Monthly Archives: February 2009

Monkey’s Music

Today, finally, after planning and canceling for two weeks and postponing a third due to ‘half-term’, we made it to Monkey Music.  It’s a program at the local rec centre for kids, different groups for different ages, that introduces them to music and rhythm using actions and dancing and simple instruments.  We’d arranged a trial visit ages ago but then got sick, and then got sick again, and then the program took a week off.  We almost missed it today, too, but the Rocket Scientist was wanting to go into work early so I was up earlier than usual.  It was actually nice to fit a shower in before he left for the day (don’t. say. a. word.).

So today, we got packed up (my first time taking Doodle and a diaper bag out on the bike), we braved the dreary looking day (not too cold, but damp), and headed out.  I grossly overestimated the time it takes to bike into Summertown.  We were there a half hour early.  Okay, so I didn’t need to get up quite so early after all.  So we sat in the lobby reading books.  Well, I read, Doodle watched the people after a few unsuccessful attempts to squirm out of my lap.  So really, in retrospect, he’d already been very patient for a good 25 minutes before we even got into the room, I was clearly asking too much that he show the same level of restraint during the program.  Especially with all those fun looking pushchairs (strollers) sitting around the room just screaming to be inspected.  The program was fun enough.  Doodle was the youngest there and it was really geared towards one year plus.  The director thought he would do better in the older group seeing as he would turn a year before the term ended.  Not too sure about that, but anyway.

There are set songs and activities that most of the kids and parents already knew.  I guess some of the middle parts were variable and everything was pretty easy to follow.  There were actions/clapping/patting knees/waving and shakers to shake and drums to bang on, all really neat and just what I had imagined it would be.  And Doodle did like those parts, but as soon as the music stopped and the lady started talking, he was trying to get out of my lap and go steal her monkey.  We stood and danced for a time so he would stop squealing at me.  None of the other kids were disruptive or squirmy, I kind of felt like the uncouth mom from ‘the colonies’ with my over-indulged child.  I’m sure it was all in my head, but still, it took away from the magic of what I had imagined our first mom and tot program would be.

The lady was very kind and offered to give me another trial day if I still wasn’t sure.  I said I would like that but I’m not now that I’ll take her up on it.  The Rocket Scientist made a very good point, why fight with him to enjoy something we’re having to pay for if we can just search around a little and find something we both enjoy more.  Maybe something a little more active for Doodle’s part.  There are, after all, no shortage of mom and tot programs in Summertown.  And you would not believe how many of those things are on Tuesday morning.  It’s like everyone got together, checked their schedules and Tuesday morning was good so they just decided to book everything then and you could pick one thing to do in the entire week and you would do it on Tuesday morning between 9:30 and 11:00.  Which just happens to be the exact time of Doodle’s morning nap.

He fell asleep on the bike on the way home.  Too cute.  Definitely have to get out on the bike more often.  Fresh air makes for great (and long) naps.  Then after lunch we had our own music to monkey about with.  I found his African CD and we did our own dancing.  I’m very sad I didn’t have my video camera ready for that as it was terribly cute.  I took the camera to the program today but didn’t even think about taking it out once we were there, but I did get some pictures of him dancing at home after.

Whew, that was quite the workout!

Baby’s first haircut

I must say, I had visions of what Doodle’s first haircut would be.  One of those cute little shops where they have airplanes and cars for the kids to sit in.  I imagined he would be fawned over and told how cute he was and what a big boy he was, there would be lots of squirming and maybe some screaming.  I’ve seen the posts of this happening to other people’s kids.  I was prepared, I would be there for moral support, snapping tons of pictures, trying not to laugh at his misery (cause he really is adorable when he’s upset) and then I would leave with a little boy in place of the baby that I took in.  Ya, well that didn’t happen.

I have searched high and low for such a place in the UK and they don’t seem to exist, not in Oxford anyway.  I’ve stopped Mum’s on the street asking them where they get their kids hair cut and very few actually get them done by a shop.  I even posted on a local mum’s website and no one had any help for me.  So I decided I was going to have to do it myself.

Now, I have cut hair before.  As a teenager I gave myself bangs.  A total rookie move on my part (wet hair pulled tight, snip…when it dries it’s significantly shorter…picture it).  Since then, I began to pay very close attention to what hairdressers were doing and began to understand, in theory at least, the principles of cutting hair.  I have since given trims to  myself and several friends and have been quite successful.  I didn’t think it would be that difficult to trim Doodle’s bangs, around his ears, and the back of his head.  That is, if he was unconscious and I had my proper hair scissors.  He is rarely unconscious though and my hair scissors are somewhere on the Atlantic.  I thought I could wait it out, but it just became too much and so we decided to brave it.

The Tools

Daddy’s comb which ended up serving mostly as a distraction.

