Lonely people glitter ….

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When it all goes wrong ….

Connor was invited to a birthday party for Friday morning.  I read the SMS invite and my eyes read 10h30.

Friday at 09h45 I rechecked the SMS to realise it said 10h00.

Flew out the house wearing the stuff you pray no one sees you in.  Screeched off down the road.  Traffic on the N1 was bumper-to-bumper at 09h48 on a Friday morning.

I yelled and screamed, but the traffic did not seem to care.

Roared into the parking area, and because it was that kind of  day, there was no parking and I had to park at the furthest possible entrance to the shopping centre.

Ran through the shopping centre with a 12 year old dragged behind me.  Get to location cannot find party people.  Gate holders seem to have no idea about the party – I think okay, I will just pay for him to go in and then he can join the party — I am sure they are inside there somewhere.

Look in wallet.  No money.  F*ck!

Little hamster in head tries to work out best route through maze.  Decide.  Okay leave Connor at the entrance of the party place – hugely stressful to me, as he is now standing alone inside the biggest mall – really regret our earlier decision not to give him a fully charged cell phone.

Yes, that is working out quite nicely now.

I give him firm instructions to remain in this position and only move if he sees the party group.

I run some more to the other side of the center.  Actually I ran first in the incorrect direction, so it did take twice as long.

Find an ATM – stand in queue.  Bouncing on my toes as you do when you are waiting and wondering if at this exact moment your child is being kidnapped by a man in a vest.

Get to ATM – put card in – hand shaking, either not enough caffeine or too much adrenaline, or too much crack for breakfast.

ATM takes card, does not give money, not a slip of paper, or a f*ck you very much.  Just takes the card and then politely asks for “next customer please.”

The issue now is how long to wait for your card to expelled from the machine or to run and see if you can located your child before a man in a vest whisks him away in a red Toyota Tazz.

After 10 minutes and screaming at the ATM.  I decided if I ran really fast I could collect my child and run to the bank to stop my card before it got spat out of the machine into a person who realises I am still using 12345 as my ATM don’t tell anyone PIN number.

Ran to where I left Connor, he was not there.  Mild sh*t attack.  Hopped from foot to foot and eventually saw him at the party – tried to call child’s-mom-whose-party-it was, she was not answering.

Thought okay, calm down, try and take a breath.  Next plan is to run to bank, stop card, and hopefully they can give me an emergency card, as I had no money and no access to any money without an ATM card.

Running to the bank – good plan to save time.

Inside the bank, it appears to run on a different time line altogether.  I

st00d in the line so long the person who walks down the line to ask you in a helpful voice why you are standing in the queue – who seems like a jolly good idea, but the reality is even if you said your pants were on fire they would smile and nod telling you you are in the right queue.

I really wish banks would understand that checking if clients are in the right queue, is not as effective as say opening another teller window and thus shortening the queue.

After just short of two hours I had received an emergency card and been able to cancel the other cards connected to my accounts so the bank could issue new ones.

By the time I got back to the party place, the party had ended  and the kids had wandered off to a fast food outlet.

There was a bit more of me panicking, phoning the phone that does not get answered, and basically have a total humour failure in the middle of a shopping mall.

Eventually found him.

He had had a great time.

Me?  I was bleeding out of my ears from stress.

But then Connor and I went and had McDonalds together and then I felt a bit better.

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{little did I know that this was going to be amateur hour for the shit day it was going to be….}

and in other news … that is a rather unfortunate name ….

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Reluctant Mom’s Blog won the Kidzworld Mommy Blogger of the Year 2013

The winner and runners up were announced late last week on the KIDZWORLD website.

1st prize – The Reluctant Mom’s Blog – https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/
2nd prize – Belinda Mountain who blogs over at “Making Mountains” – http://makingmountains.co.za/
3rd prize – Natasha Clark who blogs over at “Raising Men” – http://littleandbunny.blogspot.com/

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I really was pleased.  I know it is very bad acceptance speech material to say that “it was a surprise” – but it was.

I have really been off my blogging game for a while.  I know that a lot of the bloggers who made the short list work exceptionally hard on their blogs, and write good stuff – so to win is really an honour.

