My journey as a father is taking a new turn. I don’t know how much I have learnt over the last 2 years or since we discovered that we were pregnant with Ciiru. Its been a great ride all the same and I am loving every little bit of it. From the early mornings to fix formula for her to late night diaper changes, tantrums, and the all too funny baby talk.
We have now reached our first fuel stop and its time to take it to the next level. We are pregnant again! I remember my wife getting all tired and starting to look chubby all over again (after Ciiru had sacked her dry). I didnt think too much of it until one day she asked me to come home with the home testing pregnancy kit. At first I declined thinking she had just stopped breastfeeding – so pregnancy could not be it! We were planning for it but didn’t expect it to happen so soon. After a couple of days I gathered enough courage and bought the kit. 2 pink lines confirmed it was time to change gears for the next chapter in our lives. We were going to have another baby!
Like Brad Paisley sang, I remember sayin’ I don’t care either way Just as long as he or she is healthy I’m OK. Then the doctor pointed to the corner of the screen And said “Ya see that thing right there well ya know what that means” … And I started wondering who he was going to be. Will he be anything like me? And do all the things that boys do? climb a tree too tall, ride his bike too fast and end up every summer wearing something in a cast? He’s gonna throw a ball and break some glass in a window etc etc.
I know he will make me proud most days and some days I will loose my temper. He will probably get in fights and all those things boys do but I pray that in life he will be a warrior…a mighty man of fearless courage! A man who will not be bought or sold, a man who in his innermost soul is true and honest. A man who does not fear to call sin by its right name, a man whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole and a man who will stand for the right though the heavens fall!!
Ciiru is obviously not too happy to loose her dual status as a first and last born. But its time for to learn to love and to share. Its time for to share mummy and daddy with another precious soul who she will love and adore. Its going to be alot of work but one thing I have learnt … God is faithful. He has blessed as with these gifts and with the gifts He has given us strength and wisdom in abundantly! And for these we say thank you!!
I already dread the day he will leave home 😦 He’s going to hug his momma, shake my hand and act like he can’t wait to leave but as he drives out I know he’ll cry his eyes out … because we loved him!! I will love him as much as any father can love his son! I love you son and we cant wait to meet you come June-2014!!
Ciiru turned 1 last month!!! yipeee!!
This blog has taken time though because we have been extremely busy and kinda lost track of time.
So yeah! I have been a father for 13 months today! And seeing as Ciiru turned ONE, I will just share the ONE thing that I will always remember from this past year … UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Being a parent is not easy; It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love. You learn to accept your children the way we accept trees— with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are!
And so my birthday message for Ciiru on her 1st Birthday:
“Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconception that I’d like to see you be or do. I have no desire to forsee you, only to discover you. You can’t disappoint me” your loving papa!!
I have learnt that when your little baby stares at you like they often do, they are actually working hard to memorize your face. She doesn’t understand anything else about the world, but she knows you’re important. Your baby thinks about you even when you’re not around.
Ciiru on her 1st birthday Party!!!
Winter is not my favorite time of the year. It reminds me of the cold season in Nairobi when we were younger. I would wake up at night with a congested chest and a whiz, walk to my parents room and knock for an inhaler. My mum always had one handy (ventolin to be precise) that worked like magic. After struggling for the better part of the night 2 puffs would work the magic and I would quietly go back to sleep… happy!
Last month at the onset of winter, due to weather changes my wife and I got the flu which we promptly passed on to our little one 😦 This turned out to be a serous bout of flu for her- From coughing to blocked nose to running nose to fever … the works. Surprisingly though she was still up and about and eating well in spite of all the symptoms. We gave her CALPOL which took care of the fever and we had nasal drops for the congestion which did not always work. She had difficulties breathing because she could not breath through the nose and as a result she also struggled to breast feed.
The mucus accumulation in her chest made her cough as though to spit it out but she did not know how to get it out. So she would swallow it right back in. Usually while feeding her she vomited and it came out with a heavy supply of mucus which was a relief for her because soon after that she would eat without a hustle. Of-course this was not pleasant if it happened right at the end of a feed- that meant you start all over again as you cannot let her go to sleep hungry.
on the 2nd or 3rd evening while we were putting her down to sleep I heard the sound of a whiz from her chest. My wife heard it too and we were both terrified; for different reasons … my wife for fear that the cold and flu symptoms were getting worse and I for fear that she could have the asthma genes that my grandma, my mama and I have battled with. My heart sunk and I almost teared but I had to man up for my galz. My wife suggested that we take her to hospital. I did not object … Tip: Always trust your wife’s instincts. So we dressed her warm and headed to the nearest Medi-clinic.
