Spirited Mama

YOU have got to take in the BAD to experience the GOOD

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52 lessons for 52 weeks: Week 2 – Be an example…

This post is a little late but I’ve been having some technical difficulties and we were away from home for a few days. We squeezed in a quick trip to Cape Town just before Dudie starts school again. More about that in another post on another day.

Week 2: Be an Example

You may know about my journey of 52 lessons for 52 weeks. If not click here for week 1, which is also my introductory post. Week 2: Be an example focused on what example I am setting for my boys. The type of person I am, my character traits. The way I react to situations. The way I handle a melt down. As a parent it is not easy to ALWAYS keep your “cool” BUT you know those little eyes and ears are watching and listening to your every move. Parenting my boys is way more intense than any pressured job I’ve ever done! Be an example…how many times have you heard that? We all know it but do we really live it? I certainly don’t. I try but I falter an fall along the way side often. Here’s an example, Dudie is 8 years old and knows NOT to swear or cuss. As his parents we swear/cuss but we try not to especially in front of the kids. Dudie knows which words NOT to repeat. *High five to us* Now steps in Troll, aka the baby, who will be 1 year old in less than 10 days! Troll is at the mimicking and copying stage and we’ve noticed that he hangs on every word we say, and watches every move we make. He wants to copy us. Now we have picked up that Troll is mouthing the “F” sound…yes that’s right the “F” sound. Not to repeat words like “food, fruit, fun, face, etc” BUT the word he wants to copy is FUCK! Holy moly, we need to watch ourselves!!! We tend to let loose when Dudie is not around but forget we have a baby who is watching and listening.

Learning lessons the hard way

For me to teach myself some lessons, I’m digging into emotions buried way below my inner core…It’s hard, it’s scary but I know I need to do it to better myself. I’m doing it so that my boys will grow up to be brave enough to face their emotions instead of burying things and moving on and rather face whatever situation head on and deal with it right then and there. Case in point, my parents. We don’t get along. We are civil but we don’t get along. We are just way to different. We can be in the same company and not speak for the entire time and I would be fine with that. I don’t know how they feel about it but they are certainly not doing anything about it. I have moved on. Some hard decisions were made for me to be able to live my life. Yes they are the boys’ grandparents and we visit with them when we are in Cape Town but I’m sure as hell not going to break my neck trying to just fit them in to our lives. Some people just don’t work for you, so what would make your parents any different? I know I am raising kids and they might turn around and tell me that I don’t work for them but that is the chance I’m willing to take. A chance to give my boys an unconditional love, a life filled with family – because hey we have lots of other family who loves us and wants to spend time with us. A sincere upbringing to see what love actually is – it’s a feeling, an emotion that overpowers all other emotions!

Putting my lessons out in the universe for 2018

Some might say it’s karma or murphy’s law but since I put out my 52 lessons for 52 weeks I’m really being tested on these lessons. These lessons are not unique to me, I’m sure of it! Neither are they “NEW” lessons. I’m sure most people will find some, most or maybe all lessons something they can relate to. This series is suppose to be a learning experiment for me and hopefully I can find some humor in them and not always be so serious…I find that being an example is huge. I’m raising kids who I hope will someday grow into beautiful, respectful, humble young men. Men who will know how to treat others but not let others take advantage of them. I see them watching their Dad, aka Dude, all the time. I see them watching how he treats me and by golly if they take with them only a quarter of what their Dad is indirectly teaching them, they WILL know how to treat a woman like a queen!

I am not a confrontational person but I have been facing confrontation so often I feel like it may very well be part of my routine. So I’m pulling up my socks and showing my boys how to handle confrontation. Stand your ground. Don’t be a dumb ass. Listen and decipher the information but ultimately deal with the situation right then and there!

Let me continue to Be an example….we are having a pj day 🙂

Spirited Mama

52 lessons

52 lessons for 52 weeks

So we made it to the year 2018! Aren’t we blessed to see it? A new year, new opportunities, to new beginnings and to taking with us all the good/positives from 2017.

There are NO resolutions here

I am not one for new years resolutions. I know not to bull shit myself. I would much rather spend my time and energy on doing something positive for myself and my family without having to fret about a promise I made at the beginning of the year, which I know might only last for the month of January, if even that long. Kudos to those people out there who can stick to their respective resolutions BUT it just doesn’t work for me. I have tried it and failed dismally. Maybe the resolutions I made were not of purest intent. Maybe it wasn’t “MY” resolutions to begin with. Maybe I was jumping on a bandwagon of what I thought would be great resolutions to have…Whatever it was, it just wasn’t working for me.

2018 Intentions

Personally, I prefer to see myself living with “intent” this year. Not that I haven’t been doing it before but I want to be mindful of my choices and be consciously aware of what I am doing/what I am about to do, weighing up the “pros and cons”. I am challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and dig deep into emotions buried so deep that it makes me breath a little faster just thinking about what I am about to do. Life is never “easy” but when we work at it we are nurturing our souls and strengthening relationships, creating lasting bonds and giving ourselves and others the “best” we can be. I am no easy feat when it comes to showing emotions. I struggle with this. ALOT. Starting of this new year had me thinking… we hear about “living your best life” or live each day like it’s your last” but what am I doing about it to live my best life. What if I wasn’t here tomorrow? God help me, as I long to see my boys grow up and find that special person to share their lives with, perhaps even have a few kids of their own. I decided to challenge myself with 52 lessons for 52 weeks for 2018.

Why 52 lessons for 52 weeks

Well, each and every week for the rest of this year I will challenge myself head on to deal with an emotion/problem that has hindered me in the past. I am not going to delve into my past but I will need to make some tough choices as I hold onto 2018 to live my best life. The weekly post may be filled with raw emotions, snot and ugly cries or perhaps some unicorns and rainbows. I know that it is necessary and I know that I need to voice it. I know that this may be the only way to be better.

Week 1 – Thursday 4 January 2018

None of that new year, new me bullshit. Week 1 – I am focusing on living with intent. I am not perfect but I am trying to be the best that I can be. This week I am focusing my energy on really living and by living I mean trying to find something good/positive in every moment, albeit hard the challenge is to find a positive to create a good memory. It is way too easy to just get pissed/upset if things don’t work out the way we want it to. The challenge is to analyse what is about to/or has happened and choose how to react to it. Choosing a positive reaction that is. Learning a lesson, so to speak!

I cringe every time I hear someone say “new year, clean slate”. I am still me and you have still done xyz to offend me etc etc, so what it’s a new year and we must now just all move on and start afresh? Not in Spiritville. I’m not holding grudges but I do think that it is way too easy for people to just get away with things that may have hurt/offended someone. SO instead of me trying to “fix” what others did, I am starting with me. Fixing MY wrongs, living with intent, consciously being aware of how my actions and reactions may affect ME, and those around me.

Join me in my 52 lessons for 52 weeks and discover with me, uncover with me, and grow with me. I’m petrified as to what I am opening myself up to BUT how else will I learn and grow if I don’t challenge myself to do greater things.

 

 

I would love to hear some of your lessons, if you have any to share. If you don’t want to comment below, feel free to drop me an email spiritedmamablog@gmail.com

 

Spirited Mama

 

Comfortable in my own skin

Once upon a time, I was the skinny girl. In fact all throughout my schooling. BUT I’ve always loved food. There is WAY too much good food in this world to NOT try it.

I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, I even had cake for breakfast on most days, until my metabolism kicked my ass and slowed down tremendously. Now that extra piece of chocolate shows up on my hips/thighs/tummy and/or ass. But I am comfortable in my skin. I like who I am even though those dressing room mirrors are very unflattering. My Dude loves my muffin grip. Me not so much but it is a part of me and I do love myself.

Why do we say we need to accept people as they are but we can’t accept ourselves? Is this struggle greater for women that men? Actually, I’d be quite interested in a male point of view. Dude is so proud of his “Dad” physique. He says I took years to get into his shape.

At this stage I am in between sizes😁 Well that’s how I term it. So I don’t have a standard size. One particular cut might be smaller/bigger. I can never just take a size without fitting the item first… I mean come on ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. I buy what fits me. My body. It reminds me of when I bought my wedding dress 10 years ago. I bought an imported dress but it was too big in some places and needed to be altered. The resident tailor in this Boutique store almost had a heart attack as I was drinking a Coca Cola and eating a BarOne…all whilst she was taking my measurements. Her exact words, “What are you doing? You should be drinking water and eating vegetables!” I responded “Excuse me! This dress will fit me NOT the other way round“.

That statement of hers always reminds me to laugh out loud, literally😂. And to NOT take life so seriously. My kids don’t care whether I’m skinny or not. They care that I spend time with them. My husband doesn’t want a skinny wife. He wants a happy wife. And reminds me ALL the time that he loves me and he loves my body just the way it is. Oh, and did I mention that I grew 2 babies with this body?

Back to the point. Kids are so hard on themselves about what the perfect body image is or should. Why? Aren’t we preaching that we are supposed to love ourselves just the way we are? Believe me, I am my WORST CRITIC. I too was in a space of “I need to look a certain way and I’d be happier/enjoy life more/etc”. Blah blah blah. Thankfully, as I get wiser, I seem to care less and less about what I see on TV/Magazines/Instagram/Twitter etc. I do love seeing the “real” people, you know the #nofilter images, no editing. I have nothing against anyone for living a healthy lifestyle and keeping fit. When people ask me if I go to the gym, I aptly respond with I lift 8kgs daily. But it’s not in a gym, it’s at home when lifting Troll. What gets to me is when you are pushed to the point where you feel:

“I must eat this or that”

“I must be on a diet”

“I must go to gym”

“I must lose weight”

The pressure for some is just too much. Some people are just not strong enough to BE THEMSELVES. Some people are blessed with great genes…others not so much. I see the craze about #wellness trending all the time. But what is YOUR wellness? My #wellness is being the best I can be, in whatever shape or form that suits ME. And another thing “who are these people judging you anyway?” What merit do they have? Do they live YOUR life?

Being a wife/mom/employee/etc takes up ALL my time. I’m just happy at the end of the day to sit down and eat my chocolate in peace… Let me be. I’m a fuller version of myself right now🤘

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Whichever way you see fit. In the end, only YOU will be answerable for your life anyway.

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am ME. I am UNIQUE.

I don’t want to fit in. I want to STAND out.

Spirited Mama

 

The entire family admitted to hospital in the same week…

Ok so Troll, aka new baby, is not so new anymore. He is 4months old already. The pregnancy was not all smooth sailing as it was with Dudie. It was challenging and even more so for my spirited household. Cos you know, the wheels on the bus fall off when Mom aint around. Kudos to Dude who did his absolute best whilst I was in and out of hospital.

Here’s the background…throughout most of my pregnancy I noticed that my feet were swollen ALL the time. Whenever I went for the checkup, the gynaecologist always found traces of protein in my urine. I should mention that I am high risk for DVT too, but that is another story. Somewhere after 30weeks my Dr wanted more frequent check ups to monitor me. And it just so happened that we went on a roadtrip the week before my scheduled checkup. Well when we came home, I was admitted to hospital for observation. I can’t even remember the diagnosis. We had a lovely holiday period at home over Christmas but then I noticed that my left leg had been doubling in size…I went for a checkup and did the 24hour urine sample test. Well they rushed the results and I was admitted to hospital again. Diagnosis…Preeclampsia. Whoa! I was nervous and a little freaked out. I was not even 33 weeks and my Dr advised that Troll might have to be delivered soon. They started with steroid shots to boost his little lungs. Holy crap those shots burn like crazy. I was constantly being monitored. Me being me, I negotiated with the Dr. She said we will deliver at 35 weeks. I said no we can wait until 37 weeks. And during all this time, I had to stay in hospital whilst Dudie started Grade 2. What a hellavu long hospital stay that was. (Did you know you get a long stay menu in hospital? Best you ask for that menu cos the food is sooo much better.) And to top it all my condition remained stable whilst in hospital until I reached 36weeks. Dr was ready to deliver Troll but I knew I had to trust my gut. I just wasn’t ready. He wasn’t ready. After much persuasion from my side the Dr agreed to wait until 37 weeks. Well folks, I was in such good shape after those negotiations that I got a weekend pass to go home.

I managed to get pass the 37 week mark and again negotiated with my Dr to just wait until 38 weeks, unless of course it is an emergency… Dudie had a swimming gala the Monday from 11am. I reschuled my doctor’s appointment for 9am so that I would make it to the gala on time. Dude decided he needed to take me to the doctor himself and he even packed my hospital bag in the car 😳 I was not impressed with him because I was going to watch Dudie swim that day. That morning the Doctor politely informed me, after doing a stretch and sweep, that she is admitting me immediately and should Troll not make his appearance, she will induce labour on Tuesday morning. It is an understatement to say that neither the doctor nor Dude was impressed when I said that I was going to the gala and would check in at the hospital that afternoon. The doctor almost gave herself whiplash as I answered ” I will be back at 5pm” 😂. Dude was like hell no. I will bring her as soon as the gala is done. Let’s just say there is no point in arguing with me once I have made up my mind.

That settled it and off we went to the gala. Sadly, we missed Dudie’s first race which he won by the way. But my golly, I was so proud with tears streaming down my face, to see my 7year old compete and win all his races. He looked so small in comparison with the other kids. Dudie was so happy that we came. The headmaster alerted my husband that should we need to leave in case I go into labour we should just go. Dude announced to the headmaster, “oh don’t worry I’m taking her to the hospital after the gala. This baby is coming today or tomorrow”. The look on the headmaster’s face was priceless😂 And I’m pretty sure he, his staff and a few parents were freaking out on our behalf.

So Dudie got first prize in all his races. Now wasn’t that worth going for? To share that moment with him. Dude gave me the look “I think it’s time to go” but I went off to chat to Dudie’s new teacher and then found his previous teacher and chatted etc, etc, etc. When I got back to the car, my family were pacing up and down anxiously waiting for me so that we could leave. My husband was calmly sitting and waiting and just said I told them you will come when you are ready. (Oh forgot to mention that some family came to visit all the way from Cape Town and was hoping to still be around for the birth. But they were flying back to Cape Town that very Monday as well)

We came home. We had a late lunch. Everyone was gobbling their food except me😂 I was so not in a hurry to leave. Bags were loaded and off we set for the hospital. Take note, Dude still had to drive the family to the airport and make it back to Pretoria in peak hour traffic. Thankfully, we had my Great Aunt visiting, so Dudie, Great Aunt and I were dropped at the hospital. In the parking lot. Like a proper drop and go🤣🤣🤣. My Aunt and her daughters said their goodbyes and told Troll to please wait for Daddy before he came.

We got to the labour ward and the Nurse jumped off her chair telling me how panicked she was because they have been waiting for me all day. My dr called them in the morning and they had prepped my room and everything. Well here I was and I was ready to get the show on the road. Dude made it back to the hospital in record time but I knew nothing would happen that night. I told Dude, Great Aunt and Dudie to go home and relax. The hospital will call should Troll decide to come.

That Monday evening, Troll and I had a discussion. I was sick and tired of the to and fro from hospital. And I really didn’t want an emergency c-section. So I asked Troll to work with me. I was ready to meet him.

Tuesday

I woke up at 5am and had a lovely warm shower. The nurse was on point and at 6am my labour was induced. Dude arrived just before 7am. Dudie was happy as a pig in mud as he got the day off from school, just waiting for Dad to fetch him at home to come meet his baby brother. Well, things progressed very slowly. Albeit that I informed the hospital staff and my dr that when it’s happening it will be quick, seems no one really believed me. I walked and walked and walked and walked right up until 30minutes before Troll was born. I wasn’t in pain but I could feel my contractions. The nurse asked what pain relief I was going to use and I politely said “nothing”. She did a double take and asked me if I knew what an induction was and how it progresses. I said yes, Dudie was also induced and I birthed that 3.4kg monkey drug free. All. Natural. She smiled and said just remember you are allowed to change your mind.

At about 14h30 I could feel I was leaking amniotic fluid and the nurse then proceeded to break my waters for me. Holy crap!!! The contractions hit me like a bus in a head on collision. I could barely breathe. It was that intense. I went from 4cm dialtion to full dialtion in 30minutes. As the nurse stepped out of the room to get paperwork, I told Dude to call her as Troll was coming and I needed to push. She promptly turned back and said he is crowning. Just hold him in a little 😳😳😳😱🤔uhm, how do you suppose I hold this baby in my womb when everyone has been wanting him to be born. He is ready whether you like it or not. And he is on his way. The dr came running and made it just in time as my BODY birthed this boy by itself. I didn’t do anthing. I just went with it. My body knew exactly what to do. And thank goodness I was intune with myself.

The nurse announced Troll weighed 4.04kg. Both the dr and I checked the scale just to be sure. (We discussed his weight and estimated that he would be 3.5 or 3.7 kg. Definitely NOT 4kg.) But there he was my chubby Troll. Finally here to meet us. We were so happy and relieved that both mom and baby were in good health. The other nursing staff came rushing into my room to see what the fuss was about. They couldn’t believe that just 30minutes ago I was walking the passages and chatting to them and here lies my 4kg Troll, whom I had birthed drug free. What a story I have to tell Troll when he is older.

Dudie came to visit his baby brother later that afternoon. He was and still is such a proud big brother. He waited for his baby brother his whole life, his words. When it was time to say goodbye, tears were shed but I noticed he did not seem to be quite himself. Anyway, I put it down to not wanting to leave mom and baby.

On Wednesday morning 3am, I get a text from Dude saying Dudie is vomiting and he is bringing him to the ER. I said they should come to my room once they know what’s happening. Well they had Dudie on an IV and did blood tests. Around 8am, they showed up in my room. Dudie was sent home with medication and needed to rest. Dude sent me a text during the day saying Dudie is fine and they will visit in the late afternoon. They will pick up my last supplies from Baby City, as I didn’t get around to doing that before I was admitted again. At 4pm, I started to worry as they were on their way but just not showing up in my room. As I picked up my phone, I saw Dude’s text, “Dudie being admitted now. Got sick in the hospital parking lot”. Well here I was in the maternity ward, with a day old baby, and my 7year old was being admitted in ER. Thankfully, the paediatric ward is right next to the maternity ward. I fed Troll and wheeled him over to the nursery. The staff was asking questions about Dudie, as they became close with him during my extended hospital stay. They were expecting him. They were shocked when I said “well I’m off to the paediatric ward to go see Dudie now as he was admitted”.

Dudie had some bug that was dehydrating him at a rapid rate. They were doing all kinds of tests but it seems the hospital was just full of sick kids. I walked between the maternity ward and paediatric ward the entire evening until Dude got back from home with supplies for Dudie and himself. So I was in the maternity ward with Troll and Dude was in the Paediatic ward with Dudie. The entire Spirited family was in the hospital.

On Thursday, Troll and I were given the go ahead to be discharged. I visited Dudie and said goodbye as I was’t sure how long he would stay but promised to come visit in between. That Thursday evening, Dude sends me a text ” Hey, I wasn’t feeling well and am now admitted too. On an IV. Must have gotten the bug from Dudie”. Wtf. My entire family admitted to hospital in the same week. I was going to have a ball explaining this to the medical aid cos someone is bound to screw up the records.

Thank goodness, their hospital stays were short and they responded rapidly to treatment. They came home on Friday evening. The Spirited family reunited. As we know, it’s always darkest before we see the light. And believe me, my Dude and  I can attest to the fact that we always have the most amazing trials and tests before we live a happier life…Have you experienced this? Is this a way of making us more grateful for what we have/are receiving? I think so. Somehow, through all our tribulations we have kept our faith alive.

For us, living in a different province with NO family support, we have found a way to manage our lives effectively and to the best of our ability. We know that WE have to count on ourselves to make our lives work. It is hard at times but yet so rewarding too. Just thinking of all our family drama, I am a little thankful that we are a long way away from it all. Yes, we miss out on family gatherings but we have some really awesome friends. These friends are our family. We have formed a family unit with them. We support one another and love one another and fight just like any other family. You’d be surprised finding out that we are in fact not related…

So that is how my entire family was admitted to hospital in the same week. When I was consolidating the medical bills, because you know the Medical Aids ALWAYS short pay the damn accounts, the consultant was in shock because she had 4 different accounts. One for each one of us for the same hospital. For the same week. It was a first for her. I am so glad we could help educate her…

 

Spirited Mama

 

P.S. The labour and maternity ward was full the entire time that I was there…thankfully, Troll was healthy and didn’t need NICU. I feel for the moms who gave birth and had to be transferred to a different hospital because there just wasn’t enough beds available… In fact, the hospital was full everytime I was admitted.

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