And just like that, we have a one-year-old!

I would have loved to throw her a proper birthday party. From before I was pregnant I had imagined it: the cake, the presents, the friends around the table… It wasn’t meant to be. Like so many of our firsts, this one was sacrificed to Corona and the lockdown as well. But we still decorated our flat, Jo blew up endless balloons, I cooked and baked, and we took lots of pictures so at least there will be something to remember in all of this.

It is such a milestone. One turn around the sun. It’s a cliché, but our first year as mothers really has flown by. It’s been exhausting and at times difficult, but mostly it feels like pure bliss to have her here. We adore this little creature!

It’s hard to capture her at this exact moment in time, it always is because she changes and grows so quickly, but I feel like I should try.

Freya is…

Four teeth, 8910grams and 72cm of pure mischief.

Always active, rarely one for resting or sleeping much. She’s opinionated and often quite serious, but quick to laugh if you try.

She can crawl at lightning speed, and walk as long as she can hold onto something in front of her. She knows three words, ‘Jah’ (‘Yes’), ‘Tashh’ (‘Touch’) and ‘Mam’ (‘Mama’, often used in an escalating Mam-Mam-MAM-MAAAAM!! fashion).

She is deeply fond of food (both breastmilk and solid food) and will eat just about anything. She’ll happily have a chili or curry that even Jo finds too spicy. Or slurp up noodles or spaghetti, or work her way through a thick crust of bread with hummus.

She has no particular favourite toy or teddy bear, instead she prefers to mess about with random kitchen utensils, spice pots, the laundry, and cardboard boxes. She sings along and dances to any music she hears. She’s particularly fond of the Grey’s Anatomy end credits, and Nine Inch Nails (I know!), but also seems enthused about Verdi.

She loves being tossed in the air. Being carried in the wrap on my back and going ‘Giddy-up horsey!’. Also opening and closing doors, and pretending to drink from our tea cups. She’ll giggle endlessly when we play with her, games like ‘Where’s Freya?’ or ‘I’m gonna get you!’.

She is fierce, loud, strong, and SO MUCH FUN to be around. I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring! <3

11 replies
  1. Emmy
    Emmy says:

    Oh my gosh, congratulations on Freya’s first birthday! Love those pictures, those balloons must have been hard work haha! It sucks that so many things are affected by covid and lockdowns, especially these first that we’ll never get back, but at least she knows she is loved and you did the best you could to turn it into the best party you could. :)

    I’m so happy you guys seem to be thriving. <3

    Sorry I haven't been commenting, my computer was super super old and laggy so I avoided opening it up, and wordpress on phone was being very annoying about signing in and commenting the couple of times I tried, so in the end I admit I gave up. But I have a new computer now, so yay! This is also one of the reasons I never started a blog in the end. That and just lockdown and work, everything is so hectic and draining and I'm really bad at keeping up with journaling. It would have been nice, to look back on, but I hope to get my butt in gear and at least finish filling in the little book I bought when I found out I was pregnant.

    Hugs to you and yours! <3

    • Nele
      Nele says:

      Thank you! The balloons were a crazy amount of work – all Jo’s – she deserves a medal! But we are doing really well, as much as I hate covid for taking so much away from us, it has given us a lot of time to be together as a family and to enjoy Freya and that has been so lovely.

      No worries on not commenting, sometimes life (and technology) gets in the way! And it sounds like you’ve been super busy, it has been a draining time for everyone I think. When are you due? If you can, I would urge you to journal at least a little bit, and to take a lot of pictures, because before you know it pregnancy is over and later you’ll look back on it wondering what it was like. At least I do, I often look back at my pictures and entries.

      I’m so happy for you that you’re on this journey too, I know people will say a million things to try and scare you, and yes, parenthood is hard, but it’s also genuinely so much fun! I can honestly say that I’m having the best time of my life right now being a mum.

      Hugs!!! <3

      • Emmy
        Emmy says:

        I’m glad there is at least a silver lining to it all, your first year with her is so different from what it would have been any other year, but you have the time together and that’s so wonderful.

