Port Isaac

We went to Port Isaac over the bank holiday to stay overnight with D’s parents who visit every year and stay at the amazingly located Quay Cottage opposite the slipway.

I love Port Isaac and these visits have always been about copious amounts of alcohol, pool, food (often just before they stop serving), late night chatting and an early morning wake up call due to the early start of the seagulls and the fishermen.

This year however, we came as a three part package and to say we were anxious about a number of things is to say the least. As you are probably aware sleep is a bit hit and miss with our Noah Bean and knowing we could feasibly wake up other people at silly o’clock without the comforts if home worried me somewhat.

Despite the seagull hoedown on the roof of our room, the lack of curtain at one window and a street light outside another he settled really well then slept until 0330 then again until 0530. Amazing, the best nights sleep in a while. However 0530 was when he started chirruping so to let everyone sleep off the beer and wine I decided to give Noah a guided tour of the beautiful Port Isaac.

One thing I love about Noah’s sleep patterns, and my lack of hangovers, is seeing the early mornings, Port Isaac was even more beautiful at this time of day. The only people around were the fishermen that I’d only ever listened to through the window of our bedroom. It was an eye opener for me, I discovered so many new nooks and crannies that had previously eluded me.

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The narrowest alley in world

Noah loved it…

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For all of about 20 minutes, then he slept…

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Then he slept….

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And slept….

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And slept…..

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And slept…….

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And slept…………..

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I think you get the gist, he pretty much slept for the entire 2 hour walk…

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I must stay here more often.

22 Weeks Old

This fortnight saw you turn 5 months old, 5 MONTHS!!! I can’t quite believe it’s been that long since we welcomed you to our world. 5 months of being more in love than I ever thought possible. 5 months of the hardest but most rewarding job I’ve ever had the privilege of having. 5 of the best months of my entire life.

Your Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam and cousins came to see you this fortnight. They brought you a rocking horse that your grandma bought for Ella, it’s fab! We put you on it tentatively and you loved it, I can’t wait until you’re a little older to use it properly. They also brought you Tommy’s old train set which I’m sure you’ll love when you’re older aswell as your first Easter present. Your cousins loved you and Tommy, in particular, was quite besotted with you, I think he really wants you to be older so he can play with you but he was quite content with just holding your hand constantly, even when you were in your pram.

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We’ve been going to a few baby groups too which has been nice as we’ve been meeting friends at them and you’ve been loving socialising (and flirting) with the other babies and mums.

The weather has been lovely and warm which proved to be an issue when we took you for a walk only to strip you to your vest and still discover you were too warm, you were glad to get home after that one!

I’ve been battling with your cradle cap over the last two weeks, gently rubbing olive oil into your scalp with cotton wool to gently lift the flakes, I’m finding it quite revoltingly satisfying 😄

Firsts
This fortnight saw your first Easter and although you didn’t get any eggs you certainly enjoyed playing with ours.
First time in a sun hat and with sunscreen on

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Character
You’re such a chilled out, happy little boy. You’re an absolute delight at the moment and only ever cry when you’re hungry. You’re enjoying learning and we see you progress on an almost daily basis. You study and absorb everything around you and try so hard when experimenting with new found skills.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement:You’re throwing yourself around quite freely these days, you still favour front to back rolling and I put this down to you not particularly liking tummy time. Having said that you’re holding your head up really well as long as there’s something, or someone, holding your attention. You tend to just wriggle yourself around the mat and you’ve mastered sidewinding.
Sitting:You’re sitting up nice and straight now and we’re working on your balance, though you sit up when I’ve positioned you over your lower legs you’re still to sit up for more than a few seconds without support between my legs.

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Standing: you’re never happier than when you’re upright and amaze us with the strength in your legs. Last night you stood with stable legs and I only had hold of your hands… Amazing!
Coordination: You rarely miss when grabbing at something now and manoeuvre yourself on your mat to grab at a toy that I leave just out of reach. You love grabbing at anything we’re holding and as I write this (having just woken up) you’re pawing at the iPad inserting your own words here and there (this may explain any spelling or grammatical anomalies that I may have overlooked). I have a fisherprice app that you love but I don’t want you spending too much time looking at it preferring you to use 3 dimensional toys to aid your development.

Speech
Well you’ve certainly made up for being quiet whilst you were ill. You’ve been a proper little chatterbox since our last update and bestowing us with tonnes of smiles and laughter.

Entertainment
You continue to enjoy being read to and you’re now freely participating in you touch and feel books. The remotes seem to be your focus these days (your daddy will hate this 😉) You still enjoy your Bumbo but I think you prefer being able to move freely on your mat and can entertain yourself quite happily there. You’ve found your feet now and love being naked so you can move more freely grabbing and pulling at them and shoving them in your mouth which doesn’t bode well if you’ve just eaten.

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The best thing I’ve ever bought you has been a 75p space blanket, the hilarious videos I’ve got of you playing with it are priceless, you love it!

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Sleep
You’ve had quite a few 7 hour stretches this last fortnight but they’re not guaranteed. I got some advise from a baby sleep expert on Twitter yesterday and am keen to implement her tips (see: Routine). Though last night failed totally, you didn’t nap yesterday and I always know if you don’t nap you won’t sleep.

Routine
Lisa Clegg of Blissful Baby fame gave me the following advice via Twitter to encourage a good nights sleep. I thought she’d tell me off for not putting you in your crib for daytime naps but to my amazement she was quite happy with our ‘routine’ just saying we need a few tweeks. She did say until you’re on 2 solid meals a day she wouldn’t expect a baby to do a 12 hour stretch which is a relief. She advised that after putting you down at night I should wake you at 2230/2300 hrs with a nappy change and lights on to ensure you’re awake then give you a full milk feed, she also said I needn’t worry if you fall asleep during feeding/winding as long as you’re awake at start so you don’t think of the breast as a sleep prop and this would mean you shouldn’t be hungry in subsequent wake ups and should be able to resettle yourself with no more feeds til morning. She also advised your daytime naps to consist of a 30 minute to an hour at 0900/1000, a 2 hour nap at lunchtime and again another at 1600/1700 (these you do usually)

How did this go last night? Awful! Of course it didn’t help that you woke at 2230 of you own volition crying so hard I couldn’t change your nappy before feeding you. Then you slept in 2 hour intervals actively feeding on waking until you woke up at 0430 again. I put half of this problem down to you not napping yesterday as we had another busy day.

Today I will be ensuring you nap and see what tonight brings.

Growth
You are now 15Ib 6oz.
I have pretty much retired all, bar a couple of T-shirts, of your 0-3 clothing and this weekend I’ll be packing them all away and reorganising your chest of drawers… Will I cry? Quite possibly.

Feeding
I’ve been reading up about baby led weaning in preparation for the next big stage in your little life, the move onto solid foods. I’m both dreading it and a little excited. I’m terrified of you choking on stuff yet looking forward to seeing what things you like, but that’s a whole different blog 😉

20 Weeks Old

Continuing on from the busyness of last fortnight we had your grandparents come to stay last week, to say you were spoilt rotten is an understatement. Among your swag of goodies, your Granny had knitted you a wonderful blanket, jumper and two of the cutest animal hats whilst your Grandad amused you with Dee Dee and plied us with copious amounts of chocolate and sweets! You relished being doted on despite being a bit off colour, it soon became apparent you had developed your first cold.

This week saw the arrival of Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian delivering to us your cot. This cot has a long history within our family. It initially belonged to your maternal great grandparents (my Nanny and Poppa) who bought it for your grandma (my mummy) when she was a baby. She then used it for Uncle Simon, Uncle Daniel and myself before it went to Auntie Ann to be used for my cousins Lisa and Helen. It then returned to the Petitt’s when it was used by Uncle Daniel and Auntie Sam for your cousins Ella and Tommy. Then back it went to be used by the Jaworski’s (my cousin Lisa and her husband Kuba) to be used for their two children Alex and Maja before it went to cousin Helen and her partner Leo to be used for Macey. Now it’s my turn to use it for you. It’s not in bad nick considering it’s 76 years old. Auntie Ann doted on you and I’ve never seen you so relaxed in the arms of a ‘stranger’ before, it’s a shame she couldn’t stay longer but it was lovely that she finally got to meet you and it was quite obvious you loved her.

Firsts
First trip to the pub for an evening meal at the Brendan Arms with Granny and Grandad, you behaved exceptionally but started getting tired so I rushed you home so as to get you to bed but you did wait til I’d finished my meal.

First cold, bless your heart, I thought you’d avoid it but unfortunately not. Apart from being very stuffed up you were happy enough, I just had to sit up with you all night so you could sleep upright thus enabling you to breathe.

First rolls. On the 6th April at 1450 you did your first, totally unaided roll from your tummy to your back, even with a cold you amaze me! Of course this was shortly after you pooped on your playmat and prior to peeing on it 😉 On the 9th you flipped from back to front on a totally flat surface.

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Taken immediately after your first f-b roll

Character
Your humour continues to shine through finding your father’s face the most amusing thing ever. I don’t blame you 😉 You’ve been really chilled out despite your cold and not being able to breathe properly, an absolute delight.

Muscle Development & Coordination
You’re doing proper little push ups now when on your tummy and are throwing yourself around from side to side and have finally rolled front to back and back to front. Though you’re not doing this every time it put you on your mat. This week I’ve noticed you paying particular interest in your bouncer play arch… Finally. You grab the little lion, in particular, with both hands and study it deeply, slowly turning it as you go, it really is a delight to watch you, I often find myself wondering what you’re thinking. Your newest trick is pinching and then twisting which is fun for us, especially when you grab my neck or under my arm and I’m pleased to announce you have, in the last two days, found your thumb and I’ve caught you sucking it on a few occasions, hopefully you’ll be self soothing before we know it.

Speech
You’ve been quite quiet this fortnight, this could be down to the fact you haven’t felt very well but you’ve still shared plenty of smiles and giggles with us. In the last couple of days though you’ve been back to your normal gobby self which is amazing!

Entertainment
You’ve absolutely fallen in love with your Lamaze Dragon (Dee Dee) this last couple of weeks and nothing delights you more than seeing her swoop down from a height rewarding her with a big chomp on her nose or ear. You love being read to and enjoy your cardboard books, mostly to munch on granted! I bought you a bumbo this week which you LOVE. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve bought, you look like such a grown up little boy in it and I’m sure you must feel more independent.

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Sleep
Hmm, this is hit and miss. I’ve had a four hour stretch followed by one hourly feeds from you yet one day last week you slept for 7 hours then a half hour feed followed by another 4 hours (of course I was checking on you every 3 hours). There’s no rhyme nor reason to it, we just have to take each night as it comes.

Routine
Your bedtime routine is still working, although the one night we ordered take away with granny and grandad to arrive at 8 when you’re ALWAYS asleep you decided to not settle til gone 9! I’m going to start a more rigid nap time for you during the day soon too, hoping to put you in your crib awake so you fall asleep that way. I’m yet to start this though *eek*

Growth
You are now 14Ib 9.5oz.
I have been trying your 3-6 month clothing on the last couple of days but they swamp you still, though I have now put you in your bigger baby gros at night which is rather funny. I’ve retired some of your 0-3 stuff but some brands still fit you nicely.

Feeding
It’s becoming quite obvious we’re nearing weaning time with you. You are fascinated with what I’m eating and drinking often grabbing for the cup or plate I’m holding and smacking your lips. In a comical moment in the pub when Granny and Grandad were down, you grabbed hold of Daddy’s pint glass and pulled that to your mouth. It made for a wonderful photograph. God forbid I eat something now when you’re feeding as you pull off me and glare at what I’m doing with a total look of “Excccccccccuse me, what do you think you’re doing?”

I’m not sure where the last 20 weeks has gone, in one sense it feels like only yesterday we welcomed you into the world, yet on the other I can’t even start to imagine my life prior to your arrival. You continue to delight us everyday and with every smile, giggle, frown or even whinge I fall deeper and deeper in love with you. I never imagined my heart could hold so much and wonder how it has room for anymore but it seems to grow with you. I’m so totally in awe of you and so proud.

18 Weeks Old

A monumentous fortnight.
A fortnight of firsts.
A fortnight of mummy gaining some balls.
A bloody good fortnight.

I write this while you’ve fallen asleep in my arms after a particularly exciting yet exhausting week for you. I look down at you and feel such love and such pride. You have done a lot this fortnight and you’ve handled it so beautifully despite going through a massive developmental leap which should be making you fractious yet you’ve been as good as gold and taken it all in with intrigue and humour.

Last week I bit the bullet, pulled up my socks, grew some balls…. I braved a baby group in town. I knew you’d love it and it’s not right that you’re deprived because of my insecurities and fears. The women who run it are lovely and make everyone welcome and every child feel special. I didn’t know anyone there and no-one really spoke but you had a whale of a time looking at everything going on around you. We’ll be going every week because you deserve it.

This week (25.03.14 – 27.03.14) I had to bite the bullet again and take you to see my hometown. I’ve been putting this off because I was scared of doing a long journey with you on my own. Other drivers worry me and I don’t like that I can’t see you in your car seat, I know that you’re fine but I still worry that you’re not. Anyway I needed desperately to go to the dentist, get my legs waxed (it’s been 6 months!!!!!!) and see friends so I bought a mirror. After a lot of research I settled on a Lindam adjustable back seat mirror, it’s AMAZING! It’s big enough that I can get a really good view of you but not too big as to be a distraction. It’s easily fitted to the rear headrest and padded so as not to damage any leather interior. Of course you slept all the way there, and all the way back without incident but it was so comforting seeing you were fine. This has broken the fear so we’ll be heading back more often now.

We stayed with Auntie in her house overlooking the bay. Auntie was your grandma’s best friend, she’s always been in my life and since your grandma’s passing has been my rock. She absolutely doted on you, she had total control when I was in my appointments and you behaved impeccably. You enjoyed long walks through the gardens above the Cobb, along the marine parade, seeing all places I used to work and hang out and through the town.

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She also spoilt you with beautiful clothes and books, you lucky boy. You loved her house, it’s so big and bright and full of colour, despite pooing pretty much everywhere ;). I took you for long walks around her garden showing you all the flowers, trees and wildlife which enthralled you. You spent copious amounts of time in her original Marmet pram which was great for all of us. I hope she’ll mean as much to you as she does to me.

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You were finally introduced to lots of my friends who showered you with gifts and praise and we popped along to see my best friend Caroline who hasn’t seen you since you were a day old. You didn’t sleep much but I hope you’ll catch up now you’re home.

This fortnight also bid a fond farewell to your jabs until you’re a year old

Character
Everyday your personality develops. You have humour and are so easily made to giggle and smile now. We think you’re going to be a thinker, you get so absorbed in things, studying and analysing anything new and you’re easy frustrated by things you want to do but can’t quite achieve yet.

Muscle Development and Coordination
On the 19th March you successfully carried out your first spontaneous roll from your back to your front taking me a little by surprise to say the least. One minute you were asleep in your crib whilst I watched tv in bed, the next you were nestled into my side face down. You haven’t head butted me for a while now. I’m trying to encourage you to concentrate on sitting but you’re adamant you want to stand and won’t concentrate on the steps that’ll get you there.

Speech
On the 17th March you did your first sustained laugh. Long enough for us to get it on video. In the last few days you’ve been stringing sounds together that are beginning to sound a lot like words and on the 25th March whilst lounging in the Marmet pram in Auntie’s kitchen you shocked us both by quite clearly saying “Mama”. Now I know you don’t know what that means and weren’t saying it to get my attention but you did, it was quite frankly one of the best moments. We both shrieked following this with tears of joy, you just looked a little confused!

Entertainment
As long as you can shove it in your mouth you’re happy! Books are becoming your new fascination and you get so excited over the pictures you can’t possibly hear the story.

Sleep
Same. Your first stint of sleep generally lasts between 4.5 and 6 hours and then you’re awake every 2 for food. I’ve taken to bringing you into bed with me at your 4am ish feed as you go back to sleep else you’d be awake for the day. Whilst in Lyme you only managed 1 x 1 hour nap each day and your longest stint at night was 3 hrs but then who could blame you with all the excitement.

Routine
I’m still persevering with the bedtime routine and it rarely goes awry, even in a different environment you were asleep within half an hour.

Growth
At your last baby clinic (last week due to our trip to Lyme this week) you’d put on a whopping 1Ib in weight weighing in at 13Ib 10oz. You’re still in your 0-3 month clothing but I’ve had to retire a couple of vests that were a little short.

Feeding
No problems here, sometimes you’re more sickly than others. I’ve decided there’s no rhyme nor reason for this except a possible over fill.

In a nutshell this fortnight has seen your first big social event, your first unaided roll from back to front, your first sustained laughter, your first trip away, your first trip to Lyme and your first word. Wow, just wow!

Today you sleep, my precious boy.

16 Weeks Old

On Friday you turned 16 weeks old. Not a great deal has happened this last fortnight darling except the sun made a very welcome appearance, and for a couple of days we enjoyed some beautiful long sunshine lit walks, it makes a change from our usually overcast and wet ones. Daddy even strapped you up into your baby carrier and took you out in that… YOU LOVED IT! Daddy’s back, however, didn’t 😉 We didn’t eve manage to get a photo of this ‘first’ as neither of us had a camera, that’s right… Your father was separated from his phone for the first time ever!

You had your photo taken for an oil portrait by our super talented friend Hannah Wheeler. I’m so so proud of you. You did exactly what Hannah wanted you to do, I can’t wait to see the results, the photograph was beautiful.

Maria, a lovely friend from work, popped in this week and showered you with the most beautiful hand made gifts. She is such a talented, lovely lady and I’m so pleased she came to see you finally, I’ve missed her.

All of a sudden it would appear you don’t like my glasses. We came to this conclusion when you were smiling endlessly at Daddy and not at all to me. To say I was mildly upset is an exaggeration. Your daddy, of course, and his infinite wisdom told me to remove my glasses so I put in my contact lenses for the first time in nearly a year and voilà, abundant smiles! Silly Mummy!

Character
You continue to develop into such a character. You study absolutely everything so deeply, usually to the detriment of your sleep, you simply don’t want to miss a thing. Everything around you fascinates you and you want to study it all at great length. You study your hands for endless minutes. When you look at us you seem to be absorbing every bit of us, every wrinkle, every blemish, every follicle, every pore in our faces. You smile all the time, except when we get the camera out, then you’re too busy studying that to give us a grin to record.

Muscle Development and Coordination
It’s safe to say that you let your head loll once in a blue moon now. You’re sitting up nice and straight and holding your chin away from your chest for longer periods of time, you are still so desperate to master this skill and we can happily let go of one of your hands when you’re upright, letting go of both results in you tumbling into your pillow barriers mind.

You’re enjoying tummy time a bit more now and are doing mini push ups now. You have now decided to try rolling again and manage front to back with ease, with our assistance. Whilst on your back you arch your spine and kick your leg quite violently so I don’t think it long before you shock yourself with a flip.

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This week I saw you pass one of your toys from one hand to another so I’m going to buy some blocks and rings for you to improve your technique. Everything is going into your mouth smoothly now… Watch out Lolly, that tail looks mightily tasty!

You are slowly mastering your depth perception. We watch you study your dangling animals on your bouncer, gym and pram before ever so slowly reaching out to touch or grab them instead of just batting at them. A couple of days ago, after your daddy had washed his hair, you were fascinated by the spikes that had formed and amazed us when you stood in his lap and reached out to grab a handful.

Speech
You continue to babble and coo, I recently sent a video to your Grandpa who swears blind you said Grandad… Of course the reality is you said mummy 😉 (joking) We are getting more giggles as time goes by but these are yet to be spontaneous or guaranteed but are lengthening in time. It’s usually your daddy that is the receiver of this privilege.

Entertainment
You continue to show loads of interest in your toys. Mad Monkey, Rabbit and your comforter still ranking highest. I bought you some teethers this week to give my knuckle some peace. It’s quite safe to say Sophie is your favourite, she’s made of natural rubber and has an almost chalky texture to her but you seem to like it. The wall cats still hold your attention and humour you greatly.

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You love being bounced on our knees ‘horsey stylee’ finding it hilarious. I’ve taken to walking around the flat with you now, showing you everything and telling you it’s name because you don’t like to be in one place for too long. You’ve suddenly discovered Lolly the cat, we find you watching her plod around the place and reach out to touch her when you think she’s close enough, I think she’s finally getting used to you being around now too.

Sleep
Well let’s not dwell on this. You still fight it and rarely sleep for longer than 2 hours. Although you have had 3 x 4-5 hour stints recently, they are a rarity and not to be guaranteed. You have now decided that your wake up time is 0430, I’ve embraced this now so it doesn’t hurt quite as much.

Routine
I’m still persevering with your bedtime ritual when you show signs of tiredness I have no intention of enforcing a set time for a while yet. This week saw your daddy successfully carrying it out for the first time, the last attempt failed miserably but then he was reading you some book about York City so with all due respect you can’t be blamed for crying.

Growth
I haven’t weighed you this week as you were done at your 3 month review last week. You’re still in you 0-3 clothes and no closer to growing out of them, although there are some vests of a certain make that are a little on the short side now.

Feeding
No problems here except you are a tad sicky still which at night is particularly frustrating as you are regularly woken up by vomiting which I swear is making your sleep problems worse as you must be getting hungrier quicker and so we continue.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Noah, you continue to amaze us. I can’t believe how quickly you’re developing and changing in front of our eyes. I’m already missing aspects of you now you’re getting older; those nights when you wouldn’t sleep unless you were snuggled up to me in our bed; looking down on your beautiful sleeping face pushed against me as close as I would allow you to get; the milk comas you’d fall into as soon as you were fed; the little pops and squeaks you made when you were sleeping, all been replaced by other traits that I’m sure I’ll miss in a few months time as you get older and change some more no doubt displaying other, new traits that I’ll love and grow to miss.

