You Are Not My Mom…..

I saw a tweet yesterday from a Step Mom, who has taken her time and put all her effort into her Step Daughter. “You are not my mom, so stop acting like it…”

That is equivalent to a Step Mom as it is to a vampire having a stake driven through his heart.

Being a step mom is a balancing act, and it always seems like you are teetering more to once side than the other, it is never clean cut in the middle. Either you are the good step parent or you are the bad step parent. You need to know where to draw the line in discipline and in loving, get either wrong and you are the evil step parent or you are faking it or worse you are trying to buy their love.

Your opinion is always on the back burner, because naturally you are not THE parent, but exclude the child from a photo on your desk, then you are wrong because you need to accept the child as YOUR child too.

It has taken me nearly 8 years to figure this out. I have learnt that although I am not my step daughter’s mom, I am LIKE a mom to her. I leave her; I let her do what she needs to do to make this work for her. We forget that these little people we call step children, did not choose this situation. What they really want is their mom and dad in one home. They didn’t sign up for step siblings and half siblings. They didn’t sign up for every second weekend and alternative Christmases or in my case one long holiday and one short. We did that, we signed them up for it; we are forcing them into a nucleus that they just can’t figure out yet.

So step parents, when your step kid turns around and says things so mean to you that you think you might die, stop and try figure out why? Whether that child is 3 or 17, there is something in their soul that is hurting. Is the child missing home, is the child feeling second rated in daddy’s new family base, is the child feeling unloved? The reasons can be simple or complex, but find out why.

Most of all, love the kid, he or she deserves it. Love your step child like you love your own because one day that kid will be all grown up and will understand and they will love you back, because they secretly do anyway, they just don’t admit it because they are scared to hurt mom or dads feelings.

As a step parent what tips do you have to make it easier for the family? OR are you Step child, how was the experience for you?

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She Walks the Walk, but She Ain’t Talking the Talk

Tori is going to be 2 next month,how the hell did that happen?!

Besides the terrible two’s which started at 1, I am battling with the dreaded DUMMY, I have no idea how to get rid of the damn thing! She is so attached to her “myne”, that it just feels downright cruel to force her to give it up.

So besides the general irritation of seeing my child with a handle attached to her face, I am worried about her speech. Maybe I am being paranoid; she does say some things and does listen and follow basic instructions. I am almost certain, well actually 100% positive her lack of speech is contributed to the DUMMY.

She doesn’t have it at school, at all, but the moment her bum sits the car seat, she screams, cries, tantrums for her “Myne” and after a long day at work, I do not have the strength or energy to fight with her or deal with her tantrums over a freaking dummy. But I also have noticed that her speech is (as you have seen by “Myne”) is Dual, she is in an Afrikaans school.

So could her lack of speech be from learning 2 languages or the DUMMY or both? What did you do to get rid of the DUMMY and how long did it take for your little one to adjust to not having a DUMMY?

Yours sincerely,
Desperate mama

Waiting for Tori …part 2

I was the newly elected chairperson for the Union and I was summoned to be part of the mid Term review.  I thought this was awesome, I was being whisked away to a lodge in the Free State for 3 days, I would get to see the inner workings of the Department , have my opinion valued and heard, and just all round work on my career.

When packing for the trip, I packed like any woman who was ending her cycle, extra everything including the painkillers! After all I was due on the 28th and I left on the 26th!

The trip was tough and tiring, I could barely keep my eyes open and they just didn’t feed us enough, or so I thought. It was only on the last day that I had a light bulb moment. It was freezing cold and I was dying of the heat, I could walk, stand, or do anything without feeling like I was going to pass out. Yet I still just pinned it to be exhausted.

By the time I got home, I was officially late. Philip and I bounced the idea around of doing a test, but neither of us courageous enough to actually act on it. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Still nothing!

I remember making the call on Saturday, the 30th of October 2010 to be precise, to my bestie. I told her I need to go to a lab and have bloods taken, she was there in a flash.

