Tuesday, 29 May 2012

London Calling

Penelope and I are on an adventure. 4 weeks in Europe. We've been all over London on a crazy Classic Rock Tour (Jimmy Page's house is amazing). We went to Bath to remember the Romans and climbed the Tor and drank from Chalice Well in Glastonbury. We've greeted the sun and kissed the stones at Stonehenge and walked the circle at Avebury.

I've had to cut one thing out of almost each day we've been here, as I think I forgot you need to add so much time to your journeys when you have a baby with you. But, I think it's going okay. Now. Penelope's jet lag has finally eased, as has mine. We've had some ups... and plummeting downs, like Penelope barfing all over our rental car (yes I braved the other side of the road), walking unknown streets at 3am to put P down, learning to communicate with new people, and if I'm being honest, a couple good cries and a little bit of doubt about doing this trip without J.

It's amazing what sleep dep and not getting any time alone will do to your emotions. Today I feel really great about our trip and today... today I will get two glorious hours alone! My little Poppet has finally taken to her aunt, so she'll spend some time bonding with her and I think I may eat a meal by myself. Maybe read, maybe write, maybe just stare into a glass of wine and sit with my own thoughts.

I am trying to take notes of things we experience so I can sit down and really write at some point. I've started a book, "Letters to Penelope" but I've only managed to write in it twice. It may take getting to Scotland before I can really sit down and have a go at it.

It's been a wild and busy week. But I'm happy we're doing this together. Today is our final day in London, before heading to Ireland with a quick stop in Wales along the way. I'm looking forward to just being on the coast for a week and connecting with the land. I'm letting go of any expectations and just enjoying the journey.

So, before you tell me I'm crazy for embarking on this trip to Europe with a 10 month old in tow, tell me why I'm not. I'm not crazy for wanting to see the world. Am I? I'm not crazy for wanting to share it with my daughter. Am I? I'm not crazy for living. being. breathing. loving. Am I?

Okay, maybe I'm a little crazy but in the end I'll be so happy that we did this while we could.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Mother's Day FAIL

Welcome to the Mother's Day FAIL blog, where one mama cried. A lot. Then had a nice big drink. Twice.

One dreams of the perfect Mother's Day. Especially her first. One where she sleeps in, is served hot coffee in bed, and stumbles down to breakfast already served on the dining room table.

The day will consist of being showered with love and devotion. Mama will finally get an hour, maybe two, all. to. herself. 

The day will not include errands that need to be done pre-Europe trip.

It will not have a screaming baby who is teething. It will not have a baby who is teething AND suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease.

Mother's Day definitely will not have a moody, cranky, sick baby daddy.... who is also suffering from hand foot and mouth disease. More like foot in yer arse disease

And it will not, I repeat will not see Mama eating her Mama's Day BBQ at the dining room table all alone because baby daddy has the chills and is curled up in the fetal position waiting for his fever to break.
BD tells me we'll try again next weekend. ;) Even feverish he's sweet, I'll give him that.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Photo shoot

When Penelope was first born, despite the absence of eyebrows and the slight resemblance to a 70 year old man, she was adorable. And so we took a ridiculous amount of pictures of her. She was so incredibly sweet. You may remember The Many Faces of Penelope Part One. 

We just received the shots from our 9 month photo shoot with Lady P, which has quickly turned into Part Two. We were going to do a shoot when she was first born, and it just never happened. Then we thought we'd do it for her 6 month mark, but we procrastinated again. So we got the 9 month shoot. Which I'm in love with. She is so animated now and it was delightful to have some shots of her sitting on her own, and *yikes* standing up. 

The sweet and subdued musician
I know you want to just skip ahead to the photos ~ so let me give you a moment to view a few of the 9 month old faces of Penelope...
The rock star

The "hell yeah I can stand on my own now!!!"
The "just give it to me so I can put it in my mouth"
The giggly girl (her laughs are hilarious)
The "HA, really? You think THOSE faces will make me smile?"

Lovin' Mama
Oh the many faces of Penelope, how I love you!!! She's got such a personality. As I watch her suddenly turning into a toddler, I am so glad we did this shoot. (Unveiled Photography). There are somethings I didn't think of ahead of time that I wish I had of, like scoping out places in our house to use as cool backdrops. But, there's not much I can do about it now so I'll chalk it up to simply learning for the next one. Oh, come on - you know it's going to happen again.

Another photo shoot, not another baby. (Sorry grandmas)

If you're thinking of doing a photo shoot, a couple things to keep in mind:

1. Wear make up. There will be family shots too, so remember to cover the blemishes and line the eyes. ;)

2. Make sure all clutter is hidden away. If you don't want it as a back drop for your picture, tuck it out of the way. Steve, our photographer, noticed our stroller, but it did end up in our favorite family shot. 
Not a big deal, but notable. Thankfully there is Photoshop and we got a print of it sans stroller

3. If baby is older, make sure you just leave them to do his or her own thing - that way you'll end up with loads of shots of just them. The photo of her on the chair solo in the tutu is my absolute favorite!

