Tag Archives: milestones


18 months!
You’ve come a long way baby!

Don’t mind me… I’m only a day late for the 18 month milestone post…!

Niamh. My ‘Neeva’ – or ‘Diva’ if she’s being one – or, most frequently, ‘Viva’, which I think I latched onto because of her amazing joie de vivre. She has enough of that for all of us, I think! Finn has of recent times dubbed her ‘Miss Snuv’. Not sure why, and despite stumbling across a ‘snuv’ or two in a Dr Seuss book, Finn tells me he made it up himself. Sort of cute, though probably not something she’ll want to be sticking around in a couple of decades.

She is pure energy, this one. Slightly scary, yet inspirational, in her absolute fearlessness. She was climbing before she was walking, and she has never stopped, forever pushing the limits of what I’ll allow her to scale before I intervene. She’s incredibly sociable – kids seem to flock to her in the playground, and she frequently seeks out some other mother’s lap to occupy during library storytime. Raising such an extrovert is a completely new and fascinating experience for me. She’s incredibly headstrong, as well, and already, I foresee a somewhat, uh, challenging couple of years ahead. That’s not all. I start to feel rather faint whenever someone mentions teenagerhood.

Niamh doesn’t talk a lot. At 18 months she has only a few clearly recognizable words, and a smattering of other funny little half-words – ‘du’ for duck, ‘mi’ for milk, ‘be’ for bed, ‘mir’ for mirror, ‘muh’ for more, and so on. Oh, and she has a respectable collection of animal noises too! None of the ‘No, she’s not talking yet’ conversations are worrying me at this point. Here, at least, she is practically identical in development to Finn. At 18 months, we feared he would never talk. Six months later, we feared he would never shut up (we were right!) Because we anticipated this with Niamh, I started doing a little sign language with her at about 9 months. We borrowed the ‘Tiny Talk’ book and DVD from a neighbour. Tiny Talk is partly based on Auslan (Australian Sign Language), and partly based on signs babies naturally make. (Both my kids practically came out of the womb making the sign for ‘eat’, for example).

‘Milk’ and ‘eat’ were the first signs Niamh and I used together (oh, and ‘done’, which was just a sign Niamh came up with naturally), and really I didn’t do much more until some time after she turned one. At some point she picked up on the ‘more’ I had been signing to her a bit, and signed it back. That’s when I realised what excellent potential there was for communicating. Niamh now recognizes (and uses most of) about 20 different signs. Most helpful are ‘milk’ (which she also tends to use for generic ‘drink’ now that she’s no longer breastfeeding), ‘eat’, ‘done’, ‘more’, ‘help’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘please/thankyou’ (the same sign, though she only consistently signs for please), and ‘down’. ‘Ball’ and ‘duck’ (accompanied by a very commendable quacking noise) are two of her other favourites. The other day she was scribbling on a bit of paper, when she turned to me and informed me that her drawing was a ‘ball’. It was an excellent moment. Signs give her ‘words’ for telling us things. Even though Finn understood everything we said to him at the same age, and could demonstrate a lot of his knowledge, he didn’t actually have ‘words’ to just tell us stuff – communication with him was a lot about reading body language, and often guesswork on our part.

Mini Charlie impersonator
This impromptu impersonation of Charlie had us all in fits. This was pizza night about six weeks ago, and we had been playing with sequins earlier in the week, sticking them on our noses and whatnot. Niamh plonked this piece of olive under her nose and (obviously) though it incredibly hilarious. Her sense of humour is wicked.

My beautiful girl. You are a wonder and a delight to know. Happy One-And-A-Half!

The Birthday

   “Will report back with photos, hopefully.”

That last word of the last post may have been a bit premonitory! Important events in this family’s life seem to be marked by a distinct lack of decent photographs. (Don’t even ask me about our wedding. Just don’t.) In this case, as with Dermot’s 30th birthday three weeks ago, we were so busy trying to keep people fed and happy that neither of us got behind the camera much. We did, however, have a really lovely time, and everybody was well fed and happy, so that and the memories really are all that count. I did manage a few photos – this first one is on party day – the day before her birthday.
Legwarmers, courtesy Babylegs. These things are great!
Cute red dress, courtesy my wonderful friend Jane
Wiggles DVD, courtesy Uncle Stu
Dinky red cap, courtesy Grandpa
Backwards-cap-wearin’-style, all her very own 🙂

And here we have our gorgeous 1 year old and big brother on her birthday – note the Russian dolls we gave her. I must get a good photograph of these to show you, they’re beautiful.


And then there’s this last one – which is something I wouldn’t normally show you, as it is such an unattractive shot of myself (note bags under eyes, and yes, my eyebrows need serious attention – and yes, if you look closely, you can see Niamh has inherited those same crazy eyebrows, poor girl!) But something about this photograph really works for me – it was taken the afternoon of her birthday, after we experienced a pretty rough night following the party, and I think it sums up the feeling of the last year pretty succinctly, don’t you?

For what it’s worth, she went on to sleep eleven hours that night, so all is forgiven again 🙂


Tooooo tired from the weekend (which was excellent). But I had to pop in for a little minute to tell you about my babes. Today we had two firsts – somewhat coincidentally on Mother’s Day, so I am bound never to forget 🙂 Niamh took her first steps! Four or five times she took a single step, sometimes landing on her knees, sometimes staying upright, and twice she took two consecutive steps. Stay tuned for craziness just around the corner :giggle:

Finn quite possibly outdid that, however – with his first poem. Popping out from inside a cupboard, he told me it made him think up a poem, and then reeled off this little gem:

I like to hide in cupboards
It’s very fun to do
It’s dark when I close the door
Then I come out of it sometimes

When we wrote it down together, we changed that last line to

Then I come out of it and sometimes say ‘Boo’!

Just so it would rhyme. Afterwards, I felt terribly guilty for even raising the suggestion, because the original version had such wonderful spontaneity about it, and besides, poems don’t have to rhyme, do they? But Finn has become quite attached to the rhyming version, and has read it several times over, so I think the ‘Boo’! version is staying.


One year ago today, I discovered I was pregnant with ‘Small’. Today, I watched that same small baby rolling over and giggling with delight. It was wonderful.

She learned to roll over yesterday, after struggling and struggling to get there for several days. I had made the mistake of thinking she would go from tummy to back first, but when I finally figured out she looked like going the other way, I started putting her on her back again, and over she went. When she did, I lay there chatting with her for a few moments, then reached around for the telephone to call OtherHalf and let him know. In the two seconds my back was turned, she flipped over onto her back again! Mobile baby – scary :giggle: Today she’s been perfecting the roll with nappy on – a cloth nappy presents a slightly bigger obstacle than a bare bottom!

Finn acheived his own milestone yesterday as well. We’ve been putting off night toilet-training for ages now, but on Tuesday night we found ourselves unexpectedly out of pull-ups, so undies for bedtime it was (I couldn’t be bothered going out to buy more at that time of night, plus I’ve been getting irritated by the expense of them and was planning to look for a cloth alternative anyway). Anyway, surprise of surprises, he had a dry bed yesterday morning. Whoohoo! Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky the second night, but we’re on the way now.

We made a wonderful discovery last night. I decided I was in the mood for sushi for dinner, so Google found us a great little takeaway sushi place about ten minutes away. They make up sensational platters for a very decent price, so we came home with a small party platter of nigiri and made gluttons of ourselves (all three of us – Finn loves sushi too). Yum. Topped off with chocolate cake courtesy of OtherHalf, it was a most excellent birthday meal 🙂