When do you know it’s time to say goodbye?

Our dogs are not considered our pets.  Our dogs are integral parts of our family.  For many years while we were battling infertility it was our “fur babies” that got us through the devastating times we were faced with and I often buried my face into my girls fur and cried tears of desperation…

Saffy and Jazzy

Thing is,  our girls are old now.  We’ve been privileged to have them in our hearts and home for thirteen amazing years… and whilst our little Jazz (the energizer jack russel) is still going strong, our beautiful golden lab Saff’s is…. not.  In the past few months we’ve noticed that she is steadily deteriorating in terms of her range of movement.  She is much stiffer when she gets up from a sitting or lying position and she has started losing control of her bowels in the house.  Like a toddler learning to potty train it’s almost like she feels the sensation too late and then “whoopsie” out pop the poops.

We took her to our vet two months ago to get her accessed.  Our vet absolutely agrees with us that Saff’s has deteriorated but what really threw me was that when we did hip and spine  x-rays her bones are still in good shape.  Her blood tests and liver enzyme tests all came back normal.  Our vet suspected from the get go that it was neurological but to have this substantiated it would mean an MRI which is VERY costly.  Now don’t get me wrong I am prepared to spend money on my pets but when faced with a bill of over 8.5 grand for a very old dog (Labradors have a maximum expected life span of 14 – 15 years) combined with a diagnosis that would probably result in a costly operation (20K +) which might or might not add any time to her life span we were at a cross roads as to what to do.  In the end we decided to try to see if medication would assist her in feeling more comfortable and ease the stiffness.

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After a month of the meds we had not seen any remarkable difference in our beautiful girl.  Chatting to family didn’t really help because they don’t get how close we are to our animals.  They all recommended putting her down but it just didn’t feel right to me.  How on earth could I make this decision?  Especially since “she wasn’t THAT bad”.

A close friend who works in animal rescue suggested a second opinion at an animal hospital that she uses for her rescue dogs.  She also told us that the vets there would be quite clear about whether it was time or not to make the hard choice for our beautiful Saffs.

The appointment was three weeks ago.

Saff old

I cannot tell you how relieved we are to have seen an amazing vet who was practical, caring and who was very honest about how to proceed.  The 2nd opinion vet concurred that the issue with our girl was neurological, she also felt that having the MRI and the operation would be a waste of time and energy and may actually make our girl worse.  She has suggested different meds and has also told us that whilst our Saff is in pain and is battling that the time to euthanize is not here yet.

I cannot wrap my head around having to say goodbye to this sweet girl who has filled our home with helicopter tail wags, and the most incredibly soft brown eyes for the last 13 years.

I am SO glad that for now we get to have her in our family for a while longer, Because I cannot say goodbye.

Saff family

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Trenery A/W 2017 Collection Launch

So I’ve been feeling a bit like I’ve lost myself as a person the last while, and when my friend Jeanette asked me if I wanted to be her plus one at the Woolworths Trenery A/W collection launch last night I jumped at the chance!

A night out with a good friend, watching a fashion show?  Yes please!

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It all felt very “Sex in the City” sitting on the runway with the most delicious champers with my runway booklet and pencil to evaluate my preferred looks as the (most gorgeous) models strutted their stuff.

Admittedly I am not a regular Trenery shopper.  I look at their ranges and whilst I love them I often think of my pocket and the fact that I have two kids to feed and school and wistfully walk past.

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Last night changed my perspective on this.  After seeing the most gorgeous silk utility shirt in verdant green and a few pairs of fitted trousers that caught my eye, I am of the mind that it might be prudent to invest in core pieces from this range and build around them.  I am also totes in love with the Catherine Nubuck loafers!  Like obsessed in love!

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I had the most wonderful time, drinking champers, sampling the most divine canapes and laughing with a good friend with not a discussion about snotty noses, school or what the hell to do during school holidays to stay sane!  It felt good to be an adult woman, enjoying fashion and friendship.  Thank you again Jents for inviting me!  I had the BEST time.

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I often feel like I’ve lost myself…

I used to be fun.  I used to be spontaneous and I used to laugh.  A lot.  I don’t know what it is but I often feel like I’ve lost the essence of who I am.  I was pretty popular in school despite being the president of the “nerd herd” and I was always confident in the fact that I was liked and respected by my peers.

