Thursday 24 November 2005

what a difference a year makes

I turned to Paul last night and suddenly spouted "Jack will be a year old in three months!" One year old! That's just mad. We were trying to think about what life was like for us one year ago, and Paul thinks it involved a lot of sitting on the sofa with a big belly - for both of us. (har har) I looked up my blog entry from exactly one year ago, and this is what I wrote:
Okay, I know that I've been moaning/whining a lot lately about pregnancy. To be totally honest, I do love being pregnant. I mean, how cool is it to feel a little baby wriggling around inside of you, knowing that you provide its lifeline? I've been fascinated by my growing belly, and not a day goes by that I don't notice something new (good or bad). I suppose some find the idea of having no control over your own body to be rather terrifying, I find it incredibly interesting. It's rather exciting to not know what'll happen next. Each little milestone is a great event; I cannot wait for the next one.

I do admit that I am very eager for the baby to be born. I am so curious to see what he will look like and more importantly, I cannot wait to hold him in my own two hands. I am an extremely tactile person (as my poor overcuddled dog will attest to), and rubbing my belly isn't really comparable to the kind of contact we will have in a few months.

Heather very kindly gave us two huge bagfuls of clothes, little shoes, dummies, a baby bath, and a toy for the car seat/buggy. I couldn't suppress the involuntary "awwwwwwww" noise that came out of me as I folded up each item and put it in the cupboard. It's hard to believe that these little tiny clothes will contain a real baby in three months. At the moment, my perception of him is the blurry skeletal figure we've seen in scans, that wriggles around inside of me and gives me a good kick every now and then. How I wish we could take another peek inside with a surgical camera or something similar - if only to figure out what on earth he's doing when it feels like there's an earthquake going on in there.

Amazing, isn't it? I love that I have such a detailed record of my pregnancy, because in such a short span of time, there are many things that I have totally forgotten about. I'm also glad that I've kept up this blog since Jack's arrival so that when we're facing the prospect of #2*, I can remind myself of the joys/stress/hilarity/wonder of life with a baby.

Happy 9 months (a bit late, sorry!) Jack-Jack. The first 9 months of your life sped by a zillion times faster than 9 months of pregnancy! But like I said a year ago, "Each little milestone is a great event; I cannot wait for the next one."

*(Not quite yet, thank you! I'm old and need time to recover from the first one.)

Wednesday 23 November 2005

much worse than his bark

The weekend of the wedding, we left Jasper in the very capable hands of our lovely neighbours, who look after their son's black Labrador during the week and treat Jasper like their own. When we returned, our neighbour apologised profusely and showed us the huge, ugly, open gash in Jasper's ear he received from another dog that morning. Jasper had been attacked by a poodle (don't laugh - standard poodles are huge and were originally bred for being guard dogs), totally unprovoked. The idiot woman who owns the poodle didn't seem too bothered about it, claiming "that's what dogs do". Apparently she has owned "hundreds" of dogs, so obviously she knows what she's talking about. She even had the gall to try to make out that Jasper had a go at her dog first, which is laughable considering the fact that he's so docile that even Jack makes him run away at times. At the time of the attack, she didn't even offer to leave us her details so we could get in touch; it was just luck that our neighbour knew who she was and where she lived as most of the dog walkers around here know each other. She gave us the money to cover the excess on our pet insurance for Jasper's treatment and Paul reported the incident to the dog warden. Hopefully there won't be another incident but if there is, at least there's a record of this one.

What really pisses me off is the fact that she is taking no responsibility for her dog's behaviour. Will it take another attack, perhaps on a child, to get her attention? "Bad" dogs are the result of poor or no training, and the treatment they receive from their owners. It's not the dog's fault that he's owned by an idiot, but if he were to bite a human, he could be put to sleep. What should happen after an incident like this is the idiot woman should be forced to take herself and her dog to obedience school, and she should be fined to deter her from lazy dog ownership in the future.

