Thursday, November 30, 2006

Getting better

Well, yet again, we're all a bit ill (well, Amelia and I anyway). On Saturday and Sunday I dragged myself through the motions of a normal weekend. Saturday we took my mother, Nanny, to Olney, which was rather nice (my first visit) even though the weather was appalling. On Sunday it was meeting and then home. However, on Sunday afternoon we walked to Borders and I was struggling to walk. I was feeling really dreadful. Consequently, I gave up on Monday and took to bed. On Sunday evening, I developed mastitis - ouch! There is not much you can do, other than frequently nurse, apply hot/cold compresses and massage the breast. This continued all through Monday and I just stayed in bed. On Tuesday I took myself off to see the doctor. In particular, I was worried about the persistent headaches (I'd had a throbbing headache for about a week now) and my shortness of breath. He informed me that I was running a raging temperature and that my glands were up and hadn't I noticed? In short, he diagnosed a severe chest infection (I had been coughing) and prescribed antibiotics. I spent Tuesday in bed as well, and part of Wednesday too. Amelia did an 'emergency' day at nursery on Wednesday to allow me a chance to rest some more. The antibiotics have cleared up the mastitis as well. (Next week I plan to stop breastfeeding!).

Today I took Amelia to the doctor too, as she has had this perstistent cough for about two weeks and I was worried that I'd been making as light of her ailments as I had of my own. But, luckily it was not to be... she's alright. Her chest sounds fine and so they didn't want to prescribe her any antibiotics, which suited me. They are happy for nature to take its course with her cough.

And so we are all recovering too. I suspect that I will not go to London tomorrow.

Amelia is now making the sign for 'milk' and 'daddy' and they say at nursery that she's made the sign for 'thank you'. Also her two back molars are coming through and she's very disgruntled about that.

Barnaby is in fine fettle.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Diarrhoea Boom Boom

At my primary school we sang a revolting skipping song,

Diarrhoea boom boom,
Diarrhoea boom boom.
Some people think it's funny,
But it's really rather runny!
Diarrhoea boom boom.


Well, what a week. Again! It started on Sunday when Barnaby had a bit of a poo-fest (twice in meeting, once over lunch at a new restaurant, with friends...). However, we'd not identified it as diarrhoea at that stage. Just big, messy poos. Monday, for almost the first time ever, Sheep and I were in London simultaneously. He was there for the morning, me for the afternoon and we overlapped over lunch (and had lunch together). My phone rang and Sheep joked it was nursery. Yep. Barnaby had had two really loose 'stools' and if he was one more, could we go and get him. Sheep raced back to London, but didn't need to collect him from nursery, and he seemed alright at the end of the day.

However, Tuesday was a completely different matter. I took him and Amelia into nursery and, completely unknown to me, he pooed getting out of the car. (In fact I wondered what the 'melted chocolate icecream' on the pavement was, as I walked back to my car!). No sooner had I got home than I had to go and get him! He seemed alright in himself though, full of beans, in fact. My mother came over on Tuesday and helped look after him.

Yesterday, Sheep stayed at home as we had both of them at home. (Nursery have a policy that after diarrhoea you have to stay off for 48 hours!), so, amongst other things we took him to see Father Christmas in the Centre. Today Sheep took him off pottery-painting while I went to the dentist with Amelia and then I looked after them both while Sheep worked.

Barnaby seems fine and I'll take him to nursery tomorrow. But, I've lost a full day's work. Now Barnaby is complaining that his ear is hurting and I suspect he's got an ear infection coming on. I've fogotten what it feels like to be well. I'm having trouble breathing (I'm asthmatic, but usually only mildly so). Both Amelia and I still have a wracking cough and Sheep is plain exhausted. Amelia's snot situation is getting better though; at the beginning of the week I was fantasizing about mini-windscreen wipers above her top lip.

The only good news over the last few days is that I've found a food that Amelia likes! Sweet potato with red Leicester cheese. She has eaten so well over the last two days. However, I wish we wernt all so grotty.

Two more entries on the Amelia walking sweepstake

Gemma (nursery) 1st January
Jackie (nursery) 22 December

I must make a new list with them all on.

Diarrhoea Boom Boom

At my primary school we sang a revolting skipping song,

Diarrhoea boom boom,
Diarrhoea boom boom.
Some people think it's funny,
But it's really rather runny!
Diarrhoea boom boom.


Well, what a week. Again! It started on Sunday when Barnaby had a bit of a poo-fest (twice in meeting, once over lunch at a new restaurant, with friends...). However, we'd not identified it as diarrhoea at that stage. Just big, messy poos. Monday, for almost the first time ever, Sheep and I were in London simultaneously. He was there for the morning, me for the afternoon and we overlapped over lunch (and had lunch together). My phone rang and Sheep joked it was nursery. Yep. Barnaby had had two really loose 'stools' and if he was one more, could we go and get him. Sheep raced back to London, but didn't need to collect him from nursery, and he seemed alright at the end of the day.

However, Tuesday was a completely different matter. I took him and Amelia into nursery and, completely unknown to me, he pooed getting out of the car. (In fact I wondered what the 'melted chocolate icecream' on the pavement was, as I walked back to my car!). No sooner had I got home than I had to go and get him! He seemed alright in himself though, full of beans, in fact. My mother came over on Tuesday and helped look after him.

Yesterday, Sheep stayed at home as we had both of them at home. (Nursery have a policy that after diarrhoea you have to stay off for 48 hours!), so, amongst other things we took him to see Father Christmas in the Centre. Today Sheep took him off pottery-painting while I went to the dentist with Amelia and then I looked after them both while Sheep worked.

Barnaby seems fine and I'll take him to nursery tomorrow. But, I've lost a full day's work. Now Barnaby is complaining that his ear is hurting and I suspect he's got an ear infection coming on. I've fogotten what it feels like to be well. I'm having trouble breathing (I'm asthmatic, but usually only mildly so). Both Amelia and I still have a wracking cough and Sheep is plain exhausted. Amelia's snot situation is getting better though; at the beginning of the week I was fantasizing about mini-windscreen wipers above her top lip.

The only good news over the last few days is that I've found a food that Amelia likes! Sweet potato with red Leicester cheese. She has eaten so well over the last two days. However, I wish we wernt all so grotty.

Two more entries on the Amelia walking sweepstake

Gemma (nursery) 1st January
Jackie (nursery) 22 December

I must make a new list with them all on.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Catch Up

Well, we've all been ill to varying degrees. We've all had coughs, Barnaby's had a couple of days of being 'under the weather', lethargic, 'quiet' and generally a bit off colour. He's been going to nursery, but they've all said that he's not been himself. He's not been eating too well and has said that his tummy feels a bit wobbly. We've all had very disturbed nights and by today Sheep had succumbed to illness/exhaustion altogether and spent today semi-comatose and groaning (at least whenever I called him). I did manage to take Barnaby and Amelia to nursery (neither of them were so ill as to be unable to attend) and I left Sheep in bed and went into UCL. Frankly we're all so under the weather, I don't know how we're going to recover except slowly. I almost wish that we could have a really cold spell to kill off some of these bugs that are going around.

Still, at the end of the day, I do think that Barnaby and Amelia had a good day at nursery today. She drank 6 fl oz in the morning and 5 fl oz in the afternoon. And, she slept for about an hour and a half and was full of smiles when I arrived.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Amelia's Great Nursery Day

Amelia had a wonderful day today, she had 6 fl oz of milk in the morning and then another 6 fl oz in the afternoon. What a wonderful, clever girl eh? Apart from that, she's not had a good 24 hours, I think that she's teething at the moment. Last night she woke up and just started screaming for about two hours, she was completely inconsolable. We tried to give her some Calpol, but she was so distressed, as well as coughing, that she immediately vomitted it back up. What joy! I am sure that she's teething as she's had a couple of bright red spots on her cheeks all day. However, so far so good tonight; she's been as calm and quiet as a mouse all evening.

Barnaby, however, is another matter; he's had a disturbed night this evening. Let's hope that tonight is a little better than last night.

Quiet House

When I'm at home, on my own, without Amelia, I do miss her. While making a cup of tea just now, I caught myself singing one of 'her songs':

Oh my Milla, Oh my Milla,
Oh my Milly-milly-moo.
You're my lovely, my one and only,
Oh my Milly-milly-moo.
I do love you, yes I love you,
Oh my Milly-milly-moo.
'Cause you're a sweetheart, yes my sweetheart,
You're my Milly-milly-moo.


Except she's not here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thank God It's Tuesday (almost)

It seems only a brief moment since I blogged on Friday night. The weekend was a little calmer than recent weekends have been. On Saturday we went to Stony Stratford to get Barnaby's hair cut, as it was getting a bit straggly around the ears and annoying him. This was the first time I've taken him to the barbers (they have a traditional sort of barbers there) and he has been really grown up and stoic about it. He was clearly using a certainly degree of self-will to keep himself sitting calmly on the seat but sit there and sit still he did. I was so proud of him and he looks really grown up with his new hair cut.

When we packed to go out, I thought that I had packed everything, however, I had forgotten Amelia's food bag in its entirey: no drink, no sippy cup, no food, no spoons, no bib etc. etc. and I had also forgotten to pack a change of clothes in the nappy bag. The food was broadly remediable; Sheep rushed to Boots to buy a jar of baby food and we made do with no bid, a normal teaspoon etc etc. However, after lunch, she needed a nappy change and was sufficiently wet as to require a change of trousers as well. Oh dear! Sheep brought her back into the cafe, trouser-less, but it was also too cold a day (a nice bracing November day, in fact) to even contemplate the trip back to the car semi-naked. I left Sheep, and Amelia in the cafe and dashed, with Barnaby, across the road to a handy charity shop (of which Stony Stratford has quite a few) and manage to emerge seconds later, trousers in hand - all for less than a pound. Thank goodness for charity shops. They were quite nice trousers too, as it happens.

On Saturday night Amelia was sick. I don't know if it was a bug she'd picked up from nursery on Friday or simply that she was coughing so much she made herself sick. We all have a cough at the moment. You should have heard us this morning, it was like the dawn chorus.

Sunday was another low-key day. Despite Amelia's sickness and our disturbed night, we made it to meeting. In fact, I took Barnaby and Amelia on my own (since Sheep got his job offer he's been reinvigorated with respect to his PhD and so stayed behind to clock in an extra couple of hours work). Actually, meeting on my own, with the two of them wasn't too bad, but I wouldn't like to do it every week. In the afternoon we walked to the newly opened Borders and Barnaby chose a heaping pile of books that I promised him could go on his Christmas list for Father Christmas...

Last night, Sunday night, was less vomit-y but generally quite disturbed again. Today at work, I felt like I was moving through a hazy mist most of the day. All I can say is I am glad it's Tuesday tomorrow.

Finally, Barnaby has developed a new fixation - almost an obsession - over the weekend, with a certain Ms Croft, aka Tombraider, known to him simply as "Lara". More on this later, I am being summoned bedwards.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sweepstake

It was the parent evening at nursery yesterday for Barnaby. On the whole he's doing wonderfully. The comment that stood out most though, was that they said what a nice and affectionate boy he is, always ready with a laugh and a cuddle. If he can maintain that, he'll do well in life. Apart from that they are very impressed with his maths and computing (well, as his father is about to become a Lecturer in the department of maths and computing that's perhaps no surprise!) and his reading/writing ability. I was ticked off, though, for teaching him upper case letters when I should only be using lower case ones. I stand corrected. However, he's basically doing great.

While I was at the parent's evening Sheep was left trying to feed Amelia and he was convinced that she was making the sign for Mummy (in Makaton it's three fingers tapped onto the palm of one hand, twice), however, I am not convinced that she wasn't clapping as she is really into clapping at the moment. Sheep maintains otherwise. In turn, I am sure that she said "Daddy"' this morning on seeing Sheep.

The other thing that happened yesterday, that I forgot to mention (as I was working all evening rather than blogging), was that while I was on my way to my mother's house to feed her cats for her (while she is away at work) Amelia fell asleep in the car. As I didn't want to wake her by moving her or leave her in the car I was imagining that I would be reduced to sitting outside my mother's (Nanny's) house for a while, waiting for her to wake up. On an impulse, on the way through Castlethorpe, which is the next village to Hanslope where my mother now lives, I stopped off to see if the midwife, Valerie, who delivered Amelia, was at home. She was and we chatted for about ten minutes, catching up, and she had a peek at the sleeping Amelia. I must return sometime when Amelia is awake! Anyway, it was lovely to see Valerie and catch up.

Today I was in London and Sheep took Barnaby and Amelia to nursery in the bicycle trailer (but used in double pram mode as we haven't bought her a cycle helmet yet). He says that they seem to rather like the trailer/double-pram as Barnaby puts his arm around her and they giggle together all the way to nursery. She had a great day today, sleeping really well and eating an unfeasibly large amount of food. I've no idea where she puts it all. I picked her up and brought her home in the car and I must say, I think her new car seat that I installed yesterday is a vast improvement on her old one.

Finally, in a previous blog I mentioned the possibility of a sweepstake for when she is likely to be walking. I promptly received an email from Leif (Barnaby's former nanny) with his suggestion and Sharon, Amelia's keyworker at nursery, has also given her suggestion, so here are the dates so far:

Leif: 23rd December
Sharon: 1st December
Me: 2nd January (my birthday, only because it would be a lovely birthday present for me)
Sheep: 15 December

Any other suggestions? The winner will be the person whose date is closest to the actual date and should we define walking? How about three 'unaided' steps? I suppose if it were a real sweepstake we'd all put some money into a kitty and the winner would receive it all, but instead of that I think I will offer a prize (since we are all geographically dispersed a classic sweepstake is logistically too complicated). I will confer with Sheep and decide on the prize tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Amelia and Mummy Day

Today I got to spend some time with Amelia which was lovely. It's strange, with her being in nursery three days a week now, it feels as if she has this whole independent life which excludes me. At times, I feel I've lost her already, she's growing up so fast, she not my baby any more: she's almost a toddler already and she seems so independent and inscrutable at times. She seems so much her own person.

Still we had a nice, low-key sort of day today. I went to buy her a new car seat, as she has just about outgrown her first one. This should last her until she is three or four. Hopefully she'll be more comfortable now; she'd started to complain everytime I put her in her too-small seat.

We also went to the NCT coffee group in the afternoon, followed by 'part one' of the parents evening at the nursery. This was all about Amelia - I was shown her 'log-book' and samples of her art work (can you believe it?). All in all they feel that she's settled well and that she's happy at nursery with which I concur. Barnaby's parent evening is tomorrow night.

I forgot to mention this evening Barnaby was demanding "one and one" pancakes (just mini scotch pancakes); so we asked him what "one and one" made and he stated, quite confidently, eleven. This took us aback a little, as, in one respect, he was right...

Anyway, Amelia is starting to murmer; I'm off to bed to give her her final feel of the night. It's 11:40pm.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Morning - Back to Work

Well, it was back to work as usual today, which meant that Barnaby and Amelia were in nursery and I was at UCL. Amelia ate scarcely any breakfast, but did eat phenomenally huge amounts during the day, including 5 oz of milk. Yeah! (And 60 spoonfuls of banana at lunch time). She seemed to have spent most of the day cruising around the room again, following Alex (what a great game she must think this is) and they think that it wont be long before she starts walking. Perhaps I should start a sweepstake!

Barnaby had a pretty good day as well, with only one accident. He brought back a postcard from the cotswolds and was both glad to see everyone and sad to no longer be on holiday.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stow-on-the-Wold

Well, we made it (as seen on Thursday's blog) and we're back again. On the whole, a good holiday!

Broadly speaking, the Youth Hostel was a success. We had booked a family room, which turned out to be a dormatory with three bunk-beds (six beds in total) and a travel-cot. Barnaby thought that this was terribly exciting and immediately bagged a top-bunk, which we later found out contravened recommendations (the YHA suggest that top bunks are for over-sevens only), however by then it was too late as Barnaby was completely smitten! (We were extremely careful with him climbing up and down the ladder though.)

One unfortunate point, which I had not known, was that since this weekend was low-season there were no evening meals provided, so we had to fend for ourselves: the first night we had a picnic in our room, the second night a lovely, early dinner in a restaurant and last night I cooked in the kitchen. In the end we felt that the combination of having self-catering facilities plus meals provided (well, breakfast at least) was a useful combination with small children. In particular, it was good to have easy access to a microwave for heating up Amelia's food. They also had a good supply of childrens' toys in their 'lounge' so we all, Barnaby in particular, spent a lot of time in there (and an adventure playground in the back, which he also liked). The downsides were that there was no hot running water in the room (a cold water tap only) and no access to a bath (ensuite shower only). But in summary, we think that we'd do it (the YHA experience) again.

In conversation with other guests, two comments stand out in my mind. One Australian lady (who has, I think, lived most of her life in the UK) said that youth-hostelling was a great way of bringing up children as it introduced them to a great set of values; she had been hostelling for over 60 years, since she was a child. Another lady had boys age 6 and 9 (left at home this weekend, I might add!) and said that she started walking with them when the eldest was just 4 and that now they could cope with adult-length walks and that it was a great thing to introduce children to. I wonder if/when we might be up to trying that?

