So much of drama with the loose teeth!

Remember I shared about the loose tooth story over here? 

Basically, Son2 HATED it and screamed ALL THE TIME. We could not touch his mouth, he refused to open it to eat and brush his teeth and eventually, the tooth came out and he swallowed it.

Prior to that, I discussed selling the tooth to the tooth mouse (that mouse does come to our house) and he refused and said “it’s mine tooth”. Well, that was that.  As soon as the loose tooth was no longer an issue we all moved on.

The  2nd time around with a loose tooth  was a complete non-issue,  I think because he knew what to expect. We didn’t even talk about it.

Last week I was in bed and Son2 came to “visit” me  – he does this to avoid going to sleep.  The “visit” (which takes place anytime between 20:00 and 22:30pm – yes, I am THAT Mommy!) usually includes a bit of a cuddle and  ALWAYS ends with him falling asleep in our bed. One of us has to carry him back to his bed.

Anyway. So my DH says to him “show Mommy your loose tooth”. He then proceeded to wiggle his VERY loose tooth for me. IT was quite literally hanging by a gum thread and watching him wiggle it went right through me and gave me the creeps!  I did actually have to take a few deep breaths.

Then my DH told him to take out his tooth. And guess what?? He actually did this!!!

Now, I am not a person who is easily grossed out. I can handle bodily fluids about 97% of the time and I am fairly OK with general grossness.

But seriously. My kid pulling out his own tooth in front of me? THAT grossed me out completely. I was NAAR!

He was all matter-of-fact about it.

“Look mommy, here’s my tooth”, he said all excitedly.  I couldn’t look at him. Or the tooth. And he was so proud of it which made it even worse!  Fortunately there was no blood – I think that this would have freaked him out.

My DH asked him if we could sell the tooth. He said yes. So they got the tooth ready for the sale. Cleaned it a bit using a toothbrush and a damp cloth (please just try to picture this and tell me that I’m not being ridiculous by feeling completely grossed out by it) and put it in one of his shoes. ME? I stayed in bed. This entire thing made me want to VOM!

Son2 went to bed. We went to bed. The tooth mouse (i.e DH) had plans to wait for about 30 or so minutes before going to drop some change. Well, the tooth mouse fell asleep and forgot to go and purchase the tooth.   In fact, the tooth mouse overslept. And so at 6:20am the next morning (i.e. the time when we nearly need to leave!), the tooth mouse (my DH) ran into the room and deposited the coins. Then he took the tooth to the loo to flush it and while he was doing that, Son2 woke up and went straight to look for his tooth. He wasn’t impressed with the money. He made it VERY clear that he wanted his tooth back!

I had to remind him that he agreed to sell his tooth and I then ALSO had to convince him that we could go to the shop to buy whatever he wanted. At this stage I was ready to let him buy WHATEVER and add to it if necessary. I TRULY cannot start my morning with a crying/upset/miserable child.

That evening, on our way home,  we stopped at the PNP. He bought himself a packet of his favourite R5.99 Toppers biscuits.  This morning he showed me that one of the top teeth were loose. It’s not that loose yet, just slightly. He’s working his tooth. Because he wants it OUT so we can go and buy more Toppers Biscuits! I think this is going to be his thing. Toppers Biscuits for a tooth. Maybe we should skip the money and just leave the biscuits there? Biscuits are his most favourite snack in the world!

Seriously.  I don’t remember going through all this drama when Son1 lost his teeth? Is it only my Son2 that is so dramatic about all of this losing his teeth business?

A friend asked me last week  how much our tooth mouse brings. I told her that our tooth mouse brings an amount of money that is equivalent to your age, in other words, if you are 6 years old then you’ll get R6. We introduced this with Son1 which was a good thing because these things can get expensive if you’re not careful! Sometimes the teeth fall out in quick succession OR there’s more than one of them at a time!

Is your tooth mouse richer than ours? And how does one deal with drama queen kids??

Secrets of adulthood #1

You know how Gretchen Rubin has her Secrets of Adulthood?  Here’s a link to her Secrets of Adulthood.

Anyway. I was thinking that I need to have my own set of “notes to self”, so I’ll be blogging them as they come to me.

