Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bleurgh!

When the beginning of the day starts with cleaning up sick (cat) and ends with cleaning up sick (Minxy), it makes you wonder what other delights are in store for you in coming weeks.

Luckily, the middle part of the day was vomit-free, as I cashed in my monthly Golden Ticket to have a day out with the girls. This time we went to my friend Sam's gym and relaxed in the spa
spa. As the steam relaxed our aching bodies and minds, we got on with the business of catching up and realised that we had known each other for 10 years. We had met at university and back then the most pressing thing on our minds was what to wear down the student union on Friday night. We all went on holiday together to Greece and upset the locals by being loud and lairy during siesta time. Now our conversations had turned to marriage, mortgages, careers, babies - all very grown up stuff.

Talking of growing up, I bought Minxy her first pair of shoes. She's no longer a baby. She has proper shoes and everything. I almost had a tear in my eye as the lady took a photo with Minxy proudly wearing her swanky purple shoes. It was the first time in ages that I felt a little sad that she is growing up so fast. Time to have another one was The Boy's reply when I told him about the milestone. Wah!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dum dum dee dum

So one of my oldest dearest pals got married at the weekend. Hooray! She looked fantastic in a red dress complete with leopard print shoes. Cheeky lady. And the groom cut a dashing figure too, all proud to have got the girl down the aisle.

Although we enjoyed ourselves as much as we could, I understand why people don't invite children to weddings. It's not because they don't like them - it's so they can allow the parents to let their hair down. Minxy is the busiest busy bee in all the land, and now she's picked up her stride there is no stopping her. She walks and we run after her, she runs and we run faster.

The best solution was to work as a tag team. The Boy looked after her whilst the ceremony took place, which meant frequent trips outside. I had the very special honour of doing a reading, but then it was my turn to keep her amused and quiet (read frequent trips outside) towards the end of the ceremony.

To be frank the whole day was hard work. Plus, as Minxy was teething, she wasn't in the best of spirits. Luckily we were not alone. Other parents half missed the service, let their food go cold during the meal, and left early before the speeches began.

We have a number of weddings next year and the prospect is now looking a little daunting. This episode is definitely another for the What They Don't Tell You About Being a Parent Vol.85 type of book, which um doesn't exist. Drat.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Feeling hot, hot, hot

August Bank Holiday and for once the weather was fantastic.

We took Minxy to the Notting Hill Carnival . It was children's day and we had great time. It was hot and the people of London were out smiling. We strolled the streets of Notting Hill and took in the sights and sounds of the caribbean. We left the push chair at home and the mode of transport for Minxy was a Mac Pac Koala, she could have done with a pair of these though and we'll probably invest for future festivals.

So September looms, and autumn will soon be on its way. The summer has been brilliant and with more hot weather expected for this week, we'll be making the most of every last ray of sunshine!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

One today

So Minxy is one today. This time last year I had a babe in arms, now I have a walking, talking (fluent in goobledegook) person. What a year it has been. I've moved house, changed job (from office gal to mother) and me and The Boy have survived to tell the tale.

I'm a changed woman since I had a baby, more smarties than parties these days. But I'm still one of the girls and partial to a night out or in for that matter. One thing for sure is that it has been the steepest learning curve of my life, with new challenges every day. Friendships have grown and changed, my priorities are different and life has taken on a whole new meaning.

To celebrate this me and The Boy took Minxy to theLondon Aquarium. She had a great time batting the window when the sharks swam by, and splashing her fingers in the sting ray pool.

For lunch we sat in a restaurant and whilst Minxy charmed the waiters, me and The Boy talked about the past year and how far we had come, and how far we had to go.

My neighbour has a two year old and reassured me that it gets easier. Roll on the wonder years.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Belle of the ball

So it was Minxy's first birthday party yesterday and it went brilliantly.

The key to success was definitely in the preparation. Saturday was spent frantically running around getting food and decorations.

In the evening, I enlisted the services of a couple of friends to help out. One worked remotely, making fairy cakes with two young boys she was babysitting for that evening. The other came over and was set to work blowing up balloons, making sandwiches, baking more fairy cakes and generally keeping me and The Boy company.

The Boy did a sterling job, mowing the lawn, putting up the garden swing and gazebo, running endlessly back and forth to the supermarket, entertaining Minxy, making lots of food and even fixing the zip on the dress I wanted to wear. He decorated the fairy cakes with such artistry they looked too good to eat. These were no ordinary decorations, we're talking palm trees, racing cars, people, faces, beach scenes, (so I made the last one up but you catch my drift).

I may sound like I was giving out orders and swanning about looking pretty, but I had the mammoth task of baking THE birthday cake. I had decided that Minxy was not having a shop bought cake, and I with my minimal baking skills would make one from scratch.

