Little Mister at nine months

Little Mister at 9 monthsSo, the Little Man is now just over nine months old . We’ve enjoyed a whole three quarters of a year in his wonderful company. And – deep breath – today is his first full day at nursery… Mummy may be feeling just a little bit emotional right now!

This morning, for the first time, we dropped both children off. I cried in the car park afterwards! I now have two whole days to myself before returning to work three days a week from Monday. The house is so quiet! I’m sitting drinking a coffee while typing at the laptop during daylight hours for the first time in ages. And I’m trying to resist the urge to call nursery and check he ate his breakfast ok! Hopefully he’ll be settling down for his nap now so I’ll at least give them a chance to see how that goes first. Little Mister in cot

Right now time seems to speed up yet also slow down at whim. On the one hand, it feels like he’s been here forever. Last summer and those blurry newborn days seem so long ago. The weeks pass so quickly. But it also feels like so much has happened between then and now that it can’t possibly have gone that fast.

At nine months, Little Mister is such a cheeky little chap. He makes us laugh all the time. He is loud and full of energy. Always busy, a real little explorer and incredibly nosy. Even nosier than his sister – and she doesn’t miss a trick.

He chatters, squeals, shouts and growls. A lot. The growling seems to be a bit of a speciality. There’s excited growling, especially when music is playing or he’s found something good to play with, and then there’s his trying to get to sleep growling. The latter is somewhat less appealing when it’s performed in the early hours.

He can now commando crawl at great speed across a room. If he spots something he wants, especially something he shouldn’t really have, he will launch himself forward to grab it. He’s also pretty good at reaching up and it won’t be long before he’ll be pulling himself up properly on the furniture.

While his sister was generally more calm and cautious, slow and steady, he wants to have everything, to be everywhere. Everything is a source of wonder. He has no fear! Peepo But he still loves a Mummy cuddle. I adore the way he comes over to me and puts up his chubby little hands up to be picked up. The way his little face lights up when I come back in the room. Yesterday he had been fine during his induction session at nursery but as soon as I came back he pushed his lunch aside, which he had been happily eating, and cried for me to come and get him from his highchair. I was touched (if not feeling just a bit guilty) that he chose me over food!

He now has five teeth, the latest ones being his top two and just a few days ago we realised a third bottom one had popped through, which probably explains why he woke up suddenly and was very upset the night before. He is a great eater and with his new gnashers is increasingly keen to feed himself more finger food. He rarely turns anything down but especially seems to enjoy a home-cooked, mashed up roast dinner. And he gets very animated about his favourite dessert, yogurt.

Jungle gym play

He loves the bath, which he and his sister generally now share. He’s always eager to get in, kicking his legs in excitement as we carry him through. He loves all the toys, is perfectly happy for us to pour cups of water over his head and his speciality is splashing with Little Miss. I can’t wait to take him swimming soon.

He and Little Miss are getting a bit better at playing together these days. She will get down on the floor and crawl with him, which is very cute. And yesterday she was desperate for him to join her in her pink fairy castle wendy house! Hopefully as they get older they will become real little buddies.

So what else has he been up to since his last update at seven months? Well, the end of February saw a very special day, his Baptism. We all attend the local church we were married in and his sister was also Baptised there at a similar age so it was lovely to welcome him into the church family and share the occasion with our relatives and friends.

Little Mister

He took it all in his stride. No tears! Clearly he loves water. If he could have touched it, or better still got in and splashed he probably would have!

That said, we had wondered how happy he would be on the day as he had been very suspicious of the vicar when he came to visit us at home. I think it may have been a beard and/or black-framed glasses issue! Both our children have seemed to have a bit of a dislike for these, especially when in combo! Either way, he’d looked terrified and burst into tears on that home visit – how to make someone feel incredibly guilty! But when it came to the big day, that particular vicar was unwell (hopefully nothing to do with my offspring!) and the other vicar, who is probably a more familiar and definitely un-bearded face, stepped in.

