Wednesday, 31 October 2012

When I say I am a Christian...

When I say I am a Christian
I am not shouting I’m clean living
I’m whispering I was lost
Now I’m found and forgiven

When I say I am a Christian
I don’t speak of this with pride
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide

When I say I am a Christian
I am not trying to be strong
I’m professing that I’m weak
and need His strength to carry on

When I say I am a Christian
I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting I have failed
and need God to clean my mess

When I say I am a Christian
I am not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it

When I say I am a Christian
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my shares of heartaches
So I call upon His name

When I say I am a Christian
I ‘m not holier than thou
I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow


All Christians come under attack at some point during their lives. I’m not talking about the daily attacks of temptation for we all have our weaknesses. What I am speaking of here is when the outside world looks in and gets a glimpse of something that doesn’t fit into their “image” of what a Christian should be.

Oooh…that word image. I have to admit it stings a little bit.

The reality is that those who are not saved do not fully understand what it means to be a Christian. How often we see people profess Christianity yet they live a life completely submerged in this world. (But that is a post for another day…yes? Okay!) Therefore, the world judges us harshly. There are so many who literally look for faults in us as Christians so that they can stand on their soap boxes and scream out that we aren’t perfect. What they are failing to realize is that we are not claiming perfection! No quite the opposite.

I think that is why I love this poem so much. It says exactly what I’ve always wanted to be able to say.

Recently I was attacked by someone very close and important to me. This person does not attend church with me but assumes that I attend with the attitude of falsifying my life. They assume that I pretend to be perfect and that my life is perfect and that I never make mistakes when I’m there. This cut deep because I realized that my Christian life is appearing differently to some as what I would want it to.

You see, I am not a believer that thinks a person can NEVER have a drink. Some liquors are quite nice tasting and enjoyable. I personally do like a glass of wine. Oh there was a time in my life where I would probably have said I like a bottle (or three) of wine, but now I say I like a glass. If I was at a braai with friends who had a very good bottle of whiskey (another little indulgence) I would enjoy a single or double over ice and that would be the end. I have people in my life now who say that I am a hypocrite because I drink. I know that there are many debates on this issue. It is not my place here to debate this topic. I am merely making an example of myself!! I do not believe in getting drunk or even tipsy. However, if responsible and appropriate I don’t believe that there is anything worse to a glass of wine as there is to the chocolate bar! (That chocolate bar affects my body much longer than the one glass of wine! A lot of us can prove that in our hips!)

I’m not here to preach…..

I’m not perfect. I don’t think I’m perfect. I attend church each Sunday for fellowship with other Christians, who know I’m not perfect and know they’re not perfect, for time dedicated to worshiping God, who accepts me in all my faults and failures and loves me nonetheless, and for realization that I need to refocus my priorities each and every week. Sundays allow me a moment in which I can line everything back up. The storms of the week subside, Christ heals the wounds, and I get back to where I need to be to tackle the coming days.

By saying that I’m a Christian, I’m not saying that I use it as a crutch. This isn’t an excuse for when my temper gets ahead of me nor is it a rug to sweep my past under. This is a clear glass that I’ve chosen to bare myself in front of. By saying I am a Christian it means that I’ve chosen Christ to lead my life. It means that I’m going to trip, fall, and stumble but I don’t have to do it alone! It means that I WILL unintentionally sin but that I WILL intentionally be forgiven. It means that I know what LOVE really is.

I’ve accepted that I am made in God’s image. He created me to be exactly who I am and He loves me. That is good enough for me. I don’t need to fit the worlds image….they already fit God’s!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Shana

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Road trips, Oumas, and Bucket Lists

A while back I mentioned our little family trip to the Free State. Boy, it was fun! One of the best parts of the whole trip was that I got to knock a target off my Bucket List!

We met Ouma Pop!! This was actually the selling point on the whole trip for me. The idea of being in a car for 6+ hours, at the beginning of summer, headed to a funeral for people I don’t know was a little bit off setting for this pregnant momma! Lil Mister was pretty well behaved in the car I must say!

However when they idea came up that since we would be a mere 200km from Bloomfontein we’d have to drive through to see Ouma, I was all in! I had just spoken with Ouma Pop early that week on the phone and had promised we would make a plan SOON! This seemed perfect!
Plus it was an added bonus that we’d get to see our Tannie June and Oom Derek! This is the amazing tannie and oom who’d done the photos at our wedding and took a beautiful photo of me during pregnancy with Lil Mister. We hadn’t seen them since before Lil Mister was born!

I was overjoyed! Idea sold! Now to let work know…uh oh! I will admit I was quite nervous about that and promptly decided that we (Lil Mister and I) unfortunately would have to sit this trip out! I had already taken Thursday and Friday that week as half-days because Lil Mister had been ill. I was in negative leave days at work and still have gynae appointments and maternity leave. Nope, sorry, nada chance.
Of course, Pa and Hubby Dearest reacted in a very courteous challenging way. Hubby Dearest would not attend if I did not as it would be embarrassing to our side of the family. After all I am his wife and I am expected to be with him at such events. Ok point taken. So then we don’t go. Pa and the boys can go. Then Pa says no but Hubby Dearest is the oldest and knew the Oom that had passed the best and has the most memories with the kids. If he’s not going then Pa isn’t going! Are you friggin kidding me?? Are we junior high girls that attend the bathroom together?
After much convincing I finally subside. I can’t be the reason that our Pa regrets not having been there and the reason our family is looked down on! Jeeze, I’m already an outsider for being American! (I’d better start working on my accent!)
Work wasn’t happy and between Hubby Dearest and I we paid a pretty penny for this little trip. But in the end family is the most important thing and it was well worth it!
Lil Mister clapping after he said prayer for dinner!!
We had a great time catching up (meeting everyone for me!) the night before.


