Oh hello Sunday morning, how are you?
I wonder what it would take for bacon and eggs to miraculously appear in front of me.
Emily is currently sitting in her pink next sized seat at the bottom of the garden, mesmerized by the tennis.
I offered her naughty dolly for company, but she simply threw her aside.
She is unusually quiet.
Being more than arms distance from her I cannot be 100% sure, she is still there. Is that bad?
I often worry someone will take her, and I will not see it.
I mean of course I won’t.
I will know, or at least I hope I will know. But oh God, what if I did not?
No no, I cannot think about it.
Thinking about it might make it come to fruition.
I nearly burst out of my skin the day I left her beside the washing line while I took the basket full of clothes back inside, and then I heard a baby of a similar age crying in the park, and getting further and further away with every second.
I sware to God I was out that back door and around the corner to her chair within a second.
I don’t even know how I got there.
However I cannot let my flare for the melodramatic dictate our lives, unless of course it is our fashion.
Thank God I have a little girl, because in the clothes arina, daddy is no fun what so ever.
I tried to make him over in the early days, but to no avail.
But back to the tennis.
Emily gets upset if we do not put her outside when there is a game going on.
She loves to squeal at the players.
Well I think it is them, but it could be those raucous Australian birdies she is talking to. Who can tell.
She can make the sound of the tennis balls bouncing off the rackets with her tongue.
We have such a little parrot in our midst.
I am so proud of everything she does.
This week was amazing! Michael and I cannot stop laughing at ourselves, and just how wrong we have been about this parenting thing.
Oh no, we will never do so and so, we say to one another, and to anyone who will listen.
I mean my posts are full of such sweeping declarations as we will not need a baby monitor, we will not be quiet in the house when she is asleep, and we absolutely will not be doing mothers group.
Guess what we are doing?
Yep, apart from all of it. We have actually taken this bad boy another step further, and we are hosting mothers group.
I know it is the funniest thing you have read all week, right? Especially if you know me.
, Monday started with a bang, whereby we did indeed host a couple of Emily’s friends at our house. The girls ate and played happily, occasionally reaching over to one another in curious awe, as babies do. While the mamas chattered, and laughed at the ludicrousness of parenting.
I mean where else are you going to admit to smelling your babies bottom, eating their left overs, or forgetting to put on your underwear?
Unless of course you are one of a thousand blogger mamas, who will freely admit to such antics in writing.
However, for every thousand mama bloggers who happily document their antics, there are at least ten-thousand more who will indulge in reading them. And Surely another unquantified number beyond those previous ten-thousand who would never dream of airing such personal and prideful details to anyone.
For the record, I am so in that first group.
I thought that hosting mamas group would be easier. In terms of being in my own environment, knowing where everything is…
Somehow, I translated in my head that this would mean I would know where everyone else was, and more importantly, what the little ones were doing.
But, ummmm, No! It was not easier having everyone in my own environment. In fact, it was exactly the same as being somewhere else.
I know! I too was shocked.
Luckily, Michael was there to do all the fetching, carrying, and liaising for me.
It was the simple things like another mum handing me a slice of mandarin for baby girl to try which threw me.
Only because I did not realize what she was doing. Or when I hopped up to change Emily’s nappy, I could not move, because I was not sure where the other crawly baby was. Or a hundred other tiny details only another blind mama would understand.
I thought being in my own environment, I would be able to gage the sounds of things better, but it was not the case. Babies are such silent stealthy little movers, and I never quite knew where they were. So to be honest, I found the whole thing rather taxing.
I mean I loved it. And absolutely I would do it again. The other mummies are lovely. But we are all still learning one another.
We just have not found our rhythm yet.
They do not know what I can and cannot do, and I do not know how to tell them.
On the one hand, it is such a non-issue, so we do not need to talk about it. But on the other… How do I find my place?
All the babies are different ages, and I think there is about a seven-month gap between the youngest, which is Emily, and the oldest, which is Kayley.
We all met in different ways, so there is nothing forced about it.
Actually, I cannot believe how lucky I have gotten, because this was the last thing I anticipated.
I was convinced mothers group would suck, and be full of judgy bitchy clicky women who would make me feel like crap.
But once again, ummm, no! So here, we are hosting the other mamas.
One of the unexpected upshots is Emily has never taken an interest in any of her books. But after watching her little friend Ronja and her mummy read, Emily has not put her books down all week.
Her favourite place to read is on the lounge.
Mind you, we do have a picture of her sitting on the potty, pants down, and book in her hand, just for fun.
The question is, do I put it up here, or do I save it for her twenty first birthday invitation.
The other advantage of having the mums come to us was Emily slept for two hours after everyone went home. And that is a rarity.
Tuesday saw mummy back at work, while Michael and Emily went on the most amazing adventure.
They went and met some new animals. Apparently, Emily was not very keen on the baby chicks, but the bunny rabbit and the goats were fascinating. And I ask you, what is not to like about soft cuddly little lambs?
Now if you make the bah bah noise of a goat or lamb she turns and smiles.
Not to mention they found an amazing playground, which Michael declares is worthy. Not only for little girls, but for big tall handsome daddies as well.
It makes my heart sing to see them having so much fun together.
I was so pleased they went and did something that I would have had to struggle, strain, and strategize down to the last detail, in order to complete.
So even though it was rainy, they were still able to go, and what is more, they enjoyed an accidental park pilgrimage without me.
It reinforces one of the many reasons why we chose for him to stay home full time with our cutie cute cute cute.
I confess to it being easier this way.
Not to mention Michael’s famous bagsing of the stay home part.
But the more we get into it, the more I can see he was right in his foresight.
I am ambitious, and I enjoy being out in the world. And he knows it. Even if I do not always like to admit it. While he is happy at home with the baby girl.
Mind you, I say home, but they are finding their feet, making new friends, and expanding their horizons.
It is not often these days that we do not go somewhere, and they do not know anyone.
Baby land is a small place.
This week I have had an internal shift regarding the whole thing, and no longer do I begrudge him the ability to stay home and raise Little.
Not that I ever really minded, it was more that I have been conflicted about it, because I too wanted to stay home in an ideal world and look after her.
I mean we all know about my pram aspirations. Which I am still working on, even if only in my mind.
But the slight movement in perspective has taken an immense internal pressure off, and I feel I can breathe.
I actually feel like in some strange way we are moving forward.
I have been stepping out of myself more, making new decisions, and have been much happier and more appreciative of our respective roles and contributions.
Hell I even scrubbed the kitchen sink to celebrate.
I have a good man by my side.
I know how lucky we are in terms of our willingness to tag-team. Talk about a winning formula.
Emily gets the best of each of us, we get the best of one another, and of course what is not to love about Little?
They usually send me a couple of photos during the day with captions about what they are doing. Which then of course, I will show to anyone who is interested, or perhaps not interested, but I do not care, I will show them anyway.
Yep! I am that mama. And happily so.
I love this crazy somewhat secluded world of babies. It makes the park oh so interesting. Although it has occurred to me, I have not caught up with a couple of pre baby girlfriends for a while.
Note to self…
Wednesday we had a stay home day. Not for any particular reason, but just because we could.
Some days go by so quickly. Before we know it, we are preparing dinner, and Emily is off to bed.
We have been making a conscious effort to introduce Little to new foods and flavors, which is what, inspired Michael to spend Wednesday afternoon in the kitchen concocting some very special baby bounty.
Emily and I always enjoy our time together if I have been away.
This time we mainly played on the floor.
I am teaching her to clap . Sometimes she gets it, but most of the time she prefers to squeal loudly in response to my efforts.
Thursday I worked late, and even though it was my choice, I had a conniption about it.
I have always made it a point to be home to kiss her good night. And not being there made my heart hurt. On the one hand, I know I am doing what I have to do to take care of the family, and I am happy to have that responsibility. But on the other, swapping minutes for pennies in this way is not really working for me. So I need to come up with another plan. Because this interim one is not taking shape quite how I thought.
Just when I think we are getting somewhere with the empire building, it is one-step forward and one and a half steps back.
I do not think a learning curve is quite accurate, but rather a learning zigzag zig. Followed by a bout of serious overwhelm, confusion, procrastination, and maybe this is not the right thing after all, thrown in for good measure.
I get all excited because I have found a solution to one of the many challenges facing a start-up, only to find it is not quite, what I am after. Or does not deliver the way the sales copy suggests.
Friday brought us back around to story time at the library.
Of course, Michael and Emily had a fabulous time with all their friends.
Later I met them in the park, and we had lunch with Emily’s new friend Ronja. Ronja’s mummy made the girls some food, we sat on the picnic rug under a big old tree, and the kids ate their blueberry apricot puree before having a quick play on the equipment.
And later that afternoon while daddy went for a swim, Emily and I made a kick ass chocolate cake. Which we then served to his sisters when they came over for morning tea yesterday.
But the highlight for me was when a little girl, notorious for her tantrum throwing, walked passed our back fence while having a meltdown and Emily completely heckled her.
She squealed at the top of her lungs with the biggest smile on her face, which caused the other girl to stop dead in her tracks.
It was a funny day though, because sweetie pie is teething again, so she was up and down and all over the place.
