Friday, 30 November 2007

Completing the set

I've met all my grandparents. Including the great ones. Well, they're all great, but after visiting mum's other nana in the nursing home I can relax knowing I've met all the oldies. The general consensus is that I look a little more like dad, and that's OK, cause he's a boy, and so am I!

Even though she doesn't register with a lot that goes on, we had some lovely cuddles. She said I had nice soft skin. I treated her to my most earnest "ra ra's" and she reckons I'd make a good preacher.

When we got home* I'd moved onto "ba ba's", and treated dad to a short sermon;

video

Seeing where we're up to in our nightly stories, I'd say it's about Lazarus.

*After a very sad car trip - I cried for most of the two hour trip - both there and back.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Captain snooze is bananaman

I'm happy to report I've managed to go to sleep the last couple of nights without too much fuss. This is in sharp contrast to earlier days where I would carry on like a pork chop and 'convince' mum and dad that I needed to be in the loungeroom with them until about 9 o'clock, when I'd fall asleep on one of their shoulders. I think the baby whisperer would have something to say about this technique. Something like 'accidental parenting'! Bt i's hardly accidental when they knew what was going on, and why it was bad. So we'll have to come up with another term. But after a couple of changes to routine, and some changes in my attitude, I've taken to falling asleep in my cot! Fancy that. And not waking up five minutes later. Brilliant! I'm still having a couple of feeds during the night - usually at 11 and 3.

Speaking of feeds, I had my first taste of banana today. Dad was in charge of the feed, and this time we managed to get most of the food into my mouth. Dad reckons the trick is timing the spoon to avoid the 'crazy arms'. He'd wait for me to pause, and to stop grabbing at the spoon, and then make his move. The banana inspired less screwed up faces than the pears did. So at the moment it appears banana and carrot share equal billing on my 'top food' list.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Gorilla goes underwater

Swimming lesson #4. I was excited before we even got in the pool.

My latest trick is to lift both hands above my head and flop them down together on my tummy. Dad calls it my 'gorilla move'. It's quite similar to my air-drumming moves, as if both hands were hitting the snare drum at the same time. I do this move when I'm excited. And I was sure excited to be at the pool again. I pulled out the gorilla move when we arrived and didn't stop until the lesson was finished. And the best thing about pulling this move in the pool is the splashing!

I splashed everywhere. I even had to move out of the circle of babies because I kept splashing a four month old sitting next to me.

I even kicked all by myself. Usually mum helps my little legs when they sing the personalised swimming song, "this is the way that Noah kicks, Noah kicks, Noah kicks..."

And to top of this wonderful time, I went underwater! Five times! And loved it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Got teeth?

Almost everyone I meet tells me I must be teething. We've been hearing it so often, mum went out and got me some teething gel. It's because I have a constant stream of dribble. I reckon I've left my DNA all over the place!

No teeth yet.

Mummy B says I've got pretty hard gums, and I like to 'chomp' on things. So teeth might be just around the corner.

We waved goodbye to my great grandma this morning, and jumped back in the car for another big long car drive. I handled myself better than the first trip. But it did take longer. We got home, I had a bath and two nappy changes, and then went straight to sleep. Tired boy.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Holiday sleeps

I had a two hour sleep today. That may not be very exciting for most babies my age, but I have really struggled with daytime sleeps lately. And seeing I'm not home, it's a big deal.

In addition to sleeping we all went down to the river. We considered going for a splash in the water, but there's not a lot of water in the river, and the little weir dad used to swim in as a boy looked a litle worse for wear. So we took a few quick pictures and jumped back in the car.

Mummy B's house is on the highway so all sorts of interesting cars drive past the front porch. Dad and I sat on the verandah for ages watching the traffic go by. I particularly liked the big trucks.

It's been quite warm. And my warm weather grobag got left at home so mum wrapped me in a wrap for the first time in months. It worked. I slept quite well.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Echo....echo

Today I visited the church my grandad and grandma were married in. The same church they farewelled my Daddy B. It's a special church in our family. It's an old church too. And it echoes. I know, because I 'said' a few things during the service!

