Wednesday, 30 November 2005

I'm sorry, I have a cold...

Wednesday, 30 November 2005
Okay, so it's now two and a half weeks since the three of us came down with colds and we've still got them. To be honest, I'm pretty sure we all came close to recovery around the beginning of last week and this is a second version of the original but whatever the case, we're still suffering.

We've all now moved onto a stuffed up nose and a cough. DD seems to be coping okay - she'll sleep through still but occasionally wakes to cough long enough to ensure that Mummy and Daddy are awake then she'll go back to sleep leaving us to cough for an hour or so before finally doing the same.

It's an annoying cold. Not enough to take to our beds or stay home from work but enough to drain energy and make the smallest additional event seem a huge hurdle. And the cough is a dry tickle at the back of the throat that is a real killer once it starts.

As I said, DD is coping fine, she's bunged up and coughing but is showing no real signs of distress.

What we have had from her though is a couple of Mount Vesuvius type eruptions, one on Sunday night and one last night. Sunday she was strapped in her bouncy chair while we ate our dinner and she just opened her mouth and EVERYTHING SHE'D EATEN SINCE THE DAY SHE WAS BORN came out of her. DF and I watched open mouthed and when she'd finished she just went back to happily playing with her toys. Given her lack of concern we finished our dinner before cleaning her up as it seemed the easiest option.

Last night was a similar event only this time she managed to do it all over DF. She'd had most of her bedtime bottle and we'd just plied her with a bit of calpol (she doesn't like it as she really doesn't like sweet stuff) so DF thought he should try see if she wanted a bit more milk. Bad move. The second eruption was much more impressive than the first covering the pair of them as well as a large part of the floor.

I was sent off to fill the bath (trying not to laugh as it'd start me coughing) only to come back and find the pair of them naked with their clothes in a heap on the floor and DF using his foot to push the clothes around to wipe up the mess...

They then went off to the bathroom and had fun cleaning themselves up while I (with no urge to laugh any more) picked up the clothes and cleaned the floor. And typically her clothes were all white and his were all black so I couldn't even put them all together in the washing machine, I had to separate the lot first.


Thankfully she's coughing much less this morning so hopefully we've seen the last of the eruptions for the moment.

Monday, 28 November 2005

Life's too short

Monday, 28 November 2005
I was planning on posting about the trials and tribulations of real food versus the mouth of a nearly-six-month-old but I've had my day thrown for a loop a bit. I got to work this morning on time, DD was all smiley and happy at nursery and, apart from the Monday morning blues, life was pretty good.

Then one of my colleagues took a phone call. Another of our colleagues died yesterday. No warning, no nothing. She was at a concert in the evening and seemed fine but she died when she got home.

She wasn't that old and didn't have any health problems that we knew of. Yes she was a large lady which isn't necessarily a good thing as we all know, but it's still a total shock.

This comes on top of the death of another colleague who was diagnosed with cancer and died in the space of my maternity leave (her funeral was one week before the date she was due to officially retire).

I guess what this has made me really think about is am I happy? Do I have any regrets? Would I change anything in my life?

The more I think about it the more I'm sure that I don't have any regrets, I don't wish anything was different. I don't think there's anything I'd have done differently and nothing I'd really change about my life. Of course, I'd love to win the lottery and life a life of luxury but really I'm happy where I am now. Any changes of events in my past would have brought me to a different place and I wouldn't have DF or DD so how could I justify regrets?

So I'm lucky and, although deep down I knew it, I'm thankful for the reminder I've been given to appreciate what I've got.

Monday, 21 November 2005

Being organised...

Monday, 21 November 2005
This isn't the first time I've posted on this subject and trust me, it won't be the last. If this wedding and christening actually goes ahead on the correct days, with the right guests, hot food and a proper party it'll be a miracle.

I'm organised and I always have been. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I'm neat and tidy but I know what I'm doing when, how long it's going to take, who'll be involved and what I have to do. I'm also never late and, apart from the odd time when I was pregnant, I don't forget things.

To illustrate what I mean I shall tell you that this weekend I cooked a christmas cake and three christmas puddings, got the three of us to the photographers to have some professional pics taken to give as christmas presents, organised what time off we're having over christmas and so when DD is at nursery and basically finished my christmas shopping.

To illustrate why I'm having a bit of a rant about this I shall tell you that in the two months since we decided that we're having the wedding and the christening the Greeks have managed to book the room for the party. That's it. We don't have a wedding service and time booked, we don't have a priest and a church for the christening, no caterers, no nothing.

Several of my family have already booked their flights and accommodation (the organised gene is an inherited one) and at the moment all we can safely offer is a room they can hang around in...

This event will probably be the death of me (or at least may finally be the thing that drives me to drink). If it was up to me everything would be organised now but all I can do is nag DBF who in turn can nag his mother who in turn can say, 'don't worry, there's plenty of time yet'...

I know the Greeks managed to get the Olympics organised when all around them there were doubters but I'm convinced they're going to fail miserably with my weddding. The frustrating bit is that there really is nothing I can do but wait for them to sort things out.

The even more frustrating part is that until we have dates set for the wedding and christening some of those on the international guest list can't book flights and hotels as they can't be sure of what dates they need to be there. And they're all nagging me for information.

This all seemed like a good idea two months ago but now I'm really not so sure...

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

A long post about little things

Tuesday, 15 November 2005
So DD has had her first cold. She and I both came down with it on Thursday and it's a real stinker! She coped very well though with very little crying. Her main problem was sleeping as she'd wake up finding it hard to breathe so she'd cry but a quick visit from Mum or Dad and she'd settle again. The bad news is that DBF is now suffering from it (of course as it's a man cold he's home from work today) but at least DD and I are over the worst (and she's sleeping again).

DD is now experiencing real food on a daily basis. I did attempt to cook and mash carrot on Friday but that took waaaaaaay too much time and effort for so little reward (remember I was stuffed full of cold too) so I used the free bottle of baby food we'd got in some baby pack or other. DD lapped it up and was eager for more so I've told the nursery to get on with giving her food and I bought more jars this morning. She'll get fresh stuff at nursery and in a week or so I'll be giving her fresh fruit so I don't worry too much that she's having jars as well.

Saturday we went en masse to Swindon to meet up with some stitching friends of mine for lunch. It was to celebrate the birthday's of two of them and there were secret pressies for both. I think I've mentioned before that I belong to an online UK stitchers community and we'd all got together and stitched designs and one totally mad volunteer had made them up into two quilts. The lunch was great fun, the gifts were well received and DBF did a marvelous job of appearing to enjoy himself whilst surrounded by mad women.

We've booked a venue for DD's Christening - Sunday 28th May. Or at least DBF's mother booked it yesterday. We're having the party at the Officer's Club in Athens which is apparently very regal and dead posh. The main reason we chose it though is that it's cheap. DBF's father is an ex Brigadier General so the cost to us is so minimal that we aren't even including it in our budget! That's great as it means we can afford a few more guests.

After talking about it for ages I finally booked a photographer for this saturday so we can have some professional portraits taken of the three of us. I have this idea that we'll have a family portrait done every year around Christmas as a way of keeping track of how we grow and change. It also means that this year we don't have to worry about what to get people for Christmas as we can give them all a copy! I don't suppose we'll get away with it every year though...

Parking Permits. I never thought something so insignificant could become so important to us. Our street has actually featured on a TV programme about the worst parking places in the country. Basically it's a one way street that is a little over three cars wide and there's parking on both sides. It's terraced housing so there's no off-road parking at all so you have to park on the street. There are a couple of main roads nearby where the residents don't have any parking options at all. It's also five minutes walk from our street to the centre of town so people park there and go to work, park there are go shopping, park there and go eat and so on and so on.

Basically it's a total nightmare. Come this time of year we can't take the car out on weekends as there's never anywhere to park when we get back. There's a huge bootfair in a school playground just round the corner on sunday mornings so the streets roundabout are stuffed with cars. People park and go into town ALL day for Christmas shopping. Evenings you're lucky if there's a space as people go for late night shopping or those that park and go to work stay later to do a bit of shopping.

Oh and don't get me started about how BADLY they park. If you live on our street you learn to parallel park with inches to spare round the car (I'm not kidding) but non-residents park across what could be two spaces or leave their car two feet from the curb so you can barely squeeze past it. It's a windmirror graveyard as at least two a week get destroyed.

