Eden’s First Hike

Eden’s First Hike

There are some first milestones that just pass us by as parents and others that stand out to us.  I decided that Eden’s first time walking outside without her buggy would be a moment we would capture.  At the start of last week the weather was a bit gloomy and we were waiting for some sunshine as we were desperate to go outside.  Wednesday afternoon was just beautiful and I realised we’d left the buggy in the back of the car which Daddy had taken to work.  So, not to be deterred I asked Judah if Eden could borrow his monkey backpack (which he doesn’t really use anymore), after much deliberation he decided she was allowed to use it.  He didn’t have much of a choice really, but I couldn’t be doing with the potential tantrums.

After being freshly inspired about keeping memories by watching ‘Let’s talk Mommy’s’ interview with Lucy at ‘Dear Beautiful’ about creating videos (you can view by clicking here) I decided as I often do to grab the camera, this time with the intention of capturing some video footage as well as photographs.

She does so well with her little legs, it’s hard to tell how small she is seeing her next to Judah and Martina who are also very small.  If you imagine that Judah is about to turn 3 but still wearing 18-24 month old clothes, and Martina is not much taller than Isis who’s 9, you may start to get an idea of just how petite our Thumbelina really is as she walks alongside next to them.

I’m definitely learning as I go, I was in pain with my hips as I was walking so most of the time they were way ahead of me, which is saying something, with how long it takes Eden to get anywhere on her little legs.  If I could move the way I used to be able to, I would’ve captured a lot more close ups and got down more to their level.  Maybe even remembered that whilst I was busy taking photographs of them in the beautiful bluebells I could have caught some footage of their happy faces.  I forget when I see a beautiful shot that what is beautiful on photo, can sometimes come even more alive on film.  It may have only ended up as a 2 second clip on our video but I would’ve captured the way they interact with each other even more.

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It was really special to me to by DeleteAd” href=”#13002762″> share this moment with Martina our lovely aupair as on days like this when really I physically could barely move (I’m not exaggerating) with her help I’m able to get the children out to enjoy the sunshine.  I don’t feel sad that it’s her that’s in the videos holding my child for these first moments, I feel grateful.  Grateful that we were able to find such a wonderful aupair (you hear such horror stories), grateful that despite not having much disposable income we were able to afford some help.  Grateful that my babies are able to do things they wouldn’t otherwise be facilitated to because I have someone else helping spur me on when we can see that they’re feeling the cabin fever.

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{I’m going to be starting a series on the blog ‘Our Beautiful Aupair’ and over on our YouTube channel about Martina as I am asked so many times about what an aupair is, does, and how did we find her?  If you have any questions please comment below as I will try and answer them all in my first post.}

It was a really lovely afternoon.  When we finished walking around the little trail they played in the field at the bottom of our road for ages.  Judah LOVED just running around and it made me desperately crave a garden.  Again, I realised how blessed we are to have this little field just 400 meters away from our doorstep so they can run around and have fun.  It’s near to a really busy junction but is completely enclosed, so it’s quite surreal seeing them play as though they’re in the countryside.

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Judah and Martina stayed playing in the field whilst I took Eden home and prepared dinner for James’ arrival home from work.  Eden was so tired out after her hike I carried her the last part home, not recommended when you can barely walk yourself, seriously 50 meters feels like a marathon.  Eden fell asleep in my arms and then napped on the sofa (very helpful whilst I’m cooking).  It was perfect timing.  Martina and Judah came back at 5:45, James walked through the door 2 minutes later and then we all ate together.  The babies went to sleep so happy and content.  Then and there I made a mental note, that although I could now barely move, we would do this as often as we can on the sunny days.
Here is our little video of Eden’s First Walk

Well done Eden we love you very much.

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{Love Letters to our Little Ones} – Happy 18 Months Eden (our first vlogging experience)

{Love Letters to our Little Ones} – Happy 18 Months Eden (our first vlogging experience)

Oh my goodness, so today I managed to finally upload and post our first vlog onto YouTube.  I talked about the possibility of vlogging on my #littleloves post last week, and today I was finally able to make it a reality.  I was really meaning that we would make more little musical videos of our children having fun, but the encouragement of everyone saying it was so brave to consider going in front of the camera really challenged me.

