Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Never Ending Cycle

It drags on. We thought he was getting better but he's not. We saw the doctor, we treated with calpol AND calprofen and he got better, or so it seemed. His temperature dropped and he kept his food down so after nearly two days we decided to lower the medications.
Taking too much ibuprofen over too long a period is quite bad for you so we decided to drop the calprofen and see how he went.
It went wrong. We thought he was well so we went out for a bit, we thought we'd see the Christmas decorations at Basildon Park before they were packed up for the season. The problem was that the volunteers had packed up too, if not for the season at least for the day, so the house was shut. I can only assume that this was some sort of last minute problem as the website was seemed quite sure it was still open. It was bitterly cold, too cold for exploring the grounds and I wanted a cream tea. After a longish and slightly convoluted phone call we discovered that The Vyne was mostly open - including the café - so we headed there instead. They had cream teas and quite a few pretty Christmas trees so the disappointment that stung worse than the cold weather was mollified.
We made a mistake though. We left the calpol at home. It seemed not to matter, Daniel seemed well, he had eaten his breakfast and lunch without barfing up. Neither had been a big meal, but he was recovering.
After we got home Andy wondered if Daniel felt a little warm. I thought that as he'd been bundled up in a big coat he'd probably be a bit warm so I didn't worry. I kept not worrying until all of his dinner came flying back up at me like an orange tsunami.
Great. And he was quite warm, warm enough to be feverish. We gave him some calprofen and a bath and then a breastfeed. He was quite grumpy.
In the end Andy took him upstairs to bed and he has settled off for an early night quite quickly. He'd been crying and crying at me, squirming and wriggling and getting quite cross. If I only had a baby translator then it would have stated: -
Mother I am feeling a trifle out of sorts. I don't want anything else to eat or drink but I am quite tired so would you mind dreadfully shoving off and letting me sleep?

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Daniel saw the doctor yesterday. We'd got to the point of desperation, his temperature was at 38°c and calpol seemed to be having no effect - a rare failure for the magic pink - and the effluvia of sick had become a grim constant. He was ashen faced, had grey circles under his eyes like big smudges of soot and had become quite lethargic.
The appointment was twenty past twelve and of course at about eleven Daniel decides that he will have a bit of a breast feed after all and actually he's feeling quite hungry so a good long feed.... which he kept down so by the time we got to the doctors he'd perked up and wasn't looking anything like so ill. Typical.
The doctor did take a good long look at my snot encrusted and slightly nasty smelling pink happy baby and decided that - gross alert - the vomiting was being caused by him swallowing mucus rather than letting it stream out the usual way. He also had a viral chest infection called broncholitis or bronchiolitis or broncho-something thing anyway. It's another childhood illness that we should be immune to by the time we're two. Joseph probably had it at some point too, but he never seemed to ever get properly ill.

Auto-correct is having a field day today. Bronx geometry is what it replaced broncho-something the first time. It then tried 'so etching'. It also tried 'author correct'. Yeah....

Daniel has a cough like a 40 a day smoker at the moment. It's horrible, it wakes him up in the night - and me for that matter. Few things are sadder sounding than a little baby hacking away. His face turns red and his little tongue pokes out and his eyes water. There are no medicines I can give that can help the cough although calpol and calprofen given alternately seem to have brought his temperature down at last.
I hope he sleeps tonight. I took the morning off today, just relaxing in bed with Netflix and cups of tea. Still had to feed Daniel a lot but he did sleep for a while and he spent some time with Andy so I almost got some sleep too. I'm still coughing away myself and the congestion in my ears is set like concrete. I'm sick of hearing everything like I'm underwater or like one fateful morning when I took my earplugs out and thought I'd gone deaf in one ear as half of the foam plug had remained behind. Thank goodness for needle nosed pliers!
I can't hear very clearly and if there's background noise I can't hear at all. I had a fright one night when I went to sleep on my right hand side leaving my worst affected ear upwards. I woke up and could not hear Daniel breathing so cue the panic. Daniel even when he's well is something of a noisy breather. As he's ill the noise has got quite striking. I thought it was something akin to someone trying to finish the last of a thick milkshake through too thin a straw. Andy thinks it's more like someone trying repeatedly to start a petrol motor chainsaw.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

That's So Sick.

