Tag Archives: Family

Moving Along

11 Jul

moving carWe all know that moving is ranked one of the top three most stressful life events!A study carried out in the sixties by Holmes and Rahe, ranked 43 (believe it or not) of the most stressful life events. ‘A change in residence’ was indeed present on the list, albeit quite near the bottom. However, a surprisingly large number of the remaining events could either provoke a move (divorce, separation, retirement, marriage, new family member) or are related to moving house (major mortgage, change in school, change in social activities, change in living conditions). Using this scale we can see that the bigger the change, the more stressful the move (although we probably didn’t need the scale to tell us that!).

Today’s hectic lifestyle leaves little room for added stress. If the stress scale was adapted to reflect modern day life, perhaps the one hundred and one extra administrative tasks that go hand in hand with moving would be included. Back in the sixties there were infinitely fewer people to notify of your change of address; no internet, satellite/cable, insurance, different utility companies, Facebook friends  and Twitter etc. And there was probably a wife or mother at home to take care of it all. Humans are creatures of habit and moving house presents disruptions on a number of levels. As well as getting used to the obvious change in habits and location, moving house generates a variety of emotions; excitement, guilt, apprehension, sadness and anxiety to name but a few.

I think that it’s still amazing how I found the place we now live in after weeks of searching. One day, during  a lunch break I decided to take a drive around the area I wanted to stay in to look for any “To Let” signs. I didn’t find any but I did happen to find a Rental Agency for that area who had one flat on their books that was empty at the time and just perfect for a small family. We moved in the middle of August 2010 and I clearly remember moving to Randburg. Lugging around a few things at 6 months pregnant and co-ordinating everyone else. Preparing a nursery and making it a home. The reason that I’m sad is because this is the first house that my Sunny Bunny was born in and has grown up in. He has had many firsts in this place. First: cold, tooth, meal, crawl, birthday and the list goes on. Notice how I left our his first steps, that happened at my friend Robyns‘ house. I’m not usually one for long baths but I’ve had so many this week because in that tub I recall the long hot bath I had after walking Sandton City flat, having a hot spicy meal and doing bedroom acrobatics at a whopping 42 weeks to try get labour moving along. There are so many wonderful memories within these walls but it’s time to say goodbye. So I guess now, I’m not feeling as overwhelmed as I’m feeling sad.

God has been so amazing and gracious. We have gone from one place to another to accommodate our family that’s gone from a childless married couple to one that now has one (so far) and it’s been a blessing. Maybe moving is good for our souls in that we don’t get bogged down to one place and in so doing learn to adapt to a change in our environments and with the times. Maybe the cleaning out of our cupboards should also signify a kind of spiritual cleansing, like aerating our souls. I think I’m a hoarder, always holding on “just in case” we need it for something or other so this will definitely be another clean out for me.

At the end of the day though, my heart is settled about this move. We’re going to be in a better place and the cliché is true, home is where the heart is. My heart is walking outside of my body in the form of Sunny Bunny and held in the hands of my lover and friend. As long as I get to be with them, then nothing else should matter. If you barely hear from me, i’ll be packing boxes and starting varsity next week so wish me luck.

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Keeping your family healthy

10 Jul

Lifebouy packageRemember this post about fighting infections this winter, well Lifebouy were kind enough to send me a few products to try. My family and I have since made a concerted effort to wash our hands MORE than regularly apart from during cooking and visiting the loo, those are non-negotiable. Here is some more interesting information they asked me to pass on from research they had done…

