Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 4, 2007

Hello everyone. Apologies for the slight break in transmission but as always things have been really busy. What with Dad back home, Charlie at playschool every day, Pete working all the hours there are and plans coming together for Charlie's birthday there don't seem to be enough hours in the day!
First and foremost, my dad is well on the mend now, and actually mowed the lawn today! When he was so poorly last month we hardly dared hope he'd be home in one piece - let alone up to cutting the grass! You can tell he's almost better because he's getting scratchy about not driving! He's having a CT scan next week, and if all's well on that he's going to start easing into driving again - I think he's missed his car! Consequently, Charlie and I are going to see Nanny and Grandpa tomorrow to take them to the Mall, which Charlie's really looking forward to. He's made a pile of Postman Pat fairy cakes for them, and has a bag of apples for Grandpa which he picked at the fruit farm on Wednesday!
The afore-mentioned fruit farm trip was a big hit with Charlie - it's only down the road, so we must make an effort to get there next summer for strawberry picking. I think the wet summer wiped out this year's crop! He really enjoyed going on the bus with all his friends, and I went along too, as one of the supervising mums. I was quite tickled by all these little three-year-olds addressing me as 'Charlie's mummy' all the time!
Fortunately the weather was good, and Chas really enjoyed picking (and eating!) loads of apples, pears and even sweetcorn. The kids even found an enormous pumpkin - big enough for a whole gang of them to sit on! It was quite a walk around the farm, and Charlie managed really well. I was so proud of him. There were a couple of times when he was tired and asked for a carry, but I couldn't pick him up because my arms were full of apples, and his wellies were REALLY filthy, so after a pause to get his breath back, he walked all the way by himself. I'm attaching a pic of Charlie mid-munch on his way round the farm - I don't know about five portions of fruit/veg per day... I think Charlie had five in five minutes!
It was nice to see the teachers with him - they all look out for him and make sure he's not overdoing it, without any of the children noticing.
I have to confess to another choked-up proud parent moment earlier that morning - I was sitting at the back of the class as the register was taken at playschool, and Charlie really impressed me by speaking in Welsh to the teacher. He was able to ask 'Who's here today?' and to say 'I'm here' when his name was called - both in Welsh! It was a special moment to hear our small boy's strong little voice answering the register. Another of those moments we never dreamed we'd see. This might sound totally loopy to many of you reading this, but I know my fellow heart mums who check in from time to time will know where I'm coming from!
One other bit of news - we've had a letter from the Children's Hospital in Birmingham. Just the sight of the postmark leaves me feeling shaky! In response to our consultant's letter after Charlie's appointment in August, Charlie's consultant has put him on the waiting list for a cardiac catheter (a procedure where a probe is inserted into Charlie's heart via one of his big veins, to see exactly what's going on. They can also do small corrective procedures at the same time, such as ballooning narrowed vessels, or getting rid of collateral veins.) The consultant from Birmingham reiterated how pleased they are with Charlie's progress, and how well he is doing, but said that Charlie has been put on the list because of his age. Birmingham likes to do the third-stage surgery before the youngsters start school, so they need to get the ball rolling as far as Charlie is concerned. We haven't been given a date as yet, but have been told that the catheter will take place within the next five months. So we're just hoping we can have Charlie's birthday and Christmas uninterrupted, with the catheter happening in the new year. I'll keep you posted.
Needless to say we don't really want to think about the surgery, although the idea of having it behind us after all these years of dreading it will be wonderful. Having said that, we've decided the best plan of action is just to forget about it as best we can until we've got a solid date to worry about! (Mind you, I get palpitations every time a brown envelope drops through the letterbox!)
No more news for now - I'll try to update a bit more quickly next time! Before I sign off though, I just want to say thank you to everyone for checking in on Charlie so often - it still amazes me to see the list of countries where you've all logged on from!

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