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Posts Tagged ‘babies’

  1. In response to repeated complaints

    July 11, 2012 by superlative

    I have received multiple complaints over the last few weeks that I haven’t written anything on my blog for ages. Well it’s true, I haven’t, and the people who have complained are very sweet to notice. I mean seriously, reading my blog really shouldn’t be high your priority list, it doesn’t contain anything remotely interesting. But thank you for caring, and apologies for my laxity.

    The problem with blogging is that if you stop posting for a while, it becomes increasingly difficult to start again. So much time has passed that you can’t cover everything you have done since the last post. Equally, you don’t want just to pick a recent occurrence and blog about that and overlook the large gap as though nothing were amiss. So you leave it for another day, and another, and suddenly you’re no longer a blogger, you’re one of the many people who ‘had a blog once’.

    I also find it much harder because of Twitter. I write so many short snippets about what I’m doing and what I think about things, that I feel I’ve already said them and don’t want to repeat them again in a blog post.

    And the final nail in the coffin of my blog is that I have been much, much busier at work since the start of February when I started working two days a week in a different office. My weeks now consist of working on projecty-type things in our main Marketing office, where slacking off is much more difficult as there are constantly people around you, and then madly trying to catch up with my normal job on the other three days of the week before the whole cycle begins again. I’m certainly not as bored as I used to be, but some of the things I used to fill my empty days with have been unfortunately kicked to the wayside.

    If you’ve read this far and still care what I’ve been up to (even I’m losing interest), key items have been:

    • I went to see my new nephew Oliver a few weeks after he was born. He was terribly sweet for a baby, and stayed asleep for practically the whole time, earning him double points for Not Being Annoying. I held him for about an hour while he slept, which was lovely, and then gave him to Chris and he cried, ha. The baby, not Chris. This is me holding him.


    • I have finished my maths course. The exam was in the middle of June, and it went OK, but it was much, much harder than I was expecting. The actual maths wasn’t too bad, but the amount of time you were given for the number of questions was ridiculous, and I didn’t finish the paper which really annoyed me. It seemed fairly incongruous with the past papers all the students had been practising on, where time was tight but it was do-able, and lots of us have been complaining loudly on the module’s website that it wasn’t a fair paper. One of the tutors in the exam preparation information casually said “The exam tests your ability to solve mathematical problems quickly”, and many of us have taken issue with that as a part of the assessment. The learning outcomes of the course did not include being able to do maths at speed, just that we should be able to do the actual maths, and we mostly all could. So it seems unfair that we could have done the questions if we’d had half an hour more time and we didn’t get to demonstrate our ability due to the time limit. I’ll have to wait until August for my result, and although I know I must have passed, I’m now hoping just for an OK grade rather than a good one. Bit annoying.On the subject of maths, I am currently doubtful that I’ll be carrying on with the course next year. The next module entails double the workload of this year’s module, and I really can’t see how I’d find time for that, especially now I’m busier in the day and more tired at night.  It also costs twice as much, at a hefty £800 for some self-study materials they have reprinted a hundred times, so it doesn’t feel like very good value. I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I should get an Undergraduate Certificate in Mathematics for the modules I’ve completed so far, as I’ve got enough credits now, so at least that’s something.
    • I’ve been baking a bit and have made a lovely carrot cake a couple of times. They were massive and delicious, behold.


    Um… I think that’s it.

    We’ve booked to go to Sitges in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping the weather stays as nice there as it is at the moment.

    And my Mum is coming to stay in the flat above us again in September, blargh. It’ll be OK, but it was quite stressy last time.

    I’ll blog again at some point…

  2. Uncle Superlative post #2

    May 14, 2012 by superlative

    A while ago I wrote excitedly about the fact that Chris’ brother and sister-in-law were going to have a baby, due sometime in May.

    What month is it? May. What am I? AN UNCLE! Woo! Yay me, on doing absolutely nothing and being related by marriage to a child that has been born. I think I deserve quite a pat on the back.

    The baby, Oliver, was born on Friday, only a tiny bit early (a week), and a decent 6lb 4oz. Mother and baby are doing well and they were allowed to go home on Saturday, which I assume means they are both fine healthwise and there was nothing the hospital was worried about.

    I’m really pleased, and particularly relieved because his parents had been a bit anxious during the pregnancy and hadn’t wanted to assume everything was going to be alright just in case it wasn’t. They needn’t have worried, because compared to lots of people I know it seems to have gone without a hitch, and Helen seemed quite hale and hearty throughout.

