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Gayesy's parenting after loss journal

Month 9 ~ November 25, 2002
~ Having a Ball!

KatelynKatelyn has been such a happy little girl! Now that she is over her stint of urinary problems, and her reflux and colic are well under control, she spends most of the day looking like the cat that got the cream! I probably look the same way, because I am having so much fun. It never ceases to amaze me how much personality such a little one can have and I delight at her growing sense of humour. She is quite a little character, so very cheeky, so excited and interested in her world.

I noticed early in the month that she could blow kisses! I heard a "kissy sound" and thought Thomas had done it. He said he hadn't, that it was Katelyn. Well, I blew a kiss to her and she did it right back at me! Well, kind of - she doesn't use her hand, but then neither do I, just the kiss part. She's also started doing what we affectionately call "the nose". Thomas did this too at about the same age, and we have it on video for posterity. She scrunches up her nose at us and kind of sniffs while doing it. It is very cheeky and she knows it! Katelyn has also learnt to shake her head and is starting to get the idea of waving bye-bye. It's all so cute!

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Missy Moo is looking less like a baby and more like a little girl now that she has four teeth. (She's also finally getting some hair!) Her fourth tooth arrived on October 30th, amidst great distress and unsettled behaviour. Thankfully she didn't suffer too long, but of course we have about 16 more teeth to come. Yikes! Thomas has cut his first permanent tooth and has lost another milk tooth. It's like dental central around here! Funny thing is that Missy Moo has been making a strange noise that I call her "dental hygienist" noise: it sounds just like that funny sucky thing they put in your mouth when at the dentist. LOL!

On November 6th I took Katelyn to Thomas's preschool to spend the morning with his class. We did the baby bathing that his teacher had mentioned a few months back. She was a little put off at first by all those little faces staring at her, but quickly warmed to the idea of being the centre of attention. The little kids were SO excited that she was there, and apparently had been telling their parents all about it beforehand, and have been raving about it afterwards. It was lovely to see their genuine excitement at having a "real live baby" to play with and cuddle and Katelyn lapped it up. Oh boy did she have a long nap when we returned home though!

Speech has continued to develop. Katelyn talks a fair bit of every day now, getting quite animated and excited in the process. It's pretty awesome to see how it all happens! On November 8th, I heard "Mummy" for the first time! It sounded very clear - I was quite taken aback. I know she didn't actually mean me, but it's a start. Soon I'll have two of them saying "Mummy, Mummy, Mummy" all day.. Actually, I think Thomas is about to switch to "Mum", but I don't feel ready for that yet! Next thing I know he'd be asking to borrow the car! Hehe!

Katelyn has been developing a few very funny habits over the past few months. One is what I refer to as her "cushion fetish". As she cruises along the edge of the couch, she will hold on with one hand and then grab any cushions and throw them on the floor. No matter how many times we replace the cushions, she seems to feel they just have to be on the floor, that they are somehow offensive to her on the couch! Once they are on the floor she will kind of throw herself onto them face down and then arrange herself in different ways on her tummy with her face on one side and then the other, all the time smiling like crazy. She obviously likes the feel of the cushions on her face. She also seems to like being on her tummy when she's tired as she's started flipping herself over some nights to sleep. I was getting quite anxious about this and trying to keep turning her back, but then I checked with both our paediatrician and SIDS Australia, who both said to put her down on her back but that at her age it's okay to let her find her own sleeping position. I still do worry though..

Katelyn also seems to hate "order" in other things! We have some stacking cups and rings that Thomas used to play with, as well as some blocks that come in a container (can be used for sorting shapes as they get older). She can't stand for these things to be "tidy". As soon as we put the cups inside each other, the blocks in the container, or stack the rings, she crawls right over and pulls everything apart with great gusto! She also likes playing with some fridge magnets (large enough to be safe) and likes pulling them all off and throwing them all over the floor! I have to be careful where I walk these days because no matter if I last tidied up five minutes ago, there will be stuff strewn everywhere! LOL!

Her other "obsession" is bottles! No, I'm not talking about the sort that many babies get their milk in, as Katelyn has actually never even had one of those (and the one time she did find the one that came with my breast pump, she tried to latch onto it like it was a breast! Very funny indeed!). I'm talking about small bottles such as those you can get Diet Coke, beer etc in. If we are out and I get myself a treat of a Diet Coke, she will go absolutely NUTS (arching her back, screaming, the full tantrum thing) until I let her hold my bottle and chew on the end of it. If I get myself a bottle of water, I let her actually drink some and she is pretty good at doing that.

