I cannot believe we have gotten this far already.
I never thought we would reach a Blunder Week in the high forties, and now they seem to be slipping by faster than ever.
Slow down slow down, is what I want to say to the time.
I have not soaked every moment up enough yet.
Soon she will be big, and I will be longing for the days when she was small.
I watch her edge her way along furniture, walls, or between the next inanimate object, and me and wonder how she grew so tall.
How did she get so many teeth?
On the one hand, they never seem to end, but on the other, suddenly she has a mouth full of them.
I know this because sometimes she will stick my finger in her mouth and bight down.
Come to think of it she has been bighting me more than usual of late.
I wonder what that means.
Should I be concerned about it?
Oh God so many questions.
For example, is my child the only child who flings her food across the floor, only to pick it up five minutes later and put it in her gob?
I wonder what I used to think about before her.
Chasings is still one of her favourite games this week. Closely followed by look, how well I can throw my toys across the room, and how fast can I pull everything off the shelves.
Big bear has largely been ignored, which is probably to his relief; given most of their interactions involve her pulling his nose off and laughing, or swatting him over as she crawls by.
The tunnel under the dining room table is one of her favourite places to play. Probably because it is almost too small for mummy to climb through, and where else better to hide.
Food wise the cutie cute cute cute has picked it up a notch.
I swear to God she can scoff a banana quicker than I can.
I keep searching the kitchen floor to see where she has put it, but I find nothing.
Accept one afternoon this week when she decided to go banana skating.
For anyone who is not familiar with the concept, basically, you rub a banana all over the kitchen floor to make the surface all slippery and sticky, and then you slide around while eating the fresh fruity remnants.
However as good as bananas are, grapes would have to be her favourite food over the last seven days.
Closely followed by daddy’s cherry tomatoes from the garden, cucumber, and anything in mummy’s hand.
I tried her with egg again, but she is not a fan.
Therefore, this week we are going to hide it in some pork paddies, and give it to her that way.
Oh yes, and pork is a winner, while fish is still out in the cold.
This week has been a real tag team effort in terms of timing and task management.
I have never spent so much time away from Little.
Luckily, we have super daddy to take care of the details.
Thanks for being so supportive honey.
Monday morning started with our traditional buffet breakfast on the kitchen floor.
However because a certain mama could not be assed blending up Little’s oats, we discovered she is ready to eat them like a grown up.
The problem is now, how do I get away with blending mine, and not hers.
I hate the texture of porridge, and have never been able to stomach it.
Ordinarily I would avoid it, and just stick to toast, but things they are a changin’ and I need to adjust accordingly.
The morning plodded along, indifferent to my wishes.
Before I knew it, Emily was down for a nap, Michael was out the door for a swim, and I was still trying to catch up on the very late running previous week’s blog.
Later that afternoon our friend Jo came over to finally, pick up the cradle she had so generously lent us when Little was first born.
Thanks again Jo, we could not have lived without it.
I had not realised how much space that thing had been taking up in our room, but boy oh boy I am glad to see it gone.
In some ways I am pleased it took her so long to come and get it, because for a while there I was not ready to let go of the idea of having another sprog.
As the weeks have turned into months, Michael and I have found a way to meet in the middle, and be comfortable with having the one cutie cute cute cute.
We love you Little.
Somehow, we have both softened our opposing points of view, and found an agreeable space without either of us having to compromise.
It is rather lovely actually.
Tuesday morning saw me sneak like a mouse out of the house just as the sun rose in order to implement operation colour.
As it stands, western medicine has nothing to bring to the table regarding my cataracts, so I have turned to the east in search of relief.
It is not so much that I am hopeful, but rather I am desperate.
It is exhausting.
To be honest, I am not expecting any change, as I have forgotten what it is like to see without sixteen layers of cling film across my lenses.
The bright blue of an autumn sky lives somewhere deep within my imagination rather than a memory.
What I would not give to be dazzled by the visuality of a yellow daffodil, a red rose, or a purple jacaranda tree, instead of everything hurting all the time.
The blur is mind boggling, and leaves me feeling lonely and trapped behind a frosted glass wall, Therefore whatever the very talented Dong, my acupuncturist says, and I will follow.
