You never really know someone …. and other snap judgements

 

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Blogging is a funny old thing to do isn’t it?

You sit and write about your life, then have total strangers pop over and have a read.

Those total strangers leave comments, some times those comments are more “character building” than others.

And you meet those “strangers” — and in some cases you become friends, and in others you issue a restraining order.

I read other bloggers work – granted not as regularly as I used to.

I used to trawl around and discover bloggers.  Then spend 4 – 6 hours reading their blogs from the first post to the last.  It was like reading a novel, filled with happiness, heart ache, tears, joy, love and loss ….. quite beautiful to behold.

Bloggers and what they blog have changed my life significantly.

I have learnt so many life lessons through other people’s accounts of their lives.  Of what they have shared. Of what they have been brave enough to put out there for me to read.

I have laughed and cried over people and their joy and pain, who I will never meet.

For those few hours, whilst I read their blogs, I felt an affinity, a closeness with them, that resonated with me somewhere in my heart, or soul, or brain.

The problem with blogs, is that you actually are given snap shots in to a blogger’s world or life.  You do not actually know them.

Sure, you have an idea of who they are.  Possibly you get a sense of how they may react if you threw cold water on them, but you do not really know them.

Blogging, like anything creative is sometimes about a persona that is created.  Sometimes you write and it is with a particular slant, or a way of expressing yourself.  But is not actually who you are.  Not totally.

My blog gives glimpses of who I am.

I talk about how I feel at a particular time — it may be filled with emotion and raw honesty, because it is how I feel at that exact moment in time.

I have no issue with writing posts that I know I will disagree with in 10 days time.  Or where in 6 months I may have a totally different view on that subject.

How I feel on a day, and how I am able to express that thought and emotion is dependent on many factors.

What I write here is not the everything of me.  This is not a summary of who I am, this is not a “quick tool” to get to know me – a cheat sheet as it were.

To say that you know me absolutely based on the last four years of my writing, would be inaccurate.  Hasty.  Flawed.

I am glad – thrilled – that people read my blog.

Even though I have slowly become the world’s worst blogger —  I am madly excited that people cheer me on when I have had a shit day or am going through a bit of a disaster.   I often feel such a sense of joy when people send me private emails and leave messages on this blog.

In some cases people want to give me a hug when I am feeling bad —-  I think as a reader, and even as a blogger, it is good to make the realization that reading someone’s blog, does not make you know them.

This blog is not my life — it is portions that I choose to share with you.  But it is not the total sum of me.

I am all these things on this blog, and a thousand other things.  In some cases I am more, in others I am less.

I share a great deal.

I write on my blog, to large degree, like I am in real life.  There are parts of who I really am represented here, but there are many aspects to me that I keep to myself.  Those parts I share with people who know me, who really know me.  And parts I never share, because they are mine alone.

Please don’t think you know me just because you’ve read my blog.

 

 

 

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Is it wrong to make babies cry?

The story seems to be, babies are given a lollipop, which is then snatched away from them — and great photographs are taken, to convey the sense of desperation, sadness, frustration that society is enveloped in.

The photographer defends this idea, stating, “The first little boy I shot, Liam, suddenly became hysterically upset…It reminded me of helplessness and anger I feel about our current political and social situation.”

This series has sparked a controversy in the art community: is it okay to make babies cry for the sake of art?

I know it is only a lollipop, I know that parents often do much worse.

I also think that maybe we are a bit too sensitive when it comes to children.  In a bid to rise up against abuse and poor parenting, I have found that people have actually just gone shit balls over board.  Everything you do as a parent is micro-examined and you need to constantly on the looking for the “parent police” – usually disguised as know it all, hemp wearing, organic eating, people with questionable body hygiene talking to you about breastfeeding until your child is at university, co-sleeping, never letting your child cry ever, and well lots of things …… but I digress.

Suggesting that taking a lollipop away from a child is a good idea, is just enough to get you lined up next to Hitler and that guy who locked his daughter in a cellar, as Not the Greatest Parents of the Year.  Just not a good idea.

Last night I sent Isabelle to her room for 2 minutes as she had drawn with a pen on a table cloth.

I forgot about her, and only realised she was still in her room screaming her head off about 10  minutes later.  It was also her birthday, so the fact that I had made her blow snot bubbles and cry huge crocodile tears was even further down the scale of “bad parenting.”

I think the images are amazing.

I think the images can be used to make a comment about pretty much anything – in this case it is the artist’s frustration about politics and christian fundamentalists in the United States.

Is this worse than strapping bombs to your children and sending them out to blow themselves up as martyrs in the name of religion 0r for a political party?

