A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, and coffee.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

On loneliness

There is nothing quite as lonely as the loneliness you experience when you're not alone. Yes, being a work at home mom means I get to be there for and with Keiden, but it can be bone achingly lonely.

No one tells you about this. Sure there are the cuddles and being there for new experiences, but you and a baby all day Monday to Friday takes a toll. Since Keiden was one week old, it's just been the two of us...and yes in the early days it was necessary. But once you're past the haze of adapting, you start to notice how much you miss getting to talk to people who aren't your husband. Your husband who's also tired, and had a work day, and tries to do the best he can to help you get your talk on...but who also needs his moment of just being.

Yes, you get out. Go for walks, sometimes see people...but you can't do that all day, everyday. So you suck it up...and deal...and forget just how much you enjoy being social with someone face to face till you get to do so again. Then you make yourself forget that you like being social, because otherwise it's just too hard. And you content yourself with twitter, blogs, and whatsapp.
You'd think it'd be easier with Keiden being bigger now, doing more. But it's harder now. Because he needs more from me, and my batteries recharge by being around people.

Mandy is working on something, and asked me what's the one thing no one told you about. This came to mind.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

On feelings

Lately it feels as if I've been having all the feelings. Something which doesn't sit well with me at all. I find it so strange that I'm this awkward with emotion.  And by awkward I mean really uncomfortable with it all besides telling Jerall and Keiden that I love them.

As I'm typing this I'm struggling to remember when [if] last I told someone besides them that I loved them. Or cared for them...or anything really. I'm quite perturbed by this all. It's not helping me do my fake it till I make it or ignore it till it goes away. I just...don't know.

This being a grown-up, and what makes you an adult business is tough.

And to top off all this feeling there's another bout of I'm such a loser going on. I failed my driver's again. My nerves get in my way. So much so that my instructor says that I need something to calm me down, because rescue doesn't work. With driving everything goes a-okay, till the day before the test...then nothing works. And it's so frustrating because before that it's all going well, and I'm feeling good...till I'm not.

Added to that we checked out a playgroup/day care/school for Keiden yesterday. They're lovely, tick all the boxes, but they won't let me do the settle him in process the way I want to. My plan was go with him at first, get him used to the space, and then slowly leave him there alone for longer and longer periods till he was eventually doing his half day by himself. They say it'll be easier if we start the way we mean to carry on. Guys, that just seems so cruel to do that to him. He's hardly ever not had a parent with him. Gah. Any thoughts on this would be great.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Five for Friday

I may have made a mommy friend at the park. The process of figuring out if I did, is so scary. I'm plagued by do I message, when do I do so, what tone should I take - messaging when next we go to the park, with something along the lines of we're going to the park, want to join us? This anxiety is probably not that dissimilar to dating. Social interactions are so awkward, I'm still wondering just how much of a dork I was.

A week or two ago I saw a tweet that said "If you see something that you can do in 2 minutes do it." I've been working at doing just that, and when I do do it, it's great. So much so that I feel silly for not doing so when I should.

Keiden has been sleeping in his room at night for about a week, and I think he's finally settled. We had some big bedtime battles, but they seem to be settling down. The night wakes aren't easier for me, getting out of bed instead of just reaching over and taking him out of the cot means I wake more, but I do think he's self settling some times. Before when he was in the room with us I would get him just as he started murmuring, since he's moved I get to him as he starts climbing out of his bed* (it might be later than other wakes, or it could be the darkness of winter...I'm opting for it being a bit later).

I have figured out why I'm uneasy with being told having a kid is an accomplishment. To me, that thinking is driven by seeing your child as an extension of yourself, when s/he is not. Your kid is a person wholly unto themselves. The accomplishment comes when they're older, and you've done your job as a parent by raising someone who finds their own way in the world, and isn't a total ass. Your parental status is not an accomplishment. And besides finding accomplishment in being able to procreate takes away from those parents who birthed their child in their hearts.

And last, but certainly not least the giveaway winner is, Issi. I will mail you with your voucher details.

*It's a floor mattress, mister-rolls-around-a-lot would have big trouble in a bed on a base.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


I'm in one of those I want to post, but what to post phases. So you get a Currently post ;). A reminder that today is the last day for entries in the giveaway.

 Masterchef Australia season 7. The skill that this years contestants have is astounding.

