Cupcakes

He’s developing well:

- Ned went to his first speech therapy session recently – he’s a bit behind on speaking, but these lessons seem to be great at moving him to where he should be. That, coupled with the fact the kid wont stop babbling, means he’s improving a lot. He said his first strung together words the other week – “Bye Toast” as he waved to his breakfast. I can’t imagine it’ll get you far in life, but hey, we all start somewhere.

- Speaking of breakfast, Neds appetite is swiftly spiraling out of control. He spent the day at my parents the other weekend. On my return to pick him up, one thing they mentioned is that ‘He’s eaten a lot’ translating to ‘Sweet Jesus, how can a small child hold that much and not break?’ He’s also eaten cucumber and a cherry tomato, and for a kid that eats any fruit he can get his chubby little hands on, but won’t even look at a salad item, that’s a big step forward.

- He really, REALLY likes the moon.

- He’s enjoying his pre-school Monday Morning – Claire watched him run around the playground with the other children the other day, completely absorbed in his own business and enjoying every second of it. He ate some play-doh there the other week.

- He says Robot like this: ‘Rowwwwww-bot’

- One of his new favourite toys of the moment is a small plastic jug. I don’t know why. None of us know why. I doubt even Ned knows why.

We managed to spend a couple of hours last saturday making cupcakes as a family. Claire enjoys baking, which is very helpful as I enjoy eating cake, as does Ned. (Ned has started asking for things – food, mainly. Claire asked Ned if he wanted a Banana, he replied with ‘Cake?’)

Anyway, we made cupcakes. They were all horrific. If I was in a horror film I’d be sending Ned to therapy immediately, and wouldn’t be climbing ladders if he was riding his trike nearby.

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I mean, look at the above picture. Ned chose to do this.

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May as well be visual extracts from a Lovecraft Novel.

So we made cupcakes, which were horrific. But they tasted fine, and once I pulled the inedible Chick from my sons mouth, he enjoyed the cakes too.

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Short Update

Not much time to sit down and write this month, so apologies – actually, I’m not apologising for that – If anything, you should be looking at me with a mix of awe and respect for having such a busy and exciting social and professional life – and that it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I’m playing on my PS4 every free minute I get.

Ned has been growing mentally and physically over the last few weeks, and I thought I’d break these developments down in a short bulleted list, because nothing says ‘very little time’ like a short bulleted list:

1: Neds eating eggs. In fact, to be fair, Neds eating everything he can get his hands on. I’ve touched on his appetite a few times, but his range of foods has increased to a level where he’ll at least TRY anything put in front of him. At my parents the other weekend, we gave him some poached egg. He avoided the yolk, but practically inhaled the white. Cue me and Claire giving him egg as much as possible. He now eats grapes, which is a refreshing, cheaper alternative to the strawberries he had become so linked with. He even tried radish, then set it back down on his plate and looked at me, waiting for the punchline, because daddy, this is obviously some sort of joke.

2: He will not stop climbing. He’s always enjoyed getting on the coffee table, or the sofa, but now it’s soared to worryingly dangerous feats of athletic prowess. On Sunday, I went to the kitchen to make his dinner, returned to find him upright on the dining room table, staring at the light on the ceiling, waving his arms. He’d used his trike saddle as a step to a dining room chair, which he then used to get to the table. It’s an issue.

3: He’s now officially going to a pre school. Two hours every Monday morning currently, and by how it’s gone so far, he’s enjoying it – to a point where he barely noticed Claire had left him there.

His independence is startling – now sleeping in his own bed, in his own room, going to school and now even eating eggs – will wonders never cease?

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Pre School

First of all, here is a picture of Ned taken recently. He has a cold, and isn’t very happy about it. He was a bit sad, and wanted a cuddle to go to sleep to, which I happily provided an arm for. Look how little and beautiful he is.

