Tuesday 22 December 2009

15 Months, 3 Weeks

So another quick update from me - too exciting to leave it until I forget.

Callum took his first unaided steps on Sunday!!!!!!!

Grandma and Grandpa Jones were here and were sitting on one sofa, Stuart sitting on the other and they were encouraging him to walk from Sheila & Steve to Stuart and he did 2 steps all on his own! Such a clever boy. We all saw it too. I'm so pleased Stuart got to see it too - he got to see a first :o).

He hasn't done any more since but I'm not pushing it too much.

Also, he said 'banana'. The first day he said it was when we were walking up the stairs and he just copied what I had said so didn't think too much of it but then later we went downstairs and he pointed up to the fruit bowl where there were some bananas and a tupperware box of breadsticks and crisps. I thought he was after the crisps but when I picked him up and asked him what he wanted he pointed to the banana and said really clearly "banana". I'm so proud. Annoyingly, he hasn't said it as clear as that since and yesterday it was a "datdat"!

Callum is currently at his first settling in session for nursery. He was meant to go there to sleep but typically he fell asleep in the car on the way there so probably just playing with the nursery staff. He'll be there for about 3 hours in total then he will have another session on Thursday morning.

He was also invited to the nursery Christmas party yesterday. He loved it. Played with all the balloons chasing them around; making me hold his hands while he walked around the hall and kicked the balloons; he had some party food - surprisingly (or not) mainly fruits and crisps although there were lots of other stuff there; took part in pass the parcel and got a lollypop! I wouldn't normally let him have the lollypop but he could see all the other children (who were older) sucking their's and knew it came from the parcel and then when he got it he was so excited about having one so I let him have it. It didn't last long as he dropped it on the floor and it broke. But then he kept trying to crawl after the parcel as it was going around again to get another one - he he.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

15 Months, 2 Week, 1 Day

Hoorah! Callum is healthy! (frantically touches wood) Well, apart from a sore bum but that has only come on today and he must have had a whole week without a sore bum!!!

We bought Callum some cruisers the other day - his first shoes. So cute. He still isn't walking but as he is starting nursery in the new year (with his settling in sessions next week) we need to get him some outdoor shoes. It makes me feel happier that his feet are warmer too when we go out rather than just wearing socks.

He is getting stronger with his walking. He can walk just holding on to one hand now (though usually prefers both hands) and he can stand for longer and longer. We do it as part of a game, though, he doesn't generally just stand on on his own (unless he thinks no one is looking). He was holding on to the sofa yesterday and I was calling him to me while sitting just out of reach and he was really considering how he would walk to me but then just crawled. I know he'll get there, he is still less than 16 months. He pushes his walker, and basically anything else that moves, all around the house. He loves it. He makes me walk around the house in circles while holding his hands all the time, including going upstairs. I should be the size of a stick by now if it wasn't for all the bad food I ate and alcohol I drank!!

His talking is pretty much the same as last time I posted. He regularly points to things and says "brrrr" if he wants something. Particularly if it is a drink but he does it for other things too. I wonder if this is a recognised speech development exercise for them as my friend's toddler did it too. I've heard Callum practise saying "don't" on his own. No actual new words yet though.

Another thing that I'm not sure whether it is related to speech development or just him pulling faces and finding it funny but when we were in the car the other day, I was watching him in my rear view mirror. There is a mirror that is attached onto the back seat headrest so I can see him in the reflection (and he can also see himself). I saw him pulling faces. He was opening his mouth up really wide then closing it and sticking out his tongue. It was so cute and funny. He has since started doing this with me but for me to copy him like a game - he finds it really funny.

I'm really starting to look forward to Christmas now. I've finally done all my Christmas shopping - woohoo! I've bought Callum far too much, especially for his stocking. I keep seeing things that he needs and getting them and putting them in his stocking, along with loads of stuff that was in the sale about a month ago. I am still not entirely sure what I am cooking for Christmas dinner. I know that I am cooking duck but have no idea how or what with. Because I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking all of Christmas, I agreed we would have dinner at home as long as we shared the cooking so I am doing the scrambled egg & smoked salmon breakfast and the main dinner and Stuart is doing the starter and dessert - personally, I still think he has it easy as the dessert is bought rather than made and you just bung it in the microwave. But he does have to make the starter, so fair dos! He is making red onion & goat's cheese tarts - hmmm, the pastry for this is in the freezer but there is more there than he needs. Can I chop off what he needs while frozen or do I have to defrost the whole thing then throw what's leftover away? Anyway, something to be looked up (I bet he hasn't even thought about it yet, but these are the things that play on my mind despite the fact I'm not even making it!!! Note to Stuart while reading this - find out what the situation is with the pastry ;o)).

Callum has been so good with the Christmas tree. He has occasionally pulled a bauble off, especially when I was finishing putting up the tree and he was trying to 'help' by pulling them off then trying to put them back on again. He did grab a chocolate once, looked at it, then looked at me but gave it to me when I said no and he hasn't touched another one. We've not put any presents under it yet, I think we will save that for the actual day. However, we'll have a trial run with my parents-in-law who are coming to stay for Christmas dinner this weekend. We'll be swapping presents and I need to move some of the present out of the spare room for them to get in there so it makes sense. Hopefully, he'll ignore them :-s.

Some big news for me (and it affects Callum too) - I've been given a provisional offer on a job. Unfortunately, it is full time rather than part time like I was after, and it is a lot less money than I was hoping for but a job is a job and with the market like it is I need to take it. I am also desperate to get back to work. This is the first interview I've had in the 6 months I've been looking. No one wants a part time trainer at the moment (if ever). Its going to be hard going back full time but hopefully, it will be ok. I'm not really worried about Callum and how he will be as I am sure he will love it. I'm expecting there to be some tears on occasion when I drop him off
and there will be some tough times but I am sure he will love it too. I'm just gutted for me. For the past 15.5 months I've been used to spending nearly all day every day with him. I'm going to miss him. To go from all this to just 2 days a week is going to be so hard. I'm going to miss so much. That said, there was a time before having him where I thought I would always go back to work full time.

The other difficult time will probably be from week 2 to about week 6 of the new job as this is, what I think, is usually the hardest time as you are settling in and feel really insecure about your position and knowledge. I am sure I will question a number of times whether I've done the right thing. Hopefully the job will be great and any fears I have will be forgotten pretty quick. I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it when I start. This is all assuming I'll get through the vetting process and occupational health! The reason why it is a provisional offer is because I need to get vetted first. But, unless my family or Stuart's are living double lives and we don't know about it, I'm not expecting there to be any problems with that. If all goes well, I imagine I will start at the beginning of February. My future line manager has told me about a course she would like me to attend on 25/26 January whether I have started or not but I suspect I will start after this. Especially with settling Callum into nursery.

That said, Callum is actually starting nursery anyway in January but just one day a week. On a Thursday. He has he's settling in sessions next week on Tuesday and Thursday (Christmas Eve). He will go there to 'sleep' in the afternoon on the Tuesday and then he will go there to play for an hour or two on Thursday morning. We have also been invited to their Christmas party on the Monday - yay! Another Christmas party (I have to live my life through Callum now going to his Christmas parties). But I guess not for long!

Speaking of Christmas parties, 'we' (read Callum) have two on Friday. One at Gym Jams (a great soft play place we go to) with Father Christmas and everything and then 'we' have one with the NCT babies with secret santa. Going to really start feeling like Christmas by Friday! We had a party today at Toddler Group this morning but that just felt like a party and not particularly Christmassy. Just an excuse to eat bad food!

To help with the Christmassy mood today, we had snow! It actually settled a bit too. I took Callum to Wisley Gardens to meet a couple of friends and it was really pretty to walk around in the snow. At one point there was even enough snow for me to make a snow ball. It didn't last though and has all gone now - turned to rain! However, it is meant to snow again over the next couple of days. I actually wish Callum was walking so he could experience it on his own. I guess it is highly likely to snow again though when he is walking so I'm sure he will get to walk in it soon enough!

Think that's us up to date - quite a long post in the end. Will try to give an update before Christmas and then one just after.

In case not - Merry Christmas <:o)>

Tuesday 24 November 2009

14 Months, 3 Weeks (Post 2)

Couple of things since I wrote my last entry...


Callum ate 2/3rds of a pork chop and even tried (and ate a tiny bit) vegetables!!!! This is amazing! He has spat out pork chop before and I've already said about him not eating vegetables. He even ate a bit of vegetable with a bit of pork chop. He then tried each of the vegetables. Admittedly, he did spit out the veg he tried on its own but small steps! It is still a huge step forward for us.

Also, I asked Callum for a kiss and he pursed his lips for a kiss - so cute! It is more like he squeezes his lips together and pouts his bottom lip - adorable :o) *proud mummy*.

He is being a real piggy these last two days and drank 14oz at bedtime. Screamed when his bottle finished so I had to get him some more milk. He then wouldn't let go of his bottle and kept chewing the teat - I think he must be teething. Stuart had to go in there when he got home to grab the bottle.

Just had to update with the latest developments before I forgot!

