Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Radio Lily

Some nights when we tuck Lily up in her cot she chunters through the ever growing list of all the words she knows, giving most airtime to the ones she has learnt that day. It sounds like she is repeating them over and over and over, like a little mantra, so as not to forget them.
We sit and listen to her babbling through the monitor until she drifts off to sleep... it makes great radio.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Speedy

My daughter has learnt to run, which means now I'll have to :(

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Butter and Honey

Although Lily's oral vocabulary is still quite small I am constantly amazed at her level of understanding, she will carry out quite complicated instructions to the letter such as "Can you go upstairs and fetch Mummy's bag and take out your stripey cat slippers and put them on please and then come back down and make me some tea and toast with lots of butter and honey?"....well, almost.
Usually going upstairs to retrieve things results in some minor deviation along the way such as collecting assorted cuddly toys to accompany her on the journey down or dive-bombing a sleeping cat. Once or twice she has appeared in a completely different outfit to the one she departed in having rummaged in the dressing up box en route.
Lily is still in the 'obedient/aim to please' phase so is particularly handy to have around at the moment; she is great at tidying up, putting stuff in the bin and hanging out the washing. Unfortunately she is equally fantastic at raiding my linen cupboard for towels to wear on her head as she blindly careers round the house bumping in to things.

A Tidy Bedroom

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Postscript to Party Girls


Sometimes I daydream about disappearing from it all, whisking my lovely family off to sunnier climes and leaving civilization behind, bivouacking in the outback or joining some hippy-dippy peace camp in the Ukraine. After Wren's party I was all glowey and waxing lyrical about how delightful it is to have friends nearby, better still that our children are all growing up together. It makes me smile when I think about Wren and Martha and Maisie and Harald (and all the others soon to join them) being such an important part of each other's lives and sharing these wonderful childhood memories together.
I would not leave this behind for the world.

Party Girls

Wren and Lily at Wren's 1st birthday party, messing about in drawers. We haven't gone down the whole baby proofing road and now I'm beginning to wish we had...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Vivienne and Pinky Bunny

Next to Tinker and Daddy and hopefully me, Lily's most favourite things ever...
Having been slightly thrown by the whole doll phenomenon I am much relieved that her best loved has turned out to be a punk with pink fishnets.

Round Two

Been lax of late at blogging but nothing to do with an absence of Lily news more to do with me being up the duff again. Round two of feeling exhausted, nauseous and devoid of fun. 10 weeks I think, maybe 11. Hopefully some energy will appear with the arrival of the next trimester.
How different this pregnancy is to the first, no rest for tired little old me when I have an extremely active toddler to chase about the house and no time for the endless navel gazing I took part in first time round.
Never realised vomiting could be a spectator sport but Lily insists on posting a vigil next to the toilet as I heave up my breakfast repeatedly....this is no time to wonder "just what have I done?"

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Getting Organised


Have just bought this for my girl's Xmas present and am very excited. It's not the lovely hand crafted Waldorf/Steiner beauty that I had my eye on but it will serve it's purpose I hope, and give us many plates of imaginary cakes for years to come.

Happy Talking

I have an 18 month old. A vocal 18 month old, it was a long while coming but she is definitely getting the hang of speaking and all it's repetitive possibilities. Star and Car are absolute favourites at the moment and Boo and Biored which I think might be disguising itself as Bird but with a slight New York twang. Fortunately, (or more truthfully) unfortunately we have not managed to loose the pointing. I imagine she will still be playing the delightful pointing game well in to her thirties.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Miss Polly

A world of dolls and prams and pink things have arrived at our house, unannounced. Not sure how this can be as I planted cars and workbenches and tool kits at the bottom of her toy basket but one dolly slipped in unnoticed and suddenly became flavour of the month and they rapidly multiplied, leaving a trail of woollen hats and booties and tiny knitted panties all over my house.
Lily never seems to tire of the undress/dress game or of pushing them endlessly round the block in her (pink) buggy or of tucking them up in her (pink) bunk beds and kissing them repeatedly like they are her long lost orphaned babies.

