Nine Months

Georgia has officially been on the outside for longer than she was on the inside! We made it to 36+5 weeks of the pregnancy before she decided she was ready to be out, and it's already been almost 40 weeks since her birth.

Still rocking the baby blues.
This month Georgia has:
  • Chatted up a storm. We're convinced she's bilingual - though what language she's babbling, I couldn't tell you. We get Dada and MumMumMum all the time, and swear we heard her say Cat & Hey!
  • Had both bottom teeth continue coming up - they're about halfway out now. In the last few days, she's also had massive progress with the top two teeth too, which have JUST about cut through the gums.
  • Rediscovered her rolling skills. She isn't crawling yet, but my goodness, the girl can flip. She's making her way across the living room by rolling tummy-back-tummy-back over & over. She wakes up from every nap or sleep in her cot by rolling onto her belly now.
  • Begun eating some finger foods each lunch time in her big girl high chair. She's still not too sure about this whole feeding herself nonsense though; half the time she spends her lunches mashing the food into the tray, and doesn't quite 'get' the concept of putting the food from her hand to her mouth. Baby steps..
  • Started to attempt waving to people - we make a habit of telling her HI! or BYE! with a big exaggerated wave of the arm, and she's starting to copy it. It's a little bit cute.
  • Experienced her first Christmas! We had a really busy few days, and she coped with all the changes and the craziness like a trouper. Lots of presents, lots of cuddles, and a very spoiled little girl.
  • Been keeping herself occupied by herself for longer periods of time. She's happy sitting down and playing with her toys for a lot longer than before, though still gets frustrated if things are out of her reach.
  • Loved the water! She has been doing swimming lessons for a few months now, and the fears are gone - now she is splashing and kicking and trying to drink the pool water. I'm really glad we persevered with swimming, as it's good to see her confidence growing. We'll be doing a few more weeks in the new year, and then leaving it for a little while. The plan is to restart again when she's 18 months old & in the next age for classes, since the lessons are a bit repetitive.
  • Continued having all sleeps in her nursery, cuddled up to her soft bunny comforter & singing seahorse.
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

A Little Late

A belated Merry Christmas to you all - we hope it was fantastic. So blessed to spend it as a family of three.

Georgia was so well behaved - even with the late nights, big groups of people & crazy excitement of the festive season. She was fascinated with the wrapping paper and the tags, and has had a ball exploring her new goodies here at home. We need to invest in a toy box to clear off our loungeroom floor, I think.
Tomorrow is going to be another busy day, as we hit up the Boxing Day sales -- I'm looking forward to picking up some Christmas decorations for NEXT year, some goodies to put away for Georgia's first birthday (sniff sniff) and random other little bargains. Not that little miss needs much; she was so very spoiled by her loved ones. :)

Sleep Training & Santa Hats

So, a few weeks ago, I was a little defeated with how our sleep training has been going. Thankfully, I have some updates on that front - and much better ones, I might add. We went cold turkey again, with Georgia in her own bedroom. There were a few tough days at first, we timed ourselves before going into the room, but most importantly, we did it together - now that hubby is working from home, we could both give it our full attention. Previously, she was very dependent on ME doing everything, and wouldn't even calm down when Jase would pick her up. After a tough week or so, she started showing signs that she was learning what to do. Victory came from every resettle that hubby did, without me there - and honestly, it's been a few weeks now, and there are days where she does so much better sleeping for him than for me! Little minx. :)

Georgia now sleeps in her cot all the time. She's in a sleeping bag with no blankets, since it's already been hitting 40o here in Sydney (celcius, folks, omg, hot) & she has a comforter bunny that she cuddles/bashes at will. She does still use a dummy, but that's not an issue for us at this stage. We give her a cuddle and a rock in the chair, look for tired signs, and pop her in the cot. I'd say we're at 50/50 for the reactions we get once she's in the cot, and it depends a lot on her mood and how tired she is. 50% of the time, she'll scream and scream and need resettling. 50% of the time, she'll roll over & get herself to sleep. We're working on being consistent, but overall, she's doing so much better. We've gone from constant wake ups, to sleep throughs. And we've gone from three-four rubbish daytime naps, to two better ones. They aren't always long, but I consider it a victory if she goes down for >1 hour. So proud of her. We are sleeping better at night, too. I didn't realise how much tiptoeing around we were doing once she'd gone to bed.


Christmas preparation has been a bit manic around here. The tree is up and gloriously REAL this year. The presents are finally all wrapped & ready to go, though they're hiding out upstairs away from the kitties {tinsel! ribbon! feral cats!} until Christmas Eve. We went to our first party last night, Georgia has opened one or two gifties from her little friends & kind relatives, and we're thoroughly excited for the next few days. Spending it with family is really important to me this year, since it's Georgia's first Christmas - but also our first Christmas without my beautiful nanna. It's going to be a very emotional few days. I miss her so much.
Her daddy picked this Santa hat out for her - her name goes up in lights! 
We haven't gone overboard with presents for the baby, and have kept it quite sensible. She will be visited by Santa & her sack will be filled up with gifties {if she's been a good girl!} and this is a tradition we'd like to continue over the years. And we've each bought her one thing, and one joint thing from both of us. Let's face it: she'll have more fun eating the bows and smashing the paper! 
All presents aside, I'm just so thrilled to be spending this Christmas as a family of three. This time last year I was pregnant, and had no idea what was in store for us. But the year before that, we were in the throes of infertility, gearing up towards our first IVF experience. My heart goes out to my friends who are struggling/will struggle this holiday season - we've been there, and no doubt will be there again in the future, and I wish you lots of joy.

