Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 23 June 2014

Eye Eye Eye

So I took Q for an optometrist appointment on Saturday because it's been about 9 months since his last check up and he's run out of spare contact lenses.

He's actually been pretty slack/naughty with them - leaving them in for daaays at a time, sleeping with them in, not cleaning them as often as he should and wearing them for too long, like 1.5 months - basically until they break. I should have realised he was due for more, but with preggy brain I wasn't really focused on it. I have been asking him occasionally how his eyes are and if he is taking care of them, and I get a yes every time... so I guess it was a 'yes' same as the response for if he has studied... :roll: 

Well, his eye sight is not in a brilliant state now. He has basically made his cornea swell and become cloudy and so they can't actually find a prescription that gets his vision perfect now. They could only get to about 60%. He can heal his cornea but he NEEDS to rest is eyes and give them a break from the lenses - and wash them properly. So from now on he has to wear specs too, and keep contacts for school and sport only, and MUST take them out for evenings, while sleeping and week-ends etc.

So we've had to order new stronger contacts, and then a new pair of specs - and because his sight is now so bad (-7.0) he needs the super-duper expensive material which allows for thinner lenses and not the thick-coke bottle look... And also he didn't want any of the cheaper frames and insisted on a much more expensive 'cool' pair. So the specs alone are - wait for it R7600!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: Thankfully we got several discounts so it's 'only' costing R4100. And then +-R2000 for the contacts once we know which ones to get.

If that wasn't bad enough, while there I asked them to do a quick check on Griff, just to make sure his eyes are still good. Joy of joys his eyes are also short sighted (no astigmatism though) and at -1.0 no he is also getting specs for distance work. Luckily he still (just) qualified for the healthy eyes programme, so this round is free. But - here we go again! :?

Boys New Specs-md.jpg
The new specs

Friday, 20 June 2014

Proud of my boy...

Griff is an amazing child he just quietly gets on with whatever needs to be done, and while he can sometimes seem to be a lazy obstinate shit (he'd gladly spend alllll day playing pc games), he really has an amazing sense of ethics and principals.

He'll get up every day when I get home, to come and greet me and see if I need help carrying stuff from the car, and he'll even come help me take my shoes off if I am struggling (or being lazy myself). In the morning he'll pack my lunch for me and is just generally helpful and nurturing.

He self-studied this term managing his own time and schedule and deciding what he needed to focus on and when. He's been bringing his exams home in the past week so I can see them and his marks have been really good, all between 75 (Geography) -96 (Maths)%.

Anyhow, yesterday they got their Geography papers back and while the teacher was going through the exam with them - so they could write in corrections for the things they got wrong - Griff noticed he'd been awarded a mark on one question, where he's actually got the answer wrong. He took it back to show the teacher and got a mark deducted.

The teacher was so impressed at his ethics and honesty, that he got rewarded 10 merits.

I love that he has this deep level of integrity and sense of wrong and right. Too many people focus on what they can get away with...

Thursday, 5 June 2014


Last month I happened to see a FB post in passing about a Mother's Day Competition on the Mommy Matters site. The prize was 8x POP FIT sessions at Virgin Active

Now I am a Virgin Active member, and had seen the posters and flyers about POP FIT (which apparently stands for Prepartum Or Postpartum fit. Ie covering pregnancy and the recovery and recuperation time thereafter. I was interested but the classes are semi-private and need to be booked, and cost extra, and also from what I could tell were all in the middle of the day, like 10am or 2pm, which is not convenient when you are working full-time. So I kind of wrote it off as something I wouldn't be doing. Also at the time I was still running and feeling completely 'normal' and able-bodied...

As pregnancy progresses though you feel more aches and pains, your feet get further away, walking up a flight of stairs gets you out of breath, and even if you could physically run your bladder would make sure to keep that run very short. In a nutshell a lot changes and you simply can't throw yourself around like you used to. You have to adapt your movements and that includes your exercise routines too.

