Friday, April 11, 2008

Photo Madness

Years ago when the hubby and I went on a safari for our honeymoon we managed to take some lovely pictures with our (then) new camera, the Fuji FinePix S5000. This one picture has been singled out by a Brand Awareness company to be used in an Ad Campaign. Naturally we're really excited and it just goes to show that online content can be useful if you allow the general public access.

Have you ever found luck online?


Friday, April 04, 2008

A meme is a meme is a meme, or is it?

I believe that I can only truly call myself a blogger once I receive a critical comment (as opposed to any comment at all). So I have the lovely[1] Locke to thank for leading me to the edge and here I go jumping in with both feet, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphors.

So without further ado, please refer the criticism below:

'I feel the need to disseminate this horrible abuse of the word meme, and what I posted at Hallqs page sufficiently gets across my point, so I'll paste:
Sorry, but you are entirely misdirected about what a 'meme' is. A survey or chain letter or pass-me-on or whatever this is has no relation to the word. In order to not look silly or foolish, you should research terms before using them. You can't make something a meme just by declaring it so, and if this was one, it would be instantly recognized and occur regularly in the social consciousness in various forms. All your base are belong to us and LOLcats are memes, 'list 7 weird things about yourself' is a survey at best, and a piece of unsolicited spam chainmail at worst. Also, a meme can't be 'invented,' a meme just happens. In addition, as this is about the 20th blog I've posted this comment to, it really makes me sad to know that people are such blindly-following, unthinking automatons that they readily repeat things as fact without so much as an inkling of skepticism. '

I would imagine that the fact that this particular 'meme' has traversed the blogosphere thus resulting in the need to comment on more than 20 blogs kind of confirms that it is actually conforming to the requirement of a meme and disproving the belief that a meme cannot be invented.

Also, I'll forgive the darling girl for being a pedant, god knows the world only turns through the sheer will of a few but I'm a little surprised that someone who clearly has their finger firmly pressed on the pulse of technology (I mean her blog name is 'Lockedotnet' and it is both interesting AND informative) hasn't yet heard of the Urban Dictionary[2].

I'm not sure how I came to be aware of such a modern concept, but I suspect that there are one or two of you who haven't yet experienced the joy that is I feel it only fair that I provide their definition of a meme:

'1. meme
837 up, 67 down

1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)

2 : a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable

3 : the fundamental unit of information, analogous to the gene in emerging evolutionary theory of culture
- meme pool (n.) : all memes of a culture or individual
- memetic (adj.) : relating to memes
- memetics (n.) : the study of memes

4 : in blogspeak, an idea that is spread from blog to blog

5 : an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information

(Etymology : meme : derived from the Greek mimëma, 'something imitated', by Richard Dawkins in 1976)'

Additionally I feel it only fair to say that English (and indeed any language) is all about evolution and a blog is about artistic license so really it doesn't matter who's definition you follow (if any!) but rather that you do so with conviction, that way you can dedicate a whole 15 minutes cultivating a reply to a person who disagrees.


[1] I have made an assumption that Locke is indeed lovely because that is the way I picture all bloggers, as lovely - kind of my own little Utopia.
[2] This is by no means the only online source which includes the meme idea as it is perpetrated in the blogosphere, see American Heritage Dictionary and for further confirmation.

Monday, March 31, 2008

A mama's confession

Motherhood has turned me into a cryer.

Before having children I was what my partner terms, and emotional savant i.e. I lived my emotional state through the medium of film rather than in real-life. I think that this is indicative of a generation which grew up with a television on the background all the time. Obviously generations before that (and now after) either didn't have one or recognised the danger in allowing it to be a main component in our children's lives. Any program or film which contained material pertaining to small children, animals or old people would prompt me to dissolve into a pile of sniffling, snotty tears. I remember a particular Hallmark advert wherein an old blind chap is sitting on a bus with his white cane at his side. As a bunch of school kids got on, one of them handed him a card. The viewer is obviously marvelling at the innocence of the youth in that the man was unable to read his card. He opens the envelope and opens the card and it suddenly plays the happy birthday tune. Every time I saw that ad I would have to leave the room or divert my attention before the end to save myself (and everyone else) from the embarrassment.

