Toddler, Baby and Me: The Ten Month Update

baby and toddler update

This will be the quickest baby update I’ve ever done because I have no internet and my 4G is – to put it mildly – temperamental. You should see me – I’m huddled over my laptop beneath a window in the kitchen, sitting on an IKEA kid’s chair, swearing every time my iPhone disconnects from the computer.

baby and toddler update

In case you haven’t twigged: we’ve moved into our new house! The permanent one. Literally. I am never moving ever again and if I even so much as hint that I have itchy property feet, I want you all to physically restrain me and delete my Rightmove app. What a total pain in the neck it all is.

But the house is wonderful and has surpassed my wildest dreams and we are happily pottering about trying to sort out rooms and find various important things such as the babies’ medical records and the cable for the telly and the sieve and my socks. (Any socks would do; I’m currently wearing some of those pop socks that they give you in shoe shops!)

Anyway, I’m sure there will be more house updating when I get back into the swing of things, but for now, let’s quickly zoom through the toddler and baby stuff. (Note, I’m probably not going to proof-read this so excuse any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors!)


Angelica is chattering away like an old granny, coming out with all sorts of little sentences and exclamations. “Hello Doctor,” she says. “Test your earholes? Test Daddy’s earholes? Then lie down please, lie down.” These innocent words strike fear into me every time – she likes to use whatever implement is near to hand when she’s playing doctors and so I’ve had the wire hook from a coathanger stuck down my ear, a shoe pushed into my mouth as medicine and a used nappy applied to my face as some sort of (I assume) hot compress.

Potty training hasn’t much progressed, although we have managed to cut out the repeated post-bedtime potty journeys, which were climbing both in number and frequency. I think she’d cottoned on to the fact that we didn’t want to prevent her from using the potty when she needed it and so used it as an excuse to prolong bedtime. But two nights of being quite firm about things nipped that in the bud after a tiring, frustrating month of it, and the nappies are dry in the morning so it’s all good there. Funny that when you look back on things it all seems so obvious – why didn’t we nip it in the bud in the first week? – but when you’re in the middle of it all you’re just too tired to see it.


Talking of nipping things in the bud, or even just “nipping”, or even just nips, I think that today will be the last time I breastfeed Ted. Actually I haven’t even breastfed him, and it’s 9.30pm, so unless I cave in and do a night feed, that’s it! I was doing the odd feed every day, but with absolutely no schedule or pattern and I think that my boobs just didn’t have a clue what was going on. It all came to a head yesterday when I returned from London and felt the need to feed the baby, but when he latched on I could feel that there wasn’t much there. And then at bedtime, I fed him for forty minutes but an hour later, when he woke up crying, my husband fed him 7oz of formula. Which makes me think that he didn’t really get anything out of me at all.

We’ll see – I do love the convenience of a cheeky little night feed and it lulls him back to sleep so quickly and easily. And the comfort of it, and the loveliness of the moment… But bloody hell am I knackered. I thought that I was going to completely lose it last week, when we moved.

Oddities: Ted doesn’t like savoury mush. He likes hard solids, like bread and cheese and tomatoes and cucumber and so on, but he won’t eat baby food on a spoon unless it’s pureed fruit or yoghurt. Slightly worrying as it’s all sweet stuff, so I try to make him have a bit of vegetable risotto or what have you, but he shakes his head and cries until he has the fruit or yoghurt. I’m not particularly worried about the amount that he eats – he has over his recommended milk intake and sits with Angelica at every meal picking at bits from his tray – but I wonder whether his eating habits will give him a sweet tooth. Or whether it’s just a baby thing. Steamed broccoli from tomorrow, if I can get the hang of working the AGA.

(Bloody hell, what a learning curve. I thought I had cooking down, but it seems that cooking on an AGA is a completely new way of cooking. I have to say that for me, the new house having an AGA was a bit of a negative – in the same way that I avoided seeing any houses with a swimming pool, I was instantly slightly put off if it had an AGA. I am not in the game of giving myself extra work to do or making life more complicated! But I may have to eat my words regarding the AGA. Despite it costing more to run than a helicopter (probably) it does have a certain charm. It warms the kitchen and it’s always on, so you can just chuck things into it willy-nilly. Thoughts, AGA-owners or ex-owners?)

Ted is desperate to walk. To the point where he won’t bend his legs if you try to sit him down on the floor or put him in his highchair; he straightens them out and locks them rigid, making it impossible to do anything other than hold him upright and allow him to do his walking practice. Which is great unless you desperately need to answer the door or stop the dog from eating the cat’s sick or whatever. Ted has no interest in crawling, in rolling, even in pulling himself up to hold onto tables or sofas – he just wants to walk. Oh God. And he’s so strong! When he kicks at nappy-changing time you have to seriously try and dodge his legs otherwise you’re covered in bruises the following day.

He has four teeth – two top and two bottom, obviously – and a gap between his top teeth that’s bigger than mine. He has such a good nature, apart from when he’s hungry in the night when he screams the house down, and his favourite thing is to be thrown up and down.

OK, that’s the eighth time that my 4G has disappeared so I’m rounding this up now. Body-wise, no change: still eating a Magnum (almost) every day, still have reasonably large boobs but on the deflate, still exhausted and looking forward to the night where I get more than four hours sleep in a row! Stress levels have been ridiculous – I’m thinking of taking off quite a few weeks over Christmas, just to recharge and refresh. Come back a more relaxed and productive person. Give myself time to recuperate and read and have baths and organise the kitchen cupboards. What do you think?

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  1. Rebecca Baladi
    December 3, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Have a break!!!!

    • Sophie
      December 4, 2017 / 7:41 am

      For the love of god and your sanity please take a few weeks off.
      So glad you’ve moved and Ted and Angelica are just bloody lovely xxxx

      • Sophie
        December 4, 2017 / 7:43 am

        Ooooos sorry replied by accident! Xx

  2. Cands
    December 3, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    AGAs are seductive! They actually work brilliantly with small kids, despite being shamingly wasteful in terms of energy/cost.
    We very rarely need to use the central heating as one room is always warm, and you never get to 5pm and think “Christ, I haven’t put the oven on”, just as the toddler goes off on a hunger-induced rampage.
    Cooking on them is quite a steep learning curve; everything we ate was either raw or cremated for the first 3 months, but once you get the hang of it, they are ace. My one tip is to get into the habit of using a timer ALL the time, as you can’t smell when things are burning. And Mary Berry is the patron saint of AGA users.

  3. Emily
    December 3, 2017 / 11:06 pm

    If you can swing it, I would definitely take two-three weeks off. If you had an office job and regular hours, you would save up your time-off for these kinds of big life adventures. (Really, I don’t understand these people who like to fix up houses and move every 2-3 years for the fun of it. I hate moving!) Post on Instagram here and there so we know you are alive, but yeah, don’t stress about videos and posts.

    We looked at getting an Aga years ago so I went to one of those classes at the Aga showroom. It was great – so helpful and totally necessary because if you are used to “normal” appliances, an Aga is not intuitive. We ended up not getting one because our house gets pretty warm in the summer so we’d have to shut it off and they take ages to reheat. But it would have been so nice and cozy to have in the cooler months.

    Enjoy your new country pile and have a fabulous Christmas!

  4. Elizabeth
    December 3, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Ruth I LOVE my Aga! Maybe slight difference is I actually wanted one, but really, once you get used too it it is a very relaxed way of cooking. Use the ovens more than the hot plates (for instance for potatoes, put them in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil on the hot plate, allow to boil for just a few minutes, then drain water, put the lid on and leave in the simmering oven for half an hour, or an hour, or for however long everything else takes, it really is very forgiving) Official Aga saucepans are pricey compared to normal, but definitely worth it, and will last a lifetime. All winter my son requests that his clothes be hung over the rail at night so they’re cosy in the morning. No ironing, just fold clothes and leave them piled on top of the simmering plate lid overnight to press. I could go on…, but I’m worried that you’ll be bored already! Good luck!