While in the lab (I don’t trust peesticks) I was so afraid. I was afraid of a negative and even more afraid of a positive. I COULD NOT LOOSE ANOTHER BABY!  While anxiously waiting for my results, bestie and I meandered, had lunch and did the girly thing. Neither of us was focused on anything. She would say let’s call, I would say let’s wait, I would say let’s call se would say let’s wait.  Then my phone rang, in the middle of a parking lot. “Hi, Mrs. Nichols?, this is the Sister from Ampath” I swear I stopped breathing, Alet stopped breathing, the world stopped turning….” Your blood tests are back and your betas are high, congrats you are between 4-5 weeks pregnant” ……breath out, heart pounding, Alet jumping up and down. I was afraid.

With every positive, I always tried to call Philip first, Philip NEVER answers his phone. He was warned the morning he left.  I called him and it rang once. “Babe, its positive” There was no excitement in his voice, when he uttered the words “that’s fantastic” there was fever, pure unadultered fear.

We kept my pregnancy were quite, until 12 weeks, when I ended up in hospital, having an asthma attack and they put me in the maternity ward. Besides I was 12 weeks it was safe to tell everyone, I made the first trimester!.

While I was in hospital, I had many scans, so that the Doctor could monitor the baby with all my meds, well that’s what she told me. They did the bloods and also checked for the Trisomy’s. It was routine according to the nursing staff. I was discharged on the 24th December 2010 and was told they will call me if there is something abnormal with the results.

Weeks went by, and eventually, we adopted, no news is good news……then I got the call. It was my doctor, “ I need to see you now”.

Philip and I rushed to her room expecting the worst, and the worst we got. The Baby’s nuchal fold was too thick and the test results came back positive for Trisomy 18. The devil of all the Trisomy’s.

I was booked for an Amnio on the 22nd January 2011.

I have never prayed so hard in my life, I have never had so many people pull around me, I have never heard so many prayers, I have never cried so hard in my life when I was told I will need to decided very quickly whether I am planning to medically abort or keep. The FSH results were due in 3 weeks and I would be 19 weeks when I got them.

It didn’t take much, when we had the amnio, our baby was moving (she actually has a scar where the needle nicked the bridge of her nose) the baby was ours and it didn’t matter how long we would have her for, what she would be, but we knew she was ours, from God and we want Him to take her when He felt it was time.

It was the longest, most agonizing 3 weeks of our lives.

I got the call at work, and I could hear in my Doctors voice, “ its Negative Tracey, all negative and its definitely a GIRL” My colleagues, erupted with excitement, I didn’t realize they heard it, the celebration was the one I missed on the 11th June2010 Prayer groups erupted, and I sobbed on the phone with my nearest and dearest.

Even though we got a 99.9% clear, 9 months later in the theater waiting for Tori to arrive, Philip and I held our breathes, until the moment on the 24th June 2011 at 3h21 when we heard her screech in anger and announce her vicTORIous  arrival.Image

I have been blessed everyday since then.

11 June

I think for me 11 June will always suck! For many South Africans, they will feel nostalgic about the Soccer World Cup.

So today, 2 years on, I think of my would’ve, could’ve and should’ve baby. I will dream about who you would have been, and how wonderful life would have been with you. Mommy loves you, always did and always will.

That is all.

Golden Oldies

Some days I feel 29 going on 89 and other days I sit back and think, OMG I am THREE OH, next year!

Like I told my brother on my birthday, we are all kind of screwed when the youngest is in their 30’s. This in turn made him grumpy- old fart!

Maybe its just me, but it has taken FOREVER for the reality, that I am actually an adult, to dawn on me. Is it because I am the youngest? Or is it because my family has had a hard time letting go of me?

Recently, I have noticed a trend of everything retro, we are living in a very nostalgic time and everyone seems to be trying to either hold on to their youth, relive their youth or see their childhood in their children. Now to me retro is the 60’s, flower power, Cycladic and all that groovy jazz, but I have noticed that the retro trend is actually the 80’s and the crappy fashion and dodgy hairdos!

There is nothing like watching Smurfs in 3D with your kid and explaining the history of where these little blue fellas originated from, because, you used to watch it! Or watching reruns of MacGyver on TV and remembering CLEARLY how fantastic he was….trust me it’s pretty disappointing now that I have an HD TV.

Or how about Nintendo and Donkey Kong and the Mario bros? Or better yet neon colour tights and mesh gloves? High tops and of the shoulder sweats? MICKEY MOUSE t-shirts…for adults!
It is these things that are making me say, back in my day or when I was little, and it is this that is making me feel so damn old and grown up!

