About Me

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I am a dedicated wife and mother who never just do as I am told. I prefer to make up my own mind.Not afraid to go upstream.

Friday, September 7, 2012

So Shocking!

Tonight I decided to look through everything that I have posted on twitter and on my blog. Twitter was great. Real interesting reading material. Then came the blog...........I'm so shocked and so sorry! Can't understand how almost a year went by without me blogging. All I can say is that I'm really sorry, so I will now take some time to bring you up to speed with all the crazy happenings in our house over the past year.

Now, where to start? Oh yes, I'll start at the beginning of the chaos.I've hurt myself. Badly. I ploughed down on the ground and my knee joint came out of it's socket, tearing some ligaments very badly. I was on crutches for two  and a half months and I went through painkillers as if there was no tomorrow. Luckily it's  better now, but the orthopaedic surgeon said that it will only recover fully if they operate. Until then I won't be able to go on my knees, because I won't be able to get up!

But the plot thickened. Two weeks after my knee injury, our two nieces moved in with us.We used to have one little girl in our house and then, suddenly, we had three! So I had my hands full of crutches and kids. We added an 8year-old and a 14year old to our brood. This was a HUGE adjustment! Suddenly I had to deal with homework and hockey matches. Oh, I forgot to mention: sibling rivalry; sulking and tantrums!

So, this probably covers most of it. I've been busy, but things have settled down and I can finally concentrate on my own interests again. Hopefully I'm well on my way towards making some dreams come true.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Great Day

Last weekend, South Africa had a lot going on. Saturday was Heritage Day and National Braai Day. This was a lot of fun, but for hubby and me, it was even better, because we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on the same day.

Before I go any further, I know I used a word that only South African citizens will understand. "Braai" is the proudly South African version of a barbecue. Hard to explain, so I'll put some pictures up of our braai. I took some pictures of it on Saturday.  You may be asking why we have Braai Day on Heritage Day and the answer is simple: Braai is a big part of our heritage. It's one of our biggest pastimes on weekends.Friends and families get together, bringing with their favorite drinks and lamb chops; pork chops; steak or chicken and then, of course, no braai is complete without some boerewors (Traditional South African beef sausage). Sometimes we prepare salads to go with the meat, but if we can get away with making all the side dishes on the fire , it's even better.

When I was growing up, my father loved to braai.....A Lot! He would do it at least 3 times a week! We never got tired of it. There's just something about preparing your food on the fire outside underneath the stars. It doesn't have to be glamorous all the time. Actually, it's not glamorous at all. It's a very simplistic way of cooking, but it brings the whole family together around the fire and it gets you talking and concentrating on each other instead of concentrating on watching TV.

Anyways, I'll get back to our weekend now. We decided to go to Langebaan for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. It's a very nice holiday town on the west coast of South Africa.We stayed at the Longacres Lodge and it was perfect. There was a swimming pool; play area for my daughter and big screen facilities where we could watch sport, but we didn't get a chance for the sport! The best part for me was the nice big porch with a very nice built-in braai area. Hubby wanted to take me out for dinner at one of their many restaurants, but we decided that we can't let this great opportunity to braai go to waste, so we decided to have a real special braai with all the trimmings. We bought quite a lot of meat, actually, and marinated it early Saturday morning. With that done, we decided to go down to the beach. We've spent quite a while  on the beach and when we wanted to go home, my daughter kept trying to run off back to the water. It wasn't easy tearing her away from there, so we took her to a nice little restaurant just across the street where we got to spent some more time enjoying the wonderful view while quenching our thirst. It was perfect.

When we got back to the lodge, there was just enough time for a little nap before we started our braai. The people at the lodge was great. Our braai area was fully stocked with chopped wood and everything. So hubby and I had enough time to sit down, me with a glass of wine and hubby with his whiskey, and enjoyed a wonderful evening in each other's company.It was perfect. Great food; great company to end off a very special day. After six years, we know each other so well and our relationship is stronger than ever. He is the man of my dreams and I am lucky to have him in my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to @MarvelingMommy who kindly awarded  me with the following award:

The Versatile Blogger
This is the first award I’ve received and I am truly grateful. Just what I needed to keep me motivated to keep writing!
The rules of the award are as follows:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
  2. Tell us seven things about yourself that others may or may not know.
  3. Award fifteen recently discovered new bloggers.
It's not very easy to come up with seven things about yourself when you're on the spot, but I came up with the following:

7 things about me that you may not know about me

  1. I’m a psychological counselor.
  2. Don't EVER ask me for directions!
  3. Patience is something that's foreign to me. 
  4. I can't follow instructions blindly. If I don't know why, I'm not doing it!
  5. I'm a complete music junky.
  6. I don't like shopping.
  7. I love all the corny stuff, like our family group hug before my daughter's bedtime.
I had a hard time with the next part. I know so many great bloggers, It’s hard to narrow it down! Please note that my list is in no particular order.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

All About Fish And Soaps

Fish and soaps. A weird combination for a topic, right? I agree! That's why I'll first tell about the fish and then about the soaps and hopefully then you will see why they are related.

Three weeks ago, we bought some fish and finally got our fish tank out of the garage where it has been collecting dust for the last 4 years. This was a huge treat for my 2 year old daughter, who would gladly turn our house into a zoo if you give her half a chance.Unfortunately, we had some bad luck and 3 of them have died already. On Tuesday morning, the third one died and I took it out of the tank and put it in a container with the plan to through it away when it's madam's naptime, because she keeps following me like a shadow and will be very upset if she catch me flushing it down the toilet! So I just told her that it will go to heaven later.That afternoon, she went to sleep and I got busy with the chores and because I just LOVE to dump fish this way, I decided to leave this terrible job till last.My little madam decided to wake up a lot earlier than expected, before I got to flushing the deceased friend.She ran straight to the bathroom, looked into the container, shook her head and then looked at me very seriously and said: "he was evil".I was stunned. I knew that she knew about Jesus and she also tells us that He lives in everybody's hearts and in heaven, but I didn't expect her to grasp the whole concept of death and going to heaven only when you were good, because we never got into that with her. I simply said that the fish died and now he's going to heaven! So I'm wondering: how much can a 2 year old figure out for herself? Apparently a lot!

Now to the soaps. Every day, 6:30pm, we watch a very family-friendly soap. It's nothing like The Bold & The Beautiful or Days Of Our Lives. You will never see anyone in bed;swearing;killing or anything like that. The other night, something unexpected happened: one character, Bernard, accidentally got shot. We didn't expect this will happen and my daughter saw it. She immediately got very upset and I responded by telling her not to worry, that they shot him with tomato sauce and that they were just pretending. It seemed to be working, because she calmed down, but a little while later, she started to talk about Bernard and told me that they must call the police. I still don't know what to do about it. I keep telling her the "pretending" story, but wonder if she buys it.How does it happen that, the one day, your baby girl is still too small to understand a thing and the next day, she knows everything? How do you protect them and make sure they don't take things up the wrong way? Right now I'm considering to stop watching my soap!

My eyes were truly opened this week and now I can see my little girl's beautiful mind clearly. I will have to be more careful in the future and limit what she's being exposed to and I promised myself to always take time to talk to her about what happened. How do you deal with kids and TV? Leave a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Raising a Girl With Pride

A week ago, we went to visit my grandparents. My husband wanted to help them to get two new sofa's delivered at home. My granny was very nervous, because the woman who sold them the sofa's is extremely wealthy, and she was afraid to be frowned upon.

Everything went fine. The sofa's got delivered and the woman came in to have some tea. We were all sitting and chatting while my husband gave my little girl the brand new tea set that he bought while he was waiting for the sofa's in town (extra entertainment is always welcome during a weekend trip and a tea set provides ours of peace for us).

The woman started playing with her, pouring real tea in the cups and then, all of a sudden, she dropped the bomb. She mentioned that it was so strange for her to see how our little girl is playing with the tea set because they raised their granddaughters to be tomboys. They only got to play with cars and quad bikes. My brow raised instantly and it got me thinking.

I am all for the idea that you shouldn't be guilty of stereotyping when you are raising a child, but if you raise a little girl only to be like a boy, what message are you sending out? I don't see what is so good about learning your little girl that it is not good enough to be a woman. I want her to be proud of who she is. I believe in balance. I allow her to play with all types of toys, whether it's a doll; a tea set; a car or even farm animals or action figures. Anything that allows for creativity to flow is fine with me.

There is no excuse for making your little girl feel that a woman is inferior. We are amazing, complicated creatures who can do anything and if we choose to do "woman stuff" it is still ok. After all, we can do special things that men can't do, like bearing a child.

This brings me to the question: Is the world putting too much pressure on women? A few decades ago, women was getting married as teenagers and education was bleak. Today, the average woman gets married much later and they received education that rivals those of men.Believe me, I am all for women being able to work and vote and all that jazz, but how does this change things? Everything should be better now, but society advanced in certain areas and got stuck in other. A big plus for female independence, but what about the effect on society? How did society adapt to the change in female lifestyle?

Look at the massive amount of young single mothers with no means to look after their kids. Women used to be taught that they should wait until they got married before having sex and it was easy to do this, because they got married as soon as they were sexually developed. Nowadays, women go to study and start a career before thinking of marriage and children and they learn that it is okay for women to be just as sexually active as men, but yet, society still frown upon mothers with kids out of wedlock.