And before we headed home we finally met Ouma Pop and caught up with the rest of the family at one big family dinner!!

Lil Mister rehearsed many times to say Ouma Pop but it still just comes out POP-p-p-p!! It’s still adorable though!

And he made a great friend in our 8 year old cousin! He still asks for her after only one day of knowing her!!


And we’re one big happy family! Just wish Ma would have been with us!

Shana

Monday, 29 October 2012

Carnival Shmarnival

A couple of weeks back the crèche that my son attends held a carnival day at the local high school. I have to say that it was quite fun for Hubby Dearest and I but Lil Mister enjoyed the festivities the most. However, I came to realize something about my dear son that I wonder if other parents also battle with!


At school, at home, and when we go to a friends house Lil Mister is extremely social! He runs around, disobeying every command in true toddler fashion. He jumps, climbs, and laughs. He is happy to show off and express his many talents (boat noises, cow noises and other of the like.) We are often sporting goofy smiles as we gleam in the light of our clever and outgoing son!

So when the opportunity came about to spend a Saturday afternoon exhausting our Lil Mister in jumping castles and sporting games all while surrounded by lekka food, clowns, and tons of friends we jumped without hesitation! When we arrived the friends were already spread out and enjoying themselves with absolute fullness. Lil Mister of course took off in a full sprint held on to Daddy for dear life as we headed towards the action! Every time Hubby Dearest tried to put Lil Mister down to do something we were met with fierce refusal and forcible clinging! Where was our social able and fun loving little boy??

I still cannot understand this. Never have we been concerned about taking Lil Mister out of his environment. Last month when we made the trip to the Free State you’d have thought Lil Mister had known these people since the day he was born! He ran around their houses, played with their toys and willingly gave hugs and kisses. He was not phased in the slightest as we ploughed from one old friend to the next. How is it, then, in a place designed to be a kid inspired heaven with color, jumping, running, balls, ice cream, candy, and friends was he trying to simultaneously choke his father while burying his face?

So, in true excellent desperate Mommy style, I suggested sugar loaded treats to obtain some energy and willingness! Oh what a great Mommy! ;-) It started to change his mood a little bit. He picked out an apple sucker which landed on the ground more than in his mouth and a car filled with little sweets that I can’t imagine are any good other than that a child knows it’s candy! We at least got him looking around a bit!

Then it happened! What I actually least expected (or never considered) but should have known all along! He found a friend…a girlfriend of sorts! We located the stand that his school had set up. There he first saw his teacher! This woman has been his caregiver since he was 6 months old when I furiously ripped him from the school he had been in to obtain a loving place in her home! (A story for an aggressive day!) She has been a savior to us and him at times! When he was sick he would still willingly go to her. When he was hospitalized, she messaged everyday to see how we were. She was one of the first to know he was going to be a big brother! And when she closed her daycare in her home to move to a crèche, Lil Mister was the first signed up to follow. She knows as much about his likes and dislikes as any of us and was even in tears as she witnessed his first steps!

What I had not accounted for was that her daughter who is a little less than a year older that Lil Mister has also been a constant in his life! Apparently they have befriended each other in a most adorable fashion and tend to be quite caring. Lil Sweetie shares with Lil Mister, involves him in all games, and is the first to great him in the mornings at school! So they were quite content to play in the pool (actually intended for a fishing game) as to join the others in various activities!

Mommy and Hubby Dearest breathe a sigh of relief as we can finally enjoy a cold Coke and relax at the knowledge we aren’t torturing our son by forcing what should be extravagant toddler activities down his throat!

But I was very serious that he would participate in his first race! He was already signed up and we were just waiting our turn! The directors come and get us and from the get go he seemed pretty amped…as long as Daddy ran with!
After the race, in which he received a medal and a certificate, he realized his Monkeynastics group was there! This is an activity group he does every week to help build his motor skills and team skills. The wonderful girls in which teach him say he is very VERY good! (In my head I’m going I know but in real life I smile and give a considerate thank you!) He definetly has a bit of his mommy’s running passion. Just after his race he jumps on the treadmill!
We move on at his desire to a balance beam and then realize that this giant bouncy ball is a favorite!

Then…THEN! Then Lil Mister saw the Playball set up! Lil Mister can only join Playball at two so the activities are a little advanced for him…so we thought! He sees the hoola hoop. The lovely woman in charge of Playball comes over and shows him how to roll it. And we’re off again!

After that he impresses all of us with some more balancing skills (he actually grabs bricks at home and puts them in a line to do this on his own!).












A little more ball skills are presented as Daddy teaches him to play t-ball!












