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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The worst Mother of the year award goes to me

or so I thought with the following tale until my friends told me equally funny stories of their own "Bad Mothering" moments.

Yesterday I stepped through the door to the basement to switch off the light before going out, only to hear the door click shut behind me and, yes, it was locked with Hannah on the other side! It was like a scene from a dramatic movie with me flinging myself at the door with my hands up screaming Nooooooooo! So there I was locked out of the main part of the house and my eleven month old locked inside with free run of the stairs, sockets and everything else. Luckily I work well under stress and even more luckily the basement has a door that leads directly out to the garden that I could get out. So I ran to my neighbours house and pounded on the door to use her phone, called Jarlath at work (the only other person in America with a key to my house) and told him to get home quickly. I then ran back across to the house and went to the big bay window to the kitchen and started banging on the window and shouting for Hannah. I have never been more relieved when her wee head appeared around the corner and she came smiling over to the window and stood the whole time thinking what a fun game this is banging and talking to Mama through the window. Jarlath made it home in about 15 minutes (it usually takes at least 20 minutes) and came tearing into the house and let me in.

So I accept the award with my head hanging low.

What lesson will I take away, well leave a key to the house in the basement or with a neighbour.

So anyone still want to buy the Irish lucky white heather from me! Please someone just b.loody take it before it kills me, lol.

H Xx

Friends Stories

The title is mine! I actually did drop Tom on his head on a concrete floor when he was a baby which in my reckoning qualifies for the worst mother of all time title. Thankfully he wasn't hurt but as you can see Youre very small beer in comparison. Chin up. Maryxx by Ivybuttons

I think we all have moments like this! At 3 months I popped Zach on the bed and turned my back on him, only for him to display his very newly acquired rolling skills, landing with a thud at my feet! At 8 months old, and just starting to learn how to climb up and down stairs, I stupidly thought I could sit Zach at the top of our stairs to wait whilst I went to put the buggy up at the bottom ready to go out!! Needless to say, he tried to follow me, and tumbled head first top to bottom! He was fine, after a Mummy cuddle, I was a wreck for hours, and didn't go down the stairs without him for another 3 months!! And to this day I have no idea what possessed me to do it i the first place! I could go on, and on, and on!!

I doubt you'll ever do it again, but maybe the key with the neighbour or similar is a good idea, just in case!

Nat by Natsplatt

My youngest daughter aged about 4 months fell out of her cot when I didn't put the base in it properly,she fell on to a hard tiled floor in Cyprus,I sat up all night holding her,I was worried sick and she developed a large blue bruise on the side of her head,she was a very quiet baby from birth and she didn't even cry! I had visions of having her being taken away from me for being a bad mother My other kids said I must have rattled her brains! by shirleymarye

I remember many years ago as a new mum taking my son in his pram to the local shops and leaving him outside the post office and then half way home before I realised I had left him outside in his pram. Never ran so fast in my life to retrieve him. by Eloise

My mother once did exactly the same with one of my brothers! And apparently when she was once taking the bus somewhere with me (aged about 3) and my brother (still a baby), she put me on the bus platform, then as she turned round to pick up bags, pram and baby, the bus drove off with just me aboard! I don't remember this at all but my mother says it gave her nightmares for ages. by Pennyt

Like Nat, we had our eldest on the bed and he rolled off - I'm sure most babies have rolled off something - even when you're keeping an eye on them it happens! Also with our eldest, a few days old - we had him in the car seat in the car, stopped at traffic lights and we were both admiring him (he was in the front seat as the back seat belts were too short) when we both suddenly gasped in horror - we hadn't even fastened the seat belt around his car seat!!! I really did feel I was the worst parent then! Or when I missed Megan's award assembly by thinking it was another day. I'm sure there are loads more instances by scarlet21

Me too to both of mine....the daughter at 2 years old was accidently locked in the house, key inside on hook on wall, and that is one little girl you could not take your eyes off for a minute. I was frantic - but however much she got up to mischief in or out the house, she did take it seriously and followed my instructions..to pull a chair from the dining room, climb onto it, reach for the key, come down, drag the chair to the back door, climb up again, on tip toe and pass through the electric fan in window (thankfully it wasn't on!) and presto I managed to unlock the door.

