Here's Nina with some of her recent favourite things, some raisons and her cat. Well Mummy's cat really. Nina has been borrowing cat recently. It's nice to have a picnic out on the carpet, but in case it suddenly starts raining bubbles...
...it's nice to be able to shelter in one's tent.
Nina got her first pair of proper shoes and wore them back from the shop. But all of the way she wanted to try them out properly.
Very soon Mummy took her out for her very first walk out to the park
Bee is a firm favourite
As is being tickled
My magnadoodle is a very good seat
Looking at bubbles is fun
I love playing with the egg timer
And reading my book
And having my book read to me
But all of that can tire me out
It's good hiding under the table
and the chairs
It's also a good spot to make a quick phone call
But have to make sure Daddy isn't hanging around worrying about the phone bill
After all of this playing out and about time I did some playing at home. It's got a bit colder so time for my jumper...
Sometimes everyone needs a rest
The box has had some repair work, but all of my friends are still there
Good to spend some time on the computer with Daddy
The bee that I was given by Nanny and Granddad in Somerset is a good replacement for that tractor
Back in my carseat for the last holiday of the year (maybe I won't fit in any more after this one)
This holiday was finally warm enough to get in the paddling pool, my cousin also had a little inflatable boat.
When we were there we found a park which had little tractors to drive on
And my Uncle Andy took some lovely pictures of me looking very thoughtful
All of that playing needs something nice to eat... Turns out summer brings mini milks
But all of that playing brings something else...
When Nina went to France, she caught Roseola.
Every time Mummy and Daddy had been to France Mummy wasn't that keen on using her French, until her little girl wasn't very well, when her fluent French came out.
The doctor knew exactly what it was, and he said we didn't need to do anything, but it looked pretty scary...
Eating at home is all very well
But I've been lucky enough to try eating out. Earlier this year I had to discover eating pasta!
Pretty easy in the end! Although it can be distracting when busses keep going past.
I've just added lots of updates that we wrote in May and they were old pictures then. We're really behind. Enjoy the updates and I'll try and post more recent ones. Little Miss Nina is trying to walk and talk and has very long hair now.
Nina is enjoying her shape sorter house. She hasn't sorted shapes yet, but she does like to investigate them by the best means she has - her mouth.
She's very pleased with all of this.
Bath time is really fun now. I can splash Daddy an awful lot. He gets very wet! Hee hee. And that's all because I'm much bigger. Look...
This is me during one of the first attempts at a regular bath at 6 weeks.
And this is is me only 6 weeks later (3 months old).
And this is me at 10 months old (in April).
Aren't my ducks nice?
Nina sleeping (when she's 6 months old).
Grumps and Ellie bought us a backpack so that we could go walking with Nina. At first we weren't sure if Nina would be ok up so high...
But we needn't have worried...
She was even taller than Mummy!
But who knew being so tall was so tiring?
Daddy tells me the song is about hot sausage and mustard. Or custard. Or something. But I like these things...
Eating melon in the garden. I believe that is called Al Fresco.
Where's my dinner?? The service is slow around here!
Oh, never mind, I'll make it myself.
Watching Formula One with Daddy is fun... Well sort of...
This is the good bit, when I get to press ALL of the buttons!
Nowadays the people on the f1 website know that it's me typing and say hello to me.
Visiting mummy's office is fun. Last time we went, I got to play on the floor and see what the photocopier was about.
But mainly it's good because I get to play with some lovely people. Here I am trying Karen's stress toy. Mummy, what's stress?
Bedtime changed for Nina in February (yes, we're catching up!). She got a new bed and her own room. Here she is trying out the springy mattress once we'd assembled the cot:
And this is what she looks like after her bath. Her hair's getting very long (she's a few months older now). She makes me think of her Great Uncle George here!
Nina's been trying lots of different foods recently. I was heading out to work the other day and Katherine said that she was going to try Nina on mushrooms. "Let me know how it goes", I said. I was curious, I like mushrooms, but Katherine doesn't.
I was sent these pictures...
She actually loved them, but Katherine took the picture just at the right moment to MAKE HER POINT!
When I was buying cards for Mother's Day, I didn't consider that it now includes me. I think it's taken me quite a long time to properly take in that I am a mother now. I'm someone's mum. Blimey!