And basketball!
We end the afternoon with a little bit of kick ball with his best friend from school!
It was a most enjoyable afternoon and I’m so glad to know that my son has friends! They actually go looking for him! It is so cute!

I’m still not sure why the clinginess as it isn’t something we had encountered before. Maybe it was just a lot going on or maybe it has to do with Mommy’s pregnancy…what ever it is have any of you mommy’s or daddy’s gone through the same? How do you help your toddler adjust?
Shana


Friday, 26 October 2012

Weekend Dreams

It was Friday afternoon. She meticulously counted the minutes on the clock as they dragged past her in a daze. Her nails were polished to perfection. Her hair was placed perfectly in the latest up-do from pinterest! She had already picked out her clothes for the evening and they sat screaming at her from under her desk! Those heels were ready for the night. She had a hot date. She had friends to meet up with and share the juicy news.


Saturday would come. It would mean a lazy morning of sleeping in, coffee and breakfast in bed, and then shopping in town for the latest trends. Saturday night would bring more wine, more laughs, and more good times.

All of this would come to head on Sunday when her and her love spent the day lounging in pajamas and watching terrible movies while eating nothing nutritious but everything absolutely delicious. They would spend hours in each others arms not worrying about the world outside….



Oh…shizz! Lunch is almost over. Okay in reality it is Friday afternoon and I am counting the minutes. But they aren’t dragging as much as they are zooming past so quickly I fear I won’t get everything done…as usual. I dread that 5 o’clock mark as much as I look forward to it! Why you ask??? WELL, let me clue you in since you are so curious! I crave 5 o’clock all month long because I rush home to my Lil Mister and Hubby Dearest! I spend the evening with family and laughing at whatever new ‘trick’ Lil Mister has decided to share with us (like going pee-pee in his potty!!!). However, today….today is payday! Most would say whoo-hoo. Not me. That means that at 5 o’clock we pile in the bukkie and head to the grocery store because yes I sent the last of Lil Misters nappies to school today! I also opened the last of the milk….and yogurt :-/. I dread this monthly shopping trip because as I swipe our bank card the wind is knocked out of me and I can taste a bit of yesterdays lunch in my mouth (I think motherhood either makes your metabolism run like a speed demon or basically stop all together!). It also means that Lil Mister will want a new truck or bike or boat or tractor or something else with wheels that is probably going to break before we get home!

In reality my nails aren’t painted. Actually I have been chewing the nail polish that is still left over from the wedding on Saturday! My hair was thrown haphazardly into a pony before work and there isn’t a speck of makeup on my face. As for heels, LJ would laugh himself into labor if I even considered attempting anything more than flip flops (thank God it’s summer!).

Saturday will come. It will come at 5am when Lil Mister wanders into my room and asks for cookies and Noddy! Hubby Dearest will not be here to make coffee or breakfast as he is fishing the weekend. I will attempt to drink my coffee before it is cold and demand that Lil Mister eat his porridge after I had already succumb to his whines for cookies (5am is just to early for rational thinking!) There will be no lounging as we have a picnic to attend with multiple other screaming children this weekend! Thank God for other mommies! I will have peace in between juice and crackers while older children drag my son through who knows what…do I smell poo???

Sunday will involve rushing into church 5 minutes late (ok at least I do look forward to church!). Getting home to help MIL cook Sunday dinner. Laundry. Dishes. More poop….where does it all come from!! Bath time and attempting to get Lil Mister back into routine for school. How does 48 hours every weekend manage to mess EVERY THING up for Sunday night!?!?

If I’m lucky I’ll have stored enough energy while pretending to watch Barney for the 800th time to “be in the mood” Sunday night!....oh who am I kidding…

I’m going to love every minute of this because….

Shopping trip means buying things for Lil Mister and LJ which gets me giddy. Grocerys means I can sneak some chocolate and wine that I WILL enjoy to it’s fullest one glass that I’m allowed while I soak in the bath because Hubby is going to be gone as of 2am Saturday…HE OWES ME A BATH! I might even score a massage! Whoo-hoo.

A new toy, albeit broken, means a smile on Lil Misters face. I can’t pass that up!

I will spend Saturday afternoon bonding with moms and watching my son develop friendships with others in families devoted to God.

Sunday I will gladly and joyfully worship and get some great fellowship time with those wonderful moms I will see tomorrow. I have MIL to help Sunday afternoon and will most likely crash on the couch with Lil Mister during his nap.

No my nails wont get polished and I’ll probably be too lazy to even bother shaving while in my bath, but heck I love being a mom! Lets go Friday!

Shana

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Week 32...bump-ology

So here we are...another week down! It amazes me how different these pregnancies have been since the beginning! I knew before my first missed period with Lil Mister. Don't ask how I just did. I verbalized this to Hubby Dearest the day I missed but still postponed a test until about week 6. I only caught on with this pregnancy around week 7 and then still convinced I was mistaken took a test at week 8! No symptoms other than tiredness with this pregnancy and the list goes on! My biggest surprise though has been this week at my long LONG awaited doctors appointment! My ultrasound confimed that LJ had turned which I had already suspected last week. Lil Mister turned at week 24 and never flipped again. However he remained high until the very end! I NEVER felt him drop. Apparently he only did this at the onset of my contractions. LJ however turned late and has settled very very low! He has also come out from my back all the time and it feels like I'm falling forward! I walk around picking up my tummy because it is as if he is pushing it way out! Strange...I wonder if they'll be this different in person too! (Oh and I think he looks like me!)


