. Note to self for the next time though- shower after instead of before. Yowzers- that scent is not for the faint-hearted.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Freddie's First Christmas

Happy New Year everyone!! After a short hiatus, I am back and ready to blog. We had a wonderful Christmas in Ireland, full of many 'firsts' for Freddie. The photo/movie highlights are below. He really took his time opening presents (check out the video) so it was good he had his cousins around to help him out in Ireland.

First time opening presents:

First Edinburgh Christmas:

First Ireland Christmas:

First Christmas dinner: 

First Christmas cracker:

Freddie also sat up for the first time on his own and had his first trip to a farm! More about those two momentous events in the next post! Until then, Happy 2013 to you all! Freddie and I are off on a run as soon as he wakes up from his morning nap. I think we both put on a bit of "holiday weight" so it's time to burn some cals.

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