Saturday, 23 May 2009

I nearly burst into tears!

I went to the doctor yesterday and I was feeling really sicky and yucky... could hardly breathe I was wheezing so much, have no voice, a crackly chest infection... looked and felt a sight!

The doctor is a new doctor there, this is the second time I have seen her, the first time I had 3 little mindees with me when I was having BP taken and general asthma care queries (which the parents knew about and had okayed).

Do you know what this (now favourite) doctor said to me?

'If I had children I would want them to come to you. The children obviously love you and you have a wonderful way with them. You are like a mum to them. They seem to be developing so well too, I am sure you have a good hand in that'.

I was gobsmacked ... and nearly burst into tears! What an incredibly kind thing to say, especially when I am feeling so rubbish and hubby and I are wanting children so badly. I do put my all into my job.

It gave me an extra spring in my step on the way home... okay, twas a wheezy springy type step... but a springy step non-the-less!

We live in a society that loves to assume, judge and upset, with their ignorance and arrogance. If everyone paid a compliment to one extra person each day, just imagine how many more smiles we'd see on the bus, in the Tesco queue? I'd think loads more.

What has anyone - a stranger?/a family member?/a friend? said to you lately out of the blue that was so uplifting?

Friday, 22 May 2009

Ugh. Poorly again.

I am really battling with it again. Saw the doc twice this week... at first as was a mere head cold on Monday. Hubby had it too, but after 3 days was right as rain. Not me though. The last 2 nights I've had high fevers, cannot eat, am coughing loads.

So back to doctor this am. Don't want to end up in hospital again!

Now I have a full-blown chest infection so am on bally antibiotics again, on steroid tablets (grrrr they put about 1kg on me each day!), excema cream (which flares up when body in distress), got more inhalers etc. that I needed. She nebulised me too which helped with the wheeze, although chest still incredibly tight.

Thankfully I chose a good week to get ill as 4 of my 6 mindees are on holiday! So I only had to concern myself with 2.

I am very good with my daily inhalers and generally it's fine... but then now and again have a relapse. With the head cold it was fine to mind (I look after kids who have colds, no prob), but then as I felt that becoming a chest infection I stopped care. I could plod on, take it easy with the kids, as I know it's difficult for parents to take time off work... but I offer a service with high care and I would be acting irresponsibly were I to soldier on I believe, especially where my breathing is concerned. An attack comes on very quickly too.

What do other CMs with chronic asthma do? How bad to you get with your asthma before stopping providing care?

I put this question to some CM coleagues, and these were their responses:

'I do feel incredibly guilty taking time of work for any reason - I am only minding part-time and so it only really affected my other part-time job. You will be off work longer if you try to soldier on and possibly end up back in hosp which will be much worse for you and the parents/children. You are doing the right thing as your health is very important.'

'Parents won't give a hoot if the level of care slips a bit or you go on less outings than usual or you take it a bit easier... so stop worrying about that!!

It really is down to how you are feeling and whether you're best carrying on so that you have something to take your mind of the asthma... or if you're best stopping to get yourself better.'

Their responses have made me feel better. I do hate being off sick... have only had 4 days off in 2 years which isnt too bad, especially considering I have a chronic condition. But was good to hear what the girls had to say.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Is my last name Rockerfella???

What can I do?

Our tenants in Johannesburg are supposed to pay their rent in latest the 5th of every month.

Last month = NO RENT!!!!
This month they paid on the 12th!!!!

Is my last name Rockerfella???

We have tried to manage the property from afar for the last 2.5 years but are thinking we just have to get an agent in to manage it for us. It's such a hassle when the plumber is needed.. rates and taxes law changes etc.

Their lease ends on 31st July 2009. And it WILL END. No matter how many emails we get re how 'happy they are there'. He says he had a medical emergency. I don't quite believe him. Plus there are two of them there, so why wasn't half the rent paid at least? And why is it always late? Do people not consider the roof over their head?

I wish the property market wasn't so bad currently, because I just feel like selling it.

And to top it all off I have (yet another!) bronchial chest infection. My lungs are still suffering from the attack in November 2008 - they are working at half capacity now, not a quarter as they were then (small steps)... when will they mend?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

The open casket

Below is a letter from my friend. It had me in tears. These poor kids,
losing their mum at such a young age. I am not too sure about them
seeing their
dead mum in an open casket though, what do you think?


Hi Jen,

We buried Betty yesterday and it was a sad day, but yet thanks to Tom it also
was a celebration of life. How can you not cry and laugh when you see the

innocence of a very rambunctious little boy who embodied the joie-de-vivre of
his mother who he won't really remember, and who was loving the attention!

David is going to have his hands full with him as was shown as Tom stood
behind him at the reception after the service trying to pull down his pants,
with a grin of total mischievious 5-yr old boyishness!

Poor Alice, she was a little more overwhelmed by it all - sort of understanding
but not really. She was concerned about her mother being left in the cemetary
all by herself. I was talking to David last night about it, and told him what my
mother told me when I was little and my grandmother died - that it was only the
outer shell that was put in the ground, that she was in Heaven with God and with
loved ones. Hopefully he can help Alice understand that her mother will always
be in her heart, and not in a hole in the ground.

Funeral customs I know are different around the world - and even here with
different cultural/religious groups. We have "visitation" or a "wake" usually
the day (or in some cases for 2 days) before the service at a "funeral home".
There is always a controversy about open casket or closed... I prefer the closed
with a nice photo of the deceased.

Betty's was open and David had the kids in to see her which some thought was
gruesome. Actually, I think it gave them a better sense of the closure - the reality.
It was a decision only a parent could make, knowing his children.

I think it was better that they were not hidden away from it all - and their
curiosity was very natural. It was heart-breaking hearing about Tom wanting to
get in the casket with her - I think it had as much to do with a little boy wanting
to climb into a box! And then that Alice touched her hands and was sad that
Mummy's hands were so cold.

One happy thing that did come out of this situation was that another one of our
cousins who has been estranged from her father came out from western Canada for
the funeral and built a bridge with her father. She hadn't seen him in 10
years, and it was good to see. Not that they are going to be best friends, but
she can go home knowing that she took the high road and made the effort. If her
father dies before she sees him again, she has that peace of mind.

I've never been more proud of her - so glad that she did it and it was a better
reunion than I had expected. Neither of them are Christians but there's been a
lot of prayers that there would be reconciliation between father and daughter.

Much get going to work... but thought I'd tell you about yesterday, in part.
Hugs and good wishes your way,


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The fear of death

I heard three pieces of bad news today... one from a friend in South Africa, whose mum has to start chemotherapy again, as her cancer has returned.

Another friend's
sister in law in the States passed away due to... you guessed it... the 'c' word. She wrote me a beautiful letter which I will post, sans identity. Made me chuckle and cry all at once.

Another friend in the States is so stressed, her son has an inoperable cyst in his spine. He has a baby due in July too, and everything in their life is so bittersweet ... she said she wishes she had the faith I do to believe in God, so He could help her through this trauma... she is an atheist.

Tragic. All of it. Why???

One of the worse part of any illness is the frustration of not being able to do anything physically to fix it - to make the patient better - and the unknown factors.

I received an inspirational message a week or two ago that said:

'When I have something to worry about I hand it to the Lord.
He's going to be up all night anyway'.

I truly believe that the Lord will give us all the strength we need if we let Him.


Glass, originally uploaded by Mrs Flower.

I bought these lovely brightly coloured gel flowers to decorate the playroom window... the girls love it, as do I! Lance even does! The sun was going down and I loved the effect this lighting had on the window.

It's the seemingly little things that make all the difference sometimes!

The postman came....

And with it he brought our passports with Indefinite Leave to Remain!!!!

Woohoo.. only took 6.9 years and ooooodles of money (aaaahh!!) but so glad we finally got it. We can now start preparing for our holiday in August to the States as we have our passports back, and are secure in the knowledge we can live and work in the UK till our dying day should we wish to.

The photos in the passports are sadly absoluuuuuutely gruesome - Lance looks like a serial killer and I look like a rough chav... we were both sick with flu at the time typically



Glad that's another big hurdle we've ticked off!!! Thank you Lord for this answer to prayer!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Chewy loves stuffing her cheeks with food and storing it in her special places.

This lil creature has really become a integral part of the household... she is clearly quite bonkers, madly scurrying around, pushing her little wooden castle over... pushing all her sawdust down her tunnel (thus closing her entrance to the next level in her cage!) etc.

She's mad. And she fits in well because of it. hehe

Monday, 11 May 2009

Where's the bally postman?

Oh ring the buzzer why don't you?

We applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain about 8 weeks ago, and know it can take up to 14 weeks to get your documents and passport back... with the much needed permanent residency inside!

My sister, hubby and I sent in our applications together as we (obviously) use the same ancestral original documents.

