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These hands

10 July , 2018

Not quite a poem…no rhyming…but let’s call it that anyway for lack of a better word.

These hands…

Have laid waste to enemies

Have inflicted self-harm

Have built, and lost empires

Have wiped away tears of grief

Have waved goodbye to loved ones

Have clasped together in prayer

Have reached out for help

Have teased and pleasured a lover

Have held children with love and care

Have worked hard at rebuilding

Have helped others without asking for anything in return

Have created wonders

Have fixed what was broken

Have taught those ready to learn

Have searched for the truth

 

And has my heart, held gently, between them…

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Mine

10 July , 2018

These two are getting on like a house on fire now, and I couldn’t be happier.

When I see my daughter relax and trust someone, let them in instead of maintaining a cautious distance for a change, it does my heart good. I think 8 is too young to be jaded about people’s intentions, and I hate to think that I might be the cause of that inherent distrust.

So this is my Nicola and my Andy, or Andreas as he is not known. I am so happy I could burst. 😀

He seems to get on well with most of my family too, except my mom. I’m sure she’ll come around in time, if Nicola got her inherent distrust from anyone it’s probably my mom and not me. If you know my kid at all, you’ll know that once she’s decided that she likes and trusts you, that you’re part of “her people” she’ll go to war for you without hesitation. Her fierce loyalty is really quite remarkable and awe inspiring when you see it in action.

On Sunday she went to war for Andy.

My mom was giving me a hard time about him, and out nowhere Nicola piped up, “Ouma, don’t you want my mom to be happy? Andy makes her happy…and he’s nice.” I don’t know who was more surprised, me or my mom.

It’s been super awkward around here since then as you can probably imagine. I hate living with this atmosphere hanging over everything. I really hope that things smooth over soon, I’m running out of beta blockers and I’d really like to stay calm.

I may have mentioned it once or twice before in other posts. I’m almost 40 years old, how the hell did I end up in a position where people think that they can still make my decisions for me, and treat me like a child?! Weigh in if you must, but don’t be a jerk about it. I too have lots of opinions about how other people should live their lives, but I keep those to myself because it’s not my decision to make.

It’ll work out in the end, I’m sure. One way or another. Wish me luck guys.

Did you ever have something similar happen to you, and how did you handle it?

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Liam’s baby shower

10 July , 2018

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We had the opportunity to attend a baby shower for baby Liam this past weekend. Baby Liam is my cousin’s second – and long wished for baby. We’re all very excited to meet the little guy!

Look at these cute cupcakes! Aren’t they just adorable?

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My cousin’s MIL rented out this venue in Pretoria, The View @ 6. It does actually have a pretty good view too, sorry I forgot to take a picture of that haha.

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Family, always great to see everyone again. We really don’t do this sort of thing often enough. This is my other cousin Nelize and my other cousin Ian’s wife, Arlene.

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Other cousin Albert’s wife, Zelmarie and her mom. She’s also expecting and we’ll be attending her baby shower in about two weeks. Good year for my family. 😉

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Cousin Bernadine, whose baby shower it was and myself. Shame, you can see she’s in the proper exhausted part of the pregnancy. I took quite a few photos but in half of them her eyes are closed.

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They prepared a time capsule for Liam to be opened on his 21st. We each had to write a little something making a prediction about what we guessed he would be when he grows up. This was Nicola’s letter, totally unprompted. For those that don’t understand Afrikaans it roughly translates to “I think that Liam will be a strong independent man”. How bloody cute is that?!

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Next party game was a baby bag which was sent round and you had to stick your hand in and guess what 10 items were in there. Nicola got 6 and I got 7. We’re obviously out of practice! My aunt got 9 and was the closest so she won a box of chocolates.

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Pulling faces at herself in the reflections of the table decor…

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Next game was drawing a baby on a paper plate on top of your head…happy to report that I scored top 4 on this one hahaha!

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Good fun!

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Nicola and I…

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My mom and my Aunt Wilma, having a big giggle about something.

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These two boys that are hatching so closely together will probably grow up to be the bestest friends.

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The table decor that had Nicola mesmerized. It has a little LED in it, I bet it looks lovely at night too, even during the day it looked like a jar of fireflies. So cute!

We had a great time, and it was so lovely to see everyone again.

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Words of wisdom 4-7-2018

4 July , 2018

So freaking cold in Jhb this week! Hope the rest of the country in enjoying their snow…we just get the cold wind here.

Nicola is super bummed that there isn’t snow close enough to go see and build a snowman with.

Anyhoo, here are some of the words that caught my eye this week. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

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Things are not always what they appear to be

2 July , 2018

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Ever wear a mask, or hide behind a lie? Sure you have – I’m pretty sure everyone has at some point or another.

One of mine, so old that I haven’t even thought about it in soooo many years, popped up over the weekend. It was time to set the record straight I guess.

See, many moons ago…pre-Nicola obviously (you’ll see why this is obvious in a second…just bear with me), my mom was always hounding my brother and I about her desperate need to be a grandmother. On every occasion she got. Everywhere and in front of anyone. Really…non  stop. She used to tell people if she wanted to be a grandmother she would have to have the babies herself!

I used to say that I didn’t want kids.

Which was what my mom decided to share with Andy over the weekend. In front of my kid, who I really definitely wanted and want more than anything else in the world.

The truth is, I always wanted kids. I was pretty sure I couldn’t have kids. I was 100% convinced that I was sterile. Even at my first scan my doctor remarked on the fact that with the thingy I have going on in my plumbing I’m actually supposed to be sterile. I was not surprised. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I definitely knew something was.

