Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas illness

I’m sick. I’ve had a horrible fever for days now. It was so bad Mommy and Daddy bathed me in cool water, which I hated. I cried all the way through. But today I feel better. Now I have a rash all over my body. It’s called Baby Measles, which isn’t real measles, but it looks similar. I haven’t really eaten in days, and Mommy and Daddy are very worried about me.

I got lots of presents. I like my presents. Granny gave me furniture for my dolls’ house and I’ve already spent a lot of time playing with it.

Today was very busy - we had all of Daddy’s family over for lunch.I was so wound up I couldn’t go to sleep afterwards. When Mommy made me lie in bed I slapped her on purpose. She got really mad with me. I haven’t seen her that mad before, but I was mad with her too. Mommy and Daddy made me say sorry, but I didn’t want to. It took a long time till I said it - a whole 5 minutes. Mommy said I was naughty, that slapping people was ugly and not ok, and took my dummy away until I had said sorry. Afterwards she lay on the bed with me and gave me a nice cuddle.

I got to stay up late tonight. I REALLY didn’t want to sleep (I’ve been doing a LOT of sleeping over the past 4 days and I’m sure I’ve slept enough to last me a lifetime). But I’m in bed now.
Tomorrow we go away on holiday! Yippee!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Look at me!

A lady came to nursery and took some photos of each of us. She made us dress up before she took the photos. I only did it because Debbie and Norma made me. And I'm not sure I like sitting in a bucket... But Mommy and Daddy, and my godmother Claire love this photo of me.
Me at school
I much prefer this photo of me.
See me swimming
I love my new swimming ring! Much better than those arm bands Mommy and Daddy kept trying to make me wear. I can swim all by myself now. Mommy and Daddy are teaching me to kick. I think I kick just fine, but I do get frustrated that I don't GO anywhere when I kick! I also like that I can jump in all by myself now. I feel like such a big girl!
And look at my new 'big' bed. I love my Miaow blanket! There are two miaows on my pillow. One is sleeping and the other is waking up. I like to spend time each night telling Mommy or Daddy which one is waking up and which one is sleeping. Then I look for more sleeping and waking up ones on my blanket. Then I look for the butterflies. There are miaows on BOTH sides of my blanket! Wow!
New bed
Daddy framed a painting I did today. It was of my hands. When I saw it I wanted to paint my feet too, so we spent some time doing that. I love being home with Mommy and Daddy and doing fun stuff with them!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Birthday Girl, I love you

My Darling Janel

Mommy wanted to write you a very special letter on your birthday, one that you would have forever, one that you can look back on when you’re a very big girl and read. I know this is late for your birthday, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t planning this all the time.

Now that you are two, you are becoming such a big girl. You’re talking incredibly well, and I love it! I love being able to interact with you and talk to you. You make me laugh with some of your little discussions!

Mommy is so proud of you! You have been through such a lot in two years and yet you are such an amazing little girl! You are happy and bubbly and so much fun to be around. I just know that Zoe is proud of you too, my love. I know she’s looking down on you from heaven and itching for you to meet her so she can play with you.

You’ve become so good at letting everyone have turns when they play. I know you fall down a lot, and we’ve had a lot of tears in the last few weeks, but you are SUCH a brave girl! You’re only falling down because you’re growing so fast - 3cm in 3 months! - and your little brain is struggling to keep up. You’re going to be a tall beauty, with all the boys running after you.

Already you’ve shown such curiosity about the world around you - constantly asking what things are. When you don’t understand, you keep asking until either you do understand, or Mommy finds an easier (and not always accurate) explanation. I hope you never stop asking questions and trying to figure the world out. We’ll make a proper scientist out of you yet!

I know that sometimes you want to do things that Mommy or Daddy won’t let you do, and no matter how much you say ‘I WANT to’, we won’t let you. This is the time when you discover that not only do you not always get what you want, but talking and being able to explain what you want doesn’t always help. That’s very frustrating, I know, but we want you to grow up understanding the difference between wants and needs. If you know that, then you can be satisfied in every circumstance - whether you have lots of material things, or nothing. We are trying to teach you that real joy comes not from ‘having’, but ‘being’ and ‘doing’. I hope and pray we get it right.

Right now your favourite activity is swimming. Your fearless leaping into the water is going to make both Daddy and me go prematurely grey, but I’d rather have grey hairs than miss a moment of your exuberant joy in all things watery. You’re starting to kick nicely, and just today you got the hang of swimming with a ring. Being able to swim independently in the water was such an incredible discovery for you, and I count it sheer privilege that I got to witness this momentous moment in your life.

Since your birthdays we have already shared dozens of tea parties, and I still say you make the BEST tea in the world. I know that I am sometimes too busy to play with you, and I’m sorry that I can’t spend every moment playing with you. All too soon you will be grown up and we won’t have tea parties anymore. Likewise, reading stories in bed in the morning with you and me and Daddy - those are precious moments and I treasure every one. I’m not good at mornings, not like you and Daddy, so I need to sleep while the two of you get up, but when you wake up a little later (after 6am) then I just LOVE having you snuggle in bed with us.

Like this morning. I love the fact that you are now big enough to sleep in a proper bed and so can get yourself up in the morning and come through to our room. I know how much you love your ‘Miaow blanket’ (duvet with cartoon cats cover), and I when I see you sleeping quietly in your bed under it, my heart swells with joy and pride at how big you’re getting. You still turn sideways in your bed, or even the wrong way round completely, but I know that as you get even bigger that will change. I love that you still need me to come in and check on you, turn you round and then cover you up again. No matter how big you get, I will always love being your mommy, and being able to do these little things for you that show you how much I love you.

