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Speech development

Henry’s speech has come a very long way in such a short space of time. He was talking very early, and we didn’t have the cute babbling for long, but recently his sentences and new words have astounded me. Each day he says something new that, most of the time, I don’t know where he’s learnt it.

He used to call his uncle “Day-chib”, but it was only a few weeks before he got the hang of David properly. He also used to say phrases such as “look mummy, a naughty car” when he actually meant “noisy”. That disappeared suddenly too.

My baby still struggles with the pronunciation of “another” though, with it always sounding more like “Aaron”. I smile to myself every time I hear these little things, in his lovely little voice. He’s so funny.

There’s also the funny phrases and hand gestures, for example when he says “where daddy, where?” and throws his hands out, fingers splayed. Also the “I don’t know” response to simple questions and whenever you ask him why, he responds with “because…. umm…” and then says the first thing he thinks of, which is usually something like car, train, tractor etc.

I want to remember these things – they are beautiful and they make me so proud. Henry makes me proud!

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It feels like another life

Looking back on early photos is a very strange experience. Henry has changed so much in the last year that it feels like a lifetime ago. I remember back then, when he used to cry or laugh but no words would come out. I remember when we got really excited because he smiled for the first time. I remember these things as if they are fuzzy, like a memory that has been blurred with time. Although it has only been 17 months, things have changed so quickly that I have barely noticed the days whizzing by.

It is very strange to have a life so well documented, through photographs and blogging. Never before has a generation had such easy access to computers and cameras and other methods of capturing moments. Go back a few years and you’re lucky if you got one posed portrait. Go back a few more years and it was only the ridiculously wealthy that could afford a sitting with a portrait artist. But now, every moment is stolen, and edited, and posted…

My little baby isn’t a little baby anymore. He’s a little boy. He’s grown and grown and taught himself so much and he impresses me every single day with a new word or new skill.

I feel sad that it has gone so quickly, and I feel sad that I have missed so much of it, but being at work is important and more to the point, necessary. I wish I had the funds to be a SAHM at least until Henry goes to school, but alas, it is not to be. But at the same time, I am so proud of Henry and all he has acheived so far. When people moan about wanting their babies to stay babies forever, half of me understands. The other half, though, wants to tell them how annoying and ridiculous they are being – the alternative to growing up is not growing up and that is every parents’ worst nightmare. Nobody wants that.

So, my baby, my big boy, I will watch him grow with a smile on my face. I feel a twinge of sadness when I read the past posts of this blog, but then I remember, I was there with him, enjoying it at the time.

Henry's Mother the early days

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Tantrums, fishes and early morning alarms

We’ve crossed over into trantrum territory of late. Henry has learnt the word ‘no’, and uses it very forcefully when faced with food he doesn’t like, safety straps he doesn’t think necessary and when he’s too busy playing to have his nappy changed.

He’s a little pickle. I love my little handful, but those tears are not from hurt or hunger or something easy to defuse. They are definitely I-want-that-now tears, or let-me-do-this tears.

And how do you stop this kind of behaviour?

I don’t give in to his demands, but in public, when you get the cold stares and looks of disgust, it’s hard to refrain from giving him what he wants just to keep him happy. But I know that it’s for the best in the long run.

On the other hand, Mr Pickle has progressed again in his speech and social development. He can now say ‘fish’ when he sees them (or a picture of them in his books), and he now waves and says ‘bye’ and ‘b-bye’ when leaving people or places. He also, upon visiting his nana, walked proudly into her house saying ‘it’s me!’ and giving her a massive grin.

He’s turning into a little boy, before my very eyes. He’s still a little tot though. He decided it was playtime at half past five this morning, waking up, full of beans. In the car though, only three hours later, he conked out. I managed to get him out of the car and carefully onto the sofa at his childminder’s without him stirring.

He’s a big boy now, but even big boys need their sleep.

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Breaking News: New Development

Henry stood up yesterday, without holding on to anything. I couldn’t believe it. He’s only just turned nine months last week, and he’s already capable of so much. The concentration on his little face was incredible. I could see his muscles tense in his whole body, wobbling slightly, trying to balance. He realised he was doing it without falling, and gave me the cheekiest grin as I stood there, mouth open wide in awe.

He’s just so clever. He waves really well now, and claps all the time. He said ‘grandada’ for the first time a few days ago too, adding to his list of words he says out of context but impressing us nonetheless.

It’s amazing how he’s growing so fast into this little boy I can’t help but be insanely proud of. It’s just shocking how much emotion one little thing can make you feel. It’s crazy how much love and pride can explode inside you, and I understand now when you get grandparents telling you stories about their beloved grandchildren. I can completely relate to all those parents whose first words to you after ‘Hello’ are ‘I have two of my own, you know,’ before launching head-first into a story about how they once did this and once did that.

And I can appreciate why you would feel the need to write about every little thing your pride and joy has achieved in an online blog.

Thanks for listening. What did your son or daughter do that made you smile with pride and love today?

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Day by Day

It feels strange now that I’ve gone back to work. I feel like I don’t stop. There isn’t enough time in the day to get everything I need to do done, let alone all the stuff I want to do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way! Time is precious, and it is passing by so fast.

It’s mid August – 2012! – already. How did that happen? It doesn’t feel like long ago that I was sitting on a brick wall, wrapped up in a knitted scarf, hat and gloves, watching the fireworks as everyone welcomed in the new millenium. And that was well over a decade ago. Now I have a house, a car, a job and the scariest thing of all (but also the most brilliant) I’m a mum to a beautiful little boy.

It doesn’t even feel real. Sometimes I look at him and wonder if the hospital are going to realise their mistake and come searching for him. I look at him and I think – no, I know – that I am the luckiest mother in the world.

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Happy Easter!

Henry’s first easter, but far too young for any of the chocolate treats we are enjoying (yes, chocolate for breakfast)! His nanny bought him a lovely, little teddy with long arms that are perfect for Henry to hold onto, instead of an easter egg. Very thoughtful! He likes it a lot, and it’s nice and soft and fluffy, so Henry rubs his fingers on its fur and cuddles it. He’s grown up so fast, and does all these things that make me think he’s quickly becoming more a little boy and less a little baby.

He’s still my little chick though, and always will be! Even when he’s all grown up I will see him as he is now; all cuddly and snuggly and falling asleep in my arms like he did yesterday in a coffee shop. He makes me so proud, the little cutie.

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Sweet Potato Among Other Things

I spent quite a long time in the kitchen today, making massive batches of various baby food for Henry. I made him his favourite carrot and parsnip, as well as lots of sweet potato and some apple for him to try.

He had parsnip today for lunch and then sweet potato for dinner. It’s the first time he’s eaten two solid meals in one day, and he kept opening his mouth for more. He ended up eating quite a bit. He’s a very hungry little baby these days. I’m surprised at how quick the weaning is going, considering he is only four and a half months. It won’t be long before he’s on three meals a day!

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Duck Pond

It’s such a lovely, sunny day today that we took Henry out in his pushchair and took him to the park. We had a nice walk around the duck pond and over bridges and in the woods, bought ice creams and enjoyed the sunshine.

Henry loves being outside so much. Apparently I was the same as a child. It’s funny how he can be so upset indoors for some unknown reason yet as soon as we step outside he’s the happiest little boy on the planet.

I think we may have to invest in some National Trust memberships when he’s a little older. He’s going to be a nature kid. I’m glad. Better that than television and xbox. Little boys need the park and outdoor games, especially in summer. It will be lovely to take him to feed the ducks too. There’s so many things to get excited about now.

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First Food!

Our family nurse/health visitor came round to weigh Henry again today, and check-in to see how we are all doing. Henry now weighs 14lbs 10oz and is still right on track. We told her about Henry waking up again for feeds, wanting to feed all the time and all the other ‘signs’ to begin weaning that he has given us.

So, on her advice, we decided to start giving him solids. I made a massive batch of carrot puree (and parsnip seperately for later), and we started to feed him a little today. He loved his carrot. When the first spoonful touched his lips, the concentration on his face was immense. It was like a whole new world had opened up to him. Before long, he was opening his mouth as wide as he could for more, and slurping it all off the spoon. He didn’t even do that thing I was expecting of him that most babies do, when they push it all out again with their tongues. He only had a little, as it was his first try and we didn’t want to overdo it, but he was very happy to eat more.

I’m excited to carry on doing this. I’m so glad that it went well today, especially after the disasterous swimming episode earlier.

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Being Prepared for Weaning

I like to think I’m an organised soul, the state of my wardrobe would tell you different, but I am very attached to my Filofax. I love it so much, and it is so exciting when they release the new year’s diary. Or when I treat myself to an extra map or some stickers or even a new pen! Anyway, I digress…

As Henry is about to take the plunge into the wonderful world of baby purees, I have decided to prepare for the event. I don’t have the money for pre-made baby jars and more importantly I don’t want to give them to Henry on a regular basis. Making them myself means I know exactly what goes into them.

I’ve breastfed him exclusively for four months now. I’ve given him the best start I possibly could have, and I want to continue giving him the best. I know what it is like to struggle with weight issues, diets and sometimes having quite an unhealthy relationship with food. I don’t want Henry to have to experience any of that, and if I can start him on the right track, I’m surely going to make the effort to prepare him a few purees.

Jars only on the odd occasion, like a takeaway treat.

I’ve ordered the Tommee Tippee Explora baby blender, bought some lidded ice cube trays and freezer bags, dusted off my steamer and arriving in my Tesco delivery this morning is a whole bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables. Carrots, apples, bananas, parsnips, spinach, and brocolli to name a few!

I am very excited. As you can keep them for up to a month as frozen cubes of baby puree, I an going to start preparing some now. He is going to learn to love healthy food, and there’s no better motivation for me to be a little more careful with my diet than having a baby to take care of.

Not just for the here and now, but because I want to live a happy and healthy life so I can be there for Henry as long as I possibly can be.

This is, of course, a benefit of having Henry young.

So, it will be time to start making Henry’s dinners just as soon as the blender arrives. I’m very excited.