Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This time last year....

The sun was shining and we had already been at Birthcare on the monitoring machine. I went for a walk to try and get the contractions to become more regular.

Flash forward to today and Kien is in lots of pain with his teeth. We are really hoping they will pop through soon because he is suffering something chronic! He has been crying all the time, and has already had three naps today. I've given him every remedy possible; paracetamol, bonjela, teething powder, frozen facecloth to chew on...nothing is working.

Lets hope tomorrow he will be distracted enough not to feel the pain too much!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Having fun

It is so amazing that in such a short time Kien has become so much more interactive. Here is a clip from 3 weeks ago of Kien having fun...just so innocent.

video

The other day we took him up to Ponsonby Rd to play under the Telecom Xmas tree. He had a blast zooming around on the beanbags.

The following morning I found some bean bag filler in his nappy - it really surprised me how quickly things pass through his system!

Unfortunately we haven't resolved the vomiting situation. The Dr at Starship was not concerned with his vomiting at all because he was putting on weight. She thinks it is reflux but has suggested cutting back on the losec since it doesn't seem to be helping. It really is so frustrating! We will have a followup appointment in a couple of months time.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Musician in the making

Kien loves to bang things! Here's some cool rhythms he laid down in the weekend.

video

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finger food fun (?!?)

The dietician keeps pushing me to give Kien finger food so he can feed himself; for his development and to get used to textures etc. That's all well and good, but when he throws up everything afterwards this whole phase gets a bit old, fast!

So despite not wanting to get a highchair I ended up getting a highchair. But the good thing is that 1) it's one of the old fashioned wooden variety, 2) Kien enjoys being in it, and 3) it's really easy to clean. I did try to feed him from his booster seat at the coffee table but it wasn't a very successful experience. Here was the first and only attempt:


Kien likes to stuff everything I give him into his mouth, and then attempts to swallow it all at once - or hold it in his mouth for ages. No wonder he has a hard time getting it down.Not sure how to stop him from doing this. I've tried giving only a little bit at a time but he just gets bored!

I'm so glad we have an appointment with Starship tomorrow. Here's hoping they find out why he is vomiting all the time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back at work

This is my second week back at work and judging from this morning's flusterings I really need to work out a routine so I can get to work at a reasonable time. Kien has been refusing to eat his breakfast, so I have to stuff his medicine (losec) down his throat and pack the remainder so the girls at daycare can feed him his breakie at morning tea. I still have to prepare all his food for the day, and when I wasn't working it was just a leisurely exercise, but now it is a mad rush.

I just need to find my feet again and get more organised.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another doctor's visit

Gosh it just feels like we are constantly at the doctors with Kien for one reason or another. Today I took him for a follow-up from last week because he is now coughing and has a really snotty nose. He is still on antibiotics - 8th day today of a 10 day course. His ears are a lot better and not so inflamed, and his tonsillitis has cleared. The doctor said we just need to ride it out with this new virus, which he more than likely picked up from daycare, again.

This is the second week Kien is on an elimination diet as prescribed by the dietitian we are seeing. She is working in conjunction with the allergist. So he cannot have any chicken, rice, corn, celery and of course milk products and any nuts. Elimination of rice is the hardest thing for me, because Kien likes to eat rice cereal. I also used to add rice cereal to practically everything I made for him as a thickener. So I have now cooked and tasted quinoa for the first time ever, and it is pretty yummy. Kien seems to like it too so that is good news.

I'm back to work next week - only 2 days a week until Xmas. I am actually looking forward to it. What's even better is that my first day back (Thursday) I will only be there in the morning, and then we are going to Waiheke Island in the afternoon for my team's Xmas party. Being paid to party...now that's my idea of work.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sale Street rendezvous

The family that consists of 2 adults and 1 child went on another afternoon rendezvous to Sale St yesterday. It was a lovely warm day, and when we arrived there was a musician playing his guitar/singing in the courtyard of patrons also enjoying the sunshine.

Kien sat quietly in the buggy watching the musician while I drank cider and Jef had some red ale. I started feeding Kien some fruit soon after, and of course he vomited - lots. Jef caught most of it in his hands! After we cleaned up Kien was no longer sitting in his buggy quietly. I guess he felt a whole lot better after spewing. He crawled around our legs under the table and had a great time.

