Posted on February 28, 2008 by Sarah
I seem to have survived my first day in the office, although it’s not quite over yet. Worst moment? Having to give a talk to 200 students in a lecture theater an hour after starting work. Second worst moment? Realising that I remembered all the account code numbers we use for ordering books – you’d think that a year of childbirth and motherhood would wipe away a few of these petty details? Today there have definitely been a few moments when I wondered whether the last year actually existed.
But not everything is the same. Now I have a dull ache in my heart that means I never, not for one second ever, forget that I am a mum and that Rose is my daughter. I think my friend Petra said it better.
Best moment? Bumping into a colleague, Isabelle, who is three weeks away from having her first baby. I got so excited thinking about what’s in store for her.
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Posted on February 26, 2008 by Sarah
Over the weekend I created an invite for Rose’s first birthday party. It was a lot of fun reflecting on all the highlights of the year. I can’t believe how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time!
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Posted on February 25, 2008 by Sarah
Rose’s hair is getting really long. It’s started to hang in her eyes and generally get in the way. However, I refuse to cut it or have it cut. Sentimental old fool? That way well be the case, but at least I’ve come up with a solution that will delay action for another few months:
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Posted on February 25, 2008 by Sarah
For the last week or so Rose’s mealtimes have suddenly become a lot less stressful. We’re pretty much moved to a ratio of 9 – 1 in favour of finger foods, and Rose definitely approves. She now eats rissoles, veggie sausages, felafel, roasted veggies, bits of loaf, pasta, fish fingers, sandwiches and her all time favorite of cooked tofu, in chunks, with her hands.
Now her lunch and dinners consist of four or five rounds. First we almost always start with steamed broccoli with a bit of butter. (We’ve tried different veggies, and broccoli remains her favorite). Then we have some other finger food like rissoles or any of the other things listed above. Then she has a hummus or cream cheese sandwich on wholemeal bread. And then we finish off with a baby yogurt (pretty much the only thing we’re feeding her with a spoon), then fruit cut into chunks (banana, nectarine, blueberries or peach).
It sounds like a lot of food, and it is, but she’s growing a lot and the authorities all say to keep feeding her until she starts chucking food around.
That’s also one of the amazing things about our new way of doing things – she throws food around a lot less than she used to. I think it’s something to do with having control over her meal. When we fed her by the spoon she used to overturn the bowl with her hand, rub food in her hair, and turn her head when you got near her with the spoon, all signs of defiance now that I think about it. Since we started putting the food down on her plate and let her go to it, she’s so careful about picking up the food with her fingers and putting it in her mouth. It’s fantastic!
Also, I have a fantastic new photo to share. Doesn’t she look hilarious in this shot?
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Posted on February 23, 2008 by Sarah
Yesterday went really well. Rose only slept for five minutes in the morning (she was woken up by the sound of the door buzzer when Delwyn’s cleaner arrived), but she slept for 1h 40min in the middle of the day. I went over at midday to help with lunch, and Rose ate with gusto, which was awesome. She was very tired, not having slept in the morning, and she didn’t really look at me much when I arrived; she was in full manic mode crawling around chasing the cat, flapping her arms (a definite tired sign), and squawking. It was really strange for me; I was secretly hoping for one of those fantasy moments when your child rushes over for a desperately needed cuddle.
On Fridays I’ll pick Rose up at 4.30pm from the basketball court where Delwyn’s daughter plays. I went along yesterday to check it all out. Rose loved watching the girls play, and she got a lot of attention from the other mums, too. But she was definitely starting to look overwhelmed. She was really tuckered out when I got her home, and after her dinner and bath we forgoed the usual pre-bedtime play and put her to bed early. In the evening she woke up a couple of times with strange, urgent, scared crying. One time I needed to go in, get her out of bed and cuddle her. What a strange day it must have been for her. Not being around her mum and dad who’ve been there for almost every second of her life?
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Posted on February 22, 2008 by Sarah
I just came back from dropping Rose off with Delwyn. I feel like crap. I’ve been crying on and off since then. I knew it was going to be hard to leave Rose with someone else, but I had no idea that I would be this upset. My baby, baby girl. I miss her so much.
In the beginning I found it really hard looking after Rose by myself. In those first few weeks I would phone Chris, crying, feeling overwhelmed. He worked a lot of half days, then. Now, by contrast, I feel like I’ve got it all sorted out. Rose and I have our own routines around sleeping and eating, and it’s all so manageable. I’m still really lucky that Chris is able to leave a little bit later and come home a little earlier than most workers, but if he needs to stay out late it’s no big deal. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in a little over ten months.
She’s a little person, but she’s big to me. I know all these little things about her that no one else knows (except Chris). Maybe no one will ever know her like I know her now? I know what she looks like first thing in the morning and in the middle of the night, how she likes her back to be rubbed when she’s sick, and that she doesn’t like to be cuddled when she’s frustrated. I bet I’d be surprised at how much she knows me.
