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!

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

12 Months Old

Age: I have a one year old. Well he turned one on the 23rd July and this update is a bit late.

And just like that I have a toddler on my hands. He isn’t officially walking yet, but he walks everyone around the house holding onto furniture. Where there is no furniture to hold, he’ll push a dining chair or his highchair around instead. He barely even holds on anymore, but he just doesn’t seem to know he can let go or maybe doesn’t have the confidence. I have actually done nothing to help him either. I just don’t want to push him into walking and I am happy for him to keep practicing and build his strength. There is absolutely no hurry from my perspective.

The biggest change for me is his mental development. He understands so much now. I ask him where his nose, head or tummy is and he points to them. We drive over a speed bump and he says “bump”. I ask for a kiss and I get one (if he’s feeling generous!). I ask where the duck/puppy/bird is and he points them out. I ask him to shake his bottle and he does it (quite poorly I might add). I tell him to brush his hair or teeth and he does it (once again, quite poorly!). I get a cup of tea and he looks at me and says “ahhh” (because apparently I do this after I drink). I say “yes” and he shakes his head “no” to be cheeky.  I put the Wiggles on and he starts dancing. He claps after every song we sing it book we read. The changes in him this month just blow my mind.

I’ve also found him to be much more hands on over the past month. He seems to need more attention and engagement from me. He is just finishing another development leap today so I am hoping he gets less clingy soon because he has never been like this before. I find it hard to cook dinner or do any tasks around the house because he needs so much interaction from me and he’s also getting into mischief. I have to watch that he isn’t knocking plants off shelves, ripping my magazines, pulling every tissue out of every box, pulling shoelaces out of shoes or taking rubbish out of the bin. Nothing is safe.

Favourite song: Galumph went the little green frog
Favourite book: Where is the Green Sheep?
Favourite toy: Ring stacker and this annoying ball that rolls around and makes music
Favourite food: Mandarins and apples (but he doesn’t like fruit in slices, he wants to eat them whole. He won’t even let me take the peel off the mandarin, he has to do it himself. It’s messy.)
Favourite animal: Puppies and birds
Favourite game: Ballroom dancing with mum around the lounge room and throwing the ball with dad

Feeding: No change really, 3 bottles a day of 150 ml and 3 meals and snacks when needed. I wouldn’t say he is a massive eater, but he does alright. Apparently from 12 months old I am supposed to cut out bottles, but I have no idea how I am going to do this because he really doesn’t eat enough. I’ll talk to the maternal health nurse when I see her. I guess if I stop giving him bottles he’ll get hungry!

Sleeping routine: Oh god, where do I start? What a shit show this month has been for sleep. He started refusing his afternoon sleep, which would mean he would have a morning sleep from 9.30 am – 11.00 am and then nothing until 6.30 pm bedtime. This is not enough for a bub his age. So in my misguided wisdom, I decided to try and shift his morning sleep to lunchtime and transition him to just one sleep a day. This was a mistake because he was too tired to last until lunch time for his nap. So I didn’t know what to do and I called a radio helpline where you can talk to a mothercraft nurse (kinderling radio) and get advice. She told me to definitely keep him on two naps and to put him down at the normal time in the morning and then wake him after 20-30 minutes and then he should be tired enough for a proper afternoon nap. I was horrified at first, imagine waking a baby from a long nap, but I did have some good success from it.

Unfortunately, life got really busy with playgroups, preparing for his birthday party and family visiting for over a week and I wasn’t always able to be home for his naps and the routine went out the window. He is a baby who needs routine (so do I), so he didn’t cope well and now I have gone back to square one and trying to get his routine back. I think it’ll work, I just need to make sure I’m home for him to nap when he needs to because he refuses to nap in the pram or car.

I’m still having trouble with getting him to sleep at night, I don’t know if it’s separation anxiety or if I have just created bad habits, but he cries when I leave his room and I often have to lie on the floor next to his cot until he falls asleep. Once he is asleep, he normally sleeps through the night, but it’s just getting him to sleep that is the problem. I honestly don’t know why he does this because this only started when he was about 10 months old. At the time, he was teething badly, in a development leap and we’d just moved house, so I just gave him extra cuddles, but now it looks like I’ve created bad habits.

Firsts:

Swim lessons: I finally started Augie on swim lessons. I signed him up 6 months ago but they always fell on his nap times so I ended up cancelling because sleep is paramount in this household! Now that we live by the beach I figured I better get him started before summer. The first lesson he hated and cried the entire time. The class only had 3 other babies and none of them showed up, so I think he was overwhelmed by the one-on-one attention from the instructor because he isn’t great with new people. The next lesson he was much better and by his third lesson he was loving it. The instructor thought he was scared of the water, but he loves the water, he was just overwhelmed by the new people!

