Ahhhh :(

Honestly, winter can fuck off.

Augie is sick again. He’s been sick constantly since the start of May. This brings with it behaviour issues, no sleep and just misery for everyone. It’s been cold and wet so it’s hard to do anything outside and he refuses to wear a jacket or hat. I still try to take him to the park and he won’t get out of the car, but what else can I do to occupy him? I took him to the indoor trampoline centre and he just lay on the trampolines.

We go into Melbourne as much as possible to go to the Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks, which I can’t recommend enough for babies and toddlers. It’s amazing. If I lived in Melbourne, I’d go every day. Spring is just around the corner so I just need to hang in there. We are going to Sydney this week and it’s a full 10 degrees warmer there every day. Insane. Why don’t we move to Sydney?

Well in other news, I lost my job last week. Yep, this is the third time in a row I have been made redundant. Un-fucking-believable. I thought it was coming for a while so it wasn’t a shock. The whole team were made redundant because the company has no money, so I guess I can’t take it personally. In many ways, it’s a relief because I was burning the candle at both ends to work 25 hours and still be a full time stay at home mum. I was kind of killing myself and felt like I was a shit mum and a shit employee so it was causing me a lot of stress.

I’m not really sure what I’ll do now. I had a good situation where I was mostly working from home. I live a long way from the CBD so it makes it difficult to find work. I also just don’t think Augie is ready for childcare yet. He’s incredibly shy and I just don’t want to put him through that trauma. I really wanted to wait to put him in childcare when it was best for him, not when it suited me. I’m not sure I’ll always have that luxury, in fact I may need to start checking out childcare centres very soon.

Augie had a 2 year check up with the child and maternal health nurse a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t a great experience. She got in his face immediately to engage him and upset him and just didn’t seem to understand he was shy (then she refused to let him have a sticker unless he came and took it from her, which he was too scared to do). She gave me a massive lecture that I rock him to sleep and said I was hurting him and it was very sad for him that he needed to be rocked to sleep. She told me he should go to sleep school and when I mentioned that I understand they let kids cry it out at sleep school and she said that’s what he needs to learn to sleep. I’m not at all supportive of cry it out methods for our family and I’m finding it frustrating that it seems to be the norm in our culture. When I talk to friends, or other mums or read sleep advice online it always leads to cry it out methods. I end up feeling like I need to defend my gentle approach. I think I just need to stop talking to people about it. The next time someone asks me how he’s sleeping, I should just say “fine”.

She also did an autism screening test, which he passed fine as it was just about making eye contact, pointing at things, recognising his name, creative play and things like that. I did raise with her that I had niggling concerns about him being different to other kids. I don’t know how else to say it, but he just isn’t the same as other kids at playgroups or my friend’s kids. I like to say he’s quirky, but I do worry it’s more than that. He’s obviously very shy, he’s obsessed with fans (which is an autism factor), if we go somewhere he just plays with the fire hydrants or other weird things and not the toys, he gets obsessed with opening doors and flicking on lights, sometimes when I sing or put on music he says “stop” like the noise upsets him (I do have a terrible singing voice). I don’t know what is just being a toddler and what is different. I really wish my mum was here because she had three kids and I’m sure she’d be able to give me some guidance.

It plays on my mind a lot. I’m not sure if it’s heightened because about 6 years ago I worked with a girl who was pregnant with a baby boy and she was obsessed with worrying he would have autism (he doesn’t). I don’t know if I would have actually thought about it if it wasn’t for that experience. AJ just recently reminded me that my mum used to say she thought I was autistic when I was young (which I’m not) so maybe it’s just hereditary traits. I guess all I know is that I think he’s perfect as he is right now and I don’t want him to change. But I still worry.

I’ve been quite down in the dumps lately from work stress, lack of sleep, feeling lonely, gaining weight, financial pressures, missing my mum and a lot of small things. I decided last night I need to do 3 things to feel better:

  1. Count my blessings to have AJ and Augie
  2. Be of service to the community in a charitable way
  3. Exercise

Wish me luck.

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19 Months is an Adventure

This month I am reminded of that poem “There was a little girl…”, my mum used to sing that poem to me all the time. I actually sung it to her when she was taking her last breaths as it reminds me of being a little girl and my mum singing to me. But that’s not the point of this story, the part I can relate to with Augie is:

When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad she was horrid.

This describes Augie right now. Most of the time he is pure sunshine. Absolutely hilarious, saying funny things, being cute and cheeky and sweet. He’s full of smiles and hugs and kisses and silly games.

Then he has a tantrum. A full on toddler tantrum. Holy shit. It’s so hard. The poor little guy must have a lot of big emotions happening. I find it hard to know how to handle them. Sometimes I try to distract him, other times I ignore him. It breaks my heart though because I just want to pick him up and give him a cuddle.

The main things he tantrums over are wanting to play with the peanut butter jar (it’s glass so he can’t have it and I tried buying him a plastic brand but he’s smart enough to know that’s not the ‘real’ PB we eat) and wanting to play in the car. He loves to sit in the car and push buttons and pretend to drive, but it’s too hot to sit in there for too long. Or of course wanting the bloody phone. We barely let him use it, but he’s obsessed. I try to stay off my phone around him, but I need to be somewhat attached for work.

It’s so hard to know the right way to deal with these tantrums. I worry that my gentle approach could turn him into a brat. I don’t know how to find the right balance. I guess this is being a mum… always worrying that you have messed up your child! The good thing is that at playgroup yesterday, two mum’s I’m friends with mentioned their son’s behaviour had drastically changed this month in very similar ways to Augie. They are all born within a month of each other so I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

Augie has become so much more curious about people. He’s still shy, but he will approach people sometimes now and want to interact. He walks up to bigger kids and pats them on the back, they normally just look at him like he’s a weirdo, but that’s ok. I think he’s grown in confidence and it’s so lovely to watch.

With his cousin

He still struggles with new people though, we had to change swimming lessons because the time he had was during his nap. I knew it would be a disaster. We’ve had 5 weeks of his head in my neck and clinging onto me for dear life. He loves swimming, but he doesn’t like new people and the new lessons seem more basic than his old lessons. I sneak away and let him jump off the side of the pool or swim under water and his whole face lights up again. We’ll get there!

This month Augie took his first flight. It was only very short, Melbourne to Sydney (a little over an hour). Wow. How do people do long flights with toddlers? He just wanted to wiggle and play and Jetstar flights do not have much room. Can you believe that on the way home the woman in front of AJ (who had Augie in his lap) put her seat back? FFS. Honestly, I have no desire to go on anymore flights with Augie until he’s a little easier to entertain.

Oh and I tried to be tricky and booked the flight for during his nap time. That was a mistake. He finally fell asleep as the plane wheels touched down on landing so I had to carry him all through the airport, to get our bags, to the pick up area across the other side of the airport where my sister in law picked us up. Then he woke up as soon as we got in the car.

Actually, travelling with Augie this trip felt exhausting. He is just into everything at the moment. We stayed with my brother and sister in law and, even though they have a 2 year old, their house is not childproofed. Their daughter just doesn’t get into things (I’m so jealous). Drawers with knives, medicines left out, chemicals in cupboards, all the kitchen cupboards had breakable things in them, the stair gates were often left open and so many things for him to destroy. For instance, there was a glass candle sitting on a shelf where toys are kept so Augie dropped it on the tiles and of course smashed everywhere. I just had to follow him around for 5 days. Plus he never sleeps well when we travel. Remind me not to go anywhere for the next 6 months.

Augie got his first two eye teeth through this month and the other two will be through soon I hope. They have been causing him to be a bit cranky and waking during the night. Hopefully after this we get a little break before his 2 year old molars come through. I hate seeing him sad.

His sleep has been much better this month. He’s sleeping 8.00 pm – 7.00 am with a nap between 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. Like I mentioned, he has been waking and needing cuddles, but that’s ok, he just likes to put his head on my chest and snuggle in.

Oh and the big news for me to whinge about this month is that we need to move house again. The owners of our property are moving in so we need to find a new house. Fark!!!!!! I do not want to move house. Trying to move with a toddler and with both AJ and I working from home is going to be tough. Plus I love my house and location and I don’t think we’ll be that lucky again. The silver lining is that I will be able to get a house without stairs. I still have night terrors every single night about Augie’s accident. I wake up and think Augie is going to fall down the stairs and have to check the stair gates and check he’s in his cot, except I’m still asleep and so confused and think I’ve lost him. It’s awful and I’m relieved that I can hopefully find a house without stairs now. AJ will be relieved that I’ll be slightly less crazy now.

