Wednesday, 28 December 2011

We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Wow, my first ever Christmas and Mum and Dad's first Christmas as a Mum and Dad. They haven't got used to this. Dad even handed my pressie for him (labelled to Dad) to Grandad; but I'm sure they'll learn. We all travelled down to Grandad and Granny E's for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and my cousins, my Uncle and Aunt and Granny W also came down to help us celebrate.


Eccles x3
 Granny E is getting much stronger after her hip operation but M+D did the cooking on 25th and Uncle Toby and Auntie Julia cooked on Boxing Day so she could have a rest.

I can't quite fit a whole camera in my mouth


December has been fairly peaceful really.  No more A and E visits but a physio appointment and a developmental appointment.  I am not doing too badly overall and certainly there is no obvious difference between my right and left arms and legs and I can now sit on my own for a little while.  The doctor did say that my head circumference is falling behind my weight gain and my length which may be indicating that my brain isn't as big as it should be.  He did say it's quality, not quantity that matters but it is something M+D were well aware of following my MRI way back in May.  We will know a bit more in April next year when I have my full 1 year check.  In the meantime I will put up with M+D helping me roll, sit and get stronger. My physio says I am developing slowly but steadily but the good news is that I'm not doing anything 'abnormal'.


Slow but steady progress with important tasks of daily living!

I am still enjoying nursery and starred in the Nativity Play as a star!  M+D came to watch but I heard Dad talking and when he didn't pick me up I made it very clear that this wasn't on so then M+D had to take turns in holding me so I didn't disturb the rest of the play!

We have been to lots of Christmas parties too.  The usual food issues applied - M+D ate all the cake and mince pies, I had milk and my usual mush!  This is going to have to change by next year!

Finger food


We have been given lots of cards and presents - thank you very much indeed.  Personally - I rather enjoyed the wrapping paper - tastes lovely!  I've now got a train set, clothes, boots, xylophone and teddies just to name a few things.  I've got more animals for my Ark too.  I'm turning into David Attenborough but without the fake footage!

Not all of these presents were for me!

A slightly worrying development  is that I am having 'night terrors'.  This involves me going to sleep then about an hour or so later, screaming and crying inconsolably for a few minutes before falling back to sleep. This is very disconcerting for M+D who find my crying very distressing especially when their cuddles and kisses don't settle me.  Apparently I'll grow out of it and I don't remember the episodes but it's not very nice for M+D.  Sorry.


Mine!

So we are heading into 2012 and I am approaching not one, but TWO birthdays, though both to celebrate my being one year old!  I think M+D have some celebrating to do.  It's been a long year but we are still going strong and we are looking forward to a new year and more adventures!

Love to all and wishing all a very happy 2012

xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

November musings

Well hello again,

November has been pretty eventful! It's been Mum's first month back at work. So it's been all change here. I'd already got used to my lovely nursery but now M&D have to be rather more organised to get me there and back on time. Only one episode of running up the road so far but it's early days! I've also got a new buggy - a Maclaren.  Apparently it's THE buggy for hip young things.  Or it's easy to fold so it doesn't take up so much room at the nursery.  Hmm.
Mum's new job is at a new hospital so she's had the joy of Occupational Health (two jabs, big bruise and a sticking plaster an inch away from the injection site!) 

Out for brunch


Settling in for Mum has involved new machines and computer systems but same old requests. She has survived her first on call; everyone agreed it was a busy one but at least she has experienced most on call scenarios in one hit!

And I've started new swimming lessons.  I still like going underwater and now I reach out for the toy fish.  I'm still not entirely sure why I have to kick my legs; well Mum holds me and guides me through the water so why should I do it myself?

The other big news from the grown-ups was that Granny E broke her hip on holiday and had it fixed in Turkey. They were very glad they took their iPad with them or they might still be there: huge troubles getting my Granny and Granddad back again. Cue much running around. We needed to get M&D, me, Granddad and Granny E with her leg out straight, all back from Heathrow. I was as good as gold and we managed it despite the fact that Mummy really wasn't well. Now that I'm at nursery I've been catching all sorts of viruses and bringing home to share with M&D.

SJAE, JASE and me (AJSE)

There have been more tests for me. This time I had a special kidney test. I had to be injected with special radioactive stuff (eeek). They were lovely and managed to get a drip in first time. So I got radioactive wee and they got special photos of my kidney. Sadly not kidneys. They only saw one, because my left kidney is not working at all. One is enough but it's one more thing for M&D to worry about.

We have had yummy dinners with friends and M&D went for a quiz without me so I got babysat by James and Cat.  I was fairly well behaved and Deliverance provided an awesome Thai green curry for James and Cat!
We also had a lovely afternoon tea with the NCT Mums and Dads and their children.  All of the babies are growing up fast and some are moving fairly quickly around the floor too.
We went to my first fireworks display.  I wasn't all that bothered really.  M&D were very pleased I didn't cry.
notice the fireworks are behind me! 


