Tag Archives: African Sally

If we go down to the woods today…

8 Mar
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Singing in the rain….

How do you summarize the onset of verbal diarrhea, seriously, that is what is literally is. From the times her eyes open to the time she goes to sleep it’s an explosion of words complete with the most adorable facial expressions and appropriate body language. A gentle reminder that this in fact a living, breathing and most definitely thinking human being who will not be ignored, even by the most disinterested of neighbors…

She has started to go to a group daycare called CEFA 3 days a week, as you can see in the picture they wear uniform so to help with the distinction we call this ‘school’ and to Natasa’s two days a week she just going to see Baka (this is Gogo in Serbian and also what Gagi calls her) and play with Gagi. She took a while to settle in. Nearly 3 months to be exact. She wasn’t unhappy but neither was she happy. She was polite, did everything she was asked to do, she ate what she could stomach (and proceed to act like a hungry street kid when we picked her up), she got by with minimal effort. We have come to the conclusion she was just observing the situation, figuring out where she fit and if these people knew what they were doing (they were going through a staffing change so a few substitute teachers came and went but the main teacher remained the same). They thought she was a model citizen and they were ‘waiting for her voice to come out’. Then her highness settled in and began to exercise said voice and say no! That was when I knew she was now comfortable and happy. LOL!

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Chilling like a boss

She loves to go to school though and play with all her friends who she quite happily enquires as to whether they too are being forced to sleep at night by their dictatorial mothers. “Where’s … Raazik?”, “At his house, sleeping”. Where’s…. Isabelle?”, “At her house sleeping. “Where’s … Kaysan?”, “At his house sleeping” and so it goes on until we have named Nadia, Semra, Jai, Cameron, Nyssa (Anyssa), Amber, Krish, Cory and Nika (Annika). I am sure you can see where this is going, we also tend to be very very hungry at bedtime and we might also need to go pee pee or enquire as to whether is cloudy, raining, sunny, snowing, dark or windy. We however learnt that when it’s time no talking, no crying, just sleep which she repeats a few times to check just in case the rules have changed.

The most important event surrounding school though is the train. We take the train to school and we have 2 stops which take 5 minutes and then another 5 to 7 minutes to walk to the daycare, as long as she’s in the stroller, if she decides to walk well… I am sure you can imagine. The Skytrain system has two types of trains. The older ones are white and the newer ones are a grey/blue/black color combination. To Missy they are black. She only wants to go on the black train and she has been known to scream bloody murder if she is made to go on a white train. The trouble is that sometimes you can wait for 8 or even 10 trains before a black one come along. Oh boy, it’s painful, more so on chilly windy mornings. She’s happy bundled in the stroller, me .. not so much. I am less patient since I need to be at work by 9am, Baba can take his time cause it’s usually his day off when he takes so, so as a result she’d rather go with him because he’s willing to wait for the black train.

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Snow eating Mt Seymour

We also truly began potty training a month ago and it’s been going very well, one or two accidents a week but that’s all so far. I know…. On hindsight now I can see some of your faces when at 8 months I said I would slowly start it. I abandoned that once she started to use the potty as her TV watching platform whilst she was fully clothed! She’s good at telling you when she needs to go and now she only has a pull-up diaper at night. Over the weekend we had just had breakfast and we were skyping Gogo when she started to run to the toilet saying I need to do poo, I started to run behind her and then she turned back around, ran to her books and was yelling “Book, book Mama, duck book”, “Really is this your priority right now, reading, I thought you wanted to poo?”. Then I can only imagine out of desperation she grabs a book and runs back to the toilet, I help her on and she says “close door mama…please..” and she proceeds to do her business and read the book out loud! Hmmmmm, I think I missed the memo, when did this start…. LOL! Now it’s standard procedure.

