Baa baa

by Nick  

Well, today at nursery, we read in Jess's log-book (well, I don't know what else you'd call it) that she'd been singing. So, in the car on the way home I asked her what she'd been singing. She didn't say much for a while. Then she said 'Baa baa black sheep'. To be more accurate, she said 'Baa baa bla shiss', but we figure we can interpret Jesslish pretty well.

She's been adding to her vocabulary since I last posted, and using it more versatilistically. For instance, she opened up a leaflet the other day and said 'tick tock'. When I looked, there was a small cartoon clock face in the margin of the text. She's also starting to do actions to go along with nursery rhymes like Wind the bobbin up and Incy wincy spider.

In other recent news, we all went to Rob and Hannah's wedding, which was a grand day out, especially given it was in Nuneaton 88| We were mighty impressed by the processional fanfare written by Rob For the Lovely Lady. Jess was popular with the string quartet at the reception, as she not only swayed to the music but applauded at the end of each piece. She's a connoisseur, see. There was also another little girl there much the same age, who had brought a toy duck, which Jess appreciated the opportunity to share:

Ducknapper

I've also been down to Sussex twice in the past fortnight to do some wiring at my Mum's. She's a bit miffed as the screen on her Mac laptop has stopped working. Sounds terminal, and is particularly exasperating as it's happened only a couple of weeks after it came back from repair to fix a dead DVD drive. Grrr.

Jess and I had a day out together last week while Ros ran a training day in the office. We had an exciting bus/train combo trip to Solihull to see Ashley at the Apple Store, and look at MacBooks by way of potential replacement.

Work for me is not much fun at the moment, as my colleague is off sick with RSI for about a month now. So, I'm trying to cover both our workloads. XX(

Sleep, anyone?

Indian summer

by Nick  

Indian summer? Yeah, right. Weather hasn't been good for photography with limited exceptions which we've tried to make the most of. So, here are some pictures of a little girl who's growing up quick. Oh, and a pimped duck from Auntie Dave's birthday party.

Kylie, the Showduck tour Bedecked
Exfoliate Sunlight
Can I have a lift, Dad? Stepping out
Upsidaisy Platform 1

By the way, new word for today was 'tato - a starchy constituent of our Chicken Kiev-based dinner...

Word count

by Nick  

Pleasingly, I'm managing to beat my recent average of one post per month. The daily grind is just that - grindy, and it doesn't feel like there's much of individual import to recount. I guess this is as close as it gets; we've counted up the words that Jess can now say (in no particular order):

  1. Horse(y)
  2. Cow
  3. Hot (accompanied by fanning of the hand in front of mouth and blowing)
  4. No
  5. Oh dear
  6. Book
  7. Dog
  8. Tea
  9. Nanny
  10. Hiya
  11. Hello
  12. Bye
  13. Peepo
  14. Boo
  15. Duck
  16. Daddy
  17. Cuddle
  18. Kiss
  19. Nose
  20. Ear
  21. Socks
  22. Shoes
  23. Hair
  24. Teeth
  25. Sheep
  26. Mummy
  27. Baa
  28. Moo
  29. Quack
  30. Jess

I'll add to the list if I can remember any more...

Edit: some more words include:

  1. Yum
  2. Baby
  3. Juice
  4. Row (row, row your boat)
  5. Tree
  6. Bird
  7. Beep (as in the noise your tummy button makes when pressed)

I should mention to those who aren't parents that they do understand quite a lot of words that they don't/can't say. In Jess's case, this includes dolly, milk, breakfast, dinner, eat, chair, bed, wash, nappy, and poo among others...

Catch-up

by Nick  

Exactly a month since the last post. Poor show really, isn't it? I'll try to make up for it a bit now.

So, what's what? I went on Rob West's stag do to Berlin, which was a jolly affair. I'm not publishing the photos here - they're on my Flickr page, but only if you're a registered friend, as one of the party didn't want to appear on the public 'net. So, if you're not a friend, you'll have to just imagine what happens if you take 43 goats into the Reichstag...

Anyway, aside from that, we've had Val (Mott) staying for a week or so. We had a birthday meal for Robert, and then he continued the celebration by working on Angie's house, and then came back to chez Kaijaks to take a pleasure flight from Coventry Airport. This was on a DC-3 Dakota over the wilds of Warwickshire. Apparently he had been waiting 50 years to fly in one which just goes to show good things come to those who wait (and who have lovely daughters...)

Whilst they were here we went to visit Stoneleigh Abbey which isn't very abbey-like. On the banks of the Avon, it's a splendid Georgian building with one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the country (just outside the front windows of the house - handy for spectating). Also renowned for its Jane Austen connections - worth a look if you're in the area. Bit of a shame we've not made it before, given it's on the doorstep...

Jess is keeping us busy as she has rediscovered the joy of reading (well, at least of pulling the books from the shelves). She has got a certificate from Bookstart, mind. In a week of certificates, she also got her Duckling Award Grade 1 badge for swimming! She has also finally noticed that the drawers in the kitchen open and contain many interesting implements. Her talking is also coming on with word of the week (maybe we should start a new feature here) being teeth. Well, that's enough news; time to show photos...

Blowed The Literacy Hour

Certified duckling Pyjama party

We will rock you We are family

Hey Boo!

Petal Flower girl
Flower power Hello

Soaraway

by Nick  

Just a quick post tonight. We made the most of sunshine this weekend, with an exciting day trip to Milton Keynes (hey, we know how to party) and some Jess photos in the garden:

Trike tricks Quick-draw McGraw

Daisy, daisy Pathfinding

Incidentally, I note that someone gave the last lot of photos only a one star rating. :'( I'm not telling Jess, she'll be most disappointed.

Aside from taking pictures of her, we've been enjoying chatting. We're getting better at translating Jessese into English. We were very impressed when she spontaneously said "Ducks go quack" on Saturday night. We're not sure if that's clever word combining, or good phrase repetition from memory. Either way, can't complain.

The other cool trick she did was yesterday morning when we rediscovered a missing piece of a wooden peg puzzle - bit like these - it was a cockerel which we'd lost only a couple of days after we got the puzzle at a car boot about three weeks ago. We gave it to Jess and she said "Cock!", which we thought was an excellent demonstration of long term recall (and not swearing).

The other excitement was on Sunday, when I went gliding. Mum bought me a trial gliding trip for Christmas through Red Letter Days, which was a super present. I've been waiting for good weather to book it, and was nearly out of time last month, so finally booked for yesterday. With this July having already been the wettest in history, I wasn't holding out much hope, but yesterday started fairly bright, and got brighter.

So, having got to the airfield and been briefed, at around 2pm, I put on my parachute and got into the K21 glider with Alan, the instructor. We were towed by a tug plane up to 2,000 feet and released for a short flight of 13 minutes. I did a bit of simple manoeuvring (level flight, level turns, forced stall etc) before handing control back for the landing. Alan seemed pleased with my performance, and for me it compared very favourably to the trial flying lesson that I got a year or so back. So much so, that when I was offered the chance to join Alan as observer while he took a flight for himself, I didn't hesitate!

After another aerotow to 2,000 feet again, we chased some quite strong thermals to reach the cloudbase at about 4,800 feet above Brackley, and enjoyed the view for about 80 miles! Soaring between thermals, Alan was kind enough to let me fly for a while, and practise picking up thermals myself, which I managed to do - just about! Eventually, we came back down to the airfield, and with that I'd logged another 57 minutes in the air. Sadly no photos - since you're strapped tightly in, cameras are considered a bit risky in case they fall and jam something mechanical!

I was delighted with the experience, and would gladly do it again and recommend it to others. It was at a small and friendly club, Aquila Gliding Club, and they have a good value 'learn to fly' package which is sorely (pun resisted) tempting. I need to save some money first though!

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