How time flies

November 3, 2010

Four months without an update is negligent at best, I’m sorry. I barely know where to begin telling you all about the things that we’ve been up to since July. We had the best summer ever with Tom home for almost 6 weeks. Mama, Daddy and Baby spent lots of quality time together. The sun was shining and our garden was glorious. We ate lunches in the garden and walked to the swings near the church. The highlight of the summer was definitely a visit to Boston to see Kaffryn, James and Hannah. It was a glorious time. The girls played in Hannah’s paddling pool. James and Tom blew bubbles for the babies to play with and Hannah charmed us all to pieces. Patch, their dog, was kinda cute too and Ellie May became quite confident around him.  Towards the end of the summer we got together Ellie, Lola, Hazel and Isaac – the babies from our antenatal class, to celebrate their 6-month-versary. A brilliant BBQ with lots of babies and stories and Daddies speaking as men do.

September came all too soon and Tom had to return to work. Ellie May got hand, foot and mouth disease, a cold and her first 2 teeth in a period of 2 weeks. Poor little baby didn’t know if she was coming or going for a while. Baby yoga kept us entertained on Monday afternoons and we made new friends and learned new songs. Ellie started to walk holding on to our fingers, desperately trying to find out all that was going on as the builders put in our new kitchen.

October brought independent crawling and the resultant use of the word “No!” by Mama and Daddy. We celebrated the Christenings and Naming Ceremonies of several baby friends as well as Ellie May’s own baptism. That was a brilliant weekend as friends came from far (Alabama!) and wide to celebrate with us. October has also seen Ellie May beginning at nursery for 2 half days per week. To say she was unimpressed is an understatement – the girlie really has a temper when she feels wronged! But now she is settling much more easily, making friends with the other children and enjoying the chance to visit the nursery’s chickens twice a week.

Take a look at a sample of pictures over the last few  months:

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Feed me, Seymour…

July 8, 2010

Ellie-May has discovered food. It was a sudden occurence whilst she and I were staying with her grandparents. One minute she was sitting watching us eat, the next she was grabbing at my plate and trying to get bread into her mouth. She can’t coordinate her hands and mouth yet, so in the end she put the bread down and then put her face on the table to chew at it. The dessert course arrived and she went wild with excitement. Because it was small pieces of fruit that she could choke on I didn’t let her have any… and she got quite cross and frustrated! Next we tried banana, which Granddad went out especially to fetch.

Since then she’s eaten a whole range of things from hummus to avocado and cheese. She gets annoyed if I try to mash up a banana and feed it to her, much prefering to gum away like mad at the whole fruit. She’s not keen on being spoon fed at all, but if I load up a spoon and give it to her she puts it straight into her mouth. Once the spoon is empty she throws it over the side of her chair. I pick it up and we start all over again. It’s a messy procedure, but we’re all loving it.

I must go down to the sea again,

To the lonely sea and the sky.

I left my knickers and socks there.

I wonder if they’re dry?

We made our first family trip to the seaside this week. Hemsby Hole to be exact. We took Ellie-May to stay in a static caravan on a little campsite near to the beach.  The weather did us proud. Gorgeous sunshine for 2 days straight. The skies were blue, the sands were golden and a stiff breeze meant it didn’t get too warm. On the first afternoon we took Ellie to the beach.  We packed up the buggy with all of the things a novice parent thinks they might need for the beach. Nappies, sun cream, towels, quilt, sunhat. Spare nappies, sun cream, towels, quilt and sunhat. Sunglasses. Cardigan. Cardigan. Changing mat. It was like preparing for an invasion. (But what happens if there’s a heatwave? If we don’t take the extra cardigan and the temperature drops very suddenly we’ll be sorry.) Getting the overloaded buggy over the dunes was a mission in itself.

But the beach was sandy and wide and it was easy to find an empty spot, so we got settled down on the quilt (keeping the other in reserve in case we needed to fashion some sort of sail for an emergency get-away raft.). Tom and I enjoyed the beautiful views. Ellie played with her toes. Tom dug a sand cradle and we lined it with a towel. Ellie played with her toes. I picked up some pretty stones. Ellie played with her toes and had a short nap.  We counted the off-shore wind turbines. Ellie played with her toes.

On the second day we went to Sea Palling. Tom and I admired the offshore reefs designed to protect the Norfolk Broads from coastal erosion. Ellie played with…  well,you get the idea. She had a lovely time but seemed not the slightest bit aware of being in a new environment. She was just happy that, after trying all week, she could finally grab her toes. And long may it last, because it won’t be much time before I’m teaching her to spot long shore drift, wave refraction and orthogonals. A day at the beach with a Geography teacher is much more fun when all you can do is play with your toes!

 

PS – big HELLO to all of my Dad’s friends out there who are following the blog, even though I’ve never met you.  It’s nice to hear that Ellie May is internationally famous! Jx.

