Crawling, Christmas and Antigen Tests
Just a little blog about Erin crawling like mad and enjoying Christmas 🎅🏻

I finished my last blog, which seems like an age ago (Dad life does get in the way sometimes, my bad) chatting about having dreams that Erin was in our bed and waking up in a panic as a result. Since then I've developed a new panic it's called "Where the Fuck is Erin gone!". Erin is now crawling, getting herself into an upright & standing position, is able to climb the stairs and crawls so fast there are shades of her Dad's speed on the rugby pitch or when he's off to the pub.

Erin is Crawling

Around the time we were moving Erin into her own room and bed, Erin was only able to prop herself up with her arms, stomach on the floor and crawl backwards. I say backwards, more like she pushed herself backwards. She'd also have her legs going 90 like she was trying to do the breaststroke on the wooden floors.

I've said to so many people, it's simply amazing to watch how quickly babies develop in such a short period of time. She went from flopping like a dead fish on the floor to getting her knees & legs underneath her, to crawling a few steps to the point now where you'd swear she was trying to find out what her personal best is for making it from one end of the hallway to the other.

She moves so fast now! Your head needs to be on a swivel as let's be honest a home has so many dangerous things for a baby and they don't quite get the concept of danger.

Erin is also able to get herself into an upright and standing position if she has something to grip onto. This has led to us having to lower her cot already for fear of her climbing over the cot rail. (Bit of a fright seeing her on the monitor reaching over the rail). While also keeping a close eye on her activity near the stairs as she has figured out how to climb the steps.

Her personal best so far is to the 6th step and yes I was supervising. (*Since I started writing this, she is now able to manage the whole flight of stairs, supervised of course. One benefit from it is that she burns loads of energy. Ideal right before a nap or bedtime).

It was a strange predicament, on the one hand, you want to allow her to develop new skills such as climbing and how to navigate steps. On the other hand, you want to discourage this action as it could kill them if unsupervised. Luckily we have baby gates.

Self Entertainment Stage

I think there should be a Self-(Include the thing) stage here. Bare with me on this one. Instead of "Leaps" or "milestones", we have stages that lessen the workload for tired parents. Currently, in my case, Erin is going through the self-entertainment phase. This phase sees her finding joy and entertainment in everything and anything and does not involve a parent providing stimulation or entertainment.

Your role as the parent is to simply observe and ensure they don't kill themselves.

I feel the self-entertainment stage is best enjoyed, in my opinion, early in the morning. The self-entertainment stage at this time of the day allows you to fully wake up and enjoy a relaxing, while taking your time, hot cup of coffee while simply keeping an eye on your little one. It's also wonderful to see their curiosity and discover new things. Previously the two options that were available to you in the midst of entertaining and looking after your baby was;

One, down a scalding cup of coffee, (because you need the caffeine), and lose all feeling in your throat and tastebuds for the day. Or two, down a cold cup of coffee because you know and desperately need the caffeine even though you loath cold coffee.

How people drink iced coffee, I'll never know.

I will say this. The self-entertainment stage saw our Christmas tree take an almighty battering this year. As soon as Erin's bum touched terra-firma, she'd be making a b-line straight to the tree. She would then spend as long as she could shaking as many pine needles off as she could, take off as many balls as she could and for the 97th time that day. Inspect the lights.

Eventually, we just said "have at it" and moved all the low hanging fruit higher up the tree.

We're debating getting an artificial tree next year? What ye think?

I'm very much looking forward to other stages such as the self-changing themselves stage and the self-cleaning up after themselves stage.

Just when you think you've cleaned the high chair, you find food in a place you thought was physically impossible to reach while wearing that massive bib!

Christmas & New Years

I think it's fair to say at this point, everyone is sick to death of Covid, Delta, Omnicron etc. Everything is just so much more of a job, task or chore with it still being around. If you want to visit someone, go for a meal or a pint, simply not have something on your face every time you step out of the house and not have to answer the question "I didn't quite get that, what did you say? I couldn't hear you properly with the mask".

Anyway, mini covid rant over, Christmas was always going to be a tricky one given the time of year with general flu's & colds which could be masquerading as Covid, cases going up and not wanting to ruin Christmas plans for families.

As Erin is the first grandchild, obviously every family member on both sides wanted to spend time with her. Oh and maybe they wanted to spend some time with myself and Ruth too. Meh... that's up for debate.

