Monday, 29 August 2011

Tools of the Trade

We decided to be cavalier and take our little bundle on her first family holiday, no where that involved a passport or excess baggage charges, but to the beautiful Cotswolds (and not on our own either, with other family members who also have little people to entertain, i cant recommend this plan of action enough, the more hands on deck the better)

Packing up the car was an experience, how can one tiny little person need so much stuff?? Every inch of the car was jam packed with baby paraphernalia, it was suggested (not by me) to Boyfriend he invest in a roof rack, his face was a picture, for him that would be the final nail in his peter pan existence, you would think he had been asked to drive a 3 wheeler, instead he played suitcase Jenga until it all fitted in. Tilly of course had her own mini suitcase which was packed to perfection, i even took her small hangers to ensure i could hang it all up on arrival, her dad and i on the other hand were limited to a holdall each, how times change.

Tilly chose our weeks holiday to have a growth spurt, and proceeded to wake at 2.30am each night for a top up feed, after boasting she slept 10pm - 5/6am this was quite a shock to the system, nor did she want to sleep in quite as late, i think she was far more interested in watching early morning Sponge Bob with her little cousins.

Having 4 adults on hand meant we were able to take turns to piece with our off-spring and managed to fit in kayaking (both of us) horse riding (just me) and water skiing (just boyfriend, i used Tilly as my excuse but the fact is i am weak as a kitten and at times find pushing a shopping trolley an effort, so holding up my body weight whilst balancing on 2 ice lolly sticks on water didn't appeal to me)

Tilly being pint sized and unable to protest boredom meant i was able to indulge myself in a spot of charity shop scouring in the local villages, i am always hopeful that a Mrs Haversham type character will have donated her entire wardrobe of vintage Chanel to the local Sue Ryder shop, i have been warned that shopping days with Tilly wont always be so easy so i made the most of it and also fitted in a day at Bicester Village.

On the way to our holiday we got stuck in a traffic jam (a 4 mile tail back where we were actually stopped, engine off) boyfriend hates sitting in any form of traffic and it transpired Tilly has inherited this extreme dislike, in fact for the whole week she cried whenever we drove at anything less than 30mph, she is a speed freak, and whenever i put her in a white sleep suit for bed, boyfriend calls her The Stig, i am worried that rather than have a little ballet dancing princess who loves fashion and singing to Beyonce like her mum that she will be a Top Gear watching, trainer wearing petrol head, like her Daddy.

Whilst sat in the traffic jam i began to worry about what would happen if we were stuck there, what would i used to feed Tilly once the feeds i had with me ran out ? (i like to imagine the worst possible scenarios, compulsive worrying is a skill i am honing in preparation for my twilight years) i of course had enough feeds and bottles with me to ensure Tilly could have actually camped there happily for days, Boyfriend and i however would have been malnourished and dehydrated, but that didn't occur to me. But i did have one very good idea, a friend of ours wears a rather fetching tool belt (for work not as accessory you must understand, but something i teased him about regardless when he worked on our house) well now i must eat my words as it probably something i would find quite useful, my tool belt would contain a supply of muslin's, Infacol, and a Dettol antibacterial spray (my love and repetitive use of this has led the Boyfriend to nickname me the E Coli warrior) so i have to use this opportunity to sincerely apologise for calling our friend "Tim the tool man Taylor"  now where can i get me one, and do they come in suede? or better still corduroy for Autumn Winter???

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Rave On

Some call it nature, some call it nurture, others say its pure good luck, but i have (for now) a baby that sleeps. I don't want to tempt fate, but she does, she can sleep for up to 8hrs at night time, meaning i get to catch up on some snoozage. Boyfriend keeps telling me i should make the most of it, but nothing can stop me waking up half a dozen times through the night to check my little one is still breathing, meaning i am still tired, but at least have peace of mind for the short intervals i am in the land of nod.

