Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Our New Bike...

This is our new bike, the gleaming sexy feline Yamaha R6 2008 model, brand spanky new out of the box : ) The middle photo. The bike with the cool black side fairing. (For you ladies out there who wanna learn something new... check out
My Hub is like a tiener...
Sands x

My News…


  1. We're trying for baby no.2 from October this year.
  2. We're enjoying our new dog Corky.
  3. We've paid off our Opel Essentia.
  4. We've bought a new Yamaha R6 Motorbike.
  5. We've put in a new porch (5m long)
  6. I've started work.
  7. I'm never getting a normal pay check again.
  8. I signed up for a voice course at the Playhouse on Monday nights, hoping to learn something new and add to my singing edjumecation… it looks like I might end up teaching the course at some point. Not sure yet so just waiting to see what unfolds.


Ok that's it. I have no inspiration for a post this week.


I'll add my weekly post from Surviving Durban North.


Sands x


Pink Stockings: The Twinkle Toes Files…

From the age of four my mother did what all Durban North mothers did and kitted me out in pink stockings, a black leotard, a pink waist band and too-tight leather pumps for my first day of ballet.


I walked with little trembling footsteps up the concrete pathway and into the dance room – the floor was shiny (back then – now it's the parking lot of an office park) at Minette De Klerk's Dance Academy, there was a big mirror on the left facing wall and the Barre ran along the right hand side and across the back before coming back down the left. We all sat in a circle and the teacher manipulated us into thinking that it was ok to run around on the tips of our toes…despite the agony (this was what we were 'looking forward too' as we could only do this when we were older) and I spent the next decade trying to achieve this goal.


As I recall, we spent most of that year skipping in a circle, and ended up doing an exam where we dressed up as little Bo peep or something and skipped in a circle holding a frilly umbrella. I have a photo of myself dressed as a clown, a maid, a sailor, a mermaid and a rainbow fairy. Good times. I still don't think that I ever successfully learned an entire dance. I merely relied on my good childhood friend Carol for the moves, I was always a split second behind the rest – you would only be able to pick it up in slow action replay….bwahahahah.


After ten years I accepted that I was too curvy, had size 8 shoes and just could not be bothered to "float like a feather" across the room anymore – so I took up Jazz dancing. Now that was what I liked, I think it was Jean Weirich-Wiggil who took our class, we had such a ball. I ended up with my International Bronze Levels for Jazz*


We sis shows at cool theatres, we dressed up, we had cat fights, we judged each other, we laughed at the one whose boobs grew first and then laughed at the one whose boobs grew last. Good times. I was the latter.


Now my cousin who is 6 years younger than me, he did soccer as a kid at the sports fields by the Virginia circle – anyone know of it? Were there any other ballet teachers in DBN-North at the time?


I also remember that at Chelsea we had Hobby Day on Fridays and we could choose from a number of hobbies to take part in for an hour before home time. I did gardening (will go into that horrific tale of forced hobbies another time – eek!) Woodwork,  Flower arranging and then Porcelain doll making before the school choir mistress stole the hour for choir where we sang "groovy kinda love" every Friday for a year. Good times. What hobbies did you have?




For those LEGENDS who have recently joined us please check out the past posts so that you can see what the heck we're on about. For those of you who left and then rejoined (jax) welcome back! And to the faithful cling-ons who don't leave - good on ya.


Have a great week guys


Sands x


PS. Cris Gill is looking for a traindrivers hat and a big silver whistle for when he storms the mini train track at virginia later this year..


PPS. Thank you Charlton for your reply! Glad to see that at lease one person is enjoying the memories...




*I have now made peace with the fact that singing is my forte – I'm a fully trained Opera singer and Professional Voice Coach.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A Photo I Don't Remember Being In...

I had such a good laugh tonight, I am sitting here on the couch, harassing people on Facebook chat and looking at pictures… now I remember making a comment about this picture but don’t actually remember Kim Swan taking the picture…


Let me explain,… when you have a small baby you don’t sleep. Ever. You live in a 2 hour cycle that repeats itself 12 times a day, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. At this point I think that Kim and I were zombies who drank cold tea together, spoke in short incomprehensible sentences and generally made fools of ourselves trying to breastfeed, eat and remember to go to the loo all while trying to keep our two bundles alive :) good times.


