Why I Would Never Marry an Already Successful Man

I was 21 when I met the very first man to ever propose marriage to me. Let’s call him Dan. Now Dan was 12 years older than I was and from his boastfulness, I learnt that he was well established, well organized and with a clear view of his future. I, on the other hand, was on my first serious job, a sales job that exposed me to a rather ruthless corporate world. I was yet to discover my aspirations. Let me rephrase that. I had no idea what direction I wanted to take and only thought about it when I had to jot it down in the career profile section of my CV. I juggled the sales job with a Broadcast Journalism course I had enrolled for, at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.

And while this may have painted a picture of an upcoming successful career woman, my life in the real sense replicated a complex maze.

Back to my rather unceremonious marriage proposal

Credit Photo by Eloise Ambursley

I said no, but Dan insisted I let him convince me. Intrigued, I asked him to knock my socks off. See, this man was not even my boyfriend. I simply met him on a failed matchmaking attempt. I wasn’t supposed to be there when my best friend, whom we share a name was getting hitched. She was older, more mature and ready to get married. It’s rather unfortunate that my presence confused an otherwise possible marriage.

The only problem was that the woman Dan opted for was completely disinterested in him.

In any case, even if I would be, I would never want to hurt my heartbroken namesake!

At first, it seemed like a fast and easy way to make it in life. I mean, here was a man living on State House road, driving a nice, blue car (I had terrible knowledge of car models then so forgive my vague description) and all he lacked was a wife. Dan gave me a clearer picture of my supposed dream lifestyle in the hope that I’d change my mind. “We’ll have, say, three children, then you immediately go to the gym and work your body back to your model figure.” The lustful look he gave me as he sized me up made it clear that my slender body was more important to him than it was to me.

I eventually declined his offer and looking back, I cannot be any more proud of my decision.

I may have had no dreams or ambitions 11 years ago, but one thing was clear to me; I was not going to marry someone who was that far ahead of me.

I’ll tell you why through a little imaginative story.

So let’s assume I say yes and we immediately get married. He could then promise to take care of everything and perhaps coax me into quitting my job. Assured that I will never lack, I don’t hesitate to action this.

Then comes the twist that gives this story its juice.

Nothing comes easy and like many hardworking men, Dan has obviously been through it all before finally achieving his gold. Marrying him at this juncture makes me no more than yet another acquired asset. I have no hand in the acquired wealth (and by this I mean I did nothing to support him acquire it) so I have no power over it, or any decisions that pertain it whatsoever.

I realize much later that have so much, yet I have nothing. This, unfortunately, does not mean that I can go out there to search for consolation assets (I will still need him to fund that). After all, he provides everything I need and want, right? I now realize that I took the shorter route, ultimately sacrificing the gap between our ages- this would be the time I would spend gaining my own experiences, learning and maturing up.

But no, I instead hooked up with this already settled well experienced and perhaps already bored man. With no idea how much time, blood, sweat or all was put in to acquire this wealth, it becomes impossible to value it the same way Dan Richman does.

In the end, we cross paths over it, perhaps because he will not treat me as his equal (am I even?) and might or will disrespect me at some point. This is rather expected and I end up losing more than he does. He is the one in charge of the investments. Heck! I was one of his investments anyways! So, in my frustration, I walk away with nothing, but the clothes and make-up Mr Richman bought me. I walk away with shame for thinking I was marrying a man who sought true love yet I was merely part of his life’s achievements; a trophy, an expensive furniture….

All this while, my wiser peers paired up with equally aggressive partners, went out, invested in promising business ventures and are working hand in hand to build their empire.

 

Thanks, but no thanks.

Taming my Dog’s Teeth

I placed my phone to charge. An hour later, it was off and couldn’t even power up. “These China stuff will be the end of us” I muttered in disapproval, while inspecting the cable. It was broken in a rather uneven way. This was not a wear and tear situation, no: they were bite marks! “Charlie!” I shouted and turned around only to catch a glimpse of my dog’s tail disappearing behind the door. Barely a day had passed since he ate up a whole tin of margarine. He was getting worse day after day and we had to do something lest he ended up harming himself or completely destroying everything. According to greatdogsupplies.com, webmd.com and avma.org, it is important to puppy proof your house especially if you work and have no one around to watch your dog.

Chew this, Chew that, Chew it all!

We needed to stop anticipating our dog’s next move whenever we were out. Did you know that there exists a puppy proof spray that you can use to protect your most valuable items at home? This is just what I need! He seems to have it all planned out. Charlie has chewed up candles, chargers, electric cords, erasers, pencils…once we caught him lying next to my husband’s inhaler, his nose suspiciously resting on it. I’m not sure who between my husband and him was luckier that he didn’t bite into the can.

Safety in Check

We have managed to keep our dog safe from most hazards at home. We got him toys and let him play with the kids so he gets his fun for the day. Every so often he will run off with a sock to sway away, but we ensure he is as safe as possible. Check out https://www.greatdogsupplies.com/raise-puppy-long-healthy-life/ to learn other ways you can ensure your puppy lives a long and healthy life. Charlie is on a good path to getting awesome owners. We now need to work out how to keep him from biting our fingers when we offer him treats.

5 Proven Ways To Get Freelance Clients (And Keep Them)

This could be you.

You have been having trouble getting freelance clients to sign up with you over the last couple of weeks and you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong. You’re afraid if you don’t get one or three new clients soon, you may not be able to hit your financial target.

And that’s not all, you have monthly subscriptions to pay for, and the WiFi you are paying for needs to realise its worth. But, nothing has been happening despite the numerous cold pitches and proposals you have been sending out. You are defeated and you feel you have hit a wall

Fine, there are good and bad days for every freelance writer, but even those few clients you’ve had before barely needed much done for them. You landed them by chance and didn’t pitch on what you’re really good at. You hoped they would reach out to you for more business, but your inbox has been awfully quiet.

A troubling thought, isn’t it? Don’t brand yourself a loser just yet. Yes, you may have exhausted your confidence in your proposals, but maybe that’s not what you need to focus all your attention on.

Here’s the most important part: it’s about the client, not you.

Let’s see exactly how this works.

Understand what your client needs

Before you give up on perhaps the best thing that will happen to you (if writing is truly your passion), try to get into your client’s mind. Understand what it is they need and if you are capable of solving their problems.

I’ll walk you through the process.

Do Your Research

Once you have picked out your prospective client, find out all there is to know about them. Check out their website and content and make a note of their last post date. You may need this for your proposal. Check out any major issues with their site and write them all down. Let me give you an example.

The site could have the following flaws:

  • An ‘About’ page that does not give a clear description of what they are.
  • Page names and titles that are not correctly done to optimize the site.
  • Lack of fresh content or content that isn’t original and engaging.
  • Old or lack of customer testimonials.
  • Lack of contact information.

There could be more that the website needs. Remember this is just an example.

Next, put down what you can offer to improve their content. Again, this will help you a great deal when you prepare to send out your proposal much later.

Here’s how to do it. Using the flaws we previously listed, let us create solutions for each of them.

  • An ‘About’ page that clearly states the name and gives a brief overview of their products or services.
  • Basic SEO of the website and subsequently, every article that will posted.
  • Posting new and fresh content on a regular basis.
  • Acquisition of positive reviews
  • Addition of a contact page with working phone lines and a responsive email address.

Now that you’ve noted your clients’ problems, it’s time to hear from them, or should we say place yourself in front of them? One major way to get into a client or prospective client’s mind is through a survey. What a better way than to ask them directly what they need. This part is easy.

But don’t stop there.

Reach out to the client

Now that you know that you have something to offer, get yourself in front of your prospective client. The hard question here is, how do you to get them to open your email, read through it and actually respond to it? Your clients are busy people and hardly will they give your email any attention. However if you do it well, you may not only grab their attention, you might just get yourself a detailed response and perhaps hope for a lasting relationship

  • Firstly, ensure your subject is clear and short

Remember, your prospective client doesn’t have time to waste trying to understand you. A hint of what you need in the email subject will save everyone’s time.

  • Make your questions short and to the point

They can be in form of questions with an intro to go with it. Here is a template you can follow.

Hello [Name],

I was looking at your website content, and it is incredible. I especially love [list some blog topics that blow you away]

I’m a web content writer, and I was wondering if you could spare some time to advice me the following:

  • What do you look for in your web content writers?
  • Do you have an in-house writer or do you work with freelancers?
  • What stood out about your current writer
  • Do you have any unsolved challenges with your writers?

You are definitely one of the leaders of your industry, and I’d love to learn from the best. I understand you’re busy, but I appreciate if you take a few minutes in this. Thanks so much for your time! I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Best regards,

[Your Name]

You can choose to make this a survey if you’d like to deliver your message faster. A survey can easily be identified with the questions popping out to the reader’s attention.

You need to realise that not all your emails will get responses. This can happen because not everyone will give your email time. Some may ignore it, some may archive it and some will spare a minute and read it. Out of those who read your email, not all will respond to it. So, try to send your proposals to several prospects making each one powerful and personalised. That way, you will have increased chances of grabbing their attention.

Identify your unique skills

 You now know that the client needs: A person who is: –

  • A web and article writer
  • SEO conversant
  • A ghostwriter with copywriting skills as an added advantage and…
  • A writer who will be available to build and create content on a regular basis

Next, ask yourself these questions:

Do I understand what the client needs?

Do I have the skills to deliver?

Put in mind that you are you are presenting yourself as a problem solver. If you are to get a position within the company, you have to be relevant. And in order to be relevant, take care of your client’s problem.

Remember, we said earlier that it’s about the client, not you. So, you need to be able to meet their needs, to be worthy of the position you are working hard to get.

Sell yourself and do so, smartly

You have researched your clients and found out what kind problems they face. You then identified your unique strengths that you know would interest them. You are now empowered and ready to jump in and get their attention.

So how exactly do you do this? Let’s find out.

Using the simplest language, explain what you can offer the clients. Be careful though because you may sound like you are begging for an opportunity. Be bold, but not too corny, either. Your clients need to know that you’re an expert, yet someone they can easily work with. Here is a template you could use.

Dear {Name}

 I would like to work with you to ensure your website is up to date and gets as much traffic as is possible.

I can create an attractive ‘About’ article, and provide you with regular content. I would also ghostwrite a couple of reviews that you can use as your testimonials and lastly, optimize your website to make it more responsive.

I will be happy to discuss further on how we’ll go about it

 Best Regards

[Your Name]

It really is that simple.

You got your foot in the door and worked your way in. Now that you have succeeded in getting this client, don’t stop there. Prove to your client as many times as possible that they were right to hire you.

Retain your clients and be assured of more business

In order to build your client list, let the cycle continue.

  • Identify another client
  • Do your research
  • Reach out to the client to understand them better
  • Identify your unique skills that will benefit them and
  • Sell yourself smartly.

Always deliver your best work. The last thing you want is to get kicked out by a better freelancer. And you can.

After working very hard to earn your client, work equally hard to retain them. Ask for feedback of your work and help them achieve their goals. You will not only gain their loyalty, but contacts to your next potential clients.

But the bottom line is this:

With your new contact list, your name has already been put out there with a lot of confidence. However, this does not mean that you should approach them lightly; work as hard as any other freelancer striving to get their attention, and as usual deliver your best. It will be the beginning of a successful journey in freelance writing.

 

 

 

How I Lost $230 In My First Online Writing Job

Disclaimer: The Articles in this section are extracts of my work in The People Daily Newspaper. Get your free copy every Wednesday here http://epaper.peopledaily.co.ke/

Who Said Being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) Was Easy?

Nothing comes easy. This phrase has become my least favourite and as days go by, my dislike for it increases. I want my life to change and I want it now. I cannot have three children and still be stuck in a rut hole. I had hoped to get something I could do and still be around my babies. I looked around and got two things I could do: offer to be my boss’s virtual assistant so I get to wok from home or get into freelance writing. I could do both but since I was home and free, I decided to try out online writing. Without wasting time, I took up a course that assured me I would start earning $$ in two weeks. ‘How awesome!’

I made $230+!

Being a newbie in anything sometimes means that you get to learn some stuff the ‘hard way’ I felt pretty lucky for landing my first client. Without taking time to request a ‘milestone payment’ (this is what they call a commitment to pay as the cash is released but held by the site owners until the client gives a go ahead to pay), I jumped right into it. Four days in and I had submitted 14 articles. Yes, I was that determined! My timer app was counting in the $$ and I had already made $230! Man! Why hadn’t I tried this writing thing years ago? I was beyond thrilled! If only I knew what lay ahead.

…And Then I lost it

In disbelief, I began over analysing my client. What if he is a con? What if he was robbing me of my work? Aiyaiyai! “Did you ask for a milestone?” My husband checked with me. I hadn’t. I immediately logged onto the site and begged for a $100 milestone. The client had no cash in his account so it bounced and the site owners immediately sent me alarm emails. My heart sank. When I refused to write any more until my milestone request was honoured, he closed his account and just like that, he was gone. That was it: I had officially recorded my first loss.

