We love blueberries #2

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We love blueberries


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What anyone can see, in anyone else

My lovely friends Mike and Emma became parents to the most perfect, little girl, Erin Mai,  on August 16, 2011. In her hour- and just day-old photos I could see glimpses of both the parents in her tiny face.  Two people all squished up into this new creation. How can there be a more powerful expression of love?

I say, and thought, all of this with genuine sincerity and some lack of self-awareness. When our daughter was born, her dad and I, spent weeks finding and pointing out all the things that she had inherited from us. My toes, his sleep habits, his smile, my eyes, someone’s hair but not sure whose yet, his jaw (probably) and on and on.

I was telling a more concise version of this to a friend on Twitter and then took a look at my daughter and realised that I don’t really see these anymore. Instead I tend to look for her in other people. I used to see her father’s beautiful smile when she smiled but now I see her beautiful smile in him. I notice how round her eyes are and see that I have similar eyes.

Six months on and her features are getting more defined. Her laugh is more distinctive, her appraisal of people is more succinct, her approval of people is more heartwarming. She loves seeing babies and smiles at so many passerbys that she constantly picks up fans along the way. One older woman walked with us for a while just to keep smiling at little M.

She has also become more demonstrative and energetic. She loves standing up and bouncing while holding on to things. Once she spots something she likes, usually my phone, she becomes a determined little person who crawls and shuffles and steps and pushes things out of her way just to get what she’s set her sight on. Her determination is amazing. Her enthusiasm for staying awake is also quite fun if a little tiring. Her naps have been reduced to five to ten minutes at most, these days, and as soon as she wakes up she usually spots the video monitor and heads straight for it with a smile.

She is amazing and it’s such a curious thing to find all these amazing parts of her wrapped up in other people. The pictures that follow are of some of the people who contain little bits of Mersina.




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Daddy and Little M enjoying tummy time

I haven’t written in a little while and until I do I thought I would share on of my favourite photos. I  love Mersina’s shocked look.


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Seinfeld, our first Friday sitcom night


Season seven, disc one includes the Soup Nazi. A great way to start off the baby on a lifetime of sitcom viewing.

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Together we stand

After some clambering and fun with Mersina in the living room, daddy said goodbye and I took her into the bedroom to change her nappy. I can usually leave her in her cot for a few minutes with the thought that she can’t get into too much trouble so I turned to put some clothes away.

The next moment I turn back and she is standing up with hands placed against the side for balance. I was shocked. I looked around for a camera, and out of the four in the house, including the one on my phone, there were none about. No cameras on such a momentous occasion. Disaster.

I kept repeating ‘wow’ and watching her in case she fell for a few seconds and then my heart could take no more so I picked her up and we rushed to the kitchen to find my phone.

Back into the cot she went where she promptly stood up again and this time I had my phone ready for a photo. I managed to take two photos and sent one to her daddy who had just left.

The SD card was too full for a video so I picked her up once again and searched one-handed through my bag to find the video camera and then went back to the bedroom and she was back in the cot. Phew.








We could now rest easy because I was certain to have her first few moments on tape. Ah the thrill of documenting such a life changing experience (and I’m only half joking while envisaging myself as a photojournalist in some desert state).






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Having fun with little M

Occasionally in articles and interviews I’d notice mums saying how much fun their children were. Comments along the lines of ‘my son makes me laugh more than anyone’, the son in question only being two or three years old. How sweet, I thought, and I love the scene in Monsters Inc where Boo is hiding from Sully in the toilets. I laughed, I welled up but I didn’t really believe it until today.

Little M and I have been playing games. They’re not overly complicated games. She sits in her cot and I peer at her through one gap in the slats, then I move to the next gap, then the next one, then back to the first one and then I peer over the top of the side of the cot and we both burst out laughing. I mean proper laughing. I hadn’t had such a fun time in ages.

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Milk, our first sign

Mersina signed ‘milk’ for the first time today. She was unhappy with something and being quite vocal about it so we were bouncing and singing while sitting. Then she articulated once more how unhappy she was and squeezed her little hand open and closed a couple of times. The right hand.

Milk from Baby Sign Language on Vimeo.

Milk is probably our most consistent sign because I sign it whenever I feed her. We went off to feed once again and I signed milk before we did. However she still seem to be hungry afterwards.

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Crawling for the first time

Six months, minus one day

This is a video of Mersina finally managing to do a form of crawling. She has been see-sawing for a few weeks now and she usually manages to get around the room by rolling.

Rolling still seems easier but we’re all ready for the crawling now too.

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Whinge, a word I loathe nearly as much as whine

Mersina and I visited Clifton this morning, first for a coffee at 194f with other mothers and babies – and helpful, lovely staff – then on to JoJoMamanBebe and then to Victoria Square for a quick lunch with her dad.

While shopping at the JoJo for some clothes for the baby we found ourselves standing next to two women with tiny babies in their prams. One baby, maybe a month old was very unhappy. He struggled and battled to get out and expressed his displeasure vocally.

His mum ignored him and walked over to some clothes while saying ‘are you whingeing, again’? Her friend’s baby also started to complain and she added on, ‘I love it when they whinge together’ in a dry but casually dismissive tone.

To whinge: complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way

Peevish. A one month old is peevish?

I have had people say to Mersina when she’s been complaining, oh that’s not a real cry, you’re just whining.

Whine: to complain in a feeble or petulant way.

She does not whine and she does not whinge and she is definitely not petulant (nor does she do anything in a feeble way).

At five and a half months old, she may not like a lot of things and that’s fine. She can express her displeasure as much as she likes but don’t dismiss it because it makes you uncomfortable or you don’t want to do anything about it.

Her complaints are legitimate and thank goodness not everything is a real excruciating and devastating cry because we both end up in tears after those.

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