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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cooking for baby

Ahh just what I needed!
Baby cook book for 50p from Romania relief charity shop

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Location:Church St,Richmond,United Kingdom

Sunday, 22 August 2010

I love his new little pose hanging out the pram to check out what's going on around him (though, really should strap him in...)

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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Winged horses and water nymphs

Cascade, pool and Oceanides
I love these statues in the gardens by the river.

Imported from Italy by a fraudulent financier who took his own life on conviction in 1904, they were acquired by the last private owner of York House, an Indian grandee called Sir Ratan Tata.

Two winged horses, with a female rider in a shell chariot, plunge through the water at the top of a cascade and pool. Seven other figures are sitting on the rocks or clambering up and holding out - what? Their hands are empty now, but some think they used to hold pearls aloft. 

I'm going to check out what wonders await at the Twickenham museum this week...
Their website's quite cute with ideas of what to do, for example :

Things to do
- Visit the gardens and draw a picture of the statues, cascade and pool.
- Make your own winged horse or dragon horse out of clay or playdough.
- Can you find the part of the wall that was taken down to get the statues into the gardens? (Clue: It was rebuilt with bricks of a different colour.)
Leon and I are now on a mission...

bless - we can even print out and colour in our own drawing

Friday, 20 August 2010

Eating frenzy

OH my goodness - Leon just ate 2 sweet potatoes, some cauliflower, half a courgette and cheese for lunch - it was meant to be for 3 meals! This fellow's getting expensive... Need to find some decent cheap batch recipes!


We've been at our cute one-bed flat on top of a cool boutique on a pretty cobbled street by the river in Twickenham, SW London, by the river Thames, for less than a year. We moved here when I was heavily pregnant and had to move as our St Margarets Landlady didn't want a screaming baby living next to her... (wait til you have a baby landlady - there's a lot in store for you - Our baby's actually been very good and our neighbours never hear Leon - or have complained anyway...) My waters broke here and my day of contractions and wailing was here and Leon's grown up in this lovely place. But it's almost time to move on. I need SUN in August, or at least light (the sky is grey today) and a view (not scaffolding, walls and grey sky). Twickenham is lovely but there's not much vibrancy... there's community but it's not very visible. In Dalston, people chat in the streets, there's sound and movement in the streets. Even in Barnes there is more movement and chatting in the cheese shop, the butchers, boutiques etc. and that's the last place I'd want to live. I just hate that big main road that goes through Twickenham.

The people who've been there a while love to chat and you hear some amazing stories and can picture life in Twickenham in the 60's and 1700s (not really any other dates weirdly) and that's even without having gone to the museum (next trip out for Leon and I). I was getting to a point where I was feeling trapped in suburbia and everyone lives in a bubble -  but it's actually a lot better that most the suburbs in that you can get a pint of milk any time at night and don't need a car... Although the grocers are kind, fishmonger helpful, most charity shop ladies chatty... we were looking to move.

We were considering moving to the other side of London but it didn't seem worth it. Not much cheaper and not as nice (loads of parks and river in Twickers)- and why bother going through another move? I've moved the furniture around a bit to give Leon more space to wander and to give us a breath of fresh air. However the flat needs a MAJOR declutter - anyone have any tips? 

I'm looking forward to moving to the sun at some point next year!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wriggles, parties, eating, sleeping...

My little 7 month old is now wriggling around the living room - not crawling yet - no bum-shuffles, but wriggling on his tummy and he manages to get quite far! It's changed my life to see him playing happily on his own- although I've stopped working for a bit, at least I can get on calmly with other things around the house and don't need to entertain him nonstop!

Since coming back from holiday he's still been wonderful and we've managed to have a few evenings out with him sleeping peacefully in the pram or in an upstairs bedroom. Having a baby also means getting the master bedroom at friends house parties ;) At a party in York my friends fed him, got us drinks and we danced like there was no tomorrow - I think it was easy to 'spot the parent'... Though we had to put a sign on the door telling guests to come and find us if he woke up as the hostess picked him when she heard him crying. He was a very happy chappy.

The one thing that has struck me is how much he's eating! I'm following a book I picked up at the library full of meal plans and ideas from Annabel Karmel and it's been useful - though I'm doing pretty much what I've been doing from the beginning and whizzing together loads of steamed veg, lentils, cheese etc. Leon LOVES food. There's no trouble getting the spoon in his mouth and sometimes I can't keep up. I'm looking forward to him saying "more please mummy" or "MAS!" rather than grunting at me like I'm an idiot.

I was struggling to leave him to drift off to sleep on his own... I'm determined to kick the habit this week and it's going well so far. Last night I didn't pat him to sleep - yay! I just sat in the chair next to his cot and he went off to sleep! Miracle. We even let him cry when he woke up again- and he managed to go back to sleep himself. Amazing...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Back with a bump

After two weeks of soleil Francais we're back in grey but warm UK with a thump. 3-hour Eurostar delays caused by the evacuation of the station because a guy, fond of antique war bombs, brought one on board. Why wouldn't you just declare it if you had no intention on using it? duh. I'm happy to be back and run the household again and get organised- Leon eats like a beast and I need to get into action making much larger quantities and variety of foods compared to just ice cubes of puree. Almost 7months old and in two weeks he's changed so much. He's a happy chappy and sit and move around by rolling over.
he's discovering the world. 

But mon amour has post-holiday depression and is sick and unhappy with english bread with a start. and having to work. Oh dear. he even drank the 2-week old open bottle of wine instead of the one I'd lovingly bought that day and then complained when it was gross! i feel like i'm always working but enjoy it  all the way. Leon can now sit playing on his own and rolling around for a while and when im cleaning, cooking etc he can happily sit in the high chair and babble and play or in the sling!

But I find it really hard to find time for my stuff! baby, work, chores, play, food, transporting, tired husband... when can I sit down and listen to music, catch up with friends and reply to emails... i used to  be glued to my laptop but i don't like doing it when Leon's with me as I prefer playing with him or tidying up etc. and he's happily playing on the mat. How does everyone else do it? Do you allocate a time for yourself? I find that after 7pm I do all that stuff but it's also not an ideal time....