A new phase

The other day it hit me that we’re entering entirely new territory with Oscar. 

I realised this as I sat on the edge of the bath with Oscar on my hip, running the water. He was covered in food. I’m talking face, hands, chest, neck rolls and even his hair. He was smelly and sticky. I’ve discovered that learning to eat is pretty messy for an almost 6 month old. I was watching him as he was watching the water with that look he gets all the time now. Wonder. Amazement. His expression screams, “Let me at it!”.

He knows what he likes now and he also knows doesn’t. He wants to touch everything. My glasses have permanent little finger prints all over them and the days of trying to enjoy a hot drink with him near are long gone. 

Just shy of half a year old yet I can already see the little boy in him so vividly. And it’s gorgeous. 

Stickyness and all. 

Over halfway

Well, I’m now over halfway through my maternity leave. Eeek, it’s going too fast.

Oscar will be 6 months old in a couple of weeks. Where has the time gone? It feels like a while since I’ve blogged anything that wasn’t a photo post so I’ll fill in some blanks.

– Oscar has become an attention hog. It feels like he wants to be entertained for every waking minute of every single day. It’s exhausting! I know I will probably regret saying this but I can’t wait for him to be mobile. Maybe then he won’t require me to be his personal entertainer/dancing monkey and I’ll get time to write a bit more.

– We made it to the end of leap 4, sanity (barely) intact. It was so hard though. Sleep has improved since then and although he still wakes around 3 times a night to feed, he almost always goes back to sleep when he is full.

– No teeth yet, though I swear I can see a tiny white line under the gum. *Disclaimer; due to broken sleep my eyes may well be playing tricks on me as the white line that I see has not yet been seen by Candice.

– Oscar has started solids. When I say ‘started’ I really just mean that he has tried a few. He tolerated apple at first but the next couple of tries he didn’t like it. Then we moved to carrot but that wasn’t very popular with him either. Then I remembered that we had a Nuby mesh feeder. So I put a little frozen banana in there and gave it to him and he loved it. At first he just sort of licked it which was a bit creepy to watch but he eventually got the hang of it. Now when I give it to him he demolishes it. Next up we plan to try him with sweet potato, which I will steam so its soft and pop into the Nuby mesh feeder. He seems to prefer feeding himself so we will go with it for now.

– Sleeping arrangements seem to have gone backwards. He is spending more and more time in our bed. I’ll be honest and admit that I could persevere and fix it by making sure I put him back in his cot after he falls asleep every feed. But the thing is, sleep feels so precious and is such a rare commodity these days that I never want to risk waking him. So instead I lay with my body contorted, stretched at weird angles and often partly laying in the cot myself. Why practice yoga when you could just bedshare with your kid instead? I keep promising myself that I will fix this but then I yawn and think… “tomorrow, yes I’ll start putting him back in his cot tomorrow”.

– Tantrums. I didn’t think they could start this early but I swear he is channeling Meryl Streep in some of his performances. I realise it’s his way of trying to communicate that he doesn’t like something but it’s SCARY. I dread having to take him in the car now as he will stiffen his body and refuse to bend his legs. This makes it almost impossible to strap him into his car seat. He yells and protests. He arches is back. When I put him down on the plat mat and go to walk away he yells and fake cries and has also learnt to fake cough. It was kind of funny at the start but now I’m just in shock at how he has learnt how to manipulate his mums’ into running back into the room and picking him up every time he does it. Naughty, naughty.

And on that note, Oscar the grouch has just woken up with a big squinty smile. That’s my cue.

Sleep makes a world of difference

This last week has been challenging at times. Oscar hasn’t been sleeping well at all which is really tough on everyone. We don’t really know if it’s the 4 month sleep regression that people talk about, the Wonder Weeks leap 4, a growth spurt or sore gum from teething. Perhaps even all of the above? All I do know is I can’t wait to have our happy little Oscar back, full-time.

No two nights have been the same. Sometimes he wakes at 1 hour intervals but goes back to sleep after 20 minutes of feeding, other nights he wakes and won’t go back to sleep for hours. Sometimes he wakes up crying and other times he is wide awake and just wants to play. I feel like I have tried everything. Throughout the night when he wakes I feed him, change him, rock him, lay him next to me, softly pat his butt, ‘shhhh’ him, tickle his face and arms. I’ve started putting him to bed wearing his amber teething necklace around his ankle in the hope of it making a difference to his sleep. The other night at 3am I gave up trying and went out into the lounge room, put on the tv and just sat with him on the couch. I actually feel like most of the time I cope pretty well with his constant waking which usually occur at 1.30, 3.30 and 5.30am. I had accepted it. The difference is, he never used to fight me to stay awake but this last week has just been awful. In this last week I’ve heard myself ask him in frustration “What the hell do you want, Oscar?!” I’ve heard myself beg him “Please Oscar, please”. I’ve grit my teeth. And then suffered the guilt of having had those feelings of anger.

Mentally and emotionally, I was pretty spent. I didn’t feel very happy or motivated during the day and it was all getting a bit much. I knew I felt like crap but I didn’t realise how much all the interrupted sleep was affecting me until I woke up this morning after a GOOD sleep.

That’s right, last night he slept well. He woke at the usual 1.30am but then didn’t wake again until 4.30am. He kept me up for an hour but then went back to sleep at 5.30 and slept again until 7.30am.

The difference I feel today is amazing.

According to the Wonder Weeks app Oscar now has about 3 days left of Leap 4. I have to say, we have noticed so much growth in him over the last month. There is an impossible amount for him to take in and each time he masters something we are genuinely shocked at how quickly it has happened.

Babies are incredible.

Here are some photos of Oscar. All that learning sure is cute.