What a lovely pear…

Image

Henry is now almost 6 months old. He’s a little star, much the same as Freddie was at the same age. He’s such a happy contented little thing. Always quick to drop a smile…it melts me every time I get in from work and see him! He’s a bloody good sleeper too and has been since 7 weeks (Freddie also did that…until he hit 3 years but that’s an entirely separate post!). So all in all…we are truly blessed.

Around this time…things start to get exciting. Your baby is a lot stronger and starts sitting on his / her own without falling over (usually face first!), they start experimenting with rolling over (the first step to crawling…aka time to get eyes in the back of your head!) and start to really interact in their own little way. It’s also time to think about ‘WEANING’!!!

Now, I know this is an exciting progression for us parents…but imagine how exciting it is for the little ones. All they have had for 5 months is milk!!

There are a few theories as to how you go about weaning.  ‘Baby led’ weaning, which is essentially putting loads of stuff (no crap, but sensible healthy stuff of course!) in front of them and let them go at it…a way of experimenting for them. The other one is the ‘puree’ structure meal route. Some say baby led weaning makes them fussy as they get older. We’ve got friends who have done it and they’ve done ok.

With Freddie, we pureed all the way…and he loved it! It also meant as a control freak (yup, that’s me!) and a self-confessed foodie (me as well!), I got to introduce lots of flavours slowly. This has meant we have a 3 year old who has an amazingly varied palate. He loves pretty much everything and is a joy to take out to restaurants.

Freddie having baby rice!

 

Now…back to Henry.

On Sunday, we came back to familiar territory. Three pans on the go…one with pear, one with apple and one with carrots. Boil them, puree them, put them in little ice trays and freeze them. We used to call these days…‘cook offs’!

Then, it’s to the first tasting for the wee man. We started him with some baby rice (which is god awful to be honest!) for a couple of days, before we moved onto ‘fruit’ territory!

OK…now this bit it important. It’s my first major bit of advice for weaning.

Get a video camera ready before feeding…!

When your baby gets that first taste of fruit, the judder is brilliant. It starts at the head and works its way down to the feet. It really is one of the most comical things ever! Imagine eating a whole lemon and what sensation that would cause…multiply it by 50 and you’ll be somewhere near!

Today our fruit of choice was pear. He’s on day two now…but still the judder is there, and it’s a joy!

 

You also notice them tending to sleep a little better (sometimes). This tells me that the milk diet was a) a tad boring and b) not really filling the hole! He certainly seems happy with his new diet.

And finally…and this is one that you should probably mentally prepare yourself for. The Exit!

I’d totally forgotten about the ‘what goes in, must come out’ part. You kinda get used to the stinky baby nappies…and to be honest, they’re never really that bad. That is…until they start on solids!

JESUS WEPT…they really do change in scent. They are as pungent as a grown up version! It makes your eyes water. I think I must have blanked this part out from Freddie’s past.

Either that or Henry is a real stinker!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Miss you Mr 8 hour sleep!

20130219-110151.jpg

Henry is nine weeks old now. Any new parent will agree, the first few weeks are a blur. This is largely due to the fact that you don’t really get much sleep with the little ones waking & feeding etc. I have to get up at 4am for work, so I’ve been fortunate that my wonderful wife has taken care of all the feeding duties during the week. The night feeds still wake me up though…usually about an hour before I actually need to get up. That means I rarely go back to sleep! More often than not, I just get up and go to work!! So…in a nutshell it’s been a sleepy couple of months.

But something big has just happened, something all new parents dream of. One of the ‘new baby’ milestones. Not his first smile, nor his first tooth…

In the last week…HENRY SLEPT THROUGH!!!!

20130219-105607.jpg

When this happens, it warrants a major celebration . You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more jet lag feelings during the day (the sleep deprived jet lag, not the one that come’s with the benefit of a long haul holiday). Regaining the ability to function properly. No more forgetting what you’re talking about mid sentance…and the end of the ‘where did I put my car keys’ game! Crack open the bubbly…and welcome back Mr eight hour sleep!

But wait…not so fast! Just when we thought we had this sleep lark sussed, Freddie has decided he’ll have a go at waking up!

Freddie (almost 3) has always been a brilliant sleeper. From a young age he went to bed with no fuss, if he woke up he was always able to self soothe. He always slept though most of the night and the only time he’d wake would be if he was ill.

So what’s going on Freddie?

20130219-110053.jpg

It tends to start around 11pm. Just as your hitting the full on deep sleep, the cry begins from his room – ”mummy….daddy…’
I go in and give him a cuddle, he says ‘I love you Daddy’ and rolls over and goes back to sleep. About twenty minutes later…off we go again! This carries on until 1 or 2am. Some experts suggest it might be nightmares, other suggest…oh, that’s it actually!

Then…the other night, Freddie took it to a whole new level. After a few of his usual wake ups, I heard him in quite a soft voice saying ‘Daddy…Daddy’. I opened my eyes and saw him stood at the side of my bed. When I asked him if he was ok, he responded with ‘I sleep in your bed Daddy’.

