Sunday, July 11, 2010

Three quarters of a year

Eleanor is 9 months old, today. And, boy, is she doing well. I was looking back over posts from when Rosemary was this age, and they’re remarkably close in when they’re doing things. I think Eleanor’s a bit more mobile than Rosemary was and will probably walk a little earlier. But Rosemary was pretty early to start with, at just over 11 months.


Eleanor has certainly mastered the crawl, now. She’s also cruising around with great ease. She’s taken a couple of steps a couple of times, but isn’t walking yet. She can climb stairs, though not ours yet, as they’re too steep. She also tries to climb up various things (Rosemary’s bed on the floor in the hotel room, recently, onto boxes, onto the sofa (she can’t manage the sofa yet, but it probably won’t be a huge amount of time) and into washing baskets).


There’s an awful lot of ‘Da Da’! We’re fairly certain she has said ‘Thank you’ (obviously not perfectly enunciated!) a number of times. She seems to say ‘Dog’, as Rosemary did. She says ‘That’ (Dat) a fair bit and we think she also says ‘Stand’ (also sounds quite like Dat!). She says ‘Na Na Na’ quite often, which seems to mean milk. And she has a high-pitched, really loud, scream which she loves doing and which Rosemary enjoys encouraging and/or imitating (yes, we’re stock-piling paracetemol).

General learning/intellectual development

She’s fairly close to clapping and often claps our hands together. She waves (though it’s more of a high five, than a wave still). She happily crawls and cruises round the living room, office, bedrooms and even dining room and kitchen, exploring her toys (and frequently other people’s toys and things she’s not supposed to have, of course) for large chunks of time. She’ll come over for a cuddle or a chat now and then and then go back off to play. She knows that hitting the bilingual drum makes it sing (she was just doing this, but it was switched off, which confused her a little, but she was very happy when I switched it on). She’s getting into books again and has a couple of favourites at the moment (That’s Not My Truck and a cloth Baby Dinosaur book that Rosemary and Chris bought her in the National History Museum). She loves being singed to, and especially likes it when Rosemary sings a high-pitched Baa Baa Black Sheep to her at the dinner table.


The baby-led weaning (BLW) is going fantastically, just as it did with Rosemary. She loves loads of food, especially fruit and steak, it seems. She’ll try pretty much anything and has yet to express any true disgust (unlike her sister, who is very fond of the word ‘yeuch’ these days, though has been improving over the last few weeks). She is not going to remain chocolate-free or ice-cream free for anywhere near as long as her sister. She already has a lot more juice to drink than Rosemary did, because she keeps picking up Rosemary’s cups and drinking from them. And she has had a taste of cow’s milk this way, too. Don’t think there will be any difficulties giving her a cup or two of it once she’s turned 1! She salivates when she’s us eating ice-creams and chocolates and other things she can’t have. In fact, she’s fairly desperate to try peanut butter, since she has to watch me eat it most mornings.


She’s still having plenty of milk and, like her sister did, has taken to feeding standing up, while I sit on the sofa. This is quite odd, though I think leads to less wind. She has feeds at roughly 3am, 6am, 8.30am, 12 noon, 3.30pm, 6.30pm and 9pm. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. On a Thursday, she misses out the 12 noon one with no problems whatsoever (she spends the day at my mum’s).


She’s in a combination of 6-9 months and 9-12 months clothes, though definitely veering more toward the latter, now. At the moment, as the weather is very hot, she’s often just in a short-sleeved vest and light leggings or trousers. Sometimes, when it’s super hot, just a nappy. Despite being smothered in high-factor sunscreen, which is frequently reapplied, she’s developed a tan on her feet. She does have a tendency to suck/chew on her feet, actually, so perhaps she’s licking it all off (ewww!). No shoes yet, as we prefer to wait until she is walking and, even then, only put them on when walking outside, as Rosemary’s physiotherapist told us this was best for preventing later walking problems. Almost all her clothing is permanently stained, now. I had been very impressed at first, with the new washing gel (Ariel Active Gel), but it hasn’t been performing as well as I’d hoped of late and, even with the addition of a scoop of Vanish the clothes are still stained. Of course, a fair few of them were probably already stained from Rosemary, so Eleanor’s just adding to the collection.


Eleanor is very happy, chilled and independent. She’ll quite happily play in the office while we work. She’ll chatter away to new people, though she’s recently clung to me when I’m attempting to hand her over to someone she’s not too familiar with.

