Boxing Day and beyond

It’s all awry, i know, but everything’s been so busy i haven’t been able to write properly. So, anyway, on Boxing day we drove to Grandma and Grandpa’s for chapter three of Leo’s first Christmas.
Again, lovely to see everyone; exclamation about Leo cascaded exactly like snow didn’t. Lynda had bought the most fantastically tacky fibre optic Chirstmas tree (‘For Leo’, she said. Hmm.) – at which he spent ages simply staring. More toys, cuddlies and clothes were unwrapped – not that Leo took his eyes off the wrapping paper for any length of time.
Leo had his first play at the piano, once mummy could be persuaded to stop, and he had his first proper go in the baby bouncer Katie lent us.
As Ian said, it was incredible to watch him learning – he didn’t understand at first, but he slowly got the hang of bouncing on one leg then the other, and of stamping his feet on the floor. He had an audience of four – a strange way to learn things but that’s babylife i suppose.
We took him on a few walks – including one slightly longer one where Leo spent some time looking at chickens. He was mesmerised by them; he’ll be even more fascinated when he learns how good they taste.
Claire and I had a really nice time too – being able to relax a little knowing there was someone else doing bits and bobs of care – it was incredibly refreshing to have even just 15 minutes knowing that neither of us had to watch him.
It was very sad to come home again – knowing that Leo’s first Christmas had finished. Roll on next one!

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Christmas Day!

Leo never knew fun could be so exhausting! He woke cheerful enough, and we did the normal morning routines (Except for Daddy making Mummy some pancakes for breakfast).
At about 9.00, we were ready for present number one. Leo tried to eat the wrapping paper, and he seemed to be enjoying himself. By the time we’d reached the third or fourth, he was a bit tired and went for a nap. So we opened some of ours!
We had a walk which, strangely, brought us past a pub with a little beer garden… so daddy got his Christmas Pint. Then we did some more present-opening and cooked the duck for lunch (Mmmmm!). We ate to the Christmassy tunes of Dance with the Teletubbies.
Leo was given all sorts of rattles and toys, and lots of clothes too. The immediate hit was definitely the Rainmaker from Jenny. Leo enjoyed the sound of it, and watching the balls cascading down, but whenever he got close enough, he went to chew it!
We were, and are, extremely moved by everyone’s generosity – he was given so many things that he’s going to play with, wear, watch or whatever. And there weren’t any duplicates, which was quite impressive.
It was a tiring day – so much stimulation made Leo quite grizzly towards the end of the day – but just amazing for us. Now we just want to see him when he understands what is happening – next year will be even better I think.
It makes me think about the pictures i have seen of my first Christmas – i can see how happy Mum and Dad were, but not how much they’d be looking forward to the next time.
[And yes, i cheated and changed the date. This was actually written 30 Dec]

A new type of Christmas Eve…

Took Leo to the doc this morning – he’s now got steroid cream for the eczema and a sweet pink antibiotic for the infection causing it to rash up. Horrid that he’s ill but he’s quite good-natured about it – it doesn’t affect his mood unless he’s tired and scratchy.
Giving him the antibiotic is fun – he won’t swallow it but gargles and then spits. Sticky. Later Dad said to hold his nose. It’s quite nasty to do, but it does seem to work.
We were there for Christmas Eve. It was very nice to see the family, and moving to see Mum, Dad and Jenny so happy to see Leo. His timings went awry, but Leo was quite good natured given the bustle. Linda was very happy to see him too.
We left with a car-full of presents. It seems that ‘moderation’ into ‘baby’ doesn’t go.
Coming back, we put the presents round the tree and they’re spilling out like an alluvial fan. Paradoxically, I’m now looking forward even more to next Christmas – when Leo will be old enough to truly appreciate and anticipate.

Wrapping presents

Leo sat watching us wrap up Christmas presents this evening. He was quite happy sitting there – grinning at me whenever i wasn’t looking – Claire said it’s quite weird how he often stops smiling whenever i look at him. I think the alpha male of the house is playing it cool.
Mum will gloat for years now, but i actually missed having Christmas music while wrapping. Singing along to Beatles songs is great (esp Ringo ones that weren’t sung in tune in the first place – less pressure on my awful vocal chords to get at least within a tone of the right note) but it just isn’t the same.
Children do change Christmas. Even when they don’t understand, their presence changes you, so you feel differently about it. It is strange how i think he is changing things – Leo changes nothing himself – but i change everything according to what i think he should have as a baby. Just as i guess my parents did for me. Maybe mum never liked the carols herself until i came along…?

Bad eczema

It’s got really bad – it looks like a rash all over his body upper body, and a significant crustiness on his face. It may be because he was soaped after his explosive incident yesterday – he’s never had soap on his body before.
We really don’t want to resort to steroid creams but it’s getting difficult. He’s exclusively breast-fed, we only use Surecare washing powder… all the anti-allergy things you could possibly do – but to no use. Having said that, it might be worse were it not for these things.
It may be exacerbated by the season, and the booster jab last week, but sonn we might have to decide to go to the doctor and get the nasty creams.

A lovely story about bowels…

Have you had your dinner? And to defuse all narrative tension, it all ends in a happy eruption of noise and stink.
He hadn’t had a poo for four days. We were getting a little worried, but not too much as he had no distress, vomiting, bloating or any other illness signs. The doctor said we should give him some cooled boiled water and call tomorow if he was the same.
He refused the water, just screaming when we offered it to him. Claire had gone to put in her part-time working request to the BBC, and he was sitting happily on my lap. He started to grunt. Then the little noises all parents recognise. I was quite pleased, until it reached my nostrils.
When i started to change him, i saw the stain through his dungarees, about level with his belly-button. At this point i called for help. We had to unroll his clothes, to avoid coating his face with the mess. We washed him, twice, in the kitchen sink. Then ourselves.
He was very happy, and we both thought he felt a few ounces lighter… It remains to be seen whether this is the new way – will it be krakatoa every fourth day from now on?
OK, story over, go get yourself a snack. Yum.

Leo’s physical explorations…

Leo is having a bad day today, the effects of his last booster jab are kicking in – he’s grumpy, sicky and his exzema has flared up badly.
But generally he is growing up beautifully. He has discovered his feet, and will grab them while on the changing table. He turned the pages of his book on Saturday.
He’s rolled over a few more times, though not everytime he’s on his front. He’s more comfy there as well, and pulls his head up to enjoy the new view. Most fun of all, though, is him standing up – supported by us for balance, of course, but he really enjoys doing it – he always smiles, even if he’s crying when we lift him up and set him down on his feet.
I’ve had cellulitis, and nearly septicaemia from it – that’s one reason i haven’t written for a while. So now i’m recovering with two different strong antibiotics. It hasn’t quite gone away yet, though i think it will before Christmas. So our perfect plans for our first Christmas as a family of three have been sent a litttle awry – i haven’t even managed to do some of my shopping yet and i don’t know if i’ll be able to being ill like this. Milk Tray from the Shell garage?