I tuna you this…

30 July , 2014

(This is the next instalment in the tantrum chronicles)

So, last night I made chicken and veg for dinner. No big whoop. something we eat fairly often. Usually one of Nicola’s favourites. Safe bet…uhm, not so much.

Just as I’m about to dish up, the pink terrorist tells me that she actually wants tuna for dinner. I said no of course, I had already cooked something else. FULL SCALE PANDEMONIUM! Well, I said that if she finishes all her dinner that I’ve already cooked, and she’s still hungry – then I’ll think about giving her some tuna. She told me that I was ruining her life! Hahaha, now you know how to do that…it’s not all in the wrist, it’s all about the tuna.

Anyhoo, she went on a sort of short-lived hunger strike – hoping to crack my no tuna before dinner decree, which failed of course. I calmly sat and had my own dinner and told her that until she ate the food I made there would be no other food for her in this house. (My mom is chuckling about this one because my brother once stared down a steak for three days solid before she cracked). I will admit that I had a glass of wine with my dinner instead of the usual fruit juice – but it was in a plastic cup, so it doesn’t count right?

One hour later, after establishing that I was indeed serious, she sat there eating every last bite of the food while glaring at me and reminding that I am ruining her life with chicken instead of tuna (it is extremely hard to keep a straight face for a conversation like that!). Oh the drama…the MELOdrama! (I could very easily imagine a life for my daughter on stage one day). I just reminded her that in this very country there are many children who have no dinner whatsoever, and that it’s pretty much just bloody ungrateful to moan about chicken that way when other people have nothing (my dad will probably have a giggle at this one, because at more or less the same age – probably a few years older – he once told me that I had eat all my food because kids in Ethiopia had no food and I was wasting it…I told him to mail it to them because I was full).

In the end she finished her meal, reluctantly but every bite…I made her some tuna…which she ate just to prove a point to me I guess (there is no way that she could still have been hungry after the chicken). I think it went rather well actually *gives self mental back-pat*, and MUCH better than Friday. Certainly much less emotional for me, and it only took an hour this time.  

Have you recently ruined your childrens lives with meal choices, or similar? Feel free to share.  ;-)


Ps! I have a slight stalker update…but not enough for a solid piece of news, so I’ll wait a bit. Let’s just say, gloves are OFF.


A line in the dirt…and other than that, thankfully, a pretty quiet weekend

28 July , 2014


Nicola, wearing her silly hat to school on Friday. Please pay attention to this pink top – it’s going to come up again a bit later in this post.


At secret place we have this Learn & Grow KPI this year, and as part of that each team member gets a chance or two to bring in guest speaker to our team meetings.

Well, I’ll have you know I’ve really taken this thing and run with it. I stole someone else’s turn in May (who didn’t plan on using it anyway), and I annexed another in June from a colleague who had resigned, and this month it was actually my own turn and I asked Marcia to come in and do a talk for us about love languages in the work place – which she kindly agreed to do.

Marcia, of course, did great and everybody enjoyed it. I have managed to wow my team, thanks for making me look good! ;-)


This bit isn’t about the flower…this is one of the flowers in a bunch we bought for my mom over the weekend – just because. :-)

Let me set the scene: Friday night. It was a “bit” cold, don’t know if you noticed? My daughter was a “bit” sick, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it?

Well, when we left my parents’ place on Friday night, I insisted that Nicola wear the pink top in the first picture (that she had only taken off to eat dinner because apparently it’s not comfortable to eat with it on), and all HELL BROKE LOOSE!

A two hour long tantrum about this blasted top kicked off, and neither one of us was going to back down. We went beyond the point where it was about the top, beyond the point where the whole neighbourhood’s dogs started barking because she was screaming so loudly, beyond the point where people started peeping through their windows to see if there was blood to go with that amount of noise…way beyond the point of reason or return. A line was drawn in the dirt and there was a spectacular show down to see on what side of it we would end up at the end of the argument.

It was a battle of wills, and although I do not endorse her cause or method – I have to say, the girl’s got stamina! ;-) In the end she went so hysterical that I had to hold her for a long time while kicking and screaming (her, not me), just so that she could calm the heck down enough for us to go home (with the top on…when you set a boundary, you kind of have to stick it out till the end). It was a very surprising reaction for the matter at hand, and let me tell you that she is bloody mean when she’s fighting…so I was crying for quite a large part of it.

This was seriously not how I had hoped my weekend would kick off, especially after the week I’ve just been through – which is probably exactly why it happened.  I’m not trying to make excuses for bad manners, but in her defence she was sick, at the mercy of meds and their side effects, probably sensed that I was distracted all week and emotional, tired…and not used to a lot of no (my fault that one). It was like a perfect storm, emotionally speaking.

I’ve already talked to her (after she calmed down enough to breathe and listen again) about all the ugly things she said on Friday night, and now I’m just going to go ahead and be the grown up…and let it go like it never happened.

On Saturday, I slept and slept and slept. I had a fuckitall moment and decided that getting up at 4:00am might be my usual thing, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Eventually Nicola jumped on me and nagged till I got up, some time after 8:00am. We did our monthly grocery run at about 10-ish, and I felt like I was stuck in molasses the whole way through. I had a pretty much disengaged day…but thankfully after a fair bit of sleep I felt more like myself again on Sunday.


Fun with Oupa…Nicola and my dad taking down the salami and cabanossi.

Nicola was at the same time also busy baking cookies with Ouma, or should I say she delegated her cookies with Ouma bit to me and my mom. ;-)


Polka snuggling up to Nicola this morning – neither of them wanted to get up. I didn’t either, but oh well – you know – Monday and all that. To my great entertainment Nicola has started signing something to me that I sometimes play for her in the car, “You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometimes…you might find…you get what you nee-eed.” Hahaha! Indeed. So true.  

This morning when I finally convinced her to open her eyes and get going she gets up to get dressed and says to me, “Mamma, jy maak my regtig gatvol as jy altyd wil he^ ek moet opstaan.” Alrighty, I guess she’s definitely not a morning person then? (I struggled to keep a straight face when she said it, I seriously did).


I am tired…and so over winter…I am sure my mood will drastically improve once spring arrives, and no doubt everything and everyone around me will seem so much more pleasant then too? (If this is in fact not the case, please don’t ruin the surprise).

Do your kids also go through phases where they seem particularly difficult? Is it usually when you’re facing some other emotional upheaval and it’s like they sense it’s a great time to pounce because you’re weak and tired?

35 Days till spring day – just so you know. ;-)


The bits and bobs from the last week or so

24 July , 2014


Sorry, I have had my hands full over here (not yet full of these) so I’ve been pretty terrible at updating this blog. To keep everything more or less in chronological order, we’ll go according to the photos – what a handy way of remembering a whirlwind week!

So above you can see some of the loot from my dad and brother’s recent hunting trip. Yumm…everything is coming along nicely, thank goodness for cold and dry JHB winters, and soon soon i will be able to tell you what warthog salami tastes like and so on. ;-)


The daffodil that doesn’t give up!

I think this is the second year this poor plant has pushed out only one little flower. I may need to repot it, but it has just managed to survive the beginning of Polka’s digging phase and I don’t want her to get any ideas that taking plants out is somehow acceptable behaviour.

Maybe next year…


We had a little family outing last weekend, we went to go see How to train your dragon 2 on the big screen and we were waiting for everyone to arrive in front of the ice rink. Nicola wants to try ice skating, I have my doubts if this is such a great idea, but I said we’ll give it a bash in December during the holidays to see if she likes it. I anticipate mad amounts of laughter…and a fair amount of crocodile tears if and when she falls.

Funny hey, I have some photos of her dad on this very ice rink from way back when. Who knows, maybe she’ll enjoy it and I can finally dust off those old skates of mine and it can become a thing for us? We’ll see…


We had some time to kill, so we braved the arcade next door for some fun and games. Nicola did not want to leave!

The movie was great, and we all had a good time. I think this is probably only about the third movie I have ever taken Nicola to in cinemas – but she’s definitely a big fan. Holy crap but the refreshments have gone up quite a bit from the last time we were there. Taking a family of 6 out to a movie with popcorn and something to drink (okay and maybe some Astros and M&Ms) is a R700 or more adventure!

I makes me a bit ill to think about it actually.



Poor Nicola was headed straight towards being as sick as a dog by the end of Saturday, and more or less there by Sunday. I kept foolishly hoping that we’d get it turned around before antibiotics were needed, but no such luck this time.


Sunday most of the family popped over for lunch and to spend some time with my gran. It was a pretty low key event, but I think everybody had a good time. I didn’t get to chat much because I was holding Nicola in front of the TV, who was just feeling worse by the second and being pretty miserable about it.


The only baby I have been allowed (and encouraged) to hold in the last 4,5 years hahaha. This is Nicola’s cousin, whom she is very fond of! Whenever we see her, I must hold her, I must take photos of her and usually if Nicola knows we’ll be seeing her she wants to buy her toys or treats or something. Very cute! Hopefully they’ll become good friends when the playing field levels out a bit.


My very sick little angel…that’s the pale of a fever building.


Monday morning, beautiful bright red sunrise (can’t really be seen on this action photo from afar – but take my word for it – it was gorgeous!). There was no two ways about it. I had a very sick young lady on my hands, who couldn’t go to school. I also had some secret place missions to carry out, or somehow delegate – that couldn’t wait.

So bravely, I took my little pink terrrorist to work for an hour or so, in order to do what absolutely could not wait, make a doctor’s appointment and see how to get through this week that was determined to make me cry uncle.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t exactly effortless either. I gave Nicola some paper and pens to entertain herself with while I did some inbox wrangling and killed a few smallish fires. At some point I turn around to check on her and she is furiously scribbling notes in pink. She tells me that she’s making a nughty list for me of the people at my office, hahaha…I’ll have to check that list twice?  :lol:

There was a lot of “awe, she’s so cute!” going on and colleagues trying to chat to her. If you know my daughter at all, you’ll know that she really doesn’t do strangers. She usually takes at least half an hour or so before she warms up to people enough to talk to them, or have them talking to her. So she more or less moaned and hid her head ever time someone tried to interact with her, it also doesn’t help that she was feeling terrible…but i wouldn’t say that bit of the day went very well at all really.

I guess my colleagues enjoyed seeing me faf over my pink terrorist though. Mothering type isn’t probably how most of them get to see me in general. ;-)

Oh yes, and we almost got smashed and grabbed on our way out of town – to add WTF to an already not so awesome week. I guess lucky for us that none of our valuables were out in the open, but the guy would have crawled halfway into the car looking for them if the window was open more than a crack that it was. Freaked me out (in a I want to smash your face in kind of way), especially after that storie in the news this week about that poor child and the highjacking. Not even 20 meters away from us, while this was happening, two police officers were waiting to cross the road – apparently without their guide dogs around, blissfully unaware of the asshole potential criminal guy right under their noses trying to get his grubby paws into my car!


At the doctor’s office, waiting for our turn. Gosh, it was busy busy busy there. I think this up and down temperatures obviously are a great breeding ground for all kinds of nasties, because it was PACKED!


This face…I saw quite a bit of this over the last few days.

This specific sad face was caused by having to leave Polka at the doggy parlour for an hour to get her groom on. If they could have done it in 20 minutes or half an hour I would have stuck around and waited, but since I had this very ill little girl to keep calm and rested I paid R20 extra to have her delivered after the hour and a half that they said it would take.

All. Hell. Broke. Loose.

You’d swear that she’d never seen her doggy again! I even asked her what she would do if Polka cried like that every time Nicola had to go for a haircut. Inconsolable. No amount of hugs, kisses. sweets. promises, count down clocks, threats, pleading, ignoring or really any old thing could make her feel better. She cried NON STOP like this for the entire hour (luckily I managed to convince the parlour lady to hurry things along a bit if she could, or it would have been the entire hour and a half!).

