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.
ailbhe: (nana)
Last night I managed over 60 consecutive minutes of sleep at one point. Between 7:15 and 8:20 am, actually, but it all counts. Rob took Linnea to the Farmer's Market without me, therefore, and I lay in bed nursing Emer and listening to Fi Glover and, er, Elvis McGonagle. It was very restful, honestly.

Then they came home and we had soup for lunch, involving a freak defrost-three-times-what-we-need accident, and then we headed out to the library. Where we stayed until 4 pm when they chucked us out. I have two books on gardening, one on bread machine use, one teen fiction, and one "The Bookseller of Kabul" by Asne thingy, whom I like.

On the way home from the library we stopped in to Sweet Masala for a masala dhosa and something Rob ate which he said was "definitely not vegan" but couldn't name beyond that. Then we went to the supermarket and bought portion-cartons of juice, ready-made cake, and a flamethrower.

I've wanted a flamethrower for the weeds on the front path and the patio for years. But they always seem very expensive, and it's insane for us to get expensive garden equipment; we're not interested enough in it to maintain anything.

However, I need to get interested; I must draw up some kind of plan for the allotment and start work on it. Rob will have to do the digging but I can probably do light weeding and so on. I should probably try to borrow a wheelbarrow so he can spread our compost on it. Ew.

The only downside today is that Emer was in the hugabub while Rob was frying onions (dinner is spag bol, any minute now) and she screamed blue murder. She has inherited my eyes, which I get in a direct line from my mother. Oh well; at least her mascara use will be strictly limited.

I must get a photo of my mother, myself and both my daughters.
ailbhe: (emer)
Fed Emer
Fed Linnea
Fed Emer again
Made Linnea wear a nappy (Rob spent 25 minutes trying)
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: (mamahastwo)
Got up
Fed Emer
Practised stopping a sneeze. Failed. Ow.
Fed Linnea
Brushed hair
Fed Emer
Changed Emer's nappy twice
Got dressed
Soothed Emer through some horrible tummying
Failed to get Emer in the ring sling until she was furious
Got Emer into the hugabub in an upright frog position; jiggled and sang her to sleep[1]
Ate breakfast while giving Linnea her morning snack
Sorted some dry laundry - it has been stacked in a basket too heavy for me to lift, so I will have to shift it in smaller packages
Responded to my support request "answer" again. They still haven't worked out why I can't turn photos into userpics. I've tried three browsers.

To do:
Clear dining table
Set Linnea up with painting
Assemble all the dry nappies
Sort the dry clothes
Clear the kitchen counter of the debris from Rob cooking dinner last night (microwave M&S beef casserole, serves 4 anorexic midgets who are abnormally keen on salt)
Run Linnea a bath (cf: painting)
Pull the clean wet clothes out of the washing machine for hanging
POSSIBLY hang them, carrying them into the garden an armful at a time, if I can stretch up enough
Maybe put another load in the machine, but not put it on because I can't lift the jug of detergent

[1] Something strange is happening to the pomes; I now make them up to sing to Emer but for Linnea's benefit, eg "Nea is your sister, Rob he is your Dad, I am just your Mammy, Hush it's not so bad" etc. Almost all of them mention Linnea. This is good, because it keeps Linnea happy and important. But odd.
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?!
ailbhe: (morning)

Linnea had been mimicing me saying "Now," for a few days. Today she used it in context.

She finished her morning feed and got out of bed while I lay there croaking (I have a pending and impending cold). She toddled over to the bookcase, selected a book (Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, as it happens) and climbed back onto the bed.

She sat down, laid the book on her lap, said "Now!" in a satisfied way, and started to read.

She is also proficient in the use of the word "Wassat?" although I deplore her glo'al stop.

I also went to John Lewis accompanied by a friend to buy Linnea a bed. The one we got does not appear to be on the John Lewis website, but it's a wooden-framed single bed with a matching "cabin" bed, and the two can be put together to make a bunk bed. So we're sorted for beds for the forseeable future. I chose a good child's mattress after checking a few and listening carefully to the sales-guy's explanation of why small children shouldn't use an adult's very firm mattress (it made a lot of sense and tied in to what I know of cot mattress design) and then I chose a winter duvet for myself and Rob and a light duvet for Linnea and single bedding for Linnea including waterproof mattress protectors and ooph.

