Archive for September, 2007

4000 up

September 19, 2007

Once again the blog has gone through a thousand milestone, and surpassed 4000 hits. Compared to the big time blogs it’s nothing, but it is very gratifying that there are still people who continue to cope with my inane waffle.



Tough Love

September 19, 2007

I had to witness my first instance of a harsh choice causing upset to Ella today. It was time for injections mark 2, and I had been told that I would be riding shotgun with Hannah this time, rather than Barbara (who got almost as upset as Ella last time). All parents know that inoculations are required, but it is hard to watch that needle plunge into your daughter’s leg (or son’s, I’m sure). I have to admit the nurse did both injections with incredible speed and precision, though it didn’t really help Ella. She cried some big tears, but the time-proven distraction of a helping of breast milk quickly turned those away. All-in-all she actually did very well, and the nurse was very complementary.

Better news beforehand had come in the form of Ella’s weekly weigh-in. She put on a healthy 8 ounces to shoot into the 9 lb bracket at 9 – 7. This appears to be greatly helped by Barbara’s tip of Hannah taking brewer’s yeast tablets. According to Hannah this has led to a much quicker resupply to milk stores, and so Ella can feed sooner after emptying a breast. I know for all the previous weeks when Ella’s weight didn’t increase a great deal we both said that she looked bigger, but this week she really does. She is beginning to really look like a child rather than a baby. I am sure some of that must be in my imagination, willing on the stage where I can talk with her, as she is not yet even three months old, and babies are babies until well into their second year.

The increased feeding has brought on unpleasant side effects, aping the phrase what goes up, must come down (ie what goes in, must come out). There have been some mammoth pooes, and last night was definitely her record distance of vomit, quite coating a significant area of Hannah’s skirt, and leading to the first wipe down of furniture. Pleasant.

New Blogroll Entry

September 16, 2007

I’ve added a new blog to my blogroll: that of Rich and Katie. They are friends who emigrated (or returned in Katie’s case) to the US a couple of years ago. They are now expecting their first child and are doing the modern thing with a blog to track it. We all wish them good luck at Blogging Brear Towers, and look forward to reading future updates.

Video of Ella

September 13, 2007

I’ve uploaded a video of Ella dancing to her kick and play piano (very sophisticated) to YouTube. It’s not nearly as fancy as one of Steve’s presentations on his blog, but Ella is very cute and showing signs of great advancement.

It can be seen on YouTube here.

I Can Drink Again!

September 13, 2007

Excellent news – Hannah’s vision test today was good and they said she is now safe to drive. Hooray. Also, Dr Lockhead said he was very impressed with the improvements in Hannah’s eyes and maybe in a few years, with stable retinopathy, it would be okay to have another baby (should we wish to).

Eyes Right

September 12, 2007

I worked from home today in order to take Hannah to the hospital for her latest eye check-up. This is the second since her last set of laser. Last time Dr Lockhead had mentioned steroid injections to increase the recovery speed from the macular oedema that occurred during the pregnancy. Today’s examination proved good, with the consultant (not Dr Lockhead today) saying that the eyes were like a different set compared to some previous pictures. Hannah nearly feels ready to start driving again (which will spare Barbara a lot of taxi-ing). She goes back tomorrow to have a further test to determine whether or not she is okay to drive. Fingers crossed.


September 12, 2007

Ella has started to show interest in her toys. Some favourites at the moment include an orange elephant that is part of her moses basket, a yellow and orange cow that is part of a ‘Sit Me Up Cosy’ thingy and her mobiles. She likes to look at her mobiles in her room while she has her nappy changed; they make a change from the Winnie the Pooh music box that she still loves. The other day I shook at rattle at her, and she smiled, which was lovely. Obviously it is still too early for her to be playing with her toys.

She got weighed today, and again hasn’t put on as much as required, only 2 oz, so she is 8lb 15 oz. I was at this one, and our health visitor did not seem very happy. Ella is now on the 0.4 percentile. If her growth doesn’t pick-up then we’ll have to supplement the breast milk with bottled stuff. Nevertheless, she continues to be happy and healthy, and there is nothing else wrong with her, so why worry?

You Tube Debut

September 7, 2007

Thankfully for the world it is not me appearing on You Tube, but rather my first uploaded video. It is of Rod Martin, who you’ll recall is a long time family friend of Hannah’s who we’ve visited a couple of times in the duration of this blog. Just after our wedding he had a rather nasty accident at his garage, which very badly burned him and nearly blew his leg off. Rod is made of stern stuff, and battled near death, and no doubt lots of pain, though he never mentions it. He persevered with many operations and much physio on his leg, rather than taking the easier option of amputation (easier is obviously not used lightly in this instance). His local ITV channel made a news item about his story, and when we visited at Easter I filmed it with our camcorder. I said to Rod that I would upload it to You Tube, and showed it off to him when we were there last week. He was chuffed with it, so now I am advertising it here.

Rod deserves a lot of praise and acknowledgement for his recovery, along with Sue and the rest of the family. They all suffered a great deal, and play down what they’ve been through and seek no form of adulation for their accomplishments. A shame really, as it is a great example to all of us.

Anyway, the video is here on You Tube. You”ll probably have to turn up the volume as it is rather quiet, especially Rod.

Child Trust Fund

September 7, 2007

Having successfully applied for child benefit, we have received our CTF voucher. This now means we have to choose from the many providers and three types of CTF. I’m not surprised that so many parents never choose one (may be a quarter of all eligible) as it’s quite complicated. Hannah is very risk-averse and would prefer to open a cash account, but I prefer the stocks based versions. I’m not sure I’d choose one of the shares accounts, where you buy into a fund (in the case of F&C an actual investment trust) after my not so hot attempt at share trading last year, instead one of the stakeholder accounts, that track a specified stock index seems safer. All the literature underlines that every 18 year period in the last 40 has shown better returns from the stock market than from cash accounts, so why choose to play safe with a cash CTF? A stakeholder account also has to move the money from shares to cash (or safer investments at least, literature seems hazy) when the child is 13, to reduce the exposure to a stock market crash in the last 5 years.

So I’m tempted by the F&C stakeholder account, which is a FTSE-All Share tracker, getting exposure to the blue chips and rising stars of the lesser indices. It has the advantage of charging less than the norm (1.2% versus 1.5%). I just have to persuade Hannah as well.

Skinny Malinky

September 7, 2007

I don’t know if that is a phrase that exists down south, but one we had back up in Glasgow. Ella was weighed on Wednesday, and had put on a megre 3 oz to be 8lb 14 oz. So she is over two months old, and still doesn’t weigh as much as many newborns. This is good for getting wear out of clothes, but she does have an awful lot of those, so that isn’t a problem. The slow weight gain isn’t a major worry either: she eats plenty and is happy so it’s just a number.

We are moving towards an evening routine, putting Ella down to bed at around 9:30pm, with an intent to bring that forwards. We’ve done this pretty much since we got back from our travels, and it is working well. She may need a bit of a cuddle and rock before she settles (though when I’ve taken her to bed I haven’t needed to). I don’t think she has woken during the night since we started doing this, frequently staying asleep until 6:30am. According to one of Hannah’s books an all night sleep is midnight to 5am, so Ella has exceeded that.