Musings of a working Mom

Butterfly Pocket Files

Recently I received a wonderful gift pact from Butterfly Products. It contained the range of Pocket Files (the binded plastic sleeves that we all used at school to put projects in) as well as a gorgeous Barbie activity pack for Andrea and a Mickey Mouse activity pack for Arno. I was embarrassed to realise that even though we have a house full of colouring books this was Arno’s first colouring book that was just for him, and he loved it. Kept on asking for “Arno se boekie”.

Butterfly Pocket Files

Butterfly Pocket Files

Activity Pack

Andrea with her Activity Pack

Back to the Pocket Files. I am VERY disorganised…which is quite evident when you see the stacks of paper I have lying around. Like you have the hoarder programs on TV you can put me on a paper hoarder show. I don’t have the heart to throw any of the kids artwork out, which is a serious problem as they each come home with about 10 pictures a week. Then I also love keeping magazines. When I finally decide to get rid of some magazines I’ll tear out all the recipes and exercise programs and anything else that looks interesting…which of course becomes a new stack of papers. These pocket files are perfect for all these.

Paper Stack

Paper Stack before the Pocket Files

This weekend me and Andrea started putting her and Arno’s pictures into the files. The plastic is clear and great quality. It works so well with their pictures because they often have things stuck on like leaves, rice, seeds etc. These eventually come loose so in the pocket files it can’t make a mess everywhere.

File Done

Pictures in the Pocket File

This also makes it so much better to view their artwork. Nobody wants to go through a stack of papers in a box. And it made me discover a big oversight on my part. I kept their pictures, but never dated any of them, so I can’t remember which were made when Andrea was 2 or 3 or 4.

Andrea Reading

Andrea paging through their art

Next I want to tackle the recipe cupboard and magazine clippings. These are also perfect for all those important documents like birth certificates, marriage certificate etc.

Now on the best part. You can win your own set of Pocket Files. All you have to do is like Butterfly Products on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter. Then leave me a comment telling your favourite product from their website. Entries close 3 November 2013.

Swimming

This past weekend both kids went for swimming lessons for the first time. Andrea used to be very comfortable in the pool, but last year she fell into a pool and since then it’s been difficult for her to just sit on the steps. We thought she would get over the fear, but it seemed to get worse. Arno is the exact opposite. He would just jump in, go under water and when somebody takes him out he’ll just jump in again. I’m so scared of the day that there is no one around when he jumps in.

So Saturday we went to Mony’s Fishers in Constantia Kloof. Andrea was so nervous she insisted Arno must go first. They both got one on one training from the same teacher. Arno was not impressed with a strange lady taking him, but he didn’t cry. She started with throwing plastic toys in the water and then they’ll swim together to go and fetch it. He had this ‘why am I doing this’ look. But then they moved on to plastic balls which got his interest, and soon he was very relaxed in the water. When his lesson was finished he was screaming that he wanted to go back into the pool.

Arno

 

Andrea was the big surprise. I waited for the hysterics or the refusal to go into the water. She got in and within a few minutes she was swimming on her own for short distances. She went underwater (something she’s never done before) and came up again without any problems.  And she loved it. She can’t wait to go again next week.

Andrea

The dreaded Mirena is finally out. My last Mirena post the Mirena was found on the x-ray. After that post I was booked into the hospital for a laparoscope, a D&C and a possible hysteroscope. This was booked for 3 days before my Drakensberg trip, but I just wanted the thing out. The gynea said beforehand that she was worried that it might be stuck in my bladder and that could’ve caused severe damage, but luckily it wasn’t the case. It was right next to my large intestine, and was apparently quite a struggle to get it out. I did get some graphic pictures of the operation, proving that the Mirena is out. 

Road Rage

This past weekend we were driving to go and do our weekly shopping. In the car was me (driving), husband and our 2 kids, 5 and 2 years old. Just after leaving there was a guy with his indicator on, waiting to turn into a small shopping centre. I started passing him on the left hand side when he decided he didn’t want to turn anymore, but rather continue straight. He didn’t see me, so I hooted at him because he almost drove into me, and I also braked to avoid an accident. The hooting just set him off. He started showed zap signs, and kept on braking in front of me. Husband was livid and was screaming at the guy so I was trying to get him calm as well. Then the guy pulled over and let me pass, and husband wanted to get out of the car to fight with him, but there is no way that I would’ve stopped then, because that would’ve just been trouble. But, the guy kept on following us. He didn’t drive aggresively any longer, and no signs, but he stayed behind us for about 5 km’s. Then there was a spot where the road doubled and he pulled in next to us. Husband opened his window, ready to scream at him, but then the guy actually just said he wanted to apologise, and he turned around and left. I was very, very suprised by an apology. Through the whole ordeal the kids didn’t make a sound, also not after the apology. Then when we got to the shop the 5 year old jump out of the car, almost in tears, and she said we have to run inside because the bad man is coming to get us. It broke my heart

I’ve seen a few road rage incidents that had people fist fighting, and it’s just horrible.

I was so lucky to win a weekend at The Drakensberg Sun. I’m going to do another post just about The Drakensberg Sun, but here is some photographs of the Omelettes Without Borders (OWB) fundraiser. OWB started as a challenge on Twitter with @ShazPhoto,  @ChefAndrewR and @CollinsMandy and on Saturday R30 000 was raised for a school in the Drakensberg.

The activities started with 2 Guinness World Record attempts by Chef Andrew. One for the fastest omelette, and the other for the most omelettes in 30 minutes. Then the next part was a challenge between @ShazPhoto@ChefAndrewR and @CollinsMandy to see who can make the fastest omelette, and also the best omelette. Various other omelette challenges were also held. The fundraising part was an auction that was held in the tent and also simultaneously on Twitter. They auctioned off a weekend for 2 at the Drakensberg Sun, dinner for 6 from Chef Andrew, Dinner cooked by Sarel from Sabie (Masterchef and Kokkedoor), dinner from chef Warren Frantz from uShaka (I really wanted that one), a photoshoot from @ShazPhoto, a birthday team from @CollinsMandy and 6 bottles of Beyerskloof wine.  But let the photos tell the story.

The beautiful venue. All the action happened in the white tent peaking out in the trees.

The beautiful venue. All the action happened in the white tent peaking out in the trees.

Chef Warren Frantz, judge for the Guinness Records and the challenges, Chef Andrew, Sharon (ShazPhoto) and Mandy (CollinsMandy)

Chef Warren Frantz, judge for the Guinness Records and the challenges, Chef Andrew, Sharon (ShazPhoto) and Mandy (CollinsMandy)

Sarel from Sabie (Masterchef and Kokkedoor), the participating celebrity and all round nice guy

Sarel from Sabie (Masterchef and Kokkedoor), the participating celebrity and all round nice guy

Look at all that oil ready for the record attempts and challenges. Sharon in the background

Look at all that oil ready for the record attempts and challenges. Sharon in the background

The Guinness Record attempt for the fastest omelette. Two eggs, 2 fillings. It was incredible to see. Chef Andrew did a bit of mixing, a bit of shaking in the pan and it was done. I've rewatched the video clip we took because it was so amazing.

The Guinness Record attempt for the fastest omelette. Two eggs, 2 fillings. It was incredible to see. Chef Andrew did a bit of mixing, a bit of shaking in the pan and it was done. I’ve rewatched the video clip we took because it was so amazing.

The judges checking the omelette to see if it qualifies.

The judges checking the omelette to see if it qualifies.

And a thumbs up from the judges!!!

And a thumbs up from the judges!!!

He did it. The previous record was 45 seconds and Chef Andrew did it in 25 seconds

He did it. The previous record was 45 seconds and Chef Andrew did it in 25 seconds. Look in the background at the eggs standing ready for the next record attempt.

The pans standing ready for the most omelettes in 30 minutes challenges. Note the extra pans in the background. They were used as the pans broke during the challenge

The pans standing ready for the most omelettes in 30 minutes challenges. Note the extra pans in the background. They were used as the pans broke during the challenge

During the challenge - look at those flames

During the challenge – look at those flames

6 omelettes at one time.

6 omelettes at one time.

Sharon running with the omelettes to the judges

Sharon running with the omelettes to the judges

Getting burn shield applied after the second record attempt. And with all that he didn't make the second record :-(

Getting burn shield applied after the second record attempt. And with all that he didn’t make the second record😦

Some serious tweeting happening here by @SamanthaPerry and @VernonBotha. Most of the audience were tweeting like crazy the whole time

Some serious tweeting happening here by @SamanthaPerry and @VernonBotha. Most of the audience were tweeting like crazy the whole time

This is how much fun and laughter we all had. This is Cindy and her Mom

This is how much fun and laughter we all had. This is Cindy and her Mom

Photo finish for the fastest challenge between Mandy Collins, Chef Andrew and Sharon. Sharon won.

Photo finish for the fastest challenge between Mandy Collins, Chef Andrew and Sharon. Sharon won.

For the best omelette there was bribery and sabotage happening. The chef ended up with a blue omelette and the judges got some gifts from Mandy.

For the best omelette there was bribery and sabotage happening. The chef ended up with a blue omelette and the judges got some gifts from Mandy.

The final omelettes for the best omelette challenge. The middle you can see the sabotaged one. Sharon won again.

The final omelettes for the best omelette challenge. The middle you can see the sabotaged one. Sharon won again.

Best omelette between Sarel, Joanne and Chef Warren. Chef Warren took that one.

Best omelette between Sarel, Joanne and Chef Warren. Chef Warren took that one.

The previous contestants now had a chance to be judges

The previous contestants now had a chance to be judges

And a last challenge between sponsors of the event. Christiaan from Beyerskloof, another Sharon from Nu-laid eggs, and some from Drakensberg Sun. Christiaan did some impressive cooking using the wine and also drinking while cooking, but Sharon won that challenge. I LOVED the Beyerskloof Rose.

And a last challenge between sponsors of the event. Christiaan from Beyerskloof, another Sharon from Nu-laid eggs, and some from Drakensberg Sun. Christiaan did some impressive cooking using the wine and also drinking while cooking, but Sharon won that challenge. I LOVED the Beyerskloof Rose.

And to end the evening off Sharon and Chef Andrew got engaged. Congratulations to the two of them.

And to end the evening off Sharon and Chef Andrew got engaged. Congratulations to the two of them.

And a last photo of the man of the day. Chef Andrew

And a last photo of the man of the day. Chef Andrew

….and found

Two months ago I blogged about my Mirena that the gynae couldn’t find (here’s the full post). Quick recap was the gynae did an ultrasound, couldn’t find it, and when I asked if I could go for x-rays he said I’m welcome to go on my own, but he won’t refer me.

I immediately looked for another gynae, and the one I found had a 2 month waiting list, and yesterday was the big day. At first I was 100% convinced that it was still in me, but as time went by these past 2 months I started doubting myself, and even considered cancelling the appointment. Luckily I didn’t.

From the start of the appointment I found her easier to talk to, so that was a good sign. When I gave her the background and said how much it hurt going in she said it must’ve embedded in the uterine wall. When he inserted it he did an ultrasound and assured me everything was fine, and when I phoned his offices saying I think something is wrong the receptionist said everything is okay and I don’t need to come for a check-up, and only when I eventually made an appointment a few months later did he see that it was embedded.

She said that it was very possible that it could’ve migrated to another part of my body, and that it was very important to get the x-rays because it could be dangerous, and even life threatening. She also warned me it is possible that it could’ve fallen out, and that the side effects I was feeling was ‘in my head’. I went from her offices straight to x-rays (luckily her office is at the hospital). Interesting was a sign that was up at the x-ray department saying that you have to be referred by a doctor, so I would not have been able to go on my own. While the x-ray was done the radiographer asked me if we’re looking for the Mirena, because she sees it in there. I almost burst into tears when hearing that.

Now I’m just waiting to hear from the gynae when we can remove it laparoscopically. So glad that it is almost over.

Edit: Something I found out recently. In America they’re advising that women should not get the Mirena inserted 6 weeks after surgery, and also not if breastfeeding. It increases the chances of migration (getting lost in your body). And they’ve said that from 2008, so it’s not recent advice. Mine was inserted exactly at 6 weeks, and I was breastfeeding. Also, if it has migrated it increases the amount of hormones in your body, and I was breastfeeding for 14 months. Now I’m very worried that I might’ve caused damage to my little boy.

Here is a bad quality cellphone pic of the x-ray.

MirenaFound (Small)

 

 

This morning I saw that someone retweeted an article “Why productive people get up insanely early”  

I read the article mainly to see what they term as insanely early, and to read the comments from the people. But it made me realise that somewhere along the line my life went wrong. In the article they suggest getting up at 4, and for the next 4 hours nobody is expecting anything from you.

My daily life goes like this. I’m suppose to get up at 4:30 for everything to go calmly and smoothly, but I usually only manage to fall out of bed at 4:45 or sometimes even at 5, and usually only when the 2 year old cries. From when my alarm goes  off I just lie there and repeat to myself just 10 seconds and then get up. I’m not very good at listening to myself.

When I eventually get up it’s a big rush between getting milk for Arno to stop his crying, getting Andrea out of bed and dressed and getting myself ready for work. I’m suppose to leave at 5:40, but on some day I only get out of the door at 6:00. At work I’m just functioning partially because I’m just trying not to fall asleep and I’m daydreaming of the weekend coming and maybe being able to catch a nap somewhere during the weekend.

I usually get the kids from creche at about 5:30 in the evenings, and I’m home a few minutes after that. Most days husband gets home a few minutes before me then he cooks, and I’ll start with some washing and packing lunches for the next day. If he gets home late then it’s cooking in between washing and packing lunches and trying to give the kids a little bit of attention, because they haven’t seen us for the whole day. The rest of the evening goes very quickly in a haze of eating, watching tv while eating, bathing the kids, cleaning the kitchen and hanging up washing and packing away previous days washing that doesn’t need to be ironed. I shower and wash my hair in the evenings so that I can sleep half an hour later in the mornings. Then it’s usually just past 10 and I try and read a bit (either for work or just entertainment) but usually I fall asleep while reading.

And during that few hours of sleep I have to get up anything from 1 to 6 times for Arno to settle him or put his blankets back. I keep on telling myself that is only temporary but I’ve been saying that for 2 years so I don’t have a lot of hope.

And all of this to struggle financially😦

I know I’m someone that needs 8 hours of sleep to function 100%, but I wish there was a magic pill to be able to sleep less and still be fine.

So no, I don’t think getting up at 4 will make me a happier, more productive person.

This morning I read an article from LinkedIn ‘An Introvert’s Guide to Getting the Most from a Conference’. I’m very introverted and I’ve made peace with it…actually love it after reading ‘The Introvert Advantage’ from Marti Laney. In my normal office environment being an introvert makes no difference, and being a software developer I’m surrounded with fellow introverts.

But every now and again it does cause a bit of a problem. Recently there was a workshop to discuss a new bill that’s going to be implemented. At the same time all the managers in the office and the people working with that was in another workshop, so I had to attend the workshop. I enjoyed the different presentations that were given, even though I was the only person in a different field and not working for local government. There was also a Q&A session, and even though I had a question to ask I did not have enough knowledge to know if I was being totally stupid, so I ended up not asking it.  But my biggest problem was mingling with the crowd in between the presentations. The people quickly formed little groups that knew each other and I had no idea how to join any of the groups. Usually I would look for one person I knew and that person could introduce me to someone else, but that would not be a possibility there. Another tactic I usually use is to look for someone else standing on their own, but that was also not happening.

