Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Babysitter

Deep breath. Now let it out.

Today I left Fifi with a babysitter for the first time. First non-family babysitter, that is. The school's end of session lunch was today, and both of Scott's parents had to work, so I asked a lady at church if she could watch Fifi for a few hours.

I was so nervous.

I checked my phone every five minutes (no, I'm being literal) to make sure she hadn't called.

It's not that I didn't think the lady was capable. She's raised three fine children of her own, and she's always been great with Fifi. It's just, well, she isn't mum. She doesn't know what each of Fi's cries mean. She doesn't know when Fi is getting close to hungry (something only I can really guess at with precision, thanks to that tale-tell tingling in my bosom). Or, what if Fi cried the whole time, and the sitter is miserable and never wants to watch her again?

As I showed 'Mrs Anna' around the house, giving her quick instructions, I felt like I was trying to teach her Fifi Parenting 101 in just five minutes. Here's how you warm her milk. Here's where her sterilised bottles are. Here's how you sterilise more bottles. Here's how to know if she's hungry. Here's where her nappies are. Here's where her wipes are. Here are her toys. Here's a blanket to lie on the floor if she wants to play. Here's a list of emergency contacts should she fall and crack her head open. Here's the first aid kit for use until the ambulance arrives. Here's my heart to be crushed as soon as I leave her with a sitter for the first time. I kept thinking of other things I needed to tell her, and then reminding myself that she isn't stupid and can figure a lot out. But the whole way to Glasgow I kept thinking of things I hadn't mentioned, like how the breaks on the pram worked or how to know if it is me calling if the phone rings or what to do in case of a flash flood.

Well, it turned out that all was unfounded. I came home (quite a bit nervous) to a laughing, happy Fifi who apparently spent most of the day sleeping, with a little playing mixed in. And she even waited to fill her nappy until I arrived. What a considerate child.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fifi: Film Fanatic

It's a good thing we don't have a TV license, because Girlfriend would be glued to the set if we did. She loved the cinema. She wanted to marry it.

When the lights dimmed, she knew something BIG was happening. Then the loud speakers played one of those introduction thingys with a bolt of lightening and a loud, unexpected sound, and while all the other babies were two seconds away from total melt-down, Fifi just couldn't wait to see what was next. Then the big screen portrayed the opening scene, and Fifi sat up to attention and was hooked for the next hour. She sat straight up on my knee and moved her head back and forth to see the whole screen for, I'm not joking, an hour. She turned her head to watch characters dialoguing. Every so often, she'd turn her head back to look me in the face and grin like nothing, not even num-num, was as good as this.

After an hour, she did get kinda hungry though, so I fed her. But she was obviously really into the story (when did she learn French?), because she kept turning back around to see what Edith was saying or doing. Finally, she fell asleep and slept for the last hour. I think she was kinda disappointed that she didn't get to see how it ended, but I filled her in when she woke up.

It was certainly a very successful outing. I think we'll have to visit the cinema more often. Fifi heard there was an Indian film playing next week, and she's been brushing up on her Hindi.

Back to the Cinema

In just a few minutes, Fifi and I will be on our way to her first cinema experience ever, and my first since the night I had to leave the cinema to go have a baby. The Glasgow Film Theatre does Parent and Baby screenings every other Monday morning, and I've talked about going for ages. Well, I'm finally doing it. I'm going with Maria and Caspar, and one of Maria's friends and her baby. I'm really excited.

Fifi is crying so I better go cheer her up with some popcorn, a blueberry slushie and a bag of sweeties shoved in my handbag.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oh yeah!

And everyone go have a look at my sister-and-brother-in-law's new blog!

Unexpected Lazy Day

Sometimes I think life has a way of just deciding for you that you need a break, despite your best efforts.

I had my day planned, and it was packed with busyness. The plan was to drop Scott off at work, do my reports for my at-home job, take Fifi swimming, and then, while Fifi inevitably slept off her exhaustion afterwards, I'd work very hard on my business until she woke up or it was time to pick Scott up.

So I dropped Scott off and took Fifi to her grandparents' so I could do my reports. I finished them in just enough time to make it to swimming class. After swimming, I had a bite to eat with my new friend Maria and her little Caspar, then Fifi and I headed home for her usual extremely long post-swimming nap. It was lovely; Fi fell asleep in the car and remained asleep even after carrying her inside and putting her in her swing. I sat down at my usual working spot (the couch) to get working. I reached for my laptop...

And discovered I'd left it at Scott's parents' house.

Looking at my sleeping angel, I couldn't imagine waking her to go pick up my laptop, so I called my mum-in-law to see if she could run it over. She wasn't home. I sat in my quiet house and looked about me. Thanks to my chore schedule, most of my chores were done.

