Tuesday, April 4, 2017

when the universe cries with you...

Three weeks ago.

12.8. The number that re-defined our life... tears are falling. I can feel them. I didn't realize I was crying. The rain season started on that day. For some reason the streets were empty. It was dark like it was night time. Sun never came out on that day. We made it to the school. J is surprised to see me. And happy. Smiling, always smiling. I am shaking inside. I want to scream. But I smile. And try not to cry. I know what it means. I feel like no one else does. I do. I know. I think I was waiting for this.

Our whole February was a disaster. Theft, exploding tires, virus after virus, issues at work... it just didn't stop. I told T, that this is not it. Something bad is coming. It felt like I was tested. Can you handle it? He said I'm being silly...

I knew. 

We got to the emergency room. The boy was happy and laughing. The doctors couldn't even believe that he is sick. That changed when the blood work came back. I saw the doctor reading the note, her eyes growing big. All I could say was "It's not good right." She looked at me and nodded. She couldn't even say it out loud. But the running started. Head of emergency room, children's endocrinologist, head of pediatrician complaining how come we don't have a bed yet. And J. Laughing. Smiling. And I, just trying not to cry.

And then I shut down. Go into mom-mode. There is no time for tears. Deep breath and start reading everything and anything that there is to know. Worry, study, try, repeat. It feels like every meal time is a test on how good of a parent I am. The results will be staring at me after two hours. I switched off. The only focus was on learning to take care of him. He gets insulin and smiles, doesn't even flinch when I check his blood sugar value. He is as happy as he has ever been. Until he hears that it's forever. He will have this until he is an old man... then he cries, and I want to break down and cry with him. But I shut myself down.

T returns home on Saturday. My body starts to relax. I still have to wake up at night, but I'm not alone. We go to church on Sunday. That's when I fall apart. I cry when we sing, I cry when the congregation prays for us. When they offer to pray for him. When they pray for a miracle that he'll be healed. I want to shout to everyone that it's forever. I don't, but I cry. And I let it out. And then I feel ok. 

The world didn't stop turning. I am fine. J is fine. We will figure this out. We will not let a diagnosis define us. So much help has been offered to us. Emails, messages, information. Connections with the best doctors in the world. It feels like everyone is on our side. Patience, caring, love. Hope. It doesn't feel bad anymore. He is proud when he can take care of himself. He remains himself. Positive, active little boy. He comes home from swimming club, and tells me how he was faster than the grade two and three students. He feels strong. Nothing has changed. And yet, everything has changed.

This is our life with type 1 diabetes.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Family of four in one room

While we are building our house, my in-laws graciously opened their doors for us. This is not easy by any means, some days I'm just happy I'm super busy most of the time. During school holidays when we are all there, all the time I run my mantra "we will be our own debt free home soon" in my head and it'll make it worth the hassle. Combining cultures, families and generations under one roof can be challenging. This does not change the fact that I am extremely grateful that we can live here during the building process.

We live in one room and I wanted to give props to my minimalism lifestyle for actually fitting in there and not having all of our things boxed up somewhere. The only things that are in boxes are our kitchen stuff (we don't need them now), some house stuff (table cloths, decorations etc) and warmer clothes. Everything else is readily available in our one room. We have approximately 3mx3,5m space to work with. Originally I housed the kids toys in another room, but kept loosing my mind with messy, dirty, broken toys so I moved them into our room. Might I say that not a single toy has been lost or broken since...

When you step into the room first on the right is my newest invention: barricade of things that are waiting to be taken care of. I previously kept these things in a bag hidden under the bed but really it was there for six months and nothing got done. 

Some pillows and other things that need to be taken to a tailor (I need the hubby with me to make sure I'm truly understood). And that small black back has re-usable shopping bags inside that I keep in the car, so that I actually have them when I go buy the groceries. Went to the shop yesterday so that's why they are here now. Hopefully these will be gone by tonight - and truly they will because there they are bugging the hell out of me. :)

To the left is our closet/ linen closet/ and many other things.

Kids each have a shelf for their shorts and t-shirts since these get the most use. They share a shelf for long pants and shirts, school uniforms and pajamas. There is a shelf for water and one for books that I'm trying to keep from getting destroyed. 

I have a shelf for the few items that I'm not hanging, and another one with the white basket that houses my exercise clothes = work clothes. I hang the rest of my clothes. I also keep a sanity shelf that is always organized and pretty for my important things (jewellery, wallet and sunglasses). Mr hangs his suits and the rest of his clothes are on the shelfs (living with a minimalist has turned him slowly into one too). We try to keep a set of clothes that make us happy and are comfortable and presentable in this heat. Towels, sheets and pillowcases are kept on the bottom shelf. The ikea basket under the hangers has belts, ties, my clutches, scarfs and hats. Under the basket the drawers keep our underwear and one has keys, watches and sewing stuff.

On top we have hats, few decorations, and the white big basket has new Legos, books and other stuff waiting for the kids to have a birthday or something else that calls for a prezzie.

Bulk of the room goes for the bed. Then we have a small table that electronics are kept in. The iMac is at the office most of the time, but the tv broke so we are using it to watch movies and YouTube until the tv is fixed. Under the bed and the tv table there are some bigger cars and another ikea basket to keep all miniature things that kids have (minions, fireman Sam, dragons, animals). 

(My coaching gear is ready to go too...)