    • Tania
      December 5, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Seconded – remember that heat escapes like fury whenever the hotplate lid is up. Best is to try to use the hotplates minimally and do most of the cooking in the oven and move the food higher or lower to alter the cooking temperature. You can even fry onions in the oven – start them off on top, then bung a lid on the frying pan and put the pan on the floor of the top right oven for 5 or so mins. Always use a timer – after decades of Aga use I forgot last weekend and ended up with cremated sausages in the morning. Finally (I’m probably getting boring too) – if you’re doing a big roast thing, turn it up to highest heat first thing in the morning – it’s amazing how a leg of lamb and some spuds causes the temperature to plummet. It all sounds like a terrible palaver but most people quite quickly turn into those terrible “oh I couldn’t live without it” types (like me…)

  5. Hannah
    December 3, 2017 / 11:30 pm

    So interesting re good thing. We are having the exact same issue…relatively little savoury eaten unless she can self feed. It’s stressing me out but then I just wonder if it’s an independence thing. Would also love to hear people’s thoughts. So frustrating when you lovingly make them something (or buy a pouch that costs a fortune) for it to be received with a locked shut jaw! House looks amazing.

  6. Emma
    December 3, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    So jealous you have a 4 oven Aga! My Mum is from a farming family so for as long as I can remember we have warmed ourselves in front of one, hung washing over it, dried wellies and it does amazing cakes once you get the knack! Even had caid lambs in the bottom oven with the door open to warm them up! I have one now and although expensive, I am not sure I could part with it. You can do amazing breakfasts with just a silicone sheet on the top – you never get the ‘snot’ effect around the top of a fried egg! Ugh… Enjoy your new home it looks gorgeous x

  7. Ruth
    December 3, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    As much as I want to say “no, tell us everything!” I would highly suggest taking whatever time you need to get things actually sorted. Having just moved and trying to find all the things only when you absolutely need them is enough to give one a stroke. I’ll try to manage somehow without your wit.
    Congrats for dry nappies in the morning!

  8. Lucy
    December 4, 2017 / 2:33 am

    Yes, you need a break! My 8 month old is exactly the same with the fruit purée thing soooo we’ve been mixing the savoury and sweet in varying ratios and it seems to be working….totally gross (my first Bolognese and Apple and pear compote) but the sweet is getting less and less in the mix….might be worth a go?

    • Kath
      December 4, 2017 / 8:08 am

      I did the same thing with my fruit addicted little one. Worked a treat!

  9. Eliza
    December 4, 2017 / 2:39 am

    I don’t have kids but alwaysss love your updates. So funnily recounted. (although sorry you have to relive the trauma of a coat hanger hook in the ear. that’s taking one for the team and we thank you.) 🙂 At first I’m thinking no way you have to be a warrior, stop being lazy and blast on with our posts! (our?!?) sorry. heh. But I agree, you need to take some time off. Enjoy it and we’ll be here upon your resurgence. (wear the sparkly boots) Congrats on the new home and Merry Christmas to you all!! x

  10. E.
    December 4, 2017 / 3:51 am

    Always interesting and entertaining to read from you, but yes, do take some real time off. You need and deserve a real break and it’a nice time of year to have a few weeks for yourself and your family. 🙂
    (Written during a night feed. I know how tiring it is!)
    And stopping the breastfeeding is not an excuse for not needing a break. You still have a baby, a toddler, a house move and a real need and right for time off work.

  11. Rebecca
    December 4, 2017 / 4:26 am

    Oh my goodness, take that break woman, you need it and deserve it! Looking forward to more updates when you return!

