Oh dear, has my blog been quiet?

Life happens while you’re making plans to blog about it..

It’s late and I should be off to bed. In another hour or so, my baby boy will wake up hungry. In a few more hours my little girl will wake up in a playful mood (if she sleeps through the night).

But first, I had to capture today’s (or by now really yesterday’s) afternoon. It gives a glimpse on my life now, here.


My little girl is sitting on the swing in our garden. She’s wearing her pretty new jeans. The legs are too long for her and I’ve folded them double at the bottom. Her one arm is holding on tightly to the soft toy duck on her lap. Her other arm is gesturing how high she wants me to push her. The slanted autumn sun snuggles idly against my back. The rays of the sun draw shadows on the wall of a little girl swinging up and down, up and down.

My baby boy lies next to the swing on the thick, green grass. His eyes follow two ring-necked doves as they rise from the thatched roof of the lapa to a tree. Above his head, green and gold leaves rustle in the afternoon breeze. The blue of the sky reflects in his eyes as he coos contentedly.

Later on, my little girl and I sit on the blanket next to our baby. I peel an orange for us while we wait for daddy to come home. My little girl feeds a juicy piece to her duck before she shoves a strip of orange peel under her brother’s nose. He flashes a delighted grin as his tiny nose detects the citrusy fragrance.

My girl pulls her sun hat with the pink flowers down over her eyes in a game of peek-a-boo. She ‘surprises’ me by attacking me from behind and clasp her arms around my shoulders. She runs like the wind towards the lapa to watch a nervous lizard scamper up the brick wall. Her daddy arrives and they kick her big plastic ball around on the grass.

When evening falls tonight, the blood red African sun will be setting on us here in this new town and on our new home – and on the picture of one perfect afternoon.


“Van al my liggeel dae
teken ek hierdie een op;
dat ek later kan weet hoe swerms
duiwe van die dakke waai,
en dat ek, as ek wil,
later kan lees van ‘n liggeel
dag en van jou hier langes my.”
~ Wilma Stockenstrom

Loosely translated:
“Of all my pale yellow days
I make a note of this one;
so that I’ll remember later on
how flocks of doves drift from rooftops
and so that I’d be able to, if I wanted,
read about a pale yellow day
and about you here beside me”


Yes, I’ve been falling in love all over again.


Note: I’m (yet again) cheating by updating my blog retrospectively!

My little man arrived this morning and he is healthy and strong, weighing in at 3.4 kg. He did so well – made it to 38w6d and waited for daddy to come home before making his appearance.

As with my LG’s birth (her birth story is here), there was no time for an epidural or any painkillers.

If my DH (law abiding citizen to the point of usually being irritating in this regard!) didn’t speed along in the yellow lane with his hazards on through Monday morning rush traffic, I doubt we’d have made it to the hospital on time. Baby was born about an hour and half after I first mentioned to DH that I think he might be on his way.

In fact, if baby came a few minutes earlier, the gynae would have missed the birth! (Hmm, do they still charge you when they totally miss the birth? Maybe we can save a buck if we’re ever blessed with another little one! 😉 )

I’m a very lucky mommy of a perfect little man.

jy’s so lig en so lag
so giggeltjies en kielietjies
so dartelende skoenlapper-lappertjie

jy’s so lief en so lig
so feëtjies en fyntjies
so besige klein bytjie

met jou nuuskierige, ronde dimpeltjie-handjies
met die sagte veertjie-raampie om jou blinkoog gesiggie
met jou sleep-sleep kombersie-stertjie
met jou wippetie foppietjie soos ‘n veldmuisie se neusie

klein sterretjie
klein varkie parkie
pikkewyntjie
kaalvoetkleintjie

vir jou het ek so lief so lief

After a wonderful December holiday, I’ve had to put on my big girl panties for 2012! (And not only due to my mother’s excellent cooking or my growing preggie belly..)

I’ve now been a single, pregnant (33 weeks at the moment), working mom for more than 2 weeks. Do I need to mention that it’s been tough? Fortunately my sweet MIL is soon coming to stay with me. We get along very well and my little girl adores her.

Looking at December photies of my ‘baby’, I realized that I my chubby little baby angel is no longer. She is now a delightful, lively little girl and of course at times a real handful!

