Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why being a mother is so awesome...

Make no mistake it can be challenging and difficult and incredibly emotional, but boy oh boy, it is one of the best things in the world. Have you ever loved a single person so much? Have you ever got so much back from a person? Have you ever had the same type of unconditional love back? Have you ever been on the verge of tears only to be hauled out of that into hysterical laughing? Have you smiled each day with love in your heart? Has anything made you so proud?

With it's ups and downs motherhood is just awesome...we are the rulers of the world (mothers of course!). As mothers day comes around, I think with sadness of my own mom who is not here anymore, but more than that I think how truly blessed I am to be able to be a mother and to have such an awesome bond with my little boy. Each journey that we take with our children, we learn something new and experience different emotions - it makes me feel quite rich.

This Mothers Day give yourself a pat on the back, feel good about yourself and most of all feel good about your child and give back...I know we do all the time, but give back to your hubby, to your mom, to your child and all that giving out will come back to you in big bounds!

Happy Mothers Day moms!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Best mom award?

And here is another of my weekly stories from one of my good friends...this is well worth a read!

I had one of those days yesterday where I had to think that maybe I was in fact not destined to go down in history at the ‘Greatest Mom on Earth’, but would actually be the mother that gets discussed by other mom’s at parties – and NOT in a good way!!!

It was 13h40, and had a b-day party scheduled for 14h00. I wasn’t concerned because the party is 10 minutes away. Then I heard it … “Steph, go and show mommy your beautiful hair!” my immediate reaction was basically ‘Oh dear what has she got stuck in it this time?”, but then Steph skipped into my room, most excited about the new hair CUT that she had patiently sat for – courtesy of big sister Julia!! Then I heard my optimistic self asking “Steph, that’s beautiful, did Julia put your hair in a pony?” (obviously completely over optimistic on my side) and then the words I had been hoping I would not hear “Nope, she cut it”. Needless to say I decided there wasn’t a heck of a lot to do but go to the party and explain that the rats had not been left in her room overnight, but her big sister had done a good deed.

So we get to the party and after a brief explanation and a few laughs (and a request for a rather large glass of wine) I settled in to enjoy the party with the rest of the moms (mostly new mom’s from the new school). But not long after the ice in my wine began to melt – there it was…. The b-day boy’s granny with the following words “I’m not sure who she belongs to, but I am wondering which mommy has been teaching her child rather bad habits!” . I’m not sure why, maybe mothering instinct if there is such a thing, but my immediate thought was “Cr@p, it’s one of mine!!” and sure enough there she was. My newly shorn Stephanie lifting her dress for all the boys to see, which would have been sort of ok except for the fact that MY child had deemed it necessary to remove her panties before the party (obviously unbeknownst to me!). That’s freakin fantastic!! It’s awesome when your kids make an effort to make you look good in front of people you’ve just met!! Well, I suppose at least the glitter nail polish that she’d painted her entire private’s with a few days earlier had worn off by then (another one of those ‘greatest mom’ moments).

So with the party over and the quiet self assurance that I would be spoken about at parties I wasn’t invited to – we were off to find a hairdresser open that could attempt to fix what was left of Steph’s hair. It so happened that the first salon I walked into, there was a lovely lady who was quite sympathetic and actually quite positive that not all was lost. So we sat down and in an attempt to keep Steph calm while the lady worked her magic, I (foolishly) took my eyes off Julia for a few minutes – that was until I heard the woman behind me say “What are you eating sweetie?”. There it was again… the little voice in my head saying “oh cr@p!!” I slowly turned around to see my little Julia eating the sugar from a sugar bowl on a carefully laid out tea tray – with the woman’s tea spoon!!!!!!!

At that point I think I had an epiphany – I was NEVER going to win the “Greatest Mom on Earth” title and may well end up in some sort of Heat magazine as the mother of…… - what a story , I look forward to reading it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Motherhood: the rocky road to self discovery!

