Monthly Archives: February 2011

Special Friends

Duncan and I definitely don't have millions of friends, and we probably never will, but the friends we do have are very special.  We are blessed to have friends that we can just be ourselves with, share history with and journey together through the ups and downs.

So I just want to say thank you friends, for loving and investing in our family.    

Wheels & running around

Donné has been wanting to go on Cape Town's Wheel of Excellence for a while now, and seen as this was its last weekend of operation it was literally now or never. It is certainly not the London Eye, but it was a great experience on a beautiful day – we got to see a new perspective on the amazing city we live in. Grace, as expected, loved it and when it was all done wanted….wait for it….can you guess?…..MORE.

I think the thing that I might remember the most from today happened at our local Vida in the late afternoon. There is a raised bed with a tree on the one side and a fountain on the other just outside of the Vida we frequent. On weekends there are always children up on it and running around. A while back one child fell off and wacked his head – I can still remember the sound…although he seemed to recover fairly quickly. Today, for the first time, Grace climbed up there and "ran" round and around on the raised part. My nerves are shot, coffee will never be the same again.

Potty Training


Grace on the potty at the back door

Potty training has been an interesting journey with Grace, as with everything Grace related it occurred in her time.  It felt at times that the harder I tried to get her to use the potty the more she resisted and the times I just relaxed and went with the flow she would amaze me and do wee’s and poo’s in the potty on her own.  

After our initial go to the potty 3 times a day to get used to sitting on the potty, and learning the signs for potty we embarked on “proper” potty training in the beginning of January. Duncan and I decided that for two weeks while we were at home Grace would run around naked and we would take her to the potty on a regular basis.  Well after feeling like we were getting no where (maximum one wee in the potty a day), feeling like I was on permanent “suicide watch” and very tired of cleaning up the floor (thank goodness for wooden floors), I called a time out for a much needed break, only a week and a half in.  I must admit I felt a little dejected at this point and started wondering had we started to early? was she really ready? but at the same time was wondering if putting her back into nappies would undo the tiny bit of progress we had made…Yes I know I’m a control freak and worry too much about silly things.  

Anyway after an ear infection and a few days rest, we decided to try again and she amazed us by going to the potty twice on her own on the same day.  This lifted my spirits and I thought we had turned a corner, but again I was wrong and although we started off with about 3 or 4 wees in the potty a day, by the end of the week we were lucky to have one wee in the potty.  Once again we took a break and back into nappies we went.  

After our second break it felt like Grace made progress and would use the potty on her own (some of the time), and although this was a step in the right direction, I felt rather trapped, since she is unable to pull her panties down and could therefore only use the potty if she was naked.  A slight problem I know!  The other problem we encountered at this stage was that if we took her outside in the garden she would wee, as if on cue, on the steps at the back door.  It didn’t matter if you took her to the potty before going outside, she would still wee on the steps.  Eventually out of desperation I decided to put the potty at the back door and guess what she sat down, focused and delivered. 

I’m not sure what her fascination is with the back door, maybe its the view, maybe the fresh air, who knows but one thing I can tell you is that if you need her to wee on cue just take her to the back door.  

In the last week and a bit we have made huge progress and Grace wears panties while at home.  She signs to us when she needs to go to the potty (most of the time) and is able to make her wee’s and poo’s in the potty in the bathroom, although if we are going out we still take the potty to the back door.  She wears a nappy during her nap, which is mostly dry when she wakes up and she then goes to the potty, and then at night.  We have on occasion taken her out in her underwear, but this is usually on short trips.  If I am going to be out for longer periods I still put Grace in a nappy, but am amazed how many times it is still dry when we get home.  

The next step on this journey is to get her used to using the actual toilet and not the potty, which she is currently showing interest in.  Once that happens and she is comfortable with that I will be brave and take her out in panties on a regular basis.

So after about a 6 – 8 week potty training adventure our 20 month old has got it, well mostly!  In the words of Duncan she is house trained 🙂           

from grumpy to holiday

Donné did an assessment today which meant I got to spend the morning
looking after Grace. I was tired after going to bed at 2am (sorting
out tax and admin thingies) and definitely a bit grumpy this morning.
I have worked really hard so far this year, with really great results
to show for it – more things shipping, and happy clients – and it has
really required a lot of effort.

And then, amongst the tiredness, grumpiness, and worry about things
that need to get done, I just got into it and had a beautiful day with
my daughter. At the end of the day I felt refreshed and as if I had
been on a holiday. Such a wonderful privilege to be able to spend time
with my daughter and enjoy being a family.

Fickle vs Fixated

People often say children can be easily distracted and move onto new things quickly.  Well it might be true for some children but in the case of Grace I can honestly say that it does not hold true.  I took Grace to the library on Monday to return her books and take out new ones, but as soon as we had handed in her books, she wanted them back.  I tried showing her new books that I thought she may be interested in, but each time she shook her head and signed to me that she was waiting for HER books.  She kept on going back to the counter where we had handed them in and signing to the lady behind the counter that she was waiting. Eventually out of compromise we got one of HER books back and that seemed to satisfy her, well, until we got home that is… 

At home, Duncan and Grace where looking through one of the new books "The Smartest Giant in Town" by Julia Donaldson and on the back cover she spotted a familiar looking rabbit from a book "Rabbit's Nap" which we had previously taken out. She immediately went to her bookshelf and signing rabbit and nap indicated that she would like to read that story, which proved to be difficult since it had been back at the library for about a month…Each time she looks at "The Smartest Giant in Town" she signs rabbit and nap…I guess the next time we go to the library we will be taking out Rabbit's Nap 🙂

book cover of Rabbit's Nap (Tales from Acorn Wood) by Julia Donaldson

Noodle puppets


Grace gave me a good laugh on the way to swimming lessons today. While
at a traffic light I turned around to see how she was doing and she
has a penne on one of her fingers and she is jabbering and acting like
it is a finger puppet. First giggle. Next time I turn around she has
one on each hand and we have a whole penne finger puppet show on the
go. Big laugh. Photo was unfortunately a bit late.

Peeing in the bath

Grace was moaning and unhappy in the bath, signing “potty” the whole
time and not sitting down which is making it difficult for Donné to
wash her. So I turn to her and say, “Grace, just wee in the bath, it’s
okay to wee in the bath.” She crouches down, makes a pushing noise,
smiles and then asks for a stamp (which is one of her rewards for
doing something in the potty). 🙂