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Tuesday
Apr152014

Kid Life 365 {Week Ten}

 

Seventy-six // He fell asleep by himself. In his crib. Which continues to blow my mind, and warrant photographic evidence. (Also, ummmm, I forgot to take pictures until they were asleep because I had my wisdom teeth out, so full disclosure.)

Seventy-seven // Entranced by the magical glow of the iPad while on holiday in Bandung. 

Seventy-eight // Enjoying a pastel at the floating markets in Lembang. This girl packed away two of these things!

Seventy-nine // Posing on the top of Tangkuban Perahu. You can hardly ask this girl to stand before some significant tourist attraction and smile for the camera without a flash of the peace sign. It's basically her Asian birthright. 

Eighty // Nanny cuddles on a train ride back from Bandung.

Eighty-two // Nanny left today. 

Eighty-three // Papi bought her nail polish and I painted her nails. 

+++

This collection is a little bit "The Stella Show", isn't it? It's funny, though because I remember this week being particularly challenging. Defiance driven by a riptide of difficult emotions coloured this tenth week of the year. But still, even amidst the perplexities of raising a three-year-old, my camera always turns to her, seeking the loveliness that is always there. 

Saturday
Apr122014

Two Months

I might just be the only person on the face of this blogosphere who sees fit to write a novel-length treatise on the achievements (yes! achievements!) of her infant, but there you have it. Brevity is not my forte. Nor is timeliness. Here’s Hugo M. Bear’s Two Month Update coming at you, twelve fifteen days late! 

 

Hugo Two Months

 

Growing :: Two months and eleven fifteen days (though these pictures were taken a few days before he turned two months because I really am the best at organisation and being on time.)

Just before he turned two months old, this baby bear was clocking in at 6 kg, or 13.2 lbs. Which puts him at more than six KG now. Accuracy! People keep commenting on how big Hugo is, but I don’t see it; Stella was bigger at this age, I’m pretty sure. A little googling around tells me that baby boy is on the big side of average, but by no means gigantic. He does have gigantic feet however, so.

 

Learning :: Hands! Legs! Laughter? Possibly maybe rolling over, though I’m not convinced.

Hugo’s discovered hands. HAAAAAANDS! They’re great for licking. Particularly that index knuckle. Yes.  Also, I swear that he’s trying to use his meaty baby fists to guide his soother into his mouth, or bat it away, whichever the situation requires.

He’s started bearing little weight on his legs, and loves nothing better than doing some squats, and receiving cheers from his over-enthusiastic mother. 

Annnnnd, laughing? Sort of? A few uncoordinated chortles may or may not have bubbled forth. And OF COURSE he’s saved them expressly for his sister. 

Also speaking of laughter…can we talk about sleep laughter for a second? Because OMG my favourite. That is all. 

Okay, so twice now, Hugo has been seen to roll over from his back to his tummy. Both times were on my bed, and I *think* assisted by a slight depression in the mattress caused by my not insignificant mass beside him. I’m not ready to declare this official Rolling Achievement Unlocked, because mah baybeeeee etc, and also movement, not ready for that, but, uuuummmmm, yeah. 

 

Mastering :: Smiles, Coos, General Adorableness

Oh, attachment promoting behaviours, you really are the best! Those gummy smiles, the ooooohhhhs and aaaaagahhhs and aaaaagooos that are coming out of this kid’s mouth and warming my heart. 

 

Eating :: Milk. In an unremarkable and totally typical baby way. 

 

Sleeping :: Like a two month old! 

Which is to say, he’s dropped his first feeding! Which is to say there’s hope! Which is to say, infinitely better than a certain other baby used to! He goes down to bed by seven without fail, and then wakes at 11 to eat, and every two hours thereafter. 

He naps ever two hours during the day, for about 45 minutes or an hour. Longer, if he’s koala-ed to me. 

The only wrench in the works is the occasional case of super sonic burps and rocket farts. They really have a way of interfering with a good night’s rest.

 

Enjoying :: Siblings

So, I knew going into this parent-of-two deal, that one of the things I’d love the most is seeing my kids develop their own little world, apart from me. And, guys, it really like, really, the greatest. Stella loves this boy. She’s doing her best to engage in playtime with him, and while his interactions are limited to the occasional gummy smile and gentle coo, she’s quite happy to set up imaginary school scenes and teach her brother the alphabet, and serve him invisible snacks. He’s a pretty compliant student, let me assure you.