I have a lot of things going on in my personal space that I can’t blog about, but are taking huge amounts of energy and my focus.

My humble and grateful thanks to everyone and anyone who took the time to nominate and vote the The Reluctant Mom’s Blog in the competition.

Winning shit makes me super happy — and it is always nice when my blog gets props.

This blog is l something I hold dear, even when I treat it like a wasteland of bitching.  It’s still my little corner where I retreat to when I need to try to find sanity in it all.

Thank you very much to everyone, and congratulations to the other nominees and the other two bloggers who were in the top three.

These bloggers were nominated and made the top 10 short list:

Cindy Alfino who blogs over at “3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 old House” – http://alfinos.wordpress.com/

Chereen Strydom who blogs over at “For the Beauty of It” – http://forthebeautyofit.blogspot.com/

Stacey Vee who blogs over at “Living Lionheart” http://www.livinglionheart.co.za/

Tanya Kovarsky who blogs at “Rattle and Mum” – http://www.rattleandmum.co.za/

Sharon van Wyk who blogs over at “The Blessed Barrenness”  http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/

Amy Westerman who blogs over at “The Grace Factory” – http://thegracefactory.co.za/

Sarah Huddy who blogs over at “The Mommy City” – http://www.themommycity.co.za/

{apologise if I have spelt anything wrong, please let me know if I have}

 

Where is she going?

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Source:  http://bluntcard.com/100new47.php

Happy Friday everyone! {appropriate for this time of year}

Expect snot. Expect a tear duct overload…. Introducing Ben and Olivia.

Ben Nunery and his young daughter Olivia have published a gripping and beautiful series of images in which they bid farewell to their home and to their wife and mother Ali, who died of cancer in 2011 at 31 years of age (R.I.P.).

Ben and Ali were married in 2009.

Because they had just purchased their new home, they decided to take their wedding photos in the home that was to be their future.

After Ali passed just 2 ½ years later, however, Ben and Olivia had to move into a new home together.

To say goodbye, Ali’s sister Melanie Tracy Pace joined them for one more photoshoot in the home where Ben and Ali had their wedding day photos and where they had lived together.

The resulting images, some of which even shadow the original wedding-day photos, are a touching and beautiful farewell to Ali and to their old home.

When he wrote about the experience, Ben said, “Many people have asked me how I felt while doing that photo session. What I want them to know is that this isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt.

Yes, I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos. This is a story about love.”

Check out the photos below, along with some more specific information about Ben, Olivia and Ali’s story.

Ben Nunery and his young daughter Olivia recreated these special photos from Ben and Ali’s wedding day to say goodbye to Ali, who passed away from cancer, and to remember the good times.

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On the left, a photo of Ben and Ali taken by Ali’s sister Melanie in 2009. On the right, Ben and his daughter Olivia standing together in the same doorway in December 2013

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Hopefully, Melanie’s photos will help Olivia remember her mother and the home where she began her life

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Grab a cup of tea, or a large glass of wine depending on what is permitted at your office before 09h00, and a huge box of tissues.  Alternatively use your sleeve.

Have you ever?  No!!  {sob, stupid sob, sniff}

Read more in the article on TODAY NEWS.

You can also stalk Ben on his Facebook Page.

Check out the original post here – where Melanie posted the images.

erm …. please leave your hat on ….

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Facebook Cover Image for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Facebook Cover Image for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) if you would like to use it.

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – every email address gets one vote.

Voting close at midnight on the 15 December 2013, and then the fat lady has sung.

It’s not really for a good cause, there are really no prizes, just bragging rights and a shiny badge.

And then everyone goes home.

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-vote-for-me

{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

What if we treated every illness the way that we treat mental illness?

I saw this graphic yesterday, and it struck a chord with me.

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I have regularly been battling my own demons, and some days I manage it better than others.

Depression and it’s related posse – which are usually socially phobia, general anxiety disorder, alcoholism, or some sort of substance abuse – is not an illness that ever really goes away.

You get given a respite, a few days grace, but then the bitch is back and you get to start the cycle from the beginning.

I do understand how exhausting this process must be for family members, loved ones, partners, parents, children and the sundry of others who love, like and have a relationship with someone “struggling with depression.”

I would imagine it is a bit like helping someone who has a broken leg.

It is all “fuck I am sorry, how can I help?” then you help them carry their books, shuffle to the toilet and back, make them some tea, and pretty much help out where every you can – at about the point when you think “yikes I am tired of this shit” .. then the person’s leg heals.

The cast gets removed and they are “on their feet and back in the swing of things.”

Then you go to the shop to buy milk and a loaf of bread, get back and the person has broken their leg again.  And you are like fuck that shit.

Repeat the loop 3 – 6 times a year, and in the end, everyone is about as sick as crap with you and your stupid broken leg, and really just wishes you would stop breaking that shit.  What is wrong with you for goodness sake.

It is starting to look a bit reckless, and that you might actually enjoy wearing a plaster of paris cast, and not being able to function.

Swap broken leg out with depression and you can sort of see how everyone gets exhausted with you being exhausted.

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Depression is a cruel illness. It strips you of your ability to care or relate to anything around you.

It fills your mind with emptiness – and it’s all you can do to blink without giving up.

I have noticed that with each cycle there is an element of “darkness”that gets blacker and more dense in my mind.  An unwillingness, or an inability to face it again – the constant gnawing cycle of self loathing, self doubt, pain and well …. bleakness.

I think I have got better, as I have got older, at being able to soldier on through the “bad patches” to where few people do not even notice that I am in a bit of a low space .

The reality is the cycles are cycles – they keep on coming and as soon as this one is done you start sensing the new wave building, and you are never sure if this will be the wave that crashes on the beach, or tears through the country like a tsunami.

The ebbs gets lower and lower, and then “the big one” arrives that makes me doubt who I am, my worth, my sense of self, and more importantly by ability to put one foot in front of the other.

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I posted this originally on the 10 January 2012

That creeping sensation that things are not quite as they should be.

The whispers of self-doubt.

The gnawing sensation that everyone is plotting against me.

The hiss that people are talking about me.  Incessantly.  Always in the negative.

The worry that I am doing something wrong.  Everything wrong.  About to be “caught out” for doing something wrong I have not even done.  At all.  Ever.

The sounds of whispers and innuendos and recrimination.

Small sounds reverberate in my eardrums as echos.  My children’s chewing that sounds like the brass frkn band going off tune next to me.

The mental arguing and cross-questioning and “should I” or “what if…” and “maybe you need to go and fix that….”

Unfortunately it has all started again.  It was so lovely when it was gone.  It was so lovely.

And it is back – the swishing tail of my black dog against my legs.

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – every email address gets one vote.

Voting close at midnight on the 15 December 2013, and then the fat lady has sung.

It’s not really for a good cause, there are really no prizes, just bragging rights and a shiny badge.

And then everyone goes home.

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-vote-for-me

{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

Mommy Bloggers hear us roar …..

What are you working on right now?

I am really struggling with an army of financial shit.  I am trying to juggle finding R260.00 for a full body wax versus finding R15 000.00 for a French Bulldog.   I have cancelled the butt wax to save for the French Bulldog.

Where did the idea for The Reluctant Mom’s Blog come from?

I had just expelled Isabelle via a c-section. I was pretty convinced I had this parenting thing waxed, what with having two already and being well read on the subject.

When I started to wonder how hard I had to throw Isabelle against the wall so I could have 30 seconds of silence, I realised I had failed this parenting malarkey – and badly.

I needed a place to shit myself in public, and to try and work through some of my thoughts.  I was pretty convinced at the time that I was the only mom feeling so helpless and distressed by having a baby.  Blogging helped, and I also realised I needed a good dose of medication and a guy who knows what CBT means.

What does your typical day look like?

I wake up and am barely awake.

I throw on an assortment of clothing, brush my teeth and scream “ AM LEAVING EVERYONE BETTER GET IN THE CAR NOW!”  On occasion I do this on a Saturday morning and then the result is me sitting in the car honking the horn like a mad person and thinking “FUCK, CAN I GET THESE KIDS INTO A BOARDING SCHOOL AT PRE-PRIMARY LEVEL?”

How do you bring ideas to life?

Wine.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Wine.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Waitressing.

At a restaurant that we had to come in on a Saturday at 10h00 to set up the restaurant for a shift that started at 17h00.  We had to pay the kitchen staff to wash the cutlery and crockery so we could set the tables.

I stuck it out for nearly a year – whilst I had an full time day job during the day – and then left it for another waitressing position with 0nly slightly less restrictive work conditions.  I think it showed me that people in the service industry, are often exposed to less than ideal working conditions, and I try to be courteous to “service” people.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would like to have David Beckham sperm in my DNA so that I would be born pretty, rich and really thin.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

  1.  There has got to be a way to stop people from posting stupid Facebook status updates that require people to ask “so what’s up honey..” until they confess later in the thread that their cat died ……
  2. Friday Public Hangings for Child Abusers and Child Rapists.

Tell us a secret.

I am going to sell my soul to buy that French Bulldog.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Pinterest – because it makes me spend hours wondering how I can plait my hair, and make a cupboard out of toilet rolls.  None of which I will ever do.

Linkedin – like Facebook for adults.

Twitter – still quite a recent discovery for me.  Have  I told you how much I love @XplodingUnicorn

What is the one book that you recommend people should read and why?

I read a great deal, so this is a tricky question.  I know it is probably not deep and meaningful, but one of the books that have stuck with me over the last few years in how simply it was written but so profoundly moving was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

I am really a newbie to Twitter but my favourite things that pop up on my twitter feed belong to:

@XplodingUnicorn –  I have no idea who this person is, but I am hoping to camp out in his garden pretty soon, with my Cape Union Mart tent.

@Parentpains Because of this post – Apparently, women only enjoy a nice romantic breakfast in bed when they know how you got in their house.

Yes, I know that is only two.

 When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I am experiencing a spate of depression at the moment, so laughing is pretty far down my list of survival skills.  Trying to smile is already and exercise in super powers.

Who is your hero?

School teachers everywhere!!!  After 5 days of school holidays I have an entire new respect for them, and feel embarrassed that I did not volunteer to donate a kidney or a liver to any of them who may need it.

Bloggers who you would like to take part?

Countess over at http://countesskaz.wordpress.com

Sharon over at http://theblessedbarrenness.co.za

And

Charlotte over at http://thestilettomum.wordpress.com/

No there are no rules to this, but here is a blog graphic to use just in case you would like to use it and pass it on to three other Bloggers who you would like to recognise and hear their background story – and give some props to Bloggers who you thing are doing it well.

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

Exploding Unicorn is the best thing about twitter …..

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Follow him on @XplodingUnicorn …. you will start to lose chunks of your day just staring at your twitter feed, and it’s a pleasure.

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

sa-best-mommy-blogger-competition-2013-vote-for-me

{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

This company aims to create anti-rape clothing …..

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According to the website REAL MEN HATE RAPE:

It is estimated that over 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime and that only 1 in 9 rapes are reported.   It is also estimated that 14% of perpetrators of rape are convicted in South Africa.  In 1997, violence against women was added as one of the priority crimes under the National Crime Prevention Strategy; nevertheless, the rates of reported rape, sexual abuse of children and domestic violence continue to rise.

INDIEGOGO has come up with a plan to prototype an undergarment that fits safely and tighter on the user, making it challenging/difficult to get the underwear off, and with this delay hoping that the rapist is frustrated enough to decide not to rape.

I can’t quite get my head around whether it is such a brilliant idea or whether it starts to remind me of the chastity belt circa the middle ages, and is just not an idea that can not realistically move past the prototype stage.

The company designed the underwear with specific locks that keep it safely and tightly on the user and make it difficult for a stranger to forcibly remove it.

The “skeleton structure,” as the company’s video describes, functions on certain parts of the garment to add protection by making those parts harder to move.

A set of so-called thigh locks make it so that the material over the leg openings are difficult to move after the user snaps them in place. The center of the underwear’s waistband also contains a lock which only opens when a wearer sets two notches to a specific position, like the hands of a clock. Each pair of underwear is assigned a position out of up to 132 different combinations.

Read more about their prototype, the funding they have received and how they are progressing >>>>> 

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I can’t disagree that anything that may stop a rape would not be a good idea.

