Tuesday, 29 March 2011

England Part 1: The Whites


There are just too many great photos from our trip to England!
I thought I'd give you the Toby ones first, so here we go: Toby with Graham's family.


With Grandma. He got lots of cuddles with Grandma.

With Grandad. I just realised Toby doesn't look overly impressed in either of these photos, but he really did get on with his grandparents very well!

I like this chair! (He also liked watching TV, so much so that we worried we might have to wean him off Coronation Street at the end of the visit.)


With Auntie Colette. He was fascinated by her - if Colette was in the room Toby couldn't take his eyes off her!


I'm sure I can reach those chocolate fingers if I just stretch a li-i-i-ttle further!


Group shot: Toby, me, Colette, Maddy, Anthony and Karl. In a pub. Was it me or did we spend a lot of time in a pub?


What, me?


Helping Mum play Uno.


No, I didn't see any writing saying, "Keep away from children". And look, it makes such a nice noise!



Gorgeous one of Graham and Toby on St Anne's beach. We had perfect weather for our day out to the seaside.



We also had a day out in Skipton, which is a nice town but absolutely freezing! Still, we strolled around the town and along the canal, peeked at the castle, and had lunch in a little bakery-cafe selling very traditional goodies like meat pies and currant slice.


Say aaaahhh!




New toys. The jeans were new too; at the start of the trip we were rolling them up and by the end we didn't need to!


Mmmm, that looks good, Grandma!
Three generations of Whites on St Annes beach.


Enjoying a well-deserved nap in his Moses basket.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Baby Language

For some reason baby equipment is an area in which American English differs markedly from British English. As well as learning how to care for a baby, we had to learn a whole new vocabulary! Fortunately we are now fluently bilingual, and I have compiled a handy US-UK baby dictionary for you.
Diaper n. Nappy

Mom says if you can read this change my diaper.
The first time you change one of these you will be all thumbs and stick the little adhesive tabs to yourself, the baby and probably the changing mat before you get them where they ought to go. A few years later you will be able to lasso a running toddler and change them before they even know what's happened (yes, I have seen it done). You will also get through more diapers than you ever thought possible, creating scary amounts of expense and waste. Hence we are now mostly using:
Cloth diaper n. Reusable nappy

Cool baby.
No longer those terry squares, the main drawback is that there are now so many types it can be quite overwhelming to work out what you need. But they come in all sorts of cute colours and patterns, so your baby gets to look cool while doing his bit for the environment. I have to admit the Texas sun makes cloth diapering a lot easier; they dry in half an hour and bleach out beautifully. And while we're on the subject:
Poop n., v. Poo

Nice clean baby who will shortly make a mess.
This is what your baby produces approximately five minutes after you last changed him. If you just gave him a bath, too, it will get up his back and down his legs and you will wonder why you even bothered. At first babies poo all the time; later they settle down to doing it only at the most inconvenient times. See also:
Pee n., v. Wee

Practising his innocent look.
In the case of a male baby, a pretty little fountain that goes all over his clothes just as you were congratulating yourself on getting away with not completely changing him this time. Sometimes he will score a direct hit on his face. This may disgust you but doesn't bother him in the slightest. Having got the revolting stuff out of the way, we can move on:
Stroller n. Buggy, pushchair
Taking Toby for a walk.
A wheeled device where you try to hang as many things on the handlebars as possible without tipping it backwards and catapulting your baby across the street. They come in many shapes and sizes ranging from "barely-fits-in-the-boot/trunk" to "tank". Quite useful for putting your baby to sleep. Other sleep aids include a:
Pacifier, passie, binky n. Dummy
Pacified baby.
A kind of plug to put in your baby to stop noise coming out. I have to say that "pacifying" your baby sounds a whole lot better than "dummying" him. Whatever you call it, sometimes it works and sometimes it is ejected with great force. It's wise to keep one or two in a corner of the:
Crib n. Cot
Who needs a crib?
A railed bed which at first makes your baby look like a pea in a shoebox and leaves you wondering whether a cardboard box might, in fact, be a more suitable alternative. Also possesses the quality of not fitting through any door in your house, so it is very important to decide which room you want it in BEFORE putting it together. The instructions do not tell you this. A similar consideration applies to the:
Playard, Pack'n'Play™ n. Playpen
No playard pictures so you get a cute one of Toby and Graham in bed instead.
Versatile piece of furniture which can be used as bed, changing table or cage. Trying to assemble one in a sleep-deprived state, however, is not recommended. Seek professional help.
Onesies™ n. Babygro, bodysuit
Sort of a babygro, anyway.
Wikipedia informs me that Gerber, who owns the trademark on Onesies, objects to the singular. This is probably wise since any baby needs lots of these. A T-shirt will instantly end up around the armpits of your baby, so those clever little snappy bits at the bottom are a wonderful idea. However, a T-shirt stands less chance of getting wet in a nappy leakage, thus reducing the number of clothes you have to change.
Burp cloth n. Muslin, muzzie
Funnily enough, we don't take many photos when he's spitting up.
A piece of cloth that, even if you own a dozen, will never be handy at the precise moment your baby spits up down his/your clean clothes. They wander off around the house and must be hunted down at regular intervals and corralled in the washing machine. For some reason the average British muslin is about twice the size of my American burp cloths. Whether this means British babies are more sicky I wouldn't like to say.
So there you go. Your complete illustrated guide to being a bilingual baby.