Friday, September 24, 2010
Maternal instinct on high alert, mum decided that perhaps she should have me assessed. A friend suggested she take me to an Iridologist. Iridology is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents believe that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. Iridologists see the eyes as "windows" into the body's state of health. They use charts to distinguish between healthy systems and organs in the body and those that are overactive, inflamed, or distressed.
Long story short, the Iridologist took one look into my wittle peepers and announced that I was severely deficient in magnesium. A magnesium deficiency in children can lead to an overactive nervous system, a child that seems to be on fast-forward all the time, can't sit still, never 'veges out', constantly moving fast with jerky movements. Basically Speed-Baby. My mother says that within 24 hours of stuffing the magnesium supplements down my gob she saw changes in my behaviour. From weird to wonderful. Anxious to adorable. In her words, "From lion to lamb".
Ok, so fast forward 30 years. I pop out Sticky Baby. Papadada and I start to get the feeling that this little boy is also particularly WIRED and BUZZED, like All.The.Time. He never stops. He is curious to no end. He will NEVER sit on your lap, only for a bottle and then, when he's done, he arches his back and bucks himself off until he lands on the floor. Everything is speedy and hectic and jerky and energised and EXHAUSTING. From the moment he wakes he is on the go. Up, down, around, under, over, loud, boisterous, go, go, go. Now, we love him the way he is, but as a mum, just like my mother did, I was starting to get a gut feeling that things were a little OTT (over the top) with the Stickster. He radiates nervous energy. He is fun and hilarious, but sometimes I sense him struggling with all of that electricity in his bod. He works himself up, clenches his fists, grunts and I can feel that he wants to slow down but doesn't really know how.
So I called an Iridologist.
The Iridologist took one look at him, and within seconds announced that he was severely deficient in magnesium. Deja vu anyone? Papadada and I breathed an audible sigh of relief. Because now it all makes sense. And now we have a solution. And now our little boy will be able to be a bit cruisier, a bit more relaxed, a bit more even tempered. We hope.
So we have a big jar of calcium-magnesium tablets to administer to our buzzy boy. 6 tablets daily. Big dose. The doctor said we should see some results in 4-7 days. Of course, like the doc says, "People are either labradors or Chihuahuas. You can't make them be something they're not". And nor do we want to! Sticky Baby? He's a Chihuahua in a Labrador's body. And we love him just the way he is. Yip Yip! Grrrrrr! Yip! Yip!
Will keep you posted on the results....
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
And he's off!
How exciting is that?! Yesterday was such a huge afternoon for us all. Sticky Baby was thrilled with himself. I was pretty chuffed too. His newborn days flashed before my eyes when he took those first steps...How do they grow and learn so fast??
(Excuse the ugg boots and the mulletted hair. Don't know what was going on there. Now it's captured for eternity. Great. I can hear it already, "Yo Ma, what was with the hair?")
Monday, September 20, 2010
Guttural screeching and grunting - so pleasant to the ears
Red blotchy face - could be measles, but I think not
Angry, demonic eyes - yes, I use the word demonic to describe my child at times. Bite me.
How do I know they're genuine tantrums? Because when faced with a distraction (or a handful of cheerios) he can switch the tanty off as fast as Lady Gaga can bring out a new #1 single. What a little weasel.
The other way I know it's a tantrum? He's doing the classic laying-belly-down-on-the-floor-with-head-arched-back move. So dramatic. "And the Oscar goes to....Sticky Baby". Can't wait for him to bust one of those out in the middle of the shopping centre. Sweet Jesus give me strength.
My question is, how and where do babies learn this shiz? It's not like he's seen me hollering face-down on the floor when The Hills ended. Wait...Ok, bad example.
I'm not quite sure how I'm meant to handle this new toddler development. Can I go somewhere tropical for a few weeks and hope that upon my return he has a full head of teeth and thinks chucking darkies are so last season? Sign me up.
Today has been a tough one. We were invited to a kick-ass Mother's Group, complete with Tupperware demonstration, BBQ chicken lunch, noodle salad, coffee, tea and sweets galore. The girls and the babies were great. The Hostess, spectacular. Sticky Baby? He was in destructo-mode. He trampled on every single play mat, leaving a trail of squashed banana muffin in his wake. He spilled somebody's can of lemonade all over the wooden floor. He drank out of each baby's sippy cup. He stuck his finger in my potato salad and then drew on one of the Tupperware order forms. I don't think I sat down the whole time. I was on damage control, the noodle salad agonisingly calling my name. Delicious noodles, I will eat you one day, uninterrupted, in peace. I promise.
