To Farewell or Not Farewell

From time to time in the past year (or longer) I’ve thought of this blog, in its dusty little corner of cyberspace. There’s been times when I’ve wished for the time and/or patience to blog, and times when I’ve wondered if it’s simply time to pack it all away. For years this was an unparalleled outlet; a source of comfort, advice, friends, and even now it’s an archive of details for us to look back on. When I started this blog, back in 2007, we had little support in the real world. Facebook, for us, was in its infancy, and the whole baby making concept was a difficult discussion with my family at least. Things have come such a long way. Through this blog and this wonderful slice of the internet, we’ve “met” some amazing people from all around the world – heck we’ve even actually met two of them! Back then I couldn’t find any fellow kiwis, but now there’s a couple on my reader and if I look hard enough I can spot a whole lot more. What this blog has done for us is indescribable, and, to the majority of the people we know inconceivable. But it was our sanctuary through so much.

Life is very different now. Family relationships are, as always, constantly changing, but since the birth of our boy we have had immense support. It’s not all pretty, but we have learned who is truly there for us both in family and our friends. We have forged some strong relationships that are priceless in themselves, and we have learnt (well are learning) what is important and what should be left to the breeze. Life with our 3 and 3/4 year old is incredible, loving, funny, busy, tough, relentless and pretty much any other adjective that you can come up with.

Three months ago I had decided to say a proper farewell to this blog. I don’t even know who is around to still read it, the stats tell me people still stop by and I know at least of at least a couple of readers out there, but I know that like me, most people who were ttc a few years back have either moved on and/or are busy with their new realities. And that’s okay – I still read a handful of blogs on my reader, but I rarely comment myself anymore. Facebook is now much more my speed, and I am happy to have a community there to continue following each other’s stories. I’m not even sure now that I am saying goodbye, it’s a new year after all and who knows what will happen. Right now for example, I’ve been bitten by the writing bug again, I’m just not sure that this is the right outlet for it.

For now though, here’s some things that I’ve missed sharing this year:

  • Sprocket has completed a whole year of kindergarten. It has been amazing, his teachers are incredible, he loves it, we love it…there is just a whole lot of love going around. He also started at a preschool in October and his kindy teachers even pick him up from there in their lunch break to help us out. Did I mention we love them?
  • Sprocket is continuing to grow and thrive, he’s pretty much all kid now – no baby left. He loves music and he loves to sing, and has inherited his Mummy’s gift of making up songs on the run much to our amusement. He is smart (sometimes too smart), logical and thoughtful and I thank everything for google on my phone some days – he can smell a made up answer a mile away. He is incredibly active, and we know we have to give him plenty of outlets to keep us all sane. He continues his love affair of all things wheels, cars and trains continue to be his favourites, although he is starting to get into the big boy world of superheroes (spidey and superman are number one at the moment). He can eat cereal like nobody else – he has been known to throw back 6 weetbix for breakfast and we are already despairing for our grocery bill in a few years time. Like us, he is a water baby, and we have been out enjoying summer the last few days at the beach, the pools, the river, and today with a water fight at home. He can be incredibly frustrating, stubborn, mischievous… in short a fairly typical nearly four year old!
  • Our relationship with BD is great. Sprocket loves talking to Daddy on sky.pe, and even got to have a sleepover with Daddy and his nearly 5yo cousin at BD’s parent’s house last June when we were visiting. We are so grateful for the relationship we have with him, it is both exactly what we wanted and beyond our expectations. If anything, we would like to physically see more of him but life just gets in the way sometimes.
  • K has been doing an amazing job of being a Masters student this year, getting at least an A- in all of her papers. Now she’s neck deep in her dissertation and racing to get it done before school goes back at the end of the month. There has been a lot of “stuff” happening in the past several months which has meant she hasn’t been able to concentrate on it as much as she would have liked, but I have no doubt that she will still kick ass.
  • Speaking of K, remember that last post of mine? Well my awesome wife has lost about 25 kilos since March last year! That’s 55 pounds for those that deal in them! She has also started running for the first time in her life, and even ran a 6km and 12km race with an awesome friend supporting her all the way. We are close to hitting that golden number given by the doctor, so that waiting list is within reach.She has been such an inspiration to so many people, and I am so proud of her.
  • In addition to working towards the waiting list, we also have started the process for becoming foster parents. It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, and we were determined to make the most of the time flexibility of this year to complete the required training courses. Now we are awaiting our home visit sometime in the coming weeks before the final sign off.
  • As for me, well somehow I ended up back at work. After being a stay at home Mama for 3.5 years, I still wasn’t looking but then an unmissable opportunity fell in my lap in the form of a 4 month, name your own hours, not-a-real-vacancy position which is pretty much what I was doing prior to Sprocket came along. It was a really hard decision, I wasn’t ready to go back to work but after a 3 year gap on my cv it was too good to pass up. It was a bumpy road for the first few weeks as Sprocket settled into a new preschool, got used to me being gone, K got used to doing the drop off and pick ups, plus the major disruption to her study schedule/capabilities at a pretty crucial time. It has ended up being fantastic for me though, and with less than a month left on my contract I am lucky enough to have everyone (my staff, colleagues, senior management, and my wife) wishing I could stay on but that remains to be seen – comes with the whole not-a-real-vacancy thing.

Overall, this year has been a mixed bag. The last few months in particular have been tough with some pretty horrid lows, but there have been some great highs mixed in there too. Our lifestyle change this year has afforded us the opportunity to make some big changes, and reassess some other things. This next year is yet to play out but I hope that some of the lessons we have learnt will stay with us and help us through whatever is to come.

Who knows whether I’ll be back here to blog again, but if I’m not then I thank you for whatever part you have played in our journey towards our baby, even if it is just as a silent reader. The writing of this blog has been a bigger part of me than I ever expected way back when.

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Number Two

A couple of months ago we received our annual bill from the clinic for sperm storage, which meant once again we had to decide what we were going to do with it – continue paying $250-odd per year in case we try again or let it go and if by some miracle we did try again, ask BD to do another donation. 

Some of the factors influencing this are:

– we wouldn’t be bothering with any more IUIs. They didn’t work the first time round, they are still out of our reach financially right now and we feel like it would just be wasting 10% of potential IVF costs if we did try them. Short of winning lotto, the chances of us being able to afford another round of IVF + ICSI in the next couple of years is slim. If we did have the money, we would be making a conscious decision to take it out of our (currently non-existent) house fund and/or Sprocket’s future. It was all fine and well making that decision when we were desperate to have one child, but it’s a little harder now we have Sprocket to consider – we know all too well that there are no guarantees, even with IVF.

