The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

Birdy Shuffle

We are planning a room reshuffle here in our home. Emily is getting a new room! 

And I get to design it afresh!

I'll give you a little hint....

We are planning to have it finished by the start of summer,
so look out for little updates in the meantime!


All Better Now

Emily's sick bug lasted a few days. Our washing machine didn't know what hit it. Emily didn't know what hit her. But it all seemed to be improving by Wednesday, when David left for a work trip to Greece. My main worry was that I'd develop the bug and be unable to take care of myself and Emily in his absence.

I needn't have worried. We went out and enjoyed the beautiful weather on Thursday, and on Friday were joined by a good friend who was visiting from Malta. Emily had woken up with a fever early (very. early. o_O) that morning and I thought perhaps she had yet another ear infection on the way, so in an attempt to nip this one in the bud, I whisked her off to the doctor to find out. But there was nothing, perhaps the fever was something to do with her tummy bug. To my mind, it didn't and still doesn't make any sense, but there was no other explanation so I accepted that and left. She was fine with Calpol throughout the afternoon and seemed to have improved dramatically by the time bathtime came round.

As I got her ready for her bath, I checked her temperature and it read 38.7C, it wasn't great but I gave her some more Calpol and hoped it would control it. I noticed her feet were strangely tinged blue but dismissed it, planning to worry only if they still were blue after her bath.

Then I put her in the bath. And my baby, who loves bathtime and her bath toys and splashing until she can take no more, just sat there. She was slumped over, staring into the water. Something wasn't right. I picked her up and wrapped her in her towel and she went limp in my arms, shivering violently. Her eyes rolled back and then she seemed to fall asleep, then awake again, staring blankly at a point far beyond me, while I spoke to her and tried to get her to focus on me. Nothing, for a few very horrible, long minutes.

I put on her nappy and called my neighbour. No answer. I called my sister. No answer. I sat there and looked at Emily, helpless, clueless as to what I was supposed to do. Then my sister called back. I cried and she calmed me down and we decided I should let Emily sleep beside me on the sofa for a while, to keep an eye on her and for my peace of mind.

At this point, events get jumbled up in my head. I can't quite remember the order things happened in but I know that I read her temperature again and found that it was now higher, 39.8C. She also had a rash all over her body. She was panting and still relatively unresponsive. Then I remembered the blue feet, which were no longer blue, but the combination of everything had my instincts screaming at me and thanks to a friend who called and spelled out what I needed to do, I was soon waiting for an ambulance.

Emily screamed throughout the 999 call. She was red in the face and chest and was screaming uncontrollably. She was clammy in just a nappy and that fever just wouldn't calm down. Ten minutes later, when the very helpful ambulance crew arrived, her temperature was 38.5C and her rash was just over her chest and back.

I explained my concerns and they agreed that she should be seen at hospital, just to be on the safe side. We took Emily out into the ambulance in her nappy, a light blanket loosely held around her.

Two hours later, when we were finally seen in A&E, her temperature was back down to normal, there was no sign of a rash on her little body, her cheeks weren't even flushed any longer, and she was babbling away to anyone who would listen in the waiting room. I didn't need a doctor to tell me she was fine.

David got home 20 minutes after I'd put her to sleep, safely - and cool - in her cot.

Short of a hint of fever on Saturday morning, she's been perfectly fine ever since.

And after a few not great days, there comes a day like today that fills you with happiness all over again. That spring feeling in the air. Dancing with Emily in the kitchen. Watching her carefully turn the pages of a magazine to look at the pictures. Spending time with my sister. Planning a new room for Emily. A date night with David. A new hair colour. Another half a kilo 'missing' on the scales. Good times, just to be able to enjoy my happy baby once again.

Although the calendar doesn't yet say so, it feels like spring has arrived. My spring.

Image Source: via Clare on Pinterest



She didn't go off her food. I had to force her off it. Yesterday morning Emily woke up and shortly after, began vomiting. Several times, it was everywhere (including inside my mouth once - not recommended). She is now on a strict diet of plain toast and entirely unimpressed about not being allowed any milk (we tried 3oz yesterday evening.... one word: disaster), and very very snuggly. I'm not complaining about that last bit, but poor baby!

So I may not be around much this week, until this little angel is feeling better. Until then, hope you all keep well! x

Two Punnets of Cherries

Many who know me well will also know I rarely set foot in a supermarket. I order online and have my groceries delivered to my door. It is efficient and quick, I tend to spend less, and it's easy. The downside is that sometimes, an item I order is not in stock and I am offered a replacement.