With the statistics we deal with in South Africa regarding the high probability of a woman/girl/baby being raped anything that can curb this should be lauded, researched and given as much support as is possible.

With a likely retail price of more than 50 US Dollars, makes this a product that will be out of the price reach of the bulk of the South African population.  Our issues are that girls miss at least three days of school a month, as they do not have money to buy tampons/sanitary pads — so when you look at that as a base problem, buying these clever, but out of reach knickers is probably not a workable solution here in South Africa.

I am not sure if anyone has heard of or remembers Rape-aXe : The Anti Rape Condom, invented by Sonnet Ehler.

Ehlers was motivated to create it while working as a blood technician with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, during which time she met many rape victims. Ehler mentioned that she was inspired to create RAPEX (later renamed to Rape-aXe) when a patient who had been raped stated, “If only I had teeth down there,” ………

My second favourite criticism comes from Victoria Kaija, from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Uganda. She refers to my invention as a form of ‘enslavement’.

Apparently wearing the device, according to Victoria, is a constant reminder, to women, of their vulnerability. My aim with the device is to empower women and promote gender equality.

If men can use their bodies – their manhood, as a weapon of attack – well then it’s time for women to do the same!

The fear and vulnerability that I saw in the tear-filled eyes of a rape victim is what drove me to begin my action against rape. “If only I had teeth down there,” were the words of this victim, and that was the prompt towards the development of Rape-aXe.

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Anyone got any other ideas how to stop/curb/reduce the rape epidemic we face?

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

How to tell if a toy is suitable for a boy or a girl ….

I often get asked what would be good toys for boys and girls – and whether a Barbie dressed in camo gear could be classified as an Action Man and thus suitable to purchase for a boy.

In a bid to make Xmas/Birthday/Hanukkah shopping a bit easier this year, I thought this handy little flow chart could help you out if you are standing and wrestling with a difficult decision in your local Toys ‘R Us.

lt’s a pleasure.

1312_suitable for boys

 

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

 

Why dads should organise birthday parties …. and moms should sleep on the couch

Connor had his birthday party this weekend.

Kennith has been arranging Connor’s birthday parties since my sh&t fit about four years ago.

I know there are tons of moms who get really excited ab0ut their kid’s birthday parties – it appears I am not one of those moms. I am the mom who gets so stressed and worked up about the birthday party, that I lose my sense of humour at the RSVP stage.

Then it is pretty much all downhill from there.

Any the who, Kennith does the birthday planning for Connor’s birthday party, and I do think at a certain point dads organizing a boy’s birthday is a much better idea.

What Kennith did:

1.  Skipped party packs – each boy got a water bottle and a torch from Cape Union Mart.

2.  Popped down to a local store and picked up a chocolate cake off the shelf.  Me, I would have spent weeks arranging some monster through a specialised cake company and blown the monthly payment for a car on a cake.

3.  He bought hotdogs and rolls, a few packs of chips and cooldrinks.  I would have (over) catered and gone full ball.  Boys ate enough, drank enough and everyone was happy – and it did not take a truck load of food and catering to make them happy.

4.  He organised that Connor invite 9 of his friends and that was it.   I would have invited every cousin, his sister’s friends, the person who once spoke to him at Pick ‘n Pay.  We didn’t  even take the girls with …. and they survived.

5.  He arranged that the boys go to City Rock and do rock climbing.   I was thinking, well that sounds a bit like something the boys are not going to enjoy

6.  Afterwards they came to our house and swam in the pool.   I was thinking, well clearly we need to go bigger here. It appears I was wrong on all counts.

Boys had a great time.

They had fun from the start to the time when their  parents collected them.

To be honest I did not see most of the parents.  I fell asleep on the couch.

Pretty much the way I think one should spend all birthdays and Saturdays!

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The boys try out a “cave” to test out the hand grips.

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Each boy was fitted with a harness and connected to a the “person who holds the rope” on the ground.  At no point did I feel any of the kids were in an unsafe situation nor were they pushed to do something they did not want to do.

But they were encouraged to push on, and really get to points that they probably did not think they could reach.

As they time progressed, the boys started racing each other as to who could climb up the fastest.

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The boys were in two teams.

They were taken through different grades of climbing with a gradual increase in difficulty.

Only one of the boys had ever been rock climbing before, but all of them did it, and it was incredible how much fun they had.

City Rock – great location for a kid’s party – and actually a really cool place to take the kids. {while we were there, there were lots of families that came along and did some rock climbing with their kids}

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Please vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE today.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.

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It really has been a sad/momentous few days.

No matter what your personal thoughts are of Nelson Mandela – I think the overall feeling that we can agree on is that someone who has changed, touched us all and forever impacted on our lives has left this earth.

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This was probably my favourite tweet …..

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Twitter used tweets about Mandela’s death to generate the following graphic, made up of the texts of those tweets.

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This is probably my favourite image of Nelson Mandela ..

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I remembered this blog post I had posted some time back on Nelson Mandela and Black People – https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/nelson-mandela-and-black-people/

Then they made pink Lego …. and the world ended.

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Before I had kids I had very clear ideas about my kids playing with non-gender specific toys.

What I actually meant was I did not want Connor playing with guns.

I grew up in a home where we had a wall of rifles mounted on our lounge – we were fancy like that.

Guns were around and we had free access.

I don’t mean they were in a safe and we knew where the key was.  I mean that there was a sawn-off double barreled shotgun that lay on my father’s side table, and it was there pretty much any time you felt an overriding urge to pick it up and go on the rampage at the local post office.

The bullets/shot gun casings were cleverly hidden in the top drawer.

My point is we did not play with toy guns – because we had the real shit right there.

As an adult I just did not wanted my kids to play with guns.  I just didn’t and don’t.  I am not sure of the reason. I do not buy my kids toy guns, and when ever we were given one, it would make its way out of the house.

I also do not allow my kids to watch wrestling.

I also hate boys wearing vests (not the boys, just the vests).  I am not sure what it is that makes me recoil in horror when I see a boy/man in a vest.

I did dress my girls in pink when they came along.  I realised that somewhere a feminist was burning her suffragettes’ card in horror – but none the less I bought pink with abandon.

Vests I had a problem with, girls in pink were no issue for me.

Then I saw the girls’ toy aisle at most toy stores, crammed with plastic irons, ironing boards, microwaves and cleaning kits.

I shat myself a bit, pulled my hair in distress, and thought about forming a one woman picket line outside Toys ‘r Us with a crudely made sign from a 5 litre wine box.

Then my girls started asking for the cleaning kits, and wanting the little plastic iron, and being envious they did not have the cleaning apron as well.

Years ago, I took great umbrage to what was stocked at toy stores – I  wanted my girls to aspire to something more than wanting to get their toilet bowl smelling lemony clean and shiny.

When all is said and done, I have tried to just calm the fk down and if the girls want to purchase Lego because it is pink, then let them, if Connor wants to make a “toy gun” from macaroni and a  pencil, then let him.

I  had ideals.  And then I  had kids.

I have realised that the fact that the toy stores stock “cleaning and household” products in the girls’ toy aisle is less important than the fact that my girls do not know what twerking is.

I had ideals about parenting.  Then I realised that I  am going to be driving to the same primary school for fourteen years.

Many many other things started to fade away into obscurity at that point.

I had ideals about how I wanted to parent my children.  Then life got in the way, and some days it is just easier to give your girl child a Barbie and sort of keep quiet about Barbie and everything she represents.

People are losing their minds about Lego releasing “pink and purple” bricks and figurines aimed at catching girl children’s interest. Then I say people are going off pop,  I am not even hinting at the shit storm that I saw all over social media platforms.

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I am not seeing the issue.  {yes I have read the various opinions and the horror and apocalypse that appears to be happening due to the release of pink Lego}

Shall we argue around in circles that Lego was already unisex?  Yes let’s.

Of course boys and girls played with Lego.

I  doubt (and I have not conducted an intricate scientific study) that girls are less excited about Lego than boys are.   I wish they were, but the reality is that girls aren’t.

Girls just do not get all excited by traditional Lego.

If adding some pink and purple blocks and a few female/girly looking figures gets girls more interested in playing with Lego – well, then I am actually pro the new idea.

If you wish to protest it based on your map of the world, and that you feel that boys and girls should be equally drawn to the “non-gender specific blocks” on the market, then goody for you.  Pop along and buy a few Star Wars ones and present it at the next party as a gift to the girl in question, see how that goes.

Short story.   I had ideals about parenting.  Reality unfortunately crept in.  I adjust my parenting map of the world accordingly.

Pink Lego = non issue in my universe.

I still do not let my boy child wear a vest.

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Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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{http://www.kidzworld.co.za/competitions/mommy-blogger.html}

How did your parents decide on your name?

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I am not sure if parents gave as much thought to the names of their children before the interweb.

When I was in school there were a few names and with very little in the way of originality – it was as if there was a book with 50 names and no one ever chose outside those names:

These were the ones I can say that made up the bulk of the kids who I was at school with {this is ignoring all the variations in spelling}:  Sharon, Tracy, Christopher, Beverley, Lisa, Lee-Anne, Shaun, Deidre, Clint/Clinton, Robert, Cindy, Jason, Tania, Craig – those are the ones where I knew at least three people with the same name.

Everyone had “normal” names, there was not one unusual name that I encountered throughout school – no Summer, Rainstorm, Blanket, Fifi Trixibelle, Spec Wildhorse and not one Moon Unit (these are all actual names of people).

I have always disliked my name – Celeste – I still really dislike it.

The main reason  that it is probably a less than ideal name for me is that I have a lisp.  Do you know how hard it is to say Celeste when you have a lisp?

It comes out  “Tha-leth-t” and pretty much as spit on the listeners top lip.  My spit on their lip.

This would usually require people to say “sorry, what was your name again?”

I would get more nervous and my lisp would be more pronounced.  To make matters all the more tragic, I could not pronounce “r” or “s” until I was in Sub B/Grade 2.

Eventually I would be too defeated to repeat my name, just started going “yes, close enough…” and then let them call me Nancy or what ever.

People sometimes pronounce the “e” at the end like Selesti …. I usually sigh and correct them, or if it is a telesales call I just put down the phone.  Trying to spell my name to someone telephonically – still – when I spell C – E – L – E …. I hear them repeat the L back to me as O …. yep Ceoeste would obviously be more right than Celeste.  Even when I say L like in LION —- they still write down “O” ….

On one occasion the person misheard me and called me “Chester” – so far that has been my favourite incorrect name.

I didn’t correct them – I wanted to be their ‘Chester.”

I sat my mother down one day and ask her what the hell came over her when she decided on Celeste.  Couldn’t I be Tracy, Sharon or Samantha????

She explained that I was meant to be “Claire” but as with anyone who tells anyone their almost-here baby’s name, someone is going to make fun of it and then this will make the parents dump it for something else.

It appears “Claire” and “eclair” sound similiar – and though my father was unable to make have many coherent thoughts, he felt that naming his child after a confectionery might be something he was not going to be overly glad about.  I actually never asked her what my name would have been if I was a boy.

It turns out my father’s mother’s best friend was Celeste.

Bear in mind that I was the first daughter of my parents.

My mom had two boys, and she was pretty sure that if her vagina presented her with a third boy she was going to wrap us all in a cheap carpet and dump us in a nearby river.  And then commit herself to the insane asylum.

She was pretty much done with penises in our house.  No more dicks were welcome.

My mom was 23 – young and stupid (her words, not mine) – and her mother in law was quite a “force” to be dealt with.

Then I was born, and my mother’s mother in law named me.

I am not really sure how much of this was because my mom thought it would be nice to give her mother in law (who also had three sons) the “honour” of naming a girl child – or just because my mom was pushed into a situation she could not back herself out of and my gran swanned it and took charge of this naming malarkey.

Either way I got to be named Celeste.

I was never a fan of my name, and am still not overly.  But it’s too late now to shift tracks now.

I had big dreams when I was 4 or 6 to have my name changed to Cinderella – I realised that my name would probably then be Cindy.

Again when you have a lisp that would be Thindy, so it was actually all pretty much a no hope situation – and really when you are at that point Celeste might not be so bad.