It was terrible…I was blamed and resented for it all. I felt like taking up heavy drinking (but I didn’t).


Polka, back and freshly baby powder scented and be-ribboned from the parlour. All better. She still had all her bits, and actually a fair amount of the hair I actually asked them to remove, minues some hair I actually wanted to stay – but she looked cute and all was forgiven.


Having established that Nicola would stop being contagious round about Wednesday, I knew we would not be missing out on her school’s latest money making racket – crazy hat day.

So the time had come for some hat decorating. I had a different vision about how this hat would end up, but since I’m not the one who would have to wear it on my head, or decorate it – I stepped back and let Nicola loose on it with art supplies and this is more or less the direction she went with. It’s sort of nature themed I guess, anyway she loves it and that’s all that matters. I like that she did it on her own, but it’s not my most favourite hat of all times – even in crazy hat terms. I am secretly hoping that it won’t survive a day at school and we can always fondly remember it from this photo, but I probably won’t be that lucky. ;-)

It is currently drying out nicely from its vigorous painting on our fridge, ready to wow the masses on Friday. I think it probably could do with a bit of glitter or tinsel or something. I’ll see if I can talk the designer into it tonight – otherwise it will probably stay more or less like this. (On the back is a cardboard banana and apple – also painted – which was a step down from the actual apple, banana and palm tree she initially wanted to mount on there).


Polka, post parlour drama, looking a bit like a pretty skunk with that grey showing on her back, but smelling much nicer obviously.


No photos from yesterday, but that was probably the most emotional day of the week for me…

It was Tannie Ria’s memorial service yesterday and my dad went with me. I am very grateful for the support, I know he had to clear out a busy day to be there for me, and I really appreciate it. Of course I was a bit of a mess at the chapel, reading the letters from her children and loved ones really touched me. Gosh, I really miss her. Then when her youngest son got up to thank everyone I bawled again seeing him doing that.

After the service we joined everyone for refeshments on a family plot/farm close by. I had a lovely opportunity to chat with all three her children, and share some of the funnier Ria stories we’ll remember her by from way back when. It was so good to see everyone again, sadly under these circumstances though. 

I am really glad I went. It was a good send off for a great person who meant a lot to me.  It’s actually still a bit unreal to think that she’s not there anymore…


Not all sadness and goodbyes yesterday though. :-)

My brother bear and SIL joined us for our Wednesday visit with my folks. My brother has been job hunting for some time now, and yesterday was great news in that regard. Champaigne for everyone! :-)

I am so happy for him, and I hope that he’ll have some interesting new challenges and adventures in his new job. They sound like a great crowd to work for. We actually had a laugh about something one of the interviewers said to him during the process. The guy practically quoted me word for word on a thing I said at one of my previous secret places in the region of 10 years or more ago. Word.For.Word! I can get behind no nonsense people who say what they mean, and mean what they say.

I have a gut feeling that he’s going to have a great time there. :-D


This morning on the school drop. This photo is specially for my folks…Nicola’s school carrot. Did you know that the top of a carrot chopped off will grow back another carrot bit if you plant it? No…me neither. I always though it was one of those things you needed seeds for. It took a while, but finally the carrot pushed out some new leaves – and we couldn’t be more proud.

Every day I have to visit the carrot and ooh and awe over it. And who wouldn’t? The little thing is doing amazingly well.


A very proud “farmer” Nicola and carrot.

PS! Do you know where your Last Will and Testament is? Mmm, do you? Or do you think you might now? If something happened to you today, would your people know where to find your paper work? Go check tonight, seriously – and leave a signed copy somewhere obvious. Make sure whomever needs to know, knows!

It appears that I have to redo my own. The copy that I thought I knew was easy to find, cannot be found. It’s a really big mess when that happens when it matters. I am redoing it today and not one second later. Can you just imagine?!

Seriously, go and check on your papers people!

