Adiós 2014

So, Christmas came and went and we are almost done with January…what the heck!  Seriously, if this is an indication of how quickly this year is going to just fly by then I am going to have to start Christmas shopping again soon.

It was Paige’s 2nd Christmas and she has clearly latched onto this whole ‘presents’ idea with great enthusiasm.  Every time she saw a gift (even just a fake one in a store) she would point and shout what sounded like “peasant”, obviously meaning present…adorable.

We had a big semi-traditional lunch (cold meats etc due to the disgusting heat) with the family – both from my side and Terry’s side.  Let me just say that this was quite a thing for me because Terry and I started dating 11+ years ago and have been married for almost 5 years and this was the first time that our parentals and siblings (less 2 of my sisters though) were together for one meal on Christmas.  It was fantastic! And…everyone actually enjoyed themselves.  Terry and I have already announced that we will be hosting everyone together again for the next Christmas.

Everyone ate and drank and were proper ‘charlie-chatterboxes’ with each other the whole day, with some swimming to cool down and couch-cat-naps by some of the guys 😉  Paige and her gorgeous cousin Liv were our little elves and were both completely out of battery power by the time the day was done.

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Here is a pic of Me, Paige & Terry
We had asked Paige where her baby brother was – she promptly pointed at my tummy 🙂

(awesome photos taken by my mom)

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The Mighty Cesarean Section

I read an article online last night, which talks about the cons of having a C-Section.  Here is the link, have a read (it’s not very long) and then come back and read my response below…I am less than impressed by the author’s single minded comments.

Mothering:  The C-Section as Birth Control
http://www.mothering.com/articles/c-section-birth-control/ 

Okay, you read the article, here is my layman rebuttal…

What utter nonsense!  This is such a biased, narrow minded article.  The author and Mothering Magazine should be more careful when posting one sided views so recklessly.  Many women have traumatic experiences with C-Sections, but women who give birth naturally can also be traumatized by their experience.  There is no right and wrong way – it is a personal preference.

The article has focused on the women who had emergency C-Sections – key word: EMERGENCY.  Any sudden change to your birth plan at the last minute would be traumatic for anyone, but C-Sections should not be shamed to the corner so quickly.

I understand that there are complications linked with C-Sections, but hey, unless you live under a rock you will know that there are also complications linked to Natural births.  Having a baby is a massive strain on a woman’s body, and nothing goes perfectly all of the time.  Things happen that we can’t always predict and it then becomes an issue of how the situation is handled going forward.  We all know the potential risks of having a baby, whether you push that giant watermelon out of your va-jay-jay, or it is cut out of you like a tumor – either way it can be dangerous.  If you don’t know that, then you have no business having a baby in the first place.

Our first child was born Feb 2013 – a gorgeous little girl.  For majority of the pregnancy we had decided to go the ‘natural’ route, but a month & half before she was due the doctor advised that we should consider C-Section earlier due to how much she had grown in the last month.  It was the best decision we could have made because when she was delivered, her arm had been pinned in an awkward position, reducing blood flow.  If we had waited until full term then there was a high risk that she could have had permanent damage to her arm functions.  BUT, because of our decision, based on our discussion with the doctor, she was perfect and my recovery after the C-Section was (what I would consider) a breeze.  I was up and out of the hospital bed the next morning, having a much needed shower, and walked around the nurses station on and off during the following days to stretch out my muscles.  I experienced minimal pain for the first week at home and was pretty much back to normal and able to drive by the 3rd week (I use the term ‘normal’ quite loosely considering that a newborn = no sleep).  The scar is practically non-existent and guess what…I am about to do it all over again in March 2015, when our son will be born – also C-Section.

I am not scared or concerned about anything because I have total trust in my brilliant OBGyn.  I think that is the real difference between a great experience and a traumatic one – how did your OBGyn handle the situation and did he/she keep you and your partner informed on what was going on so that you could be as prepared as possible (I said prepared, not paranoid).

