Tuesday, March 27, 2007

CHILD NEGLECT

I was doing my usual round of blog rounds last night when I stumbled upon this story on Solomon Sydelle's - (another absolutely cool lady in blogville) blog. A lady in Maryland was being taken to the court and charged on several counts of Child Neglect for leaving her kids in unsavoury conditions as well as Animal Cruelty.

Back home, it is quite a joy when you have a new baby and relatives and friends are practically falling over themselves to help you in one way or the other look after your new baby. This help could be either in the form of one cousin or the other volunterring to come over and stay with you and help you carry the new baby or either set of parents especially the moms being handy with all sorts of tips -bathing, feeding, sleeping etc. But the bottom line is that there is always someone around and ready to help out.

Over in the diaspora - the saying goes you dont suffer fools gladly. Help is more often than not absolutely non existent. Correct me if I am wrong please anybody. But the existent help isnt free either. Child care is downright expensive and you could pay up to £800 or more a month to keep your baby in the daycare while you go off to work pending when he or she (new baby) is able to start proper school or there is always the other option. Stop work, stay at home and look after the baby resulting in loss of earnings from one partner while the other partner now has sole responsibility of all the bills and expenses in the household. Gone are the relatives and friends so readily available back home cos time is money.

Which brings me back to my story about AMARA EDEN. She had 5 kids between the ages of 6months to 6years. Why was she having so many children - or didnt the word "CONTRACEPTION" exist in her everday lingua, vocabulary or dictioanry? Firemen were called to the building due to smoke coming from the building and discovered the eldest trying to feed the younger ones with beans from a pot on the stove from which the smoke was emanating. I feel sad for Amara and angry at her at the same time. Why have so many kids if you are a single parent and knowing that you cant afford to pay for childcare while you are out working and trying to earn a living to take care of the kids you have brought into this world? A video of the start of her apartment can be found as broadcast by the news channels. VIDEO HERE

I am trying to imagine that she came back tired from her place of work each day and that is why her room is in such a state or maybe she tidies the apartment before she goes to work each day and its during the time frame she is away that the kids get the place all scattered all over again while they are playing? Why on earth did she keep a dog too? In the same untidy room as her kids? Faeces, urine all over the place? Where on earth was her husband, partner, boyfriend , or whatever during the happening of all these events? Where ever he is, especially if he is in the US and specifically Maryland also, he too must be brought out to explain why he wasnt contributing his own two cents and helping take care of the kids or babysit while Amara was out at work. Only Amara can explain what was going through her mind and her frustrations that led to all these unsavoury events and circumstances. This post is one of mixed feelings - she must have been struggling to cope but the situation and condition she left her kids in was absolutely appalling.

LINKACHILD BENEFIT CONCERT

Refined One sent me this and asked me to help spread the word:

Linkachild is organising a benefit concert to promote awareness on the plight of the orphans & less privileged in our society.

There will be Star performances by International Artistes:

Cece Winans

Donnie McClurkin

Reuben Studdard

Also performing will be

Olufunmi

Ty' Bello

Another special feature will be the first public performance of the linkachild team song:

"Ekundayo" By Ty' & Olufunmi

Date: Tuesday, 3rd April, 2007

Venue: Expo center, Eko Hotel & Suits, Victoria Island,Lagos

Time: 6pm

Tickets: N10,000 Only

Dont miss out!!!!!!!!

For more information on tickets and reservations please contact us at
: info@linkachild.org , linkachild@gmail.com or call 01-7909279 or 0803 3854 523 Linkachild

So Lagos peeps - head on there and support LINKACHILD.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Official First day of Spring

The papers and news channels say its officially the first day of spring today so - HELLO SPRING! I think the clocks will be going forward one hour now that spring is here officially this coming weekend although I havent heard any concrete, official confirmation about the clock going back yet. Will keep my ears to the ground though.