The top 5 names in 2013 according to http://www.babycentre.com are

1              Liam       Emma

2              Noah     Olivia

3              Ethan    Sophia

4              Mason  Ava

5              Jacob     Isabella

My sister in law is a teacher and she has some hysterical stories regarding children’s names in her class.  The one that stands out to me was a set of twins Dolce and Gabbana — real live twins.  She also had Giorgio and Armani in her class — she is a teacher in the UK – so she seriously has some horror stories that make you snort wine out your nose.

I was reasonably heavily pregnant with Isabelle, when someone said to me “Is a bell really necessary on a bicycle?” (Isabelle really necessary on a bicycle…) I hadn’t heard that one before – and it did make me pause for thought.

I used to come across the name Faghme – and I used to make the guttaral “ggg” sound, but then I was corrected and it actually is a less guttaral sound, and the “gh” is closer to a “k” sound – so that would result in me sitting at a production meeting asking “How is FUCK-me’s job doing …..”

I have encountered women called : Nomatter, Paymore, Behaviour and Buriel this month.

How did you get your name?

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Vote for The Reluctant Mom as Mommy Blogger 2013 – please pop along and VOTE.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

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On your marks, get set …. go Mommy Blogger Competition 2013

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The Kidzworld.co.za nominations are all in and have been tallied up!

The Reluctant Mom Blog made the shortlist this year, so that is pretty cool.

I am not in the habit of false modesty, but I really was a bit surprised and pleased when I saw the notification on Twitter.

I have been a pretty shitty blogger of late, and am a bit wrapped up in my own head.

I have not courted sponsors as I should.

So really I have had fuck’all to give away and attract you to come by and visit – and I have also realised I have not posted enough “good heavens I am so happy right now” posts with associated pictures of my food.

None the less, even at a clear lack of baubles to attract you and captivate your attention, you still were kind enough to go along and give me a nomination.

Yay for you.  Super yay for me.

{walks over to the fridge to pour herself a drink}

Thank you for anyone, and everyone, and anyone who told someone to go along and nominate this blog.

I know the registering to vote/nominate is a bit “off putting” it does make you start to get concerned how much information Kidzworld is actually capturing about you, and as you really just want to leave a vote, and do not necessarily want to have to received weekly emails about them.

I do  realise that going along to cast a Vote might be a big ask and pretty much goes against all your instincts of “not giving your personal information to any web site to try to market their crap to you” —- I feel your pain.  Truly I do.  But there is no way around it.

The top nominees are (and it is great to see some new ones popping up):

Cindy Alfino who blogs over at “3 Kids, 2 Dogs, 1 old House” – http://alfinos.wordpress.com/

Chereen Strydom who blogs over at “For the Beauty of It” – http://forthebeautyofit.blogspot.com/

Stacey Vee who blogs over at “Living Lionheart” http://www.livinglionheart.co.za/

Belinda Mountain who blogs over at “Making Mountains” – http://makingmountains.co.za/

Natasha Clark who blogs over at “Raising Men” – http://littleandbunny.blogspot.com/

Tanya Kovarsky who blogs at “Rattle and Mum” – http://www.rattleandmum.co.za/

Sharon van Wyk who blogs over at “The Blessed Barrenness”  http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/

Any Westerman who blogs over at “The Grace Factory” – http://thegracefactory.co.za/

Sarah Huddy who blogs over at “The Mommy City” – http://www.themommycity.co.za/

{apologise if I have spelt anything wrong, please let me know if I have}

I don’t know all of these blogs, but it has given me a few more to go along and stalk, so that is always good.

 

Like one of the blogs, like my blog, go along to Kidzworld and vote for your favourite blogger or your favourite blogger right now – and VOTE HERE.

Click – click, capture a few personal things, and then it is all over.

 

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The small print:

It’s now time for you to vote for your favourite Mommy Blogger by completing the form and clicking on the subscribe button.

You will receive an email confirming your vote request.

You will need to click on the link on that email to confirm your nomination.

This double opt in email is to help discount spam bots.

Voting closes on 15 December 2013 at midnight.

Let the Mommy Blogger know you have voted for her so that she may post a “Vote for Me” badge (see below) on her blog to attract additional votes.

The Mommy Bloggers who receive the top votes in the voting round will be placed 1st (most votes received), 2nd and 3rd and will receive vouchers accordingly.