Thursday, 28 January 2010

Brest. The French Variety.

Another blogging holiday. This time for a holiday, courtesy of Ryan Air's 1p flight deals, although children are still full fare (why?).
Brest, northwest France. Sadly it was bombed heavily in the second WW so most of the ancient city is now a grey concrete monstrosity. There is still some history hidden away; the castle and Naval museum (both closed due to renovations), and some random houses (all wreaks). So, not a lot really.....

However, we managed to have a good time and, miraculously, Josh started to sleep though the night! Who'd have though it 'eh? On holiday, away from home comforts and the familiar cot, managing to sleep through! Wooo hooo.

We seem to have come across two things:
1) he is momentarily not cutting teeth
2) we have gritted our teeth (excuse the pun!) and not run to comfort him the moment he cries, even waiting 10 minutes (oh the pain of turns your stomach doesn't it?).

The latter point was parlty because of sleep deprivation and desparation - this HAD to stop. It turns out that he will, after a while, stop crying, then start, then stop and gradually, after a few more cycles, stop crying and go back to sleep. I think this is because he has mastered the act of re-finding his dummy and also we now know that he doesn't actually need milk during the night so it isn't the first thing we run to get when he cries. However, the gut wrenching urge to get up and go to him still gets me. I have to almost physically hold myself down....those maternal instincts have a lot to answer for!

On holiday we would do his usual bath time (shower, which he loved!) and then sleeping bag and bottle, then bundle him into the travel buggy wrapped up and with a rug over the top to cut out some of the light, then go out. He'd fall asleep whilst we walked to the restaurant then we'd enjoy a 'child free' evening meal. Amazing! What a superstar our son is! Even better, we'd get back and get him up, put him in the travel cot and he'd go off to sleep again!!!! Have we cracked this travel malarkey? There was no way we were going to sit in that hotel room all night or eat in their really over-priced restaurant each night, no, we were exploring the gastronomic delights of France. I say gastronomic in the loosest of senses. My best meal was a delicious thinly bashed-out rib-eye steak with thin, thin, crispy french fries in a little Italian place, although I have believe it was actually a french-serving-italian place. My worst was in the hotel restaurant - a tiny cod slice wrapped in bacon with a fried potato cake and salad, all for the over-priced price of about 15 euro! What?

I will upload some photos shortly. I'm just attacking the washing mountain and getting my head and diary back into the swing of things.

By the way, if you need all things baby, nappies, high chair, car seat, buggy, travel cot, etc, head to Asda for massive baby event. I have just picked up a Hauck buggy for £25 for my Mother to use. German made (I think) and, as M puts it, we could have 20 of them for the price we paid for our current one. Ok so it isn't a travel system but it's sturdy and light at the same time. Go grab those bargains girls!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Progress and a bit of 'Bump and Grind'

JJ has really come along this Christmas. He has achieved the dizzying heights of crawling and is now pulling himself up on objects and on me. This is great but our laminate floor and hard stone tiles in the kitchen fill me with panic when he does so. So to the 'Bump' - inevitable at some point I know but it's heart-breaking. The thud has to be the worst noise in the world, followed closely by the screams. Poor little fella.
Now to the 'Grind'. I would love to attribute this to one thing in particular, which is far too infrequent in my life at the moment, but sadly I can't. It's teeth grinding. The third most horrible sound your little one can make, sends shivers down my spine. He seems to enjoy it though judging by the giggles and grins as he does it!

Oh, and we've had the first delights of a stomach bug....which I caught as well. Lovely is all I can say.

Friday, 8 January 2010

I know it's a bit early but...

Ok, so we've just come out of the Christmas thing but I've got to explain the Christmas stockings for any of you getting a flyer on for next Christmas!

I'm going to do a really short list:
- Browse the internet for pictures of felt stocking designs (make sure you enter 'felt' and 'Christmas' to ensure you don't get some dodgy pictures!)
- Decide on a design
- Sketch the design on paper and photocopy to alter sizes
- Draw out a life-size stocking on paper, including a 'cuff' (see photo)
- Buy some coloured felt, ensuring you have enough for both sides of the stocking
- Cut out patterns. Pin them on to stocking felt and cut. Pin on to design colours and cut. *make sure you have sharp scissors for this, dressmakers are best, not your kitchen ones!*
- I usually create the design on the stocking first using all purpose glue, although I did also stitch around some of them and embroider them with sparkly thread and beads (for the holly berries).
- Cut out cuffs (white)
- Stick some ribbon on to the front cuff
- Pin and sew top of cuff onto top inside of front stocking and other cuff piece (without ribbon) onto top of back stocking. You want to be able to then fold them down over the stockings so ribbons show on front.
- Pin together the stocking inside out, making sure you go through the cuff material too.
- Sew using tough thread. Keep the stitches close together or use a machine so stockings are sturdy when turned right way round.
- Turn right way round.
- Add a loop of ribbon to the hanging side of the stocking - sew on the inside, close to the join.
- I added some jingly bells too, but I can now appreciate this is difficult when quietly trying to place the stockings a-la-father-christmas!!!!!

I hope this makes sense. Believe me, when you get going you will get the jist and do what suits you.
Photos please!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

New Year Blues

I don't mean to put a downer on anyone else's new year, but I always do feel apprehensive at this time of year, partly because there is so little light, short days, thoughts of eating less and cutting down on the booze, and a whole year stretching ahead of you....

Such a lot happenned last year, primarily the fact that M and I became parents, of course! Our lives have changed so much, for the better (although it doesn't always seem like it at times - I'm thinking of all those sleepless nights I'm STILL having!).

I guess one thing that is looming large on the horizon is going back to work, booooooooo. I have blanked this out until Christmas/New Year was over because otherwise I know it would have eaten into the merry-making. I'm sure it will be absolutely fine, plus I'm only going back 2 days a week (3 for a short time to help out) and with much reduced responsibility; my decision I might add. But still, it doesn't fill me with Joy.

Apart from that we're fine! Had a hectic but good Christmas (survived the Mother) and New Year. Because of the recent snow I don't quite feel settled back into the ususal routine, also M only went back to work today so we really have been having a very long weekend!

Hope you're all well. Finally I've got myself in gear to update my blog!