Rory – 10.75 months corrected

No medical news this week so I’ll start with where we finished off last week, Jervis Bay, a beautiful big calm bay about 2.5hrs south of Sydney. We had a really fun weekend away with birthday girl Suzie and Peter. We didn’t actually do an awful lot other than hang out on the deck of the holiday house, have a walk or a swim on the beach, eat loads and watch a fair bit of sport (grand finals in AFL & NRL and two rugby World Cup matches). Really the best thing was to sit in the shade of the deck and feel like you’d spent a day at the beach without worrying about sand or sunscreen. That’s not to say Rory didn’t take his sun protection seriously wearing a rash shirt (a rashie), sunscreen and a hat. He also liked hanging out under the shade of the table on the deck. And it was hot! 30s in Jervis Bay and up to 37 in Sydney.

We enjoyed some nice walks on the beach and Rory liked watching all the kids play in the sand and sea.

So we thought Rory might like to experience sand for the first time but boy were we wrong! Jervis Bay is famed for its white clean sand but Colmán popped him down on it and this was the result! And no it wasn’t hot… This was later in the day when the sand was in shade and cool.

He was much happier back on Colman’s knees and peeping at Peter. Nothing would persuade him sand was worth trying again even me playing with his cups!

Coming back up from the beach we spotted this 1.5 metre diamond Python snake heading under our house. A local told us not to worry about it and a quick google told us it wasn’t venomous… Don’t you love Australia!

The next day we were up early to watch England play Australia and caught this beautiful sunrise. Otherwise it was more of the same… Deck, walk, swim!

We came back up to a stinking hot Sydney on Monday and on Tuesday after Colmán got back from work we brought Rory down to the beach and Colman tried him out on the Maroubra sand… He was still a bit hesitant but I’m told enjoyed it more. 

By Wednesday a very welcome cool change had come through and we were back to more normal activities. I thought he was just about to nod off at the shops and then I saw his sock being pulled off! He was gone a few minutes later though!

Around the house Rory has been pulling himself up more, is into EVERYTHING and has learned to wave!

The reason Rory’s high chair is in the bedroom is that we’re getting double glazing in today so the house is in a heap!

Rory and I have been pretty much evicted so after lunch by the local playground we thought we might as well have another new experience and try out the swings. Rory enjoyed it for a few minutes and then wanted to get off quite quickly! He enjoyed the see saw as well (where we took this selfie).

Rory just wanted me to finish off by saying Bon voyage to Neil and Noelle who fly home to Ireland on holidays today! He says to say hi to all his relos in Cork and thanks for letting Granny & Grandad stay in your apartment… He’s looking forward to seeing them next week!

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Rory – 10.5 months corrected 

Rory had a good week weighing in on Tuesday at 7.58kg, up over 300g in the past fortnight. This was particularly pleasing as we’d been working on increasing his calorie intake over the last few weeks and it looks like the changes we’ve made have done the trick.

On Sunday we headed over to Andrew and Jacinta’s for lunch and Rory was lucky enough to be given some birthday presents from the girls including an activity table which he enjoyed playing with later in the week. It’s got some little balls that you push through holes and then they pop out at the bottom of the legs of the activity table. Rory also enjoys throwing the small balls around and chasing after them!

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted Rory was wearing his Irish rugby jersey on Sunday to support the team in the World Cup. Later that evening Neil and Noelle popped over and Rory got to say happy birthday to Uncle Neilo.

 On Monday, Rory and I headed into the city where we met with my boss and has a chat about my return to work next May. We then had lunch in the park with a girl I worked with and caught the bus home… Rory fell asleep two minutes after I took this picture while I was quietly singing The Wheels on the Bus!

Now that Rory is crawling he no longer just sits on the picnic blanket in the back garden and as soon as I had him set up with toys the other day, he was over to help me with the washing and in particular the pegs!

Next thing something else caught his attention and he was off.

I brought him back to the picnic blanket and finished hanging out the clothes at which point he tipped all of the pegs out and I rapidly had to grab all the broken ones! Thankfully he enjoyed putting them all back in the tupperware.

We’ve noticed Rory’s fine motor skills are improving and you can see him using one finger here as he puts the shape through the round hole.

And we’re finishing off the week with a road trip! It’s a long weekend and we’re going down to Jervis Bay with Peter & Suzie. Rory and I took off early this morning to stop in on our friend Tamara and her kids who’ve just moved back from the Netherlands to Wollongong… They were regular blog watchers in the Netherlands so we had to get a pic to upload. I just should have got one of the kids and dogs which were keeping Rory very entertained! Colmán caught the train to Wollongong and we’re now having a quick stop in Berry.