 

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Going Shopping

Missy likes to help us cook and clean up. For Christmas, Baka gave her a set of pots, pans and utensils that she has ‘picnics’ with and she cooks her pasta and chickpeas. She cautions us that ‘it is hot and no touch mama’. Then we have to sit down and let her mix then we can try some. She is also dying to go to the beach and I keep telling her she has to wait until it’s sunny and warmer…. She keeps agreeing but I am not sure we’re on the same page because two days later I get the same question. Her birthday is also always tomorrow and she’s guaranteed to have a party and lots of presents.

I took her to a Goodnoise Gospel Choir concert on Sunday, 5 minutes in she complained it was too loud and she proceeded to start singing Happy Birthday Baba just went the solo was going into a beautiful rendition of ‘Oh Happy Day’, you know at the beginning when the music is melodic and soft…Missy starts her own song,clapping as she jumps on the pew… Popular music is not her thing by any stretch of the imagination. If you play the radio in the car or at home, play my own music I get ‘Turn it off mama!’, she can tolerate her father’s reggae, namely ‘One Step Forward’ by Max Romeo, I think mostly because of the actions that go with it. The clear winner is Classical Music, that is the only music that doesn’t get dismissed or deemed as too loud. It started off with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Netflix. The program is accompanied by what I think is very average imagery and animation and classical music, Missy loves the book and the music seems to literally make her heart sing.

On a final note the main way I get her to do what she would rather not do now is say “Missy I am going to count to 5 then you have to do…” Now she’s taken to pre-empting it and just saying “Count to 5 Mama”….. clever little girl…

Be kind to one another people, stay blessed.

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Lunar Festival Year of the Monkey

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The princess is here: a day in the life of a strong-willed toddler.

24 Jul
Princess and her crown

Princess and her crown

Where do I begin, essentially her words have arrived and this has empowered her to well and truly establish her reign over her subjects. She can now also open and close doors by herself so she has no real need for us save for the bare necessities of life!

On, Monday, daycare was closed so Malaika had the pleasure of spending the day with Mammi (I am still quite annoyed she’s chosen to reject calling me Mama unless she wants to sugar coat her request). I am going to digress here a little. We both do our best to speak to her in Shona, tell her the Shona equivalent of things but it is easier said than done. Much to our disappointment her first words have been English ones, perhaps we are fully to blame, perhaps we are not. We’ll see how her language develops. It has made us more determined to Shona-fy her! Anyway back to our day. We started off at the library, it was story-time, a session she used to love to take part in, that was until she paid more attention to the fact there are unmaned computers outside the story-time area. I even switched off the screen before she got to it but she adamantly sat at the blank screen and banged away at the keyboard for a good chunk of time, enthusiastically forcing a kiss on me and saying bye-bye so I could leave her be. This happens a lot lately and she did it twice later on in the day, once when she wanted to hang out in her room with the door closed (turns out she has the runs, I guess no one wants to share those moments either) and another time when she was ‘on-the-phone’ with a toy car. She’s not even a teenager yet and she wants to be left alone! Anyway after the keyboard had no life left in it and she briefly bound up the stairs and then discovered other toddlers players with lego, dinosaurs and trains. This could be fun you’re thinking, until a little boy didn’t want to share his train, she grabbed it from him, he took it back, she sulked, he gave it back and he wanted him back and she smacked him! He was clearly close to melting point anyway because he cried so much he began to heave and his mother took him home….

Sunny day in the play park

Sunny day in the play park

We then made our way to the baby area where is a rather popular kitchen, she didn’t want to share the kitchen with another little girl who got there first, that produced a few tears and when she moved on to some books another girl wanted to read with her and she would have none of it. I told her she wouldn’t make any friends if she didn’t learn to be more friendly to which a lady produced commented “well she’s pretty enough not to have to worry about making friends!”. Really? Wow, I was at a loss, all I could say was you can’t get by on just your looks, she clearly begged to differ. After these ‘words of wisdom’ we went to watch free CBC outdoor #musicalnooners concert before going home for lunch and a nap! The rest of the afternoon included a brief bike lesson, a meltdown at WholeFoods over chips, a reading and singing session followed by dinner over Pepper Pig for her whilst I dreamed of a large glass of wine!

