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. ☀️

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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!

Fresh Start

We up and moved house last weekend! It happened really quick in the end. We got a new place (rental), put ours up for rent and moved within a week. It had to happen quickly because we couldn’t afford to pay a mortgage on our house and rent on the new place for very long. More than that, we just couldn’t live in chaos with a baby and a home business. So we started packing Wednesday and movers came at 8.00 am Saturday morning. Holy crap it was a tough week.

To be honest, the worst part was that Augie and AJ both had colds. Poor Augie was struggling to eat/drink/sleep because he was so congested. Plus AJ had 3 new clients that week for his business. Then I got the cold from Augie and AJ. It was one of those hellish weeks that you know you’ll remember for a long time.

But, it was all worth it because we love our new house! It’s big enough for a large kitchen table so we can eat dinner as a family. It has a bath, a yard, a laundry and a linen closet. All things I didn’t have before. It makes life with a baby so much easier! And as you can see below, Augie loves it!

We moved from the very busy (and hip) inner city suburb of Brunswick all the way to the coastal town of Torquay. Talk about a change of pace! We are only a 5 minute walk to the beach and so close to all the nice cafes and shops in town. I love it. So far it feels like being on holidays all the time.

If you know the area you might wonder how the hell I’m going to get to work. Well I’m sitting on the train as I type this… AJ works from home and I only work 2 days a week so it made sense to move away from the city. I’m just going to commute into the city on those days. My work has an office in Geelong (the closest regional centre) and I may be able to work one of my days out of there, which would be really easy. If it all gets too hard I will just quit my job and find something locally or stay home with Augie full time.

The hardest bit for me is that the days I work I probably won’t see Augie at all. Today is the first day that I’m doing the full commute. I couldn’t sleep last night because I felt so anxious about it. On Monday night when AJ was putting Augie to bed and I was still on the train, he showed him a photo of me and he smiled and said “mama!”. I’m just going to miss him so fucking much. God he is just such a ray on sunshine every day. I hate being away from him.

At least I know that I can leave my job if it gets too much. I’m lucky in that I don’t need to work (that sounds really annoying, we aren’t rich, we are just trying to live with less). I do want to keep working so that I don’t lose the career that I’ve built. Plus my job is pretty cool right now. It’s the first time ever that I could say that I like my job.

But, I think it’s all going to be worth it when I can take Augie to the beach every day.

Work It Baby

Leaving for my first day back at work

Well I went back to work last week. I’ll just be doing two days a week to start with and I might do an extra day from home. Oh my god, it was sooooo hard. Even harder than I had anticipated.

The night before I pretty much didn’t sleep at all. I was still awake at 4.30 am and I had to get up at 6.30 am. I just felt so sad to be leaving him for a full day. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the day to day things that I would miss out on. I actually got weepy when I was showing AJ where his food bibs were and I pulled out a new one that I hadn’t used on Augie yet: “Oh, here’s a bib for tomorrow… I haven’t seen him in this one”. Sob. I don’t think I have cried once since becoming a Mum, I’m not much of a crier, so that shows you how hard this was for me.

I knew he would be perfectly fine because he was going to be with his dad. It just felt like the end of our happy little baby bubble and going back to the real world. I think I also felt like I wasn’t needed anymore. I can just leave for the day and he doesn’t need his mum (more sobbing).

Once I got to work I was OK. It was weird to be back in the office and I felt like I was living my old life pre-Augie. It was like being in a bizarro world. Unfortunately a lot has changed at work since I was there and barely anyone I used to work with is there anymore. It was like starting a whole new job. I really wish there were a few more familiar faces around.

I also felt like I wasn’t much use at work either. I have no idea what is going on anymore and the new team have there own groove, so I felt like I was in the way. There isn’t even space for me to sit with my team so I have been put around the corner on my own with all these empty desks and construction in a corridor where people walk through. Super depressing.

The hardest part is trying to get home in time to see Augie before he goes to bed. I only just make it in time to give him his bottle and put him to bed. I’m lucky if I get 10 minutes with him. That really isn’t OK with me.

I’ll just take it one day at a time and see how things unfold over the next few months. I’m sure it’ll get easier.

Playing Catch Up

So my life lately has really been consumed by work. I haven’t been able to focus on losing weight, but I don’t think I’ve gained weight either. I am counting that as a massive win for me! I am eating healthy on week days (weekends are a disaster) and I’m walking about 25 minutes each way to work most days to keep moving. I need to do more, but lately I just haven’t had the energy and I don’t want to beat myself up about it.

