Monday, November 27, 2006

8000 words . . .

. . . or 26,000 if you click through to see them all!

Bus to Painswick

Bus to Painswick

Going to Painswick on the bus

In the bouncy chair, for a change!

In the bouncy chair, for a change!

What gorgeous jeans - mummy wants a pair!

Jungle gym

Jungle gym

Playing under her gym

In the bouncy chair, for a change!

In the bouncy chair, for a change!

What gorgeous jeans - mummy wants a pair!

Having a cuddle with Great Granny Goddard

Having a cuddle with Great Granny Goddard

At Great Granny Goddard's flat, having a cuddle

Playing with Great Uncle Alun

Playing with Great Uncle Alun

At Great Granny's flat, playing with Great Uncle Alun

Having a cuddle with Great Granny Goddard

Having a cuddle with Great Granny Goddard

At Great Granny Goddard's flat, having a cuddle

On the train with Tia Eva

On the train with Tia Eva

On the train down to Wales with her Auntie Eva

If a picture speaks a thousand words...

... moving pictures, with sound even, must speak a million - or maybe even a billion:

Playing in the dining room

On the train down to Wales

Visiting with Great Granny Goddard

Playing on her playmat

Tummy time!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sunday 12 November through Saturday 18 November

Sorry, folks. I've been very busy working, so haven't managed to do regular updates. As previously, I've frequently been working one-handed while doing the morning feeds, so haven't been able to do one-handed updates of this blog. And pretty much every single moment Rosemary has been asleep has been spent working. (And, yes, that includes a lot of her night-time sleeps, too.)

Sunday was nice, though. I spent Rosemary's morning sleep updating this blog and uploading photos and videos (hope you liked them). Then we got the bus to Painswick to visit Granny and Auntie Eva. Granny was actually on the bus as she'd been out for dinner at Pete and Vicky's the night before and had stayed over in Stroud. So it's a good job she was catching that bus and not a later one. Rosemary fell asleep almost as soon as the bus started moving and I was a bit concerned that she'd spend the whole visit asleep, but she woke up when we got to their house.

Eva had fortunately had to cancel her lesson with Liam, so we got to spend some time with her, too. We showed Rosemary the whole house and she was fairly overwhelmed with all the different things to look at. I think she'll love going to visit there when she's a bit older as there are so many toys and things to look at and play with. Granny was a bit upset that I hadn't warned her we were coming as she would have wanted to clean the house from top to bottom!

We only stayed for just over an hour, because Eva was getting the bus into town and Granny needed to have her siesta, because she'd had very little sleep the night before. We would have stayed a bit longer, but the next bus wouldn't have been for a couple of hour and that would probably have been too long, considering I was sneezing constantly and unable to take my allergy pills when breast-feeding. (I must double-check that one, because I know there are anti-histamines that are safe for babies, so I would think there must be some that are safe for breast-feeding.)

We went with Eva to Tescos. Rosemary again fell asleep on the bus and she stayed asleep all round the store and all the way home, too. It seems that we're making it a regular thing to go with Eva to Tescos on a Sunday. She has quite limited time these days, now she's working full time, so it's handy for her to combine doing her food shopping with spending some time with me and Rosemary. I do miss going for lunch with her in Woodruffs and things like that, though. It's a shame she isn't working in the centre of Stroud where we could meet for lunch. I also don't find time to phone her and talk to her so much, because when she's available to talk (i.e. early evening), that's the time when Rosemary and I have a good long play together. And generally I end up going to sleep when Rosemary does in the evening, unless I have to work, in which case... well... I'm working.

Most nights last week I either worked for a few hours after Rosemary went to sleep, or got up super early (e.g. 1 or 2 am) to work instead. I worked every morning from her early feed (usually around 5 or 6 am) and then also got a bit of work in while she amused herself under her gym - which she's enjoying a lot more these days. She's really starting to explore and she talks to her reflection in the mirror a lot and to the silly looking elephant and giraffe that hang down. She also manages to move around a bit, when she wants to concentrate on one of the animals, for example. She sort of shuffles somehow while lying on her back. She's happy to spend 30 to 45 minutes under her gym amusing herself, and I think it's important for her to have a bit of time to explore things on her own, so I'm not too worried about that. (The gym is living mostly in the office so it's put down next to my desk, by the way, not in some other room or anything!) That's about it for the day, though. She might spend 15 minutes under it in the afternoon or evening, but for the most part she seems to like one big chunk of time under it each day. Then, as already mentioned, I worked every moment that she slept during the day.

Except Wednesday. On Wednesday we went to Stratford Park cafe to meet up with Emily, my friend from the August club who lives locally, and her baby girl Madeline (think I spelt that right). We had a lovely time. Rosemary woke up (she'd fallen asleep just before I left the house) in time to be awake while walking through the park under the trees, which she loved. She adores walking under trees. She was then awake most of the time we were there (which was about 2 and a half hours). She spent a lot of time sat on my knee looking at Emily and Maddie and looking around her and even chattering a bit. She tried to pick up my muffin (!) at one point. Well, she touched the wrapper and pulled it towards her slightly. I think it was just general exploration, rather than a desire to eat this chocolate that mummy seems to like so much. She also had a couple of feeds while there and had some cat naps on me afterwards.

I really enjoyed myself. I found it really easy to talk to Emily. Much more so than any of the mums at the mums and babies groups I've been to. Chris pointed out that this is probably because I already knew her, albeit it virtually. It was also lovely to meet Maddie, who is only a few days older than Rosemary. She's quite small too, though still bigger than Rosemary. She also has loads more hair than Rosemary. And she has some different sounds, too.

Wednesday night I stayed up after Rosemary went to bed and worked until about 1am, then got up when she had her early feed at 5am. On Thursday, Grandad came round in the morning to spend time with Rosemary while I worked and then Granny came round to do the same in the afternoon and early evening. She was very good for both of them. She was actually asleep when Grandad arrived and I was concerned that she would wake and see a strange face and be freaked out (as I'd carried her downstairs in her chair while she slept), but instead she saw him and gave him a big smile, which made him very happy.

To be honest, though, workwise, I didn't seem to get a huge amount done. I think it was a combination of being tired and listening hard for Rosemary. I probably went downstairs to make tea a lot more than I would normally do, as well! I definitely got more done than I would have without Granny and Grandad there, but not by a huge amount, I'd say.

We went down to the surgery at 12.30 on Thursday to get Rosemary weighed. She now weighs 9lb13oz (4.32kg in new money). Unadjusted for her prematurity she's a teeny bit below the bottom line, but adjusted she's just below the next line up, so there's nothing to worry about. She's definitely growing - as evidenced by her growing out of her 0-3 month clothes - and she's healthy and having plenty of wet nappies and regular healthy poohs. And she is growing, just not at a super-fast rate. She's just petite and not a chubby baby. I wasn't a chubby baby and nor was my sister, so it's not really that suprising that Rosemary isn't, either. I'm certainly not worried about her weight gain, and nor is the health visitor. As she said, she'd rather she gained a bit slowly but on nice healthy breast milk, than gaining huge amounts on formula, but not necessarily getting the goodness.

I went to sleep at the same time as Rosemary that night (about 10pm), but got up again at 1am and worked until about 5pm in the evening on Friday. I had breaks when Rosemary was awake, but she did have a rather convenient sleepy day (unsurprising after having slept very little the last couple of days) so I did get a lot of work done. We got out to the shop for some fresh air around lunchtime. Rosemary had two longish sleeps - one in the morning and one in the afternoon and she slept quite late in the morning, too. I think she was catching up on the sleep she'd missed during the day on Wednesday and Thursday, to be honest.

