Tuesday, May 31, 2005
BAD cats.
Two very small, very sweet, very dead baby bluetits.

Blimey: sunshine on a bank holiday? How novel. How pleasant. Martyn, Rebecca and Amy came over for a picnic lunch (in the garden). Maggie slept through it so we had the bizarre experience of time in the garden without having to rush over and whirl her away from the pond every few minutes (why is it so fascinating?) Beer was drunk so we both then fell asleep in the afternoon while M played very nicely by herself; it was almost like a pre-child holiday. As far as I can tell she just moved things about at random as I spent the evening returning items. I woke up when she put Cameron's shoes on the sofa next to my face (nobody could sleep through that smell ha ha ha).
Buying house is being surveyed this week. Selling house has still not had a soul to view, sigh. I'm thinking of wearing a placard on the streets of Warrington; it is a nice house really.

Sunday, May 29, 2005
I have a friend - a very nice friend, I like her and always look forward to seeing her, apart from one thing. She is Competitive Mum. It's OK, I let it wash over me - her baby is never going to compare to Maggie anyway (plus is 2 months younger) but I do get a wee bit irritated when she cross-examines me about Maggie's latest tricks then tells me what she is 'supposed' to be doing. Anyway, all well and good and unfortunately common especially amongst the real go-getter former career success types (as she is). But last week she asked if I was potty training yet and said she was going to start. Now maybe I am being overly laid back but it hadn't even crossed my mind to think about it yet - and her baby can't even walk, how is she going to get to the potty? I don't get it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Is the sun over the yardarm yet? Or does the fact that it is cloudy so I can't see the sun mean that it is OK to hit the gin at 3.30? Because I honestly don't think I am going to cope until C gets home without. M has had no sleep today but has followed me about whinging instead. Apart from the hour we spent with Suzanne's mother-in-law, when she toddled about being all cute and smily and adorable.

Monday, May 23, 2005
Maggie disgraced me today by spitting her half-chewed biscuit out into my hand just as the very smart, blonde-bobbed, pinstripe-suited solicitor came in. She didn't try to shake my hand.
All was forgiven on her sheer joy and excitement at playing with her new ball - by far the best new toy she has ever had. And it has fimbles on, which i don't think she has even noticed yet.
(Maggie, not the solicitor.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005
We're back. Got back last night, actually. Mag nipped south to spend a few days with granny, grandpa and great-granny, also taking in a great-uncle and -aunt and some family friends. I chauffeured. Visited a couple of garden centres, mainly to avail ourselves of their coffee facilities and view their fish and other pets: Maggie met some chickens, who she liked (good oh, I thought, more ammunition in my chicken campaign), and a parrot and some rabbits, who she liked too. Cameron stayed home and did busy house-buying stuff: things I try not to bother my pretty little head about like mortgages and whatnot. Unfortunately I do have to partake and am required to visit a solicitor and financial person tomorrow. Sigh.
Nearly had a viewing today! Ran about wildly tidying and decluttering only for them to cancel at the last minute. "Something came up." I suspect they were invented by the estate agent to persuade us that they have been doing something - time will tell.
All that nonsense in the paper about cloth nappies being just as bad as disposables...what do they suggest we do, put down plastic and let the babies run about bare? (Of course not, plastic is bad too.) Got very cross with the Times report that suggested - no, not suggested, actually came right out and said - that people using cloth nappies are smug. I'm not smug. I don't think I am smug. Am I smug?
The Nappy Lady has replied here pointing out (as I have been all weekend to anyone who will listen) that it's the landfill that is a real problem and that we don't all use fabric softener/boil wash/tumble dry (OK I do tumble dry unless the sun is really bright but that is because I am Bad and Lazy). Nobody yet has pointed out - because it is largely irrelevent I suppose when they are concentrating on environmental issues - that they work out enormously cheaper. And the annoying 'eco' lady in the Observer today (who is very green but just can't manage washable nappies because she found she had to spend all her time emptying buckets and washing machines) only made me wonder. I empty a bucket of nappies into the washing machine twice a week: I add detergent and turn it on, then I take them out and hang them out to dry or bung them in the drier. How long can that take?
Arg, is all I have to say on the matter.
(OK, not all I have to say. Probably my most coherent statement, however.)
Scary Doctor Who - I needed a cushion.
Random wibblings: must be time for bed. Boing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005
They accepted our offer.
They want to exchange at the end of July.
(We want to go as slow as possible given that we haven't sold ours...)

