Wednesday, 31 December 2014

31.12.14

On the last day of 2014 Joseph slept all night in his own cot in his room and woke us up at the respectable time of 7.30am with the sound of his singing. Since we've been home after our few nights away over Christmas, and his top two teeth have come through, Joseph hasn't been waking up crying in the night leading us to co-sleep with him in our bed. I got out of bed, put the kettle on for his milk and plucked him from his bed. I changed his nappy whilst we waited for the water to cool and Joseph played with the Baby Einstein musical turtle he got for Christmas. He loves to flip it on its back so that it speeds through all the music in its repertoire which drives me a little insane. Before long his bottle was ready and he drank his 6 ounces with haste. After more playing and attempts at crawling, we moved to the kitchen where I plopped Joseph in his high chair whilst I prepared his breakfast of Weetabix with a couple of crushed blueberries thrown in there for luck. I used to spoon feed him his Weetabix but now I break up the biscuit then soften it with milk in a bowl then put each part on his tray to let him feed himself. To be honest, I'm always hovering over ready to spoon some to him too as I want to make sure he gets a decent feed (although that's against the law of baby led weaning) but it's actually unneccessary as he's happy to just feed himself and gets a fair amount in without my assistance. I need to let go of the spoon I think. 
After getting Joseph dressed into his Christmas jumper for the last time and a little more playing, he seemed ready for his nap. I took him to our bed and started to write a blog post about my anxieties about 2015 before deciding that was too negative so I tried to write about my highlights of 2014 instead. Before I could get into the swing of writing, the phone rang waking Joseph up just 30 minutes after he'd fallen asleep (it was Ruari reminding me to take his parents' Indian visa applications with me to Dobbies with me where I was meeting his mum for lunch). I threw on some freshly laundered jeans and my beloved mustard jumper, spruced up my face (I decided to wear contact lenses today), bunged Joseph in his car seat and headed out of the door. 

 We drove to Ashford and Joseph finally succumbed to sleep about 5 minutes before we reached our destination. To let him get more rest I read a little more of a book I got for Christmas (#GIRLBOSS) for a few minutes for Ruari's mum tapped on the window. I got out the pushchair and clipped Joseph, still in his carseat, into it. I never babywear around grandparents as they like to push him around and shower him with kisses and cuddles. We headed straight into the cafe and I had a mushroom soup and a roll. I had a lunchbox for Joseph comprising of last night's leftovers- mashed potato with salmon and leek, green beans, carrot sticks and broccoli. The green beans went down the best and he only ate the salmony mash when I smeared it over a carrot. Only a tiny bit made it in his mouth. Whenever he eats meat I always wonder whether he will choose to eat it when he's older. I don't eat any meat at all whereas Ruari does. I am happy for Joseph to eat it and make the decision for himself if he feels there is a decision to be made. After he made it clear he was done with eating I gave him his milk and I had a coffee. He was super fidgety and playful and within a split second of me putting my coffee down after the first sip he had grabbed it and spilt it over us- his hand, his muslin, his clothes, my handwash only jumper and fresh jeans. He cried as we all gasped in panic and the clanging of the cup and saucer was loud and of course the shock of the hot liquid on his skin. I panicked and ran to the toilet to run his hand under cold water and strip his clothes off. Luckily he was totally fine- he was happy and his skin didn't blister. The coffee wasn't too hot as it'd cooled whilst I'd given him his milk but his hand and a patch on his tummy were a little red.   

I emerged from the loo holding Joseph in just his nappy and socks - in my panic I'd not grabbed my changing bag - my jeans covered in mocha. Anyone would be forgiven for thinking he'd done an explosive poo over me. When I got back to my seat I dressed him in his spare vest and pyjamas and sipped the dregs of my coffee.
   
We had a long wander around Dobbies (a garden centre in which I've spent a large proportion of my maternity leave hanging out with Ruari's mum in and have probably mentioned before). I do enjoy meandering around and I love that Joseph sees so much of his grandparents but a part of me can't help but feel like I am not using my time very wisely. Sophia Amoruso would not spend her maternity leave having a second hot drink and a cream scone before checking out the baby clothes sale in Sainsbury's. I doubt she'd take maternity leave full stop. I feel directionless though. One of my resolutions is to use my time more wisely and make the most of the rest of my leave with Joseph. I'm fortunate to be able to take the full year of entitlement and I have scheduled in my remaining KIT days. When I feel sad that my leave is more than two-thirds over I have to remind myself that I've had a heck of a lot longer than women get at all and to not be so 'glass two-thirds empty' and make the most of the time I have rather than feeling like my time is nearly up.

 After a fruitless look through the sale I parted ways with Fiona and went to my mum's house after stopping by at my house to pick up Joseph's bed time supplies. I thought she was out at first as all of the lights in her house were off but I went to her room and found her curled up in bed (it was 5pm by this point). She'd had a bad day of pain and hadn't moved. I made her a coffee and brought up a yoghurt and fed Joseph his yoghurt in her bed at the same time.
For the record, that's a yoghurt tash!
 He gave her cuddles (he raises his arms for people, mostly to get out of whichever seat or position he's in but I count it as a hug) she gave him kisses and I attempted to choose #mybestfour2014 before preparing his last bath of 2014. 
Perhaps not my best four, but I do love these ones!
 He had a great time spashing about and flipping over. We now brush his teeth in the bath and he sips water from his un-lidded bird cup without fear of spilling it everyyywhere. 
Joseph has a Mongolian Blue Spot on his lower back.
Possibly my best Instax shot ever. I suck at them!
 
Mum dressed him in a new onesie she'd bought him and gave him his last milk bottle of the day. He always leaves an ounce or two to drink in the dark so I gave him the last bit and put him to sleep in mum's bed sandwiched between two pillows. That is how Joseph spent his last day of 2014. Cuddles and play time with his Granny and Grandma (and me). 

I plan to take him home shortly as Ruari will be home to spend the last couple of hours of the year with me, most likely looking over our beautiful and wonderful son - reflecting on our year and wondering what 2015 will hold for us and the opportunities we will make for ourselves.... Or watching Telly! 

 I hope you all have a great evening whatever you're doing and I wish you all the happiest new year. 

See you in 2015! xxx
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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Joseph's First Christmas

And just like that, Christmas is over! I hope you had a lovely time. I had the most special Christmas ever thanks to wee Joseph and I think he enjoyed it too. Rather than posting a 'Pic of the Week' I'd like to just share some photos of the last few days so that I don't forget how our Christmas went.

On Christmas day I got up with Joseph at around 6.30am and let Ruari have a lay-in until a little later. He had his milk and a Weetabix breakfast before I dressed him into his little elf onesie and we were then joined by papa. We'd opened Joseph's one present from us on Christmas eve as he was in a 'crawly' mood so we used it to encourage him to move about a little more. I've not got a good picture of it, but it's a 'Push along ladybird' by Orange Tree... but it looks like the devil more than a ladybird and reminds me of something from the Nightmare Before Christmas! (After looking at the product description I've just realised that it's meant for 12+ months an to help encourage walking rather than for parents to use to encourage crawling, but I reckon it can be used as both!) 
Joseph had a few other gifts to open on Christmas morning from friends and relatives including a My Pal Scout from one of my friends from school and a lovely Christmas jumper outfit, a beautiful Cath Kidston santa onesie from my manager, a pair of big-boy pyjamas (button up two-piece rather than a onesie), a long-sleeved bib and Dear Zoo. Lucky boy!
Ruari and I then took it in turns to get ready and he dropped me off at church so I could meet my mum and brother for Christmas mass. I'm not at all religious, but my mum really is and it means a lot to her for me to go to church with her on Christmas day. She really wanted Joseph to come too but I managed to get him out of it and he went with his dad to his granny and grandad's house instead. After mass I went back to my mum's house and we opened a few gifts and had a coffee before my brother drove us to where Joseph and Ruari were. 
When we arrived, Christmas lunch was almost ready and Joseph's high chair and place setting were waiting for him but he was grouchy and tired as he'd missed his morning nap from all the excitement - I was sent pictures of him enjoying more present-opening whilst I was at church! It was quite a late lunch - 3pm - so I tried to put him down for a nap but within minutes he was crying and wanting to be a part of whatever was going on (it seemed) so we sat him at the table but his heart wasn't in the eating part - he was too busy looking around at the nine other people looking at him.
We put turkey, sprouts, carrots, swede, roast potatoes and cauliflower on his plate, but he didn't manage to eat all that much - I think from a mix of teething pain and tiredness - so I ended up giving him an Ella's Kitchen pouch for dessert which he really wolfed down (I really do think I've messed up his baby led weaning by giving him pouches though. Gah!!). I'd felt the very tips of Joseph's two top front teeth through the gums in the morning so I'm certain they were giving him grief. 
After lunch it was time for an outfit change as Joseph had got food all down himself, so we put him in the Santa onesie before we opened more presents. Joseph was given all of the clothes I'd bought on my mum's behalf in Gap but I'm a little concerned that they look small even though they are are meant to last up to 12 months and Joseph isn't particularly big (despite the cheeks!). I need to try them on him but I have a feeling that my mum will have binned the receipt. Anywayyy. 
We then gave Joseph a bath and put him to bed in the travel cot in the room we were staying in - he was really ready for bed as he never did have a nap and slept well until around 1am. We ended up co-sleeping and having to settle him a couple of times in the night but overall he did well.
Ruari got up with Joseph on Boxing Day morning and they let me have a lay-in followed by a chilled morning of helping make desserts. Joseph was really trying to crawl but he's not quite there yet. It's so cute to watch. 
Ruari's grandad and his wife came over for 12.30pm and we had another Christmassy lunch but this time I didn't give Joseph a pouch for afters. It was then time for presents and he was given a  Bigjigs toy train to sit on (not really age appropriate, but he liked it) and a lovely Noah's Ark toy by The Puppet Company (I love their stuff after seeing it at Baby Sensory). 
The afternoon zoomed by - Joseph enjoyed watching the fire and looking out of the window and he had a short nap on me in the Tula. For tea he had a rice cake with Laughing Cow spread and baked apple slices before bath and bed time. He slept much better on Boxing Day night although we ended up co-sleeping again. 

The next morning he was up early and we went down for breakfast. I couldn't work the TV so the dogs provided the morning's entertainment by sharing the jokes they'd found in their crackers (hehe). Joseph was in good spirits despite the fact that his top two teeth had made it right through the gum overnight and they look quite beastly! 
Ruari had work that day so we packed up most of our things and went back to our house although we knew we'd be staying over again at Ruari's parents' house for our annual games night with friends. During the day Joseph became some sort of poo machine but he then actually managed to nap and let me get on with a bit of house tidying. 
How many poos, Joseph?! Four?!
I started feeling a bit lonely so I considered braving the sales as Joseph needs some 9-12 month vests and pyjamas but I couldn't face it so we went to my mum's house for a few hours instead. 
Gurney Gurnerson
I then bathed him there before picking Ruari up and going back to Ruari's parents house where we put Joseph straight to bed. (Are you keeping up with who's house we were at?!) I struggled with games night (we played Tension) as I was just so tired from the early start (I am a wuss), so when Joseph started crying at 12am I got him out of the travel cot and co-slept with him from then onwards. 
This morning Joseph woke up early again but Ruari's mum was awake so she took him and looked after him whilst Ruari and I both laid in. We stayed until mid-afternoon playing with Joseph's toys (mostly his Duplo and Baby Einstein turtle) before him then having a big nap on me in the Tula at around midday followed by salad for lunch. 
We then went back to my mum's house as my dad came up from Eastbourne to visit. I tried to get Joseph to eat more of his Turkey salad but he wasn't having any of it so I gave him a pouch. I then bathed him there then we brought him home. He is sleeping soundly for not but I am sure that he will end up in our bed later tonight! 
So there we have it... Our Christmas wasn't all that interesting I guess, but I really enjoyed spending time with family and being away from home as it meant that I didn't have the pressure of keeping Joseph entertained for the entire time. It's something I've been struggling with a little bit lately as he is getting increasingly alert and active. I also find myself getting a bit anxious before bath time too but I'm not sure why really. I'm glad Joseph got to see a Christmas tree as we've not got one up at our house - just a tiny one on the mantle piece. I'm also pleased with how well Joseph coped with seeing so many faces and being away from home despite having minimal naps and having to cope with teething.

I'd love to hear how your Christmas went! Leave me a comment or link me to your Christmas blog posts!

N'night xxx

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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas eve and I've just finished my wrapping (well I'm actually at my mum's house and have just helped my brother with his wrapping!) Before I head home to try and get an early-ish night I'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I'd like to wish an especially Merry Christmas to those who will be celebrating their first Christmas as mothers! And to those whose babies are perhaps understanding Christmas for the first time this year- how exciting!!

Joseph is a little too young to know what's going on so we only bought him one small gift- a wooden toy on a stick to encourage crawling (sounds crazy, and it is!)- but we figure that other members of the family will spoil him this year. If not then, sorry Joseph! 

