Posted on October 31, 2007 by Sarah
I know that hanging about in cemeteries isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. But Rose and I had an absolutely fantastic couple of hours in Highgate cemetery today. It’s where Karl Marx and George Eliot were buried. Even though I was looking forward to it, I was still blindsided by its magical beauty. Something about the crumbling statues fighting the tangled underbrush and seeing poignant glimpses of lives from headstone inscriptions. Here’s the illustrated version.
In other news, Rose is sitting up now! I mentioned a few weeks ago that she could sit up for a few seconds. Now it’s more like 2 or 3 minutes. She can also now reach over for her toys. She’s often too ambitious and reaches too far, only to fall over. Here’s the obligatory video:
Filed under: Developmental Milestones, London, Travelling | 6 Comments »
Posted on October 30, 2007 by Sarah
My brother and sister-in-law gave Chris an awesome birthday gift this year: a box of cards, each with a walk around a different part of London. Chris hasn’t been able to do many of them because he’s been working so hard, but Rosie and I have been on several. Today we did a walk of the Primrose Hill area. It involved some magnificent views of the city from the Hill, and then ended up at Abbey Road studios, (where the Beatles recorded lots of albums). I’ve uploaded some photos of our day.
The only cloud in the sky, literally and figuratively, is that Rose has been sleeping really terribly during the day lately. Her long stretches continue at night, but today and yesterday she only napped for 40 minutes max, with most of her sleeps being around 25 minutes. Consequently, I didn’t get much done and I feel really worn out. I don’t know what’s going on with her, teething or growth spurts or what. But it’s incredibly frustrating that last week she was having a long sleep every day, and now she’s not, and I’m not doing anything differently. As much as you say to yourself it doesn’t matter how Rose sleeps as long as she’s happy, you still can’t help but be obsessed by it. My only refuge is to go out and about. I find that if I sit at home, I worry more. Fortunately, I know I’m not alone, my friend Petra just blogged about the same thing!
Filed under: London, Sleeping, Worries | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 28, 2007 by Sarah
I thought young children were supposed to have short attention spans. And babies, well, theirs should be non-existent, right? Well Rose proves that 30-second logic completely wrong because she loves to read books, and she is quite happy reading with me for 20-30 minutes in a stretch.
Sometime after about an hour’s worth of high energy play I decide it’s time to start quiet play and we sit down to read. I sit with her back to mine, upright, usually on the couch. First we read her four Poppy Cat books (I’ve mentioned them before), then we read “Peekaboo Pets” (it has a surprise ending – a mirror – and it never fails to produce a huge smile when she sees her face in the mirror). Lately we’ve been reading “Busy Airport” a lot, it has flaps, wheels and bits to push and pull. She loves it so much that sometimes she refuses to let you read another book to her until you’ve read Busy Airport again.
The strange thing is that I’m not forcing her to read for that long, she genuinely seems to enjoy it as much as I do. When we’ve read one book she looks around, not for a way out, but for the next book. If you added up her reading time in the day, it would probably add up to an hour or two, every day!
Filed under: Likes and dislikes | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 27, 2007 by Sarah
Chris dared me to upload this photo. I don’t see anything especially embarrassing, apart from the fact that Rose’s head is smaller than one of my boobs.
Filed under: Photos | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 27, 2007 by Sarah
We’ve been on the road for six weeks now and my mind is definitely starting to think about home. We have a week left in London, and then we go on to San Francisco for ten days. These are the things I miss the most about home, in no particular order:
- My friends. When you’re travelling you have these fleeting, yet sometimes quite amazingly intense conversations with strangers. For example, I’ve sat next to the same woman at the movies two weeks running. It turns out she’s a psychiatrist, and her worst fear is having a child with schizophrenia. She knows that I have Graves Disease and like Joy Division. But nothing beats talking with people who’ve known you for more than 5 seconds.
- Having my own stuff around me (this includes clothes other than the two pairs of pants I brought, kitchen items and all those little things for Rose that make life go smoothly. Like her baby bath and exersaucer.)
- My mothers group. Boy do I miss the weekly get-togethers, the sense of community and shared experience, and most of all, the support.
- Our car. I’m so over public transportation. No matter how vast and impressive the London tube is, it’s still a nightmare for getting around if you have a baby. I long to drive somewhere and be able to leave it easily and quickly.
- Not having to leave the apartment every day so that it can be serviced. (Yeah, I know, poor us! But the fact is, they don’t clean, only change the towels and take out the trash, and you end up having to clean up for them!)
Yet I know that I’m really going to miss travelling, and I will especially miss London. I will particularly miss:
- Some of the world’s most amazing art galleries and museums being a quick trip away.
- Living a pretend posh life. Because Chris’s work has been paying for our accommodation and a per diem, we’ve been living an artificially wealthy life on the road. When we get home we’ll be back to the reality of being a single-income family living in a small rented flat.
- Believe it or not, the weather. We’ve had beautiful cool clear and crisp days here. We’ll be heading back into the “death zone” of Australian summers. Searing relentless heat, here we come.
- The opportunity that travelling gives you to stand back from your life and have a new perspective about what’s good and bad about it.
- Fantastic bookstores. Australia has terrible bookstores.
Filed under: London, Travelling | Comments Off
Posted on October 26, 2007 by Sarah
Rose is acting very frustrated at the moment and I think I know what’s going on. She wants to crawl. She wants to move. But she can’t… quite… get… there….. Today she managed to momentarily get herself up on all fours, but quickly collapsed. I wasn’t quite fast enough with the camera, but I did manage to get the general gist of where she’s at:
Along with all of these attempts she omits a near constant whine. You can hear it in the video. While I generally think most things to do with Rose are adorable, I’d be pretty happy not to hear it again.
