Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Grace growing up

It's been so long since I've had time to sit down and update this. Suddenly there are not enough hours in the day even though I am up for most of them! I have gone back to work one day a week. It's going really well but initially I was so worried about leaving Grace and her feeling abandoned. I had visions of her looking around for me and not finding me. I set up a practise day with her childminder the week before I was due back to ease my mind. Grace was fine but I was rubbish. I spent the whole day looking at baby photos and sniffing her things. I sat counting the hours till I could go and pick her up and when the time finally came she was fast asleep anyway! To have her back in my arms after being apart for all those hours was magical.

I am really enjoying work but I permanently feel like I have forgotten something. You know when you go off on holiday and suddenly get in a panic that you have left some electrical appliance on? That is how I feel the whole time I am not with Grace (not saying she is an electrical appliance but you see what I mean). It is nice to be able to pop out for a coffee without packing bags and dummies and setting up buggies though, and to know my outfit won't get baby spit and mashed banana down it for a while! Sneaking into the loo with my breast pump is not so much fun. I worry people wonder what I am up to, locked in the loo with a whirring machine for hours at a time... Then there is the problem of where to store it, I am not sure my fellow workmates want my milk nestled alongside their sandwiches and (out of date) yogurts in the company fridge!!

James and Grace went to Little Dippers together last week...and it was hilarious.
I had told him that loads of men would be doing it with their kids, so he was a bit surprised when he burst out the changing room and saw a pool full of women and babies. He was excellent, although he did pretend to forget the words when they sang "Row row row your boat" and was slightly over-competitive when playing the 'reaching for toys in the water' game. No-one actually said it was a race. Grace also did some quite energetic headers with the help of her dad when they were playing ball games at the end! They both had a lovely time though. I was so proud of the pair of them as I sat watching at the side. I remember my mum watching me learn to swim, I was awful. I had to practise doing the strokes on the tiles by the side of the pool whilst all the other kids splashed about in the water. Lets hope these early classes will save Grace (and me) that embarrassment!

James took Grace to get her third set of jabs today, all the women were cooing over her (and him no doubt) in the surgery. She cried real tears after he tells me, but is fine now. She is in her jungle bouncer as I type this, jumping up and down and cooing alot.
Every day seems to bring something new. She is making a wide range of (monkey) noises, which to help encourage speech we are supposed to repeat back to her, so we all spend alot of time ga ga gooing. She is almost sitting up alone, sort of rolling over, and loves food. She watches in fascination when James and I eat dinner, it's a bit off-putting at times. The other day we were out at a restaurant and she got so hungry watching us she started lunging for James' thumb! She has the odd bit of sweet potato, as well as banana and rice. I have also just introduced a raspberry porridge type thing which she seems to love (lord knows why, it tastes awful!). She clamps her mouth down on the spoon in delight though and howls when it's all gone!

She is still waking quite frequently at night. James seems to be much better at coping with lack of sleep than me and has taken over the night feeds. What a man eh? I am actually managing to get 7 hours sleep in at last. It's a slow and painful process but Grace is gradually learning if she wakes up before 7am all she gets is a silent and grumpy daddy offering her formula, when what she wants is mummy and boob and to sleep in the bed. Last night she only woke twice so it's getting better. One night last week she had us up every 50 minutes!

The help and support from family and friends these last few weeks has been tremendous. We went to stay with James' family over the bank holiday and they were amazing. It was like being on holiday. I can never truly relax when I am at home, especially as the flat is still on the market so I constantly try to keep it spotless (impossible when you live with a monkey and a clumsy oaf!) but while I was with away I actually switched off for a while, did some crosswords, went shopping, had a nap whilst they entertained Grace and cooked and made endless cups of tea for us. Since having Grace, I have really seen the depth of human kindness. James has also been incredible, as well as doing night feeds and babysitting , he took me shopping for a whole new wardrobe, hovering outside busy shops with the buggy whilst I tried on a million different outfits and even pretended to be interested when I did a fashion show for him and Grace when we got home.

So all in all it's going really well. The summer is finally on it's way and I can't wait for picnics on the beach and trips along the seafront.

Photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=113743&l=4b4e1&id=632600721

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