Wonder Weeks

Joel has been rather hard work these past few days.  I was feeling rather despondent about it until I looked on the Babycentre forum and found that it wasn’t just me.   Lots of mums had suddenly lost their happy, playful babies and had them replaced with grizzly, unhappy, tantrummy ones instead.

There is a lot going on with Joel at the moment.  Every day he can suddenly do something new.  This week he’s begun pulling himself up to standing, standing with one hand touching the sofa, cruising along the chairs, gaining confidence in exploring and playing off on his own or with other babies, he can drink unaided from a cup on his own now, he’s stacking his cups away and can do all the shapes on his sorter with ease.

He’s begun sleeping through the night and I don’t even need to lift him at 10 to give him milk.  He’s not taking that much in the day at the moment but he’s eating well so it’s not too worrying.

He loves Oatibix for breakfast, and to change it up a bit sometimes he has toast and yoghurt instead.  He’s good with fruits and enjoys satsumas, bananas, pear and mango and grapes as snacks or breadsticks.  He loves cheese and eggs and baked beans which makes for quick and snacky meals.  He’s not too partial to a roast dinner with potato, veggies and meat but gobbles down pasta faster than I can put it in front of him, and home made bread with thick soup goes down a treat too!

I just hope this current grumpy phase goes by quickly.  I’m fed up of being bopped on the head, having my lips pulled and my glasses grabbed.  He thinks it’s funny but it’s hard getting him to learn what’s acceptable or not at the moment.  Especially when Steve rough and tumbles with him which essentially is teaching him it’s ok.  He was teaching him to box him round the head the other day!  I had to intervene and inform Steve that Joel would be boxing the babies at nursery this week and he could be the one to explain his behaviour if called in to see the staff.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and we always start off bright and with Bounce and Rhyme to go to the morning at least should be enjoyable!!

A Sunny Day

Last night was different!

Steve and I went to a party!

And Joel had a night at Grandma and Grandads!!

And he slept through and didn’t cry once, and didn’t even seem to miss us!  Which I know is a good thing, and I’d not wish an upset Joel on anyone but a tiny weeny bit of me wishes he could have missed us a little.  But never mind.  I know that’s petty!

But I had fun!  I got to drink a couple of glasses of wine, chat to people and not worry about Joel and we got in about 1am!  I know, we should have made the most of sleeping time, but we were also making the most of freedom time!

This morning we had a viewer, and it seemed positive so fingers crossed this one is the buyer.  I guess we’ll find out after the weekend, but Mum and Dad came down yesterday to help with a bit of a tidy and clean up and I’d buy this house if it were me!!  It looks lovely today.

Steve and I then walked Izzy up to collect the car (we abandoned it last night!) and retrieve Joel so she had a good romp and run around but because the sun was shining and we were all in a good mood, we thought we’d treat her to another romp on Cannock Chase!

And Joel loved it too.  I put him in his rucksack, and we climbed a hill, Izzy made a friend, got to chase a ball and have a paddle, Joel ate a sandwich in the sunshine, and learnt that crawling on a steep hill means you tumble sideways down into Daddy’s arms!!

It’s been lovely!

Breezy sunshine

Casting tall shadows

One happy puppy

Can I go for a swim?!


Daddy and Izzy on top of the hill!

Sitting to dry the dog out!

Joel learning what gravity is!!

I hope you’ve had a marvellous weekend too and got a chance to enjoy this sunny day!

Tunnel Light?

Today Joel had a bit of a nursery break through.

He didn’t whimper when I dropped him off.

The ladies said he was very good and didn’t cry once for the three hours he was there.  He had some outside playtime, and sat with his friend Trudy for a while and had a couple of his own toys to play with (puppy pal violet and a little baby radio) and all seemed well when I returned to collect him.

I saw all the babies sat together in a circle with things to play with and he was fine!  He was sat there, the youngest but looking as though he was fitting in fine!  Then he saw me and welled up but that’s ok because I was there to dry his tears!  It’s the times he’s crying and I’m not there that worry me more.

