24 February 2009

So Sleepy.

Here at the Lemoncake household, everyone is tired. We could all do with some good nights of sleep, for at least a week. Especially Champ. Champ is sick (virus) and teething (8th tooth). Champ could really use a good sleep, but instead he is keeping the rest of us Awake. All. Night.

On the up-side, we are saving a small fortune in food because he is not eating very much except milk (and not even my milk, he is refusing most feeds now and just drinking cow's milk from a cup).

17 February 2009

Babe in arms

My little boy is growing up so fast.

Champ now makes a huge mess trying to self feed everything from lamb chops (not too messy) to cereal (totally messy). He also has clear preferences; he loves the Wiggles, couldn't care less for Sesame Street. His preferences are clearly shown through tantrums. Oh, the tantrums!

Champ is also developing such a personality, he has this little game that he learnt from the older kids at daycare, the rules of the game seem to be that he has to run around the room like we are trying to catch him and he is 'safe' when he is touching a wall or couch, etc. The cheeky little smile on his face as he does it is adorable. He is starting to understand cause and effect through games, our current favourite is kiss Mummy and I lift him high above my head three times, rinse, repeat. It gets tiring for me quickly, but I get loads of kisses!

But the biggest clue that Champ is growing up is that he appears to be self weaning.

We have given breastfeeding a red hot go. There has been a natural progression from exclusive breastfeeding to starting (and loving) solids. We have experienced the natural decrease in feeds, usually one feed at a time disappeared from his schedule without us seeming to notice. Each time he dropped a sleep or slept longer overnight, one feed would just disappear.

I remember being anxious about it at different points over the last 14 months, wondering just how it would pan out. Wondering if I would have to actively wean him and how exactly we were to ever going to get him to stop day feeds before I returned to work. But it has all happened so naturally, that I have barely noticed it. And now he has stopped wanting his morning feed.

For the last 2 days rather than waking up at the break of dawn (5.00 or some other un-godly hour), having a quick breastfeed and then going back to bed for a couple of hours, Champ has been sleeping until about 7.00 at which time I feed him breakfast. So, now we are down to one feed just before bed at night.

It feels so precarious. At any time Champ could start refusing that feed, then where will we be? He may be ready to end the breastfeeding relationship, but I am not sure that I am.

Of course I have to respect his decision, and I will not be forcing him to feed if he doesn't need to. But I will miss our little moment at the end of the day when the world seems to stop and my busy, active toddler slows down and once again is my baby lying still in his Mummy's arms.

10 February 2009

Frontier of Communication

There I am, bleary eyed before I have had my cup of tea, Champ is wailing and pulling at my leg. He is clearly starving and needs breakfast. Right now. 'Aaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy' is all I can hear. I am trying to put together his breakfast while reassuring him that Mummy is hurrying and he can eat soon.

This is only one of many toddler tantrums that I have started to notice, each day.

Just this morning during breakfast tantrums were thrown because:
  • Champ wanted a banana from the fruit bowl rather than his cereal - 'b' 'b' he squealed until I realised what he wanted;
  • Champ wanted his cereal, now - 'ga' 'ga' he cried while pointing madly towards the table; and
  • my toast looked tasty - 'br' 'br' how could I not realise he wanted bread?
It is hard not to feel stressed by 7.30 a.m. when you have witnessed so many toddler tantrums.

But then, he signs to me that he wants some water (one of the baby signs he picked up straight away, we have only been doing baby signing for a few months) and I hand him a water bottle and he smiles up at me.

Cowboy kisses him on the head and walks out the back door 'Dada' he cries in delight and then hold his hand out to motion 'where did he go?' when he goes beyond Champ's field of vision.

'Br' 'Br' he sees a bird outside. 'Bk' 'Bk' read me a book, Mummy. It is constant, Champ is communicating with us and telling us about his world: his wants and what he finds interesting enough to comment on.

At this age, Champ understands so much of what we say:
  • 'Are you hungry?' Nod, nod, nod (a new trick he learned last weekend);
  • 'Where is bunny rabbit?' Champ toddles off looking for his favorite stuffed toy;
  • 'Don't put that in your mouth, give it to me.' and Champ will stop trying to eat the leaf/rock/fluff/etc and reach up to give it to me.
I guess it is only to be expected that as he is at the frontier of communication, he will feel frustrated occasionally because he can't express to us what he means.

Just remind me of that at 7.00 a.m. tomorrow morning when I have a wailing toddler tugging at my leg.

05 February 2009

Hello internet!

"Helloooo?"



Long pause.



"Hellllllooooooo?"



Wind whistles audibly.



"Red, no one will respond immediately, it's not like a chatroom."



"Oh" Pause. "So, when will they respond, cowboy? Should I, like, check back tomorrow?"



