Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hi, my name's Mummy & I'm a Superhero.

So tiny Teddy went down for his nap this afternoon. I made some phone calls and noticed he was still pottering around his room, not asleep as he should have been. After a few moments, he began a little cry. Curious as to the reason behind his sadness (it wasn't a "why am I in bed - I should be playing?!" protest, rather a whimpering of despair), I knocked gently on his door and went in.

I found a little boy standing at the foot of his bed with a bunch of something in his hand, sadness on his face and a Hairy McClary book on the bed in front of him. This is favourite, most read story of the moment. The something in his hand? Bunched up shreds of a page from the book.

Instantly understanding the sadness, I wiped the beginnings of a frown from my face (Superhero Moment #1) and took the pieces of his favourite book from his hand. "Oh dear" I say, keeping my tone gentle (Superhero Moment #2, I really do want to scold - a firm "what were you thinking?!" was playing in my head) - "this isn't very good is it?"

He looks up at me with tears in his eyes and the dejection of a toddler who thinks he just ruined his favourite book. "It is ok darling heart, Mummy can fix it." He attempts a small smile, obviously not sure of my abilities.

Then, Superhero Moment #3. Turn this into a learning opportunity about the importance of naps...

Mummy: "Do you think you got a bit angry because you are tired and that is why the book ripped?"
Tiny Teddy: Looks at me, thoughtful. A tiny, blink-and-you'll-miss-it nod.
Mummy: "Do you think you should have your nap while Mummy fixes the book?"
Tiny Teddy: Intently gazing into my eyes.
Mummy: "I think you should have a sleep and then we can read the story when you get up."
Tiny Teddy: Climbs onto his bed, gets tucked in and closes his eyes as I leave the room, shreds in hand.

Lastly, something only a Mummy can do. Repair a page of a favourite story by lovingly turning 10+ little balls of picture into a complete page once more. Yes, much sticky tape was used!

So, yeah. I'm kinda feeling like Super Mummy at the moment...





Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Top tips for weaning a breastmilk addict - You & Baby Guest Post

I'm back! (ish...)

You can read about our recent weaning experience, plus my tips on how to successfully - & gently - wean when the time is right for You & Baby here.

Enjoy!

Much love
Audrey xox

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

stepping away / simplifying life

This is a bit of a sad post for me to write, but it is a necessary one. I do not like to admit defeat and am quite determined to see this 'goodbye for now' as a positive step towards the simplification of my life.

It hit me this morning as I pegged out the washing, loving the beautiful weather and warmth of the sun on my face...blogging had begun to weigh on me as something I felt guilty for not doing. Uh-oh, as my darling Teddy would say. Alarm bells started tinkling in my mind. When did my release become my burden? How awfully awful! So...

It turns out this idea of stepping away for a while from this online outlet has been mulled over in my subconscious for a while. Inspired by the lovely Jodi to begin practicing simplicity, I have been keen to live my life mindfully, something I occasionally struggle with.

In keeping with this, something has to give for a time - between the demands of a blossoming 16 month old, being a FIFO family and my desire to complete my PhD sometime within the next 1000 years - I have realised that I cannot have it all, all the time. And that is more than ok.

So, goodbye for now...

Monday, 8 July 2013

recently

So Papa has been home for the last fortnight and to put it simply…bliss. Here is a tiny snapshot of our life at the moment…

Market mornings - rapidly becoming a weekly ritual. The Brisbane markets on a Saturday is our haunt, as Papa fills up on Turkish bread covered in toppings and almond croissants; Teddy on strawberries and bananas; myself on the best coffee I've had in a while. We wander up and down the long, crowded rows of carts. Butchers and fishmongers shouting out specials and Teddy happily singing through a Teddy-sized apple. I search for the bread cart I like and stock up on our preferred brand of gluten-free/dairy-free bread. We rediscover the man with the massive jumbo eggs and buy 2 dozen. We weave through the people to look at the flowers…Teddy gets out of his stroller and toddles about merrily.

Walking - in the morning, after lunch or in the afternoon. If we are home together and it isn't raining, you'll find us wandering around our 'loop'…down the road, over the creek and around the fields. On our way we'll stop for a swing and a slide, for Teddy to pick up pebbles and wind his way through the grass…following any bird that happens to be hopping along the way.

Friends - we catch up for impromptu drinks at the neighbour's place. Teddy learns to bounce on the trampoline and holds his own playing soccer with the big kids (that is, he toddles after the swarm racing to the ball, quickly changing direction when they race past him…a little boy caught in the crowd!). He hovers at the food table, busily stuffing his cheeks with the corn chips and strawberries whilst I try to offer him apples and pears and steer him from any gluten-laden snacks!

Discovering new places - new parks, new playgrounds and new adventures. Sherwood Arboretum is an amazingly beautiful spot that I can't believe I hadn't known existed…what have I been doing this past year if not heading to every awesome park in the South East?!

