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29 Gifts - how a month of giving can change your life

29 Day Giving Update

Day 6 Saturday: Pot Plant for Chantel

Day 7 Sunday: Chocolate cake for the car guard

Day 8 Monday: Kid sitting for a friend who needed blood tests

Day 9 Tuesday:Phone call to my Gran who is 92 and gets very lonely

Day 10 Wednesday: Posted a knitted shawl for my sister and a dinosaur tracksuit top for my nephew

Day 11 Thursday: Gave my friend Catherine who takes wonderful photos of my kids some nappy covers that she can use for photoshoots.
Made Nasi Goreng for Yme after his exam which is his favourite, we wanted to celebrate the end of exams for this year and make him feel special. Rachel set the table, Caleb made Jelly and I made the dinner.

Day 12 Friday: Caramel/Fudge for Carle who had been craving it since Wednesday and took Oli his birthday dinosaur that I owed him.

Day 13 Saturday: Had a pudding party – that counts, I love my friends. I helped teach Carlise a great new cast on method that I learnt. She needed some encouragement for a dress she is knitting – brave woman started with such a big project. Her perseverance is paying off.

Day 14 Sunday: Complement and encouragement to a friend who is so talented and his work takes my breath away. I hope he finds his way back to that passion to capture beautiful moments again.

Day 15 Monday: Posted some bath tea and a note to a friend

It is not the size of the gift and so often it is stuff we do in everyday life anyway, we all give all the time. It is just about being open to doing these things with a giving heart and because we want to make others happy rather than wanting anything back. Sometime it is the things we would do everyday but might feel a bit begrudging. So read a story to your kid but thinking how much you love them and giving them you gift of time and making extra effort with the voices and sound effects rather than just trying to get to the end of an evening routine as is sometimes the case.

Anyone else thinking of trying the challenge?
There is the website I forgot to add the link last time 29 Day Giving Challenge

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Pavlova and Apple Pie

Pudding Party

I love pudding!
Are you like me and get to the end of a meal at a great restaurant and feel really sad if you don’t have room for pudding? I know there is a separate pudding stomach but sometimes one can not give the pudding the due attention it deserves as the full food stomach is limiting the experience.

To honor all things sweet and the fact that Yme’s exams are over we had a pudding party on Saturday. It was just the sort of party I like. It had a rough starting time but the idea was for people to feel free to pop in and out through the afternoon and evening. This is just what happened. People started arriving at 2pm and the last of a wonderful friends left on Sunday evening 😉 4 of us were knitters and even had a little knit session late afternoon and a chat about yarn and patterns and stuff.

I had a wonderful time, The Geek did make some boy pudding (braai) but all in all we ate a lot of awesome pudding.

Tiramisu, Pavlova, Caramel Banana Tart, Malva Pudding, Pink Fridge Tart ( Caleb’s favourite by far!) Apple pie, Custard, Ice cream, Chocolate marshmallow cakes, Purple Cup Cakes and Muffins. I did have some chips out and Crudite for those that needed a break from the sweetness. Rachel tucked into the raw veggie snacks with great gusto. My odd little girl, she did eat some pudding but seems to get full up of sweet stuff quite quickly, unlike her mom.

Here are a few pictures from my phone, sorry not very good but still

Caleb's favourite

Caramel and Ginger biscuit pudding

Pavlova and Apple Pie

Malva pudding and choclolate cakes

pudding party

Thank you to Andre, Carle, Norah, Shane, Carlise, Yvette, Annatjie, Anne, Chantel and Michelle.

And a huge Thanks to my Geek. Our dishwasher broke last week and he did a lot of dish washing before, during and after the party. He rocks!

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Titus 4 months

Feeling better

I really am feeling a lot better than when I wrote that last blog post. I did a few things to make things easier and have been more organised. I also have great friends who have made all the difference, especially Catherine who knows how it feels and we have a good moan. I have been examining the things that made me feel less in control and have been working on each one at a time. The school room is being organised within an inch of its life. I have made a whole bunch of stuff and have been getting great ideas from Pinterest for things to do. I will blog about it on the kids blog soon. I even got a laminator and a glue gun which made me very happy.

Even though I often felt like staying at home getting out and seeing people helps too. I met up with Shelly and Suzanne and that is always lovely. I also take the kids to pottery on a farm in Philadelphia and have made good friends with Carle of Nurturing Fibres we knit and chat and it is lovely. The kids get on so well and ask all week when it is time to go to pottery.

I have also been busy organising hats for the cancer kids hat challenge it is good to focus on others and doing things to help, makes me feel a lot less sorry for myself.

If you want to see pictures of Little Man Titus and how he has grown and is in fact not such a little man at all then pop over to Catherine’s Flickr and see his 4 months pictures. We are doing photos every month for a year so we can do a picture a month project. One sneak peak to show how cute he is

Titus 4 months

And then I have finally put up the pictures of Caleb’s lego party on the kids blog here

(something gives me the idea I have too many blogs, but they seem to serve a purpose having stuff in different place or do you think I should just have the kids and the knitting and all on here?)

I have also been reading an interesting book on Money and how much of it is linked to how we think and feel about ourselves and what we attract into our lives. I was sharing a bit about it with Shelly and Suzanne but it has challenged me to change some of my more negative thoughts and think about what I really want to attract into my life.

Well it is bedtime. Thanks for all the support as always. I need to blog more. I got out of the habit with all the new baby stuff but I need this so hope I can get into the swig of it again.

Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Oh boy does this meme showcase how much of a Non Completer Finisher I am. This link to the Belbin Team Roles chart will tell you what a completer finisher is if the name was not enough to give it away.

But Day 30 needs to be done so I can stop avoiding my blog and get on with other news

So a letter to myself. Sounded easy but I just deleted most of what I just wrote, I can not write this whole thing to myself and try as I might I kept just writing to you all about how I feel about me and where I am now. So sorry I am changing this. I am writing to you, to anyone who reads Pinky.

What I have learnt

Life is never ever going to be perfect but this has got to be close. Sure we could do with more money and less stress and more time etc etc but driving along the coastal road today watching the kite surfers and the beautiful Blaauberg conservation area, I was thinking how lucky I am that my normal driving around everyday is what people pay heaps of money to come and see on holiday.

I have realized looking back over the last year that it was a tough one, shew wee, but somehow I made it through and the other side is not a place. Worries do not disappear and everything is not just as you wanted, no it is real life, just as it was before. There are financial worries, parenting guilt, daily annoyances, in general normal life. But this place of comfort and happiness for lack of a better word is people. Those that surround us

Life continues to be what it was, the sun rises and sets and we are gifted 24 hours as always, but having been through a journey of discovery are and learning to be true to myself has lead to the most amazing people in my life. People who love me and who I love – now that is the place one wants to be. You soon see who the real supports are and who is willing to walk and stay even when they might not agree or when the going gets tough, These are the people the ones that make this place a good one to be in.

Yme is what I convinced myself did not exist in a man and that a relationship could never possibly feel this supportive or like a team effort. We fight, we are stubborn but above all what shines through is that we love each other and want to make this work. I am lucky to have him, I hope I never forget how special he is.

With this wonderful man came a family, I have the best ‘Almost-in-laws’ in the world. His family is amazing. They are kind welcoming and have just opened their arms to me and the Pinklets. They did not have to accept a strange pink haired woman with kids, but they did. And more than that, they did not just accept us they made us part of the family and really helped to make the transition to the Cape easier. They help to provide the family structure that the Pinklets need. Ouma Annatjie is very very special to them and me.

Andre: my guardian and true friend, you watch my back. I know that you will always be there and be around for me to talk to, with wise words and the perspective that my huge emotions often does not let me see. I would be lost without you. Thank you for all your help with the thousands of things and queries you help me with, but most thanks for just being there. You are another one that I count the Pinklets lucky to have in their life. Stable, strong characters for them to look up to and see admire. And besides I still think you have one of the best views ever!

