Sunday, July 22, 2012


 I snapped this picture in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens earlier this week.  Something about it tickled my fancy and made me laugh, maybe the idea that you need a sign instructing you not to steal.  Isn't that kind of a given?
It reminded me of this picture from the Botanical Gardens in Geneva that my sister sent me in 2009.  Now, my French is 15% outdated Standard Grade, 10% French films/music and 75% made up (so correct me if I'm wrong) but I think it basically says, "There was a plant here until it was stolen by a person without scuples or respect for our collection."  I love that they had a sign made to tell visitors that after the fact while here in Glasgow we preempt such shenanigans.

Keeping along the lines of signs about stealing, when Graham was a boy, he and his friend committed a heinous crime and stole (yes, stole!) some eggs from a Portakabin.  As all good criminals do, hoping to repeat their eggy escapade, they returned to the scene of their crime a few days later only to be greeted by a sign reading, "No eggs left, you vagabonds!"  Ahh, too funny.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

saucy smiles and trouty pouts

 Yesterday morning.  Dulcie's feet suddenly touch the ground in her exersaucer thingummyjigger, proof (were it needed) that she is growing.  Now that she can spin herself around independently, she is love love loving playing in here, as you can see from her cheesy grin.  Those are new pyjamas too - size 3-6 months!  Whoop!
Yesterday afternoon.  Sunshine, a stroll round the Botanics and a lovely snooze for Dulcie.  Check out those lips!  One night in April 2011, I had a dream that the spirit of Elvis Presley made sweet love to me.  Around that time a trouty-pouty curly-lipped child was conceived.  Could it be that it wasn't a dream after all?  Spooky!

ps I just totally made up that thing about the dream.

Friday, July 20, 2012

a day out

 At the weekend we went on a family day out for a jaunt round the charity shops of the South Side.  Dulcie's hectic feeding schedule meant we set off a bit later than planned and had to miss out half our usual route, but it was still a good day.  Clarkston, where they had these swanky new benches, yielded the only finds of the day.
 I was quite enchanted by this old book of baby names, but I left it behind for someone who actually has a baby to name.  It was a very slim volume but passed the ultimate test as it had the name Dulcie in it.
 As it was listed under the rather hideous-sounding Dulcibella, I doubt anyone buying the book would end up choosing it for their baby!
 A week or two ago, I favourited this little shelf on etsy...
 ... so I was very pleased to find this beauty in the Cancer Research shop.  I officially have too many house-shaped shelves (and not a single thimble) but this one was too nice to leave behind.
Once the shops closed, Dulcie was good enough to let us go out for dinner.  We ate in The Bungo where the food is delicious.  Sorry to sound like a chav, but make sure you order something with chips.  Mmmmmm!

every time I try to get comfy...

... something like this happens.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

the high life

Last week my mum and I went to Ikea to get Dulcie a high chair.  We chose the Ikea model because it was basic, cheap (very cheap) and mainly because it has the optional addition of an inflatable cushion that wedges Dulcie in place.  We've been using the high chair for a week and I would really recommend it if you have a premature baby, or any baby who needs to eat but is not that great at sitting up by themselves yet.  Previously we were having to feed Dulcie in her bouncy chair and meal times are so much easier for me now that I don't have to sit on the floor or worry about mess.  Dulcie seems to love her new chair too and can sit unaided plenty long enough to eat a whole meal.  It is so funny to see her waggling her little dangly legs around when she gets something tasty to eat.  Her favourite foods at the moment are toast with butter and yoghurt.  The cats have got wise to the high chair and hover underneath waiting for morsels to be flung over the side.  They used to just lick the butter off her discarded toast, but now greedy Lola eats the whole lot.  Ugh.

Butter really is the order of the day at the moment.  We had an appointment with a neonatal consultant last week and, while they are mostly happy with Dulcie's progress, they said they are concerned about her tiny size, so we are having to go back every two months rather than every four.  It's all very frustrating as she has been gaining weight consistently week by week and nobody can tell me anything I should be doing differently.  She's on three solid meals a day and still has six or seven milk feeds a day on top of that.  I don't want to give her more solids in case it puts her off her milk and I don't want to give her more milk in case it puts her off her solids, so I just spend 90% of our waking hours feeding her, cross my fingers and hope for the best at every weigh-in.  This week's tactic is added butter, but I'm not sure whether the extra calories/fat will make her grow bigger or just fatter.  I wish I had a better health visitor.  Every time I ask her a question specifically related to premature babies, she just tells me she doesn't really know about that.  I pretty much gave up asking her anything months ago.  I got all my information about weaning premature babies from the fantastic charity, Bliss.  Thank goodness they exist, but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have to rely on them so much.  Bah humbug.

