Green thumb

I have recently undertaken a new project (I could do with less projects to be honest but this one I just couldn’t resist). I have started a small home vegetable garden and I am actually really enjoying it! I have in my garden, snake beans, tomatoes, cabbage, silver beet and cucumber.

I started with already sown seedlings and replanted them into an old tyre cut and filled with soil from the rubbish heap (apparently this is the best type of soil). I got sticks from the hedge and put them next to the climbing plants (ie tomatoes, cucumber and beans) so they have something to crawl themselves up on and I made my own insect spray using onions, garlic, chillis and get this…dishwashing liquid! I hear it makes the formula stick to the plants more effectively. I didnt have a watering can and judging by my user name I am pretty penniless so I made my own version of a watering can using an old plastic keri juice bottle and poked a dozen holes in the lid. It works like a treat!

Now, my gardening mission has not been all a success. I originally planted corn next to my climbing plants, with the intent that they would use the corn stalks to climb but the dang chickens ate all the corn! Bummer! I did a little ‘research’ and came across this neat little trick to keep animals at bay:

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It may not look pretty but I can imagine how effective this could be! Chickens be gone!

Aside from the corn disaster tomatoes and beans are growing quite well! Looking forward to seeing progress in the next few weeks. Thinking of starting a small herb patch as well just using egg cartons. Got to make use of the things we already have at home!

Let’s talk about LGBT

I attended a transgender pageant last week. It was amazing on so many levels and humorous to boot. We (the crowd) were all laughing and screaming 90% of the time. There were times however when it wasn’t so funny, when it was downright emotional. Some of the contestants shared their struggles battling with their identity and society’s views of what is normal, the discrimination and judgement they face every day just for being themselves. Its SAD, to say the least. One contestant said “growing up I did not know my very existence was one I would later be ashamed of” that brought a tear to my eye, maybe two.

I have a son who is shall we say more feminine than most boys are. From a young age he was attracted to all things glittery and pink and had a penchant for wearing dresses and heels. He grew out of it and now refuses to wear anything remotely “girly”, but he still loves the color pink. He sometimes comments that certain characters in cartoons are handsome, but he also comments about pretty girls too (mostly ones in very dramatic princess dresses). He is not really into super hero cartoons or paraphernalia like his little brother is and is not a rough house kid. Is he gay? Is he transgender? I dont know, it’s too early to know really. I may be over analysing this but I have to admit to myself that there is a chance. Honestly, I really hope he isn’t. I have nothing against LGBT but of course, what mother would wish that upon her child? Not this mother thats for sure. But still there is a chance that he may be and I want to ready myself for this. I want him to know I will always love him and support him even if he is gay, he will always be my beautiful child.

Not ready

I am now, according to my own calculations 35 weeks and 1 day pregnant, the hospital says I am 32 weeks and 6 days, either way this baby is coming soon and I am not ready and quite honestly its stressing me out.

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We moved out of our brand new house in October last year to help my Mom out as she had a nurse coming to do a stint at her clinic for a year and she still hadn’t found a place, so I offered ours, thinking we could do with the extra rental income (well that part is true, it aint easy raising kids and having a mortgage). We then moved back in with my partners family (my almost in-laws) and heres the cinch… It has been HELL lol. I dont know if I am just extra hormonal with this pregnancy but I absolutely cannot wait to go back home in October this year. I wont go into the details about living back with my “almost in-laws” because lets face it I’ll end up on a rant fest that could last a whole novel. Our cot that we used with our first two babies is currently useless, stacked with boxes and toys and sh*t that it shouldnt be filled with. The room we’re staying in is super cramped so I dont even want to use that cot cause it’s one of those nice big wooden ones and it will honestly just take up too much space so instead of facing that daunting task of clearing out the cot and making space somewhere for it I asked my sister if I could borrow her porta-cot for the time being. I’ll only be needing it for a couple of months anyway before we go back to our big spacious (sigh) house… Here I am wishing I could go back home now! Hang in there, hang in there. I hardly have any baby clothes at all, or any baby STUFF for that matter. We foolishly gave everything away to family living in the outer islands, trying to be ‘good samaritans’…well really we just wanted to make space lol and look where that got us! Now we’re back at square one. Let me remind you I live on an island where almost everything is imported meaning skyrocket pricing. It’s not so easy to baby shop here.