Having children hasn't removed this irrational reaction to cheesy tv but what it has done is given me a whole bunch of new instances where the waterworks get the better of me. I have suddenly realised that I am going to be that embarrassing mum who cries every time their kids do something new or well. You know, the one who stands at the gate and gushes over their childs latest accomplishment and can't help but brag over the newest achievement. It is the parent who used to annoy me the most, I wonder if karma has something to do with it?

I find myself marvelling at the most inane little things and although I know this is normal (and quite endearing in itself) it makes me cringe when I think of all the dehydration which awaits me :-).

I guess I should be thankful that I finally have a real live reason to be sentimental - after all, they're all mine (although I suspect hubby had something to do with it to) and they are the best (and cutest) kids ever!


So what is YOUR confession?


Friday, March 21, 2008

New gadgets rule.

It is that time of the year again where we get to choose the one new gadget which will have to last us for the next 18 months (getting something lets us con ourselves into feeling like we're still hip and cool - of course just by using that term I have publicly humiliated my younger siblings but hey ho, another glass of rose will sort that out). Anyway onto the new gadget, I am posting this from my new phone. Yay I am part of the new generation of geeks. Proper posts resume shortly - after I finish reading my n95 manual.


P.s. happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 17, 2008

My little Trooper!

We had a lovely week-end with the rats who were both on top form for making us laugh and ensuring we were both completely exhausted at the end of each day. This morning however, Nate crawled over to wake me up and through my bleary view I noticed something odd about him... I switched the light on to find that his right eyed was completely gunged shut and swollen.

The doctor has made the following diagnosis, it could be;
- All part of the cold,
- Something in his eye or
- Conjunctivitis

What ever it is is quite intense because even by her reckoning the level of gunge is alarming so we're at home having some mum/son time and brother dearest has gone to the childminder where he is lapping up some one on one attention too.

I can't feel put out by it because he is such a lovely patient and he continues to amaze me in his ability to remain cheerful no matter how gross his ailment becomes. Granted, he doesn't have to look at his own eye AND he doesn't have to clean it, such is the luxury of being a kid.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Another week, another week-end...

So tonight marks the end of our lovely party and I must say it has been a smashing one! I have met so many lovely ladies that I am gonna have to negotiate a few extra hours in the day just to keep up :-). Not too much to say so I thought I'd do an overview of my week - feel free to do the same, especially if you're suffering from all the festivities!

The boys have been lovely this week, if very tiring. This toddler phase is a complete conundrum and I suspect that it is a phase created solely to test our patience as parents ;-). Earlier in the week someone posted a link to an article in which it claimed that extensive studies had found that parenting classes, books and techniques all had absolutely no affect on the behaviour which toddlers exhibit. Sadly the source has now disappeared from my memory and my web history so you'll have to just take my word for it and accept that tantrums are normal :-).

In a typically British turn of events, the abnormal weather held pride of place in the topics of conversation and on Tuesday morning I was astonished when I walked outside to complete carnage. The night had brought gale force winds and the slide had been blown right over. Not sure how we'll recover but trauma counselling is being considered for the whole family.

A colleague had an unfortunate run in with a pot handle and flame and was out of commission for the week which meant an unscheduled trip down South for me. My lovely hubby stepped up to the plate as usual and proved yet again that I am the luckiest mama alive cause my man, he be a keeper!

8 hours, 9 podcasts and a tank of diesel later I am home and ready for the week-end.

Tomorrow I am meeting up with another mama (she was born in the UK but spent 25 years in South Africa so we have a fair bit in common). We're taking the children to the local play zone (god bless those people, where would we be without organised play?) and grabbing a cup of coffee sometime in between.

Sorry folks, a senseless and pretty boring post all in all but at least there is one - have a lovely Friday and here's hoping spring arrives wherever you are (sorry Southern Hemisphere, I don't even want to think about Autumn right now).

Mama Big

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday - Preparing for a night away

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tomorrow night I have to be away on business, which means that my darling hubby has the fun task of being mum and dad while I am away. We are a 50/50 split kind of family so we would normally both tackle every night routine. As I won't be there (and will have to deal with my own guilty conscience) I always try to have as much prepared as possible[1].

So the Tackle it Tuesday plan is as follows:

4:50pm Fetch the boys from the child minder and go home
5:45pm Hubby baths the boys while I get their bottles and pj's ready. We each dress one and settle them for the night.
7:00pm(ish) Start dinner and cook enough to last 2 nights - fill 2 containers for dinnertime at the child minder.
7:30pm Look for outfits for both boys to span both days - hubby is perfectly capable of doing this but I try and make it as easy as I can

The rest of the night will be dedicated to eating, reading, tv and sleep :-)

Not very adventurous I know but it is how this Tuesday should pan out. Wednesday on the other hand will bring a 5 hour drive, a night in a hotel followed by an hour and a half worth of meeting on Thursday and another 5 hour drive back home Joy!.