Friday evening we spent downstairs, reading, singing and so on. Generally having lots of quality time playing together, because I felt I hadn't had enough time with her over the couple of days before. I had a rather bizarre pasta-based meal, which involved throwing a bunch of things in with some pasta, as I'd forgotten to think properly about dinner when we went out to the shop, and the soup was past it's 'sell-by' date.

When we went up to bed, I was so tired that I had to do her final feed lying down (she has a tendency to have a feed, fall asleep, wake up, have another feed, fall asleep, wake up, have another feed and then fall asleep properly - very occasionally she'll fall asleep properly after the first one, but not very often) where we both fell asleep. I woke up a bit later when Chris came in and picked her up and put her back in her crib. I then fell straight back to sleep again until she woke at 5am. That was the first time she'd slept through this week, after having slept through pretty much the whole of the week before. This might have been the 3-month growth spurt.

We both went back to sleep after that feed, although Chris got up. I woke up at about 7.30, but she stayed asleep in her crib until about 9am. She woke up in a fantastic mood. Really happy and talkative and smiling at both of us. Not that she isn't often like that, anyway, but it felt particularly good after the long hard week Chris and I had both had. I got her dressed and she had a feed while Chris had a shower (I had one after getting up and before she got up, as I didn't have to worry about making sure I worked every second of her sleeping! Very nice indeed, though I'm still suffering from hearing her crying when I'm in the shower. I'm getting it less when boiling the kettle, now, though, so that's progress.) Then we all went into town together.

We went to the library first, where we took Rosemary's books back and got some more out and Chris got some out for himself too. Amazingly, he found the new Terry Pratchett book there, so we don't need to buy it. We're both making a concerted effort not to buy books in hardback these days, rather than buying the new books by our favourite authors the minute they're out. But it was particularly pleasing to find it in the library (and on an ordinary loan, not a fastback) so we can still get to read it when it just comes out. (And, yes, we do know it's possible to order/reserve books from the library, but we're not really organised enough to do that!) I'm actually going to go back to the library next week and change the books I got for Rosemary, as I got similar ones to those I'd got the last time, which was 3 weeks before. I got a pile of board books, which were the right ones for her a few weeks ago, as she was mostly only interested in the bright colours. However, now she's really enjoying books with rhyming stories in. We got a few lovely old Ladybird books from Granny, when we went over to Painswick and she adores them. So, I need to go back to the library and find some books with rhyming stories in. Might go on Tuesday afternoon, as that's Storytime at the library.

We then went round the market. Bought some organic veg from Gilda's stall for Chris' Sunday roast and for my pasta that I want to make (am a bit sick of soup and stew, although they are ideal because I can make a big pot one day and then just heat up as and when I need to, rather than having to a cook a new meal every day). We picked up a few cheap children's book at the book stall (although I'm really not supposed to buy books, as that's Granny's role!). I did find a lovely copy of The Night Before Christmas, which I had to get. It was only £1, and it's ideal because of the rhyming. Oh, and we also found a copy of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, by Alan Garner, which is a book we both really loved as children.

We wandered round the farmer's market, then, but didn't get anything. Oh now, Chris got some cider to try, though he apparently found it a bit too rough. Fortunately, it didn't seem to be hugely alcoholic, which is how I imagine non-shop-bought cider, for some reason! We went into Blockbusters to see if there were any films we might like to see, but there weren't. Then popped into Somerfield to get dog food, milk, pasta and tinned tomatoes.

Then we went and had lunch in the Greyhound. Their non-smoking section is downstairs, so it's 'safe' and the do really nice food. I had spaghetti with goats cheese, sunblushed tomatoes and rocket and Chris had mackerel pate, with toast and salad. I also had a banana split and hot chocolate for pudding. We sat on the sofa, rather than at the higher tables, which was quite cosy. Chirs went and got a paper, thinking that I might be able to do bit of Saturday paper reading, which is something I miss quite a bit. I managed to read about an article and a half, and that was all. But I wasn't bothered, as Rosemary was being too much fun!

She's really getting good at sitting up now. Not that she can do it on her own yet, of course, but she loves sitting on my knee looking around at the world, or on the table looking at me. She loves sitting and being read books. She loves singing and dancing and she really does join in with the singing. She's really exploring things with her hands a lot now - which can sometimes be a little embarassing when I'm feeding her out and about, as she has a tendency to grab onto my top and move it about! She's also started pulling my top down if she's sitting facing me on my knee! She's got herself another new noise, which is kind of 'Huh' but she repeats it quite fast - 'Huh huh huh huh huh'. It's a little disconcerting, as it's very close to her upset/fed-up sound. She's making it a lot when she's under her gym or on her changing mat, and I have to keep checking that she's happy, because it's so close to her 'I want to get up, I'm fed up of this, now.' sound! She's also quite enjoying spending a few minutes looking at the TV, so I think it might be an idea to get some Baby Einstein DVDs soon. ER and the Paramount Comedy channel aren't going to be suitable for much longer!

It's now Sunday morning. She slept through last night. And really slept through, too. From 10.30pm to 7.45am. No early morning feed. I'm not sure what to do if she keeps on sleeping through to that extent. I'll have to start using the alarm to get up at 5am so I can get a good chunk of work done. But will that wake her up? We'll have to experiment. Of course, it might have just been fluke and she won't do it again, so we'll just have to see. She went back to sleep for about an hour after having a feed, getting washed and dressed and having a kick about and chatter with me on her changing mat and then another feed. She's now woken up again and having a bit of time under the gym, before she has another feed and we go off into town to wander round the Sunday market and then go to Tesco with Eva.

I am realising that I would be very happy to be a traditional SAHM (stay at home mum). Being a WAHM is mostly OK, but causes me to stress out often and feel resentful towards the work and towards Chris, sometimes, too (for the most past unfairly so!). It's such a shame (in some ways, at least) that society has changed so much that it's difficult to be a SAHM. A single wage is no longer enough to support a family - at least not with ease - wherease 30 years ago or so, it was expected that a single wage would support a whole family. Women fought hard to be able to work, but now it's quite difficult not to. And many of us have to do all of it - work full-time, be a full-time mum and be a full-time housekeeper, too. At least I have Chris at home and I don't have to physically go out to work. I really don't think I could bear to leave Rosemary with a childminder or in a nursery, so am extremely happy that I don't need to. Now, if only we could win the lottery, so I could just be a mum and nothing else, that would be perfection. (Or maybe I should just find a time machine and go back to the 50s!)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Video post

Nellie the Elephant

Daddy time

Play mat

Friday and Saturday 10-11 November 2006

Well, I did manage to pretty much take the day off on Friday, other than answering a couple of emails. Chris's cold got quite bad, after he'd thought he was better, so he wasn't up to going into town. Rosemary and I did go into town, however. We went to the market and got some nice veggies from Gilda's organic stall and got some tinned beans and some nice granary bread from Sunshine.

We then went to Costa Coffee, where we had coffee with Granddad (well, I had hot chocolate and chocolate cake - it's so difficult to resist!). Rosemary was quite nicely awake for Granddad, which was good. I then thought we only had half an hour until Rosemary's jabs, so rushed round the supermarket and then round Mackays (or M&Co as it now seems to be called) getting some 3-6 months clothes for Rosemary, as she's grown out of the majority of her 0-3 months clothes (does depend on the make though, there are a few Newborn size clothes that she still fits).

