Eat with your damn mouth closed …. cheese and rice …..

Some days my blog writes itself.

Some days I come up with such “new age” parenting ideas, but I think that it is a bit of an “idea before it’s time”.

Some days I come up with such great ideas, and wonder why I am not Parent of the Year EVERYFRKN Year.

Some days I am in awe of my brilliance.

Some days I wonder whether my kids actually phone Childline once I am in bed at night.

Today was a bit of all of those.

The scene: Dinner in our household.  Weekends we usually eat together at the dinner table.  During the week kids eat earlier and Kennith and I eat together much later.  This evening, dinner at the diningroom table.  Isabelle in high chair, Georgia next to me, Kennith sitting next to Connor.  Me and Kennith.

Menu: Cold chicken and very crunchy salad and a pasta salad.

Problem:  Kids are chewing with their mouths open.

Reaction:  Drives me off my frikn rocker.  I keep saying “chew with your mouth closed” then it escalated to “seriously guys chew with your mouth closed” and finally it is at the stage where I am saying “if you guys continue to eat like animals I am going to give you a plastic chair and make you eat dinner in the back garden!”

Yes, that might have been a bit harsh, but to be honest, I might have been happier if I took my plate and glass of wine and went to sit in the tranquility of the back garden.

Eventually an idea occurred to me.

It was a really good idea.

It was not a good politically correct idea.

It was not a good mothering/parenting idea.

It was an effective idea that would have immediate results.

Me: “I think I am going to pop down to the shop and get one of those dog-collars that has an electric shock buzzer.  You two will wear the collars.  I will have the buzzer.  Who ever I hear chewing will get a small electric shock.  See it as behaviour modifying.”

Connor: “Huh…”

Me: “I really am at my wit’s end …. I think an electric shock will be cool …….zzzttttt …… see how effective it is?  Connor you can have a green button, with a green collar, Georgia you can have a red collar and a red button.”

Connor – who now has thought about seeing his sister being shocked: “Hey I like that idea!”

Me: “Connor you do understand you will also be shocked.”

Connor: “Yes but I will see Georgia will be shocked …. that will be cool.  Can we get one?”

Me: “I think it would be better if we had a foot panel, so we could push that as then you will not see the hand move and know you are about to be shocked.  I could just push the foot panel, and you or Georgia will get a little zzttt …..”

Connor: “Yes, let’s get that. <still dreaming of his sister being electrocuted> Do they sell them?”

Me: “I wish …. I think there is a market, but I think that people might not think it is such a good idea…”

Connor: <still enamored that his sister might be shocked and he could watch> Can we make one?”

Me: “I wish my boy I wish ….”

I then spent the remainder of the meal with my “imaginary” button on the dining room table going “zzztttt.”

Connor thought it was brilliant.

Georgia totally ignored me and continued chewing with her mouth open.

… I do have some reservations that there might be a bit of a public outcry with the introduction of this product … but can you imagine the uses …. endless ……..I am only talking about a small little electric jolt, I am not suggesting roasting skin ……it’s okay, child services already know my number …. I am available any time to take their call …….

Image source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/aug/13/children-restaurants-kids-week-menu

Twitter update ….. Will Ferrell rules the world ….

<warning:  this post has nothing to do with parenting, other than using birth control so as not to conceive Justin Bieber ……>

1.  Twitter.  I am not on it.  I opened an account, and then never quite “got” Twitter. I have never gone back, and truly not sure I can comment on my life in 144 character text updates (or what ever you are allowed).  This may be a sign that I am at the stage of late middle age where you start saying “ba humbug” a great deal.

2.  It appears that only me and one unemployed man in Pakistan who has no internet access, nor fingers, no friends and liveds in a hut far away from society — out of choice.  Me and him, are the only two people on planet earth who do not use Twitter.  Everyone is on Twitter.  Everyone, except me and this fella.

2.  I think Kennith uses Twitter, but I am not sure.  I know he reads feeds from Twitter, but I am not sure if he has an account and you can go along and “stalk him”.

3.  I know Kennith follows some Twitter accounts, as he sometimes drops ‘pearls of wisdom’ that he has read on Twitter.  Most times they are pretty funny.

4. My Twitter usage is more of a spectator sport, than direct involvement.

5.  The defining moment in our relationship was when Kennith said “Kim Kardashian said ….. on Twitter..” and I looked at him through new eyes. Not eyes filled with wonder and delight mind you, but new eyes none the less.

6.  Kennith has since regretted telling me he read a Kim Kardashian Tweet, and since, tells me at least every week that he does not follow Kim Kardashian.

6. Kennith does not follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter.  So any reference to an insinuation that he might is unfounded, uncalled for, and will cause much anger and resentment.

7.  I saw this Twitter update and picture of Will Ferrell and Justin Bieber which made me make all sorts of snorting noises.  None of them attractive.  Some resulted in mucus across my left cheeck.   I have slowly grown fond of Will Ferell over the years.  Where Justin Bieber has really become to symbolise all things that are wrong with the world of fame and music, and boys who wear shiny pants.

In this image, I love that JB looks far more “excited to be there” whilst Will Ferrell looks like he is smiling the “awkward smile” into a school class photographs, which we all have done, when our eyes are saying “for fk sake get me out of here!!! or stab me with a salad fork and put me out of my miseries.”

8.  This alone might motivate me to find out how Twitter works and stalk Will Ferrell myself.  Love you Will.

Original source: http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10150428664375358&set=a.10150163462190358.337692.573580357&type=1&theater

Somedays I wish I could sort out all the sh*t on my 12 things list ……

I struggle with life a bit. Who am I kidding? I struggle with life a lot.

And this year has been a bit epic for me.  So many things did not go as planned, so many things got totally out of control.   Mainly in my head.  Then in my life.

I seem to have got a handle on my obsessive compulsive stroke panic and anxiety stuff  – which had totally overtaken my life this year.

Can you say freak out?

I can’t say whether it was an “attack” or a series of “attacks” or an “episode.”  It has been pretty hellish.  Like a roller coaster, but without the aid of tracks and a seat belt.

Either way it left me shattered and clinging on to reality though clenched teeth, and bleeding finger nails.

Now?  I am not best, but I am better than I was.  My grasp is tentative at best, but I really do feel as if I am at least aiming in the right direction.

I am seeing a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy.  I also see a psychiatrist who keeps me medicated up to my gills.  I believe this will reduce as my coping mechanism kicks in.

CBT is really hard work.

It is much easier to lie on the couch and blame my mother and life, but CBT really holds a mirror/magnifying glass up to your stuff and makes you questions every aspect.

It doesn’t deal with the “past” it deals with “today” and what you are doing “today” and how you can alter your thought processes about “today.”

It is not a quick fix.  It is not as simplem as I am suggesting here.  Dr CBT is pretty good, and I try to see him every week.

The longer the gaps between my visits, the further I notice I drift off into the abyss.  Yes, a somewhat co-dependant relationship if there ever was one.

It is a bit alarming as you drill down to the root cause of stuff, and sometimes you realise, that actually you are a bit sad and stupid, when you sort of thought you were a bit awesome.

There are many things I need to let go or change – and these are some of them:

1.  Internet and Social Media Dependence.  I have spent much too much time trying to find validation in cyberspace, when in reality, I need to find it with me first before I can even think of standing in cyberspace.  I have been the instigator, and in some cases the victim of so much crap.  It makes me all shaky and sweaty just thinking about it.  Having bad judgement and trying to operate in cyber space has not been a great combination. <palm slap with hand>.  Right now I am pretty much off most/all social media, and lurk around only really on my blog.

2. It is not always my responsibility.  I can live life without it being “if I do not do it, no one will” mentality or “it happened because I did or did not do something”.  So what if no one does it?  So what if you stand back and let it happen? So what?  Leave it.  It is not always your problem to fix it.  You cannot fix the world. Right now you are stuggling to button your shirt, leave the world’s probelms to someone else.

3. I am not as important as I think I am.  When I walk in to a room, people do not actually stop what they are doing and look at me and make a judgement.  Really I am not that important to them.  No one gives a shit.  Even those who do make a judgement – really does it matter, and really in a group how many people are there that truly judge you negatively?  And how many people think about the stuff I do or say as much as I think they do.  Trust me, hardly anyone.  No one gives a fig.  Except you.

4. Name the emotion and deal with it individually.  I paint my fears with a big brush.  I paint all my crap with a big brush.  Much easier to have a blanket description and then sit and tremble in the corner.  I can’t do that because it makes me feel anxious.  I don’t want do that because I am afraid.  Does it really make you feel anxious only, or are there other emotions there? Well, actually yes, I am nervous, I am a bit anxious, I am scared and I am afraid. Okay, so that is four different emotions, let’s work through each of those instead of thinking that it is all anxiety.  Makes it easier if you break something down to work through it.  See what each emotion is about, and deal with it.  A bit like eating an elephant ……

5.  Stop putting pressure on yourself to always feel a certain way.  I feel I am meant to always enjoy being with my children.  So when I am with them, and I am not enjoying it, then I feel guilty and I start a bit of self-flagellation because I should love it.  And that is pretty much the cycle for a lot of things. I need to stop telling myself I “should feel anything” and just feel it as it is, and accept it.  Not just about my kids, about so many aspects of my life.  Stop dictating to yourself you are meant to be or feel a certain way.  Who decides this?  Why are you dictating to yourself.  Stop!

6.  You cannot change anyone, so deal with it.  It drive me crazy when so-and-so does such-and-such. It drives me totally off my rocker.  Ask yourself, can you change them?  Generally the answer is no.  If they do it all the time, then accept that it is the way they do things.  Having a shit fit every time, is only making you more insane.  Does it really matter that so-and-so does such-and-such?  Really?  Like in the bigger scheme of things?  Probably not so much.  Well, then do not get so worked up by it, as you cannot change it and you have no influence.

7.  If you don’t like something or don’t want to do something, why do you force yourself to do it?  Well that one is sort of self-explanatory.

8.  What is the worst that can happen? Really if you say something and someone feels bad, can you control how they feel or what they think?  No, so why constantly bereit yourself.  So what if it happens that way, so what?  Is it really that bad? No.  Do you consciously set out to hurt people?  No.  Can you control what people feel or think?  No.  Then stop sitting there taking responsibility for it.

9.  Spend more time in the present and less time in the “what if it does happen” future and “oh god it happened like this last time, I am sure it will happen like this now” past.  Just BE. Just BE.  You are missing out on so much running around in your head.  Sit in the sun, sip your wine, smell the lavendar.  That is all.  Feel the sun on your face.

10.  Stop having this insane dialogue with yourself over every possible issue.  It’s done.  It’s over.  You do not have to relive the conversation over and over again and persecute yourself.  You can’t go back.  You can’t do it differently.

11.  Why judge yourself in the worse possible light?  You cannot actually be as sh*t as you think you are.  Really, you can’t.  More people like you and more people understand you than you think.  Stop being so harsh on yourself.

12.  Just let life live.  Don’t plan so much.  Don’t run it over and over in your head so much.  Stop with the fkn lists.  Don’t try to predict so much.  Don’t try to work in every possible eventuality.  It’s life, it happens, and then you adjust.  It just is.

13.  Drink less wi…….. actually no, stop at 12. 13 is such an unlucky number.

Tangle Teezer — my pink bit of magic …….

Georgia has got ridiculously long hair.  It runs way past her bum when loose.

I adore her hair, and hope that when she is twelve and decides she hates me, that she does to run out to a hairdresser and have it cut as a sign of rebellion.

I generally keep her hair in plaits to stop it getting too knotty.

On the rare occasion I leave it loose in all it’s glory, but knowing that I will have an evening of conditioner + huge knots + Georgia screaming as I detangle her hair.

Usually it remains plaited or styled and then in the morning it gets brushed out and retied up.

Pretty simple system. I really love her hair, I often touch it …. as you do …….

Georgia often screams or cries during brushing and the lament of: ‘Mommy, you are hurting me, mommy you are hurting me, mommy please stop hurting me …” usually fills the house.  It is not my finest moment and makes me feel somewhat sh&t that I insist her hair remains long, when clearly it is not fun for her.

To say I am less than excited when it comes to brushing Georgia’s hair, is an understatement.

I use a lot of conditioner.

I use a very wide toothed comb.

I drink a large glass of wine.  I brush slowly and carefully.  Georgia does not enjoy it.  She always tries to find ways to negotiate her way out of having her hair brushed.  Whining and crying are usual weapons of defense.

Last week in London, I was watching a BBC show “Dragons’ Den” and saw a product called a Tangle Teezer.

I was not overly impressed as I figured it is a strange brush, and trying to sell on hype, probably does not work much better than my fancy-comb.  I showed mild interest, but not a lot.  It did appear to work, but I tend to be somewhat distrusting of “telecommercial” products.

Then I was at Boots.  They had the product and a little display.  I remembered the show.

I was seduced by the flourescent lights, the large signage offering buy-3-only-pay-for-2 signs.

I was intrigued by the ridiculous prices of cosmetics (even when I converted pounds to rands).  I had a credit card and no idea of the bank charges for purchases.

I picked up a Tangle Teezer – stared at it for a bit, threw it into my basket.  I was not feeling overly confident with my purchase, but wanted to give it a try.  And it was pink, so that helped. (I must confess that the fact that I had seen the show, and the merits of the product whilst staring at the display did come back to me, and did encourage me to make the purchase.)

I got home on Monday and in the evening opened the Tangle Teezer and used it on Georgia’s just-washed-and-very-knotty hair.

This would normally be a mammoth undertaking.

