five months

dear s,

five whole months! we can’t believe you’re so old. this last month has been a little crazy (as evidenced by my lack of blogging about your life…sorry about that!), but you are so quickly becoming a little girl. this month your talents include:

rolling over – finally! you WERE saving up your talent until you had lots of time, space, and people to show off for. all of a sudden this huge milestone us no big deal for you. we put a blanket on the floor and you can roll for days…in one direction. you can go right, but not left. go figure! when you reach the end of your runway, we just flip you around and let you go back the other way. go left, zoolander!!!

chatting – your language skills are developing really quickly right now. you still can’t razz yet, but you try your damndest and sometimes get it right. it takes you an hour or so in the morning to start chatting, but once you start, you don’t shut up. sound like someone you know? you still speak in consonant-vowel groups, but also squeal, belly laugh, and fake cough a lot. love that your voice is coming through!

chewing – you put EVERYTHING in your mouth these days. frank, sophie, soft toys, hard toys, your hands, everyone else’s hands, it doesn’t matter. straight into the mouth. we’re hoping you’ll cut a tooth soon, because the chewing coupled with drooling and fussiness definitely means teething.

throwing – i thought we’d have longer to wait before this happened, but no. if you don’t want a toy anymore, down it goes. you haven’t quite figured out that this can be a fun game, so i try to ignore it as much as possible for now.

flirting – when we met your aunt kelsey for the first time, you kept giggling and holding your hands back behind your head like you do when you’re going to sleep. we thought you were tired or silly, but it turns out you were flirting. this is adorable and hilarious!

playing with animals – my parents have two dogs and two cats, and you are OBSESSED with them. the dogs are gigantic and the cats aren’t particularly friendly, but you’re not really bothered. you love reaching out to the them and petting them, and you don’t really even mind when you get licked in the face. it’s so cute to watch you being so gentle, and to watch the animals being gentle and even protective back towards you. i don’t love all the animal hair that comes along with it, though. ugh.

stamping your foot – you like to stand almost ALL the time, and recently have started stamping your left foot when you’re standing. lord help us when you start to walk.

cuddling – you went through a phase of hating cuddles in all forms, but are starting to come around to the idea of giving and receiving cuddles. your grandmother would love for you to fall asleep while she rocks you, but so far you’re having none of it. hopefully someday you will be a super cuddly baby, but for now you’re very very independent. like your mother. 😉

sitting…kind of – you love sitting in the bumbo, for a limited time. you can also sit propped up on the couch, but still pitch over to the side after a few minutes. in the next month or so we’re hoping to start solids (maybe via baby led weaning, but we’ll talk about that later) so get to sitting, girl!

we’re so excited that you’ve come along so much in the past month. you’re also challenging in many ways. right now you seem to be going through a phase of difficulty settling down for a nap or nighttime sleep. we haven’t tried any kind of sleep training with you yet (mommy’s just not ready to hear you cry!) and sometimes you can get pretty needy. most of the time i have to nurse you to sleep, or daddy has to do silly dances around the room with you. but once you get to sleep, boy do you sleep! usually you wake up once in the night for a feed, but some lovely nights you sleep all the way through. i get confused when i wake up in the morning and haven’t been woken up at all! when we come home from our trip to the states we’re going to think about moving you to your own nursery. let’s not talk about that now. you are also pretty demanding…if you want something, you want it NOW. it’s cool to see you aware of the world around you, but girl, patience is not a virtue you possess. your shrieks are louder every day, but your smiles are brighter. we are so happy to have you in our lives and are so lucky to watch you grow every day!

happy five months, s. we love you! ❤

gorgeous baby!

retail therapy

remember those few weeks were i was all, yeahhh my baby sleeps through the night and it’s awesome and being a mom is so easy? yeah, they’re over. s has returned to getting up at 10, and 2, and 6 most nights. yay for never sleeping through multiple sleep cycles! anyway, today i got up and was feeling generally pretty crap about things and not looking forward to a day of eat, play, sleep, repeat all by ourselves.

