Archive for the 'Health' Category

Flu update

Friday, October 30th, 2009

The flu situation continues to improve, albeit slowly. Matthew is now just a bit tired and post-viral. Peter is pretty much back to normal. Rachel is improving but still occasionally has high temperatures, but now has a stock of tamiflu as well. Meanwhile, I appear to be well which since (a) I have a knackered immune system, (b) have been vaccinated for seasonal flu and (c) have not been vaccinated for swine flu, leads me to conclude that most probably we have had a run in with seasonal flu. Alternatively the 24 hour flu that I got a couple of weeks ago was swine flu and I’m (like Peter) just one of the lucky people who don’t really notice it.

Sanity in household greatly enhanced by presence of Jane and Robin to help look after the boys.


Monday, October 26th, 2009

Some variety of flu is going through the household currently. Matthew developed a temperature on Wednesday evening and has one on or off since then, but appears to be on the mend now. Peter woke up this morning with a temperature and fairly obvious flu sysmptoms and this evening Rachel has gone down with a temperature as well. I went to collect tamiflu for the boys today so we’ll see how that goes. If we’re lucky its just seasonal flu which I’ve been vacinated against and not swine flu which I haven’t. If we’re unlucky then we’re going to be all down at the same time which won’t be good. Hey ho.


Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Very glad that Matthew has now had his pre-school booster vaccinations and second MMR – not least because the accounts of doctors’ concerns about the possibility of measles outbreaks are somewhat disturbing. Not surprising, but disturbing. Also distinctly proud of Matthew for making no fuss at all before or after the injections. I guess in this household he gets the idea that injections are no big deal.

In other news, two achievements by Peter today: a) Walking several steps pushing the wash bin (a very large light plastic bin) along; b) Crawling forwards, all of six inches before it was too much like hard work. As usual with Peter’s new accomplishments (other than clapping his hands, of which he’s remained inordinately proud) he showed very little sign of realising that he’d just done something clever, and looked blankly at me as I applauded enthusiastically – as if wondering what all the fuss was about.


Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Peter had his “development check”. They checked. He is developing. He weighs 9.65 kg, which is 21 lb 4 oz, between the 50th and the 75th centiles. He does everything he’s supposed to do. Even demonstrated some of it. He liked the baby clinic, because there were lots of people to chat to. And he was given a couple of free books, with some leaflets for his parents. He thinks the leaflets are great.

Today we’re pretty confident he said his first word; when Gavin came into the room Peter said a very distinct and excited “Da-da!”. This may have happened before, but “Dada” is fairly hard to distinguish from Peter’s generalised-excitement noise (” ‘At!”, the equivalent of Matthew’s “Gie!”; might even be an attempt at “Cat” except that it clearly has a much wider application). His generalised-unhappiness noise is still “mum-mum-mum”, and occasionally I think it’s being used to put in a specific request for [attention from] Mummy.

Matthew meanwhile is spending quite a lot of time playing Pirate Penguins (see below re the chapter book; as usual, our enthusiasm for it has run out before Matthew’s). Mostly this involves us simply having to keep track of rapid role-changes: “I’ll be Paisley, you’re Posso, he’s Spott. No, now I’m Spott. Daddy be Paisley. Peter be Kelty. Who can be Posso?” If we address Matthew by the right name, refer to fish quite frequently, and otherwise carry on as normal, this is compatible with doing most other things. “Matthew, would you like some toast? OK, Posso, would you like some toast? Some fish toast? Would you like some fish jam on it?”

What are you talking about?

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Matthew asks this a lot at the moment – more or less whenever Gavin and I (or any other grownups present) exchange a few sentences of conversation in his presence. It provides an interesting opportunity to stop and reflect on what grownups think is worth talking about. Some recent answers: Supper. Banks [“What are banks?” “Places where they look after your money until you want it”. Not wanting to get into the complexities of the current global financial situation]. Buses. How to catch the cats so we can take them to the vet’s. Mummy’s work. Daddy’s work. People at Meeting. How big Peter is.

I had breakfast in bed this morning. So, as it happens, did Peter, because he was still off his solid food following his bout of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. (Very grand name for a very minor ailment). The boys both, as a special Mothering Sunday treat, slept for more than an hour after lunch. Gavin and I sat. It was quiet. We were happy. The boys woke up. They were relatively happy as well. We revelled in the demob-happy knowledge that teaching has finished until after Easter. Life is good.


Monday, December 1st, 2008

Peter has had a cold for a few days, has been sleeping badly, and has been using the opportunity to unleash the screams and whimpers he’s been holding back all these months. “No more Mr Nice Baby; if I have to feel this grotty I’m going to make sure everyone knows it”. Chance to appreciate just how cheery and calm he’s been hitherto. Luckily (touch wood) the rest of us seem to have got away more or less cold-free so far.


Monday, October 20th, 2008

So I found the hand-held blender, and tonight Peter made his first foray into non-milk food. In keeping with family tradition, I cooked and pureed half an organic carrot; and Peter sat on my lap at suppertime and had some supper. I was ready for more or less any response, from wild enthusiasm to decisive rejection, but we reckoned it was worth a try. In the event, his reaction was less “wow, this is exciting” or “what on earth is this?” than “so what took you so long?”; calm and matter-of-fact acceptance.

Compared to our first attempts with Matthew, at least as I remember them, a remarkably large proportion of the carrot ended up inside Peter – he wasn’t quite so keen as Matthew was to handle the spoon himself, but it also seemed that very little that went into his mouth was coming back out. He made a mild protest when I stopped shovelling carrot into him, but then decided that carrot was really only a starter and he needed some milk.

So there we have it. On the basis of today’s experience, we plan to provide Peter-food at evening meals from now on, and see how we get on. It’s a good time of year for weaning – all those autumn vegetables and fruit. And Peter seems to have decided that if eating proper food is good enough for Matthew, it’s good enough for him.

Effect on sleep patterns and nappy-filling remains to be seen, of course… Here goes.

Random Matthew stuff

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

He actually weighs somewhere between 14.5 and 15 kilos, which is average for his age. Average has been his strong point.

Yesterday Gavin was carrying him on his shoulders and at some point started a game in which he pretended to look for him – “where are you Matthew?”, look behind, keep turning round, look down. look up, eventually “realise” where Matthew was. Matthew then said “You thought me – I – was over there”. First time we’ve heard him make an explicit statement about a false/different belief held by someone else – albeit in the context of an extended game, where he presumably knew that Gavin “really” knew where he was. Not quite the Sally-Anne test, but getting there.

Big baby

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

All those people who say Peter is big & strong for his age are apparently right; he weighs 7.75 kg, which is 17lb 1oz and rather above the 75th centile (ie more than three-quarters of babies Peter’s age are lighter than him). That’s assuming I trust the scales this time; I had him weighed 5 weeks ago and didn’t believe the result (because it had him on the 25th centile with less than a kilo gained in the preceding month, and my arms & back were telling me that wasn’t true). Matthew, incidentally, was 7.02 kg = 15lb 6 1/2 oz at the same age, and now weighs just over twice as much as Peter does (he’s somewhere between 16.5 and 17 kilos and wasn’t keen to stand still on the scales NB added later: I have been looking at some weight charts, worrying a bit about this result, wondering whether it can possibly be accurate; he is a tubby child but is he that tubby? These weren’t the same scales used to weigh Peter, incidentally). And the really good news is that Peter’s injections are now over & done with until he’s one year old.

Looking at “when Matthew was Peter’s age” I see we went to Exeter with him. Not to break with tradition, I took Peter to Exeter for a couple of days. Slightly easier journey, I suspect, since there’s no change of trains involved. All went smoothly; Peter was introduced to my former colleagues, & to Hester and Bridget and Tom (the latter of whom we met for the first time when he was – oh, about Peter’s age) & he gazed at everyone with interest and at Bridget and Tom with fascinated admiration (second only to his admiration for Matthew). And he slept, dozed, complained or struggled to look interested through a lot of theological discussions. A bright future in academia, then.

Peter at four months

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Looking back at the “when Matthew was Peter’s age” posts, there are definite points of similarity.

Peter has a fairly well-established normal night-time sleep pattern, in which he goes to sleep in his cot with very little fuss between 7 and 8, wakes and feeds once between 2 and 4 (back to sleep within 20 minutes or so), wakes, makes chatty noises and is eventually got up between 5.30 and 7, and goes back to his cot for a morning top-up nap between 7.30 and 8.30. Morning top-up nap lasts between 40 and 90 minutes, usually closer to the former. He’ll then take at least two other naps during the day (plus short catnaps), and if we’re lucky at least one of those will be more than an hour, perhaps as much as two hours. He’ll now usually go to sleep in his cot, if put there at the right time (ie when he’s tired but before he’s upset). But he’ll also often fall asleep when feeding, and since he’s very difficult to move when asleep (he’s definitely a lighter sleeper than Matthew was) he sleeps on me a lot.

He doesn’t have a feeding pattern; he feeds when he’s hungry, which is often. In the last week or so we have noticed increasing interest in non-milk food; he loves watching us eat, he really wants to sit at the table (we’re going to have to sort out a highchair for him, earlier than we’d expected); if a spoon comes into his hand he’ll do a pretty good impression of feeding himself. And nearly everything that gets into his hands ends up in his mouth.

He can roll front-to-back reliably and without too much effort (though it’s easier with no nappy or a disposable nappy). As of a couple of days ago, he can also roll from his back onto his right side (using the legs-straight-up-in-air-and-rock technique). He likes being pulled up or propped up to sit, and will sometimes lean forwards and support himself sitting for a few moments. He also likes being pulled up to “stand”; it’s nearly time to bring out the baby bouncer. Unlike Matthew, he has no clear preference for standing over sitting; the main advantage of either seems to be that he can see what’s going on. He loves being bounced into the air.

Everyone says he’s big, strong, healthy. We haven’t had him weighed for ages, but I think he’s bigger than Matthew was at this age. He seems very long in the body (even when you allow for the distorting effects of cloth nappies). It feels as if he’s never been ill. This is clearly not true, he’s had chickenpox and at least one cold; but I think he’s benefited from being a summer baby. While not exactly basking in tropical heat, he’s got through his first few months relatively free from snuffles and wheezes. He has very little hair; we seem to specialise in bald babies.

He’s sociable; smiles, initiates conversations, gets annoyed when people (especially immediate family) go away. Crying is almost always for an identifiable, if not fixable, reason; these days boredom and frustration are becoming more common reasons. He’ll entertain himself for longer and longer periods playing on his baby gym and talking to himself, though it helps if there’s something to watch, and he prefers to have no nappy on. He seems to be very sensitive to noises (we noticed this when he was less than an hour old and was clearly interested in the beep from our digital camera) and actively to dislike noisy environments, especially when he’s tired (hence, I think, the screaming fit on the train home).