There I have the story to tell my mid 30s daughter - and you will be able to tell Hannah too when she is older the day mummy accidently locked her in the house at 11 months old. Don't even think that you are the worst Mother, far from it, you have one very happy child there, and all this may just have been an adventure to her - another exciting part of her life. by shanzi

My mum did this to both my brother and me, and we were 10 years apart!! She left John outside the butchers and 10 years later she left me outside the co-op! Aperantly my father was less than impressed on both occasions lol. Maryxx by ivybuttons again!

What are your own stories!!??

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Luck o' the Irish

or not when referring to us.

We had planned this Irish vacation for over 2 years. It was supposed to happen last July but I was pregnant and could not make the trip then. So, after a years delay The Keatings and Vicky were finally looking forward to their trip to Ireland.

I guess our bad fortune started two weeks before we were due to fly. Jarlath had been working hard to prime, paint and lay a floor in our newly finished room in the basement - it is going to be a gym. All finished and looking good on the Sunday night. However, the water hose on our washing machine decides to burst on the Monday evening, not only flooding the laundry room but pouring through the ceiling into the gym. The ceiling, walls and floors were ruined. We were slightly lucky in that we were both in the house at the time and managed to lessen the damage somewhat in the basement. If we had not been in then we would have been looking at a completely flooded basement rather than just one area - so lets take that as a positive in this tale!
The Insurance company were phoned as it was happening and the same night they sent out a recovery company to start work immediately to minimise the damage. The funny thing is a year ago we would have not thought of phoning them right away but a friend, Mike Garrett, had a basement flood recently and it was his experience of the recovery team helping that we learned from. So, thank you Mike, your own disaster helped to minimise ours.
The clear up took about 5 days and then Jarlath replaced the hose on the washing machine to allow me to get the laundry done for our upcoming holiday.

By that weekend all laundry was done and I had even laid out all the clothes for myself and Hannah to pack. On the Sunday I had an ache in my lower back but just put it down to all the running around we had been doing to clean up that week and from lugging a 23lbs baby everywhere. I knew that I would be on holiday in less than a week so should have been able to get some rest for it then, so I just ignored the ache!

Monday came and I took Mrs Miggins to her little gym class in the morning. It was a busy one and all her friends were there. We were having a great time and started to do some bounces, luckily I was on my knees at the time just lifting Hannah up and down as 2 seconds later I was lying on the floor in complete agony. I had "put my back out" and it was now pinching the sciatic nerve and contracting with sharp pain. When I moved it was complete agony - I would compare it to the stage of childbirth that I was asking for an epidural at and I don't mean that in jest.
Luckily all our pals and the class teacher were there to look after Hannah as I struggled to stand and phone Jarlath to come and get me and take me to a Doctor.
To cut a long story short I seemed to have a muscle injury which was in spasm and was prescribed valium to relax the muscle, some strong painkillers and bed rest for 5 days. The first two were easy but how would I get bed rest with Jarlath working and a baby to look after?
This is when you realise what good friends you have made when they all rally round and help you out without question and without thought of putting themselves out. Vicky came straight over on the Monday to help out Jarlath, Thu took Hannah on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and Mala came over with Sef to watch Hannah on the Tuesday afternoon. I hope I can repay this help to them in the future as it allowed me to concentrate on getting well enough to travel on the Friday.
The sad part of this is that due to the drugs I had to take I could no longer breast feed Hannah so she was very quickly weaned overnight. I was a tad tearful over this as I did not like being forced into this decision. I would probably have started weaning at a year anyway but that would have been our own decision and I just hate being forced into it but needs must at the time.

Friday comes and I am still in some pain but determined to make the trip to Ireland as I thought it would be a break for me and I would get lots more help with Hannah.

