Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas everyone

Emily's still not adjusted to the time zone difference - surprise. We've been woken up by her around 5 am the last couple of mornings.

This morning, however, we decided to pop out to the living room and open a couple of presents, sort of a sub-family Christmas just the three of us. Emily got a few gifts from Santa to open, and Sue and I opened our gifts from Emily. It was quite nice, just the three of us, and foreshadows what we have to look forward to in years to come.

We have the full-on family present opening later and I'm sure it will be completely overwhelming for Em... it usually is for me!

UPDATE: Em got LOADS of stuff and in no way was looking like she'd be able to sleep again. She got a real kick from playing with the wrapping paper as well.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Looks like we made it....

After an interesting flight and the world's worst wait for "oversized luggage" we finally made it out of the airport and into the waiting arms of my mum and dad - nana and grandad to Emily.

The flight was quite uneventful - apart from some turbulence - which is good. I was quite concerned how we were going to entertain Emily on our laps for 8 hours, how we were going to eat our delicious plane meals and other such things. It all worked out in the end, although I think the heavier she gets the less fun it's going to be. The fact that we had 4 movies one after the other helped pass the time as well.

Now we're in Canada, we've got all sorts of fun in store - snow angels, snow men, walks in the ravine, etc. I just wish that in years to come Emily could remember it all.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Underwater photos

Today was end of term for Aqua Tots. Emily received a certificate saying she mastered the techniques of the Duckling level of the program - and we received the underwater photos taken the week before (the best of which you can see on this page).

I have to say, I'm quite dismayed by the photos, as they really only show that we've been able to forceably make our child submerge in a body of water. The look on her face alone is enough to call the RSPCA (please don't).

At today's final class, however, we were given goggles so we could dunk under with our child and actually see them in action. Sue and I both took turns and I have to say, Emily looked quite the pro, even opening her eyes - much better than the photos relay.

We're really looking forward to the next level in January now. Who knows, more of this type of thing - teaching kids skills from an early age - we might not have to worry about the future of British sport of Olympians after all.
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Monday, 8 December 2008

Child minding

We've taken Em to the DB child care centre a couple of times and to be honest it's a nightmare (getting everyone ready at the same time, fighting for a spot on the commuter train, Em coming down with the green groolies, etc.)

We've sat down, worked out the figures and decided we're now going to try a local approach.

There's a woman in Carshalton that does child minding and for the time being, we're going to be dropping Em off there every morning and picking her up every evening.

Having had a year off - almost - and never really being apart from Em, Sue's in two minds over what to do, childminding-wise. The obvious choice - quit her job and stay at home - really isn't financially viable. Sue's other option is flexi-time, working 4 days a week.

Over the last 9 months, Sue's not only got incredibly fond of the bond she's formed with Em, not having to endure commuting, or office politics, she's also made friends with local mums - most of whom are going back either part time or flexi-time. Part of Sue's reasoning for flexi-time - the main being spending as much time with Em as possible - is to maintain social ties with the local mums.

Come February, I imagine it'll be quite a lot of trial and error in the beginning, with a few late arrivals at work, or seperation anxiety attacks by Em (and Sue).

I think as far as the natural progression of life goes, this has to happen at some point. I know from my experience it just didn't happen this early, and if we could afford it, it wouldn't with Em either.
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Saturday, 6 December 2008

Swim times

We finished our penultimate Aqua Tots session today and as such it was photo day!

I don't think Em has been underwater as many times as she was today. We took two photos - one of her alone, and one of me and her. We did them both twice. The one of me and her had Em under my chin.

I was worried the water pressure would crush her as we jumped under the water, but she survived and apparently even opened her eyes. Sometimes, I wonder who's child this is - I STILL have trouble opening my eyes under water.

We get the photos next week, and then start the second course of Aqua Tots in January.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Back in Blighty

It's Sunday and our Toulousian adventure is now a distant memory (well, two days ago).

After having gorged on French food and hospitality and mooched around Toulouse while not having a care in the world, the real world has come crashing down upon us.

Yesterday it was back to routine - we took Em to Aqua Tots (only two sessions left!) and then we went to Tesco's where she promptly fell asleep.

Today, she's been a wonderful little thing, playing in her sit'n'step and just being a joy to be around.

The past few days, I've noticed a change in Em - both physical and in demeanour. Something about her nose (I know that sounds odd), but she looks less and less like a baby each day and more and more like a young child. Part of this makes me sad, as my life seems to be speeding by at the rate of knots, but it seems Em's does too (I know to her it doesn't as it's only been eight LONG months that she's been alive).

She's also started clicking her teeth which is funny to watch. I have it on good authority (OK, Sue) that it's not new, but as with all things if it's new to me, it's new.

But back to my original point. I've been with the girls 24/7 for the last week and I'm going to find it rather difficult being away for the day come tomorrow. Thankfully, I only have two weeks left of work then almost a month off (week forced jollies, then three weeks in Canada).

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Road trip!

Today Em and I headed off on the road trip that Sue and her class were going on. We went to some town up a massive hill called Cordes-sue-Ciel, which has been around since 1222 (according to the post card). It seemed to be about a mile UP of cobbled stones, which was great to push a pushchair up.

Sue and her classmates went off for a lecture, leaving Em and I to explore the town. I found out that it's a wonderful tourist spot in the summer and quite "ferme" in the colder months. No tea shop or cafe were open, only a store that sold post cards.

