Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Not the update I'd planned

One of the reasons I haven't done an end-of-the year round up is that my what-to-knit for the New Year was heavily influenced by the exciting but not ready to be public news that we were expecting our second child, a little Sylph. My head was full of baby blankets and shawl front cardigans, not something one can discuss without tipping one's hand.

I was 12 weeks on Sunday, just out of the "danger zone" of early miscarriages and finally starting to feel better except for coming down with an absolutely horrendous head cold the same day. Being pregnant means a weakened immune system and not being able to take any drugs so bad colds are that much worse. And today, finally, my dating scan, the ultrasound where they revise your Estimated Due Date by the size of the fetus. Children are strongly discouraged from attending so C stayed with Little Djinn and I set off alone, pockets carefully loaded with money for pictures of the scan (exact change only, please).

There is no fetus. I have what is called an anembryonic pregnancy - conception happened, cells started dividing, hormones went crazy, but the cells that were supposed to become the baby...well, they didn't. For now we're waiting to see if my body will spontaneously abort or I can get surgical or medical "treatment". The word abortion was never, ever uttered.

Goodbye Sylph. I know you never actually existed but we were really happy when we thought you did.

Friday, 2 January 2015

23 Months and a New Year

Happy 2015! Things continue to go well for us, but we can't wait for all of Little Djinn's classes and playgroups to start up again. The ones at the local theatre ended in early November so they could use the rooms for rehearsals and storage for the Christmas Panto* so we've been missing her favourite Wednesday class. It starts up again in a fortnight and hopefully it will be a similar mix of mellow kids. Swim lessons and soft play at the leisure centre (gym) have been on a fortnight hiatus for the school holidays; they resume next week and we have two sessions left. I want to enrol Little Djinn in the 2-3 yo swim lessons but she doesn't turn two until the Sunday after classes start so I'm not allowed. She's blowing bubbles, jumping off the wall, and putting her whole face under water to pick the ring up from the bottom of the pool and the other babies...aren't. Her friend, C, turns two this week so they'll be moving up without us.

Little Djinn isn't making huge progress on feeding herself. She eats pretty well if you give her something to do and spoon it in for her, but she's not interested in feeding herself unless it's cereal. If we leave out bowls of snack foods she'll graze through the day, but not "enough". The first half of December she ate really well, asking for food (which we had to feed her) and then she grew again and had pretty much zero interest in eating for a week and her ribs were standing out again. Getting her to feed herself is definitely a goal for the early part of 2015. I suspect we're going to have to go cold turkey on her food pouches and let her get hungry enough to feed herself but she's so slender, she can't really afford the week or more of not eating. And yes, I honestly think, based on past behaviour, that it'll take weeks of not eating for her to decide to do it for herself.

She's starting to pick up words, though most of them are missing key letters. She has a lot of "b" words like Blue, Ball, Bowl, and (light)Bulb but not the L's. She can stay Story, Star, and Stool but not that first S. She says "please" (sometimes, mostly she signs it) and up, on and off which she uses for conceptually different things like lights, wearing clothing, and stacking blocks. She gets new words weekly if not daily but you largely have to work it out from context.

Little Djinn loved Christmas. Christmas Trees are her new favourite thing and she always wanted to poke at the baubles, the lights, and the stars. We put ours up pretty early for her, a potted tree we'd bought last year and put on the table so she couldn't pull it over, and it dominated the room. Every morning she'd ask Daddy to turn the lights on first thing, then when I came down I'd turn on the snowflake fairy/Christmas lights in the windows. We had a fill-your-own advent calender which I filled with the conveniently sized 24 mini-bar Green & Blacks tasting box. Each day I'd break the little bar in thirds and LD would hand the first piece to Daddy, take one for herself, and feed me the last piece. Except for the day, about halfway through, when she ate the first piece, then, having been chided, spit it out and offered it to him. Cheers for that. We also had an Eric Carle pop-up advent with ornaments and presents to decorate a tree which she liked but sat on fairly early. I mentioned to my mother that I want to get an ornament tree advent calender like we had growing up and she offered us the one she made, but then later she said that she wants it for the Christmas Open House in her neighbourhood next year so I'll look into getting our own.

We took Little Djinn to see the mall Santa twice but, while she liked the trees in the grotto and the animatronic mice, she wasn't interested in going anywhere near Santa. Oh well, maybe next year. We let her open presents as they arrived so as not to overwhelm her, but I think present opening could have ended after stockings and she would have still thought herself the luckiest little toddler in the whole world. She's hardly let go of the two little matchbox cars she got. My most notable gifts were a tea-of-the-month subscription from the cats and an auto-brewing teapot from Little Djinn (C must have seen me blanche slightly at that one as he hastened to let me know it was a deal-of-the-day and we did not pay full retail for it). It's shiny. I'm going to be ruined for the average cuppa. C got a pie maker (like a waffle maker but for individual pies) and cookbook, and a weather tracking kit which we'll put up at the new house. The kitties got a larger litter box (Oliver is a heffalump) and mat, and a bunch of catnip mice. Little Djinn keeps playing with the latter.

We had to take down the tree on NYD. It wasn't happy inside and was in serious danger of losing all its needles. Little Djinn screamed a bit when she realized what I was doing, and was sad this morning when it was still gone, but she's largely okay with it. I showed her where the tree is outside so we can check up on it from time to time.

In non-Christmas news, her favourite things are playdough and youtube videos. She's actually learning things from her videos even though studies say kids don't, she's much stronger on her colours and shapes and that's largely the videos. This was all well and good until her first gen fruit tablet (the one I replaced with a second gen mini because it was no longer supported, I couldn't get new apps, and the old ones kept crashing) finally died so now we're having to time share mine. We're going to get her a replacement android tablet with a less than stellar battery life (we used to leave her tablet only partially charged so she'd have a built-in time limit).

In older news, we once more hosted a successful international Thanksgiving. From California we had B and K (he was in country for a conference and she was doing a semester abroad in Cardiff). A came up from London, and our down-the-road neighbours T and Miss A came around. Little Djinn was delighted to have everyone except T, with whom she didn't want to share her toys. At one point she took her tricycle away from him so I pointed him to the push-pram and she scooted over and started pushing it while riding her tricycle. It turns out he really wanted her toy police car which was perfect because she didn't care if he played with that. Clearly we need to work on sharing on the home turf.

*Pantomime, a slapstick musical comedy, usually based on fairy tales or the like. Huge Christmas entertainment over here, usually aimed at families but there are "adult" ones as well.