The Little Story of Sprout

Several people have asked me to share my story, and although I always agreed to at the time, I have deliberated over writing this post for ages now (18 weeks to be exact) for fear of undermining, insulting or upsetting anyone going through fertility issues. This is my story, a happy and positive one, and I wrote it from my heart. I hope that it in some small way will help whoever may read it.

You see, babies – despite what they say in the movies – seldom come from a drunken one night stand or even a stork. Babies (often) come from heartbreak, tears and a whole lot of planning.

In June this year I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – a fairly common condition that affects every 1 in 20 woman. I went to get checked out because a good friend had recently been diagnosed, and as she told me I just knew, in my heart, that I had it too. Turns out, I did, and seeing my ovaries on the ultrasound resemble a bunch of grapes, was devastating. Ladies, I’m sure we can all agree that grapes, unless being fed to you by an Adonis or crushed in a wine bottle, have no place in a woman’s reproductive system.

My gynae, a crazy Croatian with a fondness for the word Fuck (to be referred to as ‘Dr D’ going forward) was brilliantly blasé and calm when he told me – and the only advise he handed out was to “Not Dr Google it, drink lots and have plenty of sex”.

Copious blood tests, medicine and a small fortune later, my diagnosis had been confirmed and we knew what the exact problem was, for me it was my Prolactin levels. (PCOS symptoms vary from woman to woman, and no case is ever the same). PCOS, like anything to do with making a human, is a messy revolting affair – some days I wished for a baby delivery by stork, much more charming than the weekly crotch invasions I was experiencing.

Dr D also advised that if we were serious about having children (we were) then we shouldn’t delay and get trying right away. In the back of my mind I was anticipating 2 to 3 years of trying (based on research and people who had the same condition) and was quite happy to go with his advice, thinking I would be pregnant in 2016 if I was lucky.

10 weeks into the new medication, and obsessively recording my cycles, basal body temperature and more I went back to the doctor for another batch of tests. I remember sitting in his office complaining that Aunt Flow hadn’t arrived in 2 months and that the meds weren’t working – he told me that based on the blood test results he would put me on fertility drugs to try help my system reboot and resume.

New blood work done I went out that week and drank my body weight in wine – as I had been doing for the weeks before then, You see, some people react to a PCOS diagnosis by cutting out sugar, wheat and alcohol. I embraced all the bad stuff and decided to try and not let my diagnosis bother me as much as I could. I found comfort at the bottom of a Boschendal bottle.

Around the same time, to try and distract myself even more from the barren womb, I took up an intense 12 week bikini body gym program. I was only 3 or 4 weeks into it, but battling – I couldn’t finish each 28 minute set without almost passing out, wanting to vomit or feeling dizzy – on top of that my heart rate was a staggeringly high at about 210 BPM during every session. Part of the program entailed taking daily pics to track ones progress – I still remember the frustration I felt at feeling so weak and looking at my pics wondering why my tummy wasn’t getting flatter, only more and more bloated.

All of this, combined with emotional outbursts at work (I cried when I was told an email was too nice for gods sake) should really have been a sign that there was something going on, but you believe a professional when they tell you that IT.WILL.TAKE.TIME so you blame the tears on the meds and you blame the bloat on the wine.

Little did I know that I had been merrily with child for 5 weeks already.

My darling husband, eventually convinced me to take a pregnancy test. I was beautifully hung-over on the day I did, and decided to stock up on all the necessities at Clicks when I bought my pee stick that would forever change my life. Necessities included a bulk purchase of tampons, ovulation kits and energy drinks (for the hangover, you see). Ha! How the fertility gods must have been LOL’ing.

So, kids, I won’t go into the shock I felt at seeing that big bold double line, or the silent treatment I gave Barry for 2 days afterwards, or event the heart-stopping bubbling over joy when I think about this little boy growing inside of me. I also won’t go into the OhMyGodWhatTheActualFuck moments I had for several weeks after finding out.

What I will tell you, is that when a Doctor tells you something is impossible, even they can be wrong. I will also tell you, that to keep a positive outlook is sometimes the best medicine, and that things happen when you least expect it.

Also, wine solves pretty much everything.

