Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 10 - Apple

Photo from earlier in the week, when J-cub spent a large proportion of his meal time balancing an apple core on his sippy cup.

J-cub's eating repertoire has extended slightly over recent weeks, but is still mostly centred around fruit and yoghurt. He's gone off pears, but is loving apples. Today he ate chunks of Pink Lady, while pointing at my Golden Delicious and making 'Give me that!' noises, until I acquiesced and gave it to him. He kept signing 'more, more', even while there were still slices in his bowl. We counted them, I signed 'apple' each time he pointed to one, and said 'apple' over and over. Towards the end of the meal, he started saying 'Ah' while pointing at the apple. When I said 'apple' again, he made a 2-syllable sound which mimicked my intonation.

When he'd finished, we went into the garden so I could hang out the laundry while he played, and I brought along the leftover slices of apple for him to nibble on. His 'Ah' sound started approaching 2 syllables, and the second one started sounding a lot like 'l'. By the time Jamie got home, J-cub was proudly holding up a slice of apple and saying 'Ah-l'.

Apart from 'Dada', 'Mama', and 'Uh-oh', he really doesn't have any other words. In the past (well before he turned 1) he had several words, including 'Duck', 'Cat', 'Tilly', 'Hey', 'Hi', 'Teeth' and various others. They've all fallen by the wayside though, and are now a faint memory. We mostly get lots of very nasal snorts and sniffs, shrieks and screams, and not much else.

I'm so excited that he might be starting to speak, especially if it means he can communicate with us more rather than get frustrated and scream. He's also signing more and more, although quite literally, he is signing 'more' all the time, which can be quite frustrating for me when I don't know what he means.

At least we have the old standby requests of 'give me a kiss/cuddle' which always work, and the utterly cute 'show me your tummy' which we discovered yesterday and have been using at every opportunity since.

Day 9 - Toy Story 3

Today was my last day of work before school resumes in September.

And what better way to fully make use of my skills as a talented behavioural therapist, than by taking the boys on a field-trip to see Toy Story 3?

I'm not going to go into detail about it, as I hate spoilers with a passion and wouldn't dream of inflicting that on anyone. I will say though, that it is GREAT. I'd forgotten how truly amazing the animation was (I'm not sure that I've actually seen a Pixar film in the cinema before, which might account for that) (and no, I didn't see it in 3D, it gives me a headache), the characters were perfect, it was equally fun and desperately sad. Although I think the sadness would not have been so poignant had I not had a son. That's all I'll say.

Go see it, it's great. And if you can get paid for seeing it, then even better ;)

Day 8 - Sleep deprivation

I'm not going to bang on about sleep deprivation too much, because I have plenty of other outlets for it elsewhere (happily, all mums seem able to empathise and therefore provide ample group-therapy opportunities).

Suffice to say, I nearly fell asleep driving to work. With J-cub in the car. Not good.

I had a very strong coffee when I got there, and managed to cope through the first couple of hours of breakfasting and playing (and by cope, I mean I put CBeebies on and tried my hardest not to fall asleep while J-cub played on and around me). The boys had again stayed up all night playing DS, and none of them had surfaced. At around 10.15, J-cub got to the end of his awakeness tether, so I gave him his bottle and popped him in the buggy. I'd got as far as pushing it from the utility room into the lounge (where there are plenty of heavy curtains to make it nice and dark), when I realised that he'd already fallen asleep. Thank God (although why he can't fall asleep that quickly at home or at night is quite beyond me).

I lay down on the sofa, just to rest for a second, and I was out like a light. I woke nearly 2 hours later, to hear J-cub stirring. I woke the other boys for lunch (at 12.30! Honestly, if there weren't extenuating circumstances, I'd be shocked at them) and managed to get in an hour's play with all four of my boys before my shift ended.

And yes, I feel terribly guilty about sleeping on the job.

Day 7 - Other people's toys

I took J-cub with me to work for the first time today. The boys I look after live in a gorgeous, huge house, which is full of 14 years' worth of accumulated toys. We arrived at 8am, and the boys were still asleep after a hard night's work playing DS. After their Dad had left, we explored the kitchen, utility room, playroom and lounge, and J-cub was beside himself with joy at all these new toys.