Now, anyone travelling with a baby knows that the flight times are very important to work around their nap times and feeding times. So, we had booked a flight to Charlotte in North Carolina to coincide with the afternoon nap (surprisingly their are no direct flights from Washington to Ireland) a few hours layover to get ourselves sorted and then an evening flight to Dublin so that Hannah would get her bedtime bottle and then sleep the whole flight over. The best laid plans of Mice and Men! Our first flight was so delayed that US Airways had to re-route us to Boston via United and then to Dublin via Aer Lingus to get us to Ireland that day. To their credit they arranged all this so we happily flew off to Boston knowing it would be a tight layover but just happy that we were going at all. We had also been told by US Airways that our bags would also be re-routed with us and we would get them in Dublin.

I have forgotten to mention that Vicky is not flying with us at this point as she was travelling with American Airlines on points so the plan was that she would fly to Chicago and then onto Dublin getting into Dublin an hour behind us by which time we would have picked up the hire car and be waiting for her. Well little did we know that she was also going through her own flight drama. There was a delay on American to Chicago so she would also miss her Dublin connection and might not arrive until a day later than planned! She also managed to get them to re-route her and you will never believe where she ended up? Yes, going to Boston to be put on the same flight as us on Aer Lingus! It was touch and go if she would make it as she had only a 20 minute connection time and had to rebook her own bags but American met her at the gate and fast tracked her through. So as we were sitting on the plane waiting to take off almost the last person to make it on board was indeed Vicky. We all had a good laugh at this point as it was working out well for us as we would all land together, no matter what further delays occurred, so we could start to relax and look forward to our holiday.

The flight was fine. Hannah and I slept through the whole thing and it went really quickly - valium helped me and a good big bottle of milk helped Hannah. We arrived in Dublin and managed to clear through security nice and quickly and waited for our luggage, and waited and waited. We were not surprised really given our tight connections so went off and reported to Aer Lingus customer services fully expecting all our cases to be on the next flight from Boston that day and to be driven out to us by that evening.

So off to get the hire car. Our credit card gives us rental car insurance for, what we thought, the rest of the world. The lady on the hire car desk would not accept this and asked to speak to our credit card company. On doing so we find out that their are three countries in the world that are not covered by our credit card car insurance - Israel, Jamaica and guess where, yes, the Republic of Ireland. This meant that we had to take out the rental companies car insurance before they would allow us a car and at 30 euros a day for a two week trip this did not come cheap.

Off we went to collect the hire car and make the 4 hour drive right across Ireland to the beautiful village of Dugort on Achill Island, County Mayo where Nana, Grandpa, Uncle Mike, Aunty Alison and the cousins were all waiting to see or meet Hannah. We were tired but happy to be there.

Of course that evening we went into the local pub for a couple of pints to start our holiday. As we were sitting in the pub a stranger walks in and asks if we knew the name on his form. It was Vicky's name and meant her luggage had arrived, hurray, ours could not be far behind!! When our three cases had not arrived by the Sunday morning Jarlath put in a phone call to just check when we would expect to receive them. We were not expecting the reply that they had no idea where our cases actually were and would try and locate them on the system.

At this point I have to point out how useless and unhelpful Aer Lingus "customer services" were throughout the whole process. Each day for 10 days they were called and gave a different story each time. Each time they were questioned to do more they could only reply that they could only communicate to the other airports and airlines through the electronic system and, no, there was no phone number they could call or give us to call to try and resolve this issue in person. We were told every day that they thought our case was in Boston and would put a request in for it to be sent on the next flight but then the next day they would have no cases and no reason why and they would do it all over again. Eventually on day 10, Jarlath got to speak to someone who actually gave a shit about their customers plights and managed to get a phone number from them and a promise that they would call Boston. Of course, they never did call Boston but Jarlath did and managed to get American customer services to do some further work on getting our cases to us. I won't bore you with the details of each and every phone call but in the end we did eventually get our cases delivered to us, to the pub again (as they could not find any other address!) at 11.30p.m. on the Thursday night exactly 13 days after we had arrived in Ireland and just in time for us to load them back in the car to take them back to the airport to fly home! I never even bothered unpacking my case. Another issue was that the cases had been searched through and they had managed to completely burst one of the zips so we would need to buy a new case before we would be allowed to fly home with it. Where had they been all this time, well they had arrived in Boston via United from US Airways who had not then transferred them onto Dublin. The United people at Boston had no idea where they were supposed to go (remember we had been transferred to them by US airways at the last minute) so they shipped them to Chicago to their holding facility where they were eventually linked to our missing luggage request on the system.
This could really have ruined a families holidays but we are lucky in that we had the means and the credit cards to go out a buy an outfit each and some basic essentials to tide us over. We were also lucky that the rental house had a washing machine and tumble dryer to allow us to wash our outfits each night to wear the next day. Hannah managed to borrow some outfits from her cousin who is the same age and Jarlath borrowed items from his Dad and Brother. I could not find any 6 foot one, 150 lbs women on the Island to lend me anything so I made do with two pairs of jeans, one pair of trainers, one pair of flat pumps, three tops and 4 pairs of knickers for the entire holiday. We will be claiming what we spent back from the Aer Lingus and/or our travel insurance but we can not get back the time spent having to drive one hour to the nearest town to get the clothes or the time Jarlath spent each day trying to track down our bags or, indeed, the time spent doing laundry.

