This week’s blog is written by Susie. A busy week for Sylvia when she travelled outside London twice, went to her first football match and sampled milk via a bottle. Sylvia and I both had our six week check at the doctors too. And Mike had his 37th birthday.
The week started off quietly and not very successfully when I had a sling disaster. Wanting to pop round the corner for a coffee, I tried to get Sylvia into the sling that had worked fine with Mike at the weekend. Hmm after trying it a few times and winding Sylvia into a screaming frenzy I gave up and put Sylvia in the pram. Stamping down Lambs’ Conduit Street feeling cross and depressed I bumped into a friend from the Library rhyme class. Although this should have made me better, unfortunately the friend drew my attention to a little gathering of mothers outside one of the coffee shops. Oh no! They weren’t mothers meeting to chat, no, they were mothers all showing off their sling techniques. Sigh, I sulked past with Sylvia in the pram feeling like a sling failure and skulked into Starbucks. The day improved, though, when Anise from City dropped by to look at all the baby things (Anise is 6 months pregnant) and have a good catch-up. Everyone felt better after this – hopefully we didn’t scare Anise off.
Tuesday, however, started with a sling success – I managed to get Sylvia in the sling whilst she was asleep and made a mad dash to the coffee shop. Think the sling works better if you have wider shoulders. Oh well, will have to wait until she is big enough for the Baby Bjorn. Next launched the logistical operation of getting everything packed and in the pram and to Euston station by 3.00pm for the train to Penrith. Mike had to go to Penrith for work and as it is his birthday week decided to go along too with Sylvia. Many lists were written to make sure everything was packed but everyone arrived at the station on time, clean and fed and we managed to get the pram-friendly seats on the train – hurrah! As well as making friends with a 9 month old baby. Arriving in Penrith, we found that there are many steps and no lift at Penrith station, so pram and luggage had to be carried up and down steps – phew, who needs the gym? The hotel was a bit better but had revolving doors that had to be negotiated and also did not have a lift so the pram had to be dismantled to make it to the room. Anyway, Sylvia very much enjoyed the prospect of sleeping in the large four-poster bed (see photo) but had to settle for her new Samonsite travel cot, at least it is pink. We went out for a good Italian meal although Sylvia had problems settling and didn’t improve when we got back to the hotel. At least there was a tv in the bedroom – unlike home – and sadly I found myself captivated by the quiz shows on at 3am, even after Sylvia had gone to sleep.
Wednesday (Mike’s birthday!)
Mike enjoyed his presents – a helicopter flight from me and some cufflinks from Sylvia – she chose them herself. The weather not great in Penrith but we managed to find a good, pram friendly coffee shop and Mike went off to work whilst Sylvia and I wandered around the shops in Penrith. Sylvia got herself a new nightlight that plays three tunes and shines pictures of bears on the ceiling as well as some pram toys. We tried to go and have a look at the castle but were thwarted by steps again (what is it about this place?) and so had to retreat to the hotel to eat large pieces of carrot cake and drink tea, followed by face packs and massage. Mike returned from an exciting day at the Environment Agency and Sylvia settled peacefully in her pink cot to the tunes of her new night light. A bit of head scratching then followed as to what to do with a sleeping Sylvia during Mike’s work dinner in the hotel restaurant that night. Thank goodness for free mobile phone minutes, Mike called my mobile we left this by Sylvia’s cot whilst we went down and had dinner – well managed to get through the starters at least. Not sure whether it was me going to check on her or whether she just woke up but Sylvia joined us for dessert. She was a bit of a hit with all Mike’s work colleagues and particularly liked joining her Daddy on his birthday for his birthday whiskey.
The weather was better today and Mike went over with his colleagues to Hadrian’s Wall to look at some lakes but we still started the day at the same coffee shop where we were recognised from the day before. Sylvia made lots of friends in Penrith, people were very impressed to see a nearly six week old baby out and about. The packing logistics were easier for the way home and we all made the train ok with some good seats. London felt very noisy and busy when we arrived back – but more pram friendly. On the way home we dropped into Mike’s work to show Sylvia off to a few more people at the beginning of year party. It was all a bit boozy and hot so we made a hasty retreat back home. Sylvia seemed happy to be back home – although got very hungry on the journey back!
A bit of a sleep-in – oops – meant a quick dash to the doctors, fortunately just around the corner. After a long check-up both Sylvia and I are fine and now I can do exercise again, hurrah, the gym here I come! The doctor thought Sylvia is developing very well for her age, despite being four weeks early. In the afternoon we popped over to Covent Garden as it was such a beautiful day we needed a walk. Sylvia expressed the need to have an orange cat outfit for Halloween from Baby Gap and I got a couple of new things to wear. Back home for the usual bath and bed – about the only vestiges remaining of the routine. A slight difference tonight, though, as Mike was able to give the pre-bed feed with a bottle. After a little confusion on Sylvia’s part she seemed to take to it pretty well, although it does generate much more wind!
Talking of routines, Sylvia does seem to have got into a routine in the night of waking at 3am for a short feed and then sleeping until past 6. Although she does still have a bit of a settling problem though and will wake about 10 and not settle to past midnight. Hopefully this will improve as she gets bigger. Today we travelled to Market Harborough for Will and Chris’ birthdays (Sylvia’s cousin and Uncle). In an attempt to travel light we left the pram at home and took Sylvia in the sling, obviously with Mike carrying her. She enjoyed the train journey again but was less happy with travelling to Chris and Marianne’s house in the car seat. On arrival she got her first pair of shoes – pink with butterflies – goes nicely with the new outfit that Isabelle from City gave her. After a quick feed it was off to the leisure centre for Will’s football party – although Sylvia managed to sleep through the whole thing. Back at the house she became a great hit with all Will’s friends (she is starting with the boys at an early age) – they particularly liked her party trick of snorting milk through her nose – hopefully she won’t keep this up as she gets older. Will and Katie enjoyed bathing her in the evening. After being a model baby all day and making everyone broody she had a bit of a bad turn in the evening and took six hours to settle. Sigh.
Sunday (Uncle Chris’ birthday)
After the bad evening, she had the same good pattern in the night. Will and Katie were very excited to see her and helped get her dressed, not forgetting her new shoes. We all helped Will and Chris open their presents then the boys went to play football whilst the girls all played with Katie’s new pink lego. Off to the pub for lunch (with all the girls in their new shoes) and again Sylvia was the model baby, quietly sitting in the car seat throughout lunch. Back on the train to London, again the model baby, not even protesting too much for the sling journey home. She tried the bottle again tonight and after a bit of reluctance, woolfed it down rapidly. Unfortunately a bit of problem settling again – we think she is turning into a werebaby.