A South African, married to an American, finally adapting to my adopted country. I love life, laughter, good friends and the warmth that my two kids have filled me with. I glory in the colors of my life and am grateful for the gray days as they allow me to appreciate the rainbows.

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Location: New York, United States

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Weeks end

I posted on my guilt trip the latest updates with Ryan. That has set the tone for the week. Been hectic and emotional. The emotional responsibility of parenthood has been a tough one. I feel suffocated by it at times. I have never known the love that I know, these girls have captured me heart and soul, I am so grateful to them for what they have added to my life.

Work has taken off as it is the end of the month, everyone and their mother wants to close by the end of the month especially before the start of the school year. We start school on Wednesday in our district, the kids are excited at the prospect. I am thrilled as Nikki has got the teacher Ryan had for Kindergarten, Ms. Ambrose is like a princess with Long blond hair, big green eyes and the warmest soul you could ever imagine. She is the best introduction one could ever hope to have when entering "big school". I always joke that I am not ready to let go of her and Ryan has not been in her class for 2 years. I still e-mail her and she is just such an integral force in our lives. She started us on our road with Ryan and for that I am forever grateful.

I really did not get to spend much time with the kids this week as I was working until really late every night, not coming home until after 9pm most nights. It has been a great week in terms of that and my biggest client has hooked up with a new client so they will be keeping me busier for the next few months. I look forward to it and am enjoying the activity after a really slow summer. I do have momentary pangs of guilt when the kids are calling me and begging me to come home and shnuggle with them. Nikki has done a complete turnaround and now goes to sleep later, only waking up at 7:30am which is great but I do so miss those 6:30am shnuggles with that little body pressed against mine as she gives me hugs and kisses. So delicious.

The weekend has begun...................... Josh took Ryan for bloodwork at 7am this morning and they went for breakfast so Nikki and I could spend some time together.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Summer dreaming

This summer started out with a huge of list of things to do from going to spend a day in New Jersey with my friend Dawn to cycling around Caumsett State Park. The only thing we knocked off the list was having our deck built. It looks great and the guys who built it are true craftsmen. I threw my shoulder out and pinched a nerve in my neck the first month of the summer so that hampered many of my plans. This Saturday Josh and I loaded up the car with our bikes. We set out for Caumsett State Park, because he is a man - he did not need directions; because I am a woman, I do not carry maps in my car. So needless to say within a while we were hopelessly lost. When we finally did get directions we were so far off course there was no going back. We ended up at a magical place called Center Island, its the high rent district. There are these huge mansions on this Island, Billy Joel has a home there. We parked before we got there and drove past breathtaking scenery, looking at the most magnificent estates. We really had a great time and I can I just say, holy cow we are so friggin' unfit but we had such a great time together. We then went home and started getting into the series Six Feet Under. We checked the first season out of the library.

We then headed off to the movies to watch - loved it. Really a light, entertaining movie, just what we felt like.

The kids had their own bit of magic, my dad took them into Manhattan to see a Broadway show,Chitty Chitty bang Bang, , Nikki has a bit of a speech impediment so she called it Shitty Shitty Bang Bang. They had such a great time and for me it brought up such great memories with my dad. He would take us once a year to the Theater, his three girls would get dressed in their best clothes, with hats, gloves and knee length white socks and he would give my mom the night off as we went to watch the magic on stage. At intermission he would bring us back our own box of black magic chocolates and we would feel so grown up and so special. He still takes his girls out when we are all together but it is nice that he takes my girls out for their special time with Grandpa. I think this trip was marred by Nikki throwing up at Dinner but he is a trooper and has really made his broadway trips an annual event with his granddaughters. How lucky they all are to have that special time together.

Sunday morning we got the girls and for once we did absolutely nothing. Josh and I took turns watching movies with the girls, we each watched two movies, one with each child so they could have quality shnuggle time with each of us. They then did their own thing and J and I had quality shnuggle time of our own as we got into the series Six Feet Under. Looking forward to seeing the next episode.