So holiday over off we set early on the Saturday morning to head to Dublin where we going to spend the afternoon and evening before flying back home early on Sunday morning. We had planned a quick stop in Castlebar to pick up a case from Dunnes stores before going on our way. Did I mention that the hire car was a crock of shit as well, no, well perhaps I should have as this is now where it comes into its element. We were barely on the road 30 minutes when we had a flat tyre and on further inspection the tyre should not have been allowed on the road as it was shredded on the inside. With the help of a lovely man, whose house we had stopped outside in the middle of nowhere, we managed to get the tyre changed and it was not easy given that there was no handbook to show us how to release the spare tyre and the wrench was not a very good one either so we used the better one the man had. Ok we are on our way, no, the engine light and oil light are now on in the car so we stop again to put a quart of oil in and offer up a prayer to whoever we each believe in that we will now make it to Dublin in one piece.

Hurrah, we have reached Dublin, Boo, we are stuck going round and round in the one way loop and cannot seem to get to our hotel. A stop at Tourist information and some mapreading skills later we make it to our lovely hotel. It is, obviously, now evening and too late to actually do any siteseeing but the sun is shining so we go to our rooms to get ready to enjoy the evening and agree to meet up in half an hour to go for a walk. Of course, it starts to pour with rain so we just have a drink and go to dinner before an early night.

The journey home loomed and as it was a day flight we were unsure how Hannah would be on the flight. Surely nothing else could go wrong for us on this trip. Guess what the answer to that question is?!?! Yes, you guessed it we had another delay on our flight from Dublin to Charlotte which meant we would miss our connection in Charlotte. Nothing much we could do except get on the flight and hope that there was a later flight home or we would be spending the night in a hotel somewhere. Luck, finally, was on our side and when we landed in Charlotte we had been booked on a later flight which took off in two hours. Time for a cup of tea and some leg stretching for Hannah. She was very good on the TransAtlantic flight taking a couple of naps as normal for daytime and just smiling and playing the rest of the time. I don't know how people cope though when they don't have a separate seat for their baby and have to have them on their laps the whole flight. Having the separate seat for her meant that when she was napping I could pop her in her car seat and enjoy my dinner or a nap myself.
Finally we arrived home to Washington (as did our luggage) and a taxi ride later I can honestly say I have never been so glad to walk through my front door. But no rest for the wicked. I knew we had no groceries in the house so immediately jumped in the car to get some basics for breakfast and the next couple of days. It was very strange getting into the car on the left hand side and driving on the different side of the road so soon after spending 2 weeks doing exactly the opposite. I had to really concentrate on what I was doing because I was so tired my mind kept wandering off.
Poor Vicky had an equally challenging time getting home and with delays she arrived home at 11.00p.m. at night exactly 24 hours after getting up that morning to start her journey.

So what lessons can I take from these events; You really don't need to take half the stuff you pack for holidays as you can happily cope with a lot less when needed. Good friends are priceless in times of need. Not wearing a drop of makeup for 2 weeks lets your skin breath and makes it glow.