Baby Fun

May 24, 2010

Ellie-May is now 17 weeks old. On one hand it’s really hard to believe she’s passed the 4 month mark already. On the other, it feels like she’s always been part of our lives. We can’t imagine her not being here any more. Since I last wrote she’s had some difficult times with colic and acid reflux. She’s also developed eczema which looks a bit nasty. On the whole though, she’s very laidback and contented. Ellie loves faces and, as long as she’s not tired or hungry, she tolerates being cuddled by Uncle Tom Cobbley and all reasonably well. I think this will be especially important next weekend when we do the first Major Fifield Family Event.

Half term looks like it will have a lot of ‘firsts’ for Ellie-May. Tom’s cousin is getting married (hence the first MFFE). We’re visiting Granny and Granddad Fifield for her first stay away from home. We’re taking Ellie to stay in a caravan on her first holiday to the seaside for a few days. Then Granddad Boulton is visiting from Nottingham. All in all a busy time and a lot to be excited about indeed.

Baby Progress: Now Ellie is happily smiling and chuckling away to us. She recognises Tom and I immediately, but isn’t so certain about other people just yet. She likes music and coos along with it in the car. She’s starting to roll over and can lift her head off the floor in an attempt to sit up. We started Baby Sign Language lessons and so now Tom and I look very silly as we waggle away while we talk to her.

Housekeeping Note: I’m not going to send out emails about the blog anymore – so do hit the Subscribe button in the right hand column if you want to know when a new set of photos has been posted. Speaking of which…

Happy Easter!

April 6, 2010

My goodness. A fortnight comes round quickly, doesn’t it? It seems like Ellie-May is a different baby every two weeks at the moment. She’s looking around her more and more and recognising Mama and Daddy when she sees us.  She loves the play mat and her mobile with the zoo animals on it. Ellie has the most amazing smile which we’re being treated to more frequently – it’s nearly a chuckle sometimes. She’s also starting to make gurgling and cooing noises as if she’s telling us what’s going on.  Night time sleeping seems to be improving and just occasionally we can all sleep from midnight to 5am without needing to feed. The colic is still a problem, but we’ve had a couple of days recently when she went down to sleep at 8.30pm without screaming. Those are amazing times when Tom and I sit on the sofa and try to remember what it was we used to do B.E. I’m sure it was nothing important!  It’s reassuring for us to know that she can go to sleep early when she’s not being plagued by tummy troubles.

Over Easter we took Ellie to church a couple of times. She cried all through the Good Friday service. I’d like to think this shows an early awareness of the solemnity of the day, but subsequent evidence suggested that she was just ravenous. On Easter Day Ellie received her first blessing. Our lovely vicar managed to capture all of the things that I pray for her in just a few beautiful sentences. He finished by saying, “May you grow to be the lady that God has created you to be.”What more could we wish for our baby girl?

And now for a few pictures:

I’m wide awake! Mama?  Not so much!

My friend Edi.

Me with Edi’s Mama – Sarah.

I know they’re weaning Edi onto solids, but this is a bit much!

 Daddytime!

Sleepy McSleeperson

Tiny phalanges!

“Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow” Read the rest of this entry »

Colic!

March 23, 2010

We reached eight weeks! Ellie has been putting on weight really well. Last week she gained 9oz, much to the surprise of our health visitor. She’s now 7lbs 15oz and filling out nicely. The last week and a half have been challenging. Ellie has been colicky and is spending lots of time crying. Actually, she’s spending a lot of time shrieking. Seeing her in such discomfort is hard to bear sometimes. But I hear that a lot of babies go through it and that means a lot of parents do too. It should be over in a month’s time. Before you write to me in droves telling me how to solve colic, (Infacol, Dentinox, Gripe Water, Colief, essence of dried toad etc.) let me reassure you that we’ve tried everything. We’ve seen the doctor and everything that we can do we have done. Perhaps reconstituted aardvark juice helps for some babies but not ours.

You may guess from my (more than usually) sarcastic tone that we’ve been given a lot of conflicting and annoying advice recently. However, I really shouldn’t complain too much. People are so keen to help out when there’s a new  baby around. I’ve been overwhelmed by kindness since Ellie was born. People have made us meals and cakes. They’ve given up hours of their time to support us. And the presents … my goodness. Ellie will be the best dressed baby in Bury St Edmunds for the next 12 months! Our church family have been invaluable. We’re so grateful for all that people have done for us. I hope that I will be able to support other new mums in future years in the same way. If you were a part of this then THANK-YOU! I hope to write individual cards some time in the next decade or at least before Ellie leaves home!

Haven’t been able to take too many photos because I don’t want to have dozens of shots of her crying. But here are a few nice ones.

