17 Months + Christmas

Well Augie is not far off 18 months so I’m running behind on this update.

We’ve had a crazy month with Christmas and lots of family and travel and lack of routine. It was a lot of fun but I’m glad to be back to normal now. Augie does better with routine and so do I!

Augie is happy Christmas is over because he is so shy and having so many people in his face over the Christmas period was tough on him. Poor guy spent the entire time with his face in my armpit. He’s starting to worry me slightly with his shyness. He never participates in the activities I take him to or even looks like he’s enjoying himself. I just don’t want him to miss out on the fun. I mentioned it to someone at work and they said it makes sense because I’m so shy, which I thought I hid well, but obviously not.

As usual, August has blown me away with what he understands and what he’s capable of now. He actually does what I ask him to do, like “can you pass this book to dad” and he does or “do you want to go to the park?” and he goes and stands by the garage door (shouting “car”). The funny thing is, my niece visited for four days over Christmas (she is nine months older than him) the difference was insane! Augie seemed like a little baby in comparison to her level of capability, comprehension and language skills. So I guess he’s still more baby than toddler.

Funny things August does lately…

  • Stands on the couch and says “sit” and then sits down and laughs hysterically. But “sit” sounds a lot more like “shit”.
  • When we get near our house in the car he shouts “hurrah” when we get to the same place because he’s happy to be home.
  • When he sees my phone he shouts “shark” because we sometimes put Baby Shark on for him and he bloody loves it. In fact, if he gets hold of my phone he knows how to push the kids YouTube app and then push the shark video to play it. WTF. I don’t let him go bear my phone if possible!
  • Just loves the swing at the park. I try to find quiet parks so he can have the swing for 20 minutes and not hog it from other kids.
  • Brushes my hair for me when I’m putting him to bed and brushing his hair.
  • Loves to give his Poppy and Nanny kisses on FaceTime.
  • Just obsessed with his books. We read books all day and now he knows what’s going to happen when we’re reading and gets excited and says his favourite words. Hearing him say “koala” is very cute.
  • Tantrums are a thing now. If I don’t let him close the car door or turn the light switch off or climb up the stairs himself he has a little meltdown. I feel like this is only going to get worse too… I’m bracing myself.
  • Puts his dirty nappy in the nappy bin for me (and says “yuck”).

I really enjoyed having two weeks off work over Christmas. I get a great sense of pride in working (and obviously the money is handy to say the least), but I really needed that break. Having that two hours to myself while he slept every day was heaven. I often sat in the beanbag outside with a beer and read my book. Bliss.

With my niece and sister in law

The greatest part was not having to leave Augie for a full day every week. He’s always really clingy to his dad after I work because I disappear for 24 hours and I guess he’s confused. It seemed to bring us much closer together when I wasn’t leaving him.

Getting this child to go to sleep is still a mystery to me. Honestly, I spend way too much time agonising over this issue. He just fights sleep at bedtime and will be up until 10.00 pm. A week ago we started waking him at 7.00 am (he’d normally sleep much later) and only letting him sleep 2 hours for his nap (he’d easily sleep 3 or more if I let him). This is in the hope he’ll go to bed at a reasonable time.

We’ve had moderate success. He’s going to bed earlier, but it’s still a massive battle. In fact, it got so hard this week I took him to the doctor because I worried he had an ear infection or something for him to be so upset (he doesn’t). It was so insane and completely out of character. He is hysterical if I try to hold him in any nursing position. It does look like he’s getting his eye teeth right now and I’ve read about an 18 month sleep regression so I can only think it’s one or both of these issues. Or he’s just having a tough time. Poor little guy, it just breaks my heart to see him upset.

Oh, and I don’t want to harp on about this because I’m very anti-diet culture and hating on yourself (I’ve done enough of that on this blog). I well over-did it with food and wine at Christmas (actually, it was all of December). I don’t feel good and I don’t know why I ate so much. None of my clothes fit me now and it’s frustrating. I’m happy to be eating better and I hope to feel better soon.

