Austin is still a pretty reliable alarm (except for this morning, when he didn’t wake up until 8.30am and made me rush to get to work on time!). So I do trust him to wake up at around 7.30am each morning. He usually gives me a heads-up at 6.30am when he asks for a breastfeed.
Getting ready for school and work
Austin is going through a clingy stage, so he doesn’t like me walking around when he’s on the floor, even if it’s in the same room. If I try and make breakfast in the kitchen and put him on the floor he clings to my legs and asks to be picked up!
So instead I kill two birds with one stone and ask Oli to wake up and take care of Austin while I prepare breakfast and get ready for the day.
I am blessed to have a flexible employer and have asked to start work at 9.15am. This gives me time to walk Oli to school on the days I work from home or to drop him off if I am driving to the office. Austin always comes along, either in the sling or in the carseat, which luckily he doesn’t mind (except when we’re putting his seatbelt on!).
Work and play
So for the next five hours I am working. Working part-time is a great balance for me at the moment, as I still get plenty of time after work to spend time with my family and even cook dinner (which I never found time for when working full-time).
If I am at home (which is three days each week) I put Austin on the floor at my feet and work while he spends the morning playing. He’s pretty good at entertaning himself but if I am speaking on the phone he rushes over to me and asks to be picked up. He probably thinks a stranger is around and gets scared. This of course, is not very good timing, so I call out to Dada or Charlie to take care of Austin so I can finish my call. If I am planning a call I make sure someone is with him first. Other than that, it’s pretty relaxed working with my boys around and of course Austin gets lots of attention from Dada and Charlie. Although I am working, I still get to be a part of his life and watch him develop and grow. I was there when he rolled over for the first time and when he spent a week learning how to crawl and then finally did it. We all cheered and he looked at us with a, ‘what’s going on?’ expression.
Austin tends to have a short morning nap, perhaps around 9.30am, but lately he’s been staying awake until about 11.30am. I take five or ten minutes out to breastfeed him to sleep and if he doesn’t go to sleep right away I just get back to my work and wait until he looks tired again. Sometimes Dada might take over and rock him if he’s too tired to play but taking too long to fall asleep. He might also have another 20 minute nap in the afternoon, perhaps around 1.30pm.
If I am working from the office (the other two days each week) I wave bye to Charlie and Austin after Dada drops me off at work. Dada then takes care of Austin while I’m away. Until this week David would drive Austin to my work at around 12pm for a breastfeed, but this week he decided to see if Austin could go without and he did fine. Even when I got back into the car at 2pm Austin wasn’t fazed. He didn’t really think about having a breastfeed until we got home and I picked him up and put him in the breastfeeding position – at that point his eyes lit up and he got excited about having his feed.
After work I put Austin in his sling again and we take a walk to Oli’s school to pick him up. Austin’s chubby legs never fail to attract attention and he often tries to hide behing the sling straps to get some peace!
I then might spend some time with Austin before starting to get dinner ready (I rarely get to spend time with Oli or Charlie as they’re off playing with their next door neighbours).
Austin might also have a third nap at around 4.30pm, but the last few days he hasn’t really been as tired, so it seems he’s going from three naps to two.
If Austin is asleep or occupied while I’m making dinner I’ll leave him to it. If they’re home, Austin often chooses to spend time with his brothers and crawls all around the house following them around. Other times Austin doesn’t want to play and so I or Dada put him in the sling while making dinner. The only problem is when he tries to grab things and then drops them on the floor!
Austin loves his food and is always happy to be put in his highchair for dinner time. I tend to give him the same food everyone else is eating, although I cut it up into tiny pieces first because he tends to choke on anything that’s too big (and he doesn’t have any teeth yet, so he can’t chew his food up!). If Austin can’t have our food (which doesn’t happen often, as we also need to please our four and seven year olds!) then I might give him some avacado or pear or toast. Although I’ve noticed he’s not much into avacado these days.
At 7pm I put Austin in the bath. Since he’s a very competent sitter I no longer get in the bath with him, as it’s a small bath and too squishy for me plus an active baby. He has fallen backwards a few times but I’m there to sit him back up again and he’s never been hurt as the water cushions his fall. It helps not to fill the bath up too high (just enough to cover his legs) because then he’s heavier and more grounded. Grandma and Aunty Anna bought Austin some groovie bath toys for Christmas so Austin is never short of things to play with. He also enjoys examining the taps and throwing his toys on the bathroom floor and watching where they land.
After bath I take Austin to the bedroom to dry him up and get him ready for bed. As soon as I lie him down on his towel he begins to cry, but if I let him hold his tube of baby cream he cheers up immediately. I try to get Austin dry and dressed quickly as it’s the only part of the day he isn’t fond off.
I then lie down with him on a floor matt and feed him to sleep. I used to put him to sleep on the bed, and once he learned to crawl we put pillows all around him to stop him from rolling off. Because he always cries when he wakes up we always had time to get to him before he had time to move. But one night he didn’t make a sound when he woke up and simply crawled right off the bed! So from that night on we haven’t put him to sleep on a raised surface and I pick him up off the floor mat and put him in bed with me once I am ready to go to sleep myself.
Until that time Austin might wake up a few times (or sometimes not at all). As soon as I hear him cry I go to the bedroom and settle him back down with a breastfeed. It usually only takes five minutes before he is asleep again. Because the bedroom is at the front of the house and I usually spend my evenings at the back of the house, not long ago I bought a second hand baby monitor (it only cost $2 and it’s perfect!). So now we don’t need to check on Austin or pause a movie or listen out for sounds because we can hear any noises he makes loud and clear.