Wednesday, 29 June 2011

18-year olds can get breast cancer

Two years back we had a big scare. The Teen discovered a big lump in her breast after they had a talk about breast cancer in their group at school.

I immediately made an appointment with the local GP who told us that she suspected it to be a fibroadenoma, but that we could have it checked with sonar. We had the sonar done as well, and they confirmed it! We made another appointment with a gynaecologist, who told us the same thing! Sigh of relief!
We followed it up with a return visit last year to the gynaecologist, and she told us that it was not necessary for us to return...

That made us feels uneasy!

A colleague of mine went through a whole six months of worries about breast cancer where she had a specialist tell her that she could just leave it as is, until it turns into cancer. (Yes, really!) She did her homework, got a second opinion, and had a double mastectomy to clear her of definite breast cancer in the future! If she had listened to the first specialist, she was a definite time bomb for the dreaded C! Now she has been declared cancer free, and she can continue with her life! (I am definitely not using the right terminology, and there is some more of her journey here.)

We saw the same specialist today (Waiting for the doctor). She told us that it was very necessary for us to have a regular check! She has seen 18 year olds with breast cancer! The Teen should have a yearly check and sonar every six months. Fibroadenomas stay fibroadenomas, and they never change into cancer, but the size of it should be monitored. It can also become painful. (We were not told this before today!)

She also sent me for sonar, and I should go for a mammogram six months after I stop breastfeeding.
I was not there for me at the appointment. But Dr Benn asked when last I went. Errrr...

I was reminded that we should listen to the little nagging voice, and when in doubt, always go for the second opinion! Always!
(And there are some scary cowboy doctors out there!)




When last did you do your breast examination?

Wordless Wednesday #82 - waiting for the doctor

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Morning's first photo at day care #22 - Wardrobe tantrum

We had a full-blown wardrobe tantrum this morning. The Toddler has been wearing the dress over her clothes since the previous night, and she did not want to put on a jacket. (See the hand wanting to pull down the zipper...)

I wonder for how long that jacket stayed on at day care?
No shoes also today. She wanted the soft ones!

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Script - the Teen is smitten

The Script in Joburg (twitpic)
The Teen wrote a small review of  attending The Script performance at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg.

An Irish group of friends loved playing their instruments and singing. Never knowing they would become very famous, they started small and went BIG TIME!!

Yep, I’m talking about The Script!

My friends and I had the privilege to go and watch them on the 24th of June, at the Coca-Cola Dome!

It was an awesome evening! First we had a local band perform, The Arrows. They got the crowd hyped up and excited!

Then The Script came to the stage! Ah, the crowds went wild, because they sang their songs that made #1hits on radio stations all other the country!

Danny, the lead singer, walked off the stage into the crowd. The girls went wild, because he started taking phones and cameras and taking pictures of himself with it!

He gave me a kiss on the cheek and gave me his guitar pick!

Gorgeous man!
 

Apparently, we were their biggest crowd to date, with a huge number of 18 300 people! Johannesburg was also the coldest airport they have landed in, but it’s only because we aren’t geared for this cold weather!

The band was so happy and impressed that we knew their songs and could sing with them! They have songs like: For the first time, Nothing, The man who can’t be moved, etc.

It was an amazing evening and I would love to go and see a show of them again!

Cellphone photos by the Teen

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A weekend away: Season's Eco Golf Estate

Season's Eco Golf Estate
It was bitterly cold here, but we had a lovely weekend not too far from home!
The walks in the winter sun, lots and lots of food, red wine and the fireplace helped to keep us warm!
The only "wild" animals we encountered...
But we had some "wild" visitors at the chalet!
The toddler: "Check!" (In English). 
We had to "check" the whole weekend long. A word she most probably picked up at day care.

Also "Jis!", which we think comes from the "Yes's!" that her dad and grandfather screamed during the rugby of the weekend! We are trying to replace it with a proper "Yes"!

Lots of stuff for the toddler to do!
Even a "ride" on Spiderman, although it was not working...(Luckily she is still at the age where she does not mind that the toys are not moving. She gets her thrills from sitting on it!)
The scary staircase, which did not phase the toddler at all!

