2006
06.30

photo evidence…

I got a picture of what I was describing in my last post:
thomaspiano

What surpises me about Thomas “playing” the guitar and piano, is not that he does them, after all, they involve simple mechanical movements of the fingers that any baby would enjoy doing, but that he does them of his own volition. It intrigues me that he would spontaneously decide to manoeuver himself across the room to strum the guitar strings, or laboriously haul himself up to a level he can only just reach to press some piano keys that he cannot see… WHY? Is it that fun for him? Mind you, if you have seen to what lengths he will go just to get a quick nibble on the telephone, you’d probably allow for anything with this mind…

Speaking of mind, did anyone see the last episode of House last night? That was a good one to keep psycho-sleuths scribbling on the pad! PHEWEE! I admit that I lay awake thinking it through, and I also had a waking-in-a-cold-sweat nightmare last night, though that could’ve been un-related.

2006
06.28

Long time no post…

Hi everybody,

I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a long time, it’s a good indication of how things are going…

Well, the sleep isn’t going at all well, but I think that is mostly due to weakness on our part – we did the controlled crying for a week, but we weren’t totally strict. I think it would have worked if we really did it properly, as we did hear him make a squawk, but manage to get himself back to sleep again without assistance, which was definitely an improvement. However, this was all thrown askew anyway, when both Thomas and I caught a horrible stomach bug that is apparently doing the rounds – even my own GP had it! (my new doctor, by-the-way, is nice in a white middle-class english sort of a way, I like him best out of all the ones I’ve had since my doctor at Uni!) So with both of us asynchronously vomiting, and me changing the sheets as fast as I could, we didn’t get much sleep! The next day, we took Thomas off solids, which left me trying to give him extra breastfeeds on the two pieces of toast I managed to get down me! Thomas was a bit limp, which actually made him much easier to look after as the two of us kept a low profile in the couch all day, and he vomited his last during the Simpsons at 6.15pm, which was mildly annoying. That night, i was so exhausted, I simply fell asleep with him in the spare bed, which has probably trashed all our previous training, so we are starting back at square 1.

Incidentally, I was worried that the BBQ we had for my 30th birthday was the culprit, but Thomas didn’t eat anything from the grill, and my doctor wasn’t at the BBQ, as far as I know, and he got it too, and everyone else attending is mostly fine… THE SALMON MOUSSE! (for all you Monty Pythons out there).

I have also now heard something else, which has given me yet another idea as to how to get Thomas sleeping more at night. I have heard two seperate people who waited until their baby was 6 months before moving him/her into his/her own room, worrying that this might cause them feelings of loneliness and separation, and when they did, their baby began sleeping through the whole night! – just-like-that! This means that I’m now tempted to move Thomas back in with us for 2 months, as we have people coming to stay anyway so he’ll have to be in there for a night or two, but maybe we can do it all over again.
He didn’t have any problems the first time we put him in his own room, and he was only a couple of months old then!

Then again, this could be another case of disrupting the routine on another whim, and maybe if we just stuck to the same thing for 5 minutes, he wouldn’t have to keep adjusting to new “routines”.

I don’t have a picture to post today, as I’m at work (shhhh…!) but a happy anecdote should satiate the news-hungry. I was washing-up in the kitchen (yes I do that sometimes) and checking on Thomas every couple of seconds (cos he’s quick)and he was doing his usual crawling about, so I got back to my dishes. I was just about to check on him again, when I heard the piano being played! I popped my head round the door, and sure enough, Thomas had managed to pull himself upright, and play the keys above his head, thoroughly enjoying himself!

I took him to baby-signing AND tinytots today, so if he sleeps well, I’ll know it’s just stimulation he needs. He had his first tug-of-war fight with his friend Eve and her tupperware today… of all the things to tussle over!??

2006
06.17

rollators for babies!

We went out and bought a new toy yesterday:
babyrollator

I got it for £12 from my new most favourite shop: Merry-Go-Round on Bowthorpe Road. It deals with second-hand baby stuff, and is brilliant!! There were 3 in the shop when I looked, but this was the only one that could hold a beer can or two, so I think once he’s got the hang of it, we can train him to walk between the sofa and the fridge – no probs!

