Saturday, 30 October 2010

Has anyone noticed?

Has anyone noticed that each of my October posts have begun with the letter H - for no particular reason and I didn't even notice until the fourth one.  Honestly, who cares I hear you cry?  Have you gone mad I say to myself, quite loudly.  How come each sentence is beginning with the letter H now? Have you not got something better to do like say hello to your husband, hoover, have a bath, hug your neighbour???

I did do that today actually, hug my neighbour, it was the first time I met her, lovely lady at the end of our row of four cottages, her Ukrainian husband died 6 years ago, she is 78 now, wow she's amazing for her age, I couldn't believe it, in fact, most older people I meet down here are just rocking it, must be the air?

Help - the baby wakes I shall have to come back to this one.... ;)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

How to get through the day without any sleep

Having a little baby that won't go to sleep at bed time can be hard to cope with, especially if they are not sleeping through and waking up for feeds during the night.  The lack of sleep soon starts to show. You know, forgetting what day it is, using salt for sugar and making gravy with coffee granules, leaving the baby on the bus (did anyone actually do that, I wonder?)

They say you should tank them up during the day so that they don't want to drink at night time, but that has seemed to have the opposite effect and makes the young lad want more during the night, although I realise now that it s a growing spurt and he had his immunisation jabs too, which can leave them out of sorts for a few days. 

We were co-sleeping which was so much easier for the feeding, but we are now introducing a cot, so attempting to soothe him with shushing and patting and lots of love.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, it is still early days and he's sleeping in the cot during the day time naps so we can't complain.  He doesn't scream loads at bedtime, just gets a bit grizzly and doesn't settle.  I've taken to doing some baby massage to relieve the wind, that works and I'm going to start the routine a little earlier because I'm wondering if he just gets overtired. 

I shall start to introduce water during the night-times too so waking up doesn't seem so appealing.  Drinking plenty of water yourself rather than coffee helps to keep the body surviving on 3 hours sleep and trying to eat healthy food that nourishes the body rather than always reaching for the biscuit barrel...

So you can try lots of different things to help the sleep through, but in the meantime my best advice to myself is to sleep when he sleeps!  So simple, easy to do at the beginning but tougher when you start wanting to get on with the household chores.  Having a thoughtful husband who takes him off for a couple of hours on a weekend morning gives valuable catch up sleep time too. 

He's sleeping right now, so what am I doing?! zzz

Monday, 18 October 2010

Home alone

Jam has been away presenting his new instrument in London, combined with our old neighbour Paddy's birthday party and a stag do ~ so we're home alone.  He's sounding quite good considering the amount of partying he's been doing, but we're not even slightly jealous here. Fun and games all the way...

Day one.  I couldn't seem to get the fire going in the living room.  You'd think with all my practise from living on the boat I'd be a dab hand at it, but it's a little harder with a small baby in tow.  On my first attempt I managed to smoke the house out!  Rowan was needing attention so I opened the windows and doors and shut the door between the two rooms.  The next day I went back in to find the fire had a few burning embers at the bottom still, I was amazed and loaded it up and we had a lovely fire and a warm house, for the fire heats the back boiler.  My third and fourth day attempts at fire starting had no such luck, so the electric heater in the bedroom sufficed and we camped out there.  It's been quite chilly in the evenings and mornings.

On the second night Rowan had a really full nappy, I was going to leave it, but thought better of it and got up to do it.  Just as I was opening the new nappy out he rolled off the mat, thumping onto the floor.  Owch, thankfully the carpets are lovely and thick, I picked him up and cuddled him straight away, it all happened so quickly I didn't even remember how he landed but couldn't find any bumps or scratches and he was soon soothed and not complaining at all.  I on the other hand felt weak at the knees and quite sick and spent the rest of the night checking he was breathing.

On the third day, we made more chutneys and apple sauces, everything going really well, even vacuumed downstairs, then whilst putting dishes away managed to drop my favourite saucepan lid, glass shatters everywhere...

The fourth day was immunisation day.  Jam had been held up in London and so couldn't be with me.  I cried in the surgery and felt like a right wally.  The nurse wasn't particularly sympathetic either when I said that I had been wondering if I should immunise or not and had been reading things about it on the internet.  She said you can read an awful lot of rubbish on the internet, if you have any worries you should talk to a medical professional.  I left feeling like a small child, but Rowan gave me a huge grin as I strapped him in the car seat and we laughed all the way home.

He's asleep on my arm now, doesn't want to go to bed, so one handed posting this is and only a few hours to wait until Jam returns. 

So all in all, I made four jars of apple sauce, nine jars of 'MATCHUM' - marrow, apple & tomato chutney - jam, made up the name there having found that this batch of chutney was somehow like jam, chutney jam = chum.  Yes I know, spending too much time on my own!
I fed myself properly and healthily with home made soups and lentil dishes. 
I was up and out of the house before 10am on two occassions! I even impressed myself with that one! 
I finished a poem I've been writing for my sister. 
Watered the plants in the greenhouse.
Was in bed by 9pm every night. 
I did all the washing and cleaning, even did my filing! 
Played guitar to Rowan and sang him songs and he didn't cry.  In fact I'm sure he was tapping along with me.

