To my Husband, on our 15th anniversary

I’ve never really been good at remembering dates, but in the days coming up to this, our 15th wedding anniversary, I’ve been thinking about our life together so far.

15 Years is a lot of life to share, it’s about a third of our lives so far, and, by far, the best.

People that know us often comment on how amazing you are and they’re completely right, you are.

I love how you supported and cherished me through infertility, never giving up on me, even though I sometimes did.

I love that you respect me, even though we may not always agree. The feeling is entirely mutual.

I love that you see past all the railway tracks on my body that are the result of 2 pregnancies, of which one resulted in a rather large set of twins.

I love that you sometimes let me have things my own way, even though you must, at the time, know that I’m not making the right decision. And that you never, ever say “I told you so”.

I love how you are with our kids. That you are the (more) active listener of the two of us. That you WANT to spend time with us.

I love that we are always, ALWAYS, your first priority.

I love that you are forever talking to the kids and, oftentimes, are better able to get a point across to them. That I’m safe in the knowledge that you will back me up, even though we might not always agree.

I love that we share a love for music and books and good food and that we can foster that same love within our kids.

I love that you know when I need to talk and when I need space and that you never, never make me feel bad for needing either.

I love how I can rely on the fact that we always, together, make a plan, no matter what challenges we are presented with.

I love how you just get on with it, when I sometimes want to take a moment (or a day, or a week) to whine and feel sorry for myself. Or when the Dark Dog of Depression lurks in my shadow.

I love that you make sure our lives tick over without drama, kids’ schedules and meals sorted when I am often running around in circles in my head.

I love that you are living the best example of being a good man (and just generally a decent human being) to our son and daughters, that this will enable them to not compromise or underestimate their own worth as they grow older.

I love your sense of humour, your joy, it’s contagious.

But mostly, I love that you’re my anchor. That, no matter which crazy plan I hatch or how mad things are or sad or happy I am, you’re always there, the constant in my life.

Lief jou xx



The guilt propeller

It’s funny how a seemingly small thing can propel you into a state of guilt for an entire day. And please don’t offer me any big-girl-panties-psychobabble after reading this, I’m feeling vulnerable enough as it is.

Quite serendipitously I am going out tonight to see Michael Buble. When the tickets went on sale it was just not Etienne’s thing and life got in the way of making alternative plans with friends, so I didn’t pursue it. I’m so very happy to be going with a bunch of cool gals, but anxious about all the things OCD people like myself get anxious about such as parking, driving at night by myself (see psychobabble comment above), not seeing the kids tonight, hoping Daniel does well in his Xhosa test today and so on and so forth.

This morning the kids were up and about earlier than usual, so they were almost ready by the time I was ready and rushing to leave the house, already running a few minutes late. Mignon asked me to do her hair, so I said, sorry darling, Mommy has to go to work now, but Daddy or Norma will help you in just a minute. I also knew that, if I did her hair I would end up doing Isabel’s hair and then another 15 minutes would have gone by and I would be really, really late.

So I said, not today my darling. And, in the mirror, I could see something on my child’s face that was akin to disappointment. I didn’t click right that very second as my mind was already wandering to all the urgent things waiting at the office, but when it hit me I almost turned the car right around to go straight back and apologise and do the best hair ever. For her and her sister, work be damned.

Instead, I have spent a large part of my emotional energy today berating myself and wishing that I made a different choice this morning. Wishing I could take that crushed and disappointed look off my child’s face. An exercise in complete futililty, but still.

Then this popped up in my timeline this morning:

I think our kids need a Yes-day, almost like a Love-Bombing day, but probably something that would be more practical for us as a family. It feels like we live in a world of NO, a world of pushing them to do everything they *need* to do and don’t indulge them often enough or make them feel as important as they should know they are.

For now though, I’ll re-learn the lesson about being in the moment and continuously re-evaluating priorities and moving on. Thinking on my feet at 06h45am is clearly just not my strongest point.

The joy in the small things

The crappiest thing about depression and anxiety is that you lose the ability to notice and find joy in the small things.

It’s been a re-awakening the last few months, reclaiming the person that takes note and rejoices in the mundane. The person that sees the funny and embraces the joy. The person that feels, deeply, as painful as it sometimes can be.

On Saturday morning I noticed a beautiful, end-to-end rainbow lurking outside our kitchen door and I felt that joy for the first time in absolute ages.

I have a little list going of some of the small things that bring me joy:

  • Sliding my legs into good, cool linen at night. Life’s too short for poly-cotton.
  • Collapsing on our (newly covered) red couch.
  • The feeling of a clean face at the end of the day. (I’ve never been able to go to bed with make-up on)
  • When our doorbell rings and I know that, within minutes, our house will be filled with more love and laughter.
  • Good wine and whiskey. (if you know me you will know that this does not require any explanation at all)
  • Completing a crochet project, no matter how small. There is true gratification in seeing something you created.
  • Going for a pedicure. (even though I battle to sit still for an entire hour)
  • Our blood red front door. (Husband wasn’t too sure about this initially, but he’s over it now. Well, mostly)
  • Finding the *perfect* red for said front door.
  • Loud music and car/kitchen dancing with children.
  • Rolling out bedrolls to sit on under our tree.
  • Sharing the cool space under the tree with loved friends.
  • When, collecting children from Aftercare, they slip slightly sticky hands into mine and we have full palm-on-palm contact. There’s no feeling like that touch, no words could ever explain.
  • Being able to collect our children, collecting hugs and hearing all their stories, firsthand. It used to be completely soul-destroying to come home later and no-one wanted to talk about their day anymore.

