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Gayesy's parenting after loss journal

Month 16 ~ June 27, 2003
~ My little ray of sunshine

Missy Moo has continued to throw herself into the business of experiencing life to the full! For the first few weeks of this month, she was unfortunately still sick, suffering both from the aftermath of the gastroenteritis and another cold, which turned into a chest and sinus infection. We held off on antibiotics for a while but it became clear that she just wasn't going to get better without them. Now (touch wood!) she has been well for about a week and it is SO great to see her back to her normal, happy little self. For a while there she was crying or throwing tantrums almost constantly, no matter what I did: she was obviously feeling lousy and in pain.

The gastro unfortunately has put us back a fair bit with Katelyn's eating. It was a severe type of gastro caused by the salmonella bug and it seems to be taking her digestive system a while to recover. We've needed to put her back on Merbentyl to help cope with the colicky pains. Nights still aren't that great, so I am feeling pretty tired and probably look about ten years older. LOL! We are getting there though, and she at least is showing a lot of interest in eating, and can manage a few things without too much pain. We are seeing the paediatrician again next week for a follow-up. She seems a lot taller to me lately, and her clothes that used to be too long for her are now either the right length or a little too short. It's not that the clothes have shrunk either because even things of Thomas's that I put away for her a few months ago now aren't too ridiculously long. So despite being so ill, I am pretty sure she is growing well - I'll get her weighed and measured next week just for interest though.

I am thrilled at the experience of watching Katelyn develop and enjoy her world! She has continued to observe us closely and shows a great deal of interest in mimicking our activities. Just last week for example, I was out for lunch with Katelyn and my parents (Thomas was at school) and she was eating her favourite food - hot chips. (Shh! Don't tell anyone!) I had a salad on my plate and each time she took a bite of her chip, she wiped the end over my piece of tomato. Sounds like a strange thing to do, but whenever Thomas has chips, he dips them in tomato sauce (which I think is yucky, but each to his own). She must have watched him do that and figured that this was what you do. I'm sure she didn't know WHY, but she just wanted to "do it right". So very clever of her!

Another imitation has revolved around the pets. We have two cats and a dog, and she adores them all. She has watched us feed them (both meals and treats) and now is practically obsessed with giving food to them all. I actually got so sick of it that I purposely ran out of dog and cat treats because we were spending so much of every day getting treats out of the cupboard and feeding them, and to be honest our animals (except one cat) are a little on the rotund side as it is! Not to mention that Katelyn started wanting to taste the food, and actually managed to eat a dog "chocolate" (not real chocolate of course as that's poisonous to dogs) and then spit it all down the front of her only dress, which happens to be pale pink! Oh my!

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The climbing was all but over, and I had just rearranged "the enclosure" so that was more of a partial room divider, but unfortunately over the past few days the climbing bug has seemed to bite her yet again. That would have to be the one thing that drives me NUTS! Thankfully Katelyn is usually more interested these days in doing things such as playing on Thomas's rocking horse (she can actually make it rock all on her own), or racing around the house on her little car, which she can steer really well. She still LOVES stories too, and will often walk over to her book box, pick out her favourite, then go and pat the bean bag telling me to sit down and read it to her. She also loves it when Thomas reads to her, which I find absolutely beautiful to see. It is a great joy to see my two children loving each other so much and playing so wonderfully together. Believe me, we have our moments, but on the whole, it is great. Katelyn absolutely ADORES Thomas, and usually Thomas is pretty darned fond of her as well!

Nursing is continuing to go really well. I absolutely love it! We are now getting into some of the extra cute toddler nursing antics that I enjoyed so much with Thomas. Katelyn has started wanting me to nurse her dolls and stuffed toys: I've "nursed" everything from a Baby Born doll to a stuffed giraffe, to a Bob the Builder toy. Often these days she will actually "ask" to nurse by going and getting a teddy or doll and pulling at my shirt. The toy gets a brief turn and then she hurls herself at me! You should see the faces she makes when about to feed. Anyone would think she's just won the lotto!

Night nursing can either be an absolute joy or a real frustration. On the nights when she isn't in colicky pain or otherwise unwell, she will usually nurse about every two hours and go straight back to sleep. That is bliss! I love sleeping next to her, I love the way she starts rooting as soon as she stirs and I can satisfy her instantly, I love getting enough sleep to function well the next day. What makes my heart absolutely melt is when if she is fussing just a little I can lie her on my chest, rub her back and say, "You're okay Sweetheart. Mummy's here." and that seems to make it all better: she drifts quickly back to sleep and snuggles right into me. Ahhhh.. Other nights are far less lovely unfortunately! She will nurse, climb over me, scratch me all over (one night she managed to scratch the top off a mole on my right breast - OUCH - I keep it covered with a bandaid patch now!), fuss, cry, pull her legs up, nurse, cry.. It goes on for HOURS. Some nights the only sleep I get is with her attached, and even that time is brief. It is pretty hard being sleep deprived, but I know it will pass eventually and I do usually get one or two good nights each week that keep me sane (well, almost!).

Missy Moo has continued to enjoy music. I took her to a special "Under Eights Day" at Thomas's school and she was in her element when we went along to his class's music lesson. Towards the end, I had her in the sling and she went off to sleep as the children sang "Puff the magic dragon". The teacher invited us to come back anytime so last week after playgroup we attended another lesson. This time even though she was almost due for a nap, she was right in there joining in! Thomas also went to a disco one Friday night at the school (for children in the younger grades) and Andrew, Katelyn and I were there supervising. Missy Moo was grooving so much - it was gorgeous! The other adults found it hard to believe that someone so little could be such a keen dancer. She "got down" so low that she kept ending up on her bottom!!

Katelyn still isn't speaking that much, although I'm very pleased to here "Mum Mum" several times each day now. Despite the lack of much verbal communication, she nevertheless uses various signs and other body language to get her messages across loud and clear. She's pretty clever in that she's developed her own signs for some things. "Yum-yum" is a certain way she moves her mouth (kind of pretend chewing), and "sore" or "hurts" is touching the back of her wrist. The latter came about because I got a bad scratch on the back of my right wrist a few weeks back. I have no idea how I did it, but it was pretty deep and is still in the process of healing. Katelyn was quite interested in it, and each time she went to touch it I said "sore". So.. Now if anything of hers is sore, she will touch what is sore (she's in the process of getting all four first molars, so she will touch one of those spots) and then touch the back of one of her wrists. She never ceases to amaze me in the way she thinks. She's also developed a sign for "clever", which is clapping her hands, and for "hot", which is pursing her lips and inhaling and exhaling quickly. Of course continues to provide the family with great amusement with her frequent head nodding and shaking. My Dad actually asked her over the phone one day if she was beautiful and she nodded!! Sometimes she will deliberately shake her head just to get a reaction as well. Very cheeky!

I have unfortunately been very ill yet again this past week. Firstly I had an awful case of gastroenteritis (yes, AGAIN!), which landed me in the ER on a drip as I dehydrated in just a few hours of diarrhea and vomiting. Now whatever the bug is has caused me to develop respiratory symptoms including a throat infection. When is this going to end?? I am getting so run down, so tired, losing weight without trying (now about 16 pounds below pre-pregnancy weight).. Touch wood neither of the kids nor Andrew has caught this and I pray they don't because it's NASTY!

Despite various health struggles, I still find myself smiling whenever I see or even think of my little Missy Moo. She really is a little ray of sunshine in our lives. One little smile of hers can light up a whole room; one cuddle can melt hearts; one little sloppy baby kiss can make an otherwise tough day beautiful. I wish every woman who wanted a baby were lucky enough to have one just like Katelyn. She is the sweetest, cutest, most beautiful little girl in the world! Thank you God!

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