Monday, 31 December 2012

May we all have our hopes, our will to try

Hello? Is this thing on?

MY sincere apologies for being gone for so long! Life is crazily hectic - I guess you knew that already though.

So, here we are.

The blog turned ONE last November. Happy Belated Birthday, Blog!

Sorry! *pats Blog's head*

Since mid-August, we have been going to, and coming from, hospital on a regular basis due to Morgan's recurring UTIs.  I believe I had previously mentioned the plan re: her surgery.  It is meant to be happening on the 5th of February.

MEANT TO.

I got a phone call from hospital a couple of days ago saying "Sorry, the operation is now rescheduled to happen on the 2nd of April."

2ND APRIL?!
Needless to say, the above picture is a perfect depiction of what was going through my head the moment I heard the news.  This meant we were increasing the chances of Morgan getting a 4th infection by delaying the operation, and thus giving a bigger time window for a nasty bug to find its way into Morgan's system and defying the daily antibiotics.  It also meant I have to try and reschedule time off work.  And another thing - it means Morgan will spend a longer period of time on the antibiotics.  I dread the day she will no longer be on the meds - her poor immune system will get quite a shock!

And to think we were so close to finally being [potentially] over and done with this seemingly never ending saga!

Ah well.

On a more positive note - Morgan turns 11 months old today! I officially no longer have a baby - she has become a full-fledged toddler.

She is constantly cruising around the house and has become a super fast crawling machine.  She enjoys:

Bath time! [10Dec2012]
Spending time outdoors [15Dec2012]
Wreaking havoc! [15Dec2012]
Playing! [Yule 2012]
Exploring [Dec2012]
Feeding herself [31Dec2012]
She is amazing - a huge handful, but fun.  She loves books and is extremely inquisitive.

So far, she says "Ħeqq!", "Mama", "Papa", "Ejja", "Baba" [bottle], "Adda" [id-dawl], "Da" [duck]. [Ħeqq being a Maltese expression equivalent to 'oh' or shrugging one's shoulders, Ejja meaning 'Come' which she usually says when she wants us to pick her up, Adda being her way of saying Id-Dawl meaning 'The Light'].

Morgan has also mastered going down the small step that leads to the back yard.  It took her a few tries, but yesterday she managed to go down the step by crawling forward.  She then started crawling up and down the stair repeatedly.

Today she took hold of my hand and went down the same step by WALKING.  This was followed by her crawling up a full-sized step to get into the wash room without any help.

I fear one of these days I'll wake up and she'll be there, packing her bags telling me she's going to move out.  I know it will happen eventually, but I'd rather it didn't happen before another 18 years or so. 

Morgan is currently 79cm [31 inches] in height, with a head circumference of 48cm [19 inches].  She is wearing 12-18 month sized clothing comfortably, and is rapidly moving towards the 18-24 month sized clothing! We, my friends, have a ginormous child.  Her feet are way too wide for 'normal' shoes - out of the 10 pairs she owns [which is more than I own myself!] none fit her.  I'm in the process of trying to figure out her feet's measurements so that I can hunt for wide fitting toddler shoes.

Next month is her birthday! I've started working on getting everything together for said occasion - the invites are designed, and supplies are increasing.  Next I'll be working on what foodstuffs to prepare, whilst trying to come up with a venue.  Our home is too small to throw a party in, I think.  Any suggestions are welcome [as long as they're not McDonald's. She's too young for that and I'd rather not encourage junk food consumption, anyway.].


Now, for the cliché section: Today is NYE.  Therefore an End of Year statement is expected.

This year for me has been one of the hardest - if not the hardest - ever.  Nevertheless, it has been the happiest year of my life.  There were so many Firsts! So many new things to learn and to experience! I went through childbirth [albeit via C-section], learnt how to look after someone else to the extent of it being a life-or-death matter, learnt how to change a nappy whilst in zombie mode,  prepare bottles and baby food, and a million other things.  I learnt the joys and the sorrows of Motherhood.  Or at least, I've learnt the better part of the first chapter of Motherhood.  There will undoubtedly be much more hurdles to overcome and a lot more joys to experience.

I also came to realise, and accept, that I have finally found my soul mate.  For the first time ever, I'm in a relationship where obstacles and problems have been thrown in our way ever since day one, however we managed to face every challenge together and become closer as a consequence.  This is probably the one relationship with the most difficulties I've ever experienced - and I'm happy.  Goes to show that communication truly is the key to keep things plain sailing.

2012 has also been the first year since the year 2000 during which I have not attended a funeral.  Having said that, my family's she-dog did get put to sleep shortly after Morgan was born, so it wasn't an entirely death-free year.  Still - I'm grateful for a break from mourning newly deceased friends and family members.  Hopefully I'm not jinxing it since there's still 13 and a half hours to go until the end of the year is official.

Another good thing that happened this year was becoming an Admin on the wonderful Facebook community known as The Pagan Mama.  It is always a joy posting stuff and interacting with the Mamas, Papas and Friends forming part of the community.  It is pretty much the closest thing to a 'mummy club' I'll ever get to - and that's perfectly fine with me!

A fair number of friends and acquaintances have also had a lot on their plate this year - people they knew or were related to passed away, a good number had to handle major illnesses and are still battling them, break-ups and a plethora of other occurrences. To you all, my beloved, I'd like to say one thing. And that's:


So, in conclusion - THANK YOU to everyone who made this year the way it was.  A special thank you goes to my wonderful man - who is the best Father Morgan could have ever hoped for, and who is also the one I hope to have with me for the rest of my days.  And ultimately, thank you to Morgan - my beautiful, inquisitive, courageous, free spirited, good, perfect, happy daughter who made my life worth living, and who made me proud to call myself Mama'.

Lots of love.

See you next year!


Monday, 15 October 2012

Taking the piss

Today was one hell of a long day.

I had to take Morgan's urine samples to hospital for them to test to ensure that her UTI is gone.

That, in itself, sounds simple enough, no?

