Baby M's firsts, Uncategorized

December Firsts

I can’t believe our Year of Firsts has come to an end! How quickly the last 365 days have flown by, each one with a new experience and learning curve for both me and little bear.

As the year has passed, our milestones have become less, but even in December we managed to accomplish a fair few firsts.

Christmassy firsts:
We had a trifecta of Christmassy firsts on 1st December where we visited Helensburgh Winter Festival for the first time. It’s a great local festival that takes place across one weekend each December, full of market stalls, entertainment, festive food & drink and more. It was here that we took Travis for his first trip to see Santa. Last year he was barely able to see without squinting, never mind be expected to see that it was Santa, so we saved this first for his second Christmas. It didn’t go down well, there were lots of tears and tantrums and one big hug at Santa’s beard. I’ve heard that’s quite common, but it’s pretty horrifying trying to explain to kind strangers dressed as elves and Santa that you’re sorry your child is a Christmas hating weirdo.

A slightly better first from the festival was the first time seeing reindeer. Like actual, live reindeer! It may also have been a first for mum, I’ll need to check with my parents but I don’t remember seeing reindeer in the flesh before. We got to pet them and there was an opportunity to get photos taken with them, but at that point Travis spied some dogs which were far more interesting and of his size, so off he toddled to see them instead.

First time using a fork
This was a big feeding milestone as we hadn’t really let or encouraged Travis to use cutlery before. He was haply to either be spoon fed by us or use his fingers to pick at his food hinself. So we were equally surprised and delighted when he wanted to take my fork off me and use it himself, not prompted by us. Now, in fairness, it can be a fight to feed him as he wants to try and be independent (despite picking things off the fork half the time) and feed himself which is more time consuming and messy than I’d like it to be!

First nursery Christmas party
On Thursday 20th December (bizarrely not a Friday?) Travis attended his first nursery Christmas party! Unfortunately I was really ill so couldn’t go, but I heard he enjoyed eating party food (surprise!) And although he hasn’t been Santa’s biggest fan, he had to sit beside him when he got there and even managed to get a present from big beardie without crying!

First Christmas illness
I’d hoped I’d be able to share “first Christmas dinner” this December, as last year I think he was still only on about 6 oz of milk per feed at Christmas time. However it wasn’t meant to be, as we had our first Christmas illness instead. I think it was related to teething, but he spiked a fever and pretty much refused food except for fruit puree and a few mouthfuls of soup. There was advent calendar chocolate involved at some point in the day but that was as festive as it got. It will need to be third time lucky for first Christmas dinner!

Baby M's firsts

November firsts

Now we’ve past a year old, so there’s no new days he hasn’t seen before. This means there are quite a bit less firsts than most other months. That being said, there are still a lot of things the wee man hasn’t experienced yet, some of which he tried out for the first time in November…

First bonfire night
Since Travis was one in October, he’s clearly already been around for one bonfire night. However he was so young and we were still getting used to the lack of sleep thing so we didn’t bother going to watch any fireworks or anything. This year we went to the local display in Dumbarton on the 5th itself. It was a relatively mild night (though had been raining earlier in the day so everywhere was a swamp!) So we were quite fortunate. Travis loved the light show it got a little confused as the bangs echoed behind us after the fireworks went off, looking behind us to see what else was going on!

First hot chocolate
It’s pretty much tradition at bonfire night to have hot chocolate right? I thought “why should Travis miss out on that?” and decided to share a much milkier version of my hot chocolate with him. It went down an absolute storm, and in place of his usual night time bottle, meaning we didn’t have to do a bottle when we got home either- result!

First trip to fruin farm
Fruin Farm is a farm/restaurant close by us on the way to Helensburgh. We had heard great things about the place so when friends had suggested brunch there we jumped at the chance. It was great for the adults, no doubt, but Travis had a ball playing with the toys in the dining area (launching them across the floor mostly!) And also pointing out all the (ornamental) parrots that were dotted around the room.

Though as the name suggests, it’s a farm so there are animals outside too! We got to go down and see the goats and llamas, and even some big black piggies on the way out. I’d definitely recommend Fruin Farm if you’re meeting up with friends with younger kids, as the food was fab and there’s lots to keep the wee ones entertained.

First toddler sense
I’d heard a lot about baby sensory classes and how great they were when Travis was only a couple of months old. I ended up not taking him along as he was already doing so much, like baby massage, baby yoga, bookbug, hartbeeps and swimming! I didn’t think we could fit it in or that he’d get the benefit if it at that time. Fast forward to over a year old and he’s now classed as a toddler, which I thought would rule him out of sensory classes. Not so – there are just different classes with different activities for the toddlers!
We went along to try it out on 12th November and it was great fun. But we joined in during the middle of a block so I think we will wait til the new year and see if we can join a block on a date and time that’s right for us!

First children in need
Children in Need always runs on the third Friday in November, and it’s something I’ve always traditionally watched, got involved in or fundraised for when I was growing up. So imagine my delight when nursery announced they were having a whole week of activities for children in need. They all involves dressing up and the like, and if you want to find out more you can read my post about it here.

First fat lip
Not a first I thought I’d have to share but one that was going to happen eventually with a boisterous little toddler. On the last day of November, I got a phonecall from the nursery telling me not to worry (well love, I am worried because you’re phoning me and you don’t normally do that!) That Travis was fine… but that he’d also just burst his lip. Ran towards another kid, tripped and headered one of the cots apparently. We were told to expect a fat lip but that they would keep an ice pack on it for us. Cue picking up a baby Mick Jagger, who wasn’t bothered in the slightest by the way, which resulted in mum guilt and upset for leaving him where he could get hurt.

babys-first-year-october
Baby M's firsts

October Firsts

We’ve made it to the 10th month in our year of firsts, and they are starting to thin out a little now. My boy has done so much in his first wee year of life already! However, there was one guaranteed first this month, which was equally celebrated and cried over.

First Birthday!
Yup, the big ONE came hurtling round the corner at 100mph this month. Who can believe it? A whole 365 days on earth already, each one brand new and filled with lots of exciting new things. I have to say, the last few months have flown by (definitely since returning to work!) and before we knew it, we were at the end of September thinking gosh, where did the year go? But as we made the transition from baby to toddler, we had a lovely first birthday party which was all Winnie the Pooh themed. Of course Travis was Pooh, and his besties came as tigger, piglet, or with any Pooh accessories on they could find. I actually loved planning the party and hosting all the games and stuff, so much so, I was considering a career change! But the day wasn’t about me, it was about our little munchkin. He was so spoilt and had an absolute ball, and I still can’t thank everyone enough for coming to the party, sharing cards and gifts, and generally wishing our little Pooh Bear a happy first birthday.

First wellies
One of Pooh Bear’s birthday presents was a pair of the cutest little penguin wellies you ever did see. He had previously been bought a pair of wellies by grandparents, but they were too small for him, so he could never wear them unfortunately. Since it’s now pretty much winter in Scotland, I think he’s going to get a lot of use out of those wellies, starting now!

First trip to Edinburgh
The capital is a mere 50 miles from where we live, so it’s surprising that we’ve never taken Travis to Edinburgh before. Well, unless you count the times he went in my tum last year! We were heading through for the wedding of some good friends, so we didn’t get to show Travis many sights, but we did get to share more firsts with the wee man.

First wedding
blue-ramsay-tartan-kiltSo our visit to Edinburgh on 14th October meant Travis got to attend his very first wedding. (Again, unless you count any attended in the womb!) I was surprised at just how well-behaved he was the whole day, and how much fun he seemed to have. I erred on the side of caution when it came to the wedding meal, and told the bride we would bring our own just in case it was something Trav didn’t like or couldn’t handle. However, he managed to eat the whole lot of his own dinner, whilst trying bits of mum and dad’s and moaning for more whenever we shared some!

First kilt
It’s traditional to wear a kilt at a wedding, though most of those outside the wedding party usually just wear suits unless they own their own kilt. I know a tiny little tux would have been adorable on a toddling one year old, but I just couldn’t resist a baby kilt! We managed to get a lovely Blue Ramsay tartan kilt, sporran, shoes, kilt socks and bow tie for the wedding and my goodness I genuinely can’t think of anything cuter.

First Ready, Steady, Splash!
Our little Pooh Bear started his first swimming classes back in April; Ready Steady Splish. However, once you turn one, you are no longer considered a baby and are fired into the Ready, Steady Splash! class where toddlers get to float and swim by themselves (with supervision, obvs). I was worried the leap would be too big for our little man as he started his Splish lessons much later than many in his class. However, I’ve been told he’s a natural (his dad has taken him to the Splash classes so far, while I’ve been at work) and I’m excited/petrified to go with him to the big boy class in November.

First Halloween party
Last year, we celebrated our first Halloween together when Trav was just a few weeks old. This year was a much different affair as he was much more active and able to pull things like masks and accessories off within 2 seconds of putting them on. Our first Halloween party was at a friend’s on 27th October where he was dressed as a baby Thor, thanks to a fab costume from his uncle. Then within a few days it was time for the nursery Halloween party and I’ve all of a sudden realised my one year old has a much better social life than me!

 

Food firsts:
Jam sandwich – I think he tried a bit of jam on toast when he was about 5 or 6 months old, as a means to help constipation, but he really wasn’t into it then. So I was pleased to learn he scoffed a good ol’ jeely piece at his nursery party on Halloween!
Other party foods he tried for the first time included party rings and cheese sticks.

October-firsts-unlikely-mum
Baby M's firsts, Parenting

September Firsts

11 months into his wee life, and we are still experiencing so many new firsts. September brought a lot of firsts and happy memories, with quite a few of the big “important” (well, what people regard as important or milestone) firsts happening this month. There will be nothing new left to do soon!

First holiday abroad
This was a first we knew was coming since booking it in January/February time. How fast those few months flew! On 5th September we headed off to Fuertaventura as a family, with my bestie, Travis’ bestie and his dad (who is Travis’ new bestie!). We were there for 10 days and honestly he took to it so well. There was no sunburn, plenty of naps, lots of hydration and no bother trying new foods. His sleep overalls as really good but I think it helps that there’s no time difference in the Canary Isles which makes things simpler. Being around his bestie so much he also picked up a lot, like playing with wheely toys like cars, planes the like, and he also quite easily cut out his morning bottle which was a surprise to us all. I would definitely recommend taking an infant away in September when most schools seem to be back, the temperature isn’t unbearable and it’s generally calmer and more relaxed than the peak months.

First feeding animals
Ok so he had help from his dad and we made sure no animals would bite Travis (and the other way around), but he still managed to help feed a giraffe (His favourites) and camel while at the Oasis Park on holiday. He wasn’t very impressed, particularly as the giraffes eat the same snacks as him- carrots and other veggies!

First proper hands and knees crawl
Another first which happened on holiday was the first proper crawl! On 12th September, the wee man was no longer bum shuffling or army crawling, he actually used his knees to move himself forward! I was beginning to think he’d never crawl and go straight to walking, but in the last month, he’s been unstoppable on all fours.

First steps unaided
We thought we had a good month when the crawling began, but it was shortly followed by walking! I say walking, but I mean taking a few steps unaided. On 14th September (still on holiday!) he took a quick 1-2-3 towards me from the table he was stabilising himself on. Since then, he has been building his confidence, strength and balance, and has been taking more and more steps on his own. Now, in October, he can pull himself up, position himself and walk across a room no problem.

First sharing
Firsts appear to be like buses (no pun intended!) as we welcomed another first the very same day as those big boy steps. As we were on holiday with his bestie, Travis spent a lot of time learning from his buddy who is 7 months older than him. They played a lot with the same toys, but unfortunately my munchkin hadn’t yet become accustomed to the concept of sharing. However he did manage to pass his toy to mum and to bestie and to dad in some form of sharing on 14th September. This quickly moved onto food – he will mostly put it in your mouth and make you eat it – and he’s now becoming a sharing pro.

First foods:
So many to mention! As we were on holiday in an all inclusive resort, there were plenty of food options each day, and Travis was actually really good at trying most of them. Notable firsts include scrambled eggs and baked beans (think this might be a new favourite breakfast!) custard, jelly, and many fruits and veg in their whole form rather than pureed or mushed into a jar.

preparing-first-birthday-party
Baby M's firsts, Lists

Preparing for a first birthday

I actually can’t believe my little munchkin will be a whole year old in a few short days. The last year has been the most exhausting and amazing of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Well maybe except to make it longer as the time with my precious wee lamb has flown by!

Now it’s time to start preparing his first birthday which will be an interesting (and probably more exhausting!) affair. I love planning a good party and I’m all about the details, so I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the party planning. However I’m well aware I’m not super mum and have more creative ambition than talent, plus there’s a million amazing ideas on Pinterest to give you party envy, so I hopped between excited and apprehensive as to what to do.

In the end, we’ve opted for a Winnie the Pooh party, which has made me want to run off and live in hundred acre wood already. Whatever you choose to do to mark your little one’s special 1st birthday, there are a few tips to help plan the perfect day:

Prepare in advance
It sounds silly but prepare as much as you can in advance. You know when your little one’s birthday is, and the date will be the same every year, so that gives you plenty of notice to start any planning and preparing in advance. Preparation can include everything from the kind of gift(s) you want to buy the birthday babe to any party ideas, birthday outfits and more. However you choose to mark your little baby’s first birthday, just make sure you organise it in advance so that time, budget and feasibility don’t change your plans.

