Friday, February 29, 2008

ME time!

I am one of those lucky people who really genuinely enjoys her own company. I really rejuvinate when I get to have a couple of quiet hours where no work needs to be done and the kids are in bed and... Hubby is out! The thing is I like it on MY terms! Selfish I know but I make no excuse, its called ME time so there must be a certain selfish element to it!

This week Sean has been away. Since Tuesday. ME time has become Missing Sean time. He is not back til tomorrow! OK so he is working... earning our keep...but that is not the point, ME time ought to be on MY terms! Perhaps it is because I have not had much adult conversation for the last 3 days... and I have so many many words to get out. Sean will have no input for a few days when he gets back, other than 'hmmm' or 'mmhmm' or just 'mmmm'. On top of having to listen to me getting my words out, he will also have to listen to Shannon. Yup, she is a girl so also has LOTS of words to get out... believe me!

Jordan has discovered that it is easier to sleep than listen to his sister jabbering on (not even I can get a word in edgeways with that little motor mouth around!) and though he chats to me it is sort of along the same lines as my prediction for Sean - 'hmmm' or 'mmhmm' or just 'mmmm' - as well as aaaarrr, which is his favorite word at the mo! The difference is Jordan has NO idea what I am talking about (not sure if Sean actually ever does either come to think of it) so I tend to talk nonsense and therefore do not really get my words out!

Shannon had her teacher in stitches yesterday. She told her teacher that she had a baby in her tummy:
'Really?' asked the teacher,
'Yes,' says Shannon sincerely 'would you like to hold it?'
'Yes please,' says the teacher
'OK' says Shannon 'Just wait a minute while I pop it out!'

Shannon and I usually argue about which shoes she should wear to school, I want her to wear practical ones that she can climb and run in, and she wants to wear her pretty ones. Argument over... the monthly newsletter has just told us that shoes are unnecessary - children learn through all of their senses and feet count for the sense of touch too - and just get lost! YAY (for now... will have to rethink in winter!)

Jordan now weighs 5.3KG and is 57cm long (can't really call it tall as he is horizontal not upright!) Not surprising with the amount he eats, but I am fast running out of clothes that fit him!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A messy business

This weekend was... um... interesting, to say the least. On Friday our septic tank packed up which left us high and dry (literally) as we were totally unable to use our loos, shower, sinks or washing machine. Thankfully, Sean's hospitable brother and family came to the rescue and gave us the use of their grannyflat. So we spent the weekend in Hillcrest which turned out to be very nice.

On Monday the powers that be said they would sort out the tank, so we came home intending to spend the day here, having showered at Dean and Tracy's before we left. THE SMELL was APPAULING... Sean went to work and I went back to Hilcrest. Thankfully in the afternoon we got a call to say that all was clear and we could return home. YAY.

On the way home yesterday morning, Shannon, who had just woken up when we left (it was 6am) turned to me and said, in a very sleey voice, "Mom, I'm old" I said "well done, Poppet", for want of anything more intelligent to say, and in order to hide my mirth, and Sean cackled with laughter in the front seat - Jordan has relegated me to back seat travelling which means we are girls in the back and boys in the front! - I thought it better not to ask, so we are still in the dark as to why poor Poppet felt so old.

Today Jordan is 6 weeks old so we are off to the baby clinic for his jabs! Poor little man!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Hendry Correctional Centre for Wayward Children

Sean and I have become a little concerned over the volume of food our dear daughter fails to consume. For breakfast she has weetbix and generally does fairly well with that, then her lunch consists of a sandwich, a yogurt or cheese, and grapes or raisins. She usually eats half the sandwich! Supper is about a cup full of a wide variety of options from 'fun' foods to veggies! Whatever is on the menu takes between and hour and an hour and a half to finish and after half that time we end up feeding her! You can imagine the mild frustration as supper starts just after 5pm and finishes near bed time at 7! We have tried every trick we can think of to get her to focus better but to no avail.


Shannon now has a star chart. I have included on it things that she achieves fairly regularly like going to bed in her own bed rather than ours (!), and brushing her teeth before bed without being asked to (this activity is supervised), so that she can taste the success once in a while. Yesterday was day one. NO STAR FOR SUPPER. She did get the teeth, bed and this morning's breakfast ones, however, and is beginning to get the picture! I have roped in her teacher who will give shannon a butterfly stamp on her hand if she finishes her lunch which will then get her a star on her chart when she gets home. Amazing how important stars are to a 3 year old. Anyway, she also knows there are no treats unless she gets all her stars on first a daily (small treat) and then a weekly (bigger treat) basis.

I feel a bit like a tyranical dictator, everything Shannon does seems to have consequences in one way or another! Ah well, the theory is that strict parenting at this age develops well rounded, stable adults so here's hoping!

