Friday, 30 April 2010

Life is good! Award

Actually, life IS very good! Especially when you get passed on a “Life is good award”. Thank you very much, WarsawMommy! Even more sunshine for this time of the year!

The questions that accompany this award: (Of course, there is something you have to do! That’s why it’s taken me a week to put up the award and write the post!)

What do you do when you’re bored?

What’s that! Moms don’t know what it means “being bored”! I would love to be bored (to death)! If it would come to pass, I would just sit and enjoy it… OR, read!

Are you an autumn, or a spring?

Autumn. But spring at heart. ;-)

Quick! You’re stuck at an airport for hours, and the only options are crossword puzzle, or an old novel nobody’s ever heard of. Which would you pick?

Being bored! Fabulous! Then the novel.

Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?

Jane Austen.

Do you feel prepared for the five other questions coming your way?

I should have been prepared?

Who’s your hero?

Superman!

In real life – every one of us!

Favourite word?

“Toddler” (I am one-track minded at the moment. Before “toddler” it was “baby”.)

Are you one of those “checklist” people, or are you a “wing it and hope everything goes well” sort of person?

Checklist person. I cannot function without my diary.

What phrase has stuck with you in your life?

‘We are all one.”

If you were to choose between coffee and tea . . . which would you go with?

Coffee! (Even though I know that I must switch to herbal teas for my own health!)

I have to pass this award on to six more people:

1. Cat at Juggling Act of Life. She has a daughter and fraternal twin boys. It sounds very hectic to me! But she takes it all in her stride…
2. Shayne at [Time-Out]. Unfortunately she has gone private with her blog. I enjoy her beautiful photos of her most recent achievements in the kitchen. It sounds divine every time! (I am in awe of everyone who can bake, and who seems to enjoy it while doing it!) I also love her “count-my-blessings” type of posts, or “things I realised”.
3. Yvonne with 2412towers and the funny twisted story of her divorce, and subsequent reconstructed family after a new marriage. It’s a laugh with a tear!
4. Rock Mom at Snuggle Buggle Rock Mom. Love the way she talks about her “shrimp”; of being a single mom; and being so candid about her life.
5. I’m so not a blogger struggles sometimes with the blues, and we get a peek into that side of her personality. Love it that she shares her feelings. The photos are always very beautiful!
6. Simply-Mel. Very candid about her life with kids and her weight loss. Which she actually accomplished quite well!

They make me realize that we are all struggling with the same mundane daily grind, but that LIFE IS GOOD, never mind the small stuff!
Keep going, Life bloggers! :D

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Receiving some sunshine - award


Rock Mom passed on the super cool Sunshine Award.!

! Thank you very much, Rock Mom! You are brightening my day/week. I need a bit of sunshine here! (What is better medicine than a sunflower on a dreary day?)

The easy rules are:
Put the logo on your blog
Give props to the person who gave you the award
Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
Write their names and links to their blogs on your blog
Let them know about their award by posting a comment on their blog

Sunshine blogs:

Life is like a box of chocolates

2412towers

Laughs to birth and all things that follow

Tertia

Life with Luca

Crazy kind and unrefined

Snuggle Buggle Rock Mom

Mommalicious Mammas

MumDrum

Jou ma se blerrie blog

Harassed Mom

WarSawMommy

Feel the sun shine, today! :D

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Enough of the weather already and another day in hospital

It is rainy, overcast and cold here in Johannesburg. And we had to go to the hospital yesterday! Again!

It is very strange weather for this time of the year! Especially the rain. It feels like we are experiencing Cape Town weather. Cold and wet and it is not even winter yet. We hope it doesn’t signal a cold winter coming up? Maximums of 14 and 15 degrees and we COMPLAIN here! (Smile)

The toddler had an abscess drained the previous week, and on Sunday we saw the spot had started to grow again. Aaargh! Poor baby! Yesterday we had to go through the whole thing again: Book into hospital, theatre, having to sit with our little one while she is groggy after the anaesthetics. It feels so unnecessary but there is apparently nothing else to be done. An abscess has to be cut and drained, and it is better to put babies down because they won’t lie still on their own.

