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.

Baby M's firsts, Exhibitions and shows, Mother and Baby classes, Parenting

April Firsts

I was beginning to think the “firsts” would start to dry up by now, or at least thought there would be much less of them as the year went on. However we managed loads of new firsts again this month.

first-easter-bunny-baby
My Easter bunny with his haul

First Easter
Easter may have started in March, but Easter Sunday and April fools day collided. I thought the wee man might be a bit young to prank so we opted to give eggs and Easter themed toys instead. By eggs I mean a tiny white chocolate buttons egg which is still unopened as yet, for all you judgy folks out there. It was far too cold and miserable here to go to the park or anywhere to roll eggs downhill (snow was still forecast at this point) so we opted to play indoors instead – maybe next year little man!

First hospital trip
It wasn’t for anything serious and actually he’s already been discharged but we had a wee trip to the Royal Children’s Hospital on 9th March. We found a strange mark and bruising under his arm that didn’t go away over the course of a couple of months. After a referral to a dermatologist, our mind was put to rest when we were told it’s perfectly normal and present in 1 out of 10 babies. Apparently it should fade and disappear before he goes to school so we’re not worrying about it!

First Circus!
To coincide with the school holidays, the circus came to town at the beginning of April. On Friday 13th of all dates, we headed along to the circus with best friend Evan and his mum. Although he fell asleep for most of the second half (it was running late and the second half started at about 9pm in fairness), he was mesmerised by the lights and, in particular, the dressed up heroes. The Madagascar animals were a highlight (because there are literally 0 real animals at the circus these days, not even rogue pigeons) though we didn’t fancy paying a fortune for a photo with them. I think the circus will definitely be more of a must-do as Trav gets older.

farmer-dress-up-hartbeeps
my little farmer at Baby Beeps

First baby beeps
Travis loves his Hartbeeps, which he started going to in January (more on that here) but had become a bit too advanced for the Baby Bells class. I say advanced, but what I really mean is that he was starting to roll about and grab other happily laying babies, not to mention he was starting to try and sit up on his own. These are all indicators that he would be more suited to the Baby Beeps class, which is for babies in the sitting and crawling stages.
What a difference we found in that class! Its certainly a lot livelier, as babies don’t just lie there patiently, only smiling, moaning or grabbing at things. Instead, some babies are up and off like a shot, crawling across the floor whilst others are trying to stand and walk, some stealing or sharing toys with other kids and every mum on edge ready to grab her kid should they fall/run/cause some mischief. The class is also much more interactive (though there is still a dress-up portion which I’m thankful for!) with puppets, ball pits, bubbles and more.

First dentist appointment
It was a busy month for appointments and since we saw the appearance of the first tooth in March (closely followed by the second about 10 days later) we thought it would be best to get the little fella registered with a dentist and make his first appointment. On the 19th April we headed along to the dentist so she could see the two spectacular gnashers for herself. She examined his pretty bare mouth and explained all about oral hygiene in babies. It was really informative and helpful (we left with leaflets too) and hopefully allows us to give Travis the best start in life with his smile.

First swimming
I’d been wanting to get the wee guy along to swimming lessons for a while, as I didn’t want him to end up with the same fear of the water as I had as a child (and still do tbh, the deep sea is scary!). We tried to book him into Baby Splish sessions in February, but had missed the first few weeks of lessons, and were told the next block didn’t start until April – after the school Easter holidays. After some confusion from the first lady we spoke to at the local pool, we managed to get the wee guy booked onto a block on Fridays (our original day had been Monday’s but that class had booked out because we were told the wrong information about booking), starting on 20th April. Unfortunately, he had a terrible cold and cough that week so we decided not to take him on he first lesson. However there is a spectators area which we went along to see what the class was all about, as mum would be doing the whole thing solo the following week. He ended up loving his first lesson on 27th April, although I was far too scared to dunk him all the way under water on the first go. In fact, he loved it so much he slept for about 2 solid hours afterwards.

First baby and toddler show
When I was pregnant, there weren’t really many baby and toddler events around. Aside from the odd Mothercare expectant parent event, or big shop events at the likes of Asda, Argos etc, there wasn’t much in the way of shows or exhibitions where everything was contained in one place. So I was delighted to find that there was one being held at the SEC across the last weekend of April. The Baby and Toddler Show, which is supported by Emma’s Diary and Made For Mums, happened to be on the same day as our first Baby Splish class so Travis actually slept through a chunk of it, but it was interesting all the same. There’s more about the show on my recent post here, but if you don’t want to read the whole thing, then at least take away the main point that it’s heavily geared towards expectant parents. There are a good few stalls relevant to babies and toddlers, but at least half to three quarters of the event is made up of things like nursery furniture, prams, car seats, baby chairs/swings, newborn toys etc.

First safari park visit
After a miserable start to the month, April ended spectacularly with a warm, sunny Monday where the temperature soared from an average of about 8 degrees to 18. Any other Scottish folks reading this will know exactly what this means – taps aff. And ok so while it was possibly slightly chilly for that, it did mean there was a single sunny day, not to be wasted in case we never seen its likes again. In a bid to enjoy the sun but also give Travis a new experience we could all enjoy, we decided to head to Blair Drummond Safari Park in the afternoon (after his Baby Beeps class, can’t be messing with the boy’s social life you know!). It was fairly empty, aside from a school trip, some tourists and other parents of under 5s, so we were able to get about freely without stress or panic or running anyone over with the pram. Travis loved it, especially the boat ride out to the chimp island, and of course the chimps themselves. We were disappointed that the drive through enclosure was closed when we went to leave, but that just gives us an excuse to go back when the wee fella is a bit bigger.

