Wednesday 29 June 2011

The Gallery - My Weekend

It's that time of the week again when Sticky Fingers hosts The Gallery.  This week's theme is "My Weekend".

I had an interesting weekend.  A big first for me was leaving Elizabeth for someone else to put her to bed.  I've left her with my Mum many times before and she always has a lovely time - but Daddy or Mummy have always put her to bed.  And what should come between a daughter's bedtime and her parents?  Bon Jovi baby!  I'm a big fan and they just so happened to be playing at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park.  After some initial confusion as to what time they were on, it turned out they started at 19:20 so after E's swimming class, she was dropped off at the grandparents house.  F and I had a couple of hours on our own before leaving for London - very surreal being in the flat by ourselves - but we had a great night.  Shame we weren't closer to the stage though :(

To avoid the crowds after the concert, we took a rather long walk to the bus stop at Victoria coach station.  'Twas a good move as there were about a dozen of us there, in contrast to the 100 or so people we saw at Victoria.  On our way we walked down Elizabeth Street.  Made me smile.

Elizabeth actually gave us a little lay-in on Sunday - thank you my sweet - and then we had a good day playing "where's the baby?"

That was followed by a fun bathtime with lots of splashing and duck chasing.

So not a particularly interesting weekend, just one that reminded me that although I love being a mummy, there are others things I love too (I *heart* you Bon Jovi!) and I can have a good, balanced life.  It's wonderful that I have such an amazing husband to share it all with as well.  I might *heart* him a little bit too.

If you're interested in the other entries for The Gallery, go have a look.

As If Nappy Changing Wasn't Hard Enough

We always have fun when it's time to change E's nappy.  She's always been quite "helpful".  It started with her lifting her legs - great!  It makes it easier to lift her bum up and slide the nappy in.  Then came the rolling, or at least E trying to roll.  She would flip her legs over to the side but hadn't mastered the roll at that point.  She was probably about 4 months old when she was doing this.  A slightly annoying habit but one I couldn't definitely work around.  She then very quickly moved on to slapping her feet down and pushing her bum in the air, creating a bridge or crab position.  Definitely annoying.  I'd have to push down on her hip area to keep her down, just so I could do the nappy up.  As with anything though, you learn to work with the problem, not against it.

Until now.

I didn't think E would be able to roll over on our changing mat.  She's been able to roll from back to front for about a month or so (I'm terrible with dates) but had been quite unsucessful at doing it on the changing mat.  She'd have a good go, getting her bum up in the bridge position and pushing her hips over, twisting her body round, stretching up, trying to grab something to give her leverage.  Nothing.  She couldn't do it.  I assumed it was the shape of the changing mat as the sides curve upwards, rather than the mat being flat.  We love it!

But yesterday she flipped over.  Now I can't stop her!  I put her down and *blink*, she's on her front.  Really not good when you have a poo-y nappy but can't get a wetwipe anywhere near where it's supposed to be because you have one hand holding your daughter's legs and she's decided to try and turn over.  She's gone rigid, has twisted her body and there's nothing you can do!  If you let go, poo goes everywhere.  You just have to concentrate and wait for her muscles to ache.  Eventually you can get the wetwipe to the right area.  Once everything's clean, you just need to find a way to keep her on her back whilst you do the nappy up.  I'm thinking of finding F's weights....

Monday 27 June 2011


Yes, that's right, I'm going to talk about the weather.  Well, indirectly anyway.  Today was pretty darn hot here and unfortunately that meant our flat became a sauna.  Not good when you have a 7-month-old baby.  Needless to say Elizabeth has NOT had a very good day.  She couldn't get to sleep as it was too hot in her room and she's been quite tired all day.  The only way I could get her to sleep was on the sofa and I had to settle with milk first.  Thank goodness for breastfeeding!  I know it's not ideal (and I'm hoping it's not going to become a habit) but what do you do when your baby wants to sleep but can't?  Even with this trickery, E only had three 30 minute naps.  I've felt pretty hopeless today.

I was hoping that she would be so exhuasted that she'd sleep like a log this evening.  I was wrong.  She did go down to bed very well - soundlessly in fact - but was woken by the slightest noise at about 9pm.  It took Frans and I over an hour to get her back to sleep.  She would quite happily settle in our arms but as soon as we went to lay her down, she'd start crying again.  We think she's teething too as she's been wanting to munch on her toothbrush all day.  Calpol did seem to calm her down and she eventually drifted off to sleep but not before I gave her a dummy.  They're funny things.  Elizabeth doesn't suck it like you're supposed to but chews it instead.  She puts the hard plastic in her mouth and chews.  If it calms her and keeps her mind off the pain then I'm all for it. 

I'm praying for a breeze tomorrow.

Leaps and Bounds

There has been a marked improvement in Elizabeth's skills over the past few weeks. If you've been religiously reading this blog, you'll already know about a lot of these things. I'm actually sat in our desk chair right now, watching Elizabeth play in her activity centre. She has had it for about 6 weeks and when I first put her in it she just slumped forward, not having enough strength or coordination to hold herself up and play. Her toes could just touch the floor and she tried to chew the toy that was immediately infront of her. Admittedly she still sucks/chews/licks everything but she can stand now. She no longer HAS to lick the toy infront of her - she spins round and chooses her victim. Elizabeth got the hang of turning herself around quite quickly but her speed and accuracy are incredible now. She has even worked out how to shuffle the whole contraption across the floor.

Going back to the individual toys, I watch I amazement as Elizabeth studies what's in front of her as she decides what she's going to do. She now completely understands that she can turn the pages of the book, spin the there wheels (though she only likes the one that makes a noise), push the buttons to make other buttons pop up and move the beads along the wire. She also understands that hitting the keyboard makes noises but she is also more than happy to hit it when the sound is turned off. Phew! Now that she can pull the keyboard off, I tend to leave it off as she just drops it on the floor.

When she is bored of the toys, she'll scoot over to whatever has caught her eye - usually the washing or the desk chair - and will try to pull it off and/or put it in her mouth. Watching her try to lick the back of the chair is hilarious!

I did however think that I didn't need to worry about such things until she started crawling. How wrong I was.

Saturday 25 June 2011

The Gallery - Playing With Friends

This week's Gallery theme from Sticky Fingers is '3 Word Gallery'. I'm starting to get addicted to these...

Elizabeth is now almost 7 months old - wtf?! She can quite happily sit up and play by herself and so can her friends. When we met up on Wednesday for coffee and a chat, they were playing together. So very cute! Elizabeth is on the left and the little girl in the middle can crawl. She scooted over to play and it was lovely to see a glimpse of what's to come.

View the other submissions here.

Saturday 18 June 2011

Can I be a working mum?

I love Saturdays. Saturdays are usually a family day. We take Elizabeth swimming and just generally hang out. Saturdays are also when I would spend time with my Dad when I was younger and until very recently, we would go to football together - every home game. I would occasionally miss a few games due to work as weddings tend to be on Saturdays but this is a day that has always felt like it's a family day. Since having Elizabeth, I've loved knowing that I get to spend a whole day at the weekend with my new family.

Then this morning, I had this awful feeling as I watched my husband and daughter leave the flat. They were going out and I wasn't with them. They had a swimming class to attend and I couldn't go too. I had work. Two people had decided to get married and wanted me to be their photographer. I didn't want to do it! I wanted to be with my family, not with a bunch of strangers. This morning I decided that I didn't want to be a photographer anymore because I couldn't miss out on that one day a week when I get to spend time with my husband and daughter together.

It's so silly! This isn't my first wedding since having E. Why did today feel so different? I think it's because usually it's me leaving them - this morning they left me. I was in the flat on my own and was missing out on that precious time that we get together one day a week. So no more weddings. I'll have to tell Frans...

So off I go to work. The weather is miserable - it's pouring with rain and I have a venue that's very dark and cramped inside, plus a couple who want a LOT of photos taken. I'm not excited like I used to be and I feel like I'm going to let this couple down.
Then I arrive and get into work mode. We manage to dodge the showers and ended up with beautiful blue skies for the photos. It's a wonderful day, although a little stressful but I've had far worse. The wedding couple are so happy and so grateful and just excited to be married. I'm reminded of the reasons why I love my job, why I do this every week. I can't give it up but can I really do this all the time and be a working mum?

Thursday 16 June 2011

The Gallery - Dads

The theme this week for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is 'Dads'.  Here in the UK, we are celebrating Father's Day on Sunday so it's a very apt theme.

I've chosen to share a picture of E with her Daddy, when she was 5 months old.  As family members will know, it's almost impossible to get a good photo of Frans.  He either has his eyes closed or has somehow managed to pull a silly face.  This picture is just perfect (although it was my second attempt) and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I look at it.  They are my family.  I love them.  I love the way that Elizabeth smiles when her Daddy comes in the room and she is so happy playing with Daddy and pulling his nose (which she was doing 5 seconds before this photo was taken). 

E has been quite clingy lately, bursting into tears whenever I leave the room.  I'm hoping it will pass.  This morning whilst I was feeding her breakfast, I had to step out to get something and Frans continued feeding her.  E didn't mind that I had left - fab! - but then I came back and Daddy left and we had tears!  E wanted her Daddy back and it makes me happy to know how much she loves him.

Frans, you are our world and we love you.  xx

Wednesday 15 June 2011