Thursday, 13 December 2007

More Teeth

Waiting patiently for tooth number three, this will be a top tooth and it has been a long time coming, buckets full of saliva and an unsightly drool rash later I finally felt a sharp little edge under a swollen tender gum.
Poor Lily, she is looking decidedly bedraggled recently, snotty and tired and spotty but despite all this, upbeat and cheerful as always...
Except in this picture.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


Lily's favourite things @ the ripe old age of 7 month:



Labels and Buttons

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Being Kissed

Eating Books

Eating Wooden Blocks

Eating Metal Measuring Cups

Rubber Ducks

Pureed Pear

Bath Time

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Carbon Footprint

Sometimes, on rainy, wintry whattodo days like these we take Lily for drive; just because it gets us out of the house, the baby invariably will sleep and we get to finally talk to one another. So that's what happened, we loaded up and drove up towards Ryedale, up towards where I spent most of my childhood.

If there is still such a thing as kinship of the land then my affinity lies with the Moors, just a whiff of some wet bracken, the sight of yellow gorse and purple heather sends me somersaulting into childhood reminisces. We found a pleasant long meandering road, the burnt umber bracken all beaten down by rain, the trees every colour of autumn and I smelt that smell again, the smell of my youth and fell to wondering what evocative sights and sounds my little girl would remember most from her upbringing.

It is a weighty thought to believe that you are responsible for a large part of someones memories, but above all I hope that I can allow her to experience some of the freedom and innocence that I had as a child, running wild, elemental and barefoot across the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors.

Sunday, 11 November 2007


The most exciting thing in Lily's life at the moment is the cat, all of Lily's Love is directed towards Sir Launcelot Ghengis Tinkerbell...unfortunately it is not reciprocated. Tinker does his level best to sidestep the annoyance that is my daughter at every given opportunity and Lily's desperate attempts to touch and grab and squeeze and pull are almost always foiled.
It is quite heartbreaking to watch her being constantly rebuffed. Her little face never fails to light up with glee when the cat is in town, even in her darkest moments the mere mention of Tinker's name is enough to pull her out of most hissy fits. First love always hits the hardest, especially when it is unrequited.
Pay back time will be yours baby girl, once proper crawling has commenced.


I stopped breastfeeding at 4 and a half months. I stopped because it was painful and traumatic and I wasn't producing enough and I was so guilt ridden and broken hearted by the whole experience that I thought it was time to give both Lily and I a break.

Up to about 2 weeks ago I was still comfort feeding her at night, just at the early morning feed and just while we waited for daddy to bring up a warmed bottle.

I am really missing those moments; drowsy, still half dreaming, curled up tight and snug next to her warm little body, smelling her skin and listening to her gentle snufflings.

More often than not she sleeps through now and I have to grab a morning cuddle in the big bed, carrying her sleepy-eyed from her cot to be placed ceremoniously between Mummy, Daddy and the cat for kisses and cutches and sweet whispered nothings.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Ha! Ha!

This week I am rejoicing in the fact that my baby is such a giggler. Seems recently her sense of humour has blossomed and she likes to laugh, long and hard at really almost anything, but here is her Top Ten to date:
Daddy shouting peek-a-boo
Daddy blowing raspberries
Daddy tickling her cheek with his beard
Daddy kissing her fingers
Mummy sucking her toes
Mummy quacking like a duck
Mummy playing "This Little Piggy..."
Mummy and Daddy 'fake' laughing
Lily being hurled up into the air
Lily being thrown upside down

Today, as I squirted myself in the eye with a rubber duck she almost toppled over from laughing so hard.
I wonder how the sense of humour is formed?

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

First Shoes

Day of the Dead Party

I had the first night away from the baby this weekend to go party like I used to party, which I did with gusto. Really what I should have done was booked myself into a hotel room and slept, instead I slammed copious quantities of tequila until 4.30 am and crashed out on the living room floor.
Was it difficult being way from my girl? Yes.

Was it worth it? Definitely.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Sometimes not everything is plain sailing.

I am tired, Daddy is tired, Lily is exhausting. Sleep seems a far off fairytale. The house is a shit-tip. I am fed up of walking a million times round the block begging her to sleep, of constantly washing bibs and nappies and babygros, of making up bottles and pureeing feeds, of changing her and wiping up vomit, of rocking and cooing and singing lullabies, of trying to be so goddamn cheery all of the time, of inventing new ways to make a cross child laugh, of lying awake listening for sounds in the nighttime, of trying to be the perfect parent, of never really feeling like me anymore and never even having the time to worry about it.

Just sometimes.

Monday, 29 October 2007

What's Occurring?

