Monthly Archives: March 2014

Repeat Performances


Just another start to the working day, Gracie style

I always thought the problem with writing a blog would be having something to write about that someone else wants to read. After a month of writing, nearly 1000 views and some lovely feedback, I realise that the actual problem is to keep writing something new and interesting that someone else wants to read. And writing something new and interesting is going to mean I’ll have to do new and interesting things with Grace. I’m not sure childcare should necessarily be directed by the need to have material to blog about, but it’s surely a win win! Much as I welcome all the passers by, the main someone else I have in mind reading through all these posts, is of course, Grace herself. One day I hope she’ll be able to read through these ramblings and marvel at how well she’s turned out despite her formative first few months in my occasional care.

All that said, new and interesting things will have to wait. This week, we have swimming, Bumps and Babies and shopping trips.  If you think this sounds suspiciously like my itinery from week one then you’d be right! Deja vu all over again.

Tuesday was our first day back to normality following the CenterParcs break. As disrupted and unsettled as Grace’s sleep had been over the weekend, it was a joy to wake up on Tuesday morning after 7 hours sleep, and with Grace having had 11! Maybe a corner has been turned… The plan was to get over to the library to take part in SongTime and meet Elmer. Who is Elmer? No idea…looks a bit like a psychedelic elephant in the photo, and apparently he is a character from a well known children’s book. But as Grace fell asleep at exactly the time we were due to depart, I shall never know which one. Or find out if Elmer is indeed an elephant.  Hopefully one of you can elucidate for me.

A lot of what happens or doesn’t on my days in charge seems to be governed by Grace’s eating and sleeping patterns. Hopefully over time I’ll either a) be better able to plan myself around them, or b) work out how to mitigate the impact of ignoring them. At the moment I’m not organised enough for a) and too scared to try b) !

Grace takes a sneaky turn down aisle 3, and the Farleys Rusks

Having missed the singing…and I think if I’m honest, an unconscious sigh of relief was probably issued at the time, I decided that we’d have another go at the Swimming Pool.  The local pool in Wolverton is brand new so pretty good for facilities, including six huge family changing cubicles. Getting you and your baby changed single handed is tricky, but is made easier by having acres of space to spread out in. I live in fear that one day I’ll turn up and one of these wont be available…

Just as last time, Grace went from happy and smiling to unsure and grizzly the minute she entered the pool. Me ducking her head underwater slightly accidentally did not help matters. We did manage to last for 25 minutes this time, before giving up thinking Grace was suddenly going to take to this new aquatic experience. Still…she does like the poolside showers, so we got our money’s worth standing under these.

Off to the supermarket then to get the ingredients for beef goulash, which though Grace doesn’t know it yet, will be her tea on Thursday. We may well have a freezer full of freshly prepared purées, but that was then, BLW is now, though I am wondering how Grace is quite going to handle Goulash. Messily, I’ll wager.

Grace takes charge and shows daddy how to look after his teeth

Grace’s two front teeth are coming on well…I’m very careful when applying teething gel now, since experiencing the sharpness of these fangs on my finger.  Nicole is very keen that we should start Grace getting used to cleaning her teeth … I have a far more laissez faire approach to remembering to carry out my instructions. Mind you, Nicole has all her teeth and no fillings, I have had several removed and a mouthful of amalgam. So I better do as I’m told.

And so to Thursday…

There is a real risk that if you choose not to make an effort to leave the house, then  you will simply not leave the house and before long you feel claustrophobic, bored and trapped. Held hostage by your baby. So I was determined that, my thing or not, I would get out and make the Bumps and Babies group in Hanslope. On non weighing days, this is a smallish group of around 10 mums and offspring, and they all make you feel very welcome despite me being the odd one out. Well, at least I was the odd one out. Now I am one of two, which makes it a bit more comfortable as when talk drifts, as it inevitably does from time to time, onto ladies issues let’s say, I can switch to a different wavelength and chat Mano a Mano.

