Thursday, 4 December 2008

A sad day

Once a week Henrik takes Evangeline to visit her granny and bestefa for the day so that I can have some me time.
Luckily I didn't have Evangeline with me today as I ended up having to take our two rats to the vets to be euthenased. Heather has been getting weaker and weaker for some time now and was losing a lot of weight. We have been very worried about her and keeping a close eye on her. Two nights ago I noticed that Hope had grown a huge tumour on her front leg virtually overnight.
Today Heather fell off the table their cage is on twice and came over to me at the desk to put her back up. I think she might have been trying to say goodbye. She didn't even make it to the vet. She was already dead when we got there.
On investigation by the vet it was noted that Hope actually had two huge tumours and they seemed to be growing very fast. That, and the fact that rats are very social creatures, made me decide that Hope did not need to suffer the double blow of a slow possibley drawn out sickness all alone without the comfort of her sister. I held her after the vet gave her the injection to make her fall asleep and whispered to her until she fell asleep then kept holding her until her little heart stopped beating.
Bradley kindly offered to bury the two bodies for me and I took him up on the offer as I did not feel up to the task.
We will miss having our rats but have decided not to get any more for a while until Evangeline is older and can have a part in choosing the little ones and helping to care for them.
I feel very lost, its funny how such little creatures can leave such a big hole in your life when they go.
I am glad though that they were together in the end and that their suffering was short.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Voter Registration Weekend

This weekend is voter registration weekend. The weekend set aside to give everybody a chance to either check their details on the voters role or register to vote in the ward they reside in next year in the General Elections.
I have recently moved from one area back to a ward I lived in many years ago so I needed to go and register to vote. Luckily I had some sort of idea (having lived here before) where I needed to go. I say luckily because if I hadn't then I would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
I decided to check online where I should go to register, so I google where to check and get sent to the IEC website.
This is what it looked like when I got there.
Imagine, the whole country is being mobilised to register to vote and the IEC can't even get their act together enough to have their website running properly in time for the registration weekend.
Then the next little bit of irritation. I keep getting text messages on my mobile phone from one Helen Zille (?!?) reminding me to register to vote to "help stop the ANC from getting a 2 thirds majority" Each time I am advised to reply "STOP" to stop recieving the messages and each time I send the required "STOP".... But they keep coming.
All that this nincompoop has managed to do is give me a good reason to vote for the ANC.
I almost have a good mind to send them a message saying so.
I know which party this woman is from and I would never have given them my number so I guess they have bought it from someone who collects numbers to give to viscious spammers to annoy the living daylights out of people.... Grrrr!

Friday, 25 July 2008

My name is Eve and I am addicted to bottle brushes!

