Small Steps…Amazing Achievements – roleplay

I’m amazed by how early small people pick up on role play and get their own funny little games going!

 

Joss is showing herself to be a very sociable little girl, everything is a phone at the moment and she has some very sweet little chats into a lego brick, my calculator and an old hairbrush…”lo? ello? whoist? hee hee, ello?” She also has an empty giftbag that’s her little ‘handbag’ with an old bank card and keys, hours of fun!

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She’s also started showing real love and empathy with her little toys, including carrying her spider puppet in a dolly sling and cuddling her bears. This week she had a little game going of pretending dolly was crying, and shushing her and stroking her head, it made my heart melt!

Small Steps...Amazing Achievements - roleplay

 

Some new words this week too, I like writing them down to look back on! This week or so we’ve had some rudeys, pump, bump and poo, some practical, keys, cu’umber, brush and card, and some fun, a sheep goes ‘maaaa’ and ‘donwantit’ which also serves to confuse mammy when she does want it, cue little tantrum! And my faves, joining in with the last word in songs, dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy….HAT! and twinkle twinkle little STAR!

Little feet one year on…Small Steps Amazing Achievements

Looking at the fridge display of artwork today and I can’t believe it’s almost been a whole year since Joss created her first piece of artwork! She was just 5 months old when we did this at baby group together. At the time, the words ‘soon they will wear two little shoes’ seemed far far away in the distant future, but how time has flown since then!

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Glitter and mess

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Love a spot of messy play! Here are our top ideas for cheap rainy day entertainment!

1) edible glitter and squirty baby soap, a lethal combination so do this on bath night! Joss loved the sparkles and thought the squirty soap was hilarious! If they’re passed the stage of eating it shaving foam is a cheap alternative!

2) a 25p bottle of blowing bubbles, even tiny babies enjoy bubbles, Joss now says pop when they come back down!

3) have you checked out pinterest? Wow what a goldmine of ideas, this edible paint was great fun for me to make and play with too! http://pinterest.com/kristi_cck/edible-art/

4) an oldie but goodie, cornflour feels lovely and silky, add water and it turns solid and gloopy but when you scoop it in your hand it turns to liquid, who knew?! Joss loves the mess with this one!

5) and finally water play, Joss is enjoying her baths so much that we bought a big plastic sheet for in the kitchen, sat on the floor with her old baby bath and some random items (bath toys are boring, sieves, spoons, an empty bottle and little pots and measuring cups are waaaay more fun!

If like me you love to be out and about don’t feel trapped indoors get creative!

First shoes, little feet, ever so sweet!

They really do and I am loving recording Joss’ moments! Today we had a big ‘first’ the first pair of shoes! A little late at 16m as she’s not quite walking confidently they’re a whopping 4F! She was fab in the shoe shop giggling and allowed her feet to be measured, we chose these soft cruisers, I was against shoes before confident walking at first but she’s such an aversion to socks etc I wanted her to get used to short periods of shoe wearing, and my little show off took 6 steps independently tonight, the most yet!

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Tonight I caught her learning about how socks work in her cot, we’d been playing happily and she took off both socks. First she stretched them, then she opened them, then draped them over her feet looking triumphant til they fell off, eventually she decided they maybe were for on her head and popped one on there saying ‘hat’ – then dolly tried them on, and Tramp but they still didn’t work, after ten minutes she got bored and moved onto practicing words, cheese, ‘nana and meow!

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Cuddly girl

A short small steps amazing achievements linky post this week as I’m trying to keep up with my uni work, but will try to visit as many as possible fellow linkers! Joss has recently started to show affection for her toys and now gives them a cuddle saying ahhhhh and patting them on the back! This is a lovely sociable development step and has extended into cuddles with ahhhhh for daddy and I too!

Here she is with cuddles for Tramp and Little Ted :-)

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Cuddledry Giraffe Poncho

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Joss has been standing in the bathroom asking for ‘bapf’ lately, she loves bathtime and I’m so pleased she enjoys it as its a lovely time to spend together especially if I’ve been out to work for the day. This week the Cuddledry Poncho I ordered arrived, two sweet little giraffes appliquéd on a soft white bath poncho.

The cotton bamboo blend makes it super soft and absorbent and as you can see Joss likes to extend playtime post-bath so its a good way for her to get some nappy free time and keep warm too! I like the flowered edging, it is a lovely quality towel and the perfect step up from the Cuddledry apron for an exploring toddler!

If you’d like one for your little explorers check out Cuddledry by following my Cuddledry Super Bloggers button on the right side of my blog!

Crafting time – canvas quad for less than £10

Crafting time - canvas quad for less than £10

I finished Joss’ 4 canvases today, all with a seaside theme and incorporating photos from her first trip to the coast at South Shields and her first dip in the sea.

Bargain canvases at £4 for 4 and a craft magazine with all the trimmings made this a really cheap and easy activity, kept me busy for a few nights and will make a pretty display in Joss’ room!

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First words

I’m so pleased to have a place to record Joss’ development and funny little ways! We have had some really good first words in the last week or two, and a tooth at 14m at last!

Here’s a sample conversation with Jossy!

Mammy: What does a doggy do?

Jossy: Wuff!

Mammy: That’s right, wuff, what about a snake?

Jossy: sssssssss! (this kills me!)

