Going into it we knew Amelia’s was going to go well. The checklist came through when she was nine months and she could do everything on it then.
But we could never have imagined it going as well as it did. The health visitor that carried out the check marked Amelia 60/60 on every category and said her mental and physical abilities were more that of a two year old and we should ask her preschool – when she goes – to adjust her activities to match that.
What does it really mean?
Well anyone who knows Amelia will know she is unusually active and extremely noisy. She’s been able to climb out of her cot for months, has no trouble with stairs and is never still – even in her sleep she kicks her legs. She wiggles in time to music and waves good bye whenever you leave a room, normally with very little encouragement.
She says four very clear words – Mum dad dig and Nan. She also says all the variations. Mummy mumma daddy dada ect. She tries to copy you when you speak and will try and sing along to music.
Amelia’s favourite foods are pretty much all fruits and vegetable. On a normal day she has rice crispies and fruit for breakfast, morning snack of fruit, lunch of cheese and crackers with dried fruit, rice crackers for afternoon snack and dinner of steamed veggies with a small portion of meat or my veggie option. The health visitor looked very surprised when I told her this. She said it was very unusal to have a parent balance her diet as well as we had, which makes me wonder what are other people feeding their little ones? Amelia just has smaller helpings of what we do. Are we that healthy?
While I am very proud of her and pleased that the health visitor put it down to our parenting I do know that not all babies are so far ahead.
Some little ones need a bit of extra help in certain areas. And there is nothing wrong with that! Having a baby is not a competition. Babies will do things when they are good and ready and if that means with extra support than that is absolutely fine. As long as they are happy and well looked after the rest will fall into place.
here is a picture of my little princess eating her favourite snack – banana
I am always looking for new things to use on Amelia. Recently she’s developed some really dry patches on her back. I found this cream in the asda baby event for £1.25! Even after two applications there’s a noticeable difference. It smells divine and I’m tempted to buy the other products in the range.
Another favourite at the moment are the asda little angels peppa pig first pants. We’ve had a few ‘incidents’ – read Amelia weed on the carpet – because all her crawling, climbing and rolling was undoing her nappies. These are perfect as she can’t undo them and they have an adorable peppa pig design on them. At £3.87 for a pack of 30 they are a reasonable price and we’ve had no leaks, Day or night.
Organix apple and orange oat bars are now a regular on the shopping list too. Amelia makes a mess crumbling them up but as she scoops up the little bits and eats them it’s not so bad. (In the Aldi baby event they have boxes of 6 organix bars for £1.99)
I’m sure the shopping list gets longer as Amelia grows. She is 9 months in a couple of weeks and her first birthday is coming round so quickly. What did you do for your little ones first birthdays?
Maybe it’s because I had a rather awful and unhealthy pregnancy and Amelia’s first few weeks were hospital ones but everything since then hasn’t been particularly hard. A few people – ones that didn’t have children I might point out – were quick to tell me that I had no idea how hard I was going to find it. And I can happily say they were wrong.
I didn’t have any baby weight to lose, my tummy was almost flat the day after Amelia was born and within a week I was back in my size 8 jeans and nobody would believe I’d just had a baby. (I am well aware that I was very lucky with this and fully appreciate that other mums may struggle with this. Please bare in mind my diet has always been healthy with fruit as snacks and three balanced meals a day. If I lived on take aways I doubt I would have skimmed down so quickly.) I waited for the dreaded csection pouch but it never arrived – unless you see the scar and the two, 1cm long stretch marks under my belly button my tummy has been completely unchanged by the experience.
I was and still am extremely grateful for my body springing back so quickly – with my HG sickness, SPD and obstetric choleostasis my pregnancy was spent in a lot of hospitals. A struggle with my weight was not one I was looking forward to.
Amelia is one of the happiest babies. Everyone we encounter comments on how she never seems to cry. She doesn’t sleep through the night but there’s something so cute about her cuddling into me in the middle of the night. The lack of sleep can be easily forgiven. I am not a fan of cry it out or sleep training so am more than happy to cuddle her all night if that’s what she needs.
