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October 5th, 2009

10:33 am - Good Morning Internets!
I woke up this morning thinking that I'd made some awful alarm clock faux pas, as it was pitch black and the street lights were still on outside, but no. It seems that Autumn/Winter is officially upon us. Hurrah!

I bloody love Winter, but this semi-darkness thing that we are currently experiencing is going to take a bit of getting used to. My preference is for cold, crisp and bright. Not warm, damp and dark. I am not a mushroom.

Anyway, this freak phenomenon aside, I am a bloody tired girl today. I stayed up a bit late last night and spent all day yesterday racing around after our Mini-Speedster. She is like a toddling Usain Bolt - blink and she's shot off to another potential danger zone at high speed. Exhausting.

Saturday was an exercise in crisis management, whereby Clyde had to work all day and my Mum had to spend the day with her leg in the air due to a vile infection in her toe. So C dropped Mimi and I off at the shop at half eight where I executed a marvel of multi-tasking by giving Mimi her breakfast AND attempting to set up for our arm of The Big Draw. A couple of hours of staunchly refusing to nap later and Mimi was whisked off to Cliveden by her Obachan and Ojichan. The rest of the day was mayhem. We took far more money than is usual for a Saturday and managed to harangue people into 'getting their sketch on'. Mimi was delivered back to me at 5pm, insane with tiredness and desperate for a bit of Cbeebies. By the time Clyde collected us from work the pair of us were hallucinating with tiredness and Mimi was physically assaulting balloons left, right and centre.

I need to go to the bank, but now it's pissing down with rain. I also need to go to the gym, but suspect that I might fall asleep on the crosstrainer, causing all manner of health and safety nightmares.

I must do a Romilly update post soon. She's doing all kinds of cool stuff and her vocabukary is mad. We often hear her singing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' through the intercom and she has an almost obsessional love of handbags. Yesterday she bumped into a wall because she had a colander on her head and couldn't see where she was going. Gorgeous little nutter.


September 21st, 2009

03:19 pm - Romilly's Big Ouch & The Fear Of Scrutiny...
On Friday morning our usual hassled routine was underway - bathing, dressing, breakfasting etc prior to heading out for a few hours in the office where Mimi hares around like the little cutie she is and I do my weekly paperwork, daily banking etc.

Except this Friday we didn't make it in.

Background: Mimi loves the step down to our kitchen and often sits on it watching the world go by. She does this adorable reverse-shuffle in order to position her little bottom in the right spot.

On Friday morning I was stood in the kitchen and mum was stood by the back door watching her do her cute little shuffle and plonk herself down to eat a little bit of sausage that she had clutched in her hand. After a minute of sitting down she saw something that she wanted and stood up to head for it. However, her new and very grippy little shoes stayed where they were while the rest of her body, quick as a flash, propelled into the corner of the kitchen unit head first.

The thud was sickening. I screamed and grabbed her, holding her to my chest as tight as I could while she screamed and screamed with pain and fear. I grabbed the phone and dialled for an ambulance. I couldn't hear what they were saying, so my mum took Romilly. As she pulled her away from me I saw her head and screamed. Her whole forehead was swollen and purple. The scream must have done the trick because an ambulance arrived in under four minutes. When the paramedic assessed her she seemed to calm down a little, but was still semi-hyperventilating. He seemed to think she was fine. I asked him what he would do if it was his daughter and he said 'I'd keep her at home and see how she is'. I disagreed and we got in the ambulance. This was very fortunate, as she started to ramble in the ambulance and was pointing at things that weren't there. The paramedic then began to take my concerns seriously and I held her tightly, stroked her head and sang to her as we rushed to hospital. we were checked in to see a paediatrician asap.

At the hospital she regained her senses somewhat and was, albeit very wobbly, attempting to have a bit of a play in the waiting area. Clyde arrived while we were there and we were eventually transferred to the Assessment Unit. Her temperature was taken, she was weighed and her breathing checked again. This is where it all got a bit intimidating. Up to this point she had been seen and assessed by the admissions nurse and paramedic. From hereon she was examined and I was questioned by two further nurses and three doctors under the observation of an absent consultant who was kept informed along the way. I was asked the same questions again and again.

"What time did this happen?"
"Exactly what did she bump into?"
"Was she knocked out?"
"Has she had any previous stays in hospital?"
"Is she under consultant care for any illness?"
"What time did this happen again?"

