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Gayesy's parenting after loss journal

Month 17 ~ July 26, 2003
~ Pocket Rocket!

KatelynRemember last month how I wrote that I thought Missy Moo has been experiencing a growth spurt? Well, count that as wishful thinking! LOL! At the beginning of this month we had a paediatrician visit and she measured in at a "whopping" 76cm (29.9inches) and 10kg (22lb). That is a gain of only 1cm and 300g in three months - not exactly growth spurt material. Hehe! She is now the exact size that Thomas was at 12 months, and is at the 15th percentile in height and the 25th percentile in weight for her age and gender. My little pocket rocket! Even though she's a little shorty-fry, she is beautifully covered (very stocky little legs actually and nice and chubby elsewhere), and pretty healthy too, so I'm not in the slightest bit concerned about her size. I think she's just perfect in every way, and it sure does help with the finances when clothes can fit for months on end.

While at the paediatrician, I mentioned my concern about her ongoing coughing, which has been occurring for a few months now at night and after exertion. I suspected asthma, given that both myself and Thomas are sufferers and Katelyn has actually been started on a preventative puffer. It has thankfully helped quite a bit and instead of needing to give her Ventolin several times per day now we are down to once or twice per week. Once the colder weather passes, things should improve even more. She is very good about taking her puffer thankfully.

Katelyn's digestive situation seems to be improving gradually! Thankfully she didn't catch my last bout of gastroenteritis, and she is well and truly recovered from the salmonella now. She is still needing both Zantac and Merbentyl, but is managing to eat a reasonable variety of foods these days, usually without being in much pain afterwards. We had MAJOR trouble one night though, because she had eaten a mere taste of a muesli bar. She was in severe pain all night and only napped in fifteen minute stretches, with lots of crying in between. She actually has developed quite a liking for yoghurt. It's not one of the things I really wanted her to have at this stage, given that she is getting calcium, etc from my milk, but she sees Thomas and Andrew eating it and so I tried it. She loves it and the acidophilus in it seems to really help keep thrush at bay (she has had an ongoing battle with it on her bottom since being ill a month or so ago). She is still not interested in meat, but does now eat a variety of grains (eg. Wholemeal bread, some breakfast cereal, some crackers), a few different vegetables and fruits, and the yoghurt. Breast milk is still the bulk of her nutrition and she is clearly thriving on it.

Sleep has still been affected by teething. Those molars that she had started to cut in the middle of last month are STILL not completely through! The bottom ones have the tooth surface almost all cut, but the top ones have only the outer edge so far. Some days the poor little mite has had her gums bleeding and looking almost ulcerated. I am not a big fan of using things like Bonjela, and even though Nurofen seems to help, I can hardly give that several times per day for weeks on end! What I did was to find a homeopathic remedy that I do feel happy giving when things are really rough, and even though she hates the taste of it, it actually seems to help a fair bit. We are actually getting reasonable sleep most nights, with probably only one period of being especially unsettled, but with Katelyn going back to sleep without me needing to actually get up with her and pace the floors. Usually she will end up falling asleep lying across my tummy with a breast in her mouth!

I am still LOVING sleeping with her! Even though at times I have been quite exhausted, I still think I am better rested than I would be if she were sleeping apart from me. I also get so much enjoyment from those sleepy nighttime nursings and cuddles. She is so incredibly precious and sometimes I could just cry that I am so lucky to have this beautiful child snuggling with me. What have I ever done to deserve such a treasure??

Gayesy & KatelynDuring the day Katelyn has been working her way towards one middle-of-the-day nap for several months now. We will have a few weeks of this and then a few days when she will go back to two naps again for some reason. Almost always though she will wake up around 6:30am, go to sleep at the breast or in the car around 11:30am, and sleep for about 1 1/2 hours (varies anywhere from about 45 minutes to 2 1/4 hours), and will go to sleep for the night around 8:30pm. She nurses approximately every two hours during the night still (more often during the day), but honestly unless she's unsettled and crying, I would have no definite idea as to how often I nurse her nor for how long! Sometimes I have gone to bed with one side that is full and sore from the beginnings of a clogged duct, and in the morning it can be nice and soft as if by magic. LOL!

The first two weeks of this month were school holidays for Thomas. It was nice to not have to get everyone out of the house by 8:15am for a change! Even though Missy Moo still woke up at her usual time, I actually stayed in my nice warm jammies for an hour or so a few mornings. Andrew took one day off work and we all had a lovely day up at Alma Park Zoo. It is about a half-hour drive from here, and even though it isn't a "regular" zoo with lions and elephants, it is still a great place to spend a day. I packed a picnic lunch, we all walked amongst the beautiful gardens, and we got to pat and feed various animals, including kangaroos, koalas, fallow deer, and Himalayan tahrs. Katelyn and Thomas both had a fantastic time, as did I! Katelyn was particularly taken by the sight of a kangaroo mummy with a joey in its pouch. Funnily enough, when we saw them Katelyn was with her mummy in her "pouch" (the sling)!