Last night I took two of my friends from work out for dinner, the one friend has been so instrumental in getting me work and the other just got engaged. Boy I would not want to be 27 again for anything, imagine having to go through all that all over again. Planning her wedding, so much stress for her. It was such a lovely evening, the food was great and they are really great gals. I feel fortunate to own that part of my life that is wholly mine, not linked to my family or anyone else. How long it took me to reach this place in life and how happy and grateful I am to be here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Take another bow

Thursday Night Ry was in the Genie chorus at her camp play of Alladin. I have to say they did an amazing job - the production was fabulous. I think both sets of of grandparents got more of a kick out of Nikki singing her rendition of a whole new world at the top of her lungs whenever the cast sang it. She got skeefed (the evil eye) from many around us but she did not care as she belted out her tunes. I felt bad for those around us but the grandparents did nothing short of wrestling me to the ground when I tried to get her to stop ...... they are so wrapped around that teeny little finger.

I actually made Ry's costume after being told the friday before that she needed one and I have to say she looked beautiful up there - she had such a great time and did a great job, it was a lot of hard work and she gave up a lot at camp to be a part of it. I was really proud of her, we all were.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mamma Yama

On Tuesday Night I went out with the "gals", I have been fortunate to meet a great group of woman through the friends Nikki has made at her pre-K school. These kids have an incredible bond that I hope we as parents manage to foster for them to have as they go through life. There is nothing like a friend you have had forever.

We went to a really great place called Bistro Citron ( ), we had such a divine time, I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. They are an ecclectic group of woman who leave their ego's at the door. They range from high powered executives, creative geniuses (know you are gonna love that one Loren) to stay at home moms. They are smart woman with a vested interest in their kids and it shows, a great bunch of kids who are a representation of parents who have brought them up. The heading for my post came from one of the mom's who is a stay at home mom whose kids did not go to camp over the summer, she created Mamma Yama's day camp, where the kids made a suggestion box and filled it with ideas of what they want to do over the summer.

Last night I got my Mah Jongg fix. We have really managed to form a lovely group, my friend Lisa and I were fortunate enough to do the course with two lovely ladies, we really have a great time and we make up the rules as we go along. None of us really care about winning (just losing) and we let people take back a tile, do redo's, for some reason I kept ending up with three more tiles then I was meant to have and I have to say I have no idea how that happened. We all can laugh about our stupidity and it feels great to be connected to woman I truly enjoy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Stunned, shocked, sad

Stunned really. Not quite sure how to understand it all. Niiki's head counselor died this weekend. A young girl of 21. Gone. Rachel was such a sweetheart, gave 100% everyday. We all loved her and are so sadned by her loss. They are not sure what caused her heart failure all we know is that she died on Saturday, a young girl planning her wedding, enjoying our kids. She sadi this summer was one of the best of her life, I guess thats what makes it so much worse, she should have had so many more summers to enjoy. The camp decided not to tell the kids that she had died but rather that she had to leave. We are all heartbroken. She will be sorely missed. Take the time to hug those you love, tell them how much they mean to you. Everyday is a gift.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!!

This weekend was a scorcher, shew not sure how folks in Vegas or Florida fare with such hellish weaher all I know is that I melt. Friday Night was Shabbas at my folks as usual, yum my mom sure does out do herself every week. The kids slept over. Saturday we picked the kids up and headed to Josh's friends house who has two boys the same age, normally it is an idyllic time when the four of them get together but this time Suzanne's 10 year old nephew was there and 5 is just not a great number.

To top it off, Saturday was the hottest day of the year, Sal and Suzanne moved into a new house that needs major work, I have to say a gorgeous home but they have no airconditioning. We sweated our way through the day, I eventually had to duck out to get an iced coffee because I just could not take the heat anymore.

Josh and Sal have been friends since Kindergarten and it is amazing with Nikki going into the big K that Josh was her age when they became friends. Sal is great guy with a fabulous sense of humour, so despite the heat it was a great day. The BBQ'd up a storm and I must say it was really too hot to even eat much so I could not do it all justice.

