But Still, Bumblee Remains.

At the beginning of my triathlon career, my husband bought me a shiny fancy new road bike. It was yellow and black and we called her ‘Bumblebee”. Being a complete novice cyclist I had no idea if she was a good bike or a bad bike. All I knew was that she didn’t weigh nearly as much as my prehistoric concrete mountain bike, she had thin fancy wheels and clip in pedals. I mean, could you get anything more professional?

Bumblebee saw me through many races, including Half Iron Man, without so much as a puncture. She was super.

It was only later when I learnt more about bicycles that I realised she was by no means the most expensive bike on the block, nor was she the most fancy or sought after. But I loved her and her no-drama attitude.

Robbery 1

About a year after we got Bumblebee we were broken in to. It happened one night when we were both fast asleep and we only woke up to the guards at our complex telling us that our front door was wide open. At that stage we lived in a ‘security estate’. They stole a whole bunch of stuff, except Bumbleebee.

The next day we bought a terribly ferocious guard dog by the name of Rupert.

I mean, how scary?
I mean, how scary?

Robbery 2

Fast forward to Christmas 2013 and we were broken into yet again. This time they hit the garage and literally cleaned us out. We only noticed a few days later on Boxing Day when I happened to go into the garage to look for the vacuum cleaner (Side note – the reason I never went in to the garage was because I’m married to a triathlete, and every woman married to a triathlete knows that cars sleep outside, and bikes sleep inside).

When I say they literally cleaned us out, I mean they took pretty much every single thing in the garage. Except Bumblebee. There she lay, mounted to the walls, between empty spaces that used to be her much bigger, better and more expensive bike cousins (husbands bikes).

We laughed the robbery off (bitterly) patted ourselves on the back and said the usual “at-least we weren’t home/hurt”, submitted yet another insurance claim and laughed (bitterly) at the irony that we LIVED.IN.A.SECURITY.ESTATE.

A few days later I turned round to my husband and said to him. Fuck this, If we keep getting nailed in a complex, let’s move.

We moved. To our glorious house in the ‘burbs.

At this point, ferocious guard dog 2 – Bella – had entered the mix

Super scary dog.
Super scary dog.

Robbery 3

(Are you sensing a trend here, dear reader?)

This one happened 3 days after we moved in to our new house in the ‘burbs. They managed to take a lot of stuff before our security company arrived on the scene and/or the alarm scared them off. We were both at work and laughed (bitterly) about our luck, but also reminding ourselves just how lucky we were we weren’t home. Garden beams and CCTV were added to the mix, we claimed from insurance again and kept looking forward.

Bumblebee, if you’re wondering, was safe.

Robbery 4

Yesterday as I was packing up to leave the office my phone rang. It was our security company notifying me that a panic had gone off and would I like them to go check it out. Yes please, I would like that very much. I immediately called my husband to find out if he had set it off accidentally, and when I got no reply I popped him a Whatsapp asking if everything was alright.

I jumped in my car and left the office.

5 minutes late I got a phone call that left me cold. My husband had arrived home at 4 pm and let himself into the gate and then garage. 30 seconds after parking he walked back in to the garage to hang up some washing (it was raining). In our garage he was confronted by a man with a gun to his face who made him lie down. There were others too, although at this point not visible to my husband. Luckily, he had his gate remote on him and he activated the panic button. Unluckily the alarm went off (not silently as it should have). The frightened thieves punched him in the face, grabbed his keys and left on 3 bicycles.

Almost 6 months pregnant and stuck in bumper to bumper traffic I was unable to get home and felt utterly helpless. Luckily my best friend and her hubby raced over to be with Barry until I could get home.

When I got home I was met with what felt like hundreds of cars, police, armed response and neighborhood watch. Our house was a hive of activity. My husband was (thanks a million stars) OK and the situation under control.

Fast forward to a day later and I am angry and sad and shocked and tired and so upset that this keeps happening. I’m devastated that there was a weapon involved. I’m apalled at our armed response for taking 20 minutes to arrive and I’m absolutely appalled that they phoned me when they should have gone straight through. I’m tired of hearing about crime riddled areas and how one can arm oneself to the hilt, but if these guys want in, they will get in. I’m relieved my husband is OK and I’m desperately emotional at the though that perhaps the only way to avoid living like this all the time is to leave my country.

I’ve also come to realise that riding expensive bikes is a very dangerous sport. Because all our bikes were stolen, except Bumblebee who still hangs on the wall, now very much alone.

