What’s On My Mind Today*

First up: our amazing life since I changed jobs. This morning when my alarm went off I took my time waking up (love that snooze button); cuddled Greebo and Taxi a little; then I woke Damien; got him started on getting dressed; went to the kitchen; cuddled Greebo and Taxi a little more; made Damien’s oats porridge; while he ate I made his school sandwiches and packed them in his suitcase; signed his homework diary; he went to brush his teeth; I fed the furry masters and refreshed their water; I made myself a cup of coffee; we did our “teens” bible study and said our prayers; he left on time to meet his lift downstairs; I went back to my bed to do my bible study (fabulous book called “Strong At The Broken Places”) and say my prayers; read my book for five minutes; went to the bathroom to do the face thing; laughed at Greebo who was smirking at Taxi playing in the bath; brushed my teeth; got dressed; and left for work. Now compare that to five months ago, when I was working (officially) 6am to 2pm (but actually till I “finished”* whatever time that might have been). It was a nightmare. I was up at 4:30am, and out of the door by 5:20am in a mad dash to drop Damien at my mother’s house by 5:30am and get to work on time. Damien would still be asleep, in his jammies, with a bag packed for granny’s house (school uniform and toothbrush and all) as well as his school bags and such. He wouldn’t remember me tucking him in again or kissing him goodbye. The first time I saw him “conscious” everyday was when I fetched him from school. Aside from him and I not seeing each other in the morning, the impact on my parents life was huge too. They had to become pseudo-parents in the morning because Damien can’t be woken up and told to get ready for school, he has to be “monitored” and nagged. So my folks had to get up that much earlier to get MY child dressed, fed and ready for his lift to school. Then once a month Damien would get all weepy and tearful and argumentative about me not being able to let him sleep a little later and feed him and get him dressed resulting in both of us having a REALLY bad day, with me worrying about him and him distracted and uncooperative. My bosses way back then didn’t give me any option when they changed my hours either- it was quite literally “fit in or f* off”. This went on for three years. Now Damien and I are both much happier, and he started doing better at school.
Second up: Terry Pratchett. I just finished “The Wee Free Men” (library book, don’t own it yet) and it is LITERALLY hysterical (‘scuse the pun)! I give it a solid “four asthma pump” rating, since that’s about how many I used reading the book whilst suffering from laughter induced asthma attacks (‘coz I laugh like the Disney bulldog* sad isn’t it). Now I HAVE to buy it so I can read it to Damien at bedtime (yup, my 14yo baby still likes bedtime stories). It came out a while ago, and its sequel “A Hat Full Of Sky” has also come out, but since books are so bloody expensive here I haven’t bought either one yet- I have slowly bought most of the other Discworld books in paperback. Both “Wee Free Men” and “Hat Full Of Sky” are part of his children’s books range (along with the “Johnny*” collection and “The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents” which is a brilliantly twisted version of the pied piper), but I love Pterry’s books, his imagination and satirical humour is like medicine for me! If you can, get a look at “The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke”, it’s the painting that inspired Pterry’s book.
And thirdly: rudeness. Whatever happened to replying to an invitation- be it “yay” OR “nay”? To me it doesn’t matter how the invitation is received, be it a text message; an email; via snail mail or a verbal invite- eventually you have to either accept or reject it, especially if it’s from someone you consider a friend. I DON’T see the necessity to explain anything if you say “nay”, but at least let the person know what you decide! The last while I have received nothing in response to invitations… get this, I sent out 20 emails and 8 text message invites to 28 women for our monthly ladies movie night. I have received 2 replies, count them- one, two! I mean come on people! These are all grownups with their own phones, jobs, cars, homes (for the most part), etc. these are not children who have to wait for mommy to get back to them. And to top it all- they get the same sort of invitation at least once a month, so it’s not like it’s news to them* is it just me, is it okay not to reply to me- BECAUSE I’m “good old me” or what’s the story here?

The Gastroscopy

Here is the picture I took of the sheet of photos the doctor gave me- photographs he took of myself from the inside!
I backdated the post to one year after the gastroscopy took place so that if anyone REALLY wants to see them, they can come and look… I didn’t want to suprise anyone who’s remotely squeamish and doesn’t want to see the pictures!

hhhmmmmmppphhhhttt…

this is the sound of me trying not to laugh out loud at one of my client’s staff members! no- don’t misunderstand… i was standing making myself a cup of coffee when a guy walked past me in the passage outside. he came right back and stood a little to the right of me (the coffee trolley was in front of me) very obviously looking at my breasts- for a full two seconds. i was so stunned i stopped stirring my coffee… i am particularly well endowed in the bra area, and as much as i hate bra shopping i love showing off my cleavage and i am used to people staring. but only my really close friends are allowed to make jokes and such… but today i’m not even showing my cleavage. this guy was standing there staring at me. as i looked down at my shirt to see if i’d messed something on it he seemed to wake up and he realised what he’d been doing. then he said he’d found a button lying on the floor in the passage and thought maybe it was mine. he was very embarrassed and proceeded to produce said button to prove he wasn’t a complete perv… i’m still giggling

How Annoying Is That!?

