A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Monday 29 August 2011

The hills are alive

with the sound of rivers and waterfalls, cow bells and chicadas...oh yeah and my son. 

We made it safely to Italy for our first family holiday with the Nonni. It officially became a vacation for hubby and I as well when we were treated to a few lovely days in the mountians. We stayed in a town called Pinzolo and enjoyed lovely visits to Val di Genova to see the waterfalls, taking the trenino to Malga Ritort and to Val Nambrone to see the lovely springs.

Saturday 20 August 2011

In 6 months

It's sometimes hard to think how much has happened in the last 6 months. I was thinking of using the word changed but even though I think that that part is obvious the use of the word change seems to be rather controversial for some. I don't know if it's because they don't want to admit it or if it's because they still do many of the same things they did before but fail to see that doing it with a baby obviously makes it a different experience...or maybe it's just me. Yes I will freely admit my life has changed and I have changed and even my relationship with hubby has changed (or at least a lot of our conversations have!).

I have changed a lot of nappies, soothed a lot of crying, had A LOT of sleepless nights and well that was only the first six weeks. I started to have to organise my life around his....when he naps as he won't just nap anywhere anymore and if it's too noisy I am snookered.....or when he has to eat and now we have started weaning it's like he is always eating! I hate the word routine but somehow my son seems to have naturally fallen into one...go figure...and he can be ever so miserable if we decide to break it. I have learnt new children's songs and nursery rhymes and find myself humming them in the shower. I am learning where all the family restaurants areand suddenly find myself looking around to see if my crying baby is disturbing anyone. I crave adult conversation and when I find it all I talk about is my son!

I have though got a lot of giggles and smiles and there are some that are just especially for me. I have got to watch him grow and get heavier in my arms each day. I have watched him learn to do new things. I have learned new responsibilities as someone so small puts their complete trust in me. I have experienced new feelings of complete joy and happiness. I feel...wait for it it's a bit mushy....truly blessed.

Happy half birthday to my beautiful boy.

Monday 15 August 2011

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Ok so it started with the foot fascination. All of a sudden my son decided it was more fun to play with toys with his feet than with his hands. If you tried to sit him up his head would drop as he looked for his feet. When lying down the feet would end up in the air and inevitably he would have his sock in his mouth. He would roll to the side but go no further. That was him happy for the next few days.

Then one day...the day I leave him for a second on his play mat while I go to the kitchen and hubby is busy on his computer....he turns over. "Did you put him on his tummy?" I asked daddy..."Nope". Well that is the beginning of the end of this story as every time he is on his play mat he pretty much ends up on his stomach. Typical of my son to learn how to do it the harder way first and now ends up on his tummy and does not really no quite what to do with himself. Of course we were really excited at first and I have tried for hours to film him doing it but as usual it's like he knows the camera is on him so he stops. 

Now though it's hit us slap bang in the face...he is on the move...time to start baby proofing!

Saturday 13 August 2011


I don't want to be just a woman any more and I don't just want to be a mum any more...I want to be "Supermum"! I don't want any old boring powers either!
Certain physical powers would be useful like having more than just two hands to help with all the multi tasking I have to do. I also live on the second floor of my building which does not have a lift and just stairs everywhere you look! Then of course eyes in the back of my head so I am always able to know what my son is doing. Also the ability to be two places at once so when I am desperate to pee I don't have to be shouting to my crying son that "Mummy is still here honey, stop crying, it's okay" (he's been a bit like that lately, not wanting me to leave the room).
Then we have the more serious powers that I am interested in..........
The power to be patient....my son is nearly 6 months and I can see the cheeky and stubborn side already, or as my aunt says "I can see he has got character." I am already fighting with him to drink his milk (I am really starting to hate guidelines now which say how much, when and for how long...because if baby does not want to do it how exactly am I to make him) and trying not to get worried or the worst feeling frustrated. 
The power of understanding......to know what is exactly right for my son...having just reserved a place for my son at nursery I am petrified that it is not the right one. As much mother's instinct as I have it's a decision I hated having to make on my own. I know as he grows I am going to have to let him make some decisions for himself...it's knowing which battles to fight and when to give in.
 and then secretly...the power to read his mind......what's going on in there? He is growing and developing so fast that I am sure his mind is working overtime. 
"Supermum" wants to be there to help him figure it all out.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Their eyes were watching God

I am rather embarrassed to admit that I have just read this book by Zora Neale Hurston. One can't but help being attracted to a book which is hailed as greatness by some of my favourite authors...Zadie Smith, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker. I never even realised it's greatness to others until I was preparing to write this blog post and was curiously reading what other people had to say. As an American Classic I am maybe a bit on edge to try and give any sort of review other than say to you if you haven't yet...read it! It's one of those classics that should make it's way out of the classroom and into an individual's hand. The use of dialect and metaphors, which some may criticise or find difficult, is what I probably loved the most as I found myself reading certain lines over again just to make sure I got the right meaning. It took me home to Jamaica where the language can get just as colourful and personal to a People. 

