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100 Happy Days, day 5


Froglet reading Nutmeg a story he wrote at school, in German. Below is the story. The prompt is in italics.

Eine Reise mit meinem Zauberschuh
Was für ein wunderbarer Zauberschuh!
Mit meinem Zauberschuh kann ich überall hinreisen. Ich muss mir nur etwas ausdenken – und schon beginnt die Reise.
Ich reise mit meinem Zauberschuh nach Lego-City.
Es hat Lego-Autos, Lego-LKWs, Lego-Flugzeuge und Lego-Häuser.
Plötzlich sagt ein Mann zu mir: “Hej! Hol ein Auto bei der Garage, sie sind gratis!”
Sofort hole ich mir eins.
Nach zwei Tagen find ich ein Haus und wohne in Lego-City mein ganzes Leben lang.

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First words

Froglet’s first word, at the age of about 13 months, was “Cake”. Prior to this he was using the sound “neng-neng” to mean food or more often drink from the age of about 9 months, but that robably doesn’t count as a real word.

About 4 months ago, Nutmeg started emitting a very piercing shriek if food or drink was too slow to arrive, so we began actively encouraging her to say “more” instead. I can’t remember exactly when she first said it, but I guess by the time she turned one she was saying “maaa” and meaning more. (She actually said “more” properly once, but it seems to have been an accident because she hasn’t said it again).
Now she has acquired a second word. “Nana”, for banana. She says the first n a bit strangely, as if she was trying to get the whole “ban” syllable into one letter.

There seems to be a theme here. But at least banana is healthier than cake – if we had a third child perhaps its first words would be “wholemeal bread”?


Happiness is…

Watching my four-year-old chase my just-turned-one-year old so he can snuggle her, then seeing her turn round and throw her arms round his neck delightedly.

Snow sparkling in the lamplight outside our bathroom window.

Time to do lots of reading (most recently John Ortberg “Everyone’s normal till you get to know them”)

Nutmeg having her check-up and MMR jab without crying or complaining at all, then waving her cookie happily at the doctor afterwards, as if he hadn’t just stuck a needle in her arm.

Froglet finding words for me to help him read wherever we go.

Lying on the floor with a happily-squeaking Nutmeg crawling all over me.

Froglet stroking my arm and saying “I love you Mummy”.

Nutmeg wandering about saying “yeah, yeah” and “oo-ah-oo”. If she says it fast enough, it sounds like wow.

Getting a little box to store paperclips in, complete with paperclips, as a free gift from the pharmacy. I’m always short of paperclips.

Watching Nutmeg dance to the strains of Cuban music.

Nutmeg following Froglet wherever he goes.

An elder brother’s love for his baby sister: “She is my little sister, Mummy. Don’t smack her.”
(For the record, I had no intention of smacking her. I must have looked like I was gearing up to it though!)

Going to our first German-language parent-teachers’ meeting to find out what school will be like for Froglet when he starts in mid-August. Evidently it will be wonderful. The Swiss are remarkably Waldorf in their attitude to education. (In fact the school down in our cantonal capital is named after Pestalozzi, who once worked in the canton).

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Conversation with Nutmeg

She’s too young to have a real conversation but nonetheless…

Scene: Nutmeg is carrying her nappy (diaper) to the bin in the kitchen. The Engineer is holding the bin-cupboard door open for her.

The Engineer: “Come on, in the bin!”
Nutmeg drops the nappy, and sits down next to it.
TE picks it up and holds it near the bin. “Come on sweetie, come and get it.”
Nutmeg gets up, retrieves nappy from TE, drops it next to bin, sits down by it. Looks at her father and shakes her head very firmly.
Nutmeg thinks: “My intention is to play with this nappy, and hopefully chew it a bit. I’m not putting it in there. I know you won’t let me have it back afterwards!”


Sweet seven-months

Nutmeg turned seven months last week. She celebrated by being incredibly grouchy all week, possibly a combination of teething and a cold coming on. Now she is happy again but suffering from a blocked nose. The night before last she woke five times where normally she would sleep through. But even when grumpy she is still the loveliest baby in the world.

This week you have started crawling.
You would rather be walking.
So you push your little bottom up into the air with your legs all straight like Mowgli, and advance like a caterpillar.
Our (second) little Frog!

I am trying to baby proof the house and you are trying to follow me wherever I go.
Usually you get tired before moving more than a couple of feet.
Then you lie down and suck your thumb, or else flail your arms and cry loudly.
You also try to move objects out of your way by headbutting them.
So determined.

You adore your brother and try to follow him about when he’s around.
Nothing he can say or do will stop you smiling sweetly at him.
Even when he throws a screaming fit.
No wonder he loves you so much.

Today he offered you a choice of two new rattles.
You chose the pink one.
My little girly girl.

You love solid food, and have only turned one thing down so far.
The one thing all babies are supposed to like.

You cry when you want the potty, and then cry more if it’s too late.
But if you were already naked you splash your feet in it and laugh.
And I don’t even mind cleaning it up, because you’re so sweet.

I could probably go on writing all night, because there are so many things I love about you.
And then Daddy could take over and write all day tomorrow.
We are so happy God gave you to us,
our lovely, wonderful daughter.


Crawling and commenting

Froglet didn’t express any interest in crawling at all until he was nine months. I think it was due to our tiled floors – not good for gripping with your sleepsuit-clad knees. As soon as we got a rug he was off like a shot. So I wasn’t sure if Nutmeg would wait that long or not. And she hasn’t. Today she crawled her own length (falling over once or twice and complaining vigorously all the way through). Then she looked at me and started to cry as if to say “look I’ve got this far, can’t you just carry me the rest?” So I did. I’m so proud of my baby!

Meanwhile Froglet is developing a great sense of humour. At the weekend we went out with some friends, and as he walked along behind me with their small daughter I could hear him commenting on my clothes: “R, do you like Mummy’s skirt? And her black boots? And her new socks – they come right up to here.” On recounting this to The Engineer later I remarked that I felt like a fashion model, upon which Froglet immediately turned round and said matter-of-factly: “Well, you’re not.”

His father creased himself laughing.


A review

This is an excuse for me to put up some pictures of my gorgeous baby girl! But not many because she doesn’t seem to be very photogenic at the moment. Mostly her expression when looking at the camera denotes a combination of mild shock, suspicion and disdain.

See what I mean? To be fair she’s sat next to the engine of a rather noisy paddle-steamer. But still.

So a while back I mentioned that we won a giveaway hosted by FutureMama for some stunning hair clips made by GeorgiaBlue. It was pretty hard to choose, but in the end we went for some colours Nutmeg has in her wardrobe (pink and turquoise) and some others we just thought looked nice. They arrived at the end of July – and they are sooo pretty! I was excited about them already before they got here but when we saw them we were all thrilled. Even The Engineer thinks they’re wonderful – and let me tell you, he is picky.

Here they are threaded onto a pen because the bows arrived looking a little flat. I don’t normally take pictures of the wrapping a parcel has arrived in, but I was really taken with the presentation of these. They came folded up in brown paper sealed with the cute GeorgiaBlue sticker and arranged on several lovely little cards, which we’re now using to keep them all in one place.
OK they were inside a jiffy bag too. But that was as un-photogenic as my daughter.

I know, I should have picked a different colour pen for the photo, it was just what was to hand.

Here’s Nutmeg on the swings near our home, with me. Looking suspicious and frowny, as usual. I’m told she gets it from her mother… My hair isn’t that colour any more – that’s the natural look, which I intend to go back to at some point. For the wedding I had it dyed dark brown with two blue streaks.

As we’ve been away visiting family, Nutmeg has been wearing her new bows quite a lot. Here she is at the wedding, eating her first ever rusk.

I think my favourites are the ribbed polka dot ones, both green and black-and-white. The silky fabric ones are cute but there’s something about the texture of the dotted ones that I just love.
Look a smile!

