Thursday, 28 May 2015

Baby Business: Week 20, how funny are frilly knickers?!

Outgrown my carry cot. Tick

Outgrown play mat. Tick

Outgrown my car seat. Almost!

Outgrown Mummy's bank balance. Definitely!


This week has been full of chuckles, giggles and raspberry-blowing sniggers. But I do wonder what goes through our little ones' heads to make them find random things hysterically funny?

This week Little One has been shaking with laughter and loud chuckles over an array of randomness:

• Licks from Timba the dog
• Frilly knickers 
• Flowery summer shorts
• Flying through the air
• Raspberries from herself and others
• Jiggling panda toy

If you could bottle this innocent, joyous humour and understand how to make us (rather boring in comparison) adults see things through our babies' eyes, then you would be a millionaire.

Little One's laugh triggers so much within me: love, positivity, inspiration, pride and adoration, to mention a few. I actually found last week one of my most productive weeks on a work front in a long time  when I got stuck for inspiration it took just one wave of those frilly knickers and my little girl's chuckles filled the house and my thoughts... marketing magic. Maybe I should get her 'chuckle' insured!

I have to take my hat off to the creators of children's programs,how do they know what will make the little kiddies laugh. I mean, who'd have thought that Peppa Pig would be such a hit? And as for Makka Pakka...

Well, it doesn't matter what it is that makes things so funny to our babies, it just makes us happy that they are so happy. Simple.

PS. Dream Feeding is the best! 12 or 13 hours uninterruptedsleep every night since the last blog


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Baby Business: Week 19, works like a dream?

Chewed my toys. Tick

Chewed my play mat. Tick

Chewed mummy's ear. Tick!


I can't believe it. Am I the last mum on the planet to have heard about this? My friends knew about it and did it; my baby club mums knew and did it; family members knew and did it; and millions of mums are doing it...

After weeks of waiting for my little girl to start sleeping through the night and not waking at midnight... 1am... 2.30am... 4am... play for an hour... 6am 'rise and shine'! I may have discovered amiracle solution – dream feeding.

For the few mums out there that have not heard of this, the theory is you give your little one a feed before you go to bed, but you don't wake them. You simply pick up your dreaming baby and feed them a bottle whilst they continue to sleep. So how did I get on?

Monday: 10pm dream feed. Pick up a sleeping Little One, settle down and put the bottle gently in to her mouth. Suck, suck, suck – 1oz down. Then... SCREAM (whilst remaining asleep). Spits out bottle. I try again. SCREAM. Spits out bottle and clamps mouth shut (still asleep by the way!). Wait 5 minutes and try again. Nope, nothing is getting past those clamped lips. Sigh. Back in to cot. Midnight... "Mummy, I'm awake". 2am... "Mummy, I'm hungry"...

[NOTE: A bit sceptical about this dream feeding...]

Tuesday: 10pm dream feed. Pick up a sleeping Little One, settle down and put the bottle gently in to her mouth. Suck, suck, suck – 1oz down. Then... spits out bottle. I try again. Spits out bottle and clamps mouth shut (still asleep by the way, but at least not screaming tonight!). Wait 5 minutes and try again. Nope, still nothing is getting past those clamped lips. Sigh. Back in to cot. Midnight... "Mummy, I'm awake". 2am... "Mummy, I'm hungry"...

[NOTE: Losing faith in this already...]

Wednesday: Little One wakes at 9pm. No dream feed. Surprise surprise - midnight... "Mummy, I'm awake". 2am... "Mummy, I'm hungry"...

[NOTE: Tomorrow is the last chance...]

Thursday: 10pm dream feed. Calm baby. Suck, suck, suck, hum, hum, sing, sing – 4oz down happy in her dreams. The result? 13 hours sleep!

[NOTE: I still woke every two hours wondering why Little Onehadn't... had to keep checking on her!]

Friday: 10pm dream feed. Sings through 4oz again. Sleeps for 12 hours!

[NOTE: Loving dream feeding now!]

Saturday: 10pm dream feed. Sings through feed. Only 1oz though and... yup, wakes at 2am!


So the jury is still out on dream feeding, but I have faith and am hopeful that tonight will see another 12 hour sleep. Fingers crossed...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My week...