In other words, I am willing to give up wine, chocolate, and possibly sex, if it means gaining an opportunity to improve my current condition.
Meanwhile Dong, the acupuncturist examined me, and then spoon-fed me the first part of our game plan to wipe these bad boys out.
I obediently, and almost weak with relief, hopped on the table, where to the untrained person, he stuck needles in places which seemed to have no bearing on the symptom what so ever, however in accordance with eastern medicine, it made perfect sense.
His holistic approach fits with my personal philosophy, and even if this does not yield the results we an are aiming for, I am bound to feel more healthy and alive for it regardless.
Meanwhile daddy took Emily to her first playgroup meeting, where from all reports she had the most amazing time.
She danced and rattled her bells while the bigger kids sang their songs, she played with blocks, big trucks, some other stuff, and had a morning tea of fruits and vegetables at the table like the other kids.
Michael said he had to keep discretely picking up the food she threw, just so she would not climb down and get it the way she does at home.
I know I am teaching her bad habits by being so relaxed about that stuff, but I do not see the point in getting all uptight about it now.
Her food phobia stage will surely kick in soon enough, and I will be wracking my brain about how to get her to eat anything, rather than the other way around.
So to my mind, she may as well be fed up good and proper now, because who knows how long we have before the next phase.
Later that afternoon when I asked her what she did at playgroup, she told me cucumber.
Michael says it was better than he thought, and she seemed to get a lot more out of it than he was expecting.
Whether or not they go back is still to be seen.
Have I mentioned we were not intending to do playgroup either?
I suspect this might be like mums and bubs all over again, and look how well that worked out.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing at home while daddy went for a swim and ran errands.
After he arrived home, they went to the park so I could get a workout in, and finish the still late running blog from the previous week.
Wednesday morning was yet another early start. Thankfully, I had gotten out of the house the day before without waking Emily, and miracle of all miracles managed it again.
Miss sleepy head stayed in bed until after 7:00AM for the second day in a row.
Once again, I found myself in the city, and back on the acupuncture table. More strange needles and more Chinese philosophy for me to wrap my brain around.
I felt ridiculous as I kept asking the same question, but in different ways over and over again.
What do you mean I have to avoid salty foods, I asked Dong for the thousand time.
I grew up looking at food from a nutritional standpoint of five food groups, calories, and nourishing value. Whereas the eastern way of thinking leans more toward the elements and characteristics of food, and how it interacts with an individual’s constitution at any given time.
I headed home with a somewhat vague list of what I could and could not have, and presented it to Michael. Whereby he immediately went out, and bought a shitload of the things I could have, and has not stopped cooking them for me since.
You are the best husband honey.
I thought he might roll his eyes about it, but he did the opposite.
It turns out that he too has noticed me struggling lately, and had not said anything.
I know his concern is purely for me, and my welfare. Unlike me, he does not question what we will do.
He does not worry that he will leave if things go in a darker direction, whereas of course I question it. Even if just for a moment.
As I said, we know this is a long shot, but at this point, I have nothing to lose.
So let me just say there is a lot of pork and radish in my diet at the moment.
While Michael did the groceries and went for a swim, Emily fell into our afternoon routine of a long lunch, playing on the lounge room floor and an indulgent swim in the clamshell pool before dinner.
Thank God, Michael does the bulk of the night shift, because I seriously do not think I could cope otherwise.
Thursday morning I somewhat reluctantly dragged my tired ass out of bed careful not to wake the baby.
5:30AM is too early for little girls to be awake.
And acupuncture on a daily basis is strangely intense.
I nearly cried with happiness as I quietly slid out the door, because that is when it happened.
The sweet spot;
The sun was beginning to stretch its rays over the horizon, turning the sky from black to a dark smoky blue grey in preparation for the day.
The trees and shrubs were still dark and shadowy on the edges of the dimly lit path.
But there it was a definite distinguishable line between the footpath and the grass.
Oh my God! How long had it been since I had seen that?
For far too long everything has been too glary or too dark, and there has been no sweet spot.
But here it was the sweetest of all sweet spots, a contrast between one thing and another, rather than everything a painful blur.
The release of pressure was physically palpable as I strode up the street with speed and confidence.
