Teddy the Toddler: an 18 Month Update

Yes, yes, I know this is rather late… and Ted is actually turning nineteen months old in a couple of days. But still. I haven’t done an update on my tiny boy for quite some time, so here’s a bit about Teddy at eighteen months old. Just call it an excuse to do a happy parental brag about my clearly adorable child, and, of course, one hell of a photo-dump.

How on earth do I have a toddler?

It seems like in the space of about fifteen minutes Ted has gone from a chubby, cheerful crawler rolling round the floor – mobile, mischievous, but still definitely a baby – to an actual toddling person. He has his own tastes, his own opinions and absolutely no qualms about making them known – yes, he is a toddler.

I haven’t done a proper update on Teddy in a while and I don’t really know where to start. He’s just… my Ted.

Physically… just look at my beautiful boy. Everyone always says he’s the spit of his dad, but I can see a bit of me in him now he’s bigger.

IMG-20180524-WA0000

I do hate all that ‘who does he look like?’ malarkey. Sure, he’s got a dimple in his chin, just like me. He’s got his dad’s jawline and the same shape around the eyes. But you know what? He looks like himself. Just my boy Ted.

Continue reading

The Babywearing Adventures: Part 2

Last time I talked about my experiences with the awful Aldi sling that pops up in their baby events: now, I’m going to actually start talking about some good slings! My first properly positive babywearing experiences.

I’d come to the conclusion: I want to wear my baby, and I don’t want to do it in this.

Even though Teddy was always a pretty good sleeper, I was not – I spent a large percentage of every night until he was approximately five months old, insomniacally browsing eBay and Mumsnet and researching every baby product under the sun. That included slings, and after lots and lots of reading, I decided on…

Continue reading

The Babywearing Adventures: Part 1

I swore I would never be one of ‘those’ people.

I’m hardly what you’d call an earth mother. I stopped breastfeeding after less than two weeks, and I’ve never been averse to frisbeeing the odd biscuit towards Teddy’s face to keep him quiet. When I weaned him, I used puree pouches when we were out and about to save time. I’d sooner eat my own left leg than use cloth nappies.

When I was pregnant, I thought that attitude would translate entirely to ‘babywearing’. I even scoffed at the word. Hippy-dippy claptrap, I thought. Why give it a fancy title? It’s just wrapping your baby up in a complicated piece of material and thinking you’re it.

We decided we’d get some kind of baby carrier – just a cheap one, but definitely a structured one with plenty of reassuring buckles, clips, velcro, whatever it took to keep the baby firmly strapped on. I wasn’t really keen on the idea at all, but having to rely on public transport to get around, and our local train station being up four flights of stairs with no lift, I thought it could come in useful.

The first time I bit the bullet and strapped Ted in, he was about two weeks old. And I’ve not really looked back since. Over a few posts, I’m going to discuss my adventures in babywearing – I’m going to review a few different slings and carriers, and explain just how they’ve made my life so much easier since I became a mother.

Continue reading

Where Have I Been?

I know, I know, I’ve done it again.

Promised to be a good blogger and get my good old rambling in at least twice a month.

And as always, I’ve lasted a few posts then tootled off into the ether. Right at NaNoWriMo season too!

Well, I’ve got good reason. I’ve been using this blog to talk about good things, happy things. And to be honest, I’ve just not had the words to sit down and admit what’s been going on for the past couple of months. Properly sitting down and dissecting it has just seemed… exhausting. Time, to be honest, that if I was to find it at all, I wanted to spend writing other things, retreating into a proper fantasy world.

Continue reading

A Week In The Life: Part 3

Just a quick little post today: Ted and I are heading up to visit my mum tomorrow and even though I’ve been packing things particularly astutely for the past few days, I still need to spend my last half hour before bed scurrying round and shoving more and more Calpol into the bags, ‘just in case’.

Yes, Teddy is teething.

And we both, potentially, have a cold.

This week may not go quite to plan.

