Monday, January 30, 2006

Extreme potty training

My stepmum was telling me about these (crazy) women who potty train their babies from birth. Apparently they spend their whole time looking for little clues that their baby is about to wee or poo and then shove them on a potty dead quick, despite the fact that these poor children can't even hold their own heads up yet.

Well, the little clue that ThingOne is about to wee or poo, is the fact that I have taken her nappy off, cleaned her bottom and am just bending down for a clean nappy. At this point she decides to wee and/or poo all over the changing mat, her vest and her babygro, necessitating a full change of clothing (bear in mind ThingOne thinks having a new vest put on is some form of torture). She has done this SIX times since Friday. She did it at 6am and 9am this morning. Frankly, I'm buying her a potty and I shall balance her on it until she has finished her evacuations. Dirty Bean.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A year in DVDs

"Baby, baby, baby etc. Where's the real news Stephen?"

Well, here's a post about DVDs, which I know is what you really want to know about. In January 2005 we started renting DVDs by mail from Amazon (six a month, three at a time). We've now downgraded our plan, since we're never going to get to watch many movies with ThingOne eating up our time. In the last year and a bit though, we've got through some great DVDs (and some rubbish ones). Here's what we've rented:

The Station Agent
The Day After Tomorrow
Fahrenheit 9/11
28 Days Later
House Of Sand And Fog
The Chronicles Of Riddick - Pitch Black
Anchorman [The Legend Of Ron Burgundy]
City Of God (Cidade De Deus)
The Terminal
Super Size Me
Belleville Rendez-Vous
The 25th Hour
The Corporation
Finding Neverland
Layer Cake
Man On Fire
The Manchurian Candidate
The Village
Goodbye Lenin!
I Heart Huckabees
National Treasure
The Long Good Friday
After The Sunset
Dirty Pretty Things
A Comprehensive Guide To British Birds (Yes, really!)
Matchstick Men
The Grudge
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
The Producers
A Very Long Engagement
In Good Company
The Aviator
Double Indemnity
Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself
Melinda And Melinda
Assault On Precinct 13
The Machinist
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Auto Focus
Look Around You follows shortly
Million Dollar Baby
Fifteen Storeys High - Series 1
Sin City
A Beautiful Mind
Blade: Trinity
The League Of Gentlemen's Apocalypse
Hotel Rwanda
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
The Chorus
Rio Bravo
The Mighty Boosh - Series 1 [Disc 1 - Episodes 1-4]
Escape From New York
The Interpreter
The Edukators
War of the Worlds
The Descent
Absolute Power - Series 1
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Fantastic Four
Stewart Lee - Stand Up Comedian
The Princess Bride
Kung Fu Hustle
Wedding Crashers
Land of the Dead
The Dukes of Hazzard - Unseen
The Island
Old Boy

Not a bad way to spend a year. I suspect we'll watch many fewer in 2006.

We've not watched Old Boy yet, but we saw The Island today. I expected it to be rubbish, but hoped it'd be more fun than it was.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Anne and The Bean's talk

Blimey. ThingOne appeared to mutter her first word at two weeks, and in the process correctly answered a question!

We were about to bath ThingOne, and had her on a change mat in the bathroom while we checked the water temp etc. She had one of her cow sleep suits on. Not the one with the cow-hide markings, but one with a picture of a cartoon cow and "C is for Cow" written on it.

As I wrangled with ThingOne to get the sleep suit off her (she hates this) I did my baby talk thing and said, "C is for Cow ThingOne. What is C for?"

"Cow", ThingOne replied, in a cooing tone.

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. It was "Cow", clear as day.

Anne and I looked at each other in excitement/terror. What freak child had we spawned that, at just two weeks old, spoke and correctly answered a riddle, albeit a simple one?

Of course, she hadn't meant to say cow. She hadn't been revising by reading the text on her sleep suit while we were looking away. It was very strange though. It was just a cooing sound that babies tend to make as they develop, but it was the first time she's made such a sound, and that she made the cow-coo there and in response to the question was uncanny.

I'm glad both Anne and I were there at the time, else the absent one would have never believed the other.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Don't have a cow, Anne!

Anne and I are bad parents and should not be allowed to dress our daughter. We needed some more sleepsuits, since ThingOne is proving proficient at vomiting, weeing and pooing all over the place, so picked some up in Mothercare on Sunday. We wanted to avoid pink, so got a cow-themed three pack. Whilst two had pictures of cartoon cows on, we thought the third was particularly snazzy as it had cow-hide effect patterns on it.

We are terrible parents. See the photo of poor poor ThingOne below.

We immediately saw that it didn't suit her. ThingOne obviously hated it, as she regurgitated milk on it within seconds and proceeded to give us one of our worst nights since she joined us.

She's never going to forgive us these mistakes. Especially as we have photographic evidence. As long as we don't show them to anyone I think the damage should be minimal.

Brave parents

Anne and I were very brave on Sunday, and took ThingOne to the shops. This is brave not just because it's the first time we've taken ThingOne out to shops for more than a few minutes, but also because Anne and I both hate shopping.

