- Life and Times of carolkmail


Junior Goes Camping

For reasons only a mother can understand, I tend to hang on to Junior a little tight (er). You know, my world revolves around him and all those cutesy things that mothers blurt out which end up embarrassing their offspring…? But I can be quite flexible when I want to. Every child gets to hear of camping and camp fires at some point. They watch a movie or hear older kids talking about it and they get curious. Me being me and Junior being Junior, we got into a debate on camping. He watched ‘Mulan’ an animation that has all these heroes and villains and camping and camp fires. That’s when he decided he wanted to build a tent.

Creativity is essential when you enter the parenting realm. I was either going to help make a tent or buy him one. Buying was not going to be done so after racking my brain, and with help of Junior dearest, we set on to build a tent.

Building time is the one time I can get him to concentrate on something that is not school related, without him jumping about and wheezing by in a blur. After 30 minutes of arguing, discussion, compromise plus deciding which items of clothing and furniture in my house were suitable (read disposable) we came up with a pretty good tent look-alike.

Tent is fully enclosed on all sides, with warm blankets inside

So excited is the boy that he has declared that he is going to spend the rest of his nights there. His ‘Sleep Room Tent’, he calls it. If this is what I have to agree to in place of the dangerous outdoor camping trips, then by God I will make it work! And so, Junior will spend his first night in the tent today. He has everything set out. His sleeping clothes, blankets and his water bottle.

This I will indulge him until he tires of it. Which will probably be 2 days tops. It’s the only time I can afford to give anyway, seeing as said tent stands smack in the middle of my living room. No guests expected this weekend, hence we are good for the 2 days.

Junior gets to go camping for the weekend. Mummy gets to be a hero. We live happily ever after. The End.

Setting Rabid Dogs on KPLC – My Broken Fridge

On a good day, I can be very patient. On an even better day, I can shake hands with an annoying person. I have been experiencing better days, which means I have been shaking hands with KPLC even when they get into the disco fever, switching the power on and off at will. I sometimes think there is a very bored individual manning those switches and the only entertainment he gets (it has to be a he) is playing with different switches. My patience ran out yesterday and I am on seeth mode.

See, there is one gadget in my house that I will not let anyone play around with. You can have my laptop, you can have my fancy phone, even my toaster if you want. But never my fridge. You should also know that milk is the main source of nutrition in my house. That means I horde tons of it, both in the fridge and in the freezer. You cannot throw anything in there without hitting a can of milk.

For the past few days, the on-off KPLC games have reached new heights. And in so doing, my fridge has stopped working. I am not an amused woman. I am never pretty when I am not amused. My frozen milk has thawed. I have yelled at all the right people and in the process I have been assured that my refridgerator is fixable, which will be done in a few days.

Until someone explains to me, like a 2 year old, why KPLC seems to have the problems it has with the constant power supply, I’m still very upset. Mostly because I’m worried that the next gadget to blow might be one that will not be easy to fix.

Meanwhile, I have decreed that the occupants of my house temporarily convert to cats. Everyone will have a glass of milk, 3 times a day, every day till the current supply runs out. That is over and above any teas, chocolates, or coffees that they shall be taking, and if you are unfortunate enough to be Junior, your food comes with extra milk instead of soup. No milk shall go to waste.

Too, give the focused, rabid dogs room should you run into them. They are headed to KPLC offices and you do not want to break said focus.

If Mother Was on Twitter

I know what you are thinking…. ‘she’s always looking for ways to invite trouble in’. You are right! What would life be without the excitement of expectation or even acting out scenarios? Two nights ago, as I was taking a break from work, I decided to go through my twitter timeline. Mostly for amusement’s sake but also, because half the time I tend to blurt out things that are not very carefully thought out. Thereafter, I went through my favorites.

Then for one panicky moment, I started imagining what mother would say if she was on twitter and saw my timeline. Better yet, whether she would subliminally tweet (or what we fondly call sub-tweet/submarine-tweet/subaru-tweet) me or send me replies on some of those tweets. I can tell you for sure, for some of them, she would reach out from across the internet cables and wring my neck. Others she’d probably claim I was adopted and she never had time to go through my original family tree to determine the ‘saneness’ of the line.

