Saturday, March 31, 2007

Videos of Lauren on Gullane Beach

Stomping in the Wet Sand

Digging with a Shell

Dinner with the Ashby Family

In preparation for my brother Jase and Charlotte's wedding, the two sides of the family got together the weekend before last (Mothering Sunday weekend). We all went out for dinner at the Pacific Bar and Grill.

It was a fun occasion, and everyone got on really well and had a lovely time. Below are pictures of Charlotte with the two mums and brother Jase with the two dads.

This is Charlotte's dad, mum and brother with his girlfriend, who is a student from Argentina, currently studying in London. We had a great time chatting and getting to know them a bit better.

Lauren had a good time and was well behaved. She had plenty of hugs from the grandparents. Here is Lauren, Grandpa and Uncle Jase.

Sadly, the restaurant weren't nearly as well behaved and we received rude and unfriendly service from some of the staff. It was distinctly child-unfriendly and we were really put off. Jase and I have decided not to go there again, having now been disappointed twice in a row from the service.

However, despite that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to get better acquainted before the wedding, now only 2 months' away!

More dinner photos can be found on my Flickr site here.

So Quiet

I know that activity on our blogs have been low of late. I guess the biggest reason is that we've really been pretty stressed about stuff and so it's been quite difficult to get chatty about our lives.

I suppose we've also been away from home a fair bit seeing family, so we've not really had time to keep up with regular posting. We've just got back from a week away in Edinburgh, which was a lot of fun and quite relaxing. I will write a separate post on our adventures in Edinburgh once I've uploaded my photos.

A fair amount has happened between the last post and today. Jase has had much more luck on the job front and has had calls from several agents wanting to put him forward for jobs. We haven't heard back from any of them yet, but at least things are looking more hopeful.

I've been having quite a miserable time with the symptoms of early pregnancy. I'm at 16 weeks today, but have had a lot of nausea (which fortunately hasn't been too bad the last few days) and have had a few nasty days of vomiting and retching. On Mothering Sunday (of all days) I was retching so violently that I burst most of the blood vessels on my face and came up in what looked like a bad rash (from the tiny spots of blood under the skin). Not pleasant at all. The nausea and the constant tiredness has made me reluctant to sit at the computer for any length of time. I'm hoping things will start to get better over the next few weeks.

Other than that, things seem to be going better this pregnancy than the last; at least the bump is a reassuring size unlike last time. I had a visit to the hospital last week for the results of some blood tests and everything is going fine. They are still unsure why Lauren was born premature and small for her dates, as all the tests came back normal from my last pregnancy. However, I suspect that it has a lot to do with my job at the the time (I was working full time and working shifts, some of which did not end until 2am for the first 6 months of my pregnancy) and standing for long hours - often difficult to avoid as a medic.

Lauren saw the Gastroenterology Consultant at Chelsea and Westminster last week. He asked a lot of quite unusual questions which no-one else had asked us before (clearly because he is an expert in his field). He said that all her problems with not eating from an early age have been down to gastroesophageal reflux, which most babies grow out of by 1 year. Unfortuantely, Lauren still seems to have symptoms, although now much less severely than in the last few months (she was vomiting most nights of the week until February).

Luckily for us, Lauren hasn't been vomiting constantly for the last month has been putting on weight, although regaining the height might take longer. I was quite shocked to find out that although she was born on the 50th centile for height, she has dropped down to the 2nd centile (i.e. the height range of the bottom 2% of children of her age group) through her period of illness.

Although I am now happy that we have a reason for the vomiting (and clear instructions for what to do if it comes back with a vengence) I feel quite frustrated by the whole process of getting that final specialist's opinion. I have been told on multiple occasions "not to worry" by various people (including my GP - who did not listen to any of my concerns and instead dismissed them by saying that because Lauren looked active and alert that everything must be fine) despite pointing out that Lauren wasn't growing at all (evidenced now by her height falling relative to her peer group). I better understand the frustration of mothers who know that something is wrong with their child but feel that people are not listening to them. Not only did our family doctor not listen to my concerns, she did not once measure, weigh or even examine Lauren. I don't think she even saw her without her winter coat on (and of course, we all know how easily you can judge someone's weight with their coat on).

Thank goodness we were being looked after by a caring Paediatrician who felt that things were not going in the right direction and wanted a second opinion! I suppose had I not been a medical mummy, I might not even have had that. I know that there are some very good GPs out there, but sadly this has not been my recent experience.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Flickr Revamped

I've revamped my account on Flickr so that the photos are now in collections as well as sets, making it easier to find individual photos.

I've also laboriously indexed all my photos on Flickr's lovely mapping feature, so that you can see where in the world the photos were taken! If you click on my Index Page, you will see that beneath each picture, you can click on the word "Map".
This link (a geotag) will take you to the location of that photo on my Flickr map. You can use this feature in Flickr to search for people's photos of places from all over the world!


Trip to York

Last week, we were in York seeing the grandparents. It was really good to get away from London and we were blessed with some sunshine during the days we were there.

Lauren especially enjoyed playing outside in Suzanne and Peter's large back garden and spent quite some time exploring the nooks and crannies. She also loved playing chase with Daddy; there was a lot of excited squealing that day.

Whilst we were there, we went to see the animals at Aunt Sue and Uncle Jim's farm near Boroughbridge. It was only the second I'd been there (the first time was for his cousin Oliver's wedding) but Jase spent many summers there as a child. Lauren had a wonderful time; although she was a bit daunted by the size of the animals (cows, sheep and horses are bigger and scarier in real life than in her books!) she soon gained confidence and spent some time running around the farm yard and looking at the various animals there.

Jase's aunt and uncle keep racehorses on the farm and Lauren was especially fascinated by them. Despite their size (huge compared to her) she wanted to touch them as they walked past, and did eventually stroke one on the nose.

She also liked looking at the ponies (more her size) and the partriges, chickens and chicks.

We also had the opportunity to visit Auntie Madge in Scarborough. She has a lovely flat overlooking the sea, and we had a very nice lunch with her in one of the many fish restaurants overlooking the South Beach.

Afterwards, we wrapped up warmly and went for a stroll on the beach. Lauren had a fantastic time running about (often away from Mama as the pictures show!) and enjoyed both the beach and looking at the sea.

She took an interest in the seagulls and went into the surf to investigate.

She was keen to run into the surf; I had to retrieve her on a number of occasions!

Poor Lauren was sad to leave the beach; it was clear that she'd had a fabulous time. We'll be looking forward to going to the beach (somewhere warmer, I hope) this summer when we go on holiday.

We had a fun week!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Stressed out!!

Jase and I are really stressed at the moment.

Poor Jase still has not found a job yet, and is quite down about it. However, on a positive note he met up with an agent today who assured him that the job market had been unusually quiet in his job sector over the last few months, but that things would pick up soon.

He said that she was impressed with his CV (just suggested minor tweaks only) and that the right job should come along soon as the job market apparently picks up towards Easter.

You can imagine that this is an excellent piece of news for us, as money has been very tight on my tiny part-time salary. Our mortgage repayments are currently HUGE, so you can imagine our worries.

Also positive (but equally stressful) is the fact that I will be starting my new role as a consultant in 3 weeks' time. I will also be going back to work full-time and have on-call duties, which will obviously impact on Lauren as she will be going to nursery 4 days per week instead of three. I'm sure she'll be happy with this (as she loves nursery!).

It's stressful because not only do I have to face a huge increase in my level of responsibility but also because my ways of working have had to change (being a boss instead of one of many workers at the coal face). I've had to learn ways of dealing with managers and senior colleagues (which I didn't really have to do before). The other consultants in the department have been supporting me in the last few months to learn these new ways of working, and although I think I have come a long way and learned a lot, I know I still have a long way to go.

The dummy run is effectively over and things start for real at the beginning of April. Very scary, stressful and exciting at the same time! I am so glad to be going on holiday tomorrow to recharge my batteries before then.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekend mischief

As well as the video on the sofa, we have some wonderful pictures of Lauren playing this weekend. Lauren is beginning to take an interest in dressing up. She previously had fun with the oven gloves and her jeans, but this weekend felt that the must-have fashion accessory was daddy's scarf!

Various ways of wearing the scarf were attempted...

Once the scarf was discarded, she went back to playing with her other favourite toy: Daddy's Harmony remote control!

Check out the way she changes channel! Done like a real expert!!

Lots of weekend fun with Mama and Daddy!

Sofa Antics

Here's another video taken by Daddy of Lauren playing on the sofa. Press the arrow in the bottom left hand corner to play!


New Blog to Read

My brother Hubert has just started a blog with pictures of his and Bonnie's new house.

You can find the link here or at the sidebar.