  12. Sophie
    December 4, 2017 / 7:42 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    For the love of god and your sanity please take a few weeks off.
    So glad you’ve moved and Ted and Angelica are just bloody lovely xxxx

  13. Chantal
    December 4, 2017 / 7:44 am

    Congratulations on you gorgeous house! I’m so happy you found your dream house so quickly! And your last paragraph is exactly what I would’ve written otherwise. If you can manage it financially please take a big fat break to recuperate and sort out all the stuff of moving, maybe the breastfeeding (you’ve already been doing that so long and through all that stress, so total kudos to you), and just rest rest REST. You deserve it. X

  14. Elise
    December 4, 2017 / 8:16 am

    We all love you … take a break!

  15. Alison Donald
    December 4, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Great read! Please let us know where the cute pull along book cart comes from – would love to get one for my daughter. X

  16. Ziggypuss
    December 4, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Hi Ruth, l live in Australia and when we were kids we had an Aga …. but ours was fired by wood !… ( is yours gas ? ) I just remember my dad chopping wood ever waking hour. We had different kinds of wood for different kinds of cooking .. ie – casseroles / cakes / keeping it going over night !! .. my god it was a full time job… but l remember my Mum would put our pj’s on the shelf to warm up while we had our baths. I do have lovely memories of our old Aga……. OH .. l do remember putting chip packets in the oven and shrinking them to make brooches … it was really good at doing that

  17. December 4, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Yes, take a break and relax, Christmas should be time spend with the family! And it will leave you time to figure out the AGA. Just reading about it made me stressed out.

  18. Charlotte
    December 4, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Much as I love reading your updates & what’s going on in your life if you need a break over Christmas then take one! You can still do the odd Instagram story or post to keep up with what’s going on, but seriously you have two kids under 3 & you’ve just moved house – cut yourself some slack!!

    On the subject of AGAs though I think they’re brilliant. My mum has always had one & I really miss the nice warmth in the winter & being able to just shove something in the oven without waiting for it to heat up. You’ll soon get the hang of it – get one of Mary Berry’s AGA cookbooks, they’re excellent.

  19. Agnes
    December 4, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Absolutely, take that break, it is well deserved! We’ll be here waiting for you whenever you come back.

  20. Judith
    December 4, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Please take a break! The last few months have been so stressful/chaotic for you all.
    Remember that most working mothers would still be on maternity leave at this stage. How long did you take?
    Spend some time with your family & get used to your new home & surroundings.
    We will all be here when you get back!!

  21. Mo
    December 4, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Massive congrats on the new house!
    And you’ve MORE than earned a break. I’ll miss your posts of course, but take a holiday!

  22. Rachel
    December 4, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    Yes, do take a few weeks off. Your loyal readers/followers will miss you but will still be around when you’re back! Family is the most important. The house sounds amazing, have some time off work and focus your energy on making a home for your gorgeous family (i’m assuming Mr AMR is gorgoeus! Haha!). Love the updates, sounds like the babies are doing amazing! X

  23. Sarah
    December 4, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    If I could, I would love tongo back to work for a few weeks, just to take a vacation from my adorable, lovely, teething-and-crawling 8 month old. I would love to set my attention on anything that doesn’t involve flung food, diapers, or bedtime meltdowns. Wanna switch??? But yes, take a vacation!

  24. Laura
    December 4, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Definitely take a very well deserved break – we will miss your posts but certainly be here when you get back 🙂 Delighted you found your dream house, what a joy! Have a very happy Christmas and I hope Santa is good to Angelica and Ted!

  25. December 4, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Yes, have a break at Christmas (and before), you so deserve it (and your body obv. needs it). Ted sounds like my nephew, and he walked (like me and my sister) at 9 months. He was doing the same as Ted is doing for months before walking. He’s now playing with our Legos from the 80s, so cool! Sorry, I can’t help with the Aga. Bonne chance!

  26. Kalyna
    December 4, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    I love your posts but I think they should come with a trigger warning! Now understand, my eldest is 24 and my twins are 21, but I still suffer from PTSD when recalling the stress and lack of sleep with little ones. There is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture! Please give yourself some time off. We’ll suffer without some posts but it will be worth it. I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday!

