November 17, 2012

Rowan at 19 Months Old

Our little man is now 19 months old, and getting cheekier, more inquisitive and surprising us more every day with what he is discovering about the world. Rowan is talking up a storm lately, and is stringing together two-word sentences regularly (such as "weetbix bowl" or "Ro-Ro nigh-nigh).

Speaking of nigh-nigh, pretending to put himself to bed is Rowan's most favourite game at the moment. Now that he has the height and body strength to get up onto our big bed, he moves the pillows and squirrels down under the blanket and sheet before declaring "nigh-nigh!" and asking for a kiss. And then it repeats itself... over and over again. And the tantrums that are had about our bedroom door being closed and the bed off-limits, yikes! Needless to say, the evening routine that involves getting to read together under the blankets is one of Rowan's favourite parts of the day.

Rowan has figured out the concept of yes and no during the past month, and responds appropriately to things he likes/dislikes. "Yah!" is a common word we hear enthusiastically said, and "noooooo" ranks a close second. Similarly, he also says "ta" response to giving you something, or wanting something you have. All of these new concepts make him seem so much of a mini-adult at the moment.

His fascination with number and colour continues, and most mornings are spent with at least some time looking over the balcony in the search for blue cars (Rowan's favourite). Trucks, taxis and buses also make for much excitement too.

Toys and other items are beginning to get lined up haphazardly, and Rowan will pretend to count (usually "tooo.... toooo.... toooo" to indicate that he wants to count; really cute!).

After a spate of colds, Rowan's sleep is pretty good at the moment - he's regularly sleeping from 8.30pm-7am (even though he likes to play in his cot at night before falling asleep; you can hear him chattering and/or kicking the wall). He is seeking out more water and less breastmilk at the moment, swapping sides regularly when feeding and I have to convince him to continue on the first side before taking the second.

He surprised us recently by asking for milk and when I lifted up my top in preparation for feeding him, he said "noooo" and ran to the fridge and said "milk... cold". As it turns out, he wanted cow's milk in a sippy cup, which astounded me as I didn't know he liked the taste of it by itself (my guess is that he'd had it at childcare at some point? Rowan has cow's milk on his cereal most mornings but never sought it out by itself before). Since that day a couple of weeks ago, he asks for "cold milk" almost daily, usually during morning or afternoon tea time.

A family picture on our 4th wedding anniversary (Rowan pressed the remote shutter!)

Applauding himself after patting a baby goat at the farm.

Contemplative face.

One of my current favourite pictures of Rowan, playing with my handbag.

November 6, 2012


So after feeling yucky and terrible for over 24 hours, I started expressing yellow-green pus from my right breast after Rowan boycotted eating from that side. No wonder he wasn't interested in it. And no wonder I was feeling so ill. I've had my fair share of blocked milk ducts in the past (almost) 19 months, but this was in a new league... hello mastitis!

I chowed down on raw garlic, rosemary and hand-expressed what I could over an 18-hour period and, after hand-expressing milk several times last night and this morning (Rowan slept 11 hours straight), the lumps in my breast are a lot smaller and not feeling engorged/tight, and only mild tenderness remains. The red streaks across my breast are also gone today – and the colour of the milk is more normalised too. By tonight, Rowan fed normally off that side, so I’m guessing that the taste was back to his liking too. I haven’t felt so flu-like either so, while I wouldn’t consider myself in the clear just yet, I’m feeling a damned-sight better than I was 24 hours ago.

Rowan has been going through a pinching phase lately (not in anger/frustration, but experimentation; just touching skin and saying “ouch” – my breasts included. He pinched/pulled quite hard a couple of days ago, so I’m wondering if that had anything to do with what I have been going through?).

One of the women in our Mums Group announced that she is pregnant again (she is 11 weeks, her daughter is 18 months old and the youngest in the group; the rest of the babies are between 19-21 months old at the moment). I’m thrilled for her but understandably have a little stab of envy. While pregnant and parenting Rowan, it was/is easy for me to forget our fertility struggles at times... but knowing that more pregnancies are likely to be announced by the other ladies in the next year or two makes me a little apprehensive about our own next step. Yes, we want to have (at least) another child in the future, but I have no idea what form this will take. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to go through month after month of disappointment, or appointments, needles, hormones, medication, procedures and waiting. Oh the waiting. Yes, we were incredibly lucky to have conceived Rowan on our first attempt of IVF but who’s to say that we won’t be so lucky next time? Going through this all the first time I had nothing to compare it to. But now? Being older, wiser and with more life experience I know how hard it can be. And I’m scared. Even things such as riding the IVF rollercoaster and going to appointments without work/family knowing (ie, arranging care for Rowan) so at least we could keep things more of a surprise next time if/when pregnancy happens. 

October 14, 2012

Sleep is for the Weak

So here is the situation... Rowan has been early to hit a lot of his milestones (physical and developmental), sleep has been no exception. He dropped to 2 x daytime naps at 5 months old, and was down to a single nap by 12 months. Now, at 18 months, I suspect that he may be preparing to cut the daytime nap out altogether.

At 10-12 months old, when Rowan was starting to take shaky first steps (walking full-time by his birthday), he went back and forth on 1-2 naps. He was getting more tired as he used more energy during the day being so active (while calm and placid in his personality, physically he is a very active child). Once walking got easier he stayed at the one nap per day - and it has been a decent-length one: 2-3 hours most days. 

With the other nap-dropping, there was warning because previous naps got longer or the second/third sleep got shorter, but it's different this time. There's toddler defiance (wall kicking/banging; so I'm unsure whether it's stubbornness or what), and more consistent night sleep. Our pre-nap routines are the same so I'm not sure what it happening here.

Time will tell, I suppose. I just wanted to make a note of it in here so I can look back in later weeks/months in case there's a "a-ha!" moment somewhere. ;)

For the time being, I shall lament the loss of the daytime nap/tea break!!

October 11, 2012


Rowan has been teething over the last couple of weeks (so what else is new?!), I finally got a look in his mouth yesterday before work and noticed two of his canines are coming through at once - tooth #14 and #15. Rowan has been more of a one-tooth-at-a-time teether during his life (and doesn't take teething in his stride, despite wearing his baltic amber necklace and using pain relief where necessary), so I can imagine this is rather painful for him.

I thought he had a tough time with cutting that first set of molars, but the canines have been just as bad for him, if not worse! I'd heard about this from other parents, but didn't really believe it as the canine teeth appear to be much smaller than molars (ie, cutting one point as opposed to four). Famous last words, hey?

We've all been tired as a result of disjointed night-times, so what a surprise to have him sleep from 8.30pm-9am this morning. What a massive sleep! We all got to play a little catch-up. ;)

The elusive dark brown eyes that are difficult to capture with my lens,
the same shade as mine.

October 7, 2012

Rowan at 18 Months

Happy half-birthday to Rowan – he turned 18 months old today. :)

This entry is partly for his scrapbook, partly to give you an insight into who our little boy is at this very moment. So feel free to skip over, devour or enjoy the pretty pictures. :P

Emotions are huge... I repeat, huge! When Rowan is happy he gasps and makes an “ehrrrrr” sound with his mouth open. No, we don’t know why either but it’s his most obvious form of glee. It’s generally reserved for finding his favourite foods or Play School beginning on the TV (which he really interacts with now, yelling out what he sees at the TV, or ‘dances’ to the songs etc), or if he’s babbling and we interpret it correctly.

Day sleep is pretty good, Rowan usually goes down to his one nap (anywhere from 1.5-3 hours, with 2-2.5 being the average) with minimal fuss, and now will allow familiar adults to put him into bed. He fights nighttime sleep more these days, and it doesn’t seem to be related to the amount of day sleep he gets. He is genuinely tired but seems to be going through a stubborn sleep phase at the moment – wall banging and kicking, yelling, rolling around. Once he is asleep he is generally okay, and sleeps 11-12 hours straight roughly half the time now, with a wake-up every few nights or so.

He wears Size 1 clothing for the most part, fitting into a few Size 0s around the waist of pants, and Size 2 for his tummy and sleeve length (he’s starting to get a little chubbier, so my guess is that he’ll grow in height again soon).

