Thursday, December 2, 2010

A few days worth of catching up

I shall begin on Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, my wonderful parents came and took Elspeth away! This meant that Aidan and I were free to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary on our own. Lovely! This picture was taken by my dad, apparently Ellie was playing hide and seek in their wardrobe.

Aidan and I were free agents then until Sunday afternoon, when we took my parents a bag of lemons as ransom for our daughter.

Since then, I must say, she has been a huge pain the butt. She's been grizzly and upset, whinging about nothing or the smallest things. I'm sure it is, in part, our fault - we haven't exactly let her settle back down into a routine!

On Monday I started university. I'm studying online, at home, so it shouldn't have directly affected Elspeth, but quite possibly I paid her less attention than she is used to.

On Tuesday we had Andrew over for dinner, which was tremendously fun as usual, but it did mean we had Ellie up later than usual!

On Wednesday was my grandfather's funeral, so we had to take her on a long drive to the tedious event, followed by a long drive home again.

Today, Thursday, we had Mother's Group - shambles of a disorganised event that it was this week - so again her routine was interrupted!

I sincerely hope that tomorrow and the next few days will be boring and predicable, and that she will settle down again.

She is already seeming slightly better, she is amusing herself relatively quietly while Aidan sleeps prior to night shift.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tonight's Giggly Madness

With our dinner tonight, Aidan and I had a salad. A big salad in a bowl that we could both pick at. So, I sat at one end of the couch, Aidan sat at the other, and the salad bowl was next to me.

Elspeth climbed up on the couch and started poking around in the salad bowl. Naturally I encouraged this, thinking she was showing signs of wanting to eat healthily.

But did she eat it? No.

She took bits out, one by one, and put them into Aidan's mouth. Feeding him. After each piece went into his mouth, she would be back at the bowl for another, and trying to feed him again before he'd even chewed the last piece! It was like a salad relay race! On the one occasion Aidan simply couldn't get another piece of vegetable into his mouth and utterly refused, Elspeth simply brought it back and fed it to me instead!

Much hilarity ensued. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Playing Favourites

Now everybody knows that parents aren't meant to have favourites amongst their children. Clearly for Aidan and I this is not a problem, as we so far only have one child. However apparently no corresponding rule exists for the children themselves, and nobody stops them having favourite adults! Usually, of course, it's just Elspeth and myself at home and she has no choice but to love me best. But today Aidan is home, and he is definitely the favourite - he is the one she wants to be near, to hug, to climb all over, and to slobber on. Last weekend at my parents' house, my mother was the favourite. Elspeth switches favourites like some people change underwear! Whilst it is nice to be her favourite, it is equally nice to get a break and let somebody else take the brunt of her particularly demanding style of attention!

Friday, October 29, 2010


At some point in the distant past I started giving Elspeth juice in bottles she could drink from herself - that is to say, I no longer have to sit down, hold her, and hold the bottle, she drinks all by herself while wandering around. Now naturally she can't do this with a dummy in her mouth, so if she has one, I ask her for it before I give her the juice.
From this, she has gotten the impression that she can't have juice without giving me something first - swapping something! So every time I offer her the bottle, if she isn't sucking on a dummy, she goes to find something to give to me before she takes it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Flower of my Heart

Some weeks ago, to test Elspeth's vocabulary and understanding, I asked her to bring me a flower. To my delight, she went and found a flower, picked it, and brought it to me. Naturally I was thrilled, and praised her effusively. The natural extension of this is that she now thinks that bringing mummy flowers is a good and right thing to do - and so she does it all the time. I sat on the back step watching her play in the yard this morning, and every time the inclination struck her, she brought me a flower. Nine, in all. By about the third or fourth I was wondering if I should keep thanking her for them - she'll be picking every flower in the yard at this rate! But I would hate to scold her when she thinks she's doing something praiseworthy! So I simply said nothing as I took each flower from her (if I don't take things when she gives them, she shoves them at me, getting very aggravated if I don't accept!) and I guess after the ninth my lack of enthusiasm got through to her and she stopped. But I know she'll do it again tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Foot claws!

A few days ago I wanted to cut Elspeth's nails. I got all of her fingernails done, and seven of her toenails. But the last three toenails have been the subject of an on-going battle! Each day I try at least once to make her keep that foot still so I can chop off those claws, to no avail! I've tried doing it while she eats, while she watches DVDs, and while she is sleepy, but each time she quickly becomes aware of my intentions and promptly wriggles her foot. 