We then got to the doctors surgery only to discover that I hadn't changed the time on my phone yet, so we were actually an hour early. So we called Granddad to see if he was still in town and went and sat with him outside the pub. I had a coke and Granddad had a sparkling fancy fruit juice (can't remember what it had in it, but it was very nice) as he's not drinking again now, because he's on Interferon
(think that's how it's spelled!) and other medication. Granddad gave me the money for Rosemary's clothes, as he'd been wanting to buy her something put couldn't think what. So that was nice. Granddad held Rosemary for about 3 minutes while I nipped over the road to the pet shop to buy some anti-flea shampoo for Wesley (they only had the natural stuff, not the chemical stuff, but I got it anyway). By the time I got back she was crying for me. However, it seems that was probably more to do with being hungry, as she then had a feed for about 20 minutes.

We then went back to surgery, a little bit early but not too early. There were saw one of the women from the post-natal group with her baby and husband who were also there for jabs. (I can't remember their names - I'm dreadful at remembering anyone's names!) Rosemary had a similar reaction to the first lot of jabs. She screeched for about a second and then cried 'normally' afterwards. We went back out to the waiting room and I fed her for about 10 minutes (you have to wait 10 minutes, anyway, in case of a bad reaction), which soothed her quite quickly.

Rosemary slept quite a bit after that. She fell asleep on the way home and pretty much stayed asleep from then until about 6.30pm. Instead of working I sat on the sofa and watched ER and read a Mother and Baby magazine. I did also do a couple of loads of washing, a couple of loads of dish-washing, some hand dish-washing and emptied the bins. Put a bunch of washing away, too. Didn't get around to making soup as I'd planned, though, so just had the carton of fresh soup that was in the fridge (it needed eating anyway) and Chris had a tin of Chicken Broth.

While Rosemary was awake for a bit in the evening, she was not her usual alert and talkative self. She had another nap downstairs for an hour and a half and went to bed properly at just after 11pm. She slept through to 5.45 am, when she had a good feed, but wasn't too keen on going back in her crib, so she came upstairs with me and had a half hour chat and sing, before going back to sleep until gone 10am, during which time I did a bunch of work. (No more than 1 day off a week for me!)

We then went into town again, where we wandered round the market. We went into Adams to look for long-sleeved vests, but they didn't have any. We did get 6 pairs of tights, though, in 3-6 months size and a bit more funky than the ones from Wilkinson. We also went to Woolies, where we got the last pack of long-sleeved 3-6 month vests (yay!) along with a couple of outfits. (Well, I'd been planning on spending money on clothes for her the day before, but Granddad paid for them, so...) We popped into Somerfield for a few bits and bobs and then started walking home, but saw that there was a small French market on. Rosemary had actually fallen asleep just after we came out of Adams and had slept deeply through going in the other shops. Bought some Tartiflette (think that's how you spell it) from the French market, which is a Savoyard speciliaty that I never had when living there because it always had bacon in it. This stall had a veggie version as well as the bacon one, though. I wasn't that impressed though, although Chris did polish off his bacon one.

Didn't do any more work though when she slept in the afternoon. I sat on the sofa watching more ER, but mostly reading the Baby Signing book that finally arrived. I also had a little nap myself on the sofa! And did more loads of washing and other houseworky stuff. We had lots of fun in the early evening when she woke up. And Chris came downstairs for a bit and played with her, too. I love watching them together now; it's so adorable when she smiles up at him or starts cooing and gurgling at him. Awww. Ooh, very exciting... she picked up a book! It was just a plastic one that I'd given her more for the purpose of chewing than reading, as I think she's teething at the moment. I had read it to her as well. Anyway she picked it up and held it up for a bit in a similar way to what she did with Nellie the Elephant (see the video post that will be posted a bit later when the videos have finished uploading). It was, of course, just a case of her picking up something that was there when she was ready to pick something up - because she's exploring in that way - but it got me particularly excited, purely because it was a book!

She started looking a bit tired at around 9pm, so I put her in her bed clothes and she had a good long kick about on her changing mat, with her nappy off and chatting away to Nappy Monster. Then we went into the bedroom and turned the little light on and the big light off. I put the TV on, very quietly. Unfortunately, the Sky box had frozen, so I was stuck watching 'Meet the Fockers', although it was interesting/embarassing to see the Granddad doing babysigning with his grandson and being generally overly enthusiastic with the intellectual stimulation. Hmm, I'm not that bad am I? (I know I'm not, actually, so that was a rhetorical question!) She had a very good long feed (about an hour) and went down to sleep about 10.30pm. And slept through to 5.45 am again, then went back down in her crib at 6.15am. She's still asleep now, at 9am.

Instead of working (oops), I have been writing essays about baby development (see earlier post) and uploading photos and videos (see earlier and next post). I'm now going to try to get a bit of work done, though I imagine Rosemary will be waking within the hour, so I'll probably be doing some work during her afternoon sleep today (assuming she sticks with the pattern of having a long afternoon sleep, of course!). I'll probably pay for this later in the week and will end up having to have a couple of nights of only three hours sleep in order to get all my work done. Hopefully not, though.

Alternatively, I could get a few extra hours by having Granny come round and play with Rosemary one day. I need to start accepting that this is an OK thing to do now and then, and not something to feel guilty about. Then again, I really don't want to make it into something that happens all the time, because I have to work 10 hours a day or similar. Because I want to be the main person looking after Rosemary - alongside Chris, of course - and not be always handing her over to other people, even if those other people are her grandparents who, of course, would happily spend every moment with her and are perfectly capable of looking after her!

Yeesh! This blog seems to often end up with my expressing motherly guilt about something or other. Ah well, I'm told that it is inevitable to feel almost constant guilt and worry when you become a mother, so I'd better get used to it.

Photo post

Each of these photos has a number of others taken immediately before or after. If you click on a photo you can go to it on Flickr and see the next one or previous one. Or you can just go and see the whole Rosemary photoset as a Slideshow if you want to.

Ready for bed

Ready for bed

Rosemary dressed for bed, but not ready to sleep quite yet.

Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace

Rosemary in her Dennis the Menace jumper.

Morning nap

Morning nap

Rosemary having her morning nap and cuddling up to Nellie the Elephant.

Baby development

Kirsty in the August Club asked what people were doing to aid their babies' development. And I ended up writing a whole essay about it, so thought I'd share it here, too, so that I hadn't completely wasted over an hour of working time (i.e. Rosemary is asleep, so I should be working my butt off!).

Here it is:

We have a wonderful book called First Time Parents. It includes a big section on development, month by month, and includes a column on what the parents can do to aid development. We don't go overboard with it, but we do look at it every few weeks to see the kind of things Rosemary might be likely to do soon and how to help.

