Thursday, October 28, 2010

No friends, no money, and a little walker

I joked to Partner the other day that I was texting my "one" friend--as in the only friend I have--to confirm our lunch date yesterday. Turns out I may have no friends after all, because she canceled on me. We made the date about two weeks in advance, as the only free day for both of us, and I'd really been looking forward to it! Franklin and I went to town on our own, instead. A lovely warm, sunny day perfect for strolling around the market. I dropped off some charity items, and picked up a few little things including a little pumpkin for carving later in the week. I had a small unexpected windfall from an ebay sale, but I'm so used to not having money that I hardly know what to buy.

I had to stop and feed Franklin while in town. We sat down on a bench and I watched the people passing as he nommed. I've gotten to the point where I really don't mind breastfeeding in public at all. I usually cover him with a blanket or scarf, unless we're in a child-friendly place. I even fed him on the train into Leeds a few weeks ago. It was packed but I don't think a single person noticed.

Speaking of Franklin--brace yourself, world. He's walking. Sort of. I think they call it cruising: he pulls himself up into a standing position on the furniture, and then edges along it. Two days ago he was meant to be napping when I heard a "THUMP...WAHHH!!!" Somehow he'd managed to stand up and tear down his mobile. It's got a bunch of cute fabric bugs dangling on it; when I got in there, he was chewing on his spider.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thinking about Christmas, and Important Milestones

What do you buy for a 9-month-old for his first Christmas? I already know he's going to be more interested in the wrapping paper and boxes than in actual presents, so I'm not planning on spending a lot of money. I also want to get him things that will grow with him; I don't see much point in buying something that will only have appeal for a few months. And I have one restriction: I do not want anything electronic that makes a noise. I know how annoying that stuff gets.

Then there's gifts for Partner. At least he's easier to buy for; I like to make things for him, too. I'm planning on sending some fancy home baked bread to Partner's family (but not mine, sadly. I don't think it'd mail internationally). I made some excellent panettone one year. Or maybe it was stollen. Anyway, it was great, and very festive. I really wish we'd picked more strawberries now, because the jam was so tasty I would have been very proud to give it away. Oh well.

My workplace is open on Christmas, but I don't know yet if they'll want me to work. I didn't work it last year, as I was just too pregnant. And the year before I was off sick with SARS/bird flu/pneumonia/TB. But I did work it one year. I don't understand why anyone would want to go out to eat on Christmas. It's such a special family day to me.

I've had the idea for this drawing a while now. When Franklin turned six months, he suddenly went from a cuddly snugglekins to a little eight-armed demon. And when I wondered to Partner why Franklin wasn't much interested in sweet things like baby porridge or fruit; his reply:
"He likes MEAT! little Franklinasaurus needs meat to keep Grrrring while he roams the house."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A dog's life

Sleep deprivation: getting only four hours of sleep at night now means I function like a zombie all day; yet when Franklin was born, I was lucky if I got two hours of sleep at a stretch. However, I think this is because sleep deprivation is cumulative, and having less-than-adequate sleep for the last seven months is really taking its toll. Actually, I wasn't getting very adequate sleep before he was born either, so make that about 16 months.

My exam this Friday means I'm starting to stress. A lot. I'm allowed to take my notes with me; for the last two weeks I've been cataloguing these notes to make sure I understand all the topics. I'm weak in a few areas, and I still only have time to study when Franklin's asleep. Which lately isn't much time at all. As a result, I'm ignoring my programming studies until the math exam is over.

I understand it's normal after giving birth, but I've been losing a LOT of hair. Handfuls. When I comb my hair, I try to collect it all and throw it away, but inevitably, not all of it makes it to the proper disposal. I've put Franklin down on the floor to play with his toys, only to find him homing in on a hairball. Not entirely sure if it's approved for the 6+ mos age range.

My latest attempt at being frugal has seen me darning socks. I have managed two darns on two of my socks, both of which are still functioning. When I told him about it, Partner said he learned how to darn from his grandmother (note: I have never witnessed Partner's darnings); I just looked at some pictures on the internet.

My apologies to Beauty, for wanting to kick her two weeks ago. And also for falling down the stairs, hurting my back so that I can't take her on walkies for a while. Sorry, dog!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I made apple butter. It was super simple (roughly chop apples, cook till pulped, strain out seeds/peels, dump in slow cooker with sugar and spices overnight, bottle). I used five pounds of apples, and finished with two small jars and two big jars of butter. It really reduced down! (but it's possible I overcooked it.) I think it tastes ok--though not as sweet as I thought it'd be.

We had a week of heavy rain, causing all near-ripe tomatoes to split, sadly. Not that there were many, but when you don't get many tomatoes in the first place, every one is precious. Now it's sunny and warmish again: hopefully we'll get some more ripened. I've read that the plants can be pulled up and hung upside down in the garage to finish ripening fruit; if we have an imminent frost, I may try.

Still, with shortening days, production has slowed down for many plants. I've stopped deadheading sweetpeas, in order to get some seeds. I plan on collecting from zinnias and runner beans too.

My first days back at work were all right. Nobody starved to death while I was away, and everyone was glad to see each other when I came home.