Saturday, November 21, 2009


I know I haven't been around much lately, but I had a horrible stomach bug which started on Tuesday night, and then Sophia got it. She's on the up, but still pretty clingy.
Anyway, enough of all that. You'll certainly forgive me when you see this, taken this afternoon (6 weeks, 3 days)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things I've learnt

in the past 5 1/2 weeks.

It is possible to go through 4 or 5 complete outfits in half an hour if you and your baby try hard enough.

Sophia's party trick is to wee in the two seconds between removing the old nappy and putting on the new.

A microwave steriliser is a great idea - just 5 minutes and you're sorted. Fantastic if you've forgotten to get the bottle ready for the next feed and your daughter is screaming.

If you have a few friends who've had babies already it's unlikely you'll have to buy any baby clothes if they're as generous as our friends have been. The same goes for baby equipment - I think we've only bought a buggy and things like nappies. And even then lots of people have bought them for us.

Olive oil from a pharmacy is great for the dry skin that newborn babies often have.

Baby nails are sharp, and I really need to buy some nail scissors.

Muslin squares are great for wiping up milky sick and are thin enough that they dry quickly when you've washed them.

It's easy to while away time just sitting staring at my daughter, marvelling at how amazing she is.

Having a baby really does change your life forever, but it's totally worth it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One month

Dear Sophia,

You are now one month old. Actually, due to internet issues (Daddy was changing our internet to a new wi-fi system) and lack of time you're actually more than a month old - you're five weeks old today.

Already you have grown and changed in so many ways. Looking back on photos from the first few days you looked so small and scrunched up, and now when you stretch out you're long enough to kick things off the end of the changing unit. In fact we may stop changing you up there soon because you're so wriggley.

I never knew that having a baby would be like this. I've known for years that I wanted to have children, but the reality is so much more than all the ideas. More tiring, more painful, more challenging, but so much more rewarding. Your daddy and I are just overwhelmed sometimes by how much you've changed our lives, but also how much we love you.

As I write this you're staring up at me from the moses basket. You're kicking your legs and waving your arms - I joke that you're doing semaphore. Your kick is very strong and sometimes we find that you've pushed off from the end of the basket and are trying to head for the other end! Actually, you're so long that I wonder just how much longer you'll fit in the basket before we have to come up with other options. At the moment you sleep in your crib in our bedroom at night and in the moses basket in the living room during the day. When you're awake and lying in the basket you love looking around, so I think a bouncy chair might be a good idea to allow you to look around more.

The midwife came on Saturday, the day you turned one month, and finally declared that you'd put on enough weight for them to discharge you. It's be a bit of a rollercoaster month. Most babies drop weight in the first week or so, and anything up to 10% is considered ok. You lost around 600g, which was more like 16% so we needed to add in formula top-ups as well as my milk, to help you put on weight again. Tracey, our midwife, was a wonderful support and in my opinion went above and beyond her role to support us as we looked after you. She also helped me as I struggled with mastitis. I think we've had three extra trips to the hospital in the last month - who'd have thought we'd be back there so soon after your birth, but hopefully we won't need anymore visits for a long time!

In the first couple of weeks everything seemed like a sleep-deprived blur. You woke a lot at night, and we wouldn't have survived without the support of people like your Nana and Grandad and Aunties and Uncle who stayed over at various times, or visited and let me and your daddy sleep while they looked after you. Once we got you on the formula you settled into a better sleeping pattern - meaning that you actually slept! And now you tend to go down to bed around half eight or nine and sleep right through until two or three in the morning. Sometimes it's even as late as four. We get up for a feed, which still takes us about an hour, and then you settle again until seven or eight. This morning you slept until nine and I actually got to have a shower before you woke up. That's sheer luxury, and I don't expect it to happen very often.

I couldn't have survived the past month without your daddy. He's been a rock of support, even at times when he's been more tired than me. And I must mention how fantastic he is at cooking and cleaning. I'll have to get him to teach you cleaning skills when you're older, because he's better at it than me, and a lot tidier!

We've also been really blessed by our extended family and people at Jubilee Church. So many people have given you presents that I sometimes wonder if you have more clothes than me and daddy together! Luckily most people listened when I asked them to go for things in bigger sizes. Your legs are very long and you have big feet (taking after your mummy) that mean that lots of the newborn babygros we have for you are already too small because they squish your toes. I've got a bag hanging on the back of the door in the spare room to put clothes in as we discover you've outgrown them.

I'm amazed by your eyes. The day you were born they were a vivid blue, but I noticed that even by the next day they'd started getting darker. They went darker and darker, but kept a blue outline, that looked like someone had outlined your eye in blue biro. Today I look at your eyes are they are a beautiful deep brown, sometimes looking so dark you can hardly see the pupils in the centre, but there's still a blue line around the outside. You were born with hairy ears and they're still hairy. You also have a lot of hair that you were born with, but shows no signs of falling out, despite lots of people suggesting it will. It started off pretty straight, with just a hint of curls at the ends, but now more and more it seems to be getting curlier. When we bathe you and wet your hair it goes into beautiful little ringlets.

You're now sat on my lap, trying to help me type as you wave your arms around. Daddy complains that you've already managed to bop him on the nose with your waving arms as he cuddled you. You're wearing mittens because your nails are pretty sharp and we still haven't got around to buying any nail scissors. Last week you scratched yourself on the eyelid, and although its healed, you have a lot of dry sore skin on your face and we don't want it to get any worse. Every time we change you we put a little olive oil on your face, and about once a day we oil you all over. That makes you extra tricky to hold as you're such a wiggler already and the oil makes you slippery!

Auntie Hannah will tell you that mummy is good at giving people strange nicknames (case in point, I currently call her Chicken if we speak on the phone!). Mummy's given you lots of nicknames. In the early days I called you a little frog because of the way you would lie with you legs up in the air, bent like a frog's legs. I call you my little sausage, and when I wrap you up in a blanket to go to sleep you're my little sausage roll! We also call you Little Miss Squeaky because sometimes you can sound just like a creaky door. You also squeak when you're waking up to tell us you're hungry - it's as if you want to warn us you'd like to be fed, but you're not actually ready to wake up yet. Ideally I think you'd like to just feed in your sleep, or at least that's what you seem to suggest since you fall asleep on me almost every time I feed you.

You have a lot of aunties (related and honorary), and I'm sure in the future you'll have lots of fun with them all. At the moment they mostly just argue over who gets to cuddle you the most. You've got to spend time at Nana & Grandad's house and with Nan & Grandad and auntie Yvonne. I think they'll spoil you like crazy as at the moment you're the first grandchild on both sides!

I'm looking forward to the next month with you and I'm sure we'll see you smile for the first time soon - there have been times that we've been almost convinced you were really smiling at us.

We love you Sophia Louise,
love Mummy

Showered with gifts

Recently I was, or rather we were lucky enough to be involved in the Fall 2009 Etsy Baby Shower. This is an event organised by etsy members for etsy members, and since I was pregnant and then had Sophia while the event was going on, we qualified to recieve presents from some lovely Etsy sellers.
The event was organised by Jessica from BuggaLove and Deniz from DecorativeLabels and I figure they deserve a couple of links here on my blog for all their hard work, so please so check out their etsy shops.
I'll be blogging to show off each of the gifts we received and to share links to the shops the gifts came from. Please check them out too, if at least to admire their handiwork, because they deserve some attention!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

sneeeeezy day

I'm too busy sneezing to think of much to say.

Earlier I put Sophia up on my shoulder to burp her but she was so desperate to keep sucking that she got a hold of my ear to suck on! Her breath really tickled.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

We made it out the house

Yesterday we stayed in all day cos we were both a bit under the weather, however by the end of the day I was feeling a bit emotional and stir crazy. Today we're out (I'm writing this at my mum's house) and I'm heading off to enjoy it. Back tomorrow, possibly!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

sniffles and snuffles

Now obviously I've hit a fundamental problem if I were try to do NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as I didn't post on the first! However I am trying to write more on my blog now life's beginning to settle down a little.

This is for several reasons, firstly I like writing, and I'm constantly thinking of things that I want to say on here, and if I'm only posting once or twice a week, I've forgotten most of those things by the time I come to write. Ok, so maybe that means you don't have to read so much of my drival, but, and this leads me on to my second point... I want to remember the little things from these early days. Already it's going so fast, and details are beginning to fade. I know when I was younger I wanted to hear lots of stories about when I was a baby, and if my blog will help me to remember those stories for Sophia, then I'm all for it. Obviously there will be things that won't go on here as it's a public forum, but lots of the little things can.

Sophia's still got a cold. She spent a lot of last night coughing and sniffling and sounding like she was trying to cough up a fur ball. As it's pretty yucky again outside, I think we'll just be staying in most of the day, with perhaps a quick blow in the park or a pop to the shop up the road for milk and bread. She doesn't seem too unhappy today, it's just me that's in distress seeing my baby snuffle and sneeze. (And actually I'm doing ok, I think it's Daddy that's most concerned, but then he did have to go to work and leave us).

Sophia's developed a couple of new cries in the last few days. They have elements that sound like 'ai' (as in rain), 'ee' (as in beech) and 'i' (aye). We're now two fifths of the way to teaching her the names of the vowels ;)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Random Thoughts

My baby girl is almost 4 weeks old. This was taken at 3 weeks exactly by the lovely Sarah C who came to visit us last Wednesday.

Apparently for me it's all about pillows. When I was pregnant the thing I used most was probably the L shape pillow that I used when I was sleeping. I'd stick one prong between my legs and the other went under my bump to support it. Now Sophia's here it's all about my breastfeeding pillow. It's a sort of C or half moon shape, and although I'd probably never have bought it myself, having been presented with it by some lovely friends (who also gave us lots of other baby equipment and clothes!) I use it all the time. I even take it with me if I know I'm going to need to be feeding Sophia in someone else's house!

One of the things that's really blessed us has been all the food that people have prepared and brought round to us. There's nothing like just having to pop something in the microwave for a few minutes, but knowing that you're not eating junk, but something that's been lovingly homemade from scratch. We've also been blessed by all the people who've shopped for us and continually supplied us with important things like toilet paper and tissues and fresh fruit and vegetables. Not to mention all the gifts we've been given for Sophia - I'm sure she now had more clothes than me or Menard.

We're battling the damp in our flat. It's hard because combine a baby and several wet days, and you have to dry your laundry indoors (because there are some days where she can manage to get through 4 outfits in half an hour!) Add to that things like wardrobes being built against outside walls, without any extra panelling inbetween which led to a wardrobe full of mildewing clothes, and it's a bit of a nightmare. We've got a dehumidifier, but it's only little and we're so aware of the electricity it's consuming.

Sophia's suffering from her first cold. She's been a bit snuffly for a few days, but when she woke up yesterday she was sniffling and snuffling on every breath so we stayed home from church - it was also pouring with rain, so we were quite happy to stay home in the warm. She's a bit better today, but still very clingy, if a baby can be called clingy. And talking of clingy, she's very firmly telling me that it's time to pick her up again, so I'd better go.