– this year with K as a Master’s student, money is a lot tighter as we are also paying back her new student loan, so $250 is a big chunk out of our budget

We made some calls to the clinic and found out that it would cost us a couple of thousand if we were to scrap the current sperm and start afresh, but also that our sperm is set to “expire” in just 3 more years. We knew a little bit about the HART act and how it applied to anonymous donors but for some reason we didn’t realise that it affected us as well. In a vague nutshell they are only allowed to keep/use anything within a 10 year period of the donation, to go outside of this means applying to the ethics committee for exemption and is a whole other rigmarole. 

We also asked about public funding, which I at least thought of as a longshot, as we were on the waiting list for this when K did get pregnant from our 2nd privately funded IVF round. They couldn’t answer then and there so we were put on the waiting list for an appointment so we could be scored for that.

The appointment came up for yesterday, Mother’s Day, at 8am – we weren’t sure if this was a good omen or not! 

We had to take Sprocket with us due to the time of the day, and that it was Mother’s Day, so it was a little awkward when we weren’t the only ones in the waiting room. Luckily the other couple were taken through fairly quickly and it was just us. Our fertility doctor came out and greeted us like long lost friends, shaking hands with both of us and then Sprocket. Neither of us were prepared for the emotion of that moment, watching our son shake hands and interact with him, but it was very special and reminded us how far we’d come since those dark, desperate days.

The start of the appointment was a general catch up and recap of Sprocket’s birth, and then he asked if we wanted another. Lol yep, kind of why we were there! At first he said there was no chance of funding, but then he remembered that we have paid for everything privately with Sprocket, and haven’t yet had any public treatment, so he started doing the score sheet. A big part of the scoring was obviously around fertility history, and K scored highly for having a serious biological reason for infertility. He paused to tell the trainee doctor that was with him about how bad her endometriosis had been and how he remembered the resection operation in detail because it was very tricky (stage 4 and at the time one of the worst cases he’d seen, which clearly hasn’t changed four years on). Basically, because of the degree of seriousness, the proven infertility of 12 IUI and 1 IVF failures prior to the operation and then the  excellent response to IVF after the operation, K does qualify for public funding. 

This is amazing and such a huge relief, but we’re not completely there yet. K has to reduce her BMI before being put on the waiting list, and then the waiting list can be anywhere from 12-18 months long. Throw into that the fact that you have to be under 40 to receive publicly funded treatment, and it means that we have a strict timeframe in which to lose weight in order to make it onto the list in time for her round to come up prior to her turning 40 in 2016. But it is doable. We are both already seeing benefits from some lifestyle changes the last couple of months and this is just some really kickass motivation. For the record, our sperm timeframe runs out in 2017 so this would all be perfect timing! Closer to the actual IVF round, she would have some more testing done such as AMH, but in the meantime her day 2 bloods were all perfect which is good news. 

Absolute best case scenario would be a publicly funded (i.e free to us) IVF round which yields both a pregnancy and freezable blastocysts which would then be transferred succesfully for a 3rd child later (again free to us as that would stem from the same IVF round and therefore be covered under that funding). Of course this is getting a bit ahead of ourselves, we’ve so far had no freezable blasts from two IVF rounds but it’s an amazing dream and so much more that we dared to hope for 2 days ago. For the many frustrations we have with our healthcare system, it’s times like these we freaking love it!

We’ve also got some other things on the go, it’s still in our minds trying at home with BD but this is proving very difficult logistically. It’s now 16 months since our first and only attempt at this, with no firm plans for the next little while either. We have also been looking into foster care, and have the application forms sitting on our dining room table right now. It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, and it feels like the right time to at least complete the application/training side of things this year while K is a bit more flexible with her time. Yay for student life – and speaking of which, my clever wife has also earned A’s for her first two assignments so far, with two more having been due the last few days.

 

 

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Kindy Boy

Right now it is 3am and K has just been taken by ambulance to the hospital with her heart playing up again, I’m wide awake thanks to the caffeine in my migraine pills that I took earlier, the cats are fighting in the lounge and the dog is pissed off that her night time routine of sleep, sleep and more sleep has been severely disrupted tonight. So perfect time to update the blog!

Firstly K is okay, her heart slips into a different rhythm periodically and needs a hospital visit for medication and/or threat of being shocked to right itself. It happens in times of high stress and exhaustion and the fact that she was still up at 2am working probably clues you in that both of those are happening at the moment. She has been working ridiculously hard trying to get things at work set up for her study leave, and this week is particularly bad as she is planning to take the next couple of weeks off before uni starts. 

Sprocket is doing fabulously, he has been going to kindy for the past 3 weeks and absolutely loving it. It is a battle to get him to leave most days, and he has never had any problems with me leaving him there. I’m sure he thinks that he should, he has taken to asking me to stay there with him but it’s more like “don’t go mama stay at kindy with me okaythenbyeseeyoulater mwah” before I even get a chance to say anything. I do get the most awesome hugs when I pick him up, and I am really appreciating the break I get even though it’s only an hour or so at home by the time I walk there and back. He started with two of his mates, and although they don’t always play together they are super excited to see each other every kindy day and they do kind of keep an eye on where each other is which is cute. Sitting still at mat time is a big learning curve for our busy boy, and the teachers soon learned that they needed their running shoes on to catch him as he took off outside the first few days but he is getting much better now. Last week I was there in time to see him coming inside on his own and sitting down on the mat, and even if he sees me arrive he now waits patiently until he is released from the mat by the teacher – seems amazing after only a couple of weeks! He’s taken a big shine to painting and loves having access to the paints every single day. Most days that’s the first thing he does before going off to explore, then he obviously goes back to it throughout the session as he always has paint on his clothes at pick up time! He has been very tired, which is not surprising with all the new routines and learning he has had to do, so we have had some rough days in between but it really has been awesome on the whole. We knew he was ready, and although he’s much younger than most of the kids he has settled in perfectly and we’re so glad that he got in 3 months early. 