Today I noticed some of the mums were painting on canvasses with the “help” of their babies hands and feet. I kept clear of the mess and stuck to the soft play area. It wasn’t until the end that the leader asked me if I wanted to take my canvas home and paint it there for mummy, that I realised I’d missed a trick. Actually, I’d missed the entire show, as I had completely failed to realise that Mothers Day from now on, was no longer just about getting a card and some chocolates/flowers for my mum (ok mum…occasionally getting…!) . Panic. But still time to do something about it. So off to Milton Keynes Shopping Centre we sped. Grace will know this place like the back of her hand even before she gets to that sort of age, when she’ll get to know this place like the back of her hand!

Made it. And sorted Easter whilst I was at it. Very occasionally, I am still able to keep ahead of the game!

Nb the Goulash was very good….but the way Grace’s little raptor like teeth tore into the beef made me doubly sure to keep my fingers clear at all times…

Daddy’s work here is done for the day…


The Day’s Stats:
Music Education:   Rock Lobster – B52s  Should I Stay Or Should I Go – Clash   American Idiot – Green Day

Distance walked:  0 miles 

Time Taken for 25 minute swim:  2 hours

Minutes snoozed: None. I should point out that this is minutes snoozd by me. But given that Grace has slept 11 hours straight the last three days, none is fine!

Scary Things: 1 – Grace was decidedly unimpressed by the huge roll of thunder over the house today. But then neither was I

Meals at Table: 3

New Foodstuffs:  3 (beef, avocado, natural yoghurt)



In Between Days 2: A Long Weekend


A view of the world Grace would get used to over the next three days

Of the 183 days of Grace’s time in the world, only two have been spent away from home, and these were with the in-laws, and at a stage when Grace did little more than eat and sleep. Not that her repetoire has increased massively since then it has to be said. I don’t think there was any specific reason for this…we often used to go away BG (before Grace), and we had bought a travel cot for just such an eventuality but we just hadn’t got round to sorting anything out. As an aside, don’t do as I did, and, thinking of Travel Scrabble, or Travel Iron (no, no idea really) equate travel with ease of mobility! The Travel cot is a beast that immediately fills a substantial part of your boot…a subject to which we shall shortly return.

We’d had a long weekend in the diary for a couple of months, but it wasn’t until a week and half beforehand we’d finally decided to actually leave the safe environs of home and venture further afield. When it was unseasonably warm, and the thoughts were of walking through cool, shady forest pathways, picnicking on sunlit meadows, and dipping toes into refreshing, babbling brooks. The typical British hope over experience when it comes to weather, obviously. Though given it is still March, it was less hope and more insane ignorance, and less experience and more flying in the face of meteorological science. Still, we booked ourselves into CenterParcs at Longleat and checked the weather app daily with increasing despair.


The vagaries of British Spring weather are lost on Grace

Packing is never a last minute and unplanned activity in this household. At least as long as I have nothing to do with it that is. Lists start being made weeks in advance, and get added to and amended with increasing frequency and in smaller and smaller handwriting so as to fit more on a single page, until the day we depart. At which point everything is either ticked, ringed or underlined in red ink. These latter ones have something to do with me I think. Grace and I are similar in that we have limited wardrobe options, so packing actually boils down to stuffing most of the clothes we own into a bag that can then be squashed into a convenient space in the car. The pram, travel cot, changing bag, toys and food account for the rest of the space. By the time packing was completed, the car was full. And I mean FULL. Who knew an Astra would only just about be big enough for a family of 3. Or two and a little bit. I used to laugh at people and their need to buy ever bigger 4×4’s, but know I’m just jealous. What I’m less sure of though, is when it changed. When did a small Ford Cortina cease to be big enough to get a family of four down to Cornwall and back, when driving to Cornwall still involved an overnight stay in a lay-by along the way, there being only mud tracks west of Exeter?

