One

Emma turned one last week.
I don’t quite understand how a whole year has managed to go by. How is it that one minute I am holding a tiny newborn girl, and now that tiny new born girl is toddling about?

She is clever and cheeky and so incredibly inquisitive.
Her first understandable sentence was strung together at 11 months old. It was “who is that?” Followed by “what’s that?”

She was walking confidently by her first birthday, which amazes me.

She absolutely adores dogs, and will get incredibly excited if she sees one.

She has no fear, and is full of giggles and laughter.

She was almost 3kg at birth, and now, a year on, she is 10.3kg and 72.5cm tall.

Her hair is longer and lighter and her eyes are currently green one day, hazel another and light brown the next.

She is my light.
My life.
My love.

Happy Birthday Little Duck.

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Throes of Labour

This time last year, I was in labour.
I had already been sent home by the midwife at the hospital because I wasn’t in established labour. I was in pain and getting hacked off.

It seems so surreal to remember it. It almost feels as though I’ve made it up and I wonder if my memories of it are somewhat skewed.

I remember laying in the bath, and after 45 minutes being to uncomfy to stay in there.

I remember it being incredibly painful to lay down, but my contractions were in the top of my legs, so standing up was impossible.

I remember The Husband telling me to eat and drink. I only wanted chocolate and blackcurrant squash.

I remember every bump in the car on the way to the hospital.

I remember being told to stop screaming by the midwife as I was scaring the other ladies in the triage ward.

I remember being helped down the corridor whilst heavily relying on the wonderful gas that was making me slightly spaced out.

I remember thing the anaesthetist how much I loved him after he cited my epidural and then apologising to The Husband.

I remember the rest of the time being quite relaxed and peaceful.

The midwives were lovely.
The doctors were lovely.

Then I had to go to theatre.

A year ago today.

Cannot believe my baby is almost 1.

They don’t stay little forever.

The Baby Show

Thanks to Inspire Me Media, I got chance to visit The Baby Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

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When I was pregnant with Emma, I kept telling The Husband that we had to go, but we never did. So when I got a press pass for a PR event that included a ticket to The Baby Show, I jumped at the chance. The Husband on the other hand was like “do not spend loads of money, maybe I should hold on to your credit card”. He was probably right!

There was a LOT of baby stuff and loads of big brands, Mothercare, Cosatto, Tommee Tippee, Joie, Asda, Milton, Britax, Chicco, iCandy, plus loads of cute independent retailers. It was a parent and baby dream. I could have spent thousands if not more.

The layout was a little confusing and I found myself walking around in circles and often walking past the same area several times whilst consulting my map and trying to find where I was. Give me google maps and I’m good. Anything else, forget it.

I saw a lot of things that I really wanted to buy, but lack of need and space, and most importantly money to spend frivolously meant that I couldn’t.

Like this Claw Foot Baby Bath Tub

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Super cool, but at £200, it’s definitely a frivolous spend.
Wouldn’t it be totally awesome to have not only a cool Montessori baby nursery with a walk in closet and separate bathroom for your wee babe? Sadly I’m not made of money! Wishful thinking eh?

Then there was these.

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SUPER-AWESOME! Not a new thing to me, as apparently they’re quite common in nurseries and day cares, but still. COT BUNK BEDS! Again a frivolous spend, seeing as I only have the one child and by the time I have a second, the first should be in a toddler bed!

There were a lot of prams/pushchairs/buggies/contraptions you push kids around in.

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There were even a few sling and carrier companies there. As well as retailers that specialise in Babywearing, like Slumber-Roo.
I was a little disappointed in the selection of companies in general. I wanted to buy a ring sling, but I only saw one by ByKay at the Cheeky Rascals stand.
That’s where I met Emily who runs the South London Sling Library.
I finally settled on a Beco Soleil from Slumber-Roo to add to my collection.
That said I still want a ring sling!

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I could buy all the wraps and carriers. The Husband has said no however!

