Monday, 30 March 2009

A post of ramblings..

There are so many different things on my mind..

Firstly, there is Stellan - Stellan is 4 days younger than Daniel. When (http://www.mycharmingkids.net/) MckMamma was pregnant with Stellan, they were told he would not live to see his birth day. He was born healthy and whole and term. But he is now in trouble with his heart and I am struggling to keep going to his blog and to try to offer support when everytime I look at his sweet face I see Daniel.

Stellan's story has a number of different meanings for me. The first being that it could so easily have been Daniel. It makes me realise that every moment is precious and that you can lose it in an instant. My second thought is how much it breaks my heart that any mother should have to suffer what MckMamma is suffering - I find it extremely difficult to visit her site without thoughts of my own loss as well as what she possibly faces in the not too distant future.

Visiting these blogs, and commenting on them is very hard for me.. the tears often flow freely even though I try to hide them from Adam. There is a part of me that wants to stop visiting all these sick children because when we lose one it is devastating and it opens old wounds all over again. And yet I cannot stop going to them - the thought that always keeps me coming back is, "What if people had stopped giving me support in my time of need?" What if my support system had decided it was too difficult to be in contact wtih me? I would have been all alone in my grief and that would have been worse.. far worse.. So I keep going back, and I keep commenting.. and I keep crying.. tears of joy for ever little battle won (http://kayleighannefreeman.blogspot.com/) and tears of heartbreak for every little one lost (http://sagelawrenceeldredge.blogspot.com/). I, to this day, don't think the people in my life truly realise how much losing Jorja affected me.. and will affect me for the rest of my days on earth. Every day completed is brining me closer to my reunion with my little girl. I love you baby.

I have to stop typing now.. feeling too sad.. sorry for the sad ranting.. I am sure that after a good nights sleep I will feel better in the morning..

Over and out..

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Watching him eat the box - priceless!





So, after spending most of the day at the Zoo, I did not feel like cooking this evening. Adam and I ordered sushi, but obviously Caleb was not interested in raw fish, so we took him across the road to KFC. Daniel had so much fun with Caleb's Kiddies box, he even got it on his head.. it was so funny. Of course I was not sure at all about how good it was for him to be sucking on this box, but I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

Caleb





A few recent pictures of Caleb - with his Uncle Sean's Pilots hat (I guess there must be a proper name for it, but I have no idea what it is..). The one of him sleeping is in the back of my car on the way home from school - he is wearing his Monkeynastix shirt - he was soooo tired from Monkeynastix that he fell asleep almost the instant I put him in the car, and stayed like that all the way home...

We are taking the boys to the Zoo today, will post pictures and stories later!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.

High:
Baby Stellan recovering from his VTach..eventhough he is still a sick little boy, the fact that he made it through that hurdle is truly a blessing!

Low:
Daniel was a little niggly last night and I didn't think much of it as he is teething. During the night he developed a fever and became more upset and hardly slept last night - so I still figured he was teething. Turns out he has a middle ear infection and a perforated eardrum...there are many words I would use to describe all my feelings on what went down between yesterday afternoon and this evening.. let us just rather leave it at the above comment.. you get the idea!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Apologies!

Please forgive my silence this week - it is no excuse, but I am getting up at 05h00 ever morning, getting ready for work, making 3 lunches and snacks (which is quite a tricky thing with Adam and I following my weight management programme and Caleb only on healthy snacks). Then I leave the house by 06h15 - drive all the way to Pretoria and then lecture all day. I get home in the evening and start the dinner and cleaning up routine. Then it is into bed with the boys and finally an hour to myself before I fall into bed and start the whole process again tomorrow.

Next week I am not working at all, so I promise to pay more attention to my blog then..

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Slim chance of that..



Meet the Chawner family of Blackburn, northern England.

