Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad day

Poor Lauren has been unwell since Thursday night last week with this vomiting bug. She's finally beginning to turn the corner in my opinion. Although she's not got her appetite back (poor girl) she has not vomited today and has kept down all the food she ate. She's had lots of milk, which she wasn't able to manage before, so I am confident that she is on the mend.

However, I have felt really queasy all day, culminating in not being able to eat any dinner at all tonight. I am really upset because I may have caught Lauren's bug. This weekend, I am meant to be working on Saturday and we have friends (Gareth and Gillian) coming on Sunday.

I'm pretty gutted but at least I have not vomited (yet). I hope I'm better before Sunday.

The Great cake tasting session

It's been a real foodie weekend. On Friday (because my brother Jase was away in South Africa) I accompanied Charlotte to a food tasting event run by the company who are doing the wedding reception. They showcased some of their food (which was fabulous) and Charlotte had the opportunity to speak to the Chef who runs the company. It was enormous fun!

Then on Sunday, we invited Jase and Charlotte around to our house for the great cake tasting session. I've got the honour of baking their wedding cake, so we decided to have a fun tasting session to see the kind of fruit cake they would like. They had already discounted sponge cakes as Charlotte is not a fan of these.

I bought a standard fruit cake from the supermarket and made four little fruit cakes from different recipes that I had from various cookbooks and other sources. The house was filled with the wonderful aroma of Christmas cake all afternoon!


I can't believe that I even managed to find blindfolds to match their outfits!


A great time was had by all, and they managed to finally decide on cake A as their wedding cake. As it was also Charlotte's birthday, we had a big celebration meal in her honour - roast duck with stuffing and a jam roly poly for dessert. Unfortunately, I think they had too much Christmas / wedding cake and couldn't manage much!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tragic in Triplicate

Lauren has had her ups and downs over the weekend. Unfortunately all the downs seem to come at night so Serena and I are completely knackered.

Lauren is still not better although she was doing great until bed time when she bolted her milk a bit fast and then threw it back up.

She has been catching up on sleep during the day whilst Serena and I work, so come bedtime we are knackered and she is ready to party!

Hopefully we can get her back to her happy self over the next two days as I am away from Wed to Fri and Serena is supposed to be at work.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tragic Girl

Our little girl may be teething but she has also picked up a tummy bug.

Lauren spent the whole of last night throwing up and unfortunately repeated the problem this morning after her breakfast milk.

She is on boiled water only now, but seems happy enough. She is fast asleep being completely knackered. I just wish I could crawl into bed next to her, but I have three sets of our bedding to wash along with three pillow, three of my t-shirts AND I have to get as much work done as I can whilst she sleeps.

Yawn!

Ten tooth girl

We were both absolutely shattered this morning as Lauren woke about 5 times overnight. We couldn't work out why because she wasn't running a fever and seemed well in herself. When I got to work, all my colleagues told me to check if she was teething.

When we got her out of the bath tonight we had a look in her mouth. To our surprise, there were TWO new teeth (premolars) there in the upper jaw that definitely weren't there at the weekend.

So tonight we made sure that Lauren had some nurofen before she went to bed. Poor girl! Her gums must have been sore last night. Also explains why she's not been keen to eat over the last couple of days.

Still, despite all of this the little girl seems quite cheerful during the day. Children are just so resilient!

*As a quick aside, our broadband is still going strong. UKOnline still haven't cut us off in our switch over to Sky!*

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Offline for a while

After much mucking about we have cancelled our current broadband account.... Now to see how quick BT can be with the reconnection.

We're on dial-up for a while, so there will be little in the way of blog updates from Serena.

Busy Weekend

I'm just recovering from working two 12 hour shifts this weekend. It was busy at work, so I'm pretty knackered (or "jiggered", as Jase always says!) . It's nice to be able to spend time with Lauren though, since I saw her for about 30 minutes in total the entire weekend, as she would be asleep when I got home after my shift.


She's having her afternoon nap just now, and I am contemplating the Christmas cooking I need to do. I love cooking at Christmas time, and whenever we are broke (like now) I like to make edible gifts for the family. When Lauren wakes up, I think I'll have to pop to the supermarket for some ingredients.


Daddy and Lauren seem to have had fun at the weekend in my absence. Lauren was initially full of the cold, so they didn't go out on Saturday but I've been told that there was a visit to see Uncle Jase, Auntie Charlotte and Rafferty on Sunday.


She loves climbing in and out of things at the moment. She especially likes to sit inside her cart and be pushed along. She was exploring some new storage baskets from Ikea this weekend.


