Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Cot Walking

Recently no matter when we put Cat to bed it takes 10-30 minutes of funky gymnastics for her to fall asleep.

She rolls from her back to her tummy, often getting her legs or her left hand stuck between the cot bars.

She smiles, laughs and makes all sort of excited noises.

She grabs hold of the bars and, like a hamster in an exercise wheel, vigorously moves her little feet without getting anywhere.

Eventually she falls asleep to wake up 45 minutes later.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Discovering the world: dresses

Thanks to the very warm weather Cat got to wear a dress for the first time. Perhaps I should put her into dresses more often as people always ask if she is a boy. She has few “boy” outfits, because I often find “girl” outfits too girlish and prefer deep green, blue, brown and orange colours to the bright toxic pink and yellow ones. Though maybe it doesn’t matter what she wears – as people call her “he” even when she has a pink hat and pink flowery top on.

Music suggestions?

and I'm becoming transfixed
with nature and my part in it
which I believe just signifies I'm finally waking up
Ani Difranco "Evolve"

This is the CD I'm listening at the moment. For last few months I mostly listened to Classical FM and Russian radio (over the net), but now I want to listen to something with the beautiful lyric. And I was sad to realise that most of my CDs no longer appeal to me (I actually don’t have that many to start with). Anyone has any suggestions? What music/artists/CDs are you listening to?

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Another week gone

I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between. Sylvia Plath

Daffodil? Me?

Babe was asleep for 1.5 hrs twice today - incredible. So I relaxed, got my blog reading fix and stumbled on this:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Here is the description:
You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

I'm not sure if I see myself that way. What do you guys think? :-D

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Go Chelsea!

Today we caught up with my work colleague Katy, who is visiting from US. I used this chance to have a lemon overdose at South Kensington’s Carluccio’s by ordering fresh lemonade and lemon tart. Never been to that specific one before, but it was a good choice as it was full of families with very young children so we fitted right in. Though at the end the noise got a bit too much for the tired Cat and we had to say good bye to lovely Katy.

Our trip back home wasn’t any quieter as we were travelling at the same time as many of Chelsea and Manchester supporters heading to Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup Final. Clive and I enjoyed the entertainment consisting of many loudly sang verses, like this one:

Que Sera Sera
Whatever Will Be, Will Be
We are going to Wemble-eeeeeee

While Babe slept through all the noise, but once we left the crowds she promptly woke up. Which leads me to thinking that maybe we need a loud chorus of slightly drunk footy supporters in our bedroom to help her sleep through the night. Anyone has any recordings of loud footy fans?

Friday, 18 May 2007

Finally through

The first tooth finally pushed its way through Cat’s gums. It is wonderful to have my easy going happy baby back, though it looks like there are few more teeth very close to surfacing and so the happiness may not last.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Not in London anymore

Today, during our daily walk, I came across a small charity shop and they have knitting needles and sewing, knitting and crocheting patterns. I never saw crafting things in London charity shops before. But based on our postcode we no longer live in London and there are little things that remind me of it. I kept on thinking that something makes many streets here look like Australian ones. But it took few days for my brain to process the information. Nature strips! There are nature strips between the road and pedestrian walkway. Now I wonder if I ever saw them in London.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

When did it happen?

The Babe can sit up on her own. Ok, ok, she still needs a pillow to save her from toppling backwards. But I’m excited nevertheless – the freedom from holding her up is in sight. She also can bend down to pick up things and can straighten herself up again. Although eventually she does reach for a toy that is too far and falls down.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Tranquillity of crocheting

Yesterday I was in both retrospective and introspective mood. Now familiar and comfortable, it strikes me sporadically, but is sure to spring up around my mum’s and my birthdays (They are so close together that I view them as one). I would love to walk for few hours on my own - contemplating quietly, letting go of the current noisy everyday clutter that took secure residence in my brain and opening the flow to the wiser deeper thoughts. But rain and loved but constant presence of the Babe kept me close to home. So I used every trick to encourage the Babe to play by herself or at least to happily enjoy gentler activities with her subdued mum.

We lay on the bed. She put her tiny warm hand on my arm. I stoked her fingers with my other hand. She looked in fascination and then reached out, stopped my moving fingers and slowly and softly started to explore them. And so we stayed there for another magic ten minutes, taking turns stroking each other fingers. Occasionally she would grunt unhappily, arrest my movement, force me to be still. I guess she had some type of game plan and I was too slow to figure out the finer details of the rules.

New crochet doilyAnd later, when she played on her own, I baked bread and finished crocheting a doily. I never learned to sew, embroidery frustrates me, knitting disastrously ends after few lost stitch; but I love crocheting. Treble, treble, treble, few chain stitches, treble, treble, treble. I count, my hands move to the rhythm, the thoughts disappear and my mind achieves temporary tranquillity.

