The Beginnings of Real Parenthood
Since Emily has turned one, we have been on such an adventure! I had hoped to keep up with monthly updates, but we are having far too much fun playing with our new little toddler and so have been slacking (also, we are exhausted!).
She is becoming so independent and growing a beautiful little personality. I love discovering that she is learning things even without me teaching her! New words are appearing that I didn't anticipate. She is copying EVERYTHING and developing a bit of a will of her own!
This has meant that we have really been challenged as parents. We have had to start making some decisions on how we plan to discipline our child. What is acceptable and what is not and what values and behaviours we want Emily to grow up with. I have entitled the post as The Beginnings of Real Parenthood becuase having a baby is so different to having a child who needs teaching and guidance on a daily basis. For me, this is where parenthood begins!
I so look forward to watching her grow more and more into herself and seeing the little girl she becomes, but for now let's look back and reminisce and celebrate all her little achievements over the last 3 months.
The Chatty Toddler
Emily has surprised me with few new words this year! Lots of words we have been teaching her, such as the shapes (star, triangle, heart and more recently, circle). But some she had figured out all by herself with a bit of help from her nursery rhyme videos. She has taught herself a few animal sounds, such as the monkey sound! She completely through me off guard when I called her a monkey and she turned back to look at me saying 'ahh ahh ahh'. And Sam proudly informed me one day that she can say toes! Even though I spend most of my day with her, she somehow kept that one a secret for daddy. This will go nicely with her collection of body parts including 'eyes', 'ears' (she only says this one on special occasions, but happily jabs you in they eyes and tells you 'eyes' every opportunity she gets!), 'teeth', occasionally nose and head. She did manage to say 'shoulders' for a little while, but I think she has put that one on the back burner until further notice! I'm sure by now you can tell she is a fan of the song 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes!'.
She is also making up her own words, such as 'bup' for her dummy. We've deduced that this comes from us using the word 'pop' every time we remove the dummy from her mouth after nap time! So now we are all just referring to dummies as 'bups'.
Her animal names and sounds include: fssh (fish), turtle, duck, ssssnae (snake), raff (giraffe), baa baa (sheep), tweet tweet (bird), rahh (lion), ahh (cat - the loving gentle kind of ahh), ahh ahh (monkey - loud abrupt kind of ahh ahh!) and woof woof (dog). There may be some more in there, but it's hard to remember all these words!
Her practical words include, hi, bye bye, baba (baby), shoes, socks, up, down, slide (which usually means swings!!), ball, car, ta (please, thank you, take this from me...), bum bum (meaning nappy change. She doesn't know herself when she needs a change yet, but is happy to agree with me when I tell her she does), bath, draw (usually when she wants the Aquadoodle), apple and cheese. Yes cheese. She loves cheese!
She clearly understands a lot more than she can say, but is just still finding her words. Mostly if she wants or needs something she will point. She tries very hard to communicate and is good at finding creative ways to get what she needs across to us!
The Water Baby (Toddler?)
Emily is still swimming! Sometimes she loves it and sometimes she is indifferent. She never hates it. She has just started Baby Level 5 with Turtle Tots Gloucestershire and I'm loving it! We hope to keep going until she can swim, which they say will probably be around 3 years old!
"Our classes are small and are held in warm pools. Getting children in the pool early is vital and means that by the time they are 3 years, they will have learnt to doggy paddle and will most likely have mastered some basic strokes. At the earliest stage they learn lifesaving skills including floating, turning and swimming to hold on. Through continuous development on the course, they should be able to swim 5m unaided by the age of 2 1/2 - 3 years."
She has no problem going under water or jumping into the pool. She just doesn't like floating on her back (wants to be upright!) and almost NEVER kicks on demand. We do find she kicks her legs when she needs to though when swimming up to the surface of the water, which is reassuring.
Mostly though, swimming is just a bit of fun for us and helps us to feel a bit safer knowing that she is learning to stay safe in the water with excellently trained swimming teachers. So I feel completely prepared to take her into the swimming pool on our own any time we want to go swimming.
The Teething Toddler
Emily has sprouted so.many.teeth. She's gone from just 4 teeth on her first birthday to twelve in just three months! Thankfully is hasn't been too much of a struggle, but there have been a few sleepless nights and grumpy afternoons. Thank goodness for Calpol and our good friend Bonjella!