so we went shopping.

and this is what we bought! (i know that sometimes window shopping is *almost* as good as the real thing, so i’ll let you peek at my purchases…also, when did retail therapy become all about my baby and not about me at all? the only thing i bought myself was an iced tea.)

my first taggies book – who do you see?

frill swimsuit – john lewis baby

spot sleeping bag – john lewis baby

tunic and legging set – next

chevron dress – next

yellow fishermans hat – next

i seriously need to find a money tree.

four months

dear s,

today you are four months old. i know i said this two months ago, but i can’t believe the time has gone by this fast. your daddy and i were talking the other day, and neither of us can believe that you’re a little person all of a sudden, with your own personality and mannerisms. you’re inquisitive (nosey, most normal people would call it), sensitive, happy, and loving. you’re also stubborn, emotional, and impatient sometimes. it’s amazing to me how i can describe you as anything other than a crying, pooing baby, but you are so much more than that. so this post will be dedicated to the s that we have come to know and love over the last few months, and your many accomplishments.

this month you learned how to roll over. kind of. you still hate being on your tummy, but now it takes almost five whole minutes to make you scream before i have to flip you back over myself.

what?!

you love your sophie the giraffe. and your bunny rabbit. daddy and i call him frank (after the bunny rabbit in donnie darko…yes, we’re freaks). sophie is for playtime and frank is for sleeptime. you like to cuddle frank to your face when you’re falling asleep. mommy only freaks out a little when you do that.

frank and i are just sleeping, ok?

you have incredible lower body strength. what you lack in rolling over skill (or maybe you’re saving it up, i’m not sure) you make up for in leg strength. you’ll be cruising well before your first birthday, i know it.

look at me!

we’re (pretty) sure you’re teething. you gum your toys, and hands, and clothes, and our hands, and whatever else you can get your paws on, all day long. and you drool. oh, do you drool.

nom nom nom

you’re developing the gift of gab. it’s so cool to watch your language develop…especially as a linguistics nerd myself, i feel like i can really appreciate the massive leaps you’re taking every day with your speech. now you can make occasional consonant-vowel sounds (ga ga ga, etc) and i swear i heard you say ‘hiya’ the other day. it’s the teesside in you. 😉 you can also laugh, but only when you want to. last week after your immunizations, you had a few days of no talking at all. it made us sad not to hear your beautiful voice (and to only hear your cry!) but now i think you were just saving it up, and practicing in your head.

chatting with daddy

you are OBSESSED with the tv. you crane your neck around when i have you sitting in your boppy to watch big bang, how i met your mother, and desperate housewives. not so much daddy’s documentaries. oh well. yesterday we took you to see spiderman at the big scream, and you absolutely loved it. you sat on daddy’s lap and watched the whole thing. we’re also pretty sure you had a bad dream because of the movie last night! can babies have nightmares? that lizard was pretty scary.

i’m just watching my shows. leave me alone.

you hate being manipulated. more specifically, you hate having your clothes changed. i try to do it as quickly as possible, but it usually results in screams and cries of anger and frustration. sorry about that!

when you’re playing, you stick your legs up in the air. it’s super cute, and i know that your discovery of your feet is not far away at all! you’ll play for ages with your sophie and other toys with those feet above your head. it’s adorable and looks like it might not be that comfortable, but hey, i’m not as flexible as you anymore!

feet!

bathtime is one of your favorite times of the day. you love kicking, splashing (sort of), and playing in the bath. we can’t wait to take you swimming. it’s on the summer to do list, so it’s got to happen!

love the bath!

you can sit up! not by yourself, and not entirely reliably (slumping over happens more regularly than actual sitting, but oh well). we’re going to invest in a bumbo like this one to work on it next month! yay!

just sitting up, nbd.