Is this worse than children who are sold by their family as se.x slaves or servants?

Is this worse than taking children along to demonstrations that are clearly going to end in blood shed and with a few bullets being thrown around?

Is it worse than parents who drag their children through beauty pageants and apply layers of really good for you yellow spray tan?

Is this worse than children who are allowed to watch WWF and South Park?

Part of me wants to say, hey, its not nice to take lollipops away from children — it is okay to take lollipops away from fat children, or children with tooth decay, or children who have already had 5 ….. but not nice children like these appear to be.

The other part of me wants to say “Its a lollipop for goodness sake, get a grip.”

I guarantee Liam, Noah and Emily  in these photographs are going to be far more pleased with being part of a kick arse art exhibition, and having these images of themselves, than they ever are going to be upset by the lollipop thing.

Blankie seems to be fine.  And he got hung out of a window.  If that kid can bounce back from the one leg dangle out of a hotel window, then we really are under estimating how resilient our children are.

Angry Country by Jill Greenberg

angrycountry

Prayer by Jill Greenberg

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See more of the images by Jill Greenberg at  http://kopeikingallery.com/exhibitions/view/end-times

Just so that we keep this lollipop thing in perspective — here is a “not so bad” versus “yep that is pretty bad” sliding scale

 

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Happy Birthday …. er to me!

I am hoping that when you read this I am skipping around Franschoek, and trying to forget that I am forty-fucking-one.

It is all a bit frightening.  I am closer to being 60 than I am to being 20.

I have no pearls of wisdom to share.  Happy birthday me!  I will stab the next child who calls me “tannie” ……

258---getting-older

Nipple hair ….. no, that’s not right …..

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I am part of a “Word Blog Challenge” – a few bloggers got together with the careful coaxing from Natasha over at the “dear me” blog.

We all threw names at fish, someone put their hand in, chose a fish – with a word on it and we had to were asked politely to blog about the word.

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There is no prize money.  There is very little in the way of fame and fortune.  Just chicks sitting around blogging.

Someone picks a word and we all blog about it.  I misunderstood. I thought we all give a word, and then we play “swap swap” so everyone ends up with a different word.  But I did not make up the rules, and I just want to play along, so here I am with my fish word.

The word chosen was/is “first”

First prize.

First kiss.

First period.

First time you drove a car.

First time you realised that Murder She Wrote is running out of cast members.  Someone in Cabot Cove is going to die. One person per episode.  There are like 15 people living in Cabot Cove.  If you woke up to find that you live there, then well, you are fucked.

First time someone called you “tannie.”

First time someone called you “Mommy.”

First time you cried because he was not worth it.

First time you cried because he was worth it.

First time someone gave up their seat to you because they thought you were pregnant.  And you were not.

First time you went to the clinic and hoped you were not pregnant.  He was fine to have sex with, but really your entire life joined to him?  Yeh, fuck that!

First time you pee’d on a stick and hoped you were pregnant.

First time you were.

First heartbeat.

First born.

First.

First ….. first …. sounds like thirst … which makes me think of wine

First …. dirst … prist …. kirst?  Okay, I’ve got nothing.

First day.  First job.

I started working at a company that was small.  Offices were small – huge if it was your first job.

The toilet was one door off the main office.

I do not use toilets in places I do not know.  I rather hold it in.

I cannot poo in a strange toilet.  If I think that someone might hear or smell me.

I used to be in boarding school, and I would not poo from Sunday when I was dropped off until Friday afternoon when I was collected.  By Friday lunchtime I was so full of shit, literally that I was too scared to laugh in case I poo’d in my knickers.

First job.  First day.  I was so nervous.  I was sitting there trying to work out how to switch the computer on.  I was hired as a designer, which was a bit of an over reach, as I did not know how the put the computer on.

I sat there.  My tummy started to make a squishy sort of sound.  I realised that I really needed the bathroom.

I sat there and started to sweat, as I knew this was not one of those instances where I could hold it in.

I shot to the toilet  – again toilet door is the door right off the offices.  My bowels lost control,and everything including the 3 carrots I ate last Thursday shot out my arse.

The smell was peel-the-paint-off-the-walls bad.

I flushed, I flushed and then I stood there and died from embarrassment as I knew I had to walk back in the office, with the fresh bouquet of freshly-shat-yourself lingering around me.

I went back to my desk. Mortified.

An office colleague got up, went to the bathroom, opened the door, stood there for two ticks, closed the door, thought better of it and headed back to his desk.

I died!  I was so embarrassed.  I knew that I might end up having to take another run at the loo as I clearly had a tummy bug.

