Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nuzzling and snuggling

Usually, when M is in the country, he gives Little Planet her first feed of the day around 7am, while I shower and get ready, and then he takes her down to the kitchen, sits her in her bouncy chair and has his breakfast. I then come down and he goes upstairs to get ready for work. After he has left, Little P is ready for her nap and our day moves on.

This week, M is away again and the baby and I have been doing things a little differently. We snooze for longer in the morning and I feed her at 7.30am instead, and then I put her in her cot surrounded by toys while I shower. I get back to the room within 10 minutes and then I put her in the centre of the bed, put on BBC News on our bedroom TV, surround her with some toys and then she watches me as I get dressed. She is particularly mesmerised by me brushing and blow-drying my hair and putting cream on my skin. Then I lie down next to her on the bed. She is now just in her nappy, as opposed to fully dressed when M is here and looking after her in the kitchen. I watch the news and nuzzle into her, and I stroke her skin - her chest, her neck, her legs, her feet - with my hands and her toys. She smiles at me and holds her toys and snuggles into me and we stay like this together, snuggling and nuzzling, for half an hour or so before my stomach growls and I have to dress her and take her down to the kitchen for my breakfast.

I am loving my early mornings with her, just the two of us.

Though I am still waiting impatiently for it to be just the three of us again, this Saturday...

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Little Planet has reached a number of milestones in the last week or so. She's grasping her toys and reaching out for them, she's doing tummy time at 90 degrees and often fully supporting herself on outstretched arms, she's bringing her hands together, she's holding her feet, she's reaching out to touch things, she's let out a couple of chuckles, and she's successfully moved from her Moses basket (bassinet) to her cot.

Here she is being propped up in her cot, which she really enjoys...

And she enjoys watching the Tweenies on her tummy!

And this weekend, Little Planet met some of our milestones. We took her shopping down Bond Street, then she joined us for coffee at our favourite cafe in Soho - Fernandez & Wells...

And then she enjoyed watching the pigeons, fountain and particularly the people strolling through Russell Square. The next milestone we want her to meet is to join us at a gallery.

M is away in the States again all this week and so it is just Little Planet and myself. He left this morning at the ungodly hour of 5am but I miss him already. I am enjoying spending time with Little Planet more and more now that she is becoming more interactive and expressive (I am enjoying her more at 3 months than at 1 and 2 months). And my love for her is growing each day too as I get to know her better (I admit that when she was a newborn I couldn't quite relate to this wriggling little thing who couldn't do much but was so needy and demanding of my time - I have never been a "baby person"). But I miss adult company and I miss someone sharing the parenting load with me. I am not cut out, temperamentally, to be a stay-at-home-mum (though I admire SAHMs immensely - looking after babies fulltime is a much tougher job than being a working professional) and I have always intended to return to work after my maternity leave finishes. My mother-in-law, mother and many of my friends are busy this week so it will be a lonely one for me. I just need to keep busy and pray the week goes by quickly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunny days

M and I were out and about alot this weekend because my mother-in-law was here again with us and she looked after Little Planet for a couple of days. Our weekend activities this week included...
  • Lunching on spinach with sesame sauce and tempura of pumpkin, asparagus, green beans, sweet potato, carrot and mushroom at Toku restaurant in the Japan Centre on Piccadilly
  • Choosing a 100% wool carpet and soundproofing underlay for Little Planet's nursery
  • Watching the Tweenies on CBeebies with Little Planet as she lay on her stomach and babbled away at the characters Bella, Fizz, Jake and Milo
  • Viewing several art exhibitions: reinterpretations of Native American life as depicted in paintings by Kent Monkman at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, Suzanne Treister's transcriptions of newspaper headlines into alchemical drawings at the Annely Juda Fine Art, and Wyndham Lewis' portraits of friends such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce and Ezra Pound at the National Portrait Gallery
  • Browsing babywear at Fenwick department store on Bond Street and buying two cute spotty sleepsuits from Baby Gap on Regent Street
  • Buying traditional sweets such as acid drops, rhubarb and custard sweets and dolly mixture from Fortnum & Mason
  • Watching the mildly engaging and very subtle Unrelated movie at the cinema
  • Buying cookware from John Lewis on Oxford Street and assorted cheeses and crackers and fish from the Food Hall
  • Strolling through Russell Square in the glorious sunshine
  • Buying magazines from Borders, and browsing gardening, parenting and cooking books from Foyles and Japanese photobooks in Claire de Rouen, all on Charing Cross Road
  • Viewing Dryden Goodwin's large black and white photos of strangers in London streets at the Photographers' Gallery in Covent Garden
  • Snacking on coffee and Portuguese custard tarts at Fernandez & Wells in Soho
  • Browsing menswear in Brooks Brothers, Gieves & Hawkes and Jil Sander - M eventually buying a deep charcoal wool suit from Nicole Farhi and a light grey jumper from John Smedley
  • Snacking on charcuterie and sipping red wine in the tapas bar Dehasa on Ganton Street
  • Dining at Korean restaurant Biwon near Holborn on kimchi, chilli chicken stew and bi bim bab - a stew of vegetables, beef and chilli paste on a bed of rice and a raw egg broken on top and served sizzling hot in a clay pot
  • Enjoying a barbecue in the garden
Wasn't it a gloriously sunny and warm weekend? This coming week, I have a visit from my parents to look forward to. The week after that, I am not looking forward to M being away again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend notes