Finally today I managed to cut two of them. Heaven knows how! She was watching Thomas the Tank Engine at the time, perhaps she just really likes trains. But I still can't manage the very last toenail!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My monosyllabic daughter

Elspeth's vocabulary is growing at an astounding rate. She shows understanding of a great many words that she can't say yet, and she says quite a few.
However I can't help but notice that she has not quite got the hang of giving each word more than one consonant.
As such, "da" can mean either dad or dummy.
"Ba" is bus, or bath, or ball.
"Ma" is mum or mouse.
And "go" is gone!
She will stand by the door after Aidan goes to work and say "da go ca", and it's perfectly clear that she knows her daddy has gone in the car. I find that quite impressive.
But I can't wait until she finishes words properly!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Elspeth can now climb out of her cot if the side is left lowered. Landing, however, is something she needs to work on.

Note to self: Always put the side up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All Hail the Holey Baby

Elspeth had her 12 month vaccinations today - yes, even though she's 13 months old. I left it a little late, but finally got around to it. She got three jabs - one in each arm, and one in a leg - and she yelled! But she recovered fairly well, considering she's got a cold as well. I got the doctor to check out her hips too, just to make sure they were developing fine, and there's no problem there. So apart from the snotty sniffles, we've got a nice healthy baby now!

Friday, August 20, 2010

No More Afternoon Nap

At 13 months of age, Elspeth has dropped her afternoon nap. It got harder and harder to get her to sleep, and it wasn't for long, so now I simply don't put her down. That means she spends from about 11.30am until 8pm awake. She seems to handle it well, with only limited irritability towards the end of the day. Me, though... I didn't know how much I valued that short afternoon break until it was gone! Yesterday I lost patience and punched a wall, oops. Hand and wall both ok. I will do my best to improve my patience - perhaps some wine might help?

Over on Kidspot I've joined the CRAP mothers group - Creative Relaxed Approach to Parenting. We CRAP mothers don't watch our children like hawks, we let them eat a little dirt now and then, and we punch walls in front of them.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Broom broom!

I had hoped to delay this moment for about 16 years or so. But Elspeth has discovered the joys of cars already! She saw this little beauty sitting up on a shelf, pointed at it, and said "Car!" So what could I do but get it down for her to play with? We'll call it a kind of birthday present; she turns 13 months old today!

We bought her one of those backpack/leash things yesterday. I didn't really want to, but she's learnt to walk much sooner than I anticipated. I originally thought that by the time she was walking she would also be communicating and able to understand to stay close to me. But this is not the case! Her independence is growing faster than her common sense, so next time I'm down at the Plaza she will be harnessed to me with a cute doggy backpack!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Elspeth's Sudo Adventure

It was a cranky day for the baby today. So while I was practicing piano this afternoon, I was very glad that Elspeth had clearly found something to play with which kept her quiet and happy. She was sitting right at my feet, but immersed as I was in Meat Loaf's Heaven Can Wait, I did not glance down for a while. When I did finally look down, I saw what it was that had kept her busy: she had found a tub of Sudocrem, a thick white ointment used for the treatment and prevention of nappy rash. She had been happily engaged in spreading said cream all over her face, hands, clothing, and the floor! I was going to photograph it, but felt that cleaning up was a bit more important! Instead I took a photo of the tub after she'd finished with it. Needless to say she required much cleaning and a complete change of clothes, about which she was not happy. However she did look lovely for my parents when they arrived very shortly afterwards!

Back Again!

Babies are adorable. They are cute, gorgeous, clever, sweet, and all sorts of other nice adjectives.

They can also be a pain in the bloody neck.

They can be clingy, cranky, sore, tired, hungry, poopy, and any combination of the aforementioned.

Elspeth is currently both clingy and cranky. She also seems to be going through a phase of not wanting to lie on her back. Try to change a poopy nappy when the baby won't stay still and keeps screaming at you! It also causes inconvenience while attempting to dry her after a bath, and put clothes on her. I've always tried to make these chores as fun as possible for both of us, but this seems to be failing right now. I shall persevere - what choice do I have?! - but I begin to get frustrated...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Well BASSically...

Those of you who know me probably know that my husband Aidan plays bass guitar.

Elspeth has a new game.

I was trying to get a photo of her doing it, but every time she sees the camera she comes towards it.

She sits in front of his amp while he plays and pulls the plug out, switches it off, or twists the volume knob!

She'll send herself deaf one of these days!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Studying with a Baby?!

I must be mad! Open Universities Australia is awesome, a very convenient way to study. I successfully completed two units while Elspeth was much smaller and didn't seem to need as much! But now... what on earth possessed me to sign up for another unit now that she's a toddler? When I have time, I'm too tired to concentrate. When I'm not too tired, it's because she's still in the process of exhausting me! I must be mad.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Babies, I am discovering, are remarkably strong. I was just feeding Elspeth and she grabbed the spoon to push it away - not hungry, apparently. So I figured, fine, I'll just take the spoon away from her so she doesn't fling food everywhere. Easy, right? Wrong! Her grip was vice-like, I had to prise her fingers open one by one! What baby wants, baby really really doesn't want to let go of!

