Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons in simplicity

The adage that one learns more as a parent than you teach your children is certainly true.

Especially in the early stages of parenthood when one simply has no fucking idea what you are doing. It seems like I am learning this everyday.

It is easy to overcompensate for the lack of intuition, the bewilderment and the sheer exhaustion by doling out your wallet at every book, gadget and baby related gimmick you come across that promises a world of sleepy and well feeding cherub babies.

I certainly feel like I would do anything for my baby's well being and development. A $200 play mat that may increase his chances of crawling by two days earlier? Sure, do you take credit card?

And of course, numero uno is guilty of spending way too muchos dinero on useless, usually bright coloured plastic junk that the real boss in this household quickly examines with his podgy newly fine tuned fingers and throws it into the pile labelled "My Mother is a Sucker".

What really captures my little one's attention is as simple as a box. A box previously holding a carton of beer, no less. He can play with this for hours on end whilst his Fisher Price toys watch jealously from the sidelines. I guess I get it. It makes different noises depending on whether he taps it, pats it or strokes it. It changes shape at the slightest touch with all the flaps and turning it upside down. He can sit in it or outside it. He can push it or pull it. And his smart little brain seems to know exactly which toys are meant for him and therefore which items around the house he can proceed to ignore.

He also quite fancies my salad bowl. The small one, the big one - loves it. In fact, the box and and the  salad bowl are the only two items I have seen him put in the mammoth effort of rolling onto his tummy for. The rest of the time he lies bored on his playmat like an upturned cockroach yelling for attention.

And so kids, save your money. There is nothing more interesting to babies it seems than mundane stuff. The expensive bells and whistles toys stand like ugly behemoths in our living room, trying hard to be loved but doing no more than polluting the place with its garish plastic colours and loud americano sing song nursery rhymes.

It is a bit of a testament to our scramble for all style of first time parenting. I throw everything I got at this little boy, but all he wants is to touch a box.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Orange cake peaches

 So I made it. I'm here. I'm alive. And well.

In a nutshell. Hmm, don't even know how to start.

I'll go with the highlights.

Nope.. I won't even do that.

We finally moved to the country and even though we've only been here for four weeks, it feels like so much has happened.

I suppose it did not help that the boy pretty much screamed his head off every night all through the night BoyzIIMen and all night long Lionel Ritchie styles for the first weeks all the way up until a few days ago. 

The eureka moment being that he has moved into his own room for the first time. Guess he was sick of mummy and daddy waking him up every time we tossed, turned or snored. Or maybe we just smell and he didn't like it. We probably did smell. Weeks of sleeplessness does induce chronic halitosis and unshoweredness.

Now that he only wakes once or twice a night I have slowly morphed back into a proper human. No more walking around town in dishevelled hair, spit on my pyjama top posing as a real top.

I have even found the time to bake. And so I feel my move to the country is complete. Me baking anything is absolutely unheard of before now. That I managed to make anything that appears remotely edible without burning the house down is a miracle.

And Lord knows we need a miracle this week. I won't dwell on it but the poopshot (like an upshot but bad?) for the week involves a husband with a broken collarbone, bogans - ahem, I mean unsavoury types not giving way in their cars, a burglary, and a husband devastated by the loss of his most prized possession. We have basically called the police at least once a week for one reason or another. A series of unfortunate events seems to have plagued us. 

I will try to ignore the ominous feeling I get every time I see moths in the house. I keep telling myself I am not a superstitious person and that all is well.

Let's just all say a prayer that people are finally getting some sleep in this household. And then let us all eat cake.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1am drenching

And that, my friends, is yet another lesson in learning to trust your baby. Feeding him while asleep after he's already told you he's done is just asking for a midnight breast milk shower. And here I am peeling my soaked night dress off my body dripping with freshly regurgitated breastmilk. Nice.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gonna eat me a lot of peaches

Busy times at Poop Centrale. The fam are moving to rural country Australia in less than two weeks!

Our apartment is littered with half packed boxes with me sitting in it reminiscing over sentimental junk I've kept and not actually doing any packing.

Procrastination is at a high also because Buddyboo is so much damn fun now. He laughs, cuddles, rolls and does funny stuff like try to lick his own feet while seated. This afternoon we spent two hours rolling around on the floor while I showed him my ukelele skills (poor but he is 5 months old, to him I am ukelele master).

