Friday 10 December 2010

Jeremy and the four teeth

Where did all the weeks go? Once again it is 2 months from the last blog post and time has zipped by again. I seem to have been travelling for work every second week (Tasmania, Melbourne twice, Brisbane and I just got back from Wellington in NZ).

The full photo album is available via the following link: Oct-Nov 2010.

Jeremy's first tentative steps quickly turned into walking in early October. Initially he was happy to take my hand and take a few steps. However, he was soon picking himself up and taking a few steps and then falling down to crawl again to follow me or Ruby. It did not take him too long to work out walking from one end of the house to the other without falling over (though his walking style for a while was very zombie like). Now he is almost as quick as us getting around the house.

In October I finally installed 4 magnetic cupboard locks (these need to be unlocked using a magnetic key) which have stopped Jeremy getting into parts of the kitchen. I have purchased another 4, but have not installed them as yet. In fact Jeremy has "discovered" the packet in one of the non-locked drawers and likes to run off with it. For the moment the existing locks and the couple of drawers with his stuff in them have stopped the fascination with the remainder of the kitchen.

Jeremy's first 4 teeth came in one at a time. Although he was a bit grumpy and had a small amount of drool getting each of these it was not too much hassle (compared to what we have heard from other parents). However, the next 4 teeth came all at once! It did not seem to bother him too much (his sleep was not too disturbed). However, he was drooling so much that, according to daycare, he was leaving wet patches on the floor. Daycare was even needing to change his clothes on most days as they were getting so wet!

We were surprised when daycare invited us to a 6 month parent-teacher interview in early November. It was kinda interesting as I really had no idea of what they were doing at daycare (all they tell us at the end of the day is that he has eaten well…again). We found out they keep a scrapbook of what he has been up to (it includes lots of photos). Jeremy has started to bring home artwork which I am, of course, proudly displaying (out his reach) on the fridge. Daycare also told us they are practising for the end of year concert in December. We are wondering what Jeremy will do, but we have noticed that he has started clapping. Sometimes he claps following us clapping or to music, he clapped and danced to the title music when we watched Star Wars last weekend.

In early November, on a weekend trip to Mudgee, we took Jeremy to the Zig Zag railway. I had been on the restored steam train a number of times since I was very little and I thought Jeremy might enjoy it too, especially as he has recently been fascinated with the weekly garbage truck and the demolishing of the house across the road. As it was near lunchtime he was a bit grumpy but also with the train taking over an hour it was a bit much for him. Maybe we will try again when he is a bit older.

Towards the end of November we took Jeremy back to Sanctuary Point. We partly wanted a break, but also wanted to take him to the beach. On Saturday afternoon we took him for a swim in the warm shallow waters of St George's Basin. He absolutely loved it as you can see from the following 2 videos:

Unfortunately we did not get to take him to Vincentia beach as on the Sunday morning it started to rain (was the beginning of the really wet week in NSW where Mudgee saw 120mm of rain in one morning). Perhaps later in the summer…

A few projects around the house were, finally, finished in November. The curtains which we ordered in August (before we had moved in) were finally installed on Melbourne cup day. We did discover (with the brief burst of hot weather in mid November) that curtains did a good job of blocking out heat, but also the bedrooms needed fans to help cool them. Jeremy's room does not get much breeze event with the windows wide open. Hopefully the fans will be installed (apart from the last couple of days it has been rainy even since we bought them) sometime after christmas.

The other job that was finally done last week (after a bit of disorganisation/procrastination on my part) was the installation of a dishwasher which required a builder to come in and modify our kitchen cupboards. At the same time he also fixed part of the western fascia board which which was rotting. That is only the first part of the job, the next bit is to scrape back the remainder of the fascia board, spray on some wood hardener, patch, sand an paint. Easy!

Monday 11 October 2010

Steps in the right direction

The past 2 months have been a whirlwind of packing, painting, moving, unpacking, birthday-ing and voting. There have been few weekends where there has not been something on or either of our parents staying in the guest room.

The full photo album is available via the following link: Aug-Sep 2010.

Most of August was spent getting ready to move into our new house. We organised to move early on Saturday 21st August which left us 4 days to do any work on the house after getting the keys late on the 16th. Our plan was to get both our room and Jeremy's room painted as well as doing some baby proofing in the kitchen. Unfortunately it took us a lot longer to paint the rooms (3 coats were needed due to us not putting the first coat on very well) so the baby proofing was not done (still hasn't actually!).

