I haven’t posted in a while…
It’s felt like I’ve continuously had a thousand things to do but I think as a Mum I will always have a never ending to do list so it’s a pretty poor excuse. A never ending supply of caffeine is needed and I don’t know how people who don’t like coffee survive.
I saw a post this morning on a Facebook page about a student who had to take his baby to class with him because of childcare problems and his professor helped him by wearing the baby in a chest carrier whilst he taught. I’m reasonably certain it was an American news story but the point remains – it was a lovely and very human gesture. It made me think about my own experience as a mother and a student.
I’m currently in third year at uni and I work part time whilst juggling running a household and raising my beautiful toddler – she’s nearly two where has the time gone? – and trying to remember my partner and I are adults (easier said that done when you know the theme songs to every CBeebies cartoon off by heart).
My first year personal tutor was really kind and compassionate, if a little clueless. I was pregnant from the start of first year and he apologised straight away for not knowing what to do because as a young male he had never himself experienced pregnancy or raised a baby and as a tutor had never before had a pregnant student.
But he tried his best. He arranged for me to have an unlimited number of 7 day extensions without requiring evidence and made sure I wouldn’t be chased about my attendance if I couldn’t manage to get to lectures. He filled in all the right risk assessments and offered to find a female member of staff with children when it came to questions like breast feeding and midwife appointments if it made me more comfortable. It didn’t bother me at all talking to him, but it was kind of him to offer (I think in all honesty he felt slightly out of his depth and was thinking a tutor who had had a baby would be more helpful). Amelia’s due date was around the time of my final assessments but she arrived well before that so I even managed to get all the work completed for the final dead lines. Much to my surprise I passed first year.
I went into second year with a baby the size of a newborn – she was 3 months old and around 8lbs when my new class schedule came through – and as I was breast feeding her it wasn’t easy leaving her for long periods of time. (Think loads of pumping to leave a supply of milk and continued pumping while away from her.) I was also recovering from a csection which anyone whose had one will know can take a long time. There is a reason the people who work in the costa near my house know my coffee order without asking.
Second year was not easy. They also changed my personal tutor in second year and I didn’t see this tutor once. In fact until I started third year I wasn’t even certain of my tutors name.
Add to the work/uni/baby balance that I have a rare medical condition and my whole third year experience is really not like most secondary school students would envision.
My dissertation is due in the next few months along with a list of other assignments and group presentations and honestly it’s more luck than design that I’ve managed to hand things in on time and turn up to the right lecture hall.
It’s all worth the effort though when you have this little face waiting for you when you come home.
You may remember that last year we took a tiny Amelia pumpkin picking. This year we thought we’d give it another go as she’s running around and loves exploring.
And it was certainly worth the trip! Today is the last day for PYO pumpkins at the field we went to I think. (Sandling road, Maidstone 10-4pm if you’re thinking of going.)
Surprisingly there were still hundreds of pumpkins left and amelia ran round the field finding all the diddy ones. She fell over. A lot. But she was laughing and chatting away and we ended up running round for nearly an hour. We did actually come home with three good sized pumpkins – spending a grand total of £5! A very cheap outing.
The little lady completely wore herself out and fell asleep in the car on the way home.
This is Amelia last year and then again yesterday. The difference is incredible and hard to believe. She’s growing up so quickly.
I am going to try and make some pumpkin cookies today. Last year I made all savoury things; soup, roasted seeds, pasta. If I’m successful I’ll post the recipe. I’m going to make some Halloween cakes as well (think lots of chocolate and Halloween sweets as decorations.)
We ended up with two adorable Halloween costumes for Amelia. To give her a chance to wear both she wore the adorable pumpkin dress to pick pumpkins – you can see it poking out the bottom of her coat – and the other one she will be wearing to go trick or treating. I can’t wait to see her face when she comes home with a bucket of treats.
When did you get so big Amelia Skye? My titchy princess was this tiny little thing in size 0 premie nappies, swamped by tiny baby clothes. Now you’re running around the park shouting ‘1,2,3 go’ and launching yourself down the slide.
When did you start putting your own shoes and hat on? When did you learn to demand ‘juice’ when you’re thirsty? It feels like these 17 months have gone so fast. Gone is the little alien like baby and in its place is this mini lady.
