Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The year in review

January was about a big bump, and my driving test. I worried, but I passed. I still can't park. I stopped work, or the type of work that involves going to an office. I was seized by the "nesting instinct": I cooked, I cleaned, and I filled my days imagining what life was going to be like with a baby. I watched a lot of movies. I ate pineapple. I ate curry. I took long walks, and then my legs hurt in the evening. I wondered what contractions would feel like. I finally found out. I experienced the hardest day of my life. We had a baby, a boy. I was surprised that he wasn't a girl, but he was still beautiful, the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. I was exhausted, but I was thankful that I hadn't died. We struggled over what to call him, and eventually decided on Blake. We've been very happy with that choice. I ached. I cried. I was happy. I was sad. I was overwhelmed. I was a mother.

We came home. Blake didn't sleep as much as the babies in the books did. We read a lot of books. I was tired. Matt was wonderful: he cooked, he cleaned, he reassured me. He was overwhelmed too. Blake met his grannies; they loved him right away. We watched Blake sleep and wished he did it more. We changed a lot of nappies. I fretted over breastfeeding; it wasn't easy. Nothing seemed easy anymore. He and I finally got the hang of it. I did a lot of rocking my baby to sleep. I dreamt of being rocked to sleep myself, not that I'd need the rocking part. I did laundry constantly. I never had anything to wear.

The clocks moved forward; spring came. I watched the leaves appear on the trees. I watched Blake's hair fall out. He looked like such an old man. I felt like such an old woman. I managed to shower most days, but makeup was off the menu. Blake got baby acne and needed makeup worse than I did. I spoke to my mother. I spoke to my mother-in-law. They told me their babies weren't easy either. I got lots of advice. I felt loved by friends and family. I did a lot of walking. I met new people and made new friends. I exercised, mildly. I looked at daycare for Blake; it seemed so long away still. We ventured to the US; we beamed at how good Blake was on the plane. Good meant that he slept for a fair portion of the trip. I got a new camera. I took too many pictures. I had been there when Matt became a father but it was fun to watch him become "Daddy". My own father, for his part, seemed to enjoy having a little grandson to chuckle at.

Summer came, but it was London, so it wasn't summer like in many parts of the world. I longed for sleep. I prayed that solids would help. They didn't, really, but they made the nappies worse. I bought the baby food cookbook and made my own baby food. I never thought I would do that. Blake learned to crawl. He didn't want to stay put. We decided to move. The credit crunch meant that nobody was buying property, so we decided to stay put. I yearned for more space, and longed to live in the middle of nowhere so that I wouldn't have to feel guilty about the neighbours hearing a screaming baby. I was thankful to live in the middle of a city where I had plenty to do. I had thought it was hard to keep an eye on Blake when he was rolling over, but it was ten times harder when he was crawling and pulling himself up. The Olympics were on, but I hardly watched any; I didn't see one second of women's gymnastics, so I can't say whether those Chinese girls were old enough or not. I don't know where the weeks went. I longed for more sleep. I longed for a day off. Saturdays and Sundays were nice, but they were never vacation days.

In the fall, we had Blake baptized. He was an angel. I tried to exercise more seriously. I realized that my body would never be the same again. We dressed Blake as a cowboy for Halloween. I watched the leaves change color. I watched America vote for a black man to replace a white cowboy in the White House. For the first time in 8 years, I voted for the person who won. The world seemed a brighter place. I watched the leaves fall off the trees. I watched my bank balance dwindle as Blake's smile got bigger and bigger. Teeth started to appear, and that caused some tears. I felt guilty for the neighbour. I felt guilty a lot of the time. I made peace offerings in the form of wine. I wondered if anyone had ever died of sleep deprivation. I started to worry about going back to work. The kind that takes place in an office. I felt thankful that at least for the moment, I have a job to go back to.
We all had colds, multiple ones that seemed to run into one another and kept us feeling ill for most of one month. All of a sudden, it was Christmas, but I hardly bought any presents. I knew we had everything we really need. I was thankful for everything I have. I thought about how nice it would be to be a grandparent, but reminded myself that grandparents had to be parents to begin with. I started to think about resolutions, which include being a better wife, and drinking more water. I always want to be better...a better friend to those who call me their friends, a better mother to my son, a better wife to my wonderful husband, a better blogger, and so on. But I do my best, I tell myself.

