Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ornament heaven

This weekend we did our annual Christmas tradition of buying a Christmas tree ornament. We did it last year with Rupi and this year we had little Blossom along. [Although to be honest she slept her way through the experience]

I just love it. We head off to a Christmas wonderland of a shop with sparkling lights and every Chistmas decoration you could imagine. Then we do coffee. Perfection.

We chose an ormament for the tree and then the children get one. And when they leave home one day, they take their ornaments with them. They will be like a marker or memory trail through their childhood and into adulthood.

This year Rupi chose his own ornament. Last year Dida helped him choose and I got him one the year before.

And this is what he choose. Hmmm. But it is HIS choice as his interior designer of a mother has to remind herself. So we dutifully bought him the red felt kiwi on a plain ply backing.

I chose an angel for Blossom's first ornament. And so the tree is decorated and the decorations up. Christmas is coming. And I am so excited I have trouble concentrating!


Monday, November 29, 2010


I love this girl. With all my heart. She's loyal and deep and sensitive. And she loves me (happy sigh..)

She is also a priceless wife. Her hubbie has finished his studies (yay for him- so talented and smart and very handsome- hey, Mr Samoa- I know you agree!) and Penny has supported him from start to finish.

She has cheered him on and believed in him. She has lifted him up and encouraged him. What a wife! Such hard times and they have done it together. Pulled as one and come through stronger. Penny is a wonderful wife and (ok, in a NOT wierd way!) if I was a boy and not her sister I would want to be her husband. Even writing that sounds wierd but in my heart it's not, haha!

Now we can all look forward to next year! 3 cheers for Penny!!!!!!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gotta love it

Here is Blossom's food salvation. Goodness in a tin, protein broken down and easy to digest. Yummo, if you like your food in a bottle.

We (the doctor and I) trialed Blossom on this with good results. So I needed a paediatrician to apply on our behalf, to the Ministry of Health, for a subsidy. As this formula is drop dead expensive. Like $87 per SMALL tin expensive. Which adds up to $171 per normal size tin. Normal formula is between $15 and $22 per tin for the same amount.....yup. Kind of expensive.

So we got the subsidy approved and I popped down to the chemist to get my stash of tins. I knew it wasn't fully funded but had no idea what we would end up paying. Are you ready? We pay $7.50 per tin. $7.50!!!! Which makes it $15 per normal size tin. Stop it! I know. Craziness.

I am just not used to this type of thing. Where I grew up you don't ever get anything for free. If you don't work you don't have food to put on the table. South Africa does not have a welfare system. At all.

So I expect to pay for myself. I don't expect free healthcare, schooling or pension. I am working towards paying for myself when I get old. So this just blows me away. The government is paying nearly $80 per tin so Blossom can eat properly. I am so grateful.

Thank you whoever. I like Penny, would like to write a letter to someone and thank them. But who? The prime mminister? The Health minister? Bit laughable really but I am so grateful.

And so my little Blossom does not have puffy eyes any more, is not vomiting as much and has regular poop. You gotta love that!


Thursday, November 25, 2010


When I have meetings in the city I get to drive over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Most days I look at the sea under the bridge and marvel at its beauty. But today my thoughts and gaze were fixed upwards. On the flags on the bridge that fly at half mast today. We are a nation in mourning. This is the largest loss of life for us in 31 years.

I think of the families and think of loss. And I know how they feel in some small way. I lost my beloved father (in-law) suddenly and I know how your world narrows, compresses and slows.

And as I think of them and their awful loss I am so thankful. Thankful that (God willing) my husband will come home from work today. I am so thankful that last night his voice filled the house. I am so thankful that I have a living husband and my children have a father who can wrap his arms around them. Some of those miners were exactly my husbands age. I am just so grateful to have my husband HERE with me.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As I bustle around my busy week, working and living life with my babies I am always aware. A shadow sits on my shoulder and I am always aware. Aware of the tragedy which has unfolded in the south island. 29 precious men trapped in a coal mine. And as a nation we peddled water. We could not go forward and we could not go back.