Indulging in Itha's Puddings

First things first - our giveaway winners from my previous post! I enlisted Georgia's help to decide on the lucky winners, wrote the names of commenters down on paper, and let her grab them out of a saucepan. Congratulations to Amy and MissusB! Please email me your postal details as soon as possible, so I can pass them over.
Things have been busy, busy, busy around these parts. I can't believe that the holiday countdown is on - and close to single digits, too. We have been getting into the spirit of things this year, it's not often that your long awaited baby girl gets to experience her first Christmas! We even went and got a real Christmas pine tree this year, and it's made the house smell amazing. Georgia has more Christmas outfits than she has days to wear them in, and I've been efficient with cards and present buying, because organised with a baby in tow is hard work. :)
Speaking of Christmas.... yesterday we received some more goodies to test out - perfect for the holidays.
Hubby was thrilled - he's a HUGE fan of traditional Christmas puds. The giftbox from Itha's Puddings was very sweetly wrapped; all beautiful touches. It arrived in the morning, and we decided to indulge for dessert.I have one word for you... YUM. The pudding itself was soft and fruity, but the icing on the cake was the Brandy Butterscotch sauce that came with it - paired with a scoop of ice-cream, we felt we were having a very guilty dessert. (And I may or may not have had another bowl of ice-cream this evening, with warm, goopy butterscotch sauce on top. Sssh.)

From the website:
Itha, (pron. I-tha) has been hand-making her gourmet Christmas Plum Puddings for over 50 years to a traditional recipe inherited from her grandmother. This old fashioned ‘cooked in the cloth’ recipe dates back to at least 1912. Every pudding is individually handmade. Puddings are cooked up to ten hours and then hung to age and mature, ensuring each pudding is unique with the look, feel and taste of yesteryear.

Seriously, delish. For someone who is a fussy eater, and who has been known to steer clear of fruit cakes {wouldn't even have one for our wedding!} I was pleasantly surprised. And the sauce. Oh, the sauce. The only thing that could have been better was if it had been the Triple Chocolate Pudding that I'd sampled! Thoroughly enjoyed it - and now I'm looking forward to the feasts of the festive season that are coming up.

I promise I'll update some more soon, especially as Georgia's Christmas month continues.

I received products to trial & review from Itha's Puddings via the team at Piccolo PR - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Getting on Board with the Mission for Health!

With a baby that's gearing up to crawl, two indoor kitties & a very lovable fur puppy, our house is constantly in need of a little TLC, health wise. That's why I was really pleased with the selection of goodies we recently received to test out - they fit right in with our lifestyle with little effort on our part. The Mission for Health campaign from Dettol focuses on everyday healthy homes, but also has a goal to save the children in communities abroad, supporting hygienic practices in villages across Indonesia.

These are the products we've been using over the last few days - stay tuned on how to win some for yourself.

The Touch of Foam hand wash is in the downstairs guest bathroom, and smells divine. I keep coming out & sniffing my hands - AFTER washing them, haha. We received the Rose & Cherry in Bloom fragrance. It's still an old fashioned pump pack, but it dispenses just the right amount of foam for your handwash. The only downside to this would be for little kiddies wanting to play with it, I think! :)
The Refresh Instant Hand Sanitiser is one I've used before - we grew very familiar with portable sanitisers after our time spent in the Special Care Nursery. I liked this one because it didn't leave your hands smelling like antiseptic - it's nice and fresh. I've decided to keep this one in my nappy bag for when we're out & about. It's great for using before I feed Georgia solids, particularly when we're in a busy food court or somewhere outdoors.

The No-Touch hand wash System is set up near our kitchen sink; ready to use when we come in from playing in the yard with Spencer, or from changing one of Georgia's nappies at the change table nearby. Hubby was sceptical at first, but I've caught him washing his hands at the kitchen sink in lieu of the bathroom a few times now. It came with batteries included, and it's really quite clever. Just hold your hands underneath & boom - hand wash ready to use. I find this handy while cooking too, since I'm not transferring gunky hands onto the top of the unit. This is my favourite of the products, because it's not something I would necessarily of bought for myself.

Spencer approves - more pats for puppy!

For keeping the kitchen clean, we received the Power & Pure Multipurpose Spray & some of the Surface Cleanser Wipes. My first job was to tackle the microwave and the stove with the wipes, which I loved. I was a little unsure at first, as the wipes feel really dry when you pull them out of the tub - but they seem to foam up as you use them, which was a nice surprise. I've also used the wipes for cleaning some lightly used books we were given for Georgia, and for giving some of her more toys a bit of a spot clean. The trigger spray is going to be a great all purpose one, and doesn't smell harsh like I would have predicted.

Now.... all that said, how would you like to win some for yourself? My favourite product was the No-Touch hand wash system, because it looks snazzy in my kitchen & works a treat. The kind folks at the Mission for Health team have two of these units to give away. To enter, simply leave a comment here at the blog telling me which product from the current Dettol range you would find most useful for your home. I'll enlist Georgia's help to randomly pick two winners from the comments! :) Please note this giveaway is for Australian residents only.

I received products to trial & review from the Dettol: Mission for Health campaign via the Performics team - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

Eight Months

Just a few days after Georgia entered into this past month, she started bashing out the milestones. It was crazy!

