Good evening everyone!

I have another hectic week under the belt, with lots of new experiences and awesome discoveries, as well as some of the usual stuff to chat about. Two significant developments this week have been my learning to stand unassisted. Admittedly it’s only in short bursts, but it is there and it is becoming more frequent. The other development is that I now can suck and drink through a straw. Although most of my fans will take this skill for granted it is not something we’re born doing – we actually need to learn how. What makes it quite difficult learning things at only 17 months is that I don’t yet understand things that are explained to me, nor can I ask questions. So Mom and Dad try getting me to learn stuff through mimicking and lots of praise, and it’s paying off!

My week didn’t start too well with my waking up feeling awful on Monday morning. By the time my Dad had done my cares I was running a temperature of 39°C, and soon afterward I was throwing up. Mom immediately took over my cares from Dad and she started cooling me down with cool damp facecloths dipped in white vinegar water. Dad took charge of going to the store to get me some medication and comfort foods and drinks, none of which I actually felt like, but it was important for me to remain hydrated. Mom and Dad had planned that if the cool facecloths didn’t have any affect I would be shipped off to the emergency ward. Fortunately my temperature started coming down, and as a result I avoided a visit to hospital. As a result of my ailment Dad arrived at the office quite late, as Mom and I kept him on standby and pharmacy duty.

Because I was unwell Mom cancelled my OT for the morning, and I basically slept the entire day. While I was awake I watched In The Night Garden on Dad’s laptop in the bedroom. During the course of the day both Mom and Dad called Aunty Birgitt to wish her a happy birthday, as it was her special day. Opa was supposed to the visit in the afternoon, but we decided to postpone that as well due to my feeling under the weather.

By late afternoon I was feeling much better, but sadly we had noticed that Maple, our 17 year old Persian cat, was not doing too well. Since the night before he had been struggling to walk, and when he did walk, he stormed around the house, limping most of the time. So Dad arrived home mid-afternoon and we all headed off to the vet with Maple; we were all very quiet in the car, as we knew what lay ahead of us. The vet, upon examining Maple, confirmed our fears, so Dad and I bid him farewell and Mommy stayed and held him as the vet gently put Maple to sleep. We were all very sombre.

Later in the afternoon we decided to pop into the nursery to get some plants for the front wall of our garden. At the nursery Mom showed me the bunnies, fish and birds that the pet store at the nursery kept.

Despite my sickly feelings, I still managed to practice standing unassisted during the day.

Tuesday morning I woke up late, so Dad couldn’t do my cares as he had to leave for work. Instead Mom did my cares and tried me on a breakfast of fruit and cheese. While I was contemplating my breakfast I spotted Mom’s breakfast of toast and tea, so I promptly opted to have hers instead, primarily by licking the toppings of Mom’s toast.

Aunty Shazza called during the day, and her and Mom had a nice long natter on over the phone. During the day I managed a mammoth 10 second stand, my personal best to date. In the evening Opa visited, but I was asleep in my swinging hammock on the patio at the time. I woke up in time for dinner which was served on the back patio, as the weather was stunning once again. Opa stayed for the evening as I bathed and my evening cares were done.

On Wednesday Dad had to head to Pretoria again for Bleak Peak Leadership, so Mommy did my morning cares as Dad left at sparrow’s. Granny accompanied us me and Mom to my music lesson. It was so awesome that she was there – I drummed and played extra hard just for her. Afterward, on the way home, Mom stopped in at BabyCity for my month’s supply of nappies while I snoozed in the car where Granny kept an eye on me. In the afternoon Mom put me in Evonne’s care and did a BabyGym class.

During Wednesday I showed off another one of my new talents, and that was that I’d learnt to say ‘uh-uh’!

Thursday morning Mom did my cares again, as Dad had to leave early. Apparently he and the Manco had managed to finish Bleak Peak Leadership the previous day, so golf at Centurion Country Club was the order of the day. Mom ran two BabyGym classes during the day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon, on behalf of one of the other instructors who had taken ill. I was left in Evonne’s care during that time, which proved to be fun. In the evening Mom and Dad had an appointment in Morningside; I went along for the ride.

Friday Dad loafed for yet another day as he’s division held their year end function in the form of an Amazing Race. Mom did my cares again, as Dad had to arrive at Gold Reef City early in the morning. During the day Mom and I received updates about their Amazing Race, and all the interesting places they had to find around Jo’burg, including Constitution Hill, Santarama, the Transport Museum as well as the Apartheid Museum.

During this time Mom did another BabyGym class while I stayed home with Evonne. As I still wasn’t 100% myself Mom took me to see Dr Nicoletta who confirmed I had a bit of streptococcus bacteria lurking around inside me, which is what accounted for my fever earlier in the week, and my general lethargy and unwell feeling. Because it was the tail end of the infection, there wasn’t too much that needed to be done about it.

In the afternoon Granny had an issue with her car tyre which needed to be replaced so Mom and I flew in to assist. We met Granny at Sandton City and from there took her to Tiger Wheel and Tyre, which is on the roof of the Sandton City parkade.

Back home in the late afternoon there was a delivery waiting for me. Earlier in the week Dad had decided to use his credit card awards points to acquire a portable DVD player for me to watch The Wiggles and In The Night Garden on. Arriving home I could hardly contain my excitement, as I immediately knew what the package was. Dad helped me unpack it, and after tossing the instructions aside, immediately inserted a disk in the drive and I was watching Igglepiggle – the folk had even pre-charged the battery for me so there was no delay in my starting my viewing immediately. I could tell that this device would be travelling around with me a lot! It even had fittings for the back of the car seat, so that I could watch it in the car. I can’t wait until that is sorted!

Saturday morning started off really sadly as Dad was commemorating the 1st anniversary of Oma’s demise. I felt immediately sad, remembering the night a year ago as we stayed by her bedside throughout the night. Dad left early in the morning, on his bike, to meet Opa at his house, and together they would visit Oma’s gravesite.

While Dad was out with Opa, Mom and I got ready to go to my first haircut ever. During the week Mom had already made an appointment at Chop It at Lifestyle Garden Centre for this auspicious occasion. Dad and Opa, having finished their visit to Oma’s gravesite, met us there. Mom propped me up on ‘the chair’, and the chopping began once an apron had been fitted around me to catch my locks. Dad took photos while I watch my blonde little strands of hair falling all about me. Once completed, a photo shoot ensued. Mom and I will collect the photos next week, so keep an eye on the blog for those. I was issued with a certificate of proof of my first haircut, complete with a pouch in the certificate containing a sample of my hair.

After my haircut we headed off to swimming, Dad still on his bike and Mom and I in the Merc. Opa came to observe my swimming lesson, so he followed Dad on the bike. I had a great lesson, and every time I spotted Opa and Mommy on the side of the pool I could do nothing but give them a really huge grin.

Swimming lessons always made me and Dad feel hungry, so lunch immediately after was in order. So all of us, including Opa, headed off to Seemans German Butchery at World Wear centre for lunch. It was great to sit outside and munch on some really yummy German food. I was really amazed at Opa’s order, which was an eisbein, almost as big as me. I would have really been impressed if Opa had finished the entire thing, but halfway through he relented and conceded defeat. A doggy bag was requested, and Opa felt really happy, as he said he’s lunch was now sorted until Wednesday next week!!!!

We bid our farewells after lunch, and back home we all had a snooze.

Sunday morning, after my morning cares, Dad and I spent some time in the garden. Once Mommy was up, a quick shopping trip ensued. In the early afternoon we met Aunty Bev and Claire at Moyo’s at Zoo Lake for a long leisurely lunch. The intention was that the afternoon would be spent lounging around Moyo’s, which we succeeded at, and then meet up at the Jo’burg Zoo to watch the Christmas tree lights being switched on. By late afternoon we felt we’d achieved our lounging quota, so we headed off to the Zoo. It was packed full! We found parking up the street and met Aunty Bev and Claire at the entrance.

Walking through the Zoo at such a late afternoon hour was interesting, as we’d not been there that late in the day before, so it was amazing to see the animals’ behaviours that we normally did not observe during the day. We established that the tree’s lights would be powered up at 7pm, so to kill time we walked around the Zoo looking at the animals. We watched one of the elephants having dinner. A little later we walked through the bird aviary, again to be welcomed by scenes and activities not normally seen during the day.

With another hour to go we decided to visit the lion enclosure at the top of the Zoo. Since my favourite animal sound is to roar like a lion, we felt it would be a good idea for me to see these magnificent jungle royals. The previous times I’d been to the lion enclosure I’d been asleep, and my patience was rewarded. In the front enclosure a male lion lay lazing about on the lawn with two female lionesses. They looked just like our cute little furballs back home, only much bigger.

After observing them for a while, the male lion decided to go on a walk about, and reaching the highest point of the enclosure he pointed his muzzle to the sky and started roaring. We were completely mesmerised. The sound reverberated through us and as the vibrations settled he would roar again and again. I won’t lie to you, I was a little frightened, and I suddenly understood the big difference between these furballs and those back home on the sofa!

Well, that’s it for this week; the major highlights of learning to stand, learning to suck through a straw and hearing a lion roar made many other things seem insignificant such as that it was confirmed that a meteorite was spotted over Jo’burg last Saturday night, and that Dubai had decided to default on $59bn of sovereign debt!



Figure 1 A sick bunny, running a temperature of 39°C

Figure 2 Munching on boerewors

Figure 3 Playtime on the study patio

Figure 4 Stealing Mom’s breakfast

Figure 5 Playful giggles

Figure 6 Chasing

Figure 7 Reading time

Figure 8 Writing in my diary

Figure 9 Loving summer

Figure 10 Crawling

Figure 11 Cutie pie

Figure 12 Practicing my balance on the swing Dad made

Figure 13 Sandy play

Figure 14 Shatzi looks on

Figure 15 Mmmmm, where’d that grey come from? Oh, sorry, that comment is reserved for 40 years from now!

Figure 16 My first haircut

Figure 17 Playing at dusk

Figure 18 Showing off drinking from a straw to Aunty Claire

Figure 19 Followed by a maraschino cherry

Figure 20 Lunch at Moyo’s

Figure 21 Playtime with Mom

Figure 22 My Daddy!

Figure 23 Exploring Moyo’s with Aunty Bev

Figure 24 Roaring lion at Jo’burg Zoo

Figure 25 Just Jay-Bee

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