You know it's a good week when it incorporates monkeys, diamond rings, wine, a cuddly tiger toy, home grown radishes and a study of time. Just another average week then!

Welcome to my week in Creativeland, Writerland and Blogland...

  • Nailed the main characters in my new children's book (I won't embarrass myself by telling you how long that's taken!)
  • Been to the moon and back via the sun and the beginning of time itself (all in the name of research)
  • Gone gardening mad
  • Let Little One write this week's Baby Business Blog. Read her blog >
  • Went cerulean blue for this week's #colour_collective. Have a peek >
  • Reflected on whether a photograph was about the reflection or the reality. What do you think?
  • Ickle Monday was rubbish! Bin there, done that >
  • I did a doodle today and every day, including wine, rings and some blind-wrong-hand-illustrations. Have a look >
My favourite doodle this week?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Reflecting Reality

I've got a couple more photos from my Monkey set, initially used as part of my 'captivate v captivity' research (interesting stuff, and a lot of view points that all have merits).

Monkeys are such interesting subject matters, as they have been perceived as so many things over the years, from clownish creatures to research subjects, and then of course we sent them in to space and made stars out of them with tea adverts. But, as with all creatures, there is so much more to them and as always, we should never forget that they are part of nature and the natural order, so have their own roles to play on planet Earth and in evolution.

I am not going to say too much about this photograph, other than wonder how much of this image is about the reflection, and how much is about the reality?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Baby Business: Week 18, First things first

Continued to widen my vocabulary with squeals to add to the ‘goos’, ‘gahs’ and ‘do-doos’. Tick
Continued to learn new moves, including the 180 degree wiggle. Tick
Continued to improve my sleeping at night. No chance!

This week has been a triumph for Little One, who has notched up a number of ‘firsts’. No more ‘baby steps’, it’s best foot forward now...

Little One’s Weekly Diary
Monday: My first tooth has come through. It hurt, but now I get to suck on my whole fist and drool loads down my pretty dresses... the washing is mounting up that little bit quicker than normal!
Tuesday: I waved at Mummy today when she went off for a meeting. Well, I know it was a wave and Mummy knew it was a wave, but I guess others may think I was just stretching my fingers.
Wednesday: I have always known that Timba the dog is around, but to be honest he is just not colourful enough to get my attention, or spotty enough like my giant black and white Dalmatian toy. Anyway, today I decided that maybe I should acknowledge him, after all he is always giving me kisses and helping me chew on my toys. That is why I tried to stroke him for the first time... he was very hairy!
Thursday: Mummy finally noticed that I have got too big for my pram – I think it was the foot resting out the end that did it! So we went out for the first time in my buggy, and the best bit? I got to see lots and lots of things that I couldn’t before (all I saw from my pram was the sky, tree tops and Mummy’s nutty grinning).
Friday: Zzzzzzzzz... sleepy day. Well, I have been busy so far this week!
Saturday: Mummy and I went away and I got to sleep in my brand new rainforest jungle travel cot for the first time (complete with flying parrot, monkey and frog... bet you didn’t know that frogs could fly). In fact, I enjoyed the flying creatures so much that I had to wake up every two hours to check they were still there and share my discovery (every time!) with Mummy.

A little note from Mummy: “I am really looking forward to one ‘first’ in particular from Little One... the first time my gorgeous little girl sleeps through the night!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

My week...

Been a week of dashing around and achieving very little on the creative front - too many chores around car mechanics and poorly (but on the mend) dog.

However, my mind is full of all things, ermmmmmmm, can't give plot away, ermmmmmm YA book. This involves nothing but research at the moment - I love research, as I learn such amazing things. This is slightly more complex research than I have done for a while, and with every nit of required info I discover, there are four additional things I need to research to get 100% of the picture and the facts. It seems a bit never-ending at the moment, but I am all fired up to crack on again next week and absorb some more juicy bits of knowledge. Nice to be pushing the old grey matter that bit further...

