Thursday 31 December 2009

2010. Here we come!

Happy New Year to you all!

A new year with new beginnings! Last year (2009) caught us off-guard with the baby coming three weeks early. We are only beginning to catch up now…
This year is going to be planned with New Year’s resolutions and goals! I love new beginnings!
Let’s begin! (Smile)
(Photo: Best friends!)

The toddler is not hitting other babies anymore

A while back we were worried about the baby hitting other babies. We saw the disturbing behaviour while she was “playing” with a friend.
But yesterday Mieka was happily playing alongside her friend Zander . They both complained a bit when the other one had a play thing in their hands they also wanted to have. But it was not a major upheaval in the baby politics. (Take that for worrying about the little things – most of it get sorted by themselves!)
It was another day in paradise, enjoyed with friends in Potchefstroom in South Africa.
Really awful times! (Evil grin)

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Sunshine days

Glorious hot open blue skies! Sunshine holidays! We are lazing around in the sun, enjoying the holidays and Dries is making wonderful food!

It is tough here in Jozy at the south point of Africa!

Monday 28 December 2009

The baby is a toddler

The baby is a toddler already! One year olds are not babies anymore. I feel sad to realize that my baby is not a baby anymore. I’ll have to change my status now. I am a mother of a toddler, and not a baby.
Where are the BRAKES?
She is one bundle of inquisitiveness at the moment. When she opens her eyes, it starts with the pointing (yes, it seems the pointy finger are going to stay for a while). Points, points, points… and when there is no reaction from us, it is scream, scream, scream… VERY exhausting!
She is becoming more mobile by the day. She stands and moves along the furniture or whatever she can hold onto. She has given her first few steps already. The crawling is not an option anymore. The crab creeping works very well for the little lady. It has a bright side as well; I can keep on putting on dresses, because with the bum shuffling the dresses does not get caught up underneath her knees. And she looks very cute in a dress.
Eating has become difficult - for us as the parents, not to her. No more the easy way out with foods from jars. We have to think of finger foods for her to eat. She just closes her mouth and turns away (with a look of disgust) when we bring a spoon near her.
“I am not a baby, Mom/Dad!! I can eat on my own!”
She mostly uses her hands, and the back of the spoons and forks to pummel the food.
Sleeping has also not been mastered by the parents. We are still doing the nightly rounds. When I compare it with the first few days and weeks, it is now a breeze. (Powerwoman will not complain!)
She has a new thing; she starts to kick her legs vigorously when we try to put her into her bed. A tantrum type of manoeuvre? Or is something bothering her? Bad, bad teeth!! (?) She also wakes up screaming, but with the eyes still closed. She wants to sleep, but something is out of whack. We need that baby translator badly!
The hair is starting to grow. Not long, and we will be able to put in the ribbons…
Hold on to the reigns; our baby is a toddler!
(Photo: Mieka was not impressed with the musical water fountain at Silverstar Casino last night.)

Saturday 26 December 2009

Cook with(-out) thumbs

How not to use a food peeler.
My skills as an excellent cook came to light again. So NOT!
Dries bought us the food peeler with 101 uses. I was so impressed when it peeled the carrots with ease – we have been using a terrible peeler – that I grabbed the butternut with gusto. It was with the second slash that part of my nail and skin came with.
Dries was beginning to say “Be careful…”, but it was too late. Now I’m stuck with a sore thumb for at least two weeks.
Dries has banned Arnia and me from ever peeling the butternuts or gem squashes again. He says he will be doing it from now on. Bargain!
But I did not slash my thumb to get out of peeling the heavy stuff… It is way too sore, and extremely uncomfortable. We DO use our left thumbs, you know!

Friday 25 December 2009

Christmas time in South Africa

Hope it is a blessed time for all!!
Christmas, most south in Africa. What glorious wonderful sunshine days we are experiencing. Hot, hot! Normal for this time of year. How lucky we are to be here. We spent two days with family, enjoying the weather and the company.
The 24th we enjoyed Christmas with Dries’s family in Hartebeespoort, braaiing (barbequing) and swimming. The 25th we spent with our family in Krugersdorp, eating cold meat and salads. We were also blessed with the presence of my sister and her husband who are visiting us from London. We bought presents for the children, and they were spoilt rotten. It truly is a nice time of the year. Slowing down a bit, being with family, and enjoying the holidays!
It is also a very special Christmas to us, with it being Mieka’s second Christmas. She was 4 days old the previous year at Christmas time. We are enjoying the whole experience as if anew, although she is still clueless about the whole experience.
I said to Dries tonight: “Watch how quickly the next Christmas is going to be upon us. As soon as you have kids, the years just fly past!” Cherished times…

Tuesday 22 December 2009

The first birthday – the party!

