Archive for July, 2007

Familial Visit & New Parent Worries

July 29, 2007

A lot of this weekend has been spent running chores. This evening I finally sorted out our two wardrobes that moved with us, into which the removal men had randomly mixed Hannah and my clothes. I separated them out so that I could actually find anything for work this coming week. This is entirely a different issue to who gets the privilege of using the built-in and third wardrobe (obtained from Barbara) upstairs in our bedroom. This is just an example of the things that get left undone after a house move.

Yesterday I drove to Ryde to find out if anyone had handed in the lost keys to the police. After hunting around to find the station (finally discovering its location by using Orange’s local service on WAP), I was disappointed to find it dark and closed looking. The notice on the front suggested it ought to be open, but using the phone on the front connected me to a call centre who reassured me it was closed. A wasted trip, and one wonders why a police station cannot be staffed to be open to the public when the coppers are lifting bad boys in round the back.

Today Jack, Karen and Josh (Hannah’s Dad, stepmother and little brother) came across from Bournemouth to visit. They were all very smitten by Ella, Jack having last seen her on her birth day. Josh is a very young uncle, at a mere 10 years old. He is advanced in internet years though, as he has started his own blog, and I have added it to my blogroll. It’s in its infancy, but have a look and vote in his poll.

All of these goings-on were encompassed by a slight worry Hannah and I had about Ella. She has developed a load of spots that we first saw yesterday on her scalp and face. They match the description of milia. We weren’t too concerned, but as Hannah had chickenpox when she was 15 months old, and this triggered her diabetes, she is very nervous about anything spotty on Ella. This morning we noticed that the spots had started to show on her chest and upper back, so we decided to do the new parent thing and ring for medical help, using NHS Direct. They went through all sorts of symptoms and advised that we should speak to our on-call doctor, who they contacted for us. We got called a short while later, and the doctor decided that without any other symptoms it was okay to wait until the health visitor made her visit tomorrow morning. This evening they look to have faded, but maybe they will return tomorrow. Overall, I don’t think we have much to worry about, but we have to be the archetypal first parents sometime.

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Furniture Struggles

July 28, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I had just about got our study sorted. This was chalk full of books and this here computer, plus a couple of random unpacked boxes and my old computer (shortly to be for sale). Hannah had ordered a fancy futon from a local furniture superstore, which was to fit in the bay window of the study. It arrived, flat packed, the Wednesday before I went to Hamish’s wedding. Once the components had been man-handled upstairs (including the biggest box I have ever seen, it is 7 foot long, not an inch less), I started to open the boxes and wondering exactly how big this thing was. It turned out that this was a 3-seater sofa, and that rather than a conventional futon that extends out of the seat so the sofa back is at the head of the bed, it is hinged in the middle, so the armrests end up as the top and bottom of the bed. This means that the sofa is the length, rather than the width of the bed, and that as a 3-seater is is well over 6 ft long. This meant is wouldn’t fit in the bay in the study. In fact there weren’t many choices as to where in the study it would go. Bear in mind this realisation came before I had seriously started to build the darn thing.

I have to admit I had a bit of a strop at this point, not having chosen the thing. It did look quite pleasant, but didn’t seem practical. Hannah and debated whether to keep it or send it back. In the end we decided to keep it, and I returned to the construction instructions to discover they lacked the mention of at least one set of ingrediants that came in the box, and contain the immortal words: ‘Careful: this step is risky. It should be done by two persons’.

Anyway, I finally managed to complete the assembly a couple of nights ago, after having had some help to hold it together at the risky step from Hannah, and she had also pointed out a better way of putting it together than in the instructions. It’s a nice big sofa and if ever we have two couples staying, both can sleep in comfort – one pair in the spare room and one in the study. Any takers?

One Month

July 27, 2007

Today Ella is one month old. It seems both an age and an instant since she was born. I suppose the fact that we have moved house since then adds to the age aspect. I was thinking back to the first night we had her at home, and how I popped out of bed every-so-often (in that new parent, anxious way) and how, so quickly, one becomes more relaxed and able to cope better with a silent baby (indeed appreciative of a silent baby).

I am back to work now, so when we had a bad night last night, it weighed on me a little today. I think I may have nodded off this evening when I got home and Auntie Rachel was visiting.

Talking of visitors, in the two days I have been in work Hannah has been busy. Yesterday two of her friends from the health education people came by, and she had a trip to the hospital to have a kidney checkup with Barbara (checkup went well). Today her friend Paula visited, and they went shopping (purchasing two Disney CDs, yeuch), and this evening Rachel, her sister, visited. Busy times.

Home Sweet Home

July 24, 2007

I made it back down south, despite the floods around Oxford. I was able to use my ticket to go down the East Coast route via London. This takes much the same time as the direct train between Southampton and Edinburgh, but involves the nasty cross-London change.

Ella seems to have grown loads while I have been gone. I think Barbara has been seriously feeding Hannah. She does seem quite different, a bit more grown up. She did reward my return with a bit of a nasty night, only properly settling down at 4am. I’m not sure how I am going to manage when I start back at work, which, unfortunately, is tomorrow.

One reason why Ella does appear to have grown is because she has. The health visitor was here yesterday and weighed Ella. In the previous 6 days, she put on 9 ounces, and is now passed her birth weight to be 6 lb 13 oz. This is really great news because the health visitor had said if Ella didn’t put on an ounce a day for Monday, then she would have to ring up the special baby unit at St Mary’s and the result of that would have been powdered milk top-ups. Relief all round.

While the Cat is Away …

July 22, 2007

While I have been up here, Barbara has been holding fort with Hannah and Ella. It sounds like they have been having a great time, with Barbara feeding up Hannah, and Ella behaving much as usual, ie totally erratic timetable. A lot of shopping has gone on, with Tesco, Marks and Spencers and Next all being visited. Unfortunately, Hannah has misplaced a set of house keys and all the car keys for one of the cars. This meant that Barbara had to enter the house over the back gate (which was locked by a bolt) and via the back bedroom window (on the first floor), using a set of ladders from next door. Thinking about it, it would have been easier for them to call our cleaner, who has a spare set of keys.

I am looking forward to getting back to seeing Hannah and Ella, because I have missed them, although it is nice to get some calm sleep. There may be a problem with getting back down there, though, as the route of my train is via flood-ridden Oxford, and there have been no trains running between Birmingham and Oxford today. The forecast isn’t good, so I may be looking for alternative routes tomorrow morning.

Wedding Break

July 22, 2007

I have been in Scotland for Hamish’s wedding, as his best man. The big day went well, with everyone having a jolly good time, despite the tipping rain. Hopefully Hamish and Christine will get good pictures despite their photographer breaking his leg the night before the wedding. I had a great day being best man, and I think I got away with my speech. Hamish’s was rather risky, with the line of ‘I am surprised Andy [his father-in-law] managed to produce such a beautiful daughter” not being the most politic of entries to a groom’s speech. I did tone it down a little. I did forget to mention how Hamish used to pile grapes into his mouth as a child. It would have been good to include as the hand gestures would have been comical. All the components of the wedding were great: the wedding service, canapes, the venue, the meal and the good old ceilidh. I also thought the bar prices were very reasonable, but maybe I am too used to southern charges. The reception was held at Our Dynamic Earth, a science museum in Edinburgh. They are very well kitted out for hospitality, and were very good, and we got a trip around the exhibits while they resorted the hall after dinner. It was something different for a reception, and it make it stand out in my memory.

Wee Problems

July 19, 2007

I haven’t taken the time to blog the aftermath of Hannah’s pregnancy, other than the trip to the eye doctor. She is still on blood pressure tables, having had the prescription changed immediately after the birth, and now changed back to the previous drug. This was because shortly after we moved house Hannah had a big allergic reaction to something, and her suspicion was the new blood pressure tablets. Our GP changed the prescription, but the symptoms are still persisting. All of this means Hannah is still on a cocktail of drugs, which is unfortunate. The allergy, whatever it is, makes Hannah more uncomfortable than early motherhood already makes her, and can keep her awake more than she needs to be. As ever with Hannah, she manfully suffers it and rarely complains or makes comment on it.

Ella also has a wee problem, which is her weeness, ie she isn’t big enough. The medical people expect babies to regain their birth weight by the end of the second week. Ella didn’t manage this, and indeed at the end of her third week she still isn’t back to the 6 lb 11 oz starting weight. Hannah has been given strict instructions to eat much more fat (the health visitor was very unimpressed with Hannah’s list of favourite foods – not enough fat in each of them). Avocados and unsalted organic butter are now the order of the day. It is also possible that the antihistamines that Hannah has been on could be affecting the milk, plus various other theories. Regardless of all that, Ella feeds plenty and the health visitor is happy with the colour, consistency and regularity of Ella’s poos (a similar obsession to Gillian McKeith). Ella is putting weight on, just not enough of it, but hopefully the rate will improve and I expect it will because in every other way she is doing fantastically well.

Separated

July 19, 2007

This weekend I am undertaking family duties, and being best man for my youngest brother, Hamish. This is, of course, an honour, but one that unfortunately means I have to leave behind Hannah and Ella. This is very sad and I am missing them both very much. Hannah would have liked to have come up for the wedding, but it would have been logistically very difficult, and she is needing to take as much rest as she can for the breast feeding, plus her medications at the moment are knocking her for six.

Anyway, I get the chance to have some nights of uninterrupted sleep, and Ella’s Gangan (Barbara) gets the chance to look after them both for a couple of days.

I also get to observe that the four generations of my family who are staying at my Mum’s house are all early to bed, leaving me on my tod.

Others in Similar Situations

July 14, 2007

Two of my fellow bloggers are going through the same experiences (in some respects) that Hannah and I have just done.

Greg and Brandy have just moved house, except that the move was across several thousand miles, rather than just 1, and they did it themselves, rather than being packed and moved by pros. Congratulations to them on making it through storms and getting in. It’s their first house purchase, and we wish them every happiness there.

Steve and Wendy-Ann are expecting twins, and their blog is beginning to report many overnight stays for Wendy-Ann in hospital while the medical teams monitor things they don’t like (which covers any awful lot of stuff). All I can say from our experience is to hang in there and keep everything crossed. Hannah kept setting herself milestones to reach, and I really think the pregnancy lasted as long as it did through Hannah’s willpower and determination to get as close to the end as possible. Also, we were helped by a stubborn consultant who wasn’t listening to anything anyone else told him. Good luck to all four of you.

Blank Return to Hospital

July 14, 2007

On Thursday we had our first big trip out when Hannah had to go back to hospital in the expectation of having to have more laser surgery on her eyes. This was to help speed the recovery of her retinas from some of the side effects of the oedema during pregnancy. We had to do a lot of waiting, as the surgeon got called away to an emergency and there were a lot of people booked in for appointments. During the time we waited Hannah had to feed Ella twice, and I took her away for my first experience of a public nappy changing unit (not too bad, seemed quite clean). It was a long morning which actually finished very well because the surgeon when he examined Hannah’s eyes said he was happy with their natural recovery and said that he didn’t need to do this round of laser sugery.

To celebrate we went for our first family meal.