And so we made it to CenterParcs. For those who have never been, I imagine it’s a bit like Butlins with less knobbly knees and more big German cars. It’s very nicely done in amongst the forests of Longleat, and I also imagine it’s great in the warm dappled sunlight. I’ll never know. Still, we had a very nicely presented lodge, and luckily for potential neighbours, only connected to one other. The travel cot, having been lugged to the nearest room (which was fortunately the bedroom) like some missing monolith from Stonehenge which we’d passed only hours earlier, was then expertly put together like so much giant iron and cloth origami. Problem was that the only available expertise was in spreadsheets. Always good for a bit of bonding, these sort of exercises….


Lack of sleep had knock on effects on my ability to care for my daughter

By the time we were settled, it was past Grace’s usual bedtime (around 7pm), but hey…we’re on holiday, let’s go and have a quick wander, and besides, the fresh air will do Grace good.  In hindsight, all I can say is they’re not mistakes if you learn from them. And at 3am we were learning well. The break in routine may have been a factor, but to be honest, Grace’s ongoing battle with her alien teeth were the main cause. That and the related nappy filling (don’t ask me how, but there is an incontrovertible link…according to Google at least) .

Eventually, the drugs *did* work

Eventually, the drugs *did* work

Think we got through four or five nappies in the darkest hours before dawn that Saturday morning. From that point on we never really recovered, and the rest of the weekend was spent trying to time painkillers, teething gel, sleeps and eats in such a way as to minimise poor Gracie’s discomfort. We did manage to get out and about, and even made the Sub Tropical Paradise (a greater emphasis on the word Sub than I had expected…) a couple of times.

But all the time Grace was either moaning, filling her nappy, or just generally not being herself. It was good to get away for a few days and escape our own little routines built around Grace and work, but still, come Monday afternoon we were back in Castlethorpe, feet up, drinking tea, and breathing a sigh of relief. Home…no place like it.



6 Months and a Day

So you join us, as you usually do at the start my days in charge, somewhere between 4 and 5 in the morning, birds going doolally outside, with a warm, yet wriggly body in my arms, trying my hardest to get it to sleep. Strangely, the night after I had been last been in charge, Grace slept 11 hours straight. Unfortunately tonight I had been up to 1am with some work, so it didn’t really feel time to get up, and it was a relief when Grace slumped under the pressure of my will and fell asleep again quickly. No sofa for me this time though…for Grace now has her own room at last, and so I could put her into the cot and sneak back to my own bedroom, for another two hours….they make all the difference! Fortunately I’m a short sleeper anyway. I don’t feel I’ve got my money out of a day if I go to sleep before midnight, and the alarm…in the days when I still needed one,  would go off at 6.30am. Some people would note that it would still then take me two hours to actually leave the house….

The nursery in quieter times….

Six months then. And a day. It was just over six months when we were putting the finishing touches to the nursey, not knowing what exactly we were letting into our lives.  We’d only had our crash NCT intense weekend course the week before. We were surely not yet qualified. But then barely over 12 months ago, I was still in blissful ignorance of it all! Years used to go by fairly sedately, with little to tell between one and the next. No longer I suspect.

Back to the now, and it being a Thursday means, as we learnt last week…Bumps and Babies! (There were no bumps for the record…I suspect those with bumps prefer the ignorance of what is in store, as opposed to the screaming, wrestling, pushing, pulling, hitting, snatching reality on the floor in front of them).   I still haven’t quite got my mind around attending these, but the continuing development of Grace’s Treasure Box does depend on it, so I was happy to make the effort. However, Grace woke up as grouchy as I remember her, and I didn’t feel her wailing and squealing was what the other babies needed….though to be fair, they all give as good as they get. So happily grasping any excuse that came my way, we decided the box could wait until next week. It is actually very tough to see your child crying and obviously in some discomfort and not knowing what to do. You feed, you change, you cuddle, but that’s about the full repetoire. After that, and without any decent patient feedback, I guess it’s Calpol. Or try to mentally tune out the grizzling. For now, I settle on the latter.

Now just exactly where do you intend to be sticking that thermometer….?!


