Friday, December 21, 2007

Any day now...

OK so true to form (based on my one prior experience) I am enough of being pregnant (that is a deliberate gramatical error, Mom, heh heh) and ready for this baby to be born now!

I know, I know, crying, pooing, sleepless nights, how can that be better than being pregnant? Well it is! It just is, so leave it at that! I want to be able to lift things, fit into normal clothes, fit into my shoes, not be preceded by a giant basketball of a tummy, bend in the middle (it is surprisingly restrictive not being able to lean forward to any degree), sleep on my tummy, get off my bed or a chair without back pain, get close enough to the sink to do the dishes (ok it is a great excuse to leave them for someone else but frustrating nonetheless), fit behind my steering wheel, open the garage door, walk without getting out of breath, climb up on Shannon's top bunk to play with her, sit on the floor to do puzzles with Shannon, and more and more and more that this physical condition prevents me from doing... but most of all I want to meet the little character who will be my second child! I want to hold and hear and smell and see my baby!

Ah and the other thing is... the thing that is keeping everybody guessing... will this baby be a boy or a girl? Actually it seems no one but me is guessing, everyone else seems to know! That's just freaky! One thing is for sure: it will be one or the other and Sean and I are excited for either result, there are pros to both options!

Last but not least... a name? Well, we are stuck on this one! Any ideas?

Friday, December 14, 2007

All in the genes...

Most people who know me know that my "little" sister Suzi is in a league of her own when it comes to ... well most things in fact! Here are some things we know about Suzi:



  • She is super sociable

  • She likes to laugh

  • She is really blonde under that mop of dark hair... really blonde at times!

  • She has a SEVERE case of itchy feet (the travelling kind as opposed to some nasty affliction)

  • She is always shocked when she realises that someone doesn't think she is fabulous

I could go on in fact... but I have a point:


Here are some things we know about Shannon:



  • She is super sociable

  • She likes to laugh

  • She is blonde.... really blonde at times!

  • It would never occur to her that someone might not think she is fabulous

The distinctions come in due to a slight age discrepancy (for example I might be considered a bad mother if I allowed my 3 year old to dye her hair! And Shannon has not had enough life experience to discover itchy feet for travelling.)


Anyway, the main vein of this rambling is to mention that yesterday my dear "little" sister took it upon herself to leap off a waterfall into the Oribi Gorge attached to nothing more than a bungi cord (which thankfully was attached to something solid on the other end!) and which claims to have something to do with being the worlds highest swing! Knowing this did little for my nerves when it led me to think that in 15 - 20 years my precious little baby will be all grown up and persuing similar thrill seeking adventures of her own.


So how does one go about instilling a height phobia into one's children in order to protect one's own nerves from fraying? Or would that be considered child abuse? Hhhmmmmm.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's in a word?

So yesterday a number of my fabulous family and friends gathered to throw a baby shower for me! Shannon was very excited as I had told her the day before that we would be having a baby shower for mommy and the baby in my tummy. She was sorely dissappointed. As far as Shannon is concerned a shower involves water and washing and getting into the water and being wet! There was - thankfully - none of that at said baby shower. No amount of explaining could covince her that the shower had been had, and that it was about being showered with presents and not water! Needless to say I was not flavour of the afternoon as I had promised a shower which Shannon had been denied! As for me, I felt very spoiled. Thank you so much Tracey V, Kim, Amy, Tracey H, Vanessa, Nicci, Heather and Vivian, you are all fabulous friends!

Luckily for me, the previous day had been such a success on the Shannon front that I had the powers of distraction at my disposal! Our local watering hole, The Meercats, held a Christmas party for kiddies! It was brilliant, and children who attended were thrilled with the whole event! Jill, the landlady, had organised a veritable kiddy feast, Santa came to give out pressies and Nicci entertained the kids (with great enthusiasm) while Santa was preparing himself! The weather, which for the most part was appauling, kept itself in check just long enough for everyone to play outside on the jungle gyms, swings , trampoline and jumping castle.

Shannon, as usual, managed to be extremely cute: while they were all posing for a picture with Father Christmas she, who was standing on the bench next to the man himself, gave him a kiss on the cheek and said "I love you Father Christmas, thank you for my present!"

Thank you Jill and Johan for a great morning, we will be there in support of any event that is held at your very welcoming and relaxing establishment!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MISSING!

In the interests of helping the community, I thought I would post this which I recieved courtesy of my dear friend Tracey. If anybody can help please leave a message on my blog:


MISSING

ROUND YELLOW THING USUALLY FLOATS AROUND IN THE SKY!!!
ANSWERS TO THE NAME ''SUN''
IF U SEE HIM TELL HIM IT'S F****** NOVEMBER!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

That Nesting Feeling?

So, I have a MOUNTAIN of work to do on my house before this baby arrives. I have to sort out Shannon's room, to accommodate said baby. I have to sort out the study...so we can get into it! I REALLY have to sort out our bedroom...once again, so we can get into it! I figured the Nesting Feeling that comes towards the end of pregnancy would cover the Sorting that needs to be done... so far no Nesting Feeling!

It is not that our house is particularly messy, in fact it is fairly tidy and organised... on the surface. It is the underlying strata that has become a problem. I am quick to blame this on the lack of time that I have had due to exams but that, as an excuse for everything, is wearing a bit thin, so now I am beginning to believe it is because we have Too Much Stuff. Time for a bit of downsizing, I reckon. So, where's that Nesting Feeling that I need to help motivate me through this Very Necessary Job?

I am sure I will soon reach the stage where it will be too exhausting to attemp such a mammoth task. Maybe realising that the job needs to be done is all the Nesting Feeling I am going to get! Perhaps I better fall back on good old self motivation and will power. OK, so where do I get those again?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ahhh Mommyhood...

There are some things that REALLY make being a Mommy better than being anything else. Since finishing the dreaded exams and "returning to normality", Shannon and I have had some real quality time together and it is BLISS (albeit a little exhausting if I HAVE to be honest!)! We have started making 'Christmas decorations', which invoves - for Shannon - cutting out Christmas gift wrap and sticking it down with glitter glue onto a piece of card, and - for Mommy - cleaning up the...erm...after effects!

Since the main reason for this post is to prove that Mommyhood is the best vocation EVER it would be remiss of me not to mention the end of year school thingies that make a Parent feel sooooooooo proud (and of course to add photos!):

Shannon at her Catrobatkidz Awards Ceremony - they got to show off some of the things they had done and they got a certificate and a medal. Shannon was obviously the cutest and best performer on the day and here is the proof:



We have also recently had School Photos. Now, I know that everybody says that their child is the most beautiful, cleverest, cutest or whatever positive out look they have, but who can argue with evidence... Shannon is TOP OF THE LIST!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Return to Normality!

As it turns out normality is a bit of a state of mind issue and therefore returning to it may be a litte tricky given my current stage in life and pregnacy, and given the time of year. But nonetheless here goes...

So since my last post the ONLY thing I have been doing is exams. That does not mean just writing them that means being consumed by them every waking moment. A little obsessive you may think but that is how it happened. Sean was hugely supportive, and only once dared to ask if perhaps a little food shopping might be fitted in around my reivision since the fridge has been rather empty for the last month. He also wondered at one stage if perhaps I could do a little laundry as he was suffering from a severe lack of socks to go to work in!

Shannon, for her part, has become accustomed to watching DVDs every day when she got home from school to a point when she was VERY cross with me yesterday when I told her that there would be no more after school DVDs and we would go back to doing activities together. She is fairly amenable so I am hoping it will not take long to wean her off the dreaded TV! The best thing about Shannon during stressful times is that she tweaks my sense of humour constantly!

This is my little (Sean is the big version!) rugby fanatic all dressed up with "my African flags Mommy" all prepared for the Rugby World Cup Final! According to Shannon any game that she sees being played ought to be called rugby and she will happily sit and watch big chunks of the game if it is riveting enough!



I learned a very special lesson this week: Shannon LOVES to sing, so the other day the two of us were sitting in the car waiting for Sean to get something from a shop, singing at the tops of our voices! I had my sunglasses on and after a while Shannon cocked her head, looked at me sideways and said "I can't see you Mommy!" I took off my sunglasses and the look of pure happiness on her face made me realise just how important eye contact is when it comes to communication! My New Years Resolution for 2008 is to try to be a better communicator on ALL levels - not just talking, which I have already mastered through PLENTY of practice!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

*snif*

Ok, what do we have to do to move out from under this cloud??? I can't even remember when I last saw blue sky! I am not, however, (for once) going to sit here and moan about the weather, for while we have been sitting under this cloud a few silver linings have appeared:

  • My exams start today! This is a silver lining because it means that I will be one down and closer to finishing them!

  • I am well prepared for my exams - I may have been less inclined to revise had the sun been shining and outside activities been possible!

  • Shannon has decided she is a big girl, not a baby any more, and since big girls can do ballet and babies can't she ought to do ballet - when the baby is born (I added the last bit - we all need to save special treats for when our lives get turned upside down)

  • Suzi has decided to make the most of her life at present and go to Argentina (this is good, not because she will be so far away but because it is sooooooo exciting)

  • I am holding my own against Clare and John in the scrabble competition - OK not winning but at least coming close!

  • I have had an article accepted for publication - and they are paying me for it!