A couple of weeks ago, it was two punnets of raspberries that were replaced. Strangely, there seemed to be no raspberries in stock at all, as it was cherries I was offered as a substitution.

I almost refused them.

Emily was having a particularly bad eating week. Her eating habits generally seemed to have been spiralling out of control for a few weeks really. I knew a change was on the horizon - when I feel that things are getting out of control, I am usually right in reading it as an impending change - but I had no idea what the change would be. I knew for a fact that she needed to eat better food. Her entire diet seemed to have come to a point where it revolved around toast and baby crackers. It would not do.

So that day, I had several different types of fruit being delivered. Which brings us to the raspberry/cherry situation. I almost refused the cherries because I wouldn't easily be able to offer them to Emily due to the stone. The blueberries and strawberries and kiwis weren't a problem, but cherries were.

Then I took a look at these cherries I had been sent. They looked so juicy, I couldn't resist them. I thought I'd enjoy them myself and maybe offer Emily some pitted ones while I was at it.

Strangely, that is what seemed to shift the balance. As of that day, my eating habits changed. Since we started weaning, our eating habits have changed for the better. But they've changed for Emily's benefit. Less salt, more veg, less frying. It's all good, but all because of her. There hadn't been much I'd eaten for me, because I wanted to (let's ignore the post-bedtime take-aways here).

Perhaps it was my change in attitude that set it off, but suddenly, Emily wanted to try everything. She ate things I've been trying to encourage her to eat for months, textures, colours. It was an amazing transformation.

And in turn, her newfound love of food seems to have reignited my love for cooking. Now that there is less pressure, I am able to cook for us all, not just with her in mind. I've spent evenings - my free time - cooking. Listening to music. Loving it. Knowing she'll enjoy the food with me the next day. It's now exciting, an adventure - what else will she try?

It won't last - I know. One wise friend once said to me, everything with babies is a phase. The bad is a phase but the good is too. It's a phase. She'll go off her food again for one reason or another. But I now know what it's like for her to love food. And I know she'll love food again. And through it all, I can enjoy my food too and she can learn.

This evening, we were eating a mushroom and courgette frittata that I'd made while she napped. I'd cut her portion into bite-size pieces and she was eating some with her hands and I was offering other pieces on a little fork. She was loving it, but pretty early on, she decided she'd had enough. I inwardly shrugged and handed her the fork to explore, as I always do at the end of a meal. She grabbed the fork - perfectly positioned in her hand - jabbed at the leftover food on her plastic plate, and then brought it to her mouth.

It wasn't that she didn't want more. Oh no, she wanted more alright. But she wanted to feed herself with the fork. She needed a little bit of help getting the food onto her fork but she did the rest herself.

I was flabbergasted and so proud and in awe of her. She picked up on the reaction she was getting from me and ate far more than she probably otherwise would have, simply because she wanted to keep getting that reaction out of me. The look of pride on her face was amazing. I don't think there's been such a massive moment yet. This was a really big one.

Boy, am I glad I accepted those cherries!

The Lovers and the Haters

It was Valentine's Day yesterday and once again, the haters came out to play. Commercialised, cliché, cheesy are words thrown about year after year, and this year was no different.

Well, call me a romantic, but I tend to disagree. What is so wrong in naming a day where people can - if they so please - put some time aside to make their feelings clear to their loved one. It's an occasion to remind us to go that extra mile every now and again, to make someone feel special, write a heartfelt letter, treat someone to something out of the ordinary. Just for the sake of it.

Commercialised? It's as commercial as you want it to be. No one is making you spend hundreds of pounds on the abundance of "ideal gifts" that have been advertised since the Christmas decorations came down in the shops. No one but you. That special treat could be cooking a dinner you wouldn't normally cook but you know the other person loves. It could be making an occasion out of something simple.

Cliché? No more cliché than giving gifts on someone's birthday, dressing a baby girl in pink clothes, eating turkey on Christmas Day. Why the issue with this day?

Cheesy? Again, only as cheesy as you want it to be. If celebrating Valentine's Day is buying a gift that is a useless, generic, stuffed toy that's red and is shaped like a devil, then yes. But is being loved and loving someone in return cheesy?

If I wanted to show someone I loved them, I could do so every day, they say. True, and I'm sure you do. But a special occasion is just that because it's not a regular occurrence. Between Valentine's Day and our Anniversary in October, and a few other special 'just because' days in the rest of the year that rushes past us, they are a few handy dates to remind us to stop and recharge. They're dates that help us appreciate how lucky and loved we are. Dates that make it easier to remember to be patient and use kinder words on the days that aren't as special.

I hope your Valentine's Day was special. And I hope it lasts and lasts and lasts.

Image Source: via Susan on Pinterest

The Humble Sleepsuit

I'm not one of those mums who refuses to dress her daughter in anything denim. I've heard the argument many a time: babies shouldn't wear jeans/jeans are for grown-ups. I don't technically agree. Denim is a material that can be comfortable. I draw the line at skinny jeans for babies (oh yes they do exist!) because that is just a ridiculous idea and the poor things just aren't able to sit up without being forced back down by the tight denim. Comfort is the name of the game here.

But baggy denim trousers? Why not?

Emily was seven weeks old when we began dressing her in day clothes - i.e. anything other than sleepsuits. I don't believe jeans were a part of her wardrobe that early on. Tiny little babies need softness. Denim can be a bit harsh. But by three months of age, she was certainly in her first (& omg so adorable!) pair of jeans. They were baggy and they were in fact the softest denim I've ever felt.

So that's my stance on that.

I've recently come to terms with tights. Until a few months ago, I couldn't bear the idea of Emily in tights. With so many nappy changes during the day, they were just far too fiddly to be putting on and taking off all the time. So she never wore them or skirts. Now, we have maybe 3 nappy changes in a day so I can deal with it and she wears skirts often.

It is clear to me by this stage that my choice of clothing for Emily is of a comfort nature. I love pretty things, but they need to be comfortable for her and practical for me. This would be the same reason she practically lived in rompers through the summer. She might live in rompers again next summer, we'll see.

But the one thing I know she will not be stepping out of anytime soon are sleepsuits for sleeping and lounging in. I love The Sleepsuit. To me, a baby in a sleepsuit is a baby in it's purest form. She can be as grown up as she likes during the day, but at night, she'll step into a sleepsuit and be my little baby again.

(Oh my, do you remember this? First Wash)

Image Source: via lauren stewart on Pinterest

My Feet! They're Gone!

Last Saturday, the snow we were promised arrived and it stayed a short while. Once I got over my annoyance at the fact that the entire United Kingdom would probably grind to a halt because of a few inches of snow once again, I could look out the window at the beautiful sight and really enjoy it. I've now lost count of the amount of times I've experienced snow since we moved here but I still haven't quite gotten over the slight thrill of it.

But my excitement this year was mostly down to watching Emily's reaction the next morning.

Whilst in the safety of the living room, she was intrigued. Then we bundled her up and took her out into the garden, and intrigue turned to bewilderment...

What is this cold thing?
(We let her taste it)
Where have my feet gone?
Why is everything white?
What on earth is going on?!


Quccija & Other Delights

I keep doing this. I plan to write about an event that I don't want to risk forgetting details of and take so long to get round to writing that it then feels silly to be writing about something that happened so long ago, so I just don't. But this was my daughter's first birthday and it was bad enough that she had to be sick through it. The least I can do is write about it.

They had a soft play party. The ball pit was always going to be a huge hit. This particular ball pit was big. It had us parents wishing we could get in there with the little ones. We didn't, but we can't promise we never will.

Emily really did do her best to have fun despite the fever and feeling generally pooey. Her nose leaked throughout the party and in most pictures she looks dazed. She held out until the cake...

...but there wasn't much energy after that. So a nap was on the cards and then her "quccija"

So let me recap for those of you not in the know. A Quccija is a Maltese coming of age tradition. On a baby's first birthday, he or she is presented with a selection of items that represent different walks of life. We tried to give it a modern touch.

Here's a quick run-through of what everything was meant to represent:
CD - Performing arts (music, dance, acting)
Thesaurus - Writer, Editor, etc
Pen - Law
Comb - Hairdresser, Beautician
Paintbrush - Artist
USB Stick - Computer-related
Wooden Spoon - Chef
Tripod - Photography
Credit Card - Banker, Businesswoman
Syringe - Medicine
Measuring Tape - Seamstress, Designer
Calculator - Accountant, Mathematician
Medal - Athlete (her Daddy wished!)
Hard Boiled Egg - A Full Life
[edit - oh no! I just realised I forgot anything to do with education!]

Photographer it is!

For the record, I had picked a hard boiled egg! :)

(The next day, she was diagnosed with a double ear infection. A week of antibiotics later, she finally seems like herself again and is finally enjoying being ONE!)