The rescue teams could not get into them. And so the miners waited, if they were alive. It's been 6 days and the tension in New Zealand is so thick it can be cut with a knife.

The mine is under conservation land and access to the actual mine is via a 2.5km tunnel. There are few ventilation holes and even drilling to assess air quality is problematic given it's position.

Toxic gases have accumulated and there has been a fire underground. So it's unsafe and no-one can get in. For 6 days we lived on a knife edge. Not knowing if the miners are alive, suffering or dead. Now we know. A second explosion ripped through the mine caused by the gas build up. And the men have been given up for dead.

We are a small nation. 4.5 million of us. The population of New Zealand can fit into the city I grew up in, 3 times over. We are tiny and this hurts. These men are our men. This hurts a lot.

So we pray and light candles and ask God to move. For His glory to be shown. For comfort. For peace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love and support

A bloggie friend asked me this question. And as I have been asked it a few times, I thought I would answer on here...

Q: How can I be a friend to and support someone going through infertility?

As I have written so much about this, maybe I could point you to a series of posts I have written. The one that really answers the question is this one. A letter I wrote to the people in our world.

And sometimes it helps to understand what infertility is really like too. So here are some posts about the reality of living and walking through infertility:

I started this blog in 2008, about 18 months before Rupi came home so it was in the middle of our struggle with infertility. The pain was pretty raw and there was a sense of unreality about my life. Infertility always felt wrong to me, like something that should have been natural to us, was being denied us. It was an incredibly painful journey for us.

People do deal with infertility in different ways as we are made differently. But every journey involves pain and grief. They are the two common elements.

Infertilty sensitises you. To the normal and natural world. Living in an everyday world was imnpossible sometimes and everyday events and occuranmces were so painful as all they did was highlight your lack. Especially when it came to pregnancy and babies.

It also brings a great deal of shame. Particularly when the issue is with your body. This is an area the enemy really tries to bring defeat in and it's a battle to over come it. I have no idea how people do infertility without God and a suportive church and family. No idea at all.

To make it through infertility I needed support and I needed my friends. They were a lifeline
to me. I love my friends. They stood by me and loved me and prayed for me. I can never say thank you enough.

They helped get me from despair to here.....


Friday, November 19, 2010

6 months

My little petal is 6 months old today.

My, my. It's fair to say that I cannot imagine life without her. Before she arrived I wondered how I would love another child as much as I love Rupi but I didn't need to worry. I do. It's like an extra part of my heart grew and each of my children is loved beyond measure in completely different ways.

This little girl is a delight. She has such a ready smile and when she catches sight of me, she beams. It makes my heart melt.

She is all girl! She holds her hands in a truly feminine way and has a delicate way about her. Her voice is a much higher pitch to Rupi's I think it could shatter crystal on a good day...!

She's tall and lean but manages to combine all this with rolls everywhere. Arms and legs are my favourite! I love to smoosh her neck and this makes her giggle everytime.

I am so grateful that this little person is part of our family. It feels so right and I am utterly besotted with her.

Happy 6 months birthday Blossom!!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So it begins....

A bond begins to grow, independent of us, the parents. A relationship of trust and love is starting which will last a lifetime. They communicate and laugh and look right into each others eyes. This bond will sustain them and always be there. For they will always be together, brother and sister.


Monday, November 15, 2010

My heart sings

Someone close to us wants to live a dream. Have a little business that has the potential to be life changing. For them and their family. But they can't get a loan. So we are underwriting the loan for them. Giving them a hand up. As opposed to a hand out.

Yes there is risk. Of course. But this person is hard working and motivated with a history of paying back money. And they just need a break.

This is so special for me and as much of a blessing to me as it is to them. You see we have never been given a hand up. And so often we have longed for one. Both our parents struggled financially and so Dida and I have done everything on our own. Yes it's been fine and yes it's built character. Yes I know. But what a gift to extend a hand. To reach out and pull forward.

And that's what motivates me. To be able to extend a hand to those that need it. Especially the Ugandan orphans. This is different to that, but kinda the same. The first step, the start.

So my heart sings. Thanking God that we are able. Able to help this person and celebrate their success!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding rhythm

Well hello. It's been a HUGE week. Today is the first day I have not had to work in about 4 weeks. It feels good! This week has been amazing and massive. Birthdays, celebrations and deadlines. All in one week.

I am starting to find a rhythm in this new phase of life. And its a rhythm that only suits us. Our family. This season is so wonderful and all we have ever dreamed of. It's God-breathed and infused with His Grace. And it's busier and crazier than anything I have ever experienced before. Somehow though, it's not stressful. If I stop and listen I know that there is a rhythm for me and us. But first I need to free myself of my own expectation of what I think I should do or be doing. I need to stop and breathe and listen to Him...

So anyway, last weekend Rupi and I had a joint birthday celebration. I am not a party-queen and find organising birthday parties quite stressful. And there's a bit of peer pressure in NZ to have a birthday party for your child each and every year. Ahh, no thanks! So I think on the "off years" for Rupi, he and I will share a celebration!

This year was an Ice Cream social. An American concept and as a South African, I LOVE anything American. Usually the hosts (I believe) provide the ice cream and everybody brings topping and there is mass consumption of ice cream sundaes. We decided to provide it all and had waffles, bananas, choc/ vanilla and berry ice cream, lashings of cream, choc/ caramel and berry sauces, chopped peanuts, marshmallows, toasted coconut and hokey pokey for toppings. One word- BLISS!

We had a barbecue afterwards to try and soak up the sugar and Rupi did a spontaneous performance for us with his cousin....Look at his face!!!

The week brought my birthday (I feel sooooo old. BUT I did get asked for ID when buying a bottle of wine at the supermarket today and they ask if you look under 25 years old...WOOOHOOO!!! I digress...) So anyway. Yes I am old. But I had a wonderful picnic with my sisters and Mom. With coffeee, chocolate and cake and the sun shone. Perfection!

And then the cutest moment of the week has to go to Dida and Blossom. Here he is bathing her in Epsom salts as she had a raw, raw bottom from the severe reaction to the goats milk and soy milk formulas. It was ugly. So now she's on a hyper-allergenic formula and we are seeing a paediatrician on Monday. [Her bottom is better now!]

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, November 5, 2010

A bump

There's been a lot about this little girls big brother over the last little while but she's having a big week too.

She's been diagnosed as having a relatively severe intolerance to lactose. Poor mite. I got the doctor to do an allergy test as things were not quite right. A whole lot of ongoing unpleasant physical symptoms just didn't add up to whatever the doctor was saying- virus, cold, change of season etc etc.

It all makes sense now. But as those who are familiar with intolerances would know, it's not instantly fixed with a course of pills. And I want it fixed NOW as my little girl is uncomfortanble and sore.

The naturapath has her on 3 different formulas (soy, goat milk and lactose free whey-based) and they rotate with one day on each one. This is so that she doesn't get used to one and start reacting to it, as far as I understand.

Blossom is such a honey and just accepts all these new tastes. And even though she's been in such discomfort she's such a happy baby and sleeps really well. Argh. Just want her to feel better as the last 5 months must have been quite hard for her physically!

This is just a bump in the road but a stinker. All the foods that Rupi loved are out of her reach- yoghurt, baby rusks, custards etc. It's relatively easy now but I am not sure what to do when she gets older. So...any other ideas? Is anyone living with this or with someone who is?

Any advice would be much appreciated...!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Rupi!

Darling Rupi

You are two years old today! You are loving your special day even though I am not sure you understand why it's so special. Today is the day that you were born. It was the best day of our lives. Our first born, was born!