They have a lovely play table with a Brio train set, which J-cub didn't really understand but liked picking up the trains and carefully placing them on the floor.

We found an old keyboard under the piano, upon which I gave the boys keyboard lessons when they were little (like most of their musical instruments, their interest waned as they grew older). J-cub sang and banged the keys and made a complete racket, it was lovely to watch. Our piano is currently covered in boxes of stuff, and I haven't played at all since before he was born. I'll have to rectify that soon.

After his nap we made some more racket, which woke the boys and they played with him while I cooked lunch. They found an old box full of play food and spent ages tipping it out, putting it all back in the box, then tipping it out again. After half an hour, one of the boys commented "Babies are tiring, aren't they?" :D

Part of my role involves 'shadowing' my main charge, E, in school. I am technically a teaching assistant, but in a behavioural therapy capacity, whereby I prompt him through his work and his school day in the least intrusive way possible, until he learns through repetition and reinforcement how to do things for himself. I use a lot of gestures which have been adapted from Makaton and British Sign Language, all of which allow me to communicate with him without the other children being aware that I'm telling him to stop pinching his skin or to look at his teacher. I explained to him about the CBeebies programme Something Special, and taught him some of the signs that J-cub uses. Within minutes he was generalising the ABA techniques I use with him, to teach J-cub the signs being demonstrated in the programme. It was amazing to watch.

Towards the end of my shift the boys started to run out of baby-wrangling patience, so I set up a ping-pong tournament to give them a break. It lasted for about 5 minutes, before J-cub decided he wanted in on the action, and stole the ball. We swapped to playing table football, but J-cub swiped that ball too.

Game over!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 6 - Super Macro

After his bath, damp and beautiful

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 5 - Stranger Than Fiction

We used to watch a lot of films. We have a whole Billy bookcase jam-packed full of DVDs, and most of our disposable income pre-J-cub (or BJC) went on buying DVDs and going to the cinema. Since he's been around, we don't seem to have the time or the attention span to watch them any more.

We thought we'd buck the trend this evening, we scoured our shelves for something which tickled both our fancies, and settled on Stranger Than Fiction, which is existential enough for Jamie, and funny enough for me, and we'd only seen it once so we both wouldn't fall asleep through familiarity.

I made a caveat before we pressed play, that we could have regular breaks if needed, to recharge my brain and get more supplies of junk food. I promptly got swallowed into the film, and didn't resurface until Jamie suggested we have a break.

I reached for the DVD remote, and pressed pause. As is my wont, I then pressed 'time/text', to see how much of the film was left. I had paused it at 54 minutes and 12 seconds into the film. And there were 54 minutes and 12 seconds left. Seriously, how weird is that? If you want proof, click on the Amazon link above and scroll down to see the runtime.

I couldn't have done that if I'd tried.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 4 - Eating strawberries

This photo was taken at 6 months and 4 days old, so right at the beginning of our BLW journey. It was J-cub's first taste of strawberry, and he loved it. In those days, he loved anything and everything we put in front of him. Since then, his tastes have refined slightly, and I can probably count the number of foods he'll eat on both hands. I worry that I'm not a very good advert for BLW, having a baby who won't eat. But I think the important thing is that I don't care. He ate well until he turned one year old. He was on the 98.6th centile for weight, so we can't really have gone too far wrong. And, let's not forget, food is for fun until they are one.

Well he is one now, and has been for 4 months. And food has stopped being fun, and has become something to run away from. But he's not losing weight, even though we've switched from formula to less-calorific cow's milk, and he's having fewer bottles most days. He doesn't eat crap (he's the only baby at nursery who doesn't get a pudding, which they question me about most weeks. "Are you sure you don't want him to have some apple crumble and custard?" Ummm yes thanks, I'm sure he'll be fine living in ignorance of the existence of refined sugar) and he does eat plenty of dairy, fat, and fruit.

