Wednesday, 17 October 2012

From 5 months to 1 year

All my good intentions of regular blogging seemingly went out the window when my workload took up all of my spare time. And when I say spare time, I'm talking *literally* the odd half hour or so in the evening before I crash spectacularly into bed exhausted.

I'm sad I wasn't more disciplined because between my last update and now, SO much has happened.

It is the little steps and leaps that happen each week that have shaped Evie into who she is now.

Firstly, at 1 day off a year old she is big. Not fat! She's following the same growth pattern I did as a baby. She's 28lb 10 as of last weeks weigh in, meaning she has slightly nudged over the top of the centile scale having jumped between 91st/98th for the last 6 months. I'm not worried though.

Her favourite word at the moment is Duck. Pronounced Guck but said with gusto when in the bath and we carry a bath duck with us at all times.
Other words are Daddy, G G (pronounced jeejee) which is my grandma. Jaja which is my mum. Lally which is Sally my sister. I get the occasional Mumma but I'm more often Mimi which is her word for boob!
Today she said drink (or dink) in context and signed the sign at the same time :)

Her signing has come on leaps and bounds, I'd go as far as to say its the best decision I made because Evie has been communicating with us from a much earlier age than if she hasn't.
She now regularly signs- Milk, more, bubbles, doggy, brush my teeth, food, sing. In fact it's one of my favourite things when she sits in front of means asks me to sing her a song. At the end of every verse she signs 'more singing!'

She dances along to her vtech baby walker. We noticed after she'd had it a week or so that she kept repeatedly pressing this random button over and over, until we realised that she was skipping though the bits she didn't like to get to her favourite song. Genius? ;)

She tentatively walks, still not very confident with out holding on to something or my hand. We've had a few spurts of 6-8 steps maximum but I'm happy to wait. The more mobile she gets the harder it becomes!

We're still breastfeeding. This comes as a huge shock to so many people and if I'm honest, I didn't think we'd get this far. But we have and there are no signs that we'll be stopping any time soon. I'm not going to get too into the arguments for older child feeding as I don't like the comments I get from people, so I'm just happy to say, we'll stop when she decides.

I changed prams. Again. A preloved icandy and its just about the perfect pram!

We have a favourite book. A book called Busy Pandas. We've been through 2 and a third is on order. They tend to disintegrate at the binding and fall apart (I have since realised that Evie has been tearing shreds off the edges with her teeth and chewing through it, hence the replacements).

Evie is now in her next stage carseat. I love watching her gaze out the window and practise her talking to herself.

So what does Evie like?

Evie likes eating! Particularly blueberries, grapes, raisins, cucumber and tomato. In fact almost all fruits and veg. We've done Baby Led Weaning which I think has really helped her to be open to all tastes. Being breastfed also lends itself to having a varied palette.
Evie likes dogs! She'll spot a dog a mile off and has recently shown real confidence with a few friends dogs which pleases me.
Bath time is a blast! Filled to the brim with her favourite ducks she spends a lot of time moving them around various parts of the tub. We always finish by brushing teeth and having a cuddle and a snog all wrapped up in her warm towel
Playtime with Daddy is a hit every time. They go to the swings and have some wholesome bonding time. She adores him and its one of my biggest joys to watch them interact. He is an incredible father.
Cuddles at nap time. Usually met with 'you're creating a rod for your own back' but I care not. She is loved and secure in that love and these people have clearly not had the pleasure of a hot, deep breathing baby lain in deep slumber across you. It's pure bliss.

What does Evie not like?

Shoes. Disappointingly so. And not just shoes, anything to do with footwear paraphernalia. Especially having her feet measured?! She screamed blue murder and was genuinely petrified. So for this reason, I've not put her in shoes yet.
Having her nappy changed. This is as traumatic for me as it is for her!
Being put in her cot after a cuddle. This is understandable!
Potato. This gets spat out faster than I can feed her it.
Having her nails trimmed or her hair brushed. I am desperate to get a bloody hair band in that long hair but I've got no chance.

What is the most wonderful part of watching her change? Seeing her learn. Watching her piece things together off her own initiative.

