Passing of the Torch

Posted by Anthony on Tuesday Sep 18, 2012 Under About, Freya

As you might have guessed, this blog is all but done.  Freya is now a school-girl, fully-weaned and speaking fluently.  I’d say it’s time to put the blog to bed, but there’s good news to go with the bad…

A friend of ours has just started weaning their son and they have gone with Baby-Led Weaning too.  While you won’t get the same adventures of Freya and her chip armies in Ikea, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Head on over to henryboulton.wordpress.com and watch a whole new adventure with a self-feeding child.

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Almost Two

Posted by Linda on Wednesday Mar 17, 2010 Under Uncategorized

My daughter is confusing and I can never keep her age straight in my head. You see the problem is that on Sunday she will be two. I can handle that, but right now she is in 12-18 month clothes so part of me feels that she is still much younger. On the other hand many of her toys are 3+ so I sometimes forget that she’s not that old.

W e have given up on blogging about speech now because, well, she can talk. She can express herself clearly and copy words after hearing them just once or twice. She lapses into babble still, but nine times out of ten you will understand when she talks. Oddly counting has slipped and rather than count she just reels off a list of numbers rather than tell you how many things there are, but on the other hand she can recognise two items immediately. So if she sees two birds in the sky she’ll say ‘two birds flying’ rather than needing to count them.

She still knows all the numbers up to ten and most of the alphabet. She does get confused by ‘G’ and ‘Q’ but that’s understandable. She also knows all her colours. She did have issues with confusing green and red for a while and since these are the classic colour blindness colours we did start to wonder, but she hasn’t confused them for a while so here’s hoping we were wrong.

Perhaps just as a nod to the fact this started out as a baby led weaning blog I will list what she has eaten today. For breakfast I made her two slices of toast and marmite since she has been pestering me for mine the last few days if I only make her one. She doesn’t eat the crusts still, but I’m not fussed. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I’m not going to insist. She didn’t eat much this morning though as I think her toast went a bit cold while she was waiting for me to come back up and she does prefer it warm. At about 9.30am she had Cheerios and raisins. )I think this may be the last box of Cheerios that I buy though as I think I’m going to join in the boycott of Nestle for their terrible aggressive marketing strategies of formula in developing countries that cost hundreds of lives every year.)

Anyway, then we went to a friend’s house where she ate a bite from a cereal bar and a whole chocolate digestive. We returned home and she was exhausted. She had a breast feed and fell asleep. By 2.30pm I was getting worried as we have Mini Strikers at 3.15pm, a really fun session where they get to do all sorts of activities and Freya loves it. I went in to ‘tidy’ her books and made enough noise that she woke up and then I gave her grapes (uneaten – shock horror!), sweetcorn, bread-sticks, cheese and cucumber. She also had a banana in the buggy on the way.

At home she had some more raisins, a bread-stick and sweetcorn. This was only because I was trying to persuade her to let me cook dinner. So finally dinner – mince beef pasta with garlic bread. Quite a bit eaten and because of circumstance we’ll all be having the same evening meal tomorrow.

Ah, Mini Strikers… What a discovery that was! I had heard that she could possibly go when she was two so I looked into it and went to a session. Since Freya is obsessed with balls and running around I had a feeling that she would enjoy it and she did. She wasn’t sure about the other children at first as she is quite reserved and really doesn’t like other people touching her, but when we went today (the third time ever) she was a joy to watch. I still sit with her and she needs me to run around with her, but I don’t mind and her confidence is growing every time we go. We are going to quit Jo Jingles though partly because of our limited budget and partly because the lady who we like doing it has been replaced and the replacement is simply not as good. Freya would rather run in circles round me than pay attention to what is going on and I don’t really need to pay £4.50 for that.

So Freya will be two in four days. Where did the time go? I still don’t regret anything and I’m still not wishing for any future age to come quicker. It is really amazing how fast she has changed though, even in the last few weeks.

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Wait… Did she really say what I think she said…?

Posted by Anthony on Thursday Jan 14, 2010 Under Uncategorized

Just a short one. Last night, I think we had our first conversation with Freya. It was late, nearly ten, and she was still awake. We decided to try getting her to go to bed.