We can’t control everything, but if you have someone who is experienced and is able to keep you calm and give you the professional support that you need, then there is no reason why either option, Natural or C-Section, cannot be the best experience of your and your partners lives.  For me personally, the most traumatic part of having Paige was the breastfeeding (a story for another post).

Childbirth is a miracle – no matter which route you end up having to go.  As soon as you focus on that, then you can make the decisions that are right for you.  Don’t sweat the stuff that you can’t control, just do what you need to do to get your new baby safely into this world.

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The Move to a Big Girl Room

Kiddie Movers (main pic)

About 2 months ago, Terry and I decided that it would be a good idea to start the process of moving Paige into the second bedroom and into a toddler bed.  We will need the cot for the new baby mid-March and would rather have one change at a time for Paige.  I have read horror stories about how some kids just do not adjust well to change and completely regress when they have to change rooms, or move into a toddler bed, and when a new sibling arrives.  I must be honest that it was a concern for me if too much changed for Paige early next year.

So, I looked around and got pricing of bed styles that I liked, and weighed the pros and cons of going for a toddler bed or just jumping straight to a single bed – we decided on the latter.  I found a small company in the Midlands area that make cottage style furniture from solid pine and they were actually cheaper than the popular Durban manufacturer, even with the additional delivery charge from the Midlands to Durban.  We placed our order and waited…and waited…and waited.  It took about 21 working days, which is a long time waiting in anticipation, and the communication skills of the staff were well below average.  BUT, the bed was delivered to us on 19 October and it is GORGEOUS!  Exactly what I had hoped.

We put her new linen on the new bed, hung the new curtains, and moved her play mat and toys.  We had already discussed and decided that we would start Paige off small, putting her in her new bed, in her new room, for her midday naps for the following week, and then we would start her at bedtime over the weekend (in case there were midnight wakings followed by scared screams).

Well, Paige was having none of this.  She slept so well for her first nap in the bed, that the next day she proceeded to tuck herself in for her nap, while our amazing nanny looked on in surprise.  The second night was the one, and when we said to Paige it was bed time she ran straight to her new room and climbed into her new bed, instead of going to her old room where the cot still was.

She loves her new room, and more than that, she seems to really LOVE her new bed!  No adjustment issues, no anxieties about waking up in a new room – nothing.  I think she adjusted better than we did.

You know how silly we first time parents can be, fretting about certain things because you are petrified of the unknown.   All the time spent “Googling” tips on how to handle the transition from cot to bed so that it was stress free for all concerned – what an utter waste of time.  Paige has, once again,  proven to be a tough little cookie, and she really doesn’t seem to be bothered by much.  She takes each new challenge in her stride and just adapts to her surroundings.  Terry and I adapt quite well to change, so I don’t know why we thought that she would be any different.

Anyway, it has been 2 weeks since the bed arrived, and she has made the room her own quite quickly.  All it took was a little Hurricane Paige moment for all of her toys to be blown around the room in a whirlwind mess.  She know where everything is and doesn’t even glance into her old room anymore.

The decor of her new and improved Big Girl Room is still a work in progress but it is looking lovely so far and I am so pleased with how everything is coming together.  It is bright and fresh and girly, and is adaptable for her to grow into her new environment.  We still have a few key bits and pieces to do but a little each month is easier on the bank account (I know you know what I mean).

I want to share a few of the DIY plans that we have in mind, so stay tuned for that.

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Vacationing at the Hospital…

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…jeez that was NOT fun!

So, I’ve been M.I.A. again for a while but wow have things been crazy!

My ‘partner-in-crime’ in the department we run at work had a major car accident beginning of September, when some tool of a driver side swiped her on the freeway and then fled the scene – some people hey!.  She’s getting better but was off work for 6 weeks due to her back injury.  This meant that I needed to take the reigns and assist her clients with ongoing and new work, as well as maintain my own workload, and was a bit more chaotic than normal but I am on top of things…sort-of.