Everyday infections such as colds, coughs, flu, stomach and skin infections have a major impact on families especially in terms of overall health and emotional wellbeing, money and time.  In addition, the far-reaching consequence of everyday illness also has an effect on education and the productivity of the nation as a whole.  Antibacterial soap manufacturer, Lifebuoy, recently teamed up with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to conduct a small-scale study into consumer perceptions about everyday illness.  The study highlighted how low-cost changes to your lifestyle, such as developing proper hand hygiene habits, could save you money while keeping your family healthy.  This will ensure your children don’t miss out on any schooling and give you more time to spend on the things you enjoy.  Researchers found there was a high incidence of everyday illness amongst children (0-15) who took part in the study, with 89% suffering most commonly with infections such as respiratory illness, skin infections and diarrhoeal diseases.  According to researchers at Lifebuoy, by adopting simple daily hand wash routines especially at key occasions such as before handling food, after a visit to the bathroom and when in the shower/ bath, you can cut the incidence (and costs) of these everyday and often preventable infections, especially incidence of diarrhoeal disease by almost half.  The study also found that the majority of all illness episodes resulted in time off school. This means that for every day that your child is home sick; you may also need to take the time off to care for them.  The impact of regularly missing school has far-reaching consequences for a child. Frequent absenteeism may affect the child’s school work and progress as well as their social interaction and development in this area.  According to Dr Kelly Gate, 2012 Rural Doctor of the Year recipient from Bethesda hospital in Kwazulu-Natal, “in this way common illness, which affects a child on a regular basis, can also impinge on their long-term development.”  In addition frequent school absenteeism not only affects individual study but also disrupts the class if there are enough children missing on a regular basis.  If the caregiver needs to take time off work, this may result in a loss of income (added to the increased medical costs) and impact leave days.  Illness in the family also affects the emotional state of the caregiver brought on not only by concern for the child, but also the added stress of trying to maintain other responsibilities.  Loane Sharp, labour economist for Adcorp agrees that absenteeism due to illness has a major impact on the bottom line, “Absenteeism is a major contributing factor to loss in productivity across South African employment, which in turn negatively impacts the economy because of these lost working hours.”  When it comes to protecting your family, prevention is really better than cure. One quarter of mothers interviewed reported that they believe that their children get sick more often, which means they spend more money and time on illness today than they did when they were children.  Additionally two thirds of mothers felt powerless to prevent the spread of everyday infections and the majority were concerned that regular illness would influence their child’s school work.  They were therefore looking for solutions to ensure their children stayed healthy and had more time at school.

 Lifebuoy has identified the highest germ anxiety periods, especially for parents, as being during seasonal changes, back-to-school and occasions when people gather together such as religious festivals. According to climatologist Peter Johnston, “Climate change is causing greater climatic variability and more extreme conditions. The impact on pests and diseases is largely unknown, but it can be expected that new germs and diseases will be favoured by the increased temperatures and more extreme rainfall conditions that will become more prevalent. Healthy routines and lifestyles will become more important to fend off sickness and diseases.”  According to Ashveer Mahabeer, Brand Building Manager: Lifebuoy, “Studies, such as those conducted by LSHTM, suggest that interventions to promote hand washing might save millions of lives and millions of Rands as well. It is therefore imperative to promote healthy hygiene habits such as hand washing with soap especially at key occasions. Prof Lucille Blumberg from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) agrees that hand washing plays a significant role in the reduction of respiratory and diarrhoeal illnesses.  “Washing hands with soap is an easy, effective and inexpensive way to minimise the risk of spreading germs that cause flu, skin and gut infections,” concludes Blumberg.

 By incorporating a simple hand-wash routine with soap you are taking an essential step towards being part of the solution.  Stay one step ahead of everyday infections by empowering your family with healthy hygiene habits.

 Visit www.lifebuoy.com for more information

This was a sponsored post.

 

Our Next Big Adventure

26 Jun

I am a self-proclaimed professional! I’ve been up in the Highveld for the last six years and I have moved FIVE times already and this does not include the initial move up here!!! Sourcing boxes, finding newspaper or bubble wrap to pack the millions of things I own (read hoard) and finding a way to get it all there without any casualties is all part of moving. We haven’t moved yet and its unofficially official but I do need to air my thoughts so hang tight with me and feel free to give me your advice.

I’ve got to be very careful in what I say because you never know who’s watching out. I am by no means that popular that anyone would want to know where I live but the process has not started yet. Yet in true Corinne-style, I love to dissect issues and make a bigger deal of them than they are so that by the time, that actual event comes around, its’ not that big of a deal anymore.

Here goes. My handsome, charming and very smart husband got a great promotion and with that we have been offered a place to live in and it is just over half an hour away from where we live now. In Joburg terms, that makes a very big difference when you take into consideration: traffic on its own let alone the routes that one must navigate to reduce the traffic (because there is NO getting away from it); petrol allocation that goes with how far you live from where you work or in my case study; the time you’ll have to leave home and when you’re MOST likely to get back; the location of the nearest stores and so forth.

Understand that I LOVE WHERE I CURRENTLY RESIDE. Yes, full stop. I envisioned us one day buying a home in that area to raise our family and entertain to our heart’s content. But I’m not the only one who lives with me and that means that I have to consider my family as well. The area that we are moving to would have never in a million-gazillion-catrillion years been a consideration, here’s why – IT’S OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE…. The Bundus! The Sticks! Rolling hills! Where horses run wild! Oh there are horses, they’re just not mine. You could call it a farm but it’s not actually. The beauty of it is that there is plenty fresh air and a ton of space for Sunny Bunny to run around to his hearts’ content. Another plus is that my helper will finally be able to come live with us and that is truly an answer to prayer.Slide1

In all honesty, I don’t know. I don’t know that I want to move that far. I don’t know how bad, bad really will be with the traffic from there. I don’t know that I want to be that far away from my parents who are literally ten minutes away. I don’t know that I want to be even further from my church, although I see that a few churches a stone’s throw away from the new place. I don’t know that I want to be more than 15 minutes away from the nearest mall – yes I am that shallow, I do love to window shop! And I don’t know that I want to awake before dawn actually cracks!

I do however want what’s best for my family. It’s not permanent or set in stone and I have to remind myself that I am not moving to another city, or country or known universe! Come to think of it, I might just start a little vegetable patch of my own while I’m out there.

And my only condition, which is non-negotiable, is that there be constant internet access because heaven forbid I cannot Pin, Search, Tweet or blog being the social media junkie that I am.

 

Nestle’ Food Challenge

31 May

During the week a parcel was delivered to my house from Nestle. In it was a few goodies as well as a food challenge and simple recipe to follow. Now those of you who know (and have seen me), know that I LOVE FOOD, that’s partly (mostly) why I am the size that I am but look, round is still a shape Ok! Anyway, the aim of the challenge was to consider low sodium cooking and how tasty meals can still be.

Now I don’t know about you but the only reason I took note of what went on with Nestle’ was when they were promoting their new chocolates. How many Nestle’ products don’t you know of? You did not have a childhood unless you had strawberry or chocolate flavoured Nesquik right! What about dipping your finger (or teaspoon) into a tin of condensed milk while your mother baked or sipped some ideal milk? Who does not love a warm mug of Milo in winter? Or enjoy (you or your kids) the milo cereal, let alone having them start life off on Nan then moving onto NidoSlide1

Growing up, my mother had a “light” hand when it came to adding salt during the cooking process and my dad was the one who would add salt BEFORE he even tasted the food – I never understood it. When it was my turn to learn how to cook, I started off heavy, many a good meal was spoiled but I’ve since come a long way. Sad to say tough, now that my dad is older, he’s has blood pressure problems and is now on medication, a large part of it due to his diet and he’s being pretty good about his salt intake. Hypertension, is a serious condition with not many people knowing that they have it especially in the early stages. Permanently increased blood pressure puts a strain on the heart and places further pressure on the arteries. This increases the risk of a heart attack, heart disease, kidney disease and damage to the eyes. Scary right? But remember it’s not just about the salt we add to our food, it’s also about the salt that’s in the processed foods we buy and that’s something I’ve never bothered to check but will be doing from now on. Slide2

Salt in and of itself is not all bad, it’s quite useful preservative and if you’re worried about not having as much flavour by cutting down on salt then use more herbs and spices. Spices have great nutritional value. For more information and helpful tips visit the Nutrition, Health & Wellness tab on Nestlé’s website: www.nestle.co.za/nhw. And of you want to test your nutrition, health and wellness knowledge? Take the Welnes IQ test at: www.welnesiq.org

nestle salt ad

Ok, so we all know about Nestle’ but have you tried the Ideal Cook-in milk? I certainly not have but it comes in some really great flavours that I can’t wait to try them out. The recipe I’ll be giving a bash is Beef Stroganoff so watch this space to see how things turn out for me and the boys.

 

Invisible Friends

29 May

As an adult I have come to understand that while we may “feel” lonely, we are never alone. We live in a world that is unseen but as real as you and I. Before my brother, Naldo was born, my parents said that I used to have an imaginary friend and their name was “Twel”. I’m laughing just thinking about it now. My mother told me that I said Twel lived in the corner of my ceiling. For all I know, it could have been rats running a mock in our home’s ceiling but they said I used to play outside with my friend often.

