Week 42

Ava is 42 weeks old

Ava is 42 weeks old

Ava can wave-a! She waves hello and goodbye, and at the dogs and the bathroom-baby (the one who lives in every bathroom in the house, with the bathroom-mom and bathroom-dad). It’s such a cute addition to her little bag of tricks.

In other news, I was reading through all my posts yesterday, and couldn’t believe how upbeat I sound in most of them, especially the early ones. I can’t remember the first weeks with Ava very clearly (either my brain blacked it out because it was so awful and traumatic, or I was too tired to retain anything) but what I do remember is being an exhausted, weepy, anxious wreck.

The thought of having another newborn terrifies me. Being so suddenly enslaved to such a helpless creature and having my routines expunged and my self reduced to being a food source for six weeks (that is, until the creature shows some semblance of its own self) now seems like a bizarre torture ritual. It’s a journey I’m glad I went on, and it’s given me a newfound respect for myself and for Dylan, but doing it more than once just seems nuts.

I can’t wait for Ava to keep growing and coming into herself – I am really looking forward to the toddler years (Terrible Twos? Bring it on!) and watching her learn about our world. The thought of doing that with a tiny baby is horrifying.

But I am an only child and I am convinced that I missed out on fundamental lessons that people with siblings learn at an early age. How to stand up for myself, how to share, how to love. And I don’t want Ava to feel like she’s forever missed something as well. So there will be another baby, at some point. But at this stage, I’m thinking of adopting a three-month-old – or else waiting until Ava is in Grade 0, can tie her own shoelaces, and can pour her own cereal and milk, so when I’m crying over the breast-pump while Dylan changes her screaming sibling’s nappy, she’ll be able to do her own thing.

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Week 41

Ava is 41 weeks old

Ava is 41 weeks old

Thankfully, unlike last week, I have very little to report – no funny tummy bugs or fevers in the last 7 days.

There’s a new tooth – her 7th all in all – peeking through her bottom gum.

She’s started pulling herself up on the coffee table, her toy box, and our legs. Her nanny thinks she’s going to be walking any day now, but I think it’ll be a while still (*crosses fingers*).

She went for her first hike, up Chapman’s Peak, riding in Dylan’s fancy backpack, on Monday evening, and was literally open-mouthed with amazement at being so close to all the low-hanging branches of the trees in the milkwood forest. By the time we got home after a long walk on the beach, she was so exhausted that she fell asleep in her cot immediately, without even a little grumble or screech. Definitely the first time that’s happened.

While I was cuddling her last night before I put her down to sleep I noticed that she’s got little ankles now – she never used to have them. And now she does, and they are so tiny and perfect. Ankles – something only a mother could love.

When she turns 10 months in just under 2 weeks’ time, she’ll be moving to her new big car seat (which she can keep until she’s two), and will probably have to go to an opthalmologist to have a probe stuck into her tear duct to clear it – unless it miraculously clears itself in the next 11 days. Unlikely, but I am ever hopeful.

Week 40

Ava is 40 weeks old

Ava is 40 weeks old

Does this toothy, grinning child look like someone suffering from a bowel infection? She doesn’t, right?

This past week has been quite … well … shitty. There was a lot of poo. For many days. And, on Sunday, Ava’s first fever, which my handy (and eye-wateringly expensive, so I was only too happy to finally use it to some effect) ear thermometer told me reached 39. 1 degrees – which my handy Marina Petropoulos book told me is quite high. For non-moms and other moms who missed the memo for the infant-information-osmosis session, anything above 37 degrees is considered a high temperature for a baby. And 39.1 is, like, panic-stations, dunk-her-in-a-tepid-bath-immediately, call-the-emergency-doctor high.

We eventually got her temperature down with a bath and Panado syrup, and I took her to the doctor the next day. He prescribed antibiotics and some suspicious pink suspension stuff, and sent a “sample” (what a lovely, sterile-sounding euphemism) off for tests. We’re still waiting for the results, and I’m just hoping it’s not a parasite – Dylan had a gogo bug living in his small intestine between the ages of 10 and 18 months and it sounds absolutely nightmarish.

