Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Citizenship Day

  Today Loren and myself became New Zealand citizens. We had to attend a ceremony and pledge our loyalty to Queen and Country. I showed up on time and without incident, not a small feat with a toddler. In fact, it went smoothly. Sebastian took his nap in the car on the way over, woke up sleepy and relaxed, and was exceptionally chill through the ceremony. We got several looks of "awww, what a sweet little boy" from the others in our small group ceremony of ten. When Loren got up to say his Affirmation, Sebastian came over and stood next to him, looking solemn the whole time. It was really sweet. I don't have any pictures, I didn't even bother bringing the camera. It was enough to have simply made it. We were given native plants as part of the ceremony, though, so we did come away with some memento of the occasion. I look forward to finding a nice cozy place to plant them in the garden.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Seventeen (and a bit) Months Update

At Seventeen Months...

I have taken very few pictures this month, what with the Grandparents away, but I did get this shot of him saying "no-no" while climbing on his kiddie table the other day. He knows when things are a no-no and he loves to tell you about it while he does them!

When Sebastian turned fifteen months we bought him a Learning Tower. It is a stable platform designed to support a child at kitchen-counter height. It was a significant expense but so worth it! Sebastian is a busy little boy, and he always wants to be involved in whatever others in the household are doing. Now he can safely participate whenever I'm in the kitchen. He uses it every day, "helping" me prepare meals and wash the dishes. When the grandparents are around I try to do one baking project with him every week. I love to bake, and before the Learning Tower arrived I hardly ever had time to.

Making Granola

Making Pizza (and sampling all the ingredients) 

In the pantry

  Now that Sebastian is down to one (mostly) reliable nap a day, our days have a more consistent rhythm. I'll attempt to share some of it with you without getting into the minutiae of nappy changes, tooth brushing negotiations and other details that are a regular feature of live with a toddler.

If I'm lucky, I get up a bit before Sebastian and get some time to wake up and drink some tea before he's up. Then we do breakfast, and get ready to go out. Loren gets up and has a short time to hang out with Sebastian before giving him a piece of his morning biscuit and saying "bye-bye."

We go out in the morning. Some days we have an activity we go to; on other days we may go to a playground or get the grocery shopping done. Right now it's Baby Sing Along on Wednesday and every other Monday. I volunteer with the running of this one, and I lead the songs on a Wednesday. The alternate Mondays we go to our coffee group with the mums from my antenatal class. Tuesdays are now Playcentre days, starting just a few weeks ago. Playcentre could be a whole topic of it's own, so just briefly for those who are not New Zealanders: it is a parent run and parent led early childhood education centre, part of a national network of centres throughout in New Zealand.

We get home and do lunch, then it's nap time

It's getting warmer here in the Southern Hemisphere, so these days afternoons are largely spent outdoors. After the initial wake up/ books/ nurse/ nappy change/ etc. we get our shoes on and our bag packed and we are out of here. First is the series of things that Sebastian likes to do in our garage and yard. This currently includes re-arranging the garden features (the few that are light enough for Sebastian to carry), sweeping the pavement, inspecting the screw drivers in the tool box, pretending to operate the leaf blower and weed eater in the garage, watering the potted plants, and getting out the hand trowels and doing some weeding.

 After all that he is usually happy to get into the stroller so we can, as far as he's concerned, go look for trains, birds, and ducks. From my perspective, it is a sanity-saving way to get some exercise in the fresh air. We go for about 45 minutes, pausing to watch trains (we live just a few blocks from the train tracks) and taking a detour to our "secret duck spot" (a house that always has plenty of ducks in the front garden because a nice old lady feeds them). On the way back, if there's time, we may stop by the playground that is just a 5 minute walk from our house. By the time we get home, the afternoon is spent, and the return of Daddy is not far away. Then comes dinner time, etc. If we are lucky, Sebastian is asleep by 8:30, and I still go to sleep with him most nights.

And that's what a day with Sebastian looks like, more or less.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fifteen month update

So the 14 month post didn't happen, due to a combination of my parents leaving and colds and teething. Sebastian wasn't sleeping very well and I didn't have a lot of free time.

At fifteen months...

 Helping grandma make salad

Sebastian loves to "help" with household chores. He can help me push the laundry basket around, take things in and out of the washing machine (sometimes the wrong things. he recently put a book in there that got washed). He can push the button to make the washing machine go, and he can attempt hanging things on our indoor clothes line (with various results). He loves to "help" with dishes, mostly playing in the water and with the various kitchen utensils and generally getting water everywhere. He loves to play with the broom and gets excited whenever I sweep (partly because he likes to scavenge off the c crumbs I sweep up in the kitchen). He likes to help with wiping down counters and tables, and  with help of the step stool (which he can now get on himself) he can 'help' with cooking (mostly sampling ingredients but he did help me layer the lasagna the other day). 

Helping with the laundry

 Sebastian and his bear really getting into the laundry

 Playing with the broom

Sebastian is still not a fan of nappy changes, or vacuum cleaners. He's shy in new situations or around strangers, sticking close to me at first. But he warms up eventually, first wanting to grab my hand and explore with me, and then getting braver on his own. He's still a terrific tease, loving to pretend to give you something, or pretend he wants to put something back (like the cap on the marker) and then when you head towards him, he backs up and wants you to chase him. 

He's learned some new signs, including: bear, phone, ball and where. He uses "where" with another favourite game: He hides something, then signs "where?" and when you say "where is it?" he retrieves it, looking quite pleased with himself. In fact, hiding things is another favourite activity, popular hiding places right now include out the cat door, inside a pillow case, and in the washing machine. He's also come up with a game he can play with the cat. If the cat is down stairs, Sebastian sits at the top of the stairs and throws balls through the safety gate. The balls bounce, the cat chases them, and Sebastian gets to interact with the cat in a way that the cat doesn't hate. I now keep a bag of balls at the top of the stairs for him.

Singing "cat"

Signing "bear" and saying "buh"

He's also getting more into books. He like to point to things and get you to tell him what they're called. He also likes to point things out if he has a word and/or sign for them (dog, bird, cat, shoes, and hat come up a lot).

Cuddling Daddy but not ready to let go of his book

Sebastian just had his 15 month check up yesterday. He weighs 10.2 kilograms and is 82 centimeters tall. Unsurprisingly, he continues to be quite tall for his age!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Traveling with a Toddler: Our Week In Auckland

We just got back from a 6 day trip to Auckland. Loren went up for work, Sebastian and I tagged along. We stayed in Devonport, an upscale neighborhood with a small town feel, and a 12 minute ferry ride to Auckland CBD. It felt a bit like pretending at living in Auckland for the week, what with Loren going off to work every day and me doing the SAHM thing just like I do back home. I did try and do a bit of sigh seeing, but it was all stuff I could imagine doing with S on an average week if we lived there. Twice we went to the local library, checked out the toys in the children's section, and I had the same sorts of conversations with fellow mums that I would back home. A couple times we strolled to the park and Sebastian did the playground thing, and chased the birds.

One sunny morning we walked up the top of a hill with a stunning lookout over Auckland in all directions. One day we took the ferry to downtown and went to the Maritime Museum, near the ferry terminal. It had some areas where Sebastian could explore without risk of getting into much mischief. One such area was a recreation of the cabin of an immigrant ship. The whole room was set to subtly rock back and forth like the cabin of a real ship at sea. It was kind of dark in there and proved to be a nice cozy spot to nurse. Another day I we went to the "mums and bubs" movie at the cinema around the corner. It was a documentary about senior citizens playing ping pong. Sebastian fell asleep part way through and got a good half hour's nap in my lap while I sipped my hot cocoa. It was all the nap he got that day which made for a long afternoon for us both, but I felt triumphant for having got through an entire movie with a toddler in tow, and he made hardly a peep through the whole thing. He had to comment on the brief appearance of a dog at one point, but mostly he fed and cuddled and ate snacks and slept.

A holiday is always good for getting out of your comfort zone and discovering new ways of looking at things. This is just as true with a toddler. We had no bath so Sebastian showered with me every night, which was lovely. By the end of his portion of the shower he was usually relaxed cuddled against me, getting sleepy and droopy already. Then Loren would take him and get him dried and dressed while I took my time with the rest of my shower. We had never done showers with Sebastian before, and it's nice to know it's an option now. In fact when we arrived home last night, road weary and bedraggled, we did this same shower routine simply because it was easier and faster.

