Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Poorly Barney

Poor Barney has had a terrible few months. Since starting school he has had one bug after another, which is to be expected when suddenly thrust into a world of unhygienic, snotty little children. But more than that, he was been very unwell, and hes just about had enough of feeling miserable. He's been missing 1 - 2 days a week from school on average, and I'm sure the teachers wonder if I just can't be bothered to send him in. About 6 weeks ago I took him to see the doctor who prescribed him antibiotics and sent him for an x-ray. The antibiotics cleared everything up for about a week, then it all just came back again. He has a constant cough, cold, blocked sinuses, headaches, occasional vomiting and diarrhea. During the day he is always cold, I mean frozen cold, to such an extent that he needs to wear thermals under his clothes and could really do with gloves and slippers, no matter how much we heat the house. His hands and feet just cant warm up. But then at night time he wakes every night with a burning fever, hot to the touch from head to toe and complaining bitterly that he feels unwell. We have tried every natural remedy we can think of, from steam inhalations, changing his bedding for dust mite proof bedding, getting rid of rugs and anything that traps dust in his room, giving him vitamins and a childrens iron supplement. But nothing makes a blind bit of difference.

So this week I took him back to the doctors. Firstly she told me the results of his x-ray. He has an abnormal rib, a congenital abnormality that he was born with. One of his ribs splits into two and sticks out at a a funny angle. Apparently its completely harmless and he's just unique. She drew him a picture of his special rib which he enjoyed. Yesterday I drew on his chest with blue felt pen to show him exactly what ribs are and how his are different. The doctor was puzzled by his symptoms and admitted that he probably needs to have some blood tests done. But rather than traumatize the poor lad with blood tests yet she wanted to try him on an asthma treatment to see if that would help. She is seeing him again in 2 weeks, and if there's no improvement it will be onto the blood test route. So for 3 days now he has been taking 2 different inhalers, and there has been not a tiny bit of improvement so far. Part of me doesn't want him to have asthma, but part of me wonders if asthma could be a darn site nicer than anything else that he could have. It's a waiting game now to see if theres any improvement. But the poor mite is just so fed up of feeling poorly and we are all feeling very sorry for him.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Metal Bellydancing for Charity!

Last night was probably the last night out I will be getting for quite some time! And the first night out I've had for ages as well. We went to the charity metal bellydancing night called 'Rock the Kasbah' at the Empire music hall in Belfast. The event was held to raise money for Marie Curie, and a lot of the girls I know from my bellydancing classes were dancing at it. The girls danced to live music by The Rockaholics, an amazing rock cover band who were totally awesome.

Our friend J kindly saved us seats at the invalids table (with me being heavily pregnant and her having just undergone surgery), which meant that we had a great front row view of all the dances. It was a very loud night and I'm sure little Emily wondered what was going on in there! I felt her moshing away to a tune by Led Zeppellin and I wasn't sure if that meant she liked all the noise or was trying to cover her ears.

We all bought raffle tickets as there were some really good prizes on offer. J didn't win anything despite spending £20 on tickets, but Dan was the proud winner of a bright pink ballydancing coin shimmy belt! We all had a laugh at him wearing it, and then he graciously gave it to me.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Yay, we finally have a date for our planned caesarean section. Friday 12th December, 2008 should (unless I go into labour early) be the date of little Emily's birthday. Yesterday we had an appointment at the hospital and I was booked in for a C section. I was given a choice of dates, a bit like making an appointment at the dentist! But went for the Friday as it will mean I am in hospital over the weekend, and it should be easier to arrange child care for the other 3 kids at the weekend. All being well I should be out on the Monday.

The doctor did one final scan while I was there and confirmed for the fourth time that baby is indeed a girl, so I think we are pretty sure of that now. He took some measurements and said that right now, at 35 weeks gestation, she is about 6lb 10oz in weight. He estimates that shes gonna be a biggun, lol, between 8 - 9lb if born a week early as planned, is what he said.

I had to sign a heap of consent forms and was asked a lot of questions, including whether I'd like to be sterilised during the section! I hadn't even considered that so was a bit taken aback. I think he saw my face and said something along the lines of 'well you're very young but we do offer after someone has had four children'. I will have to go to the hospital on the evening of the 11th to be given various injections (anti D, blood thinners etc) and have bloods taken and a general medical check done. Then I can go home to sleep but have to be back at the hospital for 8am the morning of the 12th. If there are no delays or emergencies then the section will start at 9am.