My physio is coming along.  Still no real independent rolling or sitting but I'm getting stronger so hopefully it won't be too long.  Other parents have said that M&D should enjoy my immobile phase - it doesn't last long enough!

Last week wasn't quite so fun.  I wasn't very well and Mum had to come home from work and pick me up from nursery as my temperature was high and I was sleepy.  She took me to the GP who was able to see me the same morning.  A medical student saw me first, then the GP.  He said it was best Mum took me to A and E as I was breathing very fast and might have a nasty infection.  Mum sped me to the hospital (via the supermarket for emergency nappy and wipe purchase).  I was seen in the same cubicle as the last time I went to Tommies and was seen by the same doctor.  I had blood tests, a chest Xray, urine tests and I was stripped to my nappy and given lots of Calpol as I was so hot.  Mum was very anxious and the doctors did their best to reassure her that I had a virus and didn't need to stay in hospital.  I did my best too by smiling lots (except when I had my blood taken) but Mum said that smiling and giggling when I'm poorly  makes it harder to tell when I'm sick.  Thank you again to all the staff at St. Thomas' Paediatric A and E.  I have a feeling this won't be the last time I see you!

I'm back to my usual smiley-self and back at nursery although M&D are still watching me very closely - not much change there then really.

So all in all, a productive month.

I know, I'm adorable


Love to all,

Arthur xxx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Boo!

Happy Halloween!

The countdown for Mum going back to work continues and that means more nursery for me and more paperwork and online modules for Mum.  I turned 9 months last Saturday and 6 months old corrected on Tuesday.

I have been doing some work myself. I did my first unaided roll from my front to my back and I can sit up on my own for several seconds without falling over.  This is a big deal apparently - something to do with milestones and my brain being able to tell my body what to do in the right way. My physio will be pleased!

Sitting on my own.  Clever me!

I have also been developing my voice.  Spending time at nursery with other babies has encouraged me to talk and now I'm making all sorts of new noises. M+D say I like the sound of my own voice.  Truly my father's son then!  Granny W and Grandad and Granny E have been Skyping with me and listening too.

On Thursday, Mum and I went to Northwick to see her old work colleagues and friends before she starts her new job.  I got lots of hugs off lots of people who all said how much I'd grown and how well I looked.  I showed off my new 'glasses grabbing' skills but also did my usual super-cute smiling and chatting.  Mum says she is going to miss Northwick but it might be easier not to go back to work there right now considering it's where my journey began in such stressful circumstances!  I have a feeling we will go back to say hello fairly soon!

Saturday was my first childrens' birthday party for Ozzy and Maddy.  The invitation came through the post addressed to me but it did say I should bring M+D too.  I got dressed up in my skeleton baby grow to fit in with the Halloween theme.  There were pumpkins to decorate, a magic show and Punch and Judy.  M+D picked up tips for childrens' parties for me when I'm a bit older.  Mum will be getting the recipe for the yummy cake!

Giving Dad careful pumpkin decorating instructions
Not sure how closely he listened!


Today I got up at my usual time.  M+D didn't seem too pleased.  No one had told me that the clocks went back!  It did mean I got snuggles with them in bed though and I did more rolling practice and sitting. We all went to lunch at The Black Dog on Vauxhall to meet up with Lucy and her son, Toby.  M+D bumped into another friend, her husband and her son, William too.  He looked really well and is clearly enjoying being at home after his long stay at Tommies.
Toby is getting bigger too.  He can sit up with support and can support his own head.  He smiled and chatted too but we both got a little fractious by the end of the meal as it got quite loud in the pub.  Sunday lunches at the Dog are obviously popular with families!

My bony body suit
Weekends are also DIY time and Dad earned more 'man points' by fixing a light and painting the kitchen window that has been looking a little sorry for itself.  Well done Dad.

Now I know many of you are quite addicted to reading my blog and catching up on what I get up to but once Mum is back to work, my weeks will be fairly quiet so I think it is a good time for me to reduce my blogging activity to once a month.  I'm sure you understand.

Bye for now - next installment will be later in November.

Preparing to crawl; well, may be...

Love to all,
Arthur
xxx

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Nursery in earnest

Evening all.

I settled in so well at nursery last week that I spent even longer there this week so Mum could do stuff around the house and get her paperwork updated for her return to work.  Apparently she hasn't needed to complete so many forms since she first started work so getting all the stuff together is taking her a while!

Thursday was a busy social day for me and Mum.  We headed south to Dulwich for morning coffee with Sophie and her daughter, Rose.  She is 12 weeks old and Mum says she is a light as a feather in comparison with me.  I showed her how to eat solids and drink from a bottle.  She showed me how to practice standing on Mum's knee.  Mum and I then headed further south for afternoon tea with my swimming buddies.  Mum had baked scones (lots and lots of scones) and other Mums had made yummy sausage rolls, cupcakes, gorgeous little finger sandwiches, brownies and Dutch fruit cake.  I'm sure you've already guessed what I'm going to say next but once again, none for me!  I tried so hard to look extra cute in order to get even a crumb but nothing!  Humph.

