Visitors, growing baby and toddler kisses…

Well, I’m super tired at the moment, so I don’t really know how coherent this post will be. I just know I’ve had it in my head all day that I really want to post something, so here goes!

First of all, I just want to say what a fun autumn we’ve been having. Obviously, it’s been fun (of the hard-work variety) having Fred with us. Then Richie’s mom came to stay for a week and a half, followed by our friends Phil and Anouk over from Hamburg, and just this past week my best buddy Jen and her friend/co-worker Nicole visiting from Kenya! It’s been so delightful to have the company, the chats, to have a houseful of people, and then it’s also been great to get out and about, visit some restaurants with guests, share the sights and tastes of Istanbul. Having a small baby is lovely, but being home so much with two little people can feel a bit isolating at times, so it’s really saved my sanity to have some fun and enjoy our visitors… makes things seem a bit more normal and all that.

Well, my last post was a Liam update, so I guess now it’s time to catch up on the news with Fred. He’s just about 3 months old, which I feel is a big milestone, the end of him being a newborn. He’s so smiley and adorable, I love it. I love the way he gives a big open-mouth smile when I tickle him and sort of scrunches up his whole body, legs and arms in the air… it’s kind of like a whole-body-smile. I love his baby ‘kisses’, which is what I call it when I’m giving him a kiss or nuzzle and he reflexively opens his mouth and licks my face. I love his sweet baby breath too. Yum.

I think he’s getting cuter and cuter all the time, filling out a bit, working on those chubby baby cheeks. He’s getting better at holding his head up and I think he’ll be pretty stable soon. I’m looking forward to being able to have him in the wrap while he’s awake, but not having to be watching and supporting his bobbing head all the time. He’s close now, but his neck just isn’t quite sturdy enough. Once it is, I’ll be ready to make it over to my friend Katherine’s place on my own with the two boys, Liam in the buggy and Fred in the wrap. I’m looking forward to having that little bit of independence. I still won’t be able to do much or go to far on my own, but getting over to her place will be a big accomplishment. He’s also doing a decent job holding up his head when he’s having tummy time, especially considering I still haven’t had him on his belly all that much.

I’m still swaddling him at night, because I think he’s prone to startling a bit too much still. He’s upgraded from his newborn size Woombie and is now in the ‘big baby’ size. He’s also wearing 3-6 month size clothes. It seems like it was just about 2 weeks ago I started putting the 3-6mo stuff on him and in the sleep suits his feet were getting all bunched up when he kicked because they were still too long on him. Already now it seems like he fills them out lengthwise! Crazy how fast babies grow!

I also started doing EC (elimination communication), aka ‘baby pottying’ with Fred about two weeks ago. Lucky for me, Fred on average just poops once a day, and almost always at the same time, and is really obvious about it because it’s in the wee hours of the morning after a feed and he wiggles and kicks like crazy. So, no surprise when he goes. Since he’s still so small, I’ve started out with a plastic bowl in my lap while I sit cross-legged on the floor and hold him over it to poop. We’ve had pretty good success so far, and I’ve only had to change one poopy diaper since we started! Anyway, we’re just keeping it simple and trying to get those obvious poops for now, and I feel really happy just doing that small bit for now. Next I really want to get the cloth diaper stuff sorted out and get him in those. I’m not sure if it really saves money compared to disposables, when you factor in water and electricity for washing, etc., but I enjoyed using cloth with Liam so I just need to get organized and get to it.

Fred is now happier doing a wider variety of things, which makes life easier and means I also have a bit more time and attention to give to Liam. Sometimes Fred will sit in his bouncy chair for ages, and I can get something done, or play with Liam for a while or whatnot. He also likes laying on Liam’s bit mattress and the three of us can look at books, or Fred will now look at toys and he likes being played with, sung to and tickled. I love holding him a lot, but it’s also great to have more to do with him while he’s laying down, if for no other reason than to give my body a rest! Liam is still doting on him and gives him kisses and hugs. It’s so sweet!

Actually, on a side note with Liam, I just have to say how cute and loving he is, because it’s just the best thing ever and I have to share it. Just yesterday he was giving EVERYTHING kisses. He kissed my two cheeks, my two ears, my nose and my hair. Then he kissed Fred. Then he kissed a pair of Richie’s trousers and a towel. Then his car. And on and on it went. He’s got love for everyone and everything! Today we were playing football with this really soft ball he has, kicking and throwing it around, and then we’d both race to get it first. Well, at one point I kicked it and it hit the wall. Liam picked it up hugged it very gently and then held it out for me to kiss because I’d injured it by kicking it so hard. He’s just so adorable and loving, I just want to eat him up. (I’m adding this the morning after writing this post- This morning when I gave Liam a piece of bread, he cradled it lovingly in his hands, kissed it and then took a big bite! So funny!)

Well, now I’m so tired I have a bit of a headache, so I better head off to bed. Fingers crossed Fred will have a very sleepy night and very short wake-ups, because I don’t think I’ll have much energy tonight!

And this photo doesn’t have much to do with this post, but I thought it was cute, so here it is…

The professor

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Liam update: three months old…

Well, Liam’s three months old now, which I guess means he’s leaving newborn-babyhood behind him. He’s full of energy these days, sleeping lots at night (but still waking every few hours to feed), and hardly sleeping at all during the day, so I’m definitely kept on my toes! He doesn’t like laying down for very long to play, but prefers being help up in our laps so he can see everything that’s going on. He likes to stretch his legs and push himself up while we hold him. Obviously it’s a long time before he stands up, but he seems to like working out his leg muscles. He has managed to roll himself over from his stomach onto his back, but he just did it a few times one day last week or so, and hasn’t repeated the trick yet, so I think it was just a fluke.

favourite photo ever!!!

I think he gets more fun and cuter every day. I loved him as a newborn, but it’s so much fun to watch him change and interact with people and the world more and more. He’s rather serious much of the time, but he certainly does smile lots and he’s very chatty which I absolutely love! His baby babble vocabulary is growing all the time. He also now likes it when I blow raspberries on his cheeks and belly. He’s just about to the stage where he can grab things and put them in his mouth. When I hold toys over him, he more or less grabs on to things and tries to get it to his mouth, although his success in that endeavour is still a bit sporadic and he gets a bit frustrated by it. I’m sure it won’t be long at all until he can do it properly.

He’s still a very calm baby. He doesn’t ever just have a random crying fit. I think we’re getting pretty good at figuring out what he wants when he’s fussing, although I’m sure sometimes it must annoy him to be mistaken for overtired when he’s hungry, or vis-versa! We sure got lucky with him having such an easy-going disposition!

Our EC experiment is going pretty well too. Just about every day Liam get’s some diaperless time on the floor, and I continue to try and figure out his signals and timing for pottying. I must admit I’m not so good on the signal side of things, but every now and then, when he suddenly fusses or something like that, I hold him over his potty bowl and he does, in fact, go. But mostly we have a routine of me changing his diaper right after each feeding and offering him the potty. He does just about all his poops at these times now and he often pees too. He is a very frequent pooper (I can’t believe it when I read some babies only poop once every few days!!!), so while we’re catching most now, sometimes there’s a sneaky one that gets by us. Anyway, it’s been great because he’s hardly ever sitting in a messy diaper, he doesn’t have any diaper rash, I scarcely ever have to change a messy diaper, and we are running the washing machine less which is great for our electricity and water bills! And besides all that, it’s just kind of fun to help him go to the potty. He does look pretty funny/cute, with his bare butt dangling over a bucket!

Obviously, the difficult thing about having Liam here is that we’re far away from both our families, which is no small thing. However, I’m so glad we went for it, because in so many ways, our living situation is ideal for having a baby. First and probably most importantly for me, I’m able to take an extended maternity leave without much financial stress. Also, Richie is home frequently, which means I get breaks (beautiful breaks!!!) and he gets to spend more time with Liam. Even if it’s just a short time he has at home in the middle of the day, it’s so amazing that Richie can hang out with Liam, and I can just have a while when I can do things like go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, eat some food, or do some household chores- all at a normal pace instead of rushing around before Liam cries or wakes up or whatever. Also, since we’re in the middle of a city, with friends nearby, it’s easy for me to meet someone for lunch or coffee out in town, which completely SAVES MY SANITY. I love hanging out with Liam, but regardless, I’m not the kind of person who can stay at home for more than about two consecutive days without feeling stir-crazy. Plus Liam get’s to see the world and spend time with other people too. I love that he gets to be held and talked to by other people, and I feel good that he’s getting that socializing in early. And when I do go back to work, after our winter travels, I’m so so so happy that Richie and I will be tag-teaming the childcare. I know lots of people have to do it, and it’s not the worst thing in the world, but I still just hate the idea of having someone else spending the whole day with my baby. I especially hate the idea of day care! So, when I’m back to work part-time, Richie will have more time at home with Liam, and we should still be completely fine financially. At least for Liam’s first year, I’m happy this is the arrangement we’ll have. After that, who knows, but at least he gets a good year in first.

So anyway, it’s been a fast and slow and certainly FULL three months. Liam’s a great little boy and I’m so glad we get to keep him!

And finally, here are the latest videos of the little man: