One year ago I was propped up in a bed at the Horton Hospital in Banbury, unable to take my eyes off of you as you slept in the plastic cot next to my bed. I cried. I cried because there was this perfect little baby next to me and I had no idea what I was doing and was terrified to fail you.

Today I woke up and I cried again. Your fever was so high and even though we’ve gone through a lot of growing in the past year, I am still terrified that I am failing you and often find that I have no idea what I am doing.

Luckily, in spite of my many shortcomings, you seem to think I am wonderful. Thank you for that.

This past month has been a very hard one. Definitely not one of our best, but it ended on a high note because it ended with you turning a whole year old! You started the month with bronchitis and ended it with a cold on top of which we took you to get your 12 month booster vaccinations. You and vaccines … not a pretty mix.

We’ve struggled with eating and drinking due to your illnesses this month and you have become a lot more opinionated when it comes to what you are willing to try, do or whether or not we are worth listening to. Often, we’re not. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve come back well with the eating, but you refuse to drink milk or formula unless it is from a bottle and you refuse to use any soother that is not the kind that has been discontinued!!!

Not that you eat with a soother. I let you eat with your hands, cutlery or even face first, but I do stop at some things. We try to use the soother only at bedtime or when you’re feeling sorry for yourself .. err.. I mean when you’re feeling under the weather.

When you look back and cannot remember your 12th month, I don’t want you to think it was all bad. It wasn’t. You got to go to Luca’s birthday party which you loved, and we met up with Luca and his Mummy at Rug Rats and Half Pints which you both thought was great. You did fall out of love with Gymboree and you weren’t impressed with your PixiFoto experience (to be honest, neither were we), but generally when you were out in public you were loving it! And when you were at home, you were quite happy .. just as long as I stayed by your side the entire time, which I have to admit has been frustrating.

For some reason, when you are in front of other people you are this little independent dude who will walk off and play with things and act like you do not have a care in the world, but when it is just the two of us .. which it is a lot .. you seem to think that if I leave the room for over 3 seconds, that I’ve stopped loving you and am going to give you to the next person who rings the doorbell (though let’s be honest, what an irrational fear that would be since we never answer the door unless we know something good is on the other side).

Let me ease your fears little dude. I am not leaving you. You are stuck with me. I may be crap at this Mommy job I’ve signed up for, but I’m trying and I am so sorry that you have to be the one I practice on. I’d like to have had an opportunity to make all of my mistakes on someone or something else so that you could have a more relaxed, less panicky and all around better Mommy, but I’m afraid you were the first living being that the world trusted me with (other than plants and fish..and they haven’t always worked out for the best). I am learning as we go, just like you are, it’s just that my mistakes are the ones that are more noticeable because I am the grown up and you are the one who is allowed to make mistakes. Hopefully, your second year will be a lot happier and we will do this learning and growing thing a lot more smoothly.

I love you more than you will ever know and even though I’ve cried at least a million tears since you’ve been born and wondered if it was legal to sell you on EBay a couple of times, I wouldn’t trade you for the world. And I hope when you grow up and change your mind about wanting me to be around all of the time, you’ll remember that I would do anything for you (within my means and mostly within the law depending if I agree with the law or not).

Happy TWELVE Months, GrumpyPumps!!!
Mommy Loves You!!

You on Day 0:
Day 0

1 Month Old:
1 month

2 Months Old:
2 Months

3 Months Old:
3 Months

4 Months Old:
4 Months

5 Months Old:
5 Months

6 Months Old:
1/2 Year!

7 Months Old:
7 Months

8 Months Old:
8 months

9 Months Old:
9 Months

10 Months Old:
10 Months

11 Months Old:
11 months

One Year Old!!!!!!
Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy!
12 months

Before you say it, I already know what you’re thinking, and usually you’d be right. .oO(SHE wants ME to take parenting advice from HER crazy ass?) But for today and today only, I actually have some nuggets of wisdom!!

