Princesses … do we have too many of them?

Georgia is very into being a princess.

She does switch between being Rapunzel, a fairy princess and a bit of fairy and a bit of a princess – she is constantly telling me her powers are attributed to her hair (I think a Samson story combined with a fairy princess complex).

I do not know a great deal about princesses.  When I read through the story books lying around, princesses do appear to be very attractive young girls, who seem to suffer some hardship or another, usually which involves a wicked stepmother.

The only thing that will save them is a prince who will sweep them off and marry them.

Based on the fairy tales – a princess needs to be super attractive, have lush hair, an attractive smile, and pretty much no future aspirations of any kind.

The fact that a prince wondering through the woods takes a fancy to them, and offers to marry them on the spot, seems to be the highest point of achievement in their lives.  It unfortunately also counters our constant admonishings of STRANGER-DANGER!!

I am always been a bit wary of these handsome titled men who traipse through the woods alone.  I think we would call them “displaced persons” or homeless.

Why is a prince alone in the woods?  Where is his retinue of staff?

If you saw a dead girl surrounded by 7 small people/dwarfs – would you reason that now is a good time to hop off your horse and wander over there to see if you can have a quick snog?  Really, does that sound like a great idea?

Did he think his kiss would wake the dead?  Let’s agree he has rather an inflated god complex going on, and maybe a touch of the strange, either way not attributes you want in someone you are marrying.

Cinderalla’s beau has always concerned me the most.  She gets herself all dolled up, for the ball, spends the night dancing with him, midnight strikes, she dashes, she leaves her shoe, and he finds her shoe.

Prince No-Recall-of-Facial-Features-but-clearly-with-a-foot-fetish then traipses all over his kingdom with a shoe for the ladies to try on.  You would think he would be able to recognise his great love – but nope shoe trying it is.

If I had danced with the prince and dropped my size six and  a half shoe, he would have been able to find 4 girls in my street alone whose foot would fit my shoe.

Even when he is in the house where Cinderalla lives, and she enters the room, he still does not recognise her face, her manner, her voice. Only when her foot fits the shoe does he have a eureka moment of recognition.  Weird much?

Rapunzel’s beau does not think that after climbing HER HAIR up a tower.  He does not think, well this must cause her a great deal of discomfort, next time let me bring some crampons and my own rope.  Or better yet, let me use my princely powers to rescue her.

Nope he just goes on climbing up the poor girls hair until Rapunzel’s step mother throws him into some thorns.

There is a great deal of emphasis on referring to little girls as “my princess” and little girls being obsesses with princesses – but what are these images and stories teaching our girls in terms of what they should aspire to?

Other than a tiara, and a wand and flouncing around in really pretty pink outfits, what are we telling them?

What is the point of being a princess, other than being pretty and waiting on your prince to come along and rescue them?

History has shown that princesses’ role was to marry well – her father who would use her in arranged marriages for his kingdom’s political gain.  And once that was done, her role was to produce an heir or die trying.  Princesses though living lavish lives, were going it in gilded prisons, so why do we continue to hold this ideal out to our daughters and encourage them to be “princesses?”

I would feel so much if my girls were playing lawyer-lawyer, doctor-doctor or actuary-actuary.

I wish my girls would don capes and fly around the house telling me they are super hero’s, instead of princesses having yet another stupid tea party.

Does anyone have any idea of good “character” role models for girls right now hopefully in a book and a movie?

I feel a bit overwhelmed with the Hello Kitty, Rapunzel, Princess Aurora and others of her ilk.

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Atkins serious rethink …

I do not want to get into a furor about whether the Atkins Weight Loss Programme works for thousands of people, I am sure it does, else there would not be so many people who felt so strongly about this programme.

I have realised that people feel a zealous belief in this programme which makes me feel slightly suspicious, and uneasy.  But that is not the issue.

I wanted to remain in the Induction Phase for as long as possible.  I have been doing Induction for three weeks, and have followed it religiously.  I follow the foods allowed, I weigh my food so that there is not this sneaky “larger portion” issue – if it is not allowed, it does not pass my lips.

I have not so much as nibbled on a NikNak chip since I started.

I dropped wine, milk, bread, pasta, and anything that in any way had refined sugar or carbohydrates. I have been eating salad greens and meat like a person possessed.  I have consumed enough eggs in enough varieties to at the very least get me my own cooking show on Channel No-One-Watches.

I have not been hungry since I started the programme, but at the same time I have not felt the “Atkins Edge” that the four books I have read keep telling me I will.  I have felt the Atkins Sadness that no one mentions.

Someone mentioned that maybe I was not mentally ready to do Atkins, I am starting to think she was right.

I decided to continue with blind faith as I was sure the hard work, persistence, blind faith and sticking to the rules would have a result on the scale.  I really do not give as much of a {delicious pumpkin with cinnamon and sugar} fritter about whether my cholesterol changes, my blood pressure and all the other health benefits – right now my focus is the numbers on the scale.

That fellow Atkins devotees is all I am interested in right now.

I started Walk/Run for Life about three weeks before I started Atkins, and go along to that three days a week.  This programme works for thousands (hundreds of thousands) so again I decided that I would fit into the programme and do how and what they said.  I walk when they say walk, and I run when I think I can and they suggest I could.

So far so good.  I go three times a week, and though I am in no way “enjoying” it – as I really loath exercise, I do it as I know there is a bigger picture at play here.

This week has been a very despondent one.  I started to get angry that I was not eating much other than salad and meat.  Though the programme allows for a large variance in food, fat and protein that you can consume, at the end of the day most dishes are either eggs, meat, or eggs and salad, or meat and salad – work that into as many combinations as you like – and I have!!

I started to feel like I was restricting myself. Then angry with myself as I hate being told I can’t have something.

I weighed myself this week and my weight was pretty much unchanged from my first weight in.  NOT SO SILENT SCREAM.

I decided to also go and have a cholesterol blood screening done, you fast fr 8 – 12 hours, have blood drawn and they do a triple cholesterol test.  I was a bit smug, as I assumed I would have no cholesterol issues.  My blood pressure is 100 over 60, which pretty much classifies me as dead, so I figured if I have no issues around high blood pressure, I was pretty much home free on cholesterol as well.  I made an assumption, based on zero scientific fact or connections between the two.

I was a bit shocked when my cholesterol tests came back and it seems I am wrong.  I do actually have a cholesterol problem.  I spent three days throwing around my stroll into Atkins, how I felt so deprived (not hungry, just deprived) and how I just wanted to drink a glass of wine or eat a Niknak without feeling I was committing a cardinal sin, and would be sent to Hell.

