Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Teething (We Hope)

Well the long weekend was a bit of a downer as Serena had to work Saturday & Sunday.

Lauren spiked a fever on Friday night but was fully recovered in the morning and ate heartily all weekend.

Yesterday we had fun playing together as a family (alongside giving the loft a good clear-out) and retired to bed in reasonable time.

However around 11.30 pm Lauren just went crackers... she woke up and started screaming... she was completely inconsolable. There was no fever and no amount of hugs or milk would make a dent in her resolve to wake up the whole of London.

Painkillers finally brought her back down to earth and she seemed to relax off into sleep (although she got my side of the big bed and I was relegated to the spare room).

Since there was no signs of illness we are really hoping this (and the short lived fever) are signs of teething about to start and not something else more serious.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Back and all OK... (touch wood)

We are back from York. My Gran is laid to rest and my parents are looking a lot more relaxed than I have seen them in a long time.

Lauren is well, and slept 9 hours straight last night, with only one wail for her dummy.

She is also back at nursery today and so far there have been no phonecalls asking me to come and collect her!

More later... busy busy busy at work!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Spotless and Smiling

Lauren has much better today. I would say that she is about 85% back to normal. Her rash is gone and she only has occasional diarrhoea now. Her appetite is unfortunately still not back to normal though. I've found that she will eat fruit but is still struggling with savory stuff. She's also not eating with quite as much enthusiasm as before.

Poor girl; she has been unwell with this far longer than previous bouts of illness. I've had to take the entire week off work.

I've noticed over the last few weeks that she has become interested in mirrors. We put up our bathroom cabinets last weekend (which have mirror fronts on them) and she now loves being in the bathroom and playing "peek-a-boo" with her reflection. She spent ages yesterday cooing at her own reflection whilst playing on her activity mat (which has a small mirror in the corner).

These pictures were taken today of her looking at our reflections in the living room mirror.

She still hasn't quite got to grips with crawling yet. She's now really strong and more confident on her front. She can prop herself up on all fours but then doesn't know how to get mobile. We've enticed her with putting toys just out of her reach to encourage her to crawl but she just looks frustrated! I don't think it will be much longer before she works out what to do though.

Recently, she's also started pulling herself up to a semi-sitting position from lying down whilst on her changing mat (most inconvenient when trying to change nappies with squelchy poo in them). She's also able to roll over onto her front and sit up unaided.

The most fun for her has been playing "drop" with items she's picked up and playing with her soft cubes. She can't build towers with the blocks yet but loves knocking down ones I've built for her. It's always a race between us; I build the tower as fast and as tall as I can before she notices and knocks it all over with a giggle.

She's also more able to demonstrate her needs now. She will hold her arms out to you to be picked up and when you do pick her up she often nuzzles into your neck for a hug or gives you a big sloppy kiss. She makes appreciative "mmmm mmmm" noises when you feed her something she likes to eat (just like daddy does!). And she calls out for "mamama" when she's sad.

Being a mum is really rewarding. Thank goodness my bosses are so understanding with Lauren's illnesses and have allowed me time off to get her better.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Saying Goodbye

Lauren woke up this morning covered in a fine pink rash. The mystery of the cause of her high fever over the last week has finally been solved! She still has the diarrhoea but her fever is gone and she looks better despite the rash. It is most definitely a viral infection, likely a roseola infantum.

We are going to York at the weekend to prepare for Nana Mary's funeral which will take place a week today. I am hoping that we can help Jase's parents as I know that there are lots of things to organise in the run up to a funeral. I hope we can give them some emotional support too.

It really has not sunk in that she has gone. We only saw her a month ago, and whilst she seemed frail we had no clue that this was going to happen. I am sorry that Lauren will not have the chance to get to know her great grandma Mary better. Luckily we do have some photos and video of Nana Mary and Lauren together, which we can show Lauren when she is older.

I realised yesterday that I have never seen photos of Mary as a young woman or of her on her wedding day. I hope we can find some of these photos when we go to York. One day, I plan to show Lauren so that she can learn more about her family.

Here you can see two of my favourite photos of Nana Mary. The first was taken at Jase's 21st birthday party in York in September 1993. Mary is on Jase's right and his mum is on his left. In the background are some of Suzanne's best friends - Jase's "aunties".

