The cake, the cake, the damn cake ….

I am about at the end of my tether with this entire “find a wedding cake” business.  I could seriously walk in to a cake shop with a semi-automatic and just order a slice of cake and refuse to pay for it!!

Initially I thought cool, keep it simple get a wedding cake – a simple cake rather than a “koek”.  Then the more I thought about it, I really did not want to do the cake cutting thing, and putting cake in each other’s mouths and the ribbon tied around the knife.

If you did that at your wedding, I am glad that it rocked your world, but I really could not imagine trying to be happy cutting cake and shoving it in either my mouth or Kennith’s mouth.  I like to cut and eat my own food, and get quite aggressive when someone puts their hand near my plate, so I just felt this cake cutting and cake eating business probably would not work out well.

I thought great, try wedding cupcakes …those look nifty on their little stand … and then no one has to cut anything … that lasted for about 12 minutes … the idea, not the cupcakes.

I then thought, goody, I have it, we will do a “bridal couple treat/sweet jar.” Loads of jars filled with all the things we like.

Excellent idea, but will require me to shop around for jars and those metal scooper things.  Then I will need to fight with Kennith that we cannot have a jar with biltong and we definitely cannot have a jar with liquorice!  I projectile vomit at the mere whiff of liquorice.  Feel free to test the theory by bringing some near me some time.

I then started making contact with some places with week – one place wanted to charge me more than R3 000.00 for a cake – not a huge-I-am-the-biggest-whitest-cake-you-have-ever-seen cake, a normal cake-cake!!

Listen, I can talk Kennith in to many things by offering him sexual favours, but I think that getting him to agree to pay R3 000.00 for a cake might be pushing it past my available skill set.  (We would still need to pay extra for the brownies and the cup cakes …)

Here we are – less than three weeks, no cake, no cupcakes, and no frik’n (sorry Georgia) idea of what to do.

I got quite stressed (about cake, yes I do realise how totally ridiculous this sounds) and decided to discuss the difficulties I had with solving this problem and finding a cost-effective solution, and decided to approach my bridegroom-to-be as the person to discuss this and who may be able to find a viable solution to my dilemma which I have been grappling with for several weeks now.

Sidebar: My solution is actually to phone up Charlie’s Bakery and say “Let me have a huge chocolate cake, dripping with chocolate, big square, let me have say two dozen decadent brownies, and while you are there, throw in two dozen so-much-chocolate-I-am-going-to-puke cupcakes” … but Charlie’s aren’t known for their cheap prices and Kennith is not a big Charlie’s fan, so I am trying to make another plan taking him in to consideration.

I am standing in the kitchen explaining my problem to Kennith.  I am explaining the running around I have done, and that the first cup cake person is just not really making nice cupcakes. He disagrees and says they are “fine.”

I disagree and say I have now eaten three dozen of them, and they are nice, but not great and I do not want them at our wedding.

He goes on to remind me that people do not remember the details about a wedding, what is important is that he just have a good time.

He tried this test on me to prove his point “I bet you can’t describe the chairs we sat on at Steve and Kalinka’s wedding.” We were at their wedding about three years ago, it was a great wedding – huge amounts of fun, but Kalinka had the details down to a fine art – everything was just right – I noticed these things.  As a matter of fact I could describe the chairs – and then went and found a picture to prove that my description was pretty accurate.

Girls remember this shite, boys only remember if there were available single women and cold beer.  Our DNA’s are just designed differently when it comes to weddings.  I did not choose to be this way, it  just is!!

I mention Charlie’s – Kennith pipes up that they are too expensive and repeats he does not like them.  I acknowledge that I recognize this, hence the reason I am exploring dozens of other avenues.

He then pipes up: “Remember that chocolate cake we had with Anita that she used to buy – remember the one with the hole in the centre? That one was great, go and find who made that cake, that is the one we should get.”

Then he turns to continue making his sandwich/coffee/what ever as if he has solved my problem and all is well in suburbia.

Second sidebar:  Anita has not lived in Cape Town for more than 8 years, so though I know where she got the cake from, the place has long since closed.  The fact that Anita now lives in another country makes me deeply suspicious that, though she is fond of the cake with a hole in it, she is undoubtedly not going to have kept track of the maker of said cake.

At this point I lose the plot – like explode!  I start calling Kennith a variety of unsanitary names and I might have even made reference to his genitalia and what I think he should do with them.

I know I then said something along the lines of: “Do you think because I have a uterus and mammary glands that I know about F U K ‘ N (kids were sleeping, I can swear as much as I like) wedding cake than you do?  Do you actually think that?  How the F U K (I was feeling quite rev’d up at this point) am I meant to find a F U K ‘ N cake from 8 years ago with a hole in it?  I came to you so you can assist me, not offer a stupid F U K ‘ N  solution – what the hell is wrong with you, you idiot!!”

It was something along those lines, memory fails me right now.

Geez Louise I was annoyed – I mean really!  The boy has an MBA and this is how he helps me?  Honestly, how much stupid did he have for breakfast this morning?

I am not sure if I said anything more.  I might well have, the spittle was sort of pooling out of the corner of my mouth at this point, and there is a good chance I was gesturing wildly.

Aaaahhh wedding planning is such a happy time, and brings a couple so much closer together.

Kennith, realizing that things have gone too far, suggests we meet the next day to go to Charlie’s!  Shame, you know that boy really tries – even in the face of a totally psychotic lost-her-mind-long-ago-almost-bride, he tries to wave a white flag.

Bottom line, still no cake, still no idea, but I have some people to call tomorrow.  I am solving this by Friday – I am ticking this off my list.

If all else fails I am going to get my friends to bake me a stupid cake and cupcakes on the evening of the 16th!!  If you are a wedding guest and RSVP’d you are coming, do not make plans for the evening of the 16th, bring 6 eggs, a cup of sugar, 2 TBS of cocoa, I will sms you where we are going to meet, it’ll be fab.

Advertisements

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?

A while ago I was on http://www.moomie.co.za and the discussion was about depression – someone felt they were feeling a bit low, and wondered if it was depression.

A conversation ensued, and at some point someone asked “well, what is depression…”

Some days I feel I have an epiphany where I can explain something and it even makes sense to me.

