This Muthiga girl reflects, Muthaiga is possible…

Its 2015, February to be precise, this time flies by too quickly. I have already had a roller coaster ride this year, wow my life is soooo, (whats the word?) Dramatic?? Some might say that but all the same, being alive beats all else.

I started out the weekend hanging out with friends with whom I once worked with. We sat and talked, laughed, and remembered the days past, it was quite a reflection. Then we talked about where we currently where in life and though the paths were quite different, there was a level of contentment as well as a hopeful spirit for what was to come. We could not believe that it was 9 pm already and we still had not covered everything. We needed another date to catch up and hoped through life’s busy schedules we could make it soon.

On Saturday, I saw one of my friends get married. It was such a milestone and I was so proud of him. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but remember the campus days and all the crazy fun things we did, how we got through the tough times and just who we were in general. Had you told us about marriage then, we probably would have said it would never happen. Fast forward to today, he looked so happy and ready to be a husband. From his speech, his dance moves and aura, he was ready for the rest of his life with his lovely bride.

On the other hand, one of my girlfriends from high school had a house warming / goat eating as she prepares for her wedding. There was a lot of excitement in the air and the bringing together of friends they have from different aspects of their lives, was humbling. As they narrated their story, I remembered the girl who was once my roommate in high school and the major worry that was to pass KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education), for all of us, and how God had taken great care of her and raised her up more than she would have imagined then.  We laughed at the hardships they had gone through as they started the dating journey, on a light note of course, and stood proud that they had been able to go through it all, come out stronger and find the person who they would share the rest of their life with.

looking back

The thinker in me woke up as always and made me realize how far we have come. Though days pass by really fast these days (hope that makes sense), we actually do move on to greater heights. It might not seem like much but when I remembered high school and campus, there as so many milestones. We may have set targets that we have not achieved yet but I assure you, we are not where we were ten years or so ago.

As I remember who I was in high school through to campus until now, I am so excited and humbled. I still have quite a lot to do but I am on the way, I am not stagnant. I have a beautiful family, great friends and I have matured in so many ways. So much so that I could blow my trumpet, I just choose not to J. I have quite a lot that I need to cover and to be honest, sometimes I feel down and as though I am on pause, but after this weekend, I have reevaluated and just stopped and seen life from another angle. I continue in this race of life, I am a success in the making and very appreciative of my achievements, failures, ups and downs, joy and sadness, the various experiences I have gone through. I realize now that everything truly does happen for a reason and once embraced, it’s easier to move to the next level.  On an entirely different note, someone please tell me why cleaners in some restaurants feel the need to wash the floors with Jik (a bleach brand) and all other detergents with such strong scents, while one is still eating……. I await an answer or probably a solution to that problem.

Munchkin’s life progress

During the week, I sometimes have to sit outside in the evening Whatspping a friend, so that Munchkin can eat his food. Kids are amazing. The minute I walk through that door he forgets everything and remembers the all too cool, nyonyo. Many have said to me that he is too old and should have stopped and I think it too sometimes, but the comfort he has when he is enjoying his right temperature shake makes me push the timeline a bit further.

I remember waiting and being so anxious about him walking. It was quite a while since he started holding on to the seat or stool and there were prophesies that he would walk a week after, then it became two weeks then three and I just stopped thinking about it and gave him his space. Finally he started walking on his own, I was so excited and so was he. He would lift his hands up and walk with pride, seeing he does not need to hold to anything. Of course the excitement sometimes leads to running, underestimating a distance to the door and falling. The experience is scary but for sure lack of an expression on mummy’s face has him up and about in two seconds, not even dusting himself. So we walked while holding a finger or two when he got scared and soon his confidence was up and great.

Of late he has been screaming and wanting all of mummy’s attention. Leaving to go to work is a nightmare as I contemplate hiding then decide, to just say bye so that I do not allow separation anxiety to build up. I often end up feeling like going back to calm him down.  I am so excited and enjoy the love but sometimes I am also worried he doesn’t want to interact with anyone else especially relatives he hasn’t seen in a while. I question whether I am the one who has not exposed him, but then again I am probably just edgy being a first time mum.

So yesterday we went out for lunch with Tata, Nana, and some friends. The new environment had him refusing to walk at all and could only be carried by mum. With time, he warmed up and was playing quite a lot with Tata. However, any attempt to pick him up had him yelling.
Our kind waitress, Mary, saw the struggles and brought him his own menu to play with. That was quite exciting for him, until a few minutes later, when he got over it and was wondering what was the next cool thing to play with. Mum’s juice brought a scuffle, but I stood my ground and did not give him the cold drink, for about 20 minutes, then I figured warm water mixed with it would quench a little thirst. Luckily, munchkin loves food so we enjoyed the fries and a tiny bite of the ribs. After food, Mary brought him a coloring paper and some crayons.

munchkin

He was more fascinated by the different colors of the crayons for sure. Soon he was removing them one by one, slipping them through the space between the seats to the floor. The lovely green balloon was the next captivation; the material rubbed against his face seemed interesting though short lived.  Yet again we were back to the menu. Books are noticeably of interest starting with grandma’s newspaper; his little Lion king story book and menus. I am glad to say he loves books, so I will definitely work at buying enough story books and hopefully he will get into the reading culture. Finally, when he was tired with everything, he stretched out and started to pull mama for his dose of nyonyo and five minutes later, he was fast asleep. Kids have such a interesting life, eat, sleep, play, fuss, explore and repeat.