Whoever it was who went on about the innocence of babes clearly didn't have experience of what comes flowing out of them with depressing regularity.
Daniel is teething. Not a boy to do things by halves he is having two bottom teeth and four top teeth coming through all at the same time - at Christmas. Lovely.
Ah Joseph, my somewhat neglected older child whose delightful innocence and naivety reawakened my joy of Christmas from its coma of cynicism and who breezed through teething like it wasn't happening. He had a day or so of being a little out of sorts and lo and behold - two teeth! After that they popped up regularly and sometimes I'd look in his mouth and notice more had appeared as if by magic! No teething gel needed in our house!
Daniels started a week ago and he's still not done. The bottom tooth pierced the gum but is still no more than a few millimetres of stub and one of the top teeth has broken through too - but again, still pretty stubby.
He's always been quite an emotional chap. Where Joseph was happy to be put down or cuddled or left to bounce in his chair while I got on with stuff, Daniel is not and has never been so. Daniel has left me with whole days one after the other where I've accomplished literally nothing because whenever I've put him down he's screamed like he's being tortured. It all came down to whether I felt more guilty about the screaming or the neglected household chores.
Add the misery of teething to a baby already permanently on the edge then you might begin to realise how things have been for us.
Did I mention we've also been quite ill? Ever since Joseph started Pre school we've been inundated with colds and bugs and nasties. I'm suffering with what I believe to be my fifth cold in a row, but I'm not sure, they've rather run together so it's hard to tell. There may have been more.
Daniel is snotty too, the poor chap hasn't escaped the germ onslaught. He's tired as he's not been sleeping well, he's got a perma cold and lots of teeth on the way and the poor little mite is so overwhelmed  by it all he keeps being sick.
There seems no rhyme or reason to it, sometimes it's breakfast, sometimes lunch. Sometimes he'll keep his dinner down and sometimes not. Often his bottle of milk will want to revisit. Today I wondered if he might be weaning himself off me as he didn't seem to want to feed, so I gave him a bottle instead. As it turned out he was refusing to feed as he knew his tummy was upset and the bottle contents landed on the floor and all down my leg. Daniel escaped the flow, with the exception of his feet. This lead to an emergency rinse of his sock-ons as the other pair were still in a plastic bag having suffered a similar fate the previous day.
I have spent quite some time cleaning sick out of a v-tech crawl and learn ball with the aid of a cocktail stick. My rug has stains on it that probably won't shift and I had been hoping to avoid doing laundry over Christmas, but here we are. All the calpol and teething gel in the world aren't stopping the flow and every time he coughs or hiccups I get very nervous. Also, baby food looks identical coming back as it does going in. Odd.

Friday, 26 December 2014

All I wanted for Christmas was his his two front teeth

When Joseph teethed we hardly noticed. Well - we did notice, where before there were just pink gums, there were pearly whites and a little boy who quickly learned not to chew his fingers.
Daniel is really not the same baby. Well I obviously he's not the same baby as that would mean some sort of space time anomaly, but as they're closely related I had rather assumed they'd be rather similar. Physically they are, but personality? No, they're not remotely alike.
Joseph was a sanguine baby, Daniel is not. Joseph was happy to play on his play mat while I got on with household jobs. Daniel, even at nine months really isn't keen on being put down. He's clingy, but is also really rather cuddly and Joseph wasn't so much.
Daniel is having a rough ride with his teeth. He's nine months old and still gummy, but the gums got lumps in them a little while ago. Naively I assumed they'd pop through as fast as Joseph's did, but so far no. One of the bottom teeth has broken through, but it is still just a stubborn little stub poking out rather than a proper tooth.
When cuddling him yesterday he tipped his head back and I noticed clear lines in his upper gums showing his top front teeth are on the way. Poor chap, all four in the way at once, no wonder he's uncomfortable and he's still fighting off the tail end of a cold.
I sound calm. This is because after several nights of wrecked sleep Andy made me take a couple of nights on the sofa bed so I could catch up. Daniel behaved well on the first night for him, but not so well on the second.
As for last night? We all slept in the same room for once! Well, when I say slept I mean Daniel slept and Andy slept and I just plain didn't. I lay uncomfortably awake for nearly two hours, managed to doze for about four and then lay awake again. Aware that Daniel was doing well for once I decided it wasn't fair on Andy to be bothered by a sleepless person again I have decamped downstairs. Fringe is on Netflix, the sofa is comfy, the cat is asleep and I have a cuppa. Could be worse!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Christmas Letter

Well it's been a good year in the Card household. After Andy's promotion to CEO we decided we needed a residence befitting his new status. Also we decided that Windsor wasn't quite the location for us, Belgravia is much nicer. We're also wondering if we should take the plunge and buy the holiday cottage in Cornwall, but now we think it might be better to look further afield, perhaps Tuscany.
The new house is just what we wanted. The extra reception rooms make life so much easier and in this house the pool is heated, much more pleasant! However we do miss the jacuzzi section in the pool in the old house so we'll probably have to get one fitted.
Of course we'll have to take on another maid, I'll be talking to the agency after Christmas as it's so hard to get anything done this time of year! It might be nearly Christmas, but some of us do have important things to do. I must have a word with them, the last pool cleaner was no good at all.
The boys now have a playroom each now so no more fights over who gets to play with the big train set as there's room for two now. At four years old Joseph is doing well at school, he's been bumped up again as he's really getting on so much faster than the children his own age. He's just finished reading Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and I really must have a word with the teacher as it's far too simple a book for him. We've started on some basic calculus at home as the maths class is going to slowly for him. I'll probably have to make another 'donation' to the school to make sure he's being given what he needs, but that is the advantage of a good private school!
Daniel is now nine months old and is talking, only simple sentences right now but he does say some sweet things. He's walking confidently and his nanny tells me he's getting on well with potty training too.
We'll be spending the festive season in Lapland this year, we've found that the alpine resorts we used to go to have just got too touristy now. Nothing spoils a good holiday like crowds of the hoi-polloi.
Of course due to the extra demands on Andy's time we've not had as many holidays this year as we'd like but we did manage to fit in two weeks in Florence and a trip up the River Nile. It wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped, the great pyramid at Giza isn't as big as I was expecting.
The butler has just informed me that the Fortnum and Mason order has arrived and they've sent the wrong kind of pâté so I'll have to talk to someone about that, someone will surely lose their job as I can't abide it when the little people screw up, they should know their place.
Oh, some good news now, the builders have arrived to build the new helipad on the roof. That'll make shopping trips so much simpler!
All the best, hope you all have a good year, but not as good as mine of course.