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Now, as of today, my son – my tiny baby son – had his SECOND tour of a potential pre school. This means that soon, he will be attending pre school, which means that soon, he will be off to university, well into his career that will go on to fund my soon to be permanent residency in a home. I am not overreacting, and to anyone who says I am – you are wrong, and will always be wrong until you agree with me.

Ok.

Maybe I’m overreacting a little bit. In the grand scheme of the universe, Neds transition to adulthood and full time education is very soon, but on the more realistic family level, it’s a long way to go. It just doesn’t seem that long ago since Ned was a tiny fat lump of baby, incapable of even moving his weighty over-proportioned head without assistance. Now, I see him transporting his (admittedly still tiny and fat) mass around house BY HIMSELF via the gift of self propulsion (running) and he doesn’t even need our help to lift his head – he does that himself too! So, you can understand my perfectly reasonable terror at his level of independence, which means, I assume, he’ll have no need of his parents by the end of the month.

Claire has visited two so far – one she wasn’t too keen on for various reasons, and another she almost immediately fell in love with. She has one more visit later this week, and then we’ll pick one. Here is a picture of him at the second place, probably doing something grown up and independent and requires no one, especially parents, to help him with (note: he was sticking down paper)

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Its amazing and scary at the same time, your kid growing up. These past few months have been both eye opening and eye watering at the same time, just seeing the way he’s starting to grow and develop his own personality. Ned constantly surprises and terrifies me in equal measure with the things he picks up – currently most developments go along the lines of:

‘WOW! look at this amazing thing he’s just done!’
‘But wait, is he supposed to be doing that already?’
‘No? oh brilliant, he’s advanced!’
‘But wait, is he too advanced?’
‘Will he be ok at school for being advanced/not advanced enough?’

And so on. It’s just a never ending cycle of worry that I try desperately to break from – Claire is far more level headed on these things (at least outwardly) and I find myself leaning on her a lot for reassurance, of which she provides in spades, wonderful woman that she is.

But one this IS for sure – my boy is growing up, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. The best bet seems to be to hold on for dear life and see where it’s going to take us, and try not to break down and openly weep about our baby becoming a boy too much.

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Food Glorious Food

The other day, my son ate (in the following order):

Two slices of toast
An apple
Half a mango
A cheese sandwich
Some rasins
A yoghurt
An apple
A biscuit
A banana
Pasta bolognese
half a mango
A yoghurt
an apple

Needless to say, his appetite is quite a large one.

It’s been this way for a few months, actually, I guess it’s to do with him growing – that, and the addition of no longer breastfeeding means he is literally emptying the fridge at a frightening pace.

Most of the above food wasn’t in his daily meal plan – I didn’t set out to give him three apples. Ned likes to, all of a sudden, take me by the hand and lead me to the dinner table, where he’ll indicate he wants to go in his dinner seat. He will then sit patiently, waiting for something to push into his face hole. Generally I try to avoid giving him too much because part of me assumes it’s habit, or something to do that he likes, but when I sit him there and watch him completely destroy everything and anything put in front of him, I have to assume that, to some extent, he’s hungry.

He doesn’t really eat vegetables – sweetcorn is the only one he’ll go for, which is why it’s so great he eats so much fruit. We do hide mashed food in his dinners quite a bit – hence why he has bolognese and other pasta dishes a lot – yes, it feels good to constantly deceive a two year old when you see him shovelling a pasta dish loaded with blended carrots – he gets his five a day and doesn’t even realise! the mug.

But sweet lord, does he eat. As of last week, he’s started to use cutlery. A spoon, to be more precise. We’re starting off easy and getting him to eat yoghurt with it, which he’s brilliantly taken to. We’ve had no instances yet of him dunking a bowl on his head yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

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Our Christmas 2

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Happy New One, Merry Doo Dah etc.

What an interesting few weeks we’ve had as a family. Here’s the breakdown:

A few weeks ago, Ned and Claire came to the mutual decision to stop breastfeeding – Claire was no longer getting the beautiful touching mother/son moments due to her son rolling around  during the process, kicking and headbutting as a result, and Ned wasn’t really getting the  relaxation and warming embrace of sleep from it. Claire stopped feeding, and after one night  of half hearted pawing at her, he now sleeps without it fine. Not only that, but he’s  sleeping BETTER. Let me put this into perspective – if you’ve been reading my blog for a time, you’ll know that Ned hates sleeping – he regularly gets up at 2 – 3 hour intervals, needing to be fed back to sleep each time.

First night off boob? TEN HOURS UNBROKEN with ONE wake up that lasted TWO MINUTES. It’s pretty much been this way since. There’s been no issues, even with the cold (more on that later) and it’s been an absolute joy to deal with. I’m so proud of Claire for feeding him for two years, I honestly think it’s done Ned a world of good, and for the end of it to happen with very little problems is fantastic. Ned has had no ill effects or issues since stopping, and he’s not really asked for it since. It’s been amazing. The offset of this has been our son with the already monstrous appetite has now increased his food intake – the kid seems to exist only to chew and digest, and we have had to bear the brunt of his endless consuming (and the end result in the form of wind that has made us gag, and nappies that have cleared rooms)

Now Christmas. Ned, being Ned, and given our current track record with Christmas, decided to get himself a cold on the night before Christmas eve, which manifested itself into a full blown high temperatured, runny nosed, coughing and spluttering misery fest by Christmas eve night. We did the usual of popping over my parents in the morning, where he was, as usual, spoilt rotten, because that’s what Grandparents do.

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He was trying to push through and keep upbeat about the whole ordeal, but you can tell he wasn’t best pleased with his situation, as evidenced here during the wonderful dinner served by Claires parents:

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Sadly we had to leave For home early evening due to our poor little trooper having just about enough of being unwell (Calpol can only do so much I guess). Ned slept better than we thought, especially from someone who no longer had the power of the boobs to settle him down.

Boxing day was wonderful as well, we were co-hosting a family dinner at our house with Claires brother and wife, but the morning we were free for a festive winter walk. We played on the swings until we decided Ned should also have a go, which he also enjoyed. We walked home, confident that our 20 minutes of exercise had eliminated the months worth of eating almost exclusively cheeseboards. Ned was still unimpressed and full of cold, and took the opportunity to be carried around like a king, all the while holding a stick in one hand, and apparently keeping his nose in place with the other.

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I love Christmas – always have. I still wake my brother up (who is ten years younger than me) with a text or phone call on Christmas day, I still get excited when we drag the forgotten decorations down from the loft and try desperately to make the house look ‘Christmassey, but still a bit classy’. Ned had an inkling something was going on this year, but couldn’t quite place his finger on it, which makes me even more excited for next year.

Hope you had a great season guys, lets see what 2014 brings shall we?

My wonderful wife, who takes all the beautiful pictures for my blog, has an instagram account. If you have the time, pop over and say hi to her. She’s very friendly and also occasionally polite: http://instagram.com/nedintheclouds

 

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Birthday 2

My son was 2 on Monday.

2 years old. That’s around 2190 Nappies, or 0 unbroken nights sleep.

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The birthday party was actually the day before his birthday – Sunday – and we went with our assembled family to a pub for lunch. The pub had a soft play area which I thought would appeal to Neds nature – his nature being that he’s a 2 year old that likes soft play. We returned home with everyone, where we ate a cake in the shape of a caterpillar, made by my wifes fair(ish) hand

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Reluctantly, I helped my son finish some, because I’m such a bloody helpful dad

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and watched Ned run around the house wondering why everyone he knew was in his living room all at once. We even managed to get the entire family posed for a photo. It was a good day.

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On his actual birthday, we went with Claires brother and his wife to Broadway (not that Broadway) which was a pretty little village. Claire ate cod cheeks and I had a large sausage (Insert joke here)

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It’s hard to put into words how I feel about Ned turning two. It’s amazing, fantastic and exciting, but at the same time sad and terrifying. To think that that little boy – and he is that, an actual BOY – is my son, and we’ve spent the past two years, protecting and raising him the best that we as parents can… it’s mindblowing. He’s been the literally center of our universe for over 2000 nappies worth of years, and I just can’t believe how quickly it’s happened. As I sit here, writing about him on my phone, as he runs around the house in his pajamas, chewing a Christmas decoration, I honestly feel blessed to be a part of his life, and for him to be a part of mine and Claires. Maybe it’s the season, but my heart certainly feels twice the size it was before, and I think it’s in no small part down to the little guy who calls me ‘Dad’ (and sometimes ‘mum’ because he hasn’t quite got that down yet – we’re working on it)

Happy birthday kid, keep up the good work.

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‘Eeh’ ‘Fff’ ‘Guh’

Something truly amazing happened recently.

Claire was playing with Ned – blocks were the toy of choice I believe. Fairly standard so far, you’ll agree. 

What happened next was nothing short of amazing.

Claire, out of curiosity, picked up a Pink brick. Showing it to Ned, she said to him ‘What colour is this?’

‘Pink’ Said Ned.

Trying desperately not to explode, she pointed to another brick – a red one in fact – and said again ‘What colour is this?’

‘Wed’ Said Ned

She continued with the other blocks.

‘Blue’ Said Ned
‘Gween’ Said Ned
‘Urple’ Said Ned
‘Ylow’ Said Ned

And that was it. The entire spectrum of brick colours, done in a matter of seconds. Still trying not to explode with pride, a teary eyed Wife gestured to other coloured things, each with now predictable results.

‘Gwey’ Said Ned
‘Brown’ Said Ned
‘Black’ Said Ned

She sent me a video of her findings. I watched. After drying my eyes that, for some reason, were leaking tremendously, I eagerly counted down the hours, minutes and seconds that remained before I could embrace my son and force him into
labeling colours for me until he was too tired to do so.

That was Tuesday. What I forgot was that after Tuesday, there’s another one. In case you were wondering, it’s Wednesday.

Wednesday started much like Tuesday, except that the day was named differently. Claire took Ned downstairs and did the colours, which was now obviously old news. Being the quick thinking go getter she has proved herself to be time and time again, Claire decided to mix it up. Instead of colours, Claire brought out an alphabet book. Like most able minded people, she started at the beginning. Pointing at the letter ‘A’ she asked our son ‘Ned, what’s this?’

‘A’ Ned replied, phonetically and matter of factly, as if his mother was the dumbest person on the planet and needed help with her alphabet from a 1 year old.

She continued to point.

‘Buh’
‘Cuh’
‘Duh’
‘Eh’
‘Fff’
‘Guh’

…and on, and on, until he reached ‘Zzz’ – My Son knew the alphabet.

Let me just put this into context for you. I have spoken many times before about his development – I make his progress a regular article, in fact. In terms of speech, we could count on our hands the number of words he knew – Tree, Ball, Dog – standard fayre really. He also knew 1 – 10, but this…this was like a door of verbal amazement had been opened in his little head, and suddenly he was ready to  really communicate with us. There’s no stopping him now – he’s learning a few new words every day (his most recent being ‘Cake’ – admittedly not too helpful in most situations)

He spells words out – He will see the word ‘Dog’ and spell it. He’s not currently recognising that the letters make the word ‘Dog’ yet, but he’s getting there. The one word he will spell then say is the word ‘Barry’ – yep, I have no clue either.

Ridiculousness aside, it’s truely amazing to watch – I can literally see him learning before my eyes. The physical developments such as crawling and walking  early were fantastic, but this just feels like a whole higher level. Hilariously, words cannot describe how proud I am of him right now, and I don’t think they ever will. I’ll just comfort myself in the fact that my son is bloody awesome, and I  never thought I’d say that about someone who gets utter joy from sticking a finger up each nose and running around the dinner table.

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