I'm starting to reach for people with both arms now!
This month Georgia has:
  • Said her first word - MUM. Or, more specifically, Mumumumum. Made my heart swell, such a special moment. :)
  • Said her second word too! Dadadada. She likes to whisper this word, which is very sweet.
  • Sprouted her first tooth! It popped out fairly quickly and caused a LOT of grief. It's a wee bit crooked. Tooth number two is still coming out, and it too is creating havoc. Stupid teeth!
  • Had two colds - which we think are because of the afore-mentioned tooth is still an unknown. The poor thing is teething and snotty and sick and miserable all at the same time, and we are all exhausted.
  • Cracked the 8kg mark! She weighed in at 8.3kg this week - but had a GIGANTIC nappy explosion not long after the appointment, which I swear weighed 200g by itself. ;) She's also 69cm long now and has crept up to the 50th percentile for height AND weight. 
  • Started eating pasta and meat. We still purée over here for the most part, but she's experimenting with different textures now. She has also chowed down on some finger foods, like banana, toast & rice rusks. She's still not a fan of peas or broccoli on their own, but has eaten everything else. Such a good girl.
  • Sat for two photoshoots! The first one didn't go too well {it was on the same weekend as her tooth/cold/swimming} but the second one produced many sweet family photographs.
  • Learned to actually JUMP in her jumperoo. Before now, she's just played in there. Now, the girl can bounce.
  • Started spinning around on her belly and doing 360's on the floor. Still no rocking on all fours or moving anywhere, but she's tolerating tummy time a bit more.
  • Had her first swimming lesson, which was far from successful. She sobbed the entire session! She's since gotten a little more confident in the water, but she prefers swimming with daddy than swimming with me! We've just kept plugging away since then, but she's still not a great fan of the water yet.
  • Smiled at strangers a little more - she's still a clingy girl who loves to be with mama first.
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

A bit Defeated

I was SO pleased that our sleep training had gone well last week. Five days in, and Georgia was able to get herself off to bed in her cot - sure, it took a while & I was still in the room {out of sight} but she was doing it! We even had our first sleep through again for the first time in months.

But then, things went haywire. Hubby got home from his interstate trip, and we got sick. It started with Georgia skipping her afternoon nap - which turned into up every hour, on the hour, and not much sleep for any of us. After that came more nap skipping & screaming like a banshee constantly. It's so heartbreaking to see all the good efforts you've made go flying out the window, when you're doing practically everything exactly the same.

I was at a loss - until I saw a little flash of white. Yep, I now know the culprit for all this chaos - her second tooth is jigging around under there, and hasn't yet cut through. Bloody teeth!

This time, we're well armed. Panadol, Nurofen, Bonjela & SM-33 creams. Lots of cuddles and a whole lot of deep breaths & patience. I'm hoping she'll get this tooth quickly, because the last few days have been a nightmare.

Busy, busy

It's been quiet around here, and I'm sorry for that - life has been busy, single parenting has been hard work, and all my energy has gone towards this little lady. Hubby is still away for work quite a bit, so it's been just us girls.
Georgia is delightful at the moment. Still very clingy and attached to her mama, but happy with other people, talking up a storm, and hamming it up for anyone who will listen. That being said, her sleeping is appalling. Even though she has been day napping, it's because I was spending ages rocking her to sleep & crossing my fingers that she'd transfer across to the cot. Don't get me wrong, I love cuddles from my girl, but I have been getting NOTHING done - so it was time to break out the sleep training again.

I've chosen a modified version; not crying it out, because I just can't go there, but letting her learn to put herself to sleep. I'm there in the room, mostly out of sight, but listening to her cries & being there to sssh & pat if she gets upset. I'm also picking up/calming/putting down if she becomes hysterical. I did this for a little while before, but got too exhausted from the crying, and gave up. I'm trying again, and not giving in this time! She's taken a long time to go to sleep - but eventually she's getting there. I've had a comforter & soft toys in her bed too, which is new for me. It's not the way I envisioned her sleeping, but I've found that a lot of the tears and frustration comes from being in there & being bored. The toys tend to distract her from constantly searching for me too, and she snuggles her comforter before falling asleep.

This is all still with her sleeping next to me - after she eventually figures out the self settling, we'll start the next big step - transitioning into her nursery for all sleeps.

Any other settling tips you'd like to share? I'm always happy to try new things!

Teething + Sickness + Swimming = Agfhdsgfsdf

Oy, it's been a big week.

Georgia had her first swimming lesson this past weekend - we started off a little unsure of ourselves...

And then finished in tears - thirty straight minutes of tears and a very frazzled mama bear at the end of the lesson!
I couldn't figure out what it was that was bothering her - she loves bath time, so was it the cooler water? The noise of the pool? Being in with other people?

Well, the very next day, she cut her first tooth - the bottom right one is coming through. It's coming through on an angle, like a \ shape, which has me paranoid now that she'll have crooked teeth for life. Anyone else have any experience with baby teeth coming in crooked?

She also developed a wicked cold and has been miserable since then - crying like a, well, baby, constantly. She also wants to be with me 24/7, and bawls if I put her down. She's also completely gone off her cot, is getting by on 30 minutes during the day, and is wanting to co-sleep at nights - I'm wicked tired. Today is the first day in a week that she's having a nap on her own.

Can you believe that she's over 7 months old now? She weighed in at 7.8kg and is perfectly average on the 50% graph. So thrilled she's growing well & getting cuter and more personality every day.

Seven Months

I'm a few days late with our month seven run-down. I can't even comprehend that it's November, seriously.

