Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Puffies

I have a confession to make...i love Puff puff..there i said it, i cannot understand why such a boring, yes boring Nigerian snack has me in its grip, i reckon its the same as Chinchin, i hardly eat Chinchin, because i consider it a boring snack, isn't puff puff the same way? ..its not in the same league as Gateaus or Chocolate cakes, because i am a serious sweet tooth and i love my cakes, but yours truly is unable to resist puff puff, and the worst part is i think the road side sold ones are the best...sadly i cannot be convinced otherwise. This love affair has gone on as long as i can remember, I have memories of my mum saying in elevated tones ( mum said a lot of things back in the days) , i don't understand what your problem is, why would you buy puff puff by the road side when you can make at home, 'abi nkan mi nwanbe ni?'*..i have tried to make it at home and it somehow does not taste the same, over the years, my siblings and i code named it puffies, so mum would not know what was up...another confession, i unashamedly stopped at the road side on the way home from work last week and brought hot puff puff again, i enjoyed savoured every last bite, and washed it down with coke...ha ..sublime..anyway i have gotten a new recipe from this blog and will be trying it this independence holiday, will let you know how it went...





* Yoruba language it implies 'is there some other reason i should know about?"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trusting to Conceive

My second reason is that i have not been able to get pregnant yet, and for someone who likes to plan her life, that is down right heartbreaking. The doctor i saw some months ago ( who was a jerk by the way),would not run any tests ( stingy HMOs), he did not think it was a question of secondary infertility yet, and he told me he would recommend i wait till the end of the year before we will do any comprehensive tests. Okay, i will wait, but only because it seems the right thing to do, but i am definitely getting a new doctor by the end of this year. You see my son will soon be four, i get the "when are you going to give him a little sister or brother look" all the time, or people ask me his age and then follow with the now dreaded question..the answer, i have no idea...

I have been TTC ( trying to conceive) for about a year now, i took out my birth control in October last year, and started  reading this again:



I even joined the TTC group on  WTE site , and i was really active, but TTC can and does become an obsession, it can consume you!. I went from 'not trying, but not preventing' to 'actively trying' .. which was pretty easy for me, because i have always had regular periods and was able to determine my ovulation  period to determine when i am most fertile, but the birth control had taken its toll ( damn IUD) and my period was not quite the same, so enter ovulation kits...



And  my pre natal



Sperm Friendly Lubricant (who knew that was a problem? )




So, after sex, more sex and even more sex ( hubby loved this part), nothing happened. I followed all sorts of advise from my friends over at WTE, and after 7 months of seeing only a single line every single month,


 I  decided enough was enough , i was done, i must have brought over 50 pregnancy tests, honest! ( i can be that obsessive ) or is it just what TTC does to you? , i would take like 5 tests in a given cycle, just to be 'sure' i was not pregnant, because every symptom was 'a potential pregnancy symptom' and course off to test i go! i would only be able to move on after i see my period, then its on to the next cycle and the start of the madness all over again. I remember once when i brought ten tests at a pharmacy, the cashier was a woman  and she gave me a queer 'what do you need all these tests for' look, me? blank stare...

So again my problem is i am also feeling bad because at least i have one wonderful child and i should be grateful, some women have never been pregnant. My best friend just had a third baby,completed unplanned ( she thought she was done), and she even cried when she found out. What an irony, but that is life, isn't it, i am happy for her..honest( besides her son is super cute!), but i have already dealt with the envy thing.. but today i just felt, i wanted something, anything to dispel this stagnancy i feel, something good should just please happen to me , a new job, a new baby, or better still both ...is that even practical? ..so now i am just using this




 I am reading my bible and i am praying and trusting to conceive, ( no longer trying), of course that means i am no longer obsessing , it will happen in God's time.... i do feel much better after writing this!

One of those days

Today is Friday, yay!, so, even though Fridays are my favorite days of the week, i am not feeling it at all.. i am been fighting this mood all day, but i think its safe to say the gloominess is here now in full force. I know, i know, there are so many things to be grateful for, if i am honest, my husband, my son, my family, dear friends far and near..I have so many reasons to be thankful and content, ..yet this gloominess persists, two reasons mainly...