The cut was made bigger underneath her arm, and the surgeon inserted a small piece of gauze in the wound to keep it open for longer. I am SOOO squeamish, and I feel so sorry for Mieka. I just hope it is the last last time!

Photo: Mieka just before she went into the theatre. She was hungry because we could not give her anything to eat since 11 am, and she only went in after 6 pm.

Related post:

16 months and an unexpected day at the hospital

Friday, 23 April 2010

The toddler and shoes

The toddler loves her shoes!

The photo was taken by her grandfather James this week at day care. See in the background the other toddlers that don’t have their shoes on anymore, but Mieka sits with her boots.

(The sticker on her clothes is to remind everyone at day care that they should be careful about her right arm, where they removed the abscess. She hasn’t complained once since the abscess was drained. Phew!)

It is no problem to get Mieka to sit down to put on her shoes in the mornings! I just love it! It is such a joy to see her putting her little foot up in the air for me to put on the shoe. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes, she waits until you are finished with the fastening. It makes me want to buy more shoes than necessary, because it is such a pleasure…

I remember the teen hated to put on shoes. The only shoes I could on her feet, were those soft little booty types of shoes with the extra padding underneath. She had a little problem with her feet while walking. (I can’t remember what it was. It was not that significant.) The paediatrician recommended that she stay barefoot most of the time, so we had a reason why she did not wear her shoes. (Smile)

But our little Princess loves her shoes, and she loves playing in her cupboard with all the shoes. Taking it out, and trying to put it on. Very cute!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Our little Princess at 16 months; an update


(The detour at the hospital yesterday, with the abscess, got us a little bit side-tracked.)

What she is doing now at 16 months :

- I am a little bit worried about the language development. A friend said she should be speaking 10 words by now. Let me count: Mamma, Pappa (daddy), tatta, hello, Arnia... She is even calling every other object “pappa” now? And the rest is mermaid-speak. Should I be getting worried?

- The finger still points and she now comes to fetch us to walk with her. Not that it is always clear what she wants. It seems she is happy to go in any direction, as long as we are going with her.

- The new class at day care has definitely “turned on a few more lights”. She seems to be more interested in drawing, building puzzles and reading. It was a good thing to have moved her from the baby class. They also don’t have any problems with her going to sleep on the mat. She spends two hours sleeping in the early afternoon, a bit longer than the rest of her friends. (But she used to sleep twice during the day in the baby section).

- I am still breastfeeding. The two year goal is within reach! I think it is a comfort thing during the night. She loves to sleep while being latched on. I am treasuring these wonderful bonding moments. After I have seen the Avatar movie, I think of breastfeeding in the same context as the species on Pandora who latches on to the Tree and the animals with their “hair”.

- I am struggling to get her 100% healthy. She has missed the MMR vaccine at 15 months. It seems that she has an allergic type of sinus problem. I think milk is number one suspect, but I have looked on the shelves, and don’t think that soya is a good alternative. I feel a bit unsure to cut it from her diet at this stage? (Which a friend suggested.)

- She is sleeping much better. The problem is getting her to fall asleep. I feel that 8-9 is a bit late, but that is usually the time she goes “down”. She wakes up once or twice, and sometimes she goes right through until 6. I hate it every day I have to wake her for day care. Powerwoman is allowed to say it, and to keep on hating it! Not nice to be a working mother when you leave a sleepy baby in somebody else’s arms...

- She loves shoes! She has no problem in the mornings to sit down for us to put on her shoes. And she doesn’t take it off until she goes to bed at night. It was a struggle yesterday to take it off in hospital. She was trying to put it on again the whole time. She is a girl, for sure! (Smile)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

16 months and an unexpected day at the hospital

Mieka had an abscess drained today in the hospital. It was a very scary experience!

