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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!

Birthday

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.


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.


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….


Kenyan Moms – Cut From The Same Cloth In A Different Language

It would appear Kenyan Moms are cut from the same cloth. Well, at least mothers of our time. You know, those who have no idea what twitter is all about. In fact, it would appear we might as well have been sibblings as others pointed out. This was evidenced by yesterday’s Trending Topic #KenyanMoms And me, having claimed position the mothering territory, had a few things to learn. Plus I was tickled to the ground!

I think the only difference between the #KenyanMoms was the language they delivered their well curved out remarks/beatings.

Observe:

You can relate, no? I mean, my mother went all out to do the *smack upside the head* and loudly proclaim: ‘Usitumie vikombe za kaulo! Hizo ni za wageni! Wewe ni mgeni?’ Or, asking whether you are waiting for curtains to draw themselves seeing as it’s dark and you have not taken the initiative. You have got to love the Kenyan Moms!

Well, here’s to #KenyanMoms and the drama they put us through. At least I know the near daily whoopass put the fear of God in me and definitely molded me to who I am today.

Head on to that #KenyanMoms tag for your ‘mine said/did that too!’ moment.


Being Birth Partner

‘You will be my Birth Partner.’ She stated. ‘You have got to be joking!’ I retorted. There is one thing you need to know about pregnant women. Especially when they are nine months pregnant. They do not do jokes. For some reason, humor goes clean out of them. They will especially not joke about birthing or anything remotely related. Do you notice the first statement? It is not a question. It is a matter-of-fact allocation of duty. She was not asking me if I would like to be her Birth Partner. She was informing me that I WAS going to be her Birth Partner. You can therefore understand why, when I told her she was joking, she shot me a look that made me melt into my seat. She did not even address me further regarding the issue. She had passed on a duty that she expected to be performed whether I liked it or not. I knew that was one duty I wasn’t going to wiggle out of.

The call to action came on 29th May at about 2pm. Another thing you need to realise is that babies have horrible sense of timing. They choose to ignore diaries and appointments and when they want out they want out now. Not after you mentally/psychologically prepare yourself. Not after the last appointment of the day. No. NOW! The call came from the mummy-to-be as a scream from the other side of my cell, so scary it could wake up the dead. I froze in my tracks, spaced out and I swear I could hear my knees rattling from a distance. You know those things that you never imagine will ever get here? Or that somehow you will be excused from the duty? I had the fleeting thought since the duty was officially allocated to me. The #BirthPartner hashtag is all I could do to dissipate the anxiety that was threatening to overwhelm me.

To commence the colorful afternoon, my mode of transport got delayed. Not just that, traffic decided that, that particular day looked good for handing me attitude. I shall not even begin to tell you the many calls I received from the mother-to-be that the baby had no intention of waiting for me and if I was not going to haul my behind over to the delivery room ‘this instant’, I better send myself to exile, move town, change identity and my skin color because she was going to hunt me down. My feeble excuse of ‘traffic is crazy’ was met with a thundering ‘I don’t care! Teleport yourself here if you have to!’ If I had never gone through the pain of bringing forth offspring, I would have squeezed the life out of her soon as the baby was out of her! But I understood.

Enter the panting, sweating me to the delivery room. She was not joking. The baby was in a hurry and yes, by the time I got to the hospital, she was in full scream. Nobody was happier to see me than the midwife, the doctor and the assisting nurses. I am told she had called her mother’s full names (we all know you never, EVER do that) among other ‘things’ that I shouldn’t worry about and my name was thrown in among some neat cusses. The first thing she said to me when she saw me was ‘What are you smiling about’? I swear I wasn’t smiling! I took my position and assisted in the wailing and yelling and demanding that she pushes the baby out already! At some point, she confidently said that she was not going to push and that we could take her position and push the baby out ourselves if we so please. 40 minutes of drama, yelling and hoarse voices later, my beautiful Godson was born. Beautiful in this case is from a Godmother’s perspective. I watched and willed and cajoled the boy to take his first breath, rubbed his tiny body till he turned from grey to pink and warmth encompassed his whole body. It was magnificent. At that moment, I forgave the mother for hurling insults.

When Junior saw the boy he was so happy he was convinced we were going to take him home and he was going to allow him to play with his toys. ‘In time my son…, in time.’ That dear readers, was the most intense, most rewarding and humbling experience I have ever gone through. ‘But you should know seeing as you’ve gone through it!’ You say. No. When you are in the throes of bringing forth child, you have not a second to appreciate the wonders of nature. You actually hate nature at that moment.

O yeah, in case you are interested, the new daddy sauntered into the delivery room right after the son had been born. And yes he went ahead and thumped his chest with pride. I chose not to kick his teeth in. I was in a good mood.


Taming The Inner Child

We all have these. The Inner Children. Maybe I shouldn’t say taming. It’s more like integrating. Integrating your inner child to the adult you. Depending on events in our childhood, we are either quite tuned in to our inner child or completely out of tune. So out of tune that our inner child may sometimes act up. How? You ask me. I am not an expert, having started learning about my inner child only recently. I can however tell you what I’ve figured out thus far.

The inner child is very powerful, and he/she will not be ignored. How does the inner child get the attention they think they deserve? Ever acted in a way that was completely out of character? Made decisions that you later wonder how you could have made such a decision? Mostly, these acts/decisions are on the negative, believe it or not. Imagine a child. A child who has been calling for attention and is not getting any. Imagine what this child would do. They will tag on you dress, and if that still doesn’t get your attention, they will go ahead and throw a tantrum.

