Sunday, 25 September 2016

The 52 Project: 38/52

Dear Ruby,
You have become quite the prolific artist this week, spending some time every day painting with water colours, glitter glue or poster paint. You made the wonderful discovery that if you mix two or more colours together, you get a new colour! So exciting. I love watching your creativity emerge.
All my love,
Mummy xxx


Dear Jude,
You have become completely intent on grabbing and chewing anything that passes near your hands, and while Ruby loves giving you her finger to chew on, she is quickly learning that your vice-like grip is a force to be reckoned with, and it hurts. Granny and Grandad visited this week, and you were completely full of your beautiful beaming smiles, especially for Grandad. What a lovely bond you have.
I normally take photos of you by yourself for these weekly portraits, but I had to choose this one of you and Daddy this week, because it really says a lot about what life is like right now:
1) You sucking on your toes at any opportunity you get
2) You were ready for a nap but weren't falling asleep easily - the fact that Daddy is lying beside you on the bed says it all. He's given up trying to settle you and is relaxing while you do your thing, sucking your toes. You had nailed falling asleep by yourself a few weeks back, but that's all changed.
3) You are 4.5 months old and wearing 6-9 month old clothes. Clearly, you are thriving.
Keep growing strong, little one.
All my love,
Mama xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The 52 Project: 37/52


'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2016.'

Dear Ruby,
For the last few months, you have gradually been dropping your nap, meaning that you only sleep in the day every few days. It is a delicate balance to do enough with you in a day that keeps you awake, but not so much that you get to 4.30pm and physically cannot keep your eyes open. We had a day like that this week. Jude was struggling to fall asleep, so I suggested we go for a walk around the block in the double buggy, and you suggested that we could go to the park. We got halfway to the park, and you had fallen asleep, while Jude lay next to you, wide awake. An hour later, I woke you up, which never goes well (understandably - who wants to be woken up mid-sleep?!), but bedtime becomes very difficult if you have a sleep so late on in the day. You were completely devastated that we hadn't gone to the park and flat out refused to climb out of the buggy. After fifteen minutes of you crying and asking, 'why did you unstrap me? I don't want to get out! I want to go to the park!', I decided to scrap my attempts to cook dinner, put Jude back in the buggy and we went back out in the hope of meeting Daddy as he cycled home from work. We met Daddy and came up with a new plan - he would take Jude and cook dinner while you and I went to the park. And what a wonderful time we had. It was a beautiful evening and you were completely in your element, scaling up ropes to platforms way above my head height. I took this photo of you as you ran across the platform, and smiled as I reflected that sometimes the best thing we can do to cope is abandon all seemingly sensible plans and just get outside in the sunshine.
All my love,
Mummy xxx

Dear Jude,
Summer is fading, and I am truly going to miss this - watching the evening light fall over you as you sleep on my bed. September has only just arrived and I am already noticing how much more quickly the light fades once the evening comes. By this time next year, we will be living in a different house,. While I am looking forward to seeing how the light falls in our new home, I will honestly miss the way the light lands in my bedroom, and how much it has characterised our mornings and evenings in your first four months of life since you joined us in Spring time this year.
All my love,
Mama xxx

The 52 Project: 36/52

'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2016.'

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Jude at four months


Dear Jude,
Today you are four months old. This month has been a good one. Life feels like it is getting a little easier for both of us, and we are finding a bit more of a rhythm together. You squeal and squeak with laughter, especially when we kiss your face and neck. You really are, without a doubt, most happy when you are at home. You laugh more, feed more and sleep more when we are at home. I've started calling you my home boy. 
Feeding you is slightly challenging because you are only content to nurse while both of us are lying down. This is particularly challenging when you get hungry and we're not at home. So, in the past month, I have nursed you while lying down in a park in Leominster, on a beach by the River Wye, in a meadow and in Page Park. I have lost count of the number of times people have suggested you might have reflux because of your horizontal preference, but no, you are absolutely fine. This is just how you roll. Life with you is certainly never dull.
Since birth you have fought sleep in an incredible way. But in the last week, we've turned a corner. We discovered about three weeks ago that you prefer sleeping on your tummy (you started flipping over in your sleep), and in the last week, we've been able to put you down on your tummy, along with the customary white noise, give you a gentle jiggle, and you fall asleep within ten minutes. This might not sound particularly exciting, but it is HUGE. Especially when you consider that Ruby napped in a sling and in the buggy for the first fourteen months of her life. The only downside to you sleeping on your tummy is that I am slightly terrified at the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is far more likely to happen to babies who sleep on their tummies. This means that I frequently check to see if you're still breathing while you sleep - something I never did with Ruby! It can be quite entertaining watching you get to sleep. Sometimes, you shuffle around the bed like a little caterpillar, pulling your knees up to your chest then pushing them away to propel yourself around until you get comfy. Considering that you cannot crawl yet, it is incredible how much distance you can cover when you move like this.
You love to chew on hands and fabric and have a vice-like grip when you get your gums around our fingers. You seem to enjoy our singing and I am amazed at how often you break into a smile when we sing to you. I love that Ruby has also joined in and sings to you when you are sad. 

When we hold you, your preference is most definitely to be facing outwards. I realize this is a small and possibly uninteresting thing to observe, but for the age you are now, it's these little things that matter and make a big difference to you. It's our job to get to know you and what makes you comfortable, and this is one of the things we have learned. 
When you cry relentlessly, I tend to have one of a few different reactions:
1) I cry along with you because I feel like I am failing caring for you well and giving you what you need.
2) I find myself thinking that I could actually bite through a wine glass. I can't say that this is something I have ever contemplated doing before, nor would I actually do it, because common sense prevails and a trip to A&E with a cut up face is not in the least appealing, but there we go. 
Thankfully, these episodes are becoming far more infrequent, so our wine glasses are safe for now.
All my love,
Mama xxx