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Archive for October, 2007

Gorgeous Girl has been very spoilt this week. She received some packages in the mail. The first was from Gorgeous Man’s sister who sent us some clothes her daughter has grown out of (E is two and a half-years older than Gorgeous Girl). They were gratefully received and have been sorted out and put away.

She also received a great parcel from Jody at Java Jem . When I opened the package I pulled out this friendly fellow

He’s going to remain nameless until Araminta is old enough to name him herself. Notice the very cool turtle bib – we love turtles in this house, and booties. I love the booties, I actually had this pattern printed off to knit myself, because I was going to have so much time one the baby was born :)) ROFLMHO

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of Gorgeous Girl wearing the bib or the booties yet because I couldn’t get her to sit still or stop crying for the camera – shots are either blurry or too sad to show.

Here she is getting to know her new friend.

He’s made himself at home in her pram where she paused for breath long enough to take this picture. Thank you very much Jody, Gorgeous Girl now has the coolest stuffy in South Africa.

Another package arrived this week, but it deserves it’s own post tomorrow.

Sorry if this is disjointed, it’s been written between feeding the baby and getting the washing machine installed.

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Since this is a craft blog (not that there’s been much of that lately) lets start with the knitting. Gorgeous Girl has a small head and none of the hats I’d made her, or that she’d been given fitted her, so what was a knitting mama to do except cast on for a new one.

Gorgeous Man chose the pattern which came from Vintage Knits, and it came out very cute

She’s wearing cloth nappies (diapers) now (no, I still don’t have the washing machine properly connected, but disposables were getting expensive) and they are much larger compared to the disposables. It looks like she is all bum. Very cute.

One South African tradition that we have whole-heartedly embraced (probably because Australia has a similar tradition – but we don’t take it so seriously) is the braai. A braai is a bbq. Yesterday Gorgeous Girl attended her first braai, and it wasn’t just a small ‘throw a few steaks on the barbie ‘ braai. This was the real thing – a spit braai.

17.5kgs (38.5 pounds) of lamb.

Here is Gorgeous Girl at the braai with Gorgeous Man.

and with me

Claudelle (whose birthday we were celebrating) took this lovely shot of Gorgeous Girl

If you are in Cape Town, Claudelleis available for weddings, engagements, matrics etc – just tell her I sent you.

The lamb took over 5 hours to cook and everyone got to take some home. Gorgeous Girl behaved herself very well, there were only a few screaming crying episodes. Good food, good friends, good times.

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We’ve had a few hot days recently (summer is getting closer) and that has resulted in a common Cape Town problem.

The demand for electricity exceeds the supply.

This then results in power cuts and failures. All of which are most annoying and really mess with internet access.

I have finished knitting to show you, and pictures of Gorgeous Girl’s first braai (BBQ), but am currently unable to upload pictures so that will have to wait.

There has been reading going on.

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007 –

54. The Turbulent Giant – Communist Theory and Practice in China by Leslie Marchant – just something to keep the brain from rotting while at home.

55. God Spoke Tibetan by Allen Maberly – an account of the events surrounding the translation of the Bible into Tibetan.

I also signed up for a bookmark swap go and see Crafty Daisies if you are interested. Looks like fun, and not too expensive. I think I’ll tat my bookmark.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to post some pictures, in the meantime Gorgeous Girl is fussing, so I’d better sign off.

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On Thursday I was sitting in my usual position on the couch with a sucker-fish attached to me (bfeeding), when I caught a whiff of smoke – that’s enough to make this Aussie girl’s heart stop. I looked up and noticed that there was a thick haze of smoke hanging in the valley outside my windows. I commented to a visiting friend that there must be a fire somewhere. She replied (very casually) that the back of the mountain was on fire.

We live on the front slopes of said mountain.

By dinner time there was a nice red glow that could be seen from our kitchen window.

Later that night Gorgeous Man and a friend decided to go up the mountain on the friend’s motorbike to see what they could see…

About halfway up they ran into the fire chief – at this point Gorgeous Man was fully expecting the fire chief to call them a pair of idiots, say sight-see-ers weren’t welcome and turn them back (which is what would happen in Australia), instead the chief asked if they were local, if they knew the trail and then sent them on their way. Here are the pictures Gorgeous Man came home with.

They weren’t as irresponsible as that sounds, the friend has training in fire-fighting and  there was a team from the college up there fighting the fire.

There was also another front to the fire on the front of the mountain, but to the side of us.

This is the aftermath the next day after the water-bombing-helicopters had been out. There are still a few patches that are smoking, but the weather is cool with no wind today, which is a big help.

And, our little fire is nowhere near as bad as those in California at the moment – I hope all my Californian blogging friends and readers are safe.

Gorgeous Girl and I spent Friday at a friend’s place in Gordon’s Bay to escape the worst of the smoke.

Oh, and because my life isn’t glamourous enough, the cat just vomited on the carpet! Better go and clean that up.

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Yesterday Fat Boy spent the day in disgrace. He completed the ritual that he usually undertakes whenever we move.

Fat Boy is not a hunter, he spends 16 hours a day asleep, but whenever we move into a new house he brings home a gift. Yestereday he came home with this poor little thing in his mouth.