Just to be on the safe side, I take Grace’s temperature. This is something I probably did about 3 times an hour when Grace first came home, and I still do reasonably regularly. This is probably due to fascination with the gadget, rather than any particular concern I have over Grace’s fluctuating temperature since in all the hundreds of readings I’ve taken, not one has ever been outside of the normal range.  The beauty of the thermometer is that it measures room and bath temperatures too! Stand still long enough in this house and you’ll get zapped. Alongside the Nappy Disposal System, this has got to be at the top of the baby gadget essentials to have. Maybe that’s now earmarked as a blog topic for another day!


I photobomb Gracie’s selfie (not sure these words will actually make sense in the future when Grace reads this)

For today, the writing must be limited. I am supposed to be packing for a three night stay at Centre Parcs, leaving tomorrow. This is truly a military exercise of industrial proportions. I can’t even begin to face the logistical challenge that will be getting everything in the car, until daylight.  I have already taken  an unhealthy fascination in car top boxes. Just one example of how much a year can change you!






“I hope mummy wont be long…” says  

The Day’s Stats:
Music Education:   Creep (Radio Edit of course!) / Street Spirit – Radiohead   Caribou – Pixies 

Distance walked:  4.2 miles to the water park. 1 hour 10 mins… 12 months ago I could run it in under 37mins

Photos Posted to Facebook: 5 (an addiction fuelled by being stuck home alone with a photogenic baby, a camera phone, and no plans to go out )

Baths:  1 (boiler fixed!!)

Minutes snoozed: None

Meals at Table: 3

New Foodstuffs: 1 (melon)


Apoocalypse Now

I remember saying that if I didn’t watch out and make a point of getting out and doing things, my blog entries would revolve primarily around eating, sleeping and pooing. True to my word, I did not get out and do anything hence today’s blog revolves primarily around sleeping, pooing and eating.

Who? Me?

I have come to realise that babies quickly lull you into a false sense of believing you are in control. You create a routine; you stick to it for a day or two; the results are promising; meals are eaten, sleep is taken, smiles are smiled. This is easy you think…you just have to stick to The Schedule. The Schedule is now carved in stone. Or at least scribbled out on scrappy bit of notepaper and stuck to the fridge by magnet.  And for a day or two more it gets better…we put Grace down, she falls asleep by herself and starts sleeping from 7.30pm to 6am and beyond with no breaks in the middle. We pat ourselves on the back. We’ve cracked it!  Then….

…4am this morning and Nicole has fed and changed Grace but still she’s not interested in going back to sleep.  As it’s my day at home, I step in and take the restless, wriggly baton and try my baby whispering on her.  I try rocking her. I trying cuddling her.  I try wheeling her around the dining room in her pram.  I try everything again in reverse order, but with slightly less enthusiasm and more than slightly more desperation.  Just at the point of giving up…although clearly giving up is not an option so it was more like, just at the point of seeking out mummy for help, the pram walking worked it’s magic and Grace was asleep once more.  It is now 5.15am. Obviously the thing to do now is to return said Sleeping Beauty back to her crib.  However, after all that had led to this point, if you think that I was going to risk moving her at this point, you are much mistaken.  So I make sure she is strapped in, and try my best to sleep with no blanket, squished up on a small sofa, in the cold.  Grace manages it far better than me and come 7.30am, one of us at least is well rested and in a good mood.

In the space of the next two hours some internal gremlins get working on Grace’s inner workings, and I am left changing nappy after dirty nappy. Which wouldn’t be so bad, but the nappies seem unable or unwilling to hold their contents, and so each nappy change is accompanied by an outfit change.  Which wouldn’t be so bad, but Grace likes pacing things so just as we’ve got one nappy off, and are thinking that we’re on the home run, she wees everywhere.  If you’re lucky, this is all mopped up quickly and it is a minor inconvenience. The truth is, we are not all lucky all of the time. All over the new nappy, her back, in her hair, onto the carpet, on my jeans, into the new clothes I have just placed her in.  If you’re lucky, it will be just one of these things.  But as we know, we are not all lucky….

