Rarely have I felt so unbelievably tired and ill.

Too many nights in quick succession with Nora waking up at 4 coughing her guts up. I don't know what it is about 4 but it just seems to be wakeup time in extremis.

My brain really is shutting down through over-tiredness and its rather scary given the garbled and nonsensical conversations I've had today. Luckily I have the excuse of a cold but still, it's somewhat alarming. I need to be "here" when I'm at work, not wafting off in to a green heavy fug.

Six months old

Nora Jessie Mackay is 6 months and 1 day old.

Tomorrow we drop a feed and give her chicken - her first non-consenting animal sourced protein (if you discount the odd formula feeds she ued to have). She's just over 15 pounds in weight and likes to stick her delicate fingers up my nose whilst feeding.

She's in a very silly mood at the moment, and has discovered a new method of laughing and smiling. A funny creased up nose cheeky grin. And she's learned to clap her hand against mine and make a noise. I take this as a 'sign' that sign language learning can now begin in earnest.

Sitting up.

She is sitting up. The high chair helped a great deal with her sorting out how to do it, and now sitting in the high chair appears not to involve slumping on to one side and slopping over the edge, as if she's had half a bottle of vodka.

Got to start coming up with the "next stage" type babyfood and stop mouli-ing everything within an inch if it's individual vegetable portion life. Talking of which - advice: do not mouli sweetcorn. It is the vegetable from outer space. It is an insane sugar and juice creation device, which sheds more roughage than appeared to be there in the first place.

Ah, Nora has appeared. I must go. Meanwhile, I'm really saddened to read the struggles that Dooce is having with her life at home with Leta. I think I had mild PND due to the horrors of the birth and feeling very dissociated at the beginning, but I can't help but think that my Irish constitution (nay, "bulk" I think you'll find) and ability to shoulder rather enormous amounts of burden if it means I'm helping someone out has enabled me to cope with 5-6 hurs of sleep for the last 5 1/2 months. That, as well as the fact that Nora is frankly, the most chilled out, lovely, fun to be with little munchcake that I just... run with it, really.

Sometimes I think, if I was given a weekend off (which, by the way, I long for, but know I couldn't bear just yet) and allowed myself to have a lie-in, I actually wouldn't wake up until it was time to take her back. I don't think
I'm ever really going to make up for the lack of sleep that I've had but what's the point in worrying about it?


Sleeping through?


That seems to have been easier than I thought at first.

As predicted she woke at 5.40 (5.35, actually) on day 1.
Midnight the night after. Uh-oh.

So we gave her a small topup (me having already deposited my milk in the fridge).

Next night - 5.40.

Last night - 6.45! Yay! Lovely. Perfect. She's great. And to help matters she took far more from me this morning than she has for days. You know what this means? this means I express out 1/4 of an hour earlier every day, eventually when it gets to 8pm or maybe 8.30 I'll stop, and we'll have freezer-banked all the extra for emergencies.

More news on changing routines during the day and going away for the weekend later. How the hell I'm going to cope when I get back to work god only knows. My entire life is centred around her needs currently. Not only will I almost expire with fretting as to whether Mackay can look after her alright for the first week (or more) but I will miss her being near me constantly so badly I hope Caroline's prepared for me to be somewhat distracted for the first few days.

It's been a week

A new record.

Seven days without going to the loo.

God knows what will happen. She's intermittently really fed up now. Every so often she squeals out in real crying for a few seconds. Not nice. Luckily she's now back on the food ie: stewed fruit. It's only been a couple of days she's really been swallowing, but - that's still at least 4 meals worth. Small meals, but meals all the same.

So where it is all? Pretty soon she's going to run out of colon.

Night feeding

That's a bit too much of an oblique reference to the REM song.

My love is stirring in her bed. We're dropping nightfeeds in a couple of days. About a week ago we switched from Mackay giving her a bottle (too wakeful - she spent an hour and a half awake one night to me breastfeeding her and not changing her, so it's quick, she's half asleep, she nuzzes and it's all over in twenty minutes. The feed has been pushed forward over the last month from midnight to ten o'clock where it is now, and she's just ready to drop it. She can barely wake for it and face it, if we didn't wake her, she would sleep through till dawn, which is what we want her to do! She's a great sleeper. She just zonks out and occasionally wakes early wth strange dreams but only by about an hour at best.