How hard can making carrot cake be? Very is the word. Essentially it is flour, eggs, butter, sugar and carrots. In reality, it is whipping, beating, stirring, setting, grating, sugar, sugar and more sugar and then in the oven for an hour, then you have to ice the bloody thing. Anyone who thinks carrot cake is the healthy option is sorely mistaken. It was after 11pm and by that point I was happy never to see a cake ever again. The novelty of licking the bowl had worn off hours ago. I don't think my arms had had such a good work out in a long time. Who needs yoga when you can power bake your bingo wings into submission?

We all flopped to bed after midnight.

The day itself went fantastically. The weather was hot, the garden looked great, Minxy was good all day and showed off her new found walking skills, family and friends had a good time, and the carrot cake was a big hit. Hurray! Me and The Boy did the proud parent thing as everyone sang Happy Birthday to a bemused Minxy and when she finally went to bed, we cracked open a bottle of champs with a couple of friends to congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

Special thanks to those who helped out, we'll be needing you again next year!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Berlin

My first weekend away from The Boy and Minxy was very successful. I missed them, but not enough to stop me from enjoying myself in Berlin for one of my dearest friend's hen weekend.

Having a drink knowing I didn't have to get up the next day and deal with a hangover and a small child was fabulously liberating. Not that I did actually drink that much, my efforts were small fry compared to the other girls. Consuming alcohol at 8am is something I can just about do at Christmas, let alone before a flight. Booze aside, we all had a great time and the hen did a stirling job doing her dares and receiving her 'prizes' (read sex-related tack) in good spirit. Berlin turned out to be the perfect location for our frolics.

I only saw a small amount of the city, but I still managed to observe a number of things.

1. Buses and trains run on time.
2. It is very clean.
3. H&M, Zara and Mango are even cheaper - hurray for the Euro.
4. I was served by the tallest man in the world in Burger King (yes, BK, I know - well it was a trashy weekend.)
5. Mullets are the haircut du jour and that's just the women.
6. Soft rock rules.
7. It is OK to play air guitar in a bar.
8. The brazillian has yet to arrive. In fact, no form of waxing has graced these parts. (as witnessed in the Turkish baths)
9. Hen parties are a new thing for the Germans, and people were very accommodating for our needs (including kissing staff members of restaurants).
10. Customs do not find novelty handcuffs amusing.

A break really is as good as a rest, and I really appreciated the small things, like being able to go around the shops and try things on, putting on make up, and even having long conversations with people.

Despite looking hazy, and smelling like someone had tipped an ash tray over my head, I was greeted by a smiling and waving Minxy when I got back to Heathrow.

The Boy coped fantastically well without me. A little too well, I fear. Their weekend was equally busy. Minxy was taken to a birthday party, watched the Bangladeshi game of Kabadi in Queens Park, and visited a friend of The Boy where she promptly said 'thank you' when offered a piece of fruit. The Boy cooked yummy meals for her and the house was pretty tidy, and he had even managed to use the washing machine. She had also cut two more teeth and this morning she said 'cat' and did the sign for it. Cripes, it was like having a new daughter.

Another friend got engaged at the weekend, that makes three weddings next year - roll on the hen parties.

Monday, August 01, 2005

One step at a time

So it's August. Pinch punch first of the month and all that. It is raining and a bit cold, but who cares when your baby takes her first step. Yipee! Minxy has been standing by herself for the past week but still holds on to the nearest stable object for comfort. Today The Boy witnessed her first step to independence. I missed it but I'm sure she'll give me a demonstration when she's ready. Who says Mondays suck?

Now the other person who is going to be independent this week is me, as I embark on my first weekend away from Minxy and The Boy. I'm off to a hen weekend in Berlin. One of my oldest dearest friends is getting married next month, so us girls have to show her a cracking time. Now, I haven't left these shores since 2003 (yes, read it and weep) so I cannot wait to go away, but then at the same time I haven't left Minxy and The Boy EVER so I'm a bit nervous. I guess it is one of those things that you have to get over.

So a quick update about other things going on.

Tomato plants still alive and I spy tomato's growing. Woo hoo. Titchmarsh would be proud.

Have baby sat for other babies and survived.

Skool is out and the roads are clear, but the parks, pools, play centres are not.

Me and The Boy went out at the weekend for the fourth time this year - count 'em people. We're aiming for six before the year is out.

Minxy's first birthday is fast approaching and my head is in a spin as to what to do. I have only been to two first birthday parties so far this year, and both were great. I now must practise making a cake before Minxy's day arrives. My neighbour told me how she made a cake for her son's first birthday, and it sunk in the middle as she took it out. Panic ensued, as she tried to find a place that made, wheat-free, egg-free cakes for that day. Luckily, she was saved by a local place, but that could have been a nightmare. So be afraid be very afraid - Delia, Nigella, here I come!