Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Back to work...back to a nasty reality

My cousin once said to me that she decided to become a full-time mom after she realised that she couldn't be 100% engineer and 100% mom...  I now understand what she meant.

I returned to work on 26 November 2012, and what a hectic time for me.  The first day was not SO bad, since Linmari was with me.  Mind you, she was with me for the first 3 days!  And when I had to drop her off at her auntie on the Thursday, that wasn't so bad, either.  Rather, what got to me was having to get my girl ready and dressed at 06h00 in the morning when she was still FAST asleep, just so that we could be on time for work.  And the following Monday (2 December 2012) I had to go to work with my little one that was sick (teething is not so much fun!).  It broke my heart that she and I could not lie in bed all day, with her simply feeding and sleeping the miserable feeling away.

People have told me I would get used to not having my little one with me in the mornings, and that at least I have a half-day job so that I get to see Linmari more than the average working-parent.  But that's little consolation when I know that Linmari's CUTEST time is in the mornings, and that she sleeps most of her afternoon away!  I never thought I would enjoy being a stay-at-home mommy THIS much, but the 3 1/2 months with her at home has taught me valuable lessons:
  • I have learned that housework is not such a dread (since I now manage my house on a daily basis, not a once-a-week-let's-quickly-sorta-clean-up-the-house-basis.  
  • I have learned that every moment with my little girl is precious, and NO ONE can replace the time that I have lost with her, EVER. 
  • Being a stay-at-home Mom is a FULL TIME JOB!
  • You will feel guilt over not having done certain things with your child during the day, in my case I often-times worry that I haven't played enough or stimulated enough, even though I do this at every possibly opportunity!
  • Being a Mom is more rewarding than being a career woman!
  • Seeing your daughter smile at you first thing when she wakes up in the morning is irreplaceable.
  • Experiencing your daughter's milestones with her is amazing - she really is growing up!
Our school broke up for Christmas-holidays on 12 December, and it has been LOVELY to spend all that time with my daugther!  She is beyond precious and being able to see her 24/7 is such a blessing!  We are currently fighting a bout of sniffles / hoarseness and snotty nose, but hey, we'll survive!
 See, even when she's sick she still finds the time to be silly!  She discovered yesterday how to suck her bottom lip...too cute!

Oh, and one last thing.  My cousin sent me the BumGenius AIO Version 4 Diapers (FIVE OF THEM!) from America.  WOW!!!  Now not even my husband can tell me he's struggling with cloth diapering!  They're amazing, and I'm seriously considering buying 5 more (just have to save up some money first).
Here's Linmari wearing one of them:
 They're super-soft, HIGHLY absorbent and very easy to wash! (And they're Noodle Colour, for those interested.)

I have to go and finish my Christmas baking, and then do some laundry, dishes and general housework.
One last picture:
My niece turned 7 in November, and she decided she wanted a Tangled-themed party.  Her Mommy did all the homework and then asked me to make her a Tangled-wig.  I found this tutorial and was SUPER-impressed by it!  It really was easy to use and helped me to make the perfect wig! For those of you that are still at a loss as to what to make for your daughter / niece / girl-cousin as a nice gift for Christmas, this wig should most definitely do the trick!  It's easy (PLEASE follow instructions carefully) and VERY beautiful!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Growing up too quickly

My little girl is not so little anymore :*(  But I enjoy every single day with her! 

I only have 4 1/2 more weeks of maternity leave left and it saddens me to think that soon these carefree days will be something of the past.  I think I'll be photo-blogging a lot more often now, since it's easier to bring my thoughts across.

