Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Henry's 10 Month Update


Henry is 11 months old today, how did that happen so quickly?! Before I go off on a tangent about how quickly his first birthday is approaching, I'll give an update on his 10th month, which has been my absolute favourite age of his so far. His personality is developing in leaps and bounds and due to all the new skills he's mastering which allow him to engage and interact more than ever, we have so much fun together. He is such a happy little chappy, constantly smiling and laughing, and I adore spending time with him.

It's during this past month that Henry seems to have suddenly morphed into a little boy. It's as though he went to sleep one evening and overnight transformed from a baby to a toddler. I look at him now, with his sandy blonde hair, big blue eyes and pouty lips, and can so clearly how he will look at 2, 3, 4 years old. He suddenly looks so much older and although it's bittersweet that his baby days are behind us, I love witnessing the person he is becoming.

Weight & Height: Plodding along nicely on the 50th centile, Henry weighed 20lbs 2oz at 10 months. We suspected he'd had a growth spurt as he looked bigger and had been sleeping more, and it was confirmed when we measured him - he'd grown 3cm within a month, so he's now shot up to the 91st centile for height.

Health: Henry finally had his first cold. I like to think he managed so long without one due to being breastfed for his first 5 months, but maybe we just got lucky. He coped with it very well and remained surprisingly chipper considering he had a constant stream of snot trickling out of his little nose.

DislikesSudden loud noises. Rhyme time at the library was all well and good until the line 'if you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream,' was sung, and suddenly the room erupted with the shrieks of 10 adults and children. Henry promptly burst into tears!


Likes: Henry's fine motor skills have been honed and he now enjoys playing with his stacking cups and stacking ring - Matt and I still get very excited when he does this and find it very impressive! He's also learned how to place lids back onto things, so he loves spending time doing so with his toy pots, pans and kettle. 

Henry has always loved looking at photos, and as I've recently been working on his 1st year album, he loves to sit on my lap and have a flick through, giggling at his favourites. He's developed a fondness of a particular photo of me, taken when I was pregnant with him, which he likes to carry about with him once he's found it.

Henry delights in the company of other children, particularly ones older than him. His face lights up when he sees a child nearby, he often lets out a chuckle, and if he's on foot, he toddles after them and reaches out to touch them. Unfortunately, the eagerness to interact is not often reciprocated, and the older children usually make a swift exit, much to mine and Henry's dismay! Children his own age respond better thankfully, and he's made a few little friends during his activities. For that reason, he loves swimming and going to the library, (where he recently got his very first library card) as there are plenty of children to fascinate him.

Milestones: Henry took his first steps this month! He's been cruising around furniture and toddling whilst holding on to my fingers for a while now, but one day the desire to pick up an (unlit) tealight proved enough temptation for him to face the fear and take a few unsteady steps unaided.  He can stand on his own for a short while but he's not yet made any more attempts at walking on his own. He's cut his two front teeth so he now has a grand total of four. I love seeing his toothy grin!
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With only one month left until his first birthday, I'm in full party planning mode, arranging decorations, planning party food and ordering presents. I love the things we've chosen for him - a few special items I hope he will cherish for years to come. I'll be sure to dedicate a blog post to Henry's big day once it's over, with all the details and special touches!

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Saying Goodbye



"Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved" - Iris Murdoch

William and Noah are never far from my mind. Their presence lingers with me always. I carry them in my heart, an integral part of my being. In the first year after their death, grief overwhelmed me and I embraced it, knowing that I needed to feel the intensity of the pain to help me towards healing. But since Henry was born, grief has taken a back seat. It's not that my grief is being hidden, but rather, it has become a part of everyday life. It is always with me, but it's no longer at the forefront of my day. Being a mother to a ten-month-old means it isn't possible to look through William and Noah's memory box and photos regularly. When a wave of debilitating grief rides in, I can't curl up in bed and stay there for the day. I have to set it aside for the time being so I can be the mother Henry needs.

Even though life is better now, and we're at a place where we never imagined we could be again, there is still that hole that is left by the absence of our sons. Even in the happiest, purest moment, our family will never be complete, there will always be two missing. As Elizabeth McCracken writes, "It's a happy life, but someone is missing.But grieving and taking time to think about the boys is still something I need to do. I want and need to create space and time for them, to focus on our time together and love and grieve them. 

The magnitude of losing a child is immense - it is a devastating, life changing event, and whilst a few bereaved parents may be blessed with a strong support network around them, they can never truly understand. Often there can be an awkwardness when you talk about your child, your grief, and eventually you stop. And in this way, the grief of losing your child can be so very isolating. 

And that is how Saying Goodbye helped us. Attending one of their remembrance services (open to anyone who has lost a child - during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy) allowed us to honour William and Noah in a special and significant way, alongside other bereaved parents who know the pain of losing a child. 

We gathered in a cathedral for the service, in all its ethereal splendour, to rejoice, remember and grieve our children's lives, with others who knew. Here, we didn't need to describe the raw, primal pain that resides within our chest, it was already felt by those around us. We stood beside those who knew that there is no expiration date or time limit on grief, that a bereaved parent never moves on, they only become more accustomed to the pain. A beautiful unspoken bond between strangers. 

Seated in the pews, we listened as the majestic expanse was filled with moving words, poignant lyrics, reverent poetry. Each bereaved parent stood to light a candle for their child, the flickering flames creating a wave of light. The delicate chime of bells resonated and rose through the air, each one signifying the loss of a baby. A bittersweet melody of melancholy. Such touching tributes for the precious lives who mean so much to those who love them. In this sacred space, tears fell freely, each one symbolising the eternal love and pain that is felt. 