And I was looking down tonight, about half an hour ago, at her small, calm, sleeping face, her lips pursed and me kissing the gentle, soft tender skin of her fingers as she lay on her feeding pillow against me, and felt a crushing melancholy weight of intense love. I hope in her life she can keep some of the loveliness she has in her semi-wakened personality now. The way she laughs and really hardly ever is upset (grizzly, yes, but it's so rare to hear the "nunng nunng nunng" of her crying). The way she touches my face, as if she's trying to read it. The way she today looked quietly at me with eyes wide through the whole of the reading of the three billy goats gruff... I've never loved anyone as much in my life. Every second she's here is a gift.

Yeah, yeah, remind me of this when she's a teenage pregnant heroin addict.

Feeding update

So she's feeding.

Sitting in her chair in the kitchen (natch), clutching her own spoon and enthusiastically stuffing it in to her mouth. In between times, I spoon babyrice, which gently becomes more fruity, then less baby-ricey, then no-babyricey and completely pear-y and she grins back her daft, cheesey smile, pear drooling down her chin.

Who knew?

Sqeaking with boredom

Nora is bored.

She's bored with the house. Bored with the playgym. Bored with everything, except going outside, meeting people or practicing standing up. Boredom shows itself by a rising level of sqealing and sqeaking if you put her down or stop talking to her for more than two minutes.


Today however, a new distraction. A Door bouncer, in which Nora's dainty feet delicately felt for the floor and for a few minutes she got the gist of bouncing. Then it got boring.

Aaaargh! (but so worth it to see her dainty feet testing out the ground, toes first, ballet style).

Nora's laughing has now become much more pronounced. It's relatively easy for me to set her up so she will emit a stupendous series of bubbly, staccato belly laughs, arching her far-too-skinny back forward as she looks at me with sparkling eyes full of joy. It leaves me craving more smiles, more laughter. Better than heroin, that's certain. Bouncing on the bed, or more accurately, me bouncing my arms on the bed and her jiggling between them is a ready source of amusement, as is my pretending to not be about to eat her up, then quickly nuzzling and grizzling into her shoulder.

On the far too skinny front, I didn't mention but her weight has gone down in growth rate terms from the 40th percentile to below the 9th. It doesn't take long to work out just how incredibly worried that makes me. It also doesn't take longer than 2 minutes with Nora to realise that she couldn't care less about it. Still, I'm shovelling her milk that she hasn't eaten back to her as fast as I can.

In other news, there are some more photos, primarily from Spain including this gorgeous pic - the first one of her smiling. I can't believe it took that long, she smiles at everything.

Nourishment - advice from anyone?

Discussion, maybe? the only time there's ever been a real ongoing discussion on this was when I said blogs were just online diaries!

So Nory started ok, but since the baby rice in Spain (smiling, gurgling, swallowing... positive, positive, positive) it's gone from Apple... not sure; carrot - quite nice, swede: fuck off! Anything given to me on a spoon - rejection.

Rejection, rejection, rejection. Then, I think, try to give her banana just on my finger? Yesssss kind of works. Mackay tries the same with the carrot (plenty of milk in) and again, tongue acts as a sentry, and given that the only way to get food in is to force it, I elect to not give her solids if it's going to upset her.

So you start solids at 16 weeks? Well, not according to Dr Sears.

Ah... now I must go and do the night breastfeed! I'll come back to this one but I'm very interested in hearing other weaning / solids experiences. Katie? Tom? Danny? Barney?

Bumbo's ahoy

A "bumbo" is a very strange looking baby seat which was invented in Sud Afrik. Ity helps babies who can't yet sit up... er... sit up. It's advised that they're used from 4 months on, because of the whole muscles / neck business. well, we bought one on E-bay (it worked out as only a ferw quid off - these things are in demand) and we've been practicing with it once or twice a day for a few minutes at a time. Nory's head was flopping forward and she looked very uncomfortable, unless you actually called out to her and she looked up to engage with you.

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