Anyway, our plan was to spend Christmas Eve / Christmas Morning in my Mam's then over for Christmas Day & Night in my sisters-in-law's with Ruth's parents and other sister. This way we felt that neither side would feel left out of the celebrations, seeing a baby wear all the Christmas attire available and also watch a 9-month-old play with the box and wrapping paper instead of the toy.

We restricted our movements in the lead up to the big day. I did workouts from home to reduce any more chance of possibly catching it and gut-wrenchingly had to pull out from seeing my friends for our Christmas drinks. Ruth and I did regular antigen tests just to be sure too.

Both days with respective families was brilliant fun with plenty of food, drink, sing songs and a special visitor too. We were delighted to share Erin's first Christmas with family as she still doesn't have a clue what's really going on. Next year, who knows but I have a feeling she might be a bit more clued in and she will definitely be delighted with another truckload of gifts arriving.

The days in between Christmas and New Year were meant to be spent with my Dad & his wife. Unfortunately, as they were about to head out the door to head to Cork, an antigen test came back positive. It was a bitter pill to swallow but such is life at the moment and hopefully, we'll see them sooner rather than later.

Since I was 18, I've always spent my New Years with my friends. We always make a point of going away somewhere for it and we all know each year we'll be going somewhere and as such make no plans with anyone else. Over the years we've added our partners and as we get older the kids will be making an appearance too. Covid has wreaked havoc on the last 2 years, so this year it was a small gathering in a friends house as many couldn't attend.

Daily antigen tests in the run-up, on the day and afterwards all, coming back negative added to what was a brilliant night.

I needed that night with my friends, drinking cans, talking shit and laughing so hard the back of my head hurt.

Santa popped in to say hi!

So, in the run-up to Christmas, both Ruth and I were a little anxious about going to a Santa's grotto with Covid but on top of that, it didn't seem the same as when we were kids. A few pics I saw looked like you were visiting Santa in a Zoo or something. Some looked like you were grabbing a family photo with Santa who was none the wiser sitting nicely in the background taking in the delights of his surroundings in Fota or somewhere.

As a surprise then for Ruth, (she knew nothing about it until she heard bells ringing), my Mam & I organised for my Step-Dad to dress up as Santa and make a little makeshift Christmas grotto in my Mam's house. Just for context, my mother goes all out for Christmas and the house looks like something that wouldn't be lost in Home Alone or the Christmas edition of an Interior Design magazine.

My Mam went above and beyond as she always does and the result was immense.

Ruth was blown away, brownie points in the bag. Erin wasn't terrified of a man with long white hair and beard in a red suit and loved every minute of it with the bells and gifts.

(Side story; I thought there might be a repeat of yesteryear. When my brother was little we went to see Santa. Let's just say the experience wasn't a positive one and the picture my Mam got, which she had on a keyring for years, was my brother leaping off Santa's lap screaming).

Honestly, it was just such a wonderful moment as a parent experiencing something you did with your own parents 30 odd years ago. On top of that, we got our picture with Santa on Erin's first Christmas.

And because I know my Mam reads my blogs, thanks so much again Mam. Love ya.

Erin making a move for the jingle bells

Getting back into the routine

The new year and getting back t0 work has meant trying not so much to re-establish Erin's routine but our own. Erin still went to sleep at the same time, napped at the same time, ate at the same time etc. over Christmas. When you're off for a few days you're a bit more relaxed in preparing meals for your little one. Your own sleep routine goes out the window. Instead of going to be at 10 pm, you're cracking open a second bottle while simultaneously saying "fuck it, it's Christmas". Your eating habits change, instead of sitting down at the table for dinner you're still full from that triple-decker Christmas sandwich you smashed with a bag of Tayto from the Christmas box.

God, I'd love a Christmas sandwich now.

Then this week you're back to work and you're getting up at 6 am to make breakfast and lunch for the childminders while also trying to figure out how you do your job again in the midst of a plethora of emails you need to get back to. This weekend coming will be spent meal prepping so I can get maybe an extra 30 mins in bed in the morning.

On top of all that, I'm attempting to do a dry January but the weather ain't helping. I'm also getting back into the swing of things with the gym & exercising as I did zero over Christmas. I feel so sluggish and feel like I look like Fat Thor minus the golden locks of hair.

Anyway, hope ye all had a great Christmas and I've my fingers crossed for a fantastic 2022.

One thought on “Crawling, Christmas and Antigen Tests

  1. It’s always a very special moments when you share the Joy of Christmas with the ones you love. That’s the good stuff. Treasure it ❤️. Mam xxxx

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