A rare sighting. Look very carefully….

Grace is certainly getting more communicative recently.  If your idea of communication is squealing at a pitch likely to cause damage to bats and dogs, and a volume, if measured in decibels per kg, louder than nearly any other sound known to man. It seems to be mainly used as a way of signalling, I am here, and I am now ready to be the centre of attention.  Woe betide you should she catch you still looking at your mobile phone or iPad.  Woe betide your ears.  It is also a signal for I am Bored, Entertain Me. Or, I Am Not Finished, Continue Entertaining Me.  At least the teething thing appears to have subsided though, with the sudden recent appearance of two tiny tooth stubs. This has instantly led to mummy buying toothpaste, a toothbrush and issuing instructions for me to brush twice daily. Assuming I can even find them I guess…  At least the whole issue of to medicate or not can be postponed for another day. From the absurd, new-agey Amber Beads, through the dubious teething granules to the short-lived, and messy to apply gel, up to the actual pain reducing Calpol, there is a whole range of options for the caring parent, to help their little one through the pain of having teeth. I can’t remember the pain of teething myself, but I can readily recall the pain of teeth at other times in my life, so I’m happy to reach straight for the proper stuff at the first tingling of toothache. I recognise this is not the only view in the house however, so I am a bit more ready to try some of the less effective remedies first…

Grace gets to grip with toast. Maybe not in the most efficient way yet….

On the food front, Baby Led Weaning continues apace. Sat down with Grace for breakfast to eat our toast together…or suck it at least. We returned to the fray at lunchtime with a shared bowl of pasta with pesto and cream cheese. I admit this was pushing the boundaries a little, but was definitely appreciated. Indeed, Grace had to be physically dragged away from it in the end. Mainly due to a pressing need to effect another nappy change. Finally we came back to the table at 5.30pm to expore the oaty delights of the dubious sounding, home-made, porridge fingers. These went down the best yet! Down Grace’s front, down my leg, down the chair. I put a little cream cheese on the end of one, and before I knew it, it was in her eye. Literally. Good job, bath time was now upon us.

…it didn’t take me long standing over the bath tap waiting for the hot water to realise my wait was going to be in vain. Our boiler has a bit of a history, though to be fair for the last six months it has pretty much behaved. However, it was now not heating the water, nor indeed, heating the house. Poo, I thought, not for the first time today.
The Day’s Stats:
Music Education:  Rapture/Tide is High – Blondie    Temptation – Heaven 17    Fascination – Human League (okay, it was an Absolute Radios 80’s day…guilty pleasure!)

Distance walked: 2.31 miles around the village …. new pb of 44.41

Baby visitors: 1 (Heath plus mum, Kelly)

Baths: 0 (on account of the boiler breaking down)

Minutes snoozed: None

Meals at Table: 3

Poos: 6

Bumps and Babies

Many lengths of the room to bookcase and back, finally take their toll

I have to admit being trepidatious…if that is even a word. Thursdays happen to be Bumps and Babies day. Nicole has established herself at the local group in Hanslope in past months, and now expects me to carry the baton. I managed to make my excuses last week, but there’s no going back now. Today is weigh-in day, and to get our official blob on the growth line in Gracie’s Red Book, I need to make an appearance. The plan is to get there early so that once in place, everyone else will have to introduce themselves to me as they come it. 

It was a good plan. But Grace fell asleep, and I stepped into the top and tail bowl, thereby making us 10 minutes late, by which time the place was heaving and the only bit I could fit into was a distant corner, where I could ignore everybody and be ignored.  For anybody who has never had children or been to one of these groups…me for example…cannot begin to appreciate the cacophony and chaos that fills the air. One child hits another on the head with a small metal pan. A second grabs my chin and pulls my beard before I’d even registered I was under attack. Another crawls off over the floor between crowds of legs, possibly never to be seen again. Until a bite is take out of an ankle at least. I suppose I should be grateful that I can divert my eyes from Grace for 10 seconds without worrying about the subsequent trail of devastation that may ensue. I suspect I should not get used to this…Grace’s time will shortly come no doubt. 

