Tag Archives: baby

Word of the Year 2009

I’m participating in the Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge.  Every day this month, I write something different about what’s happened this year.

Awesome.  This year has been really, truly awesome.  Look at this photo of my nearly-one-year-old and deny it.

Nope?  There we go.  Awesome.

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Big Fat Eric Cat

I’m participating in the Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge.  Every day this month, I write something different about what’s happened this year.  Apologies for lack of posting yesterday, we spent the day in London and the weekend at my parents’ place; I’ve come back slightly more insane than before.  The answer to yesterday’s question?  Falafel.  Could NOT live without the stuff now.  Anyway, today’s post is about the best change we made to the place we live.

Eric.  Introducing him into our home and our family has been the most wonderful thing.  He and David are growing up together.  They sleep next to each other, play together, and annoy the crap out of each other.  They cause me equal amounts of worry, and have roughly equal numbers of hugs!  (Eric is a very snuggly, clingy cat and I’ve worn him in a sling so I can work before now.)  They are both in this lovely in-between stage: David is neither a baby nor a toddler, and Eric is no longer a kitten, but not quite a cat.

The older cats have mostly accepted him.  Snowball still dislikes him, but then Snowball doesn’t like anyone or anything apart from Joe.  Wily puts up with his adoring attentions with great patience and grace.  “Oy boss, have you been outside, where’ve you been, did you catch any mice, will you teach me how to catch mice when I’m big, oh please, please, PLEASE…”  He will catch mice when he’s allowed outside: Snowball has brought the occasional live one inside, which he’s finished off, but I still don’t want my little baby boy going out.

So again, I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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Heaven

I’m participating in the Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge.  Every day this month, I write something different about what’s happened this year.

See this little boy here?  He doesn’t sit still, like, ever.

This is often a problem.  We still live in a small flat; it’s winter, so we can’t use the garden; David’s bedroom is David-safe, but everywhere else he has to be either strapped down or closely supervised.  The weather is horrible at this time of year, and he’s only just walking, so trips to the park happen once in a blue moon.  This is why we spend most afternoons in the best place in the world, ever: a soft-play centre a half-hour drive down the road.

I know I come across as slightly obsessed, but most of the pictures of David at the Daily Photo are taken there.  They have the biggest baby and toddler area in the country, with lots of lovely sensory things for babies.  It’s incredibly well thought-out, and David adores it.  His absolute favourite are the fish in the bubble tube.

I love it too, of course.  It’s very reasonable to get in.  The food is good: standard soft play centre fare, but just really, really nice.  (There’s a nice balance of healthy and unhealthy: David has started asking for chocolate buttons when we go there.).  The most wonderful thing is that he can run, well, high-speed crawl around in complete safety, and tire himself out nicely.

I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.

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Filed under Car, Recipes, trips, Uncategorized

Challenge

I’m participating in the Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge.  Every day this month, I write something different about what’s happened this year.

After today’s wordy Daily Photo, here is a picture to paint a thousand words:

With David, every day brings a new challenge.  One day, he’ll be sweetness and light; the next, a demon from the fiery pits of Hell.  We’ve been to Hell and back as a family, but we’re here, now, in a much better place, and I’m thankful that the biggest challenge of the last few weeks has been getting him to stay with me while walking round an aquarium.  As I say far too often, I love this.  I really, really love it, and I am so thankful for him.

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Filed under Best Of 2009, David, Mental Health, pictures

Peace

I’m participating in the Best Of 2009 Blog Challenge.  Every day this month, I write something different about what’s happened this year.

After a difficult day, I am finding it hard to remember a peaceful moment this year.  Things are so busy, so rushed, so stressed: I rarely sit down for longer than five minutes, unless it’s to work.  I know that I have letters and emails to write, photos to edit, clients to recruit; however, I am getting as close to peace as I can by writing, writing and thinking about the good things that I have, and staying positive.  I’ll find peace and calmness through it, even though it will last for at most five minutes before it is shattered.

