I thought it was about time that I did a bit of an update on little Billy Bear and where we are right now. Seriously, would you just look at him? I'm completely biased but I could (and do) stare at him all day. He is one very happy little busy baby boy. This is what eight months means for us.
Smiles. A bit cliche, but Billy never stops smiling these days. The cutest thing of all is when he hears his Daddy coming through the door in the evenings. The door opens and I say to him "Billy, is that Dada? Where's Dada?" and he looks to the door in excitement and literally bounces around the place roaring with happiness when he sees Peter. That right there is heart melting beyond words. He also loves the tv show Ben and Holly. He loves most of the shows on Nick Jr but there is something about Ben And Holly that speaks to him because when the show starts and he hears the music his face lights up and he does this adorable little smile of recognition and then says "heya". Isn't that just amazing? The live show is coming to The Olympia Theatre next June so we'll definitely be having a little family day out and bringing Billy to see the show.
Babygrows. If I had my way I would still be dressing Billy is babygrows when he is eighteen. Aren't they just the cutest? These days babygrows are Billy's PJs. He also has a couple of pairs of actual PJS but little fleece sleepsuits like this one are so cosy and warm, so that's what we mostly go for.
In terms of daytime clothes, usually we dress Billy in comfortable clothes. Jeans and trousers are for days out or special occasions, but every-day wear is usually a pair of soft tracksuit bottoms, a long sleeved top, and a little jacket or jumper. He'll also wear a vest underneath. Usually long-sleeved but it depends on the weather and the amount of layers he is wearing. We also love our fluffy warm socks, particularly the ones that have the little grips on them like these.
Billy looking very Vogue as he patiently awaits his lunch the other day. I had to snap a picture because I couldn't cope with the fact that he was wearing a polo neck. An actual polo neck. Is that not just cuteness overload? His Nana Aileen bought him one (and has since bought him more, thank you Nana Aileen) and I just thought it was the most adorable thing ever. And very warm and practical, and we all know how much I love being warm and practical.
Out and about. I've recently done my theory test which is the first step on the road (excuse the pun) to me finally driving. I never really had a great interest in driving (sure why would I when Peter drove me everywhere?). That was until I had Billy. Let me tell you, having a baby will soon give you the kick in the bum needed to get in gear (I'm full of puns today) and start driving. We are always out and about so we walk and take the bus here, there and everywhere. But there are those days where I'd like to do the food shopping (rather than completely over-filling the basket of the pram and having things fall out of it as we walk home. True story), pop over to Penneys, go visit a friend or post a letter without having to worry about the weather and a big trip. I've spent many days getting four buses just to go and pay my credit union when a car would reduce that to a half an hour round trip. So the penny dropped and I finally really really want to learn how to drive. So the theory test is done and the next step is to formalise my provisional license so I can start taking a couple of lessons. The hope is that I'll be insured on Peter's car by the summer. This would be fantastic as Peter doesn't drive to work so the car is literally sitting in the drive-way most days. He takes the bus and then uses Dublin Bikes to get to his place of work.
So at the moment we are still very much walkers and bus-goers. To be honest I love our little adventures most of the time. Every single day we go out for a walk, whether is twenty minutes or an hour. I think it's important for Billy to get some fresh air, see the world around him, and get out of the house. Apparently it helps babies sleep better too, but we'll get to the topic of sleep in a few minutes.
Dare I say it, the weather does seem to be taking on a milder stance at the moment. It hasn't been as cold or as miserable so we've packed up the lovely warm lodger bunker for the moment. I had initially intended to just wash it because Billy mushed some food in to it, but then by the time I had dried and ready to put back in the pram it was a particularly mild day and I decided to chance it without and just use the Mothercare footmuff that came with the pram. And it worked out perfect. Between Billy's warm coat, hat and the footmuff he was nice and toasty. I just bring a blanket with us and store it in the basket under the pram in case it gets colder and I want to wrap him up more. We also always bring the rain cover, of course.
As you can probably see, Billy is now in the stroller part of the pram. This pram is just the business. To convert it from a pram to a stroller is so easy. It doesn't involve taking off different parts or adding new ones. The unit literally converts with the use of a few straps. It couldn't be easier. It means that converting it back to a bassinet, or laying it down flat for naps is easy peasy.
It pains me to say this (because I want my baby to be a baby for as long as possible) but Billy is now in his big boy car seat. I can't believe it. Up until now he was using the Mothercare car seat that came with his travel system, but he was starting to get a bit cramped in there. Usually the recommendation for moving on to the next stage car seat is when the baby is about 9 months or 9 KG. Billy will be 9 months on the 9th of March but he meets the weight criteria as he is 21 pounds, so we bit the bullet. We were lucky to pick up this car seat in Mothercare at the sale price of €80. We paid for it but didn't pick it up for two weeks at a time where we could come along and have them actually fit it for us. I really think that is such a great service. We left the store with Billy happily in his new forward facing car seat happy in the knowledge that the seat was properly fitted. This is especially important when car safety is paramount. He loves his new car seat. He is delighted to be able to see us and the different parts of the front of the car that he has never noticed before when he was rear facing. Just remember that forward facing is only safe when your child meets the age/weight criteria and the seat is properly fitted.