On Friday afternoon M+D and I headed down to Herefordshire for a weekend in the country with Simon and Cathrine.  It took us over 2 hours to get out of London and only a further 2 hours to get to our destination.  We had to go into Wales and everything!  I tried very hard to keep cheerful but the situation and being in my car seat got the better of me and I had to voice my unhappiness on the M4.  Mum coped very well and fed me and chatted to me whilst Dad drove.

Saturday was glorious sunshine and we went for a walk, a pub lunch and another walk.  Sunday wasn't so bright and I was a bit below par so Mum, Cathrine and I drove to the Sunday lunch destination whilst Dad and Simon and his friends walked.  Simon took me for my own little walk and showed me sheep and hills and countryside.  We then headed back to London - more time in the car seat for me.  This time it was Dad's turn to feed me whilst Mum drove.  The journey home was a lot quicker than the way out which was a nice end to the weekend.

Speedy journey hone!


love to all,
Arthur xxx

Sunday, 16 October 2011

New friends

This week has been a big change for me and M+D.  I started Nursery!

Well, actually I've been settling in ready for the real start next week.  I guess you could call it weaning Mum off me too.  Throughout the week, I have spent longer and longer there whilst Mum enjoyed her new Arthur-less time getting a pedicure and a haircut.  I took it all in my stride and slept and ate well whilst there.  I met new babies, most of whom are bigger than me and crawling and standing.  I'm taking note and will do all these things in my own time.  Mum did well too and didn't cry.  She said it felt quite strange being without me or the buggy but I'm pleased she coped so well.

video


On Thursday I went swimming at the local pool with George and Olive.  Our Mums encouraged us round the pool negotiating the other babies and their Mums and we did some of the skills we had learned at the lessons so we went underwater and splashed and swished.  I was quite tired after Nursery and the swimming pool was lovely and warm so I fell asleep mid-swim!

Friday was another busy day.  Granny W came down to London and we went shopping at Stratford Westfield.  It seemed very big but nice and spread out with shops that Mum likes - ie John Lewis and Waitrose and Apple!  Granny W and Mum had pizza for lunch and didn't give me any.  Humph.  I stared at Mum whilst she ate and eventually she gave in and gave me one of my 'naked Wotsits' to nibble on.  I still haven't got any teeth so I gummed at it and made it soggy, and since it clearly wasn't pizza; I spread it all over my face and top.

Stop interrupting my dinner!


Saturday was a BIG DAY.  I had a Celebration at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Chapel.  I suppose it was a second baptism but you can't have two apparently so it was called a Celebration instead.  Lots of family and friends came to join in the fun including one of my neighbours from Chelsea who had also escaped home with his parents.  The lovely Chaplain did a brilliant job which was helped by my cousin crawling round her legs and me shouting encouragement.

Lots of friends and family came to help me celebrate


After the service was all trooped over to the 'Henry Root' where M+D had ordered enough canapes and cake to sink a hospital. They looked scrummy to me as they passed me by.  I was getting hugs off absolutely everyone which was super but not one of them gave me any champagne. Double humph.

I was given some lovely presents including my first bible. I got three christening cups, one of which was first given to my great-grandfather by my great-great-grandfather (called ARTHUR!) and has all of our initials and dates of birth engraved on it. I felt very special indeed.

Granny W saying hello


Dad gave a little thank you speech which he ended by saying he hoped this was the last time Mum and Dad thought of me as special and basically I'm just a normal little boy now. Apparently that's the best news either of them could have had. They got a bit teary.

And today I met up with Granddad P and Nanna and we all went for a pub lunch. Granddad P wouldn't share his beer or fish pie so I had to settle for milk and butternut squash and pasta stars. What is it with people not sharing their food with me!  Again I got lots of yummy cuddles. I do like cuddles!



Love to all,
Arthur
x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

All the leaves are brown...

And suddenly the weather has changed and I'm being dressed in many more layers than last week.  Humph!


Mum has been getting up early every day this week and jumping around in Battersea Park with Cat and the girls. Dad looked after me and I rewarded him with big beaming smiles and babbling.

On Tuesday Mum and I went into town and met up with Katie and her new son Bo for a coffee and some shopping.  Mum fell for my cuteness and bought me some more toys and and padded cushion for my highchair as I'm almost ready for it now.  That night M+D went out for dinner with Simon and Cathrine so I had a night in with one of Dad's friends, Helen.  I think I may have scared her slightly before M+D left by having a proper strop.  I went purple in the face and screamed...a lot...but I soon got bored of that and decided that sleep was a much better idea. Another happy babysitter!