4.  I guess when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter what's the background - she's all we're looking at, but that lead's me to number 4. Take some time before the photographers arrive scope out places in and around your home to place the baby. It was after the shoot that I realized shots with our ceiling high bookshelf would have added some of our personality and life style to the shoot. Or shots of P with her rubber duckie by the vintage bath tub would have been darling. (I tried, but let's face it... I'm no professional.)

Oh -but in pretending I did end up with this hilarious shot:

Okay back to the tips...

5. Have a few outfits prepared for baby AND you. You are paying by the hour, not the outfit - and you never know when you'll end up with baby barf all over that pretty new dress.

Oh, and most importantly. Make sure you schedule the shoot AFTER baby's nap time. We did manage to do that and she was all smiles for hours!!!!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

The night of her first...

Meet my daughter Penelope.  

Otherwise known as my night terror. It's 3am and I have just allowed my couch cushions to swallow my screams. I haven't punched anything yet, but if she doesn't sleep soon, that poor chair is gonna get it.

It's now 5am and I'm pretty sure I have a small bald spot from where I've tugged at my hair because I can't do anything else when she is in my arms but that, and maybe cry. Honestly, I think I'm too tired to even produce tears.

Those were just a couple moments from the terror night. I won't lie, it was brutal. These are our nights. Since she was 4 months old we've had a couple of them each month and they test our patience beyond what we ever thought possible. Last night was no exception. J and I snapped and yelled at each other in frustration, then clung to each other tightly hoping to get some sort of calm. I'm glad it's morning and Penelope has finally gone down for a nap. 

I have had too much coffee to go back to sleep with her, but I'm grateful for what could be another half hour of silence before she wakes. I know I'm not alone in this; I know other mamas who have it even worse. All I can do is look on the positive side, which was the 2 hours we spent together this morning. 

I let her crawl around nude, while she laughed, stopping to play her keyboard. I fed her berries while I had breakfast. I felt a sharpness against my finger that was ungodly painful. It was Penelope biting down on my finger, missing her latest berry victim. (Seriously she looks as though she has murdered the bowl of fruit)...

"Could it be?" I ask myself, afraid to get too excited for fear of deep disappointment. As I reach my finger into her mouth again, I feel it. A TOOTH! Let the band play people, we finally have a tooth! After 5 months of teething rings, crackers, ice cubes in facecloths, her massaging her gums on my nipples, homeopathic tablets and capsules, we finally have a tooth! 

So last night was brutal, but at least there was an obvious reason for it. I'm going to call this one a success.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Mother's Day gift post, brought to you by the letter "B"...

Ah, it's almost here. Our first Mother's Day. A day to celebrate the bond with our children. A day for....

This post is brought to you by the letter B.

B isn't for boobs, although I'd take a day with having them all to myself. It's for Bed - what every mama REALLY wants for Mother's Day. No, not an actually bed, but come to think of it, a new mattress would be lovely. 

No matter how you break it down, somehow, it's what we're praying our partners will come through with. Let's take a look... 

1. bed, as in: Let me stay wrapped in blankets for much longer than you while you get up and take the baby out of the house so I can sleep in it.

2. bed, as in: Let's do the horizontal tango in it - and if we're lucky, that might be brought to us by the letter "O" as well.

3. bed, as in: Serve me breakfast in it. With a giant cup of coffee. Preferably after you've let me sleep in. But, I'll also accept simply eating delicious food I didn't make while I read a trashy novel in it.

4. bed, as in: the one with flowers/herbs/vegetables in it. Let me enjoy an afternoon to garden, feeling my hands in the dirt, the monotony of pulling weeds with birds chirping nearby and not having to stop every 3 minutes to attend to baby. Yes please.

5. bed, as in: the massage kind. Okay, technically this is a massage "table" but let's not be too picky here. Mama wants a damn massage!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A letter for Penelope: NOT THE BOOKS!

Dear Penelope, 

Now that you've learned to crawl, and pull yourself up enough... You've also learned how to get at all the lovely things Mama owns, and quickly pull them down to your level. And even through dug up plants, broken ornaments and chewed records, she realizes it's all part of the process.  You're turning into a toddler.

Until this morning. This morning mama has admitted defeat and is now trying to find every possible baby proofing object she can find. All to save the books. 

Short of mounting the bookshelves 3 feet off the ground, she doesn't see how it's possible to save the covers of her favorite novels from being ripped off and sections of paragraphs from being devoured. At this rate mama's going to be digging sentences out of your diaper.

At least you have good taste in fiction: