BK (Before Kids) vs AK (After Kids)

It took me seven years of intense fertility treatment to finally become a mom.  If you had told me six years ago that in six years time I would be a mom to not one but TWO kids, I think I might have either laughed in your face or slapped you in it depending on my emotional state that particular day.

Yet, here I am!  Mother of two gorgeous, demanding, challenging, wonderfully intelligent children.  I would not change that for the world.

BUT.

I have to be honest, there are a few things I miss about the BK me vs the AK me… and these are a few of them:

BK:   Saturdays were meant for afternoon naps or laying on the couch recovering from a bender the night before.

AK:   Saturdays are filled with kids birthday parties, and an afternoon nap needs to be scheduled with military precision to co-incide with one of said kids afternoon nap and has to be negotiated with promises of repayment to ones spouse.  Bender?  What’s that? A hangover with kids is like voluntarily walking on Lego pieces for hours on end. With a headache.

BK:   Having nice things!  Appreciating nice things!  Knowing nice things will last!

AK: I will just leave this right here…

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BK:  Before I had children, I went for monthly pedicures.  I bought myself new bedding.  I bought new underwear often.  I didn’t worry about how much those running pants would cost me.  Basically once the bills were paid my money was my own to spend on myself.

AK: Nuff said…

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BK:  Going out for lunch with friends meant a relaxing afternoon at a well known restaurant eating good (hot) food, sipping on Pims or wine, relaxing and chilling and chatting about our lives without a care in the world.

AK:   200w

 

What are some of the things that you miss about your “before kids” self?

I miss Running

Perhaps this title is a tad misleading because technically I am still running but what I miss about running, is the way I was running last year before I got sick and then injured.

I was running so strong and my times were getting better and better.  I was doing at least one 21km race a month and I was FIT.  I was LEAN.  I was TONED.  I even had it in my head to enter a full marathon (which I ended up downgrading to a 21km due to injury) and I miss feeling confident in my running.

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I can’t remember the last 21km race I ran and the way I am feeling right now I have doubts as to whether I can even manage to run a 15km LSD never mind a 21km race.

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That said I know that I need to set myself a goal.  I need to get myself into the training for that goal frame of mind and I already know what the challenge I want to achieve is!  I am going to enter the RAC Tough One.  That’s 32km of pure hell hills!

I am amped to get my head (and more importantly) my health back on track with goal!

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Kids = Grey Hairs and Wrinkles

Five years ago I had no wrinkles despite being in my 30’s and I certainly didn’t have any grey hair to speak of.  At the tender age of 38 I have my fair share of wrinkles laugh lines and if I don’t colour my hair consistently you can see more than a sprinkle of silver in my hair.  I totally blame my kids for this!

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I love them, I love them so damn much, but this is where the problem stems from because kids being kids they do shit that gets them hurt, they do shit that turns you into a human Spiderman as you leap over tables to catch the very chairs they are falling with onto hard bricks and in the process you get wrinkles and many a grey hair!

This last weekend I got about 500 million more wrinkles and grey hairs.  We took the kids to Lifestyle for ice creams and for them to burn off some energy at the playground and to have a few rides on the rides in the little fun fair they have there. (Am I the only one who thinks they are rather dear in their prices for said rides?)

Kade rode the caterpillar which he absolutely loves.  All was good, as we were heading to his next ride of choice – the race cars/go carts – Gemma saw me and started throwing a thrombie for me to ride in the train with her.  Quick parent swop done and dusted and off Gems and I went while Cliff took Kade to the race cars.  Kade rides those cars EVERY THURSDAY afternoon while he is with my in laws.  EVERY THURSDAY!

Well I am not exactly sure what happened (and neither is Cliff as he was watching Gems and I on the train) but as I got off the train one of the attendants comes to me and says “your son is with your husband in the bathroom mam” and I was like cool beans, then he says “don’t be alarmed but he had an accident”.  HEART STOP RIGHT THERE!  I was imagining having to deal with another spica cast all over again and rushed to see what was going down.

I could hear Kade screaming and crying and Cliff trying to calm him down in the paraplegic loos.  As I walk in all I see is the blood all over Cliff’s shirt and all over the basin.  Kade had somehow crashed into the barrier and smashed his face into the steering wheel of the car.  I’m normally the accident mom, the one who stays calm, deals with the situation efficiently and effectively.  I looked into my child’s mouth and wanted to pass out.  It was like a train wreck in there.  It looked like a chipped tooth was hanging by a thread, the gums were all bleeding and badly bruised and his two teeth that flanked the gap left by his baby teeth that had gone home to the tooth fairy looked like they had been smashed out of their roots.  I won’t lie, I was scared shitless that something was badly broken but was trying not to show it.

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A trip to the ER where we were told that there was nothing they could do, except refer us to see a dentist I then tried to find an emergency dentist.  One would think that would not be a problem right?  Wrong!  After calling nine different places and “emergency dental” numbers, we finally got a consult yesterday mid morning.  Xrays show that there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage and whilst the two teeth have moved it won’t be the end of the world if they fall out or need to removed.  As for nerve damage to the new tooth that was coming up, we will only know once the tooth comes up properly.

I am so relieved that all is well but man alive, I really could have done without the added 20 years to my life!

How was YOUR weekend?

 

#NaturesFarmsChallenge – Savory inspired goodness

We’ve been trying out the Nature’s Farms products for a few weeks now and I have to say I am IN LOVE with their packaging.  It is clean, colourful and just screams “buy me, buy me.”

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It doesn’t hurt that the products are really yummy too!  Once Gemma started feeling better she scoffed a whole bag of their black forest biscuits on her own and I have had to resort to taking the shortbread biscuits to work to even get one for myself!

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I’ve used the pasta a few times and I even made an old favourite that my Dad used to love eating last week Sunday – pap, booerewors and spicy sauce.  I used to make maize meal a lot growing up and I have to say this one cooks up so nicely and is smooth and just all round delicious!

BUT my savory challenge dish was actually a Bobotie inspired dish… I love bobotie but my family are not so keen on it so I took my usual recipe and gave it a bit of a twist… If you want to try it out here goes:

Bobotie Inspired Spicy Pasta Dish

Ingredients:

¾ bag              Natures Farms pasta shells

2                         Onions

1                          Egg per plate served

Splash              Olive oil

500 grams       Extra Lean Beef mince

5ml                    Tumeric

2ml                    Cumin

2tsp                   Fresh green chilli’s

2tsp                   Fresh ginger

Handful            Fresh coriander

2 tbsp                Apricot jam

Small tin          Tomato paste

60ml                  Mrs Balls Hot Chutney

30ml                  Worcester sauce

2 handfuls        Seedless raisins

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Chop onions and saute with garlic in olive oil

Add cumin and salt & pepper

Add mince bit by bit and fry until browned

Add tomato paste, ginger, chilli’s, apricot jam, chutney, Worcester sauce and fry on low heat (I added some light white wine to my sauce, again not necessary but you might want to add some water to have the sauce a bit less thick if you wish)

Boil water for pasta shells and cook until al dente – I added the 5ml of turmeric to the water to colour the pasta shells yellow but this is not necessary

Boil water and cook eggs until hard boiled (approximately 8 minutes)

Add raisins to the mince sauce and fry for a further 2 minutes

Plate pasta on the side of your plate, cover in mince sauce, and slice boiled eggs and place on top of the mince sauce, sprinkle with fresh coriander to taste

SERVE & ENJOY!

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I have had the BEST FUN with this challenge – thank you to GWK Group and #NaturesFarms for asking me to take part.

If you wish to purchase these awesome products head into your local Pick n Pay, or for more information on Natures farms find them on Facebook, Twitter or via their website.

 

This is a sponsored post

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Stuck in a sickness cycle…

We are generally a healthy bunch, we get the sniffles here and there but overall we can’t complain about lack of health in our home… Until the last three weeks that is…

It all started at the end of July.  The 27th to be exact.  Kade came home from school and coughed once or twice that night.  Thursday dawned and he was right as rain, went to school, came home and that night spiked a fever of 39.6 and went into stridor in the early hours of Friday morning…

That was the start of it.

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The next night I was overtaken with massive fevers and body convulsions that lasted two days.  I had aching joints and a headache that reminded me of being on lucrin.  I started coughing as well.

Gems fell prey next and started with fevers and coughing.  Cliff thought he could dose himself up and avoid all the lurgy that was in our house, but alas two days later he was also man down.

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In the last 3 weeks we have been to the doctor seven times.  Kade & Cliff once, Gemma thrice, me twice.  We’ve been on five sets of antibiotics between us.  Cortisone.  Celestimine.  Monte-air.  Bisolvin.  Pro-biotics.  You name it, we’ve had it in spades.

There has been severe sleep deprivation (Cliff and I), glazed eyes and listlessness (Kade and Gems) and just overall grumps to the max.

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We have had to cancel so much in the last few weeks because I was not prepared to expose people to this super bug!  A 30th celebration (sorry Shan!), a very special baby shower, birthday lunch with a special friend (sorry Marce!), birthday parties for Kade (sorry my boy), family braai’s, lunches with friends visiting from overseas… We’ve been hiding out in our house and honestly I think we are all a little sick (haha excuse the pun) of our home!

I’ve been worried sick, overwhelmed and relieved all in the same breath.  I’ve been surprised at the kindness of a fellow mom who dropped off some pulmicort for me when we ran out and Gems was battling to breathe.  I’ve slept a sleep so dead the night my mom and sister took the kids so we could get some rest.

