elsie 10 months old

I still remember the evening I went into labour with Elsie like it was yesterday yet here I am about to write all about Elsie as she turns 10 months old.

In the last few months it feels like she has changed from a baby to….well, not a toddler but something in between. She cruises along furniture like a pro (and has been for at least a month), she almost has six teeth and she eats a roast dinner better than most kids five years older than her. I’m so proud of the little person she’s becoming. The giggles are more frequent and she can now wave when she hears people say “hello” or “goodbye” – especially the Teletubbies. They hold a special place in Elsie’s heart and when we’re having a bit of a meltdown naughty noo-noo and the gang seem to sort it out!

Poor little Elsie was quite ill last week; conjunctivitis, high temperature, chesty cough and nose streaming like a tap. It turned out to be a viral infection which cleared up on it’s own but it was a tough old week with multiple night time wake ups and all the Olbas oil.

Waking up in the nighttime is still pretty common unfortunately. Once, usually twice, a night we have crying. A few ounces of milk seems to do the trick unless it’s quite close to 6am in which case she’s up for the day. I’d be reluctant to give her milk at night in case it becomes a habit but as she eats so well in the day she doesn’t really drink milk between meals so I need her to have it at night at least!

She’s pretty big for her age and we’re in 12-18mth clothing – especially in trousers as she does have a good set of thighs on her!

elsie 10 month update

I’ve been watching her a lot this month and she is getting more and more interested in what her sister and brother are doing. She loves a bit of rough and tumble on the floor and will throw herself over Florence and giggle as they roll around together. Daddy’s got a special place in Florence’s heart too and she crawls over to him as soon as she hears the front door open when het gets home from work. He scoops her up and she places her head on his shoulder for the longest of cuddles. I do feel a really strong bond with Elsie, and I think Matt does too. I guess that’s because I stay home with her instead of going out to work as I did with the other kids. Or maybe it’s just because we’re more relaxed.

I can’t believe we’re steaming towards her first birthday – it’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’m so excited to see what she makes of her little sister in just a few months time.

Elsie at 8 months old.

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I’ve not written an update on little Elsie since she was 5 months old and that’s mainly because I’ve been feeling rotten. It’s been a season of illness in our house and along with being pregnant I’ve not really felt like putting finger to keyboard. However, reading back over Elsie’s 5 month update I realise how much she’s changed and I really want to document all these little moments.

Elsie is now a fully fledged crawler and is desperately trying to stand up. Her curiosity knows no bounds; she’s pulling herself up on furniture, putting everything in her mouth and obsessed with cables, phones and laptops (another reason I’m getting zero blogging done).

It’s been a long time coming but I think we have a first tooth on the horizon too; her bottom gum has a couple of little white specks where the tooth has just broken the skin and we’ve had some horrendous nights to go along with it.

Speaking of sleep; Elsie is still loving a milk or two during the night. I’m hoping, now she’s on three good meals ( + snacks) and crawling, that she’ll start sleeping for longer periods. She’s also loving waking up pre 6am! It’s slightly irritating for Matt and I as it’s like waking up half hour before your alarm everyday but the real problem is that it wakes Florence and Logan up too. Florence is already shattered from school and usually she’d wake up 6:30-7am but recently she’s been wandering into our room at 5:50am.

I’ve had the letter come through to book her 9-12 month review which, in a weird way, I’m looking forward too. I think our little girl is doing brilliantly and I hope the health visitor agrees. Obviously I’m no expert so they might spot something I haven’t but fingers crossed she’s doing well.

As I mentioned earlier, Elsie is now on three meals a day plus the odd snack or milk in between. Her milks during the day are hit and miss depending on when she naps and her naps are hit and miss depending on whether she sleeps in the car on the school run. Everyday’s a little bit different. Elsie’s favourite foods are….everything. I’m yet to come across something she won’t eat. She loves homemade lasagne and pasta dishes but is equally as happy to scoff an Ella’s Kitchen pouch. She loves to gnaw on pear and cucumber and feed herself but she’ll also be spoon fed if needed.