It’s great timing to be reading my lovely friend, Ailsa’s, new book Perfectly Imperfect. I met Ailsa through blogging as we had similar experiences and we’ve become great friends. When I first read her blog I was more interested in her thoughts on weight loss surgery and body image. Now that I’m a mum, I have a whole new appreciation for how she navigated motherhood, especially with a husband who was a FIFO worker. She’s an amazing inspiration and her book is just hitting the spot right now. 🙌
Perfectly Imperfect: Raw reflections on body image, mothering, love and loneliness (that you don’t usually share)

Advertisements

16 Months is Delightful

I’m on the train heading into the city for my last commute for the year. Thank god. This commute is so tough. I only do it once a week, but the almost 6 hour return trip really knocks me out. I’m still working for the rest of the week, but just from home like I normally do.

Actually I just realised that this time next week it’ll be Christmas! We’ve been really enjoying the holidays season with Augie this year, though he doesn’t actually know (or care) what’s going on. We’ve done the Santa photos, Christmas light drive, Myer Christmas windows, baked Christmas cookies, listen to Christmas music all day and lots of local Christmas events. We stayed in the city for the night for my work Christmas party and did lots of Christmas activities so I think we’ll make that a yearly tradition. I can’t wait until next year when he might get more excited.

Augie is a very shy baby so we knew we’d need to get in the Santa photo with him. He’s still not feeling very happy about the situation!

I think I say this every month, but the changes over the past month in Augie have been unbelievable. It’s like he suddenly understands everything.

  • Loves playing chasey and “I’m going to get you”. I say to him to “go get dad” and he’ll run and jump on AJ.
  • Peekaboo never gets old around here. It’s all day, every day. We sneak up on AJ and play boo and he gets so excited that he lets out a little giggle and AJ has to pretend he doesn’t know we are there. It’s so cute.
  • He does the actions to his favourite songs now and when I read his favourite books he’ll say the words I leave out on purpose.

With his grandparents

  • He loves songs and games with suspense and will squeal and laugh uncontrollably when we are doing “this little piggy” and “incy wincy spider”. Then say “more” and we do it over and over again.
  • His favourite game is counting. Loves to count to 5 and when I’m putting him to bed he likes me to just count over and over again as he finds it soothing. He grabs my hand and pulls down my fingers as I count. He has number magnets on the fridge and he carries them around all day. When he’s upset I just ask him to go get his number 2 (his favourite number) and it distracts him every time.
  • He will be cheeky and delay bedtime by giving me lot of kisses and cuddles. He knows I love kisses and cuddles so he just keeps doing it to get out of going to bed.

  • He won’t sit in his high chair much anymore. He wants to sit at his little play table or the big table. Actually I need to buy him a booster seat this week.

  • Doesn’t say the word “no” but says “nah” instead. So I ask him if he wants more banana and he says “nah”. It’s very funny.

Honestly, he’s so much fun right now. He’d been a bit of hard work from around the 12 month mark, but he seems more independent again now. He’ll potter around the house entertaining himself (making mess and mischief) most of the time.

Speaking of mischief, he can almost open doors now, loves to get into the toilets (ahhhh) and is obsessed with electrical switches. He turns them on and off constantly and he has to turn the lights off when we leave a room. Actually, in the library the other day he turned an outlet switch off and it turned out it was for the computers people were sitting at doing work. OMG. I was so embarrassed, I just ran away.

Probably his favourite thing in the world is an overhead fan. He just screams “fan” if we go somewhere with a fan. I had to leave a shop a couple of days ago because it had two fans and he just went mental. Everyone thought it was funny, but it was a little embarrassing how much noise he was making. The funniest thing is if we go somewhere that has a fan but they aren’t switched on. He grabs my chin with his hands and points my face to the ceiling as if to say “sort this out mum”.

Bed time is an ongoing struggle. He’s been in a leap and hasn’t been going to bed until 10.30 pm!!! Then I have to get up for work at 5.00 am. Seriously FML. His little brain is in over-drive and he can’t wind down. Once he falls asleep he doesn’t ever wake up, but he just won’t fall asleep. Then I have to wake him at 8.30 am because he wants to sleep all day. Fighting sleep has always been his issue and it’s hard to find advice on this as most sleep information is about babies who wake in the night. Or advice centres around sleep training and that’s not for me (I can’t handle any level of crying it out to sleep train). Anyway, this is actually the last leap he’ll ever have, apparently after this one they stop, so maybe these sleep issues will improve. Or I could be delusional!

Augie has always been obsessed with his dad, but lately it’s even more extreme. He won’t let me hold him, he just screams “daddy” constantly. He cries when AJ leaves the room. He’s fine when I take him out and it’s just me and him, but if he knows AJ is in the house he goes nuts. It’s actually starting to get to me a little, but I’m sure it’s just a stage? Bloody AJ being the ‘fun’ parent…

All in all, I need to be super soppy and say that I’m just grateful for every single day with my little family. I feel so lucky to have them.

15 + a Half Months (the half matters!)

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago and didn’t get around to publishing it, but kids change so quickly that it isn’t relevant anymore. So I’ll start again!

Augie is 15 and a half months now, and yes, I’m one of those crazy parents who mentions the half month because it does make a difference ha ha! He has suddenly decided he loves walking. On Halloween he just walked from our kitchen table to the kitchen bench and then to the stairs. Since then he is unstoppable. I wonder if I will ever stop bursting with pride when I see him happily walking across a room. Maybe when he’s 40?

I’m super glad he’s walking because some snide comments from extended family about his (not) walking got back to me. I didn’t know I could get so angry. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it broke my heart a little bit to think anyone was making fun of him.

Augie is going through a daddy’s boy stage. He’s always loved AJ the most, his face just lights up when he walks in the room and he thinks dad is just hilarious. It doesn’t bother me, but lately he doesn’t want to come near me after I get home from work. It’s like he hates me. I’ve heard this is common, but it’s still hard because I miss him so much when I’m at work and then I can’t even cuddle him. AJ works from home so he doesn’t leave and betray Augie like I do. So sad.

I went to a childcare open day on the weekend to look into my options. It seemed nice enough, but I’m still not convinced. I worry about how it will change him. I worry about outside influences that I can’t control. I worry that it would be hard for him and his shy personality. And I worry that he just needs a consistent caregiver at this age. I can see the benefits in how it stimulates them, how great the resources are, how he’ll grow in confidence and even the food looks amazing. It maybe just isn’t the right time for us.

I am finding it tough to balance working 25 hours a week and having Augie at home with me. I work one full day in the city (with a tidy 2.5-3 hour commute each way and AJ looks after Augie) and then I work from home 5.30-7.30 am before Augie wakes and 12.30-2.30 while he has his day sleep. So I get up at 5.00 am and am non-stop all day with work or Augie. Then getting Augie to bed has been a 2-3 hour battle most nights and if I get him down by 9.00 pm it’s a victory and I’m about ready to collapse. So I guess that’s why I was looking at childcare because I’m just so tired. Some days I’ve honestly wondered if I can keep doing it all.

Luckily, Augie’s bedtime has slowly been getting easier and last night it only took 30 minutes and he was asleep by 8.00 pm. Thank god. This has coincided with his fourth front molar coming through finally. Those fucking molars were a nightmare and he won’t take Panadol and he bites me so hard when I try to put the teething gel on. I did notice one of his canines is looking like it’s on it’s way now… it never ends!

He’s still sleeping well once he gets to sleep, normally 11-12 hours. He has occasionally woken fir a cuddle because his teeth hurt (I think?) but that is no trouble and it’s nice to sit in my rocking chair and snuggle in the quiet of the night. Except when it’s 3.00 am and he wants me to hold him for an hour and then I realise there is no point going back to bed so I just stay up and start work. That’s a long day.

He has a lot of words and animal noises now. More than anything though, he understands so much. You ask him to do something (put your drink on the table or put the lid on) and he does. Wow. Mind blown. He now puts himself to bed when he’s tired for his midday and night sleeps. He walks over to the stairs and says ‘nigh nigh’ when he’s tired. So cute! Oh and when I’m holding him, he grabs my face with both his hands, faces it to him and gives me a kiss or rests his face on mine. Ahhh, too much cute.

