Sunday, April 16, 2017

15/52 2017

This week's picture skims the wire for being "this week" as it was taken last weekend on the day of wonderful sunshine. But I love it and I really wanted it to be part of this record.

Sunshine

The hat was purchased on holiday, on the day of the trip to the beach. If you ask Jamie where a hat goes he will proudly clasp his hands to his head, while saying something that might be "hat" or might be "head" but is certainly in the right ballpark. However there's a difference between understanding that a hat goes on your head, and actually keeping one there. Winter hats are fine, but I think he finds it hard to see the point of a summer hat. What with the vast increase in his mobility I think assisting Hat Management may have to be added to my PAs job description.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

14/52 2017

This week, we were on holiday in Cornwall, and Jamie had his first ever trip to the beach.

Jamie at the beach

Warwickshire is landlocked and a beach day trip would be no small undertaking. Jamie's experience of sand so far has been small sandpits full of kids, and a sand/water play table in our yard. So having a large area of sand all to himself was a joy.

Not, however, a joy in which I participated. Steve took this picture. I was tucked up in a nearby spa, having three whole hours completely OFF. No household chores to get on with. No trying to get as much as possible done before putting the mummy hat back on. No attempting to relax while knowing that at any moment a plaintive "mama! mama!" will bring things to an abrupt halt. Just a chance to unwind in the knowledge that although I could be contacted via the spa in a "get your clothes on and rush to the hospital" way, I wouldn't be interrupted for feeds, nappies, grumps, teething, tiredness, or boredom. It was the first time in 18 months and it was lovely.

13/52 2017

Daddy and Jamie, going on a little adventure. We live not too far from Chesterton Windmill, and for years it's been a place Steve likes to go and take pictures. I can't get up there - impossible to walk and rather too off-road for my wheels - but with Jamie in his bright yellow raincoat, it's easy to spot them while I wait with the car.

Daddy and Jamie at the windmill

Jamie enjoys sitting in the parrot position but I think he impressed Steve with how much of the distance he was able to walk. The biggest problem is convincing him to stay on the path!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

12/52 2017

This week's photo was taken at a rather lovely playground in Stratford upon Avon.

Best playground

The equipment is wonderful, the surface is accessible, and it's worth the drive - but what made it magical this week is the bit in the background, just behind the brightly coloured house Jamie is playing in.

Yes, it's a real-life digger, or "DIG-DIG" as Jamie calls them. I suppose they must have been about to install a new piece of play equipment or something, ​because it was digging away right inside the playground. He thought it was amazing and had to stop and stare at it every time he went over to a different toy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

11/52 2017

When putting pictures of Jamie online I've tried to be mindful of his future self, and have set a number of "rules" such as not posting naked pictures, or pictures of him unhappy. Teenage Jamie should, in my opinion, be able to look at the public record of his childhood and shrug, or at worst, have a minor cringe - he shouldn't feel teased, shamed, or violated.

Which is a long winded way of reassuring everyone that in this week's photo he's not actually unhappy.

Joy

He asked to go in this swing. He's been in it before. I was expecting him to lie down and giggle as it swung. Instead he sat bolt upright, with beautiful poise and this look of really intense concentration. I've no idea what he was processing in that brain of his.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

10/52 2017

Ah, Jamie asleep. It feels like we used to have more pictures like this... actually we did, but that's largely because as he gets older, Jamie gets even better at doing his sleep in one go in his own room, and isn't often having to find that extra hour in our bed before my PA arrives and we properly start the morning.

Snoozing

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

09/52 2017

Jamie in our back yard again, investigating a plant pot full of soil.

Gardening

I know, I should just be thankful that he's not methodically tipping out the pots that have flowers in them. Perhaps he's searching for the flowers that have mysteriously failed to appear from the pots that didn't contain bulbs...

It seems really strange though, to think that at daffodil time last year, I was being so attentive to sterilising his sippy cups, washing his spoons with a separate brush, keeping dettol wipes handy in several rooms of the house plus the car bag, and now he's so big and independent and can wander around getting mud all over himself.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

1 in 200

I am still breastfeeding Jamie at 18 months old. First thing in the morning, last thing at night, during the day if he requests it.

This shocks some people, because in the UK it's a very unusual thing to do. Which is odd, because it's exactly the recommended path according to the NHS and the World Health Organisation. Exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months, then breastfeeding alongside other foods and drinks, ideally until at least 2 years, longer if mother and child both want to.

And yet.

The trouble with being 1 in 200 this way is that there's 199 mums who believe you're criticising their choices. So I get all English about it and make sure to validate their choices. I nod and smile and agree that whatever difficulties they faced were insurmountable, to the point where it was barely a choice at all. I imply that in their situation I would have likely made the same choice. I make cracks about how I'm only breastfeeding because I'm too lazy to sterilise bottles.

But a bit of me rages inside. I, too, had some difficulty getting started (I recommend the NCT Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 330 0771, and remember to use a phone that you can put on loudspeaker). I, too, would like to have a day off. I'd like my partner to be able to do the bedtime routine once in a while. I've made medication choices based on breastfeeding compatibility to the detriment of my own health. I've ridden out two bouts of mastitis during which, obviously, I had to look after Jamie even while hallucinating with fever. I've been bitten, basically once per tooth. Breastfeeding might be natural but it's not the soft option. I've worked hard at it and committed to sustaining it because every resource not sponsored by a formula company says it's the best and right and correct and most beneficial thing to do for my child.

It really upsets me that I then end up having to defend that choice, that effort. I've had people suggest that I do it because I want to delay Jamie's development. Or because I'm too possessive of him and don't want to let anyone else care for him. Or because it makes me feel important. Or because I don't know any other way to calm him down. Or because I'm an exhibitionist. Then we have the people who aren't so explicit about it, the double-takes, the "you're still breastfeeding him?!?" remarks, the queries about when I'm going to stop. It all grinds me down.

I'm not expecting a cookie - the cookie is knowing I'm doing my best for Jamie, and Steve gives me a lot of encouragement too - but less criticism and incredulity would be so nice.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

08/52 2017

At the park again, and making better and better use of the equipment. Jamie is really getting the hang of climbing, although he's still somewhat overwhelmed by bigger kids. Having my PA able to hover behind Jamie on my behalf is a boon though. I do my best to be alongside, but playgrounds aren't perfect surfaces and I can't always get as close as I'd like.

Climbing

Thursday, February 23, 2017

07/52 2017

Late hitting post again...

This picture marks a great leap forward in Jamie's eating abilities.

Eating with spoon

Up to the age of six months, Jamie was exclusively breastfed. Then we started to introduce purees on a spoon. We had a rhythm going where we would load the spoon and pass it to Jamie, and he would pilot it to his mouth or thereabouts (as in this post, it was messy but it worked).

Next was finger foods, and then something unexpected happened - he started refusing to hold the spoon and would do any amount of gymnastics to just get his mouth directly to it instead. I consulted the weaning expert at the children's centre and she reassured us that some kids were like this. Having got to grips with shoving finger food straight in his mouth he was regarding the spoon as an unnecessary complication in the eating process. But she seemed quite relaxed about it and said we should just keep eating with cutlery in front of him, let him have the spoon if he wanted it even if only to play with, and not worry.

Well, that's easier said than done, but it seems to have worked. Last week, after several months, Jamie finally reached for the spoon again. What's more, we don't even have to load it any more. He can have his bowl, he can scoop up his food, he can put it in his own mouth at his own pace. He's just suddenly got it, all at once.

Bonus video footage:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

06/52 2017

One of Jamie's christmas presents was this red and yellow Little Tikes car that I suspect most readers will recognise.

Jamie in his car

We finally put it together last weekend and Jamie is still working out how he feels about it.

One significant factor may be that, so far, he can only propel it backwards.

Monday, February 06, 2017

05/52 2017

Snack time

Here is Jamie having his afternoon snack. We sit at the table for most meals, but snack by definition is supposed to be smaller, quicker, and for want of a better word, less formal.

We are having some success getting him to sit on his muslin cloth for snack, although as a result he is developing a technique of scooting about on his backside - for all that he can't speak yet, he is clearly communicating "but mum! I am sitting down!"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

04/52 2017

Bookstart Bear

I realise this picture of Jamie in his car seat wearing his (ok, my) favourite red jumper and blue bobble hat looks remarkably similar to this picture from November. But the important bit is the little blue teddy bear.

For this is no ordinary bear... This is a Bookstart Bear.

Jamie joined the library at the grand age of 16 days, and was given his Bookstart Bear "passport", which gets stamped every time we use the library, for books or for groups like Rhyme Time. Six stamps gets a certificate. And the tenth certificate, which we claimed this week, has a border of shiny gold, plus one of these exclusive teddy bears. We're quite proud.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

03/52 2017

We don't have much of a garden to speak of, but there's a paved back yard which is a good place for a toddle and some fresh air when we can't get to the park.

I've long had a few plant pots out there, although I must confess that last year they were appallingly neglected due to baby - if the baby is awake, you're too busy to go and water the plants, if the baby is asleep then there's no way you're going to risk waking them by opening doors and wandering in and out!

This year, though, it looks like Jamie will be old enough to participate in tending the plants. I'm not getting overly invested in it, not least because of a story my mother has often shared about how I, as a toddler, pulled the heads off every single daffodil along the length of our garden path. But we might be looking into getting him his own watering can and maybe figuring a way of having a bit of earth that he can dig and poke about in. Recommendations welcome!

Gardening

Sunday, January 15, 2017

02/52 2017

This week's favourite photo is Jamie being inquisitive in a cafe. Gone are the days when he would peacefully snuggle up in the sling and just look round. That's still fine while we're moving, but if we stop somewhere he wants to see everything and grab as much of it as we'll let him.

Inquisitive

However, in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that while I was only having a milkshake, the people in the next booth had cake.

Monday, January 09, 2017

01/52 2017

Sigh. I finished a full year of once-a-week photos for a 52 Project blog of Jamie, said that I intended to do it again for 2017, then completely forgot to do the first week.

With that in mind, I felt this would be an appropriate starter photo.

Bowl