She loves being mobile and really seems to enjoy walking about the house. Now that she knows how to walk, she doesn't crawl as much, but still reverts to crawling if she wants to get anywhere in a hurry. She even tries to run whilst pushing her cart!

She's also talking quite a lot now, but speaks to you in her own baby language (and then looks at you expecting you to understand). Having said that though, she does say some words in both English and in Cantonese that make sense: "boo" for book, "mil" for milk, "joi" for dummy (Cantonese), "jurk" for bird (Cantonese), "goo jah?" for what's that?, "da" for that. It's so much fun to watch how she changes week by week!

I also got news at the weekend that my friend Alison (who was my bridesmaid) has had a baby girl. We're thrilled for her and can't wait to hear how she and the baby are doing!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pink Champagne

Yesterday afternoon, I got my exam results.

It was so stressful because I discovered whilst at work that the results had been put up on the College website. Even worse, they were listed by candidate number and I could not remember which one I was.

In a blind panic, I phoned the College and they gave me my number. I looked up the result at least four times to be sure.

I PASSED!!!

I was so relieved!!!

Well, it was definitely a cause for celebration. I had already agreed to meet up with some girlfriends for a drink and maybe some dinner in Chiswick. It turned out to be a full-on celebration, complete with pink champagne.

Excellent stuff.

We had a lovely Thai meal following this (must go back there with Jase, it was really good) at the Thai Bistro in Chiswick. Afterwards, I drove one of the girls home to Kilburn (very funny because I'd never been there before) although coming home was a bit hairy! I ended up on the North Circular so all was well (as this is very familiar to me).

Yay! I'm so happy and relieved!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

End of Exams!

The family went out on Saturday night for dinner at the Royal China in Bayswater to celebrate the end of exams. We had an absolutely amazing meal!





I don't know why, but the food on this occasion was particularly good. Our last meal there was good; this was exceptional.



We had deep fried oysters, fish, lobster, duck, tofu and a fantastic lamb hotpot. Everyone enjoyed it (as you can see from the photos).



Even Lauren tucked into the lobster, the fish and the tofu. She especially liked the noodles which came with the lobster (so did I).



It was a real shame that my brother Jase missed the meal (he is away in South Africa at the moment). I think he was quite gutted when Charlotte told him on the phone about the meal! However, as compensation, it sounds like he has had a really good time in South Africa. He got a personal tour of Nelson Mandela's House in Soweto.

I'm still waiting to hear how I did in the exam. Not sure if it will be this week or next; I just hope I did enough to pass. Just glad it's all over.

I've arranged with work to work some extra weekends because we're really broke at the moment (because I got paid less during my exams as I did no weekends on duty). It looks like I will have to work the next 4 weekends! I may not be able to blog as much as a result.

Now the exams are over, Jase and I are thinking of trying for another baby. I've had a chat with my work about the future, and they're prepared to pay my maternity leave as a consultant (as long as I get appointed in April) providing I go back to work for them afterwards for a period of time.

Fair enough.

Otherwise, we either face delaying having the next baby (not good because I am 34 next year!) or I face the prospect of no pay or very little pay during my maternity leave. Not good options, especially as we have a massive mortgage and the Bank of England interest rates have gone up to 5%!

So it looks like we will have to delay going to Australia until 2009. Jase is adamant that we do not leave it any later than that though. He doesn't want to disrupt Lauren in her schooling (which will happen if we leave it any later than that time) and I have to agree with him.

I'm sure that both our sets of families are happy about this, though I know that they understand that we will still eventually have to go. We haven't changed our minds - the plan is just on hold.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Life Starts Here

Yay!!

This lunchtime I finished my Clinical exam and felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Today was OK; again, I felt it had been a fair exam and even though things came up which I hadn't really practiced, they were all things I could do.

I felt I did my best and was pretty happy with the performance I gave. And that's all you can do really.

So now it's just a matter of waiting for the results in 1-2 weeks' time, but until then I get to play with Lauren and enjoy not having to lock myself in the bedroom to revise every night.

Lauren gets her Mama back and Jase gets his wife back. Everyone happy.

Yay!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One down, one to go

I've just got back from the College after sitting my Academic and Management Viva exam. I'm happy to say that although it was extremely stressful, I thought it was a fair exam and the examiners appeared to be happy with the content of my answers. They were really keen to put us at ease when we sat down; this definitely helped.

Most of all, I am really glad that the stuff I've been revising for weeks on end came in useful (unlike the previous written exam). The things they asked were typical big topic things and not small print stuff. I definitely came out feeling I'd given it my best shot and without feeling I'd said anything stupid (always a bonus).

