Hi all,

At the risk of sounding very sombre, I believe it is newsworthy to remind ourselves of my situation a year ago this past week.  If you look at my blog titled “Back from the Edge” (and other blogs from September 2008), it all becomes very clear how close I came to not making through one of my most severe procedures to date.  Fortunately, with the help of my brilliant medical team, and the support of my wonderful parents, and all the friends and my family, and you, my avid supporters, I battled through this ordeal.  I was watching my Dad paging through the September 2008 blogs and noticed he was quite emotional and there were even some tears in his eyes.  Not wanting to see Dad unhappy, I immediately stormed over to him and hugged his leg (I can’t wait til I’m bigger – I’m tiring of only being able to administer leg hugs). Now, a year later, I’m at normal weight for my height and age, I’m crawling, have a vocabulary of a few words, I can stand holding on with only one hand, or even stand on my tip toes. I can identify most facial features when some says “Show me my eye”, and so on. I roar like a lion and cuddle like a little bunny, depending on what the need is.

So, before I get into this past week’s exciting details, I must thank all of you, from the depths of my heart and love, for all your help, support and encouragement over the first months of my life, when on a frequent basis it was touch or go for me. And yet, even with all those challenges, here I am, the happiest little kid ever, with an enormous zest for life, smiles all the time, and has oodles of love and joy to share with those around me.

Monday was pretty routine with our visiting Lauren for OT and then later in the day we went to Kyle’s place where Mommy is doing some Baby Gym with Kyle and his Mommy, Helen. I always love to visit with Kyle, since having spent so many months side by side in NNICU we created quite a bond. Thinking about it, I have a similar bond with Isabella, who also spent much time next to me in the NNICU. I can’t wait to see her again.

On Tuesday we spent much of the day at home, Mom and I enjoying each other’s company. Mom did have one meeting during the day which I attended with my Mommy. In the evening Mom opted not to go to Bookclub as she had some personal stuff to deal with.

Be Sharp Beetles started off my day on Wednesday, it was end of term and it was lots of fun, it was also Enzo’s first birthday, we sang and played like crazy. Erin was clearly missing, so we thought we were going to miss out on saying goodbye to Jenevieve, Erin’s Au Pair, but she surprised us with a visit. Back home in the afternoon was Mom’s club and another BabyGym session. We saw Josh for the first time in ages, and he’s crawling, and we discussed Ryan’s first birthday next Tuesday and what to get him. During Mom’s club Dad arrived home, earlier than usual. He had been at a lunch with his team to wish his contractors farewell; unfortunately he couldn’t hide them from the corporate-cost-cutting-hounds any longer. Dad and I chilled in the study while Mom continued in the lounge with the Mom’s club and BabyGym. A few minutes later Sakkie arrived, bearing a bunch of flowers for Mom, but not from him, from another of Dad’s colleagues, Cornel. As Dad bikes to work most days, his deliveries have to hitch a ride home with a friend! Tuesday it was a case of 2008 Kanonkop Wine to commemorate the year of my birth, which caught a lift home with Robin. I think Dad must trust Robin implicitly to ask him to bring home such an invaluable treasure. Enough about deliveries and back to BabyGym – late in the afternoon we said good bye to all my friends and their Mommies; Sakkie had also left by then so Dad and I joined the Mommies on the driveway to wish them farewell.

Thursday morning Dad took charge of my morning cares as usual, but there was no rush for him to also get ready and dressed for work, when I realised it was a Public Holiday (Heritage Day), and he had the day off. So later in the morning, after my morning snooze, Dad and I headed into the back garden where some carpentry was on our agenda. Lauren, my OT, had given Dad homework weeks ago already to build a few things for me to help with my strength, balance and movement. Needless to say, being ‘homework’, Dad didn’t ‘get to it’ for ages. Now, having the day off, he had no excuses, so with lots of timber in hand and an array of tools he started measuring and marking off where to cut the timber. I played nearby while Dad busied himself with a circular saw, jigsaw and planer. I kept having to keep an eye on him, as I was really worried he’d loose a digit with the high powered tools that surrounded him. Fortunately though, there was no blood shed, just some minor swearing and the occasional slipping of a screwdriver or the proverbial hitting of the thumb, all of which was most entertaining and absolutely hilarious. Strangely enough, he did manage to construct the three items that I needed, and they looked pretty decent and Dad even sanded them down smoothly to rid the wood of any splinters. During the course of the next few days I had a wonderful time climbing over the large surface box Dad had built, reaching up to the table with the extended legs, and last but not least, grabbing onto the suspended table help with my balance.