By comparison the move on the 21st was amazingly quick. The movers came in at 7am, loaded up their truck by 8 and everything was out by 9.15. We managed to get most of our stuff unpacked in the 2 weeks before Jeremy's 1st birthday party.  However, its those pesky 5% of remaining boxes that are the hardest!

Jeremy's birthday went well, despite the rainy weather and he had a great time (including getting first hands on the cake). I am still a bit overwhelmed with the number of presents he received! And no he did not start walking before his birthday. He is very keen to pull himself up on things and is trying to take a step or two from a table to a chair. Jeremy can stand by himself, most of the time he just does it without thinking, but as soon as he notices he sits back down. With a bit of encouragement he has taken a few shuffles (on the 30th September at 7.15pm) and this weekend he does take my hand and walk with me for a couple of steps.

Just before Jeremy's birthday Ruby received good news. She was accepted into a research position at Macquarie Uni and would start on the 13th September. This meant we needed to get Jeremy into day care and more importantly getting him used to going! Fortunately we had approached the local day care (only 2 blocks away) earlier in the year and they still had a spot for us. We started him out slowly (1 day a week, then 2 days etc).

At first it was hard leaving him there as he always cried when I left (it is my job to drop him off). However, the day care always told us he was fine after we left and he was a hungry boy and always ate all his lunch (then again eating has never really been a problem for Jeremy!). Now when I drop him off he races off to play with a toy or one of the other kids and I think he is settling in well.

The downside of daycare (or The Centre for Children's Biological Warfare) is that is all of us have been sick for the past couple of weeks with some variant of runny noses or coughing. We had to take Jeremy to the doctor last Friday as we were a bit concerned about his cough and he was either pulling at his neck or ear. Turned out he had an ear infection so he is on his first dose of anti-biotics. In a couple of months our immunity "should" build up...

Jeremy has also taken to pushing his walker around the house which I captured in the following video.

Jeremy pushing the walker from Ben Blake on Vimeo.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

The calm before the storm

This has been a busy month, but it will be even busier next month...

Check out the full photo album at July 2010

Most of the past month has been spent getting ready for the move to our new house and preparing our current place for rental. We found out early last week that the current owners want to settle 2 weeks earlier so we have had to quickly get lots of documents signed and start organising removalists.

We did get a break from house stuff in mid July with a weekend away in Canberra to go to a baptism. As with all our trips to Canberra we try to go and see something new. This time we took Jeremy to see the Deep Space Communications complex at Tidbinbilla on a freezing but clear Sunday morning and took some great photos.

Jeremy's 2nd tooth looks to be on the way and he is needing less and less support to stand up. Not sure if he will be walking by his birthday next month, but if not it will be very soon after. He has also started climbing up the stairs, but has a bit of trouble getting down again. Our new house is only on a single level and apart from  painting the bedrooms we will be baby-proofing (well trying to) as much as we can. Anything in our current place has been temporary (like moving items higher which only buys a short amount of time).

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Jeremy and the stinky nuggets

Two months has really zipped by and a lot has happened! So much for being back on track...

Check out the full photo album at May - June 2010 and the 3 videos: Proper crawling, At the Kitchen Gate and Sitting up at the stairs.

I turned 35 in May and I was looking forward to my birthday. Unfortunately it was overshadowed by Ruby having a severe gall bladder attack that same week and 2 weeks later having surgery for its removal. Ruby required about a week to recover so I took a week off work to take care of both her and Jeremy. It was very similar to after Jeremy was born with Ruby being unable to carry Jeremy along with the added bonus of Ruby only being able to eat soft foods! Fortunately she has fully recovered (fully cleared at her 3 week checkup) and is starting to eat normal foods again.

When we came back from the USA we decided to hunt for a new house so we could have a bit more space and a backyard for Jeremy to run around in. So most of the Saturdays in the past couple of months were taken up looking at houses in the local area. By the time of Ruby's surgery we were really getting tired of house hunting and the options had really been drying up (we had missed one place in mid May as we did not have our finances sorted out). Both of us being home in early June meant we talked more about what we wanted in a new house and we realised that one place we had looked at around my birthday could actually have been what we were looking for. We took another look the following Saturday and in the next week we had finance sorted, made an offer and signed the contract.

