9 Months: Clapping, Waving, Standing

Well, we are almost at the end of another month and bubba is becoming such a little person.  I feel like she has gotten so much bigger recently… not necessarily physically, just less… baby-like.  My little baby has gone!  In her place is this little girl who gets cleverer and more independent by the day.

Early in the month she figured out clapping all by herself – and decided to express her love for food by applauding every mouthful.

The daycare lady had been trying to elicit a wave from bubba for ages and drawing only blank “what the hell are you doing” stares.  But once she had discovered clapping, she soon decided waving was good fun too.  Although she doesn’t quite grasp the “coming and going” sense of it, more just that it’s a fun way to flail your arms around and get people to exclaim happily in high pitched voices.

And then a few days ago, we discovered that she could stand against the couch all by herself!  She has always loved to be held into a standing position – but one day I let go and she just kept standing there!  Holding onto the couch mind you, but still… she was pretty darn proud of herself and I couldn’t believe what a grown up little girl she looked.

The next day she even pulled herself into a standing position.  It’s only happened the once so far, but I was pretty surprised!  Clever monkey!

A funny thing happened the other night.  I’ve never really played peekaboo with her cos she never really seemed to “get” it – she would just look at me like “seriously?”  But then the other night, she was down the end of the couch and she started peeking over the top, cracking up laughing and dropping down again.  She did it over and over, it was so cute!

I feel like she has changed so much over the past few weeks and I feel like I’m settling more and more into motherhood.  As she grows and becomes more interactive and more like a little person, I find myself enjoying it more and more.  Yes, I still get frustrated.  But I’m learning that the trick is to alter my expectations.  If I don’t expect to spend an hour reading my book, if I don’t expect to sleep through the night without interruption, then I don’t have to get frustrated when those expectations/desires aren’t met.  And when I do happen to get a moment with my book or a good night’s sleep, then I can just enjoy them as happy little bonuses.  All in all, I’m starting to see what this motherhood thing is all about. 

The older she gets, the more rewarding it gets.  I would say I’ve definitely enjoyed this age the most so far.  The only thing I’m not quite sure of is whether that’s actually because of her age or because of my own personal growth.

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4-8 Months: The Big Move Out West

It is beyond time for an update!
We survived the great move across the desert to the wild wild west when bubba was 6 months old and have spent a couple of months settling in.  The house was ready almost as soon as we arrived and we moved in after only just over a week at Daddy C’s sisters’ house.  I’m loving the house, the area, the city, the weather – everything!  I even have a part time job Mondays to Wednesdays now, which is great for a bit of grown up time… not to mention pocket money!  I’ve also met a few local mums.  Daddy C has a high falutin new job and it’s safe to say the move is suiting us very well so far.

We still have a bit of furniture to buy to kit the house out and the front and back lawns need landscaping… so it will be fun to get those things underway and see the house come together over the next few months.
Bubba has grown up a crazy amount.  The difference between 4 months and 8 months is immense and amazing!  Seeing as I have let this blog lapse for far too long, I thought I would do a little month by month update of the last little while.
Baby on a Plane!

4 MONTHS: At four months, she was definitely still a baby.  She couldn’t sit unaided, roll or move and still hated tummy time.  We started a bit of spoon fed solids around 4.5 months which she absolutely loved.  Vocalising consisted mainly of squeals and some giggles.

4 months old and not to sure about this whole Christmas thing…
5 MONTHS: Right toward the end of five months, she started sitting forward a little bit when propped to sit on the couch.  However, she was definitely still way too unstable to sit on her own unsupported and there was still no rolling or movement.  She was still enjoying her spoon fed mash and was starting to try to steal the spoon to do it herself.  At the end of the month, we packed up the house in Melbourne, shipped our stuff, and then went to New Zealand for the week.  Her sleeping started becoming very disturbed during this period – I’m not sure if it was an age thing or if she was sensing all the changes happening, but we started having difficulty going to sleep and night time wake ups again (after sleeping through since 9 weeks old!).

5 months old and gorgeous 🙂
6 MONTHS: Bubba had her 6 month birthday on the plane from New Zealand to Perth!  For the first week and a half, we stayed with Daddy C’s sister and niece while the house was being finalised.  During this time, a lot of things happened in bubbaland!  She started to prop herself up with her hands in a sitting position, although was still a little wobbly.  She learned to roll from back to tummy and started sleeping in a side-lying position.  And she got sick for the first time, with a head cold.  That was a particularly awful few days, all she did was cry and sleep and her nose was all stuffy.  She would sleep for only 30-40 minute periods before needing cuddles and consoling again, right around the clock.  It was exhausting and heartbreaking at the same time.  Luckily it only lasted for around 3-4 days until she was back to her happy self.  This was also the time that I weaned her from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, which was surprisingly easier than I expected, but I plan to write about this separately soon.

My poor sick baby 😦
By the end of the month, she was starting to sit better unaided , although still tended to fling herself backward without warning and get upset when she hit her head!  She was also rolling happily both ways.  We also got a highchair and began a fully Baby Led Weaning approach, with her eating only foods she could pick up herself.  She absolutely loves it and it’s surprising her manual dexterity in getting food to her mouth.

Beautiful clever girl at 6 months old
7 MONTHS: During this month, bubba’s sitting became much more confident, so that towards the end of the month, she was easily able to be plonked down in sitting position without fear that she would fall backward or sideways and hurt/stun herself.  She started moving around in circles while on her tummy.  And finally, a few days before her 8 month birthday, she figured out the inchworm maneouver!  This move has come in leaps and bounds from the moment she figured it out and she now scoots all over the place, mostly in attempt to get at the power cords and playstation controllers, which are far more interesting than her actual toys!

7 (almost 8) months old and learning to inchworm… all because she wants the power cords!

At around 7 months , Mum got her part time job and bubba started going to family daycare three days a week.  This is where another mother takes some children into her own home during the day, as opposed to using a big childcare centre.  I am really happy with this smaller, more one on one approach, the lady lives just around the corner from us, is absolutely lovely and I feel her approach to caring for babies is similar to mine.  I feel really happy leaving bubba there and I actually feel that she is thriving on all the stimulation and contact with new people and things.

Enjoying her food at family daycare!

8 MONTHS: Well, now bubba can commando crawl, there’s no stopping her!  She may not have figured out the “all fours” concept yet, but her funny little dragging frog-swim motion gets her surprisingly far!  If it’s on the ground, she’s gonna find it… and probably try to eat it.  Speaking of eating, she loves her fingerfood and eats like it’s going out of fashion – she prefers solids to a bottle most of the time!  She now has four full teeth and four little half-teeth inching their way out of her wee gums.  Her babbles consists mostly of “Dadadadad”, “Mummmm!” and “bubub”.  She loves a good chat!

My very cheeky monkey at 8 months old

 Some of her favourite things include: fresh plums and strawberries, power cords, harrasing the cat, turning down the surround sound while we’re trying to watch TV, pulling mum’s hair (and dad’s!), trying to play with the Wii remotes, trying to eat paper… and basically anything that involves being a cheeky little wriggler or eating food!

Adjusting to parenthood has been a hard road for me.  I think I didn’t realise in the beginning, having never spent much time with babies, how rewarding it would become.  She is such a little person now, and getting so big.  She is so funny and makes me laugh every day.  It’s still hard and I still get frustrated every day too.  But she is beautiful and fun and crazy.  And now that I’ve walked the path, I even miss her snuggly little newborn days, despite the lack of sleep it came with, and wish I could go back and appreciate her more rather than be so wrapped up in my own struggle.

But I can’t go back.  So I just love her now.  I’m not perfect… but she is, even when she’s not.  She’s growing up so fast, I can’t even imagine what it will be like when she’s walking and talking… but I guess I’ll find out soon enough!

Where did my little baby go?!

