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Oh Katy Perry what have you done?

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Hanky heads through the ages

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Grandad's shoulder, 1980
Grandblod's shoulder, 2010

Suckling to swashbuckling

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A few weeks ago a brainstorming session at the bottom of a bottle of tequila resulted in a pirate party being organised at Ben and Kieli's house. Babies were to attend in full pirate uniform, of course, my buccaneering ancestry meant that the whole family had to attend in fancy dress. Highlights of the night include, pineapple rum cake, wanton use of the word booty, a baby with a mullet and a monkey in a fez.

"I must remember to mention this to my therapist in thirty years time"

Bogan Baby is a deadset legend

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Bogan Baby wears Bonds singlet from Nick, Alanna and Ange, khaki shorts from Grandma Poss, ugg boots from Cass and Tom, Swannies beanie baby's own.

Who said sexism is dead?

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We all know Elliot is hot property and he seems to be getting reputation as a little player with our potential future daughters-in-law. First he promised himself to little Jessica who has an impressive dowry of a whole set of Tin Tin books (in the original French no less) then he's announcing on facebook that he's off to meet his new girlfriend Nia who came down from Manchester to check him out. His Australian girlfriend Phoebe is less than impressed, Jessica has moved on and we're not sure if his Canadian girlfriend Mia has heard about his antics yet. Good thing his latest love interest Gabriela was literally born yesterday so she's none the wiser.

Please forward on any new requests to date Elliot and include the little lady's ...hey let's be modern... or little man's interests and potential inheritance. So far you're up against the Tin Tin books, a shed full of fixies and a chain of pet stores.
Elliot and Nia playing it cool
Cath and Tom cramping Elliot's dating style. How embarrassing.

Meeting the neighbours

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This is our next door neighbour, we don't know his name but he's very friendly and he jumped over the fence to introduce himself to the newest kid on the block.

Rocking out with Elliot

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Babies love high contrast visuals, especially black, white and red. What could be better than this vid? He was absolutely mesmerised. Anyone else got any suggestions for baby vids?

Red October

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I know I'm sleep deprived and obsessed with boobies but I'm pretty sure I'm right in thinking this night light is a starfish made of breasts.

Night night.

Bugaboo Central

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I took this photo while strolling down the street with some of the NCT mums and our Bugaboos. A kid walked past and said "Hey they look like traffic lights". Indeed we do.

Welcome to Herne Hill - part of the South London Baby Belt which stretches from Nappy Valley, aka Northcote Rd in Clapham Junction, across to Brockwell Park in Herne Hill and over to Lordship Lane in East Dulwich. We live right in the middle of it. The Baby Belt vehicle of choice is the Bugaboo, it comes in three styles and a range of colours. You can even accessorise it with a latte holder if you think you don't look like enough of a middle class stereotype. (I have one on order...seriously, I do, how else can I update my blog from my iphone with one hand whilst pushing my pram with the other?).  Cute name for a high tech contraption. It shares it's name with a mountain range in Canada and mediocre Destiny's Child single so it's in good company. It's the parenting equivalent of wearing New Balance sneakers.

I might do a review of each style seeing as we have the full set.
Alex and Libby take to the streets.

Dad skills: Daddy Sucks

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Well, I thought I'd seen it all but last night I witnessed my husband happily sucking the snot out of our little boy's face with his mouth. Yep, snot sucking.

Little people are too small to blow their little noses and they get very snuffly, especially when they lie down. Elliot has actually earned the nickname Snufflepig because of it. Lots of people use special snot sucker contraptions or 'nasal aspirators' if you want to get technical. From the websites I've seen, they claim to have been invented by the Swedish. I'd like to see how Ikea would design one, it would probably be called the BΓΌga and come in a range of primary colours.

Tom has a very high disgust threshold so he just did it the old fashioned way with some mouth to nose action. Elliot didn't know what to make of it but afterwards he slept soundly without a face full of snot so I'm sure there will be even more snot sucking in the future!

Mum skills: Baby Burritos

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While Elliot and I stayed with the inlaws this week I learned some excellent mum skills from Tom's Mum Pearl (I think you know how hard it is for me not to use the pun 'Pearls of wisdom' right now). One of these skills is baby swaddling. I've tried swaddling Elliot before, it's like trying to gift wrap an octopus. Legs and arms flailing about, usually accompanied by some wailing and it all ends in the two of us staring at each other intently with pursed lips. Swaddling is essentially putting your child in a straight jacket, it seems mean at first but baby's are self-harming crazy people with no control of their arms, so it's for their own good.

