Thursday, 27 October 2011

A blog goal

When I started this blog earlier in the year I really had no goals or ambitions for it other than as a place to capture our time here in Bots, and to be a creative outlet for me so that I'm not solely and only focused on being LL's Mummy.

Since then I have become slowly more "into" this blogging thing. I have my fav blogs that I read religiously every day or every time there's a new post. And I've been learning a lot on how this blog thing works.

Naturally I share things I learn with Mr B. I tell him about posts that I've read and things that other bloggers are saying and doing. Curious and straight to the point as always, Mr B asked me the other day if I had any goals for my blog. I surprised myself by responding I'd like to have 20 followers by the end of the year.

I guess I had been thinking about this a little bit. It's hard not to when you're reading other blogs that are being followed by hundreds of other people. It's hard not to feel the pressure of that and wonder how you achieve it.

So why not set a little goal for myself and see if I can reach it. I've got 13 followers already (albeit most of them are personal friends!!) so it can't be that hard to pick up 7 more surely? Is that overly ambitious? Am I setting myself up for failure? Will it just seem like high school all over again and one big popularity contest?

That's not what I want this blog to be about. Sure it's nice to think that people are reading it and interested in what I have to say, and what we're doing here in Bots. But I don't want that to be the overriding point for me.

If I do manage to have 20 followers by the end of the year then I know I'll be chuffed and feel excited that people are reading about what it's like to be an ex-pat living in Botswana. But at the same time if I don't then I'll be ok with that and just remind myself that I'm writing this for me and that should be my main aim.

So tell me ... why do you blog? And do you set blog goals?

To find out the sex or not??

On Sunday we drove to Gabs again for our second OB appointment first thing Monday morning.

After a quick blood pressure check and wee test where everything was fine, we met with the doctor, had a quick chat and then finally, finally, finally got to have a much anticipated ulstrasound. It was wonderful to see the baby, to see that all was where it should be, to see the heart beating, to see the head and arms and legs and body and .... nope, sorry, we didn't see the sex.

I made a point of telling the doctor before he started the scan that we didn't want to know. He clarified that sometimes you see "things" even when you don't want to so he'd tell us when to potentially turn away. It didn't matter - I have never been able tell what's what on those things anyway unless its pointed out to me.  Plus LL was quite wary of the whole procedure so Mr B was stuck in the doorway, too far away to see anything.

So everything was good. And it helped to make it seem all that more real. I've been having quite a lot of movement for the last couple of weeks so that definitely makes me aware of the baby on a daily basis. But an ultrasound, where you "see" the baby, certainly brings it even more into reality.

When we got back to F'town everyone naturally wanted to know if we'd found out the sex. I've been telling people from the start that we weren't going to find out. We didn't with LL, and despite Mr B being keen to know I had over-ruled him and said we wouldn't. So I'm constantly disappointing friends by telling them we don't know and we're not going to find out. Why are people so keen to find out these days? I'd rather have the surprise ....

Instead everyone is making their guesses - most are suggesting it's going to be a girl. I have strong feelings that it'll be a boy. Either way for me it's fun to guess, to not know and to have that surprise on D-day.

With LL the whole pregnancy I was adamant that he was going to be a girl. I had lots of dreams about a baby girl. I kept referring to the baby in my head as a girl. And I just kept thinking girl, girl, girl. The doctor then pulled him out, held him up and announced it was a boy as his little "thing" was right there staring me in the face. I couldn't believe it!! Not that I was disappointed, I was just a little surprised after all my imaginings, and it took a minute or two for it to register.

This time around I have strong feelings that we're having another boy. Maybe it's because I've already got one and know what it's like to have a boy. Also the pregnancy so far is virtually exactly the same as with LL. I've had no strong cravings for anything in particular and I didn't with LL either, my belly seems to look and feel exactly the same as it did last time, morning sickness was the same if not a little worse, everything has generally been the same. Not that I think that means anything really. It's all just a big guessing game. And I've got 4 more months to wait and to keep wondering.

We've also done what you can't do if you find out the sex; we've chosen both a boy's name and a girl's name. I like that. I like having to choose two names, and to wonder.

So we'll wait, and see, and have a nice surprise, whatever it is.

I'm curious though ... did you find out the sex of your children and if so why or why not?