I’ve made some really good in-roads with friends in my new town. I had a very boozy brunch with some mum friends a few weeks ago (brunch lasted until 5.00 pm!) and we do lots of play dates and social outings. Lucky they are on the same page as me with including wine at these outings! Augie and I keep busy everyday with music, library, swimming, Playgroup and play dates. Some days all of the above. It’s exhausting!

It’s been such a beautiful month with Augie. I love seeing more and more of his personality coming through every day. It’s a fun age!

What to Buy a First Time Mum (or any new Mum)

I promise that this isn’t just an excuse to post photos of Augie again!

A friend of mine had a baby recently and so it made me think, what do you buy a first time mum? I am one of those boring people who likes to buy practical gifts. I don’t like clutter or excess. In fact I felt genuinely guilty at the money people spent on buying beautiful gifts for Augie that he didn’t get a lot of use out of because he grew out of them too quickly.

So if I was going to buy a gift for a baby now, here are some ideas of what I’d buy since I’ve had a baby. These presents would suit newborn age through to about 18 months (and beyond). One caution to note is that I don’t think new mums necessarily want some of this stuff right away. I know that I didn’t want to think about my baby being 6 or 12 months old. I found that overwhelming because I was just trying to deal with a tiny newborn. So don’t rock up on a new mum’s doorstep and start talking about introducing solids. It’s too much!

Warning, these presents won’t make everyone gasp “Oh my god its so cute”, but they are oh so helpful! I’ve put some links in to some of the items that I’ve bought, but often I’ve just purchased the most convenient product, it may not be the best or cheapest, so don’t take my word for it!

Nursing pillow: I didn’t realise I’d need one of these to make breastfeeding easier. On the way home from the hospital we stopped at Baby Bunting to buy one and it helped a lot. I still didn’t have a very successful breastfeeding journey, due to Augie’s tongue tie, but the pillow made it much easier to position him and also saved my back. I have fond memories of cuddling Augie on that nursing pillow for many, many hours.

IMG_0315

My nursing pillow is in most of my newborn Augie photos.

Vaporiser: Augie got his first cold at only 6 weeks old and it was awful! The pharmacist recommended a vaporiser to help him breathe at night. Babies can’t blow their nose or clear their airways so when they get stuffed up, they struggle to breathe. I put eucalyptus oil in this vaporiser and had it on during all his sleeps and it really helped him breathe. I’ve used it every time Augie gets the sniffles in the past 12 months and it’s been a god send.

Digital thermometer: It’s very hard to take an accurate temperature reading for a baby so these digital ones make it super easy. You just wipe it over their forehead and it tells you the temperature and lights up green or red to tell you if it’s safe or not. Any time Augie feels a bit warm, I just run it over his forehead to put myself at ease.

Baby smock: When Augie was first learning to eat it was MESSY (still is) and I’d put these smocks on him for every meal. Also, I didn’t realise how many foods really stained clothes (mandarins, bananas, pumpkin) so this made washing easier. The bonus is that I’ll use them when Augie starts doing messy play with paints and mud etc.

IMG_1381

Dummy clips: I bought a few different kinds from Etsy and they have been a lifesaver for me. Nothing worse than being out and about and your fussy bub throwing their dummy on the grotty shopping centre floor. You’re screwed. (Dummy= pacifier)

IMG_0541

Electric nail trimmer: I didn’t have one of these, but I wish I did. Holy crap it’s hard work to trim a babies nails. Actually, I’ve now discovered that it’s even harder to trim a toddlers nails.

Bath thermometer: My baby bath actually had an in-built thermometer so I didn’t need one of these, but most baths don’t have them. Until he was about 6 months old, we had to be pretty careful with the water temperature so this helps a lot.

Baby sunscreen: I didn’t even think of this and had no idea what sunscreen to put on Augie. I’ve found this a good one for a wiggly baby and now I keep one in the pram, in the car, in my handbag and the nappy bag. I’ve since heard that sunscreen isn’t recommended for babies under a certain age, I’m not sure of the rules exactly, clearly I was not aware of them!

Cup tether: Augie is a chucker! He throws his cups (and food and toys…) all the time. We bought this tether for his highchair and his car seat so he always has his water available. It’s probably one of the handiest things we’ve bought.