Not only am I not ready on the home front but I am not ready to leave my job for 6 weeks in the hands of my sub-ordinates. I am, I guess, a little bit (just a teensy bit) of a micro-manager. They are great workers but I just know things will be in a bit of a shambles when I get back to work. I have various projects that I need to wrap up too with only 5 weeks (if Im lucky) left to do so. But I dont want to think about that right (if I dont think about it, it might go away…)

On the plus side…My Mum has offered to buy the baby’s carseat (she is amazing like that!) and my friend is throwing me a baby shower on the 10th of April which I am so super greatful for. I was not expecting one considering this is my third baby. I keep telling myself to relax! Things will fall in to place. But what if they dont? Oh dear.

The one thing I am ready for? To have my body back! Oh, the back aches… I am ready to be free of those! I also look forward to meeting this munchkin!

I need to boost my kids immune system

I have a 5 year old who is constantly getting sick. It.is.the.worst! If anyone were to cough on him guaranteed mere minutes later he would too be coughing like a dog. How can I protect him? How can I stop him from getting sick all the time? I don’t want him to live on antibiotics, that’s probably how he got such a weakened immune system in the first place. I wish I had known how damaging the use of antibiotics were. Thankfully when my second bub came around I was much more educated about all of this, I had taken to doing my own research because our health system here is.a.big.fat.JOKE. Honestly, I don’t know how many people have been sent home with a pat on the back after seeing the doctor here, told everything is fine and dandy only to be diagnosed with a terminal illness in another country! It.is.ridiculous. Therefore I have to be smart about this. By smart I mean taking to Dr Google & Web MD for the answers. Or at least to educate myself so I know exactly what questions I should be asking these ridiculous doctors. 

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So after having a particularly bad night with Master Five I have jumped on the “trusty” internet to research how I can boost my child’s immune system, honestly I don’t know why I haven’t done this already. I did ask a doctor this question once and was told I can’t boost his immune system…well that really does not satisfy me in the least, I have to try something. Here’s what Dr Google has to say on the matter:

  • Make great diet a habit – A child’s immune system can take a hit if they’re constantly eating a diet high in additives, preservatives and sugar or if they have an undiagnosed food allergy. All these things can affect digestion and increase inflammation, making it more difficult to fight viruses or bacteria. Instead of highly processed foods, make sure your child is getting plenty of fresh, whole foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean proteins and unprocessed whole grains. If your child has unexplained, rashes, eczema or a constantly runny nose or other symptoms that have you questioning a food allergy, it may be worth looking into. Providing a variety of vegetables ensures that they get plenty of phytonutrients to keep them healthy – aim for about five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I have considered food allergies even made a food diary, the whole shebang, there didnt seem to be any correlation between his diet and his less than sub par immune system. I do however need to increase his vegetable intake, he’s fine with fruit but veges, not so much. 
  • Give them healthy bugs – Probiotics are healthy bacteria, which naturally occur in the gut. They help protect the digestive tract, get rid of toxins, digest food and may even boost immunity. While you could ask your pediatrician to help you find the right dose, you can also start by implementing probiotic-rich foods. Some kid-friendly options are plain organic yogurt topped with fresh fruit, kefir, or sauerkraut. I will have to do some digging around for this one. Everything we have here is imported, apart from fruit and vegetables (well some of those are also imported). I dont really know much about probiotics. Back to Google!
  • Decrease stress – Children’s bodies react the same way as adults to stress and elevated stress hormones can lead to decreased immunity. Going to school may not seem stressful to us, but for children, it can be — especially if it’s their first time away from home, or if they’re starting a new school. Nowadays, children are as overstressed as adults thanks to our fast paced, over-scheduled, lives. Having plenty of down time for rest and creative play can help lower their stress levels and keep them from getting sick. Making sure they have plenty of time to unwind, as well as relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, which can help them decompress, are critical for keeping the immune functioning properly. Interesting, I never thought of this. School has just started again and he is now at “big school” and not at pre-school anymore so this could be a contributing factor to the most recent bought of sickness. He loves school though. 
  • Get plenty of sleep – Depending on age, children need between 10 and 14 hours of sleep a day, and many children aren’t getting enough. Sleep deprivation can lower the immune system, making children more susceptible to being affected by germs and bacteria. When children are overtired and over stimulated, which is very common during the first few weeks of school, it can be harder for them to fall asleep. Instead of letting them become overtired, make sure they have at least an hour to decompress without the use of electronics before bed, and get them to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep. I have definitely tried this. Now I need to google “how to get my kid to sleep more”, he is definitely tough to get to sleep at night but so far these past two weeks he has slept before 9pm which is gold in my books.
  • Try Herbs and Supplements – Some supplements can do wonders do boost the immune system. The key is to take them on a regular basis to keep immunity high, instead of waiting until sickness has already struck. Vitamin C can help fight of germs and zinc is a safe and effective way to keep germs at bay. Fermented cod liver oil boasts high levels of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K, which are very important — not only for immunity — but also for overall vitality. Elderberry syrup can also be taken for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral benefits. To find the right dose for your child, be sure to check with your pediatrician. Elderberry syrup…I sure hope our pharmacy stocks this, I will have to try this out. Appreciate if any Mom’s out there have experience with this syrup I would like to know if it really does help, after all, we all know “Google” can sometimes be misleading, or make you flip out more!