PS - Unfortunately I have no ultrasound pic to share. Just as the doc was about to capture an image and print it off for me the baby became all modest and turned it's back on us. :( Maybe next time ...

Friday Photo Rewind #5

I am not a crafty person by any means. I have great ambitions but I think the main deterrant to me starting things most of the time is I don't have the patience to be overly pedantic and fuss over something until it's "perfect".

But when I hosted a baby shower back in March last year, for a friend pregnant with her second child I was determined to have a go at making a nappy cake. Thankfully Mr B is always willing to help, and is more pedantic than me.

Above is the end result.

Surprisingly it was a lot of fun to put together and no where near as difficult as I first thought it could be. I found some instructions here, which were really useful in terms of the "ingredients" needed. And just decorated it as best I could with the limited supply of baby items that can be bought in town.

The best bit - everyone loved it, especially the Mum to be.

Note: the aim of Firday Photo Rewind is to post a pic from the past, every Friday and relive the memories with you all, cause reliving happy times is a nice thing to do :) Link up if you want to join in!!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday Photo Rewind #4

South African wine apparently has quite a good reputation, however I am not a huge fan. Having lived in Perth where we frequented the Margaret River and Swan Valley wine regions regularly I feel I have been spoilt.

I love a really cold glass of sauvignon blanc, especially on a hot summers day. I am not too fussy on the label if I know it comes from WA.

Here in Bots I have become fussy about the label - there are only about 3 "brands" I will drink.

The label above is one of them and comes with the added bonus of making me smile just about everytime I buy it. Are they trying to deter people from all the calories in that bottle??

Happy Weekend Everyone :)

Note: the aim of Firday Photo Rewind is to post a pic from the past, every Friday and relive the memories with you all, cause reliving happy times is a nice thing to do :) Link up if you want to join in!!

The Baobab, an amazing tree

I have this thing for baobab trees. I think they are amazingly interesting. I know we have them in Australia too, but I never really paid much attention until we moved here and saw so many. They are an incredible tree, and one that often reminds me of people. They all seem to have their own individual look and style. No two are ever the same.

Many people say they have been planted upside down with their roots up in the air. As such they are often referred to as the upside down tree.

Here are just a few pics of the ones I've seen over the last 3 years. (Apologies for the poor photos, most were taken whilst Mr B was driving or we were parked quite close in a game vehicle.)

Wow look at that trunk!!!! This tree is outside the entrance to Mowana Lodge, near Kasane in northern Bots. You can tell how HUGE the tree is by noticing the rubbish bin just off to the right of the picture.

This baobab intrigues me everytime I see it - see how it's double backed on itself. It looks like it is bending over to do some stretches (??). This baobab is about an hour north of Francistown in a town called Dukwi. I look out for it everytime we drive through.

This picture is very deceiving - this tree is HUGE! We saw this tree in Nxai Pan National Park when we visited in Feb 2009. I like the way the trunk is sort of separated, giving the impression of 3 separate trees. In the middle is a termite mound. And you can see on the left hand side of the trunk where elephant have been gouging the tree with their tusks.

I have posted this pic here previously but think this tree is also incredible so had to include it in this post too. Impressive, right?! This pic is taken at Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. As is the one below.

A little info on the baobab:

The African Baobab is also known as the Adansonia digitata. There are 8 species of Adansonia, of which the African Baobab is one. Six are native to Madagascar, and one to Australia.

They can reach heights of 30m and trunk diameters of 11m. They store water in their trunks (up to 120,000L) to survive the harsh drought conditions most are subjected to. They are deciduous and shed their leaves during the dry season.

Many myths and legends surround the baobab. One that I like is -

Along the Zambezi, the tribes believe that when the world was young the Baobabs were upright and proud. However for some unknown reason, they lorded over the lesser growths.The gods became angry and uprooted the Baobabs , thrusting them back into the ground, root upwards. Evil spirits now haunt the sweet white flowers and anyone who picks one will be killed by a lion. (source: here)

The baobab is often known as the tree of life as it can be used for many things - huge water storage, a food source (berries and flowers), medicinal properties, and can provide shelter. It has helped many indigenous Africans survive the harsh conditions of this continent.