Missy Moo has such a sweet personality. Her smiles, which she shares around with such generosity, bring pleasure to all who see her. She is also very good-natured, and pretty co-operative most of the time. Unfortunately she is still having several mini-tantrums each day when she gets frustrated (usually at something that Thomas has done - sigh), when she will throw herself on the floor and bash her head on purpose. Thankfully it is all over with (except the bruises) very quickly indeed, and a quick cuddle plus a little distraction and she is on her way again. I am finding that it is pretty easy to keep her happy and still get her to do what is safe and necessary. She is SO cute in that now if we have to leave somewhere even before I was about to suggest that she wave bye-bye, she is doing it herself. If we are walking from the car to pick Thomas up and the puppy we normally see isn't there, she will simply do the sign for "all gone" and wave as she walks on by. That ASTOUNDS me, as with Thomas such an event would have been the start of either a major tantrum or moodiness for literally HOURS afterwards. (Similar incidences STILL do that to him, I'm afraid.)

Katelyn in the high chairDuring the day, my little "pocket rocket" does practically rocket around. She has boundless energy and enjoys so many different things. We are still going to playgroup every Tuesday, and most other days we have some sort of outing. She LOVES going to a park or even running around our small backyard. She LOVES watching any neighbours' pussy cats who happen to decide to take a nap under one of our bushes (that can keep her amused for ages!). Katelyn also still enjoys riding on her little car around the house at top speed (she pushes so much with her little feet that she goes fast enough to then lift her legs up and then coast along), as well as Thomas's rocking horse. Dolls are another favourite toy. "Dolly" gets dressed and undressed many times each day (with my help), gets the "boo boos" (nursing), even gets yoghurt shoved in her face and gets thrown down the toilet! I am actually thinking that for Christmas I might get some more clothes for the Baby Born from the South Bank markets, plus some tiny hangers, and make a little wardrobe out of a box (decorated and everything). That wouldn't cost much at all but I think she would love it! Other things Katelyn likes to do include playing the piano and pretending to talk on the phone. She will walk around with the cordless phone at her ear smiling and nodding, just as she does if one of her grandparents really is talking to her! ADORABLE!

Katelyn is also asserting her views as far as her clothing is concerned. It is so cute that she wants to pick out her clothes each morning (She has a limited wardrobe, pretty much all in the one drawer at her level, so I just let her select some pants or her denim pinafore, a skivvy, and whether she wants her sneakers or her boots. ) and then spends much of the rest of the day pointing to each item she is wearing and telling everyone how "ice" it is.

At one day short of seventeen months we had quite a breakthrough with speech! I am so excited about it! Gradually, Katelyn has been learning more signs and using some words to communicate with us. She had worked her way up also to making various animal noises (a very useful life skill I am told. LOL!) BUT on the 25th of July, for the first time something inside her really seemed to "click" and she was able to copy me saying "ball" and has used it for all sizes of balls and in all situations such as in her hand, on the television and in books. She says it so clearly too and is pretty proud of herself. I suspect that from now on we will be hearing new words more and more frequently and I am so looking forward to hearing more of her precious little voice!

I think that Katelyn is showing early signs of toilet awareness. I am planning on letting her self-train as I did with Thomas, but it is quite interesting to see how she is developing in this area. For some time now, she has gone away from the rest of the family to do her poos in private (showing she could sense beforehand what she was about to do), and now afterwards she will come and "tell" me that she needs a nappy change, by clutching herself and pointing at her nappy. Now when she is about to wee, she will stop what she is doing and hold herself on the nappy, again "telling" me afterwards she wants a nappy change. Sometimes she will even go and stand next to the toilet while she wets her nappy. If she is naked then she watches with some interest as the wee runs down her leg.

Talking about naked for a moment, there was one day after her bath when she really didn't want to get dressed even though it was pretty cold. She had been playing with Thomas's vet set, which she LOVES, and ran and put on the stethoscope, then hopped on her little car to ride out and "fix" the toy puppy. Talk about a young vet in a hurry!! I was splitting my sides as it looked so funny!

KatelynAfternoons are going to get a lot busier next week as Thomas will be starting some neurotherapy (also known as biofeedback training). This will involve collecting him from school as usual but then a half-hour drive with the two kids, a half hour session, a longer drive home (traffic at that time is awful), then trying to get Katelyn bathed, some dinner on the go.. Katelyn is thankfully just at the point where that amount of driving should be tolerable, as long as I have nursed her beforehand and she has a toy to hold in the car. I am quite enthusiastic about the treatment for Thomas as well. It is a bit tricky though at times to try and balance meeting everyone's needs. I suspect I might have been a bit depressed lately but have been trying to keep on top of things and have even been doing "extra" tasks such as tidying out cupboards and general decluttering to cheer myself up. Katelyn certainly enjoys it when I am trying to tidy as there are so many more things to throw around. LOL!

So my little girl is growing up! With her being quite short and still not having huge amounts of hair (although it is getting quite long now at the back), she still looks to me a fair bit like a baby, but her behaviour is definitely that of a pint-sized girl. I love her so much. I find her so beautiful, so perfect, so amazing! This is such a special time and I am savouring it.

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