The Baby Show also piqued my interest in Cloth Nappies. Definitely a consideration for my next baby.

There were lots of nursery ideas.

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There were also lots and lots of stalls with hand made baby gifts and trinkets.

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I also got to meet David from Snugglebundl (if you’ve seen Dragons Den then you’ll know who I mean)!
He was absolutely lovely, and the product itself is genius! Definitely a fore-runner in the ideas for a gift for my sisters baby that’s due this September.

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Overall I had a great time.

The Baby Show is next at the NEC Birmingham on May 16th-18th and then at Kensington Olympia on October 24th-26th.

You can buy advance tickets online from £10.50

If you’re a soon to be parent, a parent of babies/toddlers, an aunt/uncle/grandparent, then I recommend a visit!

Thank you Inspire Me Media for the press pass.

*I was gifted a press pass as part of a PR launch.

Down and Up

On Wednesday, I relapsed. It was horrible. I spent the rest of Wednesday and Thursday trying to bring myself back up to an “ok” level.

Then today happened.

The most amazing high I have ever experienced in the last few months. It’s pulled me right out of my low.

Emma walked. Unaided for more than a couple of steps. She’s been cruising and using her push along walker for about 2 months now, but she’s not had the confidence to stand unaided for more than 5 seconds, nor walk unaided for more than 2 or 3 steps.

Until today.

First proper steps at 11 months old.

Proud mama doesn’t even BEGIN to cover how I am feeling right now.

Tommee Tippee Soothers

On Friday, I was lucky enough to be invited to The Baby Show on behalf of Inspire Me Media for a Silent Launch of Tommee Tippees new range of baby soothers.

Emma started off with a soother (dummy/pacifier) and then one day she just refused it. For about 4 months she just would not take it. Of course this was after she lost them all, and I purchased about 8 of them, and then found all the lost ones (behind the cot!)

Thanks to Inspire Me Media, I added 2 more brand new soothers to Emma’s collection. I opened the pack, and Emma looked at her two new additions, threw one on the floor and promptly stuffed the other one in her mouth.

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The new soothers were designed after listening to what mums and dads had to say on the subject.

* 1 in 3 mums struggle to choose when looking for soothers and often end up buying impulsively
* choosing the right soother is trial and error, babies often go through several types/brands before finding one they like
(it’s not like you can take them back to be refunded!)

With this in mind, Tommee Tippee came up with a new range of soothers, with new packaging and a teat that is more in line with that of a bottle teat; large, long and flat so that it’s easier for baby to hold in their mouth.

Research trials showed that 68% of babies accepted the new style soother the first time it was introduced, as opposed to 43% for the old style soothers.

Emma has 4 different types of soothers in her collection. Last count (Friday) that’s a total of 13. THIRTEEN!

As she’s teething, I suppose having so many of them isn’t a bad thing. She chews them for relief! Happy baby is a happy mama!

The new range of soothers comes in 4 ranges; Fun, Anytime, Night Time and Air and are available Nationwide at Tesco, Asda and Mothercare. They cost £4.79 per twin pack.

** In return for this post I was gifted a press pass for The Baby Show as well as a PR pack containing 2 Tommee Tippee Night Time soothers

Hello?

For Christmas, Emma got a vTech walker. Not a sit-in one, but a push around one, with lots of buttons and keys and lights and sounds, and a telephone.
When you pick the telephone up, the walker makes a ringing noise. We thought it was incredibly cute when Emma picked up the phone and held it to her ear. These babies they learn quickly!!

Then, whenever she saw any phone she picked it up and put it to her ear and then she babbled at it.

Except now it’s not just phones. It’s her hand, the remote, any toys.

Usually she will just put her hand to her ear, say “Daddy” and then babble away.

We thought that as she would babble away, she may talk into the phone during an actual phone call.

Nope.

Instead she listens, looks at the phone and smiles or waves her hand. Unless it’s my mum.

My mum is the ONLY person she will “talk” to on the phone. It’s super cute.

