Showing posts with label Favourite post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Favourite post. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 October 2011

That little extra something

Saturday was the monthly 'Chatterbox' meet-up for the South Manchester Down's Syndrome Support Group.  Although going for the first time all those months ago was a daunting prospect, it's become a highlight on our calendar over the last year and we now know several other families with babies who have Down's Syndrome in the area. 

The group provides crafts and activities for older children and siblings, singing and signing and the option of enrolling into Speech and Language groups. 

It's very rare that so many of us can all attend every month due to other committments but today I think we managed it.  Thought I would show off our gorgeous kiddies who all have that very special little extra something....





Ella... - needs no introduction!



Samuel (didn't get a pic of him), Ella, Rosie and Daniel have all had their heart surgery at Alder Hey within the last 5 months and have all recovered well.  We are hoping to organise a meet up for us all soon although with Lottie's sister Rose, Rosie's older brothers Harry & Jo and Theo's twin brother Isaac there are a fair few of us to co-ordinate....Us mums are going to have to be careful though - I did hear the dads mention 'pub' and 'daddy bonding'....

We spent the afternoon visiting our good friend Mike in Sale and went for a walk along the canal (forgot my camera...).  Beautiful weather and good company.


Then, quite late on Saturday I decided to do some baking.  Not done any for a while so I turned on the radio, gathered ingredients and spent some time perusing the recipe books.  I finally settled on some rich chocolate brownies which I knew would go down well at work the following day - a Sunday treat. 

For those who don't know, I used to be a regular baker of muffins, cakes and other sweet treats when I had more time (and energy).  Working on a busy ward makes the effort worth while as not a crumb survives. 

A senior nurse at our hospital once told me that the day-to-day running of our hospital (and the NHS in general) was down to the compassion, hard work and professionalism of the front-line (mostly junior) nurses that work on the wards.  I have come to realise that those nurses wouldn't do half as good a job as they do without cake!
(only joking - we do have a very hard working team - but no-one can deny, they do love their cake!).

 The brownies went down well.  It's nice to do that little bit extra once in a while.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Love bug xx

Haven't got time today to write lots, it's been another busy weekend.  For now, here's some pictures from this morning......

Where's the fun in having a baby if you can't dress them up in gorgeous little outfits?!

So there's my little love bug!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

High days and holidays.....

Around the corner from our house there is a ‘cupcake boutique’ (far too close to be healthy!). And it is every bit as lovely and decadent as it sounds. The shop itself is away from the main high street and ideally placed for quiet tea and cake, or school children passing on their way home.

The beautiful and brightly iced cakes could almost be overlooked as the retro and vintage decor is what first grabs your attention and makes you feel as though you’re stepping back to another time. It’s become a favourite place to meet friends or to go and choose some cakes to take if we are going visiting.

So, I found myself once again stood in front of the neat rows of cakes, all with befitting fairytale names such as ‘Hansel’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Mother Goose’ or (my favourite) ‘Prince Charming’. I came away with a box of treats to take to my heavily pregnant friend with the semi-idea that a sugar rush could help induce labour! (It didn’t work, but I thought it was worth a try).

You can check out the Airy Fairy website following the link below. Be careful though, you might find yourself booking a cake decorating class or ordering a fairy godmother!:

With the weather being glorious (and the need to work off all the cake calories....) we decided to head out for a walk. I am now very aware of my time on maternity leave quickly coming to an end, so am conscious of making the most of days when Ian is off, the weather is good and we can do things as a family. We spent a lovely afternoon walking along the Dovedale River between Ilam & Milldale in the Peak District.

Only recently has Ella been able to go forward facing in the baby carrier due to her poor head control (which has improved a lot very recently). She did well, but we had to swap her to rear facing half way round as she did get tired.

She loved being able to see what was going on.....and to eat ice cream!

Talking of going back to work, I did do a random 'keep-in-touch' shift on Tuesday.   I arrived a little early so had a quick glance down the off-duty to see who I would be working with that afternoon. To my surprise I only recognised one name.  The other three girls are all new and have all started since I left last October.  We had a busy but steady afternoon (no dramas or problems, I wasn't ready for that yet!).  It was good to meet the new girls.  They are all, unfortunately, on temporary contracts and a vacancy for just one full-time post on the ward has come up so from what I understand they are all applying for it but only one of them will get the job.  It doesn't seem to be affecting the atmosphere, how hard they work or their working relationships which is testament to how good they all are.

Being back at work is strange, but in a good way.  I expected there to be a lot of changes and things to get used to, but other than new faces (patients and staff), everything seems very much the same. Being a nurse is much more than just a job, it is part of who you are and what makes up your identity and personality. 

When Ella was born, she was on special care for two weeks as we had problems establishing feeding. I found it a really difficult time being a nurse, who had  - more importantly - just become a mummy to a poorly baby.  The clinical environment was familiar and comforting (although to other parents I can appreciate it's a very daunting and frightening experience). The nurses did a lot of Ella's cares and Ian was cup feeding her while I expressed milk for her next feed.  I felt bereft and detached - neither a mum nor nurse. I didn't know what was expected of me and, at times, I didn't even feel like Ella was mine. 

Thankfully, this all changed once we were home and I was able to properly become a mum. By this time she was being bottle fed so I was now able to be involved at feeding times too.  It made me realise how much what I do for a living influences who I am and it's probably for this reason that I am (not so secretly) looking forward to going back to work.  Don't worry about Ella though, she will be off to nursery which will be great for her character and development. A daunting but exciting time....

Bring on the mayhem!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday in South Manchester

So, Sunday.  The end of another busy week, or the start of a new one depending on your views.  It is also a day of rest....for some.  Unfortunately, to a small baby, Sunday is just the same as any other day.  And with Ian on nights, there was no lie-in for me.

The best days are those where there are no plans.  No work, no appointments, no visitors.  No need to tidy the toys off the carpet, think about what to wear, make the bed or worry about getting out of the house on time. 

Today is a rare, empty square on my calendar - like life is holding it's breath.  A quick text to some friends turns up no takers for coffee or a walk.... their calendars dictate charity cricket matches, family visits and holidays. 

So, we head off to Lyme Park for the afternoon and take a stroll through the woodlands, letting Ella wonder at the trees and explore the world around her.  She's not entirely impressed, having cut her first tooth yesterday and with a second not too far behind.  Her grouchiness is, however, interspersed with moments of rapture as she smiles at her daddy in a way only a baby girl can.

There is a huge emphasis on sensory learning for babies.  Especially those with additional needs.  So, wherever we go, we encourage Ella to see, hear and touch the world around her as much as possible (as for taste, everything ends up in her mouth at the moment!).  The woodland was an easy choice, Ella loves trees. There is a huge horse chesnut tree at the end of our road. It's trunk sits in the corner of the school playground with the huge branches creating a complete 360 degree canopy. We stop underneath it everytime we pass and it never fails to light up her face and make her eyes twinkle. I will be sad when autumn comes and the leaves begin to fall.

The only thing with lazy days, especially Sundays is that they are over all too quickly.  Ella was soon tucked up in bed and Ian was leaving for work.  As for me, I am going to enjoy my blank square for a few hours longer, before life exhales and Monday morning brings in a new week.......
Photo dump of the day:

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