Tag Archives: potty training

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

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)

What’s in a name? Mummy or Mhamha. Daddy or Baba.

24 Apr
Play Gym

Play Gym

I have been thinking about what Malaika will end up calling us when she starts to speak. It’s interesting because when I speak to her in english I say “Mummy” and when I am speaking in Shona I say “Mhamha”.  I do seem to keep saying Baba in reference to her father which is curious, maybe he just doesn’t seem like a Daddy! After moving from Zimbabwe to New Zealand and then to Canada I feel like we really are scatterlings of Africa and have an innate need to stay connected to our motherland, more so now that Malaika will not be having an African childhood, well at least not for the foreseeable future. My goddaughter and her little brother used to call their mother who is from Kenya ‘Umi’, I don’t know if they still do but it sounds soo cool… ‘Umi’: a bad-ass mum! Don’t mess with Umi but it also sounds so loving and nurturing. In any case, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. In any case I would imagine whichever way we prod her she’ll decide on her own which words she’ll use.

We’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. The crib conversion has gone quite well for the most part. She gets up once a night, after anywhere from 4 to 10 hours! Just depends how she’s feeling I think, full belly or not, the key looks to be tiring her out during the day. We took a road trip to Seattle on Monday for the day. Ended up being over 3 hours in the car in one direction, the wait at the border was about 30 minutes. She did very well for someone who rarely spends more than 20 minutes in the car. She had to be constantly entertained and attempted to remove her seat belt at some point! Shame, even I had had enough of the car. That night she slept for 11 hours straight! In Shona we say ‘Kakafenda’ (literally she fainted, passed out, out for the count…).Last week I caught a horrid tummy bug and she had a mild form of it. That turned her appetite down and she was a lot sleepier than usual during the day so at night she was up twice plus she wasn’t eating so the night feeding increased, then she was in bed with us a couple if times cause she was throwing up and I wanted to keep an eye on her but she transitioned back into the crib quite easily. Though when she did come to bed with us in the middle of the night no one slept because now she has two people to play with! Yay…..

Attempts at crawling are still ongoing.. yes I am still loving in the moment, not forcing it but its interesting to observe. She hasn’t quite figured out she can use her arms to move forward. So now she keeps rolling around until she reaches her destination. So far she can move her legs, lift her bum and then she’s stuck so she just stops, drops and rolls! It’s painful to watch but she’ll get there… I think she has little incentive to crawl, we are always soo close she doesn’t really have to go find anyone so she lays in wait watching you, knowing that eventually you’ll get be back within arms reach. As a result I have removed the play gym in the picture, she was always centred around it, now she moving around a lot more.

The next thing is starting to get used to a potty, we have one, we’ll start using it soon. Reason being we found a daycare for September (more on that next post) and she doesn’t potty train, I was hoping this would be my out, but no, it’s up to the parents! Oh the humanity…..I will keep you posted.

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