We had a lovely little gathering afterwards and he received some beautiful gifts, which both he and his sister loved unwrapping. A special mention also to my talented mother-in-law, who once again made us a beautiful and very, very moreish Christening cake.

March saw another landmark in any baby’s life, his first go on a swing! Needless to say, our little daredevil loved it and the higher you push him the more likely he is to squeal with delight. His sister has also enjoyed having a go at pushing him. It makes trips to the park much more fun, although when we’re a trio the logistics are a starting to get a bit more complex.First swingThe end of March saw our first family mini-break, a trip to Peppa Pig World to mark his sister’s third birthday – more on those events to come in another post! He enjoyed the rides, of course, but was a bit less enamoured by the unfamiliar travel cot on our first night away.

Late March/early April is always going to be a busy but wonderful time for celebrations. There are now three family birthdays; Little Miss, mine two days later and also one of his cousins around the same time. Then it’s Easter. I couldn’t resist the blue bunny ears for his first Easter! His sister had pink and I somehow ended up in a spare pair of white ones my mum brought down. They look especially fetching worn with pyjamas!Easter bunny

All in all, it’s been a busy few weeks and life as we know it is all set to change yet again now I’m going back to work. My baby boy is getting bigger and more able all the time and I know that nursery will keep him fantastically entertained on the two days he’s there. I’m looking forward to summertime activities with our little clan – last year I was hugely pregnant for half of it. I want to grab every opportunity for fun and treasure every little moment as I know they pass fast. But for now, at least, he’s still my big-little baby!
Sleepy Little Mister

Categories: Baby days, Motherhood, Mummy memories | Leave a comment

Baking with a toddler for Valentine’s Day

Something pretty amazing happened in our house last week. Wait for it… I did some baking! With the toddler! Twice!

Baking with a toddlerFor me this is pretty much reaching the pinnacle of domestic achievement. I am one of those people who loves the idea of baking but the reality is that I’m not a very confident, or patient, cook so it rarely happens. And throwing a toddler into the mix (not literally, that would be cruel!) when trying to create anything edible is a whole new ball game. But I did it and, amazingly, it was a success. Enjoyable even. I could almost high-five myself as I type!

Ok so our first culinary creation, made last Monday, did use a packet mix and was one we’d done once before but it was a great confidence builder – for me not the toddler! Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Cup Cakes went down well with Little Miss the first time we made them and the ready-to-go dry mix does make everything so much quicker. It’s an ideal option when time is a bit tight and I would definitely recommend them, especially if you’re new to the joys of baking with a two-year-old. Mine is now starting to learn the art of waiting for food to cook but the first time we made them she kept asking ‘are they ready yet’ from the moment I tore open the box! Start simple I say.

Having emerged from that baking session unscathed I wanted us to make something a bit special for Daddy for Valentine’s Day. My husband is a whizz in the kitchen and pretty much does all of the ‘proper’ cooking for us. I’m great at sticking things in the oven, reheating stuff or putting on a pan of pasta or veg but that’s largely where my talents end. So me doing baking for him is something that shows a bit of thought and effort on my part. I hope.

And what says ‘I love and appreciate you’ better than a batch of handmade gingerbread hearts, lovingly made and decorated with a toddler who may have licked the icing on several of them and coughed over the rest?!

On a serious note though, I do want Little Miss to learn how to prepare food properly. I want her to enjoy being in the kitchen and to grow up feeling more confident than I have about cooking. And I want us to have fun together. Our two little baking sessions have been as much about me learning as they have her. I want to get better at this sort of thing and set a positive example. I have happy memories of making fairy cakes with my own mother.

So we made gingerbread. Little Miss enjoyed helping to weigh all the ingredients out with me. She loved smelling the ginger and cinnamon and stirring things in. I refused her request to ‘do the egg’. I’m not ready for that! And she did keep spilling the mixture everywhere and I kept sweeping it back into the bowl only to have to do it again seconds later. But she was happy, engaged and entertained for a good hour or so.

I’m pretty sure her wandering fingers interfered with our electronic scales at some point though because let’s just say that when I came to start rolling out the dough we had a few ‘issues’. The old me would have panicked, chucked the lot in the bin in a huff and gone to the shops but now I couldn’t let me little girl down by giving up. So I took a deep breath, took a punt on rectifying it and hoped for the best. I had no idea quite how what we put in the oven was going to turn out but, as luck would have it, it emerged perfectly edible. Tasty even.  Another lesson learned.

While our biscuits were cooking, it was lovely to watch Little Miss playing with the leftover dough. She was very protective of it and divided it up into little pieces, talking to herself about making cake for her dolly. So cute!

We then made up some pink icing and got all the sprinkles out of the cupboard for some serious decorating. And voila!

Gingerbread hearts

And I was brave enough to do all this on Friday 13th!

Mini Creations

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Categories: Toddler activities | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Caught in the act!

The Boy is becoming something of a changing mat nuisance. I’m constantly having to try and devise ways to distract him long enough to keep him (a) on his back and on the mat (b) keep his wandering hands at bay.The scene below unfolded in the seconds it took to put a dirty nappy in the bin. I let my guard down and forgot to put the lid back on the changing supplies box. On my return he’d flipped himself off the mat (shoved to one side in disdain) and was making his excited ‘I’ve-got-something-I-shouldn’t-have’ noise while waving a Pampers in the air and stuffing another one in his mouth! He can’t crawl quite yet. I am proper afraid of what he will be able to do/eat/destroy once he’s really on the move!

Nappies everywhere

brummymummyof2
Categories: Baby days, Mummy memories | 2 Comments

Not his six-month birthday!

I had been meaning to post a six-month update on our Little Mister but as his half-birthday was on New Year’s Day it didn’t happen. So I thought I’d save it for his seven-month birthday a few days ago.

I can’t quite believe our happy little man is already seven months old! He’s changed such a lot in the last few weeks. Given his size – 9.5lb at birth – he was never going to stay a teeny tiny newborn for very long. Now, at more than 21lb, he seems to get stronger every day and he’s desperate to be on the move!

Seven months collage

He’s not quite crawling yet. He certainly has the upper body strength – and we’ve already caught him reaching up pretty high while balanced on one elbow – but he hasn’t worked out what to do with his legs. Once he does, we’re in for trouble! He has already discovered the low down drawers in our living room.

His cheeky character continues to develop. He loves being on the floor, exploring, playing and trying to get his hands (and invariably mouth) on his sister’s toys. Little Miss is fairly tolerant but we are now hearing regular disgruntled shouts of “no, he’s ruining it!”. Plenty more of that to come I’m sure. He’s certainly not the most polite guest when it comes to her pretend picnics! Smash and grab pretty much sums up his style.

He’s now finding his voice much more as well and loudly objects to being removed from the scene of his more prohibited explorations. And if his sister snatches something away from him he will screw up his little face and do a full-on cry in protest. His angry face is actually very cute!

Also on the vocal side is his growl. This can be the funniest or most annoying noise depending on the time of day. He’ll growl when he’s excited or really enjoying himself. He also growls himself to sleep. And he also growls to resettle himself if he stirs in the middle of the night. While I suppose it’s preferable to inconsolable crying, it would have been nice if he could have discovered a different self-soothing technique – it’s like trying to sleep next to a baby lion sometimes. Usually his eyes aren’t even open. Mine, obviously, are though. Grrrrr!

Of course, all is forgiven when first thing in the morning he looks up at me all smiles, flapping his arms in delight. He is now starting to hold his arms up towards me to be picked up, which is so lovely.

He also now sits very well and is generally pretty steady on his own. One of my highlights from the last month has been how he is able to join in so well at the music group we go to on Mondays. He absolutely adores the parachute play and very happily sits on his own next to me and Little Miss and helps shake it (combined with trying to eat it, of course!). And his sister’s reaction to his new abilities is lovely too. She is delighted he is joining in with her.

We started weaning just after Christmas and, as you might guess for a boy his size, he’s taken very well to solid food. We’re probably more confident too this time around and he’s definitely progressed to three good meals a day much quicker than his sister did. She’s never been a bad eater but her first spoonfuls of baby rice were spat straight back out whereas he finished a small bowl on his first sitting!

It’s lovely that we are now able to sit together at the table for family meals and Little Miss likes to feed him the odd spoonful. She also loves to feed her beloved dolly in the highchair she got for Christmas. In fact, so much of her play at the moment seems to be inspired by what her baby brother is doing.

And despite the odd grumble, Little Miss is genuinely affectionate with him. She always likes to cuddle him before bed, often holds his hand and today at lunch I came back to find the pair of them at the table giggling at one another. So sweet and long may it last!

Super Busy Mum
Categories: Baby days, Mummy memories | Tags: | 6 Comments

Remember this day… a note to myself

This morning I awoke at 5am (I blame that last mug of tea just before bed!). Both children were still sleeping soundly. The night had been unbroken. I’d even managed to be in bed before 11pm. But then my brain started whirring and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Panic set in. My plan for a better night’s sleep was being ruined. Precious minutes of rest were ebbing away. Today would be unbearable. I may as well give up before I even start, I thought.

But I didn’t give up. Today I fought back against my lately negative mindset. And despite a bit less sleep – actually not that much less given the earlier night – today has been a success. And before I forget this and slip back into bad habits, I want to make sure I remember this day.

So here’s a reminder…

Remember this day

When you assume, before the sun’s even risen, that the day ahead will be a disaster, remember this day.

When you think you’re going to be far too tired to face the day ahead, remember this day.

When you’re laying awake in bed worrying that you won’t be good enough for them, remember this day.

When you fear you won’t be able to stay smiling and cope with the seemingly endless cycle of dirty nappies (a ridiculous five poos today!) and toddler toilet trips. And those little accidents (baby boy gave himself a good soaking mid-change today!), remember this day.

When your timings fly out of the window because of the above but yet everyone survived things running a bit late, remember this day.

Remember how you just got on with it, trying not to over analyse things or panic when they didn’t go entirely to plan. Remember how much easier life felt in this mindset.

When you convince yourself it would be easier to just stay at home rather than face the stress and hassle of getting two little ones out, remember this day.

Remember how good it felt to walk out in the crisp, clear sunshine. Remember how much better the fresh air made you feel and how much healthier it was for all three of you to be outside. And you knew then that, despite the struggles, you were doing your very best for your little family. Remember how calming it was to get out of the house, away from the clutter and chores.

When you choose to prioritise non-essential household admin over having fun with your toddler, remember this day. Remember getting her little pink scooter out for the first time in months and enjoying playing outside with her on it while her baby brother slept. Remember your first-born basking in the unbroken attention of her mummy, who she now has to share with a sibling.Remember her happy little face and gleeful shouts. Remember how laughing and being a bit silly made you feel re-energised and upbeat.

When you next dread that said toddler is getting ever closer to dropping her afternoon nap and you fear you won’t cope when she does, remember this day. Remember how not making her have a nap today did not cause a nervous breakdown. Remember how you trusted your true instincts on this and how everyone had a nicer afternoon as a result.

When you tell yourself that you can’t possibly juggle meeting the needs and demands of a toddler and baby at the same time as preparing an evening meal, remember this day.

And, most importantly, when you’ve forgotten to take a step back and look on in pride at the two little people you have created and nurtured, remember this day. Remember how special and brilliant they are. Take a good helping of credit for this. Stop beating yourself up and enjoy life. Enjoy them, always.

Remember that things are very rarely – if ever – as bad as you think they might be. Remember this day. You are doing fine. And tomorrow you can do it all over again.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/digitalart

I’m linking this post up with Word of the Week on The Reading Residence, my word being Remember.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Categories: Mind matters, Motherhood | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

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