Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Times are here again

Jocelyn is having her first full day at her new nursery today.  We have had a few settling in days this week and I have been surprised at how quickly she's adapted to her new surroundings.  Nita and Anna, the carers in her room are really lovely.

Over the last few days, she has (somewhat reluctantly) started taking milk out of a bottle.  Hooray for the Tommee Tippee bottles and the Cow & Gate baby milk winning combination!

I've just phoned the nursery to get an update and they tell me she's eaten all her lunch, drunk all her milk, slept and is now having a great time playing with the toys and her new little friends.  She's also beginning to sit up on her own; I can't believe how much she's progressed this week.

This is Jocelyn playing happily at the nursery yesterday afternoon.

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Lauren is also really pleased that Jocey is going to "blue nursery" with her.  We dropped off Jocey together at the baby room today and she was the proud big sister.

It is a huge relief and weight off my mind and I now feel able to go back to work next week without worrying about my baby girl.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sleek new look

Sometimes I get bored of the same old stuff and hanker for change.  Last week, I got a wonderful new haircut; it feels liberating after spending 10 years with the same hair.  I've had some lovely compliments!

There have been a few things about the appearance of the blog that have been troubling me for a little while.  So, like the hair, it was time for a change.

Those of you reading the blog from my Blogspot website will be seeing this totally new look right now.  I hope you all like it as much as I do and that those of you who are reading a feed of this post will visit the website to have a look for yourselves.

The clunky bookmarking buttons (which sadly did not work as well as I'd hoped) are gone and have been replaced by a lovely, sleek drop-down.  Hover your mouse curser over the button labelled "Bookmark" at the end of each post and you will see what I mean.

The photo behind the title banner is one of my favourites.  You can see the original photo here.

Oh, and a picture of the haircut is coming soon...

Good first day

I am very relieved to report that Jocelyn had a really good first day settling into her new nursery. I was reassured to see her happy and playful with her carers, and to see that they clearly took to her as well.

She played with a crinkly book, a colourful mobile, did some sticking and did lots of laughing. She even managed to take some milk and eat some puréed broccoli at lunch time.

She then decided that she was exhausted and fell asleep. I took her home to give her big cuddles.

Tomorrow, I have to leave her for a few more hours during which Lauren and I will play with Lauren's friends at the nursery. Hope the day goes as well as today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feeding and finding new teeth

Over the last two weeks (with a break when she was unwell) we have been trying to wean Jocelyn onto solids.  She's just turned 6 months old, so it was about time.  For a while now, Jocey has been showing interest in our food and us eating it.  Also, she wasn't able to sleep through the night in recent weeks and was waking up about twice in the night to feed, so I knew she must be ready.

On top of this, I am going back to work in a fortnight (can't believe how quickly that's come around!) so she has to be able to take fluids from a bottle for nursery.  She has her settling in sessions next week at Lauren's nursery.

Don't let her mild mannered ways and winning smiles fool you.  Underneath it all she is as determined as her big sister.  My two daughters definitely know their own minds.

The solids part has been easy.  She's taken to eating with great gusto and clearly loves her food.  Here she is eating solids for the first time.

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Jocey clearly enjoyed her food!  Look at the smiles.

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Here's a short video of Jocey eating solids for the first time.

 

However, taking the bottle has been an entirely different matter.  I've tried different bottles, different teats, different brands of milk and all with minimal success.  Today I have tried giving her expressed breast milk (so surely she can't complain that it tastes different!) but she would not drink it from the bottle.

I am getting quite desperate as she is going to nursery next week but I am going to hang in there and keep trying until she gets used to the idea.  Unfortunately, Jocey has never been good with bottle feeding, so I may be in for some worrisome ties ahead.

On another note, I discovered that her bottom teeth have broken through last week.  The small sharp ridge on her lower gum suddenly became teeth!  You have to look closely to see them in her mouth but I can assure you (and my finger can definitely verify this as I have been chewed) that they are there.

Jocey is back to normal and most of the scabs are falling off, so I am thankful for that.  We had a really lovely day yesterday at the Park Club with Jase and Charlotte so things are finally looking up after a terrible month.  I have both of my happy girls back!

Garden transformation

With the girls having been unwell, I really haven't had as much time to blog recently. However, with them both now back to their normal happy selves I am finally getting back into our normal routine.

Two weeks ago, we had an exciting garden makeover. I've posted pictures of my garden before on this blog, and received some nice compliments from people. However, I always felt it lacked something, but was unable to say exactly what it needed. Last month, I took the plunge and asked a professional to come to help us.

Anyhow, the day arrived for the garden makeover and I was a little apprehensive as it was grey and overcast. That didn't seem to worry my gardener Helen as she appeared confident that she could manage despite the possibility of rain.

This is my garden on the morning of the transformation. The winter has made my garden look a little sad, compared to how it looked last summer.

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Within about half an hour of her arrival, she had tamed the front, allowing her to move onto the back garden. A lot of beautiful plants started to emerge from her van.

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Lauren and I spent the morning and afternoon watching Helen and her helper paint the fences, tidy our beds and pots and lay the new shingle. She was fascinated by the whole process.

Here's the end result of all their hard work.

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I love the way the garden now looks. It is low maintenance but has plenty of interest and looks very smart. I realise that what was missing from my garden previously was structure; Helen moved some of my plants and repositioned pots to achieve the best effect. I can't wait to see how it looks when the plants are more settled and established.

All in all, money well spent. I'm looking forward to enjoying it a bit more this summer (if we actually have a summer this year of course)!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Miserable

Poor Jocey has had a miserable weekend. She couldn't manage a smile or a laugh all weekend (except once on Sunday for Gung-Gung and Po-Po) which is just so out of character. The chicken pox made her feel dreadful and she kept running a high fever. It was horrible to see her like that and hear her whimpering in her distress.

I took her to the out-of-hours GP (not our regular one who is excellent - we changed practices and our new GP is very good) for a second opinion yesterday because she was still running a fever of 39. I was concerned that the spots on her back may have got infected because they were looking red and angry. However, when we got there, he didn't look at them and didn't really listen to me (he asked me the same questions twice so he obviously hadn't heard my answers the first time). I got the impression that he had made up his mind in the first 5 seconds of us coming in and we were dismissed in under 5 minutes.

I despair sometimes.

Anyway, I continued with the paracetamol and ibuprofen and thankfully her fever finally broke last night. She is cool this morning but still pretty miserable but at least able to sleep. I am just thankful that she has turned the corner.

We are having some minor work done to the house over the next few days so I will be retreating into the bedroom with her and giving her plenty of hugs and cuddles.