Let this be a lesson to all procrastinaters in 2012, from a fellow procrastinater. The more you delay the worse it gets.

All us procrastinaters know it, so why oh why do we do it???? I haven’t blogged for a month. A record for me. I’ve been on holiday in Australia with the kids. My husband called it boot camp. He even had to unclog a toilet – with his bare hands. And I had to load the washing, one load after the next. (And that’s with my mother and her housekeeper doing the bulk of it. I quite liked it actually, besides all the pants I managed to ruin. Prince No. 3 stuck his bubble gum everywhere! He’s now banned.) Of course that wasn’t the whole trip. Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s just very different going ‘home’ rather than being a simple vacationer.

It’s complicated. Too complicated to write about… Which brings me to an issue that’s come up for me. How much does a blogger blog about personal information? It’s a haunting question… On the one hand I love sharing ideas and funny experiences. On the other I’m an extremely private person. In fact my introvert half has seriously raised it’s head in the past few months. Which has culminated in this blogging hiatus. My other half, the extrovert, that just wants to go out and connect with the world, with a party hat on her head to the sound of fireworks, is missing the fun.

Caught between two halves (and I kid you not, on the Myer Briggs test I come out exactly half half, with a bit of a percent over – making me an official extrovert) dealing with challenges which feel big to me, but are small in the big scheme of things….

So I thought I’d do a point by point catch up of the last month. What I’ve read and loved, watched and loved, done and loved. I’ll even add some pics along the way 🙂

  • Firstly and here’s the biggie which explains why I’ve been so weird – I’m pregnant. Is it the kind of thing I should be sharing with the whole world – I’m not sure. But all I ask is for lots and lots of positive thoughts because heavens I need it. This has been a very difficult pregnancy. And maybe that’s why I want to share it, because on pregnancy alone a blog could be written for a lifetime. It’s a saga of emotional roller coastering that I never imagined possible.
  • ‘Raising Boys’ – This is a MUST READ for all mothers of boys, by Steve Biddulph. (There is one for girls too apparently. Google it.) It’s available at Exclusive Books. I read it and desperately wish I read it years and years ago. It goes into bringing up boys as babies, toddlers, juniors and the biggie – teenagers!!!!

One of the major points it brings up is how boys brains work differently to girls. He says they should be kept back a year so they have an extra year to develop, play freely and just be. (I think he’s right. It’s awful seeing where I went wrong – be prepared for that feeling.)

Notably it’s also an easy thin book to read. Very well laid out. Go buy it, don’t borrow it, you need to read it and own it as your boy bible, and all fathers need to read it too. (No I’m not getting a cut.)

  • Drama Series – ‘Downton Abbey’ – A very well done British television period drama series which begins in pre World War 1 times with the sinking of the Titanic. Anyone who’s a history junkie will love it. The script is great, costumes amazing, and it’s an all round escapist watch. It can be rented from Craighall video shop, and maybe it’s even on DSTV. I loved it and am onto series two, which is in the middle of the war. I don’t watch these things very often, but am hooked on Downton Abbey for good.
  • Movie – ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett. Anyone who hasn’t watched it must! I hear the book is also wonderful. I’m definitely going to read it. (The advantage of a fourteen hour flight to Australia is all the movies I got to watch. The Princes were also similarly occupied.)
  • ADHD research. An update on this is that two of my friends have put their boys on ritalin. I’m still puzzled as to why every second boy needs to be drugged??? Any answers out there are welcome. Am currently reading The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child – by Thomas Hartmann. I’m also trying to get hold of a very recommended book called – ‘Making ADHD a Gift: Teaching Superman How to Fly’ by Robert E. Cimera. Lots to read….
  • Gone back to Tanach – I’ve currently become involved in a new Jewish Learning program for adults teaching Tanach. I’ve begun studying the book of Joshua and am finding it very comforting. At least it’s keeping my brain whirring away with a different language.
  • Interview with Gavin Keller – I interviewed Gavin Keller for a Jewish Life article and was walking on air with inspiration and the will to change our redundant school system. It’s going to take a lot of brain change though. I really think parents need to start getting involved to create the schools they want.
  • PICNICS – are the best, best, best thing. In Sydney the Kosher eating establishments are really limited (worse than when I lived there) picnicing is the easy solution. From beach to park to beach again. (On the grass of course – sand and sandwiches don’t go.) My very easy picnic recipe is: Crackers (we love Corn Thins) or bread (we love Pita bread), cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese (although turned too messy), tuna in tins, veggies like tomato, peppers, cucumbers (depending how lazy you are, cut up, or just cut at picnic), chips, plastic knives, forks, paper plates and bottles of water. Voila a picnic to feed the hungriest stomach. Simple, easy, no fuss which means you’ll actually do it.

 

Nothing like a picnic!!!!

I’ve also decided that it’s worth getting out in Johannesburg and making the effort to picnic. Emmarentia is probably the best bet, Delta park is also lovely, and in the week if there’s time Zoo Lake is lekker (on Sunday it’s way too full). We never picnic in Johannesburg but here’s to 2012 and picnics.

  • Dogs – We’re going to get a dog. Two actually. Two big brown (well maybe golden) Labradors. The Princes went mad for their Great Aunt’s giant labrador, called Zulik. (With a name like Zulik, my boys had a soul connection. I don’t know what to do with dogs, but before I talk myself out of it again, we’re just going to do it!

 

Zulik at dog park!!!!

And to conclude – EXPERIENCES are in – things are out.

When I was in Sydney my sister-in-law (who was just fabulous to us whilst we were there) pointed out an article about the christmas shopping trends. It said that buying experiences, like tap dancing lessons, parasailing, chocolate making, was in, and buying ‘things’ was out. It tapped into what our holiday was about and what I want to bring up the Princes to appreciate. Experiences last a lot longer than things, and are worth a lot more.

What we do is more valuable than what we consume.

What we give is far more everlasting that what we take.

So here’s to a year of creating positive experiences, of learning, of growing, of loving.

Cheers with a proverbial glass of bubbly champagne!!!