Admittedly, he could improve on the protein and vegetable front. He'll eat cucumber and tomato, and onion and mushroom if the latter are in a sauce. And carrots. That's it really. None of the delicious roasted veg we started with, or stuffed peppers, or aubergines ... and no meat or fish of any kind (we decided to raise him as an omnivore and let him choose when he's old enough to understand. That is now, apparently. Quorn is fine, chicken is not). Oh, unless he's at nursery. There, he apparently eats beef chilli or chicken curry with gusto.

But as I was saying, I think the most important thing is to chill the frack out about it all. We have never forced him to eat. I have spoonfed him yoghurt, because he makes a pathetic baby bird face and opens his mouth for it. And I've spoonfed him soup, because it's easier if the soup is thin. I have never cajoled him to eat, or begged him to take one more mouthful. He eats what he wants, and stops when he's full. And even now, when I put a lovingly prepared shepherd's pie on his tray, and hold my breath while he takes a forkful of carrot and peas, prods it with his finger, gingerly tastes it, then flings it gaily onto the floor, I do nothing other than calmly eat my own meal.

And sometimes, sometimes, it pays off.

I had thought that J-cub was the only child in the world who didn't like strawberries. He likes the idea of strawberries - he'll happily pick them in the garden and put them in his mouth, only to spit them out with disgust and immediately reach for another one. Like most foods which he refuses, I've continued offering them to him.

Today, I was eating a ham sandwich with a side of strawberries, and J-cub was eating houmous on ricecake with a side of black grapes. He pointed at my strawberries. I handed him one. He nibbled it. He took it out of his mouth, and looked at it. He looked at his grapes. He ate a grape. He put the strawberry back to his mouth, popped it in, chewed, and swallowed. And signed for more. He ate ten strawberries. Ten!

I've read that children can refuse a food ten times before they decide if they like it or not. J-cub must have refused strawberries a hundred times, before deciding that actually, they're quite yummy. And whilst strawberries aren't high on my list of things I'd like to see him eat more of, it gives me hope that one day he'll suddenly start eating broccoli, or a nice piece of fish.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In other news today...

...J-cub signed for food when he would normally have milk, chose a banana from the fruit bowl, and ate it. Banana is hit and miss with him, and he's never before asked for it. And he has never chosen food over milk.

...While watching a Something Special segment which showed lots of children in an aquarium, J-cub signed crab. This is a really hard sign to do, I can barely do it myself. And yes, there was a crab on the screen. And no, Justin had not just demonstrated the sign. I was very proud.

...J-cub pushed his big bunny on the swing today, and rolled his ball down the slide. It was lovely to watch.

...He went to bed on time! After having his milk downstairs, and cleaning his teeth afterwards! I was gobsmacked, and happily curled up on the sofa for a nap of my own before Jamie got home.

...I managed to exchange J-cub's wedding outfit for one which fits. It's a size 9-12 months, which is approximately what size he was a year ago. Children's clothing sizes seems to be entirely random. My sister-in-law tells me that children wearing suits to weddings is chavvy. I beg to differ, I think my baby looks gorgeous.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 3 - Making the most of it

After an exciting evening spent collecting green stars on Super Mario Galaxy 2 (I'm so cool), I finally fell asleep around 2am this morning.

J-cub woke up at HALF-PAST FIVE. CBeebies doesn't even start til 6, it shouldn't be allowed.

I was supposed to be meeting my lovely Mummy friends this morning, but my sleep-addled brain meant that a) I forgot, and b) didn't remember until I got a concerned text asking where I was. Sorry, lovely Mummy friends.

Jamie tried to get the bus to work, but the new girl in the shop couldn't figure out how to give him cashback for his bus fare, so he came home again through the rain and I had to splash copious amounts of water on my face and drink several cups of coffee until I was awake enough to drive him in. J-cub of course fell asleep in the car. I wasn't letting him get away with that, so I requested he accompany me on a shopping spree, which he eventually acquiesced to (not without a lot of grumbling). We went to TK Maxx and found a nice lightweight waterproof coat for me, discovered that riding in lifts without the constraints of a buggy is VERY EXCITING, played with all the cool cheap toys, and bought some more unneeded tat.