Reading: The Long War, and getting my theory on with Before Reading - Narrative Conventions and the Politics of Interpretation.

Listening: Mostly podcasts, still  Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, in particular. It really makes for great work listening.

Doing: Parking practice, parking practice, parking practice. Taking Keiden for walks, colouring in, practising the ukulele, applying for scary part-time - because somehow I'll find a way to fit in more work 0_o.

Contemplating:  Parking practice ;). We're in the process of looking at a playgroup for Keiden. He'd go Tuesday to Thursday for half a day. It'll be fun for him, and allow me some time to get back to myself. And have a break. It's just been me and him all day, every weekday since he was 1 week old...and I'm really starting to feel the toil and loneliness of it all now. 

Steps to self growth. I'm really working at sorting out my driving situation. Am trying some creative things, and I think am leaving the phase of just coping with life. Hopefully I'll get myself to tackle the exercise issue soon.

Food budgets. Geez, food prices just seem to go up and up. And I'm just trying to find away to keep on trying new foods, and still have tasty budget-friendly staples.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Five for Friday - Keiden edition

Keiden is having a mini language explosion lately: He's moved past those early mama, dada, sounds and is forming recognisable words along with some new not quite as recognisable ones. He says: hi properly now, daddy, duck (so far all birds are ducks), puppy,  cheeaasy (cheesy) especially when grabbing his toes - ask him who has cheesy toes and he says daddy. He passes you shoes and says shooos, show him a pic of a little he knows and he says my baba. And he knows his stories, will do the actions for those that have one he can do, like waving bye-bye.

Jerall is his favourite person, and my mommy ego is having some difficulties with it. But mostly it's horrid seeing him so sad when J leaves for work.

He is sleeping in his room, by himself in a big boy bed. We're doing the floor mattress thing, I'm so glad we went that route because we often find that he has rolled across his room. He doesn't wake when he rolls off the bed, but does when we put him back in his bed :-/.

He doesn't want to use cutlery to feed himself. Which is frustrating as he would happily spoon feed himself before, but recently he's taken to taking his spoon and taking the food off of it. We figure it's not a train smash, just messy...and at least he isn't tactile defensive.

We've had to move the fruit bowl. If Keiden see's a banana he'll want to eat that instead of what he has in front of him. We've had to restrict his bananas -  it's been hard for me - because he'll eat 3 in a sitting and then not want to eat supper. I think we're entering the fussy/picky with food phase...it's not as bad as what I've seen and heard others had to deal with. But he has definite preferences and will let you know. Although maybe it's not really fussy so much as doing what we all do, eat our favourites first ;).

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

My first ever giveaway

As I mentioned yesterday, I won a full body massage voucher from Ginko Spa. The best part is that the win wasn't only for me, it had an added share factor.

Thanks to Ginko, I have a voucher to giveaway to one of you lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me where the spas are located. Easy peasy.

The competition will run till the 20th of May, and I'll announce the winner on the 22nd. Also, this is only open to folks who live in Cape Town.

Good luck :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The #CTMeetUp

On Saturday I left Keiden for the longest amount of time I've ever left him, six hours*. And it was all to attend the #CTMeetUp.

I got a lift with Elle Kay. She was very patient about my worry that we wouldn't be able to find parking because of the rugby, so we were a smidge early. But some ice cream from The Creamery helped us pass the time in style :)

Before we got to the talks, and Cindy donning her Oprah persona there was lots and lots catching up with folks you know and meeting new people. And while all all of the socialising was happening everyone got a choice of either a hand or shoulder massage from ladies from the Rain Africa spa at The Glen.

It's really silly, but I had forgotten just how much a social creature I am. It was amazing to get to talk to lots of people about different things. And meeting those whose blogs I've recently started reading in person was just great. Being able to talk to and meet someone who you feel you know, and find out that the personality you encounter in their online selves is the same, makes me feel that not alone. We're all just a bunch of weirdos who thanks to the internet found other people just like us.

I'm not the best at taking photos, and it didn't occur to me to take a photo of all the lovely treats in the goodie bag. But I do have those below.

My 3 favourite items in the goodie bag: a Zana pouch, Rain lotion and Romeo Foxtrot bracelet.