We love our family days out and every weekend we do something fun together. This weekend we went swimming in Cheeverstown because it was recommended to us due to it's warm water temperature. It was a great day out and the pool was indeed lovely and warm. There were lots of other babies there and we hope to go as much as possible from now on. It cost €11.50 for the three of us to attend the 45 minute sessions, which there are many of every Saturday.
Other times we will go for a nice walk to the park. The photo below is of Billy and his Daddy in Marley Park. It's a lovely park if you are looking to go for a nice walk, and it has a fantastic playground and food market. Mammy and Daddy enjoyed a nice coffee and some lunch to round off the day out.
Food. Oh Lord where do I start? Billy is an absolute fiend for food. All food. He cries when people are eating on the telly and he literally tries to take food from your mouth. Think forcefully trying to open your mouth while you eat! He eats everything. We mostly make all his meals from scratch. He also loves fruit, yoghurt, mini rice cakes, Heinz Biscotti, mashed banana, scrambled eggs, soup and basically anything you'll let him eat. The photo below is after a very messy lunch where he devoured rice cakes with hummus spread on them. We're trying to introduce him to as many different flavours as possible to give him the best possible chance of not being a picky eater. However, I am told that no matter what you do babies can get to about 18 months and suddenly decide they only want to eat one type of food, so stay tuned. And we are still breastfeeding. It is still as easy, convenient and lovely as always. Though day-time feeds can be a bit tedious when we are out and about as Billy is so interested in everything else around him. What usually happens is the man next to me in the cafe gets more than he bargained for. He came in to read his newspaper and instead gets an eyeful. Thanks Billy! Oh and this little bib/suit thing Billy is wearing was a great investment. You can pick them up in Penneys for €1.50 and they have saved many an outfit in this house.
And this is what happens when you forget to put the bib on....
On the move. Billy is so eager to get moving these days. A couple of weeks ago we bought this on sale in Mothercare and it was brilliant. We had initially wanted to buy him a walker, but having bought one and had it collapse on my finger (which is still bruised) I just don't trust them. So we bought this instead. It's a little activity station that has different toys on the tray. The floor of it has a slight bounce to it so he is likely to be found trying to bounce around the place. I have to say this is a great little thing. It might just buy you the fifteen minutes you need to make the dinner, do the ironing, or... have a cup of coffee.
He sits up unaided. This was a big milestone for me. There is something surreal about seeing your once floppy newborn sitting up without needing any help or support. He absolutely needs no help and can sit up for any length of time, BUT he has no fear in him and sometimes will decide to just throw himself backwards, or might fall over. For this reason I usually throw a couple of cushions or a blanket on the floor around him. Just for peace of mind.
And so the crawling adventures begin. I am OBSESSED with baby-proofing the house now and to be honest with you this has all taken me by huge surprise. I don't know why, but I hadn't really ever considered that Billy would be crawling soon. He's not actually crawling yet but he is pushing himself backwards and is now getting up on to all fours and rocking back and forth. He knows he can crawl, it's just a matter of time now until he figures out the dynamics. I would bet money that he'll be properly crawling within the next two weeks, if even.
Crap photo, but I wanted to show you all this. See the red Fisher Price car below? Well Billy was sitting IN it a minute before I took this photo. I left the room to take a wash out of the washing machine and noticed that Billy was suspiciously quiet. When your baby is quiet you should be very very concerned. I came back in to this little rascal who had managed to get out of the car and push himself backwards to get to this point. He was shouting because the mantle-piece was an obstacle and he couldn't move himself back any further. My NERVES. So my thoughts are focused on baby gates and baby-proofing the house as soon as possible. This is where the fun really starts.
He is also dying to walk. If you hold his hands he automatically pulls himself up to a standing position. He will actually walk then if you start to move. He takes proper steps and makes the happiest little noise. He then roars crying when you stop. So yes, we can conclude that he is very excited to start walking. I, on the other hand, cannot deal with how quickly all these things are happening. Was this really eight whole months ago?
And we are still slinging it. We still use this Connecta which we love. We mostly use it to the front but it's handy to do a back-carry when Billy is teething and wants to be close to me all day. This was when I was about to make the dinner and it worked out very well. He loves it.
And despite the crawling, and the eating, and the attempts to talk, and the many many milestones that are happening so very quickly, my little baby is just that. A baby. I relish these moments where he sleeps so peacefully and I think about the fact that he will always be a little baby to me, even when he is eighteen protesting about wearing a babygrow.
Oh, and as for sleep, sure isn't he still a party animal? He likes to party at night. So no "sleeping through the night" is happening here yet. He still wakes a couple of times every night. Some nights he requires a lot of rocking to get back to sleep, some nights we are pacing the floors for over an hour, and some nights it's easier. But he is also riddled with teething pain (and no teeth) and he'll sleep longer when he's good and ready. But Billy, if you can read this, Mammy and Daddy are ready when you are. Now that is one milestone I'll find a little easier to swallow!