You are browsing the archive for 2010 February.

Slap in the Face and DUFs

February 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last night we popped out for something to eat and while at the restaurant another family arrived and sat at the table next to ours.  Like my husband and I they were “older parents” with young children: a pair of boys of about 6 and 8 years old.  But what really hit me wasn’t the age of the Mommy, I too am sometimes mistaken as J’s granny, but the fact that she appeared old, tired and haggard.  It took me a second to figure out but then I realised that it was just, in fact, that she hadn’t made any effort with her appearance.  She wore no make up (which in itself is not a bad thing, but added to the over all effect), her hair badly needed a hair cut (preferably into a style that she can manage) and she just looked completely washed out.

It knocked me harder than it would have if a drop-dead beauty had walked past and drawn all the fellas’ eyes.  I felt almost like I was looking in a mirror.  There are days when time permits me very little make-up (or sometimes none at all) and days when I’ve stretched going without a hair wash when I really shouldn’t have or possibly thrown on the first thing that came out of my cupboard without thinking about/looking at myself; and I thought to myself: “Never mind my poor husband having to look at this washed out old rag surely I should have enough pride in myself to want to make more of an effort”.

Later last night I apologised to S and he said (gotta love him) that I was being silly and that he didn’t expect me to spend my “entire day titivating”.  Hee Hee.  But, in fairness to him and, more importantly, in fairness to myself I need to make time for me.  One thing that a lot of Mom’s lack: “me time”.  Watch this space – I’m gonna CREATE it! 

And now for some quick DUFs (first time ever, think it’s the coolest idea):

Downs: realising that I look far to dowdy to be let out in public some days, my Dad called me this morning to say that some youngsters were trying to break into our house (I nearly had heart failure because he had gone outside after they’d left at the tender age of 80 – big brave Dad with a death wish)

Ups: being able to maintain my positive attitude the whole week, managing to get J into a strong schedule of chores and other miscellaneous expected things, finishing J’s party invitations; PAY DAY!!!!; my husband agreed that a “date night” is a really good idea and if I just organise it, he’ll be there like a bear.

Forwards: my boss and his partner have split so from Monday we are a whole new firm with a whole new name and all the trappings that go with it.  I like change – it gives one a clean slate with which to work.

Fat Bottomed Girls Make The Rockin’ World Go ‘Round

February 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

Having read the various recent posts about self image I retrieved a blog I wrote on my non-parent blogsite earlier this year.  Thought you all might enjoy it:

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So who made a resolution to lose weight this year?  Come on . . . . . you can tell me . . . . . See!  I knew it!  Probably 90% of the western middleclass population.  Yip, that includes YOU!  Don’t fib.  Even just a passing thought of “gotta make an effort to be a little skinner this year” counts.

And for you girlies out there whose older female counterparts have sagely said “it becomes more difficult to lose weight as you get older”, listen to me carefully: THEY WEREN’T KIDDING !!!!!!!!!!”  In my thirties I figured “hmmm, it is a little more difficult to shed that extra black forest cake”.  Now having got well ensconced in my forties I’m thinking “oh my HAT! What’s going on?”

I’ve got friends and family who patronizingly smirk that I don’t really know what I’m talking about because I’m skinnier than some of them and they think I’m being silly but the fact is, GURLfriend, I’m not comfy in my skin anymore (and my clothes aren’t exactly ecstatic either).

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t wanna look like a twig and I’m a lot more at ease with myself as a person than I was when I was waiflike and 23.  And finally, after all these years, I’m happy with my really, REALLY round face that I so hated in my youth (no, seriously – I have enough face to keep a small country town in the shade).  Why the change of heart, you ask?  Well ‘cos my skinny-faced peers are starting to look wrinkly and a little, um, elderly and well, I’m NOT!

But as for my body, something’s gotta change.  I weighed the same (and I mean EXACTLY the same) the whole year last year (I even eventually forced my husband onto the scale to see if he also weighed 68).  I then spent the year trying to shock my body into loosening its death grip on 68 kilograms: I changed my eating habits – drastically; I started exercising – properly – at least four times a week – for ten months; I even got so desperate I ignored my red wine for an entire month (the wine had to go for therapy to help it with separation issues).

