One year ago…

The Dude turned one last week! He is growing and changing faster than ever and seems to have come so far in just the last month alone. New skills include clapping, which he just randomly did one morning. He woke up, immediately sat up in bed and just started clapping! He seems to do it a lot in bed for some reason.

He has also began waving but like the clapping, he doesn’t do it on demand. In fact that’s a theme that has been running through everything; he never imitates. I read Dr Sears’ The Baby Book and it went on about how babies learn by copying, so you stick your tongue out and they do it back. I’ve been poking my tongue out at this baby for nine months now and never once has he done it back! Oh he’s had plenty of tongue poking practice, it’s not like he has a tongue tie or can’t do it, but it’s never on command or in response. Same goes for anything else, waving, clapping, making noises, he just looks at us like, “go for your life, man, but I’ll do that when I feel like it thanks!”

Some words are definitely coming out. He knows mama and dada, numnums (our word for food) and I’m convinced he says zeh-zeh (his version of his name, Izzy). He also says “ohhhh”, to which I always reply, “what’s occurring?” (Gavin and Stacey anyone?).

He adores music, any kind, from hiphop to classical to rock to dance to the little jingles that emanate repeatedly from various toys. He dances, it’s so cute, bounces up and down while sitting, standing and even in the ergo. I’m not that surprised, given the musical appreciation and raw talent running rampant in both my and Mr Chewbacca’s families, but I’m secretly very chuffed. I will do my best not to impose my shit on him or force him to embrace anything just so I can live vicariously, but I would love it if the Dude ended up doing something with music. I hugely regret not learning piano as a kid. So does Mr Chewbacca in fact. Anyway, his latest favourite is the classic Chili Peppers “Give it Away”. He likes it when I sing the “oh yeeeeeah” bit.

We’ve had so many changes this last month. Dude grew another centimetre so he’s now at 79, and he put on 600g so he’s now 11.5kg. That puts him in the 75th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for height. He’s eating more, and I’m allowing more variety, so he now has peanut butter on toast, more variety of fruit and veg and the odd tidbit from our plates. I even gave him a little of the pasta from a homemade lasagne today and he loved it. I know he’s keen to eat everything we eat but I believe it takes time to introduce such variety. So it’s just little bits at a time for now.

My dad bought the Dude a stroller for his birthday and I was thrilled to discover he actually loves it! He falls asleep in it and everything, which is a massive contrast to how he was months ago when he screamed after ten minutes. Lucky, because he’s getting too heavy to carry for any length of time. He’s been on my back now for about an hour and I can feel it.

We went out without the Dude for the very first time since he was born. It was a few days before his birthday. We got a breast pump, and I pumped a couple of bottles of milk. Urgh, hate it, so hard, don’t know how some women do it full time! I think they must have firmer, perkier, smaller boobs. Anyway, moving on… We left the Dude at home with my aunt for the evening while we went to a friend’s wedding. It was hard! I had such anxiety when I first left home without him, and I just kept checking my phone every five minutes. It was great though, to just relax with friends. We got home around 11:30 and Dude was asleep, although he woke soon after we arrived. He’d refused the bottle entirely! I think the milk wasn’t fresh enough. Anyway, it was a success and although I wouldn’t do it all the time, it’s good to know it’s possible.

We had a little party for him on Sunday. It went really well, considering neither of us has ever hosted a party for twenty odd people before. I am so disorganised. I like planning but don’t like actually scheduling the work and sticking to the schedule. So given I made all the food, I think we did okay. The cake was a serious disappointment, to me anyway. It looked alright, as I did a hundreds and thousands cover up job, but it was nothing compared to what I’d planned. I just didn’t prepare properly and guessed a lot, which is always bad. image

Anyway, despite the mould-coloured slightly curdled icing hiding under those tiny coloured spheres, it tasted pretty yummy. The kids wolfed it down and went for seconds. Dude was given a piece but was more interested in the plate at first, then started mashing it into the table and floor, then finally tried to eat some.

He was really the highlight of the day for me. He fell asleep on my back for half an hour or so before people started arriving and then he just socialised! He loved having.everyone in the house, other kids to play with, so much stuff to do. There was really only one point where he seemed to get tired, probably three or four o’clock, and a good friend who was at his birth offered to carry him round in the ergo. That was great. He didn’t sleep but he chilled out, and then just kept going. Once everyone had gone about 6:30-7, he suddenly realised he was beyond tired and screamed the house down while we quickly got him ready for bed. Nothing out of the ordinary there, he does that more nights than not.

Speaking of sleep, I can’t say it’s great but it could be a lot worse. He goes down between 6 and 7, and then wakes two or three times before we go to bed at 10:30 or so. Sounds awful! But it’s not that bad. At least when we do come to bed he’ll often sleep through, or only wake once. He usually wakes around 6:30-7am, although has been known to sleep in for no particular reason. His itchy skin is what interrupts sleep. I wish I could say we’ve sorted his eczema but it’s still an issue. It’s not totally out of control but it’s not being well-managed. We can’t afford the Graham’s cream any more and I still don’t know the cause of it. I thought it might have been a zinc deficiency but I’ve been giving him a supplement for about a month now and I’m not seeing a massive difference. I thought maybe it might have been healing just the other day but I’m not sure. I’ve just upped his dosage as I realised I read the label wrong, so we’ll see, it might help.

I must finish now and turn off my phone as the light is distracting for him as I try and get him to sleep. He’s now sitting up in his cot playing very seriously with some stuffed toys and a blanket. He’s in the ‘pick it up, throw it down’ stage. Pick up the blanket, thrown it down, pick it up, put it down, all the while with great focus and effort. You’d never know he’s dead tired…

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Nearly five months

Gosh, has it really been that long since I’ve updated?!  So much has happened!

So the Dude is going to be five months on Sunday (I think he’s 22 weeks this week, kind of losing count).  He rolled from front to back for the first time at 19 weeks and has since done it a handful of times.  He mostly doesn’t do it though, when I put him down for tummy time.  He does stay down longer than he used to, without losing it, but daddy still hasn’t seen him roll!  And then yesterday for the first time I witnessed him roll from his back to his front!!  I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome, he just did it with a little effort.

I took him to visit a friend yesterday, who has a little girl two months older than him, and she is really wriggling about, twisting and turning over and over, pretty much crawling.  When I put him next to this little girl, however, I suddenly realised just how massive he is!  He is slightly bigger than this little girl, even though she’s so much older.  And she’s not a small baby, I’d say probably around average.  But he just sort of lay there and watched her wriggling about in awe, like, wow, why can’t I do that?  ha ha!

So speaking of his size, I did take him for his first check up.  We went to the doctor as I’d had a blocked ear for ages and although I’d killed any infection in there with onion juice, my ear just wasn’t clearing.  I finally relented and went to the doctor (the same one I’d gone to when I was first pregnant).  She’s a nice woman but god she’s so ignorant!  The things she said to me during the appointment, I had to really make an effort not to laugh.  She actually started telling me how to ‘discipline’ my four month old baby and she even referred to babies as being ‘like puppies’!!  Can you imagine!  She didn’t help my ear problem either.  She just looked in it, confirmed it was blocked beyond syringing (der, that’s why I went to see the doctor!) and then told me to go and get Ear Clear from the pharmacy!  Seriously, I could have just gone and asked the pharmacist, what a waste of time and money that was.  She weighed the Dude (which is main thing I was interested in) and he was 8.14kg!  So he’d doubled his birth weight!  He is in the 97th percentile for weight, height and head circumference, so yes, he’s a biggie.  She asked me if I was practising ‘attachment parenting’ and I was like, erm, I don’t actually like to apply any labels to things, I just do what I do, but I guess it’s along the lines of attachment parenting.  She thought we were co-sleeping because it was AP, but it’s got nothing to do with wanting to practise AP, it’s just about what feels right and what’s simplest and easiest.  She also asked if I was vaccinating and I said no and got her to sign the conscientious objection form, which she had no issue with (yay!).  She looked at his skin and advised me to get a cream with cortisone in it!  I didn’t say anything but there’s no way I’d put it on him – I wouldn’t put it on my own skin, let alone a baby’s!  Anyway, so the only good things to come out of the appointment were finding out how much he weighs and getting the form signed. Ho hum.

You’ll be happy to know my ear has unblocked itself (although the infection soon arrived in the other ear, which I killed with onion juice again and the blockage is just about gone there too).  No thanks to Mrs Useless GP!  She means well, she’s not a bad person, but gawd, ignorant as hell!  I could provide a better service and I have no medical qualifications!

I don’t want to wish time away, as there’ll never be another time where the Dude will be little like this, but I really can’t wait for him to be more mobile and to sit up by himself.  He gets so frustrated that he can’t, I can tell.  Anyway, it’ll come soon, he’s almost there.

His skin has been pretty bad, comes and goes, so although I didn’t think he had intolerances I think the dairy does contribute to his skin so I’m going back off it again.  My eating, that’s a whole other story and not for this post… anyway, he has what seems to be eczema, and also recently started getting red blotches with white dots in the middle randomly on him, and they’d disappear as fast as they appeared so I think he’s allergic to something, possibly the wool fleece my mum bought him.  I am just keeping an eye on it really, I think it’ll come and go as his constitution works itself out.

We had a couple of very successful osteo appointments where there was total relaxation achieved twice, it was great, and he’s been much more relaxed since.  And we took him to a wedding about five hours drive north, and that was fine, we managed, although I was quite illegal a few times and just took him out of his seat to feed him while we drove.  Meh.  I used to sit on my mum’s lap for every long trip we ever did and nothing ever happened, so I’m not worried.

Must stop, as he’s just woken, I can hear him chatting to himself in the bedroom.