Tag Archives: love

So.

It’s been a rough couple of days in these parts.

There has been some news that caused a fair amount of uncertainty. And fear. And doubts. And anxiety.

There has been an unexpected loss followed by deep sadness. The kind of sadness that will always be lurking in the background.

And then, in the midst of all of these emotions, Peace arrived.

That peace that one just cannot explain. That peace that just makes you realise that everything will be OK. That hearts will heal. That life goes on, one day at a time.

Because life does indeed go on. Kids still need to be fed. Laundry still needs to get done and dried IN THE RAIN! Homework and studying still features. Work is still stressful. 

But that peace, it just makes it easier somehow.

So what have I learned these past few days? Three things:

  1. Bad things happen to good people. That’s just part of the cycle of life. What a pity I keep forgetting this!
  2. Family is EVERYTHING.
  3. God is Faithful.

I hope that you are all OK and that you’re not too cold! I keep thinking that winter is only just starting and that it’s going to get worse! Sjoe. How are you doing and what’s new in your life? Did you have a good weekend?

This week I look forward to crafting with the ladies – I am going to attempt to crochet again. Also seeing my parents again – they’ve been out of town and will be back soon. Also. Lots of snuggles and early bedtimes due to the cold weather. I am also going to be looking at our winter routines and seeing what needs to be tweaked.

What are you looking forward to this week?

A post about bath routines/obsessions

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before (I suspect I have mentioned it) but Child2 loves loves loves his bath.

That is one fight that I have never need to have with him.

He runs his own bath and just gets in and lies there.  He doesn’t even really splash around. It’s like he’s meditating or something. Then he calls me (after what seems like an eternity) and says “Mommy mommy Mommy , I want to get done”. Mommy is always said exactly 3 times in succession.

That’s usually my cue to go and wash him and get him ready for bed or whatever.

On the weekends he baths maybe 3 times a day. I leave him. Also, when he’s having a particularly difficult time, he runs himself a bath and gets in. Just lies there on his back with his ears under the water and sings. I think he likes that sound. I think it’s cool that he’s found a way to calm himself.

When he’s having a meltdown, I hold him tight until he’s calmer and then run him a bath. Best meltdown cure ever. Only problem is the public place meltdowns but I am sure we’ll figure out a solution to that at some point. It doesn’t happen too much as I’m getting better at recognising his triggers. For the moment though I drive home and put him in the bath!

Lately he’s been getting up in the mornings and wanting to bath.  I take a bath in the mornings to help me wake up. He then jumps into my bath water! Apparently it helps him wake up too. In fact, it changes his entire mood.

Child2 is usually terrible to deal with in the mornings. I go into his room and I say: “time to wake up” and he whines and says “want to sleep”. Then I have to force him to wake and get done amd this is usually causes my morning to go pear-shaped.

However, if I say: “time to wake up, your bath water’s ready”, then he jumps out of bed! He lies in the bath for a bit, we brush teeth and then he dresses himself. As long as SABC3 is on. He likes SABC3.  Lately he’s not been liking the 2 clothing options that I  put out for him. He scratches in his drawers and chooses his own outfit. I leave him. Even if it does mean that he wears socks with his flip flops.

Then he has his toast with cheese (cut into triangles) while I start moving stuff to the car. As soon as he’s done we walk through the house so that HE can switch off all the lights. This makes him insanely happy! And of course it makes my morning way more pleasant if he’s happy. We drive to school and sing all the way there. Then we get to school and greet the animals. He asks them how they are and all of that. In fact, he actually wants to touch those bunnies and it freaks me out a bit – I am really not an animal person.

I am worried about the morning bath thing though. For the moment it’s fine as long as we are not running late but I suspect that it’s going to become a problem. I think he may get sick in the winter if we bath and then step out into the cold. For now though I am playing it by ear and I will cross that bridge when I get there.

Are your kids obsessive about baths or anything else for that matter? What are their current obsessions? How would you suggest I tackle the morning bath issue in the winter? Any ideas?

Btw…we have finally established (at the ripe old age of 5) that Child2 is left-hand dominant. Do you know how much therapy we had to go through to work this out? I am thrilled (he’s actually the first lefty in my life – is that weird?) and will treat him later to a pair of funky left-handed scissors. I think he deserves it!