Since we were in Hobart recently (two weeks ago), he gets so excited about seeing pictures of or the hearing voices (or Skype!) of his extended family in Hobart – mainly Matt’s parents, whom we’re calling Oma and Grandad (“Da”, says Rowan; “Dada” is Daddy). Rowan asks to see a short video I took of him in Hobart with his Oma over and over again, he can’t get enough of it. He also refers to Hayley “Aah” (one of Matt’s sisters), who is in the video too.

Rowan has really gotten the hang of cutlery in the past month (I think that childcare may have played a part in this, he came home three weeks ago and suddenly knew how to scoop with a spoon, whereas he previously had no real accuracy with this movement).When given the choice between fork and spoon at the moment he’ll choose a spoon for the most part. Cutlery can also be used for unconventional food choices, as it turns out – Rowan recently spent about 15 minutes scooping the innards of a scone out with a teaspoon at lunch. He wouldn’t have a part in actually biting into it as he normally does, just wanted to use the spoon. ;)

Favourite foods at the moment are strawberries (they’ve been his favourite since he first tried them at 5 months old), cheddar cheese, yoghurt (we only have natural yoghurt at home, rather than the sweetened sort), watermelon, dehydrated apple, any kind of cake/muffin, salmon and scrambled egg.

Rowan has 2-3 breastfeeds per day, and sometimes a feed in the night if he wakes up unsettled. After thinking he was starting the self-weaning process a few weeks ago, he is now feeding more than ever (after a growth spurt). I've been on school holidays from work recently, and he's been helping himself to a couple of extra snack feeds during the day, mainly while we're cuddling on the couch.

Rowan is learning new words very quickly now, with a new word every couple of days. He is starting to grasp the concept of manners (“please” and “ta”; he’ll sometimes try to take something out of your hand while saying ‘ta’). He is beginning to refer to himself as “Ro-Ro” at times, especially if he sees a picture of himself. Previously, he and all other children were “baby” (“baah”). Everything seems to be about more at the moment – more cuddles, more books, more yoghurt, more slides. When people go or objects are put away, it’s always “buh bye”.

Books are still a firm favourite – Rowan has a really good memory and after reading a book once attaches a unique name to it (usually a 1-2 syllable word or babble for the book). You can then ask him what book he wants to read, and he will refer to it by name, and he’ll bring it to you. Some of the names are really obvious, “pi-der” for Incy Wincy Spider or “nigh-nigh” for Spot Says Goodnight, whereas others are more of a guessing game. Matt took Rowan to the library over the weekend and they chose six books. He has attached a title to four of these books already, asking for them by name.

Something I’ve been reluctant to talk about (though I’m a proud parent, I don’t want to appear as a boasting one, because that’s not the case at all) is the beginning of Rowan’s self-directed interests. In the past couple of months he has been exploring shape, colour and number. He has a shape puzzle and puzzle with numerals 0-9, and has memorised the shapes (and can apply this to many two-dimensional objects currently – circle, square, oval, heart, star; he points out examples he sees in books, or on TV or when we’re out and about. This is similar for colours too, Rowan has discovered two-level classification. That is, an object has a name but it also has a colour. You might see “car blue” as well as “car red” while out and about (he loves pointing out the colours of cars, and applies colour-spotting to other things too).

And the numbers... this is what is astounding me at the moment, Rowan’s ability to pick out numerals from everyday life. It started with his puzzle a few weeks ago, he was interested in the numbers and wanted to do his puzzle over and over again. We live in an apartment building (of eight apartments) and live on the top floor, meaning we pass by most of the other doors on the way down. Although I think part of it is stored information, he gets excited and tells you the number – which is in black – on each beige door. Rowan and I were in a cafe the other week and we were sitting at table #15. Rowan studies the table for a while before grinning and saying “num-mer five” to me, absolutely blew me out of the water. Other recent examples have included picking out individual numbers in package barcodes (yes, really!) and on computer keyboards. “Num-mer twoooo” is the default when he isn’t sure what number something is, but recognises it as a number.

Rowan was studying the front of a board book tonight so I pointed out the letters of the title, and he happily pointed back “beeeee” (the letter B). Oh lordy....