I hate being in front of the camera, I can see the vast weight that I’ve put on since having our last baby girl and my body having completely given up the capacity for any exercise other than walking *sighs*.  I can hear my Northern accent that my Southern husband often ridicules.  I have been watching a lot of Vlogs recently, and seeing Lucy at Dear Beautiful embrace her fear of getting in front of the camera to document her third pregnancy really struck a chord with me.  I desperately want our children to have memories of us, I want them to be able to look back and see how much they were loved, wanted, adored and treasured.  I want them to hear about the little things that they would do at each milestone and how we responded to it.  I want them to have a record of the most beautiful childhood we strive to give them.

I’ve been watching a lot of Charlotte over at Write Like No-One’s Watching and her YouTube channel, which is really good by the way, you should click here to check her out.   Charlotte has encouraged me by her obvious love of make-up and having a beautiful face all done for the camera, to days where she vlogs with no make-up on at all.  She doesn’t vlog for anyone’s approval, it’s because she wants to, and she obviously doesn’t care about what people think of her (of course she’s beautiful with and without make-up), the days she’s made up is to make herself feel better, because she loves beauty.  Not for the camera.

So, with that in mind, we are going to start vlogging.  I’m not bothered if people who don’t understand blogging and vlogging think that I’m strange, because this is just another way to capture the here and now for our little ones.  So they can look back and enjoy.  If people want to join us on our journey that is amazing, but it’s definitely not about the statistics for me.

If you want to watch our first effort.  James and I have vlogged together ’18 Reasons we Love Eden at 18 Months’…

Happy 18 Months our beautiful girl, we love you so much, you may never fully understand but I hope this helps you to capture just a glimpse.
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‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 #11 – {Eden’s First Shoes}

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 #11 – {Eden’s First Shoes}

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This weeks ‘Just the 2 of Us‘ post marks a very special rite of passage for every Mother and Daughter, our very first shoe shopping expedition.  Eden’s feet are so small at nearly 16 months old and still as UK toddler 1 it is really difficult to find footwear that she can wear outdoors.  Now she’s walking it feels so unfair for her to be strapped in the buggy whenever we’re out and about, so after a recommendation from a friend we ventured to ‘Paces & Laces‘ a specialist shoe shop for children.

I had checked out their website and saw that they stocked a lot of our favourites for the girls, Lelli Kelly’s, Twinkletoes etc, so figured it was worth checking out even if they didn’t stock anything in Eden’s size.  I was so pleasantly surprised.

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They had a gorgeous little wooden train in the back room with lots of little carriages for seats.  It was such a lovely touch, Eden really enjoyed herself exploring away.  There were mirrors everywhere in which she was kissing herself (and making extra cleaning for someone – sorry), and given her teeny size, every little chair was like a mountainous challenge that she had to climb.  I was so pleased it had been recommended to us.

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Given Eden’s teeny size there were only 3 pairs that she could try on.  A beautiful pair of pink t-bar dolly shoes, but she must be like her Dad because although one fit beautifully the left shoe was far too wide.  This style would not work for our princess, not yet anyway.  The lovely owner then presented us with some NOEL boots.  There were 2 similar styles and given their small fitting they fit Eden perfectly with the right amount of room to grow.  Obviously the owner wanted to make sure she could see Eden walking before selling the shoes to us as making sure the children’s feet are ready for hard soles is  priority when buying first shoes.  It is better for children to stay barefoot as long as possible, but at nearly 16 months and being unable to join in any festivities outdoors, despite her tiny size, Eden was definitely ready.

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It took her a while to get used to having anything on her feet, but eventually she was off and showcasing that yes indeed she could infact walk.  This pair had a lovely paisley pattern on them, but I felt although these were maybe the prettier of the 2 styles and the size being exactly the same, for some reason these ones looked bigger on Eden’s feet.  I guess like an optical illusion we decided on the simpler design of virtually the same shoe.