I think I have a problem and I'm determined that the first step to getting better is admitting it.
I am addicted to bottle brushes.
It started innocently enough. I got some brushes with some bottles at my baby shower. They were nice enough in that they did the job. But they were rather simple and plain and uncomplicated.
I think things might have stayed alright except for some stressful times when I was visiting my newborn daughter in the NICU.
I blame the expressing paraphernalia.
After trying to express breast milk for my little girl I had to clean the breast pump funnel thingymajob.
They had a whole sink for this purpose with pump dispenser disinfectant soap and bottle brushes lined up along the edge of the sink. They came in all sorts of colours and each had their own little suction cup to stand up on.
When I had to admit defeat on the breastfeeding front I jumped at the opportunity to really embrace the bottle feeding subculture.
There are so many cool things for bottle feeding, I dabbled in the mysteries of different bottles, tried the Dr Browns with their funny bits and bobs.
After standing in the kitchen at 3 in the morning a few times trying to figure out the bits and their corresponding bobs and then finding the bottle leaking milk into the jug of hot water I had stood it in to warm it I gave up on Dr Brown. I did however keep the groovy little bottle brush thingy for cleaning the bits and bobs.
Then I really jumped into the Nuk experience. I was sucked further into the seedy world of bottle addiction when I discovered that the Nuk teats fitted the cheaper generic bottles I got at my baby shower (the ones I got the brushes with) and then that Snookums bottles also fit those teats, infact most of the cheaper bottles fit the Nuk teat. You see (she says sounding like a Nuk saleswoman as only a true addict can) the beauty of the Nuk sustem is that the air flow works with just the teat and not (as with Dr Brown, Born Free, Avent and others) with the bottle, so one is not stuck with the more expenssive bottles but can just buy the teats and use them on almost any bottle.
Then the trouble began as I started buying more and more bottles.... all of which lead ultimately to the bottle brush trouble.
I felt quite pleased with myself that I had caught my bottle addiction before it bankrupted me and turned my fridge into a bottle warehouse with not room for food. I'd nipped it in the bud, or so I thought.... but now I realise I just went the way of many other addicts... with one addiction leading to the next.
I first bought a red brush with a sponge tip and a teat brush in the handle.... I thought I had hit the jackpot. Then I saw the purple brush with the teat brush in the handle and ths suction cup (like the ones at the NICU) I had to have it, much to my sister's disgust - she had been with me when I bought the red one. Imagine her face if she had seen me today buying the blue brush I just had to have.
Today I bought my fourth bottle brush.... and yes, it is one with a suction cap on the bottom, sponges on the tip and a teat brush in the handle. I especially love the fact that it is a baby Eeyore one and so goes with the baby Eeyore dummy chain I bought two weeks ago, the baby Eeyore bottle and dummy I got at my baby shower and baby Eeyore formula container I bought today and the baby Eeyore rattle I will probably buy next time I am in the store.
The problem is right now my baby has only five feeds a day and uses only five bottles a day so that means I almost have a brush for every bottle. I guess this is a little too much.
My biggest problem is deciding which one to use at any given bottle washing session.
But perhaps I have an even bigger problem looming on the horizon.
Does anyone know where I can find a Baby Eeyore-a-holics Anonymous meeting?

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Family Photo Shoot


It was a bittersweet day today as the Yons and the Olds came round so that we could have a family photo shoot. It brought home that the Olds will be leaving soon and Vera and I are really going to miss them so much.
Mum brought cake for us to enjoy with our coffee, lovely, but it left me with a bit of a headache - but that might just as easily have come from the anxiety and angst of knowing these times of togetherness as a family are fast coming to an end.
Henrik kept everyone smiling and worked his magic with the camera and I now have the task ahead of me of doing all the post processing. There are lots of photos to work through. I am hoping to get most of the work done in the next day or two.
It is going to be a busy week.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Evangeline is two weeks old now


I can't believe another week has rushed by and Evangeline is now two weeks old.
She remains a joy to both her father and I.
Today we (Granny, Evangeline and me) went to have her little plaster casts redone. I can't believe she is already on her third set of casts. That makes her almost half way through the first part of the process to fix her club feet.
I am still feeling well, albeit a little tired. I am trying to sleep when and as often as I can get the opportunity, but there is so much work to do when you have a little baby in the home.
The dishes and bottle washing alone is quite a task. I am wondering how long it will be before the skin on my hands starts to flake off like Evangeline's plaster casts do after their soaking.
Henrik has offered to do the dishes this weekend to give my hands a break.
I am so lucky to have someone as supportive and helpful as him on this journey of parenthood with me.
Today we had a treat. He came home early from work so had a little extra time to spend with his favourite girls as he calls Evangeline and me. We enjoyed the hugs and kisses and attention.
This Sunday is Father's Day and I have organised a little something for him from his new born daughter.
I hope he likes it.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Motherhood is a steep learning curve