The positives from the vacation are that Hannah is now walking on her own at just under 11 months. She has also started "dancing" in time to music. It was lovely to see family and for a lot of them to meet Hannah for the first time.

We have agreed that we are not going on vacation for a couple of years and certainly no TransAtlantic trips for a long time.

What did we actually get up to on vacation, well I will save that for the next blog.

H Xx

ps anyone want to buy some lucky white heather or a rabbits foot from me?!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The busy life of a six month old!

I was just reviewing my diary for the week to see what we were doing and every day is chocked full of dates and appointments. Not for me but for little Miss Hannah. Since joining http://www.thelittlegym.com/ we have met lots of other babies and Mums and have been making lots of playdates.

Today we have our regular Bugs class for 4 to 10 months old. This is a 45 minute class taken by one of the teachers at the gym and it helps our Little Bugs develop core muscles and practice new skills while meeting and socialising with other babies. It also gives me a chance to meet and discuss things with other new mums at the same stage as us. We have made some great new friends and their are 4 of us that seem to really hit it off and are starting to arrange playdates outwith the gym.

On Wednesday we are hosting our first playdate at our house. It is called "My Favourite Toy" and there are 4 or 5 babies coming and they have to bring their favourite toy to share with the other babies. I am hoping the sun is out so we can have it in our sunroom as it is a lovely room to play in and allows you to sit in the sun even when it is still a bit cold outside. I will post some photos and write an update on how it went afterwards. I am really looking forward to it as I love organising parties and events and hosting people in my new house.
We are then going into Bethesda in the evening to have dinner with Aunty Vix. I have a craving for some good Chinese food so going to one of Vicky's favourite Chinese restaurants. Hannah will be asleep so she won't get to taste any of it. I make a point of giving her a taste of anything I am eating when she is near so she gets a wide variety of tastes other than babyfood. We have been making some of our own baby food from books by Annable Karmel and they are working out really well. Favourites so far are Chicken and Corn Chowder and Fish with vegetables in a cheese sauce. I have tasted them myself and they taste really good for baby food.

On Thursday we are going swimming with some of our new friends as well. We meet at Melanies apartment and use the indoor pool there. It is so much easier than going to the public swimming pool and great for me to have some company to chat to while we are splashing about with the babies. We are really looking forward to getting our own outdoor pool open for the summer and will probably be scheduling that for the end of April so that it has a chance to heat up before Memorial Day weekend at the end of May (opening party details will follow). We have already bought Hannah a pool float for her to bob about in the pool and to allow me to swim while pushing her with me http://www.buybuybaby.com/product.asp?SKU=18041960&
and it is, of course, a Ladybug. Now I just need to get some adult floats with drink holders for myself and Jarlath and we are ready for the summer.

We are also going to our neighbours house for morning tea on Thursday to meet her properly and play with one of her three young boys. The youngest is about 2 so a bit older than Hannah but it will be good to build a friendship if we are both bringing up kids on the cul de sac.

Friday we have another gym class and we are hoping to learn some more baby sign language - they sometimes do this at the Little Gym but are not really consistent with it.

So good bye from "The Baby that lunches" as Linda and Bob Watson called her ( speak to you on Skype this week).

H and h Xx

ps Six month check up stats:

Weight 17 lbs (75th percentile)
Height 28 inches (off the chart for her age!!)
and all well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Other Queen by Phillipa Gregory

Using the multiple-viewpoint technique that worked well in The Boleyn Inheritance (2006), Gregory fictionalizes a little-explored episode in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1568, after fleeing rebellious Scottish lords, Mary is placed into the custody of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick. This turns their Derbyshire estate into a hotbed of intrigue and possible treason. George, normally loyal to a fault, falls in love with Mary; Bess secretly reports to William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, while fretting about her foolish husband and the continual draining of their funds; Mary plays them against one another while plotting to escape, with Cecil noting her every move. Gregory skillfully evokes the suspenseful atmosphere—it was never certain that the 1569 Rising of the North in favor of Catholic Mary would fail—but the protagonists’ inner thoughts, as presented in short alternating chapters, are unnecessarily repetitive. Although this isn’t her best work, Gregory’s writing is sharpest toward the end, as the unavoidable consequences of Mary’s long imprisonment are finally felt by all.