Two things I particularly like about these clips:

Firstly, as Nutmeg has such fine hair and relatively little of it, it’s been hard to find anything small enough to stay put, but these don’t slide by themselves. She has to knock them to get them to move, and even then they don’t actually fall out.
And secondly, these are clothes-peg type clips, whereas all the ones we’ve found for her over here have been the sort that you bend back and then snap shut. Which, on the top of a small baby’s head – you know, where that soft spot is – is not brilliant. So these are absolutely what I was looking for.

I’d like to be able to balance that by giving you some things that I don’t like about them…but (un)fortunately there isn’t anything! My only quibble is that there aren’t enough bright blue or turquoise ones on offer.

If you like the look of them, you know where to find them.
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Wordless Wednesday



In the two months this blog has been going, I have very seldom posted about my darling baby girl, probably because she doesn’t do anything very exciting compared to Froglet. So here is one just for her.

(Incidentally, our children are not really called Froglet and Nutmeg. I thought I’d mention it because when a friend first read the blog she didn’t immediately realise it was me, and just thought it was a very hippy expat mum who had a lot of the same interests and an odd taste in names!)

Nutmeg turned 4 months old on Tuesday. Isn’t she pretty? She can smile much better than that, but she doesn’t very often. She has blue eyes with a sweet brown streak in the top of one. I hope they stay that way.

This week she has learned how to screech. I’m keeping her away from my good ear, as her brother succeeded in taking out the now-bad one using this method when he was roughly her age. She screeches for fun and also when she has wind or is bored. That’s a lot of screeching!

When she can see her milk approaching – in the form of Mummy – she gets very excited and desperate, even if she was quite happy two seconds before. I left her with Zia (my sister) the other day while picking up The Engineer from work, and she was most upset the whole time, but after letting Zia feed her a bottle of expressed milk yesterday she now loves her auntie! Feeding is an interesting affair. She only wants the “good” side, but will drink the other if you trick her into it by using the football hold. I was never very good at this hold with Froglet, but am having to get used to it or risk being very lopsided for the next 9 months!

The potty training was abandoned for a while, as we wanted to concentrate on burping. Nutmeg is so very prone to spitting up, although she has good and bad days. Now we have started again and she seems not to be so keen. We will see how it goes – I only fell into it by accident in the first place so it doesn’t really matter if she loses interest.

Nutmeg had her first haircut today. I trimmed the back of her hair so it’s level with the new growth that’s coming through. It’s as dark as her baby hair was – I’m so happy! I always wanted dark (or red) hair as a child. She’ll probably wish hers was blond though.

Froglet and his sister get on very well. He is extremely sweet with her and she appears to worship the ground he walks on. When he comes near she willl turn her head and smile at him until he pays attention. She also loves going in the bath with him.

Things I especially love about our beautiful little darling:
– her sweet soft voice,
– her snuggly little body (Froglet was always very scrawny, so less snuggly),
– the way she started sleeping through the night quite early on (although now she’s sharing a room with us she’s stopped again!)
– her lovely eyes and hair
– her soft skin (Froglet had bad eczema)
– her pleasant character


Bits and bobs

I don’t seem to have had time to post recently, not sure why. We have been very busy with gardening and so on, so maybe that’s it.

I have about 5 minutes until Froglets programme finishes, so this will be brief.

Nutmeg sleeps beautifully, drinks well and is learning to grab her dangly toys. The potty training is going ok, but as we’re not being very serious about it I don’t expect her to really be potty-trained any time soon. We put her on the potty during every nappy-change, for about 2 minutes, maybe more if I can tell she really does need to do something. As a result, messy nappy changes have been incredibly few, in fact I think the last one was on Friday. All nappies are always damp though, and judging from the time she spends au naturel I would have to put her on the potty every 20 minutes to avoid that!

Froglet is looking forward to his grandparents visiting later this week, but we are keeping him busy in the meantime. He has been learning /er/, as described in my last post, and is very much enjoying our work on the weather. So far we have learned a bit about clouds, made a very basic rain-catcher with a glass and a wooden spoon, started charting how much rain has fallen each day, and watched a lot of YouTube videos about tornados and water spouts. Froglet is a big fan of YouTube, although usually he only gets to watch aerobatics displays.

And that’s the end of my time. More will follow, with photos.

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