The art of sitting has been perfected quite considerably over this weekend and today and yesterday saw a 10 min sit, unaided, on the settee and play mat respectively. Needless to say she is pretty darn chuffed with herself and rightly so, I should imagine it takes some effort to keep those new wobbly limbs under control and spine upright. I have trouble myself sometimes and I've been doing it for ages.
Suddenly everything takes on a new light with these differing perspectives and old forgotten dangley toys are resurrected again.
Almost simultaneously a vigorous shaking of rattles is occurring, previously everything has just been sucked and not really 'played' with in the true sense of the word.
My baby is growing up fast.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Teething Trouble

Lily attempting to remove her new tooth with some handy soft toy pliers.

Baby Shop

The range of impossibly cute baby stuff to indulge in is vast and quite scary. I can see how one could get sucked into spending one's life savings on accessories. This, for instance, is just lovely and reasonable to boot, was to go into Lily's stocking but as we have started weaning already...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

D is for Dangerous

The countdown to crawling has begun. Lily is scooting round the bathroom floor as fast as bottom-shuffling on lino can take her. She is practically doing that old break dancing move The Caterpillar and not content with the one roll she has perfected a series of Starsky and Hutch type rolls to catapult her towards which ever object looks the most inviting/dangerous.
I have been dreading this moment, not because I don't want her to crawl (although it's nice to know you can find a baby where you left one, just like the old legless tortoise) but because it means the time has come to baby proof my terribly hazardous/accidentwaitingtohappen house.
I have already noticed her eyeing up the inviting looking pile of electrical cables under Andy's desk, it will be no time at all before she is drinking bleach and shoving tiny pinkies into plug sockets.

Book Club

LLLT is currently reading This Little Chick by John Lawrence, it comes highly recommended, a new twist on a favourite nursery rhyme with some enchanting woodcut illustrations. Lily finds it uncommonly funny, seems that quacking like a duck sends my daughter in paroxysms of mirth.

Saturday, 20 October 2007


The weather here has been just beautiful, crisp and clear and bright as a proper autumn should be.
Many times I have walked along the river in the early morning light just me, Lily and the ducks, feeling truly blissful.
I think this is my favourite time of year and for the moment, my favourite place to be.

Tricky Lily

Tricks that my daughter knows at 5 months old...
Rolling over, both there and back again
Holding her bottle
Sitting up with her hands thrust out in front for support
Grabbing smaller objects such as labels on toys
Finding and holding onto her toes
Aeroplaning on her belly, head back, legs up and arms out
Standing for very short periods while holding onto a static object such as the coffee table
Drinking out of a sippy cup
Vomiting (this isn't strictly a trick unless you have learnt to projectile vomit onto specific targets, I have no real proof of this but it seems pretty plausible.)
Being really cute and eating books.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Fear

Actually Song Box (the music/movement thing I was complaining about previously) was really rather good. The kids were cute and well behaved, Lily enjoyed it and I didn't have to talk to anyone. Much.
Must get over the whole socialising with other Mothers thang, some of them must be nice and not all of them will want to enlist us into the Happy Clappy Army of Ezekiel and steal my body parts.


LLLT's has certainly discovered her voice, her range of howls and ear-piercing shrieks have taken on a new volume and intensity since she realised A) Shouting is fun and B) That the louder she gets the more likely someone will pay attention to her.
I'm not saying that I have a little diva on my hands because I just know that will open me up for an unsolicited range of comments about the content of her specific gene pool but I am pretty sure she is going to be trouble.
I have, on several occasions, had to exit the bus before my stop as Lily regales the OAPs with her special form of baby tourettes.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Reasons to Have a Baby #1

You get to do this.

Mission: Weaning

First solids administered today at 11.15 am, commencement of operation Baby Rice has begun! Initial findings so far would suggest Phase I is a success (in that not all of it was gobbed out on Daddy's shoe).

Now you no longer need to eat mirrors for your sustenance.

Vandalising Phone Boxes

The time has come to bite the bullet and leap into the void that is children's organised activity mornings. Lily is old enough now to be a part of stuff, unfortunately.
She is no longer just content with me singing baa-baa black sheep rather tunelessly and blowing intermittent raspberries on her chubby cheeks; she needs fun and activity and socialising and all that STUFF I REALLY RATHER HATE. Stuff that involves me having to communicate with other mothers and drink insipid instant coffee and flail about miserably trying to find something in common when there quite clearly isn't anything and masking it all with innocuous discussions about growth spurts. So I have duly signed up for some weird hippy-dippy-shit-scarf-dancing-music and movement group for 0-4 year olds.


