Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Last week we also heard E's first word. She's been making lots of noise recently, with a few ma-ma-ma's and da-da-da's but nothing that could possibly be 'mama' or 'dada'. Until now. I was holding E and she looked at Frans, stuck out her arm towards him and with a big smile said 'mama!' Now obviously I'm mama but I've been told it's common for babies to get mama and dada the wrong way round, which I can understand.
Well done Elizabeth!
Friday, 16 September 2011
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
This isn't actually the first photo I thought of. I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos of animals. Most are average but there are a few that I am especially proud of, yet I found it difficult to pick a photo for this post. I wanted to pick a photo that meant something to me and so I found myself being absorbed into my memories, reliving the moments and spending a fair bit of time staring at my computer screen and smiling.
Eventually I decided upon the photo below. It was taken on a trip to South Africa with my now husband. It was our first holiday together, six years ago. I had never been anywhere like that before and the trip was just magical. We spent 10 days moving around the Cape Town area and just had a blast. On one of the days, we took a horseback safari and that's when I took this photo. It's not technically brilliant but it does bring a smile to my face. Shortly after (or maybe before?) this was taken, F had been attempting to get some close-up shots. He actually did a very good job but at the expense of a lens - an osterich lunged at his camera and left the lens with a nice scratch. A dangerous moment but it has me in fits every time I think about it!
Head over to Sticky Fingers to see all the other animal posts.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Monday, 22 August 2011
We decided that a trailer suited our needs the best and a friend of ours happened to have a bike trailer that she was no longer using. We took it for a short test run on Saturday and E really enjoyed herself! The trailer is made by a Canadian company called Chariot Carriers and in our opinion, they are the best manufacturers of bike trailers. Unfortunately they have a price tag to match so when baby number two comes along, cycling may not be so easy - but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. They really are pretty fabulous and you can buy conversion kits to use the trailer while cross-country skiing, hiking, jogging or just walking round town. Perfect!
It's very easy to hook the Chariot up to the bike and I felt that
Due to the success of our first attempt, we're planning on taking the Chariot and our bikes away to Cornwall with us in a couple of weeks. This is a much needed holiday and we're both really looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it goes when we're back :)
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Elizabeth seems to like nothing better than walking around the furniture. At the start of the week, she worked out how to properly navigate corners so she can walk around the coffee table with ease. This has also helped her confidence in moving from one piece of furniture to another. She'll move from the table to the sofa and to the desk very easily now. It takes her seconds! I think I mentioned a while ago that she could do this but she really had to concentrate and think about what she was doing. Now she just does it.
Her balance has also greatly improved in the last few days so her walking across the room with me holding her hands is getting faster by the day. Occasionally she lets go of whatever she's holding but hasn't realised what she's done and will fall over, or quickly grab whatever is in front of her. One day she'll let go and just be standing. I doubt that day is too far away.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Now I love black and white photographs. I enjoy shooting a wedding and making those special images into black and white - it's adds a new depth to the photo, showing you nothing but the love that this couple have for each other. When photographing a couple, black and white can be very intimate.
I also love the way black and white can transport you through time. It can take you back to a day long before you were born yet stir up so many memories. That's the route I've chosen to go down for this week's theme.
I wanted to honour my Nan. My family and friends who are reading this will know that my daughter was named after my Nan who sadly passed away last year. I miss her terribly and it makes me sad that she never got to meet my daughter. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent with my Nan and I know that E will have the same with her Nan - my Mum.
So, here's to Nanny Lily. I've picked a couple of my favourite images of her, the ones that stir up stories in my Mum, stories that I never tire of hearing.
If you'd like to see some other entries, pop over and have a look here.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
I don't know why but earlier today I decided to have a look in her mouth to see if I could see anything that might indicate that her third tooth was coming through. I had been looking most days but hadn't seen anything. This time though, I looked further round her gums - and there was a tooth! All this time I had been expecting a top tooth in the MIDDLE of her gums. Who would've guessed that one would appear at the side first!?It's through quite far so I would guess it came through last Thursday or Friday. Oops!
Then, again for reasons unbeknownst to myself, I decided to see if a fourth tooth had come through as well. I checked the other side of her mouth - which I have to say is very difficult when you have a little girl who is clearly in discomfort and clamps her jaw shut when you come anywhere near her mouth - and there is the start of the fourth tooth! It's just a corner but it's definitely through the gum. I reckon that popped through on Sunday or yesterday.
I feel bad for missing two teeth but at least E seems to be back to being herself now. Until next time then...