I hate my Job, i do, i hate the office set up, and lastly i hate have a strong dislike for my boss (so unchristian of me , i know), but he is such a horrible human being, honestly he is, although he is quite decent to me most of the time ( or should i say civil), but the way he treats the junior staff makes my stomach turn, he must have re incarnated from the colonial era, seriously ( my boss is British you see). I hate this job, i am bored out of my mind, i feel stuck in a rut, and yet due to the high employment rate in Nigeria, or some invisible reason, i seemed to have failed at every attempt in getting another Job, maybe, i am not praying enough or i do not have the right contacts...the reason is a mystery to me. To most 'normal' people, this is a good Job, sure the set up is not always professional like my previous job ( remind me why i left that Job again? ) most normal people would be grateful, i am a manager after all and i earn good money but not me, i seemed to be stricken with a disease (rolling stonism).....i keep berating myself, still i can't stop wishing, i could get another Job ASAP, or at least be bold enough to resign and stay at home and sleep ( yes sleep), cook, bake and be there for my son when he gets home from school...BUT, from my point of view we cannot afford it yet, I started a business already and i am making some extra change, but i am not sure i am willing to take the the risk of being on my own just yet, even though hubby has been encouraging me to do what makes me happy. I know without a doubt that hubby will never complain, that he will provide for me, still i want to have my own money and financial independence ( is that a bad thing? )..so here i am wasting away at this job i detest, did i mention i hate my job??

At least i get to catch up on my blogging since i don't feel like working today...










Second reason, next post....


I feel better already, see, blogging does help me put things in perspective!

Baby steps

I am taking baby steps, i am tip toeing around on my blog, and i really don't know why. I have wanted to start a blog for so very long because i love to write, to document my thoughts ( i kept a diary faithfully for many years) and also for several other reasons including :

It would be a very nice way to document all  my random thoughts, thoughts i seem to have a lot of
It would satiate a part of me that feels i might have been a good great writer if only i had applied myself more
Writing is very similar to reading for me, its therapeutic, it helps me to relax when i am going though unpleasant stuff, its my ticket out of my 'world'....

And i have hesitated and hesitated and hesitated, because it normally takes me ages to decide about anything any way, and because i was afraid i would not have anything meaningful to write ( gasp!), or that i would quit half way ( i hate quitting) and frankly life had been too hectic for me to collect my thoughts ....

I am renowned for being able to see the 'worst case scenario' but i still took the plunge and started this blog, so why am i not spilling it all on my blog like i meant to, i am blogging 'mostly' anonymously, i say mostly because my husband, siblings and a few close friends know i blog, but other than that, i am faceless...so what is the problem? , i am thinking it might be...

I don't know where to draw the line of what and what not to write about just yet, and it is giving me a mental block, i seriously hope i figure it out soon...

I just needed to get that out ....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mama Agba


We call my maternal grandmother mama agba, which translated in Yoruba means 'the elder mother' or quelque chose comme ca. My grandmother has always been a huge part of our lives, and without her influence and presence in our lives, we all probably would not be where we are today. She was our baby sitter as children and for years she was the one who woke us up, prepared us for school, she would also be the one waiting for us when the school bus brought us home, mum was a career woman and would have had to raise four children alone if not for her. Mama was her backbone and she made life for mum less overwhelming. My grandmother is quite ordinary really, the typical  grand mother in her generation, she could not read nor write, she was just an illiterate farmer who sacrificed everything to send her only child to school

