Another year has flown by. It’s like I blinked and someone fast forwarded from me being massively pregnant and complaining about being a week passed my due date and then BAM – it’s 2017! We’ve triggered Article 50, Trump is POTUS and Blackburn are in the relegation zone of the Championship. BUT….. we’ve had 365 days of growth, development, laughs, giggles, tears, screams, sleep deprivation, kisses and cuddles with our fantastic, smiley, independent and funny but still very much follicularly* challenged daughter!
*Her hair is growing, just extremely slowly and it is also very light so it’s hard to see…. honest! But it does make it easy to clean her up after meals!
I read back over what I wrote when A1 was one and if I’m being an honest I’m not sure I can be quite as gushing as I was in that intro. Not because I don’t love A2 as much but just because my baseline is very different. The long and short of it is, I love them both so much!
There’s so much to say and a ton of pictures this month too so I’m gonna crack on.
Movement: Her crawling speed is now too fast to measure! She has learnt to get down steps and off things safely this month and she is coasting more often and she’s pulling up to, and standing completely independently more and more and she is enjoying being walked around holding hands so she’s been putting lots of the foundations of walking in place….just in time to take her first steps with Mr.J on Saturday afternoon! I was baking the second part of her birthday cake in the kitchen so I missed the first two steps but was quickly shouted through by Mr.J and A1 and I got to see her next efforts. I was very excited to say the least as I was very convinced she wasn’t going to do it anytime soon given how competent she is at crawling, especially combined with her new technique of pushing things along or a half crawl/half crouch pushing method to bring things to you. She can get off the scuttlebug safely by herself now and does a bit of reversing and some teeny forward movements too.
She claps lots and lots and lots now and often puts both hands above her head as if she’s cheering, especially if someone says ‘Yaaay’; then you’ll probably get a big smile along with it too. Mr.J asks her to do ‘roller coaster’, as when she started to do it we all started to do it along with her so it looked like we were all on a ride! She also points to the ceiling for ‘Wind the bobbin up’ and does a scrunchy movement with her fingers for winding the bobbin. I don’t have many good photos of these though or her high fives as I usually need my hands free to high five back!
She likes to give big, wet open mouthed kisses and I kid you not, her hug/cuddle is THE. BEST. THING. EVER. She puts her right arm around your neck and gives you a firm squeeze. It’s not a ‘holding on for safety’ type of squeeze, it’s a properly loving, heartfelt squeeze and every time she does it, it makes me happy.
Eating: Last month, I said I thought she didn’t like banana but I was wrong; she just obviously didn’t fancy it when I last gave it to her. I can’t think of anything she’s not liked in recent weeks. She has been entertaining us with her eating ‘skills’ recently as if she really likes something she just tries to lick the plate or drink it from the bowl. Here she is drinking her porridge and licking curry from her plate. I also love the photo where she has her hand in the bib pouch as she’d been picking away at things on her tray for ages but had stopped so I took it away but she clearly wasn’t finished so she started on what she’d dropped there! She also loves to put cutlery into cups and bowls and it seems to bring her incredible joy when she achieves this.
The main eating issue we have at the moment is how to keep her safe as she keeps escaping high chairs! We’ve switched to the booster seat at home but when I’m out and about it’s a nightmare and I have to just hold her on my lap!
Sleep: A2 is definitely a better sleeper than A1 on the whole, though that’s not too hard! Since our wedding anniversary when Grandma and Grandad babysat for us so we could enjoy a nice lunch out (thanks again; food was lovely), A2 has had almost all of her daytime naps in the pram so I’ve had some hands free time.
It’s amazing, weird and a bit sad as I do miss my snuggles. But it has meant I’ve been able to play more with A1, get on with housework, make food or even do crafts! She seems to be starting to transition to one nap now though. The morning nap is getting shorter and the afternoon nap is erratic in length. It’s started to be a bit of a pain to fit naps around groups, as it seems unfair to knowingly let her have a couple of disaster naps in the car and then be really grumpy but there are other things we can do around naps instead of playgroups. Evenings are still tricky as she rarely manages more than 2 sleep cycles (90 min) without waking unless I’m next to her but once I am in bed next to her she will do longer stretches and I think she probably ranges from 1-4 wake ups in the night which is manageable Sometimes her favourite place to nod off is lying on top of me with her head right on my neck though; not comfy!
