Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Double Figures

To my dearest little girl
November 421
10 weeks ago today, after 42 weeks and 1 day of growing you, and 48 hours of hard work I had the very great joy of becoming your Mama.  You are still so tiny and small and new, and yet it feels as if you have always been part of our family and neither your Dad nor I can imagine life without you.  I love you more than I ever imagined was possible - you were worth every minute of the wait!

So in honour of your double figures, at 10 weeks:

- You smile - when I pick you up and you see that it's Mummy come to get you you give me the biggest smile ever imagined on a tiny little face, and my heart melts.  You still haven't quite worked out that smiling at me while you're feeding will leave us both covered in milky drool but it's worth it.
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- You can hold your head up most of the time.
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- You can almost sit up by yourself if Mummy or Daddy balance you upright and stand by to catch.

- You've slept through the night a couple of times (and we thought it was wonderful).

- You've almost outgrown your Moses basket. Actually you'd probably do fine in your cot now but as that's in the nursery we'd miss you so you're staying in your basket a little bit longer.

- You like: Mummy, Daddy, milk, your bath, little zebra and giraffe, the pillars of the toy arch on your bouncy seat, being sung to, kicking your socks off when no one is looking and having your head stroked when you're feeling snoozy.
November 429
- You don't like: Mummy taking more than 30 seconds after you've decided you're a bit nibbleish to get to feeding you, being out in the cold, wearing mittens (although you've agreed a compromise for hand knit mittens), or being in your car seat or pram if you are not actually moving.

We love you little baby cakes

love Mummy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

White Magic

Well it turns out that intensive mitten wearing can make your dreams come true - we woke up to confirmation that I will not be spending the weekend planting the tulip bulbs:

November 257
A mere dusting it's true but enough for a very special first for our wee lassie.
November 269
Kitty, bundled up like a snow bunny courtesy of a hand-me-down snow suit from her second cousin, meets SNOW!

So what do you think of snow li'l sweetheart?
November 277
"Frankly Daddy, I think it's beneath me"

Despite all of the wrapping up, it was bitterly cold today so we didn't stay outside for long.  I tried to explain how wonderful snow was, and how it all falls floaty and soft from the sky, but I'm not convinced she's quite got it.

November 282

H's two best girls - one considerably more excited by snow than the other.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Happy Thursday! Or if you're the other side of the pond, Happy Thanksgiving! Whilst we don't have a thanksgiving holiday in the UK for somewhat obvious reasons (no surviving long sea voyages to foreign climes, we just stayed put and practised our morris dancing), I do like the idea of a day to focus on giving thanks so with a degree of cultural magpie-ism I have hoicked certain elements of today's holiday from those colonials, namely the thankfulness and the food.

I asked H what he was thankful for and apart from the obvious (Kitty and me) he is thankful for the invention of beer and chocolate.  I'm thankful for H and Kitty and after that I give my thanks to the makers of Terry's Chocolate Oranges and merino sheep.  Kitty, were she able to voice an opinion, would I'm sure be thankful for Mummy's milk bar and her little zebra.  Maybe we haven't quite got to grips with this yet.  Actually I've just remembered another one ... I'm thankful that when Kitty's Great-Great-Uncle and Aunt sent her a wonderful parcel they remembered that the first time they met me, Uncle P stood on a chair to shake my hand because he claimed I was too tall to say hello to at ground level - they sent clothes in 3-6 and 6-9 month sizes and my 9 week old, 13lb 12.5oz daughter and I are devoutly grateful.

In the food stakes, well we were already having roast chicken, and I've always wondered what sweet potatoes with marshmallows taste like, and whether it should be a pudding or a genuine vegetable dish so after a bit of internet research I set to.

My version was sweet potatoes boiled and then mashed with a dollop of butter, a splash of orange juice and a dash of vanilla extract and then topped with marshmallows:
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Even before it went in the oven the marshmallows were starting to melt and slide,
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and when it came out it had all gone wonderfully gooey
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so, supper a la Carie
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chicken, yorkshires, cabbage and the potato experience. Conclusion: delicious, although I'm still not entirely convinced that it isn't pudding!

H isn't so wild about sweet potatoes so I made him a version of his favourite starter at our village pub - cheesy garlic mushrooms - which went down a treat.

And lest you fear that I have forgotten the obligatory Kitty picture, or the fact that this blog purports to be about all things yarn, let me introduce my two birds to your one stone:
November 212
Kitty sporting a hat and mittens set that I made for her a little while ago but never quite got around to photographing.  It's the same baby hat pattern as I used for her little green hat and has been the best fitting out of all her hats by a country mile - when she grows out of this one I'll just make another with more stitches or slightly thicker yarn, that's how great it is!

Now I believe I still have some sweet potatoes left - time for pudding .... do you think they would taste good with custard?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A red letter day

The number 21 is considered very lucky in my little family; H and I were born on a 21st and Kitty followed suit, so it seemed only appropriate that when we settled on a day for her next milestone we found another perfect 21 ready and waiting for us.

Today, our little Kitty, aged exactly two months, was welcomed into her church family at her Baptism.  We had a wonderful service attended by our family and close friends as well as our usual congregation, who are all part of the ever expanding Kitty fan club. I think the most special moment for me was tracing the sign of the cross on her forehead, followed by H and her godparents, and then one of our senior members of the congregation who 'signed' on behalf of all her regular church family.  Both we and Kitty are blessed to be surrounded by a church family who will love and support all three of us as she grows up and it meant the world to H and I to share today with them all.

