Thursday, May 3, 2012

20 months

Twenty months. That's almost two really. Two is that magical age where you just have a number for how many years you are, rather than months; or at least how many years and months. I guess it means you're growing up. Although, I do know some mums keep counting in months for a lot longer, no-one really knows how old the kid is when you state months after two. I had the same problem with weeks after about 12 weeks. By then, it's just easier to count in months. Someone told me their kid was 18 weeks, and I'm furiously in my head, in my sleep deprived state, trying to figure out how old that meant he was.

Rachael's big development for the month has been in words/sounds. Where sounds technically make it as words, I'm not sure. But we probably get a new one per week. They knid of creep up on you now, like coming up to you one day and saying "hi" when I got home from work. I responded with "hi" back to her, and then you find yourself wondering just how long she has been saying "hi" without it registering.

Mr Lion is now known as "Raa". As in the sound you say a lion makes. It makes things heaps easier for me, when I ask her what she's looking for in the bed, when she answers "Raa", and I know she's seeking out Mr Lion (which usually means it's feed time). I do have to admit that I ask her what she's looking for, when I already know, just to encourage conversation. Racheal thinks wearing the Mr Lion top that was made for her birthday last year, although a little small, is great. You'll randomally get "Raa" all throughout the day.

Rachael in Mr Lion top at her birthday last year. 8 months ago...
Animal sounds are very popular;squeaking for a mouse, snorting for a pig. She's doesn't quack for a duck though, just says Duck/Uck.

Rachael loves trains at the moment. Both Thomas the Tank and Chuggington. Two boys at playgroup on Wednesday were wearing Thomas tops, and she spent the entire eating time making train whistle noises, to let me know she could see Thomas. I'm looking out for Thomas tops for her, as I'm sure she'd be quite chuffed to have one. They're all "boys" jumpers, but who really cares? She still gets called a boy when wearing pink from head to toe because of the lack of hair anyway. There's nothing physically about boys tops that makes them inappropriate for girls. It's probably harder to get away with putting boys in "girls" clothes though. And why the heck aren't they putting Thomas on the "girls" clothing for this age anyway? Missing the market on that one.
Shh, don't tell the clothing gender police on me. She also has a set of blue pajamas because they were cheaper, and blue onesies.

Rachael is still big on the word "bum". She actually says it now. Her first verbal body part, of course.

Warning to all who read who know Rachael. Well, actually the entire 6 blog readers know her I think. Rachael runs around talking about "duck", and has picked up on the number 6. Why number 6? I have no idea. Any number she sees is automatically 6. We don't have a potty mouthed toddler, just one who doesn't announciate very well.

Racheal's also getting onto the concept of "baby". Three of the swimming lesson mums who have children Rachael's age have just had babies, and also there are new baby siblings to her friends at playgroup. Any baby is known as "Ba". We've also just borrowed her a baby doll from the toy library (great place that). Rachael was insistent the naked baby had to have a hat. Unfortunately, I have leant our small sized hats to a friend who needed them. So baby has ended up wearing a 00000 sized grosuit instead. That seems to have satisifed her. Now she can undo all the press studs, and then present baby so I can do them all up, so they can be undone again. Great game it seems.

Rachael also enjoys "breastfeeding" baby. It started that Mr Lion had to have a feed from mum before her. Then one day, after a shower, she decided to feed Mr Lion herself. Now Mr Lion usually gets a feed from mum before her own, and I have also fed a duck or two- as you do. I guess I'm probably lucky I haven't had to feed any cars yet. But truely, it's gorgeous to watch. Racheal also insists on wearing my bra each morning after her shower. To her, this is all perfectly normal, trying to be like her parents stuff, just like trying to put on our underwear (Which is both legs in one hole, a thankful change from underwear on her head, as she was rather fond of when she was younger).

Nap time has, unfortunately, decreased. She used to get 2 hours, but these days it 1-1.5 hours.

Monday, April 9, 2012

19 months

Well, I stretch the truth a little. The ticker up the top says she's 1 year, 7 months, one week and one day old. It means I'm late in posting again. No real suprise there.

