Hi all,

Being 2009, and being tradition, I opted to make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. To ensure I stick with them, I figured there is no better way than to share them with you and make them public. So at the end of 2009, I need you all to check back with me to confirm I achieved the following 30 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Put on more weight – apparently this one is quite controversial, as most people’s New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight;
  2. Wean myself off Infatrini, and rather opt for more convention and ‘normal’ feeds;
  3. Crawl more;
  4. Acquire a few more teeth;
  5. Do lots more physio;
  6. Do lots more chiro;
  7. Do lots more OT;
  8. Spend more time with Mom;
  9. Socialise more and make more friends;
  10. Grow taller;
  11. Have my first hair cut;
  12. Get some more coiling in my head done by means of another procedure;
  13. Reduce the amount of time, on average, that I spend in a hospital (for 2008 I spent 2/3 of my life in hospital);
  14. Spend more time breathing on my own and without the help of ventilators (during 2008 I spent a total of 10 weeks on various forms of ventilation);
  15. Eat more solids;
  16. Vomit less;
  17. Have the MIC-Key in my stomach removed;
  18. Reduce the amount of medication that I require;
  19. Continue proving the medical fraternity wrong about my 0% prognosis now being a 100% prognosis;
  20. Visit all my caregivers and medical team to confirm my continued will to live;
  21. Network with more babies and join a few more Baby Clubs;
  22. Keep my blog going;
  23. Keep my fan base interested and involved, as I don’t know when I need to call on them all again for help, prayers, wishes and positive thoughts;
  24. Get stronger;
  25. Stop trying to teeth on cats;
  26. Continue to sleep through the night;
  27. Explore more;
  28. Learn some manners (up until now I’ve not had the need for good manners);
  29. Live unconditionally;
  30. Keep smiling at life!

With that out the way I want to get into the excitement of this past week, being the dawning of a new year and all that. The week started off pretty quietly, without too much on my agenda. The days are still very hot, and most nights there is a welcome thunderstorm to cool off the scorching suburbs. I’m still a little under the weather with a bit of earache and a cough, but the latter part of the week definitely saw an improvement in that realm of my life.

During Monday, with Dad still being on leave, Dad and I headed off to Builder’s Warehouse in Sunninghill, as the local Builder’s Express didn’t have all the things Dad needed. We were both really excited about this Dad and Little Dude outing to a big hardware store, only to discover that the service a man with a baby receives is appalling! It seems some of the local cultures consider a man with a baby in a hardware store a second rate citizen and are only afforded that type of service. There was some fun in it nevertheless, as Dad tried numerous tactics to get service! He needed a metre of heavy duty chain, and after the first three shop attendants ignored him, he proceeded to pull all the chain off the roll drag it noisily down the aisles. In disbelief another shop attendant ignored him, at which point Dad went to the heavy duty tool section, sought out a chain cutter, headed back to where the chains were stored, paced out roughly a metre, and cut it himself (incidentally the chain was down the aisle). At that point an attendant arrived and said Dad needed a slip, to which Dad said it will now be the cashier’s problem.

The bad service continued in the lighting section, where Dad, out of frustration, sabotaged the various shelves of lights by interspersing them with the incorrect lights. At first I couldn’t understand why Dad packed over 50 globes into the trolley, only to discover that as we walked up the aisle, globes from the trolley where placed further up the aisle. This was done at least 2 more times, and we both looked down the aisle, satisfied that the neatly packed globes were actually in chaos! Similar tactics were followed in the electrical section with the plugs, wall sockets and light switches, and then in the gardening section with the lawnmower blades, weed-eater cord and some barcodes were swapped around on some top end lawnmowers with those from China. After spending about two hours in the store rearranging barcodes and items, it was time to head to the pay-point. There we checked out our handful of items, and then the chain was presented, with no slip! There was much commotion and shouting and running backward and forward, while Dad and I played a game of airplanes and buses. Eventually, the price of the chain was discovered, just as Dad was tiring from lifting me above his head, with me shrieking in laughter. The other store patrons waiting in the queue that was getting ever longer because of the delay were actually enjoying the entertainment. It was a wonderful morning nonetheless, as shopping with Dad always involves some nonsense, as Mom has learnt over the past few years!

