Sunday, 29 June 2008

Enjoying the holiday in the sun

We've now been in Spain for almost three whole days, and Emily is having quite the number of first experiences - from extreme heat to swimming pools. The last couple of nights she's been quite active during her sleep, which I take as a sign that she's processing all the amazing things she's been through.

Today we went to a Sunday market near Quesada, where Paul's folks live. We got about an hour into it before Emily gave up and just became agitated. (Sue had already given up, having been cornered in a children's clothing stall by two women who didn't seem to understand English or the word "no").

The constant sun in Em's face and the heat obviously played on her with great effect. We eventually retreated back to the car where we turned the A/C on and Sue fed her. She was quite good after that.

This afternoon, we did what most people do in a hot climate on holiday - we hit the pool! This involved - for Emily - donning waterproof nappies and a nice little wetsuit, as well as lashings of SPF 50+ sunscreen, baby sunnies and a hat. As she was quite tired and agitated from the mornings activities, there was no way the sunnies were staying on, so pool time was enjoyed through squinty eyes.

We played a few games in the water and did a bit of playful horsing around before Emily finally succumbed to tiredness and began to grizzle. A quick feed later and she was out for the count in the shade.

I think we're all having a nice laid back time, just doing things as they come. For Emily, especially, there are so many things she's experiencing for the first time, I'm surprised her mind doesn't explode.

Friday, 27 June 2008

The pain in Spain falls mainly from the plane

We made it to Spain for our long weekend getaway finally.

The plane was an hour late and we were already hestitant about how Emily would handle the whole thing.

I had visions of bleeding ears and blood curdling / passenger deafening screams surrounding the take off and landing pressure changes. As it was, she was feeding off Sue at take off and gave a few pained cries, but nothing monumental.

When we got the cruising altitude, she collapsed in a stressed out, exhausted ball on my lap and stayed that way until the announcement came over the tannoy that we were beginning our decent. Again, there was visible discomfort from Emily but nothing major.

The plane however, after the two hour delay, was horrendous. Monarch fobbed us off onto a Thomson plane which is pretty much akin to a sardine tin.

I think things will be much better when Sue travels to Australia with Em in September. For starters, Em will have a basket to stay in, not Sue's lap with a dodgy orange "baby" seatbelt.

We finally got to Quesada, where Paul's folks live, around 11.30p local time. Had a few bevvies and checked out all the baby stuff that we rented for Emily. We then collapsed in a travel-induced exhaustion, ready to start the holiday properly.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Latest set of jabs today

Had an appointment this afternoon to get Emily's latest set of jabs done. This time they started her course to combat meningitis as well.

She was quite good, all things considered, and really only grizzled slightly during the jabs, even though there was a bit of blood (thankfully the cotton wool to most of it).

Last round of jabs, we gave her Calpol and she was knocked out for most of the evening. This afternoon, we've not been as lucky. Most of the Calpol ended up on a muslin or on her dress and she kept breaking into crying randomly. Sue's been able to send her off to sleep with a feed, but we're not sure for how long.

While at the clinic, we also got the little tyke weighed. She's now clocking in at over 16 lbs! That's quite the heft, but they're quite happy with her progress and so are we.

The next major hurdle is how Spain is handled...

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Great Baby Cot Debate

It's come to the point in Emily's life where she's outgrown her Moses basket and the grand decision has to be made - do we completely rejig our bedroom to fit her cot or do we move on to another milestone and make her sleep in her own room.

Logistically speaking, our bedroom - without some major furniture removal - could not accommodate Emily's cot. We could try a number of other options, including army bunks or sawing things in half, but this is not really a good idea.

Thus, due to logistics, we've had to embrace the milestone that is baby sleeping in her cot in her room ahead of the six months that Sue was hoping for.

I've since done some research to find out whether we now qualify for the worst parents of the year award and I've discovered that 3 months is the usual limit that parents can cope with the little person they've created sleeping near them. Things like snuffles and constant shifting restlestness mean that the parents get a better sleep without baby there. A work colleague told me that his son was wise to the awake parent anytime of the night, so a 4am loo visit automatically became a "hey, you're up, let's play" session.

We're now debating baby monitors, and I think there's a real tangible sense of guilt manifesting in cot death worry, but I think statistics will bear out that we're doing the right thing.
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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Going Green

Sue and I have been attempting to be as green as possible. Recycling here, walking there, and just doing our part. We even have Ecotricity as our electricity provider, those low-watt light bulbs and we turn off all our electrical points when not needed.

The logical next step then is obviously good for the environment nappies. I was quite into getting these before Emily was born (obviously really unaware how many she'd need and what type of mess to expect). We were using the disposables for the first few months, waiting for her movements to become more solid and less frequent.

They're not there yet, but we've starting toying with the OneLife nappies that we shelled out £275 for at the Bounty Babyshow back in March.

Having used and gotten used to the disposables, there is a wicked seduction to overcome when using reusable nappies. The change and bin mentality is good for quickness, but bad for the environment.

We're now in the soak, wash, etc. mode and sometimes it's just wet with pee nappies other times... well, it can be worse.

100% reusable still hasn't been achieved for various reasons - it's still easier to use disposables when out and about and the bulk of the reusables renders some of her clothing WAY too small.

I just hope we can reduce some of the c1800 nappies her baby that end up in landfills.

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Sunday, 8 June 2008

Baby Dreams

As she spends more time asleep than awake, I often wonder what - if anything - does Emily spend her "downtime" dreaming about. I often have major difficulty remembering my dreams, whereas Sue is quite apt at regaling me with tales of sleepytime amazement.

I figure Emily is processing all the experiences of the day, and all the things she knows. So that would be Sue as mummy and primary food source and myself as someone who's there sometimes.

I guess as she builds up an arsenal of experiences, from rain and snow, to seeing doggies and cats, experiencing wind and seeing and feeling grass for the first time, she'll be able to develop some robust dreams.

I'd so wish for one of "Unky Herb" Simpson's baby translators, so we could just ask Emily. I assume soon she'll be dreaming of Dora the Explorer, and Barbie's (mis)adventures with Ken... sigh.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Passport relief

After numerous headaches trying to get it, Emily's first passport FINALLY arrived today.

Now she can leg it around the world, with or without mum and dad, at will. With nothing to do until she goes to school in about 3 years, that's a lot of travelling she could cram in!

I'm still a bit p.o.ed that she can't be on ours until she's 16 just like we were on our parents. I guess the cash grab just starts a few years younger now.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Getting to grips with things

I guess this early on in a child's development, everything is a major achievement. Still, it doesn't cease to amaze easily-amazed parents.

This week's amazing achievement from Emily is that she's started to grip things with her little fists of fury, focus on them, and them ram them into her gob. At this point, she grimaces and takes them out again... whether it be her book of colours or Mousey.

The miracle of this is that about a week ago, she'd only grip things if you forced her fist open, stuffed the object in her fist and then closed her fingers around the object.

I now hold out much hope of her lifting an X-box 360 controller very soon and trouncing me at just about every game we play together.