It’s kind of sad now, my little friend Chloe is at baby school, her mommy Kim is going back to work again next week, I am already back at work and Sav is my trusty portable sidekick. Our days of unlimited hours of Rachel Ray, Dr Phil, Tyra, Days of our lives, and Sunset Beach are over : (


It has been an incredible journey, made easier because of my special Kimeshni and Chlo-eera Swannaidoo who became a part of my lounge suite for the past 4 months. I won’t forget the super-egg sammies, cold tea, milo, coffee, baby research, blogging, dreaming, crying babies, pooh nappies, fast growing limbs and endless chats. Good times.


Thanks for the memories : )



Sands x



Monday, 12 May 2008

Our New Guest...

On Saturday night, a wandering man by the name of…no, wait, we don’t know his name because the idiots who own him have not put a collar on him… (back to the story) a wandering man by the name of ‘Corgi’ walked into our complex and spent the night on a friendly neighbours porch. By the Sunday, having stripped himself of his former life and acquiring a new identity, he ended up at my back door wagging his tale and letting me know that he would be staying a while. I am still reserved about the matter; my husband is, to put it mildly: in love.


My two dogs made friends with him instantly, Skippi ever the socialite welcomed him into her kennel (lucky boy *cough*) and spent ages licking his face and being a general pest, the fact that he did not decapitate her speaks volumes of his self control.

Oscar, after having his ‘my little pony’ nose put out of joint, has made life unbearable for Corgs, he is a third of Corgis size but is harassing him and ‘putting him in his place’ The most violence I’ve seen from Corgs yet was when, out of desperation, Corgi gently pinned Oscar to the maxi-door gate, and stood there looking bored while Oscar struggled, screamed, kicked and nibbled at him. What a beaut.


I have put out flyers, phoned both Durban and Kloof SPCA and have even left a message on ECR. I am hoping that no one sees them…


The only problem with Corgs is that he is a peepeedog, in other words he lifts that short back leg way too often.


Some Facts About ‘Corgi’

‘Corgi’ is a black-headed Tri-color Pembroke Corgi.

According to legend, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are an enchanted dog, used by fairies and elves to pull wagons and serve as steed for the fairy warriors. Queen Elizabeth II of England has four Welsh Corgis.

From Wikipedia: "Like most herding breeds, they are active, intelligent, and athletic dogs despite their short legs and plump body. The short legs may seem to be a disadvantage, but they can run and jump just as well as any other dog of comparable size. Though still sometimes used as a working dog, today they are more commonly kept as companions. They are happy and loving but can have a stubborn streak due to their natural instinct to command their surroundings."

Well, for now I have three little canine mouths to feed…


Sands x

Please Note - His name is now officially "Corky" Due to his shape and the fact that this well-fed rotund beast would definately float if thrown into Durban Harbour...

Thursday, 8 May 2008

My First Week Back At Work!

Baby Savanna has settled in so nicely to our new routine!
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 my maid Octavia and I bundle our stuff together and pack little Sav in the car, shooting off to my Music Lessons.
At first I was a little worried, I didn't know if Sav would cope with the noise and excitement of my work environment, I was also worried about how Octavia would cope with suddenly being a real 'nanny' playing, with and stimulating Sav with games and books for 4 hours!
Well, on Tuesday it was a little tough, Octavia suffered with stagefright and spent most of the time just sitting looking into Savs pram saying "whats wrong?" again and again... explanation - it is a phrase that is common for zulu mothers "Whutzrong?...whutzrong?" I had to coach her along by saying something every time the 'whutzrong' started... "Octavia, read her a book now" or, "Octavia, show Sav the rattle" or "Octavia, take her for a walk" we were only there for two hours. You see, I know my maid, if I give her enough ideas and encouragement she will run with it and be really great at her job.
Wednesday was more of a "trial by fire" for Octavia and Sav, Octavia was picked up at 11:30 and worked with a highly exciteable baby till 4:30! I had to smile as I drove us all home, Octavia looked like a nagaapie (kind of like I did in the first three weeks of being a mother) and Savanna crashed and slept till 6pm! I did notice though, that Sav had a blast - smiling at all the students, basking in the attention from Octavia and having a ball. Octavia was more in control and acted with more authority over her little charge.
Thursday was a bit shorter - we were there for two hours only, Octavia packed all of Sav's bags and made sure that she packed toys, books, a blanket and play mat. It was so nice! We each settled down to our individual task - her with Sav and myself with the children coming through for lessons.
The result of this blog post is that I am very happy with my decision to keep Sav with me. She is going to have an interesting first year, lots of music and fun. It's amazing how fast she is progressing, she is crossing milestones with leaps and bounds. Almost sitting on her own, grabbing at things (especially her mums tops... exposing her bra to all who are looking... blush!) sigh.
Music is a gift. I have loved seeing the children so excited to be playing, singing and strumming again :)
Sands x

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Saturday, 3 May 2008

Fwd: Sav's first winter day

These are from Savanna's first real winter day. She was all snug and
warm, looking all cute n cuddley!
Hope all are well x

My (Sandy's) Birth Story - by Annie Skea

My Birth Story as written by Annie Skea, Doula

Savanna’s birth story…….

