acidicice

Fan Brush Nail Art

A while ago I saw a post on Siobhan’s blog for a fan brush art tutorial. I immediately decided I *needed* a fan brush and that I want to do it too! It seemed easy enough. I bought a fan brush rather cheaply (I think about R20) at Dischem and have had it stashed away for when I had played out all the manis I had planned in my head ahead of time. I lacked some inspiration for my next  mani (after running out of pre-planned ideas), but knew I wanted to use my new essence hello marshmallow. Then I remembered my fan brush!

 

I have very little time to do my nails in the week. I usually end up sitting at 21:00 doing my nails once Babyice is in bed and Rudi can entertain PrincessIce. Doing your nails at night has some disadvantages. The light quality is terrible and you have a much bigger chance of linen print on your polish since bedtime is around the corner. I can’t possibly only do my nails on weekends though, sometimes a mani is required during the week! My nails had already been bare for two days after removing my glitter gradient mani and I couldn’t stand it anymore!

 

I decided to use essence hello marshmallow (lilac) as my base coat and Tip Tip Melting Marshmallows (pastel pink) for the fan brush art. I started off with Tip Top Miraculous Results as my base and two thin coats of essence hello marshmallow. After fanning on the Melting Marshmallows I realized you couldn’t even see what I had done. There was not enough contrast between the two marshmallows to see the fan brush effect! I rifled through my polishes and came across my Tip Top Sexy Bikini which is a bright pink neon. You couldn’t miss this! So I fanned that on over the other two colours. Once I had finished brushing all my nails I added some Tip Top Rocky Road to my ring fingers for accent (any excuse to use Rocky Road!). I finished it all off with my Essie Top Coat. This is the result:

 

Fan Brush Art

Fan Brush Art

Fan Brush Art

Fan Brush Art

 

 

Executing the fan brush effect is rather simple and doesn’t really require much clean up afterwards.  Even if the polish comes off the brush looking solid, dragging the brush over the polish again separates it and the fan brush effect shines through.  Today in proper light I can see that there may be places by my cuticles or tips where I needed more Sexy Bikini to cover some bald patches. I’m not really sure I like this mani. I’m not certain if the colours are putting me off. While doing the fan brush art the polish you are brushing on dries pretty quickly, which causes the polish to feel very textured and sticky while you are brushing on extra layers/filling in gaps. That felt weird and I think contributed to me not loving the end result so much. A top coat evens it out nicely. Also, my nails are shorter now than I like them to be. Everyone who has seen the mani likes it though, so perhaps I’m just full of nonsense.

 

What do you think?

 

P.S. I stuffed up my ring finger really badly on my other hand after going to bed, somehow wiped off all the layers of polish on half my nail. Luckily with all the layers, textures and the Rocky Road it was fairly easy to do emergency repairs  and cover up on this with zero time while getting ready the next morning. Messy manis have advantages!

Circus Confetti Glitter Gradient

I have always loved glitter gradient manis. I’ve seen a lot of them on Pinterest and Facebook and wasn’t sure if I could pull one off. The first time I saw the essence circus confetti glitter I didn’t like it. I thought that it was too busy and that there were too many colours. Then I stumbled on a mani on Pinterest. A white background with a polish similar to  circus confetti glitter gradient and I fell in love with it. It was then that I decided to buy the circus confetti glitter and a white polish as I only had Tip Top Cream Puff which is a creme polish and slightly off white. For some reason I didn’t re-pin my inspiration and I can’t for the life of me find it now again, so you’ll just have to be satisfied with my version of it! I actually went to go and search Pinterest for glitter gradients and am starting to think that I made the whole thing up in my head. Or I may have seen something and then modified it in my head.

 

I decided to do this mani for the Huggies event that I attended. I wanted to do something fun and frivolous. I also like doing my nails specifically for an occasion. I wasn’t sure how I would do the gradient. I asked Ordinary Misfit for advice and hunted down tutorials on YouTube. Misfit suggested I use an eye shadow applicator sponge to sponge the glitter on, giving me more control of placement. The YouTube tutorial suggested tearing a piece of sponge from a make up applicator and using that. I started off using the eye shadow applicator, but it was pink and I noticed that the colour from the sponge was transferring onto my white base coat. I then switched to the make up sponge, which is white.

 

On the tutorial they just concentrated on placing glitter on the tip of the nail and then when the glitter was sparse on the sponge they sponged down to place some glitter further down the nail. It is difficult to predict how much glitter is going to rub off the sponge though, so you may end up with nothing or too much. If you end up with too much dabbing the sponge again sometimes picks up some of the glitter, or you can attempt to move the glitter with a dotting tool. I was obviously working with bigger glitter chunks so was able to move the pieces around a bit. You can’t do that with regular, fine glitter.