She made the decision all over again for her grandchildren. Her sacrifice is exemplary as it is extraordinary,so is her kindness and weird humor. There are so many things i remember, so many things she said to me growing up, sure she gave me a lot of wise counsel like every proper grandparent, i am not talking about those kind of conversations, i am talking about things she said that elicit either shock or hysterical laughter.You don't even want to know the advise she gave me when i was getting married, i ran out of the room in absolute shock, she didn't even bat an eye lid.....mama, I will miss her when she is gone, i really hope she has more years with us (she is 90 this year). Nowadays, she prefers to live in her village, and mum goes to see her regularly, she now has a bit of arthritis but her mind is still as sharp as ever!. I remember many of her funny and weird responses, one of which is her question back to you when a question you ask her has an obvious answer or if she chooses to avoid answering....she would say in her native dialect " if you ask me that who should i ask?" i have always thought it was a fascinating response...i now share with you an equally fascinating song with the same theme by Omawunmi in Nigerian pidgin English.. i love this song  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On things temporal and eternal

A sentence by a christian author caught my attention many years ago, and has held it for over a decade. Gladys Hunt wrote 'don't be found hating thick ankles more than an ugly soul' . Ordinarily, my first thought was, 'what is wrong with thick ankles?' ( my ankles are thin and i hate them), what is it? with oyinbos* and their hate for thick ankles anyway?' , the real meaning of her statement was not lost on me either of course....the original article can be seen here. Over a decade ago, when this girl was younger (duh!) and was on a major journey of self discovery, ( i believe i still am in a lesser way), its just that  because some 'major' decisions have now been finalized, self discovery is now in passive mode for me, i mean, i know whom i have believed (Jesus), that is still ongoing of course, but its certainly no longer open to debate , i know exactly what i want to do career/business wise,i know i love children and would want to have at least two more if God wills, i pretty much know what i am about in so many ways ..blah blah..., and i finally got married (phew! , that one was tough), and i listed it last because for me that was a big one, i knew so many 'nice' men out there that 'seemed' to love me, i had no idea, but i had several factors working against me, which i will proceed to list

  • I did not think i was beautiful , because i am dark skinned and wore big glasses back then
  • I grew up without a father and i have no senior brothers so boys were pretty much a mystery
  • I really did not know much about boys 
  • I was somewhat needy, i thought girls who could get noticed by boys were geniuses
  • I went to an all girls boarding school ( thanks mum!)
  • I am in awe of good looking guys 
  • I am a hopeless romantic
  • My dislike of confronting people sometimes turned me into a doormat
But i also had some things going for me (thankfully)
  • I was smart ( still am ) 
  • Life was not seen through 'rose colored glasses' anymore after my dad left.  
  • I am not easily intimidated by people ( hot guy or not, i'll let you have it if you cross the line) 
  • I had a strict mum and i was afraid of 'her trouble'  ( some thoughts did not even cross my mind )
  • I was genuinely a Christian, i loved God ( again some thoughts did not cross my mind) 
  • I had older friends and always sought for advise when i was confused
With the advantage of hindsight, i was heading big trouble ( even though i did not know it at that time) and i would  have gotten married for all the wrong reasons, save for the mercies of God. i will do posts on life as a single girl later.
Anyway i was reading one of those compilations by several authors writing different thins pertaining to women, i was and still am fascinated by woman hood. The book had several chapters detailing the different stages and issues of women, and on reading those words penned by Ms Hunt, i had an epiphany, honest!. kinda like one of those life changing events that happen in the most quiet place possible. I was your average young girl,easily moved by the outward, i realise now that natural tendency at that age of course is to base most decisions on the superficial, but that one line "jumped" at me that day and i never forgot it, sure i had heard all my life from my mum,church and everyone that mattered , how beauty was only skin deep. Funnily,that one statement was like the flood gates for me and from that day i began to really see how the things that were lasting or of value were not usually outward or even obvious, that you had to dig a little (sometimes a lot) to unearth precious things or people. I have never discarded this lesson, and it has shaped me in more ways than i care to count. I know to make friends with people based on the quality of their souls and nothing less. I know my husband has one of the most noble soul there is, and pre my revelation, were i to have bumped into him, i would simply have apologised and just kept walking, i know now to look out for the really important things in life , i know to be thankful for the little things , i know i have truly learnt to look deeper than thick ankles.