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We seem to be turning the corner, we are all out of the grips of fever but are all still coughing (we’ve been told the cough takes FOREVER to go away) but I can tell you something, I hope and pray that we NEVER have to go through a sickness cycle like this again anytime soon.

Having a healthy family is something that I will never take for granted again.

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#NaturesFarmsChallenge – Sweet : my twisted recipe

I bet you guys didn’t know that I love cooking? Growing up, my sister and I were expected to have started the evening meal by the time my folks got home from work, so cooking is something that I’ve always done and enjoyed.

The good people at Natures Farms challenged me a few weeks back to come up with a South African recipe with a twist and I was so chuffed.  A cooking challenge?  Me : “Whoo hoooo!”

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Then I got thinking about what I constituted as traditional South African food… Braai’s, Bobotie, Koeksusters (ooh I should have done these actually), Melktert, Pap en sous, Morogo…  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a sweet dish or a savory dish, so I just thought “fudge it, I’m going to do both.”

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For my sweet offering, I decided to give a new twist to a dish that I am sure is a favourite in every South African home – the Melktert!  The recipe I used makes two smallish tarts or one large one.

Microwave Ginger & Clementine Melktert

Ingredients:

6 cups                   Full cream milk

3 whole                Clementine’s

3/4 cups               White sugar

5 tbsp                    Natures Farms cake wheat flour

5tbsp                     Maizina (I actually used 10tbsp of the Natures Farms cake wheat flour)

1 tbsp                    Butter

3                              Eggs

5ml                         Vanilla essence

1 packet               Natures Farms Ginger Biscuits

Sprinkle of          Cinnamon

Method

Extract juice of the 3 clementines

Pour the milk & clementine juice in a large dish and microwave for approximately 15 – 20 minutes to boiling point.

Crush your Natures Farms Ginger Biscuits and pack them in your tart dish for the base.

Cream the butter & sugar together

Add the eggs and mix

Add the maizina & flour & mix well

Thinly grate rinds of the clementine peels and add to the mixture (this is an optional step but I found it added GREAT flavour and a new texture dimension to the tart)

Once milk is boiled pour the flour mixture in (be careful because it can bubble over, pour a drop first and then the rest) and mix well

Microwave 6 minutes & stir well twice in-between

Add the vanilla essence and mix

Pour mixture into your tart dish on top of the Natures Farms Ginger biscuits

Sprinkle cinnamon to taste on top of mixture

Thinly grate some clementine rinds on top of mixture and add garnish if required

Set in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes

EAT & ENJOY!

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My family loved this twisted Melktert and squashed it in 2 days flat!  You can purchase your Natures Farms products at your local Pick n Pay (and get some Super Animal cards while you’re at it) and try out my twisted Melktert for yourself – if you do try it please let me know what you thought!

Keep an eye out for my SAVORY dish which was my personal best of the two I created!

For more information on Natures Farms find them on Facebook, Twitter or via their website.

 

This is a sponsored post

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A whole hand!

Kade Ethan,

On the 3rd June you turned FIVE.

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You will find out in time as you get older that your mother has many grand intentions on getting things done at specific times and that sometimes it just takes her a while to get them done.  Like this blog post.  The intention was to write my annual birthday letter to you on the 2nd June and have it post on the 3rd… well… clearly that didn’t quite happen.  It’s taken me 38 years to realise that sometimes it’s ok to let go of the grand intentions and that as long as what needs to get done, gets done in the end, that the world won’t stop turning on its axis and the tides will not stop rolling in and out.  That’s your five year old lesson from your old mom.  Anyway enough said on that matter…

You entered into your fifth year with two wobbly teeth (the bottom two) and shortly after you had your birthday you fell at school knocked the one especially wobbly one and your teacher had to pull it out.  You were freaking out about the blood but as soon as the tooth was out you were as proud as punch!

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You’ve had your first brush with ringworm and for the first winter in two years you had a bad chest infection again.

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You are in perpetual motion.  You never stop moving, even when you are supposed to be watching a movie you are constantly up and down, jumping around and when I ask you to calm down you state calmly “I cannot mom, I am run by an engergizer bunny”

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You are so smart, you have me gawking at you in amazement somethings with the things you come out with.  You have a delightful sense of humour and you have me giggling often at your silly jokes.  You are a good friend to your little buddies.  You are loyal and steadfast and I am so very proud of the boy you are turning out to be.

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You take your job as big brother very seriously and you always insist on walking Gemma to her class every morning at school and your teacher tells me you check on her a few times during the day.  You fight like cat and dog over the silliest things (and drive me to my fair share of wine because of it) but at the end of the day, you always have your little sister’s back.  That is a great quality to have my boy.

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You can drive me absolutely batty, but with one little smile and side eye wink you have my heart melted in a way that I don’t think another living soul will ever be able to manage.  I love you monkey bum, my defender of the faith.

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May your 5th year be your most special one yet!

Lots of love

Mom

xxx