IMG_1803

Sippy cup: No joke, I’ve purchased at least 8 different sippy cups for Augie and this is the best (for him anyway). I thought he’d have trouble with the straw when he was little, but he mastered it right away. I think we started giving him water at about 6 months of age, before that it was just formula.

IMG_1226

Food Babies Love: I was so overwhelmed when it came time to introduce solids. I know a lot of parents start solids at 4 month, but I put it off until 6 months because it felt too much for me. This book helped a lot with guidance on how to start and diverse foods to make bub.

Face mask: Having a baby takes a lot out of you. Literally. So a little pampering can really help. I haven’t tried this brand face mask (but I use the other products and I love them). I’ve heard amazing things about these face masks and I plan to treat myself soon.

Swaddle: I could not master the swaddle with a muslin wrap or blanket. I was terrible at it and babies just love to feel secure in a nice tight swaddle so we used the Love to Dream swaddles for every nap and they were brilliant.

IMG_0455

Board books: I know we all love to buy beautiful story books for babies, but I can’t have those books near Augie because he’ll tear them apart. I wanted to read to Augie from birth, so thank god for board books. When he was a newborn I read him lovely story books and then from about 3 months onward we turned to board books because they were so practical. There is a lot of drool and spew with babies too so they can normally be wiped clean to. Augie’s favourites were the “That’s Not My…” series and of course his all-time fave “Puppy Makes Mischief”. At 14 months of age, we are still not ready to graduate to paper books…

IMG_1581

Hand sanitizer: I think we all know the reasons why we need hand sanitizer with a baby! My friend bought me this beautiful one from Aesop and we kept it on the change table and it made us feel much nicer after the less than glamorous job of changing dirty nappies. It was the first thing I bought my sister in law when she had her baby. We went through so much of this stuff, I highly recommend it!

Bento box: For the slightly older bub is a great lunch box. We bought Augie this one when he was about 12 months old and it’s fabulous. You get them personalised and so they make great gifts. I bought one for both of my nieces too.

Hooded bath towel: Augie would always scream when we’d get him out of the nice warm bath in the winter, so a nice soft hooded bath towel to wrap him in immediately is a big help.

IMG_0611

Sleep aid: Most new mums that I know have tried a baby sleep aid. They can be expensive so if you want to buy a useful christmas present or first birthday present maybe ask if something like this would help. I bought my niece the owl last Christmas and it’s made a huge difference to her sleep. I have recently tried the Glow Dreamer and it unfortunately didn’t help Augie so I’ve returned it. I’ve also heard good things about the Lullo doll. Augie’s comforter of choice is just a soft bunny.

IMG_0646

Augie started using his bunny as a comforter (with supervision) from about 4 months.

Lactation cookies: I had never heard of these before I had a baby, but my friend bought me some and they help improve milk supply and taste delicious. You really can’t go wrong with these because even if the new mum isn’t breastfeeding, you still have delicious (guilt free)cookies. It’s a win, win.

Nursing sleep wear: After having a baby you spend a lot of time in your nightgown and a lot of time with your boobs hanging out, so having something nice and practical to wear is fabulous. My sister in law bought me this one and I loved it. I didn’t want to stop wearing it after I finished breastfeeding because it supported my boobies so well!

IMG_0342

Gift card: If you want to show a new mum that you’re thinking of her, a gift card to her favourite clothing store can help. After having a baby you will find that you old clothes won’t fit for a while (or ever again) and it gets you down. So being able to buy something new that makes you feel like your old self again is lovely.

Chocolate: Any and all the chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate!

I must say that having a baby really humbled me with the incredibly kind, thoughtful and generous gifts I received. Especially from my girlfriends who don’t have children! It made me feel so embarrassed that I was such a shitty present buyer for mums and bubs in the past. I couldn’t even use the excuse that I didn’t have a baby because neither did they and they bloody nailed it!

Obviously, at the end of the day, gifts aren’t important. All a new mum wants to know is that her baby is beautiful and she’s doing a great job!

14 Months = Why Won’t You Sleep Child?

Let me just start this by saying that this has been a tough month for bub (and me!). It’s been a bad combination of a developmental leap, molars, sickness and travelling.