11:15 Sandy phones to say she thinks that her waters have broken, she had felt a gush of water whilst on the toilet, she is just over 37 wks pregnant.
We chat for a bit and decide that they have indeed broken, and she is having mild intermittent period pain type contractions, luckily she had an appointment with her gynaecologist for 12 that morning (that she’d forgotten about) and goes to see her.
She phones after the appointment to say, yes, the gynaecologist has confirmed her waters have broken, her cervix is posterior, and closed. The gynaecologist wants her to go straight to the hospital. We agree to meet there around 14:00.

1400 I arrive at Crompton to find Sandy and Francis in the maternity ward, Sandy is looking happy and relaxed, she has started to feel slightly more intense period pain type contractions.
She is keen on using homeopathy in her labour, but as labour started earlier than expected, hasn’t had a chance to get the script we need for the caulophyllum from the homeopath.
She wants to go ahead and use it without the script, so we start the caulophylum regime- 1 dose every 15min to half hr, she responds very nicely to it. With the next contraction and after, the dose being a bit stronger and with Sandy getting more achey - a very good sign.

16:30 Dr Naidoo comes to check on her at 1630, shortly after booking in, on internal the cervix hasn’t changed much, not much liquid is draining, and the contractions remain sporadic.
Dr Naidoo informs her that she will be away that night at the Elton John concert, should she deliver that night, Charity (the hospital midwife) will deliver her.
She is rather unhappy with Sandy using caulophylum-saying she has no information on the side effects (there are none), she is very unfamiliar with homeopathy and reluctant to give her consent, she has Sandy sign a waiver expunging her of any responsibility should the labour complicate as a result of the homeopathy. The only way around it is to get a script for it. I tell Sandy that seeing as how she’s in very early labour, with contractions every 25 min or so and short, that I'm going home to organize that script for her and have a quick bite to eat, with strict instructions eat, drink, rest and to call me should the labour suddenly pick up.
She’s feeling a little sleepy and decides to try catch a quick nap whilst I'm gone. The staff do a CTG - very few contractions picking up but Savanna is looking very happy, with a nice reactive heartbeat.

18:30 I have phoned the homeopath, got the script emailed through and printed out, paid the telephonic consultation fee to the homeopath, eaten a hasty supper, and checked in with Sandy to see how she’s getting on. The contractions are now every 8 min apart, roughly 35sec long, and definitely stronger than earlier, I head back to Crompton.

19:30 On arrival at 19h30 I put the telephonic script into Sandy's file and alert the staff to its presence, that should reassure Dr Naidoo and give Sandy freedom to use her natural remedies.

19h45 Sandy's contractions are definitely more regular now, although we are still in early labour, the ward is packed full for the night with visiting hours about to start, and whilst the contractions are not painful yet, I’d really like to get mum settled in the active birth room so she can relax and her labour can progress.
I ask Charity if we can go down to labour ward now, and she tells us that she’s the only sister on duty that night to cover the maternity ward and labour ward and can’t stay down in labour ward, luckily she knew me and agreed to let us go down there by ourselves to settle in (we were incredibly lucky, it would’ve been awful for Sandy to have to labour in the tiny maternity ward)

So we trek downstairs, unpack bags, warm up baby clothes, and get Sandy settled in. Within a half hr or so of being there, active labour starts, with nice strong regular contractions 4 min apart 40 sec long. Sandy copes with these beautifully, rocking on the birthing ball and breathing deeply, Francis is incredible with her, knowing just when to touch her and when to offer silent support.
He prays over his wife and unborn child, words that bring tears to my eyes and the presence of God comes into the room.

22:00 We done a CTG as per Charity’s instructions, the minute that Sandy lies down her contractions space out to 5-6min apart, and are not as strong, this is very clearly a ‘gravity baby’ - requiring gravity to maintain and keep the progress of labour going.

22:15 Charity comes to do an internal. The cervix is (0% effaced (thinned out) and 3cms dilated, we are officially crossing over into active labour now.

