Saturday, 28 February 2009

First meal in a restaurant

Although Erbie has been to many restaurants already, this was his first meal in one. Only a Pizza Express on Charlotte Street, but a first no less. It was about 3 o'clock, so not very busy and Erbie was due a feed, this was pure chance, as we'd been out walking - I'm not that organised. They offered a high chair and we accepted, strapped him in and pulled him up close to the table. Pizza Express have just started offering 'Plum' baby dishes, a sweet and a savoury, we went for savoury -pureed spinach, parsnip and basil. He couldn't get it in fast enough, I had to ask for an extra spoon, he was busy trying to feed himself and I was helping with another. Some of it went up his nose, on his sleeves, on the table, but not too bad going at all. Daddy was spoon fielder, and missed 3 times but sterilised it in his Peroni. I gave him a little drink of water afterwards and was smiles all round. We grown ups ate a pizza each and had a beer and a glass of red, yum. Erbie continued with his rubber duck. He started to get a little over excited at the end, so I stroked his head and whispered close to his ear, this seemed to do the trick, but we didn't want to be the couple with the annoying baby, so whipped him out and home before you could say Plum baby food is really rather good. I'm sure he still managed to break three hearts before leaving. I left his bottle on the table, but daddy has just retrieved it.
This isn't the baby led weaning way, but I didn't want to breastfeed him and he was hungry, and it turned out to be a lovely experience shared as a family.

Cons of West End Living

Alarms go off constantly, office alarms, fire alarms, car alarms, sensor alarms, sirens. An alarm in the office opposite started up at 2am friday night, (I know that's really saturday morning, but it's friday night to me) and is still going now - 7.30pm saturday evening, and is set to be going until monday morning when people come back to work. There is nothing you can do, apart from put earplugs in or turn your music up, which is what the guys downstairs did at 3am last night. Guardian reader rang the council this morning, who are very helpful but unable to do anything. It's a fire alarm, so they can't enter the building. The fire brigade turned up earlier today and tried to prise open a window, ladders came out and burly men proceeded to mount them, which was nice, but didn't stop the alarm. They left, The alarm wails on. And on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, you get my drift...

Friday, 27 February 2009

I found the ladybird book website and was amazed to see you can actually buy prints of some of the old illustrations, cute for a nursery, if we ever get one. The ladybird books appear to do a roaring trade on ebay.

Water beakers

As Erbie has started to drink water, I'm going to need a beaker. I'm loving this Kath Kidson one with her cowboy image on, i don't know how practical it would be though!

Space Invader - Mayfair

I spied this one on my way to Breakfast at the Wolsley.

Today Erbie mainly ate - paper

Breakfast: 2 spoonfuls of mashed banana were eeked down, a slice of chilled mango was scoffed at.
Lunch, I gave him a tray with a selection of cauliflower and broccoli florets and some pieces of carrots. It all got mashed into the tray. He really is off his food today. At the Wallace collection he managed to eat most of the information leaflet. So back to breast is best, even then only really 3 feeds. I took an 1000mg vitamin C and a pregnancy multi-vitamin.

Space Invader - Shoreditch

I love catching sight of one of these cool grafittis.

Space Invader - Dean Street

Space Invader - Poland Street

I saw this while I was bombing over to Kingly Street.

John Bell & Croyden

You couldn't get this fabulous skincare in the UK for love nor money now all of a sudden it's here, I spotted it in the window of a chemists on Marylebone High Street recently and now it's in my favourite chemist: John Bell & Croyden on Wigmore Street.


I love Peyton and Byrnes simple graphic boxes in pastel hues with classic perfume typography. They have a shop in the entrance to Heals on Tottenham Court Road, and if you buy a divine cup cake you also get the divine packaging. They have a tearoom in the Wellcome Centre on the Euston Road, which is always worth a visit. The café at the National Gallery serves their cup cakes too.

Lactose FREE formula

I checked out Planet Organic behind Habitat today for lactose free formula. There is a goats milk one called ‘Nanny’, but only in large tins and at a price. I looked at the rice milk and soya milk, but think it really needs to be a formula for all the nutrients he needs. I got some rice cakes and a carton of soya milk. I also checked out John Bell & Croyden, which I like to call the Queen’s phamacy on Wigmore Street. They had 2 lactose free formula’s, one called Nutramigen was about £13 and another cheaper one for about a fiver. I decided I should really talk to someone at the Health centre or my doctor before going ahead.

Baby Brain

I left my keys at Muswell Hill and so arranged to get them back over quick coffee with the belle mere at the National. Midday, and still no sign of her, I texted after perusing the lovely bookshop nextdoor to the café. She was already here, but where? I went to pay for the super Charley Harper Alphabet book I’d found when I realised we’d said the National Gallery and here I was in the National Portrait Gallery. I left the book for another time. Got the keys and a coconut Peyton and Byrne fairy cake to boot.

