Toddlers Are Quite Lovely When They’re Your Own.

I was listening to an interview on a podcast this week, where the interviewer asked his guest if the good in children outweighed all the hard shit. I haven’t stopped thinking about this comment. Because, it is hard. Not ‘parallel parking hard’ but hard in that fact that everything – when you have a kid – always seems as if it takes that much longer. It’s mind boggling when I think about how one times 2 year old has completely thrown our lives out of sync, but for the better.

So, to answer your question, Mr DJ, yes, the good absolutely does outweigh the bad.

I feel like my last few blog posts have been somewhat negative. I’ve been writing a lot about the ‘busyness’ of it all. But I don’t often reflect on this little person and just how amazing he is.

I’ve never really liked other peoples toddlers. Babies are adorable, all peach fuzz hair and soft skin, but toddler? What’s there to love about some one else DNA with miles of snot dripping out of their nose, too long and always dirty fingernails, slogan t-shirts and irritating mannerisms. Call me harsh, but (and I’m a kid person) they’ve never really held appeal to me. When people share videos of their kids doing nauseatingly annoying things and then narrate it in baby talk “Tommy wikes wapples”, I could actually just vomit in my mouth. Except now I share all the videos of Carter (except, shoot me if I ever talk to him in nonsensical rhyming ridiculousness).  I used to think that when people told me ‘the best was yet to come’ it was to make themselves feel better, and I would look smugly at my sleeping infant and think never. Never could it get better than this.

But then he turned two and all the potty-training, new bed, will-he-ever-sleep-again drama came and went, and what emerged was this incredibly smart, conscientious, aware, loving, kind, wonderful little boy in my life, and I simply cannot get enough of him.

Motherhood is a complete oxymoron. I miss him terribly during the day and cannot wait to see him after school, but a sense of me also dreads the hours until bedtime. He’s going to need me, and want me, and whine and then want food and maybe then wont eat the food I cook and then he will moan when I want to go wee and want a sweet before supper or hug the dog too hard and be demanding of my attention when I just need to edit some photos for client and then type up an email for my boss but oh my god I only have him for 2 hours a day what is wrong with me.

So often I take the time I have with him for granted, and so I’ve been consciously trying to spend a solid 30 minutes a day with him, uninterrupted. I know that sounds ridiculously short, but you try put away your phone, your distractions, dinner and work and actively just sit with your child and chat.

I try start from the moment we leave the school. I love the way he runs into my arms, proudly pointing at me to his friend saying ‘my mom’. He wraps his arms around me and stands on my crouched knees to give me a kiss. Getting out of a school is a minefield of distractions, from creche dogs to sandpits and wayward two-year-olds vying for this attention. I have mastered the art of bribery and now always have a treat on me to tempt him to the car faster. Once home I try and ignore the carrots that need julienning, the rice that needs steaming or the bags that need unpacking. Instead, if I’m early enough we make a pt of tea, sit outside and catchup.

Carter is incredible. The things he knows and says and shows me. His little sentences are now 4, 5, 6 words long and his attention to detail is amazing. He has this way of tilting his head when he’s trying to convince you of something, and a little frown he he’s genuinely confused by something. Everything that I don’t want him to do, that he wants to do, gets met with a ‘5 more minutes’ plea from his earnest face and god forbid there’s ever a mess or spill of any kind, he will spend years cleaning it up.

He dances like his mother (badly) to music but dawdles like a sloth in peanut butter walking into school in the morning. He adores babies and dogs and will spend the majority of his time looking for either one to love.

He is so independent and insists on doing everything himself (this, my friends, is why parents are never on time). He fights bedtime like a purple star recipient and sat through is first theatre show better than a 5 year old.

This kid he is bloody terrific. Even with a runny nose and always-dirty-fingernails.

Toddlers. You really do like them more when they’re your own.



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Book Lovers – I Need Your Help! A Blog A Day Challenge – Day 8

“Currently Reading”

As an avid reader I’m prone to feelings of severe post-book depression. I dread the last few pages of a book that I’m loving because I’m always certain I will never ever find another book as good. Ultimately, I do, but the weeks in between are hard – poring through vile crap in order to find literary gold.

To alleviate the pain of ‘bad book syndrome’ I need your help. If, based on the books I’m about to mention below, you think you have one I will love, please be a dear and let me know? Hopefully you will also find a few goodies with comments posted from other. See, its like a e-book club, but with less wine.

