Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Mummy knows best

Tuesday, 30 August 2005
Okay, the baby rice experiment is well and truly over for now.

DD is not showing any outward signs of distress but there has been a huge increase in the amount of poo - six nappies full today instead of one (and the day is only half over!) - and I don't feel this is right.

I only gave her about a dozen baby spoonfuls of the stuff each day for three days and half of that didn't actually get swallowed - it's certainly not in proportion to what I'm getting back!

So I'm stopping.

I've decided for the moment to give DD two bottles a day instead of one and the second of those will be 'extra strength' formula (for hungrier babies). There's no point in me trying to feed her up if she's evacuating everything she's being given.

The next weigh in is a week on friday so we'll see what two weeks of extra formula can do.

Monday, 29 August 2005

I'm not ready for this yet.....

Monday, 29 August 2005
For those that have never met me in the flesh I would like to point out that 'skinny' has never been a word people would associate with me, I'm definitely what some kinder people would describe as 'fluffy'...

I can blame genes for this (I have an extremely fluffy family on my father's side) or I can blame my love of chocolate but whatever the reason it's a given (although I am now working hard on less fluff).

DBF also has the tendency towards fluffiness - especially round his middle - but he carries it better because he's a) a man and b) 10 inches taller than me.

Speaking of tall, that's another word very few people would associate with me. In fact the only reason I'm not what you'd call short is that several members of my family are more vertically challenged than I am which means at certain social occasions I can count myself amongst the tallest people in the room.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I've managed to produce a long, skinny daughter.

Who knows how genetics works. DBF has a very skinny sister and I have a skinnyish brother so the fluffy gene is not always dominant in either family plus DBF is six foot tall so there is a taller gene in the mix there. Still, all in all it's a bit of a surprise (and one that I'm sure she'll be thankful for when she gets older).

There is a downside to this though as I took DD to be weighed at the end of last week and she's not putting on weight as much as they'd like her to. It's not dramatically bad, in fact the first thing the Health Visitor said to me was 'is she an active baby?'

Is she? Too right. The only time she's vaguely still is when she's asleep but even then she's a wriggler. At feeding she's constantly moving about and flailing arms and legs (which makes feed times SO much fun for me). Active doesn't even come close to describing her.

So the advice of the Health Visitor was to introduce a meal of baby rice into her day. It's a month earlier than they advise weaning to start but DD obviously needs extra calories - she's not hungry as she's happy and sleeping well so the issue is that she's burning more calories than my milk can provide.

So, I have a baby that doesn't stay still, who is unable to really support herself yet and I have to try and get spoonfuls of food into her mouth. I don't think I can really describe the picture to you but I'm pretty sure that you can imagine it. DBF gave up very early on during the first try out with the reasoning that I'm the one who'll have to feed her most days so I should get the practice in.

It's also had a dramatic effect on the nappies just in the two days we've been trying it. Yesterday we had three full nappies instead of the usual one and there was a VERY different aroma involved.

I know it's for the best, I certainly don't want her seriously underweight, but I wasn't ready to even start thinking about this kind of dramatic change in our routine just yet.

Oh well, nobody ever said life with a baby was dull and boring...

Sunday, 28 August 2005

So I really do cross stitch.....

Sunday, 28 August 2005
And to prove it here's one I just finished. It's by my favourite designer - Michael Powell and it's one of a pair of Mini Spanish Cottages. I have the other one to do at some point soon as DBF really likes them and wants to frame them as a pair.

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Clickety Click

Wednesday, 24 August 2005
No, not a post about bingo, rather a post about hips.

When DD had her post-natal check up whilst we were still in hospital after the birth they diagnosed that she has a 'clicky hip'. This would be the technical term for a hip joint that clicks slightly. Now there's a medical term I can get to grips with!

Anyway, they told me that it wasn't anything to really worry about but I'd get an appointment through to take DD to the hospital at some point just to have it checked out. That some point was today.

So, the morning was spent organising myself to be ready to get me, her and all the junk I now need with me when I step out of the house, there on time. I then had to wake her up from her morning nap which absolutely kills me as I spend so much of my life trying to get her to sleep I can't believe it when I have to wake her up.

Anyway, we arrived at the hospital in plenty of time and despite me dreading the usual wait we were seen only 15 mins after our appointment time which was amazing. DD did manage to sick up all over me though but I guess the paediatric staff are used to parents and children who smell vaguely of regurgitated milk so I didn't let it bother me.

DD was undressed and the Doctor preceeded to wiggle DD's legs around and push them into very undignified positions for a young lady after which she announced that the click was still there and we had to go for an ultrasound.

Great, more waiting around.

But no, we were seen quite quickly (DD was building up for some serious yelling by this point so I think they bumped us up the queue!) She was again undressed, covered in goo and pushed into wierd poses (less undignified as she was lying on her side) and scanned until it was announced that she has perfect hip joints.

This means that the clicking is coming from a ligament rather than from the joint itself so we can rest assured that it'll go away of its own accord and we won't have to go back for further tests.

Just as well really as she managed to wee all over herself whilst lying down and both me and the nurse got seriously messy trying to clear it up...

Monday, 22 August 2005

Not everyone you meet on the web is a mad axe murderer.....

Monday, 22 August 2005
I've been participating in online stitching forums for a few years now and my favourite (and most frequented) is one that invovles a whole bunch of mad British women.

Every now and again we have a Get-together (GTG) and one of these events happened yesterday.

I'd only been to one before and obviously my circumstances this time were very different - I was accompanied by DD and DBF for a start - and I didn't manage any stitching whilst I was there but I did have a great time and it was great to meet some new people.

So I'd like to thank Kitty for being a wonderful hostess and all the other attendees for being great fun. I'd also like to thank DBF for performing above and beyond the call of duty and spending several hours with a bunch of women who, whilst not being axe murderers, are admittedly quite mad......

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

A Sigh of Relief

Wednesday, 17 August 2005
DD had her first set of immunisation jabs yesterday afternoon.

I'd read all the info about it - 50% of children are irritable for 48hrs after the jabs, 20% get a fever, etc and I'd heard all the horror stories from other Mums. So, armed with Calpol and resigned to no sleep for a couple of nights we headed into the unknown.

One jab in each leg and boy did she scream.

However, the screaming stopped by the time we left the surgery and although she was clingy and miserable for most of the afternoon (shock I believe) no fever and she slept at her usual time (11.00pm) for the whole night - eight full hours!

This is totally great news as she has to have two more sets of double jabs in four and eight weeks time and now at least I'm not dreading them (although there's nothing to say she won't have the reaction next time).

She does however have two little lumps on her legs where the jabs went in. She doesn't seem to be that bothered by them (I could touch them without a reaction) but I'm sure daddy will be upset by them later on.

Monday, 15 August 2005

Why is it that.....

Monday, 15 August 2005
....the day your ten week old daughter chooses to nap for a total of six hours during the day it's the day you can't take advantage and catch up on your sleep as you have to wait up for someone to come and collect two parcels...

Saturday, 13 August 2005

A Constant State of Indigestion.....

Saturday, 13 August 2005
A couple of weeks ago I was visited by a friend who was only days away from having her first child and she was understandably full of questions for me. One of the things she asked me if there was anything that I had that I couldn't live without.

My reply was 'a lap tray'. For those of you who don't know what I mean, it's a small tray with a bean bag attached to the bottom so you can have it on your lap and it's stable as it moulds to your legs.

My friend was a bit startled by my choice but I pointed out that I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of meals I'd managed sat at a table since DD was born and she has an uncanny knack of deciding she is starving just as my food is ready. So basically the lap tray was my only means of fending off starvation until she's old enough to feed herself.

The advantage of the lap tray is that I can feed DD on one side and balance the tray on the other and so get my food, maybe not piping hot but at least luke warm.

There are disadvantages of course. The main one being that you have to either have food that naturally comes served in bite size pieces or you have to have your other half cut it up into those bite size pieces as you only have one hand to work with. It's also not that useful when the baby gets her timing wrong and so is feeding on my left side as, being left handed, eating with my right hand is not as simple.

There are not really any words that can describe the degree of difficulty there is when you attempt to feed your baby and eat spaghetti bolognaise with your non-dominant hand whilst ensconced in an arm chair unable to move any part of your body other than your arm because that would dislodge the tray and the baby...

Another major disadvantage is that you end up with a baby covered in the debris of whatever it is you're eating. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to pick crumbs off various parts of her body with various levels of success. Dry food would, at first, appear a better choice as at least it doesn't stain like spaghetti sauce can on nice white baby clothes, but once you've had to attempt to remove a tiny piece of garlic bread crumb that landed on your baby's top lip and then she conveniently breathed in so it shot up her nose you'll learn to live with stains.

Last night DBF brought home take out. Big mistake as this has to be eaten straight away as it arrives in the house already lukewarm so I'm on to a real loser if I don't. DD was actually asleep when he arrived but by the time the food was served she was awake and sitting in her bouncy chair. As usual, the minute we started eating she started complaining and we found ourselves eating faster and faster in a rhythm matching her cries as they got louder and louder. Consequently we ate in under five minutes, barely tasted the food and spent the rest of the evening with a mild bout of indigestion.

My step-dad said to me, quite soon after DD was born, that the only thing you have to remember is that she doesn't do anything on purpose as she's too little to know what she's doing. That maybe true but sometimes I swear we have a demon child that sits and plots her next move whilst wearing an angelic smile...

Friday, 12 August 2005

New Design!

Friday, 12 August 2005
So here's my new blog design. I always meant to do it myself (I am after all a Web Developer by trade) but spending time messing about on the computer is something that ain't gonna happen until DD is quite a bit older.

So, following recommendations from friends I went to Design a Blog and this is the result.

I'm very pleased with it so thanks to Jane, my personal designer, who put up with a very loose design spec and got this up and running in under 48 hours.

I hope you all like it too.

Oh and I now need to actually populate some of the side sections but bear with me please as my free time is at a premium

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

A Bullet Bitten

Wednesday, 10 August 2005
So we've done it. We've booked flights to Greece for the three of us.

There's so many reasons I'm not looking forward to this trip but it has to be done so I shall attempt to grin and bear it. The good thing is that we're only going for just over a week instead of the two weeks originally talked about. We fly on a Friday evening and fly back on a Monday with a full week in between so it's not too bad.

We have to go because DBF has a Grandmother still alive who is too old to come here and needs to see her Great Grand-daughter. Also, apart from his parents and sister (who have already visited) none of his family will come here so it's a 'show and tell' trip.

What fun eh?

As I mentioned in my last post I've had a rocky relationship with DBF's parents so 10 days living with them in their apartment is my idea of hell - I don't get that close to my own family any more so why should I have to with his?

Oh and before you ask, no, there's no way we can stay anywhere else without them never speaking to us again. I'll have to have at least two more kids before we're too many to stay there comfortably!

The main issue is the language barrier. I speak very little Greek and they speak very little English. I did have Greek lessons for a while and I've always had good intentions to learn but have always let it slide as it's only important for a couple of weeks a year and I've always found languages hard. I understand quite a lot of what is said but the trips rely on DBF and his Sister as translators and it's really tough going all round.

It's also a completely different family dynamic over there - my family thrive on insults and banter with not much outward physical affection whereas his family are huggy/kissy people who take offence at the slightest thing and row all the time. I don't remember my parents or anyone close to me EVER arguing whereas DBF's mother shouts at least once a day.....

So, I have all this tension in me before we even get there (based on past experiences) and then there's the other major issue I have....

Travel sickness.

I do it in magnificent style and have done since three months old. The first time I flew anywhere (aged 16) I ended up in hospital having four litres of fluid pumped into me and medication that you don't swallow (if you know what I mean!)

So, I have to be totally doped up in order to fly and I still feel lousy at the other end (one of the things DBF's family can't seem to get their heads round is that it takes me a day or two to recover from the flight - I always get the impression that they think I'm faking it). This time it's worse as I'm not sure if I can take anything given that I'm breast feeding. I did speak to my doctor but she was less than helpful so I'm going to see a different one who I know is better.

I should also mention that DD is a direct consequence of my travel sickness. Last September we were in Greece and flew to North Greece for a long weekend in the middle of our two week stay. I stupidly thought that I could cope with less intense medication as it was only a 45 min flight. I got sick. Complete failure of the mini pill combined with a rare moment of privacy for the two of us and our gorgeous little monkey was the result.....

Oh, and that's the other reason I'm not looking forward to the holiday - given the events of the last paragraph I know that I'll probably never be able to persuade DBF to have sex on holiday ever again!

Saturday, 6 August 2005

A bit about me

Saturday, 6 August 2005

It occurred to me that I should maybe post a little bit about myself so those of you who have stumbled across my blog get to know me a bit better.

So, I’m British, not English as I have one English and one Scottish parent and the Scottish one drummed into me the idea of my Britishness at an early age. I also have a teeny tiny bit of Moroccan in me as my Great Grandfather was Moroccan (although I don’t even tan well so I’m pretty sure most of his genes have vanished).

I also have a complicated family of a full brother, a half sister and two step sisters. In this day and age that may not seem too complicated but add the fact that my half sister is the same age as DBF’s mother and her children are only a few years younger than me and you’ll start to see how tangled it is. Oh and my half sister has another half sister that is no relation to me! (She shares a Dad with me and a Mum with the other one)

Complicated though it is we all get along famously and I don’t remember anyone ever falling out with anyone else. I’m the odd one out as I live 100 miles away from everyone else but my sister lives next door to my mother (her step mum) and my brother is five minutes away from them both.