On Tuesday afternoon Mom bundled me off for a late lunch, early dinner, and cocktails with the girls at Bellagio, in a new shopping centre called Blu Bird Shopping Centre off Corlett Drive. It was a stunning afternoon, and although very different from Dad’s antics of repacking shelves in a store, it was awesome chatting and laughing with Joleen and Nina. Being a rather long afternoon that soon merged into the evening, a whole bunch of different courses were ordered progressively throughout the afternoon. I was fully in support of this, as the girls were really keen on trying almost everything on the menu. And so it came to be that my repertoire of tastes increased to include the following:

  • Bellagio French Fries in Mayo – yum, I really liked that one;
  • Home made Italian Bread – also yum, although it does get a little soggy after a while;
  • Tomato, avocado, bacon and feta pasta – very yummy indeed;
  • Mille Fille – I must admit this is not a favourite of mine.

We all felt sorry for Dad not being there, so a Salmon Pasta with Caviar take-away was ordered for him, which he wolfed down with relish later in the evening.

During Wednesday I decided to show off one of my new skills to my Mom and Dad, which is to hold my own bottle while being fed. Admittedly I cannot yet hold the larger Nuk bottles, especially when they are full, as this is just too heavy for me. But the smaller Nuk bottles, with less contents, is right up my alley and can be held with ease. Mom and Dad rushed around like mad things to get the camera to get a photo of me doing this, but I opted to keep the suspense for another day, so by the time Dad aimed and clicked, I dropped the bottle. Since then I’ve noticed the camera is generally kept close at hand, but they’ve still not successfully got photo evidence of this – I like to maintain a bit of suspense!

Dad & I were chatting to Mom during Wednesday afternoon about a programme called Time Warp on Discovery Channel that showed a soap bubble bursting, but shot with a high speed camera that was then slowed down for the viewers. Before we could explain the fantastic dynamics of soap bubbles popping, Mom was outside with a some soapy water and a bubble ring, which was Elmien’s Christmas present to me. We followed shortly after, Dad with the camera, needless to say. The afternoon was spent by the three of us in the back patio laughing and giggling at the way the soap bubbles danced and popped in the light breeze. I watched in amazement as they rushed all around me, gently brushing against me, and then abruptly slowing down and changing direction in tune with the light breeze. I followed many of them as they drifted around the patio and was saddened that they would pop and disappear as they seemed so happy, carrying with them all the colours of the rainbow. But before I could blink, a whole string of new, cheerful bubbles, would skip past my face. It was a truly wonderful afternoon, and before long we all just sat back and listened to the sounds of the garden as we reflected on the year that we were about to say good bye to.

As I’m so little, and sleep is so important to me, I couldn’t stay awake for the strike of the New Year, so I drifted off to the sound of heavy rain outside. While snoozing, I decided I didn’t want to let this auspicious occasion go by unannounced, consequently at 00:09 I promptly woke up. I felt this was an appropriate time, being the year 2009! Mom and Dad had already drunk some champagne, but I was really too tired to celebrate much, so after a brief feed, I drifted off to sleep again, and dreamt of a wonderful 2009.

Amidst big smiles and greetings Mom and Dad collected me the next morning. They wished me a wonderful New Year and confirmed 2009 would be so much better than 2008. Dad and I watched CNN just as it struck midnight in Time Square New York. After the count down and brief comments from people on the street, the CNN news team took us to New Years celebrations all over the world. We watched in awe as the Sydney Harbour Bridge was lit up in fireworks, lasers spelt Happy New Year on the Brandenburg Gate and more fireworks were dispatched over the Kremlin. It seemed so awesome and incredible, and I vowed then and there that I had to participate in a handful of New Years celebrations in some of these wonderful cities.