Thursday was a busy day.  Mum bounced around in the park then took me to physio.  Mum told the physio she was worried I wasn't holding my left foot as much as my right.  I then proceeded to not let go of my left foot for the entire consultation!  He He! My physio was very pleased with me and said I was using my hands very well and that M+D should continue to encourage me to roll and to keep practicing my sitting.  It was a windy but sunny day so Mum and I walked back from physio.  In the afternoon, Mum and I went for a late lunch with William and his Mum.  I think this was very good for Mum as she got to talk to William's Mum about my time in hospital and she got to talk to Mum about William's stay too.  Dad went out for dinner in the evening so it was me and Mum.  I was tired after working so hard in physio and went to sleep, leaving Mum to paint the downstairs toilet by herself!

Friday was Gymboree morning.  I met a 5 week old Arthur there.  Gosh he looked very small but was actually the same weight as I was when I came home.  I seem to have grown plenty in the 5 months I've spent at home.  In the afternoon we went for coffee with NCT Mums and babies but only for an hour as Mum and I had a date at Hobbs.  It turns out that Hobbs is a clothes place that makes clothes that fit Mum really well.  Other Mums will apparently appreciate how miraculous finding properly fitting clothes is. I don't understand this. At the moment all my clothes are too big or too small.
Anyway, one of M+D's neighbours' friends works at Hobbs and put Mum's name down for a sample sale event.  Mum and I arrived to find a lot of slightly over excited women in the reception too.  Mum left my buggy at reception and strapped me into the Baby Bjorn and prepared for the mad rush into the sale room.  We did quite well - no one was injured, Mum kept me nice a safe and got herself a skirt, a dress and 2 cardigans for £25!  All the proceeds go to charity too which is nice.



Saturday was family day.  Supermarket in the morning, washing and tidying in the afternoon.  I spent time practicing sitting and rolling with a little help.  I was a bit stroppy in the evening and kept chewing my hands.  M+D say I am teething but I've got nothing to show for it as yet.  Quite annoying!

Dad earned several 'man points' by fitting the kitchen fan into the chimney.  This was very difficult as he had to fit a modern fan into a very old, not straight or regular chimney.  He seemed terribly pleased with himself, so: "well done Dad".

Bye for now,
Arthur
xxx

Sunday, 2 October 2011

What a warm week!

It's been a hot one! For those who aren't in England, it's been really hot here all week - 29.9 degrees (or 80 something for the Americans) yesterday. Fortunately I am a super-sprog and can cheerfully ignore such changes. My parents seemed to wilt at times though!

Mon- Fri was fairly standard for me and Mum.  Lunch with a friend from Mum's choir and her friend who's son spent a long time on St. Thomas' NICU around the same time as me.  Mum and her swapped stories and her son gave me tips on looking even more super-cute to get more cuddles and attention.  He's very good at it!  Mum and I then walked back home which was nearly 2 miles!  I was quite comfy in my buggy, Mum looked a little pink by the time we got home. 
Swimming lessons have finished for now but we all met up for a picnic in Peckham to enjoy the sunshine.  More walking for Mum as the buses were quite busy so there was no room for her, me and my buggy! 
More Gymboree on Friday.  Mum is helping me do sit ups to improve my core strength.  This will encourage me to sit up apparently.  I also decided that my feet are now interesting again so I've been holding them and lying on my back.  If I make a big effort I get onto my side and with a little help I can roll onto my tummy.  Though I'll need a bit more practice before I can do it all by myself.

On Saturday we all got in the car and went to see one of M +D's friends and her family.  Her son, Toby is a bit younger than me and they were having a barbeque to celebrate his arrival.  Lots of babies of all ages were there including one that was only 2 weeks old.  He kept himself to himself and slept most of the time.  I used the tips from William on Tuesday and looked adorable and got hugs from lots of people.  I only stealth-vomitted on Mum - well it would be rude to do it to anyone else!
Like father, like son!

Sunday - more glorious sunshine and more walking around for M+D with me in my chariot.  We went to The Hawksmoor in Covent Garden for lunch with my Godparents, Fred and Sherifa.  They all ate lots of meat whilst I had chicken mush but I got lots of hugs too.  When we walked home, we bumped into another Tommies baby, Leo and his parents.  He has grown so much and has way more hair than me.  He's rolling and trying to stand with help apparently - a lot happens in 5 months.
Loving the sunshine!

The hot weather hasn't stopped me sleeping although the number of clothes I'm in has reduced.  The weathermen are saying it will come to an end on Tuesday.  That's a shame as I like walking around in the sun with Mum.  We will have to find more indoor activities...

Bye for now,

Arthur xxx

Sunday, 25 September 2011

More developments!

It was a big week for me.  I turned 8 months old and had my 5 month (corrected) developmental appointment.  I also had my last swimming lesson - I am officially a duckling and have a certificate and everything!

