Tuesday 30 September 2008

Two for Tuesday

I kept this one from The Boy's birthday party for this week's Two for Tuesday. The Little Miss and puppy M playing one of their favourite games. She tickles the poor pup until she turns on her back, paws in the air, begging for more. More like a wrestling match at times, they both love it. Go over to Deanna's to check who else is playing along.

One year check-up.

The Boys had their one year check-up at the paediatrician yesterday. As I suspected, all good news for little man C, and not so good for little man L. Actually, a bit worse than what I was hoping for.

Little man C:

Weight: 9,7 kg (21,4 pounds)
Length: 76 cm ( 29,9 inches)
Head circumference: 47 cm (18,5 inches)

He is keeping on his growth curve and his weight is picking up towards the next line. He is crawling with great gusto and standing up against anything. He is starting to push things and has stood on his own for a few seconds. He has also figured out how to crawl up a stair.

He has 6 teeth and his hair is starting to look almost too long. He is in general a great eater and still loves bananas and his porridge. He also has a sweet tooth as we have just discovered.

He still thrives on attention and is a very loud and demanding little boy. He enthusiastically waves good-bye and claps hands constantly. He still has only 2 words - Mamma and Pappa (daddy). But makes lots of sounds and can be as loud as his sister at any given time - and believe me, that is loud!

Little man C on his ride-on birthday gift from us. Took him about 3 minutes to figure out how to push backwards on it.

Little man L:

Weight: 8,42 kg (18,6 pounds)
Length: 74 cm ( 29,1 inches)
Head circumference: 47 cm (18,5 inches)

Yes, the weight difference between the boys is
unfortunately increasing all the time - luckily not because L is dipping further, but because C is increasing at a rapid speed. I had hoped that little man L's weight was increasing as I am putting a huge effort into feeding him, giving him supplements etc. But I have to mention that he had a tummy bug and was puking the whole of Sunday night, so that might have had a small influence. We will check this out again on the 16th at our check up at the nurse practitioner.

He has 4 teeth and his eating habits go from good to
almost nothing It is just a question of persisting and patience. And he also loves bananas and avocado, mixed!

He is a very sweet little boy and a real charmer. His
stranger's anxiety seems something of the past for the moment. His fine motor skills are excellent and he can fit two Mega Blocks together. He has 4 words now - mamma, pappa, tata and Ya-ya (what our kids call our nanny). But he refuses to clap hands or wave.

The worrying part is his development, mostly the gross motor skills. He has started leopard crawling and if you support his hips he does crawling motions. But the doctor feels that his general muscle tone should have increased more with the PT and have recommended an evaluation with the Paediatric Neurologist. They are fully booked
until the end of this year, so we will only get an appointment next year unless we get a cancellation. She explained that, although she feels he just has low muscle tone, we have good medical insurance and we therefore should rule out the possibility of cerebral palsy. CEREBRAL PALSY! I nearly got a heart attack! She has also referred him to a developmental paediatrician and an eye specialist to have a look at his right eye that seems to turn "lazy" if he is tired. My poor little boy.

It took Little man L about 10 seconds to figure out where to push all the little buttons to make the sounds on his ride on. No movement though.

Both have a slight ear infection and got medicine for that and a tummy bug, Little man L seems to be through the worst of it and Little man C had pooed himself out of his diaper and clothes twice during the night. Hopefully he will recover just as fast as his brother.

I had the perfect twin pregnancy, and I was so sure the kids were 100% - this is such a shock.As I was lying in bed last night, thinking about the day and crying about my little man L, I prayed and received a huge feeling of calm and peace about it all. I am sure we will get good news at the Neurologist. I am not too worried about his eye as I know this can be fixed and will not have long term consequences. And I have the best partner any woman can wish for. H has been an absolute pillar of support and understanding.Just believe girl, just believe. This too shall pass.

Friday 26 September 2008

Phriday Photo Phinish Phiesta

I am playing along with Carrie again, and in keeping with my latest choices, a bit of nature, taken on holiday last week at the resort town of Uvongo, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

5 Things Friday...

I have heaps and heaps to blog about - like the holiday, the story of The Boys' birth and what's going on in South Africa. Also meme's, tags and awards not acknowledged. But I have to start with the 5 things Fridays again. So in keeping with the holiday last week, 5 essential things you need to go to the beach in South Africa:

The sun in SA is really fierce and South Africans in general are very sun aware as we have a very high occurrence of skin cancer, so most of these have to do with sun protection:

1. Sun suits and not normal swimming costumes are all the rage. You very seldom see kids up until teenage stage in normal swimming costumes on the beach.

