Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Mistletoe and wine

We had a lovely, lovely Christmas. I lost my camera battery so I'm afraid pictures are thin on the ground (or rubbish), but it was a lovely, lovely Christmas anyway - oh yes, I've already said that.

In light of my recent frame of mind, we spent Christmas Eve with PD not Christmas day; I know myself well enough to know that I would, in my heart, believe that if I made Christmas perfect then everything else would be perfect too – I didn’t need the pressure and we all know it doesn’t really work that way anyway.


We had candles, homemade crackers, roast duck, cheese and enormous presents. Most of all though , we had fun, it really did ROCK. Thank you PD. x

Christmas day, as father Christmas was filling his last stocking, Isobel and I trundled off to catch the ferry to the Island. I actually like catching this ferry, everyone dressed in their party clothes and full of Christmas spirit. What made that journey extra special was that I had MY little girl with me, I kept checking in my mirror to make sure she was still there - yes, you'd think I would have got my head round the fact that I have a beautiful little girl by now!

It was a lovely Christmas, Isobel played with her cousins, made friends with the dogs and was loved to death by her Grandparents. We didn't do much or go far, but that was what I wanted a hassle free Christmas with all the trimmings. And you know what, that was what we got. So, a BIG thank you to my mummy for that. x


I know I didn't see all my family but I think we just needed to be, and to be loved.

And now we are heading into 2009. A year that will hold surprises for SO many people - I don't think I have ever known a time when so many people's lives were in flux - let's hope it's all good, let it be serendipitous in fact. I'll be letting 2008 go with a whimper rather than a bang, but I am certain of something:

I love my little girl, and she loves me ,and we will be having even more fun together in 2009. I hope you do too.

Oh, and good luck, be careful out there. x

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

I wish it could be Christmas everyday

Well, in our house it still feels like christmas.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Party fun and games

I'm really glad to say I am really enjoying my little girl.

For the last 10 days she has been practicing her party games. It took
a while to figure it out, but Isobel's latest performance number is...

Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

Monday, 22 December 2008

You've got Christmas mail

Isobel has been busy making you a card.



The message inside reads:

Merry christmas everybody,

Wishing you a very, very, very, very, .... (you get the picture) HAPPY new year.

Lots of Love,

Us

xxx

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Playing

There can be nothing more delightful than watching children play, well when they aren't fighting that is , mind you, even that can have it's charm. Isobel is too young to fight so watching her play really truly is a delight.

I mean it was fabulous last Sunday when PD and I taught her to catch and roll a ball, or when she rushes over to destroy whatever it is you have put back together or dared to try and put away, but that is us playing WITH her. What I find absolutely fascinating is watching the games she plays on her own; for someone so little, who has no real language, she really knows how to play.

I'm not sure who she has been watching, but Isobel appears to have learnt to 'smoke'. This is the integral part of a game she plays in the mirrors of the chest of drawers. Maybe, like her father she thinks it makes her look cool to smoke. (No, before you chastise him for bad parenting, he doesn't smoke in front of or indeed when he is around his daughter; in fact I don't think she has really seen anyone smoke - so yes I think this is just a coincidence. Blimey this side bar is nearly as long as the post, I don't really know why felt the need to explain myself!)



Another favourite is posting, and I'm not just talking about the little wooden post box I bought her; Isobel posts everything anywhere. We have a dead cow on the floor which is often covered by Isobel's playmat, somehow she manages to even hide things under the middle of the cow!


The darkness and emptiness of the hallway provides an echo I believe she enjoys. Can't imagine where she gets liking the sound of her own voice from.

The most intriguing though, is the game Isobel plays in the cushions on the settee; she can play this for tens of minutes (a very long time for a 9 month old). She hides in there, she stretches, she hugs the cushion and smiles and smiles and smiles.
As someone with an overactive imagination, a sometimes WAY too overactive imagination, I like to think she gets this playfulness from me.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Baby it's cold outside


Happy pills?

It has to be said that it's been a bloomin tough week. It wouldn't be
far from the truth to say I reached a point where it couldn't feel any
worse. All I wanted to do was cry and runaway with my baby, run to
somewhere where nobody would ever find us.