PPS! thank you to all of you who checked on me during this last week. It means more than you know. xxx


On the up side…

18 July , 2014

It’s been a really emotionally exhausting week. I threw myself into a proper grieving process with wild abondon to be honest. That’s not to say that I just let everything else drop, the laundry still had to be done, my pink terrorist still needed to have a bath and eat on a regular-ish schedule, there was a tremedous amount of work to get through at secret place this week…but I did a lot of crying. Ugly crying, not the graceful tear over the cheek sort of crying. I got sent home on a couple of occasions because I think it just unnerves the people around me when I sit at my desk doing that – seriously, everyone has been really kind and supportive. I really appreciate it, especially the Queen.

The way I usually deal with loss is to really let it rip for about three days, and then I calm down to a more acceptable level of sadness. Once I can write about it, I’m usually more or less okay. Seriously, the writing is the key for me to dealing with shocks…always has been…always will be. How do you deal with loss/shock/anger/any extreme emotion?

Yesterday one of my colleagues asked me if I was okay and if I needed to speak to someone (of the white coat and prescription pad variety, if you get my drift), but I assured her that I was okay. I am grieving, and it is the time to grieve. I’m giving myself the opportunity to feel the loss fully and then I’ll move on to remembering the good stuff and letting go of the rest. I explained the writing thing to her and showed her my post from yesterday. She started crying about her own mom who passed away years ago, gave me a big hug and bought me chocolate. It was quite moving to see my writing affect someone like that…

Today I got up without puffy eyes, and without crying in my morning bath. Things are looking up in other words…the memorial service is next week Wednesday, which will obviously be very emotional again. It will be hard to officially say goodbye, as it should be.

The week wasn’t all doom and gloom though, thanks to my family and friends, and mostly for the little clown I live with – Nicola! ;-)


Best laugh this week though has to be the conversation at my parents’ place on Wednesday though.

K & R were talking about K’s friend A who is getting engaged. She wants a black diamond in her engagement ring, which if you’ve met her makes perfect sense really – she’s not a traditional sort of girl. So K says to R, that she would like to get a pink one for their anniversary. R says, a pink paper? It’s their first year anniversary in September, and I think paper is the traditional first anniversary gift  – we all have a laugh about it and start throwing around ideas about what cool paper gifts would be. My mom, ever hopeful, says – you know what also has paper in it? Baby diapers! How about K giving R a baby for their anniversary? Nicola pipes up with, “Oh no! I don’t think he’ll like that very much.” Mwahaha, we were all laughing our asses off about that. We didn’t even realise she was listening.

And then this was very cute last night (video). You can’t see it but there is a whole audience of soft toys lined up for a game of pretend, and Nicola decides that she is the giant in this story and does a giant stomp. I wasn’t quick enough to catch the first one so I asked her to re-enact it for me…now I know what she gets up to upstairs when I’m bust cooking and it sounds like a herd of ellies stampeding around above me!


Ps! At secret place I am having the kind of week where I wish I owned a T-shirt that says “I told you so!” on the front in bold letters with a picture of a wagging finger. I’m not actually in the mood to pick up pieces behind someone who I’ve warned months in advance about what needed to be done…but this is the job, so I guess I’ll suck it up and get on with it…at my own pace…and with a raised eyebrow…and possibly a few passive and not so passive agrressive emails in between.

Next week will be better. I have decreed it so. ;-)


14.7.2014 Tannie Ria

17 July , 2014


Ek kan nie glo jy’s weg nie…

Nie meer op jou pos in jou stoel in die kombuis, glas wyn in die hand, rokies op die kas, altyd gereed om drukkies uit te deel of ‘n skouer om op te huil, of te luister en raad te gee…of te skater van die lag nie nie.