I stood up, packed my bag, explained I needed to leave.  Quickly. I sprinted across Cape Town – we lived in St. George’s Mall and I worked in Commercial Street which is on the other end of town.

I am sure no one else remembers my first giant smelly poo at my first job on my first day.

I do.  In graphic olfactory detail.

Funny thing those firsts, they stick with you for a long time.

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Bloggers who are taking part in the Word Blog Challenge and who have published posts are:

Natasha Marais

dear me,

http://noahrhydartash.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-do-you-think-of-when-you-hear-word.html

Keri Bainborough

Midlandsmusings

http://midlandsmusings.com/2013/05/02/the-blogger-challenge/

Che Dyer

indieBerries

http://indieberries.blogspot.com/2013/05/blog-game-first.html

If you blogged and I missed your post, let me know.

Hiding in the car …. from the kids

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Fetching kids from school has it’s joyful moments, but for the most part they are filled with screaming, arguing, kids slapping each other, Georgia telling me about Princess Dark Pink, and me trying really hard to turn the radio up and listen to the news.

By the time I get home my nerves are frayed.  I am not wanting a drink, so much feeling an overriding urge to throw back 3 Zolofts and drink wine through a straw.

Today was no different.  It usually starts before I have even got out the parking lot at the school.

The drive home is not long.  But it feels excruciating  and eventually everyone is screaming and I have lost the will to live.  I no longer scream and tell them to be quiet.

The will to fight has left me.  They know it.  I know it.  The people sitting in their cars adjacent to me at the traffic lights know it.

I just sit there staring dully ahead, and watching my knuckles get whiter on the steering wheel.  The voices in my head keep saying – in unison “you just need to make it home, you just need to make it home ….. with everyone alive …..”

We got home today.   I thought, what if they got out the car, carried on fighting, and I just closed the door and remained in the car.

So I did that.

They were so busy beating the crap out of each other, they did not notice me.  I closed the doors, and then I just sat in the car.

Silence.

I could hear my heart beating.  I could hear that tick-tick-tick sound the car engine makes as it cools.

It was bliss.  It was heaven.

I kept thinking of that jingle from the kids show “just 5 minutes more….”

It was lovely.  My life has come down to this where I class happiness as sitting in a car by myself.  Yes.  Yes.  This is where I am.  I bit you sit there and titter, and make fun of me.  Well, chicken, your turn will come.  Sooner or later.

Then the two girls found me.  They brought the dog.  They closed the car door. Me.  Two screaming girls.  And a dog in the car.  Not so much peaceful.  Georgia was talking.  Dexter was going “hhhhhhh” or what ever sound he makes.  I have no idea what Isabelle was saying.

I thought I would stick it out and maybe they would go back inside and leave me alone.  It could happen.  In a parallel universe.

It didn’t.

Isabelle tripped over the gear stick, and somehow got her body wedged between the handbrake and the steering wheel.

I knew it was time to end watching the YouTube video on Britain’s Got Talent and face the evening.

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.

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.

I started to realise why Michael Jackson dangled his son over the balcony railing ……

This morning started with a THUD.

Isabelle fell out of bed and hit the floor. It is funny how as a parent you actually wake up with the thud – you actually hear it!  If you weren’t quite a wake the ensuing screaming would wake you and loosen your bowels.

I put Isabelle in bed with me, with the optimistic hope she would self sooth and we could sneak another 30 – 45 minutes of sleep.

In theory not a bad idea. In practice, Georgia woke up with the screaming and came through to assess the damage.  Her way of assessing is talking incessantly and trying to hug Isabelle.

The talking made me cry, the hugging made Isabelle cry. I knew the morning was really going pear-shaped, when at one point I actually put my hand over Isabelle’s mouth so she could hear me say: “Okay, okay quiet, quiet, I will get you a milk bottle!”

I realise covering your child’s mouth sounds a bit high risk behaviour, but seriously I started to realise why Michael Jackson dangled his son over the balcony railing …… what ever Blanket did before that, I guarantee he never did it again!!

Isabelle stopped crying.  Eventually.

I had to banish Georgia to her room as she was not going to stop talking.  The result was I was standing make a hot milk bottle at about 06h15 this morning and drinking tea through bleary sleep encrusted eyes.

I will be honest and tell you I usually leave the morning routine to the lovely and talented Priveledge … but this morning not so much.  Kids had dressed, eaten, and were ready to go and it wasn’t even 07h00 this morning.

The day was busy, and had the usual too much stuff crammed in to it.

I always like to push the envelope, you know exactly at the point when you are about to break, I like to add just that ounce more to see if truly I can go insane.

