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.