Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Ruby - The first year

First ever photo

One month old

Two months old

Three months old

Four months old

Five months old

Six months old

Seven months old

Eight months old

Nine months old

Ten months old

Eleven months old

Twelve months old

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

One giant step...

Ruby is WALKING.

One week past her first birthday, and she took her first proper steps. She had been taking the odd step here or there but falling straight over. However, this weekend at the Grove Park World Music Festival, she stood up and took four tentative steps forwards. Then she stopped, looked around almost to see who was watching, and then took three more, before toppling over.

In the few days since, there has been no stopping her. She still stumbles lots, and reminds me of Bambi more than just a little bit. Its amazing to watch as she plants her feet, pushes herself up and then stumbles forwards. Her momentum just takes her forwards, and her top half is usually a little bit faster than her bottom half, but she is getting steadier by the day.

I would say that of all the milestones met, this is the one which made my heart beat just a little bit faster than all the others with pride! Now.... as we have a few weddings to go to in the upcoming months, its time to work on her dance moves.....

Thursday, 1 July 2010

365 days ago... baby girl arrived in the world. And today, I am finding myself spouting all the old cliches, such as "where DID that year go?"

Its been the best, most challenging year of my life, full of the biggest highs I have ever experienced, but also the most crashing lows. It has felt at times completely overwhelming, at others, the easiest job in the world. The amount of love I feel for her sometimes seems like it going to consume me, and is like no other love I have ever experienced. Yes, another cliche, but so true. She is my funny, beautiful, headstrong, bossy, determined, naughty, curious, amazing new best friend.

Today we had a small gathering with our parents for her. It was very perfect, very Ruby-centred and lovely. And then we had a major meltdown at the end of the day. She is still awake and crying now, and I am not entirely sure what it is.... I think an unhappy combination of too much rich food, too much stimulation and not enough sleep. But even this does not put a downer on the day, its just a reminder of how in the moment a baby is, and how, no matter how hard you try, you can never expect things to go to plan. And that is ALL GOOD, and just the way of things really! I have learnt to go with the flow much more than ever, and am more relaxed for it.

But in my reflections on what was going on for me this time last year, just hours after she was born, I can see how far I have come. I will never forget the moment when I was alone in hospital after Dave had gone home, and she was lying in her cot, fast asleep. Then she opened her eyes and stared at me, and I was hit with the enormous responsibility that I was entirely responsible for her. If she cried, I would have to pick her up and sooth her. I have never felt so shit scared in all my life! Yet, this evening as she cried, its second nature to just gather her up in my arms and know that nobody on this planet (with the exception of her daddy of course!) can sooth her and give her all she needs the way I can.

I am so proud of her, so head over heals in love, and so, so grateful she chose us. I am a better person because of her, and my life is better, more colourful, and sharper round the edges for having her in it.

Happy birthday baby girl.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Playpen....of life changing JOY!

I swore I wouldn't get one as they look a little too much like a baby prison for my liking, but today I got hold of a cheap, second hand playpen. And I have to say, its the best baby purchase EVER. The Rubester is at that stage where she wants to explore everything. She is getting in drawers, unloading bookshelves, climbing all over the toliet, and generally mischief and mess making whenever possible. Its great to watch her learning about her world, but it also means it takes me an age to get anything done, or to leave the house as I am constantly stopping all the time to prevent her from injuring herself (or my possessions!)

Put her in it tonight with lots of her toys, and she LOVED it. It sounds rather dramatic, but it really has changed my life, now I can leave her and go to the loo, or load the car, or have a cup of tea, knowing she is safe and happy, and not about to start drinking bleach or something equally as dangerous!

It also converts to a wendy house..... but for now, I think I will be spending time in it after she has gone to bed. I loved making dens as a kid, and now it is MY DEN until she is old enough to appreciate it. Sure, we will make proper dens together with clothes dryers, blankets and the like, but we also now have a proper, structurally sound one!!

Am I a little weird?


Thursday, 8 April 2010

Trains, tantrums and tamborines.

Took Ruby up to Bristol on the train today. I like train journeys, but was reminded how rubbish it can be. Late trains, surly teenages sat exactly in the spot where I would like to (and am entitled to!!) park my pram, steep steps to get on them (albiet with very helpful conductor who helped me on) and general feelings of "could do better" about the whole thing. But I learnt that baby rice cakes are a VERY GOOD THING as they kept her quiet from Weston Milton to Parson Street. But I digress...

I am sat here mulling over the day and feeling exhausted. we are entering new territory. Tantrums. (Surely at nine months she is too young for them?!!?) The ten minute walk to my friends house from the train station took more like 25 minutes and went something along the lines of this....

RUBY: Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!
ME: OK. here is your tambourine. (a new purchase yesterday which she LOVES)
RUBY: (Big smiles and much shaking of said tambourine. 5 seconds later, tambourine is dropped on the floor.)
ME: (picks up tambourine and hands back to Ruby)

And this senario was then repeated for what felt like infinity. Until I could take it no more, and informed her that the tambourine was going away if she insisted on dropping it every five seconds. And then she screamed blue murder. For about five minutes. I was getting those looks from passers by, you know the ones, the "can't you DO SOMETHING about that baby?" looks from non parents, and sympathy but glad it is not MY baby kind of looks from fellow pram pushers. In the end I caved in and gave her the tambourine. And we recommenced the passing, dropping and picking up process all over again.

Honestly. This is a new thing for me, and it is like Chinese water torture. I dread to think how I will be when we have terrible two style tantrums. It gets easier, right?! (surely?????)

OH, and just a side note. She has learnt this new noise. It is a happy noise, but it the highest pitched mini scream. It even makes me wince, and I am her mummy who is meant to be able to let these things wash over me. I thought we were going to be chucked out of the classy Bedminster bistro that seemed to be entirely populated by well groomed mummies with their perfectly behaved babies for noise polution!

Its a trying time in my world of mummyhood right now. I think the rest of my evening is going to go something like this....

RUBY: (sound of gentle snoring.)
ME: (sound of bottle of red being opened)
ME: slurp


Thursday, 25 March 2010


I had my first moment of looking at Ruby tonight and wondering where my little baby girl has gone. This past week has all been about moving and milestones! The tentative yoga pose which showed the potential for a crawl is now a proper crawl. You can't deny that she has finally cracked it. This became apparent today when she crawled about five foot across my living room floor to get at the wires of my laptop. And she managed it on hands and knees in about 5 seconds flat! She is flinging herself about with abandon, then pushing herself easilly into a sitting position until she flings herself back into the crawling pose to continue her travels. The 'flinging' thing has meant two badly bumped head moments in the last week alone. You know, the kind where no amount of diversion and cheering will distract from the fact that it really bloody hurt. Cue dramatic crying and screaming.

I also have made a mental note to drop her cot down to the lowest notch over the weekend. On putting her down for a nap today, all was quiet so I left her for ten minutes, then went to check she really was asleep. And found her sat up in her cot playing with her teddies. On seeing me, she smiled sweetly and pulled herslef up to a standing position on the cot side. I felt a mixture of pride at her first solo standing, and dread about the danger she will soon be getting herself in. Cue more head bumping and dramatic crying and screaming.

I can see the beginnings of my little baby girl becoming a toddler. She is on the move, babbling away to herself, developing her sense of humour and even waving in response to us waving at her. It makes me feel a little sad, but excited about seeing her grow.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Go baby go Baby GO!

And she is OFF!!

Ruby is 7 months and two weeks, and today was a bit of a momentus occasion.... Up until now, any crawling she has done has been of the backwards variety. Today round at a friends house, she lifted her bum right in the air, straightened her legs so it looked she was doing a rather complex yoga pose, and then there was a proper movement FORWARDS. Ok, so it was much more luck than judgement, but it was PROPER!!

I have very mixed feelings. It is exciting to see her meeting these big developmental milestones, but each one she hits means that my little baby girl is getting closer to not being my little baby girl anymore....

And yes. I don't think I can put off the inevitable. Its time to baby proof the house, and looking around the front room, there are SOOOOO many things that are extremely breakable.... And our nice little gatherings where all the babies go on the floor and stay in one place playing while we drink gallons of tea are going to be a thing of the past. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!