About time, no? NO!

P.S Its just a pity that the retro doesn’t extend to playing cricket matches in the street until the street lights came on, or jumping on your bmx and cruising around the neighbourhood all day long.

Josh

Dear Josh

Gosh, its 4 days away from your 8th birthday. 8 years old! To be honest, that just blows my mind!

I am so proud of the boy you have become, you are doing exceptionally well at school (not that I ever doubt your abilities) and you have been faced with some really hectic situations. I am trying to raise you to be proud of who you are, and like you so proudly announced the other day “It’s not what you are on the outside, it’s who you are on the inside that counts” Such a big statement for a little man.

You are super intelligent, but you still need to figure that out for yourself. And when you do, there will be no stopping your curiosity. You are kind, and very tentative to those around you. Qualities I hope you will keep.

Tori thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread, you honestly rock your sister’s world. When you are around everything else pales in comparison. And you are such an awesome big brother! I know that you will always look after your sisters and I know that the 3 of you will always be there for each other, no matter what! Because that is how your dad and I are raising you.
Son, you are definitely one of the best things in my life. I am so privileged to be your mom and when I look at you, I know that I must have done something very right to be granted the blessing that is you!

So as we get closer to your birthday, and as I reminisce about the day the changed my life. I will be thanking God a little more than usual for you.
Always remember, no matter what anyone says, you are awesome. You are amazing. You are kind and you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.

I love you like a circle, my son. I love to the moon, the stars, all the galaxies and back, I love you like bees love pollen. I love you always and always and always

Mom.

Things I love…….

I am stuck in a blogging rut, I always want to be deep and meaningful and thats just so tedious. So I am doing a list of things I LOVE (besides my kids)

1. The colour pink
2. Caramelo bears
3. Disney channel – I love Disney movies and will watch this channel under the pretense that I was too lazy to change it after the kids left
4. My NEW pocket coil bed – this is mine, no other woman has slept in it but me (long story)
5. Pretty woman, Notting Hill, Titanic and August Rush
6. Reading…I just dont have the time at the moment.
7. Scrap booking …see above
8. Photos – I would love to do a photgraphy course, but that will come in time
9. Pickled onion and peanut butter sandwiches – together – its like an explosion of fantastic in your mouth
10.Long hot baths…ones where NO-ONE comes looking for me….throw in a book and I am in heaven!
11. Stationary-I can stroll in a stationary store for hours!
12. Hardware stores – Builders Warehouse holds my interest more than truworths or any other store does ( besides a stationary store).
13. Grave yards – there is a certain peace in a grave yard. I love strolling through it reading all the head stones, it makes you reflect a bit.
14. The British Monarchy – I am boarderline obsessed with the royal family
15. Sally William Macadamia nougat – my nearest and dearest know that, that is my favourite and I will chew your arm off for it, I am also hesitant to share it with you, I do to be polite, but inside i die a bit.

What are your favourites?

Lovies

ME

Sickie Poos

Sorry for the silence ( becoming a bitof a habit)

I have been working on Waiting For Tori blog, but it gets a bit heavy so, i have taken a break from it> my last blog post is still sitting in my heart, I think mainly, because its the first time i have actually put it down in writting.

Miscarriage is hectic, and one cannot realate unless you have experienced it yourself. Its a very private loss, that only you and your partner can mourn.

Anyway, I had a week for hell, starting last wee Tuesday evening, when Tori would not settle or sleep! Besides being exhausted on wednesday, I was also a bit stressed. Joshua had strated being a bit fluish on Sunday, but with him being onlder and me having more experience with his body, I am usually able to “fix” him with the standard allergex, cough mixture and nose spray but he also just didnt seem to be able to shake it.

So Wednesday morning I bundled both into the car, Tori looking worse for wear and Josh pretty perky, and made my way to the GP. By the time i had gotten there ( 2minutes literally) the roles had swapped, Tori all perky and Josh barely able to stand.

In the waiting room Joshua started screaming in pain, I was pretty fraxzled and the doctor took us through immediately. With every little prod and poke on my poor child’s belly he would let out an agonising groan. I was given a free pass,do not stop and collect ticket to the hospital. To say I was freaking out is an under statement.

I managed to get Tori collected, Philip to leave work ( he was in Roodeport for the day)and I hightailed it to the hospital with my child bundled in the back seat. I did the whole hazards and get the hell out of the way thing.

At the hospital he was seen by the general surgeon and admitted for the night, he had to endure, blood tests, cathaters and having a drip inserted 3 times! He was still in terrible pain and the fact they couldnt get a cathater in was worring the nursing staff, the surgeon and just plain freaking Philip and I out. The nurses took mercy and letthe child be and we prayed for hime to wee.

and wee he did, then miraclously his pain, was gone! So the surgoen ruled oyut appendix and went start for a referral to a urologist.

Again the uroglogist was worried about the fact we couldnt get a cathater in and sheculed the poor child for a scope! which he handled like a champ – even though he thinks he swallowed the camera! after all that nothing was found, it turns out he had a bladder infection.

Amongst all of this I had a 5 month old with terrible flu and Philip and I were running on the bare minimum sleep. And by Sunday to say we were pooped is sugar coating it.

Besides all of this, and regardless of the fact, that my kid was prodded and poked in what seems very unnecesary procedures. I would do it again. There was no way of telling what was going on in his body and I am just utterly grateful that I am one of the fortunate ones that can afford a decent medical aid and that my child can get the best medical care out there.

My bunnies are now, thankfully, back to normal and my household has resumed normal functions.

That was my week of last, how was yours?

Cheers, adios, bye or whatever the appropriates sign off is…….

ME.

Waiting for Tori – Part 1

I love to read other people’s birth stories; it always stirs up the emotions of having Tori and Josh. The experience I had with each of my children is vastly different from each other, but the one thing that remains the constant is the emotion.

I can’t go into much detail with Joshua’s birth, I really don’t have much recollection of it, I just remember being over whelmed with loneliness and excitement all at once. Because, that how it was, I was “alone” and I was excited. I get sad looking back at it, but it’s because of him that I am where I am, he was the force pushing me from behind to do better, I hope I have done him well.

Tori on the other hand, that’s still fresh in my mind. This kid, she is my softest spot ever. I look at her in amazement, and still go “wow” you are here and you are my baby!

So here is my Tori Story (hehehehe):

Falling pregnant with Josh was easy, and that’s only because I wasn’t trying. After Josh however, I was adamant that my next baby would be born in wedlock! Simple really, get married, have babies, live happy ever after.

Well not quite, after struggling for almost 2 years, Philip and I realized something was wrong and we needed help! After many consultations, timed cycles, test, ops to remove endometriosis, medication that turned me into an evil dragon, my husband being forced to do things in a lab no man should have to, a near divorce and just plain old depression and a diagnosis of secondary infertility, I threw in the towel.
I resigned myself to the fact I will always only have one child and that that should be good enough. I counted myself lucky, because on my journey to conceive I had met many women, who have tried harder and longer, cried more and hurt more and STILL had nothing out of the deal. YES I was Lucky!

Then in Feb 2010, I just didn’t feel right, I was sick and lethargic and just plain blergh. I drag myself to the doc and it was discovered I was pregnant. I did not expect it; it was the last thing on my mind! I rushed and told every single Tom, Dick and Harry that cared to listen. But alas it was not meant to be and I lost the baby. It was tough but I could deal with it, for some reason, it just didn’t sit right with me anyways. Fate played his hand.

Philip and I decided it would be best to give my mind, body and soul time to recuperate and in April 2010 I told him that I felt ready to “try” again. I wasn’t holding out much hope especially after it took as nearly 3 and a half years to conceive the first one. I had such little faith, that I had even scheduled surgery to fix a hernia for June. Never the less I ended up having to cancel the surgery because low and behold, I had fallen pregnant again. I was over the moon. I consulted my gp and he set up scans every 2nd week to ease my very paranoid mind.

Our first scan was at 5 weeks, and I got to see my beautiful bean, but because it was too early there was no visible heart beat. We went back at 8 weeks to see our bean, and still not heart beat. The radiographer rescheduled for 2 day later.

It’s a day I will never ever forget. 11 June 2010!

There was hype and excitement in the air , all across the country, it was the opening of the Fifa Soccer World Cup. Philip couldn’t make it to the scan because of that (he had a function) and I told him not to be silly, its just one scan out of many.

I remember the look on the radiographers face after she had tried for 15 min to find the heart beat, I knew by then already, she simply looked at me and said find a doctor.

It was the one day when there were no doctors available, they all left early to enjoy the festivities! I literally called 10 and none could help me then, So I drove myself off to the ER and they gave me an injection and told me to go home and wait, the baby will come away on its own.

A piece of me died that day. I choke just typing this.

The next morning I was not functional and my aunt took me back to the ER and I was admitted. The doctor did a scan and my baby died at 7 weeks 3days. I was given more medication, put in a drip and I waited for the contractions. The nurses kept the pethidine following so my body was numb, but it didn’t stop my heart from breaking with every ache.

I remember waking up and my dad was next to my bed holding my hand, I was sobbing in my sleep. He held me so tight, as if he was trying to absorb the pain. I woke up again and my husband was sobbing next to my bed, he has no idea I saw that, I woke up again and my bestest best was there stroking my hair giving me love. I woke up again and I wished I hadn’t . Through all this my husband stayed next to me, he saw things that no man should have to and put his own pain aside to keep me going.

The Monday morning, the doctor realized I was not losing the baby and that I would need a D&C, I was wheeled into theatre and in a few minutes my baby was gone from me forever. I wish that this option was chosen first, it was easier to deal with.

I was scarred and I still am, I think about my angel and I wonder what he/ she would have been like?

It took me a while to get myself into a functioning person. I sought help when I knew I was on a slippery slope of hectic decline and I did my best, I sought medical attention for health issues that could have caused my loss and I rescheduled my hernia op for the 23rd August 2010, because if I fell pregnant again, I wanted no medication to be the cause of my loss.

I was diagnosed with thyroid problems and given pregnancy meds to sort that out and I had my Hiatus Hernia fix. I lost 15kgs, and I was getting back on my feet feeling good about me.

Philip and I decided to give it more time before we tried again………

Life, Set in Motion

I know, I have been a bad blogger!

Things have been so hectic, starting work and getting into a groove at home with Tori and Josh has not been easy. I have had a melt down or two on the way, but I think it is safe to say, I have found my new rhythm and I am now learning to dance to the beat of my own drum.

Lots has happened and there is lots I want to talk about , I have a constant stream of things in my head that I know I just need to get out there and get my blog on.

I think the biggest (and best) thing that has happened since returning to work, was a little session of self evaluation. You know those “Am I really happy” questions?

In theory, the answer should be yes! From any outside perspective it would look like I had it all! But to me it felt like was a sheep stuck in a hole (help me, I am stuck sheep – chop) I was looking at my life feeling like I had not achieved, or attempted to achieve anything that would add self worth. The hard realization that I HAD actually reached my “glass ceiling” career wise and that was it for me.

It was like having my own aha moment, Oprah style. I promptly got off me backside and enrolled for a course through INTEC ( seeing as I had missed the UNISA enrolment) and I knew if I did not do it now , I would use the excuse of needing to enroll at UNISA and forgetting to do it in March, simply because I would be comfy with “where” I was again.

So within the next few days, I will be getting my material to study for a Public Relations certificate, I have worked out which subjects I will write exams for in June and which will be written In December. THERE IS NO TURNING BACK NOW. The best part is, I enrolled for something that has got absolutely nothing to do with what I do at what, but simply something I have always wanted to do!

This set other things in motion for me, I had a look at my mental to do list, and most of the to do’s have been hanging around for nearly 4 yrs now, much like my studying.

The first thing the irked me was the state of my house, inside, so went and bought some new furniture and yes I know a few couches and dining room suite is not the means to all happiness, it’s a means to me doing what makes me happy. My couches are no longer something my dad gave me; the lounge suite isn’t something my other in law passed on. Its mine! I worked very hard for it, and I look at it as a sign of achievement, of moving forward rather than backward.

I have also got the motivation to add some colour and creativity into my life, by painting over the drab off white (actual ly white but faded with age) enamel walls my Gran painted 20 yrs ago! This has been on my to do list for over 3 yrs now, and as shallow as it sounds, it makes me very very very happy.

This is just the beginning for me; I am adamant that I will teach my children that achievement does not discriminate against age!

For the first time, in a long time, I am excited and I cannot wait for 2012 to roll around!

Till next time ( soon I hope)

Cheers, Chow,Adios or whatever the appropriated sign off is

ME