I can't believe that tomorrow my little baby girl will be one week old.
She was born by c-section on Friday, May 30, 2008, weighing in at 3.2kg.
She was due to be born yesterday, May the 4th, but my blood pressure elevated and my doctor decided it would be better to have her come a little early.
She had some irregular breathing when she was born so was put into the NICU initially overnight, but ended up staying there until yesterday when we finally got given the go head to take her home.
Last night was the best night and the worst night I have ever experienced. It was my first night with my little girl at home with me, but I was exhausted by the early hours of this morning when i still hadn't slept a wink.
She was very niggly and cried a fair amount which was unlike her as we had some to know her at the ICU when visiting her there. I tried changing her, feeding her, holding her, giving her a dummy, making shushing noises close to her ears, everything I could think of. She did seem to settle a little when I put her down to lie on her daddy's sleeping chest, but I still lay awake worrying that she might fall off or he might crush her accidentally by turning over or something. My new mother's mind was overactive in all the things I was thinking of that might go wrong with her. I didn't know if I should swaddle her tightly or allow her some movement. I started to doubt everything I thought I knew and what I didn't know became all the more apparent to me the more tired I got.
Eventually after her 5 am feed Henrik woke and said he felt I should really get soem sleep. He had been having some sleep, broken sleep, but sleep none the less, so he took her into the lounge and told me to get some sleep.
I managed to get about 3 hours of rest. I woke up feeling like a new Eve, much calmer and happier.
Henrik worked out a few things which were helpful to us. Firstly, Evangeline hates having cold hands and her little hands had been getting rather chilly in the night air. So we are having to make sure they are snugly tucked away under lots of blankets for warmth.
Secondly, the seems to dislike the dark a little, preferring it if there is a little light. This might be due to the fact that in the NICU there was light all the time so she is used to that. I am trying to organise a little night light which we will be able to leave on for her.
Thirdly she likes a little sound to cut through the quiet, also probably becasue she is used to there being a little noise around after her days in the NICU.
She seems to like music and so Henrik used the headphones and i tunes on my computer to play her some soft music into the carry cot she was sleeping in.
With these things in place she seemed a much happier little baby.
Another thing I was doign wrong was that I was reacting to every little moan or cry and not allowing her to settle herself a little. I have noticed today that she seems to give off a little groan from time to time and it doesn't necessarily mean that she is distressed.
So much to learn and so little time to learn it all in, but on the other hand I have nothing but time.... I'm sure to make some mistakes, but I guess I can only hope that on the balance I learn more and do more to make her happy the longer I know her.
As my friend Christine said, she is from me, but is apart from me and is really a little stranger that I am having to get to know like any other.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Dark Days and Nights

Now that the load shedding has stopped we thought out problems with electricity were ended for a while. Not so.
On Monday afternoon, on arriving home with my folks, Vera and Rachel, after a hectic shopping trip, we found the gates to our place not working properly. On investigation I found that the electricity had been cut off resulting in the gates being stuck on a loop as the battery ran down.
What a problem.
When I got into the house I found a note from the municipality saying that the power had been cut off due to the property being vacant.
My heart sank. With just over two weeks to go before Evangeline is born, and so much to do, I really didn't need that complication in my life.
I felt awful, couldn't even make coffee for the weary shoppers.
Today after two days of darkness and bumbling around in the night the power was finally switched back on.
It seems there was a mix up of some sort between the old tenants, the owner of the property and the new tenant. No one had given the correct information to the new guy so he was just as shocked by the situation as we were.
We pay for our power and water as part of our rent every month and so far have still not received a copy of our lease which was promised to us almost three years ago so we couldn't even go an have it reconnected ourselves.
I'm just glad that it is alright now, but the whole affair has left me feeling a little shell shocked. Henrik and I might find ourselves having to find somewhere else to stay rather sooner than we planned. With a little one life will be harder and we will not be able to just grin and bear it when these types of things happen. The owner of the property says she wants us to pay a huge amount of extra rental and while we have been expecting to have an annual increase the amount she is talking about is way beyond what we will be prepared to pay, especially when considering the sate of the place. The roof leaks, the water supply is intermittent at best, and there are all sorts of other little things which we have been promised would be sorted but haven't been up till now.
Quite a stress, but I am trying not to let it get to me.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A day at the beach with Aunty Bee