My friend and I had a lovely lunch and met some other friends and got invited to drop in for coffee and also dropped in on Becky in the games shop and stuff like that.

And - wonder of wonders - Linnea napped for 40 minutes, ending at 15:10. And she can open the front door now.

ailbhe: (Default)

I am off-duty. Linnea is covered in coloured pens, her eardrums are probably never going ot recover from Fred Astaire putting on his top hat, white tie and tails at dance-loudness, her dinner cane to a halt when I realised that I was begging her through sobs to sit down, she has mostly eaten bananas today, but she is still alive, and so am I.

Pop quiz: When you see a mother screaming for her child because she is terrified that the child is in danger, do you:

  1. Get out of the way?
  2. Try to rescue the child?
  3. Wait until it's over and offer sympathy?
  4. Laugh at her as she dashes past you to rescue the child?
Does your answer alter if it is partially your fault that the child is perceived to be in danger?

We went to the new corner shop and bought bananas. Linnea insisted on carrying them home, which was fine by me but got us some funny looks.

I bought her an Early Learning Centre portable tabletop easel. I'm going to bring it to the hospital, for a start, next time we have to go. It's much better than the easel we had already and fastens up into a case with space for paper, pens etc. And coloured chalk.

Days like today don't happen very often. Today I was so stressed that I walked past a ladybird without pointing it out to her.

However, today we also had breakfast together, with a couple of stuffed toys and a lot of giggles. We had a great game of hanging out the washing. We woke smiling. We had some fun playing in the Early Learning Centre. We had a lot of fun buying bananas. We danced to a Fred Astaire CD (Linnea is frustrated by her inability to kick in time to the music; balance is tricky). We played wrapping each other up in towels, and the teddy played too.

Linnea played a complicated game of rhythms on the way into town. She clenched her fists up by her jaw and shook them, then clapped. There was a pattern but I didn't dare stop the buggy and pay attention for fear of stopping the game by accident.

H&M have some great colours at the moment, very strong with bags of contrast. I have a long-sleeved orange tshirt for days when it's too cold to wear my short-sleeved one. I must remember to check out H&M 13yo fashions again, as they are huge and the shirts etc will easily fit me. The arms will be a bit long, but then, Linnea's shirts' arms are probably too long for me.

Rob came home, changed and dressed Linnea, and left again to buy me chocolate. I am drinking lemon, ginger and clove tea. I also ordered the week's groceries. Query: Does anyone, when purchasing eating apples, think "I need about so much by weight" rather than "I need about 6 apples this week"? Because I always eat my apples by the appley unit, not by weight. But I have to order them by weight, and I still have no idea how much an apple weighs. Nor a banana, for that matter.

Linnea ate cold potato and bombay mix for lunch (with the peanuts removed, because I still care that much). She could have had apple juice if she hadn't chewed the straw up before we pierced the packet with it.

She recognises the word "muffin".

ailbhe: (family)

Linnea dried herself off while still in the bath today. And right now she's sitting on the potty while Donkey is wearing her nappy (she refused to wear it herself, and refused to let Donkey wander around unprotected).

After last night's nightmares, she refused to nap today, too, and eventually fell asleep for about half an hour at 17:30. We woke her by hoovering the stairs. She refused to eat dinner.

She has bitten me twice, today, and somehow also bruised my thigh quite painfully. I haven't had time to see whether there's a visible mark there. She has also tucked me up to sleep for her nap (delegation is today's theme, perhaps) and bopped noses with me for several delightful games of Bop, Bop, Bop, Boopsie. She climbed up the slide and down the ladder.

And we passed Sweet Masala on the way home, so we had takeaway for dinner, because I am tired and all this nursing on the floor is bad for my dust allergy and my sinuses needed curry.

