Thursday, 21 June 2012

OK - quick one. A little round of applause must go to Kathmandu and their child carrier. This hero of a product keeps Frankie calm and content for hours. Literally, hours. Anyone who knows my child knows how much of a feat this is.

It's obviously good for what it was intended for; long walks and treks in the great outdoors. But it is perfect for shopping (forget about steering your pram one-handed  down narrow supermarket aisles with your plastic shopping basket precariously balanced  in the other), nipping out to hang up the laundry, or even just freeing you up during the witching hour to get some cooking done while bubbalugs enjoys herself watching you go about your business.

Thank you Kathmandu. You rock my world.

More metrestone than milestone for Frankie's first steps.

Well, HELLO walking baby! This is a nice surprise for your mum. (OK, not so much of a surprise; Let's be honest, you've been threatening this for months now. So long in fact that I started to wonder whether you'd just lost your bottle? Ha, get it?)

So anyway - it is official - Frankie took her first proper steps just after she turned 8months. Since then, she's barely managed more than a couple - 4 steps max - without face planting into the carpet, or (ooops) concrete. Yes, my sporty child is now sporting battle scars for her efforts. I couldn't be prouder.

I wouldn't exactly call it 'proper' walking so much as I would call it a very fine impersonation of a drunk zombie. She starts by crawling along an item of furniture until she literally has nowhere else to go. She then turns her body around, takes one cautious hand after another off the sofa/coffee table and propels herself forward - both arms extended - stumbling towards what she hope will catch her and break her fall. Ceeeute.

I had no idea how very difficult a concept it actually is for our children to lift their feet up off the floor. If you watch them trying, it seems as though their feet are super-glued down, with any slight movement upwards shifting their whole center of gravity. It's incredible how one day, poof, this superglue dissolves and away they go...

I've yet to train Frances to do the walking gig on command I'm afraid, hence the lack of video footage for overseas Frankie enthusiasts. Soon enough, I hope.

Thought I'd keep you all in the loop. I guess this move to Coogee has been a winner all round... despite the initial teething and moving woes, Frankie has finally started to properly sleep for 11hours straight, AND she looks set to take to the stage in the next Step Up movie. Atta girl, Frank Frank. Mumma loves ya.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

No friends on Ramsey Street

It's 4am and I hear yet another blood-curdling scream. The thick walls of my 1920's apartment provide little defense against the wails of my 8 month old baby. I throw back the covers with a sigh that gives way to a small gasp, as the chill of the winter dawn assaults me. All I can think is, my neighbours must hate me.

We have finally made the move from my parents' home into a place of our own. With our new found independence comes the sudden removal of some of the creature comforts that living with my parents has afforded us. A full home to ourselves, for example, on its own plot of land, detatched from the innocent ears of our neighbours. A home where our baby could cry to her heart's content without the associated stress of waking up the neighbours. Sure, I had to worry about Frankie's effect on my own parents, but it's a lot less of a worry when you factor in the unconditional love that grandparents have for her.

Our new home is - in a word -  petit. It's far smaller by comparison to Frankie's last residence, and there aren't two whole floors of space for her to call her own. Gone is Frankie's entertainment space, her backyard, her front yard, her bedroom and her own private bathroom. Gone is the bath, for that matter! Suddenly Frankie finds herself 'stuck' - easily bored within the confines of our art deco abode.

I'm freaking out that the neighbours are one screaming-fit away from banging down our door and forcefully removing us with the aid of flaming torches and oversized pitchforks. If the relocation of our 8 month old wasn't a traumatic enough an experience on its own, try adding teething to the equation. She's now sporting 3 shiny new teeth, which certainly make her look cuter, but unfortunately doesn't win her any friends on Ramsey Street.

Having learned much over the last few weeks, here are my Top Tips for moving house with a baby

1) Paracetamol can be a lifesavour:
Only you will be able to judge whether your baby is traumatised emotionally by sleeping in a new house, or whether those screams are ones of pain. We tried good old-fashioned comforting to help ease any fears of a scary new house, but after a few hours of getting nowhere, we found paracetamol did the trick. Obviously, make sure it's baby paracetamol and your doctor ok's it first!
2) Stay with them for a while:
If your baby was sleeping reasonably well before the move, you can at least hope they'll return to the good-old-days eventually. Whilst you will tread the line of creating a bad habit for yourself in the future, show your baby you aren't deserting them in this new environment. That just like always, you're here for them. We found the whole "stay in the room with your hand on her tummy" thing worked for us with Frankie. But we have now gotten into the bad habit of bringing her into bed with us at 4am to get her to sleep longer until 6am. Our mistake, I know, but it's better than having her persistantly wake the neighbours at that ungodly hour.
3) Be nice to your neighbours
We didn't have the guts to knock on our neighbours' doors individually and introduce ourselves and our bubba girl, but by now everyone knows we are here. Kind of hard to ignore the pram in the entrance way.... We have, however, gone out of our way to talk to every neighbour we run into when we see them in the communal halls, and offer our apologies for the baby's fitful slumber. Luckily, everyone has been very kind and whilst they have certainly admitted to hearing her through the night, they seem to sympathise with our plight and get on with their own lives. Still, doesn't hurt to be uber nice, and offer them a cup of sugar when they need it in the future!

Wish me luck, as we continue on our mission to getting Frankie settled and secure in her new home.