22 month old chatterbox

There is a lot of chatter going on in our house lately and it’s mostly just Oscar doing the story telling. He wakes up and without skipping a beat, he will start pointing around the room and naming things. His eyes still squinty, his hair all messed up, you’ll hear him announce with such purpose, “door, light, water, pillow, phone” and my personal favourite, “wet”. The word ‘wet’ is his way of telling us that his nappy is full.

I can’t remember if I already mentioned it we have put a pause on potty training. He is able to tell us once he has already done a wee but not before so we’re not sure he’s ready. On top of that it’s winter here so it’s been far too cold to have him running around in underwear and getting off layers of clothing in a rush isn’t very fun for anyone. He seems to be able to preempt a number two, however we need to be super quick. He has managed to use the potty successfully for both a pee and a poo but in all honesty I don’t think Candice and I were quite up to the challenge during these cold months. So the new plan is to start it up again in Summer. We still ask him every evening if he wants to go on the potty before his bath and he does so willingly but 9 out of 10 times he doesn’t do anything. We figure it’s just good to keep him familiar with the idea.

In what feels like overnight, Oscar has learnt to name colours. Pink, yellow, blue, green, purple are the ones he has down perfectly. So now not only is he naming objects but also naming their colour. All of that makes for a lot of chatter, all of the time. I love it though, I really do. He attempts to repeat every word, no matter how difficult. I think my favourite word that he says right now is ‘Astronaut’ or as he says it ‘Asshnauuut’. It totally kills me. I also love how he says ‘owwie’ when he bumps himself and ‘yummy’ while rubbing his belly when eating. In addition to all those cute words, we’re hearing the word ‘no’ a lot lately, even when he doesn’t mean it.

Me: “Would you like a sandwich?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “Would you like a yoghurt?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “What about cheese?”

Oscar: “No!”

Me: “Come on kid, what about a banana?”

Oscar: “No!”

Of course, I place each one down in front of him and he gobbles up a bit of everything.

Physically, Oscar has made big leaps. Quite literally. He jumps and actually gets air, he climbs on everything like monkey and runs without fear of falling. He’s no stranger to a paintbrush and will pick one up with confidence. He will easily cover his entire blackboard with chalk if he’s drawing, making sure there isn’t a blank space left.

He has also become a lot more assertive with our two dogs which is great. He points and tells them to ‘sit’, or how it sounds when he says it – “shiiit”. Or when they get up in his face and he doesn’t like it, he says, “NO!” very loudly and they back off. It’s so important that our dogs know that Oscar won’t be pushed around.

So it’s his birthday soon and we said we wouldn’t have a party but now we probably will. Not a big party like last year, just a small one with a handful of people (mostly family), party food and a few balloons at home. It should be nice and relaxed!


The House of Sleep

It has now been exactly 3 weeks since we began our mission to get Oscar to sleep through the night. We’ve had so much success that I can still hardly believe it.

If you follow us on Instagram then you may have already read our update explaining how we were going about it. We researched gentle methods and tried to make it a simple enough plan so that we could easily follow through with it. The basic rules were to no longer give in to his night-time bottles (he has become quite dependent on several through the night) and to support him by being there in the room with him any time that he woke (patting, cuddling, reassuring him that we were there, etc). The change we’ve seen in such a short time has been amazing. He hasn’t had a bottle through the night in 3 weeks and is resettling himself quickly when he starts making stirring sounds.

We know at any point that teething or sickness could interrupt this new found sleep success but that okay. Of course he’s going to sleep badly when he’s feeling like rubbish, I know I do.

In addition to him sleeping through, Oscar is now eating a whole lot more during the day. He wakes up asking for breakfast before he’s even out of bed some days, which is unheard of around here. Meal time was always a struggle but now he’s eating a 3 course breakfast, lots of snacks through the day, a decent lunch and an okay dinner. I say an okay dinner because that’s the meal he’s least interested in. Some days he will still demolish a bowl of pasta and ask for more but often he won’t finish what we give him. It could be because it’s late in the day and he’s getting tired and grumpy. Perhaps by that point he’s just ready for his bath, his pre bed bottle and bedtime. Whatever the reason, we’re not worried.

We’re super proud of how far he has come in such a short time.

