You probably won’t remember me. Though I’m sure there’s no such thing as a typical birth, my little boy’s was happily uneventful in the medical sense. There was no real drama. He was safely delivered just as your shift was ending, after a fairly long labour. He was healthy. And I was well. There was and is no real reason for you to remember me.
But we will never forget you.
Larissa. I’m sorry, I can’t remember your surname. It’s on the record of Sonny Jim’s birth, along with his weight and time he was born. That record is tucked away in a little memory box in his bedroom.
But anyway. Larissa. I first met you when you came on shift that morning. I’d already been in hospital for a few hours. I was, if I’m honest, just starting to get a bit panicked by all this giving birth malarkey. I was in pain. I felt out of control. I wasn’t sure I could actually do it anymore. Continue reading
My heart: I love you, Sonny Jim
My sweet boy,
I’m writing this a couple of weeks before your first birthday. You’re having a little nap in your cot. Your daddy is on your Uncle Sam’s stag weekend. I have a horrid cold, which I imagine you will pick up any day now. There are a million things I should be doing, but I’m writing you this letter to open on your 18th birthday.
We’ve asked all your family and our friends to write you a letter for your first birthday – we’re going to keep them in a box. Your daddy and I figured it would be a fun thing to open in 17 years time. Well, I hope it’s fun. And interesting. And a little window in 2034 into a world long past.
I can’t imagine you at 18, my little Sonny Jim. Right now, you’ve just mastered crawling. You have one tooth (that you won’t show anyone) and the *best* giggle. You’ve just started saying mama – and you say it a lot. To everything. And everyone. And every time it makes my heart do a little squeeze (even if it’s at 3am. We need to work on your sleeping. I bet you sleep past 5.30am now though!) Continue reading
Little buddies: Sonny Jim (asleep) with four of his five NCT pals (aged about 3-months)
A year ago today I was eight months pregnant and dragging the husband along to the first of four antenatal NCT (National Childbirth Trust) classes.
He was not exactly up for it. For starters, he was missing West Ham play. And he couldn’t understand why we needed to sit in a room with five other couples for SIX HOURS (we did break for lunch in the middle) on a Sunday to talk about how our baby was going to be born. And then go to another three sessions in the weeks that followed.
We’d also had to pay more than £200 for the privilege of the experience. Money which could have been spent on clothes for the baby. Or nappies. Or something else that seemed infinitely more practical than chatting.
Off we went to our NCT Signature Antenatal course (held in a side room at David Lloyd in Southend.) And a year on I can happily say it was one of the best pre-Sonny Jim decisions we made. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but what with having had a baby recently vacate my being – and then deprive me of quite a lot of sleep – I’ve found working out hasn’t *exactly* been top of my to do list.
By that, I mean I have yet (Sonny Jim is now 9 months old) to actually get to the gym.
In fairness, I wasn’t a real gym bod before. Yoga once or twice a week, was about as far as things went for me.
But this (almost a year long. Shh) malaise cannot continue.
I’ve teamed up with OnlineGym4me and tried their New Mommy, Fit Body Online Workout Program. Which can be done at home. In 15 minutes. Continue reading
Little lunch date: Sonny Jim at Birdwood
Heading to Leigh-on-Sea with a little one in tow? These places will make stopping for a bite to eat worth your while!
- TruLeigh Scrumptious, Broadway West. We held Sonny Jim’s post-Christening bash here. Which should give you some indication of how lovely I think it is. There is baby changing. High chairs. Friendly staff. Fizz to drink. And the tea room decor is just pretty lovely too.
- Piggy Went To Market, Elm Road, has plenty of room to get the pram in and to park it next to the table while still leaving room for others to get by. And plenty of high chairs. It has an alcohol licence too. And a stash of daily newspapers. And staff who are friendly and have no interest in rushing you out. Which is always good. Downside? No changing facilities on-site (but the community centre is just a couple of doors away…)
- Speaking of the community centre… Lorna and Lotties Cafe, on the ground floor of the centre, Elm Road. Soooo family friendly. And sooo reasonably priced. Me and Sonny Jim stop here for a hot chocolate (me) and milk (the boy) before our baby yoga class.
Sounds to help babies like Sonny Jim snooze
When it comes to sleeping, we can’t *really* grumble about Sonny Jim.
He does sleep at night. In his cot, in the nursery. And he generally only wakes up once or twice between 7pm and 6am – and usually just needs a bit of reassurance to get back to sleep. Unless he’s teething. Or got a cold. Or a cough. Or is going through a growth spurt.
But anyway. While the hubby and me are rattling around of an evening, Ewan the sheep helps stop Sonny Jim for being disturbed. Annoyingly though, the white noise and womb sounds only play for 15-20mins. Which means one of us is constantly nipping upstairs to press it again. And again. And again.
Which is why news of Sleepyhead Radio, which plays soothing sounds from the home and nature, has more than caught my attention.
St Clement’s church: Our boy’s christening day in Leigh-on-Sea
My mum is a priest, so it was inevitable, really, that my little boy would be baptised.
And it was rather lovely that Sonny Jim’s grandma was the one who could actually do the dunking on his christening day.
Contrary to what many may believe, christenings aren’t “going out of fashion”. My mum is booked up for most of next year with baptisms at her church on Canvey (sometimes as many as three per Sunday).
Oddly though, it wasn’t that easy to find some of classic christening staples we’d need on the day. Hence, having *eventually* found them, I thought it only fair to share…
Baby outfit. If you’ve got a little girl you can probably skip this bit. I’m sure you’re aware that Monsoon do the most gorgeous little dresses perfect for a baptism (or for flower girls at a wedding for that matter.) As do John Lewis. And Debenhams. And, well basically everywhere. If you’ve got a little lad though, and don’t fancy them looking like a mini 1980’s wedding singer (why so much satin? Why?!) then this is for you. Continue reading