Archive for October, 2006

26 weeks young

October 30, 2006

The cheeky Master Samuel has been with us for six months now. The illustrious occasion of his half birthday was last Friday and marked with his first foray into the world of big boy food.

I still don’t think Sam is showing any signs of wanting to eat solids.  He is quite content on the Breastmilk Diet, seems to have lost none of his tongue thrust reflex and doesn’t seem to be too bothered when Bill or I are eating food in front of him.

I spoke to his doctor on his Thursday visit and agreed to start giving rice cereal a shot anyway though as she explained that after six months your baby’s vitamin and mineral supplies gained in utero are diminished and it’s a good idea to start supplementing breastmilk with cereals that tend to be fortified with vitamins and iron.  She wasn’t pushy about it and also recommended the book “Super Baby Food” when I mentioned I was also keen on making my own baby mush rather than throwing money at Gerber et al, and filling the tip with baby food jars.

So, on the occasion of his half birthday I thought I might as well give it a shot. Funky coloured plastic spoons and bowls were brought out of their holding pattern in the cupboard depths. Some rice cereal with a little breastmilk was lovingly mixed up.  The baby was positioned in his chair. Sam’s first bib was placed around his neck, and the feeding began.

I can’t say it went down too well.

Sam’s little tongue pushed all the rice cereal straight out and down his front, soaking him completely.  The bib did a grand job of being useless and just flapped around, getting in the way when Sam decided it was more fun to chew on that than the stupid food Mum was giving him.  Rice cereal made it to all layers of clothing and the floor despite our best efforts. Dogs didn’t help matters by circling like sharks and generally getting in the way in an effort to help their little brother out.

Sam bawled throughout.

Our second attempt went a little better with Sam staying in a better mood, though the tongue thrust was still strong and Sam developed an interesting technique.  As the spoon neared his mouth he would throw his head back, grin, open wide and wait for the rice to be unceremoniously dumped within.  Efficient yes, but not exactly quite what we were after.

Each attempt so far has been followed by a much needed dunk in the bath tub for our hero.

Oh, and I think the consistency of the rice cereal helped make the second feeding better.  The first time I did what I was told and made a very runny mixture with 5 parts breastmilk to one part rice.  This then
would not stay on the spoon and got everywhere.  I ignored this advice the second time and made it up so that it was more of a soft drop consistency.  That went down Sam’s throat much better and not down his top, and into his ears, or between his toes.

Obviously, it’s still early in our solids experience but as Sam’s tongue thrust reflex is still definitely so strong I think we’re just going to have to try not to make a big deal out of feeding so that it doesn’t become an issue and just keep practising that pesky eating with a spoon trick.  Breastmilk should still be the main source of nutrition and solids at this stage are just another learning experience.

Hooray for Sam!

And so ends the latest tome from Kay.

My baby is smarter than me

October 25, 2006

Last Christmas Aunty Jenny gave Sam (then unborn) his first book. We now have to religiously bring it out when he bathes for it is a vinyl Elmer the Elephant bath book. Well, this evening Sam and I were enjoying a nice relaxing bubble bath together before bedtime when he reached forward for his story, eagerly grabbed it with both hands, and squirted me in the face.

Huh?!

On closer inspection I realised that the front page has a built in squirty feature that sucks in water and then shoots it out when pressed. It’s only taken me six months to not figure this out. The picture on the cover is a bit of a clue too because Elmer is shown squirting water over himself from his trunk.

I feel so dense.

ON – ON! #4

October 14, 2006

Hares: Coffee Bean and Crip Teaser

Start: Powell Juvenile Justice Centre, 395 Pryor St, Atlanta 30315

A fine afternoon for an urban hash trail. With virgins present Bean gave the usual run down of hare marks by omitting all of the ones that are actually used and concentrating on pointing out which ones wouldn’t be appearing on trail. Bean got a verbal slapping and handed over to Crip Teaser who adeptly finished him off.

Skin Flute Pie held up proceedings by arriving late. No one was too keen on running until she appeared laden with the beer.

Hounds released, the pack stormed off in search of scent and I have absolutely no idea at all where we were or where we went. I just did my best to keep up and managed pretty well until the trail took us over towards some railway tracks and then actually underneath some stationary rolling stock. A kind Hasher held a mesh fence open for me to squeeze through and then some metres up the trail I blinked and lost the pack completely. Turning around it was just Portuguese Water Dog and I left pecking around wondering where the trail went. And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the run.

