Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back to it

After our eventful Christmas season and January-of-adjustment, life is getting back into normal term time routines.

Church4Kids started last Sunday, with a brilliant group of leaders who can handle it very nicely without any help from me. SP had a period of sadness apparently, but showed no signs when I returned. He wasn't too keen to tell me about Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego being in the fire though, so I wonder if he found the story upsetting. He seems a bit sensitive about traumatic storylines these days. Seven lessons on John start this week. 

Bible study was back on this morning. Also John. I love the concept of having the adults and kids studying the same thing. And I'm really glad that we set some expectations for the year (arriving on time, preparing beforehand) and shared some bigger picture prayer points for the term. 

Playgroup starts on Thursday. Our wonderful leader has moved to another church, to be replaced by a team of people sharing the responsibilities. It will be quite different, but just as good I'm sure. 

We're aiming to take SP swimming most Saturdays at the moment - he's quite fearful of the water, but getting better with exposure. It's been very wet the last couple of weekends though, so we haven't gone. Maybe this week.

And in the midst of it all, little F continues to eat, sleep and grow as she should. She's not such an easy baby as SP was, but a delight nonetheless.

Life is full and God is good. We are so blessed to have our a lovely little family to enjoy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What We're Reading: Beatrix Potter

SP is enjoying the various wonderful works of Beatrix Potter at the moment. 

As I read to him, I often wonder how much he's really understanding. There's lots of unfamiliar vocabulary, and the plot lines must be quite obscure for a modern city kid. 

Generally, I don't explain these things until he asks; he'll figure out in his own time that the elegantly dressed gentleman is actually plotting the murder of his gullible guest Jemima Puddleduck. 

Image credit

In the bath yesterday, SP moved from one side to the other and commented that he was "pushing his body out into open water."

I racked my brain for a moment, trying to work out where on earth he'd picked up this particular phrase, then asked "Who went out into open water?"

"Mr Jeremy Fisher."

Of course. 

Perhaps he's taking in more than I thought. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A "Boring Heart"

F had her cardiology follow up appointment today, and was pronounced totally healthy and "boring". If there's ever a good time to be boring, this would be it. 

In slightly more detail, today's ECG and ECHO were both normal. With those results, plus no evidence of SVT since 34 weeks gestation, there's no need for ongoing follow up with the cardiologists. 

We'll still be doing fairly regular stethoscope checks until she's about 6 months old, and keeping an eye out for SVT in the future. Apparently, if she goes into SVT, we'll notice. Interestingly, the next danger period after infancy is puberty. 

The cardiologist mentioned that the real danger with SVT in children occurs when it's not picked up early enough. The child seems generally unwell but if there's no known history of heart issues the arrhythmia goes undetected long enough to damage the heart structure. With F, I suspect her heart rate will be among the first things we'll check any time she's not herself, so we'll be in a good position to deal with it. 

We also took the opportunity to drop in at the ultrasound department and the antenatal ward, to show the staff the fruit of their labours (ie a healthy baby). It was lovely to go back, and our wonderful staff specialist sonographer was particularly pleased to see the amazing outcome in person. I vividly remember that horrible first appointment when gave us the bad news, and I suspect he does too. Once again, we marvel at the grace of God. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Growing growing growing

F is 10% heavier today than she was a week ago. 3.03kg to 3.33kg. 

Good thing we don't keep growing at that rate!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Link: Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

This article is going around Facebook. I could give you a taster so you can decide whether it's worth reading or not, but I just want you to read it. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What We're Reading: The Emily Stories

SP received all four books in Stephanie Carmichael's 'The Emily Stories' for Christmas. Published by Matthias Media, they're lovely picture books about the kids in an ordinary family, with an added (but not out-of-place) 'God' element. 

Image credit
SP's favourite is 'Over the Fence'. It's the story of Luke, who likes kicking his ball around the yard, and hopes that the new boy moving in next door likes kicking a ball too. Luke and his dad have a lovely conversation about how God knows all about the new boy, even though Luke doesn't know him yet. You can actually read the whole thing here.