I will be undertaking the advice from the above and documenting our progress. I hope it helps because I feel sorry for my poor son getting sick all the time, and I also need to sleep!

Luck to me!

How a Mother ‘gets over’ those public toddler tantrums

I’m not going to sugar coat this, my children can be fecking horrible. Honestly, they are monsters! Having said that I love them to itty bitty pieces and if anyone else told me my children were monsters my Mom claws would be 3 inches deep in their juggular they wouldnt even have time to say ‘just kidding’. Im joking about that….of course….

I remember one day (how could I ever forget) when my eldest was a mere 3 years old and he along with his (at the time) 1 year old brother accompanied me to the Supermarket (well I couldnt very well leave them at home alone could I). We had to stop at the local gas station for a refill and he spied the assortment of sugary delectables lining the shelf! (Of course!) He immediatley piped up that he wanted something from the shop. Because of the horrible pricing at the store I wasn’t keen on this idea so I tried to explain to him that we would be going to a bigger and better shop after getting petrol (code for shop with better pricing and healthier options). He wasn’t having a bar of it. “I WANT TO GET OUT” he exclaimed several times. I refused his request as we continued driving on our ‘merry’ way to the Supermarket. Tears ensued and I tried my hardest to keep my attitude upbeat. We stopped at the Supermarket, a place he is usually happy to see, but not this time. “Not this shop!” he let me know, as well as everyone else within hearing distance. Still I ploughed on, carrying him in to the Supermarket and trying to bribe him with the assortment of goodies in front of us. The tears kept coming and so did the proclamation that this was not the shop he wanted to go to. Getting rather embarrassed and pink faced I told him sternly that “we are going now” as I starting my trek to the exit. Miraculously he had a 360 degree change in attitude as he told me “No, I don’t want to go”. “Do you want to get something from here?” I asked calmly. “Yes” he replied all sweet smiles. “Stop crying then” I warned. “Alright” he nodded his head in agreement and proceeded to choose a packet of biscuits and a bundle of grapes. When we were done we made our way happily back to the car that my mother and youngest son master 1 were waiting in. It was Mums turn as she handed Master 1 over to me and made her way to the Supermarket to buy some toiletries for her 10 hour flight later that evening. Sitting merrily in the car devouring his treats and sharing very well with his little brother came the revelation that he needed to go wee-wees. Looking around I realized that the nearest loo was a good 3 minute walk (that may not sound long but trust me it IS) from where we were and I didn’t have the keys to lock up the car. I did a quick think and chucked anything that looked “steal-worthy” into a hiding place, scooped master 1 into my arms and clutched master 3’s hand as we made our way to the dreaded ‘public toilets’. “Can you hold it?” I asked in a bit of a panic. “Yes” he assured me. Meanwhile master 1 is sliding down off my hip, but remaining well behaved and finally WE MADE IT TO THE LOO – WITH NO ACCIDENTS! Praise the man above!

Later on that day we went yet again to another shop, this one on the other side of the island and renowned for its fresh and affordable vegetables (the whole reason for going there).  Lucky both master 1 and master 3 fell asleep during the ride and I was able to be ‘fancy free’ to roam around the shop while my mother stayed in the car with the kids (bless her). I finished my ‘child-free shopping’ and was standing in line at the check-out waiting to be served when I saw a kicking and screaming toddler giving his poor mother a hard time. I thought to myself “at least my child didn’t DO THAT” but I really felt for her, knowing all too well how frustrating and embarrassing public toddler tantrums can be! All the little rat bag has to do is smile a sweet smile at you AND ALL IS FORGIVEN *sigh* a mothers love, a non-parent could never understand.

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