Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dear Lola, 

Why is it we always hear about babies that don’t sleep? Before I had you I was pretty certain you and I wouldn’t be sleeping for perhaps the next two to three years of our lives. An image of me with bags under my eyes, limping along with one leg struggling to keep up filled my head.  Pouring juice into my cereal instead of milk and forgetting my own name from time to time, I believed would be common practice. I guess I pretty much visualised me, but in zombie form. 
From what I’d read & heard from family & friends and from my mother & mother in laws own experience with your papa & I, I was certain my destiny would be one in which I was basically awake an awful lot of the time.

Then you were born. And in your first 14 hours on earth you slept for 12 of them. Fast forward  a few short days later, and you were sleeping for four to six hours at a time during the day & six or more overnight. Ironically enough, as you dreamt away, I was an anxious, teary wreck, consulting experts at frightful hours and wondering how the heck you were going to grow, learn anything or come to recognise us, when all you did was sleep so much. I was told newborns should wake every 2-4 hours for a feed. That my milk supply could be jeopardised if you didn’t feed often enough. That you may not gain weight & fail to thrive. Crap. Must tickle your feet to wake you, must undress you to wake you, must express when none of this works. Must worry.

I was driving myself & your papa a little bit loopy,  when my Oma said very calmly to me  whilst visiting, “We were told to never wake a sleeping baby”. I had heard this before, but just didn’t think it would ever need to be spoken to me and my make-believe baby that never slept.  And why were all the supposed experts lying to me then!
Meanwhile, you were putting on weight; from my expressing sessions I had enough milk to feed a small army, so basically  you were thriving while I was drowning in worry. It was time to dig deep inside my concerned mind and listen to my own instincts & my baby. Not that you were saying much seeming you were always asleep...

That happened at around three months, when  we learnt that you my love, just loved to sleep.

 By six months we learnt that you loved to sleep 12 hours overnight.

So why did worry still seep in when you would wake from a 12 hour sleep only to want to go back to bed a short hour later. Why, oh why did I worry so. Mothers with babies who didn't sleep wanted to throw bricks at me. But I too was a first time mum, with worries of my own. Still worried you wouldn’t learn anything & reading to much useless google nonsense. 

 Although, needless to say,  very soon I learnt to enjoy my sleeping one.

Yes, there have been nights when you had a fever or sickness, that we would be up with you. And yes there were a few nights when I had to replace your dummy more times than I could count. There was also those eight nights when you refused to fall asleep in your own bed, favouring ours. And that upsetting reflux that you experienced in your first 6 weeks of life, well that’s another story, but even amidst the chaos that brought upon us, our saving grace was that you still slept. Put simply, you have been our own little sleeping beauty.

Do I think it’s something we did or just you? I truly believe it was just. you. being. you. Full stop. Am I scared of having another baby that doesn’t sleep so well? Yes, I guess so. I, like many others do love sleep.  

Yes, the sleep gods have been good to us. But I often think if you hadn’t or didn’t sleep so well,  we would have been okay too. I would have loved you just as much (I hope;) & life would have kept on keeping on whether we slept or not.

And yes I still get happy butterflies & am grateful when you say “time for bed” or are lying in bed and ask me to turn the light off and shut the door. I must soak up these moments, because who knows, our next little one may want to turn me into that forementioned zombie. Come what may is all I can say. And no I won’t be consulting anyone but myself next time around thank you very much… well maybe just my Oma.

Your mama

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Dear Lola, 

Here are some lovely things that made us smile over our weekend.

1. Hitching a paddock ride
2. Most favourite crayons
3. Bottom of the fridge soup
4. Babushka & bird whistle + one lonely lion*
5. A soft place to lay our heads
6. Swishing dress
7. Sun peeking in
8.Thrifted treasures catching the light ($1 each!)
9. Making syrup...
10. For this cake
11. A delicious dinner
12. "Come on Milo!"
13. Three

* Omi has several knitted finger puppets. You adore them & played with them constantly during our stay, carrying them around in your pockets & acting out all sorts of games. The poor lion however, was instantly outcast & excluded from the group. He could not join in the fun, and although (bless your heart) you would feed him, you would not dote on him as you did the others . This of course caused many a giggle, questions & theories as to why the lion was rejected so...? And well frankly, we may never know.... but one thing we are all certain of & agreed on, is that you are so. very. hilarious. Lola.

Your mama

Friday, 20 July 2012

Dear Lola, 

Over the past couple of months, every few days we would arrive home to find that the paver fairy had left a paver or two at the top of our driveway (thanks dad). Papa would gratefully lug them up to the backyard, until one day we discovered we had collected enough to start our paving project. Our backyard has multiple levels as it slowly climbs upward toward the bush. Each section has been lovingly created utilising beautiful sandstone collected many years ago from the surrounding bushland. Each section is fairly level, and most are overflowing with plant life. The boys (Papa, Grandpa, Luke & James) had previously cleared one section in anticipation of paving it, to create an al fresco dining area under the stars. As well as paving, a section was to be grassed, highlighting the magnificent birch tree and the lunging bird of paradise. This is how it unfolded.

Formulating a plan

Um, excuse me... has anyone seen my monkey?

Oh, never mind. Found him! Back to work.

Working hard for my lunch

 Day Two: And right back into it.

 Don't ya'll worry. I have my trusty spade!

 Gee Wizz - those pavers look mighty heavy!

 So where are the boys? How we going to tackle this!?

 View of the section being worked on from the kitchen window.

 Resume work - I found my gloves.

 Do I have to do all the work around here!?

 Finally! Some help.

 Don't mind if I have nap on papa.

 Working hard.

 Getting there boys!

 Woohoo! Lunch break. Pancakes!

 Nice shape. Nice symmetry.

Pretty much finished, except for a bit more pruning, a bit more mulch, & we need a table of some sort... and some more pillows of course! Maybe a hammock too!

At least we have enough chairs! A steal at $3 each.

Now all that's left to do is light up the chiminea and enjoy a meal under the stars.

Your mama

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Dear Lola, 

It has been a marvellous & busy week (more to come on that later) - but in the meantime let me share with you some bits & pieces. There are an awful lot of you peachface... but you can hardly blame me, you're just a tad bit cute.

1. One cheeky monkey
2. Play dates & dot art with a dear friend
3. Ready to pick & squeeze
4.  Mama push bike
5. Keeping a new friend warm & close
6. Wallpaper arrived. Now to decide what to do with it...
7. Breakfast is served
8. Lazy Sunday morning...
9. Not for long
10. Sunshine 

Your mama

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Dear Lola, 

We had a very busy weekend of paving (papa) and sewing (mama), of tidying, sorting & playing. 
And amid all the happy chaos I discovered you have become what we call 'the master of camouflage'! 

Over the last few months you have developed some really strong solitary playing skills, and more often than not you'll find me quietly peeking my head into a room to watch you singing, chatting, reading, cuddling or drawing, until I giggle a little too loudly & blow my cover.

But lately I've been having a little more trouble locating you, & I'm finding myself tripping over you, walking right past you, or looking in any one room several times before I discover you in there. Hence, you have been adequately crowned ' the master of camouflage'

I'll let these pictures do the talking...

You blend right into the carpet in that last one! Admittedly,you weren't so much hiding or playing, but rather stuck in your sleep sack & wedged between two lounges & my handbag. You are so funny & adorable, and I tell you that each & every single day.

Your mama