ailbhe: (Default)
The local free paper delivery didn't just wedge our letterbox open today, it actually broke it. Now there's a bloody great hole in the front door at ankle-height.

So where do I go to get stupid plastic-and-plastic-framed double-glazed draft-proofed funny-locking door repair people? This is ridiculous. But experience has taught me that it's quicker and cheaper to get professionals in than to go the DIY route.

Meanwhile I'll be taping it shut as soon as Rob gets home. I refuse to live with a howling gale around my ankles.
ailbhe: (Default)
In January there was one at a venue with softplay facilities (I was too ill to go). Last week there was one in someone's home with a local lagoon pool with wave machine hired for the second half (we attended the home bit but were too ill to go to the pool). Today there's one at a softplay venue with a Fimbles theme. Last week;s party had a real proper book in every party bag, and a very fancy multicoloured colouring pencil, and games with prizes, and smoked salmon sandwiches.

We were planning to have Linnea's in our own home, with plain sponge cake. However, one of the guests is allergic to cats, so we can't do that. Another guest is allergic to nuts. We're currently thinking of a picnic in the park, with a cake made by the woman at the Farmer's Market who also provides for the Workhouse Coffee Shop, but what if it rains?

The main problem is that although I have no objection to parties in venues, I don't like that they are becoming the baseline. These children are three years old. Most of them will play for hours with cardboard boxes or our out-of-tune piano. It seems very weird to organise activities for them, like pass the parcel which in general the parents have to play for the children, or lucky dips for exciting take-home party bags, or whatever.

Birthday parties happen in someone's home, in my universe, with the height of excitement being that there are junky fizzy drinks like Coke or, probably, Fanta, and cocktail sausages on sticks, and bowls of suspiciously orange crisps. The cat allergy makes this impossible - a 14-month-old can't just take antihistamines like an adult could. So there's a public park, which poses a toilet problem and a weather problem.

It has just occurred to me that I might be able to hire the local Bridge Hall. That might be perfect. I'll get back to you.
ailbhe: (Default)
Is that the days are very, very long indeed thereafter. They never seemed this long when I left the house at six for work. I think I'll have to take us all out of the house just to break the day up a bit.

That, and I have to make cake because there's a raw egg in a glass since breakfast (Linnea wanted to eat one from the fridge; we illustrated why it wouldn't work).
ailbhe: (linnea 37 months)
Well, I now have help sorted for Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, [livejournal.com profile] da_pol cleared the stuff from the garden so now Rob can take it apart and we can get rid of it, and according to the Daily Mail, baby milk firms have been told to drop nutrition claims.

Linnea has been eating properly, that is, a full meal in the evening; last night she slept through until 6 am; this afternoon she fetched herself a drink of water (for some reason, in a cup with two handles and a lid) and a slice of bread and butter; she couldn't get a knife so she daubed the butter on the bread with the handle of a teaspoon.
ailbhe: (Default)
We were up at 6 this morning, but we all felt reasonably well-rested so that's ok. Emer's just gone down for a nap so I have a chancec to update.

The morning went very well. I breakfasted moderately on pancakes and mandarin oranges. I think the great eatathon may be over. I got washed, dressed, washed the girls' faces, assembled and put on a load of laundry, and hung another load outside.

That meant going into the bakc garden.

The back garden is a disaster. Does anyone remember the storms, while I was away in Ireland? Two panels of our fence were torn down, the fenceposts and concrete bases uprooted, and the whole shebang spread over the garden. The garden shed looks a little lopsided, too. There's other debris scattered around. I was just about able to hang the laundry but there's no way Linnea coul safely go out there, let alone play.

So my new highest priority major task is to clear the garden. I can't lift the fence pieces, so Rob will have to do that, but I can work out where they're going and how. It's possible that we can break them up and send them to landfill. We have nowhere to store them while we work out more useful ways to use the waterlogged, fragile timber. If we are sending them to landfill it will probably take two weeks' worth of collections. Tomorrow's collection is recycling only, so landfill isn't until next week.

But the weather is glorious and I really could hang all my laundry outdoors if only I could get into the garden! As it is there's a load of sheets in the machine which will have to be hung indoors only because I can't reach enough of the washing line.

I've no help today. Tomorrow is fine. Friday is looking empty. Among other things, I have some Mother's Day gifts to buy; if anyone owes mothers this year it's us!
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
Today I 'ave mostly been...

Changing nappies. Linnea wouldn't eat her breakfast; shortly after Rob left for work I found out why. So I changed Emer, and Linnea, and Emer again.

Today has been a cyclical nappy-changing day. Unfortunately, one of Linnea's nastiest ones had no flushable liner.

I'm getting pretty good at doing the Emer-Linnea-Emer changing cycle, actually; the hardest part is keeping them separate and sanitary while I dispose of the dirties and wash my hands. I need to set up a changing table in the bathroom; I designed one to fit over the bath ages ago but it has yet to be made. Then I could change Emer, who needs many more changes per day than Linnea, right there, where all the kit is.

I can't remember what else we've done today. We've read several books, including myself and Linnea reading to Emer for a while. Linnea has started letting me read to her again, which is nice. We also did laundry. And had breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. We did jigsaws. We drew - Linnea gave that up though. She drew several ones (1) quite happily, but got annoyed when her twos (2) all ended up having to be fish or something, when they didn't work out. "I make a two now!" scribble scribble. "Oh. Is a carrot. I make a two now!"

Linnea also played some game with her snowman and the mop involving the following exchange:

Linnea (I think - it may have been the snowman or the mop): Bye bye John, see you a-morrow.
John (presumably): See you a-day!
Linnea: Say PLEASE!
John: No, my CAN'T say please!
Linnea (exasperated): Oh, okay then.

I also gave up on ever drinking enough water and changed over to tea. I make a pot of tea with one bag in the morning and top it up with hot water through the day. It can't be much tea, but it's quite a lot of fluid, and I stopped caring what it tasted like a while ago.

Bara Brith, as per the recipe in this comment, is very good even when you make it recklessly. And very, very sticky. We made two small loaves instead of one big one; perhaps I'll get a larger loaf-tin sometime, but I suspect we're better off with two small loaves. Linnea doesn't seem to like it much though she loves that you can spread margarine on it.

Oh! I had some real play with Emer! She's starting to bat at things on her play-arch. Poor child hasn't much chance to try, mind you, because of Godzilla in the size 8 Startrite Mary Janes. But today Linnea was happy on her own in the library and Emer and I lay on the floor and batted. And smiled at each other. She has trouble turning her head when she's on her back, but is perfectly able to lift it up and turn it when she's on her front.

Her wakeful periods are more and more, well, wakeful. I shall have to get my act in gear shortly and provide a stimulating and safe environment for her. How? (Suggestions to lop Linnea's legs off will be met with the contempt they deserve, and also with serious consideration about twice a day).

I must get my hands on another photo of the three of us. Perhaps if we get to Kew this weekend people will be snapping snaps.
ailbhe: (Default)
Last week the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] flybabydizzy came and cleaned our house. And talked to us. And played scrabble with us. The house looked like the housework fairies had come in the night and transformed it, especially the kitchen. Now they're gone, and with me post-section, they're not coming back. It's all I can do to end the day with the three of us fed and not covered in our own excretions. Or each other's, come to that; I got copiously peed on yesterday.

Also yesterday, Rob and I had a weird conversation on IM.

ailbhe: Unless you've moved the oats, I can't reach the slow cooker, you know
rob: I didn't know that
ailbhe: It's a big stretch
ailbhe: I can't do big stretches
rob: I could come home and tip it in in half an hour - I forgot to bring my lunch so could pick it up then
ailbhe: Hee, that would be helpful
rob: ok, I'll do that. It'll only be a flying visit mind you
ailbhe: Or I could do it in a saucepan, but then what about your lunch?
rob: I'll take it back here
ailbhe: No, I mean f you dn't come home I can do dinne rin a pan
ailbhe: but you have no lunch
rob: If I don't come home I'll have to buy something

So he came home, filled the slow cooker with the prepped dinner, hung out the laundry, kissed everyone, picked up his lunch, and left.

It wasn't until the potatoes were almost done and it was about serving time that we realised the slow cooker had been off all that time. So we invoked the microwave, which was... ok.