What we do at the moment is:

Physical development
Gross motor skills
  • Make sure she gets tummy time - either on her playmat, changing mat, the bed or one of us. She prefers the latter, and that's when she lifts her head the most, as she wants to lift it to look at our faces.
  • Sit her on our knee either facing us or facing outwards and only hold her very loosely, so that she does more of the holding still herself. I also sit her between my legs on the sofa or chair I'm sitting on sometimes, especially when watching TV, as she likes to look at the TV for a couple of minutes now and then. I also quite often sit her facing me on my desk or the table when out at a coffee shop.
  • Let her stand on our laps when she's wanting to, or on the floor (mostly she likes the former). Also (though this one less and less as she develops more) when she's having tummy time on us, put our hands under her feet so she can push against them.
  • Let her have time in different positions. She does spend the majority of her awake time in her bouncy chair, as she likes the way it allows her to interact with us. But I make sure that she also gets time lying on her back - under the gym or on her changing mat - lying on her front, 'sitting up', 'standing up'. Etc. etc.
Fine motor skills
  • Provide her with things that she can grasp and that she might want to. For example, she has a small, soft, cuddly elephant (called Nellie) who she sleeps with and who comes with her to the chair and play mat. She recently grabbed the elephant and lifted it above her head an held it there for a bit (Chris actually caught this on video) and she's done so a few times. She also picked a book up yesterday - a plastic one that I'd given her more so she could chew on it, as I think she may be teething.
  • We also give her the opportunity to grab our fingers or hands, and she has started pulling on my hair, though I must say I don't particularly encourage this!
  • We play 'This little piggy went to market' with her fingers and toes, to encourage her to spread them out and think of them as separate entities. Until recently she's tended to keep her hands in very tight fists. She still does quite a lot, but lately she's been really exploring her hands. Chris calls it her 'Mr Burns' impression, because she rubs her hands together and feels her fingers with her other fingers. She does this all by herself, and it doesn't really need any input from us, only that we're putting graspable things near her, so that she can grasp them if and when she wants to.
  • We talk to her all the time. And talk near her, of course.
  • I sing to her a lot, which she loves (unfortunately, I'm pretty tone death, so she may well pick up some bad habits musically - but it's still worth doing for the communication aspects, and because she really loves it). We do a lot of action songs. I got a free CD with Mother and Baby magazine while pregnant and started off using that as a basis (and also an album of Nursery Rhymes downloaded from i-tunes).
  • I still use a lot of baby talk with her as well, which is actually supposed to be useful, and why we have a natural tendency to talk in baby talk to babies. What I tend to do is repeat back the sounds that she makes. So if she says 'Coo', I'll say 'Coo, coo, yes. Coo, coo.' or if she says 'Ga', I'll say 'Ga? Really? Ga, ga.' and so on and so on. If any of the sounds either seem close to a word or are said at a point that could mean something, I'll repeat back the actual word. For example, she makes a sound that is very close to 'Hello', so I'll say 'Hello' back.
  • I just received Joseph Garcia's Complete Guide to Babysigning which I ordered quite a while ago (should have bought it from Amazon, though I did get it cheaper!) and am starting to sign to her. I've actually been doing the 'Milk' sign for quite a while, since I learnt it during one of our post-natal classes. It will, of course, be quite a while before she'll have enough control over her hands and arms to make the signs, and quite possibly longer still before she wants to or is ready to, intellectually. However, I think it makes sense to start using the signs when talking to her now and learning them ourselves thoroughly, so that we will really understand them if and when she does start using them. From everything I've read about babysigning, I think it makes a huge amount of sense. I've seen very young children getting so frustrated because they are unable to get across what they want or need. The desire and need to communicate develops in most babies before their vocal chord (and tongue control, etc.) are developed enough to form all words, but their fine and gross motor skills are developed enough much earlier. I think the biggest challenge will be getting everyone else in her life to learn some of the signs, as well, such as her grandparents and aunt and great aunt. But just a few will be of great use, I think.
  • I speak Spanish and French to her. I was just going to speak French to her, but she decided that she prefers Spanish, after I sung La Bamba to her one day. So I probably speak more Spanish to her now, than French, actually. I also throw in some other languages too, now and then. But that's just the odd word here and there. For example, there's a tradition in my family, when someone sneezes a number of times to say 'Bless you' in a variety of languages - English, French, German, Spanish, Esperanto... - and do this with her. With Spanish and French I will speak to her for a few minutes in the language. If any of you speak other languages, it's apparently (according to my health visitor, anyway, and I know I've read research in the past to support this) very useful in the first six months (and when in the womb, but it's a bit late for that now!) for babies to hear other languages, because that's when they're developing the ability to form vowel sounds and different languages use different vowel sounds. It's particularly useful for them to hear very different (non-western-European) languages, such as Mandarin, Japanese, Punjabi, Arabic, etc. etc. because these have some really different vowel sounds. And up to six months there's no problem with confusing them. After six months you have to think about the possibility of sticking to one or two languages (often this is done with OPOL - one parent one language), otherwise it could slow down their language development.
Intellectual development
Well, everything is intellectual development to a new baby! They are constantly learning, whether or not we're interacting with them. But these are the things we do at the moment to help it along:
  • Reading. We read to her a lot. She has been a member of the local library since she was a few weeks old, and she also has a number of books that she owns - mostly that my mum has bought from charity stores and the like. I do a combination of different types of reading with her. The majority of the time it's a case of showing her a board book and pointing at the pictures and describing them. I talk a lot about colour and shape as well as the names for the pictures - e.g. 'Look at the big yellow sun. It's round.', 'Look at the big green bus. You've been on a bus. But the buses you've been on haven't been green.' 'And there's a big yellow dog. Like Wesley. Except Wesley is a big black dog.' and so on. Then there are some books that have stories in them (officially these are 'too old' for her but I say 'bah' to that!). Her favourite is 'Looking after gran' which is a Read at Home book from the Oxford University Press. It's about a gran who has a bright red motorbike and sidecar and who has to look after the family dog while they are on holiday. I don't know why she likes this so much, but it might be because it has a dog in it. Or perhaps it's just that the colours or shapes are particularly exciting to her. Anyway, I read this (and other story books) in different ways. Sometimes I just read it straight through, though I always point at relevant parts of the picture while reading. Sometimes I read the story and pause on each page, further describing what is happening in the picture. Sometimes I just go through telling the story in my own words, rather than the words on the page, talking about the characters and so on. And, finally, if I'm reading something myself, I'll sometimes read it out loud to her. This happens less these days, because I rarely get the time to read when she's awake. I manage about half an hour after she's gone to sleep while waiting to make sure she is going to sleep and that's it. When she was younger, though, I'd often read to her while she lay next to me on the bed, for example. And that was just because it's good for her to hear my voice.
  • Counting. Obviously, it will be a long time before she understands the concept of counting or before she's able to count! But I still count things when I'm with her. When I'm dressing her, I count the poppers, '1 popper. 2 poppers. 3 poppers. That's 3 poppers. All done.' or her hands and feet, 'Where's your hand? That's one hand. Where's the other hand? And that's two hands.' I count the stairs as we go up and down them. And anything else I happen to think of when we're out and about.
  • Colours. I frequently talk about the colours of objects we see. The dog is a 'big, black dog'. The trees are green. The leaves that have fallen off the trees at the moment are red and orange and brown. The tights are pink. The vest is dark blue. Etc. etc. Again, I'm fully aware that she won't understand these concepts for a long time, but I personally think it's useful to start early, even if it just means that I/we get into the habit of talking about these things, so that we're ready and good at it, when she's ready for it.
  • General talking about what's going on. I talk to her all the time about what we're doing and where we are and so on. When we're out walking I tell her where we're walking, where we're going to, who we're going to see or might see, what we're walking past. And so on, and so on. At home, I talk about the room we're in or what we can see out of the window. I talk about the TV programme we're watching. I talk about what her daddy is doing or what the dog is doing. If I'm going to leave the room for a bit, I tell her why and how long I will be. All of this is stuff she almost certainly doesn't understand yet, again, but there's no harm in doing it, and probably the opposite.
Emotional development
  • I tell her I love her a lot.
  • I give her lots of kisses.
  • She spends the vast majority of her time with me as, at this stage in her life, I am the most important person and the one she is going to attach to.
  • I give her lots of cuddles and attention.
  • I never leave her to cry. (Though, to be fair, she doesn't cry very often. Mostly when she's hungry still, though I think she has cried a couple of times when she's needed changing and we haven't realised.) The only time she has to be left to cry is when we're out and it's pouring with rain and we're not in town. If we're anywhere we can conveniently stop, I'll get her out of her buggy/the carrier and give her attention, let her feed, etc. Very occasionally I have to let her cry for a few minutes until we get home.
  • I tell her she's beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, etc.I also tell her she's clever, smart, etc.I also tell her she's special, wonderful, and so on. (These all go towards self-esteem, though it's not like I don't believe them and want to say them, anyway!!)
  • She gets positive enforcement for anything particularly amazing she does - such as lifting her elephant above her head. 'Well done. Aren't you clever? That's wonderful.' and so on.
  • We encourage her to form attachments to toys - Nappy Monster and Nellie the Elephant are her two favourites at the moment.
  • We talk about Mummy and Daddy, so she knows who we are. We do talk about oursleves in the third person. Which seems strange in terms of language development, but I've realised that it's much more to do with emotional development and it will change when necessary for language and intellectual development. At the moment, it's important for her to know that 'Mummy will be back soon.' or 'Daddy's going to change your nappy, now.' and so on. And I think it's more understandable than 'I' which would be used by everyone.
Hmm. Well, I've written an actual essay there, haven't I? I have edited loads of books about child care and find child development and learning theory fascinating. My sister works in child care as well. My mother worked for years tutoring children with behavioural problems. My sister is 12 years younger than me, so I was involved in her early care and education. All these things probably lead to my thinking about this a lot more than some other parents might, I suppose. I'm not trying to bring up some child prodigy or anything. I'm just trying to put as much of the theory I have read about into practice to give Rosemary the best start that I have it in my power to do, to the best of my knowledge. I know that babies pick up most of this themselves without huge amounts of input from us, or just with the natural input that we automatically make. I just feel, for me, it's really important to encourage development as far as I can (within reason, of course, and without over-stimulating, causing frustration, and so on). And I guess that my own upbringing leads me to concentrate further on intellectual and language development than physical development, so I'll need to watch out for that and ensure that her physical development is not neglected.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tuesday 7 November through Thursday 9 November