  • Hanging white sheets up to dry on the line in the glorious sunshine
  • Viewing the throwaway but enjoyable The Women remake at the Apollo
  • Eating tofu salad and crab sushi rolls at Itsu
  • Viewing Mari Sunna's disturbingly beautiful Winter Pictures exhibition at The Approach
  • Buying tuna steaks from the John Lewis Food Hall and eating them lightly grilled with a rocket, avocado and pine nut salad
  • Buying goats cheese, sourdough bread, plums, apples and chocolate cake from the Alexandra Park farmers' market
  • Painting the nursery
  • Pruning the shrubs in the garden in a Japanese style
  • Lounging around reading trashy People and US magazines
  • Eating roasted chicken for Sunday dinner along with homemade pesto made with basil from our garden
  • Getting down on the floor with Little Planet during her tummy time sessions and taking a zillion photos and videos as she holds herself up at 90 degrees, attempts to reach out for her toys, makes crawling movements and rolls over from tummy to back
  • Changing her outfits a thousand times as she dribbles on them all due to teething (the teeth may not actually appear for a while though)
  • Getting frustrated because she is feeding less and in a fussy manner but this may be due to her gum discomfort or another developmental issue - will observe over next week or so
  • Laughing over the fact that she now shouts out loud and relentlessly when she wants our attention!
  • Little Planet has a new friend. It's no longer Mr Sunshine but Mr Dinosaur

Sunday, September 07, 2008

3 months old

This little cherub reached the almighty age of 3 months today. Happy birthday, Little Planet!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Eating well

I always look forward to M's return after time spent away for work, not least because I eat so much better. Here are just some of the dishes my husband has cooked since he's returned from the States and been on holiday for a week at home. This on top of decorating the nursery.

Lamb stew with pumpkin and pomegranate...

Numbing hot Sichuan chicken...

Roasted pork loin on a bed of red cabbage with cauliflower gratin...

I am so glad M loves to cook.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Chaos central

The gardeners are in sprucing up our garden and putting up a shed, and M's been stripping and re-wallpapering the nursery as we want to transition Little Planet into her own cot and room in a few weeks. So there are alot of loud men and loud noises clattering through our home. Little Planet is fussing more whilst feeding. And it's so noisy that all her daytime naps have been disrupted, so I have to wheel her around the neighbourhood to encourage her to sleep. Yesterday, I wheeled her for a total of four hours - two and a half hours in one go - and I can't stop moving otherwise she wakes up. The positive? She's less grouchy because she's napped reasonably well, and I get a shed load of exercise. Luckily her night time sleep is still good. She has been sleeping through from 6.30 through 7 for some time now and we only have to wake her for the 11pm feed. Until we can get more calories into her during the day, we will have to continue the 11pm feed, which is a shame as I'd rather we didn't have to wake her. Hopefully when she starts solids in a month or two...

Little Planet will be 3 months old in two days.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New discoveries, reprise

And today, Little Planet made the connection between the spinning of the wooden red teddy on her BabyBjorn bouncing chair and her own hand. When she spun it, she looked at the teddy, looked at her hand, then looked at her arm. Then she kept repeating the process. It's wonderful when parents can be present to witness such discoveries, as The Normal Self can attest to.