        I am due March 4th! I need to consciously give a little less of myself at work so I can be a little more focused on me and what’s going on in my head an in my body. Work is just work. And I will try and write stuff down. I have at least a pregnancy shoot planned, so there is that! And yeah I stopped taking pics in the mirror last month, I want to start that up again. I have a week off so it’s a good time to start up little habits again.

        Thank you. :) I am so lucky everything has been going well up till now. I am looking forward to everything. I know I’ll be tired, and it’ll be hard but I want this so so bad. :)

        Lots of hugs! <3

        • Nele
          Nele says:

          March 4th! Ah that’s not super long at all, just a few more months and you’ll have your little one in your arms!

          You’re absolutely right, work is just work. When you look back on this time you won’t think ‘oh if only I would have worked more’. I know it’s hard not to, I was still finishing my degree when I was pregnant and I was also feeling like I needed to give it my all before the baby got there, but you really don’t have to. Try to enjoy this time too :) A pregnancy shoot is a great idea, I also loved making a belly cast, it’s standing in our hallway now *g*

          I think I have asked before, but is there anywhere I can follow you? I’d love to know when your baby gets there haha.

          Cuddles from us three!

          • Emmy
            Emmy says:

            No, it”s definitely getting closer! Once holidays are over it’ll be two months.

            I definitely needed time to realise that, about work. I was putting too much of myself into that instead of pouring all my attention to what was going on personally. Of course the work needs to be done, etc. But when I’m out, they’re also going to have to adjust, so why not start now?

            A belly cast, I hadn’t considered that! Must add that to the list.

            You have asked me before! I think I thought you meant on a blog, so sorry if it seemed like I ignored that question. I must confess I am very bad at social media nowadays. I catch up with people and leave comments, but I don’t post much myself. But that can change, and I will definitely post something when bb is here. My handle on instagram is cantrockmyworld, same on twitter. And on Facebook I’m there under Emmy Vanderhaeghe. I also have a tumblr, hahaha, but that’s a different thing entirely (aghostofasmile on there).


        • Nele
          Nele says:

          I sent you a friends request! I’m not great at Facebook either, I haven’t actually posted in years haha, but I do follow my friends feed still. It’s good for mama groups and second hand baby clothes and that sort of thing.

          You can buy the belly cast set in Paradisio – probably other places too, but I had that one and it worked well, it’s only 20eur. You definitely need 1 or preferably 2 people to help you do it, cover the floor because it’s super messy, and sit down! It takes ages to dry *g*

          Oh and something that did wonders for me in terms of connecting to my body at the end of pregnancy was pregnancy yoga. I imagine you’re limited in what you can do right now, but maybe you can follow some from home? And in terms of prepping for the birth, Hypnobirthing is SO WORTH IT. We did the digital pack here: It helped so much with pain and relaxing.

          If there’s anything else I can rec you things about (breastfeeding? cloth nappies? baby wearing?) do let me know, it can be very hard to find good info out there if you’re a first-time mum. And I love to talk about babies haha.


          • Emmy
            Emmy says:

            Yeah I don’t think I’ve done much this year, except reblog my sister’s youtube covers haha. But it helps to keep in touch with most people I care about, and I use messenger a lot, so I’m grateful it’s around for that at least! And the marketplace is a very handy tool indeed.

            Oh, haha, thanks for the tips. I’ll definitely ask help in that case.

            There must be some youtube vids around for pregnancy yoga. I know there’s pregnancy work outs but I really haven’t been feeling that tbh. I actually had my first online intro to hypnobirthing this week! I’m doing it through a private practice my sister recommended. I was really impressed (I also really like the midwives at the practice) and think it’ll be really helpful. I have a lot of fear of pain ever since I had a herniated disc in my back, despite a relatively high pain tolerance. I want things to go as relaxed as possible, so this definitely seems the right fit for me.

            Thank you so much. <3 There's so much to consider, and being alone and especially now sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. So talking definitely helps. :)

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