It is much easier to say you don’t want kids than to say you can’t have kids. It makes you seem too-busy-for-this-shit instead of too-broken-for-this-miracle. If given an option I will always take the judgement of people who don’t actually know over their pity. You get it right? I’m full of shit…not weak.

I was pretty convincing in this lie I think. When I found out I was pregnant with Nicola, only my friend Simone’ knew straight away that I was so thrilled I could explode! In fact her words were, “Fantastic! This is what you always wanted.” where everyone else was, “Shit! How do you feel about it? What are you going to do, keep it or terminate?”

I was so convincing in my lie, that when Nicola was about a year old my mom once told me that I was doing much better at mothering than they ever thought I would, seeing as I didn’t actually ever want kids and that my parents were fully prepared to adopt Nicola and raise her themselves if it became obvious that I was a shit mother.

I am coasting over all of this, in what I hope is a lighthearted fashion…but there is an awful lot of hurt in these few paragraphs above.

Anyway, I couldn’t let Nicola hear that I never wanted kids and even for a second believe that it was true. So I came clean on why I actually said that. Hopefully this thing will now be forever put to bed.

Ps! Nicola, if you ever end up reading this one day and remember that discussion in the car…just know that you truly were a miracle and that I never wanted anyone or anything as much as I wanted you. Ever. You were a dream come true, and there has not been a single day since I threw up with morning sickness for the very first time that I have not been thrilled and thankful to have you in my life. Not even a single one. 

 

 

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Reflections

1 July , 2018

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What a week!

Secret place shenanigans

Work is INSANE at the moment…in a time that is usually quieter for us. I can see everyone is just as tired as I am, some are acting out a bit but lets just blame the winter-meh? My week has consisted of fighting fires all day, every day. It’s a remote virtual office setup, so all fire fighting is done via email and phone. I have had my phone on charge almost constantly and still manage to run down the battery to single digits 2 to 3 times a day!

And then on Friday I was asked to start thinking about how to automate my function…Mwahahaha! I’m now convinced that some people have no idea what I actually do around here. If any of you know how to automate herding cats, or whipping people into shape without actually breaking them at the same time, let me know what tool you’re using. I’d love to give it a bash and free up some breathing space.

Home and heart

Nicola is doing great! She’s at holiday care most days, mostly because they follow a good structured but entertaining program there and if she stays home she’ll be in the tablet and youtube 24/7. I’m not on leave, so I can’t entertain her all day for three weeks of school holidays.

There was some upheaval with broken pedals and training wheels on her bicycle, and I finally convinced her we need to get a bigger bike…with no training wheels. She has been resisting this move for the last 2 years at least – so big step in the right direction!

We can now be seen up and downing in the road a couple of times a day trying to get the hang of balance without assistance. This new bike is going to be great for my health I guess? Andy and I are the training wheels at the moment so doing a lot of f-ing running! (Usually I only run for spiders).

Love

As you may or may not have guessed from my previous post, I have met someone very special.

He is extremely honest about anything that might make you run for the hills or judge him, right from the word go…but if you don’t….you will discover someone so sweet and caring that it will knock your socks off!

I am not worried about dark and twisty pasts. I have one too. Honesty is like a drug to me, I can’t get enough of it.

I love that he makes the effort to be in our lives every single day. He allows Nicola to approach him at her own pace…which is cautious and slow (she did make him a lovely avatar of himself yesterday, as she thought he would look as a girl in a purple dress), and he makes me laugh uncontrollably, when he’s not making me lose my train of thought with his amazing kisses, sometimes he does both at the same time.

And I trust him…which is not a small thing for me.

What we don’t have in common is taste in music, hahaha. That’s okay. I can live with that. Also, if I want any chance of actually talking to his father other than saying, “Hi” I will probably have to learn some German.

Other

A couple of months ago my brother bear and SIL told us that they are considering moving to Australia.

It’s not great. It’s terrible! I can’t imagine living in a different country than my brother! I get it though. Things are not exactly going well here in South Africa. At that point I suggested that we should then maybe all look at going.

As it turned out, I can’t get in on permanent residence, the longest I can find a legal way to be there is for two years. There is not even a slim chance in hell that I would uproot Nicola and drag her halfway across the world for two years (and have you seen the spiders there! Eeep!).

So Oz is out for me. They are busy with their process, and it looks like they should be fine. The only chance my folks have of getting in is if Riaan and Karen sponsor them after two years to do so. Which is a pretty expensive exercise, but not impossible.

Where does that leave Nicola and I? Well I guess we either have to look at another place, or make this one work for us. I’m leaning on just staying, because I don’t actually want to go anyway. I just want South Africa to start moving towards the amazing place I think it can be, instead of this cluster fuck of crime and chaos that it is at the moment.

My dad dragged me to an emigration seminar on Wednesday for New Zealand. Looks like it might be considerably easier finding your way in there…but I’m not really sure I actually want to live there to begin with.

On the up side, with his qualifications and experience, they are pretty confident that they’d be able to get the age restriction waved for him…this means that my parents will have another option independently. This means a lot to my dad I think, when you’re used to leading the way it’s a tough pill to swallow that your only option is hitching your wagon to someone else’s star to get where you want to go.

How awful would it be if we all end up in different countries at the end of this? I guess what is meant to be, will be. If that happens I need to find a way to get ridiculously wealthy, so that we can go visit everyone wherever they end up.

Getting filthy rich doesn’t look like it’s going to happen where I work now…but I’ve been asked to try my hand at writing erotica. It is harder than you think! Hahaha, oooooh oooooh sooooo hard! If you have any ideas on a good nom de plume I can use for this, let me know.

Okay, that’s a wrap from me for this week…what the hell have you guys been up to?

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Surprises…

25 June , 2018

…happen when you least expect it.