Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas at Centreparcs

Reading a Thomas book (of course!) with Grandpa.

Kicking a ball with Uncle Anthony and cousin Elodie.

It's choo-choo time!!!

Aunty Claire with lovely Elodie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Here comes another

2012 will be full of excitement as we re-enter the baby-phase yet again! Here is an ultrasound taken today at 12 weeks + 6 days.

The crazy part was when they told us the due date, which is based on the measurements of that day, so very accurate: June 30th!!!

There is a slim chance that he/she will be born on that day, but imagine having both of your children sharing a birth date!

We are thrilled and excited and I think Tai will be an excellent big brother.

He's recently into giving everyone and everything kisses. He approaches ever so slowly and gently places his lips on yours and then makes a 'puah' sound. Highlight of my day without a doubt!

Monday, November 28, 2011

no longer a baby

Wearing his new pj's from cousins Amy and Winnie.
My goodness the time has just flown by! Tai is almost 17 months old now. SEVENTEEN!

I am really loving this stage, the curiosity, the communication, the discoveries. It's all so exciting in his little life. He's speaking monosyllabic words now, pointing at everything (especially lights) and loves to wrestle and be tickled.

He is an absolute joy in our lives. I understand how that love grows and deepens with time too. It certainly has for us.

Tai napping with his cousin Elodie.
What I love seeing most is the joy he brings to other people around him.

The other day, he randomly went up to another little boy about his age, put his hands on the boy's shoulders and gave him a big hug. No prompting, no cajoling, just a simple act of affection.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Parenting is not for weaklings

On Tuesday night, Tai suddenly start moaning and whimpering in his cot, an hour after we put him down for bed. There was nothing very abnormal to our bedtime routine. He had had a bit of a fever for the past couple of days but I put that down to teething, especially to those vicious molars poking through!

Normally we would leave him to cry for about 10 minutes, to see if he would settle himself back to sleep. But tonight I went up pretty much immediately; this particular cry wasn't 'normal' sounding.

I found him lying horizontal, foot caught behind one of the cot bars, head down in the mattress (and in what I later found was a pool of vomit). I went to reach for him, shook him gently and he was so hot to the touch. It was like touching a burning furnace.

At this point, I started to panic and turned him on his back and picked him up. He was like dead-weight in my arms, limp like cooked spaghetti and so so so hot. His lips were trembling and he was twitching a bit, but he was oblivious to it all and his eyes were still sealed shut, wincing in what appeared to be agony.

I sat down on the feeding chair and tried to 'wake' him. No response. He had little bubbles of foam coming out of his mouth. I called down to Matt to call NHS Direct. I tried to entice Tai with a bit of breast milk but no response. This was the first time he had ever refused the boob - this was serious.

After answering a host of questions on the phone, an ambulance was dispatched to the house. The paramedics arrived in about 5 minutes and they immediately checked Tai's vitals. They were super and extremely professional.

The entire time Tai was still doing his whimpering and moaning sounds, all very distressing. His temperature was over 40 degrees and his heart rate was much higher than average. When they did the heel prick test, Tai yelped and cried a little harder. This was a good sign. We stripped him down to his bare nappy and with a damp cloth, tried to cool his little hot body.

I travelled in the ambulance with Tai while Matt followed in the car. The paediatric ward took us in immediately luckily and they proceeded to take some bloods.

After a shot of ibuprofen and calpol, we tried to keep him cool and make him drink some water. No luck. About an hour later, he did eventually take the boob, but only for comfort sucking. It didn't matter, at least he was taking in some liquid.

The next few hours passed in a blur.. With a long list of items to bring back to the hospital, Matt left to go home (as only one parent was allowed to stay) and to try and get a few hours' sleep. I alternated from trying to get Tai to sleep by feeding and rocking him, to snatching a couple of minutes of sleep myself. At about 2am, the doctor came back to say the blood test results were normal, only slightly elevated which is probably due to a viral infection.

By this time, Tai was coming round and was more alert, but still very hot and clingy. He was confused as to where we were and took this to mean it was fine to explore. Because we were still trying to get a urine sample from him, the doctor told us we should probably stay the night and get him assessed in the morning again.

But by about 4:45am, Tai was definitely more interested in the toys in the ward than in studying the insides of his eyelids. He was so tired but there was just too much to keep him awake. It didn't help that the room was right next to the main desk, where the nurses and other night staff worked.

So with the doctor's permission, I called Matt to come and get us. We both thought he would sleep much better in his own cot, with no distractions. Tai's fever had come down to about 36.5 and he was looking more like 'himself'. He was even padding around the room, toddling around the round table and chairs.

By the time we got discharged, packed up our belongings and made it home, it was close to 6am and the sun was just poking through the clouds.

My mind was still racing. It was all so sudden and now I can somewhat sympathize with parents who say that it only takes a split-second for something life-changing to happen to your family. One moment you are a normal, functioning family with jobs, obligations and daily routines.

The next moment your life has been turned upside-down and inside-out. I have to admit this has made me stop and think about taking our children to a place where medical facilities are hard to come by. What would we have done if we were in the African bush or in the mountains of Bhutan?

Like my good friend Carrie said "Parenting is not for weaklings." But you don't get to find out if you have that faint heart until you've already taken the leap. There's no alternative. You must be strong.

We all slept deeply until 11am. Our first lie in in over 14 months.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Taste of freedom

To continue the thrill of walking upright, I took Tai to our local park and let him roam free on the grass.

He kept going and going and going... where did this come from? He only started properly walking unaided yesterday!

Are we not pushing him enough?

That's it, tomorrow we start to train for the half-marathon!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bipedal Tai

Today, Tai has graduated to bipedalism.

Congratulations little man! May this be the start of a long and successful journey on two feet!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Certain Little Someone

I am at home, pottering around. Imagine that! I have FREE TIME!? What? Excuse me? I can hardly remember what that feels like.

Tai is at Jenny's, the childminder, today. He has been going for about a couple of months now, twice a week, every Wednesdays and Thursdays.

But after Jenny's recent 3 week-long summer break, I have to say it is a bit of a relief to have a day to myself again, to just collect my thoughts.

Yesterday while Tai was there, I cleaned, scrubbed, polished and dusted the entire house, did 3 loads of laundry, went to an exercise class, cycled into town and did some shopping, cooked and ate a hot, healthy lunch, and read non-stop for about an hour and a half.

I have become super-productive suddenly. When did this happen? And yet I felt like I was on holiday!

Today was more of the same.

Ready to help Mummy with the shopping at Tesco.
After dropping Tai off at Jenny's again, I went shopping at Tesco. It may not sound like an exciting adventure, but I was able to cruise down the aisles without thinking that I had a limited time before a certain
little someone would need changing/feeding/ entertaining/put to sleep.

Looking around the store, I couldn't help but notice that I was amongst a sea of white and greying heads.

It was barely 9am but it seems mums of babies and seniors have a common denominator: we've all been up for a few hours already and a leisurely morning shop and coffee break at 9am is just 'normal' now!

Eating grapes is my absolute favourite thing to do.
I was able to actually BROWSE the shelves and read the packets and containers for nutritional value without a certain little someone wanting to 'converse' with me.

I was able to take a split second to do a few quick calculations in my head to see which brand was most economical. What a pleasure! Oh my, doing mental arithmetic is enjoyable!

I had a leisurely HOT lunch while reading a magazine and listening to MY music.

I wasn't interrupted by a certain little someone tugging at my legs with his sticky grape-stained hands and bashing at my feet with his toy crocodile, "Yankee Doodle" music and the sort playing in the background.

I am able to go to the loo WHEN I NEED TO, and not have to wait until a certain little someone was somewhere safe and contained, surrounded by a mountain of toys.

It's 2:20pm and I've just baked 3 cakes, did another load of laundry, packed for our upcoming roadtrip to Cornwall this weekend and caught up on all my emails.

I'm turning round and round, thinking i should be DOING something else but not feeling like there's any real pressure to do anything at all. And yet, things are getting done.

It is a strange, strange feeling.

And yet, I find myself glancing at the clock often today - and then quickly deducing how many more hours, minutes, until I see a certain little someone again.

And then he's all mine for the next few days, she says greedily... until I need a little respite again next week.

It's a perfect situation.

Whoever said a "Happy Mummy is the Best Mummy" was absolutely, positively spot on.

Three hours and ten minutes..... and (not) counting ....

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Today we went to visit LEGOLAND near Windsor.
Fun and loud and vibrant and very cool!!

Tai loved it,

but i think we loved it more!

We didn't go on any rides excpet for the little

train but now we know what there is for when he's a bit older.
It was a HOT day and we spent a long time playing in the water play park which he absolutely loved.
We then organized a last minute pub meal with Sara, Gary and their two little girls, Daisy (18 months) and little Pippa (about 5 weeks old but a real bruiser!)
They live closeby in Ascot so it was very convenient for everyone.
It was interesting to see how different Tai and Daisy were. Daisy is your fireball of intense energy, running and jumping and dancing and climbing. She hardly stops and seems to only have one setting.
Tai is a bit more cautious, a lot less active (even if he's a few months younger, you could definitely tell he just wasn't as hyper), much more quieter and observant.
It will be interesting to see how the two personalities develop over the years.
After getting home at 8pm, it was a quick bath and a short story for Tai, and a bit of a tv-evening for us.
Now it's time to climb under the duvet and dream in lego blocks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


In Paul and Penny's garden at Bridport, with dog Mungo in the background.
Playing with my puppy. Thank you Aunty Jan and Betty!

This is what I find every morning in my kitchen.

Eating our garden's delights!
It is here on nights like this where I have the freedom to write and think and ponder and muse and scribble.

I love moments like these.

Tomorrow begins another round of visitors, back to back and hectic schedules of pickups, touring, feeding, being.

It is good for the soul to have friends visit and to share in life's ongoings.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day three-hundred and sixty-five

Happy Birthday to my darling Tai!

What an amazing year it has been for us all.

You have changed so much since we first met one year ago.

And you have changed all of us at the same time.
Wishing you another year of health, happiness, adventure, discovery and absolute joy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

1 around the corner....

Whoever said children grow up way too fast was exactly spot on.

Tai will be ONE in exactly 22 days, just a little over 3 weeks!

I am in disbelief.

How can that little wrinkly bean now be a squirmy, crawling, giggling boy who has personality and seems to be able to sniff out a cable a mile and a half away?!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

the start of another day

Today I woke up to a sense of real happiness and eagerness, something I haven't felt in a long long time.

My mobile said it was 6:59am - another good night's sleep had by all!!!

I could hear Tai was awake in his cot, making the occasional cooing sound and sucking on his rabbit.

I went in before he started to cry and there he was, lying on his back with both chubby hands on his rabbit, sucking away on his ears, blissfully staring up at his mobile.

I crept into his room and just watched for a few moments. Then I stepped closer, intentionally making some noise so he wouldn't get startled.

And when I peered over into his cot, the biggest 2-toothed grin came over his face and his legs started to kick frantically.

He let go of his rabbit, raised both his arms straight up towards me, pick me up Mummy!

How can such a little person evoke such joy? They just do, without knowing they do. Perhaps that's why it's extra special.

And so began another day.

* Tai trying his absolute best to help Daddy get some customers for Sunsmart Energy; modelling his summer gear in great anticipation for our upcoming Lanzarote holiday; showing off his standing skills!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

Having something, anything, to look forward to keeps me sane.

Now we are on our way to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands for a week of sun, sand and surf. Mom and Dad will be joining us which makes me really really happy. This will be good for Tai to bond with his grandparents and vice versa.

I know they are desperate to see him again. It's only been 4 months since they last kissed Tai (on our trip to Canada in October) but they grow faster than you can imagine. No wonder he eats like a horse!

We have found a house in Winchester as well and that makes me feel like the momentum of eventually relocating there is becoming a reality.

When there are no friends or family around, being a new mum can be very lonely. I didn't realize just how isolated I felt until I got a mild cold and couldn't bear the fact of taking care of a baby.

It's funny how even your breasts don't produce as much milk when you are feeling ill... which then leads to a hungrier baby and that is never good news.

Monday, February 21, 2011

lovely lovely Cornwall

This weekend we went back to Cornwall to stay with friends, Ben and Helen (and their 6 month old son, Clem) in St. Agnes.

Matt was going to be doing his first installation for them in order to get his company accredited.

After that, he will be able to install for 'real' customers, so a very big step!

As the (big) boys got busy on the roof, Helen and I took the (little) boys down to the sea.

I forgot how lovely it is to live right by the water and Cornwall-living gives you that little slice of heaven.

Thank you Suttons for a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

growing up

Here we are, one month already in Shaftesbury!

I am blown away how quickly time just seems to whiz by nowadays.

I want to blog more, to document Tai's first few months so that he will have a record of what they were like. And i want to be able to remember these months in many years to come, so I can say to myself "Yes, I survived it."

He is no longer the little helpless newborn baby that occupied our lives day in and day out.

Tai is now the budding little boy with personality and character, and a cheeky smile to match!

His temperament is still pretty chilled and he is a nosy little bugger, never quite able to feed in public places because there is just too much going on.

Never one to give away his smiles for free, you have to work for your smiles - even me! But once he casts a sideways grin at you, it is an honour. And I cherish those deeply.

* pics of Tai demonstrating his sitting skills with friend Winnie the Pooh; in his new big-boy highchair, celebrating the Year of The Rabbit; and modelling his new Indian outfit from Aunty Rena.