We have now got rid of all remnants of baby in the house, his change table has finally gone from his room and his train table has been moved in. He is only wearing nappies at night now, has all of his 2 year old teeth, talks up a storm with lots of stories and made up songs, fancies himself quite the entertainer (he will stand up in front of you and proclaim “welcome to my show” and then “thank you, thank you very much” with nods and bows). It turns out he has inherited K’s hilarious sleep talking habit, as tonight he had a big conversation with me about how we were flying on a giant butterfly through a waterfall, past a rainbow and on to a picnic with the crickets that live in our lawn. His eyes were closed tight the whole time and it was difficult not to laugh at him although he probably wouldn’t have noticed if I had. He still gets nightmares a fair bit, especially if it’s very dark and his night light isn’t on (it ran out of batteries a couple of weeks ago for example) but he is now starting to be able to talk about them with us which has led to some interesting conversations too. He balks at being called “baby” and he’s a big boy now, except when he is pretending to be a little baby and wants to be rocked. Other favourite things to pretend to be are a cat, dog, snail (complete with pillow for a house), caterpillar and lately a tractor. Sometimes even a tractor pretending to be a cow (yes Cars is one of his favourites). 

Next week BD is coming to stay and K & I are very excited…for one reason or another it has been just over a year since we have seen him. Sprocket is big on families and calls all of his friend’s dad’s Dad (although he calls the Mums Mum too as that’s what the others do), so we are looking forward to having a face to put to our family story, as I doubt he remembers much from the last visit. I never blogged about it, but at the start of last year we had one go at ttc#2 at home and we were hopeful that we may have tried more last year but it wasn’t to be. We won’t be trying this visit, but hopefully we get to talk about where to next as the trying through the clinic is a big financial no-no right now. 

Then the week after that we are going away to the beach for a few nights thanks to an offer of very cheap accommodation at a friend’s bach. We are so excited about this, the last beach holiday we had was before Sprocket was born, and since then we’ve pretty much only been to stay with family and friends a handful of times. Bring it on!

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Where did my baby go?

So in just 6 weeks, our big boy will be starting Kindergarten! Wow, a little earlier than we expected, but so exciting.

Kindergarten generally starts at 3 over here, there are private early education centres that take all ages but we preferred a traditional kindergarten and are lucky that there is a great one within walking distance. When we enrolled him a couple of months ago we were told that they have taken some as early as 2 years 9 months but with the number on the waiting list it would be pretty close to his 3rd birthday in April. Two of his best friends are also enrolled at the same place and being slightly older they were just ahead on the list. This morning we met them at the zoo and found out that they had just got the call and were starting on the first day of the new school year, January 22. We knew Sprocket wouldn’t be too far away and less than 10 minutes later K rang to say we’d just got the call too so all 3 boys are starting the same day which is awesome. Apparently some on the waiting list weren’t ready, but these 3 definitely are so they jumped ahead. He had a ball when we went for a visit a while back, and a big tantrum when it was time to leave, so I’m sure it will be much harder on us to leave him there. The kindy had a great feel though, and even though they were busy every teacher made a point of at least smiling and saying hello to us. They are very community oriented and parents are welcome any time, for as long as they want, which is stark contrast to some of the other places around. The added bonus is that even though he only qualifies for his free 20 hours education* when he turns 3, the local kindergarten association will cover the fees until then so it still won’t cost us a cent. Even though it starts out just as 3 afternoons a week, it’s hard to believe that his introduction to the education system is coming so quickly. There’s not really much baby left in him; naps are long gone, his last molar is 3/4 through and he’s pretty much toilet trained himself the last few weeks, so I guess this is just the next step!

Next year is going to be so different for us, with Sprocket at kindy and K as a full time Masters student after she won an amazing grant/award that gives her one year’s leave from work to study..at full pay! Such a clever girl she is 🙂

 

 

*In NZ every 3,4 and 5 year old child is entitled to a subsidy of 20 hours free Early Childhood Education which can be used at playcentres, kindergartens, daycare centres, or some in home childcare programmes. 

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Foto Friday Catchup

I’m a little behind but here are the last two Foto Friday assignments, Sweater Weather and The Scent of Autumn, adapted of course to the southern hemisphere.

Sweater Weather (or not):

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We have had some beautiful Spring days later, and have been really enjoying being outside. Our boy is embracing the freedom that comes with  learning to dress and undress yourself and it’s a struggle some days to keep a bare minimum on him. One day last week he whipped off his clothes and nappy, not an uncommon occurrence over the past few months. I said to him as usual that if he didn’t wear a nappy he had to use the toilet. Expecting that this would last the rest of the day and then he’d want to wear his nappy again he next day as usually happens. But no, this time there was no looking back and we found ourselves a little surprisingly potty training. I guess it’s true what they say: when you’re ready you’re ready, and it turns out he definitely was!

The second part is The Scent of Autumn:

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This afternoon, at the end of another long hot day, we had some thunderstorms roll into town. I love that smell in summer, the change in the atmosphere as the clouds approach, the smell of the sizzling asphalt as the drops start to hit, and the pure freshness once the rain has cleared. Sprocket and I sat on the edge of our patio swinging our legs, just barely undercover as it hit, him in only his undies busy telling me what a lovely day he was having. Love.

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Foto Friday – Sunset

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I haven’t managed to remember to get the camera out at sunset this week, we’re early into daylight savings time so it is around Sprocket’s bedtime. Tonight I almost remembered too late, so it’s not too impressive but you do get a small taste of my wife’s very impressive roses to go with it!

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Creepy Crawlies – Fall Foto Friday

One of the many challenges for me personally in parenting a curious small person is where my aversion to all things creepy and crawly crash headfirst to his attraction to the same.

When I was growing up I used to have no such qualms, spending hours hunting through scrap wood with my best friend looking for all sorts of bugs and beetles. Some of our best summer afternoons were when we found dozens of slaters and then raced them one on one until we had the supreme winner. I’m not sure when exactly this changed, nor am I sure that my wife even believes I was ever like that as my dislike of insects is now so strong. My instinct is to freeze, flick and flee.

Stronger than this fear however, is the belief that the last thing I want to do is pass this fear onto my son. This is how I end up with spiders crawling up my arms, eyeballing a praying mantis, admiring an ant trail or spending an entire morning keeping track of a snail as it makes its way slowly up our fence. Despite my internal screams of “noooooooooo”.

In two of the pictures below you can’t even see the tiny spiders, but trust me they were there, accompanied by an excited call of “Mama come look!”

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Leaves

Ok so I’m a little late with this again, but the theme for this Friday gone was leaves.

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Around here the leaves are re-appearing on our trees. Thanks to an early burst of spring the fruit trees in our back yard have already blossomed and are covered in a nice canopy of green leaves. We have lemons, tangelos, plums and peaches growing out the back, and although we make good use of the citrus we’ve never really been fast enough to get decent crops from the stone fruits before the birds hit them. The peaches always looked a bit pitted and ugly, so I personally was never that worried about them anyway. Last year however Sprocket and I spent a lot of hours in our backyard, and after 8 years I finally tried them. And boy were they delicious! Turns out we’ve got a heritage variety which is for some reason known inappropriately in NZ as the Black Boy Peach and elsewhere as Peche de Vigne – the vineyard peach. They have a beautiful red flesh, taste amazing and I can’t wait for the tiny green fruit which you can barely see in the photo above to turn into this:

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Foto Friday

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I really need to step up my timing of these, it’s now Sunday night our time but here you go : Clouds.

