28 October 2009

Loving the long Labour Weekend

This past weekend was a long weekend in NZ, and we were able to enjoy both Nana and Poppa (briefly) being here for some of it. Poppa arrived Friday night after a mad dash to finish his milk run and admin duties to get to Auckland airport in time for the 5.30pm flight here.

Saturday afternoon we made the most of the sunshine to take Nana and Poppa to Otari-Wilton bush for a lovely hour's meander through the native forest. Noah was most entertaining, encouraging us all along the right paths, 'Come on Nana, follow Daddy, this way'. Then he discovered a game which amused him all the way round 'Who lives here?' he would say in each dark nook and cranny, to which Mummy had to come up with an increasingly inventive list of characters, and of I couldn't repeat the same ones twice as he was far too quick to point out 'You said that one already Mummy'! I think we started with 'a dragon' 'a monster' and ended with the likes of 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Tigger' some 45 minutes or so later when we reached the end of the ramble!

Saturday night we indulged in fish n chips and after a brief time together on Sunday morning, it was off to the airport for Nana and Poppa to catch their 10.15 flight home.

Both Sunday & Monday afternoon Noah & Mark caught up with George and some of the other kids for a swim at Karori Pool, Noah having been so excited and proud of his new swimwear that he wore it for most of the weekend before he even made it to the pool (see the pics from the bushwalk etc with his new rash vest!).

I went for my first hour's walk up and down the hills around Karori and Northland on Sunday afternoon. Although it felt good to be out and to finally get some exercise, I certainly felt the after effects of pushing the stroller on my back and knees proving how out of practice I am. Perhaps a more gentle walk on the flat next time to ease back into it!

The past week or so Noah has been having all sorts of fun with coloured baths. I got the idea from a Littlies Magazine and with a few drops of different coloured food colouring added to the bath, we've transformed bathtime into something even more fun! So far we've had blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green. Think we might attempt brown tomorrow! Noah keeps asking if he can have black but think that might be a bit tricky with just the blue, red, green and yellow pots we have!

Mylo update: Week 5: A Very Awake Baby
We had our first Plunket visit on Friday - and just to put paid to the above comment, Mylo slept right through the visit so we weren't able to weigh him again. It was mostly filling in paperwork etc and didn't especially cover off a lot of personal questions and concerns. That's the last of the home visits though as our next checkup will be the 6-week doctor's checkup and immunisations next week, and then the next Plunket visit will be at the local clinic when he is 8 weeks.

The past week, Mylo's daytime sleep have gone downhill rather quickly, and I cannot remember the last time he slept longer than half an hour without me having to either go back in and rock him back to sleep in the bassinet or alternatively put him in the sling or frontpack to get him back to sleep. I like to call it the 'half-hour twitch' - I have to try and joke about it or I fear I may go a little crazy!

Having looked back at the record I kept of Noah at the same time, it would appear that he is actually as bad if not worse than Noah was at the same stage (it hardly seems possible I know since at the time I rather despaired that Noah would ever sleep long periods during the day!). However, once Noah was asleep in the carseat/stroller/sling, he would generally sleep for a while, whereas Mylo seems to only ever be in such a light sleep that one minute you think he is out for the count, but the next minute he wakes and stares at you with these big eyes. I guess the benefit of this being Number 2 baby is that I know it is not forever and it does get better, so I think 'perseverance and patience' are to be my catch phrases for the next few weeks until Mylo can develop proper daytime naps. This week my goal is to try and stretch him out to 3-hour feeds during the day (from 2-hourly), easier said than done with such short naps so I am trying to find inventive ways (such as using the sling/frontpack) to extend him to the magic 3-hour mark each time.

After a few tough evenings where it has taken us a good couple of hours to get him settled and down for the night, we've decided it makes a lot more sense to start the night-time feed, bath, feed, bed routine at 6-6.30 so we can do it at the same time as we're getting Noah into bed. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can bath both boys together in the big bath which will help logistics too.

I'd love to think that Mylo could start to stretch out his night-time feeds - last night it was 7pm, 11.30pm, 2.30am and 5am, which feels a little like backwards progress after a couple of 6hr stretches from 8pm till 2am last week. I have experimented a little with formula feeds at the midnight feed with mixed success, the worst part of doing so though was having to still express my own milk. This meant I was awake for an hour and a half and it was pretty difficult to get back to sleep afterwards, compared with breast feeding where Mylo will feed for 10 minutes and fall straight back to sleep, which means I can too. It's quite possible if I switched to full formula feeding it would make a difference overall to the length of his night sleeps, but once I make that decision there's no turning back from it, and I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do so!

