Monday, 31 December 2012

2012...a recap!

So the year is ending.

The year the world was “supposed” to end....don’t even get me started on that one!

I have to admit that it was a rollercoaster of a year!
We began 2012 in our first real place that we could call our own! I loved that little one bedroom flat. It was ridiculously hot. (We had no windows that actually faced the real outdoors! Our flat was completely incased inside the building with windows into the sunlit hallways!) We were cramped and didn’t even have a lounge suit when we moved in! Yea we were sitting on blow up couches like we were in high school all over again!

But it was ours and I loved it! We spent 6 gloriously HOT months in that flat.

In that 6 months, Hubby Dearest started a new job. Still in the towing L

Lil Mister turned one!

I started a new job! The wonderful one I have now at the farm! I love it!! And it has been a huge blessing to our family!

Oh...and we found out I was pregnant...again!

At the end of that 6 months we decided we needed to move on to bigger things. We found a lovely two bedroom house on a farm 10km from town. It was perfect. We quickly found someone to take over the lease on our flat and packed our things. Only to find out on moving day that the owners decided to give the house to family members instead.

Oh yea....so what does a family of three waiting to be four do in a situation like this?

We moved back in with our parents! YAY!

Actually, living with them isn’t so bad and I loved the time I spent with Ma and the closeness it brought between Lil Mister and his Ouma and Oupa!

Times continued to move along.

We (Lil Mister and I) met our Ouma Pop for the very first time!
We celebrated three weddings with our three closet friend couples! And were officially created into the "Fearsome Foursome" because we're that cool!

Hubby Dearest got a new job...again! This time as a sales manager for AutoZone! We are so happy and he LOVES what he is doing now!

We can finally plan things around a schedule and no more driving to townships in the middle of the night!

We also got into a new house! Finally on our own again! I love the house too!

And last but definetly not least....

LJ joined our family on 12-12-12. What a beautiful way to end the year!

So looking forward to 2013.....there will be no more pregnancy surprises! Hubby Dearest has decided to take care of that one! ;-)

My training will not be interrupted this time! Looking forward to my first 5km!

Lil Mister is starting a new school.

And I am roaring up to get back to work and start in on some new projects.

I see a bright year ahead. I know there will be pitfalls. I know there will be obstacles. But with family...anything is possible!

Shana..

Friday, 28 December 2012

LJ a birth story part 2

If you didn't join us for part 1, please jump there now!! Like...RIGHT NOW!
Where were we?? Oh yea...I had fallen asleep.
I slept like a rock! I promise I didn’t move. I didn’t stir. Okay I woke up to wake Hubby up for Lil Mister, but it was a great night of sleep. I woke up not able to believe I’d finally slept so well.

I sat up ready to jump out of bed and then it hit! The first contraction. It was mild but I knew that feeling. I knew that contraction. It was different. It was deep. It was wrapped through my entire middle. This was the real deal.

This was 6:30 in the morning!
Lil Mister took 26 hours from the first contraction so there was no worry in my mind. Mr. P and I had agreed to leave for the hospital at 20 minutes apart or when my waters broke, which ever happened first. So I sent Hubby Dearest off to work and Lil Mister to school.

I proceeded to do a load of laundry and clean up from the previous nights dinner. I also cleaned both bathrooms. (Why? I have no idea. There would be nobody home for 3 days but I wanted to come back to a clean bathroom!) My contractions were between 30 and 45 minutes apart so I figured I was still good on time.
I phoned Ma to let her know.

I showered.
I started cooking a pasta bake for dinner for Ma and everyone since she was taking Lil Mister while I was in hospital!

Eventually I phone Hubby Dearest at about 9 am telling him to come home and phone Ma again to ask her to come over. I begin finalizing my bags and packing for Lil Mister.
My stupid butt was ironing clothes for Hubby Dearest to bring with him.

Still 30 minutes apart.
Then it starts. From out of nowhere the contractions start flying together. I can’t take more than a few steps. I’m sitting. I’m standing. I can barely talk. It never went this fast with Lil Mister.

It was happening so quickly my mind couldn’t keep up with what my body was going through. I know my moods were starting to wean thin and I could feel that I wasn’t coping. This is not at all how I imagined my labor going this time!
We phone Mr. P! He’s there lightening fast. Well, it’s his job. We get the things loaded up and say our goodbyes and I’m in the ambulance. (The hospital is an hour and a half away....had to go by ambulance!)

My contractions are up to about  3 minutes apart. It has been 35 minutes since I told Hubby Dearest to come home! Oh yea, it happened that quickly.
Now for the long drive. I couldn’t even speak. Every question they asked I whispered a response. I joked with Hubby Dearest later that I was so bad in labor with Lil Mister that I was scared it I started speaking I would be screaming!

I focused on breathing and kept telling myself at the beginning of every contraction that it was almost over! It seemed to work and although I thought I was dying I made the ride and got into the hospital without any problems.
We arrived at the hospital at 11:40. When we got there they originally put me in a room with 3 other women. This is where they place you while they wait for your labor to progress. Then they move you to a private delivery room.

Hubby Dearest leaves to go set up my file with the nurses while another nurse comes in to check my status.
She is busy explaining to me that I can only have a small shot now for pain and when I am 5 or 6cm dilated they will give me a spinal if I want it. All I can think is if this is anything like Lil Mister’s labor this will take HOURS!

