Where to begin even?! Life right now is such a weird mix of emotions and just stuff. Eloquent hey? Best I try that again…
Life right now is exhaustion, excitement, fear, love, pride, insecurity, planning, overwhelm, stressing, blessings, frantic, recovering from sickness… Maybe breaking it down will help. This post will be all about life right now with me and then I will share life right now with Miss Charly. For right now… This year has been a LOT. From german measles to birthdays to family holidays and me going away BY MYSELF!!!
I was so sick you guys. SO sick. And Brett was scary sick, waking with fever shakes and soaked through… So I was awake with him, afraid, finding clean bedding and clothing in the middle of the night. Finally falling asleep with my own fever and infection pains to Charly crying with massive fever spikes and coughing fits that meant I had to sit up holding her upright so she could breathe all night. Two weeks where all three of us were completely out of commission. Thank heavens for my mom, because I was shaking constantly from being sick and the complete inability to rest while being afraid for and trying to look after my two. My mom took Charly for two separate nights, because Brett and I were just not coping with any of it anymore. Of course I was still having to look after B at night, but at least I could sleep lying down on my own every now and then.
I speak of those two weeks like they were forever… I should probably provide the context that it wasn’t only those two weeks. They were the tail end of five weeks of alternating. Charly got bronchitis, then Brett got bronchitis. Charly’s cleared for 2 weeks and in that time I got it. Then C got a very scary sounding chest infection that I became paranoid was pneumonia. I didn’t quite recover and my ribs got progressively more painful until I though I had pneumonia (just a simple ear, throat, sinus, chest infection with an infection in the intercostal muscles between my ribs). And the same day Charly and I were diagnosed, Brett’s fevers started and the doctor diagnosed full-blown influenza (versus a regular flu). And that was us. Five weeks of no sleep, fear, doctors bills, antibiotics and plague. We are 95% well at the moment. I suspect that might be a best case scenario for us until Charly’s immune system kicks in around age 5. #parenthood
And then of course, since we are talking about me – Guilt. All. The. Guilt. Everybody always comments on how awesome it must be to have your own business/es… To work at home, to set your own hours, determine your own income… And it is awesome in many ways. You know when it’s not awesome? When you are sick. And your entire family is sick. And there is no sleep. When everybody is in the house together all the time, feeling awful and tearful and helpless and just THERE. Because there is no back up! There is no colleague or boss or intern to keep the clients happy or keep the day to day ticking over. I lost almost 3 full weeks of proper work. And money. And Charly lost 25 days of school this term alone!
Day 1219 – 12 Jun 17 : The plague is on our house for real. This is us at the doctor. Charly, B and I have ear, chest and throat infections 🙌 we don’t half as anything. All on antibiotics. Fevers right now Me 38. Charly 38.7. Brett 39.5. #fml All in bed, heaters on, medded up, ready to sleep. To everybody I owe work and emails and calls to – please forgive me. I will be trying to work still, just a little slower than usual. All the love xx
I haven’t even had a moment to bask in and share the incredible trip I had to Nelson Mandela Bay. It was one of the best trips of my life, filled with the most incredible people and moments and sights and tastes and smells. I am utterly obsessed. I flew home the Saturday afternoon. Charly was already sick. We had Mother’s Day with my family and that was the day that kickstarted the 5 cursed weeks.
I want to go back to PE! Not just in the, “on holiday with my family, because it is an amazing family holiday destination” way… Though yes, that too. But in the, “before our world went mad with plague and stress and bills” way… I wish I could recapture just for a moment the total stillness of the world and my soul, sitting in a car in the middle of Addo Elephant Park with amazing people watching elephants play and stroll virtually touching the car.
Or being taken around by the amazing Lungelo, whose rich deep knowledge, love and excitement for his hometown had our darling driver Andre and I enthralled and in love with it too.
Or being covered in sticky rib sauce from the best ribs I’ve ever eaten, laughing and talking and sharing with incredible humans… being hugged and enchanted with the owner of the Cubata… If you are ever in the mood for ribs… get in the car or on a plane and get to this awesome casual restaurant on the corner of Aurthur and Stebonheath streets in PE with picnic tables and the sound of happiness and the smell of incredibly loved food in the air.
I could go on for hours and I really really plan to, both here and on Tums 2 Tots soon!! Tums is doing really well too. I’ve gotten to work with some incredible brands, Mother’s Day brought out some of the top brands in SA looking to spoil our moms. I loved it!! I’ve also been doing reviews there of various experiences and items I’ve been privileged to experience.
Right now though, I am trying to throw my energy behind #CarseatFullstop again. I can’t believe it has been a year since the core campaign launched!! You guys are the first to know right now, but I am SO excited because BeSafe has officially come on board!!! I will be taking a range of BeSafe seats with me wherever I go. This means I am finally going to be realising my dream of launching #CarseatFullstop for Kids into nursery schools!! Our project pilot is in August!! I will also be heading into prenatal classes, hospitals, obgyn practices, baby classes and anywhere else that will have me, to teach new parents about car seat safety! I’m also teaming up with some big family brands to do events for their mums and help answer as many questions they have as I can. (You can also ask questions in the new #CarseatFullstop Faebook group.)
And of course, I am starting to make my lists of content for the big campaign… from budgets (HELP) to websites, to photography (so excited about this) to building my team and deciding what stories to share through them and the media. Last year I was terrified. This year I am excited, but looking for ways to survive it without burning out… so looking for a sustainable income for the duration of the campaign so I’m not having to actively pitch for and complete big projects at the same time as juggling the big elements of the campaign.