This I felt was one of those cases and I wanted to “steal/copy” the post I made on the forum and keep it here on this blog as it is a good description of how I feel when I am experiencing my depression:-

The way I describe depression – and I am sure someone else may experience it differently is …

…you know that feeling when someone close to you has died …you have that sadness that permuates every pore … you are so sad, that you want to cry over everything … anything … all the time… so you are mourning a death that never occurred, and the profound sadnesss never goes away ….

You cannot face anyone or anything … trying to socialise even with people you love is painful and exhausting, and all you want to do is go home and sleep… and escape.

You feel this weight … this pressure on your soul … all the time.

When you smile, you smile with your mouth, but there is just nothing past that… inside you are screaming

You feel like you are sliding into this deep dark hole … and the sand is starting to fill over your face …. you can’t claw your way out though you are desperate to try … you have no hope of getting out of the hole … you can’t see any options except that the hole is getting deeper and blacker … all you know is you are sliding further back and further into the darkness, no one can hear you scream and no one can help you….

Nothing feels good … nothing tastes good … your senses are dull ….

The only respite from this agony of the blackness and the nothingness is to close your eyes and go to sleep …. then you do not feel… you count the hours when you are awake so you can go to sleep again and the hell and pain can stop … when you close your eyes, you count the hours until this torture starts again… and take a breath of divine relief as you get a inch of peace as you drop off to sleep ….

The moment you have woken  … even before your eyes open … you feel the darkness envelope you like a cloak … it is heavy, it is suffocating and you cannot get out from under it… getting out of bed is exhausting and takes every ounce of your stamina.

The darkness and desolation is painful… and the worst is you are so alone … you are going mad, because no one understands … and no one can hear you screaming … but you are … you are literally screaming in your head in pain and anguish … you are in a room full of people and you are alone …

Depression for me is very real.  It is like a dark creature that lurks on the outside of my being every single day … I can smell his fetid stink and feel his oil on my skin.

I am always aware of him lurking, knocking at the cracks waiting to get in.

If I am out having a good time, and go to the bathroom, I will catch a glimpse of him in the mirror whilst I wash my hands, just to remind me that he is there … waiting, just waiting …  because he knows the time will come sooner or later … and so do I.

No matter where I am or what I am doing, or how happy/good my mood is, I am always aware of my dark companion.

<Winston Churchill was so accustomed to visits by depression that he had a nickname for it—his ‘Black Dog’.  I like that term and might steal it for my own use.>

Hanging with my zimmer frame …

So there I am doing web stuff as you do, and I notice an advert on the right hand side with a sweet older lady smiling.

I am desperately looking for someone to bake cupcakes for my wedding so I perked up and took notice, as maybe this old dame might bake, she looks sort of happy and smiley like baking people do.

On closer inspection I realised it was a dating website – a dating website geared towards S E N I O R  C I T I Z E N S.

But the tag line is “Meet single south african men and women over forty … we have thousands of S E N I O R single members for you to meet…”

I am thirty eight – that means in less than two year I am going to eligible to join this old lady and hang out waiting for senior citizens to “poke” me!!

What is my world coming to – first chin hair now this …. the only decision now is whether to kiss Kennith at the wedding with my teeth in or out ….

Marrying a Yeti …

Kennith is embarrassed that I am telling people that I am hairy like a Yeti.  He really thinks that sort of information should be kept more private.

He is probably right.

I really wish he did not refer to me as a Yeti, as now I feel even more embarrassed about my hair issue!

Auditioning for Lord of the Rings ……

I have noticed some disturbing trends of late … hair in abundance in places I would prefer it not to be ….

I have reasonably light features but somehow my hair growth makes me look like an extra from Gorillas in the Mist.  I am not referring to Dian Fossey and her research crew, more the gorillas who were actually in the mist.  Right now I could extra for that show with very little makeup.

I have always detested shaving.  It is such a thankless brain-numbing task.  As soon as you are done, you need to be searching for the next new razor blade to pretty much start the job again.

Then you shave and shave, and you end up wearing long pants all week.  So at some point you start to reason, hell, who will notice if I skip one or three months? I mean, who will know? Right?

I tried waxing – initially I tried waxing myself.  This was back in the day when you had a pot and a large globule of brown wax that had a similar consistency to Wilson toffee.

I won’t tell you the part where you put the hairy wax back in the pot to make it hot again so you can re-use it … I will wait a while until you have finished gagging.

Feeling better?  Should I carry on?

Being the impatient personality type I am, I would always figure that making the wax hotter and spreading it in larger areas will cut down my effort and increase my results in a shorter period of time.

The problem is that when you spread a 30 x 20cm square of boiling hot brown sticky wax on your leg, you always realize as it is going on, that it is so hot that it is burning your skin off.  But there is nothing you can do once boiling wax is being lathered on your leg … by you!!

The wax eventually dries and cools.  You realize you are now faced with the next step of the operation – you have to rip it off.

Wax like plasters, does not work if done slowly.  One has to grab the corner, brace yourself and just rip it off.

One of the many problems with using wax that is too hot, is that it has now burnt/melted/adhered the first few layers of your skin to the wax.

You know this, as you can already feel the sensation of the “sunburn” under the wax now that it has cooled … but you need to rip it off.

You do toy with just leaving it there, putting pants on and hoping in time it will slowly fall off, but if you have tried this in the past, you realize there is no easy option to the dilemma you are now facing.

So you bear down and rip the wax off.

It takes the skin off (as you predicted) and because you are about to faint from shock, and have not ripped the wax in the correct direction, and inevitably you leave half the hair behind.

You are left with a third degree burn that is so sensitive it is starting to blister, and patches of hair that did not come out with the wax.  Sweet plan this, execution however has been left wanting!

It is all very demoralizing, and makes you start to think being hairy is not as bad as they say.

For several years I reverted back to shaving and then using chemical hair removal stuff.  The problem with Immac/Veet or No-Hair is it usually smells like toilet disinfectant.

You have to lather it on your areas that you wish to be hairless – certain areas you wish to be hairless, while in certain areas you wish to well, retain some, well bush – the result is that you are left standing in a prone position in the bathroom lathered like a toffee apple, and then have to remain spread eagled for about 5 – 10 minutes while your growth is being dissolved.

It is all a bit humiliating and again you start weighing up how bad too much hair actually is on  girl.

There are few moments where I am ever left undisturbed in the bathroom.  The chances of being lathered and left alone spread eagled in my bathroom for 10 minutes, is a sweet sweet dream, but not realistic.

I returned to waxing, but paid someone money to hurt me.  This relationship worked well for about a year, but it really is just not fun.

I also take exception to someone working in my pubic area without at least buying me a bottle/glass of wine first.  So that relationship ended, and all the hair grew back, and it brought some more hair with it.

I have reverted back to shaving.

Which brings me to my next problem – ever tried shaving with three kids in the bath with you?

I am not even going to comment on the obvious hygiene issues and the slightly off-putting hair floating on a sea of oil in the bath.  But there are logistics constraints that need to be factored in.

The result is that shaving has stopped being a standard bathroom procedure and instead has turned in to an occasion, and event shall we say.

When the hair on my legs starts to overlap on my socks then I realize that possibly I need to schedule some shave time.

But that being said, that is actually not the main gripe  of my post today.

I have a lovely ring which I like nothing more to show off and have people gush adoringly at.  The problem is that while showing off my ring I realized I have tufts of hair on that section of my finger between my knuckle and the first finger joint.

What the hell?

Never noticed it before, but there we are – I have tufts of disturbingly dark hair that in some cases are long enough to fall ON TOP OF THE FEK’N DIAMOND!!

I am sure that people looking at the ring have noticed and have decided not to mention it … a bit like when someone you are speaking to, spits at you and it lands on your bottom lip.

You know it is there, they know it is there, but there is just not a polite way to address it.

Pretty much like my hairy finger tufts … I thought I would shave them off to solve the problem IMMEDIATELY.  But the sane part of me did reason that this would of course cause a slightly larger problem in 3 – 6 days.  So I am going to go and have the fekkers waxed.

I am a bit embarrassed at how I am going to ask for it … I might end up getting a Brazilian wax just to not make it awkward when I ask her to wax my fingers.  I mean if I can lie there like a porn star, then finger tufts should definitely be less of a problem – right?

I realize that I should not be blogging about tufts of hair on my hands that make me look like a cast member from the Hobbit, but there you are I am nothing if honest – which brings me to my next problem.

Why, why, why in Darwin’s picture of evolution or your version of creation, would women have hair around their nipples!!?

Is there any purpose to these stray hairs that start off rather insignificantly and then next thing you look they are long and thick and even starting to curl a bit like ribbon on a present … it is all disturbing.

The other day I had to pluck a granny hair off my chin … surely it is only a matter of time before I start having to use that little gadget-that-cuts-your-hair-in-your-nose-and-ears thing.

SARS makes my bum tight …

My friend Ronnie Earl just phoned me and acted like he was Peter Jackson from the South African Receiver of Revenue.

He then proceeded to tell me all about my tax problems and how I really needed to make an appointment and come in and see them.  All these issues dating back to 2007.

When I see the logo of the SARS on an envelop I break out into a cold sweat.  I deal with SARS by not opening the letters and putting them into the bottom right hand drawer of my desk and leaving them there.   I figure, ignore them and they will go away!!

So to have “Peter” on the phone from the SARS, and that was enough to actually make skid marks in my panties.  I was groveling and spluttering and basically promising him my first born, and I might have promised him your first born too.  It was sad, it was pathetic, it was me dealing with my worst fear without any warning.

At some point he gave the game away and said he will set up an appointment with his Cape Town Consultant Ronnie Earl, and then my already adrenaline-soaked brain went “hey”.

I then proceeded to tell him that I wished his scrotum sack burst and I really said some uncharitable things.

Cussing like a sailor in an open plan office does not increase my share price.  I work with people who apologise when they say “shucks” so my outburst will be addressed by HR soon.

So Ronnie, I wish you a narrow seat on an unstable Kulula flight – I hope you sit next to a large sweaty woman who has eaten garlic and has armpits that smell of onions …. you shmuck!!!

I will also be putting your email on a few porn sites so expect a bit of SPAM!!

Does my finger look big in this?

I waxed lyrically yesterday as to how how I am in love with my ring … and promised to post some images, so here they are …

The main stone belonged to my gran who died in 1994  – she was my last grandparent.

When I was very young, I recall being at her house and she put all her rings on the kitchen table and asked me if she died which one would I like to have.  I was really small, so I was more interested in drinking my sweet milky tea and  eating a slice of cake to be too worried about jewellery issues (few things have changed since then).

Fortunately I had the good sense to choose a simple ring, but with a healthy sized diamond (bless her).

So Kennith and I chose a ring design and then used the original stone from my gran’s ring.  So even though the design is “all about me” it has a bit of a heritage in it, which makes it even more special.

I really love this ring.

100th post …

Yesterday was my 100th post and I only realised it now when I checked my stats (I check stats- I also realise how pocket-protector that is)

I thought that was quite cool – and for me quite an achievement.

When I started blogging, I literally thought I was the only person in South Africa who blogged.

I had not even read a blog before I started blogging.  So more naive, just-crawled-out-under-a-rock is going to be hard to beat.

Blogging has been my therapy and saved me and my medical aid substantial psychiatrist fees, so for that I am thankful and Discovery thanks wordpress too.

I have boxes of anti-depressants I have not even opened … might need to start flogging them on http://www.gumtree.co.za soon.  Keep an eye on that site if you are interested in a few boxes of Lexapro, Cipralex, Zoloft and Eglonyl.  Can I legally sell them on gumtree??

I can’t tell you the thrill I get with every “hit” I see and how truly appreciative I am for every comment someone takes time to make.  Some days even the spam excites me.

Even if they are trying to sell me tablets to assist my erection, and panties to tighten my outer labia .  I take the time to read them all… panties arrive Tuesday.

My sense of worth grows with every “good job” comment I receive.  I am truly thankful that I do not feel so alone in this journey through motherhood.

I honestly give thanks that there are so many desperate, off-centered moms, who struggle every day like me – I know I should not be excited that there are so many dysfunctional people, but I am – I love not feeling so alone.

I am excited by our togetherness.  That soon we can outnumber the moms who have perfect hair, perfect nails and who bake cupcakes and who are excited to do arts and crafts.

Viva us, viva moms-who-do-it-differently-with-wine -as-a-prop!!!

Have dress … have prince … need chariot …

For some reason I have kept my “wedding related” stuff off my blog.

I just figured people really were not interested in my arranging to get a “rok” to bounce down the aisle, but it seems there are people who are actually interested.

Not sure why I felt it was appropriate to talk about me wanting to smother my kids and show you pictures of my va-jay-jay, but somehow inappropriate to talk wedding stuff, but there we go.  However I have decided to update those who care with bits and bobs, and I promise not to go on at length regarding the colour of just the right napkin.