My original plan was for a completely natural birth again. However, things were progressing so quickly I don’t think my mind was having time to catch up my body. All my processing skills were evaporated by the time we reached the hospital. I immediately asked for relief. When the nurse started going on about waiting until 5cm I began to figure it out. I told her that if I could just have something now to relax me and let my mind cope where I’m at then I’d probably make it through without the spinal.

She does a quick exam and her eyes fly open. I’m talking saucer big! She looks at me and tells me I’m already 6cm and she is calling the other nurses to move me to delivery and get the room set up!
My mind is still ten paces behind us trying to adjust to the fact that I’m already in the hospital and not imagining that I’m in labor. They come to move me. Hubby Dearest is still busy with my file.

I’m transferred to the delivery room and the doctor comes in. Immediately I’m relieved! If you haven’t read the post about my gynae visit you can here! I’ve been so stressed that I wouldn’t like my doctor because my gynae was on leave during this time and only to return the day after my due date! Luckily, the gynae on call was amazing. Relaxed, nice, and a decent sense of humor.
 
He wasted no time in giving me my spinal and said he’d be back soon to check on me.

I was told that the spinal would remove the pain but I’d still feel the contraction. That I would still know when to push and everything so I decided it would be okay. This labor was progressing so quickly I wasn’t catching up with what was going on. I also figured I felt everything....all OF IT...with Lil Mister and could live knowing that I’d done it once 100% natural!
Hubby Dearest (he got back just before the spinal!) asks how long it should take from here. The nurse says she is positive I’ll give birth before 7pm! I’m thinking in my mind, HELL NO!! NOW!

About 15 minutes after the spinal however I’m trying to tell the nurses I can still feel pain. Yes, it was no longer in my back or hips but the contractions were still painful in my uterus. One nurse says she’ll give me more medicine but it will make me tired. Labor in general is exhausting so that wasn’t a concern. I wasn’t asking for more meds. I was trying to tell them that things are farther than they think!
I had 6 more contractions in the next 20 minutes and finally told Hubby Dearest to go get the nurse. This was at 13:15. Like I said, things were moving FAST!

She walks in with a look on her face that I can already tell she thinks I haven’t got a clue! I explain that I need to push....as in I’m already pushing on every contraction!
She does a quick exam and guess what....I’m fully dialated! Oh yea....so much for her prediction. She immediately phones the doctor. She begins getting me ready, you know, putting my legs in those god awful contraptions and such!

Five minutes later in pops the doctor. I’m already pushing through a contraction and he jumps right in. The spinal had taken full affect from my knees down but that was about it. I was thankful for the relief in my hips and back however. They’re right. I could feel when to push though.
After 15 minutes and only about 5 pushes, LJ was here! I couldn’t believe it was over already! Not that I wasn’t so happy but I just was in shock I guess.

So at 13:35 LJ was born. He weighed in at 3.28kg and 53cm. He was the exact same length as Lil Mister but 300g smaller on the dot! Not a problem in sight!
 
He was quickly cleaned up and then we breastfed! At 3pm they took him for his first bath and got him dressed while I showered.

This was probably the most hilarious part of my pregnancy. Now the spinal had taken full effect. I had to ask Hubby Dearest to move my feel apart because I couldn’t have moved if a fire was taking place! There was nothing from the waist down at this point!
I stood up to go to the bathroom and looked like I was made of jelly. Of course I’m stubborn and managed to go to the bathroom and shower without asking for help! But the getting dressed part was another story! I could barely stand on both legs let alone manage to get pants on.

Once again, Hubby Dearest to the rescue!

All in all it was a wonderful experience. The nurses and doctors were kind, gentle, and patient! Oh...and I got a private room!
LJ has latched beautifully and we’re doing wonderful so far! He feeds every 2 hours except from about 7pm for a few hours he cluster feeds and then sleeps through until 6am. He is a blessing!

Lil Mister is mad about him! Loves him to death. He is patient and understanding and extremely helpful! Gives LJ his dummy and brings me nappies.
Now they sleep, maybe I should too ;-)
Shana..

Thursday, 27 December 2012

NewYears Reso....what???

I’ve only ever made one New Years Resolution that I have managed to stick to. In the 2009 New Year I made the Resolution to never again make a New Years Resolution. 3 ½ months later I decided to move to South Africa to marry Hubby Dearest and haven’t made a resolution since then!

That was a year of big choices, big beginnings, big endings, and a lot of happiness. I let things go where life wanted them to go!

I think it is a great idea to want to start each new year fresh. We want to clean out our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical closets of all the dust and unused clutter.

It is a natural thing to want to enter a new phase in our lives with focus, goals, and determination. But there is something about the New Years Resolution that just seems....well....unrealistic.

Too often, the goals that people are setting for themselves are setting them up for failure. From the word go the expectations are too high. We’re always trying to outdo each other and ourselves. We are failing to prepare and preparing to fail.

Even as I type this, I think to myself about my new fitness plans that begin on the 31st of December. I try as I might to justify this by saying that these plans would have been planned to begin at any time of the year as soon as it was 2 weeks after LJ was born.

My goals that I’ve set for 2013 are not based on some in ground need to kick start my year. The birth of my son just happened to fall in line with the new year. My goals are an accumulation of small stepping stones towards one major goal that has been put off for a while now (I just keep getting pregnant lol.....dang husband! ;-])

Yet, my goals are something that are personal to me and have very little to do with the beginning of a new year. It is more about the beginning of a new chapter in my life!

As I face into 2013, I think about where I sit.

I am now a mother of two! Two boys to really grasp it! ;-)

I’m a wife who is still adjusting to being married to a wonderful man of a different culture! (You can’t just drop 20 years of your life and culture in 4 years!)

I am an inexperienced data clerk who has been blessed with a wonderful job and who is learning more and more each day at work!

I am a friend to 3 lovely newlywed ladies (I have other friends but this is our ‘fearsome foursome!’) and am the “experienced” one when it comes to marriage and children although I am the youngest in the group by more than 5 years!

And I am a woman who is in love with herself and wants to take the best care of herself possible mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

I think to start my year off with a resolution of what is going to happen that year or what I’m going to do is unrealistic. We cannot predict where life will take us.

I prefer a down to earth approach. Set for yourself realistic goals that are not grounded in the idea of a ‘new year’ but are sought out and brought up from somewhere deep within yourself. Your goals for yourself and your life need to be focused and planted in who you are.

It doesn’t help you set a New Years Resolution to loose weight if you are happy with who you are!

You can set a goal to get healthier though because if you love who you are then you’ll want to take care of who you are! Set goals that are focused on what your body needs!

Whether you want to get more centered in God, get yourself moving physically, or fight off a bought of depression do it for you! To make yourself all that you can be. Do it because you love you!

Keep your goals simple and focused.

Saying you’re going to lose 15kg in 2013 is a sure fire way to fail. Saying you’re going to lose 15kg by June 1, 2013 gives you a focus point.

Saying you’re going to start going to gym because you want to find a boyfriend is ridiculous. But chosing to start working out because you want to take care of your beautiful body and feel better mentally is much more real!

I’m no expert but a new year isn’t near as much motivation as a better me! I love myself and so should you (well yourself....no me too....you should love me too!!!!)

Have a HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEARS!



Shana..
 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Traditions

Did you have any Christmas traditions growing up? Where there any favourites?

I know that there are some things that have ground themselves into my very nature when it comes to holidays. Yet, living in South Africa, some of these are now hard to come by.

I’ve decided that I need to start creating some new traditions mixed with a little old to make the years memories with my children!

So today, as this post is scheduled and I will not be on my blog, I have taken a moment to jot down a few new traditions that I want to begin with my children! I hope all of you are enjoying a very special Christmas with your families!
 

1)    I will make homemade eggnog every year! I love this stuff and used to drink myself sick on it during the holidays! I will make it for my children as we don’t buy it here! We will drink ice cold eggnog throughout the December holiday! ;-)

2)    I read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” every Christmas Eve. I know I posted about the meaning of Christmas, but this is an adorable story that will remain a past time with my boys!

3)    Starting next year I want my boys to make handmade Christmas cards to send out to our family and friends each year. I love Christmas cards but feel that something hand made is so much more special!

4)    As the boys get older, we will donate to a charity each year. I’d love to find something local that is involved with children so my boys can experience giving to needy ‘friends.’

5)    We will listen/sing Christmas carols while setting up and decorating our tree (note to self: buy Christmas music!)

6)    We spend time each season focusing on why we celebrate Christmas and doing activities about the birth of Jesus Christ.

7)    I want to study with my boys (at an age appropriate level) the life of Christ each year from Christmas to Easter. We will read the stories and do art and fun things so that as they grow up they will know His life and teachings! (not that we don’t read our Bibles all year!)

8)    Christmas will always be spent with family!

 
It isn’t about the traditions really, but I want my boys to remember that this is a special time for us and that we need to be enjoying it and learning it and making the most of it!

I hope and pray you have the opportunity to do just that today!

Merry Christmas!

Shana..

Monday, 24 December 2012

Loss in spirit; Gain in Spirit

This weekend has my internal clock all messed up! I’ve done so well since coming home from the hospital at being in bed by a decent time. However, Friday night we had a braai with our parents and I only got home after midnight and then on Saturday we had a braai with friends at our house. Again, I was in bed after midnight.

So now it is Sunday and after 10 pm and I still cannot sleep.

I’m surely going to regret this! Lil Mister does not sleep past 5:30am very often and I highly doubt karma is so kind as to let it be tomorrow that he does! ;-)

It doesn’t help that I only got Lil Mister to sleep 15 minutes ago and I figure based on LJ’s last feed he should be awake in the next 15 minutes again.

Coffee...you are my best friend these days!

I’m still in shock that it is already Christmas. Yes, I realize it is still another day away, but really!

This will be my fourth Christmas in South Africa, but I can’t seem to find the spirit anymore. It hasn’t felt like Christmas since I moved here.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, I’m taken back to all the years spent celebrating with my family.

I miss the cold weather. I remember tracking through the rows that never ended through the cold and snow to find the ‘perfect family Christmas Tree.’ (Please envision the Clark Griswold Family Christmas Tree here!)

As a child I would fill my pockets and even stuff my coat full of the pine cones I would find along the way. I still love the smell of fresh pine!

We’d get home that afternoon and my mom would make hot chocolate (I’m positive now that I’m a parent that my mom and dad’s hot chocolates were spiked with vodka; otherwise they weren’t making it until that night!) and we’d listen to Christmas music while decorating the tree.

