Archive for January, 2008

Drop off drama

Hunter cried and cried and begged me not to go when I took her to preschool this morning. It wasn’t like yesterday where she cried a bit then was immediately fine.

This time, as I was leaving, she was screaming, “please, mummy, I don’t want you to go” and was bawling, red-faced and very distressed.

I hated leaving her like that, and I also hate that she forms habits of anti-socialness very quickly and lets them go gradually if at all. Which means she is probably going to do this every day now.

I wish I had some tactic to avoid this. I know that what would work best would be for a staff member to engage her in some task as soon as we arrive, and for me to leave before she thinks more about it. But with 40 children and four staff, it’s just not going to happen like that.

I’ll see how she goes over the next week or two and then I think I might have to talk with her teacher. It’s only happened twice and I suppose it’s still possible she could be fine again by next week, but knowing Hunter I think it’s more likely that last week’s easy start was the anomaly.

It’s a pity leigh can’t do drop off, because Hunter was always better about just getting on with her day if leigh took her to daycare, but preschool doesn’t start till 8 and Leigh has classes starting at 7.30 every day this year.

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The squeaky wheel

I’ve turned into one of those people who complain about things all the time. I email the supermarket chains’ customer service people when I get bad chicken at the deli. I contact advertisers when I think their TV campaigns are inappropriate.

Last week I contacted a councillor when Hunter tripped and skinned her leg thanks to a nasty hole in the footpath outside her preschool.

I just got a message that someone from the councillor’s staff has inspected the footpath and was ‘surprised at what a big hole it was’. She’s asked council to do something about it and will get back to me when she hears what course of action they’re taking.

Feeling righteous is a practised art, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

 UPDATE: Leigh picked up Hunter from preschool this afternoon. The footpath was fixed.

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Payback

I knew it would happen, I just didn’t know when. It was always going to be a matter of time before Hugo decided sleeping through was silly and waking and screaming all night was much more fun.

 The boy’s smart. He figured it out after just two nights.

Last night he woke three times, which doesn’t sound that bad except that they weren’t the wake, settle, back to sleep kind. They were the scream, scream, scream for 30 minutes kind.

I think he was so wakeful because his morning sleep was screwed up yesterday (see post about the three hour visit to the doctor…) and also because my boobs are very confused. When he slept through those nights they continued making the usual amount of milk, which turned out to be Far Too Much for those nights.

Yesterday things went way in the other direction and I really don’t feel like he had enough milk at any feed all day, so I am sure he went to bed hungry. I was hoping things might have evened out by this morning but it took me five minutes to express enough for his weetbix this morning (standing at the sink, hoping the neighbours weren’t watching).

Hopefully my supply will sort itself out by tonight or it could be a repeat of last night.

Hunter also woke last night, distraught and screaming. She clearly didn’t even know why she was awake, though, because when I rushed in and asked what was wrong she looked puzzled and said, “Um. I want…um. A drink”. She drank half a mouthful then I put her back to bed.

To top it off, she cried when I left her at preschool today. She was putting it on and just seeing how far she could push her luck so I wasn’t upset by it but I was a little annoyed. I could see her as I was leaving and she’d got on with playing in the sandpit before I was 10 metres away. I suspect she will do this most days from now on, as she often did at Family Daycare.

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To market, to market

On the weekend we went to the markets to look for fruit and vegies and to see what else caught our eye. We came home with sweet potato, peaches (only two though, because they smelled and looked so good we ate the others while we wandered around), some strawberry plants, a stack of books, a pile of plant pots and two sculptures.

The first sculpture is of  a pregnant woman. She’s carved from some kind of wood and stands about 30cm tall. She’s on the lamp table in our loungeroom right now and looks just right next to leigh’s hand drawn picture of the kids.

The other one is about twice as tall and is of a woman with two children, one by her side and a baby strapped to her back. She’s long and lean like a shadow and looks like she’s made from copper, although she’s actually ceramic. At the moment she’s on the loungeroom floor, behind the magazine rack to keep her out of Hugo’s reach, but we’ll find her a proper hom eventually – maybe not till the extension is built, whenever that may be.

 We didn’t really intend to come home with quite so much stuff. We’re still not doing so great on the “buy only what we need” thing – but the products we bought were all secondhand and the produce was all grown close by, so that’s something.

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Self-inflicted pain

Today is leigh’s first day back at school – aka my first day at home with both kids since school ended before Christmas.

Things started well. Hugo slept through again (go Hugo!) and Hunter didn’t get up until 7. She was in a good mood and being unusually pleasant and cooperative.

And then we went for our doctor’s appointment.

Why, why, why did I think I should go to the doctor on my own with both kids??

Really there was no alternative because our doctor only came back from leave today, but it just felt like a ridiculous thing to do once we got there and it all went to hell. Because that is what always happens at the doctor’s surgery.

We got there right on time for the 9.30 appointment, only for the receptionist to tell us the appointments were actually booked for 9am. Now, I don’t remember what time they told me when I rang, but I do remember reading back and confirming all the details after I typed them into outlook. But, whatever.

So we waited an HOUR to get in. Hunter spent that time going in and out of the play area, running around like she was crazy, yelling loudly, knocking Hugo over and generally being more and more cantankerous as time went on.

Hugo started out happily enough but was getting progressively crankier with each bump to the head, plus he was tired and hungry.

Then there was a problem with the file (there was a note popping up saying Hunter’s immunisations were not up to date, but they are. We declined the MMR when she was 12 months old, but we did the paperwork for that at the time). It took 20 minutes to get that fixed.

And then Hunter had to have a blood test at the end of it all. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

We were there to talk about Hugo’s possibly-turned eye, Hunter’s mini head and Hunter’s maybe-allergic reaction to soy sauce.

