Mother of a big personality

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

  We took our one year old on holiday. And it was fun! We took him on a plane. Twice. And he was brilliant – he just slept! We took him into a rather small, glass box with no air conditioning in Limogues airport and sat there for 2 hours while our flight home was delayed and he only had 1 MASSIVE tantrum. (And that was after almost 2 hours of running around grinning at everyone and emotionally lifting and helping everyone through their delay, so we can forgive him!). And he fell asleep immediately after the tantrum. How is it, that Jude will wake up if we so much as switch on the bathroom light, but he can sleep through A PLANE LANDING?? I’ll just leave that there….


So generally, Jude smashed the travelling part of our holiday, we couldn’t really have asked for anything better. Sleeping in a new bed and in a new country however was not so straight forward. Don’t get me wrong; we had some nights when he slept through (!), but we also had some nights when he simply did not sleep. The outcome therefore, of having to settle a one year old in an other country, was that Mission Reduce Breastfeeding was a no go. In fact, it was more like Mission Feed As Much As You Need To, To Get Him To Sleep. So the complete opposite of what I had planned happened. There are some gory details of this further down in my usual ‘breastfeeding update’ section; for those who don’t want to hear all about the trials and tribulations of my boobs! 

So our first ever family holiday abroad was wonderful. We didn’t worry about what Jude ate; being in a gite/apartment meant that we were able to cook our own food for him and generally keep his mealtimes pretty much in his routine. The new environment definitely pushed Steve and I to be more flexible in what Jude ate and when; having turned 1 (I think) has also been the turning point in his eating (and our feeding him) – he has tried all sorts and even started to feed himself from a spoon/fork! It came about from Jude refusing his evening meal; Steve had the brainwave of encouraging him to feed himself with a spoon – pasta and sauce – messy, but he pretty much finished it! We’ve been so lucky in that we’ve never really had problems with Jude eating anything; he’s always tried everything we’ve given him and usually liked it. But it seems that with age, comes a strong will. And that, is going to be a challenge! 


We were slightly concerned that, having not taken Jude swimming for a good 3/4 months – since he finished his lessons – would mean that he was afraid of the swimming pool. How wrong we were! He loved being in the water with everyone and he even managed an underwater swim and nailed it! Of course, throughout the summer we have been very careful with Jude’s sun protection and he hasn’t had any pink patches at all. He has still managed to catch some rays and even has a little tan! His hair is so blonde from the sun, people in the street keep exclaiming at how blonde he is! So funny as Steve and I are really quite dark! (I even had some highlights put in and I have to admit, it was initiated by the fact that I wanted to look more like my boy’s mother!). 


   

 Don’t blame it on the sunshiiine

Our return to the UK was greeted with unusually glorious weather, which was a very pleasant surprise. So as Steve had a few post-holiday days off, we spent one of them at the beach. A sandy beach. We hadn’t spent time at a sandy beach on holiday as we were using river beaches, which are slightly different. But this sandy beach visit was, shall we say, interesting. A 1 year old has literally no concept of sand, or the places it can get into. Or the concept that wif up I get wet sand on you, you can’t get it off unless you use water. And if you get sand on your hands you can’t eat anything without it being crunchy, gritty and sandy. And if you have sand on your leg and then you touch your leg with your hands,  your hands will get sand on them and then your food will get sand on it too and so on and so forth. No concept at all. Oh dear. 


So our lovely idea of an afternoon at the beach started off in rather an interesting fashion, involving a lot of sand and wet wipes. And some sandwiches (literally – LOL) and a small amount of sand-coated cucumber. But once our picnic was over with and Jude was able to explore and rediscover the sea and how good it is for paddling (as long as you avoid the JELLYFISH), it was a lovely afternoon! Jude is so confident around water now – he just wants to paddle in all water (local park rivers too). Even bathtime seems to have changed – he moves around in the bath now, almost crawling and playing with his toys. 

  

Breastfeeding/feeding update

As mentioned above, breasfeeding is still very much going at the moment! And now I have mastitis as when we returned home, we reduced feeds back to normal again (morning feed – evening feed) pretty much straight away, and now I’m poorly. (But don’t worry readers – antibiotics are doing their thing as we speak!) 

It’s crazy that after almost 13 months of breastfeeding, there are STILL issues! 

We are now a very long way into our (to use a clichéd term) breastfeeding ‘journey’. And, as mentioned before, I am most definitely ready to stop. I’d like to have at least a year breastfeeding free, before getting pregnant again (yes, I said it – there may well be another child at some point(!)) So, since returning from holiday I have made huge efforts to start to stop. I have introduced a bottle of milk before Jude’s morning nap. When he seems like he’s getting sleepy, I have given him a bottle and then tried to get him off ASAP after he’s had that. It had taken a while to get him to take a bottle of milk in the first place – for a month or so, we have been giving him milk with his breakfast cereal, so he would get used to the taste. Before, he would just have fruit purée with his cereal, now he has both milk and purée. Anyway, it seems to have worked as he will now take a bottle of it. I am trying to associate milk with napping so that eventually, when I cut out his evening feed, he will have a bottle and go to sleep. (That’s the theory anyway). The trouble is that at the moment, Jude will only fall asleep for his morning nap if we take him around the block in the buggy. He doesn’t associate the bottle with sleeping. That was, until today it seems…..