14 Months, 3 Weeks

Well, following on from Callum being ill the other week (starting on a Tuesday, kind of clearing up by the Thursday but still not himself until the end of the following week!!!!!), on the Friday after he got ill, I caught the same bug. Horrid, horrid, horrid. I think I'm in danger of repeating myself from an earlier post but it is bloody hard work looking after a sick child but looking after one when you are sick yourself is beyond words! Luckily (I say luckily but didn't feel in any way lucky!!), whereas Callum had it spread out over a few days, I had it more aggressive but concentrated to 1 day.

I never thought I would say this but thank god for CBeebies. Thankfully, Callum was happy to sit and watch it all day, every day and often fell asleep on the sofa watching it. He couldn't sleep in his cot much as it was always in the wash.

That was the other difficult thing, trying to keep up with all the washing. I was doing several washes a day every day and still couldn't catch up. Even when Callum was over the sickness bug, a tickly cough remained which kept making him sick. It was never ending!

But phew! Thankfully, it is over and fingers crossed we wont get it again for quite some time!

Neither of us are still 100% as we both have a chesty cough (again!!!) but we are happy with it so not too bad.

However, all this had led me on to thinking about giving Callum vitamin drops. We take vitamins ourselves so it seems silly not to give them to Callum. He is probably offered a healthier and more varied diet than us but if he finds a vegetable, he rejects it and after being sick, his appetite went right down so it was difficult to get him to eat anything substantial for a couple of weeks. Thankfully, he has his appetite back now but I would just feel more comfortable to know he is getting a regular supply of vitamins. I read up on it and it is apparently recommended that parents give their children (from the age of 6 months to 5 years) vitamins so I might ask my HV about them.

Speaking of which, I need to rearrange Callum's MMR. I rang up to cancel it when he first got ill (about a month ago) and they told me it was the day before - oops! I keep forgetting to ring up to rebook it but, to be honest, I wouldn't have wanted him to have it if he wasn't feeling 100% so probably just as well I haven't remembered as I probably would have just had to cancel it again!

Last week was a hard week for me with Callum. With him not being back to his usual happy self, I found him very hard work. I was in desperate need of a Toddler Translator. He would cry and scream for something but I had no idea what he wanted. He would constantly direct me out to the kitchen by pointing and then point at random things or things he wasn't allowed. Especially when he was recovering from being ill - he kept pointing to things that were likely to make him sick again. I knew he was hungry but he would refuse anything plain I offered him throwing a huge tantrum. Occasionally, I would give in to a demand just to keep him happy but then he would throw it up. He suddenly hated his baths and would throw big tantrums and continually try to get out. Even since he has got better his confidence seems to have been knocked. Although he might go off to play at social situations, he would soon come back to me and just want to sit on my lap. Very, very unlike him. He was so happy and confident to just go and play and never looking for me before. He is slowly getting his confidence back and was such an angel toddler over the weekend so I'm hoping he'll be back to his usual self by the next social thing I take him too.

The last couple of days he seems to want to say more words but I keep saying that on here and he doesn't actually end up saying anything. He does seem to choose a word in his own language and continue say it for a day or so but I have no idea what it actually means. We have had recently 'bidet', 'baboo' (which we thought was 'no poo' but he says it at other times too) and today it is 'di doo'. As I said, a translator would be useful right now!

I took Callum swimming again on Sunday and he was so excited. He loves it. He was sitting on the side and jumping into my arms. He kept reaching for something leaning out of my arms and getting a face and mouthful of water but didn't seem to mind. I really want to get something that will help him float and give him independence from me in the water but need to research what will be the best thing. As I have said before, I must take him more as I would have him to lose his confidence in the water too.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

14 months, 1 week, 2 days

My poor little sausage has been under the weather quite a bit lately. I count us lucky that he hasn't had too many illnesses so far in his life as some of my friends' little ones seem to catch a lot more than Callum. Sometimes because they go to nursery and Callum doesn't but not all of them do so I take full praise for the wonderful antibodies that I've passed on :o). However, he has managed to catch a couple of viruses recently.

He had a cold a couple of months ago, then just as he was getting over that he caught a throat infection that caused him to have a nasty cough and now, just as he was getting over that, he has caught another virus! A sickness bug this time. He has been sick for the last couple of days and hasn't managed to eat anything and keep it down. Thankfully, he has drunk more water today than yesterday but still not getting anywhere near enough fluids. The worrying thing is that he keeps being sick in his sleep :o(. I took him to the doctor today after calling the Health Visitor. I was pretty sure they would say it was just something he would need to get over himself but he had a couple of odd symptoms that didn't make sense so the HV said I should take him to the doctor just to be sure.

Sure enough, he said he had a virus and there was nothing he could do for him. He said his throat is sore again and he could see he wasn't himself. Callum also has a dry rash on his cheeks which I was worried might be Slapped Cheek Syndrome, although he didn't have the other cold/flu like symptoms but the Dr said he thought it was just a bit of baby eczema and to put moisturiser on it. I think it might be a sign of him being dehydrated but then I'm not a doctor!

Poor love is so not himself either. This morning I put him on the sofa to drink his milk (which is the only thing he has managed to consume and keep down surprisingly) with a blanket over him and kiddie tv on. As soon as he had finished his milk he just closed his eyes and went to sleep. He had only been awake an hour :-/. He has been mostly asleep or happy to just be snuggled up to me on the sofa. He hasn't played with any of his toys or shown an interest in anything else.

In the meantime, completely selfish comment from me, I'm getting cabin fever. And cabin fever makes me want to eat...and none of it good! So I'm getting wider by eating loads and sitting on my butt! And to think I chose this week to start my diet again! Well, last week actually but didn't do particularly well then either. I just hope he is better for Friday as we have a couple of things booked in the diary that I think will do us both good!

One of the things is Gym Jams. It is a type of soft play centre but different from the usual ones. It is in a village hall and has a bouncy castle, a deep ball pool and lots of soft structures to clamber over. Callum loves it and I get to have a nice cup of tea and a natter while he goes off to play. The place is still quite small so you can keep an eye on him without having to be by his side. They have a Christmas party too with Father Christmas. How exciting, Callum's first Christmas party and the first time he has seen Father Christmas. I hope he doesn't get scared like some children do...

I took Callum swimming last week and was keen to make it a weekly occurrence but then he got ill again so I couldn't take him this week. He loved it last week though. He is gaining so much confidence in the water - too much really as he was trying to crawl to the deep end. I was trying to get him to sit on the side then jump into the pool into my arms. He did it a couple of times. I need to get him some arm bands or something I think as he needs to learn how to be on his own in the water (of course with me supervising but not with me holding him all the time). I have wondered whether I should go without them so that he is encouraged to swim earlier but not sure that is the best thing to do. I have tried him with arm bands before (a friend let me try her boy's) and they do take some skill in themselves as children don't realise that the arm bands will keep their arms up and then they still need to hold their heads up. Plus the ones we tried weren't particular good as the whole of him wanted to sink rather than the armbands holding him up. I have seen those suits with the float around the middle and wonder whether they will be better. Need to find some people who have tried both to see what would be best. I really do want to take Callum swimming more regularly.

Hopefully, he will be back to himself before I know it and we can get back to his usual active social life :o)

Monday 26 October 2009

1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, 6 days

I am finding this age quite hard at the moment. Life looking after Callum has gone back to being relentless! No where near as hard as the first 6 months but constant nonetheless. I feel bad complaining because I know what I'm going through is nothing special and everyone else can cope just fine without complaining, not to mention those that have more than one child, but I'm fed up of my bum skimming the seat as I nearly sit down and constantly saying "no" calling "Callum" and "don't do...". It is fine, of course, when I sit down and play with Callum one to one but it is when I need to get on and do other stuff I get frustrated. I do play with Callum quite a bit but there are times I do need to do other things while he is awake - especially if he hasn't had his full nap (around 2 hours).

If I am on the laptop, he is trying to press all the buttons (usually the backspace, enter or delete buttons) or is trying pull or push the screen. He is still always trying to push the buttons on the sky box, video/dvd player, ps3 Wii and TV. Thankfully, he is less interested in the CVs and DVDs now but does still go to play with them occasionally. If I leave the lounge door open to the kitchen he often makes a mad dash to play with the squash bottles on the bottom shelf of our cupboard (the door has fallen off at the moment), play with the recycling, play with the washing machine.

I am trying to go out more to keep him entertained. He has moved his nap from 10.30am to be 11.30-12 so it means we can now do something in the morning or afternoon (or both). I've been to a couple of toddler/play groups and another type of soft play centre.

To be honest, I haven't been that keen on the toddler groups. I can completely understand people's need to go and why they find the support there invaluable but this is sort of my problem with them. The people that go there are either those that need the support or those that really want to help those that need the support. The main reason I am going is to entertain Callum. I don't seem to fit in either of the above camps and am therefore not meeting like-minded people to me. As I just said, the reason I am going is for Callum so it isn't a problem if I don't get to meet/talk to people or make friends, as long as Callum enjoys himself. But I would rather find somewhere where I felt relaxed and comfortable.

The soft play place was brilliant though. Pain to get to in the morning as the session starts at 9am and goes through a major traffic hot spot but it was worth it. I'll definite go again and they do have later sessions and sessions on a different day too so if traffic continues to be a problem then I can try a different one. Callum, more importantly, loved it too. Spent most of his time either in the Ball Pool or on the bouncy castle.

Development wise, there are a few things to update on.

Don't think I've mentioned this in previous posts but Callum is very able to go up and down stairs now (though I still make sure I am below him on the stairs just in case). He also knows when a step down is too high for him he needs to go down backwards. I really thought this would take a while to teach in the beginning but he seemed to learn it quite quickly. He still goes forwards down the single steps that go to the garden or out the front door but otherwise he turns round first.

This past week we have been teaching him to stand on his own. Yesterday, he kept crawling up to me, standing himself up and then letting go himself. I think the longest stand so far has been about 10 seconds. He has tried a couple of times to stand up himself from crawling. He pushes his knees up so he is on his feet and hands but then can't work out what to do next. Don't think it will be long until he works it out.

Although Callum doesn't say many really recognisable words that other people will understand, he is starting to say things that we recognise. He says "don't" and "ta" (for thank you) now but I also think he tries to say a few other things too (typically can't remember any of them). He tries to say "no poo" when we change his nappy first thing in the morning. I am trying to get him to say "drink" at the moment and I am going to try to get him to say "please" too. Oh and he tries to say "oh dear" too.

Callum can also blow now. He sometimes blows his food to cool it down but typically he doesn't do it when it actually needs it!

He really loves books now. He will often bring me one for him to read or he will point at one.

So, although this stage is tiring, it is still really exciting to see what new thing he is going to do next and to watch the learning process as he accomplishes a new skill.

Looks like I might have a job for 2 days a week for the next 3-6 months. It isn't doing what I want to do, it is an admin type job but it will hopefully pay for me to put Callum in childcare for 3 days with the aim that I will work on setting up my own business on the third day. It is just impossible to concentrate on it when Callum is around. After the second childminder I had lined up informed me that she is giving up childminding, we are now looking at nurseries. We think Callum could benefit, now, from observing and learning from children that are a little further advanced than he is as well as the social aspects of being in a nursery.

I went to see one today. It didn't jump out at me as being a wonderful nursery but then I haven't really got anything to compare it to at this stage. Unfortunately, they have only some days available between now and Christmas then they are full from January so, unless a place becomes available, I would have to move Callum anyway. I'm seeing another one next Monday and I might look at a couple in the town I am going to be working in too.

I am starting to look forward to Christmas with Callum. Last year he was too young to enjoy everything but I'm hoping he will be able to take a bit more in this year - though I can see me stressing about him touching the tree or presents underneath. I am so determined to teach Callum 'no' rather than removing everything I don't want him to touch but wonder whether I have the patience to stop Callum from pulling everything off the tree and opening all the presents we put underneath. We shall see - got a month or so before I need stress over that.

Thursday 15 October 2009

1 year, 1 month, 1 weeks, 2 days

Callum is doing well. Still asserting his authority and independence! But making me laugh and smile on a regular basis too.

His speech is still developing, though I'm a bit concerned that his main 'word' at the moment is "don't" while wagging his finger at me. He does things on purpose that he knows he shouldn't do so when I call his name or say "No" he does the finger wagging saying "don't". I've also taught him to blow kisses :o). He also recognises a dog when he sees one and makes a woof sound (to be honest, it doesn't sound much like a dog and is very similar to his monkey but without the action! But I know it is dog!).

He is really getting into books now. He will bring one to me to read. He particularly likes one he got from Grandma called the Ten Little Chicks. He asks for it all the time. It has a great pop up page at the end. We often read it just before bedtime while he drinks his milk. Talking of bedtime "GO TO SLEEP CALLUM" - he is meant to be napping but I think he is pushing his naptime back. So rather than napping, I can hear him crying out and hitting the side of his cot with his legs. Will try to put him down a bit later tomorrow to see how that goes. Bit of a pain for lunch though....do I give it before his nap or wait until he wakes up???

Not much else to report on Callum.

I'm still trying to find work/set up my own business. Need to focus on the business and start making progress.

Really starting to miss being an independent woman and a person in my own right, not just a mum. Went out for alumni drinks with my old department last night and it was so nice just being me. Conversation still often turned to babies as so many of the people I worked with have now had 1 or 2 babies or are currently pregnant so it was quite an obvious topic of conversation. However, it took me back to a time when I was Debbie and not just Mum (I say 'just mum' and I am by no means downplaying the worth of a mum - I am just (there's that word again) trying to say I feel more like a mum and nothing else when I feel that there should be more to me). Makes me even hungrier to get back to working. I love Callum to pieces but definitely feel like I'm ready to have more in my life now. That's more in my life not relating to children, not more children in my life! Clearing that up before people start getting funny ideas.

On the other side of things, I took a big step to saying goodbye to my old self yesterday. I know, confusing! One minute I say I want to feel like my old self and then I'm saying goodbye to my old self. I mean the skinny (slimmer at least) me! I packed up all the clothes that are 2 sizes too small, don't suit my current body shape (i.e. tops that are too short and show of midriff now but didn't used to) and clothes that were past their sell-by date! Quite depressing and didn't leave me with much at all! However, on the positive side, I did find that I still fit into one skirt and a few pairs of trousers. That's more than I thought I would fit into! Now hoping Christmas presents come in the way of money/vouchers and I can hit the sales to fill the wardrobe up again! Assuming I've been a good girl and Father Christmas thinks I deserve presents, of course.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

1 Year, 2 weeks, 1 day

Well, along with turning 1, came tantrums. They seemed to have eased off a bit this week but last week he was a nightmare. In a way, they are quite funny. If he is sitting, he sort of folds himself in half putting his face in between his legs with his nose touching the floor - wonder if he'll still be able to do that when he is older????

The reasons for his tantrums, though, were probably because he was under the weather. Along with teething (which seems to be continuously cycling through various teething symptoms) he appeared to have a sore throat and sniffles. Every time he coughed, he cried out. He was sick a couple of times too in the evening and went completely off his food. Couldn't get him to eat more than about a mouthful of food for about 3 days. Although you know you don't need to worry, everyone tells you that this is normal when they feel ill - babies/toddlers often go completely off their food and prefer to drink more milk - I've even told others this when they have worried! But, when it does happen, you can't stop yourself from worrying. I just kept thinking, he didn't eat anything for breakfast or lunch, he must be hungry by dinner time!!! He first started showing signs of being unwell on the Saturday and his eating was sporadic. Then he hardly ate anything for Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, I decided to try the fail proof macaroni cheese that never gets refused and, sure enough, he managed to eat some of it. Good old macaroni cheese. He still wasn't eating much on the Thursday but was a little better than the beginning of the week and by Saturday, he was back to normal.

Development wise, he is getting stronger with walking along when you are holding his hands. He is actually picking up his feet to move them forwards now rather than half him dragging them along and half whoever was holding his hands dragging him forward. I would say he confidently cruises around the furniture now. Not so I notice but you will just see that he was standing in one place one minute and the next he is somewhere else.

He loves climbing the stairs and makes a dash for them whenever he has the opportunity. I'm forever either telling him no and bringing him back to the kitchen or slowly (very slowly) following him up the stairs!

He is still into everything other than his own toys!! His favourite game is currently turning the TV on and off! Not funny. Typically, it happens just when an important bit happens and you miss it! He is probably trying to tell me I'm watching too much telly! Other people's toddlers are just learning how to switch the TV on to watch their favourite kids TV programme.

I took Callum for his 1 year check at the baby clinic. All seems fine. They no longer recalculate his age to be 4 weeks younger (due to being premature) so, where he was pretty much following the 50th centile line (average) or just under, he is now around the 25th centile. He is in proportion though. He is on track with everything else. His speach is fine - they need to be saying at least 2 words by the time he is 1, including animal noises. He does an elephant noise and a snake (and also does monkey now) and also says mumma, dadda though not necessarily in context. I'm pretty sure he says other things as well or has his own words for things and I just don't understand them yet. He says kind of "a-deh" for again. They asked questions about his personality, whether he was sociable and showed signs of being confident and independent. All was fine. So, the conclusion is, we seem to be doing something right so far! :o)

The big news with me - as I am not having much luck finding a part-time IT training job, I'm going to start my own business providing IT Training in my local area. I'm going to target the over 50s to begin with but not limit myself to that. I just think there is a market for that age group at the moment. I have a company name now (not telling you yet), I've bought the domain names and I have a meeting with Business Link next week. I've also prepared and distributed an online survey to research training needs for the over 50s age group. Watch this space!

Wednesday 2 September 2009

1 YEAR OLD!!!!

Wow! Callum is actually a year today. Well, technically, this time last year he still wasn't born yet.

Actually, this time last year, I was having just as much trouble sleeping (it is currently 5.30am) as I am today :o(. However, for totally different reasons. The moans and groans of the other ladies in the ante-natal room, the snoring and the mild intermittent pains in my lower back (that bit hasn't changed much!!) were keeping me from sleeping this time last year.

Taking it back a bit further, last year and about 6 hours earlier, my waters broke and I was gripped by fear. What was happening? Will my baby be ok? I'm not ready for this baby yet...I was practically prepared - in that we had loads of equipment and clothes, the nursery was ready despite not needing it for the first couple of months, my hospital bag was even packed but mentally, I still wasn't prepared. I still had 3.5 weeks to go. When people said "not long now" I was still saying "there's still a little way to go and that's fine with me - I'm not ready yet!". Callum had other ideas!

So, off to hospital I went and we were told that that in 24 hours time, we should meet our baby.

I really tried to keep back the tears and shock - I was so scared. Stuart was just so excited. It couldn't be more perfect timing for him. He had had enough of waiting too and was ready to meet our baby.

Stuart was sent home and I had my sleepless night in the ante-natal ward. Then they came and got me about 8.30-9am and took me to the delivery suite. By this time, I was just relieved to get out of the ante-natal ward. Stuart arrived shortly after. My mild back contractions weren't progressing fast enough so by 12noon, they induced me. At 5pm ish, they gave me my first, much appreciated, epidural. A couple of epidurals later and after a lot more pain (despite the epidural) Callum was born at 9.48pm on 2 September.

I spent another 3 days in hospital (4.5 days in total). Although being in hospital isn't great, I really appreciated the time so I could get the extra help and support with breastfeeding. They also took care of him for a bit during the night once or twice so I could get a bit of sleep (though never good sleep with the bright lights and everyone else's babies waking me up). I was also grateful for Stuart coming in each day. It made the days go so much quicker. So, by the time it was home time, I was both relieved, eager to get home and a little bit nervous about us now doing this parenthood thing on our own.

The first 6 weeks, which everyone told us would be the hardest, weren't as bad as I was expecting. I coped pretty well with sleep deprivation and Callum slept so much (though not for long stints) that it was easy to go out if we wanted too. It was after that 6 week period that I started to find it hard. The fact that I had to be tied to Callum all the time with less than an hour window if I wanted to go out without Callum. The lack of sleep was getting to me. I had moved into the spare bedroom when Stuart went back to work and I started to feel like I would never get back to our bed. Callum was still waking very regularly through the night. Breastfeeding plus expressing was hard work.

In the first 5 months I had many ups and downs. It was such an emotional roller-coaster. In some ways, I had coped how I expected - comfortably with the previous experience I had gained looking after young babies. In other ways, I was clueless and, like many, learning by the day, or even by the minute.

Around 4.5-5 months, Callum's sleep routine started to get better and by 5.5 months, I felt we had cracked it. Things started to get easier. By 6 months, Callum was becoming a lot more fun and interesting and I think it was around here that we had our first full night's sleep. It might have even been a little bit earlier.

From this point forward, I really started to enjoy parenthood and was more excited about what each day would bring. Callum was developing more each day and I was finally feeling like I was beginning to know what I was doing.

The weaning was more difficult than I was expecting but I don't regret doing BLW for a minute. Seeing how well he eats now compared to many other babies his age.

Now, my baby is becoming a toddler. He is crawling competently, climbing stairs, pulling himself up to standing and taking his first few wobbly steps with a walker.

The key things I have learnt along the way are:

  • RELAX - the more you stress and get worked up about stuff the slower things happen. Everything will happen in its own time and you stressing about it wont make it happen any quicker. If you relax, you might just enjoy life and motherhood a lot more. This is probably the most important one. When I started to relax and not worry about things, life got a lot easier.
  • Trust your instincts. Everyone says this but when you are getting so much advice from all corners, if you are reading advice from so called 'experts', it can get confusing to know whether what you are doing is right or whether you should be doing something else. Go with your gut feeling - mother really does know best!
  • DON'T read too many books or get obsessed with the 'experts'. You will drive yourself crazy wondering why your baby isn't a textbook baby and, like the previous point, no one will know your baby more than you do.
  • Similarly, don't compare your baby to others - its boring to hear it but all babies really are different (I can see the yawns and eye rolls already!)
  • Its when you stop caring about whether you are a bad parent that you become a bad parent! We beat ourselves up with guilt worrying about whether we are doing the best by our baby - am I a bad mother? Although we shouldn't be hung up on thinking we are bad parents - when we stop caring about whether we are doing the best by our baby, is when we need to worry. By the very fact that we do care, means we are good parents. Not sure that makes sense? The fact I now know that, according to my own advice, does that now make me a bad parent? Hmm, think this one need rewording...maybe when I've had more sleep and am a bit more with it!
Think they are the main lessons. May add more later.

So, right now, I'm waiting for Callum to wake up so I can bring him into his room, give him his milk and he can open all his presents. I know he wont know much about what is going on but I'm quite excited about it. His first Birthday. Then, this afternoon, a couple of his friends will come over and he can play and eat bad food. And I will reflect and stare in amazement at how much and how quickly my baby is changing into a little boy.

I've made a cake. Not sure I'll do that again in a hurry. It was going to go so much better in my head. Will post pictures later.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

11 months, 3 weeks, 1 day

The "1 Year Birthday" is fast approaching. I have sent round an email to his 'friends' to invite them over in the afternoon. So far, only one person has confirmed...could be a quiet affair but we'll have fun regardless.

We've seen the present we are going to buy Callum. There is a garage in Early Learning Centre that matches the magnetic vehicle sets he has already, plus you get an extra 3 cars.

I've practiced making the cake that will be his Birthday cake. I've not iced it, as don't want to waste icing. Plus, it sank, so I wouldn't have been able to ice it. I hope that doesn't happen when I make it for real. It appears I opened the oven door too early. Fingers crossed it all goes well for next week. Otherwise, this could be the last birthday cake I ever make...I'm going with a jungle theme for the icing I think. I was going to do a cat but don't want to do anything too complicated for his first cake. Now, I know you are thinking that a jungle theme must be harder than a cat but I can do the jungle bits all on one round cake whereas, for a cat, I would have to bake an extra cat for ears and a tail. I would also want the icing to be chocolate flavour (chocolate overkill here as sponge cake is chocolate too) and I couldn't find any ready made and I'm not brave enough to make it. I can see it now, it is going to be a disaster. I hope it, at least, tastes nice.

So, our little man and what he's up to.

He gets up a bit of speed now when crawling. Enough to chase after and terrorise Lotté. Found them both under the dining room table tonight, in between the chairs. Lotté looking for the best escape route!

I had thought the stairs were safe but found him a third of the way up them the other day! Now need to watch him. He loves the stairs and heads to them at every chance he gets, whether upstairs or down. My sister recommends only getting a stairgate at the top and teaching him not to go up the stairs without me. Otherwise, whenever we go anywhere without a stairgate, we will have to be up with him every 5 minutes stopping him from climbing them. Not sure how easy this will be but it is worth a try. It is scary that Callum has no awareness of safety on the stairs. How do you teach that at his age. He would very easily get half way up the stairs, get tired and go to just sit back, nearly falling down the stairs. Luckily, I've been behind him whenever he has gone to do this. I think he knows that he has to go down backwards when he is at the top of the stairs. Although, he hasn't quite worked out how to get into position yet. He gets to the top of the stairs and then kind of crawls and shuffles on his bum trying to turn round and then when he is there, he doesn't know what to do next. I still help him to go down, moving his legs for him but will stop that so he works it out for himself.

Callum is pulling himself up to standing all the time now. But only today has he (kind of) worked out how to sit down again - just not very stylishly. He used to stand up and then cry out when he wanted to sit down. Now he sort of throws himself on his bum. He is getting a little bit braver day by day, for example, only holding on with one hand and I don't think it will be long before he is cruising around the furniture. I tried to get him to walk with a doggy walker we have (a walker that looks like a doggy not a tool for taking dogs for walks (oh, how my vocabulary has suffered - doggy is now an everyday word instead of dog!!!)) but he wasn't really sure what to do with it and pulled it towards him instead.

The cutest thing he does at the moment is copy me when I make an elephant sound and a trunk action with my arm. He also hisses like a snake when I do it. He has even done the elephant one when asked when we hadn't been practicing it immediately before - if that makes sense? Going to work on those some more :o)

He is still a little toad when it comes to meal times but I'm trying hard to ignore his throwing food on the floor.

My little man is growing up so quick - he is one next week and I'm still trying to believe I've even had a baby!!!

Monday 17 August 2009

11 months, 2 weeks


...and about bloody time too. Well, last Monday, we had our first up on knees and shuffle a couple of steps forward, then Tuesday it was about 3 or 4 shuffles forward, and again on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, finally, we had our first proper crawl. Both arms and legs slowly moved forward a number of paces. Directly towards the plug sockets! (Must buy plug safety covers!)

Here is the video to prove it...

He is still not speeding around and he crawls about very tentatively. He moves his arms forward first and then moves his knees forward a few spaces. It is very cute to watch. Apparently, they do this for a bit and then they work out it is more efficient to move opposite arm and leg at the same time and then move the other arm and leg.

Everyone warns that your life will never be the same once they are on the move but he actually crawls slower than he rolls at the moment so it is actually easier for the time being. I know that wont last though!

Along with crawling he has also pulled himself up to standing a few times. I think I might have already mentioned him pulling himself up to standing in his cot. He then did it in a ball pool and he did it again over the weekend (I forget where or how). He is still quite shaky on his legs though and not looking like cruising anytime soon. "You've been moaning about him not crawling and then when he finally does, you are straight onto cruising and walking - give the boy a chance" I can hear you shout! I know, I know. I like him crawling, I'm not trying to hurry it, I'm just trying to give you an update! Anyway, he has a couple of times taken a couple of steps holding onto Stuart's hands, but that's it.

We are still waiting for his next lot of teeth to come through. He hasn't been too bad but he woke up a few times last night crying out and has been in a rotten mood this evening.

He was a terror at dinner. He kept taking food in his mouth then spitting it out straight away. So, once it had cooled down enough, I gave him the bowl and spoon to try to feed himself. This cheered him up but then he (accidentally) flicked his bowl onto the floor with his spoon. It was pretty much the entire bowl. I was cross but it wasn't his fault. I started trying to clear it up and managed to salvage some so put it in the bowl in front of him. He proceeded to purposely pick out all the food and drop it on the floor - grrrr! I tried to tell him off and he just laughed at me. Nice to know that he sees me as an authoritative figure! He didn't really eat any of his dinner at all but was more than happy to eat his petit filous! I gave him a couple of oat cakes later. For the record, these taste just like cardboard and are of similar texture! He eats them though. I would see them as punishment!

Not sure if I mentioned but the Childminder we had lined up told me she was stopping childminding - therefore, we were back on the search for a new childminder. She has since told me that she might not be giving it up now but, I've decided to look at others anyway. I'm going to look at a couple of nurseries too.

I saw one last Friday and really liked her. She only has one space (with her own children too) and is happy to be flexible. She doesn't want to childmind full time - i.e. 5 days a week - so me wanting 3 days is ideal for her and she doesn't mind which 3 days or even if they are always the same. This means I can consider contracting. I liked her house. She has guinea pigs and an old little dog - which I don't mind. In fact, I like the idea of Callum being around animals. She has an old pony too that she takes the children to see and her parents have a farm of sorts. She also goes to toddler groups a couple of times a week so they get to socialise/interact with other children. The downsides, for me, are that she charges £2 for cold meals and £2.50 for hot meals. This could work out really expensive if Callum is there for the full day. More expensive than nurseries. I could give him packed lunch to take to avoid one meal and could try to give him breakfast before I drop him off but that will depend on what time I need to be at work. I reckon, at the very least, I will have to pay for one meal. Her fee is £5 per hour....oh, it has just hit me! I'm being soooo silly!!! I was adding the amount onto every hour rather than per day! As you can see, my baby-brain is hanging around! Still could work out as between an extra £2.50 and £6.50 per day. Anyway, the other thing is she charges half price for whether she or we are on holiday. The previous childminder only charged if she was away but we weren't but said she would try to co-ordinate her holidays with ours - therefore being free. I guess this isn't so bad though as some childminders charge either way or full amount if you go away or half if they do. She did say that she charges a half price retainer to keep the place (although she wasn't looking to take anyone on until September, so wouldn't charge until then). Problem being, we can't afford to pay a retainer until I get a job - vicious circle really. I might have to take a chance without the retainer and hope she doesn't get anyone else. Stuart needs to meet her first anyway. She has suggested, if I like her, for all of us to go over at the weekend so we could meet her husband too (although I did meet him while I was there) as, although he wasn't going to be there or minding the children at all, he may pass through so was important we met him. I thought this was a good idea and liked that she suggested it. Guess we need to set this up and then Stuart can see if he is happy with her too.

Still need to sort something out for Callum's birthday - really not sure what to do or whether a party is the best idea. Hmmm, what to do? Stuart's parents are coming up the day before and leaving on his birthday, so that will be something to enjoy. Don't know whether to invite his 'friends' over in the afternoon...

Tuesday 11 August 2009

11 months, 1 week

Weight - having a 'blip' - a very big one. Completely off the diet wagon and desperately need to get back on it...and I was getting so close to my first target as well.

So then, the Little Man! What is he up to?

Well, still no crawling yet though he is getting closer and closer. He gets on all fours now and has a couple of times shuffled a knee or two forward before flopping on his tummy so he is nearly there. I saw it for the first time yesterday when he was reaching for the stairs. Stuart saw it this morning when he was reaching for the biscuit tin. However, we haven't both seen it at the same time!

He is really into pointing at everything and saying "deh deh" as if demanding to touch it or an explanation of what it is. We are trying to give an answer to everything he points at. It can get a bit repetitive but is cute too.

Rather scarily, Callum managed to pull himself up to standing in his cot yesterday. I had sat him in his cot while I ran his bath and when I came in, he was standing up holding onto the side of the cot. Definitely need to keep the drop rail raised.

All this movement is making us aware of the need for childproofing the house. We aren't going to go too mad, I don't think. Probably just get a stair gate at the top of the stairs and plug covers for the accessible plugs. The area that worries me is the top banister. The bars are quite wide apart and Callum could easily fit between them. He only has to see Lotté jump through them a couple of times and decide to copy or follow. He has already made a bee-line to them a couple of times. Not really sure what to do about it though. Maybe see if we can find some plastic sheeting or something that we can temporarily fit to them. Don't think I am going to put any locks on kitchen cupboard doors or drawers yet. Most of the cupboards contain harmless contents and unbreakables. Just one reachable cupboard has crockery in and I could think about moving that if he takes an interest in it. The cleaning stuff is all in a larder type cupboard which he wont be able to open for quite a few years. I guess we may think again if he starts pulling drawers open and learns how to open the fridge or freezer but I'm keen to teach him 'no' if possible - not that he takes any notice of my 'no' yet - he still goes after the video/sky box/PlayStation at every opportunity!

He has learnt to open the cupboards of the sideboard in the lounge. He likes to pull all the dvds and cds out - makes a change from pulling the CDs out of the CD rack!

I've been trying to teach Callum to load his spoon himself when eating. I don't do it with every meal but, where possible, I try to encourage it. It makes for LOTS of mess but, if I don't give him the opportunity to try, he will never learn. He does make a good effort and even manages to eat something. He does mix using the spoon with using his hands and a bit of playing with his hands too but, as long as he is eating, that's fine. He is already very good at getting the food to his mouth, whether in his hand or on a spoon, from the BLW. He is being a bit weird with how he eats at the moment though. He will put something in his mouth, spit it out again so it falls in his bib, then picks it out of his bib and eats it again. Sometimes he will pick food off his plate and put it in his bib, then pick it out of his bib to eat it. I was worried about the spitting out of the food at first - was this some kind of baby bulimia? He would get the taste of the food then spit it out. Then I realised he would only spit out bits that were too big for his mouth. If they were smaller bits, he would eat them fine. I'm trying not to cut things up into small pieces as he has done so well up until now with managing the size of the food himself. I'm hoping it is just a 'phase' he is going through. Like I said before, as long as he is eating some food and not going hungry, I should just go with it. I do need to buy some more bibs, and better spoons and forks though - especially if I am trying to encourage him to use his cutlery himself.

Can't believe it is going to be his 1 year birthday in a few weeks. I really need to get some invitations and start organising something. I can't find any invitations that I like at the moment and they are so expensive. About £3 something for 8-10. To be honest, 10 will probably be enough! How many friends can he have at 1? Need to make a list of who to invite.

I want to make a cake for him too - eek! My big cake making skills haven't been that great in the past. Edible, yes! Aesthetically pleasing, erm, not really! Trying to get ideas on how to decorate it. I'm much better at smaller cakes - though there is still lots of room for improvement there.

It is hard trying to think of suitable present to buy him. We are probably going to buy him a car garage. I have thought of a couple of other things like a bike/trike or little trampoline but considering he is not even crawling yet, let alone walking, I think we will save those for Christmas which will only be another few months away.

My friend's baby is due in the next few weeks so I got Callum's old clothes out of the loft to sort out the neutral clothes to lend her. Was so amazing to see all the small tiny baby and newborn clothes he used to wear and to look at him now. It prompted me to look at photos of when he was born and the first couple of months - to think that it is the same baby. My baby is rapidly becoming a little boy.

Despite growing into a little boy, it is nice that Callum hasn't grown out of giving me cuddles. In fact, he often gives me more now that he seems to understand them...and big open mouth kisses too...could do with the kisses being a little less slobbery! When he cuddles and kisses, he makes this kind of ahhhhhhh noise - so sweet. Someone once told me that boys are more cuddly than girls - I'm looking forward to that!

Monday 27 July 2009

10 months, 3 weeks, 6 days

Still no crawling! He gets quite frustrated that he can go sideways and backwards but can't go forwards. He has occasionally got up on all fours, when his feet have been wedged against something but other than that, he goes straight down to laying down to roll. The fact that he can't crawl yet doesn't stop me from running after him all the time to pull him away from the video player, Sky box or CD racks!

What he can do now is sit up from laying down. He will be laying on his front and he pushes up on his arms and then somehow swing his legs around.

We haven't had much luck going from bottles to cup yet. I could get him to take between 2-4oz from his Doidy or Tommee Tippee sippy cup but not without a big protest. Also, as he normally has up to 8oz, this wasn't very much at all. It didn't help that neither of these cups would fit anywhere near the full 8oz. I therefore left it for about a week until I could get a new cup. I've now got a cow cup which just about fits the whole 8oz. We have tried it once without much luck but I'm going to try hard this week. He is only on two milks a day now so I am concentrating on his morning one first and will move onto the nighttime one once he is fine with that.

We did also move his morning milk so that he has breakfast first and then milk an hour or so later. However, we are going to switch this back because he isn't drinking much milk at all like this (whether cup or bottle). As he still needs his milk, it is probably best to move it back to being first thing and breakfast later.

Callum can now hold and drink out of his sippy cup on his own, without much help. I say 'much' help as he still doesn't realise that he needs to tip his head up after a while to continue getting water out. I am sure he could have done this earlier too but maybe I didn't give him enough opportunity to try it.

We bought Callum's new car seat over the weekend. We have gone for a rearward facing one. It is actually rearward facing until he is about 2-3 and then you can turn it around and it becomes forward facing until he is about 6. We went to the In Car Safety Centre in Milton Keynes who, I think, were really good. They were honest about the seats - we ended up getting one cheaper than the one I thought we were going to get. Actually, I think it was the cheapest rearward facing one. We didn't have an appointment but they were very accommodating and were happy to spend the time with us. The lady was very helpful and informative. We tried two seats in the end (we could have tried more but we didn't feel we needed to) but went with the 2-Way Elite as it was the best seat to offer the most comfort for the passenger sitting in the front and, of course, comfort for Callum. Not sure what Callum thinks of it. He hasn't been particularly happy in it so far but he is never keen on sitting in his car seat. He did fall asleep in it and, when he did, his head did fall forward but, because of our car, its size and the space available inside, I don't think we would have been able to get one that had a better recline. We do need to get him something to play with now though as we can't dangle his sheep from the handle anymore (there is no handle now).

Still no more than 4 teeth, though they do seem to bother him from time to time. Still can't see which teeth will be next.

The rest of the time he is still quite funny and I love him to pieces.

Friday 17 July 2009

10 Months, 2 Weeks, 4 Days

Weight: 2lbs to go until pre-preg weight; 7lbs until ideal weight

Well, we have just come out of a week of teething. No more teeth yet but same symptoms as first 2 teeth - grouchy, runny poo and sore bottom, plus grabbing my fingers or anything else to bite.

I think it is more bottom teeth coming through. Hard to tell though as he wont let me look at the bottom gum.

Callum is going through another 'interesting' period. He interacts with you more in little games. He grabs my phone and tries to feed it to me then laughs. I take it out of my mouth and he will grab it and do it again. Quite cute really, though I'm not too keen on consuming phones - they're not really to my tastes!!

He has also started to point - just noticed today. He was pointing to Stuart's glasses case. It is quite a bright blue colour so I guess he was curious as to what it was.

Still no crawling. He is getting frustrated at not being able to go forwards though. You can see he wants to get to something which is in front of him but can only roll or push himself backwards. We should have named him Crab. He gets red/sore elbows from his high-speed rolling.

For me, I'm still job hunting. Have registered with a couple of agencies and posted my CV to a number of places. Also re-activated my Monster account. One agent said IT Trainers were some of the worst hit, which I expected was the case. The first to go but, I would think, among the first to come back when things pick up again. The guy at the agency said he doesn't come across many part-time IT training jobs but I might find that, when companies do start employing again, they would prefer someone part-time as they might not be ready to commit to a full time trainer in the beginning. Its weird that this time last year I wasn't looking for work but was getting called up a couple of times a week from agencies. Now people aren't even acknowledging my CV. I'm in no hurry, of course, but it would reassure me if there was something out there.

I'm still going Pushy Mothers but just now and again and paying for the session I attend rather than the required 4 weeks in advance. I go more for social reasons than the exercise but it is nice to be doing some exercise and nice to be outside - better on sunny days of course! I really like the other girls that go and have swapped numbers with a few of them now. Hopefully, we will stay in touch as people start to drift away because of work. I plan to invite some of them to Callum's first birthday.

Regarding Callum's birthday, I think we are going to do something actually on his birthday, rather than at the nearest weekend. We are doing a group NCT party in October for all the babies but we will still invite them to his actual party with no obligation to come. Then I'll invite some of the babies from pushy mothers and a couple of other babies he is 'friends' with too. Still a way off yet. How far in advance do I need to send invites?

Anyway, Master Jones is calling out for his Tea. Best get on!

I'm back. While eating tea, I remembered a few other things.

Callum tries to share his food with you. He first did this a while back with Stuart and then with his lion toy. Another cute thing. He wont let you take it off him but he will feed it to your mouth.

Oooh, which brings me onto the shaky head thing - the lion toy reminded me. He shakes his head as if saying no (though not knowing it means no) then waits for you to copy him and laughs. If you shake the lion or move its head as if it is shaking it, he will then keep doing it to the lion too.

His eating is much better now. He eats quite a bit and is on 3 meals a day plus snacks. We have dropped another milk feed this week so he is on 2. 1 in the morning and 1 at bedtime.

He is very lazy with feeding himself. Despite being good at feeding himself with a spoon, f he can get away with you feeding him rather than holding the spoon himself, he will. When presented with a selection of food on a plate, he will hold his hands above the plate as if choosing what to eat first and then will put his head down towards his plate with his mouth wide open - kind of "look, no hands" stylie. He does eventually pick something up with his fingers.

We had our first boo boo the other day. I know it sounds strange but I had him in the kitchen in the laundry basket. You know how kids like boxes and things. He loves being in the laundry basket and he was being clingy with me when I needed to do stuff in the kitchen. Because we have tiled floors in the kitchen, I put him in the laundry basket thinking he will be safer than on the tiles in case he fell. He was happy enough until he leaned over the side of the basket and it tipped up making him head-butt the kitchen floor. At the time he had a tiny nose bleed (just a little hint of blood) and over the next couple of days got a little bruise on his forehead. Silly boy that he is, though, he is always headbanging the table or back of the chair when he is gets frustrated. I'm surprised his head isn't always covered in bruises!

Well, I think that brings us up to date for the moment! Will update again soon.

Monday 6 July 2009

10 Months, 6 Days

Well we went on our holiday. Overall, we had a lovely time.

Good points:
  • Spending time as a family
  • Fairly good weather
  • Nice caravan
  • Callum was an angel at night, sleeping in his pushchair allowing us to have the evenings, eating out and kinda to ourselves and then he transferred to his cotbed without much fuss.
Not so good points:
  • Callum was grumpy most days
  • Bad waves for bodyboarding
  • Facilities/Food at site were awful!
  • Couldn't get a babysitter for Birthday/Father's Day
  • Activities (Dairyland, Aquarium, Eden Project) were overpriced. Eden was good, Aquarium was OK and Dairyland was rubbish!!
Still no crawling. Stuart was really hoping Callum would start crawling while we were away so he would get to see a 'first', among other reasons. He did start waving though - starting with waving at himself in the mirror. Regarding the crawling I'm not sure whether I'm pleased or disappointed that he isn't. There is always the concern in the back of my head that he isn't developing as quickly as he should be and is it because of something I/we have done or not done but then I also know that he will do it in his own time when he is good and ready. Also, seeing the distance he can travel and mayhem he can cause just rolling, it is quite a relief he isn't crawling yet as the speed he can travel and cause that mayhem would be increased ten-fold!

Callum didn't eat particularly well on holiday in terms of quantities. Got a bit expensive and a waste when we were buying him children's meals. Before we went away, we were giving him food from our plate as he wasn't eating too much but then he started eating more which would mean I/we would go hungry as he had eaten half of our meal. Therefore, we moved to getting him children's meals. However, he didn't eat much on holiday. As soon as we got home, he went back to eating loads. So much one day that he made himself sick!! Obviously, just missed my home cooking ;o)

We took Callum swimming one day and he loved it. Lots of splashing around. He has been a bit apprehensive when we have taken him to a pool locally to where we live so it was lovely to see him really enjoying it. We also tried him with the sea - just a little paddle as it was far too cold for a swim. Seemed kind of intrigued with it but was a bit too cold for him.

Now we are back home, I'm starting the task of trying to find Callum his next stage car seat. Following recommendations that you should keep children rear-facing for as long as possible for safety reasons, we are looking for a rear-facing seat or one that goes both ways. I think I would prefer one that went both ways - these seem to last until they are a little older than those that don't. Quite a big expense to pay out. Looks like it is going to cost between £200 and £270. They're not kidding when they say having children isn't cheap!

The other thing I've been concentrating on since coming home is finding a new job - eek! The plan is to start looking now in the hope that I find something by September. Callum will be 1 in September which I think will be a nice(ish) age to go back. However, if something comes up to start before then, I consider myself available. Knowing my luck, I'll get a job almost immediately. I've posted my CV to a couple of agencies and have looked on a few only job sites. There are a couple of things out there but not the 'perfect job' yet. Need to send my CV to a few places direct too but that takes a bit more research and a bit more time! Speaking of which, got to give Callum his bath and put him to bed so will be back later...

Oops, didn't get to come back last night so it is now the next day.

So, what else is new. I know Callum's rolling isn't new but his favourite game at the moment is rolling continuously around the room and only stopping when he finds himself by a cable or the video player!!! Talking of which, he has just found another cable!! I knew there was a reason (other than them being unsightly) why I hated all the cables being visible in the lounge!

I think someone told me that children's' imagination doesn't develop until they are a couple of years old or that the don't really know much about when it develops but I'm convinced Callum has and uses his imagination now. I obviously don't understand what he is saying as he babbles away but he sounds like he is having little conversations with himself and he plays with his food as if talking to the pieces and as if they are interacting with each other. These are just some examples. Surely, he is using his imagination at these moments.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

9 months, 2 weeks, 1

Weight: 3.5 lb until pre-preg weight, 7.5lb until ideal

Well, Callum is still going well with his new food routine. He eats so much now. He is also getting quite good at fishing something out his mouth that he doesn't like - its quite funny to watch and I have to try hard not to laugh. He will have a mouthful of food and will find a carrot. He will then push it to the front of his mouth and then stick his tongue out disposing of offending item. He has eaten and liked carrot but I think I made the pieces too big and hard the other day for the shepherd's pie mince so he kept spitting them out.

He was a little monkey this morning. We had our first episode of wetting the bed!!!! Stuart had gone into him when he woke up, while I was in the shower, and took him out of his growbag. When I went in there, he had taken off his own nappy and then proceeded to wee while I was watching before I had chance to move him or do anything with him. Luckily, the mattress cover is washable and there is a pvc layer underneath protecting the mattress.

He is also a nightmare to get a nappy on. Whether I'm changing him on his changing unit or on the floor after his bath, he tries to roll over (and usually succeed) and tries to roll all over the place before I get chance to put his nappy on. Every time I turn him back and start putting his nappy on again, he makes his escape! Grrr! Quite funny too though :o)

Still no crawling but he keeps trying to pull himself into a crawling position from sitting. Failing miserably at the moment but I don't suppose it will be long. Most stories I've heard is that it will happen in the space of a week. One minute, nothing! Next, crawling at high speed all over the place!

We are going on our first holiday next week and I can't wait. We are off to Cornwall to stay in a Haven Caravan Park. Not been so excited about a holiday for a long time. Hoping the weather will be nice.

Ooooh, I nearly forgot - we are pretty sure we have our first word :o))))) - Cat. Not as clearly as that of course but it will sound like 'Ca' and if he is listening to us and trying really hard it will be 'taaT'. We are sure he is trying to say Lotte too but can understand that's a bit harder to say. It isn't just us either, my mum heard it and agreed with us - she said it sounded pretty much like cat to her. So exciting!

Right, gotta go - Callum's calling for his breakfast! As in - whhaaaaaaa, grrrrrr etc, not "muuuummmy, can I have some breakfast please?" - but watch this space!

Tuesday 9 June 2009

9 Months, 1 week

Sorry not updated for a while. Been quite busy.

The BLW with Callum, nearly came to a head! Callum had reached the 9 month mile stone and still wasn't consuming that much solid food. He would pick and play with his food but didn't actually consume much at all. At 9 months, babies tend to have used up their store of iron and other nutrients that they have at birth so they really need to be replenishing it with food (rather than milk). Stuart thought we should buy some jars of purées and give him one every day. I really didn't want to do this as I really believed in the BLW concept and I felt like this was admitting defeat or giving in too early. It was probably pigheadedness on my part too and a fear of "I told you so" from the doubters, which I know isn't a real reason to dig my heals in and continue with it.

I knew that other people, when their child is around 9 months, only give their child 3 milks a day. The BLW book says to let your baby decide when to drop milk etc and to be lead by him/her. However, this wasn't working for us as Callum wasn't eating enough food to enable him to drop any of his milk. So, I thought we should try switching to 3 milks a day. This would mean that Callum would get to eat food first and then milk later rather than getting full up on milk and not wanting food. I suggested this to Stuart and thought we should try it for a week (until next food shop) and he agreed to try it. Our new timetable is:

7-7.30am - milk
8-8.30am - breakfast
9.30am - nap
12noon - lunch
1.30pm - milk
2pm - nap
5.30pm - dinner
7.15pm - milk
7.30pm - bedtime

Hooray! It seems to have worked! The next day, we were out at lunch and I had macaroni cheese. I was going to give him a couple of mouthfuls but he ended up eating about a third of it and I had to buy a banana too as he was still hungry, which he ate nearly all of. He has continued to do well at lunch and dinner ever since. Breakfast is still a bit hit or miss as this is the only meal he has after milk (might be worth thinking about changing this round too). He has between 1/2 and a whole wheatabix. However, he now eats pretty well for both lunch and dinner. Now I don't know where he puts it all! It is such a relief.

Callum had also started to get quite lazy about feeding himself. Rather than grabbing the spoon, he would just open his mouth for us to spoon feed him. I think this is because we swapped his chair to the other side of the table to give Lotté a bit of piece while eating. This meant his stronger feeding arm (his right) was further away from whoever was feeding him, so he didn't try to hold the spoon. We have moved him back to the other side and he has started to feed himself a bit more now. I do get a bit impatient with him when he starts banging the spoon in between mouthfuls as the food goes everywhere.

We now have 4 teeth in total. We were having quite a tough week of it last week as his two top teeth tried to come through. We actually had it quite good compared to what other parents suffer with teething - it was more a pain than anything else. Rather than going to sleep at 7.30pm, it would take him about an hour to go off, so 8.30pm. He would then wake up between 11.15 and 11.30pm and need resettling (which actually only took a couple of strokes to his face), then would wake up at 6am instead of 7am. So not too bad but I preferred his usual routine!

It was also very hot last week which I don't think helped. We just didn't know what to dress him in to go to bed. It was often 26 degrees in his bedroom with the window open. Should we put him in a gro-bag or not? What should he wear, just nappy, body suit or babygrow? Would he wake up cold in the night? Such fun!

Still no crawling yet. I'm not worried and quite enjoying the fact that Callum stays pretty much where he is put and I don't need eyes in the back of my head yet. Stuart is paranoid that he is falling behind because a friend's baby, who is younger, is crawling all over the place! The danger of comparing your child to others!

That said, although Callum isn't crawling, he is so much happier on his front and sometimes sleeps on his front. He has occasionally tried to pull himself into some sort of crawling position in an attempt to reach an object just out of reach but he doesn't appear to be strong enough yet and seems a way off being able to. Though I have heard it all seems to happen in the space of a week when it does happen!

I'm trying to get Callum to wave, clap and I have started to repeat more words to him now too. Things like Ta or thank you. With the waving and clapping, he is fascinated and watches me very closely but doesn't do it himself. I'm sure I've caught him trying to clap once, when he thought I wasn't looking but got all shy and wouldn't do it when I saw him and tried to praise him. Bless!

Think that brings us up to date. Really looking forward to our holiday in a couple of weeks time :o)

Thursday 21 May 2009

8 months, 3 weeks, 2 days

Measured my waist the other day and it is now 90cm/35". For the first time in a long time, I'm starting to feel a bit better about myself. I've just got to be a bit stronger at not eating bad stuff, like cheese, or drinking alcohol. Easier said than done!

Callum is doing a couple of interesting things so I thought I would update the blog.

One thing he has been doing for a little while is wanting to touch and explore everything. If we go past a plant, especially, he will put out his hand to feel the leaves. He touches them tentatively at first and eventually works up to a big grab/pull. But he also does it to the door, door handle, wall, hoover, bathroom light switch. He is really curious about everything!

Only recently, he seems to be getting a bit more frustrated about not being able to move, get to the things he wants....basically crawl! He quite happily rolls onto his front now especially to reach something just out of reach. If you put him on his front, he will still pretty quickly flip on to his back again though. But on his own, he will roll on to his front, spend some time getting his arm out from being trapped underneath him, then he will try to reach something. The other day, I saw him go up onto his feet, so his knees and middle were off the floor but his shoulders were still on the floor. Eek, crawling will mean growing eyes in the back of my head and not being able to leave him unattended ever! :-s

I was looking at photos of someone's baby, recently, who was a few weeks older than Callum, who was standing quite a bit. This scared me as it seems her baby is not far off walking. In fact, she said he loved to walk just holding on to her little fingers. It is funny to think that Callum could be walking in a month or two's time. Especially when he isn't even crawling yet. I know it could be a lot longer, "all babies develop differently", but it is the idea that he 'could' be walking that I can't get over. After mentioning it to Stuart, he called me in to Callum's room this morning to see Callum standing up in his cot on his own holding on to the side of the cot. He didn't pull himself up, Stuart put him there but he stayed up for a good couple of minutes. Makes a change for him to not instantly bounce when he is in the standing position. If you hold him in a standing position, he just loves to bounce like he does in his Jumperoo!

Monday 18 May 2009

8 months, 2 weeks, 6 days

Weight update: 6lb to go to pre-preg weight, 10lb to ideal

Callum's naming day went really well. He was an absolute Angel, as good as gold! Even though he missed his afternoon nap and was starving hungry as mummy and daddy had left his milk at home - oops! Stuart had to run back (not literally - in a car) and get it after the ceremony.

So, I woke up in the morning with a headache, probably due to anxiety about the day. It didn't go until after the ceremony and after the third lot of Nurofen....or was it the third glass of wine? I forget ;o).  Both my and Stuart's parents, my aunt, my sister with her son no.1 and daughter (son no. 2 and Daddy were at home working on the house) and Stuart's brother with his fiancée and daughter came to the house first and then we all went to the venue which was The Inn on the Lake (http://www.theinnonthelake.co.uk/) for 2pm. The ceremony was due to start at 2.30pm - no idea when it actually did start. We were originally hoping to have the ceremony outside but with the weather so changeable and the effort it would take to herd everyone outside, I made an executive decision to hold it inside. I think Stuart would have prefered for it to have been outside but having spoken to a few people afterwards, I think it was
the right decision. Vivienne  Donnithorne was the Humanist Celebrant who performed the ceremony. We have chosen 4 Guiding Adults to perform different roles for Callum as he grows up. Dan & Lou are responsible for Life Guidance to be a constant support and guidance on a day to day basis throughout Callum's life; James is responsible for Career and Financial guidance; and Aneil/Sparky is responsible for emotional guidance, to be the shoulder to cry on or someone to listen. They had to step forward and say "We promise we will" to a number of promises ready out by Vivienne. It was hard not to laugh as they were all making sure that Vivienne had finished speaking before they said it and all seemed to be waiting for each other to start.

Stuart held Callum throughout the ceremony who took it all in his stride just listening and sucking his thumb - whereas Stuart was trying hard to pretend that his arms weren't about to fall off with Callum getting heavier and heavier every second! One funny moment was when Vivienne mentioned the Guiding Adults and he looked over and gave them a look that said "You better be paying attention over there!". When she came to Callum's bit and giving him his name, he kind of perked up and his looks said "Oh, you are talking about me now".  

Near the end of the ceremony, I read my poem (found at the end of today's post). Before the ceremony, I was nervous about reading it out as I know that the nerves can get to me in front of people I know and I can get a bit shakey but my nerves held up fine but, as happens nearly every time I read back the poem to myself or Stuart, a  few tears sprung to my eyes on the last line! Apparently, though, I wasn't alone as one or two other people got caught up in the emotion of the poem or the ceremony as a whole.

Once the ceremony was over, I tried to talk to as many people as possible. Inevitably, though, there are always people I wish I had spoken to and didn't or wished I had spent longer with. On this occasion, particularly, Stuart's family and my brother and his family. 

Eventually, Callum fell asleep in Grandma's arms (Stuart's mum. My mum is Nanna). As you can see in the photo - so very cute!

Later, my very lovely family took Callum home so Stuart and I could catch up with all our friends - and continue to celebrate in his absence :o)

Needless to say, we got pretty drunk. 

When we got home, everyone was still up and my aunt & uncle were still there. They tell me Callum was very good even after getting home. He didn't go straight to sleep and took some convincing to take his bedtime milk. It sounds like my Dad and uncle were fighting over holding and feeding him and eventually kind of did it together. He watched some of the Eurovision and then went straight off to sleep without a peep when they put him in his cot. 

Unfortunately, he did wake at 6am the next morning, which could have been better!!!

The next day, on Sunday, we opened all his cards and presents. He has been thoroughly spoilt. We'd like to thank everyone for coming to the ceremony and for being so generous. My parents and aunt headed home around lunchtime on the Sunday so were pleased to get more time to see Callum the next day too.

The weekend was wonderful, especially the actual day of the ceremony, and I can pretend my drunken fall down the stairs on my bottom at the end of the night, that resulted in a nice big carpet burn and a big bruise on my bum, never happened! Ouch! I'll save you from pictures of my bum though!

A Mother’s Wish

I sit and watch you dream in bed,

And I think about your road ahead.

Where will it lead, what will you see,

Who will you meet along your journey.

I think about us, your Dad and me.

Are we all you want us to be?

Do we give you the support you need,

To enable you to succeed?

My thoughts turn to your future career.

Will it take you to lands far from here?

Whatever you do, wherever you are,

Be happy and follow your heart.

Will you find a soul mate to share,

Your hopes and dreams, who for you will care.

To make a home in which to live,

And to start your own family with.

Through all my thoughts, one thing is clear.

We hope your journey is without fear,

That you are happy in all you do,

And that you know that we love you.

Monday 11 May 2009

8 months, 1 week, 6 days

Well Callum and I are much better this week. Unfortunately, now Stuart has real flu.  :o( Poor thing had to come home from work - that's how you know he must be ill. Has been in bed pretty much since. He fainted and we called NHS Direct as we were worried about him. They told him it sounded like he had flu and the beginnings of a fever. I hope he is better by Saturday.

We are on the run up to Callum's Naming Ceremony, which is this Saturday (hence why I hope Stuart is better). I'm quite nervous about it now. I hope it all goes well. It would be great if the weather was nice too so we can have it outside. 

I've written a poem for it. I will post it on here after the Ceremony. Its  not my best poem, unfortunately, but I've found it really hard to write. We've received the draft wording the Humanist Celebrant has written and we are really happy with it. 

We have our outfits. I just need to get a little cardigan and a pair of shoes if I can find a nice, cheap pair. Callum is going to wear a little suit - very cute! We had a family photo shoot on Saturday. We had some photos taken in the clothes we are going to wear for the Naming Ceremony as well as in some normal clothes. This way, if they turn out nice, we can have one as our official Naming Ceremony photo. We get to see them and choose the weekend after the ceremony.

The weaning is still getting better. Callum is starting to consume more and more rather than just playing with everything. He still has days where he prefers to play with the food rather than eat any of it. He really enjoyed poached salmon both on its own and with cucumber in a sandwich - starting to realise he has expensive taste ;o).  I've finally found a way for him to eat wheatabix too - by putting puréed apple in it. So I have actually done some puréeing but just an apple! Breakfast was the hardest meal as he never seemed interested in eating anything in the morning. But, as well as the wheatabix, he also ate about a quarter of toast this morning. This doesn't sound like a lot but compared to nothing - it is great progress. He also ate over half of a large banana too. We also tried him with a raisin the other day. He liked it but was chewing it/moving it around his mouth for ages. I do think I will buy some, though, when I next go shopping. Someone also came up with a good idea of how to get beef into his diet. If I buy a pack of beef strips for stir frying and split it into lunch size portions. I didn't even think about strips of beef, I was just thinking of steak, beef mince and beef joints or slices of cold beef for sandwiches.

I've seen three childminders now and I think we are going to go with the second one I saw. She was really nice and I liked what she offered. She was also had the best availability. She can do 3 days between July and September and then any of the 5 days after September. I'm hoping to work 3 days a week but it will be a lot easier if I can have any 3 days out of the 5. I think the only reason we wouldn't go with her (assuming she is still available when I get a job) is if I find someone I like that is closer to where I live, especially if my work is in a different direction. Once I've found a job, I will meet her again and take Stuart with me to make sure he is happy too.

Well, the next entry will probably be after the Naming Ceremony so wish us luck with it :-D.

Thursday 30 April 2009

7 months, 4 weeks, 2 days old

Blurgh! I've got Man Flu (or is it Swine Flu...oink)? Translated as an 'orrible cold! I caught it from Callum, who caught it from Stuart :o( - it appears we aren't super-human after all. I can't believe we have managed to get this far without Callum getting a cold though, so I count us lucky. Although, very grumpy, Callum isn't suffering too bad. He stirs/cries a bit at night but doesn't often wake and he still sleeps during the day. Doesn't like me wiping his nose much though.

It was just typical that we caught a cold this week. Yesterday was the last 'at risk' day of catching chicken pox and there is no sign. I was really, really looking forward to catching up with the NCT gang but I just didn't feel up to it. On top of the cold, my body aches from climbing on Tuesday. I actually don't know how much of the aches and pains are the result of climbing and how much is down to the cold. All I know is that I feel blurgh! (as stated above).

On a positive note, we had great success with food today and a few successes over the last couple of days. So, in recent days, he has enjoyed fish stick (what used to be known as crab sticks), strawberries and a plum. It was really cute to see him holding and sucking a whole plum. Today, he really tucked into his dinner - sausage, mash and beans. He was clearly swallowing it too. He took a bite of sausage and had too much in his mouth to swallow so he gagged. Rather than spitting the whole lot out, he spat just a little bit out to make the amount in his mouth smaller and then swallowed the rest. 

He is also really interested in inspecting his food, turning it over and over and feeling the texture with his hands. 

Realised the other day, I don't think I've mentioned Callum's babbling. He has been properly babbling for a couple of weeks or so now. As in "abababa, dadadadad, mumom'm (when he is upset, rather typically)" and a few other sounds and letters too. I love it :o)

Tooth no.2 is well and truly through. It seemed to come through with a lot less pain and grumpiness than tooth no.1 thankfully. Lets hope they continue to do so.

Stuart is really pleased at how much Callum clearly recognises that he is Daddy. He instantly smiles at him and, when he moves out of site, looks to see where he has gone. From my point of view, things are often so much easier when Stuart is around. I think he is so pleased to be with Daddy that he is happy to try more or is just happier in general.

Think that sums it up for now!