Mastered!

So you remember that dissertation that was kicking my butt a few months back? Well it turns out it was I who did the butt kicking! Yes, I was delighted to learn a couple of weeks ago that  I earned an “A” on the most important thing I have written to date. The piece was a work of non-fiction which provided a glimpse into the tumultuous time in my life when my newborn son fought valiently for his life and the gamut of emotions during that period. And now, he is 7 years old, an absolute joy, with a cluster of special needs ranging from hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), speech delay, learning delay, and the odd seizure — but he is still here, still my shining star. He defied all the odds and provided the inspiration for me to master this Masters!

As you can imagine, a whole lot of tears and sleepless nights went into this degree and receiving such a great grade certainly made the journey worth it. Two days ago, the university officially awarded me my Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Industries. I am beyond proud!

Next up, graduation on 18th September — what fun to wear that cap and gown one more time!

And no, I won’t stop here. There is indeed a Ph.D. on the horizon….  🙂

I am not dead…

I have been on holiday. Ok, not really.

As much as I wish I could tell you that I have been on a sandy beach somewhere, soaking up UV rays and sipping on something fruity and very alcoholic, alas, tis not so.

In its final weeks, my MA dissertation soundly kicked my butt. I exerted every last ounce of mental, emotional, and physical energy into writing 20,000 words of the most important story I have ever told. Two bouts of bronchitis, one UTI, and a semi mental breakdown later, and I think (fingers crossed) I am finally on the mend. I have been celebrating by sleeping. Move over Rip van Winkle…

Now it’s time to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and get cracking on bright new things ahead. Coming up in the next few weeks is Zoie’s 2nd birthday and party and I have been busy planning away excitedly. I am also on the hunt for some work experience (better put this MA to some use right?) and I have grand plans for this blog as well!

Fun times ahead! So I’m back, and I really hope I can stay this time. 🙂

The Birthday Party

Well!!  I managed to pull off my biggest party to date with 30 screaming, excited kiddies, approx. 15 bewildered but well-fed parents, and 1 busted up sweet-laden pinata — and I’ve lived to tell the tale!

Emilie’s 5th birthday party was a smashing success — 1 year in the making and 3 months of intense planning and organising and hand making of decor. Budget busted, brain fried, but the smiles on the faces of the kiddies was worth all the effort, heartache, paper cuts, glue gun burns, and drained bank account!

Can’t wait until I get the professional photos back so that I can show you all of the pretty party things.

In the meantime, here is a pic of the birthday girl posing (in costume) with her mountain of gifts. It really was a great day!

Blue suede shoes

Ok, so they aren’t real suede, but “blue faux-suede shoes” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

These are my latest (guilt-free) mommy purchase and I am already devising plans of when/where I can don these bright blue babies! I’m sure they are perfectly acceptable to wear to parents evening or the weekly grocery shop…

When I put them on, I feel fabulous, and being able to walk more than six steps in them is definitely a bonus!

Every girl should have a pair.

 

 

 

Image: MAC Edit: MPQ

Me, mad? Never!

This morning a close friend said to me “you always seem angry” (or unhappy, or something of the sort, I can’t remember verbatim) and I remember feeling completely gobsmacked. A plethora of choice retorts instantly sprang to mind, none of them I can repeat here in this post… (maybe he had a point? Haha) My second reaction was one of defense. Who is at their best at 9am? I sure as hell am not, especially when the only place I want to be is back in my warm bed and not trudging up the hill toward my house, post school run.

My third reaction? Tears.

I felt wounded and, as the upset subsided, I sort of saw his point. I am a little stressed out these days. Ok, A LOT stressed out. Between trying to be supermom (school runs, parent/teacher meetings, morning assemblies, playgroups) and superstudent (yeah, that dissertation isn’t gonna write itself), I seem to have lost myself along the way. And somehow my sadness and stress has painted me as some kind of mad black woman. That isn’t to say I’m not trying. I really am trying to relax and have fun when I can.

These days I’m actually wearing a bit of makeup, buying cute things for my hair, and picking up the odd Glamour magazine. Last week I bought the most fabulous pair of electric blue suede high heels. That would cheer anyone up, hehe.

I think as moms we really can never underestimate the importance of “ME” time. Without it, it’s really easy to slip away into maternal oblivion.  Next on my agenda is a girlie weekend, methinks.

Anything to avoid being “that angry girl”. And if my friend says that again, I might punch him.

Gently. 🙂

Raising my 3 stooges

Back when Zoie was brand new.

Parenting: it’s not for the faint-hearted.

My  firstborn, my 6 yr old son Liam, has special needs and his years have been punctuated by hospital admissions, medications, therapies, and a whole lot of worry. My first experience of raising a child was an odd juxtaposition of fear, heartache, and unconditional love. That being said, my boy is all kinds of awesome. He loves music and is the dancing-est thing you’ve ever seen. And don’t challenge him to a game of football – you will lose. His smile can light up a room. He simply glows inside and out.

Everything else I ever needed to know about parenting, I’ve learned from my 4 yr old daughter, Emilie. A cheeky little whip of a kid with a kind heart and a splash of diva.

Although Emmie is my second child, raising her has been so vastly different. Liam met his milestones in his own time – we were used to a gentle pace with him. Emmie was walking by 7 months and chatting our ears off by mid toddlerhood. There were no worries about her health, no real concerns other than the usual ones that any parent has for their child’s future. Emilie was, and still is, a whirlwind of what raising a typical child is like.

Yesterday she got into trouble for telling tales on a schoolmate, today she asked my mom how babies get into mommies’ bellies. I’m fine tuning my stork story as I type. At parent’s evening tonight her teacher revealed that she is in the advanced reading group for her class and her numeracy skills are stellar. Last week she asked her classmate, Tristan, if he would marry her. The kid is on a roll. Guess I must be doing something right, haha.

By the time kiddo number 3 came along, I felt I had this parenting gig all figured out. I was wrong. Zoie, at 20 months old, is my ninja baby. She gets up to more shenanigans than the other 2 kids combined. She provokes her sister, eats anything she isn’t supposed to, and has one heck of  a scowl when she gets in a mood. If looks could kill….

Yes, my work is cut out for me.

There truly is no such thing as one-size-fits-all parenting. 3 kids, 3 completely different personalities and needs, all completely wonderful.

Running out of excuses, ha

Well talk about fallin’ right off the face of the blogosphere! What’s going on with me? Could it be that I’ve run out of things to say? Never, haha.

Last week was half term, which in my world means one stir-crazy 4 year old who redefined the phrase “couch potato”. I’m surprised her butt didn’t fuse to the sofa! I did manage to pry her away from the TV long enough to drag her to a doctor’s appointment (for her little sis), a session at the soft-play centre, a run around at the park, and two playdates. Win.

If I had my way, they’d be in school always. Yeah, I said it.

Besides the hassle of half term, I’ve been in full on party planning panic mode for Emilie’s 5th birthday. If you know me, you know my parties. And you know that there is no halfway. It’s all or nothing. If it’s not perfect, well, mama ain’t happy. The theme is a closely guarded secret. If I told you I’d have to silence you, then who would be left to read my blog? For those who do know the theme, consider yourselves a part of the elite few — my ninja party planning crew. All shall be revealed in time. Watch this space!

So other than losing sleep and ignoring the fact that I still have a 20,000 word dissertation to write, all is well in my world of nappies, snot, and bruised knees.

I promise to get back on the blogging ball. Soon.