Today I went to do the first fitting for my wedding dress, with the dress maker to do the nip and tucking.

I honestly thought I would be the last person to use the term “wedding dress” and “my” in a sentence, but well wonders never cease. I must confess I thought I looked not half bad (yes, I realise I need to slow down on the self praise) and really started to get very excited.  The alteration girl did have her hand up my dress at the time, and no doubt that also added to the whole festival atmospher

The one issue I have about “the wedding day” is I hate to be the center of attention.

I really get embarrassed and start acting terribly stupid when attention is focussed on me.  I am seriously doubting that wearing a large whitish dress is going to assist me to fade into the background in July, and I have concerns about everyone looking at me, which is probably why I wanted to go with a dress that was pretty low-key to being with.

But I truly love my dress, and feel very Princess Bride right now.  I might start singing tra-la-la-la and have little blue birds come and sit on my hand as I bounce around the forest with a large blue bow in my hair …. it is all so intoxicating.

Our friend put us in contact with a jewellery designer who assisted us in designing a ring.  She gave us a few catalogues and of the 7 thousand post-it notes I stuck all over the catalogues, on one I wrote “the perfect ring.”

I got myself in a tizz trying to make any further decisions about the ring.  I just could not decide on what to do and how to make a final decision on something that is so permanent.  Eventually I walked away from the “project” and asked/told/screamed at Kennith to just do it.  I just could not make a decision and time was a-passing and I still u’ming and ah’ing and time he was rushing by.

Friday a week ago Kennith got the ring and did not tell me.  He presented the ring while we were at a pub, drinking beer, watching Bafana Bafana – that boy is so romantic.  I swooned. I nearly lost control of my beer.  The ring is so absolutely divine, I can honestly say “I love it -I love it!”

Yesterday I went to collect the wedding band, and my knees went a little weak.

I was so sure that Kennith would choose something flat and plain- like a wedding band, but he chose this beautifully simple, but totally unique band with such great detail, I just wanted to give him a noddy badge right there and then.  I love the fact that he still suprises me, and makes the effort to try.

So I am really pleased with my dress, I look like a totally fairy princess which is nothing like the normal me.

I am so in love with my engagement ring and wedding band (which we put away) that I could cry.

You know I was the first one to say that getting married would not make a difference and really would not be a big deal, but you know it has made a difference and it is actually a big deal.  I am so excited about the wedding day I could actually just platz, but I am trying to act nonchalant and that it is all so ho-hum.

But inside I am going weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ……. can you feel it??

Panic stations …

Yesterday I had such a busy day at work.  There was too much too do, and no time for forums and blogging or even making cups of tea – it was chaos I tell you, chaos!!

I did not get a chance to go to the bathroom, and by the time I realised that I was going to expire from thirst and needed another cup of tea – I realised it was past 4pm.

I had a deadline that I was rushing towards, and I easily had another two hours of fires to put out.  I also then realised it was late, I needed to collect kids from school/holiday programme and just could not get there.

I called and cancelled with running guy, as there was just no way I was going to make it.   I hate cancelling with someone when we have  set arrangement.  But there was no way I was going to meet him at the red jungle gym to run around the block based on how my day was going.

I still had not sorted how the kids were going to be collected.

I then started to panic – the dance on the spot, start dialing random people sort of panic.  I tried two friends who often help me when I am stuck, but neither were answering, I kept calling and then my panic started escalating as I realised I did not have a plan B or C in operation.

It was nearly 16h30 and I either needed to leave and collect the kids, or …. well I did not have an or.  I also could not leave as I had less than an hour to sort something out that had to print …. oh the panic and the stress.

I phoned Kennith and said “if you had to go and collect the kids now, just leave work and go, could you …?”

You know what he said.  Sure, and then my boy made a plan.

He dropped what he was doing, did not argue with me why his work was more important than mine, got in his little car and drove from Cape Town to make it to the kids schools to collect them.

In one instance my knight-in-shining-car had solved my fetch-kids-before-they-are-deposited-on-the-kerb problem.  I was so happy I could have yodeled.

My bunny is quite a good egg, even if I say so myself.

Not feeling so good …

I have not been feeling well for a few days, it was mainly IBS  (irritable bowl syndrome – or spastic colon or fuck-my-stomach-is-really-sore) related issues.  From about Tuesday night the tempo was definitely stepped up and I really started to feel more crap than bad.

Wednesday was pretty grim, and by Wednesday night I was in agony.  We stopped at an all-night pharmacist and they gave me the usual things that really barely bounce off my symptoms.   I  do think pharmacists should give you schedule 4 or 5 drugs if you have a convincing enough story and lie on their counter, but we can address that in a separate post on another day.

I seldom miss work due to IBS.  It is around so much, that if I stayed off when IBS hit, I would be at home permanently.  So I tend to chew back half a dozen Buscopan and go to work and just focus on getting through the day without screaming at too many people.

I generally lack patience and tact, but when I am in pain, I have been known to be rude to blind crippled children with dyslexia.

My symptoms are usually spasms, of the kind that make you sit up and take notice.  In my case I have to stand, as I can’t actually sit at my desk.  I break out in a slight sweat, and feel really nauseous.  The pain/discomfort increases and it gets to the point where I actually cannot hear what people are saying anymore as I am in so much pain.

My pain is often intensified when people say “Have you got a sore tummy, take an ENO that always make me feel better.” At about that point I start imagining smashing the Eno glass into their face … but again, I seem to have gone off on a tangent.

By Thursday morning I was really out for the count and phoned in sick – I know I may appear to be a lackluster employee, but I rarely take sick days.

I popped off to see a GP.  Who turned out to be really nice and mature – I am so tired of seeing GP’s who look like they are 12 years old and graduated in 1995.  I like my doctors a little old and weathered, and more important who appear to be older than I am – which is getting harder and harder to find as time moves on.

Doctor B was great and did not try to cure the problem, but we discussed my symptoms what has helped over the years, what has not and what today’s problems were.

She gave me some muscle relaxants – gotta love that – though I was hopeful my sphincter did not think the relaxants were for him – and then some pills for intestinal cramping.

What a great combination, especially when taken together and at maximum dose.