Then, 4 weeks ago today, Paige started with a mild fever and some Captain Cranky Pants antics in the afternoon, but she had been teething again so we put it down to that.  She ate some dinner and went to bed without too much fuss so we thought all was well…All was NOT well by around 23h30, when her distressed screaming woke us up. Raging temperatures, shivering and a cough that sounded like a barking seal.  We gave her some fever meds and tried cooling her down slowly with a damp cloth.  After about an hour of this Terry sent me to bed saying that I had to get some sleep and take care of the bean in my tummy, and he would stay up with Paige until she settled.  She eventually did…and then started up all over again…and then settled…and this continued through the night.

By the time the sun came up I had already emailed the office saying I wasn’t going to work as I had to take Paige to the doctor.   I got her and I dressed, packed her bag with a change of clothes and her teddy and went to my mom’s place at 7h30 to wait for 9h30 to roll around when our doctor’s rooms open.  By 8h00 Paige’s coughing was worse and she had started wheezing terribly so I decided that we were not waiting for the doctor’s rooms to open, we were going straight to the Hospital.

My mom dropped us at the emergency entrance so I could run it with Paige while she parked the car.  At this point all of my emotions had built up to boiling point and I took one look at the nurse and just burst into tears.  Through my blubbering I explained what had taken place, what meds we had given Paige and asked them to please ignore my sobbing but I was pregnant, exhausted and overly emotional.  The nurse smiled and told me to come through.

The nurse tested blood pressure and heart rate, all while Paige was screaming at the strangers poking and prodding her.  A doctor came to examine her but between her fidgety screams and my blubbering he simply put his hand on my shoulder and made the call to admit her.  He said her breathing was laboured, he suspected Croup and infection in both ears and he did not want to upset her further or stress me out in my condition.   We waited for admissions to sort themselves out and about an hour later we were taken to a room in Paedeatrics.  The only nice thing about all of this was that we had been put in a private room so that I (the blubbering pregnant lady) did not get exposed to any other illnesses that the other kids were carrying.

The Paed came an hour or so later and gave Paige a once over.  She confirmed what the doc in casualty had said and we would have to stay the night so that they could give her a course of anti-antibiotics and nebuliser treatments every 4 hours.  My mom stayed with us until Terry was able to get to the hospital from work and then we just sat around in the room, waiting.  Terry stayed over the first 2 nights, with me staying with her during the days, and I sent him home on the Saturday night to catch up on some much needed sleep.

On the Friday morning they insisted in hooking up a drip but with Paige being such a fighter and so strong, we strongly suggested that they give her something to calm her down.  She slept for 6 hrs.

We hoped that we would be released on the Saturday morning but the doc came and said that her ear infections were clearing nicely but she was still coughing and they wanted her to have a few more nebuliser treatments.  She had started moving around more and wanted to play so we asked if the drip could be taken out as trying to keep a toddler still is like trying to count the raindrops.  Thankfully she was hydrated and the antibiotics were done so they agreed.

I woke up with butterflies on Sunday morning.  Terry arrived with breakfast and then we waited for the doctor.  At around 11h00 she said Paige was well enough to go home. YAY.  I don’t think she had left the ward yet and we were already packed and waiting for the discharge papers.

Toddlers and hospitals do not go hand in hand.  You are confined to a small place, with no where for them to play, and are expected to some how keep them still while medication is being administered.  Have you ever tried to explain to a 19 month old little tot why they cannot go and play with the other kids in the rooms next to them – HA!  The nurses were all very friendly and they tried to be friendly with Paige but she pretty much cried every time one of them walked into the room, so there were no long lasting friendships being forged there.  The one really stupid thing that happened EVERY DAY was that they would bring Paige her meals and then literally, as she started eating, the doctor would come in for a check up, or a nurse would come in to take temperature or something.  Paige would get all upset again and then wouldn’t want to eat when they left.  That’s what little kids do!  Surely the staff would know this, dealing with kids every day, and would time their visits a bit better.  On the 3rd day I literally told the nurse to get out before she even got through the door.  Paige’s lunch had just arrived and she was nibbling on her chicken, and then guess what, the nurse wants to come and hook Paige up to the nebuliser – which makes her cry…I DON’T THINK SO!!  I sent her on her way and told her to come back in half an hour.  She hesitated but obeyed, and Paige ate her first whole meal since being admitted.  WIN!

