Larry will always be there for you.

If this week could be, it would be brought to you with the letter C. C for crying, C for crappy, C for COULD this wonder month be over yet … C for challenging! Or any other word you can think of that starts with C.

Ok, maybe I really couldn’t think of any other letter to tie it all in with but as far as Audrey goes, at her current development stage, it’s been a toughy. Rock in the corner, kinda toughy…In all of this is our poor Larry. He feels those real feels. And he is there for support every step of the way. For me and for Audrey..(and Nic)

I’m was trying my best to settle Audrey and I can just hear Larry outside her room, breathing really loud, trying to stick his nose under the door. Like he’s saying ‘Audrey, I’m here for you’

We have been letting Audrey cry, just that little bit longer so she can slowly learn to self settle. It kills us and also worries Larry. He will look at me then look at her door, and then he looks back at me again like ‘aren’t you going to go to the crying mini human?’.  When I finally open the door to go soothe her, he rushes in after me…’Mini human, are you ok?’

As I was feeding her for the ‘dream feed’ Larry comes in, softly pushing the door open. He stands there, peering in, like a wise Mufusa from the Lion King, watching over his pack. He softly pads over to me, almost tip toeing and stands at my feet. I feel his warm breath on the back of my hand as he licks her head. He knows she is safe and he’s ok’d this with me. He tip toes back out of room, knowing his work is done.

The other day I left Audrey asleep in the bassinet only to find Larry leaning over looking at her. ‘Larry’ I whispered very loudly, ‘come away, don’t wake her..’ I looked in her bassinet and there is chewed up ‘Ducky’ (Larry’s favourite toy) sitting next to Audrey.  Larry is patiently waiting for her to throw it, or as I like to think, he has gifted her a soothing toy to make her pains go away.

When you name your dog a human name.

On Saturdays as a treat, Larry gets to go to the dog park. Hooray, high fives all round. It’s a great adventure and he loves nothing more than to have the wind in his fur and wag his tail with the other pups.

We went down there as a family on Saturday – Audrey is in the ergo carrier on my chest and Nic is in charge of Larry. We let Larry off the lead and he runs free to join all the other dogs. ‘Weeeeeeeee yippee.’ I can see the smile on his face as he trots off to join his four, legged, hairy companions. We keep a eye on him constantly, the responsible dog owners that we are. (I wish all owners would actually follow suit, it concerns me the laid back manner they have whilst their dog are harassing other dogs)

Anyway, Larry was a bit too far away for comfort, so Nic yelled at him. ‘Larry, come back’ he ignored us and kept playing. So Nic kept yelling ‘Larry….Larry……LLAAARYYYY’ it got louder and louder.

A middle age man kept turning around every time Nic yelled. Maybe he thought we were being irresponsible owners and letting our dog stray too far. Or maybe he thought we were too over protective and we should shut up and let our dog do his thing. He started to head in our direction. Getting closer and closer.  He looked over again and yelled ‘Are you talking to me?’

‘No, why, is your name Larry?’ replied Nic, my husband

‘Yes, actually it is’ he said.

Ummmmmm, sorry poor guy, no..not you, we gave our dog a human name. Nic continued on and said ‘but you can come here if you want’ Akward silence commence……….

We exchanged uncomfortable looks. Everyone now looking at us (not everyone but it sure felt like it). Please earth swallow me up now.

We quick marched ourselves to the car, both crying from laughter and embarrassment.

I flashed the meter guy.

I have flashed a few people in my life time. Too many to remember, mainly due to the intoxication levels. Unfortunately, the most recent one could not be blamed on alcohol and will never be forgotten – by me or my unsuspecting victim.

The first few days that Nic went back to work, was a tense time in our household. I found it a real kick in the teeth to be left on my own with the baby. I literally did little more than stay in bed and breast feed. In between breast feeds, I’d make crusades to the kitchen and brought back snacks to my cave. I don’t think I even went to the toilet. Or had a shower or even put on a bra. I fobbed off any contact with the real world and discouraged any potential visitors.

It was early morning on day two. I was half way through a breast feed and I heard a knock at the door. Who. on.   earth.   is.   that? I froze in fear, thinking someone has ignored my request to leave me alone. If I layed there very still they would go away.

Before I knew it, someone was opening the side gate! What the hell!! Is someone breaking into my house? My fear grew to fury. Right… Protective mother instinct activate!