In any normal circumstance I wouldn't be caught dead in a community centre teeming with middle-class toddlers let loose on a bucket full of tambourines...
I am doing this for you Lily, it is not the first of many horrendous sacrifices your mother has had to make on your behalf and I'll wager it certainly won't be the last.
I hope you duly recompense me later on in life by refraining from slashing car tyres and vandalising phone boxes.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam

Why is it when I try and think of songs to sing my daughter all that comes to mind are hideous Sunday school hymns from my childhood?
And much worse than this Lily just adores them.


It's funny, but I still wake up every morning having to pinch myself that my baby girl is lying asleep in the next room.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Lily has learnt to stage cough like an absolute pro, she coughs so well it sounds like she has contracted consumption, a drop or two of theatrical blood on her T-Shirt would complete the scene nicely. Initially the stage coughing was really cute.... This, for many reasons (not least that people cross the street to avoid us) is no longer the case.

Monday, 8 October 2007

5 Months and Just a Few Days

Facebook has taken over my life.
This is my pitiful excuse for not blogging for several weeks and I feel rotten about it because probably I have missed all sorts of exciting stuff.
Or not, as the case may be.

But no!
Hold the front page!
That daughter of mine has grown a nubbin of a tooth, I am not entirely sure nubbin is an actual word but it sure seems to explain what I want to get across so I shall use it anyway.
On Sunday as she was biting down on my fingers in her usual manner and 'gggrrrrring' like a tiger (as is her want), I felt the tip of a tooth on her bottom gum.
I was so excited! And then I realised that this is about as good as it gets these days, overjoyed about a nubbin....*sigh*

Friday, 31 August 2007


Lily is full of surprises, most noticeably her capacity for change. I was punished severely for thinking I had cracked it, a few almost slept through nights and some regular proper feeds and then the holiday in The Cotswolds blasted all semblance of smugness out of me. My little princess is now waking at 3 or sometimes 4 in the morning (that's if I'm lucky) and refusing to return to the Land of Nod. I am beginning to feel and look like an extra out of Dawn of the Dead.
Clinging on to the fact that everything is a phase and hopefully a short one.

However at 16ish weeks she is properly giggling, constantly smiling and rolling all over the place, how something quite so glorious could come out of my samantha is beyond me.

Saturday, 11 August 2007


Nothing can prepare you for the first 6 weeks; in the first six weeks I felt rather like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as she was deposited unceremoniously in a completely alien land. Or possibly more like the Wicked Witch of the South crushed under a huge house. Whatever it was, it wasn't nice. In those days you are just surviving, I was lucky to make it out of my pajamas and most days were spent careering from one unexpected surprise, or rather calamity, to the next.

3 months on life as taken on at least some semblance of normality. At least I am beginning to find out who I am again and beginning to find out more about LLLT, little by little.

The best advice I have been given so far is by my sister:
"There is no such thing as normal in the world of babies, whatever Lily is doing now that is normal for Lily."


3 months on and Lily has learnt all sorts of fancy tricks; grabbing and holding stuff (well, she has done this twice and it's possibly a fluke), laughing delightedly at just about everything but most noticeably fart noises ( she gets this from her Father), catapulting herself upwards with her legs and slobbering profusely like a very over-excited Doberman.

I have learnt that it is remarkably easy to loose a day playing peek-a-boo with your daughter, it is almost always best to let sleeping babies lie and most importantly of all, to never leave a bucket full of stinky nappies to fester in the bathroom.

Thursday, 19 July 2007


Lily seems to be grabbing life by the proverbial short and curlies, I think the technical term is thriving. Since we have waved goodbye to Scary Colic Lily she is all smiles and coos and dribbles. She seems determined to sit up and look about and take in all the world has to offer, a by-product of this is that she pretty short on nap time. Suddenly I am obsessed by sleep, by how little I am getting and the small amounts she seems to manage on.

Some arsehole, correction many so called 'expert' arseholes lured me into thinking babies slept 16-18 hours a day. HA! Not my Lily, nowhere near. This naturally sent me into paroxysms of guilt and distress that I was sleep depriving my child; that I had to force her to nap constantly, that she would become retarded from not enough so-called 'deep' sleep, that this insomnia was affecting her eating patterns and turning her into a 'snacker' and this in turn was stunting her growth etc, etc, etc....blah,blah,blah...and this in turn was making her mummy into 'evenmoreneuroticmummy' forcing her to write extremely long sentences with very little punctuation and generally sending her round the twist.