I also learned that Sebastian is much better in the stroller now. We were staying in a holiday home very near the shops, and we had no car, so he did a lot of stroller travel and he tolerated it with very little complaint. I found this mode of getting around to be a welcome change. I enjoyed getting fresh air and some exercise wherever we went. I used to walk so much before Sebastian came along. He was just so unhappy with the stroller for the longest time. And yes, back home in Tawa we are further from the shops, maybe 25 mins. walk, but there is a train. The way we hopped on the ferry in Devonport we could hop on the train in Tawa and be in Wellington CBD in 17 minutes, and have a nice day out. It's something to consider as Spring has just arrived. 

We also ate out every night we were there, so we got pretty good at eating out with a toddler. Our strategy: arrive early and request outdoor seating if the weather allows it. If you can manage these two things, then you can eat at even the fanciest restaurant without much worry. There's usually no one else there if you stroll in at 5:30 for dinner, so you don't have to worry about annoying other patrons. If you sit outside then you don't feel so bad about the food your toddler is going to toss on the ground, and it's no big deal if he wants to have a wander around before dinner arrives. One day Sebastian and I caught the ferry to meet Loren after work in the for dinner in downtown Auckland. We picked a fancy restaurant on the waterfront with a nice big outdoor area. We walked in at 5pm and were the only patrons in the outdoor area the whole time. We got an awesome view of the harbor with our dinner, and we learned that Sebastian loves horseradish sauce with his char-grilled lamb. An excellent dinning experience all round.

Most importantly I was reminded that traveling with Sebastian can be a lot of fun. You have to take your time when traveling with a toddler; you have to slow down and appreciate the little things. For instance, the Devonport shops had these posts that people had knitted coverings for, in all different colors and patters and types of yarn. Every time we went past these, Sebastian insisted that we stop at each of them so we could check them out.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Thirteen Months

Sebastian at thirteen months...

Looking sleepy and serious

It seems like we're really getting a feel for his personality these days. Sebastian has a great sense of humor, he can be a real tease. He still loves acting like he's going to hand you something, then pulling his hand back at the last moment, with a certain teasing smile. The more you act surprised by this, the more amused he is. He also likes to joke by an unexpected object on his head, then laughing at his own cleverness.

He's also gotten quite clever at getting what he wants. He is forever trying to get his grandparents glasses. At first you could always tell he was about to make a grab for them by the sly smile on his face. But recently he's taken to making a sudden grab while looking the other way.

He can be quite serious when concentrating on mastering a skill or examining a new object. Hand him a novel object and he will go quite still, a look of happy concentration on his face as he examines it carefully, quietly exclaiming "hah!" to himself. He can also get quite serious in a new situation, like going to a new place and meeting new people. He will start out cautious, sticking near me, then slowly venture out to explore, coming back to check in with me frequently. But usually by the end of the visit I am having to run after him to keep him from getting into absolutely everything. He is still really interested in interacting with other kids and checking out what they are doing. He is slower to warm up to adults, but if they seem nice and genuinely interested in interacting with him, they usually get a smile for their efforts.

Sebastian is trying to learn words, and he has learned a few signs. He does "ba" for "back" when he wants to put something back where it came from (he does this a lot). And he's just started to a sort of "bwa-wa" for water. Pretty much all his "words" start with a "b" just now. We have been introducing a bit of baby sign language, and he now knows the sign for hot, done, water, eat, breastfeed, more, sock, cat, and bird. Some of these are not super clear yet, for instance his "eat" and "water" are pretty near identical, but usually clear by context. His interest in signing picked up a lot once he learned "more" and realized he could use it to ask for something he wanted.

The thing about him being able to communicate what he wants is that he can be quite persistent. When he's signed "more" for the tenth time for you to pick him up so he can investigate the window latches, for instance. He has a few of his own signs, such as a sort of dance which means he wants the tv on. Most of what he watches involves a lot of music, and he loves to dance to it, which has got to be one of the cutest things ever.

Sebastian weighed 10.2 kgs as of a few days ago, and I don't know his height but it seems like he gets taller every day.