Our new house (we handed over the deposit last Thursday) is only a couple of blocks from where we currently live in Telopea. It is on a corner block, all freshly painted and carpeted, new kitchen, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (one being an ensuite), carport, garage and a nice sunroom. There's a huge gum tree out front to provide shade from the western sun and plenty of north facing roof to be able to put in some solar panels (if the gum tree doesn't shade the roof too much). We settle in mid August, which is just in time for us to move in, fix a few things and prepare for Jeremy's first birthday and our housewarming party.

Jeremy had a number of firsts recently and we were able to catch them since we were both home (as well as video them). He now has his first tooth on the lower left front (you can just see it in this photo). Also, there is no more slithering across the living room as he has finally starting to crawl properly.  It is amazing to see how fast he can get across the living room and get into the furniture, photo albums and even the home entertainment components (good fun really with lots of wires and lights!).  He is also pulling himself up to standing on clothes racks and even his highchair and we think it will not be long before he is walking. We have already had to quickly adjust his cot so he does not climb out. Nothing is safe anymore and we started moving breakables and non-baby friendly items away from his reach.

On the food front Jeremy has moved quickly away from purees. We can now hand him large slices of banana or strawberries or slices of toast and he will happily pick those up off his tray and munch away. We are slowly weaning him and he is down to 2 breastfeeds per day and is even eating some of the same foods as us such as shepherd's pie and risotto. After many weeks of trying he is now drinking some of the water we give him.

Oh and why the "Stinky Nuggets" title? With the move to mainly solid food, his poo has become solid and very stinky which I call his stinky nuggets (as a breastfed baby there was not much poo smell in the first 6 months).

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Commando crawling

This month we are (nearly) back on schedule with the blog update.

Check out the full photo album at April 2010.

At the end of March we took Jeremy on his first trip to Sanctuary Point south of Sydney and while there took him to the beach for the first time. At both Austinmer and Vincentia (where I probably first had a dip in the ocean as a kid) we took him down to the water's edge to get his feet wet. Even though it was not too cold, he really didn't like going in the water! Funnily enough he was very interested in the waves going in and out, just as long as he was not in the water. Maybe next year...

The variety of Jeremy's food and amount has increased quickly during April. It did not take him long to get up to 3 solid meals per day and he is basically eating at the same time as us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So far he hasn't really refused anything we have given him unless he is full. For his food we have been making our own vegetable or fruit mash or purées, though just recently we started him on yoghurt.
On the other hand, he has not really taken to drinking water. We are sure he drinks some of it, but he seems to enjoying spitting the rest back at us...

He is putting all that solid food to good use! Midway through April Jeremy turned his roll / stretch into a drag crawl (more like a commando crawl). He can do a kind of push up as well get up off his tummy as if he is going to crawl but just he sways from side to side and then goes back onto his tummy. Not that dragging along the floor is slowing him down, he now tries to chase after us. A number of things in our lounge and family rooms have had to be moved as he has found these much more interesting than his toys!

Jeremy commando crawling from Ben Blake on Vimeo.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Planes, Poo-splosions and Solid Food

Our monthly blog post with photos is a quite late this month as we were away in Seattle for several weeks and were a bit busy when we got back.

Check out the full photo album at Feb + USA trip 2010.

We started off the month with a quick visit to Mudgee, but our main focus in February was the trip to Seattle.  This was Jeremy's first aeroplane ride and a long trip anyway (14 hours from Sydney to LA is long enough for adults!). Our flights to LA and back (on V Australia) left in the evening and we had a seat with a bassinet for Jeremy. Both times Jeremy slept really well (basically like his normal nighttime sleep) even when there was turbulence (when you have to take the baby out of the basinet). However, Jeremy really did not like the connecting flight from LA to Seattle (on Alaskan Airlines).  He did not have his own seat or bassinet and the plane just felt crowded. We had finally entered that elite group: Parents With the Screaming Child (PWSC).

In Seattle as well as visiting family and friends we also visited places like Mt Rainier (where Jeremy saw his first snow) and Snoqualmie Falls (where Ruby took this really great photo of Jeremy). However, I think the best thing is that Jeremy forged a bond between himself and his Lola and Lolo (Filipino for Grandma and Granddad). We also set up a webcam so that (via Skype) he can see more of Lola and Lolo in the future.

One of the great things about going to Seattle is indulging in their coffee. There is much more choice over there and the price is much cheaper than here! We enjoyed delicious coffees such as Intense dark chocolate mocha from Tully's, dark chocolate cherry mocha from Starbucks and caramel mocha from Dilettante cafe at the airport.  If we had another couple of weeks, we'd probably would have sampled the lot of mochas from all the major Seattle coffee chains.