It's lyrical, moving and an entertaining story of Janie on a journey of self-discovery, discovering dare I say it true love. As a woman it moved me and I think I may just have to go and read it again.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

What is a swede?

Ok so we have now begun the long journey....jumping the big hurdle...that is...we have started weaning my wee man. I know I have started a whole two weeks early before 6 months (even though if you go by weeks we are there) as we are off on holiday next week and I wanted to have established something before we left. Lets just say that I had no idea where to begin really as the most information I got was a rushed 10 minute chat from my health visitor and a small booklet to read as she only had enough change for 20 minutes to park her car (no comment!). Having moved address I have heard nothing of these famed weaning fairs and have not heard a peep from my new health visitor who was supposed to call 2 weeks ago (no comment). I couldn't wing it and decided we needed to follow some sort of plan (flexible plan!) and well Gina Ford is banned from this house so we got the ever famous Annabel Karmel. For no particular reason other than my son would probably not be very good at (though he is probably awfully close) picking up stuff and directing them to his mouth that we have not considered baby led weaning. Saying that that book is in the post as we are interested in learning about the philosophy and we are definitely going to be introducing finger foods and just let him get on with it. I think this is the first thing dealing with my son that I am trying desperately not to stress about. That was until one of Annabel's recipe ingredients was a swede...ok I know I have heard of it but I have never actually eaten it and was not sure what it looked like (I can't believe I have just admitted that!) We have a great Roots and Fruits Organic shop around the corner who were thankfully able to help me out. 'Oh! Yeah a turnip, I was just checking'.

So after that worry aside thankfully my son appears to be rather enjoying all this tasting food stuff. We have even had the occasion where he has taken the spoon out of my hand and decided to try this out for himself. We are making our way through lots of bibs and muslins and most things now have a certain orange tinge from the carrot and sweet potato. We are making do with using his bouncy chair but the high chair can't arrive soon enough. So he is eating better than his mummy and daddy at the moment! Of course he has a sweet tooth and things like apples, pears and bananas seem to just disappear. I actually scarily find myself enjoying this experience of introducing new foods, figuring out what he likes and doesn't, making the purees...and discovering swede aka the turnip.

Sunday 7 August 2011

Vegan Glasgow

So only after a week in our new flat we had visitors! Ok so it was only Alberto's sister and husband and I knew they would not mind a few empty boxes lying about. Anyway they came to Glasgow with a plan...to visit all the Vegan restaurants and do CD shopping. I had nothing better to do so we tagged along (and this if for Aunty Michelle: we did it with my son who usually still sleeps in his pram for his lunch time nap...though this is no longer guaranteed....booooo). Not being vegan or even vegetarian does not put me and hubby off as long as the food itself tastes good.

Our first stop was The 78, a venue which is conveniently situated just around the corner from us which meant it even got a second visit before they left. It's got a nice relaxed atmosphere to it and some outside space if the sun decides to bless us here in Scotland with it's presence. It's a place to go to eat, just have a coffee or beers and music in the evening (they stop serving food at 9 which won't come as a surprise to most UK residents). 

The food itself is good. Hubby and I always go for the veggie burger (I know a bit of a cop out) but his sister was more adventurous with a sandwich and soup which she was pretty happy with. They had a peanut butter cake on our second visit and we all had a slice and we all wolfed that down. It's sisters with Stereo which we have frequented to listen to bands and which does some pretty good tapas. It's slap bam in the city centre down what could be described as what looks like a dingy lane from afar or maybe even close up. The space here to eat is a bit cramped and not as comfortable and it does tend to be quite busy.

 Our second stop was Heavenly again slap bam in the city centre (and only just checking out the website today I have noticed that it just opened this year) . I liked the space, modern but relaxed. All the tables are named after bands and we sat with the Bikini kill...

The food itself is pretty good. I am not a tofu fan so had to stay away from the burger this time and actually most of the menu! Just because you go to eat vegan does not mean I have to eat a healthy salad right so I had the falafel with spicy chips. Oh and its independent of a big brand chain if you find that appealing.

