Thursday, 3 December 2009

I am a Granny!

A Guest Post by Saffa Chick's Mom:

What a buzz to be a granny! At the instant I heard that Grace had been born my brain went into instant meltdown and I have never snapped back! I had never been overly bothered about becoming a granny and was quite cool with the thought that I probably would not be presented with grandchildren. Now, how different everything is. I coo at little babies, where in the past I ignored them. I aah at little pink dresses and get excited over bright toys and playthings. In fact, I am now two sandwiches short of a picnic and am destined to never recover. It is heaven!

I had to wait 10 weeks before I could go to Australia and meet Grace and can thank goodness that we have telephones, email and digital cameras, so that I could follow her progress during this time. Of course, I came over at the best time. I let Mommy do all the battling and learning at the beginning and only came on the scene when Grace was turning into a little person in her own right. I have since had a crash course in baby care and can now have Grace all to myself whilst Mommy and Daddy go out on the town! Nice for all of us. At the moment Grace and I are alone in the house and she is in her rocker talking to her bright dangly toys we bought the other day and of which she approves. She has just sunk a bottle of milk and is most content, but that could change in a second when she decides that she wants a change of scene or to be put to bed. Talking of bed, I am sharing a room with her, so I have taken over the night and early morning feeds, as her grunting and groaning wakes me up anyway. This leaves the parents to sleep through and gather strength for when I have to sadly leave. This is no hardship for me as she is so happy to see me and greets me with huge smiles and gurgles. No granny could resist having her all to themselves no matter the time of day or night!

I have also learned to wrap her in a large cot sheet before she goes to bed. I say that I have learned to do this, when what I actually mean is I have a bash at it and Houdini thinks I am hilarious! The idea is that her arms are held tightly against her body as she sleeps on her back and if they are free she thrashes around and startles herself, which wakes her up! Grace Elizabeth Houdini Black@dder can get out of any of my wraps in about 5 minutes. She has a very subtle strength in her arms and her grip is amazing!

When I arrived 3 weeks ago Grace was still very much a baby, but she is growing up so fast. When I arrived she was just learning to smile, now she gives great beaming smiles and is close to chuckling. She gurgles and goos and I am teaching her to say Granny before I go! She can hold her head up without you having to hold her neck and can control where she wants to look. There are not so many involuntary headbutts, though you still have to be aware that she may crash into you when you are holding her up on your shoulder! Granny's reactions are sharpening up!

She is really pretty, large blue eyes that crinkle when she smiles, a little turned up nose and a rosebud mouth. She has the sunniest disposition, though she does have a mind of her own too and lets you know it if something is not exactly as she wants it! She reminds me very much of her Mommy and her Auntie Kelly when they were babies, though her Dad is there too, she has the longest toes and will be able pick up golf balls with her bare feet when she is older. I think this should come in handy on the golf course when Granny cannot bend over anymore!

As you can imagine, I have been having a ball buying the cutest outfits for her, all pinks and whites and in the styles Mommy prefers, that is button under the bum so that they do not ride up and end up around her ears when picked up. I also bought various cot accessories, a travelling cot and even a special toy for later when she is sitting up and then learning to walk! The piece de resistance was a pair of shocking pink baby sunglasses which have a headband to keep them on. Hopefully I will get a photo of her in them soon! Luckily the day we hit the shops Grace decided that she had had enough after about an hour, otherwise I think we would have walked out with half the shop and my credit card would have been in meltdown mode!

Grace's Christening was lovely and I was horrified that at one point my eyes welled up and I thought I was going to howl! Luckily I gave myself a quick slap and a talking to and managed to control myself. So you can see how being a Granny has scrambled my brains! I was very proud to be asked to give one of the readings, that made it special and Grace and her Mommy looked quite beautiful. Of course, Grace was a little angel, but what more would you expect from Granny's Best Girl?

In the evenings, when one of us is baby wrangling, the other two share the cooking and come up with their favourite recipes, which has been great fun. Yesterday I made Babotie, a South African dish, which was a great favourite with our family back in the days of yore. The making of this dish was actually triggered by Grace's Grandad asking if anyone had the recipe as he wanted to make it again. I received my original recipe via several different people and I have tweaked it a fair bit to reflect our changing tastes. It was a resounding success last night in the Black@dder household so I am going to add it to this blog as I know that everyone who may be interested in trying it out is a fan of Saffachick and will see it!


750g raw beef (topside) mince
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 slices white bread
1 and a half cups milk (I used skim milk, which worked well, but you can use whatever you have to hand)
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon sugar
White vinegar
Butter (I just used what I thought was needed for frying and then dotting the top)
3 bay leaves
Couple of handfuls of sultanas
Salt and pepper (I was quite generous with these, but it is to your taste)

Fry onion in butter till golden.
Break up bread and soak in one cup of milk in a dish.
Mix curry powder, turmeric, sugar and vinegar together in a cup until it is a slightly sloppy paste and add to soaked bread. Mash up well.
Add onion to meat together with bread mixture, salt, pepper, sultanas and 2 eggs.
Mix thoroughly and pack into well-greased dish.
Beat other egg lightly with remainder of milk in the same cup as used for the curry mixture and pour carefully over meat.
Place 3 bay leaves on top and dot with butter.
Place dish in a roasting pan with at least 3 inches of water.
Bake at 160 degrees C for 1 and a half hours.

Serve with long grain rice, sweet chutney (Mango was our choice), coconut, sliced banana, sliced tomato, cubed avocado. Other sambals can be added to your taste.


As you may gather, I am totally in love with being a Granny and totally besotted with my gorgeous granddaughter. I only have one more week here in Sydney and it is going to be a terrible wrench to leave Mommy, Daddy and Granny's Favourite Girl. I am not looking forward to that part! Still, I will be back to see her start to walk and talk and really look forward to that and reacquainting myself with the Best Girl in All the World - Grace Elizabeth!


waterbob said...

A lovely post and almost (but not quite) like being there.
A note of interest for the bobotie: I've spoken to some old farming folk at an old age home who say that originally it was made from leftover roasts - lamb, mutton or/and beef - in the days before refrigerators. The meat on the bone was cut off and all the bits were then minced. I have tried it with the meat cooked first and then as per the Family Recipe. I like them both but there is definitely a difference in the flavour.
Enjoy your last week!

Lisa said...

ahhh, Aunty Sal. That is so cool! What till my mom reads THIS! She is with me tonight and I will delight in pulling up your blog and handing her a tissue! xxxxxx

Kat said...

Loved the blog Sally! And I adore that last picture you posted of Grace smiling. So nice you have been there when she has moved into real proper smiling stage. Enjoy your last week and hope you are not too sad to leave. Just make sure you have skype/web cam conversations often when you get home!!