Car seat: We turned his car seat around to be forward facing now too. I think legally you need to have them rear facing until 6 months and then you can turn them when they meet the height requirements on your seat. He just meets the height requirement so we turned him and he loves it. He’s so much happier and chilled out in the car now he can sit up and look around. I love it because it gives me way more room when I sit in the front passenger seat!

Achievements: We have a talker on our hands! It looks like Augie is going to be chatty because he likes to talk and randomly repeats a lot of words or sounds I make. Words he says consistently now are: mum, dad, puppy, bird, ta, ba ba (sheep), bump, pop, nigh nigh, yuck, apple.

Things we have learned: Since the day he was born I have tried to soak in every delicious second with him. Even on the tough days when I’ve just about had enough, I would tell myself that in 10, 20 or 30 years I would give everything to go back to these days with my baby. The problem is, I still worry that I haven’t soaked in enough. It was the same when my mum was sick and I would try to be in the moment with her and appreciate every minute together. Time still moves so quickly and suddenly the moment is over. My baby is a one year old.

There were many days where I also wished time away. I would think it would be so much easier when he was a bit older. Babies are bloody hard work (duh). I am also always looking forward to the next stage. I can’t wait until he can cuddle me back, talk to me and tell me funny stories, do arts and craft together and he can read me books (and maybe pour me a wine!). But, I also know this first year of his life was magical in its own right. He will grow up and won’t let me hold him in my arms, kiss his face and sing him songs. I really don’t like to be sappy, but it’s been the best 12 months of my life with that little boy. He is a pure delight.

Appearance: He grew another two teeth and now has 8 teeth, the front bottom and top four and we have the beginnings of molars coming through and they look like they are going to be brutal.

He’s got quite a lot of blonde hair now and blue/grey eyes like his dad. He has my wonky nose and chubby cheeks, AJ’s eye colour, my eye shape, AJ’s chin and AJ’s facial expressions. A perfect mix of us both.

He was weighed and measured at the nurse today and he’s 10.88 kilos and 75.5 cm. Apparently his weight is pretty high because he’s on formula so we really need to cut that back now and just give him food. Eeeek.

Mummy update: I’m still adjusting to living in a new town and being a full time mum again. I’ve been looking for work and even got offered a part time job, but it wasn’t suitable (pay was shit and the job was shit to be honest). It’s been very hard to find a job that is in my field, part time hours and pays decently, otherwise it is just not worth putting Augie in childcare.

My life feels very one dimension right now, it’s just baby, baby, baby. With no friends and family around, I do feel a bit isolated. Augie probably feels the same way! I tried to join a lot of baby/mum groups, but unfortunately almost all of them fall during his nap times. I went to some, but it contributed to me fucking up his day naps, so I decided I just need to be home at nap times and let him sleep. When he transitions onto one nap a day it will be so much easier to get out more and that will probably happen in the next 2-3 months, so its not far away.

I also went to a local mum’s wine group night out. I was so nervous to go on my own, but also desperate for a night out, so I forced myself into it. No one talked to me for the first 5 minutes when I got there and I almost left, but luckily a nice lady struck up a conversation with me and I ended up having a good time. They run events monthly and I’m still thinking about if I will go to the next one. The age group was a little on the younger side and there was definitely some cliques. Making friends is so hard. I’m exhausted!

Now, my baby only turns one once, so surely I can spam you with a stupid amount of photos, right? I’m doing this on my phone, so apologies for the crappy layout. 💗

11 Months Old

Age: Oh my god. I have an 11 month old baby. I would be outraged at how big he is and how quickly time has flown, but I can’t be sad about it because I feel so blessed for every moment with him. Sorry for the mush!

He finished a big development leap about a week ago and I can see his skills increasing on a daily basis! He dances, throws balls to you, reaches when he wants something, plays chasey with me (of sorts!) and tries to do the actions to incy wincy spider. Today he tried to put the lid back on his yoghurt tube.

He isn’t walking on his own yet, he cruises around the house holding onto furniture and walls very well (and getting into every cupboard). I don’t see that he seems inclined to walk independently any time soon and I’m not exactly encouraging it. He’ll get there in his own time.

Feeding: He has 3 bottles of formula a day and 3 meals a day. Pretty easy. His favourite foods are mandarins, pears, apples, peas, broccoli, avocado, quinoa, peanut butter sandwiches, hummus and crackers and weetbix. I cannot get him to eat bananas. I thought all kids loved bananas? I’ve tried making banana pancakes, muffins and oats and he won’t touch them. Weird. Maybe I’ll try a banana smoothie this week.