Filed under: Growth | 5 Comments »
Posted on October 24, 2007 by Sarah
Well I survived my two days without Chris pretty well but not unscathed. I think it’s the alchemy of head cold/travelling/solo parenting, but I’m feeling very weary today. Yesterday was particularly tiring. I decided to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which involved a couple of changes on the tube. Rose complained about going into her stroller so I carried her in the baby bjorn while pushing the stroller (you still need to take the stroller because she won’t sleep in the baby bjorn). After a stressful journey with not many offers of help I got to the museum only to find it absolutely packed with people – apparently a school holiday. Rose wouldn’t go to sleep for some reason in the museum so I had to bail. She fell asleep quickly when I was walking around on the cobblestones of Kensington, though.
So at that point I hadn’t had lunch, but couldn’t stop anywhere because I didn’t want Rose to wake up. Starting to feel majorly cranky. Crankiness was aborted, however, when I went to nearby Hyde Park. It was looking absolutely spectacular, full of autumn colours and lots of other parents pushing their bundled up sleeping babies around. Ahhh, how nice it is to be on the receiving end of knowing looks from other parents. Makes the whole thing not quite so isolating.
Another harrasing trip home (I won’t get into the machinations of the Marble Arch subway system for crossing the road, but trust me when I say that it’s not stroller-friendly), and then Rose wouldn’t go to sleep when we did get home. Finally she fell asleep after a few interventions, and then we had a much calmer dinnertime and bathtime. Actually, one nice thing was that I decided to have a bath with her. We haven’t been travelling with a baby bath, and it’s been hurting my back leaning over and holding her up in the regular bath (although I have to admit that Chris gives her a bath most nights). Getting in with Rose was a great idea, we both flopped around like seals and had a very relaxing and fun time.
Today I think we’ll stay a bit closer to home. I might even get my head out from under the pillow.
Filed under: London, Travelling | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 22, 2007 by Sarah
As you all know, one of the things that drives me crazy about Rose is how unpredictable she is. This weekend she’s been sleeping really well at night (11-13 hours of unbroken sleep), but terribly during the day. Last week she was taking one long nap per day of between 1h 20m and two hours per day. But for the last few days she’s had only short naps, some of them only 20 minutes long. We’ve tried everything: staying home, going out, settling her in the stroller, travel cot, baby bjorn, walking her up and down bumpy ground, nice smooth paths, loud places, quiet places. She’s been really tired and cranky because of it. Funny little thing, and so unpredicatable.
I mention this with trepidation because Chris is going to Sheffield for the next few days. When we were planning the trip he told me that he needed to go there for a few days work, and I told him that it’d be too much upheaval for me and Rose to check out of the London accommodation, go up there, and then come back to London. So he’s doing it… as a commuting trip. Since it’s a three hour journey by train he’ll be leaving each morning at 5.30am and getting home at 9pm, the poor bastard. He won’t even see Rose, and when he sees me it’ll probably be the “so tired I can hardly speak” version of me. It also means I won’t see much of the computer, so expect a bit of silence on my end.
But back to our nice afternoon. We walked down Hampstead High Street, which becomes Rosslyn Hill and Haverstock Hill until Camden. Then we walked the Regents Canal to Islington. It was beautiful by the canal, watching the odd barge go past, dodging the cyclists, and watching people reading books and having picnics.
Filed under: London, Sleeping, Travelling | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 21, 2007 by Sarah
This morning we walked up to Hampstead with Rose in the front pack and bought some things for a yummy brunch. Our stomachs are singing, we had: corn bread breakfast sandwiches with brie cheese, omelet and basil, slices of blue cheese campagne, pain au raisin and triple chocolate brownie. The diet will start when we get home!
Filed under: London, Uncategorized | Comments Off
Posted on October 20, 2007 by Sarah
So my cold is in full swing. Nose running like a tap, sore throat, feeling yucksville. The only saving grace is that Rose and Chris haven’t caught it yet. Do you know how hard it is to prevent transmitting your cold to a baby? Hard. I mean, I’m centimeters away from her most of the day. All day I’ve been blowing my nose and then lathering anti-bacterial gunk all over my hands. And no kissing her on the forehead, which is very sad.
Despite all this we’ve had a great couple of days. Yesterday we went to see “Control” at the mums and bubs session at the local movie theatre. Holy moly, that place is swanksville. The cinema has armchairs instead of regular cinema chairs, with little tables. And along with the admission ticket you also got a complimentary drink and piece of cake. I opted for a berry smoothie and the best tasting chocolate brownie I’ve ever had, all served to my seat by a well-dressed young man (gosh, I sound about 85 from that last sentence!). Rose was really well behaved, slept through the first half and watched the second half with me quietly. The movie was so-so, but I really loved hearing Joy Division, one of my favorite bands, up loud on the big screen.
This morning Rose and I went on a self-guided walking tour of Hampstead, which went well while Rose was in the front pack. For the last few days she’s been really grumpy about sitting in her stroller, so I didn’t use it much. I felt pretty exhausted by the time I got home, what with the cold and carrying Rose most of the walk.
Then Chris got home and gave me a real treat. He looked after Rose for a few hours while I took the tube into Oxford Street. It was so strange being out and about without Rose. I had this weird feeling that I almost didn’t know who I was any more without Rose. I felt really lost. So what did I do? I went into the nearest baby store and bought Rose some pretty new clothes. And then I went to Waterstones and bought her some new books.
Filed under: London, Motherhood, Travelling | 2 Comments »