The only bad things that have come of this rainy episode are:

  • I CAN'T DRY LAUNDRY - please, please, please, just one day of sunshine!!!

  • I HAVE A COLD - and I can't take ANYTHING for it... except lemon and honey toddies... without brandy... *snif*

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dirty Sky!

This morning the weather is REVOLTING! I am as happy as the next person for a bit of rain to soak the land over night... but does it have to stick around for days on end? And today, well, the mist is so thick around us in these highlands that those drivers WITHOUT headlights CANNOT BE SEEN!

Anyway I am, contrary to all normality in this weather, in an extremely good mood today, and the reason for that is Shannon. When I opened the door for her to go out this morning on the way to school, she took one look at the sky and said: "the sky is dirty, mommy, you have to clean it so it can be blue!" So I will just add that to my job list and try to get to it sooner rather than later... I wonder what one uses to clean the sky?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ball-ie Paint

When I was about 10 years old I remember being told by my horse riding teacher that she was expected to Jump Judge that weekend and that she would love some company, if I would like to go along with her. I was both very excited and somewhat confused by this, first of all I felt very important to have been asked and, as it was a horsey activity, I didn't need to be asked twice, and secondly Judge, who was one of our horses was no jumper, so I had NO idea why we might be jumping him. As it turned out we were to sit near a jump on a cross country course and ensure that everything was as it should be during the event, hence jump judge. Anyway I feel that Shannon had a similar experience this weekend as Sean, his brother Dean and some friends had all decided to go Paintballing. Well, Shannon knows what paint is, and she knows what a ball is, but during one of her imaginary phone calls to her imaginary friend (this IS normal, she is 3) she said: "I am going to ball-ie paint today!" Not sure she had ANY idea what she was headed for!

Nonetheless, off we went to Crestholme Paint Ball where Shannon and I stood in the vague drizzle laughing at grown men and their children shooting paint pellets at each other and yelping in pain every time they got hit! It was great comedy - the men were gunning for eachother (no pun intended) and most of the girls just hid behind the shelters too afraid to move. Brad aimed a direct hit at Sean's head which has resulted in a wonderful egg, though at the time all you could see was pink paint. Everyone is covered in bruises and welts and I am not sure I see the fun in that! What I did see was some men, who prior to this had been fairly stressed by life in general, run around playing at war, and all came away full of humour and completely relaxed by the end of their session! So to all the wives and girlfriends out there - if your man is a little stressed send him out for paintball and he will come back laughing like a little boy at Christmas! Shannon said to Sean when all the fun was over: "Have you finished shooting all your friends Daddy?" I think we will have to teach her to add "with paint" into that sentence!

The perfect end to a perfect afternoon for Shannon was that she got to sit on a beautiful, tiny little pony - Shannon is OBSESSED with riding (no questions where she gets that from) and had been begging me all afternoon to be able to ride the pony. When we got home she said she would like to watch a movie and then promptly fell fast asleep. Hmmmm, I am sure Sean and I will be signing our lives away next year when we sign her up for proper riding lessons!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shannon the Good

Shannon is three... and a bit...so expecting perfect behaviour from her is not really an option. She has, however, usually been fairly well behaved... until last week. For the first time EVER at school, Shannon was sent to time out... twice! I mentioned to her teacher that she was behaving in a very un-Shannon manner at home and the teacher mentioned her transgressions in the classroom as well! So we had a 'chat'. Yes, Sean and I actually had the 'D' chat with Shannon, you know the one: "we are very Dissappointed in you!' (I am inclined to believe that this particular word was actually brought into existence with parents in mind as NOTHING was more effective from my own when I was young, and in fact it is still the word I dread the most from the people who really matter!) Except that beacuse she is 3 and might misinterpret the D word as something good, we said it made us sad! Shannon said: "I won't do it again Dad, and tomorrow I will say sorry to Bronwyn" (the teacher) which she did... as soon as we arrived at school! Shannon has been an absolute PLEASURE ever since.

The upside of this is that 'time out' works VERY well for Shannon wherever she is, threaten her with it and she modifies her behaviour straight away! What it does mean is that while she is coming to terms with the new methods of discipline in the home, ALL her dolls and teddys have spent time in 'time out' too!

Long may it last as this seems to have made her into a much happier and more settled person... come to think of it, when I am feeling grumpy and out of sorts, I could do with being sent somewhere quiet to think about things too!

And now for something completely different... Shannon has just told me that she needs to 'pop quickly', and that her action man doll has a 'kigger' instead of a nose! What is that about?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not a minor, nor twenty niner...

So, here I stand on the threshold of a new era... awaiting the next decade of my life experiences and adventures! To all those who have gone before me, well... you are older than me... but does that make you wiser??? ;) All those behind me, don't grow up too fast. Those of you going with me... hang on to your hair, this is going to be a great adventure!!!!!

For the first time in about 9 years I am excited about my birthday. Tonight Sean and I are going out to RJ's Steakhouse with my Mom and Dad to celebrate my last day of 29! Tomorrow... is the next day, and on Saturday my little sister is driving down from Jo'burg to party the night away with me! See you in the next decade!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beach Baby!

This past weekend Sean, Shannon and I, along with Sean's folks, his sister Kim and her daughter Amy, headed off for a weekend at Shelley Beach. Having kept a careful eye on the weather all week so that we would know what to expect we set off for a couple of days of soaking up bennies (for those not in the loop, bennies are benificial rays of sunlight) As it turned out it was overcast the whole weekend, but as it was far from cold we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Much to everyone's surprise Sean did not fancy fishing and I firmly believe our sweet Poppet is responsible for this! Shannon's favourite movie at the moment is Happy Feet, in which a young penguin, called Mumble, sets out to discover where all the fish have gone as there are very few left and those that are there are not enough to feed all the penguins. Shannon told Sean he couldn't go fishing in the sea bacause Mumble ate all the fish. "I will buy you a blue fish Daddy" she offered to try to cheer him up about this!

Shelley Beach is about an hour and a half down the coast from us and the sand on the beach there was washed away during that destructive storm we had a few months ago. This has left it looking BEAUTIFUL. The rocks are all exposed and they provided a very adventurous Shannon with huge entertainment as she clamboured over and round them looking for crabs and shells. Shannon was a little loath to put her feet in while Amy was fishing with a net in the rock pools however!

Armed with her duk (to prevent her hair from blowing away!) Shannon played and explored and dug in the sand for as long as she was allowed. She loved that beach and keeps telling me stories about it. I walked with whoever would join me and we all sat on the rocks staring out to sea looking for very elusive whales! This was a great weekend getaway and we are SO lucky to have it right on our doorstep!

We live about 40 minutes drive from the nearest beach and admittedly it has been winter so not really beach weather, but I am determined to take my beach baby down there as often as possible this summer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shannonisms

Last night after bath, Shannon and I were playing in her room and somehow got into an 'oh no you don't' 'oh yes you do' banter. It occured to me that she would LOVE to got to the Pantomime this year - if there is one in Hillcrest! So I said 'We must take you to the pantomime' Shannon said 'I've already GOT my panties on' (!)

One of Shannon's friends, Sydney, has given Shannon a pair of her shoes that she no longer wears. They are orange, with sequins on and Shannon ADORES them. These shoes are a little too big for Shannon still so she is not allowed to wear them to school incase she falls over them. So she made a deal with me: 'I will wear my orange shoes to school and then put my school shoes on!' which she did! Hmmm, our 3 year old can rationalise!

Big Sister talk:

Shannon put her ear to my belly button (because that's obviously the portal to this baby) as if it is a phone...

'Hallo? I'm Shannon. I got a skirt on. Ok bye!'

Shannon sits up and asks: 'Can I talk again Mommy?'
Mommy says 'of course you can'

So Shannon starts again. Well, this baby loves to hear poppet talking so everytime she lay down with her head on my belly button and talked to her little sibling, it kicked and punched and wriggled. So I told her that the baby was kicking me. She lay her head down on my belly button and said in her cross voice: 'Naughty baby, stop kicking Mommy!'

Now we tell her the baby is wriggling!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Come September...

Can you BELIEVE it is September already???? I am speechless (and let's face it, that doesn't happen very often!)! It feels like just yesterday that Sean and I were discussing whether or not we were ready for another child and now I am more than 5 months into pregnancy No. 2!

This September is a Very Important Month as it is the month in which I turn 30! When I have mentioned this before people have looked at me as if I am insane but I'll say it again: I am REALLY looking forward to my 30's! I am not greatly into symbolism of any kind but this new decade does hold some symbolic importance to me; you see I believe that with every year that passes we can all become better, more capable, mentally and emotionally stronger people and I have strived to do that with, I believe, a great deal of success. I became someone in my 20's and now I get to enjoy that person in my 30's. I feel empowered!

I am convinced that in order to achieve this sense of personal satisfaction, one has to draw a line between certain era's of one's life. During certain years we are influenced by different people (ie parents as a child) and from them we can take strengths and discard weaknesses and build on ourselves: take responsibility for who I am and develop the person I want to be. I see many people inhibited by the fact that they blame people in their past (such as their parents) for the way they have grown up. This makes me sad, especially since becoming a parent, as no one is perfect and most people do the best they can by their kids! In order to properly grow up and become a real person in our own right we need to say thanks to our parents for what they gave us and what they taught us, and use what is useful and disregard the rest, and not BLAME them for the people we have become, or curse them for what they didn't give us!

Mom and Dad you helped lay a great foundation for me that I have been able to build on to become the person I want to be. I am ready to tackle the 30's with vigour and happiness, while all the time building on ready for the next decade. I hope that I can provide that same foundation and insight for my own children!

To add to the fun of having a birthday in September, my three great friends, Tracey, Vanessa and Nicci, will be celebrating with me on the same day at the same party (we need 121 candles between us!), two virgos, two libras four friends! HAPPY BIRTHDAY girls, it will be a good year for all of us!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Exhaustingly good fun!

Yesterday Sean had planned to spend the day tinkering in the workshop with Mark, who is helping him out with his first big job in metalwork in the building sector. Since we know this family through Sean's brother, and they have a daughter not much older than Shannon, they invited Shannon and I at the last minute too. We went along and had SUCH a relaxing day. Shannon and Chelsea played like old friends, painting, swimming (I know it is winter but they were determined!), playing with dolls, watching movies (through which they didn't stop talking much to 7 year old Luke's dismay!)... ALL DAY. Lara and I lay on loungers in the sun keeping an eye on the pool and plying our husbands with coffee and hotdogs (Lara, not me, I was just LAZY all day!)

Shannon did not have her normal afternoon nap, and since she was playing so nicely I did not raise the question of whether or not she should! Having arrived there at about 10am it was a full day of fun and games (and sun lazing) by the time we left at about 5pm. Shannon was OUT FOR THE COUNT after5 minutes of being in the car! We stopped at Tracey and Quinton's house on the way home (to collect Spud... The Madness Continues - Thanks Trace!) and she slept through that - Shannon can normally sense other children in her vicinity and will raise herself from the deepest of sleeps to play with them... not this time!

We got home and I got her out the car and lay her down on the couch...ate supper...read Spud...wondered if she would wake up at 2am wanting breakfast having not had supper...took her to bed and SHE WOKE UP AT 7AM! 'Wes go make porridge Mommy!' was the first PEEP I heard out of her since leaving her playmate yesterday afternoon! If 14 hours of deep sleep isn't a good sign of a day thoroughly enjoyed I don't know what is!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ladies nights!

There is an unwritten rule, somewhere amongst all those other unwritten rules that men are never privy to but expected to know, that ladies never breathe a word about what happens at Ladies Nights! So I won't. What I do feel the need to say is thank you to all the ladies with whom I sat last night and laughed more than I have laughed for a long time.

Such an eclectic mix of ladies cannot fail to amuse someone with a sense of humour such as mine and I failed to participate much due to the fact that I could not stop LAUGHING!

What is a little scary is that these ladies arrange trips away together once - or sometimes twice - a year (without kids or Hubs) to go off for some real UNSENSORED girl time. Now, judging by the stories from last night these are ...erm... really well behaved times where nothing interesting happens! (bother that rule!) And these ladies get up to the most amazing...erm...good behaviour! (there's that rule again!) What worries me about the idea of joining these ladies on one such weekeknd is not the...erm...boring well behaved-ness (!) of the whole thing so much as the fact that by the time it is over I will HURT! From LAUGHING! Not to mention they will NEVER ask me to join them again as I will lack input...because I will have perpetual giggles! Ah the dilemmas of a social life!

Anyway, thanks Ladies... I had FUN!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bad days and the artful con!

So Shannon is 3 (and a bit) and has already managed to understand the art of conning (or attempting to con) her parents. This morning she woke up in A Very Bad Mood and decided that she would prefer not to go to school, so she told us she was sick. "I am sick, look I'm coughing!" *attempted fake cough*! Now, she has had a bit of a fever over the last couple of days which I am inclined to believe is something to to with being tired as there are no other symptoms! So the young lady VERY nearly succeeded in staying home today. (Note to self: investigate drama lessons for Shannon - she could be the next GREAT stage actress!)

Evil mommy that I am, however, I decided she would go to school and IF she was sick her teacher could call me to fetch her! I am the cunning one now as, you see, I knew that once surrounded by her friends and activities pertaining to school, she would forget all about being 'sick' unless there actually was something more to it. (If that were the case this post would once again be about guilt and bad mommy-ness)

I have just phoned the school to check up on my little angel and apparently she is playing at full intensity with no recollection of this mornings bad mood! I think, perhaps, she envisaged a day of watching Barnyard, though she would have been sorely dissappointed as that involves taking over my PC which leaves me at a bit of a loose end! Not to mention I could not have got any other work done as Shannon prefers to ask for something as I sit down! (I seem to recall driving my own parents crazy with the same trick!)

So round 1 to the parents - I wonder how long we will remain successful in this regard as young Shannon becomes older and wiser?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Personality tests and typos

This post is for anybody who attempted to take the personality test that I recommended on a prior post. The link I had was missing a letter and it took you through to a page of links... frustrating to say the least. Thanks to Bad Mommy for pointing this out, it has been corrected so PLEASE go back and take the Jung Typology Test (and any others you fancy).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Say what?

Bringing up children must be an art form of some kind as it sure is NOT a science! I am also sure it does not encourage Giggling At Cheekiness as a method of discipline! So an art I have NOT mastered yet then! Nonetheless I am determined to succeed in the end and feel that perhaps mitigating circumstances can be granted in certain situations. Here's one of those times:

Mommy (that's me): Shannon will you PLEASE sit on you bottom and eat your supper!
Shannon: (in her most angelic voice) Don't be so grumpy Mommy!

Well what was I supposed to do, notwithstanding the fact that Sean BELLOWED with laughter from the study, I could not help giggling. It's funny OK! Now, however, whenever I am getting a little on the stern side the little madam pipes up with a different version of the same thing: "Mommy's being grumpy again", or "Why are you grumpy Mommy?" Now, that little biased Mommy side of me thinks she is super clever and cute, the other always-a-child side of me wants to giggle... and then there's the art of bringing up children...hmmm...not sure that even amusing cheekiness is encouraged.

Shannon's other latest fascination is her grandparents, both sets! Paternal grandparents are known as Buddy and Grandma, and maternal grandparents are Granny and Grampa. Now Shannon knows what all these people look like but has managed to confuse who is called what. Buddy is easy, she's got him waxed, it is the others that cause confusion: Grandma gets called Grampa, as does Granny and Grampa is called Granny. (the logic here is that both girls must be 'Grampas' and the other is a boy so he must be the different one, and there is no distinction between grandma and grandpa)!) In fact she thinks that I am completely stupid that I cannot see this! Ah, well we will have them all in one place for a short time soon so perhaps she will figure it out then.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hair today gone tomorrow!

No this is not a reference to Sean's increasingly sparse locks, but rather a mysterious compulsion that Shannon has recently adopted. When outside, Shannon is afraid that her hair is going to blow away! I first noticed this when we were at Amy's house a couple of days ago and Poppet was 'helping' to plant some flowers in a pot on the verandah (I am hoping to encourage green fingers and Amy's love of gardening!). She had her little hand clutched to the ponytail on top of her head and was attempting to dig a hole, for Amy to drop the plant into, with her other hand...needless to say this was fairly ineffective! I tried to persuade her to use both hands to which she replied that she couldn't as her hair would blow away! So being the indulgent mother that I am I held her hair on while she dug the hole!

I know it's wrong but it makes me want to giggle! She is so serious about it!

Shannon left for school this morning clutching her hair again, so I dutifully phoned her teacher to ask if she continued to do this at school, or if the distractions of friends and fun took her mind off it! She does it ALL THE TIME WHILE PLAYING OUTSIDE! Once again the overwhelming urge to giggle at my poor daughter's compulsion! - am I really such a bad mother??

Anyway I have concluded that she must have a bandanna of sorts to hold her hair on so that she can play outside with confidance and security that she will not become bald (a hat would be easier but perhaps not so meaningful to her!)! Funny child...where does she get these things from? Hhmmm...does anyone know of any kiddies movies in which someone's hair blows off?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Introvert of Extrovert?

I have recently discovered that, contrary to popular belief, I am an introvert. (You can STOP laughing now!) Yes, this outspoken, sociable, talkative, self confidant individual is an introvert! Sean introduced me to a fabulous mag which he noticed hiding on the shelves of a newsagents; I was feeling nauseous thanks to Stig II and he wanted to spoil me so he bought it for me. Now there is no going back. Needless to say, it is this mag that pointed me in the direction of better self knowledge with the personality test at http://www.humanmetrics.com/. As it turns out I am an INFJ which stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judged (it is not a sentence it is four words that describe me!). The fabulous Vanessa pointed out to me today that perhaps the 'Judged' part would better be described as 'Discerning', but who are we to rewrite what the pros think is just perfect the way it is?

As it happens introversion and extroversion base their true definitions in where one derives one's energy from. For example, I am self driven, I derive my energy from one on one with me, though I thoroughly enjoy the company of others, I HAVE to have 'me time' to recover afterwards and sort my over-stimulated mind out; other people (and I am related to a few of these) derive their energy from other people and they need to be surrounded by people at all times to feel energised and happy, these are the extroverts! So... take the test... you may discover something that surprises you! Whatever you learn it can only make your life easier as you begin to understand yourself better!