I know she is teething because we have had trouble latching this week. And I have lost count how many times she has bitten my nipple, which by the way makes it hard to relax and feed as a matter of course. I now find myself becoming slightly defensive and scared of what pain she might inflict in the next second.
She has also been off her food the last two days.
Yesterday afternoon she skulled two bottles in a row. If this keeps going, I am going to have to get inventive with the baby power shakes.
Potty training is going well, especially in terms of Emily getting used to the whole idea.
We do not make it significant, but a result is always welcome.
It is funny because I never really started to plan it on such and such a date.
We had talked about training her from an early age, but we talked about many things as pre-parent parents. And look where most of those theories have ended up?
But we have somewhat spontaneously started, so why not keep going. She loves having her nappy off, and just as when she was a little tiny baby, sometimes it is the only thing, which can keep her happy.
Oh and she has the cutest bottom ever! As in ever ever ever!
One of the unexpected consequences of trying this particular something new is now Emily is beginning to like her pink next sized seat more and more.
And like I was saying last week, it a similar shape to the potty.
She likes the pink seat for outside because she has discovered it is stable and right shaped enough for her to bend over and pick a blade of grass, then sit back up of her own accord.
Too bad it does not make that green stuff taste any better.
On the toy front, Zebra and Cheetah are missing. I am hoping they are in the car, but no one can really be sure.
Moosie is hiding, and little dolly does not want to be found. But squeaky Mini is more than enough fun for everyone.
However, Emily has cottoned on to the fact that we can squeeze her and make her squeak, while she cannot. And this does not sit well with her.
Sure, the plastic keys are great, and mummy’s measuring spoons will do, but the best toy of all is a small tomato paste packaging box with a couple of pasta shapes inside to make it rattle.
We are still struggling with what to give her to keep her amused. Although I could not help but notice, my sunglasses suspiciously perched on the toy shelf – Michael Darcy…
Apparently, of course mummy’s sunnies are not a toy… Unless I am out. Then anything goes.
These days , if it does not make noise, she is not interested.
Unless of course it is her rocker. She is fascinated as to how that works.
She will sit there for long stretches of time examining it if I let her.
The problem with that is that I have to sit with her, because she cannot quite balance on her own yet. But when I think about it, in the bigger picture, who really cares. As long as she is having fun, I am happy to sit with her balanced between my knees as I curl my ankles around beside me.
Which brings me to the movement report. Michael tells me Emily pulls the funniest faces all the time.
She now presses her lips together like a big girl.
I am sure she frowned at me yesterday.
And her speech is coming along nicely. There are double consonant and double vowel sounds all over the place.
She puts letters together I do not quite know how to emulate. He thinks she said mama the other day, but I think it was just wishful thinking on his part. Because once she starts calling for me, he will not have to get up and get her in the middle of the night.
It is delightful to hear her and Michael in the kitchen having conversations.
It is no longer him alone I hear, but more often than not, it is her telling him some story or another. They banter and potter, and potter and banter all day.
One of her favourite games is to sit and talk to the baby in the mirror.
Lately she has taken to standing up sitting down standing up showing the baby in the mirror her belly and sitting down again.
She alternates between llllllllll and bububub, which I think she is telling the baby how much she loves her.
They have a great time, and there is plenty of smiling.
I still have not worked out what oyoyoyoyoy means when she is upset.
And wowowowwwowowowoo is one of her favourite, along with pffff. I even think I heard an ssss the other day.
Dadadadadada has not been as prominent this week. However squealing has made a comeback.
What I have noticed is how she attaches meanings to certain sounds at times, while at others she is just practicing and playing with the shapes of her mouth and configuration of her tongue.
I thought she had forgotten how to roll over, because there were too many other things to learn. But yesterday afternoon I put her down on her tummy, only to come back two minutes later to find her half way across the lounge room on her back.
While on Monday, she took her first proper crawly backward steps with her hands, and promptly found herself stuck under the lounge.
No doubt, it will not be the last time. However interestingly enough she has not done it since.
That circle of safety she occupies is getting bigger and bigger every day.
This morning I left her for five minutes, only to come back and find her jammed up against the bookshelf. Which is nowhere near, where I originally put her down.
Speaking of the shelves, this morning I held her, and she took everything off the two bottom ones.
I can see these are not going to stay where they are for very long. They are just not practical for a girl to climb inside.
They are just too portable and easily pulled down on oneself for peace of mind.
Oh yes, I suspect we are going to have a cheeky cheeky monkey legs climber.
She has not quite figured out how big her head is, so she is beginning to bang it on things as she reaches for other more interesting and must have sparkly objects.