So this week in creativeland, writerland and blogland has been a bit limited, but still fun of course:

  • A royalty of Princesses, including this week's #Colour_Collective, Lemon yellow. Take a curtsey this way >
  • Nice coverage in the Art Daily
  • Redundant lighthouse photograph got me thinking. When the light goes off >
  • Waterbaby stars in this week's Baby Business blog. Take a splash >
  • I did a doodle everyday, including ink colour bursts and some Ickle Monday labrador expressions. Have a ganders >
  • Oh, and I got to cuddle a baby Meerkat and tickle a Boa Constrictor's tummy!

My favourite doodle this week?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

When light became redundant

They stand tall and proud, alone in their duty, all powerful in their purpose. A storm, through night, the day too bright, their visibility a warning, their presence a meaning. Bleakness and darkness sees their light shining true, reaching the waves and the swell and the bows of the boats. Ships pass and keep safe, trawlers turn form danger ahead. So what happens when the light no longer shines, when life moves on and the danger's not hidden? Who shines the light, who walks up the spiraling steps, who tends to the paint and the life of the lighthouse?

Too beautiful to abandon. To important to make redundant. Let's give them a new life.

Talacre, North Wales 2015

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Baby Business: Week 17, Waterbaby

Discovered how to wriggle in order to move. Tick
Wriggled out from under my blankets several times a night. Tick
Wriggled my way out of my bouncer. Almost, but Mummy caught me!

Eyes shut, breath held, silence falls, the big moment has arrived... Mummy has to watch Little One go underwater!
This week Little One and I decided it was time to hop in to our swimming-costumes (Mummy going for full Bridget Jones style cover-up, pregnancy belly still not fit for human viewing) and go for Little One’s first swimming lesson. What I may not have mentioned before is that Little One views baths as a form of torture and as such should be treated with fear and a lot of noise. But sometimes you just have to dive in head first and take the plunge... literally!
So for two weeks leading up to the ‘big swim’, I have tried every form of bath-time fun to turn the baby-screams in to baby-smiles: Ducks of all colours and sizes; little floating boats; funny shaped sponges; baths with Mummy; a bigger baby bath; and watery-nursery-rhymes (with the actions of course).
The result? Silence... but silence is golden (she was after all not screaming). I even think there was a flicker of a smile when Mummy spilt half the bath water down her front.
So it was with baited breath and waiting cameras that Little One and I got in to the swimming pool. Her reaction? Complete nonchalance. Swimming round and splashing, totally laid back, even swimming underwater got no more than a little squeak of surprise. So ‘chilled-out’ was Little One, that she almost nodded off during the group swim!
So, has my little girl been pulling a fast one with Mummy or did my two-week ‘happy bath’ campaign pay off? Who knows, but it doesn’t matter because I got to take my little girl swimming and what made it so special was when she went underwater, she came up, saw me and stretched her arms out to me... me, her mummy.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

My week(s)...

Two weeks later and we are in to the month of May. When did that happen? Sunshine, wind, rain and a bit of snow makes for an interesting turn from April to May.

So what's been going on in creativeland, writerland and blogland the past two weeks?

  • Spring break to the North Welsh coast blew away the cobwebs and blew in creativity and inspiration in abundance
  • A new car has got me excited too, especially now my Little Girl has named it Ellie
  • A poorly dog (my dear old boy) is in hospital, which has distracted me the past 48 hours
  • I have actually ventured in to YA writing and started a short novel. The concept is consuming me, but I need to do some research to sharpen up the plot
  • I have also dusted off two children's picture books that I had put to one side. Time to wave my illustrative magic wand and bring them back to life
  • Baby Business Blog saw the power of the Baby Whisperer . Take a look (quietly) >
  • I discovered the amazing works of Ernst Haeckel. Art forms in nature >
  • I took a look at the world through animal eyes. Monkey mind >
  • It was World Book Night (did you get involved?), so I wrote a piece of flash fictions. I started with an A >
  • I did a doodle today and everyday. From crabs to sea squirts >
  • Ickle Monday x2 covered ickle welsh dragons and ickle writing/drawing tools.
  • #Colour_Collective covered Alizarin Crimson (radishes) and Lilac (water lily studies)
My favourite doodles of last week and the week before:



And April's most popular posts were...

April was a great month for both my blogs, with visitor numbers growing rapidly. Thank you to all my visitors for taking a peek at my goings-on in creativeland, writerland and blogland.

And the most popular posts on each blog for April were...

Stories and Stuff Blog: