Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Here comes the hot stepper!

Dear me... has it REALLY been 6 weeks since I last wrote? Wow! I had every intention of writing this post when Chloe turned 11 months exactly but she went through a bout of what I like to call 'power' or 'disco' naps... day sleeps of about 30 minutes so that didn't leave much time to update you all... but couldn't you do it when she plays? I suppose I could have, but since she is now ON THE MOVE (!) I do risk her eating chemicals, or bashing her head on furniture if I'm not 'on it' for an extended length of time, and none of us want that! Right? Plus we've been SUPER busy, what with all the trips to the aquarium and playing we've been doing!

So ... without further a due, here comes the update...

As of the 19/7/2013 her stats were:

Weight: 8.7kgs
Height: 70cm
Head: 45.5cms - which has plateaued and thankfully is in 'normal' range again! Phew ;-)

So Little Miss is still at a nice predictable 3 meals a day with a morning and afternoon 'snack' which she is happy to feed herself .... and three milk feeds! That's right, three! In the last month we have successfully phased out the 3pm feed! Yay! We have replaced it with a little snack that bridges the gap between the afternoon nap and dinner at 5pm. So far so good! Next will be the 11am feed, but we think that will be easy in the next few weeks to drop as *knock wood* Chloe has started having a more substantial sleep in the morning again (1.5hours or there abouts), meaning that when she wakes, we could technically give her lunch straight away. Then once we're on morning and night feeds, transition to sippy cup of milk rather than boob. That's the plan anyways, but we all know how plans can be thrown out the window with these little munchins! In order to help with the milk thing, we've started giving her cows milk on her weetbix in the morning to ensure when we do attempt the transition it wont be a massive shock to the system. So far she's had diluted milk with 3 parts water, 1 part milk and we haven't seen any major side effects. We'll gradually adjust the ratios until it's all milk and then bob's your uncle.... hopefully!

Chloe is showing a lot of interest in 'cooking' her food and being just like mummy and daddy. She wants to drink from cups and our water bottles which we obviously encourage. She also wants to eat more grown up foods, hilariously falling into the family tradition of chicken and chips on the weekend. We don't think it'll be too long before she's just eating what's on our plate. But when having her 'meal', she prefers more mashed food still, rather than chunky food. 
Chloe is quite the little chatter box, as you all know. She squeals, laughs, shouts, chats and is generally a very noisy little person. And while I find it ridiculously cute when she 'talks' to us, I often find myself apologising in public for her 'loudness', particularly when she squeals to get strangers attention. Most people are very accommodating and 'talk' to her for a minute or so, which she now loves. The fear of strangers is slowly fading. Thank goodness.
We are also very confident in understanding what she wants based on the tonal sounds in her 'language'. Everything is still mostly baby talk but she is developing some recognisable sounds such as 'mum' and 'da da' which are often used correctly. But it really is the tone in her voice that tells us what she wants. 'Eh' being a particular favourite sound. This has now been paired with pointing which is great, much better than the previous crying or shouting to indicate what she wants! Sometimes she'll even look at an object and then back at us and its pretty clear what she's after. We are doing our best to encourage her language development by verbalising her wants. I.e. 'Do you want some water? Ok, Chloe, mummy will get it for you'. As well as key phrases like 'please' and 'thank you'. I realise its still early days, but her talking will creep up on us before we know it. She is already a very alert observer and mimics quite impressively all we do, it wont be long before its all we say too. So consider all of you with potty mouths on notice! Mummy included! hehe.
And this communication thing is really a two way street, not only are we getting better at speaking baby, but Chloe is understanding us as well. Not only can she consistently look and respond when we call her name, but also follow simple instructions such as cute parlour tricks like 'Where's your head?' to which she will lay her hands on her head as well as 'Get Daddy' when playing chase-y's. She understands when we say 'ahhh' what she has in her hand is meant for her mouth. She will give us what she has in her hands when we reach out for it and say 'Ta', but may want it back straight away and she also understands 'hi' and 'bye' and 'uh ah' (no), but may not always listen, hehe.
Chloe also is demonstrated more affection to known people such as cuddles at the aquarium with daddy and more recently smiled the instant she saw Auntie Kehlet walk in the door. She still has a very strong attachment to mummy, but with daddy now home more often is starting to show a preference for him as well. However, as hard as we try, the elusive 'kiss' still eludes us.  
Look out world! Here comes the hot stepper! Chloe officially took her first steps on the 9th of July.... and then.... nothing. Not another unassisted step until about a week ago. To be fair she did have two major falls using her walker and I think that put her off. But now its all stations to walking town.... and its ALL SHE WANTS TO DO! At home she's happy to cruise along furniture and take a few wobbly steps between things, but if the gap is not deemed safe she'll shout for us and we'll hold her hand (more for confidence than anything else) and off she goes! The same when we're out, just lacking a bit of confidence in going it alone, until now she has only walked independently a handful of times when we are out but nonetheless she is very impressive. But watching herself walk on our iPhones is a major you can see in the video.
Shortly before the return of walking, Chloe started crawling! I know! What a massive month we've had! Although, I have to admit, its some crazy, creepy, own style of crawling. Its very Gollumlike. One leg 'walks' whilst the other drags, or crawls behind her. But we'll take it! Anything is better than nothing and it sure has reduced the number of frustrated cries of a little lady stranded. She is now able to confidently crawl to a piece of furniture, pull herself up (no long just a bath time trick), cruise along the furniture and then take a few steps to mummy or daddy at the end. It does become a little haphazard, if I want to go to make a cup of tea or answer the call of nature. Gone are the days of leaving the room and returning to a baby where I left her. Hello every sharp edge, tiny pieces of fluff on the floor and safety gates! Thankfully, all jokes aside, she was pretty quick to learn how to fall onto her bum safely and that she needs to put her arms out if she falls forward, although shes not always happy about it.