 

I started off with my Tip Top Miraculous Results as a base coat. I always use this as a base coat. Since I’ve started using it I found that my manis actually lasts longer. Before I used to use my Essie Top Coat as a base and top coat. I’ve since decided that it is better to use something for what it was intended. I then painted two coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White. I’ve seen this polish used on a lot of blogs as a base for nail art, which is why I purchased it. I painted both my ring fingers with two coats of Orly Vinyl which a colleague lent to me to try out. I gave my polish a little time to dry. I was scared I would smudge my base if I sponged while they were too wet. I started sponging on glitter to the tip of my nail and then moved down slightly. Sometimes more glitter came off than I would of liked and I manipulated it to look sparse. I covered all my nails with the glitter gradient, which is why I painted my ring finger black for accent. I finished it off with an Essie top coat. Even though I put a top coat on, I still had some glitters sticking up. I could of added another top coat to help for this, but just never found the time to do that.

 

Here is a picture of the finished product:

 

Glitter gradient

Glitter gradient

 

Click to enlarge the picture. What do you think? Would you try this on your nails?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Go

This November it will be 3 years since my grandfather passed away.

 

It all really feels like it happened a long time ago. Although 3 years flashes by in the wink of an eye, it just feels like so much water has flowed underneath the bridge since then. Babyice was just 10 months old when it happened. He is a boy now. PrincessIce was conceived, carried and birthed while her brother grew up. As far as life goes, a lot has happened since he left us. I remember him saying to me once that we will forget about him once he is gone. He was already sick when he said this. I assured him he would not be forgotten. And he won’t.

 

Leebeesa’s aunt procured a Livestrong bracelet for my grandfather after he was diagnosed. You couldn’t just find them anywhere anymore. We thought it would be something nice for him to wear, to encourage him during his treatments. He wore the bracelet proudly. He rapidly deteriorated and when he became gravely ill he was given morphine to help for the pain and to keep him more comfortable. I lost my grandfather to the drugs then. He often looked panicked (probably paranoid) and would say strange things as he hallucinated. He once asked me to help him die. Have I ever told you that? On the one hand I wish I could of (legalities aside), on the other I never could. The Livestrong bracelet started to irritate him. He didn’t like things touching his skin and was annoyed by sounds and light. More side effects from the drugs I assume. I took the bracelet from his arm and put it on my own. I told him I would wear it in solidarity, on his behalf. I have been wearing it ever since. I only took it off for a few minutes for the Cosmo cover shoot I did, once the photo was taken I put it back on. Other than that I don’t recall taking it off at all.

 

 

Of course after the Lance Armstrong scandal hit the news some silly people were “shocked” that I was still wearing it. As if me wearing it had anything to do with Lance Armstrong. It didn’t. I was wearing it for my Oupa.

 

 

Almost 3 years later,  I feel like it is time to take it off. I don’t need the bracelet to remember him. In fact, looking at it isn’t what reminds me of him. I think of him when the clouds are particularly beautiful. He once said if he could have a job in heaven, he would like to design the clouds. I think of him when I see beautiful things in nature like waterfalls or butterflies. He used to love nature and went on hikes regularly to be outdoors. I think of him when I wear the gold pendant he bought me. I think of him when someone talks about WWII or Marilyn Monroe. I think of him when Babyice does something particularly cute or even naughty and how much he would of enjoyed spending time with him if he had gotten the chance. Sometimes I look at PrincessIce and wonder if he had a hand in picking her for our family. This yellow piece of plastic is not what reminds me of him.

 

 

For a long time I somehow thought that taking it off would be some kind of betrayal to him, or his memory. I realize now how silly that is. So it is time to take it off. In some ways I am really glad to be liberated of it. It’s not exactly a beautiful accessory. I’ll put it somewhere safe.

 

Finally, letting it go.

 

 

Livestrong

Livestrong Bracelet

 

P.S. I wrote this post a few days ago and didn’t actually take the bracelet off. The post was scheduled to release today. Last night Babyice asked me if he could wear it and it occurred to me that I was meant to take it off already. I gave it to him to play with. He figured it made a great chew toy. Luckily it’s hardy. This morning I put it in my jewellery box. Strange how things happen sometimes. Perhaps a sign that it is okay and it really was the right time. Do you believe in co-incidence?

Huggies – Choose Pink or Blue

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the “Choose Pink or Blue” Huggies South Africa event which was held on Saturday. I was quite excited about the event because I would get to see old and meet new Twitter friends. The event was scheduled for breakfast at the Mount Nelson Hotel. I was originally meant to work on Saturday, but my team was gracious enough not to impose work on me my first weekend back and rescheduled the weekends. I was chuffed!

 

I left home around 8 am. I was merrily driving along the N1 and as I was approaching Epping I heard a “cluck cluck cluck” sound. I noticed that the rubber on the left passenger window had come loose and was flapping in the wind and assumed that was where the noise was coming from. I felt the car was heavily pulling to the left, but wasn’t 100% sure why. I slowed down and someone who passed me indicated to me I had a flat tyre. I pulled over immediately and got onto the phone with my insurance. No. I can’t change a tyre. I am not ashamed! I knew I had roadside assistance and that I had programmed the number into my phone. They answered fairly quickly and after taking down my location and details, they advised they would call me to let me know when someone was on their way. About 10 minutes later I received a SMS to say that someone has been dispatched and the ETA was 60 minutes. I was so disappointed! I would be SO late for the event! I wanted to cry. Twitter was filling up with tweets from the people who had already arrived and I was having the worst case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) EVER. 20 minutes later, my guardian angel arrived. Literally:

 

 

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel

 

I was tickled pink by the pink BMW! I was also so relieved that he had arrived in just 20 minutes rather than an hour! He had my tyre changed in record time and I was able to continue on to the event. Proceedings were to start at 9:00 and I arrived at about 9:15. All in all I was back on the road within 40 minutes of phoning my insurance and because I had left early, I didn’t miss out on too much.

 

 

Firstly, let me say that I have been to a Huggies event before. I did not even blog about it because I was so disappointed overall. I followed the rule of ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, rather don’t say anything at all’. This time was completely different! I was greeted when I arrived. There was a name tag printed for me with my full name and Twitter handle (everything spelt correctly, mind you!). One of the hostesses asked me who I was looking for, found her in the crowd and because she was sitting right in front offered to accompany me to my table. The initial presentation was already in progress and I think she realized I’d feel embarrassed walking up by myself.

 

 

We were told some interesting facts about Huggies. Did you know that Huggies are made in Cape Town? The factory produces over 1 million nappies PER DAY! The presentation also included interesting facts about differences between boys and girls. The tagline being, ‘Boys and girls are different. Why should their nappies be the same?’. We were also given an exclusive preview of the new Huggies advertisement that hit TV channels this weekend. Huggies has a worldwide relationship with Disney and the beloved Winnie The Pooh characters will now be replaced by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. A survey revealed that parents trust the Disney brand and there couldn’t possibly be a doubt in anyone’s mind that children recognize and love Disney characters.

 

While the presentation was being made we enjoyed a “starter” for our breakfast:

 

Starter

Starter

 

There was a lemon flavoured youghurt mousse in the middle of this plate which tasted like cheesecake. Cheesecake for breakfast? YES PLEASE! The tables were decorated with Mickey and Minnie Mouse foil balloons, cookies, little buckets filled with marshmallows and blue sherbet lollipops. @cupcakemummy at our table pilfered Lego from all the other tables to build herself a Lego family. There were also croissants and pastries in baskets. Our starter was followed by a scrambled egg tower, bacon and another tower consisting of a portobello mushroom, hash brown and fried tomato.

 

 

We were in for a real treat as Huggies introduced Dr. Michael Mol as a guest speaker.

 

 

Dr. Michael Mol

Dr. Michael Mol

 

What a charismatic man! He had the audience in stitches soon after taking the floor. He was both very entertaining and informative. I’ve never particularly been a huge fan of his, but he completely won me over! He spoke about nappy rashes, potty training and encouraging your children. He spoke about focusing on their strengths and not their weaknesses. He also spoke about the developmental differences between boys and girls. For instance, boys are likely to wet the bed up to the age of 6, whereas girls fully develop bladder control around the age of 4. This is purely developmental and has nothing to do with discipline. Of course there are sometimes other factors, but we won’t delve into that in this post. He noted we shouldn’t punish our children for wetting the bed since they really cannot help it if they have not developed physically to prevent it.

 

 

After this speech we were offered a tour of the Huggies factory at a later date and moms were given the opportunity to tell a funny story as there were some prizes up for grabs. Waiters brought around some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing to enjoy with coffee or tea.

 

Mickey and Minnie cupcakes

Mickey and Minnie cupcakes

 

It was already almost lunchtime by the time we left. On our way out we were handed some goody bags with a pack of Huggies specific to our child’s gender and size. I was so chuffed with the goody bags! PrincessIce got an awesome sensory toy. A ball with all sorts of attachments and goodies. The moment she saw it she wanted to play with it!

 

 

PrincessIce's gift

PrincessIce’s gift

 

Babyice also received some toys (obviously no nappies though as he is potty trained already). He got a pirate sword and two cars.  I thought it was so sweet that they sent gifts for both the children. I also received a flash drive and Huggies note book in my goody bag.

 

 

The event felt much better organized than the previous one I had been to. I really enjoyed it. There were also some celebs present at both events. I recognized Cindy Nell and Catriona Andrew (from Egoli fame) and picked up that Richard Hardiman (5FM radio host) was also there. I felt utterly spoilt and had a lovely morning. I was so fortunate to be invited and would like to thank Huggies for the opportunity to be there. I have only been able to use a few of the nappies that were given as samples at the table and will post about them once we’ve been able to give them a proper run for their money :)

New Nail Polish Haul

On my last day of maternity leave my friend @SanitaShimmy offered to take me out for a “good luck” lunch and we decided to go nail polish shopping afterwards. Of course, with my new found love of nails and nail art, I don’t need an invitation to go polish shopping. I was pretty housebound while I was on maternity leave as Rudi would take the car to work every day. I only took the car every now and then when I needed to do clinic visits. I don’t easily suffer from cabin fever and was quite content to stay at home with PrincessIce. This did mean that I didn’t get an opportunity to expand my polish collection like I would of wanted to and finally the opportunity dawned. PrincessIce was already with the day mother, so I could browse without rushing. That may have backfired on me! I bought WAY too much stuff! Well, not really…but I spent more than double the money I wanted to spend. I did come away with a lot of cool stuff though, so I’m not complaining.

 

When we went shopping I was wearing Tip Top Crushed Grapes on my nails. I saw this swatched over on Ordinary Misfit‘s blog. I actually got it for Mother’s Day from Rudi (well, I picked it, he paid). I wasn’t 100% sure about the colour, but when I put it on I loved it. It is almost the same shade as the “Vixen” polishes of the 90s. I didn’t have any inspiration for an accent nail, so I got really lazy and stuck a sticker on my ring finger. It looked very cute! Pic below is two coats with a top coat:

 

Tip Top Crushed Grapes with nail art sticker

Tip Top Crushed Grapes with nail art sticker

 

 

Sanita had also obtained Tip Top Stormy Sky for me. I saw it over on Siobhan’s blog and absolutely fell in love with it. This polish is from the Tip Top Nail Addict range and is only available at Foschini. It is so stunning that it didn’t even need an accent! It has beautiful glitter particles in a blue/black polish and has a gorgeous shine! The effect is very difficult to capture on camera. Pictures usually don’t to the mani justice if they are not taken in a light box, but I’m not going there! This is two coats with a top coat:

 

Tip Top Stormy Sky

Tip Top Stormy Sky

 

On to the shopping! I went completely overboard and got everything that my heart desired. I barely restrained myself. I’m totally addicted to this. It is officially my new hobby. Let me show you what I got!

 

Essence Polishes/Drops

Essence Polishes/Drops

 

I bought two essence colours that my heart desired after seeing them on the above mentioned blogs. From left to right: That’s What I Mint, Hello Marshmallow, Quick Dry Top Coat, Nail Art Express Dry Drops. Siobhan had problems with her That’s What I Mint and I was put off, but essence replaced her bottle and it was much better. Apparently she got a dud. I decided to try it anyway. The polishes are R19.99 at Clicks. I also bought a quick dry top coat because I’m always in a hurry when I’m doing my nails and I’ve mentioned before I use the drops to speed up drying time as much as possible, I already needed more drops. I love these two pastel colours and have already used That’s What I Mint on my back to work mani which I will be showing you later in this post.

 

essence Toppers/Special Effects

essence Toppers/Special Effects

 

From left to right: circus confetti, mr & mrs glitter, magnetic polish Witch You Were Here and a star effect magnet. I saw a nail art project on Pinterest which I could use the circus confetti glitter for and I just had to get it. It is actually a really pretty glitter. The mr & mrs glitter looks stunning in the bottle and I’m sure I’ll figure out something to do with it! I’ve also wanted to try the magnetic polish. They only had one colour, but I liked it so I got it. These products are around R25 each, so it’s not very expensive (but it does start adding up!) I’ve used the circus confetti in the mani I tried to copy from Pinterest, which I’ll show you in another post.

 

Polishes/Top Coat

Polishes/Top Coat

 

From left to right: nails inc. special effect topping lane, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Gosh Matte Top Coat. The nails inc. polish was R120(!) from Red Square. I wouldn’t normally pay so much for a polish, but I have been looking for a cream/jelly (or crelly) polish with floating glitter for a while. It’s not something we really find here. I’ve seen them popping up on The Lacquerologist often and I notice Maybelline has a cool range called Polka Dot in the UK, but nothing here. When I saw the nails inc one, I just HAD to have it. It helps that it is pink. I didn’t really love the white one, even though there are nice white ones featured on The Lacquerologist’s blog. She refers to some of them as indie polishes, which I think means that they are made by an independent company or handmade and not a huge brand or company. I bought the Sinful Colors as a base for nail art and also because I wanted to use it with the circus confetti. I knew I wanted a matte top coat, but I’m also not yet sure what I’m going to do with it. Yet.

 

Stickers and Brushes

Stickers and Brushes

 

I bought a fan brush so that I could do some quick and easy nail art. Siobhan posted a tutorial on her blog. It is so quick and easy and looks really cool. I can’t wait to try it. I bought a spare gel eyeliner brush which I use with acetone to clean up once I’ve polished. I mess up a lot! A tip, after you’ve dipped your brush into acetone, touch it on a tissue or paper towel. If you get too much acetone near your polish it will run! I learnt this the hard way. I also bought some cute nail art stickers. The essence stickers have a little bit of bling on too, which I love! You will notice I’m quite a glitter lover!

 

Tools/Glitter

Tools/Glitter

 

On a completely separate trip to Planet Nails I bought some striping brushes, a new dotting tool that has a smaller dot than the one I won and some heart shaped glitter I can’t wait to try!

 

 

Siobhan was dying to see the nails inc. polish so it was the first one I tried out. I decided to do a plain accent nail to break the “busy” glitter. I absolutely love how it turned out and was a bit sad when I had to take it off to do my back to work mani. I painted two coats of both polishes with a top coat for the below pic:

 

nails inc. topping lane, accent nail Tip Top Melting Marshmallow

nails inc. topping lane, accent nail Tip Top Melting Marshmallow

 

On the first coat the nails inc. glitter distribution left some bald patches, but it evened out nicely on the second coat. I have the glitter in mind for an accent nail on another mani. I just love coming up with ideas and combinations!

 

 

If you remember correctly, I moaned about removing my Tip Top Rocky Road glitter polish after I used it for the first time. I had not yet learnt about the foil removal method. Hallelujah! What a pleasure to remove glitter polish now! It takes 10 minutes (per hand) and there is no rubbing or struggling at all! Now I can use my beautiful glitter polishes and not worry about struggling to get them off :)

 

Foil removal method

Foil removal method

 

 

It was then time to do my back to work mani. For Mother’s Day Rudi bought me two polishes. I’ve already mentioned the one. The second one was essence Café Olé. It is a pale nude and I had no idea how to jazz it up. Ordinary Misfit suggested I use my That’s What I Mint as an accent nail. I really liked the idea! This is how it turned out:

 

essence Café Olé, accent nail That's What I Mint

essence Café Olé, accent nail That’s What I Mint

 

To be honest it felt extremely boring after the beautiful glitter mani I had just taken off, but it was perfect for back to work. Understated and elegant I think.

 

My next post I’ll talk about what I did with the circus confetti. Something I was dying to try and I think I might have gotten it right.

 

*Some brands don’t capitalize their brand/polish names. I also prefer not to capitalize my blog name as I like how the name looks when it is lower case, so I respect that and will type the names as I see them on the polish.

Domestic Woes

I’m starting to feel like I need to create a category for this! How much trouble can one possibly have?!

 

It is so bad that I am actually starting to lose track of how many we’ve had. Betty who was working for us since December has fallen ill and cannot return to work. Indefinitely. We then used a lady my mother recommended who lasted all of 3 weeks before she said she isn’t willing to travel out to us anymore. No notice. Again stuck without someone with ironing piling up. We then started sharing a domestic with our downstairs neighbour (again). She has also been with us for a few weeks and started while I was on maternity leave so I had an opportunity to suss her out.

 

After some very suspicious behaviour at the neighbour’s flat they have decided to let her go. Of course, since we share her, they notified me of the events to give me a heads up. This domestic doesn’t have a phone. When our neighbour showed up unexpectedly and found her rifling through drawers and cell phone boxes she claimed she was looking for a cell phone charger. She was then offered the charger which was always plugged in next to the bed to charge the phone while she worked, but she claimed she left the phone at home. The phone she said she had is the same brand that the neighbour has laying in a drawer, unused (because they are broken, but the domestic didn’t know that). Question being, was she planning on taking one of the phones? Even if she wasn’t planning on swiping a phone, was she planning to swipe the charger she was apparently looking for? How was she going to use it to charge a phone she didn’t have with her? Something doesn’t add up. The neighbours also noted that money left in one of their pant’s pockets had disappeared. After the cell phone incident they decided not to have her back. No cell phone went missing, but the assumption was that she was caught in the act and therefore decided not to take a phone. They requested she contact them when she got home after working for me yesterday. Apparently she went off when she was told she didn’t need to come back. My neighbour said she was shouting and screaming. When she was questioned about the money, she pointed out she had put it in the cupboard underneath some clothes. When questioned about why the money was hidden from plain sight she apparently started saying she isn’t paid enough and can get paid better elsewhere. Here the assumption is that she hid the money to see if she was questioned about it and if not she would take it at a later date. She has also left work unfinished at my neighbour’s house. Note, my neighbours haven’t actually spent any time with her. They both work so she has always been alone in the house.

 

I am very conflicted about what to do. I have a completely different view of her, having gotten to know her. The only thing I find strange about her is that she is extremely paranoid about personal safety. She has made various comments about feeling unsafe. Including feeling unsafe walking to our place from where the taxi drops her off. I understand that as there are quite a few men standing around at the drop off point waiting for work. I feel uncomfortable around there too. I’ve tried to reassure her that our complex is very safe. We’ve never heard of an incident while staying there and we do have patrolling security guards and electric fencing, but she remains quite paranoid. There is also a certain taxi that will take her well beyond the point where all the men are standing, if she manages to catch that one. Did she hide the money from plain sight because she is paranoid someone else would take it? She does her work very well and even without me there to supervise yesterday her work was completed. I cannot find fault with the way she works at all. We have never had any problems with her.

 

 

All the things that happened with my neighbour are circumstantial and based on speculation. Would it be unfair of me to let her go because of trust issues someone else has with her? I tend to think so. I know there was an incident with the neighbour that offended her. Perhaps she didn’t want to work there anymore. I’m not sure that she would of created a situation where her integrity would be questioned though. Another concern is that she told the neighbour she doesn’t get paid enough. We pay her the same and admittedly there is more work at our house with the two small kids and rampant cat hair than there is downstairs with the childless couple (well, his kids don’t live there). Now I am worried about potential theft. I don’t have anywhere in my house where I can lock up valuables. We don’t have a safe or anything that locks. There are pieces of jewellery I have at home that are very sentimental. On the other hand, even if we do let her go and employ someone new (again), we run the same risks. Not only that, I am no longer home to assess and ‘train’ someone new. I would have to leave a perfect stranger in my house.

 

 

I have no idea what to do. I’m leaning towards keeping her on and perhaps acquiring a safe just for those few valuable I really don’t want to lose.

 

 

What would you do?

Back at work

I returned to work on Tuesday. Reluctantly, of course.  I was surprisingly calm about everything. Monday night was normal. I packed my pumping equipment, handbag and baby’s things on Monday throughout the day. I hadn’t used my handbag in six months. I had been rocking a nappy bag which I just chucked my wallet into. I did my ‘back to work’ manicure, which I had planned more than a month prior when I bought a polish I felt would be perfect for it. I’ll do a post on that later. At no point did I panic thinking about going back the next day. I didn’t have “Sunday night blues”. I was numb. I just felt nothing.

 

 

I have had the most amazing maternity leave this time around. It was relaxed and I got plenty of rest. PrincessIce is such a chilled baby. I had a lot of breastfeeding hurdles to overcome, but none of them required intense physical activity or anything other than patience and determination. I watched a lot of series while breastfeeding which I had to do constantly for almost 12 weeks. PrincessIce isn’t the best sleeper during the day and after her 6 weeks of constant sleeping switched to cat naps  it became a little harder to nap with her. She did like to sleep “late” in the morning though. Once her brother and father left in the mornings she would have a quick feed and we would doze back off till around 9:00. It was heavenly. I bathed her in the early afternoons as not to occupy the bathroom in the evenings when everyone else needed it. Life was a peach. My maternity leave with Babyice was not as pleasant. He was a difficult baby. He cried a lot. There were also always a lot of bottles to wash and sterilize. Always something to do. My nesting kicked in after he was born so whenever he slept I was cleaning. With PrincessIce I tried to clean the kitchen on a daily basis, but other than that I slept when she slept, or rested while she slept. I’m not sure if the difference was simply their different personalities, or the fact that I was more experienced or perhaps because I was breastfeeding instead of bottle feeding. Whatever it was, I thoroughly enjoyed being at home with my baby.

 

 

I dreaded coming back to work. I was immensely saddened by the thought, but I didn’t panic. On some level I was trying to be an adult about it. No use pouting about it. Yes I complained a bit, but who wouldn’t? I know we don’t have any choice but for me to work. I know it is a fact of life and reality for most parents out there. I need to work and I need to accept that. I was at peace with the fact that I would have to return. Still very sad, but at peace. One of the things that made me so sad is the realization that I would be seeing my baby SO MUCH less. We finish work relatively early (when Rudi doesn’t work late) at 16:00 and then make our way home. If we get home at 17:00 after picking up the kids and maybe stopping at the shops, we have about 3 hours before the kids go to bed. Well, Babyice goes to bed around 20:00. PrincessIce goes to bed with us. Those 3 hours are filled with activity including bath time, supper preparations and sometimes getting things ready for the next day. That isn’t quality time. It would be even worse if we worked later. Having 3 hours a day with your children during the week should be a crime.  I work weekends sometimes too. Not every weekend, but that is more time apart from them. It is one of the reasons I insist on having a domestic. When we don’t have one we spend the majority of our weekend cleaning and ironing. More time we are not spending with our kids. Life is so busy. They grow up so fast. SO FAST. Such a cliche, but it became one because it is so true! I don’t want to miss my kid’s childhood because I’m too busy cleaning. I’m already missing enough of it because I am working. I have to work to sustain them, I wouldn’t work just to keep myself occupied (at least not before they go to school). If I didn’t need the money, I wouldn’t do it.

 

So the day dawned and I got up at sparrow’s fart, which is my regular wake up time. Actually even earlier because I have to fit in a morning feed for PrincessIce before we leave. I get up and get myself ready, then change and feed PrincessIce while Rudi gets himself and Babyice ready. I arrived at work and saw one of our admin ladies first. I managed to bite back the tears. I almost manage to make it to my desk when I was intercepted by another colleague that thought it a good idea to give me a hug. Rookie mistake. He inadvertently turned on the waterworks. Shame. He felt so bad, but it wasn’t him. Two of my friends at work decided to make up my desk for me as a welcome back.

 

Balloons and "welcome back" sign

Balloons and “welcome back” sign

 

Laminated pictures of the kids (stolen from Instagram it would seem)

Laminated pictures of the kids (stolen from Instagram it would seem)

 

A photo frame with pictures of PrincessIce

A photo frame with pictures of PrincessIce

 

 

There was just no stopping the tears then. I was truly touched by the gesture. Especially the pictures of the kids. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to me to bring pictures of PrincessIce to work.

 

 

I felt sad and tearful the entire day. Apparently PrincessIce felt the same at the day mother. She must have really enjoyed the long weekend spending time with me or perhaps she picked up on my feelings the morning.

 

I found a place to express at work. It is a quiet room on a different floor in our well-being area. Unfortunately you can’t lock the door. I discussed this with the lady that runs the well-being side of things and she made a sign for me to put on the door to prevent any unexpected interruptions:

 

Expressing Sign

Expressing Sign

 

The lights in the room have a weird dimmer switch and I didn’t know how to operate it. My first express was in the near dark, but on my second time someone showed me how to operate the lights and now I don’t have to worry about where to express at work.

 

 

My team have been very gracious and have been understanding and are helping me ease back into things slowly. I was actually scheduled to work my first weekend back, but they even re-scheduled the entire weekend roster so that I don’t have to. I was so relieved that they did. Co-incidentally I was invited to attend a Huggies event on Saturday which I wouldn’t want to miss.

 

It’s day 3 back at work and I’ve started doing some actual work. It already feels like I never left. How sad is that? I was gone for half a year and in only 3 days it is as if that never happened.

 

Onwards and upwards!

Toddler Sense Giveaway!

I have finally joined the herd and launched a Facebook page for my blog. You can toddle over to the official page here and like it if you want :) Unfortunately “acidicice” wasn’t available and Facebook forced me to capitalize the A, so the official link is http://www.facebook.com/acidiciceblogs. To celebrate the launch of my Facebook page I am running my first ever giveaway!

 

Ordinary Misfit has sponsored an awesome prize for the giveaway. I have 5 copies of Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson to give away!

 

Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson

Toddler Sense by Anne Richardson

 

The cover has this to say:

 

Toddlerhood is a time of tremendous growth and development. It is also a time of tantrums and conflict. Knowing what constitutes normal toddler behaviour will help you accept and respect this and go a long way towards effective, guilt-free and realistic parenting.

 

The competition will be open till the end of the month. You can use the rafflecopter below to enter. Please note that the competition is only open to South African residents. The only requirement is to leave a comment on the blog post, but you can earn extra entries by tweeting, following me on Twitter and liking my new Facebook page.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!

Manis

I have a few more manis to show you.

First up, the purple ombré I said I was doing with the L.A. Girl kit Ordinary Misfit sent me:

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Purple ombré

Most of the glitters I have are opaque, so I was a bit surprised when this one wasn’t. I used 3 coats of the glitter and the lightest colour on my thumb which was very sheer.the glitter was very pretty though:

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Purple glitter

It almost looks like there are polka dots underneath with glitter over.

I then decided to try the Yardley Gel-lac which is supposed to last 10 days. I added an accent nail painted with Tip Top Melting Marshmallows, dotted with the Gel-lac:

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Gel-lac Fuschia

I found it lasted as long as regular polish:

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Day 5

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Tip Top still perfect

I found that this polish is prone to knocks though and it looked dented after a couple of days. Someone did, however, ask me if I had gel on so I guess the effect is close enough to the real thing.

I managed to get my hands on some Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby which is a stunning red and wanted to accent that with Tip Top Rocky Road. Siobhan said it looked as if I dipped my nails into snow:

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Ruby Ruby and Rocky Road

This mani lasted 7 days!! After that performance I decided to invest in another Sinful Colors polish and bought myself Mint Apple. I wanted to try some nail art since I have a little time to myself and it’s the only chance I’ll get, so I decided to try dripping nail art over the Mint Apple with the silver I got in the dotting kit
I won:

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Dripping nail art

The drips were easy to do, despite the silver polish being difficult to work with and drying very quickly. It did take me AGES to do though. I followed the tutorials on the cutepolish YouTube channel for the drips.

I hope you liked the pictures!

Pumping Problems

So we’ve hit our 5 month exclusive breastfeeding milestone and it seems this will be the end of it.

PrincessIce went to the day mother for the first time on Wednesday. I was dreading being apart from her. I cried in the morning when she left. I called around 9am and heard she was refusing a bottle (she had taken a bottle from Rudi before). I was very upset and was inconsolable until I called again later to be told she had eventually had her milk and a nap.

It quickly became apparent that she was drinking more milk than I was able to pump for her. She is drinking on average 360 ml per day and I am only managing to pump between 200 – 240 ml per day. The day mother has run out of frozen reserves and by tomorrow we will have to supplement with formula. I am so disappointed. I wanted to do at least 6 months exclusive, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

I’ve tried everything possible to yield more pumping, including hand expressing, Eglynol, power pumping, watching videos of her and picturing waterfalls of milk, to no avail. I won’t be able to pump with as much gusto when I get back to work either, so it will just have to be what it is. I by no means plan to stop. I’ll pump whatever I can and send it with her. Whatever breast milk she gets is a blessing.

Before PrincessIce went to the day mother I went there to show her a YouTube video on paced bottle feeding, which mimics breastfeeding to ensure your baby doesn’t start preferring the easy flow of the bottle and rejecting the breast. Both Rudi and myself have repeatedly stressed the importance of this to her, but I’m doubtful that she is doing it all the time. I am just trying to protect our breastfeeding relationship. I don’t think any mother in her 30 years of caring for children has ever asked her to do something like this. Despite her watching the video which explains the reasons for paced bottle feeding very well, I don’t think she understands why we are making a big deal about it. We all but got into a fight about it this morning, leaving me in tears again. I don’t think she believes babies get lazy when bottle fed. I don’t think she thinks it makes a difference. She has told me she feeds her to sleep while laying down in the cot, as she wakes up if you put her down if she falls asleep in her arms.  She said it’s easy for me to lay next to her and feed her to sleep, she has other things to do and can’t hold her while she sleeps. Fair enough. Otherwise she insists she is pacing her feeds. I will just have to take her word for it.

The truth is I won’t find a place for PrincessIce to stay where she’ll get the same individual attention that she does now. We are also paying a very reasonable rate.

I’ll just have to suck it up and hope PrincessIce will continue to love our breastfeeding time together. I have decided that I want to breastfeed her at the very least through winter and then take it from there. Let’s hope it lasts that long.

I’m having a dismal pumping day so far again today. I’m not enjoying my bit of alone time before I go back to work next week at all. Breastfeeding and just providing milk for my baby is so very hard. I sometimes wish I had oversupply issues as they might have been easier to deal with. That also would of allowed me to be a breast milk donor which is something I would of loved to do. Instead, I will do my best with what I’ve been given.

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My precious