Today Mum and I met at Aunty Bee's place and took her to the Bluff so that she could have a walk on the beach. We had a lot of fun trying to collect seawater for her and not get too wet by the waves.
Aunty Bee almost fell over in the water when the wind whipped her fragile form. She got quite a fright and had to sit down and have a sweet to recover from the shock.
I enjoyed the water on my swollen feet. We went to a shopping centre to have a drink and draw some money and did a little grocety shopping.
I must say that the Bluff has both changed and stayed exactly the same.
The shopping centre was an amazing change. It has grown like a well nurtured mushroom and has more than its fair share of shops now so that people living on the Bluff probably feel they never have to go to Durban anymore to do their shopping.
We only went to the one shopping centre, and there are two, so one can imagine how much choice the local people have now.

Monday, 12 May 2008

First day of my "new job"

Today I begin my new job. Yesterday was my last day at work at the shop and today I begin on the long list of things to get done before Evangeline arrives.
I feel a little strange not getting ready to go into the shop and know I will miss my co-workers, but I am so excited about finally being able to get started on my "nest building" that I'm sure the day will fly by.
Henrik and the rats are a little worried about what me being home means to them. Both are looking a little warily at me as I make my lists of things to throw out. Henrik has made me promise not to throw anything out without consulting him first.... he wants "right of inspection" of the black bags I plan to line up for disposal. I have grudgingly agreed to this even though I'd rather just chuck things without having to go through everything twice, but I guess it does make sense to have a plan to prevent me from going a little crazy in my enthusiasm.
Today I tackle the kitchen, washing and bathrooms, I also hope to make a start on the bedroom, but I fear all that needs to be done there will take a day of its own.
I have my last visit with the Prof (my specialist psychiatrist) before Evangeline's birth this morning, so my day will be broken into two halves. I am confident she will be pleased with how I am coping as I have had a good run of mood stability during this pregnancy so far. Henrik is coming along so that she can give him information about things to watch out for after the birth. Apparently it is not uncommon for bipolar mothers to have bad episodes of depression following the birth of their babies. For that reason I will have to go and see the Prof within two weeks of Evangeline's arrival.
Apparently the statistics for hospitalisation during pregnancy of bipolar women is very low, it seems that something in the pregnancy often helps with mood stability, but the statistics for hospitalisation for an episode following the birth is very high.
I will in all probability have to remain off my Lithium after the birth as I want to breastfeed and Lithium is passed into the breast milk, so far I have been fine without the Lithium and I am praying I continue to do well.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Dark Days and Nights

The load shedding schedules have been put in place to confuse me. I am convinced of this. They seem to follow no discernable pattern, leaving me at their mercy dazed and confused and reluctant to start anything for fear that I will lose all my work when the lights go out.
We were load shed twice last night. The lights went out at 6pm and only came on again at about 8:20. onlyt to go out again at 8:30. Bleakness all round. We couldn't even watch an episode of Lost. And the washing we were doing was just abandoned.
I have had to revise some of my plans for after Evangeline's birth because of the power outages. For instance I have decided to go the liquid sterilising route for her bottles and dummies etc. as I don't want to have to rely on the power being on to use the microwave.After the bleak and dark night last night. Henrik had a spot of difficulty this morning when he bashed the car into a tree reversing out of the driveway.
I heard the crash and got a huge fright as I thought maybe he had drivedn into the chain across the driveway. When I looked outside I saw the wall was still intact so I was relieved but my relief was short lived when I went and saw how he had bashed the front fender. Needless to say he was rather upset with himself. I felt terrible for him.
On top of all this irritation my car has been giving me trouble. Doesn't want to start some days for no reason. I took my battery back to the place where I bought it for them to check it. They said there is nothing wrong with the battery, it must be something mechanical and they told me to "get my mechanic to look at it."
Fortunately I have a mechanic on call all the time as Henrik is my mechanic. He checked everything and then took the old battery out of his polo and put it in nugget. Worked like a bomb, although that battery is old and giving notice. So now I have to go back and fight with them at Supa Quick.
I dread this.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Evangeline in splendid 4D