Ted usually sleeps really well, but we’ve had a few broken nights this week. Mostly just the occasional wail, easily settled, but we had a whopper on Friday night. He went to bed absolutely angelically… then woke up for the day at a quarter to midnight. He screamed and cried for the entire time Kev tried to get him to go back to sleep… then when he gave up, was chipper as anything and played merrily until sometime around 3am, when In The Night Garden won out and he dropped off again.

Those two little front teeth are still bravely working their way out, and I think we hit a breakthrough today; there seems to be so much more to the pair of tiny chompers than there was a few days ago. Hopefully it was just a horrible little push they were doing, combined with him learning to high five and do ‘ta’ keeping his synapses working long into the night.

But there’s a lot of sniffling and sneezing going on in this house tonight, and I fear the nights ahead. Note to self: pack Olbas oil. And Snufflebabe. And buy ALL the tissues.

It’s been a nice week, this week, teeth and snuffles aside. We’ve been to a couple of baby groups, me and Ted, plus we’ve had a couple of playdates with Ted’s baby friends. We had a lovely time visiting Ted’s mate Sebastian, who so far is one of the few babies he actually interacts with rather than sodding off into the corner to play by himself.

I say this, but I’m basing this mostly on the fact that Ted decided to pat Sebastian on the head while he was in his highchair the other day. Sadly, Ted was holding a handful of fish pie at the time so poor Sebastian got a bit of a potatoey shampooing, but it’s progress.

DSC_0550

Such pals.

We also had Ted’s nine month check with the health visitor, which was not very exciting as she just went down a big checklist of ‘things babies could possibly do’ and Ted checked off as ‘yes’ to every one of them except being able to suck his own toes. He’s always had a bit too much belly in the way to manage that (just like his mama, some might say). She also informed us that he now weighs just under twenty four pounds, perfectly following his curve on the graph (on the 91st centile, eep). Such a model child.

DSC_0557

I repeat. Model child.

I did a bit of a culinary triumph this week too – I made spaghetti bolognese! I know, I know, that’s probably the number one easy student meal that everyone in the world can cook. Yet somehow I’ve always had other people cook it for me before – I’ve always been the mistress of the roast dinner instead. But for once, I actually cooked it myself… and let Ted have some.

IMG_20170809_183739

Teeny tiny bolognese

IMG_20170809_190333

SPAGHETTI COMA

I’m going to leave things there before I get into more repetitive rambles about baby groups and bookshops, but I should have more interesting goings on to report after we get back from our adventure at my mum’s. Ted’s so excited to finally meet his Nana Julie and Poppy Andrew!

A Week In The Life: Part 2

Ooh, look at me actually sticking to a blogging-resolution for a second week running!

First of all – massive congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Buchberger! My dear friend Monica got married this week in a gorgeous fairytale German castle – I wish I could have been there but finances couldn’t stretch to it, sadly. It looks like they had an amazing day and I wish them the greatest of happily ever afters.

13615299_10209857609659624_5477478693057799143_n

Me and Monica in the German sunshine a year ago

Right, onto my life. Well… not a lot has gone on this week, to be honest.

Teddy and I are turning into a right pair of creatures of habit. Same pattern of baby groups, coffees (for me, not Ted, though he has a good go at getting the cup out of my hand), and tearing round the house on a mission to get every single cupboard bare by the end of the week (Ted, not me).

This past week marked the end of Camp NaNoWriMo for 2017. And, um, I failed.

I know. I failed a NaNoWriMo. First time for everything, I suppose. I’m not counting November 2016 – I never started. Bit busy having a baby on November 1st, you see. I was determined to make up for it by doing Camp, which I very rarely do. I thought “Oh, this’ll be fine. Ted naps. He sleeps through the night. Plenty of time to do some writing.”

Camp17

Look at that shameful stats graph.

I could make plenty of excuses. I’m not inspired while Ted’s asleep. I went back to work and that took a lot out of me. I have to use the time while Ted’s sleeping to clean the house and do other things.

All valid-ish, I suppose.

But in reality, I was just too lazy. When Ted’s asleep – like when I do most of my blogging, I wrote most of this post in my local Starbucks – I want to chill out. I started writing a new book; I was too lazy to put the effort into properly establishing the characters. I went back to an old one; I was too lazy to get back into my main character’s head and sort out her problems. I tried another old one; I was too lazy to deal with the two main characters and their romantic entanglements and unrequited love situation.

I only managed 15,494 words in the end. I’ve never dipped below the 50,000 word mark before, even in 2011 when I wrote over 10,000 words in about four hours on the last night.

Maybe by the time proper NaNoWriMo comes around in November I’ll be a bit more disciplined. Though I’m not going to count on it; we’re in Disneyland Paris for the first three days, for Ted’s birthday. Not exactly a NaNoWriMo-friendly environment!

Anyway, in other news, Ted turned nine months old – I’ve done a whole blog post about his various triumphs and increasing big-boy-ness. He really is speeding towards toddlerhood; he even did some standing unsupported the other day. Admittedly, he didn’t know he was doing it – he was very distracted by some singing at the Waterstones baby group. But I was very proud anyway.

He’s been doing a bit more ‘walking’, too. He’s been walking while holding things for ages, pretty much since he started crawling at about six months old. He used to like holding out his hands so I’d grab them, and he’d toddle along towards me. But since he decided he’s a fully independent grown-up baby, he’s refused to do that. If it wasn’t his precious VTech walker, he wouldn’t walk across the floor, only holding onto the sofa or shelves (or the wall, or the door, or a table…) but this week we hit some kind of breakthrough. He’ll walk holding my hands, or Kev’s hands… as long as he’s going away from us. Which leads to a very inelegant shuffle from me as he powers along on his little legs.

candle

Here’s a picture of my wonderfully daft child playing with a spoon and a candle. Because apparently they make the most beautiful music together. I would like to point out I did not give him either of those objects. Niffler.

Other than that… I shall freely admit that the high point of my week was Game of Thrones. Yes, every week I get up at two o’clock in the morning and watch it ‘live’, as it were – streamed at the same time as in the US at any rate. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start spoiling things all over the place, considering it’s literally just started its normal-time stream here in the UK but… wow. Just wow. It’s not really a Game of Thrones spoiler to say that there’s a battle scene, but it was a bloody immense battle scene. And one of my favourite characters (hint: not Robson) had a major part in it.

Oh, it was glorious.

Usually the big awe-inspiring moments of Game of Thrones tend to come in the penultimate episode of each season, with the last episode reserved for mopping up. I can’t wait to see what those episodes hold this season, if that was only episode four.

Anyway, that was my not-so-exciting week. Hopefully this coming week will be a bit more lively – we’ve got a few things planned, including – drumroll, please – Ted’s nine month check-up with the health visitor! Told you it was going to be thrilling. I bet you’re all on the edge of your seats.

Teddy’s Nine Month Update

Nine months in, nine months out.

How is my little nugget nine months old today?

When did that happen?

DSC_0387

Look how grown up. Sitting on a proper chair and drinking through a straw.

Yes, Teddy is turning nine months old – he’s been out in the world nearly as long as he was floating around somewhere in my abdomen, giving me plenty of hearty kicks in the ribs and using my bladder as a trampoline.

He still does that. He just does it from the outside, nowadays.

The biggest change this month has probably been – finally! – the advent of TEETH. Yes, Teddy has his two front teeth at the bottom, and they’re bloody sharp. They’ve still not come through all the way, but they’re almost entirely there. He’s not had much bother with them at all, to be honest. I think we had a couple of bad nights, just in the first week of them breaking through, but we’re handy with the Calpol if they seem to be bothering him. And he absolutely loves Dentinox teething gel. Ugh. He’s really taken to brushing his teeth with Peggy Quinn (a toothbrush shaped like a penguin, if you’ve ever had the ‘pleasure’ of watching Baby Jake on CBeebies you’ll get it) but he’s got to have a go himself – definitely not a Mummy-only job.