Really cheesy but that is what we did EVERY year!

I can’t understand why when I enter a mall; I don’t smell that sickening sweet scent of the roasted nuts. Nor do I feel it is right that there aren’t Christmas lights and decorations covering the streets and houses.

There are no night time drives to see the lights. There are no Salvation Army guys ringing their silly little bells. We aren’t bundled up watching endless reruns of the same Christmas movies. And there is no snow to wake up to on Christmas morning.

I feel like I’ve lost Christmas.

Then I found it again.

All of the sudden I realized how commercialized even I had let Christmas become to me.

I grew up being taught the true meaning of Christmas and was in every single Christmas pageant at church. I know the story by heart because it is the equivalents of thousands of years of prophecy come true. It is the entire reason for the season (sorry for the cheesy rhyme!).

Yet, even I have fallen victim to Hallmarks branding over the years. As I grew older and was able to apply the memory of scents, sounds, and images to the holiday, I somehow lost what was truly important.

Christmas is after all about Christ’s birth.

I know you’re like...duh!

But how easily I’d let that fall to the back burner while still living in the states. I’d grown so accustomed to the hoopla of the season that I’d grown cold to the meaning. I’d lost Christmas when I moved to South Africa because I’d lost the meaning of it many years before that.

I’m grateful for this now. As I sit preparing my children’s presents, I realized how blessed we are. I’m thankful to raise my children in a way that they won’t experience the extravaganza firsthand the way I did. I’m thankful that I will be able to focus more on the meaning of Christmas and teach my children why we celebrate the holiday in such a close and family oriented manner.

I’m thankful that I had to lose my Christmas spirit to be able to rejoice Christmas in the Spirit!

I will still read “The Night before Christmas” to my children on Christmas Eve. And we will continue to give presents and donate to charities during this time as well.

But I will take a little less time worrying about the lights on my front door and a little more time answering questions about ‘baby Jazus’ and his ‘farm birth’.


Shana..

Friday, 21 December 2012

LJ a birth story part 1

I should really be cleaning my house right now as it is one of those very rare occasions where both my children are sleeping. But, LJ has this innate ability to know the moment I want to accomplish anything that involves cleaning and he wakes up! I swear to you it is like he is secretly linked in and knows that I hate cleaning. If only he realized how much I love a clean house! (Don’t ask how a woman who doesn’t like cleaning wants things clean....I need a maid!)

Also I figure since it is a public holiday, Hubby Dearest will be home just after one today. He can then play with Lil Mister while I accomplish something! He’ll probably want to go fishing in which case I’ll be kicking myself for not doing anything now! ;-)
Oh but the point of this post! ;-)
LJ has officially become a part of our family! He was always a part of it but now he is here! REALLY! I still can’t believe it! He sits in his pram next to me now, sleeping peacefully and I just keep staring. It’s like I’ve never seen a baby before!
And Lil Mister suddenly seems HUGE to me! When I got home from the hospital I just couldn’t believe how big he was! As if he grew overnight!
So, how was it you ask?
Let’s start with Sunday! That was the 9th December. I woke up with this pain in my bum that was unbearable. I made a joke out it the rest of the week saying I had a pain in my ass and it wasn’t Hubby Dearest! Oh please, he isn’t a pain but it was hilarious....the first two or three times I said it. I think the hormones where putting my logic path on repeat because I probably said it 100 times everyday! ;-)
I chalked the whole pain up to a pulled muscle at my stupidity of climbing on and off of our barstools at the house all night Saturday why we had a braai. It would spasm to where I couldn’t even walk. I’m pretty sure everyone at church thought I’d lost my mind!
Monday I got up and decided to take a nap! Don’t laugh, I’m not joking. I woke up at 6 am with Lil Mister and decided right there and then that I would be taking a nap that day! And you know what.....I did! Hehe I finally got off the couch around 2 in the afternoon and cleaned (and I mean superwoman cleaned!) my house before Hubby Dearest got home.

At 5pm when I collected Lil Mister from school, I was back to not being able to walk! I looked like a rabid dog whose leg had been mangled! Besides the fact that I was in my last week of pregnancy and had just cleaned our house from top to bottom in less than 3 hours; I was wearing a shirt of Hubby Dearest and would stand there with my leg pulled up not touching the ground. It’s like the contact between ground and foot sent pains shooting through the left side of my ass! Just take a moment and picture it! Oh yea....sexy!
That evening I told Hubby Dearest that I didn’t think I would make it to Saturday. I’m a friggin’ Nostradamus if you didn’t realize! No actually I think it was more a statement of me willing myself into labor because I was tired of the pain and the only available straight from hell heat we’ve been experiencing in the valley here! (Rain is a rumor here!)
Tuesday I decided to do nothing....again! I went to Ma’s early (okay it was a little after 9 am but that was early!). We spent the entire day sitting at the outside table drinking coffee and chatting. We did manage to take apart the crib that was still at her house! Oh, and we drug out about another entire bukkie load of stuff I needed to bring home! (We’ve been here for 3 weeks and I’m still moving in :-/)
When I got back from collecting Lil Mister at 3 that afternoon I couldn’t even walk into the house! I literally was so hunched over from the pain in my ass that I was almost crawling. Ma lays out a blanket and tells me to lie on my back with my legs over the chair. I lay there while watching Dr. Oz for the first time! Freaking AH-mazing show!
Needless to say I felt completely pathetic. After 30 minutes I do a few laps (walking at a pace a turtle would have passed me!) around the pool. Still in pain! I was begging for labor at this point! I’m pathetic and a wimp...I know. But really, contractions are one kind of pain. This was just an annoying, irritation that was screwing up my whole week!
I should have known what I was getting myself into!
Tuesday night, we were very busy around the house. By the time dinner was done, I was not in the mood or condition to do anything!
Things really hit the fan then. When going to bed it took Hubby Dearest almost 15 minutes to get me there! I was in agony at this stage from this pain. Not a single contraction in 3 days but a dehabilitating muscle spasm.
The adorable part about this was when putting Lil Mister to bed I was in tears. He keeps putting his arm around me and comforting me! He is a gem!
Hubby put a heat pad on me, then ice, then massaged, and repeat. I swear to everything he is the greatest! He even got up with Lil Mister that night because I could barely manage the ten feet walk to our bathroom on time to go let alone get down the hallway to him L Again...pathetic!
Eventually (at about 2am) I fell asleep.
Stay tuned for part two! ;-)
Shana..