So. Secret of adulthood #1:

Sometimes the truth can be more “adorned” – Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife.

Do you watch The Good Wife? I have just discovered it and I LOVE it. It’s a legal drama (I always enjoy the legal/political/medical stuff – they have the BEST quotes!) and basically revolves around Alicia Florrick who (for various reasons – just watch it already!) had to go back to work after being a SAHM for 13 or so years.  She’s basically trying to find her identity as a working Mom and she’s often conflicted about her job and the concept of truth – she’s a lawyer  and we all know how THEY can “magic” the truth when they need to.

Anyway. She said this in one episode that I watched:

SOMETIMES THE TRUTH CAN BE MORE “ADORNED”. It stuck with me and made me think.

See, I used to be the person who would just tell it like it is. Depending on WHO you are in my life and the levels of filters between is, I am STILL this person.

I used to be the person who would say things without thinking and hurt people in the process.  

I used to be the person who would feel that I was doing the right thing to be 100% truthful AT ALL TIMES.

I am still 100% truthful. But as an adult, I now know that in every situation,  I MUST use my judgement.  It has taken me YEARS to hone this skill (I am still not perfect at it) and I am proud to say that it’s one of my strengths.

Because I have learned that not everyone can cope with truth.

I have learned that some people simply don’t like it when you tell them the truth without them having asked for it.

I have learned that we need to meet people where they are – sometimes they are not ready for truth.

I have learned that you can still build someone up, even if you “bypass” the truth until they are ready for it.

I have learned that I don’t always have to provide an opinion and that sometimes it is good to NOT have anything to say – depending on the situation, this can be as powerful as using your words.  

I have learned that sometimes it is OK to tell a  “toned-down”, more gentle version of the truth.

And I have learned that there is tremendous power in words, in how you use them, in choosing the right moment to use them and in being kind when you use them.  I believe that your words need to speak love and life, and that diplomacy and kindness is NEVER overrated.

How about you? Are you someone who says it like it is ALL THE TIME? Do you exercise judgement? Are you careful with HOW you use your words? Do you believe that sometimes the truth can be more “adorned”?

 

Son1 had a birthday recently

He turned 14.

I must say that it affected me a bit. I can’t really put my feelings into words without sounding completely ridiculous.  I am also having a fair amount of vulnerability issues which doesn’t help matters at all.

On the one hand I am enjoying him more than I have ever enjoyed him, and on the other hand he is driving me completely and utterly NUTS! I suppose that’s the story of all relationships, yes? Anyway. He’s postponed his birthday party. It’s happening in December during the last week of school. We still need to finalise the details but it will either be a swimming party like last year OR a surfing party – I checked and there are some cool party packages at the Surf Schools in Muizenberg that include a lesson and a wet suit and the use of a board and hot showers. No food included, but this is no big deal. They can just get fish & chips or something afterwards.  Is it just me or are boy parties like the easiest thing EVER??

On Tuesday evening they had their  Science Expo at school. We’ve been putting in A LOT of hours these past few days to get this thing sorted.  I took a step back, even though it was REALLY hard for me. HE is just NOT as perfectionist as I am when it comes to presentation of work.  I am working hard at accepting him 100% for who he is. His work (as far as I’m concerned) looked fairly untidy, but I do realise that my standards are sometimes impossibly high and I am trying to relax them a bit.  It was his own attempt though and his very best – I am proud of his effort, even though his approach was/is generally VERY different to mine. And oh my goodness. I watched him from a distance, engaging with people walking past his display. Answering their questions. Talking animatedly and excitedly about his process and his findings.  He didn’t even consult his notes!  He is SUCH a natural and I was VERY  proud of him. What was the last thing that your child did that made you SUPER PROUD??

Son1 is having a lot of fun at school which does actually make me very happy.  I was thinking about Grade 10 and subject choices this past week. I know, right? This is one of the reasons that I am contemplating the shutting down of this blog. I have a kid who is nearly choosing subjects! Most people in the blogosphere are worried about their children’s bowel movements and how much (or how little) sleep they are getting.  I just can’t relate anymore and in all fairness, I can’t expect anyone to relate to me. Anyway. I decided that he can do whatever subjects he feels like doing.  School is hard enough and we may as well do subjects that interest us, yes? My only condition is that Maths is not negotiable. I feel comfortable with this. I am also phoning around and googling some kind of vocational testing for him – I hope to repeat this annually throughout high school.

He had his first shave over the weekend. Our agreement is that if I EVER need to tell him to shave, then THAT will be the day that I take him for a wax. He was sooooo excited.  I took him along to buy what he needed and his Dad helped him. I wanted to photograph it.  My DH said NO, because not EVERY SINGLE THING needs documenting. Sometimes the memory in your mind needs to be enough. It was a private moment between a Dad and his Son. And it was a bittersweet one for me. He came to show me when he was done and was thrilled! No cuts or anything. I just couldn’t stop staring at him and I had flashbacks of when I first met and fell deeply and madly in love with him. Sjoe. We have come SUCH A long way  and I kind of feel like we grew up together.

So yes. LOTS going on in his life. And deep down I am kind of enjoying this journey with him. Of course it’s a fairly challenging journey. I am forced to change. I am forced to parent differently.  There is more coaching and A LOT of letting go. A lot of fret. A fair amount of anxiety. But. So far, we are coping.  Seriously. If you think that Junior School is hard, then wait until your kids get to High School. And if you think that the sleepless nights and tantrums and body fluids are terrible to deal with, then wait until you hit the teenage years. It’s like NOTHING you have ever experienced before and there is just no preparation. Except your own experiences as a teenager.

So. How are you?  What are you HATING about parenting right now?  

 

Thank you for the music

I often wonder which actress could play the movie of my life – there are a few who would do it justice.

I also wonder if it would be weird to have a white actress play in the movie of my life. Then I think that it would probably not be a train smash.  When I ask people who they think should play me then they always say Halle Berry or Kerry Washington.  No one has ever suggested that I commission Charlize or Meryl or the other Julia.I suppose no one else thinks that there can be a white Julia! 

After a lot of thought about this, I decided that the movie of my life would be played by Sophie Okonedo.

Not sure if you know her – she’s the actress in Skin and Hotel Rwanda and she’s also in The Secret Life of Bees.

I think she’s BEAUTIFUL and VERY talented. I LOVE her big hair and I  definitely think that she would do the role justice.

I like that she’s not as in-your-face as the Halle Berrys and the Kerry Washingtons. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of her in the People Magazine and she’s not on the red carpet every 5 minutes. Nothing is really known about her. THIS is the kind of celebrity that I like. The one who just does her job to entertain, keeps her clothes on when she’s in public  and keeps her private life private.

So now that we have that out of the way I need to think about a plot for the movie about my life. Again, after considerable thought, I came to this conclusion:

A movie about me would overwhelm anyone. I am intense and all over the place at times. I am happy and sad at the same time. I am a good Mommy and yet I can be quite nasty and selfish. I am a feeler and yet there are times when I am clinical. I am organised and disorganised. I think big picture and yet I don’t have the current picture under control.

Gosh, can you imagine all these emotions in ONE movie? I have no doubt that Sophie can pull it off but I do think that Sophie would do A LOT better if we had a Julia series as opposed to a Julia movie.

Maybe we could take each aspect of my life (growing up, men, motherhood, special needs, marriage, knitting, swimming in the ocean or whatever) and turn that into a movie? Like a few movies as opposed to one?

Not sure what we could call it. If it was ONE movie then we could call it something like “Thank You for the Music”. Because I ADORE that song and I do consider every single aspect of my life as a bit of a song and dance. Sometimes it’s a happy song, sometimes it’s not.

However, if it’s a series or a series of films then each one (or rather each chapter) would have a name.

So. Which actress would play your movie? What do you think your movie would be called?

 

I haven’t really been blogging about Son1

There are various reasons for this, the main one being that  I don’t quite know how to blog about him now that he is pubescent and all.

I know that it’s an awkward time for him and I am trying to give him the space that he needs for it without actually giving him too much space if you know what I mean. I am STILL all over him like a VERY bad rash and of course  I am trying to be VERY respectful of his privacy as well.  I don’t put pictures of him online unless I have his permission and he also doesn’t want me talking about him.  Completely understandable. It does help that I am a FEELER and that it’s easy for me to put myself in his shoes. Also that I remember VERY CLEARLY how awkward those teenage years were.

There has been a fair amount of attitude from him which I suppose is to be expected. I DO NOT tolerate it at all. Sorry for him but he must deal with his issues in therapy. While he’s living in my house he WILL toe the line and remember who the adults are and that there are ONLY two of us. Not three.  It helps that he’s still very childish, and so far I can see that setting proper boundaries for him as a little kid is now paying off – even though he occasionally pushes the boundaries (as everyone does from time to time) he DOES know what our expectations are. 

Some days it feels like there’s another MAN in the house. Which technically, there is. The bathroom AND his room smells of deodorant and I practically choke when I walk past.  I now have to take him along when we go shopping for clothing – he no longer trusts my style advice. In fact, I have to consult him about a lot of things because I can no longer take it for granted that he will still like the things that he liked last month  this time.

I should talk to him about not overdoing it with the deodorant but I think I will leave it – I would rather have him smelling like too much man than smelling like stinky guava.  It has taken us a while to get to the point where we found something that WORKS for him. Some free advice? Not all male deodorant is made equally – you actually DO get what you pay for.  And of course, that voice that is so DEEP. Sjoe. It freaks me out in a way. My little boy with the puny voice is no more and I have to kind of remind myself that this boy is becoming a strapping young man. It’s almost unbelievable. I look at him and I see how good looking he is. And I think about the fact that females are going be finding him hot and I just can’t cope! I just feel completely unprepared for all this. 

So yesterday we got a note from the school to say that he needs to shave. Let me just say that again. His school wants him to shave!!!!!!

Oh my hat. I wasn’t even mortified. I was more annoyed that they saw the need to make my child more adult than he’s ready for. I may or may not have had a small cry.

He has a small amount of moustache (I don’t think it’s enough to warrant a proper shave!) and no beard at all. Seriously! He is 14 and must shave! My DH was contemplating and thinking about which razor would be best for him and I was like NO WAY. This is not happening!

I am VERY tempted to take him for a lip wax so we can delay this for at least another year. Seriously. He has A LOT on his plate and we can’t still add shaving!  Ugh. And of course my DH thinks I am being absolutely ridiculous to even THINK of taking him for a lip wax.  Can he not see that I’m just being practical?

Anyway. We haven’t resolved this yet – we have until this weekend to get it sorted. Perhaps I should ask Son1 if he would be open to a lip wax? Ugh. Somehow I don’t think he’ll go for it but it’s worth a shot to just ask.

Do you think I am being OTT? Everyone that I talk to about the lip wax thinks so!

How would you cope in this situation? How does one navigate the minefield of your child becoming an adult?

I was asking Laura the other day if there are magazines for parents of older kids and she told me that there were NONE – once your kid can eat proper food and sleep through the night then you’re on your own.  Why is this though? Does parenting stop once your kid acquires these skills? Is there some kind of illusion that things get easier after babies learn to walk/talk/use the toilet/sleep through the night/eat properly?

 

The cliques are everywhere!

I have blogged before on my feelings about cliques.

Somehow I thought that I had kind of moved on from the clique stuff.

Turns out that I’m have not!

Lately I have been seeing a lot of clique setups in my space. Like EVERYWHERE.

Perhaps I’m just being sensitive, but just so you know, one of the easiest ways to break my heart would be to exclude me. 

Seriously though. The cliques are in the workplace.  And at church.  There are even cliques within families!

They are on IG. And on twitter. And in blogging circles. They are in the yoga studio. They are in the fitness industry. They are within the running community.  They are with the “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle” types. I am sure that they are on FB too but I haven’t been on there so can’t say for sure at the moment.

They are with the Mom groups.  They are with the kids on the school play ground. They are in HIGH SCHOOL! Ugh. They are EVERYWHERE.

Generally I don’t like cliques. I don’t like ANYTHING that has the potential to cause exclusion and I certainly don’t like the “exclusivity” that cliques tend to promote.

