Mama Chameleon

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

That time again!

I wouldn't not do it, because I know it is beneficial and life saving, and I am grateful I live in a country that offers it freely.

I also know that all around the world people are suffering unimaginably with incurable illnesses, and that in comparison, this is nothing.

But I agonize over it every time.

Yep, it's that time again....

Immunizations, boosters, shots, needles. Pain!!!
Tospy is 13 months old and should actually be having his fourth set of immunizations, but yesterday I took him for his 3rd set.

I was not even afraid, actually. Since my last baby (that is Diva. Or actually since seeing Topsy in such distress for his first needle) I have discovered Emla patches. (see below.)

These are patches with an anesthetic cream in the centre. You place them where the needle will go, an hour before the appointment.
They worked perfectly last time.

Not even a whimper!

So I didn't even feel nervous till just before we got to the surgery.

The nurse called us in and went through the form.
When I took his pants of, she looked at the patches and said. "Oh no!"

"Oh what?"

"Sweetie, you've put the patches in the wrong spot this time. It would be dangerous for me to give him the shots there."

"Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I was desperately hoping the numbing affect would have travelled up the leg some.

But the ear splitting shrieks caused me to doubt this.
Then we turned my poor boy around and that one was worse.

He stayed in with me for the 10 minute safety check, sobbing pitifully, totally inconsolable (even by my milk bar!!)

Then the nurse reached over and place a lolly in his hand. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Go figure.

The rest of the day, he struggled to walk with his little sore legs. He had his first sitting down bath in ages, because it was all achy.

This morning however he woke up totally fine.

So that's all done....... for six months at least.

We had our first international dinner tonight at Bible study tonight.

It just so happened to be Kenyan night.

Not just because of me actually, but because Funny Farm's family support a little boy in Kenya.

I only got two pics of our lovely food before the camera ran out of batteries. And I couldn't get the flash to stop either.

Here is the rice and ugali (a maize meal cake on which you put stew) Note the Pot of Sweet Chai in the background.

Chicken in Coconut Milk and Irio (vegetable mash) And to the right is a big pot of yummy Sukuma Wiki.

We also had delicious Sukuma Wiki (thanks Funny) and it was pretty yum. Kenyan food is very bland. Roly was slightly disappointed, hoping for Ethiopian spices.

Well my buddies, this is my last post for at least 11 days. My Mom comes tomorrow for a brief stopover (ooh actually might try to show a couple pics from that!)

And then I am off on holidays. (Without my hubby sadly. He will just have to try to wrestle WOW, a computer game, out of his system while I am away.)

Talk soon, and God bless.

Posted by michelle :: 8:45 pm :: 14 comments links to this post

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Quick note

Thanks all for your comments emails and care! So appreciated. I really appreciated that you listened and empathized rather than gave advice. And those who did advise in emails were qualified to do so, so thanks for that as well.
Hubby was away when this all happened so when I blogged with my stomach churning I hadn't debriefed with anyone. Poor you!!
We talked about it yesterday with clearer heads. Hubby is able to analyze in a very detached manner, so we balance each other out. Here are a couple of thoughts.

1. I actually teach Roly in Sunday School, so I do know what the teachers mean about immaturity in a classroom context and total lack of paying attention at times.

2. Roly is a very dominant character at home, and putting him back a year would be a real negative on Spindles. The idea of repeating was not tossed around seriously by the teachers, so hopefully maturity will come soon.

3. I am going to make up a chart of behaviors and goals to strive for at school for each of my chilblains, so we are not singling out Roly. And we will just take these goals day by day.

4. And yes, God is in control. He created Roly cell by cell for His purpose and that is so comforting. So rather than despair, I will do my bit (be as well informed as I can, and as much as possible, help him to grow up being responsible for his actions and the repercussions. To raise him to know that who he is, is not a random thing. God has a purpose for Roly.

So they are some real quick points I have jotted down with spelling checks at all. I will do a real post at some stage.

Thanks again for all your input, girls. *kiss, hug*

Posted by michelle :: 8:26 am :: 5 comments links to this post

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Cloud of Gloom
(its wispy tendrils clinging to my skin even in the sun's warmth)
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In other cheerier news, check out what Diva taught me to make.
She was so excited to show me something she learned to do at school.
1. We put some of this cream...

