OMG. I am one.

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I am one whole year old. I am 74cm tall, weigh 7.4 kilos, and have a head circumference of 43.5cm (which unfortunately is still slightly too small for my first bike helmet)!

I didn’t have a party, but I did have a banana and blueberry cupcake with extra blueberries on top which are my favourite thing in the whole world so it was pretty awesome! I went on a train ride to visit Dad at work and lots of people there wished me happy birthday and because he works at the place where Jimmy Giggle is I got to cuddle the big Play School toys. It was a bit confusing that someone named Little Ted was so damn huge but he was great to climb on.  (Mum will update with a picture of this later as the photo uploader is being a jerk).

I am walking. Really walking! My record is 6 steps in a row so far. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m pretty pleased with myself.

I bark like a dog when I see a dog (sort of), I know that herbs and flowers are for smelling, but ironically I still don’t know where my nose is despite Mum and Dad trying to show me all.the.time. I know that I have to scoop with my spoon but for some reason by the time the spoon gets to my mouth there is hardly ever any food on it, so I’m not sure what is happening there.

I am joyful, and wilful, and strong, and cheeky. And I am very, very loved.

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Penny – Week 51

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I dance and sing a lot now, and have started using screams and squeals as part of my general vocabulary. I seem to have gotten a whole lot louder this past week. I can brush my own hair (sort of) and like to rub my hands together in imitation of mum using the handwash gel after she has changed my nappy. I love ribbons and often drape them around the back of my neck like a scarf (not as dangerous as it sounds, and mum is always watching me) and then walk around with them on. I am sorting shapes for the first time although I haven’t really grasped the concept of certain shapes going in certain holes, I just know that they are supposed to go through and get very annoyed when the square doesn’t fit in the triangle hole. But circles I am good at. Stars are obviously much more difficult.

Penny – Week 50

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I showed an affection for soft toys for the first time this week. Which is good because I have about a thousand of them and they have been largely ignored up until now. I have this amazing white rabbit named Lugs and Mum held him up for me and showed me how lovely and soft he is and how good he is to cuddle, and a light went on in my head. She said it was so beautiful to see. I reached out very gently and held him up in my arms and stared into his face, and then gave him a huge cuddle. I have been cuddling him ever since. We have been practicing ‘gentle pats’ on an owl that sits in our lounge room so that I know what to do when we see a dog or a cat and I am getting very good at it (instead of grabbing and hitting and pulling which is what I used to do). So I think part of the reason that I now love soft toys so much is because I have realised they are very much like dogs and cats, except they don’t mind if I squeeze them and also they don’t try to run away from me.

I have figured out how to squirt my bath toys which is especially funny when I get daddy in the face. Best of all is that I have started walking a little more, just two or three hobbly steps at a time allowing me to lurch between items of furniture.

Penny – Week 49

I am an absolute pro with my walker trolley. Not only am I now using it to walk all over the place but my control and steering are super impressive. It makes me feel more confident about standing on my own, although I am starting fall on my bum a lot. I have also discovered my own tummy and I look down and play with it a lot in the bath – my mum says it is lovely that I have a little round tummy as it is evidence that my eating habits are improving. My current favourite food is blueberries.

wk49I love to dance and will sometimes stop what I’m doing to bust out some moves if some music comes on the tv. I have also learned how to clamber down from the lounge chair or mum and dad’s bed without hurting myself.

My sleep is still erratic but much improved – one night I will wake up over and over again, but the next night I’ll only wake up once for milk then sleep through from 10pm to 6am. Those are the nights that we are all happiest!

Almost… almost…

Hello. I am always so busy trying desperately to catch up with the weekly photos that I never have the time (or frankly, inclination) to write blogs about anything else any more. I only ever planned to take the photos for a year, and Week 52 is sneaking right on up, so I will be very pleased to not have to find new and innovative ways to hide that bloody week banner while Penny does something vaguely interesting.

I don’t seem to have any of the usual anxieties about having an almost-one-year-old. It does sound a little crazy, but as each parent sits around sighing ‘oh where did that year go?’ and reminiscing about when their tiny person was an even tinier person, I find myself being inwardly very nonchalant about the whole thing while nodding sagely and pretending to agree. I don’t know why my brain works the way it does, but I’d say the past year has felt like, oh, about a year in length, actually. It’s neither a good or bad thing, it just is! And trust me, I am so much more stoked about having a one-year-old than about having a squirming pooping crying blob, as adorable as our particular blob was. I think if I’ve learnt anything about myself this past year, it is this: I’m actually not that great with babies.