As Nina isn't really old enough to sort it out herself, I was hoping Alex would do something for me. It turns out that even more people were involved! Nina made me a picture (with some help from Grandma and Grandpa).
Maybe in a few years, she'll be able to make me breakfast :)
Nina's nearly 9 months old now. I can hardly believe it! But since we got back from our Christmas travels, she's been sitting up and starting to eat proper food. (I hate the word 'solids' - it makes nice food sound revolting!)
We're following an approach called Baby Led Weaning. The main features of this are that:
* you wait til the baby is 6 months old
* they feed themselves
* they eat things they can pick up - so no purees
* IT'S VERY MESSY
Nina has got much stronger at sitting up and is happy in her high chair. And of course, she loves putting things in her mouth, so this is perfect for her. She's happily eating away and loving making mess.
Here she is having lunch with her friend Molly. We are ladies who lunch these days!
Sometimes she has a carrot flavoured corn stick to start her off:
She's not sure what to make of noodles though:
She's been pretty adventurous - here she is attempting pak choi.. almost a moustache :)
And she really loves baby corn (unlike us - she gets all our bits).
There are lots more food pics to come - just imagine what she's like with yoghurt!
Nina loves her squeaky tiger. It's very popular.
And here she is reading one of her many books - this one's about bugs.
And everything's OK really!
Nina and her cousin Theo (doing his cute and well-behaved face!) getting to know each other over Christmas.
Theo was very good with Nina, even though he's 4 and she isn't. He was checking up on her and even let her play with one of his precious cars. Not sure he really liked it when she stuck it in her mouth, of course.
It's a tradition at Christmas that when we're with Grumps and Ellie (Alex's Dad and his wife), we do the Telegraph Christmas general knowledge crossword. I am not allowed to read out the clues as apparently I cheat. So Alex was reading the clues and filling in the grid. This year he had a little helper :)
This Christmas was Nina's first. She was very good and was happy to stay up and have fun with her family. We had Christmas dinner with her Uncle Pete and Auntie Clara, Clara's mum Jenny, and Granny and Granddad, then we went to stay with Grumps and Ellie for a few days, then we spent New Year with Nanny and Granddad, Uncle Andy, Auntie Fliss and her cousin Theo.
As you can imagine with that many grandparents and aunties and uncles, she had a great time. We didn't get her loads of presents - her favourite bit was the bright, crinkly wrapping paper anyway. But she got some clothes and some books, amongst other things.
She was well prepared clothing-wise for the party season. Here she is in her Christmas dress:
After another Christmas lunch (her hat wouldn't stay on, even though she's related to us and has a big head!):
And here she is helping plan next year's festivities with Grumps. The elf hat might fit better then!
Nina's been practising sitting in her high chair, ready to start eating finger food. I think you can start to see her learning appropriate restaurant behaviour! Service, garcon!
A few weeks ago, Nina made the transition from sleeping in the carry cot to the crib. She took to it very well. It seems that she's happy to sleep if her arms are behind her head.
She looked a bit like a prisoner in her stripes and in the bars of the crib. She can't escape yet though. I expect bedding to be casually dropped from her trouser legs in future as she tries to tunnel out. Not yet though, not yet...
Nina is getting pretty big now. Not that big compared to other babies but she feels very big to us (just look at those pictures from when she was born).
She's also got quite an interest in her clothes. I sort of hope it's just the colours and textures that get her excited, rather than that she is a budding fashionista. She is only 5 1/2 months old, after all!
Here's a pretty dress (she was a bit big for this at the time).
And a nice French-looking striped cardigan. (Awwww - look at those cheeks.)
I've got quite advanced at this wriggling business. When I'm on the floor, I can tip on to my side and wriggle there too. I'm working on being able to roll over - I've done it by accident and it was quite a surprise!
And sometimes I combine wriggling with my other favourite activity - getting as many fingers as I can into my mouth. Yum :)
I like wriggling about. It's great fun :)
I've always done it and now I'm working on some new moves. Sometimes I get to practice on the sofa.
A few weeks' ago, I went to visit Daddy at work. I helped Daddy write some SQL database queries and had a long discussion with Dei, the editor, about the latest research.
Grandma bought me a sleepsuit with teapots on because her family loves tea! I wonder if I will like it when I get older?