He was forced to drop the creature – I also have to confess that he got a spanking and he was turfed outside. Then I had to wait for Gorgeous Man to come home from lunch to catch the mouse.

Gorgeous Man identified it as a mouse shrew and took a few photos before releasing it on the vacant lot at the back of our place – hopefully it will live a long an happy life, and dine out on the tale of the monsters that caught it.

In other news we collected 2 shells to be filled with sand/water for Gorgeous Girl this week from a local lady we found through Freecycle (VERY excited to see Freecycle here in South Africa!) They are in really good condition, and just need a good clean.

There has been reading going on too, yesterday Gorgeous Girl spent the afternoon screaming and feeding, so I got a lot of reading done while Bfeeding. We don’t have the telly connected yet, and to be honest we probably won’t bother – there’s not much to watch on free to air tv that we can’t see on dvd without ads.

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007 –

52. China Diary Crisis Diplomacy in Dairen by Paul Paddock – Paddock was the head of the US Consulate in Dairen at the beginning of the Cold War and this book is an account of his experience during that time. Most disturbing for me was the way the State Department abandonned it’s Chinese employees, knowing that they would be arrested and tortured by the Communists on their departure. Paddock clearly alerted the Department to this, but no action was taken.

53. Rule No.5 No Sex on the Bus (confessions of a tour leader) by Brian Thacker – in a completely different vein, this is a travel journal (of sorts) of a tour leader for those 18 – 30 bus tours of Europe. This book made me laugh out loud and was a quick easy read.

No gratuitous kid pics today, Gorgeous Girl was in no mood to be photographed. Mind you we went to Bfeeding clinic this morning, to be weighed and she was the perfect angel. At least she knows how to behave in public…

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I think there is nothing cuter than a baby in hand knits. This little outfit was originally started for the other baby (the one that miscarried at 7 weeks last year). I finished it off in the hope that there would one day be a baby who would wear it, and here she is.

This is Gorgeous Girl at 11 days old.

She’s holding her head up well. The yarn is a German microfibre bought locally, it’s very soft and snuggly.
I’m hoping to get her little hat finished in the next day or so. I’ve got more energy now that I seem to be over the worst of the bug.

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First, wait until your new baby is 8 days old. Then start to feel queasy. Have this turn into vomiting by the time your husband gets home from his half-day at work.

Second, go to the doctor, get an injection in the butt and vomit in the doctor’s bathroom while waiting for your prescription to be filled.

Third, come home and vomit so violently you think you are going to burst your stitches).

Fourth, spend the next few days asleep in bed waking only to feed the baby and drink rehydration fluids and sports energy drinks.

I seem to be over the worst of it, I managed breakfast today and feel fine. Fortunately neither bre*st milk or Gorgeous Girl was affected by my bout with the virus.

Can I just say, Gorgeous Man was a super star.

There has been some knitting, I’ve started a little hat – not enough progress to show photos of yet.

There has also been some reading

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007 –

49. Village of Stone by Xiaolu Guo – this was my hospital reading. A chinese novel translated into English.

50. Night by Elie Wiesel – His account of his time in Nazi concentration camps as a young Jewish boy.

51. Mary Magdalen: The Essential History by Susan Haskins – this is a study of how Mary Magdalen has been portrayed throughout the centuries.

Finally gratuitious cute kid pic for the day

The Gorgeous Girl asleep after a feed.

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Yesterday we had screaming baby who didn’t want to be put down, today we have angel baby who has fed well and is sleeping soundly. This is how Gorgeous Man spent most of yesterday – what you don’t see is the computer just out of frame.

When he was not holding a fussy baby he was unpacking the piles of books you can see behind him. I was very grateful to have him home, my back was giving me a lot of trouble yesterday and holding her for any length of time was difficult. I saw the physio again today and it’s feeling much better. Hopefully the session on Friday will help resolve the problem.

I’m slowly getting closer to having the sewing room/study up and running – thanks to Gorgeous Man’s unpacking. Then I just need to have the time to use it 🙂

Gorgeous Girl had her first play date today. One of my friends came over to visit and brought her 5 month son with her.

They are on the awesome quilt from The Calico Cat. We are very sad because they are moving back to Canada at the end of the year. It’s nice to have some ‘foreign’ friends who understand the adjustment that comes with living in a country other than your own.

Some of you asked what a baby moses basket is

Sleeping peacefully where Mummy and Daddy can keep an eye on her.