Dad came up with a formula a couple of months ago; a minute of baby crying is worth about five normal minutes. He's got another one; the noise a baby makes in church is amplified tenfold. A simple 'ahhh' in church becomes as loud as a lawnmower! It's probably because we babies can time our announcements perfectly. Why let out a big sigh in the middle of a hymn when you can do it in the pause between "let us pray" and the prayer!

Mum took me up the back for most of the service, but for the first part I sat on Mummy B's lap and had a wonderful time.

This afternoon we went out to an olive grove and had afternoon tea with Uncle Ian and Aunty Diana. I've been having a wonderful time meeting family and having lots of cuddles and photos.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Life is a highway

I love car rides. But there really is too much of a good thing. And too much is six hours straight.

We hit the road to visit Mummy B, my great grandma, for the weekend.

I strapped in and went straight to sleep. I woke up an hour later. Still in the car. I talked to mum a bit. Cried for a bit. And went back to sleep.

In BC days, 'before child', mum and dad would power through long car trips, petrol and food stops timed to the minute. It's a bit different now. We were going to stop at a nice park for my feed and a walk to stretch our legs. But I was fast asleep when we arrived, so mum suggested we keep going until I woke up. I woke up two minutes down the road!

When we got to our destination I was a little dopey, and stayed that way for the rest of the day. I think all those hours in the car did it.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Junk mail

Dad and I were reading brochures at the table the other night. Well, that's only partly true. Dad did the reading, and I did the grabbing and shoving in mouth. I was sitting on his lap, and every time he picked up a new brochure I would lunge with an open mouth and outstretched arms. By the time we were done I had a big grin wrapped around my face, and a big pile of ripped up paper on the floor.

Today, Mum and I paid a visit to the post office and we found a blue slip indicating a parcel to pick up. Mum was excited about the parcel. I was excited about the blue slip. While she was standing in line getting all the post sorted, I was busy 'decorating'. By the time mum got to the counter we had a very slobbery piece of a cardboard, with a corner bitten off! The man at the counter laughed, and so did mum, but she was a little embarrassed.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

A little carrot goes a long way

I had my first taste of carrot today. I seem to like it more than pears. Far fewer screwed-up faces. But boy, can it make a mess.

After breakfast everything had an orange hue because I've got a little habit of taking things into my own hands. My waving crazy hands! I like to grab the spoon, and I'm not that accurate. I usually get the food in my mouth. And all over my face. And my hands. And in my hair. And, quite impressively, on my feet!

We even found some in my toenails later during the day!

Dad and I hung out by ourselves tonight when mum had a haircut. It was fine until I got a bit impatient when it was time for my bottle. Dad had to warm it up, and with a whinging baby it feels a lot longer than it actually is. When mum got home we were all smiles all perched up on the couch.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Doing a poo in the car is a good thing...

...When you're driving to a swimming lesson!

Mum put me in the car a couple of minutes before we were ready to leave for the pool. It turned out to be a masterstroke. As you know, I find my carseat rather relaxing.

As annoying as it was to get me out of the seat and my little swimming nappies, mum and dad were just thankful that I went before we got to the pool. Just imagine. Mum talked to the other mums at swimming, and it seems to be a common fear that one of us littlies is going to disgrace ourselves in the pool.

I had a good time in the pool, practicing my kicking and enjoying the water toys. Next week I'm going to be fully dunked. Yay!

The teacher says babies sleep quite well the day of a swim. I did my best to prove her wrong, but finally shut my eyes at 8:30pm. I did manage to see dad off, he tried to get me to sleep, but lately I'd rather mum.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

It's a laughing matter

Mum and I went shopping and it was fun. Funny too. And bumpy. Especially when you're the passenger in the shopping trolley and you drive over the little grey protruding dots on the tiles at the entrance to the supermarket. I thought it was hilarious. Seeing no one else was around at the time mum turned the trolley around and we drove over the dots again. And again. I laughed and laughed each time.

I was still laughing when we got home and mum rang dad so he could join in the fun. She put him on speaker phone, and every time he talked I paused, looked at the phone, and then went back to giggling.

