The Next Phase

Pickle in big bedSitting in the semi-darkness, waiting for Pickle to go to sleep in his big bed for the first time. He keeps calling out for a big cuddle, and it’s taking all my strength not to lie down and envelope him in my arms.

He looks so small, lying cocooned in his new big duvet. His cot mattress is on the floor, to make it easier for him to get in and out of the bed, and I can’t help but think he looked safer behind the bars of the cot.

For the past seven or eight months, he’s been waking in the night, and I’ve stumbled across the hall, blindly picked him up, and tucked him into bed beside me. The theory is that if he wakes now, I can slide into his bed for a cuddle, and slide out again once he’s asleep.

In reality, I think I’m going to miss having his tiny little body squished next to mine in my big bed.

I’ll miss waking up with his soft, fine hair tickling my face, and the occasional head-butt-in-the-teeth followed by, “Are you okay, Mummy?”

I’ll miss him shooting upright as soon as Tall turns on his bedside lamp and announcing, “It’s morning time! Time for break-bix” (a confusion of breakfast and Weet-Bix).

However, it is time for me to reclaim my nights, and my sleep. The past two years of broken sleep are catching up on me.

But as I sit here, I can’t help but wish, for the umpteenth time, that time would just slow down.

Just a smidgen.

Weaning: the end of an era

Pickle had his last breastfeed two weeks ago today. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a mutual decision to stop, nor was it entirely planned. It just kinda happened, and as with Tiny, I suspect Pickle kept feeding purely because I kept offering.

Peekaboo

I had decided it was time to stop feeding Pickle during the night, but was happy to continue offering him his daytime and bedtime feeds. When it came time for his bedtime feed, instead of racing me to the couch, excitedly asking for “boobie”, he kissed Tall and Tiny goodnight, and led me up the stairs. After stories and cuddles, I sat beside his cot until he fell asleep. When he woke at his usual time – 2am, give or take ten minutes – I gave him cuddles and sat with him in my arms for an hour-and-a-half, before taking him into our bed, where he slept soundly until morning.

The next day, he had his day sleep in the car, so no day feed, and at bedtime…kisses for the big boys, up the stairs, cuddles in our bed at 2am, slept until morning. Since then, he has asked twice when upset, but I’ve gently told him it’s all gone, and he’s been content with cuddles and lots of stories.

18 months old

My left bosom took a good week to subside, and more than once I was tempted to latch Pickle on to relieve the pressure. Warm showers and pressure on the lumpy bits helped unblock where it was needed, and for two nights I woke up with a soaked pyjama top. Pickle has a tendency to headbutt and clamber all over me when he sleeps, so that added to and prolonged the pain and tenderness a little! I’m curious to see what will happen now…I’m back in pre-babies bras, but there seems to be a smidgen more room in the cups than I recall…

Friends have asked how I feel about finishing, and I can honestly say I feel nothing but relieved. Relieved because I can see there’ll be an end to the night wakings, and because I’m going to regain a bit of freedom with my evenings. Not that I plan on going out every night, but if I want to go back to yoga classes, or visit friends, or date my husband, I can.

18 months old

When I weaned Tiny (also at 18-months), I got clucky and was pregnant within a month. This time, there will be no more babies, so it will be interesting to see whether I go through a period of “mourning” this time. So far, I’ve only noticed a change in my appetite – I’m no longer ravenous all the time – but it’s only been two weeks, so I guess we’ll see what happens over the next little while. I’m fully expecting to feel a bit down about this end of an era, but I’m also not expecting anything.

I’ve already gone through my drawers and removed all the items of clothing I’ve been wearing as a breastfeeding mother for the past 18 months (plus the 18 months prior to falling pregnant with Pickle!), and am feeling a great sense of delight at never having to wear a clicky bra ever again.

Sleeping baby

As for Pickle, his appetite for food has increased dramatically (he is eating constantly now), and his sleeping is slowly improving – he slept through two nights in a row, so I know he can do it! Next step is to wean him out of our bed, but I think we’ll enjoy this little success for a while first. Day sleeping is another story…he falls asleep in the car or stroller, but I used to feed him and sit with him in my arms if we were at home. Now…we’re muddling our way through it, trying to figure out what works. One day, he simply ran out of steam and fell asleep beside me on the couch; yesterday, we were snuggled up on the couch watching a film with Tiny, and he was quickly snoring on my chest.

Sleeping baby

{Review} Breastmates Nurture Top

Regardless of where your thoughts lie on the “breastfeeding in public” spectrum, it is a subject which always causes a stir. I’m not about to start a debate here (y’all are welcome to your opinions, but this is not a discussion about that, ‘kay?), but I will say that when a mum feeds her baby in public, the last thing she wants to do is flash everyone. She wants to be discreet; for her sake, for her baby’s sake, for everyone’s sake.

No matter how old her baby is: 15 days old, 15 weeks old, or 15 months old.

Pickle will be 15-months-old at the end of September, and he is still a very enthusiastic breastfeeder. I’m lucky; I’m surrounded by incredibly supportive family and friends who don’t bat an eyelid when I nurse my almost-toddler. However, I’m starting to get the “isn’t-he-too-old-for-that?” looks if I feed him when we’re out, and sadly, it makes me self-conscious.

Lovely Franny from Breastmates sent me one of her delicious new nursing tops (from her own Bump’n Boob range) to review, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. While Pickle is (sometimes) easily distracted from needing his milky drink during the day, there are times when we’ve just got to feed. The Nurture top is so discreet; there’s no lifting up or pulling down. It has side access, which means there is very little flashin’ of the flesh. It doesn’t look like a breastfeeding top, which is a bonus, and I know I’ll continue to wear it when my boobs are my own again.

Breastmates Nurture Nursing Top

Every mum – brand new, or more “seasoned” – needs nursing clothes in which they feel comfortable and pretty (because let’s face it, being a stay-at-home-mum ain’t glamourous, so we have to make ourselves feel good somehow, right?!). The Nurture top definitely fits the bill. It is incredibly soft, beautifully designed, and a great fit. It will flatter every stage of breast fullness and belly roundness – during pregnancy and the course of mum-and-bub’s breastfeeding journey.

Breastmates Nurture Nursing Top

I love the way it drapes from the detailed neckline, the snug sleeves, and the elasticated hem – you can adjust where the top sits on your tummy or hips, which is a huge plus. I love the feel of the fabric, the colour is simply divine, and the fit is spot on. The design is so clever and thoughtful; you can tell Franny designed this with her mum hat on.

IMG_3881Outfit details: Breastmates Nurture Maternity and Nursing Top (in slate grey), black Doosh pants (which are probably 12+ years old and still firm faves), After the Rain blue leaf skeleton earrings
Awesome backdrop: the mountain ranges of Queenstown (Coronet Peak ski field is  to the right, out of shot)

The first time I ventured out on my own with Tiny, when he was about three weeks old, I rang a friend to ask her where I could breastfeed in the city. If I’d had this top, I wouldn’t have worried about any of that – feeding a screaming, over-tired, reflux baby would be a dream with the Nurture top. It allows for fuss-free feeding, which is so important when your little one is fussing!

(While this top was provided to me for the purpose of review, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.)

~~~~~~~~~
For the first time in aaaaages, I’m linking in with beautiful and stylish Kelly for

WWbutton

The Chair: 12 Months Old!!

Wooooooo! Our baby is ONE!

It’s amazing how quickly the past 12 months have gone.
I honestly can’t remember what life was like before he arrived into our lives; everyday, I just can’t get over how lucky we are to have welcomed such a treasure into our family.

IMG_3172~~~~~~~~~
At 12 months, Pickle:

~ has started crawling, and nothing is safe; his favourite things to go for so far are the wine racks, Tiny’s Lego, power cords, and the fireplace

~ loves bananas, mandarins, pasta spirals and crackers. He also loves broccoli, which unfortunately makes him extra-windy and extra-grouchy

~ says dada, more (“muh”), done (“nun”), banana (“na-na”), ta (“gah”), balloon (“ba”) and hi (“aaah”)

~ loves to dance as soon as he hears music or someone singing

~ has seven chompy teeth

~ is still swaddled for sleeps; partly because his free arms annoy him, and partly because he has terrible eczema on his chest which he scratches when he’s tired.

Happy birthday, my little bear.
We love you more than you could ever know, and our lives have become so much richer and more delightful over the past 12 months.
xxxxxxxxxxxx

IMG_3176IMG_3182
The Chair: 11 Months Old

This Time Last Year…

…I was 37 weeks pregnant, enjoying a farewell lunch for a lovely friend, finding myself full after two slices of pizza.

…baby had gone from 4/5 engaged (the way he’d been for weeeeeeks), to 0/5 engaged and had turned posterior.

…the sciatic nerve pain I’d been plagued with for weeks had abated, and I felt comfortable for the first time in months.

…I believed this baby was still weeks away from being born.

Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Babies are tricky like that.

37 weeks pregnant

Also? My hair was looking awesome, I must say.

This is the photo I posted on Facebook mere hours before the first contraction. A very dear friend had posted a photo of herself at 40 weeks two days prior, and her baby boy was born just hours later. That’s the key, people! Facebook has the power to bring on labour.

Not really. Don’t come back and yell at me coz you tried it and it didn’t work, Melissa, Sophie or Talia ;o)

It’s Party Time: a Stuck on You *GIVEAWAY*

In less than three weeks, my baby is going to turn one.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I was waddling about, almost 35 weeks pregnant – and now, I’m planning a first birthday party!

Perfect timing, then, that Stuck on You have just launched their new Party collection.

Stuck on You Party DotsThey’ve got everything you could possibly need to create the perfect party – I especially love the look of the address labels and the range of invitations and thank you cards. I also like that there are some designs that could be used for a baby shower, high tea or any other more grown-up occasion.

Stuck on You Party InvitationsTo celebrate the launch of this gorgeous new range, Stuck on You have offered one of you the chance to win a $25 gift voucher to spend as you wish – yay!

Simply leave a comment on this post telling me which of the new party themes you would pick for your next party.

A winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday 12th June 2013, 4pm (NZ time). Competition open to New Zealand residents only.

Win25voucher_250x250If you’re on Facebook, you might like to ‘like’ Stuck on You – keeping up with any special offers and sneaky deals they might have coming up.

The Chair: 11 Months Old

One month until the big ONE!

One month until the big ONE!

~~~~~~~~~
At 11 months, Pickle:

~ loves to wave hello and good-bye, and thinks shaking anything (especially when told, “shake shake shake”) is hilarious

~ gets excited about towers to knock down, hiding objects in drawers or under things, and seeing his Daddy at the end of the day

~ has six teeth: three on the top, three on the bottom

~ can push backwards on his tummy and lift his bum to rock…but is still not crawling. He can also wriggle about on his bottom, but it isn’t bum-shuffling yet, as the movements aren’t deliberate

~ breastfeeds at least four times during the day, and often three or four times during the night, despite being an eager eater of all things solid; he prefers to eat whatever is on my plate, and gets quite grumpy if I don’t share!

~ thinks his big brother is awesome-sauce, BUT is really starting to let Tiny know that he’s unhappy about him stealing his toys away

~ loves to stand and jolly-jump, bounce on someone’s lap, and hang upside down. He also loves to shriek, earsplittingly-so, which WE do NOT love :-/

~ weighs almost 10kg

~ loves to laugh and is proving to be a cheeky little man with a wickedly-wonderful sense of humour

Loving being Hiawatha...not so much a fox

Loving being Hiawatha…not so much a fox

(mask and headband courtesy of Stella and Heart Felt)

~~~~~~~~~
The Chair: 10 Months Old

The Chair: 10 Months Old

IMG_2911

Our big 10-month-old! Craaaaazy!

~~~~~~~~~
At 10 months, Pickle:

~ has just learned to clap (“paki paki”) and will bang his hands on the nearest object (table, floor, toy) on command

~ loves to play peek-a-boo, especially when hiding himself (although he’s so eager to be found that we often don’t get a chance to say, “Where’s…” before he’s shown himself)

~ has five teeth (two on the top, three on the bottom)

~ can push himself onto all fours, and rocks back and forth, but is more likely to go backwards and is a long way off crawling yet

~ will look at Daddy and his brother when asked where they are. Me? I’m just that nameless entity that just “is” right now!

~ has started to ask for “muh” when eating

~ is still a voracious (and often ferocious!) breastfeeder who shows no signs of dropping any feed (which is just fine by me)

~ loves to laugh, especially when watching Daddy tickling his brother

~ has a very erratic sleep pattern at night; some nights he wakes once, other nights he wakes three or four times. Sigh.

~ still smiles openly at people, and is very social around other children and babies

IMG_2917~~~~~~~~~
The Chair: 9 Months Old

On Turning Three

IMG_2107My favourite colour “is green. I like green the best. Orange is Aunty Julia’s favourite.”

I like to “eat cornflakes for breakfast. My favourite thing to have for dinner is teddy bears [pasta] with pesto. Daddy likes teddy bears too.”

I love to “play with this car and these cars.” [shows two new wooden cars]

I want to be “um…Iron Man when I grow up. With my mask on and my helmet on.” [proceeds to run around the lounge pretending to fly and such]

When Daddy is at work “he doesn’t work at his work. He does. Um um um. I know. He runs and gets his hammer and goes bang bang bang. He’s building a house.” [Tall is a Product Design Engineer. He does not build houses.]

At kindy, I like to “I’m busy playing with Mr Potato right now.” [long pause] “I don’t like it when the other kids play with the toys.” [after a little prompting] “I like to do nothing at kindy.” [Right. Let’s give up on this one then]

My favourite thing to do at home is “to make a lego train with lots of blocks on it.”

My favourite book is “about the Little Red Train.” [races off to bring the story which is called ‘Runaway Train’]

I love “Henry.” [proceeds to play “Where is Henry?” with his little brother. Be still my beating heart! Did he really just say that, on his own, unprompted?? Man, this kid is COOL!]

~~~~~~~~~
Baby boy. Can I still call you that? I still find myself calling you “Bubba” at times, but you always tell me you’re not a baby, you’re a boy.

You certainly are. You love cars and trucks and trains and planes; all my efforts to steer you towards gender-neutral toys and play are useless – the blue runs strong in your veins, my boy.

You are so busy, so bouncy, so energetic, but you are also quite content to sit, to do quiet activities, to amuse yourself.

You are almost never silent. From the moment you wake up, you are talking, talking, talking. I love listening to you as you narrate your life; every day when Daddy comes home, I have some new and hilarious things to tell him about what you’ve said throughout the day. You’ve just started making up and telling your own stories, which are so fun to listen to.

Watching you with your baby brother melts my heart, my gentle boy. You love to give him cuddles and make him giggle. Sometimes, you push things a bit far, but most of the time, you are the best big brother in the whole wide world. Your little brother loves you so much, and he is desperate to play with you; he watches you so keenly all the time, and misses you when you’re not around.

Your Daddy and I are so proud of how well you have adjusted to going to kindy this year. From the first day, you settled in with such a natural ease, which made leaving you there painless for me. Your teachers say you’re a delight, and that they can see a bright, content little man emerging. You’re starting to play with the other kids, but prefer to play alongside them right now. You’ll get there, though.

You have the most infectious laugh, and a great sense of humour; when you throw  tantrums, they don’t last long and you are easily distracted out of them, with giggles soon to follow. You are stubborn like your Daddy, but generous and kind, and so, so loving. Yes, you have your moments, but you are still so little (yes, you are still little!), and you are learning, learning, learning, all the time.

0Days2Three years ago, you changed our lives forever, and showed us what it meant to truly love unconditionally, wholly, purely.

Happy birthday, big baby boy. Now you are three. WOW!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

(Read Tiny’s Birth Story (in three parts) and see photos from his birthday party)