I haven't taken many pictures in the past month. We have been busy. Which also explains why this post is an entire week late! But here are a couple more:

Figuring out how to use a fork

Having colored on his hands and mouth with washable marker

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Self-Care Birthday: Week Two

I have stretched ear piercings, not large, just 10 gauge, but they require something in them or they start to shrink. When Sebastian was born I had these clear silicone eyelets in; just place holders, really. A few months ago I noticed they were getting chipped and manky so I took them out. I can't really wear any of my fancy, curly (sharp!) ear rings right now; they are not conducive to cuddling a baby. I can't even wear my simple steel hoops; I tried it but Sebastian kept hooking a finger around them and pulling hard.

So I've been wearing nothing and thinking about how I need to get some baby-friendly jewelry asap. I've been thinking that for at least 3 months now. Thus, the next item on my self-care list was a visit to Wellington's awesome little piercing and jewelry shop, Ninja Flower. Actually, they are not so tiny now. They just moved into a larger space, which maked one more reason I wanted to visit.

I always enjoy a visit to Ninja Flower. The proprietors are awesome; knowledgeable, friendly, as enthusiastic about what they do. The jewelry they stock is varied and beautiful; I love looking through all the cases, not just the ones that hold jewelry in my size. The first thing I needed to do was get my piercings re-stretched. Their piercing technician has awesome bedside manner; asking my son's name directly after the second stretch was particularly genius.

I chose some beautiful paua (abalone shell) studs to go in them. They had about half a dozen to choose from. I picked two that are quite different from each other, but both are lovely and go well with my other ear rings, (little opals).

I almost didn't use this picture because I look tired. But then I thought: you know what? I am tired most of the time. Why hide that?

And here's a close-up

I walked out feeling a tiny bit more like myself again, and with a resolve to go up to the next size in the near future so I can wear some of the even more awesome jewelry that caught my eye at Ninja Flower.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Twelve Months!

Yesterday my little man turned one year old!

Sebastian, at 12 months...

  Sebastian is often shy in new situations, or maybe a better word is reserved. He likes to carefully study a new people and places before jumping in to check it all out. At home, he is a very happy and active boy these days, often puttering around the house, practicing his walking and carrying things about. 

  He's got a great sense of humor and one of the things he finds funniest right now is feet. He likes chasing my feet - especially if they are bare - and nothing gets more laugs than tickling him with my feet. Other things that make him laugh are games of chase and being held upside down. 

  He has taken to initiating games of peeka-boo when the mood strikes. He's walking everywhere now; his main means of getting around since two or three weeks ago. He knows how to wave and insists upon doing so at every opportunity. Probably his first word is "bye-bye" which he says kind of like "bu-bah." He seems to also be working on saying "mama" "dada" "grandma" and "bird." We are doing a bit of baby sign language with him, and so far the one sign he's mastered is "hot" though he's also working on "done." 

  He still hates nappy changes, though the musical mobile we put above the change table helps. He also hates it when strange ladies try to stamp his hand, something that happens more than you'd think. I guess it's something kids a bit older than him are really into? At this point I think he associates strange ladies touching him in any way with nurses and shots, which is understandable.

  He likes music, often "dancing" along to music on tv or radio or musical toys. He loves it when Grandpa lets him "help" do the dishes, or when anyone lets him play in a sink, really. He loves to pull my shirt up and cuddle my belly and blow raspberries on it. He does this with Grandma's belly too. He's a bit more cautions of Grandpa's belly, which is quite furry. 

  We had fun coming up with things to do with Sebastian on his birthday - favourite foods, activities, and of course a few presents. I'd like to do a short post just on his birthday, but until then, here's a picture of the Birthday Boy inspecting a present:

And another from the series the first photo is from, because I had trouble picking just one:

Friday, 31 May 2013

Self-Care Birthday: Week One

For my birthday - which is only a few days short of Sebastian's first birthday - I decided to pick a self-care mission every week for four weeks. I was going to do it for all of June, but I decided it couldn't wait that long. I really needed a haircut. In my mind, my hair is just shy of one inch long. That's how it's supposed to look, that's what feels right to me. I hadn't cut my hair in about 9 months and it was really starting to bug me.

