Some Perspective

Over the past few years my mom and my sister have attended several building blitz’s arranged by our church and the Mellon Housing Initiative.

Every time they went I was unable to go cos I was either preparing for a treatment, busy with a treatment, had just found out I was pregnant, had just had a baby. There was always something that happened that stopped me from atttending.

So when the opportunity presented itself for the next build, I jumped at the chance. I arranged with Cliff to babysit Kade and my neice Kayla and my sister and I headed off to our church bright and early on Saturday morning.

We headed off to Thembisa with 68 other volunteers and arrived at the Mellon Housing Initiative site office full of energy and excitement. My sister even attended with her moon boot on – and told everyone it would take more than a taxi to stop her from attending the blitz.

We were put into our teams and off we headed to do our work for the day. Each team is headed up by a professional builder who teaches the volunteers the correct techniques depending on your area. What I love about this initiative is that they believe in skills development – the community gets involved and are taught valuable skills that they get certified for – creating job opportunities for them as well. I was on one of the painting teams and my sister was on the other painting team.

We painted these homes and got to know our “owners”. The owner of our house, was telling us that he lives in his shack with his wife and his eight children and his dog Danger. That he was SO excited and proud to finally own his own home after 25 years of living in a shack. That knowing he could give his children a solid roof over their heads, finally made him feel like a man. We painted alongside this man and his family and I was humbled.

At the end of a long HOT day we handed over one of the houses that was completely ready to a lady called Beauty and her family. She has raised her 3 kids in her shack and when we asked her son what this meant to him, he said that he is epileptic and when he next has a fit at least it will be in comfort.

I have gained some serious perspective from this experience.

We complain about our electricity being cut for a few hours and moan when our service delivery is late or cancelled due to a strike. But these people they live without all of that EVERY DAY. Their children play in the sand and in filth because they do not have the luxury of running water all day long. We tried to clean our paint brushes but couldn’t cos the municipality cuts their water supply from 09h00 till 17h00 daily.

I left the build filled with compassion for my fellow South Africans who are not as blessed as I am. I left feeling SO incredibly lucky and blessed.

What I found was that what you find in our suburbs is what you find in a township. People who are trying to provide for their family. People who are spending time with each other and enjoying a summer’s day. People who are essentially the same as you and me.

What an amazing and humbling day. I CANNOT WAIT for the next build, I hope next time I’m put on one of the construction teams so I can learn to mix dugga and how to lay bricks.

I cannot wait to see another family get their dream home. The site director said it best, it’s about South African’s providing for South Africans. And if each one of us could just do one small thing (cos it really took nothing for myself and the other 69 volunteers to donate R500 and a day of our time) we can truly make a massive difference to the lives of others.

One small act from every person can truly change the world. I want to be that kind of person always.

Snuggle Bunnies (Teddy’s)

My friend who is the editor of Living and Loving has got involved in an awesome initiative… She said it best in her post, but I am jumping on the band wagon here.

As an ex Reach for a Dream volunteer I love this initiative and would love for all my local readers to put their teddy’s where their bank account is – it’s ONLY R99! I promise it will be THE BEST R99 you have spent in a LONG time. These kids, these little warriors could really do with a teddy to see them thru the dark hours they face. To snuggle with when they can’t be strong anymore.

So what do you have to do now?

Either head on over to http://www.reachforadream.org or buy a bear directly, and if you want let Tanya know so that she can add you to her special blog post once the campaign ends…

Name of account:
Reach For A Dream Foundation
Bank:
First National Bank
Account number:
62004778695
Branch:
RMB Private Bank, Johannesburg
Type of account:
Current account
Branch code:
261 251
Reference:
Name and Surname / L&L Bear

DO IT! You know you want to.

Memories of today…

It hit me as I woke up this morning.

Last year today, we were waking up and heading to Vitalab for our blood test after our 6th IVF. Our journey that started with 11 eggs retrieved and 3 embryo’s transferred was about to have a conclusion. Either way.

Last year today, after my freak bleed seven days into the two week wait I was trying to believe with all my heart that what I had experienced was implantation bleeding but was honestly not very hopeful and was preparing my heart for another negative result. I was preparing my heart for closure on my own eggs and preparing my heart to open to other avenues to parenthood.

I remember shaking internally as the sister at the lab drew my blood and watching her dispassionately as she marked the vial with my details. I remember handing in my barcode upstairs and getting a hug from the team of IVF nurses. I remember walking to McDonald’s holding Cliff’s hand and him telling me that he believed this was it and me just nodding adsently.

I remember trying to eat my egg mcmuffin and it sitting heavily in my tum all the while checking the time on my phone every 30 seconds, willing the phone to ring and for them to just put us out of our misery already.

I remember going to the loo and heaving that egg mcmuffin up.

I remember us walking out of the door of the McDonalds on our way back to the clinic to wait there for the news and my phone ringing and us stopping right there in the road and hearing the words “you need to get your ass back to the clinic right now… cos you’re pregnant and I need to give you a hug!”

I remember the rush of blood to my head as I turned to Cliff and kept saying over “oh my God, Babe, it worked, it worked” I remember us laughing and hugging and crying and just stumbling over our words to each other. “Wow, I can’t believe it” “I told you it was the one” “Thank you God” “I love you babe” “Yes me too” “holy shit i’m pregnant”

I remember walking on a cloud into the clinic and my doc coming over and grabbing my hand and telling me that I had made his day, his year! And that it was a strong result considering that I had tested 4 days early. He even forgot himself enough to hug me.

I remember that I could not wipe the smile off my face. I wanted to tell everyone sitting there that miracles happened and that their miracle could happen too.

I remember getting our meds and calling our families and crying in the car.

I remember heading to the pharmacy to buy a couple of home pregnancy tests cos gosh dammit I WAS going to see two lines on one of those things if it was the last thing I did.

I remember going home and peeing on the first stick. Seeing and extremely faint line come up and worrying that the pregnancy was not as strong as my FS had told it me was. Telling myself that I practically had to squeeze the wee out and that’s probably why it was so faint. I remember marvelling at the fact that altho faint, there WAS a second line.

I remember so much of that day, the surreal happiness. The gratefulness to God for giving us this gift.

Last year today, my life changed. Last year today, my journey to parenthood solidified in a way I could never have imagined.

As I kissed my son goodbye today, I said another prayer of thanks to my Saviour.

Last year today the joy I felt is only surpassed by the joy I feel holding my son in my arms this year today.

Our New “Normal”

It has to be said.  Going back to work after four months of being off?  It sucks! Big fat donkey balls.

My first day back at work was not as bad as I had built it up to be in my mind (perhaps because I had built it up to be bad?).  Adjustments had to be made by both Cliff and I in order for me to make it into the office on time and looking semi decent.  I had to get up before sparrow’s fart with no chance of napping with my boy after his morning feed (yawn!) and Cliff had to do his S – S -S (sh*t, shower, shave) routine earlier than normal in order for him to feed Kade while I was prettifing myself for the office… I actually had to blow dry my hair and put on decent make up for the day… And then I had to leave my gorgeous boy in the arms of his awesome new nanny… but not before I snapped a pic or two of the two of us on this momentous day…


 

On the whole I had a little drizz in the car on the way to work whilst battling traffic (holy moly, I sure did not miss that!) and allowed myself one call to our nanny to check up on my boy.

Work itself was a bit iffy – it was not very clear as to what my actual role will be and leaving work at 17h00 was not fun!  It was a loooong day too, as I was up for him a few times the night before.  By the time I got home I was rather knackered especially considering that I’ve been getting a full night’s sleep for a while now.

I only ended up spending like 30 minutes with Kade before he went down for the night and I think that’s the hardest thing about being a working mom.  The lack of time you get to spend with your treasure during the week.  And the fact that you’re missing out on al the cute things they do during the day. 

That being said, I know that I’m finding the adjustment harder than Kade is.  He loves his nanny and she is excellent with him.  And soon enough, I’ll have adjusted to our new normal too and will treasure every second with him even more than I do now.