A Dentist Visit

Yesterday Eva had a repeat dental visit.  She did very well, happily sat up in the big chair by herself wearing her spiffy sunglasses.  Eva did question why she needed a bib.

The dentist declared her dental hygiene good instead of the fair that we were graded as last time!  The dentist was much more realistic about the flossing this time understanding that the battle isn’t sometimes worth it.  Also this time Eva is older and more receptive to Dr Karen telling her that flossing is important to keep her teeth healthy.

One of her baby molars has come through with a deficient enamel coating (like her front 4 teeth) most likely due to her premature birth.  Thus we have to put a calcium rich tooth moose on it, as well as the others, to keep the cavities away.

We have a follow-up in 6 months time to keep a check on those special teeth.

Christmas Celebration 2011

Here is a quick round-up of how we celebrated the Birth of Jesus – only a month late!  This year we celebrated in Melbourne on Christmas Eve and Canberra on Christmas Day.  It was lovely to be able to share special time with both families to enjoy Hugo’s first Christmas.

On the 23rd we went to a live Nativity performance at the same church as last year.  It was hot in the afternoon sun but it was a great retelling of the Christmas story complete with live donkey, stable animals and a very life-like baby Jesus.  We then retreated inside to the cool to hear a captivating story teller who even included Hugo as baby Jesus!  There was some craft activities but they didn’t really capture Eva’s attention as much as the playdough.

On Christmas Eve we celebrated with a delicious brunch at Gran and Pop’s house with the whole family waking up in the same house.  We suspect that Eva and Amelia (7) had a very social night sharing a bedroom for the first time.  Hugo had a bad night’s “sleep” but after a sleep in and some nourishing food we were ready for celebrations.

Five Grandchildren - Melbourne

In the afternoon we flew to Canberra.  Both children were very unsettled overnight and neither were very well on Christmas Day.  Mama and Dada were weary after a very interrupted sleep for the second night in a row!

Both children enjoyed discovering new things to love and play with.

We went to Nanny’s church to celebrate the Birth of Christ including a visit to the Nativity set up in the church for a quick rendition of Happy Birthday Jesus.

Lunch was a feast at my sister’s house followed by a refreshing dip in the pool.  As is the way with Christmas we finished the day with full tummies and full hearts.

As is always the case for me in the lead up to big events I can’t help but reflect on this time 3 years ago when we were just about believing that this tiny little girl really was ours and was going to come home with us (eventually).  I love Christmas carols and whilst doing kangaroo care with Eva I used to sing them to her.  During Advent whenever she needed a cuddle I held her close and sung to her again.  We are so blessed to have this vibrant scooter riding girl with us to celebrate in 2011.

Christmas 2008 - 2011

Hugo’s Ten Month Birthday

This month Hugo celebrated his first Christmas (ex-utero), mastered crawling & pulling up, erupted two teeth, started using a spoon and has enjoyed babbling a little more!

We had two holidays: one week in Canberra with Marnie’s parents and three weeks   at Andrew’s parents home where we had lots of swimming practice.

We watched him go from being up on all fours with a little movement to confidently crawling.  He is able to stop mid crawl on pick up a toy while balancing on three limbs.

Then Hugo progressed to standing up and even letting go with one hand.  I love to watch the concentration on his face when he is pulling up to standing.  Also watching him harness the power of his leg muscles to pull him up!

Now nothing is off limits, he will attempt to climb up anything, frequently getting himself into trouble with objects that move or fall on him!

Eva is taking some time getting used to this new Hugo but overall she is managing quite well.  She is just learning that she has to keep things safe that she doesn’t want him to touch.  Of course inevitably she wants whatever he has just gotten hold of. We have asked her to give Hugo something in exchange for the toy if she really has to play with it.  Of course the exchange token is usually the closest object and often not what he is interested in but it’s a start in the sibling negotiation process.

Two lower teeth are visible however I’m sure that there are more to follow shortly.  Of course anything that he can dig his teeth and gums into is most welcome these days.

Hugo’s solid food adventure continues to be fun.  His self feeding is getting so much more successful and accurate.  We added self feeding with a spoon this month which is predictably very messy but he is already improving his aim.

Earlier in the month he really discovered his voice with mama and nana added to the dada that he was already saying.  However now that he is so mobile the babbling has taken a back seat in his overworked brain and we don’t hear as much now.

Hugo’s personality is really starting to become more obvious now. When entering a room of people he doesn’t get scared and is happy to go to others but he is very quiet and pensive. After a few minutes he warms up and delivers the smiles that everyone enjoys.  Also he doesn’t seem to be bothered so much by hunger but when he is tired he will really let us know.  Also he doesn’t cope with being hot at all!

Sleep has certainly not been his number one priority this month which saddens his parents a lot.  With several moves during holidays, hot weather, pesky teeth piercing through and major developmental steps being reached it’s no surprise that he wants to see me for reassurance.  It’s tiring but as my last baby sometimes I enjoy those quiet moments at 2am and I know that it will get better with time.

Yesterday was his 8 month check up (his corrected age, yes he should slow down, I know) and he weighed in at 7.82kg.  I was a little surprised that it was only a 455g increase as he certainly feels heavier but maybe that’s just because he is getting stronger.

