Big bubbahs, no troubles

Baby A was officially weighed at 15 and a half pounds yesterday.  Well done, Bubbah!

We’re not making anything like as much fuss about her weight as we did about Millie’s because…well, because the Bubbah didn’t start off at 1lb 7oz.  Still, it’s nice to know she’s going along well.  Oddly, she is, like her sister, right near the bottom of the weight gain curve, which is the line on the graph of time x weight-gain which children follow – and if they don’t then there’s probably something wrong.  Millie was/is bumping along the bottom because of her prematurity, but the Bubbah is apparently just quite small.

Of course, this does tend to mess up my perception of young children’s ages – kids always look older than they are to me because they’re usually bigger than I expect.  You may recall that strangers quite often thought Millie was terribly clever because despite being the size of a one-year-old she was actually two!  This has worked against me once or twice, however, when I started talking to small children expecting at least some sort of reply, but the stupid backwards child in question doesn’t say a word.  ‘Perhaps they’re shy,’ I think, and try again, only to have their parent come over and  quietly inform me that they can’t actually talk yet, being only nine months old. (Blush)

Bubbah, smiling

Is Amber ever going to stop smiling?  I’ve never ever known a baby smile and laugh so much.  A variety of people have now commented on this peculiar phenomenon so I know it isn’t just me imagining it: she really is The Smiliest Baby In The World™.

Millie, when she was little, used to enjoy nothing better than cracking a gummy grin, just the same as all babies do.

But not like the Bubbah does.

Bubbah’s smiles are of the ‘Oh, my God!‘ variety, as though something is absolutely so utterly brilliant that she completely cannot quite believe how incredibly brilliant it absolutely goddamn is, goddamnit!

Someone enters the room – she looks around and then smiles; someone happens to look at her – she smiles; someone waves at her – she opens her mouth w-i-d-e and smiles; someone chucks her cheeks – she smiles; someone talks to her – smile; food – smile; milk – smile; bath – smile; standing up – BIG smile; something new (and not too loud or scary) – big open-mouthed smile of wonderment; spaceships – smile; umbrellas – smile; computers… well, you get the idea.

The only thing to stop her smiling are hunger and bedtime, but I sometimes wonder if she only pretends not to love bedtime so as to get some practice in changing her expression!

Me, smiling

This page of photos, looking back over ten years of the ISS, made me smile.

I love the mixture of views: stunning shots of the station floating above our planet, candid views of the chaotic, busy station interior and a few quiet ‘arty’ shots – nice to know they can make time for that kind of thing. 🙂

Such a contrast between the glorious and the mundane, the human and the cosmic.  And strange to think they’re up there now, going round and round far above our heads while we’re all going to work, going to school, doing the washing up, worrying about the recession…

Friends with children. Like us.

Thanks to our friends the Mays for coming to see us at the weekend.

Rich May and I went to school together (I clearly remember asking him if I could borrow a pencil on our very first day!), we both love our music and a good beer, and both had two children at almost exactly the same time.  Rich’s wife, Helen, is an unmitigated pleasure to be around, too: always cheerful and full of conversation (i.e., she loves a good natter!)

Rich’s eldest, Jack, should have been a couple of months older than Millie, but, well, things turned out rather differently, and their youngest, Lily, is a couple of months younger than Amber, so we’ve got a lot in common.  Anyway, enough autobiography, they made the effort to drive up from Swindon and see us at the weekend, which we very much appreciated, knowing how hard it can be travelling with two young children!

We appreciated their journey all the more not only because gales and blizzards were forecast, but also because we had a fun and relaxing time with them.  It’s often just easier being with other people who have children, since you understand all the problems and limitations rather more – too tired to go out to the pub in the evening?  Yep, us too!  Let’s just stay in, relax, and watch the new series of The IT Crowd, shall we?  Ahhh…

So, a lovely weekend, the only disappointment for me being that the so-called ‘gales and blizzards’ only gave us a slight dusting of snow Sunday morning.  Still, that was probably just as well given how excited Millie and Jack became when they saw even that light covering. 😉

Surprised to wake up this morning and find that the government’s instituting a higher rate of tax for the rich.  We have a Labour government, so I shouldn’t be, but sadly I am.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m very pleased they’re finally doing this, I think a higher rate of tax for the rich is loooong overdue and wish it was higher – just slightly sad that I’m so disillusioned with Labour as to be shocked by this.

And I’m fully expecting them to back down again when the well-oiled media machines of the super-rich and privileged swing into action to protest how utterly terrible this is; to tell us how desperately unfair that they, our overpaid, over-privileged overlords, should cough up just like the rest of us.

News just in!

From the Lovely Melanie, by text: Millie has ‘won first prize at the Library book crawl – a 10 pound book token!  And the blue bear was there!’

Well done, Millie!  As parents who are big readers themselves this is the equivalent of our little girl getting onto some sports team – with the added bonus that we didn’t have to stand around in the cold shouting at groups of bemused children running around a field chasing an inflated pig’s bladder.  Result!

And the ‘blue bear’ is not an hallucination on the Lovely Melanie’s part caused by overexposure to nappy linings, he’s a character (a large blue bear) who regularly turns up at the local library to encourage children to read more.

Whence he comes from and where he goes after his work is done nobody knows…


Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, one of the very few things left that I will go out of my way to watch on TV these days, is back on.  Hurrah!  If you haven’t already seen this weekly half hour of incisively intelligent, outrageously offensive, cutting edge contemporary TV then you’re missing out.

Brooker is as despairing as I am about some of the rubbish that fills up the box, but he has time, money and a broadcast slot on BBC4 to attempt to say something constructive about the massive amounts of soul-destroyingly mindless rubbish that is heaped in front of us every day.

And he’s marginally funnier and cleverer than yours truly.

However, I’m pretty much convinced that if I’d skived all my A-Level Communications Studies lessons back in the early ’90s, and if Screenwipe had been on then, and if I had watched it, then I’d have probably gotten a better result in that subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think everyone should be watching nothing but documentaries, news and educational programmes (honestly, I don’t.  Not really).  What does make me despair is how crushingly bland so much TV seems to be and low it sets the bar for understanding, as though to make people think just once of an evening might cause some kind of brain haemorrhage.