Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Cough cough cough

Apparently there is a coughing virus shooting around the town. Michael has it and now Phil is coughing too. Michael has a fever and is very restless and upset at night. I need to run out to get him some cough medicine. I think I'll be needing some doughnuts for myself...

Monday, 25 February 2008

General update

It is about time I posted an update. Michael had his 18 month check today so let's start with the stats:

Age: 1 year, 6 months, 1 week and 6 days
Weight: 12.605 kg (27.79 pounds)
Length: 87.5 cm
Number of teeth: 16
Food: 3 solid meals a day, plus snacks. Essentially, will eat anything with the exception of egg white.
Current temperament: Tired, grumpy and starting with a cough.
Current location: Sitting in his highchair eating his supper.

We were given a lengthy questionnaire to fill in and bring along to the baby clinic today. The nurse checked that Michael could build a tower of 3 blocks and that he could throw a ball. I was amazed that he managed to build the tower because at home it is all about tower destruction - I build them and he gleefully destroys them (not just knocking them down - he *has* to scatter the blocks all around the room). We were asked about imaginative play and Michael's ability to follow simple instructions. We talked a little about his speech because Phil and I had concerns, but apparently he is perfectly normal. He only talks a little but has about 8 words in regular rotation. All he needs to be classed as normal at 18 months is 3 words in addition to Mama and Dada. Perversely, Michael doesn't say Mama or Dada. He just assumes that one of us will be along to cater to his whims, and he doesn't care which of us it is ;o) He is still incredibly tall (between percentile 90 and 95) which isn't news to us given the speed at which he grows out of clothes.

Generally, he is a happy and very affectionate little boy. I never normally use the pushchair because he likes to walk everywhere. We go for walks of about an hour around the neighbourhood and he never shows signs of tiring. He loves to be outdoors and even more than that, he likes it when Dada bounces him up and down. He greets Phil by backing into his legs to encourage him to bounce him. Right now, bouncing fixes everything. He has cultivated the most fabulous grin which we struggle to capture on camera. It practically splits his face in two.

In other news, I got my blood test results back last week and thankfully I had fifth disease as a child. We'll never know whether Michael had it, but he got over it easily and the baby and I were in no danger. I had a midwife appointment at the end of last week and we got to listen to the heartbeat. It sounded good and strong. We have to wait four weeks for the anomaly scan. At that time, we will hopefully find out the sex. I can't wait! I have been tempted to go for a private scan to find out the sex but I'm not keen on having a scan that isn't medically necessary. The poor child will probably have several growth scans and deserves not to be peered at all the time.

My general blood test results showed that I don't have gestational diabetes - surprise, surprise. The midwife is still not convinced that I don't just have big babies (remember what I just wrote about Michael's height?!?) and I will be tested again further along in the pregnancy. Shockingly, I haven't had toxoplasmosis. The midwife wasn't going to test me for that but I specifically requested the test as I have 4 cats. I have lived with cats since I was 7 years old and used to dig in the garden and let Pepper (my first, and most beloved cat) drink out of my Ovaltine mug of an evening. How can I not have had it?!?

My morning sickness has well and truly gone and I have my appetite back. I have been celebrating by rediscovering the joys of the humble jacket potato. Tonight I made this fantastic meal. It was heavenly. I didn't have any cheddar so I used one of the Spanish cheeses that Phil brought back from Majorca. It tastes a little like Wensleydale and worked very well as a substitute.

Friday, 15 February 2008


Today my home was visited by the Golgothan, who decided to act through my son and cats to make my day that much more interesting. I have nothing more to say on the matter.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Home alone

Phil is away on business in Majorca until Saturday evening. FatWire is having its annual team building exercise for the European employees. Shock, horror, they've actually abandoned the Alps this year and have picked somewhere warmer, and without fondue. There would probably have been mutiny if France had been suggested for the fourth year in a row. I think I have the best of the deal, because although I have to do everything for the cats, house and Michael, I don't have to sit through 6 hours of incredibly boring meetings a day.

Every time Phil has been away since Michael was born (and it hasn't been often), Michael has been ill. This time is no different. He started with the most impressive all-over rash on Monday and I had to take him to the doctor yesterday. The doctor said that it is viral (I had originally been thinking that it was an allergic reaction to some kiwi I gave him) and that she couldn't rule out fifth disease. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem because children bounce back well from these illnesses, but unfortunately the virus could be harmful to the baby I am carrying. It can cause anaemia and swelling around the heart and brain if the baby catches it. I had never heard of fifth disease until a few years ago and I have no memory of ever having it. I had to give 4 vials of blood at the hospital so they can check for antibodies. The test can tell if I have been exposed to the virus in the past and if I have the virus at present. Cross everything that I was exposed to it as a child. Fortunately, Michael seems fine in himself. The rash doesn't bother him at all. He sleeps a little more but that is no bad thing when I have so much to do while he naps.

I've been a bit of a domestic whirlwind today - washing, cleaning and cooking. I did manage to find time to play "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" on my Nintendo DS. I broke the salvage arm on my ship twice, but other than that it was a good hour of game playing. This evening I think I will order out for dinner - speaking of which, I have to get my skates on and place the order because it takes ages for the delivery (the Spare Rib Express is all the way over in Haarlem).

On that rushed note... bye!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Choosing a name

Choosing a name for the new baby is proving to be more complicated than I anticipated. When I was pregnant with Michael, we had already selected a single name choice for both a boy and a girl. We stuck to that and Michael Alexander came into the world. In The Netherlands you only have 3 working days to register your baby's birth with the local town hall so you have to have a name ready to go.

I must confess that I sometimes regret giving Michael his name. Not because I don't like the name - I do. Simply because I have never thought that he looks like a Michael. To my mind, it doesn't suit him. He's a very affectionate and engaging character and if I had had longer to decide then he might have had another name altogether.

This time, Phil and I have decided to pick out several names so that we can try to match the name to the child. We've narrowed the choices down to 3 or 4. Last night I was idly browsing babynames.com and I came across the most fantastic and extremely old English boy's name. I mentioned it to Phil and to my surprise he really liked it too. It wouldn't have looked out of place in the England of 700AD but today it would certainly raise some eyebrows. It is the name of 4 English kings and a Shakespearean character.

A distinctive name can be a blessing or a curse for a child so it is a hard choice. Phil and I are stubborn individuals so we would not avoid a name we really liked simply because it is not on a top 100 names list. However, there is always the mental image of our son returning home from school in a towering temper and cursing the day we named him.

A very tough choice.