From about 11 months Austin morphed into the cutest baby ever! I don’t remember thinking that my babies were so incredibly cute before, so perhaps this comes with the territory of having your third and last child. You’ve been through it before, twice, so you can just relax and enjoy your baby. You also want to cherish every second, as this is the last time you’ll have a little bubba running around in your house.
So sadly, there is no more babies in my life. Austin has so quickly turned into a toddler. So how does our day go?
To this day, I still don’t need an alarm clock to wake me in the morning. Austin will wake up between 6am and 8am each morning. I’m much happier when it’s 8am, but I do go to bed earlier than I would otherwise, around 11pm, just in case it is a 6am wake up! Luckily 7.30am is the most common time – which works perfectly for our family so I can get Oli ready for school and me for work (how does he know!?).
When he does wake up it’s always with big smile. We usually have a little play in bed (especially as it’s winter and I don’t want to get out) by singing songs or bouncing on the bed. Austin also enjoys looking out the window and pointing at birds.
Getting ready for school and work
After getting dressed we go into Oli’s room and I let Austin wake the boys. He starts by climbing on top of Charlie’s head (perhaps he wants to squash Charlie, or perhaps he just wants to get to the lego box that’s just beyond Charlie). The subsequent noisy wrestle ensures Oli and Charlie are awake!
Once the boys are dressed I leave them with Austin while I make breakfast and then we all take a walk to take Oli to school. Or on the days I’m working from the office, Oli and I say bye to everyone and I drop Oli off at school in the car before continuing to work (we now have a second car, so Dada doesn’t need to drive us like before). Austin is never happy about this and I need to ensure he’s in someone’s arms or he tries to come with us. It always ends in tears : (
Work and play
Austin is really great at playing on his own and exploring while I work, but there are a few things that make working from home difficult.
Firstly, I can’t make eye contact with him. I love watching him go about his day while I work (I’m so blessed to be able to do this!). But I need to be careful that he doesn’t catch me gazing at him because if we make eye contact he rushes over to me and wants to be picked up!
Another problem arises when the phone rings. Of course, it is the perfectly wrong time when I am speaking to someone for work, but it always results in Austin running over to me and crying to be picked up! If no one is around to pick him up and carry him far away, then I can only continue the phone call while breastfeeding him to keep him quiet. Thank god for breastfeeding! I can see this was a problem when he was nine months old as well, so it’s obviously not something Austin is getting used to!
Other than that our days are lovely. I get to breastfeed Austin for his nap and on Fridays I take him to his music class, which he loves.
At the same time, I also enjoy the two days a week I spend working from the office. It’s essential for my face to face meetings and catching up with colleagues, but also gives me two ‘relaxing’ days where I don’t need to think about anything else but work and can confidently make phone calls without first ensuring some is there making sure Austin is otherwise occupied.
The great thing about working from the office is that I’m also finished at 5pm, so the rest of the evening isn’t as busy. When I am working at home I usually need to work a bit longer, especially on the day I spend extra time with Austin, so the day feels much busier and rushed.
Austin is now down to one nap a day, anywhere between 11am and 1pm and he tends to sleep for between one and two hours. This is great most days but can be a problem when his music class is on as it starts at 12.45pm and usually means I need to wake Austin up from his nap. Once he didn’t get to sleep on time and had his nap after his class. Luckily his class has been moved to 10.30am from next term, so he’ll be able to nap at his leisure.
We wait until Austin is tired and yawning before trying to put him to sleep, otherwise it’s just a waste of everyone’s time. When he’s ready he falls asleep easily, quickly and happily.
I’m back to work full-time now, so life is extremely hectic! However, when I work from home I take the time to pick Oli up from school. Not only does this give me some exercise and fresh air, it also gets Charlie on his scooter and Austin a welcome ride in his sling.
Because I’m working, it’s often up to Dada to get dinner ready, but if I’ve finished all my work I can join in. Austin enjoys spending time in the kitchen. We’ve had to move all the ‘breakables’ out of the lower draws as Austin loves to take things out and has managed to drop a few pieces. So now the lower draws are mostly filled with plastic boxes.
He also enjoys helping unpack the dishwasher and watching us cook. Often we’ll put him in his high chair with some snacks and he observes us while we prepare the meal.
At dinner time we share all out food with Austin. In the last few weeks I haven’t been cutting up his food as small and he is managing really well, especially as he now has six teeth. I also love it that he usually goes for his vegetables first. I know that won’t last for very long!
Most times we give Austin a bath straight after dinner, as he is often very messy. It works out well, as it means he’s ready for bed at around 7pm. If he’s still not tired or we have dinner early, he runs around in his pyjamas until he gets tired.
Austin loves his bath and spends a lot of time playing with his bath toys. One thing he doesn’t love is having his hair washed. I don’t wash it regularly, so when I decided it was getting a bit grotty I was surprised that he didn’t want to let me shampoo it and cried when I rinsed it. So I decided to make it a more regular affair so he can get used to it (although I still don’t do it very often…).
We also got Austin a little toothbrush so he can clean his teeth. We’ve shown him how to brush and just let him do it himself with a little bit of toothpaste so he can get used to the taste. He doesn’t like the taste and usually makes a face. I also ask him if ‘mummy can have a turn’ and he lets me brush his teeth for about one millisecond. But at least we’re getting him used to it!
Austin is still not a fan of getting his clothes on, so after bath I let him run around a bit and ask him if he wants to put on his pyjamas. After a while he usually comes over and lets me do it. It helps if I give him something exciting to hold, like a tube of cream or my mobile phone.
When he is ready for sleep we turn the light off and I breastfeed him to sleep on his matt (I don’t put him in bed until I’m with him in case he wakes up and falls out in the dark). He usually sleeps really well for the first two hours but then wakes up for a feed. When I am lucky he’ll go back to sleep for a while again, but most times he starts waking up all the time and only stays asleep when I go to bed with him. This is annoying for me, as I don’t get much time to do my own thing (TV watching is a luxury I just can’t afford these days and I often need to cut my shower short because he wakes up) but I know it’s not forever and at least I can take my phone with me and look at Facebook!