you’re such a happy girl, s! we are so lucky to be a part of your life and love seeing you grow and discover. there are a million more things you’ve learned and experienced this month. i wish i could remember them all and capture them to have all for myself. but i’m looking forward to sharing you and your talents with the world. i can’t wait for what the world has in store! here’s to you and to so many more firsts.

love, mommy ❤

so excited about being four months old!

the summer according to pinterest.

i’d been thinking about writing up a sort of summer to-do list, or a bucket list, but hadn’t got the motivation to do it until the fabulous e tells tales suggested a blog link up. now i’m not nearly creative (or energetic, these days) enough to come up with lots of ideas off the cuff, so for this bucket list i will defer to the other lover in my life. yes, i mean pinterest. my sweet evening affairs with this website leave me feeling encouraged, excited and jealous of other people’s lives. but i have actually DIYed my way through a few of the things on my pinboards over the last few months, including making an adorable hand and footprint salt dough keepsake for p for father’s day (like this one here).

now onto this summer:

1. get my hair did.

a few years ago i went crazy and had my hair highlighted completely. i think it was an accident. but i LOVE the full head of highlights look, and want my hair this short again. if i was a millionaire i’d get a brazilian blow dry so it would be kind of straight right after blow drying, but for now i will have to dream. plus, then i’d miss my curls. also, i will allow someone to babysit s so this can happen…i got my hair cut when she was three weeks old, but it consisted of literally handing off the baby to p after he returned from his own appointment, running to the hairdressers, and getting a few inches chopped off. i want an afternoon of styling. maybe with a mani/pedi.

2. organize my life.

this site has about 139847165 ideas for baby/home organization. none of which i accomplished before s was born. now our house isn’t exactly a hoarder’s home, but it could be cleaner. and more organized. so i will do at least one of these things on this list.

3. fly to the states!

Source: youtube.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest

the tips and tricks from mama natural‘s video blog are going to come in handy when p, s and i all hop on a plane in august to see my family. i’m only freaking out about the trip a little, and most moms who’ve traveled with babies and toddlers say that the earlier you fly (in terms of baby’s age), the easier the trip will be. i just know i’m going to have to kill some bitches with kindness, though, as they give me the black look of death for bringing an infant on board an airplane. it’s ok, i will leave nappy bags full of s’s stinkiest poop underneath their seats.

4. (re)learn to knit.

can you get any more adorable than this? i’m sure it’s super easy and would take about five seconds to do. plus, if you know me, you know that flip flops/sandals/any kind of shoe that doesn’t require socks is the best kind of footwear. s isn’t going to be small enough for this to be cute for that long! my grandmother, who’s in her mid 80s and only has partial vision, is the most amazing artist when it comes to knitting and crochet. she’s tried to teach me how to knit half a dozen times (bless her), so one day i’d like to make her proud by actually learning something.

5. get my craft on.

this super cute shag rug will be perfect for the kitchen. it will also solve my problem of having far too many items of clothes. every time we get a charity bag through the letterbox, i fill it up and return it with tons of my junk. it seems to regenerate almost immediately, and makes me a little sad. now is the time to simplify my life ever so slightly and focus on what’s really important rather than getting sucked into the material things of life. (if you’re super duper brave, you could be like my friend awayathomemom and live out of an RV with your family. so cool!) there are approximately a million more craft ideas i have yet to try out on my pinterest boards…check them out.

6. go swimming with s!

luckily this one involves shopping for bathing suits. also, i mostly want to do this because of the photography session. p gets in the bath with s at the moment (TMI? sorry) and keeps saying, can i dunk her? can i dunk her? and so far i’ve said no because i’m scared she’ll drown and we’ll be the idiots that tried to make their own baby swim. so i’m going to let the professionals help! s loves bath time now and i think she will enjoy the pool, too. plus, i need to get back in the water!