We walked back home via Victoria Park.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Very proud

I still can't believe Jef went out there and ran the Auckland marathon without any training whatsover! I wouldn't call a few plods around the apartment months ago and one 22km run 3-4 weeks ago training.

video

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Still poorly

Antibiotics again for the last week to clear conjunctivitis and the gunk that has been in Kien's sinuses for infinitum (well that's what it feels like anyway). So the whole household is back to having lack of sleep, and Jef & I are also poorly as well. At one point my head was so stuffed up I felt like it was going to explode as it hurt so much! If that was how I felt then no wonder Kien is having a difficult time. Here's hoping we all get well soon.
Yesterday turned out some stunning weather so we went for a walk to Victoria Park. Kien got to play on the swings and we sat and watched some cricket being played...fabulous way to spend a lazy recuperating Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All in one place

Kien has exhibited an interesting behaviour - he puts things into one place. We scatter toys all around the lounge floor for him to find, and they end up on the table. He gathers them one at a time, crawls over to the table and puts them on top. When he is in the bath he puts his toys in the hole at one end of the tub. And when I am in the kitchen and he is behind the makeshift gate he drops all his toys over the fence.

We are teaching him how to clap at the moment and he is slowly getting it. Still no baby signs yet although I have been doing milk, mummy, daddy, eat, all finished and bath to him. I try to sign as much as possible when I remember. I've been waiting for him to do a sign back to me, and then I will ramp up the signing.

He is getting the hang of mimicking a few sounds/words we make. Kien's sound for "Hello" is "Uh-oh", and most of the time when we say it to him he will say it back. He also says "mama" if we say "mama", and "dada" and "baba" as well. Also he will mimick a rising squeal if we do it.

The other day Kien crawled over and handed me toys, twice. He has handed me things before (more like dropping things in front of me or in my hands if I catch it), but this time it was an obvious handing over of his toys, and Jef witnessed it too.

All of this development is so exciting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

40 weeks

We were looking everywhere for a rubber duck but couldn't find a classic one in any stores. Then when we had the interview with "Growing Up in NZ" they gave him one as a gift. He loves it too.

Bathing him in the kitchen is now a thing of the past...as of tonight. We have migrated to the bathroom, finally. He just splashes around way too much and was getting water all over the kitchen floor. Now he can slap the water to his heart's content.

OK, so Kien has now spent more time in the world than inside my womb. I guess I can stop counting his age in weeks now.

He has sprouted another tooth already! The tip is showing under his bottom left gum. He has been pretty cranky this last week so good thing something has appeared. What is interesting though is that he is grumpy until I drop him off at daycare, and as soon as we arrive he is sweet and smiley. What is with that? I don't take it personally. I'm glad it's not the opposite reaction though as that would make me feel horrible leaving him.

Plunket paid us a visit on Tuesday for the 9 month checkup. Kien has lost some weight due to being sick - he is only 7.1kg. So he has dropped off the world health organisation's third percentile. He is however still a tall little boy - 73.5cm, which places him around the 75th percentile. I've been trying to feed him as much as he can consume. He isn't doing too badly with his solids. I've been cooking up a storm and have a freezer full of pureed food adventures. Lets see how long it will take for him to finish everything.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Say mama

On Monday Kien said mamamama - first time he has been able to say the m's. It's now is new favourite sound so we are hearing a lot of mamamamam around the house.

Last Saturday evening I did a spot of babysitting for Linda and Jason so they could attend the fashion show. Jef did the evening bedtime ritual all by himself for the first time; feeding, bathing and putting to bed. He did a splendid job and sent me this adorable photo.

I finally went to a coffee group meeting on Tuesday for the first time. It was really nice to be amongst a group of like minded women with kids the same age as Kien. I've been hesitant to attend any of these types of things because I had an idea in my head of what it would be like - and I didn't like what my mind had conjured up; gossipy women who love to spend time at the mall. But it wasn't like that at all. The women in this group were all roughly the same age as me, taken a year off on maternity leave just like me, and into fitness too (2 of the women do 1/2 iron men events). It was a pleasant morning drinking coffee and eating homemade scones in a beautiful sunny villa in Herne Bay while the children played so nicely together. I walked home with Frana who lives on Richmond Rd, a woman who is finishing her physiotherapy degree and has just started a business importing french baby clothes. I am looking forward to catching up again in a fortnight.

That night Kien came down with a major fever - 40 degrees actually. Needless to say we had a sleepless night as he was also vomiting everything he was consuming. In the morning we took him to A&E, and then to Starship as his heart was beating quite rapidly. After a few hours there the Dr was satisfied Kien was OK to go home. We had to feed him small amounts of milk often since he continually vomits. I am still doing that today and have just cleaned up some more spillage.

Well hopefully we get a good night sleep tonight and I can send Kien off to daycare tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How many dirty nappies?

I have just changed Kien's forth soiled nappy for the day. I'm expecting another one or two before bedtime tonight. The more he eats the more he poos I guess :-) And they are real stinkers too! Good thing I'm his mother!

Speaking of nappies he is now on the "crawler" size for disposables, and when we use the washables we no longer button them up to make them smaller. He isn't much bigger than he was a month ago, just longer.

Speaking of crawling Kien has been on all fours properly now for the last week or so. He no longer does the commando crawl unless he is too lazy, but he wants to get wherever he wants to go fast so it is much more effective being up on his knees. Boy can he go....really fast, and thumpy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Best night yet

Last night was the best night as far as sleeping through the night is concerned. Kien had a proper dreamfeed at 23:25 and settled back after he had finished his bottle without even waking up. Then he self settled all through the night when he transitioned between sleep cycles, and finally waking for the day at 6:19. I didn't have to go in there to comfort him once!


He's pretty good at being on his feet these days. I was in the kitchen this morning and turned around to see this. Such a little monkey!

I still can't get over what a difference him being able to sleep has made to our life, especially for my sanity! I'm now back running to get fit and healthy again. Yesterday I ran 8km in 1 hour - not bad considering it was only my 6th run since pre-pregnancy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Changes

What a difference; in just over a week Kien has been sleeping practically the entire night without requiring our help. It is simply astounding that we have finally come to this point. I never thought he would sleep through the night, not ever!

Jef still gives him a feed around 22:00-23:00. Then Kien will self settle when he wakes through the night, and will only have a major awaking anywhere between 4:00-5:00. I will then feed him and he will go back to sleep until he wakes up fully - usually around 6:30. I am so pleased (and relieved) we finally can sleep for longer than 1 hour at a time!

This Saturday we have our 9 month interview for "Growing up in NZ" study by the University of Auckland. I requested transcripts for all my interviews, and have been bounced around from one person to another because no one seemed to be able to help me. Today I had a call from their Data Access Coordinator. She said that of all their participants (around 7000) I am the only one who has made this request so they had to put together a policy (as further down the track they anticipate more requests). She asked me why I wanted the information (which actually surprised me somewhat as I thought it was fairly obvious). I told her my reasons are two-fold:
  1. This is an intensive research study spanning over 21 years. I want to be able to refer back to my answers so I can reflect on my responses and provide more meaningful information. There is nothing worse then providing a whole lot of answers that are inconsistent due to me simply forgetting what I had said originally.
  2. The study is also a reflection of Kien's timeline, and like the BBC documentary series "Child of our time" it is a snapshot in time. I want Kien to be able to see this, and how he (and we) contributed to the study, including our thoughts, hopes, dilemmas, and state of mind.
She was so impressed with my reasoning that they are now going to look at expanding their study to provide access for participants to be able to review and contribute to their individual information on the website to include photos, hopes & dreams, interests and talent etc. She has asked me to provide further ideas and suggestions for this new development. I guess I can put my thinking cap on, after all I am now sleeping so much more than I was a couple of weeks ago and I actually don't feel like I've had a lobotomy anymore.

Remember this pic from when Kien was 4 weeks old?


Well, spot the changes at 36 weeks...he can still fit into it :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It took 35 weeks

Yes, 35 weeks until he finally managed to sleep through the night! It's a miracle. Jef fed Kien at 23:40 and he went straight back to sleep - not a peep until 4:54 this morning.

What has changed? Justine sent us a dustmite mattress cover which we put on last night. Also it was the third night that we have not fed him after the dream-feed until morning, and using pick up/put down instead of shh/pat. Perhaps it was a combination of these factors, but more than likely it was the cover :-)


We've been so very tired and in survival mode for so long now. Last week was bad because I was still sick and also did not manage a lot of sleep. On Friday night I took Kien to Linda's place and she looked after him overnight while I slept. Jef had the house all to himself which he greatly appreciated, although I did get a text from him to say he missed us terribly...awwww.

On Sunday was Jef's first Father's day. We had such a lovely day. We went to the Belgium Beer Cafe at the end of Ponsonby Rd. Jef had 3x 500ml of the white beer and I had the cherry one (can't even remember what they were called but they were so yummy). I ordered their soup of the day (a spicy pepper and tomato soup) and gave a little bit to Kien mixed with some rice cereal. He had a few spoonfuls before he realised how spicy it was.

Kien loves to kneel, and when we are eating at the table he comes over to join us. Raw carrot is his favourite thing to chew on right now (besides the keyboard USB cable).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Attack of the crazies

Oh boy how crazy things have been during the last couple of weeks. Kien has been completely out of sorts; extremely clingy and extremely grizzly. The poor little guy has 4 teeth coming through all at once. He has been in quite a lot of discomfort, and we have had to give him paracetamol and teething gel as often as is necessary and within the recommended guidelines.
He looks like a little vampire with only the tips showing through the top gum-line :-)

Neither Jef nor I have been getting much sleep (what's new) and I've had a few episodes that resemble meltdowns - the worst one landing on my birthday! So I've decided to send Kien off to daycare for 3 full days a week to provide me some more sleeping time. Also I need to salvage the vestige of my scattered brain; at this point I cannot fathom ever being able to go back to work and functioning in the same capacity.

