Wednesday, May 31, 2006
After yesterday's horrors (M woke at 5.30 in a foul mood and whinged and cried her way through the entire day until Auntie Sara came to visit at 5.30 - resulting in a very cross and shouty mummy too), there's nothing to make you feel like a Good Mummy like putting an apron on your 2-year-old, standing her on a chair, and baking muffins (if you make it, halve the topping quantities as I threw a load away). It would have been even more successful if she'd eaten them all up rather than picking out the apple chunks ("I don't like that") - have made a mental note to chop 'em smaller next time. But she enjoyed stirring and sprinkling the toppping, and even did the dishes and some left languishing from last night (as she was there anyway).
We then sat in the garden and read magazines while the muffins cooled, then I repotted some more poor neglected plants, and planted some french bean seeds, while she felt-penned her legs, tried to drown my baytree, and sprinkled compost about. Then wee'd on the floor (health visitor reckoned a week? Not a chance. M must be particularly slow, or I am unusually bad at asking if she needs to go. Or both.)
After lunch we walked to the village farm shop (tiny but another reason why we love living here) for veg: M fell asleep in her buggy so is now snoozing on the patio while I wait for a locksmith to come and sort out unopenable doors. I have to wonder where the 'farm' is, given that they sell pineapples, oranges, grapes and cherries (the veg seems more likely). Or are all shops entitled to be 'farm shops' given that, presumably, all fruit and veg comes ultimately from a farm. Is it the modern word for greengrocer?

Friday, May 26, 2006
One more: I am really happy to have an outdoor washing line again. An dyes, I am quite aware how hopelessly, irredeemably sad this makes me. We've been friends a long time now: you'll forgive me.
(Bloody cat just brought me a fledgling collar dove. Am not impressed.)

Reasons to be cheerful:
- Maggie did a wee on the potty! This is very exciting indeed.
- The insurance company have agreed to repair or replace the carpet, less £75 excess. I dropped the iron on it and melted a big irony-shaped mark (which might teach me not to attempt ironing when knackered. Or at all).
- Maggie slept from 7.30-3.30 last night; had a drink of milk*, went back off until 6, came in with us and stayed quiet until 7.15! And I'd gone to bed at 10 so have had more sleep than I know what to do with.
- The sun is shining.
- I found my maternity swimsuit, which was AWOL. Naturally, it was in a box with newborn baby clothes rather than with other maternity stuff.
- The health visitor said M was brilliant (I paraphrase slightly) and that you can tell she's got her mummy at home. It is very unusual to feel anything other than a cop-out from society, not paying one's way, etc etc (see this great book), so that was a real boost.
*Is milk in bed at night Bad?

