ailbhe: (Default)
The house was a pit and a disaster, so we left it behind. We stopped at Elle's Baguettes for sandwiches ) and then posted some party invitations at the post office, and then I cycled us in to town and out again to ERAPA.

We went down by the river ) and then we arrived early for the home ed group. We had our lunch and the first people to arrive were people I already knew and so it was lovely and pleasant.

Everyone had a lovely time until Linnea came up to me sulking. I was non-pushily nice to her for a few minutes and extracted the fact that she doesn't want to play that game because it's "horrid," a word which, as Susan might say, "real children never say." Further queries elicited the information that the game was robbers and cops. And she wasn't allowed to be a cop, apparently.

Emer found a doll as large as herself to play with, which was disconcerting to catch out of the corner of my eye.

So Linnea didn't mind much when we had to leave early, and we arrived in John Lewis in time to get both children fitted for new sandals. It was a bit of a production. ) and Rob phoned as my transaction was ending and I told him where we were.

So I brought everyone back to the Parents' Room and while Linnea was sitting on the loo Rob came and found us. And we talked briefly about dinner and I made a couple of phonecalls to sort out money and we went out somewhere Linnea remembered going for Freya's fourth birthday, a little over a year ago.

They had a good, cheap children's menu so that was lovely. I had a brief interaction with neighbouring diners, because I am an interfering kind of person. )

After we had finished our meals - during which Emer demonstrated that spaghetti-twirling is easy really, but eating very hot food is hard - we had to cycle home without lights. Well, I had a rear light. I didn't enjoy that. Rob and I both had hi-vis vests on but he'd forgotten his lights and my front dynamo-light wasn't working. We must look at that soon.

Emer fell asleep on the way home and is in bed asleep even now. Linnea did some of her restaurant-kiddie-pack puzzles while Rob made up her bed and now she's gone to bed too.

My turn next.
ailbhe: (Default)
I went to Boots to buy an electronic comb but it wasn't suitable for use on very small children so I got a Nitty Gritty, with which I have already tortured Rob. Now his head is clear I'm about to give him a buzz with the clippers, which should solve THAT part of the problem at least.

It's funny, he hardly noticed them but Linnea was madly itchy and covered in little sores from them.

Better

Mar. 10th, 2009 11:13 pm
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Rob and I are both doing better today - he slept almost all night through and I had several chunks of more than an hour each. Which, compared to Sunday night, was brilliant.

This morning Linnea woke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and pottered about on her computer while I stayed in bed with Emer. I got up before Emer properly woke and did laundry and dishwashering and tidying, and then when Emer woke we all had porridge. Linnea and I were dressed to go out by ten o'clock but Emer wasn't until closer to eleven, but that's ok. She doesn't like being dressed.

We went to Lidl for orange juice and bananas and carrots and other things which are available in organic, fair-trade, or British (ie kinda localish) cheaper than the market sells them. I also caved in and bought silicate grapes (ie nonorganic) imported from the other end of the planet. Bad Environmentalist No Biscuit.

After that I compounded my sin by eating in McDonalds, which I'm always ashamed of because of their international eeeeebil, and then we came home and I finished doing laundry and tidying the bathroom, kitchen, and dining room for the BfN people. I put the stairgate in and cleared the kitchen and got coffee on, and it was almost ready by the time the first person arrived.

The lesson went well.

Rob arrived during the post-lesson chat, and so I could leave for the True Food market without waking Emer. Linnea was just as pleased to be left behind too. I got a lot of useful shopping done and had two cups of tea and several interesting-to-me conversations. I absolutely have to get out more - this is really important. Maybe if I take up yoga it will help.

All I ever think about are money and babies, babies and money. Oh, and environmentalism and politics.

I think this third week of PMS is doing a number on my self-perception because I am not in a good place right now.

I crept into Linnea's bed in the night because I had persistent anxiety about her continued breathing.

So tired

Mar. 9th, 2009 02:10 pm
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I keep walking into things. Rob went to work wearing sandals instead of boots and didn't realise until his feet got cold while cycling. The children are eating a mouthful every ninety minutes or so.

However, I have monster laundry mountains in process, and I've emailed the community garden for a replacement key, and left voicemail with the secretary for the hall we hired for Linnea's third birthday to see if it's free this year.

I just need to make sure I don't do anything important while I'm this tired.
ailbhe: (Default)
Rob was up all night with Linnea. I was up all night with Emer. Both children were hot, sweaty, and scratching like loons. And peeing like rivers.

Today they are both cranky and not hungry, but apparently well. I'm cranky and starving and grouchy and clawed.

The cats were sick in the night; Rob cleaned up two parts of a dead animal from under one chair, in the middle of the night, and I cleaned up a heap of undigested catfood from under another chair this morning. I'll also have to wash the coats which were on the floor, as they were affected too. Yuck.

It's an absolutely gorgeous day and my children are wiped out by either a lowlevel virus or the party and sugar from yesterday.

On the plus side, I got their clean laundry put away, the wet bedding in the washing machine, dinner is on, the dishwasher is running, both children are dressed, and I had a coffee.

I think I'll get myself dressed now and have another one. (I do my housework in my pyjamas. I'm not sure why).

Don't ask.

Mar. 8th, 2009 11:16 am
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We all had a rotten night. Linnea came into our bed with bad dreams. Emer came into our bed with pointy elbows. Emer in particular was very distressed and kept headbutting, kicking, and hitting. In her sleep. I kicked Rob awake so he could put the sleeping Linnea back in her own bed.

It was horrible, and I await with interest the bruise patterns.

Needless to say we were all too knackered to go to Meeting today, especially with a birthday party this afternoon, so we're still here; Rob and Linnea are in the attic doing DIY and Emer and I are in the dining room discussing the family of white elephants living under the dining table (they like coffee and potatoes with mayonnaise, but they don't wear hats).
ailbhe: (Default)
For lunch he had coarse brown bread, cheese, and stew.

Bedtime

Feb. 27th, 2009 01:01 am
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Just thinking, because Rob is taking tomorrow off sick and will unexpectedly be here with us.

We've come a long way in ten years.

We've both changed a lot, too.

It's quite exciting to think how we'll have changed over the next ten years :)

Our anniversary is in April. I must think how we can mark it. Not with a blazing row, anyway.
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Emer phoned Rob today to tell him that she had yellow pants on.

We haven't had any puddles to clean up yet, either.

Janey mac

Feb. 24th, 2009 09:35 am
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Linnea has developed a big WHINE thing. She's tired, partly - our household agreement to start eating dinner at 5 pm or 5:30 at the latest is under severe strain and so Linnea's bedtime is getting later and later; the traditional fix for this is for me to sort it out and Rob to sulk and do nothing, but we're trying to change that dynamic.

I read some old posts, from 2-3 years ago, and it's amazing how much better we're doing in re internalised sexism nowadays207.

But this whining drives me up the wall. It makes me whiny myself, and shouty to boot, and the temptation, early in the morning or late at night, to cave in and pacify is very great.

However, I am Strong and I have been Disciplinarian Of The Year and the children had to resolve their whiny whingefest by being polite, asking nicely, and making compromises.

Bah.

We are only now finishing breakfast, which is part of the problem with the late dinner and bedtime. But we'll get it all under control. We must.
ailbhe: (Default)
And actually, it is. Someone has lit a round tuit under Rob's bum and he's been doing stuff like whoa. He's emptied one side of the attic into the spare room, incidentally agreeing to get rid of a lot of stuff meanwhile, and started finishing the railings from the loft hatch to the stairwell below, a task begun before Linnea was born. We are well on the way to being able to insulate and ceil half the attic206, and once the ceiling is up, we can start building the cupboards under the eaves.

I'm amazed. And delighted.

Spring, huh?
ailbhe: (Default)
It's spring!201

(Linnea: "Will it still be spring tomorrow?"
Ailbhe: "I hope so.")

I had fever dreams and couldn't wake up but we left for the farmer's market about tennish anyway. We had a lovely walk there because the weather is gorgeous202 and then we ate sausage-inna-bun and bought food. I was served by a girl possibly in her earliest teens. I do like seeing children doing appropriate work like that203.

When we got home my clothes from Nomad had arrived and they all fit204, so I will be wearing them soon. We're also trying to work through a lot of laundry today, while the weather is good. And Rob has started emptying the shed; we hope to get rid of it and use the space for something large enough to store bikes in, ours and the kids', and maybe even the kids' scooters and outdoor toys like the seesaw and trampoline and so on. This means we want something with a larger footprint but a lower top, I think.

I talked to the cake lady about possibly buying Linnea a birthday cake this year205. If it's too expensive I'll make one myself. But I'd like her to have a nice one that didn't mean I ended up hating my lack of skill. It's the icing I find so hard - the art part, not the taste part of the cake.

I'm seriously considering throwing a Mother's Day party this year. We don't usually do anything at all, and I like parties, and we know a lot of people who either are or have mothers, so that's appropriate, right?
ailbhe: (Default)
I'll make it if I swear.

Anyway, we stayed up until 1 am cleaning up teeny weeny fragments of broken glass. Naturally the thing smashed in the front room where all the toys and baby stuff is, and what's more, it smashed before we tidied them away, so we hoovered all the toys and blankets and whathaveyou as well as the floor and furnishings. So then Rob was late to work this morning and when I got up I had a mass of clearing to do in the dining room, kitchen and bathroom. I got the bathroom sorted and the children more or less dressed, and a load of laundry hung, and the dishwasher filled, and was partway through clearing the dining room floor when the first BfN person arrived, so she read the kids stories while I cleared the breakfast table and made us a place to work in. Then I checked email and found that no-one else was coming, so we did our thing.