Tonight, I’m convincing my husband to take up golf.

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A Preggy Post For The Baby Daddy's

Search the Internet for anything pregnancy related, and you will be bombarded with information ranging from best bottles for a newborn to glycerine suppositories, and everything in between. Apps, books, newsletters and daily emails keep the mom-to-be informed about the size of her baby (Oh look, today he’s a paw paw!) her stretchmarks and how to best prepare your nipples for feeding. With so much info out there, its no wonder that pregnancy is very much a female thing, something for the ladies. It’s a big vagina’y focused book-club.

I’ve been fortunate to have had a relatively easy pregnancy, but it’s still been a tough 5 and a bit months and sometimes I just want to not do anything and have a little cry instead, because sometimes I just don’t want to. I don’t want to work, exercise, cook, clean, wash the dogs, walk the dogs, buy dog food, try find my feet to rub cream in, take the car for a service, stack the dishwasher, squeeze into a now way-too-small bra or find clothes that fit.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to write a blog post for all the dad-to be’s (dad’s-to-be?) husbands and partners of the pregnant ladies. Hopefully this will help keep harmony in the home when your time comes.

Here are a few things that I (and a random sampling of woman I interviewed) wish our hubbies knew in those long 40 weeks of human gestation*

  • Don’t ever blame anything on pregnant hormones. It’s unkind and thoughtless and extremely hurtful. Yes, we are absolutely going through some hormonal changes (apparently it happens when one is growing an actual human inside of them) but to call that out in a fight or argument is not fair.
  • Be a protector. I’m not talking about coming to our rescue all damsel in distressy, but we need to know that you are financially prepared for what’s about to happen. I speak for me (and maybe others) when I say I spend a few hours a night worrying about money and how we are going to clothe, feed, doctor, school, educate, entertain and take the best possible care of our child. 4 months of maternity leave, means 4 months of no salary and 4 months of wondering how we are going to buy groceries, pay the bills. 4 months of wondering how secure our job is on our return, how a baby is going to affect our career and how colleagues are going to treat us when we arrive back at the office. It’s at this extremely vulnerable time when you need to step in and tell us that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK. Lie if you have to, rob a bank if you must, just let us breathe easy knowing that ‘you’ve got this’.
  • Step Up. Yes, in most households there are ‘wife’ duties and ‘husband’ duties. As an example, I don’t mow the lawn, but I’m in charge of groceries and cooking. That being said, it’s a rule that needs to be flexible, and we need you to pick up a little bit of the slack from time to time. Your woman would drop down on her knees (if she still had the ability to see her knees) in joy should you decided to come home with dinner or groceries one one night, without being asked.
  • Listen. When we ask you to do something we can only ask once. Yes, it’s a little bit of a test. If husband forgets to buy the toothpaste like I asked without having to remind him 4 times, how is he ever going to remember to fetch our child from school or buy nappies or formula?
  • Don’t beg us for praise. We appreciate everything you do, honestly (even if we don’t thank you every time for taking out the rubbish). We treat 10 months of pregnancy like a job interview – we watch to see that you can manage both your duties and some of ours (I’m about 1 week away from being able to wash the dogs on my own) so when you fail to do yours, we worry about how you are going to cope when there’s a tiny screaming needy infant on the way.
  • Nod and smile. I like things done my way, and I like them done yesterday. I’m a planner, I’m OCD and I’m who you married. You must be joking if you think that will change during pregnancy. Please tolerate our outbursts and panic attacks about pram wheels and wall paint and carpet colours. Nod and smile and ask what you can do.
  • Don’t take advantage of designated Dave. Just because you have someone to drive you around for 9 months, doesn’t mean you now need to become the worlds greatest boozer. Sometimes a bit of mutual matching sobriety would help our “ohmygodicantdrinkforalmostayear” sadness, just a little bit.
  • Get Involved. I don’t know why men get the raw end of the deal when it comes to babies. Perhaps it’s because they’re not carrying them that there’s this implied assumption that the dad isn’t as involved. My husband has come to every single scan and Doctors appointment since day dot. He knows more about what’s going to happen than I do, and he’s been involved every step of the way (except for the curtain shopping – there are some times when it really is better to leave dad behind). We love it when you get involved, and it sucks when you can’t experience everything we are – but we appreciate the interest you pay and the reading up you do and the way you actively plan for baby.
  • Make us feel special. Speak her love language (this is an important one guys). If she is into gestures or acts of service – bring her home a bag of nappies, make her a cup of tea or book her into preggy bellies or for a facial. If she’s a words of affirmation kinda gal, tell her how incredibly beautiful she is. Speak her language. Ladies – this applies to us as well (I can definitely learn from this one too!)
  • Help with the other kids. For those couples with an existing child – one of the biggest pleas for help from the mom is for hubby to get involved and bath, feed and look after the older child while she looks after growing a second one.
  • Don’t Complain. If we forget to take a our dirty glass to the sink, take it for us. if we don’t replace the mayo at our grocery shop, buy your own mayo. To err is human, to err alot is pregnancy. Pick your battles and rather step in and help out more. Nothing we do is malicious. We are just so bloody tired all the time that sometimes we do silly things without even knowing that we’re doing them.
  • Be patient. My husband has on several occasions remarked what a breeze I’ve been throughout pregnancy, and whilst I know that, I also know that a lot of woman have it a lot harder and give their men a harder time. Regardless of your situation, be a lot more patient with your scared, vulnerable and fragile wife.
  • Be like in the movies. I always anticipated pregnancy to be bouts of me yearning for ice cream and husband dutifully driving to the petrol station 24 hour shop at 2 am for my favourite vanilla Magnum. Alas, no shops have been driven to and no vanilla ice cream cravings have taken place. But when they do, be ready. We all want a little movie romance in our lives.

* Disclaimer: Not all these comments apply to all men, and no offence was intended in this blog post. In fact, ladies and gents I welcome all comments and bragging about your awesome spouse 🙂

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The Top 14 of 2014

As is blog tradition with Rupert Approves, at the end of each year I like to recap the highlights for the past 365 days. As is also tradition, I tend to do this at the 11th hour in a flat panic.

Here goes:

1. I turned 30. And even though the actual birthday and celebrations around it were average (note to self – LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS) turning 30 hasn’t been as scary as they say. In fact, it’s been downright lovely.

2. My friendship groups solidified. The good ones grew better and the not so good ones… Well, they are non existent. Life’s to short to waste your fun on less than amazing people.

3. We celebrated 1 year of marriage. The first year was bloody tough. We did it. Yay us!

4. We bit the bullet and bought our dream home. Things have been progressing slowly from there but progressing nonetheless. I fall more in love with my space and garden each day

5. Work is good. No dramatic news in the office space, but to be happy and fulfilled in a place where you spend 40% of your life is an achievement in itself.

6. My family stayed healthy and happy for the majority if the year. The older one gets, the bigger this blessing becomes

7. We took a holiday for the first time in over a year and spent 8 brilliant days in Port Alfred. Sea, sun and (virgin) cocktails were just what the doctor ordered.

8. I bought s new car. Traded in my fuel guzzling out of warranty SUV and got a smaller zippier runaround that I love driving each and every day.

9. I ate my first ever chocolate brownie and fell.in.love.

10. I learnt to control my anxiety and went from A type to A minus type. Baby steps, but I’m getting there. I can now leave the office at 5 pm without a shred of guilt and am learning to make more time for me. See, age does have its perks.

11. I had a great year of blogging. Still not where I want to be, but I’m constant,y delighted with the feedback and messages I receive from people around the world – people who have laughed, cried and celebrated with me on this very open and honest journey.

12. My dog babies get more wonderful as the days go by. As I lie in bed typing this (sipping on a Christmas edition chocolate mint Nespresso – can that be considered a bonus point 15?) they are lying with me, intertwined in my legs. Ones snoring, one farting with enough power to destroy a small country, and both filling my heart with the most insane amount of love.

13. I ran my longest ever trail race with one of my closest friends, and absolutely loved it. It was a reminder of just how much trail running has become my number 1 exercise love. As soon as this baby is out I’m going to take it up again. Which leads me to my final point…

14. I fell pregnant. One of the most insane, scary and exciting things that has ever happened to me. I am so lucky to have had the worlds easiest pregnancy, and apart from the fuck me scale reading and the occasional constant craving for wine, I have been so blessed. In 5 months we meet our baby boy and I couldn’t be more excited.

How was your year? If it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, then there’s a whole new one waiting for you in less than 24 hours time.

Wherever you are, make it a good one. Be safe, be happy and be good to yourself.

Thank you for all your support on Rupert Approves over the past year – you guys warm my heart more than a toasted sandwich, and that’s a lot!

Xxx

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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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