I love all things Gregory and all things Tudor so was very excited to borrow this book from the library in a delicious hardback format. There is something quite special for me of reading a book in library hardback with rough edged pages and thick paper.

Did I love this book, well no, certainly not as much as her other novels. Did I enjoy it, well yes, but I always enjoy her writing and she always seems very well researched and credible. The short chapters helped me get through this book quickly as it was so easy to "just read one more" before going off to carry out a chore or wake the baby. So my recommendations is to read if you are a fan of the author in general but do not pick this one as the first ever book to read from her (my personal recommendation for first book would be The Constant Princess).

It also got me thinking about the accuracy of history books. With the many references to falsified information in this book, I wonder how we actually know which accounts of history were true and which were made up. My husband had an interesting response when I posed this question to him - "History is always written by the victors" - which is so true as it is their accounts of events that will always remain on record. Just some food for thought. Xx

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's in our food?

I have never been one to really bother that much about what is in my food. I eat kind of healthily but am not too bothered about buying organic or reading food labels. Well that all changed since I have started making some of my own baby food and I truly cannot believe what goes into some, seemingly, healthy foods.

For Example, frozen peas. In my innocence I expected the ingredients to be just that, peas and perhaps a little water but no, on closer inspection in seems that most brands of frozen peas have salt or sugar added and some have both! Why would you want sugar added to your frozen peas or salt for that matter, but I never add salt to my food. So I eventually find a pack that is just peas and move on to the canned goods aisle.

A tin of sweetcorn in water. Fairly innocuous you say but no. Again most of them have salt and sugar added and some have other ingredients that I have not even heard of. Ten minutes later I find a tin marked "No salt added" that does not have anything else added either.

Is this just in America because of the greater choices they seem to have in Grocery stores or is this a worldwide phenomenon? Don't even get me started on the American obsession with putting Cinnamon in everything!
It would appear that it would be a lot easier for me to just buy ready made baby food and it seems it would be a lot healthier as baby food over here is heavily regulated by the FDA (the American Food and Drugs administration) and cannot have anything other than pure ingredients added to it. It is also, probably, cheaper to buy it ready made as well as by the time I buy all the ingredients it works out quite expensive to make myself.
But in the end it is worth it because when you see this little face after a tasty homecooked dinner, it is worth all the effort and the extra time reading the labels in the grocery store.

Bon Appetit. Xx

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The end of an era

Well my thirties anyway but I like a dramatic title for my blogs. I am about to hit the big 4-0 on Friday. Do I feel any different? Not really. My life has changed so much over the last couple of years I really haven't had time to notice myself ageing but looking in the mirror I see the wrinkles coming in more and more. Luckily I am not very vain so I don't really care and have more important things in life to think about. I wonder what the next decade of my life will bring, what do I want to achieve?
I usually like to have some goals but I am just quite content at the moment being a stay at home Mama. My goals are just to make sure Hannah has the best start in life that I can give her.
A lot happened for me in my thirties. I lost both parents, got married, moved continents, had a baby to name a few. I am sad that my sister has chosen to cut me out of her life in the last year(and more importantly the life of my nephews and niece) but I also have a lot to be thankful for as you all know. So bring on the 40's I am ready to accept the challenge.
For my birthday I asked for a trip back to the UK and we will be doing that very soon. I suspect that Jarlath is planning some surprise for me on Friday and I look forward to whatever that is. As long as it includes my husband and daughter I don't really care what I do on my birthday.
Well just a short musing as my bed and book awaits me. I really need to start reviewing some of the books I have been reading as I have had some quite good ones. This months book group book was Major Pettigrews last stand and I am looking forward to discussing it on Thursday. Last months was Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and made for a really interesting discussion. I am still acquiring books wherever I go but I am becoming a lot stricter about getting rid of them once I have read them or just using the library. The local library is brilliant and I always seem to manage to get the book I want for my book group. They also have a great childrens section and I look forward to exploring that more with Miss Hannah. I so hope she inherits my love of books as I will be quite gutted if she does not enjoy reading. Even as a child I used to always have my nose stuck in a book.

H Xx

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There is a first time for everything by Hannah Keating

Well Mama has been very slow in updating her blog so I thought I would take it upon my own shoulders to give you an update. They do say sleep when Mama sleeps but I thought I would put nap time to good use on this occasion.

Well she can't really complain about me being up as I now sleep for 13 hours every night. Papa usually puts me to sleep at 6.30p.m. after I allow him to read me a bedtime story from my wonderful tbr list and then I get awoken at about 7.30a.m. in the morning for a feed and snuggle with Mama in bed.

I survived my 4 month Doctors appointment where I weighed 15lbs and was 26 inches long. I played a trick on Mama as well. She was just telling the Doctor that I had not been flipping over from my front to my back like the books say I should so just after the words were out her mouth I decided to flip over right there on the Doctors table. That will teach her to doubt me. Do you know what she did then, she blooming well got a nurse to stick a needle in my thigh with something called a vaccination. Mad, I very nearly called child services on them but after a cuddle from Papa I decided not to as they are generally quite good to me.

I also decided to start eating solids after this Doctors visit. Mama had been planning to discuss this with the Doctor but he actually brought it up first and thought that even though I am quite young I was so big I was ready to start on some simple solids. So I have been munching my way through oatmeal and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I love most things but not a huge fan of carrots, not surprising as Mama does not like carrots much either but quite funny since Mama filled the freezer with lots of pureed carrots that I just won't eat. I also rewarded her efforts with some really nice big poos which were particularly pungent.

Now I am eating solids I thought it was about time to get some more exercise so I thought I would have Mama and Papa take me swimming. I really enjoy it and we have found a lovely indoor pool just ten minutes from the house which has a childrens pool and lots of slides for when I am a bit older. It even has a diving pool and I was made to watch Papa do some of his dives last time we all went together. It will be great practice for when the family outdoor pool is opened in late spring, early summer and I can have lots of fun with Mama having a swim each day to cool down.

We have had a bit of snow recently so we have not been able to get out for our daily walks as the pavements are covered. We also had a power cut for two days which was not much fun. Mama made me sleep in with her to keep her warm and we spent our days huddled in front of the log fire to keep warm. Mama found it hard work but apart from my baby wipes being ice cold I it didn't really affect me much.

We had a horrible drive through a snow storm as well. Mama took me to drop Papa off at the metro for a business dinner down town when the snow was just starting and what should have been a ten minute drive back home turned into a two hour marathon drive through a blizzard. Poor Mama had white knuckles but our good four wheel drive car got us home safe and sound where others had to spend the night in their cars or abandon them and walk home in the storm. I complained a little bit as I was hungry and it was past my dinner time but I quickly realised there was not much Mama could do for me so decided to have a short nap. I was rudely awakened when we got home and found the power was out and poor Mama had to climb over the snow from the car to the front door as the garage door would not open. Luckily I have my dinner cold anyway and didn't fuss about it to give Mama a break.
It is difficult to remember all I have been up to as I seem to be so busy these days. Oh I nearly forgot to mention I have just got my passport through ready for my trip back to the UK. Mama keeps going on and on about how she can't believe I have an American passport. I tried to put on my best passport "glaikit" face for the picture and I think I succeeded.
I am really looking forward to my trip back to the UK and dispensing lots of cuddles where I can - I love cuddles!
I also went to my first library play group. It is called Mother Goose story time and is on once a month at our local library. Miss Stephanie took it and she was very nice and we did shapes and had a lovely story from her. Mama also bought me two books at the library book sale, they were only 50 cents each. We plan to go back next month for story time again and to a couple of other fairly local libraries that do a similar class on different days. I believe it is never too early to use your local library and mine has a lovely kids play room and computers just for us kids to use. Once I think I am old enough I will take Mama along and show her how to use them.
Well I think that is all from me for now as it is time to wake Mama from her nap and get her to feed me my dinner. Hope everyone is as well as I am.
With love
Hannah xx