Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Text of an sms sent to Milord this afternoon:

Princess has pissed in our bed and then shut King in a dark room. Please get wine on your way home!?!

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Show myself or Princess a camera and we are ready to perform!

My best angle is from on high. What a pity that I'm taller than most people [outside South Africa]!

Whatcha doing Mummy?

Me too! Me too!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New Teeth!

King's top molars are finally breaking through. I think they and the bottom bumps still hurt a lot though, as he still can't "chew" on his food. Plus he is starting a new cold.


The good news is that he is now so hungry that he has come to terms with food off a spoon! I opened a jar of babyfood chicken risotto in desperation last night (I stocked up before I realised he wouldn't eat off a spoon) and he scoffed the lot! Plus Princess' roasted pumpkin and roasted zucchini. And today at the shops I tried him on one of those squeezy packs of yogurt and he slurped it in.

It is a little difficult to backtrack from finger food to soft food - I keep getting caught out with only chewy snacks on hand!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Granny's Coming!

In just under 3 weeks my Mom is moving in with us!

She has retired from her job on the Isle of Man, left her rented apartment, sold her car and shipped a few boxes. It seems to be something she and I do every so often - uproot and take only the essentials to a new country!

I am very excited to have Mom moving in. She is going to be such a help with the kids, and will free me up to be able to get out and exercise a few times a week. One of us will be able to take Princess out when King is napping. With another pair of hands I could contemplate taking the kids to the beach...

Also, Mom can't stop herself cleaning and gardening and loves DIY! Milord is compiling a list of light jobs around the house which cannot be done with kids underfoot, so one of us can amuse the kids while the other does some sanding or painting or whatever. I know what I'd rather be doing - we'll have to take turns!

Plus of course, Mom and I get along famously. Milord likes her enormously and doesn't seem at all concerned that we will be 5 people in a 2-bedroom house! Mom is also an awesome Granny - the kids are so lucky.

Mom will probably be looking for part time work for a bit of sanity and pocket money after a couple of months of holiday. Once King is old enough to start school I will go back to full time work and we can look into buying Mom an apartment, and ourselves a bigger house, or maybe a house big enough for all of us. In the meantime we are going to be cosy!

With Mom here I could of course go back to work now (Mom did offer to take over the kids) but I don't want to. I have only one chance to be a stay-at-home-mum while my kids are small, and as appealing as the office might be some days I know I'd regret giving this up prematurely.

I am having fun with the kid's/Mom's room. Until recently we didn't know if we'd be moving to a bigger place (we can't afford to) so I have never decorated it. Now I can! This is the kid's side:

Those are oversize cot/beds, so should fit the kids for a couple more years. By then our circumstances will have changed or I shall get bunkbeds! The star wall lamps are new and Princess loves them.

And this is Mom's side:

It needs some work!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Squint Surgery - 1 Week Later

The doctor says she has rarely seen so little redness!

Milord and I got worried over the weekend that Princess' eyes were getting redder, so I took Princess in for a checkup today. It seems that perhaps she is opening her eyes more and we are just seeing more red (there is quite a lot of red under the lower lids you can't see here)! Plus she had a snotty cold and that can make eyes go a bit reddish too. All is perfect.

We also thought maybe Princess' eyes were drifting too far apart, but that's an optical illusion caused by the redness too. As you can see the dots of light are still perfectly aligned.

Princess has been very tired and clingy and off her food for a few days. The doctor thinks that's a combination of the headcold plus sharing a bedroom with a teething baby!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

After Eye Surgery

Before: See how the dots of light on the pupils are not identically placed? This means Princess' eyes are not straight.

After: Identical! Straight eyes ta-dah!

Princess seems to be in surprisingly little discomfort, although I'm keeping her dosed with paracetamol anyway. She is very tired and has had naps in the day for the last couple of days, much to her disgust! On the whole she is quite cheerful and almost her normal self.

Her eyes are a little bloodshot and puffy, but not as much as I had been expecting.


In other news King is growing molars, poor baby. He's clingy and off his food. He has big bumps on his gums where they are coming through, and he finds chewing very difficult. As he still dislikes soft food off a spoon he's a bit hungry! He just gets down enough to take the edge off his hunger, and then spits everything else back out.

They are both a bit clingy right now. Yesterday I was carrying Princess when King grabbed me around the knee. She wouldn't let me put her down and he wouldn't let go. I felt like a caricature of a stay-at-home-mom!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Home and doing fine

Princess' eye operation went very well, the surgeon is thrilled.

It was pretty hard making Princess fast until 2pm (!), but we did get her up early for chocolate and juice which she was totally ok with. From 9am Princess was asking for more food, but at least at 3 you can sort of explain why she can't eat or drink for a while.

"Not until the doctors fix your eyes, sweetie."
"Can we go to the doctor now? Right now?"
"No, they're not open yet. I'm sorry."
"I'm hungry Mummy! I'm really hungry!"
"I am so, so sorry darling."

Poor Princess has never been hungry in her life before! She was quite good about it though, I was very impressed. There was a 2-year-old in the next cubicle who wasn't happy with the same situation and he screamed the place down until his turn in theatre came around!