Getting to the station had not been this easy in for what seemed like forever.
I had not realised the physical pain and strain I had been under, until it had been taken away.
I began to wonder how much of my confidence and exhaustion had been tied up in my ailing vision, as opposed to how much of it had been as a result of motherhood.
Here I was thinking I am setting a shit example for Little, and being a terrible mama, when maybe all along it has been something else entirely.
The possibility of this began to unfurl in my mind as I watched the sun become brighter and brighter.
After all, it would make more sense.
What a shame it could not stay dawn for a little while longer, I thought as the train took me closer to the city.
Thursday was a slow day at work, but at least I knew Little was having a good day.
She and daddy went to the zoo again.
This time they saw the seal show, which by the way is excellent according to Michael. Then they visited the elephants that were having a bath, which was also excellent. Michael said he had never seen a baby elephant completely under water before, and it was hilarious to see its little trunk surreptitiously snake its way out of the water for some air, and then go back down just as a periscope might.
What was even more extraordinary is the mummy elephant also completely submerged herself under water.
I thought they just splashed water up over their backs with their trucks like in the documentaries.
Emily was not quite sure what to make of the emus, but who does. While she took a great interest in the gorilla, and the bush turkey who had lunch with them.
Michael said she did a really good job at sitting on the picnic blanket without wandering off.
I am guessing she must have been more hungry than curious, otherwise she would have happily chased after the birdies if daddy had let her.
I got home that afternoon to a very happy baby.
I was not sure who was more excited, her or me. I have never seen her crawl so fast across the lounge room to the gate.
What a way to be welcomed back, I thought as I hefted my backpack off my shoulders and let it hit the floor with a thud.
As a part of my training regime, I have been adding a series of one-kilogram sandbags to my pack as a way of increasing the load while I walk too and/or from work over the bridge.
I think at the moment it weighs about ten or eleven kilos when packed with everything else.
A stronger more comfortable bag is top of my wish list at the moment.
It was so hot that we had to go for a swim. By we, of course I mean Emily.
She is a big girl now and goes in the clamshell pool by herself.
I sat diligently and watched her like a hawk from the edge.
Even the colour of the clamshell plastic was brighter than it had previously seemed, and Emily’s beautiful pale skin stood out beautifully against the watery backdrop.
What a pleasure it was to sit there and see her little frog leg figure playfully move around the perimeter.
She occasionally put her face under, but it was always an accident, and always ended up in tears and a coughing fit.
I have no idea how to teach her to swim, let alone close her mouth under water.
I am hoping experimentation and experience will show her, but who knows.
Friday morning I did not escape without waking the baby.
In fact she and daddy were downstairs were before I was.
It is probably just as well, because I had completely forgotten to organise myself the night before, so chances were if she had not already been awake and ready to play at 5:30AM then I would have woken her.
It turned out to be another quiet day at work, which is frightening in terms of the bank balance, but I am trying to breathe through my fear and face up to the situation at hand.
Something will come along, it always does.
I simply do not know what it is yet.
However, I am on tenterhooks as I wait and I watch for something to appear on the horizon.
Michael attempted to take Emily Kate to story time, but she fell fast asleep on the way, therefore he simply turned around and came home again.
The poor little thing refused to nap earlier, so missed out on seeing her friends.
Apparently she was a walking accident waiting to happen because she was so tired, and kept bumping her head, jamming her fingers, and generally being uncoordinated.
Although she had slept for over two hours in the middle of the day, Michael said she had a strange afternoon, and was not quite herself.
Nothing another solo swim did not relieve, all be it temporarily, but it was lovely to have her fast asleep by 6:00PM.
Saturday morning I got up with her, as we had not had buffet breakfast together all week.
By 6:37AM we were in the kitchen eating grapes, and were still their at 8:51AM when daddy came down.
I managed a lame ass workout, which I can only hope is better than nothing, although I seriously doubt it, before we headed out to a local childcare centre, which was upgrading their stuff. They had literally dumped loads of free toys and things out on the footpath for anyone to collect.
As I stood on the sideline talking to another mum, while Emily played in the dirt at my feet, we discovered that she ran a different playgroup.
