Hello everyone!

Can you believe it, I’m now two years old! Wow, wow, wow. I’ll chat about my wonderful birthday later in the blog, as the week leading up to my birthday was as exciting as my birthday itself.

So, without further ado, Monday started off being really cold. Dad had taken leave for the week, and I think secretly he was relieved to not have to bike to work, as despite having good kit to wear, complete with inner lining, I think there is only so much protection it will offer in the biting cold we’ve experienced this past week. Mommy left early during the morning with Granny to go to the licensing department to have Granny’s driver’s licence renewed. It all went smoothly, despite the fact that Granny failed the eye test, on account of her not having her glasses on during the test. That was quickly rectified, and soon Granny was brandishing a driver’s licence renewal certificate.

During this time, I stayed home with Dad, and by midmorning Dad and I were heading off to Brightwater Commons to play on the inflatable castles and the carousel. I had a whale of a time, and during my hectic playtime Granny and Mommy arrived for a surprise visit. We popped into the Spur and had a wonderful lunch together. Dad and I headed home, where I snoozed, and Mommy and Granny caught up with us later in the afternoon once they’d done some shopping.

Late in the afternoon, Mommy wasn’t feeling too well, so we headed off to see Dr Anthony. Dad and I went along for the ride, and after Mom was done with her consult we left the practice. On the way out I said ‘Bye Now’, which was a first for me. Mom and Dad were beside themselves with delight.

On Tuesday I had an OT appointment with Lauren. Dad came with Mom and I, and I stormed around the consulting rooms showing Dad all the exercises that I do on the various pieces of equipment. I was having such a good time showing off to Dad, and he was thrilled and so proud of me. After a great OT session we stopped in at the Party Shop at Fourways Crossing for goodies for my birthday. It was bitterly cold, and Dad carried me and made sure I was wrapped up from head to toe. Back home in the afternoon I settled down for a snooze. Dad joined me and the two of us had a good ole snore together. I even woke up before Dad; I let him sleep as he deserved a bit of a rest from work.

Wednesday was extremely exciting. We’d decided to go to the airport (OR Tambo) on the newly launched Gautrain. For those of you who’ve not heard about the Gautrain it’s a high-speed bullet train from Rosebank and Sandton to the airport. Eventually it will also travel to Pretoria. We invited Paul and Michelle to join us, and obviously the girls, Amy-Leigh and Chloe. After driving deep into the earth at Sandton station to park, and then going down nine levels via an elevator we arrived at the platforms. It was stunning! We bought our tickets (Goldcards to be precise) which would grant us access to the platform and train. It is interesting to note that the RF cards are simply ‘loaded’ with funds, and then at each trip the funds are deducted from the pre-paid card.

The train itself was awesome. Once the automated doors slid shut smoothly, the train moved off. It felt effortless as it accelerated to its cruising speed of 160kph (100mph). I was staring out the windows at the platform when suddenly we only saw dark – we were in the tunnel. Apparently we would remain underground for about 5km. I keep looking out the window going ‘toot toot’, like Thomas The Train had taught me. After several minutes we popped out of the underground tunnel and we watched the sights of the countryside swoosh past. After 12 minutes, yes that’s right, 12 minutes, we pulled into the airport platforms. After deboarding we walked around the airport for a while, and the girls and I spotted a life size Zakumi that we all had to hug. We then settled down at the Mugg and Bean for breakfast. The entire airport was really really busy, with thousands of tourists arriving and leaving for the Soccer World Cup. It felt great.

After a great breakfast, we headed back to our platform, and once on the train, we were whisked off back to Sandton. Despite the platforms being really busy we managed well, and once at our cars, and driving for what felt like forever, we eventually popped out above ground again. Paul and Michelle and the girls spent the afternoon at our place where we all visited and chatted. The girls and I played and played, while our parents watched two of the world cup matches. I was torn, as I wanted to watch too, but I also wanted to spend time with the girls – I opted for the latter.

By early evening the girls and Paul and Michelle were on their way. We all had a really wonderful and memorable day together. Needless to say Dad captured lots of pics of the trip, but he didn’t stop there. As we boarded the train, he attached his gorilla camera stand to the door handle of the train and pointed the camcorder out the window, with which he recorded the entire journey.

By Thursday it dawned on us that my blog had ‘fallen over’, and with it our email accounts. Dad swung into action early morning and tried to determine the problem. It seemed the existing host had disappeared, as it were, as we couldn’t make contact with them no matter what. Being based in the UK, it also made it difficult to establish if the company still existed or not. Dad was very frustrated, and I was very nervous, as I’d put so many hours into my blog (yes, I do have it all backed up on Dad’s laptop, but the blog is such a nice format). Eventually I said to Dad to give up on the existing host and revert to a new host. Dad agreed and I said way to go Daddy, and next we were hosting with GoDaddy!

By the afternoon Mom and Dad’s email was functioning again, and Dad had secured the planetlederer domain at the new hosts. Now Dad would have to ‘rebuild’ my blog – I felt so sorry for him, as I knew it would be hours and hours of work – but more of that later.

In the morning, after Dad had initiated contact with GoDaddy and sorted out his account we headed off to the Brightwater Commons to play on the inflatables again. Although it felt like ‘baby-bootcamp’ I had a rip-roaring time. I climbed and slid and somersaulted all over the jumping castles.

Lisle and Jenni-Lynne came for dinner in the evening and we all had a great visit together chatting and playing. Jenni-Lynne brought with her little puppy Nina, who was only 11 weeks old. I loved her at first sight and we had a great time together. I retired to bed, and sometime before midnight I heard our special guests leaving. I was expecting both Mom and Dad to come to bed, but Dad stayed up to rebuild and reload my blog. I felt so bad for him, as he stayed up the entire night uploading all my photos to the new hosts. Then, with very little knowledge of MySQL databases, he managed to restore all my blog postings and comments. Unfortunately as the last backup was done at the end of May 2010, we did lose a handful of comments. Although it’s not all lost in that Mom and Dad have the email notification of the comments, so with a little time and MySQL self-training, Daddy will probably be able to restore those too!

The fact that you are on the blog and reading my latest posting is evidence that the restoration and rebuild was successful. Thanks Daddy.

First thing Friday morning I stormed through to the study to see how Dad had progressed – I was thrilled to hear that the blog was fine again (expect for the mailing list – that Dad was still having some issues with). Once we were all ready we went out. Our first stop was the appliance parts place. Those of you that know Dad well will know that he can fix anything, and often can squeeze a number of years extra life out of an appliance. Dad was pretty satisfied with the spares that he’d procured for our washing machine and promised Mom it would be running in no time again. For the umpteenth time this week we headed off to Brightwater Commons. The plan was that Dad and I would play on the inflatables, while Mom did the last bit of shopping for my birthday party the next day. We arrived at the massive expanse in the middle of the common to discover that the inflatables were all deflated and being put away. I was really disappointed at this. A quick change in plan was arranged, and Dad and I popped into the Cartoon Factory while Mom went to shop. There I rode on all the kiddies rides, and once I was bored with that, Dad and I watched the skeeter boys and girls in the skate park as they ramped and skated. I giggled each time one of them fell. They didn’t seem to like that, but I couldn’t help it, as Dad’s commentary and sounds like boing, douf, bang, etc. worked counter to my trying to restrain myself.

A team snooze ensued in the afternoon, and we woke up just in time to watch our team, Germany, lose to Serbia. We were so disappointed at Germany’s performance, but we agreed that they still stood a good chance of reaching the next round. During this time Mom backed cupcakes and then decorated them with soccer balls and soccer themes for my big party the next day. During the day couriers started arriving with presents for my big day from around the world.

Yippee!!!!! Eventually Saturday arrived, and it was my birthday. Mom and Dad surprised me in bed with cupcakes and candles which I blew out easily. Next some present opening ensued and I played with my new goodies one after the other. Aunty Shazza and Uncle Mark from Australia were the first to phone and wish me a happy birthday. They had sent me the most stunning gifts and cupcakes with animals on them. Issy and the Murray family also sent me some wonderful gifts. I was sad that I couldn’t see them, but unfortunately their game farm is all the way in Craddock. On that note, Issy is also doing very well – also a little fighter.

Opa arrived a short while later and I got birthday hugs and kisses from him. We all hoped into Mom’s car and headed off to Sandton City for my birthday breakfast at the Walnut Grove. There we met up with Aunty Kim and Ronnie, Shannon and Adolf, Ryan and Tammy. I loved being the centre of attention, and everybody chatted to me and hugged and held me. They spoilt me with gifts, to the point that Dad struggled to get everything in the car. At one point we were even contemplating leaving Opa at Sandton City! Not!