I need to get into town soon and buy her more tights, and me more yarn, and possibly her another set of pyjamas, because she has three and none of them are clean and dry at the moment. It's pyjamas weather. I also ought to buy myself and Rob a winter duvet, because it's cold and we currently have the lightest available weight summer one. I don't want to carry it all the way home though. Urgh.

I wonder would a king-size winter duvet fit in my new rucksack? I doubt it somehow. Rucksacks seem to have less volume the higher tech they get.

ailbhe: (family)

This morning, I got up, had a quick bath, got dressed, did my hair, had breakfast, cleared the table, took the melons out of the washing machine, chopped the vegetables for dinner, and put some fish broth to defrost.

I also answered a cry for help from someone running in her sleep to the nearest cuddle; she woke just enough to find me in the next room and fell straight back asleep on my shoulder. She napped, in total, for three hours today. Either she's about to grow or she has a sleep deficit as well as us.

When she's in bed this evening I hope to rearrange the pantry and make banana bread muffin things. I have a banana bread recipe; I'm just going to abuse it until it's dairy-free and muffin-shaped. Because I have a feeling that someone I know will just adore banana muffins, and I have a bunch of blackening bananas.

My favourite children's TV programme is no longer on on weekdays. We never watch TV at the weekend, so this is a bit disappointing. When I resort to TV I prefer it to be something I like to watch. How much TV is too much? 8 hours a day? 12? I think it's only on for 13 hours a day anyway. Perhaps I need more channels.

Tomorrow is library day and playground day, we hope. There's Rhyme Time at the library and then a choice of playgrounds. Rob has taken to bringing her to the park around the corner after dinner, too, which is nice. He has a lovely video of a couple of boys playing football with her - very polished-looking dribbling of the ball up to the toddler's feet, then, they hold it steady for her and stand back. It's incredibly sweet.

I'm developing the kind of relationship with the camping shop guys that I associate with the barmen at the local pub, if I'd ever had a "local" pub. I go in, they chat, I chat, we make jokes, friendly banter... I think I spend too much time looking for gadgets. But camping shops are the best place to get small versions of everyday stuff! And I'm going to get a proper rucksack. We tried all the ladies' ones and they are all too long in the back for me, so they've ordered in a shorter one for me to try. They were so sure the one in the shop would fit - they carefully positioned the supports over my hips, tightened all the straps, stood back, and said "So, how's that?"

"Shouldn't the straps be touching my shoulders?"

With the waistband properly tightened, the rigid back of the rucksack kept the straps a good inch and a half above my actual shoulders. It's possible to carry a rucksack like that - I've done it - but it's no fun. And we really hope to go camping again this autumn.

ailbhe: (Default)

Today I put Linnea to sleep in her buggy in front of the television.

Put the phone down! It's not that bad! Don't dial just yet (but the number is 0808 800 5000). She was very, very tired. And running around like a mad thing. She ran all over the house, and all over the garden, lying down and closing her eyes for up to three seconds at a time, before getting up to run around some more. She just didn't want to be awake and still - she wanted to be asleep. So I sat her in front of the TV until "still" was an option, then strapped her safely into the buggy so that she could fall asleep, er, safely.

She's going to meet a lot of strangers in quick succession after her Daddy goes away, this holiday. I hope it's ok. It could be up to 8 adults and four children, all told. I shall just have to hang on to my resolve not to let any of them hold her until she is willing to be held, unlike last time we brought her to Ireland, when I felt under considerable pressure to show her to be a "sociable" baby. She is sociable, mind you. Much more so than I am.

Yesterday she spoke to my mother on the phone. Mum said "Hiya!" and Linnea said "Hiya!" back. All melt.

She brushes her teeth morning and night; we say "Come and brush your teeth," and she leads the way to the bathroom, carries her step to the sink, climbs up on it, and demands a toothbrush. A parent has to be quick on the draw to get her teeth brushed before the toothbrush is wrenched from weak parental grasp by determined baby fingers.

Running naked around the garden cures mild nappy rash and is very cute cute cute cute cute BOOM.