Baby M's firsts, Parenting

March Firsts

It’s been another surprising month of firsts for us, especially with things like Mother’s Day and Easter both falling pretty much in the same month this year! Here are the new things we did/discovered/experienced first in March:

First christening
Although he made an appearance at his best friends christening in December last year, Travis didn’t actually enter the chapel (it was nap/feed time and the echoes of screaming and tantrums were not what I had planned for the church). So his first time through a whole christening service was on 4th March through in Ayr. We braved the snow in Balloch (nearly bloody 2 feet I’ll have you know) to head about 45 miles away where there were no remnants of winter left at all. The only clue we were still in Scotland was the fact it rained constantly. I was pleasantly surprised at the wee man’s behaviour – barely a peep from him in the church, with the exception of the odd goo, and just being a general bright and nosy baby at the gathering afterwards. Even on the car journey there and back he was on best behaviour, sleeping or taking in the scenery (well as much of it as you can see in a rear facing car seat). My only concern was whether or not we’d have to take half the table decor with us as he seemed to be highly amused with the helium balloons floating from the table top.

First toothbrush!
We had a visit from an oral health worker on 5th March, whose purpose was to give advice about oral health in babies, and in particular, the child smile program in Scotland. Along with the advice, leaflets and coupons (more for weaning than anything else), we were given some toothbrushes and child friendly toothpaste to use. There were a couple of small toothbrushes, which are supposed to let your child get used to the idea of holding the brush, the sensation and so on, as well as a bigger brush to be used the minute a tooth pops through. We were advised to practice brushing, even just the sensation and motions without any toothpaste, pretty much right away, and even to register Travis with a dentist, despite not even having any teeth!

First trip to the aquarium
On 9th March, our usual Hartbeeps class was cancelled (you can read more about the wonder that is Hartbeeps here) so we decided to make the most of the day and do something different. After a nice wee stroll down to Loch Lomond shores in the crisp spring sunshine, we decided to go and see all the colourful fish and playful otters in the aquarium. I didn’t expect Travis to stay awake throughout the whole visit but he did! Mum and dad signed up for annual passes (under 2s get in free anyway) so we can make more trips in the future as he becomes more aware and interested in what’s going on. Plus we might actually time it right for him to catch an otter or shark feed one day!

First mothers day 11th March
Mother’s day is always around about my birthday, so I was delighted to learn that my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, making it impossible to clash with Mother’s Day. I know there’s a whole bunch of logic about Easter and lunar calendars and whatever to determine the date, but I was chuffed to find out they would be separate celebrations for the wee man’s first year.
It wasn’t how I would have planned it (dad was working so mum didn’t get breakfast in bed, but I did get woken up with a big poo to clean up), but I got to spend it with my growing, happy, healthy baby and that’s all that matters. Plus, I got a card with the Rock on it, so how can that be bad?

Mummy first – first birthday as a mum
So this is supposed to be about the wee man’s firsts, but really there are some firsts that I’ve been experiencing too – like my first birthday as a mum. Slightly better all round than Mother’s Day as dad was off and let mum get some extra Zz’s, open presents in peace and even get a bath! All this after my usual clubbercise class and being spoiled by my parents with a steak dinner. I think Travis enjoyed the tissue paper the most out of the whole thing.

First tooth!
He had been threatening to cut one for a couple of weeks but we all know the teething process can be a long and laborious one, so I didn’t hold out much hope of finding one any time soon. Finally, though, at teatime on 23rd March, one little jaggy line was poking through. Had I not given him a dose of Anbesol I would have been none the wiser. But there was no mistaking that jag when my index finger entered his mouth. Usually he clamps down and his squishy gums put pressure on your fingers, but nothing more. This time there was a definite jag, so I tried to inspect the situation. Note ‘tried.’ Any mother will tell you that it’s an effort to investigate a baby’s mouth at the best of times, never mind when they are licking you like a Labrador because they think you’ve got the good stuff (Anbesol, really, it’s magic) on your fingers.

First soft play!
A new soft play centre opened up in March, within a few minutes walking distance from us. At first I was a bit unsure about it as Travis is still so young, but since kids under a year get in free, and all his friends were going, we thought there was nothing to lose. In typical Travis style, he fell asleep about 10 minutes before we went, and slept for a good hour in the soft play centre. When he woke up though, he had a wee play in the baby/toddler section, figuring out toys, looking at himself in the mirror and even having a shot of the slide (on mum’s lap of course).

First good Friday
So March didn’t quite see a first full Easter, with Good Friday falling on 30th March, but it was the first half of the Easter bank holiday weekend. We spent the day going to Hartbeeps and dressing up like a bunny (the ears lasted about 0.5 seconds at a time), coming home and being dressed like a bunny, and chilling out watching rubbish TV as there seemed to be no good bank holiday films on!

Of course April will see the end of first Easter shenanigans, but it will hopefully bring some other great firsts like swimming, as well as more teeth and trouble no doubt!