* White people 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Actions = Consequences


Actions equals to consequences, a tres simple equation right? apparently not. I have recently discovered that, as obvious as this fact  is to nature ( it's one of  mother nature's laws) and to little 'ole me, many people just don't get it. If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas ( this is not a given after all). The universe is structured in such a way that, every action, always has an equal (sometimes and sometimes not) and opposite reaction, this is a constant, the only variable in this equation is time. I watch people 'sow' and are then genuinely shocked by what they 'reap' . I learnt this truth a long time ago, because of a singular incident ; my dad left us over twenty years ago, and with his exist came a jarring truth, we had lived a bit of a sheltered life ( what decent parent didn't shelter their kids?) and that sheltering was a privilege, not a right, actually many things in life are privileges, we just fool ourselves that they are rights.  A lot of illusions quickly disappeared and life became stark ( if you catch my drift). Whatever common sense, either little or much, i have acquired over the years, has come by my being guided, warned, and by my being accepting of this truth. Sure i have not always been smart or even pro active, a lot of times, i wish i could go back in time ( back to the future anyone? ) and slap some sense into my teenage and twenty something year old self, if only this was possibility, i ( and mankind in general of course ) would have been saved from some really stupid mistakes, but i digress. The best way to articulate what i am trying to say is to remember that in planting , the tiny seed you put in the ground will always yield a much bigger organism than what was sowed, and not only that, we never really have any control on how long or how big the proverbial tree grows.

My favourite consequences quotes are below:
"Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences" - Norman Cousins
"Nobody ever did, or ever will escape the consequences of his choices" -  Alfred A. Montapert
"Everyone sooner or later sits down to a banquet of consequences" - Robert Louis Stevenson
"In nature, there are neither rewards nor punishments" -  Robert Green Ingersoll
"While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions" - Steven R.Covey 

The bible puts it succinctly "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked , a man reaps what he sows" *

Just a reminder to my thirty something year old self ; pay attention  to your actions and you wont keep wishing for the invention of a time machine.


* Galatians 6 : 7 (NIV)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Put it down, it will come out"- WANTED - child like faith!

" Mum!!..it won't come out ".. my son screamed, i flinched not... Jesse always screams when life is not going the way he percieves it should.. I did not even look up, i just continued reading like he wasn't there. 'Mummy!!!, but i am talking to you' , i looked up.Somehow, my almost four year old speaking like an adult always gets my attention (this boy is growing up!), it makes me feel all warm inside, deep down to my toes. I am very amused that the problem is that a familiar mistake is being repeated again! sigh!.... My son is trying to drink from a straw and he is getting frustrated , cos the liquid is not flowing, it won't flow (obviously) because he keeps tipping the bottle up (isn't he a genius, my son?). I utter a familiar but meaningless phrase/ reply without thinking , "put it down, it will come out"..he instantly obeys, puts down the cup and his head , he  continues his drinking oblivious to the world around him...i smiled and returned to what i was reading..and then it hit me...actually several things hit me

Children really have very few things that give them pleasure, i believe one of their pleasures in life is food ( 'sweet things' as my son would say) children eat mostly for pleasure, not for nutrition or health like we adults do (sometimes), we teach them to do that as they go along. Another pleasure of theirs is playing (it varies from child to child which one is the preferred, too numerous to mention, and i am not even thinking (yet) about the big ones like sex ;-)

It was obvious to me, what the problem was, to him, it was not . Life really is very complex for a child ( as if its still doesnt puzzle me, the mum), nurturing a child is really important both for the big things and the little things, it makes all the difference. Also, the solutions to my problems are very obvious to God even , if they are not obvious to me!.

My son had grown, he had learnt to "trust and obey" and that realization was both a rebuke and a revelation. For Jesse, he had learnt to trust mum, gone are the days of split drinks or food, because he ignored mummy's warnings and the subsequent frustration/tears that follow, he had learnt that 'mum knows best' , he understood the message of my meaningless phrase and obeyed instantly. I realised i needed to trust and obey God more, i needed to understand, that even when what i am being asked to do seems meaningless to me, it is tres important to remember that "God does know best' and unlike mums he is all knowing and powerful. I looked at my son, and thanked God for the millionth time for the gift of children..they teach us so much ....indeed 'of such is the kingdom of God'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Husbands and businesses do not mix!