Good days and bad days. Actually it all mostly depends in the previous night: last night, Maggie decided not to sleep much, which made her sad so she cried. As a direct consequence, the alarm didn't go off this morning (for some odd reason it did go off around 2 am, so Cameron thumped it, so it didn't go off this morning), so Cameron got up late, so I didn't get a shower, so I don't want to leave the house today but am monging about in tracky bottoms. And Maggie spent the morning whinging and wailing, wanting to be picked up put down picked up put down picked up put down until she was finally persuaded to have a nap. Sufficiently late that she will probably not wake in time to go swimming (and I am not going to wake her). Gah! What was that about the best-laid plans? (The best-evolved routines.)
I haven't even put in my contact lenses, of which I am so proud. Having last owned a pair while pregnant, it is rather exciting not to see the world through baby fingerprints.
Our new estate agent already seems better than the old one: for starters, their signs are nicer. And their photographer must have stood in the shrubbery to take the photo, which disguises (de-emphasises) the viaduct rather well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
More communication news: when leaving Kwikfit this morning I said to Maggie "get teddy, we don't want to leave him behind" - and she did - then "and put the duck down, that doesn't belong to us" - and she did! Amazing. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Those who know me know I am given to wild, sometimes short-lived, enthusiasms. This is my latest; and I want two of these to live in it. I don't think it will be a short-lived fancy - watch this space.

Maggie is definitely starting to communicate: in Sainsbury's yesterday she started quacking. Don't be silly, I said (humouring her), there are no ducks here, but then I looked around and saw a great big poster for the child trust fund with - you've guessed it - a rubber duck on. So she really was quacking not making random noises, and I had to apologise.

Monday, May 16, 2005
Well, Friday was a resounding success. Apart from the fact that it seems a waste of good babysitting to go to a work do (which was really OK except I was nearly crying with tiredness: Cameron was (nominally) organiser so we had to stay to the bitter end). Sara begged us not to put Maggie to bed before leaving, as we had planned, threatening to poke her and wake her up to play if we did, so with mixed feelings (if it all went horribly wrong she might never babysit again) we waved bye bye to Maggie and Aunty Sara in the garden and went out. I had extremely mixed feelings of course, both of us simultaneously never having left her awake in the evening - and only having left her in bed twice before. I am a wimp. But it was great! They played in the garden until Uncle Ian got home then bath, story, bed, asleep by 9. One or two whimpers but apparently she went straight back off on Sara's shoulder (I think we might get her round to settle Maggie every evening: she won't do that for me). Then she woke for a good feed when we got home, well after 1. One! In the morning! Felt like death the next day, mind, and Maggie was too tired to tumble at tumbletots.
Friday afternoon, Maggie had her hearing tested. After all the palaver from last time, I was expecting the properly qualified tester to do something really fancy but no: she stood behind Maggie and dinged chimebars/shook rattles/whispered woowooowooo to see if she reacted. I could have done that.
Yesterday we had a super day of pottering: Archers omnibus then Maggie and I walked to the Spar (well, she walked about halfway, which was very good) while Daddy watched his Very Important Match. Luckily Celtic won so we had cheery Cameron not grumpy Cameron for the rest of the afternoon. I potted up my courgettes and marigolds and put out the sunflowers; Cameron mowed the lawn; Maggie played on her (assembled at long last) birthday climbing frame and made a break for the pond every now and again. Smashing sunshine.

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Had to clear out this morning to let the cleaner do her thing: decided to try Stockley Farm, as Maggie is into animals at the moment (she can baa, quack quack and woof woof. She won't say Mummy.) Unfortunately it was closed - it always pays to do some research before you leave the house - so we meandered across country (keeping the sun in my left eye and avoiding kamikaze pheasants) to find Marbury country park instead. It has a very nice carpark where I sat and read for half an hour while Maggie snored away in the back (what decadence!), then we had a smashing walk to a lake and back. We saw rabbits, dogs, ducks and squirrels, chatted with some nice friendly people, and found the play area for a run. Today has been a good day - it may not be Japan but Cheshire, especially in May, is very beautiful.
(It's all that rain, keeps it nice and green.)
In other news, we will be on the market with estate agent number 2 as of Tuesday: cross your fingers doubly hard as we have found a house we would like to buy. Eek!

Monday, May 09, 2005
First hairstyle Posted by Hello

Not so sure Tumbletots is a good idea. Maggie is now climbing anything and everything and I think she's learnt it there. At playgroup today she stood on the middle bit of a seesaw then on a chair then got knocked down by a big boy on a tricycle. Of course I didn't even notice, I was trying to spot her at the other end of the hall until somebody asked if the screaming child was mine...She has also learnt to get out of the door herself (so musn't leave it open) and to climb up the first two steps of our tansu and throw things off. Arg!
On the other hand, she has learnt to do kisses. Big noisy smackers mwa mwa. Which is very cute - especially when, sitting up in bed, she kisses her teddy bear goodnight.
20 minutes' notice today before the photographer turned up from the new estate agent. All looks sparkly and tidy, just don't open any cupboards, the dishwasher or washing machine, or go out the back door (my ironing pile ended up on the patio: good job it is sunny).