No, we did not have the big party!
Mieka was looking at us in utter amazement with our party hats, and balloons and candles yesterday morning. We three had the fun, while she enjoyed her new toy.
But she still doesn’t know what it is all about. We will have the parties when she is bigger and understands the meaning of it.
Happy birthday, my baby! One year is a big deal to us!

Monday 21 December 2009

One year

The baby is a year old today! Woweeee!!! We’ve made it!
Congratulations are in order! We are patting ourselves on the back!
Somebody in the family asked yesterday how we get them grown up. I just said: “I don’t know as well!” (Smile!) It just happens. With a lot of miracles along the way.
But here we are, and Mieka has survived us for the first year, and we have survived her.
The broken sleep, the worries, and the 24/7 attention she asks for…! We did it!
Happy birthday, my baby! You made it worth our while!

We can’t wait for the next year!

Friday 18 December 2009

The baby is a girl!

The gender of a baby is a very personal issue to a mother. I get extremely upset when somebody refers to Mieka as a boy! I dress her 99% of the time in pink. Does it not count as a good indicator to the sex of a baby?
“Is he a boy?”
“No!” (With clenched teeth)
If you are not sure, check the clothing!! Pink and bows and flowers and dresses usually means of the female kind. But do not get the gender wrong! You are insulting me!
I knew from the moment I became aware I was pregnant that she was a girl. It was the same with Arnia, the teen. I am extremely glad that she is a girl. I love having girls.
I have friends with boys. And it seems like a struggle to me. Especially when they start attending school. The mothers have to prod and push and be on their cases the whole time. Girls are easy. They do their own thing, and they enjoy doing it well!
I have been following Tertia’s blog as well. She has a twin boy and girl. And it seems the boy has a lot more growing up - moving up on the evolutionary scale (my personal opinion, sorry guys!) - to do than the girl. All mothers love their boys, and luckily some of them grow up to be wonderful contributing members to society. (I’m sure with a lot of help from their mothers. Smile)
But I vote for girls, and I am glad that there are two of them in my life!

Thursday 17 December 2009

Goals for Christmas time

It is baby’s first Christmas. What a wonderful time. Being with the family, and planning Christmas with Grandparents and brothers and sisters with their families. The whole famdamily bazaar! (Smile. I am saying it with a lot of love.)
But it’s going to be different, again, because we have a little one whom we want to share the experience with. I have decided to take it very slow his year! There will be more Christmases where we will be busy or running around. Now we have the baby, and we will focus this year on her.
She demands all our time and attention at the moment. Rather than fighting it ad trying to accomplish something, it is better to go with the flow and to slow down with her. She will only be one once, and this is such a great time (the baby being one, and Christmas time) to spend time with her.
I will not feel lacking in my house executive duties, nor will I admonish myself for not doing something I have set myself out to do his holiday! The great advice: Presents is not as important as your own presence in a child’s life. This year I will be present in Mieka’s life!
Kudos to all those stay-at-home moms who manages to work from home. I don’t know how you do it. Powerwoman knows her limitations, and that’s why I have set my goals to that which I can accomplish. I can only focus on the baby at the moment. Multi-tasking is a long-forgotten dream to me…

Tuesday 15 December 2009

The Dog

Dries found the dog cowering in the corner today with a big cat busy eating her food. Now we have to teach her how to chase cats as well… In her defense, Dries said that it was a cat much bigger than her!
We had to lower our high expectations of her in any case: Petite Peu (little bit), the dog, is definitely not a Miniature Pinscher. She got a lot of the Dachshund genetics as well. We were still hoping that she would suddenly turn into the Pinscher, but the ears never got pointy, and the legs are too short. She seems fully grown by now.
I am not pleased (to say the very least) that we had bought her at a pet shop as the real thing! She came with a very steep prize for a cross a well. Where do we report such a thing?
And now she is part of the household. She is a family member whom we love with all her quirks. She is also still very much a baby at five months old. Chewing and barking (very loud for such a small thing) and jumping up and down. But she is sweet as well. She sometimes turns her head, looking at you as if to say: “What are you on about?” (See photo)