Of course, the weekend has gone by in a swoosh!
What did you do to keep warm?

Friday, 24 June 2011

A mediocre report

Report card coloured in by the toddler
The Toddler got her middle-of the year report yesterday! Except for receiving very good marks on her relationship with her teachers and fellow class mates, she got very mediocre scores!

She was moved to a bigger class  a couple of months back, and most of the children in her class are older (nearer to 3) than her. (What to do with a strict teacher)

She is two and a half years! I am thinking they are evaluating them on things that is way too early!
I will try to focus on some of the issues, such as balance and colouring in, but I am not going to be too worried now!

Or should I be? Should I already go and try to address these issues?
Maybe I am too complacent because I am an older mom, and tends to think that things will sort itself?

What are your take on a report card for the two year olds?
This morning at day care: Look, Mom, I've got my R5 coin for the sweets today!

Crazy Days of Summer

I am linking up with Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud and her Crazy Days of summer theme. (Yes, I am jealous!) Her theme this week is yellow!
The report card is yellow! Can't you see?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

FlowerPowerMom.com: The Leading Online Resource for Motherhood After 40

I never planned to have another kid after 40, but I think it is true for most moms after 40. Life happens, and sometimes you don't have a choice... 

I know I am just very grateful to have been able to have a kid at a later stage in life! 

Angel la Liberte asked me to put this up on this blog. I am so grateful for all the great sites out there making it much easier for us moms. 
Especially for Moms over 40! Because we rock! 

FlowerPowerMom
Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40, (www.flowerpowermom.com) is the source of a growing “movement” to empower the rising number of women having children after 40. It launched as a blog in 2009, featuring commentary, real mom stories and expert advice on the hardcore realities of midlife motherhood.

In May, 2011, FlowerPowerMom.com launched A CHILD AFTER 40 (ACA40)—the first free, private online community to empower all women on the journey of motherhood after 40—from fertility, pregnancy and birth, to parenting, menopause and ageing. 

The A Child After 40 community now has a dedicated Weekly News Brief and is currently featuring a 2011 Summer Series of free online “Ask Our Experts & Authors” Forums. Experts range from the fields of reproductive endocrinology, clinical child psychology and Traditional Chinese Medicine, while Authors include journalists from some of the top newspapers in the USA and the BBC in Britain.

FlowerPowerMom.com has been widely featured in the media on key issues related to midlife motherhood, including several live broadcasts on CNN and a broad range of radio programs and newspapers across the country since 2009.

FlowerPowerMom.com is the leading resource for the fastest growing population of moms in the USA—midlife moms!
www.flowerpowermom.com.

Winter sun

It was the shortest day on Tuesday in the southern hemisphere, and we are saying that summer is around the corner again. The middle of winter means things have turned around already. Summer is on its way again!

I noticed that the Northern hemisphere announced that it is the start of summer there...   (Wink smile!)
It seems we all are looking forward to summer! But it seems we have definitely more of it!

We have had a lovely few days of winter sun here in Johannesburg, and we have been soaking up the lovely rays! (Go away, Murphy!!)

I am attending a conference for two days! We have not had much of these in recent years. It is so invigorating to hear new voices, and to get some valuable insights in my field of work! I like attending conferences! (Nerd!)

The teen has finished with her mid-year exams. Holidays for them already! When they have holidays, it feels a bit like holidays for us as well! Not having to do the taxiing and a bit less traffic make our lives much easier!

She has found her perfect fairytale dress yesterday. It is way above our budget... (No surprises, actually!) At least the search is over, and I can sigh with relief!

All is well in Toddlerville! Little Miss is better after she was sick last week, and sleeping very well at the moment!

It seems we are happy families...

Time to soak up some of that winter sun!

What do we need more than this?

(Boring is my new black! Sorry readers!)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Two and a half years full of questions

Come and look!
Toad in garden
30 months today!

The toddler is a bag full of questions:
"Wat doen jy?" (What are you doing?)
"Wat is dit?" (What is that?)
And whatever we answer, she repeats it diligently!
She absorbs everything!

This is a wonderful age! I want to freeze-frame the cuteness of her!

Monday, 20 June 2011

I should have said…

I had a bad-taste-in-the mouth experience last week when I took the sick toddler to the doctor on Wednesday last week. Since then I have been thinking of all the things I should have said to the doctor…


My appointment was at 7:45 am, and when I arrived I had to wait. Nothing new there! After half an hour I was still waiting…

The toddler made a nappy and I had to go and change! Should I have left it on (with the accompanying smell), I am sure the doctor would have treated me the same way…

Of course! That same old Murphy enjoys rubbing it in! Not only did the toddler get sick right after I smugly boasted about her health, but the doctor came to call out my name while I was busy changing the nappy.

I ran out in the waiting room when I heard a commotion! The doctor was just turning on her heels, when I called out to her to tell her that I am coming! I saw that she was not impressed!

When I walked into her rooms, she was busy writing, and not once did she look up while she was speaking to me…

She told me to open up the clothes of the toddler. Guess what? The toddler refuses that I take off her jacket, but I did not insist, because it was easy to lift it up.

The toddler also complained bitterly while the doctor was busy with her…

I could sense her frustration! (It was palpable!)

When we sat down at her table again, I had to ask: “Is there an infection?”

“Yes, both ears!”

“The throat is also red!”

“I am going to have to give antibiotics!”

She wrote that prescription in record time, and ushered us out of there!



The toddler also did not want to wave to her! (Thanks, Murphy!)

We were in and out of there in five minutes, and for that she gets over R300. I feel cheated, especially after I had to coax some sort of diagnosis out of her!



I should have said:

I am sorry that I have kept you waiting for two minutes, but I had to change that nappy. I was waiting already for longer than half an hour after my appointment time.

I expect some sort of service and decency from you!

I also expect you to treat the toddler and me with more respect!

I have spent the whole night up with fever and a crying toddler. We are not here because we enjoy being here! We are here because the toddler is sick!

I should have walked out of there, and demanded to see another doctor!

I should have said: “Fuck you!”


One thing I know. I will never go to that doctor again!

Luckily my favourite doctor was on sick leave! Now I know why we love her so much!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

To the great fathers

Thanks for being here for us.

Thanks for listening to our stories.
Thanks for reading stories to us.
Thanks for driving us around.
Thanks for helping out around the house.
Thanks for making food, and bottles, and snacks for us.
Thanks for buying groceries and bringing home an extra special goodie!
Thanks for sitting with us!
Thanks for getting up for us at night!
Thanks for believing in us!
Thanks for thinking we are the most beautiful princesses in the whole wide world!
Thanks for being our Dad!

We are lucky indeed to have you as our father!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Rocket flowers for winter

The Aloe flowers are spectacular this time of the year! We even have some of it in our winter garden.
They don't ask for anything, and we don't have to water them! They are just here every year!


I am grateful for a little bit of colour in our garden!

Hope you have a wonderful colourful weekend!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A strange week

What a strange week this is...

We are in the midst of winter, and it is VERY difficult to get up in the mornings!
Typical early morning shot while driving through the suburbs
The moon did some strange things this week:
Full moon already up at 4pm on Monday
 The full moon was seen very early, in preparation for that lunar eclipse last night. How beautiful was that?
The lunar eclipse moon when it came out last night (the highest light ball over suburbia)



I was boasting in my lactivist post about the toddler not getting sick. (Murphy always listens! I should have known!)
On Tuesday evening she all of a sudden started to complain of earache, and we had a terrible night of fever. I had to take her to the doctor on Wednesday where she got a full course of antibiotics.
Sick toddler
Luckily it was Youth Day here. A public holiday! Nothing that gets a week moving by faster!
The toddler also felt a lot better today!
It felt like Sunday today and we went out for a lazy lunch.
The toddler had her finger stuck into the door just a minute after this photo was taken...


But all was smiles after a bit of Daddy love...

Toy at the restaurant

Hope you had a great Youth Day as well?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The surprised lactivist

Lactivist = lactation + activist


“Breastfeeding is a natural event and should be treated as such. Let's reclaim the life-giving tradition of nursing!” Lactivist

I am as surprised as anybody else that I am still breastfeeding. It works! Very well!