They say you cant have it all, and as i have a baby that sleeps, this means i also have a baby who is very much awake for the majority of the day, and she may only be 8 weeks but she is not immune from boredom, so plonking her in the bouncer for hours on end isn't an option, this little one needs entertaining, and unfortunately she doesn't enjoy sitting in bed and watching Daybreak as much as me, i don't know if its Adrian Chiles or Christine Bleakley she doesn't like, but either way she lets me know its time to haul my arse out of bed and start the day.

There are small windows of opportunities in my day to get things done, taking a shower for example, yes i know i should get up before she wakes up and have one, but i don't, so i fit one in around her frequent morning feeds. One morning last week i decided a bath was more preferable, not a quick lick and a promise mind, i fancied a soak, decadent, i know. My little treasure seemed to be content enough sitting in her bouncer in the bathroom where she could see me....until the second i began to step in the bath, at that moment she decided enough was enough, she wanted attention and she wanted it now! Now rather than doing the maternal thing and scrapping the bath, scooping her up and using the time to practise her Mandarin (an imperative language to know for her to become an international business mogul don't you think ?) I decided i could pacify her by singing to her, this is common place in our house, i cant sing a note in tune, and the Boyfriend is no Michael Buble, but he keeps Miss Tilly happy for hours singing silly rhymes to her and playing her his latest vinyl purchase, I in turn warble endlessly along to Smooth FM, so you see it seemed like the perfect idea, only my brain went completely blank, as she screamed i frantically searched my mental back catalogue of songs for one that might capture her attention. I could have chosen the sultry sounds of Sade, or even something catchy by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, both of which she seems to enjoy, but no, the only song that entered into my head, thanks to a childhood filled with summer holidays at Haven, was Aaaaaaaaaagaaaaaaa doo doo doo, so there i was, sat in the bath pushing Pineapple`s, shaking the trees, grinding cof-fee, whilst my daughter sat and stared directly at me, no longer crying, perhaps in shock. Thank god she didn't have an iphone handy, or i think she may have seized the opportunity to humiliate me on You Tube for subjecting her to such a pathetic performance, i don't think i will ever make a red coat.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A first time for everything

6 weeks exactly to the day of Tilly being born it was time for me to venture back out into the world of grown ups and go "out"
I am have been very carefully weaning myself back on to alcohol by having a glass of wine in the evening (for preparation purposes only, of course) but i still felt nervous about actually drinking multiple units in one evening, not to mention feeling ropey the next day. Tilly was in the very capable hands of her Nana & grandad for the evening, so that wasn't a worry for me, thankfully, as i had whole host of other things to stress me out.

First task, getting ready. Since Ive had the baby i have questioned what exactly i did with my time before she came along, I have now realised i spent the majority of it preparing myself to leave the house. In the past i wasn't one for planning my "going out" outfits (this has either worked very well for me or bombed spectacularly and Ive ventured out looking eclectic/like a crazy bag lady) but as my wardrobe is still somewhat limited due to majority of my clothes having bizarrely shrunk in size recently, i purposely chose what i was wearing a few days in advance. I also enlisted my sister to blow dry my hair to cut down my preening time. All i had to do was shower, apply my war paint and get dressed...simple? you`d think so. But this was after i got Miss Tilly ready for her sleep over, for a little person she sure does need a lot of stuff, bottles/formula/steriliser/nappies/wipes and that's before packing her spare clothes and moses basket!

My time keeping has never been good, in fact i am notorious for never being ready on time for nights out, but its something i have been working on improving (the boyfriend is the most prompt person ever so i have been following his lead) Tilly has only added to my tardiness so getting us both ready to get out for 8pm was no mean feat (Boyfriend watched in vain as i ran around like a headless chicken, i have a medical condition called Mummy Martyrdom which prevented me from delegating my to-do-list, i hear this is a common problem among new mums, understandable though, how can we moan about how much we have to deal with if we always let our partners help us??)