What a scorcher of a weekend ;)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Healthy eating

Fruit then muesli for breakfast, lentils with beetroot and feta for lunch, carrot soup for tea. Super healthy eating, plenty of water to drink too and oh dear, what's this - a cup of rooibus tea and the biscuit barrel...

That's a picture of Rowan Atkinson on the front of the tin, playing Fagin in Oliver the musical, taken from my Equity magazine. So the Equity subscription is worth it just for that, oh and the diary of course!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Healing nicely

Rowan is thirteen weeks old on Friday. That's thirteen weeks since I had the C-section. Not sure why it's called a C-section to be honest, in fact I will add that to my list of 'things I always thought I knew but didn't' for solving at a later date. Still, healing nicely I hope. I haven't had anyone probe around down there, my six week check, at nine weeks, involved me telling the doctor my life story, Jam was there, and I even mentioned that sex seemed a bit clicky, to which the doctor said, I beg your pardon, what did you say? I definitely said clicky, afterwards Jam said he thought I'd said kinky, lord knows what the doctor thought I had said and what on earth possessed me to say it in the first place? Clicky sex? I was feeling quite strange. Still do. What is it about the doctor's surgery that makes you want to wax lyrical when you know you only have a five minute slot and should just get on with it.

What am I writing?! This is like a brain splurge. End of another long day, not sure what I'm doing anymore. Feel a bit lost, totally in love with my little boy (and my big boy of course, who's out in the shed tinkering...) emptied a few more boxes that had been lurking around in the living room today. We've been mainly staying in the dining room, but Jam managed to get the fire cleared out so the back boiler will work and now when the living room fire is on the radiators heat up around the house. That's neat, the washing dries quicker when it's a wet day and we all feel warmer.

And the baby boy awakes...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Hot air balloon

Wow! I heard some noise outside, the neighbour having a shout and thought I'd best go and investigate. I stepped outside, holding Rowan and was astounded to see the hugest hot air balloon I've ever seen approaching fast. It was exhilirating! We thought it was going to land in the field next to us, but suddenly a burst of flames shot up and the balloon rose high again. The balloon was so close it almost touched the top of the house! We waved madly and shouted greetings to the people on board, I called for Jam and asked him to bring the camera out, sadly we didn't get a shot of it close up, but this was what we got...

Apparently the neighbour said that if the balloon does land in your field then you are entitled to a free ride. Shame it didn't and shame it isn't our field! Jam and I have been saving in a special money box ever since our wedding to go on a hot air balloon trip, so you can imagine how excited we were. Soon...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Home made wine

So we've just had a baby, moved house, made umpteen jars of chutney and jam and are now embarking on the home made wine ~ are we mad? Of course!

The wine idea came because Jam's Grandad's greenhouse hasn't been touched for a couple of years and it was completely jammed with grapevines. A massive trunk grows up through the greenhouse, along the top on the inside and out and around the top on the outside. It looked like a bit of a mission to get sorted and was quite a task that took Jam a lot longer than he had planned. (As do most of his missions but that's another story for another time...) How amazing though to actually see inside the greenhouse and marvel at the fact that we actually have a greenhouse, how very grown up!

What to do with the grapes though? There are so many and neither of us have the first clue about wine making. Jam has made cider in the past and we both made some sloe gin last year with sloe's from our boating neighbour's M&M who had gone on a mission down the river Lea especially for them, delicious stuff it is too, me having my first wee taste of it last week, ooh what a treat!
We looked up 'how to make wine' on the internet and found various solutions and then realised we were in the middle of nowhere and needed to acquire all this special equipment to do the task. A neighbour gave us a large barrel to ferment it in and Jam found a health food store in Wellington that funnily enough has a home brewing section. It's rather pricey for the stuff but seeing as though the grapes had been harvested we didn't think we had much choice. I did go off on a mission to find somewhere in Taunton selling the kit but had no joy so the health food shop it was.

Right now Jam is crushing the grapes, thankfully NOT with his feet, we were thinking of letting Rowan crush them, but I'm not sure he's strong enough yet! We're building him up though to defend himself against the country hooligans! And, as I'm sure you're wondering, he is doing just fine, his little face has healed nicely and he's laughing the whole thing off and we've found another group to go to with children the same age as him!
'Ooh I could crush a grape' ~ am I showing my age there? Or strange sense of humour / memory for remembering something like that from the Crankies! Well, it's late, everyone goes to bed around 9 down here, so I ought to get some sleep and update on the next stage of the wine making another day. Jam has just come in saying he's got at least a gallon so far, and that's only half the grapes, and added 'I've got quite a good method too' sounding rather pleased with himself, then proceeded to explain his method, likening it to milking a cow, so on that note I think I shall turn in and look forward to the strange dreams of cows producing wine and such likes ~ oh now wouldn't that be fine, cow's producing wine!!