Saturday, 18 April 2015

letting my little girl go

L is 18 months old today. One and a half years. I can hardly believe it, she's growing up way too fast. In less than 2 months she will be a big sister. Today is also the first day she's spending some time with her Daddy, without me or her Nanna or Gramps with her. Only for an hour and a half, but still such a huge deal. On one hand I hope she isn't too uncomfortable and understands what is going on and that we are not abandoning her. On the other hand, I hope she doesn't enjoy herself and gets upset.

Our new agreement is for 6 visits every second weekend, to take place at his parents house (supposedly where he is living, but I highly doubt that). The first 2 visits will be for 1.5 hours, the third and fourth visits for 2 hours, the fifth visit for 2.5 hours with the sixth visit for 3 hours. G wanted 3 hour visits for the second visit onwards but I of course said no to that. That would give him time to leave the house and take her wherever he wants and that's not where we are at yet.

Today I am also 32 weeks pregnant - the gestation that L was ready to come into the world. I am relieved that Little Mister has decided he wants to stay in his womb room, although I really wish he would quit giving me heartburn - at this rate I think I will end up giving birth to a monkey.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

advice from the laundry pile: on sleeping

Welcome to the first part of this series - Advice From The Laundry Pile. Each week or so, I will post my thoughts and experiences on topics such as sleeping, feeding, starting solids, etc. Please keep in mind that I'm not an expert or a medical professional, just an ordinary Mum who even after nearly a year and a half is STILL learning every day.

There's always conflicting information on everything to do with a baby. Every book, internet article or person will tell you something different and it can be extremely confusing as to what is right.

You know what is right? The things that you are probably already doing, even though you may not feel like they are.

My first piece of advice would be to keep an open mind when reading all those books or internet articles. Take away from each one the things that you feel comfortable with doing and if something doesn't work (after a period of time), then try something else. Don't see it as being a failure, it's all a learning experience. Not only for you but your baby as well. Remember that no two days are the same,  just as no two babies are the same.

The first topic I'm going to write about is sleeping. Ahhh, lovely, delicious sleep. Unfortunately most babies don't see it that way. They do sleep a lot for the first couple of months, but never for long periods of time (unless you got the jackpot and then you'll be worried if you should wake the baby to feed them). Most newborns will wake every 2-3 hours to be fed. Some poor darlings will have severe reflux or colic making them scream a lot instead of sleep. As they get a bit older, they wake up because they're hot. They wake up because they're cold. They wake up because you've left the room. They're not comfortable. Their arms woke them up because they've struggled out of their wrap and now they're flailing around.

After nearly 18 months, I've worked out there's really no rhyme or reason to their sleep. We spent HOURS for MONTHS getting L to sleep and she wouldn't sleep anywhere but her pram. We'd push that thing up and down the hallway, swaying it from side to side, over the rug to create a bumping motion, slow and fast. She would look like she was asleep and as soon as the movement stopped - BAM! - eyes open looking at us like "ummm, why did you stop?" At least after she was asleep, she stayed asleep. Then it was definitely time to transfer her back into her cot. Hours of patting and shhhing and singing. She'd sit up and cry and wouldn't lay back down. She'd lay down and look like she was drifting off, only to sit up and cry some more. But again, once she was finally asleep she stayed asleep.

I could not get her to take day naps though. No matter how tired she was, she just would not sleep in the cot during the day. Just over a week ago, I said "right, you sit here and play and Mummy will lay on the lounge and have a nap herself". I could hear her messing around over by her fold out couch. She was laying down, sitting up, laying down, moving around. Then silence. I didn't dare look at her in case I interrupted whatever she was doing, but I could see her reflection in her little mirror on the floor and she was laying on her tummy very still. She was that tired she passed out for the very first time, half on-half off her couch, clutching her bunny.

So, you know what we did? We put this couch into her cot! We now give her big kisses, tell her we love her and hope she has a great sleep and we'll see her in the morning. Then we leave the room. She may cry on and off for a few minutes but she's not distressed (if she was hysterical we would go back in there to comfort her) and within 10 minutes she is asleep! My little girl is growing up! My Mum and I look at each other in amazement - how easy is this?! How silly have we been with all this patting and singing and pram pushing for hours? But I know that we had to do all that to lead up to this. She is ready now. She is comfortable. She is understanding a lot more. She now sleeps a good 12-14 hours EVERY NIGHT.

I guess my advice is - it doesn't happen over night, but it does eventually happen. Don't stress too much over it and enjoy those late night baby snuggles while you can, even if your eyes are burning and you live on coffee all day to stay awake. They're only babies for a short period of time... and then they grow into independent little people.

In just over 2 months I will have another baby and go back to getting up every 2-3 hours haha!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

pffft milestones

I've never followed along with the milestones charts, because I believe that babies develop at their own pace and do/learn things when they want to. Same as the Wonder Weeks app - people swear by it. Want to know why your baby is cranky and hard to settle? Check the app and they're currently in a "leap".  That explains it all. As it is based on the due date not the actual birth date, I created one for both anyway and whenever I've checked the app during the most fussy times, neither have shown that L was in or anywhere near a leap.

Well today I thought it might be interesting to check out the milestones according to Kidspot and see how behind/advanced L is, going by 15 months corrected age and 17 months actual age.