Net weg…

Daar is donker tye wat ek nie weet of ek anderkant sou uitgekom het sonder jou nie. Jy met jou klein armpies en jou groot hart. Op een so ‘n geleentheid het ek daar gesit en kla, en na seker ‘n uur of meer het jy gesê…weet jy my kindjie, ek sit nou hier na jou en luister en ek hoor baie “ek voel” en “ek dink”, maar waar is die “ek besluit” en die “ek doen”? Jy gaan jouself mal maak met hierdie ander kak, en dis nie hoe ek jou ken nie. Mwahaha…spyker op die kop soos gewoonlik, ek dink altyd aan jou woorde wanneer ek vasval in ‘n ek dink en ek voel situasie.

Dankie vir al die lag saam, die geselsies oor die wêreld en wat nog – soms deur die nag om daai kombuis kas. Dankie vir al die liefde.

Ek is jammer dat ons nie meer gekuier het nie, veral die laaste paar jaar. En ek is jammer dat jy nooit vir Nicola ontmoet het nie, sy is die beste dingetjie wat nog ooit met my gebeur het en ek dink jy sou dit geniet het om te sien hoe sy my op my tone hou.

Jy los ‘n groot gat Tannie Ria, ‘n LEEMTE. My hart is stukkend.

Slaap sag…


All about the brrr…

14 July , 2014


How bloody cold was last week?! Ag nee man. I am very tired of winter. Good news though, only 47 more days till Spring Day. ;-)

Polka usually hangs around till we head off to bed before either curling up somewhere to sleep or trying to negotiate her way onto the foot end of the bed for some additional heat. On this day she couldn’t wait, it was just too cold, so she burrowed into the laundry.







Obviously I’ve been missing the sun, or the heat from the sun anyway. I pined for it by taking various sunrise photos on super freezing mornings!


This was going to be Nicola’s outfit for the dog show. After we changed the event to go to Delta park, she decided not to wear the dress – good choice actually because it’s not the best outfit for jungle gyms.


Clean and fluffy Polka on Friday night, in prep for the park visit.


The very awesome butterfly costume my mom made for Polka – how cute! She’s not in love with the wings to be honest, but she tolerates them.


Freezing out, but someone needed their shoes off anyway.


We convinced Ouma to join us, and she ended up on wing sitting duty. Next time, we’ll definitely go there again when it’s a bit warmer…brrr…


Whoohoo! :-)


The pink terrorist sure loves her stick and stones, and pieces of random tree bark. I’ll have you know that I get at least one stick or stone every day from school, especially hand selected for me. These two were the finds from Saturday, and they are much more versatile than you might imagine.

The left hand one was used as either a fork, or a hair brush – on everyone in the house. And the flat one on the right was either a knife or a cellphone.

Definitely my kid, as she likes to name inanimate objects – but we used to have a little twig in the house called snoopy a while ago, and at the moment we have a longish walking stick sized branch (picked up on our walk with Chickenruby a few weeks ago) called Numtum. There were many long crocodile tears when Oupa took the sharp end off Numtum (I mean really, how is she supposed to defend herself now she asks me?!), and more recently I often get called to discipline Polka when she bites Numtum.

We get attached to our things, I guess. ;-)


We had lunch at my brother-bear and SIL’s house on Saturday afternoon. Look at those two working so nicely together in the kitchen. Here they can be seen making chocolate spring rolls! Yumm…I ate waaaay too many of those delectable little things. Actually I ate so many I didn’t feel like supper on Saturday OR breakfast on Sunday, haha…


Sneaky sneaky K! :-) Thanks for the photo I found unexpectedly on my phone. I’m trying to pack Dominoes for Nicola to push over here, with varrying degrees of success.


Cyclone Nicola, adding some make up to her Barbies so they can look their best, as you do.

All things considered, it was a gloriously relaxing weekend. We got plenty of sleep, saw a few things, did a few things. Just enough so that I could still feel a little bit like I might be hibernating, or as close to it as humanely possible.

How was your weekend?


Damn it!

7 July , 2014


You know…I hate it when other people make me look like an asshole.

Secret place has cancelled the dog show!

Have you got any idea how shattered Nicola is going about this?! And I’m the jerk who promised it to her *sniff-sniff*

So…anyone interested in dressing up their dogs and faking a dog show at Delta park on Saturday?

Pretty please?


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