My friend who was house hunting finally found a place which was big enough and good enough for her and decided to move house on Sunday so I went to help her move. Hubby drove us to her new place and we removed her things from the car and he left us there to unpack after having a tour of her new place. 2 weeks after she had paid her deposit, her landlord is still working on the house. The heating is now not working and the workmen are still on it, there is no hot water either now, the new kitchen cabinets are already falling off the wall, Ok, just one set fell off the wall and her flatmate says he's beeen harassing the landlord for the past week to do something about the non functional heating and all he says is 'tomorrow' or 'the day after' so maybe we can add some pressure on him too. We called his mobile but his fone was switched off. Lesson: Always go the day before you move into your new place to check that everything that needs to be checked is functional. He's now gotten her and her flatmate some compact heaters to keep them warm pending when the heating is restored.

Sice the weatherman wasnt expecting the cold snap (snow) until sunday night, I decided to launch my
poncho since it was already spring in my own dictionary. Folly of my life. When we left her house, it was so windy!!!!!! She was laughing at me and singing beside me; "poncho", "poncho", "poncho". We contemplated going back to her place to get a jacket for me but she's a size 8 - 10 and I'm a size 14- 16 so figure that out for urselves. Yeah - nothing of hers would ever fit into my frame. I was doomed. I couldnt help laughing at myself either. I knew there was going to be a cold snap and yet I decided to wear a poncho out of my home. Serves me right. The bus decided to take its time and we had to spend more than a couple of minutes at the freezing busstop but when it finally came, I couldnt jump fast enough into its warmth. Pheeewww!! The things we girls do sometimes. LOL!!


I have returned my Hp PDA. Sob, Sob. Just when I was falling in love with it but Vodafone sent me an HW 6910 instead of the HW 6915. The difference between the two is an integrated 1.3MB camera which the 6910 doesent have. Indeed, the 6910 has no camera at all!! I tried to get the returns dept to exchange the 6910 with the 6915 for me but they said the 6915 isnt one of their free fone options and that I would have to buy it myself on the open market. WTH!!! So I opted for the Palm Treo and the lady informed me it wasnt exactly free either and I would have to pay £65 for it. WTF!! No amount of cajoling and wrangling and sweet talking would make her budge. Only 5 days previously, the Palm Treo had been offered to me for FREE and the only mistake was that I choose the HP PDA over the Palm Treo then. She stuck to her guns and said she didnt know why I had been offered that and that only sales dept could give such an offer - if at all they could. Transfer me to sales dept now? No Way!! I even told her OK - the Palm Treo was being offered in vodafone shops on the high street for £50. Why was I now being asked to pay £65? No budging. Oh well, tough luck. The HP PDA has been returned back to sender and the Palm Treo is now on its way.

Thank You everyone for all your comments and your good wishes on my previous post. Doc smiled and sent me home after checking my blood pressure and saying it was normal. (I knew he would do that) *SIGH* But observed that I seemed a little bit anaemic and asked if I had been feeling unusally tired lately which I hadnt. Anyway, his advice is to keep on trying cos the normal, usual medical, hospital policy is not to conduct any checks until we've been trying unsuccessfully for at least more than a year. So there wont be any referrals of moi from him for any check ups until then. We're both working as hard as we can and know how to. (wink, wink)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Update

I decided to move a step ahead of the update masters & mistresses before they start calling for an update. I'm just back from a brief spell of jogging. As I was leaving my house, I saw this lady jogging down the road towards me and contemplated asking her if I could be her daily jogging partner but then, one mind told me - you that you are a tortoise at jogging and still in ur early, learner phases you probably dont know her speed or level and if you become her jogging partner, you could pull her back. So I let her go past me and started jogging in the opposite direction. My liver failed me - HA!!

