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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Designing a New Nursery

What was wrong with the first one I hear you all cry? Designing your baby’s nursery is an exciting, challenging and potentially stressful part of preparing for your little one’s arrival. When Lucy was pregnant, I was very keen to get it just the way we wanted it. Hours were spent poring over Pinterest and Google images (as everyone no doubt does), and all the style tips were generally ignored. We wanted something calm and neutral, no particular theme and that was about it really. Oh, and I really wanted to paint something exciting on the walls. Continue reading “Designing a New Nursery”

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”

Bedtime Reading 1: Once Upon an Alphabet

Since starting this blog, I’ve always wanted to include a regular book review feature. One of the most exciting parts of planning Bea’s nursery was where to put the books! At this point, some of you will be completely on board; others will be already be looking at other blogs by now… Continue reading “Bedtime Reading 1: Once Upon an Alphabet”

Dad Dancing Vol. 2

Just a quick post whilst Bea’s having a nap. Check out Vol. 1 here.

These posts are all about seeing what Bea’s reaction to various music is. So far, basically anything that we do a cheesy dance to seems to be her favourite!

One of her favourites over December/January was this old Disney classic. We started humming it thanks to the school panto (Aladdin) and she just kept beaming!

This week I took a bit of a gamble on something more to my actual music tastes, and Bea was captivated by the mixing and scratching at the beginning! Long may this continue! Her first ‘gig’ was at a DJ Format & MC Abdominal concert (Lucy was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time), so I’m hoping her tastes were influenced early on…we then had a great boogie for about ten minutes full of giggles. Lots of funk/soul on show if you get through the first 2 minutes or so.

 

This may have more to do with the jiggling, tickling and tipping upside down (#daredevilbaby) but I’m going to credit the music choice this time!

Feel free to make suggestions in the comments! They may well feature in Vol. 3!

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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?

Cheffy Daddy: Lamb Curry

So, time for Blog Goal number 2 for this week. The snazzy font in the featured image above is made using the Typorama app, which is free and is brilliant by the way!

Not sure why, I’m certainly no future Jamie Oliver (think the ship has sailed on that one), but I felt like posting some of my cooking efforts. Lucy and I do really enjoy cooking when we get the chance. Lucy’s a keen baker, and I like to make a mess when I do savoury stuff!

This Sunday, I made us a lamb curry. This was a lot easier than you’d think, especially if you skip out the whole blender phase. We like chunky bits anyway!

I’m not going to take any credit for the recipe itself, it’s a Mary Berry one taken from the BBC Food website (which is an amazing website by the way!).

Ingredients

If you look closely enough, you’ll see I left out some of the ingredients that we didn’t have. I don’t know how different it would taste with those added, but this slimmed-down version was still delicious and something we’d definitely be able to do again with our stock ingredients!

A quick summary of the actual process (again, I’m basically nicking this from Mary Berry with a few lazier moderations!):

  1. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger till the onions are softened. It’s probably best to keep the heat low-medium, making sure you don’t burn the garlic.
  2. Add the spices and stir them in until all the bits are coated.
  3. Then add the lamb chunks and fry for about 3-4 minutes, turning up the heat a bit to brown the lamb. Again, get it all coated in the spice mix so it all tastes glorious.
  4. Add the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, and let it simmer down for about half an hour. You can get the rice on or any extras whilst this is happening (we use a mix of Basmati and Jasmine rice).
  5. That’s it! The sauce should thicken and you should be left with a delicious, quick and easy lamb curry! It definitely felt like a treat at the end of a good weekend.

img_1872

This would almost certainly work with any meat. We had some leftovers from my Daddy/daughter day out in the freezer, but I’m sure anything else would work fine.

Hopefully I’ll be able to bring you more Cheffy Daddy delights in future blogs! Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this one as part of a weaning baby’s diet (it was a bit spicier than expected, not sure it’s worth the risk!), Lucy has had a go at making some things that are suitable for Bea at breakfast time that are considerably less squishy than her other options! If you want a sneak peak, you can check out my Instagram page.

Two down, two to go…

‘Sharenting’ and the topic of digital citizenship (aka photos of our baby)

On Sunday I set myself four blogging goals. Here is the first one (I didn’t say I’d do them in order!) for the week. Hopefully I can get around to blogging more regularly.

The timing of this is actually somewhat coincidental. Since signing up to WordPress, I’ve been following the odd parent blogger that has been kind enough to like finding out about our little parenting adventure. There are around 20 of you out there following at the moment, so thanks for stopping by and having a look!

One of the people I’ve been reading is This Tiny Blue House, and their recent post on digital citizenship struck a chord here.Maybe it’s the fact we’re both teachers that makes us slightly more aware/cautious about our digital footprints. I tried leaving a wordy comment on her blog, but the internet decided to disagree with me, so I guess a blog post is the next best thing!

With this blog, I decided from the off that I didn’t want to show any full pictures of Beatrice until she was able to decide that she wanted her photos to be on here. I can’t say completely why, but it just felt like the right thing to do. In a few years she’ll know that this blog is part of her life and may want to go back through where it all started (I know I’d be curious!). Already just putting the odd (granted, fairly unique) tag into Google images reveals quite the digital trail!

I’m equally aware that this isn’t a foolproof goal. We share pictures of her on Facebook with family and friends, and like many have closed groups for sharing day-to-day ones. This is obviously a bit hypocritical, but there is a relative control over what is shared there. We’ve never been big sharers online and this is just an extension of that I suppose.

#SaferInternetDay

Today is also ‘Safer Internet Day’ which is generally aimed at preparing children for their life as a digital citizen. As I said, the timing of this post is actually coincidental, but it has thrown up some interesting things, such as the word ‘sharenting’ and some valid concerns from children themselves. Firstly, ‘sharenting’ is a great word by the way! Even if it seems to be attached to negative connotations, it’s a brilliant portmanteau.
It’s thrown up some interesting statistics too (albeit not terribly scientific), which made me think about the children I work with. It’s something I will definitely discuss with them.

_93999031_005
Taken from the Newsround website

You can read more here if you like. By the way, I’m not criticising anyone who does any ‘sharenting’. Most of the photos I see online are positive, and way better than anything I seem to manage with our camera (maybe that’s it, my photos just aren’t up to scratch…). Children are growing up with this being commonplace, and generally know what could happen to a photo of themselves online. I guess it comes down to your own attitude towards it with your children as to whether it has potential to be positive or negative. Either way, I will continue to take countless photos of our girl growing up and equally look for photos of those little moments that I can share with you! Please go and have a look at the discussion Jenny has generated on her post above, or feel free to comment on here too. Blog goal 1 of 4 achieved. Phew!

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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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