I’m so excited to see you learn and develop your own personality – we can already tell you’ve got a temper on you! You’re learning so fast too; you move your arms to help me get you out of your car seat and when I say “Elsie, no” you just grin at me and carry on!

Anyway – I’d better get this posted otherwise you’ll be nine months before we know it. Love you little one x

elsie at christmas, first christmas

weaning, happy baby

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breastfeeding, stay ay home mum

At one time; not so long ago, all I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mum. I wanted to spend the day housekeeping and caring for my kids. I wanted to research meals and make healthy dinners ready for when the husband came home. I wanted to be there for the kids when they’re sick instead of sat on the underground on the way to a meeting. I thought managing the house would satisfy me. But it just doesn’t.

If I have to pick up one more barely worn nightdress from Florence’s bedroom floor or scrub pasta sauce out of the grout in the floor under Elsie’s high chair one more time I think I’ll scream.

I love being at home, I’ve always been a bit of a homebody and like my home comforts. I like having control of my day and I like not having to answer to anyone. I love that I can do all the things with Elsie that I never had the chance to do with my other kids because I went back to work. I love that I don’t have to pretend to like the people at work or make ten coffees every time I want a hot drink because the polite thing is to make one for everyone. I like being home to accept parcel deliveries and having the freedom to pop to the post office during the day.

Despite all the things I love about being at home I’d never want to be a stay at home mum EVER again. There are two particular reasons which have led me to this conclusion; not only do I feel like I’m getting dumber by the day but I just can’t leave Elsie – and that’s not because I don’t want to.

Even when Matts holding her she’s looking over to see where I am. If a family member comes into the house she clings to me like a limpet. I’ve never had such a clingy baby and as much as I really, really want to go out and do stuff with my husband I can’t leave Elsie with someone knowing she’s going to cry. I know that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and I don’t mind a bit of that but it’s the person looking after Elsie I feel sorry for.

Last week Matt and I had to go to hospital for our 12 week scan and we left Elsie with one of our good friends. We left her for about 1.5hrs and we came back and I could hear her crying before we even got in to the house. I felt awful for our friend and I felt awful for Elsie as she just looked so sad.  Matt and I haven’t done anything together in months and I’ve not been away from Elsie for more than about two hours since she was born.

It’s hard being a stay at home parent who doesn’t earn too. I have to somehow pass the time without spending any money. I’m not used to earning nothing and it’s really hard. I’ve worn the same boots day in day out for years and they only cost about £12 to begin with but I just feel so awful buying anything for myself when it’s me who put us in this position. People say “oh go and grab a coffee, get out the house” but a coffee will cost me £3 and I’ll have to juggle a 7 month old baby who just wants to twist and turn and grab and pull at everything she can find. It’s easier just to stay home and make yet another instant coffee for myself. I’m longing for the warmer weather so we can go for walks a little more frequently. However, when you’re hurtling into the second trimester with baby number four, walking will soon be at the bottom of my to do list.

I feel as though the ten years of work I did get under my belt before leaving to be a stay at home mum are now null and void. Who’s going to care about what I did before I had all these babies? I’m not saying I want to go back to working in a corporate environment or try and build a massive career for myself but I do want to work and whether that’s at home or elsewhere I want to work without trying to juggle it around children. I want to put 100% into what I do. I want to feel improvement. I want to do something I enjoy.

I’m not ready for the scrap heap just yet.

 

 

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I think I say this every month but this really has been a month of firsts for little Elsie. I’m not sure where the time is disappearing to but my baby is changing in front of my eyes. She’s doesn’t feel like a baby anymore. We’re getting to know her and her little nuances. I recognise when she’s tired or hungry and I know what will comfort her. She’s a little person now and I can almost see the thoughts whizzing through her mind.

