Happy New Year!

2016 is upon us and with Sam now walking, this year brings with it a whole lot of fun – I can’t wait to take him to soft play next week; he’ll love it! I’m excited about taking him to the park when the weather improves. Playing out in the garden beckons. Oh, I’m well aware he will want to walk 2 steps, find something interesting to look at on the ground, hand me a stone as a present and repeat, but I’m choosing to see that as a natural progression for his inquisitive mind, rather than focussing on every walk taking 10 times longer. 

peekaboo

Peekaboo!

 Sam loved his first Christmas and has really taken to his new toys. His favourite, of course, was a stick that came with the xylophone we bought him. You’ll notice I said ‘was’, for it has already been lost. It’s possibly under the sofa but wherever its current abode is, the location escapes me. Fortunately, he has others to bang things with. His red and yellow Little Tikes car (a rite of passage I believe) is a huge hit, his shopping basket rarely houses the fruit it came with since he enjoys throwing them around so much, the musical bus has shown us that he loves a little boogie, his new books often get brought over to us…and so on. 

 christmas jumpers 
We hosted a number of family days and Sam did fantastically. He naps well now (walking tires him out), which was fortunate during those busy days. It was a bit of a struggle getting him down on Christmas Day night since he was so hyped up, but we had few problems on the other nights. He loved being centre of attention – truly my son – and having all the family around him.

This time last year, I had just started my maternity leave and I’m still at a bit of a loss as to how that time has passed so quickly.

Now 2016 begins and I start my first year as an official stay at home mum. I have started a small business and I’m also working for my choir, so there’s no time to rest! More on that another time…

Sam’s first trip abroad

Yes, it might be pushing it a little to describe going on a bridge over a river into the Land of Song as ‘abroad’, but it’s the closest Sam will come for a while so I’m sticking with it.

 

Wales

We are just inland from Cardigan

 
We arrived in leafy Pembrokeshire last night after a 4.5 hour journey along the picturesque M25 and M4. Astonishingly (and I don’t think this is too strong a word here), Sam fell asleep on me at home, slept as I put him in the car … and remained asleep until we reached Blaenffos, the closest village to our destination! Even then, he only whinged a little rather than launching into a furious tirade. 

Overall, the drive couldn’t have gone better and it was a marked improvement on the last trip when I was 7 months pregnant and incredibly uncomfortable sitting for that long.

He slept well last night; we kept him in with us to help him adjust, but tonight he’ll be in the cot. As for naps, for now I’ll feed him to sleep at nap time and let him lie on me. When he’s more used to it here, we’ll attempt to put him in the cot for naps but, since this is a fairly recent step even at home, we’ll see how we go. We’re here for over a week so hopefully he’ll settle into his usual routine during that time. 

So here we are! We survived the journey and my grandparents have finally met their cheeky, energetic great-grandson. Sam seems entirely happy here and has skipped his usual shy, quiet period where he susses out his new surroundings, instead opting for jumping and shouting just as much as at home. 

I already miss the jumperoo.

Sam meets his Aussie cousin

On Sunday, as I mentioned yesterday, we spent the afternoon at my uncle and aunt’s. It was wonderful seeing them and my three cousins, who all love Sam and his chubby cheeks! As an extra bonus, my great uncle and aunt were there too and, even better, their sons Ned and Rich, and Ned’s wife Claire and their gorgeous little girl, Abi, all over from Australia. 

I’d been told that Abi and Sam are scarily similar in the way they are, so it was wonderful meeting her (she’s 5 months old) and sharing anecdotes with Ned and Claire. Abi is so beautiful, I just love her! 

We had to get some photos of the babies together, ones where Sam wasn’t crying in Abi’s face…which happened when we arrived. Happily, they were both up for it late in the afternoon as we lay them on the lawn. Sam smiled away, Abi tried to hold his hand. Adorable. 

I don’t know when we’ll next see the Aussie contingent, but it was amazing seeing them for a few hours. At least the internet helps make the world a slightly smaller place; Claire and I enjoy whatsapp chats at any hour of the day since the time difference means one is generally doing the night feeds when the other is awake! 

Holiday planning

We’re off to Center Parcs in 3 weeks and I decided to start jotting down what we need to take…I think we need a new car to fit it all!! Problem with babies is having no idea how many outfits they’ll need a day. Sometimes we only need one, but on Sunday we had gone through 3 sleepsuits by lunch.

Carl and I need a few clothes, bathroom stuff and swimsuits. 

Sam needs EVERYTHING. Except the jumperoo…which is only staying home because I’m not sure I can get away with taking it on a 5 day/4 night trip… It’s a ridiculous list, especially since Sam is so dribbly and has a habit of being sick down entire outfits. Also, who knows what the weather will do. 

Clothes

8 x sleepsuits

10-12 x short vests

8 x long vests 

4-6 x long sleeved t-shirts

4 x dungarees/rompers

4-6 x leggings/trousers

5 x socks 

4 x jumpers/cardigans

Swim shorts, wet suit, arm bands

3 x grobags

Every bib and muslin!

Sun hat 

Nappy changing 

Changing mat and towels 

3 x packs wet wipes

1 x big pack nappies 

Sudocrem

Hand gel 

Everything else

Pram, car seat, base, stroller

Changing bag

3 x blankets

Bath, bubble bath, flannel, towel

Travel cot

Play mat, crinkly animal book, tummy time cushion 

Sensory box, lion toy, dog, vtech music car, teething necklace, Sophie teething toy

Bumbo

Formula, bottle/food pot, baby rice/purées, feeding spoons, bowls, steriliser 

Gripe water, infacol, calpol, bonjela, arnica

Sun cream 

I’m sure we’ll take a lot less next time…or will we…

There is a light!

This may not happen again for a while. But the fact it’s happened once means that it might again…

Sam slept for just over 4 hours straight last night. 

Whenever he wakes up for feeding, I check the time so I can see how long he has slept. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was 2.52am…surely not right? He went to sleep sometime between 10.30 and 10.45pm! But my eyes did not deceive me, we really had just reached our first 4 hour stretch since the early jaundiced days. 

What makes me even happier is that we had a full on family day yesterday, with 9 people to see and hold Sam, and he really held his own. Smiled, stuck his tongue out (his new favourite pastime) and was generally a delight for the duration of our 5 hour visit. Sure, he got a little grizzly when hungry or tired, but he fed well and then slept happily in the room of people, peacefully curled up on Carl. 

There is a light…