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I took photos of both of the shoes and text Daddy at home, asking him which one, and then before he replied, knowing what he would say I asked the owner, ‘How much are they?’.  I knew that Daddy would automatically choose the cheaper option as I was a little bit torn.  I was then informed they were both the same price £47… I double checked with Nanny (James’ Mum) who always likes to buy each of the children’s first pair of shoes, if this would be ok… it was and we purchased Eden’s first shoes extremely happily.  I was still so pleased that we had discovered this little gem of a store.  I’m a huge fan of shopping small and shopping local, so it thrills me to have such a cute boutique shop that stocks all of our favourites without needing to buy online.  The shop also offers a family rewards scheme (which works well when you have as many children as we do) for every £200 accumulated you receive a £15 off voucher.  Better than a kick in the teeth as they say, and with all of ours it wouldn’t be too long before we acquire our first voucher.

Our little girl is really growing up.  She loved her shoes, wore them all day with no quarms and in the evening as we got her ready for bed, she kept trying to put them back on herself.  A very satisfied little girl.  One very happy Mummy.  A wonderful Mummy and Daughter’s first shoe shopping experience.

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If you’ve had any one on one time with any of your littlies this week, from a stolen moment to an outing, feel free to grab the badge and link up below, make sure to hashtag on twitter #justus2 and I will be able to find you and retweet…

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‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 #10

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 #10

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This week I have spent a lot of my time being escorted around by my youngest.  She is finally walking and has reached the precious part of the process where she will take my finger and lead me around wherever she would like to go.  Yesterday Judah, Martina, Eden and I went to meet friends at a soft play centre and I spent almost the entire time being led around, usually away from the play areas towards the food by this little monkey.

I obviously couldn’t capture a photo of this moment without setting up my tripod in the middle of soft play (not a good idea) but it made me realise somehow before this phase passes I am determined to capture a photo of this.  Eden is still so small, as you can see from the photo above in comparison to our standard sized cushions, but she is now in age 6-9 months clothes.  She is definitely growing.  This is helpful as I’m not sure with my back I would be able to walk around with her this way otherwise.  I completely missed out on this phase with Judah as I was pregnant with Eden, on crutches and usually bed bound.  I would watch as James would walk around with him, but I was never involved in the process.  Judah was also very independent and never really wanted to hold anyone’s hand.  Eden, is not like this and I can honestly say I LOVE IT!! Probably because I missed out with Judah but I never tire of her reaching for my hand, leading me out of my seat (her little tugs are strong but obviously can’t pull me) and showing me where she would like to go.  This is a moment I would look enviously on at friends who were experiencing this phase when I couldn’t barely read a book to Judah nevermind play with him or become involved in his world.  I am so glad that I am getting to enjoy this stage with Eden.  (I also managed to take Judah down the big slide a couple of times which is something I’m grateful for too)   My mobility is slowly coming back and I am so pleased that I can enjoy these times with my littlies before they’re too big to play with Mummy, or don’t have the same time when they’re at school.

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I’m not sure of her expression in this photo but it was the only one I managed to capture without other clambering children in the shot.  It’s only £1 for entry on a Monday so the place was heaving.  She was so proud of herself being able to get up and down this little area.  She’s definitely grown in length recently.  People still look on in amazement when she’s walking around (especially when she’s not holding my hand) because she looks so young.  I have to point out to them as she’s clambering on and off ride-on toys by herself that she’s a lot older than she looks.

Her new word of the week is cheeky, she says ‘I cheeky’ and it is the cutest sound.  She started saying it last night to Daddy when he was putting her to bed and she repeated it for me many times this morning.  I feel like I say this every week but it’s dawning on me slowly that she is definitely not a baby anymore.  She looks so much like one, and her voice is so quiet you would miss it if you weren’t listening but she is 100% a cheeky toddler.  I’ve taken to calling her my ‘punk princess’ as she is so mischievous.  Blink and she is doing the very thing you’ve asked her not to.  Fully aware of what she’s up to.  James and I seem to breed really clever babies, they literally scheme and constantly astound us.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.
If you’ve had any one on one time with any of your littlies this week, from a stolen moment to an outing, feel free to grab the badge and link up below, make sure to hashtag on twitter #justus2 and I will be able to find you and retweet…

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Happy Fourteen Months Eden

Baby Diaries

Happy Fourteen Months Eden

Oh my baby girl, you are growing up so quickly. I cannot believe in 2 months you will be the age your brother was when you came in to the world. It makes me realise how quickly my baby boy had to grow up and not be the baby anymore. He was such a mature big brother and handled your arrival so well when he was still so little himself.