Yes, I did stuff, I did stuff because I knew I had too, I did stuff
because I hoped it would make me feel better. It did a little for a
little while.

It was like watching myself drive into on-coming traffic, knowing it
was wrong but not being able to take my foot of the accelerator.

So, I'm taking the pills. Each time I get back up I seem to sink a
little lower so what choice did I have. What I don't understand is how
something that is meant to make you feel better can make make you feel
so awful. I've been debilitated by nausea, am left lethargic, eating
and drinking only because I know I have to, not because I have any
desire too.

So while PD moves on with his life, I'm left numb, wondering how to
teach my daughter to believe in love and happily ever after when I'm
struggling to myself.

I do, of course I do, what other reason would there be to go on.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

This is what Christmas looks like in our house

Can you guide my sleigh tonight

I'm not sure if we gave them to each other during an eskimo kissing
game but Isobel and I are sporting matching bright red spots on the
end of our noses.

Perhaps it's a recessive Rudolph gene.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Simply having a wonderful Christmas time

Festive wouldn't describe my mood today, or in fact for the days preceeding it, god I can be a miserable cow. I've spent most of the week on the verge of tears.

I had planned a festive day I was not going to use being tired after only three hours sleep as an excuse to hide under my quilt.

So, I have christmas shopped, skated on ice that wasn't thin for a change, mulled over some wine and watched my daughter meet Father Christmas for the first time - none to shabby for a chick labouring under a cloud, as I said I am determined to beat this.

I did manage to have some fun and I'll hopefully sleep well tonight.




Isobel and her Keycarer, Liz






Quite a dishy Father Christmas I must say. What was a bit sad though was that even though he is a Dad himself he wasn't sure if he should allow the chldren to sit on his knee - sign of the times I guess.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Look what I made

No not the baby, silly. Although obviously I did make that too.

The skirt is an original creation cut from an old pair of boot cut
jeans.

Christmas hostest

So I really enjoy entertaining, and I have some lovely friends who only know each other because of me, but as they've been gathering around me three or four times a year I guess we all know each other well enough to have a good time. We have stories about toyboys, juvenile delinquents, photography - you name it we'll chat about it. Although I'm not sure we had drunk quite enough for Boppit.


That's exactly what we did on Sunday. (I nearly cancelled sooo many times, but I'm glad I didn't.) PD took a lovely picture of Isobel in her first cracker hat - I think she wears it better than most.

J and H always bring such gorgeous presents I think they will be high on Isobel's favourites list! Isobel takes after her Mum (and her Dad) in her love of hats - yes this really isn't a hat, it's a pail pall, but maybe she'll start a new trend!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

One hour and forty six minutes

Until bedtime; I think both Isobel and I are looking forward to it.

It's not been without it's giggles and little pleasures, but it has
been a long long day.

And I feel terrible for admitting it.

Sent from my iPhone

Please, please, please, please, please, please, pl....

Do not let this cold mean the return of the sickyness.

I uttered this prayer to whoever is the god, goddess, guardian angel, powerful force or just plain anyone as I rocked a snotty, snuffly, coughing baby back to sleep at 5:30 this morning.

I lie prostrate on the wooden floor so that all of me, except the digit required to type this, is TOUCHING WOOD, as I say: it's been nearly two weeks since we last saw an up-chuck of exorcist proportions.

As I used a pick-axe of a little fingernail to remove the crust that had formed across my beautiful girls nose, I sighed and remembered that this was how it all started.

Oh well, I know the playmat fits in the washing machine, and that having removable white cotton sofa covers that also fit in the machine was far more practical than people realise. I know I CAN do eight loads of washing in a day, but I hope and I pray that I won't have to.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Stepford mummy - the missing picture

Stepford mummy

For two days now I seem to have dressed Isobel and myself in similar
outfits.

I'm guessing that's because if I have a colour in my head it's still
there when I pick out little girls clothes.

When I wear purple PD says it's because I'm sexually frustrated. What
does burgundy mean? Yesterday I had burgundy and cream dress with
black tights, Isobel wore burgundy top under a black herringbone
pinafore; today we are both in jeans with grey and burgundy/purple tops.