2. Sun block off course, factor 50+ all over baby and little person skins. We use block on our faces too and 15+ factor on the rest of our bodies. Sun block is a daily routine at The Little Miss school as well.

3. Wide brim hats for maximum sun protection and 4. Enough sand toys to go around.

5. A sun screen or sunhut to provide wind and sun protection. This photograph was taken in December on The Boys' first day on the beach at 12 weeks old.

So what is essential on the beach in the rest of the world? And is everybody so sun sensitive?

BTW - everything is super calm in SA - we have a new president that I (and apparently 70% of the population) knows nothing about and our second female vice-president. And the positives of this all - our very poor minister of health ( who refuses to acknowledge the full impact of AIDS) has been moved to another post and our highly praised minister of Finance will remain in his post.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Happy birthday my sweet little men!

I can not believe The Boys are already a year old today! Wow - we have survived! We have been a family in survival mode for a year and I think we are steadily breaking through it into a more relaxed state. The holiday was testimony to that fact.

We had a little party with the family yesterday to celebrate and as the 24th of September is a public holiday in South Africa we had a nice turnout. It is heritage day, but also national braai day - so what did we do for the boy's birthday, we had a braai off course! Boerwors (spicy beef sausage), porksisters (marinated pork twisted like hairbraids) and sosaties (bief and lamb kebabs). And for desert - birthday cake and koeksisters (this one is extra difficult to explain - think doughnut dough, twisted like a braid, deep fried till crispy and dumped into a sugar syrup). The Boys each had their own little "1" cake in their colour.

The Little miss blowing out the birthday candles.

Daddy and little man L.

Mommy and little man C.

The Boys had their first taste of cake, marshmallows and cheese curls. After their eats and milk, they missed the rest of the party by taking 2 and a half hour naps. Exhausted by all the partying and loving going around. They hardly spent 5 minutes playing on their own - the rest of the time they spent on someones lap getting hugged and kissed all over.

Little man C loved the cake.

Little man L had a taste but then preferred the salty stuff like a vienna. The badges says " Een vandag" - One today.

The cousins off course, had a great time playing after wolfing down most of their party favour packs they were all over sugared and hopping around like Gummy bears.

The Little Miss and cousin Nicola.

Cousin Ebert, The Little Miss (dressed in Keedo for the occasion), Cousin Timu and cousin Simon. They hunted monsters and dinosaurs for most of the day.

Cousin Carla, L, A , Cousin Ingrid and C sharing some loving all round.

We truly had a lovely day and was so blessed to share this wonderful day with our family. We thank the Lord for saving and keeping us all safe through this year and pray for His continued support.

My little man L,

You are the sweetest little boy I know - your smile can melt the hardest heart and your cuddles will melt the toughest soul. You are mommy's smallest little monkey, my fighter and my little sunshine. You are the bravest boy I know. Mommy loves you with all her heart and wishes you a great year while growing stronger and stronger, bigger and bigger.

My little man C,

You are such a strong and hardy little man and have the will power to move mountains. At the same time, your smile brightens a rainy day. You are mommy's tough little monkey - my first smile in the morning. Mommy loves you with all her heart and wishes you a lovely year while continuing to grow and develop all the time.

Monday 22 September 2008

Back from our break!

I'm back! And thanks for all your lovely wishes. I have just caught up reading every body's blogs - very few comment left as I had a lot of catching up to do. We had a lovely holiday - but more about that tomorrow (if I get a chance).

Currently I am writing to you from a leaderless country - no president in residence and no surety as to who will step in to be acting president as the vice-president is a Mbeki loyalist. It could be the Speaker of Parliament. Any of these two options will leave us with a woman for president! But a big shake-up nevertheless as more resignations from ministers are expected. But the general climate in the country seems calm and dignified.

I leave you with a little teaser of the holiday pics to come.

Friday 12 September 2008

Bye for now! I'm taking a break.

Well guys, I am taking a well deserved break, also from blogging as I have decided not to take the laptop along is this will just result in me keeping in touch with the office if I can be reached in such a way. Love and light to all!

Thursday 11 September 2008

All sorts of rambelings...

I should really be working, or packing or doing something constructive. In stead, I am feeling the urge to blog. I should also be doing the last 3 weekend reports, but I have other issues on my mind.

