Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And now a quick recap of todays news...

We just had the Australia Day long weekend, or invasion day as many see it. I have come through it a little tired but gratified by the changes I see in you. You have hardly slept at all during the last few days, catching small naps here and there but nothing like before. All of a sudden you have become much more aware of your surroundings.

I think these first few months are like slowly emerging from a heavy mist. You not only see things more clearly, you also appear more focused and attentive. During feeding time (I love the connotation of feeding time at the Zoo) you look into my eyes. I make shapes with my mouth, poke out my tongue and raise my eyebrows. These actions are usually met by the famous frown. About half way through a bottle I take it out and burp you which inevitably leads to you crying loudly at the injustice. At times when I offer the bottle back you are not quite ready to keep drinking. Another bout of crying and vigorous wriggling ensues. I either put you on my shoulder or walk you around for a while until you calm, or I begin to make the sucking motion with my own mouth. It is surprising how often this actually works. You see and hear my sucking and you begin to mimic me. This could prove the belief that you perceive internal and external as the same thing.

I think my favourite thing right now is when you sleep on me. I walk you around until you close your eyes then get myself comfortable on the couch. You lay stomach down on me and you sleep so restfully. As I breathe you move up and down like you are floating in the sea. Our hearts beat close to each other and I can look down at your face and wonder. And just like me you have to find your sweet spot, you raise yourself up all sleepy faced and turn your head to face the other direction. Sometimes you bury your face into me just like Carnie does, your little hands close to your mouth and I wonder if you can breathe. After some time I find your occasional wriggling has moved you down to my stomach and you are now lying crossways on me, legs dangling over the side.

You are getting so long that you hardly fit in the bath now. It’s only been six weeks and you are getting too big for things. My God this all happens quickly. You also spun completely round in the bassinet which is totally bizarre, I still don’t know how you accomplished this.

We went out to lunch on Saturday and saw the movie Juno while Nan Baker looked after you. It is good practice for her. We can only really have three people feed you otherwise it gets too confusing. We all have our own methods. Have I mentioned we have been working through the entire 7 seasons of Deep Space 9? We are doing well, I think we are up to Season 6 now. Quite a lot of viewing but you need something to watch when it’s feeding time for the little monkey. Which feels like all the time.

I tend to annoy your Mum trying to make sure she gets enough sleep. I have been backing off on this as she can look after herself. I still remind her but don’t push the subject. I think she is getting a decent amount now at night and once you add the afternoon or evening nap with the morning nap it adds up to enough. For me it is really kind of important that I know I can go to bed at 10:30 for work the next day. If I don’t I just cant function. I spend the next day in a daze. It’s funny that the first song I wrote down for you relates to us getting sleep, and I wrote it before you arrived.

So here is a quick run through of things we are noticing at the moment - we have started putting you under the mini gym a few weeks back but it’s only now that you are more interested. You particularly like the ones that spin. You are focusing on things more than ever, discovering new things so we are stimulating you a lot more with visuals. We are chilling out a lot more now and just going with the flow, both just automatically doing things that need doing without being told. People are saying your face is changing, that you have my eyes, others saying you have more of your Mum in your features now, that you look less new born. You are six weeks today, so much growth. You are stretching like a little plant finding the sun. Your socks no longer fit. There was a jump suit that fit fine one week then suddenly your little legs were too long, so Mum just cut the legs off. You definitely love being with us, you enjoy our cuddles and our voices. We continue to try and understand you more and observe, tune in to what you need.

Just finishing John Updike's - Bech: A Book. What an amazing writer. What prose.

Also finished Cormac McCarthy's - No Country For Old Men - it wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped.

Found the Lost Lennon Tapes in Podcast version. This is a must for you to listen to.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breaking out of the comfort zone.

Can you see how this diary has changed? I guess it will be this way for a little while as I still find a routine and some energy to keep this going. I find that any down time I get I just want to veg out and watch Deep Space 9 episodes. My biggest surprise so far has been the way your Mum has stepped up and really become the patient one of the both of us. Still for me I tend to get a little impatient if I know that I will be up until late and have to get up to work the next day. But your Mum shows such fortitude and unwavering enthusiasm. She has all this energy and going from someone who cherished sleep it has been amazing to me that she gets up after a couple of hours sleep with no complaints. Not that she necessarily wakes up straight away.

On Saturday morning around 2am I heard you begin your sequence of waking up which leads to crying if you are not on your toes. I heard you first and as it was Mum who was getting up I said her name to gently wake her up.

"Little ones rousing"
"Little ones waking up"
"nnnn its ok"
"Its ok I have her"
"What do you mean?"
"(getting agitated) I have her, im holding her"
"What are you talking about?"
"Im holding her now its ok"
"Honey what are you on about, she’s waking up"
"What? Oh, ok".