Saturday, May 07, 2005
I should have stayed in bed this morning. I was considering doing just that, having pushed Cameron shower-wards as he was taking Maggie to Tumbletots, but I let myself be persuaded to get up and go to yoga. I felt all virtuous in the car but 10 minutes into the class was wishing I was back in my bed. A substitute teacher did a bizarre blend of tai chi, yoga and pilates, using as far as I could tell her own made-up names for the postures - but that isn't the worst bit - all to Very Loud and Truly Awful music. At 9 am on a saturday, I do not want to be doing 'intense pose' to the sound of the titanic theme, warrior 2 (aha, I know that one) to the circle of life or weird tai chi flows to wind beneath my wings. It was truly, truly dreadful and I found it very hard not to giggle (I also seriously considered getting up and going home but didn't: I didn't want to make her feel bad.)
Surely the point of tai chi is getting the postures right and some sort of concentration effect? Not random waving about of arms ("pluck the tail feathers" and "focus on the back of your hand" being considered sufficient guidance) to the sound of rock ballads. I am going to be haunted by it for some time.
I bet she is chums with my long-ago yoga evening-class teacher, the one whose class I had to stop attending because I always fell asleep (she was big on the relaxation aspect). She used to ting bells and burn incense and witter about breathing in the frequency of angels and/or pink. Call me unimaginative but I don't breathe in colour.

Friday, May 06, 2005
So far this week, Maggie-the-Monkey has climbed on the toilet to reach a book on the counter; had to be wrestled to the ground to prevent her leaping unsupervised into the swimming pool; escaped from the swimming pool and run round the edge while I waded after her like a big wadey thing (a heron strikes me as too graceful but I can't think of anything else that wades. Perhaps a hippo en route to a wallow.); had a tantrum because I wouldn't let her climb into the dishwasher; eaten sand from a sandpit; climbed up a climbing frame (I was at the bottom saying oh no she's quite safe she won't be able to get on it); jumped in puddles and swung from the banisters at the top of a scarily steep stone step. Who said newborns were hard work and it would all get easier?!
Jura has been given a pheromone spray - apparently I squirt it round the house, which makes her happy so she stops 'over grooming'. Sounds a bit bonkers to me but worth a try.

Thursday, May 05, 2005
Oh, right. Was I supposed to put something about the election? Too busy.
(I did get up the road to vote. In the rain. Not another soul about, apart from a very young and slightly damp Tory chap hanging about at the door. I felt quite sorry for him, but only in a cup-of-soup-if-I-had-one way not a vote way.)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Does anybody enjoy quote unquote? I think it might be Ok if it took the 'light-hearted quiz' lunchtime slot, but as the third part of the cycle with just a minute and I'm sorry I haven't a clue, it is just irritating and dull.

Monday, May 02, 2005
A glorious day today: we like May. The apple trees are in full blossom, we have squirrels nesting up the conifer and the new growth on the roses looks and feels like plastic. There is at least one frog in the pond already, plus the 20-odd tadpoles I added last week (which have disappeared but presumably are thriving). The sweet peas have just got big enough to need tying in (a job I always enjoy) and my wee courgette plants are getting lovely and strong. On the down side, there are things sprouting left, right and centre that I should probably hoe - they are almost certain to be weeds and I will be regretting not doing that in another couple of weeks - but can't quite bring myself to in case they are something fabulous I planted 3 years ago and forgot about. I have been digging up self-seeders and redistributing them to make the garden look healthy (ready for our new estate agent), as well as popping some into pots - ever the optimist - to take to our new garden.
The heavens opened just as we planned to go out for today's scheduled baby-tiring...but closed again so we did manage to get to Walton Hall, only to find that the children's zoo is shut for refurbishment. Bah. Still, a swing, a walk round the gardens (ducklings! baby coots*! squirrels!) and a cup of tea was not bad. I like bank holidays.
The rest of the weekend was spent in Lockerbie where the Watson clan convened at a coountry manor to celebrate Cameron's mum's birthday. Apart from the food poisoning, it was very nice.
*Or moorhens, I can never remember which is which. I do know they are a bit horrible and peck the head of the weakest chick until it gives up and goes off to die.