Luggagegate… the sequel

Age: 13 3/4 months

I like: Clapping, singing along to The Furchester Hotel theme song, being cuddled by my family members, boobs

The O family has now been safely in Cape Town, South Africa for almost a week but our holiday adventures have not been drama free.

Before we left my biggest stress was the flights. There are very few airlines who fly directly from Europe to Cape Town and the options with no connections were astronomically expensive. We decided to fly on KLM/Air France via Paris as it was the most reasonable option with the shortest layover. It did mean two flights though… day flights.

We live over an hour’s drive from Heathrow and our first flight was at 6.20am so we had to get up at 2.30am to get a taxi at 3.30am. Bleary eyes all around. Also nothing at Heathrow is open before 6am. No Starbucks. Ugh. But Little O chilled/slept for the long cab ride and also fell asleep boobing on the take off for the first flight and stayed asleep.

Our layover was an hour so we all but jogged through the terminal onto our next flight, where we were fortunate enough to have bulkhead seats.

I was worried Little O would want to go exploring but he was totally relaxed. We had to play a lot of musical parent (where he changes his mind who he wants to sit with every five minutes), there were plenty of walks up and down the aisles and lots of boob. Eating was a massive logistical challenge. There was very little screaming though, he slept for three hours in the middle and people complimented us on his behaviour. We were definitely helped by the busy bag of new toys I brought and this munchkin feeder thing my boss gave me that only allows you to eat one piece of cereal at a time. Genius.

But pride almost always comes before a fall.

We arrived safely but once again (regular readers might be experiencing de ja vu from our last trip to South Africa) our luggage did not. No one’s did. Air France left an entire fucking planeful of luggage in Paris. It being 10pm and with everything closed I wanted to cry.

Fortunately this time I had hired a car seat and we had lots of clothes for Little O in case of gastric explosions and general carnage. Unfortunately we had nothing for ourselves. At least we were staying with my dad for the first night so we could borrow a few basics and go shopping in the morning.

Our luggage turned up at our Air BnB 48 hours later and unlike last time all of it was returned.

Staying in an Air BnB has definitely been the right choice. Normally my dad and I would be ready to murder each other by now but being at a sensible distance has kept us on good terms. We also have enough space to spread out our sleeping arrangements so everyone has been sleeping really well… by our standards anyway.

We’re in a really Bohemian area, which is walking distance to some great bars and restaurants and about five minutes drive from my brother and his fiancee so we don’t need a car.

So far we’ve been exploring the house, which is full of all manner of random artefacts, eating incredible meals and bonding with family. Little O is loving all the attention, especially when it includes dogs.

The great move… again

Age: 13 ½ months
I like:
Digging, boobs, peanut butter toast, Wotsits, my new house, my dog on a stick

I have some advice for you. Never move house. Of course this isn’t wildly practical advice since we almost all have to move house at some point but my suggestion would be to avoid moving house at all costs, especially if you have a toddler. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

I first found out about In Cold Blood when watching Capote, which starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role. It’s a great film and focuses on author, Truman Capote’s, obsession with the the Clutter murder trial and in particular accused killer, Perry Smith. I added the book to my “to-read” list but it’s taken me three and a half years to actually read it.  Read more…

Mischief

Age: 13 1/3 months
I like: Playing granddad’s drums, Cheerios, wotsits and just anything that looks like it might be a crisp, pegs, pointing, unpacking bags, boobs

As Little O gets older, his ability to cause mischief, usually to our amusement gets ever greater. With that in mind I have decided to document some of the monkey business he has gotten up to over the last couple of weeks. Read more…

Universal Yums July box: Mexico

These days it seems there is a subscription box for almost everything. It all started with beauty samples (and I will admit I briefly got in on that) and then expanded out further and further to products for pets, fitness, children and everything in between. Mr O even gets vinyl from unsigned bands and razor blades. He actually contemplated getting a sock one but seriously, who needs that many socks.

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Things I have been cooking lately #178: Halloumi and lentil salad

I used to do loads of cooking but since we had Little O most of the food preparation in our household falls to Mr O as I tend to be trying to wrangle the little fella into bed at prime dinner making time.  I decided I was definitely going to make at least one meal this week, even if it was a quick one. Enter this easy salad. Of course just as I finished making it Little O woke up and refused to go to bed for another two hours so I didn’t get to eat any until 10pm but it I enjoyed it none the less.

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Dirt and train journeys

Age: Almost 13 months
I like: Eating sand, Organix oaty bars, being outside, banging on things, boobs

Little O and I had a pretty busy weekend. He is a popular chap so he actually has a much more intense social life than I have. I’m just entourage.