I’ve spent a long time searching for the ad that apparently “proved” that I had an imaginary friend. I think it’s an old KFC advert. If I recall correctly, it starts off with a little girl sitting with her invisible friend in the garden and her dad is mowing the lawn when he moves the mower in front a patch of grass and she is livid. She’s mad because her dad just mowed her friend over and it ends with him taking her and her friend for ice-cream. When I saw this ad for the first time I got it immediately but the rest of my family was left confused until I explained the situation and they said that only someone who’s had an imaginary friend would understand that. So it was a big joke!

Needless to say, growing up, I’ve had somewhat of an active imagination to the point where I could not and still can’t watch horror movies and suspense-thrillers are pushing it. As a child, I would have such vivid dreams that I to me, they were as real as the people around us.

Back to the invisible friends, my mother thought I was seeing demons! Being somewhat inquisitive about this subject, I went onto John Paul Jackson’s Ministry website and found some really interesting stuff. He speaks a lot about the prophetic and dreams. This is what he has to say and I loved it so I had to share it with you. At least this way I know I’m not a crack-pot but knowing that we have the host of heaven surrounding us on every side is a wonderful, welcomed comfort.

Did you have invisible friends when you were a child — playmates only you could see? Concerned parents occasionally approach me about this topic. What are “invisible friends”? Are they dangerous? Is this a sign of a prophetic gift? What should parents do when their children insist these people are real? Though I am not the final authority on the topic, I do have some ideas based on Scripture and personal experience.

When it comes to their children having invisible friends, many Christian parents assume the worst. It’s a familiar spirit! It’s a spirit guide! That could very well be true, but remember: For every counterfeit, there is an original. In other words, there is a strong possibility that when children play with invisible friends, they are really seeing and interacting with angels — and often, they are aware of that.

WHAT DO ANGELS LOOK LIKE?

The Bible says that we won’t always be able to tell the difference between humans and angels:

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
— Hebrews 13:2

It would be very difficult for us to “unwittingly” entertain angels if they looked like angels. We would know exactly what they were if they were glowing or had six-foot wingspans. Instead, based on this Scripture, we can assume that sometimes, angels look just like you and me. They may appear to us as painters, mathematicians or doctors; they may look African, Irish or Hispanic. They may even look like children.

The night Diane and I brought Micah home from the hospital, I was visited by two angels: a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. I didn’t immediately understand they were angels, because they were unlike any angels I had seen before. They began to tell me different things about Micah, and I asked them, “How do you know that?”

“Because we’re angels sent from the throne of God,” they replied.

“You’re not angels,” I said. “I know what angels are like. They’re bigger than you. They’re adult-sized. Some of them are really huge, and some of them are really muscular, and some of them are really fast, and you’re not any of that. You’re just a 7-year-old little girl and a 10-year-old little boy.”

“You haven’t seen everything,” they answered.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you don’t know that many of us choose to take the form of a child when we are assigned to that child. Your children talk to us, because we take a form that doesn’t threaten them but allows them to become what God created them to become. We’re here to help them, not to prove we’re anything. Here’s another one of us now!”

A little boy approached, and the girl said, “Tell him what’s going on.”

“I was there,” the second boy told me. “I saw them up in the throne room, and I saw God giving them the assignment to watch over your son Micah. What they tell you, you need to do, because I saw God giving them the command.”

WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?

As time progresses, I think we will discover again and again that we “haven’t seen everything” yet. In the meantime, if your children are playing with invisible friends, talk to them about it. Find out how they feel when they’re playing with them. Do they feel happy? Peaceful? Scared? If your children show any hesitancy, rephrase your questions and ask again. In most cases, their answers will reveal to you exactly who sent these invisible playmates.

Remember that in biblical times, it was common knowledge that angels sometimes take the visage of the people they protect; why else would the Christians meeting in Mary’s house have thought it was Peter’s angel at the door (Acts 12:12–15)? I remember being a child and talking to angels who looked like my friends, but I knew they were angels. They told me what they were, but I also just knew. Your children will likely “just know” as well.

Be open to the possibility that God is communicating to your children via people, objects or animals (remember Balaam’s donkey) only they can see. If you raise your children in the way God has set before them, they will see and know things that are humanly impossible for them to see and know. They will be able to interact with Heaven, as God intended all of us to do. They will have eyes to see.

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