I can assure you it's not done on purpose!

Christmas bauble

T'is the season to be jolly indeed

I have been a little too slow to get of the mark for Christmas this year, kind of letting the trials and tribulations of un-festive life hamper seasons greetings. You see I LOVE Christmas, but a week ago I would have quite liked it to arrive say around April.

But, I've got with the programme, and am now ready to be all HO ho ho...

I bough a tall table from the junk shop so that the tree is out of Isobel's reach; put fairy lights up where there have never been fairy lights before just so Isobel can be twinkled at over breakfast - actually she banged her head just before tea time on Saturday, so I threw up lights in an effort to cheer her up, it worked and I'm too lazy to move them; I have even made an Isobel bauble, but more of that in a mo.

So Friday we went to Jasper's house for a Christmas party; I spent Friday morning adorning things with marabou feathers and dismantling and reassembling wings to make Isobel into a Christmas Fairy. Needless to say we were the only ones in a costume - Isobel you looked gorgeous, but I promise not to make the same mistake when you have street cred to dent. I must say I think you enjoyed being a fairy and I'll be sure to ask Father Christmas for a tambourine for you.








It seems like ages since we've seen all the girls and babas, with many going back to work (that's the girls not the babes) our bi-weekly catch ups tend to be by email or text. All the babies have different talents: Eloise has been walking behind a brick truck for weeks but likes to keep her tights clean so doesn't crawl; Jasper does an amazing sit, like watching a video rewind, and he's teaching the others to clap; Laurence waves, a handy trick for sitting in the truck that Eloise is pushing; La La Larry has always been a wriggly but I think the funniest thing is head shaking! (I won't bore you again, well not his post, with Isobel's myriad of talents, but I think on this occasion it was the fake giggle that most impressed the judges (it's like Woody Woodpecker at a good comedy night and requires no obvious prompting).


Oh and Leela fulfilled my Christmas wish and took a couple of lovely pictures of Isobel and me, it's just a shame I'd been drinking mulled wine:

(yes, that's Eloise steaming past, with Em struggling to keep up)

Ok, this is a long post, I'll fill you in on our lovely Sunday later.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Jealousy

Now I know that jealousy is an ugly emotion, but I must confess to
feeling it a little right now.

On the rare occassions that I log onto facebook I am greeted by
billions of lovely mother and baby snaps. This is what I'm jealous of,
I'm jealous that in these lovely families mummy is loved and adored
too, that mummy is as proudly displayed as baby, and is just as worthy
of capturing in time.

You see I can count on one hand the pictures of me with Isobel and
they are afterthoughts, not particularly nice.
Oh well, Isobel will hopefully be clever enough to figure out that in
most of her photos I may not be seen but I am the one holding her or
making her laugh.

(and no, I cannot take pictures of myself, it just feels wrong.)

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

BTW

We saw the paediatrician, it wasn't a complete waste of time,; being vindicated by a professional is never REALLY a waste of time, is it? Anyway, Isobel is fine, the vomiting is tailing off but at her stomach lining is probably sensitive as a result of it. I have to keep doing what I'm doing - giving her gentle food when she is sick, and bring her back in six weeks if I think I need to. Good news is she is gaining weight!

I've not taken the drugs provided by the Doctor, I had long resisted but thought perhaps, maybe, I needed them. Not that I think there is anything wrong with anti-depressants but they weren't going to change my circumstances were they?!

But, it seems my body is taking care of itself. It was hormonal but not POST-natal, and now, as of Friday, it is sorted. I'm still dealing with that, but this and my lovely day off on Thursday seem to have done enough to lift my mood.

Long may it all last.

Monday, 1 December 2008

A rose by any other name

My beautiful little girl is 9 months old today. She has four teeth and more names than most.

On the Isle of Wight she is 'IS-obel-not-tinkerabell' or 'Issy G'; Granny in SA refers to her as 'Missypoo'. At the height of her regurgitation a Godfather referred to her as 'Chundercat' - less said about that the better I think.

Nursery call her 'Miss Isobel' or 'Musical genius' apparently.