My dice and character minis are very happy in their fancy-pants new home
I was a lucky fish and won a voucher for a signature full body massage at Ginkgo Spa, with an added voucher to giveaway on my blog! I'll be putting up the giveaway post tomorrow. Ideally, it'd make sense to review the spa and do the giveaway, but because the voucher is valid till the end of July, I'd much rather give the winner more time to get to use it.

Cindy, did a great job organising it. Thank you for taking the time to do so. Also thanks to all the sponsors for goodie bag treats:

And thanks to the prize sponsors too:

*And he didn't miss me at all, he had his daddy. No longer being the favourite parent is so hard on the ego and heart.

Monday, 11 May 2015

The weekend that was

The hands-down highlight of the weekend was Saturday morning. Keiden took two unassisted steps! :D  So clearly, it  was a glorious weekend. There was gaming, the #CTMeetUp and good food all coming together to create a weekend where you feel that you need a weekend to recover from it.

On Friday evening we started a new 13th Age organised play adventure. 13th Age is a great system, it works especially well for folks who prefer going "Why not?" instead of "What do the rules say." It's not a system for those who like to rules lawyer or munchkin. I'm inclined to see it as a system that's great for people who've been gaming together for awhile...it lends it's self well to in-group jokes.

Saturday morning Keiden took his first unassisted steps :). It's been so hard watching him being cautious - he's been taking steps holding a hand or leg for ages, would push boxes around and walk with them - the patience game has been tough. Not to forget that at 15 months there are all the younger babies running laps around him. He's still being incredibly cautions, only taking one or two steps  at a time, but they're happening :).

Saturday afternoon was the #CTMeetUp. I'll be going into all the little details in a separate post [Spoiler, I had a blast...and I'll be doing my first give-away because of it]. It's a bit ridiculous that I'd forgotten just how much of a social creature I am. It was the longest J and K had been alone together, and K didn't miss me at all. I don't know how much more of this my heart/ego can take. He already pushes me away from J if we hug, and says hi daddy in the morning. This mommy is lower than leftover chopped chicken livers.

My mother's day gift, the jeweller used the old R 0.02 to make this.

Sunday morning we hit up Sweetwell for breakfast. The bacon was just amazing. We plan on going back and buying some bacon when the butcher is open. After that we went to Blaauwklipen market, strolled around and I picked out my mother's day gift. We followed that with a trip to the botanical gardens, and great pancakes at Time Out, best milktart pancakes ever. The rest of the day was easy going.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 8 May 2015

Five for Friday

This is just a beautiful web comic. I love how it's mostly just black and white, so when colour is used the visual impact is just that much bigger.

This is just all kinds of funny:

I found this a great story of how families are made out of love and respect.

I usually do TED talks on Thursdays, but this is a short and interesting one:

And another one by the same person:

Thursday, 7 May 2015

On friendships

Being a generally outgoing and friendly person you'd think that friendships would be easy for me, but they're not. My outgoing nature is heavily tempered by my shyness/self doubt - why would anyone want to be friends with me - so as a result I struggle with making those relationships work. Now it's not all doom and gloom I do have people I can call in the middle of the night, but what I see as my inability to make and maintain meaningful friendships tends to make a worry-wort appearance often.

Recently though, it's been tapering off. I've realised post some whatsapp chats this morning that it's because I have managed to make and maintain new friendships. And I think that maybe getting older has also played a part. I still have those moments of nobody likes me, how could they I suck - rationally untrue, but sometimes you can't get your heart and worry side to listen to your brain - but they are being tapered by more moments of "so what" and "you don't".

And I know that it's also because of social media I've been able to find more people who share the same interests. There is something powerful that comes from finding people who get you. Before I've only had four people who really got almost all of me, and now there are more, and it just makes me feel all kinds of grateful...and gushy ;).

So really this is just a little thank you to the folks who are now part of my world who get me. My world is definitely better for having you in it.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


In a quest to find my creative thing, I've bought a ukulele. I figure if it doesn't work for me at least J and eventually K will be able to give it a whirl - he's already fascinated by it, and my poor attempts at strumming. Any recommendations on YouTube channels will be most welcomed.

I talked myself out of getting a great blue one 0_o
If the ukulele doesn't turn out to be my creative thing, I'm taking suggestions on what I can try next. This finding my creative thing quest is going on because I realised I don't really have a creative something, and I figure having one might help me with my silly moments. Yes, I game, read and cook, but for me table top rpg's have always been more about the shared narrative and doing something fun, rather than engaging my creative brains. The other games I play are also about world immersion, and my part in that is directing conversations or building sims or cities, not making something new. Reading had me picturing things as they are described, and cooking is often guided by what I know will work. So really the creative something is about finding a fun that I don't know yet.

K had his 15 month shots today and was a champ, he didn't cry...barely seemed to notice he was getting them. He has also finally started to use his push wagon, so hopefully he'll be brave enough to take a solo step soon. He likes walking if he has hands to hold.

When I shared the K shot news with the group of moms from our antenatal class there was suddenly a rash of leaving the group messages. Which I could've taken personally, but I get that it's just about not meshing. Beyond sharing the antenatal class, we don't have anything in common. I don't parent the way they do, and they don't seem to get why I do what I do. So it's no loss, I'm just peeved at myself for not leaving ages ago.

On the parenting style note, my sil put it best "Too hippie for most, but not hippie enough for the hippies." [I'm not putting shade on anyone's style - I don't get other's choices and they don't get mine, it is what it is.] Whereas with some other moms I've befriended, we do have different parenting styles, but other things in common, so it just makes it all easier.

Do you engage in parenting style conversations or just focus on what you have in common with other parents? And what is your creative thing?

Monday, 4 May 2015

The weekend that was

As I mentioned in my Five for Friday post, J and I were going to go see Age of Ultron. I really enjoyed the movie, but all the set up for Captain America: Civil War, just gave me all the feelings. I've read Civil War, and have some very strong feelings about some characters, and I think there are parts of the movie that will be really tough.

But hey, that was just one thing that was part of the long weekend there was more to it ;). When we went to go watch the movie, K stayed with his ah-ma, aunt,uncle and cousin - my mil was staying at my sil's. The first little while went well, they said, but as it got later and he got tired it started going downhill. We went to an 11:00 showing, so K was to have lunch with them...and he flat out refused to eat. It was the strangest thing ever, we lucked out and K eats really well, so for him to refuse to eat 0_o. It was only almost an hour after we returned that he decided to eat, and even then it wasn't to his usual standard [ he eats more breakfast than his dad, has his oats, and follows it with a banana]. Post all the K food drama we visited friends and managed to play a board game before heading for home.

On Saturday  - J's birthday - we started with day with dim sum and boa for breakfast. Spent part of the morning not doing much before heading off to Root 44 where we met up with the mil, sil and niece. We had such tasty food, and had a very relaxed late morning and early afternoon. We then decided to push our/K's boundaries. Because he had a late nap we decided to have supper out at a place that only opened at 18:30.

We went to Makaron at Majeka House. A friend recommend the restaurant, and went with us. It was a bonus that they happened to love our friend there. I think it helped smooth the having a baby long feathers. K behaved so well, the late nap helped avoid any tired crankiness, and the staff were just lovely. We had a great evening with the most amazing food - if you go do try the oxtail bitterballen starter, the kale veloute is something I don't have the words to describe. My mains of duck was good, but I've had better. J's kodu main was buttery soft, and melt in the mouth moreishiness. J's starter of sweet potato cake was devoured by K, he wasn't interested in mine at all. And we got K bathed and in bed before 21:00, without any issue...so occasionally pushing his boundaries can work.

Sunday involved grocery shopping, and visits from friends. A calm end to a fairly busy weekend.

How was your long weekend?

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Friday, 1 May 2015

Five for Friday

I've taken part in Cindy's Behind the Scenes of a Mixed Race Family, take a look here.

I failed my driver's test, for the second time, yesterday. And the thing that I'm proud of is that I didn't just sit in a heap of tears after. Maybe there is something to this growing up business.

Go check out Evolutionary Parenting. It is a well researched take on things parenting - very well research, I've not read anything yet with fewer than 6 references to academic papers.

Today, K is hanging out with his ah-ma while J and I go watch Avengers: Age of Ultron....I'm pretty excited about it. But I have all the feelings about it, because it's clearly heading towards Civil War. Which you should read if you haven't yet.

Ever since I submitted my MA application, I've been flooded by research ideas. So maybe post that, a PhD wouldn't be utterly strange to consider.

tums2tots columnist

2019 Reading Challenge

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