I didn't realise how much it was getting me down until I got it cut. I usually do it myself, but I couldn't face cutting that much hair on my own with what little free time I have in the day, so I decided to pay someone else to do it. I went to a moderately fancy hair salon and explained that I'm a new mum and doing this for my birthday, and by luck my hair dresser had a baby too, so she totally got it. After chatting for a few minutes about our children, she handed me a stack of magazines and left me alone to zone out for the rest of the session. As I am an introvert, this was heavenly. It was the most relaxing haircut I've ever had. I don't know how much of that was the luxury of sitting back and letting someone else do something for me for once, and how much of it was not dealing with the awkwardness of the hair dresser trying to make small talk. I hadn't realized how much the chit chatting to the hair dresser has always made it hard to relax when  I've gotten my hair cut before.

The hair cut took her over an hour, and when I looked in the mirror I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I looked like myself again. It was like a weight was lifted.

Here's me and Sebastian in the pool a few days post hair cut. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Eleven Months

Sebastian, at eleven months:

Sebastian doing his favourite new trick: clapping!

Sebastian is still a very active little baby and wears his parents out regularly. He is not as quick to smile at strangers; they have to smile at him first! If he's tired or grumpy then no smiles for you, strange lady!

He loves to hold your hand and walk around, find something interesting, pick it up and then walk around while holding it up high. He also loves putting things into other things (a cup, a drawer, you name it) and putting things through the cat door and throwing things down the stairs.

Some things that make him laugh: Holding him upside down, tickles under the chin or behind the knees, playing "this little piggy" and when I pretend to sneeze.

Some things he doesn't like: getting his nappy changed, and the noise hand dryers make.

His latest "tricks": clapping his hands, walking short distances unassisted, standing up using just the floor to push against, and getting off the bed by himself by turning around and getting down feet first.

He is currently 9.7kgs and he hasn't had his height measured recently but his arms at the very least are longer because he can reach things on the bathroom counter/ my desk/ the kitchen bench now.

If this update seems a little brief, it's because he's on his third cold in 6 weeks, and his parents are very tired. The good news is his grandparents are back, and boy are we all happy to have them home again!

Now here's some more cute baby pictures in lieu of me coming up with anything else to say:

Sebastian walking towards the camera, hoping to grab it!

What Sebastian looks like when he's pulled himself up to standing while holding my legs and he wants me to pick him up

Monday, 22 April 2013

Ten Months

My parents headed back to Hawaii on Sebastian's ten month birthday. Then he came down with a cold, so his parents were exhausted and busy and pretty much that's why this update is so late. He's ten months and thirteen days old today.

I'll do my best to think back to what he was up to thirteen days ago. Yes, when it comes to babies things really do change that fast.

So, at ten months...

Sebastian is an energetic little baby, always wanting to move and check everything out. He's got an easy smile around those he knows, but can be a bit more cautious around strangers. He still loves watching other babies and small children, and making friends with them. He's a little more able to interact with other babies now beyond just pulling their hair. He likes to hand them things, one of his new favorite things to do with grown ups too.

He still loves games of chase; He can now do this crawling instead of holding someone's hands to walk. He also likes to play "where is it?" He or I hide an object under a blanket, in a basket, etc. and he finds it and olds it up, grinning at me and I say "there it is!"

He's still not a fan of nappy changes, and it's hard to get him to sit still long enough to get his clothes either on or off.

Sebastian had just started consistently hands-and-knees crawling when he turned ten months. His unique "scooch" is gone! He had been pointing at things that caught his interest for a couple of weeks already, and he had just started handing us things. He can also wave, but he mostly does this at the dinner table. That's where he was when he worked out how to do it, and now he thinks that's what you do when you're at the table!

He's working on his two front teeth coming in at the moment, making a total of six little teeth now. He weighs 9.3kgs and is 75 centimeters long.

Taking is photo is getting harder, he's usually either a blur....

 Or pointing emphatically at the camera because he wants to play with it...

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Summer Wrap-Up: Weekend in Paraparam

In mid-December we decided to take a weekend mini-holiday. Sebastian was still little enough to be comfortably carried in our baby carriers for a couple hours at a stretch, and happy to sleep in them. He wasn't eating much solids yet, and he was good at sleeping in the car. He had been bed sharing with us long enough that we felt we could make that work easily enough in a hotel. And he wasn't yet mobile. We figured it was a relatively easy time to take him on holiday.

