Photo a day – week 21

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Taking a step back and going with the flow

I know that all babies are different. I know that they develop and reach milestones at different times. I know that I shouldn’t be concerned about Oscar’s sleeping habits. I know that I shouldn’t stress about his food intake. I know I shouldn’t compare Oscar to other babies his age. But I do. And I hate that I do.

He’s only a little over seven months old and he is doing brilliantly and thriving in every way. So why the hell am I comparing him to the random baby I saw at the park that was crawling already. Or the friend of a friend’s cousin’s work colleagues baby that was supposedly walking at 7.5 months? Why am I always asking my sister how old her kids were when they started doing this or that, how much food they were eating at this age, when did they start sleeping through, when did they start clapping, how old were they when they mastered the pincer grip? Seriously, it has to stop. I have to stop.

I didn’t really appreciate its value at the time but my sister gave me some great advice when Oscar was only a month or so old. It was after I had mentioned that Oscar was hating tummy time and that I was worried he might not be reaching the milestones for his age. She simply said, “Don’t stress. In a couple of years you’ll look back and wonder why you ever worried about these things at all.” This is so true and I am finally ready to listen.

From now on I am going to follow his lead and just relax. It feels good already!

No longer will I worry that he refuses to eat finger foods. Only he will decide when he is ready for that and in the meantime he is still eating purees. Plus that kid has always breastfed like a champ and at his age milk is still supposed to be his main food source anyway. As long as he keeps those chunky legs and his buddha belly then I know he is doing great.

No longer will I compare Oscar to the other babies from my mothers group meetings. Our IVF doctor told us that Oscar was a textbook perfect embryo and according to every milestone I’ve read about he is now a textbook perfect baby. He is moving at his own pace and is perfectly on track with where he is meant to be. He is learning so quickly, taking in more everyday and most importantly he is happy and healthy.

No longer will I let out a longing sigh when another mother tells me that her child has slept though the night since 3 weeks old. Yes, Oscar needs to be settled several times from when we put him to bed until we join him later that night. That’s okay. Yes, he also still wakes 3 times a night to feed or for a cuddle. That’s okay too. You know why that’s okay? Because in the morning he wakes up the happiest kid on the planet with the sweetest smiles just for us. We take great comfort in knowing that he never feels the stress of not having one of us respond to him when he needs us during the night. I know that there will be difficult days ahead when I return to work but I also know it’s all temporary and it won’t be like this forever.

I’m sure I am not alone in this. I think it may be a first time parent thing and I suppose it’s only natural to look for signs of the next milestone or compare your baby to others. But I don’t want to do it anymore. I just want to appreciate each month of his life and take it as it comes.

Ten years from now, I’m not going to remember exactly how old he was when he mastered the pincer grip. Even the sleepless nights probably won’t stand out in my memory. What I will remember are his tiny hands and feet, his ridiculous smile and the fact that he was always able to find such comfort when we held him close.

Here’s to taking a step back and letting our little prince grow.

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Flavours of the month

Two days ago Oscar turned 7 months old. I’ve been meaning to do a longer post but he is so demanding at the moment, it’s difficult to find the time.

There are several things that he is loving right now so as a quick post, I thought I would share a few!

Sophie the Giraffe – Specifically gnawing at her face and ears. 119a

Bath time and all his bath toys – His dinosaurs, his cups, his ducks, his floating plastic blocks. asdf

Ball pit balls – He is so good at throwing these. He also enjoys licking and chewing them. 127b

His dogs – He gets so excited to see them and lets out a cute little squeal when they come close. Adorable! 122b

Going for walks in the pram – I have the pram parked in our dining room through the week and every time we pass it he lunges towards it with a smile. That’s his way of telling me it’s time to go out and explore. 125c

Baby Paw Paw lotion – In the days leading up to a tooth cutting through, Oscar’s cheeks become all rashy due to all the excess saliva. So help sooth it, we use Paw Paw lotion and it seems do the trick.

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Crawl and Learn Bright Lights ball – This toy is battery run and lights up and rolls itself around the place, encouraging Oscar to chase and catch it.

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His reflection – Oscar has always enjoyed looking at himself and that certainly hasn’t changed this month.

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As for what he is hating right now, there are a couple of things.