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Posted on February 20, 2008 by Sarah
Last night I had my first ‘girls night’ out since Rose was born. I met up with the other mothers from my parents group (eight other women) at a local restaurant after our babies had gone to bed for the night. We had such a great evening! And one totally out of our usual routine! We all had makeup on, we were wearing pretty outfits, and none of us had baby food or vomit smeared on our clothes. We ate fine Vietnamese food, drank way too much wine, and managed to not talk about our babies for most of the evening. The best thing was having uninterrupted conversation. Usually our conversations are punctuated by baby-enforced interruptions at 10-second intervals. I feel like I’ve had the start, middle, and ends of conversations with these people, but not all at once. Last night we had complete conversations. I felt like such an adult.
We also moved on to a cocktail bar where we had a single round of drinks. We all commented that our old selves would’ve stayed for at least five more rounds and would have left at 2am rather than the 11.30pm, when we actually left. But still, I got a glimpse of my old self, and it felt good.
It didn’t feel so good this morning, however.
Filed under: Non-Rose | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 18, 2008 by Sarah
We got gazumped. Chris received a phone call from the real estate agent this morning and she said another person had made an offer $16,000 more than ours, so we’re going to miss out on the apartment.
Fortunately, I feel pretty philosophical about it. We were pretty clear about what we were prepared to pay for the apartment, and as soon as we found out the winning bid we both knew that it was out of our reach. And fortunately, it wasn’t our dream house (we can’t really afford our dream house!). I’m sure there will be more properties out there, we just have to start the process all over again.
The worst thing about it is that we’d started imagining ourselves moving in. On Saturday I went over to the apartment and started measuring everything up and thinking about where all our stuff would go. I allowed myself to think about all the things about our current apartment that annoy me. The worst thing of all is letting go of the feeling that we were so close to owning our own place where we could have certainty about things like where Rosie would go to school. It’s such an emotional rollercoaster.
Filed under: Non-Rose | 5 Comments »
Posted on February 17, 2008 by Sarah
Delwyn and I were playing with Rose on Friday when she did something that amazed me: she took the green triangle-shaped block from her Tolo shape sorter, shook it around a little bit, and then put it on the corresponding green triangle hole.
I couldn’t believe it! For the last few weeks we’ve been working on putting objects into bowls. She’s always been good at picking things up, but she’s struggled with placing objects in particular places. But putting a triangle-shaped object into a triangle-shaped hole, that’s a fine pincer move! It took a few goes to perfect the move – she tried dropping the block from up high, then learned to place it carefully.
The other thing that surprised me is that Delwyn picked up two differently coloured blocks and said, “Which one is the blue one?” Rose grabbed the right one! She did it a couple of times with other coloured blocks, and Rose correctly picked out the right colours. The baffling thing is that I’m not sure how she learned colours. I’m not even sure that she actually knows them for sure, maybe it was a couple of random co-incidences, but I’m going with optimism here. Now that I think about it, a lot of her books mention colours, and I’ve learned that whenever a book mentions an object, to point to it. Still, clever girl!
It was really interesting watching Delwyn interact with Rose. She did a whole lot of new things with her that I haven’t even thought of. I guess that’s one of the definite up-sides to childcare – exposure to other types of interaction.
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Posted on February 17, 2008 by Sarah
Rose had her first day of childcare on Friday. Starting in a few weeks I’ll be back at work on Thursdays and Fridays; Chris is going to look after Rose on Thursdays and our friend Delwyn will look after her on Fridays. Delwyn is a sweet, kind person, and a fantastic mother. The other great thing is that she lives in the same building as us, so for now it’s super convenient, and because we’re such good friends Rose is already familiar with Delwyn’s apartment and there’s a mutual comfort level.
So Friday wasn’t such a big deal given that I was there for most of the day, and Rose already feels comfortable around Delwyn. But still, I was a bit curious to see how Rose would cope with napping at their place, and I was really interested in how she would cope with Delwyn going to get her up after her nap. The sleeping was a little bit erratic – her first nap was short (40 minutes), and it took her a good 40 minutes to get off to sleep. The second nap was a bit longer (1h 10mins), and she went to sleep right away. Rose was totally comfortable around Delwyn, and she definitely wasn’t freaked out about Delwyn going to get her up from her nap. She was so laid back about everything that I was actually a little miffed. Am I not her main caregiver? Couldn’t she have shown me the slightest bit of respect by tearing up a little bit when I wasn’t there? Kids these days.
The only thing I feel slightly anxious about is that Rose has been a little monkey lately about her food: fussy and changeable. Changeable as in, “Blueberries on Tuesday? Yum yum! Blueberries on Wednesday? What is this filthy stuff?” However, on Friday, Rose ate everything given to her, she let me feel her with a spoon, and she didn’t spray either of us with food that she didn’t like. I’m glad that she’s on her best behaviour with Delwyn, but why can’t she be a little more like that with me and Chris?
The great thing is that I think Rose will really enjoy being part of another family’s routine. She really enjoyed the walk up to the local school to drop Delwyn’s daughter off, and she was also really interested in the visit to a cafe afterwards for a catch up with the other mums from school. Rose loves getting out and about, and she especially loves new people and places.
Delwyn kept saying what a lovely, well-adjusted, and easy baby Rose is to look after. I guess she’s right. I mean, of course I think Rose is fantastic, but it’s so nice to have someone else’s (more impartial) perspective. I feel so proud of Rose, and so lucky to be her mum.
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