He’s talking more and more everyday and reading books is probably his favourite thing to do. Last night before his bedtime, he brought me 11 books and we read every single one. Some of them twice.

Candice and I watched a documentary on Netflix the other night called The Beginning of Life. I have such a genuine interest in child developement, especially the formative years and so much of this doco resonated with me. As I watched it, I was nodding along and mentally agreeing with so much. Babies and toddlers are amazing and I don’t believe that anything they do is pointless. They’re learning 24/7 and I find that so interesting.

After watching it, I realised that there are some areas that I would like to work on. The main one is expanding the range of words I use when I speak to and explain things to Oscar. I tend to dumb things down when talking to him. If I point out a boat to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a yacht to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a ship to him, I call it a boat. If I point out a canoe to him, you guessed it. I call it a boat. Often when speaking to him, I refer to the taste of things as ‘yummy’ instead of using words such as spicy, sweet, tangy. Everything is just ‘yummy’. I think it’s because I worry that I might confuse him but I really needn’t have those concerns. I don’t need to dumb things down for him. How is he ever going to learn these words if he never hears us speak them to him? Kids are so clever and over the next few years Oscar is going to be absorbing everything and 22 motnhs isn’t too young  to be hearing so many new words, its actually the perfect age.

In other news, we’ve decided to hold off on baby number two for about 6 months. One part of me feels disappointed but the overwhelming part of me feels more relaxed. Everything just clicks in and makes more sense to wait a little bit longer so that’s what we’re going to do!



We feel bad anytime that we ask to use a babysitter. And by babysitter, I mean one of Oscar’s grandparents. He knows them, he loves them, he trusts them. We trust them. They’re happy to watch him and have never given us reason to think it’s a chore but still, we always feel bad.

The last time we asked my Mum to babysit was a couple of months ago so that we could see a movie. We literally drove straight to the cinema, watched the film, then drove straight back home. I know she wouldn’t have minded if we stopped for coffee or dinner afterwards but that guilty feeling popped up as usual and we decided to just head straight home.

I think a lot of it comes from the fact that Oscar is in daycare 5 days a week, sometimes up to 10 hours a day depending what work shift I’m on. That’s a LOT. So when the weekends roll around, there’s some hefty guilt floating around if we think about doing anything without him. Something I am aware of is that there is only 260 weekends from the time of Oscar’s birth to when he will turn five. And we’ve already used over 90 of them! There just doesn’t seem like enough time.

The other reasons for our guilt come from the fact that my Mum already does a lot of babysitting. She has 10 grandchildren and if she had a dollar for every time she was asked to babysit one of them, she would be rolling in it! Candice and I always said we wouldn’t abuse the privilege of having such a reliable person to babysit and I think so far we have stuck to that. The other person we completely trust is Candice’s Mum but her health isn’t great at the moment so the guilt is far too great to ask, even though I’m sure she would love to.

Sometimes I entertain the idea about a night away from Oscar. A lavish hotel. Giant king size bed. Gluttonous sleep ins. Eating out at delicious restaurants. And the overwhelming guilt that Oscar wouldn’t be with us. Whoops, that shouldn’t be there. But of course, it would be.

I’m wondering if as Oscar gets older, this guilt will subside. When he is old enough to understand? When we can talk on the phone? Perhaps when he is old enough to see it as a holiday away from his boring old parents and when he actually realises the super fun time he will have getting spoilt by his grandparents.

I don’t know where all these thought are coming from. Lately, I just seem to feel a bit weird and almost sad after visiting friends that don’t have children. Seeing the freedom they have, I guess. It reminds me of all the stuff Candice and I don’t talk about and all the stuff we don’t do. I remember when that was us and we could make last-minute plans to go out or organise big holidays. But I also vividly remember the sadness and utter devastation I felt back then at the idea that I may never be able to have children.

This isn’t a case of not wanting what I have now. I think it’s painfully clear that I live and breathe for Oscar and love being his parent. I love my life almost 100% of the time. I think I’m just lacking balance in a way. When you become a parent, you gain a lot but I think you also lose a part of you, temporarily. I suppose it’s strange to then be reminded of that part of you when your out visiting friends and watching your old life before your eyes.

At the moment we are working on getting Oscar to sleep through the night.* Once that is achieved, we may actually ask to have him babysat over night for the first time. It’s an exciting thought to have a child that sleeps. This post has been a bit confusing as I’m not sure what my point is exactly. It would seem that I don’t want to ever part with Oscar but I also want freedom from him as the same time. Surely I’m not alone in these muddled thoughts.

*I’ll post more on how its going on the sleep thing another time as we’re only on day 2 and I want to see how the next week works out before saying anything. We haven’t had any professional help or anything, just a lot of reading on gentle methods. We made a plan with a start date of this coming Friday (as I am on nightshift this week and wont be home) but then Candice surprised me but starting it solo on Monday. Super Mumma, right there. So I’ll be joining in the fun on Friday night, through the weekend. I will post an update sometime next week with how we’re all travelling with it.

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Affectionate boy

Over the past few days, Oscar has been showing me some super sweet affection. He seeks me out and wraps his arms around me in a full embrace, head on my shoulder and everything. After a few seconds, I kiss him on the cheek and thank him for the beautiful hug at which point he returns to what he was doing before. It’s enough to make my heart explode. Like, BOOM.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that when Oscar is having a meltdown, I gently ask him if he is okay and if he would like a hug. I also admitted that he rarely did accept my cuddle offer. I have continued to do that but now I also try to sit with him while he’s having a hard time dealing with his emotions. When he’s upset and in the middle of an epic meltdown at home, I’ve started to get down on his level, do my usual “Are you okay, want a hug?” bit and I just wait. I just be there. I don’t try and distract him with something loud, bright or sparkly, I don’t walk away and ignore him, I don’t force affection on him. And guess what has started happening? He realises I’m there and puts his arms out for a hug. I really think this way of parenting works for our kid. Now I just need to put it into practice all the time. I need to keep calm and not get stressed. Because sometimes I can get really stressed.

I struggle big time when Oscar has tantrums in public. I don’t do any of the things I would do at home. I basically pick him up (at which point he arches his back and screams louder) and try to quickly remove him from the situation. I try to distract him with something. I’m instantly put in a bad mood and feel stressed. Basically it’s not good for either of us. Why, oh why do I care what strangers think? Everybody knows that toddlers aren’t easy. That they throw tantrums and can become unreasonable over the smallest things. As he gets older, we will be able to teach him how to behave when we are out and about but for now, he’s simply too young to understand. It’s really hard and something I need to work on.

With oscar being 20 months old now, he is becoming covers in bumps and scratches. His little legs are polka-dotted with bruises and his need to climb everything is out of control. I now ‘kiss better’ all his bumps and he loves it. It actually seems to help! This morning I was chasing him around the house, trying to convince him that putting on socks was actually a really good idea, when he tripped and fell. He hit his arm on the corner of his bedroom door and started crying. When I reached him, he held up his arm for me to kiss and then went off on his merry way. I clearly have a magical healing kiss.

So that’s where we’re at for the time being. I’m going to soak up all the extra love I’m getting from Oscar because who knows when he’ll decide that he’s too cool for it.





Changing my attitude towards Monday.

Monday. Is there a person on Earth that looks forward to it? Doubt it.

I usually wake up a little grumpy on the first day of the work week and today was no different. I was greeted by a ripped up tissue box and tissues scattered all over the living room, courtesy of our 2 dogs. Oscar was in a whiny mood. I was sleepy and annoyed that I always seem to feel more tired after a weekend than I do before it. Five days of work ahead of me. I got an email to say that our daycare fees are increasing next month. Then the wind blew over my mini greenhouse (for the 2nd time) and squashed the poinciana seedling that I’ve been treating as my second baby for the last 6 months. It was cold and looked miserable outside. I was feeling over this week before it had even started.

Then I took a moment. A deep breath. You see, a friend has recently started a sort of gratitude project to help her through a rough time she’s going through and I decided that I need to take a leaf out of her book. I don’t need to feel so annoyed with life. I need to remind myself of all the wonderful things around me and change my perspective.

Gratitude is one of those things that is so often forgotten about and looked over. I’m definitely guilty of not always appreciating the life I have.

So instead of being grumpy about Monday, I’ll be grateful for it.

Three things I’m grateful for today:

I’m grateful that I have a job to go to as it means we are able to pay our mortgage and plan for fun things in our future.