You seem so much younger at this age, I can’t work out if it’s because your brother spoke so much and had started walking at 13 months or if it’s just because you are so teeny tiny. You finally look as though you may be growing out of your 3-6 month old clothes now. They fit you beautifully, I just think you could do with some more wiggle room now that you are trying to walk.

You have been taking the odd step, this is a big thing as before you had shown us that you were capable, you just weren’t interested in trying. Now you WANT to be on the move and everyday you seem sturdier on your feet. You can do the difficult part, you sit in the middle of a room and you stand up without using your hands to steady you in anyway. You must have really strong legs. I have strong legs, they saw me through when I was a dancer and in my days cycling.

I love seeing how much like me you are, although it scares me too. You are very headstrong, demanding, you know EXACTLY what you want and how to get it, and you’re barely 1 year old. I know I will have a difficult job on my hands. I know that I will be reaping what I’ve sown, as I was difficult for my Mum to handle, with my tempestuous ways. I am hoping that I will have a secret weapon though, as if you truly grow to be like me, I should have insight into how to deal with you. I pray everyday for wisdom on how to deal with each and every one of you, and I pray God shows me how to be close with you and for us not to clash too much because we’re alike.

Your idiosyncrasies are hilarious, you absolutely demolish a piece of toast by pulling all the middle out, you never eat the crusts. I think they are too hard on your developing gums and teeth. You can be all ninja when Judah takes toys away from you. A couple of weeks ago, you annihilated him with your kungfu moves, he didn’t know what had hit him. You showed us that although you are tiny you will be able to handle yourself and you won’t just let your big brother push you around anymore.

You are fearless, you jump off things that are way too high for you. I cannot take my eyes off you for a second. You flip backwards off your Dad and my laps at any given moment. You just trust that we will catch you before you hit the floor. So far we have but I dread the day where you may be too quick for us. You always find the most precarious place to sit. You are a natural risk taker already.  You never want to be on my lap when there’s somewhere to explore.  You look so strange crawling around the park in your snowsuit.  I don’t know what people must think of me, but it’s what you want to do and I know you’re little knees and hands are protected.

I’m still feeding you every so often. I fed you in the night last night. I pinched your nose to make you let go when it seemed like you had finished, as last week you bit me and wouldn’t let go despite my cries. You are not as emotionally aware as your brother was, he would’ve been horrified if he made me cry. You tend to laugh in my face, either blissfully unaware, or because you don’t care *haha*.

You absolutely love your brother. To be honest he has barely tried to push you about since you retaliated. You seem on a more even playing field even though you’re so tiny. You both enjoy cuddles, kisses, giggles, winding up Mummy. I love when you sit and have your lunch together. You are my little partners in crime and I look forward to the many adventures that you get up to together.

You get very excited when your big sisters arrive on a Thursday.  You especially love Isis, because she tends to mother you.  We call her the baby whisperer, you will always be still for her when you otherwise wouldn’t be for us.  Isis plays the eldest sister very well and looks after you, I know you feel safe around her even though she’s only eight.  You like playing games with Shayla-Rae.  I think you two will have a close bond as you get older.  You don’t get too much time together on your own at this stage, the other siblings are always around to play with too, but when Daddy had you and Shayla together on Sunday as I ran your brother and sister to their classes and rehearsals, he said he really enjoyed that time.

You are a very well behaved baby, although you are difficult to dress, and it is hard to change your nappy as you never want to sit still.  You are very content pretty much all of the time.  You find ways to amuse yourself and you are very communicative in letting us know what you want.  You can say quite a few words now, ‘Mama, Dada,Nana, Grandad, More, Bread, Milk, Duda (Judah), Isa (Isis), Hiya, Yeah, Ta.  You can climb on and off the sofas and you love to stick your tongue out when you’re concentrating.