It's been quite a year, one I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams. I've done nothing; I've done loads. I've seen amazing transformations. I've felt joy and sadness, agony and ecstasy, sleep deprivation and...more sleep deprivation. This, as I can best recall, was my blessed, wonderful, sleep-deprived 2008.
From the editorial, managerial, and contributing teams here at DwL, we wish you a healthy, happy and joyous New Year. May 2009 be your best year ever and may all your dreams come true. I'm just hoping for sweet dreams.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And it was so much fun I had to try the disco version!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I couldn't resist

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

A few days at Granny Lyons' house

We just spent a few days at Granny Lyons' house where Blake discovered pianos and satsumas. There was also a whole new set of kitchen cabinets to explore; unfortunately about an hour before we left, he somehow slithered between the two of us and managed to pull out - and break - a lovely serving dish. We hope that a grandmother's love is unconditional!
We are soon headed off to North Carolina where Granny Karla and Grandpa John await (Granny Karla with bated breath, Grandpa John with trepidation about the havoc Blake is going to wreak in the house!). Not sure how postings will work but we will aim to do a DwL Christmas message, a bit like the Queen's on Christmas Day. It will be my first Christmas in Hickory since 2004 - my how much has changed since then?! Wish us luck on the flight...Blake and I are off on our own and Matt comes the week after. I'm hoping for an empty plane and/or kind and hearing-impaired passengers.

Is there a helpline for this behavior?

So, we have a slight issue on our hands, which is anytime Blake sees the gadget known as the camera make an appearance, he decides to make this ridiculous face which he no doubt thinks is exactly the face we want him to be making, but is in fact the exact opposite! Head thrown back (perfect for seeing the inside of his nose?!), eyes nearly shut, nose crinkled, and full display of his massive front tooth. Again and again and again. Matt and I are undecided as to which of us may have encouraged this. Evidence abounds from our friends' Christmas lunch held last weekend.

Boys being boys

Blake's friend Hugo came over recently to hang out. They had a grand ol' time eating what I think is basically the children's "organic" version of Cheese Puffs and some gingerbread biscuit things. You can see Blake could not contain his excitement at having a friend over, giving it his now infamous "cheeky crinkly nose totally preening look" that he thinks is cute but really isn't!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I had some Eurostar points to redeem so we headed off for a short trip to Lille for Blake's first trip to the Continent. We got the train on Monday (first time I'd travelled out of St Pancras since it all moved from Waterloo) and arrived in Lille, a place neither Matt nor I had ever been, in the early afternoon. Blake would have been happy to stay in the hotel room the whole time such was his joy at being in a new place and being able to explore all the nooks and crannies of the room. To his dismay, we went out for a walk in the cold and fog, so he expressed his boredom by napping while Matt and I had a lunch date of galettes at a little creperie. Then it was back to the hotel for a Lyons family nap!

The next day was brighter, but still cold, so we wandered all over the city and finally stopped for lunch at a family-friendly restaurant (wow, how our needs have changed - they had a high chair and bread rolls so it was perfect). It was a nice getaway and fun to explore somewhere new.

Lille in December

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our London links to the US: our friends Rachel and Dinah came over for turkey sandwiches (Dinah's dad Ray is from Texas so like Blake, Dinah is British-American). I realize that sandwiches are a far cry from the days of my slaving away in the kitchen over a 14-lb whole turkey, but at least it was an effort to mark the day! And they were fancy sandwiches - turkey, brie, rocket, and chili cranberry sauce; I was impressed. I tried to print out some turkey pictures for Blake and Dinah to color but then I forgot that we don't have any crayons, so that was not a very successful activity.
After lunch we went down to Hyde Park to meet Cathy and Maddie Shingler, Kate Kenney's sis-in-law and niece. We also happened to meet Santa in the park, which is strange since I thought he would be resting in anticipation of Dec 24th.
I had particular reason to be thankful this morning since Blake slept from 11:30-6:30 and for once I went to bed when he did, so I actually got a good night's sleep! All in all, a very nice day. I hope all of you reading this from the US are enjoying the day off work and being with friends and family.
We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, namely all the wonderful people in our lives who help make it special - thank you for your friendship and love!