7. bake some sexy cakes.

those of you who have already perused my pinterest boards probably have gathered that my bff and i have half-joked about starting up a cupcake business. no, not like two broke girls, i hate that show. more like ace of cakes meets starbucks flavors meets english charm. it’s mostly a pipe dream, but if i ever win the lottery i will quit whatever semi-fulfilling job i have and open a cupcake shop. so to prepare myself i must get back in the kitchen and start baking. plus, p once told me that my gift for having our first child would be a kitchenaid mixer. i’m still waiting! (i’m sure it’s in the post. not.)

8. get picnicking.

after the disaster that was our last picnic-style outing (yes, i am a wussy mama) i am afraid i may instill the same neuroses in my daughter. so you heard it here first, everyone…i vow to spend more time outdoors with my family. i will lather up my baby with bug spray and sun screen (after six months, i think…before then i will keep her under a mosquito net and hide her from every ray of sun possible) and eat smores with my family. this i solemnly swear.

9. have a date night with p (and without s…sorry baby!)

my parents came to visit when s was five weeks old (they live across the ocean in the states) and tried to get us to go out to see the hunger games. i wasn’t ready to leave the baby and hadn’t tried pumping yet, and figured the logistics of organizing feeds around movie times would be too difficult…ok i was terrified of leaving s for more than five minutes. my mom told me that i’d be ready soon. a few weeks after she left, i sent her a text saying, you were right! i want a babysitter now! so p and i are already talking about date night ideas for our trip to the states. three weeks with my parents, grandparents, sisters, and aunt nearby = lots and lots and lots of babysitters! sorry, guys! s is lovely, i promise! and hopefully she’ll go the *&$@ to sleep for you.

10. lose the baby flab.

ok, so i know this photo doesn’t really coincide with the step. but having a positive body image and feeling good about myself includes losing my baby flab. i know that i’m beautiful, but i also want to feel healthy and sexy instead of lazy and glued to the sofa. even though i love me some big bang theory. so this summer i plan to find an evening zumba class, or vow to get up three times a week at six and walk/run (ok so i can’t run…yet. positive thinking!!!) to feel better about myself and to be a positive role model for s.

so that’s the list, for the most part! i’m sure our summer will consist of much more than this (and you’ll all hear about the lot, of course) but i’ll update you as these items get checked off! happy summer! ❤

go the *&$@ to sleep

lately i’ve gotten a little bit cocky. like we had it all figured out. like we couldn’t possibly have any more hurdles to jump and that our baby was perfect. WROOOOOONG. it’s like the baby gods have looked down on us from on high and said, nope suckers, here’s a curveball.

our damn baby will just not sleep. rather, she won’t GO to sleep. daytimes for mommy? yes. nighttimes for either mommy or daddy? no. it’s not like the transition from moses basket to travel cot has thrown her off a little and that things are slowly getting better. if anything, they’re getting worse. the girl will SCREAM her head off as soon as we leave her for five seconds. sometimes, if she’s particularly pissed off, she will scream when she psychically reads our minds and knows we’re thinking about bedtime. it usually starts from the moment i get her out of the bath and start putting her pajamas on. she just knows that these clothes are not daytime clothes, and NO she is not having it. thankfully for p, she is an angel when he bottle feeds her, but as soon as that bottle is gone, she flips out. for three hours.

this is the book we’re going to start reading to her every night.

and this is the fantastic audio version, read by none other than samuel l. jackson, the king of the f word. (for those of you who are particularly adverse to potty mouthing, please don’t listen! on the other hand, if you know me, you’ve heard it all before.) best line: “how come you can do all this other great shit but you can’t lie the f down and sleep?” as i’m writing this, i’m listening to the youtube reading and p is saying, why didn’t i write this book?! i’m sure adam mansbach would let him collaborate on sequels, possibly of the religious variety. something along the lines of, “jesus is watching you, so you sit the f in your pew in church.”

so please, s, i beg you, stop messing your parents around and go the f to sleep.