Apologies for not managing to post daily over the last few days. It's been quite manic with the work, so every spare minute has been spent working. I quite often write this blog while feeding Rosemary, yet even much that time, has been devoted to one-handed working.

So, Rosemary is now sleeping through. Seems to have happened pretty much on the dot of 3 months, which is interesting as it's widely reported that this is when babies tend to start sleeping through. In our August babies club on Babyworld some of the women who were already mums said that it was very likely that this would be the case. It's nice to get decent chunks of sleep and I still have the closeness of the late night and early morning feeds, so I'm not feeling as sad as I thought I would.

She also seems to be sleeping more in the day - more along the lines of what's considered 'normal'. She seems to be tending towards a total of around 14-16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. She's tending to sleep for a chunk of between 5 and 8 hours in the night. I think it depends on whether she's been snacking a lot in the evening or has saved it up for a bit feed last thing (seems to sleep longer with the latter), though it could well have nothing to do with that, and just be a coincidence. She then sleeps for another chunk in the morning - usually back in her crib now. How long that is for depends on how much she's managed to feed at the early morning feed. If she manages 30 minutes then she seems to be able to sleep for another 3 or 4 hours, but if she only manages 10 minutes or less, then she's likely to wake up after 1 or 2 hours.

She then seems to have a very alert, playing with mummy period for between 1 hour and 2 hours. She gets dressed then and has some time on her changing mat, then some time under her play gym, time in her chair singing, reading, talking with me and sometimes some time on my lap/the desk/table talking more closely. She'll then have a good big feed and go to sleep for a while in her chair. (I haven't tried putting her in her crib for her daytime sleeps really, so don't know if she would be happy there or not.) How long for can vary. Sometimes she'll have a shorter (maybe 2 hours) nap and then have some awake time around lunchtime. Other times she'll sleep for 5-6 hours and have a long awake time in the late afternoon and evening.

We've not been managing to get out until quite late most of the week and so only managing a stroll round the park and visit to the Co-op. (Although, we did go to postnatal group - the last one - on Tuesday morning.) Unfortunately, it's getting dark quite early these days and she's not hugely keen on the dark. Though perhaps I need to try taking her out in the dark more, to get her more used to it.

It's also getting a lot colder, of course, and I'm having to persuade her that a hat is a good thing to wear and that mittens should stay on her hands. She does seem to be happier in a jacket or something with a hood, rather than a hat, actually, so I might see if we can get more of those. Going to try her in one of her snowsuits soon, I think. Think they might be particularly useful for going in the carrier, rather than the buggy.

Developmentally, she's rolling onto her side on her changing mat, though hasn't rolled all the way yet. She has picked up Nellie the Elephant a few times now and held her above her head. We have this on video and hopefully will upload it soon (I may ask Chris to do it, actually, as my time is so limited) so you can see it. She's increasing her range of sounds and seems to be at her most vocal in the evening.

I decided to use baby bath and shampoo when bathing her last night, as I was concerned that her hair might be getting a bit mucky from all the times she possets (spelling?) while on her changing mat and it dribbles round the back of her head. She also seems to trap dirt in between her fingers, because she often holds her hands in very tight fists. Anyway, I wasn't planning on going with the soap and shampoo until she was crawling, because that's when they tend to start sweating and also (obviously) picking up lots of dirt. But I caved in now, instead. She hasn't had any adverse reactions that I've noticed so far. So I may well continue with that. I'm also tempted to increase the number of baths she has, but we'll see about that.

Anyway, all in all it's been a good few days for Rosemary. I'm exhausted, though, and do wish I could be a 'normal' mum sometimes and not have the added responsibility of working. It's not much fun when every moment of Rosemary sleeping during the day has to be used for working. It would be nice to, oh, I don't know, play a computer game or something (hmm, why would I use that as an example?). Do some studying (somehow don't think I'll be doing any more OU courses for a long while!) maybe. Of course, I do get to do relaxing things like watching TV or reading while she's feeding and can (at the moment, anyway) watch TV while I'm playing with her, so I do get some 'leisure time' then. And I get to go out walking and meet people for coffee or lunch, which I never used to have time to do. So I have a much more varied life than I used to. I'm much, much fitter too. All this pushing a buggy is great. Still have the tummy flap of flab, though. Don't know how to get rid of that.

Anyway, I might not do any work today. (Already finished something off this morning and got it uploaded, I mean for the rest of the day.) I might go back to bed for the hour or so that she's going to continue sleeping and read or get some more sleep. Then I might go into town with Chris this morning and wander round the market and maybe have lunch. And use Rosemary's sleeping time this afternoon for me. (Or perhaps for housework - :P)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday 6 November 2006

Today was a sleepless day. Rosemary woke at 7.45am and didn't sleep all day, apart from a couple of minutes, here and there.