We booked a place on Paraparaumu Beach for two nights. Sebastian obligingly slept through the entire drive up. The day we arrived there happened to be having a craft fair, so we wandered through the stalls and also the various shops and also scoped out a good place to hang out on the beach the following day

The weather obliged with sun and warmth and only a little of the wind that can be quite strong on Paraparaumu Beach. That evening we ate dinner out for only the second time since Sebastian was born. He was just old enough to sit in a high chair and share nibbles of our fish and veggies.

The next day we set up our beach-tent in the sand and Sebastian got his toes in the ocean for the first time. He liked the sand, squishing it between his fingers and eating an alarming amount of it. The water was okay but the tiny wavelets scared him. After this adventure he got a wash off under the beach shower. After I dried him off and changed his clothes, we he had a nurse and a nice nap while Loren walked to the nearby shops to get us lunch. It was a lovely, laid back summer day at the beach. The tent was an excellent investment, as most beaches around here don't have much to offer in the way of shade.

Sebastian and Loren relaxing in our beach tent

Sebastian sampling the local sand

On the last day we had an early morning wander on the beach before heading home. One of the nice things about having a baby is it gets you up and out of the hotel early, and you get to wander the streets at an hour when most tourists aren't up and about yet.

It was all in all an easy, laid back summer get-away. We are low key vacationers and our usual M.O. involves a lot of wandering around our chosen location on foot. Sebastian spent a lot of time in our baby carriers while we wandered on the beach, and in and out of shops, and so on. He also took most of his naps this way.

These days he is crawling and getting very close to walking, and he's too heavy for me to comfortably baby-wear for any significant length of time. I'm sure he would still make an excellent traveling companion today, though perhaps in a very different way. But wow what a difference 3 months makes!

Walking along the beach with Sebastian asleep in his Ergo carrier.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Nine Months

Sebastian, at nine months...

Sebastian is a very active little boy. He wants you to help him "walk" everywhere: holding onto your hands while he tears around the house/ yard/ shop etc. like there's so much to see and he must see it all right now! He's still very social when going out into the world, and will try to "make friends" with other babies as well, with mixed success.

His very favorite thing is to play a sort of chase/hind and seek game with one person holding his hands to walk and the other playing with him. You hide around a corner, he finds you, you shout "boo" and run away to hide around another corner. He gives a squeal and goes running after you. And repeat. If you instead shout "boo" but don't run away, HE will run away instead, tearing off in a random direction for a few feet before turning round to see if you're following or have gone to hide again. This is a lot of fun if you're the person hiding. But a bit exhausting for the person holding his hands!

He is still not a big fan of nappy changes; having a second person "entertain" him on the changing table is a big help. And an extra set of helping hands is luxury we often enjoy these days, as his grandparents are here!

The thing he dislikes the most is when you DON'T help him walk when he wants you to. How do you know he wants you to? Well, when he grabs your hands and slides out of your lap, assuming you've got him, that's a pretty good sign. he likes to do this move after a feed and while I'm still trying to do my bra back up. He gets very impatient when he has to wait!

There are so many little things to enjoy about Sebastian right now. The way he makes a little sigh that sounds like an unvoiced "hah!" when he grabs something he has never checked out before. The little gesture he does where he nods his head once while simultaneously blinking and going "aahk!" It usually means "give me that!" but sometimes it's just a general gesture of making a connection or getting someone's attention. The way he now peers over the counter/ around the corner/ around the napkin when you play "peek a boo" because he now realizes where you've gone when you hide your face. The way he makes a little high pitched "ack" squeak of effort when "scooching" across the carpet.

He's got three teeth coming in, and has been really laid back about teething discomforts, thank goodness. We missed his last check up (need to reschedule) but according to the bathroom scale he weighs 9.4 kgs!

One of the many many nice things about having his grandparents here is that I find these lovely photos of me and Sebastian on my camera....

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Eight Months

Sebastian, at eight months...

Just in the last week, it's like everything Sebastian sees is something to try to get his hands on. Even if it's across the room. Or on the ceiling. I had to take the mobile out of the nursery the other day because he was getting so distracted by it that he couldn't concentrate on breastfeeding. He has developed an appreciation for art, and he especially likes two brightly colored paintings of my mom's in the downstairs lounge, and the dragon quilt on the wall in his room. He will launch himself bodily at anything in range when sitting in your lap, usually things he's not meant to have such as water glasses or a remote control or my camera or my kindle. Especially my kindle. Just today I decided to give up on trying to read my kindle while feeding him, a habit I got in when he was just teeny tiny.

