10 Months On

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Our little cupcake turned ten months yesterday – eek double figures! – and I feel it’s been one of the biggest months for changes yet. She seemed to have a real leap a couple of weeks ago where all of a sudden she could do loads of things she couldn’t do before.

The main change is she’s now crawling! Alex can get pretty much anywhere now on hands and knees and is certainly loving her new-found freedom. Mostly she uses it to go round taking the radiator caps off, who knows why? Also (and this happened pretty much on the same day as the crawling), she’s pulling herself up to standing and climbing – she really can’t be trusted now!

On the talking front she’s begun making a whole range of noises. We’ve had the whole ‘nanana ‘dadada’ thing for quite a while but now she’s making so many different sounds and babbling along as if she’s really talking to you. Most of it makes absolutely no sense but sometimes you think she could actually be saying a word. She tends to say ‘yeah’ after I ask her a question, so often that I’m starting to think she means it! She definitely says ‘daddy’ (or something like it) more at the weekends and evenings when Dylan’s here and sometimes she picks up my phone and holds it out to me saying ‘daddy’ when he’s not here, almost like she’s grasped that most lunchtimes we call him. (You never know whether you’re attributing too much intelligence to them when you think they’re doing something like this!)

Alexandra is starting to love having her picture taken and especially loves looking at herself in the mirror. She’s still got absolutely no teeth and not really any more signs of one than she did last month. Still eating and drinking milk really well and I’d say most of the food she has now is solid rather than mushed up. We got some toys down from the loft for her at the weekend (thank you Pearle for the donations!) and she’d already grasped some of them by the Monday including how to play the xylophone which she’s merrily tinkling away on while I write this.

I’m really proud to call her ours as she’s always been a lovely baby to be around, we get so many comments when we’re out about how smiley and happy she is. She’s doing really well and now it’s just a matter of time until the next leap which will no doubt see her standing unaided!

Harriet and Alexandra x

A Day In The Life

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Now I have a tiny little nephew it’s become even more apparent to me not only how much your life changes when you have a baby but then how much it continues to adapt and evolve as that baby passes through various stages. Even though Alexandra and Zachary are both still babies, the differences between them are staggering – maybe they should create a ‘mobile baby’ stage in between newborn and toddler.

Long gone are the days when I could put Alex down on the sofa or bed and she would happily lie there or just drop off to sleep. Long gone are the days of sleepy cuddles (except for one night a couple of weeks ago when she fell asleep on me. Not good if it becomes a daily habit but simply delightful as a one-off). Now she’s crawling and pulling herself up to standing, I can’t even put her on the sofa and build a fort of pillows around her to contain her while she has a nap. She would simply get over the pile and throw herself off the sofa.

But also long gone are the guessing games of the first few months – is she hungry, tired, just wanting fuss, all of the above? Now she’s a definite creature of habit and there are set times for meals, milk and sleep. We probably have one day in a month where she has a complete meltdown for a couple of hours and I can’t work out what to do with her. The rest of the time we can usually soothe her very quickly which makes life infinitely easier.

Yes we now have to be extremely careful about where we put her, what she’s messing with, whether she can fall off wherever she is. But she’s also excellent at occupying herself, playing with her toys or just amusing herself by crawling round.

So really, while some aspects of parenting her have become harder since she was Zachary’s age, others are just so much easier. Now my maternity leave is over I feel a little more like a real person again and not just a mommy. As she’s finding her identity and her way in the world, so too am I in a weird way. When your life changes so dramatically, you have to figure out a lot of things you thought you’d got sorted a long time ago. But that’s me off on a tangent and probably a whole different story!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Don’t Break The Baby

Trying to break out of baby jail.

Trying to break out of baby jail.

About a year ago, Dylan and myself sat among a group of seven couples and decided one of our biggest parenting aims was not to drop the baby or break the baby. Up until she was around eight months old, I felt I was doing pretty well with these targets. I’ve never dropped her and, aside from accidently clipping the end of her finger during a minor nail cutting incident, don’t recall ever having injured her in any way. In the early days it was so gloriously easy – you put baby down in one place, turn your back for a minute and turn back and guess what? Baby’s still there.

