Monday, April 30, 2012

I know it's wrong but I do it anyway

After yesterday's post bemoaning the way my blog has become all about the baby, I return today with the worst type of baby blog post ever.  Yup, I'm just stopping by to say... look how freakin' cute my baby is!
And, moments later, slightly less cute, but endearing nonetheless.

Dulcie, snapped yesterday getting dressed for the outdoors on a tabletop in the Gallery of Modern Art.  All that art around us and I just take photos of her.  This is exactly what I was talking about!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

sunday mornings

At the weekends Graham likes to get up quite early and go out on his bike, but he usually brings me a cup of coffee before he goes.  I drink my coffee while feeding Dulcie from the comfort of my bed and reading a book.  The slow pace of the day and the peace and quiet seems to make Dulcie very relaxed and she will often have a snooze beside me on the mattress after she has finished feeding.  Weekend mornings are also the only time that the cats get to be in bed at the same time as me, having been banished from the bedroom overnight ever since Dulcie came home.  Above is the scene from last Sunday.  My side of the bed is getting to be very messy, as you can see.  I am a bit overrun by bedside books, but it's a good thing that I'm managing to get back into reading, I say!  Just at the bottom of the picture there you can see Dulcie's basket on the floor.  I realised this morning that without a stand, a moses basket is really just a dog basket.  This realisation made me feel like a very bad parent but...
... look at the scene from this Sunday morning!  Ta-da!  Last night Dulcie slept in her enormous new bed for the first time.  She seemed very pleased to wake up in such luxurious and spacious surroundings, bless her.  I found it a bit strange to have her sleeping at the bottom of our bed rather than right beside me (so far away!) but I think I will get used to it.  I am planning to use some of my prettiest vintage fabric to make sheets for Dulcie's mattress.  Since she uses those sleeping bags, she has no need for blankets etc. and I thought some '60s/'70s florals might make her bed that bit more snazzy.  I was just going to hem the edges and make flat sheets, but I think I might try to make some elasticated/fitted sheets instead as they are so much easier to put on.  I don't think it would be all that hard and we'll be using this bed for years so it should be worth the effort.  Watch this space... but not with bated breath!  Actually, my mum is coming to stay soon so I might use her visit to give it a go, although I did promise myself I'd use her visit to get some urgent tidying/cleaning done.  Still, the main thing I wanted to tidy/clean was the craft room so it would be rude not to try to do some crafting too!  And then (woo hoo!) I'll have something other than a baby to blog about... if you class handmade baby sheets as craft-related rather than baby-related.  Hmmm.

I have noticed that some of my followers are disappearing and other followers are taking their place quite seamlessly.  I never worry much about how many/few followers I have, but it is bothering me that my "demographic" may be changing.  It makes me feel that my core self might have been changed by motherhood and I still really want to be the same old me.  I can assure you I am still the same old me really, just me with no time to do anything/blog about anything not related to Dulcie.  I even considered not blogging until I feel like balance has been restored, but decided against it because 1) my blog is really just a diary moderated (in order to stop me getting maudlin) by the fact that anyone can read it, 2) I might want to remember all the mundane nonsense that goes along with this time in my life and 3) balance may never be restored.  So I will keep blogging and hope that not everybody will have jumped ship by the time I surprise you with an out-of-this-world craft-related post.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

holiday (much needed)

 Last week, for the first time since everything kicked off in November, I had not a single medical appointment.  Wowsers.  My mum suggested that Dulcie and I should make the most of it and go and spend the week in Elgin with her and my dad.  I so, so, so wanted to be there, but was very anxious about undertaking the long train journey (over four hours) on my own with a small baby and all her associated gubbins.  I almost chickened out and didn't go, but actually the journey was better than usual and Dulcie was the ideal travelling companion.  There she is, chilling out on the seat beside me with her crocheted blanket (one of them!) and her new favourite monkey toy.  She fed most of the way to Elgin, slept on my chest most of the way back and hardly cried at all in either direction.  What a star.
When we got to Elgin, I knew we'd made the right decision in going.  My mum usually bakes a little something whenever I visit, but since she retired recently she has much more time to devote to such things and had prepared an entire afternoon tea, all home made.  There was coffee and pecan cake, cherry and apricot scones, bran loaf and tiffin, all absolutely delicious.  You can see it there, displayed on my granny's amazing cake stand.

