Archive for June, 2008

Ella’s First Birthday

June 27, 2008

Ella was 1 today. It seems amazing that we’ve got to this milestone, although it’s obviously not a major feat in human existance as many millions of parents manage it every year. Thankfully, Ella is healthy and happy and we’ve both very proud parents. Today wasn’t very eventful, by most standards. Clare (my Mum and Granny) has been down with us for a few days for the birthday and forthcoming party, so there was some early morning choruses of Happy Birthday. After Ella’s morning nap we open her presents. She had quite a few through the post. After that we went to the Octapus’s Garden cafe in Cowes, which Ella quite likes. She had a very grown-up lunch of sausage, beans and mash. Later in the afternoon Barbara and Rachel came to visit, and so there were more presents to open and more love and attention for Ella. She did end the day rather tired, captured on video. This evening Hannah and I went out for dinner to celebrate Ella’s birthday and our year of parenthood. This day certainly means more to us than it does to Ella.

What did we get her for her first birthday? It was a problem to choose, because she has all she needs, partly due to very generous friends and family, and to Gan-gan’s charity shop. She did get her first properly sized shoes, that we bought in Clark’s in Newport a couple of weeks ago (3 and half G), and some clothes and a paddling pool with balls to make a ball pit for her party on Sunday.

All-in-all, it’s been a great year, and through fortune or good judgement, Ella is a fantastic, lovely little girl, and I hope she continues in the generally marvellous vein that she had done so far.

Facebook Update

June 22, 2008

I’ve put a few extra pictures of Ella on my Facebook album from the year so far. Thought I ought to before he first birthday. You can view them here.

6000

June 15, 2008

Despite being an irregular blogger, I’ve just hit 6000 page reads. Thanks to all who read, it’s nice to keep you in touch and good to know someone is listennig.

First Father’s Day

June 15, 2008

Today was my first Father’s Day as a father. If you read my entry from Father’s Day last year, you’ll see I have previous experience of presents on this day. Thankfully this year’s was better than last, without Hannah being in hospital, and she had the time to wrap the presents properly, rather than with newspaper. Ella bought me a new shirt, hat, wash bag, a handpainted mug that says ‘I love my Daddy’ and ‘Ella x’ on the back and a couple of bibs (not for me, but they both say something about Daddy on them). All very nice and a big card with a lovely message in it.

I can’t say my day was very relaxing. It did start nicely, as Ella slept in, so Hannah and I both got a nice lie-in. I then decided it was time to mow the lawn, in advance of the forthcoming birthday party, and after that we drove down to Ventnor, avoiding the Isle of Wight Festival site, for lunch with Barbara, Brian and Rachel, who’d popped over for the day. That was pleasant, and Ella had fun romping around the garden and in her playpen that Barbara has, as well as spending time with her Auntie. She also chomped on a whole apple. She didn’t finish it, but she was getting lumps out of it through the skin.

Illness Update

June 14, 2008

Ella still has a streaming nose and cough. Most of the time this doesn’t seem to affect her, she’s quite happy pushing around her toy bus from ELC or playing the xylophone, but sometimes she is quite listless. Her appetite isn’t much affected, though drinking her bottle of milk is a struggle because she can’t breathe with the teat in her mouth. Poor girl.

Unwell

June 12, 2008

This might not be a good night for sleep. Ella has come down with the cold, as well as some hefty teething. She’s already been disturbed and been awake after going to sleep. She’s got a really heavy cough, sounding like she’s been smoking for 70 years, and mainly cigars at that. Her nose has been streaming all day, and because she’s teething she’s drooling as well. Her face just looks like a flood, poor thing. All of that has made her fairly grumpy in the past couple of days, and off her food, to some degree. I hope she feels better soon, because the occasional cough from her room is quite disheartening.

In Charge

June 8, 2008

Today I’ve been left in charge of Ella while Hannah is trained in her new enterprise. She is taking up being an agent for a company called MiniIQ. Sometime in the near future she’ll be organising parties to sell their books and toys, and hopefully making a few bob.