It would have been, had the doc I spoke to about a week ago over the phone given me clear instructions.  This was not the case though - seems like the generic attitude is "If we know how to do stuff, and know what the random abbreviations and bombastic terminologies mean, then so should everyone else."

First thing in the morning - before I had even had my coffee, I joined my mum in the First Attempt at collecting said urine sample from Morgan.

We had to use this plastic bag here:


The yellow rectangle seen on the right bag gets peeled off and beneath it is adhesive that covers the oval hole.  Around the hole is padding, which can be seen on the left bag.

Honestly, the moment I opened it, I was perplexed.  You'd think a plastic bag is easy to figure out.  I couldn't make out if the adhesive was meant to be able to seal the bag once the sample has been collected, or whether it was meant to be used to stick the bag to Morgan's girlybits.

Having a squirming baby on the bed, threatening to maybe-pee-maybe-not doesn't make it a good time to google instructions on how said plastic bag should be used.

I figured I'd use the adhesive bit to be able to seal the bag.  To me, it made more sense than risk causing an allergic reaction by applying the adhesive to Morgan's skin. After all, I don't know what allergies she could potentially suffer from at this point in time.  Having friends who are severely allergic to adhesive makes me think twice before I apply it to someone's skin.

I had a gut feeling that this would end up in disaster by the time I get my arse to hospital - but I thought "Fuck it. There is only one way to find out."

So - about 5 minutes later, I convinced Morgan to drink some of her milk, which prompted an instantaneous pee stream.

Bag safely sealed and stored in my bag, and Morgan's ID number also safely tucked inside my bag, I set off to catch the bus to drop off the sample.

Some half an hour later, I got to hospital.  15 minutes later, I found the right ward, only to find out that the bag had leaked, and therefore the sample was no longer usable due to it not being sterile.

That was when the nurse I spoke to explained exactly how much urine was required, and how the sample should be collected.

Seems like after the plastic bag is used to collect said sample, sample then needs to be transferred into this container:


 I was also told that they actually would be needing 2 - not just the one.

Awesome.

Thankfully HSS managed to pick me up from hospital, and help me get Morgan to provide us with the required samples.

Since she isn't able to pee on demand, we ended up having to trickle some water on her belly and for me to gently prod-slash-massage the bladder region of her belly.

A few minutes later, I had both samples safely stored in my bag, and once more we set off to hospital.

Once we got there, I spoke to the same nurse-dude again, who referred us to some she-doctor who was more interested in catching up with her friend-she-doctor and to gossip about the new ward that is being set up rather than telling us wtf would be happening or whether we needed to do anything else.

After standing some 5 minutes behind the counter of the nurses' station waiting for her to tell us that we could go, listening to her blabbering the day away, I asked her whether she needed to tell us anything or whether we could go.  She-doctor goes "Oh sorry yes you can go."  The look on her face said 'Where did you two come from? Are you martians? What was I doing?'

According to HSS, I used "The Voice" when I asked she-doc whether we could go.  To quote him, there were icicles and ice stalagmites forming with every word I said to her.  I suppose I do not appreciate rudeness.

To me, this was the equivalent of someone walking into a French Cuisine restaurant for the first time, not knowing what to expect, placing an order for some dish they don't know exactly what it should look like, and not knowing whether cutlery should be used to eat said dish.  Some guidance from the person attending to your needs would be immensely appreciated, I would think.

Anyway - enough ranting and raving.

The good thing that happened today is that I could spend a lot of time with Morgan.  I can never get enough of her.  I enjoy her company - she's awesome.  She was in a good mood today, so was quite laid back and playful.

Can you see them teeth? :D Oct2012
Taking pics of them teeth is pretty difficult!! Oct2012
This tends to be the outcome whenever an attempt is made :D 15Oct2012

Saturday, 6 October 2012

When the going gets tough

Lately it has been very difficult to keep up with life.  There have been a string of incidents where the phrases "everything you touch turns to shit" and "everything blows up in your face" can start conveying how stressful it has been.

It all started when Morgan was admitted to hospital with the UTI.  This was on the 17th of August.  Since then, we haven't had a break from negative events.  Two days after being sent home, we ended up taking her back to hospital and were told she had bronchitis.

Then, the moment she started recovering, we had a bike accident and I ended up unable to walk due to a severely sprained foot caused by the bike falling over it when we skidded - and this lasted about a week.  The moment I started hobbling and limping around, my elder sister's dog bit HSS, putting his hand out of action for about a week.

Just when we thought things were finally settling down, this week happened.

As a follow-up to the UTI Morgan had encountered, she had to undergo two medical tests - the first of which was on Tuesday 2nd October 2012.

HSS and I took her to hospital for the micturating cystourethrogram [MCUG].

"The what?" you might ask.


"The MCUG is a technique for watching a person's urethra and urinary bladder while the person urinates (voids). The technique consists of catheterising the person in order to fill the bladder with a radiocontrast agent, typically cystografin. Under fluoroscopy (real time x-rays) the radiologist watches the contrast enter the bladder and looks at the anatomy of the patient. If the contrast moves into the ureters and back into the kidneys, the radiologist makes the diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, and gives the degree of severity a score. The exam ends when the person voids while the radiologist is watching under fluoroscopy. Consumption of fluid promotes excretion of contrast media after the procedure. It is important to watch the contrast during voiding, because this is when the bladder has the most pressure, and it is most likely this is when reflux will occur.

Vesicoureteral reflux (kidney reflux) is diagnosed with an ultrasound and VCUG. Children who have recurrent urinary tract infections are given this test to determine the risk of subsequent infections causing potentially damaging kidney infections."

Just out of hospital - Wednesday 3rd October 2012

On Wednesday, HSS and I took Morgan back to hospital for a check-up with her paediatrician.  Turns out, the results form the previous day's test were out... and therefore bad news was delivered to us.


Morgan has Vesicoureteral reflux on her left side, and since urine is re-entering her left kidney, it is causing her these UTIs.  I lost count of how many times the doctor used the word "unfortunately".


So yeah - we have an appointment with the paediatric surgeon on the 24th of October.