Now this wasn’t completely unusual. If he’s ill or freaked out, he’ll occasionally come into our bed. But what happened next clearly set out my role in the family…and more importantly, my position in the pecking order.

He got into our bed, in between my wife and me. Then…he came out with these words:

‘You get out Daddy. You sleep downstairs’.

There was no negotiation possible. When I tried, he got more irate…insisting that my place this evening was not in my own bed! He would prefer that I find an alternative place to sleep.

So, I was relegated to the sofa! Kicked out of my marital bed by my son…who is almost 3 years old.

What would be next? Will I be served the last portion of dinner once everyone else has taken the best bits? Will I have to sit in the boot when we go out in the car on a family trip? Will I eventually be moved into the shed…permanently? I hope not. I guess what this does mean is that it’s time to find a bigger house, with a spare room for nights like these.

If we don’t, it could well be the end of the eight hour sleep…FOREVER!!

Posted in Parenthood, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who said this was easy?!!

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry blogworld…I didn’t realize how much time I wouldn’t have when 3 became 4! I also apologise that this may be 1) a little long and 2) a little grumpy! Parents of newborns will understand & sympathise!

 

The boys

 

So, where to start? Well, Henry James is 6 weeks old now…and doing great. I did however forget how bloody hard it is having a newborn. Let alone how hard it is when you have a toddler (almost 3 years) along for the ride! I’m sure I recall people saying that you should have your kids fairly close together as it’s easier. Easier for who? There is nothing easy about it! I also forgot how much stuff someone so small requires. Our house is once again like a showroom for Mothercare!

The first few weeks haven’t been without their challenges mind. Let me highlight a few:

Henry born
Mum & Dad encounter sleep depravation
Freddie gets chicken pox
Christmas chaos
Freddie gets jealous
Henry gets reflux
Mum gets MRSA
Freddie gets urine infection
Henry gets thrush in mouth
Dad needs a rest!

As a result of the above, we are now on first name terms with the local GP and pharmacist! We also know where all the late night / 24hr chemists are. They have been an essential part of our first few weeks…and I would highly recommend working out where they are if you have a new edition incoming! But…as any parent will agree, all of the tough / bad / tired / grumpy times are massively outweighed by that one moment of amazingness displayed by the little ‘uns.

Freddie has been for the most part…brilliant. He has totally embraced being a ‘big brother’. He’s regularly requested cuddles and has even composed a song that he sings to baby Henry. The other week, he came into the nursery as Henry was having his bedtime feed. As he marched in proudly clutching ‘Flopsy Bunny’, he proceeded to attach Flopsy to his nipple and say ‘I give Flopsy some milk Mummy’. He continued the job and when Flopsy had finished, put him on his shoulder for some windypops! At that moment, we realized he is at the ‘copy everything’ stage!

 

contented baby

 

We are now into the ‘getting a routine’ stage with Henry…thanks to my wife’s obsession with Gina Ford. Gina’s ‘Contented Baby’ routines worked like a dream with Freddie. However, I’m not sure Henry is quite down with it yet! If you’re not familiar with Gina Ford’s ‘Contented Baby’, it gives you a detailed routine to follow day by day, which changes throughout the weeks. You follow the so-called ‘simple’ directions, such as ‘wake baby at 9.45pm and be feeding at 10pm. Then, make sure he’s fully awake and kicking around. After a good amount of awake time, do the rest of the feed, with baby asleep no later than 11pm. Sounds easy right? NO!!!!

You ever tried getting a baby from being ‘asleep’ to ‘wide awake’ if they don’t want to?? It’s tough. In fact…it’s tougher than tough! Even opening his eyelids doesn’t work!!!!

Some would say, why bother…just leave him asleep? I would say NO, that doesn’t work either, as that would mean a sleeping baby all day, party baby at night. As my mother-in-law quite rightly says (quite often at the minute!), ‘this too shall pass’.

So, for now this is us. A battle of wills, between Henry, aged 6 weeks and Gina Ford’s tried & tested routine. Its only a matter of time before Henry gets it…isn’t it?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Here we go again!

photo-2 2Today, my amazing wife once again made me so proud. She’s spent 39 weeks growing our new baby…and this morning we welcomed our beautiful chunky little boy to the world.

Hello Henry James!

It’s funny…it kinda crept up on us this time. Doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that we were having our 12 week scan.  Last time round we counted down every week, relaxed thoroughly & took our job of  ‘growing’ the bambino very seriously. For this one, we didn’t have the time to be so thorough. Suppose that’s the joy of pregnancy with a 2 1/2 year old…

Well, now he is here…I’m totally smitten. Nothing quite prepares you for how you feel when your child is born. It’s so bloody emotional…even for the Dads!  I’ll be honest, this time I was really worried about the arrival of our newborn. I love Freddie so much I was worried I might not have enough love left for another. I needn’t have worried so much…it appears I have plenty for two!
All that’s left is to introduce him to Freddie. He has seemed quite excited by it all. He knows his brother is coming, he was also the one who chose the name! However, I’m not sure if his excitement is largely driven by the number of new toys turning up in the nursery. So much so, he has been sneakily moving them into his own room!