I don’t necessarily mean that in a self-deprecating way – I’m not making a statement about my parenting. I think we’ve done pretty well at that, if I do say so myself. But for one, I’m definitely not as patient as I once thought I was. I did not expect to become bored. I love singing to Penny, and playing games with her, and showing her how things work, and talking to her every day. But my god, do I ever need grown ups in my life.

The hardest things about having a baby are not really about having the baby. You love the baby, so you do the things you need to do for her and you don’t really mind. Could I have done without the hourly wake ups? Sure. Was the first few months of breastfeeding a special kind of hell? Ohhhh Lordy. Would I have preferred a baby who happily sat and ate every meal instead of insisting that a corner of toast, half a pear and a full bowl of porridge tipped upside down on the tray constituted breakfast? I could have handled that. But of course, that baby doesn’t really exist, does she? And where are your crippling feelings of guilt and inadequacy (obligatory for first time parents) going to come from without them? There’s no fun in that! You put yourself last, and you are somehow totally okay with it. Honestly though, babies aren’t the hard part. Discoveries are made, milestones get met, laughter gets heard. The whole world is new. Nobody else matters the way this person does. It’s wonderful.

No, the hardest things are alllllllll the associated crap that nobody talks about in birth class. The redefinition of self. Making your relationships work. The aforementioned guilt that you feel about everything, all the time, even when you know it’s ridiculous, or unwarranted, or pointless, and would still be there no matter what decision was ever made about anything. The balance between the time you need and the time you actually have. How satisfied you can feel about the most mundane things.

We are in a really good place right now. Penny seems much more settled and contented – this says a lot since she is the most impatient baby on the face of the planet – and now the year has ‘started’ again and we are back in our ‘normal’ lives and not the awkward holiday period of family, changing work rosters, lack of baby resources, and absent friends while they each deal with their own versions of the same thing. This week I have actually wasted time. Wasted! I spent an hour playing ski games on the Wii (thanks Sochi)! I have done many hanjies (Japanese logic puzzles), which I love, possibly the nerdiest puzzles known to man! I have caught up on useless viral videos! I have read books! Real actual grown up books that aren’t about cats who eat jelly or cows that type! I have SLEPT!

This is a very selfish post. But I have survived almost a whole year with a dear, sweet little dictator, and I’m cutting myself some slack. I am very, very excited about having a one-year-old. Naive? Probably. Bring it on.

Penny – Week 48

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I’m very helpful in the kitchen

Since coming home from the sleep school, I have been mostly sleeping better. I still wake up in the night a fair bit, but I only have one drink of milk when I first wake up and then the rest of the time I go back to sleep on my own. I am eating better for the most part too, sitting in my chair and not throwing too much of a tantrum about it. It’s been a bit of a wobbly week though, some days are better than others, and some mornings I still wake up at 5am and force Mum to play with me even though she is looking extremely tired. I wonder why that is?

I am very pinchy just now and I like all the different stacking cups I have to play with. I love putting things into the cups and taking them back out again, and knocking down the towers that other people make. Peekaboo is still my number one favourite game, and I play it around furniture, behind curtains, and under sheets and mats. I will often pop up from behind the coffee table with a ‘surprise!’ on my face.

I also took one whole step this week without holding onto anything. It was under duress and I was very unhappy about it, but it happened nonetheless. I was walking with Mum holding my hands and then she let go and tried to get me to keep going towards her on my own, well that sucked! She seemed very happy but I whinged about it for a while. Geez. Dad says he thinks I have the ability to walk, but I just have no desire to. Of course I don’t! Why would I walk when crawling is faster, and being carried around is easier? Walking is for chumps.

Penny – Week 47

imma coming for you!

imma coming for you!

This week I went to a place called Tresillian. Mum and I stayed there for four nights and there were lots of other babies and amazing toys to play with! I learnt how to walk pushing a trolley, and how to slide down a slippery dip on my tummy, and I finally figured out how to clap by watching some of my new little friends doing it. Things were different there though, they made me sit in a high chair to eat food every meal time (something Mum had all but given up doing) and I didn’t like it one bit. After a couple of days I realised it maybe wasn’t so bad. I love feeding myself with a spoon and am getting a bit better at it, but in general I am still extremely impatient at meal times and would much rather go and play.

I had to sleep in a strange place and I didn’t get milk every two hours any more. It wasn’t so bad really but it did make it harder to get to sleep because I am so used to it. But I am a big girl and know how to go to sleep on my own now.