Monday 29 December 2008

Jake's first Christmas

Well that's that then. Christmas done and dusted for another year. To be honest I thought he'd be completely none the wiser but I do think he got something from it. Firstly the presents, he was obviously a very lucky boy to get all the stuff he got, lots of nice soft toys and things for his bedroom which will all stimulate his senses and help him develop his coordination. He also seemed to like the wrapping paper. I think next year he'll enjoy the paper and the boxes and then the year after he'll be really into it and that's when the fun will properly begin. My two nieces are 3 and a half and 1 and a half and whilst present opening is carnage it is wonderful to see how excited and happy they are. I joke with my sister that 'it's all about the kids', but it really is and Christmas is going to get better and better from now on.

We had a lovely time but probably did too much. Christmas day started at home, loading up the car and going to my parents for breakfast which gave us an opportunity to partially empty the car of presents, only to replace them with many more before going to Clare's parents for the main event. I went home from Epsom to Guildford to feed the cat and dump some stuff so I could go back to Epsom to pick up wife and child (and more presents) so we could go back to my parents for Boxing day....then on Saturday we took everything home, dumped it before travelling up to Hertfordshire for an annual post Christmas walk and pub / soup / drinks event. Then on Sunday we had an easier journey to Esher for a semi reunion with some old school friends. It was nice to get home and do absolutely nothing for a while before coming back to work.

Jake was obviously mr. pass the parcel and on the whole seemed to like meeting his cousins and auntie and uncle and other family friends and I think it did him good....lots of people leave their babies in quarantine for the first six months which I don't think is good for them but more importantly sends their parents mad...staring at four walls for too long is not a good thing. I'm really pleased that we've carried on with our lives as much as we have and I hope it will make Jake a bit more independent. Judging by how happy he was in the arms of people he'd never met before I think he's on the right path. Clingy babies do my head in and I'm sure it's a result of rods being made for new parents' backs.

Anyway it was a really nice, if tiring break and now the countdown is on to the New Year and the Jakesters' op on the 15th of January. Then we're thinking about a winter sun holiday and weighing up the distance we're prepared to travel with how hot we want it to be is a bit tricky.
Also congrats to Ben, Malos and Anna who got the Godparent gig; very worthy winners! It's always hard choosing the candidates and you have to leave some people out but we plan on having more kids so there will (hopefully) but more slots available in the future!

Here are some Christmas pics

Monday 22 December 2008


Well it's been quite a while since the last entry as I've started to develop a condition which combines writer's block, man-flu, apathy and denial!

Basically this blog was a reaction to how I felt and continued to feel throughout the not-knowing period between getting the news of the cleft and meeting Jake. The blog then developed into a more factual, less emotional vehicle to express our ongoing feelings and now I guess it feels more of a diary. And diaries are things which are often left to deteriorate without the proper motivation. I remember 3 different years when I was growing up where I resolved to keep a diary and always by June the entries started to get shorter and messier until in the end they stopped altogether as if the year in question immediately preceded the Apocalypse.

It's all about motivation you see. Initially the motivation was a by-product of necessity. I desparately needed to get all the crap in my head out and cathartic as that was, it had its own by-product which was a kind of newsletter for friends and family to learn about the situation. The motivation continued as we got more news, learned more and had feedback about the blog. So it became cyclical. Of course now the cleft is no more an issue (to us at least) than a funny birth mark or weird shaped head from the Ventouse, the motivation to tell everyone that 'we're cool with it all' goes away. Everyone's met our little man and no one's reacted badly to seeing the cleft and whilst I wouldn't expect them to, even if they felt differently inside, I like to think that the blog, which many of our f & f have seen may have taught a few things to a few people. I don't mean that arrogantly, but I found it useful so perhaps others have too.

Also, Jake is impossibly cute and has such a lovely nature and personality (not so much at 4am though) and this helps us along nicely.

I did, however commit to keeping this blog going until at least until after the second op and for Jake's sake (!) I must get over my laziness and realise that a promise is a promise. Plus I think it'll be an interesting read back in 5,10 and 20 years' time.

So the poor little thing has had mild bronchilitus, which has been going round his NCT pals but it wasn't deemed serious enough to keep him in hospital, unlike one of the others. Baby Callum who was born 6 weeks early and spent a lot of time in hospital then, returned for a week with the infection and must be completely sick of the place by now. Anyway Jake is getting over this first illness and whilst it's horrible to hear him rattling and wheezing it might help him develop his immune system. Unlike his Dad, that is, who now has classic, full blown man-flu.

I went out with the other halves from the NCT group last week and we all had a fair few pints and a great night....despite my initial misgivings this was the best thing we could have done, the lads are all good guys and Clare is great friends with all her lot too.

We're looking forward to Jake's first Christmas very much and I think every Christmas from now on will just get better and better until he become a cynical teenager!

There will be a lot of photos going up soon, including one of Jake wearing his first Arsenal kit, a gift from uncle's funny but when you see someone else's baby in football wear it just looks awful and chavvy and pikey but when it's your own it looks very cute indeed. I don't think he'll leave the house in it, but it does make for some good photos!

Merry Christmas everyone!