Furthermore, women fulfill all this new roles and what does society do to help them? The female workload have doubled. They still juggle homework and kids with their jobs. If this isn't hard enough, they have to deal with more kid trouble due to a lack of supervision. How many men are really equally involved in the domestic aspects in a relationship? Hats off to those who are, but they are truly a rare breed.

After the birth of my daughter, my entire perspective has changed. I realized that I will not be able to do it all and excel in everything, hence I made the choice to stay at home.This isn't what I saw myself doing before I got pregnant, since I'v also got a degree behind my name, but I decided to follow my heart and do what is best for my daughter.

Don't get me wrong: I don't have a problem with women in careers. I think you must be super beings. Respect to you all. It just seem like, the more modernized things get, the more our lives get complicated. I'm most definitely not trying to talk for everyone, but to me it feels like it is expected of women to ignore their natural instincts and try to be like men and this is not what I want to teach my daughter.I want her to grow up being truly liberated. She can be who ever she wants to be, but most of all, I want her to know that it is okay to be different. I am not planning to label her or push her into any mould. What I do expect of her is to be happy and proud to be a woman.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stumbling Blocks

One day, just over a year ago, I was washing the dishes when I heard something new and looked up, To my great surprise and excitement, I saw my baby girl crawling towards me! I was so proud and relieved, because now she can get where she wants to be by herself, right? I was dead wrong. The more mobility she gained, the more I   had to run around and rescue everything from her curious hands. Yes, ever since my little girl started to move, my house has turned into a crazy place!

Lately, she has been extra clumsy on her feet, though. I started noticing it this weekend when we went to visit some family. She would run and then just, suddenly and for no reason, end up falling and crying and crying. I don't know why this is happening to her, but I suspect that maybe it is because of a growth spurt, because she is really growing fast these days.

Last night we were playing a bit while waiting for dinner. She was super cute, dancing and joking around and then, out of no where, she stumbled down again. I could see that this time it was exceptionally painful and rushed to her rescue. After the crying stopped and she appeared to be calmed down a bit, I tried to put her down for a while, because dinner needed some attendance, but she simply wouldn't let go of me. With her little legs around my waist and her arms around my neck, she started clinging onto me like a scared little monkey.

So it finally started to dawn on me: she is afraid to try walking again. She's scared of falling. I felt so sorry for her and decided to be patient and keep her on my hip for a while. In the back of my head I was panicking. What if this is more permanent? What if she doesn't want to walk again AT ALL? I started brainstorming ideas to get her confidence back up, but nothing seemed to be working. So I have decided to give it a rest and started to dish up dinner (still with her on my hip). Luckily there is nothing like dinner to get her to forget about her fears and by the end of it, she was running around once more.

This made me think: Isn't this something that happens to all of us on a daily basis (figuratively speaking)? Who doesn't fall down in other, different ways? Sometimes it can be really scary to get back up. So I have got a feeling that my daughter has learned more from her painful experience than the mere fact that she can't quit walking. I think this was a lesson for her to be brave and never give up.

The Real Me

So, I finally did it: I took the time to sit down and write my own blog and this is the posting where I will take the time to tell everyone exactly who I am. About one year and nine months ago, with the birth of my daughter, my true identity has turned out to be quite blurry. At first, everyone (me included) blamed this change in my personality on the absolute non-existence of my beauty sleep, but as I gradually caught up with some of the lost sleep, it became crystal clear that this is a more permanent change brought on by motherhood.  

I used to be the quiet one, the one who would let people walk all over her and when I disagreed with things being said, I would simply keep my opinions to myself. Suddenly, much to the surprise of my friends and family, all of this have changed ever since the moment that my little girl took her first breath. I am the lioness and I call her my "welpie" (Afrikaans word for "cub", my first language). I will protect her with the same strength that this queen mammal from our African continent protects her cub and I will prepare her to be independent in this world to the best of my abilities.

It doesn't matter what other people say and how much they try to dictate to me on how I should be raising my child, I will do things my way. Every decision I make concerning her, is a well calculated one. I didn't have any experience with babies when my daughter was born. Sometimes I joke and say that the internet is raising my child. I am like a sponge. I absorb all the information I can get my hands on and then decide on the route that I feel most comfortable with.

This is exactly how I believe it should be. Mothers should have the freedom to choose how they want to raise their babies. It doesn't matter what other people think, no mother should be forced to follow any advise when she doesn't feel comfortable with it. No matter what anyone says, I believe that a mother always knows best, as long as she follows her heart and her own instincts. After all, no one will ever love your baby as much as you do.

Be yourself, be fabulous and dare to go upstream.