Both HSS and myself were quite shaken by this news, and needed to get away from everyday life for a short while.

We took Morgan to Buskett for the first time ever.

First family outing @ Buskett - 3rd Oct 2012

Being in the midst of nature tends to have a calming effect on me.  I don't know if you have ever sat in the shade of a tree, and after chilling there for a while, you walked away refreshed.  I know I have.  Being away from the daily bustle and rush of modern day life was a welcome break - where no one disturbs you, and you're given a moment to take a deep breath and just... be.


Being there, with HSS and Morgan, felt good.  It was a much needed break.  I enjoyed watching Morgan be amazed at the rustling leaves, at the changing light, and the different smells and natural sounds around us.  


We found a spot hidden from the world, where the ground was covered in grass [not the kind that gets you high, mind you], and where there was quite a bit of shade for us to enjoy. 

This led to Morgan's first True Free-range Potato Experience.  Free-range Potato is what I like to call her exposed bum.  Seeing as this nappy change was carried out in the middle of Buskett, it couldn't get any more Free-range than that, could it?

 Silliness ensued - 03Oct2012

At one point, we got Morgan out of her pushchair and  set her down on the grass, sitting up.  I was seated out of arm's reach from her, and asked her to give me her hands.

She leaned forward, and put her hands in mine - 03Oct2012

This, is what happened next:


She's awesome.

We took a bunch of photos whilst we were there, but these are my favourites:

Little Monster Attack! 03Oct2012

Love - 03Oct2012
:) - 03Oct2012
On Friday 5th October we were meant to take Morgan back to hospital for another test - this time it would have been a Nuclear Medicine DMSA Renal Scan.  A DMSA renal scan is a diagnostic imaging exam that evaluates the function, size, shape and position of the kidneys and detects scarring caused by frequent infections.  Technetium-99m DSMA (dimercapto succinic acid) is a radioisotope that is injected into the patient's veins through an IV prior to the scan. It goes directly to the kidneys.  A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the kidneys and show how the kidneys are working.

This was not to be.

On Wednesday night, Morgan got high fever, so first thing in the morning, we went back to the hospital - this time to the A&E Room.  The Paediatrician on duty happened to be one of the doctor's following Morgan's case, so there was no need to explain the whole story.  A urine sample was collected, and 3 hours later I got a phone call to tell me that Morgan has another UTI.  Meaning, the DMSA scan needed to be postponed by another 6-8 weeks to allow the infection to be over and done with.

Fast forward to today - Today was the first day where fever was very low.  Hopefully by tomorrow it'll be gone.

I'm worried about what might happen next.  We were told that if Morgan doesn't undergo the operation,  she will be prone to UTIs all her life, and could end up with Kidney Failure of her left kidney.  I'm anxiously waiting for the Paediatric Surgeon's appointment, to find out exactly what is going to happen.

My greatest fear is seeing Morgan go into the operating theatre, and not seeing her come back out.

I'm thankful I've got HSS by my side to fight this battle with me - he's incredible.  In fact, this, is for him. 

To finish off on a positive note, Morgan's front bottom teeth have broken through.  I haven't managed to take a picture of them as yet, but as soon as I manage to, I'll be sure to post it. Damn, they're sharp!!!




Friday, 14 September 2012

See what love can do

*clears throat*

I ought to apologise for the long absence [once more] - life is so hectic nowadays! With all the juggling of work/home/other stuff that has been going on, I'm on the right path to joining the circus.

Morgan went through a rough patch health-wise.  On Thursday, the 16th of August, in the evening, she had relatively high fever.  She spent the night waking up every half an hour, screaming.  That was one hell of a long night.  In the morning, HSS and myself took her to hospital - where we ended up staying until the following Wednesday.  They did a chest x-ray, took some 9 vials of blood, also did a spinal tap, did a kidney ultrasound, took a urine sample, gave her antibiotics via IV every day, and Gods know what else.  They tested her for Meningitis - but thankfully that came back negative.

18 August 2012 - in hospital, starting the long path of recovery


I spent that quasi-week with her in hospital - and HSS was with us whenever he had a minute to spare.  He was amazing [still is, actually] and I count myself bloody lucky to have him in our lives.


17 August 2012 - Morgan had horrendously high fever still.  HSS seemed like a good place for her to crash :)


The day after being sent home, he took Morgan back to hospital for her last dose of IV antibiotics, after which they removed the cannula needle from her hand.  The day after that - Friday - we ended up going back to hospital with Morgan wheezing and struggling to breathe.  Turns out she had bronchitis.  Yay! We got back home at 4am-ish.  Dead on our feet doesn't even begin to describe how exhausted we all were.

She was on Ventolin and Rectodelt for the bronchitis, and Septrin for the infection which landed her in hospital in the first place.  She's still taking Septrin, as that saga isn't yet over.

They weren't sure if this was a simple UTI or a kidney infection - and there are a couple more tests to be done to ensure that both urethra and kidneys work as they should and haven't been damaged.  The reason she's still taking the antibiotics is that one of the tests involves them attaching a catheter to check her urethra.  This can sometimes lead to - wait for it! - an infection! Therefore, she is being kept on a low dosage of antibiotics as prevention.

She's happy as always - growing up way too quickly.  She has almost outgrown her 9-12m sized clothing and she's still 7 and a half months old!!

Whilst in hospital - she was crying because she wanted her bottle.  I had a problem with the bloody formula milk since they put her on lactose-free formula for a short while.  The lactose-free formula doesn't dissolve properly unless it is prepared with BOILING water.  What happens sit hat the nozzle of the bottle's dummy gets clogged, making it impossible - and hellishly frustrating - for Morgan to drink.  I kept switching dummies, washing them out and reapplying them.  I must've done this process at least 20 times! At one point she was babbling-whining, when all of a sudden I hear "Baba".

I was shocked.  I thought to myself it must be a coincidence and she didn't really mean it.  A couple of days later though - she said "Ba" on two separate occasions.  Every time, she was referring to the bottle.


I suppose that makes it Morgan's first word!

She hasn't said it - or anything else - since, as she seems to have decided that her main priority at the moment is getting from point A to point B.  She is commando-crawling, and stands up with minimal support for long periods of time.  She can also sit up unsupported for quite a long time, and is constantly reaching out for things - and for us to pick her up.


Things with HSS are good [to put it mildly] even though we don't get to spend that much time together for the time being.

Right now, I'm recovering from a small accident which saw his bike falling on my foot when we skidded [whilst almost stationary] just a corner away from home.  Yay for limping around!

Oh - Morgan is now also enjoying her food in a somewhat lumpy format.  It'd be the equivalent of mashed rather than liquidised food.  Her teeth haven't shown through yet but she is still teething like crazy.  I am guessing they'll all show up at once when they decide it is time.

I am aware it is yet a few months until her first birthday - but I'm trying to figure out what kind of celebratory actions we'll be holding for her - besides the quccija.  It is perplexing - organising a birthday party of sorts for a 1 year old.  Any suggestions are welcome!

Ah yes - today Morgan turned on the TV by herself.  She grabbed hold of the remote control, pointed it towards the TV and pressed the on/off button.  Smart girl! 

29 August 2012 - Playing Tug O' War with my elder sis using a wet wipe


Monday, 23 July 2012

Panic!

Sorry, I know I've been gone for a few weeks. I'm back to work and life is hectic as hell.

During the week, if I'm lucky, I get an hour with Morgan before she falls asleep. I get more or less the same amount of time to spend with HSS if I can manage to stay awake until he gets home from work.

Needless to say, I try and compensate during the weekend but it doesn't always work out.

This week just gone, I had a horrible bout of toothache which by Saturday had me in tears and forced me to take a trip to hospital in order to get the tooth pulled out. This meant I didn't get much time with Morgan as I was in no condition to look after her. Thankfully, HSS and my mum had that covered whilst I was MIA.

Today at work, I just had what you could call a panic/anxiety attack. This was due to knowing Morgan is being looked after by someone other than my mum or HSS. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, getting an acquaintance to babysit was the only option. I had been feeling palpitations for an hour and a half, after which I was so nauseous I had to run to the toilets. This, my dearies, is what being worried sick feels like.

On a more positive note, Morgan is well, and happy. For the past week she has been trying to get up on all fours to try and crawl, but so far she's only managed to move a "step" backwards. It is a matter of days now til she manages.

Off to work again!
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from GO Mobile
18July2012 - Bathtime fun!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

If they wanna get me making toys, If they wanna get me, well, I got no choice

Tomorrow is the day I rejoin the "Real World" - and quite frankly, the "Real World" sucks.

I'm trying to figure out the effin buses that will take me to work, since the ever-so-clever new Bus Company that took over about a year or so ago decided to remove the bus stop that was the closest to my work place. 

For the coming 5 weeks, I'll barely be seeing Morgan other than whilst she's asleep - or half-asleep, anyway - and I'll see even less of HSS.  This will be followed by another 7 weeks of barely seeing HSS but thankfully, of spending more time with Morgan.  I can't wait til I'm on my proper shift so that I'll get some time with both HSS and Morgan - as it should be.

These past few months have been like a dream - spending every day with the two of them... Knowing that those days will now be over is somewhat painful.  I'm way too aware of how quickly Morgan learns new things and how quickly she's growing.  Spending time away from My Family will hurt. 

At least, Morgan will be spending most of her time with family anyway.  It just sucks being denied the opportunity to see her grow up step by step.

Cuddling up in front of the TV [1st July 2012]


I envy SATMs.  Stay-at-home-Mums, that is.  Or rather, Stay-at-home-Parents, anyway.  I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.  I know SATPs who are dying to go out in the Employment World - and Working Parents [like Yours Truly] who are dying to be with their child[ren] every single day.

I made my own bed, I know, and I will lie in it.  I have to keep reminding myself that it will be better for Morgan in the long run, this way.  I'll be able to provide for her financially much better than what I would be able to had I opted to quit my job and become a SATM. 


And yet, I can't help but wish I could be a SATM. 

Egoistically speaking, I am also what I commonly refer to as "meh" about not having as much time with HSS.  It mainly is knowing that by the time we get 5 minutes together during which we can talk, we'll both be too tired to actually make the most out of it.



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I got love in my tummy

It has begun.


"What's this?" [25June2012] 

I woke up rather early and went out to buy supplies.  I bought her these awesome heat sensing spoons by Tommee Tippee which change colour to show you that the food is hot, some freezer tubs, and lots of different foods by Organix.  Once back home, I labelled the food fior easy recognition and put ti all away in Morgan's cupboard.

At first, I was finding it all to be way too daunting and was going to postpone the First Weaning Experience til the following day.  I changed my mind a few moments later though as I was way too excited to give it a shot and see what happens! 

HSS and I sat Morgan down in her highchair, and put on a bib round her neck.  I chose the try out this thingy here first. 

NOM! [25June2012]
I scooped up a tiny bit of food and fed it to Morgan.  I held my breath to see what would happen.

What's this?! [25June2012]

Morgan's reaction seemed to be "What's this thing she's putting in my mouth? Why can't I suck on it? What's this new taste? THIS IS ALL SO STRANGE!! AND STOP TAKING PHOTOS OF ME WHILST I TRY TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT!!!!!!!!!"

"I'm so confused!!" [25June2012]
She was hungry and seemed to like it, but couldn't get how she was meant to do it.  Her tongue kept darting in and out, dropping half of the food out of her mouth and down her cute little strawberry-shaped chin.

:D [25June2012]
HSS was taking shitloads of photos in the meanwhile, dancing around us with his phone, enjoying the scene unfolding in front of his gorgeous eyes, and yet being antsy due to wanting to try and feed Morgan himself but not really daring interrupt.


Having noticed his eagerness to give it a try, I handed over the spoon and my seat, and went camera-happy myself.

Hand-over completed! [25June2012]
The first spoonful fed to Morgan by HSS was accompanied by this tune here being hummed.  I couldn't stop giggling at the nerdiness of it all.  Poor Morgan is doomed! Muahahahaha.

"Why are you making strange sounds? AND WHY ARE YOU NOT FEEDING ME?!" [25June2012]
Morgan grew more and more perplexed but seemed to be enjoying the New Noms. 


Omnomnomnomnomnom! [25June2012]
Morgan's tongue kept darting in and out, however she repeatedly lent forward towards the spoon, indicating she wanted more. 

Food is fun! [25June2012]
It was really fun watching HSS and Morgan go through the whole process - this was one hell of a First for all three of us!

"Ok, just a little bit more." [25June2012]
After a short while, Morgan started getting frustrated at too many new things to deal with all at once - new flavours, new textures, new feeding method and new feeding equipment, and ultimately, sitting in a highchair instead of being held in our arms whilst being fed.   She was clearly hungry, and not in the mood to keep experimenting for much longer.

 
Is it time for my milk yet?! IS IT?! [25June2012]

When she started showing signs of distress, we stopped the First Meal and gave her her bottle as usual - which she drained happily.


Since then, we're trying the weaning thing twice a day - breakfast and lunch just before giving her her bottle.  With every Feeding Session, she eats a little bit more, and is slowly getting the hang of it!

On other news, Morgan's second tooth is breaking through! This one is on the left bottom side - it is either a canine or a molar, I'm not entirely sure. Tiny gums with no teeth make it difficult to say until the tooth emerges completely.  Poor girl is in quite a bit of pain lately - however thankfully the Dentinox Teething Gel seems to do the trick in soothing her.

I'm currently trying my best to make the most out of the remaining days before this week is through.  Monday is Back To Work for me.  Eh, I'm dreading it to be honest - not because I don't like the job - I do. I missed it actually!  I'm just not looking forward to spending so little time with Morgan and HSS.  Morgan discovers something new every day - at least one thing evolves in her behaviour and in her physical appearance.  Her First Word, First Crawl, First Step and a plethora of other Firsts are bound to happen at any given moment - and I'm likely to miss out on those milestones.  I wish I could be a Stay-At-Home Mum, however it is in Morgan's best interest that I be a Working Mum. 








Monday, 25 June 2012

I think I'm a banana tree

It happened.

Morgan's first tooth has finally showed up!

Her bottom right canine broke through her gum about 3 days ago.  I had a feeling that it would be a canine as she kept sticking her fingers in her mouth, on the side, and munching on them.  I noticed a small white dot on her gum and ran my finger over it to see if it may have been some milk residue.  When I saw it didn't go away, I had the confirmation that it was indeed a tooth. I was so excited!!

I'll miss her toothless grins - but her having teeth to bare whilst grinning will probably be just as cute. If not cuter!


On another note...

This is my last week before going back to work.  It is upsetting - I won't get to spend as much time with either Morgan or HSS.  The first five weeks I'll barely see either one of them, then for a further 7 weeks following that, I'll see Morgan more but barely see HSS.  Once these 3 months go by, things will improve, but it will still be very different to what life is like right now.

I got used to spending time apart to be honest - but knowing I can go back home to Morgan whenever I want helped me cope with not being with her 24/7.  When we're not together, all HSS and I think about is Morgan.  We end up wondering what she's doing, how she's feeling, what new thing she might have discovered... Now, I'll be missing out much more, and the worst bit is that I won't be able to go back home whenever I'd like to if it all becomes way too overwhelming.

Ugh.


This whole grown-up thing sucks at times.

This week, we should be starting the weaning process.  I wonder how messy of a deal it will all be!  I hope Morgan finds it interesting and not too stressful.  I'm still unsure of what food I'll be starting off with to be honest - probably some baby rice or cereal or something.  I'll have to go buy the stuff later. Or perhaps tomorrow.  It depends entirely on how well I can walk [skinned my pinky toe. damned heels.] and on how warmer it gets throughout the day.

Everything is daunting right now.  So many changes! So little time to deal with them all! And so little I can do to affect the outcome! 




Friday, 22 June 2012

Strawberries cherries and an angel's kiss in spring - My summer wine is really made from all these things

Yesterday was Midsummer - also known as Litha and the Summer Solstice.

My celebration? Sweating my arse off.

I'm not fond of Summer at all - I get migraines if I'm in direct sunlight for more than 5-10 minutes.  This, in spite of wearing a hat and sunglasses.  I also start tanning very quickly - even though I'll have Factor 50 sunblock.

This year though, I'm not concerned about the effects Summer will have on me - I'm more concerned about Morgan.  Since she's Super Fair, I'm worried she'll get sunburned very quickly.  I got her a Factor 50+ Sunblock Lotion which is appropriate for babies and sensitive skin.  So far, so good.

Morgan, Summer Version [19June2012]


Morgan sweats a lot - it starts off from the soles of her feet which end up soaking wet, then the rest of her follows.  I'm obviously worried about dehydration.  I know first-hand how easy it is to end up dehydrated.  My mum suggested giving Morgan a sip of water every now and then.

This, of course, has prompted research.

Now, bearing in mind that Morgan is 5 months old, she is still exclusively on formula milk.

The following info is what I found:

"The USDA recommends discussing the introduction of water with baby's paediatrician.
The UK Department of Health recommends that parents give baby nothing but milk for the first 6 months, but advises that water may be given with solids once baby reaches 6 months of age."
So, why is giving water to a baby harmful before they reach the age of 6 months?

  • A baby may "fill up" on water, resulting in him taking less breast milk or formula. This then deprives him of the nutrients essential for healthy growth and development.
  • Too much water can stop your young baby's body from absorbing the nutrients it needs from milk. It can also lead to an imbalance of electrolytes.
If baby is exclusively breastfed, there is simply no need to give him extra water, even in very hot conditions. It is, of course, important to increase your own water intake and to nurse your baby frequently.  On the other hand, if Baby is formula milk fed like Morgan, Formula Milk is made up of over 80% water.  Therefore giving additional water is moot.