Mammy: Shall we blow some bubbles?

Jossy: Bubbas

She also says tikotiko which are tickles and says this when stroking cats and dogs (she’s totally animal mad but we live next to an urban farm so no surprise there then!) and duckaduckaducka which started off as a noise she liked along with doardoardoar but if I ask her to bring the duck she now says duck and brings it over!

Here she is chatting to the animals on TV!

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PND and Mother’s guilt? When does it get too much?

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

(This post is written purely from my own experience, it is about mental health, it makes no claims to advise, only to encourage parents who may be experiencing PND)

When I had Joss I quickly developed an early onset anxiety. In the early days I worried I wasn’t going to be a good mama, when she was six months old it got too much to bear. These six statements are intended to encourage and support mamas experiencing similar feelings and issues. In my case this was probably more postnatal anxiety than postnatal depression, but I hope that talking about my experiences might help other mamas, without the labels as I’m no expert!

Number one: You know more than you think you know
This has become a bit of a mantra when I meet new mums at baby groups and the likes. I remember Joss being about five days old and I couldn’t rest, couldn’t sleep, I was frantic, reading books about breastfeeding, routines, anti-routines, turning night into day and day into night, child development, I felt overwhelmed! Things came to a head when my husband hid a copy of Gina Ford under the bookcase and a copy of Your Baby, the First Year in the shoe cupboard. How could I be the best for her? Was I meeting her needs? What more did she need? What about her development? Her weight? Oh my, her weight, was she putting it on, was she swallowing milk, how could I keep her awake to feed, questions, questions, questions. It was that classic anxiety, that old what if? that has followed me through most of my life. It was back, last seen at uni, 2005, back in 2012 with a vengeance. Looking back I knew more than I gave myself credit for, she is my daughter, she just sort of fits with me, I got to know her whims, wants and needs quickly and all seems to be well, so have faith mama, you know more than you think you know.
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Number two: You’re doing the best you can
Try to let bad days be just that, a bad day, don’t fret and let it turn into a bad week, a bad month, this too shall pass and you are doing the very best you can.

Number three: If you’re worried it’s a good thing, it shows you care
When I was really really anxious, I remember it well, it was about weaning and whether Joss was eating enough and whether I was feeding her a good enough balance, at that time I was really worried that I was worrying too much. Someone said to me, what would happen if you didn’t worry about your little girl? It taught me that worry is on a continuum, too much and we tip over, too little and we don’t do enough, so a little worry is healthy, don’t beat yourself up if you’re an anxious sort, we’re ok, there are a lot of us out there!

Lesson four: You know they will do it in their own time
Someone asked me recently whether Joss is walking, she isn’t. You know at baby groups, there’s always someone who wants to know what all the babies are doing, usually because their child is ahead? That used to get to me, not anymore, I look at that smiling face and think to myself, if I can make you smile every day and you make me smile too then the rest will follow, and it will!

Number five: If mama aint happy aint nobody happy
We had this on a babygro, I liked it, when I read it and realised it meant I needed to slow down and have some time for me it sort of became a mantra. Don’t burn yourself out, I sometimes (ok often) worry that I shouldn’t be away from Joss, mamas at baby group would gloat about never having been away from their little ones. If you want to stay with your baby that’s cool, if you want and need a break then ask for one, and don’t feel guilty, a little time may just refresh you, this is especially important for me now Joss is teething – on those days when you can do no right you sometimes just need five minutes peace and quiet just to catch your breath and head back into the fray with a smile.

Number six: It might help to do some sense checking
This won’t work for everyone, I used to do my sense checking via Google, see something I didn’t like and spiral away into anxiety. I learned through CBT to do it in my own head, so when I was anxious that Joss wasn’t eating well and skipping meals I looked to how energetic she was, windmilling away and rolling, I learned that babies can regulate their own appetites quite well thank you very much, and let her take the lead, it helped to work through my worries logically sometimes.

If you’re interested in CBT you could speak to your GP, many areas have self-referral into CBT now too. There are also lots of mental health and post partum networks online, just search #ppd or #pnd on twitter and a lot comes up.

Munchkin Booster Feeding Seat Review

When I heard we’d been chosen by Munchkin to test their products I crossed everything that the booster seat would be in the product bundle as I’d been feeding Joss on my knee out at other people’s houses for way too long and she’d learned loads of tricks for wriggling away to play!

I was really pleased to see it in the mega box of products and knew we’d test that first! The practical things first – it has two seat heights and two positions for the feeding tray, can be attached to any dining chair but also used on the floor. The seat strapped easily to a large dining chair, the three point harness clipped easily and the first tray setting was a good fit even though Joss is skinny and usually too small for most seats! I was surprised how steady she was without straps over the shoulder but the seat was really robust. Even though we kept the seat on the lower position Joss quickly found she was boosted to a prime view of the TV and can be seen stretching to see here!

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I love the vibrant green and sturdy chair back, Joss seemed really comfy and happily tucked into her cheese and courgette muffin, I think she liked eating with us as she could see our lunch and beg for bits and bobs from our plates!

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You can see here that although she’s a littley she was sat upright and comfortable. I was really impressed with this product, particularly as its priced at under £20 online and if we had dining chairs at home I’d have preferred this to our standard high chair, top marks from us!

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