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Had another midwife appointment this morning, after last week's failure (they were running 30 minutes late and I wouldn't wait - M would have had to miss swimming and I'd have had to entertain her in a waiting room full of ill people for half an hour). Have quite a lot less blood than I did this morning, and 'my' midwife was off sick so we met another. Who I loved, and who is very keen on waterbirths (unlike some on the team, apparently), and hope turns up when I am in labour. Dashed almost the entire width of Cheshire (Saughall is right on the Welsh border; Northwich can't be very far from the county border the other side) to take M for her swim. Back home for a quick lunch and a whizz about with a hoover before the health visitor came to inspect. Which she did very well: you'd never have known she was inspecting and she didn't look at all health-visitory being about my age but infinitely more trendy. We got along famously (which I know is her job) so I feel quite sad that, as she is expecting in November also, she won't be my HV for the new baby. Perhaps we'll meet at a baby cafe.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Is 3 weeks too soon to fall out with the neighbours? The side we haven't yet met has three horribly noisy dogs. I don't know what they are but they are small and white and very very loud. Every time we go in the garden there they are, yap yap yap. Not exactly relaxing, and M is quite nervous about going out there. She was improving and getting used to it (though I still grit my teeth) until today: I've started letting the cats out under supervision and when the dogs saw them they went mad! The volume must have doubled, which was bad enough: the cats doubled in size to match and retreated into the house. When they next ventured out, one of the dogs broke through the fence and chased them into the house and up the stairs: this I will not have. Can't decide whether to go round, introduce myself and mention it casually or just to reinforce the fence and hope they settle.
Otherwise a pleasant day: small adventures. We took the bus into Chester (is nice on the bus, people chat to you), had a lovely coffee and joined the library, arriving serendipitously just before "rhyme time" so we also got half an hour of songs and stories. Unfortunately Maggie filled her nappy just before it started (sorry, is that over-sharing?!) so was the stinkiest child there and wouldn't sit down (can hardly blame her for that). Naturally I had gone out without a spare - I am such a bad mother - so we had to run to Boots and buy pants and wipes before getting the bus home. Small adventures!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Sorry I haven't been here: been busy building an ark. Ha ha ha. Actually, the sun came out today for long enough to run in the garden a little (cats too), sweep up a patio-full of lilac blossom to go in my shiny new compost bin, and have a walk to the other end of the village to investigate the nursery (plants not children) which turned out to have a minute farm shop with fabulous fruit and veg. So rather a success all in all. It's raining again now, naturally.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
My goodness, isn't the NHS bossy? I got a letter through confirming the appointment I made for a scan (having declined the dating scan, I decided to have the anomaly one around 20 weeks) and giving a list of dictates: I must empty my bladder an hour before the scan then drink a pint of water (not fizzy) and not go to the loo again. I must bring £2 for parking and more money if I want a printout of a scan picture. I "will" be seen by a hospital midwife who will check I have "correctly" managed to see the community midwife (what the...??!). I may bring one adult, but if I bring a child that adult may have to wait outside with it.
And it's full of typos.
I also got a letter "to the parents of Margaret Stewart" from the health visitor. Margaret Stewart is my mother: is that really who they mean? How have they got Maggie's name wrong when I filled in the form veryclearly; I am nearly certain I got her name correct.
I am not filled with confidence.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Maggie woke at 4.30 again this morning, meaning my day also started very early (despite best efforts to make Cameron get up and give her breakfast, I didn't manage to get back off to sleep). Which meant that I wasn't entirely with it while she was finger-painting this morning and didn't notice until it had already become face-and-hair painting! She had fun, and she enjoyed the unusual mid-morning bath that resulted; she even had a short unscheduled nap straight afterwards, which was quite a bonus.
Today's other amusing Maggie story is set at breakfast: me still half asleep, radio 2 babbling inthe background. All of a sudden she started a really whingy cry don't like the muuuusiiiiic which lasted until the song finished. The song? Phil Collins, against all odds. What a discerning child: Cameron is extremely proud.
Lastly - and I hate to be a mummy bore - she went out to play all on her own yesterday. I was all nervous (I am just rubbish) but the two little girls next door are very nice and took her on their trampoline and in their playhouse. She came back with her very first "fruit shoot": what a big grown-up girl! I imagine the novelty of playing with a 2-year-old might wear off for them quite quickly (they are 5 and 8) but we'll see. She had such a nice time.
And that, apart from more unpacking and sorting and feeling tired and wishing for curtains, is really that.

Friday, May 12, 2006
Hooray for Wanadoo (unusual, I know), who got me re-broadbanded within 8 days. I no longer feel I am missing a limb. The new house has space downstairs for the PC, which is potentially dangerous: I already spend far more time than I really should online and now I can do it without entirely abandoning my daughter the time spent could grow exponentially. Is there an online anonymous support group?
Had a fabulous day yesterday in York. We stayed overnight in Harrogate with Suzanne and Mia (and Uncle Crisp, as Maggie insists on calling him). After a nice early start (M was up at 5, as she has been every day since we moved) we headed into York. Glorious sunshine and a nice pottery town. Coffee, cake, mooch mooch mooch. A lovely lunch (anyone searching for food in York, I can enormously recommend Oscars on Stonegate, although we will never be allowed back, having coated their stylish 'Mediterranean' courtyard in chips, chicken, crayons and then I dropped and broke a glass bottle.) Then, some false starts later, we found the theatre for the FIMBLES LIVE! Hosted by Sarah-Jane, no less. (Those who are innocent of the ways of cBeebies, you have no idea.) When she skipped onto the stage - she is so am-dram - Maggie pointed and shouted "It's Sarah-Jane", which just set the tone for the afternoon. They loved it. My only criticism would be that it was slightly too long. I think a 4-year-old would have coped (but do 4-year-olds still like the Fimbles?) but for our two, an hour would have been plenty, rather than 45 minutes then an interval then another half hour.
In the car coming home Maggie asked where the Fimbles had gone, then asked if we could see them again tomorrow. A success.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I'm back - but only sporadically as I just can't cope with dialup slowness. Many, many boxes, but all our belongings in one place for the first time in more than 4 years. A new village, a new house.
Oh, and a new baby due in November. Did I mention that?