This dear readers, is what our inner child is capable of doing. The times when you find yourself wondering, ‘how could I do that? How could I have said that? What was I thinking?’ You probably were not. Your inner child was calling for attention. Some ways in which, I’m learning, that the inner child calls for attention include:

i) Addictions: - We are fond of looking at some addictions as cute. We only think that the only bad addictions are drugs and alcohol. These are just two of the highly publicized as having negative effects on an individual. There are addictions like caffeine, work, chocolates, sugar, internet, love, persons, e.t.c. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen. These addictions are as deadly as drugs and alcohol. They are by no means cute.

ii) Codependency:- Do you find yourself being the savior of the universe? Offering help even when it’s not solicited? Being the go-to person when anyone is in trouble and they want to talk or want to be bailed out of trouble? Do you find yourself not wanting to talk about your problems because you think none of these people you are ‘saving’, who you even refer to as FRIENDS will understand you? Do you sometimes find yourself resentful of people because they don’t take time to ask you how you are doing, yet you keep asking everyone how they are doing? Do you at times feel extremely drained, yet, you cannot stop till you ‘help’ that one more person? Feel taken advantage of? Can never say no even when you don’t want to do something or help? Like your relationships are always one-sided? Trying to parent the world? You could apparently be suffering from co-dependency, and though it might not look like it, your inner child is calling for attention.

iii) Narcissism:- You tend to think the whole world is wrong and you are right. The world suddenly revolves around you. Everyone and everything lives to gratify your needs. You lack compassion and you have to be in control at all times. This, coupled with passive aggressive behavior, driven to the extreme becomes a problem. We do need to love ourselves and be loved by others. But we also need to realise that there are other people out there. The whole world is not bad or out to get us and we can as well be compassionate.

These are 3 examples of how our inner child calls for our attention. They are of course not the only ones, but do you see child-like behavior in all of them? Why we are not likely to pay attention to our inner child, talk and listen to that inner child is because we are too busy living as the society expects us to, busy building walls around us or just too busy to sit and reflect. To listen to ourselves.

There are many ways in which we can begin to address the inner child, and they are quite deep. Some, believe it or not will require a therapist, who will help you analyse your childhood to determine what effect it had on you and your adult life. Understanding this ‘child’ will be the first step to living a healthy life and forming healthy, constructive relationships.

Again, I’m not an expert and I’m just beginning to understand the powerful effects of childhood and the inner child in how I live my life. Only you can look at yourself and determine if you and your inner child are in perfect harmony by critically examining yourself, your friends and your relationships. Happy hunting.


Mummy And Wasp Face-Off

I’m not necessarily a tree hugger, but I’m a nature lover. If you have followed me long enough, you probably know that during some free time, I can be found at The Arboretum lying on my back, chewing on a blade of grass contemplating the skies. And with my current balcony farming undertaking, I am beginning to get along with insects. To a point that my savage self does not yell murder at the sight of one and deliver a one-way ticket for poor insects to insect heaven with my over-sized foot.

In particular, there are the wasps. You should know that I’m not afraid of wasps. In fact, there is this colony of wasps that we have harmoniously co-existed for quite a while. Not in my house though. At the balcony. They mind their business and I go ahead and offer accommodation at the top corner of my balcony.

That is until the other day. Weekends have become twice as exciting in my house as Junior and I go crop tending at the balcony and he is able to assess how well his crop is doing. Remember I mentioned he has planted a few seeds on some margarine tubs? Yes he is quite excited especially since we are about to harvest those and utilize them in a meal soon. Back to wasps. As usual, after morning chores on a bright Saturday morning, Junior and I go to the balcony to look after plantation. Out of nowhere, this wasp comes zooming down and delivers a sting to Junior’s hand. I have never seen the boy as terrified as he was that day. You have never seen an angry lioness as I was on said day. How dare they attack my offspring? Do they see me flying up their nest to attack their almost offspring (they are eggs at the time)? Of course not! Haven’t I been paying rent on time and ensuring there is a roof over their offspring? Darn right I have! And then they go and do this? I did not care that it was probably one rogue wasp that did the ninja attack. This mama went savage on the whole colony. And this is where things got interesting.

You see, wasps are not exactly the kind of insects you hold a committee with and kindly request them to leave because they have violated some unspoken terms in some contract. No. They never go quietly. Not even with a can of bug spray. So it was an all out war. Face painting and all. I locked junior in the house, after administering some overkill (really, pain killers, antihistamines, vaseline, ointment, dettol) yes, overkill first-aid, picked up a long broomstick (I keep those for various reasons which you probably don’t want to know), covered my face with a large scarf, red, no less, strategically placed myself and yanked the hive off and took off like the devil was after me. Because believe me, he was. All this time, Junior was watching the action through the window in amusement, momentarily forgetting his hand was in pain.

Let me tell you, never expect respect from sub-letting tenants or for them to go away without drama during eviction. The wasps were adamant. They were categorically refusing to be evicted. Did I mention? We had an arrangement, the wasps and I. An unspoken arrangement but an arrangement all the same. I pay rent, provide room and occasional snack from my farm and we respect each other’s boundaries. When it’s time to go, they were to pack up and go. Without causing damage. Well, after hours of running battles with the wasps, I won. I wasn’t going to have it any other way.

I’ve seen one coming to scout the place, probably trying to determine if it is safe to return. Wasps tend to get attached to their ‘homes’ like that. But make no mistake. My home is no longer their home. I am putting my foot down. Pun if necessary.


The Chinese are Turning Red

There is something lovable about the Chinese. Maybe it’s their crying-like accent. Or could be the fact that they can invade a city and in no time exact own nearly every business in town. But mostly I think it’s their tiny bodies. It is near adorable! Seriously, do you think if a chinese person ate and ate and ate would grow fat? Do they even watch what they eat?

One more thing I have forgotten. Their sometimes hands-on approach to doing things is admirable. At least as far as the Super-Highway is concerned. You should know that the road near my house is being expanded. You should also know that the Chinese have caused me grief unknown. First, for the sake of building a bridge (I fail to see what that had to do with trees), they cut down the huge canopy trees near my house, not only exposing my balcony area, meaning that I cannot catch the afternoon sun in my….. er…. well, slippers, privately, but also ensuring every dust particle blown up by their heavy machinery landed in my house, thus increasing my house-cleaning frequency, therefore making me very unhappy. Second, in the process of expanding the road, they moved traffic to near my house. I’m telling you, I could almost see drivers texting or even control traffic right from my kitchen window as I see to breakfast! Worst of all, they have burst my water pipe so many times and having to engage them has almost had us on a first-name basis. I treasure water. Flowing water. So lack of water in my tap causes me great discomfort (that’s me being polite).

That said, we are all familiar with the Thika Road and other adjoining roads transformation. These small bodied, creative people have managed to weave the roads so magnificently that every morning, you need to send a request for new mapping or you will find yourself from your house to the outskirts of the city instead of your workplace. They have been going on quite well, until the heavy rains set upon our earth. Why didn’t anybody warn them that rain around here can drown unwilling fishes? Now, the bridge I mentioned earlier near my house? It is giving the good Chinese men grief. They had barely completed one side of the bridge when the rains fell. Each morning, I see them speaking animatedly amongst themselves and the other road builders. I can only guess what they are saying but I can assure you, their faces are always a sharper shade of red than the day before.

Drivers are not having an easy time either. That bridge floods so badly the drivers taking on that mass of water are quite the scared lot! I don’t even know how they muster the courage to do it! I mean come on, you see a raging river, you don’t see a bridge and you automatically assume there is one, just because you left one there in the morning? One car almost got swept away and a few have stalled right in the middle of crossing!

I’m torn between celebrating the rains while cooling the red-hot Chinese faces and praying the rains subside just a little. Either way, may the roads get done. Besides, it is a road near my house so I get to benefit, no?


Accessing Mother’s Payslip

This morning I get a call from mother and the first thing she asks me is ‘do you have internet?’ No ‘Hi. How are you doing? How is Junior? Has he gained weight?’ Completely out of character for her. I pull the phone from my ear and look at the name on the screen. You know, to be sure it really is mother calling. I quickly get the phone back to my ear and go ‘hello?’ She impatiently repeats, ‘can you access the internet?’ I tell her, ‘not at the moment, no. My net is down due to power problems’. That is one thing that the current rains have brought along with them. Water is definitely no longer a problem but electricity and by extension, thanks to fibre access, the internet, have been intermittent if not entirely unavailable. Back to mother and asking me about the net.

Before you wonder why I’m going all shock-faced about her and internet, you should know that she never took to computers too well. Meaning internet is a completely foreign thing (pun included) as far as I can tell. And the scientific conclusion here becomes mother-computer-internet-meshing…, is equal to or less than zero. You should also know, that my mother works for the government, and hers is what I call the noblest career of all. I mentioned it once when I was asked if I could change jobs what I would get into. She is a nurse. Has been since before I was born. And I am not young. Just a little young. Off track again.

The reason she is asking after internet and probably why she is suddenly feeling impatient and quite possibly out of her element, is because the government has decided they will no longer hand civil servants physical payslips. Anyone requiring a printout of their payslips will have to go to some site to access it. All hail the technological age! Now, neat, physical records have been mother’s pride. So much so that she once announced to her friends and my peers during a tea party that she still holds my nursery school report cards and books. I’m not even going to go there! That’s mother for you. You can now see why she is angry with the government.

Another reason that is equally upsetting dear mum, I’m guessing, is that the said payslips have been a guarded secret ever since, well…, EVER! Not even me, the first born in the family has ever laid eyes on the said documents. Pentagon or even the KGB have nothing on mother and hidden records. This will be a ‘wikileaks’ moment for me! She even went and gave me her password. That must have made her swear and go to church for confession. I imagine. I’m a little giddy but I cannot openly show excitement. The woman is capable of opening a can of whoopass on me so I’m never one to pull unnecessary stunts on her.

I shall now cease with the excitement post lest she one day gets access to my blog and go savage on my behind. Heading off to do the daughterly thing and help mother out with a printout.

Meanwhile, woooohooooo! I finally get to see mother’s payslip! *does a cartwheel*.


Clap-Clap, Procter & Gamble and Things

I’m telling you. If weeks used to come like the last one, I’d be too overwhelmed with good feelings and ‘clap-clap’ moments to get any work done. And I can clap. Ask around. Why I’m I clapping?

They Consider Me Creative

Earlier this week, I discovered that I had been nominated among the lot I consider the creatives of the blogsphere. I’m still in woozieland on that coz, wow! Sometimes you imagine you are just gasing out over the internets and not many people care to listen, then you go and get nominated! I clapped. You know the second thing I did? After the clap that is? I went through my post to see if there were PG rated ones! Good thing there were none. Then I checked whether there were any that were not making much sense. Most were not. So I logged off before the sudden urge to start editing ALL of them reached critical mass.

