Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Elliot's baptism

This weekend we went down to Bristol for Elliot's baptism. It was lovely to spend some time with Elliot and the family on Saturday, and then the rest of the family on Sunday. Elliot was very well behaved, Sam did his first reading in church very well, and Marisca failed to capitalise on the opportunity to learn how to do it ahead of hers in September, by sleeping all through the service. She did wake up for cuddles with G'ma:

and Gramps:

Getting both babies to look at the camera was impossible, but at least in this one they're both looking at something:

and here they're even looking at the same thing (me!).

It was the first time that much of the family had met either Elliot or Marisca, and as big a gathering as we've had for some time, so a group photo was obligatory. Not a bad bunch.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Then and now

17th May:

20th July:

We need a bigger cushion!

A bit of culture

I thought it was about time Marisca experienced some culture - more than she gets from the TV we watch during feeding anyway - so on Friday we headed over to Milton Keynes to enjoy some of the International Festival.

First of all we set off on a rickshaw ride - we shared the rickshaw with another Mum and her six month old daughter. Before the ride we played a game of chance to determine what story we listened to on the ride: we ended up listening to a story about a mother letting her daughter go as she got older. Apt, don't you think?

After that we watched a mix of BMX stunts, parkour and street dancing. It was - um - odd. Excuse the photo quality, they were all taken on my mobile...

Then we had a ride on the Magical Managerie - a rather incredible carousel with lots of mechanical animals. We went on the flying fish, but here's a picture of the bull instead:

Finally, we went inside this:

which was a large inflatable structure. The walls were made of plastic, with thinner translucent strips which let in light. Different parts of the structure were different colours, and the whole thing was amazingly beautiful: the pictures here do not do it justice.

We wandered round and sat back enjoying the atmosphere: here we are having a rest and enjoying the colours!

All good fun, and a bit out of the ordinary. One lady told me I was very brave to be out and about with a three month old! I don't think so - I plan to fill my maternity leave with days like this...

Friday, 23 July 2010

Helping out

I helped a lady off the train with her pushchair yesterday. Unfortunately my usual commuting mindset is to move through the journey without interacting with the environment so this is more comment-worthy than perhaps it should be.

As I took the front end of the pushchair I noticed a nice spotty lunchbox hanging off the handles, which had a sticker on it with the girl's name. Mariska. I'm glad I helped.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Picnic in the park

We're out of sequence again - it's not always easy to find time to update the blog when cuddling Marisca is so much fun! However, being on your own with a small baby all day can be - shock - a bit dull. I've found life is much better if I have plenty of events planned, so I spend a lot of my time drinking coffee with other Mums. To spice things up a bit we had a champagne picnic in the park a couple of weeks ago. One of the benefits of maternity leave is the lack of short lunch breaks, so we spent several happy hours relaxing with a picnic and baby cuddles.

This is the life: a nice drink for Mum (Lucy) and baby (Leo)

The babies all behaved impeccably: we lined them up for a comparison shot of Leo and his harem: left to right we have Leo, Marisca, Esta and Orla.

The picnic was such a success we're repeating it next week. Champagne makes a nice change from coffee!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

My favourite toy

When you're nine weeks old the world can be a pretty confusing place. So it's good to have some friends to help you and keep you happy. In Marisca's case her current best friend is Olivia the Octopus - guaranteed to make her smile, even more than Mummy and Daddy!

Olivia's tentacles each play a different note when squeezed, but while this keeps Daddy highly entertained Marisca is uninterested so far. She's just started reaching out to grab Olivia though, so maybe one day she'll be making her own music...

Thursday, 8 July 2010

More visitors

We've had a few more visitors subjected to photographs, rogues' gallery below...

Heather, Andy, and my goddaughter Charlotte visited for tea and cake. Andy avoided photographs, let's assume he was the one that ate all the cake.

I previously observed that we had captured our sisters with Marisca but not our brothers in law. One down, one to go. Ian brought whisky, so a cuddle was the least I could give him in return.

Yesterday was Mary & Stewart's last night in Bedford: their next visit will be more of an undertaking, from Macclesfield rather than from Howard Avenue. It's been great to have them round the corner for the past few years and we'll miss them.

Will and Emily's 'Wedding'

Last weekend we were invited to celebrate Will and Emily's wedding up Warrington way. They married a year ago, in the US, and were overdue a party over here. As a transatlantic couple, lunch on the Sunday (yes, that would be the 4th July) carried a mild American theme, hence the red, white, and blue necklace sported here. I'm not sure who's actually wearing it - I think they both are.

The party on Saturday was a great opportunity to wear a nice dress given to Marisca by grandma and grandpa. The dress turned out to be only half of a two piece set, being accompanied by a hairband. It's worth noting that Marisca doesn't have a great deal of hair, which is perhaps why she looks a bit dubious here. Elspeth won't let me put the hairband on her any more. She thinks it looks silly. I think she may be right.

Two more of my favourite shots of Marisca with her mum and dad:

And being in Warrington on Saturday night and on Sunday lunchtime (the clues were all there folks) implies that we stayed away. First night away from home, and Marisca and her parents coped admirably, even if she did look a little lost in the cot provided. Uncertainty over how we'd do led us to the anonymity of the Premier Inn (who were very good) rather than the more usual cosy B&B, but she is sleeping so well at the moment that there were no problems at all over night. And we didn't leave anything vital at home. All in all, mission accomplished!

Look what I've found!

Mmmm, tasty!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Two months

Wow - two months old already. How did that happen? And what a difference in the last few weeks! Marisca has the most beautiful smile which makes our hearts melt - it's lovely to know that she is happy, and now she responds to us which makes us feel like a proper family.

The big development this month has been Marisca's awareness of the world around her. When she lies on her playmat it's obvious she's looking at the toys hanging over her, and when she's in her bouncy chair she'll watch me as I wander backwards and forwards. I find myself giving her a running commentary on the jobs I'm doing, and it all seems endlessly fascinating to her!

Marisca is also getting more musical - she has a range of coos and sighs, which are wonderful to hear. I can spend hours smiling at her and cooing back. Not sure yet if she'll grow up to be a soprano or an alto...

And it's true what they say - life does get easier. We're starting to get into a 'pattern' if not a routine in the days, with fairly fixed morning starts and bed times. I can generally tell what Marisca's cries are for, and they are different for hunger, tiredness etc. so I can tell what to do to make her happy. She loves walks in the pram with Daddy, cuddles after feeds with Mummy and time spent at coffee mornings with other babies. I'm loving every minute of our life together so far, and looking forward to what the next months will bring :-)

Friday, 2 July 2010


For the last three nights we've been woken by Marisca at around 5 or 5:30, confused. Confused because we're both pretty sure she hasn't been awake to feed since we put her to bed at 9ish earlier in the night. It's baffling, but nice. Better not get used to it though...