0

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!

0

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.

1

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.

0

Double Milestone Day

The day before yesterday, Henry decided to surprise us both by showing us that he is growing up. I was in our bedroom, and my other half was in the nursery, presumably changing Henry’s nappy. I could hear over the baby monitor the sound of them playing together and having a morning chat.

‘Henryyyy. How are you this morning?’

‘Babababababa.’

‘Oh, really? So you had a nice sleepy, did you?’

‘Dadadadadadadada.’

‘Can you say dada?’

‘Daddy.’

‘Did you just say daddy?’

‘Daddy.’

And so it went, that mum lost the race to be the first ever distinguishable word to be spoken by our son. And I was so proud of him that I didn’t even care. Henry’s daddy and I were both grinning like idiots for the rest of the day. What a clever boy!

But just a few hours later, with Henry crawling around the floor, I turned around to see him clinging onto the edge of the tv unit, standing up. He’d pulled himself up from crawling position for the first time on his own. Once he’d figured out how to do it, he repeated this on the side of the sofa, and decided that standing was far better than crawling.

He’s becoming a little boy right before our very eyes. He’s not even eight months yet, and he’s doing all this. I can’t believe how quick it’s going, but I am very proud of him. Now I get why people go on and on about their children. I don’t mind in the slightest indulging other parents in this anymore! It’s just the best feeling, there really is nothing like being a parent.

0

My Trainer (Every Girl Needs One)

I went to go and see a personal trainer yesterday evening, as my parents agreed to look after Henry for an hour or so while I nipped down to the gym. She specialises in pre and post-natal fitness, and words cannot describe how great it feels to know that what you are doing is beneficial rather than harmful to your recovery.

I, like a lot of women out there, didn’t have a clue where to start on getting back the tone in my stomach muscles. I also didn’t know what I could and couldn’t do in regards to which exercises I could safely participate in. Apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong. But better I know now then a few months down the line when I’ve done serious and permanent damage.

It makes me wish that I had kept up doing something like swimming or antenatal exercise classes (such as pregnancy yoga) so I didn’t have to fight so hard now. But finding the energy and the time is rather difficult. Especially if you had every pregnancy symptom under the sun like I did. Being sick, having horrendous heartburn and falling asleep constantly doesn’t really leave you in the best mood to go for a workout.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt though, it’s that all the images you see in the media are ridiculous. You know the type; the celebrities that have had a baby two weeks previously and are back in the gym, or in a bikini on the beach being idolised for returning to a size zero so quickly. It’s dangerous, damaging, and completely unnatural.

I will get back to how I was, eventually, but it will take time and hard work, and I will just have to make peace with the millions of stretch marks and put up with the jelly tummy for the time being…

0

Yeehaw Cowboy

We popped into Mothercare today, just as we happened to be around, and had fun browsing all their toys in the Early Learning Centre. I heard my other half call my name, and I turned round to see he had put a child’s dressing up cowboy hat on Henry’s head. He just looked too cute! It was a mixture of ‘aww’ and ‘haha’. We decided to get it for him, as the photos alone are worth the four pounds.

My little Indiana Jones.

2

Swimming Success

We took Henry swimming again this morning, and with a friend joining us too. Henry adores other children and babies. He finds them fascinating and stares at them, attempting to copy their actions. He’s a baby with an inquisitive nature, and he learns so well in these situations. I really relax around other mums too. It’s nice to be with someone who knows exactly what it’s like.

And this time, unlike the less successful swimming session we had pre-wetsuit, Henry had so much fun! It was by far the happiest he’s been in the water so far, and the most animated he’s been. We held him on his back, floating in the water, and he splashed his little, podgy arms and kicked his chubby legs making massive splashes and laughing and smiling all the while. He loved it. He splashed himself with water then laughed about it. He’s never been like this before. It makes it so much nicer that he’s clearly getting a lot of enjoyment out of it, and it makes it far more rewarding for me. My persistance is finally paying off!

I don’t even dread going back next week. I want to go, I’m actually looking forward to it. Wow, I never thought I would say that.

And Henry didn’t even cry when we were getting him changed. A few little grumbles as he was being manouvered back into his clothes, but what baby doesn’t prefer being naked and free as nature intended? And nature obviously intended for Henry to be a little water baby… eventually.

0

First Trip to the Zoo

For my birthday, my other half decided he would treat me and the little man to a day at the zoo. It was so lovely, doing something as a family, and Henry loved it. He was so interested in all the little animals, his favourite by far being the monkeys. They came right up to the glass, and Henry and the monkey were just staring at each other. It was so interesting for him, and he fell straight asleep after we left. He had worn himself out with all the new things to take in.

He got to see all sorts of animals; penguins, flamingos, beavers, otters, porcupines, mice, meerkats and lizards among other things. He also loves to watch other children running around and playing. It must be interesting for him, and important for him to know the world isn’t only full of adults!

There was also a sign on one of the enclosures saying ‘New Baby’ and it had details of a new baby monkey that was just four and a half months old. By coincidence, it was born on the same day as Henry. I had to take a picture.

I was thoroughly spoilt, with such nice gifts (including a huge Me To You bear from Henry) and lovely cards. We also went wedding ring shopping, and ordered our rings which is very exciting. I love doing things like that. And my partner cooked a delicious meal in the evening and a couple of friends came round. It was a very nice day indeed.

I never thought that I would be taking my son to the zoo for my 20th birthday, but it was so nice to do something we all enjoyed, and I’m sure Henry loved it, even if it was a little cold. I am rather lucky really. It makes me appreciate how much I have in my life!

0

Baby Brain

You know something has changed when you are trying to go about your normal day to day tasks but forgetting the crucial element of pretty much every one. And you know it isn’t right when you try to describe a doughnut as ‘prickly’ and your own (rather forgetful) mother has to remind you what day of the week it is.

I tried to quote the famous saying ‘drink like a fish’ and ended up saying ‘drink like a chimney, smoke like a fish’. My words often jumble themselves up on their way out now too. I say things like ‘tup of key’ and ‘kentucky chied fricken’. I know, not the greatest move when a little one is listening to your every word, trying to learn the language.

It’s a very strange feeling for me to forget anything. I tried desperately to remember an old password without success. It was like someone had come along and plucked it straight out of my brain the day I got pregnant.

I’m hoping going back to work will help to keep my mind in shape. For now, there’s not too many people around that mind if I make the odd literary slip-up. But I’m pretty sure that communication is one of the key skills needed in a marketing position. It’s okay, I will find the time to read more or something…

0

First Train Journey

We took Henry on his first ever train journey today. I spent the day with Henry and my mother, shopping and drinking coffee in a nearby city. He was so brilliant all day, and didn’t cry at all. He was too busy staring at everything that was going on, taking it all in and soaking it up like a sponge. He got quite a bit of attention on the train too. I’m so proud of him!

He’s hardly napped all day. I guess the excitement was too much, and the thought of missing out on something was just too great. He’s fast asleep now though. He went to bed a little earlier than usual tonight, but I think that was for the best.

I even sat him in a highchair in a coffee shop, and fed him sweet potato that I made previously and some cooled boiled water in his beaker. He loved it, and was such a good boy! I’m not saying it was easy, especially compared to how it used to be, going out without a care in the world and only yourself to take care of, but he made things so manageable. It’s the best I can hope for, and I just love him so much. It makes me so excited about being able to take him on day trips without having to worry about how he will be.

And I have nice plans for my upcoming birthday this week. He was out for over seven hours and didn’t moan once. I just have to make the most of the nice weather while it lasts. I even managed to treat myself to a new hat. I spent most on Henry though. It’s really funny how I don’t even want to spend my money on myself anymore. I ‘invested’ in a few tops for Henry. One with a picture of a Smurf on the front, one with AC/DC on it and one with the Rolling Stones fourty licks logo.

I know, it had to be done!