This was also  the first day she has been able to properly open and close a door with no hesitation. Her world is now suddenly filled with all these possibilities. The prime one being, if she doesn’t want to sleep she can just get up, open the door and be on her way to more interesting things. It used to be for many months after dinner we would brush our teeth, hop into bed, read a book or two, sing a rhyme, whisper a lullaby, have a few sips of tea, kiss and hug goodnight, I would say ‘goodnight I love you, see you tomorrow’, she would nod and wave, I would close the door and that was it until the morning. Sometimes she would stall and ask for ‘pee pee’ or ‘num num’ (food) but that was all, now she can let you leave, think you’re out of the woods, settle in for some telly and dessert and then you see this little face in the shadow, slowly creeping towards you saying ‘Mamma……what’s this?’ Before you know it, it’s been 4 attempts, your ice-cream is melted, it’s midnight and you haven’t the energy to catch up on Being Mary Jane. It’s like this all week…as my mum reminded me ‘Some mothers do have them!’

Eating chibage

Eating chibage

We have some new words and phrases, No is still ranking at number one followed by ‘What’s this’ , ‘What is this’ (this is for when you reply incorrectly and she needs you to get it right, emphasis on the IS) , ‘Who’s this’, ‘All done’ (this generally signals the end of whatever you or she is doing), ‘Bye-bye see you’ (a must at the end of every elevator ride, screamed louder if the occupants do not respond the first time) and ‘Oh no..’. Then we have more new words book, phone, shiri (bird), car, choochoo (train). There are many more and she’s learning and asking the words for things all the time.  When she masters a new word she has to keep repeating it over and over again until you just about lose your mind. It’s hard to be stern with her, we really have to work at it. It’s funny the things you remember but I remember my mother I think either trying to shout or hit me and then she burst out laughing instead. I have been doing this at least twice a day the last week and a half I have been spending all day with her. That face looks at your and you can’t keep a straight face!

Today we are going to try uniforms for daycare and then we are off to the lake house with Uncle Matty for 4 days! A much needed break.

Have a great weekend everyone, stay curious…

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly

p.s. we have moved on from chicken skin , we now eat the whole wing and munch on the bones…

The Skin-eater

26 May
With baby in her 'office'

With baby in her ‘office’

Miss Malaika is now 20 months old; 4 months shy of 2 years old! Wow, time really does fly. It’s taken me 2 weeks to actually complete this blog post; I had to change her age from 19 months. Somehow I thought at this stage I would have more time, I don’t know why… there’s no harm in dreaming.

Our child is still a picky eater and despite both of us swearing she must weigh 10kg/22pounds she’s not quite there yet. She may get there soon though because she’s taken to eating chicken skin, yes my child is a skin eater! The pediatrician said she needs to eat lots of fat and protein, she was listening and she took it to heart. How did we figure this out you ask? It started with chicken wings, she wanted to gnaw at the bone so I gave a whole one to work on, she only ate the skin, usually with meat she chews it for an age then hands it to me to dispose of. So I gave her more skin and she just kept eating. We had reached a stage where I would buy a whole chicken, roast half of it and she’d eat the whole lot in one sitting, as disgusting as it is for us to watch she’s in heaven,

Please sir, I want some more...

Please sir, I want some more…

she keeps asking for more, more, more, complete with the hand action.

We can’t eat the chicken meat as quickly as she does the skin, luckily enough the nice lady at Whole Foods meat department has agreed to keep me the skins once a week instead of throwing them out! So there you have it, she eats crispy roast organic chicken skin free of anti-biotics and all the bad stuff. She is an African for sure her go-to foods are: mealie-meal porridge with her Grandmother’s homemade peanut butter, sadza, biltong (salt content makes me cringe but it’s protein), popcorn (maputi), rooibos tea (yes she still doesn’t drink milk or juice, just tea and water, sophisticated toddler some would say).