He’s going again tomorrow afternoon.  I think the more regular visits will help him feel more settled.  He’s certainly developed a huge attachment to his comforter blankie.  I guess he’s been feeling some insecurities from being left without me.  And he doesn’t like a dummy so a blankie it is for him.  he used to just want it in his cot for sleeping but now when he’s lifted up he brings it with him or cries for it if its dropped.  And if it’s not the blankie its a spoon.  Just one of his regular plastic ones but he’ll hold it all day long if allowed.

But if it helps him settle in then I don’t mind.  I just want him to be happy there.  And I’m encouraged today.


I’ve had a bit of a blah day today.

Joel has got conjunctivitis so we couldn’t go out to meet other baby friends, so we missed Bounce and Rhyme at the library.  I think he’s got a bit of a virus which may have contributed but I’m sure some of it’s being picked up from nursery.

He’s also being the most whingy, weepy and clingy baby I’ve met yet!  He’s normally so happy but today it felt as though I couldn’t do anything right and he didn’t know what he wanted at all.  He’s just decided to begin practising pulling himself up at the sofa and standing but half the time he headbutts the sofa, he doesn’t want help and he’s made progress with it and I’m chuffed he’s begun to work at it (as most other babies his age are either standing unaided or even walking already!)  I feel quite frazzled now the day’s over.

He had a good lunch of potato cakes, baked beans and a poached egg.  Then we both felt tired and had a nap afterwards.   Steve called in (which he hardly ever does) and typical it’s a day I’m taking a nap so he’ll think that’s what I do every day now!  I can’t honestly remember the last time I had a nap.  Steve tends to nap at weekends and lie in most mornings so I have to get up with Joel.

And after the mini sleep time as we’d been in the house all day long we were both feeling a bit housebound so took a walk out with Izzy even though it was raining and Joel stayed dry, and I got soggy.  We stopped at the co-op for some bits for tea and had a tasty chilli.  Adult strength for me and Steve and baby version for Joel and he ate a good portion which pleased me.

Then when Steve got home Joel impressed him with pulling up against the sofa, got in his pj’s and chilled out with an episode of Waybaloo.  I don’t want to be putting the tv on too much for him, but he does relax with that programme and it’s nice he has something he enjoys.

His eye drops went in ok again, so tomorrow he shouldn’t be contagious and can go for his afternoon at nursery.  I don’t really want to interrupt his progress there.  And I have a meeting at work about the restructuring in the morning to cause more lack of sleep too 😦  *sigh*

“the sun’ll come out tomorrow” – I’ll try to keep looking on the bright side, and everything seems better after a good night’s sleep.

Nursery Inductions

How are Joel’s nursery inductions going?

Well, I’m just glad he’s been going for a month so far, whilst I’ve been off work still as I’ve been able to drop him off and collect him every time and take care of him with the lurgies that come with nursery induction!

The first week I sat with him for a couple of hours and he played and got used to the place.

The second week I left him for an hour and went back to get him.  He was fine being left, but burst into tears on seeing me come back for him.

The third week he cried a little on being left, but was distracted before I had left completely and again had a good sob when I returned for him.  He also seemed to catch a bit of a cold lurgy.

The fourth week I had to leave him for his lunch, and as he had taken a while to get over his cold, he wasn’t himself and he didn’t like being left so cried and I had to leave him crying.  I rang up once home, and he was still upset, so I asked that they give him his blankie (which he’s really become very attached to) and it calmed him down.  I rang back again 10 minutes later to be told he was now fine and eating his lunch.  I went to collect him a little bit later and he was fine, and being held by either Laura or Amanda, and didn’t cry, didn’t seem to want to come to me and was ok!

Then last week I dropped him off for lunch, and a nap, and there was a little ‘waah’ on dropping him off that was placated swiftly, and he ate his lunch and had a nap and was good.  Dot said that she’d seen a good improvement in him, and that means this week he’s going on Thursday afternoon and for a full day on Friday!  A full day for my little man.  That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I’m a bit emotional thinking of it to be honest. It should be time spent with me.  I’m finding it hard to accept that someone else will be taking care of him and doing what should be my job.  And others will be teaching him, and letting him see the world in my place and I’ll be in the office and not able to walk him round the wildlife reserve, or push him on the swings on a quiet Thursday afternoon.  It makes me well up just thinking about it.  Roll on August when I can apply for part time again.  I may be made redundant in the meantime due to restructuring but that’s another story and wouldn’t be an unhappy ending!