In Australia many of the shopping centres have dedicated parents rooms which makes life for us very easy as there is a place to change Jeremy and for Ruby to breast feed him. In general this was not the case in Seattle, at best they have a room with a toilet and a change table. Except at Westfield Southcenter where the parents room was excellent.

Jeremy's poo got a lot worse in that he more often than not would also dirty up his all clothes (we call these either number 3s or Poo-Splosions). All in all not very nice to change it the back of a car or in a toilet. The nappies (ok diapers in the USA) we bought in the US were so much thinner than the ones we get here (Pampers Baby Dry) and whilst they were great for soaking up wee, they might also have been the reason Poo-Splosions were so bad.

As Jeremy was just over 6 months old when we arrived back in Sydney we took him for his next immunisation (he was very good with not much crying) and started him on solids. First we tried rice cereal (which he really likes as you can see in the video below) and have since moved onto apple, banana, pumpkin and avocado. He is not too sure about these and has made some funny faces when given a spoonful or pushed the spoon away. The best way we have found get him to eat these is to mix them with the rice cereal. We are also reasonably sure he is getting the solids through as the Poo-Splosions seem to have been tamed...

Normally I include the videos in the same location as the photos (Google's Picasa). However, I was not very happy with the overall quality of the videos (Google converts them so they look very pixellated) so I am giving Vimeo a try as its quality looks very similar to the original movie.

Jeremy and Solids from Ben Blake on Vimeo.

The weekend after we came back from Seattle we took Jeremy to the wedding of our friends Michael and Emily (the first wedding Jeremy has been to). He behaved himself very well and despite there being a few mosquitos about he managed to not get bitten (I suspect they went after Ruby instead).

Jeremy is now using his rolling and stretching skills to explore our lounge and dining rooms. We are really not used to how quickly he can move and we really need to keep a closer eye on him as he is very keen to put everything in his mouth! I do not think it will be long before he starts crawling...

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Rolling over and laughing!

This month Jeremy learnt to roll over and laugh with us, well not at the same time!

Check out the full photo album from January 2010

Actually he has only learnt how to roll from his back to his front and not back again.  A couple of mornings I have found Jeremy on his tummy, sometimes situated 90-270 degrees from the original position when we tucked him in for bed. Its a bit scary too as we never know how long he's been that way, sometimes he gets so tired from tummy time that he just face-plants himself into the bed. So, from now on we check him more often just after we put him to bed. He can also self-settle into sleeping now too which is great!

As for laughing, check out this video. After mother's group last wednesday, we visited my Auntie Vergie who was playing with Jeremy causing him to laugh. The next day, I tried the same trick and got him to laugh some more. He doesn't do it all the time, but it was neat to have caught it on camera.

Jeremy received both his passports in January: Australian and American, which made it possible to book our tickets to the US. We are looking forward to visiting my family in Seattle, but more importantly some Jeremy-free time as Lola offered to do a lot of babysitting. I don't think she will leave him out of her sight!

Monday 4 January 2010

Jeremy's First Christmas

Another month has zipped by and now we are in a new year and decade. During December Jeremy had his first visit to Santa, first visit to the beach, first train ride and he did a great job opening his xmas presents.

Check out the photos from December 2009 as well as our 2009 Comic.

We started December by taking Jeremy to see Santa and he sat on his knee very calm and collected (no smiles though!). A new baby for our friend Themy gave us a great excuse to take Jeremy to the beach for the first time.

Jeremy's first trip on a train was into the city so we could sort out his US Passport. He loved going on the train and did not want to just sit in his pram, but look out the window over my shoulder and take in all of Sydney zipping by. Whilst it was a rather miserable day in the city we had a look at both the David Jones windows and Myer's Santaland. Jeremy was not too interested, but we will probably go back and look again this year (but a bit earlier in December, rather than the week before xmas!).

We celebrated xmas in Sydney with our family. Jeremy was actually quite good at opening presents once I had given him part of the paper to hold onto. However, he was not too interested in the presents themselves, instead he just wanted to munch on the paper.

In December we tried getting Jeremy to self settle as we realised he was going too heavy soon to settle by comforting him on the shoulder. This has largely turned out to be successful We know that if he is not asleep at 8-9 mins after putting him down he won't go to sleep without another cuddle (or 10!).

We ended 2009 on the central coast where Jeremy was able to see his first fireworks. The Wangi fireworks were excellent and we were far enough away they were not too loud.