Teething has taken a long time. More than a month this time around, 5 or 6 weeks. I don't know if it is actually taking longer than it used to, or wether you shorten things in your memory when you look back on it. Things have started to look up in the last two days, so she's finally starting to eat again, is back to 4 feeds in 8 hours overnight instead of 6 (oh joy).

We have been able lucky enough to discover Rachael's comprehension of a lot of words over the last few weeks.
Rachael can now point to her main body parts when asked:
Head, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, toungue, teeth, shoulders, arms, hands, elbow, fingers, tummy,  belly button, bum, back, legs, feet and toes. She still is almost obsessive with her love of her tummy, as she has been for quite a while, and is sure everybody in the world is as in love with her own tummy as she is, and naturally wants to share it. Bum is a new love, thanks to grandma pointing it out in a book. Thankfully the word only, not the sharing bit.
I'm sure she knows words we don't know she does, as discovering her comprehension of words is often by accident, so it makes sense there are some we haven't discovered yet.

Have I mentioned her favourite colour is red? She loves wearing red socks, and insists on her parents wearing red jumpers at every possible moment.

Rachael loves to share with inaminate objects. She shared her lunch with a rubber duck. She shared her feed with Mr Lion. She thinks this is great fun.
She is also quite good at sharing some things with other people. Sometimes when eating a meal, she will insist on a parent taking alternative bites with her. This seems to be a fun game. Other times she wants to share it all- very happy to "share" the entire food with a parent if it's a vegetable. Ie, "if you like it so much, you eat it; I'm not interested"
Sharing toys with other children, not so much. But she IS a toddler. It'd almost be weird if she did play perfectly well with others at this age.
She does share Mr Lion's hugs quite readily with just about anybody though. Which I didn't expect. I thought she'd be territorial of the most important thing in her life. But in some ways, he's like an extension of her. Often if she's having a feed with mum, dad will have to hold Mr Lion. Mr Lion gets special hugs and kisses at bedtime. Mr Lion will also get passed into the car as dad is leaving, for last hugs and kisses as he goes, as if she can't physically get there, he'll do as a proxy. He'll also often get passed to someone if they're after a hug, and she's not ready to go to them yet.

Speechwise, not much has progressed in the last month. Her new favourite word is "stuck" (although it is distinguisable from "duck" by context only, as she's only getting out the "uck" sound. She loves duck too though). Stuck is a very handy word for her though. It's great to alert caregivers when she needs help. I can't help buit think of the video of Addie every time I hear the word though.

I'm still amazed by the way she grows up. A year ago she was only 7 months. Just started rolling. Now she's running all over the place. And then I look at Finnian and Noah, and see what a "big girl" toddler she's going to be in another short year.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To BLW and back

It's funny how your ideas on things change about parenting- before you have a child, and then they continue to change as things go.

When I heard about BLW, it made sense, I studied the book, and decided to go along with it.
We started with purely fingerfood at 6 months
I'm not exactly sure, but I don't think she'd had anything but finger food at 12 months, where we discovered her love of mashed potato- so she had mash
And then closer to 18 months, we discovered pureed food is very handy when she'll hardly eat any solid food for weeks when teething.

Finger food- mash-puree

Sound really backwards to anyone else?

What I've discovered along the way:
* You can serve up broccoli for a year- but she still won't eat it. I'm starting to think fussy eating is inherent to some degree, rather than something that can be avoided by an eating/ feeding method. We eat our vegetables in front of her. We serve her vegetables. After that, mayby we just have to admit mayby she's just not fond of broccoli for now.

* Puree of itself is not evil. (shock, horror)

* Sometimes, for the parent at least, any (healthy-ish) food she eats is better than no food. Rachael seems to take teething harder than most children. And, to be perfectly honest, I'm finding it hard for breastmilk to be nearly the entire food source for an 18 month old who happens to be both teething and having a growth spurt at the same time, for weeks on end, all day and all night. A little help by puree is appreciated to give me a little break.