Linda: It’s bed-time, are you ready to go to bed?
Freya: No… (not forcefully, just as though the answer was obvious)
Linda: Why not?
Freya: ‘S dark…
(we stop for a second, surprised by the apt response)
Linda: Will you go to bed if we turn on the light again?
(Freya seems to think about it for a second)
Freya: Yes…
(Freya walks to the stairs and starts climbing)

And that was the moment we realised that Freya is growing up very quickly…

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That’s my toddler!

Posted by Linda on Monday Dec 28, 2009 Under Cutlery, Freya, Weaning

Freya is growing up so fast now. She is no longer a baby. She hasn’t been for some time, but the most recent clutch of Christmas presents has really reinforced this. She now plays with her pirate ship, her caravan and her vet surgery. She doesn’t know the ins and outs of what a vet is but she likes the ‘house’ and the animals. She plays with the ‘car’ and the ‘man’. She also knows that pirates go ‘aaaaahhhh!’

Food has been quite strange lately. In the three weeks before Christmas we had a cold and her eating went down to almost nothing. I mean seriously, one meatball and a butter bean was her dinner one evening and I thought she didn’t eat much on a normal day! Luckily she is still breast fed and I could relax knowing that she still got plenty of nutrition from that.

After she recovered the eating went mad. I think maybe it was a growth spurt or making up for the week she was ill, but she seriously ate me out of house and home. Nothing was safe and quite suddenly her spoon and fork control also improved so she was eating a much larger quantity of food at dinner. Things she has previously rejected were suddenly greeted with enthusiasm.

Right now I think she’s found a middle ground. Unfortunately since it is Christmas she has also discovered chocolate or ‘uh, uh’ as she calls it. Since it is Christmas we are letting her have a little, but she seems to have realised that chocolate is actually very yummy and has been demanding it a little more than I’m comfortable with.

So what new words do we have now? Too many to really mention I think, but we’ll see what I can do – nose, mouth, eye, baby, feet, nap’ee (nappy), ap’aw (apple), tea, house, duck are the few that spring to mind but we have groups of words now too.

Numbers are un (one), tooo (two), free (three), four, fief (five), seeks (six), se’en (seven), ayt (eight), noin (nine) yeahn (ten).

Colours came suddenly the other day although we have been telling her colours from when she was very little. It was a bit of a shock to have her suddenly sit there and tell me them. Pup’el seems to be the favourite and green seems to give the most difficulty.

This month Freya really surprised me with how fast she is growing up and the nicest surprsie of all could be that she is now and again sleeping through the night – yes, that holy grail of parenting!

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Freya counts to ten and more growing up…

Posted by Anthony on Friday Nov 20, 2009 Under About, Freya

Freya continues to impress us with her quickly-growing skill-set. The video here is not the best quality, but it does show that Freya is learning her numbers. It might look like some pushy parenting, but she has been practising and asking for help. I also think that watching Numberjacks (much as I hate that program) is helping her learn numbers.

Her other trick (which we have yet to catch on camera) is shouting out the names of the characters in Waybuloo; they sound more ‘la-la’ and ‘joo-joo’, but we can definitely tell what she is saying.

In terms of physical ability, she has taken to bouncing on her bed, stepping off her step-stool while shouting ‘whee!’, climbing down the stairs without holding on and she successfully used the toilet last week.  In all, it is an exciting time to be a parent…

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What’s new?

Posted by Linda on Sunday Oct 25, 2009 Under About, Freya

We dressed Freya up as a fairy last night and, as we are very diligent parents, then completely forgot to take any photographs. This is a shame as she did look very cute, but also quite odd. We think she enjoyed herself running around and ‘helping’ out with the things going on. It was an unusual party and at one point there was a UV painting session which Freya absolutely loved. By the way this wasn’t a children’s party, just a lot of very strange adults who’s idea of a good party is building things from bricks or lego and playing with play dough while discussing philosophy. One of the strangest problems Freya seemed to have was that many of the men there had long hair and quite often she would approach one of them calling them Daddy rather confused.