My little lady (10 December):

The only bike I ever want to see her on! (10 December):

Surf’s up! Loving the ocean.

Bye, bye, my darling baby angel. Hello, sweet little lady.

Shame, my little darling is missing her daddy terribly and keeps on asking where he is. There’s a sadness in her little soul and I suppose she doesn’t know whether she’ll ever see him again.

I miss him so much too.

Without him, the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere the streets are full of strangers
– from Les Miserables

I have so many posts in my head, but whenever I sit down in front of my home computer, a pair of tiny hands find their way unto my keyboard and starts ‘helping’ with the typing. I’ve actually had to restart the poor confused machine once or twice after my little angel enthusiastically tried to help mommy write emails.

I hope to soon (enough) tell more in a next post of how DH and I are reinventing our lives this year. Some tough times ahead, some exciting times ahead..

All the best to you all for a fabulous 2012.

Some pics to show what my lively little girl has been up to in the past few weeks.

4 September:
Spot the prettiest flower in Langebaan. (Hint, she’s wearing a pink hat.)

5 September:
Totally pulling off the just-out-of-bed look.

18 September:
How to do your shopping on a cold day.

6 August:
Helping mommy in the garden.

24 September:
Daddy bought the T-shirt. “If I you think I’m cute, wait till you see my brother!”

14 October:
Whoops, I need a quick bath after I threw up. Feeling much better now!

24 October:
Just the hat to finish off this outfit, mommy!

19 November:
Off to swimming lessons. I’d better look cute enough for the both of us, since my pregnant mommy sure isn’t helping..

Her mommy is currently considerably less energetic. I’ve been very tired throughout the 2nd trimester, which was very unexpected. With my little girl, I had an awesome second trimester and I even remember feeling very well throughout the third trimester (which by the way started today for this pregnancy!).


Note: I’m cheating by posting this post-dated post a month late.


As always, I eagerly looked forward to yesterday’s scan and seeing my little boy again, yet dreaded the thought that the FAS might pick up a problem – especially since the gynae mentioned at the 19 week that the little dude had bilateral choroid plexus cysts in his brain (which is linked to a higher incidence of Trisomy 18 and possibly Down’s, but also occurs in perfectly healthy babies).

Yesterday’s scan didn’t pick up any additional problems that could indicate Trisomy 18! Although LB’s risk of having Trisomy 18 remains a little elevated above the normal background risk for my age (which is 1 in 412), the FAS didn’t give me additional reasons to worry about our little miracle. LB’s back also doesn’t show any visible signs of spina bifida, although the risk for this is also still slightly higher than normal since it runs in our family.

So this is the best oucome I could have hoped for in terms of the assessment. Yay! Our little miracle is measuring on the 50th percentile in terms of growth, which is just perfect.

The FAS stressed that a amnio would be the only way to get a definitive answer on whether our little dude has Trisomy 18 (or Down’s). However, I don’t think I’d be able to deal with it if we were to lose a healthy little boy following an amnio (due to the inherent risk of the procedure). So we decided against it.

Personal news: DH has accepted a position in Polokwane, starting in Jan, so we have a hectic time ahead! I plan to stay behind (with LG) and first have our little dude here in Cape Town, rather than tagging along at 7 months pregnant and switching to a new gynae at Polokwane Medi-Clinic. My exam last week went well and hopefully earned me that degree I’ve been working towards!

Lastly, before the FAS appointment, I made arrangements for the scan with my work, with LG’s daymother and with DH – who also made arrangements with his work. DH and I got up early, dropped our LG off early and walked into the FAS’s office – only so I could realize we pitched a day early!! Worst thing is that I had the appointment date right, but the ‘current date’ wrong! Ugh, how could anyone possibly be that blonde.. or that pregnant, perhaps (weak attempt at making myself feel better)?

P.S. As we left the doc’s office after the scan, I turned to DH and said that I wanted him to stop worrying about our little dude since the scan went so well. DH just smiled slightly and said that he’s bound to spend the rest of his life worrying about our little dude and his sister..


Note: I’m cheating by publishing this post-dated post 6 weeks late..


Sorry for being so quiet! Life is a little hectic at the moment. I write a pretty stressful exam next week. My little girl is now an absolutely delightfully lively and inquisitive toddler – who still wakes up an average of twice per night. We’re busy with final negotiations that will probably lead to us relocating to Polokwane in January. And then there’s work too, although I’m hoping to become a SAHM in Polokwane next year! Yay!

So to be honest, I barely have time to remember that I’m pregnant! Apart from the pregnancy symptoms and the fact that I sometimes need to use crutches to get around due to PGP (which is pretty embarrassing as I’m normally very active; also, I don’t even have a bump yet!).

My darling little boy has in the past week started kicking and wiggling to help remind me to dream of him and start loving him, which is wonderful! “I’m here too, mommy! Meeting you all is going to be awesome!”

His growth was on the 50th percentile at the last scan. The scan went fine.. until the doc said not to worry about it at the moment, but LB has bilateral 5mm choroid plexus cysts in his tiny brain. Well, who would ever worry about cysts in their baby’s brain?!!

My research on this showed that all is truly likely to be absolutely fine, although he has an increased risk of having trisomy 18 (which would make survival beyond his first year unlikely). I decided to try and not entertain that thought until our next FAS appointment in November. In my heart, I really believe that our little miracle will be fine.

Phew, I really can’t complain about being bored at the moment – lots of challenges and adventures await me and my family. It’s stressful, but it also makes me feel very alive.

I received lots of lovely messages on my birthday last Friday and have so much to be grateful for in the year ahead.

But there was no call, SMS, card or e-mail from my mom.

I called her on Saturday to check that they’re OK. And yes, of course they were. My parents were having fun at dad’s school reunion. I didn’t mention the forgotten birthday and Mom finally called yesterday to say she realized that she’d forgotten. I changed the subject to my little girl as soon as possible, as I didn’t know what to say and would rather talk about sunny, happy things (our long history taught me this survival tactic).

Surely it’s no big deal when your mother forgets about your 37th birthday. I’m a big girl. I have a husband who loves me dearly, a delightful baby girl and a tiny blessing on the way.

It’s just that my relationship with my mom seems best explained by these words of a Laurika Rauch song.

DIE BOOT WAT IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
DIE WIND WAT DEUR DIE BRANDERS MAAL
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

IN DIE WATERS WILD KAN ONS VERSINK
IN DIE DONKER SEE SAL ONS VERDRINK
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

KAN ONS WEET OF SAL ONS RAAI
HOE VIND ONS OOIT ‘N KALM BAAI
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

SAL ONS OOIT DIE LAND KAN HAAL
IS ONS IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
SONDER SEILE
SKOMMEL ONS

Woorde en Musiek: Pieter J. Swanepoel/Peter McLea

(You can listen to a snippet of the song here – select track 10.)

Now that I’m a mom who totally, absolutely adores my little girl, I feel even more distant from my own mother. It makes even less sense that I so seldom felt loved by her. Her journey through post-natal depression wasn’t tempered by anti-depressants, as mine was – but still, was I really such an unlovable baby, tot, child, teen, woman..? Or was I emotionally so warped that I was unable to recognize that she loved me?

After the birth of my baby, those childhood memories that still haunt me seemed to become more vivid, alive and taunting than ever. I so intensely remember the years of tiptoeing through our house and through my life, of being scared I would be noticed. Scared that mom might suddenly and without warning lash out and start screaming at me like a berserk banshee.

All I know for sure is that I’ve given my all over the years to try and make my mom like me – as pathetic as this might be. I’ve even named my beloved little girl, the most precious gift I’ve ever received, after her – largely because it was the right thing to do as per our strong family traditions.

Also, I know that in her own way, she tried to be the best mother to me and my (too many) siblings that she could be.


I choose to look at it like this: My mother might not be the best mom there is, but she’s the best mother I’ll ever have. Therefore I’ll try to always be the best daughter to her that I can possibly be.

Surely any other path could only lead to more regret.

Last Thursday evening I was busy cooking in the kitchen when ‘babaliefie’ came crawling towards me with her pink wide-brim hat in her little hand. (She can now also walk a few metres independently, but crawling remains her quickest and safest mode of transportation).

I put the little hat on her head and she was off again.

Next, she came crawling towards me with DH’s hat in her little hand. I put the hat on my head this time.

‘Babaliefie’ instantly broke into a wide grin and pointed towards the door.

She can’t say it yet, but the message was very clear: “Now that we’ve got our hats on, let’s go have fun outside!” 😀

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