Archive for April, 2008

This time last year

It is 1.20pm on April 30.

This time last year I was screaming in pain, calling for an epidural, just three and a half hours away from giving birth to my son.

Right now, I am gathering scans and referrals, just three hours away from accompanying leigh to the MS Clinic.

Count your blessings, people. You have no idea where you’ll be this time next year.


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A gift for two

Hugo mostly puts himself to sleep but he does like to be rocked before he goes down for the night. Over the past few weeks I have been thinking that once he turns one, it will be time to break that habit and let him learn to go to bed at night on his own.

Last night was the very last night before his first birthday. I was rocking him in the dark and listening to his breathing settle into a relaxed rhythm and feeling the weight of his little body in my arms. And I was thinking about how the privilege of rocking our children to sleep is such a shortlived one.

Hunter is only three and a half and already it has been years since she allowed – much less needed – me to rock her to sleep.

And I stood there in the dark enjoying that quiet moment with my boy and I decided that this does not have to end yet. The time when he won’t want to be held will be here before I know it. Until then, I have decided to be thankful for those bedtime snuggles.

So, tonight when Hugo goes to sleep, he will be one year old and in my arms. It’s my birthday gift for both of us.

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Year of Living Hugo-ly

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The Year of the Hugo

In two days my baby will turn one.

I remember when Hunter reached this age how we were all marvelling at how grown up she had become, and how she really wasn’t a baby any more at all. It’s so different with your second baby, when you have an older one in the house to remind you what being a big kid is all about. Hugo still seems so little, and very much my bubby.

He’s my cuddly teddy bear who still makes funny little sounds and falls over 20 times a day and laughs at things that no one else understands. And his mummies are still the centre of his world – for now.

The Year of the Hugo has been a pretty fabulous year, on balance. I can’t believe 12 months have zipped by. I am feeling a bit teary just thinking about it.

Leigh is completely bamboozled by my nostalgia and my frequent proclamations about the bittersweet nature of a first birthday. As far as she’s concerned, growing and learning and getting bigger are all the exact things he should be doing, and seeing him right on track is perfectly fabulous.

And it is. But I still wonder at how my teeny tiny needy baby grew so fast, or how my funny little baby who didn’t want to eat any food for months can now demolish a sandwich, or how that little creature who couldn’t make any sounds apart from crying can call out to me and squeal with delight and ask for “more more more”.

I feel like I have already forgotten so much of that first year, and it’s not even over yet. Here are some of the bits I haven’t forgotten, and hope I never will:

– The way he looked right after he was born. He was covered in blood and slime but he was so peaceful and calm. He just nestled quietly against my chest, looking around with eyes that were not-quite-focussed

– The pain of early breastfeeding. Yikes, I did not expect it to be that bad second time around!

– That first sweet little smile, after three weeks in the world.

– Our worries about his squishy little misshapen head. We worked so hard to reposition him for months and now his little noggin is just perfect.

– All his other firsts so far – first time he rolled over, first time he sat properly by himself, first time he crawled, pulled up, first words. And the more recent firsts – first steps and first efforts at climbing on the furniture (rather too successful for my liking)! Even though he’ll take two or three steps we’re still waiting for him to really start walking. If he doesn’t do it in the next two days it will have to go in the highlights list for next year!

I also remember the bone crushing tiredness of those early weeks (there’s no sleeping when the baby sleeps when it’s baby number two!) and the heart wrenching cries when he’s been sick, or jabbed or has fallen over. And I have lots of memories of his glorious baby laugh. My favourite memory is of all of us at a Hungry Jack’s restaurant for the neighbour’s birthday party. Hunter was blowing a whistle and Hugo was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face. Everyone in the place was laughing with him because it was just indescribably cute to see this little baby cacking himself over something so utterly un-funny.

I remember many, many sweet moments when Hunter has kissed him and told him she loves him and shared her toys and food and affection. I also remember lots of moments when Hunter has been consumed by jealousy and our family’s coping resources have been stretched dangerously thin.

It’s hard to believe so much Hugo has been crammed into one year, and it’s hard to believe that just one year ago we didn’t know this fabulous little man.

Thanks for a great year, kid!


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Another from the Hunter archive

Quote of the week last week:

“This place is so booooring”


Toys R Us.

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Tantrum champion

Hunter’s a world-class-wobbly-chucker but she managed a doozie the other day, even by her standards. I am not sure if i can do it justice in writing but I will do my best.

She’d been pretty good and leigh told her she could have a biscuit. Leigh got out the biscuit container and held it out to Hunter.

And Hunter flipped out.

“I didn’t want you to hold it there!!” she wailed, red-faced, tears springing forth.

Leigh, taken aback, brings the container down a bit, assuming it was too high for Hunter to reach.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOooo, not there! I want it HIGHER!” she cries.

Leigh lifts it higher.

“Not THAT high!” she screeches, throwing herself to the floor and heaving great sobs.

By this point Leigh and I were both laughing out loud. It was beyond ridiculous. Leigh was so sidetracked by the histrionics that she didn’t even realise that she was following along, inching the container up and down at Hunter’s whim. It was hilarious to watch her meekly moving the container up and down in ever decreasing increments to meet Madam’s wishes, before eventually realising what she was doing and withdrawing the offer of the biscuit.

We still don’t know what it was all about, but it was the best tanty we’ve seen in a while (not by much, though – the one she threw when leigh wouldn’t say “please jelliments” before entering the bathroom and the one when she went crazy at 2.45am because she didn’t like the pants I chose after she wet the bed were also great efforts).

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My biting boy

Hugo is still in the midst of his very lengthy biting phase. I am out of ideas! I’ve followed all the standard advice – keep it low key, don’t give him attention, avert disaster if I can, blah blah blah

It’s not working.

A couple of months ago he bit me on the left boob and it took forever to heal. After weeks of being unable to feed him in the cradle position (and instead having to hold him in a very awkward fashion to get him in a football hold) I finally started feeling better. About a week or so ago I was celebrating being able to just feed him without any pain.

Then a couple of days later he gave me a bite on the right side and it’s so sore that I am wincing every time I get dressed or get in the shower, let alone when I actually try to feed him. Feeding is ridiculously painful. It’s like having a badly-latching newborn again.

I saw a great description somewhere of what it’s like to breastfeed with butchered boobies. I think it might have been in the Baby Love book. Imagine you fall over and skin your knees, then three hours later you fall over and skin them again then three hours later you do it again – etc. The result is that it hurts a lot (duh).

Anyway that’s only part of the problem (albeit it a very sensitive part!). He’s also biting everything else, and Hunter’s getting in on the act too, lest she miss out on a nanosecond of attention.

I think I posted the other week that Hugo had chomped on the couch and left little toothy holes in the leather. Well, he was at it again the other day and Hunter joined in. Now we have big toothy holes in the leather, too.

Add to those all the toothy indents and bruises on our legs and chests, shoulders and bellies, and it’s all getting tiresome.

I wish I could think of some miracle approach that would break the habit – preferably before he completely amputates a nipple.

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