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Rory – 10.25 months corrected 

Rory has had a busy week crawling non-stop everywhere! Appointment-wise, we met with the sleep specialist to follow up on Rory’s sleep study. The data showed a significant reduction in the number of obstructive sleep apnoeas Rory is having which is very pleasing. Only problem was that in showing me the data, the doctor realised some of the other information contained in the report was incorrect so he has to double-check it and ring me again – grr!

Anyway putting that to one side, at the weekend, we switched Rory’s car seat around so he is now forward-facing. He was really hating facing backwards in the car and is now much happier during car trips as we all are!

On Sunday morning, we had intended on meeting Colmán, Peter and Suzie at the finishline of the 9km Bridge Run but when we got into town it had started raining so we instead waited for Colman in a shopping centre! Rory did help Colmán relax on the couch later in the day. Here’s some pics from the start-line including Peter & Suzie hanging out where they obviously truely belong!

Monday we had lunch with Kate in the back garden before she heads off for six months to Port Stephens. We’ll miss having her in Sydney but are planning a visit!

Speaking of lunch, Rory has enjoyed a few new finger foods this week including chicken balls, salmon balls and strawberries! Following on from last week, he is definitely eating more each day and has beens sleeping a bit better at night, generally only waking once. He is more challenging to put down for his afternoon nap though as when you lay him down in his cot, he immediately sits upright!

But really this week has been all about crawling and while last Friday he had only just got going, he is now well and truely off! All week long he was popping up in unusual places and I was listening out for the slap of his hands on the wooden floors as he approached or headed off somewhere new! There has been some quick baby-proofing and moving items up to higher spots, with more to come!


He was particularly obsessed with the back door and the runner for the sliding door! Here’s a little video of him in motion and my temporary solution to keep him from picking at the dirt in the doorframe.

It became clear that Rory would need more distracting than in the past. He’s really interested in things that we use so I gave him a few little pots which he enjoyed playing with for a little while.

Our weather turned really cold in the second half of the week & Rory had a slight sniffly nose so we stayed indoors a bit more than usual.  I found some craft inspiration on Pinterest and made Rory some “sensory bottles”. The first one is filled with water, food colouring, oil, glitter and stars while the second one has rice, glitter and stars in it. The lid is sealed tight so he can’t get it open. He did enjoy looking at them and in particular rolling them around and watching the glitter move. I thought the rice one might keep him distracted for a nappy change but no such luck! He was trying to wriggle away again in two seconds.


We saw Rory’s physio this morning and she was absolutely delighted to see him crawling & we are really grateful for all the help & tips she gave us. She really didn’t have any homework for him and we’ll be seeing her a little less frequently now as the last gross motor skill is walking which will come in time.

Before we go, Rory wanted to say happy birthday to his Uncle Neilo for today, to Aunty Cindy for last Wednesday and to his cousin Patrick for next Tuesday. While he’s at it he’d like to say happy anniversary to Aunty Phyllis and Paul for yesterday … Phew September is a busy month!!

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Rory – just over 10 months corrected!

We’ve had a pretty busy week this end with Colman heading back to work and Rory and I occupied with appointments.

Our first appointment of the week was with the dreaded eye doctor from NICU days!! In fact he’s the best of the eye doctors who visited the NICU and we opted to see him privately which made the whole experience much more pleasant than our last appointment with him at the chaotic public clinic. Anyway Rory was shown a series of faint small pictures on an A4 piece of card and they checked to see if he looked where the picture was. Then he was given some eye drops and after they dilated his eyes, they had a quick look in them which Rory just about tolerated. Thankfully it was nothing like the procedure in the NICU and just required a light being shone in his eyes. The great news is that his eyes are normal and we don’t have to go back for another year. The eye doctor did warn me that next year he’ll be at an age where he’ll have even less tolerance for it but we’ll deal with that then. It is clear Rory is changing though and he had a bigger cry at a blood test this week than he did two months ago. The nurse did get him to smile afterwards but said she doubts he’ll have smiles for her in another two months! The blood test was to check his thyroid function and the results are all within the desired normal range.