Nap

I just want to record for posterity that there was brief period of time when Lily would take herself off to bed for a nap in the afternoon...
It didn't last long but it happened.

Brid

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

New Trick


Lily learnt she could do this while honing her dance moves to the Ting Tings.

First Shoe(s)

Monday, 1 September 2008

London

Lily and I are in the Big Smoke. We are staying in Chiswick for the first part of the week. Chiswick is posh, expensive and has particularly unfriendly bank tellers but apart from that we are having a very nice time. Today was charity shopping day and I bagged one doll, one plastic elephant and one rainbow wooden block. This is my girl strutting her stuff in Ravenscourt Park in the sunshine.






Holiday






Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Peace

Sometimes when Lily rises from her afternoon nap she is still very sleepy, like her Mother waking up doesn't come easily. In these moments Lily is warm bundle of soft and dreamy delight. She will cwtch up nice and tight on my chest, face nestled in to my neck, arms straight down by her sides and she will lie quiet and breathy and still and I will take this instant to drink in my daughter, her smell, her beauty but most of all her serenity.

It lasts only a moment but it is one of my very favourites.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Mama

The whole language thing is taking its sorry time. Funnily enough before Lily learnt to walk she was saying a few words when the mood took her but ever since she became irreversibly mobile (believe me I have tried) she is mostly mute and communicates only in a serious of R2D2 type beeps. Lower grunts signify disapproval or frustration or general annoyance, the higher the pitch the more excited/content/ gratified she is. Additionally she is still signing a bit, most noticeably for 'food' and 'finished', 'milk' and 'elephants' which is particularly useful as we do get a lot of long-nosed pachyderms around our way. She has recently added pig and rabbit to her repertoire. Most of the signs are made up by me but I figure as I'm the main care giver then it matters not.
Today, however, when she was particularly tired and really very cross she attached herself to my ankles and started MAMAMAMARing quite distinctly; was excited about this turn of events but am hoping that next time it might happen under pleasanter circumstances.

Friday, 8 August 2008

The Godfather Part II


We found Lily another Godfather. He is a little late for The Naming having been firmly ensconced in Australia for the most part of his life but he is none the less excellent Godfather material.
I think we have all the bases covered now, particularly the sexual orientation ones and he will be especially useful if Lily turns out to be a raving homosexual.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Dress Up

Lily had a dress up box before she was born. I thought it was probably one of the most important things I could do for my child; provide her with a selection of interesting hats, scarves, shawls, masks and fake moustaches to fire the imagination and spark off creativity. So while most anxious, soon to be parents were gathering up cotton vests, babygroes, swaddling blankets and scratch mittens I was collecting dress up.
Even at 15 months she is pretty keen on transforming into beetles, ladybirds, lizards, fairies and woof-woofs; but presently she gets the most joy out of making us wear it, the sight of which invariably sends her in to fits of hysterics.

*There are no fake moustaches. Yet.

Friday, 1 August 2008

But That's What I Got


No one told me that when I got a toddler I would also get a little person who likes to:
Don an assortment of interesting hats
Wear socks on her hands
Sport several layers on cardigans, preferably 3 at a time
Woof like a dog
Carry rucksacks everywhere
Blow kisses
Do very fine monkey and elephant impressions
Sit on steps and chairs and stools and remain perfectly still for what must be a record time for a 14 month old
Get picky about clothes and cups and toothbrushes
Get frustrated at not being able to fit enough cardigans on
Eat enormous amounts of sultanas, smoked mackerel and blueberries
Obsess over stars and daises
Dance at the merest hint of a melody...

