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Gayesy's parenting after loss journal

Month 21 ~ November 26, 2003
~ Fun and games

KatelynKatelyn has continued to be an absolute delight! She is a little bundle of energy and runs me ragged, but at the same time, is so happy and loving that even strangers comment. When I pick Thomas up from school each day, even parents I don't know will smile at Missy Moo and talk to her. She is just so full of the joy of toddler life that it is contagious, and everyone can't help but notice how beautiful she is, both inside and out. I love her so very much!

As usual there have been new antics this month! Katelyn has started doing a few rather disgusting but amusing things. She will be most embarrassed to read about these when she is older but here goes anyway! LOL! When we are in the car, she will without fail proceed to pick her nose! Then, to make matters worse, she will whine and present a dirty finger for me to reach back and wipe. Yuck! She has also decided that breaking wind (we call it "doing a fluff" or "letting fluffy off the chain") is a source of great pride and amusement and when she does one by accident she will comment that she wants to do more, will then make obvious attempts to do so, and will then applaud herself when she invariably succeeds. She finds this particularly gratifying when in the bath! The fact that she always bathes with either Andrew or me might help you to understand why we are not too happy about this!

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Missy Moo's language skills are continuing to develop, and she loves telling us various "stories" in her "telegram-style" way of speaking. If something has made an impression on her, she will go over and over the matter with us. One such issue is the garbage truck! One morning she saw it come along the street and lift up our normal and recycling bins, tip them in and put them back down (the truck is split in two sections so the recycling doesn't get mixed up with the garbage). Anyway, ever since then, which was about four weeks ago, she tells us at least twenty times a day that "gargash down, bin down" etc (gargash is her word for garbage truck). She also goes on and on about the day we had to take Punky to the vet. That incident was quite traumatic for her because we had to leave the cat there for the day, and she sobbed the whole way home, no matter how I tried to comfort her. I have to keep reassuring her that Punky is okay now. She keeps telling me, "Cat..vet..get..back..okay."

Katelyn is learning new words all the time and I couldn't even guess how many she has in her vocabulary now. One recent new word is "now". Katelyn will add it to the end of just about every phrase she says: instead of "Date-in nana" (Katelyn wants a banana), she now says "Date-in nana NOW!" LOL! One other example is, "Mummy cuggle Date-in ba ba (in the bean bag) now!" She can also count to two, believe it or not. At first I thought it was just a fluke but whenever she gathers up one or two items or sees one or two things she will say "two cars", "one baby", "two moles" or whatever, and if I ask her to get two treats for the dog she always fetches that number. She also knows the colour blue! I also thought that was just my imagination, but now she will comment whenever she sees a blue car, blue jelly bean, you name it. With other colours, even though she can't name them, she can understand like colours: for example, if you show her a pink item and ask her to find something else pink she can do it. Pretty clever, huh?

I have taken to hiding my money! Katelyn has developed an obsession with hoarding any change she can find, and was going through my purse and fleecing me of everything several times per day. If she would hold onto it that would have been okay, but I have had $2 coins shoved down the drain, money hidden all over the house and lost all over the city! She insists on wearing clothes with pockets so she can fill them with whatever change I let her have (bought her toy money), toy cars, and other small things she can find. If her "dean" (denim skirt) is in the wash she will have a tantrum, as it has the best pockets!

KatelynIf imitation really is the highest form of flattery than Thomas should be feeling mighty flattered these days! Katelyn just wants to do absolutely everything he does, from sitting up at the table with him while he does his homework and doing "her homework" with crayons and paper, to climbing all over the couches, to making silly faces, to licking the lid on the yoghurt just like he does. They love each other so much and even though at times Thomas can unfortunately get Katelyn a little too riled up (especially if I have the two of them on an outing), it is great to see them interact. Poor little Thomas said the other day though that he really wanted a little brother, and I so wish he could have had little Nicholas to play with as well.

One other very amusing way in which Katelyn imitates Thomas is that when she needs to wet, she often will stand in front of the toilet, lift the seat and announce she is doing a wee. Oh my! She is still in "rudie nudie" mode a lot of the time and will often tell us beforehand when she needs to "go" but unfortunately she is yet to use her potty or the toilet (well, in a way that gets it IN there rather than on the floor). Thank goodness when she needs to poo she asks me to put a nappy on her if she isn't already wearing one, and then she tells me when it's time to change her. I can handle puddles but cleaning up the other would just be too much!

Christmas preparations are rolling along well for once this year, and I have almost finished all my shopping thank goodness. Katelyn has discovered Santa! We don't really "do Santa" much at all at our house, in that we don't tell the kids their presents come from him or go to any trouble to keep the "secret" alive. However, we do like to take them to Santa each year for a photo. In one store last week a Santa was there already so I took Katelyn to say hello, just to get her used to him before photo day, and at the time she was a little scared. Afterwards though she kept telling me how she wanted to go back to see "more Santa", to give him a kiss and cuddle, and she kept reminding me that he gave her as book (a little colouring book). Whenever any junk mail arrives now she scours it to find picture of "Danta" (Santa) and gets very excited when she inevitably finds them.

KatelynMissy Moo never ceases to amaze me at how clever she is! One day recently, Thomas was in a "puzzle mood" so he got out some of his puzzles and sat up at the dining room table to do them. Of course, Katelyn wanted to do puzzles too, so we looked out some of Thomas's old peg wooden puzzles. I was astounded that she could do them!! Within a day or so she could even do two puzzles at once, working out which pieces went in which puzzle base, where, and so on. She found her booster seat in the garage, brought it into the house and now loves to sit in it with the tray on and do her puzzles. She will happily sit there for five minutes or so and I think this is the most she has ever sat still for months and months!

Almost always now Katelyn will have just the one nap during the day. It can start anywhere between about 9:15 and 1:30pm, but is usually around 11am and usually lasts for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, as long as I am there midway to nurse her through a semi-awakening. I no longer use the cot at all, as she is safe now on the bed, and usually I join her for the second half of the nap. I am still SO TIRED all the time, that even though there are always heaps of things I could be doing, I find I almost HAVE to lie down with her for at least a little while or I just can't function. I feel so bad that the house isn't what it should be, and that various things are being neglected. I also feel like a failure that I am still in "survival mode" when my "baby" is 21 months old! Even when nights are pretty good (with her just nursing every couple of hours and going straight back to sleep), I find that having to be up between 5 and 6am every morning, and going full-on from then, is really exhausting. One day Andrew got up and tried to take her for a walk so I could go back to bed for half an hour (that day I had been up with her since 3:30am), but she just cried and cried and we ended up giving up on that plan.

She has been such a "Mummy's girl" lately! Previously, she would be happy to have a bath or a walk with Andrew for a short time every once in a while so I could either cook dinner in peace or have a little break, but she won't even do these at the moment. I try to cook dinner with her hanging off my legs or hanging off my hip, and can't even take a solo shower! I know it's just a phase, but boy it's hard at the moment!

KatelynEven though I am exhausted, I am so very glad we are still breastfeeding and co-sleeping. I just LOVE the closeness. When she is in my arms or sleeping next to me, I know she is safe and happy, so I can relax and enjoy being with her. She is particularly sweet and cuddly when she is sleepy too! Even though Thomas is getting to be a "big boy" now, even he will enjoy lots of bedtime snuggling and I find this is my favourite time of day. Nursing is still going very well indeed and I am hoping Katelyn will continue for some time yet. One slight downside is that I see all these nice clothes at the shops that I would love, but that are just unsuitable at the moment due to either no breast access at all or making it too hard to have any discretion when nursing in public: oh well, there will be plenty of time for such dresses in the future - for now, I am just enjoying the nursing relationship.

Next month will be so busy, with Andrew in the busiest time of year at work, getting his PhD finished, Thomas finishing up his first year of school, our 14th wedding anniversary, and of course Christmas. Soon also will be the anniversary of little Nicholas's loss. It's hard to believe it has been almost three years now - not a day goes by without me thinking of him. I am okay though and am actually looking forward to Christmas this year.

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