So last Friday we took baby Poppy to be registered (after making an appointment to do so)- - taking the opportunity (while we happened to be there) - - to get some more books out of the library (as the registry office is in the same building)...filling out the forms (with exactly the same lady who registered Thomas) took about ten minutes, including niceties, and then we were free to wander around Reigate town centre for a bit, scoring Thomas a Dr Who action figure in one of the charity shops and Poppy a nice Lamaze panda bear snuggly-thing to suck in the toy shop- - and then we popped to the little (extremely noisy) cafe in Priory park for a spot of special occasion lunch- -of rather good pizza (Thomas carefully picking off all the particularly good bits from mine ;)... However, when it came time to try and open bank accounts we hit a bit of a brick wall- - everywhere we tried told us they were too busy (urm? Yep, huge queue in Natwest as you can clearly see) and asked us to make an appointment for a future date, which we didn't, deciding instead to check out all the various deals online, but from the looks of things poor old Thomas and Poppy won't be getting a little plastic elephant money box, or a Griffin saver's document wallet and ruler, all the banks (in Reigate at least) seem to have stopped doing that sort of thing, just offering some measly stickers or vouchers! :(
So with the visit of the health visitor on Wednesday morning (to do a general check-up and successful hearing test) and the little trip we took to the Steppingstones Sure Start Centre in Earlswood- - on Monday, apparently that's it as far as the medical professionals are concerned! Poppy and Flyingpops are fit and healthy and happy and ready for the big, wide world (oh and happy two week birthday for today, Poppy...! Lots of love Daddy, Mummy and Thomas... ;)
Jobs for later on today include going to register her birth and opening her and Thomas up savings accounts at the bank (Flyingpops is just checking out the best interest rates and deals), more on that (probably) tomorrow... ;)
...complete with (cowboy mummy) resident and honour guard... ...topped off (with one small mistake I missed before taking the picture)... ...and then Thomas played giant Indiana Jones to help me open it up and find the treasure... ;)
Poor old Thomas - for (I suppose) the last week, as I've been going in to collect him from his bedroom early in the morning, instead of leaping up out of bed yelling "Oh it's YOU Daddy! Let's go DOWNSTAIRS!!!" he's been all curled up in his blankets and has lifted his head up just a little bit and (in his best quiet moany voice) muttered "I'm not wewwy well daaddy, I need one-nice-green-leaf" *massive pout*... :( So we've come downstairs, I've taken his temperature (which was typically a little up, but not terrible) humored him by plucking him a nice fresh basil leaf from the plant in the kitchen (it's a very hungry caterpillar thing)... ...perhaps given him a little dose of paracetamol suspension or nurofen, watched his temperature trickle back to normal(ish) and just got on with things. This was until 2 days ago when he started to go off his food and drink, developed a nasty cough and (most worryingly) started complaining that it felt "Spicy" when he needed to use the potty for a number one...when we checked his temperature after this it was shockingly just below 40 degrees! So (because of the hour) we had to go back to our favorite place! Yay! :( Thomas, after spending an hour an a half laying on our coats on the floor in the *boiling* temperatures (just in his nappy) of the Children's emergency unit - in all that time provided with just two small glasses of warm water between the four of us - we were finally allocated a bed, at which point all the nurses suddenly panicked that Thomas should be drinking 5 mil of water every five minutes(!) and was far too hot...so we just carried on what we had been doing all along - offering him drinks which he refused, wetting his skin and using books to waft cool air over him and after around 40 minutes we were transferred to the (much cooler) Outwood ward where we were showered with drinks (including tea and coffee for Flyingpops and I) and Thomas even got given jam on toast!
We saw a doctor fairly quickly, but not before Thomas had discovered (and had to be yanked away from) a blu-ray player, a Nintendo Wii, a PS2 (with all their interesting disks inside various cupboards), a sea-plane, the doctors sink and taps, some Duplo that stuck to the wall, some fold out screens and a box of (lolly stick) medical tongue depressors (that Daddy had to tidy back up again)...and after nearly 3 hours were told he *probably* had an infection (swollen tonsils and "up" glands) and were sent home to keep an eye on him and monitor his temperature (which we had been doing all along anyway)...it was just past midnight when we all crawled into bed (more dehydrated and stressed than we had been to start with, and equally worried)...
The next day (thankfully) his temperature was completely normal in the morning, but he was still very chesty and obviously off his food and drink, he barely ate any breakfast or lunch (apart from ice cream that he was allowed due to his swollen tonsils)- -but after missing his lunchtime nap his temperature was back at 39 degrees! Rather than go back to the hospital Flyingpops thought she would (on the off-chance) try out our new doctors, called them up, was answered right away and was offered an appointment in 15 minutes time, meaning we all had to rush back out to the car and up to the surgery! Anyway, suffice it to say it took the new doctor all of 2 minutes to diagnose a chest infection and prescribe some Amoxicillin suspension (after two doses of which Thomas has been back to his usual self - apart from the ice cream dinners)...if only we could have gone there in the first place!
Filmed this off the back of the Canon 600D using Flyingpops' point and shoot, it's a quick sweep using preview through the (several thousand) shots I've taken over the last 9 days, sort of like a roving time-lapse I guess, extraordinary to see the bursts of shots turn into little snippets of film before your very eyes and see all that time condensed into the blink of the camera's eye... ;)
*Just* in case you haven't noticed (a) the sudden explosion in the number of photographs I have been taking lately and (b) the sudden (albeit subjective) increase in quality thereof, the reason is fairly simple - a very welcome new toy (thanks to everyone who chipped in)...! ;)
It is a Canon EOS 600D with a nice Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 IF Macro lens (the lens that came with it *had* zoom (technically) but for all it did to the final picture it may as well not have done)...at the moment, every time I pick it up I seem to find another cool thing it does, but notable super cool things are the *huge* flip out screen (Sony handycam style), remote control (and remotely operated flash unit), *staggering* quality HD video recording, toddler-proof high speed focus and shooting (which works very nicely in very low light without flash), quickly movable auto-focus center priority, 500-odd shot battery life between charges, creative auto mode (that takes all the hassle out of arty selective blur), post shot on camera picture editing with cropping facility/tilt shift mode and various other filter/fish-eye emulators, 10x zoom-within-zoom for super accurate manual focus, three different autofocus modes (normal, normal with automatic face detection and super-fast)...
It used to be that I go out for a nice day out somewhere and come home with 150 shots to look through, now it's more like 600 shots (and I can begin my post-shoot processing in the car on the way home as the screen is so fantastic)! Amazingly all my "safe" shots with the flash I'm just able to throw away as low light shooting is so crisp and artifact-free, and in bright light not a *hint* on vignetting or purple fringing...One thing I *am* missing from my trusty Fuji S9600 (which literally fell into pieces in envy and stopped working the minute the Canon came through the front door) is super-macro mode (I can feel a dedicated Macro lens lurking somewhere in my not-so-distant future)... ;)
...or Ankyloglossia (as it is uncommonly known), is apparently an extremely common condition in the newborn - basically, the normal membrane under the tongue is unusually short or thick thus preventing normal movement of the tongue. It fixes itself (the "wait and see" approach) in the vast majority of cases between the ages of 6 months and 6 years, but can also treated medically if there is a (good) reason to do so...
Poppy was tongue-tied, it was picked up (right away) upon her first visit to Baby Cafe (where Flyingpops had taken her as feeding was proving unusually painful) by Anne Humphries, who referred us right away for treatment, but the first available appointment on the NHS was two weeks away...! That would seem fairly reasonable under normal circumstances, but Flyingpops really had been through enough already and some of the gasps and exclamations being issued during feeding were frankly worse than those during childbirth.
We tried her on expressed milk in a tiny baby bottle, but she just didn't know what to do with it (with hindsight that was also almost certainly symptomatic of the ankyloglossia). Not having the inclination to wait two weeks (let alone months or years) as we were rapidly running out of ideas - Poppy *could* feed, but it was *extremely* painful for Mummy and gave Poppy terrible wind -we turned to private treatment options.
The place we started with was the LCGB (the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain), specifically their list of private Tongue-Tie dividers (chopped up (*SORRY*) broken down by county). Flyingpops started the process of checking through the list and was lucky enough to stumble upon Lynn Timms (the designated divider for Sussex) after speaking to our local one (who quoted £110 plus £15 petrol and wouldn't be able to see us for 5 days), Lynn said she *could* see us, but she would have to travel all the way from Portsmouth (she quoted £75 plus £30 train fare and would be able to see us in 2 days) but she suggested we speak to Anne Dobson who covered London just in case (but Anne quoted £160 basic plus petrol which we couldn't even politely entertain)...So, Flyingpops booked in Lynn and we settled down for an uncomfortable few days wait... Amazingly, the very next morning at 9am the telephone rang, it was the NHS offering us a cancelled appointment at 4pm that day (if we could make it to Dorking)! Flyingpops frantically cancelled Lynn (who was *still* kind enough to call us back offering advice - so can't recommend her enough - find her website here - if you do need to take the private route and are in her catchment area) and at the appointed time we all bundled into the car and headed off to Dorking (dropping off Thomas with Nanjan and Pops on the way)... When we arrived the centre was completely deserted, the two ladies running it sat twiddling their thumbs (so I think they probably could have admitted a few more people to attend today rather than sending them off seeking private treatment!)...
It started with a brief description of the procedure to come - a quick snip with a pair of surgical scissors through the lingual frenulum - apparently nerve endings are rare or non-existent in this section of membrane at this stage of life and healing takes place during the feed that takes place immediately after the procedure (so in literally a couple of minutes)- - and then we popped behind a small barrier for *two* snips, a lot of crying (and a little bit of blood) followed by Flyingpops taking baby Poppy off for a feed (which looked a lot like some sort of twisted vampire fantasy)- - while I was presented with the (extremely nice) surgical scissors "as a memento" as otherwise they were just going to be incinerated (they live in the first aid kit now-thanks!)- - and then we were on our way! The whole process actually taking longer to explain than complete...had we paid £160-odd quid for someone to come to the house and do 3.5 seconds work, I might have been (just a little) taken aback...but it's one of those sort of any-amount-of-money situations when your baby can't feed... :(
Anyway, to conclude - all's well that ends well, Poppy is feeding perfectly now, can cope with a bottle (on the rare occasions we are using expressed breast milk) and can stick her tongue out far enough to lick her nose (if she wants to)...as for the process? Try and get it on the NHS, it's such a *simple*, ridiculously quick thing to have fixed (I can't imagine how there is a two week waiting list in Surrey - those ladies at the Medwyn Centre could probably do 40 babies an hour (if they put their mind to it) rather than 7 per day (unless I am missing something here))...?
...it's been coming down pretty steadily since 0700hrs (when Thomas decided it was time to get up and watch his new Peppa Pig episodes on his laptop - zzzz), so from 50% clear last night everything is starting to get a hearty dusting again...thought we had seen the back of all this! Oh well, it's a good excuse to post a couple more pictures from Friday I didn't pop up at the time-
Thomas *loves* Duplo (*nearly* as much as Daddy) so you can imagine how pleased he was to get this extra little gift (the Duplo Stone Quarry) from baby Poppy (cleverly saved a day or two after she was born - so it would stand out in his memory and act as a nice distraction)...a few other things we have built together (I'll post some other pictures as we continue our constructive adventures - there have been a few triumphs I forgot to take pictures of which I will attempt to rebuild)- - our latest version of the "Great BIG Castle!!" - -complete with hollow towers, doorways, battlements and a staircase- - a higgledy-piggledy Hogwarts Castle (of sorts) - - Flyingpops' attempt at a giant tower (which kept on falling over until she threw the bits back in the box in a mood) - - and my hollow Duplo seed-crystal, which Thomas immediately took to pieces to get at the treasures I had hidden inside... ;)
More pictures to follow (when we build something else "interesting" imho)... ;)
We don't know where the week has gone, but have loved every bit of getting to know you... Thomas thinks we should celebrate with cake, but somehow I don't think this one will taste very nice...it's full of nappies!!!
Well, we had quite a bit of snow last night, certainly not a patch on last time, only about an inch overnight, but enough to make everything look very festive (shame it's over a month too late)... Anyway, cars seem to be getting in and out of the estate okay, and the recycling truck just rumbled past the back fence, so Thomas has been all dressed up ready for pre-school and we are heading off in a little while, wish us luck!
Waking up to a *lot* of snow, it was almost impossible to keep Thomas from flinging himself out the front door (after wolfing down his breakfast in record time) before we had managed to get him even remotely wrapped up warm -
- and even when we got him back home he clamored at the back door until he was allowed out into the garden to continue his frolics (this time alternating between whacking the snow with golf clubs and moving it into great big heaps with his Scoop the backhoe loader)...
- when we finally managed to wrestle him back into the house (explaining to us in a muffled way, through his mouthful of snow, that he was busy "Turning all the snow into water, Daddy!") we headed off to see how bad the roads were (not that bad as it turned out) and see how long Flyingpops and baby Poppy were going to have to wait before being discharged... As it turns out, when I got there, Flyingpops had finished her breakfast and was intent on having a little nap, so, baby Poppy thrust upon me (protesting at the change of temperature), Flyingpops got some shut eye and we waited for the discharge papers (noticing on her green notes the formal confirmation of the *incredibly* short time we spent in actual labor - the 5 hours includes all the time walking, eating, reading and watching "Carry On" films)... After Flyingpops' little sleep we had the midwife visit (delivering some paracetamol and complaining about the amount of form filling involved in her job to everyone who would listen) and then the release papers (finally) arrived (hurrah!)- - and before we knew it (after a short, slippery drive through the snow - thanks Dad!) we were home! Thomas was over the moon (greeting the baby by name, which was a relief as before I had set off to the hospital he had been insisting the baby was called "Postman Pat") spending the first ten minutes constantly asking Flyingpops to clarify that baby Poppy was the same baby as had been inside her tummy all this time - - he gave her a little kiss and then went and got his favorite blanket (from his bedroom) to share with her - - and then, for being such a good boy, Thomas got to play with some of his little presents (making everyone huge slices of Play-Doh pizza)- - and so began our new life at home as a happy family of *four*... ;) That night (and I hope this continues) baby Poppy, apart from one wake up for food at about 3am, slept soundly all the way through (and *long* may that continue)!