I had nothing to do.

Suddenly, millions of exciting ideas hit me. Oh, the possibilities! First things first, I went to the kitchen and made myself a hot cup of tea, a very special treat these days. Then I realised I could finally make that banana bread I keep buying bananas and letting them rot for! So I made banana bread. While it baked and the delicious aroma drifted all through the house, I sat down with the book I've been trying to get through (Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner). Fi woke briefly for a feed and then went right back to sleep! For the rest of the afternoon! I'm telling you, I hardly knew what to do with all the free time. I did a few loads of laundry and unloaded the dishwasher, but mostly I just chilled. I had several cups of (hot!) tea and several slices of (hot! undisturbed!) banana bread. I phoned my mom. I read about half my book.

No matter how much I wanted to finish up my business stuff (which is about 90% ready to open!), having a day like I had today was the best thing going.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Biz... Again

I've been really busy.

I'm sorry that my blog has become so boring and neglected. Honestly, all day long, when I'm out and about, I think about things that if I could right that second blog about, I would. But I come home and either forget all about my earlier thoughts or realise they are totally not worth talking about.

So I'll just talk about my biz.

Scott told the lady at his work who is going to show her future daughter-in-law my stuff that I'd be ready by this week. Exclamation points! I'm still waiting on my stamps to arrive which I had made. Once those arrive though, I should be able to finish making up my samples, at least enough to get started. If you are one of my friends/family on flickr, you'll be able to see a few samples yourself. (If you'd like to become a friend/family contact on flickr, just let me know!)

What else, what else...

Tomorrow I begin my training course with the Breastfeeding Network. Don't know if I ever updated you on that, but you might remember ages ago me saying that I'd been asked if I wanted to do some peer support training, but I never heard back from anyone? Well, I ended up running into the woman who was organising it at the weekly local breastfeeding support group (which I'd hardly ever attended), and she said it wasn't too late to join. So the training starts tomorrow, and I'm pretty excited. I hope it's good.

I also might take on another money-making scheme, on top of my business and my clerical work. A girl from the breastfeeding support group is having trouble finding a childminder for her son for when she goes back to work, so there's a chance I'm going to be watching her boy a couple days a week. He's a month and a half older than Fifi, so I'm a bit nervous about watching two little rugrats, but I'm working through a plan. If I can find a tandem pram somewhere like Freecycle or eBay, then I can easily take the two munchkins out for walks or through the town or to the park or even to coffee shops, and it won't be that much more work. Of course, if I do this, it means I seriously need to get my house baby-proofed, but that's gonna have to happen soon anyway, as Fifi is a rolling machine. So anyway, yeah, might be doing that too. Because we are broke.

Okay, it's now twenty to twelve. I should really be asleep. Not only do I now have this training course on Tuesdays, I'm still supposed to do the grocery shopping, tidy the living room and wash a load of laundry on Tuesdays too. And care for a baby. I'm pooped.

(Ha, saying 'pooped' has a whole new meaning for me now. It reminds me of that load of nappies that need to be tumble dried.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moving Forward

Yesterday was the funeral for Gran. What is there to say? It was nice. It really was. Fifi was mostly well-behaved. June is with the Lord now, and her suffering is over.

With the funeral over, I finally feel able to get back into the swing of normal life. For a week, life was not normal. I couldn't face mundane things, like housework or blogging. But now, life must go on. So today I took life by the reins and got back in control.

I turned my chore schedule 3-D.

With an A4-sized card and a little magnetic tape, I am now able to quickly and easily plan my week in terms of chores, errands, organised events and meals.

I also got into the kitchen and made those peanut butter teddy bears I've been wanting to make. It felt good to bake something. But the teddies are so cute, I can't bear (haha) to eat them.

I've also gotten a bit further with my cards. I've got four different handmade styles made up and about six different digital graphic examples. I've mixed the two mediums quite a lot for a look I hope is quite unique. And my personalised stamps I created have been made and should be in the mail tomorrow. I sure hope all this work is not for nothing... one job at least is all I need to break even on all the supplies I've purchased.

So anyway, I guess things are getting back to normal now. Tomorrow Fifi and I will go to her swimming class. On Saturday we'll go to Justin and Lorna's wedding. And so forth.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Great Gran with her first great grandaughter

It's been a hard day, and this is my first blog in some time. It's Scott blogging, for a change.

My gran passed today. She had a massive stroke this morning, and left us early this afternoon.

