I live in Kent with my husband, toddler Tilly (henceforth known as Monkey) and another baby due in November. We have two cats, Duncan and Lady Macbeth, and four chickens who kindly lay us eggs daily. We live in the picturesque seaside town of Broadstairs. I enjoy reading, knitting and cooking. I'm trying to be a bit 'greener' (not sure how successfully), and to be a gentle parent. Extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping don't freak me out, we use cloth nappies and try to follow some of the ideals of Attachment Parenting. If that sounds as if I know what I'm doing, I don't! I am also a psychotherapist with an interest in Focusing-oriented therapy, and I have a small private practice in the area.
You remember we went to visit the alpacas the other week? Well, they share a paddock with some goats and donkeys. On Sunday morning we went for a walk to pick some crab apples, which the donkeys very much enjoyed.
Saturday morning brunch at the Ship-Shape cafe in Ramsgate harbour
DH and I went to a wedding last weekend. Nanna babysat the Monkey and we stayed out Very Late. I drank far too much champagne and Baileys and was violently ill afterwards (oops). Do you like my spotty teal dress and my handsome husband?
We took a quick trip to John Lewis this morning where I chose a pattern and some yarn for my new knitting project. I'm going to make this pretty little bolero from the cover of Debbie Bliss's 'Baby Cashmerino 2' pattern book. I'm using a teal coloured yarn rather than the pale green in the picture (I think teal is my new Favourite Colour). I also treated myself to a pair of bamboo needles- so much nicer to knit with. I'll keep y'all updated on the progress.
I visited the new knitting shop in our soon-to-be home town of Broadstairs last weekend and I'm pleased to report that it is gorgeous. It's full of delicious yarns (Manos and Noro amongst others), lots of good pattern books and a Knitting Club, sadly held on a Wednesday evening which will be when I am working *sniff sniff*. So the urge to knit again is upon me, but the question is What To Knit? Do I find a new pattern and start something afresh, or do I return to the work-in-progress, a pretty sage green sleeveless sweater for the Monkey? It's cute and *almost* finished except for the tricky stage of picking up stitches around the armholes and neck. I feel it might be a difficult one to start off with though, being a bit rusty after a good 3 or 4 months sans knitting. I might try something simpler and see how I get on.
Oh, and the picture? I was going to post a few Flickr photos of some inspirational knitting but here are some cats playing guitar instead. Just because.
It's easy to have ideals but I'll be the first one to admit that sometimes I don't live up to the ones I hold as important. Before the Monkey was born we planned to use cloth nappies, and indeed we did for some months but then something happened (a holiday? I don't remember?) and we soon found ourselves using "eco" disposables full-time. It's been that way for 3 or 4 months now, until I read this post yesterday from Claire. I have been shamed out of my complacence and back into cloth (thank you, Claire). Here's the photographic evidence, one happy Monkey in a Tots Bots bamboozle and Motherease wrap this morning:
And the other evidence? A £40 hole in our paypal account, a couple more bamboozles and an Itti Bitti D'lish in lime on the way!
It's all quiet over here. I'm enjoying reading my favourite bloggers but haven't had much to write about myself. I've a few photos on my other 'puter that I'll post when I'm back at home, and here's a link to a little video of the Monkey doing some gardening! Unfortunately most of the herbs had already bitten the dust and even her watering efforts won't be able to revive them. I have got some rather lovely tomato plants which are doing well, they will (hopefully) be my first ever harvest.
I feel like I *should* have lots to say but I seem to be experiencing a period of just 'being', lazy days flopping around on the sofa with Monkey, watching too much television, dodging rain showers and reading a little. The days seem to be gone in no time at all, a trip to the shops, preparing the evening meal, a stroll in the afternoon- where does the time go? I'm feeling content, waiting for our move to happen (still looking at the end of August) and making house plans. I'm working too of course, I'm seeing about 5 clients a week at the moment which doesn't sound like a lot but a couple of those are fairly troubled people, plus there's the bundle of energy that is my 13 month old to look after. Yesterday we met a friend for lunch and walked around the park, I swear she must have toddled half a mile on her little feet! This weekend we are down at the coast and although it is raining right now I'm hoping we can get to the beach tomorrow for a couple of hours. We are also going to the new house to do some measuring up. I can't wait, we haven't seen it since we made our offer way back at Easter! I'm meeting a psychotherapist tomorow who I'm hoping will become my new clinical supervisor, it will be good to make some connections down this way.