We will be spending the day at Ruari's family home, and my mum and brother will be coming over too so we will all have lunch and spend the afternoon together. There will be 10 of us in total- I just hope Joseph will be in good spirits and not overwhemed by all the noises nor singing the toothy-peg blues! There will be lots of people fighting to give him a cuddle if needed though.
So, we hope you enjoy your day and you get lots of baby snuggles! 

So much love from Joseph & I! xxxx

P.S. Sorry about the formatting of this post- I will sort it out next time I'm on the laptop... HATE the Blogger app!!! 
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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Pic of the week: #19

This week has been a bit up & down... Joseph was diagnosed with Hand, Foot & Mouth on Monday but had gotten over the worst of it over the weekend and was improving each day. By Wednesday he was back to 100%, but I wasn't feeling too well at all! One thing that was bothering me (and I was feeling like a failure over) was the fact that Joseph didn't want to feed himself any solids anymore as he seemed to have gotten used to me feeding him purees and yoghurts where I just wanted him to have something rather than nothing seeing as he was off his food & milk during his illness. I thought I'd ruined our baby-led weaning but, when he was feeling more himself again, he started feeding himself again- phew! I also thought I'd ruined his ability to sleep in his own room and that he was reliant on coming into our room if he cried but, again, when he was better he amazed us and slept right through on his own. He's been back with us the last couple of nights where he's been screaming in pain over his teeth (the top four look ready to come down) so he's been a little clingy from the pain. My latest stick to beat myself with is over Joseph not yet drinking his milk from a cup. He drinks very small amounts of water from his bird beaker, but it has a valve in it which means he still sucks rather than sips, so I'm not sure if I'm giving him the sipping practice he needs. I'm trying not to worry, but I am conscious of it.

This week also saw Joseph turn eight months old and me turn 29 years old- gahhh!!! It also saw me contract Hand, Foot & Mouth which started off as feeling flu-ey for 24 hours, then having a horrificly sore throat for a few days with blisters on my hands and feet and a couple of mouth ulcers then appearing. The blisters feel like little paper cuts and when the first one appeared I assumed I'd cut myself on the edge of my packet of Strepsils! I felt at my worst on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was a long day but I felt better in myself by Thursday, which was when the blisters came and they're still here but aren't too much of a bother.

This week I also bankrupted myself by having a root canal filling not on the NHS despite having maternity exemption- where I'd been unsuccessful in finding an NHS dentist in the past, I started going to a private dentist who I now trust. So when my tooth started giving me hell just after my 24 hour flu, I didn't give the thought of looking for an NHS dentist who would take me on as an emergency patient too much thought as I didn't want to be waiting around nor risk them messing it up, and decided to just pay the tear-jerking sum of money. Someone later pointed out to me that I could've called the NHS Direct number and they'd have sent me to an emergency dentist, but I didn't think of that. I'm glad it's now done and my mouth is feeling better, but the prospect of spending that amount of money on a tooth ever again is terrifying so I'm going to look for an NHS-er. Amidst the illness and toothache, I was so happy and grateful to have been given a Solly Baby wrap and to have been chosen as a product tester for an amazing woven wrap company called Kokoro Textiles. So I'm super excited to be able to try out some alternative forms of babywearing to my Tula. I plan to write about babywearing soon.

 So, after all of that, it was a close one but my picture of the week is of Joseph sleeping peacefully on our bed on his 8-month-a-versary. I tried to think of thid when I had my filling, but it was hard to zone out past the drilling! I hope you've had a good week and I hope next week is a smoother and less emotional one for us!
Love xxx
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mummy Time: Pregnancy cravings

As there won't be any Mummy Time posts for the next few weeks whilst Christmas is taking priority, I'd like to write a few fun summary posts in their absence! This week it's all about what the mamas craved!