Finally i was ready (wearing a clever A-line button through dress, which skimmed over my problem areas, i am declining to list these, there is something to be said for not drawing peoples attention to your faults so i topped my look off with red lips) I popped on my heels (10cm) and off i went, walking like Bambi, who would have thought it, a few months of wearing flats and despite years of teetering on vertiginous heels i am back to being a novice, i was mortified! I walked like i was smuggling a marble between my bum cheeks, my poor toes were clinging onto the end of my shoes for dear life as i negotiated my way into the car. No body warned me that post pregnancy i would have to once again learn to walk in high heels, the extra weight i am carrying probably didn't help my balance either, but i have always believed the higher the heels & hair the closer to heaven so this was quite a blow.

The dress i was wearing on my first night out belonged to my younger sister, this i believe was my first mistake, spying a dress on a 25yr old and thinking that i could emulate the look, despite having only given birth 6 weeks ago, you have to applaud my balls.
I left the house believing i looked presentable, admittedly i didn't feel a fraction of the confidence i had  pre pregnancy, but at the very least i had ensure i looked quite polished, what quickly struck me on arriving at the bar that night that polished wasn't quite going to cut the mustard for me. I found myself surrounded by dozens and dozens of skinny legs, young (probably childless) skinny legs clad in (very very very) short dresses dancing around carelessly. I felt like an alien. Admittedly this wasn't a bar i frequented prior to having the Tilly, so i had nothing to compare my feelings to, but i felt nervous, frumpy and out of place. The large majority of my friends have children, and they were all there, sporting an array of fabulous outfits, looking slim, confident and gorgeous, undeterred by the underage mini girls aloud look alikes that milled around....this reminded me my feelings were only temporary, and there is obviously going to be a period of adjustment after having a baby, I am a mummy now, but there is no reason mummy = frumpy, i fully intend to claw back my old confidence, i may never wear anything outrageous, but am not sure i did before, i may never bare my midriff again, but never say never. As for walking in high heels, practise makes perfect.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Some call it slavery

When asked by her parents to do something she doesn't feel like doing  (usually something menial like pass the remote / shut the door that kind of thing) hysterically, my niece`s response is "i`m not your slave"  whats even funnier is that she picked it up from her mum & dad who used to jokingly say it to her when she used to point at or ask for something she couldn't be bothered to retrieve herself, oh how i laughed when the shoe was on the other foot. Tilly is 7 weeks old tomorrow, and granted, she is unable to do anything for herself, but already i can see into the future, and Princess Tilly is going to rule the roost. I have visions of me living in a kennel outside when she decides she needs more space, in fact i may change my name to Baldrick now, save any confusion later.

We started baby massage this week, when i told my parents about this, my dad was sceptical to say the least, i think he thought i was taking Tilly for a seaweed wrap, pedicure and sauna!! Far from being new age hippy dippy nonsense, baby massage classes were actually started in the 1970s by an American woman who travelled the world, during her time in India she saw how the Indian women, despite living in immense poverty and experiencing personal hardship, took an incredible amount of time and effort massaging their babies using natural oils to ensure they were contented. Baby massage can help with the symptoms of colic and ensures you spend important 1 to 1 time with your baby (you may think this part sounds silly, but being with your baby all day long doesn't necessarily mean have the time to spend one to one, like the saying says sometimes, life gets in the way) Another benefit is that you get to speak to other mums (i too scoffed at the idea of this before hand, i have previously insisted i wasn't into " group sharing") but you cant ignore how beneficial it is to speak to mums who have babies exactly the same age, who are going through exactly the same thing as you (sleepless nights/sleep deprivation, taking part in the nappy changing Olympics) After the class the teacher made us all a cup of tea (in a safety beaker, and we were all given one to take home, its my new favourite thing) and in a completely non cringey way encouraged us to chat. For me (i am so sorry if this sounds shallow but i have to be honest) it was a relief to see that the other new mummys hadnt sprung back to a size 8 either, they all looked healthy and happy and equally as eager to discuss things, i left feeling i had benefited from the class as much as Tilly which am guessing is the point.....clever baby massage teacher lady.