On a lighter note, this morning when we were getting breakfast ready, Shannon said she wasn't ready to eat just yet as she was still waiting for her supper to go down into her leg!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big Girl Bike

On Sunday night Sean came home from some friend's house with a handed down bicycle for Shannon. Said bike is about 2 years too big for her - her feet are a long way from the ground - but it comes with stabilisers so it's not too much of a problem. Not to mention I though it would take her a few weeks to get going on it before she would get adventurous and so give her time to grow a little.

It was not to be so. After school on Monday Shannon asked if she could ride her Big Girl Bike. So, with Jordan asleep in his pram we ventured onto the road outside the house. Shannon climbed up onto the saddle and did the half peddle forward half peddle back thing that I was expecting, as I have seen it many a time before in other little first time bike riders. Well, that lasted about 5 mins with me running alongside pushing with one hand and rotating her feet with the other. (I am quite sure I will feature on one of those funniest home video programs thanks to my rather amused neighbours!) and then this happened:

As you can imagine I was VERY proud of my clever little cyclist! There is a down side, however... she hasn't got the hand strength to operate the breaks. So, though we live on a flat road, my nerves were shot as she kept turning round near the steep driveways... with NO WAY OF STOPPING before hitting a car or garage door.

Yesterday, she had her first fall... getting off the bike! Her feet have a long way to go and I think she got a bit tangled! So, having convinced her to get back on for just a little bit longer in order to rid her of any fear, we came inside for milkshakes (and a little rescue remedy for Mom!) to make us feel better!

Perhaps we'll wait til Dad is around for the next bicycle outing!

Friday, February 15, 2008

5 years of Happily Ever After

As it turns out 5 years of marriage gets you... a piece of wood! For 5 years!? For all that work??? @!*%*#@! OK I realise it can be somthing fashioned from wood, but really! Wood! I am torn, however, because wood is the traditional 5 year anniversary gift, but there is a modern one (wood is obviously not good enough for some people!) which is silverware! Now that smacks of commercialism, which is one of the main reasons I don't like valentine's day! If you love them!!! Don't save all your love up for one day a year and then show it through materialism!!! People will develop issues!!! hmmmm... hang on...go ahead and develop some issues while I study, and then pay me lots of money to sort them out for you once I am qualified!

I, however, plan to remain issue free (they are not issues, Vanessa, they are points for consideration) and stick to tradition. If wood is tradition then wood it must be. In this vein I have decided to give Sean a tree. I think a money tree. Strategically placed in the house according to the laws of feng shui of course! (I never said I was entirely free of the Material Girl!)

Happy Anniversary Sean, I hope we have 50 more together!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That's just crazy!

This morning whilst waiting til it was time to leave for school, Shannon assumed the role of comedienne to keep us all entertained. In her effort to hold my attention she was leaping round the room doing 'business' and her 'work' and I wasn't to touch anything lest I break it or hurt myself. (!)

So having leapt off her stool and over the tape measure, trodden on my foot a few times and done 'tippy toes', which she learned at ballet, she proceded to look me levelly in the eye and say: "but I mustn't do this" (vigorous running on the spot while growling and flayling her arms around) "because that's just crazy". I suppose the rest of it is really sensible when you are 3!

Another of Shannon's Sensible Activities is launching herself from the couch onto the beanbag. (we do not normally encourage jumping on furniture but this was too good to resist!) What is even greater fun is to have Dad lying on the beanbag. I am sure they have a name for this in wrestling circles:

Over the weekend Shannon got out her paints and asked me if she could paint her hands so that she could make colourful handprint pictures. This is one of her favourite activities so we set up the table outside and left her to it. It never occurred to me that she would be into body art, but here is the result of Shannon's HAND painting:

Now, because it is a well known fact that subsequent children NEVER get photographed as often as first children I am making it my duty to ensure that a million or so pictures are taken of Jordan to match the million or so we have of Shannon. - note to self: buy bigger hard drive!

Here is the little man at 4 weeks old:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This one's a bit mushy!

So 5 years ago this week I was laying down the final preparations for our wedding! The funny thing is that part of me feels like we have been together for forever, while another part can't believe that 5 years of marriage have already been and gone.

So much has happened since - we lived in England then, it was not my favourite place to live, but we still had some great adventures. We had a baby girl in June 2004, then 6 months later we moved back to SA, amongst other things we ran an art printing business together, later we both discovered our own career paths to follow, (we also discovered that we both like to be the boss so for our sanity we sold the business!) I have finished a year of a psychology degree and Sean has emmersed himself in the world of steel fabrication, and the latest development is the birth of our baby boy. And life continues.

