Sunday, November 29, 2009

Little boy blue

My oldest blessing turns 6 tomorrow.  I can scarecely believe it.  My babies are growing up so quickly that it scares me.  I love the adventure but wish they would just hold their horses a bit.  My sweetest Gabriel, i cant believe that six years have passed since i waited so anxiously for your arrival.  I had no idea what a wonderful adventure lay ahead of me.  I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams how much i would love you, how much you would fulfill me.  Wow, baby!  You knock me out with your green eyes, soft hugs and old soul! 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cool as ice cream

As in me and not the weather, which in insanely hot and lovely.  We are cooking here people!  Basking under the African sun.

Some useless snippets about my life right now:
  • I had a great time with my cousins last night, especially my hilarious chat with Loo last night about the funnier side of dating and men....
  • I love the keyboard that i was able to buy Gabriel for his birthday.  I know that it is so extravagant but i am grateful that i can give him the opportunity to experience new things.
  • The fact that my cell phone is fixed is wonderful.  Hurray for Justin!
  • We are planning to put up the xmas tree this week.  Should it be today or tomorrow?
  • The weather is so wonderful..... I think we will braai tonight just so that we can be outside together.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am dreaming of a sunny christmas


But thanks to my eurocentric upbringing, we still think in terms of Santa and snow.  Even if South African christmas is more about getting bloody hot, lying by the pool under the african sun and eating ice cream.  But never fear!  That does not stop me from thinking that Santa, or Father Christmas, as we call him here rocks and we still try to be good the whole year round to get onto his list!  And i think i have been very good this year, indeed!

Also i love traditional christmas decor!  So in light of my bad week, my exhaustion, i am choosing to : "Honour christmas and keep it in my heart the whole year round".  I am dreaming of my festive season that is so close that i can taste it.  I am thinking of the fun of putting up my tree this weekend, baking this weekend, buying G's birthday present, his birthday next week.  The party the week afterwards.  The road trip to the coast.  No more energy vampires allowed here!!!

Roll on christmas!

Bearing witness

Two posts in one day after so much neglect?  This is what happens when you get stuck in meetings till very late.  Now its one thing being stuck in meetings but it is worse just sitting outside a boardroom waiting to be called to go into a meeting and present. Which is where I am right now.

Tonight family is in my thoughts.  I heard today that two of my family members are getting divorced.  Its a couple that i know well, that i am close to and my heart is very sore for them.  This is just a lose - lose situation, as all divorces are.  In most there appears to be an obvious villain, the initiator, but in reality, that is not the case.  Both persons are distraught, battered, mourning the loss of a dream.  As i said to another family member who recently ended her marriage, a divorce is like a death.

We all stood on our wedding day and believed that we were starting a new life, with someone that we loved. We had a vision of the future, a dream of what this relationship would mean for us.  Two point five kids, a white picket fence, holding hands in the twilight of our lives. Suddenly, all this is gone and we are left mourning.  The death of a dream can be just as bad as the loss of a life.  How do you pick up and move on.  Of course for one party it is worse.  The party that doesn’t want it to end.  Bearing witness to such pain, especially when it is someone that you love is so very hard.  You try and say all the right things.  You are not alone.  We are here for you.  But even as you say these things you recognise their emptiness.  They don’t really assist the wounded.  For me the real task for us at this point is to just be there and support.   And not to allow your own anger and confusion to spill over.  You are there to bear witness and not testimony.

So these people are in my thoughts.  I hope that this pain will help them to find what they seek.  Happiness. Joy. Meaning.  I think that most people are good at heart and deserve to love and be loved.  As I type this I know that someone I care about is very hurt tonight.  And that hurts.  But it is not my pain and I can only send them kind thoughts.  And hope that although this cannot be fixed, they can still be healed.

There is only one important thing to remember about life.  It goes on.  Always.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Love doesnt have to hurt.....

