Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Grace almost Four, Daisy 18 months, Bliss 11 weeks

So Grace is almost four. A big girl, but not really. Her last nursery report said she showed zero interest in reading or writing, but was the best playdoh hider/eater they had ever had. Great news. Not sure how she will make a career out of it.

It's just as well she can always fall back on her mad wrestling skills. She spends most of her time charging round the house with Daisy in a headlock. Rather than use the traditional "tapping out method" to get Grace to let go, Daisy prefers to grab fistfuls of hair instead. On a plus side, the high pitched squeals create just the sort of white noise that babies like, so Bliss is happy.

Daisy is still refusing to talk. I swear she only doesn't do it to annoy me. 'Woof woof' and 'Mumma' are about all she manages. She does not mean to call me a dog though (I hope?)

Putting up the Christmas tree with her around was a bit of a waste of time. She pulled it over five minutes later (by climbing on the sofa and lauching herself at it) and then got busy eating my posh fairy lights (with Grace helping). It now looks like one of those trees you see in the middle of very poor areas. Chained down with very high-up lights and no decorations in case they get stolen.

Grace can't understand why she is not allowed to take all the things off it. She is still well in the "Why" phase. When answers fail me, I turn to song "Because because because because because.... because of the wonderful things he does. We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of oz" and so on.
If teamed with the linked-arms-yellow-brick-road-dance, it normally distracts her. Sometimes I have to pretend to be the scarecrow and fall over on my wobbly legs. I get up sharpish though, before the girls leap on me for a "bundle". Nothing to do with me. One of James' silly games.

My games are all based round "Tidy up the nursery" from Mary Poppins. Not quite as fun though, as there is no magic to help us. Grace clicks her fingers a few times in the direction of mess, then goes off and makes more in another corner. Daisy thinks the point of me putting things away is SO she can go and pull them all out again. Oh the joy of being a Virgo in a house full of messy people.

Bliss is still being everything her name suggests. The only thing that bothers her is having her nose wiped. She goes into survival mode, thrashing her head about from side to side. The look on her face says "Why are you doing this?! You are supposed to look after me, not try to kill me."

I normally only need feed Bliss once in the night. Still tiring though, and counts when playing the "Who is more knackered game" with my spouse. A very silly and dangerous competition to start (especially when some people are SO desperate to win they download a sleep analyser on their iPhone to PROVE how lightly/badly/brokenly/they slept.... My response? I wish I had the energy to fanny about playing on my phone all the time. I am far too tired.. See how the game works?)

Grace has started ballet lessons in a local church hall. Too sweet, and very funny. When it gets to the "modern" bit they do bum shaking to 'Firework' by Katy Perry while us mums snigger in the 70's kitchen. Daisy stands in the wings, desperate to join in. Her dancing is less Katy Perry, more Michael Flatley however. She does very fast feet stamping with her arms by her sides.

Daisy loves her feet, and her shoes, and other people's shoes. She spends Wednesday afternoons at the Church playgroup stealing footwear, then doing that very silly walk (normally only seen in shoe shops) where you clomp about wearing one shoe. Children are very possessive about their shoes. There are soon shouts of "Mummmmyyy, he's got my shoe on. It's MY shoe mummy, MINE!" Even with her little necklace people still think my princess is a lad.

She is OBSESSED with the Gruffalo. We have to watch the DVD about ten times a day. She hollers at the end when the nut falls down because she knows it's about to finish, so we have to rewind it again. Grace HATES it. "It's boring Dais. Let's watch BFG instead, or Superted."

I hid the Superted DVD recently. I had to. The only bit Grace likes is the theme tune. Not sure if anyone remembers but it's a woman singing "Superted shoots through the sky, like a streak of red" then repeating the word Superted over and over, getting higher and higher. Grace squeaks along out of time and out of key. Just when I think I can take no more Daisy turns the DVD player off. Grace cries and pushes her, Daisy bites her. Grace gets her in a headlock. Bliss dreams on.

It's hard to believe Grace will be four this week, and starting school next year. I do hope she learns to stand up for herself a bit more before then. When I picked her up from pre-school last week and asked her how her day was she said "Well, Joy trod on my fingers, Hilary punched me on the nose, Denise pulled my hair and Barbara ate all my lunch, but don't tell them I told you okay mumma?" Slightly worrying, especially as Joy, Barbara, Hilary and Denise are the teachers.

We are fully prepared for the girls to prefer boxes and wrapping paper to their actual presents this year. After realising we had not bought Bliss anything, nor put her on her front for "tummy time" or any of that yet, James bought her the MacDaddy of all activity mats.

It looked so exciting and wondrous I set it up at once, lay my precious bundle of Bliss on it and was just welling up over the delighted look on her face, when all of a sudden I heard a stampede.... then watched her two rhino sisters charge over, climb on it/her/knock it over/tread on her face and run off with all the dangly bits, leaving poor Bliss howling. She is now too scared to go anywhere near it. Her face crumples if we try. Cheers girls.

Grace got a CD player with microphone from her nanny and grandad as an early birthday present and now spends hours in her room loudly crooning along to "I know you, I danced with you once upon a dream" and "So this is love, Mmmm hmmm hmm hmm" in her best posh princess voice. I have to smother my sniggers in one of Daisy's charlie cloths. James manages
to choke out "Lovely singing choppy" before having to go and howl into his fist in the garden.

So excited about Christmas with my brood this year. I can't wait to leave carrots and mince pies out on Christmas eve, tiptoe into bedrooms to hang loaded stockings on the end of beds in the middle of the night,and watch looks of delight on little faces when they see that Santa has been. (Rememeber the joy of waking up and hearing the crinkle of wrapping paper as you move your feet?)

Latest photos here:

Merry Christmas all

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Grace three years ten months, Daisy 17 months, Bliss six weeks

So Bliss is six weeks old, already. When Grace was a newborn I was desperate for her to get to the next stage, sit up, crawl, walk, talk. What an idiot I was. I wish Bliss had an "off" switch so I could just keep her just as she is, tiny, sweet smelling, immobile, mute. It's great.

The stage in between Bliss and Grace, otherwise known as Daisy is no easy one. We FINALLY got a word out of her... wait for it........ Woof woof. She is delighted with it and uses it in response to any question:
Me: Daisy, would you like some milk
Daisy: Woof woof woof
Me: Is that a yes?
Daisy: Woof woof woof
Me: Or a no?
Daisy: Woof woof
Me: Daisy, what noise does a doggy make
Daisy: Woof woof woof
Me: Daisy, what noise does a cow make
Daisy: Woof woof
and so on.....

