We are all in awe and in love with her! She is just beautiful and such a dream baby. Aside from a post-dural-puncture ‘headache’ (so not a headache, as those in the know would know!) & the consequent visit to theatre for an epidural blood patch, we have been doing beautifully. I am so blessed and this is such a different experience to last time!
Trigger warning: talk of depression, anxiety disorders & suicidal ideation/suicide.
I’m usually one for reaching out and talking about the difficult topics.
But in the past 6 or so months, I have been struggling (in varying degrees) with so much mentally.
But talking about this is so much harder now… Previously I had never been in that place.. Where I couldn’t bring myself to care and I was terrified of myself & my thoughts.
Now, I am too vulnerable. Anything but support is potentially damaging.. And putting yourself out there on the Internet pretty much guarantees a variety of views/beliefs.
I know the stigma too well. Even in my real life I’m surrounded by people who don’t take mental illness seriously, let alone my mental health. I know that so many people do not understand or accept mental illness and/or generalise and have a warped view of it.. not to mention the hurtful comments about medication and therapy.
I’m glad though, because this means they haven’t felt like I have.
However, it hurts. It pains me to hear people talk about depression and/or anxiety like it isn’t a serious issue.. Or like it can be overcome with optimism.
I know how blessed I am, I don’t take anything for granted, I know that I have so much to look forward to. I know that there are great qualities about me. It’s just not that simple.
At the same time, I get it.. Because I distinctly remember not-too-long-ago thinking that I could use my intelligence and sheer will to change the way I felt… to stop the seemingly never-ending stream of self-hate or put an end to an anxiety attack. I’m only now coming to terms with my mental illness and what it means.
It is true that that there are tools to help cope with how you react to situations.. but there are so many other factors in play. Mental illness is (often) chemical and it’s nobody’s fault, and it’s not a result of not being able to talk yourself out of slipping into thought patterns. Believe me, I’m determined, clever and strong.. if that were possible, I would have done so by now.
Basically, what I’m saying is that I won’t be blogging because I’m struggling to share my thoughts.. not just with strangers on the web but with people in my life.. especially those who don’t really know me.
P.S. Also, I best let you know that I’ve increased the help and support that I can and am working hard with my psych as well as my healthcare team to do the best that I can to get through this, particularly when my hormones are so high. I will be ok, I know that.
Cam is almost 25 months old – 2 years old!
I saw this on a blog that I follow & decided that I want to record how C is doing developmentally before we start our tot school units (more on that later).
Brush Teeth, with Help – C is great at putting the toothpaste on and imitating the brushing action. However, I always brush them after he has a go because I want to make sure they are clean.
Wash and Dry hands – C loves getting onto the step himself and dispensing the soap on his hands and rubbing his palms together. But I still offer assistance on parts of the process (turning on the tap, rubbing the soap all over his hands) but he can rinse them and dry them well (I have a towel on a low hook for him to do this independently)
Should be able to:
Take off an article of clothing – C can completely undress himself (nappy, shoes, socks and all) with some outfits. Shirts prove to be the most difficult and he is yet to master zips and buttons consistently.
Feed a doll – he has done this on occasion.
Build a tower of 4 cubes – Easily
Identify 2 items in a picture by pointing – Most definitely. More than I could possibly count.
Will probably be able to:
Build a tower of 6 cubes – Yes.
Throw a ball overhand – yes, not with accuracy though.
Speak and be understood half the time – C speaks a lot and pretty well but is quiet. I don’t think many people can understand some of what he says yet (aside from myself, my husband and sister). He mostly expresses needs and narrates what we are doing and/or seeing. His speech isn’t conversational yet.
Identify 1 item in a picture by naming – Definitely. More than I can count.
Identify 4 items in a picture by pointing – again, yes. He can do this for most every noun he knows.
May possibly be able to:
Jump up - he loves to jump (or ‘pump!’ as he calls it) and succeeds half the time but sometimes it’s more like bouncing…one foot leaves the floor but not both.