 Actually love should never hurt.  Especially not the kind of pain that fists can inflict.  I have been a social worker for 11 years now.  More to the point i have been a social worker who deals with victims of sexual and domestic violence, in a country that has one of the highest rates of violence against women and children in the world.  Its a fact.  Women and children are not safe in South Africa.  So who are these perpetrators?  Who are these masked boogie men?  They are our fathers, husbands, lovers.  They are our brothers and sons.  They are also the ones who inflict the most terrible pain and destruction.  They break spirits and destroy souls.  If you, like me, are lucky enough to be in a functional relationship with a caring man, be grateful.  Be so grateful that you are able to experience what a good man is like.  A man who never lifts his fist to you or beats your children.  Because there are good men out there.  They exist.  They are the fathers who show their sons that you dont need to beat a woman to make her love you or that men can cry.  They are the men who dont look away when they witness a child being hurt by another man.  They are the men that restore my faith in the male gender.

I have two sons and every day i am aware that i, with their father, am responsible for shaping the way that that they view gender relationships.  What i do today shapes their relationships of tomorrow.  And i know that this is not only about the words i speak.  It is about the road that i chose to walk, as the most influential woman in their lives.  Well, as least at this point.  I need to show them that i am strong, that i am able to carve out my space, that i can support myself, that i am not dependent upon their father.  I need to show them that women can work for a living, have a career, change the world.  I need to show them that women can be powerful, but still have the space to be vulnerable.  I need to show them that i stay with their father because i love him and want to be in this space and not because i cannot leave. I need to show them that fidelity and monogamy is none negotiable.  That marriage is about commitment.  This is a tall order.  One that i am trying to deal with step by step, every day.

So today, wherever you are spare a thought for that woman or child who feels like a trapped animal.  The one that cried themselves to sleep last night.  The one that feel that there is no hope.  The one whose spirit and soul is as battered as their face.  And heed the call.  Act, dont look away.  The future depends upon the actions of the good, as much as the actions of the bad.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Dragon lady

Yup, thats me.  I like to think that i am pretty sane most of the time, get along with people most of the time, even like people most of the time.  But every now and then, i get the distinct impression that actually most people are oxgyen thieves.  Morons.  Idiots.  Belong to a secret club on how to be a dumbass.  The one that i didnt quite get into to.  Thankfully.

Today was one of those days.  Thankfully it was work idiots so at least at 4pm, i could frantically drive away from the asylum and the madness did not follow me home.  Actually i feel much better about my family when i see how normal we all are..  I dont think some people could have pissed me off more today if they tried! 

The thing to remember at moments like this is that you are perfectly sane and the rest of the bloody world has a problem, then find some friends who think like you and get together and commiserate bitterly how messed up everyone is.  I was able to get together with two great girls this afternoon and have coffee and BITCH!  Which made it all feel much better! 

So i think that i may just make it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Every now and then life cuts you a break.  This weekend was one of those unexpected breaks.  I was able to rest and replenish my spirit.  So as one of my close friends I am going to let you in on a little secret….. I think that I may just make it for three more weeks until I go on leave!
Right now, I am grateful for:
  • The kids not getting seriously ill this weekend.  They were both borderline on Saturday with running noses and a slight fever but seem to have overcome the germs.
  • The sun that came out and gave me hope on Sunday.
  • That i managed to do some baking with the kids on Saturday.  We made biscuits. Gabby got to drive the electric beater and Seth cut them out.  We had a ball, they tasted great and we all ate so many of them we felt ill.
  • I got my butt to gym this morning and felt good for it.
  • I dug up my huge cross stitch UFO.  I have been working on this one and off for 3 year and it is all my fault for breaking my cardinal rule of working on another sampler in between (Seth's birth sampler.)  Its the miribilia pattern that is featured above.  It is very detailed and really a task.  I just want to finish it so that i can start something else.  At least i am still in love with it after all these years!  I am determined to finish it and have it framed for my entrance hall.
  • A good weekend were i was able to rest with the family, with no serious commitments.
  • The christmas ornaments that i am slowly sneaking out.  Next weekend is full d-day for decorating!  I am such an addict.
So I expect the usual drama tomorrow at work but right now all is well with the W's!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cookies and cream

I love christmas.  I love baking.  I love cookies.  So in my mind Christmas = baking = cookies.  Which we actually call biscuits here in South Africs.  Being just one step from British, with our colonial roots etc!