PWD and I would hit flour, start to run again and after five or six marks the trail would mysteriously vanish once more, leaving us to wander around in circles trying to pick up the scent, before defeatedly returning to the last sighting and spreading out police search style.

Use of flour was generally subtle, but then sometimes it seemed like a new bag had been cracked open and flung around enthusiastically. The “on overs” were always such a work of art.

One “on over” arrow totally confounded us and had us cursing trying to find the onward trail, until on returning to take a closer look PWD noticed that it was somewhat limp and perhaps it was meandering a little to the right rather than pointing straight ahead. Gah!

Running over by the Georgia Dome we were swamped by tourists obliterating the pavement with feet and unfortunately our best guess at where the trail went turned out to be incorrect once more. It was only thanks to Oand5’s helpful guiding chalking that we realised that the Hash had diverted from the street and headed down into the Marta station. His blue tags saved the day again when we rode the escalator down and were confronted by a lady sweeping the station clean of debris. I could have just hugged him had he been in sight.

Ever onwards we trudged and through the NeuroScience convention at the Congress Centre we stumbled. At some point we got to the BS which should have indicated Beer Stop, but in reality for us it meant Bull Shit because preceding Hashers and Hares were long gone. We ran through Centennial Park and through all sorts of weird urban negative spaces. Later at the Down Down PWD was to exclaim that “there were more hobos on trail than dust!” In fact, some were nicely helpful and pointed us in the direction of hasher sightings as if they were guiding planes in to land.

Eventually PWD and I had just lost trail again when the heavens called to us and we were regaled by the sound of Hashers yelling at us from above, accompanied by a shower of beer. The end was in sight and a very welcome lift took us to the top of a multistorey car park where the rest of the pack awaited with cheers as we charged out of the lift and sprinted to the finish. Apparently a search party had been sent out for us, and we were accused of having “sex on trail.”

About twenty minutes later Coffee Bean and another Hasher (the search party) returned, faces stuffed with Taco Bell. They’d obviously been searching really hard! They were also merrily tootling along in a two seater sports car so I’m not sure what they’d have done had they found us…waved toodleloo and driven onwards?!

PWD and I ended up having to do a Down Down for being the last hashers home, and another for taking the lift to the finish. Blast!

Coffee Bean didn’t fare so well either. He made the mistake of wearing brand new trainers to the Hash and so had to forfeit by filling one shoe with beer and downing it in one.

trouble

October 10, 2006

Bath time | Bed time

October 10, 2006

I feel fat. I have been celebrating fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but then I made a batch of Lynsey’s Profiteroles. Mmmm. I have cream all down my front. Might have to have just one more before bedtime. Heaven.

Oh, and I also made up a batch of Mum’s Lemon Squash today. I wasn’t expecting the finished juice to look so orange, but it tastes mighty fine. Hoorah!

Mommy Posse and the Big Boy Chair

October 10, 2006

The Monday morning strolls are still going strong and we’ve even branched out to new locations. Last week we decided to go to Lullwater Park by Emory University and the mommy turnout was bigger than ever.

Few of us even knew that Lullwater existed and the park was a very pleasant discovery. Very leafy with a nice path to stroll along which took us down by a tranquil lake. It was decided that the location was well worth the hassle of trying to park there.

This morning we met at Grant Park and I hope everyone spent an enjoyable morning there too. I’d been to the zoo at this park before, and raced through the outskirts of it last week on the Hash run, but I’d not had a proper tour of the grounds. We took a leisurely meander along the pathways and were surprised at how large and nice the park is. Found a really cool playground to take Sam to when he’s old enough if we are still here, it was a well kept adventure playground complete with mini climbing wall. I rather wanted to be small again so I could have a go myself.

Baby mayhem ensued when it came to our usual tummy time break. The older babies made a beeline for each other and became a tangle of limbs and stolen toys. Fun, and very cute.

Afterwards Alyssa and I decided that we rather fancied going to Ru’Sans for lunch. We weren’t able to sway anyone else into accompanying us, but the call of sushi was too strong and so we went anyway.

Of course, I’d taken Sam’s huge chariot with us to the park and so when we got to the restaurant I wondered how I was going to be able to eat with Sam bouncing around on my knee. I needn’t have worried though because Sam showed us what a big boy he is now by happily sitting in a proper highchair and enjoying being at the table with us. He’s a treasure.