Undeterred, Em and I walked around, took in the amazing panoramic views and really just tried to kill time.

In the afternoon, we went to a town called Albi (the racist dragon?). We dined on moules et frites and then headed off to an industrial estate where Sue and class had another lecture. THANKFULLY, there was a supermarket nearby where I managed - somehow - to kill about 90 minutes of the two hours I had to wait (Em fared much better as she slept for most of the trip around the aisles).

All in all, not the best use of a day on mine or Em's end, but we did get to see some pretty sites, and I got to bond with my daughter, more out of time-killing and trying to stay warm than any actual bonding exercise.

We'll see what Thursday has to offer.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Out and about in Toulouse

While Mummy's been busy in lectures learning about French HR and trade unions, Daddy and Emily chose Monday afternoon to walk the mean streets of Toulouse.

We walked around most of "centreville" finding many interesting squares (or Place as they're called here), and walking down to the river (where this photo was taken). It was a lovely sunny (if not windy) afternoon after a tumultuous rainy morning.

Last night we went to an Italian restaurant and Emily nodded off on the walk there. She slept through the whole meal (even though we asked for "la chaise pour le bebe") and she slept through further drinks at a faux British pub (where daddy was able to watch English footie on the telly).

Mummy and Daddy weren't 100% lucky as Em decided on the walk back around 11pm that nap time was over and the evening was to begin. Thankfully, she was only awake for about an hour and fell asleep with mummy and daddy. As she didn't really sleep yesterday I'm thinking that her evening siesta was to make up for nothing in the morming and afternoon.

Today Mummy has the afternoon off so - if it's nice - we're going to have a look at the double decker carousel.
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Monday, 24 November 2008

Day One of daddy day care

Mummy, Em and I had brekkie this morning in the restaurant here at the hotel. Around 9am, Em and I said goodbye to mummy who is in class all day.

Since then (about two hours at this point), Em and I have been hanging out in the hotel room. Why? Because the weather is TERRIBLE! It's cold and rainy, and as Em has snotty nose and cold, I don't think I should let my curiousity about a new city override my child's health.

As it's around 10am GMT, it's also almost time for Emily's nap which is another excuse / reason not to venture out into the "6C with light rain" Toulouse day.

I think we'll have a go "apres midi".

I'm kinda dreading Canada, as the weather there will be similar except on steroids! Still, we'll have nice warm cars and houses and shopping malls and friends houses and coffee shops and ... toy stores (did I mention, the inner kid in me loves having a child?)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Bonjour from Toulouse!

We made it to Toulouse, having avoided the hell of the British train system today.

Emily was awesome in the airport and on the plane. She repeatedly tried to eat both her shoes and her socks, removing them and stuffing them in her mouth. We repeatedly tried to make her at least wear socks, as barefoot children in the airport look a bit ... odd.

From tomorrow I will be the "free babysitter" while Sue attends school classes in the hotel.

This evening we are going foraging for food, not forgetting that we are carting round an 8.5 month old child in a push chair.

I don't know how child / handicap friendly the French are, but judging by Toulouse Airport, things are going to be interesting for the next five days.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Santa's grotto

Sue, Em and I at Santa's Grotto Today we went to the local (garden) nursery here in Wallington - Woodcote Nurseries - to check out Santa's Grotto.

It was really quite excellent with animatronic elves doing all sorts of things in the snow. Emily couldn't get enough of the twinkling lights and the elves. She was dressed in her finest red and white to meet the big man himself as well.

When we left Santa's house, the photo man told us that hands down, Emily won the (un-official) cutest baby of the day so far.

Of course, we then parted with £10 for the photo of Em and Santa, so his buttering up of mum and dad worked a treat.

We're falling hard into that trap that all parents probably do of treating X-Mas number 1 as some sort of odd uber experience. I'm sure, in an ironic way, that as the christmases wear on they won't seem so special and unique to us but they'll grown in importance to Em. Sure they'll still be special to us, but baby's first christmas is quite unique.. .like first x-mas as parents... or grandparents for that matter.
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Friday, 21 November 2008

Emily's latest health visit

Sue took Em to the doctor's today for her latest check up. All things are normal.

However, we may not be giving her enough fat or food in her diet as she's not put on any weight as such in the past few weeks. It makes me wonder how much you're supposed to feed a baby.

When Em is breastfeeding she usually falls asleep - that's a good enough sign to me she's had enough. With normal food, if she could talk she could utter "please, can I have some more?" but as it is, she eats what we give her and then goes on to other tasks - playing, pooping, etc.

I've cottoned on, however, that when she cries now it's not neccessarily teething related. She may actually be hungry. A couple of times I automatically reached for the Calpol and teeth powders. In hindsight, I don't think that would have made her very full.

Other news from the doc is that Em is quite tall. 76cm. As 30cm is a foot, she's closer to 3 ft than she is to 2 ft, which is quite good. They say a child at 2 or 3 is half the height they'll be as an adult. Em is clearly on the way to being an amazonian 6 footer.

Other good news is her body seems to be growing into her head, which is now back on the chart (having been off it for a bit). hopefully her head continues to grow at a more chart-worthly proportion or she'll look like one of those odd shrunken heads when she's older.