So I find myself now in my 3rd trimester (and in the throes of winter) really not getting out for a walk much (never mind run) and even my usual weekly yoga class is getting more challenging. Also, ahem, I got a notification that I needed to increase my gym visits again or risk my membership lapsing (oh how the mighty have fallen - I was going about 3x a week not so very long ago). Oops.

Anyway so when I saw the competition I was quite excited and quickly entered. As luck, or good  fortune, would have it, I won! WooHoo!

I was duly contacted by a Virgin Active consultant, who turned out the be non-other than Maylen, one of my favourite kata-box instructors. And who has seen me being able to do 2x kata-box classes in a row and go for a run afterwards. So when I arrived for my first session I was a tad sheepish, explaining that I was a rather different size and shape than last time he saw me.

We set-up a 17:15 session for 8 weeks. Last week there were 2 of us. Basically it is a special class and service offered according to demand. Classes are kept small, to allow for personal attention, but since it is so new and still taking off the classes are so small you are very likely to actually get your own 1-on-1 personal training session right now. Score!

The focus is on safe for pregnancy, and for the most part gentle, excerise foscusing on a combination of balance, strenth and flexibility. So there a bit of weight work for arms and shouders, some core toning and balance on the physio ball, and some squats and stretching etc. I found the first class last week a tad mild to be honest, and ended up doing a 90-min yoga class straight after to feel I'd done a complete work-out.

This week though I was the only one there, and we'll as I said Maylen knows me. So all I can say is he showed no mercy. Sure he was kind and suitably cautious (well within the bounds of safety), but between him being prepared to push me a little, and me not being one to give in easily it turned out to be quite intense. Including some recumbent cycling (GREAT idea for when you are pregnant, I hadn't even though of that) and whatevere that arm cycling is called. 

By the end of the session I was sweating and puffing and panting and had certainly worked out! My legs actually felt a bit wobbly.

So with 2 down, and 6 to go, this is fabulous and exactly what I needed. Thanks Mommy Matters, Virgin Active and especially Maylen!

(that's not me with him in the pic, in case you are wondering!)

Trust & Stillness

I love this photo of Robyn (of Mama Bamba) and I during her Trust & Stillness workshop at the recent Midwifery & Birth Conference.

She is wonderfully calm and calming. She has an amazing soul & spirit.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Labour of Love

For the past 2 weekends I have been immersed in labour, midwifery and birthing and the community that supports it.

The first week-end was the Midwifery & Birth Conference.
It was a full weekend schedule of not only wonderful talks, panel discussions, and workshops, but it was also just amazing to be mixed in with such a wonderful group of amazing women (and a few great men) who do such very good work in the field of pregnancy, labour and birthing.

There was a marvelous waterbirth workshop hosted by my midwife, Marianne Littlejohn, and also a wonderful Trust and Stillness workshop facilitated by the wonderful Robyn Sheldon.

 I loved it! The Conference was very inspiring and emotionally affirming. I am feeling grateful and happy to be involved in this space and community again. I REALLY find it very fulfilling on a very deep level. :)

Then this past weekend we went on the Mama Bamba Antenatal Retreat hosted by Robyn, and it was wonderful! I really loved it. It was such a calm, loving, gentle, and accepting space. And so nice to be surrounded by like-minded beautiful people - there were 5 couples. It was really bonding, empowering and inspirational. I especially love how the whole group trusts and believes in their bodies and the birth process, and how even those who were planning a 'safer' option (by going into hospital) were strongly considering changing their plans by the end - including the men. Robyn, who runs the course, has got such a lovely energy and I really enjoy her. Her guided meditations are fabulous.

With the previous antenatal class I went to (with Quinn's pregnancy), it was a very (SA birth landscape) demographically representative group (mostly planned c/s or epidurals at least) so we were seen as the weird freaky hippies and by FAR the most out there with planning a home waterbirth with a midwife. No one related to us, and most of the focus was on hospital protocol and medicalisations.

In this group we were the norm. :)

It was from 10:00-17:00 Sat & Sun and it just flew by. It was held in a fabulous chilled and relaxed old farmhouse on a wine farm in Stellenbosch and we stayed in Stellenbosch for the week-end, so it was such a nice and mellow and 'sacred' space. <3