Archive for December, 2007

Congratulations

December 26, 2007

Yesterday, Hannah’s sister, Miriam, got engaged. Mark took her for a hike up some hills around Loch Long (which is near Glasgow where they live) and proposed at the top of one of them. We’d been expecting this for a while, so it’s lovely it has finally happened. Best wishes to them both from all of us. Ella is looking forward to being a little flower girl.

Faux Pas

December 26, 2007

Hannah liked the presents that Ella and I gave her, but that was spoilt by the one thing that I forgot. It was a rather small thing. I had remembered that I needed to get one, but when I Was in the right shop, it didn’t occur to me to buy it then. What was it? Hannah’s first Christmas card from Ella. Ooops. I do, of course, feel very guilty about it. I’m afraid that next year will have to be the first, as the moment is passed now.

Ella’s First Christmas

December 26, 2007

Was Ella impressed and excited by Christmas? I think you can guess the answer. She had pretty much her normal morning routine, waking up at about 8:30, being fed and changed and popped back into bed. During her nap, Hannah and I did our presents. After 12, Barbara and her partner, Brian, came, as they were here for Christmas dinner. It was a sort of half-and-half arrangement, with Barbara bringing the meat. Once Barbara and Brian were settled with some drinks we started to do Ella’s presents. She had quite a few. She was more interested in the wrapping than the toys and things themselves. There were some that did catch her attention: her first dolly from her Gangan (Barbara), she was quite taken with that for a while; a musical snake from her Uncle David and Auntie Diane; and big, soft, colourful monkey with crunchy bits from her great grandparents (Chris’s Mum and Dad). Obviously she got lots more, and wasn’t very impressed with what we’d bought her (though they were for 6 months+, so I’m not bothered by that so long as she likes them as from tomorrow). It was quite a marathon present opening, and so was split across two sessions. Thanks to everyone for their generous gifts, Ella will get lots of fun and use from them. Hannah had bought Ella a tartan dress for the day, but by dinner time, Ella had been sick on it too often, and it needed changed. She did look very cute and like a big girl in it.

Apart from that, it was a conventional Christmas Day. The grown-ups ate too much, and watched television. We had a play of the Deal or No Deal DVD game that Barbara gave me, and I won (dealing at £4100, Hannah stuck it out to the last box, and won only 10p).

Ella was possibly rather over-excited, or having some teething pain, because she took ages to go to sleep at night, and cried quite a lot. We tried some Calpol and some Aston and Parsons Powders (recommended to us by Joanna at the weekend), and some extra feeds, and eventually she went off to sleep.

So we had a fun day, Ella won’t remember it, but she’ll get to see the pictures and video when she’s bigger. Mind you, at the rate I am editting video clips, she’ll be a lot older before yesterday’s bits see the light of day!

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2007

I must wish all my blog readers Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a great time, and remember the real story of Christmas, with the birth of Christ and His salvation.

Merry Christmas and season’s greeting. Joyeaux Noel, aussi.

It’s Here

December 24, 2007

Yes, a blog update. Should really have done one a few days ago to mark the anniversary of starting the blog. Yes, blog readers, a whole year has passed since I started these updates on Hannah’s pregnancy. Ella is nearly 6 months old, and much has changed in those twelve short months.

Indeed, even in the past couple of weeks since the last posting, quite a bit has changed. Ella was getting really stroppy when put down to bed in her crib, so we decided to try putting her in her cot in her own room for her night sleeps. She has been having her day naps there for a long time now, so she is quite used to it. This worked a treat, and Ella is now sleeping in her proper bed in her own room. This does mean that when she wakes up in the night, I have to trudge bleary eyed downstairs to get her (as our bedroom is in the loft on the floor above Ella’s). She is, though, waking less, and has done a couple of all night sleeps since moving rooms.

She is also ‘talking’ a lot more, and if she is in the mood, will screech back at you when you talk to her, which is great. She laughs as well, which is wonderful to experience. She is nearly sitting up, and will sit slumped forward for a few seconds before tipping off to one side. The other thing that stops her from sitting is her want to throw herself backwards. Hannah has caught her rolling across our bed, when briefly left there, so it is no longer safe to leave her lying somewhere and expect her to be there later. She doesn’t move around much; for example, if you pop her under her baby gym she’ll not roll out of that and across the room. At the moment everything she grabs is going straight in her mouth, and she really likes paper and rustly bags. I think she’ll really enjoy Christmas Day and all that wrapping paper!