After a couple of days of this new level of wiggly fidgety restlessness we figured out he's pretty happy if you hold him up and help him practice standing. Which swiftly changed to practicing walking. And then, yesterday evening - the day of my parent's arrival back in Wellington - he was wiggling around on his tummy and finally figured out how to get his legs and arms working together in a way that makes him go forward. So far it looks like hard work, and he doesn't seem to realise he can get more than a foot or so with it - like to reach a remote control that's just a little bit out of reach, for instance. But I think he's not far off from doing something that could reliably be called "crawling." Watch out world, this boy is going places! It looks like his grandparents showed up just in time.

Sebastian still loves being held upside down, bouncing on your knee or in your arms, and any kind of light fabric waved around in front of his face. He's just developed a new thing where you put your face up close to his, and he sort of head butts you. Then I say "bonk" and fall back on the floor which he finds pretty funny. He doesn't like getting his nappy changed lately, something he hasn't minded in the past.

His last check up was at the end of January. He now weights 8.55 kgs and is 75 centimeters long. His hair is still light brown, and his eyes have gone hazel just like his dad's.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Parenting Resources Part 1: Blogs

I intend to make this a series of posts, outlining some of the resources I have found useful in pregnancy and parenting. This is in no way whatsoever a comprehensive list of useful resources. The intent is to write about some of the resources that I personally have found particularly useful.

Before Sebastian was born, I started looking for blogs. Although I very much wanted to have a child, the persona of "pregnant woman" and eventually "mother" were at odds with my self image as feminist, independent, and free thinking. Then I found a feminist parenting blog. Then I went on a search for others. Some of them I picked initially because the women were pregnant at the same time I was, and this gave me a sense of camaraderie when most of the women around me were not going through pregnancy and never had. The ones below I stuck with and still read regularly, because they are insightful, funny, and not afraid to talk about their personal experiences. These blogs have all in some way expanded my thinking about my parenting and my identity as a mother.

Blue Milk - An Australian blog, this is the one that started it all for me and I still very much admire the way she can break it down and tell it like it is. She's not afraid to talk about the dark side, the times when parenting is not all rainbows and sunshine.

First The Egg - How can you NOT love that name?? Insightful writing on the intersection of feminism and motherhood. Also good for book reviews (both adult and children's). Also, her dreadful pregnancy symptoms made me feel a lot better about my run-of-the mill pregnancy symptoms back when we were both pregnant.

Birthing Beautiful Ideas - In addition excellent and thoughtful writing on parenting, I also appreciate her irreverent sense of humor and willingness to mention sex once in a while (not to mention the recent informative and hilarious series of posts on her partner's vasectomy). Also reading about her baby's sleep issues has made me feel a bit better about whatever run of the mill sleep issues me and Sebastian are dealing with at the moment.

PhD In Parenting - An awesome Canadian feminist blogger. A blog with a bit of an activist slant, especially around issues of breast feeding and consumer rights.

I thought about point to particularly awesome articles from these blogs but I decided they belonged in a different post. Whenever I run across an article that really gets me thinking about parenting, or really resonates with my parenting, I bookmark it. I'd like to go back through those and pick the ones that really stand out for me, the ones that I still think about even if I read them a year ago.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Seven Months

At seven months...

Sebastian has a great sense of humor, especially when he's a little bit tired and needs to let off steam before he can get to sleep. But he can be a very serious boy at times, especially when he's concentrating on checking out something new.

He thinks  it's hilarious to be held upside down, and raspberries on the tummy are still a favorite. He doesn't like it when Dad has to leave to go to work in the morning. I have taken to distracting him when it's time for Dad to go.

He is completely fascinated with the cat, which isn't too much of a problem yet, but once he's mobile that cat better watch out!

He can sit up by himself now (but not get into a sitting position from lying down) and he now mostly prefers to sit up than to lie down on his back or tummy. Just recently he's taken to cocking his head to one side when he's inspect something (like in the picture below), which makes me laugh.

His favorite food is anything that's new. Currently that includes peaches, tofu, and udon noodles.

The first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is look around sleepily for a few seconds, then look at me. When I look back at him, gets the biggest sunniest smile on his face and starts babbling sleepily.

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