Hi all,

I’ve been so busy chatting about my lovely holiday over the past two weeks that I completely neglected to take note what was happening in the world around me, so I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to recap.

Firstly it’s worthwhile to note the devastation that Haiti, the poorest nation of the western hemisphere, suffered after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred approximately 25 kilometres west of Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 13 km. After the initial shock, a further 33 aftershocks complicated the lives of the destitute people of the poor nation. Our thoughts go out to the people impacted by this destruction.

You may recall a few weeks back I mentioned the ‘dog food‘ (product testing) being done at Google. Well, this has yielded a global first; a search engine that has launched a mobile phone called Nexus One to compete with RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone. Unfortunately the network agnostic Google phone is already plagued with some problems relating to 3G connectivity. Hopefully they’ll be able to ‘dog food’ that one!

Dad and I, two weeks ago, also watched with great awe and interest the official unveiling of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. It’s an awesome 828 metres (2717 feet) tall and was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on 04.01.2010. Dad and I also believe that this Shaikh must have the longest title in the world! Since its opening, the Burj Khalifa has not escaped being in the news, as 14 people were trapped in one of the tower’s elevators for over an hour. More exciting, however, was the fact that two BASE jumpers (Building, Antennas, Spans and Earth) Omar Al Hegelan and Nasser Al Neyadi leaped from the 160th of the tower (672m) on 11.01.2010, breaking the world record for the highest building BASE jump to date. They did a 10 second freefall before deploying their chutes. What a rush!!

Last week also saw Ben Southall end his tenure in ‘The Best Job in the World’. You may recall that ½ a year ago he won the job of looking after Hamilton Island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, in exchange for an awesome salary and the requirement of a daily blog about how wonderful the place was. Tough job!

Staying in Australia, the week saw continued extreme temperatures. Most of the northern hemisphere is frozen over, but Down Under the guys are melting, which temperatures reaching 40?C. In Melbourne, where Aunty Sharon and Uncle Marc live, record highs were noted and resulted in thousands of residents being without power as transformers throughout the city overheated.

On a sad note, Miep Gies, aged 100, died this past week. You may wondering who she was? Well she was the last survivor of the group that hid Anne Frank and her family for two years in their attic from the Nazis at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. Miep Gies is credited with having preserved Anne Frank’s diary, and returning it to her father Otto, after the war ended. The Diary of Anne Frank is still considered one of the best known literary works of World War II.

The last noteworthy comment I’d like to make is that this week Yale University benefited from a $8,888,888 bequeathment from a Chinese alum, millionaire Lei Zhang, who received a degree from the University in 2002. It’s noteworthy as it’s the largest pledge ever made to the University, and the reason for all the eight’s in the amount is that eight sounds similar to the words for proposer or wealth in Chinese. The gift, although generous, is steeped in controversy, as the Chinese feel the funds should have remained in China.

Ok, enough about global happenings and back to my own back yard!

Monday things started back-to-normal after our awesome time in the fair Cape. I had my first occupational therapy, with Lauren, of the year. Afterward we Mom and I sadly bid Granny adieu as we took her home. Grocery shopping ensued, as the house was pretty empty, and then, back home in the afternoon, I reacquainted myself with my toys that I’d not seen over the past two weeks while on holiday.

A visit to Granny and Tamsin started the day on Tuesday followed by Mommy having to do a bunch of admin. While Mommy was busy with this I learnt to plug and unplug the USB Modem on Mom’s laptop. Another skill acquired, checked and done. During the day a parcel arrived for me from Aunty Shazza and Uncle Marc in Australia. It was meant to be for Christmas, but with out being away from home we missed its delivery. I was enthralled as Mom and Dad helped me unpack its treasures. As I unwrapped each individually wrapped gift I felt more excitement than the previous one.

The parcel included an Igglepiggle boat and sail, complete with a little Igglepiggle (you will recall from previous blogs that he is my favourite character from the BBC’s In The Night Garden). Next, to my delight, I uncovered a collection of The Wiggles DVD’s – four disks of five hours of viewing. I sensed it was going to be a busy week in front of my DVD player. Aunty Shazza also used the opportunity to introduce me to one of her favourites, Mr Men! Apparently these guys have been around forever, and many of my readers will recall the Mr Men series from their childhood. I was thrilled with my two books that were beautifully inscribed by Aunty Shazza and Uncle Marc. Last but not least there was also a bounty of chocolates, Lindt and Haigh to be precise, both favourites in the Lederer household. I reckon I have the bestest godparents ever! It felt like Christmas all over again! Thanks guys!

In the early evening Mom went to visit Nina to comfort her after the passing of her Dad, and also to give Gené some really awesome ‘start of school’ goodies. Apparently she was thrilled! After Dad had done all my cares, we chilled at home together playing and watching some TV.

Wednesday morning the Merc announced it was thirsty and needed some oil – I guess standing at the airport for two weeks left the car feeling a little neglected. Mom and I headed off to the local Merc dealer where they topped up the oil, for free! Apparently I had something to do with the maintenance plan, which I thought was pretty awesome that the only thing we need to pay for is petrol and tyres. While the nice mechanic topped up the car, Mom and I looked at the shiny new cars in the showroom. I crawled up to each car’s wheel and touched the Merc symbol in the centre of its rim. We also came across the car that Dad truly covets, an R-Class Merc. Mom and I both drooled overtly over the R-Class in the hopes that the dealer would give it to us having ‘dirtied’ it, but no such luck. Next we popped into Cresta to get Mom’s glasses – she looked really cool and awesome with her new prescription reading glasses.