We had an appointment with Rory’s paediatrician on Thursday. He was generally happy with how Rory is developing and in particular with how he recovered from his chest infection in Queensland. Rory weighed in at 7.26kg and 67cm long. While his paediatrician is  happy with where Rory is now sitting on the growth charts, his weight has been a little static over the past 4-6 weeks. Most likely this is as a result of being ill and will probably just get back on track itself but we’re going to make an extra effort to make sure he’s getting calorie-dense food. Rory is more and more active all the time and so he really needs to have lots of calories to burn and some left over to put on weight as well! Another reason to make sure Rory is getting plenty to eat through the day is that it will hopefully help him sleep a bit better at night. Over the past week he has been waking lots at night. While it may just be that he’s adjusting to being in his own room, he has been wanting to feed at night as well so again we want to make sure he’s getting enough food through the day. Not only was he awake lots at night, he also was waking very early (4.30-5am) and not going back to sleep. This led to lots of napping when he shouldn’t do e.g. after his mid morning breastfeed.  I literally could not stir him!

And then when he was meant to have his big afternoon nap, he was wide awake and practising all sorts of new skills like getting into a sitting position when lying down and saying “Da, da, da, da”

Thankfully as the week has gone on and he’s got used to his room and eaten more, he’s got back into more of a normal routine and slept a lot better last night (let’s not talk too soon though).  Rory’s enjoying his food and after he has a spoon-feed, he enjoys some finger food (raw veggies and hummus below).

As usual, we got out and about and made sure to catch up with friends so we wouldn’t be lonely without Colman! Here we are doing some shopping at Coles before catching up with Sami at the beach.

Rory has been much more aware of children and dogs over the past few weeks so a visit to our friend Geetha with her new baby on Wednesday led to lots of excited squeals from Rory (here focused on Sooty the dog)!

As usual we ended the week with music and coffee with Sarah and Kai. The boys have actually been mistaken for twins by the lady running the class! 

We still had plenty of time to play at home this week and Rory has been having fun with this Little People set that Michael bought him. He is definitely playing in a different way recently and is enjoying these figures a lot. He’s also enjoying putting the cups into each other now rather than just throwing them around!

The best bit of Rory’s day though was meeting Colman off the bus most evenings!

But the big progress this week is that Rory is now crawling forward! He just mastered it today and yesterday and so far is best on carpet (versus our wooden floorboards). In this video he’s also showing his other skill of the week which is clapping… Unfortunately right after I hit stop, he dropped the toys and did a proper clap. To make up for that, I’ve included a second video below from earlier in the week when Rory was and I were having a laugh about his clapping efforts. Before we go we’d all like to say happy birthday to Rory’s cousin Issac! Hope you have a great weekend Issac!

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Rory – 10 months corrected (almost!)

Rory will be 10 months corrected on Monday. We’ve had a busy but fun week with no medical appointments or weigh in and all in all a bit of a holiday feeling ahead of Colman going back to work on Monday. 

Speaking of holidays, over the weekend we caught up with a few friends who’d just returned from holidays. Firstly we had the Peppards over on Friday night when the kids took it in turns to read Rory his bedtime story.

Then on Sunday, we had Shona, Finn and Maggie over after their trip to Scotland. Rory has definitely been getting a kick out of seeing other kids over the past few weeks and seems to have realised that they’re different to adults! Here he is playing with Maggie in his bedroom. 

Spring has definitely sprung in Sydney this week and while it can be a bit chilly early in the morning, we’ve been having lovely warm days.

After our hospital stay mid-holiday in Queensland, we decided to give holidaying another go and it was successful with no hospital admissions required!! We headed down to Mollymook about three hours south of Sydney. En route we took a pit stop in Kiama and checked out the famous blow-hole.

We stayed at a beautiful resort right on the water called Bannisters. Our room looked directly over the infinity pool and ocean. Here’s Rory having a nap after we arrived and the view.

Of course holidaying with a baby is a bit different to when it was just ourselves. Firstly Rory made sure we were up early enough each morning to pull back the curtains and see the sun rise over the ocean! Then we had the usual battle to get his nappy on (this was at least my sixth attempt) and Rory had fun exploring the hotel room. He’s been up on his knees a lot more but is still moving backwards rather than forwards! He is also continuing to clamber all over us and is starting to try to pull himself up to stand. 

We did get organised and out of the room for breakfast and a walk down to Mollymook for a coffee where Rory enjoyed checking out a dog at the next table. He was squealing with excitement and has been babbling a lot more this week with a couple of “ah ba ba ba” and “ah da da da” noises.

The Spring weather really heated up in the middle of Wednesday and Rory had his lunch by the pool. Colman had a dip but he was hardly in long enough to get a photo while I didn’t brave it at all! After Rory’s lunch, Colman stayed with him for a nap while I had a facial and massage at the day spa on site… It was bliss! That night we headed to the famous Rick Stein seafood restaurant also on site which was yummy.

All in all we had a great trip and it was a lovely way to finish off Colman’s time off which has just been great for all of us… Rory and I will miss him next week and I think he’s going to miss us a lot too! There’s going to be a real back-to-school feeling in the air!

Another change is that Rory has just moved into his own room. He’s been playing in there more and has been definitely enjoying it (along with the walker from Uncle Neil & Aunty Noelle).

So earlier today Colman moved his cot in and finally after a year his room is almost finished (barring a chair which arrives in a few weeks). Rory liked the new set up when trying it out although there were a few tears at nap-time. He did settle down so hopefully he does as well tonight.



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Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day in Australia today. Rory was up early to make sure Colman got off to golf ok and we met him after his round for a quick lunch at the club. Last year the nurses in the hospital helped Rory make a card for Colman with his hand and footprints so this year I helped him make up a similar card… It’s got to be said I think the nurses had an easier job getting prints from a small premmie baby than I did from an active 9 month old… We both ended up with a lot of blue ink all over us!

Happy Father’s Day Colman!


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Rory – 9.75 months corrected

We’ve had a very busy week at this end between saying goodbye to the Buckleys, celebrating friends’ birthdays and also fitting in a sleep study and 12 month vaccinations!

I’ll finish off on the Buckeys trip for starters. Last Friday night we had an early dinner out with them in Bondi and Rory really enjoyed the fancy high chair they had in Bills Restaurant. Saturday morning we said our final farewells with breakfast at Coogee beach before they headed off for their trip home.

On Sunday we did have plans to catch up with Rory’s NICU buddies at the beach to celebrate their Aug/Sept birthdays and while it was a lovely day there was a cold breeze so we ended up hosting the party at home. Our numbers were reduced a little when Flynn’s family had car trouble and couldn’t make it which was a shame but we happily celebrated with Sami & Kai. Rory was very happy to be the host!

Kai’s mum Sarah made the cake and it was a big job keeping the boys from attacking it. All the mums enjoyed some champagne to celebrate and the dads were there too, celebrating off camera.


Rory has been playing with some of the toys he got for his birthday and like all babies of course enjoyed playing with the boxes too.

Rory has also really started showing an interest in standing up! He’s not at the stage where he’s taking any steps but he’s certainly enjoying clambering all over us at the moment and is very proud of himself when we help him stand. We saw his physio on Thursday and she was impressed with how he’s transitioning from different positions like from sitting to his tummy and back again and she gave us some tips to encourage him further.

Thursday was a busy hospital day but oddly social too (it’s probably a worry when you do your socialising at a Children’s Hospital). After physio we bumped into two NICU buddies there for various procedures and appointments and also met a couple of doctors we know too. We were back in the evening for Rory’s sleep study. Rory was very patient with the nurses putting on all the probes and wires and was grown up enough to have all the cables put in a little Bob the Builder backpack until bedtime (previously he’s just had them wrapped in a pillowcase as he wasn’t on the move as much). The night went ok with Rory sleeping very well up until midnight but thereafter he had a couple of times where he woke after either banging his head on the cot or getting himself all tangled up in the wires. He didn’t need oxygen turned on but that would have been very surprising. We’ll get the full results of the study in a few weeks when the data is analysed and we see his sleep specialist. 

This morning Rory was very patient while we got all the gunk off his head in the bath. We were then back up to Randwick to see our GP for his 12 month vaccinations. Rory gave a good scream after each jab but cheered right up afterwards when we headed to our usual music/singalong class afterwards.  Understandably he has been a bit on the sleepy side this afternoon.


Finally this week, Rory would like to say a very happy birthday to his Granda Con… He thought you might like to see him feeding himself a nice crunchy corn stick!


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Rory – 9.5 months corrected

Rory has recovered really well after being unwell last week – in fact you wouldn’t even know he had been sick as he’s rarely coughing. We saw his respiratory doctor on Tuesday for a routine check up and he thought Rory’s chest sounded good and clear which was reassuring to here. We also got the results from the tests undertaken by Mossman hospital and it was negative for any virus so it was most likely a bacterial infection which the antibiotics would have helped with. The great thing is how well Rory dealt with his first chest infection. After seeing his respiratory doctor, we now have a sleep study scheduled for next week (it was meant to take place sometime in August).

