Let's start a conversation...

"We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they have all learned to live together in the same box!"

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Losing a (father/ symbolic) figure


I know everyone has there words to say about Mandela's death. And i dont think i have anything particularly original to say... As a country we are deeply saddened by it and personally i do feel like i have lost someone important.

On reflecting on why it feels so sore to lose someone who was essentially so distant from me i realised a few things...
To a large extent Madiba was symbolic of the struggle against apartheid. he was a figurehead of what was destroyed when apartheid ended. And we are so grateful to him for being that.

On a personal note (and as i write this i am crying in gratitude to Madiba and all those people who fought against apartheid) it means i could marry the man i love without being arrested, i can be a mother to my son who is several shades darker than me, i can go to the same beach as my boys, i can hold their hands in public without fear. Without the end of apartheid i would never have met Philippe. we would not have been attending the same writing retreat and probably not the same university...


Grateful. i am grateful.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

On feeling (fat, thin, ugly, ok) beautiful

Today was a day i had been dreading for a while... Photo day at work! We had professional make up done and then had professional photos taken.

i was dreading today... Because i dont like photos, i am (a little) scared of make up and i felt silly. i was worried i wouldnt know how to move my head in the right direction when i had to or hold my eyelids still to have mascara applied. Worried they'd just have to scrap my photo...

But i guess the real problem was that i dont feel beautiful and was scared of having the rest of the world (hahaha- such a drama queen! Just my colleagues, a photographer and make up artist) see that i am not beautiful. This is heart wrenching to write cos i feel like i am baring my soul a little. i think i need to brace myself for a vulnerability hangover tomorrow:).

And then... i was reading this blog tonight and realised what a screwed up view i have. and i really wanted to just write this to debrief and unpack this. I love where Kasey Edwards says "When did fat become a feeling anyway?" Exactly... When did fat, ugly, beautiful, thin become feelings????

And i know deep down i am not ugly. i think the fact that i have such a handsome husband proves that cos he wouldnt marry too far out his range ;-)! but i guess what i struggle to know is that i am beautiful. And yet i profess that i dont think beauty is not only physically related but an inward outshining. a smarkling of yourself. and i do believe that. Now how do i live that?

Also (and yes we are back here!) how do i teach Luc that... Not only to see himself in a positive healthy manner but also to treat woman in that way. i do need to model an acceptance of myself (all the bits- wobbly, wrinkly, scared). maybe if i act i will believe it a bit more.

P.S. What an incredible experience today was. Professional make up and photos are worth having... Even if just for the introspection they spark

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Some recent pictures...

 Luc and I love Delta Park. It is so much fun... amazing jungle gyms, loads of space and usually lots of other little people.

Luc is obsessed with this brush at the moment and goes everywhere with it.

My sweet sweet boy. I enjoy the mornings (but not too early!) where we lie in bed together


Luc wants to do ANYTHING dad is doing. Hope that it continues

(Please note his brush in his other hand)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

One of those days...

TODAY was one of those days...

Not enough sleep last night
Not enough sleep during the day

And then:
Fighting about eating
Fighting about sitting in the trolley
Fighting about sitting in the car seat
Fighting about going
Fighting about staying
Fighting about floating at swimming (Luc thought i was a jungle gym and didnt want to detach from me)

I feel:
I spend the whole day picking up bits of semi- digested food and toys and repacking cupboards that are instantly unpacked again
I spend my whole life washing bottles
I spend my whole day fighting (see above ;-))
Unappreciated
Not good enough
Tired, bone weary exhausted
Guilty for feeling any of this

And then... I speak to friends, go to music group, go to swimming and i realise i am ok. i am doing ok. These days happen and are ok.
they (thankfully) pass!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Boys/ Girls/ Who can tell???

Luc is a busy boy... Now that he is walking he is into everything (like the loo, dustbins, my makeup, his nappy bin) and wants to walk everywhere and see everything. And he has started with the tantrums (and i am ashamed to admit biting (mostly me)).

Luc has always been a fussy eater and an occasional sleeper and even more so now that the world is so exciting! No time for eating and sleeping!

I hear myself often explaining away difficult traits as "its because he is a boy". And to a large extent i agree... wow- even from this age are boys and girls different. So different.

But i want to watch myself so i dont generalise away Lucs life.

I want to notice the small nuances of his behaviour
I want to let him explore for himself what it means to be a boy
I want to watch and be there as he gets to discover his masculinity and femininity
I want to revel in this crazy, busy, difficult, new and different time.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Being in hospital

I read this blog post of my ex- pastors daughter (sounds more complicated than it is.... We just moved churches, no hard feelings) on being in hospital. Read about it here.

Made me think back to being in hospital and feelings around that and how it left quite an imprint. This was in 2009...I got a nasty tummy bug so had to be hospitilised but the really sucky part was that Philippe was away. So my brother came to my rescue and was amazing at getting me to hospital, fetching clothes, looking after our house and dog. He was Dr Mike, medicine woman...  4 nights in hospital... lots of tests and not enough sleep because of the craziness of 4.30am tea (really??? Who actually drinks that tea???) and then a couple of scopes as an out- patient. All in all not a fun time!

Being a patient made me realise a few things:
It is very different being a patient versus an OT (or any health care professional). It made no difference that i understood some of what was going on. it was still nerve wracking and, as is always the case in these situations, you cant believe it is happening to you.

Hospitals are not nice places. Apart from the crazy schedules the atmosphere in the hospital was oppressive. i can remember hardly sleeping the first night and being terrified. My friend Sonja prayed with me the next day and i definitely slept better the day after that.

Dignity is not a concern for health professionals. I know that cos i have been on the other side. I was unfazed by nakedness, people messing themselves or being unable to do things alone. the first day i needed help with the bath cos i was pretty weak and tangled in my drips made me realise that dignity is always a concern of the patient  Even though i was unfazed by the patients position when i was an OT they weren't unconcerned and i should have acknowledged that as much as i wished someone had acknowledged that in me.

Being in hospital is traumatic and people need to debrief about it. I realised that when i read Amy's blog and remembered how i felt i needed to really talk through what i had gone through. i see that in Philippe's gran who was also in hospital in 2009 and still talks about being in hospital or my grandfather who still talks about his hip replacement that happened about 10 years ago. i see that in all the clients i assess who want to talk in detail about their accidents and treatment.

i am thankful i have medical aid! The nursing care wasn't great but my doctor was good, the ward was clean and i got treated immediately. i cannot imagine having that nasty tummy bug and having to wait 3- 5 hours to be admitted or use a toilet that wasn't clean. and they were relaxed about letting Philippe visit me at strange hours (once he was back from his holiday).

You meet interesting people in hospital. i met a couple of ladies in hospital who were fun and supportive and made the long days go quicker!

Hope that will be my only hospital visit!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

On being (happily) married

This is something thats been on my mind as 2 fairly close friends have recently got divorced as well as a friend i have lost contact with. And to be honest it threw me... All these marriages looked great from the outside. I thought they were happy!

May i just say that i am not condemning divorce or the people who got divorced. I would never... I know how hard marriage is and realise how little we know what goes on in other peoples lives.

But what i wonder... Is marriage really about being happy? I am not advocating unhappy marriage but i dont think it is the only thing we should aspire to in marriage. Lets blame hollywood for our crazy "happily ever after" ideas about marriage! Speaking from my experience... I love being married, i love being (an effective) team but i am not always happy. a lot of the time, but not always.

