Sunday, 31 August 2008

Two days to go

I'm feeling kind of odd today. Partly tired, partly having my nerd-geekness shaken by seeing some true "lifers" (extreme examples, complete with mullets!) in the documentary "The King Of Kong", but mostly as it's really creeping up on me that I'm going to be without my girls for a month.

With their trip now only two sleeps away, we've decided to have a nice family weekend. Mainly composed of having a nice quiet time together, Sue packing and Emily refusing to sleep, regardless of showing all the signs that she'd like to.

This next month will the first time I've been away from Sue since early in our courting when I went to Canada for a solo-holiday (booked before we met) and will be the first time I've been away from Emily for any length of time.

I think back to my dad at times like these. When we first moved to Canada he was on assignment to - ironically - Australia and New Zealand, for weeks at a time. While it must have been hard on mum raising two kids solo, it must have been hard on dad living out of a suitcase and missing vital weeks of our development. I do, however, recall one trip netted us with a new family car that dad would have refused to buy until the existing one had COMPLETELY broken down.

I find myself looking forward to their return more than I have in the past couple of weeks. Sure, there'll be some side benefits - I can sleep until 7am!, I can go to the pictures or do stuff in the evening, but it's a sad list of items in the pro column, when it means I'm without my girls for a long stretch.

At least I have France in November to look forward to.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Towering Emily

With Emily almost as big as toddlers months older than her, we've been routinely told she'll be a tall girl. In fact, our midwife just after Em's delivery, told us she'd be tall and have trouble finding a boyfriend.


With that in mind, I took keen interest in an article The Times are running today on the troubles of being a tall woman. Granted these women are gargantuan - over 7ft tall in some cases - but I imagine there MAY be some relevance for my large baby.

Ah the joys of worried parenthood. Of course, on the flipside, she could have been a midget - at least then she could have continued shopping in the children's clothing section.

Now playing: Van Halen - Love Walks In
via FoxyTunes
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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Sleeping patterns

When I got home last night, Emily was fast asleep from an active day.

She didn't wake up until Sue was going to bed around 11pm. This was a neccessity wake-up, as Em hadn't been fed or changed all evening, and you can't leave a child in that state all evening and all night.

Anyway, I was dreading the wake up as I assumed the five hours sleep would mean she was well rested and ready for play.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Em had a drink and a change and then dear old dad eventually got her off to sleep again around 1am.

Having said that, I was exhausted and ready for bed around 11pm as well. The more these things happen, the more I realise that we need to get Em into a routine. I know other people who go nuts if their baby misses the 7pm feed by 5 minutes. This I do not want, but more structure can't hurt Em.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Caesarian fears that might not be true

A caesarean section in progress.Image via Wikipedia It's Tuesday, so that means a whole new week of fears and issues regarding every aspect of life.

Today, it was Caesarian babies' turn to feature in the "your life is screwed" category.

As most news outlets were running a story saying that children delivered by C-Section are more likely to acquire childhood diabetes than children delivered normally.

So with all the issues and fears and worries around normal and healthy children anyway, we now have a potential health timebomb ready to explode at a moment's notice.

Really, it's all I can do to get out of bed in the mornings sometimes.
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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Birthday adventures

Got back from Bognor today, having attended my cousin Louise's son Harley's first birthday.

Emily was (as usual) in fine form, smiling at one and all and making sure they knew she was a content little camper. Nothing could put her off her stride, not even headbutting the birthday boy (accidentally of course).

The only downside to the weekend was Emily's teeth. We're off the gel now and trying homeopathic powders which seem to work on the teething pain much better and quicker than the gel.

She is still going from being the happiest baby ever to the most miserable in a matter of seconds, all due to the ongoing teething issues. She's also still crying in her sleep, which is hard to handle, but Sue and I both know it won't last long.
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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

When is hunger sated?

With Sue out for the evening, it's fallen to me to feed and change and do all the evening things with Emily.

Normally this is fine, bottle of formula, clean nappy - bob's yer proverbial.

Now we're weaning her though, I have no clue how much is enough. I made what looked load a LOT of baby rice mixed with carrots tonight and proceeded to feed.

She was hungry for it to start and the desire to cram her gob grew less with each mouthful. Toward the end she was taking it in and just letting it drop out of her mouth all over everything.

I put an awful lot of the mix back in the fridge.

Now I've subsequently changed her nappy and played with her a bit, all the while watching her rubbing her eyes and yawning.

Normally, the magic bullet to her sleeping is Sue feeding her. Tonight, however, I have just left her on the bed with the lights off, praying it works.

Have I fed her enough? Will she sleep? Am I starving her? Who knows. It's not like I can ask her "are you starving?"

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Monday, 18 August 2008

L'il chubber

It's been three weeks and today Emily got weighed again!

After all the trials and tribulations of the last few weeks - cough, teething, weaning, etc. - I wasn't really sure what to expect, weightwise. All I know is that carrying her for any length of time makes my arms hurt.

