The baby chronicles #5: Things I wish I knew about having a newborn baby before I had a newborn baby

Weeks old: 5
I like: Bathing with daddy, boobs, licking the strap in my pushchair (??)
Mummy is learning: To bring me downstairs for a change of scenery when I am screaming in the middle of the night

Little O is now 5 weeks old and I feel like I sort of have a vague idea of how to look after him… for now. It is definitely very true though that there is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for what being responsible for a tiny human being is like. There are some things though that I think it would have been helpful to know before he was born and I wanted to share them with you in case you’re thinking of spawning a small person or you already have one and want to reminisce/commiserate or if you just want a good laugh.

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Things I have been cooking lately #163: Alex’s awesome crustless quiche 

Just after Little O was born my friend, Alex, her husband J and their little boy M came around to visit us. M is almost 18 months old so throughout my pregnancy (and still now) Alex is my “is this normal” go to person.

Knowing how full on the beginning weeks of parenthood are Alex kindly brought us a quiche which was not only delicious but also served as a healthy lunch for us for days! I liked it so much that I asked for the recipe. A few days ago Little O actually let Mr O hold him long enough to let me make it… with a few modifications of my own.

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The baby chronicles #4: Never let me go

Weeks old: 4
I like: Sleeping on mummy, boobs (no surprise),being in my bouncer… for about 10 minutes
Mummy is learning: Not to look in the mirror, to hold me upright after I have eaten

Tomorrow Little O will be a whole month old and miraculously we have not dropped or drowned him or let him get stolen by gypsies. I am secretly somewhat proud of this.


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The baby chronicles #3: The great relocation

Weeks old: 3
I like: Riding in the car, boobs (always), my play mat
Mummy is learning: How to avoid a surprise wee, not to take my hatred of baths personally

The last couple of weeks has been pretty busy for Mr O, Little O and me since we moved house. It probably sounds like a crazy thing to do with a newborn baby but our lease was up and we’ve been considering moving closer to Mr and Mrs O senior for a while so we decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. Although I have to admit that I didn’t do an awful lot. Read more…


The baby chronicles #1: He’s here

Weeks old: 0.5
I love: Being held folded in half like I was in the womb, boobs, sleeping on daddy’s chest

So this is my first baby chronicle. I am not sure how frequent they will be. I think it’s going to depend very much on how much time I find and when I find it but I wanted to share the story of Little O’s arrival into the world before I start forgetting bits of it. I am pre-warning everyone that this post is going to be relatively graphic so if words like cervix and mucus plug make you cringe, don’t read this post. Just look at the pictures. Read more…


The bump chronicles #28: The last one

Weeks pregnant: 39
Baby size in fruit: 🍉

By the time you read this blog I may very well have given birth to Little O since his eviction date will have come and gone or I might be in labour. One way or another by the end of the week he’ll be out in the world. So this is quite possibly the last you’ll hear from me for a while since I am imagining that the amount of free time I will have as the mother of a newborn baby is approximately… none.


Nope… not scared at all… I mean look at it… it’s tiny…

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Things I have been cooking lately #162: Chorizo and spring onion Spanish omelette

I decided to make this Spanish omelette because we had some leftover over new potatoes that I had boiled the night before and I didn’t want them to go to waste. Plus eggs are great for gestational diabetes and let’s face it, I love chorizo so I put it with everything. I had this for my lunch but it’s one of those meals you could have at any time of the day. It’s also delicious both hot and cold and keeps really well.


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Film Friday #280

The Nice Guys (2016)

Holland Marsh (Ryan Gosling) is a down on his luck private investigator who has been struggling to make ends meet and raise his daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), on his own since his wife died. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a mysterious loner who makes his money as a kind of thug for hire. Read more…


The bump chronicles #27: Maternity leave

Weeks pregnant: 38
Baby size in vegetables: Leek

Friday was my last day of work, which was kind of awesome and totally weird all at the same time. I went for a lovely lunch with my closest colleagues, was given a touching leaving speech with an absolutely hilarious leaving card and I made a final visit to the roof terrace bar of my building for a bottle of water. And then I said goodbye and went home and cried  little because work isn’t just work to me. It’s my second family and I love what I do. On the other hand I have had quite a few bouts of really bad nausea over the last week or so… kind of like my morning sickness has come back and I can no longer pretend that I am not really… unwieldy… so not having to make the journey across the city isn’t the worst.


A vastly underrated vegetable

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BOOK REVIEW: Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Black Like Me was the latest choice for my book club inspired by Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. It features a white character who passes as black. We all thought this sounded kind of far-fetched until my friend, A, remembered that she’d heard of a real life case where someone had done this. We were intrigued and decided to explore this for our next read.