Once Baby starts weaning [which is recommended by the  WHO [World Health Organisation] not to commence before Baby turns 6 months old], it seems to be OK to give Baby a little water.  Having said that, giving too much water to your baby can lead to Water Intoxication.

WHAT?!
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits (e.g., hyponatremia) by overhydration, i.e., over-consumption of water.
"According to pediatricians like James P. Keating, MD, medical director of the St. Louis Children's Hospital Diagnostic Center, too much water dilutes a baby's normal sodium levels and can lead to seizures, coma, brain damage and death."

 Clicky here for more info about Water Intoxication, and here for more info about Giving Baby Some Water!

Now, I know I mentioned that the WHO advises not to start weaning to babies under 6 months of age.  Having said that, every baby is different and some need/are prepared for 'solids' before they reach the 6 month mark.

Morgan seems to be one of them babies.  She has been showing a keen interest in food for over a month now, and is getting hungrier and hungrier with every day that goes by.  She is currently drinking 210ml+7 scoops every four hours - however most of the time the usual 4 hour gap doesn't elapse as she gets hungry by the time 3 hours will have gone by.

In all honesty, I'm glad that she seems to be ready for weaning early.  This way I can, maybe, be the one to try and feed her for the very first time.  If we were to wait til she turns 6 months old, I'll already have gone back to work, and her first feed would be carried out either by HSS or by my mum.

I've been doing some research about weaning and have found a brand I feel comfortable with trying out - Organix.  I will be preparing her meals myself, however it is always good to have a back-up especially when out and about.  I'll report back with updates the day we start weaning!

Oh, and this is the highchair HSS and myself got her. 

Little Miss Independent taking matters in her own hands! [22June2012]







Saturday, 16 June 2012

Burn Baby Burn! Disco Inferno!

Yesterday was a Day From Hell.


In Malta we have 2 seasons - Summer [Mid-march - Christmas] and Autumn [Boxing Day - Mid-March].  It gets way too hot for my liking - and before you tell me to quit whinging and to sod off to some place else [like the ever-so-lovely UK] [[mmmmm rain]] - I did, and had to come back unfortunately.  Or fortunately, anyway.  Had I not returned, I wouldn't have My Family nowadays.

I get migraines after 5 - 10 minutes in direct sunlight.  Sucks.

Morgan seems to be affected worse than me though.  Which leads me back to the Day From Hell topic.

I ended up giving Morgan 2 baths.  The first one was due to her feeling so uncomfortably warm, in spite of being just in her nappy, that she started crying her lungs out to the point where she almost turned purple.  This happened over the span of 2 minutes.  She was inconsolable, poor baby.

We spent about 10 minutes or so bathing.  By the end of it she was giggling and gurgling happily.

Her second bath happened at the same time as her daily bath and helped her cool down enough to bear wearing clothes.  I always ensure she's clothed at night since she wriggles, tosses and turns so much that she always ends up kicking the bedsheets off her.

 
Morgan attempting to blow raspberries -[15th June 2012]

So - we've got one warm-as-hell baby.... who is also teething... and is easily bored.  Meaning I spent all day trying to keep her cool, amused and soothe her teething pains.



When she finally fell asleep, I was so tired and irritable that I unleashed my bitchiness on an unknowing victim.

I had mentioned quite a long time ago that I was irked by the lack of Nappy Changing Facilities in the shopping centre-cum-cinema that is just a few streets away from my home.  Well... I managed to find an e-mail address, and sent an     e-mail, asking whether there is a minimum age requirement for a child to go watch a movie that is marked as "U" by the censorship board.  "U" stands for Universal - meaning it is appropriate for all ages.

I also asked why there are no nappy changing facilities in the entire shopping complex, considering that they have shops selling baby clothes and accessories and also have a play area.

To my surprise, I received an e-mail back today with an apology for any inconvenience I may have encountered.  I was told that there's a nappy changer installed in the Play Area Toilets [which I was unaware of their existence merely because Morgan is still too young to access this Play Area] and that there's one due to be installed in the Cafeteria area.  In the reply I received, I was assured that these facilities will be marked in a more clear manner [since clearly they aren't, otherwise I'd have noticed them!]. The person who replied to my e-mail also agreed with me regarding the Cinema needing to cater for all ages since "U"-rated movies can be watched by people of all ages.  He asked whether I've experienced any inconveniences.

I sent an e-mail back thanking the guy for his reply and for acknowledging the issues I raised and for being willing to rectify them.  I explained I haven't encountered any inconveniences as of yet - but that is entirely due to my planning ahead and timing my outings in a manner that helps me avoid having to change nappies whilst out and about.  I pointed out that Potty Training can take a long time and it is not uncommon for 4 year olds not to be fully potty trained - and that I have every intention of taking my daughter to the cinema before she is fully potty trained.  I mentioned that my not having encountered issues doesn't mean other parents haven't - but that it is likely that most of them aren't bothered with taking any action due to being used to encountering obstacles of the sort everywhere they go.

I'm hoping that this matter is rectified sooner rather than later.  It would be nice to be able to hang out in this shopping centre without having to worry about the lack of Nappy Changing facilities.

Oh - and before I forget - Thursday was a good day.  HSS and I bought a high-chair for Morgan and then took her out for coffee in Bugibba.  This was her first time there.  We are having people stop us in the street to ask how old she is and to make remarks about how beautiful she is.  I find it amusing when they tell HSS congrats on having such a beautiful baby.  To me, that means that his street cred is ruined for life.  Jokes aside - it is always pleasant in a warm-fuzzy-feeling-kind-of-way for a random stranger to recognise the love between a parent and a child - regardless of whether there are bio-links or not.

Lion King Moment :) [14th June 2012]




Monday, 11 June 2012

Cheese!

Peek-a-boo! :D [8th June 2012]

So, I've been trying to post an update for a couple of weeks. I started typing it on my laptop and haven't had the time to finish it yet. Sorry, people!

Please bear with me (RAWR! Ha. Sorry, I always picture a bear whenever I hear that expression :D ) whilst I'm busy being a mum and trying to dispose of the bomb that seems to continuously explode over and over again at home.

