28 February 2011

New Beginnings

Monday - and a new start in a few areas:

1. I start my 10wk online studies with UCT distance learning crowd, GetSmarter. I am doing the Internet Marketing module which covers everything from web design&development to SEO, analytics and copywriting. Me thinks I am going to *love* honing my humble skills.

2. I also need to build in a few hours a week to help my bloke with his renewable energy business. The company is on *explosive* point and he really needs admin, capturing help. Nothing brain taxing but often it is the grungey everyday stuff that oils the wheels for the important stuff.

3. I have found the most *amazing* skincare range that has changed my skin completely. It's like I have had a facial peel or something. I strongly recommend checking out RegimA. I have an amazing skin professional that did an analysis and then sampled me on a day and night cream aswell as a cleanser.

I didnt have to fork our large sums of money until I was SURE the product worked. Within 3 days I was sold and now, 2 weeks later I am ordering the products andtelling everyone I know.

4. A new fitness program - I am going to join my bloke who is starting Body for Life again. We did it together years ago and it totally works. I am not *religious* about it but I find it easier to exercise with a goal. With this in mind I have also been part of an online fitness group hosted by Marcy - she has also set goals for us this month which I will be working toward.

I do feel more focussed, energised and excited by what lies on my plate in the coming months. I get MORE done when my shedule is full. I think most of us are like that huh?

27 February 2011

Some Local Links

I love to be organised and clutter-free. I havent quite achieved anything close to it yet but that doesnt deter me from my mission.

In the latest Woman & Home mag (no Cosmo for me anymore ;-) I found some local links to online stores that cater to my desire to be more organised.

Go and have a look-see; I don think you will be disappointed.

26 February 2011

Camping, Big Walks and other scary things.

Today is the girls Big Walk. We cancelled our trip to Mcgregor this weekend because they are so excited about it. Bleh. Talk about parental sacrifice. :-/

We camped out in the garden last night and suffice to say it wasnt my best night. The kids of course slept like logs and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I dont like camping.

I discovered last night I dont like camping even in my front garden. It sucks. It is overrated and quite a bizarre thing to do. I can totally do nature and beauty but give me a basic building with running water, a bed, toilet and shower from which to enjoy said natural beauty.

I do think the wind played a huge factor last night - it was HOWLING - I could not believe the kids slept through it all.

Suffice to say this morning I was a tad irritable. Does not help that it is the Big Walk....and the wind is STILL howling. I made a *quality* decision to relinquish the parental big walk duty to my man based on his spoken desire to be more involved in school activities.

My pleasure - off you all go now while I hang out in my four walls. :-)

23 February 2011

Shoes : The Spice of Life

I realised my life has become exceptionally serious. I measured this by how many shoe blogs / statuses I have posted lately. Dismal really.

Today I had coffee with a good mate and we decided to mosey through the shops ---- and voila the shoe genie came out to play.

My Lady Gaga boots as Lulu likes to call them!

They refer to these as biker boots...hmmm... a bit too tame for that
name I think!

I am almost, but not quite, ready to welcome winter - simply so my news boots can come out to play!

21 February 2011

Randomness and Pontifications

Nee jislaaik. It is almost March! I swear time speeds up as you age. Really, tell me I am wrong?

A few bits n pieces:

1. My hair is growing. Truly it is. I saw someone recently who hadnt seem me in some time and they confirmed my suspicion. Yay.

2. Lulu is loving school and has lots of friends across Gr1 and Gr2. She makes me smile with her enthusiasm for all things school - reading, writing and just the *correctness* that come with being a new school-goer.

3. Honey is still sukkeling a bit but we are making progress. She is still loving school but I am going to make an appointment with a pyschologist just to help her through this speed wobble but am fully anticipating that we see daylight very soon. She is a remarkable, insightful child - just need wisdom to help her deal with all that she processes.

4. We have another opportunity on the table from Australia. Anyone who has been reading me since 2007 will know that this is a regular thing. So now we process and ponder and pontificate. Will keep you posted. For now we stay. :-)

5. I lost ( or someone stole) my running shoes. After 2wks I bought new ones. I dont like them but will have to suck it up I guess.

6. I was supposed to start with OMS again today. Didnt quite pan out so am hoping maybe next week.

7. Am trying to spin twice a week. Tough though because it is mind-numbingly boring AND painful. But it does yield results if you are diligent. Which I am not but I continue to try.

8. I am almost over my heinous cruise. I think Umshanti cured my from any thought of organised, package holidays ever again. (in that it showed me less is more!) I have booked a weekend away for us here for next month.

9. Hooli is fully recovered and now swanning around like Prince of the House as I think I may just have spoilt him during the drama of his operation and recovery. The girls are quickly reminding him of the pecking order so things should settle soon.

10. My girls are getting along really well. Again, longterm readers will know the HUGENESS of this milestone.

What little or BIG things are happening in your worlds?

19 February 2011


I have recently been reflecting on the last few months. Since November I have been through some really stormy stuff. Most of it I have not shared; or maybe I have just touched upon parts.

The most overwhelming for me was how the vertigo affected me. I have never been ill. And vertigo doesnt make you ill but it changes who you are. It came over me so suddenly; left undiagnosed for 2weeks I began to suffer anxiety as I was sure there was something very wrong with me but I was unable to explain my symptoms.

Eventually, being diagnosed, I felt tentative relief. This was shortlived as I realised that this ailment was invisible to everyone around me - leaving me feeling lonely, isolated and very vulnerable. There were many times I was in company and yet I was fighting to stay present.

Dealing with this added to my stress and anxiety which worsened the condition. It was all such a mess. Then we had the news of my brothers divorce and again, I was shellshocked by the toll it took on us all.

I was so looking forward to our family cruise. To find my equilibrium. HA. We all know how that turned out! ;-)

Earlier this month I then had to deal with Hooli's surgery and biopsy which really knocked the stuffing out of me - yet again.

Recently I am facing Honey's realisation that the world is not a safe, wonderful place full of Happily Ever After's. In the last months she has had a friends parent die, another facing terminal illness, her granny passed away and her uncle is getting divorced. Not easy for her.

I am beginning to feel okay again but am still battling occasional but very real moments of sheer terror at the curve balls that life can throw at us. I am well aware of the mantras of living in the present, taking one day at a time, faith in our Maker and all that good stuff.

I just didnt realise that it was all going to take so much effort to stay in the sweet spot.

13 February 2011

Weekend in Umshanti

We headed out to Umshanti on Friday afternoon to join a large group of friends for a weekend of sun, river swimming and relaxation. Our friend, K, had booked out the entire resort so everyone there was pretty much part of our crowd.

Hooli really got into the drumming vibe.

The littlies had to wear lifejackets as the water is very brackish and dark.

I packed one tiny bag (my gym bag) for all 5 of us. I took a book each, some cards and drawing kit for the kids. We met new and very interesting people. We had long chats about meaningful stuff into the wee hours around a camp fire. We spent lazy hours floating around the river. We ate, we siesta-ed, we relaxed and we laughed. Some of us (lulu) cried as the new experiences were at times overwhelming. (like all 5 of us paddling on a kayak up a 1m wide channel to a large waterfall!)

Loving the freedom on the water, Lulu finally adapted
and didnt yell when we left shore.

I think I made have rediscovered the old (or young) Mel. The one who loved to camp, hike and be in the great outdoors. I lost her a little bit when my children were very young. It is not my idea of relaxation waking up at 3am in the sticks. Changing nappies and breastfeeding one kid while having to figure out how to get the toddler to the ablution block before she wees in her sleeping bag ... :-(

Hot chocolate with marshmellows around the fire.

Honey almost turned me grey coming down this 70ft zipline!

Breakfast on the barge while the fuffi sliders fuffi slide.
I mistakenly thought that I had morphed into a high maintenance 5-star kinda lass but am rather relieved to say that I *truly* relaxed on this weekend more than any other holiday. (my foray into organised cruises being a recent case in point as to the horror of 5-star holidays!)

See? Crazy hair and no make-up!

Nothing like tea and rusks in the great outdoors.

We cannot wait to go back - and have booked for next month at a neighbouring resort! :-)

10 February 2011

And we're outta here

Another week whoooooooooooooooshed by....never a dull moment here. We are off to Swellendam, Umshanti - cannot wait to just chill out.

Weather is set to *excruciatingly hot* - just the way the Browns like it. We will be doing a considerable amount of river dipping methinks.

I have been doing some photo filing and came across some oldies and am sharing them. :-)

Hooli at 2
Me, very preggers with Hooli. Lulu about 22mths.
Verrrry pregnant with Hooli. (36wks)
Lulu and I. She is about 8mths.
Feb 2004, Rach 2.5yrs. 6mnths pregs with lulu. On holiday in Saldanha Bay.

Thanks for looking and sharing my little nostalgic moment!

09 February 2011

More than Meets the Eye

Last night Honey and I had one of those evenings. You know the ones? Where you put them to bed and they ask you to please stay and chat for a bit? I confess that I am not great with the late nights chats but there was an urgency in her demeanour that caused me to pause.

The conversation was long and we covered significant ground but I want to leave you with two particular points she raised. I am not going to go into how I answered them; my thoughts on the question or how we got there. I am just going to share some of what was going on the the heart of this 9yr old that had me reeling - with both concern and wonder.


Honey: Mom, you know the bear from Toy Story 3 - Lotso? The one that smells like strawberries?

ME; Yes?

Honey : He says to Woody : " WE ARE JUST TOYS - WE ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN."
That is like us Mom. We are like Gods toys. We are just waiting to be broken. Either get sick, have an accident or just plain die.


Mom - you know the whole Adam and Eve thing in the garden? We can't really blame Eve because really if she didnt eat that apple the devil would have just tempted one of her kids or her grandkids. Eventually some generation would've done it.


This was an evening I will never forget. An evening where I began to see just how much can lie beneath the surface; a pivotal moment in my approach to parenting.

07 February 2011

Madness on a Monday

Before I get to Monday let me just say we spontaneously decided to head to Mcgregor on Saturday morning - it was awesome. The weather was scorching and we just hung out with the parentals, swam, slept, watched movies when it got too hot and c.h.i.l.l.e.d out.

But Monday whacked me over the head big time.

Started out with a post-op trip to the specialist for Hooli. I drove into town (45min) looked for parking, missioned and waited in his office and when we got to see him ....he high-fived my boy and ripped the plaster off and sent us home. About 45 seconds of action. Seriously? I could have gone to my gp down the road for that. (not that he is charging me BUT MY TIME, oh dear)

While I was missioning in town with Hooli I managed to forget that I was on library lifts for Lulu's class today. The very FIRST library outing for the Grade 1's. The MOST important day because they were all going to choose their VERY FIRST readers. :-( Apparently they were all lined up waiting for the library mommies to arrive, busting with excitement but to no avail....yes...the other mommy forgot aswell. Horrors.

This afternoon was a bit of a travesty aswell with the man needing a lift home as he was dropping off his car for service. What should have been a 15min trip (at 4pm with 3 hot, grumpy kids) turned into an hour round trip with mad traffic.

Upon returning home at 5pm I had to face a school family tree project that was sposed to be done this weekend. (did i mention i dont believe in weekend homework?) so we got into it today. Honey has her mind made up about everthing. She wanted uncles, aunts, cousins, dogs and rabbits on her tree. (not really but you get my drift) . It turned into a bit of a war and I am very ashamed to say I literally threw my hands up in the air and passed a rather infantile comment her way and stormed upstairs. :-(

bleh. And to top it all off I didnt get to Pick n Pay, thank God my man had an evening work appointment and offered to do the shopping en route.

Can NOT wait to hit the couch. With remote in hand. A bit of Greys will go down well!

04 February 2011

The Week that Was

It has been a week. I am very very happy to have it behind me. Most of you are friends of mine on fb so you will know that Hooli's biopsy results came back clear. You can all imagine my relief.

He is still at home with me even though he could go to school. He isnt really keen because everyone is treating him with kid-gloves and he isnt big on that. He wants to run around, climb trees, scale the climbing wall and play helicopter pilot in the big tree. Suffice to say the teacher isnt to keen on *any* of that before he has had his post-op consult. (and neither am I!)

So we have taken to just arbing out at home. Literally just doing nothing but watching movies, playing endless games of Ludo and Uno, drawing and occasionally getting irritable with each other. ;-)

The weather is glorious today so we are going to head to the beach and meet my sil and nieces. Tomorrow morning early we are going head out to Mcgregs - we are all in need of some r + r and luckily we dont have to go far (or spend much!) to find it.

Happy weekend peoples.