So, although i have about 15 books on baking and three just on biscuits alone, i was forced to go onto Kalahari (South African Amazon) and order myself these two books.  And because i was forced to buy these two books (which are eagerly awaited. Ten days seem so long.), i was forced to buy a stunning range of metal biscuit cutters, in cute shapes like bells, reindeers, stars, planes, trains and cars.  I have a set of 100 cutters, but they are plastic and i dont like working with them.  I find that they struggle to cut through the dough.  Part of the problem is that i know that i should put the dough in the fridge so that its easier to work with, but once i start, I hate to stop and am just plain impatient.

So i am rubbing my hands in glee and hoping that the little book making fairies over in America, make my books, pack them up and post them over to Africa as soon as possible!  Until then i will just look at the covers and drool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday night....

Its friday night.  Its raining outside.  Its been raining for three days. Non stop.  I am so glad it friday!  Have i mentioned that I am so glad its friday.  I dragged myself away from my pity party (see previous post).  The thing with pity parties is that you are normally the only one there and somehow you can only commiserate with yourself on how hard your life is for so long.  You soon get distracted.  So i got over the cutting of my leave.  I got over what an ass my boss is.  I even got over the crap weather. I slogged through the week, surviving by bunking a few hours for coffee with a friend, getting an afternoon off, singing loudly to dance music in the car and going to gym to run on the treadmill and pretend that i was stomping on my boss's face.  Healthy!

So i am feeling better.  I have three weeks before i go on leave.  I will be off for three weeks and then back for 5 days and then off for three more days.  I also feel better because i have managed to slog through some of the horrible domestic chores that have been hanging over my head.  I sorted out the tax and made the deadline by the skin of my teeth.  I got my son's stationary for next year.  I got the car serviced.  I bought all the stuff for the boys birthday party.  And i feel lighter, with some responsibility off my shoulders.

Now i have a friday night where we got pizza, i am already in my gown and slippers and the DVD has been rented and waiting for the kids to sleep.  (We are still in the stage where if you dont want to watch disney cartoons, you need to wait for the kids to sleep.)  Tomorrow, i want to start to make a dent on some of the Christmas shopping and then we have a family kids birthday party in the afternoon.  Sunday lies open and unplanned for, although we are intending to do the family gym thing and then go and have breakfast.

I am also beyond excited about christmas.  Which is really strange.  I have a terrible christmas addiction, even through i am atheist.  I just love the decor and the cookies.  We always put up the tree and decor on the 1st December but i have already snuck out some stuff.  I will try not to blind my family with all the tinsel on the 1st!  I also ordered two christmas cookie recipe books off the internet.  So i need to get the cousins and friends together for a christmas baking session.  Um sugar and cake.....  I am sure i can twist the girls arms!

Wishing you a restful weekend.  Remember if you are feeling tired at this time of the year, you are not alone!  It is always mad before the peace of the holidays.  So just take care of yourself and ride out the crazy work stuff, the christmas parties, the holiday arrangements.....  Soon you will be holiday, stuffing your face with all the chocs that santa is bringing you.....


Sunday, November 15, 2009


We had a good weekend.  A busy but good weekend.  But the thing is that although i have got some great memories from this weekend, i have also been left exhausted and at this point i really cant afford to be exhausted.  My mother in law spent the weekend with us, it was the boys concert and we had a family lunch at our place on Saturday. Firstly, the boys concert was spectacular.  The theme was "the zoo" and Seth was a Koala bear and Gabby a crocodile.  They were absolutely adorable.  Gabriel did a piano solo and i was blown away.  He has been doing piano for about a year now but i really had no idea how good he really was.  He was so confident.  So little sitting on that little stool in front of all of us but so calm and thorough.  I was so, so proud of him and got so choked up.  You always wonder whether you are totally hashing up motherhood, so when your child does something well, demonstrates a quality that you admire, it is such a wonderful reassurance.  I have figured out that i really like my children's personality.  I think that they are adults we are going to be friends.  I think that they are going to be good people.  Seth was beyond cute in his little ears.  I tried to not let him see me until he was finished his moment on stage as i knew he would bolt.  He saw me half way through.  I managed to catch his eye and encourage him a bit, but as soon as the song ended, his lip started to quiver and soon he raced through the crowd and spent the rest of the concert on his parents lap.