I’m grateful for the 3 steaming cups of tea I’ve had so far today.

I’m grateful to be on afternoon shift this week as it means more morning playtime with my son and even a few park visits.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down with negative feelings. Sometimes it can actually be really hard to pull yourself out of it. Even harder to not shrug off all the most important things. Good health, a roof over our heads, clothes on our back. And all the simple things like sunshine, music, running water.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy? – Oscar Wilde

And you know what they say,

It’s not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.

So very true.

Anyway, I feel better now. Yay, Monday!


Baby number 2

I think I mentioned early on somewhere in this blog that Candice and I planned to wait until Oscar was 4 years old before we tried for another baby so that he would be about 5 by the time we had another newborn at home. For several reasons.

  1. We wanted to leave enough time with just us and Oscar so we could give him one on one attention while he was young.
  2. It would mean he would have started prep/preschool by the time the new baby would be born.
  3. Everything would simply be a whole lot less stressful and difficult as Oscar would be old enough to communicate well, able to help out and he would (surely) be sleeping through the night.

That was our plan up until about Christmas. I guess I was feeling a bit baby crazy at the time as I started talking to Candice about what it will be like when we have other. The newborn bubble, the milestones, the whole starting from scratch again. It was at this point that she said, “If we are going to have two kids I think I would prefer to have them closer in age.” At the time, I was a little taken aback. It wasn’t what we had planned but I instantly got butterflies at the idea. But good butterflies. I became swept up and was onboard within minutes. I love the idea of Oscar having a sibling close in age as it would mean that they can be playmates in a few years. My own younger sister and I are 2 years apart and I loved having her around when I was a kid. Sort of like a best friend that never went home.

However, there’s another reason that we want to have our two kids closer in age. It’s more of a practical, almost selfish one and it’s that we just want the ‘baby years’ over and done with. I know, it sounds terrible. Candice figures that we’re already tired all the time, we’re already unable to go out or go on stress free holidays, we’re already living the life of parents to a very young child. By the time Oscar is 5, we would have gotten back a lot of our freedom. We will have gone through all the hard yards, reaching the end of the tunnel only to then have to start again and go through it all once more. Meaning it would be another 5 years before we tasted that freedom again. That’s a whole decade of our lives!

I have entertained the idea of actually not having anymore children and just stopping with Oscar. He could be an only child like his Mumma is. I think about how much more money we would have. How much more time we would have. The idea that the worst is now over and that things will only ever get easier from here on in. But every time I do think about it, my heart aches so terribly to imagine that we won’t have another. This tiredness we feel right now will eventually pass and when it does, I can’t even deal with how much I know I would regret not having another baby.

So we’re doing it. Not right now but later this year, perhaps early next year we will start making the necessary appointments. Last time it took 6 months to get pregnant and we’re hoping it won’t take any longer than that the second time around.

I already know that everything will be completely different the next time. In the lead up to having Oscar, we were so excited and ready. While I didn’t have an easy pregnancy, I just took it in my stride, not wanting to complain too much because I was too grateful simply to be pregnant. During my year of maternity leave we didn’t feel any financial stress because we were so prepared. I’m not so sure that we will be as prepared next time. I know we will be fine but things will definitely be tighter.

Another concern that I have is my work. I’ve been back for about 9 months now and I’m only just starting to adjust back into it. Many of my colleagues left while I was on maternity leave so I’ve had to try to fit in with a new group of people and it hasn’t been easy. I worry that by the time I finally settle back in and feel comfortable again, it will be time for me to go on maternity leave.

All these worries are small in the big scheme of things though. I’m sure all our fear will melt away the minute lay eyes on our second born. Thinking back to the newborn bubble… yep, there are those wonderful butterflies again.

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Playing catch up

It’s been a few months since I’ve done this sort of update so I better write all my thoughts down before Oscar moves on from this age. In a little over a week, our little guy will be 20 months old. On that, does anyone else really struggle to remember their kids age? When people ask us, we tend to look at each other thinking way too hard before finally  answering with “Oh he’s like about, oneish, I think one and half..?”. Just now, I had to count on my fingers to see how many months he actually is! And to my shock, he’s going to be two in FOUR months.

Since my last post, Oscar’s tantrums have really calmed down. Not surprisingly this has coincided with his vocabulary absolutely exploding. Every day there are more and more words coming out of his mouth, it blows us away. He’s not exactly having conversations with us yet but chatty enough that we can understand most of his needs and wants.

Sleep. It’s still a struggle but I suppose it’s gotten a little better. He sleeps around 7pm to 6am, waking around 4 times through the night. For about a month now we’ve been in the bad habit of giving in and taking him for a short drive in the car to get him to sleep. We started doing it because it was just taking way too long to get him to sleep and he’s now too big and heavy to rock to sleep. He would thrash about on the bed, he would cry, he wouldn’t let us touch him. We would stay with him in the room for hours some days before he finally fell asleep. It was just so hard. We don’t like having to depend on driving him to sleep though and it’s quite ridiculous that we started doing it but you know, you do what you need to do sometimes. We have made the decision to stop doing it but we really don’t want to go back to the way it was before either. We don’t want him to cry and be upset as it’s not fun for him or for us. We actually aren’t 100% sure on where to go from here but I’m thinking we’ll keep the first part of his sleep routine which is reading him 2-3 books in bed while he drinks his bottle, post bath. After that if he doesn’t want to sleep and is happy to play quietly, we will allow him to stay up until he starts showing signs that he is tired. Basically, we want to avoid tears. As soon as we see any tired cues, we will take him back to the bedroom and lay with him until he falls asleep. The last thing we want is for him to associate bedtime with crying, being upset and having his control taken away. Sleep is amazing and should be a pleasant time and I want him to learn that! I think it’s taken this long to relax about his bedtime because I’ve always felt pressure to have him in a strict bedtime routine, forcing him to sleep when he may not be ready. The length of his naps at daycare differ daily yet we have still been expecting him to be tired at the exact same time of day. Maybe because I’m a shift worker, I can sympathise with him as I know just how hard it is to force your body to sleep when it isn’t ready. Hopefully our new plan will be successful and bedtime will be a happier time and a lot less stressful for him (and us).

At daycare he has moved up to the Toddler 1 room and after a month of settling in, he has finally found his feet. His confidence is soaring and I’m happy to report that he is absolutely thriving in his new environment. Candice and I don’t feel as connected to the carers in his new room though and we don’t think Oscar does either. The bond he had with his nursery carers was amazing! I can’t quite put my finger on it as it’s not that his new carers aren’t attentive or anything, it’s just different. I think it may be the lack of confidence coming from the room leader. She’s sort of mousey and soft spoken and doesn’t seem to have as much control or presence in the room as the leader in the nursery. Whenever I have questions for her, she seems unsure of herself. I think what is also lacking is the connection between his home life and his daycare life. No longer does it feel that they want to know what Oscar did on the weekend in order to incorporate it into an activity to share with the other kids, which happened a lot in the nursery. Maybe I’m being fussy. After all, it was an amazing nursery room. Plus it’s only been a month and I imagine the toddler room would be a lot more hectic with kids throwing epic tantrums left, right and centre. I’ll give it some more time before I mention anything to them.

Play time is more fun than it’s ever been. He loves playgrounds and sandpits. He loves pushing trucks around and riding his car every where. He can’t get enough of nursery rhymes. It feels like just last week that he would climb so cautiously onto his ride-on car and unsuccessfully try to push himself around. Now he runs up, throws his leg over and zooms all around the place, cutting corners and doing wheelies. He runs everywhere. He loves books and painting. He is in his element when he’s outside and playing in the dirt and basically just getting as dirty as he can. We are in the process of painting an outdoor mud kitchen bench that Candice’s dad made for Oscar so that he can play in the dirt and mud to his heart’s content.

At the moment he is really into the stars and moon. Every night after his bath he says, “Staaarrrrs… Moooooon… Staaaarrs” and we take him outside and look up at the sky. Candice points out the southern cross and he looks with such wonder. I can hardly believe how interested he is. I’m a big star gazer myself so I absolutely adore that he is showing curiosity towards the night sky. I can’t wait to take him camping in summer when he’s a bit older.

To wrap this up, I just want to say how much I am loving hanging out with him lately. I miss him so much when I’m at work and weekends go too quickly. But it is what is it so we’ll make the most of it and squeeze in play time whenever we can.