J-cub is now the proud owner of his very own mixing desk, so he can follow in his parents' footsteps as a superstar DJ (although Jamie has hardly let him get a look-in with it yet). We also got a nice baby-signing book, and a book about giggles with a sound-chip so you can record yourself giggling. Which is quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen.

After TK Maxx, we went to Next and found J-cub a lovely linen suit for our upcoming weddings, but it's turned out to be too big, so we'll have to exchange it tomorrow. But ohhh, he's so cute in it.

We then headed off to Tesco for some lunch and a quick shop. On our way, I spied a fellow TA from school following me, sent her a quick text when we had parked, and she joined us for lunch. She hasn't seen J-cub properly since he was about 3 months old, and her boys are young teenagers, so she was just slightly smitten. J-cub batted his eyelids at her and charmed her with his apple-eating skills, and she proved to be a much better mum than me by having wipes to hand to deal with the inevitable mess and runny nose. I never remember wipes. Or tissues. I think I missed the bit in the maternity ward when they hand out a life's supply of small packs of tissues to all new mums.

After a lovely long lunch, we did our Tesco shop, went to Outfit and bought a nice dress for me to wear to my sister's post-wedding Sunday BBQ thing, then came home. J-cub was asleep within about 20 seconds, stayed asleep while I transferred him into the cot, and slept for a further 3 hours. I really wish he'd tell me when he's intending to do this, so I can join him.

Regardless, I got to catch up on Big Brother, drink some coffee, do some tidying, and rescue a baby bird from the evil clutches of my nasty cats.

When J-cub woke at 5pm, we had tea (and he almost ate some shepherd's pie, it was very exciting), had a play, and went to pick up Jamie. There's a bridge over a river right by where I meet him, and we were early enough for J-cub to coo and exclaim over the fact that there was water on this side, and water on that side!

I thought his heart was going to explode when he saw his Daddy walking up the bridge to meet us, he was so so happy.

Jamie got in the car and asked me how my day rated, on a scale of 1-10. Without hesitation, I said 10. I can't remember the last time I thought that, and it's the last way I expected to be feeling when I got up this morning.

Now (at 9.30pm), if I could only get the boy to go to bed...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 2 - Better already

As usually happens whenever a school holiday approaches, I started to feel a little under-the-weather on Monday (last day of term) morning. It was Toy Day at school, which means 6.5 hours of screaming and arguing. One child in our class inexplicably brought in some ducklings rather than a toy. They were very lovely and seemed very relieved to go home at the end of the day.

By 3pm I could feel my glands swelling, my throat was dry and scratchy, and my head was muzzy. Thankfully I wasn't working after school, and J-cub fell asleep in the car on the way home. I transferred him (still asleep) into his cot, came down and took some paracetemol, and fell asleep on the lounge floor.

After a looonnnng evening with J-cub (we didn't wake til 6pm so bedtime wasn't on the menu for several more hours), I dosed myself up again and went to sleep for one of those thrashing around, hot then cold, weird dreamy type nights which mean I'm going to wake up feeling like I haven't slept at all. Which is precisely what happened.

I woke with a fever, barely able to swallow, and a pounding headache. This lasted around 12 hours, until evening came and I started to feel normal again.

This morning, I woke up feeling a bit hayfevery, a bit back-achey, and a bit sleepy, which is pretty much par-for-the-course. So my blog-worthy achievement of the day is kicking my bastard Summer Holiday flu on the head in less than 36 hours. Take that, holiday-ruining-illness!

Now I promise* not to moan about illness for the next 7 weeks.

*I retain the right to withdraw this promise.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 1 - Comic relief

J-cub has provided some much needed comic relief this evening by being his lovely, funny self, and almost working out how to take his pajama top off.

His coffee-stirring skills are also coming along nicely, although I assure you that his proficiency in this area (and the related drinking-from-mugs area) stem from imitation rather than practical experience. Baby-led our weaning may be, but he still can't have coffee. However much he begs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Holiday Project

So, evidently, I've failed at the whole NaBloPoMo Saved thing. I'm claiming extenuating circumstances, and I'm chucking in the towel. I need to get back to blogging regularly, and I need something to give me a bit of purpose, like my Hundred Days list did.

I am therefore going to do something blog-worthy every day during the school Summer Holidays. We broke up today (woo hoo!), and I'm not sure exactly when we go back, but it's in about 7 weeks time, so I should have 50 or so posts under my belt by then. I'm defining something blog-worthy as being anything from 'Ooooh look, I took a lovely photo today' to 'I redecorated the hallway! Honestly, I did!' (a prize to anyone who guesses which of those is more likely to happen*). I've got two weddings, a week's holiday, a 31st and a 40th birthday before school restarts, and I'll try my best to keep going through all of that. The first day of my holiday is going to involve going to a funeral, so I also reserve the right not to blog tomorrow if it's all too much.

I'm also going to be working on and off for the first couple of weeks, but it's work of the 'Let's go to the beach' variety, rather than 'Let's ruin the holidays with a lot of work' work. In case I haven't mentioned it often enough before, I love my job.

*If anyone actually tries to claim that one, I reserve the right to provide a virtual prize. It'll be a good-un though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apologies for my absence (2)

Quite simply - I've had a bereavement this week which I won't elaborate on as it's far too personal and complicated. I'm going to try and jump straight back into the swing of things with a bit of a catch-up.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The introduction of a magna-doodle (and by magna-doodle, I mean a Tesco's own version which was considerably cheaper) into our lives courtesy of Auntie Rachel has unleashed J-cub's inner artist (I couldn't remember my son's name while I was typing that sentence. What does that say about me?!). Once he worked out which way round to hold the pen, there was no stopping him. Last weekend, we popped down to our big YMCA superstore, and there was this lovely wooden easel just inside the door (the fact that it was In The Night Garden was just icing on the cake). We immediately grabbed it and asked how much it was. The poor boy who'd just spent ages assembling it informed us it was £4.99, and begged us to take it home whole. We happily complied (and were also given 4 cups for paint and a bag full of chalk and crayons) and squeezed it onto the back seat next to J-cub, where he cooed happily at it until we got home. He's now mastered crayon (on paper) and chalk (on everything). There's a dry-wipe board on the other side, but he's not getting pens until he's about twelve.

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I've been gardening during the bright spells we've had this week (the sun which apparently is beating down on the rest of the country has mostly been avoiding us), and J-cub has loved 'helping'. You can tell from his long-sleeved top and heavy dungarees that despite the sun, it was fricking cold. He was a fab helper though, he dug over all the patches I'd just weeded (without eating any soil!), he picked strawberries, tasted them, and spat them out again (I swear he's the only child in the world not to like strawberries), and mostly practised his walking-on-grass skills (which, he informs me, will be useful for future gardening times when speed is a necessity).

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We've been for walks. Walks which don't involve a sling and don't involve a buggy. This is a whole new world for me; a world where it takes an hour to walk round the block and every ant, stone, cat, leaf, earwig, bin and garden must be examined carefully and exclaimed over. It's wonderful.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

J-cub can reach and operate the door handle. Oh dear. He hasn't yet managed to do so whilst pulling the door towards him, but I fear it can't be long.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

J-cub's signing has come on in leaps and bounds. I don't think I've said much about baby signing, but we went to a few Tiny Talk classes when he was about 9 months old, but they were on a Saturday and cut into our family weekends, so I bought some books (My First Signs, My First Animal Signs and Sign About Meal Time) and we've taught him ourselves. The CBeebies programme Something Special, aimed at children aged 4-7 with learning difficulties, has quickly become J-cub's favourite and he's slowly picking up the more regularly used signs from the show (and can do a passable monkey impression after the vastly annoying "oo-oo-ah-ah-ooh" monkey song).

So to have a quick recap of his current signs, J-cub currently uses the following: hello, bye-bye, baby, clean/wash, tired, bed, biscuit, apple, food, drink, gentle, cuddles, more, yes, no .... that's all I can remember at the moment.

