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 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 least he is healthy!)


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???