You have just started to enjoy watching DVD’s with your brother, although you always seem more interested in pressing on the laptop keys etc. I guess that’s what you see us do so often.  Your brother is very patient with you when you constantly stop the programmes on Netflix from playing by pressing some key you shouldn’t.  He just waits for Mummy to fix it for him.

You still LOVE food, always love food.  You want everything and anything that’s going.  Anyone who has food in a room becomes your new best friend.  People are always amazed when they see you eat as you’re so dainty.  You have been referred to the endocrine department at the hospital and we still have to have your blood taken every so often, but Mummy really struggles to believe that they will find anything wrong.  You are thriving in every other possible way and your Daddy was always petite too at this age.  A little bit more time we will give them to test you, and then we will say ‘enough’, ‘no more’.  I don’t want you hating hospitals as your Dad did just because you may grow later in life as he did.  What’s wrong with being petite anyway?

I’m excited for what this next month will bring.  Your Daddy and I love you very much, as do all of your extended family and I know that as you blossom and grow everyone who meets you will too.

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Happy Fourteen Months baby girl


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Happy 11 Months Eden

Happy 11 Months Eden

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breaking the rules at soft play

So, my baby girl was 11 months old yesterday.  Wow, it has gone so fast.  Although it feels like she has been here forever, the fact that she is so small convinces me that she can’t be nearly one, can she?  Just in 3-6 months clothes and would still fit in the 0-3 months aside from the length she is still so teeny.  We were at a leadership seminar Saturday afternoon and the people on our table were saying how bizarre it is when James (or I) are playing with her… tipping her upside down, swinging her around and kissing her.  They said their thoughts are ‘argh… stop swinging around that baby’ and then they remember that she isn’t a newborn, she just looks like one.

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mirror selfies

There have been so many new little milestones even just in the past couple of days, I think she is celebrating her 11 months on the earth.  She said ‘ankyou’ this morning when I gave her some of Judah’s toast after she had already demolished hers and her cereal (she eats so much).  She climbed Nana’s stairs today when I was over for a visit.  She stood unsupported for a second yesterday, first time ever.  She’s using her walker at home.

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teeny tiny princess

Words she can say now include :










My little baby is not really a baby anymore.  I have tried to ignore it, she still has no teeth, she is so small and light I forget she’s growing up.  I’ve not been able to buy her any new clothes pretty much all year as she hasn’t needed them and then a friend gave me a huge bunch from her little girl who is 6 months younger than Eden.  She still doesn’t fit any of the shoes that we bought her.  0-3 months still fall off her feet, not sure how I will find shoes for my little cruiser.

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munching at Nana’s

Eden was eating her dinner last night at Nana’s and she kept using all of Shayla-Rae’s mannerisms.  It was so strange, to the point where my Mum was saying she had Shayla’s eyes.  Now Shayla has her Mum’s eyes for sure, so that is not true but the little eye-rolls whilst their eyes light up, that is something the two of them share.  So sweet.  So then James and I were discussing if that makes that trait his genetics or if she has learnt this habit from Shayla.  We will probably never know, but I love that they are all so similar even though they have different Mum’s.  It just tightens are family unit all the more.  No-one ever picks up that they’re not all mine unless they chat to me and if the situation demands, I explain.

Happy 11 months our beautiful baby girl, it is going so quickly and I can’t believe that you will soon be one years old.  Daddy and I are so proud of you as are all the family.  Don’t ever change your quirky little ways, we look forward to getting to know you better as you grow and develop.

We love you xxx

Happy 10 Months Eden

Happy 10 Months Eden

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Happy 10 months Eden

So, 9 days ago in the midst of madness our ‘Thumbelina’ became 10 months old.  Only when at a wedding the day after being asked how old she was and giving my ‘9 months’ answer, did I realise… the day before had changed this fact.  Oops, we had missed her milestone in the midst of the chaos.  I have been wanting to post about our teeny tiny princess all week but life has just been too hectic.  Sitting here in the aftermath of Shayla’s birthday party am I finally free to write this post.