I took the kids out for dinner.  By myself. Kennith is away.  Me. Three kids.  A table with cutlery and crockery.  How did I know it was going wrong? At about the same time that Isabelle started taking her clothes off …. for no apparent reason in the middle of the restaurant …. I managed to stop her after shoes, socks and her belt had come off …. clearly I could see the direction this was going to go in.

End of day, sitting on Isabelle’s bed getting ready to read her a bed time story, Georgia is sitting on the bed with her 1/4 cup of hot chocolate – I fill it very shallowly because she is one of those kids who will mess/spill no matter what.

In an attempt to not disappoint and remain true to form, Georgia went on to spill her cup of now lukewarm chocolate all over the bed.

Isabelle will not touch something if it is wet.  If she is wearing a shirt and wets a sleeve, even with a few drops of water when she brushes her teeth in the morning, she wants to change her shirt.

So you can imagine the joy when you pour 1/4 cup of hot chocolate over her bed … with her in it.  Is it too late to start drinking wine?

Public Service Announcement ….. and reminder to buy wine!

Reminder that nominations close over at Harrassed Mom for the Mommy Blogger Competition .

 

It’s a new competition, Laura has been brilliant enough to say “agh fk it” and start it.  There does seem to be some resistance and people moaning and complaining.  Some of the complaints are:

1.  It follows too closely to the Kidz World one that has just finished.

2.  Some blogger are offended/put out by the term “Mommy Bloggers” but the competition for “Bloggers who Drink Wine to Stay Sane” met with some resistance from sponsors, so with that Laura decided to go with Mommy Blogger of the Year.

3.  Competitions bring out the worst in people.

4.  Bun fights about bloggers can be quite epic, and often drags itself through to Facebook and Forums, and then the underlying bitchiness really gets going.

5.  The begging and pleading for votes from the reluctant public.

I agree with all the points.  They are all valid.

But, yes here is my but … Laura made an effort to put something together, she really found some fabulous sponsors, and she is doing it for purely altruistic reasons (I surmise).

With that in mind, just send her an email (laurakallmayer@gmail.com) telling her about your favourite blogger and why they are your favourite blogger.  Try not to do essay material, I think she is hoping for 144 characters or less.  Short attention span material!

Mommy Bloggers get a pretty raw deal, as people consider us a bit on the naff side.

I personally don’t read Mommy Bloggers who Blogs. I tend to look for Mommy Bloggers who Need Psychotic Medication Blogs and who refuse on principle to Bake Birthday Cakes!!  Them bloggers I do love.

Nominations end today.  That is all.

I do enjoy a little blog loving … from other bloggers

I love it when I hear from new readers to my blog, and I like it even more when they seem to relate to the stuff I churn out this side.

I realise I am not the soft lighting Living and Loving Mom with the happy gurgling baby (only because they have turned down my numerous requests for a photo shoot and styling ideas ……) nor am I the happier than happy cookie cutter mom you can google.

I get why someone likes a happy person, but I realise I am just not happy folk  – faking happy leaves me exhausted and usually clutching a large bottle of Chenin in the corner with a bendy straw.

But nonetheless even angry resentful people like to be shown a bit of love on occasion.

I got a “Hello” from mom305.wordpress.com – who is a new blogger and she gave me a little blogger love/pimping in the form of a “Thanks for Writing” Blog Award.

Part of this kind of thing is to create relationships between bloggers.  To find out new invasive information and to also introduce readers to new bloggers out there.  So it is all good.

It is blogging’s equivalent of a chain mail letter, just without the threat of anal leakage if you do not pass it on.  I am more than happy to pass this one along and spread the love.

So my end of the deal is to share some stuff with you:-

Include the award logo in your post or on your blog – here I am going to amend slightly.  I love blog awards, but if the graphic is lacking,then I sort of give it a little spruce up.

So I am including the existing image as supplied to me:

And then I improved (or destroyed depending on your frame of reference) and created an amended/new one – so if you are here to grab the image, please feel free to us the original or the one I created and am using:

Say 7 random things about yourself that the readers don’t know yet

This might be a bit difficult as I tend to tell you everything including my toilet routine, but here goes:

1.  I have Micophonia which is a strong reaction to sound – specific sounds.  Doors slamming, someone chewing, rattling of windows and so on – the sound takes over everything and gets so loud in my head that my teeth literally get put on edge.  It is more common than you think, with no known cure.  The only possible assistance is CBT and to keep up your anxiety medication.

2.  I am so excited that Linkin Park is coming to Cape Town.  I normally am less than arsed to go to a show, I am normally more than happy to get the live DVD, but I will make Linkin Park the exception.  So going to that concert.