Marmite in everything - tea, toast, soup. I also was addicted to salt and vinegar chip sticks or salty popcorn. I loved fromage frais yoghurts and would eat about twelve in one sitting! Dora Acquaviva

I was a vegetarian from the age of 16 pretty much up to my pregnancy, but then all I could think about was bacon.  Bacon bacon bacon. Loved it. I also ate a lot of cake, hated coffee and had a real thing for cleaning products. Particularly lemon Flash and green Fairy liquid. There was also a night when I was sniffing a tube of Germolene while listening to Gospel music. Don’t ask.Sophie Dowd

Pickled beetroot- I got through at least two jars a week. I also loved any drinks made with ice!Hannah Miles

Image: Sarah Weston

For the first four months I just wanted pickled beetroot, but after the sickness went- any food that I could get my hands on… which led to a three stone weight gain!!!Amy Martyr

Aldi ice pops… still crave them now! I had crumpets for breakfast pretty much my whole pregnancy too although I always denied they were a craving.Megan Smith 

Ice! I was heavily pregnant during the summer and found the heat unbearable so I just used to fill glasses full of ice and chow down on that.Lyndsay Buchanan

The smell of my freshly washed laundry, Ollie would often find me with a wet t-shirt stuffed against my face. I'd often wash things that didn't need to be just to get my fix! - Ruth Sauverin


In the early months I was after steak all the time. After a few meals of that I'd had enough though - I also had an iron deficiency for which I had tablets, so I guess I'd satiated my bloodlust.Vic Giordano-Bibby

Ice; I sucked it and crunched it whenever I could in the last couple of months! Apparently it can indicate low iron, which makes sense as I had to take an iron supplement in the last trimester.Lauren K-P

I craved meat and cheese a lot! Which was unsettling as I am vegan. I didn't give in to my cravings though!Crystal Serfaty

Food in general. Especially plain spaghetti.Sarah Weston

Cans of Coke- it couldn't be from a bottle, it HAD to be a can.Jazmin Balfour


I probably ate my body weight in cheesy Wotsits! When my morning sickness subsided I couldn’t stop thinking about pink sweet food… strawberry mousse, angel cake, marshmallows and candyfloss. I feel like this was Penelope trying to tell me she was a little girl!Holly Payne 

Salt for the first few weeks... Crisp sandwiches mainly. In the third trimester I craved lemons. I once took a trip to all of the local supermarkets and bought a cloudy lemonade from each one to find the most bitter. -  Amber Francesca

I craved curly fries!! And sometimes specific fruits like watermelon and strawberries.  - Amaris Arcus

I had some very weird ones: ice, toothpaste, chewing gum and, most bizarre of all, sponges (just chewing, not eating)! Turns out I actually had PICA which was caused by being anaemic.Sarah Hovell 

Did you share any of these cravings, or did you have any weird and wonderful ones? I was boring and didn't crave anything!

Hope you're all having good weeks! x
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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Pic of the week: #18

Josie-bear loves bath time and here he is before he got ill for the millionth time (I've lost count of the number of colds he's caught now). It seems like he recovers from one then he catches something else at the moment- his latest condition seems to be Hand, Foot & Mouth but we're going to the doctor to check tomorrow. He went to the doctors on Friday but the rash hadn't appeared by then- just a mild temperature and a cold so it was put down to being a generic virus but as some of the babies at baby groups have had it I'm pretty sure that's what it is and I'm sure it'll just pass. He seems mostly himself aside from being off his food but night times are definitely worse- he's been sleeping in bed with/on us for the last few nights because he keeps rolling over to sleep on his front but then snotting/dribbling all over his bed sheets then crying from the cold wet patch. At least when he sleeps on us that doesn't seem to happen and he gets some peace.
Anywho, I love this shot of him with his toys. It's so funny to see him sit up in the bath like a big boy. I also like how he leans forwards to collect them all so that they're all between his legs... Little hoarder! 

Hope you've had a good weekend xx

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mummy Time #21: Amaris Arcus

I'm a big fan of hashtags for their ability to connect people who are into or are experiencing the same things as you. Almost exactly this time last year I was 21 weeks pregnant and used the '#21weeks' hashtag on my old Instagram account. I had a browse through others who had used it and was drawn to one particular profile because the girl in the photo was wearing one of my favourite colours (you guessed it, mustard!) The girl's profile belonged to Amaris and back then had just a few hundred followers. In the time since, Amaris started her wonderful life and style blog, Lovely Blonde Closet, and now has over 24,500 followers! Amaris gave birth to her beautiful baby girl just three days before I had Joseph and I have loved following their life's journey together over in Calgary, Canada. So this week I am honoured that Amaris agreed to share some of the details of her life as a new mum and a busy blogger and I hope you enjoy her post!

Mummy:

Who are you?

My name is Amaris Arcus. I am 25 years old, married to my sweetheart Joel and a new mama to a 8 month old girl, Addilyn. She was born April 16th, 2014 and is our absolute joy!

What do you do for a living?

I am a mama & a blogger.

How long did you take for maternity leave?