 

Loving :: The Big Kids

Now that he’s getting a bit more robust and more aware of his surroundings, he’s keen to dress up as Spiderman and join in with the big kids, (Stella and the boys from across the hall) tearing down the hallway and generally running riot all over our building. 

Other favourites of note include bottom pats while seated in his bouncy chair; his soother; anything with high-contrast lines; cuddles; sleeping in his Ergo carrier; sleeping on me; being a koala; and…television (!!!!) (I left Hugo in his chair while I did the dishes and wondered why he was so agreeable to being abandoned for so long, only to discover that his sister had ever so generously set up the iPad for him to watch, our moratorium on screen time for babies, notwithstanding.) 

 

Loathing :: 

The BCG vaccine. Which, I’m pretty sure he hated even more than Hep B. Holy moly. Being tired. Rocket farts. Supersonic burps. These are about the only thing worth crying over, if you’re Hugo M. Bear.

 

 Inspired by Jordan and her accounts of the lovely Baby Berlin

Saturday
Apr122014

15/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014."

 

Stella: Loves making her brother smile. 

Hugo: Loves smiling at his sister. 

 

Can you tell I'm just beyond entranced by this developing relationship?

Speaking of sibs, here are some of my favourits from last week: A new one! Oh, newborns. I can't believe I'm already nostalgic for Hugo's newborn days. And here's some sibs in the snow. It's weird to see snow from this tropical vantage point. And a big one entertaining a little one. I love this sort of thing. 

Linking up with Jodi

Sunday
Apr062014

Kid Life 365 {Week Nine}

 

Sixty Nine // Cranky baby; trying to get the toots out.

Seventy // The sure-fire cure for cranky baby, hammock + pacifier.

Seventy-one // He sure does love his Nannie, this Hugo Bear.

Seventy-two // Sister cuddles. The cure for a cranky baby? In my imagination, yes. In reality, nooooo.

Seventy-three // Afternoon naps, baby chub.

Seventy-four // She's finally brave enough to go on the splash pad and risk getting her face wet. My big girl!

Seventy-five // Okay, so on this day, sibling cuddles did keep baby happy.

 

Saturday
Apr052014

14/52

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014."

The colour palets kind of match, hey? Totally intentional. MmmmmHHhhmmm.

Stella: 4:30 on a Satruday afternoon, tired and played out after a full day of go go go. Typical.

Hugo: Asleep. In his crib. Without any help from me. Which, in my expereince, is atypical. 

+++

Okay, so, last week we were featured as a favourite of the week, which totally made my life. (And if you're new here because of that, HEYYYYYYY!! Hi! Hi!) But this week, sorry, team, I have no favorites of my own. I broke my toe, and caught the flu, and guys? I barely kept my head above water. Anyway, horray for the weekend! And next week! It'll be a better one!

Linking up with Jodi.

Friday
Apr042014

Kid Life 365 {Week Eight}

Sixty-two // Four thirty PM is, perhaps, the most beautiful hour in Jakarta.

Sixty-three // Pass a lazy afternoon with friends, pool-side, and the frustrations of the day evaporate. 

Sixty-four // Hugo passed out on Nannie's shoulder, and I get to eat dinner with two hands! Hot! He spent countless hours snuggled against her just like this during my mum's visit. 

Sixty-five // Stella, Mr. Chef, and Nannie left me and Mr. Hugo M. Bear at home while they went off to Singapore. While I missed them, terribly, I won't pretend that I didn't savour every second of quiet newborn snuggles.

Sixty-six // Bear toes!

Sixty-seven // I love this picture. It's focus may not be so crisp, but this memory of being alone with my baby bear, I'll always hold it close.

Sixty-eight // Stella's back. And of course the very first thing she wants to do is see her brudder. 

Thursday
Apr032014

Welcoming Hugo :: One

Hugo turns two months old this morning three days ago (and I meant to post this on Monday, but then I went ahead and broke my big toe, freaked out about a broken, noxious-gas spewing AC, and caught the flu, so hi...one day I'll get the hang of this blogging thing and post with punctuality, maybe?) To mark the occasion, I thought I’d post a few reflections on our first week together before these memories vanish along with baby Hugo’s newbornness.

 +++

In the weeks leading up to my due date, I was growing more uncomfortable and increasingly impatient and uncomfortable. 

