madelinekelly: freaky bug-eyed alien fractal (Default)
posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 07:26pm on 03/11/2013 under , , ,
The first few months of Willow's life have been a huge contrast with River's early weeks. No pain, no despair, no isolation, no borderline PND. It's been wonderful, in fact.

The only downside is all the enforced sitting we have to do. I can't feed her in the sling -- she just seems to hate it. Instead, we're spending many hours sat on the sofa. It's been getting me down, because I do like to be busy and productive as much as possible. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I realised I could get things done while breastfeeding. So I've started learning Italian on Duolingo and I also dug out my knitting needles.

Here we have Willow modelling the delightful Pebble:





I've just finished an improvised reversible scarf for River but no pictures of that yet, and I have a cabled hat and a larger Pebble on the needles. (And Clapotis, which has been a WIP for years.) Going through all the wool stash was inspiring and depressing. Inspiring because I'd forgotten what I had. Now I'm planning a shawl, animal hats and mittens. Woolly joy! But depressing because it had all been stuffed into a corner in the living-room -- having literally nowhere else to put it -- and when I took it out we found damp patches, flaking paint and rotted carpet. It's the one part of the house that has cement plaster outside (because for some reason it's in nextdoor's back yard and we couldn't access it when re-doing the exterior) and was also the wettest part when we initially stripped the walls. I shouldn't have put anything at the base of the wall, really. Feeling very guilty about it. Oh well.

It's been a hard week. River's had croup, which is a terrfying illness just because of the choking, wailing noise that happens with the coughing. We've barely slept the last three nights. But today she's back to her old self, busily trotting from room to room, being a dragon and feeding everyone fire that she's scooped up from the floor. It says a lot for her good nature that, even though she's been ill, she's been to a party, her first ballet (Snow White) and out on the steam train -- and been perfectly lovely (albeit a little subdued) throughout.

She's nearly 3 now. Language is nearly completely fluent. She is quick to ask if she doesn't understand something (we've had endless questions about the plot of Snow White, for instance). She dances all the time. I'm never allowed to play the piano, unless I'm playing something she can dance to. She's very sensitive to loud sounds and bright light. She still comes into bed with me and Willow in the small hours. Books are still very much loved. She's started wanting to hold a cuddly toy as she goes to sleep. She is sociable -- will directly address other small children and try to engage them in conversation (eg. when drawing pictures at a friend's house she said, "We have felt tips at my home too!" repeatedly until the other child acknowledged her).

Willow at 4 months is a happy, joyful little baby. She's full of smiles and noise and excitement. River insists that she loves her baby sister, so that's good.



Anyway, other things done this week... I spent half an hour in the driving rain, digging up potatoes -- including this massive thing:



River is also displaying her autumn crown there, made during a crafting session with her best friend.

Matt complains that there aren't enough photos of me, so here's one.



ACHIEVEMENTS THIS WEEK

-- Tomato harvest sorted out into ripe, ripening and green.
-- All superfluous ornamental gourds disposed of.
-- I now know 569 Italian words.
-- One scarf knitted.
-- One trugful of potatoes and one pot of raspberries harvested.
-- First piece of insulation board put up in attic.
-- Two batches of Smarties cookies made.*
-- Personal collection of thrifty recipes printed out for a friend's 40th birthday present.
-- Lots of socialising (half-term!) -- to a friend's house on Tuesday, other friends round on Thursday (they all drew on the gourds then wiped them clean), Fiona and Jack on Thursday afternoon, mum on Friday morning, party on Friday night, Matt's brother visited on Saturday morning, then to ballet with my mum in afternoon, then to Matt's parents for an hour, out on steam train with Matt's parents this morning, then all back here for dinner. A very busy week!

* Halloween is a bit of an ordeal for children over here. There's always the chance that when they knock on a door, the householder will demand they sing the Hop-tu-naa song. We always do, because we're evil. So cookies were given to very embarrassed little children who half-heartedly sang at least the chorus on our doorstep.

-------------------------------

And a bonus picture of BatWillow with her grandad, pondering all the crime she's going to fight.

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