Hi all,

I must begin by wishing my Mommy and Daddy a Happy Anniversary for earlier this week; they celebrated their 14th (ivory) anniversary, and I’ll chat a little more about that later. Although my week started quietly, it ended up being really busy toward the end. Just as well I spent Monday at home with my Mommy. We literally did nothing but chill out, and do Mommy’s BabyGym assignment. Unfortunately our privacy was compromised by the builders, who are still on site, two weeks after they promised to complete everything. My usual Monday OT slot was postponed, so Tuesday morning Mom and I went off to see Lauren. I did some exercises on a slide, and at one point I slipped, lost my grip, and slid down the slide, and I didn’t even cry. My Mommy was so proud of me not ‘over reacting’! Later on Tuesday, after an appointment Mom had to attend, we visited Ryan at his house to celebrate his 1st birthday. I was very busy there, crawling all around Ryan’s garden exploring, and I even did a close-up inspection of the pool. It was such a cool party, Ryan got to eat a huge piece of his own number 1 cake. He enjoyed eating it as much as we enjoyed watching him and clapping him on.

On Wednesday morning I presented Mom and Dad with an anniversary present – a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary, followed by a lunch there. But that was only planned for Sunday, to accommodate Dad’s work. I also got Mommy a Thomas Sabo elephant charm (with Dad’s help in sourcing and collecting it), to add to her charm bracelet. You may be wondering what’s with the elephant theme. Well since its their ivory anniversary, and one doesn’t do ivory anymore, I thought I’d go for the source, namely elephants! Mom and Dad were very impressed with my logic and loved the alternate to ivory. After Dad left for work, Mom busied herself with completing her BabyGym certification assignment. I assisted with spelling and grammar, and as I am a baby, I was able to provide valuable inputs from my baby perspective to help Mom interpret better the benefits of BabyGym.

By the time Dad was home in the evening, Mom had a beautifully bound assignment, complete with a DVD to support her portfolio of evidence. We all hopped into the car just before sunset and dropped Mom’s masterpiece off at Dr. Melodie’s place for review and verification. Even though it was a big day for Mom and Dad, we opted not to go out, as the evening seemed to run away with us. Instead, later in the evening when I was already in bed, I heard Mr Delivery deliver Spur meals for Mom and Dad as their celebratory meal! As I drifted off to sleep I felt very content by the fact that although Mom and Dad are having take-aways in celebration of their anniversary, I was home. This time last year the three of us celebrated their anniversary in my NNICU ward.

Thursday was a hectic shopping day, predominantly for Granny to find an automatic pool cleaner for Aunty Kim. The shopping was so hectic that I feel asleep in the shopping trolley. Mom, not even batting an eyelid, stormed down the bedding aisle at Game and pulled a pillow out of its packaging and put it under me for comfort. Apparently there was much interest at the till when Mom paid for an empty package that used to contain a pillow!

We headed back to Game on Friday morning with Granny, as ‘after she’d slept on it’ she’d decided which pool cleaner to get. While there I also got an inflatable boat to play with in the pool – I can’t wait to try it out as it looks like lots of fun. Dad arrived home during the afternoon and a little later Opa arrived for a visit. Opa, Dad and I played on the study patio, and as it was starting to get to early evening we all decided to head out to Primi Piatti for pizzas. I was thrilled, as it meant I’d be getting some focaccia too; and I wasn’t disappointed. We’d hardly settled in when a cheesy garlic focaccia arrived and I tucked in. We chatted and ate and all too quickly the evening was over. We bid Opa farewell and Mom, Dad and I headed home.

After Dad took charge of my cares on Saturday morning, and I settled in for my morning snooze, I could hear him getting very industrious in the garden. Although I was meant to be sleeping, I could hear him busy around the northern fountain. After spending some time there, I then heard him go into the front garden where he rearranged the dump rock by the front wall, evening it out neatly. After I woke up, Dad asked Mom and I to help at the fountain. I was most impressed by what I saw before me. While I was snoozing, Dad had constructed a lever system to level out the 600kg fountain which over the past six years had started leaning (very much like the Tower of Pisa). Under my supervision, Dad easily applied force to the base of the fountain until it was level, and then Mom quickly hammered chucks into the space created, and viola, the fountain was straight again.

Once the DIY was completed, we readied ourselves to go to my swimming lesson, for which I was very excited. Unfortunately it was a horrific lesson – we had a new teacher, someone who had recently taken over the practice, and the lesson went from worse to bad. I should have know when we arrived, as every little student in the class prior to mine was crying when they got out the pool; I think I even spotted one or two of the parents crying. So in Dad and I went, and we eased into the lesson, but it was over stimulating, too fast, and too demanding. Pretty soon I and my little peers were also crying. I had a meltdown before the class ended; Mom was at the pool’s edge so Dad handed me up to her where I got cuddles. The other little learners weren’t as lucky, and endured more of the torture, followed by even more wails!

