Monday MeMe – a day late.


Sharon over at I Believe In Miracles, tagged me in her Monday MeMe. Of coure, I am delayed as usual! But here goes:

The rules

  • Post 11 things about yourself
  • Answer the questions given
  • Set 11 new questions
  • Tag 11 people

1. I’m an over-analyser about everything, to the point where I break into a sweat over something as simple as choosing a flavour of ice cream, because I first have to make sure that I have analysed my choice to melting point.

2. I’m pedantic about time keeping, although since having children it has become increasingly difficult to be on time for anything. But I still hate to be kept waiting!

3. I have an incredible sweet tooth that I wish I could have removed. I’m like a kid in a candy store and cannot say no to anything with sugar in or on it.

4. I should have been a man. I hate shaving, plucking or waxing any part of my body. I detest doing anything to my hair other than tying it into a ponytail. I prefer flats to heels, and unless someone is doing it for me, I do not enjoy applying or wearing make-up. 

5. I have a tattoo which I’d like removed. I had a nose ring which I gave up when I realised it didn’t really suit flat noses such as my own.

6. I had two babies in under two years. Beat that. Ha. Not by choice.

7. I believe in Jesus Christ, He is the Lord and Saviour of my life. I believe in miracles! 

8. I have visited four of the seven continents of the world. 

9. I have bungee jumped and will never ever do anything so frightening again in my life.

10. My name and my husband’s name have the exact same letters in them: ROBYN and BYRON.

11. I have this crazy desire for everyone to like me. I can’t bear the thought of some one not liking me. Stupid, I know.

And now to answer the questions that Sharon posed:

Why did you decide to start blogging?

Corinne started blogging first, and I loved the idea. I thought it was an amazing keepsake for my children because I suck at developing photos, keeping journals and capturing every moment. My blog is a scrap book for the adult Liam and Hannah.

If there was ONE thing you could go back in time and change, would you and what would that be?

Yes, there are many things I would change, but I wouldn’t go back and change them, because I believe the decisions and choices we make, mould us into the person we become – even the bad decisions are character building. 

Are you a girly girl or not so much?

I’m a girly girl in the sense that I love to be spoilt, I love to be pampered, I love to be appreciated and I love positive reinforcement. But I’m not a girly girl who needs make up, heels and lots of organza all over the place.

What do you like most about yourself?

My sense of humour. It’s warped and sarcastic and not everyone’s cup of tea.

What do you like least about yourself?

How undisciplined and non-commital I can be.

Tattoo’s or piercings? Have?

One tattoo. Ears pierced. Used to have a nose piercing.

 Would you?

NO!

What is more scary? Spiders or Snakes?

Both! Equally. I am a real scardy-cat. But if I had to choose one, I’d have to say a snake.  

What type of movies do you like?

Typically a romantic comedy, something feel-good with a “happy ever after.” However, I will watch anything from politic dramas to science fiction, given the chance. Watching a movie is a rarity and a treat, so I take what I can get!

India or Switzerland for holiday and why?

Definitely Switzerland, I’ve been to Zurich and love everything from the cusine, to the lifestyle to the chocolate! Everything , that is, except how expensive it all is!

What are you grateful for today?

Grateful for my beautiful healthy children, my supportive husband. But simpler than that, I am grateful that I have a job, that I have a car to take me places, and money to buy diapers and Zoo Biscuits and everything else that make my children smile. Grateful that I have a warm bed to sleep in and clothes to cover my body. Grateful that God has chosen me and has big plans for me!

What can’t you forgive?

I believe forgiveness is the key to moving forward in your life journey; without forgiveness, you may as well lock yourself up in a room and wallow in your own misery and cut yourself off from humanity. I don’t think it’s easy to forgive, but I do think it is necessary. It’s an on going lesson that you have to teach yourself… harbouring forgiveness does YOU more harm, than the person who you are not forgiving.

Right the questions I am asking are:

1. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

2. What is your greatest achievement?

3. What is your greatest fear?

4. Which “normal” person do you most admire? (no celebs!)

5. What do you like most about yourself?

6. …And least?

7. What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

8. What is the worst Christmas or birthday present you have received and who gave it to you?

9. What is your happiest childhood memory?

10. What did you want to be when you were a kid… as in what profession?

11. What is your motto in life?

 

And the bloggers I am tagging…

Corinne

Sam

Anita

Lizanne

Margot

Lauren

Fiona  

LETS GO!

 

How Hard Is It?


 

How hard is it to raise babies?

How hard is it to get your body back after having babies?

How hard is it to give up your life as you know it, for dirty bums, bottles and Disney Junior?

How hard is it to parent when you and your husband can’t agree on anything when it comes to parenting?

How hard is it to balance work, home, the kids, your husband, without having an occasional wobbly which leaves everyone staring at you in astonishment, as if to say “where did that come from?”

How hard is it to lose weight? Oh I said that already in point two.

How hard is it to save money every month when there are so many unbudgeted-for baby things to deal with unexpectedly?

How hard is it to find a house that you love?

How hard is it for a toddler to just listen when you say NO?

How hard is it to shave legs, pluck eyebrows, wax upper lip – for nothing. Just because you’re a girl and you kinda have to?

How hard is it to stay awake until 10pm to watch CSI, but you can’t because you are just so exhausted from doing everything listed above?

How hard is it to get going every morning, when all you really want to do is stay in bed and eat junk food, and leave the kids with the nanny?  

How hard is it to make sure your kids eat at least one healthy thing a day?

How hard is it to make sure your kids are doing enough educational activities – like reading and writing and playing with puzzles – as compared to watching TV all day? Because at least YOU don’t have to be an active participant in that.

How hard is it keep up with the Jones’?

How hard is it to keep your stomach pulled in all day, with only a few moments of total relaxation in the safety of an elevator or the toilet?

How hard is it leave carbs out of your diet from 2pm every day?  

How hard is it for two siblings to play together nicely without fighting?

How hard is it to tame an afro?

How hard is it to say NO to a toddler with a sad puppy dog face?

How hard is it to smile and wave, when you really want to cry and punch?

How hard is it not to crush your sleeping baby in a hug because you love them so much and they are so cute when they are quiet?

How hard is it to plan a get-together with friends when everyone’s lives are so busy?

How hard is it to get “into the mood” when your husband is ALWAYS “in the mood?”

How hard is it not to blow the budget on little peoples’ clothes when they are so darn cute?

How hard is it not to blow a gasket when your kid wakes up at 4h30am and wants to play?

How hard is it to like your job and just be left alone to get on with it, instead of dealing with office politics FIRST, and then your job second?

How hard is it to finish this list?

You want to know how hard it all is? It’s BLOODY hard! Life is one curve ball after another; it’s one poo diaper after the other, it’s one tantrum after the other, it’s one credit card swipe after the other, one overdraft after the other. And on it goes until you die. BUT. You know there’s always a but… BUT, in between all the hard stuff, there’s hugs and kisses, ice cream and Zoo Animal biscuits, there’s quiet time after the kids have gone to  bed, there’s blowing bubbles, laughing until you cry, holding your kid on your lap and stroking their hair. I can’t say that it’s “even stevens”, or that the good outweigh the bad, but at least there’s respite just when you need it most, in the form of a sticky hand holding onto yours tightly or a cup of coffee served fresh in bed by your caring spouse.

The measure of a mature person is not how well they prepare for everything to go right, but on how they stand up and move on after everything goes wrong.         Author unknown


Stole this from Fiona over at http://rememberwhenwewereyoung.wordpress.com

“I have come to the frightening conclusion, I am the decisive element in the home, It is my personal approach that creates the climate, It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a parent I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is MY response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanised or de-humanised. ” H. Ginott

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Friday Quickie


And now… an update… in bullets!

  • I am taking part in the Biggest Loser at work – a blog for another day. Point is, I gained .03kg this week. Sigh. I guess the roll dripping in garlic butter and the speckled eggs and the muffin I had yesterday, didn’t help the scale. And the rest of my weekend isn’t looking too healthy either. My mission is to lose 10 kgs in a very realistic 4 months, so I think one more weekend won’t matter. I hope.
  • Today I paid the deposit for our July holiday to Mozambique. I need this holiday so badly, and it’s for big people only. The little people will be with their grandparents, although the grandparents don’t know that yet. My husband and I celebrate 5 years of marriage this year, so this is our treat to ourselves, to say well done for not killing each other – yet. So we, along with some good friends, are going to spend 4 glorious nights in Mozambique. My payment today made it real and I am so excited! Hence my previous bullet, I need to be 10 kgs lighter so that people don’t run in the opposite direction when they see me on the beach. And no, I am not doing it for other people, I am doing it for me!
  • This afternoon I’m going on a date. With my little man. On his request, we are going to McDonalds  – just the two of us, as Dad will spend time with Hannah. I’m looking forward to spending time alone with Liam because we rarely get one on one time. I just want to sit there and watch him. Watch how his eyes light up as he tells me about his day at school, watch how he dips every single item on his plate into the little tomato sauce holder that McDonalds issues, watch him as he greets everyone in the store and happily gets on with putting his toy from his Kiddie Meal together – I’m just going to take my baby boy in, and enjoy our QT together. After MickeyD’s, we’re off to church! I’m going to a Sisters Evening and Liam will be in Kidszone (his second most favourite place, after school) enjoying his own little kiddies service.
  • I seriously need to fill our empty grocery cupboards at some point during this weekend. I think my kids have had about enough two minute noodles until the next last-week-before-payday. Grocery shopping is one of my pet peeves, so I am working on all sorts of tricks or treats to get the husband to do the groceries in return for “favours” – or something. The thing about shopping for monthly groceries with two kids, is that it is virtually impossible to fill one trolley with two kids and all the groceries. So we take a trolley and a kid each, but the kids see this as some sort of a race, with them as the drivers, we, the cart horses and the aisles as the race track. They spend the expedition yelling things like “go catch Daddy, Mommy!” or “get out of the way lady!” or “no no no, don’t stop here, we don’t need bread, hurry up, Daddy is beating us!” At first it was fun and cute, but when I get yelled at for deliberating a bit too long over which brand of biscuits to choose, it becomes a bit of a pain in the butt. So yes, I’m devising a new plan on getting through the monthly shop – ah look, that’s another blog post all on its own!
  • On Sunday we are lunching with my brother and his family at the one… the only…the fabulous… PAPACHINO’s! Love that place! It’s like Spur, but with child minders, an exciting park with play houses, a mini bicycle track, swings, slides and boats AND the food is awesome. Oh wait, that means it’s not like Spur at all. I joke… we spend many an hour in Spurs across the country, but seriously Papachino’s is a really, really cool joint to take the kiddies to.

And that my friends, is a wrap. Have an awesome weekend with your families xxx

Toy Story Part II – The Final Frontier


I have blogged about our toy dilemma over here, way back in early 2011. Then earlier this year, I read Sharon ‘s post over here, particularly her point about her toy problem, and made a decision then and there to do something about OUR toy problem. Up until a few weeks ago, our house constantly looked like a nursery school, minus the lurking diseases and gruesome stains on the floor mat (oh wait, we have those too). There were more toys than grass in our yard. I could not escape to any room without finding a toy laying about; Captain America taunting me as he lay upside down under the sink, while I sat on the toilet. To say it was driving me insane is an understatement; every time I stood on a piece of Lego or felt myself grind a leftover piece of play dough into the rug, I wanted to scream at my two mites to put their blinking toys away before I gave them away.

It’s not that they aren’t good at cleaning up after themselves, but the attention span of children under the age of five, is so limited, that after three seconds of playing with one toy, they “need” (Liam’s favourite word) to play with something else. After an hour or so, there’s a massacred trail of toys which they leave in their wake, as they go about their toddler destruction business. Not to mention the fact that we just don’t have the space to store all of these toys, so even when they were “packed” away, it was more an exercise to get them out of my sight to lessen my irritation, than to actually put things away, if you get what I’m saying. But two weeks ago, I decided to take this toy bull by the horns and kick some toy butt. 

It wasn’t a quick fix, it took me days and days to complete this project, and finally on Sunday I was able to say that every single toy, down to the rubbish trinkets you get with a Kiddies Meal had a place of its own. I started by clearing out everything (again) that they had outgrown and I also threw out all the broken toys (three wheeled cars, battery operated toys which had leaked battery fluid through the mechanical device, half eaten toys, 10 piece puzzles with only one piece in sight). Although there are many toys that I have duplicate of because they both love to play with them simultaneously (two prams, two pianos, 59 Barney’s, etc), I gave away a lot of the duplicates that they no longer fight over – all giveaways totalling two black bags full. And then the mother of all exercises, I took every single toy remaining and threw them out onto the lounge floor. I emptied the ball pond of everything that wasn’t a ball (it had become more like a dumping ground than a ball pond) and then emptied the balls and cleaned the pool of all the grit and grime that had collected there. I found about four dummies, six old crusty chicken nuggets, hundreds of Nik Naks, a shoe of Hannah’s we had been searching for for ages and my note book which I had lost back in November last year. I sorted toys according to category and size: animals together, cars together, soft toys together, and so on; toys too big to fit into the fabulous drawers I had purchased, books, buildings blocks and so on. I kept odd pieces from board games and puzzles with bright and distinguishable objects and started a collection of flash cards, clever hey? And then I started to repack. There are nine beautiful drawers – wide and deep, all at a child friendly level, so the kids can help themselves at all times and love that they are able to find exactly what they want, when they want it. They are actually quite pedantic about putting everything back in its place; heaven forbid if someone finds a block in the animal drawer… oh no… I get a full report about how “someone” must have made a mistake and how could that have happened? I’ve kept the hideous-for-toy-storage-but-pretty-to-look-at big bucket type of storage bins and have all the teddies in one and all the bigger toys like pushy, press buttony type of toys in the other. Note to self and any other toystruck parent, don’t use these big storage bins for teeny tiny toys which just get stuck at the bottom, never to return to the land of being played with, because children are generally surface grabbers – well mine are because I have warned advised them of the peril that awaits them if they EVER and I mean EVER upend that blinking box AGAIN. So now that there’s only bigger items in them, I don’t mind them strewing the bin’s contents all over the bedroom floor because it’s easy to pick up and clean up, because it can only hold about 15 big toys at maximum.

I’m glad to announce that the girly toys have finally made their appearance. Hannah’s (and Liam’s) dolly collection has grown considerably, and they too needed their own bin. Tea sets with cups, saucers, sugar bowls and tea pots, princess crowns and beautiful plastic chunky jewellery which they both love to don. A little dresser with a gazillion little pieces of hair accessories, stickers, brushes, combs and mirrors. I’ve waited for the girly toys for a long time, as Hannah preferred Liam’s cars, diggers and balls up until very recently and Liam and I have ourselves a ball with all the pink stuff, making each other fake cups of tea as Hannah moans at us for playing with her things.

Everything has its place and I love that our house looks like a house again, and not like a toy store just vomited in my lounge, as Sharon so eloquently put it! The only visible items are the chalk board, the two bins and the nine drawers. And as for the ball pond, well let’s just say that it hasn’t lost its allure afterall, see for yourself… 🙂

Same-same but different


These kids of mine…sigh… so alike, yet so different. Just when I think I know what I’m doing with Hannah, because after all, this is my second time around and I’m supposed to be a pro by now, she throws a curveball that leaves me Googling, guessing and grappling my way through this minefield called parenting. And just when I think I have Liam and his complexities and idiosyncrasies down pat, he grows and the rules of engagement change all over again. But what really surprises me, is how different these two little bods are, and of course they should be, that’s what makes us all unique and special, but I didn’t think I needed a handbook for raising girl babies, as compared to raising boy babies… aren’t they supposed to be the same, in everything but anatomy, until they get to that age when they, themselves, realize they are different? Anyway, here a just a few ways that Liam and Hannah are same-same, but different. I don’t know if it’s  a girl/boy thing, or if it’s just their personalities…

Although they are both rough-and-tumble and very adventurous and not afraid to try new things, Hannah is definitely more reserved than Liam is. Liam is the kind of child who will fling himself into the sandpit gung-ho, without a care in the world for who or what he will land on, but Hannah will first assess the situation – who’s in the sandpit, do the toys look any fun in the sandpit, and is it worth her while. Once she has made this assessment, she will abandon all caution and have just as much fun kicking up sand as her brother OR she will politely walk away and find something or someone else to play with. Liam will jump into the bath without first testing the water – perhaps he trusts us enough to know we would never burn him on purpose! Whereas Hannah will first let her little toes in, again assess and then enjoy. I think this is a girl/boy thing. Girls are just careful planners like that!

When it comes to eating, Liam prefers me to mix everything together on his plate – except for a chicken drumstick which he likes to hold in his hand and munch on. Hannah likes her food to be separated on her plate. She seems to like order and prefers to pick at her food with her little fingers, than shovel it down her throat like her brother does. Liam likes to drink while he eats, whereas Hannah will generally finish everything on her plate, and THEN have a drink. In terms of their food choices, Liam will generally eat anything you put in front of him, and the few food items he doesn’t like can be camouflaged with tomato sauce and he’ll nom-nom it. Hannah tends to be a picky eater. And it’s not that she doesn’t like certain things, she just has days for certain things… like today she will LOVE lasagne, and tomorrow she will run away from it like I’ve laced it with Ratex. Hannah is also a slow eater and I have to follow her all over the house in order to finish up a meal, whereas Liam is more like a starved vulture who eats with gusto and asks for seconds.

The one way in which they have been different from birth, is their sleeping habits. Liam didn’t like to sleep, ever. Hannah loves her sleep, she looks forward to her naps and to bedtime. I remember how scared we would be around baby Liam, lest we woke him up. I would never move him in his sleep, whereas Hannah could sleep through a Highveld storm without stirring. Hannah likes to be held and cuddled before bedtime, she positions MY body alongside her and places MY arm where she needs it to be so that she can fall asleep securely and comfortably. Liam also likes cuddles, but is happy for you to be there and not smother him. I like to smother so this offends me slightly. But again, I think this is a boy/girl thing. Boys seem to enjoy their independence and they seem to “grow up” much faster than little girls do. Girls are tender and loving, they love to be loved from close range, as compared to boys who like to be loved from a distance!

Talking about growing up. Even as little as they are, I notice a difference in their maturity levels, and I don’t mean their IQ maturity or even their physical maturity in terms of reaching milestones. I mean their emotional maturity. I am also not referring to emotions in terms of mood swings and tantrums and the “normal” things that every kid will endure at some stage or the other. I’m talking about how Hannah deals with everyday things, as compared to Liam. How Hannah relates to us, as compared to how Liam does. Hannah is more emotional and in touch with her feelings (just like a grown woman), than Liam who (like a grown man!) battles to express his emotions and thinks everything is either a big joke or a reason to slam doors and sulk off into a corner. Let me articulate myself correctly so that you understand what I mean.. Hannah is tender and loving, if you hurt yourself, she coos and clucks over you and if you are sad she will be sad too. If she is upset or hurt, it really breaks her heart, and she will sob this very gut wrenching, very pitiful cry. My heart hurts, when Hannah experiences this emotion because I know her HEART is sore. If she is naughty and we discipline her, she listens and understands and although she gets upset and cries, she sort of accepts her punishment. Liam, on the other hand, smart talkative Liam who has no problem expressing himself generally, goes into freak-out-scream-jump-up-and-down mode when things don’t go his way. When he is frustrated or annoyed, it’s as if his emotions go into overdrive and he can’t express himself and would rather slam a door and yell (sounds like a real man hey?!) than try to articulate what the problem is. Although he is tender and loving too, I can already see that his “tender and loving” is turning into back slapping, high fiving and giving me his cheek, rather than the full blown slobber that I love. Although Liam is very kind and caring when someone gets hurt, he gets over it very quickly and expects you to as well, with Liam there’s no need to be sad for too long, there’s things to do and places to go! And if HE gets hurt, even a small booboo is like the end of his world and EVERYONE must pay him some attention (boy-man!), before he bounces off like nothing happened. When it comes to discipline, Liam either thinks it’s a big joke (highly annoying for me) or he sulks because he thinks he was punished undeservedly. These are male/female traits which are so evident even from such a young age!

In my humble opinion, raising girls will be tougher in the long run. They pour their emotions into everything they do, even simple tasks are done with HEART. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. Being a girl myself, I know how little things affect me, I know how I want to be perfect at everything I do, I know how a good cry makes me feel better and I know that I need affirmation and confirmation to make me feel good about myself. Perhaps a generalisation, but I think most females can identify. In this sense, I know that Hannah will be hard work for me, there will be no water off a duck’s back here! But I know that Hannah will always have time for me, Hannah will consider my feelings as much as I consider hers, and in this way I think raising girls is easier. On the other side of the spectrum, raising boys is easier because they seem to have two emotions only: happy and sad. Ha! Boys don’t take everything so seriously, they live in a very black and white world – it’s either fun or its not, it’s either good or it’s bad. There’s no grey areas with boys. However, I do think that boys, with all their macho-ness, will bottle a lot up, and will be lead to believe (because society says so) that talking things over and crying and getting emotional is not cool. So I know that raising Liam will also be tough in that I will need to mould him into a man who is in touch with his emotions – not easy for any mother!

I think each child – boy or girl – comes with their own set of rules. I think each day of parenting is like trying to find your way through a complicated maze filled with booby traps and special surprises. I think that we as parents have to lead by example because this is the easiest way to teach, but more than that, I think we need to accept our kids for who they are, we have to adjust our way of thinking and doing things to accommodate their desire to be who they are. I need to be a different parent to Hannah, than I am to Liam ,because they need me in different ways. And, of course, I have to love them the same and discipline should be metered out fairly to both of them, I can’t expect them to respond the same way because they are not the same person. You see, same-same but different.

Hard lessons learnt this week…


This week has been tumultuous to say the least. There have been high highs and then some real low lows. I experienced a level of disappointment that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. And of course, when you are that disappointed, other things that happen alongside that disappointment affect you more than they normally would. And eventually you feel so low, that even a silly thing like not finding a matching pair of socks can send you into a flood of hot angry tears. Anyway, all is not lost. Thank goodness for a warm strong hand on your thigh and birthdays – all which are helping me to get through this patch. So here’s my week (and a bit) in bullet points:

 

  • The husband and I have been looking for a house for over a year. People think we are crazy when I tell them that we have been looking for a home for so long. There have been a few callous remarks about how fussy I must be, how I need to lower my standards and how I will never find the perfect home and there will always be something that will need to be “fixed” up to my specification. This is, in fact, not the case. Currently we live about 539 kilometres from where our lives are actually played out every day. Not that far, but that’s what the car ride feels like every morning and every afternoon. We both work in Woodmead, we go to church in Sandton, Liam goes to school in Wendywood. For those of you who don’t have a clue about Johannesburg geography – these three places are all within a 10 km radius. And it is at these three places that we spend most of our lives. YET. We live in Ruimsig, on the Westrand, which is a good 30kms away. So it makes sense to move closer. Right? Now let’s consider my family dynamic. I have two small children who require some growing space as well as a garden/yard to be let loose into. I have a live in helper who I will most definitely, never ever ever, live without. So at a minimum we need three bedrooms, with a servants quarters (that’s just what real estate call it, Zoleka is by no means considered a servant in my house!), with a yard big enough to kick a ball in. That’s it. Not that hard. But finding what we need, and more importantly, in our price range, has proved VERRRRY difficult! It’s not about being fussy, it’s about finding the right house at the right price. Anyway, to get to my point of this bullet point… last week I found my dream house. It was beautiful, I fell inlove with it the minute I stepped over the welcome mat at the front door. I don’t need to describe it, suffice to say that I could see myself and my family in this house. I wanted to live there so bad. I would have sold my wedding ring for that house – not because of its monetary value but its emotional value to me. I.LOVED.THAT.HOUSE. We put in an offer and we were so very convinced we would get it, even the estate agent assured us that our chances were good. We even met the owner! This week we learned that the house went to someone else. I was devastated. You know when the right house comes along, at the right price, in the right location and you can’t find one single fault with it and it just FEELS like home – and all this after looking at about a gazillion houses in the last year – and then you don’t get it. It HURTS!! Now we are back at square one, scouring the internet and newspapers, chatting to a host of estate agents as if they are old friends. It really was disheartening.

 

  • This leads me directly into bullet point number two. By mistake, we learned this week that out current place of abode would be going up for sale in August. We are renting in complex which was built and is owned by a company. Not one man. A company who are interested only in money, and not people. Every unit currently for rent, will go up for sale in August. We have no intention to buy, so this means unless we find a house REAL soon, we will be homeless by August. This would not have stung so bad, had I not just lost out on my dream home of course, but you know how easy it is for a mountain to form from a molehill when you’re feeling tender!

 

  • I don’t like to talk about work on my blog for many reasons. I know there are people at work who will read this and I do not, in any way, want to elicit a written warning for saying something that may be deemed inappropriate and not in line with the “company’s” policy on certain issues. Serious. So I best leave them out of my gripe, suffice to say that I’ve had to leave my desk to go and cry in the toilet more than once this week. Again, it probably wasn’t that serious, but I’ve been a little tender this week and as I said, every little fart does add to the mound of poo that we sometimes find ourselves in.

 

  • Then the absolute cherry on my pity party cake – both kids contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease this week. When I received the notification about the outbreak from Liam’s school, I was terrified. It sounds serious, doesn’t it? After Googling, calling my doctor (yes, in that order) and chatting to the school principal, I learned that it was a common childhood illness, highly contagious, but not life threatening. It manifests itself in a rash and little blisters appearing on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and in the mouth. It can be accompanied by fever, and of course loss of appetite due to the obvious pain in the mouth. In fact, the bigger concern with this illness is the possibility of dehydration in little people due to not eating or drinking, rather than anything associated with the disease itself. But of course, after the week I had been having, this hit me like a bomb over Hiroshima. ALSO, I had been having a real tough time with my kidlets this week – Liam has just been extremely difficult and I KNOW, I KNOWWW its jus the age he is at, and the incessant questions and disagreeing with everything I say is more his way of asserting some authority – not authority – asserting his independence, yes that’s the right word. Hannah will be two in a few months and needs no further explanation. It’s the start of the Terrible Twos in every way, shape and form. Sigh. So, with all this plus the “disease, ” I really felt like my life was over. Yes, that’s a bit dramatic, but you’ll understand that due to the chain of events, I was really feeling fragile.

 

Right. Now that all that is off my chest, let me just state that I am a reasonably cheerful, positive person. I try to find the silver lining in every cloud and for the most part, I do find it. I am also fairly rational and know that things happen which you have no control over, but that you have absolute control over your attitude. I believe that you play a big part in creating your own happiness and that although circumstances don’t always play in your favour, you choose how you deal with the situation you find yourself in. Reminds me of a book title from our Pastor at church: Pain is inevitable, misery is optional. But this week, what really got me through was my little family. My husband isn’t good with words, but he does this thing that immediately relaxes me, like a shot of morphine must do for a person in extreme pain. He puts his big warm hand on my thigh… not in a seductive way at all! In a warm, protective, don’t-worry, kind of way. It makes me feel like things aren’t so bad, that we’ll get through it together, it may seem silly, but that’s our thing and it works. There was a lot of hand-on-thigh moments this week. Then, of course, Liam had a birthday! I’ve said it before in a blog post and I will say it again, there’s no way that a cake with a few candles, with people singing out of tune, cannot make you giggle. It’s virtually impossible to be grumpy around a cake with lit candles. Liam had a birthday and it evoked all sorts of happy memories and it just warmed my heart to see how happy he was and it reminded me that amidst all the other sad stuff going on, there’s still full and complete joy in the really simple things in life. I believe that our perfect house is out there, perhaps getting a touch up, perhaps getting a paint or two, who knows, but I have no doubt that come August, we’ll be happily in our new home. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease will go, and other things like Mumps and Measles will come, but even with sick babies and sleepless nights, we’ll still have birthdays and play dates and cuddles at the end of every day to make things better. I am glad this week is over. But I guess I needed it, for God to give me a swift kick up the rear, to remind me about what’s really important. This weekend, we’ll be homebound, trying not to infect anyone else with the “disease” and I intend to enjoy every moment with my disease-ridden family in our less than perfect home.

 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xxx

A love letter to my 3 year old


Dear Liam

” There is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart “

Today you celebrate your 3rd birthday. I cannot believe how fast these last three years have gone, as you told me this morning, you are almost a man! You have brought so much joy into our home, but more especially, into my heart. My son who I waited so long for. My son whom I love so fiercely. My wish for you today is that you will always be as juvenile, as playful, as loving, as giving and as caring as you are right now. A little boy, with a heart and mind wise beyond your years. You are so perceptive, you know exactly when I’m troubled or angry. And amazingly, you always know just what to say to make me smile – even if it is with an armpit fart. Thank you for letting your light shine wherever you go, you endear people to you in a way that just amazes me. You are the apple of my eye. One day I hope you will realise the importance and the greatness that your little life plays in mine. For without you, I don’t think I would have been me. You fit a piece of my puzzle so perfectly, that I am not sure how I existed before you were born. I love everything about you down to the funny way your toe nails grow, how you curl up right into my armpit before bedtime, how you love to tell me how much you love me. Under your rough and tumble exterior, lays a wonderfully delicious baby boy who I still love to cuddle with. I thank God that He made you for me, and I promise to always do my best for you. 

You were so excited this morning! You kept showing us how old you were on your fingers – DREE YEARS OLD! You ripped through the gift wrap and your eyes shone as you opened your gifts. You belly laughed as we sang to you and politely said thank you to everyone who called to wish you a happy birthday. You wore your 3 YEAR OLD badge from Granny with pride, and you dashed through the school gate to tell your teachers it was your birthday. But everyone already knew, and I can only suspect that that was because you’ve been harping on about your birthday since Christmas! Which is fine, because that’s what birthdays are for. It’s a celebration of your life, it’s a celebration of who you are. So here’s to you my darling, may God be the centre of your life, as you are the centre of mine. I want to cherish every day with you, before I have to share you with another woman! And even though we fight and we both can’t stand to look at each other sometimes, know that my love for you far supersedes the threats and the smacks I sometimes have to administer.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday my precious boy, filled with all the good things that make your heart happy.

Assuring you of my constant pride and affection,

Mom xxx

Just One of Those Day(s)


You know when you have one of those weeks that just suck.

When you are so busy at work, that you don’t even have time to eat your leftovers that you selfishly took with you to work, even though your daughter could have eaten it for lunch – and then you didn’t have time to eat it anyway. Or when your husband is sick and doesn’t go to work, but by midday he sounds just fine to you, yet you come home and he is laying on the couch and the stove is stone cold because he hasn’t bothered to help by even chopping an onion for dinner. Or when your two year old is just having a whiner of a week – crying for every little thing, down to what colour underpants you choose for him to wear. And when your one year old wants to be carried all.the.time, and you only have two hands which you need to use for cooking, wiping Liam’s bum, helping with homework, feeding your kids, etc – and she STILL needs to be carried. Or when work is just so hectic and everything just happens to be your fault, even though the problem is taking place on an entirely different continent – but it’s your fault of course. And when you are waiting very very very anxiously for a call, that is just not coming. OH and most importantly, with all this going on, your son is turning three in two days time, and you’ve done nothing, except order the party packs.

Yes, this is the kind of week I am having. And it’s only Tuesday. So if I am quiet on the blogging front, you know why.

 

Good bye.