Sue rang me after lunch to give me the official verdict - 18lb 4.5 oz. Last weigh in was 17lb 11oz, so she's gaining weight which is good.

Apparently she's dipped on the main charts, but this is due to her being more active and actually working off mummy's milk and the weaning grub we're giving her.

The health visitor also said to not mix food yet, and let Emily get single tastes for now (this will also help identify food allergies, if any!)

In other news, I found some wonderful shampoo I think we're going to get. This stuff promises to toughen your kids up and get ready for all that the real world has to offer.

No time like the present!
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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Teething Hell

Well, it's started.

We've have five months of pretty sedate happy baby up until now. When I got home today, I was told tales of grizzles, cries and the like all to do with teething.

I've just finished playing with Emily and she alternates between sucking ANYTHING furiously and mildly happy, and screaming inconsolably - obvious in immense amounts of pain.

It's no fun for Sue and I as the screams and the restless nights are really screwing with us, but it's also really not nice hearing her cry knowing she's in pain and not really being able to do anything about it apart from rubbing teething gel into her mouth.

She's got a couple of teething toys - plastic keys and the like - and due to her not too stellar hand to eye co-ordination continues to smack herself in the head with them.

A few websites have been helpful, if anything, in letting us know the symptoms are teething. Not really sure how long it'll last, but apparently the first set of teeth and the molars are the most painful. There's also a suggestion of offering her cold food to numb the gum, so I guess it's good we've started the weaning process. Just need to buy / make some apple sauce.

On a happier note, we weaned her onto new foods tonight - yam! Sue cooked and blended up one and I tried to feed it to Em. As you can imagine, with the gum pain her focus really wasn't on the food all that much.
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More rolling

Sue just IMed me to say that Emily's rolling is now complete. When I left this morning she was but a learner, now she IS the master! (Everybody - Only a master of rolling, Darth!)

She's rolling from her back to her tummy and then getting stuck! This is half a milestone. As soon as she rolls back, we'll be able to celebrate.

We're also going to feed her something more substantial than baby rice tonight. It's looking like butternut squash or yam night for Emily!
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Saturday, 9 August 2008

We are the Weaner!

Well, it had to happen sometime and it happened today. Emily got her first taste of "real" food. Since she was born she's only known milk in some variety - either mummy's or formula.

Today we entered the world of baby rice - a mushy, liquidy paste made from organic rice and water.

The books all say that the first time you give it to a child, just give a teaspoon to get them used to the taste. We were all prepared for the first taste, and the screwed up face and the crying and the uphill battle to get Emily to accept any food other than trusty old Righty and Lefty.

Well, as in many other things, Emily proved us wrong. Instead of the crying or the screwed up face, her whole demeanour was more "what took you so long?" She polished off the whole bowl of rice in a matter of minutes and - as you can see by the photo - pronounced herself victorious!

Sue and I also pronounced ourselves weaners!
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Thursday, 7 August 2008

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Woke up this morning to Emily crying. Nothing new there, she usually summons our consciousness with her baby whimpers.

Today, however, she was crying not to wake us, or to announce she's hungry. No, today she was crying because she rolled over and got stuck on a pillow next to her mattress.

The whole rolling thing is obviously a massive milestone in her development, along with walking, talking, and crawling. However, it's also a nightmare for mum and dad who can no longer leave bubby alone on a bed for a minute or two.

We will really have to rethink how we deal with Emily vis a vis lying down from now on. Not a small task.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Bubby Mess

Before she was born, Sue and I had the best green intentions parents who are worried about the world their children will inherit could have.

As we've dealt with the past four months, we've not always been able to be so green and that's not really rankled me. However, where we can, we've been using washable nappies but there's always the case for using a disposable.

As it is, when we wash her nappies after a couple of days, there's just so many of them. I'm reminded of Bart Simpson cleaning out the miniature horse stall, complaining that something so small shouldn't be making so much of anything.

Light at the end of the tunnel time? According to books, come month five both feeds and movements will become less frequent! Yay, we get our washing machine back.
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Sunday, 3 August 2008

The day all parents dread

We woke up this morning with Em sounding like a barking seal and ... well, as new parents do, we worried a lot.

The last couple of days she's had an over snotty nose with crusty deposits et al, so this didn't come as too much of a surprise, but still you don't know how to handle it.

She seemed quite content and happy, giving us both big smiles between mucous-enforced coughs.

Sue got onto NHS Direct just to make sure we were wise in doing nothing. About 20 minutes later we were embracing their suggestions - plenty of fluids and plenty of cuddles!

We went back to sleep and woke again about lunch time. Since then, you can tell she's got something going on, but her general demeanour is as convivial as ever, so it's not affected her outlook or disposition!

It's still quite a mental blow to new parents that you've let your child down so much that they've got ill. We just have to deal with the fact that this is all part of the process of life... unless you're crazy like Howard Hughes.

Now playing: Yazoo - Nobody's Diary [Extended Version]
via FoxyTunes
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