We dropped the kids at my folks on Saturday Night and were planning a day of doing nothing but lying in bed and watching video's, I have to say 6 out of the 6 video's were all crappy so we ended up watching the first 45 minutes to an hour of each. Pretty impressive to choose 6 movies that we could not sit through.

Josh is over at my folks house now having a braai - yup eating a real SA meal of steak, eggs and chips - used to be one of my favourites, not calling me right now in this heat that's for sure!!!

Luckily the heat seesm to have broken or it would have been a very long week.

I have to say the one thing that surprised me in New York was how hot the summers got, I expected the cold but never the heat. Its funny living in 4 seasons I have to say I have come to prefer the cold to the heat and actually enjoy having four distinct seasons - hey its a good excuse to shop - need 4 distinct wardrobes, all in black of course :)

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I received an e-mail about a reunion for Habonim Camp to be held in Toronto in September. I started searching their database and acme across one of my camp friends who lives in Canada - I sent her an e-mail. While I was searching I thought I would try find another friend of mine who I had heard moved to Canada, but I did not know her married name. On a whim I typed in her maiden name and it came up as a HR director of a company. It kind of threw me as I knew she was in computers and she did not seem to be the HR type. I then saw the search below and saw that the man she married was the same name as the two who ran the company. So I called up and yes it was just her name she does not work for the company and her brother-in-law gave me her number. She lives about 2 hours away in New Jersey. I had no idea she was even in the States. Funny how the we all lose touch and how nice when we can reconnect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dad Gone Mad

This is one of the blogs that really makes me laugh - particularly this post for some reason really gets me hysterical - he is a riot. Sometimes he takes things too far and grosses me out but for the most part he is really entertaining.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Window of the soul

Look out through my window,
Tell me what you see.
A grey and misty life,
Or the tips of a tree?
Out through the darkness,
Or a world filled with light.
Every person has this window,
brimming in the twilight.
Open up your shutters
Let the sun shine in.
Pull off your bars
Let your life begin.
So many windows,
some mosaics and bold.
Some locked for ever,
Others paved in gold.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The weekend in review

We had a South African BBQ on Saturday, its amazing how much prep work it takes to put an event together that we wanted to keep as authentically South African as possible, right down to the guests :) Friday afternoon we ran around getting the extra braai/BBQ, all the goodies my mom made, a few last minute grocery items and a big cooler which Loren and Jeff were kind enough to lend us. We ended up hanging out with Loren and Jeff for quite sometime, which I felt quite bad about as Loren had just got back in from India earlier that day and I had dinkum thought we would pop in and leave them to have some family time. They are such gracious hosts that we literally stayed so long we ended up eating dinner there. We were having such a great time but were forced to leave as my folks dog sitter locked herself out of their house. We came home, organized until late, quiched out and woke up running the next morning at 7am and did not stop until 7:30pm when the last guests left.

The BBQ started at 1pm and was great, we had such a nice mix of people and I feel so fortunate to finally have so many people I can actually relate to. There were about 25 people all together. The kids all got on fabulously and a great time was had by all. It was great seeing my american friends trying biltong and droe wors (beef jerky) and boerewors (a type of farmer's sausage), sosaties (curried lamb kebabs), marinated steaks, and pap and sous (corn meal with a tomato and onion gravy that Dawn and Daniel made which was unbelievable). It was really great. Desserts consisted of my mom's warm cheesecake, her lemon meringue pie, I made fudge, sweetie pies (a marshmellow filled cookie covered in chocolate, and we bought boxes of south african cookies. I also made a lame attempt at coconut ice. There is really something magical for me about having people in my home, all laid back and having a great time. It really warms my heart and I felt so fortunate to have everyone there.

Amazing Moment
One of the most amazing moments of the day was when I was busy trying to lay everything out and Loren came over to me to let me know that my girls and a few other kids were being mean to Dawn's son Ross and teasing him. I dropped everything went over to the trampoline, called my girls off, made them apologize to Ross and sent them straight to their rooms, they could see how pissed I was. I really would have left them there for the rest of the day. I went back to setting out and organizing, a few minutes later, Ross comes over to me and says "Tammy I feel really bad that Ryan and Nikki are in time out and I would like it if you let them out". I was speechless for a moment and said to him how that was not how we liked to treat guests in our home and that I thought their punishment was really mild. He once again told me how he really wanted them to come out because it made him feel bad. I said to him that if he really wanted them out of time out then I would let them come out. He said yes but asked if I could ask them to stay away from him.

Ross has always had a special place in my heart but that pretty much sealed him in there forever. What a remarkable kid, his parents have done a job and a half with him

Sunday Madness

We got through late Saturday Night, after we finished putting everything away, he kids to bed, etc., Josh and I sat on the swing chatting about our day until late. It was lovely, we went to bed only to have Ryan wake us up at 6am to shnuggle, by 7am we hit the floor running again, we headed down to Josh's dad's house, he lives on the open Bay in a beautiful home. We sat on his boat watching the annual canoe races. It was great. His dad and stepmom are really wonderful people and spend a lot of time playing with the kids and making them feel very special. Time got away from us and we threw the kids into the car and did some low flying back to our home where we started

South African Braai Part Two

We had a second group of friends over for a BBQ/Braai. Another hectic afternoon. It was great seeing everyone but I must say after we sorted everything out later that night we were so exhausted. Next time we have to try keep the madness to one major event a weekend -yeah right. I can't believe the summer is almost over and we have not stopped running. The kids dragged themselves off on to the bus, exhausted. They had a great weekend but boy are we all paying for it today.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The guilt Trip

I have decided to separate the Ryan saga from the rest of my life and the other guilt trips I tend to take. If you wish to follow those trips please check out or just click on the link on my site for the guilt trip. Its a trip mom's all around the world get to take, I sometimes feel like I take it a lot, with a lot of extra baggage.

Restored faith

Its amazing, I have been on quite a quest over the past year with Ry and it has been hard. The hardest part was the doctor who dropped us (Jeffrey Lally) in the middle of treatment because his wife had a baby - ok let me tell you sunshine, I popped two of those puppies out and Josh recovered remarkably well from the labor and the c-sections that invariably followed. His body bounced back and he even lost his man boobs - hello - idiot what kind of crap is that - your wife has a baby and you can't work????? I really felt let down I had felt like we were on a great path and this shmuck just left us high and dry, I then landed at Ms. Weird-o's door and have to say - holy crap, done with that. I spoke to my pediatrician who really does not know much about alternative medicine, he is an amazing man who has suffered incredible personal tragedy, when he accidentally killed his son ( this is the story if you want to read it ), Dr. Greg is a dedicated Doctor who if he is out on a Saturday night and I call in with one of my kids being under the weather, his locum will give me advice, Dr. Greg calls me when he returns from his night out and then calls me on Sunday morning to see if I want to bring which ever child in to see him. He really values Josh and my advice when it comes to Dr's and referrals and uses everyone we approve as we go to such great lengths to research most of the dr's we use, unfortunately this was out of his realm as all he knows are the prescription drugs and I am so not into those. He referred me back to an allergist that I had taken the girls to when they were babies. The allergist, Steven Weiss took 45 minutes to discuss the issues at hand with me, he told me he could not help me but referred me to an array of doctors who could. I was so touched by this man who has not seen me in years, he too is a dedicated doctor of note, a man who came in over a long weekend to see me because I had a violent allergic reaction to Vitamin E (no one else in the world is allergic to vitamin E -only me!!!).

I called his list the people were very kind and helpful, I ended up calling a supposed expert, a Dr. Boris whose assistant answered the phone and informed me that they do not take insurance and the first visit is $750.oo when I questioned the amount she slammed the phone down on me with words along the line of that is his fee, no negotiation, slam. Must be good to be so independent. Was not calling him back after that intro.

I had a great feeling about the natropath I met before (see the weird story on Friday June 10th's post), and decided to call her. It was so wonderful to be embraced by her warmth and optimism. Unfortunately she too does not accept insurance and it has been a helluva year of dealing with alternative doctors which insurance companies do not recognize as legitimate and we end up paying huge sums out of pocket. We worked out for what we paid last year we could have bought a luxury car and paid cash for it. It will be worth it in the end. I already have the easy going Ryan back and that is worth every penny.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The day.............

So the day began with a grumpy Nikki - should have known right there and then to turn around, get in tune with my inner child or reconnect with a fantasy life I have not visited for a while. Instead I got up and embraced the day. Answered my cell, second mistake. We need you to not do the piss easy refinance we had you scheduled to do today but instead need you to do a really complicated purchase for a baseball player who is buying a multimillion dollar home and you will make no money off of it. Why thank you. Oh and by the way the attorney representing the seller has NEVER done this before so you have to hold her hand. Did I say thank you?

Arrive at the closing at 2pm. Wait. Wait. Wait. 2:30pm my cell rings, its the Title Company. The sellers attorney just called the closing has been postponed to 3:30pm. Luckily I live around the corner so pop home, finish cooking for the mammoth party we are having on Saturday, chow on a spot of lunch and a cap literally flies out of my mouth - does the ten second rule apply to something that was actually a part of my mouth and then became airborne?? Should have called in sick or toothless, called the closing a bust and crawled back into bed. Nope went to it like an idiot. The documents had not arrived, the money was not in. The sellers attorney had prepared two deeds, both of them wrong. Pretty impressive to mess up one deed but both, wow that is a very impressive feat. Cut paste, correct the deed. She comes in begging me to not let on to her client that she has no clue as to what is going on or she will lose her job as he is her bosses best friend.

I cover her saggy arse. G-d she is annoying. The bank attorney is luckily someone I can laugh with and we decide the sellers attorney is an ancient old crow with dried up ovaries to find out she is roughly our age and has 9 year old twins, boy that is scary stuff. The bank attorney whispers to me "imagine having sex with that? I hope it was artificial insemination!" I now have to face her and the closing all the while making sure I can sound out intelligible sounding sentences as my missing tooth really makes my tongue catch in the groove.

7pm the closing ends - still no money so I have to head back tomorrow. Rush to the dentist. He has a million questions about the baseball player who is supposedly a big deal, I have never heard of him. Then again what the hell do I know. I have my teeth back in place, the day is over and tomorrow will hopefully yield a much better day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sunday in review

Yesterday turned out to be the perfect end of the weekend, we had a friend watching Ryan for Saturday Night, Nikki slept at my father-in-law and Josh and I were lucky enough to sleep in. We met up with the kids at my folks place at 1:30pm for a day in the sun. Loren's husband, Jeff brought his adorable girls (similar ages to my two) and the four of them played so well together. We then went back to Jeff's home for an unbelievable BBQ/braai and we had such a mellow time. Because Loren is still in India her babysitter was on hand and she watched over the kids while we had such a great chat. It was a very special night and we had to cut it short at 8:30pm, had to get the kids back home or they would never make it up for camp the next day

Monday Madness

Monday did not start off with the serenity that Sunday had left us. I made the decision to change doctors as Ry's current doctor is for want of a better word, whacked. She did a real whacky treatment on Saturday and I was just not prepared to hand my child over to where her treatment is leading us. I am a very cerebral person, if I understand it I can do, it is very hard for me to take a complete leap of faith and just know it is going to be OK. I am very much about searching for all the facts so I can narrow down the information to a point that it makes sense to me, this has not been one of those journeys and it has left me unsettled and unsure, not an easy stance for me to take. I decided to start off in another direction, one that makes more sense for Ryan and for me, one that would not have us living on a commune in Vermont growing organic produce and reducing our consumerism to single digit figures. I want to survive within the world we are living in and make it work for me and my child. I have set up a whole battery of dr's appointments and hope one will send me in the direction I need to be in. Wish me luck.

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