But that's what I got.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Slide

LLT's favourite new trick is climbing up the slide, doesn't really matter how big the slide is or how petrified I am or how hard I try and point her in the direction of the steps and suggest the easier option. Lily is a very determined, adventurous beast and the playground is her new best friend; she likes to run head long into swings and Starksy and Hutch roll off the moving roundabout and she is already particularly fond of the flying fox (I have to accompany her on this, I hasten to add).
I have never realised what a potentially hazardous place a playground can be but I am desperately fighting my desire to pad the girl up in bubble wrap and stick her in a cupboard until she is 45; so I swallow my angst and force myself to take her and then congratulate myself on letting the blue touch paper ignite and managing to stand well back.

My Baby Rocks

video

Friday, 4 July 2008

13 Months

Lily walked today, not just a few tentative steps as before but full blown traversing the room and prancing about like a pro.
It has been a long time coming and really it was down to the patience of Dave who took time to give her the encouragement and audience that she needed.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

On Holiday

video

The Magic Finger


The Finger Pointing has now reached critical mass.
Nothing is safe, everything presents itself as a finger pointing opportunity although some specific things will always guarantee a reaction, namely dogs, cats, daises and buses.
Sometimes there is just a whole heap of random finger pointing going down, quick fire, where I have to second guess which object she is referring to and where abouts it might be located and try to guess what it is correctly before she is on to the next.
Lily's finger pointing is not always that accurate, I have come to realise that accuracy is not what matters; in fact most of the time I don't think she really cares too much about the actual naming of the item, she just likes to point.
Some mornings I have noticed that she wakes up on the qui vive (like a cowboy about to unholster his gun), with her little fingers already poised in the pointing position awaiting their opportunity to alert us to something terribly interesting, or not as the case may be.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Sleepover

On Saturday Mr.A and I deposited our baby with her grandparents and hot-footed it to an evening wedding do. This was the first time we have ever left her anywhere for longer than 2 hours and although she is generally quite personable I was a little anxious. The anxiety, it turned out, had nothing to do with whether Lily would behave herself and be dazzling company; but all to do with me missing her and feeling like one of my very useful limbs had been severed.
With the help of an enormous amount of booze, the actual party was manageable but Sunday was not. I woke at 8.00, even though I only went to bed at 4.00, and had ants in my pants all morning, trying to ignore the very physical 'missing Lily' pangs I felt like little knife stabs in my chest.

What will I be like when she decides to leave home?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Trumpets and Snorkles

I've been kicking myself into next week about forgetting the camera on our first visit to the beach last sat. Missy LLT just loved the feel of sand between her toes and in her sandwiches and I kept seeing these fantastic photo opportunities as her and her Daddy paddled in the slightly brownish-looking sea. I don't think I will have any problem enticing my water baby in to the waves once we get some warmer weather and some cleaner waters.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Self Congratulatory


Andy and I are repeatedly blown away by what a beautiful thing we have created.
Even on my most exhausting of days; when I spend every moment from 7.00am willing 7.00pm to arrive, it is more than likely that once she is safely tucked up we will spend most of the evening flicking through photos of Lily, watching our home movies of Lily and just generally chit-chatting about Lily and how very wonderful she is.
Sickening isn't it?
It makes me immensely proud to see this happy, charming, funny, independent little creature stand before me; chatting loudly, kissing generously and laughing freely.

Ahoy Me Hearties!




Lily has been lent a fabulous pirate ship paddling pool and she absolutely loves it. The weather here is hot, hot, hot, for a change and perfect for hoisting the mainsail and shivering her timbers. I wanted to record that we have had a least one warm week so far and that we are definitely making the most of the sunshine.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Play Group

My baby has a place at the Steiner playgroup. Makes her feel like she is a very big grown up girl indeed, makes me feel like a big old hippy. Having assessed the fellow playgroup-goers I might have made a mistake naming her something quite so sweet and simple as Lily; if I'd had known she had to fit in next to a Tamaris, Magdalena and Cyril I would have opted for something altogether different last Saturday...Bathsheba springs to mind.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday Beautiful Lily.
My, how the time has flown by, seems like only yesterday you were a tiny dot in your Mama's arms and now you are this joyous little banana shouting creature we see before us.
It was a lovely hot day and we picniced in the park and played on the swings. Your Godfather baked you muffins and we all sang happy birthday rather untunefully.
You laughed a lot and ate many daisys.
I hope all your days will be as delightful as this one.

The Naming of Names

We named Lily on Saturday.
Of course she has had a name for quite some time now, being a full One Years Old and all but something has long been nagging me about the importance of ceremonies, marking occasions and honouring rites of passage. I have been wanting to celebrate Lily's arrival and her name since she appeared but it has taken us this long to remove our heads from our backsides and make it happen.
The day turned out just splendidly and it was also an opportunity to formally introduce her godparents or 'supporters' as I am reliably informed is the correct non-religious title. It was just a joy to be surrounded by all our closest friends and family and watch them laugh and drink and eat together, getting slowly sozzled under the apple tree.
My father (who is a very fine man indeed and a published poet) wrote this poem, which made me cry:

It's May, and the blossom's off the tree, my Lily,
but not for you, though generations gather
around you. Light is playing in your hair,
and splintering in bubbles of champagne,
for this is your naming of names.

There was a day when our fathers left the forest
for holes in distant hills. The Shaman said,
"Will you be more than a herd, or a flight of birds?
How will you be different?" We could not answer
until he gave us names.

Beneath the standing boulders, gods of stone,
our tribe assembled. We had not yet dreamed
of billions howling in a swollen world.
One mother held her child, one father sang,
we drank to the gift of names.

Once more we've gathered, looking through glass, not stone,
through envious lenses can not catch us here.
and I, a relic from an earlier scene,
may spill rough verses on a tolerant crowd
who drink to Lily August.

In the faint fantastic glow of an evening sun.
I watch her grow into a silhouette
that I may never see. The film of my mind
snap-snaps at images not yet created,
time's gift to Lily August.

May she have whatever she needs to have,
and may she love whoever she ought to love,
and may she hold her children out to be named
but this is Lily August's naming day,
so drink to Lily August.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Vomit

We were up all last night with a vomiting and diarrhea baby. She repeatedly projectile vomited from 1.30 am until 5.00 am; spraying first her bed and then our bed, then Daddy and then Mummy, with an assortment of carrot chunks (why is it always carrot?) and formula ...when all liquid was spent she continued to dry heave every half an hour until eventually she fell into an exhausted sleep across my windpipe. Poor little possum.
Another parenting first but not quite as charming as all the others.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Carrot, Lentil and Butternut Squash Korma

Sometimes you spend a long time desperate for something to happen and then when it eventually does after much coaxing, cheering and 'high-fiveing' you realise that it may not be such a good idea after all. I am guessing that Lily learning to walk might be a bit like this, for today as I watched her stand unaided for a good wee while I had horrific visions of what it will be like once she is properly mobile with the art of running firmly tucked under her belt.

Slightly less of a milestone but equally thrilling for me was that yesterday Lily ate her first curry and loved it.
How could she not?

Monday, 7 April 2008

Blue Donkey


Lily walked today. Admittedly she walked with the help of Donkey (Donkey was my push-a-long walker when I was a bairn) but it was definite steps in the right direction and very many of them too...back and forth across the dining room floor. Andy and I were whooping and hollering and pleased as punch.
She has also been very chatty recently and has been saying 'Dad' for a couple of weeks now; I swear she has also said yes, no, Tinker and banana.
Andy is not quite so convinced about the banana one.

She can also high-five :)

Friday, 28 March 2008

Snot


Oh Lordy, Lilykins has a cold. Snot everywhere. A rattly Darth Vader-like cough and really very grumpy. Low-level whiny and clingy. A difficult patient, just like her Mother I am afraid.
We had to come back from our Easter break early which is a great shame as it was so much fun. Lily touched her first snow and ate her first chocolate. We cooked good food and painted and chatted and made pots and drank beer and built snow bunnies and hunted Easter eggs and decorated our Easter tree. I almost felt human again by 'getting krafty'...even though I just pottered, modelling whimsical decorations from clay.
Done me and my soul some good I reckon.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Lily Loves (II)...