This second photo was taken at Christmas 1994. I seem to remember it was a small party at Jase's parents' house in Clifton (York) with drinks followed by dinner. Mary is sitting on the sofa in the living room with her little dog Tegan and Paula, Suzanne's best friend.

Jase has been asked by his parents to do a reading at the service. He feels a bit nervous about it because he is worried about choosing the "right" thing but I know that it will all be fine. Whatever he chooses will be spoken with love; that is the most important thing when we come to say goodbye.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sad News

Following on from Serena's note below, I am sad to say that Lauren's Great Grandma (my Mum's Mum) died yesterday evening. She suffered a major stroke earlier in the week and never recovered.

My Nana has not been well for several years now and so this was not totally unexpected. I hope that she is at peace with Teagan, Sookie, Pixie and Cindy (her beloved dogs who preceded her) and that my Mum can take solace in the fact that she didn't suffer.

I am pleased that she got to see Lauren very recently and that we have photos and video of them together so that she won't be forgotten.

Bye Bye Nana. Sleep well.

Gwendolyn Mary Clayton
19 June 1920 - 14 May 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Worrying Times

Lauren had a check up with the Paediatricians today which went extremely well. The doctor was really lovely and took the time to explain everything to us. He was not concerned about her weight loss or her recurrent infections and put our minds at ease. He even explained that the anaemia was expected because of her prolonged jaundice as a baby.

Although she still has diarrhoea and a fever, I am confident now that everything will be better soon. The vomiting has almost stopped now.

You can see her having forty winks with daddy on the sofa this afternoon. Although she has lost weight, I am sure that she will regain this when she begins to feel better and is eating normally again.

However, we have heard worrying news about our grandmas (Lauren's great grandmas). My grandma is currently in hospital in Hong Kong after a big operation. My aunt has told us that grandma is doing OK after the operation but naturally we are all worried about her. We are hoping that she feels a bit better soon.

Jase's grandma has also been admitted to hospital and is quite unwell. She is comfortable but it sounds like the doctors are not hopeful at present regarding the situation. We are getting regular updates from Jase's parents but again we are very worried about what will happen. She is already very frail.

With both families worrying it is hard to think far into the future at the moment and we are taking things a day at a time. A quiet family weekend seems in order.

Friday, May 12, 2006

No fun

I am seriously asking myself if it is possible for poor Lauren to go a week without illness. Just when we thought things were improving she has been struck down again. On Tuesday, she started running a fever (up to 39.7 degrees) but had little in the way of other symptoms. Last night, poor Lauren started having vomiting and diarrhoea.

When her temperature is down, she is content enough to play a little. As soon as her temperature goes up, she becomes limp and whimpers. I am plying her with regular paracetamol and nurofen to keep her fever at bay.

At least she is keeping down some of the things I am giving her. I am sticking to water, dilute apple juice and breast milk. Solids and formula milk were rejected with pursed lips and followed almost immediately by vomiting.

Poor baby!

So I am off work again to nurse the little one back to health. More sleepless nights for mama!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Nursery

We have just come home after our second "settling in" session at the new nursery. Lauren has adapted to her new nursery really well. Today, she smiled and laughed with her carers and played with the other babies in the group. I watched her having some lunch and she seemed really happy and settled. She even managed to sleep at the nursery (which was a difficulty in the past when she wasn't used to other children and the noise).

To top it all, the nursery have just told me that I can get 25% off each month's fees for the nursery because I work for the NHS! Not often you get any perks with work, so this one was not only a surprise but very welcome in light of my massive pay cut with going part time. It's a real boost at a time when we are really worried about money and bills.

It will be Lauren's last week at her old nursery this week. We will really miss them; they have been great and we were devastated that they were closing. However, I am now hopeful that we will have a smooth transition to the new nursery and that it will be just as good as the old one.

Thank you to those of you who have been sending me comments on this blog and on the photo album; it is great that you keep in touch and that you are interested. Looking forward to sharing more of our lives with you!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fun at Ravenscourt Park

We had fun in Ravenscourt Park as you can see from our photos. Lauren was so happy; it was lovely to see. We looked at the ducks, the geese and the squirrels being fed then headed off to the swings.