Next to the tv is the toy chaos. From the bottom: one basket for Legos, one for Dublos, one for train track, one for smaller cars and planes. Second row basket for costumes and other make belief things, then books, and a basket for the superheroes. Then puzzles, drawing books, and other games. The two wicker baskets on the top row have our tools, extra batteries, tapes and the other one has papers. One shelf for toiletries (because leaving them in the toilet is just going to get them broken or shared) and one for books and meds. The drawers have pens and other stationary. On top of the unit in the red box we keep extra bags, and big toys that just don't fit anywhere else.

And that's it. That's all a family of four needs.

Believe me it feels like too much some days, but when the kids have tidied their toys it's not that bad... But I still can't wait to have our house done and actual cupboards and rooms to keep everything in. <3

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Max’s bday

“My sweet sweet little darling. I can’t believe that your fourth bday came and went. Maybe that’s the reason I kept delaying your party. Four is too much, you’re not my little baby anymore. 
You are full of fire and sun. You love helping with chores and anything that I ask you to do. But boy if you get bored the drama starts. Love you to bits my little man...”

Party at school. Mr. Max was so sweet and shy with all the attention. Luckily big brother was there to help out...

Time for the party... He got a massive Batman cake and all the music in the world to shake his booty to.. Kids were dripping with sweat at the end of the evening. We also had some glow sticks for them -  that was a huge success. Made me remember boat trips to Sweden as a kid..

Friday, March 4, 2016

new year new dreams

It took me this long... Really. To refine the things I want to pursue this spring. We're in March so I think this might carry out through the summer months too. I first did the inspiration board last fall and really enjoyed having as a desk top picture. I actually felt inspired and then of course the sense of accomplishment when working on those goals. This is what I have in mind for this year.

Press handstand. This is one of "ultimate fitness" moves for me. If I can accomplish a press handstand, I fell fit. I set this goal years ago and never worked on it. I'm hoping that getting that daily reminder about it I will keep working on it finally.

Orange Fatboy hammocks. We actually own two of these. BUT they are stuck in storage for now. With our house being built and no privacy on the plot I just can't think of where to put them. This picture pushes me to work hard so we can finish the house and also reminds me to slow down and have a rest, even if it is not in our own hammock.

Two Friendship quotes. Living so far from my friends, and building new connections I wanted to include reminders into my board. I miss my old ones, and adore my new ones. I am so glad that phone calls, messages, sharing pictures and videos is so easy these days.

Minimalism quote and picture. To keep me on course of what I truly love and value. In this world it is so hard not to shop. Shopping is part of our lives. And denying those impulse buys is a big deal. I don't want the stuff but for some reason they still jump into my hands and into my shopping cart. More than once in February I actually did a U-turn before the cash register to return the goods that I don't need. Not easy but getting easier and easier every time.

Healthy choices.  I'm working on making healthy choices when it comes to make up, cosmetics, food, exercise. This is such a big part of my life at the moment, that it is featured in many pictures.

Work. Keeping it simple. Working. Focusing. To do list. Time management. Morning moments. Efficiency. Loving your work environment and what you do. That's what work in 2016 means to me.

Family and travel. Last year I realized that we keep missing the opportunities around us. The goal for this year is show our kids the country we live in. Small trips, small budged, but life experiences and getting out of our normal surroundings.

So simple goals. Nothing major (well maybe the press handstand) but instead creating an inspiration board that is present in my everyday life (digitally, no clutter please) to guide and motivate me in the chaos that is my everyday life.

Monday, February 15, 2016

When wazungus went to Kariakoo

Yesterday was supposed to be an easy day. Easy Sunday. I had agreed with my friend Nina that we go to Logos Hope (without kids, since they went with school) to grab some books. Maybe pass by Kariakoo to find some back bags for my boys, since I've been planning to do so for about a year. For those of you who don't know Kariakoo, it's CHAOS and then some. To the point where most of us with white skin avoid going there.. at least without an escort. But we are brave and usually our outings go nice and smooth... Sunday was not one of those days.

Since I still don't have my Tanzanian licence and this requires driving through the city, we agreed, as usual, that she comes to pick me up with her car at 11. 10:50 she calls. They had just realized that her car is out of oil - this was the first sign to give up. But why, oh, why would we??

She then tried her husbands car, that for some odd reason didn't start. Which resulted in me hopping behind the wheel... We could've understood that this is sign no. 2. But no giving up: we made a plan and we will stick to it. The drive was easy enough, and no one asked for my licence and I even found parking in a second so we parked, locked the car, and headed happily for the shop. I found awesome bags for boys and bargained like a true Tanzanian and was happy with the result. Part 1 done, now lets head to the boat for some book shopping.... Car hadn't been stolen, mirrors were all there, no bumps or scratches. I would call this trip to Kariakoo a success.. Except that when we tried to open it, it didn't. Open. Kabisa. At that point, what else can you do than laugh.... This area which is known for it's car thieves and we can't get into ours.. Luckily this is Tanzania so help is always near - within minutes there were about a team of 7 guys trying to open the lock. We had to endure also seven questions of "did you try the other door???" as if we have no brain, but hey they were helping so I was not going to complain. Eventually they concluded that even if a man no 7 tries with the key we are not getting the lock open. This is where it got interesting...

"mama.." - they start - and continue with swahili so fast that I can't keep up... Slowly please, tell me the plan.

Then this happened:

And about two minutes later we were driving off...

TIA - TIT. Help is always near, and if you have to get locked out of your car, Kariakoo might be the best place in the world to do so..

By the way, we got to Logos Hope in the end and kids got so many books to last couple of birthdays and Christmas.

Not a day I will forget soon. Life is never boring in Tanzania.

This little guy is just too AMAZING

The joy of accomplishing the simplest task. I look at him in awe...