My munchkin, I am so glad you grow and learn something new daily. I will enjoy each moment I can because I know the attention to Mum will not always be there so if you need to tag my trouser, hold my hand, refuse to picked by anyone else, scream and be dramatic when I am around, yell at the top of your lungs when I leave for work or step outside, I will enjoy before we move on to the next milestone and soon you will be all grown up refusing to be hugged and kissed by mummy. I will enjoy.

 

The Drama that was this morning

My morning started off a bit sluggish, with that feeling of just wearing jeans to the office, which I actually did, then seeing how it goes. So my usual routine went really well, with my tip toe mastery being excellent. My munchkin did not wake up, despite walking into that room almost 15 times. Finally i left the house and all was well. When I got to the bus stop, the current bus had one space left and unfortunately a guy rushed to it. So here I was stuck with the next totally empty bus but at least three other people joined me and we boarded and waited for the other 58 or so, to joins us. I kept myself busy with my phone as I waited for it to get full.

The journey began and I found myself a bit sad because the bus did not have music, but then again, it was an opportunity to enjoy the silence as I read through a few stories and posts in peace. Just before I finished my line of thought, I spotted the preacher just as she stood up to begin her word for the day. I have nothing against preachers, its just that I am not a morning person and I prefer to start hearing loudness from around 10 a.m. Did I mention I sat somewhere in the front? This just means her voice would be that much louder. Oh well, she began on a high note and started praying a few minutes later. It took a while and we paused and gave God the respect deserved. Just as she finished her prayer, the bus conductor’s voice became louder than her’s, “Kaa chini wewe, sitaki kushikwa na karao mimi. Unafikiria 30,000 za excess nitatoa?” (Sit down. I do not want to be arrested by the police. Where do you think I will get 30,000 shillings to pay a fine for carrying excess passengers ). For the next few minutes the lady continued standing silently while the conductor went on and on, until finally she decided to take her seat. All this while the little voice in my head was screaming silently, “Awkward!!”. I felt a tinge of sadness as she whispered that she has never been arrested, or a conductor for that matter, for preaching in a bus in the morning, and she would know as she does it daily. For once, I heard her speak in a fairly pitched voice. A few minutes later, she asked the driver to let her alight, but he convinced her to continue. The conductor now explained that we were out of Ngong road, where there were so many police men, preparing the road for the president, to go open the Nairobi Trade Fair. She could now go ahead. With tears in her eyes, she was able to calm herself down and continued with her planned sermon.

On the other side, traffic had build up and I was running late already. Coming from the village where we use Boda bodas (motor bikes) almost daily, I decided to take one from Yaya to get me to work as fast as possible. I alighted from the bus and headed towards the Boda parking place. When I got there, there were two available, but a guy came almost immediately and quickly picked one. I was left with the only one remaining. I began explaining to the guy where I wanted to go.

motorbikes

Talk of rude interruptions, and quite unceremoniously for that matter, a way lighter skinned guy (simply because I am not racist), came to where I was standing and began speaking to the same boda guy that I was speaking to. He went ahead to explain that he wants to go to Intercontinental Hotel. For the first few seconds, I stood there dumbfounded. Was I an invisible tree or perhaps my dark skin meant I could not afford it or maybe my jeans compared to his grey suit made me less important? When I finally brought myself together, I told the boda guy, its a first come first serve basis and got onto it, seeing as I am a pro these days. The shocked grey suited guy walked off in a huff as I clicked quite loudly. Geez, just as I was cooling off from the drama, the guy gave me the helmet. This one was cute but appeared small. Maybe I have a big head but of course I blamed it on the cornrows and the cute bun at the centre. So I told him, my head could not fit and he started getting angry saying he does not want to be arrested. What was with people and being arrested this morning? Anyway, he decided to give me his instead, to which I quickly agreed as I looked at the time. It fitted yes, but OH MY GOODNESS, the smell of sweat was killing me slowly.Has he ever washed this thing ever? I thought of all the disgusting things i could within that 6 minutes ride where he kept accelerating then decelerating like a mad man. But speed was not my worry as I could barely breath. As I gave him the cash, I thought how many more minutes I would have been late had I stayed in the bus until my stop, then walked to the office vis-a-vis dying out of holding my breath for 6 long minutes. For sure this will be a drama filled day. Try not to have one yourself.