Morgan is doing really well! We've now switched from pram to pushchair, and she has started to roll over from her back to her belly and back (though she sometimes gets stuck on her belly).

Things with HSS couldn't be better!

I am happy, and Morgan is happy.

The whole point of this blog initially was to have a place where I could rant, rave, vent and declutter my brain from all sorts of worries and thoughts. Since things are going so well, I haven't had the need to write anything worth while lately.

I shall post an update as soon as I find the time, with the story of how Morgan's Other Granny's Visit went. In a nutshell, it went well.

As I type this, I'm on the way back home where I shall shortly get Morgan all cleaned up and fed before taking her over to my mum's. She willk babysit for a short while to enable HSS and myself to go buy a bed guard for Morgan. Yay for safety!

I am currently looking up weaning info - silly UK/US sites mean different things by "weaning" - in the States they use it to mean moving on from breastfeeding to anything else, whereas UK sites mean to say the intro of real food as opposed to breastmilk/formula milk.

As you peoples know, my boobs failed in the function of noms, and have limited themselves to just being decorative. This means that _my_ weaning will entail the intro of real food. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), weaning shouldn't be introduced before Baby is 6 months old. Having said that, some start weaning from the age of 4 months. Not every baby has the same needs/appetite.
Morgan is showing a keen interest in food - she has that "Dog Thing" going on where she watches interested your every move whenever food or drink is concerned.

Omnomnomnomhandnomnomnom

She is currently drinking 210ml water& 7 scoops formula every 4 hours approx. Hungry bebbeh is hungry.

Oh, and we also now have set up her travel cot to act as a playpen. It has been filled with colourful stuff - toys and such. Enough distractions to keep Morgan amused for the long period of time that is 10 minutes.

6th June 2012
 

She has been experiencing some separation anxiety and panics if left alone for longer than 5 minutes.
That is about it for now.

Have a good day everyone!

P.s. Here's a Moving Morgan feat. HSS :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Happy Happy Joy Joy

I've had complaints that I haven't blogged in a few days.

Sorry!

I've not been 100% health-wise, so it made juggling everything more tiring than usual.

All I have to say is this though:


I'm happy. Morgan is happy. HSS seems to be happy as well.


21st May 2012 - Happy times :D
On Saturday evening, Morgan slept over at my grandma's house.  HSS and I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday - didn't stay out late though as we were both pretty tired.  On Sunday, we grabbed brunch at Mint - whereby HSS's tastebuds were deflowered by means of the infamous Orgasmic Brownie.  After noms, we were going for a walk when I found a couple missed calls from my sis.  I called her back and she asked me to go buy nappies and Bebegel for Morgan as she had been restless all morning due to bellyache.

Off we went to the airport's pharmacy! It was the first of undoubtedly many Parental Emergencies to happen - and I'm glad I wasn't alone in this.  Once the goods were acquired, we went over at my grandma's to attend to Morgan's needs.  Eventually, Morgan and I came back home and HSS left for work.

Monday found us all in a pretty good mood, as can be testified via the above picture.  That is the first photo of the three of us.  One photo I very much cherish.  We played and cuddled all day!

Today is now Tuesday - and Morgan's Paternal Granny has arrived on the island! Her plane should have landed a minute ago.  I'm not in tip top shape as I have a very sore and swollen throat.  I think I had fever earlier, which is why Morgan is staying at my mum's for the night.  Will give me some time to try and recover as the days to come are going to be quite on the sociable side!

Morgan is teething at the moment which makes her uber drooly.  She is becoming more sociable than ever and more vocal too.  Today I kept imitating her sounds and that seemed to please her. She is also using her hands more efficiently and holds her head up straight for longer periods of time.  She still loves music and will get restless if there is no music on.  She turned 4 months old today! Can't believe time is going by so quickly!!


Friday, 18 May 2012

The way you make me feel

Motherhood, in the early years, involves mainly of trying not to get baby spew in your hair and all over your clothes, whilst soothing a colicky/gassy/bored/hurting/hungry/tired/overall cranky baby by carrying him/her on one hip/seating him/her on one leg and holding him/her with one arm whilst you attempt to do whatever needs to be done with the other hand.  All on very low levels of energy following sleepless nights.

Come sunshine or rain, health, sickness, pain - you name it - that is what the daily routine consists of for the vast majority of the time whilst Baby is awake.

There are awesome moments when Baby is in a good mood - you then get to hear gurgles, cooing, giggles, and you can enjoy playtimes.

Needless to say the ongoing threat of baby spew, amongst other things, can affect a New Mum's self confidence and her self esteem.  This tends to drive a lot of New Mums into a so-called self imposed Dry Spell.  Combine the changes in one's body with being over tired and always smelling of spoilt milk and acid - et voila!

Which is why, in my humble opinion, there is nothing sexier than a Man covered in baby spew.

Does it make sense? Undoubtedly, other mothers will understand where I'm coming from - especially those whose man refrains from holding a crying baby or from changing nappies out of fear of "breaking Baby" or some silly excuse along those lines. 

Morning noms! 18th May 2012

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

And then there were three

Today, HSS unlocked 3 consecutive achievements.

Firstly, the Almighty Nappy Change.

Morgan decided to go gently on him and refrain from going into Uber Pooper mode on him. Watching him trying to figure out how to undo her buttons made me realise how clueless men can be when it comes to these things. No wonder so many teenage boys never learn how to unhook a bra! Kudos to whoever invented the Dreaded Booby Trap's latching system.

Once Flying Potato was carried out and Morgan was dressed again, we moved onto Phase Two.

Feeding The Beast.

Having explained how the bottle warmer works, I then showed HSS how to check the milk's temperature to ensure that an optimal warmth is reached prior to the feed's commencement. I then popped the question.

The one question most men fear.

"Would you like to feed Morgan?"

Hesitantly but faking bravado, he accepted the challenge. He held Morgan securely and started feeding her.

That is when I needed to take the photo enclosed with this blog post. The scene unfolding in front of my eyes was the kind to make any women's uterus go *SQUEE!*

Right after the feed was over, task number 3 was carried out - namely reading "Guess How Much I Love You?" out loud to Morgan.