3.  I have been on sleep medication since September last year.  It has literally changed my life.  I take medication to make me go to sleep, and medication to keep me asleep.  It has wonders to manage my anxiety, stress and depression.  Cannot recommend it enough.

4.  I used to bite my nails right down to the quick – that little half-moon in your nail.  I have always bitten my nails.  In 1999 I went along to Dream Nails and put an acrylic set and kept it maintained for a year.  It broke the habit.  But, I have to keep my nails long, as when I cut them short I tend to start putting them in my mouth and nibbling on them.  So, I have long nails but the only reason is to stop me biting them – strange but true.

5.  I give blood – and I hate needles, like throw up hate.  I go along, and then look the other way from when they do the pin prick on your finger to when they put the needle in to take blood.  I really feel violently ill and scared when I see the needles, so I just don’t look.  The blood transfusion bank also put a cover over my arm so I do not have to see anything.

6.  I really love my little Boston Terrier – but the fact that he is not getting toilet training is doing my head in.

7.  I have discovered Red Velvet cake this year and I am so very glad we got introduced — and then eat the entire thing like a crazed lunatic cake eater!

Nominate 5 – 10 other Blogs you admire …..

This one is going to be particularly difficult because I have been on a social media and blog black out for a few months.

It was nothing personal it was purely because I had started to blur the line between what was important and what was other people’s stuff.

I needed to get some space and focus my head in my stuff.   I had a total rock bottom crash last year, and one of the factors was definitely my inability to rationalise between what was really related to me and all the other noise that exists on the internet, and how I processed it.

But that being said, I am happy to PIMP blogs that popped in to my head — but I do wish to apologise that I do not follow them as much as I used to, and I avoid commenting even though I lurk around you and you just don’t know it.

The kicking single motherhood up the arse Charlotte over at http://thestilettomum.wordpress.com/

The wry and brilliant Countess Kaz over at http://countesskaz.wordpress.com/

The spectacular and often-makes-me-sniff-back-snot Sharon over at http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/

The legendary and awesome Laura at http://www.harassedmom.co.za/

The how-the-hell-does-she-keep-it-all-together Cat over at juggelingactoflife.blogspot.com/

The super model beautiful and talented Natasha over at http://www.littleandbunny.blogspot.com/

I could go on for quite a while.  If I did not mention you I am sure that one of the above bloggers will when they do their own PIMP list.

Thanks for the props Mom305.

If other bloggers wish to pick this up and pass it along, here is a quick should-do list:

1. Include the award logo in your post or on your blog

2. Say 7 random things about yourself that the readers don’t know yet

3.  Nominate 5 – 10 other blogs you usually follow

4. Let the nominees know that they are nominated & include their blog-links

5. Link the person who nominated you

 

The next person who ….

The next person who tells me …

to believe and it will be … will seriously get a smack in the face.  With a wet macoroni. I believe it will be “dishes done” – I believe that I it will be “me sleeping until noon undisturbed” … I beleive, it does not MAKE it happen, now bugger off with your khumba-ya-m-lord thinking, it is exceedingly irritating.

to cherish every moment … will be sentenced to fetching my kids from school for a minimum of seven weeks. They can fight over lost juice bottles and who is sitting too close to each other.  If you think that you seriously would like to cherish EVERY freaking moment, do not hesitate to drop me a note and we can work out a pick up and drop off kids schedule.  No worrries. Email now, or forever stop your ridiculous happy bleating.

to just be happy …. will get a rusty spade between the eyes. Fk you and the stupid unicorn you rode in on.  Some times this shit is not happy, and stop making me think everyone is happy — really stop.  Life he is not happy.  Life happens.  You make a plan.  That is the way it is.  Some moments make you smile, some make you cry – you cannot just “be happy” ….

think they are so fkn happy on Facebook and keep giving us sunny updates…. I am so sick of your happy-go-lucky-life-is-super Facebook updates, that I am seriously done.  FB is not actually that much fairy dust, get a life, get a reality check and start status updating that your husband is not as happy as you think/that your child is wetting the bed and they are nine/that your child ran with a limp at the last sports day, or really that you woke up this morning and you were not as sunny as you keep telling us – for goodness sake, do you actually think we believe this amount of “how freaking happy are you” crap?

that good mothers are made …. okay seriously now I am going to ram your head into my venter trailer.  Good mothers are cultivated with great wine and promises of everlasting life, no one, but no one enjoys looking after small children all freaking day long.  It is a fairly repetitive, fairly thankless and actually does not challenge you IQ at all.   Bad mothers are born every day.  We are all crap, and it is about time we started admitting that it was not all wine and roses, but we do what we can with what we have got.  And some days get it right and some days, not so much,

wake up and choose to be happy … will undoubtedly have to swallow 25 of my ante-depressants with two quarts of Captain Morgan, and see if they can call me in the morning.  Now go and be happy somewhere else.

that motherhood is a joy … needs to come the shit over and wipe poo off the side of the toilet seat and argue with a six year old as to why the blue toothpaste is as good as the green one, for the twentieth time this week.  It is not a joy.  It is hard and thankless work.  And it tests you every day as to why you should not run your head through the wall.

I am so sick and tired of these stupid pinterests and facebook status updates that keep telling me how freaking good this deal motherhood.  How good life is.  How happy it all is.

Accept that motherhood is frkn hard.  Accept that some days ramming your head into a wall might be better, or at the very least give you about 8 seconds of silence before the screaming starts again.

It is not all that wonderful, no matter how many happy baby/toddler/couple pictures you post.

Can I please have a shout out from the moms who do it, and think it sucks lemons, but still do it – each and every day – we get through it, and it suck, it sucks rocks, but we get through it, because there is no “do not pass go, do not get collect $200.00” card …. fkn hell – February is a hard month – or is it just me?

To forum or not, that is the question ….

Just wanted to check – are you ever going to join us back at Moomie, or have you completely closed that chapter in your life? I miss your wit.

I have been asked this question a few times as of late.  I left the last sentence on ” I miss your wit” for no other purpose that to stroke my feathers of vanity.

I am shallow like that.

The reality <and short answer> is “no … I am choosing to opt out of forums … for my own sanity… really”

I do miss Moomie.  It was a great forum for me.  It is run well and most of the girls there are so nice.  They give selflessly of their time and energy.  While I was part of Moomie I often started a conversation in the real world with “We were talking on Moomie about …..” because the forum became part of my life.

There are clusters of people I really liked, almost loved.  There are clusters of people who I would rather reverse over with my car, in the dark, while drinking a McDonalds Caramel Chocolate McFlurry.

The problem with forums, is that it is like standing at a cocktail party.  Yes, you will chat to your own little clique, but you still need to be polite and civil to everyone.  Sometimes you end up in a conversation with someone who really is not lucid or sober.  And who constantly misunderstands you and sort of spits when they talk.

Inevitably you say something you should not have said, and then all hell breaks loose.  Then one starts to argue.  On the Internet.  With people. Of no consequence.  Who you probably would not have spent time with in real life.

My poor judgement caused me to start thinking that a forum was safe and “private” – and that I can speak freely and I was cushioned in a kind of bubble.

I crossed the imaginary line between what is probably good judgement and then just being stupid.

If you put it on a forum, expect it to come back and hit you in the face.  Much like a shit covered spade. Repeatedly.

Without the aid of clever emoticons and smiley faces, people can sometimes take things out of the context they were meant (me included).

I tend to read comments with a “voice” – sometimes a whiny voice, sometimes a screaming voice, sometimes with a Parow accent or a nasal Johannesburg accent – it all depends on the personality which I have attached to the owner.

I associate a personality to each person – and in reality, many of them I have not met.  My perception of them is that they are an entire person, which I have created, in my head.  Based on a few vague conversations, I have created an entire functioning human being – and they in turn think they know me because they know a slither of my life. < the similiarities between forums and blogs are not totally lost on me….>

Kennith says my “social filters” are lacking.   They are, my doctor agrees.

The more nervous I get, the more my “social filters” fail me.

The more personal I think the space is the more my  “social filters” start to disintegrate.

Add nervousness and alcohol, and the entire process needs some psychiatric care or at the very least a name change and a membership to the nearest witness-relocation-programme.

I learnt that forums aren’t that safe and not really a good idea (for me.)

I learnt that some people are wankers, and you can’t actually change them.  They really need to just let them go off and be wankers, and not waste your energy trying to de-wanker them.

I learnt that I am a bit of a douché-bag and really should spend my energy not being a douché-bag as opposed to try to make other people see my point of view.

I learnt that I do not have the amount of energy that one needs to be able to deal with that many people, that often, in my personal space.

So I have stopped on forums.  I seldom read blogs.  I stop in on Facebook maybe every one or two weeks. Briefly.

Social media did push me that little bit too far over the edge of where I really could safely go.  Forums <my ability to interact on them> were not the cause of my demise but it was a contributor.

I realised that I am not really “able” or “ready” to communicate on a forum and be able to heed the “boundaries” that I should set in place.