Once again it's been a while since I posted, but this household has been in chaos for some time. I've come to call our little family the lame, sick and just plain old tired. I don't mean this to be a negative article at all, but sometimes it helps just getting things off your chest and hearing other peoples views on life!
My hubby had an ankle op a couple of weeks ago, so things are a bit chaotic in terms of parenting and being nurse. Coupled with that my little boy started at a new school and it's been one hell of a rough ride.
To give context to my little boy, he is very bright, in terms of intelligence and language...apparently well beyond his years. This is apparently a problem at school as he gets bored and doesn't concentrate. More on that soon.
Since he started at the school I have seen a different child - I don't have a happy, carefree boy anymore, I have a child who is riddled with anxiety (he even has a stomach ulcer!), has lost his self-confidence and is generally very unhappy.
Apparently he is too serious and this is also a problem. Somewhere at some point personality needs to be taken into account.
But, anyway...after many telephone conversations and dealing every day with the comment of 'everyone at school hates me' has seriously taken it's toll on me and I suspect my little boy as well.
So off we are carting him to paediatricians - he is severely allergic to everything and now to psychologists as well to see where the anxieties lie. It is a very emotional journey to go on I have to say.
So all his medication has been changed to try and manage the allergies. Who knows what this will bring.
Now the psychologist, who I think is excellent by the way, has said that she really thinks he is ADHD. She has said that she needs more time with him, but it is looking this way. There are signs of ADHD no doubt, but there are also signs of a highly intelligent boy who has a very strong will and a very strong personality. Sometimes I wonder about the labelling of children, and the ability of teachers to cope with children who are more demanding and don't conform. Don't get me wrong here, I actually adore my little boys teacher, and chose the school specifically for the reason that they have small classes and I know the jobs they do are really, really difficult. In our class I know of 6 children (could be more) that have been referred to specialists.
During this process a mom goes through absolute hell! What have I done wrong??? I look at my little boy who is quite clearly distressed, and I'm trying my best but I can't take the pain away, I can't take his angst away, I can just be there for him and love him and support him. If it lands up that my little boy is ADHD, fine, but I don't want a zombie either, I don't want a child who is different and conforms to everything, I don't want a soldier. I want an individual and that's what he is! I would love to hear from other moms about their experiences of schools and referrals, ADHD and other issues. Please let me know your thoughts.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes...

It has been so long since I blogged, I think I've forgotten how! Life just takes over sometimes, but my March new year resolution, is to get back into the swing of things again. This inspired me. I received this email from a friend of mine last night and just couldn't stop laughing! I have kept it anonymous to protect the 'innocent' :) but it is really very good. Enjoy. If you have any wonderful sayings that your little ones say, please feel free to add them!

So, it seems that my very old 5 year old, bless her soul, has taken to kissing boys –well, that’s what she says. All the boys in question have vehemently denied the claims, but that being said, it seems that she has a particular little boy in her sights!! A friend of mine's mom took my lg to a party when we were away and the girls were with Ouma and phoned in hysterics as soon as I got back with the following story:
“The kids were in the back of the car when:
My lg: I really rather like boys and that’s why I like to kiss them. Do you remember when I kissed you?
Friends lb: NO WAY MAN!! You’ve never kissed me!!
(giggle, giggle, giggle, from both parties).
My lg: You know when I first REALLY liked you? When you were wearing sunglasses!
Friends lb: But, I’m wearing sunglasses now (giggle, giggle)

I’m a little concerned!

Then we have a few episodes of what could be the beginning of a fairly decent soap opera OR of a series of visits to the child psychologist – you decide:
Episode 1:
I dropped my younger one at school last week and while I was there (with my older one milling around) one of the dad’s walked in to drop off a child. So, naturally, I smiled, said good morning and then left to drop my older one off. As soon as we were in the car ….
LG: “Mom, you really musn’t talk to the Dad’s”
Mom: Why?
LG: No Mom, you must IGNORE them
Mom: But that’s extremely rude!! Why should I ignore them?
LG: Well, if you talk to them, they might like you, then they might want to be your boyfriend and you’ll have babies!!

Ok, so this is 7h30 on a weekday morning after only ONE cup of coffee – needless to say, I was speechless (which has to be said does not happen often), but I laughed and changed the topic.

Episode 2:
Older LG had spent the afternoon at Ouma’s playing with one of the little boys that lives next door to Ouma (and also happens to be at her school). So Ouma tells me that the boy had come to her saying that my lg had just told him a VERY sad story about her parents. Obviously intrigued, Ouma asks what the story was about. Apparently hubby and I are getting a divorce because I have a boyfriend and am going to have a baby!! At this point my hubby goes to fetch the girls and is told by the same little boy that this is the fate that has befallen him. SO , he gets home and has a few questions to ask me.

So now its 19h30 on a weekday evening after only ONE glass of wine!!!!

Episode 3:
Ok, so now I need to tackle the issue – my lg has a friend who’s parents are going through a divorce, so I presume that’s where the intel is coming from. So I ask:
Mom: “Baby, who’s been talking to you about divorce, boyfriends and babies?”
LG: “mmmm, I think it was xxx and xxx. They know all about daddy’s and they know all about God”

So now I’m really confused. I know these two girls, their parents are most certainly not involved in divorce proceedings, but she has a point – they do know about God. But that has not really helped me work out what is going on in her little mind. So I try again:

Mom: Why do you think that Mommy and Daddy are getting a divorce?
LG: (now quite tearful and upset)…. Because you don’t love each other
Mom: But why do you think we don’t love each other
LG: Because you never drink the same drink through two straws!!!!
Mom: huh???

So after a bit of explaining, it seems that the divorce is now off and I don’t have to drink beer from a straw!!

Younger LG:
She is SO close to swimming on her own, so in my wisdom decide to send her to swimming lessons. I took off work to take her to her first lesson which went rather well. Then came lesson 2,3, and 4, which I had other people take her to. From the feedback I was receiving, it seemed that the halo that had been shining brightly at the first lesson urgently required some brasso. Especially after telling the teacher : “I don’t WANT to swim here!!! I have a pool at home!” and then promptly got out of the water and refused to get back in.

But this is the SAME child that just melts my heart with her new trick (I have a strong suspicion I’m having my strings pulled, but I don’t care). She – out-of-the blue will yell “Mommy”, “Yes darling”, “Luff you” – how can you resist that!!

Then there is the saga with the night nappy. I am really trying to convince younger lg that she needs to get rid of the night nappy. But, every time I ask her when she’s going to sleep without a nappy the answer is MONDAY.

So this made my day, hope it put a smile on your face too!!!!! Thanks unnamed friend for the entertainment!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Parenting Book just for fun

Each week I'll post a new chapter of a little online parenting book. Hopefully it will keep you smiling and remembering all the good things and the scary things about this journey called parenting...

Ladies and gents, I’m going to tell you about my journey of discovery and it’s going to be Warts ‘n All. No sugar coating, just honesty and my real feelings and emotions around this strange and wonderful little thing called parenting. When I started to plan this journey journey, I am not ashamed to admit that I was a parenting book junkie – anything and everything that I could lay my little grubby paws on, was proudly placed in my bookshelf to add to my ever increasing pile of ‘to read’ lists. In my mind, I had this idealistic picture of a family – happy healthy pregnancy, baby coming out looking like the picture of calm and serenity, me breastfeeding happily and so that lovely picture continues. STOP – back up! This isn’t what it’s really like – trust me there are moments, good and bad, but I don’t think I went into this whole thing with a realistic viewpoint. The moment you conceive, and before for some of us, who become slaves to the ovaries, it’s full of ups and downs. Elation followed by fear, then worry, then extreme happiness, then anxiety, then calm and then elation again. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the whole journey from start to end – although arguably parenting NEVER ends – is an emotional rollercoaster and like the title of the book, long, winding, bumpy, dusty, pothole and scenic. In my quest to describe parenting I’ve come across the idea that it’s a bit like an obstacle course, and you need to have some gusto and tenacity as well as a calm and positive attitude to navigate this obstacle course. It can be rewarding and challenging, and the more you’re prepared for it the better. To those of you, who are my nearest and dearest, please forgive me for explaining parenting like an obstacle course, I love it, but there should at least be a hazard and danger sign for the uninitiated.
The reason I decided to write my ‘memoirs’ about parenting, is that we’ve had quite a journey, both good and bad. Being a first time mom I had no idea what to expect. I had also never held a baby in my life and had not been around babies, so the journey was even more of a discovery of me and the people around me. I’m hoping that you’ll find this funny, warming, entertaining and most of all enlightening. This is how it goes...
My journey starts in New Zealand, where my hubby and I, after 6 years of marriage, decide that perhaps now is the time to start adding to our little family unit. So being the eternal party animals we smoke and drink as much as we can in absolute fear that this is all going to end soon. No responsibility, selfishly just living our lives for each other, and having a really good time with it. We get back to London, geared and ready for action, when a strange little moment happens between hubby and me – that eye contact where both know each others thoughts. In unison we cry out together – ‘PUB – NOW’. So over a good couple of drinks we look at the pros and cons and examine ourselves as to whether we are really ready for this. I mean, I can’t even keep a plant alive, I don’t know how I’ll fare with a baby. I mean watering once a week is just too much for me!!! In the end we decide ok, we think we can do this, whilst nervously hanging onto our cigarettes and pints like they were our child. By the way, this methodical approach is very normal in our household. They don’t call my husband ‘Corporal’ for nothing! Everything, I mean everything, needs to be well thought out and planned, so why should parenting be any different. I mean we even work to spreadsheets for goodness sakes – yes, you read that correctly. I somehow suspect these control freaks of people might get a bit of a shock!!!!


Right, so the spreadsheet with the timing plan is drawn up and printed out, part 1 needs to be implemented. I need to get a permanent job with all the bells and whistles. I had been contracting for quite some time, and I needed to con them into making me a permanent employee –maternity leave, paid annual leave and sick leave, need I say anymore. As always everything is planned out and hubby and I sit over very many drinks and cigarettes, AGAIN, to plan our attack and wax lyrical about how wonderful I really am and a big international conglomerate could in no way do without me! Into the boss ladies office with a wonderful appraisal of myself and vast explanations of how valuable I am and the unbelievable contribution I make to the team. Not that I really think all of this stuff, but if I don’t say it nobody else will. Hey, it seems that the beer worked wonders for our brains as a neat little contract lands on my desk. I can’t sign quickly enough and harass them to get all in order. So part 1 complete – well done me! Already I can see that I’m so ready for parenthood – I mean look at the lengths I will go to, to protect my child! Hmmmm, I can see the ‘Mother Teresa’ of moms emerging. Nice happy thought!
In our well thought out plans, we have exactly 6 months to fall pregnant – if it happens before I will look like a complete lecher trying to squeeze everything out of my company. OK, well it is partly true, however I need to make it look good. More importantly, my mind needs a bit of adaptation time – this is a really big thing for me. I am the least maternal person you will ever meet, have never held a baby, run for the hills when I see one, and glaze over when my friends talk about having babies! Honestly, I’m really excited, just need some time getting used to the idea and picturing myself as a mother – mmmmm having some very big difficulties with this one, and have bad mental block (a bit like writers block). So 6 months I have and here we go with our well laid out plan.
Right, so we’re ready! The second part of the plan needs to be implemented. I need to give up my most favourite thing in the whole world (besides my husband) – smoking! I know, I know, I know it’s bad for me, but all I can see is that little white stick in front of me, torturing me day and night. I become ‘The Wicked Witch of South West London’ and am an absolute nightmare to anyone who dares cross my path. I dream of a cigarette in my mouth, I plan all sorts of devious things in order to get a cigarette in my mouth, and resent this whole pregnancy malarkey for taking away my crutch. Yes it is a crutch, I know that too, but I still crave it. Somehow, sometime, I actually get over this and in the greatest of shocks and horrors to myself, I have given up smoking. It’s not that bad, I am now a pure healthy goddess that is going to have a baby and can take on the world. Those people, who came across me in the last couple of weeks, visibly relax in my company again. The world is good according to me. Part 2 of the plan is now also complete. WOW, we really are cut out for this. It’s amazing. We’re screaming through the timing plan way ahead of schedule!


Next part of the plan... we need to actually start the physical act of trying for a baby. Again of course, I’ve read all the books, and really try not to make this too clinical, but somehow it becomes that! The husband is called upon to perform his duties, and the most dignified part of this whole thing is lying on the bed afterwards with my legs pointing to heaven, and literally just waiting! I mean, seriously, how dignified can you get?
I’ve now abstained from cigarettes and alcohol for a couple of weeks and nerves and excitement are running through my veins. Will it happen or won’t it happen? I feel like I have no control over this, and I always have to feel control in my life to manage. Again, a strange feeling crosses over me, like I think I might have to change a little bit. Hmmmm... not sure about this one. To add to the out of control feeling, I literally have no idea when my monthly cycle is due to start (never have, probably never will) – doctors ask and people ask me sometimes and I stare back at them with a very blank expression on my face as if to say ‘do people really know this stuff?’ Apparently they do. So I go through this up and down see-saw of not knowing when or what, but eventually I just relax and leave the rest up to the powers that be! For once, I’m not talking about myself here!!!!
One Friday afternoon I’m at work, feeling like a bloated pig, ankles swollen, stomach sticking out like a big blob, and get the feeling that something is just a bit different in my body. Off I go, only to discover that the monthly cycle has come. I can’t describe my disappointment – I didn’t think I would feel this way, but somehow I feel really cheated even though we are only in month 1.
That night we hit the town, and through my haze of disappointment, I pour every bit of alcohol down my throat that I can find, and become tearfully quite sloshed. Slurring to my husband how sad I am and behaving in a way that I didn’t know was possible for me. Needless to say I didn’t feel so hot the next morning...100 little men banging in my head and riding the waves in my tummy. Through this haze, I still have this unnerving feeling that something is different in my body, despite the bleeding and the enormous hangover, I can’t explain it I just feel different. Right, we should go and get a pregnancy test. Hey, he says ‘what happened to the 6 month thing?’, well I’m not really sure that we are even pregnant, but all of a sudden there is a real feeling of, this is all happening way too fast. Put the brakes on, I’m not sure I can do this.
So, in true hubby style, he goes off to the pharmacy, he buys not one but two pregnancy tests. Just in case. I remember the day as if it was yesterday, it was the 14th August, our wedding anniversary incidentally, and in a very undignified manner I kind of ‘peed on the stick’. Those 2 minutes that you have to wait are the longest 2 minutes of your life. We are both standing round like idiots, and not looking at the stick. 2 minutes passes and we literally stalk it... I mean if you think about it, the rest of our life is in the hands of this little stick. Well, what do we find, a positive! The only problem was, it that it was so faint that you couldn’t even see it – you needed a magnifying glass to see that little plus sign. So true to ourselves, we take the next test, same thing, but there is definitely a plus sign. A kind of quiet takes over both of us, and we are really unsure what to do next. The problem is that I’m still bleeding, however, I have a positive on the pregnancy test. We decide to sleep on it, and deal with it in the morning.
Wow, what a difference some sleep makes, and not to mention the fact that I don’t have the 100 little men pounding in my head and an ocean moving around in my stomach. I’ve made a decision; we need to consult a doctor so that we can find out what is going on. So our only option is to go to the nearest hospital and wait (really wait...) to see a doctor so they can give us some idea of phase 3 of the plan. So off we go, in trepidation, to discover our path.
At the hospital, we wait for 3 hours to see a doctor. Eventually a very pleasant gentleman does a blood test, checks the urine sample and checks the uterus. Yes, we are definitely pregnant! Well well, I’m going to need a little time to digest this information. However, as I’m still bleeding we have to have a scan urgently just to make sure that everything is ok. He books one for the next day, on Monday. Ok, so next challenge, what in the world am I going to say to my boss to get out of work. I’m really not a very good liar – I get all squeaky and high-pitched so don’t know how I’m going to deal with this. Phew – just remembered thank goodness for text messages!!! I think up some excuse and ping it over on Sunday so that she is well prepared for Monday morning. I don’t get any reply – I think I might be in trouble! The guilt lasts all of 2 minutes and I’ve already moved on to my next adventure in life!
Check out Chapter 2 of my story next week.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where has the time gone...