I’m so grateful to be here again, it’s been a year with many hard lessons.

What makes you joyful? Do you seek to find the things that bring you happiness?

A fun day at the Dermatologist

Isabel has the weirdest skin infection for a while now that started behind her knee and spread up and down her leg. Despite 2 (!!) doctors diagnosing eczema it clearly wasn’t.

So, off to the Dermatologist we went today. (I had a good idea what it was as my bestie, Leo’s, little girl has the same*)

Of course I had to go with both girls, can’t exactly be leaving the one at aftercare, now can I?

I should have known we were in for a fun time when we arrived and they went into hysterical giggle mode. As we sat down Isabel immediately jumps on my lap and starts bouncing and kicking the back of the (very expensive) desk. In between trying to have a conversation, holding on to Isabel’s legs and trying not to clamp my hand over giggling Mignon’s mouth we concluded our conversation and move on to the exam room.

Here they both climb on the examination table, ready for action. At this point the doctor starts talking a little faster, I suspect he was getting a bit nervous.

It went downhill from there and ended at a crescendo with ‘Mamma! Ek het in Isabel se gesig gepoep!’ By then the doctor was talking so fast I could only nod and back out of the room quietly, giggling twins in tow.

Next time it’s Etienne’s turn, pass the whiskey please.

*the condition is called Molluscom Contagiosum. It’s not dangerous and quite easy to fix, but it is annoying. Apparently it’s quite common?

For the love of books

I used to be a voracious reader. No book was too hard or too long, I gobbled them all up like cake. And chips. And chocolate.

The first book club I belonged to was back in 1996, way before book clubs were fashionable and on and off belonged to book clubs until the last one dissolved into Whine club. Not a bad deal considering I still get to see some of my favourite friends most months and we sort each other’s lives out over dinner and wine. We laugh together and cry together. We talk marriage and children, jobs and life. A big win in my book.

It did however leave me without ideas of books to read as I wasn’t forced to spend quality time in bookshops and talking to the sales people, soaking up the awesomeness of books. Not to mention that I haven’t read an actual hardcover book in more than 2 years. Kindle FTW.

Amazon can be quite daunting too. So many books, so many genres, so many conflicting reviews.

But then, recently, I joined 2 Facebook groups, this one:


And this one:


(Apologies, but I cannot embed the links on my iPad and I’m far too lazy to get up from the couch)

These 2 groups, especially The Good Book Appreciation Society, have made the world of difference. Suddenly my Amazon wish list is overflowing with honest recommendations. My kindle is overflowing with books that I’m exited to read.

I never thought I would be grateful for Facebook, but hey, there you go. Roll on the good reading times.

Where do you get your book ideas from? Do you still read as much as you used to?

On wool and gifts

I may or may not have a slight obsession with wool. And crochet. And the thrill of creating something and seeing it right away. The joy of instant gratification still surprises me after all this time of toiling with wool and hook.

My husband doesn’t understand the pile of unfinished products lurking in drawers and cupboards in various stages of completion, but I’m quick to point out all the beautiful things I’ve made, mostly given away as gifts.


Nothing, absolutely compares to the thrill of finding the perfect wool, playing with the colours and putting it all together, night after night.

And then giving it to someone.

I sometimes wonder if the recipients that don’t crochet understand the time and effort that goes into making something, but then I remind myself that’s about the giving, not the receiving. And then I make more stuff as gifts. Can’t help myself.

Today I popped into my favourite wool shop to buy sample colours to go with our new curtains (scatter cushion covers) and they had A SALE. Many balls of wool later I left, elated, and I’m going back for more. Must. Have. All. The. Wool.

Just imagine all the things I could make!!

Whilst my husband huddles in the corner, muttering about cupboards full of wool.

Do you knit/crochet? Or do you have an equally all-consuming hobby?

Funny kids

Our kids have developed such a sense of humor, especially Mignon. She looks all innocent, but yet she is the main instigator. She’s the first one to start giggling or pulling faces, often getting her brother and sister into trouble. It took us a while to figure that one out.

Daniel gets his own back though. Tonight Mignon comes running into the kitchen and straight under my arm. ‘Daniel tricked me’ she says. ‘He said his socks smell like candy, but they don’t!’

Etienne and I really had to bite back our chuckles.

Isabel called me from my Mom’s phone yesterday just so she could burp in my ear.

Daniel has a meltdown the other night ‘my life is SO terrible!’. Fair enough, it was the same day one of birds died and some of the boys at Holiday Care broke his ball, but surely it’s a bit early for the drama? I was kind of hoping we could skip the teenage angst altogether. This does not bode well.

In the meantime, we will embrace the funny, give big hugs and try to retain our own sense of humor.

About the inane

When I first started blogging it was to keep a record of what the kids were doing when. I was petrified of forgetting who started walking/talking first of the girls, I really needed to keep record of the things all 3 kids say and do.

I blogged most days, even if it was inane stuff.

It was healing, it kept me sane. Mostly. It was great to have feedback, to know that other people are battling through the same issues as I was.

Somewhere along the way things changed, as they do. Did I not need to blog daily because life got manic or because I thought I would bore people with the inane stuff? Should it matter what people think? They do, after all, have the option to read or not.

I’m not sure what the answers are, but I know that I still enjoy writing, always have. There is still a small thrill every time I publish a post, sending words out to the Internet.

I used to compose posts in my head the whole day, write myself little reminders of things to write about, much like you would save all your stories for when you’re about to see your best friend. I’ve stopped doing that, but I suspect it may be a habit I need to re-learn.

So, join me, I promise not to bore you. Not with 3 kids, a full-time job and a sense of humor. Barely.


Well hello there, it is with a shock I realise I haven’t blogged since 7 June!

There is a meh post sitting in my drafts from half-way through June which is not fit for human consumption, I see I was trying so hard not to be all whiny and sorry for myself and failing miserably that I just gave up. Probably better so.

June sucked big hairy balls.

I was in bed with bronchitis FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK. Isabel broke her arm (yes, same child that broke her leg on Voting Day). Daniel perforated the same eardrum twice (the first of which when I was home sick, very restful for both of us. Not).

Our Au Pair that we LOVE resigned, she is moving to Gauteng. We were devastated. I went into a flat panic and just could not get my head around what I would do without her.

I spent 3 days away from home for work (always lovely to go to Gauteng, but I miss my family something fierce)

But, it’s (half-way through) a new month and we are all on the mend, we have juggled schedules and things are looking up. It was just a matter of changing my perception of what I think the kids need vs what they really wanted. We have chosen not to replace the Au Pair, the kids will go to aftercare instead after our very first family meeting. Hold me please.

I have always said how much I abhor drama, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much of my own little dramas were self-inflicted recently. The answer: not much. I just chose to mope around, dragging my lip on the floor.

Well, consider that lip firmly tucked in, chin firmly in the air.

Bring it.

ps: I need to get back in the habit of writing, so I’m going to try and write every day (Mondays-Fridays) for the next month, even if it’s just something random and small.  Stay tuned.

Best R60 I ever spent

Mignon and Daniel, contemplating chocolate. I couldn't get them all to stand still for long enough!
Mignon and Daniel, contemplating chocolate. I couldn’t get them all to stand still for long enough!

Recently Mignon lost her bottom 2 front teeth and we have been waiting for Isabel to follow suit, especially since the new teeth were ready and waiting to move into place. (and yes, we are saving for the inevitable trips to the Orthodontist..)

On Sunday we had most of the family over for lunch to celebrate my Mom’s birthday and my Dad kindly offered to take out Isabel’s first tooth. With pliers. Don’t even ask, I hid in another room. Instead of wailing Isabel was so chuffed with her first tooth out, she didn’t even care. I’ll just put another few SA Ront in the Therapy jar for later. Just in case.

Moving along to the inevitable delivery by Die Tandemuis and they made me promise I would take them shopping with their R20’s. I’m not sure they believed me when I said that there wasn’t much you could buy with R20, so I suggested we go down to our local Deli. I love the Vineyard Deli, they have the best stuff and there’s always a wide range of things to choose from.*

Daniel came along, so it was 3:1, always fun.

I, of course, went at the busiest time of day, when everyone was popping in to grab something for supper, but this did not deter our children. Oh no, they ran from shelf to shelf, fridge to freezer. They compared prices, added up how much money they would have left and, how many things they could buy.  With EVERYTHING.

I was so completely wrapped up in them and the serious discussion and group calculation of a R15 purchase of Milk Straws vs the 10 Easter Eggs they could each get for their R20 and to see how their minds worked overtime that I didn’t notice how people were watching us until we got to the till. There were some very amused faces as I looked up and even a slightly grumpy old man that tried to push them along at the till. That almost made me go into full Mother-Hen Clucking mode.

I wanted them to put their chosen items down themselves and hand over the money. The looks of joy and pride on their faces were priceless, even the cashier played along when I had to substitute with the odd Rand here and there.

Even the grumpy old man got the message and backed away eventually. I may just have glared a teeny weeny tiny little bit..

It was, in the bigger scheme of things, a tiny little thing to do with them, but I am blown away day after day at how different they are and how they each view the world. They are suddenly all independent and have so much figured out already, it makes me fall in love with them more every single day.

* they SO did not pay me to say that, clearly there’s no benefit in me writing about it here. But, the staff there are always amazing and they will go out of their way to find you anything you ask for, even if it is a random type of yeast from Bulgaria.