I have noticed similar unexpected strength in her grip on me, sometimes. She had a habit, for a little while, of grasping the skin of my cheek and squeezing as hard as she could. Needless to say I cut her fingernails as soon as she started doing that.

So I conclude that anybody who uses the phrase "As easy as taking candy from a baby" clearly hasn't tried doing so.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgotten Consonants

Elspeth has added two new words to her repertoire - almost!

She points at my nose and says "no".
And she plays with her plastic duck in the bath saying "du".

It seems that finishing words properly is something for adults to worry about!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Poor little Elspeth must be feeling the tooth-pain pretty badly tonight. She's been grasping her jaw and cheek all day, and now I've put her to bed and she's just screaming, even after having some panadol. She even has a nice cold teething ring in the cot with her. I'm listening to her yell, watching the clock, waiting for either silence or the next time I should go in to comfort her. Yes, evil of evils, I leave my baby crying sometimes. End sarcasm. The poor girl has been in pain all day, and on days like this often just being hugged will make her feel better (or at least stop crying). Most of today hugs have worked; I try not to give her panadol too often. But in the evening before bed is my exception, because I do actually want her to sleep all night! ... Approximately 8 minutes after starting to write this, she does seem to be winding down - fewer screams, quieter, and more time in between. I think she's alright.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Words So Far

Elspeth has quite a few words, for her age, and they are as follows:

    Woof means dog.  
    Nom nom nom means food.  
    Car - which at this stage means everything.

Those are the words she says frequently herself, but she also understands a lot of what I say to her - for instance, when I ask her where a particular toy is or body part, she usually looks, points, or goes straight to it. I'm sure she understands "No" but chooses to ignore it!

Oh god, the DROOL!

Where does it all come from? I could carry her outside and water the garden, I could hold her over the bath and float a small boat, she could save a third-world country with all that!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bruised Baby

My poor little Elspeth is looking awful at the moment. She's so independent and exploratory, there is nothing I can do to stop her falling over and hitting her head on things. She currently has a large bruise on each cheek, and two huge ones on her forehead. She looks like she's being beaten up on a regular basis! Poor kid. She's also teething, and every little bump to her head makes her scream like she's being murdered, presumably because it jolts her mouth or simply adds to the pain she's already feeling. Where's my Magic Mummy Wand to make this all go away?!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Playgroup Thursday

It seems that a Thursday mummies meet-up is becoming a regular thing down at the Plaza. Sadly Samara couldn't make it this week, being ill, but we still had twice our normal number! Looks like I've started something. Elspeth is the only girl, and the only one who can walk, despite being a month younger than the oldest child there, Oliver. So she was the focus of many admiring glances and comments, from mums and bubs alike! A fun and exhausting day was had by all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Rule

Elspeth is no longer allowed to play with my mobile phone. She just chewed the 'A' key off!

The Biggest Bang

Elspeth has been accident-prone today! All I've heard are thumps and bangs and cries from my normally well-coordinated child! But the biggest bang came, of all moments, when I was in the toilet doing number two. Oh, the yells! What could I do? Astonishing to think that a year ago such a course of action would have struck me as disgusting: I opened the toilet door, called her in to me, and picked her up to comfort her. Yes, while sitting on the loo. With a poop in the bowl. Charming! I cherish the hope that the overall experience was more beneficial (the hug) than traumatic (the circumstance).

The First Year, condensed!

The last year has been something of a rollercoaster ride - well, bits of it. Plenty of screams, some disorientation, but no arm-waving or safety bars. I refer, of course, to motherhood. Those of you who already know me will be aware that I've been a full-time, stay-at-home-mum to my little Elspeth for the last year, and those of you who don't are aware now!

Here is a quick list of Elspeth's milestones so far:

    At four months she was rolling over really well, and standing with assistance.
    At four and a half months she started regular solid food.
    At five months she played her father's bass guitar for the first time, and was enthusiastic about grabbing at our glasses and forks.
    At six months she was saying "da da" regularly.
    At seven months she was sitting up very well on her own, and also got a couple of teeth.
    At eight months she was doing a kind of commando-crawl.
    At eight and a half months she was crawling well, and pulling herself up to cruise around.
    At eleven months she was walking.
    Now, at twelve months, she is RUNNING, getting into everything, causing mischief, and generally taking up most of my time!
This blog, I hope, will document her further development and shenanigans!