I was hoping to catch what Sprocket calls “volcano clouds” but we’ve been having some beautiful sunny days this week so there hasn’t been too many of those around.

We are loving Spring around here – having sunny, warm, long days outdoors is doing wonders for our son’s temperament. As he likes to remind us several times a day while doing a spin with his arms outstretched, “I love outside”.

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Foto Fridays

Because I can’t resist a good photo challenge I will be joining in this Fall  Spring Foto Friday Challenge started up by S and Jackie.

I’m already a day late by NZ standards but I’m hoping it’s still Friday somewhere in the US! The first one is sweet treats, so I bring you the almighty Anzac biscuit:

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I know that both my wife and son are quite happy about this week’s theme, and looking forward to afternoon tea time! Edited to add that while I was posting this, the boy snuck up and nicked one off the plate! I was alerted by the loud yummy noises coming from under the table…

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Thoughts on Marriage

It seems I’ve imagined a few posts here over the past few months, including one that I know I did start to write in all the excitement of marriage equality passing into law back in April. Anyway, to catch you up if you missed it, exactly four months ago in little old NZ our politicians lead us to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9pOJ8Bc_-g

(highly, highly recommended viewing to see how historical moments are celebrated Aotearoa-styles)

Like so many other couples around the country we were absolutely buzzing after this – to suddenly have this opportunity that we thought was no where within reach was just incredible. To have the open love and support of so many friends, family, workmates, acquaintances and business was just so special and touching. Not everyone, sure, but more than enough.

We immediately started planning. We found out that, to upgrade our civil union to a marriage, we would need to apply for a license and essentially renew our vows. Okay we thought, it’s a no-brainer, let’s do it…we’ll do it on the first day, just like we did with our civil union back in 2005, and we’ll have a big party to celebrate. We’ve had our big day, we don’t want or need to repeat that but a party for equality? Now that we can do.

For some reason, in New Zealand there is a 4 month stand down period before such laws are actually enacted which means that tomorrow is the first day that same sex marriages can actually be performed. So as I said, we started planning.  

But sometime in the past few months, the significance of getting married has shifted somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still incredibly important but as I said before..we’ve had our big day, the one that we put all of our hopes and dreams into. Since that day we’ve spent 8 1/2 years working hard on our marriage and building our family. We’re married. Sure, we need to say those words (again), sign that paper (again) and pay that money (again) to get the full legal and social significance but it won’t change a single thing in our daily lives. 

I am still ecstatic and proud that my country has come so far, and that we can now marry, I’m just a little surprised to find it’s just from a slightly different perspective than I expected. Luckily for my marriage though, K has been right there with me in the same quandary so in the last few months we have gone back and forth a million times as to what to do – do we have just a simple ceremony with two witnesses on the first day or wait until summer and have a party to celebrate.

It was a really difficult decision for us to make and we were both equally torn. In some ways it felt incredibly important (because come on, it’s marriage!), and in others we just wanted to get it over and done with. Finally just a few days ago we decided to wait and have a fun celebration in summer. We know this was the right decision, but it doesn’t mean that a part of me won’t be jealous of all of those making history tomorrow (but most of me will be very, very happy for them of course!)

Having said that, thanks to what I like to call “when lawmaking meets common sense”, the date doesn’t matter at all in our case. As we are simply changing the form of our relationship from a civil union to a marriage, the legal start date of our marriage will be the same as that of our civil union (as they are both a legal joining).

This means that when we do get married, we will instantly have been married for nearly 9 years.

Which is awesome, because I really can’t remember another anniversary!

 

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Time out

Nope not for the boy this time, but for Mummy and Mama. It’s like something from our child-free days but we’ve had a free night in an Auckland hotel fall into our laps so this afternoon we’re off on a very last minute, exciting adventure. And thanks to Nanna and Poppa we’re even going to be having our first child free night since Sprocket was born!

The last month have been pretty full on around here. K has been in the hospital twice for her heart rhythm issue, we’ve both been sick, K has been away on the first of 3 school camps for the term and we are both pretty well exhausted.

It definitely seems as though K’s heart issue is triggered by stress and good old fashioned exhaustion, and while it in itself is not life threatening there are other heightened risk factors such as stroke that come with it so it has been a worry. She’s not the only one at her work having health issues, and it would be nice if there was a magic bullet to whizz away all the stress or come up with a fabulous new job but there really isn’t right now. We have been trying to come up with ways/routines to try and help but we’ve still got a way to go.

Last week she was away on school camp for four days, and while she was away of course I got sick. Being sick and having sole charge for a very energetic, cheeky and adventurous 2 year old was no fun I can tell you! We were both very glad to pick K up on Saturday night, and she was glad to see us too – it was the longest she’s been away from him without us visiting. I’ve been struggling a bit lately, okay maybe a lot, trying to keep everything together for all of us as well as look after myself and so things have been very up and down. I know K’s been feeling guilty that I’ve had to take on a lot extra but that’s just how life works sometimes. And it’s not like she’s getting any down time either, from the minute she walks in the door at night until she walks out again in the morning Sprocket is all over her, which she loves of course but it’s full on. I’ve been thinking about part time work again now Sprocket’s getting bigger but the reality is right now we’re lucky that I am at home and can focus solely on us. I know if I were working as well, even part time, a lot of what I do now would have to slide. The flip side of that is trying to keep myself balanced and sane, which admittedly is not my strong suit. Luckily I’m surrounded by some great friends who have offered to look after Sprocket for a break, and even my niece who’s home from America for a month has offered to travel down to look after him for us. We keep tossing up whether to move to a cheaper house, in the town where K works, but we really don’t want to leave this neighbourhood. Most of Sprocket and my friends live within a few blocks so we would miss things like impromptu meet ups at the park on a sunny day like we got to do this morning.