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2. And shook it till our brains rattled as loudly as the marble.

Soon, it got thick and yellow. Some runny milk separated from the thick yellow mixture.

3. We poured the milk away and we were left with......

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..the creamiest butter we have ever tasted!

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4. We tried it on crackers. Delicious! And how fun it was to make!
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And here is the moment that made my day so much better! (the deep noises are me blowing my bubble beard to smithereens!)

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Have a great weekend all. See ya on Monday!

Posted by michelle :: 9:33 pm :: 8 comments links to this post

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Friday, June 16, 2006

It's Snowing!
Kara screamed gleefully after going out to feed the chookies this morning.
As the others raced out to see the snow, I pulled open the curtain and gazed out skeptically.
"Yup, " I said, ever the party pooper. "It's just a real good frost. It doesn't snow here."

Diva's celebratory sprirt was not dampened by this announcement in any way. She came back in, put every PJ shirt she owns on, and then raced out back out (barefoot) to jump on the frosty trampoline. (I accidentally deleted that pic).

Spindles put on his two jackets and when I looked out the kitchen window I found him drawing pictures in the frost on the car.....!
Roly came in to put this ice dagger in the freezer. He broke it off the frozen 'duck pond'.

And Granny, Diva wrote a story telling of her excitement about your impending visit. (wish you could come too Grandad!) A translation is below.

(Once upon a time, there lived Granny. she came to my home for Grandparent's Day next week. I can't wait any more.)

And to finish, here is a video of one of Amy Grant's old songs Lead Me On. Not necessarily my favorite, but from my era! Robby and I never got to see her on TV or in concert, so I'll settle for this.

Posted by michelle :: 11:41 am :: 11 comments links to this post

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Kenya Safari #9: Security

(Keep in mind that this safari depicts how security was for us in the 80's . We left Kenya in 1990.)

In Kenya we were considered wealthy.

Poverty and desperation drove some to (often violent) thieving, so we had to secure our property.

Growing up in our various homes in Kenya, I remember high walls surrounded our compound with broken glass cemented in.

Our gates were covered with metal plates so as not to allow visibility through into our compound, similar to this pic below, though as I recall our gates had metal spikes poking through.

A good barking dog was always a deterrent. Our guard dogs were nothing like the cute little things that yap bravely at us from behind the safety of screen doors in many Australian homes. I remember being so surprised to learn that there were actually breeds that came so small.

I was used hulking German shepherds, Golden Retrievers and other (Mom and dad, was Hershey a Rhodesian Ridgeback?) large dogs. They were trained to protect us and they did a good job.

But I think my favorite protection had to be our security guards. The guards we hired were rural Samburu and Redilli tribesmen who had come to the city to earn money.

They exchanged their tribal clothes and way of life for modern clothes (like the man leaning on the gate a couple pictures back) and a hard life of sleeping in the day and working all night.

I remember Dad came up with a couple of ideas to help our guards stay alert. One idea was a clock (or was it two- one on either end of the compound?) he ajusted so that every 15 minutes the guard could pencil a mark onto a piece of paper set in behind the clock face (or not). The next day the paper would be replaced and Dad could see how protected we had been that night.

Another idea was the hand-cranked cassette recorder. By winding the handle, the cassette player worked, and at night I often heard the whir of the handle as the guard did his rounds. The one in the picture below is similar, but Press Me to see one exactly like the one our guards used.

What else fascinated me about our guards?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingFirst- They had such wonderful smiles. (this picture was kindly allowed by the very talented and much-travelled Tom Cockrem of Australia. Actually Tom, in your gallery I found a pic of a woman selling tourist items that I unwittingly borrowed for a previous safari. Oh dear, I am sorry.)

Second- Their earholes!

All our guards had massively distended earholes from having larger and larger implements shoved through to stretch them over a period of years.

Their ears swung as they walked! And to keep them out of the way, sometimes they would loop the overhang back over the ear itself.

My personal favorite was weekend washing day, when the guard would hang his socks out to dry, through his ear holes!!

Three-Another fascinating weekend event for our guards was their customary cookup. The guys must havefound it hard to be away from their families and familiar food.

