From a Baby to a Toddler

What a year

I know every parent will say this when their little one’s first birthday comes around, but I cannot believe how quickly the last twelve months have flown by. I almost can’t really remember what life was like before Hudson was here. I don’t mean that in a cheesy way, I guess he has just changed pretty much every element of my life as I have barely done anything without him for the last year…including going to the loo. I’m fact, I’ve become so used to him being in the bathroom with me that I’ve had to re-learn to close the toilet cubicle door behind me at work to avoid a communal experience there too!

From Hudson’s amazing arrival into this world (I still maintain that I’d have another baby just so I can give birth again) we have made it through our, at times all-consuming, breastfeeding journey (that I’m proud to say is still ongoing) and a year of broken sleep pretty much intact and still as a family! Although at times Sam and I have been severely tested by me having a really tough time with Hudson’s sleep, particularly around the 10-11-month mark, we have pushed through. I think avoiding having any conversations in the middle of the night when we are both shattered has been a very helpful agreement! Luckily after some great advice from friends and family I have tried to relax much more about it and accept that he will get there (“there” being sleeping through…or at least not waking every two hours and eventually not feeding to sleep) in time. Reminding myself of this has really helped and I can mostly remain calm during the night now but it’s definitely something I need to make sure I continue to work on. Hudson clearly still needs me at night and I’ll have to be there for him during this time. I’ll just have to buy some better concealer to disguisethe ever-growing dark circles under my eyes from my work colleagues.

But, we’ve made it through the first year and Hudson has grown into a funny little boy who is full of character and is, almost always, a joy to be around. He loves making lots of noise with whatever he is holding, generally my pots and pans are his favourite things to bang around, and he has recently learned to throw so we have lots of fun playing in his ball pool now. He’s also trying to communicate with us all the time either by pointing at everything for us to name items or pass them to him or by “speaking” using his babbling sounds. The concentration on his face is adorable as he really tries to tell us things. He’s also taken his first few unaided steps and is getting steadier by the day so I don’t think it’ll be long until he is properly walking. No wonder he wakes so much in the night with all of this development going on!

Birthday boy

As Hudson loves nothing more than ransacking our kitchen cupboards and has really enjoyed playing with his cousin Harry’s wooden kitchen we decided to get him his own play kitchen for his birthday. The second we brought him downstairs on the morning of his birthday his face lit up when he saw it and he went straight over to explore his new toy. He even knew what we were asking when we asked “Where’s your kitchen?” as he pointed at it then crawled straight over to empty the cupboards.

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Playing with his new kitchen

On his actual birthday we went for a pizza lunch then to East Park in Hull for a nice sunny walk. We fed the geese and ducks which Hudson really enjoyed and the park has a little zoo area so we had a look around there too. We had a lovely, relaxed day ahead of his party that we held a few days later.

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Watching Daddy feed the geese

On the Sunday we had a little party for him. Unsurprisingly I was quite stressed in the lead up to the party as I was panicking about getting the party food sorted and baking his cake. My mum always baked out birthday cakes when we were younger so I wanted to continue that tradition. I am a good baker but haven’t really done any cake decorating before…so I picked a slightly ambitious Batman design to try! Clearly I thought that would be a good idea (!). Luckily the baking and assembly of my four cakes went well on the Friday and, with a lot of help from Sam, I got the decorating done on the Saturday night so Sunday morning before the party was relatively stress-free with only a few trays of sandwiches to make. I only had to do a little bit of repair work to the fondant icing on the lower tier and the other embellishments pretty much covered up the dodgiest bits! I was hoping to get the last-minute food prep done whilst Hudson napped on Sunday morning but, typically, he had the shortest sleep ever so I made all the sarnies with him strapped to my back so it ended up feeling like a bit of a workout to be honest!

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The finished Batman cake

The party went well, we set out three play areas for the babies and toddlers and Hudson’s cousins from Sam’s side kept his cousin Harry from my side entertained by playing hide and seek which was lovely to watch. Hudson spent the whole time playing with all of the grandparents so I had a chance to relax and catch-up with my friends which was great. Hudson received lots of lovely presents too so I’m looking forward to having a bit of a sort through his toys to put some of his baby ones in the attic to make room for his new stuff (I love organising things and having a clear out – I clearly have no life!). So all-in-all it was a success. The living room is still full of all of his cards as I can’t bring myself to take them down yet.

Work work work

I am in my third week of my new job at the University of York, this week I’m doing one full (Tuesday) and two half days (today and tomorrow) before doing three full days next week then starting full time the week after. That feels like it’s come around very quickly. It’s going well so far, everyone in the Marketing Team seems nice and I have actually done some “proper” work this week so I feel better about being back at work now. So far it’s all stuff that I’ve done in previous roles so I feel pretty confident in my ability to do a good job but I have a lot to learn about how the university works. I suppose that’s the same for anyone who moves into a new industry.

I’m starting and finishing early each day so it does feel like my time there goes by really quickly which is a bonus as then it doesn’t feel like I’ve been away from Hudson for as long. Hudson has had two half days at the childminder so far and has had a great time there and has not had any tears at drop off, it probably helps that Sam is dropping him off rather than me, and he’s been happily playing when I’ve arrived to pick him up so I feel so much better about the fact he’s had to go into childcare one day a week as he seems to have settled in so well already. When we visited the provider, Gwen Huzzard’s “Puddleducks”, we just knew it was the right place and the fact he’s so happy there is testament to how friendly and caring Gwen and her team are.

Hudson is then with my Mum on Tuesdays – they’ve both had lots of fun every time and my mum has worked some “Granny magic” with getting him to sleep in the pram for naps so that now Sam and I can do it too. For the final three days of the week Hudson will be with Sam. The days that Sam’s done so far have gone really well and he seems to have cracked getting him down for a nap so I feel far more relaxed about leaving Hudson to go to work full time now. Even though it’s still not ideally what I want to be doing, I’d rather be doing 3-4 days at work, I know Hudson is going to be absolutely fine and isn’t going to be inconsolable all day. He’s even gone without any expressed milk on a few of the days so to me that is a sign he is getting more used to me being out for a bit – he simply jumps on me for a feed when I walk in the door! Let’s hope this new era of relative calmness and positivity continues…

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