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!