What a wonderful thing technology is. Today Henrik and I were given our first real glimpse of what Evangeline looks like. The 4D scan was so amazing, we could see the shape of her nose and lips and see how she opened her mouth to yawn.
The lady doing the scan was very apologetic saying that she was sorry that the pictures weren't that good but I thought they were fantastic.
I just can't wait to hold her in my arms.
According to the measurements of her head and stuff I am in my 29th week now, with the EDD still at 10 June, give or take a few days.
Mum was saying she hopes Evangeline comes earlier rather than later so that she can spend more time with her and I before they leave in July.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Rachel's first Birthday Party


Yesterday was a very special day in our family. Rachel had her very first birthday party and all her Mum and Dad's friends and their children were invited to come and spend the day with her.
What excitement. I had the task of getting Aunty Bee to the party. Henrik and I picked her up in the BMW which caused a bit of confusion as she was waiting for the gold car and so didn't recognise us when we arrived.
We arrived at the house just in time, before everyone else so we had no problems finding parking. It will be so good when the driveway is built as then there will be more parking for when people go to visit them.
There were so many little people running around. Bradley's sister and sister in law were busy at work sticking little pictures onto the cups and preparing the cutlery for the lunch, while the men were hard at work braaing the sausages.
After lunch there were ice cream comes with smarties and chocolate sauce. Then came the cake.
Rachel had fun posing for pictures with her mother while we all sang happy birthday. The wind decided to help her by blowing out the candle at just the right time and she decided to stick her finger into the icing to get the first sample of her cake.
After presents and cards were opened the children all started playing in the sand with some of the toys.
Rachel's cousins went for a swim with their Aunty Vera and Rachel's Gran. They had a wonderful time. I'm sure they were worn out after their afternoon of activates. I know my Mum and Vera were.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Happy Birthday Rachel!


My niece is one today.
Here is a picture of her playing in her sand pit.
Happy Birthday Rachel!

Another day closer to Rachel's big day


Last night I had to attend a dealer function for Nikon. It was held at the Quarters in Florida Road. Henrik suggested I take the BMW so that I could have a chance to drive it and get used to it. Quick a nerve-wracking experience.
I wonder if I will ever get used to it. I'm so afraid someone is going to crash into me or something. Midnight saw the price of fuel rise again. This time going up by fifty cents a litre. It is crazy how fast prices are rising, but at least I have money for fuel which is more than can be said for some people.
Actually I am very blessed.
I saw in my Mums blog that she has posted a picture of Rachel at "school" wearing a little happy birthday hat and blowing out her candle.
I can't wait until Saturday when it will be her birthday party. I am keen to see how she plays in her sand pit, and if she likes the bucket and spade set I have bought for her. I have managed to get the photos from her blog to make some prints to go into the album I am making for Rachel. Also Rachel is now featured in a display frame in the store. Tanja asked me to print a picture of her to display in one of the frames we are promoting this week. So now Rachel can put "frame model" in her CV one day. I chose the one I did where I changed the picture to monochrome with just the colour in her outfit brought back. An interesting effect and very easy to do.
Today I was taking pictures of all the staff at the store for a flyer advertising our services that I am making. It was fun for me to use the Nikon I like so much. Just a pity I can't take it home with me.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Worries and wobblies

Today began on a bad note. Henrik took ill overnight and spent the better part of the morning vomiting. He decided to go to the doctor who said he has a bad case of food poisoning and told him to rest and make sure he drinks enough water.
Poor guy. First he gets poisoned at work last week and now he gets sick from something he ate on the weekend. He just can't seem to catch a break. It comes at a very bad time as he is so very busy at work. Also he has been trying to work some extra time to make extra money to help with all the expenses that lie ahead.
We had a bit of a discussion yesterday about what to do about where we are going to stay in the future. For now where we are is fine, but once Evangeline arrives and begins to get more mobile we are going to find it a bit cramped. Also Henrik is increasingly feeling that maybe we need to make a move somewhere else for the benefit of all our futures. He spoke about the States, a place I am not too happy with, and also perhaps Denmark.
Henrik is part Danish so maybe that would be a good spot to try.
In the meantime we are trying to figure out how we are going to make ends meet once I go on unpaid maternity leave. I am feeling very stressed about all of this and having to work hard to push aside my natural tendency to worry.
I have also felt a little down in the last two weeks, possibly due to the bout of 'flu that I picked up last week. I am trying very hard not to give in to feelings of depression, but I am so tired at times. I wonder how I will cope if I am so tired now, when Evangeline is around.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

A Day Off!

Today I don't have to work so it's off to run some errands. We have to take the new car to the dealership for them to look at some paintwork things Henrik wants fixed, and maybe he will test drive another car whilst he is there. He said a 323 or some such thing. I said he can drive Nugget, he is a 323. But somehow I don't think it's the same thing.
After we finish with the car and stuff we will be going to get the clam shells for Rachel's birthday. I do hope they fit in the car. I'm a little worried about that, but Henrik seems to think they will fit fine. I hope he is right.
I managed to finish my first assignment for this year's studies this week. Two months early! I am rather pleased with my efforts. I am also quite confident that I will receive a good mark for it as I am pretty certain about my answers. Now I can begin on the next one.
I am trying to get through as much of my year's studies now before Evangeline is born so that when the wheels fall off later in the year I don't have assignment deadlines to worry about.
I don't know how busy I will be when I have a little one to look after, so this year I am only taking one big module. It is a heavy one though, but one I am enjoying immensely, Abnormal Psychology. Being a third year subject it has a lot of coursework and reading, but I am finding it stimulating and not too complicated. I think it probably helps that it is an area of interest for me to begin with. Abnormal behaviour has always fascinated me.
I see this blogger spell check has once again picked up an incorrect spelling error. I wish I knew how to set it so that it doesn't tell me to misspell words which should have a "U" in them like behaviour and favourite and colour. According to it I should leave the "U" out as that if how the American spelling works, but I refuse. My soap-box effort for the day!

Friday, 29 February 2008

A hopeful beginning

Today I have decided to begin my blog.
Seeing my mother keeping hers so up to date has shamed me into making a decision to do something instead of just watching life go by without comment.
I have begun counting the days until my little one arrives, and so I plan to keep a record of these last days of care free living. All this is sure to change once Evangeline arrives and ushers me into the newest aspect of my life: Life as a mother.
I'm sure in years to come it will be beneficial to have a record of the thoughts and events leading up to her arrival in this world.
Who knows? She might cherish having a chance to look into my life later when she is older.
She has started to really kick much harder now and I am almost constantly aware of her presence.
I have begun singing to her as much as I am able, often just humming the tune when I forget the words to some of my favourite songs. This helps to calm me in high stress situations like traffic which is also beneficial as a stressed Eve is not good for Evangeline.
Next week is my niece Rachel's first birthday. I can't believe she is turning one.
It feels like just the other day that I took a day off work to spend with my folks at the hospital where Vera was having her by C section.
The hour between when Vera went into the theater and Rachel came out in the little crib with Bradley and the nurse seemed like forever. She was so small and puffy. It's so hard to reconcile the memory of her then with the little girl she has grown into who is walking around her home now.
I have ordered her gift from Henrik and I.
It is two giant clam shells and sea sand so that she can have a little sand pit to play in at home. Henrik and I are going to pick it up tomorrow and drop it off at the house so that Bradley and Vera can give it to her on her actual birthday on Thursday the 6th.
I have also bought a small bucket and spade set which I have wrapped in preparation for her party on the Saturday. I'm sure she will enjoy her gift.