Crawling 101

October 10, 2006

Last Wednesday afternoon (that would be the 4th October) I was trying to have a lie down in the bedroom and failing miserably because Sam was insisting on wriggling around on top of the duvet. Quincy was with us and Sam kept rolling around to get to touch him. Quince would then start, jump up and turn around in circles before settling back down again out of Sam range. Undeterred, Sam would make his way across the bed and reach out to grab Quince’s hair once more. I watched on with amusement.

Comedy then turned to amazement when suddenly Sam completely surprised me by effortlessly popping up onto his hands and knees and lunging towards his target in a proper little crawl! Blimey!

Although I admit I was very sleepy at the time, I didn’t imagine it because the next day Bill was about to leave for work when Sam showed his daddy exactly what he is capable of and just as suddenly took a few distinct crawling paces across the bed once more. Ever since then Sam hasn’t repeated that little trick as succinctly but has certainly been steadfastly working on getting that crawl technique down pat.

He’ll stretch out into a press up position with his legs locked straight, then walk them up into crawl pose. Next we’ll see him take a few steps with his feet, but at this point he hasn’t quite worked out what to do with his arms. Legs then tend to overtake arms and he topples over in a tangle.

The poor boy is terribly determined though and at every opportunity he can be found struggling to get his coordination perfect. Often, he gets quite frustrated and the wails start to errupt, but then when he makes a spot of progress the tears vanish as instantly as they came and a proud expression emerges on his little face.

With a first class view of Sam being encouraged to come to Mummy as she waves all his toys around enthusiastically, viewers of Sammycam have thus been on the edge of their seats watching Sam get mobile.

ON – ON! #3

October 8, 2006

October 7th – TLS (Trails Like Shit?) and Warthog – #1314

Start: Sam’s Club, 2901 Clairmont Road NE, Atlanta 30345

Despite the large pack gathered at the start of the run once the hounds were let loose the crowd dissipated immediately as the first glimpse of flour looked to lead us straight through a thicket and down into the murky waters of a creek below. A brave few followed by Martha Screw-It ventured down the bank and disappeared to check for flour, never to be seen again. The rest of the hounds wandered confused at the top waiting for the sounds of an On-On! before splitting into several hunting parties trying to find trail elsewhere. Most of the pack seemed to charge off up the road to where they assumed the creek would eventually emerge, while Coffee Bean, Ouch! and the more cautious amongst us held back and peered along the creek trying to spy evidence of more trail.

With no sign of Hashers splashing their way through the creek below we were suspicious and Ouch! decided to take it upon herself to investigate the water more closely. More closely, as in unintentionally going swimming with the fish. Her description of events as she inched down the bank hoping to have found an easier route down went something like this:

“Kudzu! Kudzu! Kudzu! Creeeeeek!!!! *splash!!!*”

She tumbled topsy turvy into the water up to her neck, watched and cheered on by the more timid hounds still deliberating about the trail above.

Her bravado did not go unrewarded, soon she was able to confirm our fears and the remainder of the pack slid, tumbled and careened down the bank to join Ouch! and the trail in the water. Being dubious did pay off too as instead of following the creek down river to the left as everyone else seemed to have assumed as they had raced off down the dry road, the trail actually went beneath one double bridge and then doubled back on itself to take us upstream instead.

Being British I rolled up my running trousers to the knees and went paddling, it seemed the right thing to do. Up stream we chugged and very refreshing it was with the cold water squishing between the toes.

Eventually it was time to depart the water and haul ourselves back up the bank to dry land. Here, I’m not convinced we were on trail but instead simply trying to follow the path of least resistance through the tangled briars. The rest of the hounds long gone I followed Ouch! and together we eventually made it out of the tangle alive.

Next came a bit of running beneath a bridge which was home to guy camped out amongst piles of rubbish, through more shiggy, and finally we emerged out back onto the streets of North Atlanta. As we traipsed through this hidden wilderness I enquired as to whether they’d ever come across a dead body whilst Hashing. I wasn’t expecting the response to be “yes!”