Cute Words from Nyambura’s Diary

There is this really nice writer who pens Nyambura’s Diary. She made it her mission to embarrass me with cute words. Don’t get me wrong, I do like her on many days. Mostly because she unwittingly teaches me how to write with wit. Plus she takes too much coffee. I imagine she walks around with a coffee flask the way the healthy lot walks around with a water flask. Now she went and decided to beat drums for me on the ‘Creatives’ Nomination and I shall be eternally grateful to her for that wonderful article. Not that I would tell her in her face. Reputation and all… :D But I smile inside. Did I mention I clapped?

That’s about claps. O yes, and thank you readers for keeping my writes company. You are good sports.

Procter and Gamble “Thank You, Mom” Campaign

There is this really awesome video I was requested to review. Once I was done shedding 3 tears, one for each of the times I watched the ad, I had tons of kind words for it. It is the Procter and Gamble “Thank You Mum” campaign commercial that is slotted to run through the London 2012 Olympic Games.

It is a heart-warming, powerful, 2 minute commercial centered around a dedicated Facebook page, where P&G is celebrating the power behind the glory, success and dedication of many an Olympic athlete with the help of their mothers, in the biggest campaign in P&G’s 174-year history. The ad is progressive, i.e it captures different stages of mum and child development, struggles and successes, which renders it quite captivating.

What else….? O yeah. I finally introduced Junior to a barber. For the last 5 and three quarter years, my house doubled up as a barbershop once every 2 months. Yes, I cut hair too. Junior’s mostly. That falls under the heading ‘Things’. That’s it.

It’s a new week. Smile all the way to Sunday. Then pick up the smile again on Monday.


Lessons Courtesy of Balcony Farm

Once in a while, ok, more often than I’d openly admit, I’m always looking for lessons in what I do. Partly because I do too many things at the same time. In other part, because if I don’t look for lessons in what I do, most likely I won’t do much. Remember the balcony garden I started the other day? I am happy to announce that it is thriving. Ha! Take that you lot who thought it was going to be a source of firewood for the neighbourhood!

So anyway, it has not been an easy plant-me journey. Truth be told, I have yanked some plants off because they did not grow as expected. I have consistently talked to others and others almost made me weep. Seen a grown woman almost weep? Cringe factor I tell ya. What lessons could a mere balcony garden have especially for the hard-headed individual like me have? You wonder. So I tell.

Think of A Project And Start

I probably I’m a serial project starter. Fine I shall admit guilt. But let me ask you, if you never start on projects, how will you know which one will work and which one will fail? I once told a friend the only thing I probably won’t take up is ‘Hitman For Hire’. Anything else is possible in my head. You think I am joking? Look at my latest project. Yes, this one you will love. Story of how it became shall be told on here.

Patience to Let Things Grow

Really, could you keep the laughter to yourself? I can hear you giggle! Of course I can be patient! Fine, not so patient. It is not one of my strong points. I have however learnt how to deal with it, instead of denying or pretending that I am a patient man. I am not. But since I still have other things I’m doing, then the watching and waiting becomes bearable. I mean come on… Some of those plants take 45 days to germinate! Can you picture that? Watering a blob of soil for 44 (give or take a few days) without seeing anything growing? At some point you look around to see whether anyone is watching and wondering why a grown woman is watering soil in a can!

Strength to Admit When Things Are Not Working

Gimme a second here *breaks into silent sobs*. Let me tell you. If you ever see a farmer and their shamba thriving, give a bow and let them have your seat in public transport. I have had to yank plants away because they were not growing. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but it had to be done. It was what gave me room to plant others that are now thriving. I still mourn that loss but when I look at what I planted later, I am consoled that it was not an ‘in vain yank’.

Blind Faith is Also Good

See that blooming fern plant on your right? With all it’s green singing happily in the wind? That fern had completely withered. So much so that it was almost discarded. The reason why I did not discard it was because I had already discarded one set of plants and I couldn’t bring myself to just discard yet another. That fern I have talked to. Begged to tell me what it wants. Watered it even when it seemed hopeless even! Then one morning as I was watering it, I saw an ever so tiny shoot at the bottom, hidden by the withered leaves but it was all green! The squealing and clapping that I did on that day! I’m still explaining to the neighbours that I am sane. And ignoring those judging looks from them. Yes dear readers, blind faith, hanging on a little longer, luck even. They all play a great role in project progress.

So you see? Lessons everywhere. O, see those 2 Blue Band tubs? Those are junior’s. He thinks what I’m doing is uber cool so he decided to plant something. I am however spending a few minutes every morning explaining why ‘My Plants are Not There Yet’. And yes, the idea is to turn the balcony into one happy green area with a sitting spot on the side.


Let Events Begin! 1: The Nissan Challenge Premiere

The Declaration

Told you lot I’m on an event attending spree. O I didn’t mention it on here? Ok, here’s the 411. A friend was so bold as to mention that I have become a wall flower. Promised if I didn’t change my weepingly boring ways he’d ensure that my next birthday gift would be a picture frame to hang myself on the wall. So I went and did this sweeping declaration:

Challenge 1

It appears the minute I threw that statement out there the Gods of events shone their light this way. Remember how I was telling you I have enough social media accounts? I got to learn about the #NissanChallengePremiere event from my favorite one, Twitter. This was to be the official close and launch of the TV series on the DT Dobie Nissan Challenge where the Challenge hosted by Bobby and his crew set out to prove that only Nissan can provide you with a range of pick-ups powerful enough to move your goods through the Kenyan terrain, from multiple-lane super highways to the harshest road conditions that we have come to enjoy (and this I say with genuine fondness). They combined the event with a noble cause, delivering food to the needy in Lodwar. Awesome, yes? It gets better.