This photo is of a sleeping Jude, who was put into his cot awake, following his morning bottle. It seems we may well have broken through a barrier. I am still feeding Jude to sleep every evening and if he wakeS in the night. But this, it seems, may well be the beginning of something new. TOUCH WOOD. FINGERS CROSSED. WITH A BIT OF LUCK. WATCH THIS SPACE. 

It’s taking a while, and I’m really really really going to miss breastfeeding, it has brought a closeness that I could never have imagined before. Anyway, I’ll keep going.. The next feed to go with be the early morning feed. Wish me luck!!

   

One year on…

I set myself a weightloss target before going away as I knew I’d be getting the bikini out and I wanted to feel better about myself. I know that there are lots of bloggers who talk about not worrying about your baby weight, but I put on 4 stone, and in all honesty, my weight was rather unhealthy. So I chose to run, and alter my diet slightly so that I would be healthier. And it worked! I met my weightloss target the day before we went away. (I put 3lb back on while we were away – I blame French patisserie and wine – but have lost it again since returning). I haven’t done anything drastic (except running – now that is drastic), just slightly altered some of my bad habits. I’m feeling much better about myself anyway, so that’s good! 

One year on, we have an amazing child. I’ve always joked he’s Einstein, and I’m not one to show off constantly on social media – but sometimes I just want to boast and shout about how amazing he is! I feel like this blog is one way that I can boast now and again, so here goes: not only is Jude running around like a little terror most of the time these days, but he’s chatty and tries to make us laugh all the time. He loves nothing better than putting things on his head and running around unable to see. He thinks it’s hilarious. He has also finally learned to clap! (at about 10/11 months), and he wil clap every time someone tells him he’s a good boy! Or says ‘yay’ or ‘well done’! He has brilliant understanding of things that I say to him. We have a few regular words now – ‘Mamama’ ‘Dadada’, ‘more’, ‘gone’, ‘cat’, ‘dog’. But he is also using the signs that we have learned. He signs ‘milk’, ‘more’, ‘duck’, ‘bird’, and he uses a sign for ‘thank you’. This is not the sign we have tried to teach him for thank you, but he seems to understand that when he’s given something, he should say thank you. BRILLIANT. 

He’s also turned into a really loving, cuddly boy that likes nothing better than cwtching in with his dummy and his mummy. It’s true love that’s for sure. What an amazing little boy we have. Bring on the next year! 

Front crawl, crawl and crawl

We’ve created a monster

Haha – not really. But my god, he’s a crazy child! The developments are coming thick and fast now; we have a third tooth – which could explain the miserable, snotty child we have had for the last week or so – we also have a crawler! 
 

my first valentines card as a mummy
  

The first crawl happened just before bath time; I was just about to take him upstairs after a good, long ‘nappy off’ session (during which Jude usually spends half an hour or so post-teatime being completely hyper, rolling and virtually leaping around on the towels we put down to soak up the wee). I was standing up, reading a text, literally just before picking Jude up to go upstairs, when a small, wriggly child passed in my eyeline, below my phone-holding-hand. I jumped to attention, quickly popped him back at the ‘beginning’ of his crawl and put the remote for the telly (baby catnip) a metre or so away. Then I turned on the video on my phone. He performed. He performed brilliantly and was met with huge praise and excitement from me.

  
I was actually quite emosh. It was such a big step in his little life – and the beginning of soooo many new things! I didn’t watch the video back, I wanted to save it and stop it from happening – or keep it special, keep it to myself – or ourselves – or, or, I don’t know! I suddenly felt troubled about how to tell/show Steve. I was really sad that he hadn’t seen the ‘first crawl’. Then again, I’d almost missed it! So rather than send him the video to watch in a hurried break during a crazy evening at work, I decided to show him the video when he got home so that we could watch it together and share the joy. Steve returned home in the early hours (he’s a chef) and I woke up which I usually do. We were able to watch the video together and it was a special moment after all…

   

Nevermind

 

I mentioned in the last blog that Jude was to take part (or not) in his Nirvana Nevermind-style underwater photo shoot the following weekend. Here is the story of how I thought I knew best and clearly didn’t. (Although I’m still pretty sure I do/did know best anyway).  