Cloth diapering has been an interesting experience... as soon as I put the first cloth diaper on Linmari, I broke down into tears.  She literally has NO bum (unlike my side of the family who all sport serious behinds), and I was getting used to that. As soon as she had the diaper on, she had one really BIG bum!  It made me cry. SERIOUSLY.  This then cascaded into me being sad because now that she was wearing cloth diapers she would no longer have a tiny bottom which I could pat, and I don't want her to grow up too quickly, and I don't want to have to give her to someone else to look after her, and then I suddenly decided I don't want to go back to work!  Thus, a very interesting experience this has been so far!  But on the more serious side of things, I have found the prefolds to work beautifully for her sized body right now.  The flat diapers worked well, but her legs were so abducted at the hips I didn't quite like the sight of it.  We'll give it another go when she's slightly bigger.  I have not yet tried the AIO Fancy Pants diaper, we'll try that at a later stage.  My husband still doesn't get the hang of it (folding prefolds, how hard can it be? ;-P ), and I must admit that we still use disposable diapers on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as when we go for LOOOOONG rides, because she tends to e.x.p.l.o.d.e on us on those days only.

Check out how big her bum looks here!!!! (This is her very proud 9 year old cousin)

I also spoke to Thinus about breastfeeding long before this little one's arrival, and made him promise that he would not allow me to give up on it before I've fed for at least 6 weeks.  What a precious promise that turned out to be.
This is what it looked like when I breastfed on day 2:
If it hadn't been for my doula, Melissa Jacobs, midwife, Karen van der Merwe, mom and husband's ongoing support, I might just have given up on breastfeeding. Melissa told me at Linmari's first feed "Never settle for a bad latch. NEVER."  And again, Melissa said to me on day 4 post-birth: "Ronél, when you have to work so much harder at continuing breastfeeding, you will always cherish it and probably also breastfeed for a longer period of time because you know how precious it is".  After SEVERAL weeks it went better (6 weeks), and there are still days that it hurts. So Mommies-to-be, PLEASE don't give up on breastfeeding.  I had looked forward to having that bond with my child, and had to work really hard on correct latching (Linmari is a lazy-latcher), distracting myself when the pain got a bit too much.  I watched a LOT of Grand Design-episodes during those first few weeks of breast feeding, just to make the pain more bearable.  I was systemically treated for thrush, since the pain I experienced was similar to that of thrush in the nipples.  But the pain has not really gone away, I just seem to have gotten used to it.  Another possible cause is vasospasm of the nipples (as stated by my doula and midwife), which you can read up on here.  I now love breastfeeding, even though it still hurts at times, and won't exhange it for anything in the world!  Linmari also tends to get VERY excited when she realises that she's going to be breastfed, something that makes me very happy!  I hope to be able to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible (read: about 9 months).

Pajama-drill has been ... interesting.  We've been spat on, vomitted on, peed and pooped on many a time during the night!  Especially in the first few weeks.  But I also found it difficult to fall asleep again in the first few weeks since I just wanted to stare at my beautiful daughter and her gorgeous Daddy whilst they were fast asleep!  
 See? Totally adorable at 2 AM!

The first 5-6 weeks were the hardest, since Linmari often swallowed wind (lazy-latcher plus fast let-down equals LOTS OF WINDS!) and it took forever to burp her.  Thinus was on burping duty, what a joy!  One night, out of pure desperation, we took Linmari for a drive around the highway since it was 4 AM and she had been struggling to fall asleep since 01h30 AM.  We were beyond tired, and just wanted her to sleep so that WE could sleep (plus we knew the car lulled her to sleep).  It worked like a charm, but once we got home and I was busy unbuckling her, the seatbelt suddenly shot up, startling her and waking her up...SCREAMING... so we buckled her again and got right back into the car to take another drive.  Finally at 05h10 AM we could go to bed.  Thank goodness for a wonderful husband who was willing to do this for me.  Another wonderful thing is that Thinus had 4 weeks of paid leave directly after Linmari's birth, allowing us optimal bonding time as a family.

Okay, that's me for now.  I hope to be blogging more often about this wonderful thing called "Motherhood"!
(Linmari and her Godmother being silly together!)