A few of my favourite books, ever, to get us started:

1. We need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

We Need To Talk About Kevin

2. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

White Oleander

3. Gone Girl by Elizabeth Flynn

Gone Girl

4. The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam by Lauren Liebenberg

the voluptuous delights of peanut buttr and jam

5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

6. Room by Emma Donoghue

Room

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

 

Looking forward to hearing your choices!

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A Blog A Day Challenge – Your Earliest Memory – Day 7

Growing up on a small holding in Chartwell was tough for an up and coming socialite. At that stage, the closest shop was at Fourways Mall and to get there by ox cart took ages. I jest. We had a cream Jetta, but close enough.

Now, I’m not sure if this is my earliest memory, but its one of the strongest. 

It was a Saturday and we were harvesting the fields playing in the garden and I had been harassing mom and dad to take me to the pet store for a fish tank. I’m pretty sure I was close to getting a klap from dad after a while, so I’m still surprised by how he caved. Dad never caves, he has the resistance of 2 day old porridge left in the fridge.

“Fine, get in the car let’s go” he aid “We’re not wasting bladdy time there either” I also recall vague threats about bringing home another dog over his dead body. 

I couldn’t believe my luck! I was finally going to venture past the gates of the plot and go shopping – still a favourite pastime.

I had been saving up my pocket money (yes, all those R2’s cleaning the horse shed had really paid off) and was eager to blow my loot on a tank, a stand and a few mortally challenged goldfish. 

Shortly thereafter the tank was purchased, cleaned and set up in my room. I don’t think the fish lasted very long and were soon replaced with 2 tiny turtles given to me by our local GP up the road. You cant make this stuff up. Once the turtles lost their charm the hamster obsession took place and soon I was breeding the things like…well…rodents. One hamster in particular – her name was Mole – had several tiny babies the one morning. A few hours later I walked in to witness her eating the last of them. A few days later my dog Touser jumped into the tank and ate Mole.

The circle of life. Sometimes it just ‘aint pretty.

 

 

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A Blog A Day Challenge – Best Advice You Ever Got – Day 5

Birds of a feather flock together, right? So naturally the friends and family I have are just the brightest and smartest of them all. 

In terms of advise though, I can’t seem to recall the best piece of advise I’ve ever received – I suppose lessons happen throughout your life, and there are times when you need different pieces of advise from different people.

Some of the ones that stick out for me however:

“Good better best, never stop to rest, until your good is better and your better is best”

I think this is my favourite one ever – My Opa always said this to me and learning this little poem is one of my earliest memories. I try and apply it to most things I do. Except Excel – Excel is dumb. 

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“You know how you take a screen-grab on your iPhone? Do that with your eyes every few seconds, take in everything.”

My friend Amy said this to me moments before walking down the aisle. I was so focused on looking around and literally taking in everything that  only realised when I got to the end that Barry was even there. Oops.

“This too shall pass”

No idea where I first heard this , or from who – but man alive it could not be more true. From anything ranging from debt, to heartbreak to a stiff bum after squats…. it passes friends. Sit tight and be strong.

“It’s too soon to panic”

Barry the husband tells me this at-least once a week. Whether it’s to quell my nerves at the start of a race, if I’m stressed at work or if something I want done hasn’t been done like RIGHT AWAY. Wise guy (most of the time) this one. 

“Dont burn your bridges”

Unless they’re a c*nt, in which case, I’ll hand you the matches. 

And some more favourites. In picture form. 

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Blog A Day Challenge – The Meaning of Your Blog Name – Day 2

When I first started writing this blog, we had just adopted our gorgeous little boy ‘Rupert’. A 5 week old cute as a button Boston Terrier, who crawled his way into our hearts the instant we met him. 

For anyone who has ever owned a Boston Terrier, you’ll be familiar with the side-of-the-head tilt that screams curiosity, disapproval and bewilderment all at once.

When I was naming the blog I thought about that tilt of the head and what it stood for, and reckoned if Rupert could talk it would be full of sarcasm, disapproval, a smidgen of humour and probably requests for more food. I decided there and then to name my blog ‘Rupert Approves’. Ironically, the older he’s got, the less he does. A bit like me I suppose. 

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Intro and Recent Photo – 31 Day Blog Challenge

Shit, day one and I’m already procrastinating. I just asked my colleague Lucy to take a recent photo of me. Vanity prevents me from posting it. I have under eye bags and wrinkles. In lieu of that – here’s a photo of who I’d rather look like; Blake Lively.

You’re welcome.

