First Shoes

On the 14th March 2015, after weeks of putting it off, we bought Noah his very first pair of shoes.

Now I was always brought up on Clarks shoes and always knew Noah would have the same start in his vertical life.

We visited the Barnstaple Clarks store and were greeted by the lovely Ella who made the whole experience really special. She was so patient with him (and me when it came to decision making) and so gentle. She was, in a word, lovely.

The measurer she used was so tiny, so cute and Noah was so patient about it, I think he was quite taken with her and all the bright lights but he just sat on my lap and let her ‘do her thing’.

It turns out our little boy is size four and a half G on his left foot and four and a half H on his right… Typical. Anyway we went for the G width and they fitted brilliantly.

As I perused the boys section of shoes (which, I have to admit wasn’t as half as exciting as the girls’ section) Noah trotted off the the little girls section of shoes and decided to play with every silver/pink/glittery pair of shoes he could find.

I chose two pairs of shoes for Noah to try on, the Softly Nile First in Navy and the Softly Mac First in Denim Blue. As soon as Ella put the first pair on it was like someone had put his feet in lead blocks. When he finally figured out how to lift these dead weights it was akin to watching an historic deep sea diver trying to walk on the bottom of the ocean. It was emotional and funny all rolled into one.

After much deliberation I opted for the second pair I chose, the Softly Mac as I figured the colours would go with more but I was torn, I bloody loved the Softly Nile, they were so cool but we can’t afford both so practicality ruled for once.

The camera came out and we pranced around like loons to get Noah to smile for his ‘official’ photo, and he did. He looked so grown up, I struggled to hold back the tears (despite the smell radiating from his nappy… Yep, he’d chosen this moment to ‘go’).

I highly recommend Clarks for the first shoe experience, not only because you know the shoes you’re putting on your baby’s feet are the best, but also because everything about this experience was amazing. The photo, the card, the next appointment, even the box. Putting aside the size of this tiny little shoe box (which will NEVER be thrown away), the design is amazing… Even on the inside…

Then Lady Luck smiled down on us… David noticed the fabric on the back of one shoe was ruched up so Ella went to check for another pair. There wasn’t one so she had a word with her manager and returned with a 50% reduction!!! I was only expecting 10, bargain!!!

So what do we do? That’s right, we buy the other pair too 😂


36 Weeks Old

This fortnight saw you turn 8 months old, amazing to think you have been part of me for 17 months now. I seriously can not remember what my life was like before I knew about you. It sounds contrived but it’s true. It was always something friends said when they had children and I never really understood what they meant until I had you. What I did with my time back then is a source of intrigue.


To make up for last fortnight we’ve done quite a lot this time round. The fortnight started with a lovely weekend as a family. On Saturday 19th we did lots of walking, down to The Weir where you and daddy had a nice swing together and you tasted your first chip 😏

Then down to Tommy Jack’s where we saw Kate and Grayson for a little chat. On Sunday you woke up a little wheezy but we decided to take a trip over to Budleigh to see Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tom. You had your first bounce on a trampoline and you loved it, as did Ella and Tommy who, again, found you fascinating and doted on you. It’s lovely to see you all together, I just wish you were closer in age but there’s not a lot I can do about that one.

You were as good as gold and had a lovely day although that night you terrified us with your breathing at midnight so Daddy and I didn’t get much sleep, you on the other hand slept soundly after the initial meltdown. You were still a bit wheezy in the morning so I took you to the doctors. Of course you didn’t wheeze when we saw him but he checked you over. Your lungs were clear and temperature ok so we just had to monitor you. At the time of posting this you still have it but we now know it’s phlegm that you just need to cough up, it’s slowly going.

The weather has been simply incredible but because of this we’ve been pretty much trapped inside after our early morning strolls so we can literally ‘chill out’ under the ceiling fans. Though the ladies and babies did get stuck with us one Thursday as a massive thunder storm took us all by surprise.

On the 28th I took you home to Lyme Regis to spend a few days with Auntie. I bought an O Baby travel cot but had to purchase an extra mattress from Argos as it’s so hard, a fault all travel cots seem to have reading the reviews. It is nice and easy to put up and down though and doubles up as a play pen it’s so sturdy. Of course you don’t particularly like it as a play pen but it does buy me time to at least go to the toilet or put the washing on.

We had a lovely time at Auntie’s where you were doted on by both her and David who didn’t quib at nipping out and getting you a paddling pool and some fruit to save us a trip. It was so hot but we enjoyed al fresco meals and long walks along the Cobb and Marine Parade showing you my childhood haunts. Caroline and Grace came over to see us too bringing us a cot and highchair so we have one to leave there saving me carting them to and fro.




On the way back home on the 30th we stopped off at Uncle Dan’s so we could drop off Ella’s birthday present and had a nice walk along Budleigh seafront and a naughty sundae. You also had your first sit in a proper swing at the park there, you appeared to like it despite it being a little on the large side.


On the 1st we spent the day in the car driving up to Farnham for Jen and Phil’s wedding on the 2nd. You did amazingly well despite the awful traffic meaning it took a couple of hours longer than we had anticipated. We stayed in fleet at the Premier Inn there. Talking of travel cots, I wish I’d brought the mattress with us that we’d bought. The one provided was awful and you didn’t settle in it for long before we brought you in with us. I was so proud of how well you behaved in the restaurant that evening. It was late when we ate and you were so good, unlike the other little boy that was there screaming the place down (and he looked to be a little older than you).

You’re still holding on to this mucus on your chest so I think I might take you to the docs again on Monday.

Lots of drool, lots of chewing but no sign of anymore coming through just yet.

Trampoline on 20th July.
First doctor visit on the 21st July. It was very strange seeing your name come up on the screen.
On the 22nd you started climbing things… Anything so you’re up on your knees. You look so proud of yourself when you do it and are fast wanting to bring your feet under so you stand but haven’t quite mastered this yet.



By the 24th you were climbing to standing and have since mastered this nicely, even daring to let go of own hand.
An 8 hour straight sleep on the 27th.
On the 28th you had your first night in your new travel cot.
The 29th saw your first time on the Cobb also your first splash in a paddling pool.
First time in a proper swing on the 30th at Budleigh Salterton’s park by the sea.
The 1st saw your first trip along the A303 past Stonehenge… You were thrilled


You’re in a Wonder Weeks leap phase at the moment and are a little more clingy than usual, in fact I can barely put you down without you whinging, crying or crawling over and climbing up me to be held again. Then you spin around and want to get down again, and so the cycle continues. You do love your pram though and calmly sit in it, expecting a trip out no doubt. You love the outside too, in fact you can’t get enough of it which is a shame that it’s so blooming hot at the moment as it means we’re holed up indoors to keep you cool.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Movement: You’re climbing up and over everything now, nothing appears to obstruct you without a concerted effort to conquer it.
Sitting: Mastered
Standing: You’re doing this brilliantly now, with support of course, and you look so proud when you’re up even letting go so that you’re only holding on with one hand.
Coordination: Improving daily. You love tapping and banging things together and rarely miss your mouth with your spoon now except when a little over zealous.

Speech: Same.

Anything and everything that you can climb so you’re in a more upright position. Drumming… You’re properly banging blocks together and on things now and will mimic us when we tap on things that make a noise.n fact mimicking is your new favourite pastime, be it sticking out tongues, drumming, tapping or facial expressions you are mimicking us… It’s kinda cool.

On the 27th you slept a FULL EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT!!!! You didn’t do it again!

I haven’t got you weighed this fortnight.

New tastes: Chips (naughty I know), Melon, Blackberry, White Potato, Bean Pate, Three Bean Chilli, Macaroni Cheese, tea cake,
You’re finally making a concerted effort to drink now but soon revert back to hurling your cup around. You seem to be dropping some milk feeds at night and don’t seem to be feeding as often during the day either.

Due to a drop in milk feeds (I assume) my cycles have returned which has been met with panic, panic that you will soon no longer need me, stupid I know as you’ll need me for a few years yet but the thought of our special bonding, quiet time together may soon be over is really quite upsetting.

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.


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.


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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.