Put on an article of clothing – Cam can put on a hat independently and some shoes. He attempts other clothes sometimes with limited success.
May even be able to:
Draw a vertical line in imitation – yes, he draws vertical lines and circles when I ask him to.
Build a tower of 8 cubes – He has done this before.
Carry on a conversation of 2 or 3 sentences – He is speaking pretty well. His speech isn’t conversational yet; although he can narrate 2-3 simple sentences in a row.
Can always name and point to – blue, yellow, red, pink, orange, black, brown
Can sometimes name but always identify – white, purple, green, gold
Can always name and identify – circle, star, moon (crescent), triangle, square and diamond
Can often identify – rectangle, pentagon, hexagon, heart
Can name the phonemes for – s, b, m
Can sometimes name the phonemes for – f, a, c, t, r, o, h, u
Can say/read – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
Can say 1-10
Can count to 6 without prompting (has only done this twice)
Can name and point to – hair, eyes, eyelashes, nose, teeth, tongue, mouth, cheeks, chin, toes, fingers, feet, hands, arms, belly, belly button, bottom, privates, nipples, head, legs
Can often name and identify – knees, ears, neck
Potty Training – he is no where near potty trained. Until recently he kept cutting teeth (which means runny poo for him) so we haven’t focused on this. He is aware of his bodily functions and I feel that he has been ready for some time. He has successfully weed on the toilet (with padded inner seat) several times and often tells me he is going to wee or poo.
Sorry for the boring post update! I just wanted to keep record of this and thought I would share! We are starting our own little tot school at home tomorrow (more info on tot school ideas/printables/packs/etc here – http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/TotSchool.html)
I have been organising fortnightly themes (with coordinating sensory tub, dough activities, letters (2 per unit), number, shape and colour) for the next 5-6 months. I am using free printables from around the internet, some cheap books/toys and library books. I will be using Montessori-inspired printables when possible.
I will do a post reviewing our first week, this weekend and list of my resources and thoughts. Hopefully that is something interesting to some of you? I will also try to do a pregnancy update, I’m 31.5 weeks and had a midwife appointment today!
Thanks for reading!
It seems I took a bit of a break from blogging over the festive season! I can’t believe we are 11 days into 2012 already!
Christmas & Cameron’s 2nd birthday both were amazing and we were left with full bellies and a serious toy overload. I have been trying to re-organise his playroom but it looks as though we will have to take up some space in our spare room for his massive Thomas the Tank Engine collection!
I can’t believe my son is 2! Well, I can, if I look at him and how much of a little boy he is and how far he has come since he was born.
I’m 28.5 weeks pregnant with our daughter and all is going well. I have my first psychologist appointment tomorrow, alongside another doctor appointment. My medication has been increased slightly after several depressive episodes. It feels strange to be battling depression more than anxiety. I have all that I want and yet my mind is my own worst enemy!
Part of Cam’s birthday present from Mike and I was meeting Thomas the Tank engine and friends – at our local railway museum! There was a fun bumpy mini train (on wheels) ride, songs and stories from the Fat Controller, he got to go inside Thomas (and Donald – a new fave) and see various other trains from the books/show. We have been again since and plan to a couple more times before the Thomas set up finishes at the end of the month.
The museum itself is full of awesome, interactive, educational fun with train simulations, science experiments, various themes throughout the year, a playground, a huge model train set up (big with my hubby who is working on his own model train set!), a cinema and tonnes of big trains and information. We got an annual pass – Mike is really looking forward to their annual model train expo later in the year!
We were lucky enough to have a photoshoot with a friend who is getting into photography and is really talented. It was such a lovely shoot and the images are amazing! I’ll do a separate post with a slideshow of some of the images! My belly bump sure is growing!