However when I introduced her to Michael, and explained that he was a stay home dad, and she should talk to him about the merits of her gathering she completely ignored him, and continued to focus on me, as though I were the decision maker, and he was my handbag.
I have a funny feeling we will not be gracing her group with our presence.
We scored a tree swing, six kid’s chairs, and two matching plastic dolls houses, which we will take the best of each and turn it into one.
At least I think that is the plan.
I can only assume Michael will not be making Little a dolls house after all, but who knows.
I will find the time to broach that subject later.
I had thought he was going to build her table and chairs also, but again…
When I told him about the possible pillage, his first thought was a table and chairs, which is why I have surmised he is not in a carpentry mood.
Six chairs might sound excessive, but when you factor in the possible guests for a tea party, there really are not too many chairs left over.
We will need one for Little of course, and daddy, maybe mummy, and naughty dolly, which leaves two more for any surprise guests.
It also makes it easier to have Emily’s friends over, because this way they will all have a chair.
When we returned, Michael snuck off for a swim and to run some errands, while Emily had a sleep.
Mummy squandered her time doing who knows what, and then spent the afternoon feeling guilty about it.
I never know what to do with my time when I have it.
Do I get a quick workout in, read a book, do some yoga, work on the business website, clean the house, or write this blog?
There are just too many things, which need to be done all at once.
Oh my God the overwhelm!
After cutie cute cute cute woke up, we had lunch, and spent another hour playing in the kitchen.
She was so good in that she ate exactly what I ate without my mushing it up.
Granted it was hard work for her, but she kept at it.
We had spaghetti bolognaise with rice instead of pasta.
Pasta is one of the many things, which is off my menu at the moment, so we are having to seriously rethink our culinary creativity.
I am afraid this means the next cake to come out of café meg will be for Little’s birthday, and not before.
Although after watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the other night, I am feeling the pressure to start practicing now so I can make the perfect sweet sugary symbol to celebrate the anniversary of baby girl’s birth.
I would consider cake-decorating classes, but we all know I am a lost cause in that department.
I had planned to take Emily to the good park as promised.
She had asked us to take her while coming home in the car from the day care centre if we could play park please.
Yep, remember those three syllables, which sounded a lot like breakfast from a few weeks back? Well we finally figured out what they were.
But of course, they were play park please. I mean how could they be anything else.
Sometimes mummy and daddy are so slow on the uptake.
Whenever we decode something she is trying to say, she breaks into a big smile and a happy sound, which is how we know we have cracked it.
Then we repeat it back and forth a few more times just to be sure.
Now if only we could figure out nangnangnangnang we might begin to get somewhere.
Sometimes we think it means yum, but that is only when she is sitting in her chair eating something delicious. What does it mean for the rest of the day?
Ka has gone missing, but ssssss vvvvv ffff and thhhh have all made an appearance.
Mamamamammama still does not always mean mummy, but we are getting somewhere.
I rang Michael to let him know where we could be found, but given he was only fifteen minutes away he said that he would take baby girl to the park instead.
However I had already strapped her in the pram, and she had waited so patiently while I got organised, that I did not want to keep her stationary any longer.
I was a little apprehensive about taking her so far, and across so many unpredictable roads with the pram, but it was just too humid to carry her. At least that is what I told myself in order to justify taking her in that way.
I could sense Michael was not overly keen on my doing it, but at least he was not completely against it as he has been.
Raindrops, I just have to keep reminding myself faith comes in raindrops.
As I wheeled her up the skinny path toward our front gate, and practically bounced from one pole to another, I realised perhaps Michael was right in being apprehensive at my pram pushing abilities.
So much for the pram and I being Zen, I thought as we bumped up a step.
Sorry sweetie, I called to Emily as we continued to weave from one driveway to another.
Getting it together was proving difficult. Not to mention how heavy the pram felt. Now what was that about?
Granted baby girl had felt heavier each time I had picked her up lately, but surely not that much heavier.
This was craziness I tell you.
As arranged with my husband, I began to walk around the block, just as we had done when Emily was first born, and I was desperate to learn how to push the pram by myself.
It only took eleven months, but finally this was my first solo trip around the block with our wheels.
Hmmmm, this is harder than I thought, I thought as I cautiously pushed the pram down the hill, and felt my left hand wheels hit the grass.