DIY & Bunnings - Papa has the reno bug (it has only taken me 7 years to get him interested - now he is a DIY fiend!). He has been staining the new deck, putting in the lights here there and everywhere (as a sparky this is not DIY - if we can't have cool lights, who can?!) and painting the interior. I shortlisted a couple of 'big boy' room colours for Teddy's new bedroom that we are slowly turning into a toddler room for him over the next few months. Thinking a mint green with white trim…or a blue feature wall with off-white elsewhere…or perhaps neither…

I take advantage of Papa being home to relieve the nanny and do the pick-up from daycare by working longer days on campus and catching up on office happenings - I am so grateful for this opportunity as I hone my new, improved PhD plan; meet with my supervisor and grieve for the loss of a friend P's wife to cancer. This time to bury myself in work surrounded by those who are in pain for P along with me is comforting. We go to the funeral and the next day have many coffees as P returns to work. Although I had never met Mrs P, through P I feel as though I knew her - a magnificent woman loved by so many.

Papa leaves tomorrow afternoon for another 3 weeks and so these moments are treasured…he won't be back for more than a week until November. And then perhaps Christmas. Longer breaks are treasured and memories made. Tomorrow evening Teddy and I start our life anew as just the two of us…again. I struggle to feel sad, instead just happy and content with having Papa home for now.

Friday, 21 June 2013

my little independent man

At about 2:15pm this afternoon, I found myself thinking about and missing my little playmate. I had finished the piece of code I'd needed to for the day and thought it would be neat to get Teddy early. So so so glad I did!

After picking up Teddy, we went off to the fruit & veg shop to pick up a few things. My lil' man held my hand and walked proudly into the shop. Bliss. He helped pick out the veg, helping to put them in the basket. Bliss. He pottered about as I paid for the groceries and charmed the lady at the till. Bliss. He held my hand and walked back to the car. Bliss.

To top the rainy afternoon off, Teddy used his spoon and fingers to (practically) feed himself dinner. This is a huge step forward for his independence. He started feeding himself with gusto at about 9 months but his enthusiasm petered out by about 12 months...I suppose because he had other things on his mind! I am so happy and proud he has started to show interest in feeding himself again. Bliss.

Now he has found his feet, there is no stopping tiny Teddy as he walks around and laughs his head off - apparently his new-found skill is hilarious! Bliss.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

snoozy snuggles

Teddy is taking this year's cold and flu season hard, as his immune system adjusts to spending more time away from home than ever before...being snotted on playing with all his new friends. He is tired by the afternoon, laying his head on my lap and wriggling to be picked up (this invariably involves putting his foot up on the couch and making a big show of attempting to get up, knowing I know he can do it himself...but still wanting a lift!).

He sits on my lap and impatiently waits for 'lolo'. Enthusiastically he snuggles in close, sucking with all the might he can muster. Within minutes his eyes are shut and his breathing has slowed. I settle back, closing my eyes as I drift off too. When I wake, he has unlatched himself and is breathing gently against my skin.  I panic, thinking it must be late (fifteen minutes has past, I have at least another twenty before I must rouse him).

And so we begin the end of another day. Another somewhat snotty but sunny and joy-filled day.

I like winter and its snuggles.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

oh, that feeling

Self-satisfaction. The sweet look you get when you put the lid on your sippy cup, knowing I hadn't seen you do that before - right the first time.

That smirk you get as you walk toward the washing machine.

It is a great feeling. One I know you will feel more of.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

these boots were meant for walking

Well, for Teddy it was more "this broom was meant for sweeping". With dust brush in hand Teddy wobbled strode toward me. Then he sat. Then he stood up & off he went again.

Toddling. Indescribable joy.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

home, where you leave your heart

This past week Daddy has been home and we have spent the short, wintery days holed up in family bliss.

This past week I *accidentally* referred to site as hubby's 'home' and used the phrase 'when you come to stay...'. HA! Come to stay - in his own house! Hilarious!

In my defense, I feel like we are on holidays when he is home. Then he goes and Teddy and I begin 'real life' anew. Then he returns a few weeks later and boo-yah, holidays again!

Begs the question though...where is home? Well, for me, home is where my wee family is. This means for 3/4 of the time, part of my home is out west...because half my heart is.

Do you consider home to be where your loved ones are or does a particular place resonate with your soul?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

delight

We just got home from lunch with my hubby's side, complete with Teddy's great-uncle & great-grandma. Needless to say, excellent time had by all - especially the little boy who practically put himself to bed once arriving home.

Here is to all the families of the world. Family rocks!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

leaps & bounds

Teddy, you are astounding me with the sounds you are sounding, what you understand & what you can convey.
Last night we sang through your 'old McDonald had a farm' book, while you went through your 'baby touch' animal book & found each animal as I sang about it. At first I thought your page turning a coincidence, by the fourth animal I was convinced you are a genius hehehe
I love that you are learning so much every day, that you are doing it in two languages...I love that all your little friends are developing in leaps & bounds right along with you - although for some of them this means literal leaps and bounds as they find their feet!
I look forward to showing you this beautiful world we live in, & you showing me how you see it. Learn on little man, learn on.

Monday, 27 May 2013

long haul flying with Teddy - guest post for You & Baby

For a bit of fun I have decided to contribute to You and Baby's blog.

You can find my post about long haul flying with a baby in tow here.

Much love
Audrey xox

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

to wean or not to wean

Or, as the case may be…un-wean. To eventually re-wean again.

This week Teddy has been ill. Unhappy, sleepy but unable to sleep through…not eating because his throat hurts. I suggested to the doctor and she wholeheartedly agreed, that I should start offering breastfeeds throughout the day again as Teddy needed it to settle him & provide nourishment as he was off his food. This has now increased to include during the night as well.

I just wanted to jot down my thoughts on our experience thus far, as partially weaning Teddy is something that I had struggled with (he has always had - I was going to continue - a feed first thing in the morning & last thing at night). I have thoroughly adored nursing our little son as he has grown over the last year. Not yet a toddler but oh-so-close. Still my baby.

It wasn't plain sailing from the get-go. We struggled with tongue-tie (snipped very early on, about 10 days I think) and saw the lactation consultant twice in the first two weeks as latching problems meant agony for me at each of those long, early feeds. Luckily, we did not have any ongoing problems and once we hit the 8 week mark we were well and truly on our way to breastfeeding success. I loved the freedom and ease of it. I loved the quiet snuggle time with my baby boy. I loved that it was our special relationship and I'll admit (quite the control freak here) - I loved the control it gave me over what I was putting into our baby.

Of course, we had low points. Those growth spurts that meant non-stop cluster feeding from lunch until bedtime. I have been dairy free since he was about 14 weeks old. The odd slip has meant days of explosive nappies and mother-guilt galore. As my favourite foods - every type of cheese - are made solely of dairy, it has been tough. Oh-so worth it.

Once we reached about 8 months and Teddy was still not making it through the night without feeding, we night-weaned. Well, from bedtime until about 4 or 5am. We went to Scotland and we un-night-weaned. We returned and just before his first birthday we were only feeding during the day…rarely deviating from our 5 feed routine.

Friends and family began asking how much longer I intended to nurse. I would smile and be noncommittal. He doesn't seem keen to stop, I would say. So I think it will have to be gently done over time…

Teddy turned one and we hired a nanny for a few mornings a week as I returned to study. I slowly dropped the after-morning-nap feed over a week or so, with no dramas. He started daycare some weeks later, for two days a week. Over the next week we dropped the post-afternoon-nap feed. This was the tricky one. I was still feeling reluctant about weaning in general (I saw it as a necessary evil as I was no longer his primary carer 4 days a week) and Teddy would ask for his afternoon nurse. He'd crawl over to my lap and pull at my top a little. No, not yet - later, I would say gently. You are a big boy now. You can have lo-lo later. Off he would go, play for another 10 minutes then try again. After a week he stopped trying. I was happy and sad and undecided all at once.

For about a month we have been blissfully snuggled against the cooling air first thing in the morning and calmly settling before bedtime at night. Our new routine is lovely, I feel it was time to cut back a little. Teddy doesn't miss it.

Until this week. Now we are feeding more than ever and my awe at being able to sustain my little one through his illness increases every feed. He is recovering and I am beginning to feel apprehensive about starting the weaning process again. First the night, then the morning, then the afternoon. Of course, when he is not with me he doesn't miss it - so our wonderful nanny and daycare won't have to put up with a sad or grumpy or hungry baby. It is during our afternoons and days and nights together where I will summon up resolve I am still unresolved about having in the first place...and say a gentle no.

It has been a wonderfully amazing and spectacular journey over the last 13 months. The next month or so poses a new re-weaning challenge. In the meantime, I will look forward to morning snuggles and nighttime cuddles as the days cool and the nights have me wanting a little body on my lap before bedtime.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

firsts

First time you have fallen asleep in my lap (not counting during a feed)...doctor's waiting room yesterday.

First infection...ear & throat.

First antibiotics.

First time you have been off your food...living on fruit puree & half a biscuit.

First breastfeeds during the day (you still have morning & night feeds) for a few weeks...before & after naps...once you are better, we'll gently wean those daytime feeds for a second time.

Love to all the mamas watching their babies suffer...I am so glad this list of firsts took over 13 months to arrive.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

unplugged

I don't take my phone on our walks or when we duck to the park for a play.

I ignore the world. I spend my whole life attached to the landline or my mobile or skype or social media and so sometimes I just want to be with you, my tiny Teddy.

I breathe in the green that surrounds us and comment to you about how much I love our life. You chill out in your pram, or on my hip, leaning into the forward motion.

People stop to smile at you and you gaze at them, so chilled they don't trust me when I say you aren't grumpy or sleepy, just chilled out...

Those second...minutes...hours spent around our neighbourhood are some of the best I've ever had. So I ignore the rest of the world. In those moments there is just me and you and I am unplugged.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

mud puddles & memories

This morning it rained. Quite a bit actually. Then the clouds cleared and the sun shone.

So we trotted off to the park, tiny Teddy balanced in your favourite spot - my hip - leaning forward in anticipation of the play. Friends surrounded us, bigger kids on bikes. You followed your hero, the 'big boy' with your eyes, drinking in everyone and everything.

Puddles, there were many. Memories? You made a few!

After watching the toddlers jumping in the mud puddles until covered in dirt from head to toe, you wriggle to be put down. Eagerly you crawl over, tentatively splashing at the shallow end. You slowly edge in, until you and two giggling girls are splashing happily. The girls wander off and you are left, still exploring the water - mud splattering your face, blinking rapidly as your eyelashes get wet!

After photos are taken on my fellow mama's phone (I go unplugged at the park...), I call you over to the water fountain and tap. You splash again in the dog bowl - this time with clear, clean water...I wash mud from you and strip you naked. We say our goodbyes and thank everyone for the fun.

Walking up the street, sans clothing - and nappy - once again on my hip, you lean forward in anticipation. Because for you, every minute is an adventure. Every second an opportunity for discovery. You inspire me to be joyful and delighted.

Puddles, there were many today. You needed just one to give me a few memories I will cherish wholeheartedly for a very, very long time to come.

productivity...

...is a state of mind.

At least, that's what I'm going with today (and night). Pity it wasn't my state of mind today (or night)...poor, poor, long suffering thesis...


Sunday, 12 May 2013

jam-filled kisses & muddy knees

Happy Mother's Day to every mama - today is a day to be spoilt and be thankful for our loved ones...I hope you are having as much fun as I am!

Teddy has made me jammy (wildberry sandwich) and muddy (playground between showers) and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

home

The best place ever...even better with Dadaa home.

Teddy has been hooning around the newly completed deck on his ride-on car...then getting nakey and 'checking it's all there' by doing a perfect downward facing dog!

Home. Bliss.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

positive

Positive. That is the word of the month in our house. There has been too much of the opposite going on at our place lately - we've been too tired, too cranky and generally just too not-positive! So we have decided to make a change and that change is a new (well, old) outlook. Recapture the joy.

So. To aid in recapturing the joy, we have made a very big leap into our future and have really begun thinking of adding to our family. Having opened the topic for discussion, we are finding it hard not to grin at each other constantly. Positive. Finally, after all the squabbling over this-that-and-the-other, we are doing what is right.

Positivity...very cool.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

one

Last Wednesday, April 3rd to be exact you woke to your mama brightly singing 'Happy Birthday' as she opened your blinds and let the light stream in. 'How many are you?' she asks as you are placed on the change table for your new nappy. 'This many!' is her answer, proudly showing one finger to symbolise one.

It has taken me a week to work out how to say to you all the things I feel I want you to know as you turn one. This first year has been the most magnificent of learning curves for your Papa & I. I find it hard to imagine my life without you, I feel as though you have always been here with us. I struggle to picture our house without your squeals of delight and angry grizzles when something doesn't go your way. Your smile is quick and bright, your golden strawberry curls give me such joy and you make me swoon when your big baby blues turn my way as you attempt to flutter eyelashes so long they astound strangers in the street.

You are so pretty those same strangers still confirm you are indeed a boy, then exclaim your eyes confused them! It amuses me, as you are a boy in every sense of the word. On walks you must inspect every car that passes, we will deliberately get to our destination late just to follow the bus trundle along the road. You need to investigate anything and everything, spin it around in your hand and check to see if it makes a sound when you crash it into the ground or bang it on something. If a sound is made, it is repeated with gusto until something else catches your eye.

At one, you are a speedy crawler but not yet walking. Despite your first steps weeks ago, no attempt has since been made. I constantly marvel at your pace when you want something - your limbs become a blur. You are tall and slender with an appetite that shocks your grandparents as they watch you devour enough food for an army. At one, your best friend is the neighbour's cat Milly and your favourite past time is stalking through the backyard with her as I peg out the washing. You find it mildly offensive the pegs should be trapped in their container and aim to liberate them as often as possible. You can pick up any object no matter how small, and recently added picking up a second or third object with the one hand to your repertoire. You call me Mum-mum & your father Daada and if I check your nappy you will say 'caca' if you have indeed left me a surprise.

At one, I am your favourite person to snuggle and you love your Papa taking you on adventures downstairs. Getting out and about in the car or stroller makes you happy and we have begun frequenting the local playgrounds. You love having a piece of toast in our favourite cafes while I have my coffee - you are my preferred breakfast or lunch date. You make me laugh out loud several times a day as you crack jokes and play games.

At one, we are starting to wean slowly and gently although you are yet to turn down the breast if offered. I suspect we will enjoy our little feeds for a while yet! You are a random sleeper during the night, sometimes making it through and other times not even close.

Perhaps what I want you to know the most though, is that - at one - you are our joy. Thank you for you.

 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

drop off, coffee time & groceries...

It has been a busy busy morning - hubby headed back to NT this morning. Up early and eating toast together for the final time for another while...I struggle to feel too sad this morning, as the weather is lovely and we have had such an amazing Easter together. Our little family, walks in the morning...lazy breakfasts...socializing with friends and family...walks in the evening...a glass of wine and chat with my husband after Teddy heads to his bed. Heaven.

On our way back from the airport Teddy snoozed, lulled to sleep by Chopin playing on our favourite radio station. We stopped by our cafe for a quick piece of fruit toast and a coffee, on our way to do the groceries. Our trip involved the butcher, the fruit & veg market, fishmonger and lastly the supermarket. Phew! Teddy busied himself with mischief, showing the lap belt on the trolley was no obstacle to standing up. Luckily he also loves sucking on a baby food pouch otherwise I may have had to lug a wriggly worm about on my hip the whole time!

Once home we unpacked our parcels and Teddy rolled oranges around the bench. We pegged washing on the line, Teddy petting the cat and stalking about the lawn with her. Finally, he is napping and I am catching up on some emails...and thinking about how lucky I am to have such an awesome little almost-one-year-old and gorgeous husband.