Hampstead Heath

The Guardian reader and I walked to Muswell Hill from Hampstead, across the Heath, to visit the ‘belle mere’, newly moved back to London. Erbie sat happily in the new baby Little Life ultralight baby back pack on daddy’s back, but the Heath coincided with his 12.30 nap so he missed most of it. I always get the Guardian reader to point out the place where a scene from American Werewolf in London was filmed. It was Erbie’s second visit to Hampstead, Joojoo and I walked across late last year and stopped for lunch at Carluccio’s which was full of mothers and babies, a horror to me back then. Alistair Campbell cycled up all in lycra and sat outside.

Wallace Collection

Friday 27th February
Sunshine in London today, Erbie and I met Joojoo and her mother, Anne to visit the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, where the daffodils are out already. A beautiful private art collection containing suits of armour, ceramics, including some ancient serpent majollica and some lovely 16th century turquoise Sevres. Paintings, I saw a couple of Canaletto’s Venice scenes and a young Rembrandt self portrait. A collection of strange wax reliefs in display cases under leather flaps, one has to lift to reveal, a pair of which were titled: ‘youth’ - a pretty girl, pert bosoms coquettishly displayed, the other ‘age’ – a similarly naked torso of a wizened old hag, leathery skinned and deflated somewhat.

Oliver Peyton has just opened a restaurant in the courtyard, where we stopped for tea, a lovely scone, served with a quenelle of cream, 2 types of Peyton and Byrne jam and a pot of English Breakfast for £6.50.

Second try with formula

A couple of people had suggested trying SMA formula, and I thought if I tried to introduce it gradually, rather than a whole bottle we might have more luck. So I mixed about a teaspoon in with some mashed banana. Erbie likes mashed banana and ate a teaspoonful, red blotches started appearing almost immediately around his mouth. I gave him some pre boiled water and cleaned his face with a flannel. That wasn’t going to work. Felt like an evil woman, but not in a good way.

Noise monkey

Someone has swapped my nice quiet calm little boy for a normal baby, wriggling, screaming, lots of noise, frustration crying when anything is out of reach. Welcome to the real world. Everyone says the first 6 months are the hardest, ours were a dream, it looks like the next six won’t be so quiet. He did sleep well last night, only waking at 1.30am then 5ish for feeds, then up properly about 6.45am. We nearly missed the sleep train this morning, he was crying, no tears, and wouldn’t eat anything. He calmed down with some rocking and soothing, and then tried to eat his bear when I put him in his cot, which can wake him up again, so I gently removed him from his mouth into a cuddle and he dropped off by 9.03am, he’s just woken, I can hear a cooing, it’s 10.27am. Still no teeth.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Sleeping through by 6months

He is not.
I tried putting Erbie down for his morning nap while he was still awake today. He fussed and fretted and then began to cry, so I picked him up – BAD. He got so worked up, he then couldn’t stop crying even when offered boobage, and a bottle of water. Oh dear. Eventually calmed down after 5minutes, angry wailing – a first for us, the angry wailing, not he calming down, still no tears though. I fed him and he fell asleep, I jiggled him a bit before putting him in the cot, but he just cuddled his teddy and carried on sleeping. I’m sure there is a lot I’m doing wrong. I want to make him an independent fearless little being, not tie him to my apron strings. But I’ll never be able to do the controlled crying malarky.

6months today

And teething for all the tusks in Africa. Red cheeks, caustic dribble, chewing everything, loss of apetite, not sleeping, whinging, fussing. Poor rabbit. We took him for a walk to Corams Field in the afternoon, what a cool park. We’d never been in there before, (you’re not allowed in unless you’re with a child). We went on a swing together, fun, looking up at the sky through the wintry baubled branches of a London Plane tree. They were planting a hedge of what looked like trellised fruit trees. 3 new sculptures of black sheep had been set in the grass. There was a sandpit of palacial proportions, kitted out with mudpie machines, a paddling pool, big open spaces, a café, a playgroup, climbing frames, a helter skelter, a mini abseiling track. I think there is a little farm too.

First Cold

From staying with the twins I think, Erbie has his first cold, green snot, and his voice sounds different, like he has a sore throat. He snuffled his way through his bedtime feed and then wouldn’t go to sleep. We lay him on the sofa in the room with us for a while and he looked so sorry for himself. He kept waking and crying in the night and would only snatch forty winks in my arms. I think he got through the worst of it over night though as he seemed much better in the morning. I fed him mashed carrot with freshly squeezed orange juice, for vitamin C.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I've been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Erbie since he was about 3 months old. This morning, in a strange house with very noisy twin girls, Erbie got upset and needed to feel safe, he saw a their copy of Very Hungry Caterpillar on the bed and lunged towards it. I sat him on my knee and quietly read it to him in his ear, he calmed right down and started grabbing for the pages and smiling. I always start off with the title then 'for my sister Christa'.

To water or not to water

I saw Suki, my anti-natal allie on Friday and she has started he little girl on solids too. We both questioned whether we should now give our bundles of joy water aswell as breast milk. The general conscensus was yes, which was confirmed at the new mother’s dinner party. So I put some cooled boiled water in a bottle and handed it to Erbie at the table on Sunday. He just need a bit of help angling the bottle high enough, but took a good drink. I took it away afterwards as I don’t want him to fill himself up on water, but it was lovely to see him take his first taste. Suki’s little girl has got her first tooth already and she’s 3 weeks younger than Erbie.