Ted is turning out to be such a lovely little boy. I’ve definitely noticed he’s getting more affectionate; when he wants a cuddle, he puts his arms out, and he’ll climb up my leg if he wants attention. He’s not particularly bothered by other babies, still; in a room full of other little ones, he still tends to crawl away and do his own thing (perhaps doing a quick minesweep for any toys he likes the look of that don’t belong to him on the way out). He’s definitely me and Kev’s child – a bit antisocial. And loves patisserie (he had his first croissant the other day – big hit).

I say he’s antisocial, but that’s only when it comes to other babies. He absolutely loves grown-ups, and whenever we go anywhere for coffee or lunch he loves to stand on a chair and chat to people at nearby tables. He gets quite comically sad when they don’t chat back. He’s very friendly to adults and has a few definite favourites; he absolutely lights up for my mum, loves to climb all over our friend Mel at choir (luckily her lovely boy, Sebastian, quite enjoys coming to me for a cuddle too!) and giggles with joy every time he sees Dan at Eat.

He’s still hitting all his milestones, not quite as speedily as before; it’s like he’s got to the point of crawling and cruising, and decided learning to actually walk would just slow him down now. He can crawl at the speed of light, after all. Honestly, I can’t leave him anywhere. It was so nice when he was tiny, to be able to put him down and know he’d still be there when I got back. Now… he could be anywhere. He climbs, too, and if I leave anything that presents any kind of foothold near the sofa, he’ll be up on it and determinedly clambering up onto the desk to bash at the computer keyboard.

I’ve got to say, Ted’s got a lot more vocal in the last month. He’s really found his voice and loves experimenting with different sounds. There’s lots of ‘da-da’ and ‘ba-ba’ and ‘ga-ga’ – only ever ‘ma-ma’ when he’s sad or angry! We also get treated to some lovely raspberries and velociraptor noises, though thank goodness he’s stopped doing this in the middle of spoonfuls of food. That was getting messy. Nowadays, when Ted is particularly happy, he can’t keep the joy in and he has to wave his arms around and squeal. When he’s chasing his beloved ball up and down the hallway, it’s cacophonous with screeches. He sings too, quietly squeaking little tunes to himself in the pram when he’s facing forwards.

His favourite things in life are watermelon, fish curry, and flushing the toilet. He also love Justin Fletcher, aka the patron saint of CBeebies. Honestly, his face pops up on the screen and you’d think the sun had just come out, based on Ted’s smiles. He’s also developed a bit of a penchant for In The Night Garden… as have I. Oh dear. To my great joy, Ted’s also starting to really like books – well, he pulls them off the shelf and mauls them, but there’s been a recent increase in actually sitting still and listening to the stories. Come on, he goes to Waterstones at least once a week if not more, the love of books will be instilled in him at all costs!

CARNAGE

Another favourite thing: the washing machine. He’s recently discovered it has buttons to push and it’s the Best Thing Ever. Especially when he’s already pulled down all the oven gloves and tea towels to play with too.

He still sleeps through the night, most of the time anyway. I’d say he sleeps all the way through about five nights out of seven, and that’s from eight-ish until between six and seven in the morning. On the occasions he does wake up in the night, it’s only ever because he’s crawled up his cot in his sleep and banged his head – he can always be settled in a matter of minutes with a stroke, a cuddle or a dummy.

I’ve not noticed a massive difference from eight months to nine months, to be honest; Teddy just keeps on hurtling towards toddlerhood with determination. He’s never been keen on being a baby – sitting still, having everything done for him. He’s craned his neck to look around from day one, and been determined to get moving and independent as soon as possible. Every day I look at him and see a bit less chubby baby and a bit more of the little boy he’s quickly becoming. Slow down a bit, Ted, Mummy needs to catch her breath!

IMG-20161123-WA0005

November…

DSC_0477

…last night. Still my tiny.