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January 2007
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March 2007

It begins

I was visiting my Dad yesterday within the strictures of daytime visiting hours and had to run off for 30 minutes to pump out. It in fact became 40 minutes because I couldn't find anywhere (had to squat in a loo eventually much to the annoyance of the many people who tried the door - more loo provision/ empty rooms without bloody locks on in new PFI hospitals, please!).

James, amusingly, doesn't actually like my milk when it's presented in a bottle, whereas he will really gulp down his Goats formula. So we had a discussion last night and decided, since I'd been planning on giving up the 2-ish feed (being from me, that is)  in a month's time, anyway (he's 11 months old - positively ancient), to take the pressure off me a little and reduce the *endless* baby washing up / sterilising then that's it.

No more pumps to work and sitting down in the cold medical room for 20-40 minutes every day. You know, before you think I'm a bad mother (ha ha) I'm still feeding him for 3 other feeds a day. One at 3 in the morning. You know... I'm in there, doing my bit. Sometimes, you've just got to recognise that priorities have to be balanced, and in this case, James will have to be disadvantaged to suit my own, selfish convenience. Or something.

I haven't even got to the point in the day when I would be going off to do it yet, but I still feel a painful pang of mourning.

Time is passing.

An open letter to pedestrians

Stay on pavements please. Do not walk in the middle of the road, just because you feel like it.

And whilwe you're at it, just because, a split second before, you got to a zebra crossing, that does not mean that every piece of traffic on the road is going to be able to break immediately, so just WAIT, you stupid IDIOTS.

(Four of them this morning).

On a different note, it took me top whack 40 minutes to get in to work this morning. Left home at approx 8.20. By the time I'd gone down in the stupidly slow lift to the underground car park, locked up then come up in the lift and changed it was only 9.19! Purty good going. That's what happens when you haven't cycled for a few days - your muscles are raring to go.

...and yes, I can now cruise past idiot boy racers without mudguards, who think it's real to be cycling along with a whacking great mud splatter-splash up their arse and back from the rain. Eeediots! And before you ask, yes, I am signalling and stopping at lights! Heh. I was Very lucky with lights this morning, is all.

Oscars, late:

My router's playing up at home.

I'm very glad Alan Arkin won something. He's one of the best comic actors working on film today. His timing is so good, so beautiful it's a wondrous thing to behold (plus, he's just funny. Which helps).

Back to more usual subjects

I always feel uncomfortable doing this stuff, and yet I feel compelled if only because I feel so proud for Noochka that she's so cool.

She's got a workbook set from Woolworths - one on the alphabet, and one on numbers. It's actually a great learning tool, specifically because you get to put a sticker on the page when you've completed it! Sticker, now Mummy! But it only uses the numbers 1-20, right?

So she's looking at the page dealing with numbers er, I don't know. probably 10-14, or something. You're supposed to add up the number of ducks in a line by saying the numbers out loud. That's it, really. A few lines with different variations of numbers between 10 and 14. Noo carried on counting past the first line instead of stopping, and at the end of the page, stopped at 57.

Ok. Done with the proud and silent "Look at that, eh? eh? Pretty good!" part of the entry. Er, kind of. well anyway, a while ago we got a piano book and it was way too advanced a few months ago but now it's all looking a bit more sensible given that she's in the middle of a seemingly voracious learning curve. reading, writing, numbers.... *anything*. What's this? how do I say that? Tell me how to do the other? Etc.

given the success of the Alphabet and numbers books I realised that the way in to finding a discipline with her finding out about music is to buy some stickers and mke them a part of her learning from her piano book. The difference is really amazing, I have to say. Today we learned about 4/4 time, the stave, middle C; treble clefs, bars and double lines at the end of songs. Oh, and also that you play middle C with your right thumb. Sounds like an astonishing amount but in fact it's done very slowly and constructively, leading to Noo playing a "song" called 'Middle C Cats' or something, with her plonking out 4 bars of 'C' crochets inn 4/4 time, all written on the stave. We followed the notes with my finger, and I counted out the rhythm, as well as playing an octave higher.

One sticker earned! We'll practice it again tomorrow and I thought the way to get her to practice and go over what she's learned is to give her a sticker for every time she does it that's right. I don't care if the book falls apart under the weight of stickers, you know? If she wants to do it, and we can help her by making practicing seem ok then  blimey, I'll do everything I can to support her.

I was just looking on Ebay for cheapo metronomes. I thought that might be nice (got to get ones that I don't mind if they break - er, she breaks them - don't forget, we're talking about a rambunctious 3 year old here).

Meanwhile in other news my back pain is now more excutiating than I have ever known it. It's all muscular, and it's all spasm related but the main question is trying to eliminated the "Why" possibilities. to do that, I have to work on strengthening my back, and losing some weight. So no more cake. no dieting as such, because I can't do that - but a little less red wine and no cake plus cycling to work & back... we'll see. When it hurts, 9 times out of ten it's because I've moved at a very slight angle away from straight forward. Then a specific set of muscles on either side of my spine, in my abdomen region, but on the back side just spasm in to excrutiating pain. the only thing I can do at the time is work with it psychologically and focus my way through relaxing that *specific* area in the fastest way possible so that I can carry on going.