Since learning the Pearl technique, he sleeps like a dream (6 hours in a row the other night!) and he doesn't punch himself in the face so much... which is disappointing for Tom who will never tire of jokes that use the phrase "Why are you hitting yourself?".

Step 1: Get yourself a stiff cot sheet that doesn't stretch, flannelette is good. Previously I was using a waffle blanket or a t-shirt fabric blanket but these didn't work because he could easily flap about in stretchy material. The sheet also needs to be larger than you think, the more times it wraps around, the stronger the swaddle.

Step 2: Fold it into a triangle with the long side at the top

Step 3: Add boy
Step 4: Take the baby's left arm and bring it down to his side then wrap the fabric tightly around him and tuck it under his right arm. He might not like this at first.
Step 5: Take his right arm and put it down by his side then wrap the fabric around him making sure the top part crosses over slightly diagonally so it forms a v shape around his neck so he can breathe. Keep wrapping the fabric around and around him until it ends.
Step 6: Fold the bottom half of the fabric back behind him so his feet don't hang out.

Your burrito is now ready to sleep...
If he kicks and struggles and carries on place him in his cot and put your hand on his chest. Stay with him and talk very softly and calmly. Elliot was screaming the  house down for about 5 minutes then just stopped, wimpered and fell asleep in defeat....but he was a much happier boy he next day after 12 hours sleep and no smacks to the face. Result!

Thanks Pearl!

A mystery bear

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Does anyone know where this bear has come from? If his train ticket is to be believed, he's come from Peru. He arrived in the post today and we love him very much especially his real wellingtons. But who is responsible for him?

The mystery has been solved, thanks Auntie Amos! We received the book as well. We will be sure to take Elliot and Paddington to meet the real Paddington someday.

Aaaw! Mr Cuteyface

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Kid wrangling

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The camera captures Elliot's true feelings for his cousin Will during afternoon tea with Nanna.

Meeting Uncle Bobsie

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All four Neish boys together at last
Uncle Bobsie, Grubby, Tom and Elliot

Spot the baby

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A happy birthday afternoon

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After an eventful morning Elliot, Dadblods and myself went to Hyde Park and The Orangery at Lady Di's old place for high tea. Ooh la la! I think it's the best high tea I've had ...and I consider myself a cake (eating) expert but I've just found this Time Out list so I'll try them all and give you a definite winner. The orange scented scones were exceptional. I'm going to try to figure out how to make them. We couldn't finish all the cakes so we took one home for Tom and discovered that a dummy case makes an excellent tart protector.

We also saw some swans, a UFO and some shiny new Anish Kapoor art.

Tom took me out to dinner at Zucca (highly recommended), it was our first evening out without the lad. Grandblods stayed at home to look after him after receiving a half hour briefing from Tom about situations that may arise ranging from Elliot waking up to Elliot becoming a skilled arsonist.

All through dinner all we could talk about was the little'un and how weird we felt without him. I didn't even have dessert! Unprecedented! We returned home to find Grandblods looking a little disappointed. He hadn't had the chance to act on anything he'd learned in the briefing because Elliot slept the whole time.
Cucumber sandwiches daaarlink!
Mmm, I smell cake.
Tart protector
Shiny arty people
The UFO as it landed in the pond outside Di's place

Happy Birthday Mummy!

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Elliot's gift to me this morning was a full trifecta performance. As we were changing him he pooed,  then weed, then vomited on himself. Happy birthday Mummy!

Temple of Doom

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Tonight we took Elliot to Oxford Circus Topshop. He let us know what he thought of the four storey fashion temple through the medium of vomit and screaming. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and headed straight to the eyebrow bar in terror, while Tom tried to calm Elliot down in the cafe much to the amusement of various waifs in denim hotpants and oversized cardigans. When I returned neither of them looked like they would come out alive. Only after a pie and some boobie were we all ready to fight our way back through the lace bodysuits and leather skirts to the exit.
At least I now have two eyebrows instead of one.

Nipple confusion

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Maybe it's the middle name...

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In a passionate display of solidarity for our Brixton neighbours, Elliot does the black power salute every few hours. I finally caught one on camera along with some morning cuteness...

Show me the moshpit...

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Elliot's first pair of All Star Hightops arrived this morning. The first of many I'm sure. Thanks Uncle B-Dogg and Auntie K-dogg!

Welcome Elliot!

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Our plans for Elliot's welcome picnic were foiled by the English weather showing its true colours so we took over the pub instead...

Grandads x 2! Plus cakes by Fairy Godmother Bella
There's nothing quite like a hug from Nanna
George and Kelly
Bess and Ruth
Paola, Pearl and Elliot
Baby attack! George, Tim and Elliot
Grandblods and Elliot