Wednesday, 31 January 2007

First Report

I heard from David today for the first time since he arrived in France. He spent Tuesday having a look around Annecy. His first adult impressions seem pretty favourable although I think there is more industrial area than he expected. He didnt get far with any real estate agents yet (its only day 1 after all!), but he's managed to confirm one important thing with the Préfecture. The French Consul in Brisbane has said that I do not require a visa to enter France because as the wife of an EU citizen I have a right to reside wherever David lives in the EU. But I have always worried that when we arrive and I apply for my carte de séjour that the Préfecture would require something different. But it seems not...so that is one less thing to worry about. I'm sure it all stems from my failed attempt to go to Paris when I was 21. In the aftermath of the Rainbow Warrier incident, France brought in a visa requirement for Australian citizens, of which I was unaware and I was turned away when I tried to get on the boat at Dover. I still wonder what would have happened had I made it to France at that age. Would I have become one of those young aussies who go overseas at the end of uni and never go home? Knowing me, I really doubt it... but at least I get my second chance in May!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

APT musings

Today I took the kids to the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT). I remember going to the APT in 2001 just after I had been told I had a fertility issue. At the time, in my maudlin and superstitious way, I remember wondering whether I would be pregnant by the time the next APT rolled around in 3 years. Little did I know at that time, that the news I had just received would be far outweighed by much sadder events along our journey to our family. But 3 years ago, we joyously took our long awaited 7 month old Lily to my second APT. And this year, I went with both Lily and Jasper and it was great! And once again, as I do almost every day, I marvelled at these two wonderful children we have in our lives. And I have to admit, I did just wonder whether I will ever go to another APT. Who knows what life has in store for us next...

Monday, 15 January 2007

Day Six and we are doing well

I really feel like I am starting to get a handle on all of Jasper's care and I'm feeling a lot more confident about managing on my own when David is away. Having discarded the woefully inadequate advice about nappies from the hospital, I have settled on the right combination of nappies and incontinence pads to make sure we avoid any more major leaks. Buying incontinence pads is almost as embarassing as buying condoms - I feel like discreetly saying "they're not for me, you know" to the chemist, but I guess they hear those excuses all the time.

The last major problem I was worried about has been sorted out. Although Jasper fit in Lily's car seat, which she kindly vacated, I was not happy with the safety of the straps due to the angle at which he sits. So, today we hired a special car seat, which, rather ironically is the same type as Lily's seat but has been modifed to be used by spica kids.

Now if my back just holds out, I feel like I just might make it through the next 36 or so days....

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Home!

Well it's been a very stressful couple of days... Jasper had an operation (open reduction) on his right hip on Wednesday to correct his hip dysplasia. The operation was a success and a CAT scan showed the cast was correctly set.

David and I tried to prepare ourselves but it was pretty hard. Jasper was having regular painful muscle spasms despite being on a morphine drip and many tears were shed by both mum and dad. (so hard to see our smiley boy go through a whole day with no smiles :-(. It was very awkward just holding him and to breastfeed him in a comfortable position, he was sleeping a lot and very drowsy. On Thursday, there was a lot of vomiting but generally he was feeling a lot better.

We've been home now for 2 days and I am amazed how well Jasper is doing. He's smiling and laughing, frustrated at times and fighting his naps - pretty much back to normal! But its a bit like he's 4 or 5 months old again. He cant roll but if you put him on his tummy he can turn around in a circle. He can push up on his arms but it frustratingly moves him backwards. Playing with Lily is his best entertainment. He quite likes reclining in his bean bag and being in the pram - although that took a bit of fiddling around to get the right position. The car seat is not really a good fit so we need to look into a special spica car seat.

Its been a big adjustment for us getting used to handling him. Diapering has been a huge challenge that we have not yet perfected - lets just say I should have bought shares in Huggies years ago and fortunately I dont mind the smell of wee too much. Thankfully the vomiting and diarrhea from the drugs is almost gone and he doesnt even need any pain relief any more. He needs a lot of care and attention and I have no idea how I'm going to manage it alone but it is just so good to have the operation behind us and to have our smiley boy back.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Its like he knows

Jasper has been making such progress lately - its like he knows that from tomorrow he will be unable to get around. In the last week, his crawling has become so fast and now he's pulling up and even cruised along the lounge today. I'm a bit sad that he'll have to take a break from all that for the 6 weeks he has the cast on and maybe while he wears his brace too but mostly, I just feel pleased that he *can* crawl, he *can* pull up and he *can* cruise. All these things mean that one day once we've got his hips sorted out, he will walk and run and jump just like any other kid.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Why would you *do* that?

If you were an 86 year old great grandmother, come to stay with your grandson and his family for four months (yep, that's right, FOUR months), and you see your grand-daughter-in-law come downstairs after trying unsuccessfully for an hour to get the baby to sleep, why would you say "Oh, so he's not having a nap, then?" I mean, really, what is the point of such a comment? And if you were a hungry 3 year old, why would you come upstairs to ask your mother,who was trying to get the aforementioned baby off to the aforementioned sleep, for an afternoon snack, instead of badgering your father, who lies, not two feet from you, prostrate on the lounge reading Wired magazine. And while we're at it, if you were an 8 month old baby who'd only had 20 minutes of sleep all day, why wouldnt you just go to sleep already?

Aaaah, only 3 more hours till bedtime!

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Deux mille sept, on mangera la raclette...

Its a silly family tradition but since Lily was born, every year at New Year's we come up with a little rhyme about the next year. For the first time this year, its in french. And by the time we have to start thinking about what rhymes with deux mille huit, we will have eaten our fair share of raclette - a yummy cheese served on potato that is a specialty of the Haute-Savoie.

In 3 weeks, David will head to Annecy to look for an apartment. It still doesnt seem quite real. When he returns, hopefully having had some success and some good skiing, we will start to pack our things up to be shipped. Our departure date has been set for May 15.

But before all that, we have to fix Jasper's hips. Late last year, we found out he has hip displaysia and he will go into hospital next week for an operation to correct the displacement and put him in a spica cast - a cast from belly to ankle.

Its going to be a big year...