Week 36

Ava is 36 weeks old

Ava is 36 weeks old

Next week, Ava will have been “alive” and out in the world for as long as she spent in my tummy. It’s still hard for me to believe that I was pregnant with her for longer than she’s been in the world at this point.

This week, she’s become a real water baby. It’s been really hot, and our pool’s been really lovely and lukewarm, and she’s just loved splashing and being zoomed around the pool. She doesn’t mind if she swallows water or gets it in her eyes – she just carries going on nuts for it. I’m so relieved she really does like water – I thought she was totally averse to it after our botched first attempt at a swim! Maybe it’s because for the last week, we’ve let her skinny-dip rather than squeezing her into a tight little impractical cozzie. We’ve waited until the pool is in complete shade before we swim with her because the sun’s been really hot and her skin is so fair. And slathering her with sunscreen for 15 minutes in the pool does not seem like a good way to spend my time.

We fly up to the Eastern Cape tomorrow to spend two weeks on holiday at the family beach house. I’ve bought her a proper sunsuit (the kind with long sleeves and legs – and poppers in the nappy area, very clever), little pink Baby Banz sunglasses (which she HATES – will have to get her used to them), and one of those peak hats with a flap to cover her neck and ears. Together with a beach umbrella and factor 50 baby sunscreen, her fair red-head’s skin should be protected while we laze around on the beach near the lagoon.

It’s a bit shameful that she’s never sat on the beach before, considering we live two blocks from the beach – it’s like we’re taking her halfway up the country for her to see the sea, when she can hear the sea from her bedroom! So far, the summer’s just totally run away with us.

I hope her first experience of flying is uneventful. I will take biscuits and toys for her to keep her busy, and Ferrero Rocher for the people who are sitting near us in case she spends the whole flight crying and screaming. But I live in hope that it will be better than I’m expecting – it’s seems like parenting, so far, as a whole, has been.

Week 35

Ava is 35 weeks old

Ava is 35 weeks old

A bit of a random picture, but it shows Ava’s little hairclip – I think it’s just so cool that she needs clips in her hair to keep her fringe from falling into her eyes.

A Facebook friend had a baby the other day, also called Ava. While I applaud her taste in names, it kind of confirms my suspicion that my Ava won’t be the only one in her class. If I’d wanted to give her a common name, I’d have chosen Hannah or Emma or Olivia or Sophia – but it seems that Ava is right up there with these de rigueur names.

Anyway, the caption to her first picture of her Ava said “And with one glance, we love you with a thousand hearts”. Which is so beautiful, and, while I was holding Ava (my one, obviously) to give her before-bed bottle this evening, I couldn’t help thinking that that was exactly how it felt the first time I saw Ava, and how it feels every morning when I see her after a whole night apart. This feeling is so much like being in love – but it’s bigger and brighter and stronger than any other love I’ve ever felt, for anyone. This has been one of the biggest revelations for me.

I am going to a wedding in Natal this coming weekend, by myself. I will be spending three nights away from Ava, which is three times more nights than I have ever spent away from her (OK, my maths is crap, but you know what I mean). I am terrified. Wish me luck …

Week 34

Ava is 34 weeks old

Ava is 34 weeks old

Ava is 8 months old today! She’s eating three meals a day (rice cereal with almond butter for breakfast, protein+veg for lunch and veg and yoghurt for supper) and sleeping for around 11 hours at night.

She understands the word “Oskar” – the name of our other little ginger – and has started saying “Os, os, os” when she sees him. She also says “dadadadadada” but not to anyone or anything in particular.

She can pull herself up to her feet and is crawling backwards but hasn’t managed to get a forward propulsion.

She has started needing hair clips and headbands to keep her hair out of her eyes, and toothpaste to brush her four little teeth with (the teeth that have come out on her top gum appear to actually be her canines, so she’s going to have a really nice gap until her incisors come out).

Other than last week’s fall, and choking on a piece of nectarine skin (which thankfully she coughed up by herself without needing me to do any emergency procedure on her) and pulling the nursery unit of the baby monitor onto her head (giving her her first ever bruise), she’s been totally healthy and uninjured for each of those 8 months. Which I think is a major achievement on her parents’ part.