And she’s off!

Baby Girl is crawling!

She’s been so close for so long just pushing herself around backwards. And on Wednesday morning we were sat on the play mat when she suddenly got up on her knees & started moving her arms. Just like that.

It still surprises me how suddenly they can wake up one day & just be able to do something. Wish I could learn new skills that quickly!

My baby is my boss

amiecaitlin:

This post is from a blog I follow, Underneath the Elephant. My first reblog, I couldn’t resist. Not only is it wonderfully written but Natalie Smithson (@UnderTheEleMum) has managed to capture motherhood perfectly. It was like looking into a mirror of myself & Baby Girl & brought a tear to my eye. Couldn’t have said it better myself: Baby Girl really is my boss.

Originally posted on Underneath the Elephant:

Baby contemplatingI remember with real clarity the day my baby daughter first looked at me with an honest question. Mum, why do I feel so bad? Can’t you make it go away? Big eyes, wide open. Her beauty in that moment was devastating. She destroyed the tough outer wall of my heart with one wilting look. With a temperature as high as my alert, we both hoped she could just sleep it off. Up until that day I’d only considered dreaded questions like Mummy, what’s the square root of 289? With a smug surety, I knew these were years off yet and by then I could blame my age for ‘forgetting’ the answer. For now, my daughter is taken care of without question. Life happens to her. The temperature came and went, but her world was beginning to take shape. What she sees is uncomplicated. I am all she knows. It’s…

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Parkercise

Today I officially started the war on my final few pounds left to lose & the flabby stomach Baby Girl kindly bestowed upon me.

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Post-class realisation I have a lot of work to do to get back in shape…

I hate running. The Other Half loves running & kept saying it would be a great way for me to get some exercise. But when I say I hate running, I mean I really hate running.

But the East London authorities have started an initiative offering free exercise classes throughout the week in various parks in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Olympic Park & East Village E20. They’re offering everything from running clubs to Boxercise to yoga, all are run by trained professionals.

This weekend I went to Abs, Bums & Thighs. It was a rude awakening for how unfit I am these days – & only so much of that I can blame on pregnancy… My only saving grace was that the thighs work I was on top of my game after all the bouncing squats soothing with Baby Girl!

The class was brilliant & the instructor knew his stuff with regards to postnatal limitations, giving me alternatives for some of the harder exercises while I build up my strength again.

To anyone in East London (or who can get to East London) I would highly recommend checking out the Our Parks website & seeing what’s near you. They’re relying predominantly on word of mouth so #TurnUpToneUp & tweet (or blog).

You can also find them on twitter: @OurParksUK

Or get the iPhone app or Google Play app to manage your bookings & profile. (NB: you only seem to be able to make bookings via the website currently.)

Teeth!

Last weekend, 1 day before she turned 6 months, Baby Girl’s first tooth broke through. A few days later came tooth number 2.

It’s been a hard week or so with a lot of waking in the night & a lot of paracetamol (within the recommended dose amounts & not exceeding 4 doses a day), lots of head scratching & chomping on anything in sight.

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6 months

Where has the time gone? How are we half way through Baby Girl’s first year? How is it September?! I’ve been looking back at the thousands, yes, thousands, of photos we’ve taken & can’t believe how much she’s changed.

Those sleepy mornings in bed together in the early days seem so long ago. Now she just pats my face & gurgles until I get up & play. Which is lovely in its own way… But the occasional lazy morning wouldn’t go amiss!

Baby Girl is so close to crawling now. She just hasn’t got the arm action yet, though she seems to have got the hang of shuffling backwards. Which just frustrates her as she can never reach the yellow rattle!

She’s an inquisitive one, sitting up unaided, responding to her name & reaching for everything in sight. Then promptly throwing it on the floor. That’s including the iPhone, which she’s clicked is just a distraction for Mama. But more & more, she wants to stand on my knee, expecting me to help hold her there for longer & longer amounts of time. Who needs dumbbells when you have a 16lb baby.

And of course, Baby Girl is a chatter box. Being my daughter (& my mother’s granddaughter) it was inevitable. She babbles away on the play mat, she sings herself to sleep & she coos & calls to us from her highchair. She watches our mouths intently as we respond & you can see the concentration on her face as she desperately tries to form the same sound. But snorting is her favourite though. So ladylike.

But perhaps most exciting of all, right on schedule, Baby Girl has her first two teeth. We felt the first on Saturday as she chomped down on my finger in Rome airport (ow) & the second on Wednesday morning. One toothy grin coming right up!

Everyday brings something new. As cliched as it may sound, it really is incredible watching someone discover things you’ve come to take as instinct for so long. Any day now Baby Girl will be able to clap her hands (cue a hundred clapping games a day to show her what to do – no luck yet) & the idea that she doesn’t even know that action exists in her mind yet is astonishing to me. I wonder what tomorrow will bring…?

10 tips for surviving 10 hours in Rome airport

We went to my dad & H’s house nestled in the stunning Umbrian hills in Italy last week. Thankfully, we didn’t have a repeat of France two & a half months ago. She was positively non-plused by being somewhere new, different & unknown. If anything, she was just excited to be surrounded by flowers. Apparently we have a hippie baby.

But  – there’s always a but – the house has no wifi. So we didn’t receive the email from BA on Friday explaining that due to strike action at Rome airport our return flight was delayed by a few hours. So we arrived at Fiumicino at 10am to find we had six hours to fill rather than two & a half. Only it wasn’t six hours. It ended up as ten. With a six month old baby.

We’ve had better Saturdays.

So, without further a do, here’s our survival guide for surviving ten hours in an airport with a baby.