What are you up to on this public holiday? My DH is at work today, so as soon as Child2 is done with his bath (guess where he is right now?) I’m taking them out for breakfast and then we’ll go for a walk. And to buy the scissors!

February kicked my butt!

…but  it was just awesome. I have learned something though:

I really am too old to be on the move all the time. I am still trying to recover from week 2 when I had something on every single night of the week!

Anyway, here’s a summary of the most fun-filled February in YEARS!

Movies watched:

Silver Linings Playbook – Loved it..

Argo – Loved it.

The Notebook – I liked it.

Create:

I finished a scarf that I’d been knitting for a long, long time

I downloaded some free printables for V-Day for my Boyfriend and  my sons.

Child1 and I made some bookmarks for his Mondeling demonstration. I think I’ll blog these things later this week.

Started a piece of embroidery. Not done. I got bored.

Celebrations:

C and C’s wedding

S and Y’s wedding

Socials and Friend Dates:

A spot of high tea and sewing at The Cape Grace with friend S

Dinner with Friends Y and O.

Meet-up with @Fairygirl and her family.

Meet up with the funky ladies of Let’s Get Crafty.

Kids:

Beach swimming at Muizenberg, a swim at St James, an eat-out adventure at a Chinese place on the Chinese New Year -even Child1 aka the world’s fussiest eater loved it.. Frozen yoghurt, window shopping and silly photo booth pics – not sure yet, maybe I’ll post one.

Books read:

House Rules – Jody Picoult – enjoyed a lot.

Beatrice and Virgil – Yann Martel – still in progress. I was WAY too busy having fun to read or to watch TV for that matter!

Shows Watched:

Rodriguez – beautiful and moving and just stunning.

Things bought:

New pair of jeans, one of those many-styles-in-one tops in black.

Fortunately my March is quieter and ends with the Easter Weekend.

How was your February?  And CT-people, how bad is this heat today? For the first time in my life I have wished for some wind to cool down the heat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friendship Friday: Handle with Care – at what point would you sacrifice a friendship?

FF

So I recently finished reading Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. I am not sure if you are familiar with Jodi’s style of writing but she tends to explore very real issues where you wonder what you would have done. Nothing is ever black and white in her storylines and there are always AT LEAST a 100 or so shades of grey. She is one of the few authors who has the ability to force me out of my comfort zone and to confront prejudices that I didn’t even realise were present

Anyway, so Handle With Care (here’s a quick review) has the theme of “broken” running through it. Broken bones, broken friendships, broken marriages, broken hearts.

The story essentially revolves around a beautiful, wise little girl called Willow who has a disease called Osteogenesis Imperfection  or OI (here’s a link) which is a form of brittle bones disease. It basically means that you can break a rib if you sneeze or cough or you can break your baby’s arm if you pick her up (even gently) or if you sit too suddenly you can break your legs.

Anyway, at some point in the book Willow’s mother (Charlotte) decides to sue her Obgyn (Piper) for wrongful birth. What complicates matters is that the Obgyn happens to be her very best friend AND she needs to say in a court that if she had known about Willow’s disability while she was in utero, then she would have had an abortion.

Sjoe. Can you say complex? Can you say emotional? Can you say “what on earth would I have done in that situation?”

Now as a Mom to kids who need a bit more I can’t (and won’t) judge Charlotte or ANY parent in that position but then again, my context is different. I AM actually living with kids who currently DO need a bit more and will probably CONTINUE to need more than the average kid in the future.  I completely get where she comes from and WHY she felt that she was doing the right thing. Her sole focus was her child’s future as a disabled adult and I know that as an advocate to my kids I also lose perspective sometimes. Really, I get that.

The dynamics of the friendship between Charlotte and her BFF (Piper)  FASCINATED me throughout this story. They really were the best of friends and had a beautiful, shared history together. They were literally in one another’s lives and one would NEVER have thought that things could turn out the way that they did. Charlotte was brutal and literally pulled the rug from under her friend. She completely blindsided Piper  and I honestly felt sorry her friend, in fact I felt sad for both of them and for the death of their friendship.

Having said all this, I wondered what I would have done if I was in a similar situation.

Would I have sacrificed a friendship for what I perceived to be “the greater good?”

Would the means justify the end result if I had the best interests of my kids at heart? Would the means justify the end if I had to hurt people in the process?

Would I sacrifice a friendship in the interests of my kids?

Would I sacrifice a friendship despite there being a history of beautiful, shared intimacy?

The truth?

After thinking long and hard about it (THIS is why I love Jodi Picoult – she makes me think DEEP) I ABSOLUTELY would.

Because ultimately, no matter how much I LOVE my friends (and I DO love them A LOT) I love my kids more – they are my first priority.

I am FIRST a Wife and then a Mother and only THEN a friend.

At what point would you sacrifice a friendship? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to (painfully) sacrifice a friendship for the sake of your spouse or one of your kids?

Have you read this book? IF not, please read it and then talk to me about it? And if you have read it, what are your thoughts on the friendship dynamic and the way the friendship (irretrievably) broke down?

FIVE

Dear Joel AKA Child2

Today we woke you up with your favourite cupcakes and we sang a happy birthday to you.  You are NOT normally a morning person and your Dad and I contemplated waiting for you to wake up naturally, but then we changed our minds. I’m so glad we did that because you were sooooo excited! It made my heart swell a bit. Actually a lot.

You had such a good day today. We had your first ever proper party. It was tiny, just the way you like it and had all your favourite things.  As per your request, we only invited your two favourite cousins and your brother (as if he needed an invite!) and your grandparents. In other words, all of your most favourite people came to our house  today to celebrate with you.

You LOVED having us sing for you (again) and you jumped up and down throughout. I think it may have been those breakfast cupcakes that gave you the bounce effect. We had to light the candles 4 times! Because you wanted to blow them out AGAIN and AGAIN!

And when things got too much for you, you told your guests that you were going to lie down now. I honestly wish that I had the courage to do that sometimes!  I LOVE that you are slowly getting to a point where you can excuse yourself when you feel that things are getting too much. LOVE that.

I have got to say we have had both brilliant as well as very challenging times these past five years. I have also got to say that these past few months have been sooooo hard for both of us. BUT, they have also been our best times with you. We finally understand WHY you are the way you are and we are learning to manage you in a way that is best for you.  We are finally laughing at you and with you and your Dad and I have grown so much. As your Parents. As your Advocates. As your biggest supporters.

At the moment you are learning soooo much. The words are coming fast and furious, the sentence structures are blowing me away, the independence is coming along nicely and you even go to the toilet now without telling us! You just call one of us when you need some help.

I love that you love to snuggle with me (lying under a lot of blankets is your favourite thing) and I love that you want to read with me and paint nails with me, even though your Dad doesn’t like that so much.

You love building puzzles and I have to say you are FANTASTIC at it. You even love taking a bath and will run one for yourself when you need some time-out.  Even if it is multiple times in one day!

My sweet, we are going to have MORE fun this year, you will learn MORE things and you will probably have MORE challenges but know this: Your Dad and I will be there EVERY step of the way to help you through it.

Thank you for being the boy that you are. Thank you for all that you teach me and THANK YOU for forgiving me so easily every single time I get it wrong with you.

I love you so very much.

Love

Mommy

 

This weekend…

…I had an early Friday night – first time in ages!

I spent some quality time with my Mom and Sister. We went out for breakfast, then for a beach walk, then to the shops then back to my Mom’s place for coffee. We talked and laughed and talked and laughed. It was DIVINE!

I made a smallish effort for St Paddy’s day.  Was low-key, cheap and fun. I blogged it here. Btw..I tried to fix the spacing on that post and I am not winning.

It’s our wedding anniversary today, and so after Mass we dropped our kids, had some car trouble which led to a VERY eventful afternoon at the Fire Station of all places (I will blog all about it tomorrow), had some lunch and met some good friends for late afternoon cheese and wine. You know, I think it may have been the most fun day that I had with my husband all month and it was one of those days where I again realised how very blessed and highly favoured I am and I just took it all in.

As of now, both kids are bathed and ready for tomorrow. All clothing for tomorrow is ironed and the bags are packed. Child 1 is watching Modern Family, Child 2 is in his bed reading my Your Family  magazine (he seems to like the food sections) and I am about to get into bed with my book.

