Monday, 21 December 2009

Winter Season Swap

Here are the beautiful gifts we received from Aisling; a little snowman, a fabric tree and a lovely sparkly pine cone which went straight onto the tree.
I sent Leikima a snowdrop baby, a couple of bath melts and a lavender dolly (not very seasonal but I thought a blast of summer might not go amiss).

Friday, 18 December 2009


Yesterday Noah and I went to Birmingham Children's Hospital for an appointment with the consultant who operated on his tummy when he was tiny. It was just Noah and I. It did look for a while as though Eve and Thom would be coming too - not unmanageable but a lot more work and effort for all of us. It was a real 'luxury' to be able to just take Noah. We had a lovely train ride (with extra points for actually catching it - 7.57am, car problems and a sick-in-the-night-time mummy - phew). Noah was on top form on the train down - he was so excited about it all - loving the dragon painting on the waiting area wall and a big "Wow!!" as the train drew into the station. He was still governed by his appetite though and started eating his lunchtime sandwiches as soon as we sat down.... When we stopped at the next station quite a lot of people got on. He greeted the man who sat down opposite us with a cheery "Hello, Man!" and a kind of sandwich-salute, and then when I asked him where he thought all the other people were going, assured me they were, "Going camping." Of course...... (maybe because of all the luggage??)
I'd forgotten to pack ANY toys or amusements of any kind so we improvised with a pen and the back of the appointment letter - and Noah telling me what animals to draw and how useless I am at drawing - "Not cow, Mummy, bear!", "Not cow, Mummy, hippo!" - my third attempt was grudgingly accepted as a reasonable approximation of a cow.... Thank goodness....
He loved giving the train ticket to the guard at New Street Station.
I was a bit concerned in the lead up to this appointment. Noah only sees this surgeon once a year, but last time we saw him he talked about giving Noah a general anaesthetic and endoscopy to check things were ok in about a year's time (ie now) - and this is perfectly reasonable in theory - but in practise I don't really want Noah to have a GA unless necessary because they do seem to rather knock him about. We waited in Main Outpatients for a while, then were interviewed / examined by two final year medical students just before we saw Noah's consultant. One of them took a detailed history, and asked me about my pregnancy with Noah, and the first few days and weeks after his birth, as well as how he's been doing over the past year. It was good (bordering on amazing, if I'm honest) to think about how far he's come in the last two and a half years.
Noah's consultant was very happy with him. Noah was very happy to show off his tummy - he jumped up on the couch and then, just after being examined, sprang up to his feet with a big beaming smile and proclaimed "I better now!" Brilliant!
So he was discharged - wow! And I am very chuffed - and a bit emotional - about it.
As an immediate reaction, I am obviously pleased that he won't be having anothe GA and endoscopy, but on a deeper level, the early operation (as opposed to the cleft repairs which I'd been preparing for from his 20-wk scan onwards) had such a defining effect on our relationship, and this discharge comes as some kind of closure to that, so it has made me quite reflective over the past day or so. And my conclusion is very simple - that I am so amazingly grateful for my fantastic, resilient, energetic (yes, exhausting), funny children.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday

It's my first one of these....
This is a LOVELY book - we got it in France on our summer holiday, so it has lovely memories attached to it, and it is one of the only (put it this way I can't think of a single other example) books bought for Thom. By anyone. My French is just about good enough to manage a baby book - and I'm very chuffed to've found a baby book which endorses co-sleeping!

Noah ripped one of the flaps within hours of us taking it home to our tent, so it kind of tells that story too - he loves it as much as Thom - there's definitely a strong appeal in the fire-breathing abilities of the little dinosaur for both the boys. Eve's favourite bit is the hide-and-seek. And mine is the sleeping in mummy's arms bit. Obviously.

Friday, 4 December 2009


We've had lots of fun over the past couple of weeks (as well as being a terrible mum!)including a spot of Christmas dressing up and making salt dough decorations for the christmas tree (no photo of that as we were too busy actually doing it); blowing bubbles and discovering dad's guitar.
I love it that Thom's discovering the 'kitchen'. It really is one of our best toys - all 3 love cooking, making cakes and picnics, and will bring me cups of tea and snacks whenever I ask. Eve organises picnics for the dollies and does cookery demos a la Delia; Noah "goes shopping"; and Thom chomps on the wooden play food, especially the pieces with bits of felt on - there's nothing like a thoroughly soggy bit of felt to bite when you're teething.

Bad mother.......

So - not exactly terrible crimes, but here are my confessions......
The children's dinner one Saturday evening when Harv and I were knackered - no green in sight - "Oh, Chinese, I like it, that one," says Noah (rice=Chinese as far as he is concerned) - he's such a happy soul, I can't feel bad for too long for giving them crisps, baby sweetcorn, rice and prawns -it's all the food groups, eh?
A couple of photos from one morning where they all decided to get up around five - and were obviously good for nothing by seven, so we all just sat in a heap on the sofa. Thom actually fell asleep in that collapsed-over-Eve position...
And the devotion of my boys to Dora the Explorer - the sight when I came down from cleaning the bathroom one morning. Made me feel bad and happy in equal measures - bad that I plonked them in front of the tv but happy that they were happy and clearly enjoying their chill-out-screen-time.

Winter season table

What I really wanted for our season table was a slate grey cloth a big puddle of some kind and some mud - that's what seems to represent this time of year best! But I'm also quite happy with this..... the Autumn gnomes from Talie are hanging out for a while as I've given them a fire to keep warm. And the hedgehog's hibernating in some leaves (hopefully out of Thom's reach because he is VERY prickly!)