    I won’t get to see the baby for a couple of weeks, because as I mentioned before they live a few hours away in Wiltshire. Chris’ Mum and Dad are going this week, and we’ll hopefully go during half term at the start of June. Although that’s a little bit longer to wait than I’d have liked, it will at least give me time to shop for awesome outfits for him, such as this which I just found on a website:

    He’s going to be the best dressed baby there ever was. I can totally see myself spending a lot of money on this boy during his life.

    My Mum was pleased to hear all the baby news, but naturally had a bit of a wail about her never having grandchildren of her own. Not surprising at all – most things seem to relate back to her. My brother has apparently talked a little bit again about when he might have children, but it’s still a far-off ‘some day’ kind of proposal, so it sounds like she’s going to have to wait for a bit longer before she gets any, if at all. But at least I’ve got my first nephew now, whichever side of the family he’s on, and that’s all I really care about anyway!

  3. Uncle Superlative

    November 9, 2011 by superlative

    I’m going to be an uncle!

    As I have previously mentioned on here, the likelihood of me having my own children is pretty low (because I hate them), but what I would like to be is a really good uncle. Obviously when I say I hate children I don’t actually hate them, but they are quite annoying and I would far prefer a child that I can give back after a couple of hours. But this has been dependent on either my brother having a baby, which I don’t think he’s ever going to do, or Chris’ brother having one.

    And now, AT LAST, one of them is! It’s Chris’ brother, obviously, and his wife is presumably fairly involved in the process too. They let us know a couple of weeks ago, but we were strictly sworn to secrecy because they hadn’t had their 12 week scan yet and they don’t want to jinx anything or get ahead of themselves.

    They had their 12 week scan on Saturday, and all is going well so far, so hopefully sometime in May I will be Uncle Superlative.

    I’m quite excited, because although we have friends who have had babies, it’s just not the same as one in your own family and who you consider yourself actually related to. This child will hopefully grow up loving me, and me them, and that will be really very special to me. I want to be a really fun uncle that they look forward to seeing (note to self – order swimming pool and put deposit down on a pony).

    The only thing that could be slightly better is that Chris’ brother lives three hours away in Wiltshire, so I won’t get to see them quite as often as I might like. We’ll just have to make the effort to go and visit though, and not be lazy about it, because if we want the child to grow up knowing us it’ll be up to us to ensure it happens.

    They don’t know if it is a boy or a girl, and they’re choosing not to find out. Personally I know I’d be better with a boy because I’d know what to do with a boy more (that sounds wrong), but for some reason I feel like it’s a girl. Well I’ll have to wait and see, won’t I?

    I’m very excited anyway, and will be shopping for kick ass tiny T-shirts after Christmas.

  4. Work Christmas do

    December 11, 2008 by superlative

    In the end there wasn’t really any drama to report from yesterday’s Christmas do. Nobody was sick, nobody was asked to leave or told they were making a scene, and Abby didn’t even do the skit she’s been preparing for the last 8 months.

    We had a nice meal though. I had tikka halloumi kebab for my starter, and then my main was potato rosti topped with spinach topped with a poached egg topped with melted cheese, which was yummy. And the dessert was doughnut straws with chocolate dipping sauce and vodka sozzled cheeries, mmmm. Plus we got a good half bottle of wine each, and it was all free! Well not free, but I’m not paying, and that amounts to the same thing.

    I also had a new and enjoyable experience at the restaurant (no I didn’t put my hand in anyone’s bra), I fed a baby for the first time:

    It’s only the second or third time I’ve even held a baby, so I was a bit unsure what to do when it came to combining holding AND feeding. I was assured though that if I just shoved the correct end of the bottle into his mouth and tipped it up a bit, he’d know what to do. Luckily for me he seemed more experienced than I was at it. I actually really liked it, and he was very good and wasn’t sick on me. And then he sat on my lap for quite a while and occasionally tried to hurl himself off sideways through general wriggling.

    While I don’t think that I’m anywhere near wanting a baby properly yet, I did enjoy having one for half an hour, and it made me think that maybe I will want one at some point. For now though I think I’m happy with occasional cuddles and feeding of other people’s babies, with the option of giving them back if they start to make unusual noises or turn green or anything. I think I’d make a good uncle for a start, and then maybe a dad in five years or so, or whenever I’m ready to give up on all the selfish aspects of my lifestyle in favour of a small pink blob wrapped in a blanket.