(big) baby steps

over the past week we’ve had a really hard time getting s to settle at bedtime. every time we would put her down she would get upset and refuse to sleep. we’re talking about screaming until her face turns purple and she can’t breathe upset. which is not fun.

after what seemed like a million nights of this un-s-like behavior we decided to change it up. since she was already growing out of her moses basket, a transition to the travel cot was the next logical step. even though it happened suddenly in the middle of the night (and involved a few choice words from both p and myself), the transition was fairly straightforward. s seems to love the travel cot (we use this lovely one, even though my mother pointed out that if we have a boy next the poor thing will be forced to sleep in a den of pink. oh well, he will just rock the pink). she kicks around, chats to herself, and can MIRACULOUSLY settle herself for daytime naps. not so much with bedtime…i think she can sense that she’s being put down for the night and doesn’t want to miss out on the fun. poor thing has no idea that tidying up the house and lying comatose on the sofa in front of reruns of the big bang theory equals fun these days. but, on the whole, we are very lucky and she is doing so well.

so am i!

having the baby in the bedroom while we’re downstairs means using the dreaded baby monitor. the monitor is one of those baby products you think you’re going to need from day one but don’t end up taking out of the box for months (if you’re anything like p and me and think you need to check on the baby’s breathing every, i don’t know, ten seconds and therefore keep her within arm’s reach AT ALL TIMES). so the transition from staring at my sleeping baby to leaving her in the bedroom three or four times a day has been harder on me than it has on her. for the first few days i would pick up the receiver of the parent monitor and hold it to my ear until i convinced myself i could hear s breathing. ok, so i still do that…maybe only once or twice an hour now, rather than once or twice in five minutes. that’s a HUGE step.

the best part about the whole experience has been FINALLY getting to use the adorable grobags given to us by friends…seriously our baby looks so cute.

the next step for us is trying to figure out how to structure the evening routine…we’re finding that after a 3 or 4 o’clock feed s will need one more nap before bedtime (currently feeling the repercussions of prematurely dropping a nap…i want to watch big brother!!!) but that it pushes everything back slightly. any suggestions?!

i’ll leave you with a shot of our beautiful s, whose smiling face makes me forget some of the, shall we say, less lovely thoughts of motherhood i have after three hours of SHUSHHHHHHHING and rocking bak and forth.

but mommy, i looooove you and want to spend every minute with you!!!

the week in review.

another busy week in the d household! s is three months old, and is officially no longer a newborn. crazy!!!

this week we took our first ‘holiday’ post-baby. monday we drove to west sussex to attend the installation of p’s best friend as vicar of a parish church on the coast. we stayed two nights at a hotel, visited with p’s friend’s family (two of s’s godparents!), took s to chichester cathedral and pallant house gallery (excellent modern art museum; s LOVED the bright colors!) and put our feet in the english channel. phew!

s driving lola…starting early.

art appreciation, infant style.

first time in the english channel! and don’t worry, the water was warmer than the air.

the only way s will deal with tummy time. bad parents.

yes, the same west sussex that had epic flooding monday and tuesday. flooding we experienced first hand. thankfully, we’re all still alive, after driving our poor lola (our ford fiesta) through two or more feet of standing water for what seemed like hours on end. this is one of the smaller lakes we drove through (please note that my hands were over my eyes and not on the camera during our fording of deeper waters):

i think i can see noah in the distance!

s did a great job in the car, and an even better job in the hotel over two nights. pretty sure she’s protesting being back from holiday, though, because she currently won’t go to sleep without being cuddled and resorts to screaming when she doesn’t get her way. YAY!

speaking of s…p and i are currently sitting in the living room WITHOUT OUR BABY. yes, i know s is three months old, but tonight marks the first night we’ve put her to bed in the bedroom rather than on the floor in her moses basket. say it with me now…xannnnnnax. yes, please. or gin. no tonic. :/ oh well, will have to settle for chocolate ice cream and big brother. and pictures of our beautiful baby.

vacationing is so tiring.