Tell people any expectations or boundaries
If your family is anything like mine, you may have to make a few boundaries clear in advance of any celebrations. For instance, it’s second nature for grandparents and aunts and uncles to spoil Travis; he literally gets something new every time he goes to his Nana’s. Don’t be afraid to put boundaries on things like this, as after all, it’s your child and your home and your rules after everyone has gone home. Some people might think that’s rude or ungrateful, but if you don’t want visitors staying all hours or giving your child a toy or treat you’re not ready for him to have, then sometimes it’s best to make things clear from the outset.

Make a Pinterest board
To be honest, I love any old excuse to make a Pinterest board (mine is not the most blog or business savvy, but it’s how I like it!) So this tip comes as no surprise. Pinterest boards are ideal as they allow you to gather all your ideas in one place and then research, test, purchase or use later. If you’re making the birthday cake yourself, why not have a board for different cake recipes and design ideas? If you’re throwing a party, you can pin just about anything in any theme to your board. If you’re super organised, you could have a different board for each element of your birthday celebration.

Take plenty of photographs
This one is a no-brainer – it’s your little one’s first birthday after all! There will be no other milestone quite as precious for you, so it’s important to mark the occasion whatever you do. There’s no need to go all out either – if big elaborate cake smashes aren’t your thing, there’s no reason you can’t use your smartphone to create some great memories, then edit and print them online.

Have fun
Most importantly of all – have fun! A lot of stress, time and effort can go into planning parties and celebrations, and there’s nothing worse than worrying about how everything should be going at each minute of the day. It might be hard, but try to relax and enjoy the day and the time with your little munchkin; after all, (s)he won’t be one for long!

 

Baby M's firsts

August Firsts

August Firsts – collated late due to our first holiday! (More on that next month…) Again, I thought I would be struggling for firsts, as the beggining of the month sort of saw Travis plateau if you like, getting comfortable at this wee stage of his life. I should have known it wouldn’t last for long though!

First time he worked out how to get into a packet of snacks
This was so cute, and partly a relief to be honest. Usually feeding snacks results in Travis trying to eat the packet or squish it or shout till you provide him with the treats that are in the package. However, he worked out how to get his hand in – and more importantly, back out – of a pack of veggie straws and hasn’t looked back since. Of course we still keep an eye on him while he is eating, but it just makes it so much easier to do other things like tidy toys, sort lunch or even put his shoes on while he chows down on his own snacks by himself.

First European Championships
Ok so this was a first for everyone, not just Travis, as the inaugural European Championships took place in Glasgow and Berlin in August 2018. Fortunately for us, Loch Lomond, which was being used as the outdoor swimming venue, is close to our house, so we got to take part in some festivities without having to venture very far. On the weekend of 10-11 August, we walked down to see the event area and everything that was happening, and also participated in the community’s European Championships Festival. The festival involved a parade through the town, a stage with music and dancing, activities for kids and stalls from local makers, crafters and experts in the local area. It was great to know that Travis got to be a part of the celebrations in this very first sporting event.

First steps unaided in his walker
Ok so we let him try to go unaided before but he would usually just run for 2 or 3 steps then crash into something or fall over. However on 17th August he seemed to master going in a straight line. I should probably point out that this is a push-along walker rather than one of those sit-in ones (he has one of those at his gran’s house too!) so we were thrilled when he managed to go in a straight line across the living room repeatedly without falling over. I’m sure walking can’t be far away now!

First trip to Innellan
This is a double-whammy first, as not only was it the first trip to someplace new for Travis, it was also his first big anniversary party! Innellan, which is a beautiful wee town sitting on Scotland’s coast, not far from Dunoon (where Travis visited for the first time in February), was the chosen location for the celebration of his great gran and grampa’s 60th wedding anniversary. Can you believe that – a whole 60 years together and still going strong! We took a drive over there on 18th August to celebrate with a meal in a lovely restaurant before heading back to Dunoon to continue the festivities. Travis behaved so well, being passed around loads of family members I hadn’t even met before, never mind him!

First passport
You might remember I mentioned our first holiday at the beginning of this post – well seeing as our first family holiday is to far sunnier climes abroad, Travis needed a passport. Not that we like to leave things to the last minute or cut things fine, but his very first passport arrived on 24th August, about 10 days before we needed to use it! Not that I’m biased in any way, but his photo is so cute, and it’s something I’ll definitely be keeping in his memory box once it has expired.