That confidence stayed with me as a young adult who made plenty of friends while living in the bush and starting out with my career.  I have always been a bit of a clown who is loyal, ethical, hard working, kind and fun.  I met my delicious man, and I was fun.  We did a lot of really cool, fun stuff together.  Like a train trip through Mozamzbique, and jumping off the highest bungee in the world (ok I jumped he didn’t but hey semantics)

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Then infertility hit and I became obsessed with having a baby.  I changed a lot in those seven years.  I was selfish, hell bent on our journey to parenthood and bitter and twisted.  I lost a lot of the fun, sassy side of me.  I like to think I stayed funny, but it was darker.  Shaded by despair and pain.  A humor born of desperation and grief.

Then finally we got what we always wanted – a wonderful baby.  A family.  Except no-one told me how hard being a mom was.  No-one told me just how all consuming it is to have small babies and how much of yourself gets lost in making sure that this little person who is SO VERY dependent on your for everything lives and grows and thrives.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.  I love my home and life and all that comes with it.  But I often find myself thinking “who am I now?” “what is the essence of me now?”  Am I just a compilation of who I was then vs what I am now?  A mom and wife?  I know that everyone changes as life goes on and one can’t expect to stay the same person forever, but surely the very essence of one’s self stays grounded and the same?  Or does that “core” of oneself shift with life?

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I know as the kids get older life will become “easier”, that there will be more time for me to be me, and not “Kade’s mom or Gemma’s mom” as all the kids  at school call me.  In the last year I’ve tried to do more for me, the essence of Sam, so I’ve focused on my running more, I’ve tried to read more books.  Yet… I still wonder if I’m just a lost little soul drifting on the ocean of life, still yet to discover just who I am.

Please tell me I am not alone?  That everyone feels this at some stage of their life?

 

On Pixie Cuts and Growing Pains…

A little over a year ago I was so bored with my hair, it was driving me mad and I was desperate for something new and fresh.  My mom and sister had been nagging advising me about thinking about cutting it all off and the more I thought about it the more apealing the idea became.  So I took the plunge and went from having past shoulder length hair to rocking a cute little pixie cut.

New hair

It was light.  It was cool. It was funky.  I felt so free and sassy. It saved me a fortune in shampoo and conditioner.  I loved it… BUT… it also started costing me a fortune in haircuts to keep that cute and sassy style in shape.  What is it about hair that it grows like wild fire when short and like a tortoise traveling through molasses when you want it to?  I was having to have my hair cut every 3 weeks and it all started adding up.  Also… truth be told I like my face better when framed by a bit of long(ish) hair.

So I decided to grow it out in April of last year and its growing S L O W L Y.  I’m finally past that annoying tickle your ears stage but now I am seemingly stuck in the wispy around your neck slightly dated stage.

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I’m getting frustrated with it cos it seems like it’s stuck in a time warp.  Do you think I should get it trimmed to get it in a bit more of a style or should I just vasbyt till it gets to my shoulders till I get the scissors out again?  Also how on earth do I get it to grow FASTER??  I’ve been told to use coconut oil but I HATE the feeling of oily hair – surely there must be another fast growing hair tip?

Hair guru’s help a frustrated girl out!

Bath time fun with Fizzles!

South Africa is in the midst of a drought and bath time has become kind of boring for my kids who used to be have a bath filled with quite a bit of water and loads of bubbles.  Since we’ve been on a water saving mission of late, they are not allowed bubbles anymore and they’ve been quite anti bath time because of this (and by they I mean Gemma, Kade actually couldn’t care less).

Until a few weeks back when I was at the pharmacy picking up a script for a sick child (again!) and I noticed these cool little tubes on the counter.

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They promised to make bath time fun and I quickly threw one of each colour into the medicine mix and decided to try them.

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What I love about these little water colour changing tablets is that they are completely safe to use and don’t mark or stain my kids.  They can be used in very little water and my kids absolutely love them!  They laugh and giggle as the tablets fizzle (excuse the pun) away in the water and we’ve had great fun mixing the colours to try make new colours out of them (I wish there was a yellow Fizzle so we could really teach them how to make colours cos so far we’ve only been successful in making a really cool purple by mixing the blue and red Fizzles)

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The kids latest thing is to jump into the bath before the Fizzles have dissolved and to put their knee’s on the tablet and let it run down their legs screaming “I’ve got red/blue/green blood”

Such a lot of fun for bath time!

