Monthly Archives: November 2010

Freya’s first birthday

Today I’m trying to plan Freya’s first birthday party. With less than a month to go the pressure is on. But it’s less about the timeframe, and more because it feels like another huge milestone. Being a mum…planning a birthday party…feels quite terrifying. I’ve got to get it right. I remember a whole childhood of party bags and home-made birthday cakes and I want Freya to have the same. Also, it feels like this is the first time all our friends and family will see if I’m making a success of this mum malarkey…so I’d like to carry it off like a pro if poss.

Call me crazy but I’ve decided to try and design my own invites to send out to Freya’s friends and relatives. I bought card, a card cutter, a ruler and lots of ribbons… then I got home and realised I had absolutely no idea where to start or what to do. The result was pitiful. Freya herself could have done better. So I put a few of her birth momentos and some bunting on the scanner and hoped for the best. And I think they came out okay…

Now I just need to come up with a party guestlist, as I started writing the names of friends and relatives it made me realise how many people Freya has shared her first year with!

My next step was to randomly google baby 1st Birthday Parties. I know but I was in need of inspiration. I kept seeing a familiar line about how this celebration will probably mean more to me than to Freya, who will be too busy ripping up the wrapping paper to notice any exciting treats I plan. So I figure so long as she is surrounded by all her favourite things and people, she’ll have a great time. And that means I get to choose the party theme! I’ve decided it’s going to be a vintage tea party. Which has been completely inspired by a whole range of really cool vintage style party products I saw (and bought) in John Lewis last week. Talking Tables have designed table cloths, doilies, cake toppers and napkins – they’re very cool and they’re not too expensive (£4.50 for a garland, £2.75 for 20 napkins, £4.50 for a table cover). Check out the website: www.talkingtables.co.uk
Next I ordered some personalised ribbon to wrap up her presents and tie around her fairy cakes too. It actually worked out relatively cheap at £1 a metre, although you’ve got to factor in postage. But she’s only 1 once, right?
www.partybox.co.uk/designribbon.asp.

I figure jelly has to come into play for a baby tea party…and I found these cute moulds in Lakeland.
http://www.lakeland.co.uk/small-jelly-moulds/F/keyword/jelly/product/14282

So now I just need to learn how to bake a cake in the shape of a 1…right? Anything I’m forgetting? Remember I’ve never done this before…

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Look after your buggy…

We’re looking for a lightweight buggy now Freya is on the move, so I’m finding myself staring at them everywhere I go. As soon as I see a toddler I’m looking at the brand, the colour, the size… all in the name of market research! But apparently some people could be looking at your pram or buggy for more sinister reasons….

According to a story in the Sunday Express today, there’s a £30 million buggy black market going on – with thieves targeting baby transport systems and selling them on second hand. Who’d have thought anyone could be so cruel? But Halifax Home Insurance say thefts have almost doubled in the last year. So, next time you’re tempted to leave your buggy at the door of a shop or restaurant, it’s time to be extra vigilant.

Fireworks and Irony

Bonfire night is my favourite time of the year! Christmas is coming, there are leaves on the ground, I can get out my new winter coat, gloves and hat… What’s not to love? Although, apparently the baby me wasn’t quite so keen, according to my family I could be a little dramatic about a big bang and was notorious for screaming throughout fireworks night. But this didn’t put me off wanting to take Freya to our local display at Blackheath. I just wanted to see her face as she saw the explosions of colour in the sky – and I had an image of excited smiles in mind rather than terrified screams…

I made sure she was all wrapped up in her pram and got out her pink Edz Kidz Ear Defenders – they came in handy for the festivals in the summer and I knew they’d be good for 5th November too. When we got to the heath there were literally thousands of people, and as the first fireworks lit up the sky Freya stared up stunned, gave a little wimper and relaxed. Then her head tipped back, and from that moment on she stared up in a transfixed daze and, wait for it, fell asleep. To the Fireworks. So all those times I’ve tip-toed around while she sleeps, my heart sinking when she stirs, all those times I stroked her to sleep in a quiet, peaceful room, all I had to do was fill a field with the loudest noises possible and she’d drop off to sleep?! One thing I’ve definitely learnt is this, don’t try to second guess your baby, they will always surprise you.

My first dress for Freya!