I’d been thinking Hugo’s left eye has a slight tendency to turn inward but the doctor thought the problem, if there is one, might be with his right eye, which she thought was just a touch sluggish when following the light. That makes sense – if he’s able to turn his left eye more effectively than his right then the left one could look turned in.

Anyway, she agreed that it’s very subtle and she’s not especially concerned but she’s referred him to an opthalmologist anyway.

Then she measured Hunter’s head and indeed it’s at the bottom of the chart. She’s sending her back to the pediatrician but again is not too worried since Hunter’s development is right on track, and since there’s probably nothing anyone can do anyway.

Eventually we got around to talking about the allergic reaction. She (and everyone else) we encountered tried suggesting it was some additive in the soy sauce. I don’t know why, but it really annoyed me when people kept mentioning the possibility as though we were so stupid that we would not have realised food stuffs occasionally contain ingredients not listed in the product title.

We did have the good sense to look at the label after it happened. The only additive was sodium glutamate in one of the bottles of soy. The other bottle had no additives.

 Anyway the doc ordered a RAST test, mainly because the skin prick test requires a trip to the ped then the allergist and takes time and money. From what I have read (and I confess I haven’t read that widely) I don’t feel that confident that the blood test will give a reliable result. It seems like it’s known for false positives and false negatives. But I guess I’ll wait and see what cames back and take it from there.

Hunter was a real trooper with the blood test, mainly because she didn’t really know what to expect. She cried just a little when the needle went in but stopped the second the nurse mentioned the possibility of a lolly when it was over.

Meanwhile, I was holding hunter so hugo was left to his own devices strapped in the stroller, and he screamed bloody murder the whole time.

Our quick trip to the doctor took three hours and I am already counting down to the next school holidays.

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Mugshots

We got a call yesterday to pick up the three prints we ordered after our photo session last week. When we got there Leigh noticed a photoshop error on the family photo (a weird, thumb print-sized black smudge under her eye) so we’re having them reprint that one. We also ordered an additional one because every professional shot we have in our house is a profile shot of leigh and I.

So, we picked up two of the photos and are waiting on the other two to come back, hopefully in a few days. Here they are:

Me and my boy

My favourite girls

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Beer-free February

Leigh has just signed up for FebFast, a fundraising effort whereby she agrees to forego alcohol for a month in return for sponsorship.

Here’s the spiel from their site:

“FebFast invites individuals to Make February Their Fast-Track to Feeling Good, by sacrificing their alcohol intake for up to one month, during February.

Participants are sponsored by friends and family, with funds distributed to organisations that support young people struggling with substance use.”

She’s trying to raise $200 and also hopefully give her weight loss effort a bit of a boost.

If you want to sponsor her, go here:

http://www.everydayhero.com.au/Leigh_Burness_Cowan

If you want to place a bet on how long she’ll last without a drink, you’ll have to contact me directly :)

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Big news!

HUGO SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!

Yes, he woke a billion times before we went to bed, but once we went to bed, he stayed put. He grizzled for about 30 seconds around 4am but other than that, he did it. He slept all night!

Now, someone just needs to explain the new way of the world to my boobs. Holy engorgement, batman!

The night before last I only got up to him once. When I got up in the morning I had a dinner-plate sized wet patch on my front.

This morning, after 12 hours of no feeding (remember that just a few days ago night time was one long feeding session) I woke with the Boobs of Doom. Giant, hard, lumpy and ooouch. I know how those poor dairy cattle felt when they didn’t get milked for a few days after the floods in Newcastle last year.

I ended up expressing some (and showering hunter in milk. oops.) and then fed hugo the second he woke.

Poor boy was starving when he got up. He had a big breastfeed when he woke, then ate 3/4 of a weetbix, then had another breastfeed an hour later and again before he went back to bed at 9.30.

Boob craziness aside, it was a very, very good night. I did get up three times to check on him but I know my paranoia level will subside as his sleeping becomes more regulated.

I also know we’ll probably have several crappy nights now that we’ve been treated to a good one, but that’s okay.

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Veggie Patch update

This will be a brief update based mainly on the facts that (a) the snails have eaten a good lot of what we planted and (b) I haven’t actually been near the veggie patch again since the seedlings went in.

From what I hear from leigh, about a third of the plants have been devoured by the slugs and snails. She’s since put down some pellets so the rest should be okay.

She says it’s a bit early to really tell what’s going to come up because some of the plants are still too little to really see through the sugar cane mulch on top.

It looks like both cucumber plants are goners, but I think we should still have at least one or two of each of the other plants. The ones that were bigger when they went in seem to have fared better (duh).

Meanwhile, nothing’s ready to pick so apart from the remaining tomatoes it’s store-bought produce for us, although we’re being fairly choosy about what we buy – looking for locally grown, in-season fruit and veggies.

We did buy some Victorian apricots which I guess wasn’t that great, but leigh turned them into home made apricot jam, which is rather great!

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Spoke too soon

As expected, Hugo’s Night of Sleeping Well was a one off.

The following night was simply craptastic – he was awake three or four times before we even got to bed, and the pattern continued the rest of the night. And last night was not much better.

To make that first night especially entertaining, Hunter wet the bed. While I was cleaning her up and changing her, leigh was reorganising the bed. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t really notice when she took the mattress off then wrestled the spare mattress out from under the other bed and put it on Hunter’s bed.

It was only when she was inspecting Hunter’s mattress in puzzlement that I realised what she was doing. She was looking for the wet patch. There was none. The mattress was covered with a rubber-backed protector. She’d lugged one mattress out of the room and another one in for no reason at all.

It set the tone for the night and it all went to pot.

Hunter ended up being awake till 10pm and as usual Hugo ended up in our bed.

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