Atkins does not view slip ups or cheats in a casual light.

The books are written in a very “pick up that chocolate chip cookie and rue the day you were born …. it is not worth it ….. you will ruin all your hard work …. you will need to repent to the diet gods and you will actually feel sick …. eat that cookie as your own peril…”

They don’t actually use those words, but that is the gist of the situation.

Friday, I was having a real “fuck it I am getting annoyed with this situation” as I prepared yet another salad and meat” meal …. I decided that Atkins and I are going to part company.  I am not knocking Atkins, as said with that many devoted followers it must be doing incredible work.

For me right now -I need to eat a cookie without feeling I am contributing to the downfall of an entire civilization  I do need an eating plan, I do need something that has boundaries, I do need something where I can keep a food diary and a list.

I am off to find the nearest Weight Watchers.  I do realise I am out of the circle of Atkins, but there you go.

Pregnant women and newborn babies for TV Advert

Of little or no interest to me, but you might be the one they are looking for…….

Clever Baby Casting in Cape Town  is looking for pregnant women and newborns babies (0-6months). It is an advert for a well know baby product in support of an NGO.

The brief is to find people who look like the come from different countries in the world, namely:-

Africa (Central, North, East, West & Southern Africa)

Middle East (Arabic/North African)

Asia (Malaysia/Philippines, China, India, etc)

South America (Latino)

Central America (Hispanic)

Looking for pregnant women, with their husband and if they have other children.

It is for a television advertisement, and the moms should be of a healthy weight, healthy skin and a friendly smile. Babies should have good skin.

The advert will be filming in Cape Town in the first two weeks of December.   There is no fee to audition or send pictures – each person selected to appear in the advert will get paid.  If you know anyone who is suitable please email / BBM a clear picture of pregnant women / new-born and the family.

Include name, age & contact telephone number.

Clever Baby Casting  – CAPE TOWN

BBM  – 28645E3D

cleverbabycasting@gmail.com

SMS only – 072 421 9919

{I do not have  any more information than this, other than it is an open casting — if you fit the brief, or you know someone who does, and feels like being dragged through a casting, then please let them have this and they can make contact with the casting agency directly}

The one about a rat and projectile vomitting … otherwise a stunning day in Cape Town

{there are images that may upset sensitive viewers ….this might change your opinion on spaghetti bolognaise for some time ….this might make you reconsider having children …..ever}

Yesterday I am working in my home office and I hear this noise – a rustling sound.  I don’t think much of it as Jackson, my Maine Coone cat, lies under my desk (or on my desk as this image shows) and I naturally assume it is him making the little scratching sounds I keep hearing.

At some point I glance under the desk, and realise there is no Jackson, and I glance around the room and assess I am alone.  Clearly something is not right here.

The short of it is, the noise is coming from under the two seater couch.  I move  the couch, whilst I am on the couch, as I am petrified what ever it is will run over my bare feet.

I call Priveledge who comes in. After much to’ing and fro’ing where we both realise that between us we are terrified, I lift the couch and she looks under it.  Priveledge manages to get up from a full crouch position, leaps backwards about one and a half metres, to find herself standing on one of the kids plastic chairs – in what can only be described as with catlike grace and flexibility.

Impressed, didn’t realise she was that athletic actually.

I make a leap from the couch onto my desk chair, and there the two of us stand.  Priveledge says that she saw a HUGE rat.  Connor (who was home sick) brings in his own designed and manufactured mouse tral (don’t ask).

Priveledge looks at the trap and says it is not big enough as the rat is REALLY BIG.

Not really the news one wants to hear as one is standing on a plastic chair in the middle of one’s home barefoot.

After mentally working through several options – none of which included me getting within 2 metres of the rat – I called Roderick – our faithful, able and I hope brave. garden guy – and asked if he would please come catch the rat.  He came over and caught the rat.

It was not HUGE, but I really think when it comes to a brown sewer rat, size is not really an issue.  The issues are whether it is dead, and how quickly it can die.

I am all for “saving animals” but I think when you are dealing with an animal that has had such bad publicity like the rat i.e bubonic plague/black plague.  It is going to need to be the cure for cancer to even make a dent in that sort of publicity.

I do think they need to start a reality show where they have Spin Doctors and they get given really difficult campaigns and need to create an interest in a product./item/country/animal that no one would touch.

On the final show between the last two Spin Doctors playing for one million dollars, they need to come up with a campaign that makes the sewer rate loveable.  I would think a next to impossible ask, and if you can do that and change public sentament about something so repulsive odds are you deserve the money.

Rat caught, we dropped him into a dog carrier box, and took it down to the nature reserve and released him there.  He squealed and he was jumping in the box, and it was really not a warm fuzzy feeling.

I did not take a picture of the rat, he seriously freaked me out ……. like made my skin crawl.

In this story Connor is home, that is because he got sick the night before, and has been throwing up and complaining of cramping and just not looking good.

I collect Georgia and Isabelle later in the day.  We get home, and as soon as dinner is presented Georgia starts moaning she is not well and she is going to throw up.

To understand Georgia, she is a total hypercondriac.  If you sneeze, she will fake sneeze twice.  If she knocks her knee, it will be broken, and she will dig out her crutches and be a cripple for three days.  Within all this one tends to ignore her when she indicates any signs of illness – especially if it mimics what someone else has.

Georgia had spaghetti bolognaise and then a bath.  She was sitting on her bed drawing when the spaghetti bolognaise made a second appearance.  The bulk of it got absorbed by the duvet, pillow, sheets, mattress and her pyjamas.

She ran to the bathroom, puking as she went.

{This image makes me feel like Dexter at a crime scene, but instead of blood spatter, I deal with puke splutter …. my speciality….}

Got to the bathroom just in time to drop the mother load of partly digested spaghetti bolognaise, unfortunately not quite in the toilet.

Now I had two children retching – not always in turns, often at the same time.

My shortage of buckets became apparent.  So kids are violently ill, Kennith is away on a work conference that entails him overnighting at a wine farm …. you can imagine the heaps of sympathy I am feeling for him at this juncture.

Last night was fun, but did not allow for too much sleep.  There was much up’ing and down’ing to hold hair back, and give sips of water and basically time for me to look towards the ceiling and wonder where for art my help shall come from.

Today the toilet broke — I have no idea if it is in anyway related to the amount of spaghetti bolognaise that was being forced down it, but I am getting a plumber in later this afternoon.