Life is very busy with Sprocket, we catch up with friends on most Monday and Tuesday mornings, then Wednesday and Thursday is music and gymnastics respectively. At times it seems like a busy life for a 2 year old but he is such an energetic and social kid that we both tend to suffer for staying at home just us for too long. He is really a great kid, but my goodness he is busy. It’s not just a first time parents/first kid thing either – everyone comments the same, even his aunt who has 5 kids only 8 years apart, fosters pre-schoolers and does at home childcare was amazed after an afternoon with him! He is constantly inventing new ways to give me grey hair, the most recent being figuring out how to open both the back door, and the gate that leads to the road. And he is fast. The other Mums we hang out with are amazed at how fast he is, and he once he’s running he has a one track mind and refuses to stop. It is impossible to let him more than a step or two away when we’re out because if he gets a head start, he’s hard to catch and can easily reach roads/danger in no time. His inquisitive nature is so much fun though, and despite his rambunctiousness he can also be such a gentle and affectionate boy too.

So yes, this time last week when I was sick and K was away things seemed very rough but it’s amazing what a difference a week makes. On Monday night K came home and took over cooking dinner, did the dishes and announced she had got the next day off (very rare for a teacher in term time) and was sending me out of the house to get my hair cut, have a peaceful coffee and browse the shops. It was bliss. A little bizarre not to be carrying a pile of supplies or having to rush through shops but I soon got used to that! I came home very much refreshed and ready to go again. And then this morning she rang to say that someone at work was giving away an already paid for night at a hotel in Auckland for tonight with late checkout and free breakfast included. A couple hours later and it’s all organized, we’re driving up after work and dropping Sprocket off with his grandparents and heading out for a grown up night on the town.

I am so excited and looking forward to this, it’s time out that we need so much but it’s definitely not something we could afford to do at the moment so the timing is just perfect.

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Somehow the title is true. Although it seems

Somehow the title is true. Although it seems like he is changing and growing daily, it is still mind blowing that Sprocket is now 2 years old. He had a great birthday, we were sad that BD couldn’t come up for a visit in the end, but the day was filled with fun and Sprocket had an amazing day. We threw a party for him with immediate family and then a few of his friends and their Mums. He wasn’t so into the opening presents part, despite an early morning fascination with ripping the paper off, but he was thoroughly spoiled by all and definitely enjoyed playing with them. The day was a great reminder of how lucky we are, and how much love surrounds our boy.

Last week we had his final plunket visit, which was all very positive. He has settled into 50th percentile for weight and close to 75th for height. Developmentally he is doing great, he was chatting away to the nurse and checking out the room and toys non stop. He’s now speaking in more and more complex sentences, with at least 4/5 word sentences the norm now. He’s still fearless, and very physically active both in play and tantrums. We had turned up to the appointment with blood in his hair as he had head butted the gate just before we left, and then while we were waiting he again hit his head and cried loudly. And while we were there, he managed to get his head stuck between a sink and the wall – needless to say he well demonstrated his active personality! The next step is to enrol him in kindergarten for when he turns 3 (omg). I need to do a whole post on what he’s up to these days. Nap times have nearly been replaced by quiet time in his room. We still put him down for a nap after lunch, but more often than not he will get up and play with his toys rather than sleep. This actually suits me a lot better as he is quite happy to do so for around an hour, still giving me a break, and if he does sleep inevitably we have a rough night with a very early morning wake up. He still has his moments temper wise, with hitting and heat butting being his go-to behaviour when he’s not happy, but overall he is just so much fun.

We’ve had a very busy few weeks, starting with K being back in hospital with the same heart issue as before. Definitely a warning sign that she is overdoing it at work, so there is some cutting back to do there as well as some other changes at home for all of us. Of course not helped by battles with IRD over her tax while on parental leave in 2011, and then finding out by accident that she doesn’t have a valid drivers’ licence despite having two physical licences in her wallet after they stuffed up her name change. She ended up on sick leave the week before her holidays started, which means we’ve had (or will have by the end of this week) three weeks together. Sprocket has been loving this, and he has definitely been on a Mummy kick the last few days.

We also had a big trip last week down to Wellington for our best friends’ son’s first birthday. It was a mission and a half, driving over 1100 kilometres over 5 days, but we broke it up with a visit to my parents which made it easier. Turns out that Sprocket is a great traveller, we stopped at several playgrounds of course but he had a great time spotting trees, diggers, helicopters, rainbows…you name it. Unfortunately at the end of the first day we had to drive through a notoriously bad 70km stretch of narrow, windy, hilly road which was where we discovered he gets carsick! Yay. Luckily it wasn’t raining, and we found somewhere we could pull over relatively quickly, as he was walking down the road with K in only a nappy while I was cleaning his seat. He was so excited to get to Grandma and Grandpa’s though, he’d been asking about Grandma ever since they stayed a month ago. We had a great time with them, visiting with family friends the first day, our nephew and his Mum the next and then a visit to BD’s parents before we left town. This deserves it’s own post, but for now I’ll just say that we are so very lucky in the relationship that we have with not only him, but also his family. We only see them once or twice a year, but so far it has always been a really positive experience.

Then it was on down to Wellington, and some stress with the motel screwing up our booking so we had to scramble to find a replacement motel. We found one alright, with a pretty nice two bedroom cottage but very questionable “period ornaments” above the beds. Picture massive two person wood saws, scythe, toilet seat (yes), food tins, pick axe, climbing and horse equipment amongst others. Thankfully they were very well bolted on as we had visions of Sprocket waking up in the night in his room and seeing what he could play with!

We had a great time with our friends, and got to spend lots of time with them and caught up properly for the first time in ages which was awesome.  It was cool to see the boys interact a little more this visit, they are both growing up so fast it won’t be long before they are running around chasing each other and playing games together. And no doubt playing tricks on their Mums too 🙂 Sprocket was so good the whole time we were away, he loved seeing everyone and it helped that every house we visited had cars and trains for him to play with. He was very well behaved, with no timeouts needed the whole time and just rolled with whatever changed we made to his routine. He had a couple of very late nights but still we had no problems getting him settled for sleep (of course early morning wake ups made up for that). We all had a great time at the birthday party, Sprocket found a new best bud, a 12 (?) year old boy who was volunteered by his Mum to look after him so we could sit down and relax. It was a very mutual admiration though and they both seemed to have a lot of fun together along with all the other kids. So much so that when I called him in for cake, he ran away from me and jumped into his new mate’s arms! We also managed to fit in lunch with my niece and nephew during our 24 hours there and a trip on the iconic cable car. It was so much fun we forgot to be disappointed that BD was out of town, or maybe we were just so busy – we will definitely have to make our next trip longer.

In a few more days we’ll be back into term time reality, with K being back at school and Sprocket and I being back into our activities. This term we are continuing his music and movement class, which he loved last term, as well as starting back at gymnastics. I’m very much looking forward to that, as we’re heading into winter and it is a great energy outlet, but also as a few of our friends are starting back as well after a six month break.

