Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bath time

Raf is becoming SOOO willful! He's more and more becoming very focused on the task at hand, and it's quite difficult to get his attention. This is bath time last night, captured on my new android phone! As you can see, I have yet to work out which way the camera goes so it's sort of upside down. Imagine how difficult it might have been to take away one of his beloved crabs :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A week in pictures

bath time and being cute..

Hanging out in Panera

Helping mummy fold washing.'

Cuddles with daddy

Valentine's Day

I belong to this really lovely online bulletin board. Within it is this wonderful community of running mamas. We're currently doing a secret santa sort of thing, which involves sending out 3 packages over a series of weeks. One came for me on Friday - I don't know who from, but there was a gift for Raf. Here he is playing with it.


Raf loves this stuffed cube. It has a little bell inside, which makes him shake it frantically so he can hear it. It seems to be the closest thing (next to my car keys) of a lovey!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentine's day, everyone!

This is not a valentine's post - hopefully I'll have more time (raf currently asleep on me) later today, and also more positive energy to post one later.

Returning to work has been a real challenge - easier in some ways than I anticipated, but much harder in other respects. I didn't expect to be the kind of mother that I am turning out to be, so I couldn't have really prepared for the issues that might emerge.

Before Raf arrived I had loose parenting ideals. I felt strongly in wanting to cultivate as strong an attachment with Raf as possible, but that was about the extent of it. I read a lot, integrated a lot of that stuff into what I imagined I might be able to do, but the lived experience of having a child sort of makes a lot of that redundant.

One ideal that has remained, however, if the notion of gentle parenting. I often use this as a measure of sorts when deciding on a course of action. Last week Raf was really quite ill, and because he was so sad and clingy it felt like the kindest course of action was to keep Raf home a couple of days (frankly this seemed kindest to Jen and the two other babies). But it meant that I am now hopelessly behind, extremely sleep deprived, and so forth - especially as this concept of gentle parenting means that we try not to let Raf cry unnecessarily, that we attend to his needs asap, and so on. Raf's and our needs are inevitably not always in sync, and in that gap emerges a whole lot of stress.

I don't want to be a martyr to parenting and I don't want to dissolve into a resentful parent - so managing all of this is very difficult sometimes. This is always brought into sharp relief when I am without much sleep, and this week I have not had more than 4 hours of (very, very) broken sleep. Last night I did manage to catch up a little, though. And I am always good about making sure I get some exercise every week - and this, most likely, saves me from a full catastrophe.

With a full time job that is not without stress, a husband with a full time very stressful job who is also enrolled in graduate school, the stress is piling on. Rich is out one evening a week, and every other Saturday he is gone al day.

There doesnt seem to be enough hours in the day. And the truth is that gentle parenting right now means a lot of Raf and mama time. I have been going to bed with Raf very early as Rich's old strategies for getting Raf down havent been working lately (I'm actively encouraging him to find new ways!). This is very stressful since I usually catch up on work at this time... Thus lots of challenges. The truth about parenting (if you're breastfeeding, doing attachment type parenting) - especially in these early days - is that it is about 90% mama-parenting. Obviously each situation is different, but this is how it is for us right now. And of course the way we structure work makes this all but impossible to do with one's full faculties in tact.

Gah. What a downbeat post. I know I am making choices and I could make different ones - such as getting more childcare for Raf - letting him cry, etc - but that doesn't feel right for Raf, for us, so it's difficult to moan about to other people as they inevitably - and understandably - might want to suggest other choices. But this is just a simple sleep-deprived vent.

Will be back later - hopefully - for a nice Valentine's update... if I can salvage the day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010


Raf will be 7 months old on the 7th, but we've been quite slow to introduce solids. We figure that breastmilk for the first year is the most important thing so haven't really worried too much about it. Raf seemed very ready for solids around Christmas, so we gave him some avocado. But after the first experience he was pretty nonplussed so we didn't really try very hard after that. We're also loosely doing baby led weaning. I believe this is more popular in the UK and it was introduced to me by Alice, my sister in law. The idea is that you bypass the purees and go straight to the finger foods. Indeed hardcore baby led weaners tend to give their babies whatever they're eating, the idea being that you cultivate a much less fussier eater. Given how fussy Rich and I both were as kids, this idea is very appealing.

Still, I am very nervous about allergies and the like, so we've been introducing single foods in a more traditional way, though not in a mushy type way. This week he's been showing a lot more interest and chowed down on the following:

sweet potatoes
cauliflower florets

We gave him the cantaloupe last night - a long strip of it - and he LOVED it. He gummed on it for a long, long time - and he was very happy with himself. These are some pics from his 'meal' on Tuesday.

Any ideas on what else we might try? We have tried peas (slightly mushed as I worry about his choking), asparagus spears (rich almost had a heart attack, though, when Raf put an entire piece in his mouth as he felt sure Raf was bout to choke) and he also has rice/oats in the morning as we eat oats with him. He also eats rice cereal and breastmilk with Jen as this helps him get some food in when mama's away.