In other health related news, Sue was told that Em shouldn't go to Aqua Tots tomorrow as her cough is quite bad, and the green groolies won't stop seeping from her nose.

We're still off to the NCT sale and Santa's grotto though!
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Thursday, 20 November 2008

dribbles the clown

The last couple of days going to work, I've had interaction with Sue only, as Emily has been fast asleep. Not that she's slept through the night... oh no. She's happily awoken around 5 am only to pass out from exhaustion long before mummy and daddy have had the chance to catch some zees.

Today, though, mummy rang me to let me know that Em is dribbling a storm. This can mean only one thing - teething. And that's NO fun for anyone involved. With four teeth almost here, I can imagine she's going to have a whole set of pearly whites in no time now! Of course, this will cause no end of trouble for milking mummy.

Having arrived home tonight after a work function, the little dribble magnet was already asleep. I do feel a bit bad for leaving Sue so long on her own with the drooling Emster, but I also feel bad that I miss out seeing the droolster myself. Of course, it would be idiotic to wake her to sate my own desire as we'd be stuck with a half asleep little bag of unhappiness and that doesn't tick boxes in anyone's book.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Lunch with the girls

Sue had to come into town to sort out some stuff for her passport, so it gave me the opportunity to have lunch with my girls.

Always nice, especially when we're not racing about - which is usually the case when Sue and Em are in town (Sue dropping Em dropping off before Uni, me racing to day care before they close, etc.)

Had a nice leisurely lunch at a local Dutch pan cake place (My Old Dutch, here in Holborn). During the meal we decided that we should take Em to Holland when she's older.

I've got my misgivings about staying in London (for Emily's sake) and possibly the UK in general, but I can't deny the amazing opportunities we have of showing her Europe and all it has to offer while we still can.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Ebay trek to Northampton

Today was the day we had booked to trek up to Northampton to pick up Sue's "pick up only" Ebay auction win.

While most people would be going "whaa??", Sue did go to great lengths to explain to me the item in question retailed for FOUR times what she got it for from Ebay. As it ended up, even with petrol, we still only paid half of what you'd see it retail in the shops for.

What is it? It's a wheelie activity centre type thing that is much better described by imagery alone (see to the right).

Sue had the loan of one in Australia and Emily loved it enough that Sue was toying with bringing it back with her, as it promised to "flat pack". Having picked it up today, there is no way in hell that this would have flat packed to anything remotely plane-ready, so it's a good idea we went this route and not the excess baggage route.

When we got home tonight, we put it together (un-flat packed it, as the case may be) and popped Em in to give her a taste before bed. About an hour later she was still all smiles and chuckles and deep looks of concerns over trying to get the toys to do their thing. In a nutshell - she couldn't get enough.

It wasn't the nicest weather going to Northampton, and the idea of a 210 mile round trip was daunting, but seeing the look on Em's face made the whole thing worthwhile... which is good.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Rude awakenings

Today we had a wake up call at about 6.45am. Why? Sue, Emily and I went to work ... at the same time. Sue has some stuff to do for Uni (and was dropping Em in at day care for the day), so thought it would be a good test run to take the same train in to see how it would work when she goes back to work.

It went about as well as when I pick Emily up from day care and come home - i.e. I never want to repeat the experience. It was enough to make me mentally sum up all the pubs in the area and try and figure out if a second job for me would be enough to enable Sue to stay at home with Em. Ikea are open till midnight, I could work there!

Waking early, the stress and hassle of dressing and feeding THREE people, getting on a crowded train that seems to be devoid of anyone under 20 - but filled to capacity. Argh.

We formulated a plan on the way in that we could all leave early, I could say goodbye at Liverpool street, get to work early, leave early and we could all travel home together. This makes perfect sense from a family perspective and takes some of the stress and worry out of what could be a real rubbish experience. Whether it works out or not will be seen in February, but it made me feel a little easier.
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Sunday, 2 November 2008

Now I'm down with the ill

The great thing about having ill kids is you can pretty much assume correctly you'll come down with what they have at some point.

This scares me, as I really don't know if work will be lenient with me taking sick days whenever Em gives me the lurgie. As it stands now, I'm feeling quite wretched today, coughing up a lung as well as hard green stuff. The ills have moved from my head to my chest, which I guess means we're on the mend.

In actual Emily news, she's begun babbling. She continually intones "da da" over and over again. At first, I took it to heart. You only have to hear her in pain screaming da dad to realise you don't want any part of that recognition.

Tonight discovered another tooth popping through, which has caused Em some discomfort. So the count right now is 2 arrived and three on the way, which is cool.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Chillin' with the illin' baby

Sue went to the doctor's yesterday and it's official - Emily is ill. She's got a virus and a fever.

This would go a long way to explaining her crabby, unhappy temperament the last few days and why her face has been covered in green bogies and why she sneezes alot!

Sue's managed to come down with a cold as well, which isn't surprising. I'm trying to fight off infection too, but it's hard when you have a young child who hasn't developed social niceties yet - like hand in front of mouth when sneezing or coughing. I've had to wipe my glasses more than once because Emily's nasal cavities have let loose on my face. Not the best way to stay healthy.

We've also had a large amount of vomit from the little lady. This is more than likely a mix of snot in her belly and overfeeding for comfort. The latest happened today when I picked her up to comfort her after a drink and a coughing session that didn't seem to end. Well, it did end with me covered in milk and stomach acid.