Dulcie seemed to love being in my mum and dad's house.  It is the polar opposite to our flat - warm, clean, tidy, organised and calm.  She also had a proper cot to sleep in instead of a basket on the floor and a lampshade above her bed that made her laugh every time she woke up, though I'm not sure why. I did think perhaps it looked like a giant boob with a brass nipple?  I thought her sleep routines might have been disrupted by the change of venue, but she actually slept better than ever, falling asleep a good few hours earlier than she usually does.  She continued this for the first couple of days after we got back, but is now back to staying up late and making demands on her bleary-eyed mother long past a sensible bedtime.

 She was very happy to have cuddles on tap all day every day.  Here she is with Grandapod, looking sceptical. 
And here she is having her morning snooze on Granny's shoulder, an activity she enjoyed every single day.
 And a wee close-up of her peaceful and contented face.

The weather (not that you'd know it from these photos) was horrible - thunder and lightning and constant rain - so we didn't get out and about much, but I was more than happy to mooch around my mum and dad's house, just getting the time to feel slightly human and love being with Dulcie again.  Some friends and relations also came round to visit and Dulcie charmed them all and got yet more cuddles.
My mum had looked out lots of baby toys including some, like the spinny thing above, that were once mine.  Dulcie learned to hold things while we were on holiday (she's loving her new rattle!) and got quite obsessed with trying to make this rabbit jiggle back and forth.  She had to concentrate so hard, but by the end of the week she was putting out one finger and twanging the little button with varying degrees of success.  I was so happy to see her doing something new.  The consultant at her recent premature baby appointment told us that she'll be slow to reach physical milestones because she is so tiny and therefore not strong enough to do things that you might expect from a baby of her age (although she should be all caught up by the time she's about two) so I felt like her not gaining weight would just hold her back in so many ways and was quite down about it.  Seeing her working so hard to learn new things and succeeding made me chill out a bit about it all.  And she was weighed again when we got back to Glasgow and had gained a decent amount while we were away.

I'm so glad we went on this little girls-only minibreak.  It was like a second honeymoon for Dulcie and I, and I think I really needed to take a step back from things and get a bit of TLC.  Hopefully now we've braved the journey once we will be able to visit more regularly.  My next few weeks are not looking too busy appointments-wise, but I'm not sure Graham would forgive me if I took Dulcie away again quite so soon!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

brightening my day, every day

I've been finding things hard lately.  My most recent medication increase has left me fainty and exhausted to the point where just changing a nappy can leave me in tears of tiredness.  Add to that a horrible cold and a blocked milk duct (ouch) and you get one miserable lady.

Dulcie was weighed yesterday and we discovered she's not been gaining weight as she should, which is hard for me not to feel responsible for and depressed about.  I have been trying to feed her pretty much constantly ever since, not that I'm convinced there's much in my withered dugs... as TS Eliot might say!  I'm trying my best, but will find out at her next weigh-in whether my best is good enough.  I suspect it might not be.

But how could I possibly be in a bad mood when I am greeted like this every single morning?  I love this baby!

p.s. Yes, Dulcie is sleeping on the floor at the moment.  Graham broke the stand for her moses basket with his super-human strength while changing the sheet.  We'll be getting a proper cot for her very soon anyway so she is making do with this for now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

what's the beef?

Cow Butcher Cuts Print by spottedsparrow
Cow Butcher Cuts Print, a photo by spottedsparrow on Flickr.
Yesterday I made a beef casserole. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to eat any of it. I don't think seeing the meat in its raw state helped as it made me very aware that an animal had died for this and here was its dead flesh. The casserole smelled lovely when it was cooking, but I sniffed a piece of beef once it was on my plate and it just had that horrible butchery smell that makes me want to wretch. I did manage to eat a couple of pieces of carrot and turnip that had been in the casserole with the meat (something I wouldn't normally do) but that was as far as it went. Graham quite enjoyed his (I was worried it would be horrible since it was my first attempt at cooking meat and I didn't really know what I was doing) but I was left very hungry and had to resort to eating cheese on toast later in the evening.