Every now and then I see a comment on Facebook from one or two people from the forum-space, and it always makes my blood run cold.  The experience was quite jarring for me, and clearly I am not all “forgive, forget and skip through the daisies…” material.

The best thing, for me, was to remove myself from social media, and right now I tread carefully.

The first two or four weeks left a gaping wound, and I would often hover my mouse over the icon to click-through and go and lurk.

Strange thing happened, people who I really missed realised that they could communicate with me via email, sms or skype, and did not have to wait until I appeared on a forum to say “hi!”  Bless them.  When I felt really lonely and alone, it was a real comfort to have little notes pop up of people who I did miss, who made the effort to stalk me and make contact.

I think I was desperately looking for something there that I needed.  But it was not the space to get it.

Without getting all Freud/Jung on your arse, I really need to look internally to fix my shit, than run around forums and hope someone there can fix me or offer me insights that resonate with me.

I wish Moomie all the best – and really want it to go from strength to strength.  Really.  It is a wonderful forum.  Deja who runs it is so awesome she makes me weep.  She has developed a wonderful place for women to chat and make friends.  Really.

<< As far as forums dealing with moms and for moms, I think Moomie is the best one around.  As for me,  Moomie has had some great spill overs.  I do however still feel an overriding urge to get my car out and reverse it over a few people, but I am in therapy so am working through those thoughts.>>

The fat lady still needs to sing …. SA Blog Awards 2011

It is all over, barring the fat lady and the singing.

SA Blog Awards 2011 Public Voting is over.  Now the cool guys with calculators and an abacus work out the numbers, it goes to …. actually I have no idea where it goes to be verified.

Based on that the top three bloggers in each category are handed over the <mystery> Judging People.  They in turn lurk around and make a decision and award something to the winner of each category.

I really have no idea of how it works.

I must confess that I have some doubts about how the SA Blog Awards are run/managed.

It does always appear to be this last-minute rush, a website that is not updated until about 2 weeks before things get started – which irks me considering the medium it is trying to promote ….

Bloggers do not seem to always know what is going on – or maybe it is just me – the final nail in the coffin of questionable behaviour is that the SA Blog Awards website always has SPELLING ERRORS, which annoy the crap out of me.

I am allowed to make spelling errors, they are not.  That is just the way it is.

I raised the issue of my doubts about how effective the SA Blog Awards appear to be run.  The person suggested that maybe it is not being run as a business for now, so there is no real buy in and “push” for it to function well, so there is no business model.  No profit incentive to make it work.

Maybe.

Anyway, congratulations to all the blogs who are shortlisted, nominated and who win.  Really.  I am sure there will be sour grapes no matter who wins and loses, but there we go.

I would be excited if three guys at a Parow Fish Shop named Jan, Theuns and Willem created an annual blog awards and gave out some props for blogs and bloggers – I would be equally thrilled.  If they threw in a packet of slap chips and a 500ml coke light, it would make me all kinds of happy.

I am easy to please that way.

SA Blog Awards 2011 … er about that ….

The SA Blog Awards is/are upon us.

There will be the usual bitching, moaning, sighing and hair pulling (and that will be just from me) this year.  There will be winners, losers and disgruntled bloggers and followers.  Everyone will have an opinion.

Nominations closed on the 31 October 2011.

I noticed I did not get a nomination badge.

I will not lie. I felt a bit hurt and rejected.  I was quite bleak actually. I tried to appear like it was “no biggie.”

I filled the void by eating a McDonalds Egg-McMuffin-Sausage Breakfast meal.  I was still a bit wounded come the afternoon, so I bought myself two bottles of wine for dinner.

This came on the back of me NOT WINNING my office “best dressed Halloween competition” when I thought I was a shoe-in (is that the right term?)

This evening I was cleaning out my “junk mail box folder” and lo-and-bebold what should I see there? Oh my giddy aunt, a little badge.

I will not lie I squealed.  No I did.  Yes, it is a bit sad.

It made me forget all about Kim Kardashian and her ridiculous 72 day marriage.

I personally am a bit shocked it lasted that long.  Seriously, once you see your large arse in a white bikini with Mrs Humphries on the back, the doubts will creep in.  It must. Mrs Humphries?  I think Koekemoer (tribute to you Anita) might only be worse than Humphries, but only marginally.

Sadly this is the part where all self-respecting bloggers lose all self-control.  All sense of dignity and starts running around like a rabid dog begging-pleading-smiling insanely to get you to click on the nominate/vote button.

I really really wish I could tell you I was above this sort of thing.

I would like to say it with a smug indignant look on my face, like I was above all of this hoopla, but the sad truth is I am not.

