Thursday, April 27, 2006

News from the front

Too little time and too little sleep for a proper blog entry. Here's the news headlines.

Oliver is waking us up about 6 times a night. Sometimes even more. Even if we don't have to go to him he sometimes cries so loudly for a brief moment that he wakes us. Things got so bad yesterday that in the morning Hayley openly doubted whether we should try for a second child!

Oliver loves taking my glasses off my face at the moment. In fact anybody's face. I have started to wear contact lenses more often as my glasses were in danger of being seriously mangled.

We've re-decorated the interior of the house and cut down the big tree in the front garden. The result is a brighter living room which Oliver will appreciate.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Cat saves baby's life

Oddly Enough News Article |

"BERLIN (Reuters) - A cat saved the life of a newborn baby abandoned on the doorstep of a Cologne house in the middle of the night by meowing loudly until someone woke up, a police spokesman said on Saturday.
'The cat is a hero,' Cologne police spokesman Uwe Beier said. 'Its loud meowing got the attention of the homeowner and saved the baby from suffering life-threatening hypothermia. The homeowner opened door to see why the cat was making so much noise and discovered the newborn.'
Beier said the boy was taken to hospital at 5 a.m. on Thursday, when overnight temperatures fell towards zero, and had suffered only mild hypothermia. He said there was no indication of what happened to the boy's mother."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My day (by Oliver Townley, aged 7 months)

Sometimes I wake early and make a few grumbly noises, but then I fall asleep again. Mummy and Daddy know not to get me up if I sound like I'm in a bad mood and haven't had enough sleep.

I wake up and find something to play with. Sometimes Gerry the Giraffe is around and Julien is always glad to play when I wake up. If I'm feeling mischievous I kick the little projector that is attached to the side of my cot. It makes a loud clunk!

Once I am awake and Mummy and Daddy can hear me playing on the monitor they come in and say Good Morning to me.

After Mummy and Daddy come in they give me a cuddle in my cot. Then they wind up my Winnie the Pooh mobile which I love. I watch it while Mummy gets my clothes together. Then Mummy gets me up and puts me on the changing mat to change my nappy. Sometimes I let her change me into my clothes for the day but if I am hungry I complain so that she just changes my nappy and takes me downstairs.

Breakfast. My favourite is half a Weetabix with whole pasteurised milk. Mummy can't spoon it in fast enough. Then I have my bottle (9.5 ounces of Aptamil 2).

After breakfast and my bottle I wave to my Daddy as he goes off to work on his bike. (Note to self: must ask Daddy to get me the Baby Specialzed catalogue.) Then I like to play for a while.

Once I've been up for about 2-3 hours I'm ready for a wee nap for perhaps half an hour. Mummy gives me my favourite blanket and I have a nap.

Sometimes Mummy and I go out to "Baby Talk" or "Rhythm and Rhyme" for the morning. In that case I nap in the car or pram.

Mummy gives me lunch around noon. It's 2 courses, often something home-made but if we are out and about - at Room 311 with the other Mums or example - it might be something from a jar.

After lunch I have a longer nap. Mummy likes me to nap for at least an hour so that I sleep better at night. It's odd but the better I sleep in the day, the better I seem to sleep at night.

Mummy often takes me for a walk in my buggy. "Pramming out" is what Mummy calls it. We might go to the park to feed the ducks, or to visit one of my girlfriends. I have lots of girlfriends.

Time for another bottle. Usually I'm out and about when I have this one so I drink it straight and cold.

Dinner time. Two courses again and often this means yoghurt for dessert. I love yoghurts! If I can possibly manage it I wait til Mummy isn't looking and stick my hand in the pot. But Mummy doesn't seem to mind.

Play time. Daddy comes home and he plays with me for a while. I always give him a big smile when he comes home and he is always excited to see me.

Bath-time. I love my baths. I think I may ask for a water-bed when I can speak because I even fall asleep in the jaccuzzi at the swimming baths. Mummy or Daddy usually have a bath with me. I have ducks and toys and I splash about and have great fun. Some of the time I just lie back in the water and look up at Mummy/Daddy. They seem to think this is cute.

After my bath I have my last bottle, usually with Mummy, sitting on the sofa in my room. The lights are turned down low and I cuddle Julien. Finally Mummy puts me in my sleeping bag, kisses me goodnight and puts me and Juien into our cot. I cuddle Julien and go off to sleep.