I really need to move stuff so I can reach everything in the kitchen again. Being out of action causes all kinds of chaos.
ailbhe: (Default)
Saturday morning was brightened by a delivery of 70% chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] mouse262, whom I don't even know. Thank you. The kindness of strangers knows no bounds. It's lots of little batons, which I have been eating in the mornings so's not to keep Emer up all night.

At some point - two points, actually - we cut my hair. First Rob stood behind me and chopped a straightish line off, then I decided it wasn't short enough yet but I was too tired to do it again, and the next morning Rob cut it shorter. I washed it. It's fine. It's roughly straight if I brush it all back, takes much less time to brush in the mornings, can still be tied back, etc. It can't quite be worn down, because it falls forwards, and I hate hair in my face, but it's a great time saving over what I had before.

With any luck, my hair is also not pregnant any more and I can stop gunging up hairbrushes. Yeurgh.

It's shorter than it's been since I was seven. It only just passes my shoulders.

A Fine Day

Sep. 17th, 2006 07:39 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is officially over her growth spurt. How do we know? We both woke rested this morning. Rob actually sat up and drank tea in bed, before Linnea made him get up. I stayed in bed much, much longer.

So today was good. Rob has also cut my hair; it's just beyond my shoulders now, so it looks about the same from the front but should take much less time to manage. I really do think I will find a hairdresser and make someone else cut my hair into something that can be combed in 30 seconds or less without a mirror, and remain ok with a bike helmet. No idea how though.

I've posted a poll in my due date community about birth. I'm interested to know how many of "us" managed a normal birth. And in what people's expectations of recovery were like; I know almost everyone I know personally was surprised by how long it took them to recover from birth, even the ones who had lovely natural no-trauma deliveries without complications.

Linnea and Rob went swimming this morning, with friends. Then they came here to lunch, until their toddler got tired and high-pitched and was brought home. Rob made beef stew for dinner - my being ill is expanding his cooking repertoire enormously - and we ate it out in the garden.

Rob has had some upper back pain and a weird jumping arm and a stiff neck. Tomorrow morning we'll call the doctor, see if he can get an appointment.

I'm reading Fforde's "The Big Over Easy" and being irritated by myself for not getting all the references. Must Try Harder.
ailbhe: (tree)
"Literally" still does not really mean "figuratively".

It worries me that teachers of children do not see the irony in the statement "I can't stand judgemental people," or, worse, "judging people is just wrong." (Tom Lehrer!)

It worries me more when teachers of English can't spell "discreet" or "discrete".

But not very much, because I have cake.




A friend came and cleaned my house this week. The kitchen is clean. She also took me to the supermarket and I got a new mop to replace the one someone left in the garden for the snails. Now the kitchen floor can be clean again. And she was lovely, too, and played Scrabble with us on Thursday evening. We like Scrabble.

My old online Scrabble place now has a fee for what she used to give for free, in my home town. I need to find a new free place.

Emer appears to be just over a growth spurt. She's eating just as much as she was a few days ago but is sicking it all back up again. She's also comfort nursing less. And possibly sleeping more but I haven't been keeping track.

I do not have oversupply this time! Seriously, only about two people reading this know what a blessing that is. Maybe three. I do not appear to have oversupply. I have small painful lumps but nothing like the enormous welts last time. I only leak during letdown, instead of constantly. I'm not painfully engorged unless it's been a while since the last feed. She only chokes at the very beginning of a feed.

Calloo, callay!

Rob's back hurts again. And he's got a book out of the library called "Willing Slaves", ISBN 000716372X which looks interesting. It's about the culture of overwork.

I had another go at his overtime spreadsheet today. He's gained a day's leave since we last played with it. And he has more overtime coming on Wednesday.

The dining room carpet has to come up. I'm thinking cork tiles, the kind that snap into each other tongue and groove style, and have a tough vinyl coating. They'll be easy to lay ourselves, easy to sweep or wipe clean, cheaper than decent laminate flooring, and when we drop stuffon it it won't break. Also, there's cork tiling in mum's house on Aran and I'm fond of it.

