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Friday, 30 January 2015

Now you are one

Dear Keiden,

You're one today. I can't believe that it's been a whole year since the day we met you. Monkey, you were the tiniest little person, your feet were smaller than my thumbs. You've held daddy and me captive since that first moment. Even now, we're still taking peeks at you at night when you're sleeping - a bit more of that would be good too, by the way.

This is from your first day home. You were so tiny, you barely fit across daddy's lap.
I've not been the best at keeping track of the day you did something for the first time, but I do know that we'll always remember them. You've had many firsts Keiden, the best of which was you smiling and laughing. Everyday you and I have a tickle fest, and you laughing at a silly face I make just makes my day. Right now though, you find me going "Sheep go baa baa" to be the funniest thing ever. Which I'm hoping balances out daddy teaching you that farts are funny.

You went through a stick your tongue out phase, although I think I got you mid laugh in this photo.
Monkey you love books, it makes me so happy. Everyday we read together, your favourites right now are Toddle Waddle and Rocket Racers. When we read Toddle Waddle it's always at least two reads. If we're not reading to you, you're very happy to take a book or two off the shelf and read by yourself. It's something I hope you keep on enjoying.

Sometimes one book at a time isn't enough.
You love food, bath time and when I hold you upside down. There hasn't been anything that you tried that you didn't like. You love cheese, fish, bananas, avo and finishing daddy's smoothies. I think bath time is one of your favourite times of day, because it's you and daddy time. You love your daddy so much, love. When you hear the garage door close you start making your way to the door to wait for him. And then start bouncing on the spot when you see your daddy.

Keiden you're friendly most of the time, you'll happily go off with anyone - but you do prefer the ladies, even better if they're blonde - but when you're done with people you're done. You hide away or push people's hands away when you've had enough. I hope you remember to do that for yourself. On Monday you got waving hello and bye-bye down, and when we went to the shops everyone got a wave.

Keiden when you're grumpy, you are grumpy - something you got from daddy, I'm sure. Nothing has your stubborn streak showing more than when you're having a grumpy. Often it's because I won't let you do something dangerous, like climb onto the table from a chair or my lap...and you'll keep on trying until we leave the room. Monkey, keeping on trying is really good, but you should balance that out with not doing things that'll hurt, okay?

You are such a busy little guy. You go everywhere, and you love unpacking all the cupboards and drawers...every day, often. So I often wonder why we even buy you any toys. You love telling stories, you are a regular chatter box. The words you have now (in order of which came first) are: baba, mama, dada, hmmm [ which you use for food & water], and your versions of yay [it's a higher pitched aah] and hi. You use them, or the start of the word to babble away. You like talking to people on the phone, but of course talking to daddy is best.

Keiden you are an affectionate little guy. You give hugs, big wet kisses and tummy kisses. Fortunately for mommy you also like getting hugs, kisses depend on your mood. The only person who gives a hug as good as yours is daddy.

Without a doubt you've changed daddy and I. And I'm sure we're both better people because of you. There are some big changes coming, but I know you'll be fine.

Love you,

Friday, 23 January 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, 22 January 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, 8 January 2015


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, 7 January 2015


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.

tums2tots columnist

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