I am bitterly disapppointed that I have a large hulking cat that is forever hunting, but could not hunt and catch the rat.  I also expected Dexter, the Boston Terrier, to at least smell the rodent and look for him.  Nada. Both of them are clearly hopeless.

Otherwise, how is your day going?

Shit on your toothbrush ….{no, really}

Good morning!

The most unsettling fact I learnt this year, which I gladly share with you, was courtesy of The Doctor’s show on which ever DSTV channel was in the background as I looked up.

Every time you flush your toilet, the water that creates that dynamic wave action in the toilet bowl, creates a large whoosh of debris to shoot up in to the air.  A fine mist of what ever is/was in the bowl.

You would know this if you use one of those blue little bricks in the toilet, as each time you flush you get that nice clean smell. Mmmmm.  So in theory you already realise that there are particals being distributed into the air that was in the toilet bowl.

So, what ever was in the toilet bowl – shit, tampons, puke, pee – is also shot up into the air.  A bit lower on the happiness scale than the earlier clean smell you experienced possibly.

The more disturbing factor is that as this debris shoots up into the air, the little flecks of debris come down and settle on everything in the bathroom.  The old rule about “what goes up must come down.”

Once you start to look around your bathroom, you will soon discover that your pretty pink toothbrush kind of sits there usually on the sink edge – and gets bits of debris on it every time you flush.

Alarmed much?

On the show, they had guests bring in an item from their bathroom and they ran tests on each item regarding what bacteria was present. I really could not care less what sits on my soap bar or my shower cap, but anything sitting on my toothbrush is where I sat up a bit and paid attention.

It seems on this particular guest’s toothbrush there were faeces traces.  Excuse me as I throw up in my mouth and through my fingers held up to my face to staunch the flow.

Short story:  Every time you flush, assuming your bathroom is a bath/shower + toilet, you are flicking up bits of fecal matter into the air which settles on your toothbrush.  Granted small amounts you can’t see — but nevertheless they are still there.

Two things to learn here are:

1.  Close the lid when ever you flush – no exceptions.

2.  Place your toothbrush in a cupboard or in something that is covered, so should someone not put the lid down, at least only your shower cap will be dripping in fecal matter.

If you have any similar titbits of information to pass along to me, please do.  I think knowing to just put the seat down when you flush is VITAL, and I think should be part of the school curriculum system.

How would you like to be buried?

I realised recently that in my mind I have a very particular way that I would like things to occur after I died — when ever that may be.

The problem with this plan, is I won’t be there, so I thought it might be good to put some information out there – so that way there will be no confusion about how things go.

I want to be cremated – I am fine with organ donation.  If I am not using it, and someone else will get be able to live a better life with my bits, then they are welcome to them.

I do not want to live on life support – I do not want to be resuscitated if my quality of life requires me to be hooked up to a mechanical system which breaths, and makes my heart beat.  If I was alive and unable to do it for myself I would like to be offered the “assisted death” route – so if I am unable to communicate, lets work out an eye blink system or a hand squeeze system.

I do not want my cremation remains to be buried or put somewhere where my children, and family will feel an obligation to visit and bring flowers to.

I really do not like that idea, and when I die I would like to be gone, and my family not to feel an obligation to a 1 metre x 1 metre square piece of land somewhere.

I’d like my remains spread around a wine farm – or several – seems the right place!  That way if you are going to visit me, you will be visiting me with a large glass in hand and will need to do a bit of a tour of a few wine estates at the same time.

I really do not want a religious ceremony.  I do think that these occassions are for the living, and for them to find solace and to give them closure.  I would like something very much like the format we were married with – relaxed, people drinking wine, eating snacks and being happy, or at the very least telling really tacky jokes about death.

My take on faith and religion, and the after life may well change as time goes by.  At the moment I am not comfortable with the idea that “everyone goes to heaven and looks down on the rest of us” nor do I believe we become angels or angelic bodies.

I am not sure exactly what happens when you die.  But right now, I feel that when you die, you die — you go to sleep and that is all.

Okay, so that is where I am in the event of me meeting the Grim Reaper.  Now you know.

Does your family know what happens to you when you die?

mycamera Photo Competition

Photographs are up on mycamera on Facebook.

6 Bloggers all got to play with an Olympus for 10 days, and images are up for viewing and voting.

Connor popping up out of the balloon — granted a very green pool, there are not trick of photo manipulation here.

This is an image taken at our friend’s Ragna and Steve’s divine Wedding in Stanford.

Isabelle at Blaauwberg Beach – really pleased with herself as she was able to throw a stone all the way into the waves.  That girl has a wicked right arm!

Please pop along and cast your vote at: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/media/set/?set=a.10151261419993841.487761.198113433840&type=1

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater – repost {because I can}

We are having retro day  — I went to scrounge through some old posts, and repost one I had posted back in October 2010 – posted under the title – Throwing the baby out with the bath water …

I read it again, and realised I am not sure I could comment on the same subject any better – so with that in mind, if you have started reading this blog recently then you get to read this for the first time.

Been around a bit longer?  Well then, this might still make you smile a bit, or will bore you senseless.

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I’ve often wondered why we do not tell new moms about the hell that follows once they arrive home with their new baby.

There seems to be this unwritten law that we should not scare them too much.  Or possibly it is that they will not believe it until it starts to happen to them.  Of late I have started to believe the latter.

The hell I am referring to is the emotional trauma and the screaming that you and your partner/husband/supplier of sperm/supporter of pregnancy/nearest and dearest will go through around week six to eight of your new baby being home.

It might start on day one, it might not start for several weeks, but it will start (insert Dr Evil’s laugh here).

Pregnancy is much like your honeymoon. The two of you are aglow with the wonders of what your loins have done. You have affirmed your lineage will continue. Your partner is elated that his sperm has proved to be virile, you are a bask in the glow of pregnancy.

You feel that you have single-handedly saved the entire human race.  Here in your uterus sits the off-spring that could find a cure of cancer or at the very least a system for not losing the remote control on the couch.

Ah it is glorious heady stuff.  You are invincible, you are pregnant.

Your energies are focused on the birth of the baby.  Where partner will stand, who will hold the camera, whether you will ask for some homeopathic meds or sell you soul for one prick of the anesthetist’s epidural needle.   From about month five every waking (and sleeping moment) is  consumed with all this planning.

You have various scenarios in your mind, but the one that stands out for you, is that picture of you, the picture of the perfect you.  You, still wearing mascara, and a touch of lip-gloss, cuddling your bundle, while your partner stares at you longing as if you are the original mother mary.