Planning to Get a Dog? Be Sure You’re Ready

Do you ever get that feeling of wanting your own new baby when you hold another? It’s incredible and terrifying at the same time! So, about  a year ago, I held a dog. It was a beautiful, white, female Japanese Spitz; perhaps the calmest you’ll ever meet. My friend was visiting and she brought her home with her. We stayed with Mia for a couple of days and when they went away, she left a gap that hadn’t been there, but already begged to be filled! This was a generous thought, but we should have prepared well before jumping in. See, according to greatdogsupplies.com , avma.org and WebMD, responsible pet ownership requires that you do proper research and planning before bringing one home.That was not to be of us though. We wanted a dog and immediately went in search for one.

Two-month-old Charlie was generally an awesome dog. He only had too many problems.

  • He cried a lot
  • He pooped and peed everywhere.
  • He ate too fast, biting at his food, no chewing or breathing. He only stopped when we took his food…and all our food away from his reach.
  • Without a leash he ran all over, uncontrollably
  • We couldn’t leave him home alone…there was more…

We literary had no idea what to do with him. We almost felt cheated, not by the dog seller, but Mia. Charlie was a lot of things, but gentle and loving was not on his radar, at least not yet. Our only consolation was that he liked to play and get cozy with my eldest daughter, Pesh; that gave us hope!

With his vaccines in check, we looked up what else we would need to get our lives back to sanity. Check Great Dog Supplies list of all you need as a first dog-owner. We started with the essentials, got him a place to sleep and got his food right. A few wrong sizes later, we got a comfortable leash and evening chases finally converted into walks.

In time, we got Charlie all that he needed and made him as comfortable as any pet could be. We would have to learn more on dogs while living with him, but we were determined to make our relationship work.

 

Waist Shaper Corset- A Worthy Purchase or not?

As the name suggests a waist shaper corset is a latex/ rubber garment worn around the waist with the purpose of giving a slimmer look. Waist shaping or training, as some would prefer, has become the latest craze in the weight loss and fitness community. With the fashion industry also commanding a curvier look, the waist shaper corset has somehow made a home in every woman’s wardrobe.

So does it work?

Some claim that it is a shortcut to weight loss. It is not. A waist shaper corset does not in any way affect your numbers on the scale. For the short term, it trims your look and hides your flaws to help you wear that spandex dress or fitting top. Your body goes back to its usual figure when you remove it.

Long-term effects

You may have seen new mothers rushing to purchase this garment too. This is because it will help them regain their original figures postpartum. If you can get a high quality waist shaper corset, you can wear it both for that particular look and for your workout session. The best fitting corsets not only have hooks, they come with a zipper as well. This ranks their corsets high on durability.

So, should you buy it?

If you don’t already own one, you may consider getting this little treasure. It has boosted many women’s confidence since no garment is now impossible to pull off.

When used for the long term, the waist shaper corset will train your middle down to your desired figure. Look out for the full fitting corset that evenly shapes your body.

One concern, though

When purchasing your waist shaper, ensure you get a free size or one that you can adjust to a comfortable size. Wearing one too tight could cause harm to your internal organs.

While some might protest over owning this shaping corset, it has not stopped other women from enjoying the full benefits of having one. Do you have a waist shaper corset? Has it been of benefit to you? Share your thoughts with us!

Top 10 Best Crepe Maker 2018 Review

Why you need a Crepe Maker

After years of struggle, you can finally relax and enjoy well-made crepes that are thin enough. Here is why you should consider getting a crepe maker if you missed the bus.

  1. You can regulate/control the temperature
  2. Most come with a batter spreader
  3. You will get them as thin as you like
  4. Some crepe maker can be used for other functions
  5. If number 4 works for you, then you get to save on having more appliances and save up on storage space!

It is best to know what you need your crepe maker to do for you before you make any purchase. Here we have compiled the top 10 best crepe makers 2018 review to take care of that.

10. Mauviel 1830 M’Steel Crepe Pan

This France-manufactured stylish pan can be used for more than just crepe- making. It is made of high quality and durable carbon steel

Cons

Keep it thoroughly dry lest it rusts.