He was ecstatic when he first got it, and really appreciated the freedom of being able to move about upright. He seemed to get the hang of it really quickly too – moving his legs independently, though there were a few occasions where it got too far ahead of him, so he dragged himself forwards! (I was wetting myself watching this!) he was absolutely determined not to let go!! However, now that he has got used to what it can do, I think the freedom scares him a little. He has started to be quite clingy just recently anyway.

Training him to fall asleep without the nipple in his mouth is proving to be very slow, traumatic and draining. Not helped by the fact that at 6am, after a whole night of it, I just don’t care anymore, and give in, just to get some sleep! We even tried putting him in with dad, to see if the boob being next to him was creating the problem, but no.

I’ve been just leaving him lying in the cot to see if exhaustion will take over, but everytime I go back I get this:
notsleeping

2006
06.15

spoke too soon…

I should know better than to say things like “Thomas’ sleeping is getting better”. Of course it isn’t. We had another rough night last night. But I’ve decided this letting him cry for 5 minutes, then going in, then another 5 minutes or longer is rubbish. After 2 hours, of lying him down, going back 5 minutes later to find him standing staring at the door, manically screaming all the while, I decided it was too much. Even if he does know how to sit down again, (does he?) I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know how to lie down and tuck himself in again, so leaving him standing alone in the dark crying his heart out, seems pointless. I’d agree with it if he was at least lying down! Anyway I’ve decided that I don’t care if he’s still coming in to sleep with us aged 15, I’m not putting either of us through that again.

I think I’ll just concentrate on not letting him fall asleep at the breast for now, and if that means he has to fall asleep next to me then fine. At least when he’s older I’ll be able to reason / bargain with him, or even bribe him if necessary. Then he can learn to fall asleep by himself, safe in the knowledge that there’s a sticker in it for him in the morning!

Anyway, trials and tribulations aside, he’s beginning to find the advantages of being tall and upright: I found him busily emptying his toybox this morning:
toybox1
toybox2
toybox3
By-the-way, we were washing the sofa covers, which is why it looks a bit bleak. Washable sofa-covers are the best!

2006
06.14

A piece of toast…

So I visited my new health visitors yesterday, at the child health clinic at Adelaide Street Health Centre. They are really nice, and I met Diane, who was really helpful. She said that not having teeth isn’t a problem, as babies have hard gums, so Thomas is perfectly capable of eating toast and things like that. I ran this past Thomas who took to it straight away!

toast

She also gave me tips on Thomas’ behaviour, which feels good, even if it’s just because I don’t have to make a decision, which I can doubt.

Thomas and I are friends again, as his sleeping is gradually getting better. He pulls himself up to standing all over the place now – especially in his cot if he doesn’t want to sleep. David and I are now going through the heartbreak of going up the stairs to find Thomas standing at the end of the cot desperate to be picked up. He has also just about worked out how to take steps while holding onto the furniture – he managed to sidestep his way from one end of the leather chair arm, to the other end of it (ok so it’s not the London Marathon, but it’s a start!) He is now crawling forwards properly, though still likes backwards occasionally.

2006
06.12

tinytalk

I forgot to mention something of some importance for Thomas the other day. Thomas went to his first baby signing class!

norwich class

It was really good, and I can’t wait to go again. Thomas seemed to really enjoy it, and the best thing was that he got to play with other babies. I think he’s the youngest in that particular session, but we’ve also come in at week 7, so I hope we can keep going next term too!

I have to admit, Thomas and I have fallen out today – he’s very upset with me for trying to train him not to fall asleep at the breast, and I’m extremely cross with him for keeping me awake for 3 hours last night. By all accounts, having fed at 22.30, and going to bed late, there is no reason for him to wake up at 1.30am, which he does every night. This wasn’t such a problem before, when he would feed, and then go straight back to sleep. But at the moment, as soon as he hits the cot matress, even if he seems really asleep, he wakes up and BAWLS! On top of this, I’ve been taking the nipple out of his mouth when he is blatently asleep, and no longer feeding, but he immediately snuffles about, takes it back into his mouth, and snoozes. I’ve tried substituting a dummy, but he cries anyway. Last night, after two feeds, I gave him water from his beaker, and that just made him really angry!

Anyway, so we’re not best of friends at the moment, quite apart from being on my knees with exhaustion, but I met up with one of my post-natal friends the other day, and her daughter is not letting her get any sleep either, so it was nice to be able to share the feeling of total staring-at-the-wall tiredness!

I my irritation with Thomas has been exacerbated by the fact that we have had lots of friends around and of course relatives, who have been saying how lovely he is, and making me feel good. Now they’ve all gone, there’s no one to remind me about Thomas’ nice side. So, here is a picture of him looking cute in his new hat, to remind me that I don’t quite want to leave him in a carboard box outside a hospital just yet…

jothomassummer

2006
06.12

Merton Road inventory

Well, it’s not really an inventory, as we haven’t noted lots of things, like the fact that there are paint splashes EVERYWHERE!! And the front door scrapes the carpet, so it’s impossible to put a doormat there, hence impossible to keep clean. But then again, the rent is cheap, and we can’t really complain, as it’s fairly comfortable, apart from the lack of shower and mixer taps.

I’ve decided to put the pictures we took, and have sent to the landlord, online, just for reference really. I haven’t scaled the pics, so they are HUUUGE! But maybe that’s no bad thing. I’ve put them here:

http://www.elisechohan.co.uk/MertonRoad/index.html

Unfortunately, I have missed a few things, like the remains of a sticky pad stuck to the back of the bathroom door, and the rust on the bottom of the bathroom radiator!

Thing is, I don’t mind living with these things, I just don’t want to be charged for them when we leave!

2006
06.12

breezy badger

I just wanted to comment on the smell of our house, which was bothering us when we first moved in – being kinda musty, because it had been empty for a while. Well it does seem to be disappearing, but I fear that it is actually eminating from the carpets, as this is where it is strongest… I also think that someone used to smoke in this house, as everytime I’ve put Thomas on the floor, particularly in his room, his clothes smelt as if he’d actually been down the pub. There is still a distinctly dusty smell on the carpets, but I guess if we vacuum frequently, this will eventually go.

We actually did a bit of smoking ourselves at our impromptu BBQ, where the smoke all went straight into the house!! You couldn’t see across the living room!! We opened the front door, to allow the smoke out (and opportunistic thieves in!) and it was soon back to normal.
bbq

Now that the weather has been so hot, we’ve had the back and front door pretty much open all day. Thomas’ room sits at 28 degrees, and I think reached 29 this morning, so I’m going to go and buy him a fan today.

2006
06.11

thomas’ spiritual guide…

So much to post, but would take to long to catch up, so I’m going to carry on from here, lest I get bogged down by the trial of catching up!

I’m not a terribly spiritual person, David is slightly better, but we have a good friend who can hopefully provide this input. I meant to post a picture a long time ago, but here it is:
tjppete
Thomas was really little then, and Pete’s hand seems to be as big as the whole of Thomas!

This is the two of them on saturday:
petethomas

Thomas is much bigger, but Pete still does have enormous hands! In both pictures, Thomas is sporting knitwear made by his bedstemor.

2006
06.06

Back Online!!

HURRAH! we’re finally back after yet another house-move. This will be Thomas’ third home, if you count his stay in utero. Not bad for a 7-month-old!

Anyway, there’s too much to catch up on, so i’ll have to summerise. Thomas is able to crawl backwards, pull himself up to standing, has tried his first jar of baby food, and lots of other things I can’t remember just now!

Oh yes, he has tried his first swing, which he seemed to enjoy:
swing

We had our first visitors the day after we moved in as my parents came up to help unpack, tidy, hack through the garden, and tackle the washing-up mountain that had collected due to a broken boiler. Oh, and they also babysat while i went to work and David was visiting the red light district in Paris…

My mum has made a rather cute jumper-with-hat for Thomas:
jumper

I’ve also been contacted by a long lost friend recently which has been a great boost for the trying Thomas-times… he’s not been letting me sleep much recently, contrary to everyone else’s babies that i know, who all seem to be sleeping longer and longer. Grrrrr….