There were some tickets on offer to people who could answer questions, from a simple one, the color of the Nissan NP 200 used in the challenge to the mildly complicated one, naming all the five Nissan models used in the Challenge, which saw the crew travel from Nairobi, to Meru, Nakuru, Kisii, Kisumu, Eldoret and onwards to Lodwar.

I love myself. As it has been apparent. I therefore automatically went for the simple question. Unfortunately, so did most of my Twitter friends so I was beaten to that one. Lucky for me, first I had been closely following the Challenge leg on leg updates and second, I have not completely abandoned the ghost town that has become Google Plus. This is where the mildly complicated question was posted and yours truly breezed through it. And won! *cue applause*.

The Event

I received instructions on where to collect the ‘Admit One’ ticket and I headed there bright and early. Ticket in hand I spent the whole day skipping about as I undertook daily tasks, eagerly awaiting the appointed event time, 6:30pm.

6:30pm unfortunately found me in the throes of agonizing on which shoes to wear. Yes, I also go through such times. I arrived at the event at 7:00p.m. *bows head in shame*. Lucky for me, the sit-down call was just happening at that time, so sneaking in was a breeze. Sadly, I missed the mingle-and-snack part of the event. 2 short speeches later, a short documentary on the Challenge was televised and I have to say, it is very well done! The crew did a stellar job. There were even some hilarious scenes!

Aaaawww… Don’t feel left out. Lucky for you, you get to experience the whole 5 day Challenge through KTN with series covering all of the 2,500km starting Monday 26th March 2012 at 8:30pm. The preview? Here you are. Thank me later. Or now. Either is good.

And this, dear readers, was my favorite car for the entire Challenge. The Nissan Navara! The only car I found myself fondling through the night and could have gladly taken home, given the chance.

You like?


Insecurities Of A Proud Mum

I will now openly and officially admit. I am not super anything. I get tired. Actually knackered. Between running around with junior, doing homework, housework, money work (that’s earning a living in case you are wondering) and showering (I really think this should be optional) at the end of each day, or the beginning of each day (they tend to merge in my world), I do get extremely exhausted.

O come on… once in a while I should be allowed to whine on this space! Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But does it mean that it is not sometimes hard? Course not! Does it make me look like a superhero sometimes? You betcha. Does it leave me in a pile of tired? Most of the time, yes!

So there is junior. You remember him? The one I brought into this world? Yes I know. It has been so long since I talked about him on here I imagined you could have forgotten there is a him. Well, he’s growing pretty well, thanks for asking, but that’s not what we are talking about here. Once upon a post time I mentioned that I had overslept on Sunday and he had found it fit to feed himself the first meal of the day, where half of the meal was on the floor. I’ll have you know that he has perfected the art of preparing breakfast for himself so that task is officially out of my hands.

Due to the nature of my choice method of earning a living, I tend to have meetings all hours of the evening (not night). Sometimes this is rather inconvenient because evening is my appointed (or not) time to help junior with his homework. The help mostly comes in the form of barking orders to concentrate. He has quite a fleeting mind and he needs to be reminded of the current task at hand. So, while I hold the medal of the best order-barking mum in town, I am acutely aware that most of the time, that’s all I do. This was never more evident than when I went for an evening meeting that took longer than I had anticipated. I got home at half after 9pm. The one thing I was looking forward to was assisting Junior with homework and arranging his uniform for the next day. So imagine my shock, when he gleefully meets me at the door with all the pleasantries of hugs and kisses (I love these moments), grabs my handbag, sits it on the floor, and proceeds to show me how he managed to clear his homework. I was proud. O, that was not all. He had followed the procedure that has now become our nightly routine and set out his uniform for the following day. And it was the correct color too! Well the socks and hankie were missing but you get the point.

Yesterday was one of those dropping in a pile of tired days. Coupled with work and living drama of the last few days, I have been a miserable sight. Not that you could see, since I slept in. Only to be woken up by clattering dishes. I’m half used to this since I know he makes his own breakfast but this time there was sound of dishes that I’m not accustomed to hearing when he is in the kitchen. Shock of the morning? He was on top of a chair, cleaning dishes. Yes, including that do-not-touch-or-I-will-kill-you treasured glass mug. I couldn’t be sure, maybe it was the morning mist but a tear might have dropped. Or smoke from the neighbours. Yes. It must have been smoke.

He’s growing up too fast. Gaining independence at a rate I was not prepared for. I am beginning to feel insecure. He’s a step further from being mummy’s little boy. I am proud of him. I am a pile of emotions.


Make Tea. It’s 3am.

I really, really REALLY need to review my work schedule. Yes. It is the ungodly hour and I just decided to catch a break from one of my maaaany projects. Cup of hot ginger tea. I can hear the lot who like making fun of me and my ginger tea giggling. It’s not that I’m addicted to work. No. It’s not that at all. Not too much anyway. It’s that I sometimes get so engrossed in what I’m working on that I don’t notice time passing. Or sometimes I cannot go to sleep when I hit a block because, duh…, who sleeps when they are busy thinking of how to solve a problem? You do? Hokay. Good on ya. Not me though.

*sips tea*

So yes, the month of March has started with a bang. I can’t believe it has even started! Where is the time rushing off to? I have like a million things on my to start doing list and if time keeps beating corners on me like this, I’ll still have that list come mid next year. I do love a busy life though. You have never seen a non-busy me. My brother says that I look like I have ants running up and down my bottom, thus, a busy me is a very good me.