Min dotter

Sep. 15th, 2006 07:35 pm
ailbhe: (running)
Emer is the peacefullest, snuggliest, snooziest baba that ever lived. Except for the bit in the evenings. Today she started by spitting up a huge amount on the bus home from ERAPA, at about 5 pm, and since then she's blurped a few more times, nasty sticky white gooey blurp.

She's not happy. And every moan and whimper grates on my nerves like a spoon in a badly glazed teacup. Rob is holding her, because one reason she's so lovely during the day is that I carry her in the sling everywhere; it's the only way to cope with Linnea around, really. (2-4 hours of slinging is normal now, in the ring sling, and I even sussed feeding her in the sling the other day, and I can replicate it at will. I slide her sideways and do it rugby-hold).

Rob tried walking her in the garden, which helped until the novelty wore off. Now he's holding her in the library with BBC Radio 3 on.

The day went badly; Rob woke on time, went downstairs with Linnea (who had wanted a feed from me at 6:30-ish), and then went back to sleep for two hours. So she didn't get a proper breakfast, and I ended up lying stuck in bed because I'm not very mobile when lying down yet; my hips still stick at me, and I assumed that he must be having some sort of important Linnea-crisis because normally he'd come back upstairs after he gave Linnea her breakfast and I gave Emer hers.

Anyway, eventually I managed to roll onto my side and get out of bed and made everyone eat toast, and we got out to the bus. Bus trips with a Rob who keeps zoning out are interesting too; we missed stops a few times and stuff like that. But we got to ERAPA in the end and it was pleasant; I walked around holding Emer, and sat and drank tea, and met people (*wave*), and talked obstetrics, and Rob followed Linnea around a bit, and sat around, and had a nap on the grass.

Linnea didn't like her packed lunch - nor did I, most of it was quite unlike what we'd normally pack, but fridge-pickings were apparently slim - so she had a sort of mini-series of mini-tantrums on the way home. I did get her to eat some more from the lunchbox, which helped, and then she fell asleep on the bus. She also ate a reasonable dinner, though not as good a one as I would expect her to normally. I know she's going to wake for a night feed tonight. She's going to be hungry.

So Emer has a tummyache and Linnea will be hungry. It's going to be another long night.

Tomorrow I hope to send Rob and Linnea to the allotment in the morning, and then when the library opens we can all four go there to do a book swap. Rob needs to put a new lock on the shed on the allotment, and maybe remove the old one if he has time. A lot will depend on how cooperative Linnea is being, which is why it has to happen in the morning.

We had so much unaccustomed rain that we ended up using disposables all day today. Bah.
ailbhe: (emer)
Fed Emer
Fed Linnea
Fed Emer again
Made Linnea wear a nappy (Rob spent 25 minutes trying)
Dressed
Did hair
Ate breakfast
Cleared breakfast table
Put Emer in hugabub
Set Linnea up with painting
Ran Linnea a bath for when painting is over
Tidied library
Tidied dining room

To do: brush teeth, bath Linnea

All else is jam.
ailbhe: (Default)
We had a phenomenally stressful morning which pretty much ruined the day. In fact, we're both still exhausted today. However, Rob left for work on time and I got up, dressed, ate, made the bed, sorted nappies, failed entirely to get Emer in the ring sling, and shoved Linnea upstairs brutally after she picked up the blanket Emer was lying on.

Time for nappy changes now.

(LJ Support are still working on my weird usericon problem.)
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer woke from a long, leisurely nap just as the beans were almost done (beans for Linnea's lunch; she had about half a 200g tin; 100g contains 0.9g of salt. Dear gods) and the toast had popped. And she needed an immediate nappy change.

I can see that for the next year I will eat all my meals except dinner with a baby on my lap.

Nursing.

And scratching.

Anyway, she's just nodded off, after a solid 90 minutes - maybe more - of awake alert time. I had another go with the hugabub but I'm wearing dungarees which aren't the best for experimenting with it. I'll try the ring sling when she next wakes.

She's my second baby. That's why she's sleeping slumped in the bouncy chair while the toddler watches tv and bounces on an armchair. I'm not sure how long TV will last today; after this (so far, she's watched 7 minutes of Something Special) there's 50 minutes of Big Cook Little Cook, which is loathesome. However, we might have visitors, which would be good.