As Friday was wedged between a Public Holiday and the weekend, Dad took leave for the day. We started off the day going to the Johannesburg Zoo where Tanya and Morgan were going to join us. While we were waiting for them to arrive, Mom, Dad and I headed off to the ‘farm yard’ area of the Zoo where there are domesticated farm animals. I was most impressed by the massive shire horse, as well as the cute little Shetland Pony. But most of all I was intrigued by the potbellied pigs. To reciprocate, they were just as intrigued in me, and headed straight for where we stood behind their fence. On arrival, they pushed their noses up against the fence, and I, to make contact, stuck my fingers in their noses and their mouths. It was really funny, and even Mom and Dad giggled in delight. After Tanya and Morgan joined us we strolled around leisurely and then stopped off for a bite to eat. The elephants, seals and a myriad of different birds were on our route around the zoo. The elephants were especially playful today and were tossing a tire on a chain about the place. Mom and Dad even saw armadillos and a puma, but I couldn’t quite make out what they were looking at.

It was time for my afternoon snooze, so I opted to crawl into my traveller and snooze there. We left the Zoo by early afternoon and en route home stopped off at Café e Vida in Parkhurst where Mom and Dad got take-away coffees, and I was treated to their complimentary Lindt chocolates. Back home, Roelof arrived for a visit and we chatted in the lounge. A short while later Opa arrived as well, and I showed off my new skills to him, such as roaring like a lion, walking behind my trolley up and down the passage, climbing, standing, and so on. Opa was very impressed. Once our guests had left, it was time for my bath, and then later in the evening we met up with Bev and Claire at Lapa Fo for pizzas. As it was getting late I retired to my traveller while the rest of the table tucked into pizzas and wine.

Saturday morning started off pretty quietly, but by noon we headed to AquaTots for my swimming lesson. After the usual introductory songs it was time to float on our backs. Dad held me firmly under my neck and my bottom, but pretty soon he only had to hold me gently by my neck. I was practically floating on my own, with just a bit of support and guidance from Dad. I was thrilled and Mom and Dad were overjoyed at how quickly I was picking up my aquatic skills. I also started kicking my legs during some of the other exercises, which again impressed Mom and Dad. After swimming, once we were dry and warm, we did some shopping for baby things at Benmore. By mid afternoon we were home and exhausted, so Dad and I opted to snooze. Although we’d planned to go to the drive-in later in the evening, we missed that, as both Dad and I slept until early evening.

The cats and dogs were looking pretty stressed on Sunday morning, as they noticed their buffer stock of food was starting to run low. Mom and Dad, noticing their distress, headed out to the vet in the morning and bought loads of food and goodies for all the little monsters. Mom and I waited in the car while Dad must have made four trips with heavy bags of food and animal stuff. He also got for Roxy and Jake special treats – femur bones of ostriches. I had never before seen such huge bones, they were almost as long as I was tall. I anticipated that the dogs would love this treat, and I wasn’t wrong. After also getting groceries, we arrived home and the dogs immediately knew we’d been at the vet (I didn’t know they could read the packaging), and were hankering us for treats. Dad gave them each an ostrich bone and their eyes almost popped out of their heads. In fact the bone that Roxy got was so big that she could hardly open her mouth wide enough to carry it.

In the afternoon, while I snoozed, Dad did some more DIY around the house, and then, once I was awake, we settled into a nice lazy afternoon and watched the day turn to evening.

Well, that’s about all for this week. Have a great week everyone.



Figure 1 From this a year ago, after 15 hours of surgery, in my head!

Figure 2 To constant giggles now!

Figure 3 Watching ‘The Wiggles’ and gripping the DVD box for extra enjoyment

Figure 4 Playtime

Figure 5 To zoom around my bath quicker, I thought I’d use the propeller from my submarine!

Figure 6 More fun in the bath – trying to learn to blow bubbles

Figure 7 Practicing my ‘bear crawl’

Figure 8 On your marks, get set, go . . .

Figure 9 Bonding with the potbellied pigs at the Zoo

Figure 10 Morgan and Tanya at the Zoo with us

Figure 11 Elephant gets busy with a tractor tyre

Figure 12 Chilling with Dad

1 Comment on Lest We Forget

  1. Tom & Di Fincham says:

    Jarrod, you’ve come a long, long way – it’s wonderful to see the progress of such a happy little chap every Monday morning.

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