However now my brain is abuzz with ideas for new crochet project – I may try making something different, like a hat or a bag or bead crocheting, there are just so many doilies small two-bedroom flat needs:
crochet doily crochet doilycrochet doily crochet doily

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Men run so fast or the moving saga

So we didn’t finish packing on Friday night and had to get up (very reluctantly) at around 7am on Saturday morning (yep, miraculously our current “before 6am” alarm, the babe, was still asleep at that hour). By 10:30 we were ready for Man and Van: everything was packed, baby cot was disassembled and we had the key for the new place. Eventually the man (Ed) arrived; Clive enthusiastically showed him the boxes and the furniture that had to be moved. Ed nodded a lot, asked if we have doorstops to prop the doors open, informed us that he’ll get a trolley and went outside. After five minutes of waiting, Clive followed him out and promptly came back with bewildered facial expression:
- “He did a runner”.
- “What?”.
- “The van is gone! And his mobile is off.”
- … ? … ? “Are you sure? Maybe he just went to re-park the van”

Clive went outside again, walked around the block, tried to call the guy again. Yep, he was gone. Totally bemused we sat on the couch for another 10 minutes. Clive’s theory is that the guy wanted to go home to watch the footy instead of doing two runs. The situation was complete ridiculous, therefore we had a good laugh before trying to organise another Man and Van (none were answering as they were probably already booked and moving people). In the end we booked a Van (without a Man) from one of the car hire companies and Dave & Lindsey kindly agreed to help us move on Sunday.

Since the old flat was filled with boxes and to avoid unpacking & repacking, we grabbed few bags and went to the new place in a taxi. The rest of the day was spent walking around the new neighbourhood and relaxing – we couldn’t really do much else. The move on Sunday went well thanks to help from wonderful Dave & Lindsey. But remember our brilliant plan to stay here for 6 months to give us time to find a better place? I don’t think Clive is as eager to move again as he was before.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


We moved (more about it later once we finish unpacking and cleaning the old place).

Here is the quote for this week from one of my favourite writers:
Of course, having a money value was no substitute for love. Every child should have love, every person should have it.
Margaret Atwood "Oryx and Crake"

Friday, 4 May 2007

Mesh-mash before moving

Whenever Cat coughs or sneezes I automatically say “будь здоров” (Russian equivalent of “bless you”) and it looks like she picked up on the fact that coughing equals attention. So now whenever she wants to be noticed or picked up she does very fake cough together with the usual grumpy “mmm” sound. At first I thought that I was imagining things, but Clive noticed it as well. He and I were having a chat the other morning while she was awake in her cot. Cough. We look at her, the coughing stops. We look at each other and start discussing how fake it sounded. The coughing starts up again. We look at her, she stops. We glance at each other and start laughing. Cat’s eyes widen from surprise, she smiles and does a bit more coughing until I pick her up.

She napped for almost 2 hours yesterday morning while I was making lots of noise with the blender to make her some carrot puree. No such luck today – I was quietly talking to my mum and she woke up after 45 minutes.

She is surprising me by how fast she is getting good at eating from the spoon, though in her impatience she still manages to nock my hand & the spoon around and get some food on her face, hands, bib, top and even pants. I think we need to get some of those super “shirt” bibs that cover everything. I’m happy she liked the carrot puree as I myself dislike cooked carrots – they tastes so horrid compared to the wonderful taste of fresh raw carrots.

We are two thirds packed and hopefully will finish the rest in another hour or so. I’m looking forward to discovering the new area, but a bit sentimental about leaving this one after being here for 3 years. I find a lot of comfort in small familiar things and surroundings lately. We usually pass the cleaner man, who picks up rubbish and sweeps the street, on our daily walks. We started saying hello to each other and today for the first time he wished me good weekend today. Made me smile, made me sad as there won’t be any familiar faces, streets, shops or buildings at first. (OK, I’m being overly dramatic we are only moving few tube stops – I felt less soppy when leaving Australia. I think I’m in my “it would be nice to set up in one place for a long time” mood. Last time this happened I bought a flat, was happily discussing how I don’t have to move ever again and a year later was yearning to move to somewhere new).

If everything goes well we’ll have phone/internet set up on Tuesday (last two times it took a week longer than promised). Until when have fun and UK people, enjoy long weekend.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Sleeping & eating

Since it took a while for us both to get a hang on breastfeeding I thought I’ll follow current official advice of not introducing solids until 6 months. But Cat is getting very curious about our drinks and food – it is no longer possible to drink anything while holding her as she nearly falls off while trying to intersect the cup, glass or can and she gets very surprised (and not too pleased) when we pass food to each other, but not her. She also appears to be hungry more often and wakes up at least twice during the night* instead of previous predictable one time at around 3-4 am. So I gave her some baby rice yesterday for the first time. Hilarious! We had great fun: she made lots of happy cooing noises; grabbed the spoon in her eagerness to get it into her mouth; smiled, stuck her hand into her mouth and licked the spoon all at the same time. Despite her eagerness, most of the food ended up on her clothes and not in her tummy. I may try to make some apple puree for her tomorrow, though our blender is about to die (it used to belong to Clive’s mum and he estimates its age to be between 15 and 20 years).

* Numerous wake ups during the night potentially have nothing to do with hunger. While looking for the flat I had to wake her up few times to be on time for the appointments and she often catnaped in the BabyBjorn before I would make it home to put her down for a proper long nap. So due to this and teething she lost most of her good sleeping habits. Her three day naps last only 35-50 minutes each and she obviously doesn’t get enough sleep during the day, but trying to get her to sleep longer only results in extremely loud protests. I’m going to try few things to get her back to one longer nap of 1.5 – 2 hours and one-two short ones. Longer nap will also give me a chance to get other things done as she isn't very interested in playing on her own at the moment and is very selective about what tasks she is happy to watch me do: hanging laundry is fine, cooking isn't.

Lunch Break

I'm sure there are more important things I should be doing during Cat's mid-day nap, specially because morning one was only 35 minutes long and I didn't manage to get anything done, instead of checking out updates on everyones' blogs.

Thanks to Julia:

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