Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

Last night Goran and I got back from a five-night sojourn with my folks in Durbs-by-the-sea. As usual, I didn't have enough time to touch base with as many people as I would have liked, but there will always be more visits. In fact, our next will be in mid-June, for the Top Gear Festival. I was planning on going down for my twenty-year high school reunion in September, but as it turns out, we have a gazillion other projects and expenses looming.

My top priority right now is getting my head sorted. For my own sake, and that of my family. Since the op five-and-a-half months ago, things have gone from bad to worse. To the detriment of my relationships with those most important to me and, without trying to be melodramatic, to the point where I was genuinely ready to end it all. The last couple of weeks have been increasingly intense, and after a particularly frightening episode eleven days ago, I realised how far gone I was, and how desperately I need help. Next week I have an appointment to see a gynaecological endocrinologist (who happens to be secretary of the South African Menopause Society, as well a North American Menopause Society-accredited practitioner), and the following week I am going back to see my psychiatrist. They will be monitoring my progress and consulting with one another over the next several months to try and get my balance of meds (HRT and psychotropic) just right. For now we have re-introduced 50mg of Seroquel XR to my daily cocktail, at least till the acute mania subsides and I feel stable again.

On top of all this, Goran is finally going to be starting crèche (to be honest, it's as much for my sanity as it is for his stimulation), plus we'll be renovating both bathrooms, and re-flooring the remainder of the house, inside and out, i.e. the patio areas and around the pool, all of which I'll have to be on hand to supervise.

To further reduce unnecessary stressors in our life, namely money worries, we've decided to postpone plans for a Christmas holiday to the Western Cape this year (Garden Route, the Winelands, and Cape Town itself). My folks will come up and spend a simpler Christmas with us in Jozi instead. And this weekend we start car shopping, with the view to trading in the Range Rover Sport on a more affordable family car. Lee bought "the beast", a.k.a. Obsidian Blackbird McKnight, in mid-2010, a month before we found out we were going to be parents, and while it was dead cool for us back then, our priorities are very different now.

Speaking of cool, below are a series of shots I snapped in my parents' garden on Sunday evening, of a 12.5-month-old Goran, desperate for a bit of respite from the searing heat and killer humidity that plagues Durban at this time of year. Although he had an absolute blast, the following day his poor little legs were covered with a nasty rash, which we realised was contact dermatitis from the lawn. Seems the unfortunate mite has inherited my horribly sensitive skin (I am allergic to just about everything - from poison ivy to direct sunlight, from latex in plasters to nickel in costume jewellery, and would you believe it, even my own sweat!)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Pinkies up!

I do realise that a reader visiting this blog for the first time may very well be looking at pictures of my big, beautiful boy and be thinking that there's no way this one-year-old child, in the 100th percentile for height and weight, and having met all of his developmental milestones to date, was so tiny and severely prem not so long ago.

I also realise that besides the odd hospital photo - mainly for comparison purposes, to show how much he's grown - there are very few pictures here on Jozibelle of Goran in the first few months of his little life. And the reason for that is because I only started this blog in March 2011 (by which time he had been home for two months already), mainly as a way to share progress pics and news with family and friends who weren't on Facebook.

Now my Facebook page is another story altogether! There I chronicled my entire difficult pregnancy, Goran's traumatic birth, and his first month of life in an NICU incubator, all in the minutest of detail (it was kind of like an 'open journal' for me). When Facebook introduced their Timeline feature late last year (their absolute best upgrade to date, in my opinion), I was able to go back into all my old rants and ramblings, month by month, and I started compiling a bit of a 'mini-memoir'.

Basically I am going to be collating all the relevant status updates and most poignant images from that incredibly tumultuous time, and curating them for a future book project, working title 'Premature'.

Below are a series of pics snapped late yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

All you need is love

Today at Be Sharp Beetles (the title of this post was a very intentional pun, by the way!), we were all asked to wear red, and bring a quote about 'love' for each of the other moms. I ended up creating and printing out ten of these credit-card-sized babies, which I'm glad to say were pretty well received (i.e. worth the effort!)...

As you can see, Goran's teacher Bernadette made a brilliant effort with all the Valentine's themed decor, which was enough to soften even the most cynical of black hearts (yip, mine!)

I am now off to make Lee a special supper. Believe it or not, this is our seventeenth Valentine's Day together. Next month we will have been an item for eighteen years!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The children play, the games they tired of yesterday

Goran raids his toybox, which is actually a beautiful vintage kist my dad gave to my mom for her 21st, back in 1966.

With the rugrat out of our hair today (he spent last night with his grandparents), Lee and I finally got to test-drive our new coffee plungers. Mine is the gorgeous green Bodum which I got from my in-laws for Christmas. Lee's was an end-of-year thank-you gift from a supplier.

Here's hoping this coming week will be better than the last. A sickly baby (runny nose and chesty cough), plus a current cocktail of meds that is seriously messing with my head, does not bode well for a happy household.

I can feel I'm teetering on the brink of a full-blown manic episode, probably requiring another round of anti-psychotics if I'm going to get through this and regain some kind of control (I was on Seroquel XR this time last year, shortly after that traumatic birthing experience). My parents have kindly made an appointment for me to see a top Durban psychiatrist in a couple of weeks time, when I'm down there visiting them with Goran. I desperately need a second opinion on the treatment the Jozi docs have me on (the combination of SSRI and HRT), because this current cocktail (100mg Zoloft and Angeliq) is not working. There has to be something else we can try.

Monday, 6 February 2012


Trying to cook supper in our house has become quite the logistical nightmare. You really need eight arms and eight eyes...