Archives for August 2012

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure

Yesterday was a horrible day. It was emotionally draining.

I handled it wrong and once again I am reminded that how I react and how I respond sets the tone for how my family is going to respond. So when I loose control – they loose control. When I can’t cope – they can’t cope.

Yesterday afternoon did not go well. Cameron had a major meltdown when I said we were not attending the schools braai last night – it was not pretty. I handled it wrong.

BUT we got through it. He calmed down. I calmed down.

The sun set and it rose again this morning offering us a chance to try again.

My brother spoke to Cameron this morning. I have no idea what he said but whatever it was Cameron HEARD him and he was calm and pleasant again after the chat. I owe my brother a 6-pack or something because I have been trying and trying and getting nowhere.

I dropped them off at school and let it all go.

I paged through my huge recipe file from tech and made a list, took Jack to Pick n Pay and we shopped and then I baked!

It was just what I needed to regain some sort of sense of order in my head.

I still feel responsible for what happened. I need for figure out where I am going wrong and change what can be changed.

What I have learnt though is that you can not raise your children in isolation. You, as their parent, are responsible for them but you can not do it alone. You need aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends to help. The support I had from my friends and family through this is pretty much what carried me through. I am so grateful that I have them in my life and that my kids have them!! And for all my moaning about the school I have to say they were all incredibly supportive of both Cameron and I.

It was the hardest moment as a parent I have been through but I suspect it wont be the last.

5 Comments

Moments that change who we are

There are moments in life that change who we are and who we become.

The last two days we have had moments like this. Moments that have changed the parent I am and have possibly, hopefully changed the people my children will become.

I met with Kiara’s teacher yesterday and as suspected she wants to put her name forward to be kept back. I knew this. I am not sure of what to do yet but this was not the moment that changed me. Kiara had to learn an Afrikaans poem – she mentioned it to me a while ago but said it due the following week. I see the poem amongst my papers and ask her if it is the poem – she half heartedly says yes but she doesn’t have to know it now. There is no date or mention of it in her homework book. The poem was for yesterday. She didn’t know it so she tells the teacher to give her 0 because she doesn’t know it. That moment changed me.

Then this morning Cameron “ran away” – he took the remote off my house keys, got dressed, took his school bag and left. We still aren’t 100% sure what his plan was but it took us an hour to find him. That moment changed me!

There is no point in feeling sorry for myself or whining that I feel like a failure. The fact is things in our home need to change and they need to change fast and I am the only one who can make those changes.

There is obviously more to say about this but for now this is all I have.

PS – if your kid goes missing don’t bother with the police! Contact the school – they are a million times more helpful. Our principal was on his way to his car to look for Cameron when I called him to tell him we found him.

12 Comments

Lets try not over react!

I am battling with the older kids at the moment.

I am finding them rather unlikeable to be honest and have come to dread the afternoons.

Yesterday afternoon was particularly fun. I am still feeling horrid – this flu is vicious :-/ We sit down to do homework and Kiara takes out a ruler – Cameron swears that is HIS ruler and he NEEDS one for some or other assessment today. I threaten and they move on. Kiara then gets a pen – OF COURSE Cameron says that’s his pen but senses I am getting tense so goes off and finds another pen. OF COURSE Kiara then says “THAT’S MY PEN!!!!!!!!!!!!” – I rather forcefully tell them both to STOP their nonsense and do their homework – the ignore me (OF COURSE) and I end up sending Cameron to my study to do his homework.

Kiara has now crossed over and has thrown the pen into the toy area and is busy writing her teacher a note to explain why she didn’t do her homework with pen. When I ask WHY can’t she do it with the pen she has – apparently the pen Cameron has is way better than the one she has so she can’t write neatly with it and HAS to use a blue pencil crayon.

The whole time this is going on Cameron is chirping from the study “Mom did you know the mediterranean ocean is interesting” and “Mom I am sure Jack would like the Dead Sea”

I really did try holding it together but alas when Cameron started telling some random fact about the Pacific Ocean and Kiara was tapping her pencil crayon trying to draw 8 groups of 14 – I shouted and may even have sworn because honestly there is just so much crap one person can take from CHILDREN!!!!

Cameron then has to throw in some tears because he doesn’t know what “weather” to study because there is one whole page of weather and how can his teacher expect him to study it ALL.

Seriously?? SERIOUSLY!!!!

This is what happens in my house every single afternoon.

WHAT am I doing wrong? How did my kids get to this point? I spend the entire afternoon with them doing their homework – they have my undivided attention. David and I are happy and for the first time in years they have a stable secure home. SO WHY do I feel like I am raising 2 delinquents?

Oh and in case anyone was wondering where Jack was – he was climbing in the table dancing and pushing the buttons on the xBox and DVD machine!

 

8 Comments

What is sex?

I haven’t had the chat with my kids yet. I know it is slightly irresponsible and what not – I have told myself it must be done by the end of the year.

(My parents have actually never had the chat with me just so by the way.)

Cameron got a letter last week asking our permission for the Government to send a sister to come and talk to them about their bodies. I was secretly hoping she was going to give them the talk but alas she never did. Cameron was telling me today about what she did discuss with them and then I asked him if she told them about sex and this is what happened.

Me: “Did she talk to you about sex?”

Cameron (in a horrified tone) “NOOO MOM!”

Me: “Do you know what sex is Cam?”

Cameron “Yes”

Me: “What is it?”

Cameron “Kiara close your ears! It is when a man and a lady kiss a lot and I can’t say the rest”

Me: “Why? There is nothing to be embarrassed about”

Cameron “NO MOM! And why are you asking me this? Normally parents only ask kids when they are older”

Me: “Ok Kiara do you know what sex is”

Kiara: Giggles uncontrollably for about 10 minutes and then says in between giggles “It’s when 2 people kiss for a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time”

Me: “Do you know where babies come from Kiara?”

Kiara: “Yes the doctor cuts your tummy”

Cameron: “NO! When a man and a lady have sex they make a baby”

THEN Cameron says “Mom I can hear when you and David have sex sometimes” – right about now I want to actually crawl out of my own skin but my mouth is too quick for my brain so I ask

“Really Cam what do you hear?”

Cameron “You make kissing noises”

It was at this point that my brain managed to gain control of my mouth and I started asking them about homework and what not!

 

 

13 Comments

I think the government should ban school!

Education is really over rated!

I think it would do the economy well to make kids go out and work at 8.

No really! I think this is a great idea!

I am gatvol of school and teachers and homework and projects and requests for money and cake sales and dress up days!

EVERY single day we have a 2 hour battle to get homework done, to get studying done – EVERY SINGLE AFTERNOON. If there are poems to learn or projects it is even longer.

EVERY week there is project that I need to do – Kiara is EIGHT – she can not do a research project on her own. I need to help her. I need to print stuff out, find pictures etc – she helps and she does the reading and writing out etc but I still have to be very involved. An eight year old can not do a speech on Egypt that includes making food and answering a page of questions on their own! Cameron is 10 and is able to google info but he still needs me to keep him on track.

EVERY week there is a poem to learn – for both of them. Which means listening to the same poem over and over until they get it.

EVERY week Cameron has a test of some sort and EVERY week I spend time on the phone with other mom’s trying to figure out what the teachers mean on the “what to study” memo – the kids are too scared to ask the teachers because they get told they don’t listen. Last week 3 of us were unable to find a page they were supposed to learn!

EVERY week there is a letter asking me for money for this or that! They cut down trees at the school last week (apparently they were dead) and then sent a letter asking us EACH for R300 to replace the trees?? WHAT FREAKING EVER!!!!!!!!

Kiara had to collect boxes and toilet rolls to make a robot. So we do this and 3 weeks go by – no robot is made. Next minute everything gets sent home for ME to make the robot because the teacher didn’t have time! I ask you with tears in my eyes WHERE does the teacher think I am going to get the time????

I am just so flippen over school and all the nonsense that goes with it. The amount of time I spend doing work with the kids I could just as well be home schooling them!!!!

I may just contact Julius and ask him if he can tear himself away from causing chaos at Lonmin to support my call for a ban on schooling!!!!

13 Comments

Monte Casino Club Select Launch

A while ago the PR people from Tsogo Sun started inviting me to various events happening at Monte Casino and on Thursday night I found out why and how I made the list.

The Digital Media Manager for Monte Casino has started a drive to engage bloggers more and he found me and is now engaging me :) I had a super proud moment chatting to him and the PR manager who had nothing but nice things to say about Harassed Mom (it may have been PR talk but I will take it).

Back to the point of Thursday evening. We were invited to the launch of Monte Casino’s new Club Select. In short Club Select was introduced for people who don’t qualify for the Club Prive but would still like a some what exclusive experience.

“We recognised a gap in our gaming offering for people who may not be frequent high stakes gamers, qualifying for our Privé facilities, but who want to play higher than average stakes and be given exclusive and glamorous treatment when they do come and play,” explains Steve Howell, General Manager of Montecasino. “Club Select is for them. It’s separate from the run of tables in the casino and it offers higher gaming stakes with an upmarket gaming table area. It’s also a comfortable conduit for those players who are on their way to becoming Club Privé gamers, offering exclusivity to the upcoming main casino players who have a high average bet.”

The limits in Club Select will be a minimum of R25 on the roulette tables and R100 and R200 minimum on the blackjack tables. Along with the access these players have to the more exclusive area, they will also receive quality brand name complimentary drinks.

Our evening kicked off with welcome drinks and snacks which included the yummiest blue cocktails. We were then divided into teams and then headed off to experience the new Club Select tables and slots first hand. We were the first people to play on the tables. We started off with black jack and out of our team of 7 we had 2 experienced “gamblers” and 5 total rookies but we soon got the hang of it and by the time we got to the roulette tables we were in it to win it. It really was loads of fun. I don’t really enjoy a casino but I can see how the tables especially, can become addictive.

We then headed off to the new touch screen slot machines that have just been bought in and tried our hand there. While still fun, it was no where near as exciting as waiting for the ball to land on a number in roulette. The pink drinks flowed throughout the evening and we really did feel like big spenders ordering what we wanted from the waiters.

After we had played we were treated to a lovely dinner at the Sun Square hotel’s MondoVino Restaurant (with still more pink drinks – I discovered you can never have too many Cosmopolitans).

David and I decided to go back to the casino to spend the complimetary cards we received and we actually won a little bit of cash. We were both so super excited. I suck at the slots and hate watching my money disappear so I cashed out quickly but David was winning so he carried on a bit and managed to win enough to pay for this car service the next day :-p

After that we headed back to our room at the Sun Square Hotel and passed out :) It was such a great evening and we met some really great people.

The next morning we checked out and enjoyed a yummy breakfast at the hotel and then headed back to reality.

Thanks to Monte Casino for hosting us and we look forward to the next awesome event :)

Follow Monte Casino on twitter and like their page on Facebook.

 

 

3 Comments

Did you know

Did you know…….

  • I never leave the house on the first go – I ALWAYS forget something. Doesn’t matter how organised I am or how well it is is going – I ALWAYS have to go back!
  • Our washing machine is broken. It can’t be fixed – well I suppose it could but for the same price of a new one. AND it has washing stuck inside it because we can’t open the door.
  • Tomorrow night David and I spending the night at the Monte Casino hotel – I can not wait.
  • Today was a crap day. Issues with clients and bookings and it just messed the whole day up.
  • I am doing a cake icing course at the end of next month – I am super excited. David’s mom sort of pushed me into it but it is something I have always wanted to do.
  • I am finding parenting a huge challenge at the moment – not with Jack but with the older 2.
  • My biokeneticist is slowly killing me but she says she can see the difference already and David also said he can see my posture is better.
  • I was spray tanned on Monday. Madri did her practical and I was her tester. I am super impressed with it – brown fat looks better than white fat.
  • I need to get the kids passports sorted out but my ex is ignoring me so I have handed it over to my mom-in-law to handle – she knows people who know lawyers and what not. It is causing some anxiety thought – really hoped that my ex and I were passed all the rubbish but it appears not.

So did you know all of that??

What can you tell me that I didn’t know?

11 Comments

Beef Shin and Lentil Soup

I have had this recipe with me for ages but keep forgetting to post it and now winter is over!

But you still HAVE TO make this one!!! It is EPIC! It is one of the recipes I got from the Skoobs event I attended a while ago. It is a recipe from Chef Benny from Master Chef and is so easy to make.

Ingredients

500g beef shin – cute into 3cm thick slices

1 cup soaked brown lentils

1 onion – finely chopped

1 celery stalk – finely chopped

1 carrot peeled – finely chopped

375g whole peeled tomato – crushed

2 litre beef stock

2 tbsp coriander – chopped

1 tbsp flat leaf parsley

1 tsp red chilli – finely chopped (I used chilli powder)

2 tbsp cooking oil

0.5 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper

Method

1. In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the beef shin on both sides (3-5 min). Add the onion, celery and carrots until soft.

2. Add the coriander, cumin, chilli and mix well, then add the tomatoes, lentils and beef stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 3 hours or until the shin is cooked.

3. Remove the shin from the soup, remove from bone and cut into smaller cubes and then add back to the soup.

4. Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with the parsley.

4 Comments

Lessons learnt and some recruitment

So I survived my first Mommy Blogger Awards – go me!!!

I am chuffed with how it went despite the criticism and hesitation on my part I am glad I took the leap and did it!!

Obviously there was lots that could have been done better (or differently). A few of the lessons learnt.

  • Timing – it needs to be better timed so as not to coincide with any other blogging awards.
  • It needs it’s own platform – I don’t really want the awards to become the “harassed mom mommy blogger” awards – I would also like a shot at winning :-p And also it then makes it seem a little more legit.
  • The actually process needs to be refined. I really like the idea of people writing in nominations – it makes people think about it and do it because they really feel strongly about a blog but I need a bigger panel of respected neutral judges to choose the finalists.
  • We need categories – I know I left the dads out but I just couldn’t get enough prizes for them :-/ Apologies to all the awesome dad bloggers.
  • I need to win YOU as the mommy blogging community over a little more.
  • We need bigger and better sponsors!!
  • I can’t do it alone!

SO having said all of that and realising I can’t fly solo on this I am going to ask for help – Celeste has offered her assistance (and I am putting it out there so she can’t back out) but we still need more help!

We need help with IT stuff and PR stuff and design stuff!!!

So if you want to join me and Celeste (NO backing out now so best you stock up on wine and chuckles) on putting together the awards for next year then PLEASE send me an email (laurakim@journey2joy.co.za). You don’t have to know how to do the IT, PR stuff etc – we will figure it out together – I just really need more help in getting stuff done!!!!

And then finally please can you share any suggestions and ideas you may have about this. What did you enjoy? What didn’t you enjoy? What would make you buy into the idea a little more?

 

8 Comments

And the winners ARE…..

The winners of the Mommy Blogger Awards 2012 are

TANYA from Dear Max

and Exmi and Foxie Rox :)

Congrats ladies!!

4 Comments