Up and down weekend

A busy weekend coming up for me!  The Lovely Melanie is off to Swindon for a hen party – they’re all dressed as pirates, so if you’re in Swindon and see some scurvy (but oddly sexy) dogs swashbuckling their way across the town…that’s my girl!

Tomorrow, we’re planning to go down to Croydon for some free festival thing there (the Croydon Summer Festival).  It feels quite ambitious, as Croydon’s nowhere near Bexley and it’ll be me in charge of both the girls at once – anything could happen really!

There’s nothing especial on at the festival (Dreadzone, maybe – The Proclaimers, possibly) just that some (childless) friends will be there.

Important that “childless” bit, since one or two sadly can at times be, ahem, unhelpful where the girls are involved: just trying to get a firm commitment from them to be at a certain place a certain time is frequently beyond them.  In the old days this was an annoyance rather than a problem, but when you add the girls into the equation it rapidly becomes quite a loud, tiring, antisocial, double-barreled problem.

And getting to Croydon will involve two trains and a tram, so let’s see what the weather gives us and how we feel in the morning…  I’m having nightmarish visions of being alone, two hours from home via train and tram, with no nappies, no milk, a tired Millie and a grumpy, hungry eBub…

Sunday will be easier, I hope, since I’m getting some back-up in the form of me old mate Nik (and, importantly, his car) with a still somewhat vague plan to take the girls and me to somewhere called Goodnestone Park Gardens.

If it’ll get us out of the house and give the girls something interesting to see and do then I’m all for it!

Maybe not on the dole…

I came into work this morning mentally composing the section in my CV that details what I’ve been doing for the last 18 months (i.e., at Yahoo!)

I’m still composing that section, you better believe that, but having heard the Immortal Lords Of Yahoo explain things and answer questions, and then having heard from the Merely Mortal High Servants of the Lords Of Yahoo, I’m not in quite such a panic to do so.

At the moment it sounds as though the Yahoo-Microsoft deal may even turn out to be a good thing.

(make note of the “sounds” and the “may” in that statement)

I guess we’ll see.

Now, what exactly have I been doing for the last 18 months or so…?

On the dole…?!

For those of you who missed the announcement yesterday (and I thought it was a pretty big announcement, but maybe that’s just because I work on the web) Yahoo! and Microsoft are planning to join forces.

I have no axe to grind with Microsoft, I use some of their software – as does most of the planet.  And obviously I have no axe to grind with Yahoo! as they’re my employer. 🙂

However, yesterday’s announcement looks like being less than wonderful news for me because the new Microsoft-Yahoo! team will not be using the Yahoo! search engine (the search engine that I work on), but will instead use Microsoft’s new Bing search engine – albeit, under the Yahoo! name.

Everything’s still very much up in the air at the moment (way way up in the air, in fact) but it has been confirmed that there will be some job losses and it seems fairly inevitable to me and my colleagues that they’ll be first and foremost in Yahoo’s search division.

This is a real shame, and doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, particularly since despite all the critics and the low market share, in independent tests Yahoo’s search engine has been regularly outperforming both Google and Bing.

Sadly, nobody wants to believe this, and Google’s dominance in search seems almost unshakeable.  Microsoft meanwhile simply has shedloads of cash to throw at the problem of not-being-as-good-as-us, whether to develop a better search engine or to simply advertise it more.

So, everybody’s a bit subdued here at work today.  As I say, nobody’s sacked yet; nobody knows what the hell is going to happen next; everybody is, however, speculating at breakneck speed about the future.  We went down the pub after the announcement yesterday to do that very thing.  All we decided was that we didn’t know what the hell was going to happen next, however, and that it was jolly annoying.

And that we should probably dust off our CVs ready for action.  Just in case.

More night sweats

More problems with Millie not sleeping last night – or, more accurately I think, with her not waking up.

As usual, about an hour after she went to bed I heard her crying and went into see what the matter was.  She wasn’t as sweaty as she had been on previous nights, but that may be just because I heard her and went in sooner.  There’s a lot of thrashing around when she’s doing this crying, so perhaps that’s what’s making her so sweaty…?

Anyway, the Lovely Melanie was out with friends last night leaving just me on solo watch, so I went in to see what the matter was.

As I said, the problem is less that Millie’s can’t sleep, more that she can’t seem to wake up properly.  Once more I found her thrashing around quite a bit and wailing – not really crying, as there were no tears, but certainly grizzling very loudly.  And the real problem was that it was impossible to get through to her – despite cuddling her, talking to her softly, talking to her loudly, even pretending to drop her (which is surprisingly effective!) she just carried on writhing, kicking and moaning incoherently.

It took almost 15 minutes to get any sense out of the girl, to get her to calm down and drink some water, plus another ten minutes after that to get her back into bed and back to sleep.  Seeing your normally chatty, smart and happy little girl like that – and being unable to do much about it – was pretty unpleasant, and I confess I even began to think about a gentle slap to the cheek to try and wake her up.  That’s how worried I was getting!

It’s as though she was trapped between sleep and waking, unable to quite make it fully to either state.  Very odd.

But, anyway, we eventually got her calmed down, and I sat with her for a while stroking her head, the same as I remember my dad doing to me when I was little and ill or upset, and, just like the last couple of times, she was quiet for the rest of the night.

I asked her this morning if she remembered waking up last night, but she just smiled a slightly embarrassed smile and said “no”.

Amber’s been learning more words, too.  She now knows Millie’s name, although she calls her Lay-lays, and will come storming up to her, lean in really really close and say “Lay-lays!”  It’s so sweet!

Not quite as sweet this morning, but still kind of sweet, was the screaming competition Amber and Millie had.  It’s a fairly regular event, to be honest, but got so competitive this morning I was worried that Muriel next door might call the police!

Those girls have got some lungs on them!

Back to the iDoc’s…

Another appointment with the eye doctor for Millie this morning, and it’s looking increasingly likely that she’ll have to have surgery at some point to correct her squint.

It’s still by no means certain, but the eye doctor today just confirmed what we already knew: that Millie’s glasses aren’t correcting the squint.  The squint isn’t getting any worse (and isn’t a bad squint anyway) but it could if left untreated.

So we’ll see.

And first it was Amber having trouble sleeping, now it’s Millie.  Last night was the third night on the trot that we’ve heard her crying in bed and found her still, basically, asleep, but drenched in sweat.  Her room hasn’t been particularly hot and she doesn’t have a temperature so we’re at a bit of a loss as to what’s going on.

Dr Lovely Melanie has been scaring herself by looking up “night sweats” online: unsurprisingly discovering that they’re a symptom of things like, I don’t know, radiation sickness, ebola virus and consumption, too.  But she’s a mum, and mums worry.

Dr No-Nonsense Dad is more inclined to think it’s due to bad dreams, particularly as last night it took Millie a very long time to settle down and become aware of where she was.  Once she’d managed that she went straight back to sleep with no further problems, just as she had the previous two nights.

A trip to the actual doctor’s is being organised, just in case our amateur diagnoses turn out to be wrong.