Baby Girl’s Naming Ceremony

This weekend, we hosted Baby Girl’s Naming Ceremony. We aren’t religious, so felt a Christening was hypocritical. Instead, we invited our friends & family to a picnic in the park behind our apartment to celebrate the birth of our lovely little girl & to introduce everyone to her ‘Odd Parents’.

SONY DSCThere’s great debate over whether it’s appropriate for non-religious ceremonies to have a Godparent like figure. To which I reply, absolutely. A Godparent’s role is to support & guide a child on their spiritual journey. While we don’t require this for Baby Girl, we’ve asked our two best friends to be the friends they’ve been to us over the years to Baby Girl . This way, she’ll know she has two people in this world always looking out for her, always there for support or to ask those awkward questions to. And who’ll always tell her that pink hair isn’t a good idea.

The day went brilliantly, despite Hurricane Bertha blowing in the week before & threatening to drown us all. Thankfully, the gods were shining down on us (yes, I’m aware of the irony as we had a non-religious ceremony) as the sun found it’s way through the clouds.

Baby Girl’s dad gave a rather heart-felt speech, which I wasn’t allowed to hear before hand. (Much against my better judgement!) People laughed, then they got teary, then we drank bubbles. Baby Girl was the life & soul as she snoozed through the whole thing. Clearly, she is not our daughter!

I think Baby Girl wants a piece...

I think Baby Girl wants a piece…

Of course, no special day is complete without a cake. So last week I got my bake on again, the first time I’ve braved baking with a baby in tow. I’ll be honest, not the least stressful Friday I’ve ever had, even with Mom there to look after Baby Girl! But I got there in the end.

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Thank you to everyone who joined us at the weekend. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Pears pears, good for the heart…

…The more you eat the more you…

Apparently, this is Baby Girl’s mantra this evening. Pear purée went down well. She had three whole teaspoonfuls & we even got a smile.

She woke up about an hour ago (9:45pm) absolutely screaming the house down. Wouldn’t feed. Wasn’t dirty. Turns out she has the world’ worst wind.

She’s calmed down now & usually, I’d sit quietly, not talking, in the dark waiting for her to fall asleep again. However, she is wide awake so instead, she’s playing with Sophie the Giraffe on a rug in front of me as I desperately try to tire her out again!

But every two minutes or so she either burps or toots. It seems that while Baby Girl was keen on the pear, her digestive system is a bit surprised by it!

Weaning: AKA, Mess

 

Purists, avert your eyes, for we have started weaning Baby Girl at five months. Yes, the official lines are all ‘you’ll kill your baby if you give them anything but breast milk before six months old’ (I may be paraphrasing) but -

1. my entire generation was weaned at four months, & we are very clearly alive & well.
2. we think Baby Girl is ready. She is fascinated by us eating, tries to swipe at our food & most importantly, is starting to sit up on her own.

Baby Rice 

SONY DSCWe started on Friday with Baby Rice. This you mix 1 tsp of rice powder with 10 tsps of your baby’s usual milk. Baby Girl did not like. She just kept looking at us as if to say, ‘You idiots. Why are you serving me milk on a spoon?’ So we knocked that on the head.

Carrot purée 

SONY DSCSaturday we tried carrot, prepared by my own fair hands… Jesus purées are hard work! To get them smooth enough for our Precious Little-Bean, I had to whizz that carrot with cooled boiled water for about 30 minutes. And after all that? Baby Girl does not like carrot. At all. She didn’t like it on Sunday either.

Broccoli purée 

IMG_3569 - Version 2Now, broccoli is probably my favourite vegetable. So I was feeling optimistic.

Monday, I prepared broccoli purée, this time, made with her usual milk. I whizzed & I whizzed & I whizzed for nearly an hour to get it smooth. (Turns out this was really boring & Baby Girl decided to have a nap after only about 15 minutes. Either that or the food processor sounds like Ewan the Sheep & tricked her into sleeping!)

6pm came, we cleared the table, got her all set up, bib on, broccoli ready, and?

Baby Girl likes broccoli! Woohoo!

Never have I felt so relieved. If I had wasted an hour of my life whizzing that broccoli within an inch of it’s life & she hadn’t liked it, she might not have been the only one crying!

It was lovely to watch. I presented her with the spoon and she just mushed it with her hand, then began to spread it all over the tray. The next spoonful, she started sucking it off her fingers. After a few goes at this, she let me put the spoon in her mouth twice & a third time even pulled it into her mouth herself. Her dad kept laughing at me I was so excited. By the end, there was green mush everywhere.

It becomes very clear to me now why it was recommended we got her into the habit of bottle then bath. Because when bottle becomes dinner, she needs it!

Tonight, we’re sticking with a good thing & she’s having broccoli again & tomorrow she gets to try pear. We’re loosely following a plan set out in Feeding Your Baby by Fiona Wilcock to make sure Baby Girl is introduced to vitamin full foods along with yummy ones. I can hear her stirring, however, so my time is up. Time to down my coffee & get back on the merry-go-round! I’ll post separately about the book another day.

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Baby Girl looks on as I whizz my life away with a food processor. 

 

5 months & Leap 5

Baby Girl is now changing visibly every day, learning something new, trying something new, surprising us (& herself) all the time. Last month her personality was really beginning to shine through.This month, it’s all about physical ability.

SONY DSCBaby Girl is rolling left, right & centre now. And for the last two weeks or so is already starting to show signs of crawling. When lying on her tummy, she kicks up onto her knees & pushes forward, sliding her face along the ground. (She’s not quite mastered lifting bum & head at the same time yet.)

She also sat up on her own the other day for the first time. She was sat in her bouncy chair & sat bolt up right. My heart was in my mouth as she nearly toppled the chair forwards. So that’s that then. We officially can’t turn our backs on her at all.

Alas, with month five comes Leap 5. 30 days of cranky, confused, overwhelmed baby. Oh goodie. So how do we know Leap 5 is under way?

Leap 5: reaching for Ewan the Sheep in her sleep

Leap 5: reaching for Ewan in her sleep

  1. Cries more, more often or longer. Tick. (Sad face.)
  2. Asks for more attention. Tick. (Tired face.)
  3. Sleeps less or worse and eats less. Thankfully, not sleeping less. No more sleep regression! Hallelujah! But yes, we’re struggling to get her to have a full feed.
  4. Protests & fusses when changing their diaper or clothes. Yep.
  5. ‘Talks’ to her teddy looking for comfort. Yep, she shuffles up the cot to Ewan & often falls asleep holding his foot. Utterly adorable.
  6. Has mood-swings.
  7. Is not pleased with many things. Her dad said this & the mood-swings is just her becoming a woman & nothing to do with Leap 5. The cheek!

And what is Baby Girl mastering this time?

  1. interested in people who ‘act differently’ to ‘normal’
  2. immense interest in details, eg, zippers, labels or stickers.
  3. lifts things up to see if anything is below
  4. tries to untie laces
  5. throws something to see the content
  6. puts food in the mouth of others
  7. makes connections between words & deeds
  8. blows air
  9. protests when parents walk away
  10. imitates sounds with her tongue
  11. standing up with a little help or pulls herself to an upward position

Not all of these are obvious to us yet but will become so over the coming month(s). However, Baby Girl definitely loves a label – whether it’s a muslin or a stuffed bunny, she finds that label & chews it to death! She’s throwing things all over the place too; whether it’s to discover the contents I’m not sure. Seems more like a game of how-many-times-will-Mama-pick-it-up to me. She’s also just started blowing raspberries this week & howls if she’s left alone in a room.

Baby Girl’s been ‘standing’ & taking her own weight for at least a month. My arms are getting stronger by the day as often she refuses to sit, lie down, do anything but stand on my lap. So in short, she’s raring to go.

"Ooooh! Labels"

“Ooooh! Labels”

 

The best company

This year has been a biggun for my group of girls from school. We’ve had our first friend buy a house, our first baby, our second engagement & this week, our first wedding. Not gunna lie, it was emotional.

This particular friend, however, lost her heart to Devon before she lost it to a boy. So we all traipsed down to the beautiful ars-end-of-no-where (spot the city-dweller…) for three days.

Baby Girl was a joy on what could have been a painfully long train journey. Windows still provide her with endless entertainment. & on the way home, post my first real night out (today’s been tough), we fell asleep curled up in a seat together. Baby Girl gives the best cuddles. Even when you’re suffering from your first hangover in 13 months!

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Ps – big shout out & massive thanks to my mom who came with us to help look after Baby Girl during the evening so her dad & I could relax & enjoy ourselves!

The ‘Mom Gene’

It’s true what they say. Nobody can manage their time like a mom.

We’re leaving for Devon in a few hours for a friends wedding later this week. So this morning is a tad hectic. In the hour that Baby Girl has been asleep, I’ve managed to wash & sterilise all the bottles*, juice a grapefruit, eat breakfast, shower, dress & blow dry my hair. And write a blog post.

And it’s not even 8am. Boom.

I feel like I’ve crossed some right of passage or something!

*not usually a necessity for a breastfed baby, but my mom is joining us to look after Baby Girl during the wedding. And her boobs have long since dried up!

Me time

Hello old self. Haven’t seen you in a while. Welcome back to the land of the living.

Yesterday, I left Baby Girl with her dad armed with bottles for his first day shift. He was feeling quite nervous.

I on the other hand felt liberated.

At 6am, the other half took over as chief playmate while I had a lie in followed by a leisurely shower. I blow dried my hair, put on a very non-breastfeeding-friendly top, chose out some dangly earrings, picked up my expensive non-child-friendly handbag & ran out of the house before he could change his mind.

I had a leisurely breakfast coffee & a pastry, while I leisurely flipped through Cosmo. (Are you seeing the theme of the day yet?)

I mooched around the shops, bought absolutely nothing for myself & everything for the house from photo frames to a Swiffer brush – I know, so rock-‘n’-roll. But I didn’t matter. I was just enjoying being able to browse & mooch rather than whizzing round the shops with military precision having researched what I was going for beforehand so as to get it done in the space of a single nap time. (I’ve learned the hard way Baby Girl doesn’t particularly like shopping.)

It’s amazing how quickly I forgot myself though.  I opened the front door calling out ‘Hellooo!’. The other half rushed through the kitchen door hissing, ‘shhh!’. How many times have I cursed someone for doing exactly the same thing? Clearly Amie needed to check herself at the door & let Mama return.

Baby Girl wasn't sure what to make of her Dad's attempts at getting her to sleep...

Baby Girl wasn’t sure what to make of her Dad’s attempts at getting her to sleep…

It was great for Baby Girl’s dad to have an insight into my day though as it’s changed considerably since his Paternity Leave. I didn’t exactly go easy on him; I left him all the bottles to wash, sterilise & prepare in the morning & not much more instruction than, ‘she goes down about every two to three hours for about 45 minutes. But just look for the tired signs. The more you play the more you wear her out.’ He said he had a lot more fun than he expected, which was lovely to hear & he even managed to empty the dishwasher & put the laundry away. In truth, I’m slightly disappointed he didn’t have any poo-bombs or sick-explosions to deal with, but perhaps Baby Girl could sense she should go easy.

This morning, however, it’s back to business as usual. My coffee has already been in the microwave once as I failed to drink it the first time. I’m sat writing this post hurriedly while Baby Girl naps & have looked down to realise I have poo on my top. Yep, Mama’s back. But it’s nice to know that Amie’s still in there.

Head bumps no more!

We have wood floors, which aren’t particularly baby friendly. The more active Baby Girl gets, the more blankets I’ve had to layer up to protect her tender head as she throws herself around.

Well all that is a thing of the past… We have a new floor…

20140801-053144 pm-63104896.jpgSadly, Baby Girl was napping when they arrived so I had to wait patiently to play. Or did I…

20140801-053725 pm-63445294.jpgBut Baby Girl woke eventually & seems quite at home already.

20140801-053929 pm-63569659.jpgWe got 36 EVA foam puzzle pieces for £15, including delivery, off eBay [click to view UK listing]. And they’re great. Only 1cm thick but absorb all bumps & tumbles brilliantly.

They’re also really easy to take apart, move around or make shapes out of for Baby Girl to play with. Or tear apart as seems to be more her style. No idea where she might have got a destructive streak from. No idea at all.

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