Ouch! and I plodded onwards managing to keep to trail until a pack of oncoming lost hounds caused consternation. They’d come across a YBF (You’ve Been Fecked) and lost trail. Cue hounds milling around certainly. Ouch! and I decided that despite this set back we were certain we had still been on trail, so ignoring protestations we continued onward and were proved right. The lost Hashers must have been shortcutting cheats and come across the YBF from the wrong direction and made a bad assumption that the trail we were on was a deceitful one. Ouch! and I were joined by Crip Teaser and On-On! we trudged.

A sight for sore eyes was the Beer Near when we finally got there. It was a complete lie though as there was no beer thanks to the thirsty hounds who’d preceded us. Dammit! The hares were just pulling away as we arrived, but stayed long enough to say that it was now a mere mile to the end and to direct us to take the path thataway and then follow the electric line. I never saw trail again. We took the hares directions, got to the electric line couldn’t see how to traverse down what looked like a tall bank into the valley below.

Thus followed an eternity of traipsing along completely lost with no idea as to where I was headed. Ouch! thankfully seemed to know where she was going and had a mobile, but then in a fit of pure insanity I somehow ended up on the other side of Buford Highway (very very busy four lane main road) from her, and with House of Boobs and a bunch of Carolina Trash Hash, who lived up to their name by swiping any comedy items that crossed their path.

So it was that eventually I made it to the On Down in company of runners wearing sashes made from yellow “caution” tape, carrying a large rainbow coloured garden windmill and pushing a BBQ. This had borne the sign “Free and it works!” but that was now adorning one hounds boobs.

Special mention also goes to Furry Balls who kept surprising me by running ahead, but somehow appearing back behind us and overtaking once more, or crossing our path from weird directions. Most memorable being on the home stretch when his little yellow t-shirt came crashing out of the hedge up in front and screaming “On-On!” he tore down the road to the On Down!

The living visit the historic dead

October 2, 2006

Ooooh I have the sore legs today, my knees don’t feel connected properly anymore! I skipped the gym this morning, but hopefully will be back in action there tomorrow. We did go for a bit of a walk this afternoon though as we met up with Alyssa and Natalie at Oakland Cemetery and wandered among the graves as they were having a special street festival with guided tours, stories and music.

It was a beautiful day and the babies started off by getting social time on the grass by the stone lion Confederate memorial while parents took advantage of the Low Country BBQ. Sam showed off his new trick. First seen this morning, when on his tummy he now pulls his body right off the floor and goes into push up position.

We all then went for a stroll around the leafy cemetery and saw the rows and rows of Confederate graves and some really impressive family vaults. Apparently there are some historic figures buried there, but I can’t say I recognised any of them. The big star seemed to be Margaret Mitchell, who, now that I have Googled, I can tell you, was the author of Gone With The Wind. There were stalls amongst the tombs and some struck me as somewhat odd as they had set up tents in top of graves and when I entered to take a closer look I would find a gravestone right in the middle, didn’t seem to bother anyone else though.

There also seemed to be some fancy dress competition going on and participants were dressed up as occupants of the cemetery. Thankfully that meant wearing clothing of the time, rather than bones and actual dead people. Bill was a little disturbed by the number of Confederate soldiers that were walking around. I was amused by the heavily dressed up Victorian ladies pushing babies in modern strollers which looked throughly out of place.

Speaking of bones, Bill couldn’t wait any longer and yesterday dressed Sam up in his little skeleton outfit to go meet his friend for lunch. This was the first outfit Bill bought for his son as soon as he found out I was pregnant!

Sam wore me out this evening. He wriggled all over the floor for hours. He had me constantly extracting him from trouble and plopping him back on his mat. No matter how many interesting toys I tempt him with he seems to love to roll away in search of something nasty, like a dog bone or old shoe. Here he is when I have actually managed to keep him engrossed on his quilt. He’s getting quite good at sitting up now and is always vastly entertained by the toy his Aunty Melly and Sy gave him, and Bagpuss. We broke open the little cubes Aunty Jenny and Uncle Nick gave him this week too. He’s really supposed to be six months for those but he’s not far off now and they have proved to be quite a hit too. He pores over them, investigating all the different colours and textures at his fingertips.

Sam’s been in bed asleep for about an hour now and I’m exhausted. Somehow I think we need to get his bedtime to be earlier because I feel like I never get any time to unwind or get anything done myself. When he’s up and about I’m constantly watching him and being kept on my toes. Now, it’s way past time for me to go bed and get some sleep before doing it all again tomorrow. Awww I love him so much.