How much do I love you? This much (stretch your arms as wide as they will go) and this much (cuddle tightly with Mommy). I love you more than you can imagine. My love for you is bigger than anything you can imagine, and big enough to let go of you when I have to, but my love is also close enough to hold you tight.

My hopes and dreams for you aren’t as clear as some other Mommys’ or Daddys’. Mostly my hopes for you are prayers. Prayers for protection, prayers that you will develop a godly character, prayers that you will develop good social skills, prayers that you will develop your potential to its fullest, prayers that you will continue to be joyful throughout your life, prayers that you will not have to suffer too much heart-ache, prayers that your life will be full of blessings. My deepest prayer is that I will live to see you grow big, get married and have children of your own.

I know that Zoe’s death has an effect on my relationship with you, and I know that sometimes that’s not fair on you. I’m sorry for that times that her death makes me hold onto you too tightly, or when my fear that something will happen to you holds me back from being the mommy you need and deserve.

Next year holds so many new things for you. I worry for you - about how you will cope with starting to let go of needing Leo and your dummy all the time, of how you will cope with a whole year of going to nursery, of whether I’m doing enough at home to help you with your singing and musical ability (if your interest in playing piano is anything to go by!), with your motor skills, with developing your creativity. I worry that you’re not eating properly - I know you will survive because both Daddy and I were both very fussy eaters when we were your age and we survived, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying that you’re not getting a balanced diet, or that you’re malnutritioned in some way that will only really impact on your life when you’re much older…

But it also holds many, many joys, I know. Developing the stamina to ride your bike all way home from nursery; becoming involved in making your own food; becoming an even more confident and competent swimmer - maybe even learning to hold your breath properly; discovering for yourself how amazing it is to have a pet (shh! Don’t tell Daddy that I plan to buy you a pet!); making new friends; getting to know your Grannie and Grampa, Granma and Tata, Oupa and Ouma; getting to know your cousins. I’m looking forward to all the ways you make me laugh, with all your little comments and quirks. I’m looking forward to making you laugh and showing you new things. And I can’t wait to share those moments with you, as well as all the ‘little’ moments of glory that I know await you.

I cannot tell you how incredible these last two years of my life have been. I have been truly blessed to have you in them, and I’d do it all again. Thank you for the joy you bring into my life. Thank you for being the best you that you know how to be. Thank you for your lack of pretension, thank you for your curiosity, thank you for reminding me that there is more to life than just existing day to day. Thank you for loving me. Most of all, I thank God in heaven for counting me worthy of being your Mommy. I cannot think of a higher calling in life, or of a greater privilege.

Happy birthday my precious little girl!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Parties galore

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear me, happy birthday to me!

I got lots of PRESENTS! I like getting presents. I can’t really open them, so Mommy helped me, but it was fun ripping the paper and pulling the presents out! I got lots of lovely stuff, but Mommy put most of them away again after I had looked at them. She said I don’t need so many new toys and things all at once. I think she’s planning to let me play with some of them later. (MUCH later - like after Christmas! Ed)

For my party, Mommy made me a Leo cake. It looks like Leo.
The party boxes also had Leo on them, and some of the toys in the party boxes were lions. I love Leo!

My best presents were my two bikes (I got TWO!!), my tea set and my swing. I ride my bikes all the time. We have a nice long driveway that I can ride on. We also have a nice paved walkway around the house that I can ride on. I have so much fun riding up and down!

Mommy let me ride my bike to the park on Sunday. We didn’t actually make it to the park on the bike because I fell when we were half-way there and I was bleeding from my elbow. We went home. Mommy put this funny stuff on my elbow and it was VERY sore. I cried. Then she put some other cream on it, and a plaster. My elbow was sore for a long time. Daddy gave me a chocolate for being brave. (It was actually a vitamin tablet, but it’s disguised as a chocolate to get the kids to eat it. It’s a tactic that obviously works. Ed) We went to the park in the pram instead and I got to walk along the see-saw and make it go up and down while Mommy held my hand. That was a lot of fun!

Mommy’s put my tea set in the kitchen with the other tea sets that I’m not supposed to play with. Now, whenever Mommy has tea, I can also make tea, then we have tea together. Mommy says my tea is the best she’s ever tasted! Even Daddy likes my tea, and he doesn’t drink a lot of tea.

I got a lot of stories and clothes for my birthday. I love stories. I love it when Mommy or Daddy reads me a story cos I can sit on their laps and cuddle. I like the way the words sound, and I like looking at the pictures. Some of my new clothes are too big for me, so Daddy put them in the cupboard with my other ‘big’ clothes. I’ve got a t-shirt with sparkly things on them (those would be tiny sequins, Ed). I like those. I keep trying to pick the sparkles off.

I also got some gardening tools. I got a big spade, a small spade, a rake, and a few other things I don’t know. On Sunday Mommy was gardening, so I went and got the big spade for Mommy to use and the small spade for me to use. We had fun weeding the lawn and digging in the garden.

I got a whole bunch of other presents, but I haven’t played with them yet because Mommy thinks I’ve got enough to play with right now.

I think I like birthdays. I think it should be my birthday every day!