I love it when he strings signs into sentences. Over the past couple of weeks while he's been poorly, we've been letting him have digestive biscuits as a) he'll eat them and b) they cheer him up when he's feeling wretched. After a few days of us asking "Do you want a 'gestive biscuit?", he started signing "gentle, biscuit". Whether it's because gentle sounds like 'gestive', or because it's gentle on his tummy, or just coincidence, it's lovely, it works, and it's now his most commonly used sign. In the photo above he's half-way between gentle and biscuit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

J-cub has barely eaten since his ear infection of a couple of weeks ago (and that's on top of all the barely-eating he's been doing since his birthday). Baby-led weaning is all about letting them set the pace, and not forcing them when they don't want to eat. But when your baby eats nothing but yoghurt and digestive biscuits and peanut butter sandwiches and ricecakes for weeks on end, it's hard not to be concerned.

This evening though, he ate. I made him Swedish meatballs with a tomatoey sauce and peas. After some initial reluctance and suspicion, he wolfed it down. Then he ate a ricecake (we weren't really prepared for him finished what was first offered), and then a massive bowl of yoghurt. And he ate the meatballs with a fork, and the yoghurt with a spoon (well, mostly). I was such a proud mummy. That'll probably fill him up for the next couple of months anyway.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How beautiful is my boy? We've been having a bit of a stand-off about baths recently, he's screamed as soon as his feet hit the water, and cried throughout enforced hair washing which makes me feel terrible. We haven't been swimming at all since our last term of Water Babies finished, and I think he's just got a Thing about water. This evening though, having sweated heavily through last night's sleep and today's two naps, then eaten meatballs in tomato sauce and copious amounts of yoghurt for tea, we had no option.

With a little help from a small green cup, J-cub and water rekindled their previous affection. He found it hilarious when he accidentally spilt water from the cup onto his face (which made hair washing much easier), decided that bubbles were yummy (he picked them up individually and ate them!), and drank water from the cup and directly from the bath whilst lying on his front. We stayed in until his lips turned purple. It was lovely.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So that's all for now. I might do a Saved post later, then again I might not. I had a good one for today y'see. I'm off now to drink my cares away with a very rare alcoholic drink (rare as in I don't often have alcohol, not rare as in a thousand-year-old bottle of whiskey or something) or six. Night night.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saved - 'It's a Boy!' balloon

J-cub was born at 8.34pm on a Tuesday evening. My parents live in Devon and were waiting from an announcement from us before they came to visit. After I'd spent an equally awful and lovely 2.5 hours being stitched up and having skin-to-skin with this new bundle of burning redness who'd appeared out of nowhere, I rang them to share the news (yes, apparently you can use mobile phones in hospitals now). I don't really remember what was said, as I was still pretty out of it and into my 37th hour of no sleep, but I do remember that they agreed to ring in the morning and arrange a visit.

A brief phonecall at 7.30am (really, Mum?) set them on the road and they were with us by visiting hours around lunchtime. They came with a massive vase of flowers, a lovely card, a soft blue teddy (who still sleeps with J-cub today) and the obligatory announcement balloon.

By the time we were finally allowed to leave hospital 4 days later, we had amassed a ridiculous amount of Stuff. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but Jamie doesn't drive, so it all had to be bundled into a cab along with our precious bundle of joy. Bless the cab driver, he read the instruction book and figured out how to safely strap the carseat in (one of the things from my 'To Do' list which I'd never got round to doing) and helped us to pack all our nonsense into the cab outside the hospital and into the house when we got home.

The balloon of course came with us (to the great joy of Tilly and Maeby), and when it withered and died, I packed it away into J-cub's baby box.

Tilly and Maeby have been experiencing joy of a different kind this afternoon, as they've unearthed another frog. Honestly, I have no idea where they come from. None of our neighbours have ponds and we have 6 feet high solid fences all the way round. Today's visitor was massive, much bigger than his tiny counterpart from last week who squeaked like a mouse. The more grown-up vocalisation of today sounded just like the air being squeezed out of a balloon. Tilly and Maeby are totally baffled by him, and have been following him slowly around the patio all afternoon. I feel like I should move him to a place of safety, but don't know what the right thing is to do. If I put him near the village pond, what if it's not his home? I worry he might get confused or eaten by a duck. Do ducks eat frogs? It seems like the sort of thing they would do...

