Month: April 2014

Little fluff head knows what she wants

My girl is nearly 9 months old and all of a sudden I’ve noticed so many changes.

She has just started to sit up by herself. Some babies do it at 6 months, some a lot later. No-one was going to get Millie to sit until Millie was ready. She does it happily for a while now – until she gets tired and throws herself back…she’s going to learn the hard way that it’s not the way to lie down. Luckily mummy has been there to catch her so far.

She kicks her legs then plants her feet and lifts her bum (quite an advanced yoga move you’ve mastered there baby) to prevent me putting on a nappy/pants/sleeping bag. How they know that this is very annoying for the person dressing them is beyond me. No-one teaches them these ‘tricks’, but they pick it up so quickly.

Her eyes have gone from a deep blue to blue flecked with greys and greens. I could stare at her beautiful big eyes all day. My mum had beautiful big eyes, I’m sure it’s where she gets them from.

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She had lots of dark brown hair when she was born but it’s grown and turned a dark blonde, but getting lighter every day. She has lost the bald patch at the back. Her hair curls up and goes wispy after a bath and she looks like a baby chicken with fluffy feathers on the top of her head. Some mornings when I lift her from her cot I see a resemblance to Willy Wonka with wispy hair jutting horizontally from above her ears.

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She copies adults by ‘talking’ and ‘singing’ and has just discovered she can blink purposefully, either when mimicking us or looking at bright lights.

Last night Millie was holding two mini maracas while I prepared dinner. I took them out of her hands to give her food. She screamed.
This is clearly a girl who knows what she wants.
She wanted to eat too, just with maracas in her hands. Daddy gave her a maraca (not used to a crying baby like mummy is!) and she heightened the pitch. There were two maracas you see. She wanted both.

Dinner continued while our little musician banged and tapped and shook her new toys.

What the? How do you keep the peace without creating a mini Veruca Salt?

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It’s a fine line. I guess we’ll learn. You do the best you can.

She is learning and growing as we are learning and growing as parents.

There’s no time to sit and decide how you are going to tackle the challenges baby throws at you. It happens, you react. It’s just the way it is.

I’m sure she’ll turn out just fine.

The crying baby ghost

Does anyone else hear their baby crying even when they’re not?

It happens to me all the time.

It often happens when I strip off and step in the shower…that’s a guarantee I’ll hear it: a faint waaaaaaaaa.

I tilt my ear toward the hallway.

Waaaa.

Ok then. Shower off. Towel on. Up to Millie’s room. Open the door. She’s snoozing. Hmm.

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Hubby comes home from work and starts talking about his day. I shoosh him. “Is that Millie?” I say. He rolls his eyes. It’s not.

Settled on the couch with a cuppa, ready to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode (yeah, yeah…don’t tell me you aren’t stupidly excited that it’s back) and I’ll suddenly hit the mute button on the remote. I can hear a sob. Oh no I can’t.

We laugh that there’s a crying baby ghost in our house. Or that Millie pretends to be asleep again when I check on her.

I suspect it’s something engineered in mothers. Once that baby is put in our arms we are wired to jump up at the tiniest peep.

I think it stems from those first weeks with bub, those weeks when you’re so nervous and lie awake listening to every cry, snuffle, breath, squeak and sigh from the teeny little person beside your bed. Your hearing is so finely tuned to them that you hear their cries ringing in your ears.

I thought it might have been the lack of sleep that was sending me round the twist, but no, Millie’s almost 9 months old and a champion sleeper – and it’s still happening to me.

I won’t ignore it, the day I don’t take a peek at her or check the monitor is the day it’s actually Millie awake and crying.

Please mums, tell me it also happens to you? Or am I going batty?

Mums! Can you spare a cot for a tot?

Hopefully I’m not the first to tell you about St Kilda Mums.

If I am, I’m so glad you’re reading this. It’s a wonderful charity. But it needs your help.

The not-for-profit organisation is based in St Kilda, Melbourne and run by dedicated volunteers. The group rehomes new and pre-loved baby goods, clothing and equipment to families in need.

St Kilda Mums began in 2009 when a group of mums discovered that op-shops refused to take their cots, prams and other nursery equipment. The organisation ensures all the gear it rehomes meets safety standards and is in great condition – and while quality donations pour in, demand still exceeds supply.

There is a long waiting list for prams and cots.

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A donated Bugaboo ready to be rehomed. Picture: St Kilda Mums Instagram

Working with and supporting existing maternal health and social services workers, St Kilda Mums has donated to thousands of new – and very grateful – parents.

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Children’s clothing packed and ready to be delivered to families in need. Picture: St Kilda Mums Instagram

With 54 families on the waiting list who have, or are expecting a new baby but with no way of affording a safe cot, St Kilda Mums has just started its 2014 Cots for Tots campaign.

The group hopes to find 400 cots, so please ask friends or family if they have a suitable cot to donate. If not, you might consider a $140 donation, which allows St Kilda Mums to buy a new cot and mattress wholesale.

For more information about the fantastic work of St Kilda Mums, click here.
To find out if St Kilda Mums can accept and rehome what you have to donate, click here.

Special mention to my talented colleagues Dana, Nicole and Fiona at Leader Community Newspapers for winning the Melbourne Press Club Quill Award (2013) for Best Suburban Report In Writing for their coverage and support of the 2013 Cots for Tots campaign.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

Fresh off her nursing strike, Millie has thrown me another parenting curve ball.

She caught a damn cold.

For you and me, it’s no biggie. We’d snuffle our way through our daily duties, pop on a pair of socks, make some Lemsip and use the sickness as an excuse to have an evening on the couch watching the box.

But for a baby, to have a cold is to be absolutely miserable.

I’m not sure where she got it from, but it’s knocked her for six.

It’s been a week (!?!) of runny noses, sleepless nights, constant coughs, tears, tantrums, baby Panadol and Puss In Boots eyes.

You remember in Shrek where Puss In Boots does his doe-eyed look to make everyone sigh and be sucked in by how cute he is? I swear Millie does the same look, but her huge blinky eyes looking up at me were ones of ‘Mum, why do I feel so sad – and why can’t you help me?’

It’s heartbreaking for a mum. My little petal has struggled to feed and sleep, getting more and more upset by the lack of these two necessities.

Usually a great sleeper, Millie has been awake at hours we haven’t seen since she was a lot younger.

We’ve tilted the cot, given doses of Panadol, used a vapouriser with Euky Bear inhalant in the top and bought saline spray to clear the mucous (at this point I’d like to thank my friend Yvette for the tips, she’s a gem).

Millie is otherwise ok, so we just have to ride it out. But riding it out takes a LOT longer in a child who is too young to blow their nose.

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My little sick Millie couldn’t even stand play time for long without getting quickly frustrated by her blocked nose.

It’s just a lousy cold. I can see she is slowly getting better. It’s been tough for me because I’ve spent the entire 8 months of her life soothing her, feeding her, making sure she has little reason to cry, and then all of a sudden I can’t fix what is making her so upset. I’m sure I’m not the first to feel like this and I won’t be the last.

But for a bit of perspective, I think of the parents at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital and it immediately stops me feeling sorry for myself and my girl. We are very lucky to have our health and I will never take it for granted.

Instead of buying her an Easter present, I’ve made a donation to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal in Millie’s name.