Total Weight Gain: 29.7 lbs!!!

This week, Baby is: 1.9 kg or 4.2 lbs (and expected to double from her on out which will put him right in line with Lil Mister!)

How far along? 32 weeks, 5 days

Due date: 15 Dec 2012 (has not varied a single bit!)

Total weight gain/loss week: Okay I know it is quite a jump and not completely accurate but it has been 6 weeks since my last appointment and I was guestimating!! So in 6 weeks I gained 12.1 lbs!! Woo-hoo!!

Maternity clothes? A firm nope!!

Sleep: Absolutely terrible! We’ve had two weddings in two weeks which involved hours of incredible dancing! Add that to my normal workouts and my body has decided it hates me!

Best moment this week: Getting to hear LJ’s heartbeat for the first time…it is so SO strong!

Food cravings: Salty salty salty!! OMW…you know about sunflower seeds back in America! Especially the Davids brand! I WANT!! We don’t get them here…

Movement: He has some slow days but mostly he is active at least a solid 15 minutes every hours!

Symptoms: Extreme pelvic pressure! Lil Mister always sat far in my back. LJ normally does too but he has been laying forward lately to the point where I feel like I need to support my belly or bend over.

Labor Signs: Nope!

Stretch Marks: nope and we’re working hard to keep it that way!

Swelling? In my feet a lot and a little in the face!!

Belly Button in or out? its definitely almost out.


What I miss: sleep  guess I’m preparing!

Feeling toward Pregnancy: Truly ready for it to be over. Just a few weeks ago I felt like it had flown by but now the stress on top of our home life is just too much! LJ just needs to make an appearance and remind us what it is all about!

What I am looking forward to: Watching the friendship grow between brothers over the years!!

Milestones: LJ has turned!!

News: I had a doctors appointment on Monday! I was incredibly excited! I finally got to have an ultrasound as Dr got a new machine! I could hear LJ’s heart and all! He is definitely a boy! I was relieved to know FOR SURE!! Blood results have all come back normal so for now we wait to hear what the gynae will say in two weeks. But my weight is up to a good point for birth and my size and there are no other complications so natural birth here we come!



GENERAL NEEDS

 4-6 Tommy Tippee bottles (I’m not using Liams again) (I've acquired 2 this week!!)

 Dummy

Toweling nappies (Just need to embroider them now!)

 Hats

 Bibs

 Socks

 Stage 2 diapers

 Stage 3 diapers

Wet wipes** I like to stock up

 Breast pads (I have one pack now so I'm waiting to see how the breast feeding goes this round!)

 Aqueous cream

 Baby powder

 Baby oil

 Bum cream

 New monitors

 Nipple cream

Face cloths

 Pharmacy stock (Panado, tissue salts, boscopan, telements colic drops, gripe water, milk of magnesia, ear buds, cotton wool, )



****Things I’d like to have*****



New breast pump (I received a great gift from Living and Loving and Avent in a new pump!! Now I can use Liam’s old bottles with stoppers in them for storage as it fits the pump!

 Stoppers

 Microwave sterilizer

 2x more blankets

 2x more receiving blankets

 New nappy bag

 2x new towels

0-3 MONTHS

 Coming Home Outfit (Need wool! A friend is going to crochet a jacket and hat and booties for him! Then we'll just wear a vest and white pants!)

 2x summer jammies

3-6 MONTHS (this is where I gave a lot of Liams stuff away!)

 12x vests (4 long sleeves) (I got 2!!)

 4x cotton pants (with feet)

 2x summer jammies

 4-6x T-shirts

 3-5x Rompers (I got 1!!)

 3-5x Onesies (I got 2!!)


6-12 MONTHS (this is a season change from winter to summer for us! 3 months in each season)

 2x Winter jammies

 3x summer jammies

 2x jackets

 4x cotton pants

 3x shorts

 2x long sleeves

 6x short sleeves

 12x vests

 2x Rompers



Oh and in my true fashion I have made a list for the hospital bag as well! Maybe this will get me in motion a little bit. However, despite having been through this before I feel like I’m not packing everything I will need! I’ve revised it into the separate bags I will pack. (My hospital is an hour from our home!) Open to suggestions!

Labour/Birth Bag

 Admission documents

o Passport

o Doctors documents

o Hospital documents

o Any birth preferences

 Snacks/drinks

 Lip balm

 Little cash

 Music/Something to Read

 Calming focus photo

 Camera

 Facecloth x2 (one for in labor, one for shower after)

