Friday, 30 March 2007

Pretty in pink (briefly!)

Those that know me, know my tastes run to the traditional (Mark would say old-fashioned) when it comes to clothing my children. The other day I was lamenting the fact that Lily has never had a bonnet. At the speed I knit, she'd be wearing the bonnet to her wedding and I've never seen one to buy in the usual babywear shops. I was absolutely thrilled when my mum found this fun crocheted bonnet in Plymouth market. Lily, however, is less than thrilled. I think it was on her head for about three seconds before she pulled it off. You can see how quickly she moved by the blurring of her arm in the photograph. You'll forgive a doting mother for pointing out that she really is a very pretty little thing. Just don't make her wear a bonnet!

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

You're never too young to learn

Obviously inspired by the shining example set by her brother last week, Lily got hold of the little feather duster today and dusted the carpet for her mummy. I'm not sure how useful this was in the grand scheme of things, but at least she's trying! You can see from her face that she takes housework very seriously! Nevertheless, I maintain that hoovering the carpet is probably a more efficient way of cleaning it!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Mummy's little helper

Tom found the feather dusters today and spontaneously decided to dust the piano for me. Usually, I dust with the large black duster and Tom follows me around with his little green duster. Today he decided he was big enough to do the job by himself! Ah, I shall savour these years when helping mummy with the housework is a thrill. In ten years time I know his enthusiam for such tasks will have waned considerably!

She weighs how much?!!

I had the Podlings weighed today and I can officially tell you that there is a mere 4lb 9oz difference in weight between my 10 month old and my 29 month old! Tom weighs 24 lb 12oz and is in the 9th percentile. Lily is a rather impressive 20 lbs 3 oz and is way up in the 75th percentile. I had been to the clinic because I had been a bit concerned about Tom's eating, in that he hardly eats anything! The nurse managed to put my mind at rest by assuring me that he is not underweight and is just a fussy eater. She suggested cutting back on his milk intake (he drinks much more than he is supposed to at his age), which should improve his appetite. We had a good chat and she gave me some good advice and reassured me that I am doing the right things. I will see her again in three weeks to discuss how things are going. I'm so glad I went to see her about it because I felt so much better afterwards. I think Tom's lack of eating was getting to me far more than I suspected.

The amazing and talented Nanny Floss

This is my mum holding up the quilt she has just finished making for Tom. It's amazing isn't it. It is entirely hand appliqued and she did the quilting on a sewing machine. I really do think she is very talented...would you belive she calls herself a beginner quilter?! I beg to differ!

Tom absolutely loves the quilt, which is such a relief given how much work mum has put into it! As soon as he was given it, he sat down in the middle of it and proceeded to push Lily's hand away every time she tried to crawl on it (he later decided he didn't mind her sitting on it after all). He then insisted on taking it to the shops with us and played on it for half an hour when we got back. We had it on our laps during story time and then he took it to bed. I have never seen him get attached to anything like a blanket or soft toy before, so it is lovely to see him with it. My mum is so thrilled he likes it so much.

(For those of you wondering, it's Nanny Floss because, when he was little, my mum was the only one Tom would let brush his teeth)

Monday, 19 March 2007

Family photo

My mum has just sent me this picture she took of our little family as we arrived at the aquarium on Sunday. We don't often get pictures of us all together, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Last of the Mohicans

At the tender age of two years and five months, Tom has just had his first hair cut. I finally took the plunge and plucked up the courage to cut it. Tom was mostly bald for the first year of his life and then grew a mass of curls in a mohican up the middle of his head. Whilst the sides still aren't long enough to cut, the mohican section was getting very long and, despite my best efforts, kept getting matted. I therefore focused my efforts there and left the rest well alone! I was very nervous about messing it up, but finally took the plunge and took the scissors upstairs when I took them up for their bath. We'd bought Tom some bath crayons at the aquarium yesterday, so I set him up with those to keep him distracted and (most importantly) still! I combed out the tangles and went towards his hair with the scissors...I couldn't do it! I just couldn't cut his beautiful curls. But, I knew it had to be done, so with a lump in my throat...SNIP, the first cut. Once I'd done that it was easier to do the rest. I have to say, I haven't done a bad job. The front could do with being a bit tidier, but the back looks pretty good. Still, I never would have attempted it if he had straight hair! I've got all the cuttings in a little pot, which probably makes me a bit sad, but it was his first hair cut after all. I think his next hair cut will have to be done by professionals, because by then the rest of his hair will have grown too, but I have temporarily tamed the mohican anyway.
After - Look at those curls!

