It’s bad when you single out just one of your kids for any sort of praise without giving something to the others as well. The thing is that Greer is such a fantastically good natured baby that it’s impossible not to. Every day we’re grateful for having her. I said at the time that she completes the family and she does.
She wakes in the morning with a smile on her face. She’ll laugh and giggle to herself all day. She always has a smile for everyone and unless she’s completely beat will almost never cry never mind scream the house down. She eats whatever we give her and loves her brothers and sister.
We’re heading for a big fall. We already know the middle two are going to be a handful when they hit their teenage years but we just know that there’s no way our luck can continue all through Greer’s childhood. She’s going to be one evil teenager!
With both Nairn and Erica there were health issues for the first sections of thier lives. With Nairn he had very bad reflux that troubled him for several months but he eventually out grew it thankfully. Erica was a whole other story with her still fitting into some of her 0-3 month old clothes when she was eight months old. All the problems Nairn had Erica had worse and ended up with her getting blood tests for everything under the sun and several sweat tests to rule out cystic fibrosis.
And then Greer came along. No reflux, no colic, no anything. In fact she’s doing that well she’s now slightly higher than average on the growth charts which considering they are for bottle fed babies rather than breast fed babies like Greer her development has been phenomenal.
She’s sleeping great but I really do have to disagree with the doctors on this one. Apparently if a baby sleeps for 6+ hours at night that is counted as sleeping through the night. I’d call going to sleep at 9-10pm and waking up around 4am as getting up to damn early and in no way does it constitute sleeping through the night. Yes it means she’s sleeping well but ‘through the night’ is just taking the piss. On occasion she does hold off going to sleep properly until around midnight but with the middle kids waking up between 5-6am it still means I’m barely getting any sleep.
We were worried about how Greer would handle the drive to and from London last week but she sailed through it with flying colours. She has been the most settled baby so far that I’ve had the pleasure of being around for and took everything in her stride.
I sometimes wonder if everyone else can see the same kids I see when I look at my family.
This past weekend we were at a wedding in London where, apart from the bride and groom, we had never met a single person.Our kids went into the crèche during the ceremony and at the dinner and reception afterwards we basically let them run riot around the place. When you’ve got one or two you can keep on top of them but once you hit that magical number of three they learn that in order to get to do what they want they just scatter in random directions. By the time you as the adult and authority figure work out which ne to go after they are all long gone.
Anyway I barely seen our kids for most of the night what with them spending a lot of time at the craft table or on the dance floor. But when they were not doing that they were doing what all young kids do and that’s just run wild. Findlay managed to fashion together a DIY fishing rod and was managing to get the end in the Thames from the decking of the boathouse we were in. At one point he came round the tables looking for something to use as bait.
Nairn just turned into a thief. As the boathouse wasn’t really designed to have a couple of hundred people stamping their feet during the speeches everyone was given a squeaky rubber duck instead and so after our dinner was finished he went around every table lifting the ducks people had left behind. We had over 20 of them at one point.
I think it was Erica that managed to let them get away with it. She was running interference by being as cute as she could be on the dancefloor or talking to anyone and everyone. As soon as Nairn had all the ducks back at our table though her true colours came to the fore and pretty soon they were having a heated discussion over who could have the largest mound of rubber ducks.
It wasn’t until the end of the night however as everyone started to leave that we started getting comments on our kids. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently our children are a credit to us and were simply wonderful. Erica had a few huge goth blokes wrapped around her finger and Nairn was getting on well with the ladies. Someone even commented on how they had never seen a bunch of kids get on so well together and not end up falling out with anyone by the end of the night. Everyone else’s kids were fantastic so maybe mine actually lived up to the hype?
So I’ve started a project that I’ve meant to do for both Nairn and Erica but never got around to starting. It’s purely a personally project but I don’t mind sharing it with you guys. Basically the intent is to have a photo almost every day for the first year of Greer’s life. If Erica had not had the problems she had I’d probably have completely forgotten about this but with her going from a tiny baby with health problems to a healthy child almost over night we never really seen a gradual change in her. I want to be able to see Greer changing and growing and I want to be able to show her this in the years to come. I’d originally started posting the pictures on my Flickr account but in order to stop my contacts being flooded with photos of Greer that were almost identical I was making them private but that defeated the idea of sharing them with anyone we knew if they wanted to see them. So I added a subdomain on my blog and all the photos will be displayed there. As I mentioned there isn’t going to be a picture every day but I aim to try for that anyway. We’re only a couple of weeks into her life and I’ve missed one so far and fully expect to miss a couple more over the coming months. It’s no big deal so there’s none of the pressure that’s stopped me keeping photoblogs before or stopped me completing 365 projects. I’m really looking forward to this.
You can find the project at http://greer365.theapochrypha.co.uk
It’s been a few days now since Greer arrived, I think it’s 11 or 12 now if you want to get all exact on me, and I haven’t mentioned it here at all. It’s not though not wanting to rather through lack of time and energy despite having two weeks paternity leave.
So on to business. We’d purposely told friends and work colleagues that we were heading into the hospital on the Monday to go through the inducing process but we actually went in on the Friday morning instead. We knew we were going to be there a while and with previous births we’d been deluged with well wishers looking for updates so we thought we’d skip that part and hopefully give them a wee surprise at the start of the weekend. It didn’t quite work out that way.
At noon on the Sunday my wife was to be examined and most likely sent home for a break period before coming back in later in the week to restart the process. As luck would have it that’s when her waters decided to go. Over the next 7-8 hours I witnessed my wife go nuts on the gas and air again which is always fun, this time it was to do with Winnie the Pooh living in a birdhouse, and being threatened with my testicles being removed via my throat.
At 19:35 on May 17th Greer Valery Charlotte Sandlan was born weighing in at 7lb 11oz.
Unfortunately the timing of the delivery meant that the kids couldn’t see there mum that night, and hadn’t all weekend, and despite being outside in the carpark from 19.30 were not allowed in for 5 minutes to meet their new sister. The shifts changed round about that time and despite the sister in charge of the ward during they day saying it shouldn’t be a problem for them to come in outwith visiting hours for a short time the new sister stuck to the rules. Anyway it also meant my lift back to East Kilbride was leaving early so I only got to spend about half an hour with Greer before I had to go home and leave both of them to rest overnight.
So what can I say about Greer. She’s been a delightful so far. She’s piling on the weight which after our troubles with Erica is a worry we’re glad to do without and did I mention she’s sleeping very well? The only trouble is she doesn’t like sleeping in her crib so we’re co-sleeping an awful lot just now which really messes with our sleep. I can’t sleep if any of the kids are in our bed never mind a little newborn.
For those that want to know where the names came from. Greer is the name that Vonnie picked early on that eventually grew on me, Charlotte was my choice of name and Valery was from St Valery sur Somme which is where we spent our summer holidays last year and decided to try for another child. All in all they are pretty tame considering how we came up with the other kids names.