Another spin-off of this is that I spend most of my time obsessively googling 'my baby does not sleep', revelling sadistically in the fact I am not alone.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

12lb 2oz

Tuesdays (and yes, I remembered what day it is for a change) are "weigh your daughter at the clinic" days to make sure you are not starving her.
I know I am not starving her because she is a fat little beastie who is now wearing size 3-6 month sleep suits at 10 weeks old but I like to get out and about and sad though it is, I look forward to clinic days and the many possibilities of comparison it provides.
It is almost impossible not to compare your child with another person's child, I try my hardest not to because it a nasty and fruitless pass time which only results in needless jealousy and panic.
Fortunately as my baby is the prettiest, smartest, heaviest and most advanced baby I have nothing to worry about.

And Another Thing...

Wow, nobody told me either how difficult it is to get things done. After lights out and Lily has hit the sack I run round like a whirling dervish trying to complete all the household chores I have been unable to accomplish during daylight hours (as my high maintenance daughter demands I rock her to sleep for 5 hours at a time). Seems like I am drowning under piles of unwashed babygros, bottles are building mountains in the sink, stinky old nappies overflow out of every nook and cranny.
Maybe I am just incompetent? Maybe I'm a bad mother? Maybe I suck at this housekeeping/parenting malarkey? Maybe this is all there is now?
Maybe I need a beer.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Roll Over and Beg

Little 9 week old Lily Long Toes can just about roll over which, according to my baby bible, is not supposed to happen until 4 months. Next week she shall be performing Beethoven's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Conspiracy

Basically if you went to the Doctors with all the possible side-effects of pregnancy he would probably say go home, lie down in a darkened room and prepare to die.

I had no idea all this really disgusting shit was going to happen to me, at several points I wouldn't have been surprised if a couple of my limbs had started to lepromatous. It seemed every few weeks more and more unspeakable horrors were unfolding, losing control of bodily functions, bleeding orifices, uterine cramps, particularly nasty and bizarrely colourful discharges, extreme flatulence...
However, what startled me the most is that NO F*CKER BOTHERED TO TELL ME ABOUT IT! Rather like the time I started my period and thought I had cancer because my mother apparently decided menstruation was not important enough to mention.
Well, I am not subscribing to the conspiracy of silence anymore and for all you young ladies who might be considering popping the birth control pills back in the packet tonight, read on...

altered appetite and senses of taste and smell
nausea and vomiting
heartburn and indigestion
weight gain
dizziness and light-headedness
bloating, swelling, fluid retention
abdominal cramps
yeast infections
congested, bloody nose
acne and mild skin disorders
skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)
mild to severe backache and strain
increased headaches
difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping
increased urination and incontinence
bleeding gums
breast pain and discharge
swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain
difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy
inability to take regular medications
shortness of breath
higher blood pressure
hair loss
tendency to anemia
stretch marks (worse in younger women)
loose skin
permanent weight gain or redistribution
abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness
pelvic floor disorder
changes to breasts
varicose veins
scarring from episiotomy or c-section
loss of dental and bone calcium

Large Protruberences

I thought I would suck at being pregnant but actually I quite excelled at the sport....I got fat, I ate a lot of cake, occasionally I would venture out to 'Yoga for Pregnancy' classes and wiggle my ass with the rest of the hormonal ladies and I slept as much as humanly possible. I just about perfected the 18 hour sleep except at night when I was routinely woken by Lily doing the fandango in my uterus.

Really one could do with being pregnant for 3 years, like an elephant. 9 months is not enough. To be fair, 3 years is probably not enough for the large reality check you receive on depositing your small parcel of DNA onto planet earth.

I never quite made the connection between being pregnant and having a child, the mental leap was just too much for my rather small and shonky brain to comprehend. I felt her move at 18 weeks, just flutterby sensations at first progressing onto good old footballer kicks by the end, but even then I didn't really register...I was too busy getting my fill of pastries and enjoying being smiled at. In a world where you feel everyone is ignoring you, my humble advice is get up the duff, strangers greet you in the street, old ladies pat your enormous belly, bus conductors let you ride for free.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

In The Beginning

In the beginning...

In the beginning there was Lily. Life B.L. seems pretty much irrelevant now. I have a vague memory of a time where my meals were not always eaten a break-neck speed, where the continual drone of a washing machine was not always the theme tune to my day and where I slept, often, repeatedly, deeply and sometimes for what seems like days at a time. Blissful, uninterrupted sleep, the sleep of the innocent, the sleep of the non-parent.

But these are just vague, fleeting memories and of no consequence to me now.

Lily came into being because of the result of one very drunken evening way back in May 2006, in the days when I did drink, in the days when I did smoke, in the days when I partied hard and could remember the harsh realities of a hangover; the parched throat, the sticky lips, the JCB digging a large hole through ones jelly-like cranium. Sometimes I would take the occasional recreational flavour, sometimes I would stay up all night and pole dance on tables, sometimes I would projectile vomit over flower beds...just sometimes.

Not any more.