After a while Grace was recognised by the other mums though (I was very much the odd one out….one out of about 20+ ) and I was slowly accepted into the wider group. I think this was in part due to the admiration of the speed of my dressing and undressing. Of Grace. The nurse reckoned I was more than a match for most of the room. I think she was being harsh… Anyway, apparently next week we are working on Treasure Boxes and a wall display. Welcome to my brave new world.

Don’t touch the camera….DON’T TOUCH THE CAMERA!!!


I didn’t get back until noon…if nothing else, B&B burns up a whole morning and leaves Grace exhausted and ready to feed well and then sleep.  To be fair, this is pretty much the state that daddy is left in too. However, neither of us could actually fall asleep despite both having been up at 4.45am. Mind you, only one of us had been up since 4.45am.  A nectarine and bottle of milk later and I thought we’d cracked it, but no.  Had to resort to wheeling the pram around the dining room to do the business.


By the time Grace had rewoken, the sun was out and I felt we needed to venture out to get some vitamin D on board. Decided that we should venture further afield. Further decided that the canal seemed a good idea. The canal that runs by the newly refurbished pub down the road. Purely coincidentally you understand.  Annnyway. We walked, we soaked up some rays, we admired the countryside…and before returning from whence we came, we decided to sample the hostelry. There was actually a bit of a risk to this, in that I’d completely forgotten to bring the changing bag. Or a toy. Or any teething gel. Basically I was playing Russian Roulette …. Grace may be presently calm and relaxed, but she could go off at any moment. Thankfully she didn’t and a whole pint was enjoyed. 

Grace struggles to hide her feelings about the non milk liquid Daddy is enjoying

Always competitve, I have now mapped our Sleep Walk, and set a PB of 45.12mins

Having returned from our walk, I was conscious Grace was now due her late afternoon nap. So, straight back out again onto the Sleep Walk around the village in the pram. It may be cheating….I can’t rely on always having the pram at hand to get Grace snoozing…but if it works, I’m happy to take the risk. 45 minutes later, fully snoozed, Grace is back, happy, being fed, and ready for her book and bath. Life is good. For both of us.

The Days Stats:
Music Education:  How Soon Is Now / What Difference Does it Make – The Smiths

Distance walked: 2.31 miles around the village

Calories Burned Walking: 300

Pints of Beer Drunk: 1

Calories Absorbed Drinking: 180…120 in the bank!

Minutes snoozed: None

Work emails ignored: Not enough – need to be stronger


Going Swimmingly


Grace testing out her HUGE cot, in the best way possible.

You join me at 9.45am and all is calm.  After a 2.30am to 4am trying to get Grace to sleep session, I am thankful for the opportunity to zone out a little. I am conscious that, if I’m not careful, these blog entries will be basically observations around sleeping and eating.  However, as any time and motion study of Grace would undoubtedly show, that is indeed what fills most of the day.  That and nappies, but for the sake of the tone of this blog, I intend to steer well clear of that subject.  Unless Grace does another really explosive poo that hits one side of the bedroom wall, from the changing table on the other side, as she once did.  I hope you’ve all finished your breakfast…

Grace is still in our bedroom at the moment, but her arms now stick out the sides of her cot, and so I guess the time is fast coming to move her out.  In an effort to help her transition to splendid isolation in the nursery, we’re putting her down during the day into her cot which she seems to like, despite being completely lost in it, it being so big and she being so tiddly.


Water baby, with triple swim nappy system to prevent accidents…and huge embarrassment to dad should the pool need clearing as a result….

During this mid morning nap (seems to be an hour ahead of where I was reliably informed it would happen – I’ve either worn her out with daddy play or else the drugs (Calpol!) have kicked in) I have packed the towels and swimming costumes and am ready to venture to the pool when Grace wakes up.  We have been once before, but with an extra set of hands.  Even then it was a bit of a struggle, so I am feeling a little trepidatious about this. But, as I keep being told, I do need to find things for Grace to do, and given that I could barely swim until I was 11, I am quite keen to get Grace happy around water as soon as possible.