22:45 Sandy sits on the toilet to get the contractions going again after lying down for the CTG, the contractions quickly increase in strength, needing all Sandy’s concentration and focus, she copes very well, breathing and relaxing with each one, you can see her body has started to release and build up endorphins, her pupils are dilated, and her eyes have that sleepy faraway look to them - labourland.
Francis maintains his ever-present support and quiet encouragement, you can always see the strength of a couple’s relationship by how they interact during labour, theirs is very clearly a strong close relationship, beautiful to see.

23:15 We move back into the room and onto the ball - the position Sandy seems most comfortable in, she has started eyeing the pool eagerly, but until we know she is 5cm and more, we have to wait lest we slow down the labour.
Sandy is weepy now with contractions coming every 21/2min, 1min long, clear liquid is draining nicely with each contraction, a sure sign that Savanna is moving further down.
Sandy needs a bit of assistance to find her breathing rhythm with each progressively stronger contractions…

23:45 Sandy remains tearful, but in a good way, she welcomes each contractions, vocalizing and starting to surrender completely.
She speaks to her unborn child through a few of her contractions, encouraging Savanna, telling her how badly she wants to meet her, she has never looked so beautiful.
I am humbled and reduced to tears many times just watching her. Sandy speaks in spiritual tongues and prays out loud for several of her contractions, the presence of God is a tangible force in the room.
I have goosebumps from head to toe…

12:15 Charity comes down for another quick internal - good news - Sandy is 6cms dialated, and the head is very low down, Savanna is checked with the Doppler and is holding up just fine.
Dr Naidoo has phoned to see how Sandy is doing, there is a distinct possibility that she wont be back to deliver Savanna.

12:45 Sandy finally gets into the pool; I tell her that with the deep relaxation the hot water brings, if she totally surrenders, she can go from 6-10 in an hr, she seems to accept that.
Within minutes its clear that the birth pool has worked its magic yet again, Sandy has her eyes shut, vocalizing loudly with every contractions, singing the birth song as we call it…within 20 min she’s ready to push.

01:45 I call Charity and move Sandy out the water onto the floor, she instinctively moves into hands knees position and pushes long strong hard pushes.
Charity comes into the room and looks a bit anxious about having her patient in hands knees position, the entire delivery technique is reversed in this position, I ask if she would be willing to deliver Sandy in this position, after a moments thought, she agrees (gotta love this midwife) Sandy however has picked up on this exchange and, in an effort to assist Charity, moves into the supported squat with Francis supporting her from behind.
Now the hard work begins, little by little Savannas head moves down. Francis seems very concerned about Sandy pushing in this position, and queries several times if it wouldn’t be better for her to move. At this precise moment, in walks her gynaecologist, I cringe, waiting for her to freak out that mommy is on the floor in a squat no less, but to my total shock, she simply says, “hmmm pushing can take quite some time, call me when the head is crowning, I’m going to sleep next door” HUH??? (Thank you Lord!)
Charity and I both feel she’s doing a great job pushing in the supported squat, but in reference to Francis, Sandy agrees to move to the bed, its very doubtful that her gynaecologist would allow her to stay in that position for the actual birth anyway, so we move onto the bed.

2:10 With the move the head starts to appear, just a tiny 5c coin size, but huge progress! I call for Dr Naidoo, she comes in asks the stirrups to be put up, drapes mum in sterile towels and cuts an episiotomy (Sandy was comfortable with this procedure and had no objections) Within about ten minutes Savanna Rae is born, lifted up onto mum’s chest and covered with a hot towel, Sandy and Francis are both in tears - the cord is cut 1 minute after Savanna is born. The placenta follows shortly thereafter, and Dr Naidoo begins suturing the episiotomy. Afterwards, Doctor Naidoo climbs up onto the table and Sandy grabs her in a big bear hug and thanks her over and over, and I have to admit that Dr Naidoo seemed very pleased and caught up in the moment.
I catch her on the way out and give her a hug too, thanking her for allowing me to be present.
After checking on mum and baby, Charity goes upstairs and allows me to bath mum, get her and Savanna dressed and wheeled upstairs.

Darling Savanna…

Thank you for the privilege of being present to watch the miracle of your birth.
It was such an honour to watch your mommy labouring under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Sandy recounts after the birth that whilst in the birth pool, she could hear both Francis and I coaching her through her last few rough contractions, that she heard another voice waking her up telling her exactly how many breaths it would take to get through the next contractions, and then telling her to relax and rest at the end of each one, that could only have been the Holy Spirit guiding her, WOW)
So,… a completely natural unmediated GYNAECOLOGIST birth…..a first for me……..and probably the last for a long time….its very rare to achieve this type of birth with a gynaecologist….and could only have happened under Gods influence.

Much Love,

Annie Skea