It’s been a very pleasant weekend, weather-wise, on the Island. Today Ella and I had an hour’s walk along the seafront and there were many people out and about. Ella loves these walks: she is always sat forward in her buggy looking about. Other children and dogs are her favourites. It’s been a fairly regular day for her today. I did have to give her a bath on non-bath night because she got rather carried away crushing her strawberries and blueberries at teatime and rubbing the juice in her hair. Such are the table manners of a pre-one year old.

Yesterday, Hannah and I took Ella to a local swing park. Ella has been taken by grandmothers in the past, but this was the first time either of us had been with her. She loved going in the swing, giggling her head off. The sea-saw didn’t work for her because she couldn’t perch on it, even with Hannah holding; the roundabout was definitely not liked; the slide wasn’t much of a hit either because she didn’t understand what to do with her feet. So after trying those, it was back on the swing, which was the clear favourite.

Childcare

June 5, 2008

Hannah returned to school on Monday, and to regular employment. It’s not as though Hannah hasn’t been doing work during her maternity leave, she’s done quite a lot of work for the NHS, but now it’s more official and more regular. As before, she is still part time, three days a week, and for this term it is just three days in school, rather than the three days being spread over more than three days. I took Monday off work so that I could look after Ella and Hannah didn’t have to worry about her. We had a pleasant day together, nothing special, but nothing out of the ordinary for Ella, so she was perfectly settled. As I say, she’s used to her Mummy not necessarily being around every single day, which is a healthy thing in my book. Wednesday, though, was the first day with the childminder (Marilyn). We both took Ella there and dropped her off. I found it quite emotional, leaving Ella with a comparative stranger, as I suppose everyone does. Ella is very trusting and she was smiling away and quite happy. One just imagines her face turning sad shortly afterwards wondering where Mummy and Daddy have gone, and who is this strange person in this strange place. Apparently there was none of that, and she got to be the centre of attention for a while with Marilyn’s daughters wanting hugs with Ella. When Hannah picked her up in the afternoon, she was fast asleep and had enjoyed her day. For two of the three days Hannah is at work, Barbara is looking after Ella, and today was the first of those and of course, Ella is perfectly used to her Gangan and for her it is quite fun.

Ella at 11 months (and a bit)

June 1, 2008

In the past couple of weeks, Ella has clocked up 11 months of life, and we’ve passed the anniversary of Hannah being incarcerated in hospital. Tomorrow is near enough the anniversary of the start of Hannah’s maternity leave, so tragically she returns to school. Fortunately, she has not been given a heavy workload, and her 3 days part time is actually over three days, and not spread over more the week. Hannah isn’t relishing going back, and I know she’ll miss Ella a lot. If we could, I think Hannah would stay at home, but we moved house last year, and both need to draw a salary to pay the mortgage. With Barbara doing two days of Ella’s childcare, it makes Hannah’s return to work less costly, and it’s not as though Hannah’s income will only cover childcare costs. Ella will have one day a week at a childminders, Marilyn and Matthew. I think Ella will enjoy having time with other kids, so I’m not really worried about her taking to that experience.

She is now cruising, ie inching along the sofa, and walks really well with her trolley in such a way that she can control her speed and stop, rather than just falling forward all the time. She is very chatty, with ‘dop’ and ‘dup’ being favourite words. Hannah has a trick where she says ‘Where’s the doggy?’ and Ella will crawl over to her big cuddly dog. It’s very cute.

Ella may also be showing signs of musicality. She loves to play with her xylophones (she has two), and seems quite adept at dragging the stick thing (I forget the term) over the bars. She’ll bob up and down to most music she hears, especially if it has a strong rhythm.

I’m increasingly realising how special it is to have a daughter. Now that she is becoming more and more like a person, one sees how precious having brought a new human into the world is. Sometimes I even have small soppy moments just watching her play. Of course it helps that she is generally very easy going and happy and bubbly and isn’t grumpy or angry or stubborn in doing what you want. It’s thrilling to see her smile when I walk in a room, and when she enjoys playing with me. I am sure Hannah is the same, but I very much look forward to when she talks (although I think I’ll struggle to get a word in edgeways).