This all sounds very negative, Augie has been a handful for sure, but still a constant delight. He’s started loving The Wiggles and dancing to Hot Potato. He repeats everything I say, even full sentences, but they don’t make much sense coming from him. He can count to 10 (most of the time anyway) and sings along when we sing the alphabet. He still plays peekaboo obsessively and his new favourite book is Winnie the Pooh. He’s finally getting the hang of colouring in, but he gets distracted quickly and eats the crayon. The weird new thing he does is follow me to the toilet and pass me toilet paper and then try to pull my underwear up for me. Oh and the funniest new word he says “doodle”. He says it “doo-dool” and I laugh every time I hear him say it.

19 Months is an adventure.

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. ☀️

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.

The Worst

The worst happened. I always feared it would happen, but I didn’t really think it would. Augie fell down our stairs.

He’s OK.

How he is OK, I have no idea because he fell headfirst down 15 hardwood stairs. He didn’t slide down, he bounced down each and every stair. It’s actually very hard to even write that because it gives me terrible flashbacks. Sick to my stomach doesn’t even begin to describe it.

I got there in time to watch him fall and I raced after him hoping that he would lose momentum and stop falling. Of course that did’t happen and I could only scoop up his tiny body when he got to the end. My poor baby.

He cried immediately and then stopped after about 10 seconds of cuddles. He seemed like his old self (though the doctor later told me that he was probably in shock). AJ had raced down the stairs after me and I just said put him in the car, we are going to the hospital.

We are lucky that we live less than 5 kms from the Royal Children’s Hospital. It was a Saturday night and traffic was pretty good so we got there within about 15 minutes of his fall. I sang to him in the car and he laughed in the same places he always laughed and he was saying “ba ba ba” which was what he’d been saying to me all day. He seemed great, but I was actually more worried about deeper injuries that might not be immediately visible.

AJ dropped us off at emergency and went to park the car. When I took him out of his car seat I literally gasped when I saw the lumps that had already come up on his head. I went straight inside the hospital and told them what happened. Within a few minutes we were assessed by a nurse and then taken to a bed to be seen by a doctor.

I couldn’t believe how quiet it was in the hospital. There was only one other family in the waiting room! I later learned that we actually didn’t even make it to the waiting room and were triaged to see a doctor immediately. Later that night I walked past the actual waiting room that was full to the brim.

In our room, a young doctor performed a lot of tests on him, mostly to do with cognitive/head injury. They didn’t do x-rays or other scans because he was simply too young. Their main concern was bleeding on the brain so they continued to check his vital signs every hour until we were past the 6 hour mark, which is then considered fairly safe.

Augie was amazing and didn’t cry or get upset at all. He loved the attention from all the doctors and nurses and all the gadgets they had to perform tests on him. They gave me a cot for him and he slept a little bit, but woke every 20 minutes whimpering and needing cuddles. AJ had to go home once we knew Augie was ok. All 3 of us had a bad case of gastro and AJ was still in the thick of it. He was so sick that he went home and passed out on the bathroom floor. What a fucking night.

They let us go home at 2.00 am after they were confident he was ok. He was so tired and slept until 1.00 pm the next day… despite the fact I poked and prodded him all night to make sure he was ok.

All the doctors and nurses couldn’t quite believe that Augie was ok after such a terrible fall. Well, they couldn’t quite believe a baby had even suffered such a fall. I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t have DHS out investigating us for being negligent parents. Some people I have told have acted like it’s no big deal. I mentioned that to AJ and said how surprised I was by this and he said those people are just being nice and trying not to make you feel bad. Probably true.

It is hard to explain how it happened. I really don’t know what I was thinking to have spaced out and let him get near the stairs. Or why I didn’t have a stair gate on. I always watch him. In fact, I normally sit with him. That night he had woken up because he’s teething and I got him out of bed for a cuddle. I didn’t even think he could crawl that far. I guess I was wrong. I can’t talk much more about it because it’s too hard to put myself back in that place and remember what happened.

For what it’s worth, AJ and I were both in the room when it happened. We were equally to blame and both feel horrible. In one sense I think we are both relieved that we are both to blame, I’m not sure how we could have forgiven each other if just one of us was to blame.