I put the Audrey safely down in her bassinet. Reached for my dressing gown, secured it and I stormed outside….

I saw a man in fluro, tool box in hand, meter box opened.

‘What the f?’ Were the words I think I used.

Startled and shocked by the raging woman in a gown, he explained that we should have received a letter last week to say he’d be here today.

‘I knocked first’ he said in a timid voice.

‘I WAS BREAST FEEDING!!’ I scolded back at him.

None of this his fault what so ever, let me add, he was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  But that didn’t stop me unleashing my fury.

Just as I was about to lose my shit, Larry bolted toward the man with excitement to see the stranger, the brilliant guard dog he is.  I grabbed his collar, stopping him mid leap from greeting our ‘guest’ with his Larry licks of love. In doing so he pulled me forward, to tread in a pile of his poo and pulling my dressing gown loose to expose myself.

The meter man steps back, in shock (I would have too after seeing a breast feeding breast staring at me), in doing so he also stepped into dog poo. (We happened to be standing in Larry’s pooing corner).

We both freaked out about the dog poo situation, mine smushed between my bare toes and the meter man had it hanging off his shoe.

I used this time of distraction to cover up.

We both pretended like he didn’t cop an eyeful and I apologised for the misunderstanding. As I retreated back into the the house, one hand holding onto Larry’s collar, the other clasping my dressing gown together to prevent it completely falling off. Limping with my dog poo foot and slowly dying from embarrassment.

 

Larry’s no dummy.

Larry loves Audrey… and everything that belongs to her too.

He loves her teeny, tiny shoes. So much so, that he pinches the shoes out of her room and takes them out the dog door. I later find one, little lace shoe sitting lonesome on the garden lawn. No destruction inflicted on the shoe. It’s just there, waiting, maybe for the other shoe to join it or maybe until Larry can thieve four shoes to wear on every one of his paws.

However, he is not so delicate when he gets his hands/paws on her bottles. Coincidently, a mouth piece of a babies bottle is perfect for a naughty Labradoodle to chew on. We, not learning our lesson the first time, left the bottles in reach of Larry. Thinking if they were higher that they’d be safe from sight. How wrong we were and came home to bits of plastic dispersed all over the house.

When we are home, I know if he has an item that he shouldn’t have as he will make a B-line straight for the dog door and not make any eye contact.

Dummies/pacifiers is another of his favourites . I learned this when I discovered a tiny bit of chewed plastic, it kind of looked like a bit of spat out bubble gum. Hmmm, that can’t be a dummy.? Otherwise I would have found the rest of it. And then I did find the the rest of it… In Larry’s poo.

Anyway, it was Sunday morning and I was cooking up a storm! Audrey was in her baby bouncer and Nic was on his phone, as per usual. Me, oblivious to what Larry was up to, though I should had have realised when he was MIA whilst I’m cooking bacon.

Then he appears, making no eye contact, he quietly tip toes past me, straight for the dog door.

Nic and I both yell out for him to stop, once realising he had something  of value. The excitement beaming from his eyes.

“Larry” we called.

Knowing he had been spotted, he picked up the pace, still thinking he had time to get away.  However, Nic caught up to him and Larry stopped dead in his tracks. He knew by this time he had to surrender the goods. Slowly he turned himself so that he was facing Nic.

“Drop it, Larry” Nic demanded.

With a guilty puppy face, Larry avoided eye contact with Nic.

“What is that Nic?” I asked from inside.

On closer inspection Nic realised that in Larry’s mouth was Audreys favourite dummy but cherry side between his teeth. Sucking on it, like he was a baby.

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What’s breast for you, is not best for me.

From day one Audrey did not take to breast feeding. Due to this, feeds were the least bit bonding and left me feeling rejected by her.

I exclusively breast fed for what felt like forever but was really two, horrible, tense months. (My original plan was 6 beautiful, amazing, bonding months)

During that time, I visited the lactaction consultant, the nurse a few times and attended a settling education day in order to alleviate my breast feeding woes.

By this time I had built up an anxiety when it came to feeding and dreaded it. Furthermore I didn’t dare leave the house because I was too afraid of what could happen when she needed to be fed.

In the end, I had to express my milk and feed it to her with the bottle. And how well she fed from the bottle. It was so easy and there were no tears – from either of us… But how did I intend to keep this up, especially during the nighttime feeds?

After a bit of reading on the net I discovered that ‘mixed feeding’ was actually a thing. Oh my, could this ease up the situation? Could this work? I was so desperate.

So I did it.. I introduced a few formula feeds. But with this came a huge sense of guilt. Guilt that I was doing something wrong by formula feeding. Formula did have so many advantages for me and it was nutritionally satisfying enough for a newborn but why did I feel like I was ill-judged for making the move to formula?

I looked for reassurance from everywhere I could, but everywhere I turned I could only find breast feeding recommendations. ‘Breast is best’ ‘BREAST IS BEST’…Best? It wasn’t the best, not for me and it hadn’t been for Audrey.

Where was the help I needed and information I sought for formula feeding? Or professional reassurance that what I was doing was ok.

Why isn’t there more guidance and support for women who for whatever reason, choose to formula feed. And if there is where is it?

So I went on a hunt to find the knowledge I was so desperate for. Firstly I spoke to the doctor, who was so vague I wondered if had ever seen a baby. The paedetritian was a no go, as he was all for the breast. The pharmicist very biased about their formula products and seem to just agree with every thing I said.  I called the nutritionists in tears of desperation (they must have thought I was nuts) but who basically shrugged their shoulders on the other end of the line due to legality can’t recommend very much. I felt like banging my head on the wall.

Where can I go? I spent relentless hours on the net and found these following pages that actually helped me.

https://m.huggies.com.au/baby-care/formula/milk

http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/formula-feeding

Even though ‘My plan,’ to exclusively breast feed for six months didn’t work, I was the one that had to accept that and that I am doing the right thing.  I wasn’t going to find encouragement anywhere else. I, infact had the reassurance all along that I needed and that was formula feeding let me relax, bond with Audrey, leave the house without panic and really begin to enjoy parenting. It gave me that little bit of control. She has been perfectly fine on formula, flourishing and happy. And that’s what best!

 

Don’t mess with my bins.

I thought I’d start my blog with something a bit light hearted, rather than attack the serious matters so soon.

Anyway, I’m having some difficulties with my bins.

As of recent, our bin man/woman (council) has been going through our rubbish, green waste and recycling to ensure that we ‘the People’, are disposing our waste correctly.

Once they have finish identifying with the rubbish in the bin, a big calling card is attached to the bin, with a tick, yes; you’ve passed, the rubbish can be taken away; or NO, WRONG, YOU SUCK AT CHUCKING OUT RUBBISH! (It doesn’t actually say this.) And yes I get it, people are shit and lazy. And yes, I totally agree and love to recycle. Save the world! But these guys are tough, ruthless even. I’m left confused, frustrated and anxious to discard of anything.

So when we had our first fail and my husband had to go through the bins to correct them, I thought, we need to step up our game. I placed a what to/where list on the inside rubbish bin under our sink. One also went on the fridge to reiterate the correct procedure to all house members (my husband).

The following week we didn’t pass the bin exam once more, but only the red rubbish bin this time. The yellow recycling bin had not failed. For f sake, the calling card I’m left with is so vague. Like every thing is circled but they took my rubbish anyway. So obviously, I’m happy I don’t need to go through the bin again but what did I chuck out this week.

I hate failing when I really try at things, so I wrote a letter to them and stuck it on my bin.

It read:

“Dear persons that checks my bin,

Just if we could have some clarification on EXACTLY what we didn’t dispose of correctly. 

You see, I understand you’ve circled the calling card to notify us but it’s such a generalisation and I can’t remember every piece of rubbish I disposed of this week.

And, you see, I spent the whole week trying to get it right – perfect even! I have multiple cheat sheets stuck around my house. So I have immediately blamed this rubbish blunder on my husband and then we rowed about our bins, as neither of us have had a decent sleep in a couples of months due our newborn. (You probably have established this by now as you can see our rubbish bin is mainly nappies.)

I fear we will end up developing a phobia and just keep all our rubbish in tiny bags stacked up around our house. (I saw this in a weird hoarding documentary once.)

Anyway, kindly, if you could just write on our ‘grading card’ as I like to call it, the exact item you fail us on. This would be extremely helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Sleepless mum.”

So… I didn’t hear anything back, but they took the bins. No reply and no ‘grading card’.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Is it a success or a failure?

Oh well, the bins are empty – perhaps they have moved onto the next unsuspecting victims.