On Friday we spent some time in the morning walking around Stow: it's lovely (I'd definately like to go back again for a romantic weekend away with just Sheep). And then in the afternoon we went to Bourton-on-the-water. Our plan for the afternoon had been to go to the model village. We fed ducks and went around the model village.

Here are photos of Barnaby at the model village (Amelia was sound asleep in her pram at the time). Click on images to enlarge.







The only downside of Friday was that we had a bit of a poo-fest: Barnaby kept pooing all day. It was a real drag, especially for Sheep... I was beginning to think that we would run out of pants and trousers for him, if things kept up like that, but luckily, just before bed on Friday night he managed to do an unfeasibly enourmous poo on the toilet and so Saturday/Sunday were wonderfully poo-accident-free and consequently far, far more enjoyable. (We bought him a toy, soft monkey as a 'well done for pooing present' - which he has been inseparable from ever since.)

We met up briefly with Jenni on Friday night (passing through on her way from Oxford to Hay-on-Wye); we had a quick coffee together and a nice chat, before she had to take off again. On Friday night, Sheep and I watched a film on DVD on his laptop, huddled together on one of the bottom-bunk-beds, with all of the rest of the lights turned out so as not to wake Barnaby and Amelia. Our evenings felt a little like being huddled in a tent, or other confined place, together, speaking in hushed tones.

On Saturday we returned to Bourton-on-the-Water in order to do more duck feeding (see photos below) and to visit their model railway museum.





Funnily enough, it was the model railway that Barnaby found most fascinating, even more so than the model village - so much so that he asked if we could return today! It was quite the roaring success. When we left Stow this morning Barnaby said that he didn't want to go and that he preferred our 'holiday house' to our 'old house' (a.k.a. home) as we were all able to sleep in one room together which was clearly far superior!

We returned to the child-friendly B&B (Nortens) in Chipping Norton for lunch and then both Barnaby and Amelia slept all the way back home, which made for an effortless return.

I've realized that there's not much about Amelia in this post. The long and short of it is that she happily came along and fitted in with whatever plans we had. She ate fairly well and seemed in good spirits bar the fact that she seems to have picked up a bit of a cold and so is a bit snotty (well, it is that time of year!). I did, however, have to give her a good bath tonight after a long-weekend of no bathing!

Post script - I almost forgot, here is a photo that Barnaby took of Sheep and I. Do we really appear so gigantic to him?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

From Stow-in-the-Wold

Well, here we are! I'm glad that we took everything slowly today. Instead of leaving after Breakfast, which was our original plan, we left after lunch; we realised that we needed to wash Barnaby's clothes as he'd got through so many pairs of pants (!) in the last few days that we'd not enough of his underwear to bring on holiday. Eventually, we set off at 1:30 and having stopped off to fill up with petrol and then stopped for a Barnaby wee-stop, by 2:30 we'd only travelled about half a mile from our house. Considering Stow-on-the-Wold was meant to be an hour and twenty minutes away, it took us all afternoon to arrive here. We stopped twice more for Barnaby to wee and then he pooed in his pants in the vicinity of Chipping Norton. So, we stopped in Chipping Norton to have a cup of tea, change Barnaby's pants (which we ended up doing twice, I might add), change Amelia's nappy and give her some food. We stopped in a lovely cafe, attached to a B&B which could not have been more child-friendly, luckily. So much so, that we took down their details and might well consider it as another weekend away destination. We got here at about 5:45 only to find that they were not serving dinner - so we had a picnic in our room. Anyway, much go now - off to bed

Barnaby Under the Weather

Barnaby was at nursery all day, but is still claiming to be a bit under the weather. He didn't really eat at nursery today and wanted to go straight to bed when he came home.

Amelia and I had a long day today. First we went for a tour of Loughton Mannor First School (nice, but do they actually learn anything: they seemed to play a lot!). Then my mother came over and I took her off to Ikea. After Ikea we did some more shopping... so a long and tiring day was had by us all.

I hope Barnaby's feeling better by tomorrow as we're meant to be off to Stow-on-the-Wold. Although I am sure that we can risk going, since it is only and hour and twenty minutes away. If he stays as he is, I think he's well enough and if he takes a turn for the worse we can alway just return home.

Anyway - there will probably be no blogs for a while.