I'm so excited about the end being in sight now and can't wait to get home with our new daughter. I have been researching how to write a birth plan for a caesarean. I read that a lot of hospitals really don't expect the parents of sections to bother writing a birth plan, but that it actually is still quite important . Ok, so it will be very different from a regular birth plan but there are still things to consider such as whether I'd like the screen lowered at the moment of birth so that I can see little Emily coming into the world, who I would like to hold the baby in the event that I have to have extra surgery under general anaesthetic, whether I would like my husband to be able to photograph the birth and the first few minutes of Emily's life, whether I would like to breast feed or not (and if so, when?), plus a host of other things.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sunday, 16 November 2008

5 silly elves. do you recognise any of them?

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Happy Birthday Annabelle!

Yay! Annabelle is 12 years old! And to top it off she had the best birthday ever. This year she received only surprises for her birthday as she didn't have anything specific that she wanted. And as I knew baby number 4 would be well on its way by now, I did all my shopping in advance. Dan wrapped Annabelle's presents up weeks ago and we had all totally forgotten what we had bought her! Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the big hairy spider that crawled out of her present pile and frightened the living daylights out of us all. I think that was due to the prezzies being stashed in the garage for weeks. Poor little fella.

Being a bit of a Nightwish fanatic, I made the extra effort to get Annabelle a few Nightwish prezzies - including a door sized poster, a hat, a nightwish necklace, and a calendar. She was so pleased with them, but to top it all off her best friend bought her a Nightwish T-shirt. I think she's now officially the coolest 12 year old in her class. Ah when I think back about how uncool I was at that age! I also bought her some new clothes, which she desperately needed, including some skinny fit jeans, and a pair of black patent boots which she totally loves. All in all she was totally spoilt.

The morning was made extra special by a surprise organised by her best friend. She told us to make sure we were watching the kids saturday morning show TMI on BBC2. Well what a shock it was when an email from 'Annabelle and K from Banbridge' was read out, and a photo shown of them both covered in chocolate cake mixture (see below fora screen shot of the program). They then announced that it was Annabelle's 12th birthday and the presenters sang happy birthday to her! I can't tell you how shocked she looked! If you want to see it you can watch it on the BBC website by clicking here and going forward to 1 hr 14 mins in the program. (Don't watch the full 1.5 hours!)

In the evening she had four school friends over for a sleepover. We converted the living room into a sleepover room and I have to say it looked rather lovely before they all turned up. We had balloons up, a table full of food and drinks, and two mattresses on the floor with the two sofas converted to beds. I covered the sofas with bright coloured sheets and made the place look very funky (see photo below). But by this morning the room looked like a warzone! Who knew girls could make even more mess than boys! The room was literally swimming in popcorn and chili doritos, and had a nasty smell to match. So Dan and I spent a good hour cleaning, vacuuming, washing and taking things out. Not much sleep was had before the hours of 4am, and Dan caught the girls practicing somersaults on the sofas at 3am! I'm sure there will be some moods to cope with tonight!
We joked that Annabelle looked like Ville Valo in her new clothes, which she didn't like, until I said that many people think Ville looks like a girl, and she piped up with "and he's supposed to be gorgeous too!"

Now her birthday is over and done, we have the big event of baby's birth to look forward to in just 27 days time. It will be so strange to have two daughters, instead of having boys ruling the roost. It's scary to think that when baby is celebrating her 12th birthday, Annabelle will be 24 already!

Happy birthday Annabelle, my beautiful little girl. xx

Friday, 14 November 2008

Annabelle raises money for Children In Need

Annabelle and her best friend meet Gerry Andersen and Pudsey the bear at the Outlet in Banbridge where they were raising money for children in need. This is their photo that appeared in the local paper this week. (Annabelle on the left).

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Just a quick update blog really, as I don't have all that much to say today. We have about 31 days (who's counting?) till our little girl is due to be delivered by C Section. I can't believe it's all happened so fast, although at time's it seems like it will never be over.

Barney is more excited than ever about the arrival of his new baby sister. It used to be that every morning he would run into our bedroom shouting "its your boy!", he'd leap onto the bed, wrap his arms around me and give me big kisses whilst telling me how much he loves me. But this week, every morning, he has run in and flung his arms around my belly, kissing randomly and shouting "I love you Emily! I can't wait to see you!" He prods at my tummy asking "where are her leg? where are her lips? where are her arms?" and has many questions about whether she can hear him, whether she can see what going on in there. He quite often sits and has a wee chat with her, telling her who he is and how life will be for her. It's quite the cutest thing.

We have a birthday in the house this week. On Saturday our Annabelle will be 12 years old. As expected she's very excited, although I have no idea what we've bought her as presents, because I got all organised and wrapped them up weeks ago! I am still trying to get all the christmas presents sorted out before the baby's birth and really must get that sorted this week.