20 April 2006 – almost 16 months
Gosh a year down the line and what a beautiful year. Kayla – alias Miss Chaos Factor – is simply beautiful. She is the happiest most content person I have ever come across and she is absolutely thriving. She is crawling now and started doing so in Feb. She is so fast now and so independent. She goes all over the house. She crawls up the stairs to leave our bedroom but hasn’t quite got the gist of coming down the stairs. She loves exploring all the rooms and all aspects of the rooms. One of her favourite activities is to pull all the magazines from the shelves and sit in a pile of print. This journey on the communication channel is so exciting. She is starting a few signs – bath, more, milk and understands many commands – blow bubbles, splash, clap hands. She clearly shows her displeasure by growling like urghurgh sort of noise.
We started Aquatots 2 months ago which she loves. She is confident in the water and wriggles around like a little tadpole. The Aquatots is basically teaching the children how to get in and out of the pool, how to float and I guess just how to be comfortable and as safe as possible in the water. We have signed up for the next classes so we’ll see what we learn next. We also do Kindermusik which is stimulation through movement, music, beats, textures, socialising. I chose these 2 activities because Kayla loves the water and music so much. She dances often when she hears music – just jigs her little body up and down and often sings in accompaniment as well.
She generally feeds really well but clearly spits out the food that she doesn’t like with a wrinkled face clearly showing her displeasure. She loves egg and I make her scrambled egg with herbs (basil, parlsey and oreganum) quite often. She also loves liquorice as you can see!
Memory did not in fact end up working for us but we have another angel instead. Lydia started with us last year May. She was the only lady I interviewed besides Memory and she got the job because when Kayla sneezed she leaned towards her and said “bless you baby girl”. Lydia is wonderful and loves Kayla very much. She has her own little boy – Thabo who is about 3 months older than Kayla. He is walking and talking quite a lot and is very sweet with Kayla. Often when he comes into the room Kayla gives a shout of joy and bolts over to him as fast as she can crawl.
I am more convinced that she is saying Dada with more understanding and tends to say Nana for Mama. Although for the last couple of days she has been saying more Mama noises.
She slept over at her Nan and Grandad’s 3 weeks ago because Doug and I were doing an adventure race. I was quite upset all night (although I did sleep through the whole night!) and she slept most of the night there. When she woke up in the morning she was apparently a little upset and kept on turning her little mouth down and there were silent tears running down her cheeks. But apparently by lunchtime she recovered her cheerful happy self. She made up for it the next night by waking up loads of times in the night – I guess to check we were still there.
She had a tummy bug a few weeks back for about 15 days and she seems to have fallen into a habit of waking up a few times in the night now looking for her bottle. She was doing that while she was sick I guess because she was hungry coz she didn’t want to eat much at mealtimes. She is still sleeping in our room in a camper cot. I am ready for her to move to her own room but we are still in negotiating stages with Doug over this.
She has been so healthy – only having a couple of colds and a tummy bug. I breast fed her solely until she started on solids at about 5.5 months. Then at about 8 or 9 months she started getting formula as well. We stopped breastfeeding at 12 months. She barely noticed we had stopped (although we were only doing a morning feed at that stage) but I definitely noticed. My breasts were very hard and sore for a few days and I was quite sad to stop.
We did start with the vaccinations and started them when she was 1 year. She had no funny reactions and was generally very brave with the injections. Kayla has a pretty high pain threshold and tends to only cry when she bangs herself hard. Shame, with learning how her body fits in space she falls and bangs herself and pulls things on top of herself regularly – poor pumpkin. That is the learning process though.
22 April 2006
My days are much slower but so full with this little girl. I haven’t been working since February and it has been so wonderful to have this rate opportunity. I don’t really miss the work – the money and sometimes the challenge perhaps – but not the stresses and the results of the work. So much time is spent on Kayla and this family and myself. Perhaps I should put myself first. It is Saturday today and Doug went off for the morning on a long cycle at Hartebeespoort Dam. Kayla was very restless last night and woke up about every 30 minutes or so from 22:00. So needless to say Mom was quite tired this morning. We woke up at 07:30 and had a shower and some tea. Then breakfast and then I tided the house and then we eventually made it out the house at 09:40. We only went to 3 shops – hardware, vegetable and fish shop and then back home again. She fell asleep in the car. I love watching her sleep. I wonder if she plays with her angels in her dreams. Then when Doug came home we had tea and made a fire. I read and watched my little daughter play with her toys in the lounge. She was putting the blanket over her head and squealing with delight. She also bangs things together and puts them in buckets and talks to them and gets this high pitched excited noise at times. It is priceless to watch. So much so that I put down my very good book and this rare time of reading during the day and sat on the floor with her and played. Her face just lights up.
She is like a blossom that attracts all the insects. At the shop this morning there were about 3 people who came immediately over to her with such purpose to be in her space I guess. She is so friendly and cute with them and so engaging. I am so blessed to have this child in my life – even if I did not get more than 3 hours consecutive sleep last night!!
07 June 2006 – 17.5 months
It is amazing and wonderful to watch her little personality develop. She is a happy child, content with others and by herself. She displays stubbornness – “stubbornness!” I say with disbelief, “it can’t be! Now where on earth would she get that trait from?” It is so rewarding watching her little thought-processes work. She climbs up the stairs from our bedroom very easily but not so going down. She was sitting on the floor in our room and found an empty toilet roll (no doubt from the dustbin she loves to go digging in). She was squealing with delight at her precious find. Now she couldn’t get it up the stairs coz she needed her hands. So the clever pixie puts the toilet roll one stair up then climbs up to meet it and puts it another stair up until she got to the top of the stairs. She squealed again in sheer delight and joy to have her precious find with her. I was in awe at her thought processes.
She learnt to point about 3 days ago. It is quite a cute sight to have this tiny little finger pointing at everything and the mouth saying “ba ba” to everything. Due to having gotten this pointing thing right she is now able to do the “more” sign which is a finger tapping the centre of the other hand.
She also understands to lift her arms up when we are taking off her clothes and to lift them up to put them in sleeves.
We are back at physio working on the walking. Di, as always, is so positive and fabulous with her. Kayla favours her left leg and doesn’t generally put too much weight on her right leg although she appears to be right-handed. She shows her stubbornness when trying to do the various exercises so needs to be distracted.
She is coming on beautifully with the swimming. We do quite a bit of back floating and today she floated so well. I hold her in front of me and look down into her face. I just see this little face with these little button eyes looking back at me. It nearly always tugs at my heart and as soon as she can she tugs at my costume. In fact I have had to change swimming costumes because she pulls so hard at my costume (heart!?) that I pop a boob out – lovely!
28 June – 18 months today
Wow a year and a half has gone by. Somehow 1.5 years seems significant. We had a couple of days with so much communication from Kayla – it was such fun and so exciting. She did the signs for bird, dog, more (lots of that), cat. She also got down the stairs (the 2 in the lounge) at Dave and Shirley and did it quite often. Sher loves “barping” our noses and laughs hysterically if she is given a fright with a LOUD barp or bark or something. She is quite “mummified” at the moment and likes to be near me and climbing on me and talking to me. She hasn’t wanted to go to Lydia but if Lydia comes to her without me being in the room then she is fine. She cries more now than she used to. It is like she understands a little more to show her dissatisfaction. We bought her a doll a few weeks ago which she enjoyed for a while – playing with its hands and nose and feet.
I made a bowl of jelly for her and put her out in the garden with no clothes on. She had a ball. At first she touched it quite conservatively and then just relished in it – the taste and feel and texture. She was sticking her head in the bowl and gasping with the coldness of it.
She is also trying to feed herself more now. She takes the spoon away from me but will allow me to dip the spoon on the bowl. It makes for longer and MUCH more messier feeding times. Sometimes I have to remind myself how important it is for her to do this and learn to feed herself coz I get impatient with my dirty clothes and how long it takes to have a meal. I am constantly reminding myself how blessed we are that she can do these things and keeps on learning. These things are not taken for granted.