Then at the end of the year the doctor says “it could be hormonal”.  Well ha-bloody-ha!  It’s easy for him to say – he’s a fella!  And anyway, who decided to fiddle with my hormones?  They were doing fine, thank you very much!  So I’m off to have my blood tested.  My blood hates getting tested.  It gets all nervous ‘cos it might get the answers wrong.  And there had better be some really clever researcher who’s found an easy little pill that I can swallow that’ll make my thyroid feel all important again.

THIS is the year that I leave the 68 kilo realm – even if I have to become a slob, eat like crazy, don’t exercise and weigh 71 –  hee hee, only kidding . . . . . I think!

A Blog Quiz – What Fun !!!

February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

1.        What time did you get up this morning? 6am (a full 40 minutes late) !!
2.        Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3.        What was the last film you saw at the cinema?   Hmmm – think it was Shrek the Third
4.        What is your favourite TV show?   Men in Trees

5.        What do you usually have for breakfast?   Cut of tea and my various chronic medicines
6.        What is your middle name?   Ann
7.        What food do you dislike?   Mutton and Lamb – eeeyyyyoooouuuu
8.        What is your favourite CD at moment? Too many to mention: Jamie Cullum, The Cat Empire, Metallica
9.        What kind of car do you drive?   I don’t own a car – do footsicles count?
10.      Favourite sandwich Cottage cheese with bean sprouts
11.      What characteristic do you despise?   Shallow and pretentious
12.      Favourite item of clothing?   Anything very VERY bright
13.      If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?   Kalk Bay
14.      Where would you retire to?   Kalk Bay
15.      Favourite sport to watch?   Anything except golf, badmington, table tennis and snooker
16.      When is your birthday?   23 January
17.      Are you a morning person or a night person?   Bit of both at the moment
18.      What is your shoe size?   5

19.      Pets?    Two big inside fur-kids (dogs) and four feather-kids (birds)
20.      What did you want to be when you were little?   A brain surgeon or an astronaut
21.      How are you today?   Tired – work pressure and lack of sleep
22.      What are your favourite sweets?   Jelly beans and marshmallow mice with liquorice tails
23.      What is your favourite flower? Lilies
24.      What are you listening to right now?   By birds chatting away
25.      What was the last thing you ate?   A marichino cherry chocolate (still got left over from Valentines) :-)
26.      Do you wish on stars?   Nope
27.      If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?   Bright Purple
28.      How is the weather right now? Wonderful
29.      The first person you spoke to on the phone today?   A panicky attorney
30.      Favourite soft drink? Ginger Ale
31.      Favourite restaurant?   Salvatoris – the most amazing Italian restaurant in the world!
32.      Real hair colour?   Mousy brown (with a few well earned greys)
33.      What was your favourite toy as a child?   My troll-dolly called Elah – still got her.
34.      Summer or winter?   Autumn
35.      Hugs or kisses?   Both
36.      Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate
37.      Coffee or tea? Green tea with mint
38.      When was the last time you cried? Saturday
39.      What is under your bed? Too much cr*p
40.      What did you do last night? Tons of homework, bit of ironing, bit of cleaning, finished party invites
41.      What are you afraid of?   Losing my family
42.      Salty or sweet?   Both
43.      How many keys on your key ring?   4 on my housekeys, 5 on my work keys
44.      How many years at your current job? 2 years (morning job), 3 years (afternoon job)
45.      Favourite day of the week?   Monday
46.      How many towns have you lived in?   2
47.       Do you make friends easily?   Yip

Next question

February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Thank you all for the remarkable response to my post yesterday.  Wow!  Bloglanders truly know how to rally around and give genuinely good advice.

However, all your advice has sparked another burning question . . . well a few, in fact:

1. How much pocket money do you give and is it weekly or monthly and how old is the child/children receiving the allowance?