This is Lauren, with her daddy and excited to be at the park.

Lauren and daddy enjoy laughs together!

She then has fun on the swings with mama.

Swings are fun!

All too soon it is time to go home! Boo Hoo!

The full set of photos can be seen on my Flickr album site.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Quest for Good Childcare, Pt IV; Getting Better and Happy Birthday Grandma!

Last Wednesday, we had a surprising phone call from nursery number 2 to say that they had managed to get their nursery back open despite getting evicted by their landlord (see Nursery Disaster and Quest for Good Childcare Pt III). Looks like the threat of legal action sorted out a few things. They have given me assurances that this will not happen again and that the nursery will not close.

This occurred just as we were making enquiries about nursery number 3. We had already left a message saying that we wanted to speak to them about Lauren and to look around but they did not ring us back to arrange these things. Maybe this was fortunate after all. I think it also reflects badly on nursery number 3 that they did not bother to follow up our call; either they don't care or they are full.

So after some discussion with nursery number 2 and each other, we have decided to go ahead again with nursery 2 and I will be taking Lauren there tomorrow to settle her in. Fingers crossed that all goes to plan this time!

Getting Better

Lauren still has a nasty cough which wakes her up at night. This has meant interrupted sleep for us - thank goodness for lie-ins at the weekends! However, despite her cough she is now eating again. Although her appetite is quite back to normal, she is at least 90% better.

This is Lauren eating banana on her own today!

I am now giving her vitamin and iron supplements to try to boost her back up after her various illnesses. I've received no word from our Health Visitor yet, so I will ring back on Monday to find out if I need to do anything more about her iron deficiency.

Over this last week, we have noticed that she is beginning to be able to pull herself up to a sitting position from lying down. She can now sit for several minutes unsupported before slowly toppling over to one side. She also reaches forward from a sitting position to grab toys which are out of reach.

She now likes spending time on her front (she used to hate it and cry whenever we put her on her front) and will prop herself up with her arms to look around. She hasn't quite figured out the leg thing yet though; she does dig the feet in but the pushing forward with the feet is not yet coordinated with any movement of the arms for crawling. It cannot be long before she figures it out and is mobile!

All this coincides with increasing good weather and sunny days here in London, so I am excited about the prospect of taking her to the park and letting her crawl around in the grass and play on the swings and things.

Speaking of the park, it is a lovely day today and we will be going to the park later I hope. She's asleep just now (mid morning nap) but when she wakes up and has had some lunch we will head out. I'm planning to take some nice photos of her in the park. So watch this space; photos will be posted this afternoon on our return. Some of you will have noticed that I am also reorganizing my online photo album; it will be complete soon.

To see photo album, click the link Family Photo Album or click on the Flickr Photos box or go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/skayers/

Enjoy! Let me know if any of you also have photos on Flickr (or indeed have blogs or homepages) and I will post links to them.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is my mum's birthday. She is up in Edinburgh this weekend; we will give her a ring later to find out how she's been and what she is doing for her birthday. Happy birthday mum!! Hope you have a great day - Jase, Lauren and I send all our love (and sloppy kisses) on your special day!

Don't worry, we won't tell them which birthday it is. At least it's another 2 years before the BIG one!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Well the last 2 months have been pretty miserable for Lauren, catching one bug after another at nursery...

What seems to have been forgotten is that she is the Queen of Mutation, converting these bugs into father-hitting monsters!

I've been more ill these last 2 months myself than in the last 5 years.

If you want me I'll be dying quietly in the corner!

As an aside, Lauren is back at Nursery today, so she can start working on a new bug to give me...<

***Note from Rena: Poor Jase is complaining because he has caught another sore throat from Lauren. I remain strangely unscathed; I can't comment on this other than to say I must be made of sterner stuff! Hehe!!***

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lunch with Charlotte

Aunty Charlotte came round to eat our Roast Beef and got volunteered to feed Lauren her Prunes....

Monday, May 01, 2006

Starting to feel better

We have just got back from Dim Sum with Amy and Anthony (Serena's Cousin and husband) and a quick trip to Makro.

Lauren is still unwell but is having more happy moments so is on the mend.

Here are some pictures of her laughing in the kitchen.