We sent off our cultural exchange packages just after Christmas and we received our first package the other day! And from non-other than Rachael herself from Little Red Farm (who set up the cultural exchange and has a post about the contents of her parcels here)
I honestly wasn’t too sure about Cameron’s interest level on the packages at this age but I was pleasantly surprised! I should have known, Cam loves flags, money and little novelty items. He immediately loved the flag and we talked to him about it coming from somewhere far away from a little boy who is two like him (he’s very facinated about being ‘two’).
His favourite things were the soccer items and the chocolate money. Now he sees the real coins and asks for chocolate I loved the idea of making the postbox and we will soon. All of the information was so detailed and great to read! I’m so glad we participated in the exchange and hope that the recipients of our package enjoy their parcels!
As you may have seen on my 20 week pregnancy vlog, Bud = Rosebud
We had our scan on Friday and Bud is super healthy & happy in there but had his/her legs firmly together for the whole hour!
Bud also had his/her face up against the placenta, so we have no photos of his/her face.
I’m not going to lie, I was super disappointed! Once I knew that he/she was healthy (the sonographer was so thorough with all the organs and structures! that was great) I just wanted to know the gender and see the cute face!
So I don’t even have pics to share – unless you want to see the ventricles of the heart or the kidneys, etc
In exciting news I’m now past the half-way mark (20 weeks pregnant)! I know, it’s flying by, right? & Cammy has been bubby-crazy since the scan and saying how he/she is cute and giving my belly bump kisses and cuddles. It’s so sweet!
I hope your weekends were great!
It has begun… the baby purchases!
Some people in real life have been surprised that we are selling lots of our baby ‘stuff’ (cot, change table, toys, etc). However, it’s mainly because we didn’t really know what to expect the first time around & now we have more of an idea of what we need for our parenting styles and what works for us.
I am definitely aiming for a more Montessori-inspired baby stage this time around.
Basically this means that Bud will be sleeping in a moses basket initially but we will start to co-sleep soon after (not traditionally Montessori but I find it best for breastfeeding).
We are also getting a mattress for a movement mat which will go in the playroom next to the mirrors on the wall. We hope to have some Montessori infant mobiles too. Kylie kindly gave us the Rainbow Ring Mobile from the Visual Mobile Series. I am making the bell on a ribbon and wooden ring on a ribbon (pictures to come) & am contemplating making the Octahedron Mobile.
Other than that (and the usual necessities like a new car seat) we are getting more natural baby toys.
Anyway, our first purchases have been:
A puzzle ball (sometimes called clutch ball) from etsy
Wooden teething rings from etsy
Montessori grasping beads from etsy
There are several other things that we are hoping to make as well which I will blog about when we get to it.
A great source of inspiration for what to provide in the infant stages and when to introduce them is the series that At Home with Montessori (a brilliant Australian company) has been posting. Also, see the posts on How We Montessori for many of these things in practice.
Anywho, it’s 3 am and I have pregnancy insomnia but I’m going to attempt to get back to sleep
*sighs* It’s so lovely to say/type/think ”my babies”…
Today I am 15 weeks pregnant! Most of the more unpleasant symptoms are gone (goodbye nausea!) but I’m still always tired and the reflux has begun. These things pale in significance to the wonderful things… like my belly button starting to pop out (yes, already!) and teeny flutters below my belly button. Hi Bud, Mummy feels you!
Cameron is 21 months old! This is a busy age where I can literally witness his development daily.
New developments include: drawing lines and circles. Pointing out shapes (circle, crescent, star, diamond). Doing rolly poleys! (too cute!) and his colour sorting skills are evolving. He also expertly kicks a ball with the inside of his foot (much to Mike’s delight).
He is eating so much more. He has cut some new eye teeth and since then his appetite is crazy. He starts most days with two weetbix and loves snacking all day (cashews, berries, sultanas, crackers and apples feature heavily).