Life is good.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

bubbly little bubba

In a follow up to our bath woes, bubbles have helped. Adding a little of his shampoo to the running water and making everything sudsy has distracted Teddy from his hysterical reaction to all things bath. Fun is not yet being had, but calmness has once more entered our bathroom and thus our lives of an evening.

Phew!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

water water water

Once our friend, now our foe.

The scream-and-crawl-away-as-fast-as-he-can reaction to the bath being poured (let alone being in the bath...that borders on hysteria) began this last week and has got progressively worse each night. 

Today has been about gently reintroducing Teddy to his bath, after an unknown scare has built it into a big, scary place in which he does not want to be.

Cups of water to play with in an empty bathtub this morning, tonight the same with the bath tap trickling in the background. With love, patience and good memories I hope to have my bouncy water babe back in no time!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

little lessons

Bubby had his two little girlfriends over today to play. They were born the same week & us mummies connected instantly when we met soon after they were born. As they grow, very different personalities emerge...

Today's (& the next 3 years!) lesson? Sharing. Two (Teddy included) of the little ones are still working on it!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

mummy who?

The look on my son's face when his beautiful nanny arrives of a morning...happy and smiley with a touch of "mummy you can go now"! Yesterday was the first and only morning there was a little protest when I left (thank goodness, I was starting to worry I wasn't needed!) - today he was completely fine again.

I am so proud of my independent and confident little boy, he definitely loves his mum (he clings a little when I am around...he doesn't enjoy going to other people from my arms) but has had no problems being cared for by someone else three morning a week.

Et moi? How am I going with the return to study? Well, after the first week I am going to say it is going swimmingly. I am enjoying focusing on a project that I own and am in control of. I am enjoying needing to be somewhere with something to do that has a deadline (although it is difficult wrapping my brain around thinking again) and I firmly believe Teddy is benefiting from the French language immersion he is experiencing.

All in all, at the conclusion of week one...it is going great!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

hard

The fly-in-fly-out lifestyle is not for the faint hearted. Today was good & happy & lonely & sad all at once.

My husband & I had a small spat over Skype (he had just woken up grumpy, Teddy was the same so I was not in the mood for two grumps!)...these are interesting as it is the only time we talk so if it is unpleasant we tend to sit & scowl over the video feed rather than hang up. Inevitably one of us will text later to apologise...

But before our argument I had felt the absence of my love more keenly. Sundays will do that I suppose. More Papas about, families enjoying their weekend together. Once again I woke tired, Teddy teething means a night of naps...as I write he is struggling to get back to sleep. He only went to bed a couple of hours ago & thus I struggle to be optimistic about our prospects for a longer sleep tonight.

We went for a walk, played in the park, had coffee at Teddy's favourite cafe (he drank water & nibbled some gingerbread), went fruit shopping & had a wonderful meal at his grandparents house. All good & happy.

Tomorrow is a PhD day for me, five hours of productive study as the nanny plays with Teddy. Yep, tomorrow I will swallow the fog of exhaustion clouding my usually boundless happiness & work.

It isn't always sunshine & fun. Teddy's Papa is missing & it is hard. We have a goal & so I know it is worth the heartache now. Another week plus a bit & he will be back.

Lucky we aren't faint hearted!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

little pleasures

Infinitely grateful today that my favourite pastime - lunch & coffee out with family - is exactly what Teddy enjoys doing too. My nearly-one-year-old could sit happy as a clam in his highchair for over an hour, chatting away whilst people watching & munching on a snack.

Teddy, you are my go-to coffee date. I heart you.

Friday, 15 March 2013

park it

Playgrounds are our new thing. Teddy walked up the stairs to the slide...except he can't walk yet. Held onto the handrail & up he climbed. Heart stopping? Yes. Adorable? Absolutely!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

firsts

First fever.

First high five.

First time he helped bake a cake.

First taste of coconut yogurt.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

nanny

Today is a day I will remember forever. You are 11 and a half months old. It is your first day without me, where someone other than your Papa or a Nana is caring for you. Today you are spending 7am until 12noon with your wonderfully spectacularly amazing nanny.

Monday was an adjustment day, where she spent our morning with us as we went about our usual routine. As it was Papa's last day before flying out that night, he & I sneak off for a coffee alone while you were sleeping. Tuesday we spent another day altogether, longer this time. I left you two alone for an hour so you could get to know each other without my interference. Teeny tiny Teddy, you are so grown up. You took to our wonderful Mary Poppins without skipping a beat. At the end of her day, about 20 minutes to go, you needed me. That was 1:20pm in the afternoon. She had been with us since 7am, you were worn out from all the fun!

Today you are alone together until 12noon. I am catching up on my blog (lest I forget anything by leaving it too long!) and going to the dentist. Running errands and getting ready to begin my real work next Monday. My PhD work.

I admit wholeheartedly to being apprehensive about this change. About leaving you with someone for 3 (half) days per week. I feel guilt about needing to finish my degree, about 'choosing' it over you. But I also will admit that this morning, as I kissed you goodbye and jumped in the car at 7:15am, I did not cry. I am not sad. You were busy playing, you have a whole morning of French immersion (we specifically chose a French native speaker) and I know you will be absolutely fine. Yes, I feel guilty about leaving. To be brutally honest though…next week I don't think I will. I am ok with needing to complete my study. It is for my and my family's benefit.