Then Mummy and Daddy creep off downstairs... to talk about how adorable I have been today.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My first...

Hayley got her first proper kisses from Oliver yesterday. He'd been doing something similar before but yesterday he definitely knew what he was doing. When she said "Kisses!" he leaned forward and put his mouth to hers. He tends to open his mouth, lean forward and quite often dribble, so it's quite a sloppy kiss!

...Game of Peekaboo!
I have seen Oliver play peekaboo with Hayley very briefly but today he played it with me for the first time. He lay on the sofa and kept pulling his favourite blanket over his face and then pulling it away again for me to see him. It was lovely to see. Our first game! Hayley managed to capture it on video.


Oliver loves to suck a nice piece of toast. If he gets grizzly and all else fails to calm him I can be pretty sure that a nice piece of toast will keep him happy. I sometimes end up having to hook a large piece out of his mouth before he tries to swallow it, but most of the time he just sucks it then drops it in favour of a new piece. Or preferably my piece.

So when we went round to our local sandwich bar for breakfast this morning Hayley and I enjoyed egg and mushroom sandwiches while Oliver contented himself with a nice piece of toast.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Perils of Nursery Rhymes

Fire! Plague! Death!

Not the latest front-page story in tabloid newspaper but the alleged origins of a well-known children's nursery rhyme. It is noticeable how macabre many nursery rhymes and childrens songs are, but it doesn't seem to bother kids. Only this morning Hayley was singing to Oliver about the old woman who swallowed a fly: "perhaps she'll die" was its conclusion, an image almost certainly more disturbing to his parents than to the little man himself.

I'm inclined to think that bombarding our children with all these gruesome thoughts and images really has no ill effects and is just part of growing up. After all, it doesn't seem to have harmed any of us, has it?

But there is still a more practical danger from nursery rhymes and songs that we sing to our children. Yesterday Hayley went shopping alone to our local supermarket. As she walked down the freezer aisle she realised she was singing aloud the song she had been singing to Oliver to make him laugh all afternoon:
"I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow
With a flippy floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this,
I can shake my feet like that."
She noticed she was drawing a somewhat amused look from a fellow shopper. "I sing it to my son", she appealed, embarrassed, before making her way quickly to the checkout.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fun with food

Oliver loves finger food. He also loves to eat whatever I am eating! So when I make myself a piece of toast I have to donate some of it to the little man.

He still has good days and bad days when it comes to eating, but it seems to help when one of us is sitting at the table with him eating something too. So most mornings I have been eating a bowl of cereal at the table with him while Hayley feeds him Weetabix.

He now manages to hold his drinking cup to drink water during his meal, but often he will just leave it to us to hold it for him: "why have a dog and bark yourself" seems to be the sentiment!

Last night Hayley cooked Oliver and I an elaborate fish supper: Plaice in a vine tomato salsa with creamy mashed potatoes and peas! Mine looked fit for king. Oliver's was pureed. I ate all of mine and Oliver ate three servings of his! Sadly not every mealtime is this successful, but with a little patience he seems to be improving. He has also slept better for two of the last three nights, so hopefully his improved eating will go hand in hand with improved sleeping... for all three of us!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sarah's birthday

Steve, Oliver (hidden!), Tony, Amber (in buggy!), Sarah

We went out for lunch and a stroll around Dunham Massey Deer Park on Saturday afternoon with our friends Tony, Sarah (who was celebrating her birthday) and their 7 month old daughter Amber.

Oliver, Steve, Hayley

Despite terrible traffic which made us so late we missed the proper lunchtime menu, we got there in time to dine on sandwiches, cakes and scones while the babies played with blocks, sucked on finger food and drank their bottles. There is a special area set aside for families which is nice for everyone!

After lunch we took a stroll around the deer park, Amber in her buggy (with occasional carrying for a better view and a cuddle) and Oliver in his baby carrier. The deer in the park must be very used to having people around as a large herd(?) of them of all ages crossed our path at one point.

Deer in the park

The afternoon flew by and by the end of it Oliver was asleep in his carrier. But all that fresh air must have done him some good as he slept until 6.30am that night before waking in need of his dummy. What a shame that a long stroll in a deer park isn't really practical for every afternoon.

Oliver, snoozing