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Things That Only Kids Who Went To School In The '90s Will Understand

I was chatting to a school go’er the other day when the talk turned to lunchboxes and tuck-shops. I guess in the back of my mind I’m already worried that I won’t be able to match my mom’s school lunch boxes – those things were legendary – and the talk of the quadrangle.

Did you know that some schools these days have in-campus restaurants and that the tuck shop menu features more than just a Piemans Pantry Cornish Pasty and a soggy salad roll?

Listen up, kids – we had it hard in the 90’s. I’ve heard talk of school tuck shops (are they even called tuck-shops anymore, or are they now referred to as ‘Student Lounges’?) serving sushi, hot meals and coffee.(Coffee! I guess ADHD isn’t a thing anymore)

This blog post is inspired by the almost slave labour like conditions that most C level schools provided in the 90’s.

Things that only kids who went to school in the 90’s, will remember.

Tuck-shops and school food

  1. In Primary School a R2 note at the tuck-shop could buy you half a Chelsea Bun, a large guava roll and a toasted mince sandwich.
  2. Tuck-shop ladies were always your mom and other moms. If you knew your mom was on tuck-shop duty you were in luck – as it meant getting to the front of the queue faster.

tuck-shop

3. A handful of coins was always enough to get you something. It was perfectly acceptable for the Grade 1’s and Grade 2’s to open a grubby fist, full of bronze coins, and ask “what can I get for this?”

4. Woolies did not sell cute snack sized, pre-cut, low carb, banting friendly treats (these were the days before Woolworths was aspirational). Our moms would pack our food (high-carb-what-the-hell-is-a-gluten-intolerance-anyway jam-sandwiches) in an empty bread packet, a Checkers packet, or in my case a 2 litre ice cream tub. Sandwich swopping was up there with marbles during break time.

Sports

  1. In Primary school, uniform regulations were strict. There were dedicated shops (I think called Step Ahead) which sold school authorised uniforms and accessories. Think navy blue scrunchies, padded alice bands and matchy matchy hair clips.
  2. In Winter, knee high socks were mandatory, and if you happened to have twig legs like me, your mom would have to sew you 2 elasticated bands to help them stay up.
  3. If you partook in a school sport, school colour and brand approved underwear was compulsory. Before every match or game the girls would line up in the quadrangle while the teachers lifted our (knee high) culottes and inspected our panties. Not school regulation grey or navy? Sorry, no sport for you.
  4. Refreshments during a school match were always the following: A slice of orange still in its peel during half time, and a packet of Fritos and a frozen Take 5 after the game.

Take 5 Fritos

Teachers and Classrooms

  1. For the longest time I thought every desk I sat at belonged to a boy named Ted. It was only in my later more intelligent tween (also, not a word that was around in the 90’s) years that I realised the permanent marker “T.E.D’s” stood for ‘Transvaal Education Department. (T.O.D in the Afrikaanse onderwyser se klaskamer)

School desk

  1. You don’t know what true claustrophobia is until you’ve sat in a pre-fab classroom with the windows closed.
  2. There were no cell phones in schools (they didn’t exist until I was in Standard 9) so the only piece of technology that was always being confiscated by the teachers was the Tamagotchi. Highly upsetting to all Tamagotchi owners, the confiscation of these always resulted in a “But Mrs de Bruyn it was going to die, I had to feed it!”

Tamagotchi

  1. There was no such thing as a Typo Stationer in the 90’s. School stationery was standard issue HB pencils, Bic pens (after a certain age) and feint lined exam pads. The only stamp of personalisation that one was allowed was a Space Case in which to keep it all.

Space Case

  1. If you saw a teacher out of school it was big news. We could never quite believe that Mrs so and so had a life outside of her classroom.
  2. Each child had a chair bag – a material item that draped over your school chair with a large pocket – useful for storing your stationery and lunches. God forbid you forgot your lunch there over a weekend or even worse – school holidays. Mom would get out the wooden spoon. (if you’re not afraid of the wooden spoon, even to this day, then you definitely weren’t a 90’s school’goer)

chair bag

  1. All class photos looked like this:

school photo

School grounds and facilities

  1. The quadrangle was the equivalent of the starting block in The Hunger Games. Most days ended and started there. Come rain or shine, hundreds of little children’s delicate bottoms grew haemorrhoids from sitting on the concrete listening to the headmaster read out roll call.
  2. School assembly’s marked a sign of seniority – the smaller you were, the closer you sat at the front. The older kids always got to sit at the back. Teachers flanked the perimeter of the school hall like soldiers at a prison camp. The floors were always dusty and one child would always puke near you.
  3. Toilets were revolting. The doors always started half way up the wall, and there was no such thing as a soap dispenser – only a soggy round white soap that sat in the ceramic indentation of the sink. To use this was a risk not many were willing to take. There was no such thing as hand dryers or paper towels- instead archaic machines were mounted from the walls from which white and blue striped material was dispensed. To get a clean portion of said towel one had to manoeuvre the round lever until the dirty section disappeared and a fresh section was revealed. To this day it is still a mystery as to how these towels cleaned themselves.

towel dispenser

So yes, schooling in the 90’s was not glamourous, but then I became an adult and realised… I would give anything to go back.

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The 13 Most Annoying Things A Person Can Say

My boss is terribly proud that he was the inspiration behind this particular post. In fact, inspired by his comments of “Just wait until you have kids, you will never find the time to blog, let alone wee in peace” I’m going to blog even more. Screaming baby or no screaming baby.

(If you listen quietly you will hear every new mom with an infant laughing hysterically at that)

So, thank you Niel, your comment and 12 others have formed  my ’13 most annoying things a person can say’ post.

  • “Oh, you hate traffic? You should move closer to the office”
  • “Because I’m a woman, that’s why”
  • “Just wait until you’re a mother”
  • “That’s not my job”
  • “You don’t know what free time is until you become a parent”
  • “You look tired”
  • “Can you borrow me some money”
  • “You have time for (insert hobby here)? You clearly don’t work very hard.”
  • “Oh, you’re a vegetarian? Don’t you miss meat?”
  • “Oh, you’re a vegetarian? What do you eat”
  • “Oh, you’re a vegetarian? Can you eat chicken?”
  • “Can you client service this for me?”
  • Babe, I will fix it, there’s no need to remind me every 6 months”

 

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10 Things I Didn't Know Before I Was Pregnant

1. The first 12 weeks, when no-one knows (and just think you ate all the pies) are when you feel the absolute worst. Want to throw up on your keyboard? Sure, just make sure you do it quietly.

2. You may not gain any weight but shit gets bigger and looser. I have a Kardashian sized bum, with none of the perks

3. Most people, upon finding out say “well done“. I swear, getting knocked up was the easiest praise I’ve ever received. If pregnancy was a promotion, I’d be President right about now.

* Side note – one person when finding out actually asked “How do you know?”. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer that one.*

4. You go through this awkward phase of part bloat, (small) part baby and (large) part fat. When I say ‘go through’ I mean it seems to last forever. Even now, with my news out in the open I find myself walking into a room of strangers defending the boep while screaming “I’m not fat, I swear, I’m just pregnant!”

5. You may be a 10 times Comrades marathon winner, but a few weeks in, you are so tired, so nauseous and so dizzy that the thought of climbing into your car seems like a chore, let alone going to gym (I refer to point 2.)

6. You gauge time by Doctor appointments, And every-time you have a scan you are surprised that the baby is still there. It’s true – for the first several weeks – apart from feeling like you’ve been roofied, there is nothing that makes you feel like you are really with child. Conversations with my gynae have gone as follows:

Me (naked and vulnerable on the bed, large camera dildo inserted): “Oh, cool – it’s still there!”

Doctor: “What do you mean it’s still there?”

Me: “Well, I don’t know, I didn’t really feel pregnant this morning”

Doctor: “Kate, you’re very much pregnant. The only thing that can kill your baby is me or nature”

Me: “Oh, so is it OK if I gym then? (this was clearly before I felt like I did in point 5).I mean, I skip and everything”

Doctor: “Honey, if skipping caused the baby to fall out, then everybody would be going to Virgin Active for an abortion”

7. Your food moods will change every minute. One night I made fish cakes for dinner. I count even take one bite before I burst into tears. When husband asked why I was crying, I cried even harder. In hindsight I think I was more sad for the money wasted on Woolworths salmon, than I was for the fact that I couldn’t touch seafood for the next few months.