Am I a little sad you seem to have adjusted so well to my absence? Yes. And then I am proud. Proud you are such an independent and confident child who is so comfortable in your surroundings. I am looking forward to the hug you will give me when we reunite in an hour. Perhaps then I will cry...

first step 24.02.13

24 February 2013.

I will remember this date.

This was the day that you took a step unassisted.

You let go of the cupboard and took an unsupported step toward the drawer beside it. It was one step…but it was a great one, witnessed by three other proud onlookers to your achievement.

You haven't done anything close to walking since…so we will have to keep a close eye, in case you are practising in secret...

snotty snuggles

Aunty's 50th birthday was this weekend, so she and my cousin Willz were heading down to London to stay with my other cousin. We were staying behind, looking forward to some time to ourselves and honestly with the popularity of Teddy, our own busy social calendar!  Alas, by Friday afternoon we were ill.

Saturday night Teddy woke every hour to feed and cuddle, before slipping back into a restless slumber. Sunday morning began earlier than usual for us, him waking beside me after eventually being brought into my bed at some stage the night before. His snotty little nose happiest spreading snot over my shoulder or chest, depending on where he was snuggling his head at the time…

By Sunday afternoon, he was well on his way to recovery while my head cold took a turn for the worse (typically!) - although I am extremely grateful that this has been my first and only proper illness since the beginning of my pregnancy. Breastfeeding I believe, has shielded both of us in some mystical, wonderful and simply breathtaking way. This is based on my own experience and in no way is a scientific observation!

He stays a wee bit snotty for the next day or so. We treasure our snotty snuggles as he buries his head into my shoulder…I take comfort in his need to stay close, even though he feels better.

It is so lovely to be so loved by someone so small!

knock knock

Knock on wood.

Knock on doors. And windows.

Knock on walls. And tables. And chairs.

Knock on the floor. On each step as you climb them.

Knock, knock. Who's there? Teddy of course! You grin from ear to ear when we knock back, pleased with your new skill and game.

standing alone, part one

You are growing up, young one. You are standing alone now, unsupported by me or anyone else. You cruise with ease, cutting laps of the kitchen or lounge room…babbling away about your newly found physical prowess.

I believe you will take steps soon.

the scone

We spend much of our time in cafes (or coffee shops as they are commonly known over here) - trying this one and that one, going to all my Aunt's favourite places. We have much in common, my Aunt and I, and a love of fine coffee is definitely one of them.

One afternoon, while Teddy sleeps in the car, we drive through to Bancory. Along the way, we stop at Woodend Barn - a wonderfully restored barn, converted into an open, welcoming and (most importantly) warm cafe/restaurant. We order lunch and it is marvelous. As usual, I am eating a dish I would struggle to find at home (usually a game pie or similar) and I order Teddy a scone.

Well.

This scone (I won't say the best I have had, lest I offend the makers of many a great Scottish scone I was lucky enough to enjoy whilst visiting) was big and soft and tasty and lovely. I break bits off for Teddy and my Aunt attempts to keep him from standing up in the strapless highchair (not easy!). Teddy tastes a bit. Then, as I break off some more…my Aunt bursts out laughing! I turn my eyes back to my son.

Not content with a little bit, Teddy has picked up the source of his delight and was attempting to wrap his lips around the entire scone! His jaw seemed as if it may dislocate, although I too have this reptilian skill of opening a seemingly small mouth wide…handy if the need to bob for apples arises. It looked extremely comical, the scone was roughly half the size of his wee head.

Needless to say, I am proud of my son for his intelligence in deducing how to get more of a good thing! He later went on to make such a large pile of crumbs under his chair we apologised to the amazing staff profusely as we left.

early morning snuggles

We are home and settled back into our wee corner of the world. I have been lazy with this space of late, living (and sleeping) and getting back to normality. I intend to continue my posting as if I never stopped though…continuing from my last Scottish tidbit onto the next...

The mornings are dark and chilly. Teddy sleeps less well here in general than at home, however he has settled now into a somewhat similar pattern. Our mornings begin early, I skip (trudge) up the stairs at 5-something (this is the third maybe fourth - second if it was a great night! - time I have done this since putting him in his bed last night) and greet a crying little boy, standing in his cot.

By the time he is out of his sleeping bag, in my arms then out of the room he is calm and excited to start our day. Our first ritual is to tumble into my sofa bed in the lounge room, to snuggle while Teddy has his morning feed. I leave the lights off, eternally hopeful that this will encourage a little more sleep. Rarely it does, Teddy enjoys his milk whilst wriggling into a number of awkward positions. But no matter. It is this time of the morning, these few minutes, where the chilliness and the dark are lovely.

A little boy pulls off and grins at me in the dark. He starts babbling, presumably listing off all the things he will do today. I get up, turn on a lamp & BBC World News (his favourite!) - Teddy settles down to get a new nappy and some warm clothes over his pyjamas. Eventually we will head into the kitchen, for his 'toastie fingers' and my coffee.

The mornings really are chilly…and dark…and early...

But they are lovely.

Friday, 22 February 2013

teethy pegs

You have been teething for a couple of weeks now, breaking it up with a little cold for good measure.