Play: Ooooooh, so much play now! She loves emptying the fruit and veg from the basket in the toy kitchen and putting the basket on her face/head and in general she likes to have things put on her head as she will pass you them and then pat her head excitedly. Here we have examples of a builders hat, cap and sunglasses….
Much to A1’s dismay she really likes the train set but I often have to separate the two playing areas so she doesn’t destroy the hardwork that’s gone into the track build :s
She really does love it when you sing and dance too. Her favourites seem to be ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ and ‘Wind the bobbin up’. She’s also been playing with dolls more recently, but so has A2 so it may just be that he has left them out! She was very sweet when she brought me one and held it up to my chest so I think she thought it might want some milk. I made her a sling for her birthday (it’s reversible too!) so that she can carry her baby around – as you can see here, she may need some safety pointers! It wasn’t her birthday when I took these photos but I wanted to check the sizing. This was a product of 2 pram naps! Pulling wipes out of the packet, books, jigsaws and noisy toys are also loads of fun.
She loves playing outside (so it’s a pain that she can’t walk as she just wants to crawl on the patio which is filthy and full of stuff she’ll try to eat but shouldn’t) on the car and the scuttlebug and the new slide. She didn’t like the grass when I tried to get her to crawl there. Mr.J put the tent carpet out and she was happy on that but wouldn’t crawl off it so that was actually very handy! She loved the swing in the park the other week, though it did take her a few swings before she broke into that big smile….
Most recently, she spent about 15 minutes opening A1’s undies drawer, passing me the socks and saying ‘O’ (see Communication!) but putting the undies on the other side and then closing the drawer and doing this over and over and over again. She was also having a lot of fun trying to stand the Duplo elephant up properly on the bobbly rug in the living room and was well chuffed with herself when she did it. ‘Hidey boo’ is brilliant fun, especially with A1 when they’re putting the living room curtains to good use.
Teeth: I think she had just got 4 teeth last month and that’s stayed the same! The top two canines are looking bulgy and threatening to break through but nothing as yet. You can see the 4 current ones here though!
Communication: There are definitely some sounds I recognise as ‘words’; she has ‘A!’ for cat, ‘o!’ for on and off (in the context of lights, TV remote, socks) and ‘haaaaaay’ for ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’. She makes her wants known in other ways though! Bashing on the door to the utility room and then picking up wellies and saying ‘O’ and banging on the door when she wants to go in the garden or passing me her clothes after she’s had a bath and saying ‘O!’. She also seems to understand more of my instructions so if I say ‘Let’s go and peel potatoes in the kitchen’ she’ll crawl into the kitchen, etc. Sometimes, she knows what I’m saying and just cheekily smiles and ignores me. Usually when I say ‘Don’t go upstairs’ and she sets off as fast as she can.
In other news, A1 has started a gymnastics class on a Saturday morning. So far, I’ve taken him and Mr.J and A2 have done jobs/napped at home and that’s been lovely for us both to spend time with just one child on our own. The gymnastics is mostly fun stuff with a few bits of proper apparatus but A1 seems to enjoy it and is doing well at listening to the instructions. He’s already better at balancing and more confident. After initially being reluctant he has also started joining in with the football sessions at nursery too so he will probably do that weekly once the new term starts. He’s been incredibly helpful at times recently and wanting to help with things around the house. Sadly, he has had a horrid cough for a couple of weeks now too which we are hoping explains a dip in his sleeping but we shall see….. I can’t complain about that too much as Mr.J does his bedtime and night wake ups most of the time unless he’s away for work.
And finally, here are some random family snaps from recent weeks that I don’t have time to write more about! I’ll try and post again soon with more pictures from the birthday gathering and our birthday day out but I’ve written this in advance of the big day so I could share all these snaps on her actual birthday. Hope you’ve all enjoyed this if you’ve got this far!!