On Saturday we went to his friend, Little B’s first birthday party. It was held at our local soft play so there was a sandpit available. After any kind of water, sand is Little O’s favourite thing so as soon as he realised he could go outside, he abandoned the xylophone he’d been beating the life out of and made for the sandpit. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This is the last one of the books that I mysteriously bought while Little O was days old and forgot about. Once again I really had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. I am starting to enjoy this approach to new books more and more since it means no pre-conceived notions or expectations of what is to come.  Read more…

Bedtime… now by daddy

Age: 1 year 3 weeks
I like: banging on things, cake, touching faces, boobs

Up until a couple of weeks ago I was the only person who had ever put Little O to bed at night. This is because his preferred way of going to sleep is to be breastfed until he dozes off, eventually lets go of my nipple and lets me put him down in his cot. Well in theory anyway. Read more…

12 month update

Age: 12 1/3 months
I like: Climbing the stairs, boobs, anything spicy, ryvitas, stickle brick wheels

I have decided to stop calling my Little O updates “The baby chronicles”. As he has now survived the first year of his life, I don’t think he officially qualifies as a baby anymore. I am glad I manage to update once a week for the first year of his life because the early weeks and months are already fading somewhat. My phone keeps showing me pictures from a year ago “today” and half of them are completely unfamiliar to me. I hope those posts and future ones will help me keep my memories of his early life fresh. So let’s see how he’s doing at one year old.

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BOOK REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

I was poking around in my Amazon account the other day and discovered that I bought some books for my Kindle when Little O had just been born. I have no recollection of doing this or when I thought I was going to read these books. For some reason they never delivered to my Kindle so the whole thing seems a bit odd. Anyway, now that I have time to read on my commute, I am quite glad very new mum me somehow sort of pre-arranged me some reading material. A Wrinkle in Time is the first of these books. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #177: Dinosaur birthday cake

When I was a child growing up my mum always made our birthday cakes. She’s extremely creative and they were really elaborate affairs. There were trains, tractors, princesses, umbrellas, monsters… my brother even had one based on the band U2. I am nowhere near as skilled or patient as my mum is but I really wanted to make Little O’s birthday cake. With some help from Pinterest and a recipe from my mum that I adapted, I think I pulled off something passable that pretty much anyone with a couple of hours of spare time could manage. The sponge cake method used here is an oldie but a goodie and makes a really light fluffy cake.

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The baby chronicles #52: Reflecting on the last year

Age: One year old
I like: Sticklebricks, splashing in my birthday suit, watermelon, boobs

A year ago today the O family had been home from hospital for one day.  Little O was a grand total of three days old and I was still in a fog of hormones, adrenaline and general confusion. I feel like that person was a completely different person to who I am now. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

A while ago I got a choice of free books after buying something on Amazon. I have no idea what since I buy all the things on Amazon. I chose The Corrections because it was the only one on offer that I had not read and I had no idea what it was about before I started reading it.  Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: Don’t be a Dick, Pete by Stuart Heritage

I suppose I need to mention as a disclaimer to this review that I sort of know the author… or more that I sort of know his wife, which is why I knew the book existed. That has nothing to do with this review though as it is based completely on my experience of reading the book, which I bought and paid for. Read more…

The baby chronicles #51: Little O’s first birthday party

Age: Virtually one
I like: Balls, my 360° sippy cup, boobs, shouting
I suppose there is an argument to say that first birthday parties are a bit pointless because the guest of honour has no idea it’s their birthday but I feel like being en entire year old is something that needs to be marked with an event. And even if Little O isn’t bothered by the fact that it’s his birthday, Mr O and I deserve a celebration of surviving our first year as parents and me especially of surviving labour.

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Mr O and I go on a venture

Today is Mr O’s birthday. He is officially 34 and continues to be younger than me out of pure spite. As Wednesday is a work day for me and not one of the days that Little O can stay with Mrs O Senior (who also works), we decided to celebrate on the weekend. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov

Every so often, I like to pick out a so-called classic to read, to try to broaden my literary knowledge but also to decide whether I think they’re actually worth the hype e.g. a resounding yes to Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and all the Sherlock Holmes outings… a resounding WTF to Moby Dick and flat no to Tess of the D’Ubervilles. This time I decided to go for Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov. Read more…

The baby chronicles #50: Normal service resumes

Age: 11 ¾ months
I like: Sag paneer, dry leaves, sticking out my tongue, boobs, licking people, flirting with sales assistants

After last week’s trip to the emergency room, I am glad to say that Little O is back to his usual self and once again bursting with energy and cheeky grins. Read more…