During the day Mom and Dad received numerous SMS’s, IM’s, emails, Tweets and Facebook comments which they relayed to me, wishing me a wonderful and happy birthday. Lynne and Adele even phoned, as they decided to wish me in person and not via a text message. Dr Nicoletta and Dr Enrico also wished me a happy birthday! I was thrilled as they were instrumental in getting me to this point.

In the car on the way home I fell deep asleep, and to Opa’s delight, I held his hand for the whole journey home. I know Opa and Dad visited for a while, but by the time I was up again he’d left, and we were rushing out to my next birthday party – this time the kiddies’ party. My kiddies party was being held at Yeesh in Bryanston, and upon arrival I immediately got down to the business of playing. Mom and Dad decorated my table and put goodies out for all my little friends. One by one they started arriving and we all played and played while our parents visited and chatted. Everyone took a break from playing to sing Happy Birthday to me and munch on some cake. I blew out my candle shaped as a 2 and after we all munched on some delightful red velvet cake we got back to playing.

Too soon for my liking evening was approaching and it was time to pack up. I wished all my friends adieu and thanked them for the wonderful gifts they brought me and for spending the afternoon with me. Exhausted we arrived home, and Dad actually fell asleep before me. This proved useful, as I managed to use this time to colour in a Father’s Day card for him. I was almost done decorating the card when I nodded off to sleep as well.

Sunday morning I wished Dad a happy Father’s Day, and once Mom was awake, there was a mad rush to get out of the house and get to Kate’s baptism. We arrived with a few minutes to spare, and took our places. The sermon was nice, and I was astonished at the number of kiddies being baptised with Kate. I fell asleep in Dad’s arms in the latter part of the sermon, but Dad told me that a number of people complimented me on my superb behaviour during the time I was awake. I immediately demanded to know if Dad told them I was now two years old and a big boy!

From the Bryanston Methodist Church we travelled to Nina and Jaco’s place where lunch would be served. There I played and played with all my friends, and became reacquainted with some old friends. By mid afternoon, after having played to a standstill, it was time to head back home.

Well, that’s it for one hectic and exciting week! Mom created a wonderful Smilebox of photographs from my second year. Once she had finished creating it, and showed it to Dad, they both cried and cried, out of joy, at the fact that I’ve made it to my second birthday, despite a very very bumpy ride at times, and my almost ‘checking out’ a few times.

To you, my special readers, thank you for the wonderful support you have sent to the three of us over the past 24 months. No matter how big or small your gestures, each and every one of them have helped me and my Mommy and Daddy through my ordeal. And now, onto three!

Lots of love, hugs and two year old kisses,

Jay Bee!

Photo 1 In the Gautrain tunnel – Where’d the light go?

Photo 2 Loving the Gautrain

Photo 3 Paul, Michelle, Amy and Chloe enjoying the Gautrain trip with us

Photo 4 Me and the girls on the Gautrain

Photo 5 This was our train

Photo 6 Amy, Chloe and I hand-in-hand at the airport

Photo 7 Zakumi!

Photo 8 Wrapped up warm to go out on a chilly morning

Photo 9 Baby-bootcamp

Photo 10 Made it!

Photo 11 And slide . . .

Photo 12 Obstacle course time

Photo 13 Almost over . . .

Photo 14 Landing, no fear

Photo 15 A heap of giggles

Photo 16 Waves from the carousel

Photo 17 Visiting with Lisle, Jenni-Lynne and little Nina

Photo 18 Pressies first thing in the morning

Photo 19 Getting ready to blow out another candle

Photo 20 Cupcakes for breakfast – I wish it was my birthday everyday!

Photo 21 Opening my pressie from the USA Lederer’s

Photo 22 The special puppet card that Aunty Gillian picked for me

Photo 23 Busying myself with some of my new pressies

Photo 24 Wow!

Photo 25 Playing at Yeesh

Photo 26 Even at two, some things are still easier by mouth

Photo 27 Chloe and I

Photo 28 They’re singing for me! Yippee!

Photo 29 Making a wish

Photo 30 Party!

Photo 31 Yum, birthday cake!

Photo 32 Chloe and I on the hammock

Photo 33 Playful giggles

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