Monday 20 February: Her standing just keeps on getting better and better! Fewer bumps on the noggin when she gets down to a sitting position from standing up, holding the coffee table. And she can get herself into a sitting position pretty easily nowadays from lying down.

And she's on the verge of starting furniture surfing (aka "cruising", where they walk around by holding onto furniture and using that to keep themselves steady). Her little toes are beginning to shuffle towards the object of her desire as she's standing up, holding onto the sofa/coffee table. But currently she just prefers to stretch (and fall over, with a look of surprise on her face).

The other day, another little girl came over to visit (well, Holly's 18 months now, so not so little any more!), and Nell kept on eyeing her jealously if she went anywhere near Nell's books or toys. Cheeky greedy girl!

She's beginning to enjoy looking at books, instead of just trying to chew them all the time. And she's got definite favourites in her toy collection (shiny and noisy good). And music will cheer her up almost as much as a piece of Vegemite toast will.

Thursday 16 February: New art! A lovely Valentine's Day card that Nell made for us at daycare. What a sweetie!

And more photos! At long last! And she's completely gorgeous, of course.

Monday 13 February: And she's off! Er, up! Just like her big brother, Nell wants to "be taller"! She can pull herself up to a standing position very well now. Unfortunately she can't get back down yet, so she tends to squawk quite angrily and annoyedly (especially at 5am) until someone comes in to rescue her (and give her first breakfast). She's had a couple of tumbles to the floor while holding onto the coffee table, but she hasn't hurt herself yet. Well, her pride probably took some damage...

Unlike her big brother, Nell seems to like noise, if the number of toys and teaspoons thrown (with great interest and force) to the ground, and the whack, whack, whack of objects against her high chair table. She's also dead keen on getting messy and splashing in water. (Note to self: don't give her a bath and then feed her pumpkin.)

She's also better at the fine motor skills than Max was (she's fairly good at pressing buttons, instead of sitting on toys and thinking "what the" when they start making noise). And she loves music (even the tinny noise that comes out of her toys). She's not as good at crawling as Max was (she'll do a couple of steps on hands and knees, and then think "bugger this" and go back to commando crawling). She's got a couple of callouses forming on her big toes from her commando crawling!

She's added rice to her repertoire of meals, and has been consuming vast quantities of rice and veggies and roasted pumpkin. Have to admit, it looks pretty damned good to me too! And she's pretty good at tackling finger food in the form of sultanas and cheesy toast, but she's not at all keen on bananas yet, either mashed or as finger food slices.

When she's excited about her solid food (which is most days, she's a bottomless pit masquerading as a baby, much as her brother was too), she bounces up and down in the high chair, squeaking happily. And then when the spoon approaches her mouth, she suddenly sits still and opens her mouth wide. She learns the little things so quickly!

And she's just come off a few days of solid bottle feeds (I couldn't breastfeed because I was taking medicine that's not good for little girls), and she's getting the hang of breastfeeding again (phew, I hate sterilising bottles all the time). Although one final bottle at night does seem to send her to sleep finally, and thoroughly. Not my ideal, but if it gets her to sleep with minimum fuss, then I'm all for it.

Stranger Danger has also started - she's not at all keen on being held by anyone who isn't Mummy or Daddy (exceptions are made for other family members).

And she smiles nicely for the camera now, instead of wondering where Mummy's gone behind that black box... Scary how fast she learnt that one. (Photos will be coming soon!)

Wednesday 1 February: Well, I dunno what happened to my lovely sleeping baby. She still sleeps well overnight (she even resettled herself at 3am after a bit of squawking), but getting her to sleep is quite a nightmare. She doesn't seem to be in pain from the new tooth (or any other potential teeth coming through), she can't possibly be hungry or thirsty, she's definitely tired. But she takes about an hour to get to sleep (two hours last night), with much whinging and wailing and many breastfeeds. I was hoping it was just a phase, but it seems to be a long phase...

She's getting close to pulling herself up and furniture surfing! On soft surfaces (such as pillows or my legs if I'm sitting on the ground) she crawls up them and then can shuffle along in search of a toy or a cat tail (chorus: poor Stumpy!). She knows the concept of pulling herself up to sit or stand, but the actual act is still beyond her and she needs some help. And a hand to stop her toppling backwards, as she's just as likely to fall backwards as forwards or sideways.

She's still got no sense of fear of heights, and tries to crawl off the edge of the bed or down the stairs (chasing the cat of course; chorus: poor Stumpy!) without a single thought of "hmmm, I wonder if this is a safe thing to do..."

Yes, we really must baby-proof the house.

And she reckons the sun shines out of Max's bottom, and gurgles happily when she sees the cat. And she also seems to love her parents (aw).

Tuesday 24 January: A tooth! A palpable tooth! I bought her a new toy on Saturday (a cute little dinosaur called Spike with chewy bits and rattly bits and squishy bits) and noticed that evening that there were toothmarks on one of the rattly bits. Strangely enough all I thought was "oh, toothmarks". Then on Sunday she was chewing on a book and I noticed that there was a *scritch* *scritch* sound of a tooth gouging cardboard and I thought "hang on a minute...". Chalk that one up to sleep deprivation!

It's very cute (as only a new tooth can be), just sticking up above the gumline on her bottom gum, just to the right (her right) of the midline. And it's going to start wreaking havoc on her toys any day now. It's already turned her into a little monster (although that could have also been due to a little virus she picked up that made her nose run and gave her a nasty temperature over the weekend).

We also have Nell's first artwork for your delectation! I was told that one of her carers at daycare was into arts and crafts with the littlies, and I thought "well, yes, once they're older than Nell", but well, no, I was wrong! It's a rather fetching splotch of purple and red (my favourite colours!), and she had paint all over herself when we picked her up. And she was looking very proud. The artwork has pride of place on the whiteboard in the kitchen.

She's also sitting up very well now, hardly any toppling. (I've taken some photos, but they haven't been developed yet.) She likes sitting up, she can see so much more! So now she can see that Max has put his toys out of her reach on the second stair, and she can crawl up the stairs far enough to reach them. Oh dear, we have to find another safe spot for Max to put his toys!

Monday 9 January: And she's off! It's a not particularly elegant commando crawl (dragging herself along with her hands and elbows and pushing with her toes), but she's mobile. And heading straight for Max's toys, each and every time I put her down on the floor. Cheeky girl. Max is most unimpressed, of course.

She's also very good at sitting. She can't get herself into a sitting position without help, but once there, she's very controlled.

And babbling. Lots of "bah-bah-bah-bah-bah" and now a "muh-muh-muh-muh-muh" as well. Unlike Max, she may say "mummy" before she says "daddy"! I'm priming her as much as possible to say "mummy". All's fair in love and parenthood.

Tomorrow she starts her first day at day care. She's already had a couple of "orientation" days (no, they didn't have bottle sculling competitions), so it's not a completely new place for her. And she is used to spending a whole day at her grandparents' place, so in theory, all should be well. In practice, I'm a bundle of nerves. And she probably won't even notice me saying goodbye to her, as she'll be uber-busy chewing on all of the new and exciting toys they'll have for her.

Over the summer break, she had a few more trips to the pool, which she is beginning to enjoy now. She's also got a proper sunsafe little suit (took ages to find one that wasn't covered with frou-frou pink frills).

And she's sometimes (when she's tired, mainly) clingy to me. (As is Max, meaning that I'm hobbled by two kids clinging on for dear life.) Much as I love the fact that she reckons I'm the tops, I wish she'd be happier to get cuddles from other people. Oh well.

She seems to be sleeping through the night again (until 8am this morning!). But now I've said that, she'll start demanding 4am feeds again.

And she enjoyed Christmas, especially the wrapping paper. She's obsessed with trying to eat paper, and I'm just as obsessed to try and stop her from eating paper.

Thursday 8 December: And she's sometimes getting her knees up underneath her, in preparation for crawling. And she can't sit up on her own as yet. I'm wondering if I'm going to have a crawling baby who can't sit up!

Stinking hot day yesterday (high 30s), so she had her first visit to the local pool. And she did not like it, the poor little tyke. She eventually consented to having water dribbled over her toes while being cuddled, but that was pretty much it. But we appreciated sitting around in the babies' pool!

And (finally!) some photos are up! Fiona has very kindly given me access to her server, so I have space again for photos. There will be more coming, but just a few quick ones for the moment.

Monday 5 December: If she can grab it (and she's good at grabbing), it'll end up in her mouth. And she loves grabbing fabric - her plush toys, my t-shirt, the cloth I'm using to try and clean her up...

She's also quite determined to hold onto the spoon that is feeding her. I'm using two spoons at mealtimes now and she's ending up covered with her mush, but very happy. Sticky, but happy.

She's almost managed to hold herself in a sitting position a few times, but not for long. There's always a slight pause, and then she topples over to one side...

Still no teeth!

And, finally, the weather has warmed up, so I can put her in all the cute t-shirts I've been buying her the past few weeks, in anticipation of warmer weather.

She's also sitting up in the car now, facing forward! She's rather chuffed to be there, and Max is very proud that she's sitting in his old carseat. And it's fabulous to turn around and see them both sitting there! (Less fabulous for my driving skills though, it must be said!)

Cutest baby Nell thing ever: she clasps her hands together and goes to stretch them over her head, like she's doing a big yawn. But, being baby-proportioned, her arms aren't long enough and she thwumps her fists into her forehead, which startles her no end.

Thursday 24 November: Rolling all over the place. She always ends up in a different part of the crib. Sometimes (much to her dismay) with her legs or arms sticking out the bars.

And she's started solids! She likes roasted pumpkin, pear, apple and banana. Not all at once.

Max is rather intrigued by her food, but isn't interested in "mush".

I'm back at work now (two days a week) so Nell is with her grandparents those days, and learning to sleep in a different crib and drink her milk from a bottle. She's been a very good girl.

Her current vital statistics are: weight - 8.5kg; length - 70cm; head circumference - 42cm. Time to upgrade her from the capsule (or her "box" as Max calls it) to a proper little car seat!

And she's grabbing things happily, reaching for toys, finding her toes (although she hasn't stuck them in her mouth yet) and trying desperately to sit up.

And she only sleeps through the night when she's really really tired. So I'm often in at work on 4 hours sleep! Argh.

Tuesday 18 October: Still more practicing of the rolling! She can get onto her side easily enough, but can't quite get that last little bit over onto her tummy. But she loves trying (and she loves being on her tummy when I give her a hand and push her over!).

And while she's on her tummy, she's been trying lately to get her knees under her so she can (one day) start crawling.

She also managed to stay upright in a sitting position (leaning on her hands in front of her) for a little while the other day! I propped her up in the position, and she stayed there quite well. No repeat performance, however, every other time since then she's just slowly and gracefully toppled over after I've removed my support.

She moves around in the crib quite a bit now from all the wriggling she does, and we sometimes have to rescue her when she ends up against the bars in an uncomfortable position. But she also likes being close to the bars so she can grab them. Grabbing is still one of the best games ever, and she thinks it's absolutely brilliant to have two hands, so one hand always has another hand to grab.

She got her four month immunisation last week (yes, only 5 weeks late) and she did well. (She did cry a lot, but she was already tired and missing her nap, and I managed to whack her on the head getting her out of her capsule. Considering what she went through, she did remarkably well!) And she's now 7.56kg, apparently! Almost time to upgrade her nappies!

Along with all the gurgling and cooing (and combos of gurgling and cooing like "ah-goo") she's blowing raspberries like some sort of raspberry fanatic. (This is cute too because Max is blowing raspberries as well, but he prefers to do his on my tummy...)

I'll be back at work in just a couple of weeks, but will be working part time as Nell won't be in daycare until February (at the earliest). She'll be heading over to her grandparents with Max for the days I'm working, and will hopefully enjoy it as much as Max does! Hurrah for doting grandparents! (And I hope she learns to sleep there, or we're all going to be a bit tired and fed up!)

Tuesday 11 October: Nell is getting bigger and bigger by the day! Amazing, considering it seems that she throws up more than she ever slurped down in the first place. Strange little girl.

She's practicing her rolling (she can get onto her side, but needs a push to go right over onto her tummy) and loves tummy time - she sits right up in what we call her "lizard stance" and looks around happily. And sometimes she can also roll back onto her back from her tummy, but she does seem rather surprised to do so, so maybe it's just a fluke.

She can also grab things (especially my fingers). And she's going to be one of those babies that puts everything in their mouths. She's a thumb/finger/hand sucker of tremendous proficiency and will also grab and pull up her blankets to her mouth so she can suck and drool all over them too.

Her eyes seem to be going a definite brown already. Still lots of straight brown hair.

Nell's been to a number of movies at the local cinema's Reel Mums sessions, and she's gone from being the noisiest baby there to being one of the quieter babies. And she likes her mornings at one of the local cafes too. Such a social little baby!

She's a very happy baby still (smiling and cooing and gurgling like a mad - but happy - baby), and spoils me by sleeping through fairly often so I can get a solid night sleep. And (most amazing of all) she can put herself to sleep all by herself. She's the first of this Duffield generation to do so!

Oh, and the lack of photos on the website aren't because there are no photos of her (there are plenty) or that she's hideously ugly (she's a stunner, even if the back of her head is flat from sleeping so much), it's because I've run out of room on the server. I'll try and work out some workaround. One day. When I have time. Hah!

Wednesday 6 July: Forgot to mention that she's a champion burper. Amazing burps, from right down in her diaphragm. I'm sure that's a sign of complete cleverness.

Tuesday 5 July: Well! It's been busy the last couple of months! First, we decided that instead of fixing up the old house for Nell, we'd just move to a new house. Nesting gone insane, I reckon. (Luckily the new house is on the same block of land as the old house, so I think it has to be the shortest move in history.) Then Nell decided that what with all that excitement, she'd like to turn up a month early, thanks.

We haven't quite forgiven her for throwing all our carefully laid plans into chaos. We had a date planned for her birth, dammit! The first of June, dammit! Not the 7th of May! Oh well. She's definitely laying on the charm thick and fast, learning how to smile in the first eight weeks. So complete forgiveness will be soon. Plus, this way I get to spend more time with her before I go back to work. (Not looking forward to that, I'm telling you.)

She was a somewhat small baby (3.056kg; if she'd gone to term she would have been a whopping 4kg), but packed on a huge 900g in the first two weeks after leaving the hospital. At last measurement, she was at the 85th percentile.

Lots of hair, started off black, now dark brown. (And spiky, since I "styled" her hair after yesterday's bath.) Eyes are a grey blue. Looks a lot like her big brother did at this age.

Nicknames so far thrust upon her are: Mount St Nellens (she does seriously spectacular spews with milk spurting out her nose and everything); Nellephant (no particular reason, it just sounds cool); and Ms Snorty McSnort-Snort (she's a very noisy sleeper, although she doesn't seem to wake herself up. Just me).

Wednesday 23 March: Nesting, nesting, nesting. The amount of clutter in the house is making me anxious. We've got to paint the baby's room. And before that, we have to re-plaster a few cracks. And before that, we have to move the current furniture out. And before that, we have to clear space to move the furniture to. Not to mention clean the clutter off the furniture first. I've started clearing junk, and we're organising some furniture smashing and large rubbish pickups from the council...

And I've got all of Max's old clothes out and organised into piles by size. Now we have to split them into winter/summer piles. My deity, Max had enough clothes!! It's been fun seeing some of the cute stuff re-appear.

Monday 14 March: Well, it's been an uneventful pregnancy so far! So not much to report (no news is good news, right?).

I bought Schnoogy his/her first item! (With Max, it took until I was about 5 months pregnant before I started the shopping. This time around, it's been another whole month.) S/he'll be wearing mostly Max hand-me-downs as a baby (okay, I'll buy something seriously cute, I can't help but indulge them/myself), but Max was a summer baby and Schnoogy will be a winter baby. So I bought him/her a Snug as a Bug wrap in purple. That'll keep him/her nice and toasty warm on cold winter days in the pram!

And almost everyone reckons this one's going to be a girl. I'd believe them, only I know as soon as I'm sure of its sex, it'll definitely be a boy. Conversely, if I get convinced that it's a boy, it'll be a girl.

Had a dream the other night, that Schnoogy was a boy. It was a day or two after the birth, and Rachel & Michelle were cooing over the new baby, and I'd suddenly realised that I'd been so busy and overwhelmed with everything I'd forgotten to ask if it was a boy or a girl!

We're at the start of the third (and final!) trimester now, and counting down. And enjoying the somewhat cooler weather. Phew!

Friday 14 January: Another set of ultrasounds, although they're not very good. Schnoogy (like his/her big brother) tends to wriggle into the wrong position all the time. They both take after the cat. Obviously I inhaled too much cat hair over my lifetime and both babies have been saturated with cat genes.

And he/she is kicking up a bit of a storm too. No "womb of death" loop-the-loops, but lots of wriggling.

And the poor thing is getting Second Child Syndrome already. I've forgotten how many weeks pregnant I am. 17? 18? 19? Somewhere around there.

Monday 6 December: Well, not a lot of news as yet. We did the 12 week ultrasound last week and everything was tickety-boo.

Hmm, maybe you'd prefer to visit Schnoogy's big brother's website?