Like I said, it's a pretty amazing tree, one which I hope to capture many more times and share with you here.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

How to make a Koeksister

Wow what a morning I had yesterday ..... it was so much fun!!! Picture this .... 6 women in the kitchen together baking up a storm, laughing, sampling and chat, chat, chatting!!! SO MUCH FUN!

But let me start at the beginning ...

I have this lovely friend - Theunette - who will soon be leaving our little community here in Francistown for what she hopes will be a better life for her and her family in my home country, Australia.

Theunette is from South Africa and is one of the best cooks I know. She makes lots of yummy goodies that are so not good for you, but so simply delicious that you always go back for more. She has made more than one kiddies birthday cake for our baby group over the last few years plus she makes THE BEST profiteroles ever. And also her vanilla custard slice is absolutely devine, so much so that I insisted earlier in the year that if she had to get me a birthday present then the best thing she could give me would be that ... so she did ... and I inhaled it!!! Yum, yum, yum!!!

Another thing Theunette has often cooked for us over the last few years is a South African pastry dessert called a "koeksister". The word koeksister apparently comes from the Dutch word koekje, which translates to "cookie". It is sort of like a syrup coated doughnut in a twisted or braided shape. They are very very sweet and absolutely delicious.

Since Theunette will be leaving us soon I thought it would be fun to get some friends together so she could teach us how to make these yummy delicacies. Theunette was more than happy to oblige and the other ladies instantly responded with a big count us in!

Making koeksisters is a two day process so we got together late Monday afternoon at my house to make the dough and prepare the syrup.  The dough had to be refrigerated overnight and the syrup left in the freezer.

Then we got back together yesterday morning to put everything together.

Before I go any further here's the recipe for those interested:



·         4 Cups plain flour

·         1/2 tsp salt

·         2 Tbsp baking powder

·         50g butter (softened)

·         1 egg

·         195 ml water

·         180 ml milk

·               Oil for frying


·         9 cups of sugar

·         7 cups of water

·         1 tsp ground ginger

·         1 tsp cream of tartar

·         2 cinnamon sticks

·         1 tsp lemon juice

·         2 tsp glycerin



1.                  Sift flour salt & baking powder together.

2.                  Rub in the butter until fine breadcrumbs.

3.                  Beat egg, add water and milk.  Add to flour mixture a little at a time, kneed well. Don't be stressed if the dough gets very sticky and clumps, just continue to work the dough and it will ball up nicely

4.                  Leave the dough to rest in the fridge overnight.


1.                  Dissolve sugar in water

2.                  Add spices and lemon juice and bring to a slight boil

3.                  Remove from heat and add glycerin.

4.                  Remove cinnamon sticks and let it cool down a little.
5.                  Divide syrup between 2 bowls.  Place in freezer over night to cool.  Remember:  you want the syrup to be super cold.

Koeksisters time:

1.                  Roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick.

2.                  Cut into strips 5 cm long 2 cm wide (there is a tool you can buy that does this for you)

3.                  Cut each strip into 3 strips but not through the top, now plait the dough and pinch it at the end, making sure that it won’t come apart when frying.

4.                  Deep fry the dough until golden brown - remove and drain quickly as you are going to dip the hot Koeksisters into your cold syrup.

5.                  Keeping syrup cold and the Koeksisters hot when dipping is key to get the right amount of syrup drawn into the Koeksisters to get that sweet pop that all sane South Africans love and crave.

6.                  A good trick to keeping the syrup cold is to place the syrup bowl into a container of iced water or rotate the two bowls in the fridge.
7.                  Now munch!

As you can see we all had a ball. It certainly wasn't a beauty pageant (I look an absolute wreck!!) but it was 6 friends getting together to learn, bake, chat and laugh. And the best bit .... we all took home a stack of koeksisters!!! (half of mine are gone already!! Uh oh)

What a brilliant morning!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday Photo Rewind #3

Life has been crazy busy the last few weeks (or month) that I haven't had a chance to do a Friday Photo Rewind in a while. So here goes ....

LL in his walker soon became known as the tea towel thief. If the tea towel ever went missing we only had to find LL in his walker and there it would be, tightly gripped in his hand as he cruised around, or discarded somewhere on his travels throughout the house.