To her darling Daddy she has been all sorts from 'Chunky-Chip'; 'Half-pint'; 'Munchkin' to 'Little Mischief'.

Me, I'm probably guiltiest of all for calling her names: at 5 am she is 'PLEEEEASE-go-to-sleep-Isobel'; on a grumpy day she may be 'Weeny' which is short for 'weeny-whiny'; 'Babalicious' long for baba; 'Ickle-pickle', not to be confused with Igglepiggle.

Or quite simply 'My-beautiful-Angel-Baby-who-I-love-more-than-anything-in-the-whole-wide world'.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Worth coming home for

AWOL

I've taken my knot of anxiety and broken out of the bubble.

Isobel is in nursery just for the sake of it! I'm not doing chores,
I'm not applying for jobs, writing business plans or anything in
particular. I'm just being.

I'm writing this with a glass of red wine in my hand, looking out on
St Pauls from the Members Room of the Tate Modern.

I know i probably should have arranged to meet someone but it's not
places I have difficulty with, it's people. From here I can see
millions of people, all sorts of people, but no-one expects anything
of me.

I'm hoping the rain holds off so I can walk back the way I came, along
the South Bank, I'd forgotten that it is one if my places, one of
those places where you can connect with world in a way that makes you
smile. I don't know if it's the river, the city, the book stalls or
just simply that it's full of life yet quiet. Whatever it is, I love
it and I had forgotten how much.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The cruelest thing

Post Natal Depression has to be one of the meanest things ever to roam the planet. Here mother nature is, on one hand giving you the most beautiful and precious gift, your own little bundle of joy; meanwhile on the other hand the rampaging hormones are seeking to strip you of the ability to feel joy, in fact to feel anything except anger, fear and helplessness.

My very bestest friend in the world has suffered this in the most debilitating way after the birth of both her children, so much so that everyone myself included has urged her not to increase her family beyond her lovely pair. We love our Miss B and we don't want to loose her in any way shape or form. Each time she gets knocked off her feet by the raging black clouds she has to fight valiantly to regain her hold on the world. And she does so marvellously. She still is my rock, my towel holder in a fight, she is my guiding star.

Compared to what my friend has been through I have merely been shaded from the sun for a while but it's bad enough. I've been lucky and unlike some mums my depression hasn't spilled over into negative feelings towards Isobel, indeed our bond has remained solid throughout all this, so much so that at times I've wished I could just bundle her up, strap her onto my back and ride away, disappear with her and her alone.

So here is my story.

For the first three months of Isobel's life I was trying very hard to be the perfect girlfriend, the perfect lover and the perfect mother. I thought if I could be perfectly lovable then I could have the perfect family. After a glib couple of comments from PD at the initial health visitor visit I was flagged as at risk, I thought this just a funny tale to tell at first.

But I did feel blue, I did find things difficult at times, but I couldn't be blue, I couldn't struggle, I had to try not to cry, because it isn't supportive and it certainly isn't attractive.

And then the perfect world I had hoped for crumbled.

Yes we had three or four weeks of tricky evenings with Isobel, but in hind sight and compared to many, we got off lightly, but it was too much, things weren't working so PD left.

It was the mornings I found hardest. I'd sit at the 10 o'clock feed with my beautiful baby at my boob and I would cry and cry and cry.

I suppose you could put this down to circumstances rather than hormones, and I would agree as circumstances have got worse so my clouds have got bigger and blacker. But, I suspect, as does my GP, that it's both. I have had more melt downs in the last few weeks than a 1960's ice cream van; the thought of a trip to see one of my lovely NCT friends has bought me nausea, cold sweats and a severe anxiety attack.

It's hard enough to deal with sh*t life throws at you at the best of times let alone during the best year of your life when you are blessed with the hormones of a menopausal teenager.

I filled in a questionnaire this morning, I didn't do too well, so I have been given a prescription again (I stopped taking them last time because they made me soooooo tired and forgetful) this time I'll take them at night. And I've been given me a book to read (much more my cup of tea), a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy book. I'll keep meditating and hopefully those black clouds will soon lift and I'll be back to being me again.

