Friday, 26 April 2013

Why are Mammoths extinct?

The other night I was putting C to bed and he asked me why Mammoths were extinct. Quickly realising that I had absolutely no idea as to why the woolly elephants died out I neatly side-stepped the question and brought the conversation round to other animals that were extinct. This inevitably led to us discussing dinosaurs and me feeling pretty smug that I was able to tell him about the asteroid hitting earth and wiping them all out.
A few days later we were on our way to school and he announced:
“You were right Mummy”
“Of course I was... What was I right about C?”
“The dinosaurs Mummy. I checked with my teachers and they said that a big rock from the sky did kill them all. Well done Mummy.”
“Erm. Thanks”.
“I checked because you didn’t know about the Mammoths so I wanted to make sure you were right about the dinosaurs”.
Right. So I didn’t side-step the Mammoth question at all. My 4 year old just sized up the situation, realised I hadn’t a clue, and let it slide.
I’m dreading a few years time when he comes back from school with proper homework. Thank God for the internet that’s all I can say.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The CEO can't make it - you're up

The moment that I’ve come to dread happened to me for the second time in my career last weekend.
My company took part in an investor show on Saturday – we had a nice little booth, some interesting demos and a speaking slot. It wasn’t ideal timing as it was Little E’s second birthday but these things happen and I’d spoken to my CEO who agreed that the moment he finished giving his speech I’d leg it home and would be back in time to spend a good few hours eating mushy birthday cake and building Lego castles.
I arrived at the venue early doors, set up the stand and for the next few hours happily spoke to interested people about our company and why it’s a good investment proposition.
The time for my CEO’s speech was drawing closer and closer but there was still no sign of him. With half an hour to go I got the dreaded phone call. Something personal had come up and he wasn’t going to be able to make it (to be fair – something important really did come up and it was very lucky he was in the right place at the right time to help out). However, I was going to have to do the speech. Gulp.
Now, I love 90 odd % of what I do, but public speaking definitely falls into the 10% that I’d happily throw into room 101. So with limited make-up, slightly unkempt hair and a bit of a shaky walk I made it to the podium. As I looked up, it was straight into the bright lights of the camera. Oh good. The organisers were filming it for posterity.
Happily I didn’t make too much of a pigs ear of it and left the room feeling that I might just live to fight another day.

In all the panic, I hadn’t even had time to go to the bathroom so that’s where I headed immediately after. When I looked into the mirror I noticed that E had left me a little present of birthday snot on my neck. Lovely. I have no idea if it comes out on camera, and I never will, as I have absolutely no intention of watching the recording!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Little E's heart

A number of you have asked why Little E needed heart surgery and if it was related to his Williams Syndrome.

For the doctors amongst you, he had supra-valvular aortic stenosis. For the rest of us that are sure we attended biology classes but can only remember the lesson that involved cucumbers (use your imagination), here's the simple explanation. (And yes, it is unfortunately one of the symptoms that Williams people are prone to).

His aorta which should be shaped like train tracks is was shaped like an hour glass. This meant that the blood was working extra hard to get through it and the effect was as though he was constantly in the gym. It had got to the stage where the consultants were concerned that if it was left untreated Little E might suffer heart-failure.

So an incredibly talented surgeon put him to sleep for 7 hours, patched his aorta with treated bovine tissue to make it wider and scraped away the extra muscle that had been generated by the heart acting as though it was in the gym.

A week later Little E was back home and now a few weeks on he's completely forgotten he just went through open heart surgery and is bouncing around like Tiger from Pooh Bear.

Bit of a serious post for just being off the blocks again but glad to answer your questions and also to say a big thank you to the Evalina Hospital for their amazing care and excellent children's facilities (helter skelter in the picture is actually on the ground floor of the hospital!).

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Normal service is now resumed...

Apologies for the 6 month hiatus.

Last year the company I worked for was acquired and because of the position I held it was pretty difficult for me to make any relevant posts without blurting out company secrets! Life then became a bit of a roller-coaster ride but seems to have settled into the usual crazyness now.

Here's what's happened since my last post:
  1. I left my previous company and joined a new one
  2. Little E had to have open heart surgery last month (all went well and he's recovering at great speed)
  3. Mary Poppins left to go on to bigger and better things (we're still in touch) and has been replaced by "Supernanny"
  4. I bought a new car which makes me feel as though I'm making great strides towards pretending to be a Prada mum (although am still lacking blow-dried hair & full make-up at school drop-offs)
Of course, none of these things were breezed through with the elegance & poise I would have liked, so will share a few tales in the posts to come...