Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Hi from Here

July 22, 2009

Really this is just a quick hi. We’ve been up to quite a bit recently, with a visit from Hannah’s sister, Miriam, last week, and a day trip to London to visit my brother, Douglas, and his family, including getting to meet our new-ish niece, Grace, for the first time. Ella, of course, loved spending time with her family, and Miriam was chuffed that Ella could finally say her name. We did have a couple of wobbly lip moments and crying at Douglas’s as Ella either had to share with her three cousins, or didn’t get to do what she wanted, but she had a really good time, and was wonderful in the car both to and from London. She was quite excited by the tunnels and bridges on the North Circular! Not the sort of road architecture you get much of on the Isle of Wight.

Hannah is now off school and into the summer holidays. She isn’t taking it easy, though, what with preping some drugs education stuff for a new programme she’s helping kick off, and getting the house ready to rent over Cowes Week. Right now I’m sat in a room that is filling up with boxes, and there is still plenty more to do in the couple of free days I have before we leave. In fact, I should stop now, and get on with the monthly budget.


A Small Adventure

July 10, 2009

I took the day off today to look after Ella while Hannah had the day in school running one of the Arts Blast events (you’d have to ask Hannah for information on what that was). In order to go and pick up my new phone, and as Hannah had the car, and as the weather was quite good, I thought that Ella and I would have a walk down the cycle path to Newport (where the parcel office is). The walk to Newport took about an hour and a half. Ella didn’t walk all the way, indeed, she was in the buggy for most of it because I was on a deadline to get to Medina Quay for lunch with Hannah. She did have a couple of short stints powering herself; the first when we got the the start of the cycle path, and Ella was definitely full of energy, doing quite a bit of ‘chasing’; and then later on as we neared Newport and I was less worried about the amount of time left. In truth, in the whole journey, the thing that interested her the most was the noisy cement/aggregate works on the edge of Cowes; apart from the packet of carrot stix crisps she ate.

We met Hannah for a nice lunch, though Hannah had to dash off, as she only had an hour. After which we stopped briefly at a swing park, before catching the bus home. It wasn’t a very tiring adventure for Ella, as she was pushed most of the way, but it was for me. She did get a good sleep when we got home, and I got to play with my new phone. 🙂

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.


June 7, 2009

This word is one often used by Ella, and, in line with many toddlers, actually means ‘I want that and someone else is using it’. A recent example, which she talks about almost as frequently as she does the bee in the hair incident, was over a pair of shoes. Last week, Ella had been at a birthday party, with pirate theme, which she enjoyed. Afterwards, back at our house, one of Hannah’s friends, was over, with her son, Tristan. Tristan had a pair of kiddies Crocs shoes on, and Ella took a liking to them. She pointed at them and said ‘share’. I’m not sure if Tristan then took them off, or if Ella just swiped them from his feet, but she got hold of them, and put them on and really quite liked them. When the time came for Tristan and his mum to leave, Ella had to be parted from the shoes, and said had a bit of a crying fit. This isn’t really sharing as we see it as adults. Now, Ella talks about ‘share’, ‘cry’, ‘shoes’, which is her retelling this tale.

Bank Holiday Weekend

May 25, 2009

It’s been a lovely weekend on the island with excellent weather. It certainly started well for me because we got everything done on the project and didn’t have to work over the weekend to finish off. There was a real chance of this happening, so it was relief all round at work.

Last week, Clare, my Mum, was staying, and Ella had lots of good time with her. As mentioned in the posting before this, Hannah and I took advantage and went to the cimema last weekend. Apart from the usual choir reherseal, I don’t think we went out otherwise, but certainly we benefited from not having to be responsive to Ella’s hour of wakening, which is getting earlier (often before 7).