Seriously!!  One two three strokes and bob’s your monkey, her hair was brushed, knots were gone and she was not screaming. It was done.  I stood there in amazement and stared at my pink brushy thing in amazement.

Last night Georgia ASKED me to brush her hair.  She NEVER asks me to brush her hair.

She went to get her cool new Tangle Teezerand I brushed her hair.  I am amazed (like mouth gaping amazed) and how easy it brushes out knots and does not cause her pain and she was sitting there quite content.

I had her brush my hair to see the effect.  Normally if Georgia brushes my hair, a good portion of my hair leaves my head with their roots in tact.

But it was pain-free and really cool.

I have no idea how or why it works, but seriously if you have a child and have been struggling to brush hair amid tears and threats of violence, do yourself a favour and get one of these brushes.

No idea where you get them, but my giddy aunt, really really good.

Princess and the Penis ….. real book title …. honest

I like books, I really do.

Sometimes I read the odd book that is out of my genre of choice.

I love Alison Weir, Agatha Christie and Bill Bryson. I adore books about Sherlock Holmes and anything that deals with British Monarchy.  Right now I am reading a British Monarchy history dealing with the “War of the Roses” and also a Sherlock Holmes book.

Kennith suggests reading British Monarchy History it is like watching ENews, but with Lindsay Lohan as the Village Tramp and Paris Hilton as Queen Anne …. I don’t disagree.

But I find history books quite enthralling, and I do understand why other people fog over when I tell them about the plot, so I tend not to blab about my books too much …. any more.

<I also like movies set in World War II for some reason … and I “enjoy” reading books that have the holocaust as a backdrop ….>

I once even read a Chelsea Handler book, so I do think I am pretty open-minded regarding books and ones I pick up and “try” even though some times good sense should intervene.

I draw the line at Jody Picoult (hate, really I do) and Sidney Sheldon (hate it more, probably the seventy-seven paragraphs rambling about the scenery) and my personal cringe is Danielle Steele.

I am not suggesting you do not read them, please do.  Buy as many of them as you can.  The more you purchase increases my luck of them being sold out, and then I do not have to see them on the shelves.

Possibility of pure joy moment.

Yesterday on Amazon under Kindle e-books I saw “The Princess and the Penis…” its a book, and it costs $0.99.

I went to look at the reviews, as I was not quite sure if I had read the title correctly or this was a case of a really bad typo.

But it appears it is quite an “enjoyable read…” and “fast paced….”

The product description is described as: A beautiful, chaste, and completely naive princess encounters a strange lump in  her mattress. The lump soon morphs into a shape familiar to everyone but her, triggering her curiosity and her father’s greatest fears. He frantically tries to intervene, but having a large phantom phallus in a curious maiden’s bed is never a good combination.

I loved this excerpt from the one reviewer, which really at the end of the day sums up many romance novels:

After reading about 14,952 romance novels, a few things become clear. No matter what the story is about–a duke, a werewolf, a football player, a Carpathian vampire, a steampunky swashbuckler, a baker, a lawyer, a candlestick maker, or even an Orca shapeshifter–the real star of the show is actually…the p*nis. Yes, this is in fact true. It gets tons of attention, pages and pages of highly detailed description, and often saves the day.

So that is it at then end of it all.

Princess Amelia and her lumpy mattress and the relationship she forms with the mattress.

I am not sure if you left me for 100 years with a pen and a sheet of paper, or a keyboard I would have come up with this particular slant on a rather aging-but-classic tale…

Now who amongst us had not woken up before with a lumpy mattress in our back?

I can’t say I feel like a Princess at the time, but there we go, time to shift your thinking…… or get a double bunk.

If you want to download the book on your Kindle, pop down to: http://www.amazon.com/The-Princess-the-Penis-ebook/dp/B005ORR6HE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1319525373&sr=1-1#_

When child services are called ….because of a blog …. no really ….

I may be coming a bit late to this party, I do not read as many blogs as often as I used to, but none the less, I do eventually get there, albeit it a bit later.

I saw this on blogher and of course, it made me a bit nervous, and apprehensive.  I raised a need-an-appointment-for-waxing eyebrow in suspicion, and asked “What is really going on here …?”

I went along to read the original story and unless I am missing something: – a son sold his calculator for Pokemon merchandise, his mom thought okay, that is fine, you do what you must, but you will need to earn the money back to pay for the calculator, which you do need for school – and oh, seeing as you sold your calculator it appears you will not have one for your maths test.

Sorry for you!

You sold/swapped the calculator = You suffer the consequences = Seems like good parenting.

Possibly I am further on the scale towards “free range” parenting, than say “helicopter” parenting.  But I personally have no problem with this concept.  (In truth out of guilt I may have stopped en route to school and bought my son a calculator, but good sense would have told me to allow the lesson to be taught and granted if I bought him a calculator now, what would stop him from swapping his duvet for a cool skate board tomorrow?)

The child in the blog post is eleven.

Eleven you can work out a few things, including you will not have a calculator for a maths test if you swap it for Pokemon merchandise, for instance.

I figure, if you can’t work this out, well then maybe you need to be kept back a grade anyway, whether you pass the maths test sans-calculator or not.

I do think as a parent we struggle to give our children everything, and balance this off against a sense of entitlement (the child’s) and a sense of their place in the world (the child’s) and guilt (ours as parents, which seems to arrive at the same time as the child).

I know far too many children who are catered to, and who have no idea what a consequence is.  They do as they please, and mom and dad, pretty much smile and nod and the child merrily skips through life thinking their sh*t does not stink.

These are loving parents, but for some reason they perceive discipline=hate my child, and they just can’t discipline, or choose not to.

I do think it is wonderful to be a child and be given toys and no restriction on rules and sleep time and all of those wonderful things.

It sounds like Disney Land every day.  Great for kids, maybe not so great for parents, or society.

I sense that by not setting boundaries and a sense of consequence we will affect how our children go through the rough (and trecarious) teenage years and thus develop in to responsible adults.

I may be wrong, but I will update my blog in about 5 – 10 years and let you know how that works out.

I am not sure what the result is of “giving in to everything our children want” being “restrictive about what we give our children” and I am sure for everyone there is a happy medium.

Yours may be very different to mine.

I try my utmost not to judge other parents, as really you have no idea what they are faced with, and how much sleep they have had, but I do roll my eyes.  Inside. Quietly, so they don’t see.

Have I told you the part where we made Connor pay for a second tennis racket we had to buy for him. (We bought the first one, because we are good parents who encourage sport and involvement, but we draw the line at kitting out the same child for the same sport a second time.)

Because he had lost the first one.

And we explained the value of looking after your possessions.

Then I found the tennis racket in a box.  I had put it in to.  After I had cleaned out my car …… yes, CPA anyone?

Breast Cancer Awareness …. awareness is not enough …

So it is October, and it appears to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I think that is great – its a relevant subject and more awareness can’t hurt, right?

