Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Muffin Tops and Portliness

Baby Games
I have decided that I am getting entirely too portly and it is time to incorporate some fitness into my daily regime lest my muffin top begins to spill out of my babygro.  I was horrified when my health visitor, Wendy, put me onto the scales a week ago and I heard that I have ballooned to a whole 16.5lbs!  Well, this just has to stop.  If I'm not careful, I'll be hitting my twenties!! I know Mummy, and everyone who sees me, thinks I'm entirely adorable but I have no wish to rival the muffin man.  So exercise it is.

I began by adding some extra and very enthusiastic kicking into my routine.  I figured the soft spots on Mummy were a perfect target, after all, I would want to get sore feet by kicking hard things now would I?   Mummy doesn't mind, she's quite durable really - and she has lots of soft spots to choose from so I'm sure she'll be just fine.  

Then I decided 'Dumbles String' would be the perfect next step.  You see, Mummy keeps my dumbles on a string attached to my jumper to make sure I don't lose it - life is not worth living without a dumbles after all.  So as I've recently learned how to grasp my dumbles to remove it from my mouth (usually before I've actually finished with it just to keep the staff attentive) I thought I would try grasping my dumbles in my hand, stretching my hand out to the full length of the string and repeating in lunging movements.  I try to rotate the activity so my arms are stretched left, right and centre and just to keep myself on track say "stretch 2,3,4, stretch 2,3,4, come on Adam, just a few more, you can do it!"  Of course, I do all of this in my head, I wouldn't want to let on just how much of a child prodigy I really am.  

Unfortunately though, even though I very much enjoy Dumbles String and practice it every chance I get, it doesn't seem to be having much effect on my muffin top (well, I DO like my milk after all!)  So the other day, when Mummy put me down for some tummy time, I kicked for a while, I tried to move my arms into what I thought might be the optimal position, I rocked my hips back and forth and eventually, I managed to roll over!  Mummy was very happy about that one and she smiled quite a bit. I smiled back for a while but then I decided that was quite enough exercise for one day so I went to sleep.

Then, I let things slide for a few days, really lost my momentum.  So last night I realised that I really had to get started again and it was time for a big push.  So I woke up and I began to rock.  I rocked back and forth as hard as I could to really get some good motion in my hips and shoulders in hopes of working off some of this pudge.  My basket rocked back and forth on the wooden floor and my pj's began to get distinctly twisted around me.  Then suddenly, to my disgust, a dumbles was shoved into my mouth!  I think the staff actually wanted me to stop my exercises to go to sleep!  The indignity of it all!!!  Oh.  Have I mentioned that it was 11:30pm?  Hmm.  Maybe I should have mentioned that part.

No matter, I had a short one hour nap, I set to again.  I began to rock.  I rocked and I rolled and I shook my basket as hard as I could.  Daddy, why are you sighing quite so loudly?  I'm only exercising!  So what if it's 12:30am - Carpe Diem!  Seize the day!  What's this? Mmmmfff.  Ahh.  A dumbles again.  No matter, another nap will round things off quite nicely.  

PPPPFFFFFFFTTTTTTT.  It was now 1am.  My dumbles was no longer required thank you very much.  Time to rock and roll!  This time Daddy started to say some bad words, I'm not supposed to know what they mean yet.  Fortunately, Mummy told him off and sleepily got up to remove me from my basket.  Excellent - room to stretch and play!  She carried me downstairs, changed me and gave me some lovely warm milk.  Oh it is nice to have a mid-exercise snack.  Just gives you the energy you need to keep going don't you find?  I finished all of the bottle I required, I felt it best to leave around 40mls or so, I wouldn't want to be 'milk drunk' after all, I might not have the energy to keep playing!  I chuckled and I rocked in Mummy's arms, I kicked her squidgy bits and I screamed from time to time when she tried to soothe me.  I don't WANT to be soothed thank you very much!  It's exercise time!!!  

I knew it must be getting bad when Mummy picked up one of her theology books.  Oh dear, she's reading THAT at 1:30am?  She must know I'm in for the long haul!  She read a chapter or two and left me to rock and kick on her lap, stroking my head from time to time (that really was nice) and eventually, I couldn't hold out any longer and I fell slowly asleep.  Mummy checked out of the corner of her eye and heaved a sigh of relief.  She left me for a few more moments and then very gingerly transferred me to my basket.  I lay there, plotting my next move.  After a few moments, she was convinced I was soundly asleep so she gently carried my basket back upstairs, placed it in it's rocking frame and crept back into her own bed.  I lay and I plotted.  It was 1:58am.

I wanted to give them just enough time to be fully relaxed - no point stressing out the staff after all, they're just not quite so attentive one finds.  So I had a short snooze and at precisely 3:32am, I let out a loud SCREECH to inform the staff that I was awake and once again I began to rock and roll.  Daddy VERY firmly inserted my dumbles and swore a little bit.  Mummy hit him.  I continued to rock.  A few moments later, after a nice little suck, PPPPFFFFFTTTTTT.  I'm finished with that, thanks Dad.  Daddy however, was determined.  In my dumbles went again.  PPPPPPFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTT.  No really Dad, I just couldn't have another suck.  Besides, I'm busy.  Rock.  Roll.  Rock.  Roll.  Rock.....PPPPPPPPFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTT.  DAD, I TOLD you, I don't WANT my dumbles!!!!  Daddy what does that word mean?  I haven't heard that one before.  Daddy do you still love me?  

Mummy informed Daddy very precisely that he could stop doing that right now and actually take me out of my basket and GO FEED ME.  Clearly, I wasn't going to go back to sleep and she'd already done one shift so it was HIS TURN.  Daddy stomped off to find his dressing gown as Mummy pulled a pillow over her head.  Meanwhile, I continued to rock.  Daddy took me downstairs, changed me again and once again gave me some lovely warm milk.  Mmmm....yes, I think just about 100mls this time thanks Dad.  Just enough to see me through.  5:15am, I had fallen asleep.  Daddy had finally run out of swear words and carried my basket back upstairs again, thinking I would stay asleep.  He deposited my basket into my rocking cradle and marched back downstairs again to watch the news.  Well now, I couldn't have that.  I began to scream.  Not a crying scream you understand, just a scream that informed the staff that I REQUIRED attention AT ONCE.  

Daddy stomped back upstairs and sat on the side of the bed vainly attempting to pat me, soothe me and insert my dumbles.  Oh no Dad, it just isn't that easy I'm afraid.  I want to PLAY.  I rocked.  I rolled.  I decided to do some leg stretches from the waist, lifting both legs straight up and almost over to my shoulders.  That was a good one, I liked that one.  Finally, at 5:54am, Daddy gave up and once again removed my basket from it's cradle and took it back downstairs again.  Ahh, this was more like it.  The acoustics in the lounge are just so much better for screaming.  Daddy put me down on my playmat, thinking I would like to jingle my toys about.  Well I did, and I rocked, I rolled, I played Dumbles String, I did my leg lifts and I screamed.  In short, I was having a fabulous time.  Daddy...not so much.  At one point, he even walked outside to feed the dog.  Oh the indignity of being left on my own, safely on the floor, for a whole 30seconds!!  Well, if you thought my screaming couldn't get any louder....you were wrong.

Finally, at 6:30, Mummy gave up and got into the shower.  Daddy brought me back upstairs and laid me down on their bed hoping the nice comfortable spot might soothe me, and more importantly, help me be quiet.  Oh heavens no!  It was just the ideal spot for trying to roll over while squeaking!  Eventually, it was Daddy's turn for a shower and as Mummy did the ironing, I could tell she was cooking up a plot.  She just gets this *look* on her face.  Daddy finished his shower and Mummy notified him that today, she was going to see if I was ready for some fruit.  "Mushed up banana I think.  After his next bottle, we're going to Asda and buying some bananas."  I think she hopes some solid food might help me sleep a bit better tonight.  We'll see, I'm not sure if I like banana yet so if you happen to see Mummy splattered with banana pieces later on, don't hold it against her - it's sure to be my fault. 

P.S.  I lasted till 7:30am, then decided it was high time for a nap.  Daddy left for work at 7:45am and I'm SURE he still loves me.  Mummy snuggled up on the couch hoping for a snooze herself so I made sure to wake up at 8:02am.  I do hope she enjoyed her long, restful nap!  I'm so good to the staff, I even let them sleep see!  Not all babies are so considerate...

P.S.S  It's now 11:42am.  I'm asleep of course.  If you need to get in touch with me, just contact the office.  Don't worry, the staff are on duty 24/7.  They're good that way, always available.

(Adam, game, set and match.   ::sigh::)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Walking For Adam - How It Went

 Good Morning!

Yes we are alive and yes Chris did complete the walk - we were all a bit too shattered to put the details online last night though!

Chris and Lynne on the A5
Chris finished at the hospital at 7:00pm last night surrounded by the whole family, most of whom walked the last mile with him.  The final five miles were incredibly hard for him, his hip had given out and the pain killers were no longer helping much so it was little more than determination and will power that kept him going.  By the final two miles he was limping and walking very slowly...but he got there.

My sister Lynne walked the longest distance with him, a total of 13 miles.  My niece Nicole walked five miles doing the first lap of the Wrekin and Chris's sister Alison walked with him for around two miles towards the end as he entered Shrewsbury.  George climbed the Wrekin with Lynne (on the gentler side) for the first lap and then joined Chris again for the final two miles from Meole Brace to the hospital.  Lynne, Nicole, Adam and I along with Chris's parents met him for the final mile mostly just to hold him up as he finished.  For the rest of the day, I was handling communications, picnic's, driving back and forth to make sure everyone was in the right place at the right time and babysitting the children - by the end of it, I was nearly as exhausted as everyone else even if I didn't have the stiff muscles to show for my efforts!

We also heard late last night that my brother-in-law Dwayne finished his 23 mile (37 kilometre) walk in Canada at 2pm Canadian time (he'd started at 5am to be walking with us albeit 3,000 miles apart).  Sickeningly enough, he probably has the most energy of all of us as he's off out to an outdoors show today!  We love you Dwayne, you're just too fit for us and we're jealous... :-)

Chris recording a video diary
Chris and I were absolutely delighted that most of the key staff who cared for Adam in that crucial first week in Neo Natal were on duty last night so when we went in to the Unit, we saw "Auntie Sarah", Steve and Gina among others which meant so much to us.  Both Sarah and Gina had a nice cuddle and Sarah took Adam into Intensive Care to show him his little corner where he spent his first week of life.  

They had been following our story through some of the publicity and we were touched they were so grateful both for our efforts and also for the newspaper stories in which we talked about how excellent their care was for Adam and also for us.  Apparently when Sarah read how grateful we were, she got a little choked up and said this is the sort of thing that keeps them going.  I can't imagine how hard their job is because for every child like Adam who leaves the Unit healthy and well, there must be so many others who don't make it.  It must be so hard to pour so much energy, skill and even love into your work only to have a child die, my heart goes out to them even as I'm more grateful than I can ever possibly say for what they did for Adam.  (So Sarah, if you're reading this, grab the tissues!)  And yes, as promised, we will keep bringing Adam to visit you, I just wish we'd remembered to get a photo of all of us together with the staff.  We were originally going to go into the Labour Ward as well to show Adam to the staff there but Chris was just too close to the point of collapse so we headed out for his sake.

Once we'd gotten back to Telford, we just about had time for some fish and chips before we all collapsed into bed.  Unfortunately, I was up again at both 1:55am and again at 5:30am as a certain little someone wasn't really too bothered that we wanted to sleep - he wanted his milk and he wanted it NOW.  ::sigh::  Sadly, as my Aunt said on her birthday card, there's no mute button on either cats or babies!  This morning, Chris was in an awful lot of pain and struggling to move but a handful of tablets later and things are easing a bit.  He's moving about albeit slowly and stiffly but we're all happy to have achieved the walk.

So thank you Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Auntie Sarah, Steve, Gina and all of the others for caring so wonderfully for our little miracle.  We hope our efforts will help buy some equipment to care for other precious babies who find the start of their life is just a little bit bumpy.

Thank you also to all of you who have donated so much, more than we
ever hoped for or imagined and who have supported our efforts financially and also with words of support, prayers and kindness that helped us keep going.  We're going to be collecting the final pledges in the coming days and then the hospital PR department will be arranging a formal cheque presentation for us.  I imagine there will be more tears that day.

So from a very tired house in which lots of coffee is flowing, have a great day - and hope yours is a little less sore than ours!