With the roads literally void of any other traffic we headed off to Exclusive Books in Hyde Park. There the three of us spent hours and hours browsing through tonnes of wonderful books. I felt knowledgeable just being in the presence of so many literary works. After much discussion and debate a number of books were settled on covering various topics from baby stuff to esoteric stuff. Dad spent many minutes pondering over a book about the Poincaré Conjecture but then opted to buy this another time, as this reading was a little too heavy for this time of the year. Most of you will know that he reads maths books for pleasure, and one of his ambitions is to read the history relating to the solving of some of the most difficult mathematical problems that we can conceive. Mom and Dad ordered coffees and cakes from the Seattle Coffee Company inside the bookstore and browsed through their new little treasures. I paged through the ‘First Book of Rhymes’ that Mom and Dad got me, and once I got to the end of this, Dad fed me some of his chocolate cake – it was really yummy. I knew then that chocolate would be on my list of favourite goodies.

To escape the heat on Friday Mom and Dad took me off to Montecasino in Fourways (nope not Monte Cassino in Italy which saw blood baths during WWII). There we wondered around an Italian like piazza, that was all indoors, and, most of all, air-conditioned. For the second time in as many days we had coffee at a Seattle Coffee Company. My fascination with lights piqued in this coffee shop as the lounge area where the three of us settled down had hundreds of optic fibres extending randomly out the ceiling, each tipped with light. It looked stunning, this hi-tech spaghetti of tiny little lights. Dad suggested we do this in my play room, for which he has some really hi-tech ideas and games. At Montecasino we lunched at the Meat Company; Mom and Dad devoured steaks of rump and fillet respectively, and I chewed on some biltong, another absolute favourite of mine. Dad also gave me a few drops of his Merlot, but I decided I needed to mature a little before I would start enjoying this nectar. During our meal, a couple in uniform walked past, each carrying a bird of prey. I was in awe as two handlers from the Montecasino Bird Gardens walked by with a hawk and a falcon, and I made a mental note to go there once I was a little older. These majestic feathered creatures were enormous compared to the birds Dad points out to me in the garden at home. They looked at me with their beady little knowing eyes. I immediately gained some respect for these beasts.

Saturday morning brought with it some needles, in the form of vaccinations. However, before being poked (once again) I was weighed and cheers resounded around the Baby Club as the scale read 6920 grams. This means that pretty soon I’ll be over 7 kilos!!! As the cheers died down I was jabbed in each leg, and I let you screeches, as it was really sore. I know these injections are necessary for my wellbeing, but good grief they hurt. The drops I got on my tongue tasted so bad that I may as well have had another jab! After chatting with Sister Lindy for a while we were on our way to buy a few small things and very importantly, get Opa some photographs of myself with him, that he can send to my family and friends overseas. Opa was waiting for us at home and a small reunion was held in my honour. We chatted and drank coffee and tea. By mid-afternoon however I couldn’t restrain myself anymore and I started crying at the top of my lungs. The injections were starting to make me feel sore and unwell. Mom rocked me off to sleep, but not before we said good-bye to Opa.

Sunday morning Mom, Dad and I got into craft mode as we made thank you cards for everyone who sent me gifts. It was such fun, Dad cutting paper and card, Mom punching out figurines in the card, and me placing ink on my foot and creating an impression inside every card to personalise it! During the morning we had a major scare as Dad noticed lots of blood on my shirt where my MIC-key is. Mom and Dad were galvanised into action and I was hauled up onto the compacting where I was rapidly undressed. The entire area around the MIC-Key was drenched in blood which Mommy expertly cleaned up while Dad IM’ed Dr Nicoletta. Once the area was cleaned, both Mom and Dad confirmed that it was only the granulation of the stoma that had bled, and that light pressure had already alleviated the blood flow. A photo was taken, close-up, and sent to Dr Nicoletta for confirmation that this was nothing serious. I must say that I’m really impressed at Dad’s ability to deal with blood – it was one of his major weaknesses when I was opting for a suitable Mom and Dad. But he’s managed to overcome he’s Vaso Vagal syndrome phenomenally and is able to deal with all my blood issues.

We’d planned to go to Emmarentia Dam for a walk during the mid afternoon, by this plan was waylaid by a brief downpour. We therefore opted for an early evening walk at the Dam instead; it was actually for the better as it was definitely cooler and much of the bird-life was more active. After walking for sometime we settled on a bench at the zenith of the park, with the grassy plains in-front of us leading down to the waters edge. We chatted and contemplated all sorts of things and before long I was being thrown in the air amidst tonnes of giggles. Before the sun started to set we headed back to the parking area, where we cam across the cutest tortoise shell queen and her kitten. Dad and I watched as Mom tried to befriend these cats. The queen bolted off at the sight of Mom, but the kitten, being braver or less experienced, stayed for a while longer. Eventually Mom got too close and it to dashed off, but not as a cat would, but rather like a rabbit it hopped through the undergrowth. I was terribly worried about the little kitten, and would have loved to bring it home, but it was just too fast. Mom supported this thoroughly strategy thoroughly, but there was no chance of luring the kitten nearer. As a compromise, I asked Dad to throw it the rest of my biltong, so that I could go home in the knowledge that at least the little kitten and its mommy had an easy meal for the evening. To end off the evening we went to Primi Piati to have (you guessed it) pizza. I even had a focaccia crust that I enjoyed nibbling on while Mom and Dad wolfed through their pizzas.

That’s about it for this week. Although I still firmly believe that I have the bestest parents in the world, I sometimes worry about their ignorance about parenthood; the following dialogue attests to this:

Dad: Sweetie, when does Jarrod need to go for his first haircut?

Mom: I’m not really too sure, but let’s find out.

Dad: Ok. Also, who does his first haircut? Must we go to the paediatrician?

Mom: Not too sure, but I’ll ask Dr Nicoletta next time I see her.

Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day as we’re going for a professional photo shoot at Avo, which I got as a Christmas present from Bev and Claire. Fortunately Dad is still on leave for the rest of the week, so I get to spend some more time with him before he heads back to work. Mom, on the other hand, isn’t going back to work. After much discussion and debate between Mom and Dad, they’ve come to the conclusion that it will be better if she stays home and looks after me full time. I understand this is going to be difficult for my Mom and Dad financially, but it is without the best thing all round, and I, selfishly, get to have my Mom all to myself!

Goodnight everyone and until next week,

Love and hugs,


Figure 1 Happy Feet peeking over the edge of the cot

Figure 2 In the garden, foot in mouth!

Figure 3 No Dad, you’re embarrassing me!

Figure 4 Oooh bubbles

Figure 5 And more . . .

Figure 6 Help, I’m surrounded

Figure 7 Bubble-attack

Figure 8 I got my eye on you

Figure 9 Making contact

Figure 10 The Dribble Monster

Figure 11 Flying with Dad – my latest most favourite activity

Figure 12 Giggles on Dad’s tummy

Figure 13 Topsy-turvy

Figure 14 Holding my own bottle

Figure 15 Whispering to Dad

Figure 16 Dad photo-shopping me . . .

Figure 17 He’s definitely got too much time on his hands

Figure 18 My two teeth are coming along nicely

Figure 19 Having a snooze in the park

Figure 21 Mom and I in the park

Figure 22 And more smiles with Mom

Figure 23 Flying in the great outdoors

1 Comment on Hello Twenty Oh Nine

  1. Gillian Lederer says:

    Hi Guys

    After the shaky start that this young man has had you have just made the best decision of your life. Congrats on becoming a “full time” Mom even if it is only until he goes to school.


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