Intoxicating  days these.

You survive child-birth.  You survive the medical staff and you make it home.  You are smiling and coo’ing and everyone has agreed that this is the sweetest baby ever to bless the earth.

You and your partner are so pleased with yourselves right now.  You might even cure leprosy later on in the afternoon, nothing is beyond you right now.

The visitors go home, the medication and euphoria starts to wear off.  You are starting to ache.

You really love your baby, but have decided that you no longer love your baby between 2 and 6am.  You are sleep deprived, your nipples feel like you have been cast in a low-budget porn movie, you are not feeling your best as you have been in your bathrobe since last Monday.

Brushing your teeth has become the highlight of your day – you do not even try to floss, as really there is not enough time and this often requires two hands, which you seldom have the luxury of right now.

Partner kisses you on the forehead and skips off to work.  At some point you stand there – usually in the middle of the kitchen, still in your grubby bathrobe, and ask yourself  “What exactly happened here … this is not how I pictured it…and why is that shmuck not with me in this?”

You can’t say it out loud as the baby has finally fallen asleep and you need to sort of rock him to-and-fro, to-and-fro or he is going to start screaming again, but you think it.  Yes, you think it, and think it and think it.

You now glance over at the kitchen clock and start counting the hours down for husband (you have dropped the dear part) to come home.  By the time he arrives home, you pretty much shove the baby into his arms, scream at him about being late.

Then scream at him about something unrelated and stomp off in a furore.  You are waiting for baby to start crying, because now husband can get an earful of what you have had to put up with all day …

But nothing … you listen … and there is nothing.  So you sneak quietly down to the lounge … and there he is … baby propped on his shoulder … not a care in the world … he has a beer in the other hand and he is watching Super Sport … and looks at you like: “ This isn’t hard, what are you complaining about!”

This is where the cracks start.

Late at night as you wake to go and feed the baby you look over at your partner who is fast asleep and you wonder if you can stab him the shoulder with a fork!  You know you can, but you wonder if you can do deep tissue damage with just one fork stab, or whether you will need to do it numerous times.

Partner does not move while you feed, burp, and quiet baby.  You schlep down the passage, put baby down and return to bed.  Right now the warm-even breathing of your partner is making you so angry you want to smother him.  Instead you roll over, being sure to jab him with your elbow in his back and then you eventually doze off.  Only to be awoken 5 minutes later by baby who needs to feed…..

You repeat the cycle, each time hating your partner for the fact that he has undisturbed sleep.

Next morning you wake up and he is getting ready for work.  He smiles at you, all happy, as if he has let you sleep in – never mind that in total since 1am, you have had about 45 minutes sleep.  He gets his clean clothes on, kisses you on the forehead (because you have not brushed your teeth) and goes off to work.

And now your mild dislike has turned to hate.

It is actually his fault that this has all happened, and now he gets to go to work, talk to adults, surf Facebook and drink hot cups of coffee all day.  You hate him for every hour he is away.  The problem is when he drags his sorry arse in the door after work, you hate him for every hour he is home as well.

He has no idea what you go through, he does not realise that you have been crying for 6 hour straight.  He has no idea that you are so exhausted right now, you would swap places with a vagrant to get some sleep.

He has no idea that what is happening to you now does not gel with the picture you had in your head of this entire process. You love your baby – but right now, you really do not love being with him.

The right thing to say is that “this is the best thing in the world…” but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is really hard and maybe you are really struggling.  The thing you can’t understand is that no one has really told you how difficult it is going to be, and now you are really struggling.

Your partner does not understand, actually he has no clue what is going on. You are angry and upset and the person who is going to take the brunt of it is the poor sap who comes whistling through the front door at about 17h30 each day.

You start fighting with him because he goes to work.  You fight with him because he is at work.  You fight with him because he is at home.  You fight with him because he can’t change the baby the way you want him to do it.   You fight with him because he does not know which babygrower to use … well basically you fight with him because he exists (don’t even start with me about the fact that he has to breath so damn loud!).

Husband is starting to wonder if this having a baby was such a good idea, and at some point will make a statement of the sort.

This will be a bit like throwing gasoline on a fire, and you will unfortunately start saying some things you wish you had not said.  He is so annoyed as he does not know his wife anymore, and instead has this hormone soaked creature to deal with, so he will retaliate with something else, and you will have a come back which is akin to kicking him in the gonads.

And from there the situation will turn ugly.

But believe it or not  ….  you eventually start to get saner and realise that you (and him) are living through what feels like the apocalypse.  It does take a while before you realise that you and your partner are actually in this together.  You need to rely and lean on each other to get through this, rather than taking pot shots at each other as you run across the minefield.

You also start to wonder “why do couples who are in distress think having a baby is going to bring them closer?” when good sense tells us that a baby is the most strain you can subject on a relationship.

Don’t worry I wonder the same thing.

When my friends, who are young and in-love, have baby-showers I really want to give them vouchers for sessions of couple counseling.  Unfortunately decorum gets the better of me, and I buy them bibs and baby shoes like everyone else, and try not make them feel less invincible than they do right then.

Local Bloggers Photography Competition

Claire van Dyk posted on Facebook:
At the beginning of November we gave 6 of our favorite local bloggers an Olympus Pen E-P3. Their brief?
They had 10 days to take a photograph depicting a list…of 3 set words – “joy” “curious” and “alone”. At the end of the ten days we took the camera back and collected the three images on the memory card supplied.
Now the images will be uploaded to our Pen Competition album and we’re asking you (their fans) to vote on your favourites.
We have also asked a few local, top professional photographers to judge the pictures and the winner will be chosen on a point system with votes from the Facebook fans and judges votes combined.
The selected guest judges are:
Emma Harbour (www.emmajanenation.com)
Travis & Maike McNeill (www.welovepictures.co.za).
The blogger whose image is chosen as the overall winner will get to keep the camera. That’s right, guys – the Olympus Pen E-P3 is theirs to keep forever!
If you want to tweet some support for the bloggers competing, you can follow us @mycamera_co_za and use the hashtag #GiveThatBloggerAPen
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See the images on this link.
Mycamera on Facebook has the images up.
Look out for my submissions amongst the others, pop along and take a look at the gallery.

First two weeks on Atkins ….

I have read a few books on the Atkins Nutritional Plan, and I liked the sound of it.

I really need something severe to step in right now.  I am in the downward spiral to a lard arse, and there is no way I am able to stop myself by the usual “eat less and healthier” means.

