It’s been a while, again, as usual. The good news is I’ve been busy “doing” instead of just thinking or writing about doing. Let’s begin at the beginning then…
My beautiful Charlotte Rose is growing up! It’s amazing and wonderful and scary and bittersweet. She was 9 months last Monday. She is so incredibly busy!! She never stops moving now that she can crawl and pull herself up and cruise along things. She gets under and up on everything, and she is SO fast!!
I love watching her crawl; she’s a textbook crawler, all perfectly upright and neat and the speed she gets now that she doesn’t have to think about the motion is scary. She pulls herself up on everything, from the closest person to the curtains and chairs and beds and…well everything. Speaking of beds, she’s also learnt how to reverse wriggle off on her tummy and land on her feet. She climbed the stairs the first time she encountered them. 3 days after we put up baby gates, she pulled herself up on one and repeatedly pressed the button we use to open it (thank goodness you have to press and lift!). Her favourite thing to do at the moment is walk while holding your hands; she wants to do this constantly. When she stands up, she only holds with one hand so she can point, wave or otherwise flap the free hand; and she’s already started letting go occasionally (landing on her bum).
She makes talking noises constantly, and has quite a “vocab” already; besides all the expected dada, baba, lala, nana, gaga and mama – she also says “wow” and claps and says baba (bye bye) when waving to people leaving a room. She also changes the dada sound to a more “dadee” sound when referring to Brett. And she makes the most adorable noises while eating, kind of “numnumnum” and a happy humming noise. She also loves making rolling noises (like that frog from the Vodacom ads used to make) and clicking like horse hoofs. She also “sings”, making the lala noise and changing intonations. And the excited babbling that happens when she sees the cats is just hilarious.
She’s learning what “softly” means, partly from stroking the cats and partly because she loves to stroke my hair, and when she gets excited she grabs and yanks on things. She likes to pat things, from people to pets to floors to toys; she loves new textures. As mentioned she points at everything, which started when we were reading and I started pointing to show her things or count things, and now she loves waving her pointy finger around; which I may have made worse by pointing my finger and when our fingers touch I yell “ping” which makes her giggle. She has loved clapping for months, long before she figured out how to do so with her hands open, and only this past week has she figured out she can make a noise by clapping, so she is doing it even more than usual. She also realised she could make clapping noises with her feet after bathtime so that’s another cute new habit. We have also started “high fiving”, though she prefers the “ping” so it’s hit and miss for now. And she kisses me hello every time she wakes up or when she just feels loving towards me. We are working on hugs and blowing kisses now.
On the cuteness factor, she buries her face in whatever is closest when she’s being coy or shy, and when somebody opens the bedroom door, she jumps and scrambles into my arms and hides for a few seconds before beaming at her daddy or granny. She has also become much more friendly and less afraid of “strangers”, and she loves kids of all ages and tries to stroke and play with them. She idolizes her 2 year old cousin and follows her around constantly.
There are, of course, a few less than adorable things happening too; tantrums for one. Full on, fling herself around wailing at the top of her lungs tantrums. The kind where you hesitate for a moment, wondering if you’ve accidentally maimed her in some way before realizing that she is screaming because you told her no/took something away/looked at her in the wrong way. It generally starts with the lip going out and she’s still a watcher, she can’t help herself, so if you hesitate before responding she will lock eyes with you to see how you’re reacting; so you can tell the difference between tantrum and something being wrong. I forgot how hard it is to keep calm and cool and not respond by sweeping them up and giving them whatever they want; it’s even harder as a mommy than it was with my au pair charges.
Her sleeping is still appalling, and with a nasty cold and cutting teeth 5 and 6 this week, it’s been worse than ever – 45 minutes can barely be called a stretch of sleep, can it? I am however “doing” something about this too. I’ve bought and read “The no-cry sleep solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. The content is nothing new, I’ve tried most of the things before; but never all together and I believe that that’s where the problem lies.
I am also waiting on a few other things to align before I start. First and foremost, I need to wait until tooth number 6 cuts fully and for the cold to be gone – all sleep trainers agree that baby has to be healthy before starting.
I’ve also decided that Charly and I will be moving into her room together for the training, with the dream end result of her happily sleeping and being in her own room. To that end, I’ve also decided to sell the sleigh cot and compactum. She’s happy in her camp cot and will likely move to a proper bed straight from there, so the cot, though beautiful, is in the way. And the compactum is basically a huge gorgeous expensive cupboard, of which we have plenty already. So this week I will be saying goodbye to them and Charly and I will be moving in on the weekend to hopefully start the sleep training on Monday. I’m equal parts excited and convinced it will work and terrified and anxious that it won’t. Either way, I’m feeling good that I’m doing something to change the way things are without resorting to doing something I’ll hate myself for in the form of CIO.
I also accepted a job editing a book! You probably don’t know this about me, but other than having the time to write my own books, editing books is my dream job. I LOVE editing and helping people express their thoughts in a clearer way. It is a downhill slide into the end of the year, and therefore my busiest time of year with my client as I try to get November, December and the beginning of January’s writing done before my month of leave starts – woohooooo! So taking on this project right now definitely has elements of crazy. But, it’s a life goal, something for me, and I’m loving working on it. More “doing”…
I’m also more than halfway through my Christmas shopping! Though I’m feeling a little frustrated here as I planned on being finished by the end of last week; but I got sick right along with Charly, so I’ve fallen behind on that one.
And a last bit of good news, I finally got on the scale after 3 months and I’ve lost 6kgs. That brings the total loss since I had Charly to 16 kgs; so even though I am still a million miles from where I want to be, I’m calling it a good start!
As you can most likely tell, the antidepressants are definitely working. Things feel possible again, there is air and movement around me. I still have days where I get anxious and overwhelmed, but I can pause and see potential ways of managing things and myself. It feels good to be doing again instead of letting the weight of what needs to be done weigh me down.
Thank you all for the love and support you have given me over the past weeks. I am so very blessed to know you all xx