Edit:  I met a very good health visitor this afternoon who answered all my questions, gave me helpful advice and set my mind at rest, so we are feeling much more positive and have a plan of action.  That'll teach me to slag off the NHS!  I really do love the NHS and am sure I've already received more from them than my whole lifetime of taxes could pay for, so I shouldn't gripe about any little failings like I did above.  Sorry, NHS!

Monday, July 9, 2012


Dulcie just popped up to say hello while I had my camera out today.  She's getting pretty good at holding her head up like this, but seems to have stopped rolling over from her tummy to her back for some reason.  Her previous rolling technique involved getting into this position and toppling herself over.  Whee!  Hopefully she starts doing it again soon.  She can now roll from her back to her side, so in theory she could go through 270 degrees.  Impressive, huh?  She's still making no attempts to crawl, but moves around a lot more while she's on her back.  In bed she spins round 90 degrees and then throws her legs in the air repeatedly until she manages to turn on the musical birds at the side of her cot using her foot.  It's very cute, but a bit unnerving when she does it at 4am!
"Dribbling?  Who, me?!"  Yes, the teething continues, but no sign of any actual teeth as yet.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

clenched or relaxed

Arse tea cosy by Crueltea on Etsy

I'm trapped under a snoozy baby (catching up after her sleepless nights in Elgin, I think) and have been entertaining myself by mooching around on Twitter.  I got caught up reading an interesting thread of posts about made-up family games.  Our family had lots of made-up games, but the one that sprung to my mind and the one that I wanted to share here was Clenched Or Relaxed, a game I made up as a teenager.  The rules are simple.  While walking, player one says, "Clenched or relaxed?" and player two has to guess whether player one's buttocks are, you guessed it, clenched or relaxed.  It takes quite a degree of skill not to give away your buttock status in your walk.  Graham is never particularly keen to play, but I'm hoping Dulcie will enjoy it (or indulge me!) when she's older.

Do you play any made-up games?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

day in the life - 3.7.12

Dulcie and Patch, two of the day's major protagonists.
1.30am - Dulcie wakes up for a feed and it's not the first one of the night either.  Ugh.  I'm so tired after a few nights of this behaviour that I take her into the big bed with me and sleep while she feeds.  Eventually she falls asleep too.

3.30am - Dulcie wakes up for another feed.  Again, ugh.  This time I put her back in her cot to sleep because I never fully sleep when she's in bed beside me for fear that I smother her or kick her out by accident.  I go to the toilet and meet Patch the elderly three-legged cat on the way.  He says, "Miaow."  We're at my mum and dad's house by the way, in case you were confused that our cats had changed name and lost a limb!

5.30am - Yup, you guessed it - milk time.  This is like the dark days of many months ago.  So tired.

7.00am - You have got to be kidding me, Dulcie.  

7.30am - At least she goes back to sleep afterwards.

7.40am - Or does she?  Nope, she's decided it's time to get up for the day and she is inexplicably full of energy.  Surely she's had as little sleep as me?  We go downstairs to change her nappy and we play with her toys on the floor.  My dad is up already and offers to look after Dulcie for me, but I don't feel like I'd get back to sleep anyway, so he makes me a coffee instead.  Patch comes to investigate what we're up to.

8.30am - My mum gets up and gives Dulcie (now grumpy) a bit of a cuddle, where she falls asleep.  Not fair, I say.  I go and have a shower and get dressed.

9.15am - Dulcie is still sleeping on my mum's shoulder.  My granny is up now, telling stories about people from Islay, where she lives.  The postman arrives with a birthday parcel for my granny and a book catalogue for my mum, which I open and read.

10.00am - Dulcie is still asleep so I decide to make myself some breakfast - veggie bacon and a buttery, a local high-fat delicacy (the buttery, not the veggie bacon!) - but as soon as the bacon hits the pan, Dulcie wakes up and decides she wants to be fed.  I wolf my breakfast and feed Dulcie.