Her relationship with Rosemary is pretty good. She loves playing with Rosemary and squeals with delight when Rosemary sings her song. She loves playing crawl chase with her and with some of her toys – e.g. there’s a toy where Rosemary pops the animals up and Eleanor pushes them down.

All in all, Eleanor is doing very well.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Eleanor's routine

Just posted this on my Babyworld October club, and thought it might be of interest (to maybe a grandmother out there?):

Eleanor usually wakes some time between 6 and 7 am, generally after Rosemary has woken up, which means I often get some one-on-one time with Rosemary and get her breakfast sorted before Eleanor wakes up. When she does wake, she usually goes in her chair for a bit, while I eat some breakfast and/or tidy up a bit. Then she comes upstairs with me (and often Rosemary) to watch me (us) have a shower. We all get dressed and then Eleanor has some milk, while Rosemary watches a bit of TV. (The order of this can change quite frequently, depending on what time Rosemary wakes up and what she's doing - playing, reading, watching TV, etc.)

Eleanor usually comes on the 'school' run, either in the buggy or the sling, though sometimes she'll stay with Chris. She often has a small nap then (30-45 minutes), though now and again will sleep all morning. Two mornings a week, my mum then plays with her and takes her out for a walk, while I do some work. Otherwise, either Chris or I will play with her/take her shopping.

She'll have some more milk between 11 and 12.30, depending on whether we're picking Rosemary up at 12 or not and if we have somewhere to go after. If we go out, she'll often have another little nap (30-45 minutes), otherwise, she'll normally stay awake in her chair/on her gym/sitting on people's knees/etc. until about 2pm, when she'll sometimes have another small nap and sometimes have a big 2-hour nap.

She usually has some milk around 4pm, then the evening routine commences - dinner is cooked and we eat at 5pm, bath pretty much every other night (which she usually has to share with Rosemary), get changed into bed clothes, read stories with Rosemary until she (Eleanor) gets very shouty, then Chris takes over Rosemary's stories and Eleanor and I go through to our bedroom and have milk in darkened room - I tend to read or check twitter and facebook, etc. on my phone - down to sleep (half the time, she's asleep already, and the other half she'll put herself to sleep with her thumb - occasionally I have to use the sling). She'll be properly asleep some time between 7 and 8, occasionally by 6.30.

Often, she wakes around 10 or 11 for a feed, though she is cutting this one out more often now. Then, usually, she'll wake at 3ish for a feed (though sometimes, if she didn't have the night feed, she'll wake at 1am then 5am) and get up some time between 6 and 7...

Evenings/nighttimes we have down pat, thanks mostly to a fairly rigid routine (which helps with Rosemary, too, I think). The daytimes are less predictable, probably because there are different things happening on different days, so she can't really fall into a set routine.

She is a very happy baby, though, which is lovely. When I take her out in the buggy or the sling I spend the vast majority of the time with a huge grin on my face. And when I'm working and my mum or Chris has been playing with her and I come downstairs to get a coffee or something, she gives me the biggest smiles and says hello (squeals). Wonderful.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Can I whisper something in your ear?

Rosemary has recently started reporting to us when she has done something wrong, whether on purpose or by accident. She whispers it in our ear. So, the words ‘Can I whisper something in your ear?’ cause to think ‘Oh no! What’s she done?’ Sometimes it’s a little something, like not flushing the toilet, and other times it’s something bigger, like breaking something or pouring juice on the floor.

The trouble is, it’s so darned adorable, that it’s really difficult to be cross, or even just firm. The majority of the time, I end up with a big grin on my face, which is not the way to admonish someone for taking their baby sister’s Taggie away from her.

It is very interesting, however, as it does show that she really is getting to grips with what we do and don’t want her to do. Yes, she’s testing some of the boundaries, but she’s also writing her own rule book, it seems. And it seems to me that, as she does this, the actual intentional wrong-doing is getting less and less. Which has got to be good.

But, mostly it’s just terribly cute!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

O My Best Beloveds

I have a long list of books I want to read to Rosemary and Eleanor, or have them read themselves. And I get a little impatient. So I was very happy to be able to semi-cross one off the other night, one that I've tried a couple of times already, when we went through The Cat Who Walked By Himself. Slightly cut-down version, but they kept some of the language. All places are alike to him. Not 'He can go wherever he jolly well wants'.

There's a response you get when reading something truly poetic to a child. They go very quiet as it works on them. They're no longer just wanting the story. The pictures disappear to them, because now the pictures in their head are better. Something deep within them is moved.

So it was nice.