Sunday 24 July 2011


Naomi's development continues at a fair pace. Perhaps she is humouring me but she seems quite taken with the game of peekaboo of late. Jay has tried doing it too be apparently Daddy seems to be the one the play this game :)

At the weekend we also took Naomi back to the park where she tried her first swing. She's definitely got the hang of this now...

Finally, I quite like the "casual" pose she's now adopted for the high chair. Nothing like a good lean:

Wednesday 20 July 2011


Last week I was away with work again, this time at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) in Dublin. This is one of the biggest conferences in my field - each year there are several hundred people at it - and if you want to catch up on evolutionary computing stuff it's one of the best places to go. As you'll have gathered from my trip to Paris I tend to quite enjoy this kind of stuff. Catching up with other people doing the same kind of research, seeing what else is happening at the moment and bouncing ideas around.

The different locations are quite fun too! GECCO takes place annually, every other year in the USA and in between "somewhere else". Needless to say, I had something of a chuckle when one of the first things to follow the venue announcement last year was the notice that the social programme for this one was going to be at the Guinness factory. Awesome. The Guinness people were also doing lessons on pint pouring, and pictured you can see my certificate. Dublin is also where Jay and I honeymooned and it was nice seeing some of the places we went again.

Of course, the main reason for going was research, and I spent a lot of time talking with people about various things. There's quite a few ideas sloshing around now that I need to think about! While there I also presented a poster of my recent work - for those who've not seen an academic poster before they tend to be a bit dry unless the creator is particularly creative (which I'm not) - and basically presenting involves standing next to it for a couple of hours while people come up to peer at it. Mine is the stripey on on the end in the picture. The idea is that it's a bit more free for discussion than giving a talk and taking questions and I got a couple of good suggestions out of it. During the conference I also had the pleasing experience of seeing one of the other presenters referring to my work - I don't think that's happened before and it felt pretty cool!

Of course, I was pretty tired on returning and took a couple of days to recover. I don't imagine this was much compared to Jay's levels of tiredness as sole child carer for the week though... Both her and Naomi were quite pleased to see me, and after a little uncertainness at the airport I got grinned at all the way home.

Finally, another update on food. We'll try to get a video sometime of Naomi eating broccoli - it really is worth seeing as she likes it so much it can't come fast enough. She really shakes and looks panicked in between mouthfuls! Yesterday we determined that she's not all that keen on cheese (mouth clamped shut) - but many readers will be pleased to note that she is keen on toast, and here she is enjoying some. Also, as of yesterday she's now officially twice her birth weight at 14lb 10oz.

(I can't believe it's taken this long for a "toast" label on the blog)

Wednesday 13 July 2011

"Fun" Game

Naomi has learned to roll - Great!  Well I say roll, she can go from her back to her front but hasn't worked out how to get the other way yet.  This new found learning means several things have changed.

1.  Nappy changes are now hilarious!

2.  I can't leave her anywhere and expect her to be there when I return.

3.  When you put her down on her back she almost automatically flips over but eventually gets tired of being on her tummy, however when you put her on her back again, she just flips over again!

4.  Nights are now a long process of turning over a baby who woke up a little and instead of going back to sleep like she used to remembers she can roll, so does, and then ends up stuck, so cries!

5.  My little girl is growing up, too fast, I'm not ready!

Sunday 10 July 2011


As you can read about here Naomi has cut her first two teeth, we didn't think we would be able to get any photos of them for some time, although I was determined as the teeth were getting more and more obvious in real life.  I couldn't (can't) find our "real" camera and so was using my phone which didn't make the task any easier, so I ended up with many photos of Naomi's mouth, some nicer than others...

Eventually though, she was chewing on a toy and I saw my chance, so here, I present you with, the teeth!!

This does mean, though, that we need to start brushing them, for now all this means is putting her toothbrush into her mouth, soon we will start putting a little toothpaste on it, but not quite yet.  Here she is having her first experience of the brush, as you can see, she is a little unsure!

Of course, the benefit of teeth is that you can chew stuff, so here is Naomi in her highchair for the first time chewing on some rice cake and apple

Finally, nothing to do with teeth, here she is holding her feet, just because it is cute!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Look what we have bought

Yes, we have our first tooth peering through, in fact the first two! They have only just broken through and so photos of the teeth would be impossible, so you will have to settle for pictures of toothpaste and her first ever toothbrush!

We will let you know how she gets on with that in time!


Over the last few days we've all been pretty ill. Naomi had it first, and was mostly on the mend by the time both of us had it - it even resulted in me being off work for a couple of days (highly unusual). I won't go into gory details, but it appears to have been some kind of virus that made it pretty hard to think about anything, or to keep in any food consumed. Not good. :(

Anyhow, over the weekend Naomi had the bug, and she was starting to show signs of being dehydrated. This led to a visit to the doctors, who gave us a course of rehydration stuff, with instructions to keep giving her 5ml of it (syringe into the mouth) every ten minutes until a wet nappy arrived. At the end of this exercise we were in no doubt that our daughter dislikes being given fluid in this way! Come 9pm - an hour and a half past normal bedtime - she was clearly most confused that the routine had been changed and the look on her face was heartbreaking. It will be really good when we can explain what's happening to her.

We ended up returning to the doctors, and as it wasn't clear what the problem was, were referred to Leicester Royal Infirmary for our first parental rush to hospital following birth-day. In the end all was declared to be well enough for us to return home (about 2am) - and I'm happy to say that as of today we're all feeling much better. This is particularly good as I'm off to Ireland next week for a conference and illness would not have aided the situation at all...

Naomi also continues to learn about toys and playing, and here she is demonstrating some basic percussion skills. We're most impressed with this :)

Of course, toys don't need to be sophisticated. After eying up mummy's Diet Coke* bottle she entertained herself with it for nearly 20 minutes yesterday. Mostly a combination of bashing things with it and sucking on it, but all terribly fun.

(*other fizzy sugar-based beverages are available)

Saturday 2 July 2011

A Fun Day For All

This week Naomi went to play with Nannette, a child minder I know.  She had noticed that being so far from our families that I could probably done with a break and so very kindly offered to take Naomi for a few hours.  This was the first time Naomi had been left with anyone other than Mummy or Daddy while she was awake and I'm happy to admit I was a little nervous.

I needn't have been though, she had a blast!

One of Naomi's EAT foods is fish, but apparently they taste good in plastic too!

While Naomi was having fun without me, I sat at home, drank tea, sewed (for pleasure) and did one or two chores.  I really valued that me-time and am so pleased that Nannette has offered to take her again some time over the summer!