Two of Dulcie's favourite songs, filmed last week.  She does usually react more than this (what I was trying to capture) but she got distracted by the camera.  I hired a professional singer for the recording, naturally.

10.45am - I get Dulcie dressed and we play on the floor and then sing some songs.  She likes the ones that involve being thrown in the air.  It's not easy to throw her around when I feel this tired.  All through the day I hear everyone humming Eyes Nose Cheeky Cheeky Chin and The Little Green Frog.  This just goes to show just how much time I spend singing ridiculous songs these days.  My granny gives Dulcie a cuddle while I get some food out of the freezer for her lunch later.

11.15am - Dulcie is getting grumpy so I take her and give her a cuddle and almost immediately she falls asleep on my shoulder, where she stays for about an hour.  Tired much, Dulcie?  Hmm, I wonder why that might be...  My dad has to go to a funeral today so he heads out.

Dulcie, her great-granny and that helium balloon.
12.15pm - My mum takes Dulcie while I finish getting her lunch ready.  The paper boy sees Dulcie through the window and rings the doorbell so he can meet her.  My mum tells Dulcie to look out because he is a bad boy.  He says, "Look out, Dulcie, she's a bad granny!"  My mum and dad's paper boy is funny.  I give Dulcie her lunch (a random vegetable medley followed by slices of nectarine, her favourite dessert) but she's not massively interested today.  I eat lunch (sandwiches made from leftovers from my granny's birthday buffet followed by homemade shortbread and carrot cake) while Dulcie plays on the floor and has her grasp of gravity threatened by watching a helium balloon.  She's happy for a while, but then starts shouting for food.  Other babies I know who are on solids have just two or three milk feeds a day.  Dulcie is now on feed number seven for today and it's only lunchtime.  I'm so tired!

The Fisher Price big wheel.  Look at the grumpy expression on the face of the boy who is destined to crank the handle for all eternity.
1.45pm - My mum offers to take Dulcie for a walk so I can get some sleep.  I go to get Dulcie ready and she gets distracted by a vintage Fisher Price big wheel.  It plays a very pretty tune and keeps her entertained in a very quiet way for a good ten minutes.  I get Dulcie into her pushchair and she heads out for a walk with my mum and granny.  I receive strict instructions to go for a sleep, which sounds like a good idea, but I catch up on a couple of blogs and type up my day in the life so far instead.  Very silly of me.

3.00pm - I decide a nap probably is a good idea after all.  I get slightly distracted reading a few pages of my book (The Tiger's Wife) but then doze off in my mum and dad's bed.

Reading in the back garden.
4.00pm - I hear Dulcie and co get home and get out of bed.  The nap has not made me feel any better.  I come downstairs to find Dulcie is still asleep in her pram so I make myself a cup of tea and take it out to the back garden where I read my book until Dulcie wakes up and demands to be fed.  I feed her in the back garden then take her inside to play on the floor.

My mum and dad circa 1971.  Check out the pins on my mum!
Oh no!  They're snogging!
5.00pm - I take a fruity concoction out of the freezer and start boiling some sweet potato sticks for Dulcie's dinner.  My dad has taken out some old photo albums for my granny to look at so I have a look through them.  I reckon my mum should have been a model.  I do look like her, but a version of her that's been beaten with the ugly/lumpy stick!  Ha!  There is an old menu in the photo album and I am shocked to discover that a fancy pizza in an Italian restaurant only cost 40p in the 1970s!  I get so engrossed in the photo albums that I forget all about the sweet potato sticks on the cooker.  Fortunately my mum is efficient as well as good looking and has rescued them just as they were about to boil dry.

Dulcie's very first high-chair experience.  She does well, but does need to be wedged in place with a cushion.
(Edit:  I just noticed the big pink pants in the background!  I apologise to whoever they belong to!)
5.30pm - Dulcie tries out a high chair for the first time and does very well with it.  She eats a few sweet potato sticks (she's only ever had pureed sweet potato before so it's a very good attempt) then wolfs down a huge portion of mushed up banana, mango and grapes with wheat flakes.

6.00pm - More singing, but Dulcie is on the turn so I take her to play with my dad's computer.  That perks her up and then she plays on the floor with her great-granny for a while.

6.45pm - My mum has made dinner for us.  Dulcie is shouting again so my mum and dad take turns to walk around with her while the rest of us eat.  They would both rather cuddle Dulcie than eat dinner and always race to finish their food first, though they would deny that.

7.15pm - My mum and granny give Dulcie her bath.

7.30pm - I feed Dulcie until she falls asleep looking like an adorable version of Mick Jagger.  Trout pout!

8.10pm - I take Dulcie up to her bed thinking she'll want more milk, but she falls asleep when I put her down so I head back downstairs with my fingers crossed.  I take some photos of the amazing printing sets my mum got for me recently (more on that in another post) until I hear Dulcie screaming blue murder from upstairs.

My mystery printing sets, a present from my mum.
8.20pm - Another wee feed for Dulcie and then she settles into bed sucking her thumb so I go back downstairs and finish photographing the printing sets.

9.00pm - Graham phones from Glasgow.  He didn't sleep well last night either so we yawn at each other for a few minutes and then hang up.

The very tiny foal.
9.30pm - My mum and I walk to the end of the street to see the tiny new foal.  I have a very strong aversion to horses normally, but this foal is truly tiny and freakin' cute!  It comes up to the fence to see us, wobbles about on its ridiculously long legs and chases rabbits round the field as though it was a puppy.

10.00pm - Back in the house I finally cave in to offers of whisky.  Just a little one.  Bah.  My dad cracked open his collection of single malts when he retired recently so there are a few very nice bottles on the go.  I am generally enjoying being a booze-free zone but I do so love nice whisky.  And nice wine.  Beer has its place in my heart too.  I had a glass of champagne on Sunday for my granny's 80th birthday, so this has been a very boozy few days for me - at least two units of alcohol over three days!

11.00pm - I show my mum and dad the Egyptian Playmobil set I've got my nephew for his birthday so that they don't buy him the same one and then head to bed with fingers firmly crossed that Dulcie is not quite so hungry tonight.

11.25pm - Dulcie wakes up for a feed and when I put her back in her cot just before midnight she looks decidedly awake.  All I can say is that you're lucky Day In The Life finishes at midnight because it's a long and sorry tale from midnight onwards!  Yawn!

technical wiz kid

 I'm not sure if it really is technology that fascinates Dulcie or if she is just curious about whatever she sees us doing.  Whatever the reason behind it, the laptop is a source of great interest to her at the moment.
We discovered that Fisher Price have some free online games for babies and toddlers to play, even babies as little as Dulcie.  Every time she presses a key, an animal pops out and shouts, "Peekaboo!"  Does she think this is all the laptop can do and wonder why we spend so much time playing it?  She seems to enjoy it anyway.  I'm sure it won't be long before her technical knowhow leaves both her parents in the dark.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

black bunny

The hat I knitted for Dulcie when she was the size of a grain of salt finally fits and, fortunately, we had one day cold enough to wear it lately.  Little black bunny ears - so cute.  Let's hope the sun stays tucked away for a wee while longer or (to be fair to the rest of you) that the hat stretches enough to still fit her come autumn.
This photo turned out rather strangely, but I like it.  It looks like she's flying through the air superhero style, I think.  Super Bunny to the rescue!

(My brain is not what it used to be.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

thumb sucker extraordinaire

I started preparing this post ages ago so the photos below are getting on a bit, but the one above is from this week.  Dulcie is a thumb sucker.  She has been for ages.  When she was very tiny, it took her a lot of manoeuvering and arm waving before she would get lucky and get her thumb (always the left one) in there.  Nowadays she just shoves it straight in there at any given opportunity.  Cuddling her monkey while she sucks is a new thing though.
It's such a cute habit (for now - maybe not when she's still doing it at the age of 16!) and was a total lifesaver when it came to sleeping in the earlyish days.  Until Dulcie discovered her thumb, she couldn't settle herself at all, but now when she wakes up in the night we just hear, "Sook, sook, sook," and she's straight back off to sleep.
Dulcie usually shoves her thumb in her mouth the moment she has finished feeding, a bit like an old man having a pipe after dinner.  One of her favourite things to do is to be held up on somebody's right shoulder with her left thumb in her mouth and her right arm around their neck, holding onto their hair if it's long enough.  She is such a cuddly baby and I'm glad about that.