 

Sleeping her big bed now

Sleeping her big bed now

She has also started swimming lessons at Aquaventures; it’s a joy to watch her take to the water more and more each week. She can stay under water for a few seconds and wants to do the routines, one more time over and over again. Now she wants to walk around the house in her swim diaper and swimming cap, what else would you on a hot summer evening! With any luck she’ll teach her mum how to swim. Seriously I should learn, I may need to save her one day… my one day should come sooner rather than later.

 

The most popular word is NO. I am sure this is the case in most households with toddlers. Is it an indication of what everyone is always saying to them? Perhaps… Once they learn it , it’s not easily un-learnt, in our house it’s been upgraded, now instead of no we get ‘No waaaayyy’, accompanied with a head shake that has a slight shoulder shuffle… oh dear, we’re in trouble now. Her vocabulary is increasing though some things are just blanket words, in Zimbabwe every soft drink is coke and for Malaika every liquid, even the sea, is tea and most foods are sadza. Also much to my dismay every older white man is Unko a.k.a Uncle, serves us right for trying to teach her to respect her parents friends! Ha ha ha! For some reason Auntie hasn’t caught on as well. She can definitely say Harro or Hi (the former seems reserved for when she’s ‘on the phone’ with the remote, fridge magnet or anything else she thinks can pass for a phone). She also always says ‘Bye bye see you’ when we leave the elevator much to the amusement of people in our building.

 

All dressed up in Portland

All dressed up in Portland

She reads lot of books, or puk-puk as she calls them. She has to read during breakfast and when she’s on the toilet sometimes. Point of correction when I say read I mean: I read and she points and grunts! Occasionally she’s say the words or things she recognizes or go ‘oh-wooowww…..’ at something she deems amazing. What I find interesting is that she can always tell when a book is upside down and she goes to great lengths to put it the right way up. She’s been doing it for as long as she’s shown in interest in books from about 10 months old when she was painstakingly crawling to get to them and trying to flip the pages.

 

I didn’t think much of my request that Baba should pass by IKEA and get a few things one of which was a step for the bathroom. She’s getting too heavy to carry whilst we go through the bedtime teeth brushing routine: first I rub them with a cloth, then she ‘brushes’ whilst I brush, then we both rinse and wipe clean the sink. I made the mistake of introducing the step just before bedtime last night, wow, she was soo excited and then she didn’t want to step down. It took 15 minutes to eventually drag her away kicking and screaming. Then she took an age to actually fall asleep, she was too wound up to sleep. I firmly believe she dreamt about all the things she can now do 5 inches taller….Now she carts the step all over the house trying to see what she’s been missing out on and she quite figured out she can use it to reach all those things we’ve trying to keep out of her reach….

So the grass is singing and summer is here! We are already starting to be able to wear shorts, turning on the fan to cool down and missy has learnt that she can say ‘ice biz’ (please) pointing to the freezer with a little bowl in her hands, ice will appear and she can happy suck away at it. Of course she’s not doing this for the purposes of ‘cooling down’ it’s just a kids-ice-thing!

p.s. No more breastfeeding, stopped at 17 months when I went to LA to meet Auntie Nove for a few days, came back and it had dried up! Whoop whoop! Seriously, it was a relief…

Games on the iPhone, friend or foe?

Games on the iPhone, friend or foe?

All I want for christmas is…. rice cakes

18 Dec
Onesie

Onesie

Last night Malaika ate her dinner, by herself from start to finish. This is not from lack of trying on her part but usually I intervene because I feel she’s taking too long and I want to take advantage of a good run before she loses interest. Last night her highness wasn’t having it, she took hold of that fork and she wasn’t letting it go for anyone. She brought the plate closer to her chest with one hand to avoid spillage, Gogo Parktown would be proud, she’d say “arikushandisa munyati” (she’s using her brain). She ploughed through her rice, occasionally picked up some chicken breast , checked it for what I can only imagine is poison given the suspicious look on her face, gobbled it up, pick up the fork and nibbled on more rice. Once she had eaten most of it and what was left was a little too fiddley for her chunky cutlery to navigate she used her fingers to literally pick up and eat every last grain. If I didn’t know better I would check for signs of kwashiorkor, poor child must be starved! Thank you @biglousbutcher , my daughter has only been eating meat in the form of mince or disguised in whatever she’s eating. Whilst she was eating her rice she would occasionally take a few sips of her tea and wash down her gourmet meal.