Baby Play II

Ok, so we had the first ten games and some went down well with Joel more than others but it encouraged me to carry on and have a go at the next ten!

So here they are.  The fun things to do this week are:

11. – Scoop and Pour – let baby use tools to do things.  Sitting on a big sheet have some cups, spoons, bowls and dry cereals to scoop and pour.  Hide small toys for baby to find.

12. – What’s the Noise – baby may find it fun to work out where sounds come from.  try squeaking toys then hiding it.  try making noises from behind furniture to see if baby tries to follow the sounds.

13. – Other babies – encourage baby’s interest in other babies by pointing them out, and pictures of babies.

14. – Dancing time – bounce baby in time to music, try stamping feet and clapping in time.

15. – Make musical instruments.  use lentils in a bottle, saucepans and spoons and empty yoghurt pots.

16. – Give and take, say thank you as you take it, then offer back.  try asking for it and holding your hand out for it.  keep passing things back and forth.

17. – Horsey rides. Sit baby on your knee facing away and jiggle.  Use chanting rhymes for rhythm.

18. – Going to the playground.  Let baby watch bigger kids playing at the park. Try helping baby down a slide slowly, or push them in the swings.

19. – Bubble time.  Blow the bubbles around your baby so they can reach out and touch them.  Exclaim ‘pop’ when they burst.

20. – Unwrapping – try hiding objects under layers so baby can find them.

Party Planning

I’m having a lot of fun planning Joel’s party 🙂  After all, he’s only one once, and I know it’s more for me than him, but still, it’ll be a lovely family occasion with the weekend plans, and fun to have his baby friends enjoying a sensory party.

And these arrived today which have added to my excitement!

I’ve bought a giant cupcake mould to practise making a giant cupcake.  I have regular cupcakes and mini cupcakes to make for his tea party and maybe some jelly and ice-cream would be tasty too!!

The weekend plan is for Steve and I to take Joel to the sealife centre on his birthday (the Friday), and then he’ll have his party on the Saturday afternoon with baby friends for an hour or so, after that will be a family tea party whilst we have the hall as my house is so small.  On the Sunday as Steve’s family will be up for the whole weekend, we’ll go to church in the morning, have lunch out somewhere and then have a visit to Monkey Forest.  I think that will be a suitably fun filled weekend to entertain everybody.

Baby Play – The Results

So last week I decided to make use of the time I have left before going back to work by going through a pack of baby games cards and I challenged myself to do 10.

1 – Body games – in front of a mirror ask ‘where’s  your tummy’, and point and say then move onto another body part.  Sing heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

This one we do quite a bit anyway, but I have sung the song at him every day.  He grins and sometimes trys to pat his head but whether that’s accident or design I’m not sure!

2- Paint hand prints onto some paper using non-toxic paint.

At Mum’s and Toddlers on Tuesday they were doing painting hand prints and so although he wasn’t doing the activity with me as my Dad took him along, he had fun getting painty and Mum and Dad have his artwork!

3 – Pointing can be encouraged by finding lots of things for baby to point at.  Read a book and point at the pictures and begin asking where items are.

This one has been fun.  We do read books quite a bit, but I’ve not been pointing before and I think this activity has helped as he’s looking where I’m pointing rather than at my finger now!!

4 – Ball games – roll a ball back and forth between you.  Lift baby to a standing position and swing him to ‘kick’ the ball.  Line up bottles and boxes and roll the ball like a game of skittles.

I have to say, we didn’t have a ball that was the right size until this week when we went out for the day in Bourton on the Water!  They had a lovely toy shop for boys and lo and behold, his first football!  It’s just the right size for him to kick, and catch (well, hug) and he seems to be enjoying it!