So…please be upstanding…and shout ‘hurrah’ for December 10th. You are officially ace. You have given us the best Christmas Present ever.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Watch!

IMG_0760

Its that time of year when parents all around the world use the fella in the big red suit to bribe the kids into behaving!
This is the first year Freddie has really understood Santa, and the first year we’ve been able to use such bribes. Our main use has been to help Freddie ‘go to bed’…and stay there!
Its funny, Freddie has always been a brilliant little sleeper. He’s always gone to bed without any fuss (most of the time!), gone straight to sleep and has stayed there kicking out zzzz’s until the morning. Man, we were so lucky.
That was until about three weeks ago. His timing is impeccable. We have our new bundle of joy arriving next week! The one time we really need him to be a brilliant sleeper…no fuss etc, he decides that he does’t want to play that game. We are experiencing tears at bedtime and the game of ‘I need a wee’…both of which can go on for an hour. Then, usually around 11pm we have another hour or two of him being awake which often results in paper, scissors, stone to decide who’s turn it is!
Maybe this is actually him helping us out. His own unique way of preparing us for that feeling of constant jet lag that comes with a new-born!
Enter ‘Santa watch’.
I’m sure all parents (and you all do it…don’t you?) have their own unique techniques. Ours is a cunning use of the alarm sensors! Yup, my wife & I look at them, we wave at them, we greet them with ‘Morning Santa’ and even enter into full blown (one way) conversations with them. Freddie has totally bought into it, and is now also chatting to them. He’s even taking to talking to other alarm sensors…he said ‘Hello Santa’ when we were in the doctors the other day upon seeing the little red sensor glow in the corner! Sometimes, I do hear myself repeating the same things my own parents used to say – ‘Yes Santa, I’ve told him he needs to get back into bed with no fuss’ and ‘Freddie isn’t going to sleep Santa so maybe you shouldn’t stop here’. Its actually pretty bloody evil when you think about it!
Currently, the success ratio is 50%…I really hope this improves over the next few days or we’re really going to be in trouble! Maybe we need a more severe threat…?!!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re going to Poo Land!


Freddie is two years and eight months now. For the past few months numerous people have muttered those words ‘he should be out of nappies by now’, but we stuck to our guns, and held out knowing that when he was ready to ditch the nappies, he’d tell us.

Now, that time has arrived!!

It’s the dream of every parent, no more nappy dramas to contend with. No more explosions. No more poop on your fingers. No more exploding bags…here we come big boy pants.

So, with our three potty’s carefully placed around the house and Primark’s entire stock of ‘age 3-4’ big boy pants (always go a size bigger for easy pull downs!)…off we went!

Day one was ok. A couple of little accidents, but for the first attempt a tremendous effort. Day two not so great. He was in nursery and we think he had a bit of stage fright! By day three, he’d nailed it! It was amazing. Every time he got the sign down below, we’d hear a ‘Daddy…I need a wee wee’, and off he went to his potty. Much applause followed, from us…and Freddie too. He’s bloody done it!

It was also when we got to the end of day three that we realized we might have a poo problem. Yup, he was happy to go and wee…but he didn’t want to let go of the number two’s!

Turns out he’s not alone. The clever scientists think its something to do with them thinking they are losing part of themselves, and can’t quite get their head around it. It was all going so well…

Enter ‘Poo Goes Home To  Pooland’!

This was recommended to us on a message board. Basically, it’s a story of a poo, who wants to go home to mummy & daddy poo, back in poo land! Sometimes, he’s a little shy and goes back inside, but if we let him go he’s a very happy little poo. It’s a little strange, but after reading it to him several times both on and off the potty…it worked! We did have some odd looks from nursery when we presented it to them to read too, but Hurrah for Poo Goes Home To Pooland.

Seriously…if you’re potty training your little boy, little girl, husband or even wife, check this book out!

Now, Freddie happily goes for his number two’s. Proud as punch he gets off the toilet shouting ‘I did a poo Daddy’, and waves bye bye as it shoots off down the u-bend and off to Pooland. My only slight concern is that he grows out of this little ritual…not sure it will go down so well aged 16!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hello baby

Freddie has a brother coming into the world in three weeks. You never really know what he’s thinking about this rather strange concept…’yes, your baby brother is in Mummy’s tummy’. Say it like that, it does sound kind of odd.

However, he does seem to be taking some of it in. Everyday, he kisses the bump and says ‘hello’ (too cute!). For the last few weeks, we’ve been asking him what we should call the baby when he arrives. Freddie’s response has been simply ‘brother’. You can’t really argue with his way of thinking.

He’s now offered a toy for his baby brother for Christmas. Well, he’s decided he would like a new ‘Jupiter’ (Fireman Sam’s fire engine) from Santa. When we asked him why as he already had one…he said he wanted to give his to his brother!

This is very sweet in one way, and very smart in another. Already he is trading in his used items for new ones!

Posted in Parenthood | Tagged | Leave a comment