In other Poop related news, Buddyboo has started pooping like a man given that he is now on part time solids. He took four days to bake a really good poo this week. No movements for four days and then BAM! there it was. And of course Dad ran away screaming like a little girl and mummy had to come in and forensically clean up all the evidence. It was epic.

Nuclear bomb farting and shitting is a small price to pay for a bigger, funner giggly little boy I get to play with all day long. He is so damn cute! Do all parents feel like this?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How to be mother how to be wife

I used to fancy myself as quite a vivacious, sassy woman. I never even thought about the idea of how to strap a man down because I was too distracted by my confident strides and assuredly walking about town knowing just knowing I was the tits.
Then my vagina popped out a person.
In the process my body scarred, my mind sleep deprived and my ego battered.
I see now how my husband no longer comes home to his ferociously fun and strong woman but to a mother whose face is relieved as she hands him a baby before he's even had a chance to sit down.
I hear now the two concentric circles we talk in when we tell each other about our days. Him and I simultaneously carving out our lives as we talk in separate spheres, angling and savouring the shaded areas where our lives overlap, grappling for the shaded areas to come together into one perfect circle where our new family can live happily ever after.
I taste the chicken that I forgot to season because I can't lose myself into a pot simmering on a stove top without stopping midway to attend to baby.. Or to be honest don't blame the baby...I just plain forgot.
I feel how my husband could and maybe does get his dose of giggly excitement from people in his outside life now that I am more often grizzly mumma than sexy mumma.
That is the most vulnerable feeling of all. That my husband has an outside life and we are just the inner shell of life he comes home to. Right now I love how exciting it is when he comes home, the first family hug after he walks through the door. A daily pause enjoying a moment of completeness. I just hope and pray he will always be excited to see us.
I feel a seedling army attempting to invade our love's immunity, growing things that could potentially destroy a marriage if left unchecked. Insecurity, things unsaid, exhaustion.
And the worst is the irrational fear that family and everything I now devote my life to is impeding his full potential in life. Would he do things differently if it wasn't for me and baby? I know if I asked him this he would be devastated for me even thinking it.
We spent six hours in the car today. A scouting road trip for a rural life we will be embarking upon in a few weeks. Left baby with the grandparents because it would have been a terribly hard 15 hour day for a four month old.
We went to go find a new house for us to live in. I found something more valuable. In the car we joked, we sang, we ate drivethru junk food. Most of all we reconnected with the person we married and not just the person we live with. And I'm glad to report that I still find myself hilariously fun and searingly sassy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Playtime is getting better and better these days. He's awake for longer, talks (well babbles) a lot more and likes to smile and laughs at times. The other night he played a game with my husband instead of going to sleep like he was meant to. Eyes locked on each other, Daddy would stick his on tongue out at Buddyboo and he would copy only reflected with an added cheeky grin. Then he would laugh at himself for being so clever. He did this a few times it was very cute. Makes getting up every hour through the night worth it. Poor thing has terrible eczema and he wakes wanting a scratch or even just a cuddle. Sigh.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Watch me grow

I love watching him grow.
The signs of his growth are increasing at an accelerating rate. They really do grow so quickly.

I'm filled with bittersweet pride and joy as in the last month I packed away his size 000 and brought out his size 00 clothing. My little Buddha boy is a four month old squeezing into 6-9 month clothing. What a healthy little munchkin. The most amazing thing he has outgrown is a hat that is labelled suitable for 9-24month olds. How could he possibly have such a large head? Larger than a two year olds? Anyone who has met my husband will find it easy to figure out. His head is preposterously large. Many people were visibly afraid for me when I announced my pregnancy.

Buddyboo has also moved on to 'crawler' sized nappies and indeed he started making the appropriate leg kicks on the floor, the seedling starts of a crawl. My husband and I were together when he first started attempting a crawl. It was nice and made me think of how many more firsts we are going to witness in the next years.

He started trying to roll from his stomach to his back this week. I left him on the mat on his tummy so I could pop some toast in the toaster. The next minute I turn around and he was sprawled on his back just off his mat like an overturned beetle legs and arms flailing gently with a quizzical look on his face. Probably wondering how his world view just got switched so swiftly without mummy coming to move him. So cute.