I was very sad to see Nana go on Sunday, she was such a great help to us all, and I so enjoyed her company, not that we did much during the days but it was just lovely to have some adult conversation to help pass the time, and someone to discuss my thoughts, fears, and hopes re little Mylo's progress.

Tuesday I managed to get into town for a half hour massage whilst Mark looked after Mylo, it was a bit of a challenge to manage given he doesn't have a particular routine, so it was a bit of a risk to just book a time and go, but we all survived the experience intact and it was nice to have half an hour of 'me' time!

Yesterday I had a visit from a lovely friend, Sarah of Chez Lee fame. We have been corresponding over the past few months via Facebook and comments on each other's blogsites (the joys of modern technology!) but it was so much better meeting Sarah in person. I hope Sarah doesn't mind me saying that she was my original inspiration for starting our own blog as she has been a blogger herself for some years, and I will admit to plagiarising a few of her ideas when it comes to layout and setting up photo and video slideshows etc for our own site. Sarah, and Dan (who I worked with at M-co for many years), have 2 lovely girls, with another delivery surprise due in February 2010. The family enjoy some wonderful adventures around Wellington and further afield, and more than once I have gotten ideas for interesting and fun things to do as a family from reading Sarah's posts (such as annual passes to the Wellington Zoo which I didn't even know existed before that!). I know all those who read the blog from far and wide around the world and who appreciate our regular updates will also be grateful that I ever got inspired to start our own blog. So thank you Sarah for the ongoing inspiration!

Tomorrow GeeGee arrives for the weekend, Noah has a fancy dress 4th birthday to go to for Maya, and is going to try out junior football with a few of his daycare friends on Sunday. We may also try to take Noah to the annual model train rail expo if we can fit it in - so it's going to be another action packed weekend for one of us at least!

21 October 2009

The One Month Milestone!

It is a already a month since Mylo arrived to forever change our household which we find very hard to believe!

Mylo is changing by the day, getting more alert and interested in everything around him. We've been discharged by the midwife now, and with flying colours. Mylo put on another 260g in 6 days, and weighs 4.25kg now (9pd 6oz). He is generally being a good boy, he can a little difficult to get to have long sleeps during the day, and is still feeding quite frequently. We tried him on a small bottle of expressed milk for the first time last night, and this disappeared in about 2 minutes flat - no worries about him taking the bottle then! Not that we expected him to have any trouble given how much he loves sucking on his dummy.

This past weekend, Mark and Noah made the most of some breaks in the weather to get our summer veges planted - peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. They only just got the garden finished (and watered!) before the heavens opened. The rain continued throughout the night and into the morning, getting more wild and southerly by the hour. But Mark and Noah braved the elements to go trout fishing with his daycare crew - the trout farm has an open day a few times a year and they guarantee that you'll come home with a fish. Noah really enjoyed the experience and was very proud of his little catch - 300g of trout. Poor Mark had the job of gutting and cleaning said trout which I think he found a bit gross - but he did a great job nonetheless and served us up a trout sandwich each for lunch.

In the afternoon, Mark and Noah went for a swim at Karori Pool, while Nana and I walked from home to the pool to get some much needed fresh air as Mylo was having a really unsettled day and I was more than ready for some time out of the house! Then Nana and Noah made a double batch of our favourite baking - lemon muffins, so Nana and I could take them to 2 different friends on Monday and Tuesday. Noah gets really involved in the kitchen these days, and loves helping - can be seen eating everything that goes into the mixture mind you - including the flour (just on its own!). He even made a great effort at putting the muffin mixture in the muffin patties much to Nana's amazement, and was rewarded with the ultimate treat - cleaning up the bowl afterwards!

Nana and I have had a lovely week or so, with a few trips to see friends, a few visits here at home, and a few DVDs watched which was the best way to pass the time with the poor weather we had most of last week. Nana has been able to get out for a walk every day though, and has also made use of my bike set up on the stationery bike trainer downstairs - I so love the thought of exercising again too, but so far it is rare for Mylo to sleep long enough, or for me to feel like I have enough energy to put in the effort required - I did try out the new Wii Fit Plus game briefly yesterday morning and got told by the trainer that it was 40 days since I had last been on - I guess I will get back to it all in good time. Nana has also been incredibly helpful, keeping up with all the mountains of washing we seem to have these days, baking yummy low fat muffins, helping out wih Noah etc - I am going to be a little bereft next week that's for sure! Poppa arrives late Friday so we will be able to enjoy a short weekend all together before they both fly home Sunday morning.

After a bit of a rough day on Sunday I was really debating whether I felt up to continuing long term with the breast feeding and still stay sane - I recall nearly giving up at about 6 weeks with Noah (because he was a bit of a fussy feeder), but persevering till 4 months in the end. However Mylo seems to have the opposite problem, i.e. is still feeding so frequently during the day and much more during the night than Noah ever did which I'm finding incredibly draining. At this point, I can't imagine having Noah at home with me a day a week whilst Mylo is still feeding so much as I think all he would end up doing is watching DVDs with me on the couch all day - which wouldn't compare to the fun and stimulation he gets with his friends at daycare. So at the moment, if I were to consider having him at home I think I would probably end up bottle feeding Mylo - which would have some advantages for us as a family but of course goes against the grain of what most people believe regarding 'breast is best' and all the pressure that goes along with that. My other option is to try to persevere with breast feeding till Christmas at least by which time Mylo will be 3 months, and wait to take Noah out of daycare for that day until the New Year as I will still have nearly 6 months at home with him. It's so tough to know what to do, and I know that people will have very definite opinions about what I 'should' be doing but for now I just want to put it out there, I'm not necessarily asking for advice and definitely don't want to be judged for even considering giving up breast feeding this early...the best advice I've heard so far is that 'a happy mummy equals a happy baby'. I will admit I have purchased a tin of formula just to keep in the cupboard as my last-ditch desperation back-up should I really feel unable to continue any longer. Some days this parenting business is just not easy, there are always so many things to feel guilty over, my big one is that I feel like I'm missing out on time with Noah at the moment and I so love spending time with him, gorgeous and fascinating little boy that he is, and yet I know I owe it to Mylo to give him the best start in life as well. So for now I think I will just take it one day at a time and try to make sure that any decisions I make are rational and are the best outcome for us as a whole family.

14 October 2009

Hungry Baby

Mylo has reached the 3-week mark and is doing ever so well on the growth front. For comparison with Noah at roughly the same time:

Mylo - Day 23
  • Birth weight - 3.34kg
  • Current Weight - 3.98kg (8 pd 12 oz)
  • Last week's weight gain - 380g
Noah - Day 26
  • Birth weight - 3.42kg
  • Weight - 3.75kg (8 pd 4 oz)
  • Last week's weight gain - 200g
It is hardly surprising that Mylo is putting on weight at nearly twice the rate Noah did given he seems to feed as much as 1-2 hourly during the day and 3-4 hourly overnight. I'm very happy that he's growing so well, but it is making for one extra tired mummy! He seems to have a never ending output, and has suffered from quite a lot of gas and explosions of poo of late, but again fairly expected given the rate at which he is able consume milk! I'm trying to get to bed straight after he's down for the night (somewhere between 8-9pm as I'm usually up again between 11.30pm and 1am). Mark then kindly brings Mylo up when he wakes so I get at least a couple of hours sleep without baby snuffling and grunting beside me - I had forgotten what noisy little critters newborns can be! I actually put his carrycot in our ensuite bathroom last night and shut the door after his 12am and 3am feeds rather than right beside me in bed, and think I slept much better for it! Sounds a little cruel probably but for me to be able to function at least half normally during the day it should help me get a little more deeper sleep. Once he has settled into one less night feed, I'll be more inclined to put him in his own room downstairs for the whole night, but for now it's so much easier to do it in the comfort of my bed.

Mylo has been a lot more alert in the past week and we have had some lovely smiles too which just melts your heart, lucky for him though as after quite a few unsettled days recently where he has only been sleeping for 20 minutes at a time, those smiles are sometimes all that keeps me going from one day to the next!

Nana arrived safely on Saturday night, and Noah is very much enjoying having her here. He has impressed us hugely with his ability to complete some more advanced jigsaw puzzles that she brought him (Postman Pat & Hairy McClary) with little or no help! I also took Noah to see the show Seasons at Capital E again on Saturday morning (which was a bit of a mission to try and time between Mylo's frequent feeding having not introduced a bottle as yet), but we made it in the end and Noah enjoyed sharing the experience with 'my daycare crew' as he calls them - George, Maya and Sam.

We were so saddened by the events of the past week surrounding the disappearance of the little 2-year old toddler in Auckland Aisling, and like everyone else around the country were praying for a happy ending, but it was not to be. The only positive to come out of it I guess was that at least the family had closure on finding her, rather than the unknown of never finding a body and always wondering whether she had been taken by someone. The fact that the family have their Christian faith to lean on must be some comfort to them at this time, but what a horrific ordeal for them to go through. It certainly makes you reaffirm your own love for your children that much more, and makes you realise what a precious gift from God they are, and to never take them for granted.

One little thing I have been meaning to share for a couple of weeks is of a rather unusual coincidence I discovered. Mark has a love of collecting Swatch watches, and has a few collectible ones displayed around the house. One night when I was feeding in bed, I looked over to our dresser and squinting in the half-light focused on the Swatch we have displayed there, and for the first time paid attention to the date, and noticed that it was in fact Mylo's birthdate! Amazing but true!

09 October 2009

Tons of fun

A lovely selection of photos taken about a month ago by Aarnav's dad Anurag when Noah and Mark ran into them at the park at the botanical gardens. Anurag put them onto CD for us just last week, and in particular we loved the two of Noah just below. The boys looked to be having tons of fun together!

04 October 2009

Quiet Days

Well week 2 of being a family of four has passed reasonably uneventfully with mostly quiet days at home for me, Mark and Mylo with Noah still at daycare each day. We have enjoyed watching a few movies, reading magazines, indulging in a lunchtime curry, and generally relaxing.

The midwife visited on Wednesday but as Mylo had only just gone to sleep we decided not to wake him up to weigh him (and rather glad we didn't as he slept for 3 hours in the end). She's back again tomorrow so we will endeavour to weigh him then. I'm hoping he will have had a good weight gain as he has still been feeding every 2 hours (if not more sometimes) during the day.

Mylo's first real outing was on Friday when we went down to see the World Press Photo Exhibition (the best photos from press around the world over the past year on various subjects such as the Chinese earthquake, the financial 'shock', the 5-day war between Georgia/Russia, the Olympics and life in general from around the planet). There are always some very shocking photos, click on the link to see one which particularly moved me which won 1st Prize Daily Life . I thought it terribly sad that the children look so accustomed to seeing death as such a normal part of their daily lives. Mylo stayed happily asleep in the stroller (its first outing since we bought it all those months ago!) the whole time, and we even managed a yummy muffin/coffee at Mojo whilst out too.

Mylo was then extremely unsettled all afternoon, which may or may not have been completely unrelated to the trip out, but the poor mite seemed quite in pain and couldn't sleep, it was as if he had a lot of gas to try and get rid of and just couldn't. Thankfully, it didn't last past his bedtime though as I had expected to be up all night with him given how unsettled he was.

We are enjoying getting to know each other a little better every day, this wee morsel seems to have no problem with his output so at least we know he is getting enough milk when most nappy changes are completely full of wee/poo. In myself, I have been extremely weary some days, even more so than with I did with Noah as a newborn, which I put down to having a toddler in the house too, I certainly take my hat off to all the mums out there who do this newborn stage with a toddler at home full-time, I don't know how they do it! I find it tiring enough just putting on 'game face' for 2 hours in the evening and for the 2 days in the weekend to parent two children, let alone for the whole week! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful hubbie who has cooked delicious, nutritious meals (when we haven't had meals given to us), and generally run around after me the past two weeks, as well as taking the lead role in parenting Noah as I'm so often out of action feeding Mylo or sleeping.

Noah had his first ever 'sleepover' with George last night, by all accounts it went well but it did seem very strange not having him bouncing around the house early this morning. Mylo did me proud last night sleeping his first 6.5 hour stretch between feeds which was well-timed as I felt in desperate need of more than 1-2 hours sleep in one go. I woke with a start at 1.30am though and had to come downstairs to check that he was still alive as my body (my milk in particular!) was wondering what was going on!

Mark is back to work this week (boooo!), and I have not a thing planned in at this stage (i.e. not even any visitors lined up although I'm sure I will end up having one or two!), so I hope to use it as another quiet week of mostly resting when Mylo lets me! Then Mum (aka Nana) arrives on Saturday night for a 2-week stay, and I'm sure to be glad of some company again then. I'm sure that Noah will enjoy having Nana here as it will be someone else to entertain him too.

My shot of the week has to be this one of Noah and Mylo together....lush!


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