In October, we went to visit Nanny and Granddad in Staffordshire. It was very warm even though it was Autumn. We had a visit from my Uncle Andy, Auntie Fliss and Cousin Theo. Here we all are:
Before we left, I had a last cuddle with Nanny and Granddad:
I am a relaxed baby. This is me relaxing after my bath:
and this is me ready for a daytime nap:
Crikey, I'm wearing a dress!
Happy to see you
Not just happy, but sometimes quite cheeky
And sometimes one is plotting moving into ones underground layer (á la Doctor Evil)
And sometimes, one looks like one is getting quite grown up.
Bath time has always been one of my favourite times of the day (except at the beginning when it was new and weird).
This is me during one of the first attempts at a regular bath at 6 weeks.
And this is is me only 6 weeks later.
This is a video which you might not be able to see.
She was very good. Just had a good look around. Not massively impressed but not bothered either. The perfect was to travel!
I'm confused - why are you not feeding me?
I'm tired - why am I not asleep?
I'm being cheeky - definitely related to Mummy and Daddy
Bouncing is pretty good. And generally pretty distracting. But then Daddy will tell one of his jokes, and I have to let him know what I think.
At the family party I met so many wonderful people, but I don't know if my dad's cousin is my second cousin or if they are something once removed. I must learn especially as these two lovely people are my Dad's cousin's daughters.
Maybe I'll just call them Daisy and Maya?
Every year Daddy's Mum's family have a big old party. I had a great time at my first one.
Nina has been having top up feeds since she left hospital. And that's something Daddy can do, but it's nice for everyone to get a bottle!
Actually in the last few days Nina hasn't been needing her top ups as much, so hopefully for her that phase has come to an end. Shame for Daddy though!
But this brought up a tricky question, will the friends of Mummy and Daddy be known as auntie and uncle too or is that just for relatives? We could have asked Joe but he seemed a bit distracted.
The other day we received a letter from a member of our Russian family, my Second cousin, Lera.
Katherine has a translation for those of you who don't speak Russian. Sasha is the Russian version of Alex, and is close to the Scottish Sandy.
Dear Katya and Sasha,
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter Ninotchka.
Let her grow big, healthy, smart and makes her parents happy.
All the best to her,
Lera and all of your Russian Family
Search your feelings, you know it to be true
(This is a reference to Empire Strikes Back if you are feeling confused)
But she seems to be settling in despite the lack of other babies crying or pinging machines here. She's back to listening to Radio 2 and has been sleeping through the Wimbledon tennis and the Grand Prix. She even slept through incredibly loud thunder cracks that made me jump.
We've been organising ourselves and trying to remember to eat and sleep. We've had some great help already, and thanks in advance for what I'm sure we'll need in the coming weeks and months. Thanks also for all the presents - she's going to be a very well-dressed baby!
The main thing we have to remember is that she is well, lovely and fun and we're very lucky and excited to have her. She seems OK with us. Although I'm sure we're still on probation. Some of the looks she gives us...
In Russia they have an interesting diminutive form for names. While in England, Katherine becomes Kat and Alexander becomes Alex, in Russian the names your family and friends call you can often be longer. With me it's Ninotchka.
My Daddy says, "are you hungry my little Ninotchka"?
Uncle Pete, Dad's brother, came to visit me today. He said he was going to check I was ok, but I don't think he's using that Stethoscope right.
He also wanted me to swear I would be an Arsenal fan. We will have to see about that!
Great Granddad Oleg Andronov wanted to to have a baby girl called Nina, but he didn't get to have a girl, instead he had two boys George and Igor.
George had Michael, and Michael had Finley.
And Igor had Alexander and Peter.
By this time the name Nina hadn't been mentioned for a long time. Sadly Oleg had died before Alexander was born.
Alexander and Katherine had wanted to give their child a Russian name and had kept things very quiet as to what it would be. A boys name had come to mind early, but the girls name was undecided. The name Nina suddenly came, just a week before Nina came herself.
It was only after the name was announced to everyone that George and Igor mentioned that Oleg had always wanted a baby girl called Nina.
Nina had her first visitor today Grandma Daley. She was very happy about the visit, and the cuddle. But after a while it was all a bit too exciting and it was time for more napping.