The result? Two new teeth, one bottom & one top...one on the right, the other the left. Once they completely come through, I will no doubt giggle at your smile.

And so it continues...the toothiness of your grin increases...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

higher

Ah stairs.

Enemy of any parent of any small child anywhere.

You discovered them during the first week. I now keep the door of whatever room we are in closed, lest you wander out and I find you halfway up...finding you on the third step was heart-attack-inducing enough, thank you Teddy.

In saying that, under supervision, you are extremely adept at getting to the top by yourself (incredibly fast). A neat little game, whenever we need to get from one floor to another. And sometimes just for fun!

Monday, 11 February 2013

tiny Teddy dancer

We are into music, you & I. The radio is on (loving BBC radio) whenever we are in the kitchen, which is most of the day.

We are into dancing, you & I. I hold you, you cuddle me with one arm, swing your head back and laugh.

We bop to pop, bounce to hip-hop, head bang to rock and waltz to classical.

Today we danced to 'more than a woman' by the Bee Gees...and I cemented with you a wonderful tradition your Narna and I share. We dance together to the Bee Gees.

At the moment little Teddy, we are into dancing - and I am so grateful we had a chance to continue a tradition both hilarious and somewhat daggy today.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

fingers are for food

Teddy you love love love your food. A great little eater. I can remember each meal you have fussed...count them on one hand.

You are getting older. Snacks are part of our daily routine now too. Still giving you pureed/mashed food for your main meals, we have added finger foods either side to spice up your menu.

You wolf it all down. Yep, those fingers were made for stuffing banana, toast, crackers, scone...pretty much anything handed to you...into your open mouth. You stuff so much in at once you have to keep a hand over - sometimes in! - to hold it all inside while you suck/chew the piece of whatever into submission.

You chew at the very front of your mouth, usually with a bit hanging out, because that is where your teeth are. It is comical and you make me laugh out loud - every time.

Tiny Teddy...right now your fingers are most definitely for food!

routine change up

Jet lag is an interesting and foggy and spacey and - let's face it - unfortunate, beast. It had my head spinning at odd times and thinking I may faint...Teddy woke at odd times. Well, there has to be some drawbacks to flying halfway around the world...

In an attempt to right our internal timekeepers as quickly as possible, I put myself and Teddy on our wee routine the day we arrived. We rolled with slightly longer naps and an earlier bedtime, but kept things mostly in tact. Of course, bubby woke a few times for the first few nights and I settled him with a quick feed and a cuddle.

A few nights turned into a week and a few times into many. Feeding through the sleep deprivation, we developed that habit of night feeds I thought we had kicked some months ago. Uh-oh. Here we go again...

Then I had an idea. I swapped our bedtime routine up a tad. Previously we had bath, teeth brushing, downstairs for our goodnights to everyone, then upstairs for a breastfeed (or 'lolo'), story & nursery rhyme. Now we do lolo downstairs in the hustle and bustle of the evening. Then upstairs for Teddy's splash, downstairs for our goodnights. Back up for the teeth - story - rhyme - bed.

Suddenly 3 night wakings became our normal wake - feed - bed - wake to start the day. We are still starting our day earlier than we do in Australia, but hey - I'll take it!

Friday, 8 February 2013

little poser

We are lucky to have a photographic genius to call a friend.

Teddy posed for her (well, he chased her - wanting her camera), here is the first image but can barely contain my excitement to see the rest. As an aside this is the first image of Teddy's face on this blog. As I have said in the past, I am not a photographer. There will probably not be many, but I believe it is so lovely a picture I can't help but share. This is a big deal for me, if I'm honest. I'm sharing my baby boy...


Photo by Laura of Aboyne Photographics.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

over & under

Life is a playground when you are 10 months old & adventurous...

My Aunty has a gorgeously rustic dining room suite. The big wooden country-style table is completed by wooden chairs with leather seats. The chair legs are joined by a frame.

The dining room is Teddy's playground...under the table & through the chairs is his favourite place to be. It is the perfect obstacle course...over the frame, under the table.

Bliss.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

so friendly

We had a few people over today for a 'coffee morning'. Teddy did not really sleep (15 minutes does not count as a nap) during his usual nap time so I was not hopeful of him mixing well with others, especially strange others.

Boy, did he prove me wrong! Friendly to a fault, he was in fine form...impressing everyone.

Proud of him and a wee bit pleased with myself for raising such a well behaved little man...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

finding the love

Oh little Ted, how you try me sometimes. Like at 3am when you have woken for the umpteenth time...like when it feels as though you have been nursing forever and that you will never be separate from me without screaming...

When I cry right along with you (and probably not helping your stress levels as mine rise...)...

Well. There was a moment...just a a teeny tiny moment...when I wished to pop you out in the snow... Of course, this was dismissed as quickly as the whim passed through my mind!

We got up this morning at 5:20am to start our day. To be honest I was thinking you would be getting us up at 4am so was as happy as a sleep deprived mama can be with nearly half five. I had not quite recovered my cheery self, not quite as loving as I would usually be. You know, when I hassle you for snuggles and cuddles and kisses despite your protests that playing with...well, anything...would be oh so much more fun than that.

Then it was just you and me in the kitchen and I picked you up to gently rock and shush you (actually, I was rocking and shushing myself - as you were perfectly happy and I was a bit teary...). You looked up at me and I was lost in your blue blue blue eyes.

Yep, you try me. Then you wow me. And tonight it won't matter how often or long you wake for. We will just be and I will be lost in your everything...

Monday, 28 January 2013

wintery wonder

Teddy & I are currently enjoying the thrill of a gorgeous landscape. The big thaw is upon us, so I thought I had better record the winter wonderland before it becomes green again...

 a white out
(taken on the drive back to Aboyne)

the winter sun attempts to break through
 (taken on the drive back to Aboyne)

across the green, on our first cloudless day
(taken in Aboyne)

I am far from a great photographer - in fact, I am pretty average at the whole camera thing...however, I like to think I have taken some beautiful pictures of a beautiful landscape. As an example of my novice skill level, I have only just removed the date from my camera settings...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

hat drawbacks

Little Teddy is facing a couple of dilemmas regarding the need for him to wear a beanie in this weather. This weather being freezing and snowy...

1. He is now (since Christmas) against hats/headwear as a rule. Loathes it.

2. It is wearing off his hair! His sideburns are completely gone and he has a receding hairline...I am afraid he will soon have a mullet...

Poor Teddy. Soon we will be back in a more temperate climate and your hair can recover...

Friday, 25 January 2013

growing

Little Teddy bear, you are so big now. I am looking into posting a package home of all the things you have grown out of since we have been here. This was not poor planning on my part...rather it is an example of how quickly you shoot skywards...it really has happened overnight.

You are talking (your own special language, but talking nonetheless)...you are crawling so fast I struggle to keep up sometimes...you are standing against everything and anything that will take your weight - and some things that don't...you are exerting a personality so strong it makes me glad and proud and a little anxious all at once...

You are growing...in every way all the time. I am so so so lucky to witness it.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

little love

Snuggled against me, eyes trying in vain to stay open. We sit under the duvet - Teddy gently feeding, still sleepy from his morning nap.

Nothing quite like the warmth of a little one straight from bed...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

an unlikely nap

Teddy, sometimes you do not fall asleep where I expect you to. Other times you fall asleep where I had completely written the entire event off...

Today, the sun peeped out from behind the heavy snow clouds and we practically ran outside for a walk. Thank you Ergobaby - thank you for preventing cabin fever & making the whole event so much easier!

You whinged a little as the icy breeze hit your cheeks and opened your mouth to eat the snow, which had begun again (it takes a long time to get those layers organised!). We walked straight to the shop to pick up a few things, singing along the way as we trudged. As I paid for our items and picked up our parcels, I glanced out the window.

White. Complete, utter, white. Heavy snow fell, very fast. Uh oh.

Slightly apprehensive, off we set again. You hummed happily, snuggled against my chest. Somewhere on the road toward home you fell asleep. Snowflakes rested gently on your eyelashes and you were at peace, content to let me take us to somewhere warmer.

An unlikely nap...who knew all you needed sometimes was a walk through the snow?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

rugged up

Sweetness is a bubby all rugged up against the cold...Teddy is looking sweet in his wee snowsuit.

Friday, 18 January 2013

winter wonderland

We have entered a snowy white wonderland...so beautiful.

Cannot wait to rug up bubby for a stomp through the wood...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

creaky door

Teddy discovered the entertainment cabinet's creaky door today.

Open - creak - close - creak - on and on, he didn't tire of his game...playing until naptime.

Monday, 14 January 2013

adventuring

We are about to embark on an adventure, Teddy & I. Off to Scotland we go. We leave Wednesday, beginning a thirty hour transit that will take us from summer to winter, from long hot days to short snowy (hopefully!) ones.

Teddy, you little jetsetter you...

squeaking

As my father (Teddy's beloved Grampy) says: "He loves the sound of his own squeak, doesn't he?"

I think this as I listen to many squeaky squeals and sing-song babbles coming from his cot...bliss...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

playdate

As Teddy gets older, we begin thinking of when is best to add another to our little family. Trust me, it will not be tomorrow, but as I watch him & his little friend (who is about 9 months older) play my heart smiles to think one day Teddy might be pressing the button to make the bear sing & his little brother or sister smile.

I love our 'now' - and I cannot wait for our future...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

sqeals of delight

Squeals are heard, followed by the slap of little hands on the floorboards as you race off on another adventure...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

simple pleasures

A simple salad with chicken - with a dash of good olive oil.

Heaven...

home sweet home

We arrived home from a three week holiday at the beach - wee Teddy, you could not wipe the grin from your face as you raced around to revisit all your 'friends' left behind, exploring all your old haunts in the living room and kitchen.

I am so happy home if where your heart is and you are as happy to be here as we are...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

bliss

Bliss is listening to Teddy squeal with delight in another room, panting for mercy as Papy wrestles & tickles him...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

new year

Welcome 2013. May it be as wonderful as 2012, perhaps better (although last year will be hard to beat)...

ergo baby

For Christmas I bought my husband an Ergo baby carrier. We have used it twice a day since he opened it (at the early celebration with my family) & I must say it has lived up to the hype.

Much love to all who shouted from the rooftops it was their favourite carrier, I wouldn't have got it otherwise...thank you. Thank you. Thank you.