Luca Letter: 11 months

It was another action packed month for you this month! Not only that but plans are officially under way for your first birthday party, which is actually quite overwhelming. How is it nearly 12 months ago that you made your way into this world to bless us?

Updates for the month

Your hair

Your hair has really started to grow now. You’ve got my blonde hair, which I’m a little bit chuffed about. I feel for you though, if you have the same thickness as me then you’re doomed to an eternity of frequent haircuts. Although, let’s be honest, guys have it way easier than girls in that aspect.  [...]  read more

Luca letter: 8 months

8 months. You’re officially 8 months old. At this point when you were 8 months in my belly I was starting to wind things down at work. I spent 2 weeks working from home, and then another 2 weeks waiting for arrival. I had a huge belly (I still have a belly: I’m working towards losing it but I’m not there yet).

So, what did you get up to this month?

The month of sickness

We had a horrid month for illness. I know this time will come again, and we will have some bad periods ahead. But nevertheless this was not a fun month, and I’m not in a hurry to repeat it.

Incident 1

It started when you had a fever. We used panadol to get it under control, but then you started throwing up, and got lethargic. It was the first time we had ever seen you like that, so we decided a trip to the hospital was in order. It was scary! I thought you were passing out in the car! When we arrived they ran some tests, and after a long time you were diagnosed with a virus and we took you home to ride it out.

Fun fact – trying to do a UTI test for a baby is bloody difficult. We pretty much took your nappy off and waited to try and catch your pee.

Incident 2

Just after you seemed to be getting better from the virus, one day you woke up with conjunctivitis. Your poor eyes were so red and looked so painful. I snapped this pic on day 1. You certainly didn’t enjoy us wiping your eyes down, but eventually you grew accustomed to the saline and put up with it. And after a few days it finally went away.

Incident 3…and 4….and 5….

After your virus I started to develop a cough. Which became a bad cough. And then became a chest infection. To top it off, I also copped an ear infection then too. I was feeling pretty terrible, but marching on and trying to get on with it despite coughing constantly and going deaf in one ear. At one point I went to work and lasted an hour before going home.

And then it ramped up a notch.

We copped gastro.

You can read more about it here, but to recap:

  • Thursday: diagnosed with chest infection
  • Saturday: diagnosed with ear infection
  • Monday: gastro, hospitalised for dehydration

It sucked. But we got through it, and touch wood we all stay health for a little bit. We’ve had a rough run.

Skills

Clicking your tongue

One day you were pulling faces at Aunty Amy when she clicked her tongue at you. Suddenly you started doing it back! It was like you’d been doing it for days, and when I pointed it out to Amy that it was your first time she was surprised. You carried on with it for a few days, but you haven’t been interested in it ever since then.

Teeth

It doesn’t count as a skill as such, but you have teeth! Two bottom teeth and one top tooth so far. Your next top one is pushing really hard though.

Overall you’ve been pretty good with teething. Only recently have you had a few grizzly days, you poor thing. We’ve kept panadol and nurofen on rotation to try and take you out of your misery as much as possible. Otherwise it’s just a matter of letting you chew on things: oddly enough you don’t care for your teething toys.

New foods

You’ve been trying a few new foods this month, including:

  • Peanut butter
  • Steak
  • Porridge
  • Watermelon (you were finally happy to suck and eat it out of the feeder)

You absolutely loved the steak, but weren’t too fussed with porridge.

Other things

Fun at daycare

You have been having a wonderful time at daycare this month! You got to meet a bird one day even. You absolutely adore the girls there, and every morning you greet everyone with a smile.

I was thrilled to find out they do school photos at daycare; my first school photo of you! As luck would have it, the day we got discharged from hospital was the day of the photo shoot. We had come home, and because you were totally unaffected we decided to drop you off (so I could rest and clean the house from top to bottom).

I had totally forgotten that it was photo day, so just sent in you in a random assortment of clothing – nothing special. When I arrived they reminded me, so in a panic I found that we had your snoopy shirt in the backpack as spare clothes and changed you into that.

Apparently when the photographer arrived, you were all smiley again. But as soon as the camera was raised, you stared the camera down. No smiley faces here! Hence we got the following photo:

I love it. There’s absolutely nothing better than a hilarious photo with a story. I much prefer that to a perfect, smiling pose!

Other highlights:

  • Your first state of origin (with a cute little hoodie to match)
  • Sitting up in the trolley at the grocery stores now
  • Playing on the lawn with missy
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    Luca letter: 6 months old

    Swim class with baby's head under water

    I’m a broken record, I know, but I’m seriously stunned every time another month rolls around and it’s time for the next letter. It’s taken me so long to write this one that the next one is due in only 2 weeks!

    Things are progressing…

    You’re continuing to progress in some skills that you’ve already developed. For example:

    Swimming class

    This month you moved into an official “paid” swimming class instead of the free ones for babies up to 6 months. And within the first two sessions you’d already had your head underwater – very impressive!

    Sitting up

    You’re nearly there. At the moment you’re able to balance yourself for a little bit before falling to the side. If I sit with you with my legs on either side you always rest a hand on my leg, just for reassurance. But you’ve mostly got this, you’ve just got to have faith in yourself.

    No crawling yet – you’re still up on your hands and knees and rocking, but it’s like you haven’t worked out the coordination yet. That doesn’t mean you’re not mobile though! You’ve worked out that if you want to get somewhere it’s a matter of rolling and a bit of break dancing i.e. laying on your back and using your legs to push yourself around in a circle. Before I took this photo you were originally beside me, then bam – across the room you go!

    Your third cold

    Another nasty one, with lots of nose sucking going on so we can keep your airways clear. This time I caught it too and it was tough. I had to ask your father to come home from work one day, and as soon as he arrived I handed you over and went straight to bed. I slept for 3 hours straight. Apparently he came in a few times to try and wake me up and I was out of it, so I must have needed it!

    As for you, there were a few hairy nights when your father really worried about your breathing. Thankfully you managed to get through OK.

    And some new things…

    Started at daycare

    You started at  daycare in preparation for my return back to work next month. It went as well as could be expected. You love your teachers, and when you were away for a couple of days, on your return you gave them a huge smile and actually leaned towards them for a cuddle.

    The first day I dropped you off I went back to the car and bawled my eyes out. I felt so selfish returning back to work, but I knew it needed to be done. Financially, your father and I always want to make sure that you’re taken care of (don’t think that means you won’t have to earn your own way some time in the future). It also means you get some socialisation and exposure to toys and equipment we don’t have at home.

    You’ve had a few issues with feeding, mainly refusing the bottle a few times for them. It’s your way of rebelling a little bit, you’re not happy about the fact that I’m not there to feed you. But alas, little man, soon you won’t need me in that way at all! Since last month you’ve been eating solids and enjoy them so the teachers at daycare know they can serve that up to you. You still have milk from me, and occasionally the bottle from dad, but not so much for your teachers. They’ve also had to feed you from a syringe a couple of times. But we’ll crack you!

    First camping trip

    We took you on your first ever camping trip this month – it was fantastic! You did so well, and we got some amazing photos of you. The only thing we’ll need to change in the future is what you wear to work. I think you were a bit cold so you struggled with sleep a little, but after we rugged you up more you passed out for a good stretch of sleep.

    I can’t wait until you’re a bit older. Hopefully you’ll enjoy camping as much as we do!

    More hair

    You’ve been bald-looking for so many months, and finally you’re starting to get some more hair. It’s a dark blonde colour, so there’s a good chance you’ve got the same colour hair that I do. It could turn brown still to match your fathers, so we’ll see. But we’re thrilled to see it starting to thicken up.

    Discovering gravity

    One of your favourite games to play at the moment is dropping things onto the ground. You’ve discovered gravity. It’s fun for you when you’re sitting in your high chair to pick something up, lean over to the side, hand the object out as far as you can and then drop it. Rinse and repeat with whatever else is on your high chair. It drives us nuts having to pick up so many things, but it really is fun to see. After all, how are you ever going to learn about this stuff if you don’t try it for yourself?

    Pulling hair

    One day I bent down to pick up a fresh nappy and a new outfit for you out of your change table/drawers. Suddenly I felt this tug at my head, and I was stuck!

    It seemed you had suddenly learned that you could pull our hair. Hard.

    Thankfully you’re also learning that “ta” means to let go or hand over whatever you have in your hands, so it’s getting easier to get you to release when you pull our hair (or chains, or glasses off our faces). But there have certainly been some painful moments!

    First night without me

    I had a night away this month when I went to visit the Commonwealth Games! We had prepared hard, testing you with formula and the bottle and you were doing really well. Then when I was gone, you suddenly started to refuse the bottle. Your poor father and Nonna were so worried, and managed to get you to feed by syringe. I returned the following morning to feed you, and you fed great for me, but you certainly didn’t make it easy on them! As for me, well, I didn’t have a great sleep while I was away because all I could think about was you!

    The following weekend I went to the closing ceremony, which is when you developed the cold. Your poor father again was so worried and stressed. I came home, fed you, pumped and managed to get to bed for 2.5 hours of sleep. That was a rough night.

    Sleeping patterns

    Still not great. We’re still struggling.

    For now, you’re still up at least 3 – 4 times a night, and 30min cat naps during the day. I’m at the point where I’m going to start a sleep program with you and see how that pans out.

    Weight

    You’re weighing in at approximately 8.6kg – growing quickly bubba! Based on that you’re in the 85th percentile, so you’re going strong!

    Family update

    We’re doing well! After nearly 7 months off it’s time for me to prepare to head back to work 2 days a week, hence the start at daycare. I’m a bit excited to get back into doing some work, but I’m also sad too – I’m going to miss you! I spend every day with you, and it’s like I’m missing a limb when you’re not there. I know it’s for the best though, as it means you develop new friends and have some social interaction. For me it means that I can be mentally stimulated, and financially we’re better off. So it makes sense. If I could wave a magic wand though we’d be doing something very different.

    Your dad is doing really well too. He’s still charging around doing a lot, working a lot doing things around the house like maintaining the yard and cooking dinner for me (and I guess you too, eventually, since it comes through the milk). He’s still playing indoor soccer and working on his projects as well. It’s very rare to see him sit still.

    Other than that there’s not too much going on.

    Your grandparents are all well. Your nana is preparing to head overseas for 6 weeks, so by the time she gets back you’ll be 8 months old! Crazy!

    We’re also finally starting to make preparations for your baptism, which will be exciting. I had hopes of you wearing your father’s baptismal gown, but given your size there’s a high chance you’re not going to fit. So I guess in that case we’ll look for something else.

    Anyway that’s about it for this month, so I’ll leave you with some other cute photos of you. Until next month!

    Dealing with mum guilt and feelings of selfishness/weakness

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    I’ve been having a rough trot lately, although to look at my Facebook you wouldn’t think so. From an outsider’s perspective it looks as though I’ve been living the dream.

    • Going to three Commonwealth Games events
    • One of those nights staying at the Gold Coast (aka baby-free night)
    • Dad picking up the solo duties

    But as is usually the case, Facebook is not as it seems.

    This post may feel like I’m trying to justify my nights away, but it’s not. I wrote this because I want to get my emotions out of my head, share how I’m feeling, process it and move on.

    In a nut shell, I’ve been feeling like people will be judging me and considering me to be selfish and a poor mother.

    Planning for the games

    Up until this point the longest I’ve been away from bub is about 2 hours. That’s either for a trip to the chiropractor, the gym, or a hair cut. Or the two half days he’s just been at daycare (in preparation for my return to work). That’s it. In 6 months, other than those times, I’ve been with him nonstop.

    While I was pregnant my husband, Mario, and I knew the Commonwealth Games were coming up. It had always been a bucket list item for me to attend either an Olympics or a Commonwealth Games, and having them right in my home state felt like a dream come true. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

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    My husband and I discussed it and we agreed I would enter the lottery for some tickets (to be honest he probably didn’t have a choice in the matter). We thought about how our bub would be fed, and knew that by 6 months he would either be starting solids, or at least old enough to be able to use a bottle. We had no idea if I would be successful at breastfeeding or not (in which case he’d definitely be on a bottle), but worst case scenario if for any reason bub wasn’t feeding then I wouldn’t go. It would hurt to miss out of course, but he came first.

    In the lead up I did all of the following (not necessarily because of the games, but it helped all the same):

  • Feeding expressed breast milk from the bottle
  • Building up and storing an excessive frozen breast milk supply
  • Testing him on formula (my biggest fear was something happening to the frozen milk supply, leaving him without food)
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    Luca letter: 5 months old

    baby 5 months old photo

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    5 months. Officially over half the amount of time you were in my belly. Those 5 months felt like a long time. These 5 months feel like they’ve gone by in a flash. Let’s take a look at what happened in the past month.

    First time eating solids

    It’s the first time something other than breast milk or medicine has passed your lips! And the reactions every time you ate something were hilarious. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing getting you started on solids.