About Me

I have the eye wrinkles of a woman twice my age, but am in-fact only 30. I say only because my Oma has just turned 90 (today!) which means the ladies in my family live forever, so I’ve got some good years left in this ol’ engine. I live in Jukskei Park (Johannesburg) in a our lovely new (old) home with my lovely husband Barry and our 2 dogs Rupert and Bella.

I grew up in Chartwell to mom Ingrid, dad Mike and brother John-Michael. I have a blog post planned about them so wont go into too much detail about them right now. They’re a hoot – so watch this space.

It’s hard to write about oneself. No matter what you say, you’re bound to come off the wrong way. But I’ll try.

I am an A type perfectionist and will seldom give up on an idea once I have it. Just ask my husband. I drive him nuts with things that I want done yesterday, when I’ve only thought of them today. My mind is always busy. Because of this, I multitask like a bitch and can easily do several things at once, successfully. I sleep badly – must be due to the brain-never-off thing and I am guaranteed to wake up at 5 am on a Saturday, and 8 am on a weekday.

I adore dogs. Like, I mean, adore. I’m convinced that the solution for a patient in respiratory failure is not actually a defibrillator but rather a bucket full of puppies. Who wouldn’t want to not live for that? Apart from dogs, I adore all animals (except horses, sorry) and am happiest when around, surrounded or close to them. That being said, I’m far too emotional when it comes to cruelty of animals and will cry longer and harder at the thought of an ill-done by animal than human (again, sorry).

I adore my red wine and have a glass every night. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate unless its a white Lindt ball or Speckled Eggs. I love salad, sushi cheese and noodles and could pretty much eat those for the remainder of my days. Cooking is my happy place – unless its 8pm after a long day in which case its an ‘eat what you get given or shut up kind of meal’.

I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I had a pet sheep who was killed and eaten and haven’t eaten red meat or pork since.

I desperately want a pet pig, some chickens and a sheep and I’ve already named them all in my head (my pig will be Norman).

I spend my spare and free time reading, browsing on Pinterest, shopping, cooking, and making said things on Pinterest. I’m currently going through a home decor phase and have a pile of pallets lying in my garden waiting to be turned in to something beautiful.

When I have a bit more time, and lack of sense, I like to enter races and compete with myself to do something I never thought possible. I took up triathlons a few years ago, and have just entered a Half Iron Man distance called ‘Tri Rock’ in December. I adore running and am most fond of trail running.

I care too much and will always remember the little things to make others feel special – I sometimes expect too much in return and am very often disappointed when I don’t get it.

My weakness would be makeup and skincare and have been an avid collector since I was young. I’m still convinced I will end up in this line of work one day.

I’m a girly girl who isn’t afraid to rough it (except for camping. Negative on the camping).

I have a seriously cool group of friends and am a people collector. You’re never too old to make new friends, and some of my best friends are the ones who have only been in my life for a few years. I would give my life for the people I love and am loyal to almost the end. There have been friendships lost along the way, but they needed to be dropped – they were more toxic than healthy.

I’m a stickler for time and may just be the most punctual person I know. there are times when I have tried my hardest to be just a little bit late, and have failed miserably every time.

I’m funny. Thank god, because I’m not the smartest person around. My wit and humour often gets used as a defense mechanism, and I think, to my detriment. I’m generally always happy and laughing and therefore don’t show how I’m really feeling. ‘Keep the peace’ is my motto.

I cannot tell left from right, read a map or understand a spreadsheet. I leave cupboard doors open and seem to collect crap wherever I go. I talk too fast, and sometimes over people but it’s never with ill intent.

I cannot do a step class and have trouble remembering directions. I cry when I’m frustrated. I’m an ugly cryer.

I love the taste of ginger and hate fennel. I only like liquorice if it’s salty or has that pink filling. I have toilet anxiety and despise having dirty feet. I’m terrified of spiders and centipedes and am convinced I’m going to die in a freak accident (picture a geyser falling on my head, or a kite string slicing my throat open) but, I really hope not.

I’m very attracted to a good conversation and someone who can make me laugh. I despise sulkers and people who cannot communicate.

I am a tech nerd and will always smell an electronic as soon as its come out of the box. Speaking of smells – my favourite is a struck match (reminds me of Christmas) and my worst is body odour and browning mince. I am a sucker for a good set of calves and big shiny white teeth.

I tweet, Instagram, take photos and gorge on Buzzfeed when I have time. I will shout at a radio DJ when they’re being useless or stupid (most of the time).

I try my hardest and do my bit and expect the same from others around me.

I’m me. And damn proud of it.