She had a dirty nappy in the morning and the rest were wet ones. The morning was spent with Rosemary in her chair and me chatting with her while trying to do some work at the same time. Basically it would be 5-10 minutes of work, while she was happy amusing herself, followed by 15-20 minutes of chatting, singing, reading, etc. The most efficient work was done while feeding her, as we don't really tend to talk when feeding. The work was finished at lunchtime, which was a big relief, although it was only one chunk of the work, so it wasn't really the end.

Sasha calls shortly after the work was finished to see if I wanted to go for coffee in the afternoon. I was happy to do so, as I wanted to take Rosemary into town to see if she'd fall asleep from the buggy's motion and also to see if we could find a 'snot sucker' anywhere in town. (Obviously I'd be happy to go for a coffee generally, anyway, but in the olden days I wouldn't have contemplated it, when in 'deadline mode'. It's nice to be able to combine essential parts of Rosemary's care, such as going for a walk or buying nappies, with other pleasant activities, like meeting friends and families for coffee or lunch.)

We went in a bit early, so we could do the shopping first. Only needed a couple of small things from Somerfield and then it was a case of trawling through the chemists asking if they had a snot sucker. The lady in Boots knew what I was talking about, but they didn't have any - everywhere else I caused much mirth by describing what a snot sucker was. Nowhere had one, though. Oh well.

Then we met up with Sasha and had a pleasant hour and a half or so chatting. Rosemary was in her buggy for a bit at first, just looking around, then she came out for a long feed, for most of the rest of the time we were there, except 10 minutes or so near the end where she was just sitting on my lap looking around.

We then started doing a circuit of town, before Sasha realised she didn't have time to do a full circuit, or she'd be late picking her children up. So Rosemary and I just did a semi-circuit and headed home. She dropped off a bit during the walk home, but was awake before we got back.

We then spent a bit more time in the office and I managed to make a couple of work phone calls and catch up on the Internet, while feeding her. She dropped off a couple of times, again, but woke up within 30 seconds or so of dropping off. I realised that we were probably in a sleepless day, so we went down into the living room, so she could have more quality time - i.e. because we face each other and are at a similar level down there - with me. She was very awake and happy, chattering away and singing (I swear she actually sings along to songs now - albeit with single sounds, but still!).

Meanwhile Chris was blitzing the house - doing a big tidy up as a lot of things had piled up over the weekend because we'd been so busy. He was in and out to see us both. At one point he held her Rosemary so I could do some tidying (putting clean washing away) myself - I tried doing it while she lay in the middle of the bed (don't put her close to the edge anymore, as she's showing signs that she'll roll over soon), but she got upset almost immediately as she really needed proper interaction. But that's the only contribution we made!

Chris then settled in for the night shift (working), while I continued downstairs with Rosemary for a while. At about 8.30pm I felt that she was tiring, so we decamped to the bedroom (she'd got her bed clothes on at about 7.30pm), where the lights went down and the TV on (University Challenge) and she had a feed in the semi-dark. She fell asleep at about while feeding and I put her in her crib at 8.40pm and that was that, she was properly asleep. I do wonder if she might actually have gone down earlier if I'd tried it in the bedroom with the dimmed lights, but I think it's actually more that I'm learning to sense when she truly is ready for sleep.

I finished watching University Challenge to see if she would wake up, but she was clearly out for the count, so I got some food together and then went up to the office to do some work, myself. Chris or I came downstairs roughly every half hour (though sometimes more frequently) to check in on her - and she was always fine - and we could hear if she cried from upstairs. I would have preferred it if I had a proper monitor to listen to, though, and think I may invest in one, in case we have to do this again.

I worked until 2.30am, when I'd finished the parts of the work I was supposed to be doing (or, at least, the bits I could do at that point). I'd had a shower at about 10pm, so that I'd be clean for Tuesday morning and also to wake me up as I was starting to flag by that point. Rosemary hadn't woken up all that time. I expected her to wake up any second after my coming to bed, but actually didn't wake up until 4am, so that was about 7 and a half hours' straight sleep. I think it's possible that she would have gone straight back to sleep, even then, but I was there and picked her up and fed her for about 10 minutes, then she went back to sleep until about 7.45 am.

Part of me wonders if this was the start of a sleeping through the night routine, or whether it was just because she had a sleepless day and had a bad cold. I also wonder whether she slept for so long because we weren't in the room to wake her with our tossings and turnings and snuffles and snoring and so on. Who knows. I guess we'll see what happens on Tuesday.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday 5 November 2006

Happy Quarter Year Birthday, Rosemary

Sunday was a very sleepy day, probably because Rosemary caught my cold. She woke up very snuffly at 5.45am and I brought her upstairs so she could sleep in her chair. She had a quick 15-minute feed then went back to sleep until 9.45am, so almost another 4 hours.

She then had a nappy change and got into her day clothes, followed by a good long feed and a chatter in her chair. We then went out and about, as we hadn't been out for a couple of days, which isn't very good. I try to make sure she goes out at least once a day, even if it's just a quick walk down to the Co-op, though preferably something longer than that. We went to the Co-op and then up to see her Granddad for a bit. She fell asleep on the way there, but woke up the minute we got in his front door!

(I weighed myself while there and shouldn't really have done so as I had far too much chocolate cake this week - well, it was my birthday! - and had actually jumped up a bit in weight. Will leave off any weighing for a few weeks again, I think!)

After seeing Granddad, we walked down to meet Eva off the bus and then walked with her to Tesco. We got a bunch of shopping there. Mainly went there to get a snot sucker which I'd been told are sold in Tesco, but not in our Tesco, apparently. Will see if I can get one in Boots tomorrow and hope she doesn't need it tonight. Rosemary had fallen asleep almost as soon as we left Papa's building and she stayed asleep until we got home, though she did open her eyes a couple of times, which cheered Eva up.

She woke up as soon as we got in, though. Changed her nappy as it smelt like she'd done a poop, but it was just a smelly fart! And she chattered a bit with her Auntie Eva, which was nice. Then went and fed her on the sofa, before Eva went to meet up with Papa before heading home.

We went and joined Chris up in the office then and Rosemary fell asleep soon after then, at about 4.30pm. She then slept until 7.30pm, giving me the opportunity to get lots of work done, which was fortunate as I'd spent the whole time she was asleep in the morning uploading photos and videos and so on, instead of working as I should have been really. (Though I'm sure you all appreciated it!)

She then had a good long feed, followed by some chatting and singing in her chair with both of us. Then she got changed into her night clothes (still no poop - not that this is anything to worry about, just that I imagine it will be incredibly explosive when it does arrive!) and had a good wriggle on her mat first. She had a little mirror time with her dad (where she was looking at it his reflection in the mirror while he held her up to it and talked to her) and then some more time in her chair upstairs.

Since we needed to keep working, ideally, and because of her cold which seemed particularly bad when she was lying flat, we decided to see if she would sleep in her chair, at least for the first hour or two of the night, so that she could breathe more easily. She went off to sleep at about 10.30pm and slept there until 2am.

I actually went down to bed at 1am myself and left her sleeping upstairs with Chris, so I spent a whole hour asleep in a different room to her, and managed it. Chris changed her nappy and then brought her in to me when she woke up. She had a good feed, but was then wide awake and wanting to play. I think this may have been down to her waking up in a light room and then moving down to the bedroom. I expect that confused her. She did go back to sleep at 3.45 am, however, and slept until 7.45am, when she woke uo really full of snot, poor thing.
I don't think we'll put her to sleep up in the office at night again, as I think it's too confusing for her. She's got to a point where she settles really well in her crib at around 10pm every night and has two good chunks of sleep. Really don't want to mess with such an achievement!