SP is really thinking about this concept. When he wonders who is using the whipper-snipper he can hear, he comments that 'God knows who's doing it'. And this afternoon, when I said I didn't know where his little wheelbarrow was, it was 'God knows where it is.' 

All four books are highly recommended additions to your little kids' library. And I might get some copies for church4kids too. I hope there are more titles coming in the series. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Adventures in Baby Wearing

I've written before about my tendency towards ideas, project and other hair-brained schemes.

One of the things I really wanted do more of with this baby was baby-wearing. With SP, I had a commercial sling and a baby-bjorn style front carrier, and used them a few times but never felt like they suited my everyday needs. Mostly because I never seemed to have them with me when I wanted them. 

This time around, I'm doing it the traditional way. No fancy slings or carriers, just one long (4.5m) piece of fabric that I can hopefully pop in the nappy bag and have with me where ever it's needed. And use around home too. 

In the last week or so I've tried a couple of different ways of tying the wrap, and on Wednesday I think I hit my jackpot: The Front Cross Carry. It was very easy to tie, even the first time around, comfortable for me, and F seemed pretty comfy too, if going straight to sleep is any indication of comfort. 

Best of all, I can tie it on first, as you would with a modern sling or carrier, then pop her in and out as needed. This seems unusual for more traditional wrapping - most carries I've seen require juggling the baby while you wrap the fabric around yourself, which is a bit scary for this beginner. 

The long-term usefulness remains to be seen, but I'm very chuffed to be so easily hands-free. For once, my scheme has been followed all the way through to a useful conclusion :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is that Beethoven on the bass?

Thanks to the vast classical repetoire of my extended family, I was able to confirm the classical piece I referred to in the previous post: it's Beethoven's moonlight sonata.  On the bass.  Using techniques more often associated with Van Halen than with classical composers.  Very cool.

Here it is on Youtube if you're interested.  Moonlight Sonata starts around the 2:00 minute mark.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A little scare

I'm holding a peaceful, sleeping baby in one arm as I type this, and after a little scare last night it's just a bit more precious than it was 24 hours ago.

After the evening feed, Petrina checked F's heart rate, and thought it was fast. I had a listen and agreed.  So the girls went off to the emergency ward while I stayed home to look after SP.  Thankfully, the ECG showed that yes, it was a bit faster than it had been, but not particularly fast for a baby of this age, and it had the all-important p-waves, meaning that it was sinus, not SVT, which was our big worry.  Another ECG later on confirmed those results, and an echo this morning confirmed that contractility (heart function) is all as it should be.  F has to wear an ECG recording halter until tomorrow morning, just in case there are some very rare irregularities that need to be picked up.

By 8:30 this morning they were ready to come home, and could have come then except that we had the newborn hearing screening test scheduled for today anyway, so Petrina and F waited to do that.  SP was in rest time when they got home, but when he heard F crying before a feed, he called out in delight "mummy and F... are home, hooray! hooray!"  Petrina is feeling pretty exhausted; the A&E treatment was superb, but after it was clear that (a) things were ok and (b) they'd be staying overnight, it was 3:30 am before the paperwork was ready for them to go up to the ward.

It's slighlty ironic that earlier in the evening, Petrina and I had been musing on how we're still both processing the depths and heights that we've been through in the last two months, and still a bit in shock that it's all turned out so well so far.  Even with this little scare, God's care and provision is unmistakable.  I don't know how long it will take us to get used to the new normal, but I'm thankful that we're in the Everlasting Arms all the way.

In a side note of levity, SP was very excited to watch a bass solo (from a Joe Satriani concert DVD) with me this morning, and is now trying to say the names of all the band members :)  Hey, how else do you teach a 2yo that it's possible to play classical melodies on the bass guitar?