Over the weekend we’ve been by the sea quite a lot. On Saturday we went to Chessell Pottery and tried to do some pottery painting with Ella. It has to be said she wasn’t too interested in that, she did like trying to paint the table instead, and beforehand had really enjoyed looking at the little fountain in their courtyard, and picking kidney beans, black beans, haricot beans and chickpeas out of my salad. She does have a very eclictic palate. After the pottery we went to Compton Bay, and being completely unprepared and bad parents, Ella got very sandy and wet and we didn’t have a towel or swimming costume for her. She really loved playing in a pool of water on the beach and digging in the sand. Eventually she was naked, and we dried her off using one of Hannah’s jumpers, which she also then wore. She did get to enjoy an ice cream afterwards.

On Sunday we didn’t go a great deal, but in the evening met up with Barbara (Gan-gan) and Brian, and Barbara’s brother, David; his wife, Diane, and their daugher Isobel, who was one of our bridesmaids. Generally it was a lovely evening at The Woodvale in Gurnard enjoying the evening sun and views over the Solent, but early on was marred by Ella having a very long crying episode. She clung to Hannah sobbing away for fifteen minutes, before having a few minutes with me, and then deciding to cheer up and play with Barbara and Isobel. We don’t know what started it, and she was happy as Larry for the rest of the evening.

Today seemed set to be rainy, and so we set out to Ryde to meet Hannah’s sister, Rachel, expecting to have to choose some indoor entertainment. By the time we got there it was brightening up so we went to St Helen’s beach, which is over on the east of the island, not far from Ryde. The weather got better and better, and soon Ella was digging away on the beach again. She didn’t get nearly as messy as Saturday, mostly because the sand was dry and not very sticky, but she did have lots of time digging away and a wee paddle with Auntie Rachel. There’s a cafe right on the beach so we had some great scones when we arrived and a pleasant lunch later on.

All-in-all, a very pleasant weekend taking in the island like the tourists do. Though there weren’t many tourists at the choir reherseal this evening, so we weren’t entirely like tourists all weekend.

State of Play

May 4, 2009

It’s been a month since I last put anything down on the blog, which is very bad of me. Hannah continues to remind me that Ella is changing all the time, and I ought to be recording what happens.

For me, Ella is at a very confusing stage: in many ways she is still a baby (she can’t really talk, she is still in nappies, she can’t walk too far); while in many other ways she is a proper girl (she wants to play, she clearly indicates her likes/dislikes, she delights in taking risks, she likes to get a laugh from an audience). It is weird seeing her as a girl one minute, and a baby the next. I try to treat her like a girl rather than a baby, but that clashes when I put her on the changing table to change her nappy.

Her latest craze is drawing. Give her some paper and a pen or pencil or crayon and she’ll doodle up some mess in a few seconds. She has fairly good control of a pencil, given her age, and can draw straight-ish lines or circles by choice. We’re not at all sure which hand she is going to use, as she switches from one to the other frequently.

Ella’s speech continues to develop well. She does have ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but often just says ‘yes’ to everything, eg ‘did you see some birds today?’ – ‘yes’ – ‘did you see Gangan today?’ – ‘yes’ – ‘did you see Santa today?’ – ‘yes’. Her favourite at the moment is ‘play’, said with a quick ‘pl’ and a long ‘ay’, especially when she’s just about to be put in her chair for breakfast or tea. Your not in any doubt as to what she wants to do. Not that she kicks up too much fuss when she doesn’t get to play.

She is beginning to recall past events. The common one at the moment is about a bee and her hair. When my Mum, Clare, was here a couple of weeks ago there was a bee in the house, and I don’t think it got in Ella’s hair, but might have buzzed round her head, and Clare let it out the window in the living room. The next day, Ella pointed to the window and said ‘bee’ and ‘hair’, and even yesterday when she saw a bee she said ‘hair’, and she is a little wary of any buzzing insect now.

Hannah and I are, of course, both very busy. I’m in the final run to the release of the current version of the product I do the project management for. It was announced publically last week, and a couple of people from the development team are living it up in Las Vegas this week at IBM’s Impact 2009 event. Hannah is dealing with the usual juggling act of regular teaching work, NHS stuff, choir and at the moment, being the chorus master for a production of Calamity Jane.