Jude had been poorly the week of the shoot so we didn’t go to his lesson. And when I say poorly I mean, like, really poorly. Fever and all sorts. So we skipped the lesson, but I spoke to the teacher who recommended that we go along to a different lesson later in the week in preparation for the photo. The teacher of that lesson could tell us whether or not Jude was ‘ready’ to do the photo shoot. (I have to be honest, we’ve been dunking (also known as placing them underwater carefully and calmly ‘catching’ them whilst underwater) the babies now for 12 weeks or more – I couldn’t see how a dunking on a Sunday morning would be any different from various dunkings on a Wednesday. But anyway. So. We took him to the Saturday morning lesson and at the end the teacher said that it was ‘up to us’, but she didn’t think we should take Jude to the photo shoot the following day. Aaaanyway, I decided that Jude had only been grouchy in the lesson because he wasn’t used to the teacher, some of the swim styles and the pool generally and by his third dunking he reacted perfectly normally – in fact, the first one was probably only so bad because he hadn’t done one for so long as we’d missed the lesson. Plus, if we didn’t take him now, by the next shoot he’d be nearly 11 months old! That definitely wouldn’t be as cute or amazing……(Getting the idea yet??)

So the next day we took Jude along for his underwater photo shoot at 7 months old. He was in a brilliant mood and was splashing and shrieking excitedly in the pool – perhaps because he was glad to be in a familiar pool. The person in charge took him and he did his first dunk. Both staff members – dunker and photographer – immediately told me there seemed to be something wrong with his shoot – he had gone under and reached straight for his ears. I explained that it could be as he had been quite congested, but they told me they would not do any more dunks. 

He was fine! In fact, we went back to the ‘playing in between photos’ area and he happily splashed and played some more. Then we miserably got out of the pool, got changed and left with ours tails between our legs. 

I was mortified. I ranted and whimpered all the way to Sainsbury’s (where we decided to go as we now had so much spare time that morning) and as we were about to get out of the car, Steve told me to pull myself together. I wailed dramatically, “I can’t” and burst into tears. Whaaaaaat?! What was wrong with me? Why was I so upset?  The only conclusion I have since come to is that I wanted a memory of Jude swimming at 7 months. Not nearly 11 months. But still, a bit of a dramatic overreaction anyway. Plus, he’s GORGEOUS – he’s definitely going to be just as cute at 11 months as he is now! And, I took a photo of us together in the changing room on our first taster session when he was only 4 months old – now that is cute!  

     

 Life without Jude

post-match napping from Wales’ biggest fan
 

Steve made me go out last week. Only for a few hours one evening, but he said that I never go anywhere without Jude or him and I was to go out and do something that I enjoy. So I did. I went to Simple Knots Craft Club – a lovely evening once a month held by a friend where crafters of all shapes and sizes pop along to a lovely little coffee shop (that sells alcohol but I failed to realise this until about 5 minutes before I was due to leave, dammit) and do craft. I LOVE craft. So I took myself along, armed with a small, half made, handmade, jersey octopus that I was halfway through blanket stitching, and had coffee, cake and chats with some strangers. I knew 2 people there; my cousin kindly looked after me and all in all it was a lovely, sociable evening. And I only talked about Jude for half of it. I think. It was really strange to be out without both of the main people in my life. I’ve done it once before when I went for a boozy dinner with one of my best friends, but that was slightly fuzzy, so less obviously without them. This time, it was strange, but fun! And I look forward to the next one – that is, if I fancy it… It’s hard to get yourself to do things without your baby – even though there are MILLIONS of times a week when you think to yourself ‘what I would give for a night – or even an hour – without the baby’! Strange times and new, different lives ey?

    

Movin’ on up

 

Sudocrem-needing, post-crawl session knees
 

It’s been almost 2 weeks since the first crawl. What started as a kind of lolloping, foot-knee-thing, has now turned into a fast knee-knee-hand-hand crawl EVERYWHERE. The new, rapid crawling has also enabled Jude access to new and exciting places in the house and means that he can now climb up EVERYTHING. He can speedily go from one end of the couch, along to the other end, onto the chair and around onto the coffee table in seconds. Steve has even started timing him crawling from the far end of the living room to the kitchen. 33 seconds is the record. So far. We literally can’t turn our backs for a minute.  Oh, and the cats. Poor lovelies, Jude likes to chase them. He managed to corner the most timid one the other day and she actually had to leap past him in order to get upstairs and find refuge. I’ve given them cushions on the dining table that they can use if they wish – far away from grabby, shrieking babies! So far they have both chosen to stay closer to the ground, but we’ll soon see whether that lasts… We’re trying to teach Jude that the best way to deal with the cats is to be gentle, and I think he knows this, but he just hasn’t quite figured out how to make his hands actually be gentle yet. All in good time!

        
You may have noticed that it’s been almost 3 weeks since I was supposed to have written my last blog; this one is almost a week late! I think it’s best if I start to write on a weekly basis again – but shorter blogs. So, all being well, the next blog will be in a weeks time (which it should be anyway), then a week after that and so on and so forth. I may even blog more frequently, about things as they occur instead of going on and on once a week/fortnight. Anyway, the thought’s there! We’ll see what actually happens shall we??

That’s all folks!
Ciao x