early mornings

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Alana started off as a wonderful night-time sleeper.  Like many mothers, I vividly remember hovering my hand on her chest at 4am, just to make sure that she was still ok.  Could she really still be asleep?  She slept like that for 5 days back in the summer but since then life has been too exciting.  There is too much to see and marvel at and for Alana, sleep gets in the way.  Its fine.  I really believe that many people have totally unrealistic expectations for baby and toddler sleep.  They’re babies.  It’s what they do, and what they need.  And as much as I miss sleeping through the night, the extra nighttime cuddles are fine by me too.   Things have improved recently though, exactly at the same time as she decided that walking round and round and round the living room is an Important Task that must be done.

I think we adapt too, a couple of years ago being woken at 5am would have seemed like torture, but now its just when the day starts.  Usually I’m pretty awake.  Alana certainly is. That’s not to say that I don’t cling to my vat of tea, blearily pottering about (ok, cleaning) the kitchen while my babe runs about in her walker with total delight that she is awake! mama is awake! she has things to say! dada dada! wow wow wow! MA! MA!  You get the idea… I love it.

Pictures were taken a little later once daylight arrived.  This is Scotland, after all.  But the mornings are getting lighter and it won’t be long before we are outside first thing, watering my yearly (and always failing) attempt at tomato plants, feeding chickens and hanging out washing.  And this year I’ll have a little helper with me, marvelling at it all.

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Wow.  It’s been a while.  When you struggle to even login to your own blog and when you do, everything looks different, you know its definitely been a while.

I miss writing here.  Instagram has taken pretty much taken over but I’d love to appear back here more too, we’ll see.

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So now we have a one-year old.  I still can’t quite believe it, and how lucky we are.  Today Alana, Penny and I took a walk in the bright sunshine and we passed the post that I remember clinging to during the first contraction of labour.  After days of analysing every twinge I took Penny for our daily walk and not far from home the first one came, and it was a big one.  I clung, panting, to the post but somehow didn’t think much of it, and when it had passed continued to walk Penny alone through the woods for more than 2 miles, stopping to grab onto tree trunks the whole way round.  Looking back now that doesn’t seem like the most sensible thing.  But at the time it seemed totally natural and the right thing to do, almost like my body knew that I’d be about to spend a week in hospital and that I was going to need the fresh air.  I remember really wanting to be outside that day.

I find myself thinking back to those days, and my labour in particular so often.  I wonder if that’s normal. It feels sometimes like I obsess over every detail.  I wonder if its because I’m still so overjoyed that our baby is here I’m scared I’ll forget something about her arrival.  I might write out her birth story one day (not here!) and see if that helps.

As if it was even possible, I find myself more and more thankful each day.  Alana is full of smiles and laughter and joy at everything.  Every moment with her feels like the greatest moment ever.  She has started to walk with hand-holding support and yesterday we tottered about the garden and she watched as I fed the chickens with a look of wonder on her little face.  I walked her over to the henhouse and she bent over to stroke them as they fed.  She was so gentle (and unlike the way she is with people often!), she just seemed to know that these were creatures.