Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Every Day

Catalina is growing really quickly, it's amazing to see. She's so delicate and tiny it's almost stifling to express feelings for her - I can't kiss her until she tickles, or throw her 10ft in the air like I would with Juanita so I have to contain it all inside! She's no bigger than my forearm, and cries like a little bird cries for food. So far she's been a dream, she only cries in the bath and when we change her nappy. When Juanita cried over anything at her age we would panic and do anything to stop the crying. This time whilst Catalina's bawling Ro and I just stand there smiling at how cute she looks.

I've been following Rosario's routine and going to playgroups with all the mothers and toddlers. If I am holding Catalina it's like I'm Tom Cruise or something; all the mothers come up to me and oogle over Cat in my arms, it's quite endearing! How old is she? Isn't she lovely! Today one mother said how at Cat's age you need to value every day you're with her because they change so quickly. She's a week old today and already looks different, more filled out, a little plumper and healthier for all of mum's milk.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Catalina Sánchez Martí

On Tues afternoon Rosario had random contractions so I came home early from work thinking she'd get over it. The following morning I realised she hadn't slept all night (my sleep too profound to notice) so we gathered our belongings and headed to hospital - at one week early the little lass was ready.

Juanita joined us (she got told off for being too loud by one midwife) as my Mum rushed up on the train from Surrey to babysit so I could support Ro. The nurses wanted to send Ro home when they measured less than 2cm dilated but we knew the score! We insisted they find a bed for us (just as we did with Juanis). So by 10am she was in a bed in the antenatal ward taking mild painkillers every four hours. By 2pm she was 5cm dilated and in regular pain. We had trouble getting her painkillers (last time they gave her an epidural at 4cm) and we discovered it was 'cos they only gave epidurals in the labour ward downstairs; it was full. We begged the midwife there and she felt bad; said her hands were tied. The labour ward was full and so was the postnatal ward. The contractions got worse and worse, and we made enough noise so that we got a bed eventually at 6pm. She was nearly 7cm dilated. It was so much faster this time, with Juanita Ro was still bordering 4cm at this stage.

The midwives were great. Abigail (pictured) was very calming with her Jamaican accent, and when Ro was fully dilated (10cm) at 11pm it all went so smoothly when Catalina popped out at 11:35pm I wandered what all the fuss was about. What pain? Rosario did really well, before 'giving the light' (as they say in Spanish) several midwives said she looked quite glamourous for a mother-to-be. Abigail said she made a great effort and had done brilliantly. She didn't even scream 'nunca jamas' through gritted teeth as she pushed (it means 'never ever again').

Well done Rosario. Another triumph for the female of the species. It's three to one in the Sanchez Martí household. And I quite like it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Skip James

There's a great 3D animated short about a moose, it's great not only for the end but I love the soundtrack. It's called 'Devil Got My Woman' by Skip James. Discovered by Paramount, he made the album that put him at the forefront of a new type of sound called 'blues'. Then his dad collared him, and took him back into the Church. He consequently dissapeared for over 30 years when he was convinced to make one more track, which he later denounced anyway!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Church Bells

Yesterday whilst we were on Hampstead Heath I could hear a church bell from Highgate Hill, you can even see the spire from the toddlers' park we go to. That city village feeling of narrow streets that are centuries old, of terraced houses that have slanted slowly over decades.

That's what always inevitably reminds me of small Seville streets on warm afternoons. I'm recently getting those odd cravings again, where I need my annual fix of a walk through old desserted Arabian cobbled streets, the only sign of life sparked off by a shout of some mother calling in her kids. What confuses me is that I wouldn't want to live there, I've already done that. There's no work there anyway. But I've been going there nearly every year since I was zero. I shouldn't forget to mention sitting at my aunty's living room table with my legs tucked underneath next to the electric heater, talking about everything and nothing.

Wierd to think I'm a father of two with a house, a career, and an overdraft.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Margaret's boyfriend

My darling wife Rosario has been showing off in recent months her blog about her daily life with our daughter Juanita, and the imposing bump that gets bigger and bigger around her belly, who will be squeezed out in a month and probably be called Julia. Well, I've also decided I should have a say so that I can moan about her rantings publicly. If in any doubt as to the insolence of a man critisizing his partner on the web, take a look at the website for Margaret's boyfriend.

Today was fun, we went to the park and Juanita showed signs of getting over her fear of bigger children. One boy ran up to her to hug her and because he was getting too close she thrust out her arm and stopped him, a bit like Neo when he magically stops the bullets in Matrix (because that's how you see every meritable action of your child; in film-like monumental-it's-never-happened-before slow-motion grandeur).

This week was great at work since I lit my first white studio; the two presenters of our series dressed up like Arthur Daily (the program's about dealing in antiques) and arsed around in a Marx brothers type-way. It's going to be on in 2007 and was adequately called 'The Real Deal' but some genius in the higher ranks of Discovery's offices thought better 'How to Make Money in Antiques' half-way through, and therefore changed the entire appearance of the series.