The only scissors I had, yes, I know they’re not meant for hair, I’m hoping you’ll give me a little leeway when you see the finished product now that you know what I had to work with.


Very excited, but he doesn’t know why.

Look at all that hair in his eyes, something must be done.


That’s right, I’m stylin’.

You didn’t get to see the back before, but it wasn’t this straight.

My little man, all set to go.

The Remains

or at least what remembered to gather for the baby book

I love my Mac!

I am still sick, so is Doodle, but I have made it to the Dr. and I’m off to get some drugs today.  I really am so done with being sick.  I know I have had days when I’m not, but they seem like pinpricks in time on the days that I am sick.  It’s been one thing after another since the beginning of December and I’m done.  I quite.  No more.  The office is closed.  We are not accepting any more applications.  At least that’s what one person I know says is the key to being healthy…not accepting that you are sick.  I wish.  I’ll take the drugs please and hopefully I can keep myself rested and well-hydrated and start to build my immune system back up.

Okay, on to the real reason for the post.  Well, besides the fact that it’s been three days and I really must get more consistent in my blogging.  I love my Mac!  I have had a Mac for…golly, over 6 years now, and I automatically enjoyed it more than the PC.  Can we say no more Control+Alt+Del?  But recently, we upgraded our Mac to a brand new macbook.  We knew we wouldn’t have room for a desktop in our new house so we sold my eMac and the Rocket Scientist’s PC and got the macbook.  We call it ours, but mostly I use it as the Rocket Scientist has his own laptop for work.  I haven’t had a lot of time to explore the new operating system that came with my fun little computer, so I haven’t had a chance to really play with all the new toys.  Well, this morning, I wanted to play with some photos to see if I could get them to truly reflect the amount of fluids leaking out of my poor little man’s face.  (our camera is dying a slow and painful death and has not been taking the best pictures as of late)

So I got to play with the new iPhoto program.  It’s great!  I love what I can do with my pictures.  Now I know I am the last person on earth to discover this and if you don’t have a Mac, you likely have photoshop which as I understand is a similar program, but let me be excited for a moment.  It was so much fun turning my photos from flat images that don’t nearly do justice to capturing all the cuteness that is my son into pictures with detail and contrast.  I think they sometimes come out a little gritty/edgy but that’s mostly because that’s the kind of photos I like the best and I just couldn’t help it. So I may have to start doing some photo blogs.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to go back and fix up the 734 pictures we’ve taken since getting the computer at Christmas.  And then there’s all the pictures on our portable hard drive.  Oh golly.  Am I in trouble.

Okay, so here’s the first entries:  Me trying to capture how leaky Doodle’s face is.  Still couldn’t quite get it, but I like the pictures anyway.  He’s feeling better today though, thankfully.

Single lines

If I truly believe in the sovereignty of God and that His timing is perfect and that He has my days already recorded and mapped out and knows the beginning from the end and knew that Doodle would be and would be ours and when and also knows the fate of of any and all future children, then why, oh why, does that single line feel so devastating. It’s not like we’ve been specifically trying, charting, timing, waiting. But I’m late. Late even for me. And it’s not like I have any reason to believe that this time round will be any different than the last. Except that I’ve been back on the Mommy Boards over at Soulcysters and 4 (or is it 5 now) of the other women who were due with me last March are pregnant again. Without trying. One already delivered. Irish twins. Just like my Mom and Aunt. Do women without fertility problems feel such deep wounds over such a simple thing as a single pink line? I want to go rummaging through the waste bin to have one more look. Just to see if maybe, maybe, there’s a shadow that I missed, the last time it was so faint.   Part of this is pride, I’ll admit it. I feel like I’ve paid my dues. Done my time. Shouldn’t have to go through that again (my heartfelt apologies to all my friends who went through so much more than me, I really do know how lucky I got off). This time, I wanted to feel like a normal woman. A woman who’s body hadn’t betrayed her. A woman who’s God hadn’t said ‘no’ again. Now I really do understand that this isn’t likely an actual ‘no’ but a ‘not right now’. And I understand that He has very good reasons for the ‘when’. But none of that sinks in tonight. Tonight things feel hollow. Distant. Tonight I feel empty.

Ugh. Sick. Again

I often give the Rocket Scientist a hard time when he’s sick because he makes sure everyone knows he’s sick and he never takes anything unless I remind him.  I’m not a very good wife, not a lot of compassion when he’s sick, injured yes, sick no.  I may have to be a bit nicer next time round.  I’m sick.  Again.  I feel like I’ve been sick for months.  Oh wait.  I have.   Granted lately I’ve had a few days of not being sick, but since Dec. 8th, I’ve definitely been sick more than I’ve been well.  But I thought I was finally over with it!  No such luck.  I’m pretty sure it’s a sinus infection this time round and I’m miserable.  We have no drugs in the house to take and I’m a whiny, miserable, sick person.  Thank goodness the Rocket Scientist hasn’t gotten sick much at all these last couple months.  Last night he actually got up with Doodle three times!  The best part, Doodle only got up 3 times.  Well, best in that I didn’t have to get up with him, not so great in that my little man had been doing much better and only waking once if at all during the night.  I hope he’s not getting sick, too.  So today I really do have to go into town and register with the medical clinic.  I know, I know, I still haven’t and I’m still dumb.  But today, really I will.  Hopefully I’ll be able to see someone today, too and not have to go back in tomorrow.  Hopefully my legs won’t fall off when I get back on the bike again.  Hopefully other sore parts of my body won’t fall off either.