 Towel

 Change of comfortable clothes

 Change of panties

 Maternity pads

 Post-birth clothing

 LJ’s first outfit

o Vest, pants, shirt, sweater

o Socks, hat, bib

o Nappy, bum cream

 Receiving blanket/blanket

Mommy’s Hospital Bag

 Maternity Pads

 3-4 sets pajamas

 Nursing bras/panties

 Bath robe

 Socks/slippers

 Breast pads

 Breast pump/bottles

 Toiletries

o Shampoon/Cond

o Soap

o Toothpaste/toothbrush

o Lotion/oil

o Deo

o Hairbrush/gel/spray/clips & bands

o Nipple cream

 Extra towel

 Rehydrate

 Journal/Reading material

 Phone Charger

 Pillow & blanket



LJ’s Hospital Bag

 1x pack disposable nappies

 Dark face cloth for bum

 Wet wipes

 Bum cream

 Aqueous cream

 Cotton balls

 Soap

 Hair brush

 Towel/face cloth

 Vaseline

 Surgical Spirits

 5x baby grows

 5x vests

 5x socks/booties

 2x hats

 Jacket/jersey

 3x receiving blankets

 1x blanket

 3x toweling nappies

 Colic drops

Shana



Wednesday, 24 October 2012

He is my King

I had a whole post planned out for today that I'd been working very hard on...however like most plans I make in life without consenting to God's will first it was derailed. I was getting so frustrated (bring on the tears preggy hormones!) as I couldn't make the words come out right. The post was random, unorganized, and completely missing the point.
Then I opened my journal to try and write and let go a little bit. When I did an article I'd kept from a service a while back fell out. Christ reminded me once again that He is King. Here is a little bit from Dr. S.M. Lockridge's famous sermon He Is My King.


My King is the King of the Jews.
He is the King of Israel.
He is the King of Righteousness.
He is the King of the Ages.
He is the King of Heaven.
He is the King of Glory.
He is the King of Kings.
And He is the Lord or Lords.
Yes, that is my King. I wonder, do you know Him?

My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
He is enduringly strong.
He is entirely sincere.
He is eternally steadfast.
He is immortally graceful.
He is imperially powerful.
He is impartially merciful.
Yea, that is my King. Do you know Him?

He is the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He is God's Son.
He is the sinners Savior.
He is the centerpiece of civilization.
He is unparalleled.
He is unprecedented.
He is supreme.
He is preeminent.
He is the loftiest idea in literature.
he is the hightest personality in philosophy.
He is the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He is the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Savior.
Yes, that is my King. I wonder if you know Him today?

He is the miracle of the age.
He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
He is the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He is available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captive.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
I wonder if you know Him?

My King is the key to knowledge.
He is the wellspring of wisdom.
He is the doorway of deliverance.
He is the pathway of peace.
He is the roadway of righteousness.
He is the highway of holiness.
He is the gateway of glory.
He is the master of the mighty.
He is the captain of conquerors and the head of the heroes.
My King is the leader of the legislators.
He is the overseer of the over comers.
He is the governor of governors.
He is the prince of princes.
My King is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Yes that is my King. I wonder do you know Him?

That is MY KING.
His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His life is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Oh, I wish I could describe Him to you, but...
He is indescribable.
He is incomprehensible.
He is invincible.
He is irresistible.
I'm trying to tell you...
The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him,
Let alone a man explain Him.
You can't get Him out of your mind
And you can't get Him off of your hands.
You cannot outlive Him and you can't live without Him.
The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree and Herod couldn't kill Him.
Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him.
Yes, that is my King. I wonder, do you know Him?

He always has been and He always will be.
I'm talking about...
He has no predecessor and He'll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him and there'll be nobody after Him.
You cannot impeach Him and He is not going to resign.
Yes, that is My King.
I wonder...do you know Him today?



Shana

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What I Miss About America


Lemonade stands….we never see kids doing this in South Africa! Partly because of the safety reasons which brings me to the second point….

No fences…everyone has these fences and security gates around their houses and even businesses! I know there are fences in America but not like here! It’s a fence, with barbed wire and sometimes electrical wire at the top. It took months for me to get over it and even caused depression!

Authentic foods…yes I get authentic South African and Boere kos! But I miss Mexican, Chinese, and Greek foods like I used to get in my home town. I miss the variety. Even after having been so close to a Mexican family and working in their restaurant I still cannot make the food :-/

Snow…this will make my fourth Christmas in South Africa (Even I can’t believe it!) and I still can’t get used to it being so bloody hot in December! I haven’t seen snow since January 2009. I miss the cold….I miss the white Christmas…and to bring in the next point

Holiday decorations…I know that a lot of you are moaning that it isn’t even Halloween yet and Target is displaying Christmas stuff but that would make me cry tears of joy right now! I know the point of the holidays but I miss that communal feel that we have back home. Here a business might put a few measly decorations but that is it. No houses competing for best lights, no non-stop Christmas music radio, no giant trees and enough garland in the mall to make you poo it out! I miss the tradition of driving through the town and looking at all the lights in the evening!

Folgers….yes for me the best part of waking up was Folgers in my cup!! If I was to return to the States I would terribly miss our coffee here…but I am here and therefore am dying for filter coffee!! We drink instant and it is truly AMAZING…I only realized this after 6 months of living here. But the coffee back home… the tantalizing smell as it tickles me awake from my automatic brewing pot! The frothiness that occurs when you mix a little powder creamer with milk. The sweet, decadent, sinful, dessert that was Crème Brulee flavor! I miss my Folgers!

Sunflower seeds…I grew up munching on sunflower seeds as a constant snack!! The ones with the shell still on them! Davids were always my favorite…but guess what!! We don’t get them here!! Go figure! I would have brought a years supply with me and portioned it for the next 5 years if I’d have known this!

