Molars & Daylight Savings

Eva has been cutting her molars this past week. This morning she was so sad and wouldn’t let me go. I sat on the lounge with her and rubbed her sore gums for a while.  This was so relaxing that she started to close her eyes.  Seeing as she was awake early at 6am this morning (can’t wait for daylight savings) I thought that she might like a short sleep.  I put her down on the lounge and covered her with a blanket.  I expected her to hop straight up and get busy again.  However when left to herself she snuggled up and enjoyed the novelty of lying on the lounge and fell asleep without sleepy teddy to snuggle with!  She must have needed to catch up.  We both felt very refreshed after the rest.

I really think that cutting teeth is just the worst thing and makes everyone so sad and grumpy in this house.  At least they are through now.  Only a few more mornings until our clocks are turned back and we can look forward to a return to Eva’s pleasant wake up time of 7-7.30. How do you people without daylight savings manage?

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Oh I Love Weddings

Our friends Bridget and Ryan tied the knot on Saturday.    It was a beautiful ceremony with tears of joy from both the bride and groom.  Eva did enjoy the stairs to the choir loft and climbing on the pews. Yes she was “that child” in the church who moved constantly and chatted inappropriately!

Andrew was busy taking photographs for the happy couple.  We were very fortunate to have my mum over from Canberra to look after Eva for the afternoon so when the bridal party went to the gardens of Loreto College (my old school) to take photos we didn’t have a small person to follow around!

We enjoyed a cocktail reception near the beach during which Andrew had to repeatedly listen to AFL Grand Final score updates on a pocket radio.  For the last few minutes I walked him further away from the reception as the pressure of an imminent draw was building.  Now he gets to watch it all over again next week!

We were home and tired in the evening with Andrew already working on his photos.  Poor Mum and Grandma had a busy afternoon with Eva as she declined an afternoon sleep after a power nap in the car!  Still I think that they enjoyed their time with her immensely.

Snow!

Last weekend Eva got to play in the snow for the first time.  She has seen snow from inside warm buildings before when she was very little.  Also it was the first time that Srijana and Lokraj had seen snow despite living in Nepal where there are lots of mountains with snow!

Although the snow was not very deep at this stage of the season it was good enough for some tobogganing.  Eva enjoyed the thrill of zooming down the hill which is no surprise seeing as she is a bit of an adrenaline junkie on the playground!  Lokraj and Andrew enjoyed going fast on their runs without Eva.  I had forgotten how much work goes into preparing and packing up snow clothes!  Eva looked just adorable in her snow suit toddling around.  Quite a contrast from her cuteness in the warmth recently.

We enjoyed the snow at Lake Mountain, near Marysville a town heavily affected by the Black Saturday Bushfires of February 2009.  Visiting Marysville and experiencing the shock of seeing so much destruction evident 19 months later was saddening.  I was amazed at how much rebuilding was going on through the town.  There are lots of new houses under construction, people brave enough to move back to the land and recreate their homes.  What is strange is that there are barely any trees anywhere with nothing but empty land between houses.  So many businesses were also burnt down with some now rebuilt and several operating from shipping containers.  There is a new modern community rebuilding project building which is totally different to the old buildings that were there.  We can’t imagine what it was like to live through the fires and through the rebuilding.  We are so pleased to have been able to support the community through our very short visit and encourage anyone to do the same.

We stayed in a cabin in the Caravan Park which Srijana thought was so amazing that she wanted it for her home in Melbourne.  Sadly they have just moved into a very old, rundown rental house which she just can’t get clean she says!  We had delicious takeaway from the only shop selling food in Marysville and watched the footy finals.

This was the first weekend that Steavenson Falls had been open for visitors.  The valley of the falls and river were destroyed by the heat of the fire and have begun to regenerate but have a long way to go.

It’s All Good

That’s what Dr Dan said at the conclusion of yesterday’s appointment.  Dr Dan is the neonatologist that Eva sees for follow up.  He is delightful and very down to earth.  Andrew was able to come with us yesterday so that was great.

The big news is that Eva now weighs 9.53kg!  I really like these scales as they give a much better number than the local maternal and child health clinic ones.  That means that she put on her birth weight in the past 4 months.  I am thinking that we no longer need to go to the health clinic for reviews when the scales only give me grief!  Everyone had been commenting on how big so was getting  but I just didn’t let myself believe it.  Maybe at the next weigh-in Eva will be in double figures which may be worth an Aunty Ali cake as celebration. I guess our last month of lots of avocado and nut butters has helped maybe along with me relaxing a little.  All the swimming and consequent eating in Fiji may have helped too.

Eva’s weight is near the 10th centile and unsurprisingly her height and head circumference is in the 25th centile.  She is out of proportion which I know from her clothes where she needs the height but not the width.

Overall Dr Dan is very impressed with her developmental progress for a 25-weeker. He reassured us that next Winter will be much easier with less viral infections to contend with.  As he checked her over he found her ears and throat to be red and her glands to be swollen so along with her runny nose and slightly gooey eyes we have another viral illness right now.  He agrees that her persistent dry cough and occasional wheezing that comes with each virus is asthma but wonders if the trauma of administering an inhaler via a spacer is worth it when she doesn’t really suffer from major breathlessness.  As usual she was a very good patient allowing him to examine her without complaint. I know this question can’t last forever but it does make us wonder if that is from her personality or from her constant medical examination for the first 3 months of her life.

Dr Dan was delighted to see her walking and babbling for the whole visit.  He said that currently there are no signs of any developmental delay but that there may be signs in the future as she heads to school but it looks to be unlikely.  We can look forward to more words in the upcoming months.  We had a big chat about eczema which is really bothering Eva at the moment.  Although we have always been lathering her with moisturiser he suggested oil in the bath nightly which is what we used to do when she was in her baby bath.

Overall it was a great appointment with lots of positive outcomes.

Compostable Disposables

On our recent holiday we chose not to take our lovely cloth nappies but instead to use disposable nappies for a week.  I began looking into disposable options having previously used Bambo and Nature Babycare.

I found a great comparison table at www.mamaaum.com.au which told me that the Eenee compostable nappy was plastic free, compostable and made in Australia.  I was excited to find such a product and went to their own website to check it out, www.eenee.com.

Eenee Compostables are made from:

  • Cornstarch plastic (100% biodegradable) for waterproofing and breathability benefits.
  • Regenerated cellulose for the inner liner (100% biodegradable)
  • Absorbent fluff pulp from farmed plantation timber
  • Absorbent gel (water storage granules)
  • And have no plastic to contaminate the compost

The re-useable & washable gripper belt is made from a low profile Velcro style material on a soft stretchy material.

Eenee Compostables look and work like any other disposable nappy except that a gripper belt is used to secure the nappy instead of plastic side tabs.  The gripper belt did take some practice to get used to but once we worked out where it needed to be placed on the nappy it was fine.  Eva didn’t even try to undo it!  I admit they did start decomposing on Eva with overnight use but it was just a bit of fluff and caused her no bother.  No redness or signs of nappy rash the whole week. They are comparable in price to other eco disposables.

They can only be composted in commercial facilities so obviously we didn’t do the composting on holiday but I did feel better that they would actually decompose in the landfill a lot quicker than other disposables.  Here in Melbourne there is a company who deliver the nappies along with a specially designed 240L bin and then collect the bin for commercial composting every 4 weeks.  How easy is that?

It will not make me give up our great cloth nappies but it was great to have a disposable option that is less toxic to Eva and the environment.

A Wonderful Holiday

We have arrived home feeling very refreshed and relaxed.  We really enjoyed the casual rhythm of our days and really enjoyed spending all that time together.  Most days were taken up with visits to the beach, the pool and the gardens around the resort.  The beach has black coarse sand which is still fun to pile on top of each other and make sandcastles with. Eva walked really well on the beach and in the water.  I thought that she would have more difficulty with the uneven surface but she surprised us.