Dad Philip: Age 53, weight 152.4kg or 336lbs
Mom Audrey: Age 57, weight 152.4kg or 336lbs
Daughter Sam: Age 21, weight 108kg or 238lbs (on right)
Daughter Emma: Age 198, weight 107kg or 235lbs

This family spend their days in front of the TV - they do NOTHING but watch TV all day long - in fact, the father says that he watches so much TV that he often has to take a nap because he is so tired...must be really difficult!

Dad says that neither he nor his wife have worked a day in 11 years and that their weight is genetic and they can't do anything about it, but in the same breath he says they eat 3000 calories on average per day. The recommended calorie intake is 2000 for a lady and 2500 for a man - On the weight management programme that I am currently doing, I eat around 1200 calories per day - and I am 6ft tall and exercise every day, not to mention running around after two children. So 3000 calories a day for doing nothing but watching TV is extreme!

Dad also says that none of them can work because they are too fat and it is genetic, so the government needs to help them and give them more money!

The receive R314 273 ($32 567.10) in tax free handouts from the government each year and yet they are now petitioning the British government to increase this amount to so that they may live more comfortably.

Live more comfortably??? It is not the fact that they are over-weight that annoys me - I too am over-weight - it is the fact that they say they are too fat to work so they will sponge off the government who could be spending that money on a far more deserving family who truly don't have the means to provide for their children! Not only that, but those poor girls have learnt this way of life from their parents. How will they ever be able to look themselves in the mirror and be proud of their accomplishments if they are never taught the joy of success and personal pride?

It saddens me that a programme that was designed to help those truly in need is being abused by the lazy.

Shame on them!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Judges and Spiders!

On Wednesday I once again flew to Bloemfontein - This time I was providing support to another lecturer. The Appeals Court Judges were in basic IT training. When I say basic I mean basic.. eg:

Me: Judge would you please give me an example of the differences between Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel - what would you use each of the programs for?

Judge: One is blank and the other has blocks.

That is a genuine question and answer from my session with them? Eish! (Eish is a South African expression (from the African languages) which in this instance more or less means NO WAY! and is pronounced eyesh).

So, what happens is that the lecturer teaches from the front of the class, and I filled the role of "roaming lecturer". I stand at the back and check that they are following and provide support if they get lost - which was often!!

Anyway, a number of things transpired on Wednesday (as they always seem to do when I am in Bloemfontein - which means flower fountain).

Firstly, one of the judges forgot his wallet at home and asked me to buy him a coke.. I mean give me a break.. this man earns more money in a year than I will probably make in a lifetime, plus I have been on maternity leave for 7 months, so you can imagine what my cash flow is like at the moment - and this man feels no guilt with asking me to pay for his coke - and then at the end of the day drives away in his R1million Mercedes!! Now consider that we were in a 4star hotel and you can imagine how much the coke cost - I could have bought milk and bread on the way home with that money.

Moving along...

At lunchtime we went to a restaurant just up the road - It took them an hour to bring our food. One of the judges' food had still not arrived when most of us were already eating, and when the chef came out to apologise the conversation went like this:

Chef: Sir (they hate being called Sir, you must address them as Judge all the time), we apologise for the delay with your food, I am preparing it at the moment, and it will be here shortly.

Judge: Are you preparing it right now?

Chef: Yes Sir.

Judge: Then don't you think you should be in the kitchen cooking it and not standing here talking to me?

With that the chef turned and hurried back to the kitchen without another word!

Somewhere around this time I looked down into my salad - and the next minute felt like throwing up, because there sitting on my lettuce was a spider - so that was the end of my meal, and by this time all of you know that I am on a strict eating programme at the moment, so I was very hungry and very down!

We were so pushed for time at the end of the day that I was convinced we were going to miss our flight back to Johannesburg, so it was rush rush rush - As we get into the car it begins to rain; Karl switches on the wipers and the drivers side one is making a horrid screeching noise and the next minute it flies off the car! Great!

Fast-forward to on-board the aircraft - Just after take-off, the captain comes on and says his usual blah blah blah...it will be a bumpy ride into Johannesburg with the rain and heavy cloud cover! I HATE TURBULENCE - frightens the life out of me. As we start coming down through the clouds in Johannesburg, the turbulence is so bad that all the women on the plane are gasping every time the plane lurches up and down.

Once we land, there is such a downpour and we have to run from the aircraft to the bus.. I was drenched..

All in all an exciting trip!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Thoughtful Thursdays!

Today I gave a lift to an old lady - After I dropped Caleb at school, and as I was driving home, I noticed an old lady walking in the rain - and when I say rain, I mean it was really raining, it wasn't a drizzle - anway, I stopped and offered her a lift.

Turns out she was going to Church, so on the way there I told her all about Kayleigh and asked her to pray for her and she promised to include Kayleigh in her prayers..

Hi/Lo Thursday!

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.

High:

My high this week is to do with hearing that Abby is FINALLY producing white blood cells and to see pictures of her truly smiling again! YAY! Go Abby Go!

Low:

This "scratchy" relationship I seem to be having with my father-in-law this trip. Most times we get along great, but every now and then we seem to rub each other up the wrong way. Feeling down about it right now.. :(

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I would rather poke my eye out with a fork..

than eat vegetarian sausages ever again!

As most of you know, I am on a special weight management programme to try and shift this extra weight that I am lugging around with me. Every day I have to eat certain food. I literally have an exact menu planned for the 6-weeks it takes to complete this programme.

On Sunday evening the menu called for vegetarian sausages; I was so eager to try them that I went to 3 different supermarkets until I finally found them. I have wondered for a while what vegetarian substitutes for meat taste like.

Well, on Sunday night... I found out... in a big way…

I can honestly say that it was the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted... let alone go into detail on what it looked like – suffice to say the consistency reminded me of a paste that had been squished and packed so tightly that chewing through it was akin to eating the paste that dentists put in your mouth to take a mould.

I wish I had taken a photo of it for you to see the true horror of the thing they call the vegetarian sausage. In fact, it had such an impact on me; just thinking about them now makes me feel a little ill!

Anyway, that is my story for the day – I have to dash – I have to get up at 03h30 tomorrow morning to be at the airport at 05h00...*Yawn*.. and I still have to pack lunch for Caleb and Adam for tomorrow, tidy the house and decide which suit I am going to wear tomorrow.. could take hours to choose knowing me..

Family Sunday

video

Caleb spent Sunday morning (no different from any other morning)destroying our lounge playing Ben 10 and building a fortress with all the pillows and blankets he could find, he then plonked himself down on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn for lunch - what a good mother I am! LOL

Daniel is too sweet playing with Daddy, but he does get kind of distracted by the the camera... a star in the making!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Only in Africa...

PICKnPAY CAKE

This actually did happen.
This was for someone who was moving from an insurance claims office.

P&P Employee: 'Hello this is Pick&Pay, how can I help you?'
Customer: ' I would like to order a cake for a going away party this week.'
P&P Employee: 'What you want on the cake?'
Customer: 'Best Wishes Suzanne' and underneath that 'We will miss you'.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

I am a widow of WoW





As you can see in the photo of Adam, I am now a widow of WoW... how very sad..:( Which brings me to the photo of me - this is what I have been reduced to.. he doesnt even notice that I have covered my face in a chocolate mud-pack - oh well, I guess I will have a lot more time to blog now!

Friday, 13 March 2009

I hate to say I told you so, but...

Adam let Daniel suck on a piece of broccoli tonight and a tiny piece came off (I mean a minute piece) and Daniel tried to swallow it and choked.. He then vomited up his entire feed..

I hate to say I told you so, but Daniel is not yet ready for solids - he is still 6 weeks away from 6 months and his swallowing and digestive systems are just not mature enough.

Okay okay, I know its like a deadly sin to gloat.. I will repent later!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Thoughtful Thursday



Today I gave away all Caleb's old clothes to a lady who desperately needs them for her son this coming winter. Normally I would have sold them in order to help pay for the new clothes he needs for the coming season!

Hi/Lo Thursday!

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.

My High:

Losing 3kgs this week and the week is not even finished yet.. woohoo! Slim and sexy here I come!

My Low:

Caleb is coughing again...AGAIN!! Will my son ever be healthy?

This and that and something in-between

So for two days now I have been trying to load pictures of Caleb's baking session last weekend, as well as a new video of Caleb making Daniel laugh, but for some reason it just won't load... grrrrr! Hopefully I will get it right soon!

Caleb is sick again.. Poor baby.. I just give up with this child; I have no idea what to do anymore. I have tried GP’s, Paediatricians, Allergy specialists and homeopaths, and everybody swears they have the answer, but none of them can help him long-term. He is coughing again and it is a horrid kind of cough that makes his face turn red and makes him vomit if it carries on for too long… Everybody is telling me something different, including family members and I have so much information running around in my head, and everybody is convinced they know the answer – and none of it works.. NONE OF IT!!! We are heading into winter again, and he has already been on antibiotics three times this year… What am I going to do?

Daniel is his usual happy-go-lucky self.. he is such an adorable little boy. He smiles all day long and only ever gets upset if he is hungry or tired – and even then you have to push him to his limit before he flat-out cries. He is still refusing to roll-over; I have seen him do it once, but since then he has refused to do it again. He really is a lazy little chap. I am once again under pressure to put him on solids – Adam has joined the “pressure gang”, but so far I am holding out. Everyone says that because he is big for his age, and the fact that he looks so interested in our food, means he must be ready – they would have had me put him on solids weeks ago, but I am staying strong!

I believe that there are many signs when a baby is ready for solids, one of them is when they stare at you eating; another is when they are still hungry after a bottle; and also, all the nurses and doctors say that their digestive systems are only ready for solids at 6 months. Daniel never finishes his bottles, and even though he is big for his age, he is still eating the right amount for his age – he sleeps through the night, and never wakes up hungry before 5.30. Plus he is only 4.5 months old. So I am holding out for a little longer. I can take the pressure, I have very broad shoulders.

Speaking of broad shoulders, I started my new weight management programme at gym on Monday and it has been really tough. It is not only about the exercise, but is also to do with what you are eating and changing your eating habits for a healthier life. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a complete and utter sugar addict, especially chocolate. Well since Monday I have had NO chocolate.. NOTHING.. NOT ONE!!! And absolutely no sugar of any kind! It has been really difficult, but I have been so disciplined and I am so proud of myself because this morning when I arrived at gym I weighed myself and I have lost 3kgs.. YAY FOR ME!

There are different phases in the programme, and the first phase that I am in now lasts one week. It focuses on cold-turkey detox to get rid of your addictions to unhealthy food and drink.. Then you move onto a 6 week weight-loss and stabilizing phase and then after that, phase 3 teaches you how to increase your metabolism by eating and exercising so that you don’t have to diet for the rest of your life to stay slim! I love it. And can’t wait to feel attractive again.. I miss that feeling. I hate looking in the mirror, and I hate it when people look at me at the moment.. I feel so big and ugly… and feeling this way is a huge motivation to stay on this programme and lose the weight.

The other thing about looking this way that I hate is how people look at me whenever we eat in public.. Its like if you are skinny you are allowed to enjoy good food and desert in a restaurant, but if you are over-weight you should just sit with your mouth shut and watch everyone else eat.. I loathe feeling this way. Sometimes I just want to shout-out, “I just had a baby for goodness sake, give me a break!”

Anyway, enough on the negative, I am on my way to regaining my sex-appeal and self-esteem! YAY!

WATCH THIS SPACE!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Serious Life Magazine!

Serious.Life Magazine

I wanted you to know about this publication I am a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the March issue today (midnight tonight), and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven children, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humour… all sorts of “life” topics.