Back home the most awesome thing ever happened – although I had planned it it did take me by surprise. I took my first step! I was as thrilled as Mom and we immediately phoned Dad; sadly he was in an increase / bonus discussion for his team so he couldn’t be interrupted, but directly after he called us. We all screamed together in delight over the phone. I could hardly wait to show Dad myself.

Later in the day Mom and I headed to Ryan’s place for a play date. There we played in the sand and the pool, as the weather is still really incredible. We stormed about the garden and I even swapped dummies with Joe.

On his way home, later in the afternoon, Dad phoned to speak to me to play my favourite ad’s song to me over the phone, Ice Ice Baby. I was thrilled and danced along to the tune that come over the cellphone waves.

On Thursday morning both Mom and I weren’t feeling well at all. We believe it’s the aftermath of our awful tummy bug from the previous week. Dad kindly stayed home to look after me while Mom rested. He also went to the pharmacy for Mom and later went with Mom and I to see Doctor Anthony. During this time Granny popped in for a brief visit, but didn’t stay long. After seeing the Doctor, Dad headed off to work, feeling naked. You may wonder why? Well the screen on his Blackberry cracked, and being a Storm with a touch screen he couldn’t use the phone. I do believe I may have been complicit in cracking the screen, but at the same time Dad shouldn’t leave it within my reach! The next couple of days would be terrible not being able to contact Dad via the phone or IM – hopefully it won’t take too long to repair.

Mom was feeling a good deal better in the afternoon and decided to collect our TV that had been in for repairs. Believe it or not, I’d never seen this TV as it was taken in for repairs before I was born! Yep, it took almost 20 months to repair said TV, but Mom and Dad didn’t seem to mind too much as it was a spare.

During my bath in the evening Dad discovered that I’d been bitten by a bug sometime during the day, on my right forearm and my left temple. After my bath generous quantities of Stingose were applied, which I decided to taste, and regretted deeply in hindsight, as it was bitter and awful tasting. So why do it, you may ask? Well, us littley’s have to put everything in our mouths – its what we do!

Friday morning was really exciting as Bree came to visit. She’s been at Harvard for the past six months doing a master’s degree, and she came back to South Africa for a holiday during her vacation break. It was so cool catching up with her again. During the latter part of the day Mom started getting me back into a proper sleep routine – with my tummy bug, holidays, etc. my routine has been topsy-turvy. Additionally, my post-traumatic stress from the NNICU seems to have peaked again, and I wake up numerous times during the night screaming or crying. Not a lot of fun.

Dad arrived home much earlier than usual, so he and I played in the sandpit and chilled out together. After my bath I receive my first plaster, at home, that is. Mom decided to use moist-healing to treat my insect bite on my forearm, which we’ve come to suspect was a wasp. You may be wondering, why my first plaster at home. Well, unlike my little peers, who normally get their first plaster at home from their Mommies, my first (one hundred) plasters were administered while I was still in hospital. I must say I much preferred Mom applying a plaster, and additionally, it was a Winnie-The-Pooh plaster, unlike the surgical ones from hospital. I am proud to say that I left the plaster alone and did not tear it off.

Granny arrived unexpected on Saturday morning and opted to stay the night. Mom and Dad immediately took advantage of having a baby-sitter for the evening and made plans to go out that evening. During the course of the day, Mom, Dad and I headed off to Midrand to collect Dad’s bike from storage, where we left it during the holidays. Admittedly I slept most the way there and back. Dad seemed thrilled to have his bike back, but unfortunately has to take it for repairs on Monday morning as one of the spokes on the back wheel snapped. Sadly he’ll still have to contend with traffic on four wheels for a few days more.

In the evening, Mom and Dad started getting ready and dressed up really nicely. They were meeting Barrett and Jacky at Coco-Bongo for an evening of dinner and dance. I heard them arrive home well after midnight, still wired from lots of dancing and really loud music.

Sunday we didn’t even venture off the property. We just chilled around the house and the garden, playing and enjoying each other’s company. An afternoon thunderstorm drove is all indoors (these are a regular feature at the moment, and we love them).

Well, that’s it for this week. We’re well into the swing of the New Year, as I guess most of you are too. Our holiday seems like a distant, but very awesome and lovely memory. My best talents of this week are playing catch (and throwing) a ball, as well as blowing on a vuvuzela!



Figure 1 Chatting to Dad on the phone

Figure 2 Happiness

Figure 3 Opening my parcel from Aunty Shazza and Uncle Marc

Figure 4 Yippee!!! The Wiggles!

Figure 5 Jay-Bee heaven

Figure 6 Shatzi gets busy in the wrappings as I play with Igglepiggle

Figure 7 Checking out Mr Men books

Figure 8 Dad reads Mr Men to me

Figure 9 Me? Stealing chocolates? Never!

Figure 10 In the car

Figure 11 Some art I did on Saturday. I call this one ‘Squiggles on Bond Paper #1’

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