About the only brightside to this is Sue managed to get a 'scrip for Calpol for Em, so we got it free, saving a whopping £2. It's not a terribly good brightside.

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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sick little bunny

For the last day or so, Em's been feeling quite ropey. It's the first real time she's had to deal with feeling ill - green bogies, chesty cough, just looking and feeling rough.

I guess it's true that an ill person - at any age - acts the same. She's lying on the couch at the moment looking at Sue with pleading eyes for a drink having just had enough to fall asleep with. "Please do everything for me," it's the sick person's cry at any age.

Sue's been using the booger sucker we got from Boots overtime to keep the green loogies clear from Emily's nose, and getting ill herself in the meantime. I guess it's true what they say about having ill children - the whole family collapses like a house of cards.

Coming to grips with being ill, Em's been tired all day, but not been able to sleep. She's been rubbing her eyes, but when she's about the fall asleep she opens her eyes and starts crying. It's like being ill has given her extra energy. Obviously, she's overtired and in pain, so hence she can't get to sleep.

The most harrowing aspect of dealing with her being ill is when she gets to sleep, she'll scream in pain for a couple of seconds in her sleep. It's really quite disconcerting.

At least with colds and flus, it's never for long and I imagine that this is only helping her immune system get used to the thousands of colds she'll endure in her lifetime.
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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Yakety Yak

It seems like there's something with Em.

Sue's called a couple of times this morning to let me know that Emily has vomited a few times. They started off milky and now are apparently bile.

Previously when she's vommed, we've put it down to teething, over feeding, or other things. As none of the previous issues apply, we can't for the life of us think what would be causing this new bout - apart from a tummy bug.

Apparently she's also vomiting up what looks like pumpkin seeds, so we might be able to start a garden centre (because neither of us have fed her anything resembling said item).

Sue's called NHS Direct and if Em yaks up two more feeds, it's off to the doctor, on their emergency number - as the doctor doesn't work Wednesday afternoon (of course!)
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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

best piece of advice

Emily got me this book for father's day about being a dad, written by a dad. It's broken down by month and tells you what to expect (baby's sitting up, baby's playing with toys, etc.)

The one piece of wisdom that has finally sunk in having read and re-read it is: babies get distracted easily and can forget what they were doing. It's offered in the context of "if you punish your baby after they've done something, chances are they haven't the foggiest thing what you are punishing them for."

This also works the other way. As long as there's no outstanding issue like hunger, illness, etc. you can really turn your baby's mood around by simply distracting him or her.

I've been using this diligently for the last week or so and it's come in pretty handy, apart from when Em's exhausted and just wants to cry cry cry.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Teething again. Again.

Emily and I had a nice evening tonight. It's been Sue's first night back at Uni for a while. We had a playful trip home on the train and a lovely dinner time.

It all fell apart when it came time for sleepies. The teething issues came back full force. Em didn't want the Calpol, and fell asleep after a bottle. ALMOST into REM sleep, she started howling ... eyes closed, in her sleep.

It was horrible.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Teething. Again.

Over the weekend, Emily has gone from the normally happy placid baby she is to a crying, drooling, almost feverish baby. Yep! Teething time again.

Last night I was trying to get her to sleep and she was happy as you like until the pain kicked in, and the tears and the drool came streaming. The look on her face would break your heart. The look was like she was almost apologising for not being a good girl and for crying and making noise. The tears came streaming while she was fighting to fall asleep, which came mercifully quick.

Emily is also eating more for comfort these past couple of days (rather than hunger). This has resulted in her vomiting not once but twice all over mummy on Sunday. It seems when she's drinking the pain is less, so why not drink forever? Well there's a hideous stench of rotten milk that would be a very good reason #1 not to drink forever.

I guess the first test of any human and their pain tolerance is teething (or circumcision if you're a boy). I'm just thankful in some ways that these early days won't be remembered when she's older.

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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Aqua Tots

This morning was our first class for Aqua Tots. From 9 - 9.30am Em and I kicked about and had a jolly good time in the pool down in Whyteleaf.

We're going again for another 10 or 11 weeks, until early December.

Something I didn't realise until Sue mentioned it was that everyone in the pool with their child was a dad. I guess that's what you expect for a Saturday class. Weekdays are strictly for mums.

Em has been in the pool a number of times before, so it didn't come as a shock to her. She seemed to have a good time and was eyeing up other babies and parents with her mega-watt smile.

When we were in Spain with Paul we were dunking Em under, but apparently we have to wait until week 4 at Aqua Tots to do that.

She'll be quite the pro.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Heavy Child

Now they're back from Oz, Sue went down and got Emily weighed and measured. She's now topping almost 10 kg (that's around 22 lbs in old money!). Quite the weight to lug around. No wonder my arms are a bit tingly after holding her for any length of time.

She's also 73 cm which my quick math told me is almost 2.5 ft (as a foot is 30 cm), so she's growing quite tall as well, which is all good.

Today we also have my mum and dad visiting which will be nice. It'll be the first time dad will have met Emily which will be cool. His first grand child experience.

Now playing: Mesh - I Can't Imagine How It Hurts
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 6 October 2008

Recognition never realised

Managed to pick Sue and Em up at Heathrow this morning. Their plane landed at 5.30... in the AM!

I got there just before 6am, having had quite a turbulent non-sleep (waking every hour until about 4am where I gave up on sleep).

I was quite excited to see my girls return, quite aware that it would be bittersweet having left the bosom of family to come back to a husband/dad that would be absent most days.

What I wasn't really prepared for was Emily. The look on her face when I saw her was a complete blank - nothing that could be confused for recognition crossed her face. To her, I was another person to meet. This was upsetting, but as she'd spent 1/6th of her life away from me, I wasn't completely surprised.

I was prepared slightly for how big she'd gotten, but I'll never forget that first glimpse of her when Sue carried her out of the arrivals hall. It was just really odd... almost like "who is this creature"?

I'd been a dad for 5 months, then a singleton for a month and now I'm back to being a dad, exactly where I want to be.
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Friday, 3 October 2008

Child care

It's funny, when you have a child you want the best for them... sorry THE BEST. No frozen fish fingers or sugary drinks, let's go fishing ourselves and squish some fruit to make drinks.

I think pretty early on you have to realise you're not superman and take some of the staunch views you develop as Ideal Parent and relax them a bit.

I came across an article at the CBC about a new style of daycare that's 99% outdoors. Yes, outdoors ... all the time .... in Canada (near Ottawa). You can imagine how hot in the summer and how bone-chillingly cold in the winter it would be, but the article made some sound points about battling obesity and other ills that children of today face.

They also mentioned these types of child care centres are quite popular in places like the UK! So, with Ideal Dad hat on, I plan to find one of these marvels of child rearing and see if it'll be possible to send Emily there, to experience nature, not be sick and be healthy enough she won't get obese.

Oh pipe dreams.

Now playing: Erasure - Love to Hate You
via FoxyTunes
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Thursday, 2 October 2008

Real Food

two slices of toasted white breadImage via WikipediaSue tells me that not only is Emily growing by leaps and bounds down under, she's also eating toast!! That's real food.

All I've seen her eat so far (or fed her) is bland looking mush - baby rice, or blended up veg.

Toast is a big deal, although Sue tells me Em is sucking on it more than eating it, so I may not be missing too much.

Now playing: New Order - Here To Stay
via FoxyTunes
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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

large and in charge

The count down is on until the girls get back and I, for one, can't wait!

The word on the phone is that Emily is large and in charge. Rolling from back to tummy, almost walking (not!) and ready to start Uni!

We've been buying those "you will know it's time to turn the page" books for her which is a hoot. I had them as a kid - complete with dodgy little 33 1/3rd 7" vinyl. Of course, as Emily is a child of another century - her books come with CD!

In other news, apparently Emily might have problems later in life as she was a large child. According to a number of online articles, the larger the baby the more the risk of breast cancer at a later date.

WONDERFUL! I'd better get my hugs in when they get back next week in that case.
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Sunday, 21 September 2008

Free child care?

In his latest attempt to get himself out of the mire, Gordon Brown today has pledged in an interview with the Telegraph to give every child 2-years old and above free child care. Costing, obviously, in the range of £1 billion and promising to take so long to implement that poor Emily will be a granny by the time she can benefit from it.

Of course, nursery and child care are the top of my stress list as I continue to grapple with the nuances of forking over thousands of pounds so someone else can bring up my child.

Do we get someone in? Do we drop Em off at a nursery centre? If so is it one round here or one near work? What time do they close? How will we pick Em up if it closes before we can get back?

Do we pack up altogether and move somewhere else? Canada? Australia?

It'e enough to do your head in. Thankfully we're 6 months away from having to worry, but time goes by quite quickly these days.

Universal day care or nursery has been a political hot potato for years and not just in this country, as this backgrounder from the CBC will attest.

Whether we get it for Em and thus have £1200 extra a month to pump back into the economy in other ways is yet to be seen.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Tales from down under

Not much to report, apart from Emily has been trying Sue's patience with her teething. Up at 3am, feed, grizzle, etc. and then exhaustedly catch a few more winks.

Sue sounds run down when I talk to her on the phone, almost like she's coming down with something. The lack of sleep could very happily play into that.

Sue's also said that Emily has gone through another growth spurt. I don't know how big she is now, but I imagine she's taller than the world's shortest man (who was only 2ft something) who was in the papers recently for the launch of the "Guinness Book of World Records".

Skype LimitedImage via Wikipedia Sue and Em are off on the inter-Australian adventure come Monday. Brisbane, Newcastle, Melbourne, etc. So this weekend will most likely be out last Skype conversation.

I'll be happy to see my girls again when they get back. A month is a long time by any standard, but in Emily's case, it's quite a tangible amount of her life - 1/6!!
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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Nappy rash

Sue's been doing some investigation into the causes of nappy rash, as Emily seems to have come down with a down under case of it.

Sparing the gory details, but it seems to be more of a fungal infection, than just "something babies get". To this end, Sue has swapped the sudocreme for a more powerful anti-fungal cream, and it seems to be doing the trick.

Also, reports from Adelaide tell me that Emily is still being rather irritated by her teeth. Apparently, whilst out shopping with mum and nanna, she was gnawing on some cardboard packaging to try to alleviate the pain.