I’ve been in my ‘new’ job for 4 months exactly today. I think I am finally starting to get the hang of it. I still have a long way to go, but I am ever so slightly less panicked and I have even made a couple of friends. I still wish I was living the good life and didn’t have to work though. Man, I really enjoyed that enforced redundancy break. I shouldn’t complain too much though because I guess I am grateful to have a good job.

So my life has really been all about work, but here is what else has been going on in between…

We bought a new car! It was a spur of the moment decision, we had gone out to buy a toaster and ended up driving past a dealership and stopped in for a look. God we are suckers. I am not into cars, but AJ is happy because it does fast sporty things and I am happy because it has heated seats. Win, win.

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AJ was asked to speak at a conference in Sydney, so I took the opportunity to join him and make it a long weekend. My brother and sister in law moved to Sydney last year, so it was great to visit them and also plan a little break to the cute wine area of Mudgee. I loved it, we had a blast.

While we were in Sydney we nabbed tickets to see Ben Folds (one of my favourites) at the Sydney Opera House. I had always wanted to see a show at the Opera House so that was awesome. Sydney is so much fun!

My sister in law is due to have her baby on the 25th October. Eeeek, I can’t believe I’ll be an aunty for the first time soon. I threw her a baby shower in the pub underneath my apartment last month. I stressed myself out with the whole thing of course. Party planning is hard work, but it went really well. Phew.

We are still waiting for our townhouse to be built. Originally it was supposed to be finished in August… and we are now in October and we are still a long way off. Apparently the builder has had health issues and has had to have treatment in France, so I guess there isn’t much we can do about it. What makes me nervous is that my rental apartment is being sold and going to auction this weekend. So there is a good chance we are going to be without a house. Shit, shit, shit.

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That’s all folks.

xxoo

The Hunger

Well I have almost finished up my first three weeks in my new job… and it only feels like three years… I think it’s safe to say that I am not one of those people who would choose to work if they didn’t have to. Obviously those people are insane.

Anyway, all this hard work has given me THE HUNGER. I just want to eat and eat and then eat some more. Why does thinking make me so hungry?

It’s not exactly unusual for me to turn to food when I am stressed (or happy or sad or excited or depressed or bored). So I am just trying to make good choices and not worry too much about weight loss. If I can get through my first few months in this job without gaining a stack of weight, I will call that a victory.

Exercise has not been a priority for me right now. I am working fairly long hours and it’s the dead of winter, so let’s face it, who can be arsed? I am walking about 25 minutes each way (a slow walk) to my tram stop to get to and from work, so at least I am getting some movement in most days.

I have to say that I am not exactly loving life right now, so I am just going to channel my inner Britney.

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I feel better already!

Life Moves On…

After I published my last blog post freaking out about my new job, AJ sensed that I was anxious and asked if I wanted to go for a drive. It was late on Sunday night, but I needed to get out of the apartment to try and calm my thoughts.

We seem to always have our best chats when we are just driving around and looking at the city lights. Normally one of us will convince the other that we need a chocolate sundae from McDonald’s. OK, normally its me that makes the case for a sundae. And a cheeseburger.

We decided to go for a drive to my new office and plan out all the different routes I could take to get there from my current apartment and my new house when I move. I found it strangely calming to get organised and know exactly where my commute would take me (and find the best bars close to my new office).

As we kept driving and talking, AJ said that he had been thinking about my mum that week and how proud she would be that I got this job. It meant so much to me that he acknowledged her and how she would feel about my achievement. There are so few people in my life who knew my mum. I find that I crave acknowledgement of her existence and how much she meant to me.

I had been thinking a lot about her all week and felt so sad I couldn’t tell her about my new job. The last time I got a new job she sent me these flowers because she was so proud of me.

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My mum left school when she was about 12 and had her first baby at 16. She didn’t have an education or a career, but she was adamant that those options would be open for me. Whatever I chose to do, she would support me. I know she would have been proud of this new job and telling everyone she met in the supermarket or pharmacy that her daughter got a new job. She would have made it sound much more impressive than it actually was, but there would be no way she would believe that it wasn’t the most amazing job in the world. I did love to make her proud.

I find change so hard to deal with these days. It feels like every little way my life changes moves me further away from my mum and the life I had when she was alive. I know AJ really understands this because he lost his dad 9 years ago. I feel so lucky to have his support through everything that has happened with my mum. Thank god we have each other.