I had a busy social schedule too.  On Monday, I met my name's sake, Arthur, and his Mum for lunch.  He is a few weeks younger than me (if I had arrived on time) but is as big as me and growing up fast!

Tuesday was coffee time with Nicola and her son.  He's older than me and can stand and feed himself and looks like a proper little boy.  I was rather jealous because he's got lots of hair and teeth too  - all the better to eat his fish finger sandwich with!

Not quite as tasty as a fish finger sandwich!

Wednesday evening, Mum left me with Dad and went to her leaving do with the other Registrars from Northwick Park.  Mum said she had a lovely time and was sad to say goodbye to her friends.  She was very touched by the good luck messages in her card and the gift they gave her.  Thank you!
Dad took me to the pub with his work colleagues. I got lots of cuddles but then it was 6 o'clock so I fell asleep. I think Dad's colleagues were rather impressed!

Thursday was a busy day - I saw my Paediatric consultant to assess my growth and development.  He was very impressed, although not so much with massive poo I did whilst he examined me!  He can't find anything wrong with my arms and legs and says I am hitting my milestones correctly at the moment.  All good!  It was then off to swimming for more underwater antics, certificates and lunch with the other mums and babies. 

Mum and I did Gymboree on Friday morning and then we went for coffee with some NCT mums in the afternoon.  All of the babies are getting very big and grown up - weaning, rolling, trying to stand and continuing to keep their mums on their toes.  I'm doing my best to catch up.

Saturday - for some reason M&D decided to have a quiet weekend. So we stayed at home. To be fair they've both looked a bit tired of late. So I tried to be extra bouncy to perk them up.
I had my first grown up meal today - M&D had had roast chicken and roast vegetables last night so Mum pureed them for me for lunch. Very nice, but too much rosemary!

New tricks - I haven't actually managed to finish any new tricks this week, sorry. I'm still working on rolling. I can do it with help, but I'm waiting until no one is watching before I do it solo. Oh, and I've grown bored of my feet.

Mummy gives good cuddles!
 love to all,

Arthur xxx

Sunday, 18 September 2011

I do

We returned from holiday on Wednesday evening.  I was beautifully behaved on the return flight as well although a little louder than the outward bound flight.  Again, Mum didn't get any rest as she said she wanted to make sure I wasn't crying too much and disturbing the other passengers.  She was tired by the time we got home having been up for over 24 hours!

Thursday was swimming - no lion fish, inflatable rings or Dad but I did go underwater and Mum was taught to let go of me for a brief moment underwater so I could float on my own!  We then popped to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to say hello to some of the staff on the NICU and to see if they remembered me.  They all recognised Mum but couldn't believe how big I've become!  I got a hug from the nurses who first looked after me all those months ago when I weighed just 950g.  They said that I must weigh over 6kg now but Mum hasn't weighed me for a while.  Naughty Mummy...

M+D had just about unpacked from our holiday, and most of the washing had been done, when we were off again.  This time to Dorset. It took FOUR hours to drive down with London traffic and several people having driven into each other on the way. Fortunately I'm a very good traveller and even managed to have my dinner in my car seat. M&D had a nice dinner - and recommend Plumber Manor.

Saturday was my first wedding. This was for Mum's friend, Cat and her pilot hubby James.  Cat looked beautiful and only cried a little.  I looked cute, babbled during the quiet bits and only threw up over Mum twice during the ceremony!  James (the groom) was wearing a skirt but apparently that's what Scottish men wear. It's very confusing.  I got more hugs from Mum's friends and then slept in the evening in my little portable tent, inside Cat and James' big white tent, whilst M+D did Scottish reeling!  M+D had such a good time they didn't take any photos but I think other people may have taken a few so Cat and James don't need to worry.

On Sunday, I met Dad's godmother and gave her lots of yummy cuddles. I tried one stealth vomit but she was too quick for me and I only managed to get my own top! Humph!  More driving back to London for a late lunch with my swimming buddies and their Ms and Ds.  It was quite loud and distracting for us babies and all the driving had made me a bit fractious so after food and a bit of chat, M+D took me home for an early night.

To make up for the lack of photos, here's a liittle video of me being tickled! (Sorry for the lack of editing but I start giggling 10 seconds in...)

video
Love to all,
Arthur x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Hello from Cocoa

Sunday/Monday:
Got up a little before I was entirely ready on Sunday. There seemed to be a air of worry - Mummy was gathering all my clothes up and counting them and Daddy was putting them into big cases together with more nappies than I could ever use. I got bathed, dressed, fed and bundled into the car for a trip to see Granny and Grandad E.  They were VERY pleased to see me and cuddled and entertained me no end.  All too soon, it was time to go but we didn't go home...