Now the real parenting shit has started. Now she’s everywhere and into everything. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have a crawler, a roller, a ‘standing holding on to stuff’ baby. Never did I realise how much sharp stuff we have in our house – or solid stuff. Walls, doors, tables, all built much harder than a baby’s head. I feel an overwhelming urge to remove every single bit of furniture from the house, pad the walls and buy her a helmet, maybe even a bubble wrap suit – is that a thing? Or perhaps I could put her permanently inside of those huge Zorbing balls and just let her roll around?

I like to think I’m a fairly laidback parent, when she comes into contact with something potentially germy I don’t run to A&E but instead try to think about all the good it’s doing to her microbiome. I try to let her explore and learn about textures and sounds and sights. But she’s really testing this to the limit by trying to pull over candles that live either side of our fire (thankfully not lit, I’m not an idiot), using our GLASS television table to pull herself up on, trying to constantly open and shut doors even if her tiny hands and feet are in the way.

We’re having constant panics of ‘where is the baby’ when it turns out she’s crawled under the little table to mess with the internet wires, or gone into the kitchen to lick the floor (think of the microbiome!), or is for some inexplicable reason trying to bash her head into the wall?!

In order to try and combat her constant urges to be like a dented-head, spatial-awareness-lacking Christopher Columbus, we’ve purchased a baby jail, otherwise known as a travel cot/playpen. It’s excellent in a lot of ways: she can sit in there with her toys and happily amuse herself, she can move around in it (but not too far!), I can see her through the mesh on each side while I’m trying to get some work done. The only downside is that I can’t make her live in it until she’s learned how to not smash her head off every object in the house!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Eight Months Old

Apologies this post is a few hours late. I’ve been busy trying to tackle my to do list, which I might talk about in a future blog. I might not though. The suspense!

It's true what they say about kids and boxes.

It’s true what they say about kids and boxes.

Tomorrow, Alexandra turns eight months old. A whole two thirds of a year. Only four months away from her first birthday. This fact scares me. I want to pause time and keep her how she is now for so much longer!

So, what did month seven have in store for our intrepid little explorer? Well, Alex has taken her A-Levels, got a mortgage and next week she’s starting her new job. Maybe not, but it does feel like she’s really grown up all of a sudden.

Moving:

She doesn’t want to spend much time lying down at all and so we’re doing a LOT of sitting down – she’s very good at it now and only occasionally over-balances and topples over. She’s rolling from back to front to back with ease and can get pretty much anywhere by rolling. No crawling yet but definite efforts too and with just a little more strength in her arms I can see her pushing herself up into the proper crawling position fairly soon.

Eating:

Alex loves her food and so far we haven’t found anything she won’t eat. She has three meals every day and we’re now introducing snacks too to try and reduce how many bottles she has (currently four a day). She’s regularly eating what we eat (but blended into lumps) for dinner and is getting much better with finger food. Before she’d just gum it and nothing much would happen but she’s now learning how to eat stuff properly.

Noises:

Alexandra has definitely developed her range of noises. She says ‘dada’ a lot – but I don’t think she’s associated the word with Dylan yet so I’m still saying it’s babbling rather than her first words. We also get sounds like ‘yeah’ and ‘nana’. Oh and so many squeals of excitement! We find she talks more when it’s quiet or she’s in the house, whereas if we’re out and it’s noisy she talks much less.

Others:

No teeth yet, still a little gummy bear.
18lb 11.5oz at her last weigh-in last week.
Still wearing 6-9m clothes but I’m not sure she’ll last all month in them!
Favourite toy: Lamby (predictably, he’s a lamb).
Swimming beautifully (she really knows what she’s doing with her arms and legs, once she can float by herself she’ll be off!) and even diving in off the side (with a little assistance)!

All in all, I think we’ll keep her for another month.

Harriet and Alexandra x