She still snatches, bites, runs off mid nappy change and puts our phones in the bin, but she has learnt sign language for please and thank you. She clings to my leg, pats her mouth and points to the biscuit jar. Alot. Food is a great source of comfort for our Daisyface. No matter how bad the bump, bruise or tantrum, a biscuit always makes it better.

Bliss is heading the same way. She was 12lb by four weeks, bursting out her 0-3 month clothes already. I can just imagine Grace making snide comments like "Food is not love" to them on her way out (to a disco to do her single ladies dance) as they sit at home scoffing on a friday night.

Grace is not really interested in eating. She would quite happily live on cups of tea and the dried pulses she makes pictures out of at nursery. Last week when I collected her the teacher told me "I could not get her to eat any of her roll, but she did make a lovely picture with it instead."

Grace has discovered the hilarity that is calling everyone a poo poo head. Each time is just as funny as the first (for her). On the rare occasions she is not telling me I am a plopper whooper woo, she wants me to put on Beyonce's "Put a ring on it" and do the single ladies dance.

For those of you who have not seen it, it's rather energetic. Don't get me wrong. I am delighted Grace is showing signs of wanting to be an independent woman (hopefully she will leave home nice and early) but this is not the kind of dance you want to be doing at 5.3oam, or whilst breastfeeding for example. I have to explain this to Grace alot. She likes asking LOTS of questions like:

Mummy, how did you fit the house in the car when you bought it?
Mummy, do I have wheels in my head?
Mummy, do you wish you had married a cowboy instead of daddy?
Mummy, why has the girl got a ribbon? (whilst listening to ACDC's Girls got rhythm)

People keep telling me how well I look. They tell me I am glowing. It's not glow. It's sweat.

I went back to the gym a couple of weeks ago to start shifting my baby weight, not knowing Brighton football team now use the hot tub after training sessions.

Imagine my embarrassment when I had to wobble past them in all my flabby, pale, hairy glory. How could I slip the fact I had just had a baby into conversation? In the end I settled for asking one of them, whilst in the steam room, if they had the time (so I could go on to explain that I had to go and collect my four week old baby from the creche soon. Clever eh? Not really. You can't see your hand in front of your face in a steam room, let alone the time on a small watch. No one was wearing one. I could not see their faces but I know they were all thinking "Silly fat tart, trying to flirt with us" )

Now we have three girls it makes more sense to buy communal toys for Christmas. It should stop them arguing over whose is whose. Harder said than done though, when Grace's favourite toy is a Polly pocket, Daisy's is a Thunderbird doll we found at a car boot sale that says " FAB, we're on our way" "Thunderbird one, return to base". (Apparently FAB means fully advised and briefed) and Bliss' favourite toy is my nipple. That would make a very odd barbie doll indeed, certainly not one I have ever seen for sale.

Having three children is a bit like that game, whackamole. One pops up and you have to bop it on the head before the next one does the same. Of course, we don't bop our kids on the head, but we do constantly race to get one fed/changed/dressed before one of the others starts stripping off.

Night time is hardest. When all three are finally asleep we are so scared of waking them up we daren't do ANYTHING. James even tells me off for typing too loudly in case it raises one of our princesses' from their slumber and interrupts our precious hour of not being called a poo poo head or not answering questions like "Why did a bear come to the party?" (Grace recently went to her friend Jake's party at a Brewster's pub (named and shamed Fleur) and at the end a manky old bear turned up to cuddle everyone. Grace hated him and has been going on about it ever since. It was almost as bad as when her nanny showed her a dead hedgehog and said "See Grace. This is why you always have to look before crossing the road." Grace was like a poor comedienne. She kept asking "Why did the hedgehog cross the road" but she didn't have a punchline).

We manage to stay up for about one hour longer than our kids. It's just so tiring this parenting lark. I should lend my kids out to an insomniac. A day of looking after my girls and you could fall asleep on a clothes line. James claims that's about the width of bed he gets to sleep in anyway. He's back in the marital bed now. I got used to him being upstairs with his precious 24 DVDs. He still goes on about them. I'll be talking about something (normally how tired I am, how naughty Daisy has been, how much I don't want Bliss to get any bigger or how fat I feel) and he will say "It's a bit like when Jack Bauer".. and then goes on to describe a situation that is NOTHING like what I was just talking about. I don't even know who he is.

Anyway. I need to keep him well away from me. I only have to share the same spoon as James and I fall pregnant - and baby number four is most definitely NOT on my list to Santa! #

Latest photos here:


Monday, 10 October 2011

Grace, Daisy and Bliss

So Grace and Daisy have a new little sister - or Blister, if you prefer.

Bliss FINALLY arrived on the 1st October. I so wanted to go into labour naturally, but it was simply not happening. After much hysterical crying the hospital finally agreed to induce me at 41 weeks rather than 42, even though my cervix was still "hostile".

I was hopeful that with one whiff of hormones I would start labouring away like a trooper. What a fool I was. I was given my pessary at lunchtime, mere moments after the young girl next to us. By 3pm, she was complaining she had pains coming and going but I had nothing doing. How unfair. It was her first baby. How dare she go into labour before me? At 9pm I was still no further along so James was sent home for the night. The boyfriend next to us did not have to go, as his girlfriend was moaning and groaning. I contemplated doing it too so James could stay, but he had beaten the last person's top hangman score on the hospital console so I knew he had run out of things to do and was keen to go home.

Minutes after he left, the girl next to us demanded an epidural and I decided enough was enough. I rang the bell for the midwife and told her my pessary was obviously broken.... five minutes and a fiddle from her later and I was back on the phone to James mooing for him to come back at once. By the time he returned I was contracting loudly and proudly (the girl next to me knew she had lost at this point. All moaning and groaning had stopped and her and her boyf were having a row instead, I think it was because each time she had a (fake) contraction he poked her in the tummy and said "does it hurt" then laughed... Very different to an hour before when they were merrily trying out baby names "Fletcher? Painter" he suggested "lovely names babe" she replied while James and I texted one another insults about them on the other side of the curtain.

So anyway, we went up to the delivery ward where I got on a giant bouncy birth ball and put my headphones on. As a contraction ramped up I started to wave my hands about.. as it peaked I bit the end of my TENS machine whilst thumping the bed and as it ended I did lots of head shaking and nodding. The lovely Irish midwife was very impressed with my "spiritual" technique. She thought I was listening to the whale music, or the Dalai lama... "No" said James "It's ACDC"

After about an hour I felt James tentatively tapping me on the shoulder to tell me I had to get off the birthing ball. "No thank you" I said, but apparently I had no choice. The baby could not come out if I was on it, so it got rolled away and I had to grip the end of the bed instead (quite hard as my legs were KILLING me from all the bouncing and my waters had broken so it was hard to get any purchase on the floor) ... then I had a contraction, and a head appeared between my legs.. I had put my headphones back in so did not hear the midwife telling me I needed to get on all fours to get the rest of the baby out... and I did not hear her saying to James "She is not listening, you get hold of one of her legs and I'll take the other" all I knew was one minute I was standing up slip sliding about, and the next minute I was being rugby tackled to the ground by James and Kerry.. in the middle of a massive contraction, full of more of my waters breaking, so we all slipped over in a heap, and somewhere in the middle of it all Bliss flew out, eyes closed, fists tucked under her chin.

"I did it" I screamed, "It's a girl!!!" I bellowed (Note: I still had my headphones on) "Sorry about the mess" (At least I think it was in this order.. might have been the other way round)

And so Bliss was born. I did it all by myself with not even a sip of water to get me through, just ACDC, The Ramones and various other musical heroes of mine. It was possibly the best thing I will ever do in my life. I felt amazing, incredible, superhuman - and bloody starving. Seven rounds of toast, two hot baths and five mugs of tea later - I was back on the post delivery ward getting ready to go home.

As I stood by the lift with Bliss in my arms I looked at James and said "Well that's it. Our family is complete. No more trips to the labour ward." What an idiot. I was back within 24 hours as I could not wee. Jumbo Bliss' speedy delivery had put my bladder into spasm .. so after all that hard work and drug free labour, I ended up being catheterised for 24 hours.

But it was all worth it. Even the jumbo piles. Yes that's right. I have piles and I'm proud. As I should be. They have been cited as one of the worst cases ever seen by the various doctors, midwives and surgeons who inspected them. One medical expert even did a to-scale diagram of them on my birth notes, in colour. One was shaded darker than the rest and had an arrow pointing to it with the note "exquisitely tender" written below. James looked at it and said "I call that one Chardonnay". It seems he had become so familiar with them he'd named them all after different types of wine grapes. "It's simply more of you to love" said the sarcastic sod. The midwife took him seriously of course and swooned off to make him a cup of tea.

Grace and Daisy have been excellent with Bliss. I thought Daisy would be very jealous whenever I held her but she could not care less. I think she would have preferred I bought a puppy home instead though. She has a baby book with a photo of a dog in and she keeps finding the page with it on and bringing it over to me and James saying "dat dat dat" then pointing at Bliss, as if we can do some sort of trade in.

The first time Daisy saw me feeding Bliss she pulled her own t-shirt up and patted her "nickles".. when nothing happened she went to the cupboard and got out two bottles so her and Grace could have some milk as well.

Grace is being very sweet to Bliss, but displays "challenging" behaviour in other ways. She has recently started watching a new cartoon with Captain Hook in it... and now responds to the most simple of requests, like "Grace please put your shoes on" with a dramatic "No NEVER!" in a pirate voice.

And Bliss pops? She is everything her name suggests. She sleeps 90% of the time, waking only to feed and then hiccup. Even that exhausts her. She falls back asleep in between each one. She is heartbreakingly helpless, and she smells lovely. Having had two babies before and seen how quickly they grow up and stop liking you being all over them all of the time I am making the most of cuddles and nap times with Bliss. It's my last time. No really, it is (see aforementioned para re: piles)

James has been amazing. Having four women to look after is no easy job. He has cooked, cleaned, changed countless nappies, applied creams, packed lunches, done school runs, played princesses, folded baskets of laundry, inspected piles, been covered in my amniotic fluid, made late night dashes to supermarkets for medicine and chocolate (breastfeeding is ACE. You can eat what you like, and you don't get heartburn) and he has done all of this without complaining once. I have seen him looking at log cabins and taking measurements of the back garden however. I think he may be planning something.

In the meantime he has gallantly given up his side of the bed to Bliss for a while, being as my baboon bum means it's hard for me to keep getting up and down.. ..

At least I thought he was being heroic... but then one night last week as I was doing the 2am feed I heard giggling from the spare room. Of course my first thought was that he had a fancy woman up there. ENRAGED and fuelled with irrational post pregnancy/sore-bum hormones I shot up the stairs like a fat wobbly rocket. What I found was even worse than a fancy woman. ...

James was watching Inbetweeners, and ENJOYING it. Something we had vowed we would never do. We once tried watching the first episode, but as soon as they called that poor boy a briefcase w*n*er we turned it off, tutting. We had a pact. Swearing was not funny we both said. "Crude!" James said. "Puerile!!" I cried.. and now the filthy turncoat was up there in his seedy bedsit crooning away at it....

And it gets worse, he is on that flipping 24 series now. Apparently it's so "addictive" and "amazing" he just can't turn it off. He watched three hours of it back to back the other night. People keep asking him if Bliss is a bad sleeper, he looks so tired!

Latest photos here:

Friday, 16 September 2011

Grace three years nine months, Daisy fifteen months

So this is the last blog I will write about 'just' Grace and Daisy. I am due number three in six days, but we all know the drill by now. I am still going to be pregnant going into October, of this I am sure. Life towards the end of pregnancy is consumed by:
a: Worrying about going into labour
b: Thinking I am going into labour
c: Being very annoyed because I am not/did not go into labour

I am so big that James has to put my pants on for me (and it's SO funny when he picks my old tiny thongs, honest!). So very big that I spend most of my time tripping over shoes, toys and other booby traps the girls leave round the house for me. I am so big, infact, that when I approach James' car it beeps at him to warn him a "wide load" is approaching. Lovely. I spent my 3oth birthday in a size 22 ASDA t-shirt (it was in the sale).

It's a hard time to be so physically disabled - what with Daisy the hound dog. I thought I would be taking it easy at home for the final stretch. Impossible when you have a child whose favourite things to do are:

Empty all the things out the kitchen cupboards
Demand juice which she then sprinkles all over the floor for us both to slip over in
Steal and run off with the wet wipes (to eat)
Change the programme on the washing machine (So charlie cloth is out sooner. She sits in front of the machine for hours saying "dat dat dat dat" and pointing in dismay as her beloved cloth spins round and round before her eyes)
Change the tv programme Grace is watching by pressing all the buttons on the sky console then laughing when it makes Grace cry

The only thing which distracts Daisy is food. Raisins are literally her raison d'etre. She is obsessed with them. There is nothing she would not do for some. All I need to do is sling some out the kitchen when she is driving me mad and for the next five minutes enjoy the peace and quiet (occasionally interrupted by the sound of Daisy joyously discovering a bonus raisin which she squashed under her foot).

Grace was never like this. Grace is just not interested in food. She does love a tic tac however, or 'toe nails' which is her name for polo mints. I never embark on a car journey without dried fruit and mints now. It would be foolhardy to do so.

Of course, all the extra food Daisy consumes means if she is not putting something in one end, she is pushing it out the other. My girl loves doing a poo, then making sure you know she has done one, before running away so you can't catch her...

When I finally manage to get hold of her (after tripping over hairbrushes, toys, charlie cloths, my fat swollen clown feet squashing raisins DEEP into the rug as I do so) she waits until she knows her nappy is half off, and one of my hands is desperately trying to get more than one wipe out at a time... and then she tries to grab the nappy, poo and all and smear it everywhere - and while she does it she has a HUGE daft grin on her face.

How could I have produced such a filthy child? That said Grace is not much better... Excellent at going to the toilet, but thinks life is far too short to wipe bums or flush chains. James and I spend too much time cleaning little girly poo off toilets, floors and fingers.. and soon there will be even more!

Daisy's behaviour does not help my plight to display her as the pretty girl she is. Everywhere I go people comment on my lovely little lad. One of James' colleagues told me (after saying "hello son" to Daisy) that is was my fault she looked like a boy due to the haircut I had given him.
Daisy is sporting every hair she has ever managed to grow. I don't wash her hair so much as pat it with shampoo, in case god forbid any of comes out!!

The thing is, if I do dress her up like a girl - it only serves to make her look more boyish. When we took her to get her feet measured for her first shoes, the lady in the shop bought out a lovely selection of pink sandals with straps and flowers on. We ended up with a brown and white pair, in the style of bowling shoes. They were the only ones which did not make her look ridiculous. How can a 15 month old girl look like a cross-dresser? It makes no sense?!

Grace needed her feet measured too. It did not go quite as smoothly. Ever since we took her to get her jabs done, she has developed a massive phobia of being approached or touched by anyone in a professional setting, especially if they are holding some kind of 'instrument'. In this case, it was the board with a strap, used for measuring feet.. pretty inoffensive one might think,
but Grace was having none of it.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUMMY, NOT THE PINCHERS ( her name for needles) !!" she screamed as James and I tried to cajole her into submission. We finally managed to cram her foot into the measuring strap. (James pinned her down whilst I tossed tic tacs down her throat to silence the screaming.. ) Then, of course, we had the battle over which shoes Grace was allowed. She wanted Lelli Kelly.... no chance. We finally came out with some purple Velcro vans.. a compromise between the three of us. Was all a complete waste of time anyway, as we lost one of them a week later at the swimming pool.

(The most annoying thing about the whole episode was that my lovely friend Fleur gave Grace some blue converse trainers which I loved ... and Grace did not mind wearing either UNTIL, my equally lovely friend Michelle came down with her 80+ nan and Grace noticed she was sporting the same blue converse. Needless to say she point blank refused to be seen in them again!!)

Grace and Daisy are thick as thieves now. Grace drags Daisy round in a headlock, and pushes her off the sofa, onto 'beanbag mountain', both of them giggling in glee. In the mornings Daisy tries to help get Grace ready for nursery by hitting her on the head with a hairbrush and trying to put her shoes on for her. So sweet. When we go upstairs to make the beds, Daisy crawls into Grace's, gets hold of her books and pretends to be her. I am sure if she could talk she would say "Look mummy, who am I, who am I?!"

Sadly, Daisy can only say two things "hiya" (to mean hello OR as a request to be pushed higher when on a swing") or "here you are" but she runs it together to make "heya" (This is used when she passes you a raisin, before snatching it back, eating it herself and then laughing)
She just points and says"dit" or "dat" if she wants anything else. It's very annoying, and a trait Grace has decided to pick up as well... just to annoy me more.

Daisy's favourite book is a horrid book called Not Now Bernard by David Mkee. It's about a poor little boy called Bernard who desperately wants his parents attention and gets completely ignored. For some reason, Daisy LOVES it. You only have to show her the cover and she rolls round giggling, and if you actually say to her (the more or less only line in the book) "Not now Bernard" she gets so beside herself and has to go and find Charlie Cloth for a lie down.

She spends a lot of time (in between posting Grace's toys and James' letters out the cap flap, climbing up the bookcase, getting stuck under the sofa, ripping up my magazines or getting all the tea towels out) laying down on one of the beanbags with her beloved cellular blanket over her head making a noise which goes a bit like "mMMMMMMmmmmMMMmmmm"

Anyway, I think when I go back into employment I am going to be a workman. It seems to involve going to the bakers alot, sitting in a van alot (eating goods from aforementioned bakers), reading the paper and chatting on the phone alot, oh - and changing people's radio stations to BBC Radio 2 and then singing Peter Sarstedt's "Where do you go to my lovely, HA HA HA" VERY loudly when babies and pregnant women are trying to nap.

Poor James would get home from work and have to listen to me ranting about various workmen for hours on end. Of course if James was around it was all very different. They would be all industrious and hard working, but as soon as James left for work it was all "Right said Fred, have a cup of tea : (

But it was all worth it. We finally have a back garden safe for the whole family.. just in time for winter! James is determined to have a BBQ or two first though. He spent most of last night trying to put it together actually... amongst lots of shouting and swearing and claiming it defied logic (Whilst I laughed. He had the last laugh in the end however, and said in the glow of the gorgeous candle Sarah had bought me I looked like a babapappa nightlight - see below pic)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Grace three years seven months, Daisy 13 months

So Grace is closer to being four than three, and Daisy is now walking (But only if she puts both arms up in the air for balance) and I have less than seven weeks to go till number three gets here.

Part of me wishes I could just go into labour NOW, so I could see my feet again/eat without getting indigestion/stop walking into everything and losing my temper for no reason, but another part of me wants more time with Grace and Daisy before I have to share myself three ways.

Grace is keen as mustard for number three to arrive. She talks to it in the bathtub as she washes my tummy, and likes to lay with her head on my protruding belly button telling the baby a load of old nonsense. In a recent thunderstorm Grace got so scared she asked if she could hide in my tummy with the new baby.

Lord knows what is going to happen if it's not another girl. I have tried telling her it might be a boy, but she is having none of it. As far as she is concerned it's a girl, called Tinkerbell, and it's going to sleep in her bed with her. She came with me to the midwife last week and was spellbound by hearing the heartbeat. Very sweet indeed.

Daisy, however, is another story. I am genuinely worried about the safety of number three with her around. I took her to the Kipling Museum at the library the other day. They had a massive chest full of old porcelain dolls, the ones with eyelids that open and shut and long eyelashes. The sign quite clearly stated that they were for looking at only - but Daisy did a front somersault into the chest before I could stop her, and then proceeded to prize open the doll's eyelids and POKE them in their glass eye very hard whilst laughing slightly demonically. It was a bit like a scene from Bride of Chucky.