...instead, we went to Gatwick airport, which was a strange place full of slightly unhappy looking people. We went to a nice lounge and I made lots of loud, happy noises but this didn't seem to cheer up the other people at all. Then we got on a plane, much bigger than the one I'd been on before. We were going on a holiday!   The Maldives is basically for honeymoons or a place for people who aren't yet Mummies or Daddies, so the looks I got from the other passengers, when Mum carried me onto our flight, were quite special to say the least.  But they don't know how experienced a traveller I have become and were pleasantly surprised by my sleeping skills. M+D got comfy seats which turned into beds and I got a special bed all of my very own.  Mum didn't sleep all that much so watched 3 films.  Dad put his ear plugs in and eye mask on and went out like a light, but he did get up to feed me. Me - I just slept when I wasn't being fed. Not sure what the fuss was about, really.

Once we arrived at Male airport, we were whisked away to our own boat which sped us to our island resort. http://www.cocoaisland.como.bz/  They were very pleased to see M&D again and ever so happy to see me. Our room is shaped like a boat. It has steps into the Indian Ocean and an enormous bath, an upstairs for M&D to sleep in, and most importantly, a cot for me!
Ours is the last boat on the right

Tuesday to Sunday:
This is my first beach holiday so I'm not sure how they're meant to work, but here are my observations:
It is REALLY BRIGHT out here. The sky is bright, the sand is blinding, even the sea is piercing blue. So I have my own sunglasses, and sun-hat and sun-goop (factor one zillion). Oh and an umbrella if it's super bright!

The sea is warm - I mean properly warm! I've been swimming in the sea, the big outdoor pool and the spa-pool which is hotter than my baths back home.

Recipe: Swimming Arthur (makes one).
Ingredients:
  1. An Arthur
  2. A warm pool
  3. One swimming nappy (to avoid leaks)
  4. One sun-proof swimming costume
  5. Factor 50 water-proof suncream
  6. One sun-hat
  7. One blow up rubber ring for babies
  8. One or two parents

Method:
  1. Remove nappy and clean the Arthur in the usual way.
  2. Apply the swim nappy, the Factor 50, the swimming costume and the sun hat
  3. Blow up the inner section rubber ring, blow up the middle section, blow up the outer section.
  4. Feel a bit light headed, and have a sit down.
  5. Assemble the changing bag
  6. Add a second bag for swim stuff and post swim stuff for Arthur, and normal stuff for M&D
  7. Leave the room. Lock the room.
  8. Remember the camera.
  9. Repeat step 7.
  10. Walk 500m to the pool. Best to be carried if you are the Arthur.
All this takes a good 30mins.  But it was worth it.  Dad hasn't seen me swim before and I did my bestest underwater swimming and floating in my new yellow inflatable chair thing. 

Babysitting - or as M&D call it - diving:
I got a babysitter. Her name is Jane and I've seen her 3 times now. This was so M&D could go diving - at the same time! They were only away for two hours each time but always came back ever so excited. They've seen big adult manta rays. One so close Daddy could touch it. And then a juvenile whale shark. Apparently this was quite a big deal as they could talk of nothing else. Oh, and two types of turtles and lots and lots and lots of fish.

Sleeping and screaming:
I think I've adapted rather well. M&D say time is different to back home but I can't tell so I've just been sleeping right through the night and waking up at 7.30 or 8.
On the other hand I do seem to get into a bit of a tiz at about 7pm for about an hour. Sadly this coincides with my evening feed and with M&D's evening feed. The island we're on is rather small and I can now scream loud enough to be heard from one end to the other. Works a treat when the restaurant's busy. Dad carried me out onto the beach in the moonlight so I paused for a bit until we we were alongside a couple having a romantic dinner on the sand - then I let rip. Tee hee. Dad say's I'm the best contraceptive he knows, whatever that means.
I'm very quiet - honest.

Food: 
Tim is the chef here and he makes me special food each day, all pureed. One meat one, one veggie one and one sweet one. My favourite is mashed banana and mango. The staff are all lovely and give me cuddles and keep me entertained when M&D look tired. Important point - Mum had failed to ask me what temperature I would like my food.  Well, it was too warm for me on the first day and so I told her. Just to be sure, I said it loud enough for the whole island to hear.  They've always cooled it down since - so that worked!

Parental amusements:
Mum and Dad like reading books outside. They don't do this at home. They read to me, obviously, but don't sit in the sun just reading but here they love it.  They both also like snorkelling, which is sort of posh swimming while looking at the fish and breathing through a straw. Mummy even took pictures of fish with her new underwater camera.  Daddy took some too and tried to be all clever about getting me, Mummy and the fish in the same photo:
Above the water
Below the water
In close up - my own Lionfish!

They also had massages. I like massages too but have never had one for an hour and a half. There isn't enough of me for one thing.


Storms:
Most days have been very sunny. Some have been overcast which I prefer because I can see better and it's not quite so hot. But on two days we've had really big storms. These don't last long but I worried we were going to be blown away for a while.