Sleeping, ahhh, sleeping! The ongoing battle! So Chloe's naps are now 1030am (or there abouts) and then anywhere again between 230-330pm depending on what she looks like... and how exhausted mummy's feeling. Ha! The 1030am tends to be the longer one, but not always, with the afternoon one being more of a disco nap. I can see that the morning nap will gradually get later and the afternoon one will drop off entirely. Not something I'm looking forward too. You see, Chloe's current routine is wonderful. I can be out all day without too much disruption, she'll survive on two 30 minute naps in the pram, or I can sleep her in the car to and from somewhere. However as we begin to move to one nap, my options are to a) rush home or b) have a sleep deprived toddler all afternoon. Not great choices really. But there are worse problems to have!

She is also now *knock wood* sleeping through.. for over a month, almost two. I can count on one hand the amount of times we've had to get up to her and most of those have been because of illness or we are out of town (at Maitland for example). She sleeps roughly from 630-630. Some days she'll go to bed later, like on special occasions, some mornings she'll get up at 6. On these days we often leave her in bed and she babbles away happily to herself, only once she 'calls' for us do we go in and get her. Then if Jarratt's home, we all snuggle in our bed for the morning feed and half and hour or so of cuddles. I love it so much! Its seriously one of my favourite times! I feel like I need to pinch myself, its just so beautifully surreal! Also Chloe's bedtime routine of Bath, Book, Boob, Bed has continued successfully. Again, I can count on one hand the number of times she's cried about going to bed, most nights she just goes straight to sleep on her stomach! Bless her! At first we were worried that she wasn't comfortable, but in the last week or so despite rolling her back over, she just rolls back - so we figure that's the way she's comfortable.... the only problem is she's not all that proficient at rolling back. Ahhh sleeping, the ongoing battle!