Okay, so I am aware of Breast Cancer – so now what?  I can join a Facebook group and update my status profile picture, but really what does that do?

The call to action here should be “Get your arse off the couch, and make an appointment and get that frkn mammogram you have been promising to get and never got!  Go now!”

However I find that does not translate well into a tag line or slogan.

I suggest if you are reading this you pick up the phone and give your local hospital a call, ask to speak to the X-Ray Department and make an appointment for a mammogram.

The test takes about 15 – 30 minutes (assuming you have the benefit of private hospital care) and is somewhat uncomfortable, but hardly as uncomfortable as a pap smear.

Medical Aid covers it (again if you have it) but no doubt you can book it at a public hospital as well.

Once done, you get to skip off and know that you have done a bit more than “be aware” you have got your sh&t together and got a test. Or you are aware that there is an “area of concern” that needs some attention.

Either way, at least you are being an active participant with your breasts, your life and your health.

My challenge today is to knock this message through to 5 bloggers, they in turn get tested – and then knock this on to 5 bloggers they know.

If they have been tested in the last two years they pass it on, as awareness (and hopefully get-off-your-arse-motivation to other bloggers, and readers alike!)

It is like a chain-mail but without the benefit of a promise of a large dollar pay-out, or a veiled threat at the end.  It is what it is – get the test, nothing more, nothing less.

You do get a cool x-ray of your boobies that you can look at, which is almost as good.

The 5 Bloggers I nominate to pick up this challenge are (in no particular order):

Sharon at I believe in Miracles

Laura at Harassed Mom.

Natasha at Raising Men.

Margot at Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog.

Wenchy at The Noctural Wenchy.

Questions (you can answer if you feel like it):

When did you have your first mammogram?  November 2010

Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer?  No, not that I know of.  My mom had a sprinkling of cancer on her skin, but it appeared to be related to sun damage.  I do pop down to a dermatologist once a year, and do drag myself kicking and screaming to a pap smear once a year.

Why have you not gone for a mammogram? I initially ignored all warnings, and figured it ‘would never happen to me” then I listened to a radio interview on CapeTalk and the presenter was interviewing a woman who went from ‘having no breast cancer’ to a full mastectomy within 6 weeks, that is how fast her cancer spread – and she was not even 30!  I poo’d in my pants a bit that day and made an appointment, pronto.

What were your mammogram results?  I had an x-ray which was free from any issues, and then I had a sonar scan, just because I wanted one – and then after a little rub and push from a doctor, was told all is fine and I should come back in two years.  Of course you never know if they have missed something, or something might appear within the two year window …. insert paranoid face here …… I know I should be doing self-examination as well …..

How bad is “going for a mammogram” on a scale of 1 to 10?  Probably around a 2, I’d rather do a mammogram exam than go to the dentist or have a pap smear.

When is your next appointment? I will make it for mid-2012, as the doctor suggested I not do it under two years (he might have said five, but I am sticking to two.)

Do you know anyone who has had breast cancer?  No, I don’t think I do. Unless I do, and they have not told me.

What is my point?  Maybe by bloggers talking about breast cancer and going for mammograms we can encourage other bloggers to make an appointment and readers as well ….. just maybe.

Acknowledge source of image  – David Jay Photography – and huge props to : http://www.thescarproject.org/

SA Blog Awards 2011 are upon us …. insert happy face or not ….

Surprisingly I won the Best Parenting Blog in 2010.  No really I did.  NO REALLY!!

I was as surprised as you presently are — trust me.

I could not make it to the Award Evening/Announcement of Winner-and-Losers as I was holidaying in Zanzibar at the time sans children (I love the sound of that.)

Good times.  Relaxed times.

I sent my lovely friends David and Alice to the Awards Evening in my stead.  Bless them.

I won!!  Yay for me.

Alice stumbled up to the stage and collected the little perspex/glass award for me.  She might have used the old but never forgotten speech of: “You like me, you really like me…” which I would have gone with, had I been there.

I did not see images from the night, but I saw this one earlier today, which was great. Olmeca Tecquila was a co-sponsor …..>

The 2011 SA Blog Awards have got started, a tad late, I might add.

But hey, I am not having to organise it, so really I leave it to others who are suitably qualified, and who like the feel of the last minute rush and the chaos that ensues.

There are far fewer categories this year.

Parenting Blog Category has been axed and so too have several others – we could argue the merits of that, but really I don’t want to.  It would be a case of lamenting something I have no control or influence over, and really just getting my big girl panties in a knot.

The present blog categories for the 2011 SA Blog Awards are:-

  • Best Business / Political Blog
  • Best Entertainment / Lifestyle Blog (I was suspicious as Lifestyle was spelt incorrectly on their website, not a good omen)
  • Best Environmental Blog
  • Best Fashion Blog
  • Best Food & Wine Blog (It annoys me when an ampersand is used, when in other instances the word “and” is used ….. anal much?….. yes I am a bit)
  • Best Music Blog
  • Best Photographic Blog
  • Best Science and Technology Blog
  • Best Sport Blog
  • Best Travel Blog

So there we go.  It appears I fit into none of these categories, though I may make a play for “Best Wine Blog.”

Drinking copious amounts of wine whilst blogging does not equal a wine blog, it seems.  Which I think is just a technicality and shows a narrow-mindedness very early in the competition.

If you like a blog enough to spare a few clicks, pop along and see if they are there, and then cast a vote.

The public voting phase opens on Monday 31 October 2011 and runs until Wednesday 9 November 2011.

The 2010 SA Blog Awards were a bit controversial.  People moaned, people complained, people beat their chests in anguish and not everyone was happy with most of it.

I found the process a bit odd and really had no idea what was going on most of the time. Clearly I was somewhat pleased with the outcome, as you would expect.

Winning is a bit like that.

There were a lot of bloggers who had some less than complimentary things to say about the way it had been dealt with (nomination + voting + judges decision) and how it had all run.

Lots of bloggers were annoyed and voiced this on blogs, tweets and on Facebook, and basically shot the awards down. It was my first year, so I had no comment as I did not know any better.

I guess this year will be similar, and already there is a bit of a huff about the categories and the fact that right now “quite popular and much in need of a night out with a bit of dress up and the possibility of an award” Mommy-Bloggers are excluded, or not included sufficiently.

Mommy Bloggers are hardly going to be “right” in the Best Entertainment / Lifestyle Blog Category.  And as mentioned the Best Wine Blog Category is not right either.

Mommy Bloggers float in the abyss, or throw their hat in the ring with Entertainers and see how that rolls.

Motherhood often does requires an ability to fake an interest in sex, all things poo and how-much-does-your-baby-weigh related, and you must appear truly excited when you unwrap the macaroni-painted-necklace again ………. so at best we are fantastic thespians … just with a limited stage and not so much in the way of ticket sales.

Hence we might make it into the Entertainment and Lifestyle Category …. and then Mommy Bloggers are being compared to 2oceanvibe – I mean seriously!!!?