He also seems to have found his voice. His cries are no longer confused lengthy crying sessions but distinct calls and communicative babbling. I swear the little guy thinks he is talking sometimes. Strangely enough he talks the most when prone while I change his nappy. He must think its a bit of a hairdresser's chair...or a shrink's couch. A place he can unload his thoughts and worries while I groom him and tend to his needs. He is a headstrong little boy. Quick to voice his displeasure but so genuine with his smiles.

His sleep has been an issue but he is doing his best and has his star days and off days like anyone. The poor lil boy also has developed bad eczema on his face like his father before him once suffered as a child. It's heartbreaking having to hold him through a terrible night of itching and holding his arms down to prevent scratching just so he can get some sleep. How can I blame the poor sod when I as a full grown adult could barely control myself from scratching an itch during the terrible pregnancy rash (see first post). I now have a house full of discarded jars and bottles of creams, lotions and potions as we work our way though the chemist shelves for something that works. Fingers crossed the current regimen we were put on by the paediatrician this week will work. 

Newborns are a bit pinochio-esque but he is definitely a real little boy now. I still miss him all the time. I miss the him from the gangly little newborn he was, to the Buddyboo of last month, to the Buddyboo of five minutes ago. He is asleep in his cot right now in the same room as me as I type this and I still miss him. The depth of a mothers love is tremendous if not wonderfully obsessive. Oh dear he is going to find me so annoying one day.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sleep my baby sleep

The last time I wrote I was at my wits end with a baby that wouldn't sleep.

The next week I sprung into sleep training action. Somehow it worked. For about a week my baby was responding to gentle shushes and lullabies whereas practically jumping on a trampoline while yelling in his ear was previously what calmed him down. Just like the guides said, for a magical week, I could lay my baby down awake and he would gently put himself to sleep while I enjoyed my dinner in the other room.

I was feeling so good, like being lost in a new city and finally figuring out where You were on a map.

I got cocky. I was a walking baby sleeping guide encyclopaedia sprouting all the super nanny theories I had read. I had it all in the works.. The dream feed, the routine, the baby sleep lingo.. I was saying things like, "we have to eliminate catnapping" and "he has to learn to self soothe".

I started aspiring for sleeping through to 5 maybe even 6am.
I started worrying about why we weren't performing better. Why he was still waking once or twice a night.

Then all of a sudden God stepped in and said ha, you wish!

This week all the wheels have fallen off and we're back at square one. Crying and wanting to be held at all times as though he'd completely forgotten that he'd been sleeping on his own all week.

I think has something to do with his sudden desire to put everything in his mouth including his hands. Due to a skin irritation that is very near infection on his face I have strapped him down at all times to prevent his hands from going near his face. This makes a very grumpy crying baby with no way to soothe himself.

I feel like I have to choose between letting him scratch his face out to bleed but sleeping or holding him down and not sleeping. Both terrible choices. 

Either way I am completely at a loss. I think without his hands, so is he.

On the up side, he stared right into me while I held him today. I swear he was memorising my face with his deep thoughtful eyes for about ten minutes.

I already know that in my arms lies a deeply kind and sensitive boy. I can tell already with his expressive faces and his thoughtful disposition. When he looks around in new surroundings it's like he is really seeing everyone and everything for what they really are. He sizes people up when he first meets them but generous with his smiles once he's decided youre alright. He's quiet but not afraid to speak spiritedly. He really feels like a beautiful old soul.

In short, life is pretty hard right now because he is still finding his way as a three month old but I know one day I will have a beautiful friend in my son.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I have a difficult baby and I'm not ashamed to say it

Monday 12 May 2013

*Welcoming back Buddyboo's laid back disposition.


Lol... I started this post almost two months ago.. It's now actually July.... and I seriously don't know where that laid back position has gone or what I was even going to write about.... Because I must have stopped typing in response to a cry that has turned into a two month grumbly cranky crying period which has robbed me of any opportunity to even start a single sentence of what was to be a happy post.

Goddam, I've just realised like a slap in the face with a fish.. I have a difficult baby.
At the moment he cries about everything. He cries when I change his nappy, he cries when he's feeding, he cries when he's sleeping. It's just a war zone here and the enemy is the grumbles.