Let me elaborate on the tea drinking. She still doesn’t drink milk. With all dairy products except for butter she simply smells them and turns away in mild disdain. If it makes it into her mouth she swallows it but puts her hand up ever so emphatically and that is the end of that. We have decided she’s lactose intolerant and her body is telling her to stay away from it. As a result she will be breastfed until she starts to eat enough calcium-rich foods that we won’t be at risk of having a osteoporotic toddler! At any rate what she does drink a lot of is water and rooibos tea. The tea is Rooibos Cape Town from @TheTeaPlace1, infused with lovely flowers and fruit , no sugar, just tea. She doesn’t like juice or any other liquid really. Her Auntie Cher thinks she’s sophisticated, her friend Malaika (what are the chances there’s two of them in Vancouver?) who is 4 thinks it’s just silly, I tend to agree.

After our meal she took great pleasure in helping me sweep up the bits of rice that didn’t make it into her mouth, even holding up the dust pan, it was going really well until she started to pick the rice from the dust pan and eating them! A lesson in domestic hygiene is sorely needed…

Tidy up time

Tidy up time

As you may have gathered she’s running around now. Talking a mile a minute complete with hand actions too. The main problem is she still doesn’t say things we understand so we pretend to have a conversation, totally agree, act appropriately chagrined on her behalf and most of the time seem to get it right. Occasionally we don’t and she looks at you as if to say ‘That’s totally not what I am saying!” Her strong will continues to shine through, my only hope is that she learns to be flexible and admit when she’s wrong, something my mother wisely says is up to us all to teach and guide her through. Here’s a funny picture, on the day in question it was -2 degrees out, we were going to an Eco Fashion Vintage Pop-up Shop. It wasn’t raining, she’d newly discovered her love of umbrellas. She insisted to she hold the umbrella all the way out of our building and  on the 10 minute walk to the pop-up shop. Thank goodness this phase only lasted a day or two. It’s tricky to navigate a stroller downtown, around lots of other pedestrians whilst trying to help her keep up the umbrella. And of course something would catch her eye and she’s simply let the umbrella go then look at me in annoyance when it hit the ground, huh.. duh…..

RainCouver

RainCouver

Favorites snacks at the moment are LoveChild Organics pat-a-cakes (rice crackers) and toodle-o’s (which are essentially cheerios without the sugar and packed full of goodness) , all sweetened with fruit which is good not only because it’s better for her BUT mainly because she still doesn’t seem to like sweet things. No complaints here at all! Thank you @lc_organics.

We’ve also done a photoshoot for a local kids store : Parade Baby ! Now who wouldn’t want to buy from her? She’d sell ice to an inuit no doubt…

 

Drop Everything

Drop Everything

Count your blessings name them one by one

19 Aug
Haircut

Haircut

A weekly post seems more and more difficult as the back to work routine gets established but once Malaika is in daycare, visitors have gone and we both have a more predictable routine then it may very well happen but for now, posts will come as and when I get a free minute (literally).