It was a "HELL YEAH!" kind of moment in my head.

Life is good!

All of the above was followed by HSS cooking, us nomming, and then I had to go to the Doc's for the Post-Natal Appointment. This is meant to be carried out after 6 weeks from giving birth. It has been 3 months, 3 weeks now.

I hopped on the bus with Morgan after bidding adieu to my HSS, and met up with my mum. We made a pit stop in Valletta as I NEEDED to go buy a book.

Destined by Aprilynne Pike. Book 4 - the final instalment - of the WINGS series. I marched in the shop looking for it and the salesgirl saw me and said "We received it today." I had been to the shop last week to ask about it. I told her "I know" - thanks to Davide who works in another outlet of the chain of bookstores who had messaged me in the morning to let me know.

Happy times will occur as soon as Morgan allows me to have some time to read.

We got to the doc's a few minutes late. Appointment was at 4pm.. By 5:20pm we were still waiting and there were another 3 people before us still. I told the doc's wife, who was acting as his secretary today, that I had to go and to call me to reschedule.

We made a dash for it, and I managed to get back home with Morgan just after 6pm - in time for her bath and bottle.

Oh - I almost forgot. On the bus, I caught Morgan red-handed - she managed to suck on her hand without spitting out the dummy. Sneaky baby! Clever too!

We are now chilling on the sofa, enjoying one another's company prior to bedtimes.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Celebrate good times! Come on!


Those of you who know me, know what to expect whenever the Carlton Dance resurfaces.

Yep. It is my Happy Dance!

Which can only mean one thing - good news!


I got the long-awaited phone call from work earlier today.  HSS and myself had just been playing with Morgan and I was in the process of changing her nappy when the phone call came through.  At first, they hung up by the time HSS handed me my phone.  Soon after though, the phone rang again.

MY REQUEST FOR REDUCED HOURS GOT APPROVED!

This means I will now be working 4 days a week - for a total of 30 hours.  And - I will always go back home to an awake Morgan.  It also means I won't need the daycare as much - thus, less expenses.


Then, I got told I'd be called back with a confirmation of when I'll be returning back to work.  I thanked the HR Manager and hung up.

Morgan was in a playful mood then - and she seemed to have decided that forevermore, I should take on the role of Bad Cop whereas HSS would be Good Cop.  We had an 'argument', her and I, over her wanting to suck on her hand instead of the dummy.  HSS couldn't keep a straight face.  She kept spitting out, or pulling out, the dummy, looking at him with a grin on her face, then looking at me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye, grin, and slowly move her hand towards her mouth.  Eventually, she'd put her hand in her mouth, which is when I'd go "MORGAN! No handy!" and she'd immediately remove her hand, and allow me to give her the dummy.  We kept this up for a good 15 - 30 minutes.  I must admit, I too was trying not to burst out laughing.  I need to practise my stern look and "the voice" though.


Mischief is afoot! 14th May 2012

After what seemed like an eternity, I got a call back from work.  They informed me that I will be returning back to work on the 2nd July! ANOTHER MONTH WITH MORGAN!

AND it will be paid.  I'll then have 5 weeks of working 9-6 Mon-Fri due to refresher classroom training, followed by a good number of weeks of Mon-Fri 9-3 of hands-on training, after which I'd be going on my fixed, reduced hours. Any hours I work which exceed the 30 hours weekly would be taken as time in lieu, meaning my leave will be regained rather than getting paid extra.  I'm happy doing that.

Morgan and I then went for coffeetimes and banter with my mum, followed by a quick trip top the store to buy her formula milk, then back home for bath and bottle.  she is now happily snoozing the evening away. 

Anyway - off to prepare her bottles now!

Toodles! x

Mum's the word, they say

I hope all mothers out there had a brilliant Mother's Day!

In all honesty, I don't appreciate the occasion myself.  Why limit yourself to just one day a year where you show someone you care?  My first Mother's Day was nothing short of ordinary.  It still involved nappies and bottles and baby drool.  I see love in my daughter's eyes every day, so at this present moment in time "Mother's Day" is merely an insignificant phrase.

As HSS pointed out, the moment Morgan gives me some Mother's Day gift, my heart will probably melt and I'll start appreciating the 'holiday'.

So yeah, anyway.

Things are proceeding well.  With HSS, everything is going smoothly and I'm happy.  I have Morgan, and I have HSS - I want nothing more.

Today, I'm meant to receive a phone call form work regarding my return.  I'm hoping it happens earlier in the day rather than later so that I won't have to wait around.  Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly!

So, updates where Morgan is concerned.

On Saturday afternoon, she went out ON HER OWN for the first time.

My parents took her to Valletta with them.  I was so nervous about it! They got there and back by bus, so I was concerned that the pram might topple over at any point if they didn't manage to hold it properly.  Apparently, everything went well and my dad held Morgan for about 10 seconds for the first time.  When I was told he panicked, I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of a grown man not knowing what to do when faced with amusing a child.

Morgan also had her FIRST SLEEPOVER without me on that same day!  Since it was Date Night, and my mum and grandma hadn't seen Morgan in quite a few days, I agreed to have my mum babysit rather than a friend.  This meant that I could find some time to tidy up the house and not worry about having to get home early enough to have a decent night's sleep [or rather, attempted decent night's sleep] since I didn't have to wake up for the first bottle of the day.

All went well thankfully. 

I missed her sorely though.  The house isn't a home without her.  It was way too quiet - in spite of her being a quiet baby.  I missed her tiny nose snoring the night away and her occasional whimpering.

At one point, my brain kicked into Mummy-mode without me realising it.  As I was talking to HSS, he yawned and my hand automatically shot out and covered his mouth - just like I do to Morgan.  We both burst out laughing and he started going through all the things I tend to tell Morgan whenever she yawns and I try to convince her to make sounds whilst I tap her mouth.  

Now, I'm off to face the day.  Coffee summons!

Guten Morgan :D 14th May 2012