For us the biggest challenge – health problems aside – was the breast feeding. For us it just wasn’t working well enough to continue so at just past four months we swapped to formula and we are both happier for it. Expressing was incredibly time consuming for me returning to uni so we made the switch to formula and haven’t looked back.
Balancing uni, a clean flat, work and Amelia should be extremely difficult. But somehow it isn’t. I have days where it seems like I’ve given myself way too much to do but they pass and I get everything done.
If you’re reading this and worrying about your to do list, stop and take a few minutes to have a cup of tea and appreciate the things you have already done. If all you’ve achieved so far that day is a clean and fed baby then you are doing brilliantly already. If you’ve been trying to loose a few pounds and you manage half a pound last week when you wanted to be minus three then that’s still really good too! Every little bit adds up towards your overall goals.
Often we are our own worst enemy, piling on the pressure. There will always be someone who you can’t please but that’s okay. Your life is yours. If you need help ask. If you need a break take it. Judgemental people aren’t worthy of your time.
Amelia is 8 months old a week tomorrow – I know where has the time gone?
She can say Mum, dad and Nan and chatters non stop.
The most surprising development is this morning she woke up and started crawling out of the blue. Me and my mum were both fairly certain Amelia would skip the crawling stage and just walk – my brother did pretty much exactly that and was walking unaided by 9 months. But the little lady decided to surprise us all.
She often spends from 4am onwards in bed with rob and I. I have gotten used to being woken up by little hands pulling at my hair. Amelia woke us up this morning by chatting away ‘dadda dad Daddy dadda’. She pulled herself up so that she was sitting in her little sleeping bag – on a side note if your baby doesn’t have a sleeping bag then go and buy one. Amelia has slept so much better since having hers.
We took amelias sleeping bag off so we could change her nappy and as soon as she was free she started rolling around the floor. Neither of us could believe it when she managed to crawl the length of the bed and back five times! Yes it’s an army crawl but as the days gone on she’s got better and better at using her arms.
In the run up to Christmas when we are all doing our shopping it is important for us all to have a browse of the products available from small businesses. The family run Facebook shops and the little stalls at markets that are the income paying mortgages and putting food on the table.
Their is a lovely business I found on Instagram called ‘stitchlings’ Instagram handle @stitchlingscreations. They make a variety of items including skirts, pants, hair bows and blankets. I purchased a lovely little taggy blanket for Amelia from them and it is perfect. It arrived this morning and she is already so attached to it. It is fluffy on one side and penguin printed the other, with red tags and silver tags.
The wonderful thing about buying items from small businesses is that they often help families afford dance lessons for their little ones, go towards christenings and weddings and allow families to have a delicious Christmas dinner. Not only is their the financial aspect their is also the joy of knowing that many of the products are made to order and are completely unique to you. No other person can have exactly the same one as they are hand made.
What small businesses have you found that you’d like others to know about?
When it’s cold and wet outside there’s nothing better than coming back to a nice home cooked meal.
When I’m at uni I tend to cheat with dinners and cook whatever is easiest straight from the freezer. I get home quite late and after six hours of lectures the last thing I feel like doing is spending ages cooking. So when I’m not at uni I try and make a bit more effort.
Last nights dinner – for Rob. I had a veggie option – was cottage pie. Cottage pie is a brilliant way to get extra vegetables into a meal. You can mix mashed parsnip in with the mashed potatoes and can put all sorts of vegetables in with the meat. If you chop them up small enough little mouthes won’t even realise.
Rob had his with green beans and spicy jalapeño and beef nacho bites – obviously you would not give those to a little person. They’d burn their little mouth. But otherwise a perfect meal for my titchy princess. She has four little ones frozen in the freezer for other nights.
Tomorrow Amelia is 7 months old. My tiny little baby – who went down to just over 5lbs after being poorly – is 7 months old!
So what has changed?
Then she was in micro nappies – the size below size 1 that are made specifically for premature babies. Now she is in size 3s.
Then she was in tiny baby clothes with the sleeves rolled up. Now she is 6-9 months and her legs are long enough that they are not going to fit much longer.