I usually float around and if the clique won’t “accept” me then it’s fine too. I am in a clique – my husband and my two kids are part of my clique so I technically don’t need anyone else – but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting when the exclusion takes place. At the end of the day I am still a girl!

I think that deep down we all have a desire to fit in and to belong. Which is fine and perfectly natural, I guess. I also think that cliques have probably been around forever and a day. I just kind of wonder if it’s something that will ever disappear completely. Mmmm….probably not. 

How about you? What do you think about cliques? Are you a “clique-er”? Do cliques affect you and are you bothered by them?

I am not generally bothered by them. Except now. Because PMS.

 

50 shades of g.r.e.y.

Believe it or not, I have never coloured my hair before. I never ever needed to because I was NOT grey and I actually loved my pitch black hair. My hair has faded over the years which is to be expected – chemicals do strip the hair of its colour. But it still wasn’t grey or anything and I was fine with it.

I have done those foil highlights a few times. I LOVE those – such a small and inexpensive thing thing makes a HUGE difference to your appearance,  and about 2 weeks ago I was actually thinking about going for them again.

So yesterday I visited my in-laws and my BF was taking pictures of me. I noticed that he was practically on top on my head taking pictures but didn’t think much of it. He does sometimes show off in front of his Mom. Until he showed me how grey I am! Oh my hat. I was mortified. So many grey hairs! I am sure the people are gossiping about my grey already!

So. I have decided that the grey needs to go. I am not ready for it yet. I know that it looks flattering if the hair is styled in a certain way but I think colouring the grey away is a rite of passage, yes?

So. This is what I need to know from you.

Are you grey?

Do you embrace the grey like the hippies and the lalala people say you should, or do you colour in the grey strands?

Do you do a DIY job or do you go to a salon?

If you are doing a DIY job then what do you use to colour?

How often are you colouring?

When did you start with hiding your grey hair?

To be honest, I am really worried about the cost implication of this. I don’t mind spending money on chemical hair treatments (people DO judge you by your looks and I need to look proper) but to ADD this to hair straightener treatments and and and??? Oy. My wallet is not coughing. It’s puking!!

Monday Stuff

My weekend was kind of busy.  So busy that I had to bow out of the CT Meetup at the last minute because the times just wouldn’t have worked out properly. Am bummed, but there’s always a next time. Am hoping that Cindy and her ridiculously good-looking family will go on a date with me and my family in the next few weeks. Hint hint!

Son1 has a birthday this week. His birthday always causes me A LOT of anxiety, mainly because he wants ALL THE THINGS and ALL THE PEOPLE to come.  I have told him that he will get something smallish (and not that cheap!) from us and that we’ll do a family dinner with his favourite foods.  He’s happy with that and wants to have a summer party again like he did last year which suits me fine, because if we did what we did last year then it will be easy and dirt cheap!

I’ve been in a fog for the longest time. Can you tell by the lack of decent blog posts?. Many things that I can’t write about have been happening behind the scenes and it’s been an emotionally draining time for my family. Today I woke up feeling OK. Actually, I woke up feeling really good! Maybe it’s because it’s not as dark in the mornings anymore. Maybe because the sun has been showing up a lot more lately.  Maybe it’s because it feels like things are settling down. Maybe it’s because I had a long nap yesterday and feel rested.  Either way. Feeling OK is AWESOME and NOT to be underestimated. Like EVER. 

I am kind of annoyed at not being credited for something. The person who took the credit for this something (it’s not a blogger) should DEFINITELY know better. Now I could smile and wave and brush it off, or I could actually say my piece. But. It may cause a bit of strain. Sigh. One just can’t win sometimes. Have you ever NOT been credited for something? How did you deal with it?

Last month I made a DIVINE vision board for craft group session and I had sooooo much fun doing it! Then I realised that I’ve kind of being doing the same thing over and over (knitting) and that I need to jazz things up a bit because it does get boring.  I have decided that I am going to challenge myself to a different crafting medium at least every 2 months, just to keep it fresh.  Part of that challenge is to use what I have and NOT to buy any new materials. Right now I am trying to decide what to do for tomorrow night’s session. What’s the last thing you created?  Any ideas for me? I am out of washi tape so that changes things A LOT.