Anyway, he's very good at scaring the cats off with his balloonesque noises, and hopping out of their reach when they get too close. I'm sure he can look after himself. Feel free to set me straight thought, frog-experts, if there's something I could do to rescue him.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saved - Jacob's first vest

When I was pregnant and starting to get together all of J-cub's bits and bobs, everything I read warned against getting too many newborn-sized clothes. I knew I was big, and I knew J-cub would be big, so I got all his clothes in 0-3 month or above sizes.

My mum kindly put together some newborn stuff for the bump's Christmas present - some cardigans, mitts and booties she'd knitted in yellow and green ("Just in case they were wrong"), and a set of 3 newborn-sized vests in white, pale yellow and pale green. They were the tiniest, most gorgeous things I'd ever seen. The cotton was so soft, and each one had a tiny bird, bunny or bear embroidered on the front with a little fabric badge saying "Hello World".

I totally fell in love with them, although I doubted the bump would fit in them, as all my health professionals' kept tripping out the line "Oooh, he's going to be a good size, isn't he?" which had me convinced I was incubating some kind of giant baby (I had dreams where he was born with a full head of hair, the ability to walk and saying "Hello Mummy!"). I do remember putting the vests in the top of the 'baby' section in my hospital bag, and telling Jamie that if I ended up out of it and unable to direct him, he had to make sure the baby was dressed in one of the vests.

When he was born, J-cub weighed a respectable 8lb12oz, but even so the newborn vests swamped him. Here's a photo at a day or two old, demonstrating quite how baggy it was then. His newborn going-home pramsuit, the only other thing we'd bought in that size, was so ridiculously huge that his legs wouldn't reach anywhere near the leg holes, and his arms only came about half-way down the arm holes. We gave up, dressed him in a vest and sleepsuit, and tucked him into his carseat with a pile of blankets on top of him.

When the first week or so settled down we realised that 3 vests barely last a day with a newborn, so we had to make an emergency trip to Tesco for some cheap packs of vests and sleepsuits to see us through. Next time around, I'll hopefully be set for this kind of stuff, as whether the next one is a boy or a girl, they can wear all of J-cub's stuff again. And I won't bother with clothes, it's far easier (and warmer and cwtchier) to keep a newborn in a vest and sleepsuit (and cardi, if necessary) and dispense with outfits totally. There's plenty of time to waste your money on clothes when they're older, and the novelty of teeny-tiny clothes soon wears off.

My not-so-tiny baby stayed in newborn clothes until 5 weeks old, at which point he decided to give up on adhering to stringent sizing guides and sped through the sizes, so much so that he was in 12-18 month sizes at 7 months old, and 18-24 months at 10 months old. Thankfully, he's slowed down now, and at nearly 16 months he's still in 18-24 months with room to spare. Oh except for the few shorts and t-shirts we've got in 2-3 years. At 16 months. They don't tell you about the possibility of this happening when you're budgeting for a baby.

I have in fact saved most of J-cub's clothes, only ebaying those things he never got round to wearing. But just his teeny-tiny white vest with the bird on the front made it into his baby box.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I neglected to check the theme from NaBloPoMo for this month, so I'm a day late in starting. I enjoyed my Look Up theme so much, and I really loved posting every day but I need a project like this to make me do it.

After racking my brains for a while about what I have saved that I could write about, I've decided that I'll document some of the things in Jacob's baby box, as I'm a nightmare for sentimentality and keeping far too many things, but I think in his case I am fully justified. I just pity any future children who'll be lucky if I can even remember where their birth certificate is.

So here it is, Jacob's baby box, full of the things I've saved for him over the last 16 months. I also have a large spiral bound plain book in the same design, which is completely empty. It was supposed to be a baby book, but I got given a proper baby book and used that instead. Maybe this month will prompt me to rectify that and actually get some photos and memories stuck in and written down.