Why I am writing this? Because I am determined not to feel ashamed of it, not to feel even worse because I struggle 'to pull my self together' sometimes. I know many people can't really understand it. And because if there is anyone else who feels even a little this way, I want them to know that they aren't alone, it happens to the best of us.

I am proud of myself for admitting I needed some help (well, I'm trying to be). I am DEFINATELY proud that throughout all of this I am managing to raise a happy little girl. Luckily she thinks it funny when I cry - could have something to do with the over-compensating jolly voice I try to employ at the same time. The world may crumble around us but we are still having fun, I am sooo lucky that way.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Jelly

I seem to have lost the power of prose, well positive prose anyway, so here are some pictures from last Monday, you make up the story.

Oh, here are some random words to help:

Road trip, car seat, Isle of Wight, Grandma, Hayley, fifth birthday, jelly, and party hats.




Sunday, 23 November 2008

Tale of a hedgehog

When hedgehogs are scared they curl up into a ball and stick their
spikes out. Now this may well protect them from hurt, but it makes it
difficult to give them a probably much wanted hug.

I think I resemble a hedgehog.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 21 November 2008

Catch up

Okay here are the things I haven't yet told you but can't make a whole post out of.

Isobel has tooth number three, top right. It arrived with a simple wimper last friday at 1:20 in the afternoon. All it seemed to need was a dose of Neurofen and a cuddle. So far so good, lucky lucky me.

If I'd written this yesterday could have told you it was nearly a week since Isobel was last sick, but unfortunately she empted the contents of her stomach on me yesterday. Although this did fill me with oh-no-here-we-go-again dred, I do believe we are getting a handle on this thing. Oh, and her appointment at the hospital has come forward to a week on Monday.

Those pesky cells of mine are still hanging about but didn't require a biopsy this time, so I'm taking that as good news and choosing not to think about the test results yet to come.

Ok, I still have posts to catch up on; birthday parties, car seats and heart break. Yes, I can see you breathless with anticipation.

Ps. Does anyone know how to get banana out of a sleeping bag? (No it isn't a bad joke, I've tried vanish and nothing shifts it.)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lovely to know

I was going to write a dispatches type post to bring you up to speed with the various thngs that I have yet to tell you. I was going to begin by telling you that my world was a bit like the sky today; a blanket of grey cloud with the odd little gap through which the sun can be seen.

But, then Lorin left a lovely comment on my 'Rock Bottom' post and I wanted to write about that first. Lorin, thank you so much for letting us know about the loving kindness that is being shown to our family in South Africa, because yes that's what they are to us, even if we haven't met them YET.

It bought a tear to both my eyes and I had to stiffle a sniffle just being reminded of how lovely people can be. I forwarded the comment to PD because I hope it will help him too, I know how helpless he feels being so far away. I also know how, quite rightly, enraged he is, something that may well get him in trouble if he was there. Although he hasn't exactly bought me much joy of late, I do love him dearly and while I cannot imagine life without him, I certainly do not want Isobel to grow-up not knowing who her real Daddy is.

It is an odd place you all live, for me it just seems impossible to imagine living in a country full of such hate, which is why it's lovely to hear of the love being given to our own.

Thank you xxx

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Pushy Parents

Last week PD and I went to our first Parents Evening - yes, we know; it's nursery for heavens sake!

Anyway, judging by the way be both mainlined plastic cups of wine (the good thing about going to a nursery in a good area is the wine is of quite a high standard even if it is served in a plastic cup, at least it wasn't served in a cup with a spout I suppose), we felt just as odd being there as it sounds. US parents? Our 8 month old daughter having parents evening? Needless to say we were praised for having such a happy little girl.

Now, I wouldn't call us pushy parents but we did get Isobel to perform the following several times so I could get the right angle:

Don't you love the way she knows the cups will fall so closes her eyes to protect herself!

Anyway, we dedicate this video to our South African family. Lots of love, and best wishes, from your English extension. xxx

Down but not out

Thank you.

I have been so inundated with emails that I thought about pulling my previous post. Instead I just want to reassure you that while I am down right now, I'm not out yet! Fighting talk I know, but I do believe everything happens for a reason, what that is I haven't figured out yet.

I still hope it won't come to moving, I will find work soon, but I have to be prepared.

But, I have little Isobel, lots of people would give anything to have that, and I'm one of them.

Rock bottom

Today is, I hope, the very bottom of the pit, and soon I will have a
firm footing with which to climb out.

Meanwhile it's dark down here.

I've just been to the Job Centre to see if I can get income support, a
very sweet, ruddy faced old man said probably not, but gave me a
number to call anyway.

I've been to the estate agents to see about renting out the beautiful
house that has been my home for eight years, and with a view to moving
into a one bedroom flat with Isobel.

I'm looking for the certificate for my diamond ring to see if I can
sell it, it should cover a mortgage payment.

I'll visit another temping agency tomorrow.

Yes, PD is trying to help but with the best will in the world he can't
support two homes and he has a life of his own to live. That's not to say his help isn't appreciated xxx.

This afternoon I'm off for a follow up appointment to check on the
rogue cells that have decided that I'm a good place to live - I'm
hoping they will have moved out of their own accord and won't need
evicting!

But all this pales with the news that Grandma in South Africa has had
her home painfully invaded. I'm not sure what's more shocking, that or
the fact that over there it's an everyday hazzard. So to our South
African family this funny little English contingent, namely Isobel and
me, send our love.

As I said, the only way is up and 'this too shall pass'. And I'm still
working on my dream.

Ps. I promise to post something cheery later. I think we all need it.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A tale

Here is a little tale to help all those having a tricky time at the mo, and it seems like there are many. It's a tale I reminded myself of when little girl woke up screaming hungry, again, at five o'clock this morning.

So, I as I lay awake in that lonely, LONELY time, here’s the story I remembered:

Once upon a time, many moons ago there was a King. He was a lovely King, and ruler of a very large kingdom. While everybody loved him, he wasn't sure he was respected.

You see he was a bit of a 'new age' man and very very in touch with his emotions; one day he could feel ecstatic with joy, and another, when the kingdom was shrouded in fear, he could be floored with melancholy. Now this is all well and good if you like that kind of guy, but not so good if you are a king who everyone looks to to make important decisions.

The king sent for his wizards, his witches, his warlocks, his fool, his alchemists... basically every bloomin' one. He set them a challenge to make him something to level his moods.

Well, they came back with lotions and potions etc. But, the prize went to the wise man who presented the King with a ring, a ring that was engraved. The message on the ring was designed to level the highs of joy and the depths of despair. The message read:

'This too shall pass'.

Friday, 14 November 2008

hearts desire

Somethings are just not meant to be, I really really believe that.

I also believe, like The Alchemist and the Law of Attraction, that if
you follow your true hearts desire the universe conspires to help you.

So, maybe I'm not meant to work. This morning even a temping agency
has turned me down.

Watch out independent booksellers here I come.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A mummy's little angel

Do I need a white stick?

I've been hoping to write a post about how returning to mild and
gentle fairy dishwasher tablets has gixed my luttle girl. But, instead
you are getting one on my specialist subject, the fine art of the up-
chuck.

Yes, you guessed it, little girl woke up at 5:30, I gave her a small
bottle and put her back to bed. She was still hungry so at 6:20 I made
her proper bottle and took her, in the dark, to our bed. She drank her
milk and went straight to sleep. So far so good.

7:15 she woke up smiling, 7:25 she coughed and projectile vommitted
part digested milk all over me and the bed.

But, they say a mothers love is blind, and it's true, because all
though this is a far too regular an occurence, I still think she is
angel baby.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

This isn't going to win any prizes...

but being a Mum who has little to show off about apart from a daughter, I couldn't wait to make a better one.

My very own creepy crawly:

Monday, 10 November 2008

Soap Box

I love christmas, I really, really love christmas. I believe it really is the season to be jolly, my tree has often goes up in the early days of december. I'm not a big fan of tinsel but presents and holly and ivy and parties and friends and family and turkey and... all of this I LOVE!

But,why oh why, do we have to start Christmas straight after Bonfire Night?

