This past week they were joined by their older sister and brother, Louie and Isaac. It was, as ever, a joy having them here: they make me happy by just being around. You really can't beat having a house full of kids.
Alice took to them both immediately, and to Isaac in particular. He has a real knack for making her laugh. And as she's now starting to laugh properly, it's pretty wonderful seeing her so full of joy.
The weather while they were here was great. Except on the Wednesday when it suddenly became very cold, grey and miserable: the day we decided to go to Cromer. It was quite a significant trip for us because it was the first time we'd taken Maggie on such a long journey that didn't have some connection to her care. Of course, she howled and screamed all the way. And all the way back.
To be honest, her aversion to the pushchair and the car seat is beginning to drive us a bit mad, especially now that the weather's better. We're practically housebound. Well, we're not, of course, but it feels like it sometimes. It's such a shame that we can't just go out as a family and have a nice time.
We're also still persevering with getting her bedtime/sleeping routine sorted. It's been very difficult and very trying and tiring. We're exhausted. But if we crack this - if we can get her to better get herself to sleep - our lives will be so much easier.
By the way, if you live thousands of miles away you should have taken it as a given that I understand you can't just nip over to see us. I'm referring, of course, to my 'plea' in the last post for people to come and visit: "Make a bit of fucking effort" etc. My attempt there was to boldly state that if you're thinking of coming to see us, please do - especially if you live here in Norwich. Just come and see us. Don't worry about whether you might be intruding or whether we're up to our eyeballs in shit. Just come and visit. We'd love to see you.
Aside: Last week I went to see the comedian Richard Herring with my friend Andy. He was fantastic - Richard Herring, that is. You may recall that he's the fella who raises loads of money for Scope, the charity for people with cerebral palsy. He's a very good man. Anyway, he also does a podcast where, for donations, he'll mention your name. So as a result of Andy forcing a tenner on him at the gig, he mentioned our names in last week's podcast. And now - now that I've been called a cunt by Richard Herring - I think I can die happy. You can hear him doing it here: at around 4:30.
Pictures below from this past week. The last four taken on my iPhone*, hence the crappier quality. Click to see the gallery.
* I mention the iPhone by name because, a) I'm a bit of a wanker, and b) because it's new and I love it very, very much. It is now an integral part of me. We are as one.