I continued blogging throughout my pregnancy and right after - it was more of a hobby for me before, but in the last while it has been keeping me much more busy. I always keep Addi as my first priority though and do what I can when I can!

How did you feel when you returned to work?

It felt fine! I do have my own set hours - and therefore I tend to try “work” when Addi naps. Or when we do photos for my blog Addi will tag along and it’s usually some sort of family outing, so I have never found I have taken too much time away from Addi or had it affect her routine.

How are you?

I am good!! I have my days when I feel overwhelmed and busy - as any mama does, but for the most part I am pretty lucky to have such an easy going, laid back baby and a really flexible job that I really do enjoy!

What do you do to relax?

Take a bath, or watch some TV shows snuggled in my bed.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

I would say I sometimes will take a nap if necessary, haha. I paint my nails, tidy my house, do some online shopping, and browse my favorite blogs! I also plant my tush on the couch with either a latte or some hot chocolate and watch some TV.


How does a typical day go?

We usually wake up in the morning - I bring Addi into bed with us and she nurses. We then will play and snuggle in bed for a while and then go downstairs and have some breakfast. We play or do whatever until her first nap - which I then lay her down and she will usually sleep for two hours or sometimes more. When she is up from that nap we give her lunch and play some more. She is loving her little walker lately and anything that lets her move around and play with her toys! We will sometimes run errands after her first nap so we are out and about for a few hours. When we get home she will lay down for another nap, this one is usually shorter though. When she wakes up we just do our thing - whatever that is, she comes with me everywhere, whether it’s laundry or cooking dinner etc. Then we have dinner and relax as a family after. At around 7.30pm I usually take her upstairs and bath her- she loves the bath so she usually plays in there for like 20 minutes, then we do her bedtime routine of lotioning her and reading stories. I nurse her again, and rock her in my chair. She then takes her soother and I lay her to bed and it’s usually 8-8.15pm and she is down for the night! This definitely is not every day - we do have days where we are busy and out doing activities for majority of the day which mess with naps etc, but for the most part that’s a basic day!

Pregnancy

How was your pregnancy?

I had a very smooth pregnancy!! No complaints here. I really felt like I just loved being pregnant! I actually miss it, and especially miss carrying that cute bump around and feeling her kicks.

See more from Amaris' pregnancy photoshoot on Genevieve Renee's website

Did you have any cravings?

I craved curly fries!! And sometimes specific fruits like watermelon and strawberries.

Did you find out what you were having?

Yes!! We could not wait.. we found out the second we could.. Although we did wait and have the technician write it on a piece of paper and I gave it to my mom.. who threw a party that evening where in front of our closest friends and family we opened a box and out came pink balloons - we were so surprised!

How did you decide on Addi’s name?

Well, being the person that I am, I have always had a baby name list since I was a little girl. The names always were changing but Addilyn was one I had on there for a while, same with Everly (her middle name). Originally I was absolutely set on Everly for her first name, but my husband was set on Addilyn or “Addi” as he always called her that in my belly. Right before she came, he thought we could compromise and said what about “Addilyn Everly” - and as soon as he said it I knew that was going to be our little girl’s name. And even when she was born there was no doubt!

See more pictures of Addi's newborn photo shoot by Genevieve Renee on Lovely Blonde Closet

How did your prepare for Addi’s arrival?

We took a birthing class - it was a two day course and it really was mostly about giving birth and tips and tricks for the husbands (mostly so us ladies didn’t want to kill them during childbirth ;) ). I only ever read a few pregnancy books - not really on childbirth, only because I didn’t want to scare myself! I felt I just needed to experience it - and be present in the moment and not fearful, so that’s what I did!

How was your labour?

My labor was actually very smooth. One thing I had remembered my birthing coach telling us, was to stay at home for as long as possible, that way you wouldn’t need to be in the hospital for long amounts of time, or going back and forth in case they felt you weren’t dilated enough to be admitted. Needless to say - I didn’t even know I was in labor when I was.. I thought I had bad cramps and just carried on my merry way, until the pain was getting a bit worse a couple hours later. My husband was out of town (3 hours away) so I called him to say I think something was going on and he should leave, and I called my parents to tell them I think something was for sure happening. When they arrived I was calm and just going through the motions, I knew by the time my parents arrived I was for sure in labor. They took me to the hospital and when I got there they checked me, and I was 7cm already! I had dilated to 7cm alone at home - I was so proud of myself! My husband made it to the hospital one hour before I gave birth to Addi, and the total time of my labor was 5.5 hours. It was a whirlwind and very fast. I ended up asking for the epidural and somehow I got it given to me when I was at 10cm (it was definitely unnecessary at that point) but for the pushing, and her actual birth it definitely made me feel less. All in all, it was a quick birth, and for the majority I was only in intense crazy labor for like 3 hours! I pushed for 40 minutes, and our little miracle was here. [Read Amaris’ full birth story on her blog, here.]