New Year, New Life

So 2011 draws to a close.  I could wax lyrical about what a year it has been – my first full year in Australia – the year of Melbourne – the year of Scarlett – the fulcrum of my life.

12 August 2012 – the day my life became bigger than myself

Melbourne has turned on quite a day to draw this momentous year to a close too, 33 degrees outside and a stunning blue sky…

Give me a home amongst the gum trees…

But instead I’d rather think about the year to come – and I have a good feeling about it.  We are gearing up here for The Big Move – interstate from Melbourne, across the vast desert to our new house in Perth, which is being built as we speak.  We expect it to be finished around February 2012, so we will be packing up all our stuff and shipping it in early February, before heading off to New Zealand to visit bubba’s grandma and aunties and then onwards to our new life in Perth.

Along the Swan River in Perth

I am very much looking forward to our new life.  Moving into a brand new house is exciting in itself.  But also, for a while now we have known we are moving, so I haven’t made an effort to meet people in Melbourne, knowing we would be moving away shortly anyway.  So I am looking forward to making some connections, meeting other mums, building a network, a home base.

I am looking forward to seeing my little girl grow and change, and building our new life as a wee family 🙂

So I can’t really mourn 2011, as good as it has been… I get the feeling that the best is yet to come, and welcome 2012 in with open arms.

And most importantly… I celebrated the end of one year and the start of the next with my first Coke in over a year…. hallelujah!!

*angels sing*

Cheers to a great new year! 🙂

30 Weeks – The Rollercoaster of Pregnancy

So here I am, 30 weeks, three quarters of the way there.  And what a rollercoaster ride it has been!

I remember crouching in the toilets at my new work and the disbelief of that second faint pink line (yeah, I took some poetic license with the name of my blog, the first one was actually pink!).

I remember the disbelief of six more faint lines and digital confirmations and the doctor quoting me an HCG level.

I remember the scary angry face that greeted my words “I need to talk to you about something…” and the frozen shocked face that followed.

I remember not being able to believe that it was real, I remember dreams about miscarriage and checking for blood every single time I went to the toilet.

I remember thinking that after the first scan, I would stop worring and really trust that I was having a baby and that she was going to be alright.  Then I thought the second scan would do that.  Then I went for a third because I just had to see again that she was alright.

She was.

Little bub face at 29 weeks

 Now that I have reached the third trimester and know that even if she were born now, she would have a huge chance of surviving with the right care, I finally pretty much believe that I am having a baby.  But it doesn’t stop me worrying about her.

I get the feeling that, maybe, this is a worry I’m going to have to learn to live with for the rest of my life.

Pregnancy really is a rollercoaster.  There are good days and teary days and fat days and tired days.  It occured to me that pregnancy is kind of like having a UTI, gastrointestinal disease, mild bipolar disorder, sinusitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and some kind of aggressively growing abdominal tumour all at once!

And yet, it’s not like any of those things.  Because even when you’re feeling at your lowest, totally shattered and wondering who invented this whole “pregnancy glow” bullshit, it’s often just at that moment that you’ll feel a little wriggle in your tummy or a foot tickling your ribs.

And in that moment, you just know – you would do anything for her.

29 weeks

30 weeks – one quarter left to go!

Although she is still a fairly quiet little girl, Daddy C has managed to feel a couple of little wriggles now.  I really love being able to share a bit of her with him.  I am slowly accumulating baby things and thinking about when to finish up at work – probably in another two weeks and I can’t wait!  I definitely feel like my body is slowing down – suddenly an afternoon at the footy is the most exhausting thing I could do, sending me to bed at 8:30 pm like a nana and still leaving me struggling to get up for work 9 hours later!

I’m looking forward to having a few weeks to chill, read my baby books, listen to my hippy hypnobirthing CDs and just generally… prepare.  I have this inexplainable sense that I just need… time – time to rest, time to think, time to ready myself in some way for what is ahead of me.

I’m looking forward to enjoying my last few weeks of being pregnant, and more than anything – I can’t wait to meet our little girl and give her all the cuddles I’ve been saving up for her.