Friday, 25 April 2014

Getting things straight: Lose vs Loose

Dear World,

I'm not normally one for lording good grammar over others who either don't care about or are unaware of their literary errors. I get it, not everyone is that bothered, mistakes happen, not everyone proofreads their text messages or Facebook statuses as I do.

But I've decided to break my silence. Because I've noticed one particular error that is becoming increasingly common. I've seen it a number of times, mostly on the internet - Facebook, forums, emails, twitter - but last week it appeared in a book I was proofreading.

Of course I'm going to notice these things, it's my job. But I was doing the final read through of a book. A proper, big publisher's book. A book that was about to go to press. A book that had not only been written by somebody, but that had then been edited and laid out and printed to be sent to me to do one. final. read-through.

It was so striking, and I had seen it so often, that when I saw it printed in this book, I had to look it up just to make sure that I hadn't got it wrong. Maybe the rest of the internet and this author was correct, and I had it wrong all along!

So what was this error, I hear you cry!

The difference between Lose and Loose.

Let's get things straight here and now. These are two separate words. They are spelt differently. They are pronounced differently. They have entirely different meanings.

I mean, I can understand, if spelling isn't your strong point, that Their, There and They're can get confusing. I can almost see how To, Too and Two can be a bit problematic.

But Lose and Loose? They are entirely different words!

verb (past participle: lost)
Be deprived of, or cease to have or retain something
e.g. Be careful not to lose your keys
I would like to lose weight
Not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached
e.g. I have a loose tooth
Do you have any loose change?

You do not need to loose weight.
You do not loose your keys.

It is entire, absolute nonsense.

So, I'm glad we've got that straight. If we could all work together to prevent the spread of this unnecessary nonsense, I'm sure the English language would appreciate it.

Many thanks,

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Weaning: The End of an Era

I first thought it might be time to seriously think about weaning when Ruby managed to slide off my lap to standing confidently on the floor... whilst still attached to my breast. (She was nine months old and is a tall baby!)

I didn't take any action, but just worried about it from that point on.

I knew the day would come when we would have our last breast feed. I knew I didn't want to still be breastfeeding her long past a year. I knew I was booked on a weekend away without her from May 1st.

Up to a couple of weeks ago I had pushed it to the back of my mind, unsure how to wean properly when she still wasn't sleeping through the night and breastfeeding was the only way to get her back to sleep. So we started off concentrating on her sleep routine, hoping that the weaning would follow quite naturally.

I was prepared for battle. War!

But then Ruby turned one. Which meant that she could have cow's milk. So I bit the bullet and introduced a beaker of milk before bed instead of a breast feed. Ruby took two sips, fell asleep in my arms and then slept straight through the night. And that has been the story ever since!

She generally wakes at about 6.30am and instead of getting up I was bringing her into our bed and giving her an early morning breast feed before breakfast.

So today was the day.

This morning I woke up feeling particularly energetic so instead of bringing Ruby into our bed at 6.30am, I took her straight downstairs and gave her a beaker of milk.

And you know what? She didn't even notice the switch! She's been perfectly happy all day. At one point she got a bit clingy and later on she started trying to hide toys down my top... but other than that, at one year and 23 days, Ruby has officially been weaned. She is no longer solely reliant upon me for her sustenance, comfort and nutrition. I can now go away next week confident that Jon will be able to provide all of her needs. I am now, in a way, redundant!

And I'm ok with that. I think.

I breastfed for one year and 23 days. One year and 23 days of close, natural bonding with my little bundle of joy. Enjoying unimaginable closeness with my baby that no one else can enjoy - providing her every need. And I've seen the benefits.

  • Ruby is a healthy weight, reaching all of her developmental milestones.
  • Ruby has shown no sensitivities to food, despite myself having food intolerances. She eats anything and everything.
  • Ruby has very rarely been sick. She had one course of antibiotics for an ear infection when she was about a month old, but I haven't taken her to the doctors for anything since then. She's had a couple of sniffles, usually related to teething, but nothing that's stretched beyond a runny nose.
  • Ruby is a confident, secure, content baby who is happy to be left with anyone.
Sometimes I felt pressured into weaning Ruby earlier than I did. Sometimes I felt like at a year old, she shouldn't be breastfeeding, sometimes I felt like it was becoming our night-time secret that no one else should know about.

But I am beyond glad that I managed to carry on for the length of time that I did. Beyond happy that it was my choice and that Ruby was so ready to be weaned - it felt like the most natural thing in the world. Beyond glad that I never gave up, even when it was painful, even when all I wanted was to hand her over and escape, even when the night time feeds were frequent and exhausting and there was nobody else to do what I was doing.

I will miss it, I'm sure, but I am looking forward to bonding with Ruby in a new way.

....And I'm looking forward to wearing dresses!
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Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Baby Diaries: 1 Whole Year!

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since you came into our lives! How appropriate that on Easter Sunday 2013 - a day when we celebrate new life, hope and God's life-changing love for us - I was in the long process of giving birth to you - our hope was fulfilled! Of course it took so long, that despite us making a start at 4am on Easter Sunday, you didn't make your grand entrance into the world until 2am on Easter Monday.

April 1st 2013

And what a year it's been! You've turned our worlds upside down, given us so much joy, laughter and cuddles and made an impact on everyone you meet. We now know what it is to love unconditionally, to willingly and unswervingly sacrifice our own wants and desires for the welfare of another and to live in the moment, in utter, glorious wonder for what God has created.

Our hearts are overwhelmed by the very fact that God has not just allowed us, but chosen us, to be your parents! What a privilege!

You have the most arresting, heart warming, glorious smile the world has ever seen.

2nd April 2014

You are sensitive to other people's moods and emotions and when someone is sad or vulnerable you have a habit of siding up to them and snuggling in to try and make them smile.

Your laugh is contagious.

You are learning new things every day. You know how to match similar things together, you know what you're supposed to do and you know when you're doing things you're not supposed to do!

Mother's Day

On Mother's Day this year you took your first, tentative steps! You're actually pretty good at walking, you just need to realise that you can do it!

Your Daddy is your hero. He comes home every day when you're having your dinner and you get so excited you nearly fall out of your highchair!

We've just started putting you in a forward facing buggy and you lean over the sides, keen to see everything that's going on. So much so that you don't feel the need to sleep while we're out and about anymore!

You point at everything! Especially moving cars. You love moving cars.

You like to steal people's glasses, hide odd socks and fling your toys behind you! You can not leave drying washing alone and feel the need to pull it off the dryers at every opportunity.

You are still scared of grass.

You love swings.

2nd April 2014

You are confident, happy and not the least bit clingy - which is lovely because it means you'll give anyone a hug!

You love your food and will eat pretty much anything, but you do have a sweet tooth. Recently you've enjoyed feeding Mummy raisins instead of eating them yourself. We've stopped worrying about your weight but I think you're about 18lbs. Still quite petite, but perfect in every way!

You are the joy of our lives and you make our little house a home full of laughter and games.

22nd March 2014

Happy Birthday to our precious gem, Ruby Hope Rose. There is no one quite like you.
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