Can't we wait until December, please?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

If I could I would

There are two new things that I'd love to show you pictures of:

I'd like you to see Isobel's two eyed wink. It's a real squeeze-your-eyes-fake-grin-cheeese!'-face that she seems to do just to make you smile. But it's also a real blink-and-you'll-miss-it face. My camera blinked and it missed it, several times.

Also, I desperately want to show a film clip of the leopard crawl that now takes Isobel from place to place. It's not quite superseded the roll, as there are occasions for both. Anyway, for some reason my camera has stopped taking movies (is that taking or making?).

So, you'll just have to take my word for it, unless of course you bump into Nicola, Gareth or PD.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Daddy's girl?








Over my dead body!
I don't have evidence to the contrary because no one ever really takes pictures of me and my little girl, but you have to hope that, after all we have been through together, she is a mummy's girl.
Surely.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Lovely, lovely people

The world is full of lovely, lovely people. To all of you who have wished us well, thank you, it means a lot. I guess that's what blogging is about, it's about letting people into your world.

Isobel has been a joy today, almost back to her normal, rolling, crawling and of course, SMILING self. Just doesn't have much of an appetite; where there were dimples before there are knees now - shame.

Here's Isobel, a couple of weeks ago, playing with one of her boyfriends, Larry. This pic made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself.


I don't know why either.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Another picture to cheer a mummy up

The plot thickens

Firstly, for those who like the figures, and in the world of competitive mothering it seems all important, here are our eight month stats:

Height: 71cm (between 75th and 91st percentile)
Weight: 16lbs 12 or 7.58kgs (25th percentile)
Head: 44.5cm (50th percentile)

Yes, lucky girl is tall and skinny - not sure where that came from.

Right, back to the plot.

If I was to write this blog in Bridget Jones style I feel the stats at the top of the page would be Vomits - Isobel's; loads of washing; units of alcohol - mine; and number of sobs - mine again.

Breaking point was reached last night, when after 5 bouts in the space of two hours, Isobel could no longer even keep water down and was becoming increasingly distressed as she gagged, choked and retched. So I tearfully called PD and then NHS direct.

They, after an hour waiting for call backs, sent us to A&E to ensure little girl didn't dehydrate.

Well, that was a waste of time - by the time we were seen Isobel just wanted to sleep, she kept down the dioralyte we were administering, so at midnight when the paediatrician actually got to us there was little she could suggest. The diagnosis proffered was pretty much what we said: that she thought there was two things going on - a mechanical sensitive gag reflex and a bug.

By 1am we were home armed with kits for me to collect various nappy samples. I have never seen a little girl so pleased to get into her bed.

Today though she hasn't slept enough for a normal day, let alone to make up the half a night she missed.

Blimey, this is hard. I'm sitting here with a purely medicinal whisky mac, my eye is swollen with an infection, I'm coughing and I probably smell vaguely of sick - yes I'm an attractive prospect, who can blame PD for leaving.

So, yes I'm feeling quite poor me, but really it's little girl who is suffering.

Oh, and our paediatrician appointment - 15th December. Yes, you read correctly, even after I rang today, pointed out that Isobel had been to A&E, begged and cried, they still couldn't find us an earlier appointment. Now that sucks.

Monday, 3 November 2008

But she is still beautiful

BBC One Sunday evening

We are in the midst of an ongoing saga in this house. Ok, we are in the midst of many, but this isn’t a love saga (unfortunately) or a tale of poor girl doing good (yet) so it’s unlikely that the BBC will be around to force corsets and hooped skirts on us, even if it is turning into an epic.

No, our sage is one of vomit. Yes, I am fighting a rising tide of it and everybody is losing.

Isobel as a baby (listen to me, it’s as if she’s a teenage already, but you know what I mean,) she didn’t really sick up much, not much poseting. But on the two occasions she was sick, it was of exorcist proportions soaking all in sight and me right down to my underwear. It’s just as well her head couldn’t spin.

This was put down to an air bubble.

Then Isobel started nursery and caught a cold, the vomiting started in earnest; at least once most days, normally the morning feed requiring a change of ALL my bed linen, Isobel’s pjs and mine. Sometimes it would be twice or even three times a day and could be up to six loads of washing a day.

I took her to the doctors, they said it was probably the nastiness from her cold trickling down her throat making her gag and as long as she was gaining weight it was ok. Well, as I would make a new bottle after the ‘lost’ feed, she was doing ok.

Two weeks ago Isobel was weighed again, and she had lost weight.

So with this information I marched into the doctors. They proffered gaviscon with every feed, but I refused as she isn’t sick every day or with every meal so it seemed an awful lot of medication and a little hit and miss if you ask me. I took the option of a paediatrician appointment – an appointment we are still waiting for.

Meanwhile, last week Isobel had a tummy bug, both ends, and I was literally washed away with the volume. It’s not pleasant for a pretty girl to be ill so much, she has been poorly, days without rolling poorly, and she is so light and her dimples are no where near so deep. It’s been quite hard.

Why am I telling you this? Because tomorrow Isobel has her eight month check, and I’m dreading finding out how much weight she has lost.

Throughout all this she has been an angel baby, but the other angel in our house has been the washing machine (which, btw, Isobel has just developed a real dislike of).

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Blimey, doesn't time fly

I know I say it every month, and I know I should be used to it by now, but my goldfish brain (yes Dunc, somethings never change) keeps being surprised by the fact that I have a baby who is now eight months old. Yes, 2/3 of a year old.

I had a phone call a few weeks ago from Erica-May letting me know that little Genevieve had started to look at the book we gave her to line her pram, it reminded me how Isobel was facinated by the flowers in her pram, how excited I got when she really, really began to focus on faces, and then when she started to enjoy her mobile and baby gym.

Isobel can now see birds and planes, in fact if she hears a plane she now looks to the sky to find it, being not too far from Heathrow she spends a lot of time looking skywards . So as her field of vision has grown so has her world no wonder she is keen to get moving.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Trick or treat

I've never been a big fan of Halloween, always feeling it was something best left to the Americans. Trick and treaters here always seemed to be scary teenagers rather than cute children.

While making Isobel's costume, yes I know it was no work of art, but at least I made it, I began to think about Halloween as an excuse to party and to be quite scary, so maybe, just maybe I could adopt it.

The costume was for a Halloween party at nursery, she was the only one with a home made costume - have I scarred her for life (in which case she may as well get used to it), or isn't that just half the fun?

In the meantime, I'll sit here eating the chocolates I bought for trick and treaters; they never do magic tricks for me so why should I treat them.

Happy Halloween

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

If there is such a thing

I think my baby is crawling. Well, atleast is on the verge of it. Is
that pre-crawling.

I mean she doesn't shoot across the room faster than a speeding bullet
and she still uses rolling to cover long distances ( when you are
nearly eight months old I imagine the length of the sitting room
counts as long).

But, she is doing that hand-over-hand-stretching-while-pushing-with-
knee action that enables her to reach the previously unreachable.

As I encourage her, the voice in my head is shouting "WTF are you
doing? Are you craazy? Do you want your baby to be MORE mobile? Do you
want the world to be able to judge the cleanliness of your floors by
the state of your little girls knees?"

But, I just keep moving the toys a little further away and shouting "
GO GIRL!"

(So, shoes off as you come in from now on, please.)

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 27 October 2008

Sunday continues

Our Sundays are very much family days, and, I must say, I really, really do look forward to them. (Yes, I think it's a miracle PD and I still really look forward to seeing each other too).

This Sunday PD cooked a roast (yes I did say PD cooked, he's actually quite good but being a perfectionist he doesn't do it too often ), and fairy godfather came to lunch, Isobel was clearly excited.



I suppose Isobel playing on the kitchen floor while PD and I cooked together, nearly fulfilled one of my romantic-notion imagages.
Oh, and fairy godfather bought the traditional drive-the-parents-barmy-noisy-present. It took Isobel a while to figure out the rolling-singing-crawling mirror, but she did, including a very close impression of the required crawling - thanks Gary, I think.

(Doesn't every girl need a light up mirror, well until she reaches a certain age and then the less light the better - or is that just me!)