Our day started as usual, with us trying to get dressed. The teen tried to help me by taking Mieka from me. When she picked her up, Mieka cried out in pain. I immediately knew it was the red bump under her arm which has been growing. It looked like an insect bite, but on Sunday we saw that the bump was redder and more inflamed! I wanted to take her to the doctor on Monday, but we had other errands to run. This morning we had no other option, although I still believed that she only needed a cream, or something...

The doctor immediately said that it was an abscess, and that she had to get a surgeon to look at it. Horrors!! We landed up at the hospital, having to book the toddler in for the day. The surgeon came round during his surgeries, but said that it wasn’t such a big deal. He would drain it, and leave it open for it to keep on draining (no stitches).

It was extremely stressful to walk into the operating theatre dressed in the green clothes, holding her in my arms. She was fighting against the gas mask and crying. The next moment she was sleeping, and I had to leave her. I heard her little wheezy chest when she went under and it made me even more uneasy...

While we were waiting, I shed a few tears, telling Dries they were taking too long. 20 minutes felt like forever!

She was crying when they placed her in my arms, but luckily she went to sleep while we carried her back to her bed. The anaesthetist told us that the abscess was bigger than they had predicted.

I breastfed her when she woozily woke up, and after about 40 minutes she was eating and playing again. Luckily we could go home when they saw that she was fine... (How easy they bounce back! Tonight she was playing and babbling again, bouncing all over!)

It was an unexpected day! It seems we get lots of these with children. (Gulp!)

How do we get them to grow up? All in one piece?

(Photo: Mieka on Sunday - busy with one of her favourite activities - "talking on the telephone".)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Happy times are family times

The previous weekend we were stuck without any electricity for four hours on the Saturday night.


It was a perfect time to sit outside, enjoying the sunset, and braaiing (barbequing). We lit the candles when it got dark.

We came to the realization how we do not need anything to be able to enjoy ourselves. Mother Nature gave us the most beautiful sunset, and we had each other for company! Dries and me, with the teen and toddler. With the dog in-between, of course! We played each other songs from our cell-phones after we had our meal.

We did it again, this weekend; on Friday evening. (Although we did not have any problems with the electricity.) Dries made us breakfast as well on Saturday morning. It was glorious weather all round, although we are beginning to feel the pinch of autumn arriving.

We need more times like these... Spending time with each other without any distractions!

Photo: Mieka on Friday evening, walking around in the garden.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Centre of our Universe

Photo: Patrick Pretorius Photography.

Mieka is still in the developmental phase of being the centre of her own universe. Everything revolves around her. She is nearly 16 months old now!

A quote from Practica:
“She believes that the sun came up today because she woke up and that it will set this evening because she needs to go to bed.”

Dries said to me this weekend that our household truly revolves around her. It is not something that we are experiencing negatively, quite to the contrary. We are enjoying her and how our lives have changed because of her. We are planning our days and our activities around her.

She also dictates how we spend our days. The joys of parenthood! (No sarcasm here!) So far it has worked out well for our little fairy – her world is our world, and we revolve around her!
Shame – it is not going to stay this way... (Smile)

We got our photos back from dear friends of ours. We are very lucky to have a photographer as a friend!

Isn’t she the cutest?

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Toddler’s section at day care

I am so impressed with my Mieka. She is taking it in her stride: moving from the babies to the toddler’s section at the day care this week.


Yesterday they reported to me that she even slept on her mat with the other toddlers.

There are pictures of autumn and autumn leaves pinned up against the wall with her name on it every day of the week. It is the theme of the month: Autumn. (We are beginning to feel a little pinch of winter here…)

When I fetch her in the afternoons, she is walking around outside with the other children. On a mission by herself, of course! She looks so small walking around with the bigger children, and my heart goes mushy when I see her. She is always so excited when we go to fetch her!

