Thursday, 26 August 2010


As I've said before, Squeaky isn't the biggest of babies.  It's strange sometimes putting her down next to her peers, she looks a month or two younger than she is, but she's bang on target (or ahead of) in terms of sitting, crawling etc. It takes other people by surprise more than it does me.

Well anyway.  The last few days her appetite's been a bit upside down, with feeling grotty & full of cold.  But I think today, we can officially say we're back to normal.  Whole bowl of baby porridge.  A couple of organic carrot crispy things.  Half a jar of veg & noodle (smelled lush) stage 2 jar.  A whole dairylea triangle.  A decent sized bowl of homemade turkey cassserole thing.  About 3 sticks of cheddar cheese (fed to herself, too!)  AND a pot of apple & blackcurrant fruit goop.  My my, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's nappies!

Her eating has really picked up in the last few weeks, pretty closely matching the fact she's getting more & more active, I guess.  And though her weight gain is fairly slow & steady, she looks like she's getting bigger, so I'm more interested in what her clothes say than what the scales say.  She's happy & healthy and growing & doing.  Yeah, things are good today.

And tonight she's gone off to sleep properly without an hour of performing & crying, like we've had the rest of the week.  Whether it's that she's feeling better, or whether it's the Baby Einstein Vivaldi cd I picked up in the pound shop this morning, she's asleep, and I can relax at last.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

And another thing.

I forgot to say this earlier...

Last weekend, Squeaky became rather enamoured of a bell at Grandad's house, but being a porcelain thing, it wasn't ideal for anything other than a few minutes of VERY supervised play.  And so, I've been on the lookout for something similar but suitable.

Most of the musical toys available seem to fit into the Needs Batteries and Very Annoying categories, and to be honest, when she's had access to them, Squeaky's not been interested.  But today, I found a Bright Starts Chime Along Friends creature of some sort in Boots, in the discontinued & very reduced section.  And wow!  What a hit!  It's the best thing ever, in Squeakyworld anyway.  It even beats the wires at the front of the telly!

Oh yes, we are officially in love.

Kissy Kissy

We're all about the milestones right now.

As well as crawling, Squeaky's figured out in recent days how to pull herself up to standing holding on to someone's hands, to push herself to standing if she finds something appropriate to lean on, to "walk" a couple of steps between me & SqueakyDaddy if we're supporting her under the arms.  And to kiss.  For certain values of the word, obviously.  It's actually just this kind of open-mouthed rub thing, but it's ADORABLE.  Less so when it's applied to your ear, with occasional added tongue, but still fairly adorable.  She was kissing one of her friends at breastfeeding group yesterday, so I'm convinced it's real.

And I'm half sure I just heard a Dada amongst the Baba and Gaga babbling.  We'll see if she can manage it this evening.  Normally when I ask her if she can say Dada she blows a raspberry, which is accurate if not quite what I was aiming for.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Holiday Time

The Squeaky family are just back from a short trip to Blackpool, and are absolutely exhausted.

Maybe we should have chosen a different hotel, one where the ambient temperature was slightly below that of the surface of the sun, but how do you know until you arrive?  Seriously, the place was like a sauna.  And that meant that Squeaky didn't sleep well.  Despite normally sleeping straight through the night with very rare problems, we woke 2 or 3 times every night, and took forever to settle.  Which meant that all of us had trouble getting back to sleep.

It was a good trip though.  Sometimes I, not forget, just get used to how adorable Squeaky is.  It takes seeing other people to remind me.  Breakfast took upwards of an hour every morning, due to her smiling at everyone, and the recipients of the smiles stopping to talk to her.  She's a little gem when we're out as a rule, and behaved beautifully in the dining room, eating her breakfast without too much fuss, at least in part due to the level of attention she was getting.

What is it though?  At home, where there's all the changes of clothes in the world, meals go in mouths, and clothes stay pretty clean (Squeaky's, obviously. Mine always end up with weetabix on the shoulders).  When we're away, and there's only (only!) a couple of changes of clothes per day, she manages to get covered with food every time?  She was a very grubby baby some days last week, I must admit.  The day she decided to eat sand on the beach just added to the general grubbiness.

And as usual, whenever we go away, she's picked up a cold.  I don't know whether to blame it on swimming in a different pool, or just exposure to different people (and therefore different germs).  Either way, she's grumpy and snotty, and grouching when I try to wipe her nose.  She won't let me near her with the aspirator bulb thingo, so we just have to go with the saline spray and the snot.  Mmmmm, nice.

What else to say?  We had a fab week, went to the zoo (where Squeaky promptly went to sleep and missed almost everything), went on all the piers, on the beach,  in the Sandcastle waterpark.  We walked for miles, and Squeaky happily sat in her buggy or in the carrier.  We went on buses and trams, ate lots of meals out, breastfed in cafes all over the place, ate chips, cheese and melon, but not all at the same time, and won enormous cuddly toys in the amusements.  See?  Big enough to sit in the buggy.

Oh, and yeah yeah yeah!!!  We're crawling!! Squeaky has now figured out what to do with her arms as well as her legs and is zooming around on all fours.  Watch out world, we're mobile!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Things I never knew

  • How Squeaky would smile in her sleep and make me melt.
  • How she'd wait until I've just changed her nappy to do the biggest poo ever.
  • How excited she'd be every morning to see me.
  • How many hours of entertainment can be had from blowing raspberries on tummies.
  • How many songs I can change the words to, making them all about nappies.

Squeaky The Celebrity!