A bit of light drizzle
Post swim!
All in all, I think I'm getting to like beach holidays!
Love to all,
Arthur x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A week of rest; sort of

It was a quiet start to the week with me spending lots of time with Mum at home. 

Thursday was physio day.  Mum and I got on the bus and headed to Sunshine House.  My physiotherapist was very pleased with my progress and said I was doing all the things a 4 month old baby should be doing.  She told Mum to continue with my tummy time and to help me practice sitting on my own.  In the evening, we all went to one of Dad's colleague's leaving do.  I got lots of hugs from lots of people and then we went on to have dinner with Simon and Cathrine.  I slept and slept as the physio and hugs had tired me out.

Sitting independently!


Friday was a VERY busy day.  I went to work with Dad so Mum could go to Charing Cross Hospital for a meeting about her work.  Dad introduced me to lots more people who looked after me very well.  In the meantime, Mum had a lovely meeting with the Radiologists at Charing Cross and she is getting closer to sorting out her training when she returns to work.  Mum then drove to pick me up and we got home just in time for one of Mum's friend's, Fran to visit.  She brought me a fabulous present which I wasn't sure about at first but now I have explored all the cubes and they don't make me pull such a scared face anymore!  Thank you Fran!  I was quite tired after my trip to East London with Dad and I wasn't my usual cheery self.  In fact, I was a bit crotchety and grizzly but Fran was very patient and I settled down eventually so I got a cuddle.  We were out in the evening again!  This time to our next door neighbours' Andrew and Sera.  I was SO tired I said a brief hello to everyone then went to sleep.  Their cat, Cleo kept guard in the doorway of my bedroom whilst M+D ate, drank and were generally merry with Andrew, Sera and the other guests. 

Saturday started quietly with Mum as Dad slept in.  I had a more successful fish based lunch with slightly less of it getting all over me in comparison with the last time.  I Skyped with Granny W and had chats with Dad when he got up and was a content little man all day.  M+D say we are going to have a good week this week but they won't tell me why.  They say it's a surprise.  Oh well, I'll go to bed and have a sleep and see what happens tomorrow.

Skyping


love to all,

Arthur xxx




Sunday, 28 August 2011

A very English summer - rain!

Monday:  Lots of washing after the holiday! Turns out I was mightily tired after the trip, so I got a good night's sleep on Saturday. Then I slept almost all day on Sunday - pausing only for food, all through the night, and that was enough: I was back to my chatty, not so crotchity self.  Mum seemed very relieved as Dad was at work all day. Oh and I was 7 months old today!

Catching some zzzz


Tuesday:  Granny W. came to see me. I was on best behaviour and tried very hard to look super-extra-cute. We even had a chat, though nobody seems to understand me properly. Granny W brought me a Skwish - it is the perfect present for a teeny my age, I know this 'cos I've already got one! Sorry to Granny W, but still a very good idea. That night we went to my Uncle and Aunt's house for dinner. Mum and Dad had a yummy pasta bake - I had mango and a sleep. Toby and Julia were very impressed with my sleeping and asked if I could teach my cousins!

Wednesday: more new things - I tried fish for the first time. It's rather nice! And mum and I went to see her friend Lucy and her new (8 week old) sprog Toby. Nice chap - I tried teaching him some of my favourite tricks - but he was a bit sleepy!

First fishy meal


Thursday:  No swimming as 'half term' and Peckham pool was shut for 'alarm' reasons but went for lunch with George, Albert and Bea.  The Mums talked about 'laminated lists' and guilty crushes whatever they are!  I talked to the other babies about teething and drooling mostly with the odd tip on stealth vomiting which I've perfected.  Bea has 1 tooth already and thinks she's got more on the way.  She's got a cool giraffe to chew on but I've got Mr. Squeaker so I'm not too jealous.

Friday:  Mum went to training then ran around the house getting her paperwork sorted for a meeting at her work.  It's been 7 months since Mum stopped work and she's not got that long before she goes back so there's quite a lot of stuff to get together.  Not least, her brain! Paperwork sorted. Then she had to get a meal ready for me to eat while we were out. Paperwork sorted and meal ready. Then she had to get me into the car with all the right kit in the rain. Paperwork sorted, meal sorted and me in my seat in the car with me quite dry, her quite wet! Then she had to drive us across town to her hospital. Paperwork sorted, meal done, me in the car and one and a half hours of me screaming later - we're at Northwick Park hospital. Mum was very restrained, I thought, when she was told that we hadn't needed to go there as she was transferring to train at another hospital.Still, we got to see some of her colleagues and I got hugs from many people.  Mum seemed quite upset in the car on the way home.  I think she liked working there...
That night we had my lovely godparents P&L over for dinner. God-daddy P and I gave each other very good hugs. He's a very good hugger. I think we both felt better for them. I tried ever so hard not to stealth vonit as it's a treat I save for M+D mostly.