We have private health insurance, and so went to a lovely private hospital. It's still a large expense, but at least the hospital and staff were awesome.

Princess woke up miserable after the op. I've been under general a couple of times myself and can totally understand the confusion and discomfort. We cuddled a lot and finally she drank some juice and ate a sandwich and felt a lot better. By the time we came home it was just about bedtime, so she had a snack and a cuddle and went off to bed with very little complaining.

I hope she has a good night. I hope we all have a good night - I am shattered!

Monday, 12 November 2012

But she's 3!

This afternoon the hospital we are going to tomorrow for Princess' eye surgery finally called to tell me when to come. I'd been assuming that as she is only 3 we'd be at the top of the list and was bracing myself for a very early start.

They want us there at noon. Noon!

With fasting from 6 hours beforehand and Princess rarely awake before 6:30am, this means I cannot give her food at all until mid afternoon after the op. Holy crap.

"You do know she's only 3?" I said disbelievingly.

Princess is fairly indifferent about breakfast before 8am anyway, so my chances of waking her at 6am for a proper meal are zero. And then I'll be giving King food all morning in front of her... aaaaaah!

I'm thinking I load her up on chocolate and juice at 6am. I'm pretty sure she will eat that even if she isn't hungry!

As if this isn't going to be hard enough. growl

That could have been so much worse

A couple of days ago Milord was assembling a couple of new Ikea bookshelves for the kid's/Granny's room. They weigh a ton (33kg) each, and I had a devil of a time just getting them home from the shop!

Princess and I went into my bedroom to visit/help Milord where he was assembling the first bookcase on our bed. King was asleep in the next room. I stepped out to fetch something and there was an almighty crash followed by a scream... I burst back in to find Milord holding a distraught Princess. The second bookcase, still in its flatpack box, had been propped against the wall and had toppled over right at Princess and Milord. Milord says he sensed it falling and pushed it away from Princess, but it still caught her a glancing blow to her left heel.

After we calmed her down and dressed her wound and gave her paracetamol and a lollipop and she was happily watching tv we shakily poured a couple of glasses of wine and sat down on the bed. "That could have been so much worse!" we said.

2 days later we are still talking about how if the box had fallen directly on Princess she would have been maimed, or if it had fallen on King he might be dead.

Princess is fine. She has a bruised achilles and heel but doesn't mention it unless you accidentally press on it while putting her shoes on (oops).

Oh and the bookcases look awesome!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Things that go bump in the night

On Monday night at 3am Milord and I startled awake. Something was thumping and clawing its way down the side passage of the house... All our sensor lights activated and then everything went quiet.

"What the hell was that?!" said Milord.
"A cat?" said I.
"A f*ing big cat!" he replied.

We pulled on clothes and crept to the back of the house. The back yard was brilliantly lit by the sensor light. All looked normal... except for the torchlight flashing in the neighbour's yard.

Milord stepped out onto the front porch. "It's the police!" he exclaimed in relief. "They've caught somebody."

We didn't fancy going up to the commotion, but we surmise that the cops must have been chasing at least one person through the neighbourhood. Perhaps he scaled our locked 6-foot sidegate and ran into the backyard and then jumped the fence into the neighbour's place and so on. Perhaps a police dog was sent over the gate after him!

We lay awake for hours. I'm still a bit jumpy. Nothing quite like waking up to Cujo scrabbling under your bedroom window. Luckily the kids slept through everything!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Squint Surgery

Princess has strabismus, or a squint, in both eyes. They both turn too hard inwards when she focuses on things, and as a result she has bad depth perception. You can see the issue without a flash in the reflections on her eyes. The reflections should be identical on the pupil. As you can see they are not quite right.

With a flash it is obvious, because one eye has redeye, and the other not the same.

It is getting worse, and something has to be done.

We have tried using glasses to get her eyes to align, but it hasn't helped at all.

The only other thing available to us is surgery. Seriously, there is nothing in between!

While the very idea of Princess undergoing major surgery gives me the heebie jeebies, the sooner we have it done the better her prognosis for good eyesight. So she is booked in for the procedure on Tuesday week - that's 8 days away.

Milord and I are not sleeping well. I lie awake for hours most nights from 2am... this morning I got back to sleep as the birds began chirping and woke at 6am feeling quite grotty!

In other news the kids are pretty awesome. King is desperate to get outside.

He is close to talking - we're pretty sure he says "car" on purpose. Also "uh-oh" for anything dropped. If I drop something in the kitchen I hear "uh-oh" from wherever King is!

King has a decent turn of speed in crawling now, and is considering pulling up to his feet. Then Princess will have to sit at the dining table to play iPad or watch movies on the laptop!

Speaking of the dining table, I have started giving the kids their meals there. It's a lot more comfy for me and Princess is strapped into a booster seat and can't wander off.

Both kids enjoy a whole peeled apple from time to time. It keeps King quiet for ages!

And they enjoy sharing a bath.

That's pretty much my life! It can be a little wearing, especially as Princess has dropped her afternoon nap and so I have no me-time except on her Kindy days. I wish we could afford to send her 3 times a week as she really loves it.