  27. Becca Rose
    December 4, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Agas are wonderful, and (I know it sounds indulgent / sentimental) such a lovely part of family life! They make your kitchen somewhere cosy to congregate, the mean you can wash, dry and put away a load of laundry in under two hours if you want to, and they make entertaining so much easier (put together a chilli con carne / casserole / joint of meat / ragu the night before and bung it in the bottom oven overnight and you have dinner DONE). There are some great Aga cooking books because there is a knack to it, but persevere!!

    And enjoy the new home, and a break – it sounds like you more than deserve it.

  28. Erin
    December 4, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Please do take the time to rest and recuperate (as much as that is even possible with two little ones)!
    We will all still be here waiting…and anyone who does not understand deserves a kick in the pants:-)

  29. Gisela
    December 4, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Ruth, Please please please take some time off for the holidays. Moving and Christmas festivities are family bonding time, dont waste a moment on work. Make these moments about your little piece of heaven. And Mr AMR. No doubt he is feeling the strain.

    In the new year give us a lovely home tour. That should more than make up for it.
    Nuff said.
    Love you
    p.s. Do give us an update on the Ogre tee hee

  30. Kim
    December 4, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    Hi Ruth, I definitely think you should take a break for Christmas. You need time to settle down in your lovely new home. We will still be here when you come back ‘online’. X

  31. Lena Busch
    December 4, 2017 / 7:51 pm


  32. Vee
    December 4, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    My son wouldn’t do any puree but veg, but happily ate soft steamed florets of broccolini, over roasted sticks of carrot/parsnip, and strips of cooked meat. Also pasta spirals with a lick of healthy sauce. (And also lots of packets the kiddilicous brand of vegetable snacks in case I sound like a BLW bore! I think veg puree is way more temperature sensitive, and needs cheese. Fruit is easier from a pouch, but that doesn’t mean other flavours won’t happen. Palates evolve and offer things again and again.) See you in 2018!

  33. Sarah
    December 4, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Have a break! We’ll miss you, but we’ll be okay. Enjoy your family, your new house and the festive season. Merry Christmas xx

  34. Julia
    December 5, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    TAKE THE BREAK! Will miss reading your updates obvs but seriously, do it! xxx

  35. Anja
    December 5, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Take a break! Especially since the holidays are coming up! I always look forward to the posts, but I’d rather keep you sane 😉

  36. Lindsey
    December 7, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Ruth! Take a break. We will all survive without you for a while. Merry Xmas, see you next year!

  37. Johanna
    December 9, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    We love you, but you should take a break. Seriously. You need it and we’ll survive for a few weeks without you 😉

  38. Rachel T
    December 18, 2017 / 9:02 am

    Just realised our babies are nearly the same age! Been reading a model recommends for the longest time and for some reason hasn’t seen this blog! Oh gosh…. take some time off work lol. I was counting my days down to have a break over Christmas…. my little one is cavorting about the place…. thinks she is a seasoned pro at walking (isn’t though!!!) and then falls and cracks it. Also doing odd things with food too. I’m getting really sneaky though…. will purée up as many veggies and meat as I can (example – boil pumpkin, steak, onion, garlic, carrots, broccoli and kale). Once it’s a purée I then add it to other stuff like eggs… and make her scrambled eggs (she thinks it’s just egg she can pick up and scoff…. but it’s all infused with good food)…. or mash potato, add it to that, plus an egg to bind it and roll it and fry it to make rosti/fritter things. I just have gotten better at sneaking in the veggies…. and I know you are partial to la pouches….so you could use them the same way! Sorry for the essay lol

  39. Helen B
    December 23, 2017 / 10:38 am

    loved the article! Just a tip when steaming broccoli or cauliflower: saute with salted butter, garlic powder, and herbs de provence…. its delicious and soft! My 2.5 year old loves it and I don’t mind eating the leftovers!

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