Can you believe my luck?

Last week I wrote that post about the crime in SA and how my son and I discuss things and how we carry on regardless… well… here’s a story for you: on Saturday afternoon my brother threw N’s first birthday party at my folks place. With all the family and several friends in attendance there were probably ten cars outside the house. This is not unusual, I mean, we are a big family. Later, after the knucklehead helped load the car with all N’s pressies and all the other baby paraphernalia, and I helped with the dishes (picture every available space in my mom’s kitchen covered with dirty cups, teaspoons, cake platters, cake forks & glasses), we made our merry way to the car. I got in, and where I would normally unlock for him from the inside, the knucklehead’s door was already unlocked. I figured he’d forgotten to lock when he got out (it happens occasionally). He got in and his door made a really funny noise when he shut it. It wasn’t the usual satisfying ‘THUNK’ of a door that’s proud to do its job… it was a ‘THUNK RATTLE’ of an unhappy door.

We looked at each other and he looked at his door and “AG NO MAN- THEY TRIED TO STEAL OUR CAR MOMMY!”

Strooz nuts (very South African this)! The whole top half of his door was bent far enough away from the car that you could probably squeeze an arm in and unlock it, but not so far that he noticed when he got in. I wasn’t particularly angry, or even upset, and this was the strangest part of the whole palaver for me. Usually for me this would result in a screaming, shouting, swearing, hammering fit of rage. All I thought was whether or not I was going to have to put in an insurance claim to have something fixed or not. Then the knucklehead ran inside to let my dad know so that the remaining car owners could check on theirs and move them into the driveway (behind the palisades, electric fencing and razor wire). Then my dad took a look at the door, pushed it more or less back to where it should be, and we went home.
Now, unless you know where to rub to feel the kink in the door metal from folding it back & forth, you’d never notice anything. That’s it. No cops, no insurance, no forensic investigation, nada. And now you know why I NEVER EVER EVER leave anything in my car. The cubbyhole has some papers in it- nothing important. The boot has a spare fan-belt and a first aid kit. I think that if I had not had a gear lock my car would have been long gone by the time we went outside. Now my biggest concern is the surprising flexibility and softness of my car’s body work… what if I’m in an accident?

Is it just going to tear like tinfoil?

Bloody hell!

See how blasé we are here!?!

That’s how my mind works, ciao!

July Birthdays

We have two July birthdays in our family now.
My sister’s middle son “S” has just turned 10- and what a little prankster he is. Every time I see a joke book or a magic kit I think of blonde; blue-eyed S. He has this quiet unobtrusive sort of sense of humour and he laughs at things a lot of other people don’t even notice, and he can make you leap out of your seat with a whisper (just ask his dad!) I must tell you more about my sister and her boys some time, its one special family that one.
And then today is my youngest nephew’s first birthday. I haven’t said much about “N” except to mention him as my brother’s son, but there is so much about this little boy that is special. He has these huge blue eyes that hypnotise you when you so much as look at him, and if you can make him laugh for you- you’re hooked! He has a deep grosgrain voice that is just so adorable in a little person. He absolutely loves books (pop-up books especially) and cars. I cannot explain how much this kid loves cars- people think we’re exaggerating ‘coz we’re family. But this is a one year old who will sit on his father’s lap and watch almost a whole F1 grand prix- making all the appropriate noises as well, and then he moans like hell when there’s an ad break and the cars disappear. He is happiest when he can walk around the parking lot in his walking ring and examine wheels up close. And don’t dare take him inside until he decides he’s had enough! He gets so excited when a car drives past him his whole body literally quivers! And the extra special thing about N is that when his mommy was about twelve weeks pregnant, they discovered through intense & specialised sonar check ups that he has Radial-Renal Syndrome. This syndrome affects the radius (the big bone in the forearm), the thumbs, the ears and the kidneys. As a result, N has one normal kidney and one little one that functions and sits low in his pelvic area. He also has one ear smaller than the other one with normal hearing, and both his arms end where his elbows are. He has two hands with four fingers each on the inside of each arm, all in perfect working order- minus the thumbs (and no- there isn’t and will not be any surgery or prosthetics involved) . He has adapted, and continues to adapt, learning like any baby would. One thing he did learn to do was use his feet when he couldn’t reach with his hands, his foot-eye coordination is amazing! He is also beautifully balanced- which a lot of people who have this syndrome aren’t lucky enough to be. Since both his arms are almost the same length he doesn’t battle with balancing, and they grow with him, by the time he goes to school they should reach the top of his head. Something we had to learn was to interpret N’s facial expressions when something was bothering him, where most babies would rub their eyes, ears or nose, N has no such luxury and we have to do it for him… after working out where the itch (or whatever) is. The things we take for granted! The incredible thing is that a few people suggested my brother and his wife terminate the pregnancy when it was discovered N had problems. Needless to say it was a few weeks of intense prayer, tears, discussion, doctor’s visits and angst. Now N is here and we do not know what we would have done without him! He is a treasure and an inspiration to everyone! So happy birthday N, here’s wishing you many, many, many more!!