8. Telling people is a treat, and probably deserves it’s own post, but I’ll summarise. When we told our respective folks, we wrapped up boxes of “Ouma’ rusks for the moms and “Grandpa” headache tablets for the dads. Firstly, let me tell you that the penny did not drop, and secondly we must have the politest set of parents in the history of parents. My mom, upon opening her (23 Rand) rusks must have gone on and on for over 5 minutes, gushing about how much she loooves rusks, and how delicious, and lovely and thoughtful of us to drive all the way over to their house and give them to her. You get my point. My dad, takes one look at the headache pills and says “I cant use these”.

My grannies weren’t much better. What we did for them was to wrap up the same box of “Ouma” rusks, but write “Great” on-top – as in “Great Ouma” – get it? She didn’t. After about 10 minutes of reading the box out loud, I had to eventually tell her that I was Pregnant.With.A.Baby. Only then did she look up at me, laughing, and say ‘Oh, Katie, I thought you just wanted to tell me how great I was!”

9. Preggy brain is a thing. I doubt it’s supposed to happen so soon – but twice now I have left the bathroom tap running after washing my hands. Thank god I have a spouse with a good ear.

10. You know when you’re younger and you meet a guy or girl who you really like? You cant stop yourself from saying their name at any and every opportunity. “Oh, you had a bikini wax today? Mark has a sister, I’m sure she also goes for bikini waxes”. It’s embarrassing, and obvious, and you can’t stop the verbal diarrhea. The same thing happens when you are pregnant – you want to talk about it all the time and have to physically stop yourself from mentioning your fetus in every conversation. (As I type this I have duct tape across my mouth to avoid boring my poor desk mate Lucy)

11. (I know, I said 10, but this is important). You are so excited you could pee! You also do pee, alot, but that’s because of increased blood flow, and not necessarily excitement. You’re not a dog for gods sake.

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A Halloween Birthday and Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

We celebrated Halloween a week late this year, to coincide with a mates birthday. As usual our hosts pulled out all the stops with decor and the guests did the same.

This year I really wanted to do something different, and decided to attempt a ‘Pop Art’ makeup look that I have seen all over Pinterest.

My first effort was an absolute fail – so I decided to ignore the rules I had read and make up my own. Read below for a mini tutorial on achieving the pop art look, or just scroll down to see some pics of the Halloween party and the brilliant food and decor!

Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

1. You will need (most of these things should be in your makeup bag already, so the cost is minimal) the following:

  • Foundation and powder (I used a white mattifying powder)
  • Mascara
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • White kohl eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow (bright colours work best)
  • Red or fuchsia lipstick

2. The application:

  • Apply foundation – thicker than normal as you want everything to be covered. Apply powder – the whiter and matter the better. The reason for this is that you want the makeup effect to be the main focus, nothing else. Remember to contour your cheeks with a darker blush – this also helps when adding the cheek bone line.
  • Add a white base to your eyelids (and if you are doing the tear drop shape then that area too). I used the white eye pencil for this as it makes the colour on top ‘pop’ that much more.
  • Grab your liquid eyeliner (I like the liquid pen as its steadier and easier to apply) and outline the outside of your face, your cheekbones, your eyebrows, a line down your nose, under your nose and everywhere one would outline a cartoon drawing. Don’t do the lips yet – save that for last. Don’t forget to enhance your collar bones and cleavage as well 🙂
  • Grab your white eye pencil and start making equal spaced dots all over your face. This is time consuming, so don’t leave it till last. (TIP – blast the eyeliner under a hairdryer for a few seconds every several dots – this really makes the white come out and also makes it last)
  • Fill in your lips with a bright red or pink and outline with the black eyeliner pen
  • Finally, using a large brush or kabuki brush, dust the white/setting powder all over your face, chest and wherever else you have applied the makeup.
  • I found that not using any face paint was the best idea – as face paint is cheap, runny and goes on terribly.
  • Lastly – to complete the look, add a wig of your choice.

Pre Wig – Post Makeup

Pre Wig
Pre Wig

The finished effect

The final effect
The final effect

More pics from the Halloween Party. I am NOT embarrassed to tell you that I won first prize for my eyeball cake pops in a pumpkin – winning, no?

Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops
Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops

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There’s no hiding the bump anymore!

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15 Things That Will Always Happen When You Work In An Open Plan Office.

1. An item of food in the communal fridge is immediately deemed as a free for all and must be laced with laxatives or brussel sprouts to avoid thievery.

Communal Office Food2. Colleague phone conversations are either too loud so you can’t hear yourself think, or too soft that you can’t eavesdrop on what they are saying

3. The aircon temperature can never be agreed on

4. Pens, unless chained to your desk, will grow tiny pen legs and walk. This rule applies to calculators, staplers and any other shiny item of stationery.

5. The rule of cooking: The colleague sitting closest to you will ultimately be the one re-heating fish and broccoli for lunch.

6. Your working hours become skinner fodder for everyone. “Leaving at 4:59 again hey Sue?”.

7. Booking a communal boardroom in advance only means said boardroom will never actually be available come the time you need it

8. The second a client arrives for a meeting the water cooler will be empty, the coffee finished and the receptionist will be on a tea break.

9. Whispered hallway conversations always make you feel as if you’re about to get fired.

10. Shit will always hit the fan at 4:45pm on a Friday afternoon.

11. Guaranteed – no matter how hard you have been working the entire day, the second you open Facebook your boss will walk past.

12. Nothing is private.

13. Dieting? Sorry for you. Birthdays mean cake, and lots of it.

14. You sit within ‘guess the deodorant brand’ range from everyone, if you’re lucky. If not, it’s more like ‘guess when last they wore deodorant”.

15. It is loud. ALL.THE.TIME.

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Kaal Kop 4 Cancer

You may have seen the latest magazine cover from the always classy YOU magazine in your local store, and perhaps like me you also did a double take – thinking, wow, good on you celeb – you’ve made a huge stand by promoting Cancer awareness and shaving your lovely hair. Until, upon closer inspection, you notice the word shaved is sitting very comfortably between inverted commas.

YOU Magazine

The celeb who you, for a fleeting second, had an ounce of respect for, hasn’t in fact shaved her locks, instead she’s had them photo-shopped out to promote awareness. Mind you, her plucked brows and long lashes remain perfectly intact – as does her flawless skin, pouty lips and carefree smile.

That is not the face of Cancer we all know, and quite frankly, I found the entire campaign very disrespectful, and although not malicious (I’m sure) it very clearly just wasn’t thought through properly.

I get it – we all hate Cancer – it sucks and it causes grief and sadness wherever it goes – so to promote awareness is well and good, but with that awareness needs to come action. I would have liked to have seen the money for the shoot go towards fixing up a CHOC ward, investing in new technology or going towards finding a cure. perhaps it did if so, I will eat my words.

A good friend of mine, Don Packett, has decided to take action and not just sit back and moan like me. He’s started a Twitter and YouTube campaign called “Kaal Kop 4 Cancer” and has pledged to donate R1 for every single share of his video. That means, if he gets 1 million shares, that’s 1 million Rand that will go towards research, medicine and changing the face of Cancer.

Now, Don needs to save some money for his rather expensive bird watching habit – so if you want to stand up and take action with him, check out his Twitter bio, YouTube clip and then pledge*. Every rand makes a difference.

Let’s stand up, spread the word and take action against Cancer. It CAN be beaten.

*You can also email Don to pledge, or just to ask to rub his newly shaved tennis ball fuzz. kaalkopforcancer@gmail.com

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Parenting: A joyful chore

Several weeks ago we went away on a weekend with friends, to watch a few of our mates (my husband included) take part in a triathlon. Amy, her hubby Chett and their 10 month old baby Ben, came along. Amy and I have been friends for more than 17 years and weekends away with the 4 of us are nothing new. Until they became weekends away with the 5 of us. That’s when everything changed. 

This particular weekend was hard. Ben had started teething, and crawling, and being a bit of a homebody felt horribly antsy at being in a strange environment, in a strange cot and with a strange new routine. Over and above that, traipsing a 10 month old around a triathlon course in 30 degree heat, would bring even the strongest of people to tears. 

To make matters worse, Ben wasn’t sleeping, which meant that neither mom nor dad were sleeping, and to say the least, tempers were frayed and nerves were shot. I remember, post race, and after about 23 minutes sleep between the 3 of them, Chett, while trying to rock Ben to sleep, looked up at me with vacant eyes and muttered ‘Don’t EVER have kids”.*

Like a moth in a windstorm, I was frazzled. Hubby and I had been taking about starting a family and now here we were, getting told by some of our closest friends that it was the biggest mistake we could make. I was ready to quit any idea of motherhood right there and then, and resign myself to being childless forever.

But – guess what – a few weeks later Ben had stopped teething and had turned back into the adorable kid he was. Amy on the other hand, fearing she had scarred me (and closed my uterus for life) kindly offered to write a guest post on motherhood, explaining why it was the hardest yet most rewarding thing one human can ever do.

Take a read – let us know your thoughts – and then congratulate every parent you speak to from here on out. Because they deserve it. 

Parenting: A Joyful Chore

This morning I woke up to my ten month old son crawling to the side of my bed, lifting himself up, and kissing me on my cheek. It was one of those moments that makes you wonder how you could have earned such love. Of course, it only takes a few seconds until you come to your senses and remind yourself that you’ve worked damn hard for this love. Damn. Hard.*

A few months back, we went through a particularly difficult patch. Ben had undiagnosed allergies and wasn’t sleeping much. He was also prone to bouts of tonsillitis and ear infections (because of the allergies) so nights with less than two hours of sleep were a regular occurrence. My husband and I couldn’t agree on anything. We walked around in a daze thinking ‘What have we done?’ and ‘Why do so many people choose to have kids?’. In an effort to feel that we weren’t alone and out of genuine curiosity, I started on a research journey to answer our ‘why?’ questions.

My initial findings weren’t encouraging. Research is pretty clear: Parents are less happy than non-parents. Children are more likely than money, sex, work, pretty much anything, to cause arguments in marital relationships.

For mothers, the news is even worse. The wage gap between working moms and equally qualified childless women is bigger than the gap between men and women.

So yes, parenting is hard. It makes our days less happy, our marriages harder, and our salaries lower. Why then, do we choose to have children?

One

Have you ever considered that holidays are less enjoyable while they’re happening than they are when you look at the photographs? Picture your last holiday and try to put yourself in the moment, say walking through a market in Thailand. It’s hot, you’re sweating, traders are haggling you to buy things, your partner is on his own mission. In the moment, you’re uncomfortable and irritable. But if you look at a photograph now of you standing in the midst of fake Polo shirts and incense holders, you’d feel very differently.

Parenthood is like that. The day-to-day business of feeding, clothing, and entertaining children is tedious and frustrating but when you look back, it’s the greatest adventure of all time. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense because it means you’re likely to have more than one child despite having first-hand experience of how tough it is.

Two

Did you know that we don’t care for our children because we love them? We love them because we care for them. At least, that’s what some studies say. The more we sacrifice for something, the more we love that thing. If you think about this in context of some of the projects you’ve taken on, your garden for example, it makes sense right?

Parenting isn’t rewarding in spite of some hard times. The tough stuff of parenting is exactly what leads to the good stuff.

Three

My Ben, as you know, had a traumatic arrival. I didn’t get that precious moment when mom holds baby for the first time and dad leans in lovingly. So many moms describe that moment as a lightning bolt realisation that *this* is everything and that your heart will never be whole again. I did get the lightning bolt a day or so after birth when I went up to the ICU to see my tube-covered, fighting-for-life baby and the nurse commented on how his heart rate calmed as soon as he heard my voice. I realised then that our connection was deeper than emotional or practical, it’s biological. That’s an amazing thing to know.

Psychiatrist and researcher George Valliant is an authority on adult development who followed the lives of 268 men for 75 years. His research was able to track many of the things that most sociology research can’t quantify and he’s quoted as saying that “Joy is connection,” and that connection is the strongest predictor of life satisfaction there is.

So if the ‘fathomless connection’ that parenting brings is mixed up in sleepless nights, arguments with your spouse, despairing over a baby that won’t eat textured foods, then I’ll take it.

* I don’t leave Ben to crawl around the house when I sleep. My husband had fetched him from his cot and was watching him play on our bedroom floor.

Amy and Ben
Amy and Ben
Ben - Proud Triathlon Supporter
Ben – Proud Triathlon Supporter

About Amy

One times 10km race runner (you may remember this post), perfectionist, empathetic and revoltingly fitted back into her size 8 jeans just minutes after Ben was born 

About Ben

Weeks away from his first birthday, Ben’s favourite activities include playing in the garden, crawling around the house, drooling… and occasionally keeping his mom and dad up at night. 

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"The One With 5 Steaks and An EggPlant"

Do you remember this episode of FRIENDS? The one where they all go out for dinner, and end up splitting the bill even though 3 of the 5 ordered the bare minimum off the menu to save some bucks? 

That was me yesterday. Not with regards to the food thing – I’m quite a splurger when it comes to my grub – but I felt like the ‘Phoebe’ of the group at our girls dinner last night when the conversation turned to holidays. It went a little something like this:

Guys, let’s do another girls trip!

Yes! Keen, November?

Me: “Sorry? November, as in TWENTY FOURTEEN? (Secretly hoping that somewhere like Magaliesberg would be on the list of choices)

Alas, the destinations that cropped up were closer to Prague, Amsterdam, Greece and Brazil, and with every new country that was thrown out my heart sunk a little bit further into my chest. Knowing full well I could never afford an overseas holiday that soon, let alone anytime in the next year.

The conversation went on, and on with each person delegated a task of researching certain destinations, while I avoided eye contact and tried not to cry into my Chenin Blanc. 

How do they do it, I asked myself – why, when we all work hard am I the one who is (seemingly) constantly worried about money. This of course then turns into a self hating spiral of despair. You’re not as thin as someone, not as talented, not as good an athlete. Your car isn’t as nice, your home isn’t as big, your partner not as generous. I bet people never complicate you behind your back. I bet they never consider you to be amazing. 

STOP. 

Needless to say a gorgeous evening out with my incredible mates left me feeling really sad – and the only person to blame was myself. 

It’s so hard to not compare yourself with others. And it’s also very dangerous too. I need to stop. I don’t want to be the Phoebe anymore. 

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Kayla Itsines Beach Body

Readers of my blog know that I am a lover of all things fitness and exercise, and generally track and document my activities on Rupert Approves. You may also have heard me talking abut my next Half Iron Man distance race (Tri Rock) in October. Sadly – I have had to pull out of it for a few reason (one being lazy and the other a recent health incident …. maybe one day I will blog about that). So, cancelled triathlon aside and what feels like a year long winter, my body has hit a serious slump. So serious in fact, that my fat pants are now toit pant and I am feeling uncomfortable ALL.THE.TIME. It also doesn’t help when my husband, bless his cotton socks, grabs my tummy and makes big squishy vagina faces with it. 

Recent health events (annoyingly vague, I know), stress at work and a damn long year have all played its part and I must admit, I have been lazy as hell, choosing to get home after work and lie on the couch with a glass of red, over hitting the gym. Silly me – because all the hard work I put in before the wedding, getting to my goal weight, has reversed and I have piled the kilos back on and am feeling utterly crap.

I’ve listlessly tried a few things to get this arse back in gear – suggesting a neighbourhood running group, aimlessly wandering around the gym and cutting out all carbs – none of which lasted more than a few days. It’s clear to me that the only time I ever achieve anythng is with a plan and goal in mind – so I decided to investigate some training options out there.

What better way then by stalking following a few Instagram accounts that showcase the famous ‘body transformation’ pic. One of those accounts belong to Australian trainer and 6-pack-owner Kayla Itsines, and after realising a lot more people in SA follow her, her plan began looking like an option. It was also after chatting to cyber friend Meg Pacoe (Fit_Megsie on Instagram) who is also doing it, that I decided to give it a bash. 

So here we are, 3 days in and walking like a colonoscopy patient. I never in a hundred years thought that this plan would leave me so sore after just two days (considering the first 4 weeks involve around 28 minutes a day). But boy was I wrong.

I’m considering loading some before pics but am honestly so ashamed that I’m not sure if I can…would you still love me, dear reader, if you saw me at my worst?

In case you were wondering the reason behind my excitement – take a look at these transformations:

Kayla Itsines Body Transformation Kayla Itsines Body Transformation Kayla Itsines Body Transformation Kayla Itsines Body Transformation Kayla Itsines Body Transformation Kayla Itsines Body Transformation

 

I know, right!?

Also, I am following both her eating and training pan and would love to hear from anyone else who has done this program (I’m particularly interested in feedback on the eating – as it’s a lot more carbs than I ever thought would be OK)

Here’s to a new improved me (Thumbs crossed!)

Love

Fatty m’cKearney. 

 

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