Anyway. That’s it for the moment. How are you? Did you have a good weekend? What did you get up to? How was your Monday?

 

 

Link love – career things

So I’ve never really had this fantasy of being a big-shot career woman climbing up the corporate ladder.

In all my fantasies I am working in a very creative environment, I am doing work that nurtures and feeds my soul, I have wild hair and tattoos on display and I wear jeans. Sometimes wide skirts. No idea where all of that comes from.

I work  in a corporate environment so my soul is not exactly being fed at the moment, my hair is neat and in place, if I had tattoos they wouldn’t be visible and I most certainly don’t wear jeans and wide skirts.

I never really read career-related articles. More often than not, I just cannot relate to them. I also find that those who write career-advice type articles are VERY black and white in their approach and life in the workplace (from where I’m sitting) is just NEVER that simple!

Lately, I’ve been clicking into a TON of career-related and “how-to-tell-if-you-have-a-bad-manager” type articles. Co-incidence? I DEFINITELY think NOT!

I thought I’d share a few that I  enjoyed recently.

I find networking VERY hard and it doesn’t come naturally to me. In real life, I’m a shy person and I’m an introvert. Small talk irritates me. I am not in the habit of just going up to people and introducing myself to them and chatting them up. I LOVED this piece  that gives good guidelines on networking if you’re an introvert. Do you struggle with networking?  Please share a tip or two that seems to work for you?

Then I found this article on career things that I should have done BEFORE I turned 30 already. Eish. I am clearly in trouble! Tell me what you think about the article? I DO think that this kind of stuff needs to be taught in high school OR that it needs to be a compulsory module at tertiary level. This article DID inspire me though. I am currently working on the “what do you really want to do” question that has been raised as one of the points.

And then there’s this article that a friend sent me a few days ago that just affirms for me that I don’t belong in a corporate work environment – corporate and I are like fire and ice. I simply CANNOT do the games because I am just way too classy for that nonsense.

I LOVED this particular article AND the illustrations! It’s basically where I’m at in my current workplace right now. Basically, my brain needs a bit of a workout. 

Did you find any of these links interesting and do they speak to you in any way? Are you happy in your current work environment? Do you LOVE your manager?? And if you are currently the manager do your employees LOVE you??

 

Did you get a push present?

So a few months ago, someone that I know put up a pic of her new car on FB.

This person happened to give birth a few weeks (or months maybe) before that and she called it her “push present” from her husband. I didn’t immediately twig what a push present was. Then last week I read this article on “push presents”. 

Basically, it’s a gift that your partner gives after you give birth and can be anything from a car to jewelry or whatever you want really.

I have no real opinion on the “push present” and whether it’s OK or not. I say people must do whatever makes them happy. In fact up until last week I had NO IDEA that something called a “push present” even existed! There are even websites dedicated to helping your partner to find the perfect “push present” for you!

I was thinking about it this weekend actually and I realised something –  old news but still. Pregnancy and the subsequent birth (whether you push or get cut) is hard on the body. Your life basically slows down,  you can’t do what you used to be able to do and in the process you do lose a few brain cells that you don’t really get back after the birth. So as far as I’m concerned, a push present is not a bad idea. It doesn’t bring you back your lost brain cells and your figure OR all the sleep that you’re missing, but it can make up for whatever else you need to make up for.

I then realised that I had OBVIOUSLY missed out on this trend. My DH bought me flowers and chocolates after the births of my sons. There were no expensive gifts! So I told him that he now owes me TWO push presents and I gave him a list!

He then told me that our sons were his present to me.  I told him that I LOVE and ADORE my sons and that I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but that my push present needed to be something shiny that doesn’t emit any bodily fluids and odours or make crying/whine-like sounds.

Obviously women have mixed feelings about this and some of them are outraged at the materialism/shallowness/vanity/high expectations/ blah blah blah.  Go look at the comments over on this article.

Me? I think that some people are just too serious about everything.

What do you think about the “push” present? Do you like the idea? Did you get a “push” present? If so, what was your “push” present?