Thursday, February 22, 2018

Keeping It Real

Having multiple children is..interesting alright. I have a young friend with a baby and a busy toddler and she just cannot get time to breathe, relax, be alone and in peace. And no rest-filled night. Oh, I can relate. I do not miss those sleepless nights at all. The only thing I would mutter to myself was, "They won't be this age forever. They will grow... One day they will do everything for themselves. This is not forever." And I would hold that tiny body even closer.

But though my nights are meant to be more restful now (aside from my own body letting me down), my days are busy. I have four children. Ha ha. Four children of different dispositions, different ages, different needs all pulling at this one mother they have. It's hectic. My mind is never at rest either. I laughed (not out loud) at some newspaper article about some mother  who is able to keep her house in a semblance of order.

The children go to school.

They are not home all day to get in the way, to create more messes, to demand time and attention.

 It's tiring. You feel stretched in different directions. And when you face the end of the day, you collapse into bed and stretch your hand out to get the handbook to mark school work. Or you plan school work. Or you wonder if you shouldn't get up and do the ironing.

But I would not have it any other way. My friend was saying she's tempted to just put the older one in school till things improve, just so she can rest. I can relate. I had such temptations too. But they would pass very quickly as I took my two in the pram past the nearby nursery school. The noise was awful. The teachers would shout at the children. I realised I'd rather suffer with them at home than feel guilty about sending them away so I could rest.

And I survived. I survived the colic, the reflux, the crying that was so bad at night that neighbours would feel sorry for us. I didn't thrive. I had postnatal depression. But I survived.

And despite my protesting body (seeing an orthopedic surgeon in April) I feel like it's all good. It's tiring. I yearn for time on my own to do my own things. I yearn for silence. But I enjoy the noise. I enjoy watching the glow on their faces as they learn. I enjoy the feeling I get when a struggling child understands a concept.

And when I'm tired and want to escape, I tell myself, "They won't be this age forever. They will grow. I will be that mother with empty nest syndrome. One day they will live in homes bought by themselves. This will not go on forever."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I Can Die in Peace!

The original reason for this blog was to detail not only my natural hair journey, but also my loc journey. I knew natural was the way to go, but I wanted something cheap, something that would not require plaits and braids... And locs it was. But what type?

I fell in love with Sisterlocks. The size, the way you don't twist the hair, don't need gel or beeswax... It was my first choice.

Except not a single soul (that I could find) knew how to do Sisterlocks here in South Africa. So I used veterans' blogs and videos, followed their directions made mine thinner so they'd look like sisterlocks, and hoped my braidlocs would work for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing in a queue at Pick n Pay and an American-accented woman asked, "Are those SISTERLOCKS! I haven't seen sisterlocks here!" (Don't ask me which part of the States her accent was from. Just know you could tell it was American!)

At last!

Now I knew my wanna-be sisterlocks had passed the test they did not know they were writing!

My locs DO look like sisterlocks.

I can die in peace.

Job complete.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Your Comments

B and London, I'm seeing your comments in my email but when I click to allow them and respond, it sends me to a page that says something went wrong! I'm not ignoring you, I need to find how to fix it.

Thank you for letting me know you're there :-)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

State of My Mind

It's all over the place.

My mother's health.

My health is ..not improving. I had a torrid time recently that forced me to a doctor when my back pain would not allow me to sleep at night. He agreed that my pain would be caused by degenerated disc height and my scoliosis. But then had a different trigger to the pain this time, or different area to what the other doctor had said a couple of years ago. And he also said that if it does not work, I need to go for more x-rays to see what the damage is NOW seeing as we're basing all of this on x-rays taken in 2011.

And now, hip bursitis has joined the attack on my body.

I have not slept since 2am thanks to it, worry over Ammy and IBS.

. The best way to get over bursitis pain is to do nothing until it's over. I can't do NOTHING! The house will fall apart, and I love exercising. So next step..taking Ammy to doctor, confirm it's nothing serious that she's dealing with, then take myself to the doctor yet again.

2018 is not looking any better than any previous year. So much for restoration, renewal, joy, good news etc that I'd hoped for!

Pain causes fatigue. Mental and physical. I've suffered painful chronic conditions for 31 years now. I'm always faking strength. Faking smiles. Mainly because people can't help. And they find the wrong things to say unless I'm talking to a fellow sufferer.

That is the state of my mind.

Tired, sad that the suffering only gets worse. Needing space and time to just be on my own, resting. Tired.

But still a prisoner of hope. That will never change.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Roadtrip with SPD

Yes, our boy has made progress. But he's still very obviously dealing with SPD. New places are discomfiting. New people..depends. New situations..depends.

Add thunder, and you have a problem!

We didn't have space for his cot on our ten day travels, so he had to deal with new homes (Plettenberg Bay, on a rural farm outside Humansdorp, and in Jongensfontein) with new layouts, new furniture, a towel that took the place of his 'blankie,' an overcast sky which already sets him on edge. And as soon as we arrived..thunder. Lots and lots of thunder. It was all going to be too much for tiny two year old with SPD, so he clung to me, asking me to pick him up. And when we had to leave them to go buy supper in the pouring rain,thunder and lightning, he was inconsolable.

That was two Sundays ago. Today is Wednesday, and yesterday when he noticed the overcast sky he came to me saying, "Dunder. Boom. Boom. Don't be scared. Don't be scared." While heartbreaking that he gets so scared, it is a wonder and a joy that he is able to verbalise not only his current situation and requests, "Pease pick me up," but that he can recall something that scared him in the past.

So, we had a very dysregulated boy. Drooling increased. Eating became more difficult as he just could not swallow anything that was not dry and/or crispy with gusto. He wasn't crying. He wasn't spitting it out. He just wasn't swallowing unless you added something like corn puffs then he'd chew those and swallow everything in his mouth. The rest, just stayed in there.

It feels weird. I always knew he struggled with textures, but seeing it and thinking of all the other bloggers who talk about their SPD kids struggling with certain textures makes it more real. My son has SPD. And though we've gone through as much therapy as he can handle right now, he will need more as he grows older and is able to understand more. (I know for sure he'll need help with spatial awareness. He's just not aware, and runs or jumps into the edges of counters or walls with an almighty bang and wail of pain.)

Anyway. So, we travelled. He was quiet on the road. Didn't sleep unless you begged him to. He was dysregulated but was able to sleep at night. He went on a roadtrip with SPD and survived. He was much better than he used to be, and he greeted people and made eye contact with them. He survived his first ever road trip.

Next week-aeroplane. *gulp*

Monday, January 15, 2018

Your Presence Matters

Job's friends were so grieved that they had no words. For a week, they sat there, with Job in his pain. Their presence was so welcome, their grief palpable. They came together. He was so important that they took the time to go and see their suffering friend.

And then they spoke.

And by their speech, they increased his suffering a hundredfold.

Words have power. And sometimes though we plan for them to heal, we are but making the wound deeper.

Sometimes it's our presence that matters more than our words. Advice does not heal, it only solves a problem. Advice does not comfort. Presence does, even if that presence is silent.

Sometimes we can be blessed enough to know what kind of silence is necessary. I was not wise, not mature, just a 19 year old. But when I went to visit my friend upon hearing her mother had died, somehow God whispered to me what she needed. Not what I felt she needed in that moment, but what she needed.

My presence. Silence regarding the grief. Just presence.

And later she told me, "I am so grateful you did not come in crying and making me cry too. People had come and gone the whole day and I was tired of their tears. Yet you came and treated me like you normally do. And it was a breath of fresh air. The grief was too heavy for me to bear. Thank you for knowing what to do."

I hadn't known. The whole way there my heart was burdened, heavy and I honestly had no clue how to act, what to say. But God sometimes takes our stupidity and adds His wisdom to make something beautiful out of a horrendous time.

As I think of the hug I received from a sister after many losses in 2009, and how its impact remained with me more than the words that were spoken in that time of grief, I remain convinced. Sometimes our presence -perhaps accompanied by a plain, "I"m sorry for your loss"- is everything someone needs to actually FEEL comforted. The honesty and vulnerability in saying, "I don't know what to say. Please may I hug you?" go a long way in confirming that indeed, one is suffering raw pain. Pain that renders one speechless.

We need to sit with someone in their suffering, as uncomfortable as that is. It's easy to tell someone what to do. It makes the speaker feel better. But it's time we made the grieving one feel better. Our discomfort is nothing compared to the situation they are facing.

May we desire to be present even when we fear that our presence is inadequate. God can cover our weaknesses and fill each moment with grace.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Last week I was put to sleep in order to have a quick surgical procedure. I woke up after they'd moved me from theatre...

Or so I thought.

My specialist, who is much older than me walks in and tells me, "You know! When you woke up you said to me, 'I'm very disappointed in you! You woke me up too early! I was having a nice dream!'"

He he he. I guess it could have been worse. But ja, I've never told anyone except my children that I was disappointed in them. To tell a grey-haired doctor that was crazy.


Just a slice of randomness.

His response was that it wasn't his fault, it was the anesthetist who woke me too early. 😀