That first moment when your baby says something that sounds like a word is completely and utterly awe inspiring. In Teddy’s case (as in the case of most babies) his first ‘word’ was ‘Dada’ which he used to shout from his cot when he woke up in the morning and after his naps. I used this as a perfect excuse to say “Oh look, he is calling to you, he wants his Daddy!” so that my husband was guilted into getting out of bed rather than me but unfortunately in the last few months Teddy’s word of choice in the morning (and in the middle of the night) has become “Mama” so that has backfired somewhat and I can no longer snuggle back under the duvet quite so smugly…
Teddy’s second word came courtesy of the son of his childminder. Every morning when I drop him off, her four year old son greets Teddy with “Hiya” and so prior to cracking “Mama” this was his second favourite thing to shout. He recognises this as a greeting and says it to people when he sees them; usually trying to pair it with an open mouthed dribbly kiss or a twinkle twinkle little star style wave. In the last few weeks he has added to his vocabulary and we now have “dickle dickle” when he is tickled or when he tickles other people, “dairs” when we go upstairs (accompanied by pointing up the stairs) and the now very ubiquitous “yeah”. This is said in a very clipped way so sounds quite a lot like “yuh” (maybe I have watched too much Made in Chelsea when he has been downstairs??) and follows on from any question asked when said in an appropriately sing song way; “Would you like some grapes?” “yuh” etc etc etc
I have always found the acquisition of speech intriguing and could listen to Teddy chatter away for hours despite not having a clue what he is after most of the time. He now couples most things with pointing so that I can generally decipher what he is after (which is basically anything he is not supposed to have) Watching him chat with his friends is hilarious and I would love to be able to tell what they are saying. He recently had a play-date with his friend George who is five months older than him. Teddy was thrilled to show George his new favourite place to play (the shower in the downstairs bathroom) and watching them converse about Teddy’s favourite game of moving the nappies from the changing table to the shower was very entertaining. They followed this up by playing the piano (with Teddy clearly explaining to George what it was all about whilst George had a look of “Does he ever shut up?” about him) and then sharing some raisins which they found very funny as they discussed putting them on the floor, picking them up again and then hiding them under the piano (or so I imagine!). This stage of development is so exciting and I cannot wait to see what the next new word is!
I feel like I have had the busiest week ever this week and until the husband gets home tomorrow from his skiing trip (not jealous at all….) it won’t really be over. I like to be busy but even I have found the last week a bit of a struggle and so I am very much on a countdown to the Easter holidays as we are heading back to the UK to see family and friends and whilst we will be travelling around a lot we will also hopefully get some down time! I work three days a week, am involved in running our local Military Wives Choir and run a baby music group on a Friday morning. This week, to add to this, I have also been helping out with our unit wives club dress sale which was held on Friday night. Foolishly I offered to keep all the items given to be sold at my house and as they were a bit slow to arrive at first I then said I would also label them ready for sale. This was a massive error of judgement! As the dresses (and shoes, jewellery and bags) flooded in, my house began to resemble a jumble sale. I spent about ten hours of my life this week matching dresses to descriptions in the book we were writing everything in and then labelling them up with the correct number, price and size and at this point in time I never want to see another dress that doesn’t belong to me or that I am eying up in a shop ever again……
The saving grace this week has been the amazing friends I have made by going to baby groups since Teddy was born. They have known that my husband is away, have seen that I have been unbelievably busy and have rallied around amazingly. I will admit to going to my first few groups with quite a bit of trepidation as I wasn’t sure whether I would go mad being surrounded by hundreds of babies. However, the friends that I will take with me from this posting are the ones that I have met through having a child and I will be eternally grateful that they came into my life when they did. So this week’s post is a big thank you to the ladies who have offered to babysit both in the evenings and daytime and who have entertained Teddy so that I can get on with stuff. It has reminded me what a fantastic community I am part of and I will be sad to leave them all when we head off in the summer for pastures new. I think sometimes people forget how amazing these groups are for meeting other mums (myself included at times!) and sometimes all you need after a busy week is a cup of tea and a chat (aka rant) whilst the kids play. I think the busyness of this week has also rubbed off on Teddy and it seems he has also found this week a bit tiring……
We like cooking in this house and even more than we like cooking we like eating. Thankfully Teddy seems to be cut from the same cloth and has always been a good little eater. From those newborn breastfeeding days where he basically fed ALL THE TIME (or so it seemed) to the early days of weaning he has hoovered up whatever is in his path and doesn’t seem to have discovered many things he dislikes (long may this last!). I am thoroughly enjoying the fact that he now pretty much eats what we eat and as a result think that with any future babies we have I will go more down the baby led weaning route than I did with him as I now realise it is a hell of lot easier only preparing one meal at a time.
