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Friday, 23 December 2005

dix


You can climb up the stairs now, but you're not entirely sure how to come back down again without doing it head first.
Every day you get a little bit more confident and don't hold on as tightly or as long when you walk around the room.
Lumpy chunky food goes down without a hitch.
Even mummy gets a bye-bye wave now.
You babble and sing and I can see the words starting to form in your little fuzzy head.
Two chubby arms reach up for me when I bend down to pick you up.
You understand "no" but you don't always listen to it.
You love bagels.
You've seen and felt snow.

These are all the things you have accomplished and experienced in the past couple of weeks. This is why life with you is never dull and never ceases to amaze me. Happy ten months birthday, Jack-Jack. I love you with all my heart.

Thursday, 22 December 2005

postcards from home


What mummies look like when they have time to take a shower and slap on some makeup.



"So...we meet at last, Mr. Bond."

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

meanwhile, back in the uk...


We leave our dog for 10 days, and he sprouts tusks.



(Amusing photo courtesy of my in-laws.)

Saturday, 17 December 2005

and back again


After a rather lengthy drive through rush hour traffic, snow, and roadworks, we arrived in Montreal at the fabulous Hotel Sofitel in Montreal. Big, bright, shiny, and new, the Sofitel is a stunning bit of indulgence. The friendliest hotel staff we've encountered, incredibly lovely rooms, and excellent food - we couldn't fault it one bit. We had a mini suite, allowing us to put Jack in a separate area of our room so that all of us could get some undisturbed sleep. Or at least that was the plan before Jack decided that waking up through the night was a lot more fun than sleeping...but I digress.



Our first evening, we had a very yummy meal at Baton Rouge with my radiant newlywed friend Susan and her hubby Patrick.

On Thursday, we met Gordon and Jacqui for lunch, two of my dear friends from my Discreet days. At lunch, Jack got plenty of cuddles from an adoring Jacqui, and happily accepted the attention.



We had an amazing meal at the hotel that night, while Jack napped in his stroller next to us. I had lobster and they offered us three different kinds of desserts to sample. THREE. At the same time! Oh yes.

Yesterday morning, Montreal got a record snowfall of 41cm. I must apologise because I think this is my fault - I kept telling people that I missed snow, and obviously someone was listening. Oopsie. We trudged through the big fluffy flakes and unplowed sidewalks to meet Dina and Maggie, and a plethora of assorted kiddies. Although I adored all of the kids (Maggie's boys are absolute sweethearts and Dina's boy Ben is gorgeous), I must admit that a little 7 week old girl called Naomi stole my heart. She's Dina's latest production, and such a little cutie pie.



Best snow day ever - I could have spent the whole day chatting and laughing with these two.



Jack enjoyed his first metro ride, bundled up in his snowsuit.



And this poster caught my eye. Is it just me, or is that beaver getting a bit too friendly with Caillou?



For lunch, we met up with one of my oldest Montreal friends (in years of friendship not actual age, mind you) Eric. Seeing him is always like picking right up where we last left off, which is truly an amazing thing. That night, we met my hilarious and wonderful friend Paul for a delicious Indian meal at Ghandi in Old Montreal. Bellies full, souls warmed by the company of great friends over the past few days, we returned for our final night in our down-filled hotel bed. Luckily, the weather was fine today and our drive home uneventful.

I cannot thank everyone enough for all the gifts for Jack (and some for us, too!) and the amazing warmth you all possess...even on the chilliest and snowiest of days. You've made this homesick girl so much happier.

Last but certainly not least, congratulations and way to keep a secret goes to Jen and Mark on the arrival of Aidan Becket Christopher. Apparently she was too busy giving birth to respond to my email and organise a visit. Imagine!

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

on the road again


Really must stop this going to bed at 10 and waking at 6 nonsense - I wasn't designed for early mornings. Anyhoo, we're off to beeyootiful Montreal in a couple of hours! We are very much looking forward to seeing several of my homies and finding out if I can remember how to stumble my way through the French language. If all else fails, I will use the skills the British have taught me: when speaking to people who don't understand English, speak it very slowly and extremely loudly (Optionally, add an "ay" sound to the end of several words. For example: "WHERE-AY ARE THE TOILETS-AY?")

Not sure if we will be able to blog from east of the border, but I'm sure we will return with several amusing photos and funny accents. Mangetout, Rodney.

Monday, 12 December 2005

silly o'clock


What do you do when it's 5 in the morning and you're awake due to jet lag? Why, you catch up on your blog reading, of course! Jen the ex-neighbour lady tagged me for this one, and I pass this along to anyone else who may wish to participate. Type "[your name] needs" in to Google and let the fun commence.

Lisa needs a kick in the arse.
Lisa needs a bigger grin and lots more warmth from an overly conscientious Julia Roberts.
Lisa Needs Bearcat Love.
Lisa needs to ditch her bangs.
Lisa needs more feed for her cattle.
Lisa needs to save up alot of money for gas and tickets.
Lisa needs time away to come to terms with the severity of her actions and the extent to which she damaged the trust of the community.
LISA needs a purely gravitational orbit.
Lisa needs various screening tests and immunizations.
...and my personal favourite...
Lisa needs to make her name singing and dancing like a woman that knows she wants
a penis and she knows how to use it.

This post has been brought to you by Eastern Standard Time, British Airways, and the twelve cups of tea I had yesterday. I thank you.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

back in the motherland


My top travel tip to all of you is this: do not get food poisoning the day before you are due to go on a long haul flight. It's really not an ideal start to the festive season, although it's an efficient way of losing 2 1/2 pounds in 24 hours. I spent all day Friday between bed and the bathroom, feeling like death and causing great concern amongst my loved ones. My in-laws saved the day by driving all the way up from Kent to pick up Jasper and look after Jack while I slept and Paul went into the office. Thankfully by Saturday morning, I felt almost human again.

The flight was great (hot food and no turbulence - I don't ask for much these days) and Jack was good as gold throughout. As we came in to land, we saw that Toronto was blanketed in snow - hurrah! We came home, we ate Swiss Chalet, we went to bed. This morning we woke up at an almost decent hour, did some grocery shopping for Jack, and now the menfolk are having a snooze. The grandparents are lavishing Jack with attention and I haven't had to do much of anything since we got here.

It's great to be home.

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

go - be free!


This afternoon, I met up with the girls and babes at Cheeky Monkey's play barn in Fulbourn. I'm telling you, it's the key to any mother's sanity - you can unleash your kid in a totally safe environment, while you sit and chat amongst soft toys and plastic balls. A total stressbuster! Under 1's get in for free (despite the gasp from the lady at the till who said "I thought by the size of him that he was well over a year old!") and mums can enjoy decently priced sandwiches and cakes.

Look - it's a baby hot tub!



Proof that men really do love themselves:



It was a great couple of hours and here's hoping Jack sleeps well tonight as a result.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

homeward bound


We're flying to Toronto on Saturday (please don't break in to our house and steal things while we're gone, thanks) for a much-anticipated holiday. I haven't been home in three years and I've missed it and my friends dearly. We are both very much looking forward to having a break, and plan on filling our time spending money in shopping malls and eating. I think my first holiday activity will involve handing Jack to my parents and saying, "Here's your grandson. I'm going to sleep for six days now. Enjoy!"

I will likely post again from home because they have electricity in Canada now. How things have changed since my departure!

Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

Thursday, 1 December 2005

ahem...


My apologies, I've been absolutely poo at updating my blogs lately. A combination of busy days and Jack's decrease in napping (oh joy) means far more condensed computer time. I will answer those emails soon, I promise.

Jack's nighttime sleeping has been erratic, so just as we relax a little when we get a night or two of uninterrupted sleep, he has a really bad night just to keep us on our toes. We have tried letting him cry for a short amount of time - which, I hasten to add, is not following the "cry it out" method of parenting - with limited success. He either wakes up grumpy because no one's playing with him, or he's cheerfully wide awake and raring to go - at 4 in the morning. Maybe it's teeth and maybe he's bored, or maybe he's excited about Christmas. All I know is I'm dreading the flight home and subsequent jet lag. For all of us.

To be honest, I'm actually very excited about going home. I haven't been back in three years and I'm really missing my friends and family. I can't wait to introduce Jack to everyone and simply enjoy being at home...and being able to put my feet up for a little while. Bliss.

I'm starting to negotiate my return to work, which is both exciting and daunting at the same time. I love my job and enjoy the people I work with, but the thought of not being with Jack all day long is just weird. If I had my way, we'd have a nursery at work and I'd be able to pop by and see Jack whenever I wanted to. Maybe we can use a meeting room and permanently book it in Outlook. Ideally, I do not want to work full time but I fear that this won't be an option. I'm hoping they will be flexible when considering my request, because the last thing I want is to return on a sour note. Fingers crossed.

Right, Jack's ten minute nap has just finished so I must dash. Pictures and proper entries coming soon. Maybe when we're in Toronto and I've got three extra pairs of hands to help!

the world needs more free samples


The Good Food Show was excellent and there were more celebrity chefs there than you could shake a whisk at. See if you can name the celeb chefs! (warning: UK/Ready Steady Cook bias)



Oooh! Aaaah! The Jamie Oliver presentation was very entertaining, and after his grand entrance in the infamous VW van, he was joined onstage by the thoroughly nutty Gennario Contaldo.





We ate lots of freebies, bought some bacon from Jimmy (Oliver's mate and star of the "Jimmy's Farm" series) and a 2kg loaf of pumpernickel bread (what can I say, it's hard to find in this country and I got a bit overexcited). We also met a Canadian guy from Richmond Hill (just north of Turonna) who was peddling a rather yummy strawberry flavoured liqueur.

We saw a cow.



Jack enjoyed the view from his daddy's head as we waited for Rick Stein's arrival.



All in all, it was good fun and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. *urp*

pleasantly surprised


Yesterday, my husband sent me a beautiful and huge bouquet of flowers. We hadn't had a huge argument, he wasn't apologising for something stupid he did, it isn't my birthday, our anniversary, or Valentine's Day. He sent them just 'cos.

This is how I make it through my life without going postal. Thank you, my wonderful husband. I still cannot stop smiling.