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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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

5 More Sleeps............

Its hard to believe that after all the planning all the calls, all the advice and ideas, I am 5 more sleeps away from starting my trip to South Africa. While I don't relish the thought of a two-day trip I am looking so forward to seeing the place that in my heart is home. Its always there a soft beat of a drum that beats in time to my heart, slowly calling me back. Back home. I don't have many preconceived ideas as to what it will look like or what I will do in all the places I have booked us into. I do know that it calls me loud and clear, I am going home.

Home to people places and things. We have all changed, its been 8 years since I was last there, heralding the birth of a second child in that time, change of perspective, changes in idea. I imagine I'll slip into my old ways with ease. I am looking forward to seeing it all through the eyes of my kids. I am most excited about seeing old friends, visiting familiar places and showing the kids the part of mommy that they have only seen in pictures. Can't wait to see you all.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Devastated barely scratches the surface of how Nikki feels, she is so sad right now and I want her to feel the sadness to wallow in it, to be able to feel it so she can mourn and move on. She has finished Kindergarden and is just beside herself. She can't bare the thought of leaving her safe haven and moving to First Grade. Not only is she not ready to be a "big" kid but she is also not ready to leave her class and her teacher. Nikki is a little magnet for people and she attracts the most wonderful friends. Theya re loyal to her as she is to them. I think a big part in this process is that she left her pre-K class, which she loved, it was filled with great kids and a warm loving teacher. Once she left she never saw her friends from Pre-K. The biggest loss was her friend Sydney whose mom lost interest in keeping the friendship alive once she moved to Old Brookville, and lives ina beautiful home on over 2acres. She no longer wants her daughter sullied by the likes of us. Its a pity because the kid shad a very special bond but she can't socialize on this side of the tracks anymore. I think for Nikki change means losing all you love and its good but only for a short while. We won't get the class lists until the end of August, a few days before school starts, I can't make her feel better by letting her know who will be there for next years adventure, so for now she will just be sad. And I won't stand in her way, I will just be the one to wipe the tears, hold her tight and let her know that there is one safe port in the emotional storm, right here with me.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Stupid circles...........

I have been meaning to post about this weekend for the longest time. It was really interesting, last Friday Night we went to my friend Mimi's daughter's 2nd birthday. They had around 50 people (including kids). Mimi is a dermatologist and her husband is a Gastro-interologist who specializes in pancreatic cancer and rare disorders. He is the guy other GI's refer their patients too when they can't work out what's potting. They live in a gorgeous house on 4 acres in Old Westbury, a very foo-foo neighbourhood on the other side of the tracks from where I live. We worked out that their electricity bill is the same as our mortgage payment. Headaches like that I don't need but I can appreciate the beauty of all they have achieved and I am happy for them. It is very rare that I feel stupid. I am pretty ok with my mental abilities and while I know there are no nobel prizes in my future I am pretty ok with who I am. Friday night was the exception. I was surrounded by so many unbelievably bright people I felt like I could barely string a sentence together. What do you do for a living I ask the really nice lady standing next to me, after we discussed our kids, our geography, etc. Oh I specialize in liver transplants she replies. The woman next to her does DNA research for Columbia. How about you they say, I want to say I am a housewife because a Title Closer just does not even scratch the surface. They then discuss a new procedure that came onto the market for something I could not understand, not sure if it was a case of baffle the buffoon with bullshit or if they thought I would actually have the slightest idea that they were even speaking nglish. Not high faluting folk, real nice people, I would certainly call them if I needed my DNA sampled or whatever. I scurried back to my corner where my friends, the mechanic, teacher, swimming pool(s) owner were sitting for some talk I could understand. I wiped the drool off my chin and hung out with the laughter brigade.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You Have Low Self Esteem 4% of the Time

Which can be translated to mean, you have high self-esteem and a healthy sense of self worth.
You believe in yourself, and you know how to be the real you. You love yourself, imperfections and all.

You Are 68% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Father's Day

My dad is my hero. No two ways about it. He is a man of his word, good or bad he sticks to whatever he promises. There is no-one in the world I admire more and I feel so lucky to have him be half of the supportive parental unit that has got me to be where I am today. Its funny last year I needed to be reminded by Dawn to acknowledge my husband for Father's Day (these are the posts from last year on my dad and then my Josh post), this year I am in a complete different space. While I am always the first to acknowledge my daddy for all that he has done and continues to do, his generosity of his spirit goes beyond anything I could say, this year I wanted to touch on the father Josh has become.

When we first got together and discussed what I wanted in a relationship I told him that I wanted a child by the time I was 30. He did not want kids, not because he had anything against kids but because he felt that he could not be a great dad. He was not in a place in his life where he liked his parents much and for good reason. He never wanted anyone to feel about him, the way he felt about his folks. I explained to him that he was the one who would determine that. The beauty of kids is what you put into them is what you get out of them. I am such a believer in kids who are brought up with love, learn to love, those that are treated with respect, respect themselves and others. He knew it was not negotiable and kids were so much a part of my future, with or without him. He was not prepared to let me go, I think deep down inside he knew what I knew all along, that he would find his way and create his own path.

Today I marvel at what a great dad he is, how much he loves those girls and gives of himself to them. He works long weeks, leaving the house by 6:30am often returning late at night. No matter how tired he is or how long the week has been, he still shnuggles up with them on the sofa every Saturday Morning from around 6am until I get up. He then drags himself off to bed so he can have an extra hours sleep. He has such patience when it comes to teaching them how to cook or clean. Showing them how to build or fix things. I cook and get it done, he cooks and involves them, he lets them wash the veggies, stir the sauces, make the meatballs, whatever he is making. When they were younger he would put them on the counter, their little feet in the sink, the kids would get soaked as they washed vegetables for a soup or stew. The three of them all decked out in their aprons, having a grand old time.

My daddy is my hero, and to my girls their daddy is theirs!!! Happy Father's day to the two men in my life!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friends for laugh................

The gift of today is not knowing what it holds. What delicious surpise is in store or what everyday occurance we take for granted that makes us exist occurs. The summer heat has set in with a sharp ferocity heralding the warm summer that was predicted a few weeks ago. When I moved to America I expected the cold winters but was somewhat surprised by the brutal summers, they have these hot, humid and hazy days, there is no hope for ones frizzy hair or frazzled mood. The summers are best spent at a beach somewhere sipping Pina Colada's.

It took me a long time to be ok with my decision to live here and I have spent a lot of time regretting my decision to move to New York, it took even longer for me to assimilate with the local and while I am not one of the masses I have certainly found my own enclave of like minded souls who just keep me going and laughing. I need laughter in my day, I need to have people who can laugh at lifes cruel blows while we cry. I need people who don't just scratch at the surface but dive in feet first touching the raw emotions that sets us apart from each other. I feel so grateful to have finally found lifelines, people whom I can ask for help and they readily give it. The gift of grabbing that impromtu cup of coffee, the gift of devouring an entire piece of brie cheese and having pieces of it snorted out because you are laughing so hard. The gifts of everyday in today. Today was one of those days, I got to laugh with my friend Andi who I teased mercilessly, she had sent me an e-mail about the child rape statistics in South Africa, this the day after I had a complete freak out about going to SA with my kids. I teased her mercilessly trying to work out what part of that e-mail was going to make me feel better about my trip to South Africa, we howled with laughter, as two good friends would as we ripped eachother to shreds, laughing all the way. Then there was an online chat with Dawn who keeps me centered with her wisdom, I love her take on life and how easy it is for her to laugh and how there are no barriers we can take a discussion in a million directions, laughing all the way. My doorbell just rang after the school bus left and there was Deb with her delicious daughter Alex, here for an impromptu playdate, she hated my new curtains and is insisting that they be made into shades, we laughed so hard, hence the flying brie. In the midst of the impromptu playdate my friend Mish called from London, we planned my short day trip to Lonndon, en-route to SA, I am so excited to see her its been far too long. A day of laughter and a day of friends, from Johannesburg, London, New Jersey and up the block, let me tell you it does not get better then this. To top it off we are off to celebrate a friends daughter's birthday (the same group from Atlantic City will be there - looking forward to it. Now if I could just stay awake through it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bitchy 8 year olds!

High School musical fans came and played, they had a great time. Ry enjoyed her birthday. I think it really helps that she is oblivious to the bunch of bitches that populate her grade. Unfortunately I am not. One incident that really left a sour taste, we had picture frame mattes for the kids to sign and put messages on. This nasty kid came up to one of the other kids, who happens to be one of her very close friends, and said ever so sweetly "I just wrote the sweetest message for Ryan and signed your name". The other kid went to read whatever the bitchy one wrote, I did not see it but she crosses it out in black marker. Its funny but the bitchy one has always been difficult, Ry and her have been in a playgroup since they were 18months old. She was never crazy about Ry and I think it is so embedded in her that she can't get past it. Its sad because her mom is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, her siblings are popular over achievers and well thought of by all the people I know with kids of the same age. I know part of the issue when they were babies is that bitchy's mom would always say to her, why can't you be as good as Ryan, Ry has always been so incredibly good and kind. Now whenever bitchy's mom see Ryan she always gasps and says how beautiful Ryan is. Her daughter is often within earshot. This kid is mean to a whole array of kids but Ry seems to get right under her skin. Its a relief that Ry is oblivious, she really does not even notice, I guess its the one time that living in your own world pays off big time!!!

The picture cake

Nikki with the apron she created

Ry doing Karoake of High School Musical

Ms. nikki eating her pizza

The birthday Girls


Nikki has the longest tongue and loves to show it to everyone - oy vey!!

Ryan and Julia

Ry in the parachute

Amanda and Julia (Josh's first cousin's kids)

Laura and Ethan (My first cousin through marriage and her son)

Nikki with Ry's friend Courtney

Ry's best friend Serena - they had their party together

My Number 1 High School Musical Fan

Saturday, June 10, 2006


It has been a crazy week, late night closings. I have not slept in weeks, my head keeps racing at 3am and Ijust can't switch it off. Friday Night was nikki's dance recital and Sunday is Ry's birthday party. There has been a lot of stuff to get done and hectic does not even begin to describe the pace. I just had to share a Nikki-ism with you.

After she completed her dance number, Nikki came to sit on my lap and watch the rest of the show. One of the numbers was a soloist, a ballet dancer. Nikki looked at her after seeing so many groups and said to me "Mommy, why is she dancing by herself?" I replied, "She is really good. One day if you practise really hard, listen to your teacher and try your best you can also dance by yourself, we call that a solo. But you need to be really good and work really hard." She sat back and watched the rest of the number. The next group was a really large one, at least 15 kids, "Boy, mom", Nikki says to me "they must be really bad!!" I could not stop laughing. I just don't think she knows how funny she is.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fear factor...........

I have never lived my life in fear. I am a firm believer in changing what you don't like or live with it. That was one of the factors that sent me on my whirlwind adventure when I left South Africa in 1993. June 10th will be my 13th anniversary. 13 years has gone by so quickly yet it seems like a multitude of lifetimes ago. I had a bit of a meltdown a few weeks ago, it was prompted by the visit of my parents friends (my dad's ex-secretary and her hubby), they were telling me delightful stories of the crime in SA and how there are even signs at some intersections warning of hijackings. Can I just say that completely freaked me out. How could I expose my children to that kind of danger. I must say my mind was not exactly laid to rest when I read Melany's blog and she spoke of co-sleeping as a form of security. I have organized a whirlwind tour for my girls so that they can see the best of what SA has to offer (at the worst time of year unfortunately) and I started freaking out because I have to drive far distances between the various points and while I am out of touch with living on the edge of fear my kids are completely removed from it and have no idea it even exists. I started trying to remember how to get to places and once again I just could not. My friends Andi and Dawn came to the rescue, Andi with a whole batch of woman friendly maps (yes I do not have the map reading gene) and Dee with her good old common sense. I am once again excited at the prospect and looking forward to all SA has to offer - I have just had to add a prayer for our safe trip, journey and return. Its so strange looking at the world through the eyes of a parent. Its amazing how scary a place it becomes.

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