Week 30

Week 30Dear Genevieve,

Raspberries are apparently your new thing. That is, the kind that you blow, not the kind that you eat. Every time we turn around now, your tongue is peeking out of your mouth and the spit is sliding down your chin as you demonstrate just how cheeky you can be. Which unfortunately is really cute so instead of persuading you that there are perhaps times when the behaviour may be considered somewhat inappropriate, we usually mimic you because you look so pleased with yourself when you get us to be silly.

It’s clear that you like to do what we do and you are pretty good at figuring out how to manage that. Another thing you have started doing is bringing the back of your hand to your mouth and waving your fingers out and in again as you say ‘ahhhhh’. You do this to mimic the sound that you hear when your dad puts one of his fingers along the opening between your lips and moves it up and down quickly. It didn’t take you long to learn that if you vocalise while he does that, you get a cool sound. Whenever he does it now, you immediately start to make a sound. You want to be able to do this on your own though and without the motor control to move one finger against your lips, the whole hand is the next best thing.

Week 30-2

And speaking of motor control and movement, the finer points may be beyond you at the moment but you certainly have some of the bigger movements down pat. Especially twisting your body. I noted before that I could often carry you with one arm because you don’t tend to use your body as a projectile. You still don’t. You’re not trying throw your weight around when I hold you. You are now however constantly trying to distribute that weight by twisting your body to face out. I used to think it was just so you could see Reuben or your father more clearly but I have noticed that if I turn around such that you twisting your body would have you facing a blank wall instead of a person, you still choose to twist and face the blank wall. It can be kind of frustrating my twisty little girl who twists so fine.

Also, with your propensity to twist comes your tendency to roll. A lot. In fact you now roll so much that we have started to lose you in your cot. As you know, we have one of those fancy schmancy monitors which has both a day and (infra-red) night mode so we can check on you remotely. It is set up on a tripod, wedged between the end of your cot and your change table, and as such, it’s field of vision is about 5/6ths of your cot from side to side. We always put you down in the middle of the cot, in full view of the monitor, however, when you are fighting sleep, sometimes you are nowhere to be seen. You roll around so much that you line your body right up against the side bars of the cot and become the disappearing baby. A child who is heard and not seen.

Week 30-4

We never lose you though when you manoeuvre yourself so you that you are lying with your head and feet towards the sides of the cot rather than the ends. But you won’t be able to do that for too much longer because you have been growing in leaps and bounds. Ever since you started on solids, you appear to have developed hollow legs. We don’t feed you till you turn your head and don’t want any more, we feed you until we think you can’t possibly need any more food. And that food has been turning into baby fat, ready for the time when you need excess stores of energy to crawl. So you are quite delightfully…pudgy in places. You don’t exactly have cankles but you do have that roll of skin which folds over at your wrist as your hand meets your forearm. You’re not short and stout though. You are in fact quite tall. You started your life in the 50th centile for all measurements. Perfectly average. At seven months, you have advanced to the 97th centile. The nurse who measured you at your last immunisation actually had to measure your head twice because when she looked at the graph, she thought she might have been a bit over zealous with the tape measure. The fact that you also have a big head though, doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

Another thing that was new this week was that you started daycare. Technically you were only supposed to be there for short trial days however I think you actually spent more time in daycare this week than you will in a normal week going forwards. This was because you seemed perfectly happy to be there and I was perfectly happy to leave you there. So many women in my mother’s group have been dreading and lamenting the fact that they have to leave their babies in child care. I was actually kind of excited to drop you off! I walked in, handed you over and walked out again. I think a bit of time to myself makes me a better parent while you get to have fun with other people. Being easily on call however (since I wasn’t back at work this week) was actually a blessing as it turns out because on Friday, you got a fever.

Week 30-3

I ended up taking you home earlier than planned on Friday as you were running a temperature. You weren’t unhappy or upset but you were hot. And at 2am on Saturday morning, you were really hot. Your fever got up to 39.2 so I called the health direct line to see if we needed to get you to a hospital. Fortunately, after the nurse had been through the phone assessment, the advice was to get you seen by a doctor within 4 hours. This meant that we could wait for the locum doctor who could only make it out to the house at 5am. He felt that you had probably picked up a virus at daycare though (so not the next tooth that has finally come through) and with some paracetamol and fluids, you would be fine. Thankfully on Sunday you were much better.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

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Week 29

Week 29-2

Dear Genevieve,

You were very cute this week. Cheeky too. You have managed to pick up a number of facial expressions from your father and I and you like to trot these out with regularity. From your father it seems you have the grin with the scrunched up nose. A face he makes at you frequently. We had seen this before but now it appears that you do it on purpose as if to say aren’t I just the cutest thing ever? From me, you have apparently learnt the single eyebrow raise. Which let me tell you, can get you in a whole lot more trouble when you are older. Your dad took you to the library the other day and as you were leaving, the librarian looked at you and said it was lovely to see you and your response, so I hear, was to raise one eyebrow and stare her down as if to say yes…I know.

I can see we are going to have to be careful what we do in front of you as you are now at the age where you can turn into a little parrot that repeats everything. You don’t quite have words yet but you do like actions. Your father will stand in front of you and tip his head from side to side in an exaggerated fashion and laugh as you put on a coy smile and start to follow suit. We also make funny sounds at you such as those produced by brushing the tongue in and out across the top lip. You do your best to imitate although you can only manage to wag your tongue from side to side to get a similar sound. As I said, cute.

Week 29-3

Also cute this week was the fact that you seem to have just realised there’s a giant canine that lives in our house as well. You have known he was here previously of course. Hard not to really because he comes and noses around your butt frequently and gives you big sloppy kisses every now and again but until this week, you have appeared to be completely uninterested. Now, your eyes seek him out and you follow him around the room or the yard, twisting your body so you don’t lose sight of him. You reach out to touch him when he is close and when I pretend to chase him with you, face out in my arms, you giggle and laugh like its the best game ever. God help Reuben when you can try to catch him on your own. Which is, in the grand scheme of things, probably not that far off.

As far as milestones go, you are getting much closer to sitting. You haven’t quite mastered it yet though and tend to lean right forward towards your toes. You do manage to stay upright for a while however before you start to lean and topple over when unassisted. Crawling seems closer now than it did before with your upper body strength increasing and your ability to bring your knees up commando style. I’m not sure whether I want you to be a quick learner and presently mobile or not. Most other mothers seem to suggest that the longer it takes you to get around by yourself, the better. Many agree though that you should go at your own pace.

Week 29

I read a parenting book this week that I actually really enjoyed. It was called French Children Don’t Throw Food and was full of parenting secrets from Paris. It wasn’t so much a how-to as a journalist’s exploration into a topic near to her heart – rearing her kids. It highlighted major differences between Francophone and Anglophone parents and a lot of it really made sense to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t read this before you were born as I seem to have missed the boat for you “doing your nights” the French way. The rest of the book though is a philosophy that aids in raising a generation of self-aware, independent and socially conscious children. Characteristics that I hope we can engender in you. I’m not sure I could totally commit to the idea of raising you à la française because I completely don’t see the problem in following you down the slippery dip at a playground, but there were certain ideas that I really liked.

Of course, this parenting gig will always be a work in progress. At the moment, we’re working on a routine that will mesh with daycare. We have finally managed some kind of consistency with your bed time routine in regards to food, shower and music etc. It’s been a while since we have had 20 minutes of screaming before you succumb to slumber. Nap times during the day on the other hand are still a bit all over the place. That hardly seems unusual though when we keep screwing around with your routine. Last week you had The Fall to deal with and this week, I took you to get immunised. Then on Sunday, your dad took you out for a late breakfast and then we had the audacity to go out. Without you.

Week 29-4

Bepi came over to babysit today so that your father and I could go out to lunch and see a movie. We managed the lunch part but only got to see half the movie before we picked up a phone message to say that you were at the end of your rope after prolonged screaming. Bepi had tried food, drink, toys, games and books but nothing was putting you off from voicing your disapproval at our absence. So we came home…at which point you seemed to have calmed down and were perfectly fine. I even took you next door and plonked you down on the floor by yourself before moving several meters away from you (only barely in sight) to have a conversation with Neighbourette. You were quiet and amused yourself the whole time. Toad. We love you anyway though.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 28

Week 28-4

Dear Genevieve,

This week was not a good week for you. Through no fault of your own. No, this week it was my fault. I clocked up a big parenting fail because this week, you had “The Fall. A couple of months ago, on your dad’s watch, you had “The Roll”. The one where you dropped of the couch. On Tuesday, you fell off the dining table. I had placed you in your bouncinette and as I stood a couple of meters away from you and turned my back to put some clothes in the washing machine, I heard a thud and then a scream. Then, with my heart in my throat, I turned around to find you face down on the linoleum floor. Under your bouncinette. Not my finest moment, or yours.

In hindsight, I should have been a bit more circumspect when I picked you up but the moment I turned around, instant panic set in and I scooped you straight into my arms. You had some blood in your mouth which slightly freaked me out as I yelled at the dog to get outside and I grabbed my keys ready to race you to the hospital. As my mind was going a mile a minute with oh-my-God-what-have-I-done thoughts whilst you were screaming your lungs out in your capsule, I phoned the community health nurse on the way to the hospital. Also in hindsight, not my brightest move as so many accidents happen with cars and mobile phones.

Week 28-2

Anyway, I was prepared for the questions after last time (which was helping to make me feel a little better about the situation) so I relayed all of the pertinent answers to the nurse after we established that yes, there was actually already a record for you in their system (which made me feel a little worse – we are apparently the parents that let you fall off things). She suggested that I could just take you straight to the hospital or I could pull over and try to comfort you and check on your neck and the bleeding situation. I stopped to try and calm you but you wouldn’t have a bar of it. You did appear to be moving everything as you ought however and the blood from the bitten lip and tongue had abated.

When I got to the hospital, the triage nurse checked you out and said you looked ok but she wasn’t sure if you were still in shock or if there was another issue so we went into emergency proper and they gave us a bed. What proceeded was an hour of screaming (and I mean at the top of your lungs screaming), some Neurofen and then a smiling baby for the next 5 hours before we went home. It probably would have been a shorter visit but for the fact that your father requested a check up from an actual paediatrician.

Week 28

Your dad had joined us in hospital after you had calmed down (which was probably a good thing). He said that as much as he likes getting the afternoon off work, this was not the way to do it. Since we were in hospital though, he wanted to be extra sure that you were ok so we had to wait over an hour for the paed to arrive. She seemed to agree with the emergency staff however that you seemed fine but we should keep an eye on you. The indicators of internal bleeding in the skull and the torso were absent, your eyes tracked and held focus and you were calm so they let us go with the recommendation to follow up with our GP on the following day.

Now whilst you were actually fine as far as we could all tell, I did maintain several degrees of worry over the next couple of days. Especially because you lost your appetite and your suck. I had previously maintained that you could pull a golf ball through a garden hose so when I had trouble getting you latched and could hardly feel you once you were there, I was concerned. When you practically passed out after what little milk you took, I was concerned. When you showed no real interest in solids, I was even more concerned. Apparently this is all fairly consistent with face trauma but I was worried you wouldn’t get enough nutrition or you would get dehydrated or that the exhaustion was severe lethargy and was because I had somehow given you brain damage and destined you for a life of hardship…

Week 28-3

As it turned out though, the worst of the accident really was the small bruise you got on your chin. We kept you dosed on Neurofen for the next couple of days as per the GPs instruction and slowly your feeding went back to normal. So much so that we stopped spooning solids into your mouth not when you refused any more but when we thought you couldn’t possibly need more. I don’t know how you fit it all in your little body! Apparently I was a bit of a paranoid mother when I thought you wouldn’t get enough nutrients. You sure sorted me out. I hope we don’t have to go through something like that again though. And I hope this isn’t like a thing right before you get immunised. The other incident happened right before your 4 month vacs and I had actually booked you in for your 6 month vacs the day that you ended up in hospital. This is not a good way to put off getting jabbed.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 27

Week 27-2

Dear Genevieve,

This week you got to spend some quality time with your Aunty Squishy. My sister decided to take a week off work and came up to stay with us for a couple of days. I’m not sure if you’re quite at the stage of having “fun” when you spend time with your doting extended family but thats ok because I had a great time. I had forgotten how similar my sister and I are and there were frequently times when we would make exactly the same gesture or response. Some other people find that a little creepy or weird but I think that’s one of the best things about having a close sister. Hopefully one day you get to experience that.

Week 27-3

So this week we did some of what we normally do, such as Baby Rhyme Time at the library, and some things we don’t normally do, like a full day of shopping. That day was a long one for you and getting stuck in traffic on the way home did not impress you in the slightest. You screamed. A lot. On the whole though, you handled the change in (for want of a better word) routine quite well. You engage with people a lot more now and you actively play with toys as well.

Week 27

One of the free things we acquired for you before you were born was this exersaucer/play station (not to be confused with the Sony machine) thingy. It’s not quite a walker because it doesn’t go anywhere but you sit in it and can twist around to play with the toys mounted all around the edge. There are some buttons that play midi music nursery rhymes, some hard things that spin and soft shapes you can chew. You don’t get so absorbed that it wouldn’t matter if people were there or not, you still like the company, but you are happy to play more or less by yourself for more than a minute at a time. Which was pretty handy this week.

Week 27-4

I decided to get all crafty this week. I have wanted to make you a quilt for ages and with my sister here (who is really more crafty than I), it was a great incentive to get started. Getting started was about as far as I got though because what began as a simple cot blanket turned into a single bed quilt. Then I decided that I had so much material that I should make a cot blanket in addition as a trial run before I finished your quilt. I have finished the top of your quilt though. Under your aunt’s supervision as she had to keep a close eye on me to stop me from screwing it up (or covering up my mistakes when she wasn’t looking). And whilst I was absorbed in this project, you were mostly obliging by sleeping, playing and you know, taste testing the material. You were very cute.

Week 27.1

You were also cute when I put you down to sleep for a nap and you started to fuss immediately but then rolled yourself over onto your stomach and promptly passed out. I normally make sure to at least put you down on your back (which I guess I did then too) but since you seemed so determined to sleep on your tummy right then and there, I just let you be.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week 26

Week 26-4

Dear Genevieve,

You seem to have picked up the cheeky habit of grinning occasionally when we try to feed you. Which sounds cute and adorable except for the fact that every time you grin, you move your tongue towards your lips. This in turn means that anything which was in your mouth will then be pushed out of your mouth. Like food. All down your chin. Onto your bib. Over your hands…from whence it can go absolutely anywhere really. It’s usually a big cheesy grin too, allowing for maximum oozage of semi-solids mixed with spit. Do it while you can kid, cause right now, you still look damned cute. Later, it will probably evolve into that joke where you play on “seafood” and “see food” but by the time you get to my age, it’s pretty much considered totally inappropriate. Adults are so boring.

Week 26-3

So I am happy to report that I actually don’t think you bit me this week. Maybe the pinching worked! Of course, maybe your teeth or gums have shifted again and you didn’t feel the urge to “scratch an itch” so to speak and grind both your top and bottom jaw together…on me. Either way, I didn’t get bitten and you didn’t get pinched so win-win. That was a positive for this week. What wasn’t so positive, at least for you, is that dirty nappies now seem to be a source of discomfort.

The nappies are so absorbent these days that you don’t get to feel wet. At least until you fill them to capacity at which point the pee kind of leaks out and wets your clothes. Which has started to happen occasionally overnight. But despite all the innovations in the market, you still feel if you are dirty. When we were still in the hospital, the head lactation consultant assured us that babies don’t mind soiled nappies cause its just like a mud bath for your butt. That may have been the case for you previously but I think that now that you are on solids, the game has changed. You are not such a happy camper anymore. Fortunately you seem to prefer to have your movements in the late morning so I don’t have to wake up. Yes, your mama is selfish and doesn’t want to be inconvenienced by your poop. One day you might have your own pooper trooper and you’ll learn.

Week 26-2

Right now however, you are very much still a baby. Even though you are growing fast. I had to pack away another stack of clothes this week. Truth be told, you were out of the long onesies before now because you seem to have inherited my long legs but I had to admit this week that you are all together not a 000 sized baby anymore. Which is a shame cause some of those outfits were great. And the next size block definitely holds more useless summer clothes than useful winter ones. There is definitely potential to buy some more disgustingly cute outfits with hoods or beanies over the coming weeks though which could be fun. Certainly, buying you new outfits would be more fun than the time we had at lunch with my boss. Which was not because lunch with my boss was bad, it was just that you were not so crash hot on the venue.

This week I needed to discuss my return to work which is also unfortunately the imminent leaving of you. This was supposed to happen on Tuesday when I knew you would be able to stay with your grandmother Bepi and your great grandmother after we all had morning tea. I was confident that they would be more than happy to spoil you rotten. Unfortunately, lunch was rescheduled for Friday however, which meant you needed to come with me. I don’t think you really enjoyed it.

Sitting amongst a swarm of corporate men and women in a loud, dark and noisy venue is worlds away from the life you know day to day with the puppy and I. And once the novelty wore off, you let me know that you weren’t very impressed. You were very…vocal. Not crying so much as whining and squealing. Fortunately, my boss wasn’t phased and you have to work much harder than that to embarrass me so you had to endure until we were ready to leave. You got some more cuddles with your great nana that afternoon though so I reckon that makes up for it.

Week 26

So all in all, it was a pretty good week. We did have another day right at the end when you just couldn’t settle for long periods and had to give you some pain relief so you could sleep. We still haven’t seen more teeth so who knows why you have these bad nights but fortunately we haven’t had too many of them.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah