28 December 2011

E's first Christmas

This Christmas was my first with K's family, and our first with the boy, who celebrated five months (three months gestation) yesterday with his first laugh out loud - so cute! 

Naturally it made sense to have Xmas at the Cape, free beach house and all. We acquired a tree from the *ahem* roadside and tizzed it up with ornaments made by E's great nana (!), including a crocheted angel. There was wine, a delicious 'pot luck' lunch where everyone made a dish and which came together exquisitely under our new (and very sandbagged to prevent it flying away) gazebo on the front lawn, heritage values be-damned. 

E was thoroughly doted on and spoiled by his nana, aunties and uncles and received all manner of softies, finger puppets, a mobile, bibs, clothes, Baby Banz, a Laura Veirs CD for kiddos, and signed kids books from his kids-book-editor aunty. Santa came through with a full length rashie and sunhat, as well as some funky jeans and Baby Legs. He also left a note for E (thanks to Uncle R who had a few more clues than K about parental duties in regard to S. Claus). The editor-for-an-edgy-Melbourne-publisher (the other editor in the family) heeded a not-too-subtle tweet about book cravings which are being presently devoured, and also curated some funky new music, a foodie calendar and TV viewing for us. We also received a Nice Bottle of Red, a new coffee pot and a proper cane picnic basket. A boon all-round!

Boxing Day, the wind dropped and we headed to the beach and lunched and swam in a tidal lagoon, where the boy tried out his new rashie. On our return, we wandered down the back to the Picnic Tables With a View, drank Pimms and scoffed various soft and moulded cheeses as the sky turned a golden pink. Very satisfactory! 

It all flowed very nicely, with kitchen elves making sure the cooking and washing up all happened with minimal input from me. And to top off the gains and festivities, the boy slept a whole NINE unabridged hours on Xmas eve. Woohoo! I am convinced by the new going to bed early routine (we had been quite laissez faire with bedtime, as E just seemed to sleep when he needed to as a newborn). 

The door will swing open again tomorrow for more visitors, just as we've bade the last of the Lusks fare-thee-well. 

*any errors are the result of attempting to post via iPad, and not the result of having consumed more alcohol in recent days than in the past year altogether.

12 December 2011

dog days, and blessed relief

Hello, stranger. I miss you. I miss the other blog, too. Here's a bit of an update.

Now that the House Move to End all House Moves (and I sincerely hope it is the end of all house moving, at least for a while) is dusted (and that is a whole other post), things are settling into more of a routine. Sort of. And for the first time since E was born (nearly five months ago!), life seems, um, normal. Sort of.

*Attaches self to wooden surface and doesn't let go*

But let me backtrack. I've found it very hard to deal with (read: had high anxiety over) E being in distress a lot of the time. Since we've had him home from hospital, he has been either vomiting, distressed with gas or reflux (and there was a horrible week of constipation too), or crazed by a hunger that can't be sated despite whole days of cluster feeding (and associated vomiting). It is just the worst, not being able to help his pain, watching his eyes fold into a thousand crinkles. And then some days, for no apparent reason, he would not go in either carrier. Or the bouncer. Or bed. But would happily sleep when attached to me. I've spent untold hours on the couch with him, or pacing aimless laps of the house (with requisite scurrying around afterwards with a wet tea towel cleaning up vomit splats). I have resented the endless washing of bottles (it really is endless with a baby who feeds like this one). And I desperately missed walking (I used to get two decent walks in a day, to and from work) and yoga. My mind went spare and my body hurt.

Amidst these days I started feeling weepy again and have struggled mentally with the transition to baby-dom. I've thought horrid thoughts and wondered why the hell I'd chosen to become a mum. (And then felt sinfully guilty, just to top it off.) I've even thought longingly about going back to desk - probably because I got more done inside the bureacratic machine than I do with a baby. And that explains why doing the dishes AND laundry feels like a major accomplishment. Also, I'm someone who needs alone-time like I need air, and coffee. Not only did I have no alone-time, I did not have time to do all those basic things that come before free alone-time (shower/toilet/coffee,etc). 'Hellooo?!' Yes, I can hear you who have had babies boggling at my propensity to state the bleeding obvious. But for me, this is new.

It feels like we've turned a corner in the past week or so. Most of our gains are the result of E sleeping more during the day. Which has given me - oh holy of holies - some time to myself. Yesterday I made muffins (blueberry + oat) AND did yoga. Unheard of. I've also been able to explore more feeding options, at last. We tried (and swiftly ditched) goat's milk formula (see constipation, above) and I'm investigating breastmilk sharing and making my own formula (both exercises in complication, especially living on an island, but very much worth checking out). I'm also ending the nappy guilt arising from our unpreparedness for E's early arrival and subsequent protracted house move. I did buy half a dozen clothies early on, but these are now too small for him.

I'm also tweaking our routine. K strung a mobile above the couch where E now sleeps during the day and this is helping keep him amused once he wakes, and sometimes - *gasp* - get back to sleep! I have some 'sanity-busters' within arm's reach to keep me from going spare during the endless feeds: a book, a notepad, my phone. K usually clocks on for dadda-time when he gets home mid-afternoon, and I'm using this time to do yoga and walk. Oh, wordless rapture.

But best of all, E seems to be doing better. He is more content, less prone to reflux and wind, though still vomits quite a bit (and I think this is in part due to the amount he eats, which is a LOT - at nearly 3 months gestational age, he's now in six-month old + clothes). And he is smiling and even silently giggling! And gurgling back when he is sung or talked to - way too cute. All the awesome bits that seemed like they would never arrive, finally have.

All this has given me hope that I will get to do some of the things on my spiralling wishlist. I bought some Very Expensive Wool before E was born (the fantastically named 'Squishy', in hues of seafoam and teal) and have a pattern for a rug bookmarked. I'd love to finish the paper crane mobile I started making when I was pregnant. And my mind gapes at the driftwood mobiles I could make! Our fledgling vegie garden could do with more tending. Oh and I would cook, and read more. And write. And write. And write...

Nevermind the things I should be doing. Ahem, Medicare application, healthcare rebates, mindless administrivia. La-la-la-la-laaa....

We also need to unpack the spare room of its boxes before we have K's family staying over Christmas, and a revolving door of friends to start the new year. Which I am very much looking forward to, btw, if not without some trepidation. Social minimalist that I am.

Anyway, that's all for now. See you in a bit, with any luck.