Grandparents (The Ordinary Moments #7)

I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’, or rather this week some ‘un-ordinary’ moments.

Grandparents - Grandma and Toby

Both sets of Toby’s grandparents live about 250 miles away, which means they don’t get to see him very often. I update Blipfoto with a picture every day and we do try and Skype but that doesn’t happen as often as we’d like for one reason or another. Last time we saw either lot of parents was in September, and as we decided to spend our first Christmas with Toby at home, my mum and dad came up to visit this weekend. It was lovely to see Toby playing with his grandma and grandad and even though he mustn’t remember them from last time he saw them he still gave them lots of big smiles and was happy for them to hold him. We’re actually going to see them again in a few days – we’re going to stay with them on Boxing Day because my brother and sister-in-law will be there and then we’re heading across to Manchester to see the hubby’s parents too.

I hope Toby starts to recognise his grandparents soon and gets to see plenty of them as he’s growing up – it should be easier in the few years time as our five year plan is to move back to the north-west, and then these ‘un-ordinary’ moments will hopefully become more ordinary.

Daddy, Toby and the Grandparents

mummy daddy me

Knitting Friday #4

Alright, before you say anything, I know it’s Saturday – but it is Christmas so I think you can forgive me!

So last week I posted pictures of the (almost) finished elf hat. And this week I actually finished it. I’ve added the pompom to the top and sewn in an inner fleece hat which serves the dual purpose of making it warmer and also keeping it on. I didn’t use any sort of pattern for the fleece, just cut a piece out and then shaped it by using pins worryingly close to Toby’s head!

Fleece lined hat

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out in the end though – and I’m sure you’ll agree my little elf looks very cute in his new hat.

Christmas elf hat

Becky over at The Laughing Owls has a Knitting Friday post too – Christmas Shopping has got in the way of her knitting a bit this week but she’s getting there with Little Owl’s jumper!

When will my baby sleep again?

All I want for Christmas…

When will this baby sleep again?

…is my happy, smiley, sleeping-through-the-night baby back. (Or his two front teeth!). Will my baby sleep through the night ever again?

It would seem Toby is teething and already I hate it. I know this is only the beginning, that once these teeth appear there will only be more to come. It’s just so horrible to watch him in pain and especially as these are the first teeth he has no idea what is happening to him. There has been a lot of dribbling and hand chewing for a while now but at the weekend the inconsolable crying started. And bless the little bear, he was trying to smile but then would just dissolve into tears again. We’ve given him Calpol and Nurofen, and teething gel. We’ve got a few teethers but he doesn’t seem interested in them at all (although I know his Nana has bought him a Sophie la Girafe for Christmas so we’ll see if that’s any more successful). He does like to chew on a muslin though so I make sure he’s always got one nearby. The teething seems to be affecting his appetite as well – after half a bottle he is shaking his head and pushing it away. Which of course then means he is hungry and waking up for a feed in the night, or just waking up crying because he’s in pain. It doesn’t help that whenever I try and give him medicine (even firing it into the back of his mouth with a syringe) he spits half of it back out again. And while we’re on the subject – why does Calpol have to be so bloody sticky!!

So anyway, my conclusion is that teething sucks! I just hope this first tooth (or teeth) shows itself soon and then we have a bit of a break before the next ones show up. If anyone has any miracle cures then please do share them and spread the Christmas cheer our way.

Christmas Tag

Baby elf
I was tagged by Lucinda at Teacher2Mummy in this festive blog question thingy and I haven’t written anything about Christmas yet so I thought this might be a nice way to start.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

It sounds really corny but I have to say giving presents. I love to see people’s faces when they open something I’ve chosen for them. Although I have to admit, with a small baby to look after, this year’s Christmas shopping hasn’t had so much time and attention put into it!

When you were a kid, what did you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?
A mince pie and a whiskey (and a carrot for Rudolph!). My brother and I were still doing it when we were in our late teens and my dad would still gamely eat the mince pie and drink the whiskey – the carrot always ended up back in the with the others though.
Do you and/or your family have any Christmas traditions?

This Christmas will only be the third of my thirty-five Christmases that I haven’t been at my mum and dad’s house. (The first was when I did a ski season in 1999-2000 and the second in I think 2006 when I worked for in a bank call centre and had to work on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day but that year my parents came up to stay with me). We decided that seeing as it will be Toby’s first Christmas we would spend it at home just the three of us and then head down to see our parents on Boxing Day. It’s hard at Christmas living so far away from our family. We have to choose where to be – it’s not like we could have Christmas morning at home and then go to visit relatives later in the day. So I suppose we haven’t really got any  Christmas traditions yet but this year could be the year to start some of our own.

When decorating, do you go all out or just do a small amount of decorating?

We don’t have tons of decorations – we do have two trees though. One big tree with all the decorations and then a smaller fibre optic one which used to be my only tree when I lived in a flat on my own. We have to have artificial trees because I’m really allergic to real ones. We’ve got some fairy lights in the window too and we usually have some outside along the front of the house but with the crazy weather this year we haven’t bothered putting them up.

What is your favourite Christmas dinner food?

I don’t like Christmas Pudding so my mum always gets me some sort of chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce which is delicious. I actually like the sprouts now too – when I was little I hated sprouts but I was always made to eat just one with my Christmas dinner. I suppose that was one of our Christmas traditions!