So where are we with words I hear you ask? They are coming thick and fast lately so…

The letters and numbers Freya now recognises are – A (still quite an aggressive ‘argh’ sound,) B (only now and again), C, D, E, F(ffff), G (now and again), L (eh), M (mmm), N (mmm), O, R, S (sss), T, U (ooo), 6, 7 (se’en) and just this morning we had 8 (ay).

‘S’ words seem to be a favourite at the moment so we have – star, sand, sea, six, sit, socks, spider (si-er), seven (se-en).

Other words – food (foo), cat (mao), bear, drink (dink),  bubbles (buh-els) milk (mat), moon (moo), bat (ba), hat (ha), Makka Pakka (ma-a pa-a), Upsy Daisy (ai ee Daisy), daisy, flower (fower), Freya, fairy (faer ee), bath, daddy, mummy (mama), boob (yes, thanks, Tony), ear, eye (ahy). I think that’s all but it’s so difficult to remember as she obviously doesn’t say all the words all the time so it’s also hard to know whether something was a fluke or not.

She knows quite a few signs now too and the sounds certain animals make. Cow – moo, sheep – baa, lion/tiger/dinosaur/dragon – rah!, monkey -oo oo oo ah ah ah, cat – maow, dog – pants, owl – hoo hoo, elephant – brrrr, car – brrrm, train – see car, pirates – arrr (very gently). The signs she knows are – milk, finished, food, sand, giraffe, book, nappy change, sleep, monkey, cake, biscuit.

One of the scariest realisations as a parent comes when you finally get it into your head that your child actually can understand pretty much most of what you say. So when I said jokingly at the party, ‘oh, Freya you have glitter all over your hands. Ah, well, just wipe it on a random stranger,’ and she does, it was quite a shock and hugely amusing to everyone watching fortunately.

She can now get down the stairs completely unaided with her Cat and Bear in her hands, she can complete her jigsaw effortlessly and she now wants me to put nappies on her cuddly toys and takes great pleasure in wiping their faces and there hands. This personification of her toys is a dramatic jump in intellect to my mind and really rammed home the fact that my little girl is growing up!

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It has been a while

Posted by Anthony on Sunday Oct 4, 2009 Under Uncategorized

Yes, we have been remiss in our duties. Freya continues to grow taller and more intelligent by the day. Her latest achievement is jumping, which most of the guides agree is something she should not pick up until she is about three.

Beyond this, we have her reading ability coming on by leaps and bounds. She is not able to see her name and recognise it, but she will run her finger along the line of letters and read them. “Fuh – arr – ee! – wuh – ay…” New words include saying her own name recognisably; socks (saks); swing, slide and six are all clearly audible; ‘Raaah!’ when she sees a dinosaur; “Arrr!” when she sees a pirate…

Which brings us on to her pirates. Baldy and Cap’n were Talk Like a Pirate Day gifts, complete with a pirate island and a little sailing boat. She saw them, she loved them, she played with them and then… they said ‘ah…’ and started kissing. They are both bearded rugged manly men, who just happen to enjoy one another’s company and enjoy snuggling up with kisses on the balcony of their island retreat to watch the dinosaurs and sharks roaming the plains.
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Oh, looking back makes me laugh!

Posted by Linda on Tuesday Aug 25, 2009 Under Freya

Well, there I am saying that she’s sleeping through and going down at 8.30pm without a fight! How wrong am I? I should know by now that Freya is in a constant state of flux and things will change minute by minute. She went to sleep at about 9.20pm last night and woke at 7.30am with one wake in the night.

Actually I can live with this. I can’t complain about the lack of sleep I get because if I went to bed at the same time she did, I would get lots. It’s my own fault if I choose to go to bed at midnight.

On the plus side, the naps are back to two hours. You see, now I’ve said that she’ll only sleep for one now I bet!

