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The Birthday Plan

It’s coming up to Henry’s first birthday in less than two weeks. I can’t believe how quick this year has gone! I’ve heard it plenty of times, but you can never quite understand until it happens to your baby. He’s becoming a little boy rather than a baby, right before my eyes. In fact, it’s quicker than my eyes can keep up with!

I’m going to (attempt) to make him a cake, and we are throwing him a small party in a local coffee shop. There is going to be a jungle theme, and the adults are going to far outweigh the children. I think that is normal until they start school and begin to make friends of their own.

I have ordered various green, jungle-themed decorations, but it is definitely more for me as his mum than Henry himself. Everyone tells me ‘why are you bothering? He won’t remember’. But I want to be able to show him the photos and tell him about the celebration on the first anniversary of the day he made our lives whole. I can’t even put into words how much love I have inside me for that little man. So much that it threatens to burst out of me when he smiles at me or makes me laugh by pulling a funny face.

And he’s recently started growling and saying ‘tiger’, hence the jungle theme, and me trying to add tigers into all the decorations and the cake and cheekily making sure that Henry’s party bag is the only one that contains a tiger soft-toy…

Things we do for our kids.

Check back for an update of the day!

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Finding Hours

It seems as if it is getting harder to find the time to sit and write. Or do anything really.

I am all too aware of the time that is taken up by the things that have to be done – working, cooking, cleaning – but now there is a new leech on time that often takes over, and I’m not even talking about having children to run around after. It’s technology.

I reap the benefits of blogging, when I can actually find the time, but there are some more pointless and unfortunately very addictive sides to being in the tech generation. One example of this is my oh-so-brilliant smartphone. I loved this when I first got it. I’m sure everyone does, it’s very exciting getting a new gadget to play with. Henry was excited about getting a new chew toy too.

The problem is, with all these apps and unlimited texts and wi-fi is that I struggle to put it down. It gets to the point where I have to go and put it in the other room to stop myself picking up, not through boredom but habit, and mindlessly scrolling through facebook and twitter. It is a lot easier to manage your facebook use when you can only log in on your laptop. The fact that it is always there is haunting me. It is ridiculous when it starts eating into the quality time I am spending with the little man.

It’s more than ridiculous. It’s disgraceful.

I don’t use it more than is necessary now until Henry has gone to bed. I’m only writing this now as the bubs is in bed and I have one of those rare moments to myself. I continue to get shocked by the parents taking their children to the park and just ignoring them while on phones. The toddlers and young children with ipads. What is wrong with a storybook and a cuddle?

I can understand schoolchildren with laptops for homework but I cannot understand a baby with an iphone.

If you want to discuss this further, you can catch me after 7pm, because before that time I will be giving Henry my undivided attention.

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Festival Baby

I took Henry to a festival the first weekend of August. It was a long-ish drive, two and a half hours, and he slept the whole way there.

It was a child-friendly music festival, and there were a lot of kids running around hyper on ice cream and sunshine. It was an absolutely brilliant day, despite the fact that I had forgotten Henry’s ear defenders purchased especially for the occasion. I didn’t really mind being confined to the child section; there was a Rastafarian playing acoustic guitar and singing reggae versions of popular nursery rhymes. What more could you want?

I think Henry enjoyed most of it. He seemed really fascinated by the musical instruments and water pit. He’s always really interested in other children as well.

Then it was time to sleep in a tent, and after a day of excitement and not one single nap, he was always going to struggle. I sat up until four in the morning cradling him so he could sleep because every time I put him down he woke up and screamed. It was dreadfully cold too, and even though I had brought with me a mountain of blankets, I had to concentrate to stop shivering. No one complained about the racket Henry was making and I’m sure everyone else understood the situation. One kind man accompanied by his wife and kids helped me carry the pushchair through the maze of tents saying “We’ve all been there”. But I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the other families in quiet camping having to listen to Henry screaming. So at four I decided that I really needed some sleep and packed up and drove home.

I was in bed by seven.

I really want to go next year. I will plan better though. I will bring Henry’s dad with me (he was working this time) and he will be a year older and hopefully toddling around, if not running, by then. I will be better prepared with food and blankets and I will relax a bit more.

I want to thank the friends I went with though. They were ever so helpful. When Henry gets his grump on though, nothing can stop it. The stubborn little cutie pie.

Next year will be awesome. Eight months old and already a little festival goer.

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Mind the Child

I’ve officially returned to work now. Henry has adapted so well, I don’t even know what I was worrying about. When I go to pick him up, it’s almost as if he’s having too much fun to leave. He crawls around with a cheeky grin on his face – as per usual – and he’s busy chatting away to his childminder.

It makes it so much easier for me to go to work knowing he is doing just fine. I do love being back at work. I’m a working woman. I want to contribute to society, to feel like I have my own life beyond cleaning poop and counting out scoopfuls of formula, and to be able to support my family financially.

And then I’ll come home and be the best mother I can possibly be. And I will give him lots of cuddles and chat to Henry about his day. I will make the most of the weekend; take him swimming, to the park, to soft play, to the zoo and the library and the beach. He’s one well-loved baby. Being apart for a short time will only enhance our relationship, I’m sure of it.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to come home to this:

 

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Cranky Pants (Not Really)

I think Henry is teething. He’s being a little cranky pants lately, and a little cheeky rascal! He screams as if he’s in pain, not the normal I-want-something moan. It’s higher pitched and more urgent. And he’s slobbering like nothing I’ve ever seen. Saying that, he still tries his best to be cheerful. He laughs when you play with him – he’s still the good-natured little bubs that he’s always been. And he loves being tickled!

I’ve invested in a tube of Baby Bonjela Teething Gel, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. It soothes him even if it is only a distraction. He has a really hard bite now, too. Deceptively hard for something so small and innocent.

Then he’ll look up at you, his eyes all wide with a cheeky grin flashing across his face, and he knows he’s adorable. He knows he can get away with anything.

 

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The Adventurer in Him

Henry has decided that, as he can now move around of his own accord, it is about time to start causing some mischief. Today, he has found himself in previously uncharted territory (otherwise known as the kitchen). He also has decided that, while his daddy was playing xbox, he wasn’t getting enough attention. The solution to this was to crawl over to the television, press the big power button, and turn around with a cheeky grin on his face. Message received, Henry!

It’s impossible to be at all annoyed with his cute, little antics though. He makes me laugh at him all day long, and I have so much fun with him.

He’s been crawling for about a week now, and has an attraction to wires and curtains, phones and cupboards. I do love my little rascal, and how I have to take him to the bathroom with me now…

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Nanny Cuddles

Henry’s nanny is going to be spending the day with us today.

Henry is going to be thrilled!

He sees a lot of his grandparents, which I am really happy about too. He smiles and giggles when he sees them, and it is so nice that he is going to grow up knowing he is so very loved. And if mummy knows best, then what shall we say of mummy’s mummy?

Because she knows twice as best, if that’s even possible…

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Baby on the Move!

Yesterday, Henry decided that he wanted to play with a toy that he couldn’t reach. And then he realised that he could just move forward. Of course, when he realised that, he decided that he didn’t want that particular toy anymore. He wanted to crawl over to the wires behind the television and put them in his mouth. He wanted to see what was under the sofa, and on the window sill. And he wanted to investigate everything.

I really need to baby proof properly. We spent a while going round, decluttering and removing dangerous objects from the reach of little hands. However, that isn’t enough now. We need to get those little hook things for our kitchen cupboards, the clips to put the tv on the wall, and a packet of plug socket protectors.

He’s still going relatively slowly at the moment, which I know won’t last long. He’s still wobbling about and unsteady, but I’m thankful for this, because it’s been two days and I’m already pooped.

It’s crazy how quickly this has come along. I say it all the time, but it didn’t seem that long ago that we were thinking about what cot we wanted to chose for him and what name he was going to have.

And now he’s crawling. My little boy, he’s growing up.

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Bathtime Reinvented

We’ve recently decided that the baby bath, although saving water, will have to be retired. It has been used until we cannot possibly squeeze our little boy into it any longer. Henry was also beginning to get frustrated and unhappy in the bath, being so restricted, and I also was starting to struggle to bath him on my own. It was fine for when he was younger, because he didn’t wiggle as much and he wasn’t as strong, but now he splashes and squirms and a naked, wet baby is rather hard to hold onto.

So yesterday, we trundled off to Mothercare to purchase a new bath seat. Now, I looked carefully into all the options. I read the many reviews of the various types online, both good, bad and dangerous. The reason I decided against a swivel bath seat was because of the reviews that mentioned the underneath having rough, unfinished plastic. I don’t want Henry to be left with scratches down his chubby little thighs like a lot of babies have suffered with.

A more expensive option is the one we went for in the end. It’s called an Aqua Pod and at £29.99, it’s not exactly cheap, and you can find them second-hand for less I’m sure, but we wanted the ease of getting one right away. In my opinion, it was worth every penny. It basically is a little seat (but with no sharp plastic edges) with suckers on it attached to a bath mat. It has a handy little temperature guide that reads ‘too hot’ if the water is, well, too hot. The pattern is cute with little ducks on it, and it comes in either pink or blue. We sat Henry in it last night, for his first ‘big boy bath’. We loaded it with various bath toys including his new animal squirters, seal flips, some rubber ducks and stacking cups with holes in them and sat him in the seat. He squealed for a little bit, but probably just with the shock of it. Before long, he was reaching for his toys, splashing me with giant tidal waves of water, and having a whale of a time (excuse the pun).

I’m actually looking forward to bath time now; it’s finally at the stage of being an addition to playtime rather than just part of the routine.

And I’m sure Henry is happy about that too. He slept like a baby afterwards…

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Keeping In Touch: First Day of Work

I had my first day back at work yesterday since having Henry. It was really hard to say goodbye in the morning, but once I was there, I had a great day. I missed Henry, of course I did, but when you’re busy it doesn’t feel as long as eight hours plus travel. It feels like two minutes, so it wasn’t as terribly awful as some people had built it up to be. I actually quite enjoyed it. I love my job, which is more than most people can say, and it was nice to have a break. I don’t feel guilty saying it, because after a day at work, I can come home and be a better parent to Henry as I’ve missed him so much. I want to play with him and cuddle him and change his nappy and feed him and do all the things I missed out on doing that day.

My other half did an amazing job being at home on his day off too. Not only did he keep Henry clean, dry, well fed, interested and happy, he also kept the house tidy, managed to take Henry out and even rearranged the furniture to make it more baby-safe. I think I’m marrying a superdad. He’s brilliant. Oh, and he cooked dinner (which was delicious!) and bought ice-cream for dessert. I could really get used to this. Maybe being a working mum isn’t so bad…

Besides, there is nothing better than walking in the door in the evening and seeing your baby playing happily on his daddy’s lap, smiling and laughing. Then he turns when he sees you and gives you the biggest grin in the world. In that moment, it’s perfect.

I wouldn’t change a thing.