Now this certainly was not a part of the plan.
I had hoped since having my good seeing day on Thursday that maybe things were looking better, but all these shadows were doing my head in.
Still, the main thing was we were out in the pram, and it was not impossible.
So down the hill, up the hill, around the corner, down another hill, turn into the park with the lumpy pavement, and start the whole process again.
By the third lap, I had this thing down, and was beginning to pick up speed.
I do not imagine it is a very long block, but goodness it takes us longer than I care to admit.
Thankfully, we did not run into anyone or anything. Not even those stupid little green electrical boxes positioned to the side of the footpath.
When we met daddy, he took over, and they went to the good path as discussed earlier in the day.
He returned an hour or so later with one very dirty baby girl in tow, just as they had been instructed.
Do not come home until she is filthy, I had said as I kissed him good-bye.
She had done so much climbing, first up to the top of the castle, then down the bottom of the castle, up the slide, down the slide, and all over the place.
Michael said she did so many new things on her own, and is learning to climb down with her bottom first, which is much safer than the traditional faceplant option.
The only reason they came home is because there were too many big kids disregarding Emily, and stepping over her instead of waiting their turn.
Michael said most of the parents were really good with their kids, and kept reminding them to watch out for the baby’s fingers, and so on. However, a couple seemed oblivious to their children’s behaviour.
However, I guess you get that in any situation.
I can only hope that we teach Little to be mindful of others when in-group situations.
Our aim is to make madam butterfly bottom’s childhood as fun as possible, so with that in mind, I heated up the clamshell, and we put Emily in for a swim/bath.
Each day I let her swim alone, she is becoming more confident with the water, and her body within it.
Each day she moves a little more easily.
Each day she practices her standing up, sitting down, getting out, getting in, and most of all her splash splash splashing.
Whichever parent is not on pool duty that day is sure to get squirted with water at some point.
The trick is not to take it seriously. After all, it is only water, and everyone knows revenge is a dish best served cold.
Therefore just as letting Emily run rampant all over our bed as we tickle and giggle with her when we are putting on her pyjamas of an evening, this too has become a part of our routine.
So if anyone wants to send mummy a water pistol, I would be most appreciative.
My aim is terrible, whereas Michael’s is spot on.
Therefore, I need all the help I can get in this ongoing game of water warfare.
Thankfully, last night she was so tired she went down without a hitch.
Admittedly, she woke at 8:00PM and was restless.
Nothing Michael or I did was of any help, so we left her alone to sort it out.
Sure enough within five minutes, she had put herself back to sleep.
Now if only it were like that every night, we would all be less exhausted.
This morning it was my turn for a sleep in.
I am always amazed at how those few extra hours when one is not listening for the baby can make such a difference in the human factor.
It is 6:00PM on Sunday evening, and I feel amazing.
This morning we all pottered around the house.
Michael and Emily played while I nailed an endurance workout before daddy left for a swim and to run some more errands.
In the meantime, Emily had a monster more than two-hour nap, and nanny and Nicole came over to visit.
When Emily woke she was not particularly keen on visitors, and did not really warm to Nicole the way she has in the past, and did not warm to nanny at all.
In fact, baby girl spent much of her time in the kitchen having long lunch, and waiting for nanny to leave.
We think she must have been confused, because she talks to nanny over the phone all the time, but putting a physical body with the voice was too much for her to handle.
Well that and I forgot to explain to her we would have visitors when she woke up.
The moment they had gone, she started chattering away, and raced around the house like a mad woman making her hahahahahahah happy sound.
Shortly after my family had left, daddy came home and took Emily to the park near our house, where she climbed up the equipment by herself, and played with the steering wheel while standing up.
She is such a big girl now.
Apparently, she wanted to go down the slide by herself, but daddy drew the line.
After all, it is steep, and much taller than the one they were at yesterday.
When they arrived home, Emily and I had our first bath together before putting her to bed. Which is where she is now, crying herself to sleep.
I know that sounds terrible, but it is that tired whinge they get, so there is no point my going in to comfort her.
Although I think, I just heard the dummy hit the floor…
By God the amount of time, I spend hunting for that thing…
I guess that is my cue to leave.