1) When you cannot find your moisturizer, do not be tempted to use Sudocrem (diaper rash cream) instead. It’s not a pretty site. A funny one, yes. Pretty, no.

2) When taking your son or daughter for vaccines, when they start to cry after the injection just whip out a pouch of Fruitapura (pureed fruit in a Capri Sun style bag). Apparently it is magic in a packet, because Noah totally forgot about his “ouchie” and started trying to kiss me instead.

Those are the nuggets.

You may now carry on with the rest of your day and hopefully you are not trying to picture what I looked like with diaper rash cream all over my forehead.

In 99 days baby number 2 is due to start their Day 0.

In 3 days Noah is going to be 1.

I feel like I am living in some alternate reality, yet suffering the exhaustion of the person who is pregnant with the totally almost one year old.

Noah is sick right now and instead of getting better he seems to be getting worse. Somehow I have to plan and prepare for a birthday party and clean our house with 29ish pounds of sick baby attached.

If someone has figured out how to freeze time around you so that you can get things done … then please, let me know. I’d offer to pay, but you’ll be in for a handful of loose foreign change. Which is better than nothing and you can always save it for those donations envelopes on the plane.

100 days left

That’s right, there are only 100 napping days left until Cheese is due to arrive. Like his/her older brother, I am not expecting a timely arrival so I may be able to sneak in another nap or two .. Noah depending.

Today I had a midwife appointment which I have been looking forward to as I have not seen a midwife since early December and I have been wanting to hear the heartbeat! With Noah, he always seemed to have a steady beat and never seemed to get above 140-145. Also with Noah, I felt from the start that he was in fact a he. This time around, let’s face it.. I have no idea! So I went in expecting another 140-145 reading.

Nope. This baby decided to give me a nearly 160 bpm reading. Way to confuse me, Cheese!

It is strange, last time I was rather content not knowing the sex (there were the odd moments of Ooh I wish I knew … and in the final days I was anxious to know), but this time around because I really have no feeling it is driving me crazy. It’s like being told “I’ve left you a pretty present all wrapped up on the table … but you cannot touch it for the next 9 months … but trust me, you’ll like it”. Well I know I’ll like it, but a hint would be nice.

But not too big a hint. I still need to get through childbirth, and unless they are going to invent a painless, stitchless and super fast way of baby birthing in the next 100 days, I need the surprise to await me at the goal line.

Now we have the 4D scan to look forward to in 2.5 weeks. A little peek which might send my Spidey Senses tingling one way or the other.

Or if this child is anything like his/her older brother, I will just be left in a state of confusion for the following 2.5 months as I have been for the past 12.

No, not Disney World or Disneyland, but IKEA!

We arrived in the IKEA parking lot and something just told me that I was in for a treat. I had a huge smile on my face which threw my Parents because they had not brought me to IKEA for months. We rode up some escalators and then my Daddy put me into this chair made just for people my size. I sat there for a moment and then realised that there were SO many things for me to do and play with and with that I was off!!!

My Mommy tried to get me to play with a stuffed football (soccer ball), but I thought it was a basketball because I kept putting it into the big bins full of things. Then she discovered this wooden pull along hedgehog or porcupine or something … and that was it. I didn’t need anything else. I took off and made my own racetrack. I didn’t even need my Parents anymore. Once in a while I’d take a peek behind me, see that they were there .. and instead of going to them… I’d take off!! It was hilarious!!! And they let me do it for ages!! It was better than Gymboree!!!


Indoor Athletics – IKEA Style from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

After a work out like that, I needed something to build my energy back up, so we went into the IKEA cafe and got down with some serious meatball and lingonberry sauce eating. I even got to practice my forking skills. And I’m good… when I want to be. Sometimes though, clanging my cutlery together is even more fun than eating.

Bet you never thought you’d hear that from me!

Ready:
Ready...

Set:
Set!

Meatball!
Meatball!

When we left, we got ice cream cones and my perfect night was topped off with a perfect treat! I cannot wait to go back!!!

It’s official. The “bump” is a blimp!

Last night when Noah decided that he’d slept long enough and it was time to play, Lee and I got into bed with him to try and show him that it was time for sleep. Unfortunately, we got sleepy and Noah decided that it was a perfect time to play Peek a Boo. Now sometimes he will put a pillow or blanket over his face to hide and other times he will get out of the bed and crouch down next to it.

Not last night. Nope, last night he discovered a brand new place to hide … behind Cheese! The worst part is, he could actually go low enough to not be seen.

Front Cheese 24+4

Side Cheese 24+4

Whilst taking the photos last night, Lee has admitted that Cheese is “rounding out”, however he is still maintaining the belief that Cheese is a Cheesette. I waiver daily, but always stay more on Boy side than Girl. Though I will admit that Cheese may be rounding out, but is still not the neat package that his/her older brother was.

We are having another peek at Cheese on the 14th of March and I hope to get a better feeling of boy/girl when I have the first 4d look. As soon as I saw Noah I felt he was a boy. We’ll see!

P.S: That is my thumb in the second photo and not some ridiculously popped out belly button! Mine is still safe and secure on the inside!

Luca turned a whole entire year old on the 10th of this month! To celebrate, his Mummy and Daddy had a little party at their house on the 15th where there were lots of toys, a ball pool I was not so sure of and …. cake! Oh and Luca was there too of course. Duh, I mean it was his party after all!

Luca’s Daddy brought out a cake with candles on it. I’ve seen a candle before, but never one that had FIRE on it!!!

Happy Birthday to you..

Luca seemed to like when they were on fire, but was not so sure when his Daddy helped him blow them out.

Where there's smoke..

Luca’s Daddy even set the candles on fire again so that Sam could practice blowing out the candles since his is turning THREE in April!

Sam's Go

When Luca’s Daddy set them on fire again to give me practice, I decided that the other boys were silly to try and blow the candles out. Obviously the better way would be to actually grab the fire with my hand and throw it away.

Fire Toucher

Lucky for me, Luca’s Mummy was on hand to keep me from doing anything too crazy! My Parents were too busy taking photos and laughing like usual.

But the fire wasn’t all bad. I learnt that when you blow out the candles, you get to eat the cake!!! Now until today, I had only been able to share pieces of cake or cupcakes with my Mommy or Daddy. I was never given a slice or cupcake of my own. So when I had the chance, I was making sure that it was not going to be wasted!!!

Ready...

GO!

It was great! Cake is so tasty and I got to make whatever mess I wanted to! Luca and I were just having a great time and then I realised that I was running short on cake, and Luca was double fisted.

Keep Your Eye On Your Cake

Seeing that Luca is smaller than me, I thought I’d help him out by taking the chunk of icing from his left hand and eating it for him. I’m so nice, right?

Now you see it.. now you don't

Luca let my Mommy know that he was not impressed with my “helping” skills by giving her a wicked look. I’m so glad I was oblivious, because I may just have cried if I knew that I had been doing something wrong.. or that I got caught doing it.

Did you see what your son did?

Don’t feel too bad for Luca though. I know it was his birthday and now I know that you don’t get to decide when someone else wants to share, but he got me back. I think he mistook one of my curls for a piece of that icing because I was sitting there playing and the next thing I know… my head was in the grips of those D’Ambrosio hands and I was in tears.

Heads Up!

But the tears soon ended and by the end of the party, we were back playing nicely together.

Nice Boys

Now I’ve got to work on this food stealing thing before my birthday party because even Sam was scared that I was going to try and eat his orange. But he was safe because I don’t even know what an orange is and at that moment I was just hoping to find more cake hidden somewhere.

So apologies for my smash and grab, but thank you for inviting me to your party, Luca!

I hope I enjoy my birthday as much as I enjoyed Luca’s!!!!

