Saturday, 29 December 2012

Catching up with the rest of the family ~ Andover and Dorset

We have spent the past few days visiting Rich's family.  We started with a day with Riley's Grandad and Grandma Frances in Andover, it was nice to see them and Riley enjoyed spending the day with them, she started to get quite chatty by the end which showed she was feeling at home.  They gave her some lovely toys and clothes.

We also got to visit Riley's Great Grandma who seemed very happy to see her and gave her a knitted blanket (I fell into the old trap of saying how nice something was in polite conversation to end up taking it home!!!) and a couple of cuddly dogs which had apparently been in the house since Rich was little and after a trip through the washing machine were pretty sweet and Riley thought they were funny.

We then went down to see Riley's Nou Nou, she is a very distant related Great Grandma who happens to be the same age as our parents, they live on the Somerset border, so quite a drive but their house is lovely.  Rich's family is very complicated, if I have time in the future I will try to explain it!  Her son, Tom, is Rich's Great Uncle but is younger than Rich, they have grown up together more like brothers and we spend a lot of time and are close to him and his wife Alex.  They were there too.

It was a lovely couple of days, like a little extra Christmas.  We have been down once before and always feel very wecome and have a lovely time. Riley loved their 2 dogs Maisy and Poppy so she was super happy.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Riley's 1st Chritmas ~ a truely magical time

It's Christmas!!!  Christmas with a baby brings back all the magic.  Riley was mesmerised by all the lights, decorations and music that was around in the run up to Christmas.  I'm pretty sure that was all much more exciting than all the lovely Christmas presents she recieved and she really did recieve lots of lovely presents.

One of her favourite things was putting the Christmas tree up in our house.  Before it even had any decorations on it she was cooing at the tree and then the lights just made her stand there with a huge smile on her face.  Nanny and Grandad went away to a Christmas market in Europe and brought her back a tree decoration, they are planning to do it every year so she will have a decoration for the tree for each of her Christmas'.

We went to the children's service at church which Riley mainly slept through but I think in future years she'll love dressing up as an Angel or Shepherd, it is something that reminds me of Christmas Eve as a child.

Christmas day was wonderful.  All the family together, Rich and his brother cooked an amazing dinner which Riley tucked into (and she ate a left over turkey pasta bake I made on Boxing day!!!) She loved the wrapping her presents came in (possibly more than the presents themselves at the time).  But I think the thing she found most amusing was my Mum and Dad's dog, Lily, which is fast becoming her best friend.  The whole day was filled with love and laughter and Rily loved it, lots of smiles.

I think some of her best presents were she got a walker and talking dog from her Nanny and Grandad Mick in France, some bubbles and hand puppets and a rolling noisy ball thing.  My parents got her swimming lessons which is something we really want her to carry on with so that was fantastic.

All in all a truely magical time and even though she won't remember it I think she enjoyed it in the here and now and that means a lot both to her and us.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sleep... ~ Controlled Crying Controversey!

Controlled crying... Controversial!

Well a week ago we were desperate, we had tried bottles, comfort and put down methods, music, white noise... nothing helped, we were desperate! She would be up for hours in the night.

So we decided on supernanny's timed controlled crying, so it goes like this...

Have a good bedtime routine - we changed ours a bit so we fed her first then got her washed etc, then read a story then bed.

You say - "sleepy time Riley - night night" then leave the room, if she cried wait 2minutes then go back in put a hand on her tummy look at the bridge of her nose and say "shhhhh" and walk out, if she keeps crying double the time each time before going in repeating the above.

The first night she cried for 2 and a half hours!!! It was awful, but after that she has slept sooo well.  I said to myself if the next day she seems really depressed we wouldn't do it again.  But the next morning I walked into her room and was greeted by a huge cheesy grin and a happy baby all morning.

Since then touch wood she has slept 8pm - 8am with just one or two feeds but goes straight back to sleep after.  We have the odd episode of crying, but we just do controlled crying and she goes back to sleep.

It has truly changed all our lives, Rich and me feel more human and Riley seems much happier in the daytime. So I am definitely pro controlled crying I think you just have to choose your moment, any earlier I think she needed our comfort at night but we knew at this point she could settle herself.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

My birthday ~ our first meal out just the 2 of us!

Last night my Mum babysat so we could go for a meal for my birthday.  It didn't start well, she started crying as soon as we put her down in bed, guess she knew something was up.  We did the controlled crying technique but she was still crying when it was time to leave but just as my Mum rustled us out the door she stopped.

We had a lovely night, nothing very exciting just a meal a zizzi's down the road.  Quite surprisingly dwe idn't talk about Riley that much.  It was nice to just be a couple again, not that we didn't miss her, just good to have a bit of time to ourselves.

When we got home, my Mum said Riley had been really good and slept the whole time,