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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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Christmas break

It has felt like a long time since I’ve had so long off. Well, in reality I’ve been on the go for months rather than weeks at a time. Being a full-time student and part-time worker has left me less than a full-time mum. There is guilt that goes along with that, but I know that I’m doing the right thing for us now, and I hope, for the future.

I had a whole three weeks off (minus two days at work) over Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014. It was fantastic!

Christmas street party

Christmas street party with my beautiful boy.

My baby really enjoyed having his mummy, and for five days mummy and daddy, around for playtimes and cuddles and general fun and laughter. I baked a lot. I had Henry help me eat all the cakes. We made a gingerbread house and homemade mince pies and pavlova and banoffee pie and probably 4 or 5 batches of cupcakes.

We told stories of Santa, and left out one of said mince pies, a carrot and a glass of milk for him on Christmas Eve.

He rode the train with daddy!

He rode the train with daddy!

 

On Christmas day, Henry woke up and said, ‘Merry Christmas, daddy. Merry Christmas, mummy’ and opened his stocking presents from Santa wrapped up in his duvet in his bed. He was so excited about the crayons and pencils and colouring books and cookie cutters I’d filled his stocking with. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he walked into the living room as saw a huge pile of presents, all neatly wrapped up, and a chalkboard easel ready for him to play with.

Presents for my sweet.

Presents for my sweet.

He has done lots of drawings already. Lots of squiggles that he tells us are trains, or rockets, or tractors. He also got a Peppa Pig spaceship. That was a successful gift. There was also his ‘main’ present; a Buzz Lightyear action figure. The proper one that looks just like the movies. It’s wings have lights on the ends and it has karate-chop action too. Henry’s daddy and I were very impressed. £25 worth of impressed. We now have a two-year-old who excitedly runs around saying ‘to infinity, and beyond!’, when he’s not singing Jingle Bells or Happy Birthday. I feel he’s a little confused about these different events.

My little artist.

My little artist.

We went on to have a lovely meal and evening at the in-laws. It was fantastic. We all ended up in onesies (2013, the year of the adult onesie…) and ate until we had to roll out of the door and into our beds, all sleeping like babies. If babies slept well, that is.

And now I’m back to work. Back to uni. Back to only seeing my baby evenings and weekends. I look forward to summer now. I cuddle him and don’t ever want to put him down. He’s so lovely, and perfect, and squishy and when he laughs, I laugh and feel so warm and happy.

The gingerbread house, demolished on Christmas day.

The gingerbread house, demolished on Christmas day.

It’ll be worth it, I keep telling myself.

At least I truly appreciate how special he is. When I see him, and he smiles and says “it’s mummy!” I feel like the best person in the world.

Such is being a mother.

This is happiness.

This is happiness.

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Valentine’s and my love

My baby is the love of my life, and always will be, but it is nice to have a mummy and daddy date too. We both took a day off work and sent Henry to childcare as normal. I packed him a little treat today though, in the form of an iced gingerbread heart.

We went for lunch – and managed to both have a hot meal! We even went to the cinema to see Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph. It was brilliant, and we both really enjoyed it. I think that is going to be one for the DVD collection.

And I’m even writing this on my brand new Kindle Fire. I’m a very spoilt lady, and I have safely kept my new toy away from mucky fingers and slobber for at least this evening. It has been a lovely day, and the sun has been shining in an otherwise cold and even snowy February.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

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3 Sleeps ’til Christmas

I have been looking forward to Christmas so much this year! It’ll be Henry’s second one, but he’ll realise he has new toys to play with this year!

It’s almost a year since we got engaged, on Christmas day 2011. It was the most perfect present, all wrapped up under the tree in a little box. I was under strict instructions to leave that one until last. I must have showed everyone my left hand that day, week and up until it turned from yelps of happiness into polite smiles and a nod of the head. But it only happens once! And I’m excited that the most important thing is already sorted; the fact that I’m going to marry the love of my life!

Henry was a month old on his first Christmas, sporting a little reindeer jumper with the words “santa’s little helper” printed across the front.

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He didn’t know what was going on, but did seem interested in the tree and decorations. I can’t believe it has been a whole year since then. 3 more sleeps and Henry can enjoy a day that will always be so full of love. A day that cemented our little family unit. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without our little boy.

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My baby is a toddler

Henry took his first steps yesterday, on Saturday 10th November, one week before his first birthday. I am so proud and so happy to witness it. More so because only myself and his daddy were present for the once-only event, and chances were stacked against us. We both work more than we spend with Henry. It’s not ideal – in a perfect world we could clone ourselves and get to experience everything – but it’s not an option at this time.

It does break my heart when I have to hand him over in the morning, but he’s in good hands and I know he is well looked after.

As for his first steps, I couldn’t stop smiling, looking at him toddling along, with a huge smile of satisfaction on his face. It was as if he’d all-of-a-sudden figured out the solution to the problem. He took at least 5 or 6 shaky steps before sinking to his knees and turning to us for approval.

We’re off to buy him some shoes today…

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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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Being Away From Him

It seems like the running theme of my blog, and certainly of my life at the moment. It is the struggle to balance quality time with my son and the time I put in trying to develop a quality career.

I wish I could clone myself, multiple times, to fit in all the things I want to do. Not only do, but do now. That’s the problem with being young. There’s a sense of urgency about everything. I can’t shake the feeling that wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I’m missing out on something somewhere else.

The grass is always greener, because all I can see is my own shadow.

I think about my son’s laugh, his squishy thighs and his arms that reach out for me. I think about him whenever I’m away from him, and I hope he knows that he comes first. That I am doing all this other stuff because I need to and I want him to be proud of me, but he is always top of my priorities.

And I can’t imagine the parallel universe in which I don’t race home to see him and give him a cuddle and laugh with him. It simply doesn’t bare thinking about.

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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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Worst Advice

As a mum-to-be, a new mother, or even an experienced one, people tend to throw well-meaning advice at you from every direction. There are obviously those you will automatically pay more attention to; your own mother, the health visitor, midwives, doctors and alike. There is one bit of advice I’ve received from everyone I have ever spoken to about children, including strangers that stop you in the street to coo over the new arrival. It is to simply ‘enjoy it’.

You hear time and time again, ‘make the most of it, it goes too fast’ or ‘they grow up so quick’. This is very true, the last seven and a half months have flown by, and I’m sure it only speeds up. I sometimes catch my mother looking at Henry with an element of nostalgia, as if she wishes in some way that she was back there, with the baby me in her arms again. I know there is always another development to be proud of. If it’s not their first steps than it is learning to go poopy in the toilet or first day of school – all the way to first day of university or first job, weddings and grandchildren.

The only problem with being told to enjoy it all the time, is that I ended up being so worried about making the most of it that I forgot to actually enjoy it. It’s the same effect as having a camera at a live show, or on holiday. I’ve often found I get so wrapped up with memories that the experience itself is often overlooked. Spending too much time worrying about taking photos can lead you to only see life through a lens. Remembering to touch, smell, hear and feel is the key. Henry has such soft skin, such a beautiful baby smell, makes adorable little noises, and gives such amazing cuddles.

I think I’ve been overly obsessed with recording the present, for the future me to look back on. What would I really prefer though? A mass of photographs or one precious memory of the time I hugged him and he hugged back and we both knew we loved each other and that I made him feel safe and warm and he made me smile and I felt truly happy.

I am really enjoying it; looks like I took their advice after all.

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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…