Daddy’s Special Cuddle Day

Today is a year since Andrew first held his gorgeous daughter.  Everyday Eva and her Daddy get much joy from each other.  They share a very special bond and it is beautiful to see.

Eva is feeling better now after a much need sleep through the night last night.  Her coughing has gone we are just left with a runny nose.  Hopefully she will perk up for the coming week.

Our flights are booked for the 12th December so it is real and very exciting now.  We are now busy sorting out stuff into piles for moving or donating or disposing of!  Maybe life will be less busy in Australia?!

A Special Cuddle!

Today is 12 months on from the first time I ever held Eva, a week after she was born.  It was such a precious moment after watching her in an incubator for a week. I now realise that for her gestation I was very fortunate to hold her so soon after birth.  Also today is Jamie’s birthday and the first time Claire saw Grace (she was 2 days old) so it is a special day all round.

Today I have also done lots of holding of Eva as she isn’t well again.  I took her to the GP yesterday as we were beginning to worry about her cough.  It seems that she has another chest infection and so is on more antibiotics to prevent any further deterioration.  Yesterday and  today she has slept better so it seems to have really helped her mood.  Some sleeps she is having in the cot others she needs to be in the sling.  Poor thing just has a stream coming out of her nose all the time.  She just looks at us after a sneeze saying “Please help me!”.  Eva is in good spirits most of the time. It seems that as soon as we get her back to sleeping through the night something new crops up.

Also I’m a bit worried about her eating and thus weight gain.  Each sickness and also during traveling Eva eats less than normal.  Eva needs her 12 month immunisations so I thought I would get her weighted at the same time.  However she can’t have injections when sick.  So I might just get her weighed next week anyway.  We have an appointment at the hospital on the 3rd.

Twice this week Eva has said “Ma Ma” when babbling.  Of course I know it has no relation to me it’s just sounds to her but still it makes my heart melt!  She has been saying “Da Da” for a while now.

Eva’s eczema really flared up in Morocco which we think was mostly due to a packaged food which had heaps of tomatoes. Also it probably was the dry heat and lots of changes to sleeping.  Also I am wondering if the aubergine (eggplant) that I ate every night affected her seeing as it is part of the same plant family.  Since being back in Bristol it has really improved again.  It seems she in intolerant to tomato, red pepper (capsicum) and peas.  I am also avoiding white potatoes as they are also part of the nightshade family of plants.  The great news about childhood intolerances is that they are just a nuisance and children grow out of them.  So I will try out these foods again in a few months.

“Sun”set is now 4.15!  I say “sun” because a sighting of that is rare.  Lots of gray clouds and rain.  I have been telling Eva to check out the rain incase she doesn’t get to see any when she returns home!

We’re coming home!

That’s right we will soon be living in Australia again.  We thought it time that Eva got to know the country of her passport!

Andrew has a job as Revenue Manager for Rydges Melbourne and Hobart.  We are not sure of dates for return yet but probably before Christmas.  Andrew has been on the lookout for a while and just when we were dreaming of Christmas in Paris this came up.  God was just waiting for the right time I guess!

We will be moving into our house in Blackburn North which we haven’t yet lived in.  That will be very exciting.  Of course being near to family is our main motivation but maybe also the weather and lifestyle are big factors. My family is in Canberra and Adelaide but a lot closer than now!  The joy of not being tenants and not having to deal with other incompetent tenants dumping rubbish everywhere will be just wonderful.  Of course the novelty of having to fix everything ourselves may wear off.

It will be great for Eva to have some sunny weather which may prevent some of the constant colds and coughs that she so readily acquires.  I am very excited about a laundry (very tired of the washing machine spinning through the kitchen) and most especially a clothes line outside!!!!

Of course the very unexciting prospect of packing and once again moving our lives is with us now.  We are trying to heed advice and declutter as we go.  Andrew put a lot of stuff on Ebay this weekend so it has begun.  I know that it is silly to be attached to “things” but they hold memories for me so sometimes it is sad to let go.  Hopefully we will return to Australia with less “junk”  which will please certain family members no end!  Of course with shipping we will be living without our stuff for a while but luckily have booked some rooms at Ruth and Bob’s B&B for the meantime.

It will be sad to leave Bristol, Eva’s birthplace but it will always be here for a visit.  Eva will be followed up in Melbourne so her care wont really be affected just that we wont know any of the medical people.  We are sad that we will not see Eva’s premmie friends Grace and Jamie grow up in person but there will always be lots of photos.

Wish us luck with packing and saying goodbye.  Please pray for our safe journey and the safe arrival of our memories.

Update (20/11): Flights are booked.  We leave London on December 12th!

Marrakesh – The Finish

The rest of our time in Morocco was great.  We really enjoyed walking around Marrakesh but weren’t quite as refreshed as we had hoped seeing as Eva didn’t think much of sleeping and Andrew was busy negotiating contracts!  It was still great to be away.

The weather was beautiful in the high 20’s.  It was so warm we even braved a swim in the unheated hotel pool.  Eva loved her very brief dip in her wetsuit.  Daddy enjoyed playing games and singing to her despite that fact that his legs went numb.

We were pleased that overall Marrakesh was very clean with no rubbish to be seen and plenty of rubbish men collecting.  Also it was much more pleasant than in Turkey or Egypt where the shop sellers really hassle you.  Sadly the air was very polluted and made it hard to breathe at times.  There were lots of scooters and old vehicles on the road.

We enjoyed more wandering in the souks (covered Markets) where they wanted to sell us everything for our baby of course.  We took a Caleche (Horse and Cart) Ride which was a lovely pace to watch the world go by.  The breeze was nice to keep us cool.  We enjoyed visiting several of the old buildings with the lovely geometric shapes in the tiles on the walls and floors. Eva enjoyed sitting on the cool tiles and touching the marble.

We ate and drank in the restaurants over looking the main square and enjoyed a bird’s eye view and of course lots of photo opportunities.  On the last day we took our few saved up coins and paid for close up photos of the characters in the square.  Of course they were bitter about only a few coins and I was worried that they might follow us in anger but we only went by the Lonely Planet guidelines.  We did end up with some good photos.

Every night we ate at the food stalls in the square which was fun.  The spriukers had an amazing memory and touted for our business each night.  We tried to go back to ones who bantered with us.  All the food was pretty good but we did go back to stall 22 again because they were the most entertaining and the yummiest.  They all loved Eva.

There were many gymnastic events when Eva needed her nappy changed in various restaurant toilets.  It was always fun to decide whether the basin, floor or my lap was going to work. Now of course with her reaching over and trying to sit up the challenge was on!  Of course I was thankful that there were toilets to change her in.  As always she traveled well in the sling and we enjoyed the convenience of breastfeeding in all sorts of places.  Unfortunately Eva’s eczema flared up quite badly which we think was mostly due to tomatoes in her packaged food.  Also this affected her sleep.

During the days Andrew and I would take time to reflect on what had happened a year ago.  Sometimes with sadness sometimes we had a laugh.  Always we were thinking just how lucky we are to have this beautiful baby girl as a result.  We remembered meeting Colin the chaplain who listened as Andrew explained the situation, I was too upset to speak.  We remembered how every time Andrew would unfold his camp bed my contractions would start. We remembered discussing names for our beautiful baby and being relieved when the baby had an identity.  We remembered all the bed pans and bed washes with head down.  Andrew remembered my “I’m never doing this again” during pushing.  We also thought of the people who are doing this right now in their lives and also those who don’t have a baby to hold in their arms.  Although our pain at Eva’s premature birth is intense theirs in unimaginable.  Please pray for people who are going through premature labour as you read this.