[1] I was SO tempted to use the word pre-prepared but surely that is unnecessary? Isn't one pre enough?

Monday, March 10, 2008

A brief moment in time

My lovely sister-in-law took these back in November and my lovely new friends have shown me a great way to show them off..

For your viewing pleasure!

Late as ever but here after all!

As is becoming a bit of a pattern, I am late to the party and thus likely to have some serious catching up to do. I am surrounded by beautiful woman on their 10th glasses of champagne who have already kicked off their shoes and hitched up their skirts to dance on tables. If you have NO idea what I am talking about, look to the right of this post and you'll see a HUGE pink button. It is that time you see, the Ultimate Blog Party 2008!

My understanding of it is that we get to make some friends, act a little crazy and just generally shake the winter cobwebs from our little corners of the blogging world. Brought to you by two marvellous woman - Janice and Susan of 5minutesformum fame, if you haven't done so already please check them out cause they're the type of woman everyone should have in their lives, bubbly, vivacious and oh so inspiring.

In line with the rules of the party I have to produce a kind of intro post so here goes and maybe one of you will decide to come to the party even later and make me look good :-)

I am Amy, mother to identical twin boys and wife to a wonderful (if slightly geeky) husband. Equally I am a fairly competent employee and a good friend - although to be fair I am a little thin on the IRL friend front these days which is as much to do with a busy life as it is to do with a little bit of commitment phobia.

I moved from sunny South Africa to the shores of the UK almost 5 years ago for what was supposed to be an extended working holiday, 6 months into the journey I met my lovely husband and the rest as they say is history.

We endured an exhausting pregnancy, twin to twin transfer syndrome, premature births, c-sections, post-natal depression and clinical depression but we have come out the other side smelling like roses (although to be fair sometimes those roses smell like poo-poo as the Black Eyed Peas will testify).

I love my life, tolerate my job and am convinced that one day soon I'll win the lottery which will mean that I, along with all my extended family (well certain invited family members only) can settle down to a life of simple luxuries like gardening and carpentry. Preferably from a big farm, with multiple houses, horses and great views.

I don't blog often enough but I try to do it when I can and I am always on the look out for lovely friends in the computer so those of you who do pop in occasionally, please come to the party and let me know when you have.

Love & stuff always,
Your blog host.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The meme gods... 7 Random Facts....

This old man tagged me with the 7 random facts meme. As it so subtly suggests in the name I guess it means that we have to reveal 7 facts about ourselves before passing the fun onto someone else... so here goes...

The rules are:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Post the rules here
  • Share 7 random or weird facts about yourself
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of the post, linking to them
  • Leave a comment on their blog so that they know they've been tagged (not anonymously!!)
7 random facts few people know about me:
  1. I can fit my fist in my mouth
  2. I have 4 tattoo's, the first of which I got when I turned 16 and I am likely to get more in the near future
  3. I can still recite the first English and Afrikaans poems I was taught in school
  4. In primary school I played a lead role in Greece and the Sound of Music despite a disturbing inability to hold a note
  5. In my first year in the UK I played the lead in a pantomime despite having no idea what a pantomime was at the time
  6. I am very good at keeping deep dark secrets (which is a good thing since everyone tells me their dark secrets very quickly)
  7. I will be donating my eggs to a fertility clinic at the end of the year before seriously considering tying knots in my tubes or something :-)
So that means that it is up to you guys to take over now... Queenie ; Red ; Tertia ; Wendy ; Twinkies ; Wasted and finally, my friend down-under Baby Amore

Sorry everyone :-) I have so few friends so it has to be you! :-)


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flying with toddlers

So I know you guys have been waiting with baited breathe for an update on how it went huh? Well here it is - may it provide insight and clarity to aid you in your frolicking adventures.

The first thing you need to do is find yourself and airline which caters to small children. If they openly acknowledge that they do, chances are they are also used to dealing with frazzled parents. In a pinch this is a godsend, especially if there aren't any hands free when you need them to be. There don't seem to be that many around who do, so don't be afraid to ask - I believe there are some who won't insure their crew to handle children at all so they're not a good bet for long haul. Qatar, Emirates and Qantas score very highly on the family friendly front so they're always a good option if they're within your price bracket.

