Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today has been my first Father's Day, although to be honest it was lovely just to be another weekend day that I can spend with Marisca and Elspeth. We did do some daddy-centric things with our day, starting with a special dad's baby massage. Slightly disappointed that when we turned up it wasn't going to be Marisca learning to give me a massage but vice versa... I learned lots of ways to hold Marisca differently and a massage routine, and Marisca got her first taste of proper public nudity. It was a really nice session and is definitely something to do more at home in daddy time.

Afterwards we went to Harrold Odell country park for a picnic and a stroll. The weather improved as we got there into passable picnicking temperatures, and we enjoyed sitting by the water.

Last new thing for the day, before I was allowed to watch a whole non-England football match, was introducing Marisca to a bottle of expressed milk. This seemed to work pretty well - not well enough that we'd opt for that over breastfeeding much of the time, but well enough that Elspeth might trust me to look after Marisca for longer than a cup of tea around the corner, providing I promise not to do too much monkey swinging or fireman's lifts with her.
All in, a good first Father's Day. She'll be very different by my second one!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Marisca - asleep and awake

Just because we've had a lovely hour of playing together this morning and she's now sleeping peacefully, here are some photos that I really like from earlier in the week.

Kite Festival

We're a bit out of sequence now - two weeks ago we went to the kite festival in Russell Park. A regular event that we first visited in our first year in Bedford, we thought it would be a good colourful event to take Marisca out to. This year was a significantly better day for kite flying than that first, windless year, and so we saw a great variety of kites, including a trail of fish and Balinese princesses flying their traditional kites:

Marisca slept for pretty much the whole time between leaving and arriving home.

Finally, can anyone think of a good reason to get one of these things? They're so colourful!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Rail Ale

This weekend we took Marisca out for our first day trip as a family. We headed up the A1 to the River Nene steam railway - which just happened to have a Real Ale festival on. This gave Tim the opportunity to hold two of his favourite things at the same time:

If he could have held a pie in his third hand he would have been in heaven.

I also had a good time admiring the steam engine:

Also note the sling - at the moment I'm preferring the Baby Bjorn to the soft sling, but we will see what happens as Marisca grows! She seems to like it and slept quite happily while we watched Thomas playing in the yard:

She then woke up for her first trip on a steam train, and tried out the seats - much more comfortable than Daddy's daily commute!

All in all a fun day for all of us :-)

Fashion show

It seems that Elspeth and I have barely had to buy Marisca any clothes at all because of all the gifts Marisca has received: made and bought, first and second hand. Haven't got photos of her wearing everything - she's growing into new clothes all the time and has plenty to grow into - and there's a knitted pink cardigan which she wears most days but never seems to be photographed in.

Cardigan from Catriona (and Ian, though I suspect the handiwork to be Catriona's)

Very popular little dress, also from Catriona

Top from Jennifer. Cushion: model's own.

One of two summer dresses from Grandma and Grandpa.

And finally, a fantastic cable knit jumper from Grandma (ducks for buttons) and most useful pram blanket from Gran. Much better application of knitting prowess than Shreddies would have been.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Teaching Marisca disappointment

As a parent, there are many things you need to teach your child. This week's lesson was not about sleeping or feeding, but about what it is to be English. Expect a repeat of this lesson many times over the coming weeks, months, years.

Marisca watching the England-USA game

Me trying to convince Marisca that a 1-1 draw is all part of the plan and should be cheered. Marisca visibly perturbed.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Four weeks

Marisca was born four weeks ago yesterday. Those four weeks have flown by, but at the same time life without Marisca seems a long long time ago. I remember coming home from the hospital with her and thinking 'now what do I do?' There are still many times where I wonder what to do, but we're learning together and settling into our life as a family.

Marisca grows and changes every day: she is obviously putting on weight, but hasn't grown out of any clothes yet. When she first arrived she spent all her time either asleep or feeding - now she spends some time each day awake and taking in the world around her. She loves spending time kicking on her playmat, and loves cuddles with either Mummy or Daddy. She's not sure about the bouncy chair yet, but we're working on it!

My life has changed beyond recognition: it is hard looking after a newborn, as you are always on duty. Even when she is asleep I'm keeping an eye or ear out for her, just in case. And yes, nights are difficult: Marisca generally sleeps well, but does wake for feeds so I haven't had a long sleep for a long time. But I wouldn't change it for the world! I love her even when life is difficult, and am looking forward to all the changes we'll see in the next four weeks.