Oct 27 2011

Falling Off And Fitting In

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:52 am

Yesterday Tim’s umbilical cord stump finally fell off, meaning putting his nappy on will be a lot quicker (they won’t need to be folded down around his now-forming tummy button) and I’ll not be convinced I’m torturing him each time we have a hug!
One of the other changes to everyday things due to the brilliant arrival of a new baby (still no middle name selected just yet) has been our car. Previously if I was driving, Irina would be in the passenger seat, and Anna’s car seat occupied one of the three seats in the back. Tim has a lie-flat car seat, which takes up two car seat spaces. So, if we drive somewhere as a family, we now have no spare seats for friends or family. As a Mondeo isn’t exactly a narrow car, we will just have to hope we can still properly fit Anna’s & Tim’s car seats into our slightly narrower car in Kazakhstan (Ford Mondeo vs Suzuki SX4).

Lizard Relaxing On A Sofa

If we have a couple of friends over, then trying to seat all everyone as well as the family, sofas run out of space now, as well! That said, I find lying on the floor actually helps if my back is aching. It would appear that my gym sessions earlier in the year didn’t do very much at all to strengthen the back muscles that invariably seem to get pulled when holding a baby for a few hours in a row. The furniture itself here in Clydach has largely escaped milky stains (and smells) so far, as Tim seems to dribble excess liquid onto his clothes, rather than with any great velocity. Famous last words!
The health visitor and midwife both seem to be perfectly happy with his progress, and Tim has already demonstrated baby boys’ ability to sprinkle surrounding furniture with wee. Karen (a great lady who we were also lucky enough to have around when Anna was born). Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid a shower so far.

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Jun 19 2009

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Category: Kazakh Driving,VideosChrisM @ 11:59 pm

We used a taxi driver today who had been helpful, courteous and driven well in the past. Although the car he drives is something like an old banger of a Volkswagon Polo with an automatic gearbox, he knows the car well, seems to anticipate other drivers’ actions well.
Contrast that to a taxi driver who I drove with recently, who had a Subaru Impreza. The choice of car was an obvious indicator as to his driving style, and whilst I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the experience of zipping between lanes and fitting into gaps between cars that I wouldn’t have tried in a much smaller car, I wouldn’t want to have had Ira or Anna with me. Perhaps the fact I was a little drunk at the time helped me to relax 🙂
So why contact certain taxi drivers direct, rather than just ring a company, or flag down a passing motorist? Most of the time, we now need a car that we know has working, and accessible seat belts in the back, to attach Anna’s car seat to. Add on top of that that some drivers dislike the extra time it takes to safely place Anna in a car, and you can see why when we find a driver who takes their time, doesn’t make a car journey feel like a white knuckle roller coaster ride, we take their mobile phone number.

While we are on the topic of cars, I have only just got around to watching some of Robert Llewellyn’s CarPool episodes. Here is one featuring Dave Gorman. Robert Llewellyn is probably still most famous for playing Kryten in the UK comedy series Red Dwarf, and try searching on this blog or checking out his Wiki, to discover who Dave Gorman is.

urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, yuck. Apologies to anyone who loaded this site in the last three minutes. I had originally embedded a video in this space, but when I went to check how it looked on my site, I discovered it automatically started playing. As I can’t see a ‘autoplay=1’ type argument in the code, I’ll just link to it instead, sorry. http://blip.tv/play/gdw_gYrZQJCkXA

Finally, wanted to give a quick heads up to research publicised in a BBC article on rear facing car seats for children. Apparently they should be used up until the age of four, which is certainly not common practice back in Britain. It would just be amazing to see any type of car seat/restraint used with most children over here in Kazakhstan :/

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May 27 2009

Made Me Mad

Category: Kazakh Driving,PersonalChrisM @ 1:49 am

Walking back from our flat a couple of days ago, I saw a baby being carried by his/her mother in a car. This, sadly, isn’t too unusual in Kazakhstan, and I think I’ll have a few battles in the future when it comes to insisting that Anna is able to use her car seat over here when we get a lift.
Part of the problem is that the law in Astana (laxly enforced) only applies to the front seats as far as seat belts are concerned. This means that even if belts are fitted in the rear when the car was made, they are often ignored, left under the seats or in some truely kcufed up cases removed!
Anyway, back to my story… Not only was this small baby held loosely in her mother’s hands, she was actually sat/leant against the dashboard in the front! So we now have a baby inches away from the glass windscreen, should any accidents occur. But it didn’t end there, this car was an almost new Toyota (Camry? I didn’t notice the exact model), and I’d bet 100 dollars against your 5 that it had air bags.
This means that should even a relatively minor shunt occur, the air bag would… well, lets just say that that baby’s parents would most likely be grieving.
It doesn’t matter how many people tell me that there isn’t the culture of safety over here, or that people don’t consider things like seat belts & car seats for children as necessary/affordable, it does not take a fricking genius to look at the little bundle of joy in their arms and wonder what would happen if this car was crashed into, right now. Anyway, rant over, and just to show that this sort of problem is obviously not just restricted to Kazakhstan, here is a quick picture from failblog I noticed recently…

fail owned pwned pictures

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May 20 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 3:30 pm

Oh, someone remind me I need to upload the rest of Anna’s videos to YouTube, and actually get around to embedding them in some posts as well. Please.

Anyway, back on track, this photo was taken of Anna on the 20th May, just outside our block of flats. She is happily sleeping away in her car seat/pram combo – we’ve now swapped to the proper pushchair attachment for the frame, as she is getting too big to spend too long in the car seat 🙂

Anna Asleep At The Entrance To Our Flats

Anna Asleep At The Entrance To Our Flats

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Apr 25 2009

Dad Don’t Moan – The Other Ones Had Stranger Looks!

Category: Anna's Photos,PersonalChrisM @ 2:18 am

These ARE photos from a day that has already been posted about – 25th April when my brother, Nick, and Dad came over to Wales for a birthday meal. We went to an New York-Italian restaurant, and I loved the food and company. For complicated filing reasons, these photos aren’t residing in my ‘not yet published’ folder within Anna’s archives, so I wanted to post the pictures now, so I can close a Windows Explorer window I’ve had open for a few days as a reminder to publish them.

Chris Anna Birthday Meal

Chris Anna Birthday Meal

Dad Nick Chris Birthday Meal

Dad Nick Chris Birthday Meal

wow, just looked at the photos properly – Anna looks so tiny in comparison to now, sat in her car seat there!

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