I can see that Kien is taking after his dad already.
He LOVES cables!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Perpetually changing


No sooner has he mastered sitting Kien is also now able to maneuver from sitting to crawling back to sitting position. We noticed this transition at the beginning of the week. He can do it so effortlessly by merely tucking one leg/foot under his body.

Today was the first time he pulled himself up to stand using the table. He was so determined to get at the juggling balls on the table. It was scary watching him as he was so wobbly I was afraid he was going to slip and smack his head - which he did but luckily it wasn't a hospital visit, only a mini backward slump. When he hurts himself the best thing we can do is laugh at him so that he is distracted and would think there was something funny going on. It works most of the time.
We took him to get his blood tests this morning. I was so nervous and had put it off all week. But there was no drama whatsoever; he acted like nothing happened throughout the entire procedure!

He's been talking up a storm as well; lots of dadada, bababa, yayaya and aydaa. Unfortunately he has entire conversations to himself in the small hours as well - like at 4:17 this morning! At 5:30 I took him into bed for a cuddle. I couldn't sit there patting any longer. My back was sore and I was cold. He eventually fell asleep while I jiggled him back and forth.

His top teeth are going to cut through any day now. His gums are so swollen, and you can see the teeth just under the surface. From what it looks like it won't be the two front teeth that will come through first I don't think. The ones next door looks further ahead and I can actually see the tips. We've been putting teething gel on which he screams at but does get instant relief from.

The latest thing that makes Kien giggle uncontrollably is the ball bouncing against the wall.
video


Kien also likes to explore, and is not really interested in his toys as much as in things that we don't want him to be interested in. Go figure!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sleep, oh sleep, wherefore art thou?

Yes, 5 whole days with my old foe Mr Insomnia. This can't possibly continue for much longer - exhaustion has got to kick in and take over sooner or later, right?

We took Kien to the Auckland Allergy Clinic yesterday and uncovered 2 reactions so far; milk and dust mites. We will have to go and get a blood test done for him...hmmm, how the heck is someone going to get blood out of Kien when he cannot stay still for one second?

We've also switched him to Neocate formula for a 2 week trial. Lets see if it is my breastmilk he is intolerant to ;-)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A week of almosts....

So Kien is almost crawling, but not quite. He slithers around on the ground pretty quickly though and can move across our lounge floor like nobody's business.

video
And we have almost ditched swaddling, but not quite. We no longer tie him down using the miracle wrap. He goes into the Pekemoe and is loosely swaddled with the muslin wrap just to give him the familiar comfort and security. He has only done one night this week where I haven't put the muslin wrap around him - but it was difficult. Can't wait until he no longer needs it. I think he will definitely sleep better without.

We managed to get an appointment with the Auckland Allergy Clinic next week. Here's hoping they find something instead of concluding it is Kien's constitution.

He has been taking a few longer naps these days which is great - but still unpredictable. Jef and I think it may be a combination of all the things we have been trying, but who knows! I think Kien is highly sensitive to whatever is going on with him and around him - whether it be teething, itchy skin, gas, bloating, light, dark, noise etc etc. On top of this I also think there is something in the house he is allergic to which causes his eyes to itch and contributes to the eczema issues. Perhaps he has intolerances to whatever I am consuming, but I am yet to recognise any distinguishable differences since I cut all the stuff out of my diet.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Check out the skills

Today saw Kien pass another significant milestone - sitting. He has been so close for a couple of weeks now, but still toppling over when slightly off balance. Today was different...and check out how big those teeth are.

Sleep training???

What is that exactly? Does anyone in this household know anymore? Months and months of hard work seems to have faded into oblivion and now we are feeding to sleep, feeding every time he wakes up, rocking him to sleep if he won't settle, and taking him to bed if it gets really ugly. That's what happens when you feel desperate!

We really have to get back on track - not that it really ever was anyway, but more so than the current situation. He is 28 weeks old today and I feel like he has us wrapped around his little finger and manipulating us (not that he knows he is doing it, of course!). We have basically allowed it to happen and now we have to undo it. Aarrhhh, more hard work!

Oh boy, I've perfected my recipe for mulled wine...this is dangerous.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eating like a pro

Kien is now having 3 meals a day after his milk. He LOVES rice cereal and would be quite content with consuming that and nothing else. But he is now just okay with pumpkin and kumara, and I always mix a bit of flaxseed, olive and avocado oil to his food to add some more calories.

So here are the brand new teeth that cut through last week.



Today Auckland turned out absolutely gorgeous weather so we just had to go out. Went to the Winter Gardens and Bastion Point. There was the annual kite flying day there. It was fabulous.

We also went to a little Japanese cafe in Parnell called Renkon and Kien tried some tofu - he liked it a lot and ate 2 cubes (they were only 1cm cubes).

I have enrolled him into daycare for 2 half day sessions on Wednesday and Friday starting next week. The daycare is just across the road! I can't believe we didn't even know of it's existence until last week when we walked through the park on Angelsea Street. Talk about a scotoma! So I checked it out and liked the feel of the place. It isn't flash or anything, but I thought the staff in the baby room were nice and the little ones all seemed happy. I would still love it if Michelle could come once a week to play with Kien; until of course she can't handle it anymore ;-) He is a ball of energy and requires constant attention. It certainly wears me out!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pearly whites

They have sprouted through - 2 front bottom teeth just cut through. Jef actually discovered it when Kien went to bite his face.

I've been a bit under the weather this week so have had blocked and runny sinuses. Kien also had blocked and runny nose so I thought he had what I had. I've been constantly checking for teeth except for this week!

I took him for his 5 month shots yesterday so he is a tad grizzly today.

He has been eating up a storm. He loves pumpkin and of course the old rice cereal.

I am now hoping he will sleep better now that he is on lots of solids and he has got his teeth finally.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun and games

Gosh, we've been trying all sorts of things in an attempt to make Kien feel better. He has developed wicked eczema on his cheeks, neck, shoulders, and behind his ears. It is starting to spread around his eyes too.

We have had 2 sessions with the cranial osteopath; only minor tweaks to be made and the last session will be next week. My friend Naadia also set up a session last week with a kinesiologist. It was a bit like voodoo but she suggested intolerances to wheat, nuts, and foods from the deadly nightshade family (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes). So I am officially gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and a whole food group that I love to eat also has been eliminated from my diet. I'm taking supplements galore; zinc (for immunity), vitamin D (so I don't go madder), omega 3 (neurotransmitter activity), tryptoval (helps with my stress level), and some bach flower/rescue remedy concoction. We have switched all of our household products to Eco Store stuff, and only dressing Kien in 100% cotton.

Boy oh boy, the lengths we will go to for our offspring...fun and games!

Kien can almost sit upright unsupported. He leans forward and holds himself up with his arms, but then will fall over to the side when off balance. He can almost crawl now as well. He tucks his knees in while he balances his weight on his head and feet. It is really funny to watch him scoot forward. I remember when he was practicing rolling over before he was 3 months old. He would be in tummy time and would use his head like a pendulum. Unfortunately he would also smack his head pretty hard in the process. A few weeks later he was rolling on his front and back again like a pro. How quickly they develop.

Today Kien has not been well. He has a runny nose and has been coughing. He also chucked up a couple of times; the second time only a few minutes after I changed him into clean clothes. Of course!



The family came and visited us on Sunday. It was good fun although I may have put Kien down for a nap a bit too early so he only managed 16 munutes. His next nap was 25 minutes and we had a really rough night - 3 night wakings of 35 mins, 1 hour 27 mins, and 41 mins spread throughout the night. As if waking me up for 4 feeds wasn't enough times already!!!

I have been taking him to Wriggle and Rhymes at the Grey Lynn library every Tuesday for the last 3 weeks. It is a half hour of interaction with other mothers and babies, singing and movement and noises. He seems to really enjoy it, however he is pretty worn out by the end and falls asleep in the buggy on the way home. We didn't make it this morning because he did a long nap so I could not have walked there in time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Awake in cot when he should be sleeping

It really has been a couple of rough and arduous weeks. Kien has been rather grizzly during some of his awake time and I've really had to play it by ear with when to feed and when to give him a nap. Night wakings galore as well and can be 1-2hr duration. Our routine is such a mess these days! Not only that I also feel as though all the hard work of sleep training these past few months have gone out the window and he can't even put himself to sleep anymore. I have discovered that jiggling him in the cot and also shh/patting his chest firmly will eventually get him to calm down and go to sleep. However it is like we are right back at the beginning with me having to help him for ~20 mins, sometimes longer - even at night after he has taken a feed.
I guess until we sort out whatever it is that is troubling him I need to be a bit more lenient with the sleep training and the routine in general. The pediatrician last week has prescribed a different type of probiotic to treat yeast in the stomach. She said that a clear symptom for babies suffering this ailment is waking up after 2am and staying awake. Today is day 4 on the new stuff so hopefully it makes a difference soon. She also thinks he is waking because he is hungry (every 2 hours?!?), so I've been feeding him when he wakes. The results are variable. She also says that 4 hours is a long time for him to go between feeds, and since he has a small stomach and actually lost a bit of weight in the last week she advised feeding him more often. So I have been feeding anywhere within 2 1/2 to 4 hours. This has certainly increased his daily consumption totals, but we are no longer doing the 4 hour routine that he has been on since he was 4 months - not sure if it matters anymore :/

We took him to Western Park at the end of our street the other day. We put him in the swing for the first time. He did enjoy that.
video
In 2 weeks time he is going to be 6 months old and starting back on solids. Perhaps by then the bacteria in his gut will be at a good balance and the food will help with keeping him a bit fuller so he won't wake so often during the night and allowing Jef and I to get some sleep. Studies have shown prolonged sleep deprivation evokes insanity....yip, I can feel it!

2:30am and sitting next to cot

Here I am once again sitting in Kien's room settling him back to sleep. For some reason he has been unable to put himself back to sleep after a feed at night. So there is a lot of shushing and patting going on in the middle of the night, as well as more twinkling stars! I really hope we iron out his issues soon as both his dad and I are exhausted!

Can't believe he is coming up to 6 months old in 2 weeks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Twinkling stars and incy spiders

There have been a lot of "Twinkle twinkle little star" and "Incy wincy spider" these past few weeks - all through the night! It really is exhausting. I am slowly (or maybe not so slowly) loosing my mind.
I've stopped giving him solids for a few days now because he has been super gassy (boy does he do some stinkers), and some of his night wakings appear as though he is uncomfortable. we've given him paracetamol and that has helped somewhat. But in general he is still waking a number of times during the night; at least 3 times for his feeds, and then some other random number of times.

We've booked in to see a pediatrician next week. Hopefully she has some answers. We need some reprieve!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things that make you go yum...

What a fun week it has been with starting Kien on eating solids...if you call a bit of rice cereal and some mashed banana solid food. He seems to really enjoying it though, and I count it as playtime rather than eating time. Other things he likes to munch on are his hands, feet, the dangling cow, duvet edge, and the ears/paws of his lovey. I'm looking forward to giving him some stewed apple today.

Here is a video of Kien having his first meal. He has gummed some banana a few days prior but this is the first time I mixed up some rice cereal and actually fed it to him as an event. video

The "magic" number at the moment is 2 hours 17 minutes. If I get my timing right and from eyes open to eyes closed hits exactly 2h17 Kien will give me a long nap. Amazingly enough I've managed to get it on the dot 6 times in the last 3 days - now that's a record!

But just to make sure we are kept on our toes he has decided 4:30am is the new wakeup time. Yesterday after he screamed the place down for what seemed like an eternity Jef got him up, and we all watched the final space shuttle Atlantis launch.

We've also been experiencing a number of night wakings; last night it was 4 times, plus 3 times for feeds. It is a bit rough when he is waking so often. I have read that around this age there is a major growth spurt, and also the beginning of the teething process, so things are moving under the gums and making it uncomfortable.

The IR camera broke last night :-0 so I am flying blind today. I am so reliant on technology it's ridiculous!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My first Mothers' day

I've slept maybe 7 hours (give and take a few awakenings from hearing Kien cry) and feel pretty good. I've been very productive, and my son has managed a 1h23 nap all by himself - this makes me very happy! I am so grateful that Jef looked after Kien last night to give me some sleep. Kien had his second lot of vaccinations on Friday, and he has been grizzly. He woke up a few times during the night and needed help to resettle.

Today Kien is back to being the happy smiling little boy. He must have known it was Mothers day :-) His dad is now at the Viaduct for the NZ rally celebrations.

Mum and Rod came over on Friday, and we all went up the road to Ponsonby for lunch - a little Japanese place called Zipangu. It was very nice to have them over and for all of us to go out somewhere. This will definitely be a more regular occurrence.

Kien can now roll back and forth from his back onto his tummy very well. We also discovered that he doesn't like looking at himself in the mirror when he is grumpy.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baby whispering vacation

Just when I think I've cracked it we regress. Its been a week of short naps, night wakings and refusal of milk. I've read that at 4 months there is quite a bit of developmental changes, and short naps are notorious. Wow, I had a luxurious 2 weeks where I only needed to give him 3 naps (most of the time), and now I'm back to 5 nap days. Not that I was great at fixing his wonky nap days before, but now it seems impossible - and he is cranky only half way through his awake time.

I sought advice from the Baby Whisperer forum, and they suggested I take a baby whispering vacation for a couple of days; to recharge my batteries and to hopefully hit the reset button for Kien. He is probably in an over tired cycle, so he needs to have some decent naps to catch up. They said to do whatever it takes to give him those long naps. Unfortunately the only way he will have a long sleep is if I hold him in my arms and rock him - even then it doesn't always work. So this weekend I have been doing just that, and now my arms are aching already. He is only 5.48kg (weighed on Monday when we went to the solids talk at Plunket family room).

Last night we went to Linda's birthday dinner. It was great fun! Michelle came over to watch him. Michelle, I thought these parts of your notes pretty much sums up what he is like; "...Attempted to re-wrap him and rock him to sleep, he screamed and thrashed and arched his back. We watched tv in the dark while he giggled and blew bubbles. He started to rub his eyes and grizzle and yawn. Put him in bed, he smiled(!!!) then quietly and promptly drifted off".