I feel like this was a big setback in my devegetarianisation process and I can't imagine ever eating any meat now. Or fish. And do I really want to anyway? Why am I doing this in the first place? I'm just not sure any more. Sigh...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

blue sky thinking

Remember last week, when it was suddenly summer, before the snow hit again?  Ah, the skies were so blue back in those halcyon days.  We took a daytrip to Helensburgh, where we had to fashion a makeshift sun hat for Dulcie (using her speuchle cloth a.k.a. the muslin for mopping up sick) and Graham got sunburn and had to delay getting a haircut so that he wouldn't have a big white strip on his forehead.
Ice cream was frankly necessary, but we didn't have tablet ice cream from this bike/freezer combo.
Instead, we had chocolate caramel shortcake ice cream (mmmmm!) from this cafe, coaxed in by this spoon-wielding boy in a giant cone.
A family portrait.  We used my new birdy scarf to make shady curtains for Dulcie's pram.  Ever the resourceful mother (though I feel more like a makeshift mother when I see all the other babies with their made-for-purpose gadgets and gizmos).
Here I am sitting by the water's edge with a flattering back light.  We sat here and ate dinner, which was... a fish supper!  Graham persuaded me to share one with him and it turned out to have two big pieces of battered fish in it.  I thought I might just manage a few mouthfuls, but I managed to eat a whole piece of fish and actually quite enjoyed it.  It was much easier to eat than the fishcake and I didn't get the dead flesh horror the next day either.  Go me!  This is great progress in my devegetarianising process.
This is a much less flattering light than the last picture, obviously, but it demonstrates a couple of things perfectly - 1) Dulcie's thumb-sucking obsession (cute) and 2) my horrific post-pregnancy hair loss.  Nooo!  Over the last month or so my hair has been falling out in handfuls.  Hopefully the situation stabilises soon before I am completely bald.  My habit of tying my hair back when wet and not thinking about it again does not help the situation either.  I am planning to get all my hair chopped off into a bob or similar.  I feel like a dowdy old ugly bug at the moment, but the light-headed effect of a drastic chop will hopefully perk me up.  If I can find the time to visit the hairdresser.

Friday, April 6, 2012

botanica amateurica*

When the weather turned nasty earlier this week, Dulcie and I ended up being practically the only people in the Botanic Gardens one afternoon, a huge change from the previous sunny week when we had to wedge ourselves in sideways.  Not knowing what else to do for entertainment on such a dreich afternoon, I took some photos of plants.  You might recognise the plant above (I think it's called a fritillaria or something) from the lovely drawing by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  That was the first place I saw one of these and always presumed the chequered pattern was a stylistic thing/artistic licence until I finally came across one in real life and was quite delighted to discover they really did look like that.
These little white flowers looked pretty unassuming until...
Shazzam!  Gorgeous purple and yellow insides.
Here's a shot with my fingers for scale.  Teeny tiny.
And all the while this little flower had a lovely long snooze in her pram.

*entirely made-up Latin.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I just don't know what to do with myself

Guess who's still snoozing away in her sleeping bag, where she has been since 11.30pm?  This is the first time Dulcie has slept right through the night (hooray!) and I don't know what to do with myself.  For one thing, I am scared to move in case my boobs actually explode.  Could this be the start of wonderful things or was it a one-off?  Actually, she did wake up at 5.30ish as usual, but I went to the toilet before feeding her.  By the time I came back, she had fallen asleep sucking her thumb and that's how she has been ever since.  I even gave her a little prod at about 8am but she just responded with slightly more vigorous thumb sucking.  Sook, sook, sook.  This feels weird.  I actually kind of want to wake her up now.  I miss her!  (I will look back at this and laugh at myself when I'm in a puddle of exhausted tears and breast milk later this afternoon.)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

stamps ahoy!

I went a bit mad buying stamps this week as I thought the prices went up today. Last night I was kicking myself for not having bought more (I only got a measly 160 stamps altogether!) before the post office closed for the day. Today I discovered that the prices don't go up until the end of the month so I'll be able to stock up some more. Hooray! It's tricky to decide how many to get though. The woman in the post office was trying to sell me large letter stamps in books of 50 and I scoffed at the idea, but now I'm thinking it would be stupid not to. They're good for ever so I suppose all I need to do now is work out how many letters and large letters I'm likely to send in the whole of the rest of my life... That's it decided - I will sink my life savings into tiny pictures of the Queen! I hope the stupidly expensive new prices don't put people off sending letters (to me). I think I will be switching to mainly second class postage, but I'm determined to keep good old fashioned snail mail going. Maybe this hike in prices will force some amazing competitor out of the woodwork? We can but hope.