I slowly started settling down in the car on the way home, and once home we had some lunch together. Dad had flying school in the afternoon, so shortly after lunch, armed with notebooks, pens and calculators, he headed off to Grand Central Airport for another briefing. I snoozed in that time, and when Dad came home, he was hugely enthused and told me all about the instruments and systems of a Cessna. I was pretty intrigued.

Just before sunset Granny arrived. Apparently Mom and Dad were going out and they had asked that I Granny-sit again! While Dad bathed me, Granny looked on and pretty soon I was ready for bed, but not ready to sleep, as I wanted to spend some quality time with Granny. Mom and Dad headed off, looking ready to party hard. They were going to the Pride After Party, called the Fireman’s Ball, near the dome. Matt was one of the performers, and he’d organised VIP tickets for them, as well as Bev and Claire, who partied with them. It was well after midnight when I heard Mom and Dad arrive back home. They were still in party mode, and I decided to join in. After they showered (thankfully, as they stank of smoke from the club), we all chilled out together, but pretty soon each of us dropped off to sleep.

Sunday morning was incredibly busy, as we had to hit the road early to head out to Hartebeespoort Dam (or Harties, for short). You will recall that the anniversary present I got for Mom and Dad was a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary, which included a tour and walkabout with the elephants followed by a lunch. Once on the road I drifted off to sleep, and I woke up shortly before our destination. I was bundled into the jogger and we headed up a long path through the bushveld jungle to the reception. We were greeted by friendly staff, and after signing indemnities and having some coffee and tea, we headed out to meet the ellies. En route, our guide Simba, stopped and showed us the trees and plants in the area that the elephants like, those they don’t, and those that are poison to them. Elephants have an advanced social and communication structure, and apparently all the info about the different trees and plants is handed down from generation to generation, as well as, believe it or not, manners and social etiquette (for an elephant, that is).

We walked quite a while and then arrived at a clearing. There we were told some more interesting facts about elephants, and then, very importantly, some rules for when the elephants arrived. It wasn’t long after when the majestic beasts silently sauntered out of the bushveld to the clearing. There they lined up for us and we were introduced to each elephant and told about its age, gender, hierarchy and background. Once that was over, we got the opportunity to touch the elephants; we were able to stroke their trunks, tickle them behind their ears, feel their feet, their tails, tusks and so on. I was a little weary at first, as their trumpeting and rumbling scared me a little, but pretty soon I became comfortable enough with their chatter for Dad to take me right up to the elephant. Wow, it was amazing to stand side-by-side with a 1½ ton beast.

The other thing that amazed me was that all the elephants seemed to be advanced MBA’s (methaneous bum assault)! I have noticed when I invoke my MBA people around me just pull up their noses, but when these elephants invoke their MBA’s people flee, tears streaming from their eyes.

After visiting with, learning about and feeding the elephants we headed to the restaurant deck for lunch. It really felt like Africa – there we were sipping on drinks over lunch, and a few metres away elephants were grazing on branches and leaves. The afternoon marched on and it was time to leave. I was already starting to feel sleepy, and during the long stroll back to the car I fell asleep and slept all the way home. The long drive had made Dad snoozy, so he and Mom snoozed in the study while I played nearby, and then watched my favourite programme on TV on CBeebies called ‘In The Night Garden’. Outside it started to rain gently.

Well that’s another week under my belt. Some other interesting developments are that I now not only dance with my hands when I listen to music, but also with my legs. Pretty soon I’ll be jiving like a pro! My mastery of closing bottles and jars has also come leaps and bounds – up until this week I knew how to put the lid over a bottle or jar, now I can even screw it down or snap it into place. Mom and Dad are most impressed. My posture is also perfect now, which may not sound too extraordinary, but having lay in NNICU for so many months my spine took a hammering, so for me it is extraordinary. After weeks of teaching me ‘ta’ when I take something, I now say it myself – so if you hand me something, don’t be surprised if I timidly say ‘ta’. When singing the ‘When You’re Happy and You Know It’ song I now clap my hands as well as tap my knees, in perfect rhythm to the tune. Next, I’ll be ‘stomping my feet’ accordingly. Lastly, my reaction and balance has also come strides.

Bye for now.



Figure 1 Scribbling on my face with my colouring pencils

Figure 2 Killroy was here!

Figure 3 Putting the lens cap back on the camera

Figure 4 Looking for a ball to play with

Figure 5 Found it!

Figure 6 Snoozing while shopping

Figure 7 Perfecting the art of replacing the lens cap on the camera

Figure 8 Being Jay-Bee!

Figure 9 Kisses for Opa

Figure 10 Kisses from Opa

Figure 11 My Daddy

Figure 12 Waiting for the elephants

Figure 13 There they are!

Figure 14 Saying hello

Figure 15 Getting friendly with Themba

Figure 16 Dad with Themba the teenage elephant

Figure 17 Snoozing

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