I have had a glorious weekend and I am just enjoying the feeling of being content (for a change). How was your weekend?

This weekend

…I had to leave work early on Friday to fetch Child2 who had a bit of a bug.

I cleaned my house.

Ran a few errands AND did some business at the bank.

Had a late Saturday lunch with my MIL.

Had a date with my Love. We went to see Material. What a sweet movie. Seriously. Go see it.

Ate delicious moist chocolate cake.

Visited my Mommy darling.

Had my in-laws over for lunch on Sunday.

Made a different kind of potato salad which was a hit.

Watched Kung-Fu Panda with my boys and briefly fell asleep..

Took my son to Church in the evening.

Watched 2 episodes of Vampire Diaries.

This weekend…

I did not read. I did not craft. I did not knit. I hardly napped.

But. It’s OK. Because I had a really good time connecting with people who I love truly, deeply, madly.

How are you? How was your weekend? Or more importantly, how was your Monday?

For my Toddler on his birthday

My sweet little boy

I should probably stop calling you a Toddler because one doesn’t actually get 4yr old Toddlers.

I was thinking today about the past 4 years. I won’t lie to you my boy. You gave your Mama a serious run for her money. You were a high maintenance baby and we both struggled for the entire first year of your life. Eventually, after endless cups of tea (and many, many tears from me) I realised that you and I were going to get through this only by the Grace of God and nothing else. After I made this realisation our relationship reached a whole new level of improvement.

You have challenged me like no one else in my life.

You constantly keep me on my toes, even more than my bosses at work. Even more than your brother!

You love to laugh and sing and play and at the same time you are quiet and shy. And introspective. You seem to be an observer. A thinker. You are definitely NOT a follower and have no issues challenging the status quo if something makes you unhappy.

You do things at your own pace when you are good and ready, with no regard to what the books say about milestones.

You seem to be very keen on order – I’ve been told it’s a Virgo thing. You are always re-organising the contents of my cupboards according to size and colours. You are miserable when there is no order in your space. You are not big on surprises. You are a.n.al about many things and prefer predictability and routine.

You don’t like a mess and always ask me if you can pick stuff up from the floor or the couches and put it away. You love packing stuff away and I just LOVE this about you. You put your dirty dishes in the sink without me having to ask you to do this and you even put your dirty clothing in the laundry basket.  Trust me, your wife is going to LOVE you for this.

Thank you for being the ray of sunshine that you are. Thank you for making us laugh so much. Thank you for being a sassy, spunky boy.

Thank you for all the affection which you freely dish out. Thank you for STILL being excited to see me whenever I fetch you from school or anywhere else.

I love that your eyes light up whenever you see me. I secretly love that you always look for me and that you are always following me around the house – your Daddy calls you my stalker.

And I LOVE the way you love. So freely and without inhibitions. So unconditionally. I have learned so much from you. About myself. About life. About love.

And today (and all other days), I am just so grateful that I was chosen to be your Mama.

Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet boy.xxx

Joel pic

 

A letter to my son on his birthday

For my boy

Eleven years ago I met you for the first time. It was love at first sight. Really. When I think about that night when I am still overwhelmed by the sheer rush that I felt.  I have never ever experienced a complete rush like that again and I can in all honesty say that you have been the best surprise of my life.

I have been told (by your Daddy no less) that I am entertaining an Oedipus in my house and that I am blind to your faults. To that I say “Nonsense!” – I simply choose to only see the best in you.

When I think about how much I have learned from you over the years I am moved to tears.

It was you who taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

It was you who taught me all about perfection – you showed me that every single thought and idea that I previously had about the concept of perfection was completely flawed.

It is you who continues to teach me every single day that it is OK to be different and that being yourself is just the best thing ever!

You continue to teach me to stop sweating the small stuff – and that things eventually come together.

You continue to teach me compassion. You seem to have a soft spot for people who are sad and who struggle with things.

You continue to teach me not to judge others. Ever.

You continue to teach me that love is ALWAYS enough.

You continue to remind me (by your very existence) that I do indeed have purpose.