Secondly, the rules state that children 2 years and under have to either be strapped into their own car seat/infant seat or stay on a parents lap. In flight I would say that the infant seat is a very good option as it is familiar and a handy (and comfortable) spot for baby to be set down. Unfortunately carrying them around the airport and between flights can be problematic - this makes it an unlikely option for parents of multiples unless there are several other adults on hand to help. Some of the airlines (see the above listed ones) offer Bassinet's or flight cots. We chose this option only to discover that the boys were too long for them. I have since been shown a handy way of propping a pillow in one end so that the baby can sleep raised up and I really wish I'd know about it before I flew. If your children are likely to be too tall or if you're not going to make use of the cot facility then I suggest that you avoid the bulk head. It does offer more legroom but as there are no seats in front of you to stow your bag away, you'll have to pack them overhead and it gets very impractical.

Thirdly, pack your handluggage as light as you possibly can. You don't need to take many things to entertain - the plane, people and in flight magazines took care of that and the less you have to carry the better. Also, dress them in baby grows or something similar and take spares because it means you don't have to keep track of all the pieces.

DO pack snacks and buy water, milk and juice before boarding the plane, take a small cooler bag along and keep your milk in there. Although the crew were great, there were times when they were very busy and we needed juice or similar in the way that only parents to young children recognise. Raisins, crackers, fruit and any other finger food works very well.

If you have twins and you and your partner are flying together - pack 2 smaller bags with exactly the same items, this way if you're seperated at all (we were on the second leg of one of our flights) you don't have to run back and forth looking for things.

If you're like me and you're BIG on sticking to the daily routine, try not to get too stressed out. The routine will get messed up but on a long haul flight there is also a lot of time to sleep and catch up if necessary.

If there are 2 adults, have one set their watch to local time and the other keep 'home' time - it makes it easier to figure out what schedule the kids clock is on.

Finally I would say this, when it gets fraught (as it is likely to do at some point), look around for the sympathetic eyes, there are lots of them and most of them will offer to help out if you let them. Be that holding/watching your child while you go for a pee or fetching/carrying things for you because you have child fast asleep on your lap. Ultimately they're on a flight with you but you're unlikely to see them again so don't bother yourself thinking of their needs, be selfish and think about yours and your family's!

All the best and happy flying :-)


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In Loving Memory

'Bones' Lombardi
Feb 1966 - Feb 2008

You will be sorely missed but never f*ing forgotten

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The big What IF scenario!!

This is a biggie for me (and I suspect my husband, children and family) so I'm putting it out there in the hope that some of you can give me your opinions/experiences.

For a long time I have been harbouring a desire to donate my eggs. It sounds mad and the few people who I have broached the subject with (other than my very understanding hubby) have seriously poo-poo'd the idea.

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to talk radio (ugh! how middle aged of me huh?) and the topic came up and there were a few doctors from various clinics around the UK. They were saying that they're in crisis at present because there are so few donations taking place. There is some thought that the introduction of the 'Right to Know' campaign has had some affect as donors can no longer remain anonymous and so they're desperate for people to come forward.

I have sent off for the documentation and I have discussed it with my hubby and so it's just a matter of making a final decision. I suspect it isn't a pleasant experience and that it could be downright painful, but is that just a short term thing? I think it must be otherwise it wouldn't be requested in the manner that it is.

I think that the fact that I already have a family is a good thing as there is no chance that I can regret the decision later on the basis of my not being able to fall pregnant. Also, I can absolutely guarantee that we will not be trying for more - if anything we would try and adopt later once the boys are older.

So here is where you guys come in. What are your thoughts on egg donation? If you are all for it, what are your motivations? Would you benefit yourself and if so how long have you been waiting? If you are against or you have had a negative experience, please share it because I want to be entering into this with a clear idea of the pro's and cons if at all.

I look forward to hearing the opinions of my friends in the 'puter. You guys are the authority on these types of subjects so I bow to your experiences.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Hello I'm back ;-)

Well rested, excited about the new year and ecstatic that we have finally conquered the constipation (secrets to follow).

Next post will cover flying with twins and what I have learnt - but only after I have caught up on all your blogs!

So much reading and so little time.

Happy New Year everyone.