Ah well, such is life.

I think it is great to have a Blog Awards.  It’s cool to be ranked with the cool kids. and it is also nice to have a bit of “props” for something you think is pretty phenomenal.

But at the end of the day, you blog because you like the sound of your own voice, and you like to write about your own sh&t, and you get to cyber-meet some really interesting people.

Does an Award make you a better blogger?  Doubt it. Is it always the best blogger who wins? Probably not – it is subjective and probably not always as “fair” as we would like to think.  Does blogging become a bit of a please-for-fk-sake-like-me-and-vote-for-me? Of course.

Granted it is a nice badge to have, and I was super thrilled in 2010.

Good luck to all the bloggers for 2011.

Maybe Living and Loving or Pampers can run a Best Mommy Blogger of the Year Award …. I would so get on board with that sh&t …… just saying.

Home sweet wine Home ….

Finally got home <I have been playing airport lounge since Sunday lunchtime, so I am pretty much done>

I had my bag — I have seldom been so happy to see something yellow on a carousel.  I have not seen that bag since Sunday morning, so I was pretty emotional about our reunion.

I am a guilty traveller.  I always assume I have done something bad and it is just a matter of time before a custom official with a latex glove finds out.

At Heathrow, travelling back, I had to get out of my boots and take my belt off – there were no drinks involved, or mutual sexual attraction – it was me and the nice customs official.  It is a challenge to hold your pants up and unpack your things out of the black plastic boxes, while trying to look nonchalant about the entire process.

My handbag = large really overpacked tote bag kept getting beeped, and they had to keep unpacking it.  Of course I was then convinced that there was something smuggled in there.  I started to look guilty.  I started to act guilty.  I started to sweat profusely.

They had also taken my deodorant can away, so really it was me and fast yellowing armpit shirt!

I get to the check in section and the man checking my passport directs me to a smaller-glassed-in-lounge away from the other passengers.

Me = sphincter a bit tighter than it was before.

I must confess I eventually begged ignorance and when my row was called for the flight I just stood up and walked out of the “holding area” and climbed on board.

I had a great seat.  I had all my bits and bobs – which is unusual for me.

I had sufficient overhead space to shove my stuff in to.

I did not have clean underwear, but I had washed the pair I was wearing and was now wearing wet underwear.  There were bright orange flight socks, which I was so excited to get in to – just so I could get my boots off and my no-longer-white-socks off my feet.

Ah the happiness.  Really the happiness.

I was seriously stoked.

Flight was pretty good.

My best part was that Nicole the flight attendant who was serving my side, appears to be straight out of Mitchells Plain accent wise.  I could not get enough of her.  It was so disarming in comparison to the rather “british accents” I had been hearing for the past few days.

She also had no qualms about serving me repeatedly with little bottles of wine.  Bless her.

It really was a good flight.  Thanks SAA.

Got to carousel, security had two Beagles who hung around my baggage.  The handler kept going: “Find it, find it!”

Me = very very tight sphincter ….

It appears Beagles do not find it.

I got my stuff and skipped through the “nothing to declare” section – they pulled over the two people in front of me for a quick “hey lets see what you got then.”

I might have squeaked in relief.

I got home.  Finally.

Had a cuddle with Isabelle, a bath and then a nap – I would like to say it was a little nap, but it resembled a coma victim who had lost all control of their salivary glands.  Pepe had to come and wake me up so I could go and fetch kids from school.

It was really great being away, but it is even better being back.

Epic Fail … Parenting # 1

I am not sure why I like Epic Fail images, I just do.

I also like “planking images” so sometimes there really is no rhyme or reason to the stuff that makes me smie or any semblance of taste ……. but I thought I would drop some around here every now and then.

These are images I have seen and phrasing that makes me snort or just grimace ……

Dear BA … please get me the fk home!

I got off the plane at Heathrow.

I knew my Cape Town flight was long gone, so I joined the queue at the help desk at BA.  Got to the front, and was told the next flight was Monday night.

I am in London, little to no money, no SIM card, and way-way too much hand luggage, that is really heavy.

I also have no access to my baggage i.e. clean clothes and other comforts, and no way to know where those bags actually are.

I had to venture out to Section E in the land of where-the-fk-am-I-of-Heathrow to get to the “client services” desk of British Airways.

I thought I was special and would get oh-god-we-are-so-sorry-for-the-inconvenience-and-what-can-we-do-to-make-this-really-shitty-situation-any-better-for-you.

I joined a queue that was about three hours long, and filled with nearly every nationality and it appeared I was no longer as special and unique as I had thought, and clearly my problem was pretty minor based on the rather haggared and over worked faces of the “client services” staff.

I was one of several dozen/hundred people who had been dropped by BA into the nether lands of all-things-wrong-with-travel.

Fortunately I was on a BA flight, that was delayed, and it was BA’s fault.

Fortunately the connecting flight was a BA flight.  Fortunately I had both check-in vouchers so I could prove I was there and available.  This is a total BA problem.

There were few things to hold on to and take comfort from, but this was definitely one of them.

Basically BA has had a shocking day and there were phrases about fog and other weather issues thrown around.

I stood in this queue that just did not go anywhere.

Eventually (=three hours later) a very nice customer representative started working her way through the queue and sorting out people.  People who looked like they were ready to drop.

The 4 behind me had been delayed on the Paddington>Heathrow Express train and had missed their flight to Paris as the Express train was experiencing some problems.

After more than three hours in the queue, they were told that their problem was not BA’s problem, so sorry for you, but no hotel, no vouchers, but come and stand in a corner while we all speak in raised voices and try to sort this out.

Total humour failure.  Glad I was not them.  I decided to remain in the queue, rather than walking vaguely around after a person with a hotel voucher.

Jenny – the BA person – I told I could get onto a Wednesday flight!  W.H.AT.? I might have severely cussed at this point. But there is a sign in CAPS LOCK saying you are not allowed to verbally abuse the staff.  I think if you write anything in UPPER CASE it must be pretty serious.  It is not as bad as UPPER CASE WITH BOLD AND ITALICS.

Wednesday – seriously??  I really wanted to poo in my pants.  But good sense held me back as I knew I did not have a change of underwear or more jeans.

Good sense reined supreme here, and I tightened my sphincter, and rested my face in my hands for a moment.

Jenny spoke with a bit more determination to whom ever was at the other end of her cellphone.

I got onto a SAA flight for Monday night.  I was  given a voucher for a hotel and a bus, and then directed out of a large door into the general direction of …… I really had no idea.  It’s late.  I have too many heavy bags as hand luggage.  And I have seriously lost my good-humour-shine.

I sort of followed the signs to where I hoped would be a bus going to be hotel.

I sat there for about 60 minutes …. then the right bus came … two of them actually.  But it appears 300 people trying to squeeze onto 2 busses that really only take 100 people does not fit.  It wasn’t one of those 200. I don’t squeeze, I hang back and wait for a polite gap.

Needless to say, this was survival of the fittest and good rules and polite behaviour seemed to have been abandoned.

The buses left and I was still standing there.

At this point it was after 23h00 and I was getting a little tired of this jamboree festival I was starring in.  There was one more bus coming, but a ton of people had already started milling around.

I sensed we would repeat the cycle, and again I would not make it on to a bus.

I hooked up with two other people who looked equally despondent as I was as I was.  We were all going to the same hotel.  We grabbed a taxi and said “heigh-ho Silver” and off we went.

Because it was a fun night, we arrived at the hotel and yay, another queue to stand in to check in.  My brain was telling me there was a finite amount of rooms, and at some point, well things would get ugly.

On the bright side > we (the 3 who hopped in to the taxi) arrived before the bus carrying the rude people  who pushed in before me, so that was a bit of a moment that made me smile with glee and a bit of delight.

Eventually got a room.  On the plus side it was a really nice room.  It’s really a nice hotel.

I had a toothbrush and toothpaste, and well, pretty much nothing else.

I had a sleep, a shower in the morning.  Weighed up whether to wear the same underwear – but not really a wealth of choices available to me …..

I negotiated with the Eastern-European housemaid if she can clean two other rooms first and then I could have another 30 minutes sitting on the bed watching Jeremy Kyle Show on BBC (I think this is a British version of the Jerry Springer Show…..) and checking out.

I have found a corner of them hotel bar/lounge to sit in that has wi-fi, reasonably comfortable couches and annoying music …. this is what a cup of tea that costs £4.22 looks like … not dissimilar to one that costs R6.50 from the Wimpy it would seem …..

I also realised I do not have any pounds on me, I used it on the taxi last night … interesting little mystery how I am going to pay for the tea … I already ate the little muffin thing, so can’t send it back now …..

Reluctant Mom delayed in transit …..

I congratulated myself on being super organised today.

I booked my seats this morning (I am flying Glasgow > Heathrow > Cape Town) and booked seats on both flights.

I checked in on-line.  I was pretty sorted.

The only time I got nervous was when my brother opted for activities that had me away from the house and it was an under an hour until my taxi arrived.  We got to his home, and there was about 40 minutes for the taxi to get there.

40 minutes to me is cutting it fine.  40 minutes to my brother was “all the time in the world/loads of time.”

I ran around like a headless chicken and threw my bags down the stairs … literally I threw them down the stairs.  It was faster than dragging them down.

My brother has always been the <time relaxed> one, me, not so much.

I got to Glasgow airport with time to spare.  I found the terminal.

No problems.

I checked my rather large bag in and did not get charged for excess, though granted I was only a little over.  But I felt relieved that I was not paying a small fortune in excess charges.

All going pretty well.  Job well done I thought.

Just got to get my oversized Hamley’s bag onto the plane and then I am sorted.

The flight from Glasgow to Heathrow was delayed.  Then it was delayed a bit more.

Now it is late by more than two hours.  I have no SIM card and no way to let Kennith know.

I am presently at a computer terminal and dropping £1.00 coins into a slot <no really I am> for internet time.

In short I will miss my Heathrow connecting flight.  I have no idea what is going to happen when I arrive at Heathrow.

On the upside, I am flying with BA on both flights, so really it is their problem to sort out — thank goodness. If I was on EasyJet or something now, I would be well and truly stuffed.

So I do think there is a life lesson to learn about connecting flights — make sure they are the same airline!!

I am still sitting at Glasgow airport.  I have no idea when I will get home.

I am trying not to panic as this is totally against my <tick all the blocks> anal personality.

Right now I am waiting for a late flight for me to get on.

I will then get to Heathrow and have to <see> if I can get on a later flight from Heathrow to Cape Town.

I am not 100% sure where my baggage is – it was booked to go the whole way through.

So while you read this sipping on your tea or your coffee, I will be somewhere in transit hell.  No doubt sweaty, smelly, crabby and just slightly travel soiled.

It’s a bit different over here when the sun sets ….

I have not had that much free time while being in London.

I go to work.  Before i leave the hotel, I eat my body weight in bacon lathered in honey.  I sometimes throw in a croissant just to jazz it up a bit.

I am at work by 9am or before, and then I usually finish off and head back to the hotel.  I sometimes do a little walk around on the way to the hotel, sort of, but I am a bit nervous being alone. At night. Lost.

It starts getting dark around 6pm or so.

I am not sure how it works in your world, but in my world, when it gets dark you start thinking that you need to get inside and out of the city.  Well that is how it is in my normal life.

Cape Town is lovely.  Truly.  But there is a very slight chance I am going to walk around by myself.  At night.  And get lost. And keep pulling out a map book.

Seems unlikely, unless I want to get hit over the head with a giant stick and relieved of my possessions and normally some type A+ bodily fluid.

It is difficult to break this rather life-affirming habit.

The sun sets.  You quicken your step.  You head indoors where it is safe. (not dissimilar to the movie I am Legend!)

Kennith has assured me that London is a bit different and a girl on her own can wander around, map book in hand, getting herself lost without risk to limb or property.

Today after work, I headed to a museum.

Unfortunately I dawdled as you do, and wasted all my time on the crappy bits.

Museum closed, I had to get my arse out the door – because the friendly-polite-yet-exhausted looking staff aimed me to the door and in no uncertain terms told me to get my arse out.

As I shot to the “way out” sign I realised the museum had kept all the best stuff for the last 1/4 of the museum.  Sh*t I felt short-changed, and annoyed as it was too late to go to another museum, and my trip was nearly at an end.  (I adore looking at clothing and household items from the Tudor/Stewart period in history.)

Trying to make myself feel better, I decided that nothing cheers a girl up as much a little shopping in Oxford Street.

I shopped a bit. Shopped a bit more.  And then it was 21h00 and I really thought I had pushed the envelope of hanging around at night by myself long enough, and headed back to the hotel.

I got on a bus.  Had no real idea where it was going.  I sat with my mapbook and listened as the “bus announcer machine” kept telling me which road we were in, and reminding me which bus I was on and where it was going.

How clever is that?  Very.

The part that impressed/amazed me was that even though I was clearly much-in-need-of-a-map-book, and had no idea where I was, no one bothered me.  I did not have to shoo off beggars and small homeless people clinging to my leg and begging me to feed or comfort them.

If it was Cape Town, and I was a single woman ,alone, and lost, and holding a map book, at night, in the middle of the city, odds are I would be a crime statistic.

Sad but true.

 

<I really am impressed by how good the public system is.  That I can get from Point A to Point B reasonably easily.  No one seems to bother me.  And the weather has been jeans and t-shirt weather.  There is so much I would have loved to see, but time was not on my side.  But it has been way cool, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this week.>

On the hunt for a Smurf … well a Smurfette …..

