Monday, November 21, 2011

Learning Kaylaneese

Being a good parent involves understanding exactly what your child is trying to tell you. It isn’t an easy job because we all express ourselves in different ways and most of the time the child isn’t quite sure why he/she is acting a certain way or saying the things they are saying. But we as parents need to be able to find a way to get to the heart of the matter and making decisions on how to best move forward…It is like learning how to understand a new language and as bad as I am with languages …I think I can finally understand Kaylaneese which is Kayla’s personal baby language.

In the beginning I didn’t communicate with Kayla at all, I would just feed, burp and sooth her. In my mind she was a baby and didn’t actually know what she wanted. We made sure we fed Kayla probably every 2 hours or when she seemed hungry.If she was awake she was awake and if she was asleep she was asleep. It was all haphazard and disorganised really.  I would reach points when she would cry and I wouldn’t know what to do…was she hungry, wet, tierd, moody?? I would hold her up and look at her just crying and it at times would make me just want to cry.

This Kaylaneese miscommunication phase was super tough for our family. For about a week Kayla would just gag and projectile spit my milk, then in the evenings she would just fuss and squirm from 6pm-11pm. I read up on everything it could possibly be from colic to reflux. Within a week Avon and I had finished a whole bottle of  the miracle medicine “Gripe Water”….it was the only thing that soothed Kayla. I then spent a whole lot of money on homeopathing digestive salts for babies. In my mind I was thinking there has got to be a remedy for whatever it was that caused Kayla to cry so much. This phase also put strain on our relationship. As soon as Avon would get home from work I would hand him Kayla and then start cooking. Then we would eat, but one at a time (me first then Avon) and if Kayla was still awake….and she usually was, we would take turns comforting her. Avon would do the fist shift (8pm-10/11pm) because I would be super exhausted and irritable. I really hated when I was like this, mostly because I felt like I wasn’t very loving towards Kayla or my husband. I hated that I loved my sleep more than I loved hearing about Avons day, I hated that by the time Friday would come I would just be excited that it was Avon’s Night time duty.

As tough as this phase was it happened to be an important learning cuve for us as a family. Soon Kaylaneese started to make some sense. At some points Kayla was telling us that she was over stimulated and tired which would cause here to struggle to sleep. Then she was trying to tell us that mommies milk was coming in too strong for her to swallow properly….so mommy tried feeding her lying down. I then discovered she liked being upright after a feed so would keep her in her sling. These were all things Kayla was trying to tell us but it took us longer to click.

Soon we were speaking Kaylaneese J which is a language that effectively communicates our parenting decisions that will help Kayla in the long run. We based our parenting ideas on what we learnt in the Preparenting course we did with the church. The course was based on a book called Preparation for parenting by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. It is all about parent directive feeding (pdf) and establishing a routine for your child. We did the course when I was 6 months pregnant and most of the time I would fall asleep in the class because it was in the evenings…so a lot didn’t sink in. As I re-read the book we started implementing the tips. Here is a kanya summary:
  1. Feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours
  2. Only keeping the child awake for 45-1hour (including the feed)
  3. Putting the child down to sleep – teaching them to self sooth.
  4. Making sure mom eats the right foods and has a good milk supply.
  5. learning when to drop the night time feed.
  6. Learning about Gods love and how to look after your child

If you are a new mom and are struggling with adapting I strongly suggest you get this book. I can officially say our family is doing so much better after establishing a routine. I can now plan my day around when she needs to sleep and feed. I can now put Kayla down in her cot and know she is going to fall asleep within 10 minutes and not be restless. Kalya is still waking up at 3am for a feed but I know she will eventually drop this feed because she is already in line with what the book is describing. When Kalya does feed I make sure she gets the full snacking or falling asleep at the boob. This apparently helps them build up enough reserves for the night time. She can now go from 9pm -3am without waking up hungry…which is fantastic. Plus her fussiness and projectile burping has disappeared.

Understanding Kaylaneese and speaking it through implementing a routine has made me feel more at ease with being a parent and a wife. Kayla smiles more and more each day and when she cries I feel like I am more confident in what the problem may be. Establishing a routine just makes sense to me and I no longer feel nervous going for coffee with friends or worried that I won’t have quiet time in a day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Realisations

I have a single friend who is approaching the age of 30 and is so frustrated with the fact that she isn’t even close to getting married. While chatting to her I do get a sense of envy when she speaks about my life “Kanya you are married and have a child…your life is perfect!” But my response to this is – “Stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side and be content with where God has you right at this particular moment!” I think we often put unnecessary pressures and expectations on ourselves, so much so, that we forget to enjoy the moment God has us in.

I will give you an example of a realisation of contentment we had to make earlier this week. On Saturday Avon and I got dressed and ready for the celebration of one of Avons bachelor friends 30th. I wore my hair down and put on my try-to-be-sexy-black-number. The dinner arrangements were for 6:30pm so we had enough time to feed, bath and sooth Kayla. At no point during that day or week did we think we should not be going to a bachelors 30th……in our mind we were thinking – dinner party should be fine to take Kayla to. But when we arrived at the venue we clearly realised it was a Birthday Bash and the reality of being a family and no longer an outgoing (as in going out) couple finally hit us right there and then. The venue wasn’t a dinner venue but a Bar and there was a huge event taking place at the same time. People were dressed in costumes and most were fully charged with alcohol, even though it was so early in the evening. As we walked into the building we discovered that the 30th table was actually in the smoking section, which was for sure a no-go-zone for Kayla. My sister did try to warn us before we arrived but said we should judge for ourselves.

Avon and I both stood there and looked at each other with confirmation that – We should have just stayed at home……what were we thinking? So Avon went in to give his pal his 30th gift while I hung outside the smoking section carrying Kayla on her pouch. I got strange looks from people but hoped that I looked like one of the costume people and my costume was a MOMMY costume??? Then I thought maybe I should acted drunk..just to blend in….then again that could look even worse. So I just stood there awkwardly for 10 minutes. Avon and I ended the night at a quiet family restaurant across the way from the Bar. As we sat down to a quiet meal together it really dawned on us that the lifestyle across the way from us was now far beyond our reach. We could have sulked and got all upset about how our life will never be the same again ….that we couldn’t just go out as a couple and have a BLAST anymore….but we didn’t! We just accepted the circumstance we were in. Kayla was our priority now and this was an example of one of the sacrifices we would be making as a couple.

Anyways, my point is we should go though life humble and content with the blessings we have, the age we are and the circumstances we are in. …….CONTENT is the important part….and stop wishing that if I had this or that I will be happy. Happiness is a choice….experience it!

My 30th Birtrhday Party

My husband organised a wonderful 30th birthday lunch which made me fall in love with him all over again. Why? Because I know he isn’t much of a birthday person so I knew that every little gesture was a huge one, from picking up cupcakes from my favourite bakery to booking a private room at a restaurant. I loved that my 30th wasn’t just full of one age group but a full range of ages from 4 week year old Jaide to 84 year old Gran. I realised how dynamic each friendship was and really had a moment of appreciation for them in my life.
I will let the pictures do the talking………

Robyn my wonderful baby sitter :)

Tony and mom

Avon's Gran

Kanya, Rachel and Katie

Me trying to act like I AM NOT 30

Kanya, Nos, Yvonne and Maita

The Momy and mommy-to-be corner ....Feeding time ....yummy! (Naomi, Kasamba, Kanya)

30 deliciouse cup cakes :)

My mom and sister had come up with the idea of having everyone describe me using the letter given to them on a close peg. It was so comforting to hear each word so I thought I better write them in my blog so that I never forget…..lets hope when I am 94 I will still carry these qualities:

A – Adorable and Admirable – Uncle Virgil

B – Beautiful and Bubbly – Aunty Charmaine

C- Creative, colourful, charming, Charismatic, Considerate and Caring Yvonne

D – Daring

E - Enthusiastic, Energetic Elegant – Rachel

F – Fierce and Fun – Kasamba

G- Gorgeous – Grorgia

H - Happy Honey – Gran/Gogo

L – Loving

J – Joyful – Mom

K – Kind – Jason

L – Life-giving Katie

M Marvellous Merry Mommy Ada

N – Nice and Naughty – Jacques

P – Passionate Maita

Q – Quizzical – Mlondi

R – Radiant Erica

R – Ravishing Nos

S – Sparkling Spirity (the Holy one) Smiley- Ryan

T - Terrific and thoughtful

U – Unique

V – Voluptuous –David

W – Wacky and Wonderful

X – Xavier – Reagan (coz this is the street when we first met)

Y -

Z –
But what reallly topped my birthday was this special gift from God.....A painting in the sky....check this picture out (taken on our way home after the birthday party)......isn't it so majestic: