Away, away…

We’re all of us over Millie’s Disease now – the Lovely Melanie and Amber both managed to avoid it somehow, so well done them.

And the week has been much improved since we put sickness mostly behind us – Amber now has a cold, but Amber always seems to have a cold!  Her coughing in the night sounds unpleasant, but she seems happy enough so we’re not worrying too much…

Nursery have said that she is settling in about as well you’d expect, which is to say, she’s still not quite happy about being there, but the gaps between bouts of crying are becoming longer and longer.  The Lovely Melanie managed to observe her without being spotted for a few minutes on Wednesday, and she reported that Bubbah was playing perfectly happily with some toys there…although, as soon as she was spotted Bubbah turned the waterworks on…

This weekend I’m off to Bristol for a stag do, so the family aren’t coming, which is probably for the best.

It’s something of a flying visit; I’m actually there for less than 24 hours, but really looking forward to it.  The stag (Dr Nicholas Perham of Cardiff University – or just plain-old ‘P’) is an old friend from uni, and lots of other old friends from uni who I don’t see that often nowadays will also be there, so it should be a great chance to catch up, have a laugh, be stupid, get drunk and reminisce endlessly about when we used to have a laugh, be stupid and get drunk, albeit with more hair and smaller waistlines.

I’m hoping that no one will be want to tie the stag to a lamp-post naked or anything stupid like that.  The point of that kind of thing has always escaped me: you’re going out to celebrate a friend’s impending marriage, a wondrous and happy event – why would you choose to ‘celebrate’ by making him as humanly miserable possible?

So don’t worry Dr P, I’ll be looking out for you – no one gets tied naked to a lamp-post on my watch! 😉

Sickness, levels 1-5

If I weren’t so dog-tired there’d be quite a long and blackly amusing entry here.  All about how, after Amber’s party and her sister’s illness, just about everyone who attended got sick.

I worked from home on Monday, as you know, and just as well because first of all I came down with a migraine after lunch, then I started feeling rather queasy, too.  It was rather like a hangover from hell, but without the fun bit beforehand, and I spent the rest of Monday in bed shivering or in front of the TV wrapped in a blanket, moaning softly.

Turns out I got off lightly.

Grandma and Granddad both got Level 2 of Millie’s disease (in fact, let’s call theirs’ Level 3, Millie’s Level 2 and mine Level 1 – the type where you don’t actually vomit, you just feel as though you’re going to for hours on end).  Our friend Nik also got struck down with Level 3, but Uncle Trev got something like Level 5, which involved him having to go to hospital with atrial fibrillation (of which, more here, from a professional).

Feeling much better this morning, I dropped the girls off at nursery (and was forced to jump through hoops there because of badly organised security), when my mum rang to tell me Trev was in hospital.  I rang his fianceé, Conny, to see what was happening.  Conny was at home, having been ordered there by the doctors because she’d had Millie’s disease (at Level 3) and it’s highly infectious (whatever it is).  Which means I end up leaving the train station and going back home on the bus, reasoning that if Conny’s highly infectious then I probably am, too.

At this point I ring Nik to warn him what’s happening.  Nik already knows.  Five minutes later Grandma and Granddad telephone to tell us how ill they’ve been.

At this point I start to have visions of early parts of Stephen King’s plague novel The Stand and ‘phone my dad, who’s vulnerable to this sort of thing because his heart transplant means he’s on immunosuppressants, and if he gets sick then he could be in real trouble.  Fortunately, he’s fine.

I settle down to work from home when – flash! – my internet connection dies.  I can’t literally cannot do any work without an internet connection and have to spend the next FIVE HOURS trying to fix it.  Thanks to the very competent helpline staff at PlusNet who were mostly  efficient and helpful – all except some joker called Carl, who in true IT Crowd fashion told me to turn it off, leave it off, and then turn it back on again 15 minutes later.  I think he just wanted to be left alone, really.

My internet connection woes become a perfect storm when Gmail goes offline – which is where I keep my router password (yes, I’m aware that ‘online’ is a silly place to store details vital to restoring a lost internet connection, thank you).

Today’s award for an overinflated sense of self-importance goes to the Lovely Melanie for asking, in all seriousness, whether our broken internet connection might be affecting GMail… 🙂  EDITED – I have been ordered to add that this is not what she meant at all, and was it was in fact my fault for getting the wrong end of the stick.

Good news finally arrives just before teatime when Trev phones to say he is back home and apparently fine (although, the doctors want to see him again in six weeks, just in case).  Not only that, but we finally get a reliable, full-featured working internet connection back, enabling me to get some work done at long last.

There’s a sting in the tail, however.  The Lovely Melanie and I are putting some things up in the attic after the girls have gone to bed, and one of the things that’s going up there is ‘Davros’, Bubbah’s baby walker thing, which we’ve unfortunately left in Bubbah’s room.  When the Lovely Melanie creeps stealthily in there to get it she suddenly shouts for me to come in, quick.

Bubbah is laid in her cot covered in sick.  And I mean covered.  Bless her, she must have thrown up then tried to crawl out of it, made things worse and, miraculously, gone back to sleep!

Thanks goodness we were putting Davros in the attic, though, as otherwise she’d have been laid like that until the morning!  I stripped off her sleeping bag (sticky with sick), her babygrow (also sticky with sick), her vest (damp with…maybe sick) and her nappy (ironically, spotlessly clean!) and had to put her in the shower as she smelt very bad.

It wasn’t very pleasant: a Bubbah who’s already upset about being covered in sick is not a Bubbah who’s going to submit lightly to being woken up, stripped naked and showered, but it was the quickest way to get her sorted out.  So ‘Bad Cop’ Daddy did that, allowing ‘Good Cop’ Mummy to wrap her up in a towel, dry her off and put clean clothes on.  She then sang her back to sleep while ‘Bad Cop’ Daddy stuffed the sodden bedclothes into the washing machine.

We’re going to be listening closely tonight, just in case Bubbah’s got a case of Millie’s disease.

Hey, what do you know: we ended up with quite a long and blackly amusing entry here after all!

What a morning

I rather think we should have had a dry run for this morning’s return of the Lovely Melanie to work and Bubbah’s proper start at nursery, perhaps then it might have gone a bit more smoothly.

However, upon reflection the only thing that might have been avoided would have been the Lovely Melanie getting all the way to the station before realising she had forgotten her wallet and having to walk back from the station to get it.  We couldn’t have avoided Millie being sick all last night – starting from…well, starting from when we went to bed and continuing until…hmm…until about an hour before the Lovely Melanie had to get up for work.

Millie was sick once in her own bed, so we changed her pillow case and pyjamas, gave her a cuddle and put her back to bed.

15 minutes later she was sick again and we got her a clean pillow and put her back to bed.

20 minutes later, sick again, so we put a towel underneath her to catch any further sick.

20 minutes later, more sick, and we bring her into our bed as she’s a bit upset.

10 minutes later – a little bit more sick; we fold the towel over rather than get another clean one out.  I fetch a bowl from downstairs.

Next four hours: Millie is either fidgeting or being sick.  Regardless, we are all awake.

So it’s hardly surprising the Lovely Melanie forgot her purse – frankly, on that much sleep before her first day at work in a year I’m amazed she remembered to get dressed, let alone where the train station is and how to get to work!

I had the – ahem – privilege of getting the girls up, dressed, fed, washed and transported to nursery by myself this morning, which was a bit stressful, and I may have been less than sympathetic with their problems at times (especially problems that dollies or imaginary friends kept having…)

On the plus side,  Millie seemed a lot better – didn’t eat a lot of breakfast, but ate some, so she’s gone to nursery.

Bubbah is also at nursery for her first proper full day.  But Bubbah, she no like nursery (as we say here).  She didn’t want to be put down when we got there; she really didn’t want to sit with any of the aunties, and she really really didn’t want to be ‘abandoned’ by her parents – thrown, destitute and alone, without a friend in the world, upon the cold mercy of an uncaring world, bereft of hope, homeless, an orphan, doomed to wash upon the tides of civilisation…

Or so you might have thought had you heard her crying.  On a scale of one to ten (one being extremely happy, ten being extremely unhappy) Bubbah was roughly a 23.

And me?  I’m taking the piss a bit with my employers by working from home again because I fully expect nursery to ring at any moment asking me to come and collect one or both of our girls.

One hell of a day so far, and it’s barely 10am.

Gearing up…

Preparations are proceeding apace for tomorrow’s party.  There are delicious cakes lying around in the kitchen just gagging to be eaten (but guarded by a fierce note saying ‘Hands Off!’ – bah!), the Tesco man is on his way with more goodies, and the postman continues to pile up cards and presents at our door.

I think it’s safe to say that Amber’s first birthday party will be great fun.  Almost all of our immediate family are making the journey to Bexley, plus a very few close friends.  We wanted to invite more, but our house isn’t that big unfortunately, so apologies to anyone waiting in vain for an invitation.  Maybe next year?

I’ve also had a brilliant idea for Millie’s birthday at the end of June, that we could have a party in the woods behind our house!  Wouldn’t that be cool?  And it means we could invite an almost unlimited number of people!  With Bubbah’s birthday being in the middle of chilly February it isn’t really practical to do that for her, though – sorry, Amber G!

And tonight we’re having our pseudo-regular boys’ film night, in which a group of otherwise intelligent men gather at someone’s house to watch rubbish films (and take the piss out of them).  Although…I say ‘rubbish’, but we’ve inadvertently discovered some gems in the past: Bubba Ho-tep, Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain and Kung Fu Hustle among them.

Tonight’s film?  Crank, a film that Mike, who has a PhD so should probably know better, has been nagging us to watch for months, and we’ve finally given in.