Kien loves his daddy so much, as evidenced in the pics I post on this blog.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet 16 & been kissed lots

This is Kien's 17th week in the world. As each week passes we notice new things he can do. Since last week he started shifting his weight back and forth when held on his feet. Last week he also went 6 1/2 hours between his dreamfeed and the next feed (the very first time ever). He did however wake up in between that time, but he did self settle back to sleep.

Managing naps are still interesting. His awake time tolerance is stretching out; I am transitioning him from 90 minutes to 105 minutes. It really is a juggling act to make sure he wakes, feeds, burps, has a clean nappy, plays, winds down, and falls asleep all within the allotted timeframe. If I get the timing just right I will get a longer nap from him, but it does mean watching the clock like a hawk and hoping he will fall asleep within the budgeted 15 minute window from the time I put him into his cot. Yes it sounds ridiculous, but it is the only method I know when dealing with a short napper.

We went to visit my parents today. Kien was tired (since he only had 2x 30 minute naps in the morning), but he still managed to give them lots of smiles.

When we got home he went straight to bed, and proceeded to wail; after he had 165 mls he looked like he wanted more, and he was also half asleep. As soon as I put the next bottle into his mouth he was wide awake, and only sucked down another 15 mls. Then he kept smiling at me so I left him in his cot for 30 minutes babbling and laughing to himself. We then got him up and played for 20 minutes before trying for another nap. I finally had to rock him to sleep; after > 3 hrs of being awake all sleep training methodology goes out the window and I do whatever it takes to get him to sleep. So I'm still here sitting next to his cot over 2 hours later, transitioning him through every 20-30 minute jolt (when babies are over tired they wake up at these jolts and can't get back to sleep). At least it gives me time to write my blog :-)

This is a cute little clip. Notice how right at the end he just stops - that is why I have to clock watch, because when he switches off like that he should be in bed. For most babies this is one of their sleepy cues and there is a 5-10 minute window to get them into bed, but for Kien it means the window is closed. I put him straight to bed, and he napped for 30 minutes.
video

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What a difference

I can't believe it - last night Kien went to bed without a squeak. He had his bath, massage and bottle as usual, and then I wrapped him up and placed him in his cot. At this point he would be crying, but last night he just burrowed his face into his lovey, and I gave him a kiss and left the room. That was it! He stirred at 11:30pm and I gave him his dreamfeed, and again at 2:51am for another feed. He slept through until 6am, and I thought he might go back to sleep again so left him in his cot until 6:30am babbling and laughing to himself. Wow is all I can say. What a difference from a week ago.

His daytime naps are still brief, but I have read that between 0-3 months is for establishing nighttime sleep and between 3-6 months they sort out their day sleeps. I do really hope he gets better at naps because right now I have to give him 4-5 naps per day to make up the cumulative hours. Most babies at his age are having two 1 1/2 - 2 hour naps and a catnap (30 mins) in the late afternoon. Kien is still only sleeping 30-45 minutes at a time, and I can't seem to transition him anymore. But he always wakes up from a nap and smiles at me. He is just a short napper baby :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Transformed

What a difference now that the pacifier is gone! The pick up/put down technique really works. Last night Kien had his dreamfeed at 22:00, and he slept through until his need feed 4 hours later. He woke himself up at 5am because his arm came out of the swaddle, so I gave him his feed after I re-wrapped him. He went back to sleep until 6:30 (his arm came out again), so I tucked it back in and he slept for another 30 minutes.

This morning he went down for his nap so well. I didn't even have to pick him up at all. I left him in his cot protesting (load moan without any tears, stops, starts again, and peters out after a few minutes). He is now fast asleep. Yesterday he actually transitioned himself into the next sleep cycle; for his last nap he did one and a half hours...he has only done that a few times since sleep training. I am so chuffed.

I've also transitioned him to a 4 hour feed cycle. Staying on the 3 hour cycle did not make much sense since he wasn't hungry enough to do a full feed, and would really struggle and fight. So now he is having between 120 - 160 mls of milk at each feed - a huge improvement.

So all round Kien has blossomed, and my life his been transformed!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 1 Operation Un-plug

Oh boy, last night was horrendous! Kien woke up again and again and again for the pacifier - 10 times from when I put him to sleep in his cot until I gave in and took him to my bed at 00:20. Then once again before his 2am feed, and from 4am it was in and out constantly until I fed him at 5:41am. Then he wouldn't go back to sleep until 7:14am, and was awake again at 7:55am. The culprit is the dummy. He is reliant on it to fall asleep, so can't make it through to the next sleep cycle without it.

Today I was able to get three 45 minute naps from him. It was a challenge.

I've just now finally got him to sleep for the night. He cried so much. I volunteered Jef to do the night-shift because I am feeling a bit loopy now with the severe lack of sleep. Tomorrow I should be recharged.

Good luck to Jef for tonight with "pick up/put down" method.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A day in the life...

Just for laughs this is what my last 24 hours consisted of:

8th April
19:00 bedtime
20:00 replace pacifier
21:55 dreamfeed
22:25 replace pacifier
23:54 replace pacifier
9th April
00:09 replace pacifier
00:23 replace pacifier
00:41 replace pacifier (I had enough of this dance so took him to my bed)
00:50 replace pacifier (gave him some milk as he may have been hungry, but he wasn't)
02:48 feed
04:58 feed
06:22 replace pacifier (kept spitting out and whining every 5 mins)
06:48 feed (our day begins)
08:29 – 09:02 nap 1 (I had laid down hoping for at least 45 mins)
09:02 – 09:31 putting back to sleep
09:31 – 10:28 nap 1 continues
10:37 feed
11:56 – 12:51 nap 2 (10 mins putting to sleep, 20 mins on/off patting until deep sleep)
13:33 feed
14:40 – 15:47 nap 3 (25 mins putting to sleep)
15:47 – 16:26 nap 3 continues (with me holding his arms and legs through jolts, and replacing pacifier)
16:35 feed
17:30 bath & massage
18:15 bedtime

Last night was another typical one with my longest stretch for sleep being 2 hours 10 minutes. Today however was quite a good day since Kien managed 4 hours 11 minutes of cumulative nap time. Here's hoping I get 3-4 hours of sleep tonight :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peas in a pod

Kien and his dad do enjoy each other's company. It is so much fun watching them play.

Yesterday I took Kien to the Plunket family centre in Grey Lynn for a baby massage class. He does enjoy getting his massage every night after a bath. As you can see Kien is the only baby that is completely chilled out. One baby was asleep, and the rest were having meltdowns.

Over the last few days he has perfected rolling over. So whenever I get him to do tummy time it will not last any longer than 30 seconds. While I was massaging him at the class he kept rolling over too.

Today Kien discovered the art of blowing. He continued to do this all day, which made me laugh, and of course he giggles when I laugh at him.
video

Friday, April 2, 2010

Middle of the night adventures

So here I am once again; its almost midnight and I've just given Kien his dream feed (which he gets every night around 11pm). Usually he is fast asleep after this feed, but in the last week he has been very restless and I've had to give him his pacifier. However what is happening now is that he is having issues with his pacifier. We've purchased a bigger (and different shaped) ones but he is still struggling. He opens his mouth a lot wider than is necessary to suck it and of course he can't hold it, so it keeps dropping out. I've decided that perhaps its better that I don't keep persevering. So I've introduced him to a 'lovey' which I've cuddled in bed for a week to make it smell like me. That's him cuddling it.

I now have to be patient and pat him whenever he wakes for his pacifier (which can be quite a lot). I'm hoping this will not go on for too long! Lets see how it all pans out in the next few days. When will I ever have a full nights sleep again?

02:02am - spoke (or rather blogged) too soon. He refused his milk and kept whining. As soon as the pacifier went in he went to sleep. I guess the pacifier is staying a little longer until I un-swaddle his hand and he can self soothe.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Officially 3 months old

Yesterday Kien turned 3 months old. I am hoping this is a turning point in his eating and sleeping habits, but I am not holding my breath! He did however manage to consume 870 mls of milk, some of which was formula to entice him to drink more. These days he struggles to get close to 800 mls per day. He just doesn't like to eat and sleep very much obviously.

This picture was taken last Wednesday at the Plunket family clinic. I went there to get help with his sleeping, and guess what...they couldn't get him to sleep for any longer than I can. So they resigned to the fact he must be one of those babies that don't sleep much :-/ Kien really enjoyed being there though. They called him "the charmer" because every time they tried to make him sleep he smiled and giggled at them. They eventually gave in and let him play under the baby gym. He loved that thing; he was kicking and bopping it with his fists, giggling with delight. They were really surprised he was able to do that, and told me it was very early for him to have developed those skills. Jef was very proud when I told him this :-D

Today the Plunket nurse came for the 3 month visit. He was weighed and measured. Kien has finally cracked the 5 kg mark...he is 5.15kg, and 61cm in length. Yes, still long and lean. She has recommended we start him on solids at 4 months since he is struggling with the milk and putting on weight. I am actually quite excited about introducing solids; its a whole new adventure.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

12 weeks old today

Wow, Kien is now 12 weeks old! Yesterday I put him into his first non disposable nappy. I have been waiting for him to fit them, and now he does. Doesn't it look so cool?

He has for the first time started grasping at things that you wave around in front of him. He concentrates really hard and then moves his hands to the object. We captured one of his first attempts.

video

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