Yes it’s getting cold outside but it’s still quite dry out so we spent the morning enjoying the crisp air at the park with Sammy (the dog) and nanny. Amelia ran round and fell down more times than I could count – the knees of her leggings now have muddy patches. She went up and down the slide enough times I thought she’d be sick and before that spent nearly as long on the swings.
I took easily fifty photos. I’ve included some of the cutest here.
Okay I’ll admit my blog has been mostly forgotten about the past month or two.
Between working full time, finishing second year and looking after my increasingly sassy 14 month old free time is a concept I’ve forgotten the meaning of.
Her vocabulary is coming on leaps and bounds; she now says ‘oh dear’ ‘oh no’ ‘yes’ ‘dog’ ‘dad’ ‘Mum’ ‘Nan’ and various variations of the above. She also shakes her head for no and nods for yes, although the nod uses her entire body. If you have food and she wants it she comes over and says ‘mmmm’. The little lady also runs full pelt into walls and doors, just to make life interesting.
Today is a more or less free day and Amelia has been busy making a mess. Today she has been a titchy tornado, pulling out clothes and tipping out toys at a speed I’ve given up trying to keep up with.
It was good job I had a relaxing bath and coffee to start the day because I’m now past the point of tearing my hair out. It’s like Amelia has hit the terrible twos very early.
But what else are weekends for?
Amelia and I have been so busy I haven’t had chance to post in a long time. Between work, uni exams and the little lady turning one there’s just been no time to sit down and write.
Our little baby is turning into her own person. She’s got such a caring nature and always shares her food – even if you don’t want her chewed up raisins!
She runs around everywhere scaring the life out of my mum – her Nan- on a regular basis.
It wouldn’t be a post about Amelia if it didn’t involve food. Our princess is ruled by food! I can’t identify her favourite snack because she will eat everything and anything. She loves beans at the moment and picks out the kidney beans and butter beans in her dinners first.
We let her lose at nanny’s with an ice cream the other day. Below is the aftermath!
The weather has been lovely the last few weeks and Amelia has thoroughly enjoyed spending time outside. She is particularly pale like me so sun cream is a must but seeing her little smiling face as she runs round is worth the tantrum she has when I’m trying to cover her in lotion.
We’ve made more cakes than I can include photos of – Amelia’s favourite pet is stealing a melted chocolate covered spoon and running away. Below is the latest one:
We’ve gone to soft play, to the park, to the zoo and to lots of places I’ve probably forgotten to mention.
(the featured image is off our comfy area where we spent one Saturday snuggled up with snacks and watching movies – obviously Amelia was more interested in the snack part but we tried)
I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!
There isn’t really a specific point to this post. More just to say that it’s okay to prioritise different things for a while. And for me enjoying my time with my baby girl has been more important than writing.
Warm Weather Essentials
It has been unusually hot this week in the south east. My car has been reading up to 30 degrees and the air conditioning has been a must for every journey.
Warm weather is wonderful for us adults. Most of the population have been out sunbathing, leaving off the sun cream in the hope to tan darker.
Babies skin is far too delicate and fragile for laying out in the midday sun.
Essential number one is sun cream. For Amelia I got a spf 50 one in a spray bottle from boots for £4. It’s for sensitive skin and is really easy to apply. Always read the bottle and don’t rely on the price to be an indicator of how good the sun cream is – a £15 a bottle one could be spf 20.
Essential number two is a sun hat. Amelia’s grown a lot and her little sun hats no longer fit. I found a really cute white one with a strap under her chin for £2.50 in Primark. White clothing helps reflect the sun rays so helps keep your little ones head cool. Amelia looks adorable in hers.
Essential number three is a refillable bottle. Amelia likes her milk bottles still so we have a pink Tommee Tippee bottle that we use for water. She also has a sippy cup.
Essential number four is a sun parasol for on the pushchair. Amelia has a red one that I got from mothercare for £15. It has a bendy arm that allows you to position it in any direction.
Amelia loves playing outside in the sun. We’ve visited nanny’s a lot so that Amelia can play in the garden and her new swing set, an early birthday present.
You remember the last Saturday night you went out and had too many drinks and got a pizza on the way home? No? Me neither. Most weekends I’m in bed by nine because Amelia goes to bed about half seven.
It’s got to be a good two years since I’ve been clubbing and despite Amelia being nearly a year old she still hasn’t stayed over night with anyone other than me and rob. Yes, I know plenty of babies that regularly have sleepovers with grand parents or aunties. I also know plenty of parents who started the sleep over part when their little ones were a month to six weeks old (as I breast fed exclusively until 6 weeks this wouldn’t have even been possible). And no, this isn’t me judging them. If it works for them then that’s brilliant!