I really need to clear the dining table and tidy the library. My incision - one of my internal incisions, that is - aches. I'm tired. Linnea did a stinky poo and Emer did a milky poo (explosive, and full of curds) and I cleaned them both up and I'm finding it hard to eat enough.

I wonder how long Emer will sleep for this time.
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
I'm trying to learn to wear Emer in the hugabub. I think the problem is that I'm not tying it tight enough; she won't sit high on my torso in it. So far, I've tightened it every single time I took her out today, and I'm not taking the sling off - she's currently asleep upstairs in the moses basket - until I've achieved a tight enough tie to hold her in the right position. She's light enough that it's ok if she's not quite right first off; I can tote her around as long as she's comfy, and it doesn't matter so much that it would be awful if she weighed another 3lb.

So far today I've had breakfast, washed, dressed, done my hair and teeth, cleared the dining table, filled and run the dishwasher, hung a load of laundry and a load of nappies on the indoor drying rails (I can't really stretch to the outdoor line with any confidence), folded another load of laundry wet so's it doesn't dry crumply, sorted dry laundry into piles by owner (but not put it away; Emer's asleep in there!), cleared one and a half kitchen counters, put the magimix bowl to soak (encrusted banana cake mix - need to work on that recipe; cakes were incredibly dense and flat), took a phonecall from someone who hadn't been informed of Emer's birth (oops), found the cordless phone, fed Linnea her snack, and read some of another Adriana Trigiani, which are incredibly easy and lightweight and not too funny. I'd love to read the new Bryson, and we have some Fforde waiting for me, but I can't laugh too much yet. A little giggle is fine. I can get away with a chortle. Up to three chuckles don't strain the stitches. But side-splitting isn't amusing when it feels literal.

In other news, I seem to have lost the ability to make usericons out of lj pics photos. Huh?

Home Alone

Sep. 4th, 2006 09:09 am
ailbhe: (Default)
It's my first day home alone. Rob left (late!) 20 minutes ago. I can't believe the godawful state the house is in. How is it that it's fine when my mother is here, fine when I'm well, but 48 hours after my mother leaves and while I'm sub-par the kitchen is almost uninhabitable, the floors are filthy, and even the kitchen bins are overflowing? There isn't even anything here for our lunch, as far as I know.

Augh! Despair!

Also, I can't quite figure out how to tote Emer about in the Peapod hold in the hugabub. I think I'm doing it too loose. That, or I'm just too damn short. None of the women in the video seemed to be carrying babies that took up as much of their torso as Emer does of mine. I know this was a problem with Linnea until she learned to hold her head up. Please, this baby is tiny. Let me be able to learn this one. She keeps sagging down to the horizontal.
ailbhe: (teletubbies)
Make flapjacks
Make banana muffins
Roast pork tenderloin for dinner (Do two, and have one for leftovers!)
Water plants
Strip bedding and launder duvets-being-used-as-mattress-topper
Put clean bedding in Spare Oom just in case of sudden guestage
Put air cooling unit from L's room in loft
Get down playmat thingy for laundry (launder tomorrow?)
Buy more breakfast cereal and frozen veg (instafood! it's the greatest!)
Buy more rice milk in large and portion-sized cartons
Wash and bleach bits of aircon unit L posted food into
Wash and bleach plastic basins
Write more of the nomination for Community Midwife of the Year for my lovely midwife (see about having her canonised)
Write more about tandem feeding
ailbhe: (trike)
Friday morning, Rob left the house at 8:30, leaving Linnea, Emer, me, and my mother. Linnea was fed and dressed, which was fabulous. My mother was drugged out on antihistamines and unrousable. I got up, fed Emer again again, put her in the hugabub (badly!), and made tea and had breakfast. Then Linnea and I emptied the dishwasher, I cleared the table, filled the dishwasher, sorted some laundry, brushed our teeth (while carrying Emer!), and sat down in the library, where I fed Emer again and read livejournal, and Linnea read one of her books.

Mum got up at 9:30 and came downstairs. "Wow, it all looks so peaceful!" she said.

I felt terribly accomplished. Mind you, the major tidy-up of the two downstairs rooms had been done by Rob the night before, but you couldn't tell by looking that a toddler had been up and about all morning, just the same. Nor that three people had had breakfast.




Today we got up and out the door by 8:10, took Mum to the train station to get her bus to the airport, bought tea and bananas so that Mum and I wouldn't faint (Linnea stole my banana), waved Mum goodbye, went and found breakfast in one of the few cafes open before 9 am on a Saturday, bought a pack of pipecleaners as a birthday-girl's-brother present for the party in the afternoon (tobacconists are open early, it seems), ate, found a charity shop opening at 9, bought a couple of gift bags and a birthday card, and incidentally a set of small ice-lolly makers, and went to WH Smiths to find a couple of books for the birthday girl for the party, and then went to Mothercare to have the assistant look at my buggy-cum-pram and tell me why it was acting all funny now we've turned it into a pram (we've lost the manual; my gods, my buggy comes with a manual!), and then went to the Farmer's Market, where I got a jug I've sort of had ordered since June, and a cute, dinky, dainty, adorable teeny tiny teaset suitable for children, large dolls, or covetous adults with a thing for handmade pottery. I couldn't help it. It was so cute I almost exploded on sight.

And then we went home for lunch.

After lunch, Rob and Linnea had a bath, and we all four set off on the trike for the party. It was a pretty stiff cycle - there was wind, and drizzle, and a non-trivial hill, and we'd never gone that way before. Several times I asked Rob whether I should get out and walk; he was huffing a bit. But I think he enjoyed it really, and he gets a bit of a kick out of pedalling his whole family around. Emer's carseat just fits - we've emailed the retailer to ask if there are any tips on transporting an infant in one, like a special small carseat that would fit better - and Linnea and one adult still fit ok. It's even fairly comfy, though carrying shopping is out of the question; Rob had to take the nappy kit on his back.

At the party Linnea sought the birthday girl out and gave her her presents (the one-year-old handed them on to Is, who gave them back to Linnea, but they all had fun and the presents were indeed left at the birthday girl's home when everyone went away again and that's what counts) and talked to a few people. I was too tired (can't imagine why) to be very sociable but we got there.

18 days after a c-section, attending a toddler party is about all I'm asking of myself. Being its life and soul costs extra.

Then we came back home late enough that we stopped for dinner at Chilis, where I realised I have never seen a fat or even plump member of staff, which is a bit weird when I think of the shapes I see walking around town. Then we went to Boots to buy cotton wool, and Linnea pushed a tiny trolley with a huge flag, and took things off the shelves and pushed them to the till and unloaded the trolley. It was gorgeous.

And then home, milk, bed.

And then we watched the hugabub howto video again, and learned where we've been going wrong with the newborn carry ("peapod"), and Rob practised it but dipped the hugabub in the bowl of clean water we keep for nappy changes, by accident. So he used the ring sling for the first time ever instead.

And here we are. I need a picture of all four of us lined up with the trike, now.

The four of us.

Oh my god. What have we done?!

Rob's Job

Aug. 29th, 2006 10:08 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
Well, he asked them what they intended to do about the fact that he's been interrupted four times while on paternity leave, and they've given him an extra 7.5 hours' leave. With his annual leave and accrued TOIL, he now has 21¼ days to take before 31 December. This will be mentioned to his manager, because he also has more out of hours work to do, which will mean more TOIL.

When I managed a department of 8 people plus me, I kept a close eye on their leave, because it was important to ensure that they all *took* it, and that they didn't all take it at *once*. It wasn't hard once I'd developed a system. Perhaps I should explain the system to someone.

I'm still simmering.
ailbhe: (Default)
Rob's going in to work again. Today was supposed to be TOIL of interrupted paternity leave when he worked last week; they called and he's going in again now.

I'm livid.

I'm much angrier than that, in fact.

This is the fourth time they have interrupted his paternity leave. Twice the day he went in. Once on Sunday - on a Bank Holiday Sunday when he was on paternity leave - and then today. Why? Because they need his help on some technical documentation they've been working on for months. I have never encountered more pathetic time-management. It seems like nothing at all is ever planned for accurately in this place. When he took the job, he asked at the interview about things like daily working hours being adhered to, not being on call, not being routinely required to do out of hours work, all the usual things that enable one to have a life outside work. And he got satisfactory responses. They are completely not living up to this. I'm furious.

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