I have been slowly stock piling clothes in the next size up for winter. Freya is small. I knew that when she was just a 6 cm blob and I still know it. She is still wearing some 6-9 month clothes at 17 months although mostly she’s in 9-12 month things at the moment. I am kind of hoping that by the end of September or October that she’ll be in 12-18 months. There are a couple of things in 12-18 months that seem to fit ok. Her main trouble is that she is a fairly good height but has a tiny waist so when trousers fit lengthwise they just tend to end up round her ankles as they won’t stay up. Wearing a cloth nappy helps, but it’s still awkward. I guess she’ll always have that trouble.

New words this week -

Cat seems to have disappeared in favour of Maow or prrrrr and we now have a ‘b’ on bear instead of ‘w’.

deeg (dog), dey (dice), ‘R’, sees (’6′) wasat (we think means ‘what is that’), deed (possibly ‘did it’?), ‘D’, ‘E’.

I guess I had better explain the numbers and letters. We’re not pushy parents. I promise you that, but we do love books so Freya has built up quite a collection of her own already. She loves being read to, but equally loves sitting and flicking through them herself. Over the last few weeks she has become much more aware of letters and numbers and has been pointing and asking what they are, just as she would with a picture of a cat/fish/rabbit etc. I couldn’t tell you what she understands by them or if she is aware that stringing them together make words, but then who knows. I know that Tony and I were both early readers so I guess we’ll see what happens.

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The skill of speech

Posted by Linda on Thursday Aug 20, 2009 Under Uncategorized

Now Freya has had Mama and Dada or Daaad down for a while, but we thought it may be interesting to log her spoken words as she learns them. I think I am the only mother who’s daughter recognises and can say ‘Data’ (from Star Trek) for example so here are the words she understands and can say so far:

Data (Da’a), Three (ee), ‘C’, Seven (se’en), Ball (ba), Cat (aat), Upsy Daisy (Daisy), hat, hair, bear (wear), there, moo moo.

That’s all I can think of for now, but I will add them as I remember or she says them.

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Been a while…

Posted by Linda on Wednesday Aug 19, 2009 Under Uncategorized

Freya is growing up. She learns so much new stuff every day that to blog it all would probably bore the socks of everyone, if the baby led weaning didn’t. However there have been a few developments lately that have been worthy of comment.

Firstly Freya walks like a pro now. Very steady and full of confidence. She’s fast too. Just today I found myself running headlong across the park before she reached the road’s edge and only just managing to catch her in time. I just wish that she would hold my hand and then we could walk along the pavement together instead of taking the buggy, but I guess this will come soon.

She is also fearless. She has discovered this week that she can climb right to the top of this scary old slide we found in a secluded corner of the park. The only trouble is that I have to follow her up and when we get to the top there’s not enough room to manoeuvre easily. She did that three times today and the second one I nearly had a heart attack as I really thought I was going to fall. She can climb in and out the patio doors, on and off the bench in the garden and can even make it part way up the climbing frame.

She is also sociable. She wanders round the park looking for people to show her car to. This breaks my heart though somewhat as the boys and girls she chooses are all very much older and not really interested. She wanders right into the middle of their football games or gossiping. Unfortunately younger kids just don’t interest her as much. She tends to observe them and then do her own thing.

She is also sleeping through sometimes. Since about 6 months she has woken for one, two or sometimes even three feeds, but once or twice in the last few weeks she hasn’t. Her sleeping pattern has changed too rather suddenly. From a lovely three hour nap in the afternoon to just one if I’m lucky. However, she tends to go to sleep at 8.30pm ish without a fuss now and wake for the morning at 8 ish.

Food wise she has suddenly also been eating a lot more in the evening and today she even ate quite a big lunch. The best food we have come across lately has to be chicken risotto. She loves it and she loves using her spork to eat it.

Ah, yes, the spork. Found in takeaway salads in all good supermarkets this has to be the ultimate in weaning cutlery. It stabs things easily and they don’t fall off, but yet you can use it to scoop too like a spoon. It also fits perfectly in your baby’s hand. They are sharp though so I would only recommend them if your baby has already got not sticking cutlery in their eyes down.

Anyway between sporks, her climbing and her mischievousness life has never been more rewarding or exhausting and she always keeps me on my toes.

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