City cuisine would not have been what they were used to. So sometimes on the weekend, the greasy smell of burning flesh wafted into our nostrils and we knew it was 'cook up the goat's head and feast on every inch of it' time!

Finally- their weapons.

These guards each had a large stick, a whip, a short truncheon, and a panga, which is like a machete (I thought there was more. Was there? Robby?)

So this was my pleasant post of being protected. Next time I will regail you with tales of when all our security measures either failed or turned on us!!

Posted by michelle :: 9:29 am :: 8 comments links to this post

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I have a cold!

I think I got it from AZDaisy. : ) So I'll be brief. (for me!)

After more car dramas (you don't want to know!), Topsy and I finally made it to the Eisteddfod to see Roly perform. They had their turn two hours after we showed up, so you can imagine that Topsy was in fine form. Actually he barely made a peep. I found a trick to shut him up! (No, not masking tape!)

Yes for absolutely ages he kept himself very entertained by feeding me leftover bits of the damp, slightly chewed crackers he was done gnawing on. *visible shudder at the memory* I sacrificed my mental wellbeing for the benefit of the rest of the audience and for the schools involved. I hope they appreciate that!

I was so impressed with Roly. Two years ago at the Eisteddfod, he slouched and yawned his way through the whole thing, but today he was in the front row, and never did his gaze stray from his 'conductor', got his actions right etc. I was really impressed. They don't know if they placed yet, but I was mighty proud of my boy.
I didn't feel well enough to prepare for Kids Club today, so we had games and Hubby did a brief talk.
And now I am collapsing in a heap to read your blogs and then cuddle up in bed with a book. Nighty night.

Posted by michelle :: 6:33 pm :: 13 comments links to this post

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A great idea!
Diva came home from school last week with a bulky envelope. When she opened it, out fell a bunch of puzzle pieces.

When she put it all together:


Isn't that a fun idea?

Topsy seemed a bit bemused that he was not in any pics so I snapped him as he watched Diva's puzzle solving efforts. Then he knew that all was right with the world.

Today Diva's stage (actually on the year 1 kiddies) participated in the eisteddfod (doubleclick the word to get a full explanation!). The class was paricipating as a group in the choral speech, where they recited two looonnnng poems and recited them in unison!
7 schools participated at Diva's level and they were all so cute. All up it took an hour and a half (including waiting to get in to the place), so after Diva's class performed (of course they had to be the very last group!!!!), I went home, not waiting to find out the result.

I felt they performed really really well, but I there was another group who had excelled I thought. Maybe tDiva's class would place second and that would be fantastic.

Well an exultant Diva greeted me as I picked my cherubs up from school.

'We came first!' she beamed. "And I had to go up and get our school's prize from the judges!"( a tropy and a book for the school library)

I am so happy for her. And to think that this morning she was trying her best to make her cough sound croupy so she didn't have to perform the poems at all!
Tomorrow Roly's stage is performing their poems. Spindles gets out of it as his stage is busy practising the entertainment for Grandparent's Day. (See ya soon Granny!!!)

Finally: Below are two versions of a song I discovered whilst looking for Kenya videos. It seems to have become a bit of a phenomenon as there are a lot of vids of people singing their own version of it, one of which I have included. (sorry about the closeup of the bottom in the second one. At least it is not naked!!! :)

I think it is a bit catchy after you hear it for the 10th time!
And seeing as I know you will all love it as much as my kidlets here is the link so you can watch the extended version!!

Posted by michelle :: 8:55 pm :: 11 comments links to this post

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Monday, June 12, 2006

We had a great weekend!!

We did nothing to write home about, but enjoyed doing it!
On Saturday, Spindles went to his best friend B's house for the day.

After I dropped him off, I picked up Roly's best friend R and brought him out to our place.
What about poor Diva? Diva has three close friends but she has found a lot of confusing mixed signals from two in the group. The two girls either actively hate each other (which is very distressing), or they are best friends to the exclusion of the other two (just as distressing). Once I invited them all out for the day, which was a total disaster for Diva emotionally! So this time only one friend was invited. Unfortunately she had to cancel at the last minute. :(
I had been talking the day before to the mother of another girl whose friends behave in exactly the same way (doesn't it start young?), and we'd said we should get our girls together, so now was a good opportunity.
So little S came over to play with Diva.

It was drizzling all day (praise the Lord!), which Diva detested as she and S are both outdoor girls. So while the boys happily armied, videoed, and play-stationed ( R loved it when we all played hide and seek, and Charades together), the girls beaded and made collages (from magazines and fabrics) of what they imagine they will be like when they are grown up.

At five that evening I started the 'drop everyone home and pick up mine' process.

R lives just out of the main town near us, so I decided to take a shortcut I recently found to save some time.


Lesson learned?: Never take a relatively unfamiliar shortcut when it is dark and there is a heavy fog!

How I learned this lesson?: My estimated 40 minute round trip, turned into an hour and a half!!!
By the time I had found my way out of the maze of farming properties, dropped off the kids and finally swung by to pick up Spindles, he had been fed eaten tea (the evening meal for you American readers!), B's parents had made up a bed for him to stay the night, and I was nearly out of petrol (Again! And I 'd only put $25 in the day before too!)

Yesterday (Sunday) is the one day of the month where I teach Sunday school in the morning and the evening.

Because my poor munchkins are at both classes, I don't want to put them through the same lesson twice, so I extend on the lesson learned the previous week for the morning class.

Well we had finished our story and drama and worksheets and I decided, that, in the remaining few minutes, we would play a(totally unrelated to the Bible) game of Who Am I.
Below is the documented effort of one small boy W trying to guess who he was and never quite getting the concept. (He was actually Bob the Builder.)
Instead of starting with a question like 'am I a boy?', he began by asking:

"Is I a leaf?'

'No. but you are on a TV show '(trying to help him out by answering the kind of question he should have asked)

Thinking bigger. 'Is I a Christmas tree?

'No, but you are a cartoon character."

Undaunted.' Is I a rainbow?'

Frowning. 'No, but you are a boy, on a TV show. Well actually a man.'

With a knowing smile. ' Is I a snake?'

In total disbelief. 'NO! But you are a man on a TV show. Like a cartoon! You like to build things!' (everyone else had guessed theirs and swopped places with someone else by now)

With supreme confidence: 'Is I a lion!?!'

Nearly crying in frustration. "You are Bob the Builder. Bob... The Builder. You are on a TV show. You build things!!!!! (thinking: Do you understand? There are no tree or rainbows or animals in the stupid show! Just stupid old Bob, who is a stupid old Builder! Comprende? *sigh* I hate this game now!!)

Oh, last night we had Bodie's friend R out again,(no shortcuts this time!) for a sleepover. I haven't had any of the kids' friends for sleepovers in ages, 'cause with Topsy it is too stressful for me (and I am all about removing stress from my life!)
But R had told Roly earlier this week he had lots of Bible questions and when I picked him up, he had questions about the 'scary' book of Revelations; if he is really a Christian; and is there something that is like the opposite of God.

Interesting stuff.

He wanted to go to church, because he has never been to a church before, so we decided to invite him over last night so he could come to our evening service.

It all went well, though he is a real picky eater, and wouldn't touch the yummy dinner one of the church ladies had cooked up for us all. (he wouldn't eat my pancakes this morning either 'because they don't taste like McDonalds'!! {and thank goodness for that, I say})
Then just before the service, the whole place blew its electricity.

Total darkness.
We probably had too many heaters going!
15 minutes later we started the service under the romantic glow of lamps and candles, and then all the kids came over to our house next door for Sunday School as we still had electricity.
And today is the Queens birthday Monday. Have a good one!

Posted by michelle :: 9:55 am :: 8 comments links to this post

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Friday, June 09, 2006


I am not 100% sure yet, but I am thinking about moving house.

From Blogger to either Xanga or WordPress.

It may be far too much work to transfer my stuff over, so who knows if it will happen.
WordPress at first glance, seems harder to work out, for the non computery.

I will not post tonight because I lost my post so many times yesterday, I feel like I have posted a week's worth of stuff with nothing to show for it!!

Instead I will check out the view at Xanga. Talk soon!

....Ok, I'm back. *sigh*.
It just all looks too difficult. Setting up this very basic blog took me sooo long, I don't think I have the time or energy in me at present to do it all over again.
Instead let me start this post again! And it'll be quick and to the point.

