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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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Sleepy times and big boy beds

Henry is asleep on the sofa next to me. I’m on my new kindle fire, and loving it. It’s a lot easier to whip out when the babe is napping, and doesn’t take as long to load as my ancient laptop.

We’ve recently moved Henry out of his cot and into his big boy bed, so now he’s started napping on the sofa to make his new bed just for night times. It’s a fire engine, and its only about the height of his little cotbed mattress. For the last three nights he’s been in it, he’s been really good. He goes to sleep about half seven and doesn’t wake up until around six in the morning. The first morning he didn’t realise he could climb out of it so just sat in bed waiting for us to come and get him.

He looks so little but so grown up, and things are changing fast. He now insists that he walks along the pavement instead  of being carried anywhere. It just means that we have to be extra organised and leave a good twenty minutes earlier to factor in time for little steps. He does so well though, and I’m so proud of him. He wants to learn and he wants to be able to do these things. I can see him getting very frustrated when he sees us or other children doing things he can’t yet. But that’s good, because I see ambition in him and he’s going to be a clever boy.

It helps when he’s being stubborn or defiant to get him to feel like a big boy. Hence the fire engine bed. We’re seeing a lot of difference in him of late. It all goes so fast, and we’re not pushing to grow up, and were not stopping him from progressing either. It all happens in a blink of an eye.

I must remember to record these little things. His baby book is looking very healthy, but I’ve still got a lot of photos to organise. He doesn’t even look like the little boy I gave birth to. He’s comfortably in 12-18 months clothes now, which is strange when I come across newborn clothes that used to swamp him.

My boy, he’s a little wonder.

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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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Continued Weaning, New Tastes

We tried Henry with apple today, and he absolutely loved it. I don’t think we are going to have much of a problem trying to get Henry to eat new things. We’ve also given him a little formula in a beaker as he refuses the bottle now, and he drunk a bit of it. I’m going to try him on it every day, and see if I can get him to replace a daytime feed with formula, and gradually build up to only breastfeeding at night and first thing in the morning.

If this goes well, it will give me a little more freedom, so Henry can be babysat in the day. I might even be able to get my manicure that I was supposed to get as a little anniversary treat nine months ago…

He was a little upset afterwards though, and was fussing for the breast, but he will learn if I just keep at it, at the same kind of time each day. I feel guilty when he gets upset, but it’s best for the both of us to get him used to this now, rather than it be a big shock when I go back to work.

And it’s not like I’m giving up breastfeeding entirely. Combination feeding works well for a lot of working mothers, as well as a way to wean him slowly off the breast. It’s funny how most of the time (or when I make any big changes like this) I really want someone to follow me around and confirm that I’m doing the right thing. I guess it’s natural to want the best for your baby though, and I shouldn’t feel guilty choosing what is right for us. Besides, I’m probably stressing a lot more about everything than Henry is. He’s just happy playing with his soft toy zebra, and practising rolling over.

Which he is getting unbelievably good at. I will have to watch out or he’ll roll right into trouble.

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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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Daredevil Baby

Henry has started to be a lot more daring during playtime. His dad does throws him up and catches him, swings him about and all sorts. He used to be too fragile to play with in this way. It has only just been since he can now fully hold his head up, and since he has become so much stronger than he was when he was a newborn. Henry giggles so much, his face the picture of excitement!

I’m not going to be ‘the fun one’ but I can still watch and appreciate what he has with his daddy. He loves him so much, it really is quite nice to step back and watch such a lovely moment.

Anyway, he needs someone to remember he’s got everything before he leaves the house, and to tell him not to forget his coat when it is cold, or to put suncream on when it’s hot. I’ve got that well and truly covered.