*sips tea. Again*

So where were we? O yeah. Break. The problem with this break is that my brain is so spent I can’t even think of a joke to save my life. But I can tell you today… wait that would be yesterday by now. Seeing as today is Monday and yesterday was Sunday. Yes. Yesterday was my wonderful brother’s birthday. I will not get into details of what went or didn’t ‘went’ down. Reputation to maintain and all. My brother is one of those extremely hilarious guys. I remember when we were young, he would read the funniest comic book and come narrate it to me. Just to make me laugh. I like a good laugh. I like a man who makes me really laugh. I have several of those my my lucky life. My brother tops that list.

*slurps tea for really good measure. Plus it’s so quiet the slurp can be heard 3 blocks down*

Seeing as that’s about as creative I am going to get on here, I might as well go back to my other more creative projects. It’s still early. I can knock off another hour from *checks time* 3:30 to 4:30. You should note that I am not an insomniac. If I get into bed, I will not spend 5 minutes before slipping into a coma-like sleep state.

*licks tea cup clean*

So let’s knock off the hour, shall we?


First Michael Jackson, Now Whitney Houston

Yep! My childhood in music is going up in flames. Today was one of those lazy Sunday morning. You know, the one you wake up at 10:00a.m. and even then wonder where the night went. In my defense, I had a late night. Working. Hehe. I caught that twinkle in your eyes. You were imagining a more exciting night, weren’t you? Moving on… Thank the lord for my smart phone. I’m able to browse for news and happenings while sitting on er… I mean while brushing my teeth. The shocker news was the passing of Whitney Houston. I know what you are thinking. She had it coming! True. Then again, we all have it coming.

First of all, you need to understand I can get quite sentimental. Translation: I get too attached to things and people. I am the girl who has named every electronic gadget, large and small! I am the same one who will hand you a song if you are close enough to me. I am still the same one who sees the world in music. O yes and let us not forget, I am one of those who had a 200 paged exercise book with words of my favorite songs and never missed that ‘Words Of Your Favorite Song’ show on Saturday nights. I remember once mother telling a friend that she is glad I did not get into nursing or doctoring because I would have died of a broken heart by the 5th year. Yes. Heavy attachment. Now where were we?

Aaah yes. The passing of Whitney Houston. She and Michael made Karaoke in my bedroom in front of my mirror with a jolly comb for a microphone wonderful. Yes children. I am that girl. And between moon walking, working the ‘They Don’t Really Care About Us’ dance routine and belting out ‘I Believe The Children Are Our Future’, my childhood was awesome.

Then Michael Jackson passed away. I was crestfallen. Sadness beyond sad. I couldn’t stop playing my collection of his music. And it is large. Including the non-famous ones, some of which never saw the light of music day. Today it was Whitney Houston. I’m sad. You can therefore imagine what my playlist looks like. It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok.

As for all the fun being poked at Whitney, I am not angry. I just think, we all have a right to express ourselves. If bashing a dead singer makes you happy, knock yourself out. We all have our faults, some more visible than others. Good thing yours is not the kind that makes for tabloids

Rest In Peace Whitney Houston. You served my childhood well.


Social Networks and Keeping Up

While I mildly dislike change, I tend to enjoy riding the world of fads, especially if they are promising to be sorta cool. My worst is the Social Networks. See the problem is all the friends I know are deep in the Social Networks networks (not a repeat error). Naturally, when they are trying these networks out, I am among the first people they hit up. And me, being the ‘sweep-the-woman-off-her-feet-with-cool’ woman, I hop on to the wagon(s).

Some I keep up with. Mainly because the hilarity, madness, coolness and the neat information that gets passed on there is like you can’t believe. Take twitter for example. I love twitter. Not as active as I used to be a couple of years ago but the stalking is so sweet I never feel the loss of reduced tweeting. Then there is Facebook. I have the most level headed friends on there, believe it or not. They do try to keep up with my lunacy but Facebook is an inbox of sorts. For passing on mail and hot gossip. Yes children. I get involved in the gossip thing.

Now, there are various other networks that I am in. I have not kept up with as much as I would like to. Like Google+. Last night, I accidentally clicked on the Google+ link and I was shocked that it was actually there! It just popped at my face!

It got me thinking, how did I get onto all these places? Surely, even for the experimenty me, this is rather wild! Take a look at what I mean:

  • Skype
  • Google+
  • Google Wave (How terrible of them to kill this one!)
  • 2 Twitter accounts
  • 2 Facebook accounts (ok technically one is a page)
  • LinkedIn (I can be professional too you know…)
  • 2 Gtalk accounts
  • Yahoo chat
  • 2 corporate e-mail accounts
  • Others. Yes, others. Tumblr is a social network, no?

Quit with the judging expressions and thoughts. I can feel you all the way from over here *points*. Don’t tell me you don’t have nearly as many as these! Also, mail is part of my social network, and your objections have been noted, thank you. It’s not that I’m letting the networks gather dust on purpose. It’s that I’m in so many of them, my scatter brain sometimes fails to keep up. And you are thinking, quit some! And I’m thinking, not on your life! This stuff makes good sense! At least it did at the point of joining. Plus I will always be among the first to experiment on online related stuff. My field, plus my friends, place me in a position of hoping on any new internet fad. I don’t quit stuff easily too.

Now, of the above, I can tell you for sure that I religiously keep up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and obviously all e-mail accounts. See where my mornings go and why I have to compensate by working till midnight each day including Sundays and public holidays?

Wait, why did I start the Social Networking post? I forget. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t checked mail, and that, save for my morning cup of tea, is one thing I MUST do. Hold the thought. I’ll be right back.


Going Green. Thumb.

Go ahead! Laugh! But I will not let the landlord or nay sayers prevent me from painting my thumb green! On the balcony. Sometime last year, I informed you lot that I wanted to acquire a certain plot of land (the landlord’s flower bed really) but I had some legal issues as the title deed (permission) for the said parcel of land would not be availed to me. I have this very unwelcoming habit, where in my head, no means challenge. I can never turn away from those. It being a new year, I decided to give the green thumb a trial.

I did go plant shopping (yep! You can do that) and found myself two nice plants. They were looking at me, begging me to rescue them. And since I’ve been known to bring home strays, my heart just melted when I saw them. I took them home and it was celebration all round. Gave them nice spot on the balcony, some water and I believe they will live happily ever after.

There is a group of people who purport to know me well, and when they saw what I up to, they were very quick to hand me their thoughts on my strays and survival probability.

This one even believes I need babysitting if the plant-life is to grow. Pfffff! I totally can keep the plants alive!

You know what this means, right? CHALLENGE! I will dress those plants every morning, keep them company at night while they fall asleep and sing them cute cuddly songs, if I have to, if only to prove to this lot that I am no plant killer!

In fact, I am going to fill the said pseudo-land (whispers a courage prayer) with plants to show the non-believers that I can do it!

Yes you can now wish me luck.


A Tribute as We Go Guns Blazing

Hello you lot. Welcome back. I’m glad we made the cross-over safely. There is however one little angel who didn’t make it. And his, is the Tribute that I am taking a moment to pay on here.

The year did not end so well for the me, Adams’ Mummy, his friends and the Wanadamu family as a whole, as we lost yet another little angel, Adams Kibet. I wrote about this wonderful boy and my experience and interaction with him, and if there is one thing I shall forever be grateful for, is having known this wonderful boy and his mummy, who have continued to inspire me and give me strength. This strong mummy of our fallen angel was there for me when we lost yet another little angel, Latoya, and I couldn’t make head or tail or meaning of such loss.

For fear of ruining the wonderful memory that this little boy represent to us, I shall say, Rest In Peace sweet angel. Watch over us as we carry on the fight that you gave meaning to.

Right. So we all know that I can never make New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because, as evidenced severally here and elsewhere, I can be quite scatter brained. I however like setting the year’s theme, preferably in the first week of the year. This I never do lightly. I do it after various consultations, including the Oracle. I kid you not. Last year, I was Introspecting Spectacularly. I have talked about the experience no end so I won’t go on about it. This year, We Go Guns Blazing. Having run through the year trying to understand who I am (kind of) I think I am now ready to take me for a test-drive. I am not sure what it will all be about but hey, that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? So yes, I’ll keep you posted on the blazings that we (ok I) do and this being an election year, let’s try not to lose our heads as we make decisions that will affect us and the beautiful country we love and call home.

A smashing 2012 to all of you.


As The Year Comes To A Close

I sit here with nothing profound to say to you. Yeah I know…, you’d think after having a whole year of introspection I would have this huuuuge thing to say to help change your life. Ok, maybe I do (now thinking excessively and unnaturally hard). I have had the most spectacular year by the way and I am grateful for your company.

O wait! I forgot to mention. I had a really nice holiday. A break from routine which I totally needed.

I went here among other places.

And saw this, among other things.

I’m feeling quite refresh and ready to tackle the coming year.

One more thing. The other day I was asked to define the word Trust. See the problem is, we like throwing words around but never really pin down a meaning that we understand. No, forget the Oxford and those other huge books called dictionaries tell you. What meaning do you give to these, for lack of a better word, ‘heavy’ words? Words like Promise, Trust, Integrity… And a few others? So this what I came up with, after thinking extremely long and hard, paraphrased:

Trust: The ability to feel you can rely on someone, both when you are at your best and when you are at your worst. Knowing that the person will defend you, whether you are there or not, come rain or shine. Meaning that you do not have to hide your worst self or are not afraid to speak your mind whether you are right or wrong, for fear of being judged or misjudged. Also means that you can take risks in your personal and professional development, with the knowledge that the one person you trust will have your back whether you fail or succeed.

So anyway, I hate long goodbyes so….. see ya on the other side. Blessed 2012 you lot. Be good. Ok as good as you humanly can. Without hurting anyone or your brain cells.


We Dropped A Tooth

Technically, Junior did. You know how when a woman gets pregnant and the husband goes fist bumping all his pals, yelling ‘We Are Pregnant!!!’ while singing circumcision songs and dropping drinks? Yes, well, that’s how the WE in ‘We Dropped a Tooth’ is used here.

Insider Information: When you bear offspring, you are always worried that you’ll never know when anything goes wrong, or right, for that matter. How will you know when his tummy is aching? Or his diaper is wet (not as obvious as you may think by the way)? Or when he swallows a roach? Or a coin? Or when his teeth start wobbling? Will you know in good time or will he swallow it in his sleep? I tell you, mummyhood can be a nightmare sometimes. Forget the cooing and all that. That’s the cute stuff. There is that other side that no one tells you! Thank God you have me. To tell you that is.