We did OK really, with ThingOne on my front in one of those backpack things. We even felt adventurous enough to have lunch in Debenhams cafe (lunch in Debenhams cafe is an adventure for us - what have we become?) I should take the rucksack off next time - I kept thinking I was going to drop baked potato on her head.

Of course she played up for most of the afternoon and wouldn't sleep. We thought perhaps we'd broken her, but then she's been similar today and we've done almost nothing (other than try to catch up on sleep after two bad nights in a row).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lil ThingOne

ThingOne's being pretty good in the nights, all things considered. The problem is with trying to settle her in the day, especially in the evenings. When things are going well and she's happy, sleeping well and feeding well we feel like we're doing really well. When she's not, we feel like useless failures.

Only ten days old, so there's time for us to learn.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Do you have one without the noise please?

After a tough night last night, Anne asked me this morning if I would change ThingOne.

I said that I didn't think we could change her after seven days.

Boom boom.

I'm tired. It's all I can manage.

No photos today. The last thing we want to do is take photos of the noisy thing! Anne and I find ourselves staring in joy at photos of ThingOne asleep. We initially thought we liked these so much because ThingOne is a beauty. We now realise it's the sleeping we adore.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend at Beany's

What a weekend! Thursday and Friday were pretty easy, and we just spent the whole time looking at ThingOne in amazement (whom we still call The Bean - old habits and all that). On Friday and Saturday night, however, she didn't sleep much and wanted feeding a lot. That mean not much sleep for mum and dad. Thus the weekend was spent staring at The Bean in amazement, only this time through an exhausted haze.

We had grandparents and my sister and brother-in-law round on Saturday, so we had plenty of opportunity to show off our baby, but ThingOne was a bit grumpy by the evening and we weren't feeling very good at his whole baby lark.

On Sunday night, just when we needed it most, ThingOne slept really well and when she fed she settled down afterwards. Perfect! Anne and I each got loads of sleep (having gone to bed at 9pm) and so felt refreshed and adventurous this morning. Thus we cleaned her in the bath with Anne in the morning and then took her out to Homebase this afternoon (in one of those baby rucksacks on my front). Get us! We were great! (Please sleep well tonight Beany, please!)

That said, Anne's in bed now, shattered at 7pm!

We've had three visits from midwives since we arrived back from the hospital. This has been good to reassure us things are OK (Anne and I seem to spend a lot of time thinking ThingOne's stopped breathing, or that she may be terribly ill!) and to convince Anne she's not a "failure" when ThingOne doesn't feed for long, or feeds for ages and then throws it all up.

So far, so good...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Name that Bean

Understandably, it's been an odd couple of days here. We had the grannies up yesterday and Anne's mum's still here. She's cleaning the house and won't stop no matter how much I tell her to relax!

ThingOne wouldn't settle without Anne or me holding her the first night, but last night she settled well and Anne and I both managed to get a reasonable amount of kip.

It's been an amazing time. Of course there are important issues to consider - the main one being how to spell ThingOne's name. When the midwife asked us we were a bit dazed and said double-L. After some debate, Googling and writing it down and looking at it we've decided to stay with the double-L. I think it may be the American spelling, but it's the one we prefer the look of. You'd have thought we'd have thought about the spelling before this time. You'd be wrong.

ThingOne is still spelt with one L though - it's the law. I'm sure I've confused people by spelling it both ways on emails, but you'll just have to put it down to exhaustion.

ThingOne's great-granmother also had January 11th as her birthday, which is a fab coincidence.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Introducing ThingOne

(May is the middle name BTW.)

Born today at 10.41am in Addenbrooks Hospital. 7lbs 7oz (bang on average I gather). She's just fab. Mother and baby well. Dad not too bad either.

We arrived at the hospital at about 4.30am, and were home by 7pm. Not too shabby really. I'll leave it to Anne to post the birth tale at a later date. We have a little baby to play with now.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

No Bean as yet...

Well, The Bean still hasn't arrived. Bum.

It's now eight days overdue. Apparently the average first birth goes eight days overdue, so I've told The Bean that after today it is officially below average. (No harm in grading them early, I say.)

Anne tells me that this delay has been designed to test me. Presumably designed by some superior force. So God is punishing me for being an impatient fool. Apparently.

However, whilst I am getting very very impatient, it's Anne who's having a worse time of it. Her hips and knees are aching, and she's getting quite upset. I wouldn't be so churlish as to bat back her God comment and suggest that He has something to do with it. It's physics darling. The almighty has nowt to do with it. (Discuss.)

It's Anne's and my tenth anniversary on Tuesday (ten years since we first got together at uni). With a bit luck (and a few more curries) The Bean will have arrived by then and we'll have a double celebration.

Also Chimp Week starts on the BBC today. I think it would be very fitting if our child arrived in Chimp Week.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Announcing the arrival of...

...the longest pregnancy known to man. Norris Mcwhirter is coming round to see me in the morning.

Where is The Bean? Where is The Bean? Actually, I am all too acutely aware of where The Bean is and it is not where it should be. Grrrrrrr.

I have managed to restrain myself and only watch one heat of World's Strongest Man each day. I am contemplating naming The Bean after the World's Strongest Man. Mariusz Kent-Taylor, anyone?