Tuesday, March 29, 2011

wah wah wah dot

I've been round and about doing other things on the internets recently...

I guest-blogged my version of how to make cake pops over at domestic sensualist, julochka and Bee's very fab food blog.

My penguin cupcakes appeared on a cupcake tumblr but now I've lost the link and can't actually justify any more time spent searching for it. Especially as anytime I google 'penguin cupcakes' I get back to me - that post alone accounts for two thirds of the traffic I get on this blog.

Then I wrote a post for a Cape Town destination blog and get this, they edited me! Shocking. Content and style. Hurrmpf.
I've been hatching a number of plans to start writing more commercially, but editing ... [narrow slitty-eyed glare], not sure how I feel about that ...

Oh ja and then of course I've been pinning. And pinning. And pinning. And pinning. In fact someone should make one of those cheesy blog labels saying 'Gone Pinning' 'cos I'm sure there's more than a few lean blogs out there as a result.
Ooooo it's an (p)interesting thing Pinterest. Crap name, interesting concept, fascinating participation. I've a deep and meaningful one brewing about this ...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

my baby

She rests her warm palm lightly on my cheek as I lie with her in the middle of the night. Four fingertips trace slowly down my face, conveniently brush an annoying strand of hair from my nose, then snag on my lips.
One finger hangs there a while, then drops heavily to the bed.
Her breathing is deep and smooth.
Then, in one quick decisive move, she rolls over and nestles back until she perfectly spoons me, her head under my chin, her toes on my knees.


She's getting tall, my small girl. Growing fast, but still my baby.


When Frieda turned 1 she seemed so big, so grown-up. But when measured against her nearly-4 sister, Stella is still a baby.
My baby.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

gotta keep'em laminated

... with apologies to The Offspring. Imagine how disheartening to think that thirty-something mother's of two laminate while singing horribly distorted versions of your greatest hits?

Mind you they can't be such spring chickens themselves. And I bet they'd laminate everything in sight if they got a cool laminating machine from their husband's for Christmas.
Unless they're too busy touring the world and rolling around in their piles of money that is ... sigh ...

Anyhoo.

I laminated (amongst other things) ...

a family picture for Stella's high-chair

6 gold stars with portraits for the 6 points 
of Stella's star-shaped birthday cake - not pictured.
('cos we ate it too fast)

some frolicking kitties for the enclosed porch window outside the girl's room - 
(the desperately-in-need-of-beautifying home of dying cacti and bikes)

... and I'm nowhere near stopping.

Monday, March 21, 2011

[insert title here*]

*options:
baking with leftovers
human rights day cookies
ebony & ivory
must.bake.cookies.
take that crappy oreo filth


Any of these would be applicable here. Cookies baked with leftover chocolate cookie dough and white chocolate melts, on an important public holiday, for no other reason than I had to bake.
You know when you have to have to bake?
Yup, like that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

got grass

Yup, a scant 3 weeks later and we have lawn.


Unfortunately I'm missing some pics in between. The extremely arduous phase when we were sifting and sorting and reworking the exposed soil, removing rubble and broken glass, old plastic bags, bits of broken china etc.
There was even an interesting moment when Husband unearthed one high-heeled shoe and the remnants of a dress ... our eyes met over the girl's heads and we wondered whether it was time to herd everyone inside and call Forensics. The old guy we bought the house from did say his wife had died here ...

Anyhoo this lawn'll need all the help it can get in the next little while. We bought cut metres from a grass dealer farmer on Friday, frantically worked to get the irrigation system installed on Friday evening and finally got to lay it yesterday, in 35+ degree (celsius!) heat.
It's still looking a little off-colour but we've been assured with enough watering and fertilising (ahem) it'll take.

Clearly the area still needs a lot of work (like removing that manky string mop from the shed roof!), but we're getting there ...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I am SAHM

With nothing more pressing, nothing more immediate, on the cards, it seems I am, for the next little while, to continue being a Stay At Home Mum.

I'm cool with that.

Frieda's settled into 5 mornings a week at her Montessori school ('I do lots of important work at school Mum, so when I get home I need to just play okay?'), Stella is in a good routine and by god, she's gotten cute.
She barks, she moo's, she sniffles her little nose when I say 'bunny'. She loves a picture of a 'baba' and pretends to rock dolls to sleep. She rolls a ball back and forth to me, climbs onto chairs and calls for approval, she waits in anticipation as I build elaborate towers out of blocks and then smashes them down with great glee.
Who wants a career when you can spend your mornings with that?
The girls increasingly play together, I have help with the house, regular play-dates and outings and afternoons with Granny.
It all sounds pretty idyllic no?

But as ever, because this is life, there is guilt.

Not so much parental guilt, I'm not really into that. But guilt when I'm not loving it, when I don't feel it's idyllic, when I'm tired and frustrated and, as you'd say in Afrikaans - gatvol ('had it up the ass' is the best translation I can come up with - sorry!).
But I had a revelation recently - I don't have to love every minute. I may be 'lucky' and 'privileged' to be home with my kids (and I know that I am - hence the guilt see?), but actually, it's my job, and no one loves their job every day. And if I have a bad day, if I've got girl trouble up the ass, it's not 'cos I hate my kids, it's 'cos I'm not loving my job.
I'm cool with that.

Here's another dilemma:
A friend recently sent me a link to this article, about 'keeping-up parenting' and how mothers lie to one another about how they parent. The gist is that we lie to create the impression of being better, more involved, parents. Sometimes I have the opposite problem, sometimes I feel I need to gloss over how much I enjoy being home with my girls.
I see, or imagine I see, the looks in the working Mum's eyes when I do this kind of thing with Frieda. I see, I definitely see, the envy, the guilt, when I mention we spent the afternoon in Kirstenbosch. I try to be gracious when asked 'how can you stand it?' (meaning full-time child raising - true story).

Ai, what is it about women that we judge each other so?
My until-recently SAHM-buddy started a contract job a few weeks back, and within her first day was made to feel bad first by a female colleague in her new office (for working shorter days, as per her agreed contract), and later by another mother while she was collecting her kids from school (for working at all).
We can be such bitches.

I know I'm lucky. I know this is a stage in my life. In theirs.

For now I am SAHM, SAHM I am.

And I'm cool with that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

make it grow

Our house is well over 100 years old. We've lived in it for nearly 8.

The week we moved in, just a couple of days before we got married, Husband pulled up all the carpeting (beat that for a pre-wedding stress reliever) and the work pretty much hasn't stopped since ...
We've come a long way.

But the nature of a project like this is that one's never really finished, there's always going to be more to do. Equal parts inspiring and frustrating.

Our favourite thing in the world is Starting A New Project.
Second favourite: Making it Happen.
Less favourite: Completing Project.
Worst thing ever: Snag List.

And so we live with various projects in various stages of completion, with tools always unpacked 'cos we 'just need to finish up ... ' Sometimes it makes me MAD and sometimes I kinda like it.
I think it's good for our girls to watch and learn from us fixing up our own home, but often I wish parts of our house were more kiddie-friendly, slightly less 'don't touch that!'.

But on to our New Project. This one is for the girls. We're making a garden.

One week ago: Weird, virtually unused corner of hot, over-grown crazy paving next to the pool.

 (dontcha just love those air-bricks on the right ... ?)

Same view after last weekend:


The plan is to fence off the pool and plant a small (4x4m) but to be deeply appreciated patch of lawn. A bit of green space for the kiddies, a bit of head-space for the grown ups.

Still not sure what to do about those air-bricks though ...