Baby:

How did you get on with breastfeeding?

We had a little trouble in the beginning! In the hospital the first night was pretty rough - she wouldn’t latch or open her mouth that wide to latch. I had a nursing consultant come and help and we got on track - but as soon as I left the hospital we had trouble again! So I started to pump my milk and give Addi the bottle - which helped while we were figuring out her latching issue. I had one more consultant come help us, and she recommended a nipple shield, which I ended up using for a couple of months, along with the bottle once a day so her daddy could feed her too. After a while I just would take the shield off and she would latch normal and we have been breastfeeding perfectly since. I am still nursing her at 8 months old and hope to for as long as I can!


Does Addi have a feeding routine?

I would say somewhat! I typically nurse her every time after a meal, or just before a nap to fill her belly a bit again.

What does Addi eat?

She eats sweet potatoes, avocado, butternut squash, carrots, peas, green beans, bananas, apples, blueberries, mangos, pears! And we are just about to try some more.

What has been your approach to weaning Addi onto solids?

Addi was so open to eating solids! My mom actually fed her rice cereal for the first time and she was obsessed. She just was ready to eat - and so I started her on that and we did rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, barley cereal then a mixed cereal. I then started her off with yams.. which we baked then pureed and just added some breastmilk to it - she mowed that down too! So far there haven’t been any foods she has disliked - aside from one time I gave her prunes (she was a bit backed up) and she made the funniest face and definitely didn’t like those. Addi also loves any cookies/rice crackers that she can hold and snack on. I am sure soon enough she will be eating everything we eat as she loves to pick up her cookie bits up and feed them to herself (similar to baby led weaning). I just have listened to my own instincts with what Addi wants and I feel that has helped me immensely.

Does Addi have a sleep routine?

Yes and no... She does have 2-3 naps a day (depending on if we are home or out and about). If we are home all day, she has two huge solid naps. But if we are out and about and busy, she will usually have one super good one, and a few little ones broken up! I try my hardest to stick to some sort of routine but some days are harder than others when I need to get stuff done outside of the home too!


How do you keep Addi entertained?

I sing to Addi lots, make funny faces, tickle her.. We lay on the floor and play with her toys and she loves anything that lights up and makes music right now. We often read stories too which she has loved since she was a tiny baby!


If Addi’s freaking out what do you find helps to calm her down?

Nursing or soother. Addi honestly has not had many meltdowns.. like I said, she is a very easy going baby (I feel really lucky). The times she is freaking out having a meltdown, it is because of something like she is overtired, or hungry or has a poopy diaper. Most times it’s just her being tired - but I definitely think a soother has been a lifesaver because she loves that thing!

Does Addi suffer with anything and, if so, what do you do to help it?

No, not overly! She is teething right now, but just seems to want to suck and eat everything! She still seems like herself though - the only thing I do is give her toys I keep in the refrigerator with the water in them that cools her gums, or these cookies that I feel help her gnaw her gums a bit!

Holiday:

Have you taken Addi on any holidays?

Yes! We have travelled lots with Addi. Actually the week she was born we moved up to where my husband was working three hours away and lived there for four months. We then moved for another month about six hours away, and then finally came back home! All the while Addi learned traveling in the car was just a part of life, and sometimes I would have to pull over unexpectedly, but I just had the perspective that we will get there when we get there, and in the meantime sometimes Addi would just have to cry for like ten minutes until she fell asleep in her car seat. We also travelled two times on an airplane, each flight was about 1.5 hours, I just gave her a bottle the one flight, and breastfed the other at take off! Soother at landing (for her ears). And she played on my lap with toys and books, and slept majority of the flight! I have travelled alone as well with Addi on an airplane and it was fine. The people usually are understanding and you need to not be hard on yourself! Realize that you’re doing what you can and if your baby is fussy, well there’s not much you can do - most people are SO kind and even offered to help carry some of my things off the plane and help me. So Addi has definitely travelled a lot in her life..she has been on six airplane rides, and about ten roadtrips! You just have to relax and let what happens happen, and deal with whatever does come up, when it does, don’t stress!

