Archive for March, 2011


March 27, 2011

That’s a real American word for the title, nice.

Ella is definitely undergoing transition, from toddler to little child. There’s still plenty of proper toddler behaviour: the occasional tantrum or stubborn episode, weird application of logic, disregard for safety. I suspect, though, that some of those traits will continue long into childhood.

These days there aren’t a great many tasks that she needs help with. Her ablutions are one set, and eating is kind of another, with that she is mostly able to eat with cutlery but can be slow and so gets sped up by a grown-up stepping in. Therefore she has much more independence. She can even turn the television on!

Today contained a first, the sign of the developing school kid: she had her friend, Christabel, from school over for a play, and a trip to see a local amateur production of Alice in Wonderland. The girls had fun playing together and having lunch. I didn’t join them for Alice, and apparently is wasn’t much of a hit with them, so they had some milkshakes instead. For Hannah and I it was the weirdness of meeting other people who you have previously only known as ‘Christabel’s Mummy’ or ‘Christabel’s Daddy’. I’m sure all parents have to do that at some stage. It’s odd thinking of the people who your daughter is getting to know that you don’t. When I walk Ella to school she frequently points out other adults and says “that’s Eleanor’s Mummy” etc.

She makes the usual cute mistakes with some words or phrases, some of which stick. Examples of that include ‘water crystal’ for water pistol, and something else I meant to blog but neither Hannah nor I can remember. We’re working on trying to stop her saying ‘f’ instead of ‘th’ as well.

Also she has a lot more physicality now. There are her dancing lessons once a week, which help her with her balance etc. She will spontaneously break into dance at home, or when we’re out, such as Friday evening having dinner in The Pier View, a pub in Cowes, where she was dancing along to the music. She’s jumping across the sofas in the living room quite a lot, or doing frog jumps in her bedroom, and runs or skips quite a bit on the way to school. At one point she was trying to do somersaults.

So, as you’d expect (and I must have said in the past), changes continue.


Trials and Tribulations

March 15, 2011

It’s been a tough start to 2011 for Hannah and I, I believe. For both of us at work there have been some tough times; for me handling various management things that come around at IBM at the start of every year plus a good deal of what we call ‘plan churn’ over the past two months has been quite draining; for Hannah there have been a number of things at school that have been stressful. Add to all of this Hannah’s big operation that she had last week.

Back at Christmas Hannah had a big bleed in her right eye. It’s been a long time since I’ve covered Hannah’s eyes on this blog, but the problems related to diabetic retinopathy have never been far from our lives. Her right eye is not the best one, but the bleed made it nearly useless, and therefore judging distances became harder and reading etc was far more tiring. We had a couple of visits to hospital over the Christmas period, including Christmas Day itself, when the only option to have the eye properly checked was an air amublance to Southampton (the only reason that didn’t happen was because Southampton General wouldn’t have been able to fire up their diagnostic equipment). The long and short of that period was a big bleed that lasted pretty much until three weeks ago, so Hannah managed half a term at school with basically one eye. A while ago the consultant had diagnosed a cataract in Hannah’s right eye, and so she was put on the waiting list for the surgery and Hannah had pretty much chosen to have it scheduled this coming Easter. Events at Christmas brought this forward to last week.

I could describe in a lot of detail what has happened in the past week since the operation, but I won’t. The op itself took 2 hours, and was a combination of the planned cataract removal and lens replacement, and (warning on the next link, it’s pretty gruesome) vitrectomy and an unplanned freezing of a retinal tear. Hannah has had a lot of pain since then, as you might expect, with a hefty cocktail of drugs. She should have been out of hospital the same day, but had a faint in the afternoon after the op, and so they kept her in overnight, itself not an enjoyable experience for Hannah. After that she stayed with her Mum, Barbara, until the weekend, and my Mum, Clare, was here looking after Ella, so I could get off to work. Then on Sunday, Hannah had another faint, and so we spent a few hours waiting in hospital for a fairly thorough check that proved inconclusive. Therefore she’s been back with Barbara to make sure there’s a watching brief on her.

Today Hannah was much brighter than she has been, and is finding her vision improving lots, which is really good news. We’re expecting it to take 4-6 weeks for the after-effects of the operation to clear, so the progress Hannah is reporting so far is a real boon.

I’ve had Ella over the past couple of days, when not at work, and she’s been great. In the morning she does ask where Mummy is, but is happy enough with the explanation that she’s having a sleepover at Gan-gan’s. Ella has been fine going to school, and her usual self around the house when at home. When we were hanging around the hospital on Sunday she was very good, hardly complaining and playing with some kids in the toy area of the waiting room.