The Crafty Toddler
Emily is so nearly at the age where we can properly do crafts together! So we have had some fun dipping our toes into the idea by doing little crafts every now and then. Mostly just on big occasions such as Valentine's Day and Easter.
The first time we tried painting (before Christmas) Emily was not so keen on the gloopy home made paint mixture and how it felt on her hands, so this time we went for normal kids paint and threw in some paint brushes and sponges! As she has pretty much grown out of the need to put everything in her mouth, it went down quite well and we managed to get a few beautiful splodgey paintings ❤
Go to see our pretty, simple Valentine's Craft here!
We also had a bit of fun with the big kids this Easter, and it was lovely to see Emily getting involved. Although she is not quite ready for papier-mâché, she just loves to pick up some pens or crayons. I am super impressed with the way she scribbles, even holding the pen properly between her thumb and forefinger!
The Poorly Toddler
Fo some reason, the year so far has just been full of illness. It got to a point that every two weeks Emily had a cold and has had a permanent snotty nose. Add teething to that mixture and you have a very grumpy baby.
What made it so much worse was that every time she was ill, I inevitably caught it from her. Which makes it so much harder to take care of a snotty, grumpy, teething baby who is also full of cold! Thankfully we found ways to survive with daddy working from home some days, and playing slowly together with good 'ol shape sorting toys or building bricks.
Emily also went through a phase of not eating for about a month and only really wanting to breastfeed. I'm not really sure what the reason was, but thankful to say that it was just a phase. I remember worrying daily about it, I would ask everyone who I could about it to try and find a solution. I just ended up with a lot of different ideas, none of which really helped, and ended with me just going with what Emily asked for and hoping she snapped out of it eventually! Which she did.
The Fussy Toddler
It's probably got something to do with all the illness, teething and growing up, but Emily has become a lot more fussy in the last three months! She has started to really know what she wants, and when she knows what she wants, nothing else will do! This has meant we have started experiencing little tantrums. If she is unhappy about something, nothing will stop her just throwing herself on the floor in protest!
She has also become more fussy with food. Foods she would've eaten before, she no longer likes. Foods she doesn't recognise, she will not be willing to try without persuasion. There is also the problem of her sometimes wanting what's on my plate instead of her own! Even if we are eating the same thing. She wants mine.
Good news though, through thick and thin, she has stuck by porridge, pancakes, cheese and fruit. That could be a healthy balanced diet right?
The Weaning Toddler
The 16th April 2017 was Emily's first milk free day since the day she was born! She was nearly 15 months old and she was very aware that I was saying no to her requests for milk. But she got on with it. I felt free, but also a little sad and unsure. Where we really ready to give this up? We didn't plan to go on breastfeeding for this long, but then again we didn't really plan not to either! We just sort of made it up as we went along, and at each milestone, we thought we'd go on a little longer. It's something both Emily and I grew to love and then thinking about giving it up was a little sad. So I decided to go back to having a bedtime feed, even if it is just for comfort (for the both of us!) and closeness. Although I am ready for the day she or I decide enough is enough :) I know that she can probably go to bed with no problems at all without milk, and it is probably mostly me that is hanging on! So whilst writing this I have come to a realisation... By the time our next update comes round, our breastfeeding journey will be over!
The Playful Toddler
On a more upbeat note, we have LOVED playing at the playgrounds this year! As the weather has grown warmer and warmer, we have been exploring parks and playgrounds as a hobby. I love watching Emily become more and more independent on the slide and climbing frames, swinging higher and higher in the swings and generally running around and exploring EVERYTHING!
Emily has also really loved playing with the football, and we are continually impressed at how good she is at kicking the ball, accurately and dribbling it across a pretty long distance! I really, really love how sporty and active she is and how much she loves being outside. I hope this is something that sticks and we have a childhood full of sports, climbing, running and exploring ahead of us!
The Tag-Along Toddler
Emily is now started to get so involved in everything, it has been wonderful having her tag along and being able get involve with what we are doing! Like having a picnic in the boot of the car while daddy flies drones...
Playing games with the big kids! Take a look at how Emily completed an Easter Trail with zero tears of boredom here.
Going on coffee dates!
And perhaps one of my favourite moments, Emily washing the car with Grampy ❤
So that's all for our twelve to fifteen month update! I am looking forward to all our new adventures waiting for us in the the next three months.