At the Medi-Clinic the doctor checked her chest and listened to her breathing and decided to nebulize her. A Nebulizer is a drug delivery device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used for the treatment of, asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases (Wikipedia). Watching my baby with the Nebulizer mask over her faces tore my heart to pieces. I was so sad and prayed that God would not allow our daughter to suffer the same chest complications my mum and I have suffered for a long time. As I held her and as my wife and I praying over her she quietly slept as her chest opened up and her breathing became easier. She lay there peaceful and quiet … and in deep sleep.
Next we had to take her for X-rays to determine if there was any infection in the lungs. Obviously this woke her up as we undressed her and held her down amidst screams and kicks. We thank God there was no infection in the lungs. The doctors gave us medication for her and thereafter allowed us to head back home. We were shaken but happy that she was alright. Thank you God for healing her and keeping her safe. You are Jehovah Rapha – The Lord Who Heals!
nb: My mum and I have since stopped eating eggs and using animal milk. And as result we have no complications for as long as we can remember. I do not even have ventolin (Inhalers) at home for just incase. God healed me.
My in-laws came to visit my wife and I for the first time since we got married. Although I had no idea what to expect, we had great conversations and did fun activities to make all of us feel more at home in each other’s company.
#1 Have no expectations.
If you expect your in-laws to be nice, you may be disappointed by the little hurts that are normal in any family dynamic. If you expect them to be mean or demanding, you might miss out on the funny or sweet moments that explain who your spouse grew up to be. That’s why I recommend just keeping your eyes open to the good things about them, and not expecting anything at all.
#2 Make a plan and ask for their input.
A plan may sound a lot like having expectations, but it isn’t. Having a plan allows you to have some structure, if needed. Check out local tourist spots etc etc By knowing this information beforehand, you can make suggestions if it seems the day is starting to drag.
In preparation for my in-law’s recent visit, my wife and I made suggestions of ideas for activities. And what did they enjoy the most? Breakfast on Table Mountain, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, Open top tour bus and shopping the world in Canal Walk! (Girls will always be girls)
#3 Don’t completely abandon your normal routine.
Just because you are hosting your spouse’s parents doesn’t mean you suddenly have more patience and good cheer than usual. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite. The more time you spend catering to their preferences, the more energy you expend by making things different from your customary methods.
My in-laws were great about understanding this. After a long day at work, I sorely missed the time I ordinarily get to spend with my wife and daughter sharing the days ups and down. SO I called my wife a-lot during the day to catch up with her, and then as much as I could I would join her in the kitchen to cook and clean- then we could talk ‘privately’ and gossip about our parents 🙂 Other times … actually most times we all helped around the house cooking and cleaning and feeding/entertaining the baby etc
Introduce your close friends
I have learnt that it is important for your parents know and meet your friends. This helps get rid of fears that most parents have about their children being lonely and in want of friends and family when they live far away from home. We are blessed to have many such friends who hosted our parents for dinners and lunches!
Your in-laws are coming to visit because family is important to them. Now, you are a part of their family. Offer them ideas on what you can do together, and listen attentively to their preferences while still asserting your own. These simple steps will help you to relax and enjoy the people who made your beloved spouse who he or she is today. Overall we had an awesome time together. We were blessed to have them over and I pray that we shall be blessed by many more such visits. Like they said to us … most people dont get to live with their parents for a month at a time after they leave home. SO this was a rare blessing to us!
So folks … dont you be scared of the In-Laws … or else pray that you get great in-laws like I did!!
University of Cape Town,
This is my grad School. I am pursuing an MPhil in Urban Infrastructure & Management and its not easy for a newbie dad and husband!
It is made worse by all the steps/Stairs you have to take to and from school … the infamous Jemmie steps!
All Hail UCT Jemmie Steps!!! Keep walking.
I will forever remember these steps!!
Lagoon Beach Hotel Terrace,
Lagoon Beach Hotel is not too far from home so every once in a while my wife and I like to go watch the sunset over the Atlantic ocean here. It is nice to watch the sun go down and the lights come up in the city at the foot of the mountain. The scene changes drastically from light to darkness making it all the more interesting. Having learnt how to shoot a timelapse a few weeks ago ( thanx @truthslinger ) I have attempted a few but today I will only share this 20 seconds or so captured over a period of just under an hour …
For those thinking about visiting Cape Town soon this is a nice place to stay and is worth your hard earned dollars! Meanwhile we shall keep enjoying the ambience and the sunsets! So long folks … the sun is about to set – Shabbat shalom!!
Look out for more Time lapses here soon!