(I can’t believe that I wrote this much about toddler development...!)

September 28, 2012

Rowan at 1 Month vs 17 Months

Rowan is going through a stroppy phase at the moment... I think that's officially what toddlerdom is all about, just quietly! ;)

Anyway, in the middle of a food-related tantrum he lay down on the loungeroom floor so being the snap-happy parent I am, I had to take a picture. All of a sudden I was reminded of him at a month old lying in a similar position. 

I thought to place the pictures side by side for a direct comparison and well... here you go!

Aww, to think he was once that small. ;)

September 6, 2012

Playground Video

Just a quick post today of Rowan surprising me with his climbing and sliding abilities at an indoor playcentre today (really quite fun!). He'll be 17 months tomorrow. :)

September 2, 2012


It has surprised me on how much the idea of having another baby is growing on me. Usually the 'baby-fever' pangs move on quite quickly (usually about the time there's a toddler tantrum or near-sleepless night...!) but this is sticking around.

Holy cow, does this mean mentally I'm getting ready for this?!

In the world of toddlers, I'm having so much fun with Rowan's "conversations" (usually occurring while we're quietly sitting together after a breastfeed; he tells me something and waits for me to confirm it by repeating the word/phrase before moving onto the next thing). This afternoon's conversation was "Igglepiggle, Pontipines, lovely strawberry". That won't mean much to most (any?) of you reading this, but Rowan was telling me about his favourite TV show, In the Night Garden and he had just eaten strawberries. The word "lovely" is reserved for only the best things in life (namely breastmilk, occasionally other foods). Toddler-speak rocks my world, it's amazing to see them making connections with the world around them. :)

August 20, 2012

Musings on Baby Fever

I knew it would happen at some point, that "baby fever" would kick in again at some point in time. I think that the catalyst at the moment is three friends giving birth in the space of a week (!), and seeing pictures of tiny, squishy newborns has my uterus going ahhhhhhhhh! 

Would I say that given everything the past sixteen months has thrown our way, are we ready for another child yet? No, even despite infertility hanging over my head (it's easy to live in denial when running around after a toddler and smiling when answering other people's questions of "so are you having more children soon?"), which is a potential ticking clock in its own right, the time doesn't feel right. The initial months of motherhood weren't kind to me, I beat myself up a lot at the time about a lot of things - my emotions, the transition from wife to all-encompassing mother, breastfeeding, sleeping, the decision to re-home our pet. This time last year I was just starting to see the light after a bleak few months despite the snuggles and awe-inspiring observations of baby development at its finest. I can't imagine going through this again at the moment, not with Rowan as a toddler. 

But having said that, maybe the next time around (if we're lucky to be pregnant again) I'll be kinder on myself, perhaps I'll relax more and go with the flow, knowing what the initial newborn stage can be like (rather than starting from scratch).

Rowan surprises and astonishes us everyday with the new things he's learning (quite often, Matt and I find ourselves looking at each other and saying "are everyone else's babies like that?!"; of course, we live in a bubble where our own child is a prodigy :P). Tonight as we got Rowan dressed after his shower I found myself saying "if you ever have a sibling, you've set the bar pretty high". 

And he has. I also know from many friends that rather than the love in your heart dividing when another child is born, instead it multiplies. And when the right time comes, what shall be will be.

August 5, 2012

How Quickly Times Change...

I took this picture of Rowan with Matt when he was six months old, and it's one of my very favourite pictures of the two of them. Here is an updated shower picture of them both, taken during the week:

Rowan is nearly 16 months old here.

Seeing this set makes me wish that I'd had the hindsight to have taken a much earlier shower photo of my boys (ie, with Rowan as a newborn), as it will make a gorgeous display someday if I continue taking these style of pictures every few months. We used a baby bath up until Rowan was about 5 months old, when he outgrew it and starting wriggling about too much. Since we don't have a bath in our apartment, straight to the shower it was!

P.S. - Click on the above pictures to see them larger (I promise you it's worth it!)

Oh, and if you made it this far, here's a little bonus picture:

(love me some baby butt!)

July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

What getting dinner ready every night tends to look like:

July 18, 2012

Back to Work & Childcare

All ready to go on his first day.