Of course there are heaps of rewards in between for all the hard slog. He laughs now, even sometimes in his sleep. He laughs when he thinks I'm hilarious which is most of the time when he's not crying. He makes noises like he thinks he is talking back to you like he really believes he's having a conversation. In reality it just sounds like "wowowwowwow" baby speak. Pretty cute.

I'm told not to call him a "difficult" baby because all the books say there's no such thing, only that parents are not giving the individual baby his needs. Well eff off please because for example, a lot of  these books suggest "light shushing" as a calming technique for when your baby is "unsettled". 

Well blow me down. I have cooed a 25minute long "ooooohhhhmmmmm" into the baby's ear while holding him swaddled (which is a challenge to put on in itself btw), erstwhile bouncing on a giant bouncy ball with a white noise machine blaring at full blast carefully holding that at the perfect angle to the babys ear without dropping said baby.

I have devised hundreds of different creative techniques to calm my baby for hours and hours on end I try them all one by one in infinite combinations. I've tried gripe waters, oils, massages everything short of a witch doctor. In the end I have no idea if any of them work or whether the baby has just had enough of my shenanigans and gave up the fight and slept.

I just want to go back to that prenatal parenting class all those months ago and right at the point when the midwife taught us eager to learn pregnant-never-been-mums to "gently lay your drowsy baby down to his cot, pat him gently and walk away" ... I would just pause there, stop the class and yell "HAAAAAA!!!" with an accusatory finger right at the midwives know it all face.

And swiftly I would whip my baby out and demonstrate hours of coaxing to sleep and battling cluster bombs of yelling, and the finally drowsy baby shooting his eyes awake and scream like no tomorrow at the touch of the slightest fray of cotton from the cot as though I was laying him across hot coals instead of an expensive latex matress I bought him not realising that babies don't give a shit what material it is if it isn't your arms.

I am sleep deprived, tired but totally obsessed and dedicated to doing right for my baby.

So please, do not tell me that I can't call my baby difficult. 

I love him with all my heart and still I cannot grasp just how much I could love someone this much. Even in the hardest times, I cling to his crying body, cry with him and whisper to him just how much I love him. I see him for what he is: a love hungry, sweet, genteel baby boy who will grow to be a sensitive and kind man. So please baby book gurus, don't judge me just because I am finding this difficult. I have a difficult baby because at the moment its hard for both of us finding our way.

So mums out there, don't feel ashamed to admit that your baby is difficult. I struggle so much with feeling like I'm doing something wrong because he is so cranky. But really I know I should take heart in knowing I am doing my best and I have a healthy boy who gives me his beautiful gummy smiles every morning to show for it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

How a mother feels

There's the poster image of motherhood. We all know it, seen them on tv rubbing vapour rub on their child's chest with perfect hair and makeup at 3 am with their comforting faces unwavering.
There's the warm sunny feelings the nappy and baby toy ads talk about. The militant pride that women's leagues and associations furl their flags to.
I do feel amazing things as a mother. Like the swelling of pride when I noticed all the new amazing things Buddyboo can do this week. The wonderment in every new experience and sensation. I can't describe how hilarious it was watching Buddyboo marvel at his own reflection in the mirror for the first time.
The amazing side of motherhood that everyone trumpets is real. It is warm. It is lovely.
But I've found motherhood is also extremely lonely.
I hear how boring I am at adult conversations now. How I have nothing to say even to my own husband that is not an anecdote of the minutiae of a 9 week old's day. And it is common knowledge that 9 week olds don't do much beyond eat, excrete and sleep. I practically have to roll my own eyes when I hear myself describing the change in the consistency of his poop or the slight variances in his sleep cycles.
Motherhood is oft celebrated and acknowledged as one of the toughest things in the world and how mothers are so tough and resilient.
But what if I don't feel strong? What if despite the warm and fuzzy moments I also feel things that aren't celebrated? Things that invoke worry, advice and unwanted misdirected encouragement. Feelings like worthlessness. Lost. Lacklustre. Like I'm just a vessel. A thing. No spark. No life. No one.
It's part and parcel and that's the beautiful tragic dichotomy of my motherhood experience thus far. And I'll take it everytime.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Him and I at two months

So it's been two months. A lot has happened, but then again in some ways not much has.