As Teddy grows up I find mealtimes more and more fun. I love watching him enjoy the food he is eating and even more so I enjoy watching his facial expressions as he tries new things – cherry tomatoes that popped in his mouth have been a particular highlight recently! He now chats away during mealtimes and they are a lovely sociable part of our day when he is not distracted by everything and anything and when we can enjoy each other’s company (even if the conversation is still a little bit one-sided….)
At the weekends we enjoy having mealtimes as a family as during the week it is not generally possible due to the constraints of the working day. Yesterday we went out for the day stopping for lunch in a sunny square in Osnabruck. I had packed a lunch for Teddy but unfortunately for me my club sandwich and fries were much more appealing so we ended up sharing (probably a bonus for my waistline though!) He sat beautifully in the high chair eating his lunch and watching the world go by whilst we enjoyed the sunshine and people watching and I was really pleased that he is such an easy baby to take out and about.
Fingers crossed his love affair with food continues and that he doesn’t become super fussy as he grows up. One of cousins was also an amazing eater when tiny but is now a total nightmare with food so I am hoping that we don’t follow this route. In the meantime, Teddy is sitting on the sofa watching the rugby eying up his Daddy’s biscuit and cup of tea…..
We have had a ridiculously mild winter here in Germany this year. Last year it basically snowed from January through to April and my winter memories from 2013 are therefore as follows:
- dragging my humongously pregnant form out for a daily walk trying to evict Teddy from my body a little bit earlier than he clearly wanted to appear whilst trying not to slip over on the snow that was EVERYWHERE thanks to some of my British neighbours not following the German rule of clearing the pavement outside their houses.
- Standing outside the hospital whilst in labour with a blizzard blowing around us but just desperately needing some fresh air (the hospital was like a sauna and I am someone who sleeps with the window open whatever the weather)
- Being eternally grateful for whichever neighbour it was who cleared my driveway and path of snow when my husband was in Kenya and I was glued to the sofa breastfeeding.
- Putting a screaming baby into a snowsuit he didn’t want to go into just so I could escape the house for a bit for a walk into town (only to be told off by a myriad of Germans for him not being smothered in layers upon layers of blankets)
This winter has been a totally different kettle of fish. We have actually been disappointed at the lack of snow (my 2013 self is staring openmouthed at this admission) as we love skiing and with our nearest ski resort only just over an hour away we were hoping to make up for last year’s lack of skiing with lots of weekend trips. As it stands we have managed a week’s skiing in Austria and one day locally which has made my husband very sad (good job he has managed to get himself on an army skiing trip next week….. lucky boy!) On a positive note, however, the mild weather has meant that Teddy has started playing outside much earlier than I anticipated and there is no need to put him in the epic layers that children were being put in last year. He loves being outside and will make a dash for the garden if we ever leave the kitchen or patio doors open. His current favourite thing to play with in our garden is the brush and he has spent a considerable amount of time in the last week or so practising his sweeping. I am obviously hoping that this love for cleaning will continue! He also loves going to the park. He has been a fan of swings for a couple of months now but we have now added in the slide to his park routine and this fills him with total and utter joy. He slides down (with help of course) and then flips himself over to try and climb back up again, dissolving in giggles as he slips and slides around on the bottom of the slide. At the moment these periods spent outside are a bit of a novelty but they are increasingly becoming a regular part of our time together and therefore becoming a more ordinary part of our week. It is so lovely to see him become more interactive and interested as he plays outside. Watching Teddy explore the outside world is a total joy and I cannot wait to see him progress as we head into spring and summer!
PS As you might have noticed, I am currently enjoying experimenting with my photos by putting them in collages etc. I am currently loving PicMonkey when on the Mac and A Beautiful Mess when on the iPad or iPhone (can you tell we’re an Apple family…..)