Three days later, she’s right as rain, thank goodness. She’s actually at a fashion shoot at the moment, modelling Ackermans’ autumn range for the March/April Club magazine. Her dad is acting as her agent (she’s the only baby at the shoot who isn’t registered with an agency – what a strange world) and chauffeur, and I wish I could be there. I hope she doesn’t have a stranger-danger, I-missed-my-midday-nap meltdown. I also hope Dyl brushed her hair and cleaned her lunch off her chin.

[Oh my word, I just realised that it’s exactly 11 weeks until Ava turns 1 – so only 11 more posts on My Bundle. Which made me realise, in turn, that I’ve miscalculated somewhere. Sigh.]

Week 39

Ava is 39 weeks old

Ava is 39 weeks old

This counting-in-weeks thing is starting to get difficult! I might have to go the route of “Ava is 9 months old” four times until she’s 10 months old before this gets the better of me.

It’s been a while since the last update because of a really lovely sojourn on a sunny Eastern Cape beach, and there’s a lot that’s happened in the interim.

She went on an airplane for the first (and second) time, and was her usual cheerful self – she didn’t struggle with her ears or anything. She was convinced that the other people in our row were there to be made friends with, and insisted on patting and “chatting” to them, but luckily neither of them seemed to mind (the young guy sitting next to me on our return flight seemed really pleasantly surprised – I don’t think he’d ever been so close to a baby before – even though she wouldn’t stop patting his arm).

Ava is now crawling around like a machine. She started crawling properly on our first day of holiday, and in a few days, had accelerated until she became hard to keep up with. It took her a couple of tries to figure out how to go from crawling to sitting and vice versa, but she’s got it totally waxed. It seems to make her very happy, being able to go exactly where she wants, but it’s a little stressful for us. We’ve had to baby-proof all the plug-points, toilets and kitchen cupboards, and are getting a playpen made for her so that we can pop her down somewhere for short periods and not worry about where she’ll end up. She’s not quite pulling herself up yet, though she loves walking while we hold her hands, but that’s ok – I want her to crawl for as long as possible.

She’s also started imitating our actions, which blows my mind. It means she’s figured out that she has the same tools (head, eyebrows, mouth, hands) as we do, which is surely a profound developmental step. She likes shaking her head, clapping her hands, and giving high-fives, copies the noises I make (“tuh” and “ssss” and “puh” are new ones) and we have regular giggle-offs.  I get such a kick out of it, and she never seems to get bored of it either.

I’m sure the sudden acceleration in her development had a lot to do with spending so much time on holiday with other adults. Ava was treated like a princess by both grandparents (Dylan’s mom was especially hands-on, and even had Ava sleeping in her room a couple of times, giving us much-needed rest) and Dylan’s sister, and all manner of cousins and friends. 99% of the time, she relished it. The other 1% of the time was when she was tired, and things like Grandpa sneezing sent her into hysterical sobbing.

She had her 9-month shots the other day and, to my surprise, was less upset than she was at her last ones – I thought that because she’s so aware of everything around her now, she’d be worse. She was very easily distracted by the worn stuffed caterpillar in the nurse’s room (though I didn’t let her touch it for fear of getting sick-kid cooties).

The one thing we learned on holiday was that babies don’t really understand about holidays. Ava was up between 4.30 and 5.30 every morning, no matter how late Dylan and I had got into bed, no matter how many glasses of wine we’d had with dinner … and she was usually up once in the night as well. So we spent most of our days napping and being a bit groggy. I must say that our nanny’s face the morning we went back to work was a sight for sore eyes.

Sleeping issues aside, this is an amazing age. Ava is so responsive and alert and so much fun to be around. I didn’t think I could love her more than I did even a month ago, but somehow I do.