So I started back at work as a Kindergarten teacher on Monday, and Rowan had his first day of childcare. We both survived, I thrived. So far so good, the last two working days have been overwhelmingly positive and though I know things will get a bit more intense in the coming months, for the time being I’m enjoying the ride.

And then there was childcare... I dropped Rowan off at 7.30am on Monday morning after his milk feed to have breakfast at the centre. He was a little wary but separated okay (as did I – no tears!) and the room leader was really nice about it all. I called his room late morning and one of the carers mentioned that he was asleep. Yes, asleep! The boy who hasn’t taken a morning nap since he was 11 months old. Sure, it turned out to only be an hour’s nap but it totally counts. And there was no more napping for the rest of the day so he definitely slept well that night, but I just couldn’t believe it. I was to finish at 3.15pm that afternoon (the positive thing about starting on the clock by 8am!), to pick up Rowan at around 4pm, and got a phone call from the childcare centre just before 3 asking me to come and get him as he had been distraught for the past hour... poor little man. :(
After picking Rowan up.

When I got to his room, I went in and they put him in my arms, but he was still sobbing quietly. It wasn’t until a few minutes later – after doing a big poo – that it seemed as though he suddenly realised I was there and as he lay on the changetable and I cleaned him up he animatedly came back to life and started chattering about all sorts of things (namely doors, nappies and butterflies). Then he was fine for the rest of the day. Apparently he got to go outside during his day and loved the sandpit (Rowan hasn’t had too much exposure to sand yet), as well as the book area and spent half an hour looking at every single book with one of the carers... sounds like my days with him, really. 

Books are a huge interest area to Rowan, especially if they have a cat in them. Let's hope this (fascination with books) continues as he gets older. So that was our first week... here's to the ones to follow, hopefully they are just as positive.

July 11, 2012

15 Months Old

Rowan is now 15 months old, my little man is getting very cheeky and vocalising a lot more (and I'm starting to see the beginnings of frustration when he's trying to communicate his needs and I don't understand). Since he mastered a lot of the physical milestones over the past few months, it's all about communication these days... and that is pretty fun to watch. He's a little sponge when it comes to absorbing sounds and he'll attempt to imitate most things you say.

He is starting to learn about right and wrong, and often gives the game away before doing something he knows he shouldn't (such as pulling washing off the clothes rack or hitting me in the face in frustration). In the case of getting physical, I sit him down and tell him "no" firmly, which usually results in crying and occasionally the flailing of limbs.

There have been so many new words and sounds this month, it's difficult to keep track of them all - in the past two weeks there has been at least a new word every day, it's a pretty amazing time to witness! A lot of food and animal-related sounds (we're thinking of taking him to the zoo sometime when the weather gets better, Matt and I both think he'd love it!). Some of the new words are:
  • cuddle "cuul"
  • shoe "ooo"
  • cheese "kee"
  • crashing "caaar"
  • light "aigh"
  • door
  • bib "bii
  • car
  • bye bye "buh-bye"
  • yoghurt "yoyoyo"
  • sheep "baabaa"
  • snake "sssss"
  • bird "biiiir"
  • dog/cat/duck/cow (see, lots of animals!)
Rowan gets very excited about going out and will excitedly yell variations of Go! Key! Door! Car! (imagine everything being said in exclamation... that's Rowan :P)

He also now uses the words Mum (Mumum or mama), Dad (dadada) and Nan-Nan in context, which is fun too. He plays a game with us where he 'talks' into his toy phone and says "lo Nan-Nan", imitating games we play with him. I'm looking forward to the imitation becoming real pretend play in the coming months, and we give him lots of opportunities to copy us and have a go himself (whether that's pretending to 'feed' us, vacuum the floor, or taking his plates and cups out of the dishwasher).

So all in all, it's been a very vocal month indeed!

Brushing his own hair

laughs with Daddy after dinner

my blonde boy with the unruly curls at the back!

Rowan LOVES water!

