Archive for the ‘events’ Category

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.

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Pox and Birthdays

June 30, 2010

A couple of weeks ago Ella developed some spots, and we quickly worked out that she had chickenpox. Fortunately, she never really had it bad. She did have a good spread of spots, but she didn’t really get under the weather, and only once did the itching disturb her sleep. When she started itching we got some Piriton for kids, and that seemed to stem any itching. It did mean she was off school and away from her childminder, Caroline, for a week. I had to cover one day, working from home, while entertaining Ella with bad parenting, ie the television. She did very well that day, I have to admit.

She recovered in time from that to go to her friend, Tristan’s, birthday party, which was held at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. We all got a ride on the train, and it was a lovely, sunny day, so that was very good. Ella ran around the carriage with the other kids and seemed to enjoy it.

This weekend just gone was Ella’s third birthday, and we had our party. My Mum and stepdad (Clare and Chris), littlest brother and his wife (Hamish and Christine) all stayed the weekend, and I was most pleased that my other brother headed down from London for the party with his two eldest daughters, Aliya and Lucy. Ella’s birthday was on the same day as her school fair, and I went there with Hamish and Christine over lunchtime, and Ella had the opportunity to bounce on the bouncy castle, play in the sandpit and in the water table. This did mean she had an afternoon nap, which meant that she woke up just before her party, and had a barrage of relatives who all wanted to say hello at once. I think she dealt with that quite well, probably helped along by the presents she was receiving. I know she enjoyed getting to see her two cousins, and they did too. Apparently Aliya was very sad to have to leave.

The party was a BBQ, and it did clash with the England v Germany World Cup match. Of course it’s a game that will go down in history, so I won’t say anything about the result. I watched it over my shoulder while barbequing with it on the computer, with a slight lag behind the television in the living room where quite a few party attenders were watching. That meant I had their cheers and groans before seeing whatever the event was on my internet stream.

Ella got lots of presents. She got a lot of Duplo, a significant amount of that from us. The usual supply of books and clothes; a Trunki from her Gan-gan; and a Thomas the Tank Engine wooden train set from Granny and Grandpa. She got some dolls as well, just to keep up the girlie element.

All-in-all, a good day with splendid weather, and excellent catering from Hannah and helpers.

Happy New Year

January 15, 2010

Hello. Not only is it a new calendar year, since my last posting, way back at the end of November, it is actually a new year for my blog. It turned three in December, so happy birthday to me (kind of).

Having been through the season of giving, obviously a lot has been going on. We were up in Scotland over Christmas itself, staying with Hannah’s sister, Miriam, and visiting my family too. We had a bit of an event going up when we got stuck on the M74 in the snow, and bailed on our journey and stayed in a welcoming hotel in Moffat, called The Star (if you follow that link, the room in the big picture was the one we stayed in). Ella enjoyed herself a great deal up in Scotland, getting lots of presents and attention. She especially liked Santa’s trousers and boots that got stuck in Auntie Miri’s fireplace, and the terrible mess he left. 🙂 She didn’t like it when Uncle Hamish (my youngest brother) smiled at her when we were out for dinner one day, which was a rather odd reaction from her. One moment that Hannah treasured was when Granny and Grandpa were taking Ella to theirs after we’d visited my cousin and while Hannah was saying goodbye to Ella, Ella said ‘I’m so proud of you, Mummy’, which was very sweet.

Back down here, we had a quiet Hogmanay, and had a bit of a wind down before going back to work. I say ‘back to work’, but it was a somewhat brief back to work as when the snow hit Britain, my work closed, leaving me working from home (now for over a week), and Hannah’s school closed for half a week. Unfortunately Ella hasn’t been able to get out and enjoy the snow (which has pretty much melted away from Cowes now) because she’s been loaded with a cold. On the day after it had snowed overnight (last Wednesday) we trudged up the hill from our house to the doctor’s surgery to have Ella checked out, and on the way back Ella was somewhat waily, crying a lot. Whether she didn’t like the cold, the snow or the wet, I don’t know, or she just could have been miserable with being unwell. On the whole, she did seem quite interested in the snow, and we did throw together a quick snowman on Sunday. Ella did do very well during her illness, and generally took her medicine well, although there were some occasions when persistence and persuasion were needed.

One of Hannah’s friends, who was babysitting tonight and hasn’t seen Ella since before Christmas did remark on how tall she’d grown and how well her speech had come on. Also her imaginative play is developing quickly and she’ll spend much more time playing with dolls than before, and using the play cooker she got from Granny for Christmas to prepare meals. She’s helping with real cooking as well, helping Hannah make some biscuits and some ice cream (the latter based on an I Can Cook recipe, a show Ella quite likes). She’s definitely growing into being a proper little girl (barring her love for Thomas the Tank Engine), although we’ve yet to tackle the final vestiges of babyhood – nappies and dummies.

Nearly Done and Thomas

July 29, 2009

We’ve done quite a lot of the packing up of the house, which is good. There are quite a few tasks to do tomorrow, admittedly, before we leave. Of course, the lovely task of putting it all back again awaits our return from holiday. We’re all looking forward to our 11 days in Brittany, and hopefully Hannah and I will get a good rest and the weather will prove good and sunny.