I really should look at the Wonder Weeks (development leap) app before planning a 26 hour return road trip to the Hunter Valley. His recent leaps hadn’t been that noticeable though, in fact I think I might have jinxed myself by saying they aren’t even a thing for him anymore. I can’t exactly say it was the relaxing winery getaway that we had planned. But obviously I enjoy rocking a crying baby all night instead of eating cheese and drinking wine with my friends and playing cards against humanity. FML.

The week before we left he was just miserable with his molars and then the first two popped through on the day we left for our trip (not that this helped at all). Then we started leap 9. Whoa that’s been a tough one. Well we are still in it for one more week but I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Last night he slept 7.00 pm – 8.00 am. Thank god!!!

The only thing that saved us on this trip away was that we stopped and bought an iPad holder for the back of the seat in the car. I’ve always been a bit anti kids using devices, but I sure changed my tune quickly! I put his favourite nursery rhyme show on, Little Baby Bum, (the only show he’ll watch) and he just chilled for the whole drive. Life saver!

So we got through the drive, but he still wouldn’t sleep at night. It’s like he’s just so buzzed when he’s in a leap and can’t wind down to sleep. One night we resorted to driving him around Sydney (where I was visiting my brother) at 11 pm until he fell asleep.

Then we drove home from Sydney and Augie and I both returned with terrible colds and I also got conjunctivitis just for extra fun! My niece is in daycare and always passes on killer germs and this was a doozy. This coincided with the ‘stormy’ period of the leap (the worst part) and was one of those hellish weeks I’ll remember for a while. Being sick with a sick baby to look after and also working from home was just too much. I think I have a permanent eye twitch now.

This has lead us to start the conversation about daycare. Right now, AJ and I both work from home. I work (minimum) 20 hours a week 5.30-7.30 am (before Augie wakes) and then 11.30-1.30 (during Augie’s nap). AJ runs his own business so he just works all the time ha ha. I really want to keep Augie at home with me and be a stay at home mum, but I also need to work for financial reasons, so it’s a juggle to say the least. Do I just keep running myself into the ground so I can keep Augie at home or do I need to go outside of my comfort zone and look into daycare options?

I actually don’t feel like Augie is suited to daycare right now. I take him to 3 different local playgroups and go to at least one session every day (playgroup is a space for parents and kids to hang out, play and socialise) and he is quite reserved and shy. The other kids his age all go nuts playing and running around together. They get there and immediately run off to play and love interacting with other kids and adults. Whereas Augie mostly just stays by my side and has no interest in other kids. I think this is quite normal for a 14 month old, especially because he’s not walking yet and is limited in how he can play with the other kids. Plus he’s now just started this weird shy thing where he gets scared around other people. He freezes and stares at the ground in total fear and then starts to cry. Poor little guy!

I’m sure that if I had to put him in daycare he would cope, but I just don’t think it’s a good fit for him at the moment (or me to be honest). I looked into getting a babysitter but they are all minimum of $20 an hour, which isn’t affordable for me. The other option is family daycare, where he gets placed in a family home with up to 5 kids (I think, I’m not totally sure). I didn’t think I’d like family daycare but I feel like Augie would thrive in a smaller environment like this rather than a large daycare.

I’ll go and check out some local daycare centres and see how what I think. At least I’ll be informed and ready to pull the trigger when the time is right. We have a Montessori centre and a Steiner centre, but I think they are both for 3 year olds and above so I might just wait until I can get him into one of those and keep trying to make it work.

So all my whinging aside, what else has been going on with Augie this month?

  • Augie has been learning animal noises and shapes. His favourite is to hiss like a snake and he loves “tars” (stars).
  • He still isn’t walking. Apparently 14 months is the average age to walk, but Augie is the only bub at playgroup not walking, they’ve all been walking since about 11-12 months. He takes a few steps, but wouldn’t just walk across the room. He is not a fearless baby like some kids that I see diving into every new experience. He is 100% capable of walking, but just doesn’t seem to want or need to walk. Honestly, it could be months away still. I just hope he walks before summer because his little knees will get ripped up from crawling outside in shorts.
  • He has the two top front molars that I can see. There could be more but good luck trying to get near his mouth to look.
  • He loves when you touch his nose. He’ll grab your hand and push down on his nose. Strange child.
  • Favourite foods are hummus, pears, yoghurt and anything seafood. He’s finally started eating bananas- yay!
  • He loves his stuffed toys (puppy and penguin) and his doll. He feeds his doll her bottle. So cute.
  • Loves, loves, loves the beach. It was such a good decision to move to the beach. Except for the bloody sand everywhere…
  • Won’t keep a hat on. How the hell do I keep that little blonde head from getting burned this summer???
  • His favourite game is to push me and watch me pretend to fall over. It’s hysterical.
  • He loves cuddling cushions, rugs, the couch and toys. He knows I think it’s cute so he’ll cuddle something and say ahhhhh and look at me for a reaction. Obviously I give him a reaction every time because it’s so friggin cute.

So that’s been our last month. I’ve whinged and complained a lot, but I’m still always grateful to have a healthy and happy bub. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work from home and spend so much time with Augie. He is my little sunshine. ☀️

13 Months + a Job

I got myself a job. Yay!

It’s just a 3 month contract, but it’s given us some financial breathing space. I’m working 20ish hours a week, mostly from home in a digital marketing role (social media management, websites, emails etc). I almost took a very shitty, low-paying and demoralising job, so I’m glad I held out for something better. I got very lucky and and an old boss just offered me the role without me having to apply because I know how rare part-time, work from home jobs are!

I have been going into the office a couple of days a week while I get on my feet and work out what I am doing, unfortunately because I live in Torquay and my office is the other side of Melbourne it has been taking about 3 hours each way and on those days I don’t get to see Augie at all because I leave at 6.00 am and get home at 7.30 pm. Ahhhh I miss that little guy so much when I’m away (I’m on the train to work now as I write this) and I end up being a creepy lady who stares at other babies I see and smile because I miss my baby so much.

I have to say that it’s been a juggle (to say the least) to work over 20 hours a week and still have Augie at home with us. AJ works from home, so we’ve been trying to make it work so that August doesn’t have to go into childcare, but it’s been pretty tough and if the role continues past 3 months, we will need to reconsider. Right now, AJ will work from 6.00 am – 1.00 pm and I’ll work from 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm and whoever isn’t working will be with Augie. Then AJ will normally do more work when Augie goes to bed at night and that’s my only window to clean, cook, organise the house etc.

I’m very grateful for my job, but I don’t want life to continue to be this busy. I need more breathing space! Even when I’m with Augie, I’m still doing work emails and trying to deal with urgent work issues. Augie is so full on right now and demands 100% attention (or he’ll get into mischief) so I feel like I’m not interacting with him enough and not available enough at work. It’s not a good feeling.

Here he is crawling up the stairs calling out ‘Mum, Mum’ while I’m working (the office is at the top of the stairs). Quite a cute little distraction.

So here is a little update on my 13 month old baby boy (ha ha, I bet you’d thought I’d stop boring you after 12 months… 😂):

  • He loves giving cuddles right now and will launch himself at you and wrap his arms around you, nestle his head in and say ‘ahhhhhhhhh’. It is literally the best feeling in the world.
  • He’s taking some steps now, but not walking independently quite yet. He takes one or two steps without holding on and stands without holding on so I guess he’ll be walking soon.
  • His favourite word is ‘hooray’ and he says it all the time.
  • He eats about a punnet of strawberries a day. Just obsessed. Lucky they are so cheap right now.
  • He’s getting his first molars and it’s brutal. Poor little guy.
  • We are down to 1 bottle a day, right before bed and it’s mostly cows milk (with a little bit of formula mixed in).
  • His favourite song is ‘bananas in pyjamas’. He just likes the song, not the tv show. Also, still won’t actually eat bananas.
  • Loves his swimming lessons and his swim instructor.
  • Obsessed with remote controls.
  • Sleep has been a nightmare the last couple of weeks and then I moved him onto one day sleep (instead of two) and he’s slept 14 hours straight without even stirring the past few nights. Was that the problem the last few months when I resisted moving him to one day sleep?

