Friday, January 23, 2015

Five for Friday: Catch Up Edition

On Sunday I turned 30. I've been assured it's the best decade, so we'll see how it goes. My usual birthday angst only hit me in a big way after my birthday. The day itself was great: good food, time with friends and great presents.

The presents deserve their own spot. I got books, books, vouchers for books, amazing tea, the very thoughtful gift of time in the form of pop in the oven meals, jewellery - which I am to pick out this weekend - and an early present of awesome.
This is a canvas of one of my favourite wedding photos. Best early birthday present ever, from the best husband :p

The day had an extra sheen to it because we found a flat, in Stellenbosch, where we'll be living come the end of February because Jerall has a new job.

Although I'm very excited about the move, and the new job for Jerall...it sparked off some post birthday angst. It did so because I'm jealous of Jerall. His current job has pulled out all the stops to get him to reconsider leaving. Hence my jealousy, I've never had that kind of professional experience. It also added angst in the "I'm supposed to be a grown up, why don't I have career stuff sorted?" line of thought. Which then got added to by Keiden having particularly difficult moments lately - so you know I then felt like a failure of a mommy. Such fine thoughts my brain keeps throwing my way.

In a week I won't have a baby any more, I'll have a toddler 0_o. The time has just disappeared, well except for the hours between 16:00 - and 19:00 everyday, those seem to last a lifetime. Keiden's birthday picnic is all planned, now I just need to do a test bake of his sugar free cake  - well it's added sugar free, as it has bananas and sultanas in it - this weekend, and find a piece of fabric that fits his theme to act as a picnic blanket.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Check your privilege

Three recent conversations had me realising that often we get so blinded by our confirmation bias, that we're unable to recognise our own sets of privilege. Two of the three conversations left me wanting to just slap those folks upside the head while saying "Check your privilege." The other was a reminder to myself that I too have moments where I need to check my privilege.

I look at privilege as being intertwined in terms of gender, class and race. So you could be privileged in terms of gender, but not in class or race...or really in any combination of the three.

The first conversation was me trying to explain to another women that by her desire for equal rights she is a feminist. She did admit that she was talking about the one extreme view of it when she labled herself as not a feminist. But the difficulty in the conversation for me was that she could not see that the system was designed to promote and take care of certain people - white, and male - and that the only way we will get it right is to change the system. And yes, that does mean you need to push for people of colour and women.

Her view, is that it's always supposed to be the best person for the job gets the job. Something I agree with. But the problem is that often the pool is narrowed to only pick the best from a selected group, and not all. And so the conversation went on in a repeating loop of the same variation, with both of us agreeing to disagree. Only I feel that in being able to firmly stick to equal rights in that form, it does speak to the privilege that the person who argues for that has.

I didn't really partake in the second conversation, so much as observed it. Two women who I follow on twitter were talking about how they don't understand people who rent once they leave university. They were of the opinion, buy small, fix and sell. For some that is a way of life that works. But the hangup for me was the after university portion. A lot of students leave university - or other forms of tertiary education - with massive amounts of student debt. Debt which needs to be paid off before you can consider bigger lifestyle decisions. So again for me, it reeked of "Check your privilege". Not everyone has their studies fully funded in some form. Not everyone manages to get the right kind of employment post studies. Just because some were fortunate enough to have things work out for them that way, doesn't mean you can apply that logic to all.

The third one was reminder to myself, that although there are instances where the system doesn't necessarily work for me, given that I'm a coloured female; I have had some advantages and have some class privilege. We have some gaming acquaintances from public games at a FLGS. One recently married couple are having a baby in June. I was chatting to the mom-to-be and asking her how the check-ups are going - I found the 13 week one to be anxiety inducing until they gave the all clear. She mentioned going to a government hospital for it, and being told that they don't do those.

And that was just a big slap upside the head, telling me that I need to check my privilege. When I was pregnant there was no question of having or not having tests. There was no going to a government hospital for check-ups, we just paid what we needed to see a gynae.

So yes, we all get blinded by our confirmation bias. And we need to remember that those we are surrounded by don't show the entire picture. Check your privilege.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rambling

Yesterday's post was odd for me. I had no clear idea of what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say anything, but it had to out. I don't enjoy writing like that, when things come gushing out and I have no control of it, it's odd and very unsettling.

Today is just a catch-up with what's going on with some thoughts/plans included.

Jerall was on leave for three weeks, and it was amazing just having another person around. Not just having a baby to talk to during the day does wonders for my mood. I only had a week of no work, but still it was better than no break at all. We also hit a bunch of firsts for Keiden: beach, Kirstenbosch, lego exhibit and a sleep over.

Someone enjoyed the sand.


Keiden's first Christmas was not that exciting for him; we had to start unwrapping his gifts to get him unwrapping them. He did however, as usual, enjoy all the food :). His first New Year's Eve was a bit rough, he had a cold, but we stayed over at friend's and the sleep over part went well.

I'm ten days away from turning thirty, and having a few pity parties. It's because according to my plan for what a grown-up should be at thirty...that's not me at all. I'm working on changing the plan, or at least being a bit okay with how that's not me. 

We make plans, and life happens despite it.

But I'm still a person who likes making plans. Only I'm not the best at sticking to them fully. Which got me thinking about all those folks who talk about a word for the year. Typical me I don't have a word, I have a phrase...and not just one, but two 0_o. Stick To It, and the other is Me Too.

As I mentioned yesterday I'm feeling buried under parenthood. So I need to remember to consider me and what I want too. I always put my guys first, and it's become a habit that I find myself doing the same with everyone else. Yes, I take less bull from people, but if it's easier and I don't crazily care, then I do what others want. 

It used to be that some things just weren't the fight, but now it feels like everything isn't worth the fight.

Hence my phrases: I can't get Me Too right if I don't Stick To It.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thoughts

I'm feeling buried under parenthood. I've become very worried about those developmental stuff, and knowing great babies (especially baby girls) hasn't helped. Which is sad for both Keiden and I. He doesn't need his mom comparing him to other kids already. And for me it's just pointing out how little I have that's mine.*

Nothing makes this more clear than when we're with friends doing what we did before Keiden - gaming, just hanging out, the usual.** My focus is laser pointed on him, how he's doing, what he's doing that it feels like I might as well not be there with other people. I'm not disputing that he shouldn't have my attention, but at what point do I get to find me again?

A friend says that we're always mommy first. I look at it differently; we're ourselves first - it's just that mommy is a big part of it.

I think that having a child does something very similar to your sense of self that finding your person does. It changes who you were to something new, changes your focus. And it's finding the balance that is tricky.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

Mini Santa says " Have a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. Enjoy all the new games :) ."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Five for Friday: Random Thoughts


  • I'm learning lessons about eating from Keiden's adventures with eating. Basically; slow down, take your time and enjoy it. It's only from watching him, that I realised I'd lost the art of savouring my food.
  • We had a reality check on just where all the expendable income went pre-baby. We traded in a lot of games to get Dragon Age: Inquisition. It was scary that we had enough to get the game outright. 
  • Thesis submission season is a major energy drain. I've gotten a lot of last minute requests - by last minute I mean requests 10 days before submission. Somehow the impression exists that editing is quick and easy.
  • I miss wearing dresses. It's currently topping my list of downsides to breastfeeding.
  • I'm trying to find easy, delicious mini breakfast eats - it's my Christmas day eats responsibility - so point me to any you love please.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five for Friday


  • I've sort-of started a project to print and potentially frame some photos. I call it Project Frame, but I think I might do some photo-books, and faceblocks from PrintWild. I've started with Keiden's first pic out my tummy, and one of Jerall and I on his 21st. The last photos I've printed before this were some from our wedding.
  • I have finally figured out what I'd like my clothing style to be. So it's a slow purge and shop for getting to that point. I'm aiming for not getting too many items of clothing too soon, especially because I'm still lugging around a lot of pregnancy weight.
  • I'm in loathe with my body, and can't quite get things right to fix it.
  • I am trying to be less grumpy about my body by at least dressing everyday. It's incredibly easy to just wear a frumpy t-shirt and shorts/leggings when you don't leave the house. I'm hoping by changing that I'll feel less blegh.
  • A crawling K has me cleaning spots that would only get tackled once a month, all the time now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Catching up

It's been awhile...again. But I'll at least have managed a post a month. There's not much to say really, which I will take as a good thing.