I was besieged by false labour (which I moaned about in great detail here, and on Twitter. And Facebook. Instagram. And basically to anyone who would listen.) I was having regular contractions that would last hours and hours, leave me more or less incapacitated by discomfort and is-this-labour-anxiety and then suddenly vanish with nothing to show for all the suffering. 

 

Those last few weeks of pregnancy were slow, and my parenting lax. Afternoons spent watching documentaries about midwives and trips down to the pool were about all I could muster. I was spending more and more time in bed, curled up with the laptop playing pirated DVDs of The Good Wife, hoping that each day would mark the beginning of life as a foursome.

 

 

My due date came and Mr. Chef took some time off. The due date went, and so to Mr. Chef back to work.

 

I kept waiting, false labour coming about every other day, convinced that this time, it really WAS something.

 

I must have known, deep down that I wasn’t in labour, but a couple of days after my official due date, I called my doula to come over. I was hoping, somehow, just by calling her, she could declare braxton hicks official labour. But alas, she came, and announced I still had a long way to go. 

 

The night of Chinese New Year I was up all night with braxton hicks contractions. Mr. Chef was off work because of the holiday, and so to provide some solace for my suffering, he took the three of us out to my favourite restaurant for pizza. 

 

We ran into a group of our friends at the restaurant. The grownups chatted and ate, the children ran amok as children in Asia are wont to do, and I quietly suffered through contractions. 

The contractions continued all day, through a walk around the Jakarta streets, a lazy afternoon with friends, dinner and bedtime. As the night grew darker, I became quietly hopeful that labour was establishing. 

By midnight I was sure. The doula came, and she was sure as well. 

 

I laboured at home for a couple of hours, before heading to the hospital at around 4 AM while Stella stayed behind, awake and excited, with her babysitter.

 

(Aside: if you’re ever planing on going into labour in Jakarta, may I suggest heading to the hospital at 4AM? Zero traffic! And, PS, one of my biggest fears about this pregnancy was being in transition in the back of a taxi in a driving rainstorm while traffic stands still  and horns blare and contractions…gah!!!!)

 

On the way to the hospital Mr. Chef and the doula were cracking jokes about how long it would take to deliver the baby, sure that he’d be here by 8 AM. I wasn’t convinced, based on the 23 hours of pitocin induced labour last time around! However, I did appreciate their optimism!

 

My labour was great. I had strong contractions with nice, solid breaks between them that allowed me to catch my breath and gather my energy (unlike last time, pitociiiiiiiin!!! *shakes fist*). Two hours after arriving at the hospital, I was ready to push, and Hugo was born fifteen minutes later, a few quiet mewls announcing his arrival.

 

He was placed on my chest, warm and perfect, and there he stayed for an hour or so, peaceful and calm. Feeling this fresh baby on my chest, his soft weight and warm body, this brand new little being, settling into me was perfect. 

 

After a few routine checks, we were moved into our recovery room. Mr. Chef went home to get Stella (who was beside herself with excitement about her new brother) and do a little snack shopping for me as I was ravenous and the hospital breakfast of two pancakes was not quite enough to replenish my energy. 

 

I was charged with getting some rest. Unfortunately that proved impossible as I could not keep my eyes off my sweet baby’s face. 


 


A few hours later, Stella arrived at the hospital, and asked, her voice full of wonder, “Is dat my brudder?” And immediately jumped up on the bed to hold him. I was officially chopped liver; she only had eyes for Hugo. She delighted in wrapping him up, and was fascinated by the hospital-issue mittens that he was dressed in. After lots of cuddles, and a few games of midwife-midwife, she and Mr. Chef went home, and again I was instructed to “get some rest,” which AGAIN proved to be exceedingly difficult because OMG fresh baby perfection heartsplosionsetc.

 

While I was in the hospital, we packed full Stella’s days to somehow make up for my absence. This proved to be an ill-advised strategy. Stella went from pre-dawn wake ups to breakfast out, to gym class, to playdates, and on and on until she succumbed to a nasty cold virus on Hugo’s second day of life. And of course, Hugo came down with this cold five days later. 

 

We stayed in the hospital for a couple of days. In retrospect, I might have stayed one more day in the hospital to recover (day three marks a massive hormonal crash, I reckon, and better to crash at the hospital, than at home) but I was eager to get home to Stella, who was really missing me, and also keen to start settling into our new life as a family of four.