I'm currently readingthis book, 'Body Shopping', by Donna Dickenson. I've only read the first chapter but it's fascinating and thought-provoking. It is about the commodification of the body, the sale of body tissue, organs, genetic material etc., and asks whether we 'own' our bodies? At one end of the scale would be something like sperm donation right through to traficking in organs and material from corpses. A few horror stories too, some which genuinely made my jaw drop. My friend Dany has a weekly podcast and interviewed the author last week, which was what prompted me to order the book. The podcast is called 'A Pair of Continents' and features my friend in London and her friend Steve in Atlanta chatting about random, usually topical things, each week they interview someone and it tends to be popular science-related or sometimes about scepticism or atheism. If you're interested, give 'em a listen. They've got about a thousand subscribers from all around the world, which is pretty cool.
Unlike many people I won't be going to see the new Harry Potter movie. DH and I have been slowly working our way through the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry- we need more long car journeys to get through them all!
I've been cooking... Savoury organic mince with new potatoes, lamb biryani (a real success!), vegetable chilli, stir-fry noodles and veg, and stewed rhubarb which I plan to use to make frozen yoghurt. My blender broke this week, I was trying to make a smoothie and the ice just cracked straight through the plastic. I probably should have checked that I could crush ice but at least it's another point in favour of getting a Kitchenaid or Magimix food processor *swoons ever so slightly*.
Spare a thought for... my poor husband who has got cellulitis in his foot from an infected mosquito bite. He's upstairs in bed with the shivers, poor thing.
Something has happened in our family, a transition. It happened quietly, smoothly, seamlessly, comfortably. My baby goes to bed without me. In fact, she is now a toddler (but of course she is still my baby). It began about a week ago, I fed her until I thought she was asleep and put her in her cot, but she wasn't fully asleep and rather than getting upset and imploring me to carry her back to my lap and my breast she simply lay on her front, whimpered a little and dropped off to sleep. Each night since then we have simply carried her up to bed when she has shown signs of tiredness and popped her in her cot. She kneels down and then, with her bum in the air like this, she falls asleep:
For the last two nights her daddy has put her to bed as I've been at work. I'm really happy for him, and I'm thrilled that she can soothe herself to sleep. And a little part of me is sad that our bedtime-feeding routine is no longer. This is ironic because for months I bemoaned the fact that she needed to nurse to sleep and was fretting about how to get her to go to sleep by herself. Isn't it amazing that I didn't have to do anything? I didn't 'get' her to sleep, she did it all by herself. And I certainly didn't have to train her or condition her behaviour in any way.
My baby needs me still, of course, but she needs me in different ways. She still wants me to carry her, but she also wants me to hold her hand as she walks. She wants to breastfeed but she also wants bread and cream cheese. She wants her mummy, but she also lights up when her daddy comes home from work. I can't cling to her baby-ness, I have to let her grow and explore, but of course I still have to nurture and protect her, she is still so small and so new, and the world is so big.
So here's a little update from us. It's a showery day today and I got absolutely drenched walking back from work through the park. It was one of those heavy downpours that there was no point sheltering from, especially as I had no umbrella or coat! No choice but to just be (wet). I had a lovely day on Friday, taking Monkey up to London. We met a good friend, who I hadn't seen for ages, and took a walk through Hyde Park up to Baker Street, where we met my Mum who had come to mind the Monkey for an hour while I met my clinical supervisor. Monkey and Nanna sat in Regents Park for a while with some baby ducks for company. We then walked all the way through the park to Camden and had a delicious lunch. Someone flirted and charmed her way through lunch with the waiters, I'll give you just one guess who!
We are going to swimming class now on a Thursday morning. It's just for half an hour and I don't find the instructor particularly inspiring but it does give Monkey some experience in the pool which is important given that we are going to be having a swimming pool in the garden. I don't like seeing children splashing around with armbands, I think it gives them a false sense of security and I would rather Monkey learns to swim as early as possible. And the best thing about swimming? These wrinkled baby feet!
Here's my latest mini-crush, Casey Affleck. We watched the movie 'Gone Baby Gone' the other night and jolly good it is too.
We are still in Sidcup but hoping that the Big Move will happen at the end of August. Everything is still going to plan, fingers crossed, and I'm hoping we might get to be living beside the seaside before Autumn sets in. It's a very exiting time but I'm keen to get things moving, after all, it was just before Easter when we made the offer on the house. Goodness, the heavens have just opened! We have a primary school just opposite us and there is heavy rain, thunder and lightning just as the school day ends. Monkey and I are going to stand and watch the umbrellas and the children screaming with excitement as they run for cover. Stay dry y'all!