The only thing she is gentle with is 'Charlie cloth' her cellular cot blanket, which now has to come everywhere with us. It's really hampered her walking, as she kept tripping over it (well she did before she learnt to put her hands above her head. Now she just stumbles about with arms outstretched and Charlie cloth draped over her face like a drunken ghost)

She still gets very cross if I have to leave the room to have a wee. She hangs off the stair gate howling indignantly till I return, and even then she takes a good ten minutes or so to calm down, by which point I need to go for another wee. Maybe I should just wear Grace's princess night pant nappies, it would save us all time.

Grace does not keep them on anyway. She likes to get into our bed in the "wee" hours and wee all over me instead. I was always worried about giving her a complex if she was a bed wetter, so adopted a "does not matter, it'll come out in the wash" attitude early on. I think it might have been an error. She could not care less if she wakes up in a puddle of wet wee. She just says "Nevermind mum, you will sort it all out" and then skips off downstairs. LOVELY!

James won the egg and spoon race at sports day. There are photos in the link below which some say, show him holding onto the egg. I am staying impartial. It looks like I am going to be the only non competitive one in the family. It took Grace a while to get into the races, but she was soon doing her dad proud with lots of 1'st place stickers all over her. James was horrified when she started the race by skipping, whilst holding hands with her best friend. "FORGET HER GRACE ! She's holding you back!" he shouted, whilst I smiled politely at everyone and tried to pretend he was joking. No one was fooled.

Our building work is FINALLY finished. Builders are annoying aren't they? Why do they sit in their vans so often reading the Sun? All a different story towards the end when James stepped in to get it done before I give birth. Suddenly they no longer spent the first hour on site drinking tea and texting people. Suddenly they stopped calling me love and using my toilet. Suddenly they were very efficient and professional.

I am loving my new "open plan" kitchen. The downside is that the kids now have access to it. Daisy has worked out which cupboard houses drinks and snacks and can often be found inside it, cramming mini Cheddars down as fast as she can. This is because she knows she is not supposed to be in the cupboard. If I don't get there in time she will also get the lid off the undiluted ribena to wash her illicit snack down with. (see photos - and remember she has speed of a jaguar and I am a heavy lumbering pregnant hippo.)

I am pretty sure she knows she is not allowed to toddle over to my washing machine, remove all the laundry, drape it over her head, then do her silly drunken ghost walk round the kitchen either, stumbling over broken biscuits and mini cheddars, so everything needs washing again anyway.

It's just as well she is so very very very sweet really. She has learnt that ladies never go out without their handbags and car keys, and so before each outing it's a race to see who can get to mine in time. Cue more charlie-cloth-over-face-handbag-draped-over-raised-arm-car-keys-in-the-other-walking, inevitably ending with her marching into the patio door.

Latest photos here:


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Grace three years, six months, Daisy one year

So Grace is three years, six months old, and Daisy just had her first birthday. I can't believe she has been with us for a year. I vividly remember her arrival - a slightly blue, silent one, she never cried - never moved. She did not even make a noise when she wanted feeding. She just sort of sighed at me.

A year on, if she is not charging round the house with one of Grace's socks in her mouth, or pulling Grace's hair and laughing hysterically, she can be found in the garden chomping guinea pig poo and lavishly sucking on snails. It is like having a naughty puppy. She chews up newspapers, wees on shoes and when she goes to her lovely childminder, she crawls to the front door and cries when she wants to come home.

James is delighted. Not about the newspaper and wee part, but certainly about the snail eating. He is somewhat obsessed with them since becoming the next Alan Titchmarsh.

Men do funny things in their late thirties, like buy sports cars (or fishing boats) far too small to fit their young family in, or sneak about with their assistants, and James has been doing his fair share of acting suspiciously.
I heard the patio door opening at 3am the other night. Imagine my surprise when I looked out the window and saw my husband, wearing nothing but his pants and a head torch, creeping round the garden.

I watched in horrified fascination as he bent over each and every one of his sunflower and tomato plants, lovingly tracing his fingers up and down their dainty stems... before shouting "HA HA!! CAUGHT YOU, YOU B***STARD" ..... and then about five seconds later, hearing the small, sad noise of a snail landing over the far end of the road (James read that snails are homing creatures and if you do not take them more then 250 meters from your house they will "soon" return. I think he has nightmares about them all forming a cracked-shell army and marching (very slowly) over our new rockery to claim back their territory in a well planned procedure).

He has even passed his dislike of snails onto Grace. I heard him asking her who made all the holes in his sweet peas the other day and her replying : "It was that bloody Mr Snail daddy." She used to be so fond of them as well, picking up the dead ones and saying "Look Dad, this one has gone out."

Could be worse I suppose... his assistant is a man.

The gardening obsession started after we were banned from all local fish shops in East Sussex. Buying new fish became addictive. It was not just about picking a new flashy Gourami or a cheeky little Danio, then the excited wait as the shop assistant had to try and catch that exact one, identical to all the others, in their tank.

It started out that way, but it soon became more about getting a fish purchase past the miserable, spotty, know-all oinks who work in fish shops. The questions they ask you before you are even allowed in the door! "HOW long have you had your tank? How long have you been cultivating a tropical environment? Is your garden south facing? Why do you want this specific fish?" and it does not matter what you say back - IE: "Ten years, nine years, yes, because I will die without it" their response is always "I am afraid I can't sell you this fish, and weren't you here last week?" followed by a disparaging look, their piggy eyes glinting with glee at being able to exert some power.
James started going in disguise. He even tried accents, but they always recognised him, the smug know-all virgins. I think the final straw came when James shouted this at them after they refused to sell him a Siamese fighting fish...

Anyway, back to the girls -Daisy has taken a couple of steps on her own and it won't be long before she is up on her feet all the time. Good. Then I can put her on a lead and take her for walks to wear her out!

But seriously, animal habits aside, she is as sweet as her sister. She tries to help me rub in Grace's eczema cream, or brush her teeth (but then always steals the toothbrush and hides it. Luckily, it's an electric one so we can normally locate it after hours of chasing the slowing buzzing noise).

She is very very good at sharing toys, but not chocolate buttons and she loves a cuddle. LOVES one, especially with her mummy, at any given second in the day.

She can sense when I might need a wee (all the time) or a drink, and chooses that exact second to become a clinging limpet who howls the second she is put down. I have to surgically remove her from my neck then RACE to do whatever it is I need to do while she crawls to the nearest stair gate and screams at me to return. Poor Grace. She has porridge for dinner more often than not. It's the only thing I can make in the five minutes I have before Daisy's screaming becomes so loud I am incapable of ignoring her any longer. I tried to leave her to it whilst making a nutritious meat-and-two-veg type dinner, but aborted the mission after the stress of hurrying made me pour scalding water from the broccoli pan over my arm.

It's the pregnant hormones. They play havoc with my brain. I find myself standing in my bedroom holding my underwear but not able to remember which bit goes where. All I can hear is Daisy wailing downstairs. If I take her upstairs with me all she does is crawl off to grab the loo brush or attempt to go down the stairs headfirst, laughing (as I chase hers, naked).
I don't think I've managed to style my hair for the last month. Not since all this crying began. Just as well Grace has such an extensive collection of glittery clips I can share. I do the school run looking a bit like a kids TV presenter.

Grace is much better at playing games with her sister, but still casts her in the worst role possible. There is a new show on the Disney channel about Pirates. Grace plays the cool pirate girl Izzy, James plays Jake, The Neverland Pirate and poor old Daisy has to be cubby, the short simple one. (I get to be Captain 'Hoke' (Captain Hook heard wrong). I never want Grace to stop mishearing things. I heard her telling Daisy to stop being a ciffy (cissy) the other day - and because the boy at her swimming class has the same name as the road she lives on, she calls him Rowan Way instead of just Rowan.

Having bragged to someone at Grace's swimming lesson how well my kids sleep, they both got up at 4am this morning. James heroically told me to go back to bed, and took them off to ASDA. They got stopped by the police on the way. It must have looked suspicious...They all had their pyjamas on - and James' face wore the slightly demonic look that parents sport when they are up before the sparrow has even farted. He managed to persuade the policewoman he was neither mad nor a kidnapper (unlike the rest of the early morning ASDA shoppers).

Grace is doing very well at swimming. I am not being a bragging mother when I tell you this. It's a great relief. I vividly remember my swimming lessons. I was ten years old - and still not getting the hang of it. Whilst the rest of my five-year-old class were leaping in the deep end, I was practising breast stroke on the cold mouldy tiles by the side of the pool. It's not something I would wish on anyone (well maybe a few people). To hear that Grace is a 'natural' is marvellous news. I can put her on a life-guard course and she can save me from drowning when we spend days down the seafront.

The date for Grace's sports day has been announced. James is taking training for the dad's race very seriously. I am sure if all else fails he will revert to the trip-them-up-with-his-giant-feet technique which worked so well on his unsuspecting sister 30 years ago. I know he is relieved I can't enter the mum's race. I am just not competitive enough (for why, see above paragraph regarding my sporting prowess). I am a happy coat holder/dispenser of cold drinks/cheerer on at the finish line. It's good, at times, to know ones place.

We have 13 weeks left till the arrival of number three - but really I should make that 15, as I am always two weeks late (just to give them a chance to grow even bigger before I have to 'pop' them out). Alot of people ask me how I will cope. With the wisdom of having had two children already James and I realise that newborns are easy.

They can't move/crawl/eat snails/escape from car seats/bite people/choke on lumps of old weetabix found under their high chair/argue back/climb into our bed at 3am and hit us over the head with a hardback book/need a wee every time we are somewhere with no loo/ask embarrassing questions in chemists/make comments on our outfits/demand to be pushed on the swing at the park for hours and hours on end/ask why ALL THE TIME or only let us watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and do the hot dog dance every five minutes.

Newborns feed and sleep and cry and pooh. Ha! picnic compared to the other two!

Plus this is the last time we are going to do this (shut up, yes it is. We are not bloody insane) so much as I still don't like being pregnant I am trying to embrace it, one last time, in all it's fattening, restrictive, hot-flushing, big haired, hormonal glory.

The time has come for James to get 'the big pillow' from the loft. Miles of cushioned softness for me to collapse in every night. James will wrestle with it a bit, tell it it's his bloody bed, then swear at it and swear at me before going to sleep in the spare room.
Grace will hear him go up to her floor, grab her giggling rabbit and heavy hardback princess book then go to join him. If Daisy has any milk left in her bottle she will wake her up her by swiping it on her way past... If not she will demand a cup of tea. I will sleep on oblivious, as you can't hear anything inside the giant pillow.

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Monday, 9 May 2011

Grace 3 years 4 months ; Daisy 10 months

So my girls are getting hormonal already. Grace has ten tantrums a day, which involve lots of stomping upstairs to her bedroom, (dressed as Snow White/Cinderella/Dorothy) shouting and throwing things about.

Meanwhile downstairs, Daisy has learnt what "NO" means - but if you say it to her she rolls around on the floor howling like a (non) injured footballer.

Add me to the mix with my highly irrational, unpredictable, vicious bad tempers and then spare a thought for poor James. NOT as poor as me however. HE just gets the fun bit of baby making. I am doing all the real hard work. Putting up with my bad moods is a walk in the park compared to what I am going through (the last sentence gets shouted to him daily as I stomp up the stairs to throw things round my bedroom).

We had our second scan on Friday. Waller the third is very wriggly indeed. We did not find out what we are having, but my bets are on it being another stroppy sister for Grace and Daisy.

Moodiness aside, I am feeling much better and am no longer suffering with excess saliva. (For the first few months of this pregnancy I walked round dribbling. I simply could not contain my saliva. It would spill out from between my teeth whenever I opened my mouth.) James is particularly pleased this phase has ended as at least now when I shout at him I don't cover him with spittle.

I get in a mood over anything at the minute. The other night I was in bed reading and James was in his study playing music at that hideously annoying level where you can't quite work out what the song is, you can just hear the drums and bass. I honestly wanted to throttle him. THEN he went and cooked some sausages and the smell made me gag so I got up and opened all the windows and lit lots of candles. Mr health and safety (James) then moved them all in front of open windows so those that did not get blown out scented the evening air outside instead of my stinky sausage house. I was so cross I had to bite my pillow. He is taking it all in his stride, but I watched him play racquet ball the other morning and I swear he called my name as he pelted the ball with all his might (and swore).

** (on this topic - does ANYONE remember the You Bet episode where someone guessed which song was playing from the way a candle flickered in front of the speaker? James is adamant I have made it up... but why would I? I could make up much better things than that, surely?)

Grace is demonstrating her father's competitive streak. She races the other kids at swimming and has to finish everything before Daisy does. Daisy is much more like me, and her Uncle Mickey. We used to spend hours playing catch, never wanting to beat the other one at tennis - we just liked to see how long we could keep the ball going back and forth. My brother was the best skipping partner I ever had.

Grace does play with Daisy, but she makes her play the bespeckled ginger boy out of Little Einsteins, or Gus Gus, the fat mouse with big ears from Cinderella, while she is always the queen, princess or fairy.

