Tuesday, July 30, 2013

11 month old kids are SO.DARN.CUTE!

So  I've been at home...recovering from chickenpox.  But during that time I've also been able to spend some precious time with Linmari.  Okay, so itching like crazy and running after your little one can be rather challenging, but that's fine by me.  At least she was a welcome distraction!  Keeping a steady level of Panado in my bloodstream and Calamine lotion on my body has certainly also been of great help!

Linmari are doing such cute things, SERIOUSLY!  Yesterday she started playing 'hide-and-seek' with me, just around our bed.  She would walk around the bed to her dad's side of the bed (our bed is very high, with a big mattress) and suddenly pop out to reveal herself.  And then she would be reduced to a puddle of giggles when I said "BOO!".  Quickly up and walking around the edge of the bed to the other side (my side) and pop out with me saying "BOO!" again.  GIGGLES, then LAUGHTER, like the kind of laughter that starts in your belly and erupts from your mouth! 

We also played with just plain old cake flour.  I put some on a tray, took it outside, and she entertained herself for nearly half an hour, just smearing her hands, then her face and finally her WHOLE BODY with the flour!  I also gave her some cookie cutters to play with, which she tried to "fill", but alas, it didn't work ;-)  She's too cute!

And THEN my dearest daughter discovered that the hedge between us and the neighbours' gardens could be traversed (with lots of effort and serious dirt-effect).  That kept her busy for another half an hour or so.  The garden was next, finding all kinds of interesting leaves (dead and alive) in the garden, playing with the ground/dirt, looking at birds in our other neighbours' garden and discovering red flowers (oh, the delight!) in our own.  As if that wasn't enough, she then fetched her ball so that we could play with that, after which she decided that the lounge chair on our stoep/porch makes for a lovely jungle gym.

I love the energy this kid has (and sometimes I loathe it, let's be honest) and how she wants to explore and experience every bit of her environment.  Yes, everything goes to the mouth...which is rather disgusting sometimes.  But I'm SO grateful to have a child who is able to move around in her environment.  Who can climb in and on and through things.  Who can go and fetch her ball and WALK to me so that we can play with it!  What a wonderful privilege it is to share in her development, to be present and able to see it all happening!  I am in awe of my child, but mostly I am in awe of GOD, for HE created this beautiful being. 

Yesterday, my devotional piece was on Psalm 139, by far one of my favourite chapters in the Bible.  GOD knit us together in our mothers' wombs.  HE knew all the days destined for us before they came to be.  HE knew that Linmari would start walking on Tuesday, 23 July 2013, before she was even born!  What an amazing blessing to know GOD and to see how HE designed creation.

I just wanted to share these beautiful experiences with the world.  I love my girl and am forever grateful that I can be part of her world!  Praise be to GOD for providing to enable me to follow my heart's desires!

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Mommy has Chickenpox...

Today was supposed to be me last day at work.  Instead, it's my first day in bed with Chickenpox!  Who could've thought that one can catch this twice?!?!  I'm living proof, you can!

My niece came to sleep over at our house 2 1/2 weeks ago.  That evening she developed a high fever (39.2 degrees Celsius) and we got her some pain meds to kill the fever.  It worked, but the next morning she was covered in little spots / blisters all over her stomach and back.  Her mom took her to the doctor who immediately diagnosed chickenpox.  Well, my daugther was exposed to her for 2 days, my niece's best friend was exposed to her for two days, and then there's the matter of her brothers being exposed to her the whole time!

I thought that Linmari would catch the chickenpox since I know it's highly contagious.  Thinus and I have both had chickenpox as children.  So here I was, waiting to see what would happen.  What happened was:
  • The niece's best friend (who've been vaccinated) got chickenpox
  • The brothers got chickenpox
  • And early yesterday afternoon I presented with this rash, which was diagnosed as chickenpox late yesterday afternoon.
It's proving a bit difficult to follow the prescription of "rest" with my 11 month old daugther being at home with me.  She started walking on Tuesday (EEK!!!) and is toddling all over the place!  Too cute for words, really!  Now I can only rest when she rests, since I fear that she might actually turn the house upside down if I was to fall asleep for even a split second (plus, it's really not all that responsible to fall asleep with an 11 MO wondering through the house, even if the house is babyproof!).

 So, this is me, lamenting the fact that I am ill.  But hey, this is life!  And at least I get to spend time with my precious baby girl!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Life returning to normal...for 3 weeks

Our third school term starts tomorrow and I'm a bag of mixed emotions.  You see, at the beginning of the second term I handed in my resignation. 

I want to be a full-time stay-at-home-mom.  This is something I never thought I would say, but hey, here I am!  And tomorrow marks the beginning of a 3 week return to school to tie all the loose ends together.  What a scary thought! My husband and I have been living on a combined income for the past 5 1/2 years!  We literally only had a single-income household for 5 months and then I started working as an OT.  So we're diving into this unknown financial abyss.  Not sure how that's going to work out for us.

However, I know that this is what I want for my child.  To have a mom that's always (well, mostly) available and to be able to organise our household so that my husband knows that when he comes home at night there'll at least be a cooked meal for dinner.  I can't promise a clean house or ironed washing whenever he needs it but at the very least I can attempt to be an emotionally and physically available mother to our child.  You see, I was privy enough to see my baby's first steps this holiday!  What a wonderful gift!  To share my baby's developmental milestones WITH her :-D

I will still be volunteering every now and again (to not completely lose my touch) but for the biggest part I'm going to discover this new world!  I'm sure there'll be days that I would want to pull my hair out at the mere sight of a house that needs tidying or dishes that have to be done.  But I hope to soon fall back into my maternity-leave routine (although my baby doesn't sleep NEARLY as much as she did back then!).

SOOOOO, because life is returning to normal tomorrow, I've:
  • Packed everyone's lunches
  • Packed the nappy bag
  • Put out clothes for myself and my baby
  • Put all my necessary paperwork for tomorrow together.
I have a HEAP of work to do when I get back to the office tomorrow, having to make sure that all my kids have the necessary treatment plans / home programmes to lessen the workload of my colleagues when I'm gone.

I'm excited and scared at the same time for what the future holds!  Only GOD knows how this will all pan out.  Thank YOU, GOD, for being in my past, present and FUTURE!

I wish all of you a wonderful third school term!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

11 Months Old!!!! Party planning and looking back over the past month

This beautiful child is a full 11 months old today. I cannot believe how much she's developed in the past month!  She's one of the greatest sources of my delight and I truly cannot imagine a life without her! (I'm tiping this post with one hand, since this beautiful child is lying in my arms, fast asleep...)

I've been thinking about her birthday party since January. (Yes, you read correctly.) But I have not been able to find a suitable venue for her party, until Tuesday night, when I realised that our church's hall would be ideal. Especially since her birthday is during late winter and last year there was a quick (but VERY unusual) snow storm 4 days before her birth! An indoors venue cancels out the possibility of bad weather spoiling the birthday party.

Another thing that has caused me lots of concern was that she and her Daddy share a birthday.  How do you host a party for Moms and Babes and involve Daddy's friends in the mix? Plus family?  The easy answer is: You don't. You host two seperate parties. But although that sounds all fair and well, it can become rather costly.  So I've been breaking my head trying to come up with frugal, yet beautiful ideas. Enter Google and Pinterest. I looooove these websites / search engines / call it what you may.  They simplify my life and provide me with cost-effective ideas without compromising on presentation.

The decision has thus been made. Two parties, both at the same venue but 2 hours apart to allow for Linmari to nap in-between. (YEAH, RIGHT! Like that's going to happen!) Linmari's first party with Mommies and Babies and a select few other friends, will be themed "Butterflies and Rainbows" with a homemade butterfly cake, rainbow cupcakes, some other (healthy) fingerfoods for babino's and two different soups with fresh (you guessed it!) homemade bread. Plus coffee and tea. Party favours are being worked on and will also be mostly home/handmade.  And decorations will be a mixture of homemade and store-bought items.

Okay, enough now with the party-planning!

We've had a lot of sensory play and exploration in the past month - much to the disgust of my husband who would rather clean the messy play area than touch a sticky baby!

Linmari can now:
  • Climb into the shower, but has also grown fearful of getting out of the shower.
  • Climb onto the lounge chairs INDEPENDENTLY!
  • Safely get off of the bead - feet FIRST.
  •  Say "dada, "mama", "papa", "Ada" (cousin's name), "tat" for cat, and "hello"
  • Understands the sign for milk and bath
  • Go "ooooh" when she sees something she likes.
  • Follow single-step instructions
  • Take single steps independently
  • Use any furniture as a walking aid, pushing it along across a room
  • (Unfortunately) loosen her velcro tabs on her diapers
  • Start to help you to take off her clothes
  • Walk everywhere with a phone next to her ear. She knows how it works...
  • Take off the washing from the line bilaterally (I just loosen the pegs) and drop the clean washing into the laundry basket. So she'll grab onto two socks, one in each hand, then I have to remove the peg and she'll remove the socks from the line.  Too cute for words!
  • Take objects from one container and place it into another, starting to do some shape sorting.  She seems to have grasped that round objects goes into the round hole the best.  A cube that goes into the square hole is still lost on her!
  • Open drawers, cupboards and unpack what's inside; unpack the bookshelves (every.single.day!) and never grows tired of this activity!

This child amazes me with every developmental milestone that she reaches.  Maybe because I work with children that are delayed or have some hectic obstacles to overcome to reach their milestones.  I realise that one cannot take it for granted that these milestones will be reached.  It is a miracle every.single.time.  My child is a miracle and nothing less!

Linmari has started to really try to exert her will, throwing tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants.  She really struggles to wait a few seconds (don't we all?!?) and the crocodile tears she cries to make it known that she's unhappy is unreal!  Hehehe!  She really makes me laugh a LOT!  But she's also constantly talking to herself and I find that really cute.

We're currently struggling with her sleeping again, back at square one.  She's suffered 3 concurrent middle ear infections in 7 weeks' time, so she's going in for grommets next week Wednesday.  I'm freaking out, thus my husband will be by her side as she gets operated on.  I fear I might actually pass out even though I've seen much more gruesome things in my life.  It's not the same than when it's your own flesh and blood!  So she's really been struggling to sleep and we've had her in her camp cot in our room.  But recently she's spent more time in our bed than in her cot.

So, that's what our 11th month has been like.  LOTS of fun and tears!

May you all be blessed with a great weekend!