17 Months Old

So here we are again, another month on! Alexandra turned 17 months at the weekend. I was thinking recently how lovely it’ll be to have these posts as a record of her life to look back on, alongside all the photos of course.

Last month saw huge progress in terms of her talking and I feel like this month has been the same. She’s definitely much more understandable than she was before and is also making great use of hand actions to direct us when she doesn’t know the word. She’s a complete bossy boots, at the weekend she was telling her dolly off and then told daddy off (including shouting ‘no no daddy’ and waggling her finger at him) because he was drinking his drink which clearly she didn’t want him to do.

Alex is definitely catching up on the teeth front which is a relief as we thought she was going to remain a gummy bear forever! We’re now halfway there. She’s got all eight of her front teeth plus the first two molars at the top – to be honest we didn’t notice they were there for a while as she just bites us if we try and put our fingers in her mouth, so there’s a chance the bottom ones might be there too. I’m really glad she doesn’t appear to be suffering too much with them.

She’s still loving nursery and we had a good report from her key worker at parents’ evening, they’ve got no concerns about her really. She doesn’t seem to talk much while she’s there even though she’s chattering away all the time at home.

To celebrate turning 17 months, we put on Wizard of Oz. For some reason, Dylan started playing the songs to her to calm her down whenever she was crying when she was tiny but she’s never actually seen the film. We expected her to watch maybe half an hour at most but she actually watched all of it! Just shows she can concentrate when she wants to.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

16 Months Old

Having fun at Erddig in Wales.

Time for another update as Alexandra turns 16 months today. I feel like she’s really come on this month, especially in terms of her speech. Maybe she was due a leap anyway (I never use these apps where it tells you when they’re going to do x, y and z just in case it makes me paranoid if she’s not doing something on the exact day it tells me she should be!), maybe it’s starting nursery, or maybe a combination.

It’s now pretty clear to work out what she wants at all times, whether she can vocalise that or use other actions – we’re getting a lot of head shaking (and a little nodding) whenever she doesn’t want something, and she’ll go and stand and rattle the stairgate in the mornings when she wants to go downstairs for breakfast.

She’s also understanding a lot more of what we say (I asked her the other day if she wanted me to put her leggings on for her and she went and fetched them without any prompting from me about where they were and came to me holding them out so I could dress her) and sometimes listens when we ask her to do something!

Eating wise she’s still doing fab, we still haven’t found anything she won’t eat – Alex is a bit of a grazer and I think she’d be more than happy if we just put a huge buffet out for her every morning and let her constantly eat through the day. She’s getting better at trying to use her spoon to eat and even had a go with a fork and spoon together on Boxing Day morning because she was watching us use our forks and knives.

Alexandra’s now got six teeth and we’re wondering if number seven might be close as she’s had all the tell-tale signs. She’s definitely starting to get more wary of people she doesn’t know but is still really friendly and will wave and chat to people when we’re out and about. She loves exploring and has enjoyed visiting a zoo with her nana, cousin and aunty Henrietta this month as well as trips to the park – ducks and penguins are her favourite animals at the moment and she’s obsessed with dogs, she’ll follow them round if we see one while we’re out.

All in all, I’d say it’s been a really good month with her, lots of progress, fewer tantrums now she’s gone back to napping more in the afternoon and she’s busy with nursery and other things, and she’s able to make us understand what she wants so she’s less frustrated.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

15 Months Old

img_0616

Alexandra is 15 months old today, and I’m not going to do a spiel about how quickly time is passing because I do that every time! This month has been a pretty hectic one in terms of development.

Teeth: We’ve now got four! Alex is obviously working on the theory that slow and steady wins the race and we’re hoping she may have most of her milk teeth by the time she turns 25.

Walking: She’s pretty pro at walking now and has developed a hilarious diagonal run where she’s looking in a completely different direction to the one she’s going in.