Announcing the arrival of Linmari Kahlan

On 11 August 2012 at 21h53
was born
weighing in at 3.5 kg (7.71 lbs)
and measuring 51 cm (20.07 inches) in length.
It was a waterbirth with a midwife, doula, my mom and husband with me :-)
She was her Daddy's BIGGEST birthday gift (we did not induce, PROMISE)!  I could not have bought him a better gift!

She has quickly gained weight, and looks rather different at 1 month!

Spring Day (1 September 2012) in South Africa was celebrated with a new dress (actually a 3-6 month sleeveless top).

Linmari and her Daddy have the most hilarious conversations!
She loves her cousins, especially when she can use their shoulders as a brace for her chin!

And because she's a girl, Mommy gets to make her pretty dresses, and her aunty gets to hold her a lot so that Mommy can take photo's of those pretty dresses!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

40 weeks and 2 days..... and 2 years since you died

Today I'm already 2 days past my due date (not surprising for a first baby).  I've already spent two weeks on maternity leave, finishing off Jellybaby's solid teak cot (with the help of my brother, sister-in-law, her father and my husband).  I still have to load some pictures, but today I first have to sand one railing and varnish it with its final coat.

SOOOOOO much has happened in the past few months.  We've moved into our new house (really a groundfloor apartment with a nice sized garden) and tried to sort out Jellybaby's nursery. ALMOST THERE!!!!  We're also now patiently awaiting this little one's arrival, juggling it with picking up my father-in-law at the airport arriving from Cape Town tonight.  He's hoping that he'll be a granddad by then :-)  And then there's our holiday to Kwa-Zulu Natal to look forward to!!!!  Oh, but before then Thinus is also celebrating his birthday on Saturday - SCORE!  My mom reckons that Jellybaby will come either tomorrow or Saturday - we would prefer today.

Today also marks 2 years since my brother's sudden death.  This morning I cried when I realised that I'm now exactly 10 days older than he was when he died.  I think I also was half expecting that I would go into labour during the night and have the celebration of new life on hand as opposed to just thinking about my brother.  My sadness did not prevail, and I'm now calm.  I miss my brother, and I'm sad that he can't share this time with me.  But I'm SOOOO grateful that he's with Jesus and can enjoy all the riches of Heaven!  What a blessing that is!  When I mourn, it's over my loss.  But thank GOD that he was not lost, that he served Jesus Christ as his Saviour!  Because of that I can now rejoice even on a day like today!

It's FREEZING cold in Johannesburg, and we even got SNOW yesterday!  I played in the snow alongside my nephew like a small kid! Later in the day we built a snow man (my sister-in-law made sure we didn't pass up on this opportunity).  Thinus and I even went for a walk last night (albeit to try and see whether or not we could induce this child!) and had such lovely broccolli and bacon soup for dinner!

Today I am planning on making roly-poly apricot pudding to beat this cold weather.  NOTHING like warm pudding on a cold night!  And then also maybe try and catch up on my lost sleep.

Hoping that today is the day that we get to meet Jellybaby!!!!

Blessings to you all!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We are moving!!!

We have been looking for a house since August 2011, and what a mission it turned out to be! But finally, on March 3rd this year, we found a home :-)

I had a LOOOOOONG list to be fulfilled, including that it should not be a sectional title, must have at least TWO doors going outside, a garden, a double kitchen sink, a window over that kitchen sink, a shower for my husband, at least 3 bedrooms, a garage....the list goes on. Most important was that it would be the most affordable house in the best area.

What we found was: a sectional title, 2 bedroom flat with a garden. It was affordable and in the best area. I've made peace that we need to get our foot in the market. And the flat was really the way to do it.

SOOOOOO, today after church we picked up the keys to our new flat! After nearly 5 years of marriage, we now can call a place our home. GOD has been ever-faithful in providing the funds for the 5% deposit that we had to put down, as well as all the lawyers' fees that went along with buying a house.

