Brothers in arms: How Mr-almost-3 has welcomed his baby brother

I am often asked how J has coped with the arrival of his younger brother. I never know quite how to answer, as some upheaval and tantrums are sure to be par for the course, so I usually say he’s mostly taken it in his stride save for a few extra tantrums here and there and a few times where his touch has been a bit rough.

But really that’s life as a toddler, the 2 1/2 year age gap is one of navigating the newborn neediness alongside a toddler who still wants his mummy-time while wrestling with the pull of his own independence. Which on some days has left me exaperated, frustrated and completely arse-kicked to parenting desperation land. Continue reading

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September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month

There hasn’t been many moments in my life where I’ve felt like turning around and giving a complete stranger a piece of my mind. But it happened once. In a checkout line of all places.

It was a while ago, Jarvis was sitting up in the seat of the trolley and I was facing him. He was smiling up at me and then began smiling at the people behind me, who when I glanced back were a mother and a pre-teen aged girl. Jarvis kept smiling at them and then I heard it. Muffled and whispered but it hit me like a a tonne of bricks. The mother says to her daughter “there is something wrong with that little boys face. Have a look.” Continue reading

{Grateful post} My Hugo baby at almost 5 months

As I ease myself back into blogging more regularly, it occurs to me I haven’t yet shared much about my littlest person. My Hugo baby.

He’s out of that newborn snuggliness now, a phase that passed by like a blink of the eye. He turns five months next week and already he seems in a rush to get out into the world and try everything. This evening when I went to prop him up against the cushion on the couch, he leaned himself forward and stayed there sitting up strong and tall. He’s been rolling both directions for the last month and is showing alot of interest in eating, grabbing a stray crust off his brother yesterday morning.

While being so grateful for the easy ride we’ve had with this second child of ours, it occurs to me how quickly he is growing up and how soon I’ll have two boisterous boys running through this house. So I stop and reflect on this second and last baby of mine, and what makes him so special. Continue reading

The first 10 weeks, second time round

Ah, my little blog home I’ve been neglecting you lately. Usually I’d feel guilt over such neglect, but there is no time for guilt trips when you’ve got a newborn to snuggle and a toddler to keep up with.

My baby boy is now 10 weeks old, this time whizzing by like a blink of a heavy-lidded eye. He is doing so well and so am I, which I’ve decided is just as important. I’ve been going easier on myself, this time around. Taking time out when I need it, checking in with any anxious feelings to find out what was causing them and turning any negative chatter around with positive self-talk.

It hasn’t been as zen as all that though. I’ve struggled with balancing the needs of both my boys – diffusing toddler tanties, while trying to soothe a catnapping newborn. Leaving the house has been an exercise in patience, with J boy now refusing to get in a pram and insisting on walking, which would be fine if he didn’t decide he was tired and start lying down on footpaths. Continue reading

Adventures in speech therapy #3: The breakthrough

Last Saturday was speech therapy time again. We decided to go back to fortnightly visits, after having a four week break encompassing Easter and Hugo’s arrival.

The lesson two weeks’ ago was excruciating. Our speech therapist had alot of great activities lined up for Jarvis, but it was almost too much excitement for him as he attempted to flit between the toys and games, all the while keeping his mouth firmly shut. I was cradling our one week old boy and began to feel slightly panicky as I started to wonder how we would make any more progress with our strong-willed 2 1/2 year old. Continue reading

The arrival of Hugo

This time last week it was finally beginning, after 10 days of waiting the contractions were starting for real. And in just over 4 hours I was holding my baby boy in my arms – all 4.35kg or 9 pound 9 ounce of him.

It was definitely one of those ‘worth the wait’ moments as the overdue angst of the past almost 2 weeks were washed away, along with the fears I carrried about this labour and my unborn child.

I think birth stories are either a ‘love them or hate them’ type thing, sometimes diminishing into ‘this happened’ and then ‘that happened’ type affair that does nothing to capture the specialness of the process and the moment, so I won’t go into the ins and outs of the whole labour and birth. Continue reading

Adventures in speech therapy #2

I thought it was time to add a bit of an update on how J is going with his speech therapy. I’ve just realised this blog of mine has been dominated by bump shots for the last few posts (better late than never, hey?), but really life has been busier than my navel gazing posts suggest.

Jarvis has now been back to the speech therapist twice since his initial consultation. We’re going every three to four weeks at this stage, which means that the bulk of the work is done here at home with the tools we’re given in our sessions.

Our speechie has armed us with a number of print outs with game ideas, exercises and information to draw out J’s words, which have been helpful as well as completely daunting. Continue reading