Friday, 30 September 2011

Hearts and minds

So, it's taken me a week to get around to writing this.  Life doesn't get any quieter!

Last weekend started with a lovely surprise which came from my talented cousin who sent me this:


A new kids T-shirt design for her popkid website, dedicated to our 'Ella-phant'. This is one of a new range of T's that will soon be on the website so check them out! 

Last weekend, we drove 230 miles down to London to attend the 'We've only just begun' conference held by the Down's Syndrome Association. 


It was a day packed full of interesting talks by professionals who have dedicated their lives (and their weekends, so it would seem) to helping babies, children and adults with Down's Syndrome.  The day was aimed at parents of babies aged 0-2 and any professionals working with this age group. 

There was a lot to take in with talks by a speech and language therapist, vision specialist and our own ENT surgeon who we had met just two days before the conference in his clinic dedicated to children with Down's.  His talk was warm, knowledgeable and personable.  He managed to bring that little extra something, in the form of his lovely son who happens to have Down's Syndrome himself.

We came away a little overwhelmed by the information we had been presented with over the day, empowered and with the contact details of other parents we had met who live in our area.  I did feel a little guilty, as we had left Ella with my mum for Friday night and Saturday.  Other parents had taken their babies and children with them (their presence was a source of distraction throughout the day!).  However, I don't think Ella minded too much.....

She went to see the squirrels....

Did lots of playing....

And helped with the housework.....



We drove back up to mums on Saturday night and spent Sunday there too.  Our friends Chris and Laurie were attending a wedding in Ormskirk so they came to mums for lunch.  They live in Reading so we don't get chance to see them very often.  It was great to see them, if only for a couple of hours, (can't believe I didn't take any pictures, sorry guys).

We then paid a visit to baby Rosie at Alder Hey on Sunday afternoon.  She was a little unsettled but doing very well after her big ordeal.  She was allowed home the next day and we are looking forward to visiting them all soon.

I dropped Ella at nursery on Wednesday for 3 hours.  The time flew by and I didn't get half the things done that I wanted to.  She gave me a huge bottom lip when I collected her, which she quickly turned into a beaming smile followed by a torrent of babbling, like she was trying to tell me what she had been up to.  She seems to be settling in well, which is reassuring.

Then on Thursday, in the highest recorded temperatures for September, I started work.  A constant battle between heart and mind.  My heart wants to be at home caring for Ella but it also wants me to be doing the job I love.  My mind knows that Ella will thrive at nursery and that I will similarly thrive at work and that being just a mum or just a nurse would probably drive me crazy.....

Doing 30 hours a week for now and we will see how it all works out.  Ian took Thursday and Friday off as Ella starts nursery full time next week so he got some daddy time with her. 

It's amazing how quickly you feel like you've never been away.  I was expecting there to be more changes, but most things seem the same as ever. 

For now, I have this weekend before officially joining the nation's army of working mums...

Wish us luck!



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