A big moment for us though is Keiden has started to crawl. He has been doing so since Friday - yay him :). I'd been thinking that he might be one of those don't crawl babies, especially as he seemed content to bum hop everywhere.

No news on the buying a house front. We've put in offers twice now, & lost both times :-/.

I'm working on cutting out sugar again, & fixing my portion sizes. I feel like my eating has gotten out of hand, and I really want to be on top of it when my birthday arrives. Just under two months till 30 o_0.

I have ideas for posts, and am just not getting them out. So I clearly need to work on having a schedule of sorts and sticking to it. I'll see how it goes, as end pf the year fatigue has set in. And I'm only getting a week break - the week between Christmas and New Year.

How are you doing? How do you deal with end of the year fatigue?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Breaking-up with a retailer is hard to do

First there was the packing of a leaky packet of meat on top of fresh strawberries - we excused it, new packer who made a mistake. Still tweeted about it, details taken, action and a phone call promised, but nothing happened.

Then there was ripen at home avos that went mouldy in a week. We thought, okay maybe there was something we could have done to not have that happen. But decided it's better to not buy fresh fruit and veg from them any more. Tweeted about it, details taken, action and a phone call promised, and yet again nothing happened.

Then yesterday we bought Kiri blocks on a fantastic special. Only to get home and discover that it was a fantastic special because they were selling three week old stock. Stock that I nearly fed my baby, but fortunately managed to notice the best before date on the box.

Yip, it says: BB 04 10 2014


Tweeted, and got the usual details please we'll look into it. This time I said you have it already, and I don't expect you to do anything because you haven't before.

It might just be me, but how many people check best before dates of things on special, besides milk? We place trust in our retailers, especially the big ones. But it's official Pick n Pay and I have broken up. It really is them, and not me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I really, really hate sucking it up

About a month or so ago Keiden and I had hit a really good spot. Sure he was still waking up once a night, but it easy enough to deal with. Especially because we'd hit a workable routine, some days were still bad, but for the most part we had good days more often than not.

And then, I started to panic that I was overfeeding him/doing something wrong. Which was brought on by chats with other moms. And yes, I know you're not supposed to compare your baby to others. You show me someone who doesn't do this, and I'll show you a liar.

You do compare, just by chatting and keeping up with other parents you are comparing. For the most part it helps you have some sort of base for knowing if what you're doing is a reasonably good thing. But then you have moments where it really sucker punches you.

I got sucker punched hard.

So then I got all panicked about things. I work really well when I have a base set of rules and information to work with. A guide, that allows for me to go off and do my own thing, with the assurance that I have a baseline to return to. So for that reason I felt like I really hit my mommy groove with solids. Which made my worry about overfeeding Keiden this massive thing.

So last week we went to clinic. At which I got told that Keiden should be eating more, but because he's getting milk feeds in between meals he doesn't get hungry. And that that, and the process of teething are probably reasons why he isn't sleeping though. So that plus the paed saying at our six month visit that by nine months he should be down to four feeds I stopped breastfeeding him to sleep at nap time.

It has been a week of awful. The bedtime battles we were having before escalated, and nap time became an hour to an hour and a half fight that ended with him crying himself to sleep in my arms. And this because I was working with a guide.

Mandy has this great post about finding her mommy instinct. I'm not there. It's hard for me to not to have a base set of rules inform about 80% of what I'm doing. So now to add to my suck it up list this this jealousy of how she found her groove.

This is the thing, there is no way out of this dark hole I'm finding myself in other than sucking it up. And I really, really hate sucking it up. But I need to. Because all this fighting with Keiden is really turning each day into a massive struggle just to get through it.

I'm now so jealous of moms who work at an office. Working at home, with baby is just unbelievably hard. I would so love to have the clear delineation between work time, and doing stuff with my kid time.

It all jut boils down to being tired. I'm so tired of being the one with him all the time. Doing everything for him. There are two things I really need;  none of which I'll get. One a day just to sit and do nothing for anyone else. And the second, a good cry. Which requires that day because I get my best cathartic cries from watching the first two seasons of Greys Anatomy.

Now time to suck it up.