Colin found a new job within days of his agency job ending. This one is an assistant manager position in our local town which will hopefully be much better than the last few jobs he has had. He starts tomorrow, so we’ve enjoyed having him at home with us for the last couple of weeks.
We had an exciting milestone last week when Tabitha learned to ride her bike without stabilisers. She has been ready for a few months but first I was heavily pregnant and now I usually have a baby strapped to my front, so we made the most of having Colin around. She didn’t need much help though and was soon well away!
One day we set out to Watermouth Castle, but when we arrived we discovered that it was closed! There is no phone or internet signal there, so we couldn’t check what other local attractions were open. In the end we decided to drive on to Minehead and go on the steam railway.
When we eventually got there, there was a special Thomas the Tank event on and the tickets were much more expensive than usual, so we went for a walk around Minehead instead. There was a fascinating market stall with many beautiful fossils, rocks and gemstones. The stall holder happily shared his knowledge and the children chose one item to buy each.
As we were going back to the car, a staff member said that as the station had now closed we could go onto the platform and have a look at the trains. The children were invited onboard one and were given a very interesting lesson on steam engines.
On the way to Minehead, I knocked our already-damaged car wing mirror in the hedge and it broke completely. Having previously been quoted £300+ by the dealer to replace it with a new one, we decided to have a go ourselves. I bought a unit from a scrapped car on Ebay and Colin took the door apart. Unfortunately there was one bolt which he just could not get undone!
We spent many hours this week parked on my parents’ drive or in front of Colin’s mum’s house, where there is more room to work. The children enjoyed the novelty of playing outside in a cul-de-sac and feeding Nanny’s chickens. Poor Colin tried everything he could think of but eventually gave up and booked it into a garage, who managed to remove the bolt quickly and cheaply. So our wing mirror is now fixed, just in time for Colin’s driving test in a few days!
I’ve had a rather stressful few weeks with Esther’s feeding. I’d had a few niggling concerns since she was born but she seemed to be doing fine on the whole. Then she was ill and when we were discharged from hospital I arranged an appointment with a breastfeeding counsellor (who also happens to be the mum of a little girl I used to childmind).
Things seemed to get better again for a while, but when we came back from London Esther went on a feeding strike. She would initially refuse almost every time I tried to feed her except when she was asleep. Occasionally I would give her a bottle of expressed milk just to get something into her, but she would often refuse that too.
Eventually she was barely feeding at all, so I took her to the GP in desperation. It was a doctor we hadn’t met before, but we had a lovely chat about slings and babywearing! As Esther had been on antibiotics she prescribed medication for thrush just in case, but couldn’t see any obvious reason for her refusal to feed.
I had already asked my health visitor for a referral to the maxillofacial unit, and on Monday Esther saw a surgeon who said she had a small but thick posterior tongue tie, which he snipped then and there. Her feeding has been better again for the last few days, although I’m not convinced that the tongue tie had anything to do with her strike. She has lost a bit of weight over the last few weeks, so hopefully she will have started gaining again by the next time I get her weighed.
Apart from her feeding issues, Esther is doing well. She loves lying on her playmat and grabbing at toys. She is really trying to sit up and can sometimes manage a few seconds before losing her balance. She gave up thumb-sucking and now sucks two of her fingers instead. She will no longer take a dummy. At bath time I’ve had to start putting her baby bath inside the big bath as she splashes so much! She sleeps very well most of the time, going to bed around 8 pm and doing a nice long stretch before waking twice. I still feel surprisingly tired most of the time though!
Colin’s sister had her baby boy a few days ago and I went to visit them in hospital this afternoon while the children were at Sunday School. He is so tiny and light compared to Esther! Babies grow up so very quickly, I’m trying to enjoy every moment. It is lovely to take time out of a busy day to lie down with her on the bed at naptime, stroking her face or having babbling “conversations” until she drifts off to sleep.