31 January 2011

NotSoMuchFun



How often I have I heard of moms taking their kids in for tonsilectomies, adenoids, gromits and worse? Very very often. I have given them my sympathies - the type of sympathy you give someone when you have NOT been through it yourself.

Hooli had some nodes/glands removed from his neck today. Turned out to be a couple in one spot that they took out under general anaesthetic.

It was a loooong day. I fetched him from school at 1030 (bearing in mind nil by mouth from 0730). I then fetched my mom and we were at the hospital at 1130. We did all the admin stuff and then waited a good 90mins in reception.



My son was an absolute gem. Not once did he complain of hunger, thirst or anything else. He just wanted it to be over. Oh, and he refused pointblank to wear any manky backless hospital gowns.

I went in with him until they put him to sleep. That was EXTREMELY traumatic. They did not warn me that their little bodies fight the anaesthetic. It was like he was having a seizure. I was completely traumatised and left the surgery an emotional mess. (but hiding it, of course).

The anaesthetist actually sms-ed me halfway through surgery to re-assure me that all was going well - clearly my stoic act hadnt worked on him! I cannot tell you the relief that text gave me.

Hooli took a looong time to wake up afterwards.

My mom and I sat with him for well over an hour trying to get him to come round but he fiercely resisted our efforts and had a great long snooze. We even tried putting Bieber on the iTouch to wake him but to no avail!

We eventually left the hospital at 1630 - just in time to hit rush hour traffic. Took me almost 90mins to get home (for a 40min trip). I was extremely thankful that Hooli slept the entire way.

He is very chirpy now but complaining of some pain in his neck. Understandably. :-) He is colouring in and eating me out of house n home.

He is a little hero - for sure and for certain.

29 January 2011

Weekend Chitchat


Last night we took the kids and headed out to Newlands for the rugby - it was such fun.



I was very greatful that the stands were not jam-packed, there was plenty space for us to spead out and the kids could run around when they got bored.

Just had to post this pic of Honey with one of her bestest friends, C. I love watching these kids doing their thang - she is growing up so fast.


I woke at 7am today. And it is Saturday people. I had decided last night to go to the 0830 spin class at Virgin Active. Those that know me well know that I have been out of the gym scene for some time for various reasons....and I have not spun in 8 years!

What I thought was to be a 60min spin turned out to be a 90min pre-Argus spin class. Omicat. Thankfully I was flanked on the left and right but two good mates. I got through it with a smile and I am tentatively hopeful that I am back on the road to regular workouts.

Late pm Lulu went riding on the gorgeous Viking. (pics to follow asap)

While she rode, the man, Hooli and I (Honey is sleeping out tonight) chilled out at a local eatery and just soaked up yet another beautiful Cape Town day.



Life is good and I can appreciate every moment.
For this I am very grateful.

28 January 2011

Fridays Variety

Things going on in my world and head this week:


Hooli is going in for surgery on Monday. Oh the suckiness. He is having a little gland removed from his neck. It is a simple 20min day procedure but I am not loving the whole thing. His anxiety is making me sad. I wish he didnt have to go through it but in the scheme of life it is not a big deal. (I am telling myself that - not him!)

The hardest part is going to be keeping him away from food from 8am until the surgery at around 2pm - oi vey!


Am so enjoying watching Lulu embrace school, new friends and reading. There are very few things in life more rewarding than watching *words* come alive through the eyes of a small person.

She had a rocky start to school, feeling a bit insecure and friendless but she bounced back within a day and now is very excited to find out what new surprise each day will bring.







Both girls are LOVING their violins. I thought it was going to be heinous - having to hear them practice but fortunately their teacher insists on only *beautiful sounds*. Being out of tune is simply not an option.



Hooli is still very into his guitar - we took him for a lesson as a treat a while ago but he is still too young to be tutored. This, however, does not deter him from entering in on any guitar playing opportunity. :-)

I have fallen in love with the Kindle. I bought it for my man who really really wanted it but has yet to really embrace it. Well, times up cos I have fully embraced it and it will take some considerable wangling to get it out of my hands now. I especially love having it in my bag so wherever I find myself I can read whichever book takes my fancy - according to my many moods. ;-)

I still have lovely paper books next to my bed .... there is still nothing that replaces the feel and smell of a real book!

I have just returned from a Direct Pressure Point Therapy session - it is (supposed to be) a body stress relief massage. It was all going swimmingly until she told me that she uses the *meridians* . Some sort of Chinese thing and that she was getting feedback from *them*. She listed some emotional issues she felt *coming through*.