I guess, the big question in the USA today is, " Where were you today, 7 years ago?". In South Africa, the question in general is: "Where were you when Nelson Mandela was released?" I remember vividly both occasions. When Madiba was released, I was mourning my broken engagement in Cape Town at a good friend's home. When 9/11 happened, I was in my office, working, when my partner's wife called in shock, busy watching CNN and seeing the second plane hitting the towers. Just moments before the call, I received the news that my best friend Hesti's twins were born, just a couple of hours ago. At 32 weeks, very tiny and suffering from Twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Relatively safely delivered after lifesaving in-utero surgery on the placenta at 25 weeks. I was relieved that they were living and doing well under circumstances, but worried about the possible implications of all this.

Yes, my best friend of 20 years and I both have twins. And this is not where the co-incidence stops! Both of us have daughters that are almost exactly the same amount of months older than our twins (both pairs boy/boy). Both set of twins were spontaneous, in both cases there is no family history of twins. Both of us tried in some way to plan our second pregnancy - she for what she believed was the perfect spacing, I for a much wanted boy. She planned according to parenting books, I to Dr. Shettles' method. Both of us were show by God that He does the planning. Is that not wonderful? And am I not the luckiest girl to have a best friend that can support me and knows what I am going through as she has been there, done that, a couple of years ago?

Her boys are doing well, but do have some issues relating to the T2T - the one has a light form of autism and both have learning difficulties. But therapy and early intervention surely went far to deal with these issues. Where her pregnancy was difficult, mine was completely the opposite and The Boys were born at 37 weeks, 1 day weighing in at 2,92 and 3,02 kg. My pregnancy was the biggest act of dependency on God that I have ever done and have taught me a lot. But more about that at another time.

On to my favourite topic of the moment - the Paralympics! South Africa had a dismal run at the Olympics, but it is our disabled athletes that are doing us proud at the moment. We are in the top 10 medal run! Wow, for a country with our population and funding, that is remarkable. And did you know that 2 of the world's most incredible athletes are South Africans? Off course, I am talking about Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius.

Natalie has just won her third gold medal and another world record - if you want to read her storey, go here. But that is not the only thing that makes her so special - she is the very first person in the whole wide world to compete in the Olympics (she came 16th in the marathon open water swim) and the Paralympics and also the first person to carry her country's flag at both opening ceremonies. She was one of TIME magazine's 100 athletes to watch at the Beijing Olympics. She was already a promising swimmer when her accident occurred. A true inspiration.

Oscar Pistorius, better know as The Blade Runner is just an amazing athlete. Winning his appeal to compete in the Olympics so late that he could not qualify, he was robbed of his dream to compete in both events. But he has already won gold in the 100m and is set for more. If you want to read his story, link here.

And then,to my joy, double gold for South Africa's Phillipa Johnson in the equestrian dressage - my pre-kids passion. She was also an equestrian before a car accident after which she had to learn to walk and ride again. She has lost the use of her one arm.
Sometimes when one feels that life is getting you down, just take a look at these stories of courage. The human spirit is truly amazing.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Way back WHEN-sday

As we will be heading for the seaside next week, here is The Little Miss at almost exactly the same age as The Boys are now, at the sea in Port Elizabeth. She loved the water and sand - we will see what The Boys will think of it soon.

Head over toTwinfatuation for some more Way backs.

Some assvice needed....

We have pounded right into spring, wait, maybe even summer within the course of a week. Yesterday was a blistering 37 C (that's 98,6F!) and spring has only sprung like 9 days ago. But I won't complain, I am actually ok with the heat - a real summer baby - you can tell I was born in the heat of summer.

So, we will be leaving on Saturday on a week long holiday at the seaside. It is about a 9 hour drive - this includes rests every 2 to 3 hours as the South African road safety agency call for. We will be doing it in one stretch, leaving early to try and catch some sleep time for the kiddos. Then, we are holding thumbs (gosh and praying, wishing, whatever) that the DVD will keep them entertained. December on our long annual road trip, The Little Miss was a real trooper - she did so well (and this was still in the truck - no DVD). And The Boys were still small enough to sleep most of the time. But the memory of our holiday just before The Little Miss' first birthday is still etched in my mind - it was pure hell. It was so bad, that she and I actually flew back and H and the Puppies drove back on their own. That was pre-DVD. And she was a real drama queen. And she had huge separation anxiety issues - which none of The Boys seem to have at present. But this is my problem - Little man L is still about a pound lighter than the weight at which we are allowed to tum the car seat towards the front facing position. So he will be the only little critter not able to watch the DVD. Not that I am totally sure they will actually be watching it - I have only twice played them a DVD and they seemed only mildly interested. But hell, anything to make the trip easier.