In the big pool she really just prefers to walk in the shallow end, climb out and up any steps.  The pull of walking is far greater than any fun had in the deep water.  She loves to do it by herself but is happy to hold our hands for the tricky stuff.  There was a waterslide at the pool which Eva had much fun sliding down with mama and dada. She has a gorgeous smile when she lands at the bottom.  We did manage to do some practice of her swimming lesson techniques but with the water being much cooler than the water she swims in at home she wasn’t so keen.  Several people commented on her ability to go underwater so happily.

We enjoyed walks to the local shopping centre and around the resort grounds.   Watching her wander around the grounds was so cute. She just loves exploring and pulling apart the manicured gardens in order to check the different leaf types.  Any stairs found were just a huge bonus for her.  Climbing is just so much fun.  Andrew took us on a short trip on a Catamaran.  Eva wasn’t so keen but looked so cute in her tiny lifejacket.

Of course the food was delicious and plentiful.  We have been really enjoying the meals with buffet breakfast a highlight of course.  Three nights we used the babysitting services (just $5/hour) and took ourselves out to lovely dinners.  How nice it was to have a conversation with each other not interrupted by food being thrown from the neighbouring high chair!

I really enjoyed the week of co-parenting and it provided Andrew and I opportunity to make sure that we are on the same page in dealing with the “rising to toddlerhood” behaviours Eva has begun.  This cute little girl is having some terror moments which Daddy got to witness more of spending 24 hours a day with her for 7 days.  Not being able to communicate her desires is becoming increasingly frustrating to Eva and we have certainly hit the tantrum stage.

We are so blessed to have had such a wonderful holiday and look forward to this post-holiday feeling for as long as possible!

Arriving in Fiji

After an early start we boarded our plane to see that we were in the back half of the plane with 7 other infants (carried on laps) and several children.  The poor other people on the plane!  Towards the end of the flight, during landing, there was a chorus of cries from sad babies.

A 5 hour plane flight (which turns into 9 hours travel time with transport and airport time) with a mobile small person has some challenges.  Eva did not sit still for more than a minute (except when sleeping for a short 45 minutes).  She was constantly climbing, sitting, standing, up and down.  As well as perpetually snacking and creating a vacuuming job for the cleaners.  Toys had some limited value.  Her new Anamalz were a hit.  We were so glad that it was the two of us travelling and it was a short international flight.

Upon arriving in Fiji we found a yellow taxi to take us the 20 minute ride to Sofitel Resort on Denarau Island.  The taxi driver was very friendly and chatty.  During the taxi ride I was struck by the gorgeous countryside of Fiji as we circuited Nadi. Each property was marked out with bright white painted rocks and was fairly neat.  Lots of palm trees and everything was just so green.  We didn’t see any abject poverty but certainly no signs of affluence on this ride.

This is the first time Andrew and I have done a “resort holiday” where we sit and relax instead of immersing ourselves in the country and being tourists from dawn to dusk.  Staying in a 5 star resort (afforded with Andrew’s staff rates) is vastly different from our previous experiences especially volunteering in various places in 2007. I hope that our tourism provides some income for Fijian people but should we be supporting a defunct government.

Regardless we are here to enjoy the best of what Fiji has to offer, Sun, Sand and Water.  We are going to enjoy the “Fiji time” and watch Eva relish all these “Daddy Days” in a row and spending most of the day playing in the water.

After arriving at the hotel, and being taken to our room in a golf cart, we had a quick dip in the pool just after sunset.  We then enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner where Eva loved to sample various foods most especially the tropical fruits on offer.  There was no meal planning, cooking or dishes to do.  My idea of holiday heaven!

In Melbourne I found it hard to imagine what the temperature would feel like.  It’s warm and humid but not unbearable.  The air conditioning at 24 feels cold compared to outside.  Most of the hotel is open air, which is delightful.  It was strange to go outside in only one layer of clothes.  I felt lost not having to put a coat and a woolen hat on Eva.

More about the rest of the holiday to come tomorrow!