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Grinch No More

The Christmas season is upon us.  And the spirit has arrived in the Cobley home in a BIG way.  Growing up, we were never that into the whole Christmas thing.  Or should I say, my parents weren’t.  So, over the years I just sort of went along with it all and didn’t really care too much for it. 

Then two things happened.  I met Steven – he is English and part of being English means that you and your family go completely OTT when it comes to Christmas.  I remember Christmas mornings with his family with Lisa (Steven’s niece) and Sam (Steven’s little sister) opening what can only be described as an Everest of presents as the hours ticked by!  I still was not that into it.  My biggest peeve (and I’m afraid it still is), is being at the shops around this time of year.  I HATE IT!! Really I do.  I never really got what the big deal was.  (Wendy used to call me The Grinch). 

Then I had kids.  And I have to say that now I get it.  And now I am into it.  In a big big way.  Experiencing Christmas through their eyes is exactly what it’s all about.  For me – and yes I know this sounds cliche – it is not about the gifts.  That is part of it, yes.  But the making of decorations, the baking of cookies and mince pies, teaching them Christmas Carols, posting letters to the North Pole, and being ‘helped’ to decorate the Christmas tree – that is what it’s all about.  The past seven days I have had a lump in my throat nearly every day as I live this exciting time through my kids.  Well, really through Sarah at the moment as to Emily right now the Christmas spirit is all about trying to rip Christmas decorations off the tree and eat as much tinsel as possible before mom catches her!

We have a very busy calendar from now until the end of the holidays.  Some days I wonder where I will find the energy for it all, but when I see the excitement on her little face, it renews my enthusiasm for sure.  Still to come: 

A small Christmas party with her friends Amy, Nina, Rowan, Layla and Adam; Sarah’s school Christmas picnic; Uncle Willie’s Christmas Party (which is a blog post all on its own soon to come); Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Gardens, Christmas Eve with my family and of course Christmas Day when Santa finally delivers!!

And then a long well-deserved family holiday, part of which will be spent in the Wilderness – can’t wait!!!

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A big day for a little girl

Today was the open day at the Montessori creche that Sarah will be going to next year.  We spent an hour in the class that she will be in, joining in the various activities they were doing.  It is quite daunting for a little girl to walk into a classroom full of other kids who know each other well and don’t know her at all (although there was one boy in the class that we know).  She took about ten minutes to let go of my hand and join in, but once she did she did brilliantly.  She was even invited to join them for pancakes, and afterwards joined the queue of little ones to wash their plates afterwards.  From being shy and a little nervous at first, it’s now all she has spoken about all day.  Yay!  It is a relief that she is excited about her new school – but I already know the first day is going to be extremely tough for me, even though I have already been through it before.  I have had such a lump in my throat all day just having been there with her and seeing how far she has come and how bloody clever she is!  I am one proud momma!

What’s For Dinner

In this blog I plan to share with you from time to time what I made for dinner.  Sometimes I have those days where I just can’t decide what to make, and wish I could go somewhere that would give me an idea.  So maybe I will inspire someone who is wondering what to make.  My meals are usually very simple and easy – time is not always on my side so they need to be.  But I have found that since I have started being the cook in the home every day I am really enjoying cooking more and more and nothing makes me happier than when my family enjoys my food. 

Mondays I usually do Meatless Monday, unless I forget or there is something in the freezer or fridge that is handier than having to go to the shops.  Today was not meatless, but we will do a meatless day another day later in the week to make up for it. 

What we had for dinner tonight is an old recipe that my mom and my ouma always made – quick, easy and scrumptious.  Chicken in a brown onion, mayo and chutney sauce; served with rice and veggies.  I use chicken thighs (skinless of course) as I always find they are so tasty and really take in the flavours of whatever is being made so much better than the other pieces.  I make up a sauce of 1 cup brown onion soup (I just use a third of a packet mixed with a cup of boiling water), and 1/2 cup each of mayo and chutney.  Pour over your chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish and pop in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Easy huh?

Hope your Monday treated you well, wherever you may be xxx

Thanks Gall Bladder!

Thanks to my gall bladder – my sweet, generous, now incinerated gall bladder; I was paid out some money from my medical insurance policy and so we decided that half of it would be for Christmas shopping and the other half would be for something we have wanted for a number of years but other priorities always got in the damn way! So, we are now the proud owners of a 42-inch flat-screen TV!  And a lovely little unit to match.  Very cool!

The best part was, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.  We arrived at our favourite breakfast spot at our local shopping centre and started chatting about what we ‘should’ do with the money we were paid out.  All the usual suspects reared their ugly heads – credit cards, bond, debts, etc.  But we decided to look at it this way:  two weeks ago, we would never even be having this conversation due to the fact that my gall bladder was still in place and we had no intention of claiming from our medical insurance.  Hence the logic:  it’s money for spending!  And spend it we did!

THANK YOU GALL BLADDER!

I’m Back! Maybe…

Hello to you if you are still one of the people checking up on me – if you are, that’s just weird but hello anyway 🙂

So, I think I have decided to start blogging again.  I’m still unsure and not promising anything or putting any pressure on myself, but let’s see how it goes okay?  As you can see I have changed the theme… Can you believe there are no themes with purple colouring?  So, yes, I’m still Purple Ronnie, but you’ll just have to picture the page as purple.  Just try.  Hard.  Please. 

What have I been doing since February?  Tweeting.  A lot!  I’m an addict!  I think for someone like me who is not so good at keeping up with things (like my blog), it is just perfect and I so enjoy the interaction with all my followers.  As a mom, you tend to get stuck in a rut and not really feel a part of what is happening in the outside world. With twitter, I feel so much more in touch with what is happening out there.  I think it is so much better than facebook, although that too serves its purpose for me.  Luckily, I have managed to stay in touch with my blogger friends in this way as well.  I have really lost touch with all the blogs I follow.  I am hoping to rectify that, but once again no promises.  When I finally get both kids to bed in the evening, I am usually so knackered I can just about manage to watch a half-hour tv programme, let alone catch up on all the blogs.  But I want to.  I really do.  And all I can do is just try and make time.

So, I’m here, for now.  Lots of love xxx

An exception..

Just had to interrupt my blogging hiatus to let you know that my beautiful and awesome niece Lisa has started blogging. It has only been up a few days and already it’s one of my favs – yes I am biased, but I think you will agree.

Go to http://www.days-like-today.blogspot.com

Hope you likey x

In case you didn’t notice..

I am on a blogabbatical.. a leave of absence, a temporary resignation.. whatever you want to call it.

I guess I just want to make it official for all of you who may still be checking in and getting frustrated. I have been toying with the idea of stopping the blog altogether, but who knows maybe I do that and then a flash of inspiration hits and I decide I actually do feel like putting something up here. Also, the baby will be arriving soon and of course I want to let you all know about that too.

So, I’m saying Goodbye for now, maybe forever, but I will not be gone – I am going to make a much more concerted effort to keep up with the blogs that I read regularly and I will hopefully be back up and running on Twitter soon too. Not having my own computer is so yuk – I’m still just muscling in on Steven’s whenever I get a chance – so it makes keeping up a lot more difficult and at night I am just too tired to do anything else but lie in bed!

Lots of love as always to all and any of you reading this xxx

People are Unbelievable!!!

Wow! Just when you thought you’ve seen every kind of idiot imagineable, you have an experience like this that just leaves your jaw hanging open.  Mother of toddlers will empathise, maybe others might think I am the idiot.

So, I’m at the shops (yes Woolies of course), and Sarah is one of those lovely toddler moods where she is whinging about everything.  She wants this, she wants that, she keeps trying to climb out of the trolley, putting  juice bottle lids in her mouth after me telling her not to, etc etc, the list is endless.  After a great battle of wills all round the shops, we get into the checkout queue where of course there are rows of sweets.  She then starts whining for sweets.  Now, I am normally the type of mother that will give her a little packet of sweets as a treat, but because of her behaviour in the shop, I say no.  Which then leads to more screaming and of course that wonderful brand of crying – the no-tears cry.  This cry means I am not really crying I just want you to give in and give me what I want.

As if I don’t find this kind of situation stressful enough, when I eventually get to the till (child is still ‘crying’) and pay, a woman walks up to my child with a packet of sweets and says “Please can I give her the sweets, shame she really wants them obviously.”  I mean – F*CK!!!!!!! Can you believe this?????  So I very nicely and politely say that I’m sorry but no she can not have them because I don’t want her to be rewarded for throwing tantrums and behaving badly.  The woman starts begging and saying yes but she only has boys and she really wants to get them for her.  “Please mommy please” she pleads.  I tell her if you want to give them to her I will just take them and put them in the shopping bag and give them to her another time so there really is no point.  She says “I will pay for it..”  I say it really isn’t about the money – I have R6 on me.  I am now beyond annoyed and embarassed, and then – THEN – she gives the packet of sweets to my child!!!!!!!!! What the hell can I do now except tell Sarah to say thank you to the lady.  I then take the sweets and put them in the bag at which point she starts screaming even more! She says “I’m sorry I know I’ve just ruined your discipline.”  I say:  “Yes, actually you have.”  The woman then merrily walks off to pay for her things – and yes I did have to go back to the till and pay the R6 for the sweets because no she did not pay for them. 

I am so freaking irritated right now.  Try to imagine how this scenario feels – I actually feel like I’ve been bullied by some complete stranger.  And she is happy because in front of a shop full of people she was the the sweet lady that bought the poor little girl sweets when her mean mother wouldn’t.  I have had strangers pass unwanted judgement and commentary on me many a time – but this is something I don’t think I will be able to shake off for a while.  The bloody nerve of the woman.  And just another example to backup my motto:  “The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs.”

Anyhoo, other than that we are having a wonderful summer and I am looking forward to dinner at Caroline’s tonight with Wendy and our respective hubbies of course.  Hope you are all well.  I know I am quiet but I am still reading all your blogs – just rushing around so much that I don’t always comment.  Lots of love everyone.

xxx

Quotes

Here are some quotes by Dr Wayne Dyer that I love.  Caroline’s latest post has gotten me thinking all day and I feel that he is such an inspiration with regard to this and many other topics.  As we approach the festive season and all its trappings, we could do well to reflect on what Caroline has written and on these quotes. 

“Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality.

“We are Divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive.”

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.”

“Prosperity in the form of wealth works exactly the same as everything else. You will see it coming into your life when you are unattached to needing it.”

“There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”

Pregnancy Update

Hi everyone.. Hope you are all doing well.   For those of you that regularly check in here I apologise for my silence of late.  On top of computer related issues being a pain in the ass, things have been very emotionally tough for me this past week or so. Suffice to say that I have not been in the mood to blog – I have been reading your blogs as always, but have not always commented as I usually do.  Anyway, I am in the mood for writing now and so I here I am.

I am now at 24 weeks pregnant, which means I am well over halfway there.  We went for another detailed scan today and again things are looking great.  We had a few glimpses of 4D, but my little girl is either very shy or very naughty as she had anything she could possibly find shielding her face – both hands and feet, the cord and the placenta was in the way too!  From what I did see she is an absolute beauty, knobbly alien head and all! 

For Steven and I, going for these detailed scans – or fetal assessments as they are called – is a bittersweet experience.  The little room we have the scan in is the exact room that we were in when we were told of all the issues that Sarah would have.  We remember vividly the look on the doctor’s face when they discovered something wrong – that look of dread and pity.  Even now that we have been for two we are still studying her face carefully and with trepidation, in case the relaxed smile turns into something else.  Also in that room I had the procedure called cordiocentesis – that day was the worst one of my life – being told there may be a serious problem, and then having to keep dead still while a long needle is inserted into your pregnant belly – it has to be inserted exactly into the umbillical cord at the entry – there is not margin for error.  Having to lie still while going through a storm of emotions and feeling your baby kicking you in distress does not a pleasant experience make.  I am sure some of you are wondering why we would go back there – there are other places we can go.  Well, after the experience we had with Sarah, we trust these doctors more than anyone else.  We know that being armed with the information that we had saved our daughter’s life, and that is why we would not go anywhere else.  If there is something wrong, I know they will see it and we will have a plan of action in place for the day of her birth, like we did with Sarah.  And as you all know, all’s well that ends well – our Sarah is a healthy, strong, gorgeously cute and happy little imp.  The reward of having her far outweighs the drama we experienced. 

But, our little girl is growing beautifully in the womb – they are still extremely happy with her and everything is ok.  We have one more assessment to do at 30 weeks, when her little bowel will be fully operational – this is just a precautionary measure to be 100% sure that it is in working order.  Also, with my placenta out of the way, the 4D scan will be more successful. 

I am beyond excited to meet this little mystery girl.  She moves so much inside me, always reminding me that she is there – and I do need reminding.  One’s second pregnancy is not as leisurely and relaxing as the first.  There is no option to go and have a three hour nap in the middle of the day or just relax and put your feet up when you have a busy toddler demanding constant amusement.  How I wish I had treasured those moments more and not taken them for granted.  I can’t wait to see if she will look a lot or a little or nothing at all like her big sister.  I can’t wait to get to know her personality and mannerisms.  And most of all I really can’t wait to have a little newborn to hold again – this time around I will appreciate that more too – and hopefully I will get to have her at home for the first 6 weeks of her life, rather than have to go and visit her in the hospital.  I know it will be hard and I will be tired, but I am going to try my best to cope and ask for help when I need it.  Sarah will be going to a small creche in the mornings as from January, which I know a lot of people don’t approve of – but I have my reasons and I know that they are the right ones for my little girl.  I will of course be devastated when the time comes (nothing has made me more aware of what a control freak I really am than having a child), but what I am very happy about is that when the new little one arrives, I will be able to spend at least a little time each day bonding with her and giving her my undivided attention, as I have been able to do with Sarah. 

I am feeling really healthy and good in this pregnancy.  I am getting very tired and uncomfortable but not to an extent that I can’t manage.  I have started doing some prenatal/restorative yoga, which I hope to do more regularly.  (Thanks Caz – just the one session has been more beneficial to me than you know).  So, although other areas of my life are extremely tough at the moment, I am actually very content and happy on the whole.  Being pregnant is such a wonderful experience and I am very grateful for it.

I hope that you all have a good week – lots of love to you all xxx