The new title:

'Roly, you can pop your shirt and hat back on, and then you can take your skirt off.'

Roly did so gratefully, while my shoulders shuddered with silent mirth.
Xray Mommy have you ever told anyone to do this?
The context: Roly had a chest Xray today.
There he stood, bare chest pressed against a large rectangular plate, his little arms obediently hugging the plate tight. (when he complained about it being cold, the technician dead panned: 'Yep, well it hasn't had much lovin' yet, today!)
The little xray skirt she fastened to his backside completed Roly's humiliating ensemble!
And guess what , he had only just got changed and was feeling all masculine again, when we were told that it hadn't worked properly, so Roly had to get the whole thing done all over again.
Truthfully Roly was a really good sport.
And more importantly, his results were fine.

Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that I am a voracious reader. I could never afford to own all the books I go through, so I tend to frequent the library.
Unfortunately, being a scatterbrain, and having spawned three (at least! ) bookworms who are just as scatterbrained, rounding up the read material to return it is quite a task.
But today it just had to be done.
I gathered up what the kids had found already, located elusive story CDs and cassette tapes, dumped them in a recycle bag with Topsy's bits and pieces, and raced out the door to ty to get everyone a book before school ended.
Fine. That all went without a hitch....
I got a phone call from the library at about 6:00 this evening to say that I dropped my library card.
That's Ok, I thought, I go through them at an unheard of rate.
Then there was an awkward silence before the poor lady informed me that most of the books I had returned were so soaking wet, they were now irreversably damaged.
So I have got a massive bill coming my way!
The culprit- my water bottle (which was also in the recycle bag!). The pop top was on tight, but the lid itself wasn't properly screwed on!
So in the words of The Gods Must be Crazy,
'ai yaiyai, yaiyai yaiyai!!!

Other Stuff:

This is Spindle's finished report about the Long Tailed Dunnart


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And here is a bit of a photo thing for Diva. I thought she looked cute, doing her outdoor stuff.

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When I asked what she was doing in this shot, she said "Well there is nothing to do, so I am brushing the dirt of the trees."Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Have a great weekend. I am off to beddybyze as my eyelids can hardly stay open!

Posted by michelle :: 7:40 pm :: 13 comments links to this post

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Thursday, June 08, 2006


Well Roly has gone to school without a whimper today.
What is the difference? I do not know. Frame of mind maybe. He is so much like me as a child it is uncanny, although he articulates his feelings a whole lot better.

It makes me remember….

My diaries as a young ‘lady’ were full of the mantras‘ I’m fat, I’m so ugly, I have no friends, boys hate me….’.

But now, looking back on it all, with real eyes, I chuckle, seeing the truth in hindsight.

The mantra-‘no friends’

The truth-I had tons of friends. Both guys and girls. I was a caring and thoughtful friend (I like to think)

The mantra-‘boys hate me.’ -This was mainly a perception I had because one of my really good friends was long and lean, like I wanted to be, so I compared myself to her, rather than appreciating my own ‘gorgeousness’ (We are all gorgeous, did you know that? It’s true. AZDaisy has a letter (click the word letter!) on her site to prove it!)

The truth- Several boys during high school did like me, rarely the actual ones I would have liked, but what did it matter? If I found out there was a boy remotely interested, I never came within a quarter mile of him again. Heheh!)

The mantra- ‘fat and ugly’

The truth- I was such a typical 15-17 year old girl! An incident seared in my mind was when a friend at boarding school (no smaller than me that I can remember at all) asked me to put on her jeans before she did, to ‘stretch them’! :{
Hilarious now, butwhen it happened I actually did what she asked, and walked away wounded to the core. Plus my Australian complexion was freckled, which hardly any of my friends had! (both my high school boyfriend and hubby found that a very appealing feature I might add!)

LOL! If only that poor girl (the young me) could see Big Mama four kids and 20 years under a harsh Australian sun later!!!
Then she’d count her blessings and savour each day! Heeeheee :)

Conclusion:Growing up is a hard and painful process because of of the fallen world we are doing it in.

Posted by michelle :: 9:43 am :: 10 comments links to this post

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