    Anyway, after our meal a few of us went for a couple of drinks at the pub down the road, and then people slowly trickled off until there were just four of us left. Then by 9.30 we’d had enough too, so we mooched off home WITHOUT being asked to leave, so clearly an improvement on last year.

    I was in work at 8.15 this morning, feeling fine (good old vodka, always my friend), and now I’m just dossing around waiting for our email and internet to start working properly again. It sort of works, but the internet takes 5 minutes to load any pages, and everything is just very slow and intermittent. So I am plumbing new depths of unproductivity today!

  5. Stockholm baby!

    June 3, 2008 by superlative

    I had a lovely, lovely weekend in Sweden, which felt massively long because we packed so much into it.

    We set off on Friday morning after a bit of a false start because Zac had managed to leave all his marathon entry details behind. Once we got up to Stansted, we met up with the others and off we flew to Stockholm Skavsta on the yellow-highlighted monstrosity that is Ryanair. Although yes they are cheap as an airline, they really do shaft you on all the extras as much as possible, including charging you if you check in at the airport instead of online, and if you dare try to take more than hand luggage. They also charge you for PAYING for your flight, by adding a charge for every method of payment available, which I think is ridiculous, there is no free way of paying. How can you fly with them without paying?? Fortunately all of our lot had been very good and crammed everything into one bag each, so we were relatively charge-free on that side at least.

    In typical Ryanair style, the Stockholm airport they fly to is actually 90 miles from the city is really just a couple of buildings with a plane parked next to them. So once there we had to get a (very efficient) airport coach to Stockholm for an hour and a half. It was SO hot there, it must have been more than 70 degress when we arrived, so the coach was not all that pleasant really. And then once we finally arrived at the bus terminal, we were picked up by Rob and one of Emma’s sisters, and had another half hour car journey, so all in all it must have taken about nine hours to reach our final destination!

    We spent Friday night at a very nice hostel near Emma’s parents’ house, and then on Saturday we set off into town shortly after the boys who were running (Zac, Simon and Rob) in order to take up position to cheer them on. Stockholm is a lovely city I have to say, very clean and really quite quiet for a capital city. There’s water everywhere, lakes and rivers and things, because it’s built on a set of islands, and the buildings are very pretty.

    I know it sounds a bit rubbish compared to the boys who actually ran a marathon, but spectating all day was actually very tiring. It was boiling hot all day, and you couldn’t just ‘watch’ the runners: you had to scan constantly every face that went past in order to have any chance of spotting the people we were meant to be cheering for, which meant you had to be alert and poised with your camera at all times. It was really quite difficult to identify three people among 18,000 runners all wearing identical caps!

    We flitted around between four different points in order to get ahead of them each time and cheer them on some more, which meant quite a lot of walking around the city. That was nice in a way because we got to see a fair bit of it, although I’m not sure how Emma managed it all while also looking after baby Elliot (who was very good, considering he’s a baby and it was a hot and long day).

    The boys all did really well, and all managed to finish the marathon. Zac came first and took about 4 hours 19 minutes, then Simon with 4 hours 25, and then Rob in 5 hours 20 minutes or so. He had the hardest time of it, having done less training than the others, so everyone was very proud (and relieved) when he finished it in time and in one piece, and actually still looked remarkably well!

    Here’s a nice picture of Zac running:

    After the marathon we went to Rob and Emma’s house in Katrineholm, about two hours from Stockholm. It really is in the middle of the countryside and they’ve got masses of land around their house, and it was all very picturesque and sunny and quiet.

    Sunday, our last day, was lovely as we went and saw a pretty lake, then had a barbecue lunch, then went to another lake and had a nice outdoor swim and sunbathed on a jetty. Then it was back to Skavsta, back on the Ryanair cattle train after cramming some food down us and running through passport control, and then a late-night drive back home that got us back about 1am. I was more tired than I realised when I finally parked, so it’s lucky the roads were quiet and we had a safe journey.

    I thoroughly recommend Stockholm and would definitely go back. We’re going to Rob and Emma’s wedding in August, which is on the coast, so we’ll be seeing some more of Sweden then anyway. Everyone seemed to speak perfect English, which made the Swedish I’d learnt a bit redundant, but never mind.

    And while I enjoyed meeting baby Elliot, and felt ever so paternal when I held him and bobbed him up and down, it made me realise that I’m so not ready for children yet. Babies are SO much work, you have to devote all your energy and time to them, and I like my life as it is a bit too much for that at the moment. Maybe in 5-10 years I’ll feel differently, I think for now I’d be quite happy being a favourite uncle.

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