So I have been back to work for two weeks now. As the title says I am counting my blessings and naming them one by one because it is hard to believe how smooth the transition has been. My boss and colleagues have been beyond understanding and I am very thankful that I work for an organisation that actively promotes a healthy work-life balance. I have started to go to the chiropractor to fix my ailing body (apparently my spine is straight and neck is so far forward my body feels like my head weighs 25 pounds (11 kgs). I have been going three times a week, before I go to work so I get up put her porridge on, shower, go to chiro, pass by the supermarket if needs be, come back home, breastfeed the princess and then dash to work, most times I am only into the office after 9, sometimes more like 9:30. But on the positive side she’s been happily waving goodbye when I leave and then the second I walk in she breastfeeds, then clings to me for a good hour before I am allowed to put her down, let alone out of my sight. She’s been doing great hanging out with Baba, Mbuya and Sekuru. Her eating has been less than ideal but she eats when she’s hungry which apparently these days is not that often… Breakfast and dinner are good, the rest of the day she just nibbles. The fan favourites are sourdough bread and a fruit puree recipe that I got from Auntie Ethel that has raspberries, blackberries and pears. I pour it into re-usable pouches and she happily sucks away at it! She refuses to drink cow or goat milk, just even smelling them she turns away and raises her hand in protest, she’s not having it. I made a vain attempt at trying to give her formula too, it didn’t even get a lick in, she just smelt it and turned away. I am going to pump whilst I am at work and see if she’ll drink that. If not, c’est la vie, she’s missed the boat and it may be time for weaning.

Dinner has been a consistently good meal and the trick we have discovered is variety and eating together. If we all sit and eat, she’ll eat off everyone’s plate and eat way more than she would of her own food in her own plate. So as a result she eats what we eat, so that means very little salt in all food, not a welcome nor easy feat in a Zimbabwean household but its working so far.

Potty training is going as well as can be expected at this stage. We put her on the potty when she wakes in the morning and from her naps, sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn’t. The other day I got a number one and two! It felt like Christmas! I happily snapped away and Whatsapp-ed them to a few people, much to Auntie Nove’s disgust, “OMG you’re one of those mom’s”, she says, “Hang on, you’re a nurse, thought you could handle it”, to which she cheekily replied, “You ain’t paying me” hmmm….., fair enough ~

Malaika has started to stand on her own with the confidence and speed of one just about to break into a run! She stands up, proudly pumps her chest out and coasts away like an avid surfer, when she falls she claps enthusiastically to our happy chant “Amira mira nhanha , amira mira! ” Literally translated it’s “baby is standing, standing”. It won’t be long now and she’ll be walking, then the fun will begin. As my mum pointed out life will totally slow down cause she’ll want to walk everywhere, and with her level of curiosity she’ll stop every 5 seconds to look, inspect and giggle at everything and we’ll never get anywhere fast again …joy..

She also got her first haircut thanks to Auntie Yani Pacific Hair  . So now she looks like a pretty boy! LOL! It actually makes her look so much more mature, no baby face. It’s cute, we all like it. So no need for anymore outcries, she no longer looks like Blue Ivy, though there was nothing wrong with it in the first place, it was just quite uneven. So no, it won’t be getting combed much, but it’ll be more even.

As parents go, we couldn’t be prouder and in the words of the late Robin Williams:

“Everyone has these two visions when they hold their child for the first time. The first is your child as an adult saying ‘I want to thank the Nobel Committee for this award.’ The other is ‘You want (yam) fries with that?'” (they are healthier for you..kkkkkkk)

Suffer little children to come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

2 Aug
TV Watching

TV Watching

Summer has whizzed past and now its time to go back to work! Time flies when you are having fun, no words have rung truer and then they are now. Lots happening, more excitement to come, pity I am going back to work. Call in sick maybe…. it’s tempting.

Anyway, I digress, the biggest news of the day is that Miss Malaika was baptized on Saturday 26th July. What a blessed day it was. She was baptized at Holy Rosary Cathedral and thanks to Father Dion who was so accommodating and made it all happen before Gogo went back home. She was such a good girl, she’d had a nice long nap prior so she was refreshed and no trouble at all, even when she had water poured on her forehead three times. Thanks to all her uncles, aunties and cousins: Nina and Sanaa who helped celebrate her special day. Her chosen Saints Name, which the help of Gogo, is St. Josephine Bakhita. She was a Sudanese-born slave who lived in Italy and was canonized in 2000. Through all her hardships she was known to be always smiling, an apt name as Malaika is always smiling and happy.