What do you guys think of crowdfunding? I’m worried that too many people have tapped into this, thinning out the value. What do you think? Are you the kind of person who might donate R100 every few months if it meant continuing to get the message of car seat safety out into the SA community? I genuinely want to hear your thoughts on this. I am so very torn.
I’ve been to some amazing events over the past few months. The highlight was of course the #ECMeetup. I still can’t quite believe I was there, sharing my thoughts and having others find real value in them. There is nothing in the world quite like having people tell me that what I said resonated with them and they are feeling more confident in being who they are because of my words. I literally glow just thinking about it.
The venue, The Plantation, which was also my home for my little getaway, stole my heart completely. There is nothing quite like attention to detail and a real love for what they do, to lift a venue from lovely to unforgettable. Meeting Ella, Luchae, Venean, Natasha, Ranique and so many others in person in real life, seeing my beautiful Megan and her bump and being able to squish hug them, made my year. The memories just fill me with the happies.
But other things I really want to still share on when I get a second to breathe… The 2017 Kids Emporium breakfast! It was SO worth the wait (everybody has been impatiently waiting for this one since the last one) and it was everything we hoped for. Incredible food at an intimate and gorgeous venue, amazing smart, warm, inspiring people. And sincerely considered gift boxes JUST for us, the moms.
Thursday two weeks ago saw Cindy and I heading to the Forum Embassy Hill for an #Instawalk. I have never been so sad to leave an event as I was to leave this one. We only got to experience 3 of the cleverly designed mini-events of the day. I baked you guys! Well, I rolled and seeded and floured and shaped rolls to be baked by somebody. With my own hands! Some people might know that I don’t touch food except in very very rare circumstances. I have a thing about my hands being sticky or having food on them. (I hear the hysterical laughter as you move from sympathetic nodding to realising I am a toddler mom. I hear and understand.) Not only did I make rolls, but my family fought over them and LOVED them! I am totally taking credit, even though the dough was premade with deliciousness…
I also ran into an incredibly special lady I met at the launch of Le Riche Naturals; the owner of Spice 4 Life and the creator and director of Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum. Reconnecting with her was possibly one of the highlights of my year.
From baking to a thought provoking talk by Joni Peddie of The Resilient Energy Center and a sadly rushed tour that basically just highlighted the sensory delights we were missing out on for the rest of the day. Because we were running late for the Baby Dove SA launch. Cindy and I are hoping to be able to host the #CTMeetup at Embassy Hill in September, planning started yesterday!!
The Baby Dove event was such a treat. I got to meet the PR ladies, Charmaine and Tamlyn, who I had the pleasure of teaming up with for a brief moment in the run up to the event. And you know who else was there? SO MANY PEOPLE!!! I felt like I was personally being rewarded for surviving the 5 week plague by getting to spend the morning with some of my favourite humans from around SA. There were some specials missing for various reasons and their absence WAS felt by me! Laura, Maz, Shan, Terence, Don, Sharon and Megan to name the first few that spring to mind. Coordinating people flown in from all over is no joke and this PR team really did a great job in putting this together in a tight timeframe.
The speakers and the panel were so perfectly selected to show real women, real moms, just like us… Who are also struggling to be perfect and do everything and find the elusive balance as parents and women and all of the myriad of roles we play. Their message: there are no perfect moms, only real ones. And encouraging moms everywhere to #trustyourway. I love love love this. It is exactly what PiCT has always been about.
They followed that up with the science of baby skincare. More rock star women sharing themselves and their knowledge with us. And there were experiments! I held a balloon while somebody popped it!!! Melissa sprayed water on little ducky indicators. The awesome Monde from the Dove Research & Development, did this crazy cool thing with the new Baby Dove Petroleum Jelly (did you know this is a purely SA demand and it is made specifically for our market and our climate??). Basically she spread some on a Muslin cloth over a jar of water and turned it upside down and she did the same with a control. No water!!! Like magic, the water didn’t drip AT ALL! Serious moisture protection.
Delicious food, insane chats with some of my favourite humans, including the other four of the #fab5!!!! Cassan doing a feelings dance. Cath, Teri-Jane, Angie, Melissa, Chantelle and Lisa being stunning and young and so sweet. And the beautiful mommies to be!!!!!!! Tracey, Kim Dove’s head of R&D Cassandra, and a rockstar boss lady Caitlyn De Beer.
I so desperately needed to fill my cup to face the coming months of work and sharing and trying to break down the core resistance South Africans seem to have to car seats. I can’t think of anything better than that #BabyDoveSA event. Getting to be with my specials Zoe, Joni, Ella and Cass from all over, was so special.
And I was spoilt once more on that Sunday, when my little family were thoroughly spoily by a visit from Charlene and her gorgeous family for brunch. Nothing like a week of spending quality real-human-face time (with hugs) with usually online friends, to remind you how very blessed you are.
And then a personal special occassion as my daddy turned 60 this past weekend! That may not seem like such a big deal to some… But my daddy was told 25 years ago that the doctors had done everything they could and that he had 6 more months to live. So while there are the occasional times where I no doubt take him for granted, those times are fewer than most. And celebrating him being 60, having danced with him at our birthdays and weddings and watching him dancing with our daughters… That is huge for me. We had a very special evening Saturday, with family and lifelong friends, celebrating him. So happy birthday daddy, we are grateful every day to have you with us.
And that, my lovelies, is my life right now. A bit all over the place. A lot of germs. Plenty of celebrations and friendships and family. And even more planning and dreaming and working. Charly’s post is written… I just need to do photos and I will share with you all. Be prepared!! She has come SO far since her last update.
Sending all the love xxx