Party Time

I felt a bit of pressure leading up to Augie’s first birthday. Like I had to do something special, but I didn’t know what to do. I mean, a one year old doesn’t really want or need anything much. I was totally over-thinking it of course.

I feel strongly about not spoiling Augie so he didn’t get much for his birthday from us. I bought him a cheap doll from Kmart, a tractor like the one his dad had on his farm and some books. His main present was a donation to a local mums and bubs charity, which will be a tradition and he can choose where he wants to donate as he gets older.

On the day of his birthday we wanted to do something fun for him, but it’s the middle of winter and wet, windy and bloody freezing. So we took him to the aquarium in Melbourne. He loved it! We ended up buying a yearly pass so that we can go back more.

When we got home I realised I had totally dropped the ball and didn’t get him a cake to sing Happy Birthday. Mum fail! I considered trying to make one really quick, but I knew I wouldn’t have time before he went to bed. So I ran out to a bakery and bought him a cupcake. He was so overwhelmed when we sang happy birthday, it was so cute. It may look like he demolished that cake from the photo below, but he hated it and spat it right out.

The big event was a party with our immediate family. Let me tell you, I hate throwing parties. Honestly, it’s my worst nightmare. I only did it because I knew our families would want to celebrate Augie turning one and also for Augie too because he deserves to be celebrated.

My brother, sister-in-law and niece drove down from Sydney for the week and my Dad and Step Mum came up to stay for a night too.

On the Saturday we all went to the footy to watch our team play. The day started off well when we arrived at the footy ground and Augie had completely wet through his outfit and I didn’t have a spare. That’s never happened before and I think it’s because I put him in his baby bjorn carrier (because I couldn’t take the pram into the stadium) and I must have put him in awkwardly because we haven’t used it since he was a few months old. Luckily he borrowed some clothes from his cousin and it wasn’t too cold so he was fine. Then it was his nap time and obviously he couldn’t sleep in a crowded stadium, so he was out of sorts and cried every time the crowd cheered or booed, which was constantly, so my step mum just walked around outside the stadium with him for the whole game. She loved getting extra cuddles so she didn’t mind. The good news is that our team won, but that’s the last time I take Augie to the footy for a while. He just hates loud noises so it’s not the right place for him at the moment. Maybe next year.

Then on Sunday it was time for Augie’s party. It wasn’t a big party, 12 adults and 5 kids, but that’s a lot for our little house! AJ and I were quite nervous about the whole thing. Or maybe it was just me. God I hate parties. My anxiety was in overdrive.

We really wanted good food so we actually practiced every dish before the party. We made beef brisket with bbq sauce, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, coleslaw, brioche buns and chicken. We put a lot of care into perfecting each dish and everyone loved the food so that was a relief.

We were even more nervous about the cake. Can you believe we made 3 practice cakes before we decided on the finished product! First I made one of those multi level rainbow cakes with coconut buttercream frosting. It looked really good, but basically just tasted like sugar. So next was a 3 level strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. The recipe used a packet of strawberry jelly crystals for flavour and so it tasted a bit fake. I added some fresh strawberries, but I couldn’t add too many or it would be too moist and collapse. So a few days before Augie’s birthday I thought about the flavours I really enjoy and decided to make a 4 layer gingerbread cake with salted caramel layers and cream cheese frosting. It was delicious! Unfortunately it didn’t look as good as the practice ones we made because we ran out of time and had to throw it together. Oh well!

Augie must be like his parents because he didn’t love his party. He spent most of the time upstairs in his room playing with my dad, step mum and his cousin because he was too overwhelmed by all the people. He doesn’t see our families much as they all live far away so they aren’t familiar to him and it was just a bunch of people getting in his face and it was a bit much.

I am glad we had a party for Augie as it seemed to mean a lot to everyone else, but I was so buggered by the end of it. Having a house full of house guests before the party made it hard to plan and organise as much as I normally like to, but that’s part of the fun I guess!

My brother, sister-in-law and niece hung around for a week after the party and I was able to relax and have fun with them. It was so precious to watch Augie play with his cousin. 💗

You’ll notice that apples feature in a lot of photos below. Both kids decided they love apples and had to eat them all of the time. It was very competitive and cute!