It also looks like Samuel is getting on better with Emily. That initial "I'm the baby around here" jealousy seems to have been replaced with something much more akin to love. Which is good.
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Saturday, 6 September 2008

Web Camming from Oz

Today was the first real day I was able to converse with Sue and Emily since they got to Oz. We spend well over an hour on the web cam where Sue showed me all the wonderful borrowed things that are keeping Emily occupied.

She even sent me a screen capture of Emily in a borrowed "floor scooter" thing from cousin Samuel across the road.

Seems that even though she has nappy rash, Emily is still quite a happy and content baby, wowing and winning over everyone who comes across her.

Not having had children before, I really hope this carries on through her life and doesn't end when she stops being a cute and cuddly infact.

As it's the 6th of September, there's exactly a month left before the two of them are back. I'm quite excited about this, but I imagine that Sue - with the pampering she'll receive - won't really be looking forward a month with anything but remorse. I could be wrong.
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Thursday, 4 September 2008

Arrival in Oz


Got some IMs from Sue yesterday. The flying duo made it safely to the land downunder and apparently Emily was a superstar on the plane. Far from being the nightmare sleeper on the plane, she managed to catch about eight hours on the first London - KL leg, while poor old Sue only managed to get around four.

Sue rang last night to say that all was well, and that they landed safely in Adelaide.

It's been a strange old couple of days without them, moving Emily's toys and glancing over at Sue's schoolwork laptop, knowing they're going to collect at least a modicum of dust in the next month or so.

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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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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

More jabs

We took her Eminence to get her 16 week jabs today... at just over 19 weeks. It was a three needle affair.

I managed to entertain her during the first one, but failed miserably during the second and third. She eventually regained her composure and we moved on to weigh her as well. 17 lb 11.5 oz!

One of the side effects from some of the many inoculations Em was given include upset stomach and copious sleep. When we got back home around 3p she nodded off and we had to really rouse her after dinner so she would sleep though the night. There's been no sign of upset tum yet though, which is good.

The weather's cooled down and Em movements have returned to normal colour, so the worry we had about their greenness was probably down to the heat and her sweating more. The midwife said she may have also caught a slight bug which would have turned it green.

All in all, another good day in the life of Em.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Crankies

From all that we've read, it looks like Emily may be in the early stages of teething. The jury's out on when it fully begins and fully ends, with the get out clause "all babies are different", but the tell tale signs are there - the crankies, the rosy cheeks, etc.

I have no idea what to expect from this, and a lot of dread and worry. I don't remember Dan going through this, but I would have only been about 8 at the time, and probably had more Star Wars on my mind that noting down teething information for a potential baby 27 years later.

High on the purchase list for tomorrow is some Bonjela, which is supposed to soothe the savage baby. Over the coming months, we'll see exactly how savage and how much soothing.

I can wait.
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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Evening Horriblus

Both Sue and I have had MUCH better evenings as parents than last night.

First, Sue and Em had a lovely day out in the sun at a local park. However, when I went to wake Em up for an evening feed around 9pm, she was warm... really warm and kinda pink around the face, in the "have you got heatstroke kind of way".

A quick read up in books, etc. told us not to worry unless the symptoms of warm and pink was accompanied by vomiting and some other serious sounding things.

The symptoms were just accompanied by an explosive bout of bowel evacuation, so no problem there.

A quick change later, and a strip down of Em helped get her temp down. We then decided to bathe her in the sink to rinse off some other fluids of her own creation. The sink tap was quite scalding so I decided in my logical manner to run the cold so she wouldn't scald herself on the faucet. Well, the last dregs of water were quite scalding and she screamed and screamed and her leg turned the pink her face was.

We put a wet flannel on her leg and in some weird superhero way, the scald was gone before we went bed. This kinda made me think we've given birth to a baby with superpowers. Is Em going to be like Claire from Heroes? That would be so cool!

Although, I won't be breaking her fingers to see if they grow back.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Usually a train trip home from work with Emily is close enough to torture that I recoil in mental pain at the mere thought. Screaming, squirming, embarrassed looks by other passengers and if you recall my trip on Friday, seat theft of the highest order!

Tonight was none of those things. Having picked her up from day care, we had quite the placid uneventful trip home. She was attentive and inquisitive as we walked along to Moorgate to get the bus.

Having fallen asleep mid-way to London Bridge she awoke half way home. This is usually when the bawling and screaming etc. happens - usually due to tiredness or hunger. Amazingly, she just sat there in her pram looking out the window at other passengers and at me. We giggled, cooed and smiled at each other and not once did she even curl her mouth up in the threat of a cry.

Amazing! I surmise that the lack of sleep she had at daycare was the culprit for her placid demeanour. If so, bring it on.

When we got home, and tiredness took it's hold, she became inconsolable to a degree. I've also discovered that she doesn't take kindly to silicone teats - a truth brought home from reports from the day care centre that she only took about nine ounces of milk all day.

When mummy came home, she was consoled, fed and brought back from the brink of sleep and food deprivation.

Good ole mummy.

Now playing: B. Fleischmann - 06 sono
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Day care

Sue's got a "come back to work" day or "keep in touch" day today. Bottom line is, she's gone back to work for a day and we've put Emily in Deutsche Bank day care for the day.

This is a huge step. We've left Em with people before, but they've been friends or family and only for a couple of hours while we went to a concert or popped out for dinner.

