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I can’t believe it. My sweetest little Odin, you are 9 months new.

You are such a sweetie. You give high fives and blow little kisses. You suck your cheeks in so deep into your mouth that you look like a little goldfish gasping for air.

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You love to unpack cupboards and watch television with your mouth wide open. Granny Gladys tells me you LOVE to watch Barney (eek!).

DSC_0313 DSC_0318You also love to feed yourself. You have discovered it’s quite funny when you spit out your food. You love to finger paint once you’ve spat out your meal. Your best friend Lily also enjoys when you eat because there’s always a fountain of food raining down on her. You especially love tomatoes and baby marrows. Another favorite of yours is when we give you a large piece of biltong to ‘gum’ on (you don’t have any teethies yet).

You’re not crawling yet, however you love to stand. You get quite upset when we want to make you sit down. You love when we hold on to your little arms so you can walk around. It is the cutest thing! You take such b-i-g steps with such purpose.

You sleep in between daddy and I at night. At first it was because we said this winter was too cold for you to sleep on your own. At the moment, I’m starting to think we put you in our bed so we can get to see and spend a little more time with you. You have developed such a charming little personality and we miss you when we’re not with you.

You are the happiest giggling little boy. Your laugh is the best sound in the world!

We love you so much. You are SUCH a delight!

P.S. See month 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 here.

P.P.S. Did you see the watermark on my pictures? Yeah, I’m cheating on With Big Yellow Dogs blog on Yellow Lab blog. It’s the same principle really, except Yellow Lab is a bit more professional as hubby and I have (finally!) decided to pursue our dreams. I’ve moved this entire blog to Yellow Lab. Please come have a look at the site and follow along there. I’d also LOVE to know what you think of the new site, our name and the branding!

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Not a day goes by that we don’t utter the words, he’s so cute, Odie’s so adorable, he’s so clever, look at you!

Odin, we love you so much. Your dad and I just want to hold, squish, hug and love you. Your grannies and grandaddies absolutely adore you too. You have all your loved ones wrapped around your little pinkies.

When I see someone else holding you, I simply can not believe how big you’ve grown. The saying “kids grow like weeds” are absolutely true.
You keep developing your skills a little more every day. I can see that you’re wanting to crawl. You put yourself onto your knees, but once you’re there, you’re not sure what’s next. I’m quite sure you’ll figure it out soon. I’m so excited for you, but at the same time, I’m terrified. Once you’re mobile we’re going to have to watch you even more closely. We won’t be able to leave you out of our site for a second, not even to use the loo. Oh boy!

We love to watch you grow. You’re such a little boy and the little ‘baby’ in you are futher and futher away and a thing of the past with every nap you take.

We’ve started to plan your first birthday (rainbow) party. We have so many ideas and things to prepare. Time is running out, there is only 4 months to go. I can’t believe it. Eeeek!

Photo by www.yellowlab.co.zaPhoto by www.yellowlab.co.zaLittle honey, you are simply the sweetest little thing under the sun. I trust you feel loved and know just how special you are to us.

Love you little dude!

P.S. If you missed the other months, read them here: 1, 2, 34, 5and 7.

We’re celebrating Best Friends day on 8 June with Dog Vacay and I wanted to tell you about my man’s best friend. Hubby is a keen golfer and plays every chance he gets. The day before a game though, he likes to hit around a few balls in the garden.

Then, there’s Lily. She loves balls and sticks and just about anything she can fetch to bring to you. She is not just a Labrador retriever, but also a golf ball retriever.

These two are a match made in heaven. Hubby chips and Lily fetches to her heart’s content. Two peas in a pod. Both in their element and at their happiest.

The only problem though, Lily can never go with to the golf course. He will never get to finish one hole!

Photo by Salomé Nourse I www.withbigyellowdogs.wordpress.com Photo by Salomé Nourse I www.withbigyellowdogs.wordpress.com Photo by Salomé Nourse I www.withbigyellowdogs.wordpress.comPhoto by Salomé Nourse I www.withbigyellowdogs.wordpress.comPhoto by Salomé Nourse I www.withbigyellowdogs.wordpress.com

Is your pet one of your best friends too? I’d love to know.

Yesterday was my first Mother’s day as a mom and I thought it quite appropriate to share some photos that a photographer friend of mine, Dawid Roux Photography, came to take of our family just over a month ago. I love this little boy so much and feel so lucky to get to be his mommy.

Jono, thank you for making me a mommy and thank you for making me feel SO special. Your immense (daily) help make me be a better mommy. I’m so glad you are my “partner in crime” raising this rad little dude. I love you guys so much.

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography http://drouxcam.com/

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography http://drouxcam.com/

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography http://drouxcam.com/

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography http://drouxcam.com/

Photo by Dawid Roux Photography

Saturday night. Hubby and I stay in, watch TV and have spicy left over food for supper. My tummy starts aching, but I think nothing of it. Perhaps some of the leftovers had gone off slightly. That night while sleeping, I keep waking up with mild tummy cramps but dose off easily again. Suddenly at five a.m. I wake up needing to use the toilet and I realize my water broke while I was asleep. Upon my returning to bed, hubby wake up and I tell him that I think our little guy is coming today. He responds with “Oh yeah?! It’s so awesome!”

We cuddle in the hope of getting another hour or two of sleep. I open a contraction timer app on my iPhone and I try to decipher how far along we are.

Contractions are eight minutes apart. I feel fine and decide to close my eyes for a while. Within the next hour contractions get more uncomfortable and I wake hubby and ask him to get dressed and ready to leave. I tell him that the contractions are now seven minutes apart. I can see he is so excited. He gets to meet his boy today! We are beside ourselves, I mean, we’re having a baby! I phone my mum and he phones his family with the news that we’re heading to the hospital.

Today is the day after our due date. It’s a slightly overcast Sunday morning and the only car on the road is ours. It is such a gentle calm ride. As I stare out the window I mention to hubby that whenever we see purple Jacarandas again, it will remind us of the time of our little one’s birth. It is a beautiful day to come into the world.

We arrive at Netcare’s Park Lane Clinic and get set up in the labor ward pretty quickly. The nurses are so very friendly and although this is a scary new experience for me,  I feel safe and at ease that we are in good hands.

It’s still early in the day and our obgyn has come in to see us. I’m only 3 cm dilated. For our little one to be born naturally, my cervix will have to dilate to 10 cm. I’m told that the way it works, is that one would dilate 1 cm every hour, so we’ll see our little one at about six o’clock. Hubby and I play cards and it’s almost like we’re having a little family picnic in the hospital. After I kick hubby’s butt at rummy we go for a few strolls. Eventually, contractions start to get really damn sore and we ask the nurse to contact the anesthetist for an epidural. At the same time we also get an IV put up. (Man, I hate needles!?)

The epidural worked straight away. On my right side. My left side was not completely numb. Contractions were less intense, but it was still pretty sore. In the mean time the anesthetist got me to lie on my left side in the hope that the epidural would start to work on both sides of my lower body.

It’s now after three in the afternoon and my mom shows up unexpectedly. She is so excited to see her first gran-baby, and I reckon, you can’t not jump in the car and come to the hospital when your own baby’s having a baby. I’m really glad to see her.

The nurse checks our progress and lets us know that we are still dilated only 3 cm. She hints that the obgyn might want to do a c-section so I must not feel alarmed when the obgyn lets us know this.

Our obgyn comes to check on our progress. Her exact words were: “Oh god!?” While shaking her head vigorously says: “This isn’t happening.” I remember thinking to myself “Geez lady, you can be glad I like you or I would’ve thought that to be poor bedside manner”. She says we’ll be having a c-section and she’ll see us in theater really soon.

The anesthetist comes in to let me know to stop eating and drinking and that he’ll re-insert the epidural once we’re in theater. He says we’ll see our baby in less than 45 minutes.

My mom wishes us the best of luck and goes to wait in the recovery room. I’m wheeled off to theater and hubby heads to the daddy lounge to change into scrubs.

The same nurse that’s been helping me through the day is with me when I’m wheeled into theater. She helps me sit up and help me keep my upper body in the right position for the epidural to be re-administered.

I lay back down and I can feel that my legs are heavy. It actually feels like an elephant is sitting on them. I’m told that that is what disabled people feel like every day. (How sad?)

There is a radio playing loudly and the obgyn steps into view on my right hand side. Another surgeon stands opposite her in what I can only assume is someone that will assist her. I start to panic and ask where my husband is. I’m really scared that they take our little dude out before hubby is present. I don’t want him to miss our baby’s birth.

The obgyn and fellow surgeon is pushing and pulling on my stomach like crazy. I thought I was going to fall off the operating table. I finally see hubby enter the theater in dark blue scrubs (hubba-hubba-hubby) and immediately relax. A minute pass and the anesthetist tells hubby to get the camera ready and next thing he says to me is “Look mommy, there is your baby”.

just-born

17:43 p.m. Seeing our little guy took my breath away and tears roll down my face as he gives us his first loud scream cry. He certainly has a healthy set of lungs.

Baby gets weighed, measured and tested while I get stitched up. The pediatrician brings baby all wrapped up to lie on my chest, only a few cm away from my face and I whisper, “Happy birthday my little man”. I keep trying to see what he looks like but the tears are proving this an impossible task.

I’m lifted from the operating table onto a more comfy bigger bed. Baby’s put into my arms and we’re wheeled into the recovery room. A nurse and the pediatrician immediately help me breastfeed. The new grannies and granddaddies are also there and get a glimpse of their minutes new little grandson.

Baby gets dressed and after a little while in the recovery room, we’re wheeled to the maternity ward where we spend the next three nights. With the little one in my arms, I’m smitten. Hubby and I keep looking at him, just staring at this perfect being that we get to look after.

on-scale

We call him Odin Walter. He weighs 3.67 kg and is 54 cm long. He is a healthy little baby boy with the hairiest little upper arms and longest little fingers and toes. We feel so blessed.

Side note: Hubs, thank you for taking these photos. They turned out truly beautifully. I really appreciate that we get to relive this special day of our life together through pictures. I love you so much.

Life with a small baby can be hard. Nothing will ever prepare you for this kind of sleep deprivation. Luckily for Odie, he is quite cute. Else we might have taken him back to the hospital and requested a refund (Really, I’m just kidding) as he must be broken. I mean, the boy hardly sleeps.

Other than the little sleep, our baby is such a cutie. His newborn photos had me wondering about other ways to display and treasure this adorableness. Minted contacted me to write a site review and I was surprised at other alternative designs I could have used for our birth announcement. Their site is extremely user friendly and the designs to choose from world class. My favorite birth announcement designs are these:
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Adored Birth Announcements

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Uptown Birth Announcements

Odie003Big Baby Name Birth Announcements

I was really surprised to see all the other products they have to offer. There is something for anyone at every stage of life and celebration. Their range consist of wedding invitations, business cards, Valentine’s gifts, notebooks, personalizable calendars, event decor and even art. I’m thinking about ordering this print for little Odin’s nursery.
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Fiesta Turtle Neck

I’d also like to have a personalizable journal or two sent to me. You see, when I was expecting, I wrote weekly letters to my little dude-to-be. I would write them at work during lunch time and emailed it to myself. Now though, all those letters are stuck in an email archive. It would be so lovely to copy those letters into one of these journals. 
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Pop of Color Journals

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The Story of You Journals

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Washi Love Journals

You could, in fact, use these journals for just about anything. How about secret recipes?
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So whether you have a little one or if your little one is on the way, or even if there is no little one, I’m sure you’ll find a reason to use Minted. Plus, if you complete the survey on their website you will get 10% off of your order. Now isn’t that a good reason to visit?