I remember when I first started jogging two years ago, that was when
Michelle Mcmanus started her own weight loss regime and she's dropped several dress sizes since then but I waivered by the roadside. Anyway, I remeber the very first day I went jogging - Yeah!! My waist and hips were on fire!! I couldnt even move 30 metres without stopping to catch my breathe. It was as if the ligaments in my hips had all worn off and my pelvic bones were rubbing against each other. The friction was painful!! I'm glad to say I've come along way since then but I know I still have a lot to do to catch up with the likes of paula radcliffe or even my girl - buki.

Me and hubby stay awake all night loads of time cos he does his work best at night and when the temptation to head to the kitchen, open up the fridge and get a snack comes up. I tell myself you're fooling no one but urself if you cheat. Somedays I tell myself, I wont eat anything and drink only water the entire day but it is hard!!! LOL!! I fail woefully. Thank God its Lent right now so I eat only once a day and most times, its one bowl of crunchy nuts with skimmed milk which I estimate to be at most 400 calories and then a peanut butter sandwich when the urge for a snack arises. Then subconciously I tell myself, one bowl of crunchy nut - 300 calories + one peanut sandwich - 300 calories = 700 calories. That means I'm having way less than the estimated daily allowance for a lady which is 2000 calories so why isnt any weight falling off drastically? I once saw on TV an anorexic girl revealing her secrets and saying that if you allow any morsel of food to pass thru ur lips, then you've failed woefully and failure isnt an option. I'll try that approach soon. I do want to drop a dress size so badly. Let me stop boring you guys with my woes and move on to happy thoughts.

I got a text from my friend Bee informing me of her new baby Ella's entry into the world. Very, very welcome news. I was so ecstatic and happy for her. Baby Ella is her second baby. I remember when I was in naija for my wedding last july when another friend who used to babysit Bee's first daughter - Christabelle called me to tell me Christabelle was dead. I couldnt believe my ears. Bee and Christabelle had suffered so much. Christabelle was born 2 months early and was always in and out of hospital for one treatment or the other. Then, when Christabelle was about 2 and a half yrs old, she now had leukamia which took her life. It was so so sad and I remember telling Bee that God would certainly wipe away her tears and give her many more healthy babies as long as she was alive and that he was that faithful and behold - its happened! I've got to hurry up and go visit them with loads and loads of baby thingys and sow a seed. The fact that they are in another city dosent make my procrastinating any easier.

Thinking about my friends new baby activated my amebo, busy body, attitude and I decided to do some calculations myself to unravel the time of conception for new baby. Her elder baby died last july and thats exactly 9 months this month. That was fast!! She and her hubby sure didnt waste time at all. LOL!!! Made me realise that its been 9 months since I got married too and my inlaws and relatives will be listening hard and fast to hear the almighty announcement - "We're expecting a baby" Unfortunately, it hasnt happenend yet.

Isnt it amazing how we spend our younger days trying very, very hard not to get a bun in the oven before those dotted lines are signed and then when we're finally ready to shove a bun in the oven after signing the almighty dotted lines, the almighty bun just refuses to get into the oven talk less of staying there. *SIGH* LOL!!! We didnt exactly start trying for a baby until a couple of months ago but aaaaaarrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!! Its supposed to have happenend by now. I've booked an appointment with my GP for Monday. I know he will tell me I'm being anxious over nothing (as will everyone else) and should relax and keep on trying but well, I still want to see him.

My woollies were retired last weekend only for the weatherman to tell us there's going to be another brief cold snap this weekend. Apparently, we're to expect some more snow sunday night but hopefully, when the sun comes out, it'll melt the snow!! O well, lets see how it goes. I doubt I'll bring them out (my woollies) though. Will try and brave it. Spring is here. End OF!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Its Springtime!!

Its Official!! The daffodils are blomming beautifully and Springtime is here. My woollies are officially retired and banished to the back of the cupboard over the weekend and will stay there until the end of Autumn and my flip flops are coming out!!!! Horaaay!!!!!