Strange how when you look at the recommended dose you always think “well, that is for mere mortals with normal pain, for the pain I am experiencing – which is way off the chart – I need to double if not triple the recommended dose…”  Well, that is how I reason it anyway.

I always figure, what is the worst that can happen – I will just got to sleep for a long time, hardly seems like an undesirable side effect to me.

I would suggest being close to a bed, and not operating any kind of machinery or trying to text at the time of taking said muscle relaxants.

Thursday I lay there like a vegetable, and Friday was not much better – but I did start feeling mildly more human on Friday afternoon.

But strangely for the balance of the weekend I just kept feeling really crap – still crampy, though not throw-you-on-the-floor spasms, but nauseous, heavy, and just totally shite all around.

I was lying in bed on Saturday night whining quietly to Kennith.  Kennith suggested – in a not affectionate/optimistic voice – “is there any way you could be pregnant?”

Now I know that it is scientifically/biologically/religiously/time-space-continuum impossible, but at the same time I recall how I felt when I was last pregnant.  For those first three months and it was pretty much how I felt now – like absolute shite.

Suddenly I was alarmed – and still feeling sick!

Immediately I started worrying – good grief, could you imagine if I am pregnant!!  I am paranoid on the best of days and with the power of suggestion – especially negative suggestion – my mind can pick up on that scenario and run with it.

I had already worked out that I was due in late February/March, it would be a boy.

Kennith and I would practically be divorced then, I would weight at least 30 kilograms more.  Our house would be beyond chaos with too many children and not enough rooms.  I anticipated Pepe resigning because she felt I had pushed her too far.

Work had fired me as I would be so sick during this fourth pregnancy that I would not be at work much, we would be so far into financial trauma that we would be selling off any wedding presents we had received.

I went to scratch in the bathroom cupboard to see if I had an old – unused – pregnancy test lying around.  Sadly no, went back to bed to worry some more.

Sunday stopped at Clicks at Century City – pee’d on a stick – and not suprisingly it was negative.    The emotions one goes through when one is trying to urinate on a stick and not on your hand as you stare at that little line to appear or not to appear is really quite special.

For a moment, I actually thought “gee, what if I am” in a sort of silly smiley way.

The impact of a fourth child now would have killed us, even me a mildly rational person could have seen that.  I am barely coping as is.

Part of me – the sane part – was so relieved to have failed the test, though a very small – actually teeny-tiny-minute part – the unstable part – was a little disappointed, but that part of me likes to fly a little too close to the sun.

Kennith again asked if I would just let him go and have a vasectomy – and again indicated in no uncertain terms that he is OVER HAVING MORE CHILDREN!!  He even added “I AM DONE” with his arms that go up in the air for extra expression.

You know, I understand that.

I don’t accept it, and will continue to badger him some more – but in a subtle way.

He has taken to talking loudly and slowly to me on this issue so that there is no misunderstanding from him to me as to his wishes. But I just ignore him and think he will get on board.  (We can talk later about how I manage to sustain my delusions in the face of all evidence to the contrary.)

I know three children is too much and I often agree that we have bitten off more than we can chew, all this I know, but any way, that was my day.

Spur people … people with a taste for life ….

I am really not a Spur-Party person there is just something about it I find a little cheap-and-well-not-so-cheerful for kids parties – I don’t know why, I just do.  I like to plan extravaganzas.  I have made a silent pact with myself to never have a Spur party for my kids as long as I can avoid it.

This year I planned a great Princess Party for Georgia’s fifth.  I booked a great venue and pretty much had it all planned.  I just had to do the invites and the small details.

Georgia then piped up that she wanted a Spur party.

Some times it does help to just ignore the wishes of your child and continue on your merry way.  However Georgia is not one of those people who you can just ignore and act like they never said anything.  She is the insistent memory-like-an-elephant variety.

I tried to explain that we can go to the Spur ANY TIME – and really we do – at least once a week – the party I have planned included a castle, go karts and ponies and so many cool things.  But Georgia was not interested and insisted that a Spur party was the answer.

I thought okay,  maybe I can sell it up a bit and have all the kids dressed as cowboys and Indians – at least then I could use the excuse as to why the Spur seemed a good venue, but it was not to be.  She still insisted she wear her fairy outfit – so there I was stuck with a Spur party on my horizon.

We scouted out a few Spurs to find one with a good play area, and then booked it.

All things being equal, they are really well organized and just seem keen to help.  Spur throws in a cake at no charge, they have face painting and the kids get much more to eat that they need.  You actually do not need to do anything – you do not even need to do a party pack – they give a cup that the kids take with them filled with sweets, so it is the easiest party I have ever planned in my life.

So there we were on Saturday celebrating Georgia’s party at the Spur – I have never seen her as excited about any of her parties as she was about that damn Spur party.  She spoke about it for about three weeks before, and on the day was so excited it was really very sweet to watch.

What I liked most, was when the moms were all sitting around the spur table, the kids were running around and I ordered a bottle of wine – initially they were all sipping their coffee and reluctant to partake, but it only takes one to say “yes, I will have a little …. and then off we go.”

Life’s rule # 56 – you really should not have to attend a child’s party unless there is wine on offer – or some form of alcohol.

The party was really easy, we had about 8 kids there – which was a damn side easier than the normal 25 I drag along.  They had a good time, then after it all, everyone stood up, said goodbye, I did not have to clean up anything, and we decided to sit down for lunch – yes, still at the Spur!!

So I take back all the things I have said about the Spur, and think that if Isabelle is not careful she might be getting a Spur party in the next three to four years.

Mind your language …

I’m sitting trying to ignore the kids as I spend a few moments on a forum I have fallen behind on.  My form of therapy and quiet time.

Kennith has fed the kids – chocolate spread on toast – we are nothing if parents who feed their kids a balanced meal on a Sunday night.  Kennith decides to have 10 minutes to himself on the throne, bigger kids are eating, smaller kid is crawling over me depositing mucus in my hair and on my shirt.

Georgia is sitting at the kitchen table saying “daddy can you bring me a serviette..” I decide to ignore her as I figure she will realize dad is not coming, then get off her chair take the two steps and get a serviette for herself.

Georgia has a habit of repeating herself to exhaustion if someone does not answer her.

This was one of those times, so she keeps going

“daddy can you bring me a serviette..”

“daddy can you bring me a serviette..”

“daddy can you bring me a serviette..”

“daddy can you bring me a serviette..”

“daddy can you bring me a serviette..”

Her voice never changes pitch, she keeps it quite neutral, and it is just the repetition.

At about the point where I have heard it enough, I scream up the passage “Georgia, what do you want?” – knowing full well what she wants.

So she answers “Can daddy bring me a serviette.?”

I scream back: “Get off the chair, and get yourself a freak’n serviette.”

Georgia: “Okay…”

Me, carrying on typing on my forum, thinking I have solved all the household problems without moving from my chair.

Georgia: “Mommy….”

Me: “Yes Georgia…”

Georgia: “There are no more freak’n serviettes …..”

About three moments later, totally out of the quiet of the kitchen …

Georgia:”Mommy….”

Me: “Yes Georgia ….”

Georgia: “ Stop saying freak’n serviettes……”

Have I pointed out that Georgia is five?

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The blurb on the book reads:  “1939: Nazi Germany.  The country is holding its breath.  Death has never been busier.”

I think this book had tried to be introduced to my book club several times, and it kept getting bounced.

I personally wasn’t really putting my weight behind it to get it into book club either.  There was just something about the book that put me off reading it.  It might have been the fanfare regarding it – so many reviews had said it was a brilliant book and and and .. I started to feel pressure that this book was all hype and wow, but what if I read it and I did not like it.

The Life of Pi is my Achilles’ heel – that book strikes the fear of reading in to me.  I totally freeze when ever I pick it up and can’t get past chapter three.  The thing does not make sense, so I live in fear that there are more books out there that I might be too mentally slow to understand.

Rest assured, this is not one of those.  I took this book along with me when we did the Whale Trail earlier this year and I flew through this book in just over a day – it was gripping and brilliant.  At a certain point, I put it down as I did not want to it end.

The basic story is that Liesel, a nine year old girl is living with a foster family in Himmel Street.  It is in the midst of Nazi Germany.  You are either a Nazi supporter or find yourself off on a fully-paid holiday camp in Poland.

You get the sense that Liesel’s parents ticked the wrong block when being asked if they were communists and sadly disappeared from the story before even making an appearance.  So she ends up with the Hans and Rosa Hubermann – who seem to be Germans, but not quite Nazis.

Liesel is in this small town, pretty much everyone is dirt poor.  She is thrust into this family who are a bit strange but clearly love her, and express it in a variety of ways.

Liezel loves books and is not above a little stealing to get them.  It is one of those stories where what happens is not as important as how it makes you feel when it is happening.  The characters and how they react to an incident is what knits this story together.

I cried like a five year old when this book was finished, not only because it is so heart-wrenchingly sad, but because the characters and their emotions are so honest.  The story is so bitterly sweet it will stay with you long after you have closed this book and wiped your nose on your sleeve.

The magic of this story is quite simply the power of words to change people’s lives.  It is packed with grueling episodes of human cruelty and kindness, and the story is simple and will stay with you long after the tears have dried.

I really enjoyed this one.

Hush little baby don’t you cry ……

Last night Isabelle started crying – err screaming might be a more accurate description – at about 1am.

It wasn’t a “I’m-a-little-upset-and-will-just-roll-over-and-put-my-thumb-in-my-mouth” cry.  It was a real screaming-child-in-distress cry.  I opened my sticky very disorientated eyes and stumbled through to her – my ability to not knock my toe on the corner of our bed continues to amaze me.  My theory is if you do that once and break your baby toe, you sort of learn a foot-sonar-technique to keep you safe for time eternal.

By the time I picked Isabelle up, she was really crying like she had sustained a serious injury.  I usually sit in her room and rock her until she calms down and then put her back to bed, but it just felt different and she was much more distressed than under normal circustances.  I stood in her room and tried to sooth her, but she wasn’t even toning it down, she was screaming blue murder.

I thought – for my comfort –I will take her to bed and put her in the bed with me and rock her there.  I figured at least I could be warm, awake but warm.

As soon as I got to bed Kennith grumbled something about babies and vasectomies … when I answered “what!” he sort of mumbled through the folds of the duvet that I should walk her around as sitting bed will not settle her.

You know how you feel this overriding urge to pick up the lamp stand and beat your partner unconscious with it?  Well that pretty much summed up how I felt right then.

I thought “You turd, you carry on sleeping, leave me to care for my baby who is clearly dying!!”  A rational mom always settles on death as the only possible outcome at being awake at 1am.

I did stand up. I slammed my ice cold feet onto the floor when I got out of bed – just to make my point.  It might not have been heard through the comfort of the warm snuggly duvet and light snores of Kennith at just that time.

I walked Isabelle around the room a bit, showed her the lights of the sleeping city – we have a great view from our bedroom.  But she was not even vaguely calming down.  Her body was stiff and she appeared to be on the verge of a I-can’t-breath episode.

I took her to her room and sat on the rather hard, cold and squeaky rocking chair to try to rock her to calm her down – all the time wondering how I could maim Kennith as he quietly slept.

I pulled the blankets away from Isabelle’s cot and looked around her room, as I thought that she might have been bitten by a snake or something as she was hysterical and totally out of control.

As I sat there wondering how long I was going to let this go on for before I made a trip to the emergency room, Kennith came plodding through and picked Isabelle up and tried to rock and comfort her.  Okay, so I would not quite smack his brains out with the night light yet …

Kennith then passed her back to me and he went off to bed.  I sat and rocked her until she appeared to calm down a bit.  I was not sure if she was having difficulty breathing as she was crying so hysterically and could not seem to catch her breath.

I thought it might be croup, but there was none of that very recognizable Doberman-sounding cough that separates croup from all other sounds. I thought that maybe a hot bath with lots of steam would help, but it might have been that I was so flipp’n cold right then, it probably sounded good to me.

Eventually Isabelle calmed herself and I was able to lie her down in her cot.  She was not terribly happy, but did do me the favour of putting her thumb in her mouth and started sucking on that.  I left the room door open as I went to bed so we could hear her if her breathing became labored and went back to my bed.

It always amazes me how quickly exhausted parents can spring in to action and run around the house in a panic, and then as quickly fall back into bed and carry on snoring like nothing at all happened.

The Well and the Mine – a novel by Gin Phillips

My book clubs is a conservative lot and when the opening line on the blurb for this book read “Carbon Hill, 1931: in a small Alabama coal-mining town, nine-year-old Tess Moore watches from the darkness of her back porch as a strange woman lifts the cover off the family well and tosses a baby in without a word.”

Right there it was decided that babies down wells do not make good reading for moms and moms to be, so the book got relegated to the pile not deemed suitable for selection.  Fortunately my friend Alice who was hosting is made of hardier stuff, and decided to veto the “communal” vote and purchased the book, which I quickly snatched up – good on you Alice.

I tend to run scared when I see a book has won an award or a prize (this one is the winner of the Barnes and Noble Discovery Prize).  I always think it’s going to be all pomp and flowery prose and far beyond my rather limited intellect,  but this book was brilliant and the characters quickly crept under my skin.

The Moore family, though very poor, grows food on their plot of land, so this saves them from the crippling poverty and near-starvation that besets their neighbours.

There is a strong current of community that serves this town.  The mines swallowing able men before light, spewing them back in the dark, coal-stained, to spend a few precious hours with their families.  In a home built on strong values, Leta and Albert Moore treasure their children.

This is a family nurtured on respect and hard work, the children basking in their parent’s solicitude and moral direction. It is this moral sense that confounds young Tess as she grapples with an unidentified woman’s motivation in tossing her child into the back porch well.

The book uses all five of the family’s members to unravel the tale in a mix of voices, each presenting their own take on events as viewed from their particular perspective, either recounting events, providing back-story or even, in the case of the youngest member, Jack, providing a retrospective view from his present day adulthood, highlighting just how so not very long ago those times really were.

Despite the shock of its opening and the dark theme which that promises, this book is, in reality, an absolute delight.  It shows how even in the darkest times, there is the hope of human decency, understanding and, above all, compassion for one’s fellow human beings.

Well recommended.

(I must confess to borrowing a few lines and turn of phrases from other reviewers when I wrote the review for this book – I felt they captured what I was grappling with much more eloquently than I could.)

Happy Birthday Isa-Bubbles …

It’s a big day for me today, Isabelle turns one.  Well she turns one at 16h25 to be exact.

This whole week I have been reflecting on the fact that one year ago I had this little person inside me and she was moving around and how much I miss that closeness.  You can’t explain to someone unless they have had a baby moving around them – how miraculous it is, how strange and how fantastic all at the same time.

I have spent much of this week holding my hand on my lower abdomen just remembering those moments and missing them terribly.

I also take this opportunity to reflect over the year and how much has changed from last June 2009 to now.

I was facing the c-section that I was quite afraid of.. it went fine.

I was very nervous about staying in a general ward, I really wanted a private room, but we could not afford it … but it was fine, just something more I fretted about.

I was worried about how we would cope financially with the four months of unemployment … but Kennith made a plan, and it was fine.  Sure it was a financial hill we had to overcome, but it was fine.

I was worried about how I would fare at home on maternity leave – well there was something worth worrying about.  I did not fare well at all actually.

Once the initial week or three passed I really started to feel frustrated and unhappy being at home.  I am like duck out of water at home, and really do not know what to do with myself.

The days gaped before me – they were black, empty and dark – and terrifying!!

I got stressed and anxious with the dawn of each day.  I took that stress out on Kennith the minute he walked in the door.

I felt totally lost and a drift at home with a new born baby.  It was not as if I had nothing to do. I had the other two kids who had school and all of that, I had my freelance work, and of course I wanted to spend the quality time with Isabelle.  The problem was that it just did not feel comfortable, it just did not feel nice!

I felt this pressure that I was meant to be fulfilled and happy being at home and gazing at my baby, which I dearly wanted and clearly adored.

But then I realised that I was not fulfilled, I was not happy – I was unhappy and concerned that maybe there is something wrong with you.  Why was it not enough to be at home and with my new born baby?  Why could I not cope with what seemed to come second nature to thousands of women each day – what the hell was wrong with me!!

At some point I started to feel a little out of control – actually a lot out of control.  Isabelle was also a crying clinging new born, and I felt I was permanently holding her and rocking her to keep her quiet – which I found exhausting and stressful.  I do have space issues, and find the constant touching of anyone – children as well – very stressful after a certain period of time.

I did start to fantasize about hurting her.  The fantasies usually involved me flinging her across a room, and the quiet and peace I may experience as she was moving through the air.

I did realise that once she hit the immovable object of the wall and slid to hit the ground, the quiet and peace would no longer exist and I would then be faced with another set of problems.

I know I should not be so honest about what I was thinking and what I was feeling, but that is really how I felt.  I thought about it several times a day.  When I started thinking about smothering her as that would be a good way to get peace and quiet – I realized what ever I was doing was not working.  I did not want to get all hysterical, but the alarm bells were clear to me, and I was still able to hold it together.  Waiting to see if it got worse might not be the best solution in this regard.

I found a psychiatrist and could get an appointment the following day.  I went over for a visit and a few meds, and just being there made me feel better.

I realized that maybe it was not her that I was not coping with, it was the fact that I was at home and that is what I could not deal with.

I contacted my employer and asked if I could come back early – they all but came to fetch me, which I am deeply grateful and forever indebted to them  for.  I went back on a part day flexi-arrangement basis and it did more for me than all the medication and psychiatrist visits in the world.

I was able to nip home during the day at about 11h00 to breastfeed Isabelle and spend an hour with her.  I would leave work and get home in time to feed her again before 17h00.  I realized how much I absolute loved and adored her – and how much being away from her made me better and  a more caring, affection and better mother to her.

Of course I am embarrassed and very sad that I could not be happier with her at home.  That she was not enough to keep me there, I really wish I could stay at home with her, but I couldn’t and can’t.

I am a better, more stable, more sane mother going to work each day.  Sure I worry about my children, and I miss them.  Especially Isabelle, I miss her smell, her soft squishy skin, her gummy smile, but right now I know the best I can do for me and them, is to pack them up in the morning and for me to go to work.

But today is my baby’s birthday and I am looking forward to getting home and helping her blow out her first candle on her first cake!  I love that little girl more than I can ever express!!

Daddy’s Girl by Margie Orford

I read this brilliant book the other day, and I published the review on www.moomie.co.za – but it really as a good book so I thought I would put the review up on my blog as well.

The main character in Daddy’s Girl is Dr. Clare Hart.  Clare is a profiler, who consults when police needing to understand the motives and characteristics of criminals in order to identify patterns of behavior.  She assists in narrowing the search in finding either the perpetrators or the victims before they turn up dead. Her specialty is crimes that involve children.