Barbara: I miss you so much, the kids are 6, Earth Babies is 6, what a roller coaster of years. Thank you for walking them with me. Births, deaths, moves, divorces wow we have been through a lot in 6 years. Thank you for being you, never being afraid to say what you believe but always being willing to walk besides me no matter if it differs from what you think. Thank you for movie nights, Sunshine Cleaners and all the others. When you surprise visited here the other day it was amazing. You looked relaxed and happy. I still think you should come to the west coast 😉

My parents, they just support and love us no matter what and I could not do it without them. They have the Pinklets this week for a holiday and as much as I miss my kids deeply, I love how comfortable they are to fly off with my mom and visit Bumpa, Stanley, Peter, Christina and Kitty. These are the kind of grandparents every kids should have. My dad is not a man of many words but the other day I was moaning about something and he just said “Sally, where you are now and what you have is so much better, focus on that”

There are many more, Sharon who listened to many of my adventures and just shook her head and laughed, Elaine and Liz who have helped with Earth Babies, Scott and Karen for just being awesome friends. Suzanne, Shelly, Ilse and Jane a few of my babynet friends who have really stood by me. The twitter crowd who shares 140 character snippets of your life, and on the surface it is easy to think that these connections are just shallow and lacking but time and time again people show me how much they care. To everyone who reads and comments here, I am not sure you realize just how much it means to me and how much the support helped me through some very tough times.

It is life changing to realize the impact people can have on you. So I end by saying again, the perfect place to be is not a place, it is not circumstances and it is not unending blissful happiness it is knowing that you walk every step of the way with an army next to you of those who love and support you.

Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

My best friend, see this depends who it is as there is distance issues with some of my closest friends. It it was a friend far away I would try to contact someone who could give me info and see what I could do to help, and it is was really bad then I would go. Who needs to be right in an argument more than they need to support their friends in a time of need? This seems like a silly question. If it was a friend close by then of course I would go

Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I really can’t think of anyone that is in my life that I don’t want there. Get divorced and have a tumultuous year and you soon see who your friends are. It leaves little room for anyone but those who want to be there because they really do care. As for people I wish I did not know, I think people come and go in our lives for a reason. We learn things from them even if they are hard lessons so there is no one I wish I had never known.

short and sweet today

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

I have a friend in England who is like a sister to me. There was a stage when I was quite religious and it was something we had in common. Since I moved back here and my life has changed so much I guess we have drifted. It is sad I suppose I almost feel like it is disapproval at my life or that I questioned all that we believed. I know it is partly to do with being so far away but it feels like more.

I know she has been through a really tough year and I think my not believing is maybe hard in the light that she needs to find comfort in her faith and meaning in what is happening. We did email recently and I hope we do not drift apart for good. She was at the birth of my son and is a very very special person to me.

I hope when we get proper internet that I can skype with her and phone and maybe try touch sides again.

Lonely

Now that is not a word that I thought I would be saying once I was in a relationship and happy, but there it is. I am really lonely. In a very different way than before, I am not alone in a relationship sense. I have Yme and we talk and we do stuff and it is good, that part of me that wanted to sharing something with someone is fulfilled but I left a lot of other support behind.

This is going to sound like such a moaning feeling sorry for myself post and it is not intended as such, it is just feelings that I have inside and for me the best thing to do with my feelings is to write them down. I hope by getting them out I will feel a little less like I am going to burst into tears. Yes I know most of it can just be take with a pinch of pregnant hormone salt, but it does not make it feel any less acute.

I am a social person. I do not need large groups or to be the center of a crowd, in fact I can be quite shy until I know people better, but what I do need is a group of close friends around me who I see quite often and develop a close bond with. I like the village idea of raising kids, I think having people come and go regularly in a child’s life is good,

In Pretoria we stayed in a house next door to my parents we saw them everyday, when my mom was not working away from home she would take the kids for a few hours to play with them, read to them and just generally be a cool granny. My dad would help bath them in the evenings and read to them and cuddle them. My domestic was there 3 times a week, giving me chance to get my hair done or go to the post office without the kids in tow all the time, and most importantly a chance to get some work done. I could afford her because my parents did not charge me rent ( yes I was very very luck I know, I would never have made that year without my parents unwaivering support)

Then my awesome friend and business partner Barbara and I saw each other at least twice a week where we would discuss business, life, relationships, kids and just general girl gossip. We are very different but it is sometime really nice to get a different point of view and out kids have been friends since birth. They play so well together they disappear off 2 by 2 the big ones together and the younger ones together and they play so nicely. We used to swap kids a couple of times a week so we each got a chance to get stuff done. We watched chick flicks together, like Sunshine Cleaners and Twighlight that no one else would want to watch. Our kids slept over at each other often and were very comfortable being at each others houses.

Laura would pop in a couple of times a week after work, we did things together on the weekend, even if it was just a picnic in the park so the kids could play and we could get out a bit. Wine afternoons and braai’s in Ansie’s garden with her boys was always fun. Barbara and Laura and their gangs would also be there.

Sharon and her son would drop in and even after they moved to Badplaas we still saw them at least once a month. Coffee and chat with Sharon and catching up on all the comings and goings in peoples lives was fun. It is these sort of social interactions that feed my soul. I love seeing my friends and relaxing and chatting and being there. These woman were there for me through some incredibly tough times and I miss them.

I know it would not be the same if we were there. Yes my family and their support would still be there, but Barbara has moved and Sharon has moved but boy I miss these people.

People have been very kind in CT but the same kind of close support and seeing each other all the time is not here in Cape Town for us yet. I know it will take time for us to meet people and to find friends that we can see often. I guess having my good friend Ghilraen here this week has reminded me how lonely my weeks usually are. It is just me and the kids most days. Ghilraen is in PE but was my sanity in the UK we lived close by and saw each other most days, we also stood with each other through some tough times together. I have cried, laughed, smiled, been heart broken, been happy and seen life and death with these women and I miss them.

I hope in time we find such people here in CT because I don’t do well alone. I am a talker I need to talk and moan and laugh and share, always make the burden of being a parent easier. Being alone all day with 2 small people all day and one beings to loose perspective a bit.

Moan over, shopping to do…

Happy Birthday dear PHG blog

Birthday,balloons I actually missed the day that my blog turned ONE, I was thinking about it for weeks before and then at the time it was just hectic as always and I forgot. I am quite sad that I missed it as this little space in the world has come to mean quite a lot to me. It has helped me through some very dark days and out to the other side where life is a lot better. I know that in the world of blogging me and my blog are but infants but we have loved every minute so far and hope to be having many more birthdays

I have always said I write because I have to, the word bubble up inside me and I need to put them down somewhere, but as helpful as writing alone is, a benefit I never realized would come to mean so much to me, is the amazing people I have met through my blog and the support people have given me. I know there are those that think the support from comments should not be taken too much to heart as people can type any little message and it does not replace genuine care and support, but I might just have been lucky in that so many of the people who comment here have become real life friends who do care about me and mine.

Emotions and life can often feel overwhelming as things happen at strange and unplanned times but blogging gives a place to get it all out and it is like having a safety net of people out there that just gently with their words and kindness carry you through the good and bad times.

To all that have read and commented over the year, thank you, you really mean the world to me. I know there are a few of you that read but do not comment often or at all, please keep coming back and maybe just now and again let me know you are out there with a comment or 2, i do so love comments 😉

I have received criticism about my blog and about my choosing to share my world and emotions with others but no matter what others think I am proud of my little space in the world.

Show your best side

So many of us hate photos of ourselves. I know I do, I find it so difficult to see what other people see in the same photo. We sees the tiny flaws that others may not see and we have a whole range of things that impact the way we view ourselves. Sharon took a really nice photo of me other day and i thought it might be fun to do a blog challenge where you have to blog 5 pictures of yourself that you really like, and say 5 things you like about yourself. Then nominate 5 other bloggers to dig into their photo collection and lets share our better side. It can be so hard to appreciate ourselves but I think it is health to find things we like about ourselves.

the picture Sharon took
pink hair

Yme took this one on the road trip – it was a really happy time
pink hair

My first trip to CT as PHG, Andre took this pic at Cape point
pink hair

Jeanette took this at the Ladies on Lunch on Jhb.
Photobucket

I love this one of the kids and I that Marc took
mothers day

5 things I like about me:
– I am not afraid to be different ( I love my pink hair) but I do things because I want to and they feel right to me rather than just to be different for different sake
– I am very fond on the new boobs and I am proud of the old ones for breast feeding 2 kids
– I have quite nice legs although the thighs and bum have spread a little over the years.
– I like my hands, they are not the strongest or the prettiest but I genuinely like helping people and they make that possible, I will go out of my way for my friends.
– I like my mouth, I love being kissed and I love the words and the power of words that my mouth gives me the chance to say, if I could just get my brain to slow down and be more consciously aware not to interrupt people. I know I do it but I never realize it at the time.

I nominate Sharon, AcidicIce, Angel ,Jeanette, Laura