Baby-Led Weaning Update

I’m pleased to say that, since my last update, I’ve successfully been to the Warringah Mall a few times without incident. Whew!

 

In other news, wee Declan has made some strides in the eating department. He wasn’t doing much with the baby-led weaning so we switched gears and tried the more conventional approach of purees. It’s what we did with Stella but I still really wanted to succeed with BLW. Well, he wanted NOTHING to do with purees. He sat there and would blow the biggest raspberries anytime the spoon came close to his lips. He had one night of tolerating it, but that was it. So back to BLW I went. I spent a lot of time researching purees vs. BLW and concluded that BLW has heaps of benefits over purees. For me, I like that meal time is less complicated. I’m not making separate purees (even making ahead and freezing is a PITA) because, instead, I’m just giving him some of what we are already having. We eat pretty cleanly so including Declan in meal times is simple.  I want him involved in family meals and not eating separately like we did with Stella. Even if he is seated with us, it’s a hassle to feed him when, quite frankly, I’d rather be feeding myself. And, when Phill travels (he’s presently in New Zealand), I don’t want to feed all of us at different times. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

 

The past few days Declan has been a BLW rockstar. He loves it. He likes squishing it between his fingers, dropping it on his tray, smelling it and, of course, eating it! He isn’t getting much yet and, YES, it is messy. But, he dictates how much he wants, if any, and decides when he’s finished. (If you want to read more about the benefits of baby-led weaning, read up here.)

Hmmm, giving it a go.

Hmmm, giving it a go.

 

 

Whoa! This is good stuff!

Whoa! This is good stuff!

 

Yeah, I like this banana business.

Yeah, I like this banana business.

 

I’m so relieved we’re on a good path with Declan and his eating. Now, if we could just get his sleeping sorted………

 

Declan is 7 Months

Actually, Some Things Don’t Change

So, I’ve been driving. On the left side of the road. It’s really not all that terrible.

 

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It’s just that everything is so… backwards. You know when you follow your GPS directions to someplace new, following the directions, turn after turn through a new neighborhood? Then, it’s time to leave and, rather than reversing your navigation, you decide to find your way our all on your own by just reversing the directions in your head? Well, that’s what it’s like every time I’m behind the wheel. It. Is. Exhausting. I’ve driven a dozen or more times now and it’s finally beginning to click. I don’t turn on the wipers instead of the turn signal anymore. But I still get a pang of stress waiting in the right turn lane watching cars turn in front of me. And I don’t think I’ll ever not be terrified navigating the double (or triple) round-a-bouts! But, who knows? A few months from now, I could be a left-side-of-the-road-driving PROFESSIONAL and all these thoughts I’m sharing with you will be SO SILLY.

So, I put my new driving skills to good use this week and ventured to the mall. Malls here are different than in the States. Here they comprise all the shops you can think of but also include grocery stores, florists, cafes, even a library. And… Target! We parked and I schlepped two kids into the stroller, through the mall, and after the 3rd tantrum in a row (Stella), I decided to call it a day. We headed for the car… until I couldn’t find the car. I went to 4 different car parks. And each of their 3 levels. Still couldn’t find our car. At this point both kids have skipped a semi-tolerable level of whining and have entered full blown done-ness. I’m on the phone with Phill, in tears because, you know, I’m me and some things do not actually change and we are horribly, horribly lost.

In the middle of all this, I miss a call from Jill. I call her back, and, low and behold she is parking here at the mall! (Still amazed by this.) She came to find us and talked me through what little I could recall and, after a speedy 10 minutes, I was loading up my car with bags and two very sleepy children.

Jill (and Nate) to the rescue!

With all this change happening around me, I guess it’s comforting to know that some things, actually, do not change. I’m still me no matter where in the world I reside!

Declan – 7 Months

Stella has plenty of her early life recorded on her blog. But I realized today I’ve never blogged about Declan.

This is my favorite of the baby stages. Sitting up and mobile just enough to make them happy, but not crawling, and so very smiley and happy. Gosh darn, it is the best and absolutely worth it’s own post!

 

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Declan is amazingly strong. I knew I was in trouble when, at 2 weeks old, he was raising his legs and his head up in some sort of yoga core pose. We’ve started finding him sitting upright in his bed the past couple of weeks. And he can cross the entire living room via rolling in the blink of an eye. He spends a lot of time (and tears) up on all fours, rocking back and forth. I even find him doing this in the middle of the night! He’s begun moving his knees forward but hasn’t figured out the hands need to move, too, so he ends up splat on his chest, bum in the air. Even though he’s frustrated, I can’t help but smile at his cuteness and little baby determination.

 

Another thing he’s begun doing, and I don’t recall Stella doing this, is grabbing my face and giving me a big open mouthed kiss. He does the same to Phill and Stella and we all pretty much melt at such a loving gesture. He’s probably just teething and really wants to shove our face into his mouth for some pain relief, but that would be ok, too.

 

He’s holding his own with big sister really well. She, on the other hand, grabbed one of my belts this morning and Phill caught her looping it around his neck and saying, “come on doggy, let’s go for a walk!” Time… just give it time and he’ll give as good as he gets.

 

Nighttime sleep is still AWFUL. He wakes 3-5 times a night. And, in order to get more sleep, I just feed him. However, now he wakes and won’t go back to sleep without nursing. We’ve entered quite the cycle. A very sleeeeeepy cycle.

 

As for food, we began Baby Led Weaning. He pretty much treats the food like toys and hasn’t actually ingested much. We are going to stay the course for a few more weeks and hope he gets the hang of it a bit more. You should see the look on Stella’s face seeing all the food he is wasting! Appalled.

 

Tonight we got the biggest belly laughs from Declan. Actually, not we… Stella did! He was so tickled he could barely stay sitting upright. Who knew bubble beards were so hilarious?!  It was a really lovely moment. Happy and full of love.

 

Declan is 7 months

Stella is 2 years 11.5 months (nearly 3!)

Diary of Declan

A day in the life of Declan…

Day:

Wake. Smile a lot. Eat. Play. Practice Crawling. Babble “mama.” Nap. Smile. Smile some more. Belly laugh. Smile.

Night:

7:30 pm — Nurse. Fall asleep.

12 am — Wake. Refuse pacifier for 30 minutes.

12:30 am — Nurse. Babble for 30 minutes.

1 am — Fall asleep.

3 am — Wake. Cry. Rock on all fours. Babble “mama” over and over.

3:30 am — Nurse. Cry. Babble “mama” for 45 minutes.

4:15 am — Fall asleep.

6:30 am — Wide awake. Ready to smile!

 

I am so tired. Bone freaking tired. What are we doing wrong?! Maybe he’s just one of those kids that doesn’t need a lot of sleep?? Stella was NOT like this. She will be turning 3 later this month and there is no end in sight to her daily nap.

Another aspect is we haven’t begun giving him any solids. I wasn’t really in a hurry to do so. Our plan was to begin at 6 months (alas we were 30k feet in the air that day) with baby led weaning. And now almost 4 weeks have flown by and still no solids. We finally bought him a high chair over the weekend and we’ll start his foodie adventure this week. Who knows, maybe my mother-in-law is right and this will be the key to a better night’s sleep?

Even if he is destined to be a rotten sleeper, at least he’s so incredibly cute during the day.

 

All smiles in the sun!

All smiles in the sun!

 

Declan is 6 months, 3 weeks old

Stella the Nurturer

I loved seeing all the back to school pictures friends posted this week! I can’t even imagine the disaster I’ll certainly be on Stella’s first day of kindergarten. If her first day of preschool was any indication, medication, or copious amounts of tissue and chocolate, may be in order.

Since Stella is not in school anymore, I’m striving to find educational and socially engaging activities to keep her little brain moving. Her favorite activity thus far is storytime at the local library. She wakes up every morning and, after asking Declan’s whereabouts, says “what’s coming up today, mom?” Followed by, “is it the library?!”

Library lover

Library lover

She sat here and told me she wanted to be sure she could see the pictures. (Story time didn’t begin for another 10 minutes.)

At Tuesday’s visit to the library, we were seated towards the back when she spotted a little girl cradling her baby doll. Stella looked up at me, and with wide eyes said, “Mommy, where is my baby Coco?” Ummm, whoops. (Baby Coco is crammed in a box somewhere in our storage unit in Texas.) The next day I bought her a new baby doll that came with it’s own pram. It was dirt cheap (which is hard to find here in Australia) at just $20 but has made her so happy.

Stella and "Baby Sara"

Stella and “Baby Sara”

Baby Sara goes everywhere with her now. As I push Declan along (in the double pram she won’t ride in anymore) she pushes baby Sara alongside me. If I’m rocking the stroller back and forth at a cross walk to keep him asleep, she copies that. She even pretends to release the brake! And she copies this, too.

Nursing her baby

Nursing her baby

It is precious. Like, beyond.

She loves being a “little mommy.”

Nap time... at the play park

Nap time… at the play park

Other kids go to the park to run slide, swing, and generally run amok. Stella’s play is putting her baby to bed. She has an AMAZING imagination. And I just love her nurturing nature with Sara AND Declan. I can only dream that she always loves her brother as much as she does right now.

P.S. That pram? Yeah, the handle broke off 25 hours after purchase. POS. Good thing she has a birthday next month!

Stella is 2 years, 11 months