bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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Posts from June 2006

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09:04pm Tuesday, 27th June 2006

by the way – more comments please! we want to read things too!

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09:03pm Tuesday, 27th June 2006

evenin’ all! well another fine week has started, with a fabulous end to last week with saturday and sunday spent in helensburgh with peta’s family.

I took gethin to the weigh in on thursday – he has put on a whopping 2 pounds in a month – double the average according to the health visitors. i could tell something was up the minute they checked his weight against last month and started sniggering! how dare they scoff at my son’s weight – 14lbs 8oz! hee hee! so he’s well on his weigh (!) to being a 15stone giant. we were also very lucky to bump into Linzi and neil with their gorgeous new son, adam william george matheson! congrats guys – he’s a beauty!

the weekend with moomin, gramps and uncle marty was fun – just the right balance of lounging and doing, just doing. on saturday the fully-laden-albeit-only-spending-one-night-away henley mobile crawled into helensburgh via the “scenic” route, i.e. we got lost…. however once arrived we unpacked and went for a walk to the shops and back. Gramps was in glasgow for the day doing shakespeare-a-thon – watching 3 plays in a row, and didn’t get home til the wee hours. Sunday saw all the family invited on board RFA Argus for lunch which was splendid. we scoffed for britain. Martin, cole and i had a guided tour around the ship and were highly impressed (into silence at times) with the facilities on board and we didn’t notice we’d been gone from the baby for nearly 2 hours. Luckily moomin and gramps had him – phew! and he had a nice kip with gramps for a wee while too! the weekend finished all too soon and the fully laden henley mobile slowly made its way back to l’gow. but that night a miracle happened – gethin slept until 6.30 in the morning, fed and then went back to sleep until (wait for it) half bleedin’ nine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fan dabby dosy lie in for mummy, poor daddy scuffed off to work, hee hee. gethin is doing much better on the sleep front now and usually doesn’t wake up until 5.30ish. bliss.

well gethin has been back and forth to the health centre these past two days for his jabs and his 6 week health check. SIX WEEKS????? i hear you cry – they forgot about him. boo hoo. but he had his jabs with relatively little complaint, which was good cos we were invited round to jaki’s for a coffee straight after. it was good to catch up with the other mums – and thanks to jaki for a lovely afternoon! today at his check everything went swimmingly, with gethin given a clean bill of health physically. But I nearly left without my baby as the two health visitors seemed totally intent on stealing him – he charmed the pants off them! they said they were going to be disappointed for the rest of the afternoon as no other baby would be quite as lovely and smiley as gethin! we couldn’t ask for a nicer compliment methinks! he does me proud every time we go out – what a handsome little star.

well uncle marty and gramps are visiting us tomorrow – beware of gin shortages in linlithgow. looking forward to it!

oh yeah – gethin and i have done a sneaky job at bypassing the long list of baby massage hopefuls! we were at jaki’s when she was phoned to be told the class starts this friday and as i was there i was invited to go too! hurruh! i don’t know if geth will like it – any more laid back and he might become comatose. but we shall try it.

ciao for now.

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08:29pm Wednesday, 21st June 2006

Hi all – sorry for extended absence but I have been playing with my boy! it’s so hard to find 15 minutes to sit down and write something on the blog. but here goes….

Well young gethin certainly seems to be growing up fast. I’ve noticed quite a few changes in him over the last week or so – he no longer seems like a little, wobbly new baby. (I know he’s always been big before everyone starts to scoff at my description of him) – he has grown a lot recently; he doesn’t like being held like a newbie – he likes to be sitting up and looking around; he is quite demanding of attention; and he gets grumpy if he isn’t properly entertained with something befitting of an 11 week old! none of this “goobly goobly” nonsense! all in all I think I have a little cheeky chops on my hands. We were in edinburgh yesterday and i was looking at some lovely baby (sorry – young man’s) clothes, so geth was obviously missing out on my attention. he started to bang his hands about, make raspberries at me and grin with his little wrinkled nose – i thought that might be coincidence, but every time my attention wondered from him, he did it again. Cheeky monkey! I do think he’ll be like his uncle marty – a little tearaway! and would i want it any other way? you bet i wouldn’t! I’ve always said to cole that when we have children i would want a little cheeky monster!

Gethin’s lovely vocabulary is also coming along nicely – he has lots of new words including “moo” “bye” “wow” “dad” and, most cleverly, he even remembered the name of our old housemate and his godmother “amelia”! meli you are most honoured. yes, my son is a genius. obviously he MEANT to say all those things. ha ha ha! we can also add high pitched squealing and raspberry blowing to our repertoire, as well as trying to lift his head and shoulders into a sitting position and turning over. Phew – has someone been putting miracle-gro in his bottles? or is it just the gin…..?

well I think i’ve sung the praises of my boy enough. so just enough space to say another huge thankyou to the withers, an anderson and most of all to the grandparent henleys for a wonderful week away in the lakes. it really was magic to spend the week together and to get to know geth’s wee cousin a little better. ciao for now.

10:04am Wednesday, 21st June 2006

an update is well overdue so will try to oblige you eager bairn bloggites. over a week since the last update so plenty to report.

after leaving peta in the lakes cole set upon some quality, un-interrupted nights sleep in deepest darkest west lothian – unfortunately cat belle begged to differ. if it wasn’t meowing it was scratching or even the quite audacious, “wake-up-i’m-hungry” accompanied by a tap on the nose. i always thought belle was quite good grounding for a bairn.

wednesday saw cole’s beloved spain play their first game of the world cup and for the first time in an age, unleash a performance worthy of optimism for the

tournament head, but then you are not here to read about football are you!

thursday was much of a muchness – awake, coffee, work, lunch, work, home, munch, sleep. i think that’s about it although one of my all-time favourite films, the rock, put paid to any plans of an early night.

friday was cole’s last day home alone and a day’s work was followed by birthday celebrations for the lovely shelley. a three course meal on a candle-lit barge for 8 land lubbers, passing the delightful urban scenery of the Union Canal. after a delightful evening we returned to shelley’s friend, pam’s, flat for an evening of beverages where cole managed to miss the last train back to linlithgow – a potential problem given that he was supposed to depart bright (cough) and early (cough) in the morning down to the lakes to collect Peta and Gethin.

Fortunately, Cole had received a tip-off from his man on the inside down south that the family were allowed to stay in their rented cottage for an extra day so the urgency to get down to the Lakes was less than originally thought. Saturday morning cole set off on his what turned out to be epic journey to the lakes after a wee lie-in. the trains from edinburgh to linlithgow were scuppered, going via the east of the city and reduced to an hourly service. but suitably sustenanced by a fried-egg sandwich at ryan and shelley’s cole set off and got home in time to set off on the long drive to the lakes.

the journey was uneventful but long and by three o’clock cole was in keswick, meeting up with the rest of the family in time for a cream tea without the cream, or the tea, as it was too late in the day :(

in just three days gethin had seemingly grown exponentially and it sounded like all had had a fun few days! we enjoyed a last night together, complete with monsterous chinese meal, and in the morning prepared the big pack as we all set to distinguish between three families gubbins and the piles of respective baby belongings. we set off mid-afternoon and popped in to shelley’s parents in maryport en route to report back on their lovely new abode to shelley. a quick feed and change in carlisle and we were home bound.

the rest of the weekend we lazed, ate and got some well-earned kip before back to work on monday. and that is about it. monday saw another victory for spain against tunisia (although less convincing than the 4-0 trouncing of ukraine) and peta went to the doctor to enquire about gethin’s skin and skalp which was quite dry and raw. he has cradle cap on his head, which has unfortunately become infected and spread on to his face. he also has ezcema on his body so we were suitably stocked up with an assortment of ointements and lotions to apply throughout the day.

on tuesday peta set into town for an adventure in the edinburgh rain before an evening’s food, merriment and scrabble at shelley’s to celebrate her birthday proper. tuesday night also marked the closest gethin has come to sleeping through the night. hussah! we didn’t get back from edinburgh until eleven and by the time he was fed and prepped for bed/cot it was getting close to midnight. he then slept through until sevenish so that is great! in his new cot (he has outgrown his crib the wee monster) he has also taken to a new trick which he has clearly inherited from his father – namely to mess up the blankets and lie across the cot. something that will no doubt confound and annoy future girlfriends!

will leave peta to report on her and gethin’s antics in the lake district.

11:56pm Tuesday, 13th June 2006

cole here. it’s late, am tired and just got back from a fab four days in the lovely lake district with peta, gethin, my parents, sister, her husband and bairn and grandpops. sad to come back (work beckons) but left peta and gethin to sun themselves and enjoy the fresh air and company of others, whilst i prepare to spend the first night in almost two months sans son.

we drove down to cockermouth on saturday, arriving in good time with the roads largely empty, probably on account of the england-paraguay match. a lazy saturday and sunday were had by all, briefly popping out for supplies on sunday morning and basking in the hot summer sun whilst partaking in all manner of antics, not least some rather fun giant bubble blowing and a spot of painting, something which i haven’t done in a very long time. the place we are staying in is lovely. peta, gethin and i managed to land the master bedroom with fantastic views across the rolling pastural landscape to the mountainscapes of the lakes beyond. nature was all around, from the wilds of the landscape at the edge of the garden to the friendly red squirrel and woodpecker which were gracing the bird (and squirrel) feeders.

after a super-relaxing day or two at home on monday a venture was required so we headed off to buttermere in the rain. despite the grey the scenery was dramatic and after an hour or so of cross-country walking with buggys and bairns, the clouds parted for another scorching day.

a rather yummy cream tea was had in the shade of the local pub and we headed back for roast dinner at home. gethin was put down for the night and all concerned were set for an evening of cards and leisurely pursuits when the tranquility of the country was disturbed by the squark of a lesser-spotted pa-pa who had unfortunately took a nasty slip whilst popping out to top up the bird table and landed awkwardly on his wrist. he was in poor shape so mum rushed him to hospital, returning in the wee hours complete with plaster-cast and sling.

tuesday was my last day in the lakes so we popped into cockermouth for a greasy fry-up, before heading out to keswick for a spot of the most splendiferous afternoon/cream tea. dad made a return trip to hospital where it transpired he had broken his wrist in two places, and on top of this was having a nasty reaction to the codeine he was on leading to muchos nausea, poor sod!

sadly, the day passed far too quickly and before i knew it i was packing up the car and set off back to linlithgow. thanks to the family for such a lovely few days. left the camera with peta so no photos at present but will hope to post plenty when her and gethin return on saturday xxx

07:06pm Wednesday, 7th June 2006

new generations. you wait an age (a generation?) for one and then a bunch come at once. star trek fans had to wait 21 years for their next generation!

anyway. what are you whittering on about doctor henley? well, on the 3rd of april 2006 young gethin was a brave pioneer, treading boldly where no-one had trod before into a new generation of mine and peta’s families. now everyone’s at it!

shortly after gethin was born cousin samuel emerged into this world. now they are popping out like katie price at a red carpet event.

on the 13th of may (lucky for some) cole’s cousin, annya, gave birth to lovely young mia. then yesterday, gethin’s second second cousin, wee gabriella/e, was born to peta’s cousin hannah. congratulations to you both.

plus there is one more around the corner, with annya’s sister claudi due in september. now, girl or boy? odds even!

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03:29pm Tuesday, 6th June 2006

we were afraid. very afraid.

of what you may well ask? well, a week away from home brought with it not only the fear of turning our ultra-dependent cat, belle, into a frenzied pundle of anxiety (this fear, it turns out, was justified), but also the fear that spending so much time in the car (i reckon we clocked up around 27 hours on our travels) may make Gethin immune to the calming – nay, sleep inducing – qualities of the automobile. in fact, the opposite were true. gethin slept soundly throughout our day-and-a-bit in transit but since our return to the north (which has been quite sunny these past few days) he has been quite unsettled. it is as if he now requires the feeling of motion to get to sleep. a pram is a suitable substitute for the car seat but no-one wants to walk a pram whenever junior needs a nap. particularly if it is raining. at six in the morning. in scotland.

then hussah for the return of the swaddle! last night, upon wrapping gethin into a baby-sized tortilla, the most unusual thing happened.

he slept.

and slept.

and slept some more!

peta tried to wake him for a half-past-ten feed but to no avail. the poor lad had not only gone to the land of nod but lost his bearings and compass whilst there, befriending a couple of locals who were intent on showing him around. he slept through until around fourish, but then slept again until seven. marvellous!

it is early days yet (our survey sample of one day is small enough to make even the most creative statistician whince) but by jove, if i’m not going to have some hope that the wee nipper may doze through almost another night.

06:39am Monday, 5th June 2006

be ye forewarned. any prospective parents out there must heed my words for with your new child, and all the requisite clutter and accoutrements, nothing you can buy at mothercare or the early learning center will prepare you for the foul dreaded curse of clumsiness that will come with your baby.

be it the sleeplessness or not, i am not sure, but this weekend has been spent mostly picking up things that have been dropt, spilt, broken and generally toppled and clattered. a dish was smashed, heads banged (not in the musical sense of the term), food spilt, feet tripped, items dropped, the list goes on.

don’t say we didn’t warn you!

08:51pm Friday, 2nd June 2006

7 days, 970 miles, 19 relatives, 50 feeds and one burnt finger later the three henleys are back in scotland, home of the brave, land of the free and not a single st george flag in sight. a fantastic week was had by all three although wee gethin is a bit dis-oriented by the overload of family, friends and places he has been to in the past week – not to mention having spent most of it in transit.

on thursday peta and gethin set off from linlithgow to meet cole from work and reunite him with some shoes, having set off to work in his house shoes after an early, confused start to the day. once laden with petrol and husband we got about five miles outside of edinburgh before having to stop for the first of many roadside FPS. having got the scotland to leamington spa journey down to a fine art last year (six hours) we had no idea how much this would be affected by the baby factor. the answer was longer than we could have possibly imagined. we had to squeeze in another FPS before making our first relative stop, popping in to warrington to see gethin’s great grandparents ken and blanche. sadly we couldn’t stop long as it was already getting late so after a brief stop we set off on the final leg of the journey and after one more FPS we finally arrived, exhausted, in leamington spa: nine and a half hours after we had left edinburgh.

on friday we had a much earned slow start before gethin got to meet his cousin, wee samuel withers, for the first time. the difference between gethin and samuel was quite a surprise – like chalk and cheese – but they got on fabulously and had a rather cute conversation (and kicking contest) between them on the play gym we had taken down with us. peta, leiske, cole and the two cousins headed off into town for a leisurely stroll and coffee. cole overdosed on frappucino’s and spotted the mild, comedic irritant jimmy carr in the bucks of star before heading back home for food and relaxation before the next leg of our epic journey.

on saturday we set off further south to catch up with peta’s side of the family in sunny somerset. this time, what should have been a two-and-a-half hour journey took a whopping six hours! but arrive we did and peta’s dad was flying the saltire in honour of the arrival of his wee scottish guest. unpacking the car (an epic venture in itself; pram, bags, bairn and all), we were soon met with a grand family re-/union: grandparents moomin and gramps, uncle martin, great-aunt and great-uncle claire and bill, and great-grandparents bryan and marion. marion is quite the knitter and had made a lovely yellow hooded sleeping bag for gethin. we supped on a marvellous fish tagine followed by home made raspberry cheesecake, and having arrived in good time for gin o’clock (six pm) we were soon imbibing a variety of beverages. this being the first time peta had had a vodka since getting pregnant, she decided to take advantage of the opportunity. white russians at the gethin milk bar then!

on sunday peta’s parents had to go to a wedding in slough and martin had to get back to london so we had the house to ourselves for a lazy day, before meeting peta’s cousin alice who came over from exeter, bringing with her friend katherine and a fine toy zebra for gethin which has been named stanley. a fine name for a zebra! we went for a walk along the fosse way before heading back for a lazy afternoon in front of a dvd.

on monday we all headed out for a nice day at barrington court, a beautiful tudor mansion set in expansive designed gardens and grounds, and headed home for a large roast complete with fresh asparagus bought from a small farm on the way home. yummy!

on tuesday we headed back up north to leamington and made it in the two-and-a-half hours the journey should have been. we popped up to town for some supplies and made it back in time to deposit gethin with his grand-parents for a night out with leiske and will to play hood skittles. it was our first evening/time away from gethin since he was born and wasn’t at all as nervous as we thought it would be – we quaffed a few beers and had immense fun throwing some wooden ‘cheeses’ at some wooden pins.

on wednesday, the last day of our trip before heading back north, a busy day was had by all three. cole spent some time with his grand-dad in the morning before meeting gethin’s great-aunt nickie and cousins (the first once removed variety i think) anna and gabi, a pair of the tallest eight year old girls you are ever likely to see. it was great to see nickie and her twins, especially as nickie – being a midwife – has been a real help on the phone at some pretty tough times since gethin was born (and before). in the afternoon cole’s friends max and karen came round to meet young Henley before Gethin’s godparent Meli popped in on her way back home to south wales from a holiday in France (via birmingham airport). now gethin is eagerly awaiting the july visit of godparent jo to complete the set! meli brought with her a lovely gift for gethin of a peruvian knitted hoodie, and we all headed to the park to catch some rays and meet up with cole’s friends jake and karen, and their lovely daughter maggie.

on thursday we headed back north and made it in time to go to godparent ryan‘s fantastic photography exhibition at ocean terminal in edinburgh. the journey was long but swift, assisted by an audio-book of the da vinci code, possibly the worst piece of literature the three henley’s have ever encountered. even gethin – who has only limited experience of the printed word – thought the crunching, munching caterpillar – featured a less predictable, paint-by-numbers-plot than dan brown’s twaddle. the ‘allo ‘allo-esque french accents of the audio book didn’t help either.

so, we are now home and a lovely, well-earned lie-in was had by all three this morning. we had a great week and it was brilliant to see everybody. thanks to everyone for their lovely presents for gethin and hopefully it won’t be so long until we meet again. there are too many photos to post but will shortly put up a new ‘family tree’ section on the site so we can show off gethin and his multitude of lovely relatives.

Images from June 2006

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