Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Tooth Fairy

Almost a month of dribbling and hand-in-mouth have finally come to fruition. A delivery...

Last night under the cover of darkness, the Tooth Fairy popped into Grace's room through an open window (we have the heating on, it's o.k.), and fired two baby-teeth arrows in the direction of the crib where she was sleeping. Luckily for the Tooth Fairy, both hit target and Grace this morning has two white shiners poking through the gum on her lower gum. Typically the Tooth Fairy left a parting shot, a dose of sugar-free Calpol, and for this both Grace and Mummy today are very grateful.

Grace has today been grizzly and clingy - those pesky mountain peaks in her mouth are causing her strife and she's a little confused I think. It's said that babies get used to teething pains the more that come through, but at the moment Grace is definitely discomforted by the process, bless her.

Two down, another 18 to go.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

I thought I would tell you how Grace's first Christmas played out. We travelled down to my parents on Christmas eve and had a wonderful Christmas Day there together along with my Uncle Frank. On Boxing Day I drove my Mum and Grace to Harlow to spend the day with my sister Bunny and her family. Christmas Day was magical and special, particularly for Matt the Husband and I as parents for the first time. Of course Grace being only four months doesn't give a hoot about Christmas celebrations this year, but we both delighted in enjoying the festivities on her behalf.... the fun isn't just for the children you know! It was rotten luck that my Dad and Matt the Husband were struck down on Boxing Day with the winter gastric bug that is doing the rounds (I'd had it earlier in the week). I'm so grateful their illness didn't affect Christmas Day and thank heavens they were both feeling better again so quickly. Anyway, here's a few pictures of our Happy Holidays....

Very excited opening a present with Daddy.

Christmas morning with Mummy.

Having a look in Santa's stocking with Frank.

Playtime with Grandpa.

Having a snuggle with Bunny.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

Well nearly. Santa is coming tomorrow and the goose is cooked! Sooooo excited, it's driving me crackers. Ho! That's my first Christmas joke (and a bad one at that!) I woke up at 2am this morning and finally nodded off again just before the alarm went off to get Matt the Husband up and packed off to work. Only 4 more hours left for him to work.... wooo!!!! It's clear that Grace's first Christmas, of which she is thus far completely oblivious, is giving me free rein to get giddy, and giddy I am. I was almost sure I heard the reindeer last night, but then I realised that a) I was a day early and b) it was Matt the Husband competing with the dog in the festive snoring competition... lucky, aren't i??

Ok enough twaddle. Grace is still in bed but time is short as she's due up soon so I need to get this written. Being thrify this Christmas now that I am down to maternity pay, we decided only to buy for close family and a few little bits for Grace. We had a fun time at the Preloved Sale last week in the village hall, where we were lucky enough to pick up a stocking full of fun bits and pieces for Grace (read Matt the Husband) to open on Christmas morning without spending big. So pleased was I with our frugal finds, I was a bit premature patting the coins in the back pocket. Ever childlike, my husband bless him, couldn't bear the thought of a Christmas without something to unwrap himself. He doesn't tell me this, no! I discover it when I'm packing bags in the wee hours, and discover a little unfamiliar pile under the tree (no, not a pressie from Daisy-woof!!).... presents wrapped and labelled "To Daddy, love from Grace x x x"

Daddy and Grace conspiring to buy gifts for Daddy...

Now he forgets Mummy and Grace are organised and have already covered this base. When he gets home from work later he may need reminding that "love from Grace" is not a ticket to buy all those things Mummy has said "No" or "You must be kidding" or "Jog on" to the rest of the year. I can't wait to see what 'Grace' has bought him.

Getting giddy on jungle gym!

Grace is HEAVY. It must be all this tinsel she has been eating?? I have been poorly this week and at times I felt too wimpy to pick her up. She's gained 11oz in a week, and the hungry baby milk she is now supping is obviously doing good work. We are sure her first word will be "Milk".

Grace helping with the tree decs.

So I bid you a Merry Christmas while I go under the radar to enjoy a family Christmas! AND a Happy Christmas to you too!! God bless x x x

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Team Suffield have had a baby!

CONGRATULATIONS to Sanchia and Jason on the arrival of their little baby boy, Ethan James, born 30th November by elective caesarian as he arrived breach, weighing a truly whopping 9lb 14oz. Sanchia, well done sweetheart, you did a great job, he's beautiful. Grace and I hope to visit the new family soon.

With Sanchia at last years xmas party - the day I found out I was pregnant with Grace!!

Have 'BUMBO' will sit...

I'm so glad I took Christina's advice and bought one of these contraptions! The invention is genius. Soft and mouldable it relies on the babies weight to support the sit position, and it's heft enough to provide stability and safety. We love it. Naturally the first time Grace sat in it she looked a little shocked to say the least - being a big baby the space in the Bumbo is a little restrictive. Nevertheless, she loved her first few minutes, sitting on the countertop watching me do the dishes while the snow fell at the window. Money well spent. Grace spends time in the Bumbo daily now, its portable and she's fond of helping me fold laundry as well as opening the post. It's non-stop excitement here!

First-time Bumbo user, Grace Mae...

A dab-hand with the washing up now.

Sitting 'propped' up.

Beautiful blue eyes.

Family L.

4 months!

Where has the time gone? 17 weeks has flown and the tiny little thing that was delivered to us what seems like only yesterday has turned into a proper little baby girl. I can't get over how far Grace has come along... and she's not so little any more! At the moment our 'little baby' is 16lbs 10oz, measures around 25 inches tall and is comfortably filling size 6-9 month clothes. She is very tall and taking after her Daddy there. Her weight is consistently on the 91st centile which show steady growth in line with her birth weight.

