Ordinary Moments #16 – The Promise of Summer

I love the fact we get clear distinguishable seasons in the UK.  I love the colours of autumn, the freshness and cosiness of winter and the first sun of spring.

And I love that around this time of year, summer is just round the corner. We get teased with sunny days that aren’t quite warm enough to be feeling too hot, but give us a glimpse of what’s to come!

Last summer was probably one of my most favourite summers of my life. Ella was turning 1 and getting more mobile, being a confident walker by the time summer ended.  We updated our garden and it became a lovely place to chill out as a family of three (or 4 with Ned!)!  Sunny afternoons eating barbecued food, drinking jugs of Pimms!

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Ordinary Moments #15 – From Cot to Bed

I’d mentally diarised that we’d move Ella from a cot to a bed when she was about 2 years old.  Her new sibling would be a couple of months old by then, so she’d have had chance to adapt to that change.  And we might have felt a bit more prepared for any sleeplessness that the shift would bring.

Ella had other ideas though!

For the past few weeks, maybe even the last few months looking back, Ella had not been sleeping at all well in her cot.  She would wake up, scream and then would refuse to go back in her cot when we went in to her.  Her room had a spare double bed in as well as her cot, so nights would often involve one of us getting in the spare bed with her.  It would take her a good 1.5-2 hours for her to settle again.  And often we’d have to resort to giving her a drink of warm milk in the night.  I swore I’d never get in to bad habits like that.  But when you’re sleep deprived and exhausted, the quick fixes are too easy to slip in to.

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Ordinary Moments #14 – Water Baby

In the final weeks of my pregnancy with Ella, I loved going swimming.  It’s so nice to feel weightless when you are lugging such a weight around every day!  I even went when I was overdue in the hope of moving things on (and to overcome the boredom!).

When Ella was a baby, I took her swimming a couple of times.  She seemed to enjoy it but was probably too young to really acknowledge it!

As she’s grown up, it’s just not something that has been a habit for us.  We took her in the pool on holiday in Spain, but it took her a while to get used to the cold of the pool compared to the heat of the air and wasn’t particularly sure.  Once she acclimatised, she loved it, but it took a while!

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The Ordinary Moments #12 – Pretend Play

One thing I remember distinctly from my psychology degree was pretend play in child development.

It’s such an important part in them understanding the world around them, replicating actions they’ve seen others take, and something we should definitely encourage as parents.

I can’t remember the age at which Ella really started pretend playing.  It was definitely before her 1st birthday.  I remember asking a friend to buy her a toy mobile phone for her birthday, because she loved picking up ours and saying hiya and babbling away as if she was chatting to someone.

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The Ordinary Moments #11 – The Bug

Ella regularly gets ill. Generally it’s a cold, a high temp or some kind of virus.  But she’s never been a sicky child.  She had the odd milk spit up as a baby, brought up a bottle the very odd time, and occasionally brings up a bit of food when having a coughing fit.

But we’ve been lucky that she’d never been properly sick.

Until the other day…!

Tuesday night I heard her cry out in the night. She often cries a little at night but quickly settles herself back to sleep. She’s generally much harder to settle if you go in to her and leave her again, so we tend to leave her for a few minutes to see if she’ll settle herself. She cried a few times that night but each time was back to silence within a minute.

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When will you be ready to….

Childhood milestones generally can’t be controlled.  You can’t make your child crawl, walk, speak, stop throwing tantrums!  You can just give a little encouragement (or discouragement!!) where possible!

But there are milestones that we do control as parents.  We make the decision that our child is ready.

But when?

Now Ella is 20 months old, there seem to be a few things I’ve started thinking about introducing/taking away as she gets older.

The question is, when will she be ready to….

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The Ordinary Moments #9 – Musicality

I’ve always been fairly musical.  I started learning the piano when I was ten, and pretty much stopped playing when I got my grade 8 when I was 17!  I got my own electric piano when I was 25 and tried to get back in to it, playing modern music.  I’m definitely nowhere near as good as I used to be!  And for the last year and a half, the piano has lived upstairs in my office and has gone unplayed!

Our lounge redesign gave us a bit of space back and we decided last week that the piano should come back down, not least because it looks good and provides us with a shelf, so I’ve been trying to get back in to playing, downloading some sheet music for recent songs like Hozier’s Take Me To Church.  It’s been fun to get back in to it, just need to keep it up now!

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The Ordinary Moments #8 – Not Made of Sugar

There’s a reason people in the UK love talking about the weather…cos it’s so bloody changeable!

This weekend we were planning on a day at Gullivers World. Saturday morning we woke up excited for our day out, to find it was fecking snowing! WHAT??

Determined not to give up, we decided we’d let the morning pass, Ella could have her nap and then we’d go for the afternoon instead. While Ella was asleep, the sun shone gloriously. Soon as she woke up? Pissing down!

By the time it passed it seemed too late to be heading there. So we gave in and went swimming instead, which Ella enjoyed probably just as much as she would have Gullivers World, for a fraction of the price!!

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The Stages of Night Wakings

I’m not a great sleeper.  Which means I’m really not a fan of being woken in the night!  If I’m asleep, I want to try and remain that way for as long as possible, as chances are I’ll be awake soon and staring in to space trying to get back to sleep!!

Thank god, Ella has been a brilliant sleeper.  She first slept through the night at 3 months old.  She’s gone through numerous periods of waking in the night, sometimes for a run of weeks, but it’s usually illness or teeth related and she quickly gets back in to the sleeping habit when she’s well again.

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