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
The theme this week is 'water'. As it turns out, that's a fairly easy one for me as Elizabeth LOVES water. When we put her in the bath, she splashes with such gusto that half the water ends up on the floor. When we go swimming she will quite happily cruise around the pool, sometimes splashing people as she kicks. At the start of last week, when the weather was unbelievably hot, my friend got out her paddling pool and we went over and spent the afternoon with her and her son (aka E's boyfriend, but that's another story). She had a wonderful afternoon. Can you tell?
If you'd like to see the other entries, head over to Sticky Fingers and take a look.
Sunday, 7 August 2011
The zoo is very easy to get to, there's plenty of parking and the weather was looking good. We've had some really hot days this past week here in the UK but yesterday was slightly cooler. We were both a little disappointed about the entrance cost to the zoo but we had such a wonderful day that I guess it didn't matter that much.
The highlight of the day for me was seeing the bird display. They are such amazing animals! They were flying so close to the crowds that you could easily touch some of them. We then headed over to see the elephant display which was equally as impressive. Elizabeth of course slept through both shows - not that she would appreciate them anyway just yet - and she slept for 2 hours in her buggy! She fell asleep shortly after her lunch, which she took her time eating as there was just too much going on in the restaurant. She's such a nosey parker and apparently she gets that from me. Now I'm going to blame my genes for that one as I definitely get that trait from my two nans.
All in all we had a wonderful day, topped off with the 7th Harry Potter film over dinner. Perfect!
Thursday, 4 August 2011
I was quite ill at the weekend. It came on very suddenly on Friday afternoon and I just about made it through to E's bedtime. I was so knackered that I went to bed myself once she was sleeping. Frans was out for the evening so the flat was quiet and I quickly fell asleep.
Thankfully Frans completely took control on Saturday and I spent the day in bed, mostly sleeping. I really needed that chance to recuperate and on Sunday I was feeling better, at least enough to be up and about for a couple of hours at a time. Elizabeth was pretty well behaved and Daddy and Daughter had a great weekend together.
I've been feeling better every day this week but today I am quite exhausted. With E now standing in her cot, nap times are very difficult. I won't bore you with the details and theories but the main problem is she can't get back down on her own. So that, coupled with all the washing and cooking I've got to catch up on, as well as the big pile of work I have to do and the very early mornings from E (5:30 this morning...) mean I'm sitting in my car outside our flat while E sleeps in her car seat and I'm contemplating having a nap too. I'd love an early night tonight but we're going over to a friend's for dinner and taking E and the travel cot with us.
Please wish us luck.
Friday, 29 July 2011
E has been commando crawling for quite a number of weeks now. I think about 5 weeks. Commando crawling, for those that don't know my lingo, is when your arms pull you forward and your body drags behind, with maybe a leg or two thrown in to make you really fast. The body stays on the floor and whatever clothes you are wearing become the duster for the day. Now I do understand that it's probably very difficult learning to crawl properly on a wooden floor. However, even when she's on carpet , E won't crawl properly and I know that she can - I've seen her! It seems though that today she has decided to make a big effort to crawl properly. Yay!
This has of course led to our next bit of news - E can pull herself up to standing. She's been reaching up and pulling for a week or two but hadn't realised that her knees needed to be under her body. Until now. Maybe that's why crawling has become so important to her... Anyway, it took her less than a day to realise that if she can get up on her knees, she can get up on her feet as well. The main problem with this though is E doing it in her cot when she should be sleeping as she can't get back down yet. Not so good.
This standing malarkey did lead to a walk around the coffee table. I think E was trying to reach the cookies. As my sister rightly said, we named her well - Maryland Choc Chip were one of my nan's favourites.
Ooh yes, there's the waving too! Sometimes E will wave at you if you wave at her. It's very cute! She only does it if she's happy though, which I guess is fair enough.
Next she'll probably be doing somersaults or something really amazing, like sitting back down once she's standing. Watch this space.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Friday, 22 July 2011
There was also the small matter of the most horrendous nappy rash I have ever seen. Granted, I'm not that experienced when it comes to nappy rash - the blessing of reusables or are we just lucky? - but her bottom is covered in an angry red rash. It's bothering her a bit but nothing too serious.
So then I decided that E hadn't been in any distress or hadn't been unresponsive so I probably didn't need to bother a doctor. I was planning on seeing the health visitor to get E weighed the following day so I'd have a chat with her about E and she what she recommended.
Thursday came and E was pretty much the same as Wednesday. The rash was still there (although it was spreading onto her legs) and she was still sleeping quite a bit. I had a chat with Niki the health visitor and she said it sounded like teething symptoms and was nothing to worry about. That made sense as E has had the rosy cheeks, the dribbles, the constant chewing and has even needed a dummy to help get her to sleep sometimes. She only had a dummy for the first couple of weeks after she was born so it's not like it's something she's missed. I think the problem is that she wants something to suck or chew but the teether doesn't stay in her mouth as she drifts off to sleep. That's where the dummy comes in. I put it in her cot and E will find it if she wants it.