Lily's new book of the month, well actually it has been book of several months. At 'night-nights' story time we sometimes have to read it twice and stare endlessly at our own reflections in the extremely unflattering plastic mirror on the very last page.

Lily Loves...


There are some toys you would be in a right old pickle if you forgot to cart them about with you. I hyperventilate if I think we have mislaid knitted carrot. Knitted carrot has saved the day on too many occasions to mention.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Swing High

There are so many 'firsts', too many to record but this is one of my favourites.

10


Lily is 10 months and it's such a delightful age. Apart from being extremely cute she is just a joy to be around; as long as sleep has been had and food has been imbibed and she is not snotting all over the place she is usually very pleasant company indeed.
My Baby is a proper little person now with particular likes and dislikes, her own set of peculiar mannerisms, foibles and eccentricities, a sense of fun and wonderment; humorous, playful and endlessly curious, full of grace and spirit and charisma.
Even if I do say so myself.
All in 10 months. All this wonderful, amazing, incredible sense of self and forming of character has all happened in 34 weeks. Along side learning to hold her head up, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, cruise around furniture, feed herself, shout very loudly, waggle her legs, pick up very small objects indeed, drink from a cup, kiss, blow raspberries, babble, shake stuff, lick cats, wave, rub noses and occasionally say Dad-Da.

Miaow

Signs of Lily believing she is of the feline persuasion are becoming more pronounced; aside from her penchant for partaking in Tinker's breakfast (yesterday she was half way through a bowl of Felix before I managed to remove it), her fur fetish, her desperation to escape through the cat flap and her adoration of Tinker. I would like to present Exhibit A as further proof, a video of LLLT transporting her toys around the house in a blatant cat-like manner. She has taken to carrying around her prized possessions in her mouth and depositing them in corners as if she were happily relocating her kindle of kittens to a safer resting place.
video

Monday, 3 March 2008

Mothering Sunday


My first Mothering Sunday, we ate egg butties and then drove out to The Deep. Hull is not a very nice place; the aquarium however, was great. Lily did some leg waggling extraordinaire, especially at the sight of the long horn cow fish but was seemingly non-plussed by the sharks and enormous tuna swimming round in a perpetual vortex. I had haddock for lunch just to show my appreciation. Lily bought me a lovely card, some very nice flowers and a bottle of excellent champagne, the girl is showing remarkably good taste at a very early age indeed.
So far in the proceedings it's a big thumbs up for Mother's day.
I like it.
Infact I like it a lot.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Dyson Girl

It seems my daughter much prefers to hoover up any manky old detritus left lying about on the floor than partake of my painstakingly created culinary masterpieces. She frequently turns her nose up at all manner of delightful dishes but will happily cruise around the carpet searching for the minutest piece of dirt to dine on.
Her favourite recent light bites being pine needles, carpet fluff, cat hair and a lump of coal.
I have seriously been tempted to spread her dinner underneath her high chair, or better still in the cat dish.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Moan


It's sucks more than I care to mention how tricky life is when Mr.A is away with work. Most nights I collapse into bed as early as humanly possible, counting all of my blessings that I am not a single parent (well, not so far) because frankly, I have no idea how they cope.
I admire, venerate and marvel at all lone parents out there for they deserve to be canonized.
Lily misses Daddy. Mummy misses Daddy. Lily misses the Mummy who is present when Daddy is home and doesn't much care for the replacement stressed and anxious Mummy.
It's wretched and I function extremely badly without enormous amounts of sleep.

This week I would mostly like to be left alone in a darkened room with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and 20 Lambert and Butler.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Hirsute


Lily's obsession with fur is, I think, slowly diminishing. For some weeks now my strange hairy girl has been chewing, licking and rubbing her face in as much fur as she can get her paws on. Mostly she loves to lick the pages of the baby textile book that has a picture of a cat with a round furry tummy or the inside of her lambs wool cosy toes which now looks decidedly bald in places. She takes much delight in grooming Tinker too, a highly unsavoury pass-time as his personal hygiene is not up to scratch these days and the preening is very one sided; all Lily gets for her care and attention is a sharp left hook, so far thankfully without claws.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Momentous

Firstly, I have actually gathered enough time around me to even think about the possibility of toe nail painting, secondly I have finally managed to do it.
Hooray for teal blue toe paint!
Hooray for daughters growing up, going to bed on time and sleeping through!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Reasons

video

Maila Nurmi

I guess if I just grew me five spanking new razor-sharp teeth I never had before I would spend most of my day biting stuff; but hey, please not your Mother's nose, hand, cheek, elbow, toe, eyebrow and all manner of other assorted body parts.
I know it's irresistible but it really f*cking hurts.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Iced Gems


The Girl has a much better social life than either of her poor, unpopular parents. At the ripe old age of 6 months she had been invited to three birthday parties, one of which we frequented yesterday. I was taking copious notes for future reference and have realised that the whole children's party thang is a highly competitive beast with Mothers outdoing one another on elaborate cake making (apparently it just HAS to be homemade so there goes my idea of purchasing a job lot of those chocolate caterpillar cakes from Tesco) and party entertainment, which is usually an outside job, clowns, magicians, face painters and the like.
Whatever happened to a plate full of iced gems, some butterfly buns and a quick game of Sleeping Lions?
We did have a great time though, Lily was far too little to have a clue about what was really happening so I happily took her place in the face painting queue, ate her share of sausages on sticks (committed veggie that I am) and drank much more than her share of nicely chilled white wine.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Fat Cat Payback


Splash Splash



'Lily Five Teeth'


If only speed crawling were an Olympic sport I could have cashed in on my daughter's amazing ability to perform the 100 cm dash in 0.02 seconds and be sunning myself in Zanzibar by now. She is a speedy little creature living life in the fast lane, fuelling herself up on apricots, tuna pasta bake and hummus on toast. Everything in our home has been elevated above floor-level so it now looks like some crazy Alice in Wonderland illustration of a house and I am constantly removing bits of sellotape, carpet fluff, electrical wiring, cat food etc... from my child's mouth and this is not an easy thing to do, not with her new set of knife-edged gnashers...'Lily 5 Teeth' (as she is now known in our Hood) and all of them protruding a very odd angles indeed.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Food, Glorious Food.


The whole weaning thing has been trudging along, somewhat indifferently for a couple of months now. I was 'VeryConcientiousMum' and washed/chopped/pureed organic stuff til I was sick of the sight of blenders, Lily would sometimes wolf down the whole bowl of unappetizing looking mush but mostly she took a few spoons and gave up. I decided recently that I might go down the whole Baby Led Weaning thing, I enjoy jumping on a bandwagon from time to time so why not?
BLW, as far as I understand it means no purees just finger foods mainly, anything large or ungainly is cut to chip size so it's easy to get ones sticky mitts round it (and the mitts do definitely get very sticky). She seems much happier with this new plan and very contentedly chomped her way through several broccoli spears and cauliflower florets. It is most inadvisable to follow this method if at all anal about mess, my carpet and Lily's leftovers have made very close friends.
Here is My Girl demolishing her first whole nectarine, most of which is now splattered rather picturesquely down one wall.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Crawler


For the longest time Lily has been up on all fours, rocking back and forth and practicing press ups like a demented baby break-dancer. She has been able to scoot about quite happily on lino for a while now and the last two weeks have seen her advancing (or rather retreating as she mainly seems to go backwards) with some knee shuffling and carpet grabbing moves.
Today at 9.12 am she crawled. An honest to goodness bone fide crawl, it wasn't for long and she didn't make it very far but the moves are most definitely there. Slightly nonplussed by her achievements she duly collapsed face down in a heap on the carpet.