Yesterday when I got home I was tired! The only place I wanted to be was home … with Keshi and Ciiru. They make me feel peaceful and safe. My wife makes me feel like a teenager because of how much I love her. And Ciiru …. Ciiru brings out all the childishness in me. She makes me feel like a baby again! I love watching her trying to put her hands together, rolling over, drooling, blubbering … the works! But yesterday they shocked me! When my wife opened the door for me I remained speechless for a while … there she was … my little angel in ‘matutas’ (English for that?! … corns I suppose) … For the 1st time in her 7 months of life she had her hair made! She looked like a new person to me. Like I was experiencing her for the very 1st time. She looked more like a girl than a baby now. My little angel is growing up fast and furious!! and it got me thinking.
I remembered Susan Engel saying “When they’re little they sit on your lap; when they’re big they sit on your heart” … Apparently having little kids is a breeze. As long as you hug them a lot and make good food, things seemed to be, for the most part, O.K. You can fix many problems, and distract them from others. Your home can be a haven from all that might be painful and difficult in the world beyond.
All of that changes when they are grown. They fall in love, break their hearts, apply for jobs, leave or lose the jobs, choose new homes, can’t pay the rent for those new homes and question their choice of profession. They forge their way, all just outside of your helping reach. Then, when bad things happen, they need you like crazy, but you discover that the kind of help you’ve spent years learning how to give is no longer helpful.
This poem by Brad Anderson came to my mind:
Can I Carry You?
I guess I can hold you one more time before you grow
And tell you that I love you so that you will always know
Please let me feed you again,One day you’ll feed yourself
And when you think back to this time, I hope it’s love I’ve shown
Can I help you put your coat on? Can I please mush your food?
Can I swing you around in my arms? Can I pick you out a treat?
One day you might just care for me,so let me care for you
I want to be a part of every little thing you do
Tonight could I please wash your hair? Can I put toys in the bath?
Can I help you count your small ten toes before I teach you math?
And one more time can I stand near to make sure you don’t fall?
Let’s take another space-ship ride Up to a distant planet
Before our Cardboard Rocket doesn’t fit us anymore
Please let me help you up the hill while you’re still too small to climb
And let me read you stories while you’re young and have the time
I know the day will come when you will do these things alone
Will you recall the shoulder rides and all the balls we’ve thrown?
I want you to grow stronger than your Dad could ever be
And when you find success there will be no soul more proud than me
So will you let me carry you? One day you’ll walk alone
I cannot bear to miss one day from now until you’ve grown!
If you’re open to it, Cape Town will teach you about yourself, but if you want to hide from who you really are, the city will help you do that, too.
I have an affection for this great city. I feel safe here, and enjoy the sweet security of its streets. I think one day Cape Town will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.
I have also learnt that Happiness can be found in having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
Finally, you dont need a holiday … you need CAPE TOWN!
Sometimes I like to forget what is going on around me … like the Elections in Kenya. I like to remind me how beautiful Cape Town is and hope that one day maybe Mombasa will be like this … maybe … just maybe.
Cape Town City Centre
Taken from the 3 Towers up in Gardens
Today my wife and I turn 7 months as parents. And for the first time in my life I really do care about the outcome of the Kenya General Election. I was in Kenya during the 2007/08 post election violence and would not like to see what happened then repeated. Being in the diaspora, obviously I have no vote but I care about the Kenya I will one day be bring my children to. Whoever wins, I hope they will deliver on their pre-election promises… whatever they are. They are always good anyway.
Meanwhile, Ciiru is 7 months today- how fast time flies … it was 6 months just the other day! And look what she can do … She Turns towards sounds and voices, imitates sounds, rolls in both directions, reaches for objects and mouths them and sits without support!Am afraid soon she will crawling … then all hell will break loose 🙂
She is also getting cheeky and enjoys playing ‘picaboo'(A game for a small child in which one covers one’s face, then revealing it and saying Boo! or Peekaboo!) … my diction grows everyday … what did we used to call it anyway?!. She now understands that when you are out of sight you don”t cease to exist … and so when she cant see you she starts looking for you in anticipation.
Ciiru is also reaching for things with a sweeping motion and is Imitating speech sounds (babbles) and is Banging objects together. One author had the guts to suggest home implements are very useful at this stage … pots and pans and all such utensils. Our home is slowly turning into a bedlam of noise …
In the last 7 months I have seen my wife transform literally right before my eyes. I wish I could do a time lapse … I have seen her move from girlfriend to wife to mum with such grace that I say “thank you God” at every thought of her. Ciiru is lucky to have such a mum and am blessed to have her for a wife!
So here’s to the coolest wife … and I can speak for Ciiru … “here’s to the coolest mum!!”