Monday, 29 October 2007

The baby class I enjoy

More than a month ago, with the beginning of the new school term, Cat and I joined the Gymboree’s GymCrawlers class and started going to the local library’s Story & Rhyme sessions for under 5s. Cat loved both types of new entertainment. I was impressed with the number of books and songs plus a craft activity the librarian manages to squash into 45 minutes sessions. It was fantastic to have a new place, toys and equipment for Cat to explore at the Gymboree while getting to hear more fun songs. And I loved seeing my child get so excited about being surrounded by other kids, having hundreds of books to pull of the shelf, loud fun songs, etc. But by the end of each 45 minute session I felt tired from too much noise, unfamiliar songs and the number of other kids.

Since we missed two Gymboree sessions while Cat was sick and the time of the usual session was becoming inconvenient as her morning (and the only one) nap was getting later, I decided to try another GymCrawlers session in later afternoon and a GymWalkers one in the early morning. There were 11 other children in the late Wednesday afternoon session plus 13 adults! It was too hot, too noisy, too crowded. I came out feeling dehydrated, exhausted and having a slight headache and in comparison our usual session and the library’s story time didn’t seem too bad.

On Thursday I worried that I won’t be organized enough to make it to 9:30 Friday morning Gymboree session. But as I’m usually brilliantly efficient in the mornings, we were the first ones there. There were only 5 other kids and 4 parents. The teacher was very sweet young woman, who I liked straightaway: she interacted well with the kids; had time enough to encourage and praise their attempts to crawl, walk, clap; played music at the normal not-loud volume, and managed to create very enjoyable experience for everyone. At the end of 45 minutes I came out happy and relaxed, feeling that I enjoyed my time there not only because it was enjoyable for my child. So hurray for “early” mornings.

Sunday, 28 October 2007


Childhood has its secrets and its mysteries; but who can tell or who can explain them! We have all roamed through this silent wonder-wood – we have all once opened our eyes in blissful astonishment, as the beautiful reality of life overflowed our souls. We knew not where, or who, we were – the whole world was ours and we were the whole world’s. That was an infinite life – without beginning and without end, without rest and without pain. In the heart, it was as clear as the spring heavens, fresh as the violet’s perfume – hushed and holy as a Sabbath morning.

MEMORIES. A Story Of German Love. From The German Of Max Muller by George P. Upton

Friday, 26 October 2007


Чтo такое осень - это небо.
Плачущее небо под ногами.
В лужах разлетаются птицы с облаками.
Осень - я давно с тобою не был.
DDT. Что такое осень

(I always think of this song in autumn. Lyrics in russian & english translation can be found here. And the video of the song here.)


So far the autumn was beautiful. Most days are exactly the way I like autumn days to be: the cloudless blue sky that looks softer than the summer one; the colourful foliage that reminds me how much beauty can be found even a simple leaf if I just stop to look at it; the crispy air that smells so familiar of fallen leaves; the occasional morning fog that makes everything looks mysterious, the morning frost that turns our cheeks bright pink and the gentle sunlight that streams around us like a tender hug.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Back to health & cheerfulness

Cat is back to her cheerful and energetic self. It is great seeing her crawling all over the place, pointing at things and babbling to herself and anyone close by.

My parents love letting Cat hold onto their hands to help her walk around the flat and therefore her “walking” improved dramatically since their arrival (I’m more likely to carry her around or crawl with her on the flow – crawling around the couch after each other provides lots of entertainment for both of us).

In the first week of them being here she also learned to climb on top of their suitcase. She keeps on trying to climb on the couch and the bed, but luckily they are still a bit too high for her. Though yesterday she got one of her legs up on the bed, but got distracted by something else before managing to get the other leg up. But she can (and does) climb on the little step in front of balcony door and moves along it, turns and headbuts the window, looking scary unbalanced to my paranoid mummy eyes. (My baby sister always complained about me being overprotective towards her. I’m sure Cat will do the same once she learns to speak)

She learned to pull herself up consistently and now can occasionally be found cruising around her cot by holding onto the sides instead of sleeping. And in the last few days she figured out how to sit back down instead of falling down, which used to be scary to watch especially after few times it ended up in blood and tears.
She is totally fascinated by her belly button and spends good chunk of bath time staring and pointing at it.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Reminder to plan

Семь раз отмерь — один отрежь.
Русская пословица

Measure seven times – cut once.
Russian proverb

I decided to crochet a necklace out of wire and beads using Solomon’s knot stitch. Very quickly I discovered that there were few tiny problems with this project. I have never done anything out of wire before except few rings when I was about 7 and some manual wire wrap circuits for my electronics/computer engineering subjects at university. I have never done Solomon’s knot stitch before. But worst of all I didn’t have any plan or design in mind. After stumbling about and getting totally confused in all the wire bends, I gave up and decided to use the simplest possible stitches to make a plain bracelet.

I’m still not happy with the end result and not sure if I will ever wear it. For now I’m going to hang it above my desk to remind me about the importance of planning.

And to practice Solomon’s knot stitch I’m crocheting a shawl for myself.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Still sick

Today in the morning, while I was working, Cat fell asleep in my dad’s arms. It was such a sweet sight. Before my parents arrived I wondered what type of grandparent my dad would be. I couldn’t really picture him in the role. Don’t get me wrong - I never doubted that he’ll be a wonderful grandfather, but my imagination just wasn’t good enough to envision the details of their interaction with each other. So it is really heartening to see how comfortable they are and how much they like being together.

She was acting more energetic today and slept better, but developed nasty sounding cough. Therefore I took her to see a doctor, who prescribed antibiotics and some nasal drops. :-( My poor little darling, I hope she’ll get better soon. Thank you to everyone who is wishing her well.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Teething + cold = misery

How many times before did I say that teething SUCKs? Can I say so again? Though teething combined with cold is worse, much worse. Poor Cat started getting runny nose on Saturday and she is still sick today, though by the end of the day she started to look better. Yesterday she was miserable while awake, but struggled to stay asleep. So lots of my time was spent holding her and rocking her to sleep – few times she did fall asleep after 20 minutes of rocking to wake up again in 30 minutes. At night I gave up and just kept her in our bed as she sleeps better snuggled next to me. In theory I support co-sleeping. In practice it doesn’t work very well for me as I end up sleeping around her at the funny angles and wake up with all my joints aching.

I’m grateful that my dad is here and thankful to him for providing lots of help to me and entertainment for the little girl. Mum is currently enjoying the hospitality of her sisters in Russia.