If I'd have had another baby girl instead of a boy, I might have named her June. As it turned out, #hubbyparkins' li'l swimmers appear to be predominantly of the XY chromosome variety and we have a James. And that is good. And we have no intention whatsoever of adding a June to the mix. And I am very happy to report that, despite a bit of paranoia getting the better of me in the last few days, I can categorically state that there is no impending arrival of a June, Julia, Jessica, Jennifer, Jaime, Jezebel or any other kind of J-girl (or boy!) on the cards.
See: (And note the conspicuous absence of a second pink line!)
June was a busy month for me, with a number of special occasions and visits taking place.
We had the 18th anniversary of my father's death on June 7th - the only day in June on which I blogged. And I didn't blog about my father because, well, there really isn't an awful lot to say. He was a man more or less like any other, with his flaws and strengths and idiosyncracies and, sadly, he died young. I have made my peace with the nature of the relationship I had with him, such as it was, and can acknowledge that his intentions toward his children were noble and that he loved us. I make a point of quietly remembering him every year on the day of his birth and on the day of his death because not to do so would be to deny a little piece of my heritage and of the mould that has shaped the woman I am.
On the weekend of 11 June - the start of the 2010 World Cup - #hubbyparkins and I dropped all the kids (minus #babyparkins) off at my mom's and made our way to Mafikeng with a trailer full of booklets to be distributed at a free concert by a group of 32 local artists, including some big names like Yvonne Chaka-chaka, PJ Powers and a whole bunch of others. We listened to the opening game on the radio in the car, drinking Wimpy coffee and just talking about stuff in general in between - a rare treat for us.
On the 16th of June, we celebrated my eldest son's 7th birthday quietly, at home with family, while the rest of South Africa celebrated national Youth Day. Since his birth, I have taken great joy in the knowledge that, for as long as he lives in South Africa, Michael will always have the day off on his birthday. :)
On the 19th of June, we had a small party for Michael's friends at the Johannesburg Planetarium. It was the first time my kids had been there and it was a great hit! Even Jack and James enjoyed watching the show and the kids were all suitably impressed with the 3D space rocket cake I'd made with special help from Angel, Glugster and #hubbyparkins:
25 June was Megan's 8th birthday and a Friday. The in-laws had come to pick Megan & Michael up the previous day to spend the night at their house so that they could take them to a show by the local youth theatre on the morning of Megan's birthday. They then brought them home again in the afternoon and we went to the local Spur for dinner. Megan & Michael had their meals for free because they are Spur Secret Tribe members.
Ladies on Lunch took off again on Sunday, 27 June, after a bit of a hiatus and Jack, #babyparkins and I had a great time catching up with some of the blogging and Twitter ladies. I got spoiled with a package of FairyGirlZA's totally scrumptious Tranquil Body Treats in the lucky draw, as well as what is now my favourite coffee mug in the world, ever!
We hosted a small party for Megan and her friends at the same Spur on Thursday, 1 July. I had a whole bunch of last minute work to do at the time, so it was a bit of a rush and I spent the morning rushing to bake the butterfly birthday cake that had been requested and promised:
Meanwhile, things on the work front took an upward turn in June and, as mentioned once or twice on Twitter, I landed a new client for my freelance copywriting, which means a bit of extra income this month.
Even more exciting, though, is the fact that, with the help of some very special people who know who they are, I am now able to begin getting one of the projects I've been aching to start up, off the ground. I can't begin to tell you how very exciting this all is for me! David and I have spent the past couple of weeks setting things up in the garage for me to get going. We have also bought a bunch of the basic supplies needed and I'll be spending the next couple of weeks experimenting with colours & designs and training my hands and fingers in the finer application of ye olde crafte knife. And that's all I'm saying about that for now.
These new developments combined with some of the experiences of the last 6 months have made it quite clear that I have been overly ambitious to assume that I can handle the homeschooling, the two babies and everything else. We have therefore decided to return the kids to mainstream school from next year. Initially, I felt a bit of a sense of a failed purpose on this, and took a loss. But looking logically and realistically at it, it makes sense. Continuing with homeschooling would ultimately result in my having to compromise on quality in one or more areas, which is simply not an acceptable solution. Sacrificing the quality of the kids' education in order to pursue my own fulfillment is not an option, while leaving the two babies in the nanny's care for longer stretches would mean missing out on so many special moments in this precious period in their lives, which goes by so very quickly. And giving up my dreams and canning all the projects I've been working on in my head over the past several years would be just as big a sell out as a return to the corporate world and would, without a doubt, lead to my being desperately unhappy. So it's back to school they go, with minimal guilt on my part. In the end, it's about creating and maintaining a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for all of us.
After all the ups and downs of the past year or two, things appear to be stabilizing significantly and taking a turn for the better and I find that there's a spring in my step again this last while. I wake up excited to start each day, these days, and I can't wait for the rest of my life!