22nd February 2009

Sunday Sunday
I made a highchair from an upside down stool with a cushion shoved inside, and pulled it right up to the table with us. Erbie had some sweet potato and parsnip mash, holding the spoon himself and getting it in his mouth after several attempts. I fed him a few spoonfuls too. He held onto some broccoli spears for a while but shook them off after a little taste. I tried him on a little bit of mashed baked potato, but this seemed to come back down his chin as wallpaper paste.


Safety 1st Swivel Bath Seat Primary from
I gave Erbie a bath, in a bath, also a novelty, we only have a shower, he sat in a little bath seat and splish splash sploshed. Then he popped off to sleep after a whinge and throwing up by 6pm. My friend has year old twin girls, who also went to bed at 6pm. We opened the wine and had a good old chin wag waiting for the other two new mother dinner guests to arrive at eight. By 6.30 we had nearly finished the chablis and were ready for bed. I moved onto water, the lovely ladies arrived and we had a super girly supper of Thai Butternut Squash & Fish Curry and Bitter Orange Icecream from Nigella Bites. Both delicious.

Signs of Teething

Flushed red cheeks.
Lots of dribbling, that can cause a facial rash, try putting a barrier cream such as Vaseline on senstitive chins. Tie a bandana around neck to keep little chests dry.
Runny nose, but only if it runs clear, any green stuff, is a sign of an infection or slight cold.
Ear pulling and scratching in sleep.
Clawing at upper chest.
Constant chomping on anything - toys, the Guardian, clothing, Vogue, your fingers. If they chew their own fingers, I think this is a sign of hunger rather that teething.

Hard gums can be soothed by rubbing Nelson’s teething granules on them, available at most chemists or Calgel. When Erbie first started teething he was only 3 months, I held cold cucumber wrapped in a hankie against his gums for relief.
An upset tummy, being sick.

All sorts of things get attributed to teething so if your little one has a temperature or seems very sick, don’t hesitate in calling the doctor.

Teething and sleepovers

Erbie’s teething troubles have returned this weekend. He was sick twice on Saturday which is unusual. His little cheeks are bright red and although he trys to remain chipper, the pain makes him a bit manic and sorry for himself – understandably poor mite. I gave him a dose of Calpol on Saturday evening, and he slept quite well. We were sleeping over at a friends, so he was in a great big double bed with me, a luxury. Our bed at home is a childs double for space reasons, so when there are three in the bed and the little one says roll over, someone nearly does fall out.

Highchairs UPDATED

Ikea Antilop £9.78
I've been on the look out for a simple high chair. So far I've been using an upside down footstool on top of a chair with a cushion rammed inside, it works and keeps Erbie secure. I then put a vintage black souvenir of Malta tray on the table and were away. He joined us at the table for Sunday roast today! Anyways Guardian reader is not too keen, so I've been asking around and looking on ebay and Which. Of course everybody loves the Tripp Trapp, but it's so expensive, and I've heard some stories of babies kicking the table and pushing themselves over backwards, so not for us. Also as our lovely central London pad is tiny, tiny, tiny, I want something that looks good, and isn't too bulky. Traditional wooden ones take my eye, but wouldn't go with the after Chipendale dark wood table, and the ones in John Lewis started at £68. Several new mum's have recommended the Ikea Antilop, which originally came in only white but now in blue and red too. We're going for the white, it is available to buy online, but annoyingly the tray isn't and the delivery charge is nearly as much. So methinks, a trip to Wembly later in the week.

The highchair was delivered today, 4 March 2009.
Easy assembly.
Erbie likey.

Thursday, 19 February 2009 Loving the hair.

I was put on to this site by a friend in California.
Some very nice ensembles, cool imagery and beautiful baubles at Christmas time.

Thursday 19th February 2009

Lactose intolerance
After Erbie’s scarey allergic reaction, I thought I might try and be dairy free for a week or two. I read on the internet, (how many silly stories start with that?), that some cows milk protein can be passed to your baby through the breast, so this morning I duly went and got some goats cheese and soya milk, I can’t do without tea, I’m doing without booze, don’t take my tea away!

Losing keys
The Guardian reader got sideways last night, I found him stood in the hallway at one in the morning, tapping on the door saying he’d lost his keys. He NEVER loses his keys. I thought it best not to query and put him to bed on the sofa.
In the morning, it transpired he’d managed to lose his key between the front door and the flat door, that’s two flights of stairs. His key was on the third step.

Nearly 6 months and so very tired.
Erbie is an angel, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that I haven’t had a whole nights sleep for 6 months. Nor have I had a period, nor have I had enough sex, drugs or rock and roll.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Baby-led weaning

My book arrived, 'Baby-led weaning' by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.
Baby-led weaning or commonsense as it's sometimes called.
This is the premise that you shouldn't spoon feed pulp to babies that are weaned after 6months. As their digestive systems are more developed, and they can sit up and hold onto things, bits of food can be put in front of them to feed themselves. This leads to good dexterity and food confidence. It involves a lot of mess and some gagging, but you should trust your baby. I agree in principal, but am going to do a bit of both.
No purees, just some nice mashes.
For example.
Today Erbie mainly ate:
Mashed sweet potato from a spoon, starting with me, ending up with him. After I'd given him 3 spoonfuls, I let him have the spoon, he managed to get some in, and also ate some from his fingers. I simply steamed it, pushed it through a sieve and stuck it in a ramekin.
Pear, cut in three chip shaped pieces with a chunk cut out for grip, some sucking ensued, but the slippery suckers kept getting away.
Apple. I was eating an apple and Erbie was on my lap, he wanted the apple, he managed to hold it between both hands and suck for a while until he got bored, I finished it off.

What would Audrey do?

Sometimes I think of Audrey to calm myself down.
Last night however I dreampt that we were at a pool with her and she got sick. I ran back to the house to get her medication and left Erbie with her at the pool. I was in a kitchen back at the house when Audrey arrived in her car, without the baby. Both dad and I looked at each other and began to run to the pool, Audrey was aghast at what she had down and clasped the hand that wasn't clasping her stomach to her mouth. I felt a huge wave of dread wash over me. We arrived at the poolside to find Erbie gurgling and kicking in the grass, smiling into the sunshine. I woke up in a sweat and told the Guardian reader ' Naughty Audrey' we said.

Best nappies for boys, nappies for girls

My views so far on nappies size 3.

I've heard these are better on girls, not so good for boys.
On Erbie, they don't keep him dry when he is asleep, he is often wet through to the outside of his sleeping bag with these nappies in the middle of the night, sometimes even before midnight.
FIT: Good
PRICE: Expensive
RATING: 1 out of 10

Excellent for boys.
Good throughout the whole night, only one night of leakage.
Keeps baby's skin dry.
FIT: Excellent
PRICE: Expensive
RATING: 9 out of 10

Tesco's Own
My friend with twin girls swears by them, and thinks they could be manufactured by Pampers anyway.
When Erbie was younger they were ok, but now not so good. Leakage in the night.
LEAKAGE: Occassionally
PRICE: Cheap
RATING: 7 out of 10

Boots Own
These were so bad, I thought, I'd put them on incorrectly. Might be better for girls.
FIT: Bulky
PRICE: Expensive
RATING: 1 out of 10

Excellent fit, dry through the night, and eco friendly.
Good for boys. Good for girls.
FIT: Excellent
PRICE: Expensive
RATING: 9 out of 10

Snowdrop Theatre - Chelsea Physic Garden

My brother came to visit. It's the first time he's met sproglet. We met at Victoria and walked along to the Chelsea Physic Garden, open to the public for the weekend to view their Galanthus (snowdrop to you or I) collection. Erbie looked edible today in a dark grey handknit beanie, a dark grey H&M zip front cable cardi, a camouflage puffa gillet, faded blue jeans and navy Converse. The girls behind the counter in the Tangerine cafe swooned, it took us 5minutes before they realised we weren't being served. Average tea but nice cake, we tried the citrus almond, heavy on the citrus, light on the almond. I breastfed on a bench, my brother actyed nonchalant but I think he was impressed. We caught the bus back to town from Sloane Square. The Guardian reader stayed in with Erbie and I went for a Guinness with my brother.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Trying fomula milk for the first time.

Erbie has been as calm as anything over the past 2 days, his teething pains seem to have subsided, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to try him on formula from a bottle. He has had expressed breast milk from a bottle a couple of times, but never very much. I only managed to get 3oz / 90ml the last time!

I bought a carton of ready made Aptamil first milk and decanted it. At around 2 o clock, Erbie was showing signs of being hungry, so I offered him the bottle of formula. He guzzled, visibly enjoying it. He was holding onto the bottle, and I just helped guide the teat into his mouth when it came out. He stopped for a few breathers and some of the formula got on his face. Guardian reader looked over and said: ‘Why has his face gone red?’ I stopped feeding him and saw that he had gone red around his mouth, and it looked as if some spots of formula were spattered on his skin, I went to wipe them off, but then realised it was a rash and it was coming up fast, his face got redder and the white spots were literally pinging up before my eyes.

We check him in the light of the kitchen window, all the while, he is as happy as Larry. We decide it must be from him chewing the biscuit tin lid. I take him into the bedroom to change his nappy, but when I lay him down on the bed, I see that under his chin and around his neck has gone red and looks swollen. Oh my God, I panic and say ‘Let’s take him to the doctor’, Guardian reader throws the empty carton against the wall and mentions babies dying in China. We bundle him into his snow suit, forget the shoes and go out the door. By the time we get to Soho Square, the fresh air has calmed us down and the rash has all but disappeared. We walk a circuit around the Square and go back home.

I spend the early evening looking up rashes on the internet and read up on anaphylactic shock, which apart from blocking your airway, apparently makes you pale and drowsy, Erbie has been asleep for an hour a half, I check on him, he looks pale, I hold his little hand and a wave of abject fear sweeps over me, but he grips me back and gurgles in his sleep. I have no idea what caused the rash, it could have been the metal the tin lid, was the teat latex or silicone, could it have been the formula? I’m worried to try again.

He soon wakes and after some play we go through the bedtime routine and he is sound asleep by 6.30pm. I have half a glass of red wine.

The next day I call the Aptamil helpline number that I find on their website. A very nice lady calls back and I tell her what happened. She tells me it is almost certainly lactose intolerance, and that this can happen when the milk gets on the skin. It was not a severe reaction as he wasn’t sick and his nappies are normal, but I should not try it again for at least a month. So, it looks like I’m going to be breastfeeding a bit longer after all. She suggested soya based formula, but said he may not like the taste. I should be careful when introducing yogurt and cheese, and do so in very small amounts. I could try by doing a skin test, with milk from the fridge on the inside of his wrist. She said: ‘Lots of babies have a lactose intolerance but hardly any school children do’, so not to worry too much.

My colitis flares up.

I eat a whole bar of chocolate.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Valentines Day

We had egg on toast for breakfast.
The Guardian reader cooked moules marinère for supper, and bought me a lovely bunch of lilies.
I sent him a card, and wrote the envelope with my right hand, (I'm left handed). Unfortunately it looked like someone elses handwriting and he thought it might be the end of an ongoing dispute, that has been worrying him for months. I felt sick having to let him down. The card was a black and white image of very old hands clasped together, I wrote: 'Grow old with me', inside.
'Older' he said!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

On the London Eye!

Well all that talk of discreet feeding wherever I am, how about in a capsule on the London Eye! Erbie graciously allowed us to sleep until 6am, and after a pot of tea, and back to bed naps until 9.30am, we were all up and out under the clear blue skies and walking through London. The sun was bright and low in the winter sky, and Erbie happily gurgled strapped to daddy and cosy in his snow suit. We turned into Bedford Sqaure on auto pilot and then decided to carry on that way, through Covent Garden, down to the Strand, and across Waterloo Bridge. The Thames was at low tide and there was a full sand bank under Festival Pier. It was so lovely, the Guardian reader suggested we carry on to the London Eye and see how big the queue was. I excitedly hurried my pace, as he being a vertigo sufferer, this wasn't an offer likely to come around again soon. I joined the short queue for tickets and within 10minutes we were in a pod with a family of 4, an elderly couple and a mother and daughter,
I even had my camera on me! We could see for miles in every direction, the conditions were perfect. As we got higher Guardian reader started to feel wobbly and needed to sit down. I snapped away, peering down on the river below, Big Ben said 10.30am.
We could see Alexander Palace, the Post Office Tower, Buckingham Palace, Primrose Hill, the Gherkin, St Pauls, and then an army helicopter flew up the river and right passed us, too much! By the time we got to the top Erbie decided he was far too hot, and bored and possibly hungry, oh dear. I took him and attempted a quick feed which quieted him down, Guardian reader sat with his arm around me protectively and the pod said 'your photograph will be taken now'!!!!! Back on land and a brisk walk home, beaming at our family day out and joking that it would be one of those things we'd say 'but you've been on it, look here's the photos', and the poor mite would have no recollection.


Erbie woke at 6am and we all got up at 6.30am. I had to express before bed last night, as he didn't feed for 5 hours, my breasts are ridiculous, size 30G. Its 2 weeks till he is 6 months, and I still haven't got any nursing bras, they were all so ugly, I just got measured at Bravissimo and got a couple of black ones. The girl that measured me said my right breast was the larger one, as we always have one slightly bigger boob. I knew this, but I also knew my larger breast is on the left, I was just due to feed from the right, I didn't say anything. I feed by pulling down whatever I'm wearing, and popping my boob out of the top. This seems to work for me, it just means I have to wear V.necks, cardis or lo-cut items, which is fine by me, as I've got them at the moment, I might aswell flaunt them! Flaunt my cleavage I mean, even though I'm all for feeding Erbie when he's hungry, wherever I am, I do it discreetly, a well placed scarf, and a dark corner.

5 hours straight through...

Well, after the difficulty getting him to sleep last night, Erbie stayed asleep until his midnight feed without a peep. Marvelous. I don't know what it could have been. Eating the pear, banana and then having baby rice at 5pm maybe. Having a full day out, extra stimulus and napping on the go? An evening with no background noise perhaps, as the Guardian reader was out and the telly off. We shall see what happens tomorrow.

What do you want - the moon on a stick?

Erbie fed at midnight last night, then slept til about 3am before he came in the bed with me, he is very restless, perhaps I should consider cranial osteopathy, but then he was whisked out of the sunroof not squeezed out, so shouldn't have so many blockages, or whatever it is they have. Those extra 10days of being wedged head down in my pelvis could have added pressure to the cranium after nearly 10weeks of being engaged, oh I don't know. I worried out loud to a friend, that he wasn't sleeping through the night yet, and she said: 'What do you want the moon on a stick?', as he is such a lovely good boy apart from that, and he hardly ever crys and has never screamed. Oh for goodness sake. he's teething, tis all, nothing a dose of teething granules and a cuddle won't remedy.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Pear, banana, baby rice

Wednesday 11th February 2009-02-11

Erbie wouldn’t settle last night and woke twice before 7pm, having gone to bed at 5.30pm. He then woke for a feed at 8pm and again around midnight. Then he woke at 1.30 and didn’t go back to sleep until 3.30am, I tried feeding, rocking, leaving him in his cot, nothing, he wasn’t crying, just awake and chewing bunny, burbling and smiling. He then woke around four and we all got up about 6.30am. So not a good night. We all went back for a nap at 8.30 ish for about an hour and half.

Erbie had some pear, just munched on a third, that I’d peeled and spat back out the lumpy bits, he really enjoyed it and almost sang.

I took Erbie up to Muswell Hill to see the mother-in-law, who’s moved into our old flat – eek. That was weird. We walked up to the broadway and Erbie fell asleep strapped to me, around 12.30pm, for about 40minutes. I tried him on some mashed banana, with a spoon, he like that too.

I headed back into town around 3.30pm and Erbie fell asleep on the walk upto the station and on the journey. Home and he started to get a bit whingey, I breast fed him and expressed enough for 2tspoons of baby rice, which he ate nearly all of.

He was zonked by 5pm, so much so I barely got to wipe his face and put him in his sleeping bag, he was fussing and crying, His cheeks flushed red, and he was obviously in some pain, so I gave him some baby nurofen. I nearly missed his sleep time altogether. He fed a bit, whinged a bit, I put him in the cot, manic chewing of bunny and kicking. Breast again, lots of kicking, back in the cot, rocking, manic chewing and kicking, some crying. I breastfed him again, and he calmed down eventually, we both fell asleep after about 20minutes. The Guardian reader brought me in a sandwich, it was almost 6pm.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Monday blues and rain rain rain

Erbie, was up at 6.30am, Guardian reader took him through to the living room and allowed me a snooze. He was up a lot in the night, I had to rock him back to sleep twice, and the otehr time feeds. He went back to bed for a 45 minute nap at 9am

Thouroughly miserable day today, cold and wet. I dashed out to the Newman Street post office, stupidly at lunchtime, there was a queue out of the door, and posted off the baby shoes I sold on ebay and picked up a passport form for Erbie.

I dropped my business card into the print shop and said if they needed anyone for odd design jobs I was their girl. Andy rang and offered me 2 days cover in March. Keep the positivity going! Erbie had a midday nap for 45minutes. His cheeks are flushed again with teething.

The positive thinking must be doing something, the Guardian reader has just got 2 evenings work. He went off at 5pm. I fed Erbie and fell asleep, woken by a text from the mother-in-law, she will be in town tomorrow.

I make a mushroom rissotto using up the last of the Noilly Pratt, and wait until 10pm for the worker to join me, he's still hungry, and mumbles about there not being any meat, the cupboards are bare, it's still cold and raining, so we decide on an early night.

Erbie wakes at 11pm, and feeds for 20 minutes, he's not sleeping for longer than 3 hours at any one stretch. I think I'll give him some baby rice tomorrow afternoon. I stopped after the doctor frowned at me last week, but he liked it. I gave him a bit of pear this morning, just bit off a piece and handed it to him, he held onto it and sucked, he seemed to like it, pulled some funny faces though.

He spent about half an hour on the baby gym this morning, on his back and rolling over. He gets frustrated when he rolls onto his tummy and can't move any further. He's grabbing at everything, the remote, the newspaper, both of which he trys to eat, and when they are removed, he lets out a quick whinge, but soon stops when they are put out of sight and he is offered something else.

So much for the early night, nice cup of tea and a DeNiro movie. It's midnight already.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday sunday, Sir Richard Burton in the National Portrait Gallery

Sunday 8th February

The Guardian reader got back before Erbie’s midnight feed last night, saying ‘ I love my wife, and I love my baby’, and although no longer banished there, fell asleep on the sofa before we’d finished. I slipped into the living room for a bit of, well, unmentionable, but accidently knocked into a picture, the crash caused him much anxiety and took the edge off somewhat, so I went back to bed. Erbie woke up twice before 3.30am, then I took him into the bed with me, he fed twice more then woke up and was very verbal, I checked my mobile and saw 6.30am, so changed his nappy and played with him until 7, but when I checked my mobile again, it was only 6.28am, oh bother. So another hour of semi sleep and gurgling in the bed, and I gave up and got us both up. I think he’s teething quite badly, serious chomping on everything again, and flushed cheeks. We took him out for a walk, strapped to daddy, down to the National Portrait Gallery to look at the Lord Leighton portrait of Sir Richard Burton, the explorer. He was happy and gurgling on the walk, and the blister seems to have dried up, thank goodness.

My writing is so dull, I haven’t really found my voice. I hope doing this will encourage me to improve and hopefully my brain, being a muscle, will expand with use!

We went to see the flat below today, the tenant, was a city boy and has lost his job, so is moving on. It’s the same price, but bigger, just what we need, and would mean just moving downstairs, too good to be true? Of course it was too good to be true. We were just about to agree on taking it, when Guardian reader suggested, the managing agent went and put the music on in the shop below, a vibration instantly started pumping through the floor and the walls began to close in, not good. So what seemed like a potential yes, suddenly became a definate no. It has made us realise we do want somewhere with more space, and that it doesn’t have to be two bedroom. We both want to stay in Fitzrovia, but a quieter street and slightly more space - for less money would be ideal, is that too much to ask, may be not in this climate.

Erbie had a nap around 12.30 for 45minutes and another one at 3.30pm with me for an hour, then top and tail and asleep by 6.20pm. I gave him a dose of baby nurofen, which I hate doing but, his little cheeks were so red, and he's so even tempered, he hardly ever complains. He woke around 9.30pm, and by his coughing mews I thought he was hungry, so got him out, and indeed he had a good feed.

2 of my items on ebay sold, for a marginal profit, I designed and printed out a business card, and did a little research for our children’s book idea. If one was to save a million in 5 years, how much would that be a day? £547.95. Cripes. It would be wonderful if we could afford to buy somewhere in town by the time Erbie is 5, and ready for school. Mind you he’s an August baby, so that only gives us 4 years. I have a romantic ideal of the lovely school over in Mayfair, near the library. Walking up there hand in hand, satchels, knee high socks...

Guardian reader went to Tesco via our dream house and says it looks like someone is moving in, the lights were on and two vases had appeared on the fireplace. I printed out a picture of the road and put that on our fireplace, positive visualisation…

Tomorrow, we must both job search in earnest.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Coffee in Piccadilly and a daddy gets a shock!



Saturday 07 February 2009
5months, one week old.

Erbie woke at 7am. I though it was 5am again and had changed his nappy silently, barely smiling or making eye contact, which was difficult as he was being so adorable, I checked my mobile and realised it was 7am, he quickly got praise and smiles from a ‘silly mummy look at the time’. We heard the Guardian reader stir on the sofa, (Friday boys night out in Carnaby Street) and daddy whistled ‘hello’ emerging in the door way to a full cheeked smile from Erbie and a morning grin from me. Second nappy, yellow poo.

We went through to the living room and Erbie was propped up on the sofa chewing various baby toys. Everything goes in his mouth now. His appetite is back to normal, thank God, he must have been having a growth spurt over the past few days, feeding almost every 2 to 2 and half hours, aswell as through the night. I pulled my leopardskin wellies on over my pjs and popped out to Tesco for croissants, the Guardian and milk. Hardly anyone was about yet, and the streets were still full of the previous nights detrius, a discarded Leffe glass on the step of Nicolas, and a black crocheted hat, dewy with cold on the pavement outside the Charlotte Street Hotel.

Back to cosy flat and ‘top and tail’ time for smally. He seems to enjoy having a hot flannel on his face, I just do one side at a time, so he can always see out of one eye and he doesn’t mind at all. He has scratched his left cheek in the night, almost a gash, it’s deep and scabbed, also the top of his head. I file his nails down for the third time this week! His cradle cap has almost gone, but still smells a little like wet dog. His head is SO dry. I’ve been using the Oliatum prescribed by the doctor after his wash, and will just have to wait and see if it is any better than Vaseline, which did help his hats stay on in the cold, if not much else. I rub some rather lovely lavender scented Molton Brown baby oil on for good measure – a gift.

Under his neck, not so easy, and still a bit red, I’m a bad mother thoughts, hands, feet, belly and tail. I rub him in Oilatum, while chanting, ‘mmmmmmmmmmmmm whose a lovely baby’ and am rewarded with lots of smiles and a giggle. A tiny bit of Sudacrem on the baby exzema behind his ears, knees and a touch on his belly button for good measure. A lovely clean, lotioned baby. New nappy, he’s onto size 3 now, the size 2’s suddenly look comically small, navy tights (hand me downs), marvelous for snuggness, Rolling Stones onesie (daddy couldn’t resist), then off to the bedroom for a feed and nap. He’s started to grink a little and it’s 8.45am. Into his baby sleeping bag, which he always makes a fuss about, then I prop myself up in bed, and after about 10 minutes of feeding he’s fast asleep. I know I should wake him, and I’m making a rod for my back if I believe everything I read, but I can’t bare to. Daddy comes back to bed, Erbie goes in his cot with Pip the bunny, and we all have a family nap.