Our last stop was Mono. THE best stop for vegan in Glasgow as far as I am concerned. I will admit that the staff can appear somewhat cold and abrupt but the food is good, atmosphere relaxed and the food definitely tastes the best of the lot. The fact that it has a record store attached to it has meant that it is not the first time we have visited this location. We also used to live close by and it's child friendly so it was a good place to bring visitors and go for a sneaky beer in the evening when my wee man was taking his evening nap...which gives it extra bonus points as far as I am concerned. It attracts people on sunny days as it is one of the nicer places you can sit outside when the sun is shining.

So in a nutshell that was my experience of vegan Glasgow. There is the Tapa bakehouse in Dennistoun still to try but I have heard very good reviews and they do AMAZING bread which is often stocked in other small shops so we have been able to try. Dennistoun is not a place you tend to go to though unless you live there so location made it get left out on this occasion. If you are really interested in vegan food check out hubby's sister's blog (you have to speak Italian) and she has written her experience of vegan Glasgow and it has pictures!

Saturday 6 August 2011

It's a west end thing......

So here we are in the West End of Glasgow. A move we never thought we would make as we have always been city folk and only ever really looked to the West End with an intention to buy. We actually looked at flats to buy on the street we are now living on as it is rather beautiful, lined with trees and potted flowers hanging from street lamps. They come out in the mornings and evenings tending lovingly to their plants.


So even though we are living in the ugly building at the end technically we are closer to that dream. I guess most would argue a move to the West End is a natural move when you start a family as it is a more genteel area of Glasgow. It is definitely quieter and safer...our car insurance company affirms that by giving us back a significant amount of money for changing post codes! I have to be honest when I say that I definitely do see a different 'type' of person on the West end streets. We arrived in the West End with summer and the sunshine. We were able to observe a rather interesting phenomenon of neighbours sitting on their front "porch" (ok steps, ok sometimes on the sidewalk, ok sometimes even on the road) having a chat enjoying the sun. It's a rather strange array of students, young couples, young families, children with grandma, older people. I was told by a friend that it's a "West end thing".

Not that it is idyllic as we still live in Glasgow which is always 'a little rough around edges' wherever you go. We are still close to a beautiful park but a bit of a distance from the shops...better for our pockets I guess. There are lots of great restaurants and bars but I can't tell you about those just yet as we are yet to sample them due to our lack of babysitting services (we impatiently await the next grandparents visit). We are enjoying it so far and I at least am actually savouring the change...whenever we get into the city centre though hubby is like 'don't you miss it?'...well maybe a little.

Monday 1 August 2011

A moving story

No not a story of the sentimental type but literally a moving story. It explains my long silence as I have had to survive without the internet! I am not a fan of Packing and so the fact that I had to do it with a baby gave me the shivers before I even started. So....

  1. My first piece of advice to anyone moving with a baby is to start as early as possible packing away all the non essentials that you can get by without. I was rather lazy and started the week of the move which meant that I was packing boxes while hubby was packing boxes into the van. I had no excuse either as we were renting and that meant that most of the essential items actually belonged in the flat! 
  2.  We also have a lot of very non essential items as well. So another piece of advice is don't keep things you really don't need....so if you are a hoarder and hate throwing things away well all I can say is "God help you"! I just kept discovering stuff in all these little nooks and crannies...I also realised I had not even completely unpacked stuff from our initial first move...the excuse being that I will use this stuff when we eventually buy a house........
  3. It does not help to discover that every time you start to use some tape or tear some paper your baby starts to cry! So I guess another piece of advice is be prepared to take any chance you can get to pack things away. This was one of the times I really wished we had a babysitter....a relative...anyone who could have helped us out! Hubby arranged so we had 3 days to move from one flat to the other...give us time not just to move but to go back and clean the old flat. I questioned it at first and then was relieved we did it later. Coordinating it around his naps and feeds was great fun...honest! I became very creative in getting my son to sleep.
  4. Another piece of advice is sort out babies things first and then get to everything else later. He was a bit unsettled the first two nights. Not sure if it was being in a new room....feeling the tension from mummy and daddy...or what...but thankfully it did not last long.
But finally we are here...in the west end of Glasgow by the way.........and yes we have unpacked all our boxes...and boy have we enjoyed a few glasses of wine (and she quietly whispers...my son seems to have decided to sleep through the night).
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