So, do I actually turn him around, or let the poor child watch the back of the seat for the whole trip? Please give me some feedback - what would you do?

Monday 8 September 2008

Baby picture Sundays - Back to school

I am playing along with Debi with baby picture Sundays .

This is The Little Miss on her first day of school. She was 2 days short of two years at the time and we made the decision to send her to school as she was craving social contact with other kids. We carefully chose a small Catholic school and she was happy from day one!

Friday 5 September 2008

5 Things Friday...

Gosh, it has been really crazy in my little corner of the world. I am two weeks behind on weekend reports, with another looming ahead.

But I have great news! Little man L is mobile! Thank God! He is sliding and leopard crawling since yesterday and is already speeding up fast. He seems to be supporting some weight on his hips, so the physio has really been working. I would be delighted if he crawls before his birthday. Please pray for that.

Not much time to spend now, so 5 things that has been keeping me very busy this week:

1. I have a terrible terrible cold and as I am still breastfeeding, not much I can do about it. I feel like crap.

2. The Boys have a stomach bug, or that is what I suspect - they are ok during the day, but have a little midnight puking session, sometimes involving just one, sometimes both. Little man L has been for a weighing session at the nurse practitioner, and he has once again slipped on his growth curve. I am very worried about him. She is talking about testing enzymes etc if he slips any further.

3. Both the puppies are sick with kennel cough - they sound terrible and we had two visits to the vet this week. Another one looming if madame B does not improve today.

4. Work has been super hectic - 3 days on site this week and one afternoon off because I felt so crappy - my work is way behind.

5. I am rushing around with preparations for our week long holiday, coming up on the 13th - the Minivan had to get a tow bar fitted ( we have a trailor for all the extra stuff), I bought windowsox for it and as it is just the start of summer weather there is lots to sort out and buy for the kiddies. I am also short on summer clothes as I did not buy much last year, being on maternity leave for the first part of summer. I am also doing preparations for The Boys' first birthday party - just a small affair with the family, but still some planning involved. Check out the invite (names removed):

So, how has your week been?

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Two for Tuesday

The Little Miss and my cousin's daughter Carla. Uncanny family resemblance I think, taking into account that there is a 13 year age difference.

This photograph was taken on The Little Miss' birthday this year. The Cabbage Patch kid she is holding used to be mine. I passed it on to Carla who kept it all these years and handed her back to The Little Miss with some new clothes to dress her in. Never say we don't recycle in our family.

Join Deanna for Two for Tuesdays. And please say a prayer for little Tuesday today.

Monday 1 September 2008

Mamma Mia! I just can not stop singing old ABBA songs.

Saw the movie on Friday night. Yes, that explains everything. All on my own - loved it.

We had the nanny to babysit for Friday night but H had a crises at work and had to work late. So I made a quick decision to just go and see if I can get a single ticket for Mamma Mia and go and see it on my own - no time to try and find a friend. The movie started in South Africa on Thursday so the theatres were very full. But I got the last empty seat in the house - 4 rows from the front, and had a blast! I really can not remember when last I've enjoyed a movie this much. I am after all a 70s and 80s child.

What added to the fun was doing it on my own, at 8 in the evening on a Friday night - date night! I bought the chocolates I like, not what H generally buys and we both sort of like, I bought the cooldrink I like most and not our compromise drink that we both sort -of like (we share) and sprinkled the seasoning I like on my popcorn (plain salt). I had my very own kiddies combo.I laughed as loud as I liked, didn't care a hoot who thought what of me. FUN in capital letters!

After the movie I met up with the dear hubby who took me out for a quick dinner and I irritated him to bits as I just could not stop talking about the movie, humming or whistling ABBA songs. In short, I have to take him to see it as well and I definitely have to own the DVD once it is released. And if you haven't seen it, girl, it's the best fun on the big screen since "My big fat Greek wedding".

Baby picture Sunday

I do not get the chance to do a baby picture Sunday (hosted by Debi) often, but today I have to do one, even if it's late. H's grandfather and step-grandmother is still living - he is 87 now but still fit and relatively strong.

The Boy's first visit to Great-granpa with Gramps and Dad (about 12 weeks old) - 4 generations of men.

And The Little Miss with Grammy, me and Great-gran.