I really don't know what to say. I know she's with the Lord now, I know that she'd came to Him and that she'd made her peace and asked forgiveness. She had a simple faith, a good spirit and a huge amount of love and forgiveness for her family. No matter how much we messed up, no matter how much potential we wasted, she had some old fashioned wisdom to share, some old fashioned common sense and an old fashioned meal for us.

I'm going to miss her so much. She was such a generous woman, always willing to help me and Lori while we were finding our feet. She was so happy to see and hold Fifi. That was her aim, after she'd been diagnosed. She didn't think she'd make it, but I knew she would. She even waited until Audrey had been born, Pete's little girl.

I don't really know what to say. I miss her. i loved her, and she's somewhere better now. But I still miss her. I'm never going to have one of her apple pie's again. Never going to listen to one of of her anecdotes about the old days again, about how things used to be. Never going to watch Emmerdale with her, listen to her stories about her friends in Hawick Court, about how she met my Grandpa, about us when we were kids. I'm going to miss her so much.

Lori came downstairs to me crying while writing this, it's nearly 4am and I've been listening to Fugazi for 3 hours, it's time to go to bed. The last time I experienced something like this I was 9, and I don't know what I should do, and I have to go to work in the morning.

I'm not sure what the point of this post was, but my gran is gone and I miss her. I'm looking forward to meeting her again, some day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's Just a Phase...

We parents have this special way of justifying our children's undesirable behaviour - we say they are going through 'a phase'. Fifi is going through a phase.

She used to be really good at going to sleep at bedtime. No matter how awake she was prior to 10, she always shut down at 10 o'clock on the dot.

A couple of days ago she had a day where she slept the entire day. From the moment I took her out to drop her daddy off at work until her lunch time (which was my lunch time too) and then after her lunch until we picked up her dad, she slept. I kept commenting to anyone who would listen about how I couldn't believe she was still asleep but that I recognised this to be 'the calm before the storm'.

That storm has officially blown in.

Since that day, she's been a cranky, kicking, non-sleeper to the extreme. No one but Mummy will do. And even Mummy will only barely do. And she won't go to sleep at night anymore. And once she has finally drifted off, she kicks and tosses and turns all night long.

I read in a baby book that when children reach certain milestones, like crawling or sitting up, they practice these new skills in their sleep. So I wasn't surprised by this new restlessness (she'd been trying to roll over for a while now). But I was surprised by the crankiness that has ensued. And the crankiness the lack of sleep has ensued in me. Nothing keeps you awake like tiny, powerful legs kicking you in the gut (and the groin) all night long - except maybe a baby staring you in the face at 4am, who then laughs hysterically when you awaken to that ominous and disconcerting feeling of being watched (at 4am).

The good news in all of this is that these late night practice sessions have at least paid off to some extent -

-because today, for the first time ever, FIFI. ROLLED. OVER!


Yes, folks, our baby did what nearly each and every baby in the history of mankind does at some point in their lives, and HOLY COW, WE CAN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

This doesn't, however, totally make up for the fact that it's really late, and Fifi is upstairs in bed with a blue giraffe, laughing and chattering away, like she has been doing for the past hour and a half. Regardless, of course, of the fact that only seconds before putting her in bed, she was whining, crying and arching her back with all the rage one can muster in about 17 pounds of human body, with those tell-tale red sleepy-circles around her eyes... No, Fifi's got 'bedtime' totally confused with 'funtime' these days, and seriously, it's killing me.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Biz

Things are starting to come along on the business front. There are several reasons for this: the finding and installing of the printer/scanner/copier software onto my laptop, the finding and installing of the Macromedia Suite software on my laptop, and the finding and installing of the PhotoShop Elements (bleh, Elements) software on my laptop.

Also the aging and maturing of the baby who now can entertain herself for longer than two minutes at a time.

Also the purchasing of loads of exciting materials from The Papermill Shop. Which haven't arrived though.

I've started working on some samples of printed designs which you can view (and be honest about in any comments) here. You have no idea how much courage it took just there to link to that.

When the goods from The Papermill Shop arrive, I'll begin samples of handmade cards.

Did I ever even mention what the biz is(iz)? It's custom-designed wedding stationery - invitations, programs, save-the-date, etc. Choices are either digital designs or handmade cards. Man, just writing about this is freaking me out. My confidence has suddenly fizzled to nothing.

Anyway, money has been spent so confidence or no, I must get at least one or two jobs to cover the cost of what I've spent. At least if I come out even, I can keep the Tax Man sort of at bay. It's the profit he's after. If any profit is ever made.

Meanwhile, amidst all the work, I've also been having fun with the scanner.

And as soon as I get new ink cartridges (I forgot how expensive they are!), I look forward to beginning a few sewing projects, starting with this Scotty dog by All Sorts.

ETA: My stuff arrived!