Sometimes I think that it's only the cramped up, fucked up muscles that keep me actually standing, which is why at present I'm loathe to have any back massages or anything because based on past performance, I literally can't even stand up after I've been relaxed fully. Nothing works.

So - core muscles exercises for a while, hopefully leading to a more full on daily regime from my "Managing back pain" book... and the aforementioned lowering of weight (I hope). and we'll see, At least I can eliminate some variables even if I still get the pain.

... in to each life some rain must fall... and too much is landing at the base of my spine, thanks.

Good god

February 10th?

Nearly two weeks have gone by and I barely noticed.

Well. you know. I've been busy. we've got he latest batch of Dooceables, as well as the whole "My Dad" thing, which to be honest i'm entirely torn about talking about it any context. Yes, he's unwell, but it's his illness, not for god-knows-who (my trusty 12 or 13, even, exempted of course). Of course there are things going on as a consequences of the current situation, in *my* lifec which make things difficult in the sohrt term but you know... I think i found my person edit point and I'm really not comfortable using my Dad as a...  a I don't know. A writing exercise. Or something.

i want to relate one tale though.

It's on Nora's mind a lot, as it is with everyone, but it comes out in different ways. The other day, she suddenly appeared with a backpack trailing round her bum, and a small bag on each arm, pushing her wee plastic shopping trolley.

"I'm going to France!"
"Are you - how are you getting there, the airport?"
"Yes. I'm going to spain first, then getting  car, and driving up to France"
"Ah. andd who will be waiting in France?"
"Grandad John"
"Yes. Yes he will."

One way or another, I never want to not have that conversation with Nor.

Birds: an aside

I mentioned a long time ago how lovely it is that we have a pair of Jays which live, I think, about 4 doors down in a huge Fir tree. Jays are gorgeous - part of the crow family but  a sort of beigy pink with whacking great flashes of colour in their wings. According to the usual descriptions they're very shy, but the road's back gardens have formed a lovely little nature reserve of sorts in which our friends seem to have lost their shyness (despite the cats) so you can often see them promenading outside the window. Gorgous.

Anyway, so the other day I saw a bloody woodpecker! S/he landed on a tree in next door's garden, drilled aalmost nochalently, took a look around then flew off. Brilliant! I'm reminded of its visit given that last Sunday when we went on our (desperately trying to be) habitual morning walk, the drilling coming from the "woodland" area of the common suggests it has taken up residence locally.

Asthma shock

The virus is now very much in James' chest - and has made me realise even more that Noras's asthma is but a whisper in the wind compared to his. Last night he woke up coughing, started to cry and as he got more upset, became more winded, which panicked him even more - which of course made his ability to breathe properly much, much worse.

It was quite a wake up call. Thank goodness we had the puffer and child friendly blower thingy that attaches to it handy.

It struck me that this is why asthma attacks are so potentially dodgy. Every breath he took was actually making it worse, because the breaths were all panicky, hyperventilated and dramatic. He could have passed out very quickly (probably the best thing for him in fact, if there were no other options available - having fainted, he would breathe calmly and deeply).

I know that having continued to feed him will have helped to some extent but he is obviously still going to suffer with this. We may have to make some pretty radical changes.

As for whether James health or worse might be threatened by this thing?

No fucking way. Not on my watch.


8.30 in the kitchen downstairs, I hear Nora crying in her bedroom. Call to mcK who is in the study, but even as he's going to her I think hold on, this sounds a bit too raw to me. She's not coughed herself awake... what's going on?

Not so much crying in fact as non-stop yelling whilst crying. What's up Nor? Darling? Where does it hurt, baby? Not ears, not throat... come here darling... so I'm hugging the munch-cake and she's clinging like a clam.

Darling did you dream something horrible?

Shaky nod.

Oh, love.

...two episodes of Pingu, "Monkey Puzzle" and her reading a short book to me later and I'm lying on the floor of the bedroom while Nora doesn't quite make it to peaceful sleep, but she did shortly after I swapped with Daddy.

Her second nightmare. Absolutely horrible.


Bloody hell!

That was one hell of a virus. Still got it. Headache, nose utterly swollen inside... the kids have had a terrible time. James is still in the thick of it and not eating much. Yesterday he didn't eat anything but drank a ton of milk. I experienced poo-nostalgia! Out came a 3 month old's gooey yogurt gunge. Heh.

Still - ate more today. I meanwhile went to work. Oh GOD help us. throat like sandpaper. Head full of mashed potato...


Well, that's it then

After a week of slowly descending in to a miasma of germs, the South London House of Asthmatics has finally given me the current god awful  "no it isn't flu officially but it might as well be" cold bug.

I've currently only got the sore throat you get at the beginning of a cold... but the warning signs are there: the pain didn't reduce at all after my regulation "All I'm allowed to have" paracetamols.

So after nursemaiding since Wednesday (and they're still not better) I now have the prospect of coming down with the horror but with no nursemaiding!

No fair! I want the bloody nursemaiding option, thank you very much!