Wish me luck.

The Family that Cycles together…takes a lot of pain killers.

Saturday saw yet another first. Our first family bike ride. Our arrival in Oxford has left us without a car for the first time in our marriage, and for me for the first time in 9 years. The buses are plentiful and go everywhere here, but they’re not cheap and there’s still the walk from our house to the main bus route. Not as convenient as we had hoped. So we decided to get bikes.  The Rocket Scientist has had his for a couple weeks and has been using it to get back and forth to work. I love it, it means he can stay a little later in the morning and still get to work on time and he can stay at work a little later and still get home at a decent time. Because of a mixup as to what child seats fit on what bikes, I only got mine this last week. I went out a couple times to test my bike legs as it were and by Saturday I felt comfortable enough to go out with Doodle so we decided to take a ride as a family.

Doodle did great. Of course he had no reason to think this was a big deal, it’s just another seat that he gets strapped into to go places. A little colder though, have I mentioned I can’t wait ’til spring. Right around the corner they tell me. We ended up going farther than planned and by the time we got home, I wasn’t sure I would be able to stand. Ugh.
So what did we decide to do today? Bike to church. Oh. my. gosh. It’s not like Oxford is super hilly, it’s more bumpy as the Rocket Scientist says, but enough that my thighs and knees are quite upset with me.  The Rocket Scientist looked on google maps and figured we biked about 12 miles in the last two days. I’ve never been one to ease into things. Doodle once again was a trooper.  His face however is showing a bit of wind burn so I’ll have to get him a bit of protection for his face and slather on the Aquafor in the meantime.
I’m totally kicking myself though for not taking our camera today.  First of all, the creche (nursery) in the church we went to had a little blue rocking horse which he had fun on.  And actually, this was his first time in a room full of children his age.  I left him and went to sit with the Rocket Scientist in the service.  That was hard for me, but good for Doodle I’m sure.  He did great though, playing nicely with everyone, not freaking out when he didn’t see me, and didn’t cry when I came back, just showed me how nicely he could feed the baby next to him a wooden train track.  ‘Bless’
After church we went to a pub for a Valentine lunch.  It was a really nice place with a real highchair, not the wooden things you get in most restaurants.  The Rocket Scientist had a steak and I had a lamb pot roast with yorkshire pudding and mint sauce.  Mmmmmm…so yummy (or scrummy as it is here).  Doodle did so well considering he had no morning nap.  He was enjoying eating all kinds of new food off of Mummy’s plate, and then suddenly, in the middle of opening his mouth for a bit of potato, he just kind of…fell asleep.  It was hilarious, I’d always wondered how kids fall asleep in their spaghetti, and now I know.  If you keep your child awake through their entire nap time and are approaching their next nap time, any place where they are sitting becomes good enough to fall asleep in.  Again, kicking myself for not having the camera.

First steps!

That’s right, you heard it here first, Doodle has taken his first solo steps.  There are no pictures as yet because he first toddled out on his own while we were getting ready for bed on Friday night.  We had been trying to convince him he could walk on his own because he will stand on his own and will walk beside you holding on to just your pant leg or finger but he would just get to excited and lean forward so when you let go of him, he just fell into waiting arms.  Which he loved, it was a great game.  So Friday night caught him quite by surprised and he wasn’t sure why all of a sudden Daddy was cheering and clapping and Mommy was squealing and crying (ya, that’s right, I had a tear or two, wanna make something of it?).  He’s done it a couple times since, but then he gets so giddy he just goes back to running/falling forward.  Once he figures out what he’s doing, I am so toast, he’ll be running within a week.  I really hope the weather straightens up soon so I can send him out to the back garden (yard) and let him run around there.

Steps weren’t the only firsts around here.  He also slept through the night for the first time Friday night.  WOOHOO!!  Now I know there are many of you out there who were getting good night’s sleeps out of your kids much sooner than 10 months, but sleep has always been a struggle for Doodle (and yes we tried giving him cereal just before bed).  Since we arrived in the UK however, sleep has slowly but surely been coming in line.  He started by napping well and long twice a day and now he’s getting a good night’s sleep as well.  Thank God.  The day is so much easier when both of us are well-rested.