Pre-School

Today I dropped you off for your third session at pre-school.

You started your regular, twice a week, session at St Petroc’s Pre-School on the 9th January.

To say I’ve been dreading you starting at pre-school is an understatement. You’ve never been left with anyone other than myself or your Daddy, apart from on two short occasions and it’s times like this I feel dreadful that you’ve missed out on having grandparents that are; a) alive or b) live close enough that you know them well enough for you to stay with for any length of time. There’s nothing I can do about this unfortunately, but this means that I fear you’re probably suffering separation anxiety a little more than on average.

The taster sessions went ok, though after we left you for the second one you became quite fixated on the whole, leaving you thing and this has, and continues to be our biggest hurdle.

Day 1

Both myself and Daddy dropped you off for your first day at school and although you asked us not to go, on the whole you seemed ok, especially when I spotted the Treasure Chest and Miss Brown kindly got it down only to discover it was FULL of pirate paraphernalia. That was you suitably absorbed enough for us to say our goodbyes and leave. I’m not ashamed to say we cried in the foyer, we hung your bag on your own little peg and I pretty much sobbed all the way home. 


I felt lost without you and filled my time with doing some yoga, had a bath and did some housework and what seemed like a lifetime later (4 hours), I picked you up.

I got there 5 minutes early and met the lady that runs the early years, who was lovely, and told me that you had experienced a couple of wobbles but, with the help of Bing, and distraction, you recovered ok and that you had been hanging about with another new boy called Carson and you had both been a great distraction to each other as he had been missing his mummy too. On seeing me you burst into tears which broke my heart all over again and you came over trying to hide your tears behind the pictures you had drawn. You gave me the biggest hug and practically dragged me out the door telling me you had got two stickers for being a ‘good boy’ and ‘helping tidy up’. You said you had fun, but categorically told me that you weren’t going to go back.



We went for a swim at Splash as a treat afterwards where we had a great time for over 2 hours.

Day 2

All started fairly well until I put your coat on and you asked me where we were going. As soon as I said school you fell apart. You begged me and sobbed all the way down there. It broke me. I couldn’t keep it together in the car, I felt so guilty. You clung to me as I walked to the front door and refused to let me go. Ms White was there that morning and you were the first in but nothing would calm you. I desperately tried to hold it together in there, we found things that might distract you but you were inconsolable. In the end I had to go and Ms White took you away from me. I’m so sorry I had to leave quickly my darling boy because I didn’t want you to see me fall apart. The guilt I felt was incredible. If I was leaving you there to go to work I would have a valid reason, but to leave you there for no reason made me feel like the worst parent ever. I pretty much sobbed on and off, all morning until I went to pick you up.

I wish I could explain to you in a way that you understood, why it’s important for you to attend pre-school. I really don’t want you to have to start big school full time without ever having experienced that sort of setting. That would be just dreadful.

There were no tears when I picked you up this time (despite mummy being told off for not providing wellies, which were actually in your bag, and waterproofs despite it not being wet) You told me you had been playing outside on your own, had been told you weren’t allowed in the mud kitchen and that you had got two more stickers. You were also covered in blue ink so you must have done some drawing at some point in the session.

Afterwards we went to the toy shop to buy a treat, and much to my amazement you went for the much cheaper option of what I was going to get you. You did state, however, you weren’t going to go back to school, ever!


Day 3 (today)

This started a bit more positively, we discussed starting a reward chart with you, where you can collect all the stickers you earn from school, add them to ones you can earn at home, and when you fill it up you can buy something you want. I said that we could make the chart after school and this seemed to help but the closer we got to leaving, the more you said you didn’t want me to leave, I ended up telling a heinous lie. 

I told you that I would wait for you in the car outside but that you wouldn’t be able to come and see me but you’d know I was close by and you’d know what I’d be doing. This meant you trotted into school without one complaint and sat down and played with Isabelle, said goodbye and didn’t even watch me leave. When I got into the foyer I heard you start to cry but Miss Brown was ever so nice and I could hear her comfort you and tell you that you were being a brave boy, to which you agreed. 

I left and walked home, sobbing all the way. I felt dreadful. I felt terrible that I’d lied to you. I envisaged all manner of scenarios where this lie would unravel and really hurt you. I knew the teachers would probably say it was a terrible thing to do, and that by doing so I was going to mess you up mentally forever. I just thought, in that moment, that it’d make it easier for both of us and help you through the session.

On picking you up we had no tears, thogh you certainly looked like you had been crying. The teacher told me that you had a few wobbles through the morning and that unless you were with one of them, or absorbed in something, then you become a bit lost and they are the moments you wobbled. This made me feel terrible. I hate the thought that you feel lonely, lost and sad. I wanted school to be a positive and fun experience. I wanted you to love it. I just wish you had a couple of your friends in your class, I thought you’d make a friend quicker. I thought lots of things, I hoped for lots of things and although I know that you will find your place eventually, I really hoped it’d come easier to you.

The teacher said that you sat beautifully for story time and enjoyed the book and although you sat for snacks, you didn’t eat anything. You made gingerbread men and must have done some drawing at some point because you were covered in orange pen today. Song time was a bit of a disappointment as you angrily announced that you weren’t allowed to sing Jingle Bells because Miss Brown said it wasn’t Christmas anymore. I said that next time you should ask for Wind the Bobbin Up or Wheels on the Bus. You got 1 sticker today for helping tidy up.


We went home and you said you had fun but didn’t want to go back and asked if I’d stayed in the car, I knew this lie would come back and bite me, I really didn’t want to have to continue the bloody thing. Anyway, we went home and made your reward chart and stuck all your stickers on it and here’s hoping for a more successful session on Friday.


Dear God, let it get easier. I’m not sure my nerves can cope with much more of this. I actually don’t know who dreads it more, you or me?

Happy Second Birthday

A little late getting this one finished and published due to life! …

Happy Birthday my beautiful, funny, amusing boy. 