What were your baby holiday essentials?

I would say my Solly Baby wrap - Addi loves being snuggled and carried in it. It also frees up both of my hands! Her stroller too was something I was glad I had just for all of the walking we did. All of her toys too! Keep her entertained and distracted.


Was Addi’s routine affected by being on holiday?

Well sometimes it was but Addi is easy going! So she kind of has adjusted to a lot in her life as we moved - I swear that’s why she is how she is! We just try get back on a normal routine once we are home and that usually only takes a few days max! In Seattle (our most recent trip) I breast fed and had rice cereal, which I was able to bring! The people on the plane were kind and let me bring her bottle with breastmilk on the flight... so I don’t know if that’s typical but they let me!


Paraphernalia:

Does Addi have a favourite toy?

Yes! Sophie the Giraffe!


What was your most recent baby-related purchase?

I bought an exer-saucer that Addi can stand in and it turns all the way around so she can play with all the fun toys and attachments. I bought it so she can play on her own and strengthen her legs too!

What has been the most useful thing you've bought?

One of my favorite things that I swear by and all mamas should have for their newborns is the Solly Baby wrap! It just was a lifesaver for me - baby wearing has been one of my most favorite things ever!

What is your Addi’s mode of transport?

We have a City Select Baby Jogger - which I absolutely love. It is a stroller with detachable pieces - you can attach your car seat and a bassinet for when they’re 0-6 months (I still attach Addi’s carseat) and then it comes with a seat that works up until 4 years old even! Then it comes with attachments that enable you to have two kids on it! It just was such a good investment that will most likely last for all of our children. I also rave about the Solly Wrap (as I said above) and we have the Ergobaby carrier which we love too - my husband uses the Ergo.


What are your baby essentials when you go out?

Diaper bag - with the essentials (diapers, wipes, baby food, spoon, change of clothes (x2), bibs, toys, boogie wipes, toy wipes, soothers), I also use a “sleep sheep” which is a travel noise maker that Addi uses to sleep in the car or when we are out and about - this has also been a lifesaver!

Christmas:

What have you bought Addi for Christmas?

So far we have bought her a few lights up toys that also play music from Toys R us. We have bought her some new books, some that she can chew on and play with. We also bought her a mini piano! It is so adorable and she can sit at it and hits the keys.. Can you tell we want her to be musical?? haha. But because she is so little we won't be going too overboard but just buying her some things we would normally be getting her now that she is getting older and more interactive with toys and what not! 


Are you going to start any family Christmas traditions? 

We actually already have quite a few that we are doing that were passed down from my side of the family. We always will open one present Christmas eve (usually it is Christmas jammies and something smaller) and we watch the movie "Christmas Vacation". In the morning we open stockings, and have a special Christmas breakfast at my family's home, where we then open gifts and enjoy family time in the afternoon (sometimes take a nap), then we enjoy a massive Christmas dinner as a family. It is simple and sweet - and my most favorite day of the year!! I think for the most part traditions will be more prominent when Addi gets a bit older - for now we just carry out the ones with our families, and will start our own for our little family eventually too! 


Advice:

If you could give your pregnant self some advice, what would it be?

I would say embrace your time as a couple before you have your little one! And sleep while you can! Date nights and full nights of sleep are a thing of the past - although I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I would also tell my pregnant self to work out throughout my pregnancy so I stay consistent after baby and work out when I get the “ok”.

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Know that you’re doing your best!!


Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?

I would say enjoy each moment with your little one!! I feel like time has flown by with Addi and it all seems to be flashing by in front of me. I have let myself enjoy this time with her, and embraced every day and every special moment watching her grow. Relax and go with the flow - because not everything can be how you think it should be! Some days will be more stressful than others, but know that tomorrow is a new day! I know I try to not sweat the small stuff and the more I am relaxed, I think the more relaxed Addi is too. I have always believed that your baby can be a reflection of you and the energy you give off - so try to make it positive! Take this whole motherhood thing in every day, and hold on to your little one while you still can, because before you know it they will be all grown up and we will all wish for these moments as a new mama!


Thank you so much for sharing Amaris! Wishing you and your family the most wonderful Christmas and 2015!

P.S. I have just added the 'follow' option on here - if you're on either bloglovin or have a Google account and you enjoy my blog - I would love it if you followed! Thank you so much for reading xx
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