We bought a sling for Gorgeous Girl. We couldn’t find one we liked here, so bought the one shown on ebay from Australia – I love the internet. In the 20 months that we’ve been here we have seen 3 people wearing babies in slings, all of them have been women. The black women wear their babies on their backs supported with blankets and towels, but baby wearing among other cultural groups is very rare. Today we went to the mall to get a few things and Gorgeous Man had Gorgeous Girl in the sling. He attracted a lot of attention, stares mostly, but also people coming up and asking if there was a baby in there. I told him he would be a babe magnet with the baby in a sling – I don’t think he was quite expecting 80-year-old women though. lol

I’ve had yarn out to start a hat for Gorgeous Girl for 2 days, but am yet to cast on…

The weather has warmed up again and is more like spring so I managed to go for a walk with Gorgeous Girl in the pram. We live on the bottom slopes of a mountain so our driveway is very steep and so are many of the roads. I figure if I can go for a walk a few times a week I should be able to shift some of the baby weight. I did quite well with the weight overall – I gained 12.5 kilos (27.5 pounds). Given that 3.905 kilos (8.6 pounds) of that was Goregous Girl I don’t feel too bad. Mind you, I wasn’t exactly tiny to begin with 🙂

Regular crafting content will resume in a week or so, when we are settled into a routine and I’ve managed to actually get into the sewing room. I need to make curtains for the house before I can do fun stuff though. We bought material for the bedroom yesterday. I’m going to get Gorgeous Man to cut the fabric to the right length for me and then I can hem it at the machine. I think my back can handle that.

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Many of you know that Gorgeous Man and I were planning (as much as it is possible to plan these things) a ‘natural’ birth where I would remain active (birthing ball, spa and TENS machine for pain relief). In fact, I have spent much of the last 6 months explaining to people that I wouldn’t be having an elective ceasar, and that people often forget that a cesar is major abdominal surgery… I also spent a lot of time explaining the use of a TENS machine as they aren’t very well known here. I even started practicing with it 3 weeks before the due date, as instructed by the birth educator.

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. We moved house on the 17th of September and to my great relief, I didn’t go into labour on moving day. On Friday the 21st I started getting contractions, they were semi-regular, but not very painful, so we waited them out. Monday the 24th of September I woke up at 1.30am with painful contractions 4 minutes apart. We were in the hosital by 2.20. Eight hours later we were sent home with false labour. My ob/gyn wasn’t there as he was out if town at a funeral – so I was a little relieved that it was a false alarm.

We kept our Wednesday appointment with him and he discovered that the cervix had “progressed nicely” from the previous week, but the baby was still in a posterior position
possibly explaining the false alarm, but there was no need for concern as it was highly likely that the baby would turn itself. Once again we went home to wait.

The contractions became more frequent and more intense over the next week and yet when we saw our doctor on Wednesday the 3rd of October we found that there had been no progression in the cervix, the head was still quite high and the child was still in a posterior position. Dr S felt that given these factors and the size of the baby (along with the contractions) we should consider “intervention”. He also felt that an induction had a 50% chance of failure so that was out of the question. I was quite distressed and after much thought we agreed to schedule a ceasar for Monday the eighth – just to give nature a little more time to work its magic. When I got home a very good friend brought me ‘pregnancy comfort food’ (from the golden arches) and was able to answer a lot of my questions about the practical aspects of life after a ceasar with a newborn – she had also planned a natural birth but had to have a ceasar in the end, so that put my mind at ease.

However, that afternoon and night I was in an incredible amount of pain and discomfort and I felt that I couldn’t go in for another five days. Jeff rang the good doctor at 7.30 and had me put on the theatre list for the day.

Once in theatre they discovered that she had shifted to a transverse position and that the placenta had started to calcify. Am I disappointed that our birth plan didn’t come to fruition? A little, but at the end of the day she is here and she is healthy and that’s all that matters.

No gratuitous kid pics today, she just wanted to be held all day – fortunately Gorgeous Man was home to do that – I’m finding holding her for long periods a bit difficult at the moment.

I started a hat today for her – she’s only got one that fits, but didn’t get very far.

Did I mention it had been cold? Well there is snow on the peaks of the mountains about 10 kilometres from us. It’s spring – it’s not meant to snow!

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Firstly, thank you to everyone who emailed and left comments on our new arrival. Gorgeous Man printed them out and brought them to the hospital each day which was lovely.

A lot of people have asked about her name. Many years ago, before we got married, actually, even before we got engaged, Gorgeous Man was reading a book by one of our favourite authors Gerald Durrell. In that book there was a character called Araminta and Gorgeous Man said that he really liked the name. Araminta has no meaning – it was created by a 17th century English playwright for a character in one of his plays, can’t remember which one right now.

Her middle name – Sarona, is Samoan for Sharon and comes from a very good friend of ours that we went to university with. Long before she got sick Sarona came to visit us in Brisbane. We were standing in my kitchen making cards and I said to her “Rona, if Jeff and I ever have two girls, we’re going to call one of them Sarona.”  Sarona lost her fight with leukaemia on September 19 last year and we decided not to wait until we had two girls to use her name.

Henceforth the little one will be referred to as Gorgeous Girl.

Here is a picture of Gorgeous Girl in her crib at the hospital.

With the blanket Mummy made her.

This is her sleeping in her pram in the living room at home.

The hat was knitted by me, using yarn from Starfish (that she dyed herself – I’m still in awe over that) and the blanket was knitted for her by ‘aunty’ Simone.

We’ve had an unexpected cold snap and didn’t have any winter clothes small enough so we had to stop at the mall and get some little things on the way home from the hospital. I will tell you all about that trip and the birth itself later, right now I have a little one that is starting to make hungry noises…

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