1. Pack extra muslins. Anyone with a baby knows, this needs no explanation.

2. For bottle fed babies, take extra bottles & formula. This was our first trip on bottles. We planned for the two expected feeds while travelling & one spare with a spare portion of formula. Seven hours into our delay, we were looking at using our spare bottle & starting to panic about what happened if we didn’t make it back before we needed another bottle. After this experience, we’ll always carry more than one spare bottle & plenty of formula. If worst comes to worst, you could dunk the bottle in boiling water & refill using bottled water with low sodium levels. But if you run out of formula you’re stuffed.

The thought of running out of formula was too much for Baby Girl. She decided to scout out some other sources of sustenance...

The thought of running out of formula was too much for Baby Girl. She decided to scout out some other sources of sustenance…

3. Take your pushchair to the gate. Or you’ll have very tired arms after the first hour!

4. Pack dummies. Even if you don’t usually use a dummy, they’re helpful for take off & landing.

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5. If there’s no wifi in the airport (have you mistaken a time machine for your plane?!) turn on your data. Just do it. It will keep you sane.

6. Avoid the restaurants where your complimentary food vouchers are valid. Just don’t bother. Spend good money instead. We got £45 of food vouchers from BA. We tried quite a few over nine hours. None were good. None.

7. Be prepared to act like an idiot in front of others. Keep your baby entertained at all costs. Strangers would rather listen to you sing Row Row Row Your Boat for a fifth time than listen to your baby’s world coming to an end.

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8. Don’t lose your rag. Especially with members of staff that aren’t even from your airline… (Sorry to the lady from Delta manning the information desk. In my defence, the desk wasn’t very aptly named. More like ‘no-information desk’. Just saying…)

9. Treat yourself. Go on, you’ve earned it. For me, this was a donut about five hours in. For the Other Half, it was a Blood Mary when we finally took off.

10. Laugh it off. You’ll find the time goes a lot faster if you laugh rather than cry.

Mr. Dragon & Owly qualify for frequent flyer miles, right?

Mr. Dragon & Owly qualify for frequent flyer miles, right?

For more trips on travelling with a baby, see my previous post after our holiday to France with a three month old.

Rusks

What started out as a biscuit quickly became more mush. It was like a gloopey paste covering Baby Girl. It was even in her ears.

Baby Girl’s verdict? She liked it so much she cried when she’d finished it.

IMG_3898.JPGAs you can see, sippy cup is still a work in progress.

Book Review: Feeding Your Baby by Fiona Wilcock

"I'm ready!!!"

“I’m ready!!!”

Blurb: published in 2014, a step by step guide to weaning your baby from first tastes to family meals. Feeding Your Baby employs a cross between weaning on purées & Baby Led Weaning. It features a meal planner that can start from five months, if your baby is ready, or that can be adapted to start from six months. Feeding Your Baby covers the following, all in line with current official advice;

  1. Is your baby ready? (including a section for premature babies)
  2. Different foods for different purposes; growing foods vs nutrients & what’s best for baby vs what’s best to avoid
  3. Food shopping for your baby & kitchen preparation: what do you need?
  4. Purée & first meals preparation
  5. Allergies, intolerants & choking
  6. Understanding how much is enough, giving your baby water with their meal or milk along side them & establishing good habits
  7. Meal planner from five months to the toddler years & recipes

Price: £12.99 (Amazon)
Worth it? Definitely

Thoughts: *****
For a first time mom, this was exactly what I needed. I’ve found the weekly planners great, especially when doing the food shopping & planning ahead. But it’s not a strict regime; Wilcock has provided more recipes than the meal planner features so you can pick & choose depending what you have in the fridge. Baby Girl is only on stage 1, but further on it gives you ‘Meals for leisurely days,’ ‘Meals for busy days,’ ‘Storecupboard recipes’ & ‘Economy dishes’ making sure there’s something for everyone & to help you navigate the ever expanding choice of recipes in the back of the book.

Perusing this week's menu...

Perusing this week’s menu…

The recipes appear to be tried & tested, winning Feeding Your Baby it’s fifth star. Nearly three weeks into weaning & so far all my purées have looked like the picture. (I appreciate that it’s not hard to mush up food…) After the first few days, while I was still getting to grips with everything, I’d say Wilcock’s timings are spot on give or take a minute or two. (And depending on whether Baby Girl needs some attention half way through!) IMG_3734

 

Baby Bullet

Don’t worry, this isn’t nearly as violent or risky as it sounds. I have a new toy:

(fruit bowl not included)

(fruit bowl not included)

Making purées with our standard food processor, was, as I mentioned last week, somewhat time consuming. This was causing me to spend a ridiculous amount of time whizz, whizz, whizzing. Quite frankly, it was boring. And because of the size, I was also having to make double, if not triple the portion sizes to fill the processor. Our freezer really isn’t that big!

Well not any more! My dad sent us a little gadget called the Baby Bullet. A small, baby-sized blender with which to prepare purees for Baby Girl. It has different bowl sizes for different portion sizes & two different blade types. One for fruit & veg, the other for when she’s on to slightly more advanced foods like porridge or whatever more advanced babies eat. (Haven’t got that far in my weaning book yet. Can you tell?)

In just over an hour, I made three different batches of purées for the week with a few extra pots worth for freezing (rather than 8 extra pots worth). Much better.

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The Baby Bullet is £49 from Amazon. It does have quite mixed reviews on Amazon, but so far, my experience has been nothing but positive. My only qualm is that it can’t go in the dishwasher. Which is quite a downside when I already have bottles to wash daily and purées to prepare. But swings & roundabouts.