Thanksgiving 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

The allure of gadgets

Are all babies as enamoured by gadgets as our little Blake is?! His eyes widen and I feel his heart probably skips a beat when he sees a mobile phone, remote control, or camera within touching distance. Here he was, enjoying a little push with his wagon, when he got distracted by the very instrument attempting to capture all this to look back on in years to come...

Toothy has a sister!

We welcomed another tooth into the family last week - let's say it was Friday, Nov 21. It's the one below P. White Lyons, I, so I guess we can call this one Pearly White Lyons, II, or "Two-thy2"!! Meanwhile Toothy the 1st is growing in confidence by the day and has been coming out more and more all the time. Blake seems to love to do his "crinkly-nosed" face when showing off these two treasures of his.

In other news, we have all had rotten, rotten colds! Blake's started last week one day when he was so tired he fell asleep at the lunch table. I couldn't help but take a picture. He then got extremely clingy and our attempts to establish some normal sleeping routines (I'm beginning to think that's an oxymoron with this guy) went out the window. But I feel we are all coming out of the worst of the runny nose, chesty cough, sore throat stage and are on the road to wellness...and then it will be back on that sleep quest.

London got some light snow this morning. Hope you are nice and cozy from wherever you are reading this!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

P. White ("Toothy") Lyons, I

DwL, in conjuction with Leighton Gardens Dentistry, is pleased to announce the arrival of P. White ("Toothy") Lyons, I. Toothy broke on the scene today after several days in the closely-guarded oral laboratory of Jr-Dentist-in-Residence, Blake J. Lyons. Chief Dentist, Dr. Mom, had this to say: "We are delighted to have Toothy finally with us. Toothy's arrival heralds a new era in the life of our Jr Dentist. We can now also attribute some of Blake's recent changes in temperament to Toothy's emergence. " Unusually, Toothy arrived on the lab's upper level, as opposed to the lower as is most common in young junior dentists. Dr. Mom continued: "Toothy I is just the start. But it certainly signals an end to the nose-biting of our Sr. Lab Technician - gums are one thing but Toothy's another!" Jr. Dentist Lyons has a cold (see nasal area in photo for evidence) and was unavailable for comment.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes we did!

His message was about hope and change, two things America - and the world - needs, writes the DwL London correspondent.

On Wednesday, November 5th, I awoke at 7:30 a.m. to a beautiful stillness in the flat. I had gone to bed a little after midnight, unable to stay up into the wee hours to witness history being made. Having shared some drinks with some local mother friends, I had to go to bed hoping that Obama would pull through with the needed electoral college votes to become the next president of the US. The color of his skin wasn't really in my thoughts; I just knew that America desperately needed new leadership and that he would do his best to bring it.

I do feel like I'll be able to recall that particular morning for a long time to come: Matt had the day off so had not had to get up to go to work, the pale grey light coming through the window had a serene feel to it, and perhaps most notably in the 8 or so months since February 28th, I had not been woken once in the hours between 12:30 and 7:30. I wondered to myself whether the change in the world had been so profound that it had caused Blake to sleep through the night.

Shortly after, Blake did stir, so he and I came into the living room, turned on the tv, and watched the scenes of jubilation in Times Square and Grant Park. Obama had done it! I watched snippets of his acceptance speech and could only think that he must be the most exhausted man on the planet and felt sad that his beloved grandmother had not lived two days longer to see him take on the historical title of first black President. (I also thought, "Who in their right mind would want to be President?", but that's by the by...). With regards to the more immediate question of whether change had come in the form of Blake's sleep habits, Matt let me know when he woke up that he'd given Blake a bottle at 3:00 a.m. - clearly I'd had a bit more wine than I'd intended because I didn't even hear him!!