Most toddlers can:
15 months
Toddle well - not yet
Say up to five words - she can say Mum, Nanna, baa, moo, bubble, ball, bowl and is learning neigh
Look at books and turn pages - books are one of her favourite things and yes she can turn the pages
Laugh at funny things - she even does things she knows are funny that make us laugh

17 months
Start to climb and explore - no climbing but there is exploring
Respond to simple directions - she can when she wants to, ie "go and get your hat"
Enjoy certain games - she loves racing her Gramps to lay with her dollies, throwing balls out of her ball house
Play with ride-on toys - first it was pushing them around on her knees, then it was riding them pushing backwards, now she can go forwards

Some toddlers will probably be able to:
15 months
Walk well or run - no walking or running
Draw lines - I haven't tried this one yet
Say no and shake head - she doesn't say no, but she certainly shakes her head to say no
Sing songs - sometimes it sounds like she's singing making "la la la" noises
Follow simple directions - yes (as above)

17 months
Say up to 10 or 15 words - not quite (as above)
Become picky about certain foods - thankfully no! She loves all food at the moment
Experience less separation anxiety - she's never had separation anxiety
Run well - no running
Use certain words regularly - BOWL! It's her favourite word, every time we pull one out the cupboard

Some toddlers will possibly be able to:
15 months
Walk up stairs - we have no stairs and she's not walking yet
Want to help around the house - she watches her Nanna do the laundry, she's seen Nanna clean the floor so will grab something (usually my dirty knickers from the washing basket) and rub the floor with them
Walk backwards - not backwards, or forwards, or sideways
Put finger to mouth to say 'shhh' - no
Respond to verbal requests without signals of any type - yes (as above)

17 months
Talk more clearly - the words that she's learned so far are pretty clear
Kick ball in a forward direction - she can't kick but she can definitely throw
Enjoy sorting toys - she loves putting pegs or dominoes in buckets or containers, taking them out and doing it all over again
String more words together to make phrases or put together pairs of words - not yet
Brush teeth with help - she loves brushing her 3 little teeth

According to that, with the exception of toddling/walking, she is doing quite well (as I already knew!) :)

from the laundry pile

Hi, how are you all? Still stopping by even though I am the laziest, boring blog poster EVER?

- G didn't come for his visit on Saturday. I received a message at 10:55pm on Friday (when I would usually be asleep but was still up trying to get L to sleep) saying he had a bit of a cold and would let me know in the morning how he was feeling. As his visit time is 1 o'clock, I stupidly expected to hear from him in the early morning - say, 10 o'clock or at least by 11 - but it wasn't until 11:50 that he let me know he was feeling a little flat, had the sniffles and a sore throat but he would still come over at 3pm when it was a bit warmer if that was okay. Well, no. If you've got a cold you're better off staying at home and not coming into my house spreading your germs. Also, I'm not silly - you've only just woken up and won't be able to make it here by 1pm. The temperature at 3 is not going to be much different to what it was at 1. And as L only woke at at 11, she'd most probably want a nap at 3.
So I told him not to come and said I'd give him another Saturday visit to make up for it, which would just mean changing our mediation appointment to the following week. I thought I was being nice and doing the right thing considering our agreement is for SIX visits and not FIVE. Well, I got back a message saying he understood and respected why I didn't want him over here if he was sick, but that didn't mean anything else had to change. I was the one who made the decision for him not to come otherwise he would still come, so he wasn't going to change the appointment or make up the visit the following week and it would just have to be five visits instead of six. To that I replied "I'm not arguing, fine with me."

- We have FINALLY managed to get L to sleep in her cot again and she sleeps between 10 and 12 hours every night. Nap times are still a struggle though. Yesterday she did not want to nap at all. She was up at 9:30 and by 6:30 she was practically asleep in her high chair. Gave her half a bottle cuddled with her on the lounge and the rest in her cot, thinking she would doze off straight away (but she didn't). She was being very quiet though and not crying or screaming so we left her and checked on her 5 minutes later - she had passed out. That was 7pm and it's now 9:30am and I think I can hear her stirring. That's FOURTEEN AND A HALF HOURS SLEEP!

- On Monday, I went to visit my old workplace with L and my Mum. It's been nearly 2 years since I worked there and it's amazing to realise how much my life has changed in that time (or how much it could still be the same if I didn't get made redundant or had taken on a different role instead of accepting a package). My job was my life for 13 years. I would finish work late, stay up til all hours of the morning and sleep in until the afternoon. Now I'm a Mum of 1.5 kids, up early(ish) in the morning and in bed before 10pm.
It was great to see some of the ladies who weren't there when I last visited and who had never met L before. I will definitely be taking Littler Mister in to visit while he is still a teeny baby.

- I have a 3D ultrasound on Saturday which I'm excited about. Then I have another normal one in a couple of weeks that the hospital organised, to check growth and to see what the placenta is doing. The closer I get to 32 weeks, the more nervous I am that the same thing is going to happen.... and I'm not prepared. With G's visits every Saturday, my Mum washing her hair on Sundays (washing and drying seems to take all day) and me not driving, I haven't been able to go shopping to get the things I need. Fingers crossed he doesn't decide to make an early appearance because MUMMA'S NOT READY YET BABY BOY.