Sleeping on Daddy

Butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth

Sitting on Mama’s chair

Polka-dot pinafore

Playing with Daddy

Meanwhile…

March 10, 2010

Being the net junkie that I am, it’s felt like a lifetime since I was last able to write the Baby Blog. But now we’re in the new house and back online. There are still a few boxes to unpack, but we’re settling in well. Ellie is growing so quickly. She gave me her first smile two weeks ago, and has been doing it on and off since, but only when Daddy isn’t looking! (I think he believes I’m making it up!) She’s getting stronger too. Feeding has become a logistical challenge now she’s getting some control of her limbs- like arm-wrestling an octopus whilst playing the bagpipes. Anyway, here are some photos of the last 4 weeks. Enjoy.

Napping in my cot.

My dungarees and hat combo.

Pretty in pink

Bedtime with Mama

Cuddling my Dad

After my bath

With Lizzy …

…and Paul!

This was my first outfit. I love my jeans, just like Mama!

With Annette at the Mums’ Bible Study Group.

Nicky loves me!

With Pete and Nicky

Our last night at 16 Lancaster Avenue

Photos:weeks 1-3

February 17, 2010

Apologies to my Facebook friends who have already seen some of these photos. This may be the last post I make for a while because we’re moving to a house which doesn’t have broadband yet. It will take us a while to get it all sorted out. Hopefully Ellie won’t be walking and talking by the time I get around to writing again!

A few hours old

 

Meeting Mama for the first time

With Daddy in the hospital

In the aquarium

 

Ellie’s first night in her own bed

Learning about the important things in life

Meeting Granny and Granddad Fifield

Tiny Baby Girl

Magic Dad Cuddles

Daddy has already entered her for A2 Mechanics in June – she’s not that impressed. (I think she’d rather be doing Geography!)

Meeting Auntie Jo and Uncle Tom

Meeting Granddad Boulton

Getting ready to go out for the first time (to Glasswells with Mama and Granddad)

Ellie and Mama out on their own for the first time ever.

An Awfully Big Adventure

February 11, 2010

As most of you will now be aware, our little one made an appearance at 6.53pm on 23 January 2010, weighing 6lbs 7oz.  We named her Eleanor May. Being a Fifield, she is genetically programmed to be early for everything- including the start of her own life. (The Fifield Early Gene  is so strong that it even gets you if you marry into the family!) She was 2 days early, and very eager to enter the world – without anything so conventional as doctors, delivery rooms or pain relief for Mama. Fortunately the good people of West Suffolk Hospital know how to move fast! Loads of people have asked me about the delivery. It was traumatic for both of us and I’ll leave it at that. It all worked out ok in the end and we praise God for his goodness in that.

The first two weeks were a whirlwind. I can hardly remember anything about them. Before she was born people said to me that I had no idea how much my life would change. I knew that they were right.  But until she arrived I couldn’t grasp how little I knew about how much my life would change. Feeding, sleeping, dressing, bathing – it all sounds easy, but it’s a truly massive learning curve. I love it, although the collic last weekend almost had me returning her to the hospital with a sternly worded letter. My tiny Moon Monkey has no concept of day or night, which has been the biggest challenge for me personally. All she knows is hungry, wet, dirty and sleepy. And Magic Dad Cuddles. (Although I suspect she has a built in sensor for detecting when I’m desperate for the loo or about to eat!)

3 weeks later and we’re still constantly amazed at the tiny girl we’ve been given. I know all parents think that their baby is the most beautiful creature ever created, but in our case I’m certain that we’re right! She is perfect. We’re getting used to the cycles of the day that Ellie lives in. Life is beginning to take on a new sense of normal… although we’ve still got so much to learn!

T minus 7 and counting…

January 18, 2010

Well, we never thought we’d get here, but there really are only 7 days until Baby F is predicted to make an appearance. The next time I write it could be to tell you the little one’s name. (It could also be to tell you that I’m 2 weeks overdue, the size of a caravan and miserable…) Quite frankly, I’ll be glad to get this little woolly mammoth out from under my ribs where its tusks have been sticking in me for weeks.

Our midwife said on Thursday that the baby might be lying breech. Not good news. There has been a rather large lump at the top of the bump for several weeks and I’ve been hurting an awful lot. She said this is often a sign that the baby’s head is still “up”. Went for a presentation scan this morning to check things out. All is well. Head is down and engaged. There is a whole leg and foot jammed straight up under my ribcage which is causing bruising. Being kicked in the same spot 24 hours a day for 2 months will do that!

For the first few weeks after baby is born I plan to poke him/her with a stick a few times a day to get my revenge. (Tom informs me that this isn’t actually allowed and that I musn’t say things like that in case people get the wrong idea. Apparently it’s right up there with swapping baby for a tortoise or painting it blue and red to match the interior design. Honestly. Babies are not as much fun as I thought they’d be.)

In other news, our NCT course has finished, leaving us well-equipped to get to the point where we bring a baby home from the hospital. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. We have a moving date agreed in prinicipal for February 15th. And the San Francisco 49ers are playing in London in October, so if anyone wants to go with us get in touch. Here’s hoping that the next time I write I’m having to juggle our tiny bundle of joy at the same time!