So anyway, we tend to get bored sometimes…, Junior and I. In the throes of boredom, we’ll clip our nails, I’ll rub his back or, we’ll count each other’s teeth. It’s fun! I can then use the line of ‘see how many teeth I have? You need to eat a lot of food to get as many teeth as mummy!’ Yep! The magic of a mouth full of pearly whites. Anyway, so this teeth counting day last week, we (I) discovered a wobbly one. I did go through all the appropriate reactions. Excitement! Panicking. Dry mouth. Sore throat. Singing a happy song. Hyperventilating… And you are wondering, where is he during all this? He’s not allowed to be in the bathroom with me. Which is where I was. After calming down, it was time to find out how to go about yanking the wobbly white.

Kid was pretty excited when I pointed it out. Mostly because he had been told by someone that once his teeth come out, he would automatically turn 6. I know! The information that gets passed down to children these days! He couldn’t stop playing with it. You know, shaking it and all to confirm and reconfirm that it was really wobbly.

In my infinite search, I came across a lot of ‘helpful’ information. Observe:

Seriously, you don’t think I got this advice? Fiiine. Don’t believe me. Check out this link of ‘wisdom’ then!

I was so busy looking for ways to get it out I didn’t at first notice him holding something in his hands, the bleeding mouth and his shocked expression. He doesn’t like the sight of blood, not even a hint of it so a mouth dripping with blood made him panicky, even weepy. But there it was. He had accidentally pulled it! Then there was me running around, looking for cotton wool and salt water to clean his mouth out and to check whether he got the whole damn thing out. He had done a good accidental job, believe it or not. I even baked him a cake.

Drama aside, I am very happy with how the first dropped tooth experience went. No dentist, him doing it by himself (albeit accidentally) and the celebration that went with. We even got to learn. Something. Least of all, the simplest solutions work best. Plus I am loving his minus one tooth smile! ;)


Tis Not The Gifting Season

Not for me anyway. No. I’m not trying to be grinchy. Much. You see, gifting for me is very important. When I get you a gift, I probably spent months agonizing, shop-hoping, profiling you, asking you indirect questions and (not proud of this by the way) probably rummaging through your garbage. And the question on your mind would be, why go to all this trouble without the guarantee that I’ll get your kind of the perfect gift? The gift that I’d be sure you are going to treasure? But you see, for me it is the perfect gift. I have spent months looking for it so whether you treasure it or not is irrelevant.

Then why I’m I feeling grinchy this season, you ask? I don’t get people gifts on Christmas. First off, it’s cliché. I passionately dislike being caught up in clichés. Think. How many people are running in and out of gaudily decorated, last minute shops looking for that shirt, tie, scarf, bla? Yeah, go ahead and tell me. This is their idea of a perfect gift. Course it is! And I would not be one to look a gift horse in the teeth or mouth (seriously, this saying in my mother-tongue is hilarious. also, i take horses as gifts) so yeah. Get me that scarf or tie or toothbrush if you want. I do enjoy observing people. The general observation during this season is that people looking to buy gifts are running around like headless chicken, grabbing what they think the other person wants, or worse, asking the sales person what they think would be a perfect gift. If you are lucky, you will find a sales person who is not bored to tears with the question after answering 10 more people ahead of you, and they will be near helpful and tell you a tea set is the perfect gift for your mother. Hopefully, your brother has not ordered in a tea set from Dubai that makes yours look like it belongs in a doll house.

Also, there is a small problem of relatives. No. Really. Do you know the number of relatives I have claim to? And that number keeps growing. Take for example the get-together I attended the other day. I swear I had no idea who half the people were. Don’t you roll your eyes at me…! Not unless you have your family tree pinned up your fridge and you update it every time one of your relatives decides to bring forth another relative. And this time, I’m not even talking about relations by marriage. iCant. Now. You think it is not painful enough nodding around acknowledgements and pretending that you have understood when your mother tells you to meet the uncle to your cousin on your grandmother’s side, not the one who bore your mother, but the one your grandfather married just before he met your grandmother? Mind blowing, right? Now try and get this er….. (refer to the above relation) a perfect gift. No time to rummage through their garbage, or ask around or stalk their online profile. You look at the said relation and his new bride (*sigh*, relative plus one unknown) and think they look like a fun couple so you send them a pair of handcuffs. And word spreads around that you are in the profession that would make your great grandfather roll in his grave (Sidenote: Sneer all you want but I don’t think there’s a wrong profession) and you will have a few choice stares during the next ‘happy’ family reunion. How does negative news spread so fast through the clans anyway?

So you see, I love my relatives. Known, unknown, born, unborn…, all. But if I was to get each and everyone a christmas gift, I’d need to spend my entire life, plus a few extra lifetimes rummaging through bins, which, I know you may think it’s a perfect way to spend my life, but I get the odd feeling I can do a better job noting down birthdays and anniversaries and doing research for the perfect gift.

Ps: Please feel free to get me that Christmas gift. Pps: Mother will get a gift. Mostly because I get the feeling she has installed nanny cams in my house to watch over her grandson, and I’m not sure I have been the perfect mother, so let’s just say, pacification (not manipulation) will be at play this season. Ppps: I’m still trying to build that family tree to avoid those awkward family reunion moments. Pppps: Wait, can you use ps like this? Is it legal? Anywho, a reader called me out last night politely and indirectly demanding a post (don’t you just hate it when that happens especially when you’ve been tiptoeing around the world of writing hoping no one notices you haven’t blogged in weeks?). Which means I didn’t get much sleep, trying to come up with a decent post. Which means I’m grumpy. But I love my readers, so there. Grumpiness totally worth it.


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