So the first few weeks of December were just chaotic, trying to wrap things up before taking leave. I basically hadn't taken leave pretty much the entire year, and since I had to take all my leave by the end of the year, decided to take a full months leave. Somewhat disappointing really, as it's not like we've jet-set off to some exotic location... but rather we spent Christmas with my folks, and have otherwise just been at home. But I have loved the MUCH needed break. To clear my head. And settle my heart a bit.
As mentioned above, we spent Christmas down in East London (that's Oos Londen, in die Oos Kaap, and NOT the East of London, Britain, incase anyone was wondering.. ha ha). Well, the morning we left, Mikayla was an absolute disaster. She cried the whole morning, the whole way to the airport; and the ENTIRE flight to ELS. I felt like climbing on the plane and flying straight back home... I just felt it was going to be the worst holiday ever. Miks is much happier in her own environment. She hates to travel, and I would go so far as to say that i think she perhaps doesn't like the MOTION of travelling in the car. Even a large dose of Calpol didn't help ease her, or make her sleep. So the first night she was very unhappy as well. We then travelled to see my grandparents, (Gran and Step-Grandfather) who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary... but something during that tiime started to change... and well, to cut a long story short, it turns out Mikayla was an absolute ANGEL during the 11 days we were away. Infact, the only really horrible days were day 1 and day 11 (er... travelling days!). She was smiley, happy... even laughing occassionally. She slept well at night, fed well, and was just an absolute pleasure.
Mum and Dad got a lady to help out so that if we wanted to go to the beach or whatever, we could leave Mikayla at home with this lady (since Miks REALLY battles outside.. she just cannot tolerate the good old South African glorious sunshine glare).. and it was on these occasions that I realised something... now hold your horses... this is big.... Mikayla really likes being around my husband and I. I mean... she REALLY enjoys our company, and attention. She would get very unhappy on the rare times we left her alone. It's almost like she has separation anxiety when we're not constantly around her.
I have to say: she was just adorable when we were away. Every now and then I would happen to be standing at her bed when she woke up, and she'd open her eyes, and the first thing she'd obviously see, was me, and she'd give me the BIGGEST grin EVER. It's a really wonderful feeling to know that she knows us. And that she really does love us. I think for a while now I have reserved something of myself. It's difficult to put your heart and soul into something or someone that you know you are going to lose sooner rather than later...and I think during this holiday I have learnt to FEEL my love for Mikayla a little more. Both a good and bad thing, in some ways.
This is a video of my husband throwing Mikayla back... she just loves it (well, she smiles like mad every time... little adrenalin junkie!)
Then below is a video of Mikayla when we had got back home, sitting outside (which is something she VERY RARELY does, as she HATES it)... but it had been a balmy summer afternoon, and we were having a braai in the garden just before sunset, so the glare wasn't too bad... she was so chilled.... sucking away on her fingers... how she gets her middle two fingers into her mouth, I just dunno... but those are her fingers of preference. Otherwise it's the WHOLE of her left hand in her mouth.
The hand thing has really made a difference to our lives... she definately self soothes a bit now. And when she gets really tired, she actually sucks her right hand, and covers her eyes with her left hand. Like this:
Then lastly, I had to post these two videos.... Mikayla very rarely laughs... and she has the cutest little laugh when she does... like a hiccup almost... but you'll have to take my word for it: it IS a laugh. She seems to find the funniest things funny. The first video, she was laughing at her Daddy when he was kissing her... it was a real spontaneous moment, that I managed to capture the tail end of... The second was of her laughing at her Daddy's beard... he rubs her hand down his chin over his stubble. Her one hand, in particular, is very sensitive... and this often does make her laugh.
The other night (new years eve), I was holding her chatting to her. I was holding her upright, facing me (she loves to try holding her head up, and manages to do it for a little longer now), and for some reason she just thought I was funny, and laughed at me 3 or 4 times. Good to know someone finds me funny... maybe I should try telling her jokes... no one else laughs at my jokes (I am REALLY BAD at telling jokes).... but maybe Miks will? There's hope for me yet....
It's those special sweet moments that make me love her so much!
We are trying again with the cereal... I gave her cereal with apple and cranberries tonight (apparently, according to the box, it's also good for tummy etc)... I admit, I am nervous... but we're giving it a go.... all prayers appreciated :)
And my head? Ooh... lots going on in there.... too much to share on this entry. But I tell you one thing: I am GLAD 2010 is OVER. It has been a HORRIBLE year for our family. First, the daughter I had prayed so hard for, and had anticipated, and been so excited to welcome into the world, arrived not as I had expected... and with all the blessings that she is, it was still an enormous loss. Then one of my aunts (one of my mum's 3 sisters) passed away after her 3 or more year battle with cancer; then my mother in law passed away, and then just before Christmas, ANOTHER of my mum's sister's passed away very suddenly after having a HUGE heart attack.... she wasn't even 60 yet! Gosh, I just wonder at what point happy things will start happening in our lives? I mean, don't get me wrong, I know that we are blessed in MANY ways... but I just, ah, I dunno... I long to feel inexplicable joy... I am not sure I know what it feels like anymore to feel absolutely blessed, or absolutely happy? Then again, do even the REALLY blessed (nothing-ever-goes-wrong-in-their-lives-kind-of-people) even know how very blessed they are?
Maybe the blessings aren't the big things, but rather the small things that often go unnoticed?
My 2011 new years resolution? I don't have one... I think it's all a load of rubbish... but I am certainly hopeful of good things to come... maybe, with a little bit of luck, even to me!? *Sigh*