Getting back to our holiday, once the official birthday celebrations were over on Saturday, we got on with what we were there to do… Relaxing and hanging out by the pool! 


On Sunday the Buckleys headed off on a reef tour while we had a chilled out day around the house. We took a little stroll up the road for a coffee (while Rory napped) and then popped him in the baby carrier for a walk on the beach. 

Far too soon though it was time to pack up again and head to the airport. Rory made sure to get us up nice and early for the flight! He was a little tired and unhappy when we took off at lunchtime but then slept for 2 of the 3 hours we were onboard.

Back home life returned to normal although Rory did have a few new toys to play with thanks to the many birthday gifts he received (he continues to commando crawl backwards)! He’ll also have some new clothes to wear over the coming months. 

We also spent a bit of time playing in his room so he can get used to it before we finally move his cot in there after this sleep study. Rory enjoyed spending time in there and in particular looking at his birthday cards on top of the bookcase.

The Buckleys arrived back in Sydney on Wednesday night and we caught up with them in Coogee. Today we got Aine’s selfie stick out… It was a little hard getting Rory to focus on it though! They fly out tomorrow and we’ll be sorry to see them go. Rory’s really enjoyed spending time with his cousins over the past few weeks and it’s made him excited at the idea of seeing his U.S. cousins at Christmas and going to Ireland and seeing all the rest of his cousins next year. He wishes all his cousins good luck as they return to new school and college years next week… He thinks the Buckleys might struggle the most with school on Monday!


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Rory’s first year in 7 minutes!

Here’s the promised video… Beware it contains some of Rory’s earliest pics and I think Colman deliberately tried to make it emotional! I promise we won’t have any more NICU pics for a while.

It’s on You Tube as it was too big to upload here. 

Rory’s first year

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Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory was born a year ago today!! Our plan was to wake up And celebrate here…

But instead we woke up here, Mossman District Hospital.

To go back a step, our flight up to Queensland went really well and Rory was pretty chilled out during take off and landing with the help of a dummy just in case his ears gave him any trouble.

Rory slept great at the holiday house we rented but did vomit up his first breastfeed of the day and his porridge which is very unlike him. Still he was in great form and enjoyed seeing his cousins in the pool and playing with his toys in a different spot.

But then around mid morning he had another vomit while coughing and wasn’t in such good spirits so we decided to take him off to hospital to be on the safe side. Once there his temperature went up and while Panadol helped, a chest X-ray revealed he had a chest infection, most likely pneumonia so the doctor recommended he be admitted for monitoring. He was also started on antibiotics as while pneumonia can be either viral or bacterial, it takes a few days to find out so everyone thought it was best to get going on  the antibiotics in case it did turn out to be bacterial. The hospital staff were really great and consulted Rory’s paediatrician in Sydney about his care. To make life easier on him they gave him oxygen overnight and he stayed on it most of yesterday as he was otherwise breathing a little too fast. While very disappointing to find ourselves in hospital, one good thing was that there was a big wrap-around deck around the hospital (in true Queenslander style). We could access it from our balcony so we sat outside on it for lots of yesterday. Rory was up for some playing and a few more naps than usual. He also found his appetite again. Thankfully Rory tolerated his prongs really well just occasionally whipping them out. It did mean he spent the night in bed with me as he rolls so much now that it was easy for him to get wrapped up in the oxygen tube. This morning Rory was back to his usual self and doing fine without oxygen so we were discharged by mid morning and free to get on with his birthday celebrations. He’ll stay on his antibiotics for three more days and we’ll hopefully get the result tomorrow as to whether it was a viral or bacterial bug. As luck would have it, we have an appointment with Rory’s respiratory specialist on Tuesday so can chat through the whole thing then.

All the Buckleys were delighted to see him back and blew up lots of balloons for him to play with. He also got some lovely gifts including some very trendy Converse runners.


After a nap it was time for some birthday cake which Aunty Mena gave him a taste of and dabbed on his cheeks! He liked it a lot and wasn’t impressed when it disappeared!

All in all its been a very eventful first holiday, first birthday and first year!! We’re now aiming for a bit of relaxing by the pool until we fly home on Monday. There is a video in production of Rory’s first year but the final edit was interrupted by our hospital stay… I’ll upload it once it’s ready for release!

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