I never considered to breastfeed as long, as I had certain goal posts in mind, such as 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, and it just kept on shifting it further away…


In the meantime I gained more knowledge, such as:

- Breast milk adapts to baby’s and toddler’s needs. It does not diminish in nutritional value; to the contrary!

- Children get more intelligent the longer they breastfeed. (Yes!)

- Breast milk helps with keeping the immunity high!

- It is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding.

- It is possible to breastfeed while pregnant.

- It is possible to tandem breastfeed a baby and a toddler.


The last three facts are fascinating to me, because it is not something that gets told in our Western Society. I know of many mothers who stop breastfeeding to get pregnant again.

I have come to cherish the breastfeeding relationship with my toddler as one of the best things I can do for her. It builds our relationship. It nurtures her into a strong independent human being. She does not have separation anxiety, or extra crutches such as dummies and blankets. (My teen had all the extra gadgets! I had to wean her when she was four months old when she did not want to take the bottle.) The best; she is very healthy! She did not get the flu this winter! (You go away, Murphy!)

With this I also do not want to make anyone feeling guilty. (Please, we have enough of that already!)

I just want it to become a possibility again in our society. It is acceptable and desirable to breast feed your baby and toddler for as long as they need it. We need to give the following generations a new mindset of thinking. Breastfeeding is better, and longer is even better! And it is not something to frown about, but something to aspire to!

By breastfeeding now for as long as possible, I am teaching my teen and my toddler that is a very viable option when they are going to have children. It only takes a generation to change a mindset!

[I am a lactivist! (You go, Powerwoman!) Wink smile]

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The dog does not do winter very well

Our pavement special does not like the winter! I am talking of Petite Peu, our "little bit" of a dog, who turned out to be more than "little" or "bitty". She is also not the "Miniature Doberman Pincher" that we thought we bought...

I have said a  couple of times that we should have thought with a bit more wisdom before we got a dog. (Do we listen! No, not when the dogs look so damn cute when we saw them the first time!)

And in the meantime we got the Miniature Yorkshire Terrier who also turned out to be a dog with problems... I have mentioned that as well before...

This weekend we had a few laughs with regards our pavement dog and her eccentricities. She does not have very long hair, and gets very cold during winter. We have bought her two jackets which she has both chewed to frazzles around her neck. The jackets make her itch because of her hair that gets stuck in the jacket, and she is forever maneuvering herself underneath our feet to get a scratch! She also does not mind when we give her a back-scratch, where before she would have chewed our hands while trying to give her a rub!

The dog also loves sitting in front of the heater, especially the blow heaters. The Teen says she does not even feel the heat because the dog takes up all the space in front of the thing.

She loves sitting on our laps, and now has begun to growl when we move or want to get off. The Teen admits she spends more time contemplating of getting up, or out of bed when the dogs lies with her... She feels sorry for her. We had lots of fun "threatening" to move her. The growling and complaining and her burying her head deeper into the blanket on our laps are very funny!


Who has a heart to get up when we've got eyes like this looking at you?

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The evening WHINE

We don’t see that much of the famous toddler tantrum anymore, but something a bit more nerve-wracking has taken its place. The Whine! It is a refinement on the throw-on-the-floor tantrum!

Especially the evening whine! The worst of the worst kind of psychological manipulation.

“Anything, please tell us what you want! We will give it to you! Just stop the whining! Anything!” (Yes, sometimes we do!)

The Toddler is tired! She knows what she wants!

This! No, this! No matter what! Nothing is quite to her wants or specifications! And when something falls on the floor, it is total whine-mode! (I have even seen her drop the stuff on purpose... What's up with that?) Even if we tell her to just pick it up...

She does not let up!

It does not help when we are as tired as she is...

It is not the screeching tantrum that Lisa at Lady RubyRay is talking about, but it is relentless...

Please send a whole bucket of patience! 
What do you do with the whine?



Related post:
How to survive the terrible tantrum

Jealous of the dog

Another one of those icy cold days where we wish we could have stayed under the covers! In bed!

Just like the dog... Staying at home while we have to go out in the cold!

Life is not fair!

I even feel jealous of the cleaning lady coming in to our house once a week... I’m sure she does not share the same sentiments, because she has to work! And not stay in bed!

I really wish I could let the little one sleep until she wakes up in her own time. Now I have to dress her while she sleeps, and keeps on turning back on her stomach. I have become quite a master magician. I can dress the toddler, and put on her nappy, while she keeps on sleeping on her stomach. I comb her hair while she sleeps, and make the pony tail. Shoes go on backwards as well! I have put it on to the wrong feet before, but most of the times I get it right!

Today is one of those days I wish I had been one of our dogs. Sleeping the whole day!

Hibernating weather is here!

But we have to work! The plight of the working mother.... And I have to drop off a sleeping toddler at day care...

Do you also feel a bit of envy towards the dogs and the cleaning lady? Or SAHM’s?
I envy you today!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Movie Clip Monday #16 - Toddler with Grandfather

The Toddler loves her Grandfather James.

She is very lucky. She also has another grandfather Dries that she is also very fond of. I think it is the greatest gift to children when they have the company of the grandparents!
video

Grandfather James  helps to drive the children around for the day care, and the Toddler gets to see him almost every day of the week. First she used to cry every time he had to go, but she has now become used to saying goodbye when he has to leave her for another round of picking up kids.

She usually walks around the play ground, and goes to the teachers, saying: "Oupa nie hier nie?" (Grandfather not here?) An she gets very excited when she hears he is around!

I think it is great that she gets to see him on a regular basis!

Lending Tasneem's Movie Clip Mondays on MumDrum.

Morning's first photo at day care #21 - Toddler slinky eyes


Skew smile with skew eyes
 Hello Monday! I can manage a smile! For sure! ;-)
I am very interested in the Minnie Mouse doll on my teacher's table... That's why I am giving Mommy a skew smile!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Cuppa Java Friday

Skinny Cappuccino at Woollies
It is winter here (duh!), and all we are talking about is the cold! I have said before that we South Africans are real moaners-deluxe when our weather goes to the freezers. And guess what? Our midday temperature goes up to 19 degrees!


Not something to complain at all, you would say? Proving my point!

I am looking forward to the weekend. It started well already yesterday with a free meal at Woollies Campus Square! They forgot about our lunch-time order last week, and invited us back again this week! They score tops for following up on complaints, and top on their coffee and harvest table! Woollies, you are definitely forgiven!

Hubby figured out how to take care the sheet cycling of our toddler last night. He picked her up while she was fighting him, saying she wants her Mama, and cocooned her into her blankets. That sorted the open sleeping for most of last night!
He came back down the stairs and told me: “Sometimes fathers are also worth something! We can also do good parenting!”
Of course! I have never thought otherwise!
I could not have done it without you! (Thank you! Thank you, Dries!)

Best of all for the end of this week: I am featured as a Mommalicious Mommy Blogger and had to answer a couple of questions! I love checking in to Mommalicious Mammas active page to see what all mommies are up to, and sometimes to ask a question as well.

I could even sent one of my favourite bloggers, Mama Poekie, who blogs at Authentic Parenting, to the website to ask for advice about gynecologists in Cape Town. She is going to come from the Congo for the check-ups and birth!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

What are you up to? What are you drinking?

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Toddler and the Big issue of Death

How do you teach your toddler the concept of Death? Some people tend to shy away from the harshness of it, and even do not take their children to memorials and funerals.


We are very lucky that we did not have to expose the Toddler to the concept of death at all up until now!

But somewhere she has heard about it. I suspect the day care playmates had something to do with it! The same little boys who taught her how to “peu-peu” (shooting sound) with a “gun” (any stick)…

She now regularly tells us that when she sees somebody has been hurt on television, or there is talk of someone getting injured:

“He has died!” (“Hy het doodgegaan” ) – With very serious, but also inquisitive eyes.

And then we have to tell her, “No, he is not dead! He only got hurt!”

I believe that we should not shy away from the word, and that we should also learn our children about it. But in a positive, natural and reassuring manner! I want her to have respect for life, and value all that is living. Even insects! But I don’t want her to be afraid of it, and fear for the safety of her loved ones!

I am waiting for the next dead insect that we see lying around. I hope that will aid me in trying to explain!

How do you tell your little ones about death?