Wednesday, 31 March 2010

mar, 31st - this little piggy....

day 52:

According to our growth charts, Limi may discover that she has hands and feet at around this stage. This is a big deal because up until this point, eyes and hands have done their own thing: eyes looking in one direction, while hands move randomly in another (feet don't even feature!). If we have any hope that she will one day be the first girl to play for the national South African/ Australian/ English cricket team (depending on how good she that order :)...then hand-eye co-ordination is a necessary skill....okay well maybe not, in all cases!

The science says that: 'newborns are unaware that their hands and feet are part of their bodies. Most of the time, their hands are outside of their vision, and they are not even aware of them. To hot-house this hand-eye co-ordination, you should encourage them to grasp rattles.' The theory is that their automatic gripping reflex, will mean that they grasp and shake the rattle, look for the noise and then voila...see their own hand! You can then throw the rattle out of the window because their hands will become their new, most fascinating toy. Waving them in front of their face in amazement.

Well, hands have not been a problem, Limi discovered their chewability a few weeks ago and has been trying to gain control of them ever since. Not always she still often pokes herself in the eye or punches herself in the nose!

Feet on the other hand, have remained an out-of-vision enigma. This may be because for the majority Winter, they have been encased in fabric....not exactly enticing fascination. I have tried to encourage things with endless games of 'This Little Piggy', even making things more topical by Piggy 1, being a tie-dye, t-shirt selling, market-stall owner, Piggy 2, showing agoraphobic tendencies and Piggy 4, being vegetarian.....but this has only resulted in Limi looking on (whilst chewing on her favoured left fist) with mild interest.

But today....she made the great discovery! There was a definite moment of: 'Hey, I have a foot..hey there are two of them! And they have grabbable 'pigs'....Now I know what she was on about!' This was followed by some intense attempts to grab them. Hand-eye-foot co-ordination! (Painful to watch...but ridiculously cheered by myself when she a cheerleader-leaping-clapping sort of way!)

Anyway, we wait with anticipation for the next step.....discovering the double-whammy of fist/toe chewing. After that, we will start with some fancy, face-on, footwork training!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

mar, 30th - nursery rhymes...

day 51:

The good thing about babies is that they have no clue when you sing the wrong words. Once they reach 4 or 5 years old, I'm sure that they then tell you exactly when you've murdered 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' but at this stage I could sing 'Sizzle, Sizzle Little Car!' and it would make no difference to Limi.

Over the last 7 weeks, I've realised just how rusty I am on my nursery rhymes. Tunes that I used to be able to sing in my sleep (probably because I heard most of them in my sleep) now elude me and once I've committed to singing something like 'Three Blind Mice' (with a fully captivated Limi) I find that I really only know the start of it....and this is the same for most of the rhymes. In this instance, I reach the part of 'who cut off their tales with a carving knife' and realise that I have no idea what the next line is....resorting to some 'da, da, da, da, da, da, da-ing' followed by a resounding 'three blind mice' finale!

Limi doesn't seem to mind. But, it did prompt me to look up nursery rhymes (I figure that I have 4 years to brush up!) only to find that there is an added complexity these days. Nursery rhymes have now changed to be more politically correct. So, sending Limi off to nursery school singing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' is no longer acceptable. It is now 'Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep' or 'Baa Baa Happy Sheep'. I have no issue with teaching kids about happy farm animals...but rainbow sheep? This seems to me to be setting them up with unrealistic expectations and a D- in Biology. I think that I may just avoid 'Baa Baa' completely and stick with the environmentally unfriendly 'Wheels on the Bus'.

Alternatively, I could show Limi the following and then legitimately sing:
'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Sheep'

Monday, 29 March 2010

mar, 29th - do i need paws...

day 50:

So, while most of you are at work. I am watching small children and bears converse.

Limi: 'What's a bear?'
Pad-do: 'I'm a bear, I have four paws and a suitcase'
Limi: 'Do I have paws and a suitcase?'
Pad-do: 'Not sure...but you will need a BIG suitcase to carry all your stuff, paws are not really very useful, unless you're in the wilderness!'

