Nearly four months old

I’m so behind on my blog I’m not even sure where to start with the catching up. The problem with a blog is that if you don’t post things as they happen, there’s often not much point doing so later. So some of the items on my ‘To blog about list’ will have to be scrapped I suppose. However, there are a few that are still worth writing about so I’ll work on those when I can, but for now I think an update on Cameron is the most pertinent report to make.

Our little man is a few days shy of four months old. I took him for his second round of immunisations on Monday (I opted for the eight week schedule instead of the six week one) and he clocked in at 6.6 kilograms. He is 61 centimetres tall, putting him in the 90th percentile for height (so taking after his dad in that regard). His early arrival means that he is quite a small baby for four months (he is still comfortable in 0-3 month clothing), but in all other respects he is doing marvellously well.

Cam’s personality is starting to really shine through and Colin and I are just utterly enthralled! He remains an incredibly calm and contented little boy. When faced with new people and environments he absorbs it all with an expression of solemn concentration of his little face. However, when in familiar environments he has really started to relax and has become delightfully vocal. When lying on his play mat (or Play Station as we’ve taken to calling it), he will have long conversations with himself, and has even started to chuckle.

Lately I keep hearing about these babies who are sleeping through the night, but Cam isn’t one of them and usually wakes at 1 am and again at 4 am. Whether this is because I’m still exclusively breastfeeding I’m not sure, but as he is still feeding well at night I don’t think it’s just routine. Having Colin on holiday at the moment is great as he’s been helping me with the night feedings, giving me a bit of a break for the first time since September. Oddly I am finding that the more sleep I get the more I want, so instead of feeling more rested on my increased sleep hours, I am feeling more weary. Go figure!

While we generally have a pretty good routine going, we are finding that things change often so we have to be flexible. For example, last week we were really getting concerned as we were rocking Cameron to sleep for every nap and at night. I borrowed the Sleep Sense book from a friend and started keeping a sleep diary with the view of correcting bad habits. And then all of a sudden it was no longer necessary. On Wednesday night Col and I were both too tired to rock Cam, so we put him in his crib and decided to leave him until he started crying. Only he fell asleep all by himself instead and since then complains when rocked. (Bewildered gratitude is how I would describe my response.) With slightly less enthusiasm I must report that his other latest trick is to just start screaming for no apparent reason. There is no build-up of discontent, merely a split-second warning as his bottom lip drops and then he lets rip with an ear piercing wail! My suspicion is that these outbreaks are related to the level of stimulation he is receiving as they often occur after a bath or when we are somewhere new. Overstimulation is nothing new to us, but to keep us on our toes his response to it seems to have become less gradual.

At this time of year I tend to get overly reflective and have spent two days trying to end this post off. Various attempts at describing the joy Cam has already brought into our lives have floundered and failed in the murky waters of incomplete thought. So to avoid getting all maudlin at this happy time of year, I will rather just sum up by saying that life in the Rip household at the moment is generally peaceful, fairly routine, occasionally deafening and utterly underpinned by gratitude, love and contentment. From our little family to all of you, have a wonderful Christmas!

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All hail King Cameron

The other day I came across the following quote from a book called Baby proofing your marriage:

Meet the new boss – a tyrannical (albeit cute) despot whose demands are incessant and often indecipherable. Whatever freedom we once enjoyed is gone. If we try to make ourselves a sandwich … or sleep, that all-seeing, all-knowing tiny autocrat will yell his or her head off. And quite possibly take ours with it.

One month in, we can hardly remember what life was like as an independent state. Fortunately we are living under the rule of a fairly benevolent dictator. As long as his needs are met first, his minions are free to do whatever they’d like as long as it doesn’t take more than two hours and can be abandoned if necessary. He runs a tight ship and doesn’t deviate much from his three-hour feeding routine. He sleeps an awful lot which means that generally life is pretty peaceful.

His royal disposition is starting to shine through. If all is well in his kingdom, he is a peaceful and contented baby. He’s had a few unpleasant experiences in his short reign (immunisations, a visit to the chiropractor, parents who are a bit slow on the uptake) but aside from a few tears at the time, he really doesn’t indulge in lengthy screaming sessions for the heck of it. He is stoical – when required to drink various potions or take his royal bath he does so with minimal fuss. The only area in which he really likes to wield his power is during nappy changes when he seems to take great delight in making as much mess as possible.

He has been labelled with three nicknames so far:

  • Wriggle worm – the other day he wriggled clean out of his nappy, leaving rather a mess behind.
  • Handini – no matter how tightly we swaddle his hands, he always manages to free them.
  • The Goat Strangler of Tugela Park – the poor little tyke really struggles with tummy cramps and the noises he makes during these tough times really do sound like a goat in distress.

His wonderfully animated range of expressions and wide variety of cute noises are a constant source of delight to the members of his court. He is growing at a rapid rate and really starting to fill out so his presence is increasing day by day.

As for his lord father and lady mother – our priorities and perceptions have been drastically altered by this tiny person. After our initial acceptance of our new roles we’ve suddenly hit this phase when we can’t believe he’s ours and that we are in fact parents. The other day I had this moment when I thought, ‘I have a baby. I am a mom. Surely I’m not grown up enough for this.’ We are still swinging wildly between emotional extremes (not helped by the lack of sleep), but in general have adapted pretty well to life in Cam’s Kingdom. Our opinion is that it’s a pretty special place to be!