She’s not one to cringe easily so instead she would probably find the fastest train to my house and cover my ‘nakedness’ so to speak. That would be after giving me several lines of well intended, church appropriate lecture.

But that’s about my timeline. What about HER timeline? Would I even follow her? Assuming that I had a decent timeline so I wasn’t afraid of her following me back? And what would she tweet about? Let’s see… probably about her work. That’s for sure. About that nosey neighbour who is always dropping in for a quick chat when she’s in the middle of preparing for a Women’s Guild meeting that she happens to chair. How kids of these days, including her daughter, have no sense of organisation perhaps? Or about her grandson who cannot speak a word of her mother-tongue, or in this case her grandmother-tongue considering her daughter is a pile of hopeless when it comes to imparting language?

The more I think about it, the more I realise she probably would die of shock on day one of joining twitter, then die again upon coming across my timeline, then spend the rest of her days in seclusion, deep in fast and pray, hoping that Jesus would swoop down and erase the internet as a whole. So today I made a point of thanking the Lord that mother is not on twitter.

O and Just so you know, the day my kid joins twitter is the day I quit social media in totality.

Of New Home, Birthday and Whatnot

“The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt

New Home – www.kenyanmom.com

I know! New home! Me who does not like change! On 20th August 2012 , The Kenyan Mom website went live (cue fireworks and overflowing champagne). There is one thing I like more than I dislike change. Sharing. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in the world. Then there is something I like even more than sharing. Taking heed of wise counsel. Over the course of this year and part of last year, I’ve had friends and family tell me that I need to open up Kenyan Mom for other moms to participate in. I’ve even had one brave soul say to me that I’m not the only Kenyan Mom in Kenya (you don’t want to know which one of their eyes is still a good shade of black). Still, these are people of noble intentions and after day and night of fighting the ‘devil of change resistance’, here we all are. Welcome to Kenyan Mom’s new home! Let’s enjoy the ride together!


I was rudely reminded that today is my birthday by a call in the wee hours of the morning by my best friend. I know I said something, which I don’t remember because I was half asleep. Now I will not call her lest she’s waiting on the other side with a bucket load of whiplash.

Today however I’m celebrating good friends, the readers, good fortune and good health. Let’s face it. Some of us have loved and lost loved ones. In the grand scheme of things, God’s grace alone has allowed us to see today. Celebrate life.

What Not

Ok , not just any ‘What Not’ this time round. Picture if you will. You are walking down a street. You bump into someone who is in a hurry. And I mean the kind of bumping that leaves your shoulder sore for days. After muttering profanity either out loud or under your breath and probably wagging a fist at the now retreating back of the supposed offender for good measure, do you stop to wonder why that happened?

My friend Mark Kaigwa told me the other day, there are no chance meetings. No chance encounters. While God had the good sense not to grant us foresight (I would so get into gambling with such sight!), it does help to make note of these encounters, try and see how they fit in your day, what you are going through or where you are in your life. Not very easy I know but if you think of such encounters, in hindsight, things tend to fall snuggly in place!

Everyone comes to your life because you need them or they need you! Take ‘chance’ encounters seriously. You might learn a thing or three!

Oh, lest I forget, you wanna give writing a shot? Here’s your chance! Send me a story about anything. Go wild. If me and the voices in my head like it, you get published on The Kenyan Mom. Because I truly believe there are awesome writers out there.

Live long. Live happy my friends.

Angels on Twitter

Of all my social media accounts, and I have many, twitter is the most active, the most dramatic one yet. If you want a sample of the different humans there are in the world, go twitter. This platform has also a set of angels that never cease to amaze me.

I came across a tweet through a Retweet by a tweep that I follow regarding itsbrayo. A sudden attack of appendicitis necessitated urgent surgery. Other than the shock of being told you need surgery for a condition that just suddenly happens, there comes the shock of you need to come up with the funds to facilitate the surgery. I cannot imagine what in such a position you would worry about. The surgery going alright or you being able to settle the bill.

Enter the twitters. ItsBrayo went on to post his current dilemma on twitter.



There and then, tweeps went to work, rallying together to assist him. Awesome, no? And you tell me there are no angels among us. 6 hours later, contributions had hit Kshs.46,645. That was according to Marcus Olang’ who has been keeping tabs on the situation.


Like I said, there are angels among us. I have seen great works through twitter. Contributions, prayers, love and light to ItsBrayo.

All Hail Wamathai July!

If you live in Nairobi, then I shall assume you have heard of Wamathai Events. If you don’t, I pray that one of the said events pitches tent in a town near you soon. If you live in Nairobi and you have never heard of Wamathai Events, I’m so sorry. Even dipping you in holy water cannot redeem you.

I have become a regular at these events, though I have a confession to make. I never thought I would be one to enjoy poetry, spoken word, stand up comedy or live music. Till I attended one Wamathai Event. Then I became an addict. Hooked, lined and sinkered! Maybe we should blame the really talented artists that Wamathai manages to attract for my addiction.

It should therefore come as no surprise that when the latest event, Wamathai July was announced, I became all giddy. That was even before I saw the line-up and the hosts! The event was hosted by the one and only Sam Buggz and the self declared Monarch of the twitters, Stella Nasambu aka Queenie aka to the second degree sueteller. I knew this one was going to be spectacular!

The event didn’t disappoint. Right from get go, we were kept tongues-to-floor by works of artists like Moraa Onsando, El Poet, Jemedari, Mwende Ngao, Kenyan Poet, Raya Wambui, Kevin Man Njoro, among others, with music provided by Demspey and the Boys. Because I like you, and I really would like you to come to the next Wamathai event, let me tell you a little about what you missed.

Jemedari is a guy who can rap on just about anything in any language! Ok, English and Kiswahili is what I’ve heard him do. What surprises me (and I’m sure most) is how he can mix these two, keep tabs on lyrics and not end up developing a brain tumor or worse, chewing his tongue out.

Then there is Man Njoro. Seriously, this guy is the kind that owns the mic, draws the audience with varied pitched voice in an all sane poem, and just when you are settling in, he defaults to that Kikuyu-intonate, funny as the pits of hell advice. Someone get me his contact because I really need to take notes on how to make Kshs.3 million in 3 months.

Did I mention Wangare? She manages to grab your attention. She’s all about justice. Out Loud Justice. Which also reminds me of Kenyanpoet, the already published poet, who I refer to as the voice of reason and change. Hers was a poem about the Woman who became a wife, and one about us replacing feelings and emotions with digitalized ‘robots’. Really though, what happened to the days when we thrived and relished face-to-face interaction?

Mwende Ngao. Don’t let her height fool you. This girl can recite! She has piercing eyes that make her recitals that more soulful. I’m not even going to mention that I so like her hair. Her piece was inspired by her friend. Speaking of, hands up if you have a friend who has ever written a poem just for you. Take time to read about this amazing woman here.

No, I will not tell you about all the artists. These should be enough to whet your appetite for the next Wamathai event. Can I let you in on a secret? The Wamathai event gives a chance to all kinds of artists. That’s what makes it colorful. Including new artists like Julie Wangombe. Imagine sharing a stage, as a new artist, with these giants?

There were also ad hoc/surprise performances by artists like Wamathai. What, you never knew it/he was a real person? Ha! He is so real! Flesh and blood too! He did two pieces, one on ‘The Art Of Flirting’ and ‘Lord My Woman is Talking’. Human enough? Mr. Mwirigi performed as well. I know, we all went ‘who knew?!’ The ever so talented Adelle Onyango was part of surprise performances as well!

Did I mention that there was Photography exhibition by Koa? No? Well, there was Photography exhibition by Koa.

See what you missed out on? Make sure you don’t miss out on the next one. When you ask? Second Saturday of September. Don’t say you were never told.

Learning a Foreign Local Language

Last weekend, I attended a party. What?! I still do attend those! So in this party, let’s just say there were quite a number of inter-marriages between the tribes. That’s what I love about Kenya by the way. So long as two people are in love, talk all you want about ethnic backgrounds. They will go ahead and marry. Maybe that is an indication that we are more united than some of our rogue leaders would care to admit.

Anywho, in this party, I managed to hook up with some really awesome people who are not from my tribe. And seeing as I was the only one of my tribe at that particular table, they decided that it was time I got schooled in their tongue. Me, I love challenges. They are the fires that drive me. As I’m sure it is for most of us. So I sat down to get taught. The foreign local language.

There is this old saying. About old dogs and new tricks. I think it applies to new languages as well. Now, now…, I’m not admitting that I’m old, but I am well seasoned. My brain is sort of set in it’s ways. Near rigid even. It takes time to grasp new complex concepts and believe me, the new tongue was beginning to frustrate the life out of me!

I think this lot was also enjoying seeing me frustrated. I assume that was what the giggling and some language rap between sessions was about. I wasn’t quiting though. And I still am not. If only to show this lot that I am teachable. And to prove to myself that I am not thaaaaat old, neither has my brain set. So I’m hunting down the said lot this weekend for another session of brain smash, aka language teachery. I shall ignore their sadistic laughs and ways. I shall learn.

Wish me luck.

London 2012: The Send-Off Dinner For Kenyan Olympic Team

Whatever my child needs me to be, I’m the woman for the job” – One of the global mums

I know! Posh, right? And do our athletes deserve any less? Nope. Nothing less than a black tie send-off dinner, graced by non other than the Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Raila Odinga and other dignitaries. And a bunch of very sharp looking, very proud Kenyans. And me. Yes! Me! You know those events you go to and you totally want to hug each and every Olympian and yell at them, ‘I so know you! I’ve always cheered you on! I was the one yelling at my screen urging you to keep at it and when you crossed the finishing line, I did a cartwheel in my house!’

The Team During trials at Nyayo National Stadium

But like I mentioned, Black Tie. Everyone, including me, was in their best behavior. This was yet another Procter & Gamble sponsored event, which they held in conjunction with the National Olympics Committee of Kenya, to bid farewell to Team Kenya at Safari Park Hotel, last night. The look on those Kenyans was one of ‘we are coming to get you’. You could almost feel their bodies revving to go and do what they do best. Represent this our beloved country. You could almost touch the excitement in the room, with everyone feeling so proud to be sharing a table with these great fellow country-men. And the guest of honor did not water things down. He seemed to know the chronology of notable Olympic events off the top of his head. Without any reference point! With added excitement, he went on to echo what we were all feeling, this is gonna be our year. Forget Seoul where we downed the world by grabbing 8 gold medals, easy. This time, we were not going to give them a break. The selected crème de la crème team is out of this world.

You should know, as I had mentioned in an earlier post that this year’s Olympics is centered around mums, thanks to Procter & Gamble , the proud sponsor of mums. The mums who have seen the great athletes of the world from diapers to where they are. The mums who, while all you lot are cheering and telling them to run even faster, cannot watch due to nervousness paralysis. I tell you, these household products giants have gone and outdone themselves. They are not going to let the world forget who deserves the most praise. Mums! Neither did one of our distinguished guest of honor Mama Ida Odinga! In her speech, she insisted that every athlete in the room stand and hug their mums. There and then! And she wasn’t taking no for an answer, this lady. She’s a mum after all. They (we) never are good at taking no for an answer, especially where children are concerned.

Yep! She went and called the athletes on stage and gave each and everyone of them a hug. And she actually uttered these words! ‘These are our children’ It was heart warming, to say the least. In all, it was a wonderful send-off dinner and I want to applaud Procter & Gamble for their commitment to not only developing high quality household products but really going all out to celebrate our athletes and their mums. And Safari Park Hotel did not disappoint either. The dinner was scrumptious, the entertainment by Safari Cats (who refuse to be photographed or video’d as a rule) was worth the watch.

What do you mean what does Procter & Gamble product-line look like? Here it is.

Yes, all those products that you have lying around in your house or your mummy’s house, are all thanks to the great research and top notch production by Procter & Gamble.

Now, join me in wishing our Olympic representatives all the best, won’t you? Show the world how we hunt for those gazelles around here :)

And because I can never get over this Ariel advert….


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