When I look at the eight week old Buddyboo and I see a real little boy emerging from the gangly cute little monkey newborn he was, I feel at once the infinite stretch of time that's elapsed since I gave birth. I almost have to consciously remember what life was like before I was a mother. You hear people say that all the time, but I feel the full force of such amnesia now.

The loveliness of this is the complete surrender to the wonderfulness of being someone's mother. I don't think it would be everyone's cup of tea, but for me nothing feels warmer than his little button eyes looking up at me and knowing exactly what he wants without a word. I seem to have also developed super bionic ears. I start walking towards his cot at the sound of his mouth opening to a cry from the other side of our apartment. We don't have the biggest place but we do have quite a bit of white noise from the road. My husband often looks at me open mouthed almost wondering if I foresaw that cry or if I really did hear his miniscule jaw opening up to a yelp.

The poop of being someone's mother is well... how to explain. The last 48 hours probably best sums up the yoyo rhythm that my life and ergo, my self has become. At the beginning of the week, I decided that Buddyboo was old enough to get into some sort of routine. The reality is that we were probably already in a natural routine worked out by his tiny little two month old biological clock. Trouble is that his clock is on a two, maybe three hours cycle if we're lucky. Especially at night, getting up every two hours to feed (takes around 30 minutes) and change (sometimes also a 30 minute ordeal of poop explosions and clean up), and settling him to sleep (another 30 minutes) means that I am getting 30 minutes of sleep in between. Which needless to say, absolutely sucks.

So I heard about Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby routine which imposes a very precise timetable for feeds, sleeps and plays which allegedly has millions of happy mothers around the world singing its praises for the uninterrupted 7 hour sleeps their baby achieves. Now I did not buy the book because it is so sought after and expensive for what it probably is. I am generally skeptical of magical self help guides that turn out to be just common sense with marketing. However, I did read enough about parent-led schedules for babies to get the gist and combined it with my own sense of what my baby is like.

I do agree that babies don't know what they want, they merely spontaneously feel hunger, discomfort, tiredness etc but are unable to know what to do about it. I find that when Buddyboo is tired, like most babies he won't just go to sleep, he has to be put to sleep. I carefully zip him up in his swaddle, put on some calming yoga music and sing to him a lullaby I have made up for him. Over time I think he now understands that the combination of all these things is me telling him to sleep. So I decided that a structure to their day is on a grander scale, telling the baby what to do with their hunger, boredom, tiredness etc and thus providing them comfort in predictability when they don't know what to do.

For the past week and half I decided to try this sort of routine:

For a few hours of a day we pretty much stick to it and when that happens I feel like Mother of the Year.

Then there are days when looking back at the end of the day, on balance we sort of stuck to it and I feel like maybe not Mother of the Year but deserving of some sort of small medal anyway.

But always, or I should say ALWAYS there is some point in EVERY day when the wheels fall off, Buddyboo reminding me that he did not get the memo about this so-called routine he's supposed to be on. He shows his complete indifference to this routine I've devised by crying inconsolably despite being fed and cleaned, or refusing just flat out REFUSING to go to sleep despite being in fits of rage at his exhaustion. His face contorts red, his fists beating at my chest in frustration or rubbing his eyes, yelping in desperation helplessly ignorant of the simple fact that if he just stopped and slept, his discomfort would ease.

It's tiring. So tiring. There are hours of tireless coaxing, lullaby singing, rocking, swinging, shushing a baby to sleep, only to have my marathon effort at baby whispering completely shattered by an alarming bowel movement, or just inexplicably startling awake. There are many dinners left to grow cold because inevitably the baby calls out for me always at the beginning of a beautiful meal cooked by the hubby. At least the dinners I don't have to worry too much about. Husband is currently very enthusiastic about cooking and for that I am thankful and will proceed to lap it up while it lasts.

Yesterday was one of those days when everything just went wrong. "Wrong" I suppose is the wrong word. Noone said this schedule I decided on was the "right" way. I suppose by setting a schedule I also constructed a standard that a baby could never understand and therefore I am destined to never achieve it.

Budyboo woke up in the morning and just wanted to sleep and cry, sleep and cry all day long. He was not hungry, sick or in pain as far as I could tell. It was like something was going on in his little head, little neurons connecting, new sensations he could not explain. His eyes looked overwhelmed by some invisible phenomenon and I could not help him. No matter how much I comforted him there was nothing I could do and I had often been told that babies just do this sometimes.