What it sounded like to me was...

Limi: 'eeeh, ah, e'
Pad-do: ...........
Limi: 'noew,wftf, ooo' (I suspect that Limi may be Welsh!)
Pad-do: ....................

Sunday, 28 March 2010

mar, 28th - moving clocks...

day 49:

Aah, the impact of the Summer moving clocks...this is bathtime!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

mar, 27th - 7 weeks...

day 48:

We're lucky to have two mums who are pretty handy with a knitting needle (or two I guess) in an effort to spark a shameless Knit-off, here is Limi at 7 weeks (today) modelling her groovy, knitted outfit from her Aussie Nan. Eat your heart out Gap! (Evidence of her SA Lola's talents can be found on day 45.) Let the plain..pearl race begin!


Hand crafted is always best! Loving the booties!

Friday, 26 March 2010

mar, 26th - passport pics..

day 47:

Don't we all hate our passport pics...bad hair...terrible lighting. Hopefully Limi won't hate hers. She didn't really have much of a choice on this first one! The mohawk though, is a look that definitely stands the test of time.

Although, there are plenty of rules when it comes to passport pics:
- straight on
- grey/ cream background
- neutral expression
- no hats
- no glasses

Babies can get away with angles, closed eyes and any expression! So basically as long as you vaguely get them from the front and in focus, it's acceptable.

I found this great online company that lets you take your own pic, upload it, and they then send you a correctly formatted version -
So at least I could wait until Limi had her eyes open!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

mar, 25th - 6 week check...

day 46:

It was Limi's 6-8 week assessment today. She is 6wks + 5 days. These checks are mainly to ensure that she is developing both physically and neurologically. So, what did the doctor check:

  • Her fontanelles - these are the two soft spots on her skull, one at the back and one at the front. The one at the back usually closes by 6 weeks (hers has) while the one at the front can take up to 18 months. Dr Elliot said hers looks fine and pointed it out so at least I now know where it is.
  • Shape and size of her head - did I ever mention that we have big heads in our family (which was most evident when we had to get the large riding hats as children...still scarred). Anyway, Limi's shape is fine (especially if she wants to one day rock the Sinead O'Connor look). Although she started with an above average sized head (on the chart), today's measurement appears to indicate that her head is shrinking in relation to her body....must be taking after A.
  • Eyes - first using an ophthalmoscope to look closely at her eyes (no problem) and second check was for her to follow the doctor with her eyes as she first moved from centre to her left and then right. We should have practised that one....she did it no problem...but only once we could get her to concentrate on the doctor instead of the stethoscope, light, curtain, hand, me...
  • Heart - a cold stethoscope to check the rhythm & her breathing...all fine.
  • Abdomen - the shape and colour and then a cold handed gentle probing....all good.
  • Hips - a couple of manoeuvres to check the joints and symmetry...obviously the baby yoga is working
  • Her Bits - all fine.
  • Weight - she is now 4.17 kgs...a bit below average for a girl but well within normal
  • Startle Reflex - easily proved by the cold stethoscope. Although, since we have a very brutal door buzzer at home, her noise startle reflex is somewhat dulled.
  • Smile - that one's easy.....she's happy to give strangers her most dazzling smile and doesn't reserve any special treatment for family and friends.
  • Strength - she impressed on this one (aaah, the training that we did this morning paid off). Holding both hands, Dr Elliott gently lifted her off the bed to see how strong her neck has become.
So, onwards and upwards on the growing.....

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

mar, 24th - pom poms....

day 45:

Limi kitted out today in hat knitted by Lola (her granny)!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

mar, 23rd - mornings...

day 44:

Mornings are a favourite time....they are a LOT earlier than they used to be but very entertaining.

This morning she was impersonating her bunny rattle! I think that it's a good likeness....

Monday, 22 March 2010

mar, 22nd - dreaded forums....

day 43:

Some good advice.....avoid pregnancy and parent (P&P) forums whenever possible. In fact, I'd say avoid any forum that brings out the judging public but, this 'preaching' element, seems especially virulent in P&P forums.

I first came across them when pregnant and innocently Googled 'pregnancy chicken liver pate'. Some poor, pregnant comrade had mistakenly eaten chicken livers and then made the even bigger error of asking for opinion. Well the responses would have had her scared witless....I was, for even thinking about liver pate.

Another favourite forum topic is pregnancy and certainly gets a whole bunch of (mainly) women fired up!

Anyway, since having Limi, I try to remember that there are plenty of places in the world where children survive very well without two different types of pram mattresses (one for outside and one for inside...honestly), a bath/room/cot thermometer, mothers who regularly eat food off the taboo food list and a plethora of medication. The 'preaching' may mean well...but it can in many cases just appear to be overkill. So now, when I can't avoid the opinion of 'yummymummy52' and 'mom2B4sammie', I can at least start to recognise the opinion of someone who would avoid popping into that cafe for a relaxing coffee due to having 'packed' the wrong pram mattress that day.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

mar, 21st - rubber duck....

day 42:

A video from bath-time a couple of days ago. Limi now loves her bath and sits in a trance....but wails loudly when we pluck her out. She hasn't discovered splashing yet and still grips our hand tightly throughout. Loves her ducks though....

Saturday, 20 March 2010

mar, 20th - 6 weeks.....

day 41:

6 weeks today!!

And we wonder why strangers keep saying: 'what a cute boy!'

An unsuspecting Limi.....

First assault...a zerbet to the tummy....

Second assault...tummy tickles!!! we know that you're ticklish......we will show no mercy!

Finally, cuddles from Sangeeta!

Friday, 19 March 2010

mar, 19th - fighting sleep...

day 40:

When your days are so full and exciting...sleep can get in the way!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

mar, 18th - meerkat...

day 40:

She's becoming very cheeky already! This is her best meerkat impression. Today, we also spoke to Madala (Dala - her grandfather) on Skype for his birthday. Can't wait until the grandparents can read her bedtime stories. She is going to be so freaked out when she meets them in 3D!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

mar, 17th - size 0....

day 39:

In fact, size triple 0! She's now the same size as Nicole Richie.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

mar, 16th - sleep routines...

day 38:

Everyone seems to have an opinion on getting babies to sleep through the night! It's really no surprise that babies are nocturnal creatures since they learn their sleeping patterns in the womb....they fall asleep when you are moving i.e. walking around during the day, rocking them from side to side (have you ever wondered why pregnant girls develop a distinctive's not pregnant-waddling but human-rocking) and they wake up when you keep still i.e. sleep like a stone at night. So, my advice for having a baby who pops out with the correct day/night body-clock it to start working night shifts, attend all night raves or sleep in a hammock when pregnant!

Other advice comes from the infamous Gina Ford, who recommends a military schedule....which means that you have to sacrifice any life until your baby is fully regimented and give up any thoughts of a holiday (where the baby sleeps) for the first 4 years. (Her funny solution for not being able to leave the house, for fear that you cannot put the baby to sleep in exactly the same position every 3 hours, is for everyone to come and visit, besides going stir crazy from cabin-fever, none of your maternity colleagues would also be able to do Gina Ford or you would all be stuck at home....I guess there's always Facebook chat!) When discussing her views with the aforementioned maternity colleagues, we were appalled at Gina's rule that there should be no eye contact during the night-time feeds..not because we thought it too cruel, but because it suggested that we should be making eye contact during the day....this is when we catch up on email!!!)

Then, there's the Baby Whisperer (not my BW, a different one), who supposedly suggests a gentler approach, but it is essentially still Gina Ford just disguised in pink!

At the opposite side, are lackadaisical parents, who's approach is: anything-goes-let-the-baby-dictate. You can spot these types from their haggard, aged-5-years-in-5-weeks appearance.

We are trying for something in the middle! Implementing our own routine that takes suggestions from them all but hopefully works for us. This is our approach:

1. Work with the routine that Limi has already naturally fallen into.
2. Still encourage her to fall asleep with noise around (at least during the day). This is setting her up for future back-packing adventures...
3. Create a night-time routine that can hopefully travel: bath, feed, sleep soundtrack and sleepy giraffe's watering-hole sounds..all of which can be packed up and transported! Will lead into bedtime story-telling/reading later on.
4. Still let her sleep in a variety of 'beds', from her cot, to the pram bassinet...hopefully allowing for easy transition to the travel cot and later on, to being able to sleep on long-haul flights (something that I wish that I had been trained for from a baby!)
5. Not get too stressed out by the whole thing......she's still very small....and very cute when she wants to chat at 3am!

Anyway, that's the plan! Any recommendations to the above are most welcome. Leave comments below!

Monday, 15 March 2010

mar, 15th - thank you generous people...

day 37:

Limi has received the most amazing gifts from family, friends and colleagues. She has been absolutely spoilt with even the postman asking after her (well he has been carrying those parcels for weeks now!) So, a huge thank you to the VERY generous people around us!

I am slowly capturing her in all the many beautiful things! The latest parcel from Sarah and Mark, was something to remind her of her Australian side (although the daily 'burps' do that too :)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

mar, 14th - mother's day...something that used to happen to other people!

day 36:

So, Mother's Day used to be something that happened to our Mothers...i.e. one of those days that you mark in red in case you forget to call your mum..send flowers...write cards and generally tell her how much you appreciate her. At the start of the week I was even doing the 'I must remember Mother's Day' chant! Until, I realised....that this year it's all about me...(well me and about 2 billion other women!)

Since A. is new to this and Limi is not up-to-speed on online shopping yet, I thought that it was worth reminding him. So, A & Limi took me out for lunch followed by a fab stroll in the sunshine. But, the best gift of all was a 2 hour lie-in...bliss!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

mar, 13th - 5 weeks...

day 35:

5 weeks today!

Friday, 12 March 2010

mar, 12th - baby whisperer...

day 34:

Limi has given us a really gentle introduction to far....which probably means some interesting teenage years to come. But since birth, the only time that she really cries is when she seems to have nappy-filling-pain (oh, and that first bath!). I took her to see the midwife, who helpfully said that she could weigh her (maybe we could compare before nappy and after nappy weights?) but in terms of the stomach pain, to make an appointment with the doctor. I then took her to the doctor (day 30) who said to give her a week and see how she progressed. Well, a week is a long time when you have 11 nappies a day to deal with and the majority cause a bit of pain! So, I decided to look for alternatives! My yoga teacher had recommended a chiropractor...

A chiropractor! My opinion of chiropractors is limited to one experience in the late eighties where it was all about turning you upside down and cracking-your-bones-until-they-squeak manipulation....not something that appeals for a 4 week old baby. But since my yoga teacher was talking from experience and this particular surgery deals with babies and digestive issues I thought that I would give them a try!

Well...I've found the baby whisperer, his name is Stephen and he operates in West London! We took a niggly Limi in to see him. After trying a few different 'holds' to no affect I handed her over and within 30 seconds she became a rag-doll and went to me what button to press. Not only that..Stephen started chatting to Limi and within about 2 minutes A. & I were ready to put our heads back and sleep (a talking lullaby). As we struggled not to nod off, he regaled us with a story of a family who brought in their 8.5 month baby who had never slept for more than 1.5 hours at a stretch. At the start of the consultation, he was talking to the baby to calm her down and looked up to see both parents passed out on the couch....they slept for the full hour. So really, he's the people whisperer!

We managed to stay awake to see some of the gentlest 'manipulation' I have come across (to the point where A. thinks that Stephen was just holding her on his lap for 40 minutes). He assessed Limi and found that she had some tightness in her left shoulder and right hip. It is common for infants to have tightness/ misalignment as a result of their origami time in the womb or travels into the world. This tightness usually disappears over time as the baby 'unravels' him/herself. Anyway, with some gentle manipulation this unravelling can usually be speeded up. The receptionist said that after amazing results with their first babies, parents have even been known to come passed with their second on the way back from the hospital. I can definitely see the benefits!

By the time he handed her back to us, Limi was in a trance-like state. She's generally a very chilled out baby but this was on a different level...I imagine a bit like having one of those 6-handed, head to toe massages (yes, they do exist..use Google!) Since then she's been even more laid-back and most of the pain seems to have gone. I have another appointment in ten days. This time, I'm taking my pillow!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

mar, 11th - perspective....

day 33:

Everyone who comes to visit, seems surprised at how tiny Limi is! So, I thought that I would try and put her into perspective....

She is about the length of two bottles of wine....

Or, two whisks, if you're a cook...

Smaller than her largest soft toy....

With a head about the length of an iPhone...

And body, the length of a magazine....

So, now you know!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

mar, 10th - imaginary baby yoga...

day 32:

And so the activities was our first Mums & Me yoga session. 9 Girls + 9 Babies + Instructor + flexible Teddy-bear (for instructor's substitute baby) = lots of noise, mats, rattles, bare breasts (& bottles too), towels, coats, snowsuits & baby modes of transport. Lucky we have a big room!

The first 40 minutes are for the mums. The babies lie on blankets at the front of the mat and watch with trepidation as their mother's try to recall the muscles and flexibility they had before they carried a bowling ball around for 9 months. The last 20 minutes or so, is mainly yoga for the babies. They do gentle stretches (aided by their mother's) and accompanied by some melodic rhymes. Although there are also a couple of exercises where we use the babies as mini dumb-bells. The babies seem to love it...with some even giggling from start to finish...obviously these are the more advanced babies who can see the ridiculousness in the situation.

This week I didn't get to see how Limi enjoyed her yoga as she once again slept through an entire outing...(which made me look quite silly when I was singing and stretching my imaginary baby) week I'm taking along a teddy-bear just in case!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

mar, 9th - can't get enough...

day 31:

Limi is starting to recognise the click of the shutter on my camera....i'm thinking that her first words may in fact be 'no paparazzi!'

Monday, 8 March 2010

mar, 8th - an apple a day....

day 30:

So, it seems that I've found the secret to getting a doctor's appointment on the same day. Usual scenario wake up feeling horrendous, call the doctor's surgery, only to be told that all the appointments for that day are full and you can either try again tomorrow, by calling in the morning, or get an appointment in two weeks time. Not very helpful unless you can predict your illnesses in advance (which is usually called bunking-off-work -to-attend-Wimbledon!) In the past, it was easier to get an reservation at The Fat Duck than to get a doctor's appointment to coincide with when you are actually ill.

Well, that was before I had a wailing child. Today, I called to try and get an appointment for Limi... before her first birthday. Predictably, the surly receptionist (nothing like feeling ill and having to deal with a bouncer-like-appointment-book-keeper) said that all appointments for that day were full and to try again tomorrow. On cue, Limi started wailing plaintively on my lap at which point the receptionist said: 'what's the complaint' and even though it seemed like a mild eye infection (although not something that you want to wait 2 weeks to have checked out), I had wised up to the game, and said: 'she seems to be in a lot of pain'. Well voila! I had an appointment at noon! I am thinking of recording her cry to use for all future least until she's 12!

On the eye issue, it is a mild infection common in newborns and we have some ointment to put on it for 3 days! You've got to love the warning on the prescription though....

Sunday, 7 March 2010

mar, 7th - lazy sunday...

day 29:

Lazy Sunday spent wishing that I too had a bouncing chair.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

mar, 6th - 1 month...

day 28:

Dimensions & Weight

Lenth - 55cms
Foot Length - 8cms
Hand Length - 6cms
Ear Length - 4cms

Weight - 3.56kgs

One month today. Bring on the next 17 years and 11 least until we ship her off to university!

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