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.

To my first born. You ARE a good child!

Where is the time flying to???

You know that moment when you realise your baby isn’t a baby anymore….Dudie is 7 years old. 7!!! He used to call me mommy/mama now it’s just mom. Sometimes he even uses my first name, bless this child. He is so independent but yet still so dependent on mom. Where did the last 7 years go?

One minute I was looking at a 3.4kg chubby face whom I had just birthed and the next he is in Grade 2. Somedays I miss your incessant staring at me and in the same breath I look forward to watching you grow into a handsome young man. A man who will become the object of some woman’s affection yet you will always be the object of my heart and soul.

From the moment I heard your first cry, you literally came screaming into this world, I knew you were destined for great things. Some things will be discovered later but for now, we support you in whatever you want to do. We want to give all the opportunities possible. We want you to explore, to live, to dream. To find your happiness. And wow, you have proven to be an all rounder…and we are SUPER proud of you. In any and everything you give it your best shot.

Your friends look up to you. Somedays I think you are the cool kid but you nonchalantly wave me off and just hang out with your friends. Adults comment on your excellent behaviour. I smile proudly and take the compliment whilst quietly thinking to myself “You aint seen this monkey when he loses his shit”. You are a good child and don’t you ever forget that. Somedays you just fall by the wayside…just as many of us adults do. It’s life, it happens. You know how sometimes you tell me my face has an angry stare but I insist that I am fine. Well, that is mom falling by the wayside. Or when mom doesn’t seem her talkative self, yip that is mom falling by the wayside.

In essence, I want you to know that not everyone is good at everything all the time. So when you do fall by the wayside, cut yourself some slack and don’t be so hard on yourself. At the tender age of 7 years I see how hard you are on yourself. And I know you don’t want to disappoint us. Remember what we always say: “Just try your best. You should be proud of yourself. Your best is good enough for us and should be for you too.”

You are a good child. And I am blessed to call you my son. My love for you is fierce. And it burns like a roaring fire in my soul. I am sorry that it doesn’t always seem that way though.

I love you my child. Be fearless. Discover. Go on adventures. Go live YOUR best life.

Spirited Mama

P.S. Today was a typical day where the wheels fell off the bus. I got you up and going happy bedhead and all. Somewhere in between me calmly, I promise I was calm and there was no shouting, asking you to get done for the millionth time you lost your shit with me. You went off on a tangent and then I got the dreaded “you give Troll more attention than me”. OMG! Really? I will need to rethink this situation as I really don’t think it’s true but I will merit your concerns and address them. I do think we are going through a difficult patch as you are struggling to manage your emotions. And I do think Troll definitely  makes a huge impact on the situation right now. (Adulting and parenting is hard…🙈)

Last night was opening night for your Concert. As always, the moment you take the stage my tears roll. I am so proud of you, how confident you are, how much you pour your heart and sould into everything you do. When I offered you a sandwich, you politely declined because you didn’t want to ruin the makeup 😂😂😂

10 Years ago…

Today, 10 years ago….we became Mr & Mrs ❤️ To be joined together as one.

The one phrase that stuck in my head since 10 years ago is “They are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” Matthew 19.6 (Dude seems comfused. As if this is the first time he hears this verse…was he not at our wedding😂)

We have grown so much…it amazes me. We have so much to be grateful for and we are most definitely abundantly blessed. We even gained 2 beautiful sons in our marriage.

Dude is sitting next to me as I write this post this is what he just said…”Our marriage is like our tortoise…slow and steady wins the race”.

Cheers to us. To a lifetime of us. Always and forever❤️

Spirited Mama

P.S. The resident alien arrived on 24 January 2017. So in celebrating our 10 years of marriage, we also celebrate the resident alien being 10 days old today.

 

Learning to value MY own opinion

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I am learning to value and appreciate MY own opinion more and more each day. There was a time where I too was looking for my parents’ recognition BUT I am happy to report that those days are long gone. And guess what Life has been so much better since.

However, I am my worst critic…

I came across this post over at Tyranny of pink. So well said. It was and is what has been lying in my subconscious for a very very long time. Somehow, I just needed to get over myself and tell myself out old that “I AM ENOUGH”!

Spirited Mama

P.S. Tomorrow is #37weekspregnant. Dr will decide tomorrow if the resident alien should come this week or if we can wait until #38weekspregnant. I’m freaking out just a tad as it feels it’s happening too soon…

Goodbye 2016

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I loved you and hated you simultaneously. You pushed me to do things I wasn’t sure that I was capable of. BUT I did it. And I came out stronger, more centered, focused. And somewhat wiser.

2017 will see me taking some people with a pinch of salt, in small doses and limited quantities. I refuse to let others’ negativity consume me. I WILL be living MY life’s. Possibly my best life. Time to live intentionally but for ME. Cheers to 2016 but here is to welcoming 2017 with open arms.

2017
I will be completing my studies. God knows how fearful I was when I started as a fresh first year student in 2015.
Dudie will be starting Grade 2. This kid amazes us everyday. He is intelligent beyond his years, resilient and tougher than I give him credit for.

Dude wants to start studying again. We may even start brewing some life changing plans for our little family.

We will be welcoming our resident alien to our Spirited family. Less than 6 weeks to go now. #34weekspregnant

So cheers for now. Be safe wherever you may find yourselves tonight as we welcome 2017. We will be welcoming 2017 from the comfort of our home.

Enjoy the last day of 2016. Here’s to HEALTH, SUCCESS & HOPE! 

See you in 2017.

Spirited Mama

P.S. I don’t do New Years Resolutions as I think people are too pressured into making resolutions that may quite possibly not even be their own goals. I never conformed to the norms….so I like to do my own thing.

2016 the year that has been…

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(image sourced from google)

As I picked up my proverbial pen to start blogging again, I had a renewed sense of “me”. It was my calm. It was and is my outlet. It is my CANVAS.

This year has at times been trying. It’s been rough. It’s been busy. It’s been great too.

We have lost loved ones…and in turn gained new family members too. It is also the year that we found out that the Spirited family is growing.

As we prepare to create memories of the festivities for 2016, we also prepare for the imminent arrival of a New Year. A new CANVAS. A new baby. A renewed sense of “us”. 2016 is the last year that we are a family of three. We said goodbye to a stalwart in my family “MAMMA”. We have had way too many CANCER diagnoses amongst family and friends. I have gone back to working my half day JOB and frankly I think if I didn’t may have lost my sanity…

Slowly but surely I am accepting “me” for me. I am enough for me. I can only do so much. I too am only human. I found that I have sort of strayed away from God, not intentionally, but I just don’t think I purposely made a great effort to affirm my faith. I am working on restoring my faith. I am taking stock of life and counting my blessings, as we have been abundantly blessed. We have helped some family through trying times but I also think that it’s time to cut myself some slack and let it go. God will take care of it now as I cannot make them do what they need to do.

We had some great holidays and even managed a trip to Hong Kong this year. We are super proud of Dudie for completing Grade 1 this year. For all his achievements in academia and sports – this kid really did work hard.

So cheers to 2016 – the year that has been. You are etched in my soul. Looking forward to 2017! To less worrying and more time for making and creating memories…

Spirited Mama