First Happy Meal
I know loads of mums out there will be horrified that I took my baby to McDonalds, but realistically, he’s learning to eat new things all the time and I believe everything has its place in moderation. Chicken nuggets and chips happen to be some of the easiest finger foods for babies to pick up too, so he could happily feed himself. On 24th August we popped in to McD’s for lunch as a pit stop on our holiday clothes shopping mission. I’m glad he tried the Happy Meal, but he didn’t take to the batter on the chicken nuggets and ended up just eating the inside of the nugget along with his chips. The side of melon however, went down a treat!

First Foods in August:
Toastie – as sampled when he nicked it off my plate in Costa one afternoon!
First melon and watermelon, breadsticks, crackers and cheese dip, all tasted and enjoyed at nursery
French toast – I’m surprised I waited this long to let him try this, after all it’s only bread and scrambled eggs essentially?

babys-first-year-july
Baby M's firsts

July Firsts

So it’s finally happening, the rate of new experiences is starting to slow down. Don’t get me wrong, that’s partly our fault for not seeking out many new things to do in July, as a result of work, timing or just plain lack of creativity!

However we did manage to get up to a few new things last month, so here are our July Firsts:

First Highland Games
The Highland Games are a great Scottish tradition encompassing what I can only describe – for those of you unfamiliar with the concept – as a ridiculously Scottish sports day. There are events like tug ‘o war, tossing the caber and more alongside the normal stuff like running races. Adults get fiercely competitive, probably more so than the kids, and in case it didn’t sound that Scottish, girls and boys from all over the world come to compete in Highland dancing. The games take place in loads of towns and villages up and down the country throughout the summer, and our local one was on 14th July. Typically, you know when the games are on because it’s usually pouring with rain, but as with our uncharacteristic summer, it was actually a beautiful day so we couldn’t pass up the chance to take the wee man for his first Highland games experience.

First roallercoaster/fairground rides
Alongside the sports and the dancing and the bagpipes and the Scottishness, there are plenty of kids activities at the games, from typical fairground stalls like cans and shooters to bigger rides like teacups, mini-roller coasters and bouncy castles for example. The bouncy castle looked like UFC for kids so I didn’t fancy taking Travis in there, but we did sit nice on the teacups and wave at dad from his first fairground ride. Then dad ramped it up and took him on the mini-rollercoaster. It was one of those little circle tracks with one main up-and-down part, but I don’t think Travis particularly enjoyed it – that was probably a first that could have waited another year or so!

First trip in the double buggy
We are heading on holiday in September, with my bestie, Trav’s bestie and the manchildren, and thought a double buggy would be a practical solution to getting around while we are abroad. Also, my bestie sometimes takes Trav for a day a week while I’m stuck at work, so it’s easier for her to get out and about with a double buggy than either make her little one walk (he’s 6 months older than Trav and 100% confident on his feet) or make sure her other half is there so they can go out with a pram/buggy each.

We had ordered the buggy a couple of weeks before, but hadn’t really had the chance to use it, so one Sunday we decided to venture out together and see how the kids got on. The buggy itself is a Hauck tandem or inline buggy (this isn’t a buggy review or sponsored thing so I’m not going to check specifics soz) and is the perfect size for the boot/trunk of my medium-small car – so that’s already a bonus! Both boys seemed fine, and we tried each in both the top and bottom seats and neither seemed to mind too much – their only moans were for snacks so that can’t be a bad thing!

First pipe band championships
Just in case we weren’t having a patriotic enough month, we decided to pop along to the Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Dumbarton on 28th July. For the uninitiated, it’s basically a really long day of pipe bands from all over Scotland competing for a place in the final at the World Pipe Band Championships in August. There are loads of different categories of pipe band, people of all ages and backgrounds taking part. Like the Highland Games, there are plenty of stalls, activities and rides for kids to enjoy. The weather for the pipe band championships was unfortunately not as good as the Highland Games so we didn’t stay too long. Travis enjoyed waving at some pipe bands as they marched past, ready to go into the arena and compete. Mummy won him a little dinosaur teddy and he got his first ever shot of a see saw while we were there.