Thank you for all the love and the joy that you bring into my life. Thank you for allowing me to be affectionate with you – I know that physical touch and affection is not your thing – yet you humour me whenever I need a hug or a kiss.

Thank you for STILL instinctively reaching for my hand whenever we need to cross the road. You have no idea what this gesture of yours means to me.

Thank you for always wanting to take care of me when I am sick – you make the best tea and toast ever and I love that you always bring me a blanket when I am relaxing on the couch.

Thank you for being the best big brother ever. I love that you are so protective over your brother. I know that he can be so annoying at times but he does admire you so much. This I know.

Thank you for making us laugh so much. I LOVE your very dry sense of humour.

Thank you for continuing to challenge me and my thinking – and also the way I do things. I love that you keep me on my toes.

I am grateful today for all that you have brought to my life.  I am grateful for everything that your very existence as taught me. And I am grateful for all that you will continue to bring to my life.

I love you so much more than words can ever express.

On differing opinions and expressing them in a mature manner

Lately I’ve been reading a number of blog posts where the blogger voices an opinion on a matter which I fundamentally disagree with for whatever reason.

I realise that everyone has their own opinions on various matters – there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Variety is the spice of life and all of that and we do learn from differing opinions. This is one of the things that I love about blogging. 

The other day I read a post where a blogger who had just come back from overseas noted her observations on how grossly overweight  the people were. What she said was true but it was the way that she said it that really got to me.  I felt that she was being nasty (and I am very sure that this was not her intention) and very judgemental.

I could have commented and told her that I felt that she was speaking of a subject that she knew nothing about.

I could have told her that people who suffer any form of eating disorder (whether it is anorexia, bulimia, obesity, comfort eating, food addiction etc) are actually in a lot of pain and that there is nothing black and white about a situation like that.

I could have told her that poverty and various factors play a role in our weight gains/losses and that ironically, I gained the most weight in the 7 months that my husband was unemployed because we lived off carbs (pasta/bread/rice dishes etc) because it’s cheap and can stretch into a number of meals.

I could have told her that unless she has actually been fat/overweight/obese, she will NEVER understand. But I didn’t.

My parents taught me that whatever I do in life, whether it is criticising someone or raising my children or expressing my opinion or whatever, it needs to come from a place of love and compassion and understanding and maturity. Using slurs does not come from a place of love. Neither does judging people based on what they look like.

I was tempted to respond and comment on that particular post but I didn’t because there were enough commenters fuelling that fire and I didn’t want to be a part of it.

I must just add here that sometimes commenters are guilty of the very same thing and that they can be just as nasty. I would have left the most beautiful diplomatic comment on that post because that is who I am. I can disagree with someone without being rude and resorting to name-calling and character assassination and the like.

I read another post last week where the blogger in question also voiced her opinion on a matter and in the process I felt that she came across as highly ignorant. If I was any more sensitive, then I might even have seen her as a racist which I actually don’t.  I commented on that post and I was very diplomatic about it – this wasn’t difficult at all. The blogger was gracious and even responded to my comment (in the most beautiful, kindest way) which made me respect her even more, even though I fundamentally disagreed with her views and told her as much.

I do understand that people have differing contexts and that generally we blog based on our own context and subjective experiences.

I understand that our opinions are formed based on things like morals, value systems, the way we were raised, media as well as our own realities.

I also understand that people suck sometimes and that they can be ignorant and judgmental.

I know that I have the choice to stop reading a blog if I feel that the blogger and I have nothing more “in common”, so to speak.

And I do understand that we are all going to have differing opinions on various matters. As I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with this.

I just wish that people (when they blog or comment) can realise that it’s often not what they write but the way in which they write it. The beauty of writing a blog post or a comment is that we can edit and delete and edit and delete until the intended tone comes across.

I really wish that bloggers/commenters can actually think sometimes before they press publish. Ask yourself this question: Does what I (as the blogger or commenter) have to say come from a place of love and compassion and understanding and maturity? Am I being straightforward to the point of rudeness? Can the blogger and/or other commenters benefit from what I have to say?

How do you deal with posts where you feel that the blogger is being nasty/judgemental etc.? Do you actually comment? Do you ignore? Do you call the blogger out?