We got one-and-a-bit assignments done174. I think it will be easy enough to finish the second one now it's started. Homework groups are basically about motivating each other to actually start, dammit.

Since hardly anyone came, we opened the pack of luxury choc chip cookies175 that come with nine to a pack; there were three kids and two adults, so it was almost two each.

We've had lunch now and I've put another dishwasher load on, of casseroles and saucepans and things. I have a headache. And I need to do laundry and remake Linnea's bed and finish clearing the kitchen and start prepping dinner, because we have someone else coming at four for an after-school playdate.

Tomorrow, no-one at all is coming176. I think I'm relieved.
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This morning I called Maria to tell her we'd been exposed to hand, foot and mouth disease, and also had a morning grumble about the fact that we had no coffee in the house. So she brought me a takeaway coffee in passing. Then some lowlife threw a lump of frozen snow at the front door and I spoke to Nicki on Facebook about it and she popped around with a couple of bars of chocolate172. And then everyone came to play173.

Then Rob went out in the snow to get the groceries, and observed one crash and partook of none, and while he was out I had a bath with Emer and got us out and wrapped us up in towels and turned on the light and blew the fuse in the front room. So then I stumbled around looking for candles and matches and found them and got Linnea into bed and read her her story and so on. When Rob came home he fixed the fuse while I kept Emer busy and now both kids are in bed and we need to clean up for the BfN people coming tomorrow morning.

Oh, we still need to replace the bulb in the front room. I tried but couldn't find a live bulb which fit. Perhaps Rob will have better luck.

Obamamania

Jan. 23rd, 2009 07:09 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
Rob says, "Good looking family man with adorable children saves the world. What's not to love?"
ailbhe: (Default)
But it's harder, truly, to be the lax one. Poor ole Rob ended up winding Linnea up so much she cried for over an hour, eventually working herself up into such hysterics that we had to get her out of the room so that Emer could sleep.

He has now set himself alarms so that he doesn't miss her bedtime any more. She can read the clock now.

This stuff is dead easy for me. I say (for example) "I know it's not eight o'clock, it's after eight o'clock, quick, now, this minute, go," and I close my ears and harden my heart and so we go.

But Rob feels mean, doing that, and Negotiations Ensue.

Well, perhaps they are more like Peace Talks. No-one actually alters their stated position, and no-one moved forward, and the less powerful parties escalate the levels of passion and violence... Very like peace talks, I think.
ailbhe: (Default)
Eventually decided it couldn't be cats so I went up and Linnea was emptying her books from her bookcase because she "couldn't sleep."

So I helped her get them off her bed and onto the floor, and tucked her up, and will check on her in a few minutes, maybe.

Good grief.

I need to stay awake until 11 to wake Rob who is working tonight. Luckily, my invigorating bath with Emer and my energetic being-patient-with-Linnea have woken me RIGHT UP.

Also, xkcd 386, I think.
ailbhe: (Default)
Today started at 4:30 am, when I realised that there were two girls in our bed; Emer woke up, saw Linnea, and decided it was a good time to party. "Yay-ya! Yay-ya!" she cried, and all hope of sleep was lost.
Domestic morning )BfN Anniversary Party )
Ice-lolly/bin tantrum )
Impromptu visits )
Sudden guests - I blame the patriarchy )
Rob is a great cook. )
We had apple and lychee sorbet for dessert, which was lovely. And I ought to be writing up that article on feeding an older baby, and doing my BfN homework for my course; I have another class tomorrow, after Linnea's swimming lesson.
ailbhe: (daddy)
I'm sitting downstairs listening to Rob reading Linnea and Emer a bedtime story. Three years ago, he read with pauses, stutters, and very odd inflection. Now, I can almost tell what's going on in the book from the sound of his voice, even though I can't make out a single word.

Linnea's not the only one who has been learning every single day.

(I learn most days, but not all, because some days I am made of ded.)

Daddy

Mar. 29th, 2007 09:15 pm
ailbhe: (daddy)
I'm sitting here listening to Rob humming and purring Emer to sleep, as she grumbles in his arms. He's infinitely patient with grizzly babies, can do the same thing over and over for hours without getting irritated, and - as far as I can tell - utterly, utterly calm.

Given how much I struggle with frustration and temper, I find this infinitely admirable.

Rob didn't even know how much he liked babies until he had some. Now, when we go away, he visits families with babies and toddlers to get his fix in. Other babies and toddlers really like him, too, though that's less surprising as lots of kids have liked him. He used to have trouble playing with babies, when Linnea was new, but he learned quickly and now he can and does play "swooping hands" or "nibbling feet" or peekaboo for as long as the baby wants him to.

I know that if he had to do this full-time he'd be less effective, and that the discipline end of things gives him trouble, but really, I think his attitude and the way he's learned to handle kids is...

... well, admirable.

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