 

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Big Boy Bed

We’ve had a busy time around here lately, Sprocket has been changing daily and just rocketing towards his second birthday (in just 3 more days).

He’s always been a climber, an adventurer, but to everyone’s surprise he didn’t climb out of his cot until last Friday. We knew it would happen sooner or later, but we were quite happy keeping him in there for as long as possible. We were hoping to delay buying his bed until May, but after plenty of climbing in and out on Friday led to a quick purchase. Luckily we already knew what we wanted, and from where, so it seemed like a painless process. As it happened, it wasn’t quite so painless as the bed came in a flat pack with basically no instructions. But by Saturday afternoon Sprocket’s cot was gone and brand new shiny race car bed in its place.

We decided to just throw caution to the wind and so Saturday night was his first night sleeping in a big boy bed, daylight saving change back to winter time and also a very exciting night out at the hot air balloon festival finale. 

The balloons were amazing, my brother came down for the night and came with us and we met up with some friends too. There was lots happening, including an aerobatic display, fire dancers, taiko drummers, fancy balloons all lit up, plenty of live music, glow sticks, fair food and a wicked fireworks display to finish. The kids loved it, and even though it was a very late night (we didn’t get home til 10pm) they were all so good. 

Of course when we got home we were all exhausted, so Sprocket was happy just to get into bed and went straight to sleep.Tonight is the fifth night in the bed, and he has stayed in bed and gone to sleep quickly every night. This is magic. Sleeping through the night has been up and down, last night he was really unsettled and I was up to him four times before 3am when I decided just to sleep in his bed. I was extra lucky as K was on a course today so had a later start than normal so she very kindly got up with him at 6am and let me sleep in. Naptime has been much better, we had pretty much given up expecting him to sleep during the day, instead being content with him having quiet time in his room. This is much better in his bed than in his cot as he can get out and look at his books or drive a car, rather than being so confined. Of course the last two days he has slept in his bed! 

It’s funny because he’s started seeming so much bigger and older all of a sudden, but now he’s in a full single sized bed it makes him tiny again. But, he does love his race car bed and so far the transition is going far better than we expected. It seems like he really was ready for it.

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NZ Marriage Equality update

Last night, between the Supreme Court considering the Prop 8 and DOMA cases in the US, little old NZ started the sprint toward the final hurdle in our own Marriage Equality hurdle.

It was the whole house committee stage for our bill, where any MP could suggest amendments to the bill prior to it’s third and final reading.

The proposed amendments amounted to basically two things. Firstly that the issue be decided in a referendum. These amendments however were out of order as the house had rejected this at the second reading thank goodness. The remainder were around extending a clause whereby religious bodies and associated celebrants could use sexual orientation as a reason to decline performing a ceremony under freedom of religion to every civil celebrant. These were all voted down.

This means that the bill is headed back to Parliament for it’s final reading in exactly the same form as the second reading, where it was affirmed with a nearly 2 to 1 majority.

April is shaping up to be a big month around here. In just 2 weeks and 2 days, our boy will turn 2 (!!!). 3 days after that we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary, and possibly the next day after that could be the final reading and decision for Marriage Equality.

Come on, April!

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Group Behaviours

One of the most things that I find most challenging about parenting a toddler is discipline. Determining where to draw the line, what is a developmental phase, what is increasingly a bad habit, what is dangerous, what is little boy silliness, what are we willing to accept and what are we simply not going to put up with. And then there’s the question of warnings, punishment or distraction.

It gets more challenging when you mix in other toddlers, parents and a diverse set of parenting styles.

Sprocket and I have a group of friends that we met nearly a year ago. They had all met at a post-birth coffee group and thanks to my extroverted son inserting himself squarely in the middle of them all each week at class, we have since become friends and been adopted into their group. There is now a group of six toddlers and Mums and most weeks there is at least one outing planned for whoever is free. The age range spans about 4 months – not much in the scheme of things, but at this point there is a big difference in size and behaviour especially from youngest to eldest. 

At the moment all of the kids are learning to share, which clearly isn’t always what a toddler wants to do. Unfortunately the oldest boy (OB) has no problem throwing his weight around, and this is where it gets challenging.This week we spent a couple of mornings with them and it ended up being really frustrating so I needed to vent. 

Among other things, on Monday he straight out refused to let Sprocket onto a climbing frame with the rest of them, pushing him away and stamping on his hands as he tried to climb up. Again yesterday he was repeatedly pushing the smallest boy over, and snatching toys away roughly from the other kids. And the taunting. It’s not enough to now have the toy, he then dangles it in front of the others before screaming no and yanking it away if they reach for it. I’m quite sure that his mother saw him on each of these occasions, and yet she didn’t do anything. At one point there was a half hearted “are you sharing OB?” and a “don’t push your friends, if you keep doing that we’ll have to go home”, both of which were ignored and yet still nothing further was said or done.

I get that he is just a 2 year old kid, and goodness knows Sprocket has his moments too, but I find it really hard to deal with when the other Mum is standing right there and doesn’t do a thing. I get that you can’t jump on every single thing, nor is it always possible to make a timely intervention or conversation in a group environment. It’s just that I don’t think I’ve seen her ever even try. OB knows he can get away with it, clearly the threats mean nothing, and it’s frustrating when we’re trying to teach Sprocket not to do something that he sees others getting away with. And hurting others is definitely at the top of that list.

There was one moment yesterday after Sprocket had a car ripped of him that he turned around and looked at me so mournfully it was heartbreaking. I would probably step in much more, even with the other mother right there, if Sprocket didn’t distract himself so easily. While he is clearly not happy, usually by the time I could get there anyway he’s already off playing with something else – which is good at this point, but I hope that
in time he does learn to stand up for himself a little more as well.

Most of the group have a very similar parenting style, and won’t hesitate to step in and intervene when things get dirty no matter whose child is involved. I love this about the group, but for me at least the trust to do this grew from the time spent last year in two different classes per week. For the most part I have no hesitation stepping in on any misbehaviour if I’m the closest Mum, nor do I mind when Sprocket is pulled up by someone else. However OB wasn’t in any of those classes, and I don’t know his Mum well at all so although I have done once or twice I’m hesitant to step in when she is standing right next to me.  The little I have heard OB’s Mum say on the subject was several months ago when she was expounding a ‘we just have to let them sort it out’ theory. Nice in…well..theory, but in my opinion they are too little to do that all of the time, they need adult guidance to determine right from wrong. Besides, it’s different for her kid when he’s not the one being picked on. If things continue like this I will be speaking out more, and I was heartened to hear another Mum firmly calling him on the pushing at one point yesterday so it’s not just me. 