Oh, and if, like me, you don't believe the first test because it tells you the opposite of what you currently believe...take a few more...ALL the personality tests I have done in the last few days have said I am an introvert! Right - I am off for some 'me time'!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Daddy's Girl!

When Shannon was born Sean was the first person to hold her, he named her and he cut her umbilical cord - at least he was supposed to but sometimes I wonder if it is still attached! Since then Shannon has been wholeheartedly and obsessively a mommy's girl. Anything that she needs doing she calls me "Mommy, I want milk please" daddy gets a glass of milk... high pitched wail of indignance and refusal to drink said glass of milk ensue. Daddy is heart broken, Mommy gets cross with Shannon, Mommy pretends to refil glass, Shannon drinks milk! (I am thinking of changing my name from Mommy... to erm... something she can't pronounce) If Sean tries to help her with anything she flat refuses and will sit waiting for me to come and help her. Occasionally I think AAAAAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHH! but for the most part I LOVE being the most important person in someone's life... BAR NONE!

Times Have Changed.



Shannon is now wholeheartedly and obsessively a Daddy's Girl. The umbilical cord has switched allegiance! WHATEVER Daddy is doing Shannon finds it IMPERATIVE to her existence to be a part of it... 'washing' the car, 'working' in the garage, doing puzzles (Shannon's favourite pasttime), talking on the phone (Poppet can imitate Sean to a T in this) ANYTHING that Sean is doing Shannon wants to do too. When she wakes up after her nap she asks "Where's my Dad?" If they are having a standoff - this happens occasionally as both are fairly headstrong individuals - and Shannon loses - this also happens regularly as at this stage Sean has more practice - a distraught wail declares "I want my Daddy!"

How do I feel about this? I am still wondering. There is a HUGE part of me that can't get over how CUTE it is, they have such a strong bond and that is a beautiful thing to watch. But what happened to ME being the most important person in her world BAR NONE? Ah well, I couldn't think of a better person to share this special little girl with than her doting Dad! And I couldn't think of anyone I would rather share my special man with than our adoring Daddy's Girl!

And then there were four... watch this space!

Monday, July 30, 2007

A little selfish ranting!

I have recently had a fabulously defining moment where I have realised MANY personal misconceptions of Self and which has left me with a more profound belief in Self! (Yes, dear freinds and family, I HAVE just developed MORE self-confidence!) I have realised that what I think I believed, because I thought I was supposed to, I often don't! (I sound a little like Pooh Bear!) Now if that is not a defining moment of self understanding I don't know what is! The details are of little importance or interest to anyone other than me, but the upshot of it is that I am all at once more comfortable than ever in my life, and intrigued by where this blank page is going to take me! It certainly gives me some things to work on!

I seem to have overcome a certain insecurity that I have been niggled with forever, so YAY for that one. I have learned to admit things to myself that I never dared before - as if anyone else might notice and I might have to deal with the repercussions! Really! Haven't yet overcome the inability to admit these things to other people but, come on, one thing at a time, I am only human!

I have realised that I have made all the correct decisions for me based on what I want out of life and not what anyone else wants for me and that with that knowledge my marriage can only get better and better (and for the record it's pretty good already!) my bond with my child/children will become deeper, and I am more inclined to do for them what Sean and I believe is best and not what anyone else impresses upon us! (I know that I am already a bit headstrong about these things but who else can know what is best for a child than the child's own parent?)

I have realised that I am the person I want to be and that though things can NEVER be ABSOLUTELY perfect in any life I am certainly on the right path to making my life the best it can be. I have successfully married the only candidate for the job of Hubby to Jane, (can't think of anyone else who even comes close to fitting the bill and lets face it someone's gotta love him! ;p) I have brought the most loving, caring, headstrong, clever, funny, determined, beautiful, playful, little girl in creation into the world (with a little help from Hubby; and OK, we might be a little biased, but that is our right as parents!)

Now I am heading down the path of choosing what I want to believe in and what is important in my life and doing away with those things I thought I believed in but actually don't! Please do NOT expect a miraculous change in the person I am as all these things are internal changes in Self and, in fact, as Sean rightly pointed out I am already that person... I have just realised that it is, in fact, OK to be me!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Words, words, words...

The trouble with this post is that it is about the fact that I am frustrated by the lack of words that I seem to have available to me at the moment! I am sure that sounds obscure if you are not me but to me it makes perfect sense! I seem to go through cycles of total outpouring to dripping tap when it comes to words. Sometimes I ONLY have words going in (at these times I will be buried in a book AT ALL TIMES ) and at times like THAT it is better not to talk to me at all as I seem to have nothing to say! Like now! I am fairly fussy about what books I like to read usually but when I have no words going out I can read ANYTHING... even Shannon's books... without Shannon! Perhaps I am stocking up to deal with the times when I don't stop talking and have a new blog post every day just to get rid of words! It's not even that I don't want to talk, just that I don't have anything to say...hmm! Thoughts anyone? My mind is boggling... I am off to read Sam I Am!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not-so-naughty Shannon!

For the last couple of weeks Sean and I have been getting more than a little irritated with Shannon who has been ignoring us! Calling her seemed to have no effect and she would just carry on with what she was doing. I would call her for bath or for supper and she wouldn't come! Not sure what had come over our normally fairly compliant child, I began to wonder if she had gone deaf... So I did some experiments! She HAD gone deaf! Well partially at least! I conducted one of my experiments for Sean and he was HORRIFIED! How could we have been cross with her when she couldn't even hear us! Sean then spent the whole night awake - not sure if the two are connected but, knowing Sean, more than likely.

Next step was to mention this to her teacher who, as luck would have it, was teaching sounds at school that day! So she did an experiment on Shannon. Taking the shaker with the quietest sound she shook it behind Shannon. To confirm that she had heard Shannon nodded her head! The teacher then shook her empty hand behind Shannon, Poppet still nodded to confirm she had heard... hmmmm!! (Naughty MOMMY - how could I not notice?)

So this morning I took her to the doctor. She has bilateral effusion (I think) which means fluid build up behind her ear drum! Thanks, for the most part, to her ALLERGIES (why are we all allergic to everything, whose gene is it and why can't we have it removed???) So now I have to spray stuff up her nose 3 times a day, give her some other allergy thingy and some OTHER allergy thingy, in the hope that in 10 days the swelling has gone down and the fluid has drained! If not it's grommets (and to be perfectly honest, with a name like that, THEY can't be much fun!). So here is hoping.

In the mean time more patience, louder voices and eye contact are the order of the day when it comes to talking to the young lady whose most common response to me at the moment is: "What you say Mommy?" and to Sean - who obviously requires fewer words than me: "Say Dad?"

The upshot of all of this is that I feel like a nasty Mommy! How could I get cross with Poppet for not listening when actually she couldn't hear???? She always looked at us in total bemusement when she eventually did hear us and I thought she was being cheeky! "Naughty Mommy, needa gedda smack!"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chicken Pox and tapping feet - not necessarily linked!!

Shannon has Chicken Pox. Shannon was innoculated against chicken pox! Shannon STILL has chicken pox. Other than spotty she is no different to normal! She is not sick but she has chicken pox! Shannon is in quarrantine for TWO WEEKS! At least that is the advice that I have been given thus far. As it stands she has been off school since Monday which, according to the powers that be, is about a quarter of the time allotted! NOT if I have MY way!

Shannon is an only child (at this stage) that means she is to have NO ONE to play with, except me and her Dad, for 2 weeks! Well I think that is VERY unfair when you are 3 years old! To be fair to the dear little madam, she has been EXTREMELY well behaved but I feel terrible much of the time, fobbing her off because I have WORK to do! We have coloured, threaded beads, played on her

swings,

read books, cooked, played with dolls, gone for walks and what ever else I can think of to keep her entertained (she does play on her own but she is only 3, it is not the most fun and she is a gregarious child - Shannon ADORES people) but she wants to go to school and play with her friends and I can't let her.

I was watching her surreptitiously from the window when she was on her swings this afternoon



and she was pushing both the swings one at a time while asking her imaginary friends if they were going high enough! She then asked one of them if she might have a turn being pushed! Really! I am taking her to the chemist on Friday to get her clearance certificate and she is going back to school... watch this space!

Last night when we were eating supper Shannon was tapping her foot on the table. It was slightly irritating so I asked her to stop. She said "It wasn't me it was my naughty foot" at which point she gave her foot a smack and a good telling off. I told her she had fidget foot! She was more than a little cross with me! "NOT figi foo it was my NAUGHTY FOOT! I can't tell you the ordeal I went through not to laugh (after all it was a little cheeky!) but she was genuinely outraged at my ignorance and so convinced of the culpability of her foot that reality remained unchecked momentarily! Sean did not help my mirth by attempting to explain fidget foot and in fact Shannon got just as outraged with him! Shame, she already believes her parents are halfwits and she hasn't even reached primary school! How true it is that a child so young is incapable of lying... they truly believe what they think and say! I wish I could catch moments like that on tape for her 21st Birthday!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mangey Monkeys at it again!

I was sitting at my dining room table this morning, DEEPLY buried in my Anthroplogy notes (Discussing the marriage of religion and magic), when A MONKEY JUMPED UP ON THE TABLE. Needless to say I yelped in abject terror (who knows what I thought had happened in that split second before I realised it was a MANGEY MONKEY) for Sean, which sent the monkey in ONE leap from the table to my freshly cleaned kitchen counter, it STOLE my last banana and took off with Sean hot on it's heals. Have I ever mentioned that I DON'T LIKE MONKEYS!

Sean remained in the doorway for a few moments with a monkey-threatening scowl on his face, but TO NO AVAIL! The monkey CAME BACK FOR MORE! Thankfully Sean is a well built chap and his frame filled that of the doorway, the monkey got no more fruit and scampered indignantly off onto the roof! Have I mentioned I don't like monkeys!

I would like to be able to leave my dooropen during the day and my windows open at night... what does a girl have to do to get such a TINY wish granted! Burglar bars answers one problem... that is in the pipeline! BUT WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THE @!*#%*@ MANGEY MONKEYS?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Baby Clulow

CONGRATULATIONS Al and Suzie Clulow on the arrival of a beautiful baby boy! He was born on July 1st 2007 at 5:10am weighing 3.2kg. Just to confirm the ABSOLUTE cuteness of this VERY special little boy...here is a picture!




Now... what you gonna call him?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sunny Days or S.A.D. Days!

What is it with the effect the weather has on me? And I know I am not alone! There are some (strange) people out there who love the cold weather and overcast days... and rain... but I think that maybe they have some other kind of disorder? I am firmly placed in the (rather larger) group of people who need blue skies and sunshine (and preferably warmth) in order to continue to function even at a basic level! I am told this is called Seasonally Affected Disorder ... I call it NORMAL! Who in their right mind really wants to be stuck indoors because the chance of hypothermia is too great to venture outdoors! I am the first to admit that there is something BEAUTIFUL about a dark and thunderous tropical storm, but they only last a few hours at most...perpetually grey overcast skies have nothing on the uplifting beauty of sunny, blue sky! ROLL ON SUMMER - and long may it last when it gets here!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Family and other Aliens!

So yesterday Sean and I braved the torrential down pours and freezing temperatures to head off to Durban's St Augustine's Hospital (where they attempt to sell normally R2.50 priced chocolate bars for R6.50!) for our 12 week scan! Turns out that we were almost spot on with the dates but the due date has moved 2 days forward to Jan 5th 2008!

I, for the most part, am in EXCEPTIONALLY good health and with a BP of 100 over 60 should live to a ripe old age! The little alien (fondly known as Stig II - anybody watch Top Gear? - since Shannon was called the Stig for the first 9 months of her existence!) appears to take after it's mother on the health front with nothing on the worry-about radar! The Doc says I am the perfect candidate for a private midwife birth - as if there was even any doubt!

The alien was caught red handed with it's thumb in it's mouth during the scan... what is it with my kids doing their best to take after their youngest aunt? Isn't one enough? Anyway 'nuff chat here it is...


Click on the image for a better view!
And here is the big sister on her birthday...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Birthday Debrief!

So it seems I was right - Shannon is a people magnet! This well loved little madam recieved birthday wishes from FAR AND WIDE!

On Sunday we had a birthday party for her and her friend Jessica, who turned 2 on the 20th, in the conservancy in our complex! It was FANTASTIC! The weather was perfect, the kids had so much fun playing in the stream that they forgot to eat the junk food on offer, this meant there was plenty for the adults, family and friends came to join us and everything went perfectly!

Yesterday I sent a Chocolate Brownie Cake (secret recipe care of Grandma Hendry) to school with 3 candles and everyone sang happy birthday to Shannon which made her feel very special! While we were getting ready for school I told Shannon she was not allowed to touch her cake (for obvious reasons... evil mommy that I am!) so she clung to the sides of the tray it was in, sitting up very straight and proud, and told Sean and I how she was going to share with her friends but how it was her cake because it was her birthday!

The in the evening her Cousins and Aunts and Uncles (including Clare in England who phoned) came to wish her happy birthday and spoil her with even MORE presents! Sean and I gave her a swing set which is very robust but in need of a paint job and of which she is VERY proud. When we took her outside to show her, she was so disbelieving that she just clung to Sean with the most vigorous hug I think he has ever had!

So all in all I think she is even MORE aware of how special she is and how much everyone loves her! Thank you everyone for the amazing and generous presents given to Shannon I am sure she will treasure them all!

Will add photos later as my camera needs recharging ... grrr!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sleep Deprivation!

Someone told me, when I was pregnant with Shannon, that the days of 'enough' sleep were over, and from now until forever, for one child linked reason or other, I would never get another decent nights' sleep! Everyone else told me worst case scenario I was looking at a year of sleeplessness before everything returned to normal! Shannon is now 3! Notwithstanding the fact that She believes 530am is as good a time as any to get up and have breakfast she also manages to get me up anytime between 2 and 4am to either crawl into our bed or to be taken firmly back to her own. The vicious circle here is that I am SO tired from not sleeping through that anytime between 2 and 4am I do NOT get up and take her back to her bed and so she persists in coming into ours!

Then the kickboxing begins! More often than not I have the pleasure of having my already stuffy head cuddled, while Sean gets the pleasure of little feet in his ribs or up his nose, although sometimes we swop! Sean is worried that he will wake up this sleeping beauty by moving her so goes into her bed for his own space (although with the sleep deprivation sometimes even that is too much effort). You would think that would make things perfect in a double bed, except that Shannon still wants to cuddle my head (this implies mild suffocation for any of you who think this is cute) so I still don't get blissful uninterupted sleep.

Now I am pregnant. Round 2 begins and I don't even have the results for round one. I should have listened to that lone voice at the beginning which would at least have left me somewhat more prepared... turns out my mom always is right!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Last orders at the bar!

There are 5 types of drink as far as Shannon is concerned these are: water, milk, coffee (not for her, for Daddy), tea (mommy), and "beeya"! The spelling is necessary as Shannon does not say beer she really annunciates it! I am not entirely sure how this came about, but it seems that any drink that comes with a bit of tsssssch and a bottle must be beer! Should I be concerned? The reason this has come to mind just at this stage is that Shannon's 3rd birthday is around the corner and there are a couple of universally connected issues that that brings to mind. Mostly because I believe there is some connectivity throughout the universe and continuity of things over time.

Here are my issues:

1. My VERY special 'baby' sister was born on June 24th...22years and 2days before Shannon, and for the last 2 years they have celebrated their birthdays on the same day - somewhat differently I must add but that is where my issue lies: how long will that last? How long will it be (I don't mean literally, I mean in unharnessable mommy years!) before my beautiful little girl is an independent, head strong, self-reliant adult turning 25 (yes Sooze you are getting old!) and commanding a party of 300 people to come and sing happy birthday to her? Time flies too fast for my liking!

2. Shannon was born @#$% years to the day that her Hendry grandfather (erm.. I mean Buddy) was born - now, do I need to elaborate on this one? Suffice to say Buddy knows how to have a good time too! My belief is that these people, Cancerians (is that even a word?), have magnetic personalities, drawing people to them in droves - how do you wrap that person in cotton wool and keep them safe for ever?

3. SHE IS ALREADY 3 YEARS OLD!!! Where has the time gone?

For the record June is a lean month for my family - at least it would be if our families were confined to one area... This is the list of Hendry/Coughlan June Birthdays (that I am aware of please update me if I have missed anyone off!)

2 June - Amy (niece)

8 June - Tracey (sister-in-law)

20 June - Kyle (nephew)

24 June - Suzi (sister)

26 June - Shannon, Buddy, Susie (Daughter, father-in-law, aunt)

28 June - Granny Coughlan (erm... granny)

Thankfully we are a global, internet savvy family and can fall back on email for birthdays!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ah Parenthood!

This is to all those work-at-home Moms and Dads out there.

It seems to have become Shannon's latest means of getting out of whatever it is that Sean and I are attempting (usually vainly) to get her to cooperate with. "Leave me, I am working!" demands the little madam! I think this is hilarious when she says it and tend to - surprise, surprise - get the giggles. It is my feeling of dismay that follows that I am battling with at the moment! Sean and I have obviously said that to her enough times for it to have great significance to her such that if she is 'working' she must NOT be disturbed! I think this is a VERY unfortunate side effect to having work-at-home parents!

NORBERT UPDATE...

Norbert has 9 healthy green leaves and is thriving in his little moss covered soil - I think I will become known as the green fingered, lemon tree growing, genius of plants! (maybe in another life....at least he is healthy!)

PILLOW TALK...

Sean bought me a new pillow! I have been feeling, for the last 2 months or so, like I have been standing in the path of a very regular and reliable bus! I put it down to being pregnant but had a niggly feeling that even with my million times worse morning sickness with Shannon, I didn't feel so much like that bus kept running me over! Anyway on Saturday morning Sean and Shannon were playing outside and I decided to sneak back to bed for a few minutes - I felt like I had gone to lie on a rockery! My pillow felt like it was full of granite! So I jumped up, leapt in the shower, demanded that we go to any shop that dealt in soft, squishy, comfy, pillows, and buy me a new one! So we did! I feel like I caught the bus now and am having the ride of my life! Last night I was WIDE awake for an hour and a half due to 'noises' that I kept imagining, and I STILL feel better than I have for the last 2 months! I LOVE my pillow!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On Morning (?) Sickness, Striking Wekkas and Assignments!

To some extent I feel like a bit of a fraud at the moment. When I was pregnant with Shannon I was VERY sick - not with the fantasy 'morning' sickness, but with the reality of All-Day-And-All-Night-Sickness! NOTHING made me feel better AT ALL and Sean offered to make me a special cushion to go around the base of the loo to protect my knees from too much damage! This time round I feel grotty; a bit grotty, all the time, eating helps a LOT so I devour as much fruit as is sensible in a day and the odd piece of toast! I am told time and again that this 'lack' of 'Morning' sickness is due to the fact that this time it is a boy! We shall see... sometime in January!



My sense of humour, which is vaguely diminished by the grotty feeling, was further frustrated yesterday by the lack of PRIVATE schooling facilities for Shannon to attend! While I normally spend my morning attempting to rid the world of fruit and complete various assignmnets for my degree, yesterday I got to colour, read (the same) stories over and over again and attempt to appease the gripes of a 3 year old who WANTED TO GO TO SCHOOL! The biggest problem I have with this is that Shannon is at a PRIVATE school - those teachers were not striking they were INTIMIDATED into closing their doors! I have an ASSIGNMENT due on Friday! I did not plan to take Wednesday off!



The two good things that came out of the day was the afternoon nap that I got to take in order to coerce my antisleep daughter into taking a well needed nap; and the conversation I had with Shannon about her picture on the wall... it went something like this:



Shannon: Look Mommy, that is your Shannon! (pointing to the picture)

Mommy: Yes, and you are also my Shannon.

Shannon: I am a good girl, that Shannon is naughty!

Mommy Why is she naughty?

Shannon: Coz she has her mouth open wide wide, up the sky! (implying, me thinks, that it was open very wide!

Mommy: But she is laughing!

Shannon: It is RUDE!



That was it - she would hear no more... The Shannon in the picture is STILL in trouble this morning!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wanton Chaos!

I understand the plight of the teachers in this country - in almost all countries infact! Although they could not have chosen their career for the love of money as it is notoriously underpaid, they are not paid what they are worth to society. The job they do for the future job seekers, business owners and leaders of South Africa is vital and not compromisable! I can fathom their anger: the future of South Africa is in the hands of these caring professionals. Or so it would seem!

The thing that I find incomprehensibly wrong, is the manner in which these 'caring professionals' are choosing to make their point! In the Upper Highway alone today, schools were closed in every villiage and town and the children sent home... for fear of being attacked by the striking teachers! Not to mention the reports of Headmasters being beaten with baseball bats and teachers setting fire to the schools! THIS IS VERY, VERY WRONG! The pay rise they have thus far been awarded must be withdrawn to pay for damages until such time as order has been restored.

What worries me (other than the children, specifically in Matric, who are not being educated) is that since ALL the teaching Unions are behind this strike, and COSATU is (obviously) behind all the Unions, there seems no end to the potential problems! I have heard a report today that next week the rubish disposal workers and their Unions will be supporting the teachers - and Nurses! Who will be next? COSATU has called on 700 000 public workers to join the strike, but, thankfully, essential workers, such as firefighters, police officers and doctors are excused from the protests. Will the Government finally be brought to its knees by the crippling power of united striking public servants? What destruction and devastation will they cause on the way to making their point? Is there middle ground that can sort out this ugly mess? Who will suffer along the way?

All my questions can only be answered with time, I realise that - I just hope it doesn't take too much time, that no more of the facilities we are lucky enough to have in South Africa, are destroyed in the meantime, and that no more people are hurt - here's hoping!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Human Cannonball!

It is Sean's preference to err on the side of caution when it comes to playing with Shanon, which is probably wise whe one considers the size discrepancy. Anyway, occasionally he throws caution to the wind and their games become a little less than calm! Yesterday evening was one of those times!

Shannon was sitting on the bean bag in the lounge (this is a VERY large bean bag which in fact takes up more floor space that our armchairs!) Sean snuck up behind her as they were playing 'you can't catch me' and ploppd down behind her on the bean bag. This action forced Shannon to stand up rather quickly which she thought was hilarious so she said "Do it again Dad" Sean prepared the bean bag for the next attempt and proceded to throw himself at it with gusto! - Please consider the effects of the aforementioned size discrepancy - Shannon flew across the room and landed by the furthest couch on which she hit her head (not hard but enough to upset her a little!).

Well I am sure it is obvious to anybody who knows anything about Sean and I as parents that we could not stop laughing! It is WRONG! Poor poppet was in tears and we had the giggles! Shame on me! I still can't stop laughing whenever I think about it and I only WISH I had it on camera!

Needless to say, Shannon recovered herself and said "Do it again Dad!"

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bad Advice makes me panic!

NORBERT IS HEALTHY! I have not added any plant food to his soil and his slightly yellow leaf has gone green and another 2 are spouting - Who says my fingers aren't green??? Huh???

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who Dunnit?

Last night Sean and I were cooking supper together and Shannon was sitting on the counter overseeing operations. Preparing a chicken for rotisserie, I opened the drawer to get out some string and the ball was all unravelled and knotted. So I asked Shannon: "who do you think did this to the string?" knowing full well that it was madam herself, to which she replied "Daddy did it!" In mock horror, Sean staggered around the kitchen wounded and called for a fair trial. He said with great sincerity to Shannon: "hold up your right hand and repeat after me... (she held up her right hand but was unforthcoming with the oath) I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Dolly!" I could not breath for giggling, it is so much fun being part of this mad trio!

On Sunday night, Poppet was in a bit of a state having been a bit fluey all weekend and having not slept all day. So anyway she fell asleep at about 5pm and, barring a small partially awake interlude for supper, we thought she was down for the night. Bearing in mind how cute she is especially when she is asleep we had left her on the couch while we were having our supper. Even in her sleep Shannon is a clown... she stirred and sat up, looked straight at me and said in a very posh voice "hellooo" then lay back down, stuck her leg in the air, pointed her toes and said "look at me" in the same posh voice, and promptly fell back to sleep. Even the noisy laughter from Sean and I did not wake her again! I have heard that the reason children need so much sleep is so there is plenty of time to remind their parents that they are cute and not just monsters as they can be when they are awake - consider us reminded!

NORBERT UPDATE: Norbert's top leaf is going yellow - apparently he needs plant food! I am off to buy plant food today!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The mangy monkeys carried him off!

That, for anyone unfamiliar with the Jungle Book, is what Baloo says to Bagheera about Mowgli!

I digress.

Shannon was off school today in the attempt to prevent her cold from becoming anything more serious, as it did the last time - we'll see! So we spent the day pottering around together which inevitably resulted in a couple of 3 year old logic moments. Here is my favorite:

We are the (disgruntled) neighbours of a rather large troupe of monkeys who have decided that our complex makes for the best shopping mall in the area. Kitchen doors and windows are invariably left open for beautiful fresh highland air, and this seems to be open season for the monkeys. I don't like monkeys. My kitchen windows are rarely open more than a crack and if I see one monkey the door remains shut fast!

Nonetheless, this afternoon I was hanging out laundry with Shannon's 'help' when the monkeys came to shop. Our neighbour uses the monkeys for target practice in the art of shoe throwing and throughout their visit 3 separate occurences culminated in Shannon's interesting observation. Firstly said neighbour hit one of his targets and we saw the monkey limping off in disgust; secondly we saw a monkey with only half a tail (presumably caused by a fight with another monkey); thirdly Shannon began to think. Then she spoke: "Mommy Brian took the monkey's tail." *pause for further consideration* Then with a fair amount of indignation: "He has to give it back, hey Mommy!" I am sure this is one of those times I was NOT supposed to giggle. Hopeless, I am.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who stole my heater?

Anyone who knows me knows only too well that I cannot stand to be cold. So as you can imagine I am feeling pretty miz at the moment as it is FREEZING! We in waterfall are not really equipped to deal with the cold: no central heating...no heaters in fact! And I for one don't get warm simply by application of more clothes! What stops exposed face and hands from making the rest of me freezing too? I think we should have a global meeting, find people who like the heat and let them work through the heat of summer, people who like the cold and let them work throughout winter, and introduce hibernation in the interim so that we can miss the discomfort of our less favoured season! OK so sometimes I live in fantasy land but so what - it warms me up thinking about it!

The other thing that keeps me warm in winter is the giggles caused by the comedienne in our household - Shannon. 'Now what!' is Poppets new favourite phrase and she slips it in wherever she thinks she can get away with it, often with hilarious consequences! So yesterday, Sean was working on the computer which, according to Shannon, is where Mommy works! Daddy works in the garage or at the Stables! Shannon said "Daddy is supposed to be working...Now what?" I could do nothing but giggle while Sean tried to get out of that one!

The other time Sean and I came off second best was when Shannon was eating toast and bovril - her favorite! She has a cloth next to her as she doesn't like the bovril on her fingers (!) Anyway, she got the bright idea that if she wiped the toast it would solve the problem once and for all and looked at us in total bemusement when we tried (VERY unsuccessfully through the giggles) to put an end to her brilliant plan!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Aftermath...

Bulls Survive Shark Attack!

Well, result notwithstanding, Sean and I and a good few of our friends had a BRILLIANT time at the rugby! The specacular view that we had from our seats made for a real close up of a hard fought (error filled!) game with lots of controlled aggression, a blind ref, and PLENTY of atmosphere!

The stands were at once filled with black and white which would vanish at the turn of play to be replaced with a wall of blue. A continual cacophony of raised voices cheered on either side leaving most people hoarse. The final minutes saw Sharks fans change from wild animation to stunned disbelief as the Bulls fans erupted with ecstatic triumphant roars.

So this is now history - The first South African team EVER to win the Super 14 on South African Soil are the Blue Bulls not the Sharks!

Well, as my positive thinking buddy said... South Africa won in the end!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Road Signs Revisited!!!

My Father-in-law (the avid rugby fan of my previous blog) has an uncanny ability to make me giggle! In response to a previous post regarding road signs in Southern Africa he sent me these from overseas... I hope they brighten your day too!!!


This one says: "Also the bridge is out ahead" at the bottom (!)


Uhuh


Who do they intend to charge?



Hmmmm makes you wonder eh?





Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Tribute to Dean...(and the universe?)


A friend said to me not long ago that, with enough positive thought, the universe will always provide! Well I spent some energy in positive thought towards the acquisition of some decent tickets to the Final of the Super 14 Rugby which, as luck would have it, (not to mentions blood, sweat and tears on the part of our Sharks!) is to be held at none other than the Shark Tank in Durban (In laymans terms: our rugby team is playing a home final this weekend!).

Now, I married into a family of rugby FANATICS! Sean, his brother Dean, and their father Harry, are probably the most avid rugby fans I have ever met. They wouldn't miss the opportunity to watch rugby for ANYTHING! I suppose it was a fairly safe assumption, based on history, that the Sharks would not make it to the final and even if they did that they would not be playing at home! Well they did, and they are... Dean has season tickets 2 rows from the field right near the tunnel! Dean & Tracey are going away for the weekend! Sean and I are going to the rugby!

Thank you Dean & Tracey (and the universe?) Sean and I are eternally grateful - to all you other rugby fans out there please look out for Sean and I as the players run onto the field...you may catch a glimpse of us in our FANTASTIC seats!

The thing about birthdays....

...is that we - not including the Royal we - only have one a year and it is on a certain date and there is not much that can be done about that! The problem with this organised event occurs when you are coming up for your 3rd birthday.

Shannon's birthday is almost exactly halfway through the year, which means that a good deal of her friend's parties are before hers. Now being Shannon and being nearly 3 means that for the last couple of weeks the little madam has being telling everyone that: "today is my birthday and I am having my own cake!" Not to mention that whenever she sees a cake she wants to know if it is her birthday cake! We have told her that her birthday is in June - that means nothing when you are 3! In fact it encourages a nearly 3 year old to believe that you are slightly insane!

We discovered the other day that any fears we had of Shannon lacking the confidence to stand up for herself and stake her claim on things are TOTALLY unnecessary: Sean dropped Shannon off at school on Monday and she was a little sad because her best friend Ashleigh had not arrived yet. To take her mind off this Sean took her outside to see the school bunny who was playing with some of the older children in the courtyard. Shannon leapt out of Sean's arms, ran toward the bunny yelling "MY BUNNY" and scattered all the older kids away from the bunny! Her teacher understated: "She is a little bossy!" and Sean had to tell Poppet the finer points of bunny ownership and the virtue of sharing!

I know I am EXTREMELY biased but I am secretly proud of her and think it is exceptionally cute albeit VERY bossy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Comedy of Road Signs!

I have always been amused (strange I know so just leave it) by the road signs that we see as we drive around our interesting continent. The first time I noticed the funny side of road signs was when we were driving...somewhere...in Zimbabwe MANY years ago, when my Dad said "look out, look out", as he likes to do when some amusing thing calls for it, and we all said "what, what" as we do, and he said "look - dangerous men at work!" which was what the sign said. The men themselves looked fairly innocuous and, in fact, were having a tea break or some such (in)activity that involved lying on the grass rather than actually working!

The other sign that has kept me entertained over the decades (*sigh* scary when you can refer to your life in decades!) is also commonly seen in Zim and that is the one that depicts the hazard of elephants crossing the road - not many countries around the world can claim to have THAT sign on their roads!

Most recently I have HAD to giggle (for fear of crying if not) at the ACTUAL REAL TRIANGLE ROAD SIGNS that say:



Fill them so you don't have to warn us about them! These signs are not on small side roads in the country but IN THE MIDDLE OF DURBAN! Fill! Them!

*pause while I get off my soapbox*

Incidentally according to Shannon - on a COMPLETELY different subject - her cousin Kyle, who she misses greatly as he is in Chicago, has: "gone in the plane to cocoa" and every time a plane flies over she says “there’s Kyle, he’s coming to see me just now!”

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The art of language.

At bed time, more often than not, Shannon gets to choose a story which I read to her and then she takes to bed to 'read'! I am a teensie bit bored of the same stories over and over again so this evening I chose Pinnochio! Shannon loved the story and asked questions about it all the way through. I think she was doing this to hide the fact that she was trying to roll the name Pinnochio off her tongue. She didn't quite manage: "Mommy what is Noakipoe doing there?" So Noakipoe he will remain!

On the subject, Shannon loves to play outside. A couple of weeks ago when she asked to go outside, I told her she couldn't because it was raining. Shannon ran to the window and looked out. Then she came stomping back to me and said: "It is not raining on the grandah Mommy so I can ride my bike!" Once again I was left speechless and Shannon went to ride her bike on the grandah!

Last night Shannon had Amy and I rolling with laughter after we had been watching a daddy longlegs flying around. Kim came and knocked on the door so Shannon went running to fetch her to: "come quickly! Come see the daddy fly!"

After Pinnochio this evening, Shannon was going to make her bedtime wee and as she was about to settle herself she was muttering "poor Noakipoe" as she sat down she missed her target and landed on the floor and said: poor Shannon!"

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shameless advertising...

There are some fabulous self employed, work from home Moms (and Moms to be) in my circle of friends and I believe this is the way of the new Mom generation! Not to mention the self employed Dads, and the return of the family business run by both Mom and Dad - our kids have the greatest opportunities yet for the future! And all the generations before us have been building the way for it to be possible for our generation to achieve this (even if they were unaware that they were laying this particular path!).

Society took a hairpin bend at an alarming speed a couple of decades ago (the consequence of many years of women fighting against gender oppression)when the necessity for two income households became the norm. Women wanted to get out into the work place and stake their claim over any job or career they felt they wanted! Consequently careers became first priority and in a lot of cases family was planned for later in life once the career was firmly established! Thanks to these career driven women and the supportive men in their lives we are now able to take another step in the development of the human race. Now, it seems, many of us want parenthood and careers to go hand in hand and so we have become part of the own-business, work-from-home, mother/father/parent generation with the potential (I say potential because it always takes AGES to get the money rolling in!) to earn what we are worth while playing taxi driver, homework tutor and after school carer to our own offspring, and to set a precedent for the future of parethood and careers! Here are some examples of work-from-home moms and dads (of which there are many more) in my circle of friends... one of whom being yours truly!

Firstly, Mom-to-be (next month) Susie Clulow, started an online wedding gift business at the beginning of this year and I think it is fabulous! Susie showcases a whole range of wedding gifts that can be ordered online or over the phone and arrive wrapped and ready to be handed over! To see more about this FABULOUS service go to House of Gifts and check out her site!

Secondly, Mother of two Vanessa Davies bought Art Incentive in September last year and is running it with her Hubby and sister from home in Bothas Hill. They print art and photography onto many different media including fine art canvas - the finished product is BEAUTIFUL and a must for everybody's home! Check out Art Incentive for more information.

My dear husband and daddy to Shannon, is the highly skilled framer of these pictures on canvas, as well as coffee shop owner and property broker (we are trying to whittle it down to one job so that he has a bit more free time - this self-employed option can be VERY time consuming!)

Last but not least (of course) is moi! Mother to the adorable Shannon, I am about to launch Remedial Resources which is a website for parents of children with learning difficulties - watch this space - and is an add on to my Audiblox teaching and Psychology degree research!

Here's to the work from home parent generation!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

This 'n that...

We have been trying to get Shannon to learn to take a little bit of responsibility for her things such as putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket and helping me to make her bed in the morning. There is some sound philosophy behind this idea but at the moment I am not quite sure what that is! I digress. The thing is, that these are recurring tasks that happen with great regularity. Like every day. So this morning when I was making her bed I asked for her help to which she replied "I already did it yesterday!" Which was true! So she had a good argument from the point of view of a nearly-three-year-old. She looked at me as if I were insane when I started to explain that this was one of those recurring jobs, and stomped off to 'help' Daddy with the dishes... this is more like having a bath as she ends up with more water on her than in the sink!

The other Shannon giggle this week happened at her first Catrobatkidz lesson at school. they were doing a balancing exercise whereby they had to stand on a board attached to something unstable and try to maintain their balance. Well Shannon's teacher said she couldn't do it... she was laughing too much. Shannon thought all the other children looked so funny falling all over the place that she got the giggles and was incapable of balancing on her own two feet let alone this wobbly board! My sense of humor reincarnate!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

FIVE AM (and I don't mean a radio station)

This is the time of day I refer to as Stupid o'clock; it is a time when we should all be oblivious to the world - ESPECIALLY in winter when it is dark - and warmly tucked up in our comfy beds! Unfortunately for many citizens of the world this is a time to get up through necessity. Like me!