*Kids really love those sqeegy pouches. Crazy stuff; if it's in a pouch, it'll get sucked dry quickly. Even though the manufacturers state you've got to decant the food first, honesty, no-one does because this way it gets eaten. I see parents everyday giving them tothe kids like this. I'm pretty sure it's the reason why they're packaged like that in the first place, but they're just covering their backsides.

*BLW purists would be appalled.

 But you know what? I don't have a problem with the way we're doing things. Firstly, we've figured out by now Rachael is not your "average" child. She's not at all inclined to follow the baby books, or the "methods". I don't wish we'd gone back and done purees from the begining; I like that Rachael is not used to being force fed. She's confident and in control. Even when that independance can be inconvenient to us at times.

So we've been to BLW, and back again. We've learnt some stuff, softened ideals on some stuff. And that's just the way it goes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

18 months

18 months- another one of the "big ones". However, I more feel at the moment like she's a little baby again, rather than a big girl. Blame the teething. Teething always sends her on quite a regression. We go back to being whiny, impatient, clingy and teary. Also, Rachael eats practically no solids, preferring round the clock breastfeeding, and not much sleep overnight, even in our bed. She even woke up crying strongly, it took us a while to be able to calm her down again. A difference between the "big girl who acts like a little baby while teething" and an actual little baby is the big girl version also throws tantrums. Yesterday it was screaming and thrashing about in. the. library. (honestly, of all places) because mummy said it was time to go. It's the four eye teeth that are cutting through the gums. At least we know from experience that so far, this behavior change has only lasted for about two weeks each time, so we'll get through it, and out the other side. But really, two weeks sounds like a long time from where I'm standing. We haven't been able to get any Panadol into her yet, as she just spits it all out. I've also tried mixing it into some pureed apple and berry mix, but haven't managed to get it into her yet.

Before the regression, I;m pleased to say we were doing quite well. Rachael was eating meals and snacks throughout the day, as well as plenty of water. Sleeping was on the improve too. Our night routine works quite well. Rachael is happy to go into her cot once the routine is finished, knowing she's going to go to sleep. I just sit next to the cot, so she knows I'm there if needed. On a "good" night, she'll go to sleep herself fairly quickly and happily. Some nights she finds it rather diffucult to go to sleep though. It's quite funny to watch, because she'll have backside in the air, and moving around, but with her head on the mattress the whole time, like she's trying to say that she really is trying to get to sleep. On these nights, she'll often need my hand in the cot with her; to either just hold onto, or sometimes I pat her to try to help her settle in, or just have my hand on her. She seems to appreciate having me there as a "only if needed measure". Once she's settled in, but usually not asleep, she's ok for me to leave the room. So she really is learning to go to sleep by herself, but in a comfortable and supported way.
We'll be back to it after this phase passes, I'm sure.

Today we had Rachael's 18 month checkup, and vaccination. Boy oh boy, needle soreness on top of teething, we're going to have an interesting few days coming up it seems. I have no idea why, but I've just found out the health nurse didn't put her info into her blue book. I do remember though that's she's 10.6kg. About 40th percentile weight, and 20th percentile height, with a small head. All of the above is pretty normal for her.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I'm just so proud of Rachael right now.
Sleep-wise, three nights ago, I decided that she was responding quite well to the night routine that I'd move it onto the next phase of getting her to go to sleep in her own cot after her feed.
First night, she was drowsy after the feed, and after 15 minutes was asleep in the cot after being patted to sleep.
Night two, she was super tired, and was asleep by the end of the feed anyway, so not much to read into that.
Tonight, Rachael was still fully awake after her feed, but did not object to being put into the cot. She tossed and turned for quite a while, and I eventually gave up trying to pat her to sleep, as it didn't seem to be working. But she eventually was able to calm down and go to sleep, only holding my hand.

It's so wonderful on several fronts
1) She might actually sleep well eventually
2)She seems to be responding to the gradual changes
2) And a lot more important, the gentle approach seems to be working- she is not afraid of sleep, she is not afraid of her cot. It is rather vindicating that she's starting to do what "experts" who don't agree with our parenting approach claim that she'll never do if you don't take rather more severe measures

All at once she seems to be ready to eat solid foods and settle down with her sleep. No, I don't think the sleep is a result of the food intake, but a general maturing.

We'll see how it goes from here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

17 months

At 17 months, we're definately into Toddler territory. There's so much in the world that she wants and isn't allowed. There's also so much in the world she wants, is allowed, but she has diffuculty communicating what it is she's after. The first one won't change in a hurry, but we're hoping for some improvements for the second as we go along. Rachael's vocabulary is still pretty limited in relation to her opinions. Some more "functional" word (like those relating to food, drink and sleep) would hopefully reduce some of her fustration. So we're just have to wait for them to arrive. Her actual solid food consumtion has gone up in the last few days, like she's eating for sustenance, not just to play. We haven't been worrying about her small food intake up until now though, as she has really very good fork, spoon and bowl skills, it's jsut that she has chosen to only consume small portions. An increase in food consumption does lead to a concern though; reading the ingredients listing on "toddler" snack foods is rather quite disconcerting how much sugar is added into items marketed as"healthy".

I think I like each age a little more as we go (not overly hardfrom where I started though). This early toddler stage has Rachael swapping between being completely adorable and more challenging. And the adorable really is gorgeous. We have found however, the challenging is often assisted by a snack. It seems she is prone to the same blood sugar dips as her mother.

Sleep wise, we started adding a bedtime book into her routine, and settling her in her room at night at a regular time of 8:30. Sometimes she's asleep by 9, other times she's still wriggling around by 9:30. My aim is to hopefully have her settling in a decent timeframe regularly once she gets the hang of it. Overall, the hope is to gradually get her to the point where she will be able to actually go to sleep in her own bed. Then, if she can do that, mayby we can hope on her being more receptive to staying in the bed, and more likely to actually sleep overnight. Pretty lofty goal really. But at least I feel like we're actually trying something. That just mayby we'll get a full night sleep in the next 2 years.

Current obsession is how things work. Clips are of particular interest. Some days she doesn't want to come in out of the car, instead working on trying to figure out how to do up her carseat buckle. After much investigation, she's figured out how to do up the clip on her backpack harness. She'll spend ages to do it up, and as soon as it's together, she's rather impatient for a parent to undo it, so she can start again. Pram harness has a similar appeal. She's also very much into her pram. Not sitting in it, but she wants to push it. She's also rather keen on trying to plug my power cord into my computer, and the USB into the port (my poor computer) .

Rachael is also a bit of an accessoriser. I don't know where she got it from, definately not me. But she's into shoes, handbags and headbands. And she wants to wear her one pair of red socks every day. Red is definately the colour favourite. I managed to find some more red socks at country kids this week, haven't tried them with her yet, but I'm on a hunt for red socks. But at the same time it seems red socks are rather hard to find at the moment.

Another red item is Murray and Captian Feathersword from the Wiggles. She's just recently discovered the Wiggles, and they're her favourite characters. She was rather chuffed to discover Dorothy the Dinosaur on her pajama top though. The Wiggles have recently chucked out Sam to reinstate Greg. I listened to CDs of both yellow wiggles today. I have to say I think Sam is better.

School term starts back this week, and so does Rachael's swimming classes. It's rather sad to see that after not going to the pool for about 3 weeks over Christmas, Rachael has lost a lot of her pool confidence. But I guess three weeks is a long time when you're 17 months. She is getting back into the swing of it, so I hope she'll be back to where she was soon enough.

Rachael had her first play date in the last month. Didn't really go that well, but it's a start. I'm thinking of not going to playgroup for the next few months, as it's rather intimidating to have so many kids, and start setting up some one-on-one playdates instead.

Rachael is also trying to perfect her "cute" look (and it is SO cute). We've caught her practising it in the reflection of the oven door.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

16 months

We've had Christmas and New Year in the last month, so it's been busy.

At this moment, Rachael's alseep on my bed. She's had a very busy morning with Grandma. It's rare at the moment for her to sleep without being attached to someone, but she was so tired she fell to sleep there right after her feed when I put her down so I could go to the toilet. She's just been sleeping very lightly during the day at the moment, so putting her into the cot wakes her up, and she won't go back to sleep. She's also refusing to go back to sleep in her own bed after feeds overnight, so we give up eventually, and bring her back to our bed so we can get some sleep ourselves.

No particular news eating-wise. Most of the time she still likes to eat very little. Sometimes it stresses me out, othertimes I'm more happy to let her decide. At the moment, Rachael has a thing for anything potato, as well as biscuits. Anything green veg is way off the radar. It does concern me that she may not be getting enough iron from solids, I have to take a iron suppliment on top of my pregnancy/feeding multivitamin or I feel like I've been run over my a truck, and we tend to have iron issues in the family, but she just plain old won't eat them. She's oven gone off her meat obsession, which is odd. And of course, she can't live on biscuits (even though she'd like to give it a shot I'm sure), not a good thing. It does help my mind somewhat though that she's still breastfeeding. Don't tell her it's nutritious, she's blissfully unaware of the fact. I know through this that she's still getting some amount of nutrients. There has been suggestion that if I weaned her, she'd eat better. There's no way to know, but I sort of get the feeling she'd eat larger quantities, but I don't think it'd affect her variety. I don't see her suddenly accepting broccoli just because she doesn't get milk.

Rachael didn't really get the point of Christmas gifts. She wasn't even particually keen on the wrapping paper. She did get some lovely gifts though, her favourite at the moment is probably her broom.

Rachael is really starting to get into toddler mode. Things she's not allowed to do or have fustrate her, so she gets angry. On the other hand, she can be incredible cute at times. We have been reminded that she watches everything we do; A few days ago I decided to take her to the swimming pool, so put my bathers on. Since I had just had my shower, Rachael knows part of my routine is to put on my underwear (shocking, I know ;). She seems to have decided that I forgot to do it, so got a clean pair of underwear out of my drawer, and tried to put them over my feet. I obligingly put them on, and had to take them off again when she wasn't looking.  

Getting into the Christmas Spirit, givng the Santa Claus look a go

15 months

The 15 month blog never got posted. Why? Because I wrote it, was going to find a picture, but she woke up instead, so that was the end of that. I went back to post it a few days later, but it all had changed, so I re-wrote most of it, but it never quite got posted. Sure enough, it changed again. That's life with a mini-toddler; it keeps changing, particually on the sleep front.

In the begining, we were having a particually diffucult time with lack of sleep.
We had a few nights where Rachael was feeding every 2 hours or less. After a few day, I was over it. I was tired, I wanted to do anything to get a night's sleep. I was going to night wean (immediately). I was going to hire a babysitter for a night's sleep. Then Rachael and I went to see a friend, had a chat and then came back to a more rational truth. Our truth, at that time is that either would most probably be damaging to Rachael. Yes, I would love to get a full night's sleep, but there's no harm in waiting a little longer to see if she'll be ready to do this on her own. I may have to night wean her at some time in the future, and I have read up on some gentle stratergies for if they are required, but I don't want to do it before 18 months. She isn't ready to comprehend the communication side that these stratergies use. And these nights are really handy to point out another truth to me- Rachael will remain an only child for a while longer. There is absolutely no way I am ready to go back to the newborn no sleep stage yet.

Then shse started to sleep better. Her solids intake increased (it was becoming almost non-existant when she was at home with me), she increased her water intake a lot, and went back to sleeping. She went from her 3 hourly feeds that she's had since birth, to feeding 4 hourly overnight, for a few days. Which is absolutely lovely. It means  I was still getting disturbed sleep, but more likely to get more complete sleep cycles in (woo hoo). And for a 9:30pm to 4:30am sleep on a work day, we've only had one feed instead of two. But it only lasted a few days, and we're back to fairly regular feeding again.
When Rachael is with either grandmother, or Jai, the increased cosumption of other food and drink mean daytime feeds are reduced to a feed before her nap, an afternoon feed and then bedtime feed. This is much more like what I expected extended feeding to be when I researched it, rather than the around the clock that we'd been doing. But if it's just the two of us, it's still regular feeding.

Since then, she's settled back into her old habits.

I can't rememver what else was happening, so I'll just start my 16 month post