Grace gets weighed once a fortnight now at the Childrens Centre in the village where both of us are making some new friends. We also go to play group there once, sometimes twice a week depending on what else we have on. It's so nice watching Grace interact with the other babies. She's the youngest by a few weeks, and some are up to a year old now. She has taken particular liking to baby Berrie, Scarlett and another Grace. It's such a warm feeling seeing her make eye contact with them, watching them communicate by gurgling and babbling, and sometimes trying to grab each others hands as they lay on the mat together. It's taken a while and someone particularly brave to start the ball rolling, and thanks to Berrie's Mummy, Joanne, who lives in the next village to break the ice and invite us over for a cuppa and a play date. I took Grace with other Grace's Mummy, Emma last week, and it made a lovely change just to sit and natter about this and that in the comfort of the home environment.

I must admit we have all struggled with getting out and about in the snow and ice of the last fortnight. In the first shallow snow we were able to push the buggy and when it iced over it was still ok-ish, just very hard work on me! Since the heavier snowfall it became impossible to navigate the buggy over the uneven terrain where the snow was deeper and car wheels had caused ruts which had then frozen. With the car snowed in for 4 days on the trot, we resorted to walking with the harness but even that became a toughy with Daisy-woof pulling on the lead and me freaking out about slipping over and squashing Grace! Anyway, its thawed out a bit temporarily (more snow forecast this weekend) so we have been making the most of getting out and about in the brief reprieve.

Grace is sleeping like a dream right now. I keep touching wood but each time I write this blog she's still sleeping beautifully and it's the one thing she is very very consistent about. We've had the bedtime routine down to a fine art now, and she going to bed around 7pm and sleeping right through till around 6-7am. We had a few night time wakings the other week as she has just been through the 4 month growth spurt (which saw her milk consumption shoot up by 20% literally overnight!), but she is back on track now with normal milk input and good nighttime sleeps. I have been a little sneaky of late as I am battling with the dark mornings in my head - Grace has been going back to sleep after her morning bottle which has let me enjoy the rare opportunity to sleep late, sometimes until she wakes again at around 10am! I am very lucky! (And lazy at times, but if a first-time Mum can't take a duvet day every now and then, who can??)

BIG stretch!

Matt the Husband undertakes the bedtime routine with Grace every night at 6pm when he gets home from work. He's been late home twice with the snow causing travel disruption so I've had the fun task of reading bedtime stories and bathing Grace ready for her bedtime bottle. Her favourite book is "We're going on a Bear Hunt" which has some wonderfully indulgent sound effects which she smiles so widely at and anyone having the pleasure of reading it to her relishes in the 5 minute chance get into character, and see her enjoying the show to the max. Sometimes I watch her enjoying life and I can feel my heart brimming with love for her and find myself a bit doe eyed. This motherhood lark is taking some getting used to, but moments like that are definitely priceless.

Developmentally, Grace is on track. She loves being on her front, reaching and grabbing for toys and wriggling alot as if she's trying to crawl. She hasn't yet mastered rolling, so we are encouraging her and helping her and when she does manage one she looks so surprised! We're sitting Grace up in the bath now so she has a new perspective on the bubbly world, and is taking a real interest in in the 3 little ducks that share the bubbles with her... tentative splashes and gentle little waves. So sweet to watch the excitement on her face - wide eyed and giving her wonderfully gummy grin. She's also spending a fair amount of time propped up with pillows so she's sitting, or spending a little time in the Bumbo we bought for her recently. It's great - she sits watching me do chores and its great knowing she's seeing things from he level now instead of seeing everything from the floor up. I'm loving this phase she is going through right now. Time is going quickly... too quickly at times.

Saying night-night before I go out for the Mypetstop Xmas Party.

So while Grace is growing, Mummy is trying to shrink!!! I kid you not. I'm so lucky with where I'm at for 4 months post-partum, 6lbs to shed to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Now that's not to say that's my ideal weight, but at least it's in sight and not unachievable. I'm very proud to be able to say that. I've started Ashtanga Yoga again and have been dragging poor Sheli along with me for company. I look up to my yoga teacher so much, and already I can feel the benefits, even if I am only practicing once a week. Got to plod on through the depths of winter though and I don't much relish the drive to the far side of Leeds each week to class, but it has to be done... I will be trim again!!

Nanny Roberts visiting from Norfolk.

Well, as I come to the end of this update for my blog readers, I am starting the countdown to my return to work. BOO! HISS!
I have completed six Keeping In Touch Days already and have one a week planned in for January before going back 3 days a week from the middle of February when Grace is 6 months. I'd like to take longer off to be with Grace, although honestly, I believe she will get better quality Mummy time on the 4 days we'll spend together once I've had the chance to mingle with grown-ups and do some big-girl work. Let's not think about that too much for now, eh?

Grace is taking a daytime nap at the moment while Daisy-woof and I have a snuggle on the sofa, watching a documentary we recorded almost a week ago, while the washing machine finishes it's load and the kettle boils so I can make a coffee before she wakes. Being a stay at home Mum for the moment is busy... never a dull moment... lonely a times, but I know there are always friends I can call on to have a chat or share a laugh with. You know who you are... thank you! x x

Daisy-woof enjoying Doggy Day Camp (photo courtesy of James Kundi).