I’m a little bit late on this, but I started writing it in November and never got it finished – probably because it all got a little bit crazy during November, then December…but that’s a story for the 9 & 10 month update(s)!
The 1st November marked Emmy turning 8 months old, so it’s time to look back over her 7th month. And again, it was an exciting month with lots of firsts – some good, some not-so-good unfortunately! So let’s dive straight in – keeping Emmy still on her milestone mat is getting increasingly difficult! And since I took these 7 month photos at the beginning of October, I’ve since taken her 8, 9, 10 and 11 months ones (wow, I’m behind with these posts!) which were even more difficult – but that’s for next month’s round up – I think I might merge a few months to catch up to where we are now (just turning 11 months!).
First day back at work
The first day of October marked a really big event for both Emmy and me: the end of my maternity leave and my first day back at work! I actually wasn’t in the office for this first day as we had one of our regular team positivity days which is held at a local hotel. This meant that it was a slightly unusual first day back but an excellent one as it gave me the opportunity to spend the time interacting with the rest of the team as we renewed our commitments to Bronco. Emmy spent that day with both her grandmas at our house – we thought if they had her together the first time then they could do it separately in future but had each other for support the first time. And she did so well! She had an excellent (2+ hour!) nap, then they took her out for lunch and a walk, then I came home just before she needed her next nap, as it was only a half day.
The only problem? She wouldn’t have any milk, nor was she very happy about having water either.
Up until the end of December, I was doing 2 days a week (another day in January, but we’ll talk about that soon!): Tuesdays are my work at home day where Ben’s mum comes to look after Emmy, and luckily I can still take Emmy to her swimming class that day too as it counts as my lunch break – here’s a breakdown of these Tuesdays in terms of timing:
- 6.30am: Wake up & milk feed
- 7.15am: Breakfast (toast, yogurt, eggs, fruit, Weetabix etc.)
- 8.15am: Nap 1 – I start work.
- 9.15am: Wake up
- 9.30am: Leave for swimming
- 10am: Swimming lesson
- 10.45am: Arrive home from swimming & milk feed. Emmy then plays downstairs with Ben’s mum until lunch.
- 12.30pm: Lunch time – Emmy eats with grandma downstairs, while I eat while I work upstairs as I count the time for swimming as my lunch hour. We normally have a salad with leftovers from the night before – Emmy has this too, including things like sweet potato, hummus, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, falafels. She usually has a quick top-up milk feed after this too.
- 1.30pm: Nap 2
- 3.30pm: Wake up & milk feed
- 3.45pm: Walk with grandma
- 5pm: Grandma leaves, milk feed, and Emmy plays on the floor while I finish off bits of work until Ben arrives home at just after 6pm.
Thursday is my other work day and this one is in the office, which makes things a bit more complicated as someone won’t have milk while I’m gone, so I’m currently (ie. until end of December) doing around 8.30am to 2.30pm. Here’s a breakdown of our usual Thursdays:
- 6.45am: I wake up, shower, get ready and get all our bags/lunches/expressing stuff ready.
- 7.25am: Wake up Emmy & milk feed.
- 7.40am: Breakfast – this is usually quite rushed as we normally leave 30 mins for meals, but I need Emmy to get up later so she won’t sleep in the car, and we need to leave at 8am!
- 8am: Leave the house.
- 8.15am: Meet my mum half way between our house, their house and work. Squeeze in a top up feed, but she usually doesn’t particularly want this!
- 8.45am: Arrive at work.
- 10am-11am: Emmy has a morning nap at my mum’s house.
- 11am: I express at work.
- 12.30pm: Lunch with grandma at their house.
- 1.30pm: My mum takes Emmy for a walk and she sometimes has a short nap.
- 2.30pm: I leave work.
- 3pm: Meet my mum half way again and do an Emmy swap.
- 3.30pm: Emmy naps in the car on the way home. I continue to work at home in the afternoon while Emmy plays.
So, as I said, while I’m at work, Emmy refuses to have milk – whether out of a bottle (always has been a hard no since those first 2 weeks!) or a cup. She’s now happy to have water with her meals, but she went through a little phase at the beginning of the month where she refused water out of a cup too – we think because she was worried it would be milk in the cup and we were trying to trick her! I spoke to the health visitors about her not having milk during this time, and they were happy that if she was having plenty in the evening when we got home (which she definitely is!) and that she’s eating during the day and having water too, that she would be okay. Over time, I’ll start stretching the time I’m at work longer, especially as she starts to eat more and milk gets less important.
For now though, I’m expressing once or twice while at work – depending on whether she’s eaten much before I leave her with my mum – and that’s just going straight into the freezer! I’m lucky that work have been so supportive of this and allowing me to leave early. I have a little room across in our Bronco gym I can use for expressing, plus fridges and freezers at work to use, so I’m pretty happy with the arrangement at the moment. And I’m kind of loving being back at work – I like the challenge of having something different to do again!
