A post about nothing, a post about everything.


My blogging has become quite erratic and I’m not sure why. I can’t say it’s because I don’t have the time, or the content. It’s all here in my head, just waiting to be spewed out into cyberspace. And once the kids go down in the evenings and I’ve done a bit of work on the side, I really do spend a lot of good quality time doing nothing. I blame my wi fi for this. Why didn’t anybody tell me how amazing wi fi is? I feel so cheated that I wasn’t privy to this wonderful first world privilege. Being able to surf the internets from the toilet or the poolside is like uh-mazing. I’ve always had 3G on my ipad but when that airtime was up, it was up. I only budgeted X amount for the month and I’d have to wait until the new month to reload and that was just annoying. But this wi fi, man. I love it.

So the reason I got wi fi at home is because I landed a smally time freelance gig on the side. It’s fun, it keeps me busy and out of trouble and makes me feel good about my writing. And you guys all know how much I love feeling good about the stuff that I do. That someone actually noticed and liked me and said ok, give this a go and see how you fare. I don’t know how long it will go on for, or how permanent it is, but I’m loving it.  I’m hoping this will open many other doors, I’m hoping this will push me towards having “enough on the side” to be able to call the shots, call my hours and live my life ungoverned by the 9 – 5 grind. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Anyway.

So remember this post about my bad skin. That was written on the 14 January this year! That is how long I’ve been battling with my skin! Finally I went to seek medical help because I actually can’t remember what I looked like before bad skin. All I want is for skin to look like Hannah’s bum: soft, smooth, squishy, dewy, pink, kissable. Is that too much to ask? I’ve never ever gone through as much foundation and face powder in my LIFE as I have in this last year. I march into the doc’s rooms and I demand the highest dosage of Roaccutane like RIGHT NOW. She told me to caaaaaalm down. So I’m on a course of drugs (milder with less side effects than Roaccutane apparently) that I need to take for a month, coupled with an ointment that makes me cry. Literally it feels like it is burning the pimples away and brings tears of joy to my eyes. Actually, it’s just so strong that my eyes well up the minute I smell it. I’ve also changed my contraceptive from the injection to the good ‘ol pill… this part freaks me out of the most. Remember the last time I went on the pill… SURPRISE, YOU’VE WON A FREE PREGNANCY. COLLECT YOUR PRIZE AT THE END OF 9 MONTHS. THANKS FOR PLAYING. Ya, that. But I am seriously desperate to clear my skin, I fear that scarring has already started and it won’t go away. 😦 

Moving on.

So we were at a party last Saturday and the other school parents were asking me where the Hubby was because I was alone with the kids. Liam pipes up that “Daddy lives in a hotel now and he only comes to see us on weekends. He doesn’t live with us anymore.”  Yes. The look of horror, then pity,  on these parents’ faces – Liam made it sound like Daddy had run off with the milk lady and we were going through a divorce. I was like um, yeh, it’s not like that, er, he works away, he has a new job… with Liam still piping up, “but he DOES live in a hotel mom?!” I was like “CAN YOU JUST GO EAT SOME CAKE OR OPEN THE BIRTHDAY CHILD’S PRESENTS PLEASE!!!” Well I didn’t say that, but I think he got the death threat telepathically and ran off to play.

Oh and this..

The kids are putting on a Disney production for their school play this year. I can’t wait. Yes yes, to see the kids on  stage and all of that, but man I LOVE the music! I’ve so enjoyed the preparation and learning the actions with them, and reliving my favourite Disney movies through them. I can’t wait to see it all come to life. Also on the entertainment note, they’ve started with the recital of poetry. It is by far, the cutest thing they’ve done to DATE. My grandmother would have LOVED LOVED LOVED them at this age. She loved singing and reciting poetry and these two love to perform. Yesterday they did this one for me:

An elephant goes like this and that, he’s terribly big, and he’s terribly fat; he has no fingers, and has no toes, but goodness gracious, what a long nose!

But the funniest part is that they actually both CANNOT say terribly. We get tebbilleee, werribly, tearbleee. I made them say it 100 times just to hear them say “terribly.” There’s also another cute one about a crocodile, which I need to learn, can’t even find it on Google.

On that note, this age is awesome. I think 3 and 4 are my favourite ages. Still cute, still sassy without being rude, still cuddly. And the imagination! Oh my. Some days I need to dig deeeep to play along, I mean after a long day at the office, then coming home and sorting out the kids and the house, I don’t always feel like pretending to be a baby dinosaur and they are the mommy and daddy dinosaur and I must lay on the floor (like outside on the verandah, they insist I lie on the bare floor) because baby dinosaurs can’t walk yet. Killing me softly, I tell you. Hannah still cries A LOT, mainly for NOTHING. But we work around it. The only age that will be better than this is the age where they can make me tea. I can’t wait for that age. THAT will definitely be my favourite age.

And that my friends.. is what you call a post about nothing, but a post about everything. 

20 Things that I’ve had to figure out as a single mom…


  1.  Opening the mayonnaise jar, kids’ medicine bottles and the outside bin lid (eeeuw).
  2. Not having anyone to send the kids to when they come to you with awkward questions which you’d rather dodge.
  3. Being stuck on the toilet with no toilet paper and the kids can’t reach that shelf in the toilet paper cupboard.
  4. Getting the hard truth when you ask your 4 year old if your bum looks big in this. Much prefer my husband’s watered down truth.
  5. Having to be in charge of household security. I’ve set the alarm off twice and gone to bed with the back door unlocked once. The security company are going to think I am crying wolf and will stop responding to my false alarms soon.
  6. Eating crazy/badly because there’s no husband to impress with my culinary skills.
  7. Having to drive. Why didn’t anyone tell me how BAD the Joburg traffic really is? Is it just me, or is traffic easier to handle if you’re a passenger versus a driver?
  8. Refreshing my social media feeds every 5 seconds – what else can I do once the entertainment goes beddy-byes at 8pm?
  9. Making my own coffee/tea/milo
  10. Having to make sure there’s petrol in the car. I’ve only just discovered that my car takes 95 unleaded –was stumped when asked the question a few weeks back.
  11. Monitoring the geyser, pool pump, irrigation system and gardener’s pay because he prefers cash weekly, not EFT. Who has TIME for these things??
  12. Dealing with the kids. All.The.Time. I didn’t realise how much time I had to myself because they were busy with their father or irritating him instead of me. Woah, this one has been difficult to adjust to.
  13. You can’t get ice cream cones on the way home. This task requires two parents. One to drive and the other to hang over the front seat cleaning up the ice cream mess in the back. I tried it alone, I almost caused an accident and the back seat, children and car seats needed to be scoured.
  14. How to put the DVD player on. Swopping between AV, HDMI, BLAH, BLAH – I have NO clue. Now I just tell the kids it’s broken.
  15. Having to get up in the morning. I don’t know about you, but there are many mornings when I need a physical shove out of bed in order to get going. I miss the shove.
  16. Someone to take messages. Now I have to listen to voicemail. The kids cannot be trusted to take messages and believe me, they will keep you on the phone for 17 minutes and still not remember who called when I ask.
  17. Slobville. I don’t get dressed up in the week, or put on the nice underwear or wear heels. This surprises me – did I used to dress to please my husband and to get his approval? Apparently.
  18. Bread and milk. Bread and milk money. Sigh. I was never in charge of this, there was just always bread and milk in our house – and I thought we bought these things in bulk at month end, but apparently they run out and someone was clearly replenishing while I was on Twitter or Facebook or something. And then having to swipe my card for R19 because I never carry cash and the garage I go to at 6h30am on a Monday morning doesn’t have a Standard Bank ATM.
  19. Living for the weekend. Literally. Having to count sleeps until Daddy is home. Then counting sleeps until Daddy goes. The amount of counting they are doing, I trust they’ll top the class in Mathematics.
  20. One man spooning. It’s embarrassing. You can’t help but look sad laying in the middle of the bed in the foetal position. Embarrassing and depressing.

The sweetest girl – some random thoughts on your loveliness.


“..And though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Shakespeare 

Hannah is my special child. She is so different to Liam, who is easy going and easy to please. He is more of a don’t-really-care-as-long-as-I-can-talk, whatever is-easier-for-you-mom kinda guy. Hannah is not these things. Perhaps it’s because she is a girl? Perhaps it’s because she is the baby and takes full advantage of the fact. Perhaps she thinks she is ACTUALLY the princess we all call her. Whatever it is. Hannah is my special child. I love her because she is all the things I want to be. She is all the things I want HER to be. I hope she stays this way forever.

han 1

Hannah is the child who wears her emotions on her sleeve. If she is upset, you are going to know about it. She screams bloody blue (not bloody red) murder if she is pissed off, regardless of where she is, who she is with, or what she is doing. I know immediately if Hannah is upset because I can hear it usually from a block away! There’s none of that coy female stuff of using the silent treatment and getting the answer “nothing” when you ask what’s wrong. This child responds to a crayon breaking crisis the same way she responds to a near death experience.. CRYING LOUDLY. She is emotional. But you know what I love about her, she is extremist with ALL her emotions. When she is happy, she is haaaapppeeee – and this is Hannah probably 90% of her life. Her love language is touch, she hugs and strokes and pats and climbs all over you and will snuggle so close that you’ll start to sweat. All this, ESPECIALLY when she is happy. When she is happy, she is all over the place happy. She makes me happy, just by her being happy. She cries tears of compassion for dead birds, for dollies who have lost a leg or an eye, for her brother when he is getting a hiding… she is emotional.

han 2

This child of mine does not need to please to show her affection. Liam is a people pleaser, much like myself. We love to make people happy, we love it when people laugh at our jokes and we love it when people love us. That is who we are, and I make no excuses for that. Hannah couldn’t give two hoots what you think. She does what SHE likes and on her terms, and if you don’t like it, then SHAME. If I say to her, “why did you colour outside the lines there?” she will say something like “so what, who cares, I like it, you can go fly a kite.” Not in those words, but I know that is what she means. And I love her for it. She is so confident and so independent and so unapologetic. She does not warm to people the way Liam does. She will guard you cautiously first, she will stand back and watch you from afar, judge you by how you project yourself, and then decide if you are worthy of her time and energy. And when she decides that you are in fact worthy, she will pounce on you and never let you go. And if you don’t tickle her fancy, she’ll quietly go off and play with someone or something else, no hard feelings. I used to worry that she was a loner, but the truth is she chooses her company wisely and is happy to play alone if the company is not to her liking.

han 3

Hannah has only recently started to enjoy wearing dresses, having her hair down and looking “girly.” I’m not going to say she was a late bloomer, because I’ve just begun to understand that this is just my girl. Taking her time to decide what it is she likes, pottering around the idea of what SHE deems as cool, and she’s just decided for herself that this could be fun. I have no doubt that she may wake up tomorrow and tell me to take all these girly things back to the shop because she is over it. That’s my Hannah.

han 4

She is so much fun to hang out with. She doesn’t ask a million questions like her brother does (but she can if it’s necessary), she doesn’t need constant affirmation like I do. She is just there. Chilling. Laughing. Playing with my hair. Intertwining my toes or my fingers with hers. Helping me decide what to wear in the mornings, taking my slippers out when I come home from work. Sitting on the edge of the bath and telling me about the stuff in her head while I put my makeup on. Creeping into my bed at odd hours of the morning and patting my back until she falls asleep. She is an angel, this child of mine.

han 5

She and I have many fights. We shed many tears of frustration, mine – because I don’t think she understands me, hers – because she doesn’t think I understand her. But I do understand her, she is different and unique. She is perfect in every way. She was formed from the breath of God and I see His touch in every part of the wonder that she is. I try to tell her how wonderful I think she is often, I tell her how amazing I think she is. She knows it. Be still my beating heart, I love this child. Even when she is losing her mind over lost toys and tomato sauce touching the other food on her plate. Even when she stomps off and bangs the door behind her in anger. Even when she cries from the moment she opens her eyes, right through dressing and brushing her teeth, right until we’re in the car and ready to go when she declares “I was only crying ‘cos I was tired mama.” Even when she tries my patience down to a sliver and I feel like I could drown myself in a bucket. Even when she lashes out at her brother when he really was just trying to help. I still think she is an angel. My Hannah Ruth. I love this child. Not the daughter I had imagined, but most definitely the daughter that I needed.

daughter image

Diary of a single mother


This is a long story, and while I consider myself a good story teller (ask my kids) I am not in the mood to rehash this particularly story because, believe me, I’ve told it 1000 times, we’ve gone over it 1000 times and the decision to get here was a long and difficult one and the point of this is just to let you know what the heck’s going down in my hood.

As of this morning at 3am, my husband works in Limpopo. He will live there from Monday very early morning to Friday not so late afternoon. We will only see him on weekends.

This means that I run this circus, solo, for most of the week. I must say it hasn’t been difficult, my kids have a pretty established routine and we work like a well oiled machine for the most part. I even side step tantrums with finesse and go about the routine without the offending blimp upsetting the rest of the plan and the offending party is usually known to just fall into line when they don’t get the attention they feel their tantrum deserves, if you know what I mean. So physically, it’s going well. I was worried about this because I really am spoilt. Between Zoleka and Husband, I pretty much just give orders and delegate as much as possible. Not in a bad way. I just have a very hands on team around me, what can I say. But things are going well.

Emotionally, I miss the husband. We do everything together generally – we get up together, sort the kids out together, travel to work together, see each other at least once during the work day, come home together, share the evening chores together, watch Generations together. So this being alone thing is difficult for me. The silence in the evenings once the little people have gone to bed is weird. Which shouldn’t really bother me because if you know me, I’m used to talking to myself, hell even when husband was here, I think it was like talking to myself anyway because he would just zone out when I went off on a tangent. Ha. But it isn’t the same, hey.

This bed feels rather large right now. But I will not cave and let any small people into it because I believe in sticking to the routine. Except maybe at 5am when I need something soft and squishy to hold onto. I am known to have a particularly rubbery arm at that time of the morning and they know it. Liam has taken over his new role of the man of the house very seriously. His duties include putting the outside lights on and hanging up the towels after bath time. Hannah just wants to phone her Daddy every 5 minutes.

My quieter evenings have given me more time to do the things I enjoy doing and to take up projects that I don’t think I could have managed to do with my full time wifely duties. Ha. I think it’s all going to work out just fine.

I can’t wait for the weekend. And I really say that with new meaning. There’s lots to tell and lots that will unfold as we enter this new chapter of our lives and i’ll keep you posted… but for now, I need to lock the house and set alarms and check on sleeping babies…

xx

R

The day my daughter wore a dress.


I think I’ve always wanted a girly girl. I am not sure why, I myself am not a girly girl, so I’m not sure why I had these grand illusions of pink tulle and butterflies. I think it was just THAT. The pink tulle and butterflies – girls things are just so cute, aren’t they? Flowery, fluffy and soft – one cannot deny that little girls clothing and related items far outweigh their male counterparts in the cute department. Then Hannah was born and I spent her first year living my dream. All the pretty outfits, all the pink bows in her hair, she had more pairs of shoes than all three of us in the house – almost. It was lovely! Then Hannah started to talk, and she made it abundantly clear that she didn’t like dresses or skirts or leggings. She didn’t want her hair loose and flowing down her back and she most definitely did not want cute sandals or sparkly shoes. She wanted shorts and tees, jeans and tees and tracksuits and tees. And ONLY takkies. Even in the heat of summer, she wanted takkies on her feet. Even if we were just at home, she was either in her takkies or barefoot. In other words, she wanted to dress like her brother. She didn’t mind pink at all (even though dark blue is her favourite colour) but she didn’t want to dress like a girl.

This bothered me at first, we used to beg, plead and sometimes force her to wear the dresses hanging in her cupboard. And she would CRY, boy would she cry. One day I said to my husband that I was done fighting over clothes. At the end of the day, what she wore made no difference to the little girl that she was, and if she didn’t want to wear another dress in her life, I would be ok with that. And besides, if someone had to force me to wear something I didn’t want to, I’d probably punch them in the throat.

So that’s what we did. And we’ve been happy ever since. She wears her shorts and tees, her hair is always in ponytails unless she is swimming and I’m happy with the fact that her brother’s hand-me-downs are not going to waste. We were in Woolies just last week, doing a bit of summer shopping for the kids and both hubby and I pointed to the many cute dresses on display and asked if she wanted any of them, and she insisted that she wanted shorts only. Not even leggings, just shorts. I did buy her quite a girly pair of sandals which she only OK’d because they were blue.

On Tuesday, she came home and announced that she would be wearing a skirt tomorrow (Wednesday). Liam and I made big eyes and said nothing else. On Tuesday night she pulled out a skirt and a t-shirt AND a pair of leggings to wear under her little skirt. I was like ooookkkkk? And yesterday morning she WORE her skirt to school. EVERYONE at school was like “oooooooohhhhhh HANNAHHHHHHH! LOOK AT YOUUUUUUU!”

Last night she took out another skirt and leggings for this morning. So I asked her how come she wanted to wear dresses all of a sudden? She said that all girls wear dresses, don’t I know? And it is summer and she is hot. Her words, not mine. This morning I was brushing her hair into the usual pony tail when she announced that I must leave her hair open. I may have choked on my saliva. I didn’t even hesitate and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it either – I mean I don’t want my daughter to think that she has come of some socially accepted age and now I love her for it. No. Secretly I was thrilled, my girly girl was emerging from her cocoon (!!) but I, in no way, wanted her to think that she HAD to wear dresses and have her hair down just because she was a girl. I had learned almost a year ago that forcing this issue was just cruel to her. So I made a high pony and left the bottom half loose (come on, we are Coloured, I was not about to let Diana Ross out wild on a school day and deal with crying and knots later tonight). And she went to the mirror and just beamed at herself and I told her what a Pretty Polly she was – which I do every day after hair brushing and she told me she likes her hair down! And Liam went on and on about how AMAZING she looked and how she must wear dresses EVERYDAY!

I’m guessing some of this stems from the fact that she is in a class full of girls – only 4 boys in the class. But that is not conclusive – I don’t know if those other little girls are girly-girls. And she has not let on in any way that this change of heart has come about because of what so-and-so said or what so-and-so wears. It’s like she just woke up and decided she wanted to wear dresses.

Perhaps it’s just a phase, perhaps she’s just testing out this whole ‘girl thing’ and she may still find it overrated and revert back to her shorts and tees and that will be fine. But I cannot deny how my heart was pumping in my chest and how my eyes welled up with tears when I saw her with her hair down and her little skirt on this morning. Guys, look away now if you don’t want to see me get all marshmallow mushy and sentimental for a minute: It was like how I imagine my parents felt when they saw me in my wedding dress. I swear I had the same look my mother and father had on their faces 6 years ago!!! I don’t know why – a girl in a dress means nothing, or at least it shouldn’t mean anything – but it just did. I can’t explain it any further than that. My Hannah in a dress. Who would have thought.

I made a huge mistake…


Ok, I have to come clean and explain the complete and utter mother of all mess-ups that I made recently. Remember that Barbie competition I ran a few weeks back?

Well.

Silly me forgot to specify that the competition was open only to people who reside within South Africa. As luck would have it, I drew a winner and the lovely Leanne happened to be from Manchester, United Kingdom.

She was thrilled to have won, and I was mortified to explain that I wasn’t sure that the client would post to the other end of the world! The client was very kind and it took a lot of back and forth emails when Leanne eventually just stood up like the lovely person I am sure she is and sent me this note:

“It’s ok honey, no need for an excuse. Please let another special little girl enjoy it. I do loving winning and receiving things for my princess but stuff happens, no biggie, we both keep smiling. Thank you again.”

So this is my very public apology to Leanne to say I am so sorry for being so stupid. Can you imagine my poor husband who has to put up with me every day? I wish I could get on a plane and hand deliver this prize to you as you rightly deserve but I have school fees to pay and the closest I will get to getting on a plane to the UK is when they’ve flown the coop and my husband and I take our second honeymoon, by which stage your little princess will no longer have any interest in Barbie I am sure.

Jokes aside, I feel terrible. Please accept my humblest apologies. And please give your princess a big “I’m sorry” hug from me 😦

So thanks to Leanne, I’ve had to draw another winner. On drawing this name, I thoroughly stalked this person to make sure they indeed lived within the South Africa border, and they do. So without further ado, the winner of the Barbie hamper is:

cirstenvandenheuvel

Cirsten, please contact me to make arrangements for the delivery of your prize WITHIN THE SOUTH AFRICAN BORDER. *blushing*

Going forward I will take the statement “think before you ink (or publish a post) more seriously.