Milestone Moment: She’s crawling!

I’m going to be honest. The last couple of months have been full of ‘Milestone moments‘ in our family life so far. I’ll see if I can retrospectively remember them all in other posts, but the idea of these posts is to mark the occasions I know I’d otherwise forget!

Bea has always been pretty headstrong when it comes to getting about. She has been attempting to walk for what feels like a couple of months now, and gets incredibly frustrated if our backs are caving in and we take a break to stop holding her hands whilst she legs it round the house, giggling maniacally. However, rolling and crawling haven’t really been part of her agenda till recently.

It was a bit of a surprise to get a message of ‘So, she’s crawling’ on Thursday lunchtime (day #303 by the way)!

More importantly, Beatrice was very happy to show off her skills when I got home!

#gamechanger

She’s not quite going at the pace I read recently (a quarter of a mile in the time it takes to make a cup of tea…really?!), so we’ve got a bit of time to adjust to her newly-discovered talent! More on that later…

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Happy Mother’s Day!

March has been a slow blogging month. Sorry if you’ve been waiting patiently for a new post! I think I can look back on it in terms of content, if not quantity. I finally got around to writing a feature that is about something I am passionate about – children’s reading, and then wrote a very personal but heartfelt message to Beatrice. This post is probably going to be the last one of the month, so it makes me proud that the content for this one is just as important to me as the other two!

If I’m honest, this month has also been a blur of amazing awesomeness and it’s been hard keeping up with all of Bea’s new skills – this has definitely been one of my favourite months of being a parent yet. More on that in the future… Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Post 50: Message to my daughter on International Women’s Day

So, this is post number 50. Way beyond my expectations in terms of posting, and way beyond my expectations to have received even half the comments and people coming to look at our little slice of life.

It makes sense then to mark this post with something important. 50 is a nice round number after all, and sounds important. And I’m frustrated, and annoyed at myself with only leaving around twenty minutes to type it, get it out into the world and have this one go down as post 50. It’s been one of those weeks where other factors have crept in (our car being the main one!).

Dear Beatrice, Continue reading “Post 50: Message to my daughter on International Women’s Day”

Milestone Moment: First Swimming Trip

Determined to get my blog goals for the week done! Time for number three. You can check out one and two on the respective links if you haven’t done so already!

Last Saturday, the three of us went on our first public swimming outing, and also our first time swimming as a trio. Bea has been going to lessons for what seems like forever now – I think from around 8 weeks old? – and loves going in the water. Occasionally, I get to go along to the sessions and see how she’s getting on, and frankly I’m amazed at how fearless our little girl is! She also gets picked out for the demos as she is a really calm baby…(slightly proud teacher daddy moment there, sorry!) One memorable week involved her being picked out, only to be dunked about half a metre under the water and taken about a metre along. She came out looking vaguely flustered and slightly confused, but that was about it! I’m a poor swimmer, and hate going underwater, so I’m certainly going to have to face my fears a bit. Lucy, a particularly strong swimmer, has tolerated it till now, but I can’t really show Bea that it’s scary to go under at an age where she’s really responsive to our emotions and reactions!

Our trip out

Anyway, we decided to finally take her out ourselves. Swimming nappy and little swimming nappy cover thing in hand, we set out to a local pool at Wymondham. I’ve nicked all their pictures off of Google because I wasn’t going to go around a swimming pool taking photos!

For anyone who’s Norwich-based or thereabouts, this is a really fantastic place to take your little one. They were friendly and knowledgeable on the phone, so we could be prepared before we left, the place is bright and airy, and the family changing facilities are spacious and clean. We were really, really surprised as I think our expectations were a fair bit lower!

Image result for wymondham leisure centre changing rooms

There are two pools once you’re in: a main one for adults, and a shallower learning pool. This learning pool is still a fair size (see below), and is something like 0.7m deep. It was also warmer than I thought it would be, though make sure you pay attention to your baby’s needs as they feel the cold a bit more than you!

Image result for wymondham leisure centre pools

Daddy V. Mummy

I think it’s fair to say I fell into the habit of pushing things a bit further than I probably should have. I think this can be a fairly common phenomenon, but must stem out of whichever parent spends more time with their child. Without meaning to, Beatrice certainly got mouthfuls of water in my care, whereas she was generally much better off in Lucy’s well-trained hands! Obviously this can happen to either parent, but I was certainly less sure in what Beatrice’s water skills were. In this case, I underestimated her ability to keep her head up when on her front (whoops!). I must point out, no babies were harmed in the writing of this post though!

It was brilliant to see Beatrice grinning away (gulps of water aside) and the fact that she is naturally starting to kick around. She also started splashing for the first time properly – I don’t get to see many ‘firsts’ now I’m back at work so this was awesome! She has a pretty strong arm too. Just make sure to hold on when they’re splashing, as you’ll inevitably be blinded at some point. I’m proud to say that she didn’t slip or fall out of my grasp

Will we go again?

Definitely! It was very easy, lots of space to float around in, floats and toys were provided, and Beatrice had a great time. Over time, I’ll definitely get over my fear over swimming under water and also get to know my daughter’s abilities in the pool a lot better.

Big thanks to @splashandgiggle for turning our daughter into a little waterbaby, she loves it!

Blog goal 3 down! I’m not sure if I can do goal number 4 by Sunday, but I’m going to find a way round that…when did you take your baby swimming?

My worst parenting mistake…

Parenting is full of moments that leave you thinking “Why on earth did I do that…?” I had one of those this weekend.

Calling them mistakes is probably a bit harsh and negative – parents are generally pretty hard on themselves without feeling like they’ve made . Being new parents is like the ultimate learning curve. You assume, you predict, and you try your damned hardest. And even then, things go wrong. Frequently! Thankfully, this is normal. In fact, it’s pretty much my motto as a teacher. Learn from what you didn’t quite do right.  You never stop learning, and this is doubly true for those with babies! What’s really important is to have those mini fist-pump moments when you do get a tricky thing right!

Before I get onto what I did this weekend, thanks to those of you wishing us well on Bea’s eczema. It has certainly taken a turn for the better, even though Lucy hit the nail on the head when she said “It’s like putting an eel into a glove” when talking about our evening routine. Mistakes abound with that challenge! We’ve got our beaming, giggly, gorgeous little chunky monkey (other names are available) back though, and just looking into what the trigger is.

“Let Sleeping Babes Lie”

This is up there with the name of the blog in terms of phrases you hear around babies. To be fair, it makes perfect sense. You should be making the most of them being asleep. The reality is that you’re probably exhausted from looking after two (or in Lucy’s case, three) lives, but equally you have plans, places to be and so on. It should be a time to rest yourself, and recharge the batteries.

Bea had had a couple of days with a poor tummy, resulting in a glut of nappy/costume changes. Once we got her down for the night, we chilled for a bit then went off to bed ourselves, job done. She stirred at about 11:30pm, crying, so I went in to administer the ‘daddy cuddle’ – so far, a foolproof, gentle, settling cuddle (not as sinister as it sounds!). It had worked its merry magic once more, and as I set her down, I couldn’t shake the familiar smell of baby poo from my nostrils. Even as I got back into bed, I regretted not changing her nappy there and then. Lucy and I did a bit of tag-teaming to get the new nappy on, not easy with her new ‘tights’ and lo and behold…not a single sign of poo. We did have one fairly excited, confused and awake baby though!

That was a definite error on my part. I felt awful, having worried Lucy, worried myself, and waken Bea all for a poor sense of smell! Just when we were all set for a good night’s sleep as well!

Cue another twenty minutes of cuddles before Bea slumped her head on my shoulder and started snoring away contently again. It was only then that I could genuinely apologise to Lucy. I’m brave enough to admit that I didn’t think that was going to happen and I’d started a new routine! Granted, it’s not the worst mistake ever made, so I apologise for the melodramatic opener!

Moral #1 of this story- be really, really, sure before you change that nappy in the night!

Moral #2 of this story- make sure your partner is pretty forgiving!

I’ve been just about keeping up with the #WeeklyBlogChallenge17 encouraged by some friends on Twitter. Post #5 was no different. So I’m setting some new targets for the next few days…

Blog goals for this week:

  1. Another milestone for our little clan
  2. Sharing thoughts on photos of Bea
  3. My first ‘Bedtime Reading’ post
  4. My first ‘Cheffy Daddy’ post

If you subscribe, you’ll get all of these in your e-mail! If not, then sorry for the barrage of updates later in the week.

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6 thoughts from 6 months

Six months (185 days) in. This time 6 months ago, I was sat next to Lucy on the maternity ward, having spent the previous fifteen hours getting to know our little girl. Grandparents had driven hours to say hello, the nurses and midwives were absolutely superb and we’d been running on that feeling of pure adrenaline that all parents are all too aware of. At this point, our baby girl didn’t even have a name. All that mattered was that our tiny (well, average) daughter had arrived safely into the world and our journey as a family could begin. I was completely in awe of the pair of them. All the build-up, anticipation and meticulous planning was over. Our lives were changed, and have been changing ever since.

bea close up.png
Early posing for the camera – think this was in the first couple of weeks

I thought I’d celebrate this post with a mixture of musings and memories from the last 6 months that I hope other parents can relate to. As always, the downsides of parenting (basically all the repetitive messy stuff) are taken as a given on here. We’ve had our fair share of public poonamis and we’re currently working out how best to treat some pretty mean eczema. Today’s not the day to talk about those!

Thought #1:  Do the reading

Once I knew we were expecting, I came back from the library with a couple of books, ready to go. If I’m really honest with myself, the need to do this came (a tiny bit) from that scene in Knocked Up where he has a bit of a meltdown and doesn’t read up on anything. I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ so I made sure I read up on things. I can’t actually remember which books I read now, which is a bit rubbish. I do remember that it left me feeling less terrified about the months ahead and excited to see Beatrice develop.

Thought #2: You will become addicted to Google.

“What age do babies blink?”

“Do you need to brush their gums?”

“Which cafe has the best changing facilities (so far it’s our local Sainsbury’s)?”

“How long are they supposed to sleep?” Hopefully this is followed up with ‘Should I let them sleep longer if possible?” (to which the answer is always yes!)

“What do you do when they start staying awake for longer?”

All of these are some of the millions of thoughts you and countless other parents have had. They range from the practical to the absolutely ridiculous, but be careful- there’s a high chance your baby’s first words could be “Ok, Google…”

Thought #3: Be Fearless

And no, I don’t mean go on extreme hikes with your all-natural baby wrap on day one. However, you’ve no doubt had a whirl on the travel system, the change bag has probably been packed for a month or so and you spent a fair whack on the car seat. Use them! Lucy and I took Beatrice out for a quick walk in the pram, then ventured out in the car a day or so later. After we’d got it sorted once, it was so much easier to head out for cake. If that’s not an incentive in itself, I don’t know what is!

bea-close-up-2
The smile I get home to every day!

Thought #4: The rewards come thick and fast, so keep up!

I’ve been amazed at how quickly things have moved so far. The phrase ‘they grow up so fast’ is particularly true at this early stage. I find myself regularly looking through photos and she has changed so much – she’s far more robust now, and sitting up! There have been so many little moments that have surprised us. Her first chuckle will be a very long-lasting memory in particular.

Thought #5: Prioritise your priorities

I’ve made sure that every evening possible, I’ve got home and spent all my time with Bea until she’s asleep. It has changed my attitude at work, made me more efficient and bizarrely more practical around the house. However, all of those things are to allow me maximum time playing, ‘chatting’ and giggling when I’m home. I got spoilt in those first two months!

Thought #6: Teamwork

It’s all about teamwork. That’s not just mum, dad and baby, but the wider network too- friends, grandparents, and workmates are all there to support you in loads of surprising and generous ways. If you’re a dad, remember that there’s a lot you need to be doing. It’s even better if you remember to do it without being reminded to…and make sure you get a day with your child from time to time (I know Lucy’s had some good days out when I’ve had my daddy/daughter days!). It also pays to be grateful to your other half for letting you get addicted to this blogging thing…

Feel free to leave any other thoughts for the next six months in the comments, and I’m going to try and get some regular features up and running in the next couple of weeks or so. I’ve also dipped my toe into Instagram, you can find me/us here if you like that sort of thing!

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