We usually get her in to “vacuum” the floor, especially underneath Mieka’s chair. She loves sitting on us or underneath us when we are on the floor. She loves gardening, and we get lots of upturned plants in the garden and leaves in the garden. She loves carrying Mieka’s toys and socks around, and we find most of it buried in her basket in the house. Luckily, because she is so small, she doesn’t bite through the stuff that she is chewing on.
It was said to us that she is not very bright, because she peed in her own bed, but we think she knows what she is doing. She marked it once and for all… And she is the Queen, for goodness sake! She sees blankets and cushions on the floor as the ultimate in invitations for using the toilet…

Monday 14 December 2009

The baby and eating

The baby has been eating very well since she started to eat. But now The Missy wants to do it by herself. It is very difficult to be creative the whole time about which foods to give her. We try to give her the same vegetables and meat that we are eating, cut into smaller pieces. I still try (that’s the only word that works here) to give her Purity or mashed foodies (e.g. avocado, bananas) at her mealtimes. But mostly she just shakes her head. I sometimes get something in when I can distract her with a plaything, but most of the times it is a shut mouth.
She loves sitting with us, and eating her own food, but I am not sure that she gets in a lot of it. As I have said, Petite Peu the dog, vacuums everything up that falls from her high chair. We catch her sneaking the food off between her legs, or over her shoulder. She then peers over the side of the chair with her mouth full of food, while biting on the side of the chair (see photo). We take this hook-on chair with us where-ever we go, and most of the time I am embarrassed about the food stains on the rim of the chair. It is never clean even when I have cleaned it!
She also tries to poke the food with the back of the spoon or the fork, or squash everything in her fists. Not for the squeamish! We just say to each other, “don’t look!”, and then wipe up afterwards! (This too will pass. This too will pass.)
We had a difficult Sunday. Mieka was not a happy baby, and we still don’t know why. Being difficult, and screaming the whole day. At 8pm we did our first (I am very proud for caving in only now) drive with her. We had a good laugh when the whining had the sound of a wind-down battery. It took five minutes and she was gone! Maybe we should have tried it a long time ago? But she still woke up after that. Is it the flu, the immunizations of Friday, earache, the tantrums? Dries and I are The Walking Dead today…
I have a suggestion for Google: a baby translator. Need I say more?

Friday 11 December 2009

Big Heads and breastfeeding

The one year goal is looming of weaning Mieka. From the beginning I said I would see how far I could go with this. I continued expressing feeds at work until she was 9 months old.
Now I am still breast feeding at night; when she goes to sleep, during the night, and early mornings. And sometimes over weekends or off-days. It is still going very well. And I am beginning to re-think my goal of one year. She is my last baby, and it has been a wonderful bonding experience for both of us. There is nothing that soothes a baby quite as well as putting her on the breast!
The first teeth (now seven already) are beginning to be a bit of a pain (she starts grinding when she has had enough). That’s a draw-back, but I tell Mieka “No!”, and it seems as if it has helped! She hasn’t done it in a while. Another draw-back is the fact that she gets easily distracted. When there is activity around us while I am breast feeding, she stops and wants to look at what’s going on. I have to keep her occupied with necklaces and earrings during the day while I am breast feeding her. The belly dancing earrings helps a lot. (Smile) Oh, and it doesn’t help to put a blanket over her head; then she tries to get it off as quickly as possible. She thinks we are playing peek-a-boo.
In the early months I could breast feed her any place, because I just threw the blanket over her. (In South Africa it is frowned upon when you pull out a breast. You have to cover up here.) Now I can’t feed her anymore in public, because she pulls off the blanket…
When something is still working well, should you stop doing it?
I asked the paediatrician at her one year visit, which was this morning, about his advice. Mieka has been very healthy the past year. She only got antibiotics once and that was a few weeks back. He said I can continue for as long as I want. I’ll take his advice for now! I know I will be very sad when I have to stop….
The paediatrician also said that she’s got a big head when he took the measurement. He asked us about the big heads in our family, and we immediately said her dad’s got a big head. No wonder we struggle getting the t-shirts to fit over her head. We’ve got two Big Heads in our family now! (Smile)
Photo: Breastfeeding when Mieka was only a few days old (Photo by Debbie Rogers, my aunt)