Please go and check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, 9 March 2009

In memory of Cody and to celebrate with Caz!




This weekend was the South African Cancer Shavathon - They collect money for Cancer research and to help families of Cancer sufferers. You have the option of either shaving your head or 'spray-painting" it different colours. Adam and Caleb wanted to shave their heads, but Caleb changed his mind at the last moment and decided to paint his with mommy instead. I wanted to get a picture of my hair too, but the day just got away from us.. so above is Caleb with his green hair just sticking out of his Spur hat.. and Adam, pulling a face (as usual whenever someone points a camera at him) showing off his bald head!

Caz, my sister-in-law is a Cancer survivor and every year we go to honour her and celebrate with her. Caz and Sean (Adam's brother) now live in Dubai, so this year we went without her, but still for her. YAY! Go sista go!

This year I also dedicated my new hair colour to Cody... Cody lost his battle to cancer last Friday.. and I am still extremely sad over his passing.. Rest in peace little boy...

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Morgan Tsvangirai's accident



Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was injured in a car crash on the outskirts of the capital Friday and his wife was killed, officials said.

Tsvangirai had been traveling to a weekend rally in the prime minister's home region, south of Harare, when their car sideswiped a truck, his spokesman James Maridadi said. No other details on the crash were immediately available.

Maridadi initially said the injuries to the Tsvangirais and an aide who also was in the car were not life-threatening. Later, two officials from the Movement for Democratic Change party told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that 50-year-old Susan Tsvangirai was dead and that an official statement would come later from the family - Yahoo News

For those who don't know, Morgan Tsvanirai is the official opposition in Zimbabwe and was only recently sworn-in as the Prime Minister by Robert Mugabe - he had no choice..

Was this accident just an unfortunate tragedy or something more?

BTW.. the life expectancy for a man in Zimbabwe is 37 and for a woman is 34.. I will be 34 next month.. frightening..

Friday, 6 March 2009

Cody is in Heaven

I was in the middle of typing a funny post when I got the news...

Cody passed away about 5 hours ago.. it is so very sad.. my heart is breaking..

There are no words to truly express the loss I am feeling for someone I never even met.

Rest well Cody.. you will be sorely missed.

Welcome to South Africa!

On Tuesday I flew on SAA (South Africa Airways) from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein for work. It was an interesting flight there and an even more interesting flight back.

While waiting in the departure lounge in Johannesburg, I decided to go to the pub to have a glass of wine to calm my nerves - let me explain - My sister lives in Bloemfontein with her husband and two children. My biological father and step-mother also live in Bloemfontein. My biological father and I have had a very strained relationship (to say the least) for the past 17 years. So my sister decided that it was time to get Les (father), Jenny (stepmom) and I into a room together - anyway, long story short I was going to have dinner with them at my sisters house in Bloemfontein on Tuesday night - this now explains the desperate need for a glass of wine to calm my nerves before the flight.

Fast forward to about an hour later when I am sitting on the aircraft waiting for take-off and the Captain comes over the speaker apologising for the delay and saying that they have lost the tug that pushes the aircraft back out of its parking facility - and that as soon as they locate it we will be on our way. Another 10 minutes pass and then the Captain comes on again all cheery this time telling us that they have indeed located the tug thingie and we will be departing shortly.

During the flight to Bloemfontein, we encountered some mean weather and so there was quite a lot of turbulence - I am a nervous passenger at the best of times, so this turbulence sends me into over-drive. As the steward comes past offering drinks I order a bottle of red wine (I have never ordered alcohol on a flight before) and proceed to finish it whilst hanging on to the bottle, wine-glass and window frame as the aircraft lurches up and down at infrequent intervals. By the time we land I was feeling no pain… and was not in the least perturbed about anything – yay for red wine!

On Wednesday I complete my work ahead of schedule in Bloemfontein, so I head off to the airport to see if I can get on an earlier flight. So I change my flight to an earlier one and proceed to the “restaurant” to wait the 2 hours until boarding time.

Due to renovations, the “restaurant” is no more than a side room with a few metal tables and a counter with a few dodgy looking pies stacked on top. By this time I am pretty hungry and wonder if I should chance a pie – until I take a closer look! Upon inspection it became clear to me that one of the pies had something moving inside the packet – I was also able to locate the hole in the packet where the “diner” had appeared to enter – I could have sworn the pie was staring at me through the hole and daring me to eat it! I do not rise to the challenge and instead decide to proceed through to the departure lounge. Once sitting in the departure lounge I notice a lady across the other side of the room who is staring at me. As I look at her I realize that I know her from somewhere. She catches my eye and smiles and looks like she is about to come over and say hello. For the life of me I can’t remember who she is so I smile back, but then whip out my cell phone and pretend to make a call. By now I am so embarrassed by my idiotic behaviour that I am unwilling to make eye contact with her again – so I spend the next hour avoiding making eye-contact at all costs.

Once on the aircraft, I nervously await take-off once more. The aircraft is now full and everyone on-board is becoming restless – Next thing, the Captain comes on to tell us that they are having a problem starting the right-side engine (I am sitting right next to it) and so they are going to use the ground power to start the right engine, then close the doors of the aircraft and only then start the left-side engine. At this I feel my stomach twist into knots and I begin having visions of that movie Final Destination…So I ask the steward if they will be serving wine on the flight and he looks at me as if I am an alcoholic and reminds me that “We only serve alcohol on the evening flights madam”.. it all goes pear shaped from here (inside my head) and by the time we SAFELY land in Johannesburg I am a wreck!

I pray I do not have to fly for a very very long time to come…

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.

High:
Being reunited with my biological father last night for the first time in 10 years - it was really good to see him!

Low:
Being reunited with my biological father last night for the first time in 10 years - it was really difficult to see him after so long.. opened all sorts of old wounds!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Goodnight Gracie Girl




Gracie went home to Heaven yesterday - enjoy your wings baby girl, you deserve them.

No more tests, tubes, drugs or pain...just an eternity of peace. I know your Mommy and Daddy must be in a world of pain right now - watch over them.. they miss and love you dearly!

Rest in Peace baby girl!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lets bake!





Caleb and I decided to bake on a rainy Saturday this weekend. We made chocolate chip cookies and butter cookies. Then Caleb decided it would be a good idea to throw some weird ingredients into a bowl and bake it.. which would explain the first picture..(I named it "The Blob")It was much larger than it looks in the picture and it was horrible, and I had to pretend to eat it and love it for my sweet little chef...LOL...It was such a special afternoon and I loved every moment of it!

Robert Mugabe's Birthday



Robert Mugabe celebrated his 85th birthday this weekend with a lavish party in Chinhoyi!

The OTT party included 4,000 portions of caviar, 100kg of prawns, 8,000 lobsters and 2,000 bottles of champagne – How does this man sleep at night??? He enjoyed such a grotesque affair while more than half the country survives on just one meal a day – and this meal usually consists of nothing more than porridge.

The celebrations cost more than $500 000 – while it is suggested that it would take more than $5bn to save Zimbabwe’s health, social and education systems. In the same week that he spent so much money on his celebrations, he asked other African countries to rescue his collapsed economy with $2.8bn worth of aid!

His birthday cake weighed in at around 85kgs – while it is reported that 6.9million people are without food in Zimbabwe – 85KGS OF CAKE WHILE HALF THE NATION STARVES????

Mugabe stated in his birthday speech that his government and police force will continue to seize all white owned farms – without the proper support structures in place, the new owners of the farms will not be able to keep them productive and so less food will be produced resulting in more illness, starvation and misery for the Zimbabwean people.

It has also been confirmed that 3 894 people have now died of Cholera – why does the world do nothing?