Thursday, 29 September 2011


No, it's not a call to emergency services again. It's Grace clocking the ticker on our little homemade blog as it passes to 10000 hits. GET IN!
Thanks for stopping by x x x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Abstract Impressionism?

Found these fab little palm-grip crayons at the shops the other day and Grace spent a fun half hour with her Daddy doodling and making marks on the paper. I wonder if this is her first natural born talent? Don't know about you but it reminds me of a Jackson Pollock. Mummy's little artist.
(Note to self - confiscate the watch the Husband is wearing that looks like it came free out of a Christmas cracker....)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Blues and Twos

Grace and I can now tick off 'ride in emergency vehicle' as one of our 100 things to do before we die.


We arrived at A&E under our own steam with Grace presenting with a non-blanching petechial rash on her face which was gradually spreading. Based on her presentation there, we were whizzed across to the Childrens Assessment Unit at another hospital by an Ambulance going full pelt with flashers and sirens. She's been fine in herself as such, just nursery said she was cranky which is unusual for Grace and of course the rash (which they didnt notice in the dull lighting, twits). So I wasn't overly worried as meningococcal meningitis tends to present with other symptoms as well as a rash and she was just too perky to be poorly really. That said, the ambulance trip did put the wind up me a bit as I didn't really see the urgency - I would have quite happily have driven myself over from one hospital to another.

Nothing unusual on clinical ex apart from raised white blood cells indicating infection and the Paediatrician supposes she has a viral infection working it's way through as her lymph nodes and tonsils are all on the big side too. Assuming the rash doesn't spread or any other symptoms crop up, we were free to go home. Great service from the Hospital Staff although it did seem like an endless wait in a room with no mobile phone reception (with Grace asleep in the cot) for the results of the bloods to come back - an adventure lasting 7 hours no less.

One interesting little revelation - the Doc heard a definite systolic heart murmur again - when apparently we got the all clear from the PDA last year when she saw the Cardiologist at the LGI. Odd - and something to pick up with next time we see Dr Jones back home.

So sleepy Mummy and Gracie bear today after our night time escapade. She's sleeping it off with Mr Rabbit, rash still in situ, while I work the grindstone.

Thank heavens for the NHS. Very lucky we are in this country - grateful indeed x

Gracie Bear flat out in the Hospital waiting for blood results...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Money Bags

Having run dry on items from the closet to sell on eBay I have spread my wings and gone wild, having signed up for Mystery Shopping and Market Research. I have my first Mystery Shopping Assignment planned in for 28th Sept - a local pizza chain - you can see why I was drawn to that one no doubt. And I'm waiting to hear back on my first Market Research activity - sitting on a focus group for homeowners under 35. Having this revenue stream coming in, albeit slowly and drip drip drip, we're heading in the right direction for sure. Grace is needing some bigger clothes soon and so replenishing the kitty is a useful activity especially since the autumn nights are drawing in and we can't be as active on an evening. I was a bit skeptical of the Mystery Shopping thing - although having read the 6 page brief they've sent me on how to order a pizza, take delivery of it and eat it I am now assured they are looking more kosha. They re-imburse me for the spend on the food and I get a fee of a few bob too - this wont clear the mortgage, but it does give us a night in with a takeaway, something we dont tend to treat ourselves to much since Grace arrived. I'll let you know how it goes. Anyone with experiences to share?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Nanny Wheels!

When we were younger we all knew our grandparents by one nickname or another, Big Nanny, Little Nanny, Grandad Cambridge. Well Grace has a Nanny Wheels. For those of you that remember the slightly embarrassing house dance moves big fish little fish cardboard box, I bring you Big Nanny Little Nanny Nanny Wheels.

Actually that's a bit of a stretch. Grace has a Nanny Wheels, Grandma Cake (I would have said Grandma Buns but I didn't want you getting the wrong impression), and Grandpa (or Bampy). The point of this post is pointless (you might have gathered already), other than to share the name of my Mother that tickled me when my neice called her Nanny Wheels last week. Love it! Nanny + Wheelchair = COOL!!!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Hurricane Heddlu!

Hold onto your hats people, Wales is windy! Lucky devil that I am, the first few days of our jolly to the wilds of Snowdonia saw us blown assunder by the tail end of Hurricane Katia as it made its way across the country after wreaking havoc on the American east coast. Thankfully the chipboard chalet was nailed down well. We survived.

More than can be said for my waistline, but that's another story - what's a weeks holiday if you can't enjoy the good stuff? We had a super week, very relaxing, plenty of sleep and many happy memories on Grace's first holiday. Special too because we got the spend a week with my family - parents, siblings and their children and grandchildren, and we even found time to go walking with Grace's godmother and her wild-mushroom-hunting Husband to be, Canoe Matt.

Grace has come on leaps and bounds. The fresh mountain air has put the wind in her sails and during our week away she has nailed crawling, doing a 'high five' (very cute), standing up while balancing her hands on something, and then today pulling herself up to standing too. Cheeky monkey wants to walk everywhere so both me and Matt the Husband are popping NSAIDs like popping candy to alleviate the progressive backache that is bending over to hold the hands of a little 2ft 6in belle. She's so pleased with herself, she is racing around like a pocket rocket and at last we are beginning to have to think about where we leave her... Matt the Husband narrowly averted disaster yesterday as she dove head first off the edge of the bed by hooking his finger under her nappy as her nose plunged worryingly close to the floor. We're learning fast!

We're starting to see new little things she's doing too - the subtle things I so often overlook if I'm not paying attention. Like putting the megablocks back in the basket instead of pulling them out, and trying to put her socks back on instead of pullng them off. It's like the starting gun has sounded and it's GO GO GO. Special times.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sherpa on wheels

Aside from the kitchen sink, we're going to be travelling light. We have to be - lady Grace is taking so much stuff we're short on space and then to throw a bit of excitement into the mix, my dear old sister has won a wine fridge on eBay and has bent my arm behind my back to pick that up for her on the way to our rendesvous in Wales. I wouldn't mind, but she doesn't drink so no wet thank you for me!

I love Wales - Snowdonia, it's my second home. We go every year and I love the place to bits, rain, cloud and beautiful scenery to reset my inner balance and set me up for the blustery slog that is the run up to Christmas. Sometimes in September, Wales even offers out a sunny day - this picture was from our last visit just before Matt and me became three.

So back to the sherpa thing - I never realised how complicated life would become. For us, we cram a few bits into a rucksack at the last minute and if I need to nip to a corner store for something I've forgotten it's usually no great shakes. We did travel to Norfolk for a holiday once without any underwear (not a fetish I assure you) - and had a great giggle watching Matt the Husband coming back from the late night Tesco with granny pants high enough I could tuck my boobs in. But I can't do that with Grace, for starters knickers like that would probably do better as a sleeping bag liner for someone her size and beyond that, she likes the things she likes. If we forget Mr Rabbit we're all in for a sleepless week.

I started my checklist at the weekend and it's growing by the hour. I need to pack tonight while Matt the Husband is roaming Yorkshire for the wine fridge, leaving me to get the boot of the car packed to precision. He'd only get in the way bless him, and I'm better at getting the best use out of awkward spaces. The buggy takes up a lot of room in the boot (have remembered puncture repair kit!), and we have the Bushbaby carrier for Grace so we can do some off-road walking. I have then had a genius idea to take a mini chest of drawers so I don't need to bother unpacking and then repacking her clothes when we get there - I'm just taking it all. Beyond that, we have stuff for swimming, colouring, building, reading, feeding, drinking, dirtying, cleaning, sleeping (but since the baby monitor went a few days back, no beeping).

If I'm lucky, I can fit myself into drive, a map book so I can find it and a bundle of cash to pay for the weeks fun. It's going to be interesting sleeping in the same room as Grace, we've only done that for a night when we stayed in London the weekend Matt the Husband did the Marathon. We're taking a sheet to cover the travelcot with to block out some light so we can read before bed or catch the bedtime news headlines. It'll be fine, we'll probably get a good rest out of the experience as we'll go off when she does. I'm giddy as a kipper - Can't wait - it's going to be great.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mummy's little pin cushion

To vaccinate, or not vaccinate. That is the question.

Seeing as Grace was leaking like a watering can in the bath tonight, it was evident that we elected to go ahead and we didn't really think twice about it. So much controversy over the alleged link between the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) and autism over recent years has led to pocket outbreaks, the latest to hit in Wales earlier in the summer. Since the links to autism were largely quashed the uptake of the vaccine has increased to an average 90% across the UK while protection only really exists if 95% of the population have it. In some areas (e.g. Wales), uptake of the vaccine is much lower leaving the risk of measles outbreaks which can be fatal in young children wide open. (In fact according to the BBC and the Guardian, they had an outbreak as recently as June with 30 reported cases).

Quite worrying for me is the Leeds PCT and Wakefield PCT only have 84% and 75% for both first and second dose uptake in the area - way below guidelines for safe immunisation practice. Inadequate information might be to blame, not so much about the MMR controversy, rather immunisation protocols themselves. We last saw our health visitor when Grace was 6 months. Around her first birthday I then had a letter inviting us to attend for the 3 jabs - no information was provided over for what or the reasons behind it. Yes I'm the first to google, background read and generally gen up on things so I know the low down - but evidently around 25% of our neighbours don't. And I doubt they're wittingly putting their children at risk. I did have a quick look in the 'red book' that records her health and development but I found it sorely lacking in the kind of info I wanted.

So yes, Grace has gone to bed like a bear with a sore head. She'll be fine, she's Mummy's little pin cushion - and I'm glad we made the decision to immunise.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Silent Night

Posting the sound and movement monitor from the nursery onto it's new home yesterday, I didn't realise the effect it would have. For the first time in a little over a year, the house was silent once Grace went to bed. We'd come to rely on the reassuring beep, like a metronome through the night - annoying in the earlydays, onto something that became blended into the background.

And now it's silent. Shhhh. Don't wake the baby!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Learning to walk

Learning to walk... a video by Little Bambini on Flickr.

p.s. it is the puzzle NOT Grandma that's tweeting x

Exercise is a dirty word...

(... every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate!)

One sunny day and a bar of chocolate later I am in better spirits. So much so I felt the need to share my guily pleasure with little G. It's her first taste of the good stuff and we don't intend to make a habit of it, in fact I think she'd rather nibble on a piece of fruit as it took her a good drive through the village to finish the one square I gifted to her. Yummy!

She looks very sheepish in this photo as if she knows just how indlugent the tasty stuff is!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The simple life...

The simple life... by Little Bambini
The simple life..., a photo by Little Bambini on Flickr.

So peaceful and innocent. Grace at 12 months.

Too much too soon?

Having the worst Saturday in a while, my temper is on Code RED and the family are taking the brunt. Seriously, if the dog whines for something to eat off the kitchen counter one more time I may launch her through the window. Lucky for the human element of the family, Grace has taken cover at Grandmas and Matt the Husband has gone off to town to spend his pocket money on a haircut he may live to regret seeing as it's costing him a mere three bob.

Post natal depression is a peculiar thing and I wouldn't claim to have it any longer - the meds have done a cracking job at getting me back onto the straight and narrow since Grace was born and yet my temper (which has always been a little quick) has been on full throttle the last few days and I'm fearing I might blow a gasket. Dear Dr Jones has been weaning me off the Citalopram since our last visit as if you come to a halt with them you can experience withdrawl symptoms or regression back to the PND. I wonder if this is anything to do with it? Who knows. I missed Sundays tablet the first week, Sunday and Wednesday the week after and then 3 days missed this week. Too quick maybe. Or maybe I'm just being a misery guts today. I can be such an arse when I'm in a grump and hard to live with at the best of times, I really feel the endurance of Matt the Husband at times like this.

I'm going to spend the afternoon drowning my sorrows/anger/frustration on a eBay listing marathon and an endless supply of my poison diet coke. Fingers crossed I wake tomorrow in a better friggin mood.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Ants in her pants

With grace just itching to get moving, Matt the Husband and I haven't had a minutes peace. Persistant fingers in the air to be walked, bambi is still holding on for dear life as we walk the length of the sitting room with legs wobbling like a string puppet. As for crawling... still a distant dream.Of course we're making the most of having a static baby... life is simple right now!!