Video post

Photo post

Rosemary at night

Ready for bed

Rosemary and her chair

Rosemary and Eva

Rosemary in her chair

Ready for bed

Eva and Wesley

Eva and Rosemary

Rosemary & Tasha

Rosemary & Tasha

Rosemary and Granddad

Rosemary and Granddad


Rosemary and Tasha

Rosemary and Tasha

Rosemary and Tasha







Play gym

Rosemary and Eva

Play gym

Play gym

Play gym

Rosemary and Granny

Rosemary and Granny

Rosemary and Granny

Rosemary and Eva

Rosemary and Eva

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday 4 November

I woke up at 6am and thought Rosemary was waking up too, but she was just stirring slightly in her sleep. I couldn't get back to sleep, though, so got up and let the dog out, made some Lemsip and took Rosemary's chair up to the office ready for when she would wake up. Then spent a bit of time catching up on the Internet. I heard her surface at 7am (Chris was still asleep in the bedroom, so I didn't leave her alone!) and went down to get her.

We had a feed, then a play in her chair, then changed her and she had a good long wriggle (maybe 15 minutes) on her mat and then she had her day clothes put on. We then came back upstairs and had some more chatting in her chair, another feed and some more chair time, then another nappy change, as she had done her daily poop. No leakage again, today, which was good, although it was bigger than yesterday's. Then came upstairs for another quick feed (drink?) and she fell asleep at about 9am.

Today Granny Jenny is coming to watch Rosemary so I can get lots of work done. We have a Monday deadline, which requires me to do pretty much a full day's work, because I was too ill to get anything other than responding to a few emails done yesterday. Hopefully Rosemary will play happily with her Granny and only need a feed every few hours. And hopefully I'll be able to stop myself from runnung downstairs every 5 minutes!

Rosemary woke at 9.30am after a half hour nap and Granny arrived at about 9.40am. Rosemary was crying by 10am, but she would be wanting a 'proper' feed about then, so that's why. She fed for about half an hour and then was happy again for a bit, but crying again at 11am, fed some more then she slept from 11.30am (as did Granny). Woke again at 12.30am. Had another feed, then went down on her mat under play gym with Granny watching. Grumpy again about 1.30pm, had another feed and about an hour's sleep, then played happily with Granny for a couple of hours. They read books, sang songs and walked around looking at things. I was a bit worried that she'd roll over or do something else new while I was upstairs, but she didn't.

Granny went home about 5pm, after I managed to get in a long shower (and shave my legs for the first time in a while - not that you really wanted to know that!). As always when I can't hear Rosemary (e.g. in shower, while kettle is boiling, when the hoover's on, etc.) I could hear her screaming the whole time. When I turned the shower off I couldn't hear anything, though and then when I was dressed and went downstairs to check it turned out she had been perfectly fine. Of course. I had to pop out to the shop in the evening without her (didn't want to take her out in the dark after the last time and it was easier for me to nip out than Chris) and I had the same problem. I was OK while I was on the phone to my dad, but as soon as I hung up my head was filled with Rosemary's cries. And again she had been perfectly fine. I think this is something else that goes back to her being in SCBU. Or maybe it's something that all mums experience. It's horrible, anyway, and I don't know how I'll ever be able to leave her for longer than half an hour.

Rosemary and I spent the evening in the living room, chatting away and singing and smiling and cuddling. There was also some feeding (of both of us) involved at some point! Chris was in and out as well while he made his dinner, although he did have to go back upstairs to work later. We went upstairs at about 9.15pm and she got changed into her night clothes. (All wet nappies apart from the dirty one in the morning, incidentally, so it definitely looks like she's settled into one poop per day.) She then had a bit of time lying on the bed and a feed. She was looking like she was falling asleep, though hadn't completely done so at about 9.50pm, so I thought I'd put her in her crib and see what happened. She fell asleep and was fully asleep by 10pm. She didn't wake up until 4am, when she had a 20-minute, one-sided feed and went back to sleep until 5.45am. Then she was having a lot of trouble with a snotty nose, so I brought her upstairs for another quick (other side) feed and to sleep in her chair, where the uprightedness would help with snottiness.

So, Saturday was quite successful, in that I got more work done than I would have otherwise, Granny got to spend some quality time with Rosemary and I had a little lesson in trying to let go. I have to say that I'm extremely grateful that we work from home and that I'm not going to have to go off to work and put her in a nursery or something similar. Because I really don't know that I would be able to.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday 3 November 2006

Rosemary woke at 7am. We came upstairs to the office, where I fed her while catching up on the Internet. I then changed her and she had a wriggle on the changing mat and was quite talkative. Over the last few days, she's started doing these little squeals of joy (at least, that's what they look and sound like!) while she's talking. They are so adorable and fill my heart with extra love every time I hear them (which is odd, because I always think that I couldn't possibly love her any more, but then she does something new and/or particularly cute and suddenly there's even more love - sorry, sappy tangent there). We'll have to try to capture them on video for you. She got changed into her day clothes then came upstairs, where we had a bit more of a chat until she wanted some more food. She then fell asleep while feeding (very quick feed, too, so may have been more thirst than hunger) and went down in her chair at about 8.30am.

I have a feeling that she will do a lot of sleeping today, as it seems that this is the pattern for the day after she has a 'non-sleeping' day. Of course, the fact that I've identified a pattern means she will almost certainly do something completely differently to keep me on my toes. (It's 9am as I type this paragraph, so she's been asleep for half an hour - the longest she slept for during the day yesterday. We shall see.) She's slept through me sneezing loudly a couple of times and I just risked blowing my nose (though probably not quite as forcefully as I usually do) and that hasn't woken her, so that's promising.
Usually when she has a sleepy day, I manage to get lots and lots of work done. Don't know how much I'll manage today, though, as this cold is a bad one and all I really feel like doing is going back to sleep myself. Will try and get some done now, though, at least for a bit.

She woke at 11.30am and also had another nap of about an hour and a half in the afternoon. The rest of the time she was awake, alert and pretty happy. My ER Season 7 DVDs arrived in the post, so I allowed myself to be ill on the sofa and watch them. Rosemary spent most of the day in her chair in the living room, though she did also spend some time on her mat under the baby gym and walking around in her dad's arms talking with him.

She did lots of chatting and cooing and smiling and giggling. We read some books and sang lots of songs. She also had quite a lot of nakedish wriggling time on her changing mat, as she likes to chat to Nappy Monster or look at the painted animals on her toy box.

I thought she was going to go to sleep early, as she fell asleep while feeding at 8pm. I carried her upstairs and put her in her crib, but she woke up again immediately. So we stayed in the bedroom and she lay on the bed talking to my leg for a bit (!) and she kind of rolled onto her side. She didn't really do it again, though. I think she'll be full-on rolling fairly soon. We had some more chatting and singing (the poor girl is bound to inherit her mum's tone-deafness as I sing to her all the time) on the bed. She did a bit of standing between my legs and then tried to crawl up me. Tried putting her down a few more times when she showed signs of sleepiness, but she went down properly at 10pm on the dot.

I then had my dinner (!!) and watched an episode of Teachers on Trouble before going to sleep myself at 11pm. She woke up at 2.30am for a feed, back down at 3.15am and slept through to 7am.

She only did one poop again, but this was quite a small one - though nice healthy yellow, which is good. This is, I think, a good sign as, from what I've read, the less poops and the yellower and thicker they are, the better the baby is metabolising his or her food. It could mean she's putting on weight at a faster rate, or it could mean she's just taking the nutrients out properly instead of wasting them. Or could also mean that I'm producing healthier milk, though I don't think my diet has really changed much, so that's less likely I think.

The other new thing is that she's started moving her individual fingers a lot more. I think she'll be properly grasping things soon, as before she would generally open and close the whole fist at once. I've seen her with her actual thumb in her mouth a few times now, rather than sucking on her knuckles, too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday 2 November, 2006

Thursday was Rosemary's non-sleeping day this week, it seems. (It's been on another day for the last few weeks, as I recall.)

Rosemary woke at 7am. I managed to let the dog out, feed him and bring Rosemary's chair up to the office, while she gurgled happily in her crib. Then she came upstairs and I fed her while catching up on Babyworld posts. We then went and let the dog out again and then changed her and put her day clothes on.

We came back upstairs and sung some nursery rhymes. We need to get Tia Eva to teach us the actions to some of the songs, as I don't know them all!

She then had another littlish feed and went to sleep at about 9am. She only slept until 9.30am, though. She then had a chatter and a giggle for half an hour or so and seemed pretty wide awake, so Chris came and played with her while I showered. They talked, played with her rattle (which she was reaching out for, though not actually managing to grasp) and then listened to some music on her toy bar.

She then had another feed and slept from 11.30am to 12 noon (another half hour nap). She was pretty wide awake again, so we went into town to get some shopping - though mostly just for the walk, fresh air and stimulation. It's quite good for Chris and me that Rosemary and I go into town pretty much every day, because it means we can get our vegetables and other food when we need it and fresh. This means we are a lot less wasteful than we used to be.

She was awake all around town. She got a bit upset and wanted food shortly after we got in, so I went into Costa Coffee to feed her (of course, that might have been more a case of my subconsciously interpreting her cry as needing to feed so that I could have hot chocolate and chocolate cake - though, to be fair, we did try a circuit of town first, to see if she would go to sleep or be interested in chattering to me, which didn't work, so I think she did want a feed). She fell asleep while feeding, but only lasted a couple of minutes before waking up again, and seeming pretty awake, alert and happy! She got a little grumpy again in Somerfield, but only really when we were standing still at the till, she was happy again as soon as we were moving.

She had a change when she got home, which was her poop for the day (she does seem to have settled into one big poop per day) and she had to have her vest and tights changed, but fortunately, it hadn't had time/strength to go through to her trousers, so they were still OK. I think we could do with a few more long-sleeved vests. She has two drawer-fulls (her little canvas drawers, not adult-sized drawers!) of short-sleeved vests, but really needs the long ones now the weather is so much colder. I'm going to have a little root around the clothes we have for the next size up to see if any of them will do and, if not, I'll buy maybe a pack of three. Don't think any more would be a good idea, as I think she's likely to be moving up to the next size in the next month or two. (Which reminds me, if anyone is thinking of buying her clothes for Christmas - 3 to 6 months size, please, or even the next size up, that she can grow into, just in case her growth speeds up even more.)

She then sat in her chair while I had a Lemsip and chatted and sung to her. She also had another smallish feed and fell asleep but, again, only lasted a few minutes. My cold had really come on strong by this point and I was feeling pretty horrible, so decided to go down to the bedroom (around 3.30 or 4pm) and watch TV and see if she might be more inclined to sleep in her crib. We spent a good few hours in there going from smallish feed to very short (2-5 minutes) nap, to smallish feed... interspersed with a little bit of chatter, but mostly she was just very grouchy and I was pretty sure she needed to sleep, but I think I may have been wrong.

I decided to come upstairs around 7pm (after changing her and putting her night clothes on), so that I could have some dinner while feeding her and so that I could try her sleeping in her chair, in case that's what she needed. Chris brought my dinner up to me - vegetable stew, and I had two largish bowls of it, so definitely a cold not the flu - while I was feeding her. I then put her in her chair and she was really happy and chatty. We sat there for a couple of hours chattering away, singing, and so on. Chris was working in the office, so he came over and joined in now and again, too. It was really quite pleasant, apart from the fact that I really wanted to be lying down!

Anyway, we went back downstairs at about 9.30pm and I watched the last half of Tru Calling and the first half of Bones. She had a good long feed and went to sleep at about 10.30pm. I transferred her to her crib and she stayed asleep with no problems at all, until her early morning wake-up for food at about 4am (fed for about 45 minutes then back down until 7am). So, it was just one of her days to not sleep. I feel guilty now, for taking her down into the bedroom and trying to get her to sleep. She clearly just didn't need it yesterday, and if I wanted to be somewhere where I could lie down, I should have gone down to the living room and taken her chair with me. She could have sat in her chair or on her mat under the play gym and been stimulated and chatted to me and so on, instead of being bored in the bedroom. I think it's also quite possible she would have had more of a sleep if I'd done this, as she would have perhaps been more tired from the stimulation.

I need to try to learn to recognise when she's having a non-sleeping day, so that I can adjust things accordingly and not get all het up about trying to make sure she sleeps.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday 1 November 2006

Rosemary woke up at 6am. She had a good feed until about 6.30am, then I tried putting her back in her crib to sleep, just in case. I thought she might actually sleep there for a bit, but she got more snuffly and awake, so she came out. She obviously did a wee while back in her crib, because she had a large wet patch, which wasn't there when I was feeding her. So we went and changed her and put her day clothes on. She then said good morning to Chris for a bit, while I fed the dog, made tea and changed the battery in her bouncy chair. We then came upstairs to the office where she had a bit more of a feed - more of a drink really - then went in her chair and had a quiet suck on her hands before falling asleep at about 7.15am.

She then slept until about 10.30am. Had a feed, change, feed, change (thought first change was poop, but just wet, then second change was huge explodey poop!). Then we went into town to get some shopping, and supposedly to take the DVD back, except I forgot it. She was awake most of the time, but got grouchy near the end and almost screamed the veg shop down. But as soon as we were moving, she fell asleep and slept all the way home, including stopping into Sunshine for bread and stock cubes. She woke up when we got home, though. She was awake then until 2.20pm, when she had about an hour's sleep, then woke up and had a change and a feed and a little play, then went back to sleep at 4pm and slept until about 7pm.

She then had a good feed and we went back into town to take the DVD back. It was very cold, so she was bundled up in a furry jacket - so bundled that her hands were well inside the sleeves, meaning she couldn't suck her hands at all - and a fleecy blanket. It would appear that she is scared of the dark, as she cried whenever we were out of the reach of a street light. Or, of course, it could have been separation anxiety from not being able to see me.

We came home and sat in the living room watching West Wing DVDs (that's me, really, not Rosemary) and playing and singing and reading, with a bit of feeding mixed in, while Chris watched the footie in the bedroom. Chris very kindly missed the last 15 minutes so I could watch Atlantis, which was a bit of a silly episode, really. Rosemary got changed into her bed clothes during the second ad break and I ate my dinner (vegetable stew, which I cooked while she was sleeping earlier in the day) in bits between feeding her - the last bit was stone cold.

We went upstairs at 10pm, where she lay on the bed and chatted to her reflection in the turtle mirror for a while and played with Chris, while I put out the bins. I then fed her some more and tried putting her down at about 10.30pm, she surfaced a couple of times and had some more 'snacks', then was properly asleep by about 11pm. She did wake at 4am and fed until about 4.30am, then went back to sleep until 7am.