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So firsts this month for little Elsie were;

1. First holiday – Elsie took a road trip to Cornwall for our first holiday as a family of five.

2. First boat ride – whilst in Cornwall we took a boat from Padstow to Rock. It was only a 2-3 minute journey but Elsie and the other kids loved it!

3. First aeroplane ride – she was as good as gold and fell asleep during take off and landing. We even had comments from people saying they couldn’t believe how well behaved she was.

4. First giggles whilst we were in Cornwall

That’s quite a list for someone so small!

Elsie is slowly getting to grips with her hands. If you hold something out in front of her she will slowly and shakily raise her hands up to grasp it and try and ram it into her mouth. I bought a few new small, hand held teether type toys to help her practice. Likewise when you lay her on her back she will roll into a ball and grab her toes and then start trying to roll on to her side.  I can’t explain how much I don’t want her to start moving – that’s when all the trouble begins!

I think during my last update Elsie was in a solid two feeds a night routine.  Well that’s gone completely out of the window and she could wake three times plus every night. Some nights its just twice but thats rare at the moment! My bedside table is awash with bottles in the morning.  I hear there is some kind of four month regression so perhaps that’s the cause of all these unsettled nights.  She’s generally pretty happy with it though and during the day it’s a play, feed, sleep cycle.

Elsie is certainly putting on weight as we have almost outgrown 3-6mth clothing. Well, she has outgrown some brands but annoyingly she is still too small for 6-9 mths so it’s either toe curlingly tight or she’s got acres of material hanging off her arms and legs.  I’m tempted to cut the toes off some of her sleep suits!

We bought a jumperoo this month and at first she wasn’t sure and perhaps a bit too small for it but she seems to have got the hang of it now and reaches out for the toys and bounces. I know it seems a bit young to have her in one but she is great at holding her head up and she just seemed to be getting bored and wanted to be stood up all the time.

I think that’s all I have to say about her this month.  It’s going to be lovely spending more time dedicated to playing with Elsie now Flo is at school and I am so excited to start weaning!

 

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September is so bittersweet and never more so than this year. Full of endings and beginnings it’s a time to reflect and move on. A time to appreciate what was and a time to feel excited about what will be.

For me, September feels more like the start of a new year than January. I love the back to school newness in the shops and the feeling of cooler air following a humid summer.

Four years with Florence has come to an end. Although she spent much time at nursery in her earlier years, I have spent the last 18 months with her for a large part of the week and for the last seven weeks or so we have been together solidly. I will miss her cheeky attitude but I know she is more than ready for school. It must have been hard for her since Elsie came along. The first summer where Flo has been old enough to really enjoy a good, outdoors adventure and I had to say “no” a lot of the time because Elsie was just so small and needy still.

back to school, ending, beginnings

Although Florence has a big personality in her own way I am so excited to see how school changes her, to see her interests develop and friendships grow. She will get so much more from school than I am able to provide at home. Her induction is a slow one.  As a July baby she starts after most of the other children and does three weeks of half days. It seems a little extreme to me but as long as she settles well that’s absolutely all that matters.

As a result of Florence starting school I am beginning to experience my first proper one on one time with Elsie and the timing couldn’t be better.  She has, in the last week, found her hands and feet. She wakes up holding her toes and she will grab something if you pass it to her, albeit slowly! Her personality and capabilities are developing daily and we’re really beginning to get into a routine.

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I’ve never experienced such a long time at home with any of my children.  Logan was about 6 weeks old when I went back to work and Florence went to nursery at around 4.5 months old so I could go back to work full time. Although Elsie is only just coming up to 4 months old, I fully intend to continue to be her sole carer until she is at least one.  I do think it’s important that children experience the social aspect which nursery brings so we will perhaps look into that next year and I can think about earning again.

I always wanted the girls to be closer in age then they are but it’s kind of worked out for the best; Florence had my undivided attention for her early years and now Elsie will have the same as Florence starts her big adventure.

Come and follow our latest adventures on my Instagram.

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