Friday, 21 December 2012

Photo of the week- brushing Freddie's teeth

Now that Freddie has 2 whole teeth (well mostly whole...they take a long time to get completely in) we have started brushing his teeth before bed. For at least the first week after he got his first tooth we forgot to brush it. We are so into the bedtime routine (get in PJ's, say goodnight to everything, milk, Goodnight Moon, song, in bed) that it was hard to remember to slot something else in. Now we do Pjs, teeth, goodnight to everything, milk, Goodnight Moon, song and in bed. Whew! 

A Parent Bib/"Good job Freddie"

Do bibs for parents exist? I need one. Preferably one with the arms covered too. Freddie eating a meal results in not just him but me getting covered in food as well. The midwife encouraged us to do lots of finger foods with Freddie because he will get used to feeding himself faster. So, for the last 6 weeks we have been doing a combination of finger food and mashed food. Yes, there are only two food groups now- finger and mashed.

However, he is still working on his fine motor skills so instead of bringing the food to his mouth it often ends up on his lap, on the wall, on the floor or on me. The best is when I pick him up after he is done and there is an over-cooked carrot stick stuck to his bottom. If I don't notice it quick enough then it becomes stuck to my side when I carry him to the kitchen to wash his hands. I also usually end up with a crusty collection of sweet potato, pear, squash and parsnip on my shoulder- it's like a new accessory!

Here's a clip of Freddie eating a rice cake, which brings me to my next topic of discussion- congratulating babies.

I just realized that we (parents and also pretty much anyone who encounters a baby) like to congratulate them on everything that they do. And I mean everything. The first couple weeks after he was born, we would congratulate Freddie on pooping. And burping. Now, as you can hear on the video, I even congratulate him on eating a rice cake. Am I overdoing it? Or is eating a rice cake with only two teeth worthy of a congrats?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Freddie does "the worm"

Freddie has figured out how to move! It's not a traditional crawl but more of a worm-like maneuver. Check it out!

He's actually getting really fast at it too. The baby-proofing has become a must-do instead of something just in the back of my mind. I got some foam to stick to the furniture edges and corners. What else should we take a look at? I was all set to socket covers but then I came across this article in the Telegraph suggesting otherwise.

Monday, 17 December 2012

A successful day?

What makes a day "successful?" Well, I'll tell you this much- what used to constitute a successful day has changed unbelievably since Freddie arrived. I used to think amplifying and labeling a hundred DNA samples made my day a success. Or maybe starting a Western blot, splitting cells and scoring FISH slides (my science friends will know what I'm talking about there!). Now, it's a whole different ball game.

On Thursday last week, I got up, brushed my teeth, made breakfast for William, Freddie and myself, started a load of laundry, rotated the drying laundry (such a necessity as those of you without a dryer will understand), vacuumed the whole flat, put some salmon in the oven AND made a pot of mulled wine (with individual spices- none of that bag of "mulled spices" hogwash). This took 20 minutes.

Yes, I had people coming over later and so I was extra-efficient, but STILL. That is a lot of activities for 7am. This is what Freddie was doing during all that:

The rest of the day included a walk around Holyrood Park, hosting a Christmas party for three moms and their babies and a little Christmas shopping. Now that's what I call a successful day!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Photo of the week- Freddie's gigantic stocking

Freddie in his GIANT stocking. It's so hard to judge sizes when you buy things online!

Santa is really going to have his work cut out for him with trying to fill it. It's nice and fuzzy though so it's been a fun new toy for Freddie to play with. He especially loves feeling the stitching on the edges of it. My thought for the future is to get William and I matching stockings so they all look cool hanging on the fireplace together. But, I think for this year we'll just stick with out snazzy stockings we got at the pound store a few years ago. They are beautiful in their own way! ha

Monday, 10 December 2012

Meeting Santa

Freddie met Santa for the first time EVER on Saturday. We planned to go to the Gorgie City Farm as the big man was going to be there from 12-3pm. In what can only be explained as a total overreaction, I insisted we leave the house IMMEDIATELY after Freddie's morning nap so we could be first in line to see Santa at noon. Freddie normally eats lunch around 11:45am and naps in the afternoon around 1pm so I thought if we saw Santa right at noon we could give Freddie lunch there and then be home by 1pm for the nap. What an organized mom, huh?!

So, when Freddie woke up from his morning nap at 10:45am, I herded the troops (Auntie Madge decided to come along as well) out the door a short while later. I had the lunch prepacked and a diaper bag full of diapers, wipes, bibs, extra clothes and a few toys. It must be my American roots but I thought we'd be standing in line to see Santa for at least an hour. I mean, that's what happens there, right? Santa is a popular guy!