Mother's Day

Yesterday marked my third Mother's Day, though my first as a mother of two. I actually found out I was expecting Tom on Mother's Day 2004, so the day is particularly special for me. In honour of the day, we met up with my mum and dad and spent the afternoon at Plymouth Marine Aquarium. I knew the Podlings would both enjoy it, but I particularly wanted to take Lily while she was still tiny. We took Tom for the first time when he was about eight months old and he was absolutely fascinated. Sure enough, Lily was completely entranced by the place, particularly by the large tanks. We held her close to the glass and she tried to touch each fish as it swam past. She really wanted to get in the tanks with them. There was a large eel in one of the tanks that wanted Lily in there too...I think it was sizing her up for dinner as it came right up close to her and was watching her quite intently.

Lily had a really wonderful time. Tom enjoyed it too, but being that bit older he got bored quicker and started counting chairs in preference to fish watching. I think he was a bit frightened of some of the very big fish. To be fair, some of them were very, very ugly and I might be a bit frightened too if I were only a couple of feet high! Sadly, I didn't get any decent pictures of the visit as you can't use flash in the aquarium, so all my photos came out blurry.

After watching fish all afternoon, we then wandered down to the Barbican and ate some. You can't go to the Barbican and not have fish and chips now can you?!

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Carpet cleaning, toddler style

Continuing the "How to sell your house" saga, Tom took our 'We must shampoo the carpets' a tad literally. He got hold of his bright pink baby shampoo, took it into his bedroom and proceeded to spill it all over his pale yellow carpet. I walked past the bedroom and did the classic double take when I saw the huge pink stain and two children merrily rubbing their hands in the mess! Sadly, I didn't have the camera handy, or I'm sure I could have given you all a good laugh! Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that much shampoo out of a carpet? The more you rub, the more it's just horrendous! Luckily, we have accepted an offer on the house, so I have the luxury of time to get the stain out. As long as it's gone before the new people move in, they never need know what a cheeky little toddler did to their carpets!

The curse of the Teletubbies

I always thought there was something slightly sinister about the Teletubbies and this picture proves it. They are slowly sucking in my children and destroying their brains. Tom has unfortunately decided that the Teletubbies are the best thing EVER, and needs to have them on all day, every day. It's like Groundhog day at our house. As soon as the Teletubbies say 'Bye bye' a little voice pipes up "More DaDas" and the whole saga starts over yet again. "Time for Tubby Bye Byes"? Only in my wildest dreams!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Outdoor fun

Between the awful weather and long bouts of quarantine due to chicken pox, the Podlings and I have hardly seen the light of day for about a month. When today began bright and sunny, I resolved that we would spend as much of it outdoors as possible. Accordingly, I bundled the Podlings into the pushchair and off we went to the park. Tom had fun rediscovering the park and lining up random objects he found on the ground. Lily had a great time on the swing. We then went for a walk around the green next to the park and had a lovely time trying to spot daisys. We saw a small flock of rooks on the grass that Tom thought were chickens. "Bye chickens" he said, as they flew away. I didn't know chickens could fly!

I will always have a beautiful mental photograph from this walk of Tom standing on the grass, with the sun shining on his golden curls, looking intently at a daisy held in his clenched fist. Moments like that are so precious.

The sun continued into the afternoon, so after their naps we went into the garden to blow bubbles and kick a ball around. Tom had fun chasing the bubbles round the garden and trying to pop the big ones. Unfortunately, the decking was still wet from all the rain and a bit slippery, so Tom ended up with a rather green bottom from the algae. Lily, who was wrapped up and sat in her highchair observing the proceedings, found it all rather entertaining.

I'm so glad we made the most of the weather. As I took them upstairs for their bath this evening, the heavens opened. It looks like we'll have rain again for a while longer, but at least we had today.

Signs of Spring

"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."

Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ The Sensitive Plant

I was delighted to find these beatiful purple crocuses growing in one of my pots in the back garden. I don't know how they got there, I certainly didn't plant them, but they are very welcome to stay. It is so wonderful to find these signs of Spring after a long, grey winter. It really lifts your spirits.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Cleanliness is next to...impossible!

How to get ready for an Estate Agent

Part 1 - The kitchen:

1. Meticulously clean and scrub kitchen so that it will look its shining best in the marketing pictures
2. Be momentarily distracted by toddler whilst feeding baby breakfast.
3. Return to find that baby's arms are longer than you thought.
4. Clean baby's breakfast off baby, highchair, shelves, kitchen cupboards and half the kitchen floor.
5. Resolve not to be so stupid next time!

Part 2 - The living room

1. Tidy, clean, hoover entire living room.
2. Pick up baby.
3. Change outfit when said baby vomits all over you.
4. Having cleaned up self and baby, put baby on floor.
5. Clean up carpet when baby then throws breakfast up all over the floor.

Despite the extra work created by a certain little lady, I did manage to get the house looking quite nice for the marketing pictures. I just wish it looked that nice all the time!