I was alone at home for hours on end of the same cycle of baby despair. The clock usually dumb on the wall was somehow loudly reprimanding of all the routine markers I'd missed. With each passing hour I watched the aspirational routine dissolve along with my confidence.

When days like yesterday happen, I start questioning everything. Is he hungry? Or tired? Or both? Each little sign that was just a few hours ago so clear to read were now contradictory at every turn. I find myself force feeding a baby that in hindsight was never hungry. Or putting to sleep a baby who was just hungry. My self confidence explodes just like poop into a dirty nappy.

And this gloomy force cascades into all other forms of self doubt. As I hold the crying baby in my arms not really sure what to do with him anymore, I start wondering if I know anything at all. I wonder who I really am. I start wondering if I am more than a patting, swinging, shushing rock-a-bye milk jug and whether I am still the woman I was before any of this.

The self that was a lawyer confidently advocating for people's rights to a stuck up Magistrate was completely defenseless ironically to a helpless baby. Was I still that person who could do so much more than change nappies and breastfeed in her pyjamas all day long?

It's a dark road from there but I tell myself to just keep on walking.. slowly, in time to the gentle pats I am giving to the little one's bottom to soothe his despair.

Eventually after hours of breakdowns and run ins, it just stops. He coos. He smiles right into me as if to say "I know mummy". And right there in the middle of the night with poop in my hands and hair, I know I could and would do this forever.

I see him and his chubby little legs and feel glee knowing that Ihave physically and mentally contributed to those cute sausage limbs. Most of all I see that in the space of eight weeks, both him and I together have come so far. And maybe that's why my past life seemed like a lifetime ago.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My first ever mother's day

Sunday 12 May 2013

* Mother's Day meant I could eat whatever I wanted which meant we had pancakes. WIN!

*Had my first breastfeeding in public experience, incidentally whilst I was eating pancakes. I was merely a vessel for pancakes and maple syrup for the little guy. Secretly hoped someone would chide me so I could rile up the ABA and spark a militant breastfeed sit in protest.

* Quite literally poop was on today's list of remarkables. There I was thinking it was just an ordinary nappy change. I go to make the final wipe down of the little prince's bottom and poooff.... a gentle foamy yelllow gush farts out of his little pooper. Hmm that's strange. I wipe it off and then again pOOOF, this time a bit stronger.
This happens several times until eventually I am panic yelling for Dad to come and witness this yellow foamy fountain streaming out of our son's butt.

It had the consistency of those fancy foam soups one might try to attempt on My Kitchen Rules. Except really really yellow. And that it's poop. And someone had put this concoction into a champagne bottle in his butt and uncorked it in celebration.

Projectile shit foam all over the change table and its surrounds. An innocent bystanding packet of baby wipes a casualty of baby poop coming to it rather than the other way around. Another unschedule bath for the little man.

I have no photos of this poop explosion for which the world should thank me. If I did it would be a carnage of soiled tissues, a mountain of wipes I had thrown in desperation and one smug looking baby in the middle.

* I cried today at the thought that I still can't properly breastfeed my baby. It is so damn frustrating not getting it right and watching your baby cry in hunger because we both haven't quite worked it out yet.

* Realising that we did not change Buddyboo's nappy for a whopping 9 hours last night. Whoops. Please don't tell DOCS on us.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Breasting Journey

Saturday 11 May 2013

*Leaving the house and feeling the sun in my face. Having a newborn means getting ready to leave the house is a bit like trying to empty a sinking boat of water with a shitty plastic cup. Which made today's trip to the shops for a frozen yoghurt treat all the more of a deeeelight. Had one of those watermelon ones with gummy rice cake topping. It says a lot when a franchise dessert is a highlight for the week.

Handsfree hugging
*Today's hero definitely has to be the Hug-a-Bub. Crying needy baby? Need to wash the dishes? Need to walk around the shops with a baby? Need to do airplanes with my arms in joyful celebration of the fact that I made it out of the house? Admittedly I was not filled with confidence when I took it out of the box. It seemed like an endless carpet roll of t-shirt material, and my first thought was that I got ripped off yet again by another useless baby product scam. But alas I watched the instructional dvd it came with and I was enlightened... aaaah halo moment. I don't think I could make it through a day without this now. It's my go-to when Buddyboo just won't calm down. I think it emulates being in the womb all tucked in close to mummy.

