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. β˜€οΈ

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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… πŸ˜‚):

  • 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?

Fark!

I’m feeling super flat this week. I was made redundant from my job on Tuesday. Yep, again.

I was totally blindsided, I had no idea it was coming. I don’t work Tuesdays, but I had just spent all of Augie’s morning nap doing work anyway. My new boss called and so I immediately knew something was wrong because she’s never called me. Funnily enough, I felt so secure in my job that I thought someone else must have been fired or quit and they were just filling me in. Ha ha.

Nope. My boss very coldly read off the script she was given telling me I no longer held a position there and that I needed to bring my laptop and swipe card back. The whole thing took about 5 minutes and that was that. I haven’t heard anything more from them. It feels so weird that I’m just never going back to work.

Pretty much my whole team was made redundant because they are decentralising the department. Meaning that instead of one national marketing team, they will have localised marketing in each state.

Last time I was made redundant it felt completely different. I saw it coming so it wasn’t such a shock and I hated my job so it was essentially a good thing (even though I was pissed off at the time). Last time I took it quite personally because I was the only one made redundant. So I was a bit bitter about the whole situation, but hopeful that I’d end up happier.

This time I don’t feel embarrassed because I know it wasn’t personal. But, I just feel gutted to have lost my job for so many reasons. Mostly because this is the first job I have ever had that I liked. I loved the projects I was working on at the moment. Since I came back from maternity leave I somehow managed to hold onto the good parts of my job and let go of the parts I hated. I would actually do it for free, that’s how much I love it.

I also feel like it’s unlikely that I’m going to be able to find meaningful employment part time. I’m not ready to go back full time yet because I’m loving the time at home with Augie. I want that (elusive) balance of family and career and, for me, that means only working part time. I don’t want to just take any crappy job because if I’m going to be away from Augie, it needs to be worth it. But, part time jobs are hard to find. Good ones anyway. What happens if I can’t find work and the career that I have been working to build for years just dissolves???

Plus, I just feel exhausted at the idea of doing my resume, going to job interviews, learning a new job and bonding with new colleagues. I seriously can’t be fucked. I don’t have the energy for it right now.

Look, as down as I’m feeling about this situation, I know this isn’t a real problem. My loved ones are all healthy and I have a roof over my head. So while I’m having a little pity party, I know that things could be worse. Plus, this gives me more time to read books in my pjs with this little guy. So I’m ok.

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.

7 Months Old

I’m doing this update on my phone because I never get a chance to get in front of the computer, so apologies if all the photos come out massive and weird! Anyone who actually reads these super long baby updates is doing a good job! 😘

Age: Augie is 7 months old now and has just been a bloody delight this month. He loves playing, singing, clapping hands and especially loves playing “where is Augie” when we put a blanket or pillow on him and say “where’s Augie” and then he pokes his head out. It is just so cute.

He also loves grabbing our faces (ouch) or stroking them while he has his bottle. He is always reaching out to feel you when you’re holding him or sitting behind him. I hope he’s going to stay a cuddly little boy. Well at least toward his mama.

He loves to shake his head “no” (but he doesn’t know what it means, he just thinks it’s fun). And he is such a wriggler now. It can be super hard to get his nappy on at the end of the day when he’s overtired and super wiggly.

He isn’t really crawling yet, but he does push ups, planks and downward dog all the time. He can move about pretty quick on his tummy, but hasn’t mastered proper crawling yet. He can still get from one side of the room to the other pretty quick. I better get some stair gates ASAP!

He had his 6 month vaccinations and did really well with them. He only cries for a second from the shock and then gets over it. We’ve had a break from teething symptoms this month too. He’s just been such a happy little boy.

Feeding:Β We are still working on solids, but he is doing pretty good now. We feed him solids twice a day and he tends to prefer the fruits and isn’t so keen on vegetables. I feel ya buddy! His favourite thing is to suck on meat, sorry for that gross visual. I’m not loving how messy this stage is… the food gets everywhere. I really need to bath him after each meal, but obviously I couldn’t be fucked doing that!

We are still doing 5 bottles a day, I’d like to cut that back to 4 bottles and increase his solids, but that will take time. Hopefully we’ll get there this month.

Sleeping routine:So last month was a nightmare and this month has been the complete opposite. As soon as he got out of leap 5 and hit 6 months, he just started sleeping like an angel.

He’s having a quick 30 minute nap at 9.00 am, then a longer 1.5 hour nap at about 11.30 am and then another 30 minute nap at about 3.30 pm. Then he goes to bed at 6.30 pm and sleeps solidly until 7.00 – 7.30 pm. Yay Augie!!!

The best thing for us was him learning to link sleep cycles and have a longer day nap. He has pretty much always only had 30 minute catnaps during the day so I’m loving that he’s having a long sleep and I can get shit done during the day.

In hindsight, I think that I wasn’t giving him the opportunity to self settle himself back to sleep. As soon as I heard him wake up and start playing in his cot I would think, oh he’s wide awake, he’s not going to get back to sleep so I better get him up. Then one day I heard him wake up on the baby monitor and I was busy (having a beer to be honest ha ha) so I let him play in the cot for 10 minutes because he’s really happy in there, then suddenly I looked at the monitor and he had gone back to sleep. Well there you go. Maybe I should have been doing that from that start! Now he just sleeps through and doesn’t even wake up.

Firsts: Augie had his first proper swim in a pool this month and he loved it! We took him swimming in the hotel pool on a little holiday we had this month. Then also to a pool in Sydney while his cousin had her swimming lessons. I was quite scared that he’d spew because he is still spitting up milk a bit. Lucky for us we had the hotel pool all to ourselves both days and he did have a little spit up once so we just splashed it away. Eeeek. I was so worried about grossing out the other guests who were trying to enjoy their break!

He loved swimming so much that I feel bad that I don’t take him more often. I signed him up for swimming lessons, but I cancelled before we even started because they were right when he has his morning nap. It’s a 30 minute walk to the pool and I could just see that he’d fall asleep in the pram on the way and then wouldn’t have his proper morning sleep. He’s just fallen into such a great sleep routine that I couldn’t bear to break it. So I think we’ll just take him to the pool casually for playing and start proper lessons next term.

Achievements: Self-settling. Woo hoo! I’m not sure if it just took Augie reaching 6 months and finding his groove or if I needed to give him more time to figure it out, but he suddenly can self-settle. I used to always need to rock him to sleep for every single nap and sometimes in took ages. My back was killing me!!!! At the start of this month he just started arching his back and basically saying “fuck off mum” when I was rocking him to sleep so I put him in his cot and he just rolled onto his side and hugged his bunny and went to sleep. He will still roll about for 5 or 10 minutes sometimes, but he’s not upset, just settling down. So he’ll pretty much always put himself to sleep now. This is the best!

Things we have learned:Going on holidays with a baby is an interesting experience… Before I went back to work, we road tripped along the coast from Melbourne to Sydney to visit my family. We stopped for a few days in Eden and Mollymook to relax by the beach and eat lots of fish and chips. What I didn’t think about though was what we would do when Augie went to sleep at 6.30 pm. I booked normal hotel rooms with portacots, so he was in the room with us when he went to sleep, which meant that we had to sit in a dark and quiet room all night. Next time I would try and book a hotel with a seperate lounge/kitchen area so that we can put Augie to sleep in the bedroom and still be able to enjoy our evening. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a few beers and ate take out after he went to sleep… we just did it very, very quietly and in a pretty dark room. Also, having a kitchen would have been very handy to wash and sterilise his bottles and prepare his food. I did not think that through very well.

But, we still had an amazing family getaway. I really look forward to more family beach holidays as Augie grows up. I also look forward to him being able to stay awake past 6.30 pm and eat in restaurants with us!!!

Appearance: He’s got more blonde hair coming through and his eyes are blue, but moving toward a bluey/grey colour like his dad. He’s always got a scratch on his face because I can’t control his little claws. Why is cutting a baby’s nails so hard???

Mummy update:Β Its been a weird month for me going back to work. It’s going to take me a while to adjust to leaving him all day and also to my new role at work. Because I’m only part time, it’s really quite limited what I can do at work and so I’ve had to take a major backseat. I’ve gone from managing the full digital program to just doing website admin. I can’t say that I am loving this new role because I now realise that I thrive in management positions and taking responsibility. I have to bite my tongue a lot!!! I guess this is why so many parents have trouble with balance. I can’t take on more responsibility at work, but then also be able to leave at 5.00 pm and work part time. It doesn’t work like that at my company anyway. So I end up feeling a bit useless at work and I also feel less needed at home too (pity party!). I still think I’ve made the right decision to go back to work, I just need to give it some more time to settle into this new role.

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.

Back to the Grind

After quite a bit of back and forth, I finally had it confirmed today that I am going back to work 2 days a week in a couple of weeks. I wasn’t due to go back until mid-June, but I decided to go back earlier because I thought it would be a good balance for my family. I also thought it would be nice to wear fancy (clean!) clothes, put on make up and speak to people who can converse back to me. I won’t know myself!

Our family has had a bit of a shake up this year already with AJ quitting his job to run a business from home. He has a lot of flexibility with his hours and so it made sense that I would go back to work a couple of days to supplement our income and give us a bit of breathing space financially. It’s tough being on one salary!

More than the financial reasons though, I thought it would be good for all of us to share care of Augie. I am currently the primary carer of Augie, and with no family around to help, it’s just me and him pretty much all of the time. I worry that this isn’t good for me or Augie and we’ll both end up getting too attached to each other. I think that it’s important to be able to leave him and not worry that he’ll be anxious without me. Obviously I want him to need his mama, but I want him to be a confident little boy who enjoys spending time with other people (as long as I am his favourite of course).

I do feel lucky that I can do this and not have to worry about childcare. I don’t think I would be quite ready to put Augie in childcare just yet (I am too much of a clinger for that, but my niece was in childcare from this age and absolutely thrived). I have complete confidence in AJ to look after Augie all day. Granted, he has never really done it… but that’s because I hover constantly and take over. Which is another major reason I thought it would be good for me to go back to work and give AJ and Augie the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time together. AJ isn’t quite as strict with routine as I am… but I’m sure they’ll have a good time without the fun police.

I often leave Augie with AJ for a couple of hours at a time to get my nails done, hair appointments, shopping or dinner with friends. But, I have never actually been away from him for a full day and I have no idea how I’ll feel about it. Actually, that is a lie. I do know how I’ll feel about it… totally heartbroken. I will need to leave the house by about 7.15 am, which is exactly when he wakes up and then I won’t get home until about 6.15 pm, which is exactly when he goes to bed. We can’t really keep him awake any longer because he is just so over-tired and just done by that time of day.

I honestly don’t know how I’ll cope being gone all day and not getting cuddles and kisses and smiles. AJ said he can bring him into work to visit me at lunch times, but it’s across the other side of town and I don’t want them being stuck in city traffic when they could be out having fun. I mean, how am I going to leave this little face for 2 days a week? Sob.

Despite my little freak out, I do think it will be the absolute best thing for everyone and we’ll all settle into the new routine nicely. I’ll just need a few extra stiff drinks during the week to get me through.

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