We're thinking of rebooting our PC's this weekend as they're becoming slow all over again and so me and hubby headed to the stores and got us some new toys. Ok not really "toys" per se but external hard drives to store all our documents and pictures. I got a Maxtor 320GB external hard drive which will do just perfectly to store all my pictures which are increasing daily as well as my documents and he got a Freecom 120GB external harddrive which is so small, sleek and mobile and so very handy that he can take all his documents with him wherever he goes. So even if our PC's decide to crash one more time, our documents are all safe.











So come this weekend, we are going to perform a system restore on both PC's knowing all our documents are stored somewhere safe and readily accessible anytime we want them.

Longerthroat is not good. I've been dreaming of this handset ever since the first time I saw a picture of it and counting the days until my upgrade was due. At long long last!! Upgrade day is finally here. Did some more research and I found the Palm Treo and it was now a matter of choosing between the Palm Treo and the HP PDA. In the end, the HP won. Called Customer Service yesterday and they've popped it into the post for me. Looking forward to it being delivered today so I can play!!









Update on my carb diet. I am trying very much to be faithful but it is hard. I've been cheating a little bit more. I havent had any swallows since then but not really been adhering strictly like I did at the beginning of the diet either. I really must have a weigh in by the weekend so we can find out of the hand on my ticker is going to move a wee bit or not at all.
Was walking going round my favourite supermarket the other day buying one two things and just happened to pass by the fruit aisle when I heard this announcement: "Will customers please refrain from eating any fruits or other products until after they have paid for the items. Thank You." Just couldnt help laughing. Was that for my benefit? When I told my friend, she laughed and said they knew I was around and the announcement was specially for me. Indeed!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Time Goes By

Time goes by so quickly. Cant believe its one week already since I updated my blog and I havent even had the time to reply any comments either. Its been a rollercoaster ride for me. I thought my page looked too dark and then I was looking at the templates again and fell in love with this new white one. The problem is the template page looks different from the previous classic template format and I'm having difficulty transferring my clock and counters to this new template as the blog links were transferred automatically. Its giving me a right old headache. So if I revert back to the old black template, its not cos I love it so much but cos I havent been able to figure out how to get my counters onto this new white one. The template page keeps on closing down automatically each time I attempt to paste any codes on it?!?!!?!?!

I made this wonderful pot of Ogbono soup with bitterleaf over the weekend and couldnt help but cheat on monday. Yes, I confess I broke my no carbs rule and perched on hubby's meal. You know how you make only one cup of cornmeal or semolina cos you know you arent supposed to be eating any carbs but still put some water on the cooker for some more semolina just in case when serving ur man cos you know in u r heart that you're going to perch a little on his meal and dont want him complaining his meal is too small. Thats what happened on Monday. The soup was super if I may blow my own trumpet. Wish I had taken a picture of it to take its pride of place on my page.

Attempted a little spot of catering practicals also and the meals came out OK. Hubby said it was nice and asked for more. I remember when in university my younger sis used to churn out wonderful pots of fried rice and no matter how she described how she made it, mine never ever came out tasting as nice as hers or even looking as good either. Making Fried Rice hasnt been one of my strongest points but I decided to brave it and try one last time in very small quantities. My friend was around and I asked her if she had any idea how to make it but she didnt and we decided to both brave it, compare notes and experiment. In the end, it was delicious!!!! I now know how to make fingerlicking fried rice like my sisters!! I think previously I was using too much curry and cooking oil. Couldnt help doing a little jiggly dance in the kitchen when I saw my end result.

I'm off to catch up on whats been happening in blogville while I've been on hiatus.
P.S: Finally figured out the counter and clock thingy. Hooraayyyy!!!!

This article seems to be very popular on the BBC News Website and apparently is the most emailed article but it has brought back a lot of fond memories for me and had me salivating seriously. Ooooohhhhh cant wait to get to Abuja and visit all the joints there and tuck in for my special fix of 'gearbox', 'kickstarter' 'headlights'. Clapping my hands and doing a jiggly dance in my chair. LOL!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Who's knocking at the door?!?!?!!?!

I wanted to start a new month with a new look and attempted to change my template some days ago. Though I succeded in changing the template, neither my clock nor my counters were transferred to the new template and try as hard as I could, I couldnt fathom how to get the counters or the clock onto the new template so I switched back to the old template pending when I'm able to get it all right.

Over the weekend, me, hubby and my friend were lazying the sitting room partly watching movies and partly sleeping when we heard a knock at the door and hubby went to open the door. Heard someone ask him some questions and then say "Can we come in?" and in my mind I was like "No honey, pls dont let any strangers into the house". Too late- he stepped back and let the strangers in our home and they turned out to be two gigantic policemen!!! They asked who were those living in the house and hubby replied that he lived there with his wife - moi and her friend who was visiting for a couple of days. They in turn said that "we've had a complaint about a child crying in this house" Or maybe they said child being abused in the house but well, the complaint had to do with a child. We both replied that we had no child living with us but that a couple of our neighbours had kids though and maybe the complainant got the address wrong. Thank God there were no friends visiting with thier kids that day or that it wasnt one of the days I helped a friend babysit her child. They asked if they could look round the entire house and we obliged them and they radioed their station to confirm that they had gotten the right address and to inform the station that they were at the "scene". They then asked for some form of identification and hubby gave them his business card and they took his date of birth and other details and then left. But not without commenting if hubby collects degrees. Yeah they guy has got a lot of them - a couple of first degrees, several masters degree, one Phd and he's currently studying for yet another one. I suppose he enjoys studying.

After the policemen had left, we couldnt help but wonder if it was really a case of the police not hearing properly and getting the wrong address when the complaint was being made or a case of someone playing malicious pranks on us and making false complaints. Hubby remarked if our neighbour Mr M. who used to be quite troublesome was out of the mental hospital cos it sounded like what he could do.

Mr M used to live next door to us and spent most of his day sitting outside his house smoking. Hubby says its pot he smokes but I dont know the difference between proper cigarettes and pot cos they smell the same to me. Anyway, sometime ago, hubby's cousins came on holiday and Mr M tried to make friends with them but they werent willing to be his friends since he looked quite scary with bushy and extremely long dreadlocks. Soon, he progressed to harassing them whenever they were leaving or entering the house and made a comment about how they'd be pregnant with twins for him before their holiday was over. Hubby didnt like the comments and harrassment and asked him to desist and thus began a spate of spite towards our home.

When he took his cousins to the airport after their holiday was over, he came back to find himself effectively locked out of the house and that his lock had been filled with superglue and his key couldnt enter the lock. This happened a couple of times and reports to the police didnt bring any solution. It then progressed to all four of hubby's car tires being slashed almost fortnightly and once they were changed, then we would find them slashed again. We still suspected Mr M but since he had never really been caught in the act, there was nothing the police could do. Mr M admitted to us that it was him but it was our word against his. We then took to parking the car in the garage to prevent any further mishaps and he took to vandalising the door locks again.

Finally, one day, as hubby was about to drive out of the garage, he attacked hubby with a knife and slashed his car tires once again. This time, since the tires were slashed in hubby's presence, the police decided to take action and went to have a chat with him in his home. Mr M let them in but a few minutes later, they ran out again with horrific looks on their faces and called for backup. He had tried to asault them!! He locked himself up in his flat but they gassed the house and broke down his door and arrested him and then sealed up his home. The Iron door they put up when they sealed his home was removed some months later but he's been in the mental home since then and hubby said we'll be informed before he is released for our own safety.

The visit by the policemen brought back these memories and we were wondering if Mr M had been released from the mental home and had started new spates of attacks towards us. I sincerely pray it was just a case of the police getting the address of the "scene of complaint" wrong.