I have had these kinds of conversations with her before. She gets confused with dream and the waking world. She finally wakes up and goes to prepare the milk for you. Apparently she was dreaming at that very moment about holding you. I actually got up myself a few minutes later to just check that she hadn’t remained confused and fed the bottle to Pippy and put you on the girls bed next to Carnie.

You will be very proud to know that you still drink more, poo more and fart louder than all the other babies at Mothers Group. When we burp you it’s the cutest thing to watch. You stretch out your arms and your legs and make a big groaning sound. We call it the 'Superman'. On Sunday night you were very thirsty indeed and downed about 150mls or more of milk. I had you over my shoulder (you can see what’s coming cant you, I wish I could have) and with no warning at all you threw up the whole lot right down my front. I was soaked. You had this satisfied look on your face after that, then proceeded to demand more milk! Argggghhhhhhhhh.

Mum joined in with me singing Frère Jacques while we were changing you. Your little face went into this state of concentration as you were listening to us. You really seemed to enjoy it. I think it must emit some good vibrations. Perhaps your relative calmness can be attributed to our approach to parenting. We are both very calm people and they do say babies just mirror back what they are surrounded by. I love giving both of you a hug. I’m not sure I have properly explained to you yet but I sing to you almost all the time. A lot more than I just speak. Speaking is singing in some way and so I think making it more pronounced can only help you understand language quicker later.

Your Mum loves our bath time together. She was telling me that one of the other new Dads from her Mums group loves to have shower time with his little one. That would be so funny seeing your face as the water hit you. Apparently they just moved the nozzle down so it didn’t get in their eyes. Have I told you that you have discovered my chest hair and grab it with those strong little fingers and refuse to let go? Now that smarts.

I’m very proud of the way we your Mum and I work together. I think our relationship is deepening in some really special ways. We both have made some changes regarding how we handle times of frustration and how to handle each other when this happens. At Mums Group some of the women were saying they have never argued so much with their husbands. For us it is quite different. We keep an eye out for each other and also talk about our approach to looking after you so we can make sure everything is consistent. This means small stuff as well like burping and wrapping and how to wipe your bum. We are a well oiled machine at the moment. I think I am doing a good job of keeping your Mum mentally on track as she tackles what to do with breastfeeding. Sometimes you have to just say “this is how it’s going to happen”, rather than make it a discussion. It is tiring stuff for her and it important to keep her looking at the big picture and counting your wins as well as your losses.

Listening to the John Safran Podcast last night and there was a man who spent time in jail and has since turned his life around. He read a lot of books and worked out what successful people had in common and tried to apply it to his life. Three things stood out to me. Firstly they all were brutally honest with themselves, secondly they denied themselves certain things to learn how to break out of their comfort zones and lastly that they all jealously guard their reputation and integrity. This third point is what is affecting my life at the moment. The way your Mums father and cousin have accused me of being the cause of their issues really annoys me as it goes against the very essence of what I am about. I must learn to ignore these sorts of people who really know nothing about me and not let it get to me. I guess I do think that everyone should like me and get shocked when someone doesn’t. Watch that ego boy.

The title 'Waking World' is a great title for a story. I should try it out.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Projectile love

Busy day at work yesterday. Work dares to get in the way of my diary. I must have words with work.

Last night you were very restless again and I was concerned for a bit that you had some stomach problems because nothing was calming you. You had projectile vomited a big amount of milk when neighbours were visiting, nice timing. After that you appeared to want more milk over the next few hours. Again I would put you down and ten minutes later you would be crying. I held you and hummed to you, tried a bit of milk and eventually you stayed asleep. I love you so much, perhaps even more so during these times when you are a bit stressed, because I can comfort you and make you feel safe. It doesn’t mean that I am not getting a little frustrated sometimes but that is just the old ways trying to reassert themselves. Remember for 35 years I have been able to do what I want. Now I have someone to care for and it is hard work at times.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snooty elitist French speakers

I’m working from home today so it is much busier than if I was just at work. Your Mum is taking a bath as I type this. She loves her bath.

You had one of those days where the 3-4 hours feeding ritual went out the window and you were hard to settle. In the afternoon it was like a 4 hour feeding session in which you had a bit, pood twice, put you to bed, you woke up, fed more etc etc. Despite all that you never really got too upset.

When I walk you around and hum melodies to you it doesn’t take long to settle you. I tend to sing the Frera Jaqua song:

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matinées, sonnez les matinées
Ding dang dong, ding dang dong

Your Aunty thinks I say it wrong. What would she know.