Sunday, 28 February 2010

Park life

Pushed Amelie today on her very first swing! Proud
moment for me seeing her enjoy
it and being able to push her!
Just a shame we can't be put for long as it's so bloody freezing! Me thinks the term should actually be global
colding. Any thoughts?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Getting sorted

Good things about front door has now been sorted out so it opens automatically. Hurrah. First time in years I can get in and out my front door totally independently and I can let visitors in and out. Also good is that we have discovered that although not absolutely brilliantly, I can actually use the sling with Amelie so she can sit almost on my knee and I can cart her about like that so she can be with me instead of having someone else push a pushchair with my baby in it that I can't use. Also the engineers phoned about my van to tell us they can build me a clamping system next week which means as soon as they've done it, I can use my manual chair to drive from and my electric chair will be no longer vital to my life. Another thing is that the playpen I'd ordered from e-bay came today and although not brilliantly assembled yet, she seems really happy to be in it and it will work well with height and playing/interaction. So we are really getting there with independence/freedom aspect. Fab. So then at a time when independence is being achieved in leaps and bounds, do I have to feel bored?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

HOW much stuff?

Today was the first day I went out driving in the van, baby in tow, with no papousse but a baby seat, a pushchair, a person to help us plus myself in an electric chair. In order to turn even thinking about leaving the house into a relatively calm and stress free exercise, I had to try and come up with a way of getting in and out as efficiently as possible. seat first goes in van, gets strapped in etc, then pushchair gets taken out of cupboard and assembled but out of way of my access to front door so as I can go and open up van when everyone is finally ready to leave house, then I go to loo, then remind person helping to go to loo, then when all shoes etc on, check changing bag is firmly on back of chair and my handbag is stapped across my front with bottle, milk powder container, bib, baby wipes and purse so that any rummaging for bottles etc in changing bag strapped to the back of my chair is kept to a minimum if baby starts to get distressed and needs bottle quickly, then ask person helping to put baby's coat on, then check baby wearing dummy holder with dummy attached so she can't lose it and people have to start rummaging around on the floor to look for it, then pick up disabled badges on way out and check that person locking up has house keys. Then go out and open van and get into vehicle before shouting to person in house that tailift now ready to transport baby in pushchair and person with pushchair up into van, after you've reminded them to lock your front door and before taking baby out of pushchair and putting into car seat and then reminding person helping to put break on pushchair so it doesn't run into the back of me in the event of an accident, then close up tailift and take off bag strapped across me so I can get to steering wheel. Phew. Am exhausted already. Hopefully will all become second nature very soon.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Learning from others

Was talking to my friend on skype the other day. She's German and has been following my blog. We were talking about playing and the fact that I've been using the sofa so I can play with Amelie where I can reach her as I can't get down to her level on the floor. She told me they have these things in Germany called a Laufstall and that they are really common. Basically it's just a raised playpen that sits quite high off the floor so babies are safe and can play in it but still feel a big part of what's going on around them as they're at the right height to join in with their surrounding activity. I found one on eBay and bought it. Things like this can unfortunately sometimes result in a somewhat unsuccessful and expensive experiment but the thing is, you don't know till you try. So we'll see.

Still waiting on more progress with the sling, am really hoping I can use it. Is always good to know things are possible if you're prepared to hunt things down.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

First highchair

Gosh, my little girl now has her own highchair and she's been sitting there this evening waving from it!

Was worried it wouldn't be right height for me or the tray at the front for her food etc would get in the way of me feeding her but it's fine. I kind of just have to sit at the side of her and reach over and feed her that way but it works fine.

Also, another interesting piece, a friend of mine told me today that in Germany they have these playpens that are raised up high so the child can play whilst being at an adult's seated height. How cool is that? Would be fab for us. Must look into availability here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Slings and things

Fished out the aforementioned sling today. Seem to have mislaid instructions though so yet to see if it's.a hit or not.

Also discovered today that with.a few engineered adjustments, I will be able to drive my van from my electric chair hence completely revolutionising my whole life. Am awaiting next step with baited breath. Things seem to be coming together so well at the moment. Not sure whether to be sceptical or to just lap it up.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Coming through!

Life has been quite productive the last few days. Just when I felt things were coming to a bit of a grinding halt, they seem to have turned around and in the last few days we have taken the plunge to get an automatic front door opener so I can get in and out the house without anyone having to open and shut the door for me, some work done on the drive, a new kitchen counter put up in our kitchen, my hair cut short and discovered new playgroups locally. Hurrah!

On the down side, I'm already getting fed up of the pushchair and being such a wide load everywhere we go makes me think we should always be accompanied by a police escort. I prefer to use the manual chair as I feel like I'm cheating really if I just whizz off in my electric. Maybe I should just stop giving myself such a hard time. Ian reminded me I bought a sling way back that I thought would be useful once she gets too big for the papousse. Am meant to be able to use it until she's 18 months. Hmmm. Am sceptical but will give it a go. Promise to report back one way or the other.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

New adventures

Went to a new rhythm time class today. Well, when I say new, I mean new to us. It was good. I sound impressed, I know, but I thought it was going to be a bit rubbish as when we turned up there was only a handful of people there but very soon after that it was jam packed. Best things about it were Amelie loved it, there were loads of little ones there and the people in general just seemed really nice, plus, big bonus, it's only about 20 minutes push away. I also found out there's another playgroup there I didn't know about so things going on in the area. Maybe it's the start of some new doors opening I didn't know about and I really think now Amelie is at the age where the more stuff we take her to, the more she'll benefit so bring it on!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Haven't written mainly as baby currently insomniac hence my severe lack of ability to string a coherent sentence together. I'm suffering and I'm not the one getting up to her in the night. I joke and tell people that I may as well milk the advantages of being paralyzed as not getting up in the night and pretty excellent free parking is as good as it gets but sometimes when i look at my husband's presently wisened face, I wonder whether it wouldn't just be easier to share duties.

Due to their lack of oral communication, sometimes it's pretty near impossible to work out what's wrong with the devils-babies not husbands, although...... Of course, the omnipresent list of baby issues immediately springs to mind in troubled times but even then after the process of elimination has proven unsuccessful and you have tried everything in the book and then some, you have to remind yourself that you're not a bad parent and that parents the world over encounter very similar problems and emotions all the time.

Let's hope tonight is less disturbed. Am hoping that the fact she seems to have eaten so well today will contribute to a good night's sleep for all. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Sometimes overcoming problems in life is just about thinking outside the box. We all know this, yet sometimes we still fail to employ this manner of thinking when faced with a problem we have a mental block about.

Today I found a way to play properly with my little girl for the first time. Just me and her. It was soooo special and I think we both felt really happy. She was all smiles and laughter and really didn't need her dummy at all. And all I did was plonk her on the sofa on top of a cushion and I sat infront of her to one side and that was enough to be able to interact and play with her properly. For ages now when I saw her playing on the floor I'd just busy myself with other stuff and come and see her periodically as it was the only way I felt i could have some input yet still keep sane about feeling inadequate about another area of my baby'sife where I couldn't really meet her needs independent of the help of others. So what if her playing position is somewhat unconventional, it's much more important that we learn how to have as much fun as possible together as mummy and baby!

Monday, 8 February 2010


Mum went to Hong Kong today to see my sister who's working over there as a teacher. This meant Ian had to take her to the airport as we live close by and Amelie and I stayed at home on our own together for the first time and guess what....nothing went wrong...hurrah! One giant leap for mummy and baby! Can't wait to do it again just a question of confidence and is lovely to have her all to myself for a bit!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Splish splosh

Getting a bit more to grips with the bathing thing now. Is good product but sides are higher than ideal so sitting in my chair bathing her on dining room table means I can't see to the bottom of the bath. But then I suppose it wasn't designed with tetraplegic motherhood in mind, surprise surprise! Maybe I should scout for wheelie friendly mummy stuff or perhaps get involved with designing products and bringing them to life. Although sadly I think demand may be rather too minimal. Or maybe a mouse click would be just the thing to surprise me into realising that there IS actually a much greater demand for all this stuff than I had pessimistically imagined. Hmmm. Food for thought.

The playing thing is hard work for me to get involved with too. I feel more like an onlooker than a participant. She's sitting up now and really starting to explore her environment which is fab but she plays mostly on the floor as it's the safest place. I get down there once in a blue moon when Scruff can lift me but I hate to ask because I HATE asking and I think it's really hard work for him. Sometimes we put her on a table but I get worried she'll fall and it means someone has to hold her just in case so it's not really the same. Will continue to rack brains in an endeavour to come up with some genius plan..........

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Out and about

Was sooo nice to get out in fresh air today. Dunham Massey was packed full of people with black labs and kids on scooters.

Opted for pram today instead of papousse. The latter getting a bit uncomfortable as she becomes increasingly more lardy. Bless. She currently has the legs of a mini sumo wrestler. Lets hope she grows out of them.

Am going to do some research into prams you can attach to the front of a wheelchair. That way I can push her round too. Really depends on amount required to be invested etc and if they've managed to come up with anything better than those supermarket trolley attachment things that the whole of the able bodied world think are such a brilliant creation until you try to turn a corner, wheelchair behind trolley thing and instead of turning inconspicuously down into the cheese section, you end up crashing headlong into the fish counter.

Will report back if anything worth writing up on.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sore throat. Dry one this time. Think I've got what Ian's been ill with all week. Joy. Amelie ok, bit winey but then she has blocked up nose and is teething. She doesn't make much fuss of it though and is pretty agreeable regardless so I count my lucky stars for her seemingly good temperament. Long may it continue. Bit of a slow news day today so will close. Hopefully bit more to report tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Yet another grey, miserable winter's day. Yuk. I really do struggle to find real incentive to leave the house when it looks so bleak and uninviting ouside. Especially when getting out the door with a baby, a PA, me, a wheelchair, a pushchair or papousse, a changing bag, a baby car seat and all the other necessary paraphanalia is what I have to contend with each time I leave the house. Yet upon my return home, I almost always feel it's been worth the mission it involves. At least then I've got Amelie out, had a push about, we've all had some fresh air and a change of scene and I just feel much more positive and like the whole thing isn't some insurmountable feit.

I bought a new bath for Amelie the other week. I bought an inflatable bath before she was born as I knew I wouldn't be able to bath her in our bath as I wouldn't be able to reach down that far. In the end we didn't use it much as she just used to sit on my knee with me in my shower chair and I'd shower her like that. She loved it and so did I but she just got too big and too wriggly and I was scared she'd fall. So I had to think of another plan, had a good scout around online and came up with this baby bath that is meant for travelling with and can be flattened down after use so also no space is wasted. Hurrah. Good product all round. Means I can bath her by putting the bath on our dining room table so I can reach and still get that closeness. She seemed to like it too. So far, so good.....................

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Yet more snow

Went to Stapeley water gardens today. Was spur of moment decision and good job as was snowing on approach and we wouldn't have gone had we still been at home. Mostly is inside anyway so was ok and Amelie got to see her first ever parrots, tortoises, reptiles and piraƱa in the tropical house which was fun although generally I think the lights were still more interesting than anything else.

Is always nice to get out and about with her. People always notice her and stop to say hello, for 2 reasons I think: 1. She smiles at almost everyone she meets and 2. She's normally strapped to the front of her wheelie Mummy in a papousse. I have to keep reminding myself that although we are used to
it, not everybody has seen it before!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Personal Assistant not in today, she's come down with the germs which have inevitably been passed on to her by me, ian and Amelie but is a bit difficult to avoid such close contact in a job like hers. Scruff is thankfully between contracts at the moment so is here to help but he is also snotty and full of germs so we are not really much better off. Is also quite an in-your-face type reminder that I still need to sort out a cover person, like now.

Amelie also has bugs but seems to be holding up well and is mainly smiley still which is always a good sign. Am only taking her to 1 baby class/group a week at the minute as the place we used to go to for 'rhyme and sign' has been temporarily closed due to building work and so am looking for another free and interesting class which isn't in a rough and ready area but this, it seems, is a lot to ask.

Going out later to see a friend of mine and her little boy who is 5 months older than Amelie, hence 13 months to be precise. Be a chance for them to do that whole babies getting together sweet thing that they do aswell as just a chance to get out of the house and into another person's 4 walls for a change.

Nothing much more exciting to report, just a normal, run of the mill Tuesday really.

Monday, 1 February 2010

My heart was jumping for joy this afternoon as I was chopping mushrooms for a risotto for tomorrow lunch as I awaited the return of my little girl. I had such a lovely time just hanging out with my gorgeous husband but was itching to see Amelie by lunch time today. As I watched my parents car pull up infront of our house, all I wanted to do was run outside, take her out of her car seat, fling her up in the air and give her the hugest, bestest hug, the kind that only a Mum can give to her child. Scruff thinks I need to learn patience yet unfortunately my spontaneity is somewhat crushed as a result of my injury and things have to be done in a much more methodical and slow manner than I would intrinsically like. Sometimes I don't think he realises how much of the art of patience I have had to master just so as not to have driven myself completely insane by now.

Anyway, she is back home and I think I love her more now than when she went away.