I have been unhappy with my weight for the last four years or so, and each year the kilograms seems to find friends that can join them, and I get more and more despondent every time I look in the mirror, and try to squeeze into my clothes.

The final straw was when I bought a swimming costume about four weeks ago, that would be something my granny would wear —– it really is time for a severe HELP plan.

I decided to get my arse off the couch eating a bag of LAYS and a bottle of wine, and start Atkins.  I have also started Walk-for-Life and really hope to be up to running, albeit very short distances come February.

I had read loads of reports that people tend to feel a bit ill in the beginning with Atkins.  I believe your body goes through a bit of an adjustment and this may leave you feeling a bit dizzy, icky and shite.  I haven’t really had any side effects that I have noticed.

The big “thing” is that you remove processed carbs and sugar from your diet.  Not gradually, but cold turkey immediately.

The first two weeks (Atkins Induction – Phase 1) have a very limited “range” of vegetables and salads you can take in, and this is where you are getting your carbohydrates from.  Protein is not an issue, and you are encouraged to eat as much bacon, beef, chicken and what ever-once-had-a-heart-beat as you please.

I have never been a bit protein fan, and can go days without meat, so this was a bit of an adjustment.

The amount of fresh vegetables and salad stuff you need to take in does have you at the fresh section of your local Pick ‘n Pay or Woolworths quite regularly.

I must confess that I have found switching to an Atkins Nutritional Plan has been quite expensive.  My house is stuffed with rice, pasta and tons of other food but everything is off-limits, so the result is that I have had to really sit down and figure out what I can eat.

I have pretty much had daily trips to the grocery store to hunt around for what I can eat.  I know that on the Atkins Nutritional Plan you do get to add more carbs as you move along, but it never gets to a point where it is okay to sit on the couch with a bottle of wine and a LARGE slice of meringue red velvet cake.  Yep, I don’t think that point ever comes.

I am definitely not starving on Atkins, you eat a fair amount of protein and fat, so the result is you never sit around wondering what else you jam into your pie hole.

I also do not eat meals because I am hungry, I tend to say “Okay, best make something as you should eat a meal now….”

Fortunately I am not a big snacky-snacky person, but that being said I have also realised how many handfuls of marshmallows/biscuits/chips and assorted other things I usually put in my mouth, whilst I am in the kitchen,and not even aware of it.  I have to consciously say NO to myself when ever I enter the kitchen that my hand does not “steal” something and shovel it in.

This is what I had for lunch today: 20g Rocket, 55g Snap Peas, 1/2 Haas Avocado, 70g Orange Pepper, 150g pork sausages and a few sprinkles of beetroot sprouts — so in no way am I hungry after this. (I burst the porkies about 2 minutes after I started cooking them …. so they aren’t all silky and shiny, but crikes porkies are brilliant)

I was really elated that in the first week I had lost 1.5 kilograms, but then I got on the scale earlier this week and it was all back.  Aaah fek!

 I decided that I needed a kitchen scale and to do it properly and not “estimate” portion sizes – hence the reason for the grammage control.  I just figure if I am going to do this properly I don’t want to be blowing it because I can’t judge the correct portions.

Hey Santa, check out my list …. assuming you read blogs ….

Charlotte over at  The Stiletto Mum Blog has outdone herself this year.

Charlotte has been working like a Trojan organising Secret Santa, primarily aimed at Bloggers, but a few Tweeters/Twits (is that the correct term?) have climbed aboard.

She has more than 100 Secret Santa participants.  Listen if I had to organise 100 people’s details, you would find me drunk and asleep at the end of the garden, just after I threw a shit fit asking why people were not responding to me in time!!!

I am thrilled Charlotte has taken this EPIC TASK ON, and she has done a fantastic job getting everyone on board.

I can’t imagine that there is much difference between this and herding cats.

If you do not know what Secret Santa is, and really there is no shame in asking, the basic idea is an Organiser = Charlotte, gets a group of names together = 100 blogs, and then she assigns each name with a name.

I receive a name (via Charlotte) and that is who I buy a gift for.

The person I am buying a gift for is not necessarily buying a gift for me, but I have no idea who is.

So 100 people receive gifts in the mail (or via DHL or however you want to get it there) and you in turn send something on.

There is no point in it, other than the whoop-whoop sound you make when you receive your gift, and then wonder if you spent too much and overshot the mark when you sent your ‘secret’ present or are mortified because you realise you have shopped at the Crazy Store, and clearly everyone has bought really expensive gifts!

Big HIGH FIVE to Charlotte for pulling off this epic Secret Santa, dude, no one else would have gone this far, so this is totally a shout out to your inability to say no and restrain yourself, but that is why we love you long time!

My ‘secret santa’ is going to need some assistance with what to purchase for me – and actually this works as a really good list for ‘stuff I want’ in general.

I need to draw up a list of “Hey Santa, check out my list’ as no one enjoys walking around PEP stores for an hour wondering whether to get you the white or beige coloured granny panties ….. so here is my list – in no particular order:

1.  I do love Typography – stamps, lovely paper, anything typography in nature.  There is a store called TYPO – everything in there is lovely.

I find this typography pun … really funny.

2.  I love pens — fountain pens or ink pens are my favourite.

3.  I love note books, pretty thick paper that has a texture …. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm – who am I kidding, you can pop in to PnA and buy me a school notebook and 5 black Pilot Hi-tecpoint pens and I will get wildly excited – like really excited.

4.  I love all things Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.  There are some products out there with images of either breeds.   Love them. Want them.  Check out this Boston Terrier Salt and Pepper shaker.

 

Love these Boston Terrier tote bags.

5.  I love all things pantone.  I love pantone swatches and I adore the whole move of products that have pantone swatches on them.

6.  I drink copious amounts of tea. My favourite tea is Twinings Earl Grey, which I consume all day.

7.  I love the smell of lavender and jasmine – it is stuck all over my garden and all over my house.

8.  I adore wine and chocolate, in an indecent way.  But I have started Atkins eating plan, and it is going to be several months before I see either of them, so please do not tempt me.  Each day is a challenge right now so please please do not send me anything I can stick in my mouth!!!

9.  I love african animal wire art with or without beading – I especially love the wire ones like the rhinoceros pictured below.

10.  Big Blue is probably one of my favourite stores, I love nearly everything in that store!

11. I love thing that are connected to Sherlock Holmes/Star Wars/Star Trek – a Darth Vader memory stick for instance would totally rock my world, as would plasters like this:

12.  If you pick up an item and it makes you laugh and you say anything like: “Hey I remember this from 198___ then odds are I will like it too.  Darth Vader sweat shirt for instance is so awful, that it is divine!