I did suspect he had a dairy allergy at one point so I shifted him to almond milk in his cereal (lucky he didn’t have the allergy because I forgot his formula was cows milk too, whoops). It turns out it wasn’t a food allergy, it’s discoid eczema. The doctor has given me all sorts of steroid creams for him that should clear it up. Thankfully he doesn’t seem itchy or bothered by it. I’ve actually got it too and I’ve mostly grown out of it as an adult.

Sleeping routine:Well, well, well. My perfect sleeping baby has completely disappeared. It’s been a tough month.

When I try to put August to bed he just screams when I leave the room. He’s never been like that before. He has never needed to be rocked to sleep or been clingy to me. It can take me 2-3 hours a night to get him to sleep now. I think he has separation anxiety, apparently it peaks around this age.

The only thing that works is if I put him in bed with me and then transfer him to his cot when he’s asleep or if I lay next to the cot with my hand in there for him to put against his cheek. So many times I have thought he was asleep and try to sneak off and get busted and have to start the process all over again. Normally it’s when I’m hungry and really want dinner.

It’s been a bit of a drainer because by the end of the day I really want some time to myself to relax and it’s hard to get that right now. Plus I feel bad for the little guy who seems so scared if I leave him at night.

He’s also been waking once a night on most nights (he hasn’t done this since he was 10 weeks old). Sometimes he wants a bottle, mostly he just needs a cuddle. This doesn’t bother me too much, I just sit in the rocking chair and cuddle him until he falls asleep.

I can’t seem to get answers on when/if this stage will stop. It shows no sign of ending any time soon. The benefit is how cuddly he is right now. Silver linings!

Firsts:

Clapping- he finally knows how to clap. He used to think that clapping was slapping his hand against mine, now he understands how to clap his own hands together.

Tantrums- he stiffens up and arches his back when I take something off him that he wants (like the iPhone cord, our house plants or the toilet paper). It’s cute right now, I’m sure I won’t always think so!

Talking- he’d been saying Mum, now he also says dad and puppy. Plus he often tries to repeat other words like pop, oops a daisy, no or any other random word he hears. It’s mostly unintelligible, but I can understand him.

Understanding me- he knows what ‘no’ means and how to ignore me. When I’m trying to get him to sleep he picks up his dummy that is attached to his comforter and tries to throw it away (I have no idea why) and when I say ‘no’ he stops, looks at me and then deliberately throws it 5 seconds later and is very pleased with himself. Same when I tell him ‘no’ when he’s touching the fireplace (which I keep switched off during the day for safety). He knows enough to stop, but then can’t help himself and grabs it anyway and thinks it’s a great game. It’s pretty funny.

Achievements: It’s been a long time coming, but Augie has finally stopped being spewy. He’s only spewed a couple of times in the past month and it’s made life so much easier. It was so awkward when someone wanted to hold him or I took him somewhere and I had to worry about him spitting up.

The best part is how much less washing I have now. I was having to wash mine and AJ’s clothes every day (if not more if he spewed on me in the morning). Now I can get more than one wear out of jeans again. Yay!

Things we have learned:We can’t read to Augie before bed anymore. He’s obsessive and just won’t stop. He’ll have mini tantrums if I stop reading. His favourite is Puppy Makes Mischief that my friend (and blogger) Cat bought him. I know all the words by heart now! The book also came with a soft puppy toy and Augie has discovered it and is equally obsessed. He now says “puppy” and when I ask him where puppy is, he crawls over to get him and give him a cuddle. So cute. Thanks for the pressie Cat, he just loves it. 🙂

Appearance: He is still my chubby little blonde boy. He’s getting more hair and it’s growing into a nice little mullet. Good look Augie.

AJ weighed him yesterday and he was about 10.5 kilos. That’s why my back hurts!

We’ve had 4 more teeth spout up this month (no wonder he won’t sleep). So now he has 6 teeth total. The funny thing is that he has popped one big top front tooth, but not the other front tooth, so he looks a little lopsided. Now he’s grown the little tooth next to it, but not the big front one, so he’s got two on one side and none on the other. It’s an interesting look…

Mummy update:Its been a weird month for me after losing my job. I’m feeling a real loss of identity without a career to go back to now. I can see how hard it’s going to be to have a meaningful career and have the time I want with Augie and it’s been a difficult realisation. I guess this is why people say that you can’t have it all.

It was also weird that it happened so soon after moving away from the city. I felt a bit isolated being away from all my friends and then losing my job on top of it made me feel so disconnected.

So I have thrown myself into this mummying gig. I’ve joined a local playgroup, been going to baby time at the library and I even finally joined Facebook (which I hate) just so I can join the local online Mum groups- which actually seem to be pretty annoying. But I am going to go to a few catch ups and see if I can connect to other mums. I also even had a coffee date with a Mum I met in the playground. Whoa. It’s been a big month for an introvert like me!