We love him so. <3

July 5, 2012

The Childcare Experience

I really felt for Rowan today (and for myself!), it was his first experience in childcare. Admittedly, only a short play (~40min) as part of his orientation before starting on Monday, but not an overly positive experience. It took him a while to stop clinging to me, but eventually I settled him and went to go and sit in the foyer for a bit. One of the carers came out about 20 minutes later and asked if it was okay for Rowan to have lunch with them since the food trolley was coming around. I thought he’d be thrilled by this as he loves food very much, but apparently this was the icing on the cake and too much for him to take in... as they put a little bowl of baked beans with potato in front of him, he burst into tears and was inconsolable! :(

So I was called back into the room to try and settle him, and encourage him to try some food (which he did, but wanted to feed me first :P). Poor boy, when I got back there Rowan was sobbing in the book area with snot running down his face and his whole body wracked with each sob. I’m not used to seeing him like this, so it came as a shock to me – I was expecting a little clinginess or a few tears. After he had a few mouthfuls of food and a drink of water, we arranged to come back tomorrow and Rowan retrieved my bag and made a beeline for the door.

Do I feel good about making the decision to start him in childcare? Definitely not, I just hope that the adjustment period isn’t too difficult for him – I’m expecting it to last a month or so (he’s only attending one day per week), but this is our only choice for a Monday so we all need to get through it. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s play is a better one!

June 19, 2012

This Month in Scrapbooking

I've been digiscrapping like a machine lately, working on Rowan's 1st year book (nearly done!), my pregnancy album (11 pages to go!) and miscellaneous pages in our 2012 family book. I've also recently been asked to be a part of Scrapping With Liz's summer CT (creative team), which I'm thrilled about (I've had a secret crush on Liz's template designs for over a year now, and hers were the first templates I started using when I was getting into digiscrapping more seriously).

Here is a selection of my recent work, clicking the images will take you to a larger one. My main galleries are at ScrapOrchard and Zig Zag Scrap, where you can see these layouts and more!

June 12, 2012

Our Instagram Week

Can you tell that it was a bit cold and wet? Lots of cuddling up in pyjamas, warm Wintery foods and even a trip to an urban farm - made for lots of fun over the Queen's Birthday long weekend. :)

Bonus photos from our farm visit:

June 10, 2012

14 Months Old

Rowan is now 14 months old and the past month has seen an explosion in his comprehension and language, as well as his developing sense of humour (ie, doing things differently on purpose and laughing afterwards, like wearing a placemat as a hat).

For my own records, here is what Rowan has been up to developmentally in the past month:

* Tries to climb everything!

* Does a lot of imitating the sounds that other people make (both words and noises)

* Is learning to differentiate (ie, not everything served on a white sideplate is cake, although he's ever-hopeful)

* Makes hand signs to ask for songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, If You're Happy & You Know It, Pat-A-Cake, Incy Wincy Spider

* Knows how to unlock my iPhone

* Has definitely dropped down to one nap during the day, and will regularly go 4-5 hours in the morning before getting tired for a nap

* Gets excited about helping with home routines (ie, washing clothes, hanging clothing up, brushing teeth/hair, putting on shoes and socks)

* New words this month: App (as in a phone application!), cake, teeth, up, Mummy, key, milk ("mi") and Bunny ("buh")

Busted playing with the bookshelf!

Clapping hands to a song

We recently put a big-boy doona (what we call a duvet in Australia) in Rowan's cot for Winter, he's testing the softness here. ;)

A friend of mine took our picture at a farm during May.

June 3, 2012

Life in an Instagram

I wrote a long blog post today but accidentally deleted it (oops!), so you get the short and sweet version: I'll be returning to work as a teacher on July 16th (start of Term 3 here in Australia), and Rowan will be starting childcare one day per week. I feel more than a little guilt about this, as for some reason I never thought that my own child(ren) would be accessing childcare. Hopefully this part sits better with me as time passes. I don't know if I'm ready to hand over an entire day with Rowan to someone else yet?

I guess that this is a small taste of what some parents must feel leaving their eldest child with me at the beginning of the Kindergarten year? Wow, talk about humbling... :/

I've been doing weekly Instagram posts on my personal blog for a while now and thought I'd share the last three weeks worth of adventures here too:

May 14-20

May 21-27

May 28 - June 3