On this particular occassion he decided to go for something bigger - a beach towel. I think he possibly got more than he bargained for ....

Note: the aim of Firday Photo Rewind is to post a pic from the past every Friday and relive the memories with you all, cause reliving happy times is a nice thing to do :) Link up if you want to join in!!

Road Trip!!!!

Two weeks from today some lovely ladies and I are taking off on a much needed girls only shopping road trip to the big smoke - Johannesburg!!! I seriously cannot wait.

I have not had one night away from LL since he was born and I think it is going to be a good thing for both of us. I know it's going to be hard and I will miss him and Mr B like crazy but it's only for 3 nights and I'm hoping the lure of the shops and all the goodies I am on the lookout for, will be enough of a distraction to help me get through the time.

Plus on the up side I think Mr B is quite looking forward to some father-son quality bonding time without Mummy always lurking nearby :)

Two weeks and counting; Jo'burg here we come!!

(Obviously I'll be sure to post on my return all the goodies I managed to find and the fun times we had while we were husband and kid free!!)

The world of baby paraphenalia

Just after LL's first birthday I stumbled upon a post on a blog that I can't for the life of me remember which one, that got Mr B and I thinking:

1. List 3 things you are happy you bought for baby

2. List 3 things you wish you hadn't bought for baby

3. List 3 things you wish you had bought for baby

After much discussion with Mr B, here's our's:

1. a) My pram - not the most practical for the roads of F'town but it has served me well SO MANY times from daily walks when I got back into exercise, to laps of our complex to get LL to have a nap, to laps of our lounge room and passageway in the middle of the night when LL had the flu or an ear infection to help him sleep. Comfortable to push, fairly lightweight, easy to fold up and get in and out of the car, and LL loved it. We couldn't have done without it!

b) The Walker - yes I know, I know, a lot of people don't advocate them much but as far as I can tell it's done LL no harm and it saved my sanity on MANY occasions - he LOVED to zoom around in that thing :)

c) Baby sleeping bags - THE BEST THING EVER!!! LL didn't really like being wrapped and always seemed to wriggle his way out of it so we bought a sleeping bag and didn't look back (plus we bought a heap more later). It reassured us that he was always warm enough and we didn't have to worry about him kicking his blankets off. Reassurance in a bag!

2. a) My Hugabub Baby Carrier - complete waste of money. We used it once or twice, it was way too complicated to do up and too hot to wear here in Bots. I know some people love them, but not me sadly. Plus LL hated it - the photo below was taken after about 20-30mins of him fussing and crying before finally giving in and passing out.

b) Possibly the bumbo - we didn't get much use out of it as I bought it too late and my little chunky monkey got too chubby to fit in it quite quickly. Thankfully I was able to lend it to a friend who used it a lot, and hopefully the new baby will use it more.

c) Not too many other regrets as A LOT of stuff was given to us so we didn't actually have to buy much. Most things we bought we were or are still really happy with.

3. a) A Change Table - the style I wanted you just can't seem to buy here so we went without. Mr B and I both regret this as our backs would often ache and ache from bending over the bed or floor to change and dress LL

b) A different baby carrier - either the baby bjorn or an ergo. I have been doing a lot of research on various review websites plus baby chat forums and both are quite highly recommended. Many people we know love the baby bjorn so I think we will be getting one next time

c) Either a baby rocker or a baby electric swing - I think either of these would have helped my sanity in the early months. Most people I know who have one or the other or both of these said they have been invaluable.

So what about you? In today's world where you can buy so much for baby it's very easy to get swept up in all the commercialism and paraphenalia of having kids. There's a gadget for everything from breastfeeding pillows to bath seats to microwave bottle sterilisers to mesh food holders to even more strange abstract things that I can't think of right now. Craziness!! I know if we had our children in Australia I would have got swept up in it more. Living here in Bots with limited shopping available and even less so when it comes to baby goods it has been easy to not go overboard.

And just to re-cap - the three things I said above that I wished I'd had - well 2 out of the 3 I'm definitely having this time around. Mr B has already bought me a Baby Bjorn on one of his trips to Australia a few months ago. And I'm planning on buying a baby swing in a few weeks when some girlfriends and I do a shopping road trip to Jo'burg. The change table ... well I'd love one but we might have to get one made.... maybe??