I'm starting to reach for people with both arms now!
This month Georgia has:
  • Grown so much! I look at her pictures now and she looks more like a little girl & less like a baby.
  • Become much easier to travel with. Apart from me being organised with the solids and what-not, she copes much better with being thrown in the car/pram & going with the flow.
  • Had her hair keep on growing - but only at the front! The back is still super fine fuzz, and I'm hoping it catches up with her fringe mullet (aka frullet) soon. I can pull it to the side with clips, but I want to put some pigtails in that silky hair!
  • Continued sitting up on her own - and lasts much longer now. She looks so pleased to be able to interact with her toys/people from a whole new angle. Still droops sideways after a while though.
  • Scratched herself constantly - but not with her fingernails, as you might have imagined. No, being flexible enough to keep your toes in your mouth, means that scratches come from toenails too!
  • Been much more comfortable on her belly - but only for short amounts of time. She still prefers being upright, and loves spending time in her jumperoo and activity centre.
  • Started making crawling-esque movements with her legs and bum. There's a bit of effort into pushing off with her legs and wiggling her backside, but not a lot else happening yet. All in good time...
  • Started cuddling in to her mama's neck when she's tired or sad - I have to say, I LOVE the snuggles.
  • Continued loving her food - three meals a day, still purées for now. We have also finally found breakfast baby foods that she loves, like muesli and porridge. (And she's nommed on vegemite toast!)
  • Stayed in 00 clothes - though her little pot belly is filling them out a bit. :)
  • Loved her fur babies, grabbing and stroking the kitties (& Spencer) whenever they walk past her.
  • Enjoyed her first Halloween with her little twin boyfriends & another little cute man-friend. Georgia is very spoiled when it comes to having cute babies to hang out with, that's for sure. (And I am very lucky to have such lovely new mum-friends too!)
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

Her First Halloween

Today I dressed my kid up as a Bumblebee. 

For Halloween.

I am so blessed.

Kind, Smart, Important

Every night before bed, we follow a similar routine with Georgia.

If hubby is home, he starts it off with a bath - otherwise, it's all me. After the bath, we have a massage on the change table, get her dressed, and read her a book. Then we nurse & follow up with a top up bottle of expressed milk.

And before I put her into bed, while rocking her to get her drowsy, I tell her a few things - I love you, time for bed, night night - and this:

Those words really hit home for me. I would love to look into the future and see what sort of a person my daughter turns out to be, but who knows what that will bring? All I know is that I'll be telling her these words as often as I can - to help her be kind, to learn to be smart, and to know that she is important, so important. She is a beautiful girl on the outside, but I want her to grow up beautiful on the inside too. :)

The Difference a Year Makes

It's been insanely hot already this year, and Spring has barely just begun. I'm not looking forward to the warm days that are ahead of us, or the bushfire threats that they bring along with them, but they do bring back memories.

This time last year, give or take a week, I announced our pregnancy. Most people & close friends knew about it a lot earlier than that, since I never kept our IVF journey a secret - but for some, it was the first they'd heard of our news. I remember being fascinated with our little 12-week blobby baby {and being positive it was a boy!} and couldn't even begin to imagine who that little person would become, or what life would be like with them in it.
A year has gone since that day. I stayed pregnant, I gave birth, I brought our daughter (!) home. I've watched her growing, a little bit here & a lot there. I've celebrated her life with our family, drifted from old friends and made new ones. I've learned to put somebody else's needs before my own without even a second thought. It all sounds so cliche, but I honestly can't remember life without her. Gone are the days of jumping in the car & heading out without a thought - now it's all about the nappy bag, the food packed, the spare outfits ready to go. And you know what? I wouldn't go back for all of the carefree times in the world.

That little jellybean baby has become a pretty awesome person. I love all of her quirks - the way she reaches for our faces, the way she makes her bottom lip quiver right before she cries, the way she lights up when she sees her dad across the room. I know how to make her giggle, how to make her squeal, and how to calm her down. She is so curious, so impatient, so feisty. I watch her & get glimpses of what she'll be like next year, and a year after that.

Week by Week v.3

The last time I showed you a week by week post, I stopped at Week 15 - but the weeks have flown by since then. This post shows off my gorgeous girl from Week 16-27. Here's the first few weeks for comparison:
And now... behold! More growing! (Mah baybeeeeeeeeeeee. Sniff sniff.)
You can see the entire batch of weekly shots by clicking here. :)

Plugging Away

We have been plugging away at solids for the better part of a month.
So far, Georgia has loved most new foods - but wasn't a fan of avocado or broccoli. They're not so bad when mixed in with other veggies - looks like we'll be hiding them in & disguising the taste. :)

Other than that, things have been fairly quiet around here. Lots of time spent with hubby while he's been working from home - watching Georgia fall in love with her daddy is just gorgeous. I don't want to jinx things, but she's been so good with other people lately, lots of smiles and cheerful chats. I hope that continues.

Our nights have been getting better, and we're plugging away at the day sleeps. She is well and truly into size 00 and the hot weather has let me experiment with short sleeved/legged rompers and suits - loving being able to get those thighs into the sunlight. This age is fantastic. And I'm sure it's only going to get better!

Six Months

A very happy half-birthday to my beautiful daughter, who is growing more beautiful & clever every day.

This month Georgia has:
  • Weighed in at just over 7kg. (6.9 on the dr scales/7.2 on the chemist scales!) & has reached 64cm long - so she's perfectly average in the weight department but still a bit of a shorty. :)
  • Tested us in the sleep department, big time. We started sleep training with her, which has helped nights get better again, but still hasn't helped much with the days.
  • Been fantastic when in the car and in the pram. I think it's because she's so much more alert now & wants to see everything.
  • Started to learn to sit up on her own! She doesn't last long, but she's trying very hard. :)
  • Been dribbling up a storm! So much drool. No teeth yet, that we can see.
  • Loved having her feet up in the air. She tries to catch them, shoves them in her mouth, and rolls to her side clutching them. It's especially fun during bath time & nappy changes. 
  • Continued flipping from front to back, but not interested in the other way around.
  • Gone to bed in sleeping bags - the swaddles have officially been put away with her newborn clothes.
  • Started becoming more confident with other people. Nights are still hit or miss, but during the daytime, she flirts and smiles when people talk to her or comment on her.
  • Started solid foods & has eaten like a champ! She's still exclusively breastfed for milk, but has tried apple, pear, peach, sweet potato, pumpkin, prunes, zucchini, avocado & broccoli.
  • Been in 00 clothes (3-6 month) for most outfits now.
  • Talked up a storm! She likes to talk while shoving her fist in her mouth, but boy, can she babble.
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

She Sits!

We have a new 'thing' around these parts - wobbly sitting!

She doesn't last long before becoming the Leaning Tower of Georgia, but she's improving. It's so flipping cute!


I love watching her learn new things. She's interacting with other people (& other babies) loads now, and is so much fun. This age, nearly six months, is great - but people keep telling me it gets better and better.

Now seriously... go back and look at those chubby knee rolls again, you know you want to. Love!

Solid Food Adventures - Apple & Zucchini!

First up, hi lovely ICLW-ers! Thanks for stopping by - it's always nice having my inbox flare up with comments from new faces. This little blog was started a few years ago, originally about life in Australia as a primary school teacher. It evolved as I did, following my journey into living in England, travelling the world, living with PCOS and planning our wedding. When we started our TTC journey, we knew it'd be a challenge {see the aforementioned PCOS diagnosis!} but we didn't realise just HOW hard it would be. Here on the blog, I talked about our infertility adventure, which moved into IVF and our eventual BFP. Life has been crazy, and we are so, so lucky to have welcomed our baby daughter, G, into the world in March this year.

G is 25 weeks old now, and an absolute delight. We're having some difficulties with sleeping at the moment, but that is a topic for a whole new post. As for EATING, however - no problems there. Guzzle guts is loving her foray into solid foods. After three days of sweet potato, and three days of pear, we moved into a new veggie: zucchini!

She wasn't particularly sold on the taste - to be fair, neither am I. It does go quite watery on its own, too. After the first day on it, I mixed up with sweet potato to give it a bit more texture. That went down much nicer.

After that, we moved to apple. That's usually a safe bet in terms of first impressions - I may or may not have been stealing mouthfuls of her puree while it was being warmed up. (Mwahahahaha.) Funnily enough, she pulled a few faces at the start; maybe she was expecting zucchini again and was shocked by the sweet flavour? But as soon as she got going, she had that mouth open like a baby bird - gobbled it up. At one point, she was leaning so far forward towards the food bowl that she almost had her nose in it. A definite hit!
Georgia is still breastfeeding at her normal 3-4 hourly feeds, and we do solids around lunchtime. As we have tried more and more combinations, we'll be increasing to breakfast time as well. So exciting! :)

Solid Food Adventures - Sweet Potato & Pear!

It's time: Let the messy eating begin! We started solids a few days ago. Very, very gently - one ice cube (so a few spoonfuls) at a time & the same solid over a couple of days, so we can monitor for any potential reactions.

Sweet potato was up first, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Wasn't sure about the spoon, and that took a little while to get used to, but I was surprised at how much she actually swallowed. On the third day of sweet potato, Georgia threw a temper tantrum and wanted more - so we ended up having two cubes. She was happy afterwards. :)

Today was a new solid: Pear!
She was a little puzzled at first, I think because she was expecting the sweet potato taste she had come to like! Once she'd gotten her mouth around the first few spoons, she polished it off pretty quickly.

I'd heard from a few mum friends that fruits like pear/apple were good to, er, get things moving - and it did the trick! After a few days of quiet on the bum front, today brought us some action. My first nappy change after purées - very interesting. ;)

We'll be doing pear for a few more days, and then will switch to a different veggie/fruit. At the moment, she's only having this one taster meal per day, which is usually around lunchtime. After Georgia has had a few different tastes, I'll be adding in a little rice cereal with fruit mixed in as a breakfast meal.

Prepping for Solids v.2

I did some more fruit & veggie shopping yesterday, since I was in the zone. :)

  • 5x pears = 1 tray. It's a bit of a gritty puree, as pears tend to be, but nice and sweet.
  • 6x small parsnips = 0.8 of a tray. Surprisingly, they smell stronger than they taste. I've never eaten them on my own before, only mixed in soups and stews. I let Georgia lick my finger after I pureed them, and she didn't seem too fazed. (She would have only gotten a microscopic amount, though.)
  • 6x zucchinis = 1.4 trays. They were VERY watery, and smell gross.
  • 1x can of peaches = 1.6 trays. It's not quite peach season here & I couldn't find frozen ones, so this had to do for now. I made sure to buy the organic kind in their own juice, no extras in there.
  • 1x bunch of spinach leaves = 0.8 trays. Even mixed with boiled water to blend, this mixed down to nothing.
I've got a nice little freezer stash of solid foods ready to go - bring on the weekend!!!!

Prepping for Solids

We opted to wait until nearer to 6 months before we started Georgia on solid foods. I wanted her to get as much benefit from breastfeeding as possible, especially since our start was a little rocky. Since she's found her groove and I want to keep my supply up, I saw no reason to rush into things. Plus, Georgia was born a little over 3 weeks early, so there was no harm in waiting that little bit longer.

She's currently almost 24 weeks old & has started becoming VERY intent on food. She watches us eat closely, grabs for drinks when she's in your arms, and wants to touch everything. She's also been a bit fussier than usual when feeding, crying, carrying on, and guzzling down her expressed milk top-up before bedtime. All those things lead me to believe that she's needing something more - so it's nearly time!
Jason is still working interstate Monday-Friday, so I'm waiting until he's home this weekend before we start giving her the first taste of real food - she'll only start solids once, and I want him to be here for it!

The goal is to start with purees (as well as rice cereal/porridge mixed with breast milk), check for allergic reactions, and then move on to more 'formed' foods once we know she can tolerate them well. Hubby had a few intolerances as a child, so we are being fairly conservative - one new food item for 3 days, before moving on to something new & then mixing and matching.
What I've learned so far:
  • Pumpkin when pureed is lovely and sweet. I may have snuck a few teaspoons into my mouth while cleaning up.) It doesn't seem to make as much as I imagined it would though. 2x chunks of pumpkin = 1.3 trays.
  • Sweet potato yields quite a bit! I only had two and used them both, and it made a fair amount. 2x sweet potatoes = 1.4 trays.
  • Apple sauce! Why haven't I ever made homemade apple sauce before? YUM! 5 cored apples = 1 tray.
  • Carrots need quite a bit of boiled water added to make them blend well. They also make LOADS. 4 carrots = 1.6 trays.
I need to go fruit/veggie shopping! Need some non-orange items so that Georgia doesn't turn into an oompa loompa. 

Bugs

Oy, shocker few weeks here!

I was struck down with a nasty gastro bug that left me admitted in hospital fighting dehydration - my first night away from the baby, and it wasn't even to have a romantic weekend away with the hubby! It was pretty awful and I won't go into details, but I learned a few things from that experience: I missed Georgia like crazy, trying to find breastfeeding friendly drugs is HARD, and pumping every 3-4 hours sucks. Literally.

Dude - being sick sucks on its own. Being sick as a mum is a nightmare! No sick leave from this job, that's for sure. Especially when you are single parenting during the week when hubby is working away. All I can say is this: thank the heavens for awesome family members.

I've been fighting the bug for the past week & have had a few recurrences (joy!) but in the meantime, Georgia has been amazing! Maybe it's been a necessity, or maybe just a fluke, but she has been SO good with other people since I've been sick. The last few weeks she's been very clingy, crying when away from me and upset with other people holding her. This week gone by? She's all smiles. Loving cuddles from her grandparents, her aunty & uncle and some family friends at her Christening. Hopefully this trend continues.

Speaking of Georgia, she has outgrown her cradle at 23 weeks old, so we got a good stretch out of it. She could still fit in there length-wise for a while longer, but she's rolling and kicking now, and is constantly waking up with arms and legs hanging out of the bars! I'm not ready for her to be in her own room yet, so we're starting to transition her into the full-sized portacot next to our bed. Naps there started today - not very successful so far, but day sleeps have always been hit or miss around here. The test will be the evenings...

Five Months

Five months... and almost the start of a new season. My beautiful girl has been very busy growing up this month!

This month Georgia has:
  • Had a bit of a regression at around the 4-month park, but is now back to sleeping through the night again.
  • Been working hard at sleep training (& so has her mama.) We are plugging away at learning how to self-settle and get better at day sleeps: which means bedtime is upstairs, all the time. Doing well so far.
  • Calmed down in the car while on trips - she does get grumpy when she's tired, but she's much better in there now.
  • Figured out that she has thumbs - and it's a challenge to get them OUT of her mouth!
  • Also figured out that she has LEGS! They are up in the air and flailing around constantly.
  • Been interacting with her toys and her activity gyms. It's so amazing watching her grow and learn.
  • Not stopped talking! She has been babbling for a while now, but she's now responding to questions and is experimenting with her mouth/tongue. It's absolutely hilarious. I think she'll talk before she'll walk.


  • Been stuck with her mama five-days a week. And for the most part, has been so well behaved!
  • Stuck to breast-milk and has been having some days completely top up free.
  • Continued to grow. Last weigh in was a few weeks ago, at 6.6kg. I'm sure she's close to 7kg now.
  • Outgrown her 000 clothes and is officially in 00 (3-6 month) clothing. Huzzah, baby girl!
  • Remembered how to roll! She rolled from tummy to back really early, but then decided she was bored and gave up on it. Now she's at it again. Still no back-tummy, but that's fine by me.
  • Outgrown the swaddles and is now in sleeping bags for all her sleeps. She's very cheeky with yanking her dummy out of her mouth now that her hands are free, but she went cold turkey & has done great!
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

On Going Private

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of emotions. We've continued with the sleep training, and Georgia is trying so, so hard to sleep. I'm learning so much as I go along, and I'm a LOT calmer - so I'm thrilled that things are progressing. It's hard, and draining, but I'm finding the better she sleeps in the day, the calmer she sleeps at night.

Win win!

I realised a few days ago that I had quite a few new followers in the online world - I've been pretty open with sharing pictures of my wee girl, but after a few odd faces and comments, I decided to make a switch. The blog here will stay as it is, where I can monitor what I put up & how often. But I have removed my previous accounts on Twitter & Instagram and have started over privately on both of those mediums. I could have blocked and removed accounts on both, but I tried that out and it was far too tedious. Easier just to start over.

I know many people don't like to share photos of their little ones, or at least keep more control over their online presence. I've always been fairly open, although I'd like to think sensible, about what I share. The support I received through blogging and other social mediums while I was going through infertility, IVF & then pregnancy was nothing short of amazing, so sharing my ventures into parenthood seems only natural. Besides, I love the advice I get here & reading other people's stories makes me feel that little bit less lonely on the tough days.

If you haven't discovered my new Twitter & Instagram accounts, or want to be added since they're private, please do get in touch. I'd hate for friends and longtime blog readers to miss out, if you're so inclined. Drop me an email. :)

Sleep is for the Weak

Hubby has started his new job & I'm on my own with Georgia from Monday mornings to Friday nights.