...boy I have not written a blog for some time. Not only did my computer literally blow up, but in our household we like to share our bugs. We've been plagued by colds, flu, chicken pox, ear infections and all sorts. And each of us in the family has been bitten. For my little one, I'm not sure which time of the year is worse, winter for his chest, or summer for his allergies! The poor little thing doesn't really get a break. But we all seem like we're back on the path to wellness again and I'm back. I also have a nice brand new shiny machine that I'm typing on now, and no-one is allowed to touch! Very cool indeed.
I've been focusing on time lately as I just never seem to have enough of it...who has so I've come up with my little time saving tactics to help make things in my household run a bit smoother!
1. Bulk cook - every second weekend I do bulk cooking for the family and freeze it. Little portions for Tristan and then portions for us. It works a treat and I know we're all eating healthily as well which is really important. I did this when I was weaning Tristan as well and got the little ice cube looking containers and just froze all the fresh food for easy meals.
2. Getting dressed in the mornings - Tristan is at an age where he seems to be very fussy about what he wears, so each night we lay out his clothes for the next day that he chooses, he then can't wait to get dressed in the mornings.
3. Each evening straight after Tristan has gone to bed I get his snack ready for school and put it in the fridge. Voila, the next morning its done!
4. I try run and unpack the dishwasher each evening, and not in the morning as we always seem to be in chaos in the mornings.
5. I'm a real fusspot about having vegetables at each meal - we all need to do it, so my one luxury I allow myself is buying pre-chopped vegetables (for the more difficult ones like butternut). So for the evening meal, I'll get out my frozen meal and add a couple of fresh veg on the side. Dinner done!

Those are my top 5 time saving tips, there are more but of course I've run out of time...ha ha. I would love to hear your time saving tips!

Until next time hope you have a great weekend.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Space ships, umbrellas and tents...

...slightly odd combination I know, but who would've thought my weekend would be filled mostly with these three objects! And these three objects would be the centre of our entertainment!!!

We had a sick lo this weekend, so being a very normal, active little boy, we have to try and keep him down a bit when ill. He's like the Eveready bunny - he just never stops going and apparently has got amazing batteries...I must find me some of those. So I got a bit creative and tried to keep him mostly more calm. But you really have to admire the amazing imaginations of these little creatures we call our children - I wish my brain was as 'uncluttered' and full of such fantastic ideas.

First we made an alien space ship - well this space ship took only 5 minutes and was so easy that in fact we made quite a couple. I have all sorts in my arts and craft box and around the house that convert to wonderful works of art:
- Glue two paper plates together
- Then glue a paper bowl on top of that
- Make an alien with a fuzzy ball and googly eyes
- Stick said alien onto the top of the bowl
- Then use an old see through plastic pot to put over the 'alien' to act as a window
Voila, alien space ship! It's so easy. Then decorate as you wish - fuzzy balls, silver paint, tin foil - anything you have really will make it into the work of art!

Next our massive golf umbrella became the play object and boy did we have fun. This lasted for some time and was amazing to just watch. Tristan opened it up and was twirling it around the garden and playing with the dogs, at some point he even created a little 'home' and him and the dogs were lying in the sunshine! You must know he's not well if he actually succumbs to a rest!!!!! His imagination just ran wild and he was in all sorts of adventures with the umbrella. Such a simple household item can become a treasured toy. Please, please though do be careful of umbrellas and little ones. I was like a hawk - there are lots of sharp bits that can hurt eyes and limbs, so please supervise accordingly.

Our other adventure was to set up base camp in his room. One of 'our' most prized gifts from granny was a kiddies tent. I just love this as does Tristan. We set up tent in the bedroom and he went and chose all his prized possessions to join us. The miracle of this was that he actually chose his pillow and blanket to join us and played quietly lying down when our adventure was drawing to a close! Each room in our house was a different country with different adventures in each and his room was our final resting place to eat, rest and regain our strength for the next adventure. We got ourselves a picnic and sat and had lunch in the great outdoors that was his bedroom looking at the mountains and the river!!!!

What a perfectly wonderful weekend - again!!!!

One of the great miracles of children is to live in their world for a while, and experience life as they see it. It really makes you realise how wonderful our world, our children and our families are. Life is really what you make it!!!! Enjoy them, they REALLY DO GROW UP TOO QUICKLY!