Talking: This is where she’s made the most progress this month, this time last month we had daddy, mommy, nana, yes and no but now a whole host of words have been added to that list including there, oh dear, oops (which she says in a really high-pitched voice and it sounds more like oats, hilarious), hi, bye and didi which is how she says baby.

Social life: We joined Tumble Tots this month, which means every Wednesday Alex gets to go and be a budding gymnast for 45 minutes, she loves it but we both find it tiring! In my other posts I’ve also talked about how she’s also in the process of starting nursery, so she’s definitely got a lot busier!

Tantrums: We really struggled through a couple of weeks of this month – I don’t know whether it was teething pain, having a cold or she just generally wanted to be a nause for a bit but we were considering relegating her to the shed. Luckily she seems to have got a little bit better, I don’t know if that’s because of the new much busier schedule I mentioned above or what but I’m thankful either way.

Toys: Her favourite toys to play with at the moment are her shape sorter, dolly and pram and her new train set. She also loves lots of her teddies, especially her bunny and Piglet who both get snotty kisses multiple times a day. Lucky them! New games also include finding mommy’s eyes, nose and mouth (rather enthusiastically, so if you see me wearing a patch a la Gabrielle that’s why).

Overall a busy month with lots of ‘oh she’s never done that before!’ moments…

Harriet and Alexandra x

Is It Okay To Have A Favourite?

Very pleased with herself.

Very pleased with herself.

Sometimes in life it feels like parenthood is portrayed as one big party, as if from the moment of conception right through until your little darling has their own babies and beyond is just one big ball of excellent. Other sources will have you believe that bringing up a child is probably the worst thing you’ll ever choose to do and, if it doesn’t drive you to an expensive drinking habit, it will leave your life AND your hoo-ha in tatters.

In reality, like most things, it’s a little bit in between isn’t it? Some days you wish no matter how you much you love your little one that you could perhaps just have a poo in peace (sorry) or eat the entirety of your own snack that you bought just for you to eat because it’s your favourite (yeah, so not gonna happen. Fact: toddlers actually have special powers which enable them to be able to hear a wrapper opening no matter how quietly you do it in the other room. The powers increase in proportion with how much you were looking forward to eating the snack). Equally there are some days when you put them to bed and watch them sleeping and think about how amazing and cute they are and what an excellent thing you did by bringing this little snoozing angel into the world.

I think it’s also fair to say that everyone has their favourite bit of parenting. Some people relish the early days when you’re knee deep in sick, milk and more sick. Some people are just excellent at parenting moody teenagers. I’ve only been a parent for 14 months (I just googled out on interest and Alexandra will be 446 days old when this post goes live) so I’ll probably have to stick at it for a little while longer until I can evaluate where my strong points have been. But so far I have to say Alex was excellent at around six months old. I mean, I liked her before but around that age it just felt extra nice to be around her! I then quite liked the phase around ten/11 months where it seemed like she was learning new things every day.

14 months hasn’t been my favourite so far simply because she’s so GRUMPY! Tantrums galore and tiredness abundant, it’s been a long month!

Harriet and Alexandra x

A Chatty One

img_0616

A bit of a chatty blog today. I sat down yesterday to write something, as I normally post on a Thursday, and quite honestly there was nothing coming to my brain. There’s not a whole lot more today hence probably just a bit of a ramble.

I finally took the plunge today and booked us in to visit a nursery for a little look round next week. Immediately I wanted to hold Alex and never let go but seen as she’s 14 months and much more interested in trying to dismantle her dolly’s pram (and anything else she can get her little hands on), that lasted all of about 0.0005 seconds so now I’m just sat looking wistfully at her while she plays slightly hoping she hates it and cries from the second her toes cross the threshold so I can whisk her away and go SEE I TOLD YOU IT WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA. In reality (based on what happens every time we go anywhere new), what will actually happen is she’ll run off to play with all the new children and toys she can get her hands on and probably never want to leave. If she learns to talk in the next six days she’ll probably ask us if we can book her in full time.

We’ve had a very stroppy few weeks with her and I’ve uttered the sentence ‘why won’t you just give me a break’ more times than I care to remember. Which is why it’s a miracle that I actually feel slightly emotional about the whole nursery thing. Life has involved a lot of tears (both hers and mine), refusing to nap (just her, I’d utterly welcome one), destroying everything (her again) and Googling ‘why has my sweet angel baby turned into Satan overnight’ (me).

In the midst of this, she’s been growing a fourth tooth, running EVERYWHERE, developing a liking for playing with washing up sponges?! and she also appears to have had a growth spurt while at the same time her hair’s grown loads too.

We’ve enrolled in Tumble Tots which essentially involves her trying to go on the seesaw for 40 of the 45 minutes we’re there and then mooching around look at the rest of the equipment for the other five. It’s horrendously tiring running round after her and getting up and down off the floor repeatedly but on the plus side it might be making up for all the gym work I’m not doing.

Right now Alex is now happily banging the patio doors and shouting ‘ohhh’ into the garden. In the time it’s taken me to write this sentence she’s started shaking the plant in the corner of the lounge and throwing the placemats on the floor. Excellent.

Harriet and Alexandra x

14 Months Old

Still enjoying her food!

Still enjoying her food!

Alexandra turns 14 months old tomorrow, which really doesn’t seem that far away from 18 months which then turns into two and then she’ll be at school and then basically she’ll be 40 with a mortgage and 2.4 kids next time we blink.

This month, Alexandra has spent most of her time: walking, walking, walking. She basically doesn’t crawl anywhere now and it’s almost turning into a run (the kind of run you may have seen a friend do when they’re absolutely howling drunk at 4am in the morning outside a chip shop). Tooth-wise, we still have two and a half with the second of the top two looking like it may arrive at any time (although knowing how long the previous three made us wait, she’ll probably be five by the time it does).

She’s interacting a lot more with her cousin Zachary – they love each other! And generally she’s being more loving to people. She’ll sometimes give people a kiss (ie sloppy open mouth dribbly head bash) without them even asking. Alex has started saying yes and no in response to questions – and shaking her head sometimes – so we think she’s grasped the concept of those words. She climbs the stairs confidently on all fours and her favourite hobby is ransacking. Leave her alone for just a second and she’ll fish something out of somewhere you didn’t know she could reach (she’s also terrible for climbing!) and present it to you proudly.

Basically she’s turned into a very cheeky, very active toddler. Definitely not a little baby anymore!

Harriet and Alexandra x

A Short Chat

So this week both myself and Alexandra have been poorly and that’s why there hasn’t been a blog up. No excuse I know! I used to be so organised and have a few written ahead of time in case of events like this but then all of a sudden my nice little baby who went to sleep a lot and sat in one place a lot became a toddler running around the house, grabbing everything and anything and requiring A LOT of attention! Add to that the post-wedding and post-holiday tiredness and this manky cold we’ve both had and I am zonked!

We’ve managed to keep some sort of normal service going but haven’t been out as much as we would have liked to and I haven’t got nearly as much work as I should have done completed. Alex’s worst day was Tuesday and she’s massively improved since then (although still a little grouchy with a lingering cough) whereas I’ve felt worse every day so we’re now at the stage where she’s bouncing around while I try (and fail) to keep up!

Anyway that’s my excuse as to the lack of blog post, I’ve just written one for Tuesday so there’ll at least be one next week.

Harriet and Alexandra x

13 Months Old

At a tiny pal's birthday party.

At a tiny pal’s birthday party.

Deary me, it’s time for another monthly update already. Alexandra is 13 months old today – where did that month since her birthday go? This month Alex:

  • Has perfected her climbing skills. She can now climb off the sofa and the bed, climb on to the sofa and the windowsill, and likes to climb on to tables whenever she gets half a chance. Basically if you take your eyes off her for half a millisecond she’ll find somewhere to shimmy up.
  • Still hasn’t got any more teeth. Although there are signs one of the top two is coming through. Update: I wrote this on Tuesday then the day after the corner of the top one popped through!
  • Has been busy growing her hair. It’s really lovely and thick now. Every few weeks we decide on a different celebrity she looks like: for a while it was old-school Justin Bieber with the flicky fringe, then it grew into a Gallagher brothers barnet and now it’s most definitely the same hairstyle as Pauline Quirke. We’ve been calling her Pauline for the last couple of weeks which must be fairly confusing for the poor child!
  • Possibly has worms. She wants to eat non-stop. We took her out to a buffet place for lunch on Monday as Dylan was off and I swear she ate more than the two of us combined!
  • Is even cheekier than before. She knows if she’s doing something wrong and keeps glancing back and grinning, wondering if you’ll catch her. I’ve spent the entire month picking up things she’s thrown/broken/moved out of their correct place/hidden.
  • Has become much better at walking. She now hardly crawls anywhere and spends about 70 per cent of the time walking holding on to something or someone and the other 30 walking unaided.

She’s got such a little funny personality now and although it’s hard work keeping up with her as she wants to mess with EVERYTHING all the time, she’s really good most the time and an enjoyable little person to spend time with!

Harriet and Alexandra x

One Year Old!

IMG_1035

Yesterday we celebrated Alexandra’s birthday so we are now the proud parents of a lovely one year old! As ever, here’s a post about what she’s been learning this month and where she’s at with everything. I swear I do these differently each month, sometimes as a list, sometimes as big paragraphs. Let’s go for sections each time:

Eating:
The most important thing! Since we started weaning her six months ago, she’s been a pro at trying different foods and we still haven’t found anything she point blank refuses to eat. She has three meals a day and sometimes snacks but doesn’t have a regular snack time. We dropped down to one bottle a day around 11 months and then last week we finished a box of formula (and I’d never intended for her to have formula or a bottle past one) so dropped the last bottle. It was weird seeing her drink the last one! It’s so tied in with ‘baby-hood’ that it feels like a bit of a landmark moment. She hasn’t been bothered whatsoever about this, if she wants milk in future I will give cow’s milk in a cup but she drinks so much water and has plenty of diary in her diet so I haven’t tried to force her to have any!

Playing:
She’s had lots of new toys for her birthday which she is loving! Including lots of toys for the garden such as a trampoline, sand pit, inflatable skittles, ball pool (which also comes inside) and a pop up tent. She’s also had lots of interactive ones like talking teddies, a tea set, activity table and some incredibly cute cuddly toys too! Alex absolutely loves playing with balloons! And her favourite non-toy toys are the radiator caps still, any cupboard she can get to and – bizarrely – coat hangers (she still hasn’t offered to do the ironing though?)

Routine:
Napping has got SO much better in the last month. She’s now going down in her cot upstairs rather than down in the lounge with me which is meaning she’s generally doing two one-hour naps a day. This has helped me with planning my days so much more! And has made her much less grumpy in the day. So generally she’s up about 8, breakfast around 9, nap around 10, lunch about 12/1, maybe another nap in the afternoon at some point, sometimes if she’s super tired a third shorter nap about 5, dinner about half 6, bed at half 8.

Talking:
She only says mama to me and dada to Dylan so we’re pretty convinced she knows what they mean. She’s also getting there with nana and a couple of times she’s said baba to her little cousin. Other ‘words’ like yeah and no happen at random times so I’m not counting them yet!

Walking:
Alex is still slightly unsteady on her feet when she’s standing but she’s doing it all the time now and is good at pulling herself up (sometime going from sitting to standing without holding on to something) and lowering herself down. She keeps taking one or two steps. I think as with the sitting and crawling, one day it will all just click into place and she’ll be off! She’ll now walk along if you hold both her hands, which she’d never do before. She’d just start bouncing if you tried to get her to do it.

Misc:
Still only two teeth, she had her first trip to the dentist last week and was very intrigued by everything in there!
She’s discovered pointing so spends most of her day either doing this, clapping or waving.
Swings are still the best thing in the world!
At last weigh-in she was 20lb 15 putting her on the 75th centile which she’s been following for months now, so all fine there.

I think that covers most of the main things!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Ditching The Dummy

13886503_10157310415990232_4644847167155413020_n

I wrote a few weeks back about the battle of the dummy (here) and Alex has since been looking to it more and more for comfort. So last week we decided to try and ditch the thing for good and I’ve documented the process. Hopefully so we can look back and go ‘wasn’t that tough but we’re glad we did it’ or maybe it’ll help out anyone in the same situation?

Day 1

We’ve been trying to limit the dummy usage in the day for a few days now but I’m concerned that we’re confusing her if we’re not letting her have it in the day but then happily giving it to her at night? We’ve both being doing a lot of reading up on methods and a lot of people advocate going cold turkey. Tonight is as good a night as any.

She’s getting overtired and screams for 45 minutes before she goes to bed. I’m sat on the landing outside her room not knowing what to do for the best. I’m about to give in (and am whatsapping my mommy friends for support!) when she finally drops off. I give it a while before I move, scared she’ll wake up, and then creep downstairs. That was probably the most stressful bedtime we’ve ever had with her.

It gets worse when she wakes at 12am and screams for a full hour. We try giving water, comfort etc but she’s in a full on rage and is pushing us both away. This is really horrible. Finally, finally she gives in and drops off until the morning.

Day 2

I’m having a day in the house today as I’ve got so much work to do. I get practically none of it done as she spends most of the ten hours we’re on our own for screaming. I don’t want to give up on the good work we’ve done so I stick in there but it’s tough. When you know you could just magically make them stop crying with one thing that’s right there in your bag but you can’t do it. She naps for 20 minutes twice, both times just after having a bottle, but you can clearly see she’s still tired but from the broken sleep last night.

She spends most of the evening being absolutely ratty – not the cheery child we’re used to – until we go out for a drive later on and she finally falls asleep in her car seat. As we pull up we debate just leaving her sleeping the whole night in the car! I’m nervous we’re going to have a repeat of yesterday but she barely wakes as we change her for bed. Daddy pops her into her cot and we wait with baited breath to see how long before the screaming starts. It’s 8.10am before we hear anything from her room. I’m shocked!

Day 3

She’s cheery for about an hour in the morning while we all get washed and dressed for the day and she has her breakfast. Then the whining starts. I’ve got lots to catch up on today and I’m feeling thoroughly exhausted so I’m hoping we can have an okay day.

She sleeps for a bit (20 minutes which is her normal nap length) around midday and is generally okay, with a bit of whinging in between. I wish she’d let me cuddle her when she’s upset but she’s not a fan of that at all!

Towards the evening is generally when she’s the least happy, cause she’s getting really tired but isn’t ready to go to bed yet. She’s definitely nowhere near as unhappy as she was yesterday though and after about two minutes of grumbling (not full on screaming) she falls asleep shortly after 9pm.

Day 4

She makes it through to 6.50am without any interruptions at all (we’re used to sometimes having to get up and replace her dummy if she loses it overnight so we’re pleased to have no wake ups at all) but then she’s up and refusing to settle even though we’ve put her in the big bed between us. Just before 7 would be a massive lie-in for most parents but it’s unusual for us as she’s normally asleep gone 8am. We get up and she’s fairly cheerful until about half 9 when she begins whinging again. I’m wrapping her birthday presents so pop her in her cot to nap instead of her being downstairs where she normally naps. After about 20 minutes she gives in and actually sleeps for quite a while! I enjoy the silence!

Later in the day she drops off to sleep again in the car, I’m very impressed. And it’s an ever better result when she goes straight to sleep in the evening having been tired out by swimming, dinner, jigsaws and books. I think we’re almost there with cracking it, apart from the occasional howling at nap time – but we had that with the dummy anyway! She’s just got that baby logic of being so tired yet not wanting to fall asleep and miss anything.

Harriet and Alexandra x