ACTUALLY it is not NECESSARY it is SHANNON! Yes, she has decided that she wants breakfast at 5am! It is all I can do to coax her into our bed for half an hour of extra sleep (read kick boxing) before I drag myself up to make breakfast and chatter about all things irrelevant and 3-year-old-ish. The silver lining (every cloud has one, of this I am CONVINCED - more on this another time!) in this instance is that I don't have to give sensible answers as the more befuddled I sound the more Shannon enjoys her morning!

Now, I believe I am a morning person, happy to get up and get going as soon as it gets light! No problem to function on all cylinders in daylight. But Stupid o'clock! It's dark! I want my duvet! Help! There has to be a switch on the body clock to change my 'alert' time, and I have to be able to switch it but NOBODY WILL TELL ME WHERE IT IS! I am like one of those battery chickens: turn the light on and I wake up - when it is dark I sleeeeeeeeep!

I feed her, you know. (Shannon that is) She has a huge supper at about 6pm and usually a yogurt or banana before bed at 7pm. She is regularly dewormed. She has an appetite like an Elephant and seems to grow straight up only. *Sigh* do Mommys ever get a lie in ever again. It's not that Sean WON'T help - its that Shannon won't let him - Rod for my ownback I know, but I LOVE being the most important person in her life ... just not at 5am!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On Coffee Shops and Lemon Trees...

In an earlier post I said I was trying to remember to send my dear husband down to his shop, camera in hand, in order to furnish me with a couple of photos. So on Sunday last we remembered and put the camera by the door with his Important Bag, containing his necessities for the day, so he wouldn't forget any of it. He forgot all of it! Observant me (!) only noticed about 45mins later by which time dh was already in Durban with everything bar bag and camera! So as the caring and considerate wife that I am (!), I jumped in my car and headed off after him to deliver the Important Bag and take the pictures!


So here are Shannon and I enjoying a refreshing Chocolate milk and horlicks milkshake respectively outside the infamous O'Hendry's Coffee Shop!



And dh himself (more commonly known as Sean) serving coffee!!!


Sean's coffee shop is at the Stables Market in Durban - which means, yes, that all the market stalls are IN the STABLES. Very quaint and - at the moment - well worth the visit!

As for Norbert, he has grown yet another leaf and is flourishing in his spot on our kitchen windowsill. He is just growing straight up and I would quite like him to grow outwards a bit, but I can only assume that will happen in due course. I am also considering turning him into a Bonsai version of himself - Not that I know where to begin, though I am sure Google or Wikipedia will lend a hand in that department! As for the rest of us Sean and I are growing outwards quite nicely though I would prefer we stop and thinned out a bit, and Shannon is shooting straight upwards in the same manner as Norbert!

Big words like marmalade!

Shannon is fast closing in on the beginning of her fourth year of being Shannon! Now from where I stand this is a TERRIFYING thought!!! How is it possible that 3 years of being a Mom have already passed??? I still do not feel worthy of the title 'Mother' as I am not convinced thay I am a grown-up yet, but then does anyone ever really feel like a grown-up. I sense that my baby is growing up faster than even I give her credit for...

So yesterday (or today if you go by blogspot time which exists somewhere in America I suppose) Shannon and I arrived home from school, got out the car and started searching for the young lady's water bottle which she had dropped on the journey! Well, Shannon found it eventually, and then promptly dropped it so it rolled under the car. To this she exclaimed: "We probably can't get it, hey Mommy" followed shortly by "Now it is thoroughly lost Mommy!" What was I supposed to say then? Shannon wasn't finished: "Actually is under the car Mommy!" came next. I galantly tried not to dissovle with laughter at her seriousness or faint from shock at her exercise in testing words out for size! A child after my own heart!

Shannon stayed on a roll in the comedy department as she completely floored Sean and I at bed time. She went to bed at 7pm as normal with the usual vague complaints about not being tired and having work to do; Sean and I had relaxed for the evening content that Poppet would soon be asleep. After about 20mins silence from the young lady her little head popped round the corner to inform us that she'd "had a nice sleep Mommy and it would be nice to get up now please!" Help - please send more anti-cuteness potion!

Still no feeling of being a grown up... just seems like a good joke is being played on Sean and I and that someone is watching at a distance enjoying our hopeless giggling in place of parental guidance and a little discipline! I take no responsiblity for the result! Hmm maybe that is where I am going wrong!

Friday, April 27, 2007

I believe...

Everybody has highs and lows, this I know. It doesn't help to know that though when you are the one feeling low. I am also well aware of the fact that feeling down is a state of mind and I can overcome it. What I need to figure out - and if you are someone like me this is an interesting exercise - is what tools I need to overcome it, be they physical or emotional.

While I am typing this I am becoming vaguely aware of feeling better - aaahhhhh computers!!!

Crap! What a day - and it is only half way through!!! I am having one of those days where everything I am willing NOT to happen IS happening and I feel powerless to stop it.

I believe that when we are emotional - people that is - everything is blown way out of proportion, and that this occurs so that we can understand how SMALL we actualy are in the scheme of things and that all the things that are getting us down are silly and not worth the stress we give ourselves.

I am also a firm believer that we can ALL cope with the stresses in our lives if we sit back for a second, take stock and PLAN!!!!

EVERYTHING has to be planned - even down to what time we eat - so that we can ORGANISE everything we have to do and get it all done without the world coming down around us!!!

...it is all very well believing.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Being My Mom....

On occasion, when walking past something reflective, I catch sight of my Mom walking alongside me! I am not talking spiritually or anything ethereal like that, but physically. There she is in the mirror. I glanced at my hand the other day and nearly had heart failure because it wasn't similar to my Mom but EXACTLY the same!

My Mom

Now, my Mom is a fantastic lady with MANY enviable qualities (and some odd ones too I must add) so being like her is not something I shy away from - anymore! She is a lady who, already having had her 3rd 21st birthday, looks and behaves at least 10 years younger than she is. Which is where my problem lies... do I really look 50+??? Please DO NOT answer that! I don't think I look 20 years older than I am so what is the explanation!?!

Perhaps we are both timeless beauties... *sigh whistfully and then choke*

Perhaps our similarities transend generation without registering age!!!

Well whatever, Sean, for what it is worth, at least physically you can guage what I will look like after my 3rd 21st birthday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On paranoia and dark sides...

I have been quietly worried, since Shannon first started drawing, about the fact that she likes to colour in black and black only! I keep getting Shannon's 'pictures' from school, most of which are in black, which are perhaps for me to have as keepsakes? For a while I thought they were surreptitiously trying to let on that my little angel has a bit of a dark side! To top it all, when we were painting to take our minds off the sudden and noisy storm the other day, she got very cross that her black paint had run out so she couldn't paint any more! It helped not a bit when I pointed out that she had eleven other colours to choose from - painting was over because the black was finished. You can imagine my horror at the thought that I was actually being paranoid to a point where I haven't even mentioned my concern to her Daddy!! Well, I decided an answer was required!!!

Lucky for me I come from a family of many and varied talents and my Auntie Sue, (who Shannon called Soup for ages until I said Susie instead of Sue!) is an artist extroardinair and Art Therapist. Lucky for me again, Sue called me this afternoon (telepathy rocks!) and I told her my secret fear about my precious angel liking black best and guess what... it is merely that it is a bold color for a bold, charismatic little girl - no dark side in view! Children love bold colours because they can see them so clearly and they make a big impression against the light background! So YAY! Fears laid to rest for another day!!

I suppose I am just another paranoid mother - and there I thought I had broken the mould!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Crystal Children

I have read about the Indigo Children and often catch myself keenly watching the teens and young adults around me and seeing in them the characteristics. I can see them achieving their goal of changing the Status Quo for something that is better for everyone around them! Our world will be a better place for our young children to grow up in if we open our minds to the possibilities that the Indigo Children offer us!

Thanks to a message from Tracey: See "Going Postal in the USA!" April 17 2007
(Trace.angel said...Hear Hear TankGirl. I agree with your comments on the ADHD situation. The children of the 21st century are "Crystal Children" (read Doreen Virtue's book on Crystal Children). Here she explains that these kids are of far superior intellect, therefore the teachers who are supposed to "teach" them are now intimidated by this intellect so they thump a label on the kid saying they're ADD or ADHD etc, put them on Ritalin to calm them down. All this does is dope the kid. Not good at all. The kids are getting bored at school. Teachers need to find new ways of tapping into this intellect and enhancing it.)

I was alerted to the existence of Crystal Children, of which Shannon has some characteristics. We are certainly able to communicate much better mentally than verbally (though her speech is excellent!) I always thought this was just a mother/daughter thing but maybe I am lucky! She is exceptionally loving and caring and I have never seen such a young child have such a gently nature towards, and affinity for, animals! I have just been reading an article about these Crystal Children and it gave me goose bumps (what is it they say about womens intuition and following your gut instinct?) so I feel there is a lot to be said for it!

I intend to put in a bit more research and observation and revisit this topic later!!!