Soon we'll be able to start renovating Jellybaby's solid teak cot (BIG SMILE!), and to make up the nursery. Pictures to follow soon, promise! Tonight we're spending our first night in our home - on a blow-up mattress. We are just too impatient to start our new life there to wait for our bed to come next week Saturday. Oh, and we're taking our kettle and microwave oven with to make supper. I should probably also start to pack a bag so that we'll have clothes for tomorrow!

The excitement is very tangible in our household right now. I'm just quickly resting whilst Thinus carries out some of the essentials that must go with tonight. WHOOPEE!!!!

Praise be to GOD for providing in our needs!

PS: I even have a convection oven now! Truly a blessing from above!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why we chose cloth diapers

A few years ago I would not have thought twice about using disposable nappies.  A few years ago I was rather ignorant regarding the cost of disposables.... A few years ago we did not decide to have a baby AND buy a house all at the same time (my husband says we're hardcore like that!)

Okay, so we've been trying to fall pregnant for a long time, and in that very loooooooong time, somewhere along the line I realised that cloth diapering sounded like a very valid option to me.  I mostly attributed it to first reading about it here where Ashley spoke about her reasons for cloth diapering.  Also, it turns out I'm a closet-greenie, and in order to save the planet for our child, and living frugally as well as living by the philosophy of recycle-reuse-reduce, the decision was easy.

As for my husband?  It took him some getting used to...he was not so keen on the laundry-aspect, nor travelling long distances or going on holiday with cloth diapers.  Agreed, it would be rather difficult to travel and then be on vacation at a place where there are no laundry facilities, so I still have to consider that aspect, but eh, we can overcome that problem!  I recently showed my husband a youtube video on folding flat nappies.  He actually joined in on the fun, and tried out some of the folds!

Here is our current stash:

 Now, at first I only wanted all-in-one (AIO) cloth diapers!  That was just convenience talking...but with convenience comes a hefty price tag which I was not willing to pay.  Thus I did some further research into this vast universe of cloth diapering, and discovered something called prefolds.  But finding prefolds in South Africa at local baby stores?  Nearly impossible or ridiculously expensive when you DO find them!  We're talking R1300.00 for 3 covers and 6 prefolds when looking at BambinoMio which you can buy at Baby City!  For only R250.00 more I can buy 10 Bam+Boo Nappies (hybrid cloth diapers, if I am not mistaken?)!  That destroyed the idea of prefolds *sad face* and forced me to start considering the cheapest option of them all - flat cloth diapers.  Yes, those that our mothers used before they had disposable nappies, the predecessor of all cloth diapers out there.  So, it calls for some extra effort (folding them, putting on a Snappi, and covering it all with a waterproof cover), but that I can handle. 
When I was only 10 years old, I used to change my nephew's diapers - yes, we're once again talking about flat cloth diapers).  I was a real pro at folding them, putting on a liner, and getting him to lie still whilst putting on the Snappi.  I can't remember it ever being gross or weird.  To me it was just another normal part of raising a baby.  (My brother and his wife changed over to disposables after a year following them doing some calculations and finding that they paid the same per disposable as per wash+detergent+electricity+liner for the cloth diapers.  Here is the thing that they did not consider, though, they had filled quite a few landfills by now!  They are 5 children down the line - can you imagine the amount of waste? 

I know a lot of people will use the above argument for NOT using cloth diapers, but in reality I always have water and electricity and detergent, but I don't have to go out and buy cloth diapers each month, I get to use them over and over again.  To me that is a bonus!  PLUS I get to use them with Jellybaby, then with our next baby, and if we're so lucky, even with our third baby! When I run out of money at the end of a month (or rather, when there's too much month left at the end of money), I can still switch on my washing machine and do the diaper drill without immediately spending money from my purse.  That provides me with a huge sense of relief, since we'll soon be moving into our own house and will have to cover other costs (our water usage is worked into our monthly levy - HEAVEN!).  Thus, our expense for the diapers are really covered beforehand, and not so much for the duration of the diaper-drill, except for the liners.  Oh, and I also sewed some reusable wet wipes from toweling fabric and with a cute bias binding border.  I find it rather awesome that I can use a lukewarm cloth rather than an ice cold wet wipe to clean my baby's bottom with!

