Ava is amazing and I love her. That is all.
This week, Ava’s development has moved in leaps and bounds – well, that’s how it feels, anyway.
She has started grabbing things (her dangly toys, my hair, my clothes, her clothes, her hair) and can sit up by herself (only for a few seconds, but still). Her neck’s got really strong, and she’s started noticing her feet. She’s started making a whole lot of new sounds – squealing from a high pitch to a low pitch, burbling in consonants – and is now kicking her feet to splash in the bath.
Every little new thing she does just blows my mind.
She’s nearly grown out of her 3-6 month clothes and every time I pack a pair of leggings or a little jumper or a baby-gro into the bag of clothes she’s grown out of, I get a little sentimental and teary – she’ll never, ever, ever fit into those things again. It’s a tangible and heart-clutching way to mark how fast she’s growing.
I went back to work today. It’s been ok – so far. Luckily she is still sleeping through the night, so I’m not too tired, but I have a feeling I’ll start to miss her any minute now. I brought a box of tissues with me, just in case.
This week, I have done all the things I won’t be able to do once I’m back at work in just over a week’s time – getting my hair done on a Wednesday, when the salon has a special; going for walks with Ava when it’s warmer, in the middle of the day; watching DVDs in the morning; baking cookies in the afternoon; and spending hours chatting to Ava in bed. I’m looking forward to being back at work, but part of me envies stay-at-home moms.
Some awesome things have happened this week!
- Ava started sleeping straight through the night (I hate to brag, but if you can’t brag on your own blog, where can you?). She has slept from 10pm to 6am every night in the past week except for one, when she was up every two hours and was pretty much inconsolable (which was followed by an equally challenging day). It might have had something to do with the fact that we tried to get her to sleep in her cot in her own room for the first time – the following night we put her down in the Moses basket in our room again, and she slept like a – well, like a baby. So we’ve decided to keep her in our room a bit longer. She’s always been a good sleeper, but this new pattern of hers is just too wonderful. I had forgotten how amazing it feels to get a full eight hours’ sleep.
- She started batting at the toys hanging off the bar of her swing-seat (the plastic red dog seems to hold the most appeal). It’s incredible watching her come to realise that her arms and hands are part of her body and that she can control them. She’s also started grasping at my hair and my clothes when I pick her up, which is really cute but I have a feeling will get old quite quickly.
- I heard hysterical laughter coming from Ava’s room a few evenings ago. I went to investigate and found her and Dylan engaged in the age-old game of peek-a-boo. Dylan would disappear into the en-suite bathroom and then jump out and yell ‘Here I am!’ – which was just about the funniest thing Ava had ever seen in her life, ever. And her gurgling giggles made Dylan giggle even more. It was brilliant.
But there were some challenging bits to this week as well.
- The day after the night in which Ava barely slept (naughty mom and dad, trying to make her sleep all alone downstairs in her own room), we went to lunch with friends. For the first time in a restaurant, Ava screamed, and cried, and screamed. She was obviously completely exhausted and not in the mood for being in a strange place in her pram. I felt terrible – for her, and for our friends, and for the other people in the restaurant who had their lunch interrupted by Ava’s wails. She’s usually really quiet and compliant when we take her out to lunch. That day was, obviously, just too much.
- Weaning Ava onto formula hasn’t been as easy as it was at first. She isn’t a problem at all – she seems to quite like the stuff (especially when her nanny feeds her) and is now getting two formula feeds a day – one at about 10am and another at about 3pm. Which means my boobs are out of action for pretty much the whole day (I feed her first thing in the morning, then before and after her bath, and then just before bed – which is what I hope to keep doing when I go back to work). She still isn’t taking as much formula she should per feed, according to the tin, but she is definitely getting there. She seems much more content for longer during the day now – obviously because her tummy is nice and full for longer stretches. But my boobs have been a real issue (one of those sentences you never imagined you would utter). They just wouldn’t take the hint to produce less milk! It’s taken them an entire week to get the hang of things (so to speak). It was a week of almost unbearable discomfort – I even resorted to those old wives’ tales – cold cabbage leaves in the bra, drinking sage tea, glugging guava juice – just to try to relieve the pressure a little. Luckily things seem to have calmed down a little now and I can make it through the day without too much pain. It’s funny: while I was pregnant, I worried that I would have problems breast-feeding Ava, but it’s been nothing but a pleasure (except for the first week or two when it was quite sore). But as it turns out, stopping breast-feeding is about the hardest (ahem) thing I’ve done since become a mom.