When David had just turned eight months old, we paid a visit to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, Devon.  He relaxed completely and took it all in, then he stayed chilled out for the rest of the day.  Nothing else had ever had that effect on him before, and until recently, nothing since.

A few months on, I decided to fork out £25 for annual membership of the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.  We’ve been twice since, and each time David has completely relaxed.  He’s quiet and calm, but talkative: fish seem to turn my little whirlwind boy into a breeze.  They focus his attention in a way that nothing else can.  There is one tank right at the beginning that he loves: we have to walk up the slope to find somewhere to park the pushchair, but as soon as he sees it he gets excited and wants to get out.  It’s on his level, and he sits still in front of it and takes everything in, and points to bits that interest him.  When asked, he pointed out spotty fish, thin fish, fish with whiskers, rays, and yellow fish.

We spent nearly four hours there today.  He’s sleeping so, so well tonight, and I’m finally at peace for five minutes at a time.

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A Little More Conversation

David dropped a book on the floor this morning.  We’ve been having little “conversations” and I’m never sure whether he’s actually talking to me or not.  Today, I knew.

“Have you just dropped a book on the floor?”

“Yeah.”

“Are we having a conversation?”

“Yeah.”

“Would you like your book back?”

“No.”

“Would you like some milk?”

“BO!”  (“Bo!” is his word for bottle.  It’s pronounced with a hard “o!” sound, not “oh”)

We’re not doing too badly for eleven months old, are we?  Apart from making a mess in the bathroom and blaming it on “Eh-Rh!” (Eric.)  Well, it was blatantly his fault.

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Cat Naps

Before David was born, nearly everyone warned us that we’d treat the cats differently when we had a real baby.  We were warned to make sure we put a cat-net on the cot, that we shouldn’t allow them to sleep in the same room as him, that we’d have to be extra-cautious about sterilizing everything.  Our midwife was horrified that we weren’t “getting rid” of them.

Well, we’ve never really been bothered about germs.  The cat-net on the cot lasted for the five minutes before Snowball worked out how to remove it, we let the cats back into the bedroom after ten minutes on the first night home from hospital, and the ten-second rule applies to everything that touches the floor in this house.  Joe goes by the mantra “if it hasn’t got cat hair on it, it’s probably OK.”  Snowball is fed on the side in the kitchen, otherwise the boys jump on her, and we keep a litter tray in the kitchen, too.  We clean the side and the floor pretty regularly, and make sure we disinfect the side before preparing food (which, to be honest, I’d do anyway.)  There is a frequent exchange of toys, especially balls, between cats and baby: we just make sure that none of the cat toys are a choking hazard, as they’re pretty much guaranteed to end up in someone’s mouth.

Now, I know that there’s a school of thought that says you should keep pets, especially cats, away from children whilst they sleep.  We never had a problem with Snowball or Wily sleeping in the Moses basket or the cot when David was tiny, although there were occasions where Snowball would sleep next to David on the sofa.  They still don’t really go near him, especially now that he’s big enough to chase them and pull their tails.  Until this morning, Eric hadn’t shown any interest in sleeping in the cot, either.

I caught him there when I went to collect David from his nap.  Well, he’s certainly showing interest now.  It’s in a nice, warm spot, and the duvet is soft and comfortable.  There are snuggly soft toys, including Mini-Eric.  It’s not easily David-accessible unless we put him there, and Snowball and Wily have never slept there or marked it.

You know what?  I’m not going to bow down to pressure or paranoia on this one.  The stories about cats smothering babies are clearly an old wives’ tale: no cat would ever go near those grabby hands.  (Eric, certainly, would not sleep within reach of David.).  David, meanwhile, is clearly benefitting from growing up so close to these three beautiful creatures: he is mostly very gentle, and he can now say “puss!” and “miaow”.  I want him to wake up to a cat sleeping on the end of his bed, like I did with Jenny and Charlie.  One of the reasons that we got Eric when we did was that so he and David could grow up side-by-side, and I’m so very glad they are.

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