I’ll never forgive myself. I’m trying not to indulge too much in the guilt and instead focus on being so, so, so grateful that my baby is ok. Grateful is an understatement. When I saw him fall I honestly did not think he would be ok. I feel like the luckiest person alive to have a healthy baby.

One of the hardest things to deal with is that it’s now impossible to trust myself. How did I let this happen and what could happen next? I thought I was a vigilant parent. Obviously not. I don’t know what else I could do to put him in danger. The fear is keeping me up at night.

It goes without saying that we are now going to move house. We have two sets of stairs in our house and they make me feel sick to look at them. I am desperately searching the real estate websites for a rental. Most places in our budget are either tiny apartments or (double storey) townhouses. That’s not going to work. So what to do? I’m not sure yet, but I want to find a solution as soon as possible. I’ll be so sad to leave our place after less than a year, but I just want a house that is safe for Augie and a fresh start.


This is where It happened. As you can see we now have a stair gate up, but it’s still not safe because my bloody skirt got caught while I was taking him downstairs. I fucking hate stairs!

We now also have a cage playpen. Even when I know the stair gates are closed I still can’t shake my fears and poor Augie is locked up. Luckily he loves it in there with his toys (for now).

Week 15: 27 January

How far along: 15 weeks

How big is baby: The size of an apple

Sleep: Baaaaaad. I am so bloody tired. I’ve got insomnia, but I’ve been moving house too, so I am more exhausted than ever.

Symptoms: This week its been insomnia, heartburn, constipation (sorry!) and dizziness. I’ve also felt teary all week, which is unlike me, so I am not sure if it’s the hormones or just because I am so tired and its been a stressful week.

Best moment of this week: I am not sure there was a good moment this week.

I had to pack up my apartment and put it into storage and move out to AJ’s sister’s place in the country while we wait for our townhouse to finish being built. I am not sure when the townhouse will be done, hopefully June (baby is due 21st July). So in the meantime, we are living with AJ’s sister, her partner, their 2 year old, 4 year and 19 year old step son and his girlfriend. And we are commuting 90 minutes each way to work. Plus, I am beyond terrified of spiders and can barely function here because of my fear. Fuck my life. (Though I must say that my sister-in-law and her family have been so gracious and kind to take us in, I am so grateful).

Moving was physically and emotionally hard. I had to open my storage cage and go through my mum’s stuff that I put in there almost 3 years ago when she passed away and never opened again. I thought I would be OK, but AJ opened the first box and I immediately burst into tears. So we just packed it all up in new boxes and put it in storage, it was too much to deal with this week. Plus, moving house while 15 weeks pregnant is bloody tiring. I don’t recommend it!

Then to top it off, I’ve had one of the worst weeks at work that I have ever had. Let’s just say that the countdown to maternity leave is on… 5 months left…

Oh well, at least baby is doing fine. That is the main thing.

Miss anything: Sleep and my apartment. 

Movement: Nope, not feeling anything.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular. I did eat a lot of dumplings before I moved out of the city and into the country this week. Yum.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still AJ sucking on mints in the car. I can’t take it!

Gender: ???

How’s your mood: Ha ha… Obviously I am a bit tired and emotional this week.

Looking forward to: Our townhouse being built and being able to set up our new house and the nursery. Hurry up!!!

The Bump: Still can’t see much happening, but I can feel the bump a bit when I lay down, it just feels kind of harder than normal.

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Shit is Getting Real

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My sister in law sent me my very first gift for bubs last week. I haven’t bought anything for the baby yet, it seems too soon and we are in the middle of moving, so there didn’t seem much point.

But it was really cool to hold up the tiny little onesies and try and picture our baby wearing it. Mind blowing. I don’t even really know how I get those clothes on the baby, but I guess I’ll work it out.

My sister in law also bought Penelope the same little white overalls and sent me a picture of her in them. How lovely it will be to have cousins so close in age. I am so glad it has worked out like this and they will always have each other.

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She also sent me some stretch mark cream that she said worked for her. She didn’t get any stretch marks with her pregnancy last year, but that ship has already sailed for me about 20 years ago! I have stretch marks all over me and they really don’t bother me that much anymore. It seems pointless putting the cream on my jiggly stretched out skin, but I may as well give it a go.