    1. We first started you with some pureed carrot, and then you got a cold. So we stopped.
    2. You got better so we gave you some more carrot. Then you had your 4 month vaccinations, reacted, and started projectile vomiting once a day for about a week. So we stopped.
    3. We started trying again with some more solids, and you caught your second cold. This one was a doozy, so once again we stopped.
    4. Now you’re healthy and it’s all systems go again!

    So far you’ve had carrot, pear, apple and potato.

    At first it didn’t seem like you liked carrot as you screw your nose up and pull a face. That has since progressed to you grabbing my hands and try to shove the food down your mouth as hard as you can. I guess that means you like it! The silicone feeder we’ve been using for you has been great, and way more successful than trying from a spoon.

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    Potato you’re really not a fan of. I don’t blame you, it’s a bit starchy and boring on its own. Hopefully one day you’ll try mashed potato and like it (your dad makes an awesomely creamy one). The apple you didn’t like either, which I thought was odd, until I tried it myself. Daaaaaang it was bitter! I promise we’ll get you a nicer one next time. The pear was sweeter, and you enjoyed that more.

    Next up we’re aiming for some sweet potato and pumpkin. It’s important we get you enjoying your veggies! Fingers crossed that all goes well.

    Oh and by the way, do as I say and not as I do. I can’t eat zucchini at all (makes me gag) but you can bet we’ll be getting you to eat it.

    Your second cold

    Compared to your first cold at 4 months, your second cold at 5 months was a lot worse. It sort of blew out of nowhere, and we don’t know where you picked it up from.

    There was a lot of mucus running down your throat. It was irritating your stomach, and so for about 3 days in a row your father and I each copped a barrage of vomit at least once daily. One time I was on the couch when I got hit; I gripped my legs together as tight as possible and waited for it to soak into my clothes before I stood up. It was the only way I could ensure it didn’t go onto the couch or the rug. It was gross. You didn’t seem phased though, cheeky monkey.

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    Your cough was horrible from the mucus, and a few times we got worried about whether you could breathe. We would race into the bathroom and turn the hot water in the shower on so the room would fill with steam. Then we’d stand in there with you until your breathing returned to normal and we were sure you were OK. One night your dad even slept on the floor next to your cot just so he could be sure you were OK. The vaporiser really helped too.

    The good thing was that you didn’t seem too bothered by it. The only personality change we saw was that you were more quiet, and you were so tired. Suddenly you became great at falling asleep wherever you were, which was incredibly rare before then.

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    Once again the Nose Frida really helped with your mucus, and once we started using that nearly every hour we noticed a massive difference to your breathing. However you discovered how to hit our hands away, so we had to pin you down a few times. Sorry mate. Thankfully the cold only hung around for about 3 – 4 days at the most, and once you got better, you returned back to your full vocal self.

    And then…

    Enter the velociraptor

    This month you discovered your vocal range. As in, you discovered you could screech at quite a high pitch (I’m tempted to tease your dad here because he can get quite the high pitched voice too).

    The first time it happened you were zooming around the living room in your car, stopped, and screeched. I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran over, thinking you had hurt yourself. You looked at me, gave me the biggest grin and a look of sheer joy, and let rip with another screech. You were so proud of yourself.

    Time will tell whether I’m fond of this new skill, but I’m thrilled you’re progressing all the same.

    Other cool things for the month:

  • You had your first visit to Australia Zoo. This was more of a selfish thing for me to get there and enjoy myself though, because you didn’t really care about what you saw. Just being out and about was fun for you, and you took your first ever nap in the pram where you’ve fallen asleep by yourself! There was a bit of grumbling/crying on your part first, but you got there (you’ve gotten better at this since too)

  • Patting us on the back – when we hold you up over our shoulder, you’ll frequently start patting us on the back. It’s so cute! I like to think you’re just copying us since we pat you on the back too. Realistically it’s probably because you like hitting things.
  • You splash up a storm at swimming now! When we get in the pool, you hit the water hard and we both get covered. But you love it, and it’s quite funny. So far your face has been underwater but not your whole head yet. Soon we’ll be moving into the Goldfish class, and that’s when you’ll go under for the first time. I’m already betting you’ll love it, you seem like such a water baby already.
  • We regularly attend “Rhyme Time” at the library now, where they sing nursery rhymes and dance around. Well, except you. Really all you want to do is just stare at everyone. When we get home you love the rhymes, but for now you’re just a people watcher. When it’s all over, you hang out on the ground with Alex and tell him all about it.
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