I want to say “finally”, but it was really only at just over 7 months, so that was about average timing really! It just feels like “finally” because she’d been on her hands and knees trying so hard to crawl for well over a month but only succeeded in going backwards – it’s kind of mean but we couldn’t help but laugh at her shouting in frustration as she reversed away from toys she was trying to reach!
Then one day, she suddenly realised that if she lifted up her hand and didn’t try to sit on her foot, she would go forward – and she did! Straight into the cat food, of course…
First theatre trip!
October also marked Emmy’s first visit to the theatre! We took a trip to the cinema to a Big Scream event back in summer and enjoyed that, but this time it was for my friend Charley’s play at the Leeds Playhouse. They offered a parent and baby performance and of course we had to go to that! I’ve talked all about that in a post of its own here, but focusing more on Emmy this time – she was pretty awesome! She laughed perfectly on cue at a joke in the first scene, fed quietly during the second half, then fell asleep in my arms right up until the end – something she never does any more! I think it’s safe to say she enjoyed it!
The next day, I went with Ben to see the play too so we left Emmy with Charley and Frankie for a wander round Leeds and to play at their flat. She fell asleep just as we were leaving them so we were all a bit worried she would wake up with them and be upset, but luckily when she woke up, she barely even noticed we were gone and had a lovely time with them!
Emmy’s Busy Social Life & Enjoying Autumn
October continued with lots of baby classes and meet ups in our spare time. We moved into Chapter 2 of Water Babies around this time, and Emmy is still totally a little water baby. Baby sensory continued in the same absolute crazy and manic vein as September – this month included an autumnal themed session and, of course, a pumpkin themed one!
I absolutely loved my summer on maternity leave with Emmy – we went on sunny walks every single day, explored new places together, and spent time in the garden together.
But autumn, even though the days were getting shorter, darker and colder, was still a lot of fun. I got to pull out all her autumn clothes that I’d been saving up, we went pumpkin picking with my sister (more on that here!), we went on what I started calling “dark walks” – sometimes you just need to get out the house, no matter what’s going on outside! – and celebrated Halloween! We actually had 3 different occasions to dress Emmy for Halloween – one baby sensory class, one mummy meet up and Halloween itself, so of course, she had 3 different outfits! Aunty Beth on Ben’s side picked one super cute “My First Halloween” outfit for her with pumpkin leggings that she wore for baby sensory; I had a Hermione costume that work had bought me when Emmy was born that was the perfect size for her to wear at Halloween for the mummy meet up; and finally, I was at work on Halloween but I picked up Emmy from my mum to find that she and my sister had picked her out a skeleton costume and dressed her in it as a surprise for me!
Speaking of the mummy meet up, this was a day planned by a lovely lady I follow on Instagram (@mummynutrition). She doesn’t live too far away and the meet up took place in Harrogate, so I decided to be brave and book us tickets to it. The event was at Goose play space which looked super fun and creative, and it definitely was! Emmy was still a little too young to really enjoy everything, but we had a lovely lunch followed by some play time, and some lovely chatting with other local mums. I really want to go back there one day so Emmy can make the most of it.
October wasn’t all fun and games though – towards the end of the month, Emmy came down with her first ever cold, booo! It came on very suddenly too – one night shortly after her first theatre trip, she woke up to feed in the middle of the night. At this point, this was quite unusual – she was quite consistently sleeping fully through the night. During that feed, she sounded a bit snotty but I thought it was maybe because she’d cried as she woke up. Then she woke up half an hour later, so I thought maybe she hadn’t fed enough, so back downstairs I went, fed her again, and noticed she was still quite snotty. 10 minutes later and she was awake again. I ended up bringing her up to our bedroom where she got in the bed with us – not that either of us really slept after that, she basically wanted to feed all the time and I was terrified I would squash her. I spent most of that night with her laying snotty on my chest! The next day though was the mummy meet up so I dragged us both to it – luckily she wasn’t too poorly, just a bit sleepy and snotty really, no temperature or anything. Luckily that cold didn’t last too long and wasn’t too bad, but I was glad we’d made it through nearly 8 months without a cold until then!
Naps are always a big topic for me in these updates, but this time, there’s not a lot to say aside from the fact that naps were wonderful during October – she got into a lovely routine of doing 2 long naps on a morning and afternoon, and was going down super easily for them. My mum has to put her down for at least one nap and luckily she hasn’t had a problem with that – although her naps are definitely shorter there, I think because she wants to go have fun with grandma and aunty Bethy!
Speaking of which, aunty Bethy (my sister) is basically Emmy’s favourite person ever – all she has to do is walk into a room and she starts grinning and giggling! Those two are going to be troublemakers together – I can tell already!
Weaning continued very well during October – she tried a lot of new foods including risotto, chilli con carne, weetabix, spaghetti and more. She absolutely LOVED spaghetti, even though it was one I was quite nervous about – so much so that she grabbed my spoon off me to try and use it! I’ll hopefully talk more about weaning and baby led weaning soon but we’re loving it!
And I’ll finish this post with a few pictures of Emmy from the month and some captions underneath to make life a bit easier! Like I said, I’ll roll the next few updates into one I think, so hopefully see you again soon for that!