Thursday, 22 December 2011

One girl and her sheep

Well, Marisca's favourite animals are still sheep.  She can now identify very many animals, although strangely she persists in calling some by their names (dog, fish, bat, fox, bear, pig, etc) and some by their sounds (cat, lion, cow, squirrel, duck, monkey, cow, etc).  Snakes should comes in both lists, since their name is sssssssomewhat onomatopoeiac  Signs are all gone now, with the exception of anything that bounces (kangaroo, frog, horse) and elephants.

The sheep still win.  Here she is, watching One Man and his Dog.  Avidly.

Santa's train

At the weekend Gran and Grandad visited and we had lots of fun.  We went out to Shipley Glen and on the tramway, which a man called Father Santa Claus Christmas has to help him get up and down the steep hill.  I'm not surprised he needs one, because he didn't appear in peak physical condition when I went to see him.  He lives in a shed and gave me an Eeyore, even though I cried when I saw him because really he was quite scary.  I don't think much of this Father Santa person, but I did like the tramway ride up and down.  Wheeee!

Washing up

I'm helping!  This lid needs washing at least 10 times, I think.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Helping with the tree

Mince pies

Christmas is coming, and it's time for mince pies.  Cooked fruit: what's not for Marisca to like?

Making breakfast

Daddy, this is how we make breakfast in this house.

The cereal is in here:

And then I choose which one I want.  Either weetabix or muesli.

Today, muesli.

The bowls are in here:

This is a good one!

And I need a spoon

My chair is over here

And then I just dip my spoon in...

and eat!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

19 months

Here is Marisca holding one of her current favourite toys.  We got the brio set out this month, and Risky is rather keen on the trains ('choo choo!'), and making them slide down the ramp from the station.  She's even getting the hang of putting the track together.  When we visited Mary and Stewart earlier this month she lugged the box of train set round the sitting room trying to find someone to open it for her to play with - bless.  As Tim and I also like the train set we're rather pleased at this development.

What else is new this month?  Counting!  Marisca is getting the hang of numbers and is very keen on counting things - she tends to skip one and get stuck straight in to two so it goes something like 'ooo, feee, fow, fi, si!'  She also gets very excited when she sees numbers in a book/on a clock face/anywhere else: I'm not sure she knows which is which yet, but she knows what they are.

And fingers crossed we might have a breakthrough on the stairs.  After months of being unable to get down stairs, and refusing to climb up them, she has just started voluntarily clambering upstairs sometimes.  We're also working on a new, forward-facing-bottom-sliding technique for coming down, which seems to work as long as she's not too tired.  A carry from Mummy or Daddy is still the preferred method of changing floors,but there's hope she might do it herself one day!

Sunday, 4 December 2011


It seemed early to us, but we recently had our Christingle service at church.  The children did very well at identifying the symbolism involved, and the leader did very well at fielding some of the 'less correct' guesses.  Well yes, the red ribbon could represent the equator.

We then got to put together our christingles, which Risky managed with some help.  She then proceeded to wave hers around quite a lot - this before it was on fire but while it still had spikes.  We brought it home for a photoshoot and so she could get her hands on the cut-up jelly babies representing the fruit of the earth.  I'm not sure where the cut off heads went, but I didn't see any on any sticks.  Probably for the best.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A baby-led morning activity.

Morning in the Mosedale household, breakfast finally finished after three bowls of muesli ('more?').  I'm clearing the breakfast things away when I hear a little voice from the coat cupboard.

M: Coat! Coat! Coat!

She reappears in the kitchen, grabs my hand and leads me into the cupboard.

M: (pointing at her coat on the hook) Coat! Coat! Coat!

Me: You're still wearing your pyjamas, Marisca.  Do you want to put your coat on?

M: Yes!

I help Marisca put her coat on.

M: (picks up her boots from the shoe rack) Booooots!

Me: Do you want to put your boots on?

M: Yes!

I help her put her boots on - over her sleepsuit.

M: (points to my coat) Coat! Coat! (points to my boots) Boots!

I put my coat and shoes on (thankfully, I'm already dressed).

M: (poddles out of the cupboard and points at her buggy). Pushchair! Pushchair!

Me: Do you want to get in your pushchair?

M: Yes!

Me: We could just go out into the yard?

M: No!  Pushchair!

(I open the kitchen door to try to entice her out into the yard).

M: (cries.  Points at pushchair).  Pushchair!

I put Marisca in the pushchair.  She grins and points to the open door.

We go for a walk.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Breakfast girl

I like breakfast.  Weetabix and fruit.  Mmmm.

Making biscuits

Marisca made Christmas biscuits at toddler group.  Being the consummate chef, she made sure it tasted acceptable before presenting it to Mummy.


We visited Mary and Stewart last weekend, and their cats.  It was lots of fun: we had pies for lunch on both days, a visit to a park, and lots of running around their house.  Their cats really liked me, but somehow Daddy could not manage to get a photo of them in the same room as me.  Miaow!

Out in the woods

Daddy and I went for a nice walk in the woods this afternoon.  Although it was very windy outside, it wasn't once we got into the woods.  As we were walking, I learned a lot about how seasons work, why some trees lose their leaves, and all about nests.  I also saw lots of dogs and learned that they come in different breeds: big dogs and little dogs.

Marisca's first blog post


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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Being away. Again

Almost a whole year ago, I posted this, about being away from my family.

Since then, well I've been 'away' for 9 months of the past 13.  Or 9 of Marisca's 18-and-a-half.  "Away" doesn't always mean 5 days and 4 nights a week, but it tends to mean that at the moment.

Marisca is a totally different proposition now than she was before, and reflecting on that post, it was all about grabbing the time when she woke in the night as a tiny bit of connection.  Now, if I'm at home after bedtime, she sleeps until morning - and always after I've left if I'm going to Dublin or London.  The move North has made it possible, when I'm in the Leeds office, to have both breakfast and bedtime at home, so I do miss out on that when I'm not there.

That said, I do miss her a lot, and it's becoming clearer that she misses me too: the smile that I get on a Saturday morning, or how she runs over to me and launches into a cuddle, are different than the ones I get at the end of a weekend when she's used to having me around.  We try and make Saturday a day with lots of opportunity for the two of us, which also give Elspeth some time off - it's not exactly ideal for her to be a single mum during the week.  Elspeth does send me occasional photos which send me a little wibbly, like this one from today.  Marisca in classic pose, having (I am sure) climbed up there with her book, and being in the middle of burbling her way through it.  That's one leopard, with spots to point out, by the way.

My time in Dublin should be coming to an end soon, so.  Fingers crossed the next project is closer to home.


I noted the other day to Elspeth that Marisca's blog, i.e. this one, has had twice as many hits from half as many posts, as Tim and Elspeth's old blog.

Fair enough, my daughter's much prettier than me and is more willing to pose for photographs than Elspeth.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Eighteen months

Eighteen months: one and a half.  Or as someone put it the other day when making small talk, 'oh, so coming up on two then?'  Er - no.  When you are eighteen months you are still six months off being two, and that's a long time when you're this little!

I could title this post 'my daughter is a genius'.  Of course she isn't really, she's a perfectly normal 18-month old, but she is learning so many new things and surprises us so often with what she does know that we think she's pretty intelligent.  The biggest thing (to us) this month is probably letters.  To Marisca they are just different shapes that she can recognise, but she can now spot and say A, B, M, S and E.  As bookworms ourselves we're rather proud of this.  Reading books and spotting letters really is one of her favourite things to do, so it's just as well we like books too! And we have an excellent library nearby which we visit regularly before we get too bored of reading the same stories over and over (and over) again.

Marisca is also getting the hang of the order things happen in.  Whether or not we like it, we've fallen into several routines in the day and over the week: nap always happens after lunch, toddler groups are all in the morning, teeth are cleaned after bath etc.  And Marisca likes to know what is happening next, and show us she knows.  Shoes and coat on, and she's hanging off the door waiting to go out.  After her bath she's straight over to the sink to get her toothbrush.  I guess for her it is a nice way to have a little bit of control over what happens next: so much of a toddler's life is defined by what we as parents want to do that it's nice to have some certainties in your day.

Being the little girl that Tim mentioned in the last post, she's no where near fitting into most of the 18 month clothes, but we have cracked out the wintery dresses.  It's getting cold up here!

Sunday, 30 October 2011


We had a daddy daughter day last weekend, which I enjoyed a lot.  It was only a morning really, but we managed to visit two different parks (Lister Park down in Bradfod and nearby Roberts Park) and enjoy the autmun.  Here is my autumn girl.

Risky's starting to go further in her poddling, happy to wander off on her own for quite a way, especially to find dogs.  Here she is, just wandering off.

And here she is running back to me!

Lister park has a nice duck pond, which unfortunately didn't have the advertised open cafe, but did have ducks .  Not a bad photo given that I couldn't get more than arm's length from her.  She's very much less clumsy on her feet than she used to be, but I didn't fancy fishing her out of the cold water.

So we went to Roberts park where we knew there was a nice cafe that would be open.

And yes, that is the nice warm white coat that Andy bought for her at Christmas last year, which still fits pretty well.  6-9 months, and she's nearly 18!

I still like sheep

I've started liking a lot of animals.  I can now tell the difference between dogs and cats, can identify butterflies and bees, and have a fondness for frogs.  But sheep are still my favourite.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Family photo

We visited my parents the other weekend, at the same time as Jennifer, Catriona, Ian and Alice.  This seemed like a good opportunity to update the family photo for this side of the family, so here we all are!  Well done everyone for smiling/looking at the camera (we'll let Alice off this time).  Hard copies will be in the post to relevant people soon...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Holiday in the Lakes

We had our last holiday of the year in the Lakes in the last week of September. We camped. I think our weather friends must have worried for us spending a week in such a wet place with a one year old under canvas, and went to the trouble of organising a country-wide heatwave for us, which was nice. I'm not sure the Lakes really does heatwaves, but we certainly had a couple of very warm days and it was always fine in the valleys, if sometimes 'misty' on the tops.

We had a really great time. Marisca was so good around the campsite, poddling about all over the place. She enjoyed being in the backpack when we climbed some big hills (Langdale Pikes and Coniston Old Man, as well as up to Black Sail pass). She didn't complain too much at being dragged around Grizedale forest in a bike trailer. And she liked the sheep an awful lot.

Marisca having fun in the tent:

and sitting on her new ladybird chair, which she enjoyed pointing at, having climbed onto one of our chairs, rather more than she liked sitting on it.

On the way up to Coniston (apparently - we never saw it), and the highest up she has ever been.

We had a quiet day on the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway where Risky loved the trains in the display cabinet (choo choo! choo choo! choo choo!) and enjoyed playing on the train shaped climbing frame even more.


On another cloudy day we went to Wasdale and started a big walk, to be turned back by the stubborn peak clouds. That left us with time to paddle in the lake, mid lunch. We didn't go far in - it is the deepest lake in England and we didn't have our arm bands.

All in all, a lovely holiday in lovely surroundings, and a tiring one.