Thursday 10 December 2009

Invitation to prepare your own meal at the End-of-Year function

Last night I felt like The Outsider. We were invited to Dries’ end-of-year function to “test our culinary skills.” Dries forwarded the invite to me only yesterday, although he had it for a week already. He knows I would have been bitching about it for a week if I had known earlier. To prepare food is not my favourite activity. It is my least favourite activity of all! (There, I have said it! Sound of sirens! Waiting for the bombs to drop…).

To prepare my own food at an end-of-year function feels like absolute hell to me!
I want to be wined and dined and to feel I am in for a treat!
But there I was with all the happy people (happy to be invited to make your own food?) around me, and thinking that I am definitely from another planet to be the only one swearing on the inside. Apparently also on the outside, because Dries told me later to stop swearing.
Luckily there was red wine! The ultimate lifesaver! After three wines it went really well, and I was opening the phyllo pastry packet for the apple strudel and pecan nut phyllo pie with gusto. I don’t know if it was the red wine, or if the chef saw my clumsiness with regards to food, but he helped me with stacking the phyllo layers, and folding it. Amazing, between me and Dries we made the brinjal starter and the apple and pecan nut strudel desert!

I must congratulate Angela Day Kitchen at Lifestyle. Even me, an absolute stick-in-the-mud enjoyed it, and the food was all-round excellent! Luckily Dries also works for very very nice people, and with their partners we had a lovely time!

BUT I still don’t like making my own food at an end-of-year-function!!

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Reconstructed families and relationships

The diplomacy of relationships in reconstructed families is a minefield of politics. Huh? Too much of a mouth full, but that’s what we are dealing with in the combination of new family units. Divorced parents with your kids and my kids and our kids. Recipes for conflict situations…
In our situation it is only my kid, and our kid, but it is still… I should call it, ultimately difficult!
There was an altercation between the teen and her stepdad (we never call him that, he is Pa Dries – something which Arnia herself decided to call him a year ago). The teen got upset about a small little word “Please” which was not used. And then it exploded. I usually try to stay out of the altercations, but sometimes you have to step in for your children. Although I am being called “undermining”, I feel that I can’t leave her to fend for herself.
A big star goes to Dries for being the adult and sometimes saying sorry when it is needed.
I was thinking that in reconstructed families you learn more about respect for each other, and taking each other’s feelings into account. It is something which would not always automatically happen in normal families (if there is such a thing as normal). We have to be more diplomatic towards each other. Not a bad thing for a child to learn when they are growing up.
The question is: How far do you let it go as a parent when the other parent tries to discipline the children in a manner that is alien to your own way of discipline? I have read that the other parent is supposed to leave the discipline to the biological parent. I think it has got some merit, but I also like the idea of a united front which the parents should have. What do you think about discipline in reconstructed families?

Wordless Wednesday #2

Tuesday 8 December 2009

The Shriek!

Alas! I thought we were not going to see it. (Margot called it “the era of the one loud shriek”). But here it is. At nearly one year of age. The baby shrieks for EVERY THING! It is not even the hurt cry anymore. It is the unhappy shrieking when something is not going her way. At this stage she is only contented being carried and showed stuff, or walking with her where she wants to go. The rest of the time we have to be very creative to keep the little mind occupied. The Manipulator wants to have it her way!
The question is: How far do we let her get her way? For the outside observer it looks like THE TANTRUM. Maybe it is the tantrum already? This weekend Dries and I said to each other this is a very difficult stage. Not even the constant crying and being awake of the beginning feels as taxing as this. How long does this last? Or will we get immune to it? Is this the battle to win in the power of the wills?
SHRIEEEEK!!!! We are trying to go with the flow, taking it moment by moment… BUT we are too exhausted (because of a lack of sleep, thanks to baby as well) to jump to every demand.
Sorry, Mieka, my girl, we are not able to follow all your commands! Now is the time you are going to learn about boundaries… It is going to be very difficult on you, but on your parents as well…

Monday 7 December 2009

Sleeping in separate rooms

The baby has been sleeping in her own bedroom very soon after we brought her home. I was open to the idea of her sleeping in our room, but it did not seem practical to us. I was reading a very shocked blog post by Lisa who cannot understand how the baby can sleep in a separate room than the parents.
We found that we wanted to read and watch tv etc. after the baby went to sleep, and that we bothered her. Luckily we got an Angelcare gadget from friends of ours. We are still using it at nearly a year. We can hear every little peep that Mieka makes, but we know that she is sleeping in peace. As well as us! We also know that the Angelcare will start beeping if she should stop breathing. That gives us peace of mind! Definitely a gadget that is worth to invest in!
Also, the one that do not have to get up at night, can carry on sleeping uninterrupted. And Mieka sleeps in her own dark room which is apparently also good for sleeping well.
In my previous life with the X (cancelled one), he was adamant that the baby had to sleep in her own room. He was jealous of the baby and the time I spent with her. (Yes, unbelievable!) But we did it without Angelcare at that stage. Arnia started to sleep through the night very quickly (about two months). Because of that I also knew that a baby would be okay in her own room. Maybe it is my age, or maybe Dries who is not jealous of the baby and not demanding that I let her cry. But we are not very good with letting Mieka cry. Maybe that is the reason why she is still not sleeping through the night?
But the separate bedrooms work very well for us. I think that should be the key. What works the best for your own situation?

Friday 4 December 2009

Mr. Right's Bday

It is the Hubby’s birthday today. He is still in his 30s! The lucky fish!
I AM the lucky fish! I have found Mr. Right! Having a younger husband who loves going out and doing things and always game for the fun stuff. He was immediately game when I asked him about camping in the beginning of January with Mieka. My sister and her husband is going to visit us later this month, and we are going to camp at Manyane (near Pilansberg, a Wild Reserve), while the rest of the family are going to stay in a chalet at Kwamaritane. We haven’t tried the camping thing yet with a baby, but it is only going to be for four days. (Are we letting ourselves in for too much?)
Dries is also game for hiking and mountain climbing and abseiling. Not that we have done lots of these activities lately, but we are planning to do it again. Definitely! (Definitely! Hopeful smile...)
We had a lovely day today with Dries. I had my shopping day, and Dries only worked half day. We went to see a movie. 2012. We loved the action and the end of earth concept. One of the movies I can count on one hand we went to see this year. We used to love going to movies, but it has become very difficult with Mieka. Mieka stayed with my parents tonight, and they said she was “VERY BUSY!” She kept them going the whole time. No sitting down or holding her. They had lots of fun when they tried to put her down on the bed, and she immediately started doing the backward leopard crawl… No putting her down on a bed anymore to sleep as well.
Dries has turned out to be a wonderful father who does his share with regards to Mieka. Wonderful to have an involved father who does his share AND who contributes financially. Things like this should not even be mentioned, but I come from a previous life where it was not as logical, and I know of a friend where the father also lacks grossly in these departments!
Thanks, Dries, for being a great husband and father! Enjoy your Bday and may it feel like your Bday for the rest of the year!

Thursday 3 December 2009

Baby update

11 months, 2 weeks:
The baby does not sleep through the night. Not yet! But it is going much much better, thank you very much! We had a bad week last week when she was sick, but it is going very well again this week. Getting up twice at night is a bonus to me, and I have decided to not consider it a sleeping problem. I get up, put her on the breast, and sit-sleep for 20 minutes before I put her back in her bed again. If she complains, I take her to our bed until I can carry her back to her bed. Powerwoman got used to the interrupted sleep in any case… Sleeping sorted!
Mieka is still crab creeping, and we have to especially wash her left calve which is black every night. She uses the left leg to maneuver herself on her bottom in the direction where she wants to go. But she LOVES it when we hold her by her hands to walk. She has also found the stairs to climb while we are holding her hands. She manages to climb with alternative legs, not stopping on a step – even though her short little legs barely manages to lift up high enough. She is able to walk holding on to only one hand, but it is still going wobbly.
I can leave her for longer standing up near things, which she loves. While she is vertical, we struggle to get her to sit down again. She stiffens herself, and we have to bend her to get her to sit. Or, NOT!
She loves playing with containers and taking things out and putting it back in again.
She still gets excited when she sees her own reflection in mirrors or windows, and she claps her hands every time. (The Blonde reaction. Smile)
I can make out a “hello”, “tatta”, “ta” and “Mamma”.
And she laughs her head off when she “frightens” us. She makes sounds like The Exorcist! (Very funny to hear! Luckily I heard another baby over the weekend that is making the same sounds, or else I would have been worried…)
Mieka eats very well, and she loves to eat with us. I put the same food we have in her plate, and we try not to cringe while she dives into it. She manages to get some of it into her mouth, and the rest that lands on the floor is vacuumed up by the dog. That’s the only time the dog stops barking, while waiting underneath Mieka’s chair…
We are amazed at how much Mieka has become a little person with her own personality! I just hope that these words are able to show some of it!
And she gave all three of us a huge big open mouth kiss this morning when we asked for it! Nothing better than that!

(Photo: Mieka with her arms stretched out behind her head, while sleeping in the car seat)

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Powerwoman on her soapbox again

A work colleague, Paulette Tshiredo, whom I unfortunately only knew from her sunny face in the corridors, has died recently because of domestic violence. Very very sad!! It happened last week at the start of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
I hate this word “Against”. It gives energy to whatever comes after the word, and makes it persists. Therefore I will not say it again!
I know of so many women who found themselves in a position where their power are taken from them, or chiselled away. Sometimes we do not know what to call it, or we do not know how to get out of it. I also found myself stuck in such a situation.
To feel that you are not being treated as you should be or that you know this is not how it is supposed to be in a relationship…
That’s why I have an X (the cancelled one). I came to the realization that the only one who can do something about my situation was I. Which I did with lots of willing help from my family and friends! My daughter has also drawn the line, and I am proud of her for taking a stand!
We MAY say we will not allow a certain type of behaviour, and we are responsible for how people treat us!
I vote for a 16 Days of Activism for Peace and Empowerment to Women and Children! Who votes with me?

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday 1 December 2009

The teen is a beautiful lady

The teen is finished with grade 10 (standard 8 for the old folks). She wrote her last exam paper the previous Thursday. Now it is only two more important years left in High School. Very soon she needs to decide what she is going to do with her life!
Scary that they grow up so quickly! I saw Yvonne’s posting on her second daughter who has also completed her grade 7, and how sad she feels about them moving on.
I have been trying to think about all the cute things that Arnia did when she was little. I know there were many, and that she was SUPER CUTE! But I can’t remember the small detail. That’s why I want to blog about Mieka and the things she do.
I remember Arnia with her thumb. She refused to take a bottle when I had to go back to work. At four months I was forced to take her off the breast to get her to drink a bottle. She started to suck her thumb after that, and it was only at ten years of age when she had to get braces that she stopped sucking her thumb. A GOOD reason why they should not suck their thumbs, but unfortunately it is not something that you can take away such as a dummy!
At one stage I painted very bad-tasting stuff I got from the chemist on her thumb while she was sleeping. She was about six or seven years at the time. She could not understand why her thumb tasted so bad, and resorted to her left thumb. I felt sorry for her when I saw how confused she looked every time she put her thumb in her mouth. It was very funny to see the expression on her face. I could not do it for too long, and caved in after only one or two nights of her struggling with her thumbs:
Right thumb goes into mouth. Horrified look on face. Inspection of the thumb. Another try. Even more horrified look. Inspection of thumb again. Left thumb into mouth. Uncomfortable sucking of the alien thumb.
“Mom, why does my thumb taste so bad?”
“I don’t know, maybe it is rotting because you sucked it rotten?”
(Shame on you, Karen! The lies we tell them. I plan to do it less with Mieka!)
The thumb also came with the blanket. My mom bought a white blanket with a blue teddy bear imprint on the blanket, and Arnia took a liking to it from the start. She used to take the blanket everywhere, and worked her thumb through a hole in the blanket to suck it. It was a very big blanket, and she used to drag it behind her. When I had to wash the blanket, I had to promise her to put it back in her hand the same evening, which I always did. The blanket was far from white, and it was torn when she finally gave it to her dog after she stopped sucking her thumb…
With hindsight: I should have worried less about the thumb and the blanket – the braces sorted out the skew teeth and peer pressure prevented her from taking the blanket to school. (Smile) Today she is a beautiful lady, and we still remind her with fondness about the thumb and her blanky!

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