What I know for sure is that the one thing we can rely on in life is change... as well as death and taxes!... and something that keeps me grinning smugly is the fact that I can rest assured that I married the right man because through thick and thin our relationship gets stronger and we grow closer. Our change has always been for the better! Our family unit is complete now with our big girl Shannon and baby boy Jordan completing the picture.

The thing I've noticed as our family grows, is that family traditions develop...all by themselves. I am a big fan of family traditions if only for the chance that when the kids are grown up they will be able to reminisce about the positive influence and grounding constant of family that shaped their childhood experiences. I come from a BIG family... let me rephrase that... a HUGE family, and we grew up around eachother, with family holidays and get-togethers which are now very fond memories for me and which positively influenced my perspective of families. That is not to say that families do not come with their problems, dissappointments and tragedies, but what I do believe is that encouraging a positive sentiment regarding family helps us to pass on to the next generation the importance of our closest relationships.

So that is my goal with my family. I will try to make their foundations strong so that they can live functional, happy and successful lives, when I get it wrong it will always be with the best intentions, and let's face it, though I come very close... no one is perfect!

I wonder where we will be 5 years from now?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Sleep what?

Night 3! Damn that growth spurt... right in the middle of my experiment! So Jordan woke up every 2 hours for a feed. 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am. Roughly. Which seemed to me as though just as I was getting to sleep I was waking up again. So the sense of humour has failed again. Seem to be OK now but it is nearly the middle of the afternoon. Note to self: PLAN NOTHING when you have a 3 week old baby!

This is how my days usually pan out:

6:10am - groggily kiss Hubby goodbye as he leaves for work

6:15am - leap out of bed while Jordan is still content and dress Shannon, brush her hair and pack her school lunch (made at stupid o' clock by Sean before he left for work)

6:25am - tend to the screeching foodie who wants his breakfast, play plastic animals one handed with Shannon to distract her from distracting Jordan!

6:50am - put Jordan down and shower in record time

6:55am - get dressed

7am - tend to screeching foodie for second time

7:30am - gather things: 3yr old, 3 week old, car seat, school bag, check Shannon has shoes on (this is never a given even if we have put them on already)

7:40am - drive to school and drop off Shannon

8am - arrive home

This usually happens vaguely in this manner with one or two deviations depending on who is demanding what at what time. But, I am sad to say, this is where the military operation falls apart. Hence the note to self... just a reminder... PLAN NOTHING!

Yesterday I had a hugely productive day, I got most of a written assignment finished, chucked out a LOAD of junk (yes life laundry continues) that we seem to continually collect, tidied most of the house, did my 10 mins on The Treadmill AND tended to the needs of my precious baby boy, all before 2:15pm when I left to fetch Shannon from School.

Today, well, what you see is what you get. This post is the sum total of my day. Oh, except I did the dishes. My plan was to finish that assignment. Note to self: PLAN NOTHING.

Growth spurts and sleeping patterns

Of all the things I have to fit into my day, unfortunately blogging comes at the bottom of the list. It is a matter of sneaking off, as I have just now, with one little angel playing with her plastic animals and the other sleeping peacefully, for a little 'me time'! So here I am and I better be quick!

It seems that my little angels have syncronised their growth spurts! For the last 10 days or so Shannon has barely eaten a thing. Her lunch box comes home from school with half the lunch still in it, and the only other thing they get given is 2 marie biscuits in the morning and a yogurt in the afternoon. We then spend an hour trying to get a mouse sized portion of food down her neck at supper time and all the while wondering where she gets her energy from as it sure isn't from food! So, this week's a little different... no left overs! A peanut butter sandwich when she gets home and a tub of raisins at about 4pm. This is followed by a hearty supper of WHATEVER I give her... even veggie bake... with green bits (what is it with kids and green bits?) And Hyperactive Crazy Girl has turned into Sweet Helpful Angel (don't know if that is related but I'm hanging onto it as long as I can!) The only down side to all this is that since Jordan is ALSO having a feeding frenzy, it is exhausting keeping them both sustained at once!

Now, in a - perhaps vain? - attempt to get Jordan into a healthy sleep habit, I have moved him from his crib next to my bed to his cot in Shannon's room (Shannon was at least 3 months old when I dared to try this! She was also nearly 3 years old before she started sleeping through the night... NOT doing that again!)

The first night was a disaster! Jordan woke up every time I put him down and the 3 fitful hours I did sleep were sitting upright on the couch holding him! Imagine, if you will, the sense of humour failure yesterday! (Sean can help with details if anyone can't see it)

Last night, which was night number 2, we resumed the same sleep pattern we had before whch is 2 15-20 min feeds at around 12 and 4am... that I can handle...just. The only difference was that last night I put his crib in his cot and him in the crib! This is an on going this space!

OK 2 little angels are once again demanding my attention so I'm off... til the next time I find 2 mins to myself!