She received hers on Friday. Woohoo!!! She excitedly phoned us straight away.

We immediately sat and waited for ours... yes, she lives about 7 minutes from us by road... but maybe, just maybe, we have the same postal sorting office?

Half an hour later there was a knock at the door.
There stood the postman.

No passports!!! No passports??? No passports!!!

So we have different sorting offices - we guessed as much. Sigh.
Ah well, should come soon hey?

So here I sit today. Biting my nails. Looking out the window at the street every 10 minutes. Staying inside and out of the gorgeous sunshine... just in case he comes a knocking! Biding my time...

Postman... where art thou???

Sunday, 10 May 2009

They're signing!

I received their all-important email, with my new prospective client wanting to sign contracts, for me to childmind their little baby of 3 months old!!!

It's so difficult sometimes, not being able to read someone. I honestly never knew which way it would go with this couple.

She was warm, chatty and friendly, asking loads of questions with ease.

He was cooler, also asked loads of questions, complimented me on my website and portfolio etc. ... but there wasn't that *connection* made with him, as it was with his wife. I felt he was eyeing me out too much.

I felt on the spot!

Phew. So that's that then.

Goes to show one never knows the impression you've made with someone, when someone is more guarded.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Lord Bingley of Derbyshire

Lord Bingley of Derbyshire, originally uploaded by Mrs Flower.

We brought this little hedgehog home with us when we visited Matlock Bath and Chatsworth in Derbyshire last year... he is gorgeous! His name of course comes from Jane Austen's novel, Pride & Prejuidce... there is a Bingley in the story... plus the Hollywood version of P&P was filmed in Chatsworth House (Mr Darcy's 'Pemberley'!).., so we thought it apt!

Friday, 8 May 2009

In a nutshell!

Here's my story:

I am one of four kids, born in Cape Town, South Africa, brought up by an incredible mum in Johannesburg... she is my rock. Dad was never there... We may not have had a physical daddy but we had a spiritual one.


Life wasn't easy, but wasn't unhappy, growing up, we went without loads materialistically, but spiritually and emotionally and mentally we were fed well... and that has shaped and moulded me into who I am today.

The Bible is actually really simple to understand, it takes so-called *wise* men (preachers/philosophers/theologians/kings & queens etc.) to complicate it, cause wars in the name of it etc.

Jesus' teachings are simple and valid for today.

My Christianity is not a religious one, or one that feels the need for bells and smells on a Sunday morning, it is a living breathing everyday thing for me. It's who I am 24/7, not a cap I wear on Sunday.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


We have a lil hamster called Chewy who moved in on the 25th April 2009 - She likes to snooze during the day (with the odd snack), and comes out at night... spending hours and hours on her wheel... crawling through tunnels and running up and down the ladder and into her castle.

Her favourite treat is raw carrot.

The kids think she's great ~ and so do we!!!

What does it mean to be 'a professional'?

Why are childcare workers not deemed professionals so often? Do you have to wear a suit to be a professional? Talk a certain lingo? Follow a certain brand?

I am currently doing a diploma in childcare. I have 6 years nursery experience in Johanesburg, and have done LOADS of training courses in London to ensure my service is professional and well informed, and that the kids I mind are looked after very well.

I put my heart and soul into my job.
A job I love.

I worked in the publishing industry for many years (was a Senior Graphic Designer in London and had my own design company in Cape Town) and I can tell you that many childminders and the Early Years team I deal with are FAR more professional in their work than the people I worked with in the corporate world.

To be a good professional takes head AND heart. No matter what industry you are in.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Losing 4 kids in 2 weeks...!!!

The 4 mindees are 2 sets of siblings - one is going to school which is far away and I cannot do school run, so they have to get a nanny for him and little sister. The other 2 are moving far away (about an hour from London)!

These kids were my originals so it's going to be tough to say goodbye!

After the initial shock of getting the notice so soon after eachother, I phoned those on my waiting list - and I have already filled the vacancies verbally... just have to get it in writing! The other 2 mindees I have have been wanting to increase their days with me too, which has helped.

Gosh, it never rains, it pours!!! Shows how insecure we actually are when self employed, doesn't it? My income would have gone down to a quarter of what it currently is, overnight!

I just hope these other people sign asap. The one couple are coming on Thursday again - I met the mum, but will now meet dad... and the other couple have been on my waiting list since July last year... and will find out soon what 3 days they actually need.

It's a waiting game...