One

image.jpeg

On 18 September, 2015 in the very early hours, my boy made his grand appearance into the world. He was covered in green stuff, and I was conked out on an operating table with my middle sliced open. It was not quite what I had in mind. A calm water birth, a not so calm water birth, lying on a bed pushing him out with Ryan and Mum by my side…anything but that. Ah well, we made it!

And now, just like that, we’re a whole year on. I don’t know how it has happened.

As we’ve been building up to the big day, I’ve been hearing about what Ryan and I were doing when we turned one. But depending on who we’ve been speaking to, the facts get a little squiffy. Some say I said my first swear word on my first birthday (f!*k off, in case you were wondering). In actual fact, that was when I was two. Others say I stood unassisted for the first time. That one is probably true. And so on, and so on.

It got me thinking. I’d better document this event properly to help us all out when we’re trying to remember many years down the line. So Ralphie, if you happen to be reading this, this one’s for you…

Dear Ralphie,

Today you turn one. If I could describe you in one sentence right now, it would be a wild whirlwind of cheekiness who gives the best kisses (albeit wet ones) and cuddles. Your dad calls you a little madman, and he is right. Your heavy breathing when you crawl fast or get overexcited is both alarming and wonderful all at the same time. And I can’t tell you how much I laughed when you kissed Grandad the other day and pretty much stuck your entire tongue in his mouth. You will learn that this is not the done thing.

So, what do you want to know? Well, here is a list of some things you are currently able to do:

  • You’re on the move, from dawn ’til dusk. You can’t walk yet, but you can scale furniture like Spider-Man. No wall, door, side table or unit is out of your reach. And you have just recently mastered stairs, which you’re ever so pleased about. Me, not so much.
  • You can stand unassisted for a whole five seconds. I’m sure you could stand for longer, but because you’ve not figured out the walking bit and it means you’re not getting anywhere, you’re not that bothered.
  • You can talk, although I must admit that your vocabulary is limited. Most of the time you say “dada” or “da” or “ada”. However, when you choose, you can also say “mama” (mainly when you’re cross or upset), “grandad,” “ta,” “dirty” and maybe “cat.” I don’t know, I’m still trying to understand you! When you see Grandma you grunt at her, and she grunts back. Hopefully you will both grow out of this.
  • You eat everything and anything, even Jaffa Cakes, which I’m not so delighted about. I received this message from Grandad the other day while I was at work; “He’s asleep after I filled him up with Jaffa cakes – he couldn’t eat them fast enough.” Your favourite meal is a baby friendly version of tuna Niçoise salad – tuna, avocado, egg, potato – you love it! Porridge and Petit Filous are also strong favourites; you cry when they’ve all gone!
  • You are brilliant at mimicking what we do. Your dad and I get you to copy us far too much! “Do pat-a-cake, Ralphie!” “Do the pose.” “Go ah ah ah!” “Put your hands up in the air and go wooooo!” Yeah, we’re learning on the job too. Sorry.
  • Toys – it’s hard for me to pick a clear favourite. You do love chucking your blue ball around (it looks like a dog toy or something you’d put in the tumble dryer, but I promise you it’s not). Although your aim is very hit and miss, you love playing catch. I’m sure it won’t be long before Daddy has you chasing a football around. And books, I can’t tell you how proud I am that you love books. It is just the cutest when you bring a book over for me to read to you. You have your favourites -“Vroom” and “Cars go” – I think I’ve already read them to you a million times!
  • You have two naps a day, and you definitely still need them. You switch to ‘tired mode’ without any warning. You start desperately rubbing your eyes, and if I put you down in your cot, you fall asleep quickly. I leave you lying on your back, but you’re such a mover and a groover! Most of the time I find you lying on your tummy with your little bottom in the air. And yes, I do photograph the evidence.
  • Although I’m doing my best to be a chilled mum, I have some non negotiables with you, which of course you fight! I don’t know what it is about them, but you are drawn to the tv stand and coffee table (which I moved to the corner of the room so it was less of a temptation). “Please don’t climb up them,” I plead. And you just ignore me. You also try to slam doors, grab things, eat shoes, and generally make me anxious. You know you are doing it; you give me a wry grin every time!
  • There’s actually so so much I could write about you; this post could go on forever! But one thing I must mention is the way you scrunch up your nose when you feed or have your dummy. It melts my heart every time.

Thank you for the best year ever, dear boy. Your dad and I are the smuggest, happiest parents; you should hear us coo over you! Today, we’ll be raising a glass to you. And we’ll most likely eat plenty of cake on your behalf too. You’re welcome! 

All my love

Mum x

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Advertisements

Mum dating

image

Making friends with other mums…it’s a bit like dating. Well that’s been my experience of it thus far, anyway.

At the grand old age of 28, I thought I’d pretty much got all the friends I needed. But then I had a baby, and after the initial influx of guests and well wishes, it all tailed off. People had their own lives to get back to – lives that don’t revolve around my little bundle of joy. And I realised that maternity leave was going to be a bit lonely if I didn’t get out there and start finding some new mum friends.

I’ll admit it took me some time to get going. It’s tricky. I joined a couple of baby groups. As you enter the room for that first session, you look around the room searching out the mums that look like you may have something in common with. Of course, we all share one thing in common – we’re mums – but you need more than that. It’s like dating – you need to click!

Even when you do think you’ve met a mum or two that you think you like the look of, you’ve then got to initiate next steps. If you want to meet up outside of baby group, you need to find a way of contacting them. And you’ve also got to hope that they like you too. “Erm, do you fancy swapping numbers?” Awkward!

But I can tell you from experience that it is so worth going through that awkward stage. I kind of wish I’d bitten the bullet sooner. I went out for lunch and a walk with a super lovely mum and our babies last week for the first time – and I thought, ‘why on earth haven’t we done this sooner?’

Funnily enough, I’ve also made some fantastic friends through the power of social media. If you’d have asked me eight months ago that this would be the case, I think I’d have been pretty surprised. But there are some fabulous ladies who I now count as close friends, all of whom I’ve met or reconnected with through Instagram and Facebook.

A couple of months ago, Ralphie and I also met up with a group of mamas through a group we’d set up on Instagram. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous, especially when you hear about some of the weirdos on the internet. But we turned up and everyone was so sweet (which is a relief, because they’re probably reading this!). We’re in the process of organising another get together soon. Pretty cool, huh?

One thing I will say is that mum dating really isn’t that scary once you get into it. Plus, don’t forget that you have your wingman or lady next to you. These babies of ours are great for breaking the ice.

From babies to business: meet the creators

I never fail to be amazed by how many creative, enterprising mothers there are out there, and I feel very lucky to have met, bought from and worked with some of the best over the last few months since my son was born.

As I lie awake at night figuring out what’s next for me and my little family, I’ve been very tempted at times to start my own baby business venture. But then I had another idea. I’ll stick to doing what I do best – writing –  and I’ll use my platform to highlight the fantastic mum-run businesses out there already.

And so is born ‘Meet the creators.’ At least once a month, I will be putting the spotlight on an amazing mama and her business, giving you the opportunity to get to know a bit more about her and learn about what she has to offer. A few you may have heard of and bought from already, others I hope to introduce you to.

The series will launch at the end of this month, profiling a very talented lady who is unveiling her own range of baby sleepsuits very soon. Believe me, they are gorgeous!

I feel truly honoured to be working with her to help launch her business, and I cannot wait for you to see her début collection. I will be sharing more details on my Instagram account over the next few weeks.

If you would like to be featured in my ‘Meet the creators’ series, please do get in touch. You can e-mail me, or send me a direct message via Instagram or Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you.

image