Now she's a pretty good baby, and I am okay with the single parenting gig for the most part - I miss him like crazy and I would LOVE for some help every now & again, but I know it's for the right reasons. But Georgia has never been a good day sleeper - and I've relied on her sleeping well through the night to get my own rest. Throw in the four month sleep regression and what I THINK might be the start of a very long teething process {flushed red cheeks, dribble everywhere, hands and everything in sight shoved in her mouth and gnawed on} and her night sleeps have also gone to pot.
I've always been thrilled with her night sleeps, but envious of other babies & their ability to sleep anywhere during the day. Friends' babies will be playing on the floor, get sleepy, and crash into sleep right then and there. Or they'll start showing signs, be placed in their cot or carseat, and BAM. Sleep. Georgia, on the other hand, will grizzle, cry & eventually sob/scream - it takes a bloody lot of effort to get her to bed.
The last two nights were painful. She woke constantly, needed lots of resettling, woke up crying at 4am and I gave up and officially started the day at 5am. FIVE AM. Exhausted mama, right here. 
After a failed morning nap, I reached the end of my tether & decided to ring and talk to someone. I had a chat with one of the nurses from Tresillian to see what I could do to help Georgia with her day naps, and to get some self-settling advice. I love snuggle time with my baby, but rocking her to sleep every time I need her to nap is getting harder and harder as she gets older. I got lots of advice & it was common sense stuff, which is exactly what I needed to hear.
These were the best bits of info I took in from today:
*Watch for those tired cues - which can be difficult when you have a baby who is notoriously anti-sleep. I need to catch Georgia's very early on, otherwise she goes into meltdown mode VERY quickly.
*Start a conversational routine to get Georgia to sleep. She responds really well to people talking to her {and likes to talk back} so from now on, I'm going to narrate when it's bedtime. "Time to get ready for bed, Georgia!" "Let's change your nappy, Georgia!" "It's sleeping bag time!" "Let's put our white noise machine on!" and finally, "Time for bed!"

*Stick to a similar routine - upstairs, nappy change, sleeping bag, kiss and cuddle, quick rock, bed.
*Put her to sleep upstairs, away from the hustle and bustle of downstairs. Being around loud noises was great when she was smaller, but for trouble sleepers, dark and dim.

*Babies can take a while to get to sleep when they're learning to self-settle. Up to 30 minutes! So what I need to do is listen for the type of grizzles and cries she does. The nurse informed me that it's normal to have a tired cry/grizzle/pause routine for a while - as baby gets more tired, the grizzles and pauses will be longer than the crying sessions.
*If Georgia gets distressed (increased crying that is >1 minute in duration) try to pat and rock while she is still in the crib. Praise her when she calms down, and start again.

*If Georgia gets MORE distressed and inconsolable, pick her up, soothe & eventually start again.
That's a really broad summary, but basically, it's listening closely to the type of noises she makes & making a judgement call. I tried these things at our midday nap, and it took her about 30 minutes to fall asleep - she had a 40 minute nap afterwards. She's currently still asleep from her second nap, where she woke after half an hour, needed a quick resettle, and then went back to sleep. I haven't rocked her to sleep all day! :)
She also gave me some good advice about weaning away from swaddling and into sleeping bags, which I've started trying already - I'm happy to say that she's had her TWO naps today swaddle-free! It's early days yet, but I'm ready to work on it!

Days

It's been 20 weeks since Georgia was born, and I'm still learning about motherhood as I go along.

We have days where everything is great & she is her normal, chattery self. And we have days where I have NO idea what's going on inside her head, and nothing I do can make her happy or content.
We have days where little things worry me - is she eating enough, is she sleeping enough, are those dry patches on her legs normal, why do her feet look red, is she supposed to be rolling from back to front yet.. the list goes on and on. And we have days where I'm 100% ok with just going with the flow and letting her be herself.
We have days where I panic and wonder whether I've missed reading something in the motherhood manual: what am I supposed to do if THIS happens, or THAT happens? And we have days where I feel really confident about my decisions.
We have days where walking in the pram is a dream & she's all smiles and snoozes. And we have days where walking in the pram is the worst thing in the world and she will screech and sob the entire time.
We have days where I think how amazing it would be to throw all my energy into this one little person & focus on her as an only child. And we have days where all I want is to be able to give her a sibling one day, so that I can watch her grow alongside another little person. 
All I know is that she's awesome. She is her own little person, very different to lots of other babies I've met in the last few months, and I like that. She's a sweetheart & we love her to bits.

Life

Here on the blog, it's been all Georgia, all the time. Not that there's anything wrong with that; she's been the centre of everything since her arrival - but there are other things that have been happening, too.

Hubby has been working overseas in New Zealand quite a bit - what was supposed to be a six week project turned into an ongoing one with no end date in sight. He fought them {using G as his reasoning} and got out of going there consecutively, but those Sunday-Wednesday night weeks were exhausting, for him and for us. He gave his notice in a few weeks ago, and starts his new job next week.

Yep, new job! My clever husband found a new job quite quickly. Sad news is there's a little travelling involved in this one too, but it's interstate in Melbourne, and they're quite happy to fly him back and forth on Monday-Fridays. They've also offered to put him up in a serviced apartment, so that Georgia & I can fly down every now and then to be there with him! This one's for three months, and then he'll be based in Sydney for a change.

I've been trying to get out and about now that Georgia is bigger and has had her second batch of vaccinations. We've visited my old workplace, friends and a few family members, and I've been making an effort to catch up with other local mums that I've met through due-in-groups. There are a few lovely local mums that are very sweet, with babies close to her age. It's so fun seeing them all hanging out together, even though they don't do much other than tummy time & coo-ing at one another. It'll be even better when they're on the move!

Sometimes this motherhood thing can be lonely, though. Apparently having a baby can make you a social leper.

I've been putting my energy into planning Georgia's christening, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. The church is booked, the invitations have been sent out - outfit sort of planned, candle planned. Next up is getting things ready for afterwards at our place. I think Mum & I are going to attempt the cake again, and we'll just grab some sandwich platters & snacks. The biggest question is going to be whether Georgia will fit into my old christening gown, which I'd really love for her to wear - my late Nanna hand-sewed little bows on the dress, and it would mean a lot for her to wear it. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Speaking of snacks.. I've rekindled my love for my slow cooker. Having a baby that sleeps well at night but hardly naps during the day means that my hands are full nearly all the time - so cooking can be tricky. The slow cooker means that I can throw something into it in the morning and leave it all day... easy peasy. My favourites are apricot chicken & roast meats, but I'm starting to get a bit adventurous. If you have any favourite slow cooker recipes, feel free to point them out to me. There's a roast lamb in mine at the moment & it smells amazeballs.

Since my life has changed so much in the last year, I can't NOT end this post with my beautiful daughter. This exact day last year I was blown away when my second IVF flashed up as PREGNANT on a digital test.

We've come a long way, baby. Georgia is 19 weeks old now, say what?

Good morning!

This morning, Jase got to witness a magical event.
I'd just fed Georgia and had propped her upright to let her burp - but instead of burping, she opened her mouth & covered me in milk. It was the perfect shaped rainbow arch of projectile bodily fluids, and it amazingly managed to miss her clothing & the bedsheets - hitting my jammies instead. 
I don't think I've heard hubby laugh that much in a LONG time!
On the bright side, at least she got me up and ready for the day by 8am, right? :)

Four Months

I feel like I need to make a comment about time going by too fast, but I say it all the time. Later on, I'll rock back and forth in my chair looking at her newborn pictures and cry.. but for now, I'll carry on with this post instead. :)


This month Georgia has:
  • Continued to sleep through the night. These past few days she's been up at 5am though, which kind of sucks, but I'm still not complaining. We're really lucky in the sleep department.
  • Continued to suck at day sleeps! ;) I've been timing them over the Baby Connect app & she has a pretty poor napping pattern. The community nurses all recommended that she has three main naps per day, but that certainly isn't happening. 
  • Met some more lovely babies her age & let her mama socialise with other new parents!
  • Been shoving her hands in her mouth at any given opportunity. Mmmm, hands. 
  • Started grabbing her toys and aiming them for her mouth - favourites are Slim Shady {her scrunchy monkey} & her two Lamaze animal toys. She also loves Sophie the Giraffe.
  • Smiled constantly! She is super cheerful during the mornings, and is happy as a clam when she is on the change table with her little bum in the air.


  • Managed to go a full month without nappy rash. I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that out loud...
  • Breastfed like a rockstar. We're down to just one 50ml top-up before bed, and some nights she doesn't even want that - she goes straight for the boob, and then straight to sleep in her wrap.
  • Has GROWN! We have officially cracked the 6.06kg mark & she is now 61cm long!
  • Managed to fill out her 000 clothing with surprising speed; I guess the growth spurt will do that. Some smaller brands, like Bonds Wondersuits, have already grown tight, so she's in 00 for them.
  • Been a champion tummy-timer. Her neck is so strong now! I realised that I've been holding her in a hip hold while walking around - it wasn't that long ago that we were ever so cautiously supporting her neck, and now all she wants to do is look around.
  • Gone on a car-seat and pram strike. Not a fan of those things at the moment.
You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

Boom - Growth!

We are busy GROWING around these parts! In the last 23 days, Georgia has been busy getting heavier AND longer.
She now weighs 6.06kg & is 61cm long - a big jump from her last weigh in at 5.42kg and 58cm. Huzzah, baby girl!

I also got my first chuckle out of her today - not long after I took this photograph. Turns out she's just as ticklish as her daddy is. So ridiculously cute. I can't wait for Jase to get home so she can do it for him. :)
Man, my little heart is exploding today.

A Feeding Update

It's been a while since I talked about how things are going on the feeding front. In fact, the last update was when Georgia was three weeks old! Before you start reading this post, yes, this will talk about boobs. Here's a random baby picture to make it worth your while, if you choose to stop reading here. :)

Georgia is 16 weeks old now. She'll be 4 months old next week. And, I'm happy to say, we are still exclusively breastfeeding! It's been a long, hard stretch, but I am so pleased that we managed to get this far. 
I still enjoy feeding her this way. It's convenient, and it's comforting. She's starting to become more efficient too, which makes for a much quicker feeding session. I must say, I like this a LOT. In the early days we went from falling asleep at the boob, then switched to marathon 30-40 minute sessions. We're currently at 10 minutes a side, sometimes less, and feeds are around every 3.5 hours. {As a side note, she's also becoming more curious and cheeky while she feeds. I can't count the amount of times that she pulls away and just gives me the biggest grin. Love this child so much!}
My supply is holding up, for now. I don't have a lot leftover at the end of the day, and I'm down to one pumping session just before bed. I usually only get around 40-60ml. Certainly not a power pumper! But the good news is, I have a nice little freezer stash - and I'm only topping up with expressed milk ONCE a day. That 40-60ml I get from the previous night, is what I feed Georgia before bed the following night. It's probably not a necessary top up, but it makes me feel better. Our bedtime routine is usually bath, bottle of expressed milk, boob {mostly for comfort} & bed. We'll be introducing a bedtime book to our routine soon.
The next few months are going to be interesting. The solid food guidelines have gone from 6 months to 4 months to 6 months again, and we're aiming to start her closer to 6 months. She's not showing any interest in food yet, though is watching us more closely at dinner time now. And since she did come that little bit early, feeding her solid foods later rather than sooner seems to make more sense to us.  
As for breastfeeding, it would be pretty bloody awesome to keep it up until she's done needing it/me - but I'm not getting too far ahead of myself. If I can continue solely breastfeeding until we start solids, that would be the dream. And if I can keep it up while we're mix feeding solids, I'll be thrilled. One week at a time, though. :)

Then & Now

I still remember buying my first piece of baby clothing. It had owls on it, of course {I still love birdies} and it was fairly gender neutral - although at the time, I was sure Baby Jag would be a boy! It looked like this:

Here we are, nine months later, and she finally fits into it. My baby - my baby GIRL - is growing up!





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