Swedish fish, Jelly Belly, Jolly Ranchers, Butterfinger bars, Starburst, Slim Jims, and Captain Crunch cereals…yes I’m pregnant but I miss these things all of the time!!!

American Eagle and Aeropostal…we get great clothes here. Stuff I really like but I miss these two stores! I have yet to find a store that clothes fit so nicely on me especially the American Eagle denims!!

Roasted Nuts…those terrible varieties of nuts that they always roast in the malls around Christmas time and sell in the plastic bags! OMW…I hated these at a stage after working a Christmas season in the mall but I’d sell my right arm (not actually) to have a bag of nuts now! Hehe

Drive through banking…simply stated…I miss it!! That little tube you put your money and papers in!! We don’t have it…anywhere…at ALL!!!

Wal-Mart…to do my monthly shopping I go to 6 different shops if I’m lucky. Usually it is more! I miss being able to shop in one place and that place being 24 hours a day!

Krispy Kremes…stop laughing!! I know I’m pregnant but I truly miss these darn donuts! Especially the New York Cheesecake one!! OMW….mmm

Running at night…yes we can do group runs and such things but I can’t just go run really early in the morning or late at night like I used to do in the States. It just isn’t safe.

Driving at night…as a kid when it was a boring Saturday night my parents would have us climb in the car and go for a drive in the country. We’d park along the side of a corn field and lay on the hood looking at the stars and talking. I LOVED this…again we avoid something like this unless you have a friend that owns a property to go onto because it isn’t safe.

Family… I miss my family. I have family here and I love them with all my heart but I miss these people who I grew up with. I miss the traditions we had. I miss the familiarity. I miss the comfort. I miss their love.

Me and my youngest brother Jadyn!!!

• And finally…a random list of all I can think of!!

o Affordability

o Tornado Watching

o Sledding

o Hot cocoa curled up in front of a fire place

o Free concerts!!

o Parades

o State/City fairs

o Crown Royal (sorry but just a glass every now and then!)

o Southern/Country living

o SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

o American pride

o Seeing the flag everywhere

o Country music (we get that here but it is always behind!)

o Summer camps/ Church camps

o Liquid coffee creamer

o Long John Silvers

o Monicals Pizza/ Papa Johns Pizza

o Steak n Shake Restaurant

o Burger King

o All you can eat buffets!! (My husband LOVED this when he was in the States!)

o Calling the body of water a lake and the physical structure holding back the water a dam! Here they call the whole body of water the dam…really irritates me!

o My dad’s BBQ chicken!

o Tailgate parties

o American Football and SUPER BOWL!!!

o The summer holidays

o Halloween (especially now that I have kids of my own :-/)

o Chicago and EVERYTHING about that city!

o My friends…we still talk but yea I need to see them!

o The American spirit…I can’t explain this one…a person can only know it!

o Yellow taxi cabs!!

Most of this seems ridiculous or simple or unimportant but it is all things that were part of everyday life that are not anymore and I miss it. These are things that I took for granted and never understood that I looked at these things as part of what made my home a home and that home defined a part of me. I’m still Shana…I’m just learning to be Shana somewhere else! One day I’ll post about all the reasons I love South Africa!! ;-)

I claim no rights to any photos…they are all from Google but they just help reiterate the point! (Except for the one after family!!)
Shana

Monday, 22 October 2012

22 things....

22 things I want my boys to know


1. Running is Fun! You can save thousands on therapy just by hitting the pavement! It’s food for your body, mind, and soul. Just you and your run.

2. God is Love. It is because of Him we know what love is and how to love. Develop a relationship with God and you will understand love for the rest of your life.

3. I will never judge you! You are my heart and soul. You can tell me anything or be anyone. I will always love you just the same.

4. Never give up. This world is going to throw a lot at you. It will try to bring you down to your knees for it. Just keep moving forward!

5. The World is mean. Yet, you can be more than that. People are going to be mean but you don’t have to be! Life isn’t fair but it will make you stronger!

6. Take the road less traveled. In school and in adulthood, it is going to seem easy and even appealing to go with the crowd. Don’t! Stick to your guns. Follow your goals and use your values and morals to guide you! Let God be your map!

7. Springboks are our boys. We will debate Cheetahs or Blue Bulls. We will argue which football team we like. BUT we always cheer for our country! No matters what men make up that team, from which province, Springboks are our boys!

8. It’s not the hit you give but the one you take. It is easy to talk big. It can even be easy to throw a punch or two. But it is the one that comes back that always leaves its mark.

9. It’s okay to cry! There is no such thing as men don’t cry. If you keep it all in, it builds up and leaves no room for love.

10. Write and write often. Our words are the biggest legacy we leave behind. Whether you blog one day or keep a journal or write letters to your loved ones, write something. It is expression, it is release, and it will be a treasured keepsake to those you love!
11. Travel and travel well. There is so much beauty and creativity and love in this world. If you get a chance to travel, do it! Take some time and be a visitor in someone else’s land. Learn from them.

12. Be the best you can be in everything. There is never an excuse to not give your best and absolutely everything you do! If you play sports you play and practice at 100%. You put your all into your school work. When you fall in love, there are no off days! It doesn’t mean you’ll be perfect but you’ll never look back and say if only!