I know it’s all part of their development, and to be honest the rest of the group get along very well and, save for tempers and bad days, are pretty good playmates so it’s probably good to get some exposure to different temperaments like he would if he were in daycare. 

But as a parent standing next to another parent with such seemingly different priorities, it’s definitely challenging.

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Thoughts on marriage

Last night was a big night in these parts. Our Parliament held the second reading for our Marriage Equality bill, which has now progressed through to the next stage by a convincing 77-44 majority. We were watching live on Parliament TV, along with many others, and it has been fantastic to be able to see the process in this way. While we didn’t agree with all the speeches, and some may have been difficult to hear, it was amazing to hear those in support sharing their stories and love. Some were predictable but some were downright surprising and it reminds me how much attitudes have changed.

Although we were fairly confident and hopeful before last night’s vote, it was nerve wracking waiting for the results and we were amazed and overjoyed when it finally came in. What I was not prepared for was how I felt about an hour later as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep.

I’m still excited and proud of our country, but I realized I suddenly feel like it’s too late to really make much difference to me personally. I love my “wife” and can’t wait until I can finally call her my wife legally, don’t get me wrong. I am looking forward to reaffirming our love and and legally marrying but while this is important to us now, it won’t really affect our daily lives. It’s just that this was something that I needed years ago. Like 13 years ago when I was struggling with my sexuality and what it meant to be ‘normal’. Or 12 years ago when my mother was devastated that my coming out would mean I would never marry or have children. Or 10 years ago after I proposed to K and then had to explain to close family and friends what that meant (I can’t remember how many times I was asked why we were having a wedding when it wasn’t legal, after all what was the point). Or 7 years ago when we were having our wills drawn up before a big overseas trip and the lawyers had to confer with head office on what language to use as they’d never dealt with a civil union before. Or 6 years ago when we first went to the fertility clinic and had to alter the paperwork to reflect our legal union as opposed to that of a de facto couple.

It is however something that I will be so proud to share with our son, as young as he is, so that he will grow up knowing that our family is no different in they eyes of a law than any other. 

We were lucky, legally speaking, in that while we were planning our wedding our Parliament put forward, debated and passed the Civil Union Act 2004. This meant that we would be afforded very nearly the same rights as married couples, save for adoption, and was a huge fight and achievement at the time. There was no way that marriage equality would have progressed back then, so despite the fact that we believed it to be a second class answer, we also jumped on whatever we could to not only protect ourselves but also proclaim our love. 

This time around, I have people expressing surprise that we’re not already married. I have family and friends expressing their whole hearted support, privately and publicly via facebook (and this is a big deal considering our family are notoriously bad talkers). It’s not all roses of course, there are plenty of people vehemently opposed to this idea, but the majority in our lives just don’t see it as a big deal at all. We have learned to stay away from comments sections of news websites, and then there is our relationship with K’s sister which has been unexpectedly damaged. 

I know that our society was not ready for this any earlier, and I am so pleased that through sheer luck this member’s bill was pulled from the ballot last July. Without that, we would still be so far away, no major political party was going to step up anytime soon, despite the clear majority support in the House. I am also grateful to Obama, whose landmark support for Marriage Equality was a direct catalyst to this bill being drawn up. Our Prime Minister had already jumped on his coattails and indicated he felt the same (cynically you could say only because he wants to be Obama but I digress…). It was immediately clear that it would be an issue of conscience, not a party vote and so that high level support was a great start. In fact 8 out of 9 of our party leaders have supported this bill which is brilliant.

It’s still not quite over, the next step is the bill goes back before the whole house committee where every clause will be nit-picked and debated before the final bill is drawn up. There will then be a 3rd and final reading, and then it will go before the governor-general for royal assent. It is heartening though to know that a bill rarely falls at this last stage, so we are incredibly hopeful that this last bastion of legal discrimination will fall within a matter of weeks.

Of course the downside is we’re going to end up with 3 anniversaries – our first wedding anniversary on April 16, our civil union anniversary on April 29, and our legal wedding anniversary on……?

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sleep rules

Somehow, just a couple of days after writing the last post something shifted in the world of sleep. We’ve suddenly gone from having consistently broken sleeps, to routinely sleeping through the night until 6-6.30am and in fact this morning I was the first to wake up in our house at the very decadent time of 7.07am. While a 6.30am start to the day can feel a little rough at times after a late night, it’s definitely a winner compared to a 7am start after a night of getting up and down. In fact the only time I’ve been out of bed in the last week has been to let the freaking barking dog outside. I think it’s a combination of a new bedtime routine, his teething finally starting to settle down, and also we’re now having some cooler nights again. We’ve having a very long, hot summer here, we’re officially in the worst drought in something like 70 years, and even now that we’re technically in Autumn we’re still having very hot and dry days so the respite of a cool night is unbelievable. I have no idea how much longer any of us would have coped the way we were going so this is a huge breakthrough. Now K and I need to work on getting to bed earlier ourselves and making the most of the uninterrupted sleep.

It’s funny how some of the things that seem to be so difficult to deal with as a parent often seem to just disappear overnight like that. There’s been plenty of things that Sprocket has been doing, or even not doing, that have driven us nuts and we really couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I mean little things like constantly spitting his drink out down his front at the dinner table. He would do this all.the.time. Every single time he’d ask for a drink he would look right at us and just spit it out. Nothing helped – no amount of telling off, cajoling, praising the correct behaviour, ignoring, removing the drink – nothing. And then one day we were eating dinner and we suddenly realised that we couldn’t remember the last time he did it. It’s actually a great thing to know, that no matter how hard things seem, we will get there. It’s the same as the whole ‘you never see a 5 year old who…(insert bad habit here)’ may actually be true. Sometimes they really do just have to grow out of a lot of it. 

We’re definitely seeing a real kid these days, he’s so fun to watch as he learns new things and shows off his new skills and knowledge whenever he can. He and his friends are starting to get to a great new silly stage where they love to just run around in circles chasing each other before collapsing into a heap in giggles. He is a huge Lightning McQueen fan these days, and any time he is bored he asks for Lightning. We let him watch a little tv each day, and at the moment that’s all he wants to watch. As he has been for a while, he’s copying things that we do or say often, with his latest being if I trip or drop something he comes over to ask “alright?”. His self control is building, we often spy him starting to do things he knows he’s not allowed and then saying “no touch” or “get down”. Of course he doesn’t always stop doing them yet, but he’s certainly learning the difference! He’s still a climbing machine. He climbed up a ladder to a 7ft platform at the park the other day, which he has done before and then gone down the super cool big slide, only this time he wanted to cross the rope swing bridge to the big kids rope frame. Of course we didn’t want him to do that so we were trying to get him to go down the slide but he stood up there shaking his head saying “nope, no way, no way…this way” and pointing at the ropes.