First foods in July:
At the beginning of July, Travis turned 9 months old, so he has been able to try more and more new foods as the month has went on (and will no doubt continue to try more and more new solids as we continue our year of firsts). This month he tried a lot of new foods at nursery, as part of their snack menu. He got to try potato scone which he loved, pancakes – which have now become a staple snack in our house, because, well, yum – and also buttered rolls. I wasn’t sure about the latter as I wasn’t sure how much butter and dairy in general he was allowed to have, but he has been fine. At home, he tried some totties and mince for dinner (again with the Scottish theme!) and also some wee willy winkies with potato waffles, which are another favourite. Thanks to Aunty Kristen for letting him steal peas off his bestie’s plate too – he really enjoys them much to mum and dad’s dismay as we hate them!

june-firsts-babys-first-year
Baby M's firsts, Mum time

June Firsts

Who can believe another month has come and gone again? The heat has made May, June and now July roll into one, so it’s taken some real thought to remember what actually happened in each month, and what date it was actually a first! I’m blaming this partly on going back to work, so things have been even more hectic than usual, but in reality I should probably just keep better note of things when they happen! However we still managed to get up to plenty of new activities together as a family.

First weekend without mum

So, I braved it. At the beginning of June, I had a girls weekend planned. This is an annual trip we take to Dunoon to celebrate birthdays, catch up and generally have a great stress-free girlie weekend. Most of the girls who go are mums too, so they feel the pain of the double-edged sword that is much-needed me-time and missing your kid(s). We usually go on the Friday and come back on the Monday, but I decided I wasn’t quite ready to leave Trav for that long, so opted to come home on Sunday, with Trav and dad coming to get me. It was a great weekend for me, with some much needed adult-only company, but it has to be said that I did miss the wee man, and facetimed him before we went out on the Saturday night. It was a weird feeling, going back to being my old self for a weekend, not being responsible for anyone else, but knowing that he was at home with his dad didn’t fill me with the dread that I thought it might. Although Travis has spent a night at grandparent’s here and there, I’d never been away from him for longer than that. It’s not something I’d look to repeat in a hurry, but I do think that the break from mum was probably a good thing for him, especially as he would have to get used to going to nursery and being away from mum for most of the day, all week.

First trip to the farm

Making the most of mum’s final few days off, we decided to do and see as much as we could – especially with the weather being so good. One place none of us had ever been to was Ardardan Farm. It’s in Cardross, which is really local to us, and has lots to see and do, so it was a no brainer to head along on 8th June. There are trail walks (some of which weren’t so buggy friendly), a farm shop, cafe, garden centre, and most importantly – there are animals! Travis got to see some wee lambs, some hens and some Clydesdale ponies for the first time. Unfortunately the main attraction, the pigs, had moved on to pastures new, and the farmers were awaiting new pigs in their place. Ardardan Farm also offers loads of activities for kids, families, and even has its own private space to rent for functions and gatherings, so it’s somewhere we will definitely be visiting again!

Mum first: First day back at work

Who can believe the last 9 months have flown by in the blink of an eye?! On Monday 11th June I returned to work with a bang. Craig was off, so the first day wasn’t as hectic as it could have been, and could rest somewhat easy knowing that Travis would be fine with his dad. The first couple of days seemed really long; things didn’t revolve around feeding and napping (boo to the latter!) and I could make tea and coffee, use the bathroom and even check email in peace! After the first few days passed, and the adrenalin wore off, I definitely needed to be fuelled by caffeine. It almost felt like back in the early days when Travis would be up 10 times a night and we were still trying to decipher night from day. But we’re getting there, and although I miss seeing the little fella all day, every day, it’s nice to get back into the swing of things and be around adult company and stimulation during the day.

First Hartbeeps with dad

So as mum went back to work, dad took on the responsibility of taking Travis to his classes, including Hartbeeps. I was unsure how Craig would get on, especially since the class is usually all mums, with the exception of a granny or a dad on haydays and bank holidays. I shouldn’t have worried though, as both of them loved it! The sun was shining so Laura decided to take the class outside for sports day. Travis got a wee photo with his medal (not sure what for, mind you. Maybe doing the most roly polys rather than crawling?)

First day with Auntie Kristen and his bestie

On Day 2 of mum’s return to work, Travis went to spend the day with his Auntie Kristen, and his bestie, Evan. Dad was working and he wasn’t due to start nursery until the following week so Auntie Kristen saved the day and even took the wee man to Bookbug so he wasn’t missing out! They got up to all sorts together – trips to the shop, a ride on the bus, playtime and even feeding too. There’s no denying, Auntie Kristen is a hero and superwoman managing to take care of and amuse 2 kiddos under 2.

First trip in mum’s new car

So my old car was a total treasure and I loved it. I mean it was 12 years old, had 3 doors and had so many ‘quirks’ to it that it wasn’t even funny, but I loved it nonetheless. So it was a real shame to have to get rid of it, but it was getting to the point that there would be something wrong with it every other week. Apart from the fact it was costing so much (and on a maternity wage!) to repair, it wasn’t practical for Travis with only 3 doors, and it certainly wasn’t convenient getting stuck with him anywhere if we broke down! I also drive a 50 mile a day round trip for work, so I need something reliable. So mum opted for a newer version of the same model (I’m a creature of habit), and with 5 doors this time, which meant Travis could get upgraded to a big boy car seat that fits comfortably in the car and is easy to get the wee fella in and out of.