So we'll see what's useful second time around and what's not??? I'm pretty sure having a toddler around is going to change the "needs" and "must haves" again.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Big Boy's Room

LL's room has been a work in progress for a few weeks now. You may remember this post, where I mentioned that we had moved him out of the cot and into a big boy bed. Since then I have been in the procecss of decorating his room and trying to create a happy and bright space for him to enjoy.

Where to start though?? I never really had a nursery as such for him. I made the best with what we were able to buy and borrow from others. So nothing really matched. Although I was trying to go with a cute Winnie the Pooh type theme ... sort of?!

Mr B got creative with the stickers??

I know ... it's not exactly bursting with creativity and cuteness as is typical of most nurseries, such as those seen here, here, here, and here. But I think we made the best of our situation.

Currently, Winnie the Pooh is slowly being evicted and will possibly make his way into the new baby's room (if I don't buy some new wall decals while in Australia!!!). In Pooh's place, boats and balloons have taken over. Now I will just say LL has shown no great love or interest in either of these things but I saw the stickers on this website, loved the design, and thought they would be able to decorate his room happily for a few years at least.

This is what I've done so far:

Ok so while it's better than what it was, it's still not eye-poppingly brimming with inspiration and creativity. However, what I've done .... this is a big deal for me. Until recently I have shown very little ability in decorating any of the houses we've lived in. Sure I've always had photos up on book shelves and a few happy nick nacks here and there but that's about it. I'm just not that creative. And I struggle to know what will look good with what and where.

It's only recently that Mr B and I have started to acquire some artwork or pictures to hang on our walls. I think it's mainly because we've moved so often. We haven't wanted to get bogged down with "stuff" that could inevitably get broken, not fit into a new place, or get lost along the line somewhere.

Now I'm in my 30s and we have a family. I think we're growing up and wanting our house to look more like a home. That is kind of tricky when you're expats in an African town living in a company house with primarily company furniture. But I think I'm making the best of it with LL's room so far.

And I have had lots of inspiration from the blogs I've been reading lately. The creativity and style demonstrated by some of these women has definitely spurred me into action and shown me it's not always as hard as it looks.

Check these guys out - ::The Beetle Shack::, Bubby Makes Three, one claire day, and BabyMac

I've still got a few things I want to do in LL's room. I have some prints on order that I'm hoping to collect in Australia when we go. Plus some other home made artwork to go on the walls - a mobile to hang like this one and a fabric picture board like this one.

I'd better get onto it though. Time is quickly getting away from me and I still need to get started on sorting out what will be the baby's room. Fun!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sushi Time

Something Mr B and I love to eat is sushi! We used to live around the corner from a small family run Japanese take-away in Perth and would go there at least once every time Mr B was on break (sometimes 2 or 3 times!!). Their freshly made sushi was delicious, as were many other delights on the menu.

Moving to Bots unfortunately meant no more sushi .... or so we thought??!!

I was soon enlightened by a friend of how easy it is to make. And although I can't get a lot of fresh stuff to fill them I can find from time to time the necessary stuff - the nori sheets, sushi ginger, sushi rice, and wasabi - all of which I buy up when I see.

And then I make this recipe, which is a winner again and again and again:

Tuna & green bean sushi  (I do cucumber instead of beans)

Preparation Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time
15 minutes


  • 215g (1 cup) sushi rice
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) cold water
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 x 185g can tuna in oil, drained, flaked
  • 2 tbs good-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp wasabi paste (optional)
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 100g green beans, topped, steamed (I use about 6-8cm of a stick of cucumber)
  • Soy sauce, to serve


  1. Combine rice and water in a saucepan. Cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  2. Transfer the rice to a bowl. Place the vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add to the rice and stir to combine. Set aside, stirring occasionally, to cool completely.
  3. Combine the tuna, mayonnaise and wasabi, if desired, in a bowl.
  4. Place 1 nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a clean work surface, with 1 long side facing you. Use wet hands to spread one-quarter of rice mixture over the bottom two-thirds of nori sheet, leaving a border around edge. Spread 2 tablespoons of tuna mixture along centre of rice. Top with one-quarter of beans. Roll up to enclose. Repeat with remaining nori, rice mixture, tuna mixture and beans.
  5. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Cut each roll in half. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

So delicious!