I still struggle with how quickly time passes since you have entered our world. 2 years since you were entrusted into our care. 2 years you have amazed us, humoured us, tested us, worried us. Two years we have adored you and with every single breath, on every single day I love you even more. I never knew it possible to love another human being so deeply, so unconditionally. I now know how it feels to truly believe that I would end my life if it meant it was the only way yours continued.

You complete me Noah, you have made me whole. I love you to the moon and back, further than that.

So what did your birthday involve? Well you woke up to be greeted by a HUGE stash of presents in the lounge, the focal point being your balance bike which you love. Unfortunately you’re still slightly too short for it meaning you need us to push you round which delights our old backs no end.

  
In the morning we weren’t quite organised enough to go swimming but we had a fun morning unwrapping presents and playing with all your new toys.

At 3pm until 5pm we threw you a little birthday party in the function room of Hotel An Mor thanks to the kindness of Grayson’s mummy.

We hired a few toys from the Toy Library for you all to play with (roller coaster, trampoline, ball pit and a couple of slides). Roo brought his giant tunnel and Samuel provided some ride-ons and along with a few inflatable balls and balloons this completed your birthday entertainment.

I have spent the last week or so preparing a craft corner where you could all make a birthday crown to wear. I wasn’t sure how successful this would be but it actually turned out to be really popular. This, of course, meant we were sweeping up glitter for quite a while after the party.

Everything went really well, all considered. A few people couldn’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances but on the whole it was a good turnout.

I decided to do a Pass the Parcel which actually everyone (except you) sat down and participated in.

It was an exhausting day for all but it was so lovely seeing you all playing together and with only a couple of minor injuries.

  
The Guests
Samuel, Roo, Blake, Freddie, Connor, Coral, Leo, Finn and Luka

Unfortunately Mila and Grayson couldn’t make it.

The Food

Cheese and Ham Sandwiches, houmous, crudités, breadsticks, chocolate treats, crisps

  
The Cake(s)

Well what can I say about the cake? I decided to make a cake out of my super healthy muffin recipe, this didn’t work too well and the cake was a little on the dense side so although I decorated it and we sang to it, I made some individual muffins for people to actually eat instead of the cake itself.

 

The Party Bags

Because everyone received a gift and bag of ‘sweets’ (pure fruit jellies) in the Pass the Parcel the gift bags were slightly limited to: Playdoh, Bubbles and a box of Raisins

The Presents

Cripes, where to start?

From Mummy and Daddy:

Stompee Balance Bike, Trampoline, Playdoh, Paints, Twistable Crayons, Sponge Paint Rollers, Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad, “I Love You” and “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” books.

From Auntie:

Playmobil Helicopter and Digger, Little White Company Red Bus Jumper, LWC Bobble Hat and Mittens, John Lewis Winter L/S Tshirt, “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”, “Is It Bedtime Wiggly Pig?” and “Dig, Dig, Digging” books.

From Granny and Grandad:

Wooden Elephant Number Jigsaw, Hat, Printing Cubes

From Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline:

JCB Drill, Trunki

From Uncle Dan and Auntie Sam:

Paint Sponges, CAT Digger

From Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian:

Next Snowsuit and a Farm Book

Guest presents:

Samuel, Mila, Corey, Grayson and Roo: JCB Mega Transporter, My Carry Potty, Flash Cards and “Snow”

Mila: My 1st JCB On Site Rock Loader Playset

Roo: Twirlywoos DVD

Freddie: Craft Straws and Feathers

Blake: Thomas the Tank Engine Fat Controller Travel Set

Connor: Animal Crayons and Little People Floor Puzzle

Coral: Wooden City Playset

Leo: Duplo Learn with ABC Train

Finn: “That’s not my Tractor” & “That’s not my Tractor” books

Luka: Wooden Pizza Set

Needless to say, you were a very lucky boy indeed.

  
Playing with some of the gifts you received from your friends.

*There are many more photos of your party but due to not getting permissions from all involved I left pictures of others out of this blog.


24 Months Old

What better way to start your 2nd birthday month with a bit of destruction… How can I be mad when you do these things so funnily. Porridge and Weetabix got spread ALL over the kitchen floor, you’d think I’d learn that a quiet toddler was something to be terrified of.

  
This month started with a lovely visit by Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy whom stayed at the Bude Holiday Park for the weekend. We all went for lunch at Tommy Jacks on the 24th and afterwards you and Tommy had a lovely time playing on the Crooklets ship and continued to play back at home. You guys get on so fabulously, it’s lovely to see. On Sunday we decided to walk down to The Weir for lunch, only to discover when we got there that they were only doing Sunday lunches and there was over an hour wait! Needless to say we stayed for a play at the park and headed back into town and had something to eat at the Olive Tree. We were all starving by the time we got out meals and I’m pretty impressed by how good you were with the whole debacle. Whilst we waited for the meal we went for a wander with Auntie Sam to see the ducks on the wharf. You went ballistic as soon as you noticed a load of motorbikes lined up and just wanted to stand and shout at them. We were all amazed when the owner of one whisked you off and sat you on his bike (he did get my permission first by the way)… You were absolutely awestruck and quite literally speechless. Of course when he took you off it all you wanted was his helmet, we left at this point as lunch had arrived. When we got home you, Daddy and Tommy played with your stacking cups and I’ve got the most wonderful video of you all falling to the floor in hysterics everytime you knocked the tower down.

  
On the 27th we went to Lyme for the week to stay with Auntie where we were thoroughly spoilt, as usual! You really do love it there and went straight to the sun room to get your “Time for Bed Fred” book, you’re forever going to relate that book to staying there. It didn’t take you long to settle in and had Auntie and David running around after you whilst you played the piano and got all the toys out.

On the 28th we went to Exeter. Auntie wanted to get your hair cut at Toni and Guy, unfortunately the only time was 12.15 which was in your nap zone and as predicted you fell asleep half an hour beforehand so we had to cancel. You had a lovely time whilst we were looking in The White Company and happily sat on a beanbag with a couple of push along toys whilst we chose a few presents and some pyjamas for you… Your very first pair of big boy pyjamas. We met David for lunch at Carluccios where you behaved impeccably once again, I’m so proud of how you behave my beautiful boy, long may it continue. You were happy busying yourself with your crayons and books whilst we waited for our meal which was a rather long time as it was very busy. On our way back to the car we nipped into Wilkos and bought you a yellow hard hat.the sheer pride on your face when you wear this is beautiful.

  
On the 29th you gave Auntie a hard time when I had to go for an appointment and you woke up as I left, apparently you wouldn’t let her take you out of the cot for a good 15 minutes but you did eventually and you were quite happy when I got back 😉 In the afternoon we went to see Caroline at her house for a catch up where she presented you with your first Halloween fancy dress costume and you proceeded in pretty much clearing her out of grapes.

  
The 30th we just went into town, it was horrible weather so we decided to stay another day. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years it was lovely showing you off. We popped into Serendip Bookshop where your Grandma used to work and saw her colleagues. You set yourself up in reading corner whilst we talked.

  
Since we got home we haven’t been up to a great deal as the weather has been so horrific. We’ve continued to go swimming on Sundays and end up in the soft play afterwards. We’ve had a few play dates all over the place with Mila, Samuel, Grayson, Roo and Leo at Jumping Jacks, Brooks and people’s houses. 

On the 8th we attended your first of the 2nd birthday parties with Coral’s party at Penstowe Swimming Pool. You all had a fantastic time playing in the water and then had a little party afterwards with food, Pass the Parcel and cake. You were a little tired though and keeping you sitting for Pass the Parcel was near impossible.

  

On the 11th I had to take my car to the garage and I decided to leave the pram in the back and walk you back home seeing as you always want to walk. Of course this backfired hugely when you wanted to be carried from about 100 ft from the garage. To add to my misery we had to go to the Toy Libaray to order some items for your birthday party which meant I had to carry you about 2 milestone! My arms died shortly afterwards.

Health

You developed a doozy of a cold in the latter half of this month, thankfully you’d got over the worst by the time your birthday came round.

Communication

You’ve been babbling a lot this month, on the telephone (and make believe ones) and whilst wandering around the house.

On the 9th you kept saying “Bubble”, why I have no idea so perhaps it’s just you experimenting with sounds.

On the 11th you said “Up” in context, in reality it sounds more like “bup” but you raise your arms whilst saying it (Teletubbies taught you this… Months I’ve egged you to say stuff and one episode if Teletubbies and you spit it out, typical 😉)

On the 13th you actually said “Daddy” for the first time, Daddy was ecstatic as were you with all the praise.

On the 16th you pointed at a picture of my mum and said “Grandma”, it broke my heart as I so wished she could have known you, and you her. She was such an incredibly warm and loving person who would have doted on you, I can’t help but feel you’ll grow up lacking because of her absence. I love the fact that you recognise who she is, you’ve always loved looking at her photo and I have obviously always told you who she is. To get recognition, especially when you have only said a couple of words, is beyond words.

On the 17th you said Banana, well it was more “Ba-a-a” but I’m super chuffed, and so were you.

On the 20th you said “Cheese” and the 21st you said “Tea” and started to say your own name. Learning the important ones.

This final week of your one’s also saw you start saying no (joy), it is more of a “Nne” than a no.

To date, at two, the words you can say are:

Mama, Hiya (though we haven’t heard this in a while), Bubble, More, Up, Yeah, Daddy, Grandma, Banana, Cheese, Tea, No, Noah

You’re still largely using sign language to communicate with us, probably because it works so well.

Holding two fingers half an inch apart next to your eye: Yogurt

Marching on the spot: Teddington (Show Me Show Me)

Waving: Mr Tumble

Swinging your arm whilst saying “Arrrrrr”: Fisherman Tumble/Pirates

Nodding: Yes

Shaking head: No

Fetching a book: Wanting a story

Tipping head to one shoulder and pouting: In the Night Garden

I’m getting a little concerned a lot of these are for TV programmes lol.

Firsts

Loads of first words this month

Character

You are the most beautifully precious little boy Noah. You are starting to show politeness, you’re loving, emphatic, funny, clever, enigmatic. You amaze us everyday and everyday I fall more and more in love with you.

Sleep

Nights have been a little broken of late but I’m putting that down to your cold. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to sleeping again after months of broken sleep, so when you start waking up again we enter another fresh world of zombie.

Potty Training

We continue as we have been going. Mastering the pulling down of pants is the current task. I should be more focussed and got this cracked by now but I haven’t been overly well myself this month.

Growth

You will get weighed during your review on the 24th.

Sneaky peak, seeing as I didn’t publish until after your review, :

Weight: 13.75 kg / 30.31 Ibs

Height : 89.5 cm

This means you are following the 75 percentile in both weight and height now.

Feeding

This has been a struggle this month, probably due to your cold. You haven’t really been eating much at a all and just wanting yogurt all the time, or everything smothered in ketchup. I’m hoping when your cold lifts you’ll return to normal.

Favourites

So at two years old you have lots of favourite things. I have broken them down into sections.

Toys: Stacking Cups, Hoover, Brush, Ball, Tool Kit, Building Bricks, Hard Hat, Doggy, Gulliver, Train Set, 

Books: Time for Bed Fred, That’s Not My…

Objects: Wind Turbines, Clocks, Telephones, Locks

Places: The Beach, Otter Reserve

Activities: Swimming, Outside (Walking/Running)

Friends: Mila, Grayson, Samuel, Roo and Leo

Food: Yogurt, Blueberries, Cheese, Marmite, Baked Beans, Houmous, Nutribullet Blends

TV (though I’m loathed to admit it): In the Night Garden, Bob the Builder, Something Special (Mr Tumble), Show Me Show Me, Twirlywoos

19 Months Old

It’s been a fairly eventful and busy month for all of this. The house purchase is slowly coming on despite having to get a concrete survey done to check for Mundic block (all good) and a few minor problems brought to light by the survey but nothing catastrophic so we continue to plod on. I’m just desperate to get in so you have a garden to play in.

So what have we been up to to month? We’ve had lots of play dates and trips out with Mila at the weekends. On the 26th we headed to the beach for a play with Mila and Grayson which was lovely despite all the food going in the sand, not to worry of course, you guys still consumed it all.

  

I suppose the biggest news of the month came on the 30th where your new car seat arrived. We bought the Maxi Cosi Axiss in the end. your first trip out in it was to the Trelay in May Family Festival which was a little odd but you liked running around the field and playing with the hula hoops so it wasn’t a total damp squib. I’m not sure if we just arrived to late or what but there didn’t appear to be much on and the circus skills for children that I read about did just appear to be the hula hoops on the ground. On paper it sounded immense, oh well we live and learn, Daddy’s face was an absolute picture. You seemed to like your new chair and revelled in being able to see so much more and you grinned and laughed all the way there and back. We went to brooks on our way home and the joy ended as it took us nearly 15 minutes of the worst tantrum to get you back in the seat to bring you home. Luckily this has only been repeated once more since and that was after a very long car journey so I can’t blame you for the latter.

  

On the 2nd we met Samuel and Mila at Harlequins in Bude. This was our first time there and I was actually rather impressed, though I was dutifully warned that was the quietest it has been, EVER so that could have explained it. The ball pit in the big kids area (where you insisted on going) was so deep I nearly lost you, you found this absolutely hilarious!

On the 6th we went to the brilliant Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden at Bradworthy with Mila. What can I say? We blooming loved it! We all had to wear gnome hats for the duration and you happily donned your blue fluffy number to the delight of Daddy and I. You guys loved wandering around the gnomes, with you desperate to get up close and personal at every given opportunity. After the Gnome trail we had to walk through the wild flower garden and count all the faeries and answer a quiz… We aced it, of course! The food there was fantastic, homemade sandwiches and cake at extremely reasonable prices. So many of these places sting you for less than mediocre food so it was a welcome relief to find somewhere that doesn’t try and rip you off at every given opportunity.

 

On the 9th we went to see Roo on the farm with Samuel and Mila after group. You guys had a fantastic time in the garden on all of Roo’s trucks and swing then looking at all the animals including the chicks. You marched around the entire farm shouting at stuff and laughing at the top of your lungs. You even sat in a real tractor and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so awestruck.

  

On the 11th we started swimming again at Splash! It’s the same session we attended last year so have been going every Thursday since. Not sure the time is the best for you as it’s right in, or directly after your nap time so you’re a little clingy and not always ‘in to it’. I’ll carry on for a couple more weeks and if it’s proving difficult well just go in a normal parent toddler session, without the instructor, which are at better times for you. I’m glad you still love the water though and are handling diving a lot better now too, not bad since the last time you were in the water was at Centre Parks in December… baaaaaaad mummy!

On the 13th we went to the Milky Way again. Unfortunately Mila couldn’t join us as she was picking up her new car seat too. We still had fun though and it suitably exhausted you.

On the 14th we decided to pop up to the first annual Seaweed Festival at Clovelly where we net up with the wonderful @SeasideDolly along with a few other Twitter friends, including Wendy and Lee. You were mesmerised by the geisha girls on stilts, whilst we quietly panicked for them as the marched around the peaving cobbled harbour wall. Dolly captured the most beautiful images of us of which she’s kindly let me use for the purpose of this blog.

   

 

On the 19th you handled an epic 6 hour road trip up north, beautifully. Only really losing it with 12 miles to go. Thankfully the services we stopped at had a huge expanse of grass and a play area. Our reason for our trip was so I could see your Grandad who is very poorly at the moment. Unfortunately he was too unwell to see you but hope you’ll see each other when we go up again in a couple of weeks, all being well. We stayed at the Premier Inn in Ashby De La Zouch and I can’t say enough good things about it. We had room 105 which was massive, meaning we all had plenty of room to manoeuvre around each other. The staff were amazing in the hotel and the restaurant where they spoilt you with crayons and paper, balloons and food. We were given a cot cover by the fabulous Snoozeshade company which was simply AMAZING (full review to come). Simply put, the best piece of kit I’ve never bought, meaning we didn’t have sit with the lights and TV off when you went to bed at 1830. We simply zipped you up whilst we were still awake and you slept blissfully unaware of the lights in the room. 

  

On the Saturday, after popping in to see Grandad in the morning, we went on to see Granny and Grandad Holder in Doncaster. The weather was such a contrast to Friday, unfortunately meaning it was raining pretty much all day so we met them at Charlie Chalks Fun Factory at Cheswold Lodge as it’s a Brewer’s Fayre plus a big soft play area. Simply put this was absolute hell. It was packed to the rafters, we waited ages for food (not helped by not being told we had to order at the bar). It was dirty, the high chairs were awful AND filthy and the soft play had seen better days… Probably a decade or so ago. I forgot to tell your Daddy not to put money in those arcade vehicles that you sit in, so he did. Cue a serious meltdown of monumental proportions and a stressed Daddy feeling like people thought he was abducting you as he tried to extricate you from said machine. I seriously wanted to dunk us all in bleach when we came out. Thankfully when we came out it had stopped raining so went for a nice walk then back to your Granny’s house where you had a play with her and Grandad before we had to get you back to the hotel for tea. We stayed at a Premier Inn again, at Lakeside but it was far inferior to the one at Ashby, tea time was hellish as, again, no one told us we had to order at the bar and we waited over half an hour for some beans on toast, on arrival the toast hadn’t even seen a toaster it was just dried out white bread and lukewarm beans on the side, awful. However, the staff were lovely in the morning and on reception.

The 21st was Father’s Day so we surprised Daddy with some personalised marshmallows from Boomf and a card we made a couple of weeks ago. He spent the rest of the day driving us home… A bit of a mission for you, I’m afraid. You didn’t take too kindly to yet another day in the car, poor you.

  

Health

Another small cold. No fever but lots of snot.

Teeth

No more are emerging but all others are pretty much through now, the drool has eased off a little, thankfully.

Firsts

On the 15th you said “Hiya” for the first time. 

On the 16th you had your first proper paddle and play in the sea with Samuel. 

On the 17th you said “Ba Ba” when asked what a sheep does.

Character

You amaze me everyday with your fabulous character. I see so much of myself, your Daddy and my mother in you. You are headstrong and determined (much to our embarrassment when you pull a tantrum to end all tantrums). You love the outdoors and are at your best when free to run around. You never tire of running across the downs, cricket pitch and pitch and putt chasing the birds and picking flowers.

You are so loving and have started to enjoy sitting and snuggling whilst watching the odd programme you like on television and don’t have to be asked twice for a cuddle or a kissle, of which I will never tire.

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: Running, climbing, balancing, nothing stops you from giving us more grey hairs than we’d like.

Communication: On the 13th June you surprised us all by saying (something that sounded like, and in the right context) “Hiya” and on the 17th you finally replied to my incessant “And what does the sheep say?” With a very definite “Ba Ba”. Yes, I cried and no, it wasn’t a one off. You woke up on the 15th happily saying “mama mama mama mama mama” which was just adorable and have also been saying it in your sleep which of course I’m thrilled about 😂. You’ve been babbling away more and more each day too so I think it’s safe to say we needn’t of worried, you just decided to wait a bit longer before attempting speech. 

Entertainment

You’ve taken to feeding the cat now by picking up a packet of her food out of the box and walking over to her bowl and making out you’re tipping it in. You then shout for her to come and eat. 

You still love using anything long as a Hoover and Daddy surprised you one day, on returning from a week away, with a real toddler Dyson DC14 which even works!! Ok, so the latter feature is pretty poor as it won’t even suck up a feather but you love the noise anyway. It did take you a couple of hours to get used to it as you kept reverting back to your cardboard one but you soon took a shine to it.

You’ve taken a real shine to your ride on Cow and it’s dragged out everyday from wherever it’s been stored. (Or hidden by Daddy). Usually you try and stand on it, or on it’s front wheels which has resulted in a few tumbles but you do love it, speedy.

  

Throwing and emptying things has been a firm favourite that I’ve noticed this month. Whilst I was cleaning the bedroom you were there throwing the contents of a stationary bag across the floor. One day you decided to throw every single ball pit ball over the gate into the kitchen and it really tickles you when you throw your Ballapalooza balls down the hall, I’m thinking it’s the noise they make that’s the entertainment.

You have really taken a shine to the train set that you ‘inherited’ by your cousin and it’s out every, single day. This means that I’ve been perfecting my engineering skills and trying to come up with a different track every day, these efforts can be seen on my Instagram account, along with a few you and Daddy have done too. Your attempts have quite frankly been amazing, twists and turns and even joining on occasion.  

Sleep

I’m pleased to say that, apart from the very occasional hiccup, you continue to sleep through the night. You still only seem to want 10 hours though meaning that you’re usually awake between 4 and 4.30 but I’ll take that for the sleep throughs. Your nap is, more often than not, 2 – 2 1/2 hours long and still between 10.30 and 11 so we continue to miss most of our groups at the moment.

Growth

Due to nap clashing I haven’t got you weighed this month. On our scales you are 26.2 Ib

Feeding

You’ve been a bit picky this month. Not sure why but unless it’s covered in cheese or baked beans you won’t try anything. Mildly annoying and I’m trying not to succumb to your demands but it is very demoralising to say the least, I’m hoping it’s a phase you’ll soon be out of.

New Tastes: Quorn Turkey Slices

18 Months Old

A year and a half.

A year and a half.

A year and a half you’ve graced my world. A year and a half I’ve been privileged to call you my son. A year and a half since the greatest love of my life entered my universe. A year and a half we’ve kept you alive.

You have brought such wonderful joy to my life Noah and for that I will forever thank you for. You, who was so longed for, so waited for, so craved for and so welcomed. For a year and a half I have been a different person, a better person, a happier person, a more rounded human being, complete and you have made me that way.

Do I miss the person I was? No, not one jot. Do I search for the me? No, because this is who I am now and I couldn’t wish for it to be any other way. Put simply I would walk in front of a train for you and I would never have done that for any reason before so yes, I am a different person.

What’s been happening this monumental month? In short…. Tonnes!

I decided to sign us up for Here’s Looking at you Little One again as it’s a really interesting 6 week course, which basically means a free 6 week play group. We’ve done everything from playing with play dough, mud, water, exploring the garden and your emotions and learning all about your emotional, physical and behavioural development. It’s a great place for you to be let loose and play whilst I learn how to best deal with your tantrums and schemas. All in all it’s brilliant. It actually started on the 17th but due to me being out of action we only got to do 5 weeks. Unfortunately it’s ended now so we’ll have to find something else to do on a Friday. 

We’ve been attending a Shining Stars session on a Tuesday which is a nice little group and means you get to raid the shed for the brooms and push the toy Hoover around the room for the whole session, I hope your desire for cleaning continues when you’re old enough to actually do the housework.

  

We’ve had tonnes of play dates with Mila where we’ve been playing on the Castle lawn, beach, Little Stars and at home. 

  

On the 4th we tried out Trethorne for the first time with Mila and Roo. It was good but a little pricey for what it actually was and you were far more interested with the giant broom (the Rolls Royce broom as we called it) in the barn than any of the animals that were in there. The soft play area was pretty good, despite smelling like the animals had not long been moved out of the shed it was in.

On the 9th we met Amanda and Mila at Blackberry Farm and you guys had a wail of a time in the garden, playing with the animals and watching me feed some lambs. It really is a fab place, as it’s a farm shop, officially, it’s free but has tonnes of beautifully cared for animals that you can walk with and look at. The food is amazing and even has a play area in the restaurant for you guys. There were even some newly hatched chicks in there which you were besotted with. Afterwards, and the next day, we went to Brooks Garden Centre where you are fast preferring the toy sales area over the soft play that we have to pay for!

   

On the 11th I took you up to Daddy’s office as we haven’t been in a while and the girls were apparently complaining they hadn’t seen you in ages. You were very shy in the main office area but when you were in Daddy’s area you were quite relaxed playing in his chair and with the pens.

  

On the 12th we met Samuel, Grayson and Mila at Rosie’s play park where you had a fabulous time, despite falling off a bench and cutting your chin. Afterwards we went to a couple of other parks with Mila.

  

On the 17th my Auntie Ann and Uncle Brian came down to Sidmouth so we went over for lunch to see them along with Uncle Simon, Auntie Jacqueline, Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam, Ella and Tommy. We ate at Dukes and you were so amazingly well behaved at the table and considering we were there for sometime it was monumental. You shared my pizza with me and ended eating half, a good thing seeing as I’m meant to be on a diet. Afterwards we went to the park and for a walk.

That night we decided to stay the night and chose the Woodlands Hotel which has been recently taken over by Uncle Simon’s school friend Dan Cozins and his wife, Megan. What a fabulous place. They’ve done so much to it and it really is beautiful. You had fun racing around the conservatory and garden and playing with the toys they had there. We had a stunning suite which meant you had your own bedroom which was a novelty. The AngelCare worked in the lounge and restaurant too meaning that we got to have a meal outside the room and joined everyone for a good old reminisce. You charmed everyone the next morning at breakfast with your laughter and shrieks of excitement and enjoyed most of my breakfast aswell as your own.

We rounded off a play date month celebrating beautiful Roo’s first birthday. His mum, Jess had laid on such a fabulous spread of food and cakes (for both mummies and babies) and then you spent the rest f the time playing with all his toys in the garden, along with the Little Tikes Spray & Rescue Fire Truck we all bought him. You all had a great time and you got extra excited about all the real tractors, and brooms, in the yard.

Health

Another small cold but nothing horrific. A few episodes of nappy rash, have noticed it ‘seems’ to be when you’ve had lots of strawberries so I’m cutting them out for a while to see what happens. It was nothing a bit of miracle cream, Metanium, didn’t sort out overnight though it was extremely sore for you at the time, bless you.

Teeth

At the beginning of the month I noticed your Right Lower front molar had all but come through, that shot through because I checked a few days before and there was nothing there. On the 7th I noticed your Upper Right Canine was coming through and the next day your Upper Left popped through, no wonder you’ve been chomping on everything. I really should buy shares in Ashton and Parsons which have been a godsend.

Firsts

On the 9th you started to try and jump independently, you only manage to leave the floor with one leg but you’re so proud none the less.

Character

You are such a determined little boy and you don’t give up easily. This usually transpires when trying to get to the cat whilst she’s on her tower, you will not be deterred from climbing up there, despite the fact it’s actually quite tall and dangerous. We’ve taken to blocking the side table with boxes to prevent you using it as a stepping stone but you soon learn how to pull everything off to give you a clear run.

You remain so thoughtful and spend so much time studying things and enjoy problem solving. You’re more interested in things that challenge you thus you’re drawn more to adult tools and ‘things’ than ones developed for toddler use. You spent an age with a hex key trying to do up a screw on your high hair when I took it apart to clean it and I’ve lost count of the times you’ve demanded I put a chair I front of the front door so you can climb on my lap and put the key in the keyhole, over, and over, and over again.

  

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: You are running around everywhere at the moment which can be a little nerve wracking when on concrete or slate. I constantly have my heart in my mouth but know you have to do what you have to do. I’m always telling Daddy off for telling you to be careful in the hall (it’s slate), of course his fears were realised at the end of the month when you tripped over your own feet, face planted the slate floor and split your lip really quite badly leaving you with an impressive trout pout and monster bruises. I’m just glad your teeth survived.

You are also experimenting with jumping, though leaving the floor seems to elude you at the moment. You are mastering your balance by standing on whatever you can, whenever you can. This, of course, will see you in good stead when you take up surfing.

 

Communication: We’re getting a lot more consonants now and you’re constantly mouthing sounds but not yet vocalising them. You have started to make conversational sounds too, finally. You cheer when you do something that exites you and make the noise of the Hoover.

Entertainment

We recently bought a Fisher Price Ballapalooza from a friend who’s son didn’t take to it, you absolutely love it. You love the dance music it plays and your face lights up and you soon start busting some moves. You’ve already figured out how to take parts of it off and put back in again.

You still love your brooms, hoovers, dustpan and brush, water and sand. Your latest idea of fun is throwing your Ballapalooza balls down the hall and hearing the noise the make, this sends you into a fit of screams, cheers and giggles.

Sleep

Without wanting to tempt fate I can say that since the 12th you have slept through the night!!!! Except for a couple of evenings where you have woken at about 2130 or 2200 you have pretty much slept from 1830 to 0430. The early mornings are killers but I’ll take them for you to sleep through. Now if only we can get the cat to stop waking us up 6 times through the night we’ll be well rested human beings once more. Your daytime nap generally lasts anywhere between 1 and 2 hours around 10 which means we are still missing out on the Life Centre Creative Tots session.

Growth

Weight: 25Ib 14oz

Height: 81cm

Getting your measurements this month was challenging to say the least. As soon as I undressed you and the health visitor said hello you clung to me like a limpet. You would not let go for love nor money. It took 30 minutes and the health visitors to leave the room for you to finally stand on the scales and measuring your length was done whilst dressing you so I’m not entirely convinced we were as accurate as usual. I’m hoping you were just tired and this isn’t the start of something toddleresque.

Pretty much all your 9-12 month clothing has been retired, what remains are a little short but need to be replaced before I put them away.

Feeding

New Tastes: Tuna; Tuna and Sweetcorn Fishcakes; Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages; Popcorn

16 Months Old

On the 24th we celebrated the beautiful Mila’s first birthday where we chipped together to buy her a Tidlo Kitchen which she loved by all accounts. There was lots of playing with your friends and plenty food, chat and laughter. On a subsequent play date Mila and yourself wouldn’t get off the thing, there was lots of pushing and shoving to be totally honest.

  

On the 28th we celebrated Corey’s first birthday at his new home in Torpoint. We caught a lift with Samuel and the first 6 miles went smoothly, until you started crying, and you pretty much didn’t stop until we got there. I even squeezed my ample behind between the two car seats to no avail. Once there you had a fabulous time with lots of play and food once more. We all chipped in for a smartrike on this occasion and I hear it’s gone down well so thanks to Jess for organising that one. I’m pleased to say the trip home was better… You slept the whole way. 

Our Thursday group has been fab this month where we’ve made spiders, (not) enjoyed sensory/messy play with a paddling pool full of baked beans, you being you showed no interest in that but loved playing with the bath water. On the 12th we made a Mothers Day card and the 19th saw me having to give a talk on BLW, not that I’m an expert at all having only muddled through it myself.

  

We’ve been on a few nice play dates with the boys and Mila, it’s nice when you all get together and mental seeing you guys toddling around.

On the 9th we got some rather devastating news regarding both your grandads. Grandpa has been taken to hospital as his multiple myeloma has returned and he’s been suffering with it quite badly lately and they’re trying to sort out his meds. In the meantime, your Grandad was taken into hospital and diagnosed with this same devastating and rare cancer as Grandpa. What are the chances of that? I’d never heard of a multiple Myeloma before and now 2 people we know have been diagnosed within two years of each other. At the time of posting this both were doing well. We will be taking a trip up north as soon as we can to see them both.

On the 14th we went to get your first shoes, you can read about the trip here. I was amazed you liked them considering the short amount of time you tolerate socks. It was funny when the shop assistant, Ella, put them on your feet mind. It was like someone had nailed you to the floor and you had to learn to walk again.  To top off the trip we found fault with the pair we chose meaning we got such a discount I bought the other pair I like. Since this day you often toddle off and get a shoe and try amd put it on your foot.

  

The next day, despite another cold, we took you into the garden for a little walk then decided to bundle you up and took you on the beach for your first walk on sand… You loved it! Despite the wind and cold you merrily sing songed your way across the sand, it was delightful. 

  

Since that day we have been on the beach every day thanks to the beautiful, unseasonal, weather we’re having at the moment. 

  

On the 21st we all went to Plymouth Aquarium where you spent more time trying to get outside and playing with conduit than actually interested in the fish but you seemed to enjoy it all the same. Afterwards we went and had some lunch on the Barbican where you watched the world go by.

  

Health

We’ve had to take you to the doctor regarding a couple of lumps we’ve found on your scalp and leg. We have to return after 3 weeks (which will be next week) for a follow up as they haven’t gone away.

Teeth

You’re still struggling with your first molar, all four points are through now and you’re constantly drooling. I’m trying to find a teether that’ll satisfy you as all that seems to be in favour are your fingers and metal spoons. Your incisors seem to be more noticeable at the moment so think they may be close to appearing.

Firsts

14th – First shoes

15th – First walk/run on beach

20th – First proper mouthful of sand. 

Character

You are becoming a real stubborn little character who doesn’t easily give up. You want to do what you want to do and when stopped you certainly let us know with a shriek that would put any banshee to shame. You insist on walking when you’ve started in that vein. On the 20th you walked from Life’s a Beach to the lock gates where we had a little play then all the way back home, and I mean up the steps, across the downs, the whole entire way. God help me if I stopped to wipe your nose. You know what you want and you’re hell bent on getting it, even if it’s not possible.

You’ll come up to me and grab my hand and take me to where you want to go which is hilarious, though a little tiresome when it’s all day, you need to hurry up amd talk so you can tell me what you want to do.

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: You just don’t stay still. You walk/run everywhere now. I rarely see you crawl anymore which, sadly, means our Thursday group will be nearing it’s end.

Communication: You are definitely toying with more sounds now and intently watch my face when I speak and try and mimic the shapes my mouth makes. D’s are coming on and I swear this is because you get so excited when you see a dog and are desperately trying to say it. Your understanding of the world is spot on, you know what things are and what we’re asking of you to the point I ask you to get me a nappy and you toddle off to the nappy box, grab one and bring it back to me, often stopping en route to unfold it amd shove it between your legs.

Entertainment

Walking and the outside world. I need not say anything else. You want to be outside ALL the time and whilst there you want to walk.

Daddy went to visit Granny and Grandad a few days ago and came back laden with gifts, of which you have a new favourite toy in the musical squirrel microphone. We’ve got endless videos of you dancing and singing along to it and are often found just walking around holding it and pressing the music button.

Books, buttons and keys are still firm favourites and can’t see this dwindling anytime soon. 

  

Discipline

This is coming on and you definitely understand the word ‘no’. I’m having to be pretty firm with you which I’m struggling with but I’m beginning to see that it’s paying off and you are actually starting to understand some rules.

Sleep

You’ve pretty much dropped a daytime nap now. Night time has been hit or miss, you’ve had quite a nasty cough which has interfered with a good night’s sleep and on a couple of occassoyouve woken with a night terror and I’ve had a long struggle to resettle you. Having said that you’ve had a few nights where you’ve slept through or woken just the once. You’re still waking at 5.30am mind but then you nap around lunchtime for up to 2 hours which is nice.

Growth

23Ib 13oz. Only a 3oz gain but then you’ve been off your food (due to colds and teeth) and so active so they’re not concerned.

Feeding

It’s no secret, much to some people’s chagrin, that I’ve been bringing you up Vegetarian until a time as you decide not to be (or, decide to carry on being… Who knows?!). I have though, always toyed with the idea that you should have fish as they do provide relevant vitamins and minerals that can be hard (at your age) to supplement with a vegetarian diet. On the first of March I bit the bullet and cooked you some fish fingers for supper and you wolfed them down. You’ve been a bit hit or miss with your food at the latter end of the month, preferring pouches to anything home cooked. Not sure whether it’s a ‘stage’ or your teeth but you’re preferring your milk at the moment. I’m hoping it’ll get back on track again soon.

New Tastes: Fish Fingers; Potato Wedges; Beetroot

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 😂

14 Months Old

Unfortunately the first half of this month was written off with illness which is such a shame as Daddy always has such a big break from work over Christmas and new year and we were all so ill we couldn’t really make the most of it.

A couple of days before Christmas we made some salt dough decorations, put up the tree and decorations and wrapped some presents. Your fascination with Sellotape and paper is quite remarkable and you managed to unwrap nearly every gift that I wrapped.

Despite everything we tried to enjoy your second Christmas, I wanted it to be so special as you were so tiny for your first Christmas and this year would be so much more enjoyable when you could appreciate your presents, decorations and food. You did enjoy the most part though you didn’t eat a great deal and got grumpy quickly due to your temperature so we spread it over a couple of days. You got the most amazing presents from everyone and got as much enjoyment out of the boxes as you did the gifts.

On the 30th we went to Lyme (with Daddy this time) to see Auntie and had another mini Christmas there where she spoilt you rotten, as usual. You got the most wonderful gifts and loved being able to roam around her house. On the way home we popped into see Uncle Dan, Auntie Sam and your cousins. I wrote a full account of all your Christmases here.

We’ve been having lots of fun indoors with your tent and tunnel and both messy, and non-messy painting.

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All our groups have started again, some have changed times though which means naps may interfere in a couple of them but we’ll try to get to them all. Music Train has started again too which is nice to see the old crowd every Tuesday again.

We’ve been taking you up to the soft play at Brooks a lot recently, with Daddy, which has been lovely and had a lot of play dates with your friends.

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Health
Unfortunately this hasn’t been good, we have pretty much been ill for an entire month. You have been suffering with the worst cold ever which left you with a raging temperature, runny nose and awful, persistent cough which took you nearly a month to shake off.

Teeth
On the 12th January your lower lateral incisors finally broke through which would explain the step up in drool production and grinding of teeth over the last two days.

Firsts
On the 8th you started arm rolling. Not sure why you’ve started doing this, all I can think of is copying the actions in Wind the Bobbin Up. It’s very cute and you love it.

Character
You are becoming such a cheeky little monkey and find the smallest of things hilarious. You’re still quite serious in public though and I’m often told how quiet you are, don’t worry I put them straight and tell them that you’re far from quiet at home, I think you get a bit awestruck in large groups of people and prefer to sit and study what’s going on around you rather than racing in. Your tantrums haven’t lessened any but we’re fast finding new ways to distract you as the ‘old faithfuls’ were failing miserably. You don’t fight quite so hard when getting you in your pram either, well not EVERY time which you were doing before without food bribes.

Muscle Development & Coordination
Mobility: You freestand so well but have become lazy with your lone walking efforts, we have to catch you in the right frame of mind to encourage you to walk free and have managed, up to today, a maximum of 8 unaided steps. You walk beautifully when holding onto a finger of mine or your walker, and with the latter you run up and down the lounge. You continue to cruise the furniture and can move with lightening speed, amazing me at where you can end up if I turn my back for a second. Climbing is fast becoming a bit of a problem. The cat post being your favourite and the times I’ve found you on the top rung isn’t funny. You’ve also mastered clambering onto the sofa which is fine except that you insist on climbing onto the back cushions and onto the arms. I can’t turn my back for five minutes now without finding you on the sofa or standing on the TV unit.

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Communication: You continue to babble but haven’t really said anything other than mama and dada but you are finding new ways to communicate. You have now mastered the makaton symbol for milk which you use when you want a drink. You also thumb through books and point at items that you desire, such as a strawberry, banana or yogurt. You point at things you want and push away things you don’t. When asked whether you want something (yogurt or banana) for dessert you get really excited and nod your head ferociously whilst laughing.

Entertainment
Dancing; whenever you hear music you like you sit and bop and start breaking out some funky arm moves, we’ve decide you’re going to like body popping when you’re older lol.
Singing; you can often be heard having a little hum and sing to yourself whilst playing.
Reading, you just love your books and the cutest thing ever is when you toddle over with a book in hand for me to read to you, or atleast try to while you race ahead and keep turning pages until you get to a favoured page.

Sleep
At the beginning half of this month your sleep was atrocious! Mainly down to your cold and cough. However on the 1st January you seemed to turn a corner and have pretty much slept from 1830-0530 with one wake up at 2200, though on the 3rd you didn’t even need that wake up and slept through which was a blessing for me who’s been really ill myself. I’m hoping this is you turning a corner and not a fluke. By the end of the month and pleased to announce that you are sleeping in stints of, up to, 10 hours, for this I am eternally grateful. I choose not to think that you won’t relapse though, in the hope I won’t be too disappointed

Growth
22Ib 13.5oz
You’ve only put on an ounce and a half this month. You’re still in the 50th centime and the HV aren’t worried as you haven’t dropped a centile. They think it’s due to your increased mobility as I told them how much you’ve been eating at the moment.

Feeding
You eat practically all day at the moment, solids and you’ve stepped up your milk intake recently too, the latter I think is due to the leap you have entered this month. According to the book, breastfed babies want feeding more due to wanting mummy more so I’m expecting this to be a little glitch.
New Tastes: Onion Chutney; Carrot and Almond Soup; Nut Roast; Roast Parsnips; Roast Potatoes; Bread Sauce; Stuffing; Mediterranean Bean Casserole; Quorn Sausages; Quorn Bacon