There’s no real reason I live so far away except that there’s very little work in the area of England they live (Kent) and if you want to earn good money there in Computing (which is what both DBF and I do) you have to commute to London which is a horrible expensive journey. Maybe we’ll end up there later on, but with DBF being Greek and owning a house out there we may well opt for the sun, sea and sand. Who knows where life will take us?

Having said that DBF’s family are a bit too intense for me. Especially now we have DD. I’ve had a pretty troubled relationship with them (enough to fill blog entries for the rest of this year at least) and although it is slowly getting better I don’t imagine it’ll ever be perfect. DD is their first Grandchild (also my Mother’s first Grandchild) and their obsession knows no bounds. I think if we lived in the same country as them at the moment they’d spend every waking second in her company……

Given that, it’ll be quite a while before I consider living over there.

What else? DBF and I have been together eight years and met when on the same Masters Degree course at Uni (so not a holiday romance as most people think). He only came to England for 11 months but is still here so I must be doing something right. J

We’ve talked about marriage but it never seemed important before the arrival of DD. The truth is that DD was an accidental pregnancy that turned into the best thing we’ve ever done. We’d always said we’d have children some time but had never gotten round to thinking about when. On the whole I think the only way we’d ever have gotten round to it was to have an accident as the issue was taken out of our hands and we just had to get on with it.

Now we both know that marriage would be a good thing to get sorted but we don’t want a big event and it’s something else we’ve got to fit in somehow. The biggest reason we haven’t bothered is the logistical nightmare of getting either all of my family to Greece, all of his family to England or all of both families to somewhere in the middle. We’ve both agreed in the past that we’d be best off running away to Vegas and just telling everyone when it’s over and done with. Neither family is too keen on us doing this but I love the kitsch value of it all and DBF has always wanted to dress up as Elvis so who knows what we’ll end up doing!

That’s all for now as it’s stupid o’clock in the morning and DBF has just got DD to sleep so I need to do the same while I can.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Two kinds of people

Thursday, 4 August 2005

This entry was originally about how far DD has evolved up the food chain in the last two months but as I was writing it I realised it was heading more into the direction of a discussion about the two kinds of people who have babies - those who want them to stay ickle-wickle-teeny-tiny for as long as posible and those who can't wait for them to grow up.....

DBF and I fall firmly into the second category.

This all started right from the beginning when people were telling me that I'd miss having the baby inside me when she was born. Nope. Not at all.

Then when she moved up to the next size of clothing there were those that said 'oh, isn't it a shame they have to get bigger'. Nope. Not at all.

Don't get me wrong, I loved feeling the baby move inside me, I loved my teeny-tiny newborn and I love my two month old little girl that can smile, chat and hold my finger.

I’ve enjoyed all the stages so far but the older she gets, the easier it gets and I personally can’t wait for when she can move herself, entertain herself, feed herself, go to the toilet herself, sleep properly, tell us what she wants in a method other than crying and generally be less dependent on me and DBF for everything.

Now I know all of the above will take a long time to happen but I see each passing day as a step towards it all and I love seeing how she develops and the chain of events that lead to that independence.

Take now for instance. She’s lying on her changing mat stretching, kicking and wriggling quite contentedly and every now and again she looks up to check I’m still here and if I don’t pay her attention she squeaks at me and gives me a big grin. All of that is something she wasn’t doing this time last week and it means that I’ve had time to answer all my emails, smurf the web a bit and write this blog entry.

It also gives her time to explore her body and look at the world around her without having to gaze over my shoulder all the time.

DBF’s reason for wanting her bigger is slightly different. He wants to play. She’s nowhere near big enough at the moment to do all the things he wants to do with her and he finds that frustrating. For example, I spend my evenings trying to create a calm, relaxed environment to encourage sleep – I left DD with DBF for a bit a couple of nights ago and came back to find him spinning her round the room and her with a look of terror on her face!

Needless to say he won’t be doing that again for a while.

Anyway, I’m sure at some point I’ll be missing this early stage of babyhood but whenever I find myself looking back whistfully I will remind myself of the total sleep deprivation, the sore nipples, the constant nappy changes and the fact that every piece of clothing I own smells vaguely of regurgitated milk...

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Two months old!

Tuesday, 2 August 2005
I can hardly believe our little monkey is two months old now. Time has passed so quickly and yet she seems to have been with us for ever!

Anyway, here's a piccie and I'll be writing a proper entry soon.....


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