Being in hospital with your little terror is horrible, but it has to be done sometimes so you just need to make the best of it.  We brought her home comforts to make the room her own – her pillow, blanket, teddies, toys and books.  I filled a carry-on size bag with stuff to entertain her with – which seems like absolute overkill – but it works (to a certain degree).

4 days, 3 nights and a lekker hospital bill later (that medical aid will hopefully cover completely).  Fingers crossed that we don’t need to go through that again any time soon (or ever again).

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Size Does Matter…

…when you are shopping that is.

Hahaha, I totally got you didn’t I – get your mind out of the gutter! vanitysize

Let’s just get one thing straight – I am not completely delusional about my body type and size.  I do not try and pull size 10 items off the rails when in fact I am much, much more like a size 14.  The truth of the matter is, I am probably (like many ‘voluptuous’ people out there) more inclined to pick up a size 16 rather because I see myself as being bigger than I actually am.

Clothes shopping can be a major confidence killer and retail therapy is an absolute joke – it’s more like a horror movie (which I wouldn’t watch if it was an actual movie because I don’t do scary stuff well – but you get the idea) 

Anyway, that is not the problem.  The issue I have is that the sizes are not consistent from store to store, and when I shop, I have to keep in mind where I am when choosing a specific size to try on.  It just puts me off the whole experience.

For international readers, the sizing here is kind of based on UK sizes and sort-of works like this:

size 8   = 32 = small
size 10 = 34 = medium
size 12 = 36 = large
size 14 = 38 = X large
size 16 = 40 = XX large
etc
etc etc

The frustrating part is that at any given time, I probably have at least three or four different sizes in my cupboard, which all fit me at one particular time.  It is utterly ridiculous that I have a size 12 top from Woolworths, size 14 top from Edgars and …wait for it…a flopping small from Ackermans! A SMALL! I have not fitted into anything resembling a small since I was in high school (and that was some time ago).  Clearly these stores need to get together to discuss where they are going wrong and try and create some kind of consistency between their sizing and measurements.

And it does not stop there.  Oh no!

My poor child, who is only 1.5 little years is already suffering the same fate (thankfully she has no clue that it is even happening yet).  She is quite tall for her age so I buy size 3-4 yrs instead of size 1-2 yrs because the small size fits her waist but the ‘long’ pants end up being 3-quarters on her long legs, barely covering her little calves.  She grew out of her 1-2 yrs costume, so I went to buy her a bigger size and came home with a 3-4 yrs which, when measured against the 1-2 yrs one at home, was actually smaller.  That makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever.  If someone can explain that one to me then please leave a comment below and we can chat about this a bit further.

In my opinion, all of the clothing manufacturers who determine sizing are a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, and should all be taken out back and shot (okay, maybe not shot – but should definitely be given a stern talking to).

There are so many people – yes, men and women – out there who struggle daily with body image issues and who are already self conscious about their size and/or shape.  And along come all of these clothing stores with their supposed “standard” sizing charts, which just make everything worse for your self confidence when the jeans you bought last week are a size 14, but now all of a sardine your find yourself not squeezing into that size at the store, but instead the sales assistant brings you a size 16 or 18 to try on.

To all of the clothing manufacturers and retailers out there – Thanks for making me feel great about myself.  (Note: that is me being utterly sarcastic)

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Oh-No!

No

Firstly, guess what word has suddenly found its way out of Paige’s mouth…yup, you guessed it…NO!

At 18 months and 10 days she has decided that now is a good time to vocalise her refusal to do things, instead of just shaking her head like a crazy person or running away shrieking with laughter at her own defiance.

And she doesn’t just say No!, she says No-No-No-No-No…and it goes on, all with a big grin across her smug, adorable little face.  (cheeky little bugger)

She already has a handful of other little words under her belt (that we can understand) and quite a few of her own vocab concoctions that she uses to talk about certain things, like favourite toys, or the dogs, or things that we see when out and about.

But wait, now instead of just kicking and screaming when you pull her away from a game to change her nappy, she is adding the No-No-No-No-No to her little script – in quite a loud and high pitched manner.  The neighbours must think we are completely batty.  I know that (most) parents across the globe experience a phase with their kids when nappy changing becomes the most exhausting activity known to man – but wow has Paige got her prevention tactics down to a fine art.  It has become physically dangerous.  I am not even kidding!  First you actually have to catch her,  and then get her to lie still for more than 5 seconds.  With the kangaroo punches, pony kicks and sudden rotations (like crocodiles do when they are attacking their lunch)  you have to be on guard at all times to avoid her making contact to any of your own body parts – those pony kicks are hectic.

All I can say is changing nappies during this unbearable phase is not for sissies, and I can only hope that it doesn’t last too much longer because being preggers in my first trimester is tiring enough without a full workout every time Paige needs a new nappy.  I am quite literally out of breath by the time the chore is over with and all she does is quietly get down onto the floor, and toddles off back to whatever she was doing before…leaving me to pick up wet wipes, the bum cream, other clean nappies ripped from their bag and any toys she might have been holding that were thrown around the room.  Hurricane Paige strikes again.

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Sober Pregnancy

 

We had my first OB GYN appointment on Monday.  It reminded me of the main thing I look forward to at each appointment during pregnancy – the little heartbeat.  It really does get me every time.  Seeing that little flicker on the screen just fills my heart with so much love for this little bean.  8 weeks along and Dr H says everything looks great with strong heart beat and pretty much “normal” across all checks.

Now onto the point of this post…drinking booze while pregnant.

Morning-Sickness

My personal take is that while it is considered safe to have a glass of red wine every now and then, I would rather just avoid it completely.  It really isn’t that hard and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I actually really wanted a drink during my last pregnancy – and even then the feeling passed quite quickly.  Never mind the fact that I am one of the lucky ladies who gets to experience all-day-sickness during all three trimesters of pregnancy, and I think that dehydrates me enough without adding liquor to the mix.

The funny side to all of this is how people seem so sad that you can’t drink.  Why?  You are not pregnant.  Nothing is stopping you from boozing it up, and there really is no need to apologise to me when you order a beer or wine or shot of something na-sty while I am waiting for my lime and water.   It’s not like I got knocked up by a random or anything, that this was done to me without my consent.  I made this choice with my hubby, this is what we wanted, so obviously I accepted all of the terms and conditions that go along with pregnancy before the ‘seed was sewn’ (as they say – I don’t know who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ say it).

I think it is because they are worried that I will not have as much fun, that every time we are out I might get bored or something because I can’t get drunk off my face.  Or that I will want to go and crawl into a corner to fall asleep.  Let me just clarify though – I will not fall asleep because I can’t drink and am bored, I will fall asleep because I am pregnant and I have a little parasite (that we love of course) restricting all of my energy like Escom during loadshedding.  (it’s a South Africa thing)

The reality is, I have always been able to have just as much fun without alcohol as with it.  It really doesn’t bother me.  I am actually quite proud of the fact that, even before we started our little family, I was fairly drinking fit but I have always been able to have a jol until all hours of the morning, completely sober, if that is what I wanted to do.  And the biggest plus side – I didn’t wake up still drunk or hanging like a half dead bat the next morning!

Anyway, morning sickness is kind of like a hangover but without the fun of drinking beforehand, so if you come and hang out with me the morning after your drunken night out of debauchery then it will be like we are experiencing the same after affects – just with different causes.

Awesome friends of ours just got hitched this last Saturday and we were there until just before the venue closed, and the weekend before that I was away for an overnight girls escape for the bride’s 70’s Disco themed hen party, and I stayed up just as late as the die-hard drinkers.  I got dressed up and danced the night away and had an absolute blast – completely sober…Yes you naysayers, it can be done.

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