Cameron can now undress himself (shirt, shorts, nappy and all!) so I have to watch him in public! I encouraged undressing himself for bath-time and toileting so now it’s time to teach appropriateness of timing
Speaking of toileting, toilet learning isn’t going so great. With a combination of a busy toddler who only vaguely is interested half the time and a Mum who is equally as wishy-washy with enthusiasm, we have a recipe for little progress. We have only had a couple of potty successes. Although he enjoys the routine – running to the toilet, taking off his pants and nappy, getting up on the seat (with trains on it!) and asking for tissues… and he looks mighty cute in teeny ‘big-boy’ undies!
Next weekend my Dad is getting married so you can expect some super-cute photos of Cameron all dressed up in a mini-suit! I also have several posts in drafts that I’ll hopefully get around to finishing soon
Thank you for the lovely comments on my last post!
Spring has well and truly hit and with temperatures of close to 30 degrees on some days we have been enjoying some fun in the sun at our local water park.
Speaking of fun in the sun, we are going on a little holiday up the coast with Mike’s family next weekend. We are really looking forward to the break!
Two helicopters used our local lake to fill up with water to put out a nearby fire. Cameron was so excited and it was such a neat opportunity for him to see them up close!
I’m 12 weeks pregnant and the nausea is subsiding (lucky!). I’m showing so much although it is yet to feel real. I have my scan on Monday and my first antenatal appointment on Thursday.
I’ll update after the scan!
Sorry for the delay in updates! We all got sick & the nausea and exhaustion was getting the better of me.
But now I’m doing heaps better. I’m booked into my hospital and have a scan booked for a weeks time. My doctor has been seeing me regularly since my anxiety attacks and I’m now medicated again on a low dose SSRI and feeling like myself.
The stigma associated with antenatal and postpartum mood disorders is hard sometimes. Particularly if medication is concerned.
I struggled at first with the idea as I’m someone who takes every risk very seriously concerning my children.. But I have to remember the risks associated with untreated anxiety and depression. & I have learnt to give myself a break – if it were another illness that I had to be treated for, I doubt I would hesitate. I talk about it because I know that it is more prevalent than we realise.
I also have struggled recently with the fact that all these factors have meant that I haven’t been mothering like usual. Poor sleep from anxiety in the evenings and at night meant that mornings were hard and I’m not overly proud to admit that a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD got a work out at any time prior to 7 AM.
Our days weren’t filled with well-planned activities or outings. Instead they were spent mostly in pjs and we often went to my sisters house where Cam could be entertained by his cousins while I lounged. My ‘sanity-kit’ has included his dough kit (minimal Mum-input activity), books, his train set (which he will play with for decent periods of time without me), crayons, his magnadoodle, and his little nursery rhyme CD player. Oh, & a willing hubby who takes over when he gets home.
1.5 weeks ago. C said “my baby”
This pregnancy my nausea has been the kind where it helps to eat (hello weight gain) but I still feel ill even after food. & it is constant, even upon waking at night. But I keep all the food down, which is fortunate. I’m exhausted almost always even if I sleep for 10 hours.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I tell it like it is. I must admit that I haven’t been like I was with my previous pregnancy. I loved every part of my previous pregnancies, especially Cameron’s (aside from the fear of course). This time I’ve been more reserved, although I still feel very blessed. I can’t wait for Mike to see Bud next Monday (although I’m also very nervous as the dates are all so similar to 3 years ago).
Cameron has been doing great despite all. He talks about the baby often and he speaks in little sentences a lot now. At 20.5 months, he is currently loving - the letter ‘m’ (spotting it everywhere), planes (still), circles, getting powder in his nappy, eating cheese, helping wash up dishes, and telling me if something is ‘mean’ or ‘nice’.
He makes me so darn proud and I have been so lucky with how sweet and helpful he has been while I have struggled. For example, he patiently and happily waited for over an hour at the doctors the other week. & the other day he asked Mike “is she sad?” when I was resting and came over to give me a kiss.