Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Just a Penelope Update!

I know I haven't posted much lately because of my back so here are a couple more videos of the Little Miss just being herself and some photos as well.

She's very very close to walking. She can stand up by herself with no problems, even when there isn't anything to hang on to, although she's a bit wobbly in that case. She has almost done it a couple of times, you can see her thinking about it but she always changes her mind at the last minute and sits back down.

She frustratingly won't say Dad. She has said it a few times, but never when the Awesome One is actually around so I don't think he believes me, haha! She does say Mum and 'sings' along to music a lot. She loves to dance, and starts bouncing her little butt around when she hears any music at all. It's very very cute.



 She was so close to taking a step in this picture!  You can see her big brother in the background. He's been pretty good at keeping me company while I've been out of action and mostly just laying on the couch. It's probably because the tv is always on, but maybe it's cause he wanted to cheer his Mummy up, right? ;)



 Haha, I had to include this one because the kids were playing with my phone taking 'selfies' to keep me amused...or maybe it was The Eldest One's phone, I can't remember. Anyway, I just thought the look on Miss P's face was absolutely priceless in them. She is wearing her biggest sisters' beanie and does not look impressed in the slightest!!! She does love being with her siblings so much though and I think that's why she puts up with stuff like that!




This one just sums her up so well. She's such a happy baby. She's noisy and always on the move, but she loves to smile and play.


Now I have to say this photo was actually taken about 5 days after the previous one. It was pointed out to me by a certain someone that she is wearing the exact same clothes. Well....I like the outfit and as she is a baby and grows fast, she only has a small range of clothing. So she is in the same outfit, but not taken on the same day. It's quite ok!!  This photo was taken yesterday when her two top teeth broke through.



This one was taken this morning. The older kids all went back to school today after the Easter break. I had been reading the junk mail on the couch last night and when I was done I tossed it all on the floor and figured I'd leave it there for Penelope in the morning. I know how much she loves paper, but her reaction when she saw it all was absolutely priceless!! I grabbed the phone and said "smile for the camera!" and snapped the reaction. I just love her little smile so much, it lights up her whole face!

And so now onto some videos! I hope they make you smile. :)

 













I hope they made you smile, she's got a knack of doing that!



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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Busted Back, A Birthday and Finally Some Sleep!

Well.....it's been an eventful couple of weeks and not really in a good way either.  It all started like an any other day; I got up when Penelope woke up and took her straight to the change table and changed her nappy. And that's where the comparison to any other day ends. My back went into a spasm which I at first ignored, then as I lifted her up the pain was so excruciating that ignoring it was no longer an option.Turns out I actually ruptured a disc at the top of the lumbar area of my spine.

 In layman's terms what has happened is this: the disc which cushions the two vertebrae (L1 and L2) has protruded out of it's allocated spot right at the centre of the back bit of it and is heading right for my spinal column. Then it's ruptured on the top bit of that, so that the gel stuff inside it is heading upwards along my spinal column. The disc which has ruptured is the L1/L2 disc, which is almost halfway up my back. Apparently the lumbar region is the most common area to rupture a disc, but the top one which is the one I've wrecked, is the least common of all the discs to rupture. Something like less than 5% of all ruptures are this disc. Of course. I wouldn't expect anything else.

I will say with all honesty here, that up until two weeks ago I had never experienced pain that compared to giving birth, even broken bones don't hurt as much as labour. But a ruptured disc in your back - the pain is without a doubt the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life, including giving birth naturally 5 times.
Anyway, I'm spending the vast majority of my time in that semi-reclined position on the couch, and I'm taking a lot of medication. But on the upside, my doctor is reasonably confident that I won't need surgery. He said that he'll have a better idea after 6 weeks but fingers crossed! Most ruptures do heal on their own, taking between a few months to a couple of years. Once the pain settles hopefully around that 6 week mark, I'll be in for some intensive physio and pilates and that's really the best case scenario at the moment. 
 
 
 
I still get to have cuddles with my baby though!

We had already organised to attend a sleep clinic for Penelope which obviously we couldn't go to because of my back. So the wonderful health nurse came to us! Things had really gotten to a point where we needed her to sleep all night, and we needed to not have to rock her to sleep all the time. So we implemented her strategies, and I'm happy to say that we have a baby who sleeps all night now!! She's cried a little, certainly nowhere near the amount we were expecting though. And last night was probably the worst - she was screaming the house down at bedtime! But it was definitely an angry cry, not an overly upset one and it only lasted around 10 minutes. So I'd say that's success!!! It's been exactly a week now since we fully implemented the strategies (which basically centre around a bedtime routine where she doesn't have any interaction with anyone else in the house except the person who is bathing and feeding her and no other stimulation like tv and toys etc), and it's fantastic to not have to get up 3 or 4 times a night. Not that I could at the moment anyway, but it still feels great to know she finally sleeps!!!! 


We have noticed that she moves so much more now in her sleep though! She ends up upside down, round the wrong way, bum in the air.....last night I found her squished up right against the top wall of her cot, longwise so she took up the whole space with her arm underneath her!! But go in half hour later or so and she's totally moved to the other side of the bed! Apparently this is because she is getting much better restorative sleep so her brain is practicing all the things she's learned throughout the day. Translation: we think she just rolls around her bed until the bars force her to stop!! 


The other thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks was the Awesome One's birthday! I had planned on getting him a record player for quite some time now. He had one back in America but being that electrical stuff doesn't easily adapt to a different country he didn't bring it with him. So he has all this vinyl that he hasn't been able to listen to quite literally in years! I had broken the surprise because I didn't want to buy the wrong thing, but was still going to get it myself. Unfortunately circumstances then meant he had to not only know about his birthday present in advance, he had to go and buy it and pick it up himself as well!!! Which did quite depress me, but I cheered up when I saw how happy he was to fiddle around with setting it all up and listen to some records! 

 

It's not the most expensive model, but it's a decent one and didn't break the budget too much. 



Penelope has also now learned the joy of licking the spoon so to speak! She tasted some of the chocolate frosting the Eldest One made for the birthday cake, and was pretty impressed I have to say. Messy....but impressed!! 


 So the kids have been pretty helpful while I've been able to do nothing, the Eldest One more so than anyone. While she was folding some clean washing Penelope thought she'd like to help. So here's a couple of photos of Miss P helping. :)



 



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