9. CuisnartCpp-200 International Chef Crepe/Pizzelle/Pancake Plus

As the name suggests, this will serve more than one purpose. It comes with a lid that allows the crepes to b cooked evenly without having to turn them over. It has a reversible non-stick plate that let you cook both large and small crepes. The indicator lights and adjustable temperature are also a big plus.

Cons

  • Temperature can only go so high
  • Has flimsy plastic clips
  • Shaky latching mechanism

8. CucinaPro 1448 12-Inch Griddle & Crepe Maker

This 12-inch crepe maker not only comes with a batter spreader, it has five different temperature settings and an on/off lights that alerts you when it’s ready to cook. In the package you will also get recipes for basic crepe batter, mushroom crepes and blintzes

Cons

  • The batter spreader is large
  • Temperature knob is fragile
  • Takes long to cook

7. CucinaPro 1447 Cordless Crepe Maker

The fact that is crepe maker is cordless makes it popular and a favourite to many. This feature means that you can easily store the cord in the base, out of your way. This has a 7.5-inch diameter, is non-stick and also has an on/off switch. It also comes with a batter spreader and a dipping plate. Buy this if you prefer dipping your batter and won’t mind making small crepes.

Cons

  • Has a small cooking surface
  • Is tough to clean
  • Its manual is rather inconsistent

 6. Le Creuset Enamel Cast-Iron Crepe maker L20362767

This crepe maker has a traditional shape, heats up evenly and retains the heat so you don’t have to stop and re heat when cooking. You can use it in the oven and on the stove at just about any temperature. That it is made of cast iron makes this appliance durable and strong.

Cons

  • It is pretty heavy

5. Nordic Ware Traditional French Steel 46400 Crepe Pan 10”

This American-made high quality crepe maker brags a 10-inch wide space, is non-stick and pretty light in weight. It is non-stick and hand wash only. It is made ideally for making traditional crepes and pancakes.

 4. Health and home No edge Crepe Maker

This electric crepe maker is made for professional use though you can use it at home. It has a 13-inch diameter surface and is non-stick. It wihelp you make many crepes in a short time and is multipurpose too! It has a three-temperature control knob that ensures you don’t burn your crepes. It heats up pretty fast and the heat is easy to control

 3. Nutrichef PRCM12 Electric Griddle Crepe Maker

This 12-inch wide crepe maker is packaged with a batter spreader and spatula. It is non-stick and drip and can do more than just make crepes: you can make pancakes, fry eggs and more. The packaging is compact making this a travel friendly appliance.

2. Morning Star Crepe Maker Pro

This generous 13-inch wide maker comes with raised edges and stainless steel handles. It is stylishly designed, has a polished look and has hold so it doesn’t move when you use it.

Cons

It is quite pricey

1. Paderno world cuisine electric Crepe maker

This is perhaps the best and largest crepe maker bragging a 13 ¾-inch surface. You can bake with it and it comes with non-slip properties. It has 8 adjustable temperature levels and a light indicator. This crepe maker comes with a cleaning brush and a recipe book.

Cons

  • The sides of this crepe maker are not high so be careful, your batter may spill

There you have it, make your choice carefully and enjoy your crepe making experience.

 

How to use Nematodes in the garden

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that occur naturally in the soil. While some species are harmful, there are those that have proven to be quite useful. Beneficial nematodes attack pests that dwell in the soil. This process takes a minimum of 3 days with maximum control seen after about 2-4weeks.

Some of the pests controlled by nematodes include
• Cutworms
• Armyworms
• Sod webworms
• Billbugs
• Japanese beetle
• Black wine weevil
• Bean weevil
• Banana moth
• Winter moth
• Fungus gnat

The Process
The process of how to use nematodes in the garden is simple and easy. However, you need to follow these steps to maximize the efficiency of the nematodes.

• Check the weather
The best time to apply nematodes is very early or very late in the day. This is to avoid exposure to bright sun. The UV light from the sun will kill them

• Air your garden/lawn
Air your garden or lawn before applying nematodes. This will help in the movement of pests down into the roots areas of your and consequently maximize the effect of the nematodes.

• Water the soil
The nematodes will die if you apply them on dry soil. To prevent this, water the soil well and allow some time to soak. This is will also aid the movement of the pests closer to the root surface.

How to do it
1. Using a bucket, mix the nematodes with water and stir well to break up any lumps Let the solution sit for about 20 minutes.

2. Pour the solution with into a spray bottle, specifically designed for nematode application. Sprinkle the solution on the soil along the garden and on the plants or over the lawn.

3. For effective penetration, water the soil soon after to help the nematodes penetrate deeper into the soil where the pests live.

Nematodes are best used as a preventive measure to control newly hatched larvae. They will infect the pests within 2 days of application and kill them within 14 days.

Getting rid of Nematodes
If you would like to get rid of the nematodes at the end of each growing season, pull out the plants and dig the roots out. This will remove the nematodes’ source of food. Till the soil and leave it to dry. Exposure to the sun will kill them.

Storage
Nematodes have no smell in them and can last up to 4 days without refrigeration. Discard them if you notice a characteristic smell of fish from them

Safety Handling
Animals and humans cannot be harmed by nematodes so it is completely safe to use. Nematodes only affect pests.

3 Easy Ways to Sustain A Good Reputation

Your reputation, simply put, is your actions and what people say about you. No one is born with one; rather, it develops through your behavior and how you handle relationships with others, over time. A tainted reputation can be fixed. However, it takes time to win back lost trust. Here are three easy ways you can adapt to keep you in good books.

Always keep your word

Strive to be a person who does what they say they will do. Don’t make empty promises and communicate when you feel you may fall short of your word.

Be Authentic

Be genuine in your actions. You don’t want to come off as though your good character is seasonal. To earn any trust, you have to consistently be real.

It’s not always about you

Show others that you are genuinely interested in their lives. This not only makes you pleasant, it also earns you reliability. While at it, wear a smile. You need an approachable look to match good character, right?

While many claim that you should not care what others think, a positive reputation is important in life. It’s sure to open more opportunities you otherwise would never know existed.

Let Me Help You Get Results by Writing Quality Articles for You

I can write for you!

My 8 years in writing place me at a high level of experience. I place special attention on blog posts, web content and creative writing. Are you looking for someone to write for you? I can. Send me an email to fay.mwambi@gmail.com and lets get started. Here is a list of services I am offering;-

  • Blogging
  • Website content creation
  • Creative writing
  • Guest blogging
  • Ebook writing
  • Ghostwriting

You may also reply to this post and I will get back to you.

Fanne Mwambi

 

Welcome to the world, baby! Flu is served

Many would expect that as an experienced mother, I would know all there is about babies. Hardly did I get any advice at my baby shower for the very same reason. Trust me, I didn’t ask any questions either. I thought I garrit . What we easily forget is experiences are different with every baby and no one quite experiences everything. My newborn was perfectly healthy. She played and fed well, slept long enough and was generally peaceful. All I looked forward to was her awake-time so I could smother her with kisses and enjoy watching her stretch and cry out for a feed. For a new mom, this is heaven and it was the seventh for me.

The attack of the Bug

I didn’t see it coming, I mean, the kids had the flu but I took extreme caution to keep them isolated. Before I got any close to her, I washed up like a surgeon preparing for theatre, scrubbing my hands and arms. I limited the other girls’ contact with the baby and only allowed them under close supervision. I thought this was enough, but the flu is airborne. I should perhaps have gotten her a cylinder of her own oxygen to breathe because we woke up one morning and she was terribly congested. She struggled through the discomfort it came with and screamed in distress. I could only do so much and I hated myself for not being able to take it away.

Broken but strong

Her tiny eyes followed my voice, helplessly crying for relief. I was broken. And when she cried, my eyes got wet too. “She’s only three weeks old for Pete’s sake!” I begged looking up and letting the waters fall down my face. I needed to let it out. “I’m tired of being strong all the time. I can’t take this!” I took about ten minutes and did this one thing that was almost strange to my body. I cried till I felt light. Man, did that feel good! I was suddenly ready to beat this.

Giving out my Valentine’s this year

He walked in late wearing a goofy smile. That smile said everything I didn’t want to hear. ‘Babe, I know I’m late. But hey, here I am!’ I had a thousand things I could say to him floating in my head but chose to hold my peace. He moved closer. I looked away and maintained my displeasure. Charlie was all over him, tagging at the hem of his pants; desperately wanting his hand on his fur. He ignored the dog and inched even closer to me. I was surprised when he grabbed me in the kind of embrace I would kill to have every day of my life. “I love you so much, hun,” he muttered and my suspicion shot through the roof, faster than a bullet.

