Firstly let me apologies for not sending the blog out last night, but my folks and I collapsed early due a full weekend, including some surgery for me, but more about that later.

This week saw the Eiffel tower turning 120 years old and Asterix and Obelix celebrating their 50th anniversary. In my terms, my parents and I celebrated me turning 16 months old on Monday. My parents are so grateful for me being home that they always celebrate every month.

Monday saw Mom and I as usual getting into the car and heading off to Lauren for OT. We worked quite heavily on the vestibular system again as I’ve been feeling a little off. I have officially been bored with everything, just waiting around for the next big thing. However unlike all my previous teeth, my eye-teeth have been particularly sore in coming out and very little can be done about it. Mom knowing something was brewing decided less sensory stuff for me this week and quiet reflection was the name of the game. Just before we got home however we did stop by the Builders Warehouse in Sunninghill, ironically a baby and Mommy don’t get much assistance. Daddy clearly knew this as he gave us a shopping list with photographs and options in case there was no help (having had similarly bad service there previously when Dad and I went on a boys’ outing). I heard Mommy saying, ‘such a left brain’ about Dad. However, I think Mommy was secretly grateful for the pictures, as hardware stores are not her forte. While I enjoyed just being at home and lazing about, Mommy took the opposite approach and used the opportunity to repack my room’s cupboard and all the kitchen cupboards. Our little family had a celebration in the evening, in light of me being 16 months.

With Tuesday arriving, I decided whatever was going on in my little body was going to get fought with all my might so I developed a fever and got all my little white blood cells working on the problem, so after a really quiet Tuesday at home with meds, by Wednesday morning all I had was a post nasal drip. We went off to music and had a great time, especially on the drums. In actual fact Mom thought I was so much better that I was allowed to get into the pool on Wednesday afternoon at Joseph’s place. We had lots of fun on the top step of the pool. Joseph was asleep at first so Josh and I got wet together. We thought our Mom’s were quite silly while they debated whether or not they should get our costumes on; by the time we had finished swimming they were still not decided.

I must say I tasted date loaf and chocolate squares on Wednesday afternoon for the first time, and I loved the date loaf. Mommy started noticing my little hand go to my mouth and crying directly after it, and realised my toothies must be really sore. This was all I could do to tell her something was up. Before we left Joseph I raced up and down the stairs to the kitchen, baiting my Mom to come fetch me, I had such fun.

On Thursday Mom had to help set up for the Baba Indaba which was taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, as some of her colleagues and herself had a stand there. So Mom arranged the day in such a way that first there was Physio with Di and then I was left in the care of Granny, who is so cool, and does all my bidding and gives me anything I want. I heard Mommy saying that’s what Granny’s are for, so I think I’ll take advantage of that thinking.

Mommy got home looking quite tired, she said it was not an easy set up and thank goodness Aunty Kimmy and Cousin Shanny had been on hand to help out, as this is their area of expertise. They managed to source some furniture for the stand and gave the Instructors a lot of advice in how to draw people’s attention. Mommy did however say that the best thing about the stand was my picture in my little mortar board.

Mommy and I shot off to Sandton to Dr. Nicoletta in the afternoon, as Mommy had a bad feeling about my hand going to my mouth all the time and the constant crying. Also I’ll be honest I’ve been trying to tell her for a while but just didn’t have the words to tell her. I have been off my food and will only eat soft and bland food. Actually our mission to Dr Nicoletta was two fold, although Mommy was worried about me, we also wanted them to celebrate my being home a year as well so we took them some bubbly and some photos to commemorate. While chatting Mom and Dr Nicoletta had a few laughs as they do, at the same time I managed to climb up some toys in Dr Nicoletta’s office. Dr Nicoletta was impressed with my efforts.

I’m not sure if my readers are aware, but due to all the blood pressure drugs and the ventilation and my high billiruben counts, my teeth had decayed. Dr Nicoletta asked if I would go to the dentist. Mom was concerned as I have an oral defensiveness and thought it might be difficult to actually get this done. However, Dr Nicoletta introduced us to a dentist that was really cool. We made an appointment for the next day. We also agreed to go the ophthalmologist again just to make sure the vascular nature of my AVM hasn’t affected my eyes, so this will happen next week. Unfortunately I have to have burny eye drops put in as I avoided it last time. Once Dad had arrived home, Mommy again shot off to go and help out and finish off the stand at the show. I had to go with Daddy to an appointment but it was fun to do something different in the evening.

On Friday, Mom and I spent some time doing exercises Di had given us the day before. We then went off to the dentist, Dr Cameron Condie. He was really nice and let me play with all his equipment and tools. Regardless of how much I liked him, I still didn’t let him see very far into my mouth. He definitely needed to do some reconstruction on the teeth in order to have them survive through my learning speech. Dr Nicoletta rushed in to hear the news as her offices are very close.

We agreed that we would have to do the work under general anaesthetic and Dr Cameron was very concerned about how we were feeling about it, but we then told him we were old hands at it and even he felt better. Mom then dropped me off with Granny and a whole box of toys and books and DVD’s. Mom left me in front of Tamsin’s Wharferdale mini DVD player. I was in Jarrod heaven; everyone doing my bidding and having my own personal mini DVD player. Mom went off to the show and collected me later and we headed home. Sadly I had to return the mini DVD player to Tamsin, as there are certain things even she wouldn’t part with! When we got home Daddy did the familiar authorisation with Discovery Health and Mommy ordered in takeaways. There was also a flurry of activity as Mommy planned for an early morning trip to Morningside Medi Clinic. Not being a morning person, Mommy has to be effective the night before so that everything is considered. Being an expert packer, this took only an hour or so and all my comforts were packed. Mommy also woke up at midnight to ensure I had a last feed as it would be at least 10 hours before I could eat or drink again.

Saturday we headed off at 6:45 to Morningside Medi Clinic. The anaesthetist met us in reception and he soon realised that we had all the facts at hand. As we spoke more and more people came up to us and asked me to crawl and give hugs and kisses. I of course obliged and soon we even saw Prof Peter Beale, who told our story to the anaesthetist in medical terms. I showed off my milestones and everyone happily obliged me by cooing and aahhhing. We headed off to the paediatric ward where we spent the next 15 minutes doing my observations and I was starting to melt down as this reminded me of my previous long stays in hospital. Mommy, being who she is, was taking control as she wanted me disturbed as little as possible. Eventually Mommy took me into theatre and deftly asked the nurses to step back and let me drift off nicely. As I was waking up an hour or so later, I heard Mommy heading in as the nurse was not meaning to upset me, but was pushing all my buttons, so Mommy had to help her out. Ten minutes later I was storming around the paediatric ward saying hello to everyone. Two hours later I was on my way home. That was when I let loose, I was in pain, I was hungry, but I wouldn’t put anything near my mouth and was incredibly sensitive. After an exhausting, uncomfortable and painful day we fell asleep early, but because my routine was so muddled I was up at midnight again. Mommy took the first shift and Daddy took the second and eventually at 3am I went back to sleep.

Sunday was a much better day and although Mommy had to work at the Baba Indaba again I was in a much better mood. Dad did my morning cares as Mommy packed my bag. I had a morning snooze, and upon waking I started helping Dad do some minor DIY, such as replacing locks and door handles. He also did some touch up paint on the door frames. Mom had already been gone for a while, and Dad and I had to get ready to see Aunty Shazza and Uncle Marc. I was really looking forward to meeting Uncle Marc, as we’d only corresponded by email since I was born. But before we could leave, Dad and I had to clean off all the DIY grim, so I showered with Daddy. It was such fun, Dad would splash me and make me fly Superman style through the warm sprouting water. Eventually we were both clean and dressed, and Daddy and I headed off to the Bruce’s where Mom would join us later.

As we pulled into their driveway, Aunty Sharon and Uncle Marc where waiting for us. I was bursting with excitement at seeing Aunty Shazza again, and most of all, meeting Uncle Marc. Daddy introduced Uncle Marc to me as my ‘spare Daddy’, which is baby talk for Godfather. After lots of hugs and greetings Dad put a picnic blanket on the lawn where I played for a while. Aunty Daphne, Shazza’s Mom, brought out a bag of toys to play with, and proudly told me these belonged to Shazza, Brenda and their brothers. All too soon we heard the siren at the golf course, and looking up we knew what it meant – a thunderstorm was on its way. We ignored the siren, as one does! Needless to see five minutes later the heaven’s opened up and torrents of rain washed down onto us. Dad rushed me inside, and then collected all my toys and the blanket. The men headed off to the little thatch to continue braai’ing, while Dad and I sat in the lounge with the girls where we all chatted. I began getting tired, and soon I drifted off for a snooze. Dad carefully placed me in Shazza’s old room, where I had a really restful sleep. When I woke up, Mommy had arrived and I greeted her with a big smile. I noticed the rain had stopped so we all sat on the patio again to have lunch. After lunch I sat on Uncle Marc’s lap and he and I had an extremely long chat, with Marc giving me lots of advice and I shared with him my thoughts on babyhood and so on. Too soon Mommy had too leave again to help breakdown the stall at the Baba Indaba.

By early afternoon Dad and I bid everyone adieu as we headed home. I was sad that I couldn’t see Shazza and Marc more often, as they lived all the way ‘down under’. Mommy arrived home while Dad was bathing me, and once I was bathed and clean and cute I asked for my bottle and Mommy fed me and rocked me to sleep. I need a lot more soothing touch after being intubated the previous day in theatre, so Mommy takes a lot of trouble to make sure I don’t regress in my development. Just to prove Mommy right, I got up at 1am and would not go to sleep until rocked and held into a deep sleep at 3 am. Then just cause Mom went back to bed, I woke her up at 4am, Daddy took over at 5am.

It will all be good, my smile is sparkling, my pearlies are shiny and new. I am 16 months old and well on my way.

Til next week!

Hugs, Jay-Bee

Figure 1 Celebrating my sixteenth (month) birthday with a Steers ice-cream!

Figure 2 Helping Mom tidy my cupboards

Figure 3 Getting some climbing exercise at the same time

Figure 4 Up close, or close up?

Figure 5 Kneeling giggles

Figure 6 Exploring the pebble walkway

Figure 7 Stopping for a drink

Figure 8 At Primi Piatti downing my drink

Figure 9 My usual please – focaccia

Figure 10 Getting busy with some Neapolitan sauce

Figure 11 Pre-surgery (nervous) grin

Figure 12 Exploring my ward

Figure 13 Here’s me after surgery – Mom’s still in the theatre gown

Figure 14 Feeding myself breakfast

Figure 15 At the Bruce’s on my picnic blanket waiting for the thunderstorm!

Figure 16 My God-daddy!

Figure 17 Wassup? Note the surgery tape/glue in my hair and on my cheekbone!

Figure 18 Me with Aunty Shazza and Uncle Marc – my Godparents

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