As each day draws to a close surely as the setting sun, our little man is growing, developing and enriching our lives. Noah is fast becoming a baby boy with a wonderfully gentle, loving and warm personality. Our son is now four months and 16 days old. He has truly perfected his sleeping routine and again we sing praises to the 'Contented Baby' routine by Gina Ford. To the non believers of having your newborn in a sound routine, it can and is being done, not only by us but parents everywhere. I was amazed when I attended parents groups and there were children older than Noah who were still waking in the night and then others who had wished they had tried a routine but thought it was not possible. We have been following the routine as recommended by Gina Ford since Noah was born in April.
We did not feed on demand as recommended by the nurses at Hiranandani Hospital. Rather, we chose to feed as outlined in the 'Contended Baby' and the results speak or I should say sleep for themselves. Noah has been sleeping through the night from 7pm to 7am since he was three and a half months old and nothing has changed. He is perfection at bed time and, as the clock approaches 7pm, his beautiful little eyes start to become heavy and in a matter of moments he boards the sleep train bound for sleepy land, as we say in our home. This routine has been important for us knowing that both of us would be returning to work so soon after Noah was born. Darren returned to work just after Noah was one month old and Johnny has just returned to work too. We needed to know that our son was going to be happy, healthy and in a strong routine and, he is.
The past month has been one of major development for Noah. He is no longer newborn and this is very obvious to us when we compare him to other young babys; cousin Reid who is seven weeks old and cousin Alexander who is four weeks old. No No (Noddy) is growing up.
Our son can now hold his head up high on his own and is no longer a rag doll when sitting upright. He really enjoys tummy time but not for too long Papa! Noah is laughing out load every day and especially loves it when Daddy wakes him up with his morning wake up song; Good Morning! Nothing compares to the joy we feel when we walk into Noah's room of a morning, opening the blinds and there is our little star looking up at us smiling, giggling and waiting for us to pick him up for his first cuddle and kiss of the day. He is so happy to see his Daddy and Papa and the squeals of delight are simply divine! Noah really enjoys Fisher Price's "Little People" too. We have a couple of Baby Einstein DVDs and the Little People Discoveries DVD which runs for fifteen minutes. We usually find this being played at around 10:30am just before a mid morning bottle. The five 'Little People', Michael, Maggie, Sonya-Lee, Sara-Lyn and Eddie enjoy a number of adventures together such as helping Farmer Jed with his corn field, helping a little car stuck in a tree, playing with the animals at the zoo and helping each other. The DVD is not long and Noah just loves sitting on the sofa watching while Papa and Daddy run around the house trying to get a few chores done.
Noah has also had his second immunisation booster this month: diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hep. B, rotavirus, pneumococcal and hib. When we went for the two month check up and immunisations he was such a trooper, but this time round he was less eager to accept what was being offered by the community nurse. Perhaps it's because Noah is growing and becoming more aware or maybe he was simply having a bad day. Regardless he did not take the oral vaccine easily and one of the two needles he was given really, really upset him. He took longer to calm and settle this time round but at least we know he is protected from illness that can be prevented. Immunisations are a topic of discussion amongst new parents and we know that some people are against vaccinating and other would not have it any other way.
A large section of the community where we live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales like to live a simple, hassle free and alternate lifestyle. I suppose you could say the city of the Blue Mountains welcomes with open arms the inner hippy in all of us. And sometimes, with this chosen way of life many people like to live as naturally as possible and this sometimes means not having your children immunised. To each his own, we live in a wonderfully accepting society (could be more so) and if you don't want to do something, you have the choice not to do it. For our family however, Johnny in particular immunisations are something that was non negotiable. When I was in high school, a young boy in year 10, his third year of junior high, came to school one day with a cane. The kind of cane you see vision impaired people using to assit in walking. I though nothing of this at the time, consumed by my own world and that of my friends.
Later that same year I left this school for a twelve month student exchange program to live in Japan. When I returned to Australia in 1997 I discovered from my younger sister that the boy who had brought the cane to school had in fact contracted the measles. This boy gradually lost his eye sight, went completely blind and was then bed ridden before he passed away.
