Month 14 ~ April 26, 2003
At the end of last month I was getting exasperated by Katelyn's constant desire to be the next Sir Edmund Hillary! Well, on the very first day of this month, I discovered that Katelyn could now scale the "pussy palace", that is about five feet high. I nearly had a fit and after yet another day of getting no more than about 20 seconds to sit down, I rang the baby store where I had a play yard on order. It had been so many months and I had heard nothing at all, but funnily enough two play yards had arrived that very day (the first of that type the store had managed to get hold of from the supplier for two years!) so I asked the lady to put both away under my name, bundled both kids in the car and was there within about 10 minutes! I set them up to make an enclosure that is approximately 6 foot by 8 foot, and the next day went and bought a cheap rug for the floor beneath it. So now we have a little safe play area where I can sit with Missy Moo and read, play, nurse, watch TV etc without having to worry about the climbing!! Thomas also likes to get in there with her and practise his newfound reading skills. It is lovely to see the two of them curled up together.
Of course, we don't spend the whole day in there, and we have had to take further steps to try and keep the rest of the house safe for her. If she didn't want to climb on everything and then hurl herself head first onto the floors I think we just might be okay! Yikes! We now have child safe locks on any cupboards we don't want her getting into, and of course have anything dangerous well out of reach. Even so, unless we are in what I jokingly refer to as "the enclosure" it requires constant effort to keep her from splitting her head open. Boy am I tired!
When we attempt to go out, things are pretty tricky as well, as Katelyn does not want to ride in the sling, be held, or ride in a shopping trolley. She will put up a huge fuss if not allowed to run riot, and of course that can be plain dangerous in many public places. Doing the food shopping is proving to be a nightmare, and to be honest I find myself close to tears sometimes just trying to get this basic task done. I consider this to be one of my "jobs" as a stay-at-home-mum and feel like such a failure that I can't manage it. I see other babies and toddlers who will sit in the trolley but neither of my kids has ever been happy to do this for more than about five minutes. I am even finding it hard dropping Thomas at school in the mornings. We are meant to get our kids settled and to listen to some reading for about fifteen minutes, but Katelyn keeps running out the door and heading for a nearby staircase! It is exhausting and very frustrating. Even trying to put Katelyn in the car is tricky as she HATES being confined. We had just arrived at the point where car trips were no longer so awful as long as she had a toy to hold, but now she is back to the screaming. It can be very hard sometimes.
Missy Moo has continued to be extremely interested in the world around her and has been "helping" around the house and mimicking our actions in other ways. She has some basic understandings of concepts such as "hot" now, and one evening when Andrew was about to bring her into the bath with him, he mentioned to her that it was still a bit hot, so she blew on it. LOL! She loves to help me get the clothes (cooled down of course) out of the dryer and put them in the basket, and even will walk up with her own dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket in the bathroom ready for washing! I commented on this to someone the other day and she suggested that this must be due to the two X chromosomes! Hehe! Katelyn actually is pretty obedient as far as putting things where we ask her to, which is also pretty amazing.
Katelyn had a mild reaction a couple of weeks after her MMR vaccination. I was kind of expecting this, and it was no more than a light rash on her trunk. Thankfully she was otherwise well at that point. Then unfortunately poor little Thomas came down with his third case of tonsillitis this school term, and Katelyn did get ever so slightly unwell for a few days there. I never cease to be thankful that she is still nursing well, as the antibodies seem to be offering pretty good protection to her.
It has started to cool down a bit now. We no longer need the air conditioner on at night, and in fact I have had to start putting Katelyn in a long-sleeved, long-legged growsuit to keep her warm enough. The days are absolutely glorious, and especially over Easter, we made a point of taking the kids somewhere that they could both run and play in the beautiful outdoors. Katelyn no longer sees herself as a baby and when she sees a playground she wants to be right in there with the "big kids". She also loves collecting leaves and playing in the dirt!
Sleep has been somewhat elusive of late unfortunately! Last month, Katelyn was having two decent naps of about 1-1 1/2 hours each day and generally wasn't too unsettled at night, sleeping from about 9pm to about 6am with several nurses in semi-sleep during that time. Lately she has been either having one or two 30-minute naps, and is very unsettled at night, feeding and crying every half to one hour, and then getting me up around 5am! Yikes!! She must be tired because I sure as heck am exhausted! It hasn't helped that things have been a bit tricky around here lately with Thomas's behaviour and the worries associated with that. He was officially diagnosed with ADHD last month and we are still investigating treatment options.
One good thing about the sleep issue is that I can see the big picture. Thomas was an awful sleeper until he was about three years old, going through phases when things would get worse for a few weeks or months along the long road to sleeping well. Even though it is very tough right now, I can hang on because I know that in a couple of years all this will be a memory and I want the memory to be one where I am nurturing Katelyn as she needs me to, rather than trying to do anything to break her of her needs. I do love it that she can nurse at night and feel that wonderful comfort, and I LOVE sleeping next to her. She is so beautiful and wonderful and I love all those extra snuggles!
Missy Moo has wanted to be Little Miss Independent during the day lately. She loves feeding herself some dinner. That is great because it keeps her happy in the highchair for long enough for us to get our meals thrown down. A little mess really doesn't matter! I actually joke about it when she has porridge, because I've heard that oatmeal is good for the complexion! Food is going okay, and we give her tastes of what we are eating most of the time. I do suspect though that some of what we give her could be contributing to her being so unsettled at nighttime so we are going to try and be a bit more selective with what we give her for a while to see if that helps. As yet she has shown no interest in meat (I gave her some chicken once and she couldn't spit it out fast enough!), but seems to want just about anything else. She actually will point and do the sign for milk, because I guess to her milk means food. Katelyn has continued to have a soft spot for hot chips (fries). It was so funny one day when Andrew, Katelyn and I were out (Thomas was at school) and we got her a few chips for a snack. She grabbed one to have in each hand and noticed that there was a third one for her on the table. I have seen her pass things from one hand to the other so that she could pick up "extras" (one day she ended up with FIVE squashed into one hand and one in the other), but this day she lent over the table and picked it up with her mouth!! Andrew and I couldn't help but laugh, and so did she. She knows she is pretty darned funny!
Talking about Andrew, Katelyn has been becoming a bit of a "Daddy's girl" lately. A couple of times now she has been on a brief outing in the backpack with Andrew and Thomas while I have either got a bit of housework done or (shock, horror!) had a chance to shower in peace or even read the newspaper. Some other times, such as when I am getting the dinner, she will play with "the boys" in "the enclosure". Poor Andrew gave her a spoon to play with one night though and in her excitement she hit him on the nose, split the skin on its bridge and had him bleeding! I'm sure he will tell her all about it when she's older!
We have continued to try and teach a few more signs. The one that she took to straight away was "all done", and she will do it even if we happen to say that phrase when talking amongst ourselves! It is so cute!! "More" hasn't seemed to go down as well, with her only managing to do it a couple of times. It really doesn't matter though as she always makes it abundantly clear when she does want more of something! A few more words have surfaced this month: orsie (which incidentally is used for both horses and pigs!), yes, book and "ice" (nice). She says "ice, ice" and points whenever she wants something! She still won't say "mama" and if I try to get her to say it, she just regales me with "adada dada dada"! Oh well, I'm sure it will come eventually!
I have been feeling pretty stretched these days. Trying to keep both an active toddler and a very active child safe in itself has proved to be a full-time job. I have no idea how parents of more than two children do it! Having said that I wouldn't change it for the world. In some ways I am looking to the future when the climbing (for both kids! LOL!) won't be such a problem, when I can sit down and eat a bowl of cereal without having to jump up twenty times, when I can sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. On the other hand I don't want to wish away this precious time. Even though it can be pretty draining it is also pretty amazing! I love both my kids so very much.