Amelia’s birthday was the beginning of last month. It seems like she’s gone from this tiny little thing that blinks up at me to a mini person over night.
She asks questions and has things she wants to do. She sings nursery rhymes – twinkle twinkle is one of her favourites – and if you ask her what she wants for dinner she’ll answer you. Today she made her own sandwich, buttering the bread and gently placing the filling in between the slices. (I can’t take the credit for that one – she learned that with her daddy.)
She had her two year review and got 60/60 for every section. She’s doing so well both at home and nursery. She’s the sweetest child and always says please and thank you. She says sorry whenever she thinks she’s done something wrong – even to inanimate objects when she walks into them.
She’s so tall – already in age 3-4 clothes. She helps herself to snacks, even getting ice lollies out of the freezer.
Getting photos of her sitting still now is virtually impossible but Rob took a cute one of her taking our drinks this morning when we went out of breakfast so here it is:
A pretty common question in job interviews and dating (not that I’ve had to worry about that one).
I find the first thing that comes to mind when I have to answer that question is that I am a mother. A young mother. I’m 22 and have a 2 year old. I’ve had more than one random person make comments about this, especially as I don’t look my age, but that’s a whole other conversation.
But being a mother isn’t describing ME. I am a mum. But I’m also an adult. I like reading and cooking. I like tattoos and piercings – I have my fare share of each. I’d do a post on this but it would take me forever to write about and photograph all of them. I’ve got a degree. I’ve had some very interesting and challenging jobs. I’ve been vegetarian so long I can’t remember what bacon tastes like. I’ve kept guineapigs for nearly as long – currently we have a guinea pig called nibble. These are the real answers to ‘describe yourself’.
Being a mother doesn’t mean you cease being yourself.
(And for anyone who is wondering how the photo relates to the post – I am made up of 75% coffee)
1- You won’t always be scared of needles. In fact by the time you’re 21 you’ll have spent nearly 30 hours being tattooed. (You’ll also have more than your ears pierced, despite mum having to take you to Claire’s accessories repeatedly just to get your ear lobes done because you were too scared.)
2- You’ll not only finish school, you’ll get through college and uni too (Even if you’ve never revised a day in your life, despite your year 8 maths teacher insisting you should.)
3- You’ll end up having the cutest little girl. (She turns 2 the same year you turn 23 which is insane.)
4 – You’ll seriously regret cutting all your hair off into a bob. (And spend years growing it back only to consider cutting it all off again. Not happening no matter how much it gets in the way and gets usedas a chew toy by Amelia.)
5 – You’ll actually choose to wear skirts. (Yes, your preference for trousers and tracksuit bottoms goes out the window. Not surprising once you see the brown trousers that are part of the secondary school uniform. Anything is better than those.)
In reality 10 year old me would probably be amazed by pretty much everything I’m doing now. My job, my home, my relationship, my daughter. But then at ten years old do we really know what we’re going to do when we grow up?
It seems absolutely crazy to me that we expect kids to know so early what career they want, asking them to pick GCSE subjects that are going to affect what A-levels they take which in turn affects what degrees or jobs they can get. I picked two creatives which I loved doing but they couldn’t be further from what I do for a living now.
And I bet plenty of people had some pretty interesting job aspirations at age 10. I know plenty of people I went to primary school with who wanted to be famous actresses or football players and completely changed their minds as they grew up.
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.