Saturday: M&D looked into our fridge and realised we probably couldn't all survive on wine and cheddar alone, although Dad said he's be willing to give it a go! So we all went shopping. We drove to Canary Wharf which seemed to have ever so many shops (it got quite dull after a while!). Then we came home with most of Waitrose. We had a quiet night in.

Sunday: A very nice quiet day. M&D were able to spend the whole day together. Oh and I've been introduced to Skype. So I was able to have lovely video chats with Granny W and Grandad and Granny E. This is new and looks rather fun.




Love to all,
Arthur x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Wine, Toblerone and teething

Well it's been a busy old week. And yet I've been sat on my bum for most of it. We've been on a big European road trip and now, 1350 miles later, I'm home again.

On Sunday it was the start of my long trip and time to get used to my car seat. Mum has decorated it with a happy bug and a jangly star. I kept my eyes on them, and they seemed to follow me all over Europe! We started by driving to Kent and through the Eurotunnel. I was allowed out for cuddles while the car was on the train but the crossing was so quick I was straight back in my seat until lunch. Me and Dad and their friends Simon and Cathrine had a lovely lunch in an old Monastery. I was good as gold for two courses and then realised I wasn't getting any of the food. It only took the briefest of squeaks to get Dad to take me out to the garden and feed me. The training is working well. After lunch we drove down to Reims and spent the night in a lovely hotel there.
Do not try this trick as a grown up

Monday was a French bank holiday in August. Nothing in the world is as closed as France during the summer bank holiday. So we enjoyed a gentle saunter down to Burgundy. Lots more time in the car seat but M&D were very good about me getting food at my mealtimes. Mummy had her first ever drive on the wrong side of the road - because Daddy was driving Simon's car. Apparently this was a big deal as it was a Ferrari. Dad seemed very happy and Mum didn't crash and only drove on the UK side once, much squeaking from me and Cathrine in the back!

I wasn't allowed in the silver one!
That night I had a babysitter who kept bouncing me (is it too much to ask to be allowed to sleep!). Mum and Dad had a comedy Maitre-D'. Apparently he tried to give Mum the wrong food 3, yes three times. Then threw an almighty wobbler (worthy of me, if I may say so) when M&D asked if they were going to be charged for this wrong meal. Oops.

Tuesday was the big tasting day. Now I know nothing about wine but apparently it's a sort of milk for grown ups. Though I overheard so much I reckon I'm now a bit of an expert. I'd recommend Pooleenie Morashay, since you ask.  M&D and S&C went to three different tastings. They tried 24 different wines in the course of the day and spat most of it out. Seems a waste if you ask me. I had a good look at the barrels and stuff. It was nearly interesting. Then we went to another hotel, the Lameloise in Chagny. This was really super and Mum and Dad had their first ever 3 star Michelin dinner. Apparently it was rather good!

Note Mum's haircut!
Simon, Mum and Cathrine

Wednesday - we left France and drove down to Switzerland. Dad was super careful as he had been told how tough the Swiss police are with speeding. Mum was driving the Ferrari. We couldn't keep up!

Thursday - the weather in Switzerland was simply gorgeous. So we took a brisk walk 3000ft up the Alps, with everyone taking it in turns to carry me. We had a lovely lunch on a meadow and I decided to spread my food over everything in sight. Happy day!

Swiss Alps behind me and Cathrine


Friday - and the start of the drive back. We went back over the Alps on the back roads, and down through the Jura. Dad got us a bit lost briefly and I had a very messy lunch at the cutest pavement cafe by the river in Besancon. I have perfected the art of the strop whilst being fed in public. Mum and Dad are very patient! We drove up as far as Epernay for the night. A lovely quiet night followed by the biggest breakfast M&D could eat - fuel for the final push.

Three arty photos from Dad:

 

Saturday - we drove back up to Calais being very careful not to speed, given the French police love to book Brits rushing back for the Eurotunnel (A staggeringly efficient service, by the way - Dad). I had a quick lunch and nappy change on the boot of the Jag, and then back in my car seat for the short run into London. It was pouring with rain to welcome us!
We went straight up to Finsbury Park to see Katie, who was my lovely first babysitter and has now had a second baby of her own. I met the rest of her family and the new baby - nearly as cute as me, but still waiting for a name!

And lastly today, Sunday. A day of rest in the main. My lovely god parents P&L came round for lunch. I was a bit out of sorts. P&L and M&D all seem in agreement that I'm teething. I realise I'm drooling a lot but I can't help it. I'm also putting anything I can reach in my mouth. Apparently this teething malarky can take a while. I hope not, 'cos it's not been much fun today.

Now, during all this I've been trying out some new stuff. As mentioned, I'm grabbing things and trying to chew them. I've not really got the hang of this yet, but it's a start. I'm also getting chatty - sadly M&D don't seem to understand my simple requests but I'm sure they'll learn. And on top of all that I'm always learning new facial expressions - they're great fun. So much to do!



Love to all,
Arthur  x