5 – Help babies curiosity by putting some small objects in a pillowcase to find.  Use noisy toys such as jingly toys, rattles, clattering spoons and rustly paper. 

We tried this one but it didn’t seem to inspire much.  I think Joel’s getting to the point of just wanting to be extra active at the moment and sitting quietly isn’t on his to do list this week!

6 – Make a postbox from a cardboard box with a slit and let baby post household objects.

This kept him entertained for quite a while.  He had some plastic blocks for Christmas from his Aunty Louise and Uncle Nick and they’re perfect for posting into the hole!  Along with various other things he finds such as remotes and spoons!

7 – Make a photo gallery and go through it with baby to identify family members.

We have been going through the photo albums and showing him family folk, but he prefers skype!!

8 – Crawling games – have fun crawling with your baby and race each other to encourage your baby to keep up.

One of his favourite games at the moment, as discovered by his Daddy, is chasing him making roaring noises! We crawl along and he giggles away, and commando crawls very fast looking over his shoulder to see how far we are behind, and then waits to be pounced upon for tickling!!!

9 – Play tent – peg a blanket over the backs of two chairs and let baby explore the space inside.

These last two I have to admit are currently outstanding and will be added to next weeks list as we had family up for half of half term so we couldn’t do the original plans as we were being hospitable!!

10 – Go fishing.  If baby likes to drop things for you to collect and pass back.  Try attaching objects to baby’s high chair with elastic and show him how to pull them back up again.

Plus, I need to buy some elastic for this one!!!

Cousin Time….

Yesterday we went out to the Wolesley Wildlife Centre.  It’s a lovely place to wander around, with winding paths, things to see and do, and lots of birdlife.
Eyeing the Canada Goose!
My sisters and co…..
Isaac and Theo swan watching…
Sitting on their throne!

Joel loved seeing his big boy cousins and played happily with them all afternoon, crawling and getting involved in the train set mum put out for them!  He can’t wait to run about and be a big boy like they are!

Culturing the Baby!

I guess whilst he’s a little one we can get away with boring him by going to museums and things like that!  The thought of a tiny tot terror running amock around the Emma Bridgewater shop is a bit terrifying, but whilst he’s in his buggy we can do these things now.

Yesterday we went to the Potteries museum in Stoke on Trent.  It was a great place, with lots to see, and entertaining too.  My in-laws are up from Devon and like most people from ‘the south’ felt that Stafford is way up north, and very bleak, industrial and with a funny accent!

When Steve moved here for University they were worried about where he’d be living, and were pleasantly surprised to find there was grass and fields, and woodlands and that sort of thing!!  Staffordshire is one of the longest counties in the UK and we have all manner of lands from the industrial black country at the south, the green and pleasant lands for the middle and the moors and fells of the north part!  We have Cannock Chase in the middle and rolling fields and I think it’s  beautiful here!

Anyway, I digress.  The point is they’d never been to Stoke and it was nice to show them somewhere new and a bit of where my family is from.  My Grandma left school at 14 to work in the potteries (she was a lithographer) and there’s so much history surrounding Stoke.

The Museum is well worth a visit.  They have various areas, with a spitfire (Reginald Mitchell was a local person who designed them, doesn’t specify how local so must google him!) and history through the decades.  Chris was a bit put out that things he remembers from the ’60’s are now in a museum and not considered modern or useful anymore!!  In the ceramics area we found a piece of Cranston pottery, made in the 1920’s by a smaller pottery firm called Pearl pottery.  And it was a lovely big, light and airy room with lots of space for Joel to have a good crawl about as he was getting bored of being pushed in his buggy.

In the afternoon after our oatcake lunch at the museum cafe, we popped over to Emma Bridgewater’s shop and bought a few bits and bobs.  I found a pint mug in the seconds with my name on, perfect to match my pink heart ‘Kate’ plate (also found in the seconds)!  Chris and Wendy got a couple of mugs as well and enjoyed the place, it was really busy with it being half term.

Then we headed home to Stafford with a tired baby, worn out from all the visits we’d made.