Ella did enjoy her Day with Thomas. Her most favourite thing was a retro car-based merry-go-round, with the cars going round and round on a track. She loved spinning the stearing wheel, and did have a good cry when she was taken off it after her first ride. That was followed by a ride on a merry-go-round which was a load of swings going round quite fast. She did look a bit miserable during that, but afterwards did ask to go back on (which she did later on). She also loved the bouncy castle, scrambling around with the other kids that were on it.

The trains – well, she was rather bemused by why she was having a photo taken while standing on Thomas. She did enjoy the train ride (which wasn’t pulled by Thomas, instead one of Thomas’s friends, aka one of the railway’s regular engines). She frequently commented on the ‘rocking’ and ‘rolling’, said ‘choo choo’ after the whistle was blown, and in the same vein as last week’s trip round the North Circular was quite excited by the tunnel.

All-in-all, a successful day out.

Worst Night Ever

July 12, 2009

Yesterday we went over to Barbara’s for her birthday party. We decided to take Ella, and stay over. This meant that a) Ella would go to bed later than usual; b) probably be somewhat over-excited; c) sleep in the same room as us, which does tend to make her more difficult to put down; d) sleep in a slightly unusual cot (which she does sleep in occasionally). Okay, not the best set of influences for a good night’s sleep, but every-so-often, on a special occasion, you have to push the boundaries. She was quite excited at Barbara’s house before everyone arrived, and remained so after the party goers turned up. We didn’t keep her up long after the party started, and settled her down to bed. After a while she was still awake, so Hannah spent some time in the room with her, and she did go off to sleep. It’s not unusual for her to take an hour to go to sleep at home, with her just talking or singing to herself or her toys. When we went to bed, which was about 2am (rockstar lifestyle), she popped awake and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I have to confess to being quite rubbish, having been under orders from Hannah to take advantage of not having to drive and consume beer; and Hannah did most of the work to try and get Ella back to sleep. Eventually, after some fitful periods of sleep, Hannah and Ella got up around 5, and went off to watch TV, though Ella did bash Hannah in the eye with a book, which didn’t help. Hannah got me up at 7 so she could have a some kip. So come 10 o’clock when we left, all three of us were quite tired. Ella did do quite well in the breakfast stakes, having got one from her mother early on, and another later from her Gan-gan when Hannah was asleep and no-one knew Ella had already had breakfast.

She was rather crotchety at bed time tonight, but she was asleep nice and early (which you can tell from the fact that I’m writing this now and it’s 7:15, when Ella would normally still be heading for bed) so hopefully tomorrow she’ll be bright and breezy again. She’ll need to be because Miriam (Hannah’s younger sister) is coming to stay, and no doubt Ella will be engaged in a whirlwind of activity for the few days Miri is here for.

New Photos

July 6, 2009

I’ve uploaded some photos to Facebook. The first set are a few of ours from Ella’s birthday party. They show how much fun Ella had that day, enjoying some of her presents and cake! She definitely does know what presents are now, showing a great deal of interest in the ones Hannah gave out to the Choir.

The second set is from yesterday, when all three of us went to the Choir’s beach BBQ at St Helens. It was excellent weather, and everyone had a great evening. It was a shame to miss out on a thrilling Wimbledon final, though. I was doing the barbecuing for ourselves, Barbara, Brian, Petra (a friend and choir member who lives across the road), and a couple of other folks. I don’t believe anyone is unwell today, so that must have been okay, despite some items being dropped in the sand and ‘recycled’. Ella had a great time socialising, or alternatively doing her own thing. When the folks who stayed on late were having a sing-song Ella had a good old dance along with them, and once armed with a maraca she helped beat out the rhythm very well. She was most impressive.

Happy Birthday

July 1, 2009

Well, it’s nearly time for my blog on Yahoo 360 to come to a close, but before it does, I should talk about the latest big event: Ella’s second birthday.

She was 2 on Saturday just gone. We had a party at the house, and that all went well. It was a BBQ in the evening, so Ella could have her usual afternoon nap. My folks and little brother, Hamish, and his wife, Christine were staying here, and so Ella was perfectly spoilt all through the day. Barbara and Hannah’s sister, Rachel, came round late in the morning to do some more spoiling and help out with the preparations.

Hannah and I had Ella sleeping in our room, as Hamish and Christine were in Ella’s, so that meant we could give Ella her presents from us when she woke up. We didn’t really get her anything too big, because she’s already got many, many things, just a toy laptop (not as fancy as it sounds) and some toy trucks. She likes the computer, but it is somewhat too advanced for her, and most adults have struggled with its games and puzzles.

Obviously she got many other presents with her trampoline (from Granny) and piano (Gangan, not a real piano, but quite impressive for a toy) being particular favourites. She loves playing with them all, though. She also got some lovely clothes too.

All the attention before the party did wear her out, so her afternoon nap was quite long. Even after she’d gone to sleep after the party, she still seemed quite tired on Sunday morning and had another big sleep on Sunday afternoon.

We had her singing Happy Birthday to herself, which is quite impressive. Her every improving speach helped her be a real star on the day. Indeed, she is moving onto quite advanced observations, saying from the back of the car ‘goodness sake, traffic’!

Before her party this week, she’d shared another with Tristan, the son of Hannah’s friend, Natalie. That was quite relaxed for us, as it wasn’t at our house, we just arrived with some food and extra toys to keep the kids amused. The weather was good that day, as well as on Ella’s birthday itself, which certainly helped keep both parties enjoyable.