But me and my mum have spoken about this loads of times and have both agreed that for the first year at least, Amelia’s nights should be spent with her mummy and daddy.
This suits me fine. What better way to spend my evenings than with my little princess? No horrible hangover, no drunken spending spree at the bar and no makeup covered pillow the next morning.
Amelia’s ten month check went brilliantly. Developmentally she is a year ahead and the lady doing the check said that Amelia was one of the happiest and most secure babies she had ever encountered. This, I would like to think, is down to our parenting. I’ve never been a fan of cry it out – I wouldn’t let an adult cry themselves to sleep so of course I don’t let Amelia – and I am fully aware that my main purpose is to meet Amelia’s needs. Apparently I do what’s known as ‘sensitive or responsive parenting.’
It means being constantly and consistently in tune with Amelia’s emotional and physical needs, which would explain why she’s so happy and content all the time.
Before being told this I was not aware we were parenting in any particular way. We were just doing what Amelia needed, whenever she needed it. Having the health visitor tell us how well we were parenting Amelia was extremely reassuring. Our family members tell us this frequently but having a professional agree made it more believable. If you missed my post about Amelia’s ten month check you can read it here.
Where else would I want to be than with my princess
Amelia’s birthday is fast approaching and to celebrate we are throwing her an afternoon tea party for her and her little friends. With work and uni to juggle alongside the titchy princess I have to be organised.
The to do list for a first birthday party is surprisingly long. So far I have:
Gone shopping for all her presents
Paid for and put together the party bags
Got the balloons and banners
Got the plastic cups and paper plates
Got the wrapping paper
Got the icing sugar and other decorations for the cake
What I still need to do:
Wrap the presents
Make and decorate the cake
Buy and cook the party food
Find the princess an outfit
Buy batteries for my camera so I can take some decent pictures for once
Who knew a one year old required so much? I’m not a big fan of huge parties for first birthdays. Being an only child there aren’t that many children that Amelia could invite and I think Amelia would find a hall filled with people overwhelming.
Her little tea party is going to be in nanny’s back garden with lots of toys and people that she knows and loves. Small and sweet for our little sweetheart.
Four weeks Monday my baby is officially one. Where has the time gone?
So many people I know were celebrating having a long weekend. Well not for us. Retail, catering and emergency services don’t get bank holidays off. Everyone still wants to go out for dinner, do their shopping and see a doctor if they go to a and e.
Amelia’s dad and I both worked this morning, much to her annoyance. She likes having both of us with her all day, not one at a time. (Rob came in at half eight and ten minutes later I had to leave for work.) Daddy won a name the bunny competition at work – kind of although that’s a story for another time – and came home with this fluffy friend for Amelia.
To make up for me rushing out to work Amelia had a real treat for breakfast – strawberries with a mini chocolate chip hot cross bun and a bit of one of her Easter eggs – and has spent the time Ive been at work chilling in her pyjamas with her daddy.
Amelia did her usual rummage through the bags when I got back from work, looking for treats from the staff shop (luckily I got her juice cartons and baby ginger bread). Amelia’s nanny on her daddy’s side dropped round a chocolate egg which is being saved for later:
After all the excitement the little lady is now relaxing next to me with her juice watching CBeebies. Perfect way to spend the last day of Easter.
My little princess is one, five weeks today. When did she get so big?
(These biscuits are meant to be Easter egg shaped but Lakeland had every cookie cutter apart from an Easter egg shaped one. They even had a one shaped like two cats sitting next to each other. But no Easter egg one!)
125 grams sugar
125 grams butter
225 grams of plain flour
1 tbsp vanilla essence
Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees (lower if you have a fan over
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the vanilla essence and the flour. Squish together with your hands to form a dough ball and roll out on a floured surface. (We cut ours out with a knife and it made 16 good sized biscuits).
Cook them until golden which is about fifteen minutes. Leave the biscuits to cool on a rack and make the icing sugar. Mix icing sugar with water until a thick paste is formed. For ours we added a few drops of blue food colouring. Using a spoon smooth the icing over the cooked biscuits and add the sprinkles.
These are what our finished biscuits looked like. No, they aren’t perfect but Amelia had fun helping make them and loved licking the icing off when they were finished.