Week 33

Ava is 33 weeks old

Ava rolled off the bed in her room this evening. It was right up there with the worst moments of my life. Luckily it’s a very low bed and she didn’t land too badly. But boy, did she scream. I phoned my GP immediately (the really pragmatic one who kept me sane during my pregnant paranoia) and she said that as long as she was moving all her limbs, was crying, didn’t vomit and didn’t start looking excessively sleepy, that she’d be fine.

Thankfully, she was right – Ava stopped crying when we started playing with her ribbons, then she ate all her supper (she is very keen on those fresh Woolies baby food pots, especially when I add pureed cooked courgette, funnily enough), and was back to her old self before long.

But I will be reliving that awful moment for a very long time.


Week 32

Ava is 32 weeks old

Lil A has a new lil tooth! It’s on her top gum, on the left – what are those teeth called between the incisors and the canines? It’s one of those! (I obviously missed the mom-memo on the names of teeth – it seems like other moms just osmose that kind of knowledge, and, even though I did Biology until Matric, I still have no idea).

So that’s why she was screaming and writing with pain from 8pm on Sunday night. At least it’s cut through the gum now and its sharp little point is sticking out. The outline of the tooth is visible through the gum as well, so I’m hoping that that’s the end of the pain (for this tooth, at least).

As Dyl says, being a parent is so weird – I feel so ridiculously proud of that little piece of enamel/tissue/sort-of-but-not-really bone, even though I had very little to do with it.

Speaking of Dyl, he’s away on business for two whole weeks, leaving me to be full-time working single mom. At least I’ll have loads of credit when he gets back – I’m hoping for at least two weeks of it being his turn to go pat Ava’s back when she wakes up at 3am and then getting up at 5am again to make her bottle when she wakes up. I’ve made it through two days so far. I have no idea how much longer I’ll be to cope. This sh*t is hard.

Oooh, a very important milestone – Ava had spaghetti for the first time over the weekend. It was a Hipp Organic jar of spaghetti with tomato, basil and mozzarella (they think of everything, these people), which she really seemed to enjoy. The one advantage of being a working mom is that I feel justified in feeding Ava from lovely little jars rather than missioning with cooking and liquidising food for her myself. The way I see it, the professionals who make the organic baby food know exactly what texture babies need, and which spices and herbs they most enjoy. And they’re all nutritionally balanced and have no added salt, sugar or oil. Even Ava’s rice biscuits have ground-up spinach, cabbage and carrots in them for added nutrition. As with most things in my life, I’m happy the professionals.

I do want to start giving Ava finger food though – she feeds herself her little biscuits very efficiently. Small pieces of bread spread with vegetable puree, well-cooked vegetables, chunks of soft fruit and soft oven chips are apparently good options, which I’m keen to try.

Week 31

Ava is 31 weeks old

I am pleased to say that Ava is now properly sleep-trained! She falls asleep all by herself for her big sleep at night (not before a little cry, though).

She’s discovered all sorts of delicious foods this week – her favourites are full-cream Greek yoghurt with fruit puree stirred in, almond butter in her oat cereal, and cinnamon-sprinkled butternut and sweet potato puree. Something up with which she will not put, though, is pureed red lentils. I will try her with it again another time – no baby of mine is not going to enjoy lentils!

After trialing her third (second? twice removed?) cousin Daniel’s fancy high-chair, she acquired one of her very own today. She seemed intermittently pleased and suspicious, but I think in the long run they are going to be great friends. It’s a great convenience for me, that’s for sure.

I have a terrible question (not sure why it’s taken over 3 months for it to occur to me) – because Ava’s primary care-giver is her nanny, will she end up not knowing her parents? I have resolved to be more present when I do get time with her – not putting her down on her play-mat so I can get other things done – just in case. The thought just breaks my heart.

Week 30

Ava is 30 weeks old

Ava is 7 months old and getting more stubborn by the day. It must be that deeply ingrained Irish temperament, which she is lucky enough to get from both her mother and her father’s paternal lines. She has started refusing to eat the vegetables I puree for her, but plowed her way through a jar of baby veggie lasagne yesterday evening (a special meal to celebrate her 7 month ‘birthday’), which led me to suspect that perhaps she had got bored of plain steamed butternut/sweet potato pureed to the same texture.

We took her to the paed for a check-up today, and she agrees that that’s probably the case, especially because Ava has been on pureed veggies for the last three months or so. From 7 months, babies can get pretty much whatever you eat in puree form, which surprises me. It seems like a week ago that *I* couldn’t eat chilli or spices because I was breast-feeding her, and now suddenly Ava can eat those things herself (though obviously not to excess).

I’m not sure how much she’ll like our Asian and Indian food (we eat a lot of vegan rice noodle dishes and dhals during the week for the health), but we’ll tone the chilli and spice down a bit, blitz it up, and see what she thinks. It will be more variety, if nothing else!

Seeing as she’s become so good at asserting her will recently (read: screaming and screeching whenever we try to do something she doesn’t want to do, including rocking her to sleep when she’s tired), I’ve decided to try – those dreaded words – sleep training. Ava sleeps very well once she’s down, but lately it’s taking us at least half an hour of rocking and shushing and pacing to get her to sleep, and then, as soon as we put her down in her cot, she wakes up and we have to start from scratch. So, from tonight, I’m going to try to get her to fall asleep by herself – putting her in her cot after her last bottle when she’s sleepy, and leaving her to it, going into the room every two – five minutes to reassure her that I’ve not abandoned her. I’ve heard the first night’s the hardest, so wish me luck.

(I was so hoping I’d got away with not having to do this stuff, but at this rate, we’ll be spending our evenings walking Ava around trying to convince her to sleep when she’s a heavier, even more willful, older baby and toddler.)

Oh, on a more positive note, Ava has two new favourite things – lavender, and ribbons. I’m thinking of getting her a big box of fabric ribbons for Christmas – it will be her best thing ever. And she has now started shrieking whenever we walk away from a bush of lavender while we’re on a walk – she could spend hours squishing the flowers in her palms and shaking the bushes and trying to shove the stalks in her mouth. See what I mean about her being willful?