I guess you get the message from that minor rant that I've had enough right? Well I've been lobbying the council for years (seriously, we've lived there six years and this has been an ongoing bone of contention for us and many others on the street) and finally, last wednesday we got a letter from the council that the permits will be in place on 5th December!!!!! This is totally amazing and I can't even begin to describe how happy I am. I'm even considering taking the day off so I can watch people come to park and have to move...

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

A Big Fat Greek Celebration

Wednesday, 9 November 2005
I know that some people are wondering why I haven't posted this piece of information here yet but all I can say is that there were a few people I needed to tell in real life so they didn't find out from here. Those people have all been told now so I can post the news without fear of upsetting anyone.

What news I hear you ask?

Well the news that I'm an engaged woman! Well, not officially as I don't have a ring but seeing as though we've set a date, picked a venue, discussed the guest list and pretty much everyone we know has been told we're getting married I think we can safely say that I'm an engaged woman.

This has not really come as a big surprise to most people. Let's face it, eight years, a mortgage and a baby is kind of a big hint that we're not planning on splitting up any time soon.

So why now? Well when DD was born we registered her birth with her Dad's surname. I had no problem with that but now I feel the odd one out and that I need to have the same name as her. I'm not embarassed or ashamed but it just doesn't feel right.

This is a totally personal thing. I have no problems with other people not marrying (with or without kids) but to me it doesn't feel right and so I pushed the issue with DBF and we finally agreed to go ahead.

The date is 27th May next year. We'd already picked this date as the Christening for DD and so we're going to get the whole lot done at once (and therefore only pay for one party). It's going to happen in Athens and the best news is that pretty much all of my family and friends from the UK can come as well as guests from as far away as the US and Oz.

The bad news is that I'm already fed up with the organisation of the whole thing and am ready to throw a total strop and demand we elope. The only thing that keeps me going is that even if we did elope we'd still have the christening and so most, if not all, of the issues would still be there.

So, watch this space for exasperated posts about my trials and tribulations about trying to organise a wedding long distance in a country where people believe that forward planning only needs to encompass the month prior to any event...

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Hi ho, hi ho...

Tuesday, 8 November 2005's off to work I go.

So today's my second day at work and I'm shattered! Who'd have thought that starting to use my brain again would be such a killer.

Yesterday went fine. I dropped DD off at the nursery and she seemed okay with me going (she's a bit little for tears which is good). I managed the whole day without phoning or going to visit, in fact I started to feel like a bad mother because I didn't cry or have the urge to run down there all the time.

Then I spoke to a friend who used to be the Childcare Co-ordinator and she said to me that it just proved that I'd made the right choice with the child care as I had no worries.

That made me feel better as did DD's little face when I went to pick her up. She had a good day, apparently she grizzled a bit when they tried to get her to sleep but she can be like that with me during the day. Still, other than that she had fun, drank all her milk and played lots.

The really good part is that today when I went to drop her off again she was all smiley and happy with the girls at the nursery and much more interested in what was going on rather than me leaving. In fact my real worry now is that she'll be bored the days she's home. LOL

Another milestone passed successfully though and now we have proper food to look forward to as the next big thing.

Oh and thanks to those of you who left lovely comments about DD, we know she's gorgeous but it's always nice to hear other people say it too...

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Five Months Old

Tuesday, 1 November 2005
So here as promised is the five month post. We'll start with a picture - apologies for the red eyes but I only took two pics and this was the best on offer...

So DD is now five months old and a total pro at rolling over. She can also sit with some help, stand when supported and is just great at hanging onto her feet and waving them about. Her mission appears to be to cover as much of the world as possible in drool.

She's able to go to sleep on our own and is also sleeping decent hours over night and during the day. Feeding wise she's still on milk but all of it comes from a bottle now and none from mummy's magic boobs.

Spotty dog is still her favourite toy and she's also still quite obsessed with feet but slowly learning there's other exciting things out there, especially our wizard and dragon hand puppets.

This month we're been all over the place with ten days in Greece, four days in Canterbury and three days in Stoke. She met lots of new people and was very well behaved most of the time.

She's also much, much more vocal and cries a lot less which gives Mummy and Daddy's ears a bit of a rest and means that she's a bit more understandable.

Finally, she now has a proper room of her own that's decorated just for her and here, as promised are some pics (and yes I know I could do with more hooks on the curtain but I need to get some more rings)...


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