It was clear that this election was something very different to any before in America: the overwhelming voter turnout and the shared joy among blacks and whites, old and young made me confident that Obama represents, and will bring, change. Throughout the day, I got shivers as I realized that history had been made. Part of Martin Luther King's dream had been fulfilled in the form of a son of a black African man and a white American woman. I felt proud of Americans, and of being American, and I think and hope that the world's confidence in the US has begun to be restored. We bought papers to save for the future and watched coverage throughout the day, staying particularly attentive to the way in which North Carolina would eventually be called (sadly, the Republican stronghold of Catawba County was too much for my friend Daniel Johnson, despite Obama's victory in NC).

The papers today were a little different, as the focus turned toward discussions of the numerous challenges Obama will face, especially with regards to the economy. He is inheriting a bit of a mess, really, which many cynics will say is the reason he won (or the reason the Republicans lost). I spent my odd free moments today looking at YouTube videos which I hadn't seen before (it seems a strong feeling for many in the US yesterday that they would finally stop being bombarded by election-mania, from which I was spared here in the UK), and the Yes We Can video has really stuck with me.

[Sarah Palin's being unable to name a single newspaper to Katie Couric also resonated in that it reminded me of an Art History exam I had at Dartmouth where, under pressure, I could name only 2 or 3 artists, among about 400, that we studied throughout the term...I didn't get the extra credit! Di, Amy, and Beth - you may remember that one...?]

This publication would like to congratulate President-elect Obama and wish him well on his journey to take America back to a better place. On an issue very close to my heart, I hope that he perhaps get to take a couple of naps in the coming days. He has a lot of work ahead of him and a little sleep can make the world seem like a much better place.

Friday, October 31, 2008

By the way

This has to be the funniest costume I found for a baby.

Wild wild Northwest London

So with few other options coming to mind, Blake spent his first Halloween as a cowboy! Most of the stuff we had so I just needed to order a hat, which I knew would also not stay on very long. Here are the photos (scroll quickly, there are a lot!)
Little pumpkin and cowboy Blake

We also had a little gathering with some local babes; quite a cute show they put on for us!
Babes do Halloween

I bought some candy and we had...wait for it...ZERO trick-or-treaters!! Fortunately I find eating leftover candy to be one of the joys of this particular holiday.


Happy Halloween from DwL! If this small person comes knocking at your door for treats, make him do a trick first! (And a great trick would be to sleep through the night...!).

This is a sleepsuit sent by Granny Karla and later today I'll put him in his other costume. Had to do a bit of a makeshift one since I decided in these credit crunching times that I didn't want to spend £25 to buy something!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Clean living

As I looked around my messy kitchen this afternoon (if you don't know why it's messy, see the previous post about baby food preparation), I thought about what life would be like with a cleaner. Our downstairs neighbour, Beth, has one, and I've had the pleasure of meeting her every now and then as we're going out or coming in on Wednesday mornings. Like probably a lot of cleaners around here, her command of English isn't great but it does make me laugh when she sees us and lets me know that she thinks that Blake looks like me: "Same you, same you!"

So, yes, in a lot of ways, I would like a cleaner: to avoid the guilt I feel when I use the computer instead of dusting, or mopping the kitchen floor (generally encrusted with bits of cheese, or once-soggy, sucked-on toast); to ease any anxiety that if and when people come over (and they don't, but anyone is more than welcome to come anytime!) I don't have to be looking around thinking "Oh shoot, how didn't I see that layer of inch-thick dust under the couch?!"; and to generally make my life that little bit easier. Then I thought about it for a few seconds more. I don't actually want a cleaner, I just want to be able to find an extra half an hour a day to make my home cleaner.

And just in case you're wondering, yes, he did nap today. I decided to have one too.

Quote of the day

After a pretty horrendous night's sleep (which included Blake ripping his dummy out of his mouth and flinging it about 6 feet out of his bedroom and into the hallway...perhaps a future England cricketer or Major League Baseball pitcher on our hands here), I have just been looking at advice on what to do if an 8-month-old baby doesn't sleep.

I've just read a great quote and am going to leave my research at this for the moment: My motto is, Most sleep for the greatest number of people. Looks like I'll be comfort feeding then, but perhaps I, my bedfellow, and our downstairs neighbor will be happiest.

Playing in the leaves

We missed the most vibrant of the colors but thought it would be fun for Blake to play around in a pile of leaves...

Monday, October 27, 2008

A word about weaning

Like most mothers, I want to be the best mother I can be. This aspiration, combined with my perfectionist, competitive, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, has led me to an interesting place with regards to our little Master Blake's diet.

When I thought about being a mother, one of the things I never ever (EVER) even thought about was what my child would eat once he moved on to solid foods. The answer was, of course, baby food in a jar. That's what I probably ate as a baby, and my past brief excursions down the baby aisle in the supermarket always led me to know that there was a huge range of delicious, nutritious and easy-to-serve meals for little ones, with very appetizing names (adjectives like "farmhouse" and "tropical" come to mind; I'm a marketer's dream customer). For lack of another option I would gladly eat some sort of baby rice pudding or custard to satisfy a craving for something sweet. There was also the hard fact that I very seldom cooked for myself, or for me and Matt, bar the occasional dinner party (apart from baking, which somehow I see as a different activity). So jars it would be.

Well, let me tell you what actually happened....when Blake was about 4 months, I started hearing talk in my circle of mother friends about how to start weaning, and how you can cook all these great recipes, blend them up and then freeze them in ice cube trays so that with just a few seconds of defrosting, you can serve your baby a homemade meal, perfectly balanced in its nutritional and vitamin content, etc. Sounds easy, right? In a way, of course, it is, but I'm just taking a break from about 3 hours of backbreaking work to write this post, and have also provided photographic evidence of the chaos this activity can cause in the kitchen. First you have to buy the vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, and accessories, lug them home and attempt to fit it all in the fridge to await a time when the bebe-gourmand is asleep to spend some time cooking. But if only it were just cooking! There is the washing, the peeling, the boiling, the draining, the whizzing, the decanting into the ice cube trays, the cooling, and finally the putting into the freezer. Oh, and then there's the washing up of all the pots, pans, spoons, blender parts... At some point I started to get pins and needles in my back! Did I mention the need to label the freezer bags since everything containing sweet potato starts to look the same when blended?

Thus far I haven't broken down and given Blake any food from a jar (although I'm not a total zealot, it's not like I'm making my own yogurt and bread, nor am I going out gathering nuts and seeds for snacks). Partly I'm worried that once he has a taste of the jars he'll decide that he won't eat my stuff which could be an ego blow that I'm not yet ready to deal with. And I think more the issue is that I know that this can't, and won't, go on forever, and that once I'm back at work I'll be lucky to find time to get our clothes ready for the next day of work/nursery and that the time in the kitchen will have to be put on the back burner (pun intended, I think, or is that just a metaphor?). There of course should also come a day when Blake can just eat what we eat, which will make life a lot easier. [No doubt there will probably also come a day when he'll decide he won't eat anything healthy whatsoever and demand McDonald's Happy Meals, with absolutely plain hamburgers - just bun and meat - like I did for much of my youth.]

For now, I'm back to the kitchen where I have a bit more pureeing to do. I think I may have to leave the clean up til tomorrow!
By the way, in my research for this post, I learned something new: Gerber, a popular brand of baby food in the US, means "to puke" in French!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baby talk?