Ick man. I dont like mixing spirituality with anything else. I like mine straight up, thanks very much. I guess I will have to seek out a new DPP therapist. One that does the mechanics and leaves the new age mysticism behind.

And finally....we are all going to Newlands to watch the rugby tonight.

Stormers (me) versus them Lion (my man) - the kids are so excited and are trying to decide who they should support!

Happy weekend mense.

26 January 2011

Facebook Rations

I began weaning myself off Facebook last Friday afternoon. My reasoning behind this decision was outlined in this post.

Initially I decided to leave my profile up but I soon realised that was going to be a problem as I was tempted to *pop in* and see what my friends were up to.

I suspended my account.

This decision illicited a remarkable response.... Within minutes I was contacted via email and smses - all with differing responses to my decision - either respect, ridicule, concern or confusion. Bizarre but true.

The first 12 hours or so were tough. My overwhelming feeling can only be described as feeling like there was a party going on in the next room and I wasnt able to join in the festivities. I felt isolated and left out.

And yet I was at home with my family. The most important people in my world.

On Saturday I reactivated my profile to use the chat function to interact with a friend who is going through a trauma. Of course a few friends could see my presence and immediately there was the assumption of failure. I ignored all the little fb chat boxes that popped up accusing me of being a hyprocrite blah blah blah blah.

After my conversation I popped onto the wall of a friend and wished her happy birthday.

I then closed facebook.

Later on Saturday evening I was contemplating what to make for dinner and I remembered a recipe that Shayne had sent me through facebook.

I went into my fb email and retrieved the recipe.

I then closed facebook.

Never once did I feel the need to click on *most recent* or to update my status.

I have happily re-entered facebook and am now engaging in a manner that does NOT leave me with a nagging sense of guilt.

This battle is won but the war continues. :-)

25 January 2011

Disappointment Starts Young

Lulu started school last week.

Today she plucked up the courage to speak to a second grader. The conversation apparently went like this:

Lulu : Wow, you have the same rollerblades as my sister!

Nasty girl : Do I care? No I dont! (and stormed off)

Lulu was aghast. When retelling me the story she almost sounded like she wanted to cry. I got all mad and furious (inside my head) but I gave her a hug and asked her how it made her feel.

And she said:

She looked like such a nice girl and I just dont understand why she had to be so rude.

Suffice to say I did the mom thing and we had a lovely chat about life ( and its crappiness etc) but I encouraged her to keep *unwrapping new friends; to not let this one rude person ruin her engaging attitude.


* Unwrapping new people : Hooli started school again today and many of his mates have gone to Grade 1 so he was very upset by all the new faces. I spoke to him and explained that new people are like wrapped presents. Just like you have to unwrap presents to find the surprise so you have to engage/talk to/unwrap new people. There are often wonderful surprises! (and sometimes kaka ones too as Lulu found out today!)

23 January 2011

It has been a while

It has been 6 weeks to the day. Six weeks since I have been alone in my own home.

I have not waited with bated breath for all my children to be back at school although the quietness is something I have desparately missed.

I had planned to head back to the gym today, however, the thought of sharing sweaty, loud spaces with others is just not appealing.

I need to be alone. With no noise. No music.

I am hoping to feel the wind on my face (but not a gale!) and smell the sea.

Happy Monday people.

My First Grader and other Stuff

Lulu started school this week. You all know what I am going to say....cant believe how time flies, she looks so grown up - yada yada. Yes, its all true. I feel all those things.


I am not, however, a mother who has ever felt tearful when my kids have started school. I am missing that gene. I am always very excited and cant help thinking how cool this next phase is going to be.

Dont be mistaken; I am not made of stone and I do have nostalgic thoughts but never tears!


Honey also started Senior Primary so it is a big year for her too. It is lovely to have them in the same school even though they finish at different times....eish.


The extramurals are nuts this term - spent a crazy few days trying to sort it all out so I can avoid having to be in 3 different places at the same time. I have ended up with extramurals every day of the week but fortunately still managed to be home by 3pm every day except Tuesday so that is a mercy. I am not complaining (right now) as I choose to be a SAHM for this very reason - to be available to ferry my kids and afford them these opportunities.

In other news...I went for a massage on Friday.

A back, neck and shoulder therapy session. Oi vey but I was in a bad way. It was excruciating at times - not the therapists fault either! I have to incorporate stretching into my fitness routines because being this tight is not healthy. I will go for massages twice a month until the situation resolves itself.

I also took myself off for Vit B12 shots. I am feeling like I have started the year on the back foot and need a kickstart to give me the edge again. The shot wasnt nearly has sore as i remembered although my last one was a good 15yrs ago!!

Quite amazing how much maintenance this bod of mine is requiring these days....a good tuning every now then is clearly in order. ;-)

22 January 2011

FaceBook Hiatus

I made a big decision today.

It has been a long time coming but reading this blog post by Lightseeker was the catalyst for me. (go read it quickly and come back right away okay?)

******************



I have taken a Facebook break. I am not swearing off it forever because that would be dumb and irrational and silly.

Facebook, in moderation, is fabulous.

I love being in touch with so many people - some I only relate to via fb because distance separates us. This does not, however, detract from a meaningful friendship.

Here is the problem. I am a facebook addict. I check it in the morning. I check it in the night. I check it in the Pick n Pay queue. I check it in the parking lot. I check it while the kettle boils. I check it while I eat or drink tea (if alone).

I justify this by saying that I am not doing anything else so why not? It is not hurting anyone. Or is it?

It is no secret that I am wired for media. I crave it. I immerse myself in it at any given opportunity.

I seldom read real books anymore, I no longer scrap and I dont spend nearly enough time with my kids or my man; something that causes me pain....and yet I persist?

*red flag*

I have ordered the book The Winter of our Disconnect because I need to act now before I have 3 teens in the house. Each at their laptops, instant messaging their mates while plugged into their iPods. With their ageing addict mother beside them. :-)

For some insight into the book check out this link.

21 January 2011

A Cruise? NotSoMuchYay.

Right. Back to the bullet points I referred to in this post. But first, a disclaimer....

I am not a princess.

I do not need 5-star accommodation and wireless internet and 24hr cappucinos. Please realise that while a cruise sounds *divine* - this one was seriously flawed. I was not alone in my disappointment - many, many passengers were unhappy.


So, let us begin:

1. We all get sea sick to varying degrees....except Hooli - who is totally immune!

I think that is fairly self explanatory. The ship receptionist was handing out motion sickness pills like smarties....but it did little to alleviate our nausea. Fortunately none of us were actually physically ill, thank God! The Melody is a small ship and they should mention in the advertising that SIGNIFICANT motion can be felt even in calmish waters.

2. We do not enjoy sharing holiday time with 1488 other people.

We queued for breakfast. We queued for lunch. We could never find 5 chairs together. We couldnt get into the entertainment areas - if you had a hope of find a seat you needed to be there an hour before! It was ridiculous. It is not hard : they have 600 seats in the entertaiment arena - they booked 1488 people onto the ship. That is not right.

We spent a good deal of time in our cabin because it was quiet and comfortable and had room service!

3. Entertainment is a very subjective thing.

Two of my kids went to kids club once for a few hours and were totally unimpressed. Twice that I popped my head in I found them with tiny pieces of newprint paper and broken crayons....this was advertised as *Come Make Gifts for Our Captain*. They never went again and I dont blame them.

In terms of adult entertainment....well, lets just say that I want to be entertained...I dont want to be the entertainment. So games where humiliation is the order of the day dont float my boat. Of course there were other options like bingo, making paper flowers and treasure hunts...? Um, ja.

4. I have well-behaved, respectful, patient and resourceful children.

This was well-illustrated in many situations. They had to wait. A lot. They had to stand in queues while they were very hungry. A lot. They couldnt always do the things they had hoped to do. They had to amuse themselves and they did this without complaining.
5. We can all survive quite happily without tv, dvd, laptops and the like.

There was a tv in our cabin. It was about 20yrs old and as big as a box of OMO. It had one channel upon which they played the same dvd for 2 days at a time. And I am not joking.

We didnt take computers. I didnt visit the Internet Cafe once. We didnt take portable dvd players.

And finally the embarkation (3hrs) and disembarkation (4hrs) were shocking. On the last day we were shuffled into a lounge like sardines and ended up sitting on the floor (with 200 hundred others) for 3.5hrs waiting for our disembarkation to be called. No food or even water was provided.This was just the last straw.

My overall experience is one of disappointment although at least I can check it off my list of *things to do in my lifetime* . I chatted to the travel agent and she has asked me to write a letter detailing the experience.

I have learnt something new about myself too.....I am more of a country holiday girl than I thought...bring on Mcgregor any day of the week!

:-)

20 January 2011

Day 3 In Walvis

We arrived in Walvis Bay 3 hours late which was a blight as we had planned to meet with the Man's family. Fortunately we still had time to shoot through to Swakop and spent 3 hours with them.

We went and had seafood at this great new restaurant; just built at the end of the Pier. You can see by the sea that bad weather was heading in...



The Man and his dad


Kinda novel to be seated on a piece of glass above the sea; must confess to it giving me pause!



So great for the kids to see their cousin albeit only briefly.
It was quite surreal to just be there for the day and then be heading home again.


We shot back to Walvis to board the ship again by 4pm. The wind was absolutely howling and it was extremely unpleasant.

And it didnt get any better as the days went by. :-/

18 January 2011

This is Me. No, this is Me.

Blogging and facebook is a funny thing. You can project anything / anybody you want to be out there.

So here is the thing; maybe some of you have some wrong perceptions so lets have a little confession session shall we?

  1. I love shoes. But I only own 14 pairs. (for guys reading this...that is VERY few for a girl who loves shoes okay?)
  2. I dont really enjoy shopping unless I am looking for something specific or am in a very frivolous frame of mind. In fact, I avoid the mall at all costs unless someone is meeting me for coffee.
  3. I can cook. I am good at it too. I choose to hate it cos it sucks the life out of me. I will avoid having to cook at all costs.
  4. I am not as frivolous as my Other Blog makes me out to be. In fact, my Other Blog is my antidote to real life. Its full of meaningless tripe. But that is okay because sometimes meaningless tripe makes me happy and takes my mind off heavy meaningful dilemmas.
  5. I think about stuff. A lot. I know some people may see me as a *froth and bubbles* person but maybe that is my fault. I tend to play my cards pretty close to my chest. I dont share stuff easily.
  6. I do love technology. I love my cellphone, my laptop, facebook and blogging. But who among you...reading this....can tell me that you dont? Hmmmm? I can live without all these things but why would I choose to?

Right. That done....now...any of you know the latest news on Brangelina? ;-)

Day Two

This will be a photo post - it was the best day we had on the ship and the photos speak for themselves.

Blogger feels the pics look best right justified...so we will leave it at that okay?





hanging at the pool - the water was frrrrreezing as its seawater.
Duh. Only figured that out later. doff chick.













Kids checking themselves out before the Captains dinner.
The man and I - more spruced than usual.



j








My gorgeous trio.












They found an empty stage and couldnt resist!























Soaking up the sunset.

A day I will not forget! This is the way things would have been all along....if the storm hadnt ruined our fun. Grrrr. :-)

16 January 2011

Day 1


On Monday we boarded the Melody. Embarkation took a good 3hrs...going from one queue to another queue. This was not fun but the anticipation of new things and a week away kept us in (relatively) good spirits.

Once we managed to find our way to our cabin we droppped our stuff and headed up to the sun deck to wave CT goodbye. It was all rather magical really.

Shortly after our 20 minute deck exploration we had to then all file through to various checkpoints on the ship for a drill (with our life jackets on) and listen a lengthy talk on what will happen before we die.

Not a great start. Especially after a 3hour embarkation process. Hooli lost it and lay on the floor and quietly wept. I tried to do the same but people wouldnt move out the way for me. Tsk!

We returned to our cabin, unpacked and became acquainted with our new surrounds. The cabin was lovely, small but comfortable with plenty of cupboard space.

The bathroom was well designed and I could even lie down and read my book in there!

My man wasnt feeling up to dinner so the kids and I donned our 'casual finery' and headed downstairs to the Galaxy restaurant. We were served by Louis - a guy from Honduras.

He has worked on the ship for 5years and is away from his family for a year at a time!! He was so kind to us and took such an interest in the kids. He really is someone I will remember for a long time. Unfortunately his English was very limited which kind of made it difficult to get into long conversations but we wont forget him.

By the time we returned the to cabin, the Man was fast asleep. The kids were cranky and a bit grumpy about the dizziness in their heads. The boat was rocking quite substantially and I was already feeling some concern about the night...and the next day.

Day Two coming soon.

15 January 2011

Back on Terra Firma

We arrived home yesterday evening. A week of highs and lows people...literally. And figuratively.

We learnt a couple of things :

1. We all get sea sick to varying degrees....except Hooli - who is totally immune!

2. We do not enjoy sharing holiday time with 1488 other people.

3. Entertainment is a very subjective thing.

4. I have well-behaved, respectful, patient and resourceful children.

5. We can all survive quite happily without tv, dvd, laptops and the like.

I will be doing a detailed post on each of these lessons learnt in the next day or two. I still dont have a helkom line so am using a cellphone to dial up....tis verrrrry slow people so photos and long entries will have to wait.

Laters

09 January 2011

Girls, shoes and clothes

What I learnt this weekend:

1. Lulu shares my taste and passion for unusual shoes.

And no; I did not influence her choice. She did ask if I liked them and I do.


2. Honey does not share my passion for unusual shoes. She is a sneaker girl. Thatisall.

She loved these pumps though because of the skull motif....
makes them *less girly* apparently.


3. Honey will soon be raiding my wardrobe.And definitely shares my love of skinnies, t's and the leather jacket.

Totally decked out head to toe in my clothing/shoes!
I couldnt believe my eyes.

I do enjoy watching their little fashion quirks - my girls are *so* different in their style. Makes for some highly amusing moments but they both generally encourage each others' individuality which is very cool.

Happy weekend mense - will be back next weekend with photos from the cruise. :-)

07 January 2011

Kids, water and sunshine


Summer Celebrations happened at our place today - the kids were all missing their mates and we decided to have an impromptu party today. Cape Town's weather has been begging for us to celebrate the arrival of true summer!

We hired an inflatable slip n slide, fired up the solar heating on our pool and invited 25 kids to come join the fun.

True to form, Lulu spent the first hour in her room, utterly overwhelmed by all the noise, kids and general rowdiness. I was so touched when I saw Honey sneaking party food upstairs to her and eventually even coaxing her out to come and join the rowdiness.


I really enjoy doing this kind of thing - even though it thoroughly depletes me it is so worth it to watch the kids all interacting and having a blast.


Mam Honey is showing definite signs of domestic goddess-ness. She has been sewing as well as making us muffins and fresh (delicious) lemonade.


Hooligan is back to his perky self and was our star dj today. So good to have him back on form!


This weekend marks the countdown to our cruise - lots of planning, shopping and packing gonna be happening. I wont be online next week as there is no internet in the cabins. I may update on facebook once we get to Swakopmund so friend me there if you havent already!

Later peoples.

05 January 2011

Summer Living


You will not ever find me complaining about hot weather. Nope. Not ever.

I will be the one on the lilo. Savouring every moment. Or the first one at the beach although apparently you still get robbed early as I learnt today as I came home short one camera.

Cameralessness aside I am really enjoying the sweltering days and balmy nights. Not even Hooligans yo-yo viral temps (last 3 days) can dampen my mood. Although I will confess to moments of extreme concern and weariness. He definitely is on the upswing though - yay!

He (Hooli) is Mr Modesty but the other night he was convinced by his sisters to join them skinny dipping. I think he may just be a convert....as Honey (9) said to him :

*Dont you just feel freeeeee?*


Only a couple more days until we head out on the MSC Melody for our first ever family holiday.
By this I mean we are not going to be with family or friends etc - Just Us. On a cruise from CT to Walvis Bay and back.


It is going to be a great experience! Any ship tips from seasoned cruisers are welcome! :-)

04 January 2011

New Beginnings


Welcome to my new space guys - so good to have you follow from Simply-MelB.

A fresh blog (#3!) for a new year; a new season in the life of our tribe.

I havent made any resolutions for the new year - I am just not wired that way. I do love the idea of a clean slate - an opportunity to start anew and revisit areas of weakness encountered in 2010.

These are the kinds of thoughts rolling around my head:

  • entertaining in my home more often
  • putting LGN (my other blog) on ice
  • attempt to come to terms with the fact that cooking is a necessary evil
  • get my kids involved in the kitchen. Honey baked muffins completely independently on Sunday and it really made me realise how much help she could be.
  • visit the library once a week with the kids
  • read more real books
  • plan a family holiday for late this year
  • allocate specified times for specific online tasks including emails/research/blogging/facebook/admin/itunes and the like.
  • learn a new skill; this could simply be taking ballroom, cooking, photography, art, ceramics - whatever!
  • be at home more.
  • start and MAINTAIN a proper, real deal herb garden.

What non-resolution things do you have on your wishlist?