Playing is such a relative term. Chloe loves to play with a variety of things and in a variety of places and we're more than happy to oblige. The way she solves things like how playground equipment works or where mummy is during hide and seek is amazing! We try and make her playing stimulating and different whilst still keeping a rotation of old favourites like talking with the baby in the mirror and dancing to music! As well as perfecting skills like her pincher grip and hand eye coordination.
Two of Chloe's favourite things to do now that she is getting older and more aware of her surroundings is to go on play dates with her friends and on regular walks to various parks. Each week I work hard to fill her calendar with little social outings, be it with friends or just as a family. Chloe gets so excited at the prospect of heading out the mere sound of the door knob as I turn it to open the front door has her in hysterics! And don't get me started for the performance that happens every time we approach our local park, let alone the swings! She swings and kicks her feet in the pram and scrunches up her face with a smile so bright it really does light up the world! During play dates she is a sweet little thing, and absolutely enthralled by other little kids. I am really proud of the way she shares her toys and even soggy biscuits. They continue to be a real highlight for both her and I in the week and I would be at a loss without my wise mummy friends. Always there to lend a hand and indulge in a coffee and macaroon. hehe
Swimming, unfortunately swimming has not been as popular of late. She reluctantly goes under water now and will often get upset at the prompts for diving in. I think it stems from the fact that all her friends have now left the class and week upon week she has been alone in the lesson. Thankfully one of her lovely friends and mother is sneakily attending our class, I hope this will help improve her enjoyment levels. If not, I am seriously considering packing it in and instead just going here and there over the warmer months and re-enrolling her when she's older. I'm giving it until I go back to work (Early October), I'll let you know how she goes. Meanwhile Daddy got to expreince his first swimming lesson about a month ago (before the reluctance set in), below is a video of them together at the pool.

As far as toys go, she has started to show a preference for what I can only call 'mummy's toys'.... my mobile, the remote, kitchen utensils. Not that its a problem, its just very amusing. The carpet will be strewn with a rainbow of colourful toys and she'd rather have the remote. Go figure!? But her favourite toys are definitely Mummy and Daddy, as well as any other willing adult participant like Auntie Lin. She loves playing a slightly altered version of hide and seek.... a bit like Marco Polo, where she'll 'walk' with Daddy, whilst mummy hides then call out 'eh?' to which I'll reply 'eh' until found. This game she finds HYSTERICAL! The other is chase-y! Basically the name explains it all.. Very occasionally, she'll have quiet moments of independent play... I relish these as it gives me a chance to step back and look at what a wonderful little kid she is and reflect on how lucky I truly am.

In other news we've had a few exciting personal stories to report on. But before that I want to say a BIG thanks to our recent babysitters (The Godmother and Auntie Kehlet), now that Chloe is sleeping through the night we, well I have been able to head out on two occasions as my boobs weren't 'on call' and twice we've called upon the bestest of friends to help us out and (not surprisingly) they were only too happy to duck around and sit in our unit whilst Chloe slept. Thank you ladies, from the bottom of our heart.... now, whose volunteering next? hehe


Daniel and Maite Visit
The Godfather and the future Mrs Godfather came and visited for a weekend and we had 'stacks' of fun. The weekend was filled with football, food and Chloe's very first trip to the aquarium. It was a lovely experience to share with Daniel and Maite and one that won't be forgotten any time soon. Chloe was amazed by all the fish in the tank and movement within the aquarium, but it was a very exhaustingly big day for her! As always, Daniel and Maite were beyond sweet to her and we were floored by just how much love they have for her.

And finally ... Jarratt starting own business
Jarratt has started his own electrical business. YAY! Wired by Wyatt is officially a reality. Although, it is still early days, he seems to be doing well. It is so unbelievably nice to see him finally achieve a life long dream! I know he will be amazing and do very well! So for all your electrical needs, contact Wired by Wyatt. Or check out his website: *shameless plug!*
And so..... in less than 3 weeks Chloe will turn one! Its banana's how fast the year has flown by. I can't believe this time last year I was dreaming of her face, her smell, her beautiful smile and now I get to experience those things every day! She is by far our greatest achievement. People stop us in the street and tell us she's gorgeous, she gives them a big smile and they comment on how happy she is, she performs a parlour trick and they say she's so clever. And she's all those things and so much, much more.

Sometimes, its easy to get hung up on the negative and not look at the positives in life and sometimes it takes a real effort to step back and see the forest for the trees. But as we approach the one year mark and exhale deeply and celebrate the fact that we managed to keep a little human alive for a whole year it occurs to me that I am happy, blissfully, ridiculously, you'd vomit if I continued to use another adverb, happy. But more than that I am extremely grateful that I have a supportive husband that loves me despite all my faults and a beautiful, happy, healthy daughter who makes all my previous errors in life melt away for in her we have really created something special. How did we ever get so lucky?