Daisy does not seem bothered. Her favourite thing to do is crawl round the garden and eat all the guinea pig pooh before we can stop her (and remember what happens if we tell her NO. James calls her Didier Drogba). When I use the computer she sits under the table and sucks my toes, like a lovely dog. She likes crawling round with squeaky toys in her mouth, and knocking her dinner bowl/yoghurt out my hand as I feed her, then clapping with glee as it splats up the wall and all over the floor - and she LOVES pulling the old ladies' hair who sit in front of us at church on Sunday.

Grace's new favourite film is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She loves "Julie Scrumptious". Daisy's favourite programme is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse She stands in front of the TV (blocking Grace's view), eating soil out the plant pot and shouting "dat! dat! dat!" when she sees Minnie Mouse. Daisy likes to eat.... soil, biscuits, toast, cake, skips, chocolate buttons, grass, bananas, the dried weetabix from under the dining table (why does weetabix turn to glue seconds after hitting the floor? I spend a depressing amount of time on my hands and knees chipping it off with the back of a teaspoon)

We took the girls to the zoo in half term. Grace spent the first half following a girl round who had the same coat on Grace used to have, demanding she give it back - and the second half howling with fear over the singing plastic monkey. Me and Daisy just wanted to eat ice cream.

I am still mad on risotto, but James only makes it for me on the rare nights when I have not had a temper tantrum.

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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Grace 3 years 3 months - Daisy 9 months

So Grace is three years, three months old - Daisy is nine months old and oh yes, I am three months pregnant! (and YES it was planned. It wasn't just because "There was nothing good on the telly" as one of our friends asked!)

Right - now that exciting news is out the way.. back to the girls (I am sure we will have another girl in September, although I am open to bets on it. My dear friend Claire Mills offered all her friends and family to guess the sex and weight of her baby. If both guesses were correct the lucky winner could pick a middle name. I am tempted to offer the same to my blog readers. Names can't be any worse than Grace's suggestions, Snow White/Tinkerbell/Dora.

Meanwhile Daisy is blooming. Well, as much as anyone can bloom under Grace's slightly tyrannical dictatorship :

"No Dais, put it DOOWN"
"No Dais, that is MIIIIIINNNE"
"No Dais, do it like this"
"No Dais, stop licking me."

When it gets too much I take Daisy upstairs with her bottle of milk. I always fall for it when a short while later Grace announces she is going up to "check Days is nice and warm". What Grace is actually doing, and I only remember when I hear, and then follow, the very loud sucking noise, is stealing, and then drinking, Daisy's milk.

Daisy does not seem to mind however, and wakes up grinning like an idiot. Well normally she does. We went through a two week period where Daisy did NOT wake up grinning, or go to sleep grinning. In fact she did not even smile.

All she did was cry, and cry and cry and whinge and moan. She had all the signs of teething, red cheeks, runny nose, lots of green poo - but no teeth. I began to worry that I would go to get her up one morning and she would be grinning at me with a full set of teeth.

This did not happen. After days of moaning and crying she finally woke with a very small, wonky white tip in her mouth... and all the crying has stopped (for now. I fear it is the tip of an iceberg)....

She is still not actually crawling, but can certainly get about, doing a mix of rolling, shuffling, pushing and growling. Her dream destinations are the wires by the side of the tv or the bookcase filled with all Grace's tiny toys.

She never makes it to either with Fun Police Grace on duty however. Grace is already showing signs of being a dobber : "Mummy, Dais is trying to pull the wires, but DON'T worry. I will stop her!" (then a silence, followed by an agonised wail from Daisy).

Grace is on fine form. She loved her holiday to Scotland (or "Scopland" as she calls it). 'Blast off' on the plane was especially exciting (as was the tray table attached to the seat in front on her, which she did up and undid throughout the whole flight. I could see the woman in front trembling with annoyance by the time we landed).

Grace did NOT like the Loch Ness Monster though. This might be due to the very scary Loch Ness museum we visited. I thought it would be all cartoon monsters and silly sea songs, but instead it was a very big, dark tunnel with loud booming noises and lots of waxwork figures.

Being pregnant for the third time is not very exciting no matter how hard I am trying. For a little while I thought that perhaps I could make being pregnant 'my thing'. I always wanted to have 'a thing'. You know, like people who always chew gum, or wear odd socks - but then morning sickness kicked in and I soon changed my mind.

This time round the only thing which stops the nausea is James' homemade risotto. Anyone who has ever made risotto will know what a long, time consuming meal it is to prepare. You can't just 'whip one up'. It involves a lot of stirring, and tasting, and seasoning. It's certainly not the kind of meal you want to make each night.. with a whiny wife in the background asking "Is it ready yet?" with the dogged perseverance of a small child on a long car journey.

Once, the other night, just to try and break the repetition, James made risotto with red wine, not white. Although I was secretly aghast, I ate it with gusto and vowed never to let him know my initial disappointment.

I did tell my friend Sarah Allen though (yes you HAVE been named and shamed) while we were having coffee. I never even said anything rude about it. All I said was how marvellous James had been to make risotto each night and how much I appreciate it, but I did wish he would stick to the magic 'white' one.

James came home shortly after and Sarah said " Hi James, I hear your red risotto was not very good" .... and I have been punished with a lack of diner ever since - and I got called an ungrateful sh1t.

I must try and get back in the good books, although it's not going very well. He had to take me to test drive a Fiat Multipla today instead of watching Spurs. Yes, Fiat Multiplas are those cars that look like they were designed for the elderly and disabled ... BUT they have three seats in the front, which will make life with my little brood so much easier.

See, I have given birth twice. I am no stranger to embarrassment. But men? Men don't experience the same shame that women endure to become parents. They get to have lots of sex, then none at all to be fair.. but lots of people congratulate them on a job well done. Then they get to be all show-offy and charming at midwife appointments and during labour. Lots of hand holding and forehead wiping and saying "Just keep my wife and baby safe please" in a swoony Hollywood type manner.. and then they get a baby. No stretch marks, no excess flab, no grey hairs, no varicose veins, and they retain FULL bladder control.

Perhaps it's understandable then, that they still feel cool. James is WAY too cool for my Fiat Multipla. He has told me in no uncertain terms that he will not be seen 'in it, on it, near it' - which is why I was so delighted when the salesman managed to persuade him to take one for a test drive today. I have never seen anyone look as shamed. He was like a dog who just had all his hair cut off. He came back SCOWLING. The only thing which cheered him up was the fact I kept calling the salesman Mark, when apparently his name tag said James.

Anyway, if the Multipla does not knock the cool out of him (although I do plan to 'jazz it up' with some cool car stickers like, 'This Bitch Bites Back' or 'I Slow Down For Horses' ) I am sure our girls will in a few years.

