On Sunday we took Freddie around to see Dan and his wife Tangiwai who is looking great in her third trimester. The weather was lovely for a walk through Brockwell Park, and Freddie was all smiles. It’s great having a chinwag with parents to be, I gave a nappy demo, we had some yummy nibbles and beer. Click on the slideshow for some great snaps:
Since September 2006 we’ve been haging with a bunch of local Mums, Dads and babies here in the Dulwich/Streatham/Brixton area. We’ve been very lucky that we all get along well although the babies are yet to be on speaking terms and at ages ranging fro four to five months they still don’t seem to take much notice of one another. Us mums and babies get together once a week, while the dads couldn’t arrange a piss up in a brewery, though they did manage to get together for a curry a few weeks ago. We get up to all sorts of things, walks in the park, trips to art galleries and cafe’s, and visiting one another’s homes. It’s great to be able to meet up with other mothers going through the same stages with their babies – it’s an excellent support network. Sadly, I’ll be returning to work tomorrow for at least a few weeks but luckily I’ll be able to keep a watchful eye on Freddie as I’ll be working from home. It’ll be the first time he’ll be looked after by someone other than Adam or I and it’s not a step taken lightly. Anyhow, here are the photos I know you’ve all been waiting for of all the NCT babies on the casting couch at Tanya’s. Click on the image to view the slideshow….
Someone asked about photo sharing. Adam’s figured all that out, he uses Google’s Picasa. It’s a feature-rich desktop photo-editing suite that gives you 1GB of space online (upgradeable) so you can share your photos with your mates. Download Picasa.
On Wednesday the 14th March we all set off for Ireland. Though we were a bit rushed – packing for the two of us is bad enough – we managed to get the paneer and halloumi in with Freddie’s favourite impress-the-pants-off-everyone garments. Then up-up-and away, Freddie’s first flight went pretty well, we’d been concerned he might get pressure build up in his ears but no bother all the way there and back. He was either feeding, sleeping, taking it all in or grizzling at the other passengers. We arrived in Cork, picked up our Opal Focus from Budget rent-a-car, and kicked ourselves for not packing the CD’s. So to the tune of the gaelic hurling commentators we headed to Clashbrack, a wee two house village in County Waterford. It’s about 5 miles northwest of Dungarvan. Seamus, Bridge, Chloe, Kiera and Jamie kindly hosted us while we paid regular visits to Maureen the matriarch across the way. And we weren’t the only ones visiting – Dave and Linda, Noola and her new squeeze, Ann, Joe and Liz and their nippers Fiann, James and Neabh, Uncle Liam and most regularly Lassie the dog. On the Friday we attended Dave and Linda’s wedding ceremony humorously held by Father Billy, with his ‘I hope the [house] roof doesn’t fall in, and the people in it don’t fall out’. I started to feel a bit under the weather about now, having caught a bug off Chloe, but headed to the photos then got lost on the way to the Clonea Strand Hotel nevertheless. When we finally arrived, Freddie was abit tired, so Mary and I tag-teamed dinner, after which I was through, sweating and vomiting all over the show so I headed for bed while Mary leered it up with the revellers. Apparently Dave gave a great speech which I can’t wait to see on DVD. The following day after breakfast we headed off to meet Mary’s friend Ann Seward at Moony’s bar in Ring. It being the occaision of the Irish-Italy rugby game, there was chanting and clapping as the home side won by a 40 point margin. Freddie didn’t appreciate their clapping much, but gurgled enough for Ann to think he was the bees knees. Then we headed back for Chloe’s birthday party, she loved her new accordian, though Bridge will probably hide it it makes such a din. On the Sunday we headed over to Mt Mellory where a monastry has stood since the 11th century. It was freezing cold up there in the Knockmealdown mountains, and then the hail and snow really made us want to leave. It’s lucky we did, because we got lost and were late to the scrummy lunch that Liz and Joe had made for us. Freddie loved all the attention from the kids, and we hung out there for a while. Phew! It was time for a rest, then on the Monday we stopped in at Kinsale for dinner before jumping on the delayed flight home. We finally crawled into bed at 1am… And that’s enough of me blabbering, where’s the money? I hear you all ask. Click on the photo below, then, for a slideshow of our trip…
Freddie turned three months recently, and Mary and I are very proud of our wee son. He’s really healthy, bursting out of his clothes with glee as the Incredible Hulk does with anger. Pop! Snap! Off to eBay for another jacket. We managed to get a giggle out of him on Friday. Making squeaky noises as we pulled his arms apart then into the chest caused his face to light up, then a few repetitive gurgles emanated from his wee trachea. It’s a laugh, init? Hopefully we’ll be able to capture another on video in the not too distant future. He’s also started varying his vocalisations considerably, and the coos, squeals, sqwaks, goos, gurgles and other non-descript mono and multi-syllable emanations are dead cute when he’s staring straight at you thinking you understand every word. Since he was born he’d been going to bed with us around 11pm, but we’re trying to get him to bed around 8.30pm now. He still wakes up for a feed pretty regularly throughout the night, which is a pain for Mary who never feels well rested. Then I get him up around 8am and read him stories, supervise him on the swing, sing songs to him and attempt to entertain him for an hour before making Mary’s cuppa and nipping off to work. I also take each Wednesday off work – either annual leave or flex-time – to hang out and be the family man. According to recent research from the EOC, it will pay off in big dividends insofar as his development is concerned:
"There is no evidence from this research that a mother returning to work when a child is young influences the extent of development problems for children. Instead, these problems are associated with dads taking no time off around a child’s birth, and then not using flexible working when a child is young. So if we are to create the best outcomes for children we need to make it possible for both mothers and fathers to spend the time they would like with their young families."