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Reality TV leads to social media breakthrough

Every week Jen over at SomethingClever2.0 gives us a new topic to write about. It’s posted on the Theme Thursday page. Now I’ve missed a couple of weeks because I’ve been a little preoccupied. If you’re just joining me you can learn all about it here!
 
But I’m back and we’re all feeling great!
We got posed a question about reality TV this week. I have to admit the first thing I thought of was the Kardashians! Haha pathetic if you really think about it, but they have made themselves a household name across the world.
What I don’t understand the most about reality TV is how do people get famous off of airing their dirty laundry? What is our obsession with watching the every move of complete strangers?
That is what they are too. No matter how many episodes we see. No matter how many family brawls we witness. No matter how much of their personal and private information is leaked across the volumes of social networking; they are still strangers to us.
We can watch hours upon hours of their life stories (and most of the time I do believe it is made up stories we are watching) but we still don’t know what it is that makes these people tick. We don’t know the ins and outs of their personalities. We only know the surface of it all.
It takes me back to the beginnings of reality TV! Oh yes I was a mere child at this point but I remember it fondly.
With young parents, I was always exposed to what was hip and in! So when MTV birthed ‘The Real World’ you can believe my mom was home and watching every episode the moment it was aired!
Then came Road Rules and subsequently the Real World verses Road Rules. Oh, the days of the Gauntlet! We even had an encyclopedia of the seasons of The Real World and I was a thriving 10 year old that could eloquently recite each cast member as well as where they came from for each season! What a gem!
The pathetic depth of my The Real World knowledge was proven when the MIZ first arrived on WWE. Not a show I particularly ever liked but fell into my husbands routine of watching it in South Africa. When the MIZ first came on the scene, there were many household debates about ‘who’ exactly he was.
Google won me the battle after weeks of arguing that he had appeared on The Real World and was one of the most controversial cast members they ever had. I remember his antics followed him onto RRvsRW and swore he’d portray the same arrogance on WWE. (I really should have betted money on that one!) Finally, I googled the answer (like I always do!) and secured my place in the house as the Queen of Shinfo. (Please that word is copywrited!)
Oh, the joys of useless knowledge that are poured into our brains via the TV and especially reality TV! Why on earth did I know Kim Kardashian had begun dating Kanye after her split from Chris or the fact that Alexa from Jerseylicious was pregnant? It is beyond my comprehension how I can sit for mindless minutes as Etv gracefully updates me on all the behind doors action that is so openly public!
What has happened? How will this reality TV situation affect my children?
Then I turn to my blog. Yes, I choose and filter the information that is put out there. But I cannot filter who reads it nor how they interpret or use it.
We live in a society today that media has taken over. Are our Facebook accounts much less of a reality TV show at all?
Yes some of us possess that ability to control what we post or write about. However, countless times I scroll through my news feed and read personal details about other peoples lives. Reality TV has made it socially acceptable to put all our business out there.
As we watch other families tear each other apart, make complete asses (excuse the French) of themselves, and create a multimillion dollar network of it, we’ve created a world in which our mishaps no longer seem so bad.
So we publically air how we’re fighting and then making up with our spouses. We discuss the personal lives of our friends for the world to read. We use social media to put ourselves out there in hopes to be seen. However, we aren’t always being real.
Personas are created via social media (Tila Tequila for example) in which we then must live up to in real life. Jobs are checking our online accounts before hiring. Schools are banning teachers and children from being friends on these networks even.
Reality TV was just the beginning of a new era. One we are experiencing at it’s height now.
I love my blog and the fact that I have a place to turn to and that I can at least control what I put out there. Discretion is a virtue if patience ever was. But do I think that we are on a good track for our children?
Okay, I know this is about Reality TV. I just feel that Reality TV is what is making it socially acceptable to air our entire lives for the world to see. This in return has opened many doors to which everything has been taken to a new level.
I’m guilty of tuning into the latest Kardashian scandal and I love (literally) to see the girls on Jerseylicious duke it out once more. Oh heck, I even tend to get a little overwhelmed at the shallowness of Big Rich Texas families. However, I question how to protect my boys from the controversy of it all.
How do I keep them in line? When do I allow them to begin to venture out into this social media and “reality” world? How do I explain to them that what we live each day is reality and what they see on TV isn’t? How do I educate them to understand that when we watch the “reality TV” the consequences of the actions we see lies with those people in the TV but when they venture onto the internet and social media the consequences lies with ourselves and the people we interact with?
It is all a little overwhelming. So, would I ever want to be on a “reality TV” show?
It’s simple really, no. I don’t want myself or my family exposed in such a manner. I do not want personalities created for us based on what “the people” want to see. Because actually all that “the people” want to see is that other people and families are just as messed up as their own and that they don’t need to feel so bad.

I know we all have our “closets” somewhere and for some reason and I don’t need my aired for others  to feel better.

How many of us can actually relate in any way to these “reality TV” stars in any case?
Shana..


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Spouse for a day- One Classy Motha {Guest Post}

So Shana posed the question to me..."What if you could be your spouse for the day?" Well that's easy, if I could be my spouse for the day, I would finally be able to find my way out of a paper bag! Brian has this uncanny ability to to find a location without even glancing at a map (yet he can't find the mayo in the refrigerator. I don't get it).
I, on the other hand, have been making u-turns since I was 16. Take our trip to the local corn maze as an example...

Day 1- A corn maze sounded innocent enough. “Good, wholesome family fun” they said. “Should take you 15 minutes” they said. Lies, bullshit, and lies. So far we’ve been trudging in here for hours.
Day 2- We lost Brian about 5 miles back. The kids and I suspect he was just hanging back to scare us because he said something about a horror film then disappeared. But we’ve made so many turns I don’t see how he could have kept up with us. Now the kids are peeing their pants every time the wind blows. Thanks Brian. Thanks.
Day 3- It’s important that we keep moving. Collin had a mini break down today, crying because he misses his father. I begged him to keep it together by yelling, “He’s gone, gone, I tell you! And we can’t afford to waste time crying about it. I’m the head of this household now, and I will get us out of here, damn it!”
Pull it together, man!
Besides, doesn’t he realize his father was just bringing morale down with his “I told you we shouldn’t have done this” and “there’s probably an ax murderer in here” attitude. Good riddance Mr. Dead Weight.
Day 4- If I hear “This looks familiar” one more time I swear to god I’m going to go bat shit crazy! Of course it looks familiar, it’s all corn corn corn!!!!

Day 5- Up until now I’ve been leading our little troop by using my gut instincts, and it’s apparent to everyone that my instincts suck. Most of my time today will be spent questioning all my life decisions that have led me to this moment.
It took me 5 days to admit that Cornfield angels weren’t guiding me out of here, I now know we need a system. It was my idea that we start marking our trail by spelling out ‘Screw you Schmidt’s Farm’ with corn ears every 30 feet, but the kids thought it would take too long so we switched it up. Now we’re making corn silk hands giving the middle finger. The finger points the way.
FYI- turns out the kids were right about it looking familiar, we just stumbled on some middle fingers. We’ve been going in circles. They made me apologize.
Day 6- I don’t know how much longer we can survive, we’ve eaten all the crackers and mints found at the bottom of my purse and we’re down to the last water bottle. I’ve been reflecting on every wilderness movie I’ve ever seen, hoping to remember some survival techniques. Unfortunately, the only movie I can recall in any detail is “Alive”.
Two things are for sure: 1. I refuse to eat my kids no matter how hungry I get…they’re full of preservatives and red dye #4, and 2. We’ll all be forced to drink our own urine soon. I plan on paying Collin $5 to go first so I can see if I’d rather die of dehydration.
Day 7- I tripped over a skeleton today. My guess is, because she’s alone, she ate her children but drew the line at drinking her own urine. What a horrible decision, everyone knows you can go longer without food than water. …or maybe her kids ate her…crap.
Note: I’m assuming it’s a “she” because I’m starting to buy into the whole stereotype that woman are bad with directions.
Day 8- Mr. Johnny Come Lately found us. He claims he’s been out of the maze 3 times looking for us. I can’t help but to think he’s telling the truth because his red solo cup is full of fresh Chardonnay*.
*Did I mention it’s at a vineyard? Why else would I go???
Day 9- Is it wrong to hope that our new leader gets us lost too- at least for a little while? I don’t want the kids to have a story that starts with “Remember the time mom led us into the cornfields to die, but dad saved us?”
Day 10- Well, Mr.Perfect did it. La.Dee.Friggin.Da.

“Our Hero!” the kids cheered. I should have eaten them all with a side of fermented corn.
Time Key: 1 Day = 5 minutes.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Curry and Rice (or Toast!)


I’ve learnt so much about cooking since moving to South Africa.

I worked in restaurants since I was old enough to begin volunteering at the age of 12 in America. The day I turned 16 I began working officially in the restaurants and until I was offered my current office job, I’d never really left them. It was all I knew and I knew I was good at it.

However, it may surprise you that even though I have training in the kitchens, I hadn’t really learnt a lot about technique. I didn’t work in those types of restaurants. I’m pretty good at throwing things together and if you give me a recipe I can master it, but my overall cultural knowledge was limited!

Oh heck, I couldn’t even understand what in the heck mince was for the longest time when I moved to South Africa because I’d always known it as ground beef! I thought they were feeding me ground lamb! I SWEAR!

I love though how much Ma has taught me and that I’ve been able to merge the American ways with the South African ways in a lot of meals.