I discovered today that I can get one handset to “find” the other and ring it. So we played with the phones today. An additional activity for a rainy day!

Almost A Year

When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I joined an online pregnancy support group, and I met some wonderful women.
I’ve met a handful of them, however there are three of them who have become my closest friends.
We talk every day, we laugh, we’ve cried, we’ve text, spoken on the phone, visited each other, sent gifts and cards and we’ve all been there for each other.

We made a plan to meet every 6 months at least with all of our babies, and well if some of us could meet up more often then great.

We first all met up on the 22nd of July 2013, when our babies were 4/5 months old.

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We met up again today, 6 months later.

We ate, we laughed, we played and it was great.

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Zzzzzzzz

Recently I’ve had a hard time getting Emma to nap. She refuses to nap even though she is clearly tired and then I have 1-3 hours of screaming and whining because she is so tired.

Normally I can tell when she’s having a growth spurt as she naps like a dream. I can put her down with a bottle of milk and within 15 minutes she is fast asleep and will sleep for between an hour and a half to two hours. Twice a day!

But recently? Nope!

I’m lucky if she has 1 half hour nap a day. It’s exhausting.

Especially as if we go out (in the hopes she falls asleep whilst we are out) she usually does fall asleep. About 5-10 minutes just before we get home. It’s not like I can even just leave her in her pushchair as we live on the 2nd floor and there is no elevator!

Which is exactly what happened yesterday.
At 4pm. 3 and 1/2 hours before her bedtime.
I managed to get her upstairs and into her cot, and then just before 5pm I decided to wake her.

I’ve always been told you never ever wake a sleeping baby.

Why? Because kids who are tired, are grumpy and whiny little buggers!!

Bedtime Antics

We seem to be *mostly* through this stage of sleep regression. (Fingers crossed!) We are back to one or two wake ups a night. I think it will be a long while before we are back to sleeping through the night.

Every night, we do dinner, followed by some chill out time, followed by a bath, and then cuddles and a song before bedtime.

However Emma often has other ideas, and instead of trying to hold her down to dry, moisturise and dress her, we go with her flow, which is, mainly, jumping and screeching.

Trying to hold her down and dry and dress her just results in crying, screaming and her getting hot and red and sweaty. Doing this her way, she’s happy, she smiles and doesn’t get hot and sweaty or stressed, and it makes going to sleep much easier.

The jumping about is hilarious. For everyone involved.

Baaaalloooooo Birthday!

Emma’s first birthday is 9 weeks away.
I don’t know where the time has gone, it seems like only yesterday I was cuddling my sweet newborn baby. How is she almost a year old?!

I’ve never had to plan a child’s party before. Although I have been to loads of them, most of them have been in people’s homes. For us that’s not an option. Our home is a small one bedroom apartment, just enough room for the three of us. The idea of having all my friends and family (almost 70 people) trying to squeeze in to our home at the same time gives me a headache.

Finding an appropriate venue for a child’s first birthday that doesn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money was hard.
Some places wanted to charge £75 an hour, plus £15 per person for food with a minimum of 25 people! Ummmm, no.

So when I found that a local daycare nursery hires out for birthday parties, I was all YAY!!! For £150 we get the staff, the entire daycare nursery, the kitchen, all the toys etc. All we’d need to do is a small child friendly buffet.
Simples and inexpensive (ish)

We picked a theme (Waybuloo) as it’s Emma’s favourite tv show.

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So we have some Waybuloo invites, some party bags, and well, apparently Waybuloo party ware is discontinued…. because that’s all we could get. So I’m having to be very creative with the rest.

So I decided to pick coloured plates to match the Piplings, and coloured napkins and cups too. Pink ones, blue ones, orange ones and lilac ones.

The only other themed item is the cake. Which is being specially designed by Lily-Belles Bakery based in Twickenham.

All we have to do is write and post the invitations, fill the party bags and make the food and have a party!

In 9 weeks time, I’ll have a one year old and will have pulled off our first birthday party.

I may be a tad excited about this.