Dad and I had had more sitting up practice when he got home from work. And I did my first 360 degree roll. Well, the first one to be witnessed. Usually I'll roll from my tummy to my front, but this time I just kept going. I can sit up for a few seconds by myself. Dad says he's going to get out the stop watch and see what kind of record we can set tomorrow.

Monday, 19 November 2007

The sleep rollercoaster

I've been having trouble sleeping. Our plan from a few days ago sort of stopped, and I got back into the swing of staying up late and sleeping in the big bed.

Mum reckons I might be finding the travel cot a bit uncomfy. I carry on when I'm put down after my bath until someone gives in and picks me up and takes me to the loungeroom for a big cuddle. My only mistake is that I let out a big grin a bit too soon for mum's liking. I'll often fall asleep in mum or dad's arms a few minutes later. But mum and dad are a bit concerned, and are getting ready for a campaign of 'tough love'.

I must have caught wind of the plan, because tonight I went down straight after tea, for the first time in ages.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

False alarms and tropical poos

We almost got through the weekend without a nappy disaster.

Yesterday we went looking at carpet and tiles for our new house. We walked into the shop and dad heard, and felt, a big noise from my nappy. I hadn't gone to the loo for a day or so, so he feared the worst. "Jodie. Poo. Now!" He whispered as loud as he could. We all got to the car, cleaned off the backseat, set up the travel change mat, got all the bits and pieces needed for a change, and found out it was a lot of hot air!

So we went back tile and carpet shopping!

Today we decided to go for a walk in the park. We got ourselves all sorted, mum put on the hug-a-bub, we drove to the park, we got out of the car, and mum noticed an orange stain on her shirt. It was on my pants too. It was coming out of my pants! Ewwwww! It was a beauty. Fortunately the travel change mat was set up from yesterday's episode. We had a small sample pack of 8 baby wipes. We used them all. My clothes were dirty. Mum's were too. The weird thing is that mum and dad reckon the poo smelled a bit 'tropical'. Thanks to my diet of pears? Maybe it was just the smell of the trial baby wipes. Or maybe all these false alarms and emergency car changes have made them go a little batty!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

When I'm good and ready

It's true I have a rather short attention span. But I'm not a fan of change for the sake of change.

Take this afternoon for instance, I was sitting up on the loungechair. Yes, sitting up! OK, 25% sitting, 75% propping. But I'm getting a lot more steady in my sitting, and doing far fewer 'face plants'.

But I was happy just playing with my centepede toy. For ages. Mum thought I might have been getting bored, so moved me to my playmat where all my other toys were, and where I like to practice my rolls. I gave it a go for a few seconds, but that was about it, I didn't like it. So she picked me up and gave me a cuddle. Even that wasn't good enough. I eventually got put back exactly where I had been. On the couch, next to dad. All smiles.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Of needles and laughs

I had my six monthly visit to the doctor today. I passed all the tests and have clocked over seven kilos!

I had to get a couple of needles, and had no worries at all. The first one came and went without even a whimper. I did cry a little bit with the second, but by the time mum picked me up and gave me a cuddle I was back to my smiling self.

When we got home I put on a show for mum complete with giggles and big laughs. She rang dad at work and let him liste in on the performance. He loved it, and said later he felt like turning off his computer and racing home to give me a big cuddle. He doesn't like missing any of my milestones. But when he did get home we had a play and a big cuddle.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Vacuum cleaners, blenders, and other scary things

I'm not scared of every loud noise. I've been through a couple of thunderstorms and the big claps of thunder haven't scared me yet. But there is something that makes me screw up my little face and cry.

The vacuum cleaner!

Mum discovered my aversion to the vacuum cleaner a little while ago, so now whenever she uses it, dad whisks me into another room.

I also don't like the blender. It freaked me out when mum gave some pears a bit of a burst.

But it wasn't the vacuum cleaner or the blender that woke me up tonight, we think it might have been the loud boom othat came from the neighbouring room, thanks to dad saving the world with his new computer game. Even though the sound was turned down really low, it wasn't quite low enough, and we think we might need to move the subwoofer speaker which happens to sit directly opposite my cot!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Six monthly service

I'm six months old!

Time to take stock.

My latest trick is the 'ra ra's. I love mirrors. I am ticklish on my tummy. I still try and self soothe with gurgles and raspberries. I seem to expect new people will smile at me, and I'll stare at them until they do. I'm still having trouble sleeping through the night. My fingernails grow very fast. I have scratched myself with them. I seem to like people with glasses, but I don't grab at them. I do grab at most other things. I still dribble like a world champion. Mum's been leaving my bib on just to soak up some of the wetness, otherwise I'm having a few shirt changes each day. I can roll over. Usually from my tummy to my back, but mum did catch me going the other way too. I am growing out of most of my first lot of clothes, so it looks like we'll be going shopping soon. We're up to Jesus' miracles in my Beginner's Bible. I seem to like the magpies in the yard. I really like watching the washing go round and round in the front loader we have here. I love my bathtime now.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Ra ra ra ra ra

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but since I started eating my rice pudding I've started 'talking'.

The mouth movements are exactly the same as the first time I ate with a spoon, which is exactly the same kind of movement grown ups make when they chew chewing gum with their mouth open.

I don't know if I'm consciously practising the eating thing, but I'll be sitting in my chair and all of a sudden I'll start opening and closing my mouth, and a couple of seconds later I'll add the noises. It's the same thing each time, 'ra ra ra ra ra'. The only variation is the length of the 'ra's. Sometimes it's 'raaaaaaa'.

Mum and dad both enjoy 'chatting' to me when I'm in full flight. It's certainly a sight to see a little man like me in an animated conversation. Even if I only talk about the one thing!

Monday, 12 November 2007

My routine is anything but

For the last couple of weeks my sleeping and eating patterns have been all over the place. It started with our move to the new house, especially when we packed away my cot.

While other kids my age, and some even younger, have started to sleep the night through, I've been waking up a few times every night. On the weekend it was every two hours, and that made mum and dad tired, grumpy, and determined to get me and my routine back on track.

My proper cot is still in storage, waiting until we move into our proper house. I'm supposed to be doing my sleeping in the port-a-cot. It's in mum and dad's room, but we all know it's more fun to sleep in the big bed, so I've been carrying on in the wee small hours, and we all know how a whinge at 3am ends up, with three in the bed!

But enough is enough. Mum announced we are about to start a strict routine. No more two hourly night time feeds. No more staying up late. She's even brought in reinforcements in the form of formula. Dad's a key part of this campaign too. It's his job to get me back to sleep during the night, cause there's no way I can demand a feed from him, no matter how hard I cry! This is a big problem, because he's a firm believer in the AM/PM plan we used to have. He doesn't like being up half the night and having to work the next day. So after 45 minutes of me howling at 3am, he decided it was time to call in reinforcements of his own. That didn't go down very well, so all three of us were rather grumpy in the morning.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Cut it out

I've always been tall for my age. And my weight. I guess we can start using the word 'tall'. All my official baby related documents use the word 'length'. But you don't hear adult saying, 'gee, that's a long basketball player'. Just because we can't stand up yet doesn't me we can't be tall!

Anyway, back to my story...

Mum noticed that while I had a decent amount of room in the tummy area of my wondersuit, my feet were a little on the cramped side.

In a perfect world I'd be a size between 00 and 0. But until they start making clothes 'for the slender baby' we had to improvise.

With scissors!

Two quick snips and I'm feeling free in my wondersuit. Dad reckons I look a little bit like bigfoot. But it's a lot more comfortable than having my feet curled up. And if it gets cold (which it has been lately) I can always put on some socks!!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Solid rock

I had my first meal of solid food today! Of all the wonderful foods that exist in this world, guess what I ended up with. Fruit? No. Veggies? No. Seafood? Of course not. If you guessed 'weird mushy rice cereal' you'd be right. And your prize can be a half eaten packet of said mushy rice cereal!

Generations of kids have grown up eating this stuff, so I guess it can't be too bad, but I wasn't too sure when I first tasted it;

video

I was more taken with the spoon than the actual food, but I kept eating until there was none left.

Mum thought it was quite fun to buy my first spoon. And little frozen food cube trays. And sippy cup. It's a whole new world of eating!

She was also impressed when I downed 220ml of baby formula at tea time. It was the first time I've had formula. I'm a breast milk baby. But I've gotten into the habit of having a few too many feeds during the night, so having a bit of formula is supposed to help wean me off those extra feeds. We'll see how it goes, bottles can't match breasts!

Next week we're adding pears to my diet. Such excitement!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Bathtime just got a lot more fun

I must have been paying close attention during my swimming lesson, because I tried out some of the techniques in the bath tonight!

Usually I keep one hand firmly wrapped around the side of my bath, and keep a foot or my butt on the ground. But this time I lay on my back and floated! I've never done that before.

And then I was so excited I tried to stand up!

To add to all this excitement mum got me my very own bath toy! It might even be better than the one we had at the pool. It spins around and has a round bit on one side and purple bendy bits on the other side. Very spiffy.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Family meeting

Mum and I hit the road today to meet some more family.

So far I've met grandad and grandma on both sides, a great nana on mum's side, and today it was great grandad and nan on dad's side. All that's left is a Mummy B and another great nana, and I will have completed the set!

Nan says I look like dad when he was a baby, and share a few traits with his cousin Sam.

When I met grandad I poked my tongue out and blew a big raspberry. But I wasn't being rude! It's just my new thing.

I also met another second cousin. Georgia is younger than me, but a bit bigger, but not as big as my other second cousin Ezra, who I'm sure is training to be a sumo!

While our mums shared late night nappy changing stories, Georgia cried, and I joined in sympathy!

In all the excitement mum forgot to take a photo of me and the rellies! That's OK, it's an excuse to visit again soon for lots more cuddles.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Water baby

Look out Thorpey, I had my first swimming lesson today.

My 'lil swimmers' nappies were a little on the baggy side, but mum fastened them as tight as she could, and we hoped the heated pool wouldn't make me feel as relaxed as I sometimes do in my carseat!

My class is called 'Aqua Play'. And boy did we play. Half an hour of singing nursery rhymes and aquainting ourselves with the world of swimming.
We did a bit of kicking, we did a bit of floating, and we generally splashed about.

There were some bigger kids in another class next to us and they were even going under the water! And jumping from the sides to their mums and dads! One day that will be me.

Dad was able to start work a bit late and watch all the fun of my first lesson. He says it was a very special thing, one more 'first' for me. And one more first for mum and dad too.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I slept through the race that stopped the nation

Melbourne Cup day!

We started today just like any other big sporting day. With dad making me pick a winner!

He wrote down all the horse names and threw them down on my playmat and the first one I grabbed would be my pick. Now, it's a little tricky, because I'm still not really mobile, so the ones laid out right in front were always going to be in with the best chance.



After a brief flirting with 'Purple Moon' I settled on 'Master O'Reilly'. That was good, it was the race favourite. Dad went to the TAB and put some money onto the horse for me.

By racetime I was having a snooze. And so was Master O'Reilly! That breaks my 100% winning streak. Stupid horse racing.

Fortunately dad put my name in the office sweep and I won! So I'm up a whole dollar on my first Melbourne Cup.

Monday, 5 November 2007

The discovery channel

Mum and dad are enjoying me discovering the world around me.

Case in point; At bathtime I've been quite busy learning to kick and splash with my feet. Usually I hold on to the sides of the baby bath with my hands. But today I let go and put my hand in the water. I did it slowly and methodically at first, and then when I figured out it was safe, hit the water harder and splashed with my hand. It was only a little thing, but when you're not quite six months old, there's a lot to learn, and everything is rather new.

My co-ordination is getting better too. My hands are no longer attached to wild and crazy arms that whip about with no control. I can now grab at things purposefully. In fact, I grab at everything!

I've got a new little sneeze noise too. I sneeze quite often (usually in twos) but now the sneeze is followed by a sigh of relief. "Achoo. Achoo. Ahhhhh". It's very cute.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Self soothing

I love cuddles from mum and dad when I'm feeling sad. But I've been doing my best to soothe myself when all isn't well.

I've road tested a couple of different comfort tools.

In the old days, when I was a wee baby, I would press the palm of my hand against the back of my head. Mum and dad first noticed this move in the car, and then later on inside when I was feeling sort of stressed. It was a handy non-verbal cue, and if they caught me in time, they could cuddle and coo and ahh before I pulled out the verbal cues.

These days it's all about the gurgle. I sometimes wake up in the night and if I'm not too hungry, I'll gurgle myself back to sleep. I gurgle on my playmat, and in the car too. Of course, sometimes a gurgle won't do and I'll need a bit more help, but it's a handy thing to try before I call for reinforcements.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Rasberries, stinkypants and rockstars

Aunty Lyndall came to visit today, and gave me a new t-shirt. It has a slogan on the front; "Captain Stinkypants". How fitting! It's a little big for me at the moment, but as soon as I grow into it I'll post a photo. To thank her, I decided to try out some new skills. I sat in my chair blowing bubbles and rasberries! Everybody laughed, including me. I thought it was great to have three adults all coo'ing over me...

We went out for dinner tonight. Just like last night. In fact, it was exactly like last night, because we went to the same place!

Once again, I was on my best behaviour, and everyone commented on how easy going I am. Mum and dad are very happy I go with the flow these days.

This time we played Singstar (for those unfamiliar with this, it's a playstation game where you have a microphone and sing along to songs and are scored by the computer for how well you hold the notes and melody - two people sing at the same time, and it's a lot of fun, especially for the onlookers). I'm not old enough to have a go, but I sat on mum's knee and watched very intently. I had a look of shock and awe when dad belted out a song. I looked him straight in the eye for a good few seconds, wondering what on earth was going on, but I didn't cry.

I don't know how I managed it, but after a few songs I actually fell asleep, despite the blaring music and the loud wails of wannabe rock stars.

Dad reckons I'd be good at that game, I sometimes ooh and ahh a lot, and can hold a note for a while. Unfortunately, they don't have any songs I know. Not even 'special man'.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Scratched

I'm sporting a few scratches. The biggest one is on my nose. We reckon we know who the culprit is. Me! Mum clipped my fingernails recently, but she thinks I managed it with something else. My toenails! I'm pretty good at getting my feet in my mouth, but sometimes I wave my legs around so much they go all over the place, including wacking myself in the head.

Today wasn't all about scrathes. I spent a good deal of time in the car. The car makes me relaxed. When I'm relaxed I do a poo. Today's poo was a beauty. We got home, mum started to change me, and then I did something I've never done before. I shoved my hand in it before mum could whisk all the offending stuff away. Eeeewww! Not only did she have to clean my butt, but also my hands. That's hopefully the last time I ever do that!

After those two events, today was fantastic. We went out to tea and had a grand time. I was on my best behaviour. I didn't grizzle for the whole time were out. I really love going out, conversations always seem interesting, and meeting new people is always exciting. I hope we go back to Andy and Wendy's. They've got Singstar, and I'm sure I'd love to slobber all over the microphones!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Taking cues

I often get little frights.

Today mum was getting some ice out of the freezer and there was a big crash. I jumped, and started to screw up my face, as I do before I burst into 'I'm freaked out' cries. But mum looked me in the eye and coo'd and ahh'd and prevented a meltdown. Phew.

I've found myself taking behaviour cues from mum and dad. I'll lock my eyes onto theirs and if they smile and let me know everything's cool, then I'll relax.

When I have a shower with mum, dad will stand by and watch me, to make sure everything is ok. I'll stare at him with a concerned look, until he tells me everything's fine. Then I'll be dunked under the water, and look back at dad. He'll tell me everything's cool, I'll smile, and then I'll go under the water again.

If they're happy, I'm happy.

Sometimes it doesn't quite work. Dad was playing with me yesterday, and got a little too loud for my liking, and I screwed up my face, he coo'd and aah'd but it wasn't enough - I wailed and wailed. I even tried out some new cries - very high pitched. But I settled down a minute or so later and we went back to playing on the floor again. Quietly!

My life in pictures