Until next time…..

 

Quenching the thirst at Maji Mazuri Childrens Home

Every morning before I leave for work, I state what my Munchkin will eat, drink and a few other specifics for the house. When I talk of what he will drink, I just state how much water or milk he will be given but I never stop to think of the source of water. I mean, I instruct on cleaning the house, washing the dishes, clothes among other chores. Today, I am taking a minute to think about what would happen if there was no adequate supply of water. Considering I am the type who washes dishes with almost 10 litres of water, as I rinse twice. I enjoy showering, cleaning my son’s toys all the time, as I am afraid of him eating dirt. And of course I just drink water when I am thirsty.

Now stop to think, if I reached out to pour a glass of water and found there was not even a few drops left; Or I wanted to make Munchkin cerelac just before he got up and let out that hungry yawn, only to look at the tin but have no water to dilute; This would be unbelievable, it’s something I would not even imagine but worst case scenario I would go and buy some water.

In Mwiki, there are some really cool kids who have not let cerebral palsy bring them down. They are happy to be alive and being taken care of well. A group of friends and I are planning a visit in July to take them some food stuff, clothes, diapers among other things they might need. However, during our preparations, the administration at Maji Mazuri Childrens Home told us of an even more dire need, WATER. They are unable to pay their water bill which has now accumulated to Kshs. 250,000. If not settled, it could lead to them not having access to water. I am standing in the gap to help them and I would love it if you could too. Whatever you have that could help keep this kids hydrated, clean, happy and living, as indeed water is life, please share it with them.

Here is a link to our Facebook page for more information.

maji mazuri

I will ensure that as I give orders on how much water Munchkin will drink or how his toys will be washed, that our cool kids at Maji Mazuri can have this too.

Join in and let us keep them healthy and happy.

Entering his fourth quarter, my munch

I promise, I blog every other day, I really do, it’s just that I save it in my head. (Smiles) I am so ashamed of how long it has been but I will jump right into it. My once little munch is now almost a senior. He is in the fourth quarter of the year, so exciting. As the journey continues, he is now a veteran who went through the blended food and quickly past it to simply mashed foods. I am now a bit more relaxed and actually allow him to have our food. He has had ugali and soup, which he loved, matoke and potatoes, chapo and chicken stew and of course we go back to his good old pumpkin. The most amazing thing is he has learnt how to chew without teeth. Food has never been a problem, well, until he started teething.

I always heard stories of babies’ reaction to teething but because Munchkin had not yet gotten there I did not think much of it. The day finally came and it was not pleasant. First was the swelling of the gum and for that I thought I was prepared with the teether. Little did I know that he did not like it at all and would not use it. Then came the diarrhea and mummy was filled with fear. I felt so sorry for him, hoping it was not painful, always remembering to ask the nanny to give him water frequently to keep him hydrated. One week has gone by and though it has reduced, I still worry. Now he finds comfort in my finger for his itchy gums as carrots get boring after a few minutes.

On a good note, he has started standing by grabbing the front part of the outfit, of whoever is holding or sitting next to him. He can actually take steps when you hold his hands. This has made him so active that he reaches out for any and everything and can now stretch his body further. With growth comes intelligence and memory. He remembers how to high five mummy, say hi to his Shosh, show Maitu his hand’s shadow among many other things. On top of that if he wants my phone, it’s not the remote or his toy or hong kong phooey, it’s my phone and otherwise, he yells at the top of his lungs. He can vocalize his opinion.

This journey is an amazing one as you see changes every day. It keeps me encouraged to work harder and smarter. Fills me with sadness when he cries as I leave the house, or when I come in and want to change first. Makes me laugh as he holds my top with such force to stand, scares me as he stretches his hand past the seat, not realizing there is a space in between that could get him to the ground so fast. It amazes me as I realize how kids are blessed and wonder how he has already knows there are shadows and become fascinated by them.

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of motherhood, the energy and grace to go through it, to work and to persevere, to never give up even when times a hard, to always see his clothes and toys before mine, to learn and embrace the refreshed times he brings my way, to let go of any and everything and focus on my little munchkin, to get a nanny and take good care of them, to remain prayerful and focused and to have a little person to nurture, take care of and bring up.

The half year mark – Weaning

The amazing way in which you watch a young one grow to the level of learning how to eat with a spoon, could have you staring at Munchkin for 30 minutes and smiling at his actions. As I searched for the little tiny spoons that are specially curved to ensure they create interest to the little munchkins, that they don’t hurt them when they want to play with them and attract them with their brightly coloured designs, I was quite worried. I wondered if he would like the spoons, if he would know that it’s his new mode of feeding, if he would enjoy putting them in his mouth, just to get used to it. Having heard a great experience with tommee tippee, I decided to get the same brand. As l stared at the different packs of bowls and spoons, it hit me how fast six months had gone by. On one hand, it was exciting but on the other I could see how quickly he will get to teenage hood then soon turn eighteen.

First day of feeding was finally here and as I prepared his tiny bowl of porridge, I was so reluctant to change that I thought of pouring it out and just breastfeeding. However, I encouraged myself, got the bib on his neck and it was a go. At first, he stared at the spoon then the contents as I brought it closer to his mouth. He tasted it and made a funny face. Right there, I panicked and all sort of crazy thoughts of how I would be chasing him round the house with a mwiko, to get him to eat crossed through my mind. Just before I could continue with that train of thought, his cooing got me back to reality. He motioned forward, reaching out for the spoon. Happily, I scooped a little more porridge and this time as I gave it to him, he took it calmly and swallowed. Four spoons later, we were done as it was the first meal and he was required to have just a little, to observe how his body would react.

Thanks to God, my employer gave me two hours every morning to ensure I gave him his breakfast. As the week went by, I introduced cerelac and fruits on different days. He loved the fruits, a tiny pawpaw on one day and adding a tiny banana the next, and the excitement when he pooped is one of the special moments in my life, no constipation! The joys of motherhood.  The trend continued and I am so thankful and happy that so far nothing has reacted negatively. Munchkin has enjoyed pawpaw, banana, orange, avocado, cerelac, porridge, pumpkin and we are looking at introducing apple and peach puree this weekend. Both of us are surely excited and munchkin is so proud to be enjoying his favorite meal *drum rolls*CERELAC..

Munchkin meets the world

Munchkin meets the world

On of the challenges comes when he wakes up hungry and he is not patient enough to wait for the food to be passed through the sieve literally to make it edible and digestible for his little tummy. I have learnt to prepare it earlier and just leave it for warming when he wakes up. The excitement he has for food assures me that he is enjoying this new stage.

With growing up and eating, comes more energy and thus more naughtiness. Munchkin is learning to roll over and pull all things towards him. This includes my plate of food as I am distracted for two seconds. In a span of two weeks, he has poured my tea twice, thank God it has never poured on him. I love that now he can have a conversation with me, and I can tell his mood, whether he is excited or angry and if he is cozing at Mama. He still does not sleep through the night, but I am more than okay with it. I would wake up even six times if I have to, just for my little (not too little anymore) munch..

Munchkin, what was Mummy’s life like before you?

The Fifteen Minutes Walk

I am a sucker for short distances, houses close to the road, let’s just call it laziness. Since I walk about 7 minutes to work daily, I convince myself that it’s enough workout. Now that I live about 15 minutes away from the road, I feel like it’s almost gotten to the Rongai level , no pun intended ha ha ha ha. However, since these days I am trying to get the best out of every situation, I decided to quit whining and it turned out to be a really good thing.

On a sunny morning, I walk slowly listening to hype music to keep me energized for the day. I am slowly getting into the lady land, I find myself wearing dresses or a skirt and a bright top and absolutely loving it. So by the time I admire myself, appreciate my other admirers, and bob to the great music, I am already at the stage. On a rainy day, I battle with the mud, enjoy watching cars skid, have warm and fighter thoughts to avoid falling and ruining the good looks. Yap, vanity is one of the vices I possess, blame my family.

The amazing thing is that the evenings bring out the best time to release the pressure, think about the day and what I should have done better.  On the days I am feeling a bit stressed, it’s the best time to walk. I sometimes phone a friend to release the steam as I take brisk steps, knowing my little munchkin is looking forward to seeing his mummy. The feeling is definitely mutual. When not on phone, I analyze these thoughts real quick, discard the pressure, enjoy the evening breeze and just as I begin to get tired, I spot Mama Akoth, the roast maize vendor, and I beam with excitement. I select the soft maize, pay up and say thanks. As I continue with my journey, I find myself smiling; I think she spikes the maize.

Walking

My love for music gives me an alternative to thinking times. Depending on what station I am listening to, I enjoy the blues, reminiscing about a love that was or thinking of the one that will be on Monday, old skool on Wednesday to appreciate the mid week excitement and the ragga bringing the party mood on Thursday evening. Life is so interesting, the distance has now turned out to be a time and exercise that I absolutely enjoy or that clears my mind. Indeed things sometimes change for the better, rigidity can keep you sad for a while but looking at the bright side of things allows one to embrace change and stay happy. You might be surprised; it just could teach you something new about yourself. I know I have learnt a couple of things.

As I open the door to the house, I remove my shoes, walk in and see the greatest smile ever or sometimes a frown as he fights off the hunger pangs, from the little man who has made my life ever so meaningful. At that point, I forget that I was supposed to be tired and I quickly wash my hands to get the update for the day, after he feeds of course.. Such an amazing welcome…