Tonight? Not much better. The war against savory food continues. Since we left France last week, Sticky Baby is refusing to eat anything but fruit, raisin toast or homemade banana muffins. Where has my mini-gourmet gone, who would eat olives by the handfuls, chickpeas by the dozens, sweet-potato puree by the cupful? Lord knows, but he ain't living under this roof! This creature? He is picky, and fussy and favours finger food over anything off a spoon.
Ahhh...the trials and tribulations, right?
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The big day wasn't quite what we had in mind. Sticky Baby is sick. The morning was spent at the medical centre getting a prescription for antibiotics. Lots of coughing, sneezing and wheezing. Lots of tears, grumpiness and tiredness. We attempted a cake this evening and a jovial chorus of 'Happy Birthday to you'. Sticky Baby stuck his finger in the cake and then burst into tears. Great. All on camera. Will make for a great 21st birthday video montage. The photos aren't much better. He was in pjs all day and barely cracked a smile. Big crocodile tears visible in nearly all the shots. Poor bubba.
Papadada and I have decided to have a do-over in a few days. Pretend today never really happened and have a nice, germ-free celebration this weekend.
The jet lag monster is still in our midst, hence why the blog has been a little neglected of late. Apologies. I think I may have the morning 'off' tomorrow, in which case I will be typing and uploading pics like a mad woman. Yipee.
Part 3 of my flying series to come too....Beware.
Sticky Baby, we love you more than words can say. You are the beat of our hearts, the light of our lives, the froth of our cappucinnos. The best part of every day. You make our eyes twinkle, our chests swell with pride, our smiles bigger and brighter. You make us complete.
Love, mum and dad.
PS: Something weird for those of you who like weird things...I awoke this morning at 2:27am, eyes wide open. That was the exact time my waters broke, 1 year ago today. Freeaaakkkky, no? I think I even had a few phantom contractions. Although that could've been indigestion. Still, freeeaaakkky, no?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Luggage - Trying to avoid the 'Pack Horse' look
✈2 suitcases, 2 back packs. That’s it.
Sticky Baby and I will be sharing one suitcase, Papadada will have his own. (His will be half-full, as we’re planning to rape and pillage the shops in Singapore on our stopover.) PapaD will be in charge of wheeling/carrying suitcases, I will be the designated stroller-pusher. And we’ll both have matching Nike backpacks on. Booya! One backpack will contain changes of clothes for each of us, the other will contain bottles, formula, toys, and flying documents. Backpacks = being hands-free once we check the suitcases. Much easier when you have a speed-crawler planning to beat his Personal Best time in Paris Airport. And yes, that’s right, I am running this trip with military-like precision. Atten-TION!
We are using our light-weight Chicco stroller the whole way. This means we can take it all the way up to the boarding gate, and then it’s packed away in the belly of the plane. Upon arrival, it will be waiting for us at the gate as well. Me likey.
Sneaky tip alert: We are planning on using the detachable hood of the pram to clip onto the baby bassinet in the plane. This will help provide Sticky Baby with a nice little cocoon environment when he sleeps. Safe from the distraction of lights, passengers and other distractions.
In order to reach our destination in Australia, we have 3 legs of a 25 hour trip to endure *gulp*. The first leg is only 1.5 hours, but it requires an airport transfer on arrival in Paris. In peak-hour traffic. In Paris. You get my drift. So we’re looking at another hour and a half, minimum, in a taxi to cross the city to Airport #2. Boarding our next flight, a 14hr MONSTER to Singapore, back to back, is foolish and retarded (I did it by myself in February - again, foolish and retarded). So, in the name of ‘I’ve learned my lesson’, we have decided to throw money at the situation to make it all better. We are going to stay the night at the airport hotel in Paris. And we will board the MONSTER flight the next day, after a good night’s sleep and room service.
We are travelling Singapore airlines. Apparently they are kick-ass with kids + their bassinets are the biggest in the business. We have booked a bassinet row of 3 and have purchased a seat for Sticky Baby. Which means, THE ENTIRE ROW IS OURS! VICTORY! We had a credit with the airline, so we decided to use it on the luxury of having that 3rd seat to ourselves. It means we won’t have to say, ‘I’m so sorry’, ‘Excuse me’, ‘May I wipe that mashed banana off your sleeve’ to a poor, unsuspecting neighbour. We will have free reign of that row and that puts a big smile on my face. There’ll be more room for the sticky one to roam/play, and less anxiety at annoying the unlucky person that would be stuck sitting next to us. Fares for children are charged at a percentage of a full adult fare. If you can swing the $, I would definitely look at doing this for long-haul flights. Otherwise you’re stuck with your toddler on your knee and Jo Blog sitting 1 inch away from you THE WHOLE WAY. GAH!
I’ve read somewhere that the key to keeping toddlers occupied is this equation: 1 new toy/item per hour of flight. Ok, so I’m not going out and buying 25 things, but I have been collecting stuff here and there, and trying to use my imagination. This is what we’re packing in an attempt to keep him happy and busy and not commando-crawling up and down the aisles like a bat outta hell. Please God, let this work.
✈Sticker book - he is fascinated by the sticky sensation. He’s never had one before. This will be a treat
✈Fluorescent light-up squidgy ball - a visual extravaganza. Picked it up for 2€
✈2 x board books - his favourites
✈Bend and stretch giraffe
✈Coloured post-it notes - He can stick them all over the seats, all over us, all over the tray-tables.
✈Empty boxes and containers - I’ve been collecting them. He likes putting lids on things
✈Little mirror - he’s vain like that
✈A handful of coloured blocks
✈A new app for Papadada’s Iphone - pictures of animals, stuff like that
✈Snacks - teething rusks, baby biscuits, rice crackers, string cheese, dried apricots, sultanas
Our sanity relies on these random items. Yikes. Can you see me in the mirror? Awesome.
And of course, we’re planning on utilising the aeroplane goodies too. Vomit bags, inflight magazines, headphones, plastic cups - they will all be used to entertain him. Somehow.
✈Brauers’ Calm Syrup
✈Phenergan 0,1% - Very controversial for some, but my pediatrician has totally ok’d it. It’s a children’s anti-histamine that can act as a mild sedative. We will only use it if we see Sticky Baby getting very worked up and overstimulated/tired. Last time I flew with him, this was the main problem. He was so wired, so stimulated by all the noise, lights, people, that he was unable to put himself to sleep come his bed-time. This will help him calm down and wind down, should the need arise. Doses to be absolutely respected, check with your doctor, do a trial before flying. Not for babies under the age of 1.
The Buballino Essentials
✈Sippy-cup of water - for take-off and landing and general baby hydration
✈Baby bottles and formula. We’ll have formula dispensers in the backpack, enough doses for the flight + more - In case of delays or spillage or whatever else. Also, a container of formula in our checked suitcase to refill dispensers in Singapore.
✈Baby food - we have ordered baby meals for Sticky Baby as part of our flight. But I will pack a few back up jars, just in case!
✈Nappies - we have decided to go with the ‘Pull-up’ variety. Quicker and more convenient to get on in those tiny bathrooms. Lots of nappies + big pack of wipes.
✈Several changes of clothes for bub. And the ultimate buy, drum roll please, socks with rubber soles! So glad I found these. Perfect for him to discover airports and aeroplanes in.
The genius shoe-socks I found. Rubber-soled goodness.
The last time I flew with the sticky one, all we had was a 3 hour stop-over in Dubai. At the time, I convinced myself that it would be easier to fly straight through, not stopping anywhere overnight. This time round, with PapaD with us, we have decided to have a 1 night, 2 day layover in stunning Singapore. We’ve booked a fab hotel where Sticky Baby will be able to enjoy relaxing dips in the pool and sample asian food from one of the 4 in-house restaurants. We can’t wait to take him to the Jurong Bird Park, one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the world. He’ll be in feather-heaven. We’re hoping that breaking up the long flights will help with jet-lag and give us a much needed break from the inside of an aeroplane cabin. Can’t wait.
We’ve done our very best to book flights that work best around Sticky Baby’s routine. Our very first flight (the short one) departs at 3:15pm, a time of day when bubby is in a good mood, has had a nap and is ready for some adventure. The Paris-Singapore leg departs at midday. We chose this time for several reasons. Firstly, it’s the middle of the day, so PapaD and I will have plenty of energy to deal with him, and other passengers won’t be ready to sleep yet - so technically they won’t be too annoyed if things get loud. Secondly, lunch will be served shortly after take-off which will provide a bit of entertainment. We basically have 7 hours to kill before he’ll be ready for bed time. And then, we’re home free. He should sleep until we land in Singapore. Should. Our final leg, Singapore - Brisbane departs at 9pm. A late bed time for him, but hopefully he’ll sleep most of that leg too. Hopefully.
So, that’s it for Part 2. You’ll get a full run-down of how our preparation paid off in Part 3. Send us good flying vibes! Lots of them! Or hope for a near-empty plane!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
☺ When Sticky Baby reached the age of snacking and finger foods, I was alarmed at the lack of healthy options in the grocery store baby aisle. All those pre-packaged yoghurts and fruit smashes are loaded with sugar or at the very least, are super super artificial. Don’t get me wrong. We do buy some of these. The healthier-looking, less coloured varieties. But I was desperate to come up with snacking options that didn’t always involve artificial sugar. Sticky Baby is an adventurous eater, so we’re lucky in that regard, but why not try some of these and see how your baby goes? Chick peas, frozen peas, olives, mini-gherkins, rice cakes/crackers, broccoli florets, diced carrot (semi-cooked, but not too soft), home-made sweet potato fries, dried apricots, dried apples, string cheese, and lots and lots of fresh fruit!
☺Ah, the pains of teething. For babies AND their parents. This is what has worked for us:
- We keep a small container of teething toys (pacifiers, rubber spoons, teething rings, baby toothbrushes) in the freezer. We pull it out a few times a day for Sticky Baby to get stuck into. The cold items soothe his gums and he loves discovering the contents of the container. Wash after each drool-fest and re-freeze.
- Frozen watermelon, froze grapes, ice cubes placed in a mesh feeder. Tasty and takes away the pain too.
- We keep our teething gels in the fridge, for added relief. Works a treat.
- Clean face washers, dampened with water and chilled in the fridge. Great to suck on.
- Teething rusks by the truck load. Always have a few in your nappy bag, in the car..pretty much everywhere you go.
- When bub is old enough, the crusty end of a baguette! Makes a great chew toy.
Voila, my peeps, I hope some of these ideas may help you out, here and there. Sharing is caring. Feel free to return the favour with other nifty parent-tricks you may have up your apple sauce-stained sleeves.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
My fingers are mildly numb from typing up a butt-load of online ads for items that my girlfriends are selling before returning to oz for good. My ear is slightly pinker than usual and has a Nokia imprint on it. That’s from fielding phone calls from bargain-hungry frenchies wanting to nab a clothes dryer for €5,99. My brain is fried from translating french to english, english to french, and back again. My fingers have paper-cuts from the pile of paperwork I’ve processed (tongue-twister?). The gears of the car are a little crunchier from racing around town picking up farewell presents that were meant to be delivered three days ago, but you know, we’re in France so delivery/pick up? Same diff (grrrrr).
I’ve welcomed the onslaught of odd-jobs for several reasons. One, I genuinely like to help. Two, it makes me feel like I’m some high-powered, foreign liaisons, interpreter, PA extraordinaire. All I would need is an ear piece and a UN badge and I could totes play the part. Three, I believe in The Karma Bank. This week? Mad-ass deposits.
So yes, our little Expat Girlie Gang is dwindling before my very eyes. 9 down to 4. Four of my gals are heading back to the green and gold koala home-land for good. One is moving 2 hours north. Boo. Hiss. For the love of Oprah and Gail, why is expat life so gut-wrenching at times? These girls are the spaghetti to my bolognese. We’ve gone through engagements, marriages, pregnancies, child-birth, relationship highs and lows and a SHIZ load of coffee and cake together. When our partners are away on work trips? We meet up in pjs and slippers and sip on
Ah, the memories. I know one day we’ll all meet up again in Australia. And what a reunion that will be! Pink champagne stocks will go up in a matter of hours.
So this little post is a tribute to the women who have made the past 3 years of my life a social joy. You have enriched my time here, you have shared your wisdom, you have made me laugh. You will be missed ladies!
Au revoir! A bientot! Merci! Bisous!