No awkwardness, no uncomfortable silences. 

Just purity, love and understanding.


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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Henry's 9 Month Update

This past month, Henry has been an absolute joy. Whereas I noted in his 8 Month Update that it was a difficult month with him being extremely clingy and having a fair amount of tantrums, his ninth month couldn't have been more different. He has been so lovely and I feel as though we're now closer than ever and I cherish the bond we have developed. He is such an affectionate and loving little boy and there is nothing better than feeling his chubby little hands grasp my face as he comes in for a big, wet, open-mouthed kiss. 

Henry is a busy bundle of energy and doesn't sit still for a moment. He's interested in EVERYTHING and constantly wants to explore. He has no interest in crawling so he toddles about whilst I hold onto his hands and he walks about the house investigating things that have taken his fancy. He's always making me laugh, the other day he was rummaging through his toy box on tippytoes and delved so deep in an attempt to reach a toy at the bottom that his little feet finally lifted off the floor and he tipped right into the toy box - head first! He is such a delight and we love him more than we ever thought possible.

Weight: We didn't officially got Henry weighed at 9 months, but our mother and baby scales suggested he was around 19lbs 7oz.

Health: Still no cough or cold, much to my disbelief. Teething is the only thing giving him trouble - he dribbles an unbelievable amount and soaks through four or five bibs per day.

Sleep: Henry sleeps from 7pm - 6.30am and has now dropped from three to two naps per day. The transition was a little tricky, but after reading some online forums for advice,  I tried the 2-3-4 hour nap pattern and it's worked a treat. 

Diet: Henry is eating like a little boy now - no more purees or mashes, all kinds of lumps and bumps and he loves little pasta shells.

Clothes: Henry is starting to fill out his 9-12 month clothing so I suspect it won't be long until he's onto 12-18 month clothing. Official toddler territory!

Dislikes: Trying to cut Henry's nails is a constant battle and I usually only manage one or two before a tantrum ensues and he shakes his hands to stop me doing it. He cries if I try and wipe his hands clean after a meal, but loves dipping his hands in water, so now after he's finished eating I bring him a little bowl of water, he pops his hands in and I give them a wash. The little prince!



Likes: Our little bookworm still adores his collection of books, and will crawl over and pick out his favourites and flick through them on his own. Where's Spot? and Where's Baby's Bellybutton? are his current favourite lift-the-flap books, it's so sweet to see him opening each flap and discovering what's underneath. He's learned how to bang on a xylophone and you can see the delight on his face when he does it. Bubbles are a new favourite. Henry loves to open and close cupboards and drawers - or anything with a hinge. Taking DVDs out of the cupboard is a favourite pastime of his. He still adores laptops - if we've forgotten to hide it under a cushion, he spots it and makes  beeline for it, panting in excitement the closer the gets! 

He loves being held my mama or dada and either chasing or being chased by the other one. We have great fun at lunchtime when we dance to The Beach Boys and he giggles at my moves. He laughs and laughs when daddy puts him on top of his head and asks, 'where's Henry?' and he chuckles when we kiss his tummy. He is a darling little cuddle bug and loves to grin at me, toddle over and give me hugs and kisses.

Milestones: Henry now has two little toothy-pegs. After months of being able to see teeth peeking underneath his top gum line, a tooth erupted from the bottom and took us by surprise, shortly followed by its neighbour! By the amount he's continuing to dribble, I suspect more are on their way. He can now clap his hands, give high-fives and roll a ball back and forth to me (which I think I enjoy more than he does!) He cruises along furniture and wants to walk everywhere rather than crawl.


Henry is getting so big, and his personality is getting even bigger. He is loving, spirited, and determined. His energy brightens my days. He communicates so clearly - his feelings are always written all over that sweet face of his. I find myself thinking "I love him so much..." so often throughout our days together. I feel like I am raising my best friend. 


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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Etsy Finds - Pretty Pastels

I love the freshness of pastels - the candy floss colour of baby blue, pale pink, lemon and peppermint always appeals to me and I find there's something quite innocent and whimsical about the soft palette of chalky hues. As always, Etsy has plenty to offer in array of pretty pastel tones, so I picked a few of my favourites. The silk kimono robes are a firm favourite of mine, and I may just have to treat myself to one soon, but how to pick just one shade?


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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Loves Lately





1. I'm currently going through a phase of updating Henry's nursery. Pinterest has been a source of endless inspiration for me and Etsy always has plenty of cute and unique nursery decor. The latest additions to Henry's room are the Mint Chevron BlanketHello Sunshine Cushion and Cloud Cushion. I love the pop of colour the yellow and aqua give against the pale grey walls. 

2. I received this beautiful vintage style bicycle from Matt for my birthday last year. I'm ashamed to admit I've not yet ridden it. Procrastination being as present as always, we've not yet bought a bike rack for the car, so for now, I've filled the basket with a bouquet of silk peonies and roses, and each time I look at it I dream of the time when I will finally ride it down a dusty lane, with sunshine on my face and my hair blowing in the wind. 

3. I adore Olivia Buron watches. They're classic, feminine, chic and look good with any outfit. I've already blogged about my much loved Rose Gold and Mink Watch, and now the latest beauty to adorn my wrist is the new Olivia Burton Big Dial Watch in Rose Gold and Mock Croc, available exclusively from The Dressing Room. I love the textured leather strap paired with the simplistic face of the watch.

4. Matt and I have made an effort to reduce the amount of time we spend watching TV in the evenings, so I've been able to make a start on reading the pile of new books that have accumulated over the year. As well as discovering new books, I've indulged in re-reading some of my favourites, one being The Bell Jar.

Let me know your loves lately...

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