I am so glad that bit is over. I have 2 hours and 42 minutes of clinical testing tomorrow morning, then it will all thankfully be over.

Back to the revision now; I don't want to fall at the final hurdle!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Final Countdown

I am now counting down to the final parts of my exam on Wednesday and Thursday. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick at the moment. I'm not sleeping too well either because I'm really stressed about it.

I know everyone has been saying it'll be fine, but I can't help thinking that it's all been really horrible. It has taken over most of my life since May this year and I feel that I've lost yet another summer (last year I was heavily pregnant so was alseep for most of it! Then Lauren came along and there was no sleeping to be had...)

I'm really down at the moment about the exam and can't wait for it all to be over. There's so much I need to know; I have no idea if any of the stuff I've read or practised has stuck.

When it's all over I am looking forward to spending some time with the family. Roll on Thursday afternoon!

Who needs help??

Over the last few weeks Lauren has been starting to take a few unaided steps.

Day by day she gets more confident so I thought it was about time to publish some more video.

Here are three short clips of our little girl walking.

(Remember to press Play in the bottom left corner of each video)





Friday, November 03, 2006

"Aaoo..."

Lauren is really developing fast at the moment. Every day, she seems to learn new things.

Yesterday, she took four steps unaided towards me! I was very proud of her. Today, I was told that she's been walking unaided at nursery too. They're amazed at how strong she is, considering she's quite small. She's really gaining in confidence with her walking. She's even beginning to crawl up the stairs, although always when we're watching her. However, she is a cautious little girl (and believe me this is a good thing) and currently refuses to try going down the stairs.

She's also recently figured out telephones. She will hold a phone to her ear and say "Aaoo" whenever she can get hold of my mobile or any of our home phone handsets. She likes phones so much that Suzanne bought her a toy phone which has ring tones and plays music. Needless to say, she loves it.



She also loves copying people. She's copy your actions and any funny sounds you try to make. Some of her baby talk is also beginning to sound like proper words. She knows "Ebra" (Zebra), "Mama", "Baba" (Daddy), "MuiMui" (Milk), "Nene" (NoNo), "Aaoo", and "Djerk" (Cantonese for bird - she loves watching birdies!). We've also figured out a few baby words; "Gah!" means "Look"!

She continues to be really affectionate, coming for hugs and kisses on a regular basis every day. We are so lucky!

She will also hug and kiss her soft toy animals! She especially loves the two zebras (of course), the octopus, the two teddies and the big St Bernard puppy.

Strangely enough, she will also give kisses to her bunny nappy stacker (not sure why!)



I suppose he looks friendly enough...

Fun with the Grandparents

I've been working hard this week and have been greatly helped by Peter and Suzanne being here to look after Lauren. They've had some real fun with Lauren over the last few days.

We all went out to eat last at at what is becoming one of our favourite haunts in Chiswick. The Pacific Bar and Grill in Chiswick is really child-friendly and serves great steaks. We were welcomed by a roaring fire and although it was bitterly cold outside, we were cosy once inside.



I had the fab calamari followed by the obligatory and lovely rib eye steak, which I shared with Jase. He had prawns for starter. Peter had the fillet steak, whilst Suzanne opted for fish. It all went down very well.



Lauren has a drink with Grandad, then goes to investigate Grandma's food...



Lauren was very well behaved and wanted hugs from everyone.



Lauren has hugs with Daddy.



Lauren had fishcake, butternut squash and some French fries followed by ice cream but didn't eat a huge amount because she was tired. She obviously did enjoy herself though!

I am reading yet more stuff today in a vain attempt to take in as much as possible before the exam. I'm very stressed and tired and just want the exam to be over now. I will be very happy come Thursday afternoon and the exam is over. Only two weeks to wait after that to get the results.

I'm hoping it will be a good Christmas and New Year, and not one spoilt by the need for more revision for resits!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thank you Boots!

Early Middle-age Ramblings of a Lost Yorkshireman: Thank you Boots!

"Lauren has had a really nasty cough for a few days. This means she gets a really bad night's sleep (and consequently so do Serena and I) and also can cough so hard that she throws up! (Poor thing!)

Anyway, I popped to Boots yesterday and bought their own brand "Night Time Cough Syrup for 1-12 Year Olds" which is Pholcodine based and includes a decongestant.

It works REALLY well.

Lauren had a dose around 6 pm and slept soundly until 2.30 am this morning. We gave her a second dose and after about 30 minutes she was out like a light again and we didn't hear a peep out of her."


Posted by daddy on his blog.