This moment had to happen sometime, but just looking at her little placid happy face as she left the flat today with mummy... she doesn't really know what's in store!

Sue said the day care centre are going to call her every two hours with updates, which is good and that the younger they are, the more oblivious they are that they've been "abandoned" by their parents. Hopefully this will make things easier down the road - actual day care, first days of school, etc.
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Sunday, 20 July 2008

New Camera!

Well, our new camera's arrived and as such I've been toying around with the settings, etc.

I expect that Sue and I will be filling up many more virtual shoe boxes with images of Emily doing all sorts of things that are only of remote interest to the two of us.

In the meantime, here's a snap I took on a setting called "self portrait". Emily, ever the scene stealer, just had to see what the big deal was about and steal my thunder!
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Friday, 18 July 2008

Train journey problems

On the train journey home tonight was fraught with concern.

Sue had come into town with Emily and passed her on to me like an Olympic baton while she had a well deserved night out with friends.

I made my way to Victoria with Em and then the problem arose. Normally, I've taken Emily back on the train from London Bridge which is pretty much always 1) at least 8 carriages and 2) has a wheel chair area.

Tonight's excursion from Victoria was neither of these things - it was 4 carriages and not a wheelchair or pram area in sight.

What's a dad to do?

Well, I found a "this is for old people" area and pushed her pram in there - taking up 5 seats in the process. In my defence, when we got on the train it wasn't all that full. By the time the train left and people couldn't get on the train due to capacity, I did begin to feel quite guilty.

Thanks to the British resolve, no one actually challenged my brazened theft of good seats, but I surmised that I was doing a favour to one and all in keeping Emily entertained and thus not screaming her lungs out. I also refused to make eye contact with any other travellers.

By the time we got to Thornton Heath, the train had emptied considerably and by Wallington we were one of the last remaining few on the train.

I think in future I need to figure out a decent plan B because this plan A stressed me out more than a trip home with my daughter probably should.
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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Scoocher McGee

Over last week or so, Emily has become an increasingly mobile little creature... and it's worrying.

It all started with her pushing herself off her change matt with her legs. Now it's got to the point where she's "back surfing" around the living room, starting off on her baby gym and ending up across the room in pretty record time. This has all been documented on camera phone by Sue.

It was all smiles and giggles until yesterday when Emily decided to back surf into an ottoman we have near the dining table. Sue was very careful to cover any dangerous surfaces on the coffee table with pillows, but you can never hold a dedicated scootcher down and Emily went careening into the ottoman.

Many tears ensued and we decided sooner rather than later is when we need to baby proof the flat.

So far we have her wriggling and almost being able to turn over on her back, now we have her moving around the room. Her development has been quite interesting to witness.

Now playing: U2 - With Or Without You
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Monday, 14 July 2008

Being a Weaner

The last week or so Sue and I have been contemplating the next phase of Emily's life - real food. Most of the books suggest that this phase doesn't start until six months. For Emily that would be September, when she's in Australia with mummy.

However, Sue has been reading another baby book that suggests that weaning can begin as early as four months, depending on size of baby, etc. Well, four months is TOMORROW!

All I can say is, we are not really all that ready to begin the weaning adventure.

I understand it just means you blend the hell out of real food until it's bland and as runny as milk, but I need to read up - do you serve it in a bottle? How much do you give? What if they don't like it? Do you have to play that damn airplane hanger game with them to eat it?

Thankfully my babies guide for dummies is handy, so I'll be doing some weaning boning up when I get home.

Now playing: Men at Work - Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive
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Friday, 11 July 2008

Sleep, my friend, why have you abandoned me?

Ok before I have a go at Emily, I have to offer a mea culpa. The last couple of nights we've kept her up WAY past her bedtime and she's retaliated the only way she knows how - by screaming. (Last night just after arriving home around 10.15p, I'd left her on the sofa while I took my shoes off. When I put her down she was crying, when I looked back after removing said apparel, she was asleep.)

Having said that, we're going through another phase now - ROLLING!

Emily used to just lay there like a doll or a log and if you wanted her to move, you moved her. Now she's figuring out the rolling thing and moving her head, it's becoming increasingly difficult for Sue to feed her without Em's little eyes darting everywhere and her focus on anything but the feed. Invariably she lets go to look at what she's found interesting, realises she's not feeding any more and screams. WONDERFUL!

But I digress, along with the rolling has come the "I don't wanna sleep" phase of life. Sue has called me the last couple of days with tales of how Emily just seems to be missing her afternoon nap. This is setting us up for a fall, as when I get home at night her eyes are glazed over and she has rings around them like an all night factory worker.

We've just got used to her old regime and it looks like we've been thrust into the middle of a new one we've got to learn pretty quick.

At least she's sleeping through the night still. Although, being awoken at 6am is still jarring on the system, it's not as bad as it is for Sue who has to feed the little tyke.

I'm just getting used to showing up at work with my own bags under my eyes and the constant yawn.
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Wednesday, 9 July 2008


It's my birthday today, and as a special treat, I got a present from my daughter. My first birthday as a dad.

The birthday cards sitting on the "mantle" now read - "to my husband", "to our son", "to my nephew", "to my dad" and ... oddly.. "to my sister-in-law".

Went out for steak tonight at Smith & Western and Emily was way over tired and didn't take kindly to not being at home or in bed. Sue eventually took her outside to rock her and feed her, leaving me at the table to guard the possessions - keys, phones, wallets, etc.

Em eventually nodded off during the main course and we had a nice quite meal (apart from the kids at the other table - which we hope to God Emily doesn't act like at that age!)

Now playing: Oingo Boingo - When the Lights Go Out
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Monday, 7 July 2008

Partying and baby sleeps

This weekend we went away overnight to a friend of Sue's for a birthday party in the country.

Again, Emily was the star of the show, with her grinning face illuminating the room and everyone wanting a cuddle. One downfall was we didn't really get Emily to get until about 1.30am. Not too bad, except her usual bedtime is about 7.30pm... 9pm at a push.

The benefit of her being absolutely exhausted was that I could get her to go to sleep with just a little persuasion. Lately, she's not been going to sleep on her own and has needed a last feed to "knock her out" as the case may be.

Sue and I are a bit worried that this will continue and she'll be 15, sitting at the dining table with her face in her food as the only way to get her to sleep.

Now playing: Foo Fighters - Hell
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Enjoying the holiday in the sun

We've now been in Spain for almost three whole days, and Emily is having quite the number of first experiences - from extreme heat to swimming pools. The last couple of nights she's been quite active during her sleep, which I take as a sign that she's processing all the amazing things she's been through.

Today we went to a Sunday market near Quesada, where Paul's folks live. We got about an hour into it before Emily gave up and just became agitated. (Sue had already given up, having been cornered in a children's clothing stall by two women who didn't seem to understand English or the word "no").

The constant sun in Em's face and the heat obviously played on her with great effect. We eventually retreated back to the car where we turned the A/C on and Sue fed her. She was quite good after that.

This afternoon, we did what most people do in a hot climate on holiday - we hit the pool! This involved - for Emily - donning waterproof nappies and a nice little wetsuit, as well as lashings of SPF 50+ sunscreen, baby sunnies and a hat. As she was quite tired and agitated from the mornings activities, there was no way the sunnies were staying on, so pool time was enjoyed through squinty eyes.

We played a few games in the water and did a bit of playful horsing around before Emily finally succumbed to tiredness and began to grizzle. A quick feed later and she was out for the count in the shade.

I think we're all having a nice laid back time, just doing things as they come. For Emily, especially, there are so many things she's experiencing for the first time, I'm surprised her mind doesn't explode.

Friday, 27 June 2008

The pain in Spain falls mainly from the plane

We made it to Spain for our long weekend getaway finally.

The plane was an hour late and we were already hestitant about how Emily would handle the whole thing.

I had visions of bleeding ears and blood curdling / passenger deafening screams surrounding the take off and landing pressure changes. As it was, she was feeding off Sue at take off and gave a few pained cries, but nothing monumental.

When we got the cruising altitude, she collapsed in a stressed out, exhausted ball on my lap and stayed that way until the announcement came over the tannoy that we were beginning our decent. Again, there was visible discomfort from Emily but nothing major.

The plane however, after the two hour delay, was horrendous. Monarch fobbed us off onto a Thomson plane which is pretty much akin to a sardine tin.

I think things will be much better when Sue travels to Australia with Em in September. For starters, Em will have a basket to stay in, not Sue's lap with a dodgy orange "baby" seatbelt.

We finally got to Quesada, where Paul's folks live, around 11.30p local time. Had a few bevvies and checked out all the baby stuff that we rented for Emily. We then collapsed in a travel-induced exhaustion, ready to start the holiday properly.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Latest set of jabs today

Had an appointment this afternoon to get Emily's latest set of jabs done. This time they started her course to combat meningitis as well.

She was quite good, all things considered, and really only grizzled slightly during the jabs, even though there was a bit of blood (thankfully the cotton wool to most of it).

Last round of jabs, we gave her Calpol and she was knocked out for most of the evening. This afternoon, we've not been as lucky. Most of the Calpol ended up on a muslin or on her dress and she kept breaking into crying randomly. Sue's been able to send her off to sleep with a feed, but we're not sure for how long.

While at the clinic, we also got the little tyke weighed. She's now clocking in at over 16 lbs! That's quite the heft, but they're quite happy with her progress and so are we.

The next major hurdle is how Spain is handled...

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Great Baby Cot Debate

It's come to the point in Emily's life where she's outgrown her Moses basket and the grand decision has to be made - do we completely rejig our bedroom to fit her cot or do we move on to another milestone and make her sleep in her own room.

Logistically speaking, our bedroom - without some major furniture removal - could not accommodate Emily's cot. We could try a number of other options, including army bunks or sawing things in half, but this is not really a good idea.

Thus, due to logistics, we've had to embrace the milestone that is baby sleeping in her cot in her room ahead of the six months that Sue was hoping for.

I've since done some research to find out whether we now qualify for the worst parents of the year award and I've discovered that 3 months is the usual limit that parents can cope with the little person they've created sleeping near them. Things like snuffles and constant shifting restlestness mean that the parents get a better sleep without baby there. A work colleague told me that his son was wise to the awake parent anytime of the night, so a 4am loo visit automatically became a "hey, you're up, let's play" session.

We're now debating baby monitors, and I think there's a real tangible sense of guilt manifesting in cot death worry, but I think statistics will bear out that we're doing the right thing.
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