First Father’s day

Last year, I wondered if dads-to-be should get Father’s Day presents, but this year there was no ‘to-be’ and dad got to celebrate his first Father’s Day as a parent! The way it worked out, Travis was actually staying at his grandparents on the Saturday night before Father’s Day, in a bid to let mum and dad get a sleep after mum’s long first week back at work. What that meant was that Travis didn’t actually see his dad till later than usual on Father’s Day, so he managed to get out of making breakfast in bed! We had a good but quiet day, but I’m pretty sure dad enjoyed it.

First full week of nursery

Travis was due to properly start nursery in the last week of June, something which I was quietly nervous about. He had a few settling in visits, and didn’t seem to be coping well with being left at nursery. The first week was definitely a struggle in terms of tears and snotters – not to mention him teething – but the girls at the nursery are absolutely lovely and so reassuring. Travis gets a diary filled in every day, telling me what he got up to, what he’d eaten/drank that day, which is comforting now that I don’t get to share all those moments with him every day.

First illness

With a first full wee of nursery came something we were dreading, but inevitably knew would happen – his first illness! We had noticed a runny eye near the end of his first week, but just put it down to the weather and made sure we kept it clean. However by the weekend it was clear that it was something more serious – conjunctivitis. Luckily we managed to get a doctors appointment and some prescribed antibiotics fairly quickly, but for the few days he suffered, along with teething and the unusual heat, nobody got much sleep!

And here was me thinking we didn’t get up to much in June!

Baby M's firsts, Childcare

May Firsts

I realise we’re already halfway through the month of June, but we’ve had a lot going on lately (cue loads of June firsts!) so this and any other blog posts have taken a bit of a backseat, sorry Trav!

First taste of summer
The weather significantly picked up this month, even the first few days in May were nice. So not only did we go from jumpers and jackets to short sleeved vests, we got to wear shorts for the first time, and sunglasses too! Although he prefers to chew rather than wear the latter..
With such a change in temperature I was worried about colds but luckily we just had a few days of runny noses and not much more than that. More importantly, we had a mad dash to buy sun cream as both Craig and I are pretty fair-skinned (Craig burns even when it’s cloudy in Scotland) so we knew we would need to be extra careful with Travis in the sun. I love the little roll-on sun cream from Nivea, as it’s small enough to fit in the changing bag with everything else, and it makes the least mess when re-applying out and about.
As the month (and glorious weather) went on, this also led to firsts like first shot in his own paddling pool (28th May) and first feeding the ducks (12th May).

First shot in his travel stroller
Unfortunately this wasn’t due to any exciting travels, but it was good to get a feel of the stroller before we went afar with it. His regular, usually-reliable 3 in 1 pram/buggy got a flat tyre so we had to get about in the travel stroller until we could get the inner tubes fixed. I have to say, although I love his Vennicci pram, and it’s ability to take on just about any terrain, the replacement of parts is a bit of a faff. Fortunately, Halford’s can replace the inner tubes with their smallest bike ones, which fit the back tyres fine, but if there wasn’t a Halford’s near us we would have had to order parts online from Venicci and waited for delivery, meaning a few days in the travel stroller which wouldn’t be ideal. Although lightweight and compact, there’s pretty much no storage on ours, so popping to the shops with it was out of the question.

First top teeth
After his first teeth coming in pretty quick succession in March, we haven’t had to wait long to see a top tooth. The top right broke the gum around the 20th of May and the second one is right behind it, just scraping it’s way through just over a week later. I have to say, he’s had a lot more trouble with these teeth than the first two, with more visible signs of pain as well as nappy changes (always fun). Having said that, he seems content in himself most of the time, even if everything remotely solid gets fired straight in the mouth for a chew!

First swim with dad
On the 25th May, I was going to a breakfast meeting at work, and had planned to be back in time for swimming. The idea was that I would show dad the ropes and he could take Travis next week. However, since nothing ever goes to plan in our crazy world, his dad ended up having to take him – and without mum there until the end! After a stressful car breakdown, a loan of the company car and a lot of rage at roadworks later, mum missed the whole thing and only managed to make it for shower and change time afterwards. But since they are both still alive to tell the tale, I take it that it wasn’t as scary as dad thought it might be.