So there's no need to panic! Everything will right itself and we just keeping plodding along to the new beat. Phew!
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
Elizabeth now usually sleeps for around 11 hours 45 minutes. Sometimes it's a bit longer, sometimes it's a bit less. For example, this morning she woke up at 8am, after having 12 ½ hours sleep! She may even have slept for a bit longer had I not gone in to check on her and woken her up. Most of the time she sleeps soundlessly but occassionally something will disturb her during the night. She's very good at going back to sleep on her own and we don't usually have to go and help her. We've been very lucky. Strangely, having a decent night's sleep has messed ME up a bit. I find that I'm more tired now, getting 7-8 hours sleep, than I was when I was getting up once in the night. I'm hoping it's just my body needing a little more time to adjust.
During the day, Elizabeth has still been having four naps. She usually has one in the morning (40 - 50 minutes), one over lunch (1hr - 1h 15m), one mid afternoon (40 - 50 minutes) and one late afternoon (40 - 50 minutes). I know it's a lot but she really struggles to be awake for more than 2 hours. Her first nap is usually between 1hr and 1hr 30m after she wakes from the night. I've tried keeping her up for longer but she gets very cranky and becomes quite difficult. After lunch she is better and I can often keep her up 2 ½ but then she really needs to sleep. I'm sure things will change when she's ready. Thankfully E is really good at sleeping when we're out, be it on the car journey or in the buggy, otherwise I'd never go out if I had to be home for her to sleep in her cot!
Elizabeth really loves her food. We started weaning about 7 weeks ago and started off very slowly. She would wolf down her food so we've gently increased the amount and introduced her to loads of different fruits and vegetables and now she's having three proper meals a day. I'm giving her slightly more than the recommended amount for her age but she's always hungry. She will take loads of milk after each meal, as well as having milk inbetween. She's still tracking her weight curve though and is firmly in the 50% percentile. That means she's of average weight and all this food doesn't seem to have affected that.
She has just started having breakfast when she wakes up, rather than milk, as she wakes up a little later now. Until last week I was giving her milk first, then breakfast a couple of hours later. This worked well as it fitted in nicely with our sleepy head's napping. Now that she wakes between 7 and 7:30am, she needs to have her breakfast first but it seems to be going OK. Lunch is usually vegetables and dinner is meat based. So far she has only had chicken but she loves it! She'll have a fair bit of fruit puree as well, in her porridge for breakfast and then as a dessert after dinner. I was also giving her fruit puree after lunch but I think that's too much fruit. I will sometimes give her a bit of banana to munch on as she really enjoys that, though she struggles to hold it herself as it slips out of her hand. She does a fantastic job of eating it though. Generally speaking, she's a very tidy eater, even with the pieces of banana. She's also very fast and the food goes straight down, even the lumpier stuff. That gets chewed a little bit then swallowed, then her mouth is open waiting for the next spoonful! It's very cute but she does get impatient sometimes when I'm not quick enough with the food. No idea where she gets that from....
We've just finished the second term of swimming. We've been doing the classes with Baby Swimming at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the hydrotherapy pool. It's lovely as the pool is a bit warmer than most public swimming pools, making it much more pleasant for the
The focus in the last set of classes was to encourage the babies to turn by themselves and to hold on to the side of the pool. Elizabeth can hold on but still needs help getting to the side of the pool, although she has now started kicking. When under the water, she will often kick to try to get back to the surface. She can
Elizabeth really enjoys her swimming classes and, as someone who doesn't particularly enjoy water, it's wonderful to watch.
Elizabeth has been dragging herself around the living room for a month or so now. She struggles to get up on her hands and knees on the slippy wooden floor but can do it occassionally. She practices on the playmat as well as in her cot and I'm sure she'll master it evetually. For now she's quite speedy commando crawling on her belly and so is happy continuing to do that. She does propel herself along with her feet and one day it'll just 'click' for her and she'll properly crawl. She definitely loves the independence of being able to go wherever she wants and get whatever she wants. I often find her rummaging through the toys to find the one she really wants.
Elizabeth still continues to be a ridiculously long baby. I last measured her a week or two ago and she was 74cm. That puts her in the 98th percentile for her age so she's a lot longer than most babies! As for her weight, she's still average - which is good considering the amount of food she eats - and was last weighed almost four weeks ago. Back then, E weighed 7.76kg (17.1 lbs) so she is probably a little over 8kg now.
Baby signing with TinyTalk is great fun! Our teacher, Lisa, is amazing and all the babies are mesmerised by her. She has a lovely, bubbly personality and is a great teacher. We sing lots of nursery rhymes and sign as much as we can. Elizabeth has a few favourites, especially Incy Wincy Spider. She smiles everytime I sing and sign 'Out came the sunshine'. She can now sign 'milk' although she doesn't always use in the right places. She usually asks for milk when she's having some food she's not enjoying so I try and let her know she's got the 'milk' sign correctly but at the same time make it clear that we're eating food right now. Very confusing for her, I'm sure, but she'll get the hang of it eventually.
Bathtime is a big thing at the moment. A few weeks ago, E really started splashing and having fun in the bath. She's always played with her bath toys and enjoyed being in the bath but this is something new. She splashes with such gusto that half the water ends up on the floor! She also likes to drop the ducks over the side of the tub (she's still in a little baby bath as we only have a shower in the flat) and she then tries to pick them back up. At first, she couldn't reach, then she realised that she could pull herslef up on the side of the tub. It took her a while to figure out the correct position to be in to do this correctly but she's got it now and can just about reach the duck that's on the floor.
Elizabeth has become very good at drinking on her own. She does sometimes get too excited to put the sippy cup back on the highchair tray but she can pick it up and drink with ease. She evens knows to tip the cup up if no water is coming out. The other day we were at a friend's house and her son's cup was on the floor (with no lid). On her travels, E had found it and decided she was thirsty so drank half of what was in the cup! The rest got thrown over the floor when she decided she'd had enough.
Is there anything I've missed? Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to know.
Friday, 8 July 2011
So off I go to get our daughter up. She's very happy when I walk in and shows me how she's been practising her crawling in the night. It won't be long now before she's off. I get her up and straight on to the changing table to avoid the tears I usually get after a cuddle at this point, as E gets excited about having milk then I put her down. Cruel mummy!
There's a nice big present in the nappy - a common occurrence since we started on solid food. E makes a grab for her nether regions. No! Of course, a bit of poo gets on her hands so I do my best to hold her hand as well as her legs whilst getting a wet wipe to wipe everything down. This is quite a challenge, especially considering all the other things E gets up to on the changing table, as explained in a previous post. So at that precise moment, E decides to see what's down the side of the changing mat. I'm not expecting it. I'm caught off guard. My concentration is fixed solely on keeping E on the table. I see it happening, too fast for me to stop it. I try but I have no chance. The nappy hits the floor, it's contents splattering. 'No!' I cry, 'Frans, help me!'
E's just happy to have her milk.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
I had an interesting weekend. A big first for me was leaving Elizabeth for someone else to put her to bed. I've left her with my Mum many times before and she always has a lovely time - but Daddy or Mummy have always put her to bed. And what should come between a daughter's bedtime and her parents? Bon Jovi baby! I'm a big fan and they just so happened to be playing at Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park. After some initial confusion as to what time they were on, it turned out they started at 19:20 so after E's swimming class, she was dropped off at the grandparents house. F and I had a couple of hours on our own before leaving for London - very surreal being in the flat by ourselves - but we had a great night. Shame we weren't closer to the stage though :(
Elizabeth actually gave us a little lay-in on Sunday - thank you my sweet - and then we had a good day playing "where's the baby?"
That was followed by a fun bathtime with lots of splashing and duck chasing.
So not a particularly interesting weekend, just one that reminded me that although I love being a mummy, there are others things I love too (I *heart* you Bon Jovi!) and I can have a good, balanced life. It's wonderful that I have such an amazing husband to share it all with as well. I might *heart* him a little bit too.
If you're interested in the other entries for The Gallery, go have a look.
I didn't think E would be able to roll over on our changing mat. She's been able to roll from back to front for about a month or so (I'm terrible with dates) but had been quite unsucessful at doing it on the changing mat. She'd have a good go, getting her bum up in the bridge position and pushing her hips over, twisting her body round, stretching up, trying to grab something to give her leverage. Nothing. She couldn't do it. I assumed it was the shape of the changing mat as the sides curve upwards, rather than the mat being flat. We love it!
But yesterday she flipped over. Now I can't stop her! I put her down and *blink*, she's on her front. Really not good when you have a poo-y nappy but can't get a wetwipe anywhere near where it's supposed to be because you have one hand holding your daughter's legs and she's decided to try and turn over. She's gone rigid, has twisted her body and there's nothing you can do! If you let go, poo goes everywhere. You just have to concentrate and wait for her muscles to ache. Eventually you can get the wetwipe to the right area. Once everything's clean, you just need to find a way to keep her on her back whilst you do the nappy up. I'm thinking of finding F's weights....
Monday, 27 June 2011
I was hoping that she would be so exhuasted that she'd sleep like a log this evening. I was wrong. She did go down to bed very well - soundlessly in fact - but was woken by the slightest noise at about 9pm. It took Frans and I over an hour to get her back to sleep. She would quite happily settle in our arms but as soon as we went to lay her down, she'd start crying again. We think she's teething too as she's been wanting to munch on her toothbrush all day. Calpol did seem to calm her down and she eventually drifted off to sleep but not before I gave her a dummy. They're funny things. Elizabeth doesn't suck it like you're supposed to but chews it instead. She puts the hard plastic in her mouth and chews. If it calms her and keeps her mind off the pain then I'm all for it.
I'm praying for a breeze tomorrow.
Going back to the individual toys, I watch I amazement as Elizabeth studies what's in front of her as she decides what she's going to do. She now completely understands that she can turn the pages of the book, spin the there wheels (though she only likes the one that makes a noise), push the buttons to make other buttons pop up and move the beads along the wire. She also understands that hitting the keyboard makes noises but she is also more than happy to hit it when the sound is turned off. Phew! Now that she can pull the keyboard off, I tend to leave it off as she just drops it on the floor.
When she is bored of the toys, she'll scoot over to whatever has caught her eye - usually the washing or the desk chair - and will try to pull it off and/or put it in her mouth. Watching her try to lick the back of the chair is hilarious!
I did however think that I didn't need to worry about such things until she started crawling. How wrong I was.
Saturday, 25 June 2011
This week's Gallery theme from Sticky Fingers is '3 Word Gallery'. I'm starting to get addicted to these...
Elizabeth is now almost 7 months old - wtf?! She can quite happily sit up and play by herself and so can her friends. When we met up on Wednesday for coffee and a chat, they were playing together. So very cute! Elizabeth is on the left and the little girl in the middle can crawl. She scooted over to play and it was lovely to see a glimpse of what's to come.
View the other submissions here.
Saturday, 18 June 2011
I love Saturdays. Saturdays are usually a family day. We take Elizabeth swimming and just generally hang out. Saturdays are also when I would spend time with my Dad when I was younger and until very recently, we would go to football together - every home game. I would occasionally miss a few games due to work as weddings tend to be on Saturdays but this is a day that has always felt like it's a family day. Since having Elizabeth, I've loved knowing that I get to spend a whole day at the weekend with my new family.
Then this morning, I had this awful feeling as I watched my husband and daughter leave the flat. They were going out and I wasn't with them. They had a swimming class to attend and I couldn't go too. I had work. Two people had decided to get married and wanted me to be their photographer. I didn't want to do it! I wanted to be with my family, not with a bunch of strangers. This morning I decided that I didn't want to be a photographer anymore because I couldn't miss out on that one day a week when I get to spend time with my husband and daughter together.
It's so silly! This isn't my first wedding since having E. Why did today feel so different? I think it's because usually it's me leaving them - this morning they left me. I was in the flat on my own and was missing out on that precious time that we get together one day a week. So no more weddings. I'll have to tell Frans...
So off I go to work. The weather is miserable - it's pouring with rain and I have a venue that's very dark and cramped inside, plus a couple who want a LOT of photos taken. I'm not excited like I used to be and I feel like I'm going to let this couple down.
Then I arrive and get into work mode. We manage to dodge the showers and ended up with beautiful blue skies for the photos. It's a wonderful day, although a little stressful but I've had far worse. The wedding couple are so happy and so grateful and just excited to be married. I'm reminded of the reasons why I love my job, why I do this every week. I can't give it up but can I really do this all the time and be a working mum?
Thursday, 16 June 2011
The theme this week for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers is 'Dads'. Here in the UK, we are celebrating Father's Day on Sunday so it's a very apt theme.
I've chosen to share a picture of E with her Daddy, when she was 5 months old. As family members will know, it's almost impossible to get a good photo of Frans. He either has his eyes closed or has somehow managed to pull a silly face. This picture is just perfect (although it was my second attempt) and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I look at it. They are my family. I love them. I love the way that Elizabeth smiles when her Daddy comes in the room and she is so happy playing with Daddy and pulling his nose (which she was doing 5 seconds before this photo was taken).
E has been quite clingy lately, bursting into tears whenever I leave the room. I'm hoping it will pass. This morning whilst I was feeding her breakfast, I had to step out to get something and Frans continued feeding her. E didn't mind that I had left - fab! - but then I came back and Daddy left and we had tears! E wanted her Daddy back and it makes me happy to know how much she loves him.
Frans, you are our world and we love you. xx
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
The second time didn't take quite as long but was still a struggle. She desperately wanted a toy...
The third time was when she was trying to reach me. She flipped over so quickly, you would've thought she'd been doing it for weeks. She then decided I was far too boring and scooted round on her front until she found a toy she wanted which had been by her feet.
A little while later, Elizabeth went down for her nap. I checked in on her 10 minutes later and she was fast asleep.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Our beautiful daughter has started to grow up too fast. She's now got teeth, can sit up unaided (most of the time), has started on solid food and prefers to stand rather than sit or lay down. Her balance is getting pretty good and I know it'll be a while before she's standing on her own but she's got some determination, I can tell you!
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Then yesterday Elizabeth got really upset in the afternoon and was inconsolable. When I eventually tried to give her some teething gel, I found a second tooth had popped through! Two teeth in three days!
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
This is my first ever entry and so this seemed like a fitting photo. This is Elizabeth, our 24-week old daughter, having her first taste of baby rice. More went round her mouth than in it but I guess you have to start somewhere! I'm not sure how I'm going to handle so much mess....
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Friday, 13 May 2011
So Elizabeth was less than 5 months old when we took her on her second holiday. We went to Denmark for Easter to see the family and again Elizabeth was pretty good on the plane. Unfortunately we had a much later flight out than when we went to France so when we landed, Elizabeth should've been in bed. This really seemed to mess her up as she couldn't settle well enough in the buggy whilst traveling on the trains that we needed to take to get to Frans' sister Laura's house. This was torture for me as there didn't seem to be anything I could do to help her. She did fall asleep once we were off the second train and walking. By this point I think it had been a couple of hours since we had landed so Elizabeth was pretty knackered. We were borrowing a car and car seat from Laura so we got the car packed as quickly as possible then started the 1hr 20m drive down to the summer house in Nysted. We were starting our holiday with a short stay with Inger and Bruno. Elizabeth slept for most of the car journey but fed and went down to sleep easily once we arrived at the summer house.
I believe that Elizabeth actually slept pretty well on that first night. In the few days leading up to this trip, Elizabeth had started to sleep for between 8 and 10 hours in one go. This trip didn't really disrupt that and she continued to sleep well on most of the nights that we were in Denmark. Result!
Elizabeth had a few 'firsts' on this trip - her first giggle, her first time in a high chair - and she really seemed to enjoy her holiday. It was wonderful watching her. We had a fab few days down at the summer house with some gorgeous food - thanks again Inger - then headed back up to Copenhagen on the Sunday for Jonas' confirmation.
We haven't seen the boys since last summer so this was the first time that they had met their niece. Anders and Jonas were keen to have a cuddle and we had a lovely day with them. We put Elizabeth in a gorgeous pink party dress that my cousin gave her. Adorable, of course!
On the Monday, Elizabeth met some more family members. We spent the afternoon with Kris and Dwight and they were a big hit with Elizabeth. She also met a cat for the first time. We had a really chilled out day and then headed back to meet Laura and Ulrich. Unfortunately we did have a few problems with Elizabeth at this point.
I fed her and then she needed to go to bed. We didn't have her cot with us and she really wasn't happy about going to sleep somewhere else. In the end she stayed up with us for a bit then we managed to get her to sleep in her car seat an hour or so later. When it was time to leave, we gently lifted her out of the car seat and wrapped her in a blanket. We took her down to the buggy and she slept on the short walk back to where we were staying. We did transfer her to the cot but she wasn't happy about it. That night we were up with Elizabeth every 90 minutes, for at least half an hour at a time. She just wouldn't settle. Eventually I suggest we put her in the buggy and walk her to sleep - she fell asleep INSTANTLY when we put her in there. Must remember that trick....
We had a lovely breakfast the next day with Laura, Ulrich and the kids, then it was time to go home. We had some fun going through security at the airport - never again are we going through the desk that has staff training - but eventually made it to the gate. Elizabeth wasn't too happy about being on a plane again and didn't want to sleep until we started the descent into Gatwick. She then slept in my arms until we picked up our bags!
We had another wonderful holiday and Elizabeth got that all-important second stamp in her passport :)
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Saturday, 7 May 2011
We're away for the weekend on a spa break at a fancy hotel. It's a wedding present, but with the pregnancy and all we didn't have a chance to go until now. Last night we had a table booked in the restaurant for a romantic meal for two. However, Elizabeth figured it should be a meal for three. That sort of put paid to any concerns about observing table manners and remembering to use the correct cutlery :)
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Whilst we were on holiday in France, we actually witnessed Elizabeth turning herself round in her cot. We'd sort of seen it before we left but only the result, not the method. It would appear that Elizabeth pulls her legs up to her chest, throws her weight to the side while kicking her legs back out, pushes on her feet which have found the side of the cot and hey presto, she's turned. Once we were home I managed to get photographic evidence of her endeavors!
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Our flight back on the Saturday was late afternoon so we hung around the hotel, playing scrabble and reading on the balcony. It was a beautiful day. Elizabeth wore her cute pink sun hat and didn't like having the sun cream put on.
Our coach finally arrived to take us back to the airport and we piled on. I wasn't really sure what to expect from Elizabeth - would she be as easy as the flight and coach trip out or would she really hate it? I expected Elizabeth to be a bit unhappy until she got settled but she didn't settle (and then fall asleep) until we were almost at the airport. I felt so sorry for her. At least she had a little nap so I was fairly confident that she'd be fine in the airport.
Wrong again! She was ok for the first 15/20 minutes but then she started crying whilst we were queuing for the check-in desk. What a nightmare that experience was! It was hot, over-crowded, noisy and time consuming. Elizabeth got so worked up that I got her out of the buggy and stripped her down to her vest to cool her down. We eventually made it to the check-in desk - we were almost last in the queue - and then got through security. Elizabeth was clearly quite tired and hungry by this point so we sat down and I fed Elizabeth, thinking we had about an hour before we would board the plane. About 10 minutes after I finished feeding Elizabeth, our flight started boarding so we gathered our belongings and off we went. I was praying for a good flight.
As I mentioned, Elizabeth was really tired by this point and she managed to fall asleep as we were taking off. She slept for most of the flight, waking once we started our descent to Gatwick. She burst into tears and so I quickly started feeding her. That did the trick. My Mum was telling me that the descent to Gatwick is quite steep so it was no surprise that Elizabeth had that reaction. So that was our holiday over :(
We had such a wonderful holiday and I loved watching Elizabeth bond with everyone. We can't wait to fill up Elizabeth's passport with more stamps as we continue to travel all over the place with our beautiful daughter.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
So Monday arrived after a good night from Elizabeth - the adults weren't quite so lucky - and we were greeted by lots of snow on the ground! Frans and I were really excited to get up the mountain so we had breakfast and passed Elizabeth over to 'the babysitters' as quickly as possible. We had a wonderful day and met Elizabeth, my Mum and Tim for lunch. They'd all had a good morning too.
The rest ofMonday and Tuesday was pretty uneventful and there was no more snow falling. We had already decided to have a break from skiing on the Wednesday and we had a family day. Both Frans and I agreed that was one of our best days :) We had a lazy morning and decided to go swimming with Elizabeth. It's do wonderful to see her enjoying the water. The temperature was slightly cooler than she is used to but she didn't seem to mind. We then took it in turns to play some table tennis which I haven't done for a long time. Great fun though.
We went out skiing again on the Thursday and arranged to meet Mum, Tim and Elizabeth for lunch. I was feeling much more confident on my skis by then but was finding the slush really hard to ski on. We decided to call it a day at lunch time and didn't even bother skiing on the Friday. I think the temperature got up to about 16 degrees.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Now where did I get to? Ah yes, boarding the plane at Gatwick. Elizabeth was pretty good on her first plane flight. I managed to get her to sleep and feed, then she slept on the coach transfer to the ski resort as well. It was quite uncomfortable for me but I was still pretty tense at this point.
When we finally arrived at our hotel, we had a bit of faffing, as you always do, before we could have some dinner. We eventually managed to get Elizabeth to sleep is this unfamiliar cot, in the unfamiliar room with unfamiliar sights and sounds. Frans and I were very impressed with how Elizabeth handled everything. We had a normal night despite the changes.
The following morning Frans and I hit the slopes! What an interesting experience that was.... We knew that there hadn't been a lot of snow in the Alps for most of the season and especially in the 5 weeks leading up to our trip. Unfortunately Alpe d'Huez was no exception. Frans and I walked down a muddy slope to the nearest chair lift, about 100m from our hotel. The chair lift took us over grassy slopes, up to a nice icy mountain. That was rather interesting. So we set off in the opposite direction to everyone else so that we would end up over the other side of the ski area. I really wish we hadn't.
Please remember that this was my first time skiing for a year and my first stab at any sort of exercise since having Elizabeth. So off we went, down a blue run. Nice and wide, easy I suppose. No. I panicked, of course. I couldn't see, it was really icy and there was no way that was a blue run! It was impossible to turn and my husband was becoming increasingly agitated with me. I eventually managed to get down the short slope (after much encouragement and the promise of a cuddle) and I was ready to head back. I was vaguely aware that I was leaving my baby girl and I was pretty sure she was missing me. Apparently she was having a wonderful time with Nanny and Gramps. Who would've guessed?! Frans and I did persevere and my confidence slowly came back to me. We actually had a good first day.
We had decided that we would try and stick to Elizabeth's evening routine as much as possible so we gave her a little wash and a bottle before putting her to bed. We then left her and went down to dinner, taking our baby monitor with us. It worked perfectly! Elizabeth slept really well, waking after 5 hours then sleeping for another 6.5! That was unusual but I was happy to get some much needed rest.
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Before we left I was feeling quite confident about travelling with a baby, especially as I spent a week packing and was sure I had everything. The changing bag was packed with all the stuff I thought we might need on the journey, including several toys and a million nappies. OK, 10 nappies. But that's still a lot more than normal. Our flight out was at 13:45 so we left the flat at a very reasonable time (highly unusual for a ski trip) and our holiday began! When we got to the car park at Gatwick, everything was still great. Elizabeth was happily in her buggy and Frans was in control of our bags (and there were a LOT of bags). The short bus ride was a doddle and check-in couldn't have been easier or faster.
Then came security. I think this is when I started to become one of those panicy, annoying, stressed out mums. Nothing in particular caused this to happen, I just seemed to get a little worked up about having to get myself and a baby through security. The buggy wouldn't fit through the x-ray scanner so the security staff had to check the buggy themselves. All was fine. Then mum had some additional checks done on herself as we'd been hanging around for so long, waiting for the buggy and for whatever had delayed Tim. I think it was Tim that was delayed, though it could've been Frans. I was already absorbed with the faff of getting Elizabeth back in the buggy and getting all the bags and blankets in the right places. Eventually we got out of the way and moved through to find some food.
Proper stress fest! Time started to get to me at this point. I knew we needed to eat, I knew Elizabeth needed a feed, I knew that meant a nappy change would be needed and I knew our gate would be opening soon. I was being totally irrational and was seriously regretting going on holiday. So we got some food and headed for our gate. We all sat down and started eating while I fed Elizabeth. Frans went and changed her nappy so that I could eat but stress had already taken hold. I made sure the buggy was ready for the flight - twice. I made sure the bags were ready - several times. I think I may even have repacked one. The gate was then opened and I started panicking because Frans wasn't back with Elizabeth. Argh! Eventually he came back and we headed for the gate and boarded the plane.
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
I did a post not too long ago showing Elizabeth trying to roll over. Well today she managed it - twice! The first time it was a complete shock to both of us. I had put Elizabeth in her pink play gym on her front and all of a sudden she pushed with her arms and she flipped over! There was a look of total surprise on her face as she looked around to see different toys to what she'd just been looking at. Very cute! The second time wasn't as much of a shock for her and she rolled the other way. As she did so, I got a beautiful smile. A gymnast in the making maybe?
Saturday, 19 March 2011
So last week I had to do the swimming class with Elizabeth as Frans was away on a 'business trip'. I was dreading it. I'm not very comfortable in water and the thought of being in the pool whilst caring for Elizabeth didn't exactly fill me with excitement. I did my best to think positively and not to let Elizabeth feel my anxiety. I must've done a good job because Elizabeth behaved pretty well. There were tears of course but not as bad as I was expecting. There was one exercise that I really wasn't comfortable doing so the instructor helped me out with that but otherwise I did it all on my own. I was very proud of myself and of Elizabeth.
This week was a different story though. Both Frans and I think that Elizabeth was too tired this week. She had only slept for 15 minutes before the class which wasn't long enough. The result was a grumpy girl in the pool and so she didn't enjoy herself as much as she has done in the past. There really is a very fine balance between not enough sleep and too long between feeds, mainly because she's still so young. When the next term starts in May, Elizabeth will be 5.5 months old, so hopefully our timings won't be so critical. She really is doing beautifully though and clearly starting to understand what's going on as she reacts to the command words. Very exciting!
Friday, 18 March 2011
We're going to Denmark! Before we've been on our first family holiday, we've booked a second. Fingers crossed that Elizabeth won't make me regret that decision... I must admit that I'm not particularly looking forward to flying with a baby but Denmark will be fabulous. We're looking forward to seeing the family and
showing off introducing Elizabeth to everyone.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Yesterday Elizabeth and I went to the cinema. We've been a couple of times now and it's really great! The Odeon cinema company have these special screenings each week for parents with babies, so it doesn't matter too much if Elizabeth cries. The lights are kept low (rather than off) and the volume is lower than usual. This week's film was The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon.
Elizabeth was really well behaved. She was quite hungry when we arrived so I fed her shortly after we got settled. She was then more than happy to sit on my lap, either watching the screen, playing with her rattle or chewing her hand (or mine!) She had a sleep towards the end of the film and was good as gold.
What the cinema do with these screenings for mums with babies is really fantastic. It's great that I still get to do things like that now I have Elizabeth and it's even better that Elizabeth doesn't seem to mind :)
Monday, 7 March 2011
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Elizabeth had her fourth swimming lesson today and things seemed to be much better. She enjoyed the water a lot more and there was considerably less crying. Frans does a wonderful job of keeping her calm in the pool. I'm doing the class next week and I'll let you know how it goes.