So uh... yeah I've been kinda scarce lately. A lot has happened, the most significant of which is that TheHusband and I procreated. Which made me think back over the last few months of (mostly) blissful parenthood.
- Time flies. Seriously. I feel like I barely blinked and A's first birthday is already looming just around the corner.
- You don't know shit. Everything you thought you knew about having kids? Yeah, for the most part scratch all that.
- You cannot comprehend the level of zombie you will rapidly attain in the first few weeks, until you are there. And when you're there, you probably won't have enough wits about you either to comprehend the severity of the situation.
- You won't be able to describe the immensity of the love you feel for your child. It is unreal. As much as I thought I would love my kid (and believe me, through almost two years of trying to conceive I thought about that a *lot*), it doesn't even come close to how I feel now.
- The statement "your life won't ever be the same" is the understatement of the century. In all the good ways and also in some not-so pleasant ways.
- In many ways, being a parent is a lot easier than it looks from the outside. In other ways, it is the scariest thing you'll ever have to do.
- It still hasn't quite hit me that I am now a mom. Yes, I have a baby and I do all the things you'd expect a mom to do, but identifiying as a mom? For some reason that part still eludes me. I wonder when it'll hit me?
- It's a cliche, but I suddenly appreciate everything my mom did and still does for me.
- I secretly enjoy it when A wakes up in the middle of the night and I get to squeeze in some more cuddle time. Well, for the most part I enjoy it.
- I judge other parents all the time. Yep, I shouldn't, but I do. Hey, they probably judge me too! Bastards.
1. It is *not*, I repeat NOT fun. At all. Not even slightly. Besides having to sort out all your crap (and boy do we have a lot of that), the heavy lifting and the unpacking on the other side is also not exactly a barrel of laughs.
2. Forget bootcamp. Moving is the ultimate workout. I'm expecting shapely calves and bulging biceps any day now after the strenuous work they did this weekend.
3. Cats do not like being in a car. Or in a cage. They will therefore attempt to claw anything within reach to death, including you, their beloved human.
4. The new kitchen is awesome. No scratch that, beyond awesome. Normal-sized oven (as opposed to toy-sized oven) FTW.
5. The simple pleasure of having your own garden and being able to feel grass under your feet at any time is vastly underrated. Even if said garden is fairly small.
6. I am already feeling at home in the new house, even though there is still just short of a thousand boxes to be unpacked. New beginnings and all that.
7. The commute to and from Stellenbosch for work is less painful than I thought it would be. Of course, it's a hell of an adjustment from leaving home at 5 to 8. But worth every minute of it.
8. I finally know what they mean by "nesting". My mind is constantly full of ideas to make our home more livable, prettier, more functional. And it feels good.
9. Our very vocal second kitty is a lot more calm ever since we moved into the new place. Was a garden really all she wanted? Who knew.
10. It's interesting finding your feet in a new town. Figuring out which routes are easiest, which shops are biggest (bigger equals better for a woman okay) and what your neighbours are like is invigorating. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday.
Inspired by this post from twitter buddy, Polkadotcupcake, I thought I'd try my hand at something similar.
So... things I've learned, things that put a smile on my dial and things I'm grateful for. Here goes nothing:
1. I am stoked that we are going to become godparents to kid #2 in about 8 months time.
2. Seasonal eating is one of life's simple pleasures. It's challenging, but immensely rewarding and opens us up to new flavours and tastes, which is pretty awesome.
3. Kids' birthday parties are super fun. Put on a party hat and stuff your face with cake for a carefree few hours.
4. Almost as much fun is buying presents for children. And getting excited over all the cool toys in the store. Mad scientist set, anyone? Almost makes me wish I was still young enough for toys.
5. A fresh coat of paint (especially white paint) works wonders on tired old kitchen cupboards. Booyah.
6. I love love love how furry and cuddly our kittens are. Happiness is truly a warm kitten.
7. Running (well walking/jogging) makes me feel like superwoman. Something I never ever thought I'd say. After a week of slacking off and feeling sluggish I went for a jog this morning and it was exhilirating.
8. Packing in and slowly clearing our flat of clutter is a vastly underrated joy. Bonus points - I will have super muscular biceps by the end of next week due to carrying boxes down three flights of stairs.
9. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in the kitchen amidst all the chaos of packing. Stuffed gnocchi, a quick chard quiche and some lovely cheesy olive-y flatbread are the latest creations to come out of the mess.
10. I have the most amazingly patient husband in the entire universe. For real. And that is something to not take lightly.
I know this lady. Let's call her Ms M. Ms M has what you would label a problem child. This is a child who acts out both at home and at school, talking disrespectfully to his parents, grandparents, teachers etc, breaking things (his own and other people's) and generally just being a menace to society.
But. And it's a big but. I don't think that the child is the problem here.
Instead, it seems blindingly obvious to me that the parents are to blame. Ms M has a big problem with responsibility. As in, she takes none. Whenever she is confronted with her mistakes she will try and shift the blame to some other supposedly responsible party. As for the things she is supposed to be in charge of - well let's just say whenever anyone asks her about it, she throws her hands in the air. Most of the time she couldn't be bothered to learn how things work in order to complete her tasks. It's just easier to claim "I don't know" you see.
That I can still handle though. What I can't handle is that she takes this very same attitude with her kid. But don't take my word for it, let's look at some shining examples of her parenting style: (bear in mind this is a preschooler)
- Child allowed to stay up into the wee hours of the morning
- Child allowed to watch pretty much anything on tv. Parents usually watch with him, but no guidance is offered from their side. As Ms M so eloquently put it, she's glad that such a wide variety of topics (violence, sex, drugs etc) are dealt with on tv, so that she doesn't have to explain them to her kid.
- After repeated incidents at the school, the teacher requests that the child no longer brings a certain toy to school. Miss M completely (and very vocally) disregards this and brilliantly models respect for an authority figure.
- At a school open day, several parents approach Miss M to complain about her child's swearing. Miss M claims to not know where child gets it from, but regularly swears like a banshee at work. No doubt it is even worse at home. Classy.
- When teacher approaches Miss M about her child's bad behaviour, Miss M vows to "get that bitch back". And insists that the teacher is at fault for not being able to control the kid at school. Apparently the teacher is too soft, yet in the same breath she complains that the kid constantly gets yelled at by his teacher.
The best part? In spite of all these reports regarding her child and visits to a child psychologist, Miss M vehemently denies that she or her husband has anything to do with the kid's behaviour. In fact, she got mightily upset with the psychologist when she was told that it wasn't the psychologist's job to teach her child values.
I feel sorry for that kid. I really do. Unfortunately, growing up society will only see the bad behaviour and won't look past him to the actual guilty party, the parents. Yes, Miss M, I place the blame squarely at your doorstep and unfortunately throwing your hands in the air won't solve this problem.
Seems it's time for my quarterly update again.
healthier watch-what-you-eat regime I/we embarked on at the beginning of the year is paying off. I've lost a total of 4kgs since Jan and TheHusband has lost about 5kg. Not huge, but not bad right? And believe me, we're definitely not on a starvation diet. We started off, rather enthusiastically, with a mild exercise program, but as the days have grown shorter, our enthusiasm has rapidly waned. And so it goes. Weight loss is 80% what you eat though (or so they say) and I console myself on the exercise front with our weekly ballroom classes. Hey it's a workout if you're unfit...
On the foodie front, The Creative Pot (my cooking blog) is going from strength to strength, I've even had a couple of my recipes featured on food24. *grin* And this Sunday I'm attending the first ever South African food blogger conference. Hoping to connect with fellow SA foodies and learn a bit more regarding photography and marketing of my blog. I confess, I wouldn't mind turning the blogging thing into my main venture & source of income. But that's still a looooong way off. Of course, just as lady luck would have it, I broke out with a rather peculiar rash a week ago and my doctor informed me earlier this week that it'll be here to stay for 3 - 6 weeks. I'm sure that will make a superb first impression on my fellow food bloggers on Sunday.
In other more serious business-y news - our bond got approved (after a LOT of waiting) and we are awaiting the completion of our first property in June with bated breath.
We seem to be into the whole home refurbishing thing at the moment, after tackling the nerd room, our bedroom also got a (tiny) makeover and we are currently busy with the kitchen. I'm thinking Italian chic with bold red stripes on the kitchen cupboards, matt silver knobs & handles and a much needed extra shelf above the cooking area. It's about time our poor abused kitchen got some tender loving care and at the moment anything's bound to look better than the tired old cream colour scheme.
Things I'm looking forward to in the next few months:
- Grease @ The Artscape on the 20th of March
- SA Food Blogger's conference on the 21st of March
- Taste of Cape Town on the 27th of March
- Bien Donne Cheese Festival (perhaps) in April (notice a food trend here?)
- A few days at Goudini Spa with great friends in June - a very welcome midyear break
Do you get regular massages? Nope. Actually never been for one. Except for the home DIY type ones from TheHusband. Do you have an answering machine? Nope. Don't even have a home telephone. The closest thing would be voicemail I guess. Though I'm not a diligent user of it. Messages go there to die.
What cuss word do you use the most? The F-bomb. Trying to curb my usage though...
Are you underweight or overweight? Technically I'm in the normal weight range for my height, but I definitely have a belly that can do with some diminishing. Can you see your veins? Only the ones on the undersides of my wrists. And a little bit on my hands (if you look very closely). And yes, they're blue. :-)
Soap? Whatever smells nicest in the store when we have to replace the old soap.
Fruit? Mangoes and watermelons.
Kind of red meat? Lamb. Beef feels increasingly heavy for me.
Fish? Tuna steak, seared on the outside and still pink on the inside. Heavenly.
Candy bar? Tempo. Or Snowflake. Or Crunchie. And I really like Smarties. And Lindt's Fleur de Sel dark chocolate slab.
Have You Ever…
Eaten a whole bag of potato chips? Yup. *hangs head in shame* Although this is not really a regular occurence. The more regular occurence would be gobbling up an entire slab of chocolate.
Eaten lobster? Not yet. Still on my to-try list.
Climbed a mountain? Yes, not out of my own free will. (Std 9 "leadership" camp - oh the horrors!)
Been skydiving? No - my fear of heights prohibits me from doing these things. I have abseiled though (see above).
Been water skiing? No. Looks kinda fun though, I might consider it. Generally not the sporty/outdoorsy kind though.
Wish you could change something about your life? Nope, happy with what I've got.
Like your nose? Yes. It's the smallest in my immediate family, so I guess I scored in one area at least!
Like salt and vinegar chips? No. It's always WAY too vinegary. Like salt & vinegar on "slap chips" though. My favourite chips are Simba's Cheddar Cheese. It is seriously addictive.
Eat salsa? I like it, but don't eat it on a regular basis. No reason. :-)
Own a boat? No. No real ambition to either.
A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences? Manners. Although I wouldn't say it has dire consequences, just unpleasant ones.
Your most macho trait? I'm not a big fan of the telephone. Or small-talk. That counts as macho (or at least non-feminine, right?). I also find it pretty hard to talk about my feelings, and will only open up to the one or two people that are really close to me.
The longest relationship you’ve ever had? TheHusband. Almost 6 years. Canyoubelieveit?
Your most embarrassing thoughts? Too many. And definitely not going to be sharing them here!
Your most shameful moment? One or two drunken youthful nights spring to mind...
Bath/Shower? Bath. Although a shower is awesome after a workout.
Pens/Pencils? Pens. Used to be pencils - but the really short, stubby ones.
Jelly/Cream Cheese? Cream cheese. I have weird "issues" with jam (jelly). I know, it's stupid.
Bagel/Toast? Toast. But it has to be wholegrain toast and it has to be spread with butter and it has to be done while it's still warm so that the butter melts into the bread. Otherwise I will not be a happy camper. It really sounds like I'm very finicky with food, but I promise it's just these two things. Oh and yoghurt - no mushy berries in my yoghurt please!
I wish I was…financially free!
Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are…many things! Cheat on TheHusband (not even for 10 million dollars) and eat human excrement (nasty!) are just two that spring to mind.
The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is…Really can't think of something now.
Credit card you had? The one I still have - an ABSA silver one.
Loan you got was for? Study loan. Although my dad paid it off in the end. YAY! Haven't had any other loans to date, although in the process of procuring a bond. One small step for man...
Paycheck was for how much? R4800. Before tax. However DID I manage to survive? And I had medical aid & retirement annuities to boot!
Time you had stitches? When I was about 8 - I fell my chin open for the second time and had to have stitches. First time was as a toddler, but my dad just doctered it with surgical spirits at home (much to my mom's horror).
Time you went to the hospital for something? Was about 6 or 7. Had to have my adenoids removed. I bet you're going to google that now...
List everything you ate in the last 24 hours? Lunch - Carrot salad, Red grape & blue cheese foccacia, Banana-coconut "ice-cream". Supper - 1/2 beef, mushroom & pepper panini (doggie bag from Saturday's lunch), 1/2 halloumi, olive & tomato panini (also in doggie bag). Snacks - small citrus yoghurt (best EVER yoghurt by the way, just 3 ingredients: milk, fruit & yoghurt cultures), shared a bag of litchi's with TheHusband, a couple of handfuls of goji berries. Drinks - A glass of orange juice and copious amounts of water.
What was your job previous to the one you have now? Article clerk.
Last thing you celebrated? Christmas & New Years.
Last time you were at a sports bar? Can’t remember.
Last time you were at a sports bar? Can’t remember.
Quote for the week: "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin
As in - looking back at the past year and anticipating with joy the year to come.
We all do it. And I think it's good to take stock of where you are and where you're going every once in a while. Not necessarily at the beginning of the year either (although it is quite convenient).
So, what happened in 2009?
- I jumped back on the blogging bandwagon - somewhat on this blog and much more so on my cooking blog - The Creative Pot. I also have a fan page for my cooking blog on facebook - come check me out!
- All the cooking made me a little rounder than I'd like to be - which is why my aim this year is to get trim & fit. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
- We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in February. Love you bug! As they say, time flies when you're having fun...
- We attended KKNK in April (me for the 2nd time, TheHusband for the 1st time) and had a roaring good time.
- I started tweeting - come and have a look here (private tweets) and here (cooking/eating related tweets).
- We went to Casper's new show's opening night in the Artscape for my birthday in July and I met the man in person backstage. He is supershort!
- We made a big decision (more on that in a future post though). Yes I'm going to keep you hanging here. :-)
- We finally achieved some order in what used to be the hellhole/spareroom (or more affectionately known as the Nerdroom)
- For the first time ever I experienced job insecurity, as a result of having to work short-time in October. Which was actually good in hindsight as it forced us to take a good, hard (long overdue) look at our finances.
- TheHusband and I became (superproud) godparents in October and couldn't stop smiling about it. Which of course lead to a whole slew of Godfather quotes...
- We embarked on our property investing venture in all seriousness this time. And are currently busy applying for bonds. Here's holding thumbs (and big toes) for being approved with favourable rates.
- In December we attended the wedding of two friends who we'd introduced to each other back in 2006. Holla for the matchmakers!