Dec. 19th, 2003 01:00 pm
ailbhe: (baby)


  • Had scan, attended ante-natal appointment with consultant who says I don't need to see a consultant. Goodo.
  • Filled in paperwork to change GPs since the one we were with is awful. Hopefully the new one will accept us; they are certainly taking on new patients because they said so.
  • Ruth came to dinner, which was nice but brief. She brought wine, which we weren't able to finish. I ought to warn people not to bring us wine, because we always have half to a third of a bottle left over, which seems terribly wasteful.
  • Rob arranged with Darrell to get the cats fed while we're away.
  • We failed to get Janice a cat-exporting basket; she will have to get one online, we think.
  • Cleaned kitchen and bathroom to within an inch of my life; by the end of it my hands were all tingly from the cleaning fluids and bleach. Had a lovely shower to recover. Rob is amazed at how much horizontal surface there actually is in the house.
  • Rob had his work Christmas party, which was ok but apparently not very exciting. He discussed incipient fatherhood with another expectant father in his company. Apparently it's not really real and he expects to go into shock when it's actually born. I offered to stop telling him all about it to preserve the sense of mystery and heighten the magic of That Important Moment, but he got upset and threatened to sulk.
  • I wake early, eat, wait for the baby to stop kicking me, and then keel over and sleep until 10 or 11. I wonder how similar its sleeping pattern will be post-partum?
  • We've sent all the postal service cards and only have the hand-delivery ones to do.
  • Reading, apparently, has no homelessness problem. That's why it doesn't need a shelter. Tell it to the girl who was so cold she was almost asleep on Wednesday night. Her sleeping bag had been stolen. Humph. At least Rob's old tshirts and jumpers have gone somewhere they're really needed. Last night wasn't that cold, too.
  • Janice gave me a baby sling for Christmas. It's perfect. It can be put on and adjusted easily with one hand, and besides, it's blue and purple batik. Thank goodness; I was terribly afraid I'd end up with a Baby Bjorn, which is the only modern-style one we've found my hands are capable of operating.

Soon )
ailbhe: (smiling)
I have a long list of books that Grainne needs for her Masters course. None of them seem to be in print. Grargh. However, I have found a decent online archaeology bookshop (Oxbow Books), and Waterstones are making enquiries about some of them too.

If you have, or know someone who has, books about archaeology that you'd like to sell second hand, please, let me know.

Jacket modification

I got a new leather jacket while in Dublin after the wedding; £45 second hand. It's plain brown leather, waist length, zips all the way up to my neck, and the sleeves aren't too long. Also, it had an inside pocket. This is good; I lost my lovely blue leather jacket when we moved house, and my lovely pink and purple swirly ankle-length skirt too.

I spent a day adding two pockets to the jacket, though. The lining is too weak to hold handstitching (it's kind of brittle), so I toddled down to John Lewis, the department store, and bought two readymade pockets (it's amazing how much you can cheat these days...) and some fabric glue. Now I have three inside pockets. One has a zip and is just big enough for a passport and a small wallet. One has no zip and is big enough for my bulging wallet full of cards and bits of paper and junk, and the last one has no zip and is big enough for a paperback book and my glasses and mobile phone. Hurrah! No more handbags.


This came in very handy today when I was running boring errands. I had to go to the bank to pay 3 bills and lodge a cheque. The queue was so long they sent a girl with a rubber stamp to go to the queue and deal with everyone who was just paying in cheques, which I thought showed a great deal of unbanklike common sense.

Then I went to Waterstones in Reading town centre. It's in an old church building on the main shopping street, which has been pedestrianised (woo!). I went up the stairs to the first floor, which has the History, PopSci, and Poetry in it, among other things. I resisted going onto the poetry gallery - you can lean over the railings and read your book, looking down at the people in Gardening and Natural History on the ground floor - and handed my book list to the girl behind the counter.

It was such a long list that twice I turned to someone waiting behind me and told them to interrupt me to ask their questions. But the very helpful girl in Waterstones made a list of 5 books she thinks she'll be able to find for me; she'll contact the publishers and phone me when she knows. Probably today, maybe not until tomorrow.

I love customer service.

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