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Things I have been cooking lately #161: Chicken and pancetta tray bake

I have already made this tray bake twice because it was so easy and delicious, once for Mr O and I and then once for a pot luck Sunday lunch at N’s new house now that he has moved out of our flat. While it does take a little bit of time to make, actually throwing it together is really quick and the flavour is completely worth the wait.


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Film Friday #279

X-Men Apocalypse (2016)

I have always been a big fan of the X-Men franchise. While I have limited patience with the never-ending superhero trend, it’s always felt like X-Men delivered even when it was a bit sub-par *cough” X-men 3 *cough*. So despite the less than stellar reviews for Apocalypse, I had quite high hopes. I was wrong and I am sad. This time we are back in the 80’s where Professor X’s (James McAvoy) school for mutants is up and running, Magento (Michael Fassbender) is living in a Polish forest with his wife and daughter and not mutanting at all and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is working on her own rescuing young mutants from bad circumstances, one such being Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Read more…


The bump chronicles #26: The bump drops and D-Day approaches

Weeks pregnant: 37
Baby size in vegetables: Swiss Chard

In the last week or so my bump has “dropped”. This is something that happens in the last few weeks of pregnancy where the bay starts to move downwards ready for its final journey to the outside world. There are definite plus sides to this. With the baby being lower down it doesn’t compress your lungs as much, so that feeling like you’re going to pass out the top of the sixth flight of stairs eases off. However there are cons too… when the baby heads down it becomes “engaged”, which means its (not so little) head is settled in your pelvis. This can mean increased pressure and a feeling a bit like your bones are grinding the aforementioned head. It also means your bladder capacity is about one tablespoon. Little O is currently 3/5 engaged. I am currently spending 3/5 of my time in the bathroom.


I don’t think I have ever tasted a chard… Swiss or otherwise

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Things I have been cooking lately #160: Gestational diabetes friendly peanut butter cookies

These cookies have a somewhat different texture from traditional cookies but they are still very tasty and extremely satisfying when you can’t really eat normal cookies. They’d also work great as a snack for kids because they’re really healthy even if you were to substitute the xylitol with honey or sugar (or possibly just leave it out completely). I have to give full credit for this recipe to Jo Paterson who runs the Gestational Diabetes UK website and has dedicated herself to helping ladies with GD to manage and survive this confusing, complex and ever-changing condition. She is a legend. These cookies are also gluten and grain free.

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Film Friday #278

Sing Street (2016)

Fifteen year-old Dubliner Connor AKA Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), has been forced to move to a new school because of some family unrest and from day one things are pretty horrible. The other students are out of control and the teachers, who are mostly priests, are either heinous bullies or halfway to the grave. Read more…


The bump chronicles #25: Food glorious food

Weeks pregnant: 36
Baby size in vegetables: Romaine lettuce

Last week we had Little O’s last growth scan to check that he is on track to be a normal sized baby and that his important parts (head, belly, femur) are all in proportion because this is what decides how early I will be induced.


Something I can actually eat

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Things I have been cooking lately #159:Prawn lettuce boats

I swear this is the last Lean in 15 recipe coming up for a while. I have made this a few times because Mr O loves it and although the sauce is very simple it is delicious… it will also stink out your kitchen because that’s how fish sauce rolls!

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BOOK REVIEW: Possession by A.S. Byatt

Roland Mitchell is a literally scholar focused exclusively on the works of Victorian poet Roland Ash. He works for Professor Blackadder in a mostly unpaid position and lives in a mouldering flat in a miserable and distant relationship with his girlfriend, Val… not that he’d notice.

When Roland finds some of Ash’s personal papers in a reference book he is overcome by the sudden urge to take them rather than declare and catalogue them. Within these papers is an abortive letter clearly meant for a woman. After a bit of detective work, Roland comes to the suspicion that the woman in question might be Christabel La Motte, a minor poetess well loved by certain feminist researchers so he decides to get into contact with Dr Maud Bailey, a specialist on La Motte. Read more…


Snapchat anyone?

As I have mentioned before my blog is going to be slowing down a bit but I do still want to keep communicating and sharing aspects of my life. I have been blogging in some format or another for about 10 years and the idea of not “broadcasting” on some level just seems odd. Maybe it’s a bit of a warped, self-important view of the world but I guess all of us bloggers are a little self-important or why would we be doing this.

Anyway… I have had SnapChat for a while but I am only just starting to “get” it and the concept of having a story, which is essentially a very short term microblog. I am a very visual person so it appeals to me way more than Twitter and I love the transient nature of it. It’s like some kind of weird running commentary, which for me includes things like my supposition on the size of our neighbour’s penis based on his vehicle choice and why I always end up sitting next to the smelliest person on the bus.

So what I am trying to say is, there might be less content here soon but SnapChat (and Instagram) is a place where I can share thoughts and experiences without needing the time to prepare a whole blog. So if anyone has SnapChat (or Instagram) please add me (and of course I will add you back). My username, as for all things, is abbiosbiston.