So to the pool. Getting us both changed single handed was a laborious and lengthy exercise, but at least the pool is brand new and has decent sized family changing cubicles. Lesson One: check and dry the baby table before placing your baby, fully clothed upon it. Hopefully Grace’s clothes will have dried by the time we get out….  Into the pool itself, and I immediately sense a problem. Lesson Two: make sure your baby is unlikely to want feeding. Bonus points for packing a warm bottle of milk. Minus points for choosing not to use it before swimming. Minus minus points for thinking I could carry on regardless. A grizzly and largely joyless twenty minutes was spent moving Grace in and out of the water, largely against her will. I thought the life guard was going to step in and tell me to go as Grace was clearly not enjoying her aquatics. We got through though…the highlight was actually the showers afterwards which Grace took quite a liking to. By the time we got back the 15 minutes of pool time had taken just under two hours. Lesson Three: Everything takes longer with a baby. A lot longer.

Come mid afternoon, it was time to try a new food on Grace. We’re currently working our way through the fruit and veg aisle, and today was the turn of nectarine. Nectarine was a hit, and Grace got stuck into the segments I’d cut for her with gusto. Especially if gusto is defined as getting covered head to toe in sticky fruit juice and bits of fruit and skin. Still, it was good to see Grace enjoying eating – after her first couple of food encounters I feared we could have been in for a bit of a battle with food, but looks promising now.

The BEFORE nectarine picture. I was unable to touch anything AFTER, especially delicate technology like a camera!

The Days Stats:
Music Education:  Orange Crush/Losing My Religion/Nightswimming REM 

Books Read : We’re going On A Bear Hunt

Distance walked: 0.5miles up and down the lounge with Grace in the pram to get her to sleep

Minutes snoozed: None

Toilets fixed : 1 (Eventually. After 8 weeks out of action. Bonus points for daddy!)

Hours Spent With Daughter: loads and loved each and every minute





In Between Days 1

Of course, not everything that happens, happens on my two days of child care. Of course, not everything that happens is worthy of recount, nor of interest to anybody other than myself.  Of course, that last bit, presupposes that any of this blog is.  Annnnyway…..

So in order to fill in some of the gaps that may appear in between my days in charge, I thought I’d better throw the odd amuse bouche in, to give a bit of context, background…flavour if you will.  Bloated, self indulgent, wordage if you wont.

So last week, we went to view the photos from our Venture photo shoot.  For the uninitiated, Venture offer gift shoots at around £20 for an hour, take a large number of fantastic photos, and then try and sell you the results, where the cheapest item on their list is £350, knowing that new parents will find it akin to neglect to leave pictures of their little ones behind and discarded on the cutting room floor. To be fair we didn’t get a hard sell, and they do have some cheaper items not on their list, but they don’t really go into these until you’ve convinced them the £1,500 large frame pic is not for you.  As expected, I wanted every picture there, and as expected I wasn’t allowed them.  venture

Hopefully wont be long before Grace is tucking into Sunday Lunch

We’re also starting the painfully slow, messy, and frustrating task of getting Grace into food.  We’re going down the Baby Led Weaning route (so I’m told), where you forego a lot of the mush and purees commonly available in jars and sachets, and give your baby actual bits of food to play with, get used to, and hopefully, if you’re really, really lucky, eat a tiny part of.  What you need for this is basically unlimited reserves of patience, and good selection of suitable food stuffs….and most importantly a bib that covers as much of the exterior of your baby as is humanly possible.  Our easily wipeable, quarry tiled dining room floor is also an invaluable item.

STOP PRESS: We have a tooth!  More on this no doubt as the weeks progress and I relate proudly, its millimeter by millimetre growth, but for now, just take my word for it…it’s there!