From my heart to yours

“Aai! Baba Peshe,” I protested. “Kwani what happened today?” I knew where he had been, but secretly hoped that whatever made him pour his heart out could also scare him into coming home early next time. “Nothing, we just hang out with Eddie and Kepha and talked about a lot of stuff,” something told me he wasn’t going to share the details. “I barely say much, you know, and was thinking if I don’t tell you how much I appreciate you, you may tire and stop being the amazing person you are.” A heart melted. Suddenly, I didn’t want him to stop talking…and he didn’t.

 

Giving my girls my best

“I look around and can’t ignore the fact that you are one special woman. The kind of support you give me, especially when life brings me down is immeasurable. You hold our family together and I’d like you to know that I respect you. You are my gift and I’m nothing without you.” I slipped back into his arms and he smiled. He knew he had me, for sure. The smile plastered on my face hasn’t left since. I am gifted with a husband, who loves and respects me, and he spoke the words, not just with his eyes; he mouthed them. What more could anyone wish for? I can now let my daughters make their daddy their Valentine this year.

 

The Reality of Going back to work

Like many mothers, I have been faced with the challenge of having to plan to leave my child to go back to work. It’s devastating when you need six months of exclusive breast feeding for your child and the last three of the six, like mine, land you in a working environment that takes you well over an hour in traffic to reach, has no allocation or privacy to pump milk and only lets you leave after 4:30pm. I suffered high levels of stress and eventually supplemented Raine’s milk 4 years ago when I one day walked home with a 100ml bottle filled quarter-way. I should perhaps have made a request on the time adjustments, right? Because I never did…

 

The Challenge Ahead

My request was however received with a pinch of salt when I brought it up with my boss last month. My mind has been reeling over leaving work and starting something that will keep me off an 8-5 schedule. This fed-up disease perhaps attacks anyone who has worked well over 10 years and just needs a break. My work isn’t demanding. In fact, aside from usual monthly invoicing and administrative duties, I barely do much else. Sitting at the office doing my own stuff (that I could do at home anyways) while I could be taking care of my little one made me want to run wild. I must ’ave picked a bad time, though because I was dismissed with a ‘Lets-deal-with-that-when-we-get-there’ expression. ‘Sure thing.’ I thought to myself, ‘By then, I will have made up my mind on what direction to follow’

 

First Excuse

2017 was a bad year for all businesses…. well most of them. However, having to pay cash for my baby’s birth at a time so bad, I could have done with support from a stable plan didn’t improve the situation. Lets just say, when flying a small plane, you feel the turbulence more. So while we look forward to a better year, your guess is as good as mine about the decision that lies ahead.

 

 

The Arrival of the Youngest of the Mwambi’s

Knowing what lay ahead should perhaps have scared me, but it didn’t. Oh, I wont lie, I did get terrified at first. We all do up until we get tired of carrying well over 10kilos of baby, placenta, waters and colostrum everywhere we go. When you have all the baby items ticked off the list and the question, “Bado?” starts being directed to you, you somehow switch on the ‘READY’ button and wake up each morning, hoping it’s the last with a large belly.

Labouring for days

Week 40 was closing in and I got really concerned that this baby was determined to bake and brown at term. I hadn’t gone beyond 39 weeks with my previous pregnancies and for some reason I expected my third pregnancy would end up similarly. I had mild pains that came and went, but I pushed on with life as usual.

Break at work

Driving 15km to and from work wasn’t so dramatic except for the few times my right leg would cramp or when Braxton Hicks got so intense I had to lift my weight to ease them. At week 39+2days, I was relieved from work and continued my active shenanigans at my kids’ school; sitting at the office with my mom and sister as their office assistant by duress.

39 weeks, 6 days: Did baby forget its time? I was beginning to doubt that the false labour pains were even real. Pregnancy blogs advised I could wait up to 42 weeks and that was nothing short of disheartening for me! I couldn’t take it anymore. I was not only wadding about, standing up now needed assistance and insomnia was my middle name.

Sent Back home at 40 weeks! Lawd!!

We walked into L&D (Labour and delivery) at 11pm on 22nd January. Pains had disappeared and I was embarrassed so I lied that I needed to know the baby was doing okay as movement had reduced. I was due for clinic in a day so I’d take any excuse to get me checked. They checked me, all right, and baby was doing pretty well! “You are dilated at only 2cm, your cervix lies pretty low and its not thinned so go back home and come back when the pain is really intense, like You-cant-speak-through-a-contraction painful.” The labour signs were recited to me and I barely gave an ear. I knew the drill. I just wasn’t too happy about going back home.

Is this it?

4am the following morning found me awake and in terrible pain. I had lost my plug during the check up at the hospital and I knew it wouldn’t be long now. Part of me celebrated, but a larger chunk of my heart was petrified of what lay ahead. Odi Dance, or is it Kanungo…why did I get myself into this…I thought wildly. I needed to stay positive though. “It wont go beyond a night…” I whispered to myself. “All these beautiful things will finally belong to someone. She will be out of me and I can finally sleep on my belly…Yaaaaaaas!” Ouuch!

 

Painful Contraction.

 

They were spaced 6 minutes apart and disappeared again when my mom and sis dropped by. They came to cheer me on and ended up with some form of a leach aka me following them through all their errands. I knew I was going back in, only I wanted to hit the 4cm mark when I would.

 

My sister and I got our nails done.

 

Yes…through the now reduced-but-still-there contractions. Trust me, when its baby number three, you want to walk into L&D and have them hand you your baby. I would have killed for such a scenario but no; that was never the tale that would be told of the Mwambi’s third.

At last! Oh wait, what?

10:30pm and I was at 4cm no thinning yet and worse, my waters were meconium stained at levels they said were too high for induction or progression. I was given two hours to go about my Odi- Dance before a decision of whether to go CS or normal was made. Nevertheless… I was admitted! Yaaaay! I wasn’t very worried about going CS. Raine pooped in utero as well and she came out good, no meconium inhalation whatsoever. Anna would too. She was a fighter… I could feel it…now!

 

More painful contractions

 

We went on counting hours and walking about. Walking really does help, you know. I sent updates to my husband, but assured him we would hack it. They had taken blood samples and asked me to give him my wedding band; I was being prepared for an emergency CS. I knew he wouldn’t take it too well, knowing I have never been under the knife (You never know what can happen when its your first time you know) so I decided against giving him my ring.

TICK! TOCK!

Midnight and we were at 6! Aha! “This is very good progress” Doc said. I smiled amidst dry lips. ”So we proceed?” he nodded, and asked that I get something to help my cervix soften. I was handling it well. At 2:50pm, knowing I should be close to 9cm, I got impatient and every contraction was received with despair and lost hope. I became miserable…its what happens when you have been running for the bathroom, pressed to pee and you give up and leak just when you get to the bathroom door. I was tired and in need of redemption.

Then, at 3:30am, 24th of January, Little Ariella came into this world, screaming fiercely and topping the Apgar score for the night. It was finally over; my third and last pregnancy at only 31. Wooohooo! Motherhood, I am ready to face you in totality and with all my energy. Sexy, just watch me get my hottest me back. Wink* Wink*

Signed….

Hawt Mama Loading

Welcome Baby!

As every beginning has an end, so does my 40-week journey through my third and last (Lord I pray) pregnancy. I would like to say it was easy because it was for the most part, but trust me not to engage your senses in details you’d rather not go through. Whats most important is what happened at 3:30 am on the 24th day of January 2018; little Anna C. was born. Scoring highest on the Apgar scale despite her meconium distress, she came into the world like a little champion.

Meeting Anna Chanya

One look at her and my heart melted. Her face was too delicate; her voice so meek. She was terrified and took in the sound of my voice with all the trust she has. I felt bad for the countless times I wished she were a boy. Clearly, fate had other plans for me. I would raise three very beautiful and intelligent girls whose future can only look up. That was in itself satisfying for me. I nurse my newest bundle of joy with a lot of content thoughts and hope that no one expects me back in L& D unless I’m escorting another expectant woman in.

The Perfect Family

Back home, Anna fills her place like the last piece of a puzzle. Her sisters can’t believe how tiny she is and they all get protective of her every whimper. This is my version of a perfect family. Where there is happiness and love to share. It doesn’t matter who comprises of it, be it more boys than girls, one parent or no children at all, we all just have to work best with what we get. Life seems unfair when we feel it doesn’t give us what we ask for, but I look it with a lot of optimism. As only God knows of my tomorrow, only he would know best to gift me with what he feels I would handle best. So now a new chapter has begun. Lets do parenting for three and see how it goes!