Saturday, June 30, 2012

arty's first football game

here in melbourne afl is a pretty big deal for a lot of people, and very much part of our city's social culture. s and i really enjoy going to the footy, and we're both very committed supporters of our respective teams (the collingwood magpies for me, and the freemantle dockers for s). so much so, that we couldn't agree on which team arty should go for. we debated for ages, before deciding that we would leave it up to the players - whoever won when they played each other for the first time after he was born would be his team. 

that game happened today! along with arty's oddmother, we made our way to the iconic melbourne cricket ground...

... found a good spot...

... met up with some other friends...

... and got ready to cheer our teams on.
the first few minutes were a bit scary for arty because there were noisy sirens, and lots of shouting, but luckily we had borrowed some noise-protection ear muffs from his little friend wolf, and they made a big difference. he relaxed so much that he fell asleep almost immediately.

by half-time he'd had enough, but we were really proud of how he handled the noise and the crowds. we followed the game on our phones as we left to go home.

collingwood won in the end, so arty is a little magpie. i got him a membership as soon as we knew what the final scores were.
he might change his mind about who he wants to barrack for when he gets older and that's ok, but we wanted him to be able to say that he'd been a member of his team since he was born, so i'm really excited that he's got one!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

dear arthur: five months

precious arty-bear,

here we are at the five month mark. it's getting a bit redundant to keep going on about how fast the time is slipping by, and how quickly you are growing, so we'll just assume i've made some exclamations on those points and move on to the specifics, ok?

early in the month we went away together as a family for the first time. we stayed at the beautiful glen harrow with some of our favourite people for your mummy's 30th birthday. you slept very well in your camp bed, where we rugged you up in the warmest sleep sack we could find, and you were super cosy. a lot went on that weekend - many people, many faces, many new sights and sounds - and you handled it so well. your mummy and i were so proud of you.

your health has been pretty god this month. you have had two bouts of conjunctivitis which were both a bit gross, but didn't seem to bother you too much. we treated the condition with cleansing wipes and antibiotic cream, and they were very effective.
we had to put you in quarantine for most of this month because you were exposed to chicken pox, but luckily you didn't come down with it.

your oddparents babysat you for the first time this month. i had a bit of a dental emergency in the middle of the night, and i needed your mummy to come with me and hold my hand through the procedure, so you went to their house and they looked after you. they said you were an absolute star, and when we got back to pick you up you were snoozing on your oddfather like a serene little angel.

feeding has changed significantly this month. around your mummy's birthday you started to refuse the breast, and only take the bottle. i have been expressing breastmilk for you, and we have been supplementing with formula. this has been really, really hard work, and we're at the point now where we're considering dropping the breastmilk altogether. i feel really guilty about this, but that guilt is assuaged somewhat by the knowledge that you're responding really well to formula, and getting a more varied diet now that you're eating more solid foods. at this point we're taking things a day at a time.
you usually have one meal of solids a day, and sometimes two. you've tried apples, pears, sweet potato, banana, and cauliflower. you loved the banana, you hated the cauliflower, and seemed to like everything else. we're enjoying helping you explore these new tastes and textures.

you're getting more and more confident in your body. you have mastered rolling over (though you waited for the appropriate audience of both your uncles, both your mums and your oma before you did it)...


... and you're getting ready to sit up on your own.

you're so keen to be upright, because you're constantly observing and interacting with your environment, and the people around you. i love how engaged and interested you are in your world.

you're still sleeping well at night, and having a couple of good naps every day. you're enjoying snuggling up chest to chest with me, with your head on my arm and sleeping that way during the day. sometimes i think i should be using that time to do housework or something, but i love to share those quiet hours with you, and i'm making the most of them for now.

i am so enjoying all the ways in which your unique and beautiful nature is asserting itself. i don't just love you, i like you too - you're bright, affectionate, determined (read: stubborn!), and you already have a well developed sense of fun.

so we're travelling well, little one. i am still loving every moment of being your mama (yes, even the exhausting ones), and i adore you more and more every day.
big slobbery kisses,
your mama xoxox

Thursday, June 14, 2012


i've been thinking about resemblance lately.

having a child through a donor means that sometimes, where you should see flashes of your partner shining through in your baby's face, you see someone else. in our case, that someone else is a friend, so his features and expressions are familiar. sometimes arty gives me a cheeky sideways look and i'm bowled over by how much he looks like his donor. other times i think he's all me.

i love that i can look at him and see my mouth, my silly grin, and my big round head. existing alongside that happiness is a kind of grief that i don't see s's eyes, her nose, or her ridiculously stubby little fingers. that's not to say that he isn't utterly perfect the way he is, or that i would ever want to change a single thing about him, it's just i sometimes think it must be amazing to look at your kid and see that alchemical combination of both parents all mixed up into a brand new person.

there are other ways that arty will resemble s. he has already started to mimic some of her facial expressions (a little nose-wrinkle when he grins), and i know she will shape his tastes, his talents, and his character too.

all this has also got me thinking about how i feel about the different roads we might take to having another child (this won't be for a while, i'm just pondering). i kind of figured we'd use an anonymous donor next time, but now i'm wondering if there's a chance i'd find it kind of odd to see flashes of a stranger in my child's face. the other half of arty's genes may not be s's, but they are familiar and beloved just the same. maybe we wouldn't notice so much because we wouldn't be looking for the features of someone we know.
maybe next time we'll look into finding another known donor. maybe by then we'll have the legal right to adopt (can you believe it's 2012 and we don't?). whatever happens, and whoever they look like, we'll love them to pieces, just like we love our arty.