Black and blue 

Oscar is 8.5 months old and I think we are officially entering the clumsy stage.  He can’t make his limbs do what his mind wants and it’s resulting in a lot of tumbles and bumps. 

I know it’s all part of growing up and to be honest I’m not a ‘bubble wrap parent’ but sometimes it can be a little stressful. Just this morning alone, he has bumped his head 3 times. Twice on a wall while trying to pull himself up on it, and again when he let go of the couch, falling backwards, after pulling himself up. It might not be so bad but every single bump results in the saddest cry on the planet. Thankfully, he does bounce back pretty quickly. Five minutes later he’s back to doing exactly the same thing that just resulted in him hurting himself! It’s all learning, I guess. 

This might sound horrible but there is one upside to all these tumbles. When he falls and hurts himself, he looks around a familiar face. When I run over and pick him up to stop the tears, he hugs me so tight. He wraps his arms around my neck and puts his head on my chest. My heart absolutely swells with love for him. 

Candice has only been there for one of his big falls and that was when he crawled off our bed a week or so ago. She ran in and picked him up but in my panic, I begged her to pass him to me so I could hold and comfort him. I feel really bad about that. She was already comforting him and I couldn’t have done anything different. There was just an intense anxiety taking over and I couldn’t be still until I was holding him. It’s no excuse though and I think I may have hurt her feelings, not that she would ever say anything. She knows I get quite emotional when I can hear Oscar crying. I’m determined not to do it again though. If Candice reaches him first after a fall, I will sit back and let them hug it out.

If this is how many bumps he’s having now, I hate to think what it’s going to be like once he’s walking! 

His first bump on the head 😦

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Relaxed, but am I letting too much slide?

A few posts ago I spoke about how I was learning to let go and relax. I’ve stuck by that and since then, a lot of things that had been bothering me have actually fallen into place on their own.

Oscar is still taking one of his milk feeds in a bottle once a day without any drama and we’ve even made small progress with his sleep. It’s far from perfect but it’s better than it was a month ago. I give full credit for that success to Candice. She feeds him at around 5.30-6pm and then walks him around the bedroom until he falls asleep. Then comes the most difficult task of transferring him into his cot without waking him. The first few nights were really hard and he woke a lot and didn’t settle again very easily. There was lots of picking up, rocking, patting, massaging, and top up feeding. The progress we’ve seen in the last few days is that he is staying asleep for longer periods and when he does wake, he settles much quicker. Most of the time he doesn’t even need to be picked up! She just pats or rubs his back for a few minutes and he goes back to sleep. Throughout the night is still a struggle and he spends almost all of it in our bed. He’s waking 3-4 times and wants to nurse. I’ve tried to settle him back to sleep in other ways but he just gets more and more upset. So I give in and breastfeed until he falls asleep.

We’re still waiting for his top teeth to cut through. Everyday I think, “yep, they’ll be through by tomorrow”, but everyday they are still sitting just under the gum. I can feel that the right tooth is closer to the surface so I think that’ll be the one to cut first. Ugh, I can’t wait for this teething period to be over. I hope he has more of a break before the next teeth want to come through because I also need a break. Well, at least my nipples do. They’re both so damn sore and I’ve now got 3 blood blisters on one. I understand that his gums are causing him pain but geez, kid. Take it easy.

Something else that has been on my mind is my appearance. More specifically my lack of effort regarding my appearance. I wonder if it’s just me or do all stay at home mums ‘let go’ in that area. Most days I’m in my PJs until lunch time, sometimes longer. When I do finally get dressed, I choose comfy pants and an oversized t-shirt or singlet. Which, let’s face it, is basically just fancy PJs. I used to love putting in effort and choosing an outfit for the day, a little make up and styling my hair. I guess I find it hard these days to justify putting in any effort when I know I won’t be going anywhere or seeing anyone. I take Oscar for a walk most days but it’s only local and as the months go on, I care less and less about how I look to all the dog walkers, joggers and other pram walking mothers I pass along the way.

Confession. I miss getting compliments from Candice. Well, I do get a lot of compliments from her but just not so much on my appearance these days. I mean, with the amount of effort I’ve been putting in, what could she possibly compliment? “Hey, nice jeggings (that you’ve worn 3 days in a row), that hoodie really brings out your eyes.” Truth is, I’ve really let go. My diet is pretty shocking and I always wait until my hair is gross before I bother washing it. Purely because it’s such an effort to blow dry and straighten it afterwards. I saw a recent photo of my sister (mother to a 4 year old and a 3 year old) and she looked great! She was wearing a dress, a cute cardigan and her hair was healthy and styled. I felt inspired to put in more effort and I now plan to. My new philosophy, look good, feel good!

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Breakthroughs and opportunities

Alrighty, so a few things have happened since I last posted on here.

Firstly, Oscar finally took a bottle! If you knew how much he has refused to drink from them in the past, you would feel just as shocked as I do. This first happened last Saturday, while my mum was babysitting Oscar so that Candice and I could go see Jurassic World at the cinema. I warned my mum before we left that I could almost 100% guarantee that he would refuse and left some extra solid food in case. When we got home and he was fast asleep in bed and there was an (almost) empty bottle on the kitchen bench, I couldn’t believe it. Hallelujah, it had finally happened! I have to admit though, in the back of my mind, I had the sinking feeling that it was just a fluke and that he would probably refuse if I was in the house. Since he was already asleep, I pumped milk and stored it in the fridge to test if he would take it in a bottle from Candice the next day.

Fast forward to 3am on Sunday morning when Oscar woke for the third time that night and decided that he was wide awake. After a period of trying to convince him to go back to sleep, I gave up and brought him out into the lounge room with me. For the past week or so, his top gums have been bulging and swollen as the front 2 teeth are so close to popping through. As a result of this, he has started biting my nipples again during feeds. He often wakes and in his half sleep state just wants to chew and bite down rather than feed. It’s really painful and reminds me of those first few weeks of breastfeeding when we first brought him home from hospital. Anyway, sitting in the lounge room in the wee hours of the morning I felt tears of frustration when I realised that I was going to have to feed him again if I wanted him to sleep. Perhaps it was because I was really tired but I decided to give the expressed milk in a bottle a shot. Well, guess what? He drank the entire thing without batting an eyelid.

It really feels like we have turned a corner and as if a weight has been lifted. Everyday since, Candice has been giving Oscar his bedtime feed from a bottle and he hasn’t fought it yet. With only a few months before I return to work, having him accept bottle feeding is a major win. It has eased the stress we felt with him going into childcare full time, knowing that at least now he won’t be hungry.

Speaking of returning to work soon, here is the second bit of news. Last Friday I stopped in at my workplace to say farewell to 2 colleagues that are leaving. While I was there my boss asked if we could have a quick chat in his office. He wanted to know how I felt about a job promotion when I return to work. Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because there is a catch. My current position is a laboratory technician and he would like to see me in a senior laboratory position, managing a small team. The problem is that it would require me to go back onto shift work – day, afternoon and night shift. I’m nervous about it because I have no idea how it would work with Oscar. It’s a big change but if I did decide to go back to shift work in that role it would mean a $20K pay rise. That’s a lot for us, especially as we have a mortgage and lots of house renovation dreams. Candice and I spoke about the logistics of it and we could make it work. It’s all up in the air at the moment  but I don’t return to work until September so plenty of time to think about it.

Oscar still isn’t sleeping well but with his top 2 teeth coming through, we aren’t expecting much in that department. Perhaps there will be some good news about that next time I post. We can at least dream…

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We’re both learning

It has been a big week on the learning front.

For Oscar and for me.

To be honest, I’m so exhausted right now so this entry will be in bullet point form to save my tired brain from having to string together proper sentences.

Things Oscar has learnt:

  • He can now sit up independently and move from sitting position to crawling position
  • He can crawl. He’s slow and shaky but he’s officially on the move
  • He now prefers finger foods to pureed meals
  • He can clap. Although he sometimes does it with his hands clenched into balls, reminding me of a seal

Things I have learnt:

  • I need to organise his meals better. I plan to spend tomorrow researching new recipes for food that is easy to hold, healthy and yummy
  • I need to try to work on getting him to sleep better/longer. I start back at work in 3 months and I am coming to the realisation that I simply won’t cope if I am still being woken by him 4-5 times through the night. I’m not really sure yet as to what we can do but some ideas so far include looking closely at his diet, baby massage, room temperature and perhaps introducing a security toy/blanket
  • Include more protein in his dinner meals. A heavier dinner meal should help with the sleeping, hopefully
  • I can’t leave the dog water bowl on the ground anymore
  • I need to start baby proofing the house. His favourite things right now include; pulling at cords, splashing in the dog water bowl, head butting the coffee table leg/bed head/toy box, and licking the tiles
  • I need to start vacuuming the carpet and washing the tiles daily now that Oscar refuses to stay on his play mat. We have 2 dogs that sleep indoors and they lose a lot of hair. They also bring in grass, dirt, sticks and prickly weeds. It’s ridiculous
  • I need to organise for Oscar to see his grandparents more often. He is getting to that age where he really recognises when someone isn’t familiar. Candice and I are literally the only 2 faces he is comfortable with and obviously we want him to feel that familiarity with our parents

Did I mention how tired I am? It’s because of all that learning I’ve been doing.

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