She now has five teeth and is just about ready to get up and start walking. There is lots of furniture walking, pulling up and standing to reach out to anything she deems fit to put into her mouth, plus there is a renewed interest in the constant city traffic now she can get to the window herself and look out to see what’s what. She now recognises the sound of someone turning keys in the door so she looks up, smiles and then you hear the tap, tap of her little hands and legs on the hardwood floor making her way in greeting to whoever’s come home.

Ready to go shopping

Ready to go shopping

As a result the apartment baby-proofing continues. It never ends, just when you relax and think it’s all good she can reach something new or you see interested in something that you hadn’t thought would be an issue at all. This week we need a baby gate for the door to the balcony, by next week I am pretty sure it’ll be something else. So here’s a funny story, when we went to playgroup last week, Gogo saw a toddler pull out and play with one of those outlet/plug protectors and when he was done, he put in back in! Oh dear, his poor parents are none-the-wiser that he’s on to it. I have seen Malaika already seem like she’s just about figured out how to pull them out. In all honestly the chances of her sticking something in there and electrocuting herself are slim to none BUT do I want to be the one-in-a-million parent it happens to? I think not.

On the food front we are doing pretty well. She has renewed interest in food, milk just doesn’t cut it anymore. So I am back to boiling, pureeing and freezing every few days. Thanks to Auntie Ethel after we got back from San Fran we have had lots of raspberry-blackberry-and-pear puree, it’s a fan favorite. I might end up having to make a huge batch that’ll last us through winter since the berries won’t be in season soon. Bread is still very much a daily staple, at least two slices a day. Sadza, sadza, sadza: thanks to Gogo, sadza is now our daily dinner must have. She eagerly gobbles it up and open her mouth wide as we can to eat it! I don’t know how long it’ll last but I am going to ride that wave whilst its high. The last two mornings she’s been eating mealie porridge too, she’s gone off her brown rice cereal as well as the mixed grain now. I feel like a circus performer when it comes to food, always trying to keep her interested, and it’s tough crowd too! And I often have to sing nursery rhymes and sunday school songs to keep her engaged as she eats. The wheels on the bus have been going round and round so much I think the tires are flat! And if Father Abraham has any more sons he’s going to need his own ark just go to get to Mass!

Never too early to brush

Never too early to brush your pearly whites..

It’s all fun and games and it’s only going to get better.

On  sad note Gogo left on Wednesday. So now she doesn’t get her morning cuddles and chat with Gogo. Tasara tega tega, takangotarisana… (we have been left all alone, staring blankly at each other).

On a brighter note her father has a month off work and will be hanging out with her all day. Ambuya and Sekuru arrive on Tuesday, Uncle Nelson arrives at the end of the month and so does Uncle Bruce, Auntie Mildred and the girls from Edmonton! For three days in August they’ll all be here , at the same time, in our tiny apartment, no one will get a word in edgeways and it’ll be grand!

 

ps. How could I forget to mention she’s been sleeping through the night, I mean at least 10 hours solid, for two weeks now! Maybe cause I didn’t want to jinx it.. insert happy dance here, quietly… and go back to sleep glorious sleep..

Walking on sunshine

16 Jul

A thousand apologies for the delayed post. It’s been soo busy I don’t know if I am Arthur or Martha, feels like I am trying to be both!

Summer Dress

Summer Dress

So what’s been happening the last two weeks..where to begin?

Mai Nove and Nove arrived for their week-long visit much to Missy’s delight! All these people doting on her, she didn’t know where to turn. We had an amazing week filled out loud conversations, laughter and soo much love. I often found her looking at me in curiosity because she was hearing me speak and laugh in ways I haven’t done before. There is a certain tone and character your voice takes on when you speak in your native tongue and laugh with women that you just simply wouldn’t otherwise do. I also feel the constant chatter has helped her speak more too, now she’s just babbling and squealing all the time, pity we don’t know what she’s saying, she probably thinks it’s quite rude that no one is responding to her requests!

It was sad to them go but we didn’t have much time to dote on it because on the same day they left we, the girls, went to San Francisco for a few days to visit Jakob, Auntie Ethel and Uncle Ian. First plane ride and she did so well. The flight was about two and a half hours. She slept the whole way there because she had missed her nap in the morning. She was shattered, the excitement of all the people at the airport, the security check and the bright airport lights are enough to take it out of even the most determined of babies. This worked out just fine for me, I was able to read my Essence magazines on my iPad for the first time in months whilst she slept. On a side note, and I fully take responsibility for not having researched this before, I didn’t get a seat belt extender for her on the flight much to my surprise. I asked and the United Airlines air hostess gave me a blank look and said ‘Just hold her’, hmmmmm.  I was shocked that you are expected to just hold the baby in your arms and I guess in case of turbulence or worse, hope for the best. In Australasia you get seat belt extensions for babies but according to the FAA in a rare emergency they are dangerous for the child, in forward impact, the adult would crush the child. You can purchase approved lap belts that you can use during the flight but not at takeoff and landing. So there you have it, it’s best to buy your baby a seat and pop them in an approved car seat if you have safety concerns.

Anyway I digress, San Fran was great! I got some time-out from the usual day-to-day routine, we walked in a different park and had fun hanging out with our San Fran whanau (family in Maori). Jakob (17 months) however took a little while each day to warm to this little baby who was suddenly getting all the attention of his parents and these other two women who kept bringing the baby back, day after day! “Jakob say hello to the baby, did you see the baby Jakob?”, on and on it went on everyday. Oh the humanity… LOL! But it only took him a few minutes to enjoy hanging with his little cousin, they had a few special moments which made us all go ‘ahhhh…..’.

So now we are back and its been hot hot hot and humid in Vancouver. Temperatures the last few days have been in the thirties, not so pleasant when you are in a non-air conditioned apartment trying to keep a baby comfortable enough to sleep. We are north-east facing and we get both morning and evening sun. Nice in winter, a challenge in summer. Her sleep was already disturbed by the visitors, the traveling (though we are in the same timezone as San Francisco), now the heat. If it’s not one thing it’s another, the dreaded sleep dilemma rears its ugly head.. We’ll get there.

We have also been recalled to shoot a dance scene for the commercial! This time, thank goodness it’ll be during the day though it could potentially take 6 hours. We are only doing a scene with her so the delays shouldn’t be too bad. Once we have a link to the finished product we’ll post it. This is the last chance to do any of this before I go back to work so we’ll make the most of it.

The big news this week is that Ambuya and Sekuru (Karl’s parents) are coming! Yayyy! Visas approved, plane tickets purchased, it’s all go! So she’ll get to spend August with Baba at home and her grandparents. She’ll be way too blessed to the stressed for sure.

We’ve started to go to the library which she loves because of the open long aisles that she can crawl to her heart’s content. Stop, flay her arms and giggle at anyone who glances in her direction. She’s very social and alert, something which may prove to be an added challenge as time goes on. We have also been going to the pool, especially in this heat, she loves it especially since they is always one or two other babies or toddlers there to play with.

Crawling

Crawling

On the developmental side we have four teeth and it seems more coming as the drooling is once again freely flowing. She also kind of doing this half-crawl – half walk thing with one leg dragging on the ground and the other her knee up and bum in the air! It’s hilarious. In Malaika’s mind she can walk. She already pulling herself up and letting go, if her hands are free she’ll attempt to brace herself, if she’s got something in her hands then she’ll just fall, and why not, there’s always someone’s hands ready to break her fall! So you can imagine my days are being spent hovering around making sure that its ‘safe’ to fall otherwise having to catch her in time before she cracks her head open!

So there you have it! The summer magic continues, watch this space….

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