2. What kind of incremental system do you use or is your child still being given what he/she got five years ago?

3. Do you enforce any form of saving and or tithing of the money you give the child/children?

4. Does the allowance include or exclude “tuck” money?

I’ll be truly interested to see what the responses are.  Some folk yesterday appeared to give allowances that scared me a little (i.e. I don’t know if I can afford that) but at the same time I’d like to know what the “industry standard” is.

Thanks so much and enjoy your day.  And remember: today is the ONLY Wednesday 24th February 2010 you’re ever going to get. Don’t wish for Friday or payday – make the most of your Wednesday! :-)

The wonder of Star Charts

February 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last year I introduced a star chart because J was losing a lot of stuff (3 tennis bags – two containing clothing, 5 fleecy tops, 2 lunchboxes, 3 juice bottles etc).  The star chart worked a charm and within a couple of weeks we were back on track.  I used the “removal of privileges” method, i.e. if she didn’t have enough stars she couldn’t watch telly or a DVD.  As I say, it worked a charm.

Now I’m thinking I’m gonna have to reintroduce this to help J “remember” to take off her uniform as soon as she gets home and unpack her bag and lunch bags and tidy her bedroom.  Now I’m the first to understand that grade 1 can be a huge adjustment but I also think she’s now getting big enough to start taking responsibility and not just slacking off.  What do you think?  And is it time to start introducing chores yet?  I was thinking of making it her duty to close the curtains and switch the lights on when it gets dark (she helps me with that already sometimes) and/or help set the table?  Should these chores be pocket money linked at this stage?  Please let me know how you guys handle this – life is enormously different to when I was growing up.

Getting into a panic because J turns 7 next Saturday and I still haven’t got the invites to her party out yet.  At least I’ve spoken to most of the Mommies and told them to keep the 6th open. Whew!  My late Mom always said she needed an extra day in the week called Mirday (Miracle day) – wouldn’t that be lekker? :-)

Monday’s gonna be good!

February 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

Had a lovely weekend:

Friday evening spent at J’s school at a get-to-know-the-other-parents braai.  Great fun! Question: J has a little friend who is a very sweet girl but tends to be quite domineering and gets awfully sulky if J plays with anyone else.  As a result J will only play with this child and the other friends get ignored.  I saw first-hand this past Friday night how absolutely obnoxious this little being becomes if J even TALKS to another friend.  I’ve explained to J that she is making her other friends sad and she says that she wants to stop being friends with the domineering child but can’t.  Any ideas/suggestions?

Saturday morning J spent the whole morning at school at a workshop (she’s been chosen to sing in the choir).  It was the first time that she’s been away from me during “normal” time i.e. not when I’m out in the evening, and I rattled around the house watching the clock s-l-o-w-l-y move towards 13h00.  Sheesh – HOW do divorced parents cope without their kidlets for an entire weekend???

Yesterday was quite chilled in the morning and we had a friend from Sabi arrive in the afternoon.  He only visits now and then and when he does he always arrives recipe book in hand and makes us a divine curry for our supper.  Always lovely seeing him (and his gorgeous daughter) and just chilling and finishing the night off with such yummy food.

But . . . back to the grindstone.  Big Sigh!  However, I’ve decided that it’s going to be a GOOD week and I’m going to work hard and enjoy myself.  Life is too rushed to wish our lives by so I’m enjoying my Monday thoroughly, thank you.  Let’s see how long I can keep it up :-D

You call your self a “parent” ????????????

February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

On the way to school yesterday morning we were about two cars from a stop-street when a motor bike came speeding past us and shot straight through the stop-street.  Now firstly, where I live decent people don’t stop at stop-streets any more and only a small handful even slow down.  So this biker was taking his life into his hands by doing what he did.

But the crux is this: I don’t particularly give a toss about him – he’s an adult and must live his life as he thinks fit.  Problem was, that there was a little girl on the back of the motorbike dressed in a school uniform with a little pink CYCLING helmet on.  A CYCLING HELMET!!!  Is this man terminally stupid or just terminally stupid??