Ages and ages ago, when Squeaky was a tiny little Squeak, she had a set of professional photos taken as an entry to a "Cutest Baby in South Wales" comp.  Sadly she didn't win that, but we had the photos anyway.

SqueakyGran decided to send one of them in to her magazine, because Squeaky is "Far cuter than any of the ones in there", even by our biased opinion.  This was AGES ago, but that's the way of these things.  And now we've had an email, and Miss Squeaky herself is in My Weekly this week, in all her cute, pink-frocked glory!  Awwwwwwwwww.

And right now this minute, she's stolen my mousemat & is trying to eat it.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Date - Up!

So the blog grader thinks I should update.  Therefore I will update.  (Please, don't look at my grade, it's embarrassingly low)

Since the hospital appointment last Monday, and the tearful post that followed, I've calmed down a bit.  That's a good thing, right?  Squeakydaddy & I went to see our GP on Wednesday (we couldn't go earlier, there's 2 GPs on jobshare at our practice, and we wanted to see the one who's been involved this far, rather than having to explain everything to the other one, who wouldn't really be able to add anything anyway).  We had a good chat with her, and a bit of a cry (or I did, anyway) and, love her, she's really helpful.  She spoke to the surgeon's secretary & got a copy of his report faxed through, so she actually knew what had been decided, which is MUCH more than he told me, and then she told me that info.

Mr Orthopod has referred Squeaky to Llandough Hospital, to a Paediatric Orthopaedic specialist for a second opinion, because when he manipulated her hips they felt OK, but the ultrasound showed an anomaly, so he wants the Paediatric guy to do whatever they do.  There's a real chance they won't feel the need to do anything except monitor it, which is a big relief.

I'm also strangely excited about it being Llandough.  It was a 50/50 in my mind whether it would be the Paediatric unit at University Hospital, in the centre of Cardiff, which would be a) dull, and b) an utter PITA and involve me dealing with horrible junctions on horrible busy bits of road.  But instead I get to go to a beautiful old hospital out in the back end of nowhere, with loads of parking, and to get there I have to drive directly past (and take a diversion via, obviously) lots of exciting places like Hobbycraft, and Mamas & Papas.  I'm allowed to go to nice places when I've had to do something scary, it's my reward.  Llandough has a really new specialist Orthopaedic unit, which is clearly why we've been sent there.  It's a lovely old place, just a long way from anywhere.

My doc's back in the office today, and she said she's going to chase up the new Orthopod's secretary to try and speed up the appointment for us, especially after the delays that were at least in part down to her.  So hopefully there will be another update here soon.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Breastfeeding Adventure.

Today's adventure was a trip to town, on foot, because my car was in the garage for tyres & brakes.  The trip to town was the dull bit, though we did FINALLY join the library after having lived here for 7 years.  Our library's lovely, by the way, a proper old-fashioned, high ceilinged, parquet floored, Carnegie library.  And it smells just the way a library should - a mixture of varieties of dead tree, polish and booksmell.  (Yes, firefox, that is a real word.)

But the real highlight of our adventure, and the point of my post, was when we went back to the garage.  The car wasn't quite ready, so we sat in the waiting room, where Little Miss Squeaky decided to sing for her lunch.  There was no way around it, she wanted milk, and the only way she was going to get it was from me.  So feed her I did, with a blanket for privacy.  And then persuaded the manager to sign up to the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme.  More businesses for the scheme, more vouchers for me!  And I think it'll be the oddest place included, but I'm more reliant on the car now than I ever was pre-Squeaky.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Crying. Or DDH diagnosis.

Me crying, not Squeaky, though she'll join in from time to time.

I'm just SO frustrated.  At Squeaky's 8 week check (which was more like 10 weeks, because the practice nurse was away so clinic was cancelled), the doctor said her hip was a bit clicky.  So she referred her to the hospital for a scan.  Which in itself took 4 or 5 weeks to happen.  Then they wanted a follow up scan,which the radiographer said should be 4 weeks later, but was 6.  At that scan, the radiographer said that he'd write the report and we should have an appointment very soon, and if I hadn't heard from orthopaedics within a fortnight, to chase it up.  The fortnight comes, and goes.  I phone up, they have no details, in orthopaedics, or paediatrics.  So I get an appointment with my GP, now 4 weeks after the second scan, and ask her what's going on.  She finds that the hospital didn't do a referral to orthopaedics, & she needs to.  2 weeks later I get an acknowledgement letter, a week later an appointment letter, and now today, 10 weeks after the second scan, we finally get seen by the orthopaedic surgeon.

For about 2 minutes.  He does the manipulation again, says "Double nappies & I'll refer you to the paediatric orthopaedic unit in Cardiff."  That's it. Oh, there were a few coos over Her Squeakyness, but that's all.

No-one has bothered to give me any information, to give me a clear idea of what we're really dealing with, what to expect, what to do, or to avoid.  And that means I look on the internet, and the most comprehensive information I can find all suggests that because of all the stupid delays in getting to this point, treatment is more invasive, more complicated & less effective.

Here is a really useful website giving lots of information about DDH.  In my rational mind, I know we were a much increased risk.  Squeaky was breach until about 3 weeks before she was born, my mum had severe hip problems in childhood (DDH or not, we don't know, but we're talking about years in a Spica cast), I'm very double jointed, she's a first born girl.  So yeah, the risk factor was pretty high.

I just, argh, I don't want to see my beautiful girl in pain - now or later.  I don't want her to have to go through what my mum had to go through.  And I feel like it's my fault - I made her, and I can't even get that right.