I am excited about this new adventure in our lives, and since my husband has come on board (he is not at all grossed-out by the fact that he'll have to change cloth diapers, and has even offered to do the diaper laundry) I cannot contain my enthusiasm over the direction or lives have taken.  He did buy some disposables at the beginning of this pregnancy - according to him it was to make the pregnancy more real for himself.  I can handle that - it's one packet.  But last weekend he was quite willing to fork out the money for buying some Econobum prefold and cover stash (R520) at our Baby Show, as well as one all-in-one Fancypants cloth diaper (R165), and 6 Miosquares Muslin cloths (R200).  We have come a loooong way!

Today I finally got around to washing all of my diapers (you have to prewash them to improve their absorbency), and I just LOVED the sight of the prefolds and muslin squares hanging on the line outside to dry:
Isn't this just such a beautiful sight to behold? (The cloth diapers, not the surroundings.)

Our decision is based on a lot of reasons, but mostly for frugal, ecological and emotional reasons.

PS: Have I mentioned that babies on cloth diapers appears to potty train earlier than babies on disposable nappies from numerous websites that I've read?  BONUS!

Monday, April 9, 2012

23 weeks pregnant and in serious discomfort!

My word, can it be that I'm already 23 weeks along?  It is wonderful to be able to report that so far my pregnancy has been uncomplicated.  I can only thank GOD, my Saviour, for being so gracious to me!

As for my level of discomfort - it has reached an all-time high!  Here are a few things I seem to find difficult doing:
  • Bend over to tie my shoelaces
  • Pull up my pants without grunting (I seriously sound like an old woman!)
  • Turn over in bed (I blame my ever-stretching ligaments for that one)
  • Sitting up in bed after lying down on my back
  • Getting in and out of my parents' very low car...
But then there are also a few things I'm loving about this pregnancy:
  • My BELLY!!!!
  • Seeing Jellybaby move about - this afternoon we put my cellphone on my tummy and Jellybaby kicked it.  We (my husband and I) thought it to be very cute - and then my husband joked about cellphone radiation and I abruptly removed the cellphone from my tummy.
  • FEELING my baby move around - it's been 6 1/2 weeks of feeling movement now, and I STILL can't get enough of it!  It is SO precious! (Thank You, LORD!)
  • Seeing people's reactions to the news that I am pregnant (quite a few people in my parents' congregation did not know)
  • My husband admiring my belly =D ... And my hubby rubbing my belly... And falling asleep next to my husband with his hand firmly on my belly... I love my husband!
  • Sharing the prospect of a new baby with my Mom!  She's the absolute BEST!
  • Seeing how my dad reacts to my pregnancy - he is suddenly very protective of my (it's never been otherwise, but never quite as overt as now).
  • Making little odds and ends for when Jellybaby finally arrives - I will post my newest creation shortly, or at least as soon as it's done (still have to finish off the edges).
  •  Dreaming about the day when we'll finally meet this sweet child.
  • Jellybaby being VERY stubborn about sharing some kicks - when I check out my belly, sure enough, Jellybaby jumps around like a circus clown.  As SOON as I tell someone else to watch, or even hold their hand on my tummy, well, what would you know?  Jellybaby IMMEDIATELY stops with any shinnanigans.  And as soon as that person turns away / remove their hand, I get a tummy-show again.  It's hilarious!  How does this child in anycase know when it's MY hand touching my belly, or someone else's hand?
  • Knowing that this child was specifically chosen for US by GOD - how awesome is that?!?!?!

A few fun facts about my pregnancy:;
  • The first time I really could see my 'bump' was at about 15 weeks - and that was only because suddenly my pants, which was perfectly comfortable at week 14, was suddenly VERY tight!
  • I felt Jellybaby move for the first time at 16 weeks 2 days.
  • My tummy has grown SIGNIFICANTLY - I can no longer button-up my jeans (YAY for Yummy Mummy Tummy), so alternative methods have to be sufficient for now.  I have found that wearing skirts are extremely comfortably - yippee!!!!
  • I have no stretch marks (I'm applying BioOil and Happy Event Cream once a day, and drinking loads of water when I remember).
  • My memory is something of the past!  I cannot remember, and I go into very depressed states when I realise that I've lost something / misplaced something / forgotten something.
  • My hands and feet are still the same size - yay for no selling (yet - hopefully NEVER)!
  • The first time someone (my mom) could see and feel my baby move was at 20 weeks 5 days - how awesome is that?!?!?!?!
Okay, I better sign off now - I am beyond tired, and seriously need to make up some sleep!

May GOD bless you in this Easter-time, and may you realise, anew, that HE gave us HIS everything through Jesus Christ!  And through Jesus' blood, we can have Eternal Life - AMEN!

Keep well and be blessed!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Learning about the Fishbowl Project

Last week I spent my days in a lecture room with two AMAZING remedial therapists (previously educators) learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder.  WOW!  That's about the shortest summary I can give!  I went on the Fishbowl Project Training. Please do yourself a favour, and click on this link!  If you are a teacher / parent of a child with ANY special needs, not just on the Autism Spectrum, seriously, go and read what they have to say about this training.  I HIGHLY recommend it!

The one thing that keeps resounding in my head is: VISUAL OVER VERBAL!  Use visual cues, visual instructions, visual schedules - it all makes life SO much easier for children with autism.  But not only for these children, but also neuro-typical ('normal', as we know it) children.  I've had to rethink how I do therapy, and how I instruct children.  It makes sooooo much sense to use visual before verbal!  Verbal instructions are abstract and fleeting, visual instructions are concrete and makes a lasting impression.

A few cool ideas I got from the course last week:
  • Have a picture of two feet / two shoes stuck on the floor in your therapy area.  This is to avoid having to repeat the instruction "take of your shoes" every time the dear child comes for therapy.  They'll see the sign, and KNOW what to do, without you having to TELL them each time.  BEAUTIFUL!
  • Make sure that the activities which you do with younger children / children on the autism spectrum, has a visual way of telling the child when they are done with the activity.  This includes basic things like starting left, working towards the right, and when all the pieces have been moved from left to right, you're done. 
    • Or having lots of big beads or cotton thread spools in two different colours in a round container (that is stuck to a 2L ice-cream container's lid on the left) and then two colours of shoelaces (on the right side of the lid, held in place by making a hole in the lid and then tying a knot at the end of the shoelace inside the lid) matching the two colours of beads / spools.  The child will instinctively know to thread what is on the left onto the matching shoelace. And he'll know that the activity is done once there's nothing left in the left side's container. Uhm...and now I don't have the visual to explain my verbal diarrhea to you - OOPS!  (Thank you, Reinette and Bernadette, for showing us these inexpensive but durable activities / games!)
I also learned about Makaton, which is a way of signing to support verbal communication, and I'm now seriously considering going for the training to do Makaton Signing for Baby to allow me easier communication with my child.  And it is accessible in South Africa, thus providing us with the opportunity to understand our non-verbal children better, and for them to express themselves, and their needs, more clearly!  Makaton has also been researched, with research published. I really think this is the way forward!

This past week has been SUCH a blessing in my career - I was forced to really rethink how I do things.  To be able to really get down to a child's level (my word, I was really reminded a LOT about creative ability and activity analysis) and present activities / tasks in such a way that they will be able to comprehend, as well as not become frustrated.  It took me back to my pre-grad days!

And, in the process of find all these amazing links for this post, I stumbled upon this amazing website.  This mommy is really making it easy for all the mommies out there to not only entertain their children, but simultaneously turning it into a learning opportunity!  Really awesome!

On a slightly more personal note - I am now 18 weeks 1 day along in my pregnancy, and about 2 weeks ago I started feeling my baby move!  Very exciting, and always unsuspected.  As I was sitting here, writing this post, Jellybaby has been seriously active.  I think one of the seams of my pants running across my tummy is REALLY irritating Jellybaby!  Can't wait until the movement becomes more pronounced :-) YEAH!

God Bless and hope that this information was helpful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being an OT in a social world

I've been thinking about writing this post since Sunday evening, after visiting with our friends at their house-warming. So, here goes.

 Basically, I really struggle to switch off my OT-brain and just be a normal citizen, interacting with others in a non-OT way.  Why?  Because one of an OT's main attributes is that of being super observant.  Nothing goes unnoticed.  I look at everyone's gait (their walking pattern / style), I check out their pencil grip (and proceed to comment on it), and I always wonder about visual perception (my life at a school kind of means that visual perception receives a LOT of my attention).  When there is someone in a wheelchair, I check out the specs.  I LOVE going to disabled sport meetings, because I get to see the newest technology in prosthetics and wheelchairs.  And when I look at kids?  Well, I check whether what they are doing is on par with what would be expected of them at their chronological age's developmental milestones.

Now, here's the question - will I look at my OWN kids that way?  I certainly do look at my brothers, sisters, PARENTS, husband (shame...he falls victim to this quite often) and nephews and nieces in this way.  Friends, friends' friends and their children are also not excluded.  So, will I monitor my own child that way?  Will I make sure he / she reaches their developmental milestones at exactly the right age?  Will I try to stimulate them to the point that they achieve all their milestones?  I don't know...but it might bug me for some time to come.

The reason for this random thought?  I met a little boy (2 1/2 years old) on Sunday who was born a whole 12 weeks early.  My first thoughts were immediately on how these children usually present - they have quite a great chance of having a hemorrhage due to fragile vasculature in their brains, which can lead to Cerebral Palsy.  They can be deaf, blind and developmentally delayed their whole life through.  And yet, this child was walking, talking, could see and hear.  I kept on telling his mother what a miracle child he is (as if she doesn't already know that), and the fact that he could do all these things was awesome.  But, of course I looked at him as a whole - I observed a lot, and yes, he still seems to have some delays if you compare him to other 2 1/2 years old.  Yet, I should be comparing him to himself - and that was pretty awesome!
Thus the question I'm throwing out there today is this: How does the type of work you do / your occupation, influence how you interact with people?

Anyways, that's my rambling for today - I'm now off to finish supper (Aubergine Masala and yellow rice!).  May you have a blessed week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The size of a peach - 13 weeks 4 days

I am soooooo happy to announce that we FINALLY have a little one on the way!  After 18 months of trying - which means we were medically infertile.  It is beyond amazing to have seen this baby move around, wave and kick... WOW!  I am now 13 weeks 4 days along, with my expected due date being 6 August.

Spikkel at 11 weeks 4 days
  Here's an exciting thought, though - the baby is the size of a peach! About 3 inches from Crown to Rump.  So awesome!  We get to see the gynae again in 12 days' time, and we can't wait to see what our baby will look like by then.  And my husband is the best - he also becomes all emotional and overwhelmed by the thought that a part of him is growing inside of me.  He can barely wait until the baby's big enough and moving around for him to feel.  So precious!

I started feeling nauseous at 6 weeks (started with a metal-taste in my mouth), but I don't easily 'lose my food'.  That has only happened ONCE so far (apparently one should not eat eggs, mushrooms, cucumber and cheese as breakfast at 05h30 AM), and I hope to not repeat that episode.  Furthermore, I've been able to mostly control my weight gain, although I'm eating my husband into financial ruin!  Never knew I could be THIS hungry!  My clothes are now starting to sit tighter, and I am planning on making myself some maternity pants this weekend (yes, I know, then I should stop blogging now and actually just START already!).  My body has changed, but my husband has seen most of the changes, since I don't own such a thing as a full-length mirror, and most of the mornings I just check my face to make sure I've covered every square millimeter with sunblock (SPF 50+).  I was very tired initially, but now mostly go to bed early...only to be woken at 2 AM with the URGENT need to visit the loo (your kidneys, and thus bladder, work over-time!).  I've never been a fan of interrupted sleep - let's see whether this baby turns out to be a sleeper.

One of my friends gave birth to a beautiful girl this morning at 10h00 AM, and it was so special to receive multimedia text messages from her mom to keep me up to date with the process.  And suddenly I realised - that's ME in 6 months' time!  The big debate though, is whether or not to find out the gender of the baby.  My husband and I already made up our minds 2 years ago that we do not want to know the gender of our babies, because why spoil the surprise?  Some of my colleagues asked me this morning, while we were all busy gushing over the GORGEOUS new baby girl, if THIS does not make me want to find out our child's gender.  The answer?  NOPE, I LOOOOOVE SURPRISES!!!!

I am looking forward to that amazing surpirse at the end of this pregnancy, and how awesome to hear the doctor say "It's a boy / It's a girl"?!?!?  What could be more special than finding out the last part of the surprise when we also get to meet our baby for the first time? 

The other part of me also don't want my child to be stereotyped.  By this I mean the baby clothes and products one gets at one's baby shower.  As soon as there is a gender linked to the expected baby, people tend to fall into this loop of 'blue is for boys and pink is for girls'.  I prefer that if I do have a daughter she finds out a loooong time from now that such a colour as pink exists.  I think there are awesome colours out there, why limit my child to one?  Which means I'll be making (hahahahaha) baby and toddler clothes to ensure my girl / boy does not fall into the trap of pink=girl, blue=boy.  Oh, and on that - my boy should also preferably not know about the existence of pink until he's MUCH older!

Then what colour do you buy for a child clothes-wise when you don't know the gender?  All of my other favourite colours!  Avocado green, gray, beige, white, RED, orange, yellow, teal blue/green...  There is just so much more variety than blue, blue, blue, blue, pink, pink, pink, pink. And it also allowed us to be very creative whilst dreaming up our baby's nursery room.  Together with my husband, we've come up with an AWESOME colour scheme which will not only serve us well as a nursery, but also as a toddler's room and school-going child's room.

Just wanted to shout this out to the whole wide world - I AM PREGNANT!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Helping others by saying nothing

My father and mother still carries heavily on this burden called my brother's death.  But more and more I've seen my father really suffer from sadness, which really is normal and to be expected, and I feel that my hands are so chopped off.

I have this awful habit of telling people that I can't help them, or don't know what to do to make their situation better when I feel overwhelmed by their situation.  This is one of those situations.  And I had to catch myself before saying that to my dad, because how would that really make his day any better?

Sooooo, thinking this over, I realised that my best response to his sadness is not in my words (or lack thereof), but rather in my actions.  A hug, holding his hand, and if I feel the over-powering need to say something, to just say I'm sorry that he is sad.  Because the truth of the matter is, this is a loss a parent NEVER gets over - EVER. 

If I think how much I still grieve my lost baby, even though I never got to hold him/her, how much worse is my father's pain.  He who held this son, played with him, saw him grow up, become a man, get married, and accomplish so much in his short life time.  Surely, that pain is so much more intense, the memories ever-present.

Yes, I struggle with my brother's death, but at times life is normal, and I can get on with it.  But then again, I don't have to live in the house where my brother was born into, grew up in, never left, and was burried out of.  I don't have to constantly be reminded of him at every corner I turn, or every detail I see in the house.  This is what my father has to deal with, every day of his life.

It saddens me to see my dad like this, but really, I can only hug him.  That's all I have...and that's all I should give.

How do YOU help someone when they are in pain / emotional turmoil / overwhelmed?

May the grace of GOD surround you every day of your life!

Me =D