First night in our house
So once upon a time in December, we were rudely awoken in the night by a house fire and hadn’t been back since. That’s the short version of an otherwise long story I’ll get round to telling in another post on another day. After a number of mishaps and disputes, we were finally able to stay back in our own home from 25th May. Travis probably has a grand total of 0 memories from the house as he was exactly 2 months old when the fire started, so it was a weird first for him to have to experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s like a whole new house now, with new decor and furniture making it feel like a first for all of us in a way.

First sleep in his big boy cotbed 25th May
As with the first night in our home, Travis experienced his first sleep in his cotbed. We had previously built his cotbed pre-arrival, but he was still quite small before the fire, and was happily sleeping in his moses basket or Sleepyhead, so we didn’t push it with the cot at first. In the meantime before we got back into the house, he had been sleeping in a travel cot due to our change in circumstances. So, with a shiny new cotbed (such a shame as the first one had never even been slept in!) in his very own room (another first in itself!), in a house he couldn’t remember, mum and dad prepared for a long and eventful night ahead. In actual fact, Travis took to it really well. He barely moved all night and just moaned his usual few times for a dummy. Since the first night, we’ve had roly poly’s in bed, hugging the bars, blankets discarded in a corner and more!

First visit to nursery!
Talk about saving the biggest till last! Mum’s first day back at work is in June, and so it means time for Travis to go to nursery. We’re really fortunate with one retired grandparent and Craig working different shift patterns, but I still really want Travis to be mixing with other babies/children, learning and growing, and so nursery seemed like a no-brainer to me. As part of the nursery selection and placement, parents can usually book in for a visit to a nursery to see the facilities, chat with the nursery manager as well as nurses (if that’s even what they are still called?) and find out the things you could expect your child to get up to. We all had a wee trip to our preferred nursery on 31st May. The facilities available were fantastic, with the nursery even having its own soft play area, eco-friendly garden and more. The staff could not have been friendlier (it helped that I went to school with one of the nursery nurses), and there’s so much in the way of feeding back your child’s progress and development to you, so I would never feel in any doubt or panic about leaving Travis there while I’m at work.

Baby M's firsts, Mother and Baby classes

Bookbug week 2018

Bookbug is one of the new things we tried this year (in our January firsts) and something which Travis completely loves going to each week. It’s also free (bonus) and something I mentioned in the top free things to do on maternity leave. It’s something I can’t advocate enough as something new parents should try, so I was delighted to learn that this week is Bookbug Week.

What is bookbug?
Bookbug is essentially a story and rhyme time class for babies and toddlers, usually held in the local library. It’s an initiative organised by the Scottish Book Trust, so I’m not sure if there are similar programs or events available elsewhere in the UK. The sessions are 45 minutes long and usually run in tandem with school term times. Each week parents and kids sing nursery rhymes, play some games with lycra on the floor and of course have one dedicated story read aloud. Travis particularly loves the “what’s in my bag” section and the nursery rhymes which follow.

Bookbug Week 2018
Bookbug Week runs from 14th to 20th May, and the theme this year is “Bookbug friends”. This involves bookbug bringing a friend to class, stories involving friends and spreading the word about bookbug to your friends.
Highlights for this year include a live online broadcast, where illustrator and writer Ross Collins talks through his latest book and illustrations, printable bookbug colouring sheets, special bookbug week books and more.

Bookbug-week-2018-scottish-book-trustIn our class on Tuesday, Bookbug brought along his teddy friend Alfie, and they read a story about a colourful elephant with lots of different lively animal friends. There were finger puppets and bookbug colouring sheets to play with in the library or take home, and there were special bookbug postcards which kids were encouraged to write about what they love about bookbug before sending the postcard to a relative or friend. Our bookbug teacher (not sure if that’s the right term?) also brought us in some yummy snacks for the kids (I didn’t eat any I swear…) so they could feel like they were having a little party, while the adults could get to chat a bit more to each other.

I think Bookbug is such a great concept and something which I think we are really lucky to have in Scotland for free. Bookbug Week is just one of the many reasons it’s great for both children and adults alike. Personally, I’ve learned nursery rhymes I never knew existed, and have rejoined a library – something I never thought I’d do after the maze of uni libraries! I’ve also met some great people and have enjoyed watching Travis grow while at bookbug; being able to sit up for story time, knowing what bit comes next, and getting excited for specific nursery rhymes he has learned at bookbug. I really can’t recommend it enough, and if you’re too early to book onto the next block in your area, I’d definitely give the Scottish Book Trust website a browse for great ideas and resources in the meantime.