All of these changes, all of these new and wonderful things you’re doing make me love you more and more each day my darling boy. I relish every minute I share with you and although I’d love to have a bit more sleep at night I also relish those dark and silent times only we share. Before I know it you’ll be grown up and won’t need me anymore. I’ll be left with my memories of being your all, being your everything and I’ll recall these long nights where it’s just the two of us and I’m the only one that can provide you with what you need.

There’s one thing for sure in amidst all this change you’ll never lose your smile and every time I see it it’ll melt my heart, no matter how old you are.

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14 Weeks Old

On Friday you turned 14 weeks old, how fast time flies and how fast you’re developing.

I recently bought a book on the recommendation of a friend, it’s called The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt, Ph.D. It details your 10 predictable fussy stages and helps me prepare for them, embrace them and stimulate you during these phases. It’s amazing, it’s really helped me prepare for these stages. It’s helped me understand you a bit better and what you’re going through during these grumpy stages. It also tells me what I’m likely to see on the other side which makes it all worthwhile.

I think we are finally leaving one of these phases and you have truly leapt forward developmentally, you amaze me every day and you’re turning into such a happy little soul.

We had your 3 month developmental review this week. I was a little perturbed to discover it was a group session and was worried you’d be too distracted by all the other babies to show the HV how much you’re developing. I needn’t have worried as we were the only ones that turned up and she (the nursery nurse) didn’t want you to perform anyway, she simply measured and weighed you and asked me whether you were achieving the milestones that you actually perfected a few weeks ago and was impressed to see you doing things ahead of ‘schedule’ (proud mummy moment). She also put my mind at ease that you are not teething. It is, as we originally thought, your saliva ducts maturing and the hand chewing is simply because you’ve located this hole in your face that you can put stuff into… Your favourite pastime.

It was your Daddy’s birthday on Sunday, I don’t think he’s ever had such a fabulous day simply because you were here to share it with him. Your card to him is in pride of place on the table.

We went out for coffee this week too, I was nervous to see how you’d be in public as you’ve been in such a finicky mood lately. I needn’t have worried there either, you were as good as gold until you got tired after a couple of hours which is fair enough considering I had woken you up to take you out in the first place. I simply bade our friends a farewell, popped you in your pram and you were asleep before we’d crossed the carpark.

Character
Where to start? You are simply gorgeous, you’re turning into such a happy little chap. You have mastered your smiling and there’s no more perfect a moment than when you wake up, see us and reward us with the broadest most genuine smile I’ve ever seen, it is truly heart melting. You no longer need to be coaxed to smile, you give them out quite freely now and are fast mastering the art of laughter, but this is still a work in progress. You love nothing more than to snuggle up to us and still aren’t entirely happy when sitting in your bouncer or on your playmat… You are very headstrong and you need to be in the right frame of mind to do that. However, when you do want to be there you quite happily bat at the hanging toys but not for long, I think you may feel a little trapped by them as they are quite close to your face now. Perhaps you’re like me and don’t like to feel confined? Who knows, time will tell. You are so inquisitive and prefer to be up high and walking around so you can observe more. Gone are the days we can just sit on the sofa with you but on the occasions we can you love nothing more than giggling at the black cats on the wall… Still they amuse you like nothing else. You’re slowly showing signs of attachment to your toys and in particular your Jelly Cat rabbit comforter, you love nothing more than feeling it and stuffing it into your mouth.

Muscle Development
It seems your back and neck muscles are strengthening every day. You’re not happy leaning back or lying down now, the majority of the time you’re pulling your head forward wanting to sit up, you grab hold of our fingers and we help you sit up and you’re so happy there, in fact sometimes that isn’t enough and when you come into a sitting position you amaze us by putting the pressure on your legs and coming up into a standing position. You don’t seem to be overly interested in rolling over unless I encourage it, you’re putting all your effort into sitting. You’re a lot easier to hold and carry now as you hold your upper body up brilliantly now and are happy to sit on our laps.

Speech
You continue to babble and squawk at us. Consonants are featuring massively so of course I’m encouraging the m’s 😉 You’ve mastered volume control now and delight in showing us this new found skill. You can often be heard ‘shouting’ when you want my attention should I have left your sight for a few minutes.

Entertainment
Anything and everything is entertainment to you now, you become absorbed in everything you see. Of particular interest are your hands, you love looking at them and rubbing them together. You love textures and when I’m doing the laundry I let you feel everything I fold to familiarise yourself with the different fabrics. You love to hold and stroke your Jelly Cat Rabbit Comforter often shoving an ear or nose in your mouth while rubbing the comforter between your hands. Your Lamaze dragon is becoming increasingly entertaining to you, as is your giant Lion, the colours, textures and rattles are what’s making them fascinating I think. You love to be sung to which is excruciating for your Daddy (he doesn’t like my singing voice) but because I don’t really remember many baby songs I’m afraid my love for The Sound of Music has come into play (this will please your Grandpa and Uncles greatly) and you particularly love the Wizard if Oz and Knick Knack Paddy Whack, the latter two I sing to make you laugh or to stop you crying.

Sleep
Mmmmmm, well I’m still not getting much ;).
You still wake every 2-3 hrs for a feed through the night but do sleep for a longer stretch very, very occasionally (3 times to date) but because you feed and settle so quickly (20 mins max) I’m ok with that. This week I’ve started to introduce a loose bedtime routine to try and stop you relying on feeding to get you to sleep. We haven’t enforced a time yet, baby steps first. I wait until you are tired, you make this obvious as you rub your eyes, yawn and coo repeatedly. I then pop you in your DreamPod, give you a top up and put you in your bednest awake. I give you your comforter and sit with you reading you bedtime stories. You’ve been fast asleep within half an hour so far, I’m so incredibly proud of you. Of course this has affected me more than I’d have known, I almost feel like you no longer need me… Ridiculous I know! We of course are not enjoying an evening in front of the TV because of this, on the first night we’d checked on you 15 times in the first 20 minutes, when we reached 30 we gave up and came to bed ourselves…. this hasn’t improved! I hope that in a month or so we’ll be at a point that we put you to bed at a set time and you know that this means it’s sleepy time. I’m finding story time a wonderful part of the day. I know you don’t understand what I’m saying and that it’s the tone of my voice you’re focusing on, but I hope that this is the start of your enjoyment of books and stories, they’re such a big part of my life and were when I was growing up and I hope reading is an enjoyment you will find too.

Routine
I’ve discovered you are particularly fractious if you don’t have a mid morning and mid afternoon nap so I’m trying to enforce these more now when I see your tired cues, this can be a daily battle. You still have bath time between 5 and 6 mad I’ve started introducing a bedtime routine (see Sleep, above)

Growth
At exactly 14 weeks you hadn’t gained as much as you did at the last baby clinics… Only 8.5oz but by your review on Tuesday you’d gained another 3oz. The nursery nurse isn’t concerned, you’re growing proportionally and following your growth curve (9th centile) so I’m happy, you’re just a diddy baby and that’s fine, us Petitt’s aren’t known for being large and this is the case on your fathers side too.

Weight: 12Ib 11oz (5.76 kg)
Height: 58cm

Feeding
For the last few weeks I can happily say we’ve cracked this feeding malarkey. No longer do I have to line your nose up and shove your head into me, you just get on with it. I’ve had no problems with blocked ducts lately, unless I’ve laid on my side, and all is well. You have been quite sicky again lately but I think this is more to do with gluttony than reflux these days. Sometimes you gorge so quickly you overload your tiny little tummy and decide to cover us both in milk. At least three daytime and 2 nighttime outfit changes a day is standard currently. I’ve been trying to detach you mid feed to prevent this but you are not impressed by this event and make sure you let me know about it.

Every day you continue to amaze us, we are so proud of you. You are our beautiful boy and I’ll never tire of telling you how we love you more with every passing second.

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Helping Daddy

Three Months Old

Today you turned three months old!!

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I can’t believe how much you’ve changed since our 12 week update just over a week ago.

You have become such a mellow and content child. You’re still plodding on through this growth spurt which means you are feeding little and VERY often, sleeping a little more happily during the day and are still a little needy… you quite literally hang on to us for dear life which is ace for us as it makes us feel wanted by you. This growth spurt is a lot easier than your last one, thank god.

You handled your second jabs like a hero, we were so proud of you and this time you kept the rotavirus down which meant we had fun with your nappies. For a couple of days there we had some quite severe diplomatic incidents.

You are handing out smiles like they’re going out of fashion and this evening you gave us your first proper, prolonged laugh… We melted. You even smiled whilst being bathed tonight and love being entertained by us pouring water. I can’t wait till you’re sitting up properly so you can play in the bath more effectively.

You are wanting to master sitting up and are constantly leaning forward to do so, pulling up on our fingers you happily sit and survey your surroundings until you get tired and have to lie back again, this infuriates you.

You love your toys and rattle and love nothing more than lying on your blanket and being entertained by silly songs. You use mat time to try and roll over too, you’re slowly mastering it with help. You’re slowly beginning to enjoy tummy time a bit more now as long as it’s not for too long and you have your funky lion to look at (courtesy of Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline), you are infatuated by him and he makes you push up.

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You love nothing more than making noise and have been conversing with us non stop, you even mastered a shout today which shocked both of us a little.

You’re loving going out in your pram again, letting it rock you to sleep and you even let us have lunch out today, our first time since you were 4 days old (that trip wasn’t quite so successful). You woke up of course but being held and then fed (my first time feeding you in a public place) kept you happy.

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You continue to amaze us with your development and each day brings something new to the table, something new for you to astound us with. Keep up the good work my gorgeous boy, we’re so proud and totally besotted by you.

(Written 22nd February 2014)

Weight Watchers

It would appear weight is an issue that becomes public fodder right from the start of anyone’s pregnancy.

Be it the sonographers and midwives guesstimating your baby’s weight in utero giving you cause to dread your impending birth and crossing your legs. Then it turning out to be so far off the mark it’s a joke.

Colleagues, family, friends or just random passers bys remark on your bump size and again remarking on how massive you are at 38 weeks pregnant which, quite frankly, got my back up. One; I wasn’t MASSIVE, yes at the end I looked full term and there’s no denying it but massive is just an offensive remark to make to a woman who’s hormones are already making her an emotional wreck.

Then there’s the people who remind you of the pressures you’ll be under to ‘lose the baby weight’ before you’ve even met your child. You start researching the best way to do this and, let’s face it the only examples you have access to are celebrity examples which are simply unachievable especially whilst breast feeding given that you don’t have an entourage to help look after the baby and personal trainers to drive you back into shape in an unrealistic time frame.

Now I was lucky enough to actually lose weight whilst pregnant… Weight I have subsequently put on due to an over zealous appetite and penchant for chocolate (those who know me know I HATE chocolate, go figure, the only cravings I receive are after birth). One simply can’t diet when breast feeding, it is impossible, you’d pass out if you did and vigorous exercise is just a no go for reasons of breast control and time. The most I can manage is a vigorous walk when taking N for a stroll (and let’s face it the weather has been far from ideal for many of these lately) and a tiny bit of muscle fixing. A supposed ‘friend’ said to me 4 weeks after birth (her child being slightly older) “I could tell it was you by your fat arse” WTF? A hurtful thing to say to someone at the best of times, but to a sleep deprived new mum who feels like a total failure anyway it’s down right cruel and from a new mum themselves. What gives people the right to make such remarks? And by other women who’ve been through the same process. I’ve never once heard a man refer to mine or N’s weight when meeting our little man cub.

I’m desperate to exercise properly but am realistic that this may take until he sleeps through better for me to do as I simply don’t have the time nor the energy and although I fret that I’m a bit ‘baggier’ around the middle i know that this won’t be forever and I have more important things to worry about like raising and loving my child yet still it’s one of the first things anyone enquiries about. Yes I’m back in my pre maternity clothes but I can tell you now they don’t fit the same and I’d rather brag about the fact that my beautiful son is smiling, cooing and thriving than I’ve squeezed myself back into my jeans.

Just when you think you’ve covered all weight related issues people start attacking the last, and worst thing they can… your baby! Now I have a very sicky baby so have been obsessing over whether he is getting enough sustainence so have been reassuring myself by getting him weighed quite often and am proud to say that he is indeed gaining weight. However when remarking on his weight it is questioned by complete strangers with remarks such as: oh isn’t he small; are you sure he’s getting enough milk?; Only the 9th centile? Mine’s on the 90th. Holy cow… When does it stop? What is it with people’s fascination with weight. Look at him, he’s bright eyed, happy and thriving. If he was on the 98th people would people brag there child was on the 2nd and probably refer to him as chunky? It’s never ending.

It’s no wonder we grow up with weight issues when criticisms start when one is 5 weeks old, or even at birth. I’ve found myself asking other mothers about their child’s weight because people keep saying N is so small just so I can compare. When did we become so obsessed with growth charts and centiles and become so bloody competitive?

Weeks ago a midwife on Twitter said to me “watch the child, not the scales” and I didn’t understand what she meant, now I do and she’s absolutely right and I thoroughly intend to and when I tweet about his weight it will be with pride that it’s proof my baby boy is healthy and thriving.

Does He Love Me?

My beautiful boy is 7 weeks old now, the fastest, yet slowest 7 weeks of my life.

I’m sure time only moves in this way when you have a baby. The broken nights’ sleep and seemingly endless, lightless nights and the inconsolable cries during the day make time move at a snail’s pace. Yet the constant inability to get things done, basic things like getting yourself dressed before midday, preparing to go out for a simple walk and when you realise your tiny baby is growing out of his newborn clothes makes time seem like it’s racing by at warp speed and you have that overwhelming need to stop it and get off.

Here we are, in our 8th week as parents, Noah’s 8th week of life and I truly couldn’t be happier, despite the constant state of exhaustion I know it won’t last forever yet it still manages to affect the way you think.

Gone are the dreamy days of a milk drunk baby sleeping away the day only waking to be fed then collapsing into that stupor once more. We have welcomed a new phase. A phase of beautiful alertness, an alertness that sees him locking his eyes on our faces and gracing us with the most beautiful smile we’ve ever seen when he deems fit. Soaking in his surroundings and finding joy in certain things around him. He’s truly captivating, yet the last couple of weeks haven’t been easy to say the least.

N has been particularly fractious. With this new found alertness comes boredom. He rarely naps in the day now and after feeding and a little playtime the wails and screams begin. He’s been fed, changed, entertained, fed some more, nappy checked again. He’s apparently inconsolable for what seems like a large proportion of the day. Nothing seems to pacify him.

We’ve bought bouncers on the advice of other parents; “one that vibrates is a must”, they say; “They absolutely love it”, they say; “he’ll drop off in it in no time”, they say. He HATES it. He lasts five minutes at most til he’s crying once more. We’ve bought an activity mat, another recommendation, another total failure. We’ve tried dummies despite our hatred of the, he spits them out. We’ve tried colic drops despite not being totally convinced it is colic. He just wants to be held, then that becomes boring to him and so starts the squirming and wriggling and flailing head with the onset of more screams. I sing lullabies, read stories, read my twitter and Facebook timelines to him (ok, so that would make anyone cry). Carry out activities that I’ve googled are good for babies of this age. I’ve taken him for long walks that only result in me having to endure the looks on passers bys faces when they hear the screams, screams akin to that a victim in a slasher movie makes. Nothing, nothing seems to work. Now during the day I can cope, to an extent, with this tired as I am and usually I can take him to bed with me and nurse him to sleep and by 3 he’s managed to nod off.

Then the OH comes home and the whole thing starts once more only it’s doubly as fractious as we argue between ourselves over what could be wrong. We misunderstand what each other says in the heat of the situation, taking each remark as a criticism which then makes the whole situation 50 times more stressful. Then I give in and take him to bed at 8.30. I don’t care that I’m making a rod for my own back, it’s the only way of preserving my sanity. My relationship with D has changed beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

People say the first 6 weeks are the hardest after that they find their own routine, well those I would say, in our experience have been the easiest and those weeks have been and gone and no sooner do we seem a glimmer of a routine it all changes again, and now people say 12 weeks then some helpfully say 16-20 weeks. I think forcing a ‘routine’ will help, HA!! I’ve even resorted to buying Gina Ford’s book which I’m currently in the process of reading and have to admit some of her points are quite valid and wish I’d done some of the things she said from birth, but I didn’t. Anyway, the only routine we now follow is N’s apart from his bedtime routine I have decided to carry on being baby led. And as far as his bedtime routine goes it consists of a bath, feeding and hopefully settling. I am very lucky in the fact his nighttime routine is set and has been for a while now. He still wakes three times but feeds, winds and settles within half an hour and reading others’ stories I’m glad he has his unsettled time in the evening but it’s hard to see that when he’s been screaming for hours on end.

It’s frustrating that I can’t calm the one person I should be able to soothe. He’s part of me, how can I not soothe him? The only conclusion I come to in this tired, anxious, overwrought state is he hates me. The love I feel for him isn’t returned. Every time he sees my face he thinks he’s looking into the eyes of a monster, it’s the only answer. The only reason he’s behaving like this.

Then comes my saving grace… In a particularly bad episode before I broke down into floods of tears knowing the OH is out on the road for the night, knowing I’m on my own until he returns the next evening, knowing I have to keep it together, I put him in his car seat and put him in the car. As soon as he was locked in, silence. And so I drove and drove and drove. A 50 mile round trip to North Devon and he was finally asleep… My partner and I have, over this weekend, found this time driving around great for all three of us, N gets to sleep, or atleast have a period of no screaming whilst D and I get to talk like adults. I have found our Holy Grail!

I am currently awaiting the arrival of a Boba Wrap so at least I can walk around the house when N just wants be held. Another purchase, another promise of hope, I’ll keep you updated as to it’s success.

No one tells you how hard it is looking after a baby. You expect the sleepless nights, you expect to be sleep deprived for a few months, you expect the loss of a social life and a change in your relationship and you welcome these. What you can’t comprehend or prepare for is how much it hurts when you can’t seem to calm your beautiful baby, it tears at your heart, at your very soul and when you see your beautiful child’s first tears rolling down his cheeks you want to sob and sob and berate yourself for being so totally and utterly useless. You feel like such a failure and this feeling you don’t expect.

Yet with these seemingly horrific moments have come the most precious ones. Ones like when you can pick him up when he’s grizzly and with that one action you can calm him and when you watch him rouse from sleep and in that moment he opens his eyes, sees your face and rewards your efforts with the most endearing smile that lights up his face it wipes the slate clean once more.

So in hindsight… does he love me? Yes, I think that maybe he might!

Breastfeeding #2

So I thought today would be a good a day as any to update you on my breast feeding journey.

I have now struggled through the blanched nipple thing, perseverance and brute force to ensure Noah was latching properly and not giving into lazy feeding at night has won out… HOORAH! Although my nipples are still a little sore, especially at the end of the day and when they get cold, they are so much better and the relief is unreal. It’s taken some time but we’re getting there.

I’ve bought new bras from good old M&S to give them some much needed ‘leg room’ whilst still keeping Lansinoh in business with their amazing Lanolin nipple cream, I really can’t recommend it highly enough, Noah doesn’t bother about it and in fact it doubled up as a moisturiser for him when he was born with really dry, flaking skin as I didn’t want to use olive oil on his hands in case he ingested it.

It really is the most amazing feeling to breast feed. The connection you feel with your baby is beautiful and when you see the weight piling on and know that it’s all down to nature and your wonderful and clever breasts the sense of pride is rather overwhelming. I’m so SO pleased I struggled through that dark time, I could very easily have given up as there really was/is no quick fix for that problem.

So it pains me to say that in the early hours of this morning, after having an A* report from the doctor yesterday about our progress, I noticed that one of my breasts didn’t seem to be ‘letting down’ after he fed. By four this morning it was so engorged I could barely touch it. I let Noah feed from it again and massaged it to release any possible blocked ducts, no joy. He had a large and satisfying feed yet still it was swollen, hard and painful to the touch. Out came the cabbage leaves and hot water bottle once more and I sat waiting til 8.30 so I could ring the doctor.

The advice I’ve received from Twitter and Facebook has been amazing and I thank everyone for it, not only did you help me in short term pain relieving suggestions you also *virtually* wiped my tears and hugged me until I felt less upset. I didn’t think it was mastitis as I didn’t have a fever (though I have felt off colour these past few days) but a MW friend said it sounded possible and to visit doctor.

My OH was wonderful, despite having to get off to work he filled another hot water bottle and made me a cup of tea whilst I got dressed when I could. Offering to take time off to rush me up to the doctor as soon as I had a time.

For once I can honestly say the doctor’s receptionist was helpful and kind. As I burst into tears on the thought of a late afternoon appointment she got me in at 0910. Noah having a well timed feed and change, no waiting time on arrival to surgery and a lovely lady doctor just made my morning complete. She took one look and diagnosed mastitis. Great. Anyway, antibiotics should kick in within 48 hours so fingers crossed I’ll be back on form by the end of the week as I am braving baby massage class on Friday and really don’t want to cancel.

So here I am, having thought I’d cracked this breast feeding malarkey again I find myself struggling. However I am aware that in 48 hours I should be clear which is comforting.

What am I doing?

I have been given a week’s course of clarithromycin which should kick in within 48 hours.
I am currently harbouring a small cabbage patch in my bra…. Sexy!
Will submerge swollen bosom in hot water later and have a hot water bottle on 24 hour call.
I’m rocking the rugby ball baby feeding position to try and drain that quadrant of breast. Having just mastered one feeding position Noah is staring up at me with a look of utter confusion, though I’m sure he’s grateful he doesn’t have to stare at my unkempt armpit for a bit.
Feeding as usual, alternating breasts, but I’m massaging breast throughout his feeds.
Paracetamol.
Rest… Sod the washing, we’re going to snuggle all day.

I’m hoping this is it now. I’m hoping it’ll ease up and give me a break.

I’m not going to be beaten!