It’s a tough gig preparing for hibernation.

Especially for Alannah Bear.  I knew that many changes were coming up over the next few months.  So we got to work.

Alannah is due to move from size 0 to size 1 in clothes and from pre-walker shoes to walkers*.  One afternoon dash around the Westfield Bondi Junction sales did the trick.  Three pairs of shoes and a mountain of gorgeous but bargain clothes that will take her through to Autumn next year.

She is due to change routines.  She had already started to cat nap, protest about her day sleeps, and not be tired at 7pm.  All signs that a change of routine was imminent.  After a week of experimenting, I went back to the book of routines that had always worked.  Bingo.

She is due to move from formula to cows milk and from bottles or soft sippy cups to hard sippy cups or proper cups.  I had to wean Alannah before my first biopsy.  We had made the move to hard sippy cups at the same time.  Why not, I figured.  With her first birthday looming, we tried her on cows milk.  A hit.

She will likely spend more time at home than she is used to over coming months.  I can’t take her out and about twice a day, but the blustery winter weather won’t help either.  Good bye dining room, hello play room.  The new square dining table is perfect for eating lunch together or for keeping Mum’s cup of tea safe from curious hands while we’re playing.  The gelato rug is soft and inviting.  The beautiful glass doors look out on to the balcony and the light is gorgeous, even on the most overcast day.  Even better, Alannah can spot birds on next door’s roof.  Bir, she cries as she flaps her arms.

I also won’t be able to sing or read to her, at least for a while.  This morning, to the dulcet sounds and glorious smells of Darren baking portuguese tarts, I recorded six books for her.  The first of many.  Some favourites so far: Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Guess How Much I Love You, Where is the Green Sheep?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Time for Bed.  (A favourite author in there perhaps?)  All saved to iTunes ready for her little iPod.  She can listen while I’m in hospital, but also when I’m home again while we snuggle on the armchair in her room.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the three of us are off to enjoy the sunshine in Centennial Park while the winter sun still peeks out from behind the clouds.

*You move to hard soled walkers about 6 weeks after you start walking.  That’s bang on 1 August.  Of course.

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