Only yesterday she picked up the broom and tried sweeping the kitchen floor. I've never taught her this?
When we undress her for the bath, she knows to life her arms and one leg at a time to take her socks off. Simple things that make me swell with pride.

When she leans in for a cuddle or a kiss I just melt. She has moments of serious independence and wants to do things herself. Then when she wants her mummy I get a snippet of my tiny Evie back. This is when bf is such a blessing. Those feeds where she curls up into me and holds my face is about as good as it gets.

In fact my love for her has put a huge amount of perspective into my life.
I am no longer bothered by others attitudes or opinions about me or what or how I do things. Because how I feel for Evie trumps anything I feel for them. She is my priority and people will have to get in line because they will never be as important as she is. Oh yes, I'm *that* type of mama! Ha! Hear me roar and all that ;)

So I'm off to write her birthday card. I will try not to gush however I think we can more or less guarantee i'll cry.

Thank you for reading.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Jumperoo woohoooo!

I succumbed. I swore I'd never spend this much on a toy. £80 (and that's with a discount as John Lewis were price matching someone). But then I remembered I had a £40 Brent Cross voucher given to us by a very generous friend of the family.

I made the decision after spending a few afternoons with Evie, playing and generally larking about being BFF's (natch). We have a lovely pink Next play mat that was a gift and it's lovely and comfortable and has served it's purpose well. But she's bored of it. It doesn't stimulate her as much as it needs to. Although she can reach out and hit and kick the toys, she really wants to grab them, ultimately so she can put them in her mouth. We've tried propping her up on pillows so they're closer and all sorts. It eventually became clear that she needs something a little more interactive.

Introducing a flashy piece of kit if I ever saw one-
This doesn't really give you an accurate idea of the size. However, we live in a one bed flat and this takes up pretty much most of the space between our 2 sofas.

This is a video of Evie having a right old bounce on only her second ever go. The best part is near the end when she sees my bowl of cereal and thinks it's for her. Heart warming stuff. And noisy too!

She started off only focusing on the front with the flashing lights. Daddy then spent half an hour showing her the spinning crocodile that is behind her. She showed no interest in it whatsoever. Until the next day! She bounced away playing with the front, stopped, turned round and span it. Not prompted by anyone. Proud Mummy! It's been worth every penny so far. Next I just have to invest in some ear plugs!

Katy x

Evie's Second Photo Shoot

Once again, the lovely ladies at Cocoon Photography have made me cry. Big wet tears. But in a good way!

I thought it couldn't get any better than the  first shoot we had at 9 days old. Then I saw these.

Taken in mid January, Evie was about 3 months old. A totally different baby to the one in October. Full of character and a LOT more vocal if she was put into a position she didn't like. And that includes Tummy Time ;)

I've put a selection of the photos up. Not all of them as there are a lot.

If these are any Mums out there who haven't yet had their baby photographed, I urge you to do it. For as many photos as I have of Evie that I've snapped myself, none of then compare at all to these.

We just sat her in the corner. She put her arm up herself!

Outfit change!

Headband made by my friends Mum. Genius that she is.

She also made this hat.

I love the sneaky little chubby foot at the bottom :)

Dribble mouth! I'm so glad we have a dribbly picture because it's an accurate portrayal of her at this age!

They say that photos can emote memories. When I see this, I can hear the sound that she makes when she shoves her whole hand in her mouth. It looks so unladylike but it's how she spends a great deal of time at the moment!

Tummy time never goes down well...

This set of images was taken at the very end when we'd almost wrapped up and were sat down packing everything away. Then the light caught her and it was too good a photo to miss.

My favourite photo of Evie. Ever. (So far!)

If  could blow these photos up and wear them as a sandwich board I would. Thank-you to Kim and Jeanette once again.

Katy xx

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Evie- 20 weeks

Evie-liscious is .almost 20 weeks old (or young!). This isn't 5 months. That will be March 18th.

Actually, what age do we stop counting in weeks? I'm guessing that it's around the 6 month mark?

I had a brief discussion about this with a lady who hasn't had kids yet and commented that the 'X weeks old' thing confused her. She has a pregnant friend who is also counting in weeks and I had to explain to her that, in pregnancy, come the 35/36 week mark, pretty much most women start to count in DAYS!

So, Evie. What have we learnt about her in this past month?

  • Well she has found her voice. Boy oh boy. It's a loud one! A squealy, dribbly, shouty one. But I love it. 
  • At her last weigh in she was 17lb 7.5 oz. This is pretty big. She's now just under the 98th %.
  • Our Baby Signing Classes have come along leaps and bounds. When I say leaps and bounds, she's not aaaaactually communicating with me as yet, but I think she's grasped the 'splash' sign when she's in the bath. She splashes on cue rather than whenever she feels like it. 
  • She's started to really grab things. Rattles on her play mat, her Sophie the Giraffe, my skin! There is a little baby dolly that she goes ballistic for and holds out both her arms. 
  • There are all sorts of absurd faces being pulled as she discovers that she can suck her lips in and contort them as she blows raspberries.
  • Thanks to Aunty Rebecca, she has learnt the power of accessorising.

  • Bedtimes have got easier. She enjoys her bath and certainly knows that after bath time it is booby and then bed. The power of routine and repetitive actions. She's falling asleep after feeding from both sides, I then let her slip into a deeper sleep on my lap before placing her into her cot. The other night she made my heart explode by blowing a perfect raspberry in her sleep just before I left the room. :)
  • We acquired a bumbo. Well, 3 to be precise. I bought 2 for a bargain £10 each on eBay, unbeknown to me, my Mum had bought us one as a present. So we have them scattered all over. They are a godsend. Her thighs are a little chunky and we have wedging issues when putting her in and taking her out but she seems unfazed!

I don't just plonk her in front of the telly, honest!
  • We have introduced a little half portion of porridge in to her routine. I was so reluctant to do this as I was so fiercely proud of her being EBF (exclusively breastfed). The reasoning behind it was a conversation with a BF peer worker and it was an attempt to fill her up a little more in the day as her night feeds were getting more frequent as opposed to tailing off at all. Has it worked? I'm not convinced. She now occasionally drops one of the feeds but not consistently so I can't pin this down exactly. However I don't let this replace a feed as it doesn't come close to the nutrition and calorific goodness that breast milk does. She bloody loves it though! Those arms and legs shake like crazy when I appear with her bowl and little weaning spoon. This also means that she thinks every bowl is hers. So I feel cruel eating in front of her now. It tugs on the old heartstrings to see her lean in expectantly all open mouthed and wide eyed! I now eat my breakfast behind her, hiding the bowl when she cranes her head 180 degrees to see me!
This is the video of her first taste of porridge. I'd made it too watery so it was a messy affair but I think it's better it wasn't too thick for the first attempt.

  • One of the most amazing parts of mummyhood I've found is watching my gorgeous little person learn and develop new skills. These can happen in front of your very eyes but more often than not you'll suddenly realise that she's been doing this all week but you never really see the first time. Except that tonight I saw Evie discover that she can in fact get the feet she's only very recently discovered, into her mouth!
    It was on the changing mat as I was getting her undressed for her bath that all of a sudden, the foot started to clumsily make it's way towards the dribbling, gaping, squawking mouth hole. Her eyes widened in fascination and then before I knew it, the toe was getting a good old suck! Daddy raced over with his phone (iPhone4 trumps iPhone3 camera wise) and we snapped this.

  • We are also lucky enough to get regular open mouth wet kisses. She kisses with gusto and I love it!
  • There are definite teeth making their way through. It's painful for me to see my little lovely suffering and this is only the beginning. I can feel the 2 bottom teeth moving closer to the surface. there's no guarantee that they're actually close to breaking through though. This process could take months. Her fist sucking has become much more frantic and she whimpers and strains with it, really chomping down hard and grabbing at her gums. I use homoeopathic teething granules and teething gel as often as I'm allowed to try and ease her discomfort. Calpol is only for a high fever, I've only had to use it the once. Awesome stuff though! I did buy her this Mam teether that I refrigerate. She grabs it and chews on it but not the actual cooled get part but the hard ring. Maybe she things it looks suspiciously like a rude mans part too?!
These past few weeks have seen my Evie turn from a baby into a little girl. Her personality is really showing through. She's happy, content and the very joy of my existence. I didn't think it was possible to love her more now than I did when she was born but every day my heart grows more as she fills it. As lame as it sounds I can't help but gush. When she finally starts to talk and says 'Mummy' for the first time, I honestly believe I will spontaneously combust.

Until next time xx

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    A new phone.

    I am one of the millions and trillions of people who own an iPhone. I've been reasonably happy with it for the 2 years I've had it but now it's time to change.

    My needs are different now I've got my Evie.

    Before she came along, I wanted my phone to have most of the usual features- E-mail, Facebook, a few games and the odd novelty app. I've disliked the keyboard from day 1. Too many mistakes get made too easily.

    Now when I look at features, I'm really only interested in 2 things. Camera and Video. I don't want a useless blurry one like the iPhone. No. I'm talking sharp, crisp photos. I want mega pixels to rival an actual camera. I'd forsake all other features for the best camera possible. Well, maybe not my ebay app....but all the rest ;)

    Because it seems that I've turned into one of those Mums who tries to document every single movement that the poor child makes. I can't stop myself! She's changing SO quickly and I'm scared I'll forget a tiny morsel. To be fair, I do have people requesting daily and weekly updates so the photos do get a lot of use and I do find myself scrolling through the 370+ photos that I've already taken of her up until now. I love looking at the changes, the difference in her hair from one week to the next. But now she's doing much more. She's making more noises, blowing rasberries, making funny faces. This calls for video!

    I've searched and searched and I think I've decided on the Samsung Galaxy (as recommended by my Sister).

    Although, if I'm honest, what I really want is this ----------->
    with a tiny phone stuck onto it somewhere.

    Or, a BBC cameraman to follow us everywhere. Then I'd just use his phone. Problem solved.

    Lots of love

    Katy x

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    It is true what they say...

    Throughout my pregnancy, I lost count of the numerous pieces of advice and gems of wisdom I had donated to me on a daily basis.

    One subject that was rife for discussion was The Labour. More specifically, the Pain of Labour. All manner of stories were told in varying levels of detail and gore. Some told of small manageable pain, others of near death like agony. However, more often than not the end of the story was always the same, that it was So Worth It.

    The pain? Forgotten. Oh yes, apparently, we forget this pain quite quickly!

    That part always stumped me... How can pain be erased from the mind? And I thought about this in the days after my labour, had I forgotten? Not yet.

    However, fast forward 16+ weeks and it appears that I have!

    I stubbed my toe yesterday. Really bloody hard. And declared, loudly
    "HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THINGS...FUUUUU***IN JEEEZ! Stubbing your toe is the most painful thing in the world ever!"

    There you have it.

    A slightly purple little toe overshadowed 40 hours of labour. No really.

    Yours, dramatic as ever

    Katy x

    Saturday, 11 February 2012

    Hula Hoop Hoo Ha

    My post pregnancy work out regime was something I'd already planned (in my mind) in the first trimester. I was quite sure it would work and I was even a little excited. Of course, at this time, I had NO IDEA a) how unbelievably tired I'd be or b) how little time I'd actually have to execute this 'regime'.

    However, my idea was to hula hoop to music around the flat. In this ideal scenario, Evie would be content to sit in her bouncer on the floor, I'd put on MTV grab the hoop and dance my self into a frenzy. This would increase my heart rate and give me a little cardio workout and the hoop would work my core to whittle my waist back down to pre pregnancy glory.

    In my mind, I had visions of me getting down with my bad self a la Beyonce.

    The rather upsetting reality is that I can't actually keep the hoop up for more than 2 spins. I don't remember it being difficult in the school playground? What's up with that?!

    I will try it again, if not it'll get put into the outdoor gym (this is actually a shed with all the unwanted exercise equipment I've bought in the past, including a ballet bar...Wtf?)

    Yours, lacking in coordination and core strength,

    Katy x