"Probably better than standing around, calling out into cyber space and expecting comments straight away."



Sigh. "Ok, Cowboy, maybe I'll just hang around a little while longer. It's sort of cosy in cyberspace. Can you just pop the kettle on on the way to give Champ his bath?"

Red snuggles down, waiting for some action.

F.A.Q.s

Who are the Lemonhead family?
Feel free to meet the cast, I mean members, of the family here.

* * *

Can I borrow Cowboy?
No, he is mine. I endeavour to teach Champ to share, however I am not so practiced at the concept... especially in relation to my husband.



* * *

Can you post a comment on my blog so I don't look like such a looser?
Um, sure... can you please do the same for me?



* * *

How much per hour can I pay you to allow me to babysit Champ?
Please contact me privately to arrange a suitable agreement. Please note, babysit at your own risk. You have been warned. Champ is exhausting!



* * *

Does this blog really need a F.A.Q.s page?
I'll answer this question with another question: Did you derive pleasure, or glean valuable information from reading these F.A.Q.s?



* * *

Can I add some F.A.Q.s?
Be my guest, make a comment below and if it is frequently asked, it will be added to the F.A.Q.s page.*


* For this purpose, the definition of 'frequently' is taken to mean 'at least once'.


01 February 2009

The Cast

Meet this Australian family as they share their likes, hopes and dreams:
Red
(aka Mummy)
Red is a Mother first and foremost; but also loves the role of wife to Cowboy.

When she is not doing a slapdash job of housework or cooking, Red enjoys reading (both to herself and to son, Champ). Her favourite genres range from romance to adventure, Dr Seuss to touch n' feel.

Red is in her late 20's, but won't give her exact age. She enjoys setting up play dates for Champ and coffee with the girls. Her and Cowboy do try to have regular 'date nights', but she acknowledges that there is an inevitable shift of priority when a couple becomes a family.

So what about her approach to parenting? "I do take a professional approach to parenting, I read expert opinions and scour parenting websites for advice, but ultimately make up my own mind because I know our family best." Red enthuses. The mother of one, believes in a more gentle approach to parenting and does her best to encourage closeness between her family members.

Natural birth, extended breastfeeding, helping children to fall asleep comfortingly and lots of love, time and affection feel like the natural way to raise a child to Red. "But don't confuse me for a parenting Nazi, while I have a very strong belief that this is best for my family, I respect different ways parents choose to raise children and know that each parent is doing the best job with what they have." she is quick to counter.

Follow Red's adventure as she strives to enjoy motherhood and the occasional bit of housework while still maintaining her identity.

Cowboy
(aka Daddy)

Cowboy is your typical 'nice guy'. "Red's friends actually didn't think the relationship would last initially, because they thought I was too nice for her!" he jokes.

Aged in his early 30's, Cowboy tries his best to make a career for himself while still getting home early enough to give Red a hand with Champ before his bedtime. He laments being a "late starter" in the career race, and after several post graduate attempts, has finally found a calling in the business field. "I am one year into completing my postgraduate studies in Business Management, funny thing is that I have studied for years in other fields, but am still not a 'graduate'; still the university let me begin the postgraduate degree in recognition of my work experience." Cowboy explains.

Cowboy thinks the world of his wife and son and does his best to provide for them and spend 'quality time' with them ("without the aid of the Wiggles,if I can help it!"). In his 'spare' time Cowboy enjoys playing squash with his mates and in a past life enjoyed tennis which he can not seem to find the time for lately.

Cowboy is a night owl, and enjoys video games and movies when Red and Champ have long since retired for the night.

Champ

Champ is the first child of Red and Cowboy. He is a bundle of energy and was almost born crawling. "Champ loved tummy time from day 1 when Red and I would massage him on his tummy, I think that set the stage form him crawling by 5 months" says Cowboy. Champ was walking by 10 months and now keeps both his parents fit by running everywhere he goes.

Despite all this energy, Champ has a great attention span and will sit and puzzle over new challenges for long periods of time(his current challenge is to learn to post shapes in the right holes of one of his educational toys). "Don't get me started about reading" laughs Red, "every time we walk past the bookshelf Champ will call out 'book' and we will sit down and read together". The kid certainly gets his recommended 3 books a day!

Besides 'reading', Champ loves his sand pit and especially music. Like most kids, Champ enjoys playing on his toy drum and shaking his maraccas. Champ also enjoys shaking his nappy to the Wiggles.

Champ celebrated his first birthday in December 2008 with a Teddy Bear's picnic for all of his friends. "He is already a ladies man, with most of his little party guests being girls. I just seem to have made friends with Mum's who have girls - he'll appreciate it when he is older!" laughs Red.