little monster

a celebration of all things charlie jorge

Monday, December 11, 2006

long time...

Wow I cannot believe that its been over a year since our last post! How lazy are we? As you can imagine, much has happened in over a year in the life of our little boy - who has developed into a fully fledged Monster!

We recently spent a few weeks on what was our first family-only holiday, just the three of us in a nice little village in the Algarve. Being slightly out of season, gone were the crowds and packed beaches which allowed the monster and us to fully explore the beaches without the fear of bumping into people.

Below are a few photos from our holiday, I would like to say that it was fully relaxing and recharging but I would be fibbing! It was very hard work looking after the little one 24/7 without the help of family, friends and nursery - although we did enlist the help of random waiters (all trust issues were out of the window by day 4). Nevertheless it was a superb break.

Good luck to Jake and Karen who are/were expecting on December 8th, and who hopefully wont have to wait too long before their lives are totally disrupted! -)

On our first day, just arrived from the airport to the hotel after a very early morning

Although mum and dad were a bit grumpy the monster was fine and couldnt wait to investigate/terrorise. Which he did without delay.....

and soon realised that sand doesnt taste very nice
but still, the music was good..
..and so was the food
not sure about the entertainment...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Happy 10 weeks birthday!!

Sorry it’s been a bit slack on the postings front, but we've been a tad pre-occupied as you might imagine. You may notice that we've changed the name of our blog to 'Little Monster'. This was the prototype name we gave our little boy as we steered our way through the initial weeks of life with our new baby son. Also, you'd be surprised how many people arrived at our site by typing the words "first timer" into a search engine.

To the sum the past 10 weeks up in a phrase, 'roller-coaster' would be it. These were the words that the chap in the labour ward next to us uttered to me as he emerged from the labour suit after 20 hours of blood, sweat, tears (and that was just him!) with a baby girl. We were just entering the ward at the time, and had no idea what to expect. In hindsight, this summed it up perfectly.

The labour was intense. It started around 2am on the morning of Saturday the 13th August. This is possibly the worst time for labour to start as you will generally miss most of a valuable nights sleep. After the waters broke, we called the labour suite and were told to go straight in. To cut a long, and particularly painful story, short - 28 hours, back to back baby, 8lbs 5oz, epidural, theatre-birth, lots of tears, hotel rooms in city hospital, nottingham (the way forward), fabulous support from family later - we emerged with our little son.

Without wanting to use every cliché in the book, it was the most amazing experience I’ve ever been through - and 10 weeks later, I cannot believe how far we have come. Not only for the fact that we are we now sporting a growing baby (13lbs 5oz) who interacts, grins and talks to you like you wouldn’t believe. But we've been through an amazing adventure as a new family. We realised just how many amazing people we know - who have given us great support and kind words. We have been overcome by just how extraordinary our immediate families are - without whom we simply wouldn’t have coped. We discovered that breast-feeding, although fabulous for the baby, without the right support (which doesn’t always come from the midwife) is extremely testing. We learned that our baby loves to wait till their nappy is off before giving you a 'present'. We learned that you need to be disciplined with your baby, even at this young age, in order to establish any sort of "routine" and regain some sort normality. I’ve learned how amazing a mothers love and bond for her child is. We discovered that everybody has an opinion (which is normally different from yours) on how you should raise your child. And I’ve personally learned that interrupted sleep every 2hours can occasionally make you hallucinate.

They say a picture tells a thousand stories, so after a photo shoot in his bouncer, we decided to share these. Here’s to the past 10 weeks:

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The first week in the life of Charlie Jorge..

labour time

less than an hour old

charlie and his mum

proud granparents

first bath

grumpy bath

phone home

Uncle Watski

snoozing with dad at home

unimpressed teddy

our new son. Charlie Jorge

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Wow is it really that long since we posted our last blog??

Apologies for the massive time gap between postings, but anyone who can do the maths will realise that there isn’t long left.

So what’s been happening? I think it’s probably going to be quicker to list the things that haven’t been happening. We’ve moved out of the apartment into a ‘family house’, decorated a nursery, deliberated about which prams/pushchairs to buy, and why you cant find one that turns into a pram AND also faces back towards you, went for a 3D detailed scan and had to go back into the scan room about 4 times because he wouldn’t move his hand from his face to get a good video, been on a delightful holiday to Portugal (our last as two people perhaps?), went to our first ante-natal class, been amazed at Firsttimegirls natural inclination to nest… and..

We still haven’t decided on a name

That’s not exactly true. We’ve got a shortlist, but we keep hearing names we like and adding it to it. Which kinda makes it a long list. I think we’ll be ok though

Firsttimegirl is doing really well. She’s eating and drinking all the right things, resting, and has always got a smile on her face – not once have I heard her moan about all the things that she’s going through.

The past week has been a bit tough for her but that’s mainly because he’s moving position, and when you’re ‘all baby’ you feel every kick, twist & punch.

So there you have it, I expect the nature of this blog will change over the next few weeks from being a pregnancy diary to something of a new person diary. Hopefully you’ll continue to come and take a look at what’s happening – we promise it won’t be so long next time!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Paternity Leave

today I booked off my paternity leave..

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Perfect Paris

"Ze bread iz 4 Euroz pleaz monsiuer"

I didn’t actually ask for bread but much is the limits of my French that our culinary delights in Paris this weekend consisted of "Pain au Chocolate", Croissants and Orange Juice. I knew GCSE French would come in handy someday. If only they had a table tennis table for me to say that I like "playing on" ("je joue" for the French illiterates) then I would have been made. That really is the limits of my French.

I find that you can get a long way in other non-English speaking countries (and in life generally) by muttering, pointing, shrugging and just smiling inanely at people - if nothing else they think your crazy and you usually get what you want quickly without the pointless conversations that it seems French people like to indulge in when they food shop.

So this weekend myself and Firsttimegirl spent three nights in Paris. I love Paris. It was Firstimegirls first visit to the glorious city and I was keen to get her initial impression. I remember my first time in Paris; I was inspired by the culture, the cuisine, the weather, the cosmopolitan feel to every little backroad bar and restaurant. Firsttimegirls first comment consisted of, "everyone looks like they’re out of the Tricolore books!". To those that don’t know, Tricolore is a textbook that accompanied French Lessons in English schools during the late 80's-early-90s! She hit the nail right on the head with that one.

The Tricalore workbook features sections dedicated to different situations you might find yourself in, in France; Shopping, Eating Out, Playing Sport, etc - these sections featured black and white photos of (very badly dressed) French people in that particular situation. The books at our school were probably about 10 years old, and these photos would almost certainly be accompanied by biro scribblings, courtesy of a rebelious 13 year old kid, of extra-ordinarily large penises for the boys and breasts for the lady (not ones to leave out the female the kids at our school!) - although some of the girls in the book did look like boys so it was hard to tell. If you were lucky, then you might get a big biro speech bubble of them telling each other what they wanted to do. For some reason, that wasn’t translated into French.

je joue au tennis de table

Anyway, we had an awesome time and did all of the perennial tourist sights; Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Elysee, Arc de Triumphe, ate some magnificent food, drank some great wine, Firsttimegirl bought a beret, we somehow managed to insult numerous French people, and we then flew home.

So our flight home is at 8:35am French Time, which is 7:35 UK time = getting up frickin early. Firsttimegirl does the normal thing of setting her alarm about 3 hours before she needs to be up so she can press snooze 12,000 times. We now have to check, double and triple check everything before leaving as we've both got an annoying habit of losing and forgetting things. You would have thought that as we were only going for a three night break, that there wouldn’t be a great deal to lose or forget. Think again.

Things we forgot/lost:

- Entire make-up bag
- Wallet with all credit cards
- *My Black jumper
- Address or any contact information of hotel
- 20EURO note (which also happened to double up as money for our taxi to the airport)
- New jumper from Zara on Champs Elysee
- Adapter plug

*Not actually lost. This was left on the chair in the restaurant by Firsttimegirl, on purpose I think. Her plot was foiled after the French waiter ran after us clutching it in his hands.

If the results of your calculations are anything like mine, then you'd have worked out that we averaged two lost/forgotten items per day. Not a great average considering that we will soon be adding a baby to our list of responsibilities. We did however, immediately start work on re-addressing the balance:

Things we borrowed/stole:

- One Hotel Towel for our second toilet at home

- The entire contents of the mini-bar; replacing the spring water with tap water, the box of peanuts with hotel soap (same weight) and the toblerone carefully opened and the emply box simply turned the other way round back into the fridge.

- Two Further (and later, ruined) Hotel Towels to be used as a cushion to stop the dripping tapping noise outside the window. This later turned into a splatting noise so the towels life was taken in vain.

- One Coke Can from the minibar. Although not actually drank, the coke can provided the perfect door-stop for the lift doors, thus preventing the lift (which was conveniently positioned outside our room) from moving up and down the noisy shaft between the hours of 11pm and 9am (our sleeping time). We then had major guilt feelings of little old lady with big suitcase who’s room was on the top floor and immediately removed it, and later drank the coke.

All in all it was a great break, and I'd thoroughly recommend Paris to anyone. If you go and you just happen to be staying in a hotel just off the Champs Elysee in room 525 then I suggest checking your mini-bar, towel stash and remote control batteries (as if we would!) before checking in.

mmmmini bar

Friday, April 01, 2005

Naming and Shaming - ptII

So after the dust and excitement has settled, one thing has emerged - we had two fantastic little girls names but can we hell as decide on a boys name??

We've got a few months left to decide on something but one thing has become clear; we've got very different opinions on what we should call our boy. We've listened to peoples comments till we're blue in the face, we've read name books from cover-to-cover but we're really struggling with this one. We've created a shortlist and as we're getting regular visitors to the site for a bit of fun we thought we'd throw it open to a poll! - this by no means is difinitive but we'd like your opinion on our names so far - one person, one vote - this is a totally anonymous vote so theres no way of tracking your thoughts - Glenda!

Comments so far:

"Need a good strong name that won't date" - Firsttimeboys mum

"A mans name" - Firsttimegirls dad

"Dont pick a name that is in vogue that is just naming after a trend, name after a stong character like Mark Anthony - assasin of Caeser, or Timothelus - defender of the slaves, or Byron - the pilgrim of eternity" - Firsttimeboys dad (also just so happens to be the names of his sons)

"Alfie is very "now"" - Jake

"Mike, Frank, just normal names" - Firsttimeboys best friend

"I like George, it has a ring to it" - Firsttimegirls uncle