Erbie wakes at 10, and so do I, he smiles quietly in his bed and then more broadly when I reach in for him. We go back to the sofa for more chewing, Daddy gets up, I have a shower. I dress him in new jeans (gift from the States) size ‘from 6months’ for the first time, they come down to his feet, I didn’t realise quite how much he’d grown, and last weeks cords look dinky, a lovely black IdaT top with toothy babies, (handmedown) and his new size 2 One Star Converse (ebay). Smart boy. His outfit is finished off with a lovely grey H&M cardi, and a blue bandana to mop dribble. He’s starting to fidget and grink and I think he’s bored, so a quick snack feed, then out comes the Baby Bjorn to smiles. He tries to grab the straps as I put it on, and is a happy as Larry to be strapped on to my front. It’s quite cold so the flying hat, which is still too big gets tied in place with the bandana. His gloves are still at a friends so I’ll hold his hands when we’re outside.

Off to meet Joojoo at Waterstones on Piccadilly. A bright crisp day, and Erbie loves being up front, several ‘oh how cute’ looks from passersby. There is an amazing café on the top floor with views of London, a little pricey but darn good. I know That Erbie will be hungry and tired, I’d hoped he’d fall asleep on the walk here, so am a little anxious but decide to go with the flow. We are lucky to be seated on a sofa, and Joojoo gets smiles and cuddles while I de-strap myself. I have worn my big stripey pashmina as a scarf, and put it round my neck in anticipation. Sure enough after 10 minutes, Erbie wants to let me know he is tired and hungry and starts to fuss in Joojoo’s arms.

I take him and try to subtley whip out a tit whilst whooshing Erbie underneath the scarf. No connectiion, my jumper has pinged back up over my boob and he is snuffling and wriggling in frustration. Second attempt, we have connection. I hold him close and manage to straighten out the scarf avoiding any exposure. All becomes quiet and calm, and the food arrives. Joojoo very kindly balances my plate on my knee where I can reach. Erbie feeds unoticed and falls into his midday slumber, an hour late, on my lap. Joojoo and I catch up and I order a coffee, decaf of course. Erbie wakes to a ‘hello darling’ and manages a sleepy smile and an eye rub, to much praise from Joojoo, who tells me most babies wake up crying. Its just gone three already, we decide to skip the walk in Green Park and both head off home.

It’s colder now so I hold Erbie’s hands in mine, and mop any cold dribble chin with the bandana corners. Daddy meets us in Soho and the three of us walk back together with Erbie being happily vocal. I think he’s telling his dad about his day. It’s too late for an afternoon nap before bedtime so I decide to get the baby bath out. The flat’s warm so we have nappy off time half wrapped in a towel on the sofa. Daddy gets up close and personal for an examination and exclaims in horror, ‘Oh my god, what this on his winkie?’ Just underneath his willie he has what looks like a burst blister, raw and red, ouch. Daddy feels sick and mummy feels bad. We pop him in the bath and discuss doctors, Sudacrem, negligence. Daddy says he will top himself if he has anything wrong with his willie through any fault of ours, I say it’s probably just a little sore, and I never really look just under his willy. All the information I’ve read says not to attempt to move anything around down there too much. We decide it’s just nappy rash and to be more careful.

Erbie is oblivious and managing to splash and eat the rubber duck at the same time. I never let go of him. I get the fluff out from between his toes and wash all his creases, just with the Oilatum bath water. His head gets a tiny bit of Neal's Yard baby shampoo. He has a whimper when I take him out of the bath, but then the towel is rough and it’s a bit chilly. A quick rub a dub dub, and smiles again, lotion, Sudacrem on blister – carefully, Vaseline behind his knees and ears, white vest and white babygrow. A clean, rosy cheeked, warm baby – lovely. Daddy is propped on his elbows looking out of the window at the street, I stand next to him and put Erbie on his shoulders, his tiny legs around his neck, he starts to pull at daddy’s hair and dribbles on his head.

Bedtime, into the sleepbag – not happy, up onto lap for a quick ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, for my sister Christa. Bedtime feed, his eyes are wide open, and I worry that he may be over tired, from missing his afternoon nap, but soon his eyes close and he finishes feeding, full and almost asleep. Into the cot with Pip the bunny to cuddle and kiss goodnight. It’s 5.45pm. I don’t think he’s had enough to eat today and expect him to wake around 8 for a top up, which he does.

He starts to make a noise at 9.45pm, I go in quietly, his eyes are closed but he’s searching for breast. I put Pip back in his arms and watch over quietly as he trys to put himself back to sleep. His eyes don’t open but his arm starts to flail and he hits it on the cot, grabbing on to a rung with his strong little fist. He wriggles his head in frustration and makes muted throaty little mew grunts. I watch, feeling heartless and aching to pick him up. He falls asleep, it can’t have been more than 4 minutes. I’m very glad I didn’t pick him up, and proud of him. I expect him to wake around 11.30/midnight for a feed, and then we shall see how the night is. I think it was about 6 times last night. Where has my little dot who nearly got to sleeping through gone? It’s day three of our getting back to a daytime napping routine, I hope the café sleep hasn’t set us back.

It’s 11pm now and I’m off to bed. The Guardian reader is still out at a party in Jerusalem, I think I’ll put the spare duvet on the sofa for him again.

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle