Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sit Up and Play

Another of the little milestones this year has been Evelyn learning to sit by herself. Well to be honest she's still a bit like a broken Weeble - she wobbles, and then she falls down, usually flat on her face but it doesn't seem to bother her too much.  Fortunately some very forward thinking friends gave us a large inflatable monkey when Evelyn was born. At the time she wasn't too keen on it but now it makes a great crash barrier.

Last week she also finally rolled over for the first time, a bit of a late starter on that one but we're learning that she is more of a thinker than a doer. So far she isn't very keen on baby swimming, much to my disappointment, but if anyone knows of a baby philosophy class in central London please send me the details. Or perhaps she'd prefer to be sitting next to the pool catching some rays and reading (or perhaps that should be chewing) a good book.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Very Hungry Baby

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf....

Well no more trips to the coffee shop of despair (CSoD) recently, which is just as well as I'd probably find pleading eyes looking longingly at my skinny mocha and muffin as Evelyn is now discovering food with increasing enthusiasm.

We made our first moves towards weaning just after Christmas. Baby rice, diluted to the point of being little more than gritty milk was received grudgingly and with some confusion. I of course ploughed on in and in a couple of frenzied evenings had filled the bottom drawer of the freezer (previously reserved for vodka and overpriced soup) with an enormous collection of little cubes in varying shades of Orange and green. This accomplished, Evelyn promptly lost all interest in solid food.

                               Evelyn is not impressed by carrot

A couple of weeks later, after the appearance of two teeth and a number of sleepless nights we had another go. This time things have progressed very well and Evelyn is now on three solid(ish) meals a day. This week she seems to have discovered her inner glutton and in addition to her carefully prepared purée is keen to pinch whatever she can from my plate. So, it would seem that there are plenty of genes from Mum and Dad in there after all! 

This all presents several challenges, not least of which is how on earth do you keep your flat suitable for showing to prospective purchasers, when there is a small person devoted to redecorating it with carrot? Also, and inevitably - who do you look to for advice?  The big players in the weaning book stakes seem to be the ever controversial Gina Ford (you can feed any number of things, but it MUST be at 11.45am precisely), the ubiquitous Annabel Karmel (purée anything that doesn't move, preferably in full hair and makeup and a floral apron), or the slightly unnerving Baby Led Weaning (prepare yourself folks, this is going to be messy, very messy).

Mostly on the basis that it was the first book I found and potentially slightly less taxing on the carpet we're mostly in the Annabel Karmel camp at the moment, tho rarely in full hair and make up.

The other reason why trips to the CSoD are limited is that between the 5 milk feeds, 3 solid feeds and non stop puréeing and carpet cleaning there isn't really the time! On the plus side, most of the purées are actually quite yummy and although I'm now rarely given the chance of polishing off Evelyn's leftovers,  making up double batches has led to us being able to ditch some of those overpriced soups for home made variations. I've also been trying to share Evelyn's meal times by nibbling on fruit or carrot sticks while feeding her (tho bananas now mostly end up getting pinched), so that's probably doing me good. I suspect however that this will not be the case when we get onto making more elaborate meals for Evelyn. Babies need a lot of fat in their diet which means full fat, full calorie cheese, yogurt, milk etc. chances of me NOT picking at that while I cook it? Very Very limited.

I might have to go now, I'm getting really hungry!


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Slummy Mummy and the Coffee Shop of Despair

Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue, today dear reader, I'm Nelson's Column (before the pigeon ban).

95% of the time I reckon we got really lucky with Evelyn. She sleeps pretty well, will feed from breast or bottle and has avoided allergies, colic and many of those other baby niggles that can make life as a new parent a real struggle. But even the teachers pet has her off days and this week she seems just plain grumpy. We've had several days of almost constant whining and I'm stumped as to the cause. Her first two teeth are through, so shouldn't be hurting her now and she's showing no signs of any more being immanent or of any other problems. My Mum has often told me how, when I was a baby, they wished I could talk and tell them what was wrong, I can sympathise with that right now. (The second part of the reminiscence was how, once I could talk, they wished I'd shut up for a few minutes, perhaps there may be a future post on that!)

I had hoped that this afternoon would cheer her up as it was our third baby swimming lesson. She did manage a little smile as I swished her through the water chanting "kickkickkickkickkick" in my best high-pitched excited voice, but the second underwater dunking of the session proved too much and the rest of the class we skulked in the corner with her wailing and me trying desperately to distract her with a pink plastic boat. By the time both of us were dryish and dressed I was exhausted and with an awkward amount of time left before bed I decided to invoke the emergency response - the coffee shop of despair.

I'm not a great fan of Starbucks, in fact I suspect they are the evil empire. I don't even think their coffee is all that good, but there are times when a girl just needs a skinny mocha and this was one of those times. It's a strange but true fact that a tired baby taken home will wake up the second you go through the front door, but taken somewhere else, s/he may just stay calm, all the same it's best to get the coffee in a take away cup just in case. There was a brief squawk, just enough to draw glares of disapproval from the suit at the next table, but I managed most of my coffee, a phone call, a couple of texts and a quick email check before running for the door, so, and this may be the only time I ever say this, God Bless Starbucks (but here's hoping I don't find myself there again any time soon).


Monday, 1 February 2010

A Room or Her Own

The landmark moments have been coming thick and fast since Christmas. I should perhaps have made a new years resolution to write this blog more often to keep up with them all, but it would no doubt have gone to way of so many past resolutions (I will go to the gym three time a week this year, I really really will, hmm yeah). Therefore I'll write today about the latest little achievement and try to back date the others at another time.

Anyway, as of last Wednesday, Evelyn has a room of her very own! Well almost, we've sold the sofa bed and swapped some of the pictures on the walls for her Aunties handy work (thank you Jo and Helen) so for the most part the spare room/office/general room of everything is now looking quite a lot like a nursery, all be it the nursery of a very technologically advanced baby as we've had to keep the computer in the corner.

It seemed like a very big step after almost 6 months of having Evelyn sleeping right next to me and one I had rather mixed feelings about. On the one hand I couldn't wait to be able to get into my PJs with the lights on and be able to lie in bed and chat to Fred again, rather than whispering goodnight under the duvet in the dark. But the move was also a reminder that the very early little baby days are over and Evelyn is growing up fast. On a more practical note I was also concerned that night time comforting would no longer just be a matter of rolling over and sticking the dummy back in, but would require me to get out of bed and go to another room. So it was with some trepidation (tho with PJs on the right way round) that I went to bed on Wednesday night.

Well the girl did good! She did wake up three times in the night, but then settled herself without me having to get out of bed and the following two nights I wasn't woken at all until about 6.30 am, so I'm pretty happy with that. 7 hours sleep! That's the most I've had in one go for about 9 months (since the onset of third trimester hugeness). Last night did see me dragging myself through there three times, but she'd had a hard day, largin' it at her great Nan's 99th birthday party. Lots of exciting people to stare at and two long car journeys meant very little napping had been had so I'll let her off.

How is it tho that not much sleep in the day = not much sleep at night? Personally I'd have loved the chance for more long sleeps, another 150 or so hours and I reckon I'll be starting to catch up!