I  hate to be late for anything, anything at all... but i married a man, who, when he wakes up on any given day, is convinced he will be ready on time, but that  is usually the case  only 50 % make that 40 % of the time. And this is because he 'unrealistically' hopes to achieve three hours of 'stuff' in one hour (Yay! for the differences between couples!), i have tried to explain this concept to hubby ( sweetie, do not over load your mornings), apparently i might as well have been speaking Chinese..sigh!.I get really agitated and cranky when i am running late for an appointment, and it irritates my husband. I can not tell you how many disagreements we have had over this 'attitude ' difference, hubby thinks i over react, i think not.

I have seen it my life and in the lives of  my fellow wives that truly men and women think differently, that,  of course is a given, but i will explain, a man's work is his life, and if he spends countless hours at the office, you really should understand, because he is providing for the family. On the other hand, even if a woman is also contributing to the family income, she still has to remember that family comes first. That, also goes without saying in the big picture, but i take it a step further, i realise that there are still 'not so obvious' issues, and hubby and i have had to have a serious talk about this at one point. My husband is actually very supportive of my working and helps out in any way he can to reduce my stress, but there are little things..... like the day he plans to take me out on a date and my boss chooses that day to load me up with work, and i can't close early, hubby gets upset , he thinks i should still leave early and continue the next day period! .....for me, apart from the fact that this will make me look bad or might even put me in trouble with my boss, my reasoning is straight forward ( at least to me); there is no competition, i would rather be with him than cooked up in my office,but i signed up for employment with my own hands and i am being paid, and until i resign, i owe it to my employer and to God to give it my best shot and even though he is my husband and overall boss, he should understand that my boss is THE boss during working hours and not him (  that usually fails to go down well) or if he is in a romantic "oh i am missing my wife mood' and wants me to come home early, ( honey, you work for your self , sorry i can't close now, still have tons to do), any response that sounds like that usually means trouble !, and don't even get me started about late dinners or breakfast which i hardly pack for him ( babe, but other wives do it ) ...duh!

 In recent months, i have gotten  to work late more times than i care to remember, although, since i am a supervisor, no one actually thinks it's a big deal, but i know my boss, he is a stickler for time so i  have always known i was pushing my luck......i am usually late because hubs insists on taking me to work himself  and its either he does not get ready on time or he wants to take our son to his grandma first ( since schools are not yet in and she is close to my office) , its either one thing or another  ...i am not saying i don't get late sometimes, i do, but i would greatly prefer if it was my fault and not that i was ready on time and someone else delays me further..anyway, this week my boss gave me a warning because i was late again, its just my luck ,that on one of my 'late days' my boss called in to speak to me and i wasn't there ...gasp!. Hubby was so miserable when i told him, he has been trying to make it up to me ever since...but i am not moved, he is never going to change, i just need to remember my new mantra! ha

To elaborate further, i am in partnership with a good friend and we both bring in children things from Europe to sell . We had agreed that she would travel three months ago to buy things for school resumption, which is always a big sale, unluckily for us, she wanted to go with her husband, and  she has had to postpone her trip three times, because her husband has been unable to get time off work and keeps shifting their travel dates even though he knows this is actually a business trip for his wife. What did i think?, i work full time too, so i understand his plight. Anyway, finally he gets a few days off work, and they travel, BUT we have already missed the back to school sales, as must of our customers have brought their kids' things, also it's a tight squeeze and the trip is too short to buy everything we had originally planned . When they returned, and i  went to see her to check out our merchandise, she was really depressing and in a 'how on earth did i get into this mess' mode,  instead of being angry with her (like she thought i would be ) , i understood completely, I told her yesterday what i had learnt recently : Husbands and business do not mix...that, you can take to the bank!

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