Love was in the air today .. or perhaps it was the smell of the tandoori chicken and keema naan I had for dinner. Either way, it was a good day. I had pancakes for breakfast, got to taste my first ever cupcake (or fairy cakes as they seem to call them in my homeland), and got to drive Daddy’s car.

Okay, okay, the car may not have had keys in it, but that didn’t mean I didn’t get to play with all of the buttons, mirrors, steering wheel and radio. After being strapped in my seat for so long whilst we waited for my Daddy to get the food, my Mommy released me and gave me a taste of freedom like I’ve never known. I was over the moon. Who knew the front seats were so much fun?! No wonder my Mommy stopped sitting in the back with me. That food could have taken forever for all I cared, because once my Daddy returned with it, I was relegated to the backseat and I let them know I was not happy. I let them, the rest of Milton Keynes and the neighbouring villages know that I wanted nothing to do with the second class citizen business. I wouldn’t even take my soother because I was too busy yelling and crying.

But then they let me out when I got home and I gave my Mommy a cuddle and kiss and she let me share her dinner and all was well once again. I had salmon, chicken and lamb tandoori with lemon rice and my Daddy’s keema naan and I washed it down with a lime and my Daddy shared another cupcake with me.

Oh, and I got TWO Valentine’s Day cards. One from right inside my house (from my Parents ..duh) and one all the way from Canada!

There were no chocolates or roses or big red teddy bears, but there was food and cards and driving and dancing and that is what life is all about.

I hope your Valentine’s Day was as good as my first one ever!


14.2.09: Dancing and Driving from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

Just an announcement to let everyone know that Lee has unticked the one box needed to allow everyone to leave comments without any need for a login or password. Apparently I was under the belief that this was an exclusive blog and had ticked the box stating that people needed to be members to leave comments.

Blame it on the Baby Brain!

I have always wanted to be able to bake. If you scroll back through posts of mine you will see that every once in a while I get the urge to create food from scratch. Pasta, cookies, dessert bars. That sort of thing. And while I was quite successful at the pasta, the baking has always been … not quite there. I am afraid of the oven. It always seems too hot or not hot enough .. even when I’m following directions. But as Noah’s birthday is coming up, I felt like I had to be able to make something myself. Sure I could go to Costco and buy cupcakes for £14.99 or buy a cake that would be wasted as it would be too big and we are not really a house of cake eaters (until this week when this baby has me wanting cake constantly). So with two weeks left, I thought I’d give it a go.

And a go I gave it.

I made the batter from scratch, the icing and even the lemon sugar to sprinkle on top.

Sure, to those of you who know to cover both hands when getting something out of the oven or that turning the oven a little higher won’t cook the middle any faster, it may seem funny that I am so excited by such small achievements, but I am. So shh.

At first I thought that the batter was too thick and was convinced that it was going to bubble over and I’d either have monster sized cupcakes or they’d end up on the bottom of the oven. But look! They came out like perfect little cupcakes!

Fresh from the oven

The icing didn’t look as nice and I was pretty worried about whether I was doing it right. The dry to wet ratio was so not working according to the recipe, so I went off piste and decided to do it myself and threw in some lemon zest for an added lemon zing!

Icing on the cupcakes

The first thing I actually did was make the lemon sugar. Now it smells great and tastes great, but I have no idea why I had to make so much of it and have yet to figure out what else I can put it on. Looks like I’ll be making a lemon cake this week!

Lemon Sugar

When I put the three parts to the puzzle together, the results were mindblowing. Well, they blew my mind anyway. And my constant patting myself on the back has started to not quite blow Lee’s mind, but wear out the bit when you smile and nod to be polite. But look at these babies!!!

Lemon Cupcake

Mmm Cake

Friends in Cake

And they really do taste as yummy as they look. Even Noah agrees. Actually, scratch that endorsement as we found out tonight that the guy loves coriander. Blech.