Disclaimer : I was not paid for this review, my kids just really loved them!

 

 

The Great Train Race!

thomasCOMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND OUR LUCKY WINNER WAS CASSEY TOI!  CONGRATS CASS!

Ever since Kade was a baby he has absolutely loved trains and his obsession with Thomas started young.  We had all the track sets and our collection of trains had included Thomas (about 4 of him), Percy, Emily, Diesel and even Harold the helicopter!

We were recently invited to attend the premier of the Thomas and Friends The Great Train Race movie and we couldn’t have been more delighted to attend the event.  We got to the event slightly late cos Gems woke from her nap later than expected and boy was it in full swing – face painting, balloon animals and the raddest Thomas play area ever.

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The movie itself is super cute.  Thomas and his friends have all been jazzed up and brought into the 21st century and who knew they could sing so well?  Fans of the tv series will totally get what I’m saying, when I say that for the first time I actually found myself liking the fat controller ( he always comes across as rather brusque and unlikable in the series… just me?)  I loved that the movie really focused on theme’s of “being true to yourself” and “do what you do best” but honestly the bit that I loved most (watch out my inner feminist is about to rear her head) was that the pretty FEMALE engine entered the same contest that the hard-working MALE engines traditionally would have : that being the shunting contest.   I also loved that it wasn’t only Emily that was entered into the best looking contest (the trains got some brilliant paint make overs) but one of the other male engines too (his name escapes me right now).  Way to go Thomas and Friends for bending gender bias!

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The movie is also only 61 minutes long so even our Hurricane sat riveted the whole movie long.  It is showing at Ster Kinekor Theatres until this Sunday so if you want a really nice family afternoon out (and a way to beat the heat wave in Jozi at the moment), I would recommend going to see it.

Once again the kids were spoilt rotten with the most awesome goody bags at the end of the event – we have to bath every night with our Thomas face cloths, and the puzzles and megablock toys have entertained them no end.

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All in all we had a divine afternoon with Thomas and his friends.

I know that many of you must be Thomas fans and I have a fabulous mystery Thomas & Friends hamper valued at R300.00 up for grabs!

This hamper consists of two Thomas toys that are aimed at kids 18 months and older – and the best part is you CANNOT get them in South Africa – so if you are the lucky winner your Thomas fan will be THE ONLY kid with these in the country – how COOL is that?

thomas-prize

To enter click on the Rafflecopter link below and let me know in the comments what you think the toys in the hamper are!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shopping Spree at Kamersvol

I have heard about the Kamers/Makers event for a few years now but I have never been to one.  Last year I saw Jenty’s pictures from when she attended and I was bummed that I hadn’t made a plan to attend, so when she asked me if I wanted to go with her and some friends to the Sandton event this past weekend I jumped at the chance…  A morning shopping with friends sans kids and husband?  I didn’t even think twice.

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There is something to be said for shopping with a glass of Saltare champagne in hand, taste testing chocolate, toffee, wine, nougat in fact anything delicious.  Within the first entrance corridor I had already had champers, wine and chilli toffee!  After having had completed a 12km run that morning I figured I deserved a little bit of yummy stuff.

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I really enjoyed browsing all the stalls and there was some really cool stuff on show that I had never seen before.  I am definitely wanting to get a hanging garden.  There was gorgeous jewellery and so many designer clothes.  We had a long discussion about printed fabrics and dealing with Jozi traffic and while there were quite a few dresses I would have loved to buy, the printed fabric and the amount of time I spend in my car just didn’t add up.

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I went with some friends who had been to other Kamers/Makers shows and they said that while this one was nice it wasn’t as good as the one in Irene.  You can be sure that I will be heading to the Irene one as well – especially because I thought the Sandton one was divine!

If you are keen to go to the Irene one it is on from 28th November till the 04th December.

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If I see you there ensure you have your credit card loaded with cash… I have a feeling that if it’s better than the Sandton one, I will be spending quite a lot of money for Christmas.