We got to the farm at about 11:40am and I was sweating it. I thought we were way too late to catch Santa at noon as we'd surely have to wait in line for awhile. Then lunch would be thrown off and then the afternoon nap would be thrown off and before I knew it, bedtime was going to be thrown off because we'd have to put a tired Freddie to bed earlier than usual. We wandered around the (tiny) farm- past the chickens, a duck and a yellow sheep (seriously- it was mustard yellow). We saw a little blackboard sign telling us Santa was going to be at the cafe.

As we pulled open the door of the cafe, I had to laugh. There were about 6 or 7 tables, most of which sat only two. A counter stood at one end of the rectangular-shaped cafe and at the other, a sign that read "Santa's Grotto £3" hung over a chair and a small basket of wrapped presents. An older man got up from his seat at one of the tables that sat four and kindly offered to move to a smaller table so we could have his. We got tea and scones from the nice yet no-nonsense girl at the counter and started Freddie on his lunch. There were about 3 or 4 other groups there with a kid or two but that was it. No line. No waiting for an hour.

Mr. Claus waltzed through the cafe door at about five past twelve (fashionably late) and a couple families clapped. One girl, who was probably about 4, shouted "He's here! He's here!!" Santa and his elf headed for the grotto and one by one, over the course of about 15 minutes, everyone went and saw Santa. Literally- it only took fifteen minutes for EVERYONE to see him, take a picture and get a present. Here's a couple pics of Freddie with Santa. He was very intrigued by him and, in particular, his beard.

So, that was it! We had a great time and were outta there by 12:30, home by 1 and the lunch and the nap and the day and everything was perfect! Is this the way seeing Santa normally goes in the UK or did we just get lucky? A lot of people wait in line for awhile in the USA, right? Or have I been gone so long my memory has added 30 to 45 minutes?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Photo of the week- Freddie lounging

Freddie loungin' on our new couch. We had somewhat of a rough night last night (I think Freddie's getting a new tooth!) so today was a day for the PJ's and couch.

I joined him for a snuggle and we put our feet up together. After almost 2 months with nothing to sit on, we really appreciate now having a couch and recliner.

Someone, who shall remain nameless, thought the recliner option was a bit overkill but I insisted. There's nothing like having the ability to lean back and put your pegs on something. And- it saves us room in the end because we don't have to get a footrest or coffee table. Fine- you got it out of me- it was William! He thought I was ridiculous going for something other than just a standard armchair but now he loves it just as much as I do. (I won't say "I told you so" I won't say "I told you so" I won't say "I told you so")

Monday, 3 December 2012

Do your ears hang low

Songs geared towards kids are typically upbeat, catchy and REPETITIVE. I never fully realized this until I had Freddie. When William and I were deciding what to do for a bedtime routine for him we started singing "Mary had a little lamb"  because it was the only song we could (collectively) remember the words to. This was when he was 2 weeks old. Fast forward over 6 months to the present day and we have now sung "Mary had a little lamb" hundreds and hundreds of times. Possibly even a thousand. Will we ever change it? NO, because we are in fear that if we change the song he won't go to bed. Irrational but still, we won't risk it. Sometimes William sings "Twinkle twinkle" just to mix things up and, I have to admit, every time he does it my heart skips a beat.  

Songs aren't just useful at bedtime. I sing Freddie songs when I change his diaper, put him down for a nap and any other time during the day when I am trying to distract him or put something off (nap, meal, milk etc.). The other day he took a short afternoon nap and, as a result, was somewhat cranky in the evening. I sang "Row row row your boat," "You are my sunshine," "Mr Sun Sun," "This little light of mine," "I see the moon," "Baa baa black sheep," and then- when I was pretty much at the end of my repertoire I suddenly, out of the blue, came out with "Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow, can you throw 'em over your shoulder like a continental soldier, do your ears hanggggggggggg low."

I don't think I've sung that song in years and have no idea how it came to me but I'm sure thankful it did. It was a HUGE hit. If anyone has any other kids songs I can add to my bank please let me know. Or if anyone knows the rest of the words to "Do your ears hang low?" Or is that it? 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Photo of the Week- toast!

 I, like many moms I'm sure, am simply out of control taking photos of my baby. We have hundreds and hundreds of Freddie since he was born and haven't done a thing with them. Sometime soon I'll get a photo album made from them (first it was going to be a "First 3 Months" book then a "First 6 Months book and now it's looking like it'll be "Freddie's First Year") but for now, I'll look over the dozens I take each week and pick my favorite to post here. This one shows Freddie trying toast for the first time. He loved it!

He gave it his classic skeptical look at first and turned it over a few times in his hands before bringing it up to his mouth. Once he got a taste of it he seemed intrigued and went back for more. I gave it to him in kind of stalks so it would be easy for him to grab (and it was) but this resulted in only about a third of each stalk being consumed. He nibbled off the top but squeezed the middle so hard the bottom half fell off. Out of sight, out of mind was then the case and, although the rest was on his lap, he looked to me for more. ha! Oh well, the important thing is he is learning to feed himself!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Does "baby brain" exist?

I've always thought that the so-called "baby brain" does not exist. It's a myth. How can being pregnant and having a baby make you more forgetful? However, my actions over the course of today and the past few days have me reconsidering. Here's what's happened:

1. When making poached eggs this morning I cracked an egg into the garbage and put the shells in the pan.

2. I made a grocery list for one item (dish soap).

3. I haven't been able to find my keys for 3 days (this is, apparently, CLASSIC baby brain).

4. When doing laundry yesterday I put some dirty clothes in the garbage instead of in the washing machine (sidebar- why do I keep putting everything in the garbage?).

5. I just changed Freddie's diaper twice in ten minutes because I forgot I'd just done it.

HELP! What's the verdict? Baby brain or am I just losing it?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Splish Splash

William, Freddie and I had one of those perfect family days yesterday. We took Freddie to the Commonwealth Pool here in Edinburgh so he could go for a swim. Earlier in the week we bought him a swim outfit (see the pic below!), swim diaper cover and swim diapers. These items, plus his lunch, towel and change of clothes meant we hauled even more stuff with us than usual (a baby swim cap wasn't required). Not to mention the layers of clothes we were all wearing since the temperature here has now dropped considerably.

When we got to the pool, and delayered a bit, we discovered that we weren't the only ones with the great idea to go swimming on a Saturday morning. It was PACKED. We were admiring all the cute kids while we were in line and couldn't wait to get Freddie in the pool. Unfortunately, when we got to the front of the line we were told we'd have to go on the waiting list for the teaching (kiddie) pool. We peered through the glass windows into the pool and, sure enough, it was body to body in the 31 degree (87.8 Fahrenheit!!) teaching pool. A bit deflated, we put our names on the list and sat down to wait....about five minutes. Then we decided enough was enough and we'd just take Freddie in the big pool. Sure, it was a little cooler but he's durable. He can handle it.

We paid (silver lining- I think the adult pool was a little cheaper) and headed to the family changing rooms. What a facility! Tons of big changing rooms, changing tables, warm showers, lockers and bathrooms. They even give you little booties to put over your shoes so there's no trail of mud to walk through. We got changed and hit the pool. Freddie loved splashing the water with his hands and immediately started kicking his legs when we pulled him around. And- it wasn't even that cold! Take that teaching pool....or so we thought. After about fifteen minutes, a lifeguard came over to us and asked us if we wanted to take the "wee one" into the teaching pool. He said the wee ones usually enjoy the warmer water better and it was no problem at all for us to just head in there. What a kind soul, we thought. Deciding we might as well try it, we made our way there.

And it was practically a hot tub! Well, maybe not a hot tub but definitely as warm as a bath. What a fantastic idea it was to make a pool that warm. We had a great time swimming around for another half hour then got out, got changed and went upstairs to have lunch. Freddie sat in a high chair and had tubs of applesauce, sweet potato and butternut squash. Swimming definitely worked up an appetite! He even gnawed on my apple for awhile. All in all, a fabulous day.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Mom, Mum or Ma?

Well, it's official- I am a mom! And have been, for the past 6 and a half months. Wow, how the time flies! I decided to start a blog to chronicle Freddie and my milestones as we learn all the new things associated with being a baby and a mom. Believe me- it's not just the baby who reaches certain milestones- it's the mom too (like when I recently discovered the importance of flushable diaper (nappy) liners for cloth diapers).

The diaper/nappy terminology brings me to the point where I should explain the title of this blog. Mom, Mum or Ma? This is something that has been on my mind since even before Freddie was born. What do I call myself and what will he call me? I am an American living in the UK with an Irish boyfriend. So, do I go for the American "Mom," the British "Mum," or the Irish "Ma?" Too many choices! Freddie will probably make the decision for me (I'll let you know when he does) but, in the meantime, until he learns to speak, what shall I do? Let me know your thoughts.

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