What i do think marriage is about is growing and shaping us...
It is hard so it changes us (hopefully for the better)
It is together so you have to be less selfish
It is all the time so you have to sometimes suck it up even when you dont feel like it
It is 2 (in our case, opinionated, strong willed) people so you have to compromise

it is also learning to be gentle and humble and gracious and forgiving... And basically all the things i am not! And thats why it is about growing and changing.

P.S. This has been a hard, long one to write. Lots of reasons but mainly i dont want to seem offensive or know- it- all on a subject i feel i know very little on.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Our holiday

As promised... I am blogging again ( Having a blog is actually fairly self- centred... I wonder if anyone actually cares if i blog or not?)

So a little bit about our holiday. We spent a few days in Durban with Philippe"s parents and a few days in Southport with just our tiny little family. oh, and of course Philippe rode a race (Hill 2 Hill- He did quite well especially considering his gear shifter fell off and he had to do the last 15km in 1 gear).




We spent lots of time riding our bikes. it is fun having the seat for Luc so we can all ride together. it is funny to watch- Luc loves hitting Philippe on the bum...









We went to the beach and Luc loved the sand and water and all the interesting things to put in his mouth

Luc started walking. so cute! Zombie walk with lots of falling down but awesome.

Warm weather so lots of nakedness and playing with water








Spent lots of time with granny and grandpa... they adore Luc and he adores them and that is special to see.

Drinking lots of coffee/ hot chocolate and eating too much yummy stuff. Colombo coffee is the place to be in Durban.

Luc loved Bergview petrol station because they have animals. he was especially fascinated by the donkey and pig.










Was a wonderful holiday! i even managed to read a couple of books! Looking forward to the next one. spending time with my boys is awesome!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Blogger stage fright???

I am sorry i have not written in so long. i have had a little blogger stage fright. It is weird how you stop writing and then it gets harder and harder to write... but i have been thinking about a lot of things and i need to write about them. heres the list of things i want to still write about:
  • Luc's 1st year
  • Luc's birthday party
  • On being hospitilised (not me, recently but...)
  • Supporting a political party if you dont like the leader
  • Resentment
  • Valuing things more than people
  • Our holiday
  • Tiredness
Please watch this space... I will write (properly) soon.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Luc lesson- SLOW DOWN


For those of you who have shared a meal with Philippe and i you will know we eat like there is a disaster coming and we have to finish our food (all of it) before disaster hits!

 Not so with our little monkey... He likes a leisurely meal. He likes to taste things slowly, watch the wind in the trees, feel the textures of the food, dance a little, chat, spit out his food to taste something else... He also absolutely loves those meals where we are all together and preferably we eat with him. And if we rush him he doesn't eat.
Luc is right... We need to slow down...
Enjoy our food
Enjoy the company
Enjoy the scenery

Monday, 19 August 2013

Luc lesson

I was chatting to one of my besties (Claire) last week about what makes parenting so hard... And we kind of came to the conclusion (other than the incessant nature of being a parent) it is the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what you are doing...


 <<< Luc and his friend Jude (Claires boy)... We (the mothers) have decided that they will be friends!















I realise the thing Luc is teaching me is to trust myself. I know my boy best, i really do. i know when he isnt himself, when he is tired or sleepy or not feeling well. I know what his silly faces mean, i know what he loves to do, loves to eat and is scheming to do next. i do know this boy.

and i need to trust that.

case in point... Luc and sleeping! He hasnt been sleeping well for about 3 months and i have been at a loss as to what to do. i have read, i have talked to people... Then i talked to another of my besties, Sonja (i am very blessed by a great circle of amazing friends) who asked me what i felt i needed to do and told me that that is what i should do! Sounds so simple... And she was right, the sleeping is much better and improving daily ...

I just needed to trust myself and do what i knew to be best.


<<< Luc and (1 of) dads bikes. Luc loves the bikes...

And so tomorrow my little baby boy will be 1! And i am only figuring out now, bit by bit, how to trust myself in this mothering juggle...

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

First impressions...


Today i assessed a lady for a RAF (road accident fund) claim that has really got me thinking about first impressions...

When i saw the name of the person i was assessing i assumed white person.
When i saw the address of the person i was assessing i assumed indian person.
When she was over an hour late (i am ashamed to admit this but i will) i assumed black person.
When i actually met her- coloured person!
[And this is why preconceived ideas about people are so nonsensical!]

When i met her she was defensive and passive aggressive... maybe because she was an hour late and i took a deep breath and expected the worst of the assessment. But as i learned later it was because she had driven from Mpumalanga and had just worked a night shift and was actually exhausted. And by the end of the assessment we were joking together and comfortable with each other. Must be my sparkling, engaging personality?!

This lady also made a comment in the assessment " If i was a white person i would call it..." which again tells me she came into  the assessment with her own preconceived ideas about me and my whiteness. And i guess i am very white, even albino(ish) a colleague used to tell me.

i wonder if her first impression of me would have been different if she had seen a family photo before arriving!
i wonder if my first impression of her would have been different if i had seen a photo of her before arriving!

At the end of the day it shouldn't make a difference should it?


Monday, 5 August 2013

Luc lesson

Just a short Luc lesson...

You need far less sleep than you think you do!

Luc has been sick and before that teething (my scapegoat whenever anything goes wrong) so there is not a whole bunch of sleeping happening in the Gradidge home.

But my real lesson has been in telling Philippe when i am not coping and asking for help... No body was benefiting from me playing the hero.

<<< Luc has discovered the joys of the bathroom and especially flushing the toilet.
What a happy cutey pie!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Modern Racism

As promised here is a guest post from my friend Amber Mahony. Amber is a psychologist and is married with three children. Check out her website here. Amber and i belong to the same book club (and we really read!) and i love her direct, wise approach to things. Read her thoughts on modern racism:


"Since hardly anyone will admit to racial prejudice of any type, focusing on bigotry, hatred, and acts of intolerance only solidifies the belief that racism is something 'out there, ' - Tim Wise.

Like many South Africans, I have found it difficult to fully understand the extent of the unconscious conditioning I was exposed to while growing up under Apartheid. Research indicates that most of us tend to think of racism only in extremes and are largely unaware of the residual every day and subtle racism that does greater lasting damage. This lack of alertness ultimately perpetuates discrimination despite our very best intentions.

While South African society has come such a long way in unraveling the complex and tangled knot of Apartheid thinking, it is not uncommon, even now, to hear children in the playground refer to “my maid” in conversation with their peers. In all likelihood, they have heard their parents refer to the domestic worker working in their home with this designation. It is a disrespectful and precocious relational description that constitutes just one of the faces of subtle racism.

Our children's capacity to live well in a diverse world is very closely correlated to how effectively they are able to transcend difference and create connections beyond cultural and racial groupings. Children are at a unique stage in terms of their neurological development during their school-going years. Their brain structures are at their most “plastic” in these years, and their capacity to “wire” non-discriminatory connections are at their peak. After the age of 25, this neuroplasticity decreases and any “differences” that have not been transcended prior to this, become harder and harder to overcome. In other words, prejudice, discrimination and cultural rigidity have their anti-dote in exposing our children to difference and diversity in these crucial developmental years. If their environment is notably homogenous, then their capacity to connect with others who are “different” to themselves is left undeveloped. Our world is increasingly characterised by diversity and a limitation like this can preclude and restrict so many future possibilities as the only “safe “ world is narrow and characterised by “sameness”.

Awareness of subtle racism can be raised to good effect to gain insight into how we unknowingly perpetuate the problem of inequality through our denial and passivity. Insight and ownership of our own unconscious conditioning as well as into the inter-generational conditioning of our children can create change for the better. Alerting adults/parents to the “signs and sounds” of subtle (or modern) racism in their children’s environment can enable us all to gently but strategically re-position thinking. This, in turn, can bring change into our family and school systems which can eventually ripple out into the greater community.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Its ok to be (a little bit) racist...

Just a quick revisit of one of the themes i really want to tackle on my blog but has had less air time due to my obsession with my little boy, being a mom, his bodily functions, coping on too little sleep etc...

Racism... Such a big word and the word is a little over used and i think under acknowledged. i think deep down a lot (maybe all) of us have a deep fear/ uneasiness/ distrust/ dislike (pick your favourite verb or insert your own) of people that are different to ourselves. i know i sometimes find i consciously need to guard against a mindset of "those people" "them" "they". But i think one of the first fights against this racist tendency in us is to guard against it. What do you think?

been also thinking what racism looks like (Had an interesting chat with a friend Amber about modern racism and what that looks like... She will hopefully be doing a guest blog for me some time soon. WATCH THIS SPACE).

Made me remember an incident that occurred while i worked at Baragwanath Hospital. While having tea with 2 colleagues we somehow got onto the topic of race and these 2 girls i worked with quite openly and honestly stated that they believed that black people were less able, clever and basically inferior to white people. Their argument was around things like "look at Africa, look at SA,who are the criminals in SA?". i got really upset as i tried to talk to them and point out that their beliefs were wrong (Haha! doesnt work- peoples beliefs are peoples beliefs).
So that is the one end of the racist spectrum- openly admitting that you believe another race is inferior. the other end of the spectrum is less easy to define. is it the secretly believing you are better than someone else but never saying it? is it the people who speak of maids and gardenboys without realising how these words could be offensive? is it an attitude of entitlement (based on race) that you exude? is it never thinking about race because you dont have to? is it the person who says i have lots of black friends? is it guarding your heart against labelling people as different because of the colour of their skin?

I think that it is NOT ok to be even a little bit racist... it is something we need to fight in ourselves (wherever we sit on that spectrum)!

Let me know what you think!

Monday, 15 July 2013

On being a (over the top, in your face) christian

i have just finished reading The Red House by Mark Haddon. He wrote the curious incident of the dog in the niht time which is still one of my all time favourite books... but the reason for todays post is about the red house...

one of the charcters in this book is a teenage girl who has become a "born again christian". this character has really got me thinking about being a christian and what that looks like and the culture of christianity and why it can be so offensive to people. (And the book isn't really about this but rather about the complex relationships families have). i guess it also got me thinking because the church the character belongs to is similar to the church i attend. (charismatic/ happy- clappy).

firstly is how bullied this girl is... she is teased and nasty things are posted on her locker and rumors are spread about her because she is christian. it may be because of how she interacts with people as a christian...very over bearing, bible bashy and right all the time but i found the descriptions of her being bullied quite disturbing. i have been a christian since i was 6 (Thank you SU!) and i have never been bullied about my faith. i am not sure if we live in a more religiously tolerant society in SA?

and the second thing that has been swimming circles around my head is the reason that christianity can be so offensive to people. Jesus certainly offended people. He challenged norms and he broke (unspoken and some spoken) rules and traditions. i do think that uncomfortable truths can be offensive... Jesus did that well. Think woman at the well.
But i think also there is a sense of superiority that has crept into our theology that doesn't just offend but hurts and distances us from people. i think that is what people dislike about Christianity. and i dont think that is biblical. Jesus called a spade a shovel at times but i dont remember him ever hitting anyone with it.

i know this is a bit more theological than i normally do but i would love to hear your thoughts...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Thankful in all situations

I was inspired by another blog about being thankful in all situations... Read it here

So here is a list of thankfulness IN ALL SITUATIONS for this Saturday morning

1. Being woken up in the night... Those special moments i share of just me and my sweet boy
2. Luc bruises and bashes... The wonder of him exploring and working out how his body works
3. Feeling sick and not getting a chance to rest... The world (definitely, absolutely) does not  (and never has or will) revolve around me
4. Exhausted at the end of the day... Busy, full days filled with running after Luc, pushing him on his motor bike and meeting friends
5. Having to work at night and on weekends... The absolute blessing of my job that allows me to be with my boy during the day and work when i can
6. The horror of hearing of someone losing their child. So thankful for my boy but also aware that he is not really mine and to try and parent with open arms
7. Fighting about sleep times. I am learning boundaries and trying to keep them in place
8. Frustration about my old laptop that is slow and realising i have so much and am blessed to overflowing
9. Missing my parents (who are in Luxembourg at the moment) but really thankful i have parents who are still alive and also thankful for the wonder of technology (skype, sms and email makes the world much smaller)
10. Feeling like i am not quite on top of things and realising i need to pray and ask for help

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Regrets...

I heard Gareth Cliff (I waver in my opinion of him... I think he is pretty intelligent but he is also nasty and opinionated... So some days i listen to him in the mornings and other days i don't!) say he has no regrets. None. Nada. Nothing...

Been thinking about that and i also know that " live without regrets" is a platitude people love to throw around... But i know i have regrets. Quite a lot. And i am also quite sure that i would prefer to live a life where i know i have regrets. For me to have regrets is to admit i have made mistakes, i recognise them and i want to change.

My regrets are mostly around relationships and how i have interacted with people. I dont really regret things i have done, even the stupid, crazy things! I dont regret jumping off a bridge into the hartebeesport dam or dancing like a silly person or singing loudly or going for a walk in the rain or having a bit too much to drink, or meeting new people, or putting my heart out ( i realise these are pretty tame...)
What i do regret though is how i have treated people or things i have said to people. I have not always been kind or generous or honest. I regret those times. I regret how i treated people in those situations.

And that's why i think regret isn't a bad thing cos... I hope that it means that next time i am faced with a similar relationship quandary I am kind, generous, honest...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Getting over my body! (Luc lesson)

Sorry for the silence... Been a little hectic here at Gradidge base with sickness and the accompanying lack of sleep! Here is what i have been thinking about lately:

Since i fell pregnant i have felt like my body is not my own... It is weird cos 32 years of knowing your body and how it responds, feels, moves and just is, is all thrown out the window the moment you fall pregnant!
From the nausea to the growing boobs and an enormous tummy to the sore hips and feet and boobs (again) to actually feeling the little one move, your body feels weird.

And even once Luc was born my body was still not my own. Firstly i was just a huge milk machine but my body felt different, it looked different. I had curves where there werent curves before, my belly button looks different, my tummy is definitely different (!) and my body still responds differently to how it used to. I can eat foods i couldnt before (yay!) but i am still a bit off guavas.

To sum it up... Having a baby changes you... And my body is just one manifestation of that.

As i was changing Luc this morning and marveling at how he has grown i realised he is going through a similar process of learning about his body. Only difference is his didn't change, it is just all new!



What a privilege that i can experience a little of what he is experiencing... Where everything is new and wonderful and exciting and there is no judgement... And that is how i want to experience my "new" different body. I want to enjoy it and marvel in its complexity and how wonderfully it is made and not criticise...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

End of me...

A week of teething (and sleepless- teething nights) followed by 2 weeks of sickness (and sleepless- sickness nights has left me tired. Very, very tired.

My poor Luc has had a chest infection with a nasty cough for the last week and a half and so he hasnt been feeling well and hasnt been sleeping well. i know he isnt feeling well because he clings to me and gives me these snotty- bury his head in my shoulder- hugs. It has also meant my easy going boy has not been so easy going. There are fights to eat and sleep and go back to sleep and take medicine. It has been challenging.

So all in all it has been a hard couple of weeks. And now Philippe is sick and i am not feeling wonderful either (bit of a sore throat and ears).

i read this great blog which summed up what i am feeling really well. Read about it here. and it made me remember that the good thing of being at the end of me is i stop relying on me. I stop relying on my wisdom and knowledge and energy and fix-it-all- ness. At the end of me is where grace is.
Grace to not have it all together
Grace to miss washing my hair one day
Grace to lose my temper
Grace to be tired
Grace to admit that this is hard
Grace to just lie down on your back on the carpet and not do anything for a little while
Grace to not make dinner and just eat toast for supper
Grace to not work but give myself an evening off



Monday, 3 June 2013

A fear of blue balls...

Haha- for those of you who are reading this to delve deep into my phobias. Sorry... nothing like that and nothing x- rated either.

In the last week i have noticed that Luc is afraid of blue balls (the rolling, throwing kind). He has an orange and red ball which are not a problem BUT his blue ball is! Weird!
I was chatting to my sister in law about it and we were laughing about it and she just mentioned that she wonders what on earth goes on inside these kids heads.

It must be quite an overwhelming world where everything you encounter is new and possibly scary and possibly dangerous or fun or gross.


<<< Lucs first trip to the zoo...So this is not scary but BLUE BALLS are!

Kids are such blank slates and they encounter everything with no idea what or how the thing will react.

I hope we can instill some important lessons on Luc's blank slate- like being kind, generous, hopeful, joyful. That to discover new things is GOOD (not scary). To try different things even if it involves blue balls. To treat everyone with respect. To work hard. To play hard. To love deeply. To be vulnerable (and this is a really scary one). To appreciate what you have. To love your parents (very important) and family.

So much to teach this boy. I pray we can write encouraging, up- building, foundational script over Luc's blank slate.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Grateful...

I am so grateful for so much and sometimes it is just good to remind myself...

i am grateful for:
  1. Luc giggles
  2. Pajamas after a long day
  3. my handsome hubby
  4. new fluffy pink slippers
  5. mainly music (music group i attend with Luc on a tuesday). it is such fun. And chaotic. and loud and just amazing fun
  6. good-for-my-soul- friends
  7. skyping with my mom and mom-in-law
  8. luc discovering how to crawl. At the moment he alternates between leaping forward/ little hops/ mistakenly going backwards and occassionally forward and where he wants to be
  9. all stars
  10. philippe playing with Luc
  11. our garden (it is like a mini sanctuary)
  12. how generous people are
  13. this mild winter (so far). Incredibly beautiful winter skies without the inter temperatres
  14. fern (my sis- in- law) who is a very special friend
  15. chocolate
  16. george r Martin and game of thrones books
  17. luc enjoying the animals at the zoo
  18. snuggling on the couch
  19. (actually) picking a good dvd (i dont have the brest trach record)
  20. i am who God says i am (not who i sometimes think i am)
  21. flexible work so i can watch my boy grow up/ discover/ explore
  22. new car with a boot that is big enough for the pram and groceries
  23. macaroons
  24. jeans that make me look skinny
  25. kisses from my hubby
 There is so much more...
i am hugely blessed

Monday, 20 May 2013

Luc lesson

Luc is reaffirming for me that people (generally) are good and kind and happy... When i am out and about with Luc i am blown away by how people respond to him. People chat to him, smile, laugh and play with him. I have a whole new relationship with the shop assistants in my area because they remember him and ask after him. It has made me try and interact on a deeper level with those random people you come into contact with on a daily basis. I try and remember now who has kids (because LOVE sharing about their kids. It isnt only me!) and ask about them. And i try not rush around through every shop but rather take a few minutes to chat and smile with the shop assistant or the person in the queue.

Luc is teaching me...
That people are good. They are just sometimes rushed, angry, irritated or tired but generally deep down we are good
To slow down and interact...

On another note it is Luc's 9 month birthday today!!! Happy birthday my big boy.



Thursday, 16 May 2013

What this is all about...

Just thinking about what my blog initially started out as... a platform to address reconciliation and racism in SA. I feel like a lot of the time lately i am talking about Luc and navigating motherhood and being a mother and wife. Reconciliation and SA still weigh heavily on my heart but for now i hope it is ok if some of my blog energy is also focused on navigating motherhood.
It is still relevant as i realise more and more the kind of world i want my boy to grow up in is a reconciled one!

So please bear with me if i have taken a mini detour through the  obstacle course of developmental milestones, nappies, car seats, sleeping (or not), eating (or not) and having my heart wandering around outside my body! Some of the obstacles will be tackling more difficult issues like racism and reconciliation and how and why and making it all better!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mothers day and some mothering type thoughts

I had the most special mothers day... I got flowers and a card from my little Luc (thank you love for helping him write so eloquently!)
"You make the sun shine on my heart"
Just thinking about that line makes me tear up (again) and smile happy content smiles.
We went out for breakfast- me nad my boys. I love that! I love doing things with my little family!
And then lunch with my parents and brother, sis-in-law and nephew and my grandfather. Special time together- the boys did all the cooking! A braai, salad and ice cream for dessert...

Was an awesome, better than expected 1st mothers day!

What i have been thinking about all day (other than "You make the sun shine on my heart") is that Luc isnt crawling! I know, i know- development isnt a race... But it does kind of feel like it! At the music thingy we go to us- moms- of- 8- month- olds were comparing notes. My boy is the only one not crawling (and without teeth!) and that stresses me out.
It unfortunately has got me wondering what i am doing wrong or not doing...
Logically i can think his through and know that he still has loads of time!
But i want my boy to be best and to have the best! And to be seen as the best!

How hectic is this thinking??? when he is 8 months old. I am sure the competition only escalates as they get older...

So i am deliberately taking a step backwards from my crazy way of thinking! I know this boy is awesome and (in my eyes at least) perfect and super cute and completely not delayed at all.
I also know that i cannot get caught up in this comparison game- how detrimental and hurtful for my boy.
He is who he is. i need to let him be


And probably enjoy the peace!!!!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Luc lesson

Philippe was away last week and my little boy really missed his daddy. I missed Philippe too but i realise us adults pretend like we are all ok. Sometimes we are not and it is also ok to show how you are feeling. I dont know at what age we are conditioned to be so "stiff upper lipped" about stuff...

But Luc is teaching me that it is ok to miss people and show it
It is ok to be super, overwhelmingly excited to see people and show it
It is ok to have good days
It is ok to have bad days


My 2 happy boys! They didnt stop hugging each other all weekend...

How cute is Luc's jersey? Knitted by his granny!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Losing my independence

Before i met Philippe i was pretty much single. The longest relationship i had, had before Philippe was 3 months. So i was used to being single. And i was independent!
I did my own thing- when i wanted, how i wanted and where i wanted.
I went to parties on my own, i drove home late at night without a blink of an eye, i didnt let people know where i was (although i did (half seriously joke with my mom that she must please check in with me every 2nd day to check i hadnt died), i did my own thing, i watched whatever i liked on tv, i ate whatever i liked for supper (a lot of take- aways, chocolate and frequently a bag of ghost pops for supper!), i enjoyed my evenings alone but also enjoyed making last minute plans if i wanted, i liked sleeping in the MIDDLE of my queen size bed

Philippe is away at the moment. He is riding JoBerg2c- amazing man. I am so proud of him.
And i realise i have lost my independence.
I miss letting someone know where i am all the time
i miss having someone to just sit with in the evenings
i miss having someone to drive with at night
i miss finding the least awful thing on SABC with him
i miss cooking dinner for him
i miss my human hot water bottle

i worried when i got married that i would miss my independence. Sure, the 1st year (and 2nd and 3rd..) was an adjustment. But i dont miss that independence at all!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Luc lesson

Luc's favourite toy at the moment is anything and I mean anything anyone else is holding or playing with!



I realise that, a lot of the time, that is me too.
I want that persons car, house, shoes, cool couch, hair, body, job, lifestyle, holiday, ipad, phone (ugh i hate my bb at the moment), furniture, garden, bank balance...

But life is definitely happier and simpler if i play with and enjoy my own stuff!



P.S. That is Philippe's granny (Lucs great granny) in the background. She has just turned 90! Isn't she amazing!

Monday, 29 April 2013

On getting a new car while my neighbour goes to bed hungry

We got a new car last week wednesday. Yay! Finally... we traded in our little ford fiesta, Jarvis (that was his name) for a family sized nissan livina. Feels very grown up to have a family vehicle. But it is wonderful and has loads more space and nice to drive.

But, getting a new car got my guilt juices dripping.
On the same day a lady whose one child has recently passed away asked for food.
On the same day our domestic worker was at work and she will walk to and from home.
On the same day i drove past lots of people who have lots less than me.

we live in a land of such disparity, it is hard to know how to react to these huge differences. i dont think the answer is for me to not get a new car but is hard to reconcile my need (of a new car) with my neighbours need (of food for today.
when i write a blog like this i wish i had some answers about what would be right. i dont. I really dont. i wish i knew what to do with this tension of living generously but also giving in the right way and also looking after my family. Any ideas?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Luc lesson

I alluded to this in my last Luc lesson...
My boy is content! He is a really chilled out, content child.



I struggle with contentment- it seems like i am forever chasing something and worrying about something and looking forward or back. i struggle to just be here. enjoying now. not stressing, not planning and making lists in my head. Not thinking about someone else so i miss out on the people i am busy with now.

sometimes it also feels like where i am at now is never good enough. i start with the "what ifs" and "if onlys" rather just enjoying what i have now. And enjoying whatever is going on now.

Luc is content. He is always in the here and now. He enjoys what he is doing now. He engages with the people he is with now. he doesnt fight what is happening now.



he enjoys
he marvels
he learns
he explores
he does whatever he is doing right now with all his energy
i think that is contentment

Saturday, 20 April 2013

One of those days...

Yesterday i had one of those days... i dropped some balls in the juggling act that is being a (part time) working mom.
i had an assessment booked that i didnt write in my diary and so got a phone call at 8.40 (assessments are booked for 8.30) "where are you???"... Panic!

Luckily my mom helped me out to look after Luc and the secretary covered for me till i got there. I was late for my assessment. Not the end of the world. And Luc spent the morning with my mom. Not the end of the world.

But i was devastated. I was so frustrated with myself and felt like such a failure. And needless to say i cried a whole bunch. i am an organised person and (usually) i am on top of stuff... i hate not being those things so this little ball dropping really upset me.
But... I really was being too hard on myself. And i think as a mom i am. I felt bad because i had to wake Luc up to bundle him in  the car... And i just felt like i am not managing which is actually ok. That is why we have support systems. Hubbys, moms, friends, church, moms group. And i realise i need to call on them more.
It is hard being a mom. And it is ok to sometimes be a little out of control...



Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Changing the world vs talking about changing the world...

There was this quote on FB a couple of weeks back about how we are more interested in talking about changing the world than actually changing it... I am paraphrasing cos i cant find it anymore.

Its made me think! A LOT!

at school when we had to choose captions for our classes photos and some of my friends said mine should be "most likely to change the world". It stuck with me cos i was so chuffed by that... Turns out the class voted instead for "intelligent blond- she broke her own nose!!!"
Anyway... the point is that i have always had this deep desire to see change happen and feel like i have made a significant difference. but this quote has made me think that maybe i just talk a lot about it but dont actually do anything that brings about change?

Been thinking about how we bring about change? How can we REALLY change the world?
At the moment my world can be super tiny and some days just be taken up with Luc. Am i being significant and bringing about change?
I would like to think i am. I am loving him so he can love others
I am being constant in his life so he can be reliable and constant in the future
We are exploring (everything) so he will know what he likes and doesnt in the future and can grow up decisive and assertive.
Hopefully he is seeing me being kind, generous and fair so he can be those things.

What i want him to see me doing more of is:
standing up against injustice, against poverty, against sadness, against hunger.
Standing up when people are racist, lying, mean or just plain rude.
Speaking up for the voiceless, intimidated or downtrodden.

Even if it is 1 person at a time.
That is changing the world. Not just talking about it!




Saturday, 13 April 2013

Luc lesson

Luc is such a joy... What i love about him is how the simplest things give him so much pleasure and happiness!
My Luc lesson this week is about taking immense, overwhelming, toe- curling pleasure in small things... like:
  1. Bathing
  2. Seeing people you love (even if they've only just stepped out the room)
  3. The tupperware cupboard (Luc's new favourite play spot)
  4. Trees (my boy is a sucker for trees)
  5. Tasting new things (although Luc thinks yoghurt IS the nectar of the gods...)
  6. Being around people
  7. Making cool= loud noises with different things
  8. Moving
  9. Seeing and touching and tasting
  10. Snuggling up with your favourite soft toy (Luc's toy is sheepy)
  11. Playing in the sandpit
  12. Splashing
  13. Laughing
  14. Hugs and kisses (we are getting open mouthed gobby kisses in return these days)
  15. Being content (I think Luc's contentment is a whole posting of its own)
  16. Pulling funny faces
  17. Finding your voice
  18. Sleeping
  19. Being at home 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Racist talk!

Over the weekend we saw some peeps we haven't seen in a while and i was a little stunned by the racist talk... Not directed at my racial group or the majority of us that were present, but racist...
what i wonder... when people talk like that about one group, do they talk like that about all different groups... depending on the audience?

I am so over racist talk.

It is unnecessary and nasty and generalising (which i hate!). I dont think it is ever OK to speak like that and i wonder why people still think its OK? I think we all struggle with racist generalisations at some stage but hopefully they stay in our heads! And we deal with them in our heads and try change our thinking...
Racism is not right. It is not right like adultery, lying, maliciousness, slander, assault,  are not right... We know those things are not right so why does racism slip through as OK?
 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Culture?!

I know as white English South Africans we are sometimes ashamed of our culture or lack thereof? we aren't always sure what our culture looks like. We don't have a definite list of WHITE ENGLISH foods or a WHITE ENGLISH dress code and so we feel like we dont have a culture!?

In thinking about how i want to raise Luc i have been thinking about my culture or tradition and what i want to pass on to him. I realised that it isnt important if it is my white english culture or Philippe's coloured culture what i want to pass on to him is our families culture and traditions...
And language has me a bit stumped here... Traditions? Culture? The best term seems to be "things we do"

So these are some things that i want to pass on to him. Some are Philippe's families things, some are from my family but most are from our family. And some we do, some we do sometimes and some are only good intentions but will hopefully become traditions.
  1. Loving and valuing family. And prioritising family
  2. Celebrating birthdays with singing (Philippe's family are much better at the singing!), presents (my family) and in particular quirky pressies (Us!)
  3. Eating together as a family
  4. Love for the outdoors
  5. Respecting and being interested in other people (even different, weird ones)
  6. Being silly and funny and laughing at your own jokes and having in- family jokes that only we find funny
  7. Giving to people in need
  8. Being generous with our time, money and stuff (Philippe is better at this than me...Work in progress!)
  9. Attending church as a family
  10. Love for reading
  11. Being life- long learners
  12. Not being apathetic
  13. Valuing and celebrating our friends
  14. Exercising regularly (Again something Philippe does better than me)
  15. Saving 1 christmas present to open with just our immediate family on christmas morning regardless of who we are sharing christmas with
  16. Cuddling together in bed (once in a while!)
  17. Chatting through out the day on bbm, sms, fb, whats app...
i will keep adding to this list as i think of things...

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Luc lesson

been thinking a lot about what i thought i knew vs what i really know vs what books tell me i know in this parenting game.
When we fell pregnant i went a bit crazy with reading stuff. i love to read and now i had a whole new unknown subject to read up on... WELL- worst idea ever! all that reading just completely freaked me out and made me paranoid. i mean, one website even said you cant drink tap water when you are pregnant! Seriously?! So i made a decision- 1 book! and i stuck to it... Sure i asked peoples opinions and people gave their opinions (lots of them) without being asked BUT those are easier to ignore!

in parenting i have tried to stick to the same principle- 1 book! but even that has been hard. what i have realised (my luc lesson) is that i need to trust myself. Philippe and i are Luc's parents for a reason. Because God chose us to be and we need to trust that we actually know our son.
and honestly- you do what works for you! One of my friends said to me that it is like when you become a parent there is no more judgement of other parents. so true! i understand now- you are just doing what works for you.
So, for us... Luc doesnt sleep well during the day and we dont force it because he sleeps pretty well at night. it works for us!
Luc often wont eat unless we put yoghurt with his food. it works for us!


If he won't sleep at night he comes into bed with us. It works for us!
We give him a dummy. It works for us!

We have a nanny when i work 3 mornings a week. It works for us!

The trick is trusting ourselves in these decisions...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How a friend changed my life...

Today i had my hair cut by Stacy which is always so exciting because i always leave HAIR ON 1st IN GREENSIDE  feeling like a million bucks and looking great...


 My new hair :) And our garden wall- 1 handed phone photo!











Got me thinking about my incredible hair dresser and friend Stacy.
I haven't got the greatest self image but it is loads better than it used to be and i can attribute a lot of that to Stacy. I know Stacy from church and she had been nagging me to come see her to have my hair done. i put it off and put it off...mainly cos going to the hair dresser was traumatic. staring at myself for a couple of hours and leaving not feeling great... not my idea of fun.
So Stacy, booked me an appointment 1 day and told me to be there. I went, with trepidation, but i went. Stacy did colour in my hair, cut my hair in a short funky hair style and tinted my eyebrows. And gave me a 3 hour pep talk on myself... I dont think she even charged me.
And i looked good! i felt good!

It was like she flipped a switch in me... It wasn't like the next week i met Prince Charming AKA Philippe BUT...  I suddenly had confidence. i stepped up into leadership positions at church and work. it felt like i became more me... and i started seeing myself with more moderation... i am who i am- i am beautiful- i am good enough- i am me.

Stacy is a brilliant hair dresser stylist and she used her amazing gifts to bless me hugely. and change how i saw myself.
In thinking about Stacy i think that is the best thing you can do in life use your talents to bless someone else!


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Things people say!

Last week i took Luc to the sister at Dischem to be weighed. He is now a hefty 7kg! No wonder i am exhausted by the end of the day.
As you arrive you sign in so that there can be no arguments about who is next in line. I was signing in and had my back to the other people (an elderly lady in a wheelchair and her son),  and i hear this lady say to her son- "Wasn't that a white lady? How does she have this child?"
The son was obviously embarrassed because later while his mother was seeing the sister he told me she is senile...

I'll be honest- i thought it was quite funny and was chuckling to myself as i signed in... but as i write what she said down i guess some people may be offended by the comment... People are quick to comment on what Luc looks like... My post about coffee coloured people
I actually dont mind the comments. Even the one by the senile granny at Dischem. I am just interested in why...Is it because he looks quite different from me? Most people ask tentatively "What nationality is his dad?" or something along those polite lines...

i am not sure really if i am trying to make a point here... but do we purely get so many comments because he is a very different colour from me or does everyone get this commentary on their children? I would love to hear!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Luc lesson...

Sorry i have been a bit quiet the last week...
I was sick and thats never fun... but being sick as a mommy is a whole other ball game. There is no having an afternoon nap or lying on the couch feeling sorry for yourself. My little boy doesn't understand why i am not playing at 100% energy levels. At one point i positioned multiple cushions around Luc while i lay on the floor of his room watching him play.
What this "being sick as a mommy" has taught me is:
  • I am not the centre of the universe... Being a mommy teaches you that quickly but this past week has hammered it home... It is so good to get over myself. the more i do this mommy thing i realise how selfishly i have lived life. I did what i wanted, when i wanted it. even in my marriage i was guilty of that. it was too often about me and my needs and not enough about Philippe and his needs or our families needs. So, Luc in his unassuming way, has thrown me in the deep end with this one. His needs are immediate and he doesnt understand that i am not feeling 100%! i have to put aside myself... And that is a good thing!
  • ASK FOR HELP! I needed to ask for help from my mom and Philippe. i am really good at being passive- aggressive when i dont get help... I actually need to say- please come home a bit early to help me or please watch Luc so i can sleep... Feeling sorry for myself and muttering to myself isn't going to get me help or communicate what i need
Thankfully i am feeling loads better...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

More on the baby my parents found...

The latest update on the little girl my parents found...
The social worker at the hospital asked my parents to name her. Apparently who ever finds a child has the honour of naming them.
My parents decided on Emma Jane Moses

Emma means whole. I pray this for you baby girl. That no matter how your life began you will be whole

Jane. This is my moms name. My dad insisted on giving her this second name. And in thinking about it, it is like giving an affirmation that although my parents found her and cant keep her, she will always be remembered and have a place in their hearts.
Jane means Gift of God. And she is. Just that brief encounter with her has left me profoundly moved by what an incredible, huge, mind blowing gift LIFE is.

 Moses because she was found in the reeds...

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

On being positive...

I don't know about you, but it feels like there is so much negativeness around at the moment. My brain and soul feel inundated with too much yuckiness... Oscar Pistorious, too many rapes, too many murders, lots of break ins in our area... Just lots of yuckiness...
And its left me feeling kind of down and disheartened... what to do? how on earth to deal with so much stuff?

Psalm 62.5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him

On the one hand i do need to be positive and i actively choose to be! 
But on the other hand there is nothing i can do... Nothing! i need to wait on God... All of me... All the time...

My hope is in him!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Luc lesson



Luc loves being outdoors! If he is having an unhappy moment we just have to go into the garden and he settles and is absolutely fascinated by the plants, noises, birds and all the life around him.




It is like he realises innately that being outside is good for the soul! It is good for the soul and i am sometimes too lazy to go outside because it takes a bit more effort than just plonking on the couch.


A little bit of effort is good for the soul...

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sing, mommy, sing...

When i was in primary school i auditioned for the choir and i didnt get in. I am sure the teacher was very sweet about it but i was devastated and heartbroken. Looking back i think i was so upset because i love to sing... it is fun and it feels good. With the benefit of some age and wisdom i realise i am not very musical- i am tone deaf and am not naturally musical.
This failed audition however started an "i cant sing" label that i have carried around since then. I went through a stage when i wouldn't even sing aloud because i was embarrassed about my voice. lip synching!

Last week i was driving with Luc and he was getting upset in the car. i tried to talk to him, tried sticking his dummy in but he wasnt interested. so i started singing to him... Thank you Barney for those stick in your head songs... If i stopped singing Luc started crying so i sang and sang and sang...
Today we had the same situation- my boy was tired of sitting in his car seat, didn't like the CD i was listening to. he wanted to hear me sing! Me, of the, "you're not good enough for this choir voice"! It was like my boy took 23 years of hurt and erased it with his insistence that i sing for him...

Thank you my special boy. You help heal my hurt and break my heart open with what a blessing you are.
xxx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Fallen heroes...

I am probably not going to add anything new to what has already been said but thats the beauty of a blog... my space to write my thoughts :)
It feels a bit like some of my (sporting) heroes have come apart lately. Living in a cycling crazy family means i have been following the Lance Armstrong story closely. So First Lance...
And now Oscar Pistorius... Oscar was (is?) really someone i admire. And as an OT i have treasured his story of overcoming disability.  I love the fact he fought to run in mainstream events. And i love his blades!

I wont say a lot about this because there is loads to read on the subject... What i will say is that my heart is sad and sore. I guess in a completely selfish way i do feel disappointed but more so i feel for him and for the Steenkamp family and i have felt the story disheartening. I have also found peoples reactions to it disturbing. i read somewhere that it feels like people slowing down to look at an accident. That is what it feels like... I am not exempt, but i feel sickened by it.

The one opinion that i will strongly advocate here tho is that we need a gun free SA. Which ever version of events is true, it wouldn't have happened if he didn't have guns in his home.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Luc lesson...

Whatever you do, don't scream!

When Luc was little (er!) he used to pee on me or rather us a lot! I inevitably screamed after or during being peed on. Philippe always said not to scream...
So I guess this one is something Luc and daddy Phil have taught me- DON'T Scream!

This is Philippe practicing CPR on Luc (no screaming occurred during this session!)

It is good to remember because if i scream, Luc screams!
I guess kids do learn how they should react based on their parents reaction to whatever has happened... You see this with bigger, more mobile kids when they fall. They have that second where they gauge the adults reaction to what has happened to see if it is worth making a fuss about.

And sometimes things are just not worth screaming about!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Coffee coloured people

We get a lot of comments about Luc's colouring...
I joked when we got married that i was marrying Philippe for his melanin. And luckily for Luc he has inherited some of that melanin.

The one comment i have been thinking about a lot is:
" In a few generations apparently all people will be coffee coloured"

Really?
I guess the premise is that marrying and procreating will cross the colour lines more than it is happening now until we are all one (milky) coffee coloured bunch.
Really?
That would mean the majority of people getting together with people outside of their race. i certainly think this is happening more in SA. Abolishment of the immorality act, helped in that respect! But i dont see the majority of SA, black, white, indian or coloured people getting together with people outside of their race. i am not advocating the reverse- immorality act now... But i do think this coffee coloured world might take more than a few generations!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Luc lesson...

Time... Thats what Luc has made me think about lately!
Our baby boy will be 6 months old on Wednesday. 6 months! How did that happen? That started me thinking about time...
Some days crawl by so slowly you can feel each second. Other days rush by so that you can't believe they've ended when they have just begun...

With Luc it is the same:

Those exceedingly lllllllllllllllooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg nights at the beginning when it would take me hours to feed him. VS Being pregnant one instant and having a real live baby the next.
Watching him explore new things for the first time. VS those screaming moments where you dont know what to do.
Lying in bed in the mornings with my 2 boys VS Waiting for him to wake up because we were supposed to be somewhere 10 minutes ago
The first 6/8 weeks when you feel like you'll never live through it. VS Realising my baby is 6 months old and i dont know how it flew by.

i know everyone says enjoy every moment- i think that is a lot of pressure! Because i certainly have had moments i haven't enjoyed. i understand the sentiment though- you want to hold onto them being each age and going through each stage. i am feeling a little sad that these first 6 months are almost gone. i feel like i want to cling to him being my little, tiny baby. But he isnt any more!
So what i am going to try and do for the next 6 months is let time do its crazy fast- fast- slow dance and i will try dance along. With Luc in my arms.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Luc lesson 7

When Luc was born i experienced this overwhelming, huge, incredible love... It is different from any love i had experienced before- it is so strong it is like an aching, and so big it feels like my heart would burst and it is protective and mind blowing!
I really dont have words for how incredible an experience it was.


But what it did make me think was that i had a tiny glimpse of how much God loved me...and he loves me more than i could ever love my little Luc. That is MIND BLOWING!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Abandoning a baby...

Yesterday my parents found an abandoned baby. She was wrapped in a big blanket. And was little- only a few days old (the cord and placenta were still attached). My mom phoned me to bring some formula and baby clothes. I fed this tiny little baby and we changed her, while the police took statements and filled in paper work and then the paramedics arrived. they checked she was ok and then took her to hospital. My mom, the police and paramedics decided she should be called Emmarentia (because that's where my parents live!) Emma for short :).

The whole experience has been quite an eye opener. A couple of things have been playing over and over in my mind:

I am obviously sad for little Emma and i am praying for her. For wisdom for the people making decisions on her behalf and for her future. But i feel such sadness and devastation for that mom.
Wrapped in the blanket with Emma was a bottle of milk and mom had tried to fashion a nappy out of some cloth. i think she must have tried to care for her (she was a few days old) but couldnt... I am not condoning leaving your baby in a park but i cant imagine being that desperate that that is the only decision you can think of. Or having no one you could turn to in that situation. this poor woman must have felt so alone. Just thinking about it amkes me want to cry (again!)

What has also been interesting is peoples reactions... on the whole i have found that people who have had their own kids can grasp how incredibly desperate this woman must have been to leave her baby. Giving birth and being a mom has made me realise how hard it must be to give up your child... Maybe she felt that that was the best she could do for little Emma... I cant presume to know her heart or motivation but i pray that God comforts her.

I am so aware of how privileged i am. i had great antenatal and postnatal care. I have an incredible, supportive family and wonderful group of friends who are also like family and i am in a church community that would help me if i needed it.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Luc Lesson 6


Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!     Body and soul, I am marvelously made
I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 


Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139: 13- 16 (The message)

 So... my latest offerings on things i have learned from lil Luc is that we are TRULY FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made! I kind of knew this before Luc arrived... Anatomy will help with that concept ;-)! But i have only truly got this now.
I was chatting to my friend Jen on Whats App tonight and she is 21 weeks pregnant and sent me pics of her little bean... I was just reminded again how incredible LIFE is!

The 1st pic is when our little boy was 8 weeks, 4 days old (from conception) and the 2nd pic is when he was 1 day old (from birth).

It is just mind blowing to imagine how 2 cells come together so that within 8 weeks there is a little person with the beginnings of arms and legs and a HEARTBEAT!
And then from there... all the organs, bones, nerves, veins, arteries...everything gets in the right place so that this perfect little boy is born! MIND BLOWING!
And it doesnt end there. There is physical growth which is amazing. Luc was only 2.3 kg when he was born and is now a hefty 6.5kg but even more fascinating to watch is their development:
From a little being who cant hold their head up to my curious little boy who is trying to look at everything.
From just reflex movement to being able to put his dummy back in his own mouth
From sleeping lots to fighting going to sleeping because there is too much to see
Recognizing me and Philippe
Smiling
Laughing
Sitting
Rolling over (although Luc isnt that keen on rolling!)
Playing with his toes, his fingers and now his willy!
Blowing spit bubbles
Raising his eyebrows at everything and everyone

I could go on and on... All i know is that WE ARE MARVELOUSLY MADE!

p.s. Sorry for all the caps in this post... It just feels like it is something i need to shout :0!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Luc lesson 5

Hugs are good! For the giver...(I mean look at Philippe's face) and getter...

More on they, them and otherness...

I completely understand why students plagarise- someone else says something that completely sums up what you want to say and beautifully, better than you ever could... (I am not condoning it, but i do understand it!)

so at the risk of a little plagarism... I found this amazing paragraph in a book i am currently reading which is beautifully written and eloquently describes what i was trying to say in my last post...

(The man mentioned in this paragraph fought in WW 1 and is coming to terms with life after the war. He now works as a lighthouse keeper)

" It seems improbable to Tom that such endless space could exist in the same lifetime as the ground that was fought over a foot at a time only a handful of years ago, where men lost their lives for the sake of labeling a few muddy yards as 'ours' instead of 'theirs', only to have them snatched back a day later. Perhaps the same labeling obsession caused cartographers to split this body of water into two oceans, even though it is impossible to touch an exact point at which their currents begin to differ. Splitting. Labeling. Seeking out otherness. Some things don't change."
M L Stedman. The light between oceans. Page 60


 I think our "seeking out otherness" is what makes us able to justify racism, injustice, bullying, hate, condescension, murder, bigotry...

Monday, 4 February 2013

They! Them!

My parents house was burgled on Thursday night/ early Friday morning. Luckily no one was home but quite honestly, it sucks! It isn't the stuff so much as the invasion of your own space and the sentimental stuff like my Omi's jewellery or my Grans binoculars.

What is interesting in this situation is how people speak about crime...
They did it... They broke in... They are @#%6*!



I know i have blogged about this before but i think it is important!
I think we talk about "they" or "them" because that makes the people responsible separate from us. And then it is easier to think badly, speak badly or down about a group of people. Don't get me wrong I don't condone crime or excuse it but maybe the people who broke into my parents place aren't as different from me as i would like to believe.
If "they" were people who lived in my neighborhood, went to my school or university, had similar aged kids to me would i have to rethink the dismissal or disgust with which i view this crime?
If "they" were people i hung around with would i have to rethink what punishment i would suggest?
If "they" were people i had relationship with what feelings would i have about why this happened?

What i do know is that "they" are people... (Skinny people!) But people...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Voice???

My friend Mzi posted the following on fb the other day:

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" - Martin Luther King jr.

I sense a "resounding silence" within the church about things that matter - about the de Doorns farm workers; about Zamdela's community concerns; about Nathan Maluleke who was beaten with a golf club trying to stop racist tension; about money spend in building the president's Nkandla house; and about conflicts in our continent.


I agree with him and think as the church we should be standing up for "the things that matter". i just dont see a forum within the church to do this. Partly because i am scared of being called racist or crazy or extremist. But also partly because i dont hear the voice of the church in commenting on things that are happening. 

I guess my first question is- Is it the place of the church to speak out? 

And if the answer to that 1st question is yes...Then why aren't we? And How should we? 

I don't know the clear black and white answer to that question but i do know that Jesus wasn't very keen on hiding in his church building... Are we?

Luc lesson 4

It is good to smile at yourself in the mirror!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Luc lessons 3

Being a mom is hard! I know everyone says it...and they say it so much that i dont think people really hear it any more! I know when i was pregnant i kind of expected it to be hard but i really had no idea. i couldnt get my head around people moaning about not sleeping, only getting dressed at lunch time or not having time to go to the loo. BUT NOW... I KNOW! I understand... because i havent had a full nights sleep in 5 months, i regularly get dressed only around 11 (when Luc is having his long sleep!) and i snatch pee times when i know he is asleep or safely lying somewhere! I KNOW!

So what this intense, overwhelming, enormous, hectic, roller coaster experience has taught me is this... So often i have prayed during this time "Pls just make him sleep, eat, calm down... etc" I was discussing this with my friend Sonja and she was saying that she read a Joyce Meyer study that said in the bible there was only once that someone prayed pls take this thing away from me/ change my circumstances (Paul and the thorn in his side!). Rather people pray for strength, wisdom, courage, perseverance, knowledge of Gods love to help them through a tough situation!
I found this really challenging but also super encouraging. God is probably not going to take away my sleepless nights (which is the biggest thing i pray for!) but he will give me strength to deal with them at the moment and wisdom on how to teach my boy to sleep...
 So what Luc is teaching me is to pray rather for Gods presence in my situation rather than taking my situation away. Which is again that thing of being present NOW, not wishing for the future. [Although i am seriously looking forward to sleeping through!]

Being present allows me to experience these fantastic moments with my little guy. (Yes- we have just started solids- Luc pulls the greatest faces as he tastes all these new flavours!)
And hopefully, as i watch my little Luc learn and play and experience and laugh and cry and be very awake, i will remember to pray rather for Gods presence than him taking away my situation!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Luc lessons 2

The next thing that Luc has taught me is actually 2 things but they feel like 2 sides of the coin... Having a baby teaches you that you need to be super prepared and organised on the one hand but on the other hand you have to go with the flow and be ready for anything!

A case in point was Lucs arrival into this world. Our little guy was due to arrive on the 8 September. We went to see the gynae on Thursday 16 August to be told that actually our little guy would be arriving on MONDAY! MONDAY! Panic!!!!
That left us a weekend (Thank God) to organise ourselves... I hadn't organised anything! My baby shower had been the weekend before so i hadn't even unpacked all our presents! This was my first lesson in being ready for anything. Luckily I have an awesome sister in law, Fern who has a baby who came over and helped me organise myself. And of course my mom! Between the 2 of them and my amazing hubby Philippe they got me organised. This was my first lesson in being prepared (because i wasn't!!!).

 And then day to day examples of this... Some days Luc decides that the routine he has been following for 2 or 3 weeks is not for him anymore and he likes to mix the routine up! and i have to go with the flow. one of the best examples of how you need to be prepared is when you go out! You really do need that nappy bag because the one day you haven't checked it or brought it with is the day you will need it. Again Fern had to come to my rescue at her son, Matthews birthday party because i had forgotten to pack nappies!





For someone who likes to be prepared, that has been an easier lesson to learn. Going with the flow is harder because it feels like i don't control my world! But a lot of the time i don't anymore...
This sweet bundle of joy does!