Monday, December 20, 2010

Goodbye 2010

I think this will be my last blog post for the year, as I'm heading orf overseas for family festivities, and people tend to get offended when you only tear yourself away from your laptop to briefly wolf down two helpings of bread sauce and turkey, before returning to sketch your entire family in MS Paint as bug-eyed potato-people.

So just a quickie then, as I still need to pack.

The Frog is at the stage where he seems to be developing a new trick every day.  He very much prefers to be left sitting up in the middle of the floor, where he can survey his grounds in a lordly manner - occasionally picking up a nearby peon (read teddy bear), chewing it thoughtfully for a while before tossing it aside in favour of something a little less, shall we say, fluffy.

He does go on his tummy.  By choice.  At about 5am in the morning.  And then HOWLS because he's suddenly forgotten how to turn over onto his back again.  Needless to say, these days of early risings do NOT impress me.  He finds himself doing extra tummy-time as penance.  But I'm heartless. "NO BUM-SHUFFLERS in THIS house!", I say, and plonk him down on his front while I put his breakfast together.   But once he's stopped grizzling, and puts his mind to the task at hand (namely covering all nearby objects in a viscous layer of slime), he's actually getting a little better at the whole tummy-time thing.  He can push his entire upper body off the floor, and once or twice, I swear I saw him angle his legs so that his weight was taken just a little bit on his knees.

He is still immensely grabby, and to my secret delight, has found Hubs' ears (Hubs has chuckled a little TOO often at the sight of the Frog's hands clasped lovingly around a hank of my hair). We now have a new appreciation for Superman's adoptive parents.

Anyway.  That's it from me - must make sure I remember all essentials, like in-flight podcasts, and sound- muffling headphones.  Every man for himself in the dog-eat-dog world of plane travel!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby wearing

I know I said glibly in another post that I was the only baby-wearer in my city.  Well, I may have exaggerated. Just a tiny bit.  Anyway, there still are so few of us that I feel like high-fiving everyone I come across who has an infant strapped to their body.

And I would, except that I have the feeling the scenario would play out a lot more like:
And I would quickly become known as the Local Lunatic, and all people with baby carrying devices would cross the road when they saw me coming.   So I don't.  But I want you all to know that secretly, deep inside, whenever I see you with your baby carrier, I think "High FIVE!!!!"

Cornflour ... Is there anything it can't do?

Here was I, relegating cornflour to gravy-thickening alone, but apparently it has many other uses.  In pavlovas, for one, on babies' bottoms for another, and heck, even a key ingredient in home-made explosives.

I'll leave the pavlova story for another post.  Suffice to say that me and egg-white should probably call it quits for  the time being.

I didn't realise that talcum powder had suddenly become scary. But I assumed there was a reason that cornflour was being promoted as the essential bum-drying material, rather than the traditional talc.  I didn't have the opportunity to road-test cornflour until very recently, as the Frog had remained blissfully rash-free. However, with the warm weather coming on, I noticed some pinkish patches on his bum, so decided to act earlier rather than later.  I sort of expected that cornflour + sticky bodily secretions = nasty gluey paste.

Let me just say that after liberal application of cornflour to the Frog's bum, I'm a convert.  I think in the warmer months I shall just slather myself in the stuff as well, because you can become seriously frictionless with a good coating of cornflour.  Just add in some salt, pepper and a little sage, and you'd smell very enticing if it got warm enough!

Every time I dust the Frog's nethers, I'm reminded of that scene in Run, Fatboy, Run where Hank Azaria's character gives himself a far-too-enthusiastic powdering after a gym session.  I'd post a link for you, but I think I finally found a search term that's too esoteric even for the intertubes.  Just imagine it. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The menu ..

The Frog is exploring foods.  So far we have discovered that he LIKES:

  • banana
  • apple
  • pear

The jury is OUT on:

  • pumpkin
  • pineapple
  • honeydew melon
  • rockmelon


  • peas
  • carrots
  • sweet potato

In fact, I've discovered a new facial expression.  When I hand him a mesh net that isn't full of banana (or apple or pear), I look down to see this:

You'd think I was skinning his favourite teddy bear or something!  I sense we're in for a rough ride.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Review II: Tommee Tippee Monitor

I may as well write something informative on this blog.  And this here's going to be another rant, I'm afraid.

The Frog's concerned grandparents wanted to get me a monitor - one of those things that have a pad that slide under the mattress and beep alarmingly when your baby doesn't move for 20 seconds, or something like.  The local baby department store had 2 brands, the Tommee Tippee "Suresound Ultimate Monitor" and another one (I forget its name).   The sales lady didn't really push either one, so we just chose the Tommee Tippee at random.  Boy, but I wish I'd done some proper research.

Turns out that the alarm system seems to be some kind of scatter-brained nursemaid: "Watching baby, watching baby, watchi-  Ooooh! What's that out the window? Ooooh .....  pretty colours ......  Lovely swishy sounds ... Lalalala ..........         OMG! I forgot to watch the baby!!  Has it been 20 seconds???  I don't know!!!  WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!!! BABY IS DYING!!!!!!!"

This can happen at any time, but seems to specialise in hitting that sweet spot at about 3am when I'm deep in REM sleep, and trying to work out how to put on my shoes when they're full of hedgehogs.

So I leap up and stagger to his room, to find the Frog deep in slumber.  And as I stare bleary-eyed at the monitor, the Frog heaves a huge sigh of somnolent contentment, to rub it in.  And it's just as well really, as noone appreciates being visited by a sleep-deprived zombie potato in the dead of night.

The alarm has gone off so frequently, that we now just don't bother to set it, because after about the tenth over-enthusiastic wake-up call, Hubs and I had stopped leaping up, stopped nudging one another ("YOU go", "No, YOUR turn"), stopped midnight games of rock-paper-scissors, and in fact barely registered that the monitor was making a sound at all.  Turns out you can sleep through these alarms pretty well.  So not much use there.

My second issue (yes! I have more than one!).  Was the design of the parent-side unit.  Don't know if you've checked out the link, but the parent-side monitor looks like a high-tech egg nestled in its cup.  And it's about as stable.  Seriously, this is the most touchy and poorly designed bit of baby-safe technology EVER.  To begin with, it takes multiple attempts at placing the 'egg' in the cup so that it actually starts receiving information from the baby-side.  Maybe you have to turn it to face Mecca, or magnetic North, or place it on a ley-line?  All I know is that it usually takes me three goes just to get the buzzy static that lets me know that we have a connection.
But having a connection is only half the battle.  Keeping it is the other half.  Honestly, I think you'd have a better chance at maintaining full contact with an Apollo space mission.  If anything disturbs the precise balance of the egg, it stops transmitting.  This can be the cat brushing past, a light wind blowing, or even a particularly vigorous yawn might suck it a fraction of a millimetre out of alignment.  Either way, there have been a few mornings I've woken up after a lovely sleep-in, to see the monitor lights dead, and hear the distant caterwauling of a Disconsolate and Lonely Frog.

Nuff said.  Buy another brand.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Feeding time at the zoo

So, we're getting into the routine of feeding the Frog solids.  As we were out shopping for essentials for the solid-food-eating baby (spoons, bibs, high-and-low chair, fish slice), we saw this little device that I'd never heard of before.  It's like a dummy (or 'pacifier' for those who think 'dummy' isn't PC), but instead of the plastic teat thingy, there's this mesh net which you can fill with food.  I could take a picture, but I'm having too much fun with my new-found MSpaint skillz, so I've included a helpful diagram below of how it could be used with a slice of, say, banana.
Yep, you just stick the piece of food into the netting, and give it a couple of gentle squeezes (if you feel like it), and it becomes an unholy ooze, squelching out through the netting holes.  Frankly, I wish someone had mentioned one of these to me when I was younger - a device that skins peas as you eat has to be a winner!

With great fanfare (i.e. me standing close with the digicam), we presented the Frog with his first food offering: banana a la net.  He certainly approached this new food-intake method with great enthusiasm.  He grabbed the little dummy and sucked and chomped at it vigorously.  After a while he even stopped sucking at the handle to try the food end. Bingo!

We used this system for a few days, and began to notice some down sides.  Firstly, it takes 2 seconds to stick food in the little net.  It takes 40 minutes of scrubbing with a toothbrush to clean it.  Secondly:
Yeah.  At the end of a food session it's an odd's on bet that the Frog has managed to coat more of his outside with contents of the net than his inside.   Ah well, but he enjoys it. 

Then, I thought for breakfast, I'd try spoon-feeding him some rice cereal mashed with fruit.  The result:
I guess I'd neglected to consider that I needed to run the spoon past the gauntlet of his very grabby hands.  Short of a straight-jacket though, I'm not sure what to do about those.   Our current tactic is to strip him down to his nappy for feeds, then hose him off afterwards.  I can recommend the jet-spray nozzle setting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Waxing Lyrical on Weaning

As of about the 5-month mark, I decided to complete the weaning process.  No more boob feeds at all.  It was just more trouble than it was worth - turning each feed into a half hour marathon of wrestling him into place for the skerrick of milk I could produce, followed by his sighs of contentment as he finally saw the bottle heading his way.

I guess I didn't think that it would be much of a wrench for me, given how little breast feeding I was doing towards the end there.  But I was wrong.  Definitely had withdrawal symptoms after I made the choice. And no, nothing physical - just a little feeling of loss, as I gave up my one unique baby-mum bond, in a process of letting go that will continue throughout his life. With a modicum of grace on my part, I hope!

On other topics, this last week has been incredibly busy with Frog developments - I think I'd gotten used to the stasis we'd found ourselves in - not quite rolling, and certainly not heading towards any kind of locomotion.  But all of a sudden, as of the last week or so, something has clicked in the wee Frog's head.  He's realised that he can use this peculiar 'rolling' thing to edge himself closer to a desirable toy.  And I even got up this morning to find that he'd completely turned over in his cot, and there's nothing of any interest in there at all!

He's also getting much better at sitting - he can sit unsupported for quite long stretches of time.   It's only when he sees an out-of-reach toy that problems arise.  You can see he wants the toy, but he doesn't want to lose his perch, so he woggles his arms about, watching the toy intently (I suppose he's trying to use the Force or something), and when that doesn't result in anything much, he'll start gingerly creeping one hand towards the object of desire.  Mostly this results in an imbalance, and over he'll go (hopefully landing within reach of said toy).  At other times, he manages to snag the toy and retain his seat, and he looks VERY pleased with himself, chomping away on his prize from his lofty height.  Snufkin pointed out that he sits with a very straight back - like a yoga master.  Hubs added that if that was the case, the yoga master had had one too many.

Last note - standing. He somehow worked out how to lock his legs when bounced on his feet.  With a lot of these things, I wonder how much of the development would happen anyway, no matter what you did, or whether our actions and play facilitate the sitting/standing developments?    Anyway, he's a far cry from cruising, but it's very weird to see him standing, propped against the sofa.  I'm so used to him being horizontal, that seeing him in any other orientation is unnatural!