You are such a wonderful little person and growing up so fast. You are all boy and we celebrate that. You run and jump and crash your way though each day. You are strong and rough but very gentle too and give me such wonderful hugs.

I love to share food with you and hear you talk to me as we eat together. We sit close together and talk about all sorts of things. You talk in your own special language with some words I can understand and the rest I just pretend to understand. You have such passion when you talk and use lots of hand gestures. Now where did you learn those, haha?

I love how you grab my leg and command me to "Come!" I am happy to go wherever you lead me. You are very determined and make Dida and I stand exactly where you want us to so you can perform or talk to us.

You are still very reserved and take ages to open up to people. But you love the special people in your life, like me, Dida, Poppa and Nana and of course Kiki (Auntie Nikkey) You make people work so hard to earn your love (!!) that it's so special when you finally give hugs and kisses to those you trust.

I love how you perform and play your guitar. Every day involves music and you are developing a love for country music (Lord, help us..!) You dance and wriggle and play your guitar with all your might. We think you are a musical genuis but we are your parents after all.

I love you so much! I wonder at your perfection, although you try my patience a lot. And made me "time you out" on your birthday BEFORE 7.30am which made my heart sore... [I would have let you off but I thought about Dida would have said.]

You are our little prince and we cherish you. Though you are sharing your crown with a little princess who is fast growing up! I love you Rupi! And I thank God for you constantly.

Happy Birthday darling, love forever Mama


Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet sweet November

November. My most favourite month of the year. As a child, it was because it's my birthday month. Now because it's breakthrough month. My little boy turns 2 years old on Wed!

November was always so exciting and I would count down until my birthday. Birthdays are a BIG deal in our family. But as infertility started to make itself felt, each birthday month became something I would dread. Another year older and my fertility clock was ticking like a time bomb. Never very fertile to begin with my mid thirties slowly crept up on me and I was terrified.

2007 was awful. We did the last IVF cycle and was told no more. My body was just not responding and I was on the highest possible dosages of drugs. Then we got news that someone was interested in placing their baby girl with us. Our spirits soared only to be dashed just before Christmas when she changed her mind.

2008 started darkly and got even worse. In January my precious Da (Dida's father) was diagnosed with colon cancer. We lost him in June. Our hearts honestly failed. Hope deferred makes the heart sick and our hearts were very ill. We stood up at his funeral in front of 500 people and spoke of our journey. We despaired.

So when Sweetpea approached us we could not trust that this would work out. We heard of this little baby boy and I did not dare to hope. Sweetpea had enough faith for us all and at the tender age of 14 years old, told me to trust her. That she would not change her mind.

I saw another November coming and my heart just dropped. Rupi was due in late October and so I knew that by my birthday we would know. If he was our son of vision or not. My heart was failing and I could not have coped. I would love to say that I trusted God and was fine, but I was not. I could not take anymore.

He was born on the 3rd of November and we got the call late that Monday night. We rushed down the next day and incurred the wrath of the social services. Nothing looked like it would work out but God came through. Our family and church prayed so hard and on the 14 November 2008 we got the call we had waited a life time for. Rupi came home that night.

November turned from mourning to laughing. November was redeemed. In the beauty of God's impeccable timing I was still 36 years old when Rupi was born. Only just! My birthday is 5 days after his!

The last two years have been the happiest of my life. I cry every time I write about it and think of my little boy. The waiting was agonising but he was worth it. It took me a while to really believe that my son was in my arms. Like a creature that had been kept in the dark, it took me a while to get used to the sunlight. I was slowly reborn as my little boy grew. He is everything we ever hoped and dreamed of. From his sweet smile and tender hugs to the bashing and tantrums, he is all we wanted!


Sweet sweet November. I am so glad that you are here! The month of breakthrough and redemption. The month of His favour! Yay!


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