Although I try not to compare them, to put his weight into perspective for us, 2 years ago when Eva was 14 months (11 months corrected) she weighed 7.705kg.  Hugo is 67cm and Eva was 73cm.  I think that currently they have the same size upper arm to give more perspective!  She also cut her first teeth while we were house sitting at Gran and Pop’s.

Hugo 9 months January 2012 - Eva 14.5 months January 2010

We look forward to the next month with some trepidation as the bumps and bruises are destined to appear daily with the new adventurous behaviours Hugo is determined to practice.

Rest Time

Sleepy Teddy is an essential ingredient

I am sitting here listening to Eva sing “Old MacDonald Had A Farm” as she lies in her bed for rest time.  The era of daily 2.5 hour sleeps is over.

Mummy is a little sad about this however I can see that developmentally she is not needing the big sleep and is consolidating on her night sleep with a consistent 12-13 hours overnight.

Eva is now having a rest in her bed of 40 minutes if she doesn’t fall asleep.  The 40 minutes is marked with a timer and she happily gets up and comes out after the timer goes.  After her rest she is more than happy to sit next to me and do drawing as I “work” on the computer and is becoming quite good at independent play.

Of course it is also fun to have one-on-one time with Eva to do activities that aren’t suited to having a crawling baby around.  So it is a blessing to have this time.

I find that the rest time is enough time for both of us to recharge batteries and have a break from each other.  I need that time to not answer any questions and just have thinking time all to myself.  It gets me through to bedtime as a happy mummy.

About 1-2 times per week she does end up falling asleep but I do make a lot of noise around her room at the 1.5 hour mark or else evening bedtime becomes a very dragged out affair with an energy filled girl.

Eva’s day sleeps have been such a wonderfully refreshing time for me and she has been very gentle in her giving up of them so we are both ready now.  I just have to learn to make the most of my 40 minutes of child free daylight hours!

Slow Down Little One

It seems to have been a wonder week(s) for Hugo. Please God just let him slow down a little for his mama who wants to enjoy all his babyness a little longer.

During the Christmas/New Year holidays Hugo really worked on his crawling.  We literally watched him get more confident and faster as the week progressed.  He now has this lovely tiger like prowl about his crawl which I love.  Not the speed crawling yet but the considered “where will I attack next?” crawl.

This crawling competence has found him in every corner of the room discovering all sorts of interesting things.  Any step to climb up, no matter the size, is a great find. He can stop mid crawl, balance on three limbs and pick a toy up to inspect.

This past week he has upped the ante with any higher surface to pull himself up on being the bees knees to find.  This has led to many a sad face after a fall directly backwards when no one was nearby to catch!

Today he topped this by standing up by himself and even decided to let go with one hand! Really, can’t he just slow down a little.

This week also saw Hugo’s first tooth (finally) make a grand appearance. There was torturous screaming at 5am after a couple of weeks of unsettled nights so we are glad that there is now something to show for it!  As you can see in the photo we anticipate a couple more to quickly follow.

Eva cut her first tooth in January 2010 also at Andrew’s parents house (where we are  house sitting).

Hugo 9 months - Eva 14 months

Here is a shot with Hugo and Andrew showing off their sitting abilities on the day of their first tooth coming through.  Aren’t they cute?

Hugo 9 months - Andrew 8 months (March 1977)

Hugo has been having lots of fun mastering feeding himself with the spoon. It’s amazing to watch him work out that there is food on there and which end to put into his mouth.


This progress is both exciting and sad for me.  Exciting as we marvel at God’s creation which is clearly demonstrated in Hugo learning all these new skills for himself and building on his knowledge with each new attempt.  Sad as I want my baby to be a baby for just a bit longer.

There are posts about Christmas and holidays coming but this was all too much fun and had to interrupt my (lagging) schedule.

Welcome Twenty Twelve

Well, here we are.  January, again.  This time last year we were enjoying a beach holiday with the extended Hodges family.

Since then, some amazing things have happened.

Hugo was born in March.  God blessed us with a son with a genial attitude who is coming along in leaps and bounds after his early arrival at 33 weeks.  He is now mobile and thinks that pulling up on furniture is the best trick ever.  Slow down little one!

Eva transformed from a toddler to a little girl.  She has grown taller but not gained much weight and remains little for her age.  She speaks clearly and thoughtfully… and incessantly.  Eva is starting pre-school in February and it very excited about this next big girl adventure.

Andrew has continued in his busy and challenging role as Regional Revenue Manager (Victoria and Tasmania) for Accor Hotels.  Also the past year has found him busy with study in International Development which included a study tour to Vietnam last month.  Study finishes in March and we are all looking forward to that!

I have had a somewhat difficult year with a challenging pregnancy, a premature birth and the new dynamic of two children to care for.  However the rewards are great but I do hope to find more enjoyment in my mothering journey in 2012.  I am keeping myself busy  as I become assistant co-ordinator at MOPS,  join the committee at Eva’s pre-school and run a monthly support group for Life’s Little Treasures.

May 2012 treat you kindly, bring you joy and laughter, challenges and successes.