Thankfully, Jasper's five stitches came out today and he's healing up nicely. Very luckily, he doesn't seem to be nervous around other dogs and hasn't been acting differently from his usual big soppy fuzzy puppy self. Think I'll go over there and bite her myself, the cow.

Tuesday 22 November 2005

will trade food for sleep

When people start waxing nostalgic about the days when their kids were little babies, I tell them to take Jack for the night and enjoy the company of a cute but incredibly awake little boy to see if this keeps the nostalgia at bay. Perhaps it was because we felt smug that we had a baby who slept through the night fairly early on. Maybe it was all those times we told people that we had the happiest baby on earth. Whatever the reason, we are now paying for it by having to endure sleepless nights. Jack's been waking up at around 4 in the morning (sometimes having slept for a few hours beforehand, but sometimes he'll wake up every hour on the hour since we put him to bed), bright-eyed and standing up in his cot with a huge smile on his face. No amount of rocking, soothing, ignoring, feeding, cuddling, pleading, or bribing can get him back to sleep. It's 4am and it's time to par-tay! We've taken turns spending the wee hours in his room, either getting up every few minutes when he starts crying again or holding him until he finally gets bored and falls asleep. We are experts at tag team baby wrangling.

We think it may be from teething, but I'm horrified to think that this will go on for another year and a half. I'm pretty sure that my sanity is already nearing its sell by date, let alone 18 months from now. The funny thing is, I don't feel as dreadful as I think I should from the lack of sleep. In fact, I can still manage to stay awake during an hour long pilates class at 10am, which is no small feat. Hopefully this is just a phase and we'll get a full night's sleep again soon. I think I now know why babies are designed to look so cute - it's very difficult to be upset at a little being with a face like this, even at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Saturday 19 November 2005

we're baaaaack

Apologies for the lack of updates while we waited for BT to hire some trained seals to fix our phone line. They managed to sort out the problem faster than their usual engineers, even with the lack of opposable thumbs. Plus, they're a lot cuter.

Jack seems to master a new skill every few days and at this rate, he'll be writing a novel by Christmas. He is crawling properly now (as opposed to commando crawling) and has quickly learned the art of standing. This means that all the things I thought were beyond his reach are now well within his reach, and generally ends up in his mouth. He's constantly exploring, his eyes darting around the room for interesting objects followed by a surprisingly speedy crawl towards said object. If you place five toys and a plastic bag in front of him, he will always go for the plastic bag. Who needs toys when you've got television remotes, mobile phones, interesting buttons on the surround sound system, and a big furry dog to chase? Last weekend, he waved "bye bye" for the first time. Oddly, he won't wave if you flap your arms frantically at him and say hello; he'll only respond if you say bye bye. Even more oddly, he won't wave at me at all. He'll get a look that says, "How cute, she's pretending that she's leaving me and wants me to say goodbye. Fat chance lady, I know that you ain't going anywhere without me."

Jack had his 8 month check and the doctor said everything is as it should be. He now weighs 20 lbs, which probably explains the chronic shoulder ache that plagues me. The GP tested his eye/hand co-ordination by placing a few tiny sugared sprinkles (hundreds and thousands, as they're called here) on a desk in front of Jack to check if he could see them and what he would do with them. Jack leaned in for a close look and very carefully touched each one with a pointed index finger, which apparently was what he was supposed to do. This seems to be his preferred way of investigating most objects, with one pointed finger and a determined stare.

He's fed himself a complete meal twice, although admittedly, it was a sandwich both times rather than a self-feed using cutlery. Still, it's quite nice to let him get on with his lunch while I eat mine, which I think makes it feel more like a proper family meal. On the downside, he's just discovered that if he holds his food out, a large black dog will come running and gladly accept the offered food item. Jack thinks this is hilarious, Jasper is now his best friend at meal times, and I've now got to keep an eye on where Jack's food is actually disappearing to.

And finally, what on earth is going on with my son's hair?

Friday 18 November 2005

and there was much rejoicing

After nearly two weeks without an internet connection (not including the three hours last Friday when I was able to receive email), BT finally managed to repair our line. This is a miracle considering the fact that when Paul rang them earlier this week to check the progress of our case, they claimed it had been closed and everything had been repaired, and the dig had been cancelled. I'm sure we'll look back on this one day and laugh.

Right so, time to catch up on all the exciting events of Lisa's life since our broadband went walkies. First, we went to a lovely wedding up near Nantwich where Paul played the role of the best man. And smashing job he did, too.

Here is the lovely couple, Russ and Debs:

Here's Jack, enjoying the fine taste of confetti:

And here's Paul and I, scrubbed up and wearing clothes that aren't covered in dog hair and/or baby food:

For those of you interested in this sort of thing, click here to see a more detailed picture of my "I'm Not a Dumpy Mum, Honest" outfit.

This morning, Paul and a few of our workmates ran a fun run for Children in Need. It was damn cold.

Jack cheered his daddy on...

...and I looked at firemen.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my husband for putting an update on this site, and for the enchanting hold music. It was "Girl From Ipanema", and now you'll have it stuck in your head all night long. Baby blog update coming tomorrowish. Thank you and goodnight!

Monday 14 November 2005

normal service will resume soon...

Hi this is Paul. Just thought I'd send a quick post to alleviate the worries of all you blog from a broad fans out there. You can put all thoughts of alien abduction out of your heads. Lisa is fine, its simply a comms fault. Our phone line at home gives us slightly better quality than 2 tin cans and a piece of string at the moment. It also means that the broadband connection has been knocked out. Have no fear BT are working on the problem but it does look like the solution involves digging half the street up. So until normal service can be resumed please enjoy this piece of music. Dee Daa Daa Da Dar Dee Dee DaDa.........

Sunday 6 November 2005


Here we are, in all our underwater glory!

With some rubber caps, noseplugs, and sequined swimsuits, we'd make a great synchronised swimming team.

Thursday 3 November 2005


Just a bit of an update for those of you who are curious. Sunday's swimming photo shoot was fantastic - once we found the pool. I'm telling you, people are rubbish at giving road directions, and that includes YOU, Mr. AA web site! After a bit of a stressful wander around Ipswich, we got into our swimsuits and into the pool. It was very cool; Zena from Little Urchins wore a diving mask and had an amazing underwater digital camera, allowing us to see some of the shots right away. She got images of Jack swimming on his own (both in his swim trunks and au natural), me holding Jack, and Paul swimming with Jack. It was a lot of fun and Jack didn't cry once, even though he'd been underwater around 8 times in 30 minutes. The pictures should be online on Saturday, so I'll post a link here over the weekend. I cannot wait to see them!

Jack was not a happy bunny this week, as he was feeling pretty miserable from some sort of nasty virus. Unfortunately, Paul was also unwell this week and spent Tuesday at home on the sofa. Even more unfortunately, that was the day that Jack got violently ill on Paul...twice. I managed to get a few sips of water into Jack that night and he slept most of the night. Yesterday, Jack happily ate his breakfast porridge and had two small bottles of milk before lunch. I left him playing on his blanket for a minute while I emptied the washing machine, and I returned to find a 50p-sized spot of blood on the blanket. I scooped him up and dialled the doctor's office with shaking hands, my heart dropping to the floor when the receptioncow told me that I couldn't get in to see a doctor until 5pm. She spoke to the doctor while I was on hold and managed to get us in at 3. I anxiously tracked Paul down at work (he was in an all-day meeting and I dreaded that he would be hard to contact), who came home when I told him what happened. I took Jack upstairs and held him, in floods of tears, thinking that if anything bad happened to him my heart would break into a million pieces and I would never stop crying. The doctor checked Jack out and said that spitting up blood wasn't that unusual, although it was understandably worrying for us parents. He thinks it was due to Jack's illness the night before, and just to keep an eye on him over the next little while. Jack had all his milk yesterday, ate a big bowl of mummy's homemade chicken and rice soup, and slept like This morning he greeted us with a big smile and is back to crawling all over the place and trying to grab things that he shouldn't.

Thank goodness.