Yesterday we went up to London (through delightful foggy southern England) to visit my brother, Douglas, his wife, Joanna, and their daughters, Aliya and Lucy. It was great for Ella to play with her cousins, who she hasn’t seen since September, when Ella was somewhat moody in Peterborough. She had good fun with them, and took especial interest in Lucy’s pink Christmas tree.

I am in the process of knitting together the various bits of video we’ve taken of Ella this year. The intent was to have it available for Christmas, but so far I have done the baby shower, and five minutes of video, so there is a long way to go.

Aunties

December 9, 2007

Ella has spent time with both her maternal aunties this week (ie Hannah’s sisters). Miriam was staying through the week, and spent lots of time being crazy with Ella. She recorded a ‘conversation’ on her phone which seemed to be the pair of them screaming at each other. She babysat on Wednesday so Hannah and I could go out to the cinema (to see The Golden Compass, not bad, but not very thrilling either, not up to Lord of the Rings standard). It has been quite a while since we went to the cinema (when we took Ella) and obviously many months since we went as a couple, so it was nice to turn up and buy the sweeties in relaxed style. What wasn’t relaxing was the fire alarm 10 minutes into the film, and the subsequent 15 minutes standing outside in the cold (at least it wasn’t wet). There didn’t appear to be any real drama, though. I can’t say the staff handled the crowd flooding back into the complex, they allowed a bit of a crush to develop while taking tickets. There was a woman having a strop to a manager as we went into the theatre about it.

Yesterday, Rachel came over to babysit while we went over to Southampton to go out for dinner with my friends. This was Rachel’s first time babysitting, so there could have been some nerves involved, but it all went well, with Ella going down to sleep easily and quickly, which isn’t guaranteed at the moment. Rachel managed to deal with baby poo, which is better than last time she saw it, when she was nearly sick. We had a lovely time out. It was a get-together as Aidy and Lana (who’s wedding we went to in Ireland in the summer) were over in the UK. We had hot curries and then some drinks after. Very civilised, and mosly non-baby.

Fourth Time Lucky

December 5, 2007

I tried to write a blog update three times at the weekend, but the website kept swallowing it. This one will end up being much shorter and less humorous than it would have been.

Last week, my Mum, Clare, visited. She got to spend lots of time with Ella and having lots of chats and long walks. She demonstrated some incredibly fast feeding technique, swooping the spoon from cup (which we’ve been using for Ella’s food) to mouth, and wiping off the overspill from Ella’s mouth. Hannah’s Mum, Barbara, popped round on Thursday and so Ella got to be spoilt by two of her grandmothers for a time.

Ella got weighed as well. We had missed the week before (and today’s as well), so there was a big increase, and she was 13lb 11oz. Hannah did spot another baby at the clinic, and thought that it looked much the same size as Ella. She asked how old the baby was and he was only 4 weeks. So while we think Ella is getting big, and a strain on the arm when holding, she is still much smaller than many babies.

Pimp

December 1, 2007

As mentioned previously here on this blog, I have been studying for an exam. That exam is for a certification in project management. I had the exam on Thursday. Prior to that, as part of the IBM preparation, I was at a two day course up the M3 at a place called Warbrook. I used the satnav to get there, and it delighted in sending me down some single track roads. I don’t mind such roads, they can be quite fun, but I do feel a little guilty whizzing past people’s houses on those little lanes. Overall the course was okay. It was only meant to be an opportunity to tie off the loose ends of ones learning, coming at the end of three months of supposed self-study. I got some benefit, anyway. Their lunches were very good, three courses for £3. Yummy.

So Thursday was the culmination of these few months of self study, and indeed a number of courses I’ve taken in the past 18 months. I had booked the exam in Bournemouth. The PMI outsource the exams to a company who do tests and so the facility is dedicated to testing. The one in Bournemouth was quite small. There was a reception area, a central office where the invigilators sat, and a couple of examination rooms either side. All the walls were glass, and I think all the booths had computers in. There was hardly anyone there, and I was lucky to be there having missing my ferry, got stuck in a traffic jam getting out of Southampton, and then sucked into a one-way system in Bournemouth. I wasn’t a perfect way to clear one’s mind. I shan’t go into the details of the exam (as I don’t think most readers will be interested in CPIs or critical paths or what to do when a contractor is late with a delivery) but I did pass. So now I am a PMP (Project Management Professional). For my reward I think I get a Mont Blanc pen. Nice. I shan’t ask for a pay rise, I’ll only get a laugh.