13.  I love books – I ADORE BOOKS, but I think I have enough books until 2015.  So please do not send me any books.  Book marks, and book accessories are always good to have, and will always come in useful.

13.  I adore photography and my big ticket item for Santa would be a CANON lens : Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens, maybe with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Be still my beating heart.

14.  I have a million picture frames, but a few more will be wonderful.

15.  Stationery tins – something funky and vintage to keep my pens and pencils in would be great.  I use an old pink water jug at the moment, but need something else.

16.  I have a desk at home which I work from – anything that would fit that would be great – stationery stuff, cute desk stuff.

17.  I really love Miglio jewellery, and there are several yummy things in their catalogue which I would be more than happy to take off your hands.

18. Of course I love perfume – which girl doesn’t?  Just avoid anything that has any hint of liquorice in it …. liquorice makes me projectile vomit, which seldom works well on a night out with friends.  Adore Black Xs Perfume by Paco Rabanne

19.  Lulu Belle stock Lou Harvey purses and other bags ….. they are too gorgeous.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas if you are thinking about buying/making/crafting/knitting me a little something-something.

As one who possesses a va.gin.a raising another who also has a vag.ina ….

To steal a (now one of my favourite) phrases from The Blessed Barrenness “As one who possesses a vag.ina raising another who also has a va.gina”  – there is  a powerful video put together by Project Unspoken at Emory University, where they ask both men and women what they do in their daily lives to avoid sexual assault and harassment.

Not surprisingly all of the men interviewed say they don’t do anything to avoid being attacked, while the woman are constantly adjusting their behaviour to protect themselves from gender based violence.

As a women I immediately identify with the women and how they are constantly vigilant and adjusting their behaviour.  It affects what they wear and how they plan their activities. I sit there in amazement that something so monumental does not affect the men being interviewed.  At all.  Not a fig.  I assume it was a universal issue, but it seems not.  Women only problem.

I am not in any way knocking these guys being interviewed. I think the horror is that girls are brought up to be vigilant and always to be on the look out for a possibility of an attack, while men do not need to worry about this.

The one woman being interviewed explains that women have to be so careful, so cautious and so aware about what they wear, what they say, where they go, what they do, always on the look out for way to prevent being raped.  And if they so as dare to make one error in judgement somewhere along the way, and they get raped, then the blame will be shifted on to them as to how they were “looking to be raped” — I am not paraphrasing it very well, but that in essence was the gist of it.  Horrifying.  Nauseatingly true.

None of this is surprising but it’s a great video that effectively shows how differently men and women move throughout the world.  It is disturbing when you consider the defenses we have to raise our daughters with, whilst we flick our sons the car keys and a pack of con.doms.

We seem to spend more energy on teaching our girls not to get raped, than the energy we are spending teaching our boys not to rape.

Youtube link to Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCCaKuWQLp8

In the event you cannot link through to Youtube – try this link to view the video: http://www.velvetparkmedia.com/blogs/project-unspoken-how-we-think-our-selves-and-our-safety-world

Qu0tes from the video:

{statistics are USA based, but I can’t imagine they are too far removed from South African statistics on the same issue}

The one about boys and girls and their bits …..

Margot over at Jou Ma se Blog has done it again with her latest post The 25-year-old tomato sauce stain.  I am not going to paraphrase her post, so best pop over and read – it made me sit back and have a little think.

Last year I had a bit of a journey of self-awareness when I did a workshop with Dr Eve.  It was done with 6 (or 8 I forget) other women.  We met once a week, sat on the floor with cushions and Dr Eve facilitated a discussion.

Nothing about it was aimed at man bashing, it was all about awareness of our own bodies and our awareness of ourselves – but physically, spiritually and in every other way.

Why we think certain images are sexy, provocative or pretty.  How we take on roles in a relationship.  How we adopt roles in our lives as girls, women, wives, girlfriends, mothers and so on – and how much of this is connected to whether we have a vul.va or a pen.is.  It was really interesting, and made my brain stretch in directions I had not considered.

The ideas around why we view our vagi.nas  – vul.va being the correct term – in a certain light became quite a key feature.

I cannot say I enjoyed the workshop.

I am hardly prudish when it comes to speaking about most things, but there were several moments in the workshop where I blanched.  I found that it challenged my thinking.

It fired synapses and made me think in a variety of directions that I had not thought before.  It was very uncomfortable and every workshop was exhausting on every possible level.

I knew it was all going pear shaped when we started looking at vu.lv.a images ….. that was pretty much close to the time I started wondering where the buzzer was to the security gate.

I had not really given vag.ina.s much thought before then.  Funny that.

It was sort of something I had, and {more than likely} so too did all the women I knew – I have NEVER discussed the subject of vag.ina.s with another women, as I am sure it would be a conversation ender, no matter how I went about it.

Girls/women are given information from when they are young that their bodies, and especially their vu.lva/vagi.nas, are dirty and off-limits.  Do not touch, do not discuss, do not show anyone, and for god sake DO NOT TOUCH!!

Mention a period/me.nstrua.tion and you will have women (and men) recoiling in disgust.

What alarmed me is I was communicating the same message to my daughters.

While I was doing the workshop, Isabelle was still in nappies. I recall changing her on her changing mat, and whilst I was cleaning and powdering her “lady bits” she put her hands between her legs.

Without missing a beat I exclaimed: “Hey stop that, it’s dirty, SIES!” and added a tsk-tsk for good measure.

Only when it fell out of my mouth, and because I was dealing with it in the workshop, I realised what I had said, what I had been doing, and what I was imparting to my daughter.

I was enforcing the stereotyped that “girls parts” are dirty – off-limits – smelly – yucky ……..  I was giving my daughter the SAME MESSAGE that I had been given, and probably most other girls/women I knew walked around with.

I was horrified.  How indoctrinated was this message?

I struggle to not think SIES YUCK where vag.inas and me.nstru.ation are involved.

I sat through a video/DVD that Dr Eve had asked us to watch called Viva La Vul.va.

I was horrified, and scarred for the rest of my days, eyes please unsee stuff.  I made myself watch it as I thought I should not be having this sort of reaction to part of my body, which is a natural part, and part of me – I thought I could be mature about the subject matter.  It seems I am not that mature.