When I had Freya I desperately wanted all the baby things in the shops, but beautiful quilts, blankets and bunting were starting to break my bank. My weakness is basically anything from Cath Kidston, Mamas and Papas, Jojo Maman Bebe, Mothercare – there are so many lovely things everywhere! So, I decided to start sewing and making her things myself. Easy in theory…

My mum bought me my gorgeous pink John Lewis Pastel Sewing Machine sewing machine for Christmas, my nana donated her sewing machine for bigger projects, and I’ve been collecting fabric and making quilts in front of the telly most evenings.

But with no sewing classes, it’s definitely been a learning curve. The first time I tried to make her a dress from a pattern…well, she couldn’t have gone out in public. In fact she couldn’t wear it at all, there being no way of undoing it. Luckily for me, my mum is a crafty genius and last week we spent an afternoon cutting out and sewing her a dress, complete with zip!

I tried it on Freya this morning and it fits perfectly! Here is a pic for you to see…

Our First Family Tummy Bug

I won’t go into details but it seems Freya brought us all home a little present from the hospital. For her it’s meant a few explosive nappies and a lot of wake-ups in the night, for Marko and I it’s been a horrible sickness bug. Lovely. It’s the first time we’ve all been ill together and it’s not been a completely bonding experience! I hadn’t realised until now that being a mummy is a job I can’t call in sick for. However ill I am my baby still needs 110% from me. Luckily, Marko had the worst of his illness the day before I had mine, but he still needed to go back to work once he felt better. In the end we decided he’d use his annual leave to take an afternoon off and look after Freya, and give me a break. It was a new conundrum for us. We hadn’t bargained for the fact we might need to use his holiday time if I ever got ill. I wonder if that’s what other other people do?

Another horrible side effect of Freya’s bug is that for the first time in her 11 months she’s turned her face away from food. Usually she’s the kind of baby who will eat anything put in front of her and fight you for her bottle – but this week she hasn’t wanted either. We went to the doctor this morning and she says it’s all quite normal, we need to take all fruit and veg off the menu and just feed her bland, starchy food.. We got home and gave her a bowl of baby rice and she ate the whole lot. It was amazing to see her eating!

Freya’s first accident…

So, just a few days after starting my blog, we had our first catastrophe. I’d just been feeling smug about how she is going to turn one next month and we’ve had no illnesses or accidents. That’ll teach me. Because little baby Freya had her first fall. And it’s been ever so slightly traumatic (as in totally and utterly and completely traumatic). In fact I’ve felt guilt-ridden about it ever since. It was Friday morning and I was getting ready to leave the house. I’d left Freya sitting with her toys in the front room, and I pulled the door to and then closed the front door behind me as I carried her pram and entourage of nappy bag, toys, snacks etc down the front steps outside. Then I heard a bang and my heart sank as I realised the front door must have swung back open and there was my little ten month old at the top of the stairs. At lightning speed she started crawling down them and, before I could get to her, suddenly she was falling. It’s a moment I’ve been re-living ever since.

In a blur I gathered her up and instantly saw an egg-shaped lump appearing on her forehead as she started to cry. With my heart in my throat I called Marko’s dad to drive us to the hospital. By the time we got to Accident and Emergency, she was smiling at her teddy, and by the time she saw the toys on the children’s ward I’m pretty sure her fall was far behind her! We were seen straight away, but as I explained what happened I felt so filled with shame. Luckily the nurses were brilliant and reassured me that incidents like these do happen and she wasn’t showing any signs of concussion. After two hours of observation, and a thorough check by the doctor, we were told to take her home for cuddles and Calpol. But I knew as we walked out of the hospital that although Freya seemed to be recovering pretty quicky, it was going to take me a hell of a lot longer.

Now, three days and three sleepless nights later, she’s happily pushing her walker and she’s full of beans, but I’m still re-living it. I just can’t stop going over my actions that morning, and how lucky we are. But, even more so, I can’t help but feel like I failed her, and caused her pain, which is almost too much to bear. I want to wrap her up in cotton wool and never let anything bad happen to her ever again! The thing is that every time I tell people about what happened, they don’t seem shocked or surprised but instead tell me about their own parental scenarios. I keep being told this is the first of many mishaps and that I am about to begin a whole childhood of whoopsy daisys. Perhaps it’s time I bought a First Aid pack…

So, what have I taken away from our first major accident? There is nothing worse in the world than seeing your baby in pain, but there is no better way to learn a lesson for the future. Marko and I are now busy making sure our little baby is as safe as possible and that means a trip to Mothercare for a safety pen which turns into a gate and a room divider too. We’d already invested in socket covers and cupboard catches, so now our newly mobile baby can’t get into any more scrapes. We hope.