He’s learning the patience he needs to play with some of his toys. His trains are a great source of joy but also frustration when they don’t do exactly what he wants. He is learning that he has to have them face a certain way before they will connect, and he’s now starting to put the track together himself. His frustration definitely comes through loud and clear, but he is starting to stop himself and try it a different way a little more often now.

He’s very into finding things in books, he loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar and has to find the caterpillar on every page and gets tetchy if we don’t ask “where is it” or if we read the story without acknowledging he’s found it. He loves to run, and it’s a great way to snap him out of a mood outside by suggesting a run to the fence. This morning he and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood that ended up as a run around the block, jandals and all.

His love affair with music is definitely continuing, we’re back doing a music class this term which he is loving. He loves to sing, and we have had many rounds of the supermarket to his rendition of twinkle twinkle little star. And last night for the first time he said his first name correctly. It’s not an easy one for a small mouth to get around, and although he recognizes his full name he has only ever referred to himself as bubba or when singing a song with his full name in he says Michael (which is his friend’s name and close to his middle name). He was so proud of himself patting his chest saying “my name is XXXXX”.

But right now he’s waking up from his nap, the temperature is really starting to soar and there’s a paddling pool outside calling both of us. So as usual this a quickly written, but probably long, stream of consciousness update.

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22 month sleep update

So much has happened in the last few months, I’m going to try to break it down into a few update posts. We’ve had our summer holiday, which went far too fast, and now K is back at work for the new year. T has grown so much in the last while, and there is a lot that has happened in his world so there’s a lot to share. I will start with a sleep update though, which is definitely a big one for all of us.

Although he was sleeping through pretty well from about 6-8 weeks old, we are unfortunately being paid back for that now. For the last year or so he has been known to wake anytime from 4am onwards, have some milk and go back to sleep until 6-7.30 (the later he wakes initially, the later he will doze after his milk). Anytime that he is sick or teething, he can wake anytime from midnight onwards – sometimes several times a night. The main problem is that this kid is such a slow teether. He is just now, at 22mths, working on his incisors. There are two peeking through now, and these have only just come through in the last week. He is so far behind other kids his age, and while it’s not a competition it does have a huge impact on his sleep and behaviour that we are so over.

The other issue with nighttime sleep is that he has nightmares, sometimes night terrors, and has developed a fear of the dark. Often when he wakes at night, I will rub his back a little then just sit in the chair while he stays in his cot and drifts back to sleep. When he’s had a nightmare, he is very clingy and takes a while to calm down. At these times he needs lots of snuggles and reassurance, and while it is a sweet time with such an active boy it can seem like forever in the dead of night. One such time about 2 weeks ago after he’d gone back to sleep in my arms he suddenly started mumbling and thrashing about. Within a few seconds he had his hand at my neck grabbing and pinching it so hard yet still staying asleep. He opened his eyes but he wasn’t awake, just a vacant stare, then slipped straight back into the same thing. There are times when there is a lot of thrashing about in his cot and we can hear him mumbling so it’s not an uncommon occurance but was quite freaky to have happening in my arms. I’ve asked him about it, and all he can say is “oh no, not nice, not nice” which pretty much sums it up! After a really bad run of nights, where he was waking up several times absolutely beside himself and refusing to be put back down, we tried using a night light in his room. This has made the world of difference, he still wakes in the night and we hear him stir but he is getting much better at resettling himself and going back to sleep. It is incredible how suddenly this fear has come on, for most of the summer he had been staying awake til late not being able to fall asleep until his room was completely dark and now that’s the worst thing. Not that there was any doubt about the fear of the dark, but it was confirmed when we forgot to take the nightlight with us to K’s parents and Sprocket woke up in the middle of the night. After being reassured and settled, I turned off the bedside light only to have him asking for “light please Mama, please Mama”.

So we’ve all been experiencing a bit of sleep deprivation, and gone are the days that we could bring him into our bed for some early morning snuggles and sleep. He gets so close to falling back asleep, and so do we, then it’s like he flips a switch and it’s all on. Jumping, opening the windows behind our bed, pulling our eyelids open, pretend snoring in our ears…it’s funny if you’re not exhausted lol.

We are at the point where although we’re wrecks after a sleepless night, when we do finally get a full nights sleep through to 6am (like we finally have this week – yay) our bodies don’t know how to process it and we still feel hungover!

To make matters more interesting, his daytime naps are becoming rarer and rarer. We moved his lunchtime up a little to make sure he wasn’t getting overtired and that does seem to have helped, but more often than not he doesn’t go to sleep at naptime anymore. Thankfully he is quite happy to have some quiet time in his cot, and by quiet time I mean chatting, yelling and bouncing up and down, for about an hour or so before he gets upset. Some days I am really struggling with this, especially when I have been up and down numerous times in the night, to both Sprocket and the dog, and really look forward to nap time myself. A few of his friends are doing the same thing too so it may be related to our hot summer or simply an age thing. We’re not giving up on naptime yet but I can see it transforming to quiet time sooner rather than later.

Speaking of his friends, the first of his friends has just turned 2 and we went to her party on the weekend which was a lot of fun. Even though his is still nearly two months away, his friends now have birthdays every two weeks until his – time is flying so fast. I know his 2 year old molars are a long way away still, but I’m really hoping that he at least has all his incisors by then and we can all get a bit of a break from the teething monster. And sleep, we definitely want sleep.

 

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For Caemon

Back in 2007, when we began our own ttc journey, amongst the first stories we came across online were T and J. Like many others, we followed along through ttc, pregnancy, celebrated the birth of sweet boy and the years that have followed. Like many others, we were shocked when just five months ago Caemon was diagnosed with leukemia. Like many others, we did every thing we could to support them from afar – prayers, candles, t-shirts, tattoos. Like many others, we were full of hope and miracles, refusing to believe in any other outcome. Like many others, we were devastated yesterday when we heard that Caemon had lost his battle. Like many others, we can’t imagine the grief of losing such a special son but we send all the love we can to his moms. Like many others, we may never have met Caemon but we will forever remember him.

Like many others, this post is a tribute to this courageous boy whose light has been seen right around the world. Like many others, this blog will be intentionally silent for the next week in his memory.

acandleforcaemon1

 

Click here to read Caemon’s story

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