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Gayesy's parenting after loss journal

Month 20 ~ October 26, 2003
~ "Date-in"

This month has just flown by! Andrew has been burning the candle at both ends in a desperate attempt to get his PhD completed in time: unfortunately it is still giving him some trouble so we are in for about another month before it is all over. Thomas had two weeks off school on mid-semester break and is now into Term 4, the final term of Grade 1. Thomas, Katelyn and I have all had yet another respiratory virus (I think we had about two weeks of being well in between!), and so asthma is again on the agenda. Through all this, little Missy Moo has continued to thrive and bring joy to us all.

Speech is coming along so well. Katelyn now calls herself either "Date-in" or "me". She also started saying "Mummy" very clearly (as opposed to Mum-mum) at the beginning of this month. There have been too many new words to even count, but one other one that is quite interesting is "no"! Up until recently, she would express the idea of "no" by shaking her head: now she shakes AND says the word, often in quite a whiny voice I'm afraid! Oh well! Her ability to communicate is wonderful, and almost always now I can understand what she is telling me, either just from her words, or putting them together with signs and other non-verbal cues.

Talking about signing, one evening I was putting Katelyn in her car seat to go and pick Andrew up from the train station. She said, "Mummy!" to get my attention, and then gave me the "I love you" sign! I hadn't prompted it in any way and felt so honoured that she did that. She is such a little sweetie, so loving. She has also learnt to give proper kisses now, and everyone in the family, pets included, is lucky enough to get many per day. If someone is upset or hurt, she is in a particular hurry to get a kiss in the appropriate place: even if we are out and she hears a baby crying, she will start to fuss and tells me she wants to kiss and "cuggle baby".

When she has hurt herself she presents that body part in our face to be kissed and then happily goes about her business unless it has been a major injury. One day unfortunately there was such a case. We had just returned home from the shops and I had already got Katelyn out of the car. She ran around to the other side of the car just as Thomas FLUNG his door open (he had no idea she was there and was mortified about the accident), and I saw her go flying across the garage and land in a heap on the concrete floor. My heart skipped a few beats I can tell you! She was absolutely SCREAMING, and had a HUGE lump on her head from where the car door had hit her. It was also bleeding a little. I scooped her up, carried her inside and tried to apply an ice pack while I nursed her. She wouldn't allow the ice pack but the "boo boos" sure did the trick. It is quite amazing how much nursing will relax her and help her feel better, even when quite badly hurting like that. Thankfully she recovered quite quickly and didn't even need any medical attention.

Katelyn breastfeedingKatelyn has even started pretending to give her dolls and stuffed toys the "boo boos", especially if they get dropped or bumped. Whereas a while back she had started asking me to feed her dolls, she will now do it herself and I find it incredibly cute. One morning she was sitting on the couch giving her "goll" the "boo boos" when I heard her say "Ga ga" and she put her doll on the other side. "Ga ga" is what Missy Moo says to me when she wants to change sides while feeding!! (I have no idea where she got that expression from, as most of her words sound quite a lot like the real thing. Perhaps it comes from "other"?) Anyway, I love seeing her "mother" her doll, feed it, lavish kisses and cuddles on it, and so on. She is such a sweet and loving little girl and a joy to watch.

Missy Moo has taken to being quite the little nature girl. LOL! Earlier, she had shown very strong fashion preferences, wanting to wear her "Deans and boos" (jeans and boots) - well, now her fashion sense is decidedly au naturel, and she wants to run around completely naked! I don't mind generally, as usually at the moment it is warm enough, but I am not too keen on having to clean up all the little puddles! I guess I should be grateful that she will come and tell me when she has done a wee and where it is. She has even started fetching a cloth and wiping it up herself.

When we need to go out, such as getting Thomas to and from school, it can be quite tricky to get a nappy and some clothes on her, but luckily she does seem to accept that these things are necessary away from home. She also seems to think that a million other things are a necessity! Oh my! When I say we are going to go and get in the car she starts gathering up as many stuffed toys, her two dolls, books, you name it. Some days the floor of our car looks like a junk heap but at least it keeps her happy. Generally she wants to carry her favourite doll around everywhere except at home, and she will accept leaving the other stuff in the car.

Katelyn and ThomasKatelyn has continued to want to be involved and "helping" in almost every aspect of family life. It's actually good that now she can stand on a chair at the kitchen bench when I'm making Thomas's juice, cutting up some vegetables for dinner or doing some other food preparation. She just LOVES helping out and enjoys being the one to take Thomas's juice to him in bed every morning. She is actually very unselfish because even if I have prepared some food for them both, she always wants to take his to him before she will settle down and have her own. She just adores her big brother and it is lovely to see! Thomas also loves her to bits and even said one day recently that he was just so glad we had Katelyn in our lives.

We had a follow-up appointment this past week with the paediatrician, to review the asthma management plan. Things had improved at night but still during the day we have been finding that every time Katelyn runs around there is a LOT of coughing so we are addressing that now with some long-acting relief each morning. Missy Moo is growing beautifully, with height, weight and head circumference all between the 20th and 30th percentiles (weight is 11kg/ 24.2 pounds, height is 81cm/ 31.9 inches, head circumference is 47cm/ 18.5 inches.) She is "littlish" in that she is smaller than 3/4 of other little girls her age, but is just beautiful and perfect in every way, just nicely chubby as toddlers tend to be and Thomas was at the same age (although he was bigger overall). I am very happy with her growth and development!

Sleep is still a bit of a challenge unfortunately. Some nights are good, with her just nursing and sleeping, nursing, sleeping some more and so on, from about 8:30pm until about 6am or so. Other nights are really tough, and things have been somewhat complicated by the emergence of a couple of eye teeth (the other two are on the way), a urinary tract infection, plus recurring colds. Unfortunately digestion is still an issue and every time I have tried to wean Katelyn off her Zantac and Merbentyl, we have noticed huge increases in her crying and unsettled sleep. We are getting there though, and it certainly does help me to have the "big picture" in mind. I do know that at some point, probably about a year away, she will be sleeping for many hours without fussing or feeding. For now, I am just managing as best I can, and have given up worrying about dark circles under my eyes!

I am absolutely loving witnessing my little girl grow and develop! She has such a beautiful nature! Seeing her with her big brother, with babies, with her doll, even with our pets, is just delightful. She is funny, sweet, smart, active, and absolutely lovely inside and out.

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