Eden has come on leaps and bounds this month, after just finally mastering crawling last month, she is now pulling herself up to stand against the sofa, cruising around the furniture, rapidly getting around our open plan downstairs (dining room/kitchen/living area) and it scares me.  All of a sudden, I realise that I am not going to have one toddler but two on my hands.  I certainly will be kept busy making sure that inappropriate things are out of reach, that they play together without potentially harming each other, and continually chasing the pair of them around the home.  As daunted as I am though, I am also really excited.  It’s really scary watching your last baby grow up, knowing that it marks the end of an era but it’s also lovely knowing that there will be an end to nappies and sleepless nights (until they become adolescents and start going out in the evenings)… eventually.

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so happy and proud of herself, propped against one of many birthday deliveries

I am currently trying to work out how people go about weaning babies out of breastfeeding.  Eden will take a bottle but I still want her to have my milk until she’s 1 year old.  I am trying to prepare myself emotionally for this change, also the practicality of it.  I will be sad when this phase is over but also it will be a bit more freeing for her to be able to go and stay at Nana’s occasionally when Judah goes.  With Judah, because I was so unwell pregnant with Eden he just stopped feeding from me at around this age.  At 10 months old he realised it was easier to get milk from the bottle and used me as a chew toy.  Well, whilst suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum and being mostly bed bound, I wasn’t up for this much, but then cried like… well, a hormonal pregnant person when he stopped feeding from me because I felt rejected.  So, you could say that I’ve not experienced successful weaning before.

If anyone could send me some links to some tips, I want to do this not because I’m OCD and that’s when I said I would finish, I honestly think because she is so small and still has no teeth I would just carry on forever if I didn’t plan it though, but I am unwell and in need of medication that I just can’t take whilst I’m feeding my princess.  I made a choice that I would bare with the dreaded ‘monthlies’ until she was one and then make sure I was fighting fit all month around, especially as by then, they’ll both be able to run rings around me if I need a couple of days bed rest.  It just won’t be practical at all.

With Shayla’s birthday party out of the way and Eden’s 1st birthday looming, I am aware I need to start planning.  We are thinking of combining her Dedication (similar to a Christening but more about her making a choice when she’s older) with her first birthday so it will be more than just a few people at home.  I was too daunted back in May when this was supposed to have originally taken place, anxiety’s were extremely high, but there was also a death in our church family the eve before what would have been her dedication and we knew it was right that we had moved it.  It would’ve been a truly sombre day if we had gone ahead (God knows everything).

Wish me luck with all the planning *smiles*.

Happy 10 months Eden xx we love you and we’re proud of you

9 months old – Eden

9 months old – Eden

Eden 2

It has taken our pint-sized princess a long time to be able to do things such as going on the swings as she is just so dainty.  She could sit up, she just wasn’t steady enough, or big enough to even be wedged into the swing with a blanket or anything.  Trust me, I tried.  I am so happy that she can now start to join in with everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, knowing that Eden is my last baby has made me even more aware that they grow up too soon and I don’t want to rush her past her milestones.  Saying that, because she has been so tiny (even at 9 months she is still in 0-3 months clothes) I have wanted to make sure that she is developing properly, whilst not encouraging it too much as I don’t want her to be pushed into anything before she’s ready.

She seems to be becoming a toddler before our very eyes, she is crawling albeit not very fast yet, but she can get wherever she wants to go with bum shuffles, commando crawls and of course rolling.  She can chatter away with the best of them, phrases include ‘hiya, nana, dada, mummy, yeah, bye bye, I want bread (no joke) followed by the confiming word ‘bread’ when we asked what she had said.  Trying to pull herself up to stand, and although she can weight bear she can’t quite manage this one yet.

I just know that very soon she’ll be one and walking and I’ll be wondering where my baby went?  The one thing I can’t wait for is for her hair to grow.  I cannot wait to be able to put it in teeny tiny pigtails and then when she’s older all the cute girls hairstyles that her big sisters love so much.

She has always been such a well-behaved baby, and it’s very easy to almost forget that she’s around as she’s just so content, but now that she’s crawling and chunnering away, I think I’m going to become astutely more aware as the possibilities and potential dangers are now a lot broader for our little baby.

munching breakfast
munching breakfast

Happy 9 months Eden xxx we love you very much