*Saturdays. Unexpectedly so, I still find myself looking forward to weekends as a stay at home mum. Weekends mean that Dad is around to help out, cop some of the midnight nappy changes, hand me a drink without having to disturb a sleeping baby in my arms, a second pair of arms when mine are tired. Basically the privilege of peeing whenever I want is restored. The rest of the week Dad is excused from night duties so he can clock some beauty sleep for his day ahead. Dad was definitely MVP today (but not last night.. see poopy point below). Just look at this bloody freakin beautiful dinner he made for us.

*A two hour afternoon cuddle-fest/nap on the couch with Buddyboo. Sleep + baby love = everything I need right now.

*Noticing Buddyboo's increasing number of chins. Oh it fills me with joy that my nutritious milk is indeed nutritive. Looking forward to turning my skinny baby into a fattyboomsticks.
I think we're up to three chins at the moment

*Breastfeeding. Hot damn it's hard. It's almost like a quest for me now.. I just want to kill at breastfeeding. I want to be a champ. Like if there was a tournament, I'd want to be a seeded player at least. And Buddyboo's recent weight gain is egging me on. Also, I've decided I don't like the word breastfeeding. I shall call it "breasting" from hereforth.

*I read a woman's blog on the internet today about her "breasfeeding journey". It was all touchy feely and exploring all the different issues that come up. There's so much theory to breasting, I wish there was less thinking and more intuitive doing.

*Everything you do as a mum seems to promote boob flattening. Carrying, feeding, comforting, burping all seem to exert downward force in the chest region. Here's my interpretation of the trajectory of my breasting journey.

Week 0: the look I was going for
Week 1-2: Engorgement

Weeks 3-4: Mastitis
Weeks 5-6: Breast pumps and paraphernalia

Weeks forever on: voila, your boobs woman

*Do not like it when Dad sleep talks insensitively at night. It basically goes something like:

3am. Baby just been fed in an epic battle with mummy's boobs. I'm on the verge of tears because it was so difficult.

me: hey hun, can you change his nappy?
dad: stares blankly at me. Becomes obvious he is actually still asleep. Says absolutely nothing.
me: I said, do you mind changing his nappy?
dad: thinks for a second. Naah... turns and goes back to sleep pulling the blanket over him
me: pokes dad a few times.... nothing. Decide quicker to do it myself.

This happens a few times over the night until I am just fuming. I start sobbing about how I feel unsupported and how it might as well be a weekday, and why was I stupid enough to look forward the weekend when he was just going to opt out of helping. Finally Dad wakes up swearing on his son's life that he had no conscious recollection of any of the number of insensitive interactions we had while he slept. If only Buddyboo inherited his father's superpower of sleeping through anything. Oh well... that prosciutto salad we had for dinner made up for it.

Too tired. I'm going to bed.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Buddyboo and his first poop


This first post reflects on the last five weeks that little Buddyboo has entered and rocked our worlds.

I'm a first time mum deciding to record the ups and downs of discovering life with a first time baby aka Buddyboo, the most beautifulest, wonderfulest baby in the world. Don't call me biased because I'm fairly sure what I just said is evidence-based and  scientifically accurate. Just ask my sidekick first time dad.

It seems parenting comes with a lot of lovely moments and a lot of poop.  Thought this blog would be a good way of not letting the little lovely and poopy things fly away into forgotten. When you stay at home as a mum and every day and night blends into the next in a sea of nappy changes and late night sessions... all the little things are like precious golden nuggets of memories. I've missed so many little memories in just five weeks. This post is probably going to be longer than usual. So as a whole so far, here they are.....

Buddyboo is officially the best baby in the history of the entire universe. His face is like magic my heart combusts into a milky way of warm and fuzzies when I look at him. His breath is so heavenly I sit there just smelling him like a crazy person. It's amazing how one can wordlessly and unconditionally love a tiny little being whom you've just met. 

