We're back from a week in the frozen North of England. It was quite frozen, we had snow and hail and rain and driving winds, but we had a lovely time. Although having a lovely time involved torturing poor Pob somewhat by bundling her into a snow suit and strapping her to her father's chest every time we left the house. Even so he had to walk holding his rain coat around her when we were on the beach so that the wind didn't get into the small gap between his chest and her face. He's rather hardy and enjoys the wilder weather, so he didn't mind too much although a lack of gloves I'm sure meant that his hands were absolutely frozen.
Pob was a total angel on the car journey. We left around 10am, she slept for 1.5 hours, we stopped for lunch and she woke, we fed her and changed her, got back in the car, she slept for 2 hours, we stopped again to feed her etc., got back in the car, and drove for a further hour and a bit to our destination, during which she slept. I pumped after each stop and it went fine, it was much less awkward than I thought it would be - I just wore my pumping bra under my clothes, and wore a loose top over the top. I'm sure a couple of passing drivers got an eyeful of a nipple or two, but it didn't bother me and the yield was rather good. On the way back Pob was slightly worse, she got fed up for the last 20 minutes or so as we neared home and was very screamy but still, I couldn't quite believe our luck.
On the other hand, she has decided that going down for a nap or for the night is for the birds, and is now screaming the place down as we try and settle her. We've tried swaddling/not swaddling, going through a routine in the evening of feed/bath/books/bed, rocking/not rocking, singing/not singing, it doesn't seem to make much difference. She does go down just fine after the 11pm feed, even though she's wide awake when we put her down - something about the dark and quiet that helps perhaps? I think it's something to do with her increased awareness of the world and her own skills. She learnt to blow raspberries a few days ago, and now I hear her lying in her crib, practising blowing them and occasionally stopping to chat a little, it's very adorable.
She also has started to grasp things. When I shake her rattle in front of her she focuses really really hard on it, wobbling her head back and forth as she does so, and after 30 seconds or so she starts to try and reach out for it. She doesn't always get it, but she is trying, and on New Year's Eve she managed to grab and hold the rattle for a minute or so, a couple of times. We were very over-excited.
We saw the new year in dancing around the room to the sounds of Jools Holland's Hootenanny, watching the fireworks go off across the bay, illuminating the nearby castle. It was such a perfect moment, it made me cry. As did reading to Pob a few times from the copy of 'When we were very young' that I found at the cottage. Both are moments I'd dreamed of through the years of infertility, and even before that, and they happened. And they were perfect. Yes, she was rather wriggly while I read to her, yes she was a bit screamy when we put her to bed after the dancing, but those moments were perfect nonetheless, and they outweigh any amount of wriggling and screaming. We are so very lucky, and we continue to bask in that every day, screaminess or no.