Then she was only drinking milk. Now, as I write this, she’s eating a carrot puff from Aldi. She has porridge for breakfast and a little meal with a pudding for lunch and dinner. Her favourites at the moment are rice crispies, banana porridge, Ella’s kitchen strawberry and banana puffs and cottage pie.
Then she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Now she can sit, bum shuffle, stand if holding something, giggle and say ‘dada’.
Then she was in hospital, very poorly, with four hourly blood tests and photo therapy. Now she has been discharged and just has to be weighed every 3 weeks, more often than other babies her age because of the initial struggles.
In the cot in the hospital at 2 weeks old
Watching her grow every day is so much fun. She’s such a smiley, happy baby and every time we go shopping someone says how beautiful she is.
Look at this little cheeky face. Below are just a few of things I want to do with her in the lead up to Christmas
I can’t wait to take Amelia shopping in Canterbury. I go to university there and the Christmas lights are beautiful. Over the weekend the little Christmas huts have been set up amongst the shops, selling a variety of home made gifts, food and drinks and a variety of Christmas decorations. The hot donuts stall had a queue of people and the fudge and chocolate stall had equally as many perusers when I walked by yesterday.
Newnham Court Shopping Village
Notcuts is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas decoration department stores. They stock everything from personalised cards to six foot snowman sculptures. We took Amelia a couple of weeks ago and she was mesmerised by all of the twinkly lights and sparkly decorations. They also have a wonderful gift section, with an array of hampers and chocolates.
Chatham Dockside Christmas Market
This is not somewhere we have visited yet but the Facebook page has sold it to me. Much like the style of the huts in Canterbury, this market comprises of a number of stalls in german style wooden huts. One of the stalls that particularly caught my eye was an image of a food merchant making Yorkshire pudding wraps – a roast dinner wrapped in a giant Yorkshire pudding. As a vegetarian this is probably not for me but I’m sure all the meat eaters out there would love this.
As it is Amelia’s first Christmas we have to take her to meet Santa. He can be seen at a range of venues throughout December, including Maidstone town centre, Notcuts and Canterbury high street to name a few.
Wingham Wildlife Park
Also in Canterbury, wingham wildlife park is one my favourite family days out. In the run up to Christmas I would imagine it will be particularly popular as it houses penguins. I have been several times before and can not wait to take Amelia to see my favourite animal. Penguins are featured in everything at Christmas – I even found penguin gingerbread men in Morrisons.
All the shops and markets are free entry. The Santa’s grottos begin at £3 and increase in price depending on location. Wingham wildlife park is £17 per adult and £14 per child, under 2’s go free.
With Christmas just over four weeks away I think I have brought most things. Everyone’s presents are either here and wrapped or on order. We’ve brought all our Christmas decorations – most of them from Tesco – although we aren’t putting them up until the 1st of December. (I confess the only reason they are still in boxes is because Robs birthday is end of November and I don’t want to put them up before his birthday.)
I keep picking up bits for Amelia. The latest Christmas item is a hair bow which I ordered from ‘ribbon and bows.’ a lovely company on Facebook and Instagram.
We’ve wrapped all of Amelia’s presents and put them in her Santa sack and stocking. She also has a Christmas Eve box with a pair of pyjamas, a Christmas book, a Christmas dvd and some Christmas chocolates.
These days people are so quick to wish their lives away; can’t wait for the weekend, can’t wait to finish school, can’t wait for my holiday, can’t wait for my baby to sleep through the night.
The Earth has been here for more years than any of us can begin to fathom. We are here for so little time in comparison.
I am making a conscious effort not to wish Amelia’s childhood away. Every time she wakes in the night I don’t think of it as an annoyance or an inconvenience. It’s what baby’s do. Instead I let her snuggle into bed next to me and am grateful that I am that comfort for her.
Every time she smiles I treasure it, equally when she cries I love cuddling her to make it better.
My titchy princess is growing up so quickly already. She’s sitting, eating proper food, trying to crawl, jumping in her jumperoo. As I write this she is asleep on my lap.
So take the time to cuddle them a bit longer, give them that attention they are craving. Because they won’t be small forever.