A week off

All too quickly the final days of last year’s leave has ended, reality kicks in and I have to return to work.  It has been good to spend a week with the family, even though we didn’t get half the things done that we had planned to do.  Time just seems to fly past far too quickly, especially where there is a baby and a toddler involved.  Nevertheless we have managed to squeeze in a few things.

Amélie is still a concern to us.  She is putting on weight but seems to be encroaching on the 25th centile line (and not in a positive way) and, more concerning, her reflux is still severe.  You can change her a dozen times in a day (and yourself as least twice!) and she will seemingly be continously soaked through.  Doctors tend to dismiss reflux as a laundry problem but it is more than that.  Lucinda was wearing a new T-shirt on Sunday when she was caught.  The vomit bleached her top, that is not just bringing up a little milk, that is stomach acid.  If that is what it does to a T-shirt imagine what it must be doing to her throat and airways.  The drugs that we have been prescribed should be reducing the stomach acid, would dread to think what it would have done if it had been full strength acid!

Fortunately we have been able to both attend the appointments with the doctor and although he doesn’t seem to think that there is any cause for concern he has finally given us a paediatric referral.  Now that is another strange and convoluted procedure.  First you get the referral from your GP.  They give you a print out with phone number and reference number (among other things); Then you phone the number and quote your reference number and the triage goes through your child’s symptoms;  They then arrange a paediatrician to call you on a given day to go through your child’s symptoms in detail and then if they think the case is deemed worthy they will arrange an appointment to see you (and your child) in person.  Simples!  We will keep you posted!

We also saw the dietician this week, who suggested that we try weaning early but is reluctant to do anything drastic until we have been seen (or spoken to) the paediatrician in case they suggest something for the reflux.  Now Amélie has not shown interest in food in the way that Éowyn did. (Remember the infamous Coconut Macaroon incident?) Nevertheless we took heed and Lucinda gave Amélie her first taste of solid food on Tuesday 25th January: baby rice and water.  She seemed to enjoy it, opening her mouth on cue.  However, she soon had her fill and pushed the spoon away.  I call that a success, especially since she kept it down.

Amélie has achieved a couple of firsts since the last update.  The first first (so to speak) was to roll over.  She has done it twice, once with Lucinda and once with me.  However both times we both have missed it.  Lucinda left her on the bed was out of the room for a moment came back and she was on her front.  I was changing her on the floor, again left the room for a moment and came back and she was on her belly.  Either she rolled or the house fairies are having a laugh with us.

Amélie’s other first since the last update was to go swimming.  We asked Éowyn what she would like to do since we were all together as a family and she asked to go swimming.  It was a little surprising as she has been nervous of late since she had a bad experience at a pool.  Nothing major but it had put her off.  So when she suggested it we jumped at the opportunity.  Both of the girls loved it.  Amélie was just serene as Lucinda held her in the water while I was trying to teach Éowyn to swim, while at the same time being mindful that a false move could put us back.  I think a few more lessons are required but she did spend most of the time on her front kicking her legs (supported by Dad) so progress.

It has been interesting and a little upsetting to see how Éowyn is dealing with the experience of attending Playbox Playgroup.  Obviously, it is a new place with new people and so it will take her some time to get used to it, as indeed it did when we first took her to Jo’s.  However, now she is a little older and can talk to you it is harder to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing when she says things like: “Daddy, I don’t like school.” “I don’t want to go to school.” It breaks your heart, especially when you drop her off and she is crying and clinging to your leg.  This Monday though (her fifth day) we walked into the classroom and she wandered off.  I asked her for a kiss and to wave me goodbye and she did.  Again progress, although she did get upset in the last 15 minutes or so of the session, probably because she was tired after the weekend.

Lucinda and I just have to be strong and encouraging as well as learn to cope with the other things that happen to your children while they are at school.  Éowyn has seemingly begun to re-inact things that have happened at school with her toys.  She was playing with her toy monkey (Ok, strictly Amélie’s toy monkey but I think that Amélie has lost any ownership of that toy!) and although we only caught the end of the conversation (“…and that’s it and we can go home.”) but it sounded very much like something that the staff would have said to Éowyn when she is upset.  Then Monday she came home with a scratch on her face, only minor and the staff did draw our attention to it and I had to sign the accident book to acknowledge that fact.  They were not sure how she did it but think she caught herself with the end of a book, and it certainly looks feasible.  However later that day she was talking to her monkey “…It is not nice to hit people monkey.  It will make them sad…” We tried to get out of her whether she hit someone or whether they hit her, but we could not draw any conclusions.  Although I don’t like the idea of either Éowyn hitting someone or someone hitting her, a lot worse will probably happen just have to try and get her to talk about it.

In addition to swimming, trips to the doctors and hospital and dropping Éowyn off at Playbox we managed to squeeze in a photoshoot for the girls and a trip to Nanny Fran’s for a Bagnall family photoshoot.  The photoshoot for the girls was a freebie session (to entice you in) for Amélie at 3 months.  It includes a free 10″x8″ print, so we thought we would go for it.  Obviously when you see the other photos you are tempted to buy extras.  Yes, we were suckered into that but thought that the price that we were quoted was reasonable and so the credit card made an appearance.

Nanny Fran’s photoshoot, on the other hand, seemed to be jinxed.  We (her children) bought her the photoshoot as a present for Christmas 2009.  When we turned up at the photographers it was closed and he couldn’t be raised on the telephone.  He called back a couple of days later to apologise but wasn’t prepared to offer compensation and so we decided against using him.  So we found another reasonable studio and booked for the beginning of December.  A week before my sister Mary slipped on the ice at work and broke her elbow, so we decided to push it into January.  So Nanny Fran re-booked for last Sunday.

The southern side of the family, Mary and us four headed up the M40 on Friday for the weekend.  On the Saturday morning we jokingly suggested that she ‘phone them to ensure that they had our booking.  Never a truer word spoken in jest.  Sunday morning we all get dressed up and manage to keep Amélie puke-free so we would all look nice for the photos.  No booking.  Apparently the previous booking wasn’t cancelled properly so the re-schedule shoot was not in the diary.  We have agreed to give it one more go before deciding that it is well and truly jinxed and give it up as a bad job.

Despite that we had a good weekend at Nanny Fran’s.  Éowyn has finally grown too big for her travel cot and so Nanny Fran bought her a ready bed and pink tent to sleep in.  Obviously it takes a little getting used to but she seemed to love it although the excitement meant that she didn’t get to sleep until after 10pm on the Friday night.  Poor Nanny Fran offered to look after Amélie on the Friday night so that Lucinda and I could get some uninterrupted sleep.  On Saturday night Éowyn went to sleep early (as she was tired from the night before) and we took Amélie in with us, however Éowyn who sleeps in the room next to Nanny Fran woke at 0400 and kept her awake.  I bet Nanny Fran was glad we were going so that she could get some sleep.

So now I am back at work and the 1500 e-mails all need reading, some of them as long as this write up!  Thus I will leave you to enjoy the photos.

Peace and Love