I dread the day my girls cringe at my jokes and duck from my kissypops. I went into Grace's pre-school last week to help do some cooking and when I arrived my girl shouted "THAT ONE IS MINE MUMMY" at the top of her voice and spent the whole session glued to my leg.

I am not sure I was such a hit with all the other kids however. I know they were only three, but the virgo in me came out, and if their cheese shapes were not very good then I told them as much, in no uncertain terms. How hard is it to press a cutter into some dough after all? Very hard for some it seems.

In fact, upon writing this I am suddenly struck by my earlier words 'Slightly tyrannical dictatorship'. Upon reflection, I was a bit like that. I said things like "No no, it's rubbish. It does not look like a star at all. Try again" or " No no, do it like this" or worst of all "No No, oh look - just let me do it for you".

I am never going to have a career in childcare. Not just because I am an impatient perfectionist, but because I don't have the very patronising, permanently cheerful, hideously annoying voice required.

(James would probably say I possess the latter). While I was busy treating the session like an episode of masterchef, next to me, a lovely, lovely lady helper was bolstering spirits with comments such as "Wow, a star! That is just ammmmaaaaaaazing" or "WOWWEEE! Look at that! You managed to pat the dough!" and so on and so on. I honestly wanted to batter her over the head with my rolling pin at one point - but sadly one of the kids was running round waving it.

Latest photos here:


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Grace 3 years 2 months, Daisy 8 months

So Grace is 3 and a bit, and Daisy is eight months old. Grace was crawling by this age, but Daisy prefers to rock on all fours whilst making a growling noise instead.

Grace had already had two haircuts by this age, Daisy's hair has only just started growing.

You know when men get old and their hair gets thin and they use hairspray on it to try and thicken it out a bit? Daisy's hair looks just like that.

It's mad to have two girls that are so very different. All Grace wanted to do at this age was get mobile. All Daisy wants to do is grab things and try and eat them. Wipes, nappies, newspapers....she even had a good go at James' big toe this morning (she must have thought it was a block of cheese bless her).

She honestly eats more than Grace and I put together, and when she is not eating (or even sometimes when she is) she is doing massive cowpat poos.

We took the girls to see "Tangled" with some of Grace's friends a couple of weeks ago. I never realised how tiny Grace was until I sat her in the cinema seat. She looked so sweet, and small.
 We had to strip off jumpers and coats to prop her up with. I thought she would keep getting out her seat but it was like she was glued to it (as was James).

She held her friend Beth's hand the whole time and did very good penny-sweet sharing. We topped the day off with a McDonald's on the way home (James did not have anything, and tutted at us in disgust. Grace was very impressed with the whole experience however and keeps asking if we can have "happy chips through the car window" for dinner).

Grace has fully embraced the pink world of princesses now. Belle, Snow White or Cinderella adorn every item she owns, from her pants to her lunchbox. If we are not doing a princess jigsaw we are watching one of the films, drawing a picture of one, or best of all - dressing up as princesses and witches and acting out Grace's very repetitive game. This is how it goes:

Grace dresses up as Cinderella, then sweeps the floor whilst looking very sad.
I have to come in (dressed as a fairy godmother) and ask her what is wrong.
She tells me she can't go to the ball as she has so much sweeping to do.
I announce who I am, then skip about with great gusto turning lego boxes into carriages and brooms into fairy wands whilst doing alot of "Bibbety bobbety boos"
Just as she is about to go off to the ball I have to suddenly turn into an EVIL witch and announce she cannot go to the ball afterall!
LUCKILY the fairy godmother left her wand behind and Grace uses this to melt me with.
She then gets into the lego box and punts herself along the floor, using the fairy wand as an oar announcing she is off to the ball and will see me later.
Then we do it all over and over again.

James goes through a similar charade at bedtime. After being forced to read the one-page story from Dora's annual 2011, he bought Grace a new book. "Dora's Ten Best Adventures" - but Grace only likes one of them - Dora saves the Mermaid Kingdom (the worst one) so James just reads that over and over again instead, while I sit next door in Daisy's room laughing to myself.

You see, Daisy has been going down to bed really easily now (EVERYONE READING THIS TOUCH WOOD) for ages. All I have to do is put her in a dark room, pass her her bottle of milk and Bob's your uncle. She falls asleep in seconds, and I used to get a nice half an hour lie down while James read Grace "Dora saves the mermaid princess over and over again, then made many trips up and down the stairs to make Grace a cup of tea/swap the cup for a pink one/swap the tea for juice.

I would listen to him putting all the toys away.. and would finally appear just as I heard the oven door open announcing my dinner, wearing a "that was a bit of a nightmare" face...
Well I did..... till the other night when Grace decided she wanted me to put her to bed not James.. so he did Daisy and caught me out. I am beyond gutted. There is a DVD player in Daisy's room and sometimes I would even watch ten minutes or so of Twilight. You can imagine how this went down when it all came out...

So everything is going well. We have had a couple of blips. My tumble drier broke a couple of weeks ago. This might not seem like a big deal to many people, but anyone who has ever lived with me will be able to tell you how much I LOVE washing. So much so, much to James' delight, and my shame, our Google earth picture shows my house with a big basket of washing outside it, waiting to go in Mr. Tumble.

Dear Mr.Tumble. He truly was an old pal. I have to admit, the new one is much better and quicker, but it's quieter - so I can't hear if it's working. I keep having to go and check, which is annoying. My favourite noises are the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier (and the sound of my daughter's laughter of course). Ideally I have them all going at the same time.

James' favourite noises are Sky Sports on the downstairs TV, another type of sports on the upstairs one, sport radio in the bedroom and Sky news on the laptop (and his daughter's laughter) - all at the same time.

Grace likes singing now, so over the top of all my white goods and James' sports stations you can hear "A whole NEEEEEEEWWW world" or "Beauty and theeee BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAST" and Daisy loves music so she gets on all fours and starts rocking out whilst doing loud dribbly growling.

Grace's Top Five comments this month
Me to James: I went to the beautician's today and got my waxing done
Grace to me: Did you get a lolly and a sticker?

James to the waitress at Zizzi: Please may I have the steak?
Grace to the waitress at Zizzi: My daddy likes MEAAAAAAAT

Me to James: You are a.. nincompoop
Grace to James: Yes daddy, you are an incomepipe

Me to Grace: What do you want for dinner?
Grace to me: Toad in the road and Jammy dodgeits

Me to Daisy: Stop whinging Daisy, dinner is coming
Grace to Daisy: Yeah, stop whinging Daisy, you are a big oogie woogie poo bum

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