Increasingly when we put her on her tummy she is able to hold her belly off the ground before flopping to the floor. In addition, occasionally she is pushing into a downward dog yoga type pose.
I noticed this morning, that when she is standing, her feet are flat on the floor. She is definitely taking more of her own weight for longer, and is more stable in all positions.
One of her favorite things is to blow raspberries. Oh, and to giggle. Her giggles are the best!
We are pretty much guaranteed a couple of those if we blow raspberries on her belly. She loves that game. Now the best part is the anticipation. She is giggling before we get there.
Michael said she has started to look into space and smile to herself, not just at stimulation. She is going to be a thinker. I just know it.
On the food front, strawberries are her favorite for the week. As in actual strawberries. Apples pairs, parmesan cheese are all good.
However on Friday afternoon as we were making that chocolate cake, she ate at least seven of those tangy red delicious berries.
We have also tried yogurt, whole meal rice, lentils, sweet potato, and my least personal favourite, cauliflower. She even went for, and liked raw spinach and rocket.
So far, they are all winners.
I love how she always smells of the last food that we gave her.
On Monday, she was cinnamon, Tuesday carrot and mandarin. Wednesday pears. Oh, my goodness she can get through half a pair without thinking about it. Skin on an all. Thursday was mango. Friday was mincemeat. Moreover, Saturday was a combination of sweet potato with a hint of lentil.
Rusks are tolerated at a pinch. While tipping water over oneself is fantastic! However, this morning’s effort was the messiest of all.
Hello blueberry baby.
However, that is what happens if I am in charge of breakfast. I am happy to feed her, but I do not discourage her trying to do it for herself. I figure between the two of us, the mess is probably comparable. SO why not have her hone her skills at the same time.
For ages, she refused to take food from me off the spoon, and would only take it from my finger. I am certain this was more for my benefit than hers, because daddy has always been able to offer her the spoon. However, she likes to do things for herself.
I do not know where that comes from, do you?
It blows my mind every time I pick her up, as to how big she is getting.
Now in order to lift her out of her cot, I have to engage my core. Sometimes I let Michael do it on purpose, because the smile you get is amazing. However, no longer am I unwrapping a delicious Christmas present, but a birdy that needs to flap her wings wildly. Flap flap flap go her arms as I unswaddle her. Kick kick kick go those forever-running legs as I enter the room.
She has taken to lifting her legs up in the air, and slamming them down fast like a world wrestler.
The last remnants of my little turtle mouth are disappearing fast.
She has such control over her individual toes and fingers now. And those big blue eyes are to die for.
Her hair is growing, and I think we are almost on top of the cradle cap. She even let us brush her two tiny teeth earlier in the week. But we keep forgetting to do it again.
As with most things, it takes us a few weeks to get with the program. Therefore, we are constantly playing catch up to the baby.
This week’s sleep cycle has been unpredictable during the day. Sometimes we will get as much as a few hours, or as little as twenty minutes depending on the day. While at night, we seem to be alternating between waking up two or three times, for a bottle.
I am starting to wonder if we can stretch those snacks out a little longer within the midnight hours.
The dummy is still giving me grief, but I have no idea how to take it off her now. We have taught her to be dependent upon it.
However, what is strange, is this week she is starting to self-settle. If we put her down, she will cry when we stay in the room, but if we leave, she will get upset. However, by the time we are at the bottom of the stairs, she is usually sound asleep.
However it is the opposite of her behaviour during the day. At the moment, I cannot always walk away from her because she cries as if it is the end of the world. We have all taken to holding our conversations no matter where we are in the house, and this seems to help. She loves the call and response games we play if one of us is at the top of the steps, and she is in the lounge room.
Every second or so morning she ends up in bed with us. Sometimes she will chat, and other times we will go back to sleep. My favourite is when she wraps herself around my forearm like a koala bear with her arms and legs, pulling me close. I love how she snuggles in.
But oh my God! What is the fascination with grabbing my nose? She will grab it when I am giving her a cuddle, feeding, playing, or passing. We really need to cut her nails. I have scratches all over myself.
Some mornings one of us just staggers to the lounge room, because it is clear morning time is time to be up, whether we want it to be or not.
After my post a couple of weeks ago about being a slack ass mama and checking Facebook instead of playing with her first thing, I have since modified my behavior, and do not bring the phone with me when we get up. And what do you know? How much better am I feeling about the scenario.
It turns out; social media can wait until after a quick yoga session, a cup of tea, and baby girl’s breakfast painting.
I have not managed to get back into my super early starts, but I am feeling more myself again.
The next step in accomplishing more of a balance will be to write every morning before starting anything else.
She is so beautiful! She is going to be a little girl before we know it.