At 2:30 a.m. last night, I had a thought about what babies' babble must be when they get together:

BL: "Hey mate, how's it going?"
Friend, we'll call him Hugo (Blake's first baby friend): "Yeah, not bad, how 'bout you?"
BL: "Pretty good, that place I got to stay's working out pretty well...I'm really loving the complimentary drink of warm milk in the middle of the night."
HD: "Oh, how do you get that then? Do you have to ask for it?"
BL: "Yeah, in my place you just start yelling and then usually the landlady comes in. If she doesn't hear me at first then I get out that little megaphone they gave out at the hospital when we were leaving, you know the one they said to use in emergencies? I just get that out and it makes my voice louder, so the lady comes running in a bit quicker."
HD: "Oh cool, yeah, that sounds like a good time to use it. And then you just get your drink?"
BL: "Well, sometimes she acts like she's not going to serve me, and gives me that plastic thing and says 'Shh' a lot. But she knows I'm not a dummy - that bar has a 24-hour license, I know - so eventually she opens the bar. Then it's just right back to sleep for me....really good."
HD: "She sounds nice, your landlady."
BL: "She's nice, sure. In the daytime she looks a little rough, like she works all night or something. I mean she could use a haircut and maybe to wear a bit more makeup to hide those black things under her eyes, but her face is funny. Not as funny as the man's though; I eat his nose which is hilarious. The woman just looks on kind of wearily when I do that. We have fun most of the time."

Are you an 8-month old? Is this an accurate description of your conversations with other babies? If so, let us know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Election '08

Colin Powell's recent endorsement of Barack Obama made me realize that as a "leading online publication"*, DwL should probably come out and officially back the Obama-Biden ticket. I sent my FWAB (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot...in a world of catchy acronyms, this isn't one of them) in already, but unfortunately mine goes to Massachusetts where it doesn't have much impact. I had thought about ordering a t-shirt but the Obama store on the official website http://www.barackobama.com/index.php is rather daunting (and perhaps a little pricey? $75.00 for a totebag?). Oh well, if it helps fund a last-minute push to get the man into the White House, I hope people are buying them!!

For any readers in North Carolina, if you have the chance to vote for Daniel Johnson (fellow HHS '94 classmate ) in the 10th Congressional District, please do so and get others to do the same! http://www.danieljohnson08.org/index.asp

*DwL is counted by many - especially a certain Mrs. Blakey of Hickory, NC - as their first source of news on the web

Late October update

We just got back from a few days at Granny Lyons' house, enjoying some autumnal fresh air. The question of the day must be, is there anything more fun than smashing your hand into your dad's face while he's trying to take a quick nap on the floor? I think the picture tells the answer...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Volunteering is tiring, as is being a mother

What a full (read exhausting) weekend. I was in charge of the cake stand at the NCT Nearly New Sale on Saturday, which sounds easy, surely. But it was a lot of work although I think the sale made a good profit for the NCT so that is good. Matt was a star Daddy and took Blake for most of the morning. Unfortunately while we were all three away from the flat our agent called to ask us if he could bring people by; we said yes not realizing the extent of the messiness that we'd left that morning. Sigh...

Anyway, Blake is so quick these days it's hard to pin him down for a photo. He loves phones of all kinds - mobile, digital, his rotary-dial toy that Anna gave him, etc. Here he is with our landline, which has only been working intermittently since he started shoving it in his mouth at every opportunity.

He is also aiming to set speed records for crawling and can now stand for a second or two on his own. Will my prediction that he will walk by the end of November come true?!

Baby congrats for Meghan and Mike who welcomed daughter Cyrena on 25th Sept, Claire and Tim on the birth of son Sebastian last week, and John and Laura Barrett whose daughter Elinor arrived on her due date!! Enjoy these first magical and slightly surreal weeks of being a new parent!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Me and my shadow

Just got back from the gym, which I've joined so that I can have an hour to myself every now and then, but also to get both Blake and me used to the fact that in February, I am going to have to leave him for a lot longer than an hour every day!

So far he hasn't really loved being in the creche, and I can usually hear him crying when I ring the doorbell to go in and pick him up. I don't really know what to do with a Mama's boy on my hands!!

So in line with the theme of his going wherever I go, today's pics reflect a time about a week or so ago when he got really into shadows and was intensely interested in what they were, chasing them and no doubt wondering why he couldn't quite "get" them into his little mitts.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mobility and other

I thought I had no time when Blake wasn't moving, but now I know differently!! My blog postings reflect this lack of free time. I will endeavor to do better, Granny Karla!!

Most days are spent chasing him around, keeping him away from wires, cables, phones, gadgets, etc. My phone stopped working and I thought it was broken; a few hours later it was working again so presumably it had just been temporarily drowned in slobber. Lesson learned!

Here are a few pics. If anyone knows of any professional services that come into to your home and sort out your digital photographs, I'd be interested to get the details...otherwise we are headed down a path of never having any prints, ever.

We said goodbye to Will and Raina this week as they headed back to Australia. We loved having you around for 5 weeks and good luck with finding jobs and a lovely place to live; we hope all goes well in the next couple of weeks!

I am mailing my overseas absentee ballot this afternoon, and running the cake stand at a "nearly new" sale this weekend.

This is about all I've been up to! Must sign off now to go figure out how Blake has turned on the tv to a radio station which advertises itself as playing "Polish Rock Music". The song just on was Bon Jovi's Blaze of Glory, so I don't the music is quite Polish. Hope you are doing well, dear reader!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back with 100th post!

It's been a while since I've written, but Blogger tells me this is the 100th post to DwL - what a way to mark a comeback.

Let's see, what's happened since I last posted...?

Blake donned a gown and got baptized at All Hallows by the Tower; we visited the lovely village of Horseheath, Becca Harrison's hometown; thousands flocked to Queen's Park Day where there was a show by Britain's 5th strongest man as well as some exciting birds of prey; Kate Kenney and Tom Shingler welcomed their daughter, Clara Grace, into the world; our niece Emma turned one; we saw the Archbishop of Canterbury preach yesterday at All Hallows; and Blake has been growing leaps and bounds.
Here he is not liking peas.

Happy wedding anniversary today to Jamie and Diane, although I am not sure they are DwL readers.
Hope to be back with some more pics soon.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Granny and Grandpa "US" arrive!

We picked up Granny Karla and Grandpa John at Gatwick this morning, complete with welcome sign and all.

Now, while everyone is napping (apart from perhaps the person who needs it the most! - ?), I have just had a sneak at the "Sweet and Sticky" set list and am VERY excited to see that Madge does Like a Prayer on this tour.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another "spot" at Sainsbo's

This time on the baby aisle (good thing I had Blake with me so that I had a legitimate reason to be there or I would have looked even more like a bored sad person who gets excited at seeing celebs). Another Jamie, this time tv presenter Theakston.
I think I'm going to give up with the camera phone thing and just report any further spots and you'll have to just trust me - in the photo I think he sees what I'm doing and the poor guy was just out for a grocery shop with his family, so in retrospect I felt bad for trying to take the photo on the sly. Although I think you'll agree that at least it's a much better attempt than my last one of Jamie Cullum's legs...

Will and Raina back from travels!

Before Sunday, the last time we'd seen Will and Raina was when I was still pregnant, and they had not yet met Blake! They arrived back on Saturday from 6 months of amazing travels and now are back in Blighty for some catch-up time with all of us who have missed them before they head back to Australia and settle down to reality. They look very relaxed, a bit like they've been on vacation for 6 months, which they have been! Here they are with their Godson...Blake was rather taken with Will (although he was probably just plotting how to remove Will's glasses from his face in the shortest possible time). They also brought a cool stuffed koala (named "Kevin") from Oz. Kev has just a bit more hair than B.

Reinforcements on the way!

So it's quite good timing that Granny and Grandpa arrive from the US on Thursday; I need a break! Blake is quite the little mover and shaker, and wriggler and wrestler (and hair puller and inadvertent face puncher). Yet somehow I still can't dislike him in the morning even after waking up with him at least twice in the night! Thursday we had the first real pulling himself up attempts, and by Friday morning he had stood up in his crib, much to my complete shock (and his too, I think - he looks a bit surprised, along with guilty, in the photo). Do not worry, Granny Karla, we lowered the mattress right away so that he won't fall out...Unfortunately, he has knocked his head on the floor a few times after he pulls himself up and then topples over, but he never seems to remember it and just keeps trying later on.