The point I am trying to make, in a very laboured fashion, is that girls are given the message (from a very early age) not to touch themselves, not to touch their va.gin.as, and gods truth not to show it to anyone, because it is dirty/ugly/sies .  We demonize a part of our bodies which is vital to most of our existence, and then we wonder why we have such self-image problems.

Boys do not get this message about their bodies.

I don’t think I have ever said to Connor he should not touch his penis because it is dirty. I think I might have indicated it is not appropriate in the bread aisle at Woolworths.

If a boy touches his penis in public – and this does not matter whether he is 4 months or 40 years old it usually is met with a chortle of “put that thing away ….” and then a well appreciated laugh.

If a girl touches her vu.lv.a in public — well I am not sure what would happen, as girls don’t, and women would probably rather die than touch herself in public.  It is just unheard of!

Margot’s post reminded me of the difficult journey we have as Sharon at The Blessed Barrenness said (so well) “As one who possesses a vagina raising another who also has a vagina” it really is a difficult task to raise girls.

It is really difficult to raise girls and give them a good image of their ENTIRE body when we miss the middle bit, because it is too dirty to talk about.

Dog Shows and Boston Terriers

I have Dexter who is a Boston Terrier.

I have been a Staffordshire Bull Terrier person for years, but two or three years ago, I thought I just need “less dog.”

I love Staffordshire Bull Terriers, but they get into your car and they become the car.  They do not so much get on the bed, as take over the bed.  For my household, it just became less than ideal with three kids and a dog, I needed a breed that was easier for my life style.

Staffies are not known for their ability to blend in with other dogs, and this is really problematic as we often head to Sandbaai and my mom has three dogs, which means I always have to leave my dog at home.

Any the who, I adore French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers.

I contacted a breeder about a Boston Terrier (actually I contacted several).  We hooked up and she had a litter (her bitch clearly, not her personally) and discussed Dexter with me (Carogan Ive Gotta Feelin).

I received him in January 2012, and he is gorgeous.  Dexter has been great, he is such a character, and really easy to throw into the car and take him pretty much anywhere.

I also love dog shows.  No really I do.  It is just one of those things I really love. I love ring stewarding, I love watching dog shows, I love having a dog taking part.

The idea of getting Dexter, was so that there was potential to show him.  I started showing him recently and so far he has done really well – he has been shown in the Puppy class and I have been really proud of him.  He does unfortunately think he is Cujo at a certain point of the show, which is not ideal, and is pretty much when everything goes pear-shaped …. fast.

I took him along to the West Coast Kennel Club Qualifying Show on Sunday, 4 November.  The idea was to leave the kids at home, and me head to the show with Dexter.  Isabelle saw me trying to leave and there was no way she was going to let me go anywhere.

I had to take her along to the dog show – Kennith is on a business trip to China/visiting is his other family.  Taking a young child to a dog show by yourself is sort of an okay idea in principle, but not a not great idea in application.

I walk in to the show ring, and Isabelle is running behind me screaming MOMMY with tears running down her face.  I could not calm her or get her out of the ring, so I just continued to show Dexter with a child SCREAMING running behind me.

Dog shows are meant to be really serious affairs, and one shows one’s job with a certain measure of seriousness.  One wants to win after all.

There I am walking around the ring with my dog, whilst my three-year old is running behind me screaming.  We did a triangle, and Isabelle ran behind SCREAMING doing a triangle as well.

Other than that, Dexter won Best Puppy and Best of Breed for his Breed. Of course he bombed out in the Group Competitions — he is just not a group competition kinda guy.

Ballooning weight …. alarming waist line …. and a fat arse!

I have never had a good self-image.

Even when I weighed 50 kilograms, I hated my body because it was too skinny.  I am 1.75 metres tall – so I was pretty damn skinny.

My nose is too pointy, my knees are too knock kneed. I used to hate/loath the large birthmark on my left hand side.  There is very little about me physically that I like.  Funny (not so much) how we are our own worst enemies.

I have always been an erratic eater, and eat when food passes me rather than have planned set meal times. I seldom eat breakfast.  I gorge on Chuckles, and Pasta, and can easily quell the dreams of a bottle of wine.

I will go a day without eating anything, other than drinking tea, then at 19h00 realise “Hey I am hungry” – open a packet of Plain Lays and eat that whilst I sip two or four glasses of wine.

Not a great meal plan by any one’s standards.

I don’t really eat vegetables, but I eat salad, so I don’t get too worked up about it.  I love pasta in almost any shape or form.  I get wildly excited by NUSSFIT spread thickly on top of white bread. I can do 4 slices of that for breakfast, lunch and supper with a thick chocolaty smile.

Any the who, I have been adding kilograms slowly to my frame.

When I had Connor (2001) I weighed around 55 – 58kilograms.  When I had Georgia (2005) I weighed around 65kilograms.  When I had Isabelle(2009) I did not even bother getting on the scale, it was close to 69kilograms and I felt like a heffalump.

I can honestly say that my weight has little to do with the pregnancies, but all to do with the way my eating habits changed when I was breastfeeding.  Before I had Connor I ate small meals, after Connor I started tucking in to starters, main and dessert.  Breastfeeding meant I could eat almost what ever I liked and did not add weight.  But then I stopped breastfeeding, and continued to eat the same calorie intake.

This year has been the worst, and I have ballooned past 70 kilograms, and nearly shat myself when I realised my weight was sitting at 77 kilograms, which means 80 kilograms was not that far off.

I hate seeing myself in photographs. I despise seeing my reflections (our bathroom has a full wall of a mirror, so it is tricky to take a crap without having it in full living colour reflected back at you).  I know I am on route (already there) of being fat, and I can’t seem to maintain the will power not to eat 4 slices of white bread with NUSSFIT.

I am very reluctant to stand up and say, so I am on a diet, or I am on this exercise plan, as I like to fail quietly, not in the full glare of public scrutiny.  I have realised the sooner I accept that I am making some changes, and incorporate them into my life, my blog, what I do, the better it is for me to keep going with the,

I need a life style change, and not just a ‘flash in the pan’ diet.  I think I am past where a diet can help me – the idea of a gastric bypass is looking more and more attractive.

I have been reading several books (at once) on the Atkins Diet.   I am finding little in the way to fault it right now. I do appreciate if I googled “what’s wrong with Atkins” I will be killed in the flood, but for now I am focussing on what works about it.

I decided to start and not stall any longer.

I started on Tuesday, 6 November – and I am following what they recommend as the Induction Plan which is meant to last two weeks.  My feeling is that I will see how I am faring in two weeks, and make a decision whether to remain on the Induction Phase or move to the next phase.

The food I am eating is a totally brain shift – it is food I eat, but food I would not naturally consume without a side of potatoes, pasta or rice – in short the Atkins Diet is a bit prohibitive (understatement) of Starch.  It is pretty freaky about Sugar too, but I would say it has quite a focus on eating a particular level of protein and fat – and moving your diet dramatically away from Refined Starch and Sugar.

I don’t feel bad in any way.  I am not quite skipping around saying I feel great, but my usual diet does not include sugar, full cream milk or loads of junk food, so it is not really a huge reach shift – but it is still early days.

I have my food diary, and I am still busy reading through three Atkins Diet Books to get my head around how it works.  My water intake has increased, and unfortunately alcohol is prohibited during the Induction Phase, so I am missing my glasses of wine rather acutely right now.

A lifestyle shift does require me to move my arse off the couch.  I decided to quietly join Walk for Life.  So me and a few dozen ladies whose mean age is probably 65 head out for a bit of a walkabout on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

I do want to get up to runing – I just need to get there again – and I like the way the programme takes it really s — l — o — w.  I figure that I will just stick with what they prescribe, and walk until they say I am ready to run.

I weighed myself this morning, and the scale did show an improvement — I am fine with slow progress, as long as it leads to permanent weight loss. What ever happens I seriously cannot remain in the condition and the weight that I am.

So if you are looking for me I will be the one in the corner eating copious amounts of meat with a side order of rocket, olives and sprouts and sipping my water as I eye your wine!

My friends are posting ….

I don’t think I am serious enough for Facebook some days …..

Like Game of Thrones?

I am a bit of “take it or leave it” television sort of gal.  There is little on television – I only refer to DSTV as television, anything less than that is a bit of a sad state of affairs.

My two favourite series are without a doubt the BBC Sherlock, I cannot get enough of the series, which is a tricky as there is a bit of a limited supply.

The other is Game of Thrones.

Oh my giddy aunt I adore like verging into obsessed about the show.  The characters, the story – my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister – generally described as the clever dwarf!  After I was retrenched I lay on the couch for a month and watched Series 1 and 2 of Game of Thrones and loved every moment.

Recently I stumbled across A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin.  I picked it up at Exclusive Books, sort of got the gist that it was The Game of Thrones author and took it along to the cash register.

Anyway it turns out it is the second season of Game of Thrones.

I am loving the book – it is written EXACTLY like the show, granted I am only a few dozen pages in.  But it is gorgeous.  If you liked Game of Thrones at all, grab the book.  Divine.

Happy Oupa Day!

I was trying to explain what Mo-vember was about to the kids.  A bought some cheap and cheerful moustaches from China Town and wanted to get some photographs of them.

Georgia latched on to “Happy OUPA Day” and you know when you just give up, and go “yep, happy OUPA Day” …. so everyone Happy Oupa Day this November.

{I thought it was virtually impossible to channel Adolf Hitler in a self-portrait of myself … it would seem not …. I appear to get this one right on the money}

Kids doing Happy OUPA Day …..

{Georgia so liked her ‘tach that she wore it whilst we were cycling/scootering in the road — I think a child with a Magnum PI moustache is an absolute winner, and will definitely have all the boys coming to the yard…}

Photographs taken with my loaned Olympus PEN E-P3 loaned from the folks over at mycamera.

#mycamerablogger competition

Your baby a Colic Baby? Have you heard about Baby Calm?

Mandy Morgan over at Baby Calm, was a Chartered Accountant in her previous life.  She decided to pursue her interest in Nutritional Medicine.  A pregnancy with diabolic morning sickness made life a challenge, and keeping anything down more so.

Mandy has two children of her own.  She has been through everything from chronic morning sickness, a child born with a tongue tie, sensitivity to sound and waking up 15 times at night, through to incorrectly diagnosed colic, and possibly every other mommy nightmare that tested her hold on sanity.

Mandy knows first hand how difficult it is to struggle with a child who is not eating and sleeping, and how alone and desperate you can feel as a mom.

Baby Calm is her way of helping other Parents who find themselves in the same situation as she did.

Mandy says: “Colic and Reflux are both taxing in their own right with a significant amount of screaming.

They can both be caused by a food intolerance or allergy and they both cause major sleeping problems- and hence the 4 topics for the website (Reflux, Colic, Food Allergies and Intolerances and Sleeping Problems). In addition Reflux is often misdiagnosed as colic.

South Africa has a number of medical directories and a couple of baby and children directories, but has none that focus on a specific condition and offer Products, Practitioners and Services.

You can find a Paediatric Allergy Specialist on Baby Calm, a range of allergy free products, and a Nanny Placement Agency to find the extra support you need, all in one place!

The family unit and support structure has been broken down over the years with families being spread all over the world, we need to be able to find help in other areas i.e. nannies and home cooked food delivered to our door.

The excessive stress of a continually crying baby increases the likelihood of both Post Natal Depression and Shaken Baby Syndrome- something I hope will reduce with the resources made available on Baby Calm.

We hope that in the future we will be able to open a chat room and perhaps even support groups for Parents to help each other.

My hope for the website is to be a resource for ALL parents, not just those dealing with the four main conditions.

There are fabulous products for any baby on the website.

Everyone is going to need a health Care practitioner at some stage (whether it be a Paed or Kinesiologist) and most people need a well baby clinic too. So as much as the website may appear to be exclusive to the conditions it is really great for any parent.

We have been asked to represent South Africa in the first International Infant Reflux Awareness week in April next year, which will include countries such as UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Germany, and I hope to increase the awareness of this condition which can affect up to 50% of all babies to some degree.”

Baby Calm has the answers you have been looking for!

In these pages you will find an array of South African Products, Services, Practitioners and Treatment approaches to cope with a baby suffering from Colic, Reflux, Food Allergies and Intolerances, and the resulting Sleeping Problems.

Plus practical and useful hints and tips for getting through this difficult phase. And who better to provide these tips, than Parents who have already walked this road! Baby Calm is designed for Parents by Parents.

Connor … a moment in time

I took this photograph of my son Connor  — our pool sadly was a bit green, but green pools do not seem to deter children from swimming on a hot November’s day.

He popped out from under the water and I took this photograph – really love this image of him.

It captures exactly who he is right now ….. and another moment when I realise my baby is well on his way to becoming a man ….. with pu.b.ic hair!

{photograph taken using the OLYMPUS PEN E-P3 on loan from mycamera}

#mycamerablogger competition