Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Grow: picking our first apricot crop

Our fist ever crop of apricots are not pretty but they taste pretty good, just ask Reuben.

Xx j

Friday, 9 January 2015

7 Months: Reuben

It's important for me to set goals and to track my efforts otherwise I am prone to getting distracted by other things. So (hopefully) I'm going to give a recap of what Reubs is up to each month after being inspired by How We Montessori.

Our montessori inspired activities for Reuben at 7 months:

Building towers
I picked up a great set of cups from Ikea that stack and Reuben loves to see them stacked and tries to either pick the top off the stack or pick up the whole stack which inevitably leads to it being knocked over, he then rolls/crawls around playing with the individual cups.

Treasure baskets
I had intended to give him a new one each week but we were away often so we only did one - round objects. I put in it all the round things I could find. He loves it. Initially he would just dump the basket and play with that, then he would dump the basket and find one thing on the floor but now he sits in front of it and pulls things out one by one until he finds one that really takes his fancy.

Finger painting
I thought that Reub would love finger painting, I imagined that he would giggle and be amazed. He liked it but wasn't fussed when it was over. We made his painting into little gift cards for each of his aunties and uncles for Christmas, I'm not a big fan of stuff so it was a nice way for us to meaningfully use his first paintings. He didn't eat the paint nearly as much as I expected him to, he was still quite interested in mashing it into the paper.

Reuben is at the beautiful curious and interactive stage. It's lovely to just sit and watch him play with things, anything really we went camping and he gravitated towards the broom. He babbles to himself and says "mumumumumumum mum" and almost whispers "da da da da". He's got 5 teeth with a 6th not far away and loves putting everything in his mouth. For the most part he's an excellent eater, a terrible sleeper and generally happy and smiley. He's had a big December - travel to WA, a week in Melbourne before Christmas, his first Christmas, a week camping at the beach, swimming in the pool and the beach for the first time (hated the waves, loved the sand), he's started crawling and being able to sit himself up.

Reuben loves:

  • pulling hair
  • touching faces
  • playing with cups, ribbons, things that roll, things that he can bang
  • reading books
  • when we sing (twinkle twinkle little star is very calming for him) 
  • eating fruit especially apricots, grapes, apples and also loves cucumber and celery 
  • being pushed in his pram
  • patting our dog
  • drinking from his shot glass

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Photo Share: Lawn bowling and meeting new people.

Meeting new people is always a challenge, but I don't think we realise just how nice everyone is. If only we could orchestrate a reason to talk to each other. Enter volunteering and Young Professionals Network Bendigo. This evening it was lawn bowling, sometimes it talks, once it was a visit to the gallery with an exclusive walk through. It's gotta be good for the soul to be amongst it. 

If you're in and around Bendigo, get on board. Yes it can be daunting talking to peeps you haven't met before, but really, that's how most of our relationships start.

Do you have a good story about meeting someone new?


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Eczema and the mind field of management.

Eczema has become our everyday over the last 6 weeks. And we've changed almost everything (we're not ever going to give away the dog) to try and manage it. 

It's an interesting one because it is very common in babies from 0-5 and often they grow out of it by the time they're 1 or 2. The problem, of course, is telling 6 month old Reuben that he can't scratch that itch and all the other itches over his body. 

His eczema has really put everything else on hold, some days it's napping, nursing, consoling, bathing and crying all day. Some days he's smiley in the morning and miserable from lunch time. Lately, his cheeks and face have been cracked, weeping sores. And pretty much every day he wears mittens, so he can rub his itches but not cut himself with his sharp little baby nails. It breaks my Montessori heart to cover his hands at such a crucial time for discovery, but his health and well being has to come first. 

The biggest issue for me has been the advice and management. As it is linked to genetics and the immune system and the red, itchy skin is merely a symptom it's hard to know what advice to follow. Doctors tend to prescribe more and stronger steroid creams with each visit, but no real advice as to how to manage when/if it gets worse or better. 

But I've found Dr Aron who we will start a 12 week process with which we are more than excited about. Especially after the very interesting TV program Insight last night which looked at allergies. I was shocked to hear that food based moisturiser used on eczema could potentially trigger a future allergy of that food (think goats milk, oat meal, coconut oil - we've had all of them suggested!). 

It's a mind field. And I guess that's the parenting truth that you don't realise until you become a parent. Making the best decisions with the best intentions is hard when there is so much advice out there. 

So a wrap up of the changes we've made to ease Reuben's eczema. 
- Changed laundry liquid for the whole family to soap nuts, vinegar and lemon. 
- Changed all clothes to cotton and/or bamboo and dry inside (away from pollen)
- Use water and face washers instead of baby wipes
- Bath up to 2 times per day
- Swaddle when sleeping (to prevent him scratching himself)
- Reuben wears ScratchMeNots to cover his hands
- Reuben and myself are on fish oil and probiotics from our Naturopath 
- Stopped food to see if there was a trigger - slowly reintroducing in a baby-led weaning fashion
- I restrict dairy and certain fruits from my diet
- Consulted with doctors, dermatologist, paediatrician, pharmacists, naturopath and bowen therapist. 

And now finally, we're onto a treatment plan with Dr Aron, fingers crossed Reuben responds well. 

(I hate posting these photos, but I think it will be important to reflect on in 12 weeks time)


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Our Floor Bed: Pre-rolling

I'm finding that before Reuben can sit up there aren't many "activities" that I can do with him. Of course we play and interact but as far as the wonderful world of pinterest montessori activities goes it doesn't seem to kick in until we're working on fine motor skills etc.

So before he turns 6 months (in 2 weeks... eek!) and starts sitting independently it's about organising his spaces.

First up, the floor bed.

Yep, people look at me strange. Yep, they usually say "like, a regular single bed, on the floor? Oh.".

But with the support of my gorgeous hubby we decided, if we're going to do Montessori, this seems like a pretty essential part.

The theory behind the floor bed is recognition of the space around them, independence when they are able to move around and responsibility and trust for sleeping/quiet time.

Confession: the floor bed is easy when bub isn't moving around. Lately, Reubs has been shuffling around the bed so, inevitably, the day will come when he falls off. How will I deal with this? By hoping like hell he's a quick learner and only does it once or twice.

The pros so far has been that it's easy to pick him up, put him down, read a book to him while sitting next to him, comfort him by lying close to him when he's unsettled.

The cons so far is fear of falling (yet to happen, but will soon).

The challenge of the floor bed for us was that we didn't want it directly on the floor for air circulation issues to solve this we bought a trundle which makes it a few more inches for him to fall and an edge of which we've added some foam to soften the blow.

I'm excited about how Reubs will interact with his room once he's mobile.

For more info check out these posts:

Monday, 22 September 2014

Food TIME!

I wasn't sure that I would be able to tell if Reuben was ready for food, I thought the signs might be subtle... but whoa mumma, the gorgeous little thing started chewing everything, and followed everything you put in your mouth with his (hungry) eyes. Funny how they can communicate without saying a thing. So we took his lead and gave him a little hand size piece of apple to suck on and he looooooooved it.

So this was the week we started pureed foods, 1 tablespoon of apple and he scoffed it. I haven't been too regimented about when I feed him, the aim for me now is introducing tastes and giving him more foods that he can hold himself. 

We are also giving him sips of water from his shot glasses to get him used to drinking from a cup. 

And continues to put everything into his mouth, but that's because he has some sharp little teeth coming up. Reuben (and I!) can recommend Mama & Little they're cute and functional, which is a tick in my book.