Anyway, there it is, click if you can, sigh if you must …. yes I am shameless.

Note from my persecutors:  Members of the public can vote for their favourite blogs by clicking on the vote badge.

The <desperate request for voting from the> public vote phase will continue until 9 November 2011. Upon completion of the public vote phase, the top three blogs in each category will be handed over to a select panel of judges to determine the winners in each category. 

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

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

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

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

Sorry for you!

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

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

The child in the blog post is eleven.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours may be very different to mine.

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

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

Because he had lost the first one.

And we explained the value of looking after your possessions.

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

Breast Cancer Awareness …. awareness is not enough …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharon at I believe in Miracles

Laura at Harassed Mom.

Natasha at Raising Men.

Margot at Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog.

Wenchy at The Noctural Wenchy.

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

When did you have your first mammogram?  November 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good times.  Relaxed times.

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

I won!!  Yay for me.

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

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

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

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

There are far fewer categories this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winning is a bit like that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah well, such is life.

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

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

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

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

Good luck to all the bloggers for 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

Then I had to get a visa.

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

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

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

Speed dating for Bloggers …..

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

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

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

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

What’s not to love?

I am excited to my proximity to wine.

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

I am excited that I might win something.

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

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

I keep asking myself:

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

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

I am experiencing excitement and anxiety in equal proportions.

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

I hope they have nice wine.

Hello ….. my name is Reluctant Mom and I am an internet addict …….

So, one of my issues (several) is that I have started slipping further into cyberspace and further out of reality.

I began to dodge real-life things so that I could spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums, and just cruising around the net.

I got really irritated with the kids because if they would just stop demanding time from me I could herd them into their beds, and spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums.

It became extremely important how people in cyberworld viewed me.  CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IN FACT.

Their comments lifted me up as well as smacked me down. If I did not get recognition for it in cyberspace then it did not matter.

I would read, re-read, and re-read my comments to ensure that it sounded right in my head.  It was not unusual for me to read one of my comments 12 – 18 times before pushing send/reply/publish and often changing it several times over.

Each time I read it, I would read a more critical tone into the wording.  I would read the way other people would hear (read) and then I would pre-judge myself (before they did)

Any comment made or given in reply was fraught with angst.  I always read the worst in to what anyone said to me or about me, or as a comment to me.

I would push the refresh button constantly on the look out for the response.  I literally would hang on waiting and waiting for the response.  As much as I dreaded a critical word, I would hang and wait for it.

I would be devastated when my comment would hang there in cyberspace without a reply comment.  My worst feeling was being the last person to comment on a thread.  I felt like I was Jane-no-mates and had killed the conversation when mine was the last comment.

This of course fed into my sense of “rejection” and “I did not matter to anyone.”

Real life and cyber life started blurring around the edges.  I felt that real life was a bit too tricky to remain present in, so the blur of cyberlife became much more appealing and much easier to navigate.

In cyberworld I did not feel as awkward as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel as self-conscious as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not fret over my every word and action as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel so unpopular and such a misfit as I did in real life.

I felt I was knowledgeable, liked and respected in cyberlife, while in real life I was everything but.

I did not think people had ulterior motives as I felt they did in real life.

Until I did.

Sooner or later, unfortunately I followed me where ever I was.

Sooner or later, I started to feel as awkward, as self-conscious, as guilt laced, and wracked with self-doubt on blogs and on forums.

Every word uttered by everyone was judged according to what I thought of myself.  It was always seen as judgemental/critical and pessimistic, no matter how “jolly” or “supportive” the writer tried to be.

Fortunately I am not a gamer or a gambler.  I have no real interest in throwing large sums of hard-earned money at an imaginary world where I buy cyber-cool brands and furnish my cyber-home and purchase a cow.

I am just not that into that side of it.  Fortunately.

But I will admit that my fixation on blogs and forums and Facebook and googling-random-things did get totally away with me.  It became all-consuming and I totally allowed it to get away from/with me.

It allowed me to hide further away from some of my real issues.  At the same time it fed into my irrational feelings and judgement about myself, and escalated the negative light in which I see myself (and several others around me.)

In short, it skewed my perception of reality.

I really missed my blog, so I have cautiously started lurking around here a bit.

I do miss several other blogs and forums that I used to read/follow religiously.  Right now I just needs a bit of time to “get my shit together” before I start lurking through other people’s lives.

I apologise if I have not been by to visit.  Please do not take it as a personal insult or slight on you. Right now I just need a bit of space to find myself, or at the very least not loath myself.

But onwards and upwards.  Right?

<I thought this was quite an interesting tool.  http://www.keepmeout.com/en/ >