After the service we pushed the limits of our house from heaving to bursting as we filled it with friends, family and cake.  It was wonderful to see family, the friends are treasures, particularly two very awesome godparents, and the cake ... well I did have the four and a half year old top layer of our wedding cake, I did serve it, and some people even ate it ... but following the golden rule of special occasion catering (get it at Marks and Spencer) we ordered a three layer sponge extravaganza with pink icing and her name on it, which was delicious (and pink - I'm rapidly learning the importance of pink where baby girls are concerned).

I'd love to show you pictures of Miss Kitty in the family christening dress that her father wore 30 and a bit years ago, or the formal picture of us all by the font .. or the cake, but my camera is sat on the coffee table and there it has remained all day - just not enough hands.  So friends and family who are reading I'm entirely reliant on you for some piccies to put in the special christening photo album that she was given - at my signal unleash your e-mail!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Remembrance

This year, for the first time since I can remember, I haven't worn a poppy. The reason is small, cute and occasionally rather squeaky with a penchant for throwing a good right hook if a feed isn't made available fast enough; pins on my front are simply not an option.  On the flip side I believe that remembrance is just as important now as it ever was, when battles to protect our daily life happen way off far away, and I have every intention to teach my daughter who we remember and why.

She's a little young to take it all in this year (and in fact as 11am is a current favourite feed time, she marked both silences with slurping sounds) but I did want her to have a poppy.

Cue a Cosnicpluto pattern, some scraps of black and red yarn, and the car trip to H's hockey match et voila!

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And by the wonders of modern technology (a safety pin) I popped it on her hat for Sunday church.
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H was playing photographer for the day as you see, and Kitty was not at all sure what had happened to Daddy's face, hence the frowns
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Although once she worked it all out ...
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"Daddeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm an imperial princess, save me!"

The little miss is all smiles nowadays although the chances of catching a giggle on camera is remote to say the least!  So far this is our best effort:
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Achieved by being sneaky with the camera and distracting someone with their Daddy
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What more could her Mamarazzi want? (actually the answer to that question is sleeeeeep)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The colours of the season

Warning: Actual knitting content ahead!

Yes, it's true, I have been knitting and even more than that, I have finished some knitting.  Ta da!

November 008
It's just taken me two months to knit a plain vanilla pair of socks for myself.  Chief in the acquisition of knitting time was Miss Kitty's decision that sleeping on Mummy is fun, and sitting in the baby bouncer kicking little legs and giggling gummily at Mummy is also fun.  (She also likes watching back to back episodes of Coast while Mummy eats supper with both hands which is wonderful!).

I'm not sure I could manage anything more complicated while she's asleep on me, and it's probably true that my baby befuddled brain couldn't cope anyway so plain socks it is.
November 009
Fortunately the stash reveals a collection of wonderful multicoloured sock yarn that needs plain socks to show off the colours to their best advantage.  Very few patterns would be strong enough to match up to this Fire on the Mountain so it isn't really worth the extra effort when these are pretty and soft and warm and so very cheery against the oncoming grey of winter.
November 010
They even outshine my sandals.

In fact I like this yarn so much that I couldn't bear to simply tuck the leftovers away in the scraps box, and as I've been meaning to make Kitty some mittens for a while to try to combat the Kitty-Mummy game where Mummy puts mittens on Kitty and Kitty tries to wiggle her hands free without Mummy noticing, I did a little scrap box diving for other STR leftovers:
November 014
And here we see that Mummy has won! Port and Starboard mittens for Kitty made out of STR mediumweight in Fire on the Mountain and Lucky and STR lightweight in Dragon's Dance. 

The bright colours are fun for her to look at, and they're big enough that she can wiggle her fingers to her heart's content without falling off, but at the same time her fingers will stay toasty warm.

As you can see she was wildly impressed with them!

We'd gone for a walk to find some autumn colour around Abbey Fields in Kenilworth and to introduce Kitty to the smell and crunch of fallen leaves.
November 020
I had a great time and enjoyed the change of scene (and the Scrumpy scotch egg from the Cotswold pie stall), and Kitty, well she had a little snooze:
November 022
until we went down one off the off road tracks and she needed to tell me in no uncertain terms that this was too bouncy and not acceptable.  I don't think there was anyone left in Kenilworth that was in any doubt that this was not a baby-friendly track by the time she had fully communicated her point of view!  Sorry Kenilworth.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Of Pseudonyms

Seeing as Little Bear isn't really a good name for a little girl, and as H and I have decided that the wee lassie shall be blog-anonymous until she is old enough to decide for herself, we've been casting around for a good blog nickname for her.  Her real name doesn't give itself easily to nicknames (which is part of the reason why we like it so much) and whilst I frequently call her 'slush-bomb' (the Mummies among you can work out why), that too doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

So after much deliberation, and with the most tenuous links, her bloggy nickname is  .... (drumroll please) .... Kitty.

And speaking of little girls with nicknames, I've mentioned before that H and I sponsor a little girl in China by the pseudonym of Heidi through the Pearl River Outreach program.  Our sponsorship paid for her foster carer's salary so that she did not have to live in an orphanage while she was waiting to (hopefully) be adopted.  In that foster care she was loved and cherished and given the chance to learn how to be a part of a family to give her the best preparation for life with her adoptive family.

With beautiful timing, the day after Kitty was born we received an e-mail from Pearl River to say that Heidi had been adopted and had moved home with her forever family.  Needless to say it was the icing on the cake to a perfect week and we are now celebrating the addition to our long distance family of our new Bamboo baby, Miss Scarlett:
She's almost two (her birthday's on 17th November) and lives in Changsha in central China.  She may not have Heidi's awesome three bunches hair-do but she's another little cutie. As H says; "we're going to need some more photo frames!"

Pearl River currently need sponsors for a number of the Bamboo Babies - the sponsorship is not bank breaking at $35 a month (which works out at about £22-£25 as the exchange rate fluctuates) - so go and see if any of these little ones are a long distance part of your family.