Here's some pics of my efforts today :)

Even LL is getting into sushi. He ate two pieces today minus the seaweed which I think might be a little tricky to chew for his little chompers!

But seriously, have a go if you've always wanted to. Much easier than you'd think!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Thinking about friendships

Do you ever find yourself wondering how it came to be that you were really good friends with someone one moment and then all of sudden .... it seems you're not??? I have been thinking and dissecting and analysing and wondering about this a lot lately. And all I can really conclude is that maybe I'm in that time of my life when friends and friendships just seem to get lost somewhere in the hustle and bustle that is life. Something about this just doesn't sit well with me though, and if I think about it too much it is confusing and painful.

All my life I have been good at maintaining friendships. (Well I think I have anyway, others may disagree). I have moved around A LOT from town to town, state to state, and now even overseas. It's been a wonderful experience and I have met so many fabulous people along the way, many of which have been tried and true friends, strong lasting friendships. And up until the last year or so I have been able to keep up the contact, and maintain the friendships.

Since getting married, moving to Bots and having LL all in the space of 18 months, my ability to be a good friend or the friend I would typically want to be, has definitely changed. And if I think about that too often it worries me. The guilt I feel is incredible. The problem is no matter how I try I just can't seem to fit it all in. And as selfish as it sounds, if I do try really hard to fit it all in then it leaves absolutely zero time for me.

Luckily for me the majority of my friends seem to get this and it doesn't seem to phase them. I can go months and months with zero contact other than a brief howdy or comment on facebook and they are still happy to get an email from me and will reply almost immediately. Others, it seems, that has not been enough.

Without mentioning names or going into too many specifics I feel I need to vent about the two scenarios that have been troubling me the most. The first is a person I lived with while at uni. Our whole time at uni we were inseparable, so much to the point that people would always ask us where the other one was if we went somewhere on our own. She was a fantastic person who I loved spending time with, hanging out, doing things together - my best friend in many respects. She finished uni a year before me and so moved away to get her working life started. But we still kept in touch - emailing regularly, talking on the phone and even making trips to visit each other. She then got married and had a baby, and I moved to Perth with Mr B, and while we weren't in touch as regularly I still thought of her as one of my really good friends. We had a history, we'd shared so many things, I didn't want to lose that connection. Flash forward to a few months ago when I found out she was pregnant and due in 2 weeks via a message she left on a mutual friends facebook comment. I was shocked, I was confused and I was hurt, very very hurt. This is something I would have expected to have known. I would have thought she would have sent a quick email to let me know the happy news. That was like a slap in the face for me. It was if she was saying, you haven't been there so why would I share that with you. Wow! And in a way she would have been right. I haven't been there. We had swapped a few emails at the start of the year and a Christmas card last Christmas when I was home in Australia, but that was it. I'd got caught up in my life here in Bots. So I did what I always do and tried to make one last ditch effort and I sent her an email wishing her congratulations and the best of luck for the birth and that I was thinking of her. I've had no response. Which I guess could be for two reasons - one she's too busy with the new baby and her family, which is completely understandable, or two she's just not interested in keeping in contact. And that is something I guess I'll just have to accept, if it is the case.

The second person is someone I made a strong friendship with when we first moved to Bots. She was new too and I felt like we instantly hit it off - interested in similar things like books, exercise, gym, food, movies, and getting out there and seeing Bots. The friendship was just what I needed to aid in the transition to my new circumstances. And then I got pregnant. Of course I naturally shared this information with her and she immediately told me that she doesn't "do" babies. Hmmmm... Anyway I accepted that. Not everyone's into them. I tried to refrain from sharing too much with her in case it bored her. I obviously couldn't run or gym as much as we had been doing and so we started to see each other less and less. But the friendship was still there. Or so I thought. LL was born and she popped in to say hi and see him which was nice but there was no real support from her. But that was ok by me as I was getting it from other sources. Long story short and many different misunderstandings and situations later and it would appear that the person I called a good friend, a confidant, and someone who's company and personality I so enjoyed being around, no longer wants to be friends with me at all. I have tried and tried and tried, and put myself out there to her repeatedly over the last 18 months, and in the end I realised I couldn't keep doing it as I was the one being continuously rejected. I still see her from time to time but it's not the same. I'm still friendly towards her and she to me but we know nothing of what is happening in the other's life and that makes me feel sad and regretful.