This one is however strictly what Ma taught me!

I have fallen in LOVE with curry since living in South Africa. It is not something I was so exposed to in my home growing up. I had no idea how to cook with it or how it would taste! But it is WONDERFUL! Especially having spent so much time in Durban, curry is a staple in our household now!

I want to share with you a simple but amazing meal. Curry and Rice! It really is easy, lovely, and delicious! Best of all....it is quick and versatile!

Todays version uses stewing beef. However you can use mince, chicken, even shrimp! Whatever suits your families tastes!

This recipe is based to feed just my husband and I so you will need to adjust accordingly. As well, you will need to be willing to taste test! The measurements are guestimates as I don’t usually measure but just throw together and adjust as we go!!

 

250g stewing beef
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 ½ c frozen mixed vegetables
2 tbl curry powder (choose your strength!)
1 tbl sugar

5 tbl vinegar
3 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp tumeric
Salt and pepper to taste

 

1.       Brown your onion over medium heat

2.       Add your stewing beef. Brown slightly. Add 1tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.

3.       Add water until meat is just covered. Add ½ tsp curry powder. Cook on medium heat until tender and begins to shred from bone. About 30 minutes. (If wanting a quicker way I suggest using mince or chicken which can be fried up in minutes!)

4.       Add potatoes after 20 minutes.

5.       Add vegetables after 5 minutes (or when potatoes are about half way done!)

6.       Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft but still holding together! We're not making mash in here people!

7.       Make sure to keep water level just above the contents of pot!

8.       Mix curry powder, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch in a mug. It needs to be thinner than a paste but thicker than a normal liquid. Think tomato sauce consistency!


9.       Add to pot and stir. Bring to boil while stirring then turn down to low heat. Allow to simmer about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add more cornstarch if necessary to achieve the desire consistency of sauce you are looking for. We like quite a bit of sauce to soak into the rice or toast. It should be the thickness of gravy usually. You can also add more curry, sugar ect to achieve a taste your family will like! Serve over rice or toast!


See I told you it was easy! I really hope you enjoy this and if you have any questions just ask! My husband (and son!) both love to add a little bit of chutney and sliced bananas to the top of theirs! I like mine plain! Try it both ways!

Monday, 17 December 2012

If you weren't aware.....

Then you desperately need to get with the picture! Why aren't you following my twitter or facebook?
Jeeze friends!!
Currently I am eating through needless amounts of data because I am typing one handed!! Are you catching up yet?? ;-)
That's right!! LJ has joined our world!! He graced us with his presence at13:35 on 12/12/12!! Lucky baby! We'll get the whole story up soon enough....give some patience!!
Please don't misunderstand me, either. As much as I would love to hold him 24/7 I learnt my lesson with Lil Mister and we are doing very good about not sleeping in the arms!
However, somehow, in a manner in which only God himself can truly know or understand, BOTH my boys have contracted pink eye. This is unfathomable because we have been NO WHERE since we got home Friday! I do not have it and neither does Hubby Dearest. So please explain where they got it! Also Lil Mister hasn't been in school since Wednesday morning!
It is as if the virus just waltz into my house last night and planted itself happily in my children! RAWR!
So we are battleing with sleep at this moment!
Still, he is precious and I enjoy holding him so any excuse is better than none right!

Lil Mister is adjusting so amazingly! All my fears are surpassed! We have our moments where Lil Mister wants attention and it breaks my heart to have to say to him wait because LJ is eating, but he is head over heels for his brother!
He makes sure EVERYONE knows that is his Boeta and asks to hold him quite often! He is gentle, gives kisses, and comforts him when he crys!
I am truly blessed! And with that I leave you for today! Thanks for your continued reading! ;-)

Shana..now mother of two!!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Spouse for a Day by FTM {Guest Post}

**This is a guest blog from the amazing April over at First Time Mom and Dad Take on Parenting! If you haven't heard of her then obviously you are living under a rock! I suggest you go check her out now!

When Shana first told me the topic of the guest blog, I immediately
thought, I would kiss my ass! Naturally that’s what I want my husband to
do. Kiss my ass honey! Sometimes I want him to “kiss it” as in, I am his
queen and he should bow down, and other times I want him to “kiss it”
because he is a tool. Either way he, on average, should be kissing my ass
about 95% of the time. However, if I were actually him, the last thing I
would want to do for 24-hours is kiss my own ass!

Still, I am going to spend then next 24-hours as my husband living to the
fullest. I will be fulfilling all of my wants and desires for my husband,
and just being a man in general…

*6:00am *

Wake up get dressed in loose fitting jeans a comfy soft t-shirt and
flip-flops, then head out the door to the closest breakfast buffet. I would
probably just pull up a chair to the buffet so I could go crazy on it. I
would keep a steady handful of bacon in my left hand and shovel pancakes,
eggs, biscuits, gravy, cheese, grits, French toast and everything else I
normally go without into my mouth. Then like a man, I would go poop it all
out 4 minutes later, return to the buffet and sit down for round two.

Next I would head straight over to the hypnotist. I would get hypnotized
to clean, cook and be the most agreeable husband with a few simple signals.
(AWESOME!)

Once I am sufficiently a well-behaved tool, I would go to the beach and
take off my shirt and run around. Swim top-less and not care that my abs
were not tight and perfect. I would then beach myself like a whale to
sleep off breakfast. Oh, and the second I have to pee I would run over to
the nearest tree and pee standing up. I would probably try to write
something with my pee to see if it is really possible.

By this point it would be close to lunch time, so I would head over to the
nearest pub and take 10 shots and drink 10 pints to see what it’s like to
drink my weight in booze and still not be falling down drunk. For lunch I
would order the entire fried food menu, and dip it all in mayonnaise and
sour cream. Then I would go out back, pee standing up again, and then go
home for another nap.

Once I have sufficiently slept off the beer and fried food comatose, I
would jump in the car and head to the nearest shopping center. I would
bust out all of my husbands credit cards and go bat shit crazy! I would
buy everything I want, some great stuff for the baby, and maybe, if there
were any money left over, something a man would actually want.

Next, I would go back home and do the stuff around the house that only a
man could do… and has been putting off because he is a lazy shit. I know
working is probably not the best way to spend my day as my husband… but you
know how the saying goes… “If you want something done right…” Plus, I
don’t have the muscles the ape does.



Once the work is done I would take a shower, order take away at our
favorite restaurant, spend some time with my baby, because by this point I
would miss his soooo much, and then finish the day eating yet another
ridiculously fattening dinner washed down with a few more high calorie
pints. Finally, one more lap around the neighborhood shirtless with a stop
at the neighbor’s tree for a pee. Then off to bed, because I am sure at
this point not only would I be worn out, I would be missing being womanly
me!

 Thanks again for this opportunity. Many prayers and blessing to you and
 your new and +1 improved family. Big Hugs!

 April

Thursday, 13 December 2012

39 weeks bumpdate {I missed week 38!}

We’re here. We’re at the end. We’ve made it! NOW GET OUT! Hehe I’m just kidding. But I am really ready to be holding Boetie and delighting in the completion of my family! I can’t believe I’ve carried this far. I was so sure I was going to go early. The family is holding thumbs, saying prayers, and giving homeopath advice because they all want Boetie to be born on the 15th! If I can just hold out until the 17th though my gynae will be back from his vacation and I can leave the stress of not having him deliver Boetie behind. We will just wait and see how things go! I just pray that by this time next week I’m no longer posting weekly pregnancy updates! ;-)


Total Weight Gain:
I HAVE NO IDEA! But I’ll make sure to weigh myself the moment I get to the hospital! ;0

This week, Baby is: ????

How far along? 39 weeks, 4 days (Kind of…so we think…guestimate…)

Due date: 6-18 Dec 2012 :-/

Total weight gain/loss: I have no idea because I haven’t been on a scale!! ;-)

Maternity clothes?  No! I officially made it to the end of my pregnancy without shopping for clothes! I’m so happy! Now I can wait until right before I return to work and reward myself for my weight control during pregnancy with some new office clothes! (Surprisingly I am actually very excited about this!)

Sleep: I’m sorry what is this??

Best moment this week: Taking a nice long quiet bath in the middle of the day Monday! Haha only when you have children can you appreaciate the value of silence!

Food cravings: Baked potatoes! OMW…I’d eat this everyday!

Movement: He is still very active! Moving around all day and especially in the evenings before bed!

Symptoms: I’ve had a pain in my bum! Lol But seriously. We aren’t sure if it is a pulled muscle (I don’t sit down to often with Lil Mister!) or if Boetie is laying on a nerve. If it is a muscle I’m worried about spasms. If it is a nerve, Ma swears I had this also right before going into labor with Lil Mister because of how small I am and where the kids lay in me! I have blocked out the last two weeks of pregnancy with Lil Mister I think because I don’t remember much of anything…except cheesecake! (I heard a rumor I might be able to order cheesecake in hospital..this better be true or my whole experience is now ruined with this hospital!! Haha)

Labor Signs: I am having very firm contractions, but they are so random and sporadic! I know I’m not there yet, but Boetie has officially dropped! It looks like I have a watermelon in me….ooo…watermelon sounds SO good!

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

Swelling? It has gone down tremendously except in my face. I also had swelling in my face very bad at the end with Lil Mister, but no worries, my blood pressure and protein are fine. It’s just the way my body retains water!

Belly Button in or out? It is most definitely out!

What I miss: SLEEP…but since I’ve accepted that I won’t recognize that for the next, oh, 20 years haha I’m missing my family a lot right now. Between pregnancy and the holiday season this is normal!

Feeling toward Pregnancy: OVER IT! I’m ready to meet my son!

What I am looking forward to: The time at home with Lil Mister and Boetie together! Completing our little family.

Milestones: Boetie dropped!

News: I realized Sunday that I hadn’t bought a dummy yet for Boetie! What is wrong with me?? So that was my mission on Tuesday. Another day of not resting and being in town lol! Also my bags are officially 99% packed! It is all the last minute things on my checklist that I can not pack until we leave. I.E. my hairbrush (because I use it every day!!)

GENERAL NEEDS
© 4-6 Tommy Tippee bottles
© Dummy
© Toweling nappies
© Hats
© Bibs
© Socks
© Stage 2 diapers
© Stage 3 diapers
© Wet wipes
© Breast pads
© 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 4!!)
© 4x cotton pants (with feet)
© 2x summer jammies
© 4-6x T-shirts
© 3-5x Rompers (I got 1!!)
© 3-5x Onesies (I got 3!!)

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

 
Shana
 

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