A really sentimental moment for me was when Gabby got his school certificate completing his pre school days.  I feel so emotional about him starting school next year.  I am so excited for him but wish i could keep him little, safe, unaffected by life.  I am just plain scared.  Like all other moms whose little ones are starting school.  But i know that this is just a little step on many that lead to his independance and i trust that he will cope.

It was wonderful seeing my mother in law this weekend and it is great that it is only a couple of weeks before we will be in East London with them for christmas.  I love seeing their relationship with my sons and i wish so much that they lived closer.  They are such a positive influence on my sons and it is wonderful to have someone to talk to who thinks that your kids are as amazing as you do.

Then bam, after Jason has taken his mom to the airport, i check my email and see a mail from my boss saying that the biggest cheese has decided that all managers should be back on the 5th January, because thats when he gets back and of course we live to serve.  I was supposed to get back on the 17th so needlessly i am so pissed off.  I need this leave.  I need to refocus.  I am exhausted and i dont really want to have to deal with someones dick head opinion of why i should cut my holiday and family time short, just because he may get lonely in his huge office.  I sent a carefully worded email, splattered with phrases like gender sensitivity , family responsibilities etc.  I dont think they are going to give a damn.  So worse case scenerio, i  will take off earlier if i have to start earlier.  I will use my nanny to look after the kids for the 5 days and insist on taking off three days mid January when the schools start:  the day before, the first day of school and the day afterwards.  Even if i have to call in sick!  I am super, bloody pissed off at my insensitive senior ass!

So the question is:  How do i survive the next couple of weeks without killing someone:  staff or boss?  Tough one!  I will let you know how it goes.  To make it worse there are a multitude of crap domestic pressures that are mounting:  tax forms that are due to the accountant by friday, birthday parties that need to be planned, curtains that i had made that need to be taken back and altered, stationary and uniforms for next year that need to be bought.

Its so tough being a working mom, especially when you know yourself and know that you would never ever survive at home.  So you are doomed and just need to find your survival space. 


And tomorrow is Monday.


Monday, November 2, 2009

My favourite things.....

Why am i sitting here looking smug?  Well i am altogether pleased with myself, that's why!  I managed to get my bum out of my chair and go to gym. I know, i know, i could cause natural disasters.  I feel good though.  I started at a new gym and i was pleased to see that everyone was very normal looking.  Nobody dressed to kill on the treadmill.  No designer gym clothes etc.

I have a busy work day and little time to chat, but thought that i could leave you with some thoughts, complements of Mara Van trapp from the Sound of Music....

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Damn, i wish i was off dancing in the Alps!

New brooms sweep clean

Hope that you are enjoying my new background. I decided that i was tired of my old autumn colours. Its Spring people and I felt like hot pink! (I am also wearing hot pink today......) For anyone else who feels like an update, check: out . They have some amazing free backgrounds.

I am trying to think positive thoughts right now, although it is beyond crazy in my life. Its funny how when you need things to get quieter, the world responds by amping it up a notch. Go figure! I have a job interview on Friday and have fleeing moments of anxiety whenever i think of it. I have been acting in the position for the last 5 months and think that i have done a pretty good job, which should in turn assist me in the interview. But one never knows? Interviews are just crap. The comfort is that i really feel confident about my work. I have been working with victims of crime and within the social crime prevention arena for the past 8 years and there is not much i dont know about the sector. So i just need to trust my ability to deal with any issue that may be thrown at me. Blah! Will let you know how it goes.

We had a good weekend. Halloween was a blast and the kids loved it. We got home from the zoo at about 8pm and got the kids off to bed. Mr W and I snuggled on the couch and watched "Interview with a vampire" and "The Shining". It was great fun. I got to sleep in late yesterday and then had the pleasure of shopping on my own for an hour or two at the mall. It is so amazing to be able to try on clothing without being harassed from all sides. I managed to get some stuff i really like, including a great long black dress for all the christmas parties coming up. I try to get at least one festive item a year to carry me through all the parties.

So now i am in the midst of counting the days: The number of days until the schools close, the number of days until the boys birthdays, the number of days before the big birthday party, the number of days before leave, the number of days before East London and the beach, the number of days before the end of the year.

What are you looking foward to right now?