Sunday, 30 December 2012

Very Merry Christmas

Hello everyone and I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

December has been a very busy month not just for Mum and Dad preparing for Christmas but for me too.


At the beginning of the month I had a Speech and Language appointment.  Another new therapist but not a locum this time.  She was very impressed by my development in my pretend play, word use and understanding as well my bum shuffling! She's going to see me in March but said that I would probably be discharged at that appointment if I continue to do so well.  Since then I've been mimicking nearly all the words I hear.  I can now say 'clap' and 'grandpa', 'highchair' and 'juice'.  All very satisfying for M + D and grandpa E.  I'm working on 'granny' and still filtering out the rude ones. I also say "uh-oh" whenever anything goes wrong. Apparently this is very cute.

More technology with Grandpa

I've also learned the actions to 'Wind the Bobbin up' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.  I look a little bit like a mini Usain Bolt when I 'point to the door'. Well, sort of.

Point to the door

I've been concentrating on my Physio and can now cruise along the sofa and cross the 90 degrees to the other sofa without stumbling.  Along with this little development I then surpassed myself at Christmas in front of the grandparents by walking with the help of my walker (a belated thank you to Alicja) and pulling myself to standing at the sofa and stairs without help.  This has led to much excitement and rapid baby proofing.

We had an early Christmas at Granny and Grandpa E's with my Uncle Toby, Aunt Julia and my cousins, before they went to Sweden.  Yummy food, lovely times reading and watching Pingu with Lydia and Siri and saying hello to the dog, Cobber.  Mum had to leave a bit early as she had a Carol Concert to rehearse for.  Dad and I joined her later for the actual performance.  I loved it and clapped and cheered every time Mum finished singing whether it was the end of the piece or not!

Watching Pingu

We went to listen to the annual open air tuba carol concert at St. Paul's Cathedral with my friend Robin and his parents.  We took tea and they brought mince pies. The tubas were raising money for The Evelina Children's Hospital (where I spent the last couple of weeks in hospital after I was born).  They played lots of Christmas tunes and the conductor told us lots of interesting facts about the tuba and its various friends like the sousaphone.

Then it was time for more Christmas preparations at our house.  We tidied, rearranged furniture, eliminated drafts with chimney balloons and bought a Christmas tree. Mum baked biscuits to decorate the tree. Most of the biscuits made it to the tree. I like biscuits. Mum took me shopping for last minute purchases and we had a yummy lunch in Giraffe.  I discovered tomato ketchup and how to dip chips into it.  Delicious.

We had our Nativity play at Nursery.  All the children in my room had to dress as animals, so Mum and Dad were very industrious and made me a costume.  Everyone has heard of the tiger who came to the birth of baby Jesus?  Haven't they?


Mum has been taking me swimming as my lessons have been on hold over the Christmas period.  Dad and Granny W came to watch.  I had lots of fun diving off the side and splashing around and a little boy raced me and encouraged me to kick after balls floating in the pool. 

Christmas itself was spent at home and Granny and Grandpa E and Granny W came to stay.  Mum cooked, Dad helped and I entertained the Grandparents with all my new tricks.  I got LOTS of presents - thank you to everyone. I played with my new bath drums, xylophone and flutes, my skittles, trains, Jack in the Box, tea set, telephone and many more besides.  Phew.

After the Grandparents had gone home, Mum, Dad and I prepared for a day off.  The BBC had other ideas and Dad spent the whole day doing interviews on radio and TV.  He looked very smart.

Dad's on the TV

Now it's nearly the end of of this post and the end of 2012.  What a year it's been.  Here's to 2013 - may it be exciting and full of good things for everyone.  Happy New Year!

Finishing touches...

Bye for now,

Arthur xxx

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Hello everyone,

Once again, I'm sorry for the late arrival of my post - you'd think I'd be early rather than late given my precocious start but never mind!

More progress at my end to report...
I'm using more words.  This was demonstrated nicely when my friend Artie came to visit.  I called him Ardhee, called myself Ardhur and played peedabooooo (peek-a-boo).  I've also started asking for bordher (water).  I can copy sounds too so M+D have been having fun  helping me say other things like pull, push, cup, dog etc.  I can still say banana, hello, bye bye and potato and blueberry.  The babbling has also increased.  M+D still need more lessons in my language but they are improving slowly.

As well as copying words, I can copy actions.  This has led to Mum teaching me 'If you're happy and you know it'.  I clap my hands, pat my head, pat the floor and stamp my feet in all the right places.  I like stamping my feet the most and sometimes get a bit carried away and forget the rest of the verses.  

The bum shuffling has also been stepped up (see what I did there?) with a vengeance.  I'm super speedy, determined and silent.  I'm quicker at getting from lying flat to sitting upright and I've started rocking onto all fours.  This is a big deal according to my physio as it means my shoulders are getting stronger and I'll be able to start getting from sitting to standing via a kneeling position once I decide I'm ready.  Well, you know me, I take my time!  This new improved mobility has got Mum all excited and she's now taking me swimming, to Gymboree and also to a new group for children with additional physical needs called Small Steps.  I've been on a waiting list and now my name has come up so I've been assessed and they think I will benefit from a 'short but sweet' term of intensive help to get me up on 2 feet.  They are brilliant and help young children, and their families.  I had my first session last week and found it really good, if a little tiring but the physiotherapist and teacher there said I did well for my first session and that my stamina would improve as time goes on.

Cutlery is over rated.

It was Mum's birthday this month and I gave her the best present ever.  I had a Movement assessment and the Developmental Paediatrician said I was hitting all my milestones appropriately for my corrected age of 18 months and that if she didn't know my history (being so premature and having the brain bleeds etc) then she wouldn't be able to tell by looking at me.  This is fantastic news; as I'm sure you know all the negative predictions M+D had been given by my doctors early on in my life.  So far, though, it looks like they've been proved wrong.  If they are anything like Mum or Dad in their jobs, they will be super pleased they have been proved wrong in such a positive way.  It also, shows what a good job all my doctors and nurses did whilst I was in hospital to ensure I really did do the very best I could despite all that I've been through.  It's still early days but so much more positive than before.

Now it's getting colder, Mum insists on wrapping me up nice a warm in my buggy.  This is fine but I don't like wearing hats very much (summer or winter) and gloves are a bit of an inconvenience too.  I don't seem to have much of a choice though.

Snug as a bug and high visability.

Another month has flown by.  Next month is Christmas and then it's my SECOND birthday. Yes folks, it will be a whole 2 years since I took Mum and Dad (and everyone else) by surprise.  Who knows what mischief I can get up to in 2013?

Love to all and bye for now,

Arthur xxx