I don’t have a problem with bikers – I used to be one and if it wasn’t for the blatant disregard for the rules of the road (not just by taxis, by the way) I would love to use a scooter to get J to and from school and me to and from work every day.  But with all due respect if I didn’t have a helmet for my child I would not take her on the bike and if for some weird reason I HAD to I would give her my helmet to wear.  However, given a choice I would prefer to walk (as a lot of parent’s do) or organise a lift with another parent that lives near me.

Now let me explain something else.  This little girl attends J’s school.  I’ve seen her Dad before drop her off and then sit on his bike and have a cigarette while watching her walk to her class.  Now the uniform this little girl was wearing (standard school uniform) was a short sleeved school shirt (no protection for the arms), a school skirt (and fortunately the school stipulates that they HAVE to wear shorts under their skirts – but no protection for the legs) and that’s it.  They encourage the children NOT to wear shoes to assist with the gross motor coordination so most kidlets (this particular little girl included) don’t wear shoes in summer.  So heaven forbid this bike was bumped by some inconsiderate non-stopper-at-stopstreets and the little girl would have suffered the most horrendous grazes, cuts and bruises.  All this while her “daddy” wears a helmet, denim jeans and a leather jacket.

So I put it to you sir (or should that be spelt cur?) that you have ABSOlutely no right to call yourself a parent.  You have been entrusted with a special little life.  Grow up and take more responsibility for that little being.

What’s happening to our children?

February 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

Yesterday my boss’ little boy was diagnosed with petit mal seizures – I feel for his parents, especially his Mom who says she doesn’t know how to feel.  I have a friend with a child with Aspergers Disease (a form of Autism) and another who’s little boy is still undergoing his diagnoses but with suspected Aspergers Disease.  My little girl suffers from veso-vega episodes brought on by shock, hunger, cold, stress etc.  There are thousands of children being treated for ADD and ADHD.  What’s going on?

When I was in school during the ‘70s and ‘80s people just didn’t seem to have these illnesses.  Ok, I admit that there were many cases of dyslexia and hyperactivity that just went undiagnosed – more often than not to the detriment of the children involved.  And I recall there was one girl who sang in the junior choir with me who was epileptic (the grande mal seizure version).  But other than that children were generally healthy.

What have we done?  What in our society has changed to bring about these afflictions on our children?  Is it dietary?  One thing I CAN say is dietary is this.  Have you noticed the number of little girls between the ages of 12 and 20 who have little bellies hanging over their jeans . . . and love-handles.  Love-handles, for heaven’s sakes!  When I grew up only old men had those.  My belief is that the spare fatty deposits on these little girls are a direct result of the hormones found in the food we eat.

But again I come back to the illnesses.  Are we just more aware of these previously unheard of illnesses because of media coverage or do you think the escalating prevalence is genuine?  Let me hear your thoughts.

The things you do for love

February 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

While dashing out to buy my poor husband’s medicine last night (and bless dear Dischem’s socks for staying open ‘till 19h00) I got caught in an absolute cloud burst.  Suffering a little forethought of not having time to cook, do homework and prepare J for her school photos (happening today) before bed time, I phoned Galitos and ordered our supper so that I could collect it on the way home.

The deluge continued (or in fact felt like it was getting worse) when I arrived to collect my supper order and added to my now elegant style of remarkably drowned rat.  I had drenched hair, a damp shirt (the rain was so hard it just battered its way through my dri-mac) and a sopping, dripping skirt flapping around my legs.

As I schloffed into the house feeling like I had inhaled a bath full of water my little poppet looked up from her book and said “is it raining out there?” (Wah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha – read much hysterical laughter!!)     :-)

The things they say

February 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Kids say the darndest things: Yesterday evening J was sitting on the kitchen counter helping me bake a pie for our supper.  All of a sudden she decided to jump off the counter (I think she needed a tissue or something).  I told her to be careful because the tiles on the kitchen floor tend to be slippery and she said “I am careful Mom, more careful than a ninja”.  Wah ha ha

Have to take my husband to the doctor today he has had an upset tummy on and off since we got back from holiday in early January and yesterday he just had such bad cramp that he spent almost the entire day in bed and only managed to drink water and wouldn’t eat anything until supper and then he only ate two pieces of pie.  Shame.  I hate it when he’s sick. :-(