I knew what they were doing. It was a gentle, but persistent cross-examination. We were deliberately placed in an area of the ward where we could be watched closely. Romilly was examined from head to toe - even down to the removal of her nappy. All the time my poor little baby was just confused and upset. She didn't want to be pulled about, she just wanted a cuddle and to play with the toys the nurses had given her. She managed to get a decent sleep on my lap at one point, which helped a great deal. The examinations she particularly disliked were when the pressed against her head (which must've hurt like mad, poor little sausage) and having her throat looked at. She wasn't a big fan of the main doctor who was treating her, but she was very enamoured with a tall blonde doctor called Angus and shook his finger 'hello' and gave him a special beaming smile.

Eventually she was given the all-clear by the consultant who 'felt confident that the injuries were consistent with the reported accident' (or similar wording). This just made me feel rather annoyed. Not 'Romilly is showing only superficial injury and will probably just be very bruised and a bit cranky, so we think it's safe to go home'. I completely understand that when a child is admitted to A&E with an injury that it has to be taken seriously (more so now than ever, given the Baby P case), but it seemed that in amongst all the assessment and observation that Romilly's actual well-being at the time was being forgotten about. The doctor that Romilly disliked had a bit of a brusque bedside manner, granted, but was it really necessary to say 'I'll discuss this with you later' to his colleague in front of us, thereby making us feel like something was really wrong? And why did no-one want to see her Red Book even when I offered?

I dunno, I'm probably reading too much into it, but what i do know is that C and I went home exhausted from it all. The fear and stress of your baby in pain is absolutely the worst feeling in the whole world without the fear and stress of being scrutinised as well (The whole time I just kept thinking about that couple who had their children taken away from them and were adopted by another couple, but even when it was finally proven that the parents had done nothing wrong their children had been adopted and they had no legal leg to stand on and coupldn't get their children back). I guess on the whole I'm glad that they are so thorough, but equally mistakes do happen. Probably better to scare and offend me with their procedure and actually manage to save a baby with it in another case. My short-term discomfort was for the greater good.

Whenever I remember her topple I feel so sick that I just have to scoop her up and kiss her all over her gorgeous little head. She's so precious and perfect. I'm sure she'll have lots of bumps and ouches in her life, but I can only hope they are few and far between and that Clyde and I are always there to patch her up and kiss her better.


September 10th, 2009

07:27 pm - A week of weird and wonderful...
I'm not kidding, it's been bizarre.

Starting with the small stuff:

Two men keep popping up wherever I go. One is a rather round continental European who dresses rather too smartly and too continentally for Maidenhead High Street on a Wednesday afternoon. The other is a very bedraggled looking man who is permanently clutching a can of strong cider. They are outside the bank, outside the gym, hanging around the doorway of Boots and (most scarily) sitting on the benches near the shop. It is perturbing.

Mimi has discovered that calling people 'pretty' when they are miserable makes them smile. So far today it has worked with a bank employee and a girl in a shoe shop. She was also chased by a cat today.

I opened a fortune cookie and was informed that I was due a windfall. Still waiting for that one, but it was a nice way to help me digest my Hong Kong chicken.

I removed the phone from my daughters clutches to discover that she was having a lovely chat with her Granny. The keypads are now locked on all the phones.

Following a truly mental 45 minutes of cameras, sound people and terrified contestants running around the shop, I find that I will be on prime time BBC1 next year. The whole experience flew by and now I am left with a terror of being cut to look like a complete moron. If that bastard Chiles takes the piss out of me, I will personally seek him out and throttle him.

On Saturday the Mini Mental will be doing her first overnight stay away from home. Granny B is on duty and I am both nervous and excited. Not about having a late night out, you understand, but about having a lie-in. A PROPER LIE-IN. OMG! *bliss*

I have acquired a step machine. It is a beast. It is also the most monumentally exhausting exercise I have ever done. It makes my going-like-the-clappers on the cross trainer seem like a stroll in the park.

Next week I am meeting up with an old school friend who I haven't seen in EIGHTEEN YEARS, thanks to the wonder of Facebook. She has a daughter a bit older than Mimi and I'm hoping we will all get on like a house on fire.

See? It's all been happening!!


September 3rd, 2009

10:06 am - MMR Mimi...
Poor Mimi.

She had her MMR with no problems, but now the side effects have kicked in royally and she has been a very unhappy girl. First of all she had a high temperature, then she went off her food. We took her to the doctors who reassured us that she was fine and didn't have anything horrible. This was followed by a measles rash on her back, tummy, legs and finally, face. She started to pick up yesterday morning, but this temporary reprieve was quickly followed by another increase in temperature and...tadah! A swollen face.

Apparently one on ten children develop a mild form of measles about ten days after the MMR. One in fifty go on to develop a mild form of mumps. The rare one is a reaction to the rubella vaccination. We're still playing the waiting game on that one.

I know all the scandals and scares surrounding the MMR vaccination and I can honestly say we came very close to not allowing her to have it. And when she looks at me with big wide ill-eyes, dark rings underneath them and her little swollen jaw I seriously wonder whether we have done the right thing. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the lesser of evils.

Children used to die of measles. Not to mention the children who suffered brain damage, deafness and assorted other horrible fates from the disease. According to the NHS, no children have died from acute measles since 1992. So basically, what I'm saying is, we've done the right thing whether we like it or not. And I shall try to fight my guilty feelings by cuddling my beautiful daughter and reassuring her that she WILL feel better soon...


August 27th, 2009

12:10 pm - Count Your Blessings...
Life trundles along its merry way and I often consider the smooth-natured running of our quiet lives to be too good to be true. We have the most glorious happy, healthy little toddler, a beautiful home and are happy and comfortable.

I've been giving this some thought ever since Mimi had her MMR last week. She had to have it in hospital under observation due to her previous nasty vaccination reaction. Thankfully she had no problems this time (didn't even notice the injection, due to the wonderfully skilled nurses who attended her) and was racing around the ward like a mini-mental within half an hour.

While we were there, one of girls from Sing & Sign turned up in the assessment unit with her brood. I know them well enough, having attended two terms of classes with them, so we had a bit of a chat. It transpires that their daughter was diagnosed with a genetic liver disease and has been in hospital in London for the best part of the Summer and that she'll possibly have to have a liver transplant. As it is a genetic disorder, the rest of the family are mow being tested and there's a possibility that her other children could have the same condition. Poor poor family. They were really positive about everything though and such a lovely family to boot.

The whole experience made me thank my lucky stars and scoop Romilly up for a big dose of extra special hugs and kisses. After giving me the briefest of pecks She promptly wriggled like a worm and demanded 'down!'. After all, there's lots of exploring and racing around to do and plenty of time for hugs later, eh Mimi?


August 18th, 2009

10:51 am - Home again, home again...
Romilly LOVED the sea. Almost, in fact, as much as she loved the colossal amount of fish that she consumed during our four day trip to the seaside.

Mimi in the SeaSeaSea

We stayed in an ace little cottage not too far from the harbour that Mimi took to with no problems at all. It seems that when it hits 7pm she will sleep and doesn't care a jot where she lays her head as long as she has her 'duddy' (dummy. Yes I know and I hate it), 'usaaaaaagisan' (Usagi-san - Mr Rabbit) and a selection of well cuddled muslin clothes to fashion into a snug little pillow. Funny child.

Our week basically consisted of relaxing, pootling about a bit, visiting places and most importantly EATING! We found an utterly lovely little italian café that had tables in the kitchen, so it felt like you were at someones house. It was chatty and bustled and we loved it. Mimi ate antipasto and olive bread then spent the rest of the time charming everyone around her (a theme for the whole break tbh).

It was nice to come home though. Weirdly enough, I was struggling to come to terms with the fact that Dream House was our home. It only really sank in when we were away from it for a few days. As soon as we opened the front door it felt right. And then our beastly daughter set about demolishing the tidy, peaceful house with an explosion of toys, crackers and discoveries from various cupboards, bags, nooks and crannies. Welcome home dear...


August 5th, 2009

04:56 pm - A lovely change of scenery...
Next week, C, Mimi and I are heading off to the coast to stay in a lovely little holiday cottage for a few days. As hard as I will find it to tear myself away from Dream Home, I am very much looking forward to it.

Our daily routine becomes a bit much sometimes and more so while my mum is immobile. She has had an operation on her foot that sees her stuck in the house far more than she is willing to tolerate (I suspect that she makes a break for it at any available opportunity). Usually she would drive over most mornings to have breakfast with us, which both Romilly and I love and also helps to keep Romilly entertained. She also looks after Romilly every wednesday and makes the whole affair an absolute dream by taking charge of everything from breakfast to dinner, allowing me to get to work on time and not have to panic about getting home.

Since Mum's operation, getting Roms to her house is a military operation! This morning I:

Got up, took Roms downstairs while I sorted her milk, gave her a bottle and nappy change, gave her a big cuddle 'cos she was feeling a bit unhappy, ran myself a bath, took bath, got ready (with a brief interruption to change her nappy again and bring her upstairs with me), took her downstairs to pop her in the bath with Dadda, put away her dirty laundry, got her bedclothes for tonight ready, emptied the bins, assembled all her luggage for the day, got her out of the bath, helped her brush her teeth, dried and dressed her, took her downstairs, distracted her while I loaded the car with buggy, carseat, change bag, toy bag & food bag, grabbed my things and jumped in the motor.

At the other end we unloaded everything, C drove off to work and I sat with Roms while she had her breakfast then walked from my parents house to work. Tonight we will do everything in reverse. After a full day at work. No wonder I'm knackered.


August 1st, 2009

12:26 pm - Today I inch ever closer...
to parent-esque levels of domesticity.

1) Couchageddon
The Criminally Expensive Couches Of Beauty arrived this morning. I was at work and missed the multiple men 'oooh'ing and 'ooof'ing and scratching their heads as they tried to work out how the bloody hell to get them in the living room. However, I am reassured that they are in and look lovely. I was even sent photos. Ahhhh...

2) Swimahontas
Clyde took one of the most important steps to Dad-dom ever today and took Romilly swimming. As expected, both parties had a marvellous time and are going to make it a weekly thing. I have glorious memories of going swimming with my dad every Sunday morning, so this fills me with Motherhood-sized joy. Of course, I missed this event too due to being at work, but in honesty it really should have been a daddy/daughter bonding exercise sans Mummy anyway.

Right. Lunch over. Time to imbibe an heroic amount of painkillers in a vain attempt at silencing my throbbing uterus. Bleeeeeeeeee...


July 28th, 2009

12:11 pm - Your life flashes before your eyes...
when you witness your child sustain injury or a near miss.

This last week or so has been really hard work. I've been off ill for a week with what seemes to be SF (not only is the illness itself rotten, but the levels of sheer incompetence from the NHS in its regard are astonishing), C has subsequently tumbled down with it and Romilly has maintained her near ridiculous level of healthiness.


She has managed to sustain her two biggest 'ouch!'s so far. 'Ouch!' No.1 came from the grate on our Enormous and Ostentatious Fireplace falling over and squashing her finger. Both C and I were in the room when she did it and there was that awful pause/deep inhale thing for a second while all three of us tried to make sense of what had happened. Then she howled. And howled. It took a LOT of cuddles to calm her and now she has a little blue finger. We spent a good ten minutes 'telling off' the grate and giving it a smack. Now she knows better than to go near it, thankfully.

'Ouch!' No. 2 was a more conventional toddling/coffee table accident. She over-lunged as she toddled into the living room and fell, catching the corner of the coffee table on her cheek. I seriously thought I was going to be sick, as I didn't see where she hot for a couple of seconds and had visions of her being knocked out, gouging her eye out or worse. I scooped her up just as she started screaming with shock and pain to discover a big red patch on her cheek that was starting to immediately bruise. Now the redness has gone she is left with a blue bruise line down her cheek where the corner of the table jarred her when she fell. Poor baby.

Apart from the obvious nastiness that comes with an 'ouch!', Romilly now has 'walking fear' and is refusing to go it alone. We're just going to have to wait for her to be brave again, but in the meantime the coffee table has been moved out of harms way.


July 22nd, 2009

08:23 pm - Illness...

is obviously no-ones preferred state, but coping with a freshly toddling Romilly whilst in excruciating joint and muscle pain really leaves a lot to be desired.

Thankfully, this evening has seen a marked improvement in the pain in my shoulders. Instead it has been replaced with a very sore throat. Fine. I can cope with that. Having a sore throat doesn't prevent me from cuddling my daughter.

Anyway, in Romilly News:

She now commonly refers to herself as 'Mimi'. This is enormously cute, but also sounds a bit of a drag queen name. Hmmmm...

She says:
'Chessie' (Jessie)
'Gandad' (self explanatory)
'poottiton' (put it on - referring to the stereo that resides by her high chair in the dining room)
'shaasum' (share some - really means 'give me that now!!!)
'Cheeeeezy!' (when eating anything with cheese)
'Woahwo!' (when she sees a dog)
'Down!' (Now she's determined to walk everywhere she doesn't like being carried)

The list goes on! She's rather verbal to say the least. So as you can probably gather, she can be quite a handful. Not the easiest when you're feeling rough. And I can assure you, trying to train your daughter not to scale the bathroom stairs head first isn't easy to begin with!

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