sleeping KatelynOn the subject of sleep, things have changed yet again! Katelyn is now a bit tricky to get to sleep at night, as she seems to find it hard to "let go" of her day. Instead of even trying to nurse her off to sleep in bed these days (when she would keep crawling away and I had to keep catching her before she fell off the bed!), now the two of us sit out in the living area, with the lights off and only the small light of the TV, turned right down. She will nurse a bit, play a bit, come back for more, crawl away again, and this will go on until finally her beautiful little eyes shut while nursing. This tends to happen somewhere around 9:30pm. Then I can carry her into bed and lie there with her. Some nights she will sleep peacefully, only waking every couple of hours for a feed and then going back to sleep, and being ready to get up around 6:30am. Other nights she will literally be waking up every ten minutes for hours on end. After nights like that, I do try to make a point of lying down with her the next day when she naps (she usually has two per day now), otherwise I feel like a walking zombie. Actually, I am finding now that Missy Moo tends to nap better when lying down, rather than in the sling as she used to. If we're out I will still wear her for naps, but when at home, either I will lie down with her or she has even managed a few good naps in her cot after being nursed or "slung" off to sleep. I have a really good baby monitor so I can hear her breathing and am there the second she wakes up so she doesn't get distressed at all. Thomas and I even managed to get some sewing done one day while Katelyn napped happily in her cot.

Missy Moo is more mobile than ever before. She can now crawl fast enough to catch Thomas's remote-controlled racing car! (Makes a good game for them!) She is cruising very confidently now, between pieces of furniture rather than just along the one piece, occasionally even letting go briefly and taking a single solo step. She will walk happily and well if we hold her hands, or behind her early Christmas present from my parents, a Fisher Price 1-2-3 Puppy. It has an activity board and also a handle and wheels so she can push it as she walks along behind it. I will take a guess and say that by Christmas (when she will be one day shy of ten months) she will be starting to walk solo, a few steps here and there. I would be surprised given what she is doing now if it was much later than that, although of course I really don't care when she does it. It's just such a delight to see the whole development process. It's quite an awesome thing!

At the end of this month Thomas wanted me to set up his tent and tunnel set again so I moved all the furniture in the lounge and set it all up in there. I was quite surprised to see a little bottom disappearing into one tent and down the tunnel!! No fear, no hesitation! I have left it all up for now because the two kids just love playing in the tents and crawling back and forth up the tunnel. It's great to see them playing well together, especially considering that Thomas's behaviour of late has been of some concern. I think we are getting back on track, but oh boy this parenting stuff is a challenge at times. It's funny how Thomas can be so wonderful, such a delight, and yet can five minutes later have me tearing my hair out!

Around the middle of this month my Mum had to go into hospital due to several problems, mostly to do with her emphysema. Dad was away on business in Japan, so I was "it". Mum can't speak all that well since her stroke five years ago, and also gets pretty anxious and confused, so I really needed to be at the hospital a fair bit to help out. That was pretty tiring! The day she went into the ER, I picked Thomas up from preschool on the way as I had no idea how long we would be, and it was just as well as we didn't end up getting home until about 8pm. He was pretty good considering having to keep reasonably still and quiet. Thank goodness I thought to pack him a little bag of colouring books, mazes, dot to dot etc. Katelyn was actually fine in the car! This was the first time I had driven all the way across town with her and I was pleasantly surprised that she was okay. I felt quite liberated! What I did was to have a big container of small but safe toys on the seat next to me to hand back to her as needed (as she got sick of one or dropped it). At the hospital she was also fine and I had so many comments on my Maya Wrap sling, how great it is etc. Of course I also had absolutely everyone fawning over Missy Moo, commenting on how gorgeous she is.

Everywhere I go in fact, I have people fawning over Katelyn! I am probably biassed here, but I do think she is a particularly engaging baby. She just has a way of interacting with people, a special smile, that gets everyone in. She is lively and interested in everything and everyone around her, although she is still very much in the mode of wanting to only be actually held by me, Andrew or Thomas. As long as no-one tries to take her, she will coo and giggle and flirt like crazy!

My Mum is back home again now and is slightly improved thankfully, as is Andrew's father, who spent so many weeks in hospital over the past few months. Both of them will worsen in condition though as time passes. It is pretty sad to think that they might not be around to see our children grow up. They certainly delight in them now though, and I try to make sure that we see both sets of grandparents at least once a week. This past couple of weeks, all four of us have taken turns suffering from a cold. Unfortunately as Andrew's father has leukemia as one of his many ailments, we have to be very careful to steer clear of him if we are ill, so we haven't seen them for a couple of weeks.

KatelynWe've all been pretty busy lately. Andrew's part-time job has continued and at the moment it is actually seven days a week for a short time, while all the end-of-school-year calculations are being made. At least at this job when he works overtime he gets PAID for it (shock, horror! LOL!) At his other job they pumped him dry with no reward at all. Anyway, job hunting is going okay: he has reached interview stage a few times and there are more jobs out there he is in with a good chance with as well.

Thomas is within a couple of weeks of finishing preschool. It's hard to believe that my "baby" will be at "big school" at the end of January. We've been attending various meetings at the school, starting to buy bits of his uniform to spread the cost (those things are expensive!). My other baby is almost a toddler. Time really does fly! It's quite bittersweet really how quickly the days, weeks and months pass. Every day with them is so special and I am making a point of cherishing every moment.

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