I don't lose friends easily or well. I find it hard to get over it and let it go. I think about it constantly and wonder what I could have done or said differently. In both situations it's not like there was a major event, fight or argument that saw the friendship dissolve. In the first instance it was slow, over time, in the other it was more sudden and so much harder to understand and accept. But still it's not like anything happened for either of us to dislike or "hate" each other as is so often the case with people that cease to be friends.

I guess this is all a part of life. The tough part of growing up. Some friendships don't last forever. There's that email that often goes around ... some people are friends for a reason or a season ... I do believe that people often come into your life for a reason, give you what you need, and then you both move on. But that's not what either of these people were to me.

I have learnt many times that people don't always behave how you think they will. That things won't always play out how you want. Sometimes you do have to let it go and move on. It's tough. It's sad. It is very very hard. But I will try and just be grateful that they were in my life at all, and that I had the good fortune of calling them friend.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Growing Up and Growing Out

There's been a lot of growing going on at our house here in Bots lately.

About a week or so before LL's 2nd birthday the little man started to change yet again. And it wasn't just subtle developmental changes as it has typically been in the past. But obvious signs of his growing up, changing once again, and this time into a little boy.

Amongst other things the words have been coming thick and fast and it is now becoming a lot easier to understand what he's on about - stuck, truck, shoe, turtle, boat, car, hello, bye, balloon, pop, choo choo, ducky, yucky, cake, biccie, Pa, Nannie, nana (banana), apple, juice, no, yes. Add into the mix head shakes, head nods and pointing, lots and lots of pointing, and we've got ourselves a way of communicating. It's great and fun, and makes me laugh on more than one occassion most days.

Then there's this strong independent streak that is quickly developing and Mummy is having to learn to back off and let him try to do things himself. This is a learning curve for both of us. Nooooooooo !!!! he says emphatially if I try and interfere in what he's trying to do, with a hand swat. But then thankfully sometimes he still wants Mummy or Daddy to help and I must admit that makes me feel good to know that I'll still be required for a bit longer yet.

And arrrghhhhh the sleeping thing is changing once again. Grrrrr!!!!! Sleep has been my biggest, BIGGEST challenge with LL since day one. We've had many many many good periods of wonderful, restful, happy to go to bed sleeping times. But we've also had horrible, unsettled, waking repeatedly thoughout the night, fighting it, fighting it, fighting it non-sleeping times. Fingers crossed we're just coming out the other side of one of these "phases". My mantra to myself these last few weeks has been "this too shall pass", "this too shall pass", please oh please may this time pass. You see it seemed LL was wanting to drop his day time nap. Nooooooooooooo!!!!!, I was crying out in frustration. He's only 2??!!!! Surely this is way too soon to be doing this??? We had a spate of days where he didn't nap and they were Looooonnnnngggg days for all of us. Come 4pm LL was beyond tired and turning into "that" child. I knew I had to persist though and not give in to this fight, even if more for myself than for him. I keep thinking of the baby on the way and that I will need them both to nap at some stage during the day, just for that little bit of peace if I can get it. I am keeping my fingers tightly tightly tightly crossed that this is the way things will go.

I know it's all part and parcel of LL growing up and that he's not going to be a baby forever. But it is hard to get your head around sometimes and to roll with it gracefully. These last few weeks there have definitely been days of pure frustration, and I have been mad, so mad to the point of tears on a number of occassions. And then I hate myself for feeling that cross with a 2 year old. He doesn't know, he's just testing the boundaries and seeing how far he can go. But gosh it's hard sometimes ....

And then add into this mix the hormones and the growing out that I've been doing. Whoa!

In the last week or two I feel as if I've gotten HUGE!!! I haven't really, but I have definitely popped out even more. They say second time around you get bigger quicker but it's still somewhat of a shock when it happens.

When I was pregnant with LL I enjoyed getting bigger. I found it fascinating to see my body develop and change. This time around I'm struggling with it more. I think it's because I know how hard and how long it took me to lose the weight last time. A lot of people say it takes 9 months to gain the weight so it should take 9 months to lose it. That's crap, total crap! It may be true for those who have a lot of people to help and watch the baby while you exercise, but if you don't then you pretty much don't have the time or energy to be bothered with it - well that was me anyway.