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Die Hard! It is a Christmas movie!! I’m also partial to a bit of White Christmas.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

I was going to say All I Want For Christmas but I noticed loads of people have said that so I’m going to go with Let It Snow.

What was your favourite gift you’ve ever received?
That’s really hard but probably as an adult my iPhone 4 (which my dad got for free but I didn’t care!) and as a child I think the My Little Pony Grooming Parlour! I was so excited to get it because it wasn’t the sort of toy I was usually allowed.
What is your favourite memory?
I can’t really pick one – all my childhood Christmases are sort of rolled into one – but I used to love my brother sleeping in my room on Christmas Eve (because our Grandma would come to stay and sleep in his room) and when we woke up we were allowed to open the presents in our stockings which would be in our room but we weren’t allowed to go down stairs or wake anyone else up until a ‘reasonable time’. So about seven o’clock we would go the toilet really noisily which would usually wake our Grandma and mum up then we’d go downstairs in our pyjamas but then we would have to wait ages before we could open our presents because my dad always insisted on getting dressed and having his breakfast first and we would have to wait for him!
Does it snow where you live?
Yep. Although I don’t think it has snowed at Christmas since I’ve lived here. It never snowed in Blackpool when I was growing up though.
Do you own an “ugly holiday sweater”?
No. I’d quite like a tasteful Christmas jumper though.
Hot chocolate or eggnog?
Hot chocolate every time.
Have you ever been kissed under a mistletoe?

You know what, I don’t think I have!

I know I should now tag some other bloggers to do this post but it’s getting close to Christmas and I know everyone is very busy… so I’m not going to. However, if you read this and fancy answering the questions yourself then please feel free and do let me know when you’ve done it.

Baby Sensory (The Ordinary Moments #6)

I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week, albeit a bit late, for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’. I do quite a few different activities with Toby during the week; Baby Sensory, Baby Massage, swimming, soft play to mention a few. Although I try to tell the hubby all about it I know it’s not the same as him being there himself. So, this Saturday it was great that he got to come along to the Baby Sensory Christmas party so he could see for himself what me and Toby get up to. It was a lot of fun and Toby looked so cute in his elf costume (with added ‘made by mum’ hat!) Baby Sensory Christmas Elf

mummy daddy me

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger AwardSo the very lovely Donna at Redhead Babyled has been kind enough to nominate me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I’m fairly new to this parent blogging lark but I do try and write about a variety of different things and hopefully there’s something to interest everyone.

The rules to the Versatile Blogger award are as follows…

1)  in your post, be sure to thank the blogger that nominated you
2)  write seven facts about yourself and nominate seven other bloggers
3)  you must use the versatile blogger award image on your post

Right then – seven facts about me…

1) I was born and brought up in the Vegas of the north – Blackpool! My parents still live there so I visit regularly but I hated it growing up and I can’t imagine I would ever go back to live there. I did once spend the night at the top of Blackpool Tower though which is pretty cool!

2) I started dancing when I was four years old and until recently still went to dance classes. I have appeared on stage in over 20 pantomimes and musicals; the most recent being The Sound of Music in 2012. When I was a teenager I danced in two summer shows in the Tower Ballroom (the very same one where Strictly Come Dancing is filmed when they go to Blackpool!)

3) I have a degree in French and Social Sciences (Economics and Social Anthropology) from Manchester University.

4) I lived and worked in France for six years on and off – from 1998 to 2003. I mostly worked on campsites but also did a ski season and spent one memorable winter working in an industrial laundry!

5) At the age of 31 I decided to retrain as a teacher and I have been a French teacher for the last three years. I am currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Spanish so that when I return to work from my maternity leave I will be able to teach both languages.

6) I love the USA. I’ve been on two American road trips; one from San Francisco to LA to The Grand Canyon and then Las Vegas on my own in 2010. I had just met the man who was to become my husband before I went and we kept in touch on Twitter and email while I was away. By the time I came back and we met up again we had already fallen in love! The second road trip was for our honeymoon in 2012. We went from Boston to Vermont (just so we could go to the Ben & Jerry’s factory!), through upstate New York to Philadelphia and then down the New Jersey and Maryland coast to Washington DC before flying home. Amazing! I would love our next road trip to be to Memphis, Nashville and the Deep South… but we might have to wait a while before that one!

7) I play the ukulele.

And now I have to choose seven other bloggers to nominate (and try and find those who haven’t been nominated already!). Here goes…

The Laughing Owls

My Petit Canard

My Life As A Mummy


You Baby Me Mummy

Northumberland Mam

Tea Is The Answer

And many thanks again to Redhead Babyled for nominating me!


Knitting Friday #3

Knitted elf hat

It’s finished! (Almost). When I had completed the hat it was slightly too small (from the top down the sides) so I picked up all the stitches along the neck edge and free-styled a band in red wool to match the band around the face. I just knitted a couple of rows and then five rows of knit one, purl one rib to match the other bit. I then decreased on two rows before casting off.

Knitted elf hat

I am still planning on lining the hat with fleece but I haven’t hand chance to do it yet. There is still a pompom to be added to the plait coming from the top too. I’m going to do that tonight so that Toby can wear it for his party tomorrow. And I promise I’ll post a photo of Toby in his whole elf outfit after we’ve been!

Becky over at The Laughing Owls has a Knitting Friday post too – last week she had just started on the sleeves for Little Owl’s jumper so why don’t you pop over and see how much progress she has made this week.