If I ever have to attend something like this again I’ll have to get some kind of strategy to avoid the same social disaster….but for now I have no solution.

Two weeks from now I have a chance to go out and meet some fellow moms at a charity event, but after this workshop I’m very scared of a repetition of that day.

I saw a blog post today about Things making me happy at Harassed Mom, and thought it might do me good to think of some happy thoughts.

1. Andrea’s singing – she basically sings the whole time, and makes up songs about everything she sees. She tried singing the Do-Re-Mi song from Sound of Music but was singing “Do..a fear…a demale fear” and then later “Me…a You…a Me and You”.

2. Arno’s runnig – he’s just running everywhere at the moment. He’ll run into the room, look at you and then run into the next room and so forth. And he looks so cute while doing that. He is also finally starting to put words together, so it’s some progress in his talking.

3. Knitting – I’m not a knitter. Not even in the slightest bit. I have some knitting needles that I got from my Mom, and a bit of wool because a few years ago I thought I’ll start knitting which I never did. Then Andrea asked me something about knitting, and I showed her how you do it. She then asked me to knit a scarf for her baby doll. I’m suppose to be reading a book for work, but was really struggling, because I keep on falling asleep, so now I’m knitting doll scarves while I’m reading and I’m actually enjoying it.

4. Almost finished the 4DX book – I love reading…fiction. I’ll also read biographies, but I don’t enjoy reading business books. Now I have to read The 4 Disciplines of Execution for work. The last month Arno’s sleeping has been extra bad, so in my 6 hours of sleeping I get I’ve been getting up every hour for him. Trying to read in that time just means me falling asleep with a book in my hand. What makes me happy is that I’m almost done with the book.

5. Milk tart – For the first time in my life I made a milk tart. I love milk tart, but was always scared of making it as I’ve heard it can easily go wrong. But it came out perfectly. Brought some to the office and one of the guys asked how much I’ll charge for it, because it tasted exactly like his Grandmother use to make.

 

LostPoster

So my Mirena woes continue. If you’ve missed it before I blogged about all the side effects I’ve been having here. Husband went for a vasectomy and got the all clear that I could get the Mirena removed. I was very nervous for my appointment, seeing that the Mirena was embedded in my uterine wall the last time it was checked, but also very happy to finally be rid of the thing.

At the appointment the dr starts checking and first says he can’t find the strings. That’s not exactly news to me, as he couldn’t find the strings the previous time. So he is poking around while I’m trying not to freak out. He then tries an ultrasound…nothing, can’t find it. He then tried an internal ultrasound, still nothing. He did find a big cyst though. He said he thinks that the Mirena fell out at some stage without me noticing and that the cyst is causing my constant periods, and he gave me meds to stop the bleeding.

I can remember reading that the Mirena can move to different parts of the body, but didn’t want to sound stupid mentioning it. The moment I left the office I was Googling missing Mirena. Turns out in 1 in a 1000 women it goes through the uterine wall and gets stuck in other organs. From what I’ve seen on the internet it looks like it can be quite dangerous and that you can get more of the hormones that you would normally get. The other people on the internet were all referred for x-rays to find the missing device.

I phoned the gyneas offices, and the receptionist went to ask him if I can go for x-rays. She came back with a message that he says it wouldn’t be in another part of my body, but I’m welcome to go to x-rays out of my own (which would mean medical aid won’t pay). She actually laughed at me.

I made an appointment at another gynae at a different hospital, but will have to wait for more than 2 months to get in there. On the one hand I can be totally paranoid and that all my symptoms could be from the Mirena crash, but the Mirena in another part of my body will explain the bleeding, tiredness, constant headaches etc.

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