It wasn't until LL was about 6-7 months old that I first started thinking I'd better get my body moving again and start thinking about what I was putting in my mouth. Up until then I was just happy to get through the day. The actual weight loss though didn't really start to happen until LL turned 1. And then I didn't get back to my pre-pregnancy weight until LL was about 20 months. I know I shouldn't be worrying about it, and I should just enjoy the changes that are to come, but man that's hard sometimes.

And I'm only going to keep on growing out ..... I'll be 20 weeks on Tuesday so I'm only half way. Yikes I've still got a long way to go.

And LL too. He's only going to keep on growing up and while I know at times I'm going to struggle with losing my baby, wow it's wonderful to watch it all change, to watch him change and grow and learn and become this little person that he's meant to be.

LL at Victoria Falls Zimbabwe last week.
We were taking some family shots and then he decided he wanted to pose by himself for his own photo!!
It was very cute and very funny and encapulates my baby boy growing up.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lachlan Turns Two

A week or so ago my baby boy turned the very big TWO!!! Yikes! Two?! Wow that happened quickly. Mr B and I had officially been parents for two whole years!! It's hard to believe sometimes. And I pinch myself every now and then when I look at LL and think how lucky I am to be his Mum.

But enough of the schmaltz...

Being the person that I am, a birthday cannot pass without some form of celebrating. And so celebrate we did; kiddie birthday party style!

Luckily for Mr B and I his parents had flown in a few days before to help celebrate and revel in the two years of being grandparents. They were a HUGE help!!!

Food was baked, cupcakes were made, THE CAKE was cooked, sculpted and decorated, party bags made and stuffed, balloons blown up, and the complex garden set up ready for some morning tea and toddler mayhem. It was all great fun.

The day was a little windy, and after a week of glorious weather, was even quite overcast to start with. Thankfully the sun did appear, and the wind ... well besides blowing the balloons around and freaking LL out to the point that we had to get rid of all of them, it was manageable.

Trampolines were jumped on, slippery dips slid down, and scooters and bikes ridden all over. To say the kids had fun I think is a complete understatement.

And the cake!!! All I can really say is Mr B has seriously set the bar for years to come and we are going to struggle to top it. Uh oh!

LL has been in to planes and helicopters for a good 6 months now. Loves them, can't get enough, to the point that he is almost jumping out of his skin every time we hear or see one in the sky. So what better cake to make than a helicopter cake. Or so I thought?!

Luckily for me my Mum had kept the classic version of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book, bought all the way back in 1982 for the very expensive price of $4.98. I'm pretty sure it was money well spent!! I have been lucky enough to inherit this historical book as of 2 weeks ago. And what do you know it actually had a helicopter birthday cake in it. Perfect!

Mr B, however, had grander ideas than the version demonstrated in the birthday cake book - envisage a Cake Boss style cake with fondant and piping and everything else that goes with a professionally made cake. Wow it would have been incredible if we could have pulled that off. But professional bakers and cake makers we are not, and after much "discussion" I managed to convince Mr B to give the Women's Weeky cake a go. He still wanted to make and use fondant though, to which I relented and, said sure give it a crack. 9pm the night before the party and we've got the airconditioner set to 16 in the living/dining room as the icing just won't set and the lollies are falling off the cake. Mr B is slightly stressing. He reckons the cake looks like a tortoise. That's ok, I say, LL loves tortoises!!

Flash forward to the next day and the cake turns out a treat. Decorate the board with some green coloured coconut and my "professionally" decorated cupcakes and we've got one fancy looking home made kiddie birthday cake (if I do say so myself).

I'm pretty sure LL thought it was pretty cool, although at the same time it did appear that he wasn't exactly sure what all the fuss was about.

The proof is in the leftovers though .... there were none. Those kiddies devoured every single cupcake and every single scrap of helicopter cake. I must admit I had a bit of each too and it was all YUM!

LL was on such a high from all the excitement he refused to nap that day. Come late afternoon he was still going strong enough to play a little front yard cricket with his Daddy and Pa and his new plastic cricket set.

It was a very good day :)

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