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Win With Forever New

The first 5 day week in ages and we’re all feeling the pain. I don’t know about you, but this week has been revolting. Work deadlines, traffic madness, lack of sleep and a fine for an expired licence disk on my car have left me very grumpy.

The only cure for grumpy Kate is retail therapy. Luckily for me the kind folk at Forever New have given me a 30% discount voucher off anything at their stores. Lucky for you – they’ve given me an extra one which I am giving to one lucky reader.

To win, simply comment on this blog post. Bribery wont work, but you can try.

The winner will be announced on Monday morning. Good Luck!

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Good Luck!

Ts &C’s

1. Voucher has to be redeemed at Forever New in Fourways Mall but can be used at any Forever New store in SA

2. Voucher valid only between 23 and 27 May

3. Voucher not valid on sale items or at Edgars stores

4. Maximum 20 items purchased per voucher allowed.

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to @RobsieM who has won the voucher – random.org has chosen you to look fabulous with some new Forever New goodies 🙂 Please email me with your details – katenicolekearney@gmail.com

 

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It Was a Beer Drinking, Night Racing, Art Viewing, Wine Tasting, Fromage Gubbling, Soweto Viewing Kinda Weekend

I don’t often write about my weekend or what went down – but this was such an interesting one that I wanted to share. 

You may remember me giving away tickets to the Energizer Soweto Night race a few weeks back. Well, the event took place on Saturday and I’m so glad we braved the cold and distance to attend.

We took part in the 10 km ‘trail’ race – and although it started off really slowly due to the dark, the cold, the crowds and the extreme bottle necking – it was one of the best races I have ever taken part in. We decided from the start that we were going to take it super easy and just enjoy the sights and sounds – and I’m so glad we did. (It’s also the first race I’ve done where I had beers before the race…highly recommended!)

Soweto has a vibe like non other, and for the full 10kms we were surrounded by cheering fans, high-fiving kids, impromptu directional singers, smells, sights and sounds. A highlight for me was running next to Bruce Fordyce for several minutes, joking about how this would be the slowest race we had ever done. 

For anyone who has ever trail ran (runned? ron?) you will know how it’s courtesy of the person infront to signal and point if there’s an upcoming obstruction – such as “rock”, “ditch” “water”. You get the vibe right? Let me tell you, running through the dark streets of Soweto means the obstructions are somewhat different. Just a few I heard, and called out, were: “Pothole”, “Taxi”, “Dog”…”Toilet”. Only in Africa!

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On Sunday, to celebrate Mother’s Day and my Dad’s 60th we went to the Nirox Art and Wine Fair. Nirox has got to be one of my favourite places, and Nirox plus art plus wine is easily a winning combination.

My cousin Olivia is out visiting from The States on her FOUR MONTH Summer vay-cay, and she (along with Aunts, Uncles, friends and cousins) joined us for the day out.

Just lovely!

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Mom, Gran and Gill (Aunt)

 

 

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Kearney’s – We hate being in the spotlight. 

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I love this piece. It’s titled “Man after divorce” or something like that. 

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It's Our House-Baby!

In January of this year Barry and I decided that 2014 was the year we would buy a house. Not a cluster in a complex, a house house, with rambling gardens, DIY and fixer upper opportunities, a pool, a covered patio and room to run around. A few large trees were also a plus. We gave ourselves a year and our deadline was Christmas time – so we could have people round in groups, and not invite them Noah style – in groups of two’s.

We told everyone about this house, we stared lovingly at the sales brochure and I spent my days Pinterist’ing imaginary furniture into rooms that did not belong to us. We decided (despite the slight over-budget part) that we would make an offer.

To cut a long story short (cue offer being accepted, then lost, then accepted again, The current house we owned that needed selling, sold, then lost, then sold again) we were finally told the place was ours.

You know when new moms say giving birth and looking at your perfect, new infant is the most awe inspiring feeling on earth? Well guys, we gave birth (C section of course) to a one story 3 bedroom child. She’s not new, she’s not perfect, but she’s ours.

Because the folk who bought our house were moving from Durban we had to move relatively quickly – which meant a few months of occupational rent and ‘don’t touch ’till its yours‘ rules. Well today friends, the house was lodged and it is now 100% FNB’s ours.

Cue champagne and excited pig like squeals!

So here she is, our number 73 pride and joy – I cant wait to tuck in, fix ‘er up and make this into a home.

Also, if you’re an out of work landscaper or interior decorator looking for some pro bono work… you know where to come.

(These photos are all taken before we moved in, so yes, we do have furniture and food. And wine, It’s very important to stay hydrated)Image

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…And the lived in debt happily ever after!

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