This young boy aged fifteen years old had died from the measles.
I remember Becky telling me that the school community at the time was in total shock at his passing and nurses in our local hospital required counselling after he died. I still often think of this boy and his family. I can not imagine the pain and anguish that his parents and brother must have endured knowing that he was about the lose his life because of the measles, a preventable disease. This is why I always felt that if we had children there would be no question in having him or her vaccinated. And, on to the next topic of debate, politics!
Isn't this meant to be a blog about family, our son and our experience in India and not a social soapbox?
I won't venture too far down the political brick road other than to say that Australia has just had a federal election over the past weekend and we are still awaiting the results to hear who our new Prime Minister will be. Neither of the two major political parties won my a clear majority. and both now need to try and coerce the independent and green parties to form an alliance with them to have a clear majority of power in the senate or it's back to the polling booths for us all. One of the hopes Darren and I have coming into this election is that the government will recognise our family as equal to that of our straight counterparts and even (gasp) allow us to publicly declare our love for one another and have this recognised as valid and equal too. You know what people; doing this will not result in the world as you know it crumbling and falling apart! The sun will still rise in the East and set in the West. Autumn will still follow Summer and Spring will still follow Winter. There is still hope and change will come. But change, major change always seems to take a snails pace to happen don't you think?
This past month Noah and Papa went to their first local school's open day and I'm sure this will be the first of many as we decide where is best to nurture our little boy and provide the best opportunity for him to grow and develop both emotionally and academically. So far so good and we will go again next year to look at the school's facilities, chat with staff and students. If we decide this is where we want Noah to be educated, we will pay the enrollment fee, sign the paperwork and place him on the waiting list for kindergarten in 2010. YIKES!
We have had some wonderful day trips, outings and visits from family and friends over the past four to five weeks too. Daddy, Papa and Noah started off with a very full day exploring Sydney and some of her outer suburbs. We started our day with a spot of shopping trying to find some cute outfits for No No. We then enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch at Nicks on world famous Bondi Beach and spent our afternoon enjoying coffee and a spot more shopping in the cute village of Woollahra in Sydney's Eastern suburbs. We decided to finish the day with dinner at a yummy Mexican restaurant in Glebe, in Sydney's inner west. A total of ten plus hours out with our little man and Noah was perfect! He woke, ate and slept when he was meant to and enjoyed a great outing with his dads.
We also took a day trip west of the Blue Mountains to the small town of Oberon, famous for wild mushrooms in Autumn and truffles in Winter. This is where Uncle Brett lives. We also had a visit from friends Fara and Matt this month, with the wonderfully exciting news they are expecting twins which was a surprise and a half! We knew they had been trying IVF and did not know they were successful until we saw them this month. Cathing up with this pair is akin to walking into the FRRO in Mumbai, swanning around without all your required paperwork and then leaving with your child's exit visa in hand within the hour...next to impossible. We have been trying to catch up for lunch since our return from Mumbai in April and finally managed to do so in July. The expectant parents managed to keep their pregnancy a secret and when they arrived we were met with a five month pregnant belly! We are so excited for them and know they will be great parents.
Aunty Nadyne, Uncle Murray and Cousins Emerson and Makayla also visited us from Newcastle in July. This was the second time we had caught up with Johnny's sister, brother in law and children since we returned from India. And it was a great opportunity to relax at home and enjoy some time visiting wonderful cafes and shops which are abundant in the Blue Mountains. We always have a fantastic time when we meet up and sharing the joy of parenthood with them adds another dimension to our relationship.We also enjoyed a wonderful weekend with dear friends, Jarrad, Michael and their newborn son Reid, born in India in June of this year. We had a beautiful weekend exploring some of the surrounding areas in the Mountains and again, enjoyed delicious food and beautiful wine but most importantly shared great times with remarklably wonderful friends. These boys and their son mean so much to our family and we are delighted to have continued our friendship since the birth of our children. In them we have friends for life.