13. Explore the outdoors. Take time and take it often to just be in nature. Walk, run, sit and stare. Just experience what God has created around you so that you can appreciate what you are to take care of.

14. The house is not just a woman’s responsibility! If you can dirty a dish, you can wash a dish. If you can clean your body, you can clean the shower. If your wife works outside the home then you can work inside the home! Your wife will be a lot happier at night if you get up and do something for her!

15. Wine is always a good answer! No I’m not advocating getting drunk! But if your wife asks do I look fat in this, you ask her what wine she wants with the dinner your cooking!

16. Learn to laugh, especially at yourself. Laughter is the best medicine in your life. It is your go-to guy. It is the universal language.

17. Learn to appreciate what you have. Jealousy is hideous. Whenever you are feeling self pity or jealousy for what others have, go spend some time doing something for those less fortunate than you. You will learn to be thankful.

18. Girls like discretion. You will find girls that like the party, the strong tough guys, and the game, but the woman you want will seek more! Learn to protect and stand up for your love without physical altercation. She will respect you.

19. Marry a woman you can pray with! Sex is great but it isn’t everything. There will be countless girls you’re attracted to and that are attracted to you. But when you find the one you can get on your knees with keep her. The prayer is what will get you through the years, not the sex.

20. Say sorry only when you mean it! Don't be stubborn and refuse to apologize because of pride. But don't use the word to get away with what you want. If you're going to do the same thing again, don't even bother apologizing. And when you do apologize make sure you know why you are sorry!

21. Talk it out. Don't leave the things that bother you until they are a huge ball of anger. Talk it out. If you can't talk about, write a letter! Sometimes it's easier that way!

22. You can ALWAYS come home. No matter where you are, what you’ve done, or what has happened…you can always come home! I will always be your home! I will always accept you!

Shana

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Emotional Day....

I know that this is probably just one of those emotional/hormonal mommy/pregnant moments but I really need to get it out there.
I phone Hubby Dearest now to let him know that although it is already 15 minutes past when I am suppose to be off work it is going to be about another 15 minutes before we leave. It is the beginning of our grapes season and things are extremely busy here on the farm. As I’m talking to him, I can hear Lil Mister laughing and carrying on about something in the background. It hits me. Its 15 minutes before we leave. Another 15 minutes to meet up with Hubby Dearest. Yet, still, another 20 minutes or so to go to the store before getting home to Lil Mister. That is almost an hour. I’ll get home in time to eat, bath Lil Mister, and then clean up and get ready for the next day. I get home around 6pm and Lil Mister goes to bed at 8pm. I leave him at around 6:30 in the morning. So I am gone almost 12 hours a day. 5 days a week. I am missing the majority of his life. He is so used to me leaving it doesn’t even faze him any more.
I am often so proud to be a working mom. My personality is one in which I truly need the satisfaction of a job well done. I feed off the times when my boss calls me in just to tell me he appreciates my work. I enjoy putting my creativity and problem solving brain to work in an adult environment. I keep reminding myself of this.
But it is moments like this where I wonder if my kids will hate me one day for it. Do they know what I am missing? Granted my work is very understanding. I am blessed that they are lenient when I must take off because Lil Mister is sick or has a check up. They know how important family is and makes sure that your family is still top priority in your life.
Here I am though, about to birth a second child, and I feel that I’m loosing the one I have. Maybe I’m still adjusting to the new hours and set up. See I have been in my current job for almost 7 months. Before this I’d always worked in the food industry. At my most previous job there were days I worked only 4-5 hours a day. I could walk to work in 8 minutes and often walked my son to or from his daycare.  Now, my work day is 10 hours without considering travel. I have every weekend off which is great compared to before which I only had one. But I still feel like I am missing more and more of his life.
So today, now, I sit and cry as I wait to go home. I cry for myself and I cry for my family. My husband is amazing. He is now cooking dinner and playing with Lil Mister while I wallow in my self pity. He will be understanding and tell me it will get better. He will promise that the boys will always know I love them and have always tried to what was best for them. He will tell me to leave the kitchen and play with Lil Mister. He will be loving because he loves me. I love him. I just wish I was there more for him and them.

Week 31 update!!!!




Not my nursery but the quote is PERFECT!
 Guess what….I still have NOT packed! OMW!! I’m having dreams that LJ is born already and I bring him home in just one of those plastic crap hospital nappies because I was so terribly lazy! I must do something about this and quickly! I’m super bummed that I’m still not picking up weight but hey I guess I won’t mind so much afterwards. BUT…we are one week closer and I’ve squared everything away with work for maternity leave! As long as my gynae okays it at my next appointment I will be working right up until the 14th December (unless LJ makes an early appearance...let us pray not!). Then I will return to work when LJ is 6 weeks old but only to work half day for the remaining 10 weeks of my maternity leave. Then I will come back full day! There is just too much work for me to leave it all out to wind for 16 weeks! I love my children dearly and this is going to be even more difficult than with Lil Mister because now I have the new born and Lil Misters transitions but I know it is what is right for my family. I am a working mom and my kids know and will know this does not NOT change how much I love them!

Total Weight Gain: 16 pounds!
This week, Baby is the size of a: pineapple!!!.


How far along? 31 weeks, 5 days

Due date: 15 Dec 2012

Total weight gain/loss: +1 kg

Maternity clothes? I’ve made it this far without shopping…why turn back now!

Sleep: The ridiculous people across the street have put some monstrosity in their front yard…okay it is a light on the porch and considering this is South Africa it makes sense. HOWEVER!!! This is really messing up my sleep. Unless I lay with my legs across my husband and my head hanging off the side of the bed that light seems to always be in my dang eyes! So this weekend the sliding blinds are coming down and going back to curtains!

Best moment this week: Lil Mister has claimed that LJ will be a friend and has started to pray for him at supper time (with all the rest of the family! I really need to get a video of him praying!)

Food cravings: I still want Mexican…and anything salty…BILTONG oh and hamburgers…maybe I should make that for dinner…with a white pepper sauce…and microwave potato chips…and salad! HAHAHAHA

Movement: He never seems to be still. I can not make out a pattern! Looks like I’ve got another 20 minute napper on my hands…oh but sleep training will be from the start this time. I’m not making the same mistake twice.

Symptoms: Okay, so my mood swings have finally started to kick in this week and I think I’ve been super b****…but I realize it and will work on that one! :-/
And Braxton hicks are kicking my butt big time! It pulls from the center of my lower back straight around to the center of my belly and then straight down! ARG…time to bring the pillow to work!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Stretch Marks: nope and we’re working hard to keep it that way!

Swelling? My feet are like elephants…DANG YOU!!

Belly Button in or out? its definitely almost out.

What I miss: spontaneity….oh you know what I’m talking about girls….when it was whenever, where ever! Despite pregnancy I just don’t know what happened….

Feeling toward Pregnancy: It's gone too quickly and I haven't taken the time to enjoy it!

What I am looking forward to: taking some time off from work just to be Mom to both my kids!

Milestones: I’m pretty sure LJ has flipped. All the movement shifted to my upper stomach now and when there is movement down low it is a huge ball…kind of head shaped! HAHA

News: Still no appointment! If you here that some pregnant lady burnt down a doctors office in South Africa….no I’m just kidding about that but I am past frustrated at this point!

I found a couple of great ideas for exercise during pregnancy! I’ve been pretty active and still had all of the workouts I had gotten during Lil Mister’s pregnancy. However if you’re planning to breastfeed and/or express like I am this little tid bit is great! Check it out!
Prepare to Breastfeed 


GENERAL NEEDS

© 4-6 Tommy Tippee bottles (I’m not using Liams again) (I've acquired 2 this week!!)
© Dummy
© Toweling nappies (Just need to embroider them now!)
© Hats
© Bibs
© Socks
© Stage 2 diapers
© Stage 3 diapers
© Wet wipes** I like to stock up
© Breast pads (I have one pack now so I'm waiting to see how the breast feeding goes this round!)
© Aqueous cream
© Baby powder
© Baby oil
© Bum cream
© New monitors
© Nipple cream
© Face cloths
© Pharmacy stock (Panado, tissue salts, boscopan, ect)

****Things I’d like to have*****

© New breast pump (I received a great gift from Living and Loving and Avent in a new pump!! Now I can use Liam’s old bottles with stoppers in them for storage as it fits the pump!)
© Microwave sterilizer
© 2x more blankets
© 2x more receiving blankets
© New nappy bag
© 2x new towels


0-3 MONTHS

© Coming Home Outfit (Need wool! A friend is going to crochet a jacket and hat and booties for him! Then we'll just wear a vest and white pants!)
© 2x summer jammies


3-6 MONTHS (this is where I gave a lot of Liams stuff away!)

© 12x vests (4 long sleeves) (I got 2!!)
© 4x cotton pants (with feet)
© 2x summer jammies
© 4-6x T-shirts
© 3-5x Rompers (I got 1!!)
© 3-5x Onesies (I got 2!!)


6-12 MONTHS (this is a season change from winter to summer for us! 3 months in each season)

© 2x Winter jammies
© 3x summer jammies
© 2x jackets
© 4x cotton pants
© 3x shorts
© 2x long sleeves
© 6x short sleeves
© 12x vests
© 2x Rompers

Oh and in my true fashion I have made a list for the hospital bag as well! Maybe this will get me in motion a little bit. However, despite having been through this before I feel like I’m not packing everything I will need! Open to suggestions!

HOSPITAL BAG

ð        Undergarments
ð        Socks & slippers
ð        Pajamas & robe
ð        Going home outfit
ð        Toiletries
o   Shampoo/cond
o   Soap/face cloths
o   Towel
o   Toothpaste/toothbrush
o   Lotion/oil
o   Deo
o   Hairbrush, gel, hairspray
ð        6x outfits LJ
ð        Going home outfit
ð        Toweling nappies
ð        Towel/face cloth
ð        Socks & booties
ð        Receiving blanket
ð        Blanket
ð        Aqueous cream, bum cream, Vaseline
ð        Wipes & Nappies
ð        Light reading material
ð        Pillow and blanket
ð        Object or photograph to focus on
ð        Snacks and gum/mints
ð        Camera
ð         


Shana

AddThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...