October 31, 2011


Rowan surprised us all last weekend by learning to crawl.

Really, I shouldn't have been all that surprised as he's been doing a scooting kind of action for about a month now - but he figured out how to co-ordinate his arms and legs together, and now with the speed of his movements you'd have thought he'd been crawling for ages (not just a week!!).

Yes, baby-proofing has officially started (of course, Rowan gives us a fairly good guide as to what needs further work; he's into everything).

See Exhibit A:

Yep, just a small snippet of Rowan "helping" me clean. ;)

October 24, 2011

On Breastfeeding

click image to enlarge
I’ve been doing some thinking recently, looking back over Rowan’s pictures of him as a newborn as I’ve scrapbooked his life so far. To some, parenting seems to come fairly easily – I thought it would for me because of my background as a preschool teacher... but I was wrong. The first three months were bloody hard, I’ll admit now. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation that I didn’t cope with very well, or the fact that Rowan and I had such trouble getting the hang of breastfeeding. I don’t know. But what I do know is that things got better.

I reached out when I found myself falling into a bottomless pit of dread and anxiety (especially about daytime sleep times and post-3pm when I’d find myself clock-watching until Matt got home from work). I got busy with my Mother’s Group, I started talking to my own Mum about my experiences, I tried to get back into my hobbies again. Life was being consumed by all things baby, baby, baby!

Forming a positive breastfeeding relationship with Rowan was one of the turning points for me. Sure, we’d been breastfeeding up until that point but because of the pain associated with his poor latch (it was discovered this was due to head/jaw/neck issues resulting from positioning in the womb and at birth by an osteopath and was treated accordingly... oh the difference it made over a  two-month period!!) it wasn’t all that enjoyable for me. Simply put, I remember turning up to a maternal health check-up with Rowan early because I couldn’t bear to be at home alone in my house anymore while he made mincemeat out of my left nipple! I was almost begging for permission from the health nurse to stop breastfeeding. Yes, I said it – I wanted to stop nourishing my baby.

But things got better. The sores and cracks healed, the sensitivity lessened. Rowan relaxed and so did I. He got into a pattern of daytime sleeping (and slept for longer periods during the night) and life became more predictable.

Six and-a-half months later, it has gotten easier. Three naps have become two (but are longer), he’s getting mobile and playing together is more interactive than it has ever been. Sure, there are difficult parts – teeth and breastfeeding aren’t always a good mix, but Rowan only tends to bite when he’s distracted and latching on poorly (with his tongue going above the nipple instead of below). All in all, he’s very gentle when feeding and is absolutely relishing his milk... he drinks it so fast these days too!
Breastfeeding for six months is not only a milestone for us, but also a wonderful act too. I’ve come to enjoy it, and the relaxing hormones that it sends throughout both our bodies.

Newborn Rowan

2 months

6 months.

October 7, 2011

6 Months Old

Happy half-birthday to you, Rowan... six months old today!
Seriously, the time has flown, though at the same time it's difficult to imagine life without you in it (spare time? What's that?!). In the past month your face has changed considerably, and you're looking like a much older baby now. You're super-long (we'll be getting you weighed and measured next week, so not really sure where you're at; people try to guess your age and we've recently been told 'around eight months' o_O).

See exhibit A:
Rowan with Nana (my Mum) at the Tulip Festival this week.
It's funny though, you have SUCH a long body but a tiny head. I've been looking for a Summer hat for you recently and the only ones that actually fit are 0-3 month sized! As it turns out, tiny hats are only purely cosmetic, they don't protect heads from the sun like they should, so I'm not sure what we'll be doing this Summer (sorry Rowan, you take after your Mum in the tiny head department!).

You're also on the move, rolling and scooting around with the greatest of ease - you're beginning to get on all fours and rock back and forth! We think you'll be crawling soon, scarily enough. Independence is your middle name at the moment, you'd much rather be playing on the floor - preferably on your tummy - than cuddling your Mum or Dad. Sure, you're cuddly sometimes, but that's usually when you're sleepy or wanting to chill out.

You are very interested in people's faces and will reach out to touch their mouths and/or noses when they're holding you. Being sung to is pretty cool in your world, you currently love Five Little Ducks.

We've started introducing you to food in the past six weeks and have adopted a babyled weaning approach, meaning that instead of purees and mashes, you're learning to feed yourself real table food. This was a little scary at first - I was worried you'd choke! - but you're learning about what the right amount of food to put in your mouth is, and getting better at not gagging. In fact, you're practicing chewing motions lately and it's really fun to see! Some of your favourite foods so far have been toast, strawberries, green beans, sweet corn (on the cob), yoghurt, cucumber and cheddar cheese. You seem to prefer red meat over white meat currently too. There hasn't been a huge amount of food that you haven't liked as you put everything into your mouth with such excitement! We're having fun introducing you to food, and you enjoy having lunch and dinner 'at the table' like a big boy.

All in all, the past month has been a time of firsts: first foods, first cold, first tooth (!), first plane trip and more.

We love you Rowan. :)

Peeking out of your cot after a nap

Attitude faces... already?!

This was when you were feeling unwell with a cold :(

Enjoying tomato and bacon gnocchi

You have interesting approaches to eating food sometimes. ;)

You love the 'Jolly Jumper'

With your extended family (Dad's side) in Tasmania in September - this was where we got married in 2008!

 Learning to crawl is serious business!

Rowan and Mummy in the tulips