Georgia was a smurf in her school concert about two years ago.  Since then she has been loving the “Smurfies.”

It is not exactly a popular toy, so there was little we could do to feed this obsession.

Then the 3D movie came out.

Kennith took Connor and Georgia.  Georgia took her soft-toy you she calls Clumsy.

Georgia loved the movie.

We have the movie/DVD/Blu Ray/BMX?ASAP or  what ever at home and Georgia watches it on loop.

Whilst the movie is on, I can see her mouthing the words.  The same girl who forgets nearly everything seems to have committed the entire Smurf Movie script to memory.

That’ll be useful.  No doubt.

I really would like to say it is a great movie.  I really would.  Some of the quips are clearly aimed at the rather frustrated parent sitting though this movie.

I am a bit of a fan of Neil Patrick Harris – he of the “How I Met your Mother” fame – “It will be legend-wait for it… and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is dairy!”

I love Barney.  So I think he was the only reason I could get through The Smurfs.  Granted he was not Barney in Smurfs.  But he will always be “Barney” to me.

Back to Smurfs.

She loves them.

It reminded Kennith and I that we used to be quite in to the Smurfs when we were kids.  We are talking before 1980 here.  There was a petrol station – I think it might be BP – who had the Smurfs and if you bought 25 cents worth of petrol or something, you got a smurf figurine.  Back then when.  Kennith said he had all of them, and then sold them when he was about 11 or 12 for a stick of gum, or some other not-really-worth-it-for-all-those-cool-collector-characters.

I have been hunting for Smurfette in London.  Smurfette appears to be sold out.  I have been looking for a Smurfette soft/plush toy, and there is just nothing to be found.

Who knew a 50 year old character could be this popular?

I did buy her some small figurines and a smurf house – remember it was a toadstool!

Operation Find Smurfette is in full swing …… it might get side tracked by Operation I-saw-a-really-nice-hair-flattener-Nicky-Clarke-thing-at-Boots-that-I-really-love-and-it-was-50%-off ….

Home of Hope …..

My friend Alice decided to clean house recently.  She pulled out old crockery and furniture and bits and bobs and wanted to find a place or someone to give it to.

Alice is a very clever girl and instead of letting it clutter her garage she sent a note around asking for suggestions of “worthy causes” that she could pass it on to.

My other friend Kristin had spoken highly of HOME OF HOPE in Table View.  I had never heard of it before then.

Basically it is a home that assists women and children who need assistance.  It might be abandoned children, women and children who have fled an abusive situations or children who are orphans of HIV/AIDS.

It is a Home for those who really need some Hope.

Alice and David went along with a trailer full of stuff and donated it.

They received such a nice thank you letter following this donation – which I thought was great.

I really want to do a clean out of our house, and start unpacking and getting rid of all that stuff I have sitting in my garage/cupboards and the wendy house, the stuff that irritates me because it is always in the damn way and it needs to travel!!

If you have stuff maybe find a charity near you – it is amazing how much of a difference our “junk” can make to others.  If you are in Cape Town, try Home of Hope.

It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to give …. and you get a clean house so you can go and buy more crap.

Reluctant Mom Lost in London …. one of many times it would seem …..

Let’s bear in mind I get lost at Century City.  Regularly.

I also lose my car in mall parking lots.  Most times I park.

I often walk around and just push my “beep-beep” thingy on my car keys so I hear my car going “I-am-here-I-am-here” and then I walk towards it.  Not unlike a chick to it’s mommy chicken.

So I am pretty sucky at sense of direction.  I do not even attempt to show strength in this area.  I have a GPS in my car and a map book.  I use both. Often.

I am travelling to London by myself.  Alone.  No map book.  No GPS.

Fortunately I did not have to fly the plane or have any influence of the direction of the flight.  Which was really useful to everyone on board.

I slept – granted it was with three Russians behind me who smelt like they had eaten garlic and onions for about 5 months prior to the flight, and had it oozing out of every pore.

The problem with “economy” is that you are practically in the lap of the person behind you.

You recline your seat, and if the person behind you is still upright, they get their meal in their lap, and you staring up at their nostrils.  It is all a bit awkward and invades every rule of “people’s space.”

If you recline your seat, the person behind you has to as well.  And the person behind them.  And so on.  Not unlike the domino effect.

I got to Heathrow.  Followed the signs.  Found myself deposited at Paddington Station with a really heavy bag, a daypack on my back, and a really heavy handbag and a jacket.

I was sweaty, and somewhat tired.

From there I stumbled into the subway system.  Fortunately it is really a case of following a colour to where every you want to go.

Seemed easy enough.  Problem was there was construction on two of the lines, which made it next to impossible to get to my destination.

I also managed to get lost at one of the subway stations and for love or money could not find platform 2.  It was elusive, and I kept ending up at platform 3 and 4, no matter how much I tried to find fkn platform 2.

Interesting fact – some subway stations do not have escalators, and you are dragging your gear up and down stairs, while other sweaty and very impatient people are rushing past you.

No one appears to give a sh*t, and everyone walks really fast, and looks down.  No eye contact.  No smiling. No nodding.  No acknowledging anything.

I eventually got to my hotel, which included an express train, underground tube, bus and lots of walking.

I did not arrive at my hotel, as much as I fell through the automatic door.

I was too early to check in to my room.  Fk I was exhausted.

I fell into a heap in the bar area as the restaurant area required me to go either down a flight of stairs or an elevator, and seriously I was not moving.

I ordered a bottle of wine (it was a small one) and a chocolate muffin.  Probably not ideal fare for 09h30.

I told the waitron that I was from another time zone so that it made it easier on her to serve me wine while others were having tea and coffee  C

Cape Town is actually an hour ahead, so that made it almost lunchtime.  But it felt like about 4pm with the morning I had experienced.

I finished my wine and my muffin – both very good.

I decided I would do a quick wash and clean in the bathroom.  I am so glad I packed a packet of Cherub wetwipes. I took the equivalent of a bath and got a clean shirt on and brushed my teeth, and attempted to give some semblance of order to my hair.

Left my heavy bags in the “baggage room” and went to explore London.

Weather was lovely.  I had a skip in my step, and it was one of the first days I have had in what felt like a long time, where I could just wander around and it did not matter where I was or when I was.

Of course I got horribly lost. But I saw some lovely bits and pieces.  I eventually stumbled back to my hotel around 18h00 and my feet felt like I had run the Comrades.

I have seldom been so happy to see a shower as I was then …… or my bed ……..

I’m off to London Baby! No really I am.

Odds are when you read this I will be doing one of the following, or several, or none:

  1. Dead in an airplane disaster.
  2. Lying at the bottom of the Thames, a victim of random violence and thuggery.
  3. Wandering around the London subway system and minding the gap.
  4. In a high state of anxiety as I meet “new” people from my company and my client portfolio.
  5. Exhausting my credit card at a Hatchards in London.
  6. Sitting in my hotel room Tower Hill, congratulating myself on having control of the remote and doing star angel shapes on the hotel bed.
  7. Crying on the phone to Kennith, because I miss my bed/Isabelle/lavendar/bottle of Chenin Blanc and I am unable to find a substitute in London for any of them.
  8. Trying to mentally work out the exchange rate between rands and pounds and whether I could buy that piece of “totally awesome” at suckuk.
  9. Wandering around Walmart for several hours and wondering how I could possibly need so much crap, but convince myself it is a necessity.
  10. It’s a work trip, so I will attempt to be professional, and smile, wave and nod at all the right intervals.
  11. All else fails I will be dropping my daily allowance at a neighbourhood wine bar.

Work trip was sprung on to me with very short notice.

Then I had to get a visa.

Do you know a UK Visa (for 2 years, multi-entry) cost just short on R4 000.00 – yikes.  They must really not want us in their country.

I am travelling sans kids, sans Kennith and am totally reliant on my wits and common sense.

Hhhhmmmmmmm …..I get lost at Century City, so this might not bode well.

So how are you? And other polite conversations …..

As is customary, most people start a conversation with how are you.

The problem is I battle to reply in the customary: “I am fine, how are you?”

I am not “fine” so tend to say: “I am okay, not great, but okay.  Better than I was a month or two ago….. but okay.”

And then the person looks awkward, and I shuffle my feet.  And then I drawl “Any the wayyyyy ….. ” to sort of act as an ice-breaker.

Never works.  But I repeat this action none the less.

I am still seeing my psychologist guy.  I am not making a great deal of progress. I start these things with such gusto, and then I realise that they are so much work, and then my shine reduces slightly.  And I slump on the couch a bit more.

At the moment I feel part of things, but not.  I do not seem to have the resources to take part whole heartedly in anything.  At the moment breathing; going to work, attempting to appear vaguely “normal” takes all my energy.

So I feel pretty much like the “third person” to my life at the moment.

Not ideal.  No, sadly not.

My medication is probably not “quite right” but I am also reluctant to mess around with them right now.  There is just too much going on, and I do not want to atttempt and adjustment right now.

My physical symtoms include:  a little shake (of my hands) that gets worse as the day progresses; I yawn so much that my jaw gets sore; I am not “lie on the bed and sleep” tired, but I just cannot stop yawning and feeling fatigued; I feel like I am over there, but the other me is over here, so it is a bit disorientating.

I take some stuff to make me go to sleep at night.  I take some stuff to keep me asleep at night.  Works well.

The problem is if our house got hit with a tornado, I would go quietly in my sleep.

Kennith has been less happy with the fact that if the kids wake up, I am so dead to the world, that he always has to deal with it.  I think he is also concerned that in the event of a fire, he will be carrying three children, and a semi-conscious wife out the door.

My appetite has gone for a bit of a ball. I am seriously just not that interested in food.

I do love food though.  I am even partial to a bit of McDonalds which is actually the perfect meal.  By the time my brain has clicked that I am eating, the meal is finished.

So pretty much it is over before my brain can tell me that it is does not want food.  Works well. Or doesn’t.

Any the wayyyyy (see how that works) …….. so it is not all great, but it is okay.  Kennith is presently winning awards for “the most patient and enduring spouse.”

The mania of extreme panic and anxiety has passed — to a large degree (and I use the term mania very loosely as I am not manic).

I am still a bit wired, so I find when I do something that requires concentration for any length of time, I walk away feeling very frazzled and more shaky.

The small things are not as overwhelming as they were.

I spend less time doubting myself, and in obsessive destructive behaviour or thought processes.

I spend a bunch less time on the internet.

I am still avoiding a lot of the forums and blogs I used to troll.  I don’t have the energy to take on other people’s issues, and also the “urge” to interact much.  So I have missed where everyone is and what everyone is doing.

I sleep at night.

Earlier this morning my friend Judith asked me: “Are you back in the saddle?”

I replied: “Well I am in the saddle, but the horse appears to have fled …. So I am sort of kicking my heels in the dust going giddy-up ….. fake it til you make it they say!”

And that is pretty much how it is with me.

So how are you?

Speed dating for Bloggers …..

On Thursday, 6 October there is a blog hookup in Cape Town.

It is a bit like speed dating for bloggers.  But with wine.  And prizes.  But without the pressure of having to put on clean underwear and shave.  I have my doubts whether there will be much in the way of the anticipation of se.x later in the evening.

But it is my first blog get together, so I have no idea how these things usually play out.

Kodak, Canderel, Braun and Pringles are supplying awesome giveaways. Cape Town’s leading digital design Academy (Friends of Design) will be giving away part-time courses (I so want one of those)!

What’s not to love?

I am excited to my proximity to wine.

I am excited to see some folks who I have spent many an early morning stalking while I could not sleep.

I am excited that I might win something.

I am a bit nervous to physically meet people in real life.  I am a bit of a social retard, and I feel high anxiety when I encounter new people, or a large group of people.

My mind goes into overdrive and it usually ends with me saying something inappropriate and awkward.  A certain measure of self-flagellation is also standard course of affairs.

I keep asking myself:

“What if they don’t like me? What if I am not as funny and endearing as I appear on-line? What if it is like the popular girls at school and I don’t quite fit in?  What if they run out of wine before I get there?  What if there is karaoke? What if I trip and smash my two front teeth out?”

I am really excited and I am so glad that other bloggers have got their shit together sufficiently to organise something like this, because god knows that right now I can’t organise anything.  So big ups to them.

I am experiencing excitement and anxiety in equal proportions.

I really hope other people go straight from work.  If other bloggers look like they have gone home and had a shower, and spent 3 hours on their hair and make-up then I am definitely going to look like the Ugly Duckling amongst the swans.

I hope they have nice wine.

Isabelle might be MENSA material after all …….

Isabelle is still not talking.

What I mean is she is not saying Mommy!  She manages to garble together “dog” “cat” yuck “juice” and “daddy.”

She says a few things, and has acquired the ability to grunt or whine which contains no consonants, only vowels.  But somehow I am able to understand when she wants Flings, a chocolate biscuit or some water.

Granted I just give her one of these three options, when she makes this sound and it appears to keep her happy.

I have begun a twinge of concern regarding her “mental capabilities” because she is not coo’ing mommy, or even mama. (either that or she has a dislike for me)

This morning I was using the bathroom facilities.

I turned to use the loo roll.  It was nearly finished.

Isabelle is standing there.  She sees me reach over to the loo roll.  She is able to assess that the roll is nearly finished.  She immediately walks over and goes to fetch a new roll (which is kept in a little wooden box under the handbasins) and brings it over to me (I had not asked for it.)

I really do not need her to say mommy right now.

She is able to gauge a toilet roll is empty and get a new one (and throw the old cardboard roll into the dustbin), there are adults I know who still cannot do that.