At one week old... he's so much bigger than this already

*Buddyboo today attaining the ripe old age of 5 weeks old. Best accomplishment in life so far (apart from being awesome despite the absence of the power of speech or controlled mobility) - the Lucas Heights sized dump he did yesterday while we were out... and sleeping on his own for four solid hours. Other notable accomplishments, smiling, some neck control during tummy time, and managing to no longer green mushroom cloud explode poop into his baths as he did the first time. I'm almost tempted to say he quite likes a warm bath these days.

*First time dad aka Big Lovely, on board and goes for "Most Valuable Player" award everyday. Wins "Most Enthusiastic" most days. Does lovely things like make sandwiches for me before leaving the house each morning so I can just shovel into my mouth and not get in the way of caring for Buddyboo. Today, I saw his gentle reminder to please eat something healthy by strategically placing yoghurt and a pear suggestively in the most accessible part of the fridge. It was obstructing my stash of TimTams. Also, check out his gourmet dinner plans laid out and managed on our fridge door. A feat given his full schedule. What a star.

*Feeling needed. Eventhough a newborn's clinginess to his mother can mean I don't pee all day, or that I've rushed through each shower I've ever had in the last 5 weeks, or that I often have to choose between eating or sleeping but not both... it is nice to know that this person needs you so much, has to have you cuddle him so much and I often wonder and hope, loves you so much too. He is utterly and hopelessly dependent on us.. one day when he rebelliously moves out of home against our advice and lives his own life and marries some whore who will never be good enough for him, I am going to look back at these moments with warm fondness. I'm joking about the whore bit by the way, I'm sure he/she will be lovely if Buddyboo loves them.

*Confoundment and the endless guessing game. "Why is he crying?" beeping permanently through my head like I'm a sonar radar in mission control.

*Helplessness when you can't get the right answer to question above after trying everything on the list they gave you at parenting class. At the end you have a well-fed, clean nappied, recently poopied, burped, appropriately dressed baby who is still upset at the world.

*Sleeplessness and the guilt that comes with sleepy parenting. A newborn brings with it lots of joy and love. However, it doth taketh away any humanly possible chance of sleep.

A clinical sign of sleeplessness

Should put this in Hushamok's comments
box as a suggested modification
Such fatigue does produce some pretty Macgyver thinking. For example, I made some simple but important modifications to Buddyboo's Hushamok sleep hammock where he sleeps at night. I attached a rope that extends to my bed from where I can just tug to create a swing if I hear the tiniest grimace.

The other secret game sleepy parents often play is with our conscience called "Should I change him now or wait for the next poop to pile on top". After running the play off between logic like "It's better for the environment if one nappy catches two poops" against "noone wants to sleep in their own shit"... eventually this sleepy parent gets up and guiltily changes the nappy.

*Breastfeeding wars and the holy grail for the perfect latch. Buddyboo appears to have a short tongue and causes an uncomfortable scraping of the nipple with each suck leaving me sorely raw each time. He also seems determined to drink from my boob as though it were a straw that he must chomp and purse his lips on. It's like a dull piece of glass teasing your nipple endlessly. I hear they still use this nipple boarding technique in Guantanamo.

*Knowing my milk jugs are abundantly full and plentiful, yet the lil guy won't or can't get it out because of his fish lips drinking habits. I end up sitting there for two hours trying to siphon a whole lot of milk through the tiniest opening that is his pathetic latch. Before you know it, it's time for the next feed. It's like Groundhog Day - the Breastfeeding Sequel, only the loop is 2-3 hourly feeds eight to ten times a day.

*The PUPPS, ie the itchiest rash known to man. Or given that it's a pregnancy related rash... it's not  likely to be known to man. I've had it since I was 36 weeks pregnant. It's supposed to go away after delivery but in my case, it supernova'd into a universe of angry red papules all over my body (except my face, my angry face fire must have scared it away). Weeks and weeks of angry constant itching has been poopy indeed. Alas, the onset of colder weather seems to be scaring it away... and I hope I do not speak to soon when I say that after weeks of oatmeal baths, stinky pine tar soap and raw tearful itching.. it might finally be waning.

There are a few other things that fall by the wayside. Like how right now I literally have poop and breastmilk on my shirt. The actual poop and disgusting secretions, I don't really care so much.

Cliche train alert. It's all worth it. I've never been happier. He is the greatest thing I've ever done. I feel complete. Goddam I can't help but admit it, despite all the poop the cliches are all true. I love my new family :)