Change table – Whether it’s a nappy change, getting undressed for his bath or getting dressed for the day, he hates it. It’s getting harder and harder everyday and if we aren’t quick enough it will result in fake crying. Like this.

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Feeding himself – It’s a struggle to get Oscar to eat anything that isn’t pureed and isn’t spoon fed to him. Try as we might, he simply isn’t interested in finger foods. When he is offered non pureed food – sticks of cheese, steamed pumpkin or pear, toast, soft bread, banana, cucumber – he prefers us to hand feed him rather than use his own hands. I’m not sure if it’s because he finds it hard to actually get the food in his mouth (he generally drops it or clasps the food so tight in his fist that he ends up chewing on his knuckles thinking it’s food) but I hope he gets the hang of it soon. Here he is getting stuck into some steamed pear. Oh those eyes.

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And that’s about it for his loves and hates at the moment. My goodness, he has grown so much, just over this last week. We think he might be close to crawling which is pretty exciting!

Happenings

Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a huge change in Oscar and it’s wonderful. Although he obviously can’t talk yet, it feels like we are able to communicate with each other. I’m able to pick up on his cues better than I ever have and it making life so much easier.  We also have more of a routine now in terms of his day naps, solid meal times, and play times. To be honest, it feels like we are in a bit of a sweet spot at the moment. I’m able to interact with him more and it’s really fun. When I was pregnant and I imagined life with Oscar, he was always at an age when he was able to interact with me and now that time has finally arrived.

The days have been getting cooler and winter is just around the corner which has me pretty excited. Living in Queensland during summer made it really unenjoyable to take him for walks and even just being outside. I used to dread the days when Oscar wouldn’t settle at home and I would have to take him for a walk. It was always the same; he would fall asleep instantly while I huffed along all sweaty and exhausted from lack of sleep. The whole time knowing that as soon as we got home he would wake again and I wouldn’t have a chance to rest before dealing with a grumpy baby again. Now that the temperatures have dropped I’m able to take him for a walk at any time of the day and I don’t even need to worry about the heat. This is good news for both of us. I love going for long walks and clearing my head and Oscar seems to enjoy the fresh air and new surroundings. Sometimes we even stop at a park and have a swing. It won’t be long until he is able to clumsily walk next me, all wobbly and at the glacial pace that toddlers do so well. He will be able to feed the ducks and chase the frilled neck lizards. He will probably collect pockets full of rocks and sticks just like I used to. My heart swells when I think of all the years to come.

I don’t know if it’s just the age that Oscar is but at the moment he loves to quietly observe everything. He has such focus and it’s absolutely adorable. He taps his fingers and sighs deeply. He sets his sights on the smallest thing and will furrow his brow as he inspects it.

For the last 3 weeks Oscar has been teething non stop. His cheeks have been all rashy thanks to all the extra drool and he has been biting everything. Then last week I ran my finger along his bottom gums to relieve them and felt a very sharp tooth. A couple of days later he cut another. I’m hoping he will have a nice little break before anymore teeth come though, poor guy. He’s bitten my nipple several times while breastfeeding and it’s the worst! He bites down so suddenly and then twists his head, taking my nipple with him. I didn’t realise how sharp baby teeth were! All I can do is yell loudly and try not to yank myself away until I manage to break the latch. How do you explain to a 6.5 month old that biting hurts?!

We started Oscar in swimming lessons last month and so far he is doing great. He really enjoys the water and has quite a kick on him. There is just one problem. Changing him out of his swimmers at the end of a lesson is a friggin nightmare. As soon as I lay him down on the change mat he starts screaming. I stand him up and he smiles. Lay him down, cue screaming. It’s a new thing and is completely fake crying but he does it so well. The swim centre is rather small but boy does it echo. It’s that bad  that now I take several toys in an attempt to distract him and avoid him screaming the place down. He won’t sit in the pram while I get changed out of my swimmers so now I don’t even bother trying. I just walk out in my wet clothes and drive home freezing. Hopefully it’s a phase because with winter coming I’m not looking forward to having to do that every week.

This blog post has been kind of random. I haven’t done a real post in while so this one is really just a catch up I guess.

Here are some photos that didn’t make it onto Instagram. Not because they aren’t cute but because I post enough Oscar spam as it is!

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