Clare is approached by the very intense character of Captain Riedwaan Faizal who is with Cape Town’s elite Gang Unit – he is a man in a desperate situation.  He is tough and streetwise — his marriage has crumbled and his wife intends to emigrate to Canada with their only daughter.    All these personal issues become pertinent to the weaving of this story.

Clare quickly becomes involved with him and assisting to solve his ordeal. (I do not want to give away too much of the story.)

Cape Town comes to life as it’s own character in this book.  It is messy, colourful and feels dangerously familiar.  The streets and descriptions of the locations of the crimes are familiar and if you have lived or ever lived in Cape Town, adds an authenticity to the story and the characters.

The story is fast paced, it is ugly and grim.  If you have children it will strike at your core.  The backdrop is the poverty on the Cape Flats, the 27’s and powerful men who cross the line between politics and crime syndicates, and control the city.

Your heart cries for the young girls, their families and the crushing poverty that forces them to make some dire decisions.

I cursed this story in the beginning.  I was reading 3 – 4 pages a day, and would keep putting it down, as it was just too much to bear.  I realized that this book is a bit like a plaster – you need to brace yourself and just get through the pain quickly.

This book is engrossing – it is disturbing, sobering, and makes you aware that there are things happening on your doorstep that we do not realise, and would rather not know about.  As dark and frightening as Daddy’s Girl is, you cannot deny how good it is, and what a brilliant author Margie Orford has proven herself to be.

A gripping, soul-exhausting but totally brilliant read!

Run Forrest Run …

In an attempt to get any semblance of fitness/good health I decided to join Adventure Boot Camp last year.

I had been lamenting my rather large wobbly bits for some time.  It was only made worse by Georgia constantly telling me that she “loved her big fat mommy..!”  I was pondering the rather state of affairs while driving home, and then a little person handed me an ABC pamphlet at our set of robots.

I never take pamphlets and I never leave my window open, so somehow this hander-out-of-pamphlets managed to evade my ignoring her and my security measures to keep the outside world well … outside.

I gazed at the orange and black pamphlet and  took this as a sign from the universe.  I promptly signed up the next day on-line, it was pretty easy, not so painful and very efficient.

There is nothing quite like signing up for an exercise program, you immediately feel fit and better – you almost don’t need to go to the classes.  Well that has been my experience with both Health and Racquet/Planet Fitness.  Sign up, pay the money and then never go, but strangely feel more healthy some how by just having the card in your wallet.

When I decide to do something the first thing I need to do is go shopping.  So I bought some weights, a yoga mat, and some really nice pants – a little tight all over – you know the camel-toe variety.  But it is Adventure Boot Camp, so let’s live a little.

I realized that in the warm up stage that I had under-estimated how unfit I was.  I was exhausted and mumbling uncontrollably and that was just in the warm up leg of the event.   I was breastfeeding at the time, and my breasts were responding to my crying.  So I had tight pants and wet circles on my breasts …  it was all a bit disconcerting.

Any the way, it turned out that ABC was really good.  The first two weeks required me to seek assistance when squatting on the toilet as I was unable to sit or stand unaided, but after that things did start to look up or at least less like I would need a daily suppository for the muscle pain.

It is a great 60 minutes. You do more than you thought you were able to, learn to swear like a sailor under your breath and insult the instructors mother without any guilt or remorse.

I am not a happy clappy person, so I tended to not get all “yay, whoop-whoop” about the whole thing – I like to suffer in silence.  So even though the instructor was really high-end happy, I think she soon realized that she need not try to sell that shit to me, because I wasn’t buying!

I did three Adventure Boot Camps, and though each one was “moer” hard –usually in the first week I stand there and wonder what the hell am I doing, there is a bag of Chuckles and a box of wine that needs my company more than this crap.  But I endured and was able to see drastic fitness level improvements.  I had bugger-all weight loss, but the pasta and wine gorging might be to blame.

At the last boot camp I realized – more than usual – that I run like a wounded buffalo who is slightly blind in the right eye.

I am really heavy, and really thump when I hit the ground.  I throw my weight from side to side, which does not assist me when I am trying to propel myself forwards.

I also breath like I should be on life support.   This would all be deemed as normal in my world, but when a girl who weighs 50 kilograms comes sweeping past me and her body is aerodynamically designed and she seems to glide over the tar, it really takes all of me not to put my foot out and trip her up!

After one more demeaning class I spoke to the instructor and indicated that my inability to run was really the sole reason for all the problems in my life.  She listened attentively, and made all the right sounds and suggested I join Walk/Run for Life.

My instructor is great.  But she is such a bubbly happy people person, that she does not quite recognize others who do not have good people skills.  The fact that she had paired us off in groups earlier in the class and I had screamed at my “partner” and used some unsavoury tones when referring to her brain capacity to count correctly might have been the first clue that I should work alone and maybe introducing me to another group might not be the thing.

I tried to remind her of this fact without bursting her bubble of happiness and peace to all. Irini gave it some thought and put me in touch with a coach/trainer.

So me and my new BFF got together two weeks ago for a little run.  We walked for quite a long time and then ran for three minutes.  Without using the cliché of  “I thought I was going to die…” which is so often over-used, but not in this case.  I really thought I was going to die.  I could barely breath and it was just awful.

At that point I thought well that proves that maybe I should take up ping-pong or another endevour but this running thing is clearly not for me.

My runner guys said something very profound: “I have met many people who thought they could not run, but I have never met someone who can’t run!”

My tah-dah moment right there.

My upbeat coach/trainer guy showed me a few easy steps and suddenly I could breath while running – hell I even held a conversation – I generally uttered short sentences with few syllables, but it was more than I had ever achieved before.

Last night we ran 3 sets of 5 minutes each. I was fine, I could breath. I even looked up and around while doing it – I have never done that before.  My calves felt like they were seizing and I was going to fall to the pavement flaying, but other than that it was really good – even when he said,”okay stop” I thought wow, I feel better than I thought.

I feel such a sense of achievement … I wanted to scream … I am running , I am running!!

But then I realized that no one really cared, and no one else was going to be impressed that I had just for 5 minutes (times three sessions) without passing out.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so chuffed with myself.  This is huge for me.  When I close my eyes and go to sleep at night I see myself running … how bizarre is that.

More bizarrely I bought a Runner’s World Magazine this morning – it is right under the large Bar One I bought as a reward for running.  I will read it as soon as I finish my chocolate.