It is doing her good, because she seems a bit more eager at home to read her books, and she watches with great concentration when they show animals or planes or babies on the television. She gets very upset when the picture changes… Enquiring to us with her little hand (showing “come-here, come here”) to put up the same footage again. Very cute!


(Photo by Grandfather James)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Teen update

Photo: The teen made us the most wonderful macaroni and cheese dish last Friday. We paged through all the wonderful easy recipes in Zhoozsh!, the recipe book by Jeremy Mansfield and his wife Jacqui. The book has fall-back recipes that all of us know, but with some secret ingredient added to it. The macaroni and cheese has sweet chili sauce and Tabasco added to it. She only added the sweet chili, because the toddler is eating with us. The toddler enjoyed the dish as much as we did!

The teen is at a good place in her life right now:
- She and the boyfriend have been going out for 6 months now (Big milestone for teen love!);
- She is getting good grades at school;
- She is going to the hockey practises three times a week, and playing against other schools in the B Team. (We think it is very good that she got as far as this, because she did not start to play hockey until she got to high school.)
- She has positive friends in her life. (Big sigh of relief! We always talk of how important it is to choose your friends.)
I am very proud of her. I am amazed at the beautiful and caring person that she has turned into!

During the holidays she wanted to go and visit the BF at his house with no parents around. I was not that popular when I said “No!” I understand that they miss each other during the holidays, but I know that other parents have the same rules than we do. What do you think, what is the right age to allow the teens to be alone together? 40? (Wink *evil smile*)

Wordless Wednesday #20

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The toddler – day care shuffles

I was feeling a bit apprehensive yesterday morning, taking the toddler to her new class at day care.

I felt even more unsettled when I left her there:

One: I took her and her bag to the new class. There was no indication of where to put her stuff. No pigeon hole has been prepared with her name on it. I think it is something that could have been prepared? (Am I expecting too much?) I spoke to the head of the day care on Friday; to make sure that we were all on the same wavelength with regards the move. (They were the ones that informed me two weeks back that they are going to move the toddler.)

Two: Two mothers of toddlers that are already in the class told me - while I was trying to figure out what to do - that they are not very happy with the teacher. She is apparently very young and is not at all involved with the children. The assistant is doing most of the work. They were going to ask their toddlers to go to the other toddler class.

With that information I immediately took Mieka’s bag back to the baby section. I was planning to call the head during the day, but decided to wait to see what had happened. (Me and my-wait-and-see-attitude... Do you complain immediately, or wait a little bit?)

I got there this afternoon, and Mieka was walking around outside, all by herself. An assistant was standing about 200 metres from her with the other toddlers, also playing outside. A tad worrisome...
 I got to the toddler’s section, because that’s where I was directed, and a pigeon hole has been prepared for her with all her stuff. I also saw a picture of leaves that has been marked “Mieka” on the wall, with the rest of the children’s handiworks. The assistant was there and told me that Mieka enjoyed it, that she ate her food (?), and that she went to sleep twice in the babies’ section.
Mieka seem to have taken everything in her stride.

I felt a bit less concerned...

Mieka was extremely hungry at home. Did she get her appetite back, or did she NOT eat at day care?

I belief that diplomacy is not something you do when your child is concerned. I am definitely going to take my concerns up with the day care, and I am going to mention that two of the mothers are very unhappy (I won’t say who it is). I have also written a note to the teacher for today. I want some feedback from her!

The things you have to worry about when you are a working mother...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Clicker training #8: Crazy, psycho dog got her certificate

The dog completed her clicker training, and got a diploma certificate awarded to her:

“This certifies that
Petite Peu
Has successfully completed
Puppy 2
And is hereby awarded this diploma by
The Eukanuba Puppy School
For extremely gifted pooches”

Yeah, right! ;-)

But I must give credit. I never thought we would be able to get her to do most of the things that we are now able to get her to do with treats.

The teen and the boyfriend took the dog through her last training, while we were watching. The dog was sitting and watching them intently (mostly because she knows there’s food involved – but that’s what it is all about), and did most of the commands very well. She did not respond at all when the teen only had to call out the commands without the hand signal. She gave them a blank look, and that was that... Very funny!

The trainer called her crazy and psycho dog, again.

We will not be going back for the advanced training. It is possible that she would be able to advance from where she is now. But we have had enough, for now! We want our Saturdays back to ourselves. We think we accomplished most what we set out to do. If only to understand our little bit of a dog a little bit better... She is a bit of crazy, but she is our bit of crazy!

I have learnt something about behaviour as well, which can be successfully used for the toddler as well. Catch them doing something well, and reward that. Ignore the rest!

Friday, 9 April 2010

The toddler’s last day at the baby section at day care

Another milestone! The toddler is apparently ready to move over to the toddler’s section at the day care. Today is her last day with the babies!


This is how we have to let go... Small little steps turn into big steps! And tomorrow she goes to university!!! Oh, come on, Karen. No need to be dramatic! (Powerwoman welcomes the opportunity to help her child into the big(ger) world!)

I am feeling a bit apprehensive. She is still my baby, but apparently not!

The one lady that looks after them at day care is also of the opinion that they are still too young to move. There is another toddler who started to walk months before Mieka, and she went to the toddler’s section two months earlier. She struggled adjusting, crying; and they had to bring her back to sleep with the babies during the day.

I want to do the right thing. Are they ready to move at 15 months? I see that she enjoys doing things with her hands, like scribbling and painting. Luckily they have been taking Mieka to the toddler’s for two hours every day for the past two weeks. They said she was in awe of the other children, and just walked around, looking at everything.

They don’t have cots in the toddler’s section, only small mats. How do they get them to sleep on them? We struggle to get her to sleep in her cot at home...

I hope they prepare their bottles with the same care as with the babies...

No, stop it, Mrs. Neurosis! You can always ask them to take her back to day care if she does not adjust well.

Our baby is BIG already!

(Photo: Mieka with the strong arms of her dad in the background)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Blogger comments frustrations


Powerwoman has a gripe with Blogger comments! You write something from the heart in a comment post, and “publish” it!
No! No! AAARGGGH....!!!!! Where is it? It is gone!
I have to do it all over again.
- Write the comment.
- Select profile. (Sometimes there is only an empty profile box. What’s with that?)
- Try to decipher the word verification.
- Wait and wait... (I don’t think it is only our slow connections responsible for this)
- Published! Celebrations! It happens very seldom the first time!
I sometimes just give up after a second try. No wonder we struggle to get comments for our blog posts!
It is not that easy! It is as if The Bloggers (Blogger team?) have conspired to make it as difficult as possible to get a comment into the Bloggersphere! (I must add - sorry Bloggers - but Wordpress give a much better experience every time!)

I think it should be one of the easiest things to be able to comment on a blog post.

AM I WRONG?

Monday, 5 April 2010

When all else fails...

It has been a rainy LOOONG weekend! Wonderful weather and wonderful to have had a long weekend! (Sigh!)


It is very strange for this time of the year to have this kind of weather. Overcast drizzling weather. It feels like we are living somewhere near the coast.

This weather is not doing any good with regards sickness! The toddler is still struggling with her upper respiratory tract infection, but it seems we are beginning to beat it. She is not getting fever anymore! We are lending a nebulizer, and it seems to help a little. The first time that we are trying it! Dries put out his back picking her up, and sleeping next to her in our bed. Because she is not feeling well, she wants to be in our arms the whole time!

I was struggling to put her to bed, again, tonight! My parents are always very successful pushing a pram to get her to sleep. I tried it, and it took me less than five minutes and she was snoring! When all else fails, do the tried and tested! (I have learnt my lesson!)

(Photo: Mieka at Founder’s Grill yesterday where we met my brother for his birthday! Great place!)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The pout


Lately the toddler has been walking around with a pouty mouth. She pulls her mouth into pout while she is busy playing or calling the dog, or mermaid-speaking... Luckily it is not an expression of unhappiness! (I hope!) Maybe it is the teeth; that same teeth that get blamed for everything when our Precious One is feeling out of zinc.


Like now! She’s sick again. Only three weeks after the last bout of upper respiratory infection. It is the same slimy stories again... We are getting sick and tired of it! She is coughing with a runny nose, wheezy chest, and vomiting because of all the phlegm. We are exhausted already, because the fever rears its ugly head during the night!

I am beginning to think that the day care plays a big role with Mieka getting sick on a regular basis. Woking mother complaint, again! But we will just have to deal with it. I remember that the teen also got sick quite a lot, but when she started with school, she had built up an immense immunity. She did not get sick during the important school years.

Powerwoman, and Hubby, will just have to deal with it in the meantime. Luckily we share in the sickness duties as well. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Hubby!!)

We went on a real date today. We dropped Mieka off with my parents, and the teen went to see the boyfriend playing rugby. We went to see the popular Avatar. It has been showing for ages (and ages), but we eventually got there. In 3D! It was a blast. The last time I saw something in 3D, we got the paper goggles. Today we got real plastic goggles! (Pandora makes earth look bleak in comparison. We GOT the environmental lessons as well! Amen!)

Afterwards we said to each other: We loved going to the movies on our own, but maybe we should have gone home to sleep... that elusive sleep!
Thumbs for sleeping tonight! (Wishful smile!)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Neighbours

I am still giggling about Yvonne’s post about her nosy neighbours. She got divorced, but stayed on in the same house. It means that she kept the same neighbours (Duh…); the neighbours who for some strange reason took the side of her unfaithful husband in the whole split up drama. They reported diligently to the X-husband about her activities, especially when she started to see the X-husband of the lady with whom her husband shacked up with. (Yes, it is a strange story! Smile!)


It made me think about our neighbours in our complex where we are staying. I am usually one of the silent types of neighbours who only greets and rush inside. I don’t have the time to chit-chat, although I wished I could have been less rushed/introverted.

Our neighbours on the left moved away a month ago. We met each other when they were building our homes, and we have been doing the occasional braai (barbeque) together. They have a small daughter as well, and Mieka is now going to the same crèche as their little girl. Which I am very pleased with! We miss them already, although they invited us to come and look at their new home the previous weekend. We are going to try and keep in contact, although I know it does not always work that way…

It was nice to have people to phone to just check up on your property or dog when you go away. (Sigh!)

Now we have the Russians left at the back who have been a constant source of irritation to us. They had a pit-bull terrier that they kept in the small space of the yard, without any kennel or dog house to stay in. We felt very sorry for the dog. Luckily we saw they got rid of the dog, and saw a sign up at the gate: “We have lost a rabbit.” And somebody underneath has scribbled “Thanks for the rabbit stew!”

They have two kids who don’t go to sleep before 11 at night, and we hear them screaming and crying the whole time. Some of the neighbours at the other side have complained about the kids riding on their scooters at ten at night. Apparently our parenting styles are very different!

Our chairman of the Body Corporate, Penny, a very sharp lady, knocked on their door one night to tell them to keep it down and that their children should be in bed already.

I’ve got a few stories to tell about Penny as well. The men called her when they saw a snake in one of the gardens, which she came and promptly disposed off. Just the other night she was on our neighbour’s roof to fix their geyser!

Wow! There are more characters and goings on in our complex than I realised. Our lives would have been much more boring without them … (more blog posts to follow, definitely! Smile)

Do you have a nosy neighbour?

(Photo: taken a few months back - peeking over the wall in our complex)