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It happened again

I found out I was pregnant towards the end of February. I had missed my period for over five days , my menses are never late. So I did a home pregnancy test and afterwards called my husband with the good news. He was over the moon with excitement and so was I. We had been trying to conceive for a while and for us this was an answered prayer. Taji was finally going to have a sibling!

When my husband came home I begged him to take me for a proper pregnancy blood test, I didn’t want to get too excited ,a tiny part of me was feeling paranoid that probably I had imagined the two positive lines on the home pregnancy test. We went and the test was positive! The joy properly checked in and we decided to share the good news with our loved ones. Sharing the news was a conscious decision, an act of faith because we truly believed that nothing bad was going to happen .

But it did.

Two weeks ago we went for our first ultrasound, the baby wasn’t a figment of my imagination. He or she was there , the ultrasound recorded the baby’s heartbeat. Due to my previous miscarriage the doctor wanted to be cautious and put me on cardisprin and progesterone just to do everything possible to maintain the pregnancy. We were to visit the doctor a week later for another ultrasound.

It was a bright sunny Friday. As we drove to hospital, I remember looking up at the blue sky and thinking to myself nothing bad can happen today! It was such a beautiful day. I couldn’t wait to hear the sound of the baby’s heartbeat. Hubby and I arrived at the doctor’s reception and we were ushered in do an ultrasound. I lay on the bed and the sonographer began her examination.

I could see the image on the screen, but there was dead silence. She kept probing, more silence. She asked me again for the date of my last period .I told her. She asked my husband for a copy of our previous ultrasound. He handed it to her, she glanced at it and then back at the screen. Then she finally said I can’t find the heartbeat, I will have to call your oby/gyn. She walked out to call him, he was in another office seeing other patients.

I sat up on the bed , clung to my husband and wept my heart out.

My worst fear had presented itself. We were losing our second baby. Why? How? Our child already had a name! He / she was already loved. We had already started making plans! How could God allow this to happen again?

The sonographer walked back in and requested that I allow her to try again. She did her probing, still no heartbeat. Her next words were familiar. ‘This is nature’s way of getting rid of an abnormality.’

We both said nothing. Hubby helped me to dress and we walked out and headed to see the ob/gyn. He had already received the news. He didn’t want to make a final diagnosis of miscarriage . He asked us to wait for the weekend to pass and have a second ultrasound at a more advanced facility on Monday.

The next two days went by like a blur. My husband was holding onto the hope that a miracle could still happen. I was already mourning.

Monday arrived we had the ultrasound, a different doctor confirmed that I had experienced a miscarriage. I was supposed to be 8 weeks, but the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks. There was nothing more to say. No miracle had happened over the weekend.

After the ultrasound the doctor asked us to go back to our ob/gyn. He planned to pass his findings by phone before we got to his office.

By that time I was numb, tears kept streaming down my face. By the time we got to his office I had composed myself. We walked into his office and we began the discussion on how we were going to rid the body of our dead baby. I wanted to go for a D &C, a quick and fast procedure, like the first time. The sweet comfort of anaesthesia, and to wake up to an empty womb. The doctor was against it. He felt that the foetus was still tiny and could be dealt with using medication. I was to take meds and go home and wait to bleed out.

People, let me say that nothing prepared me what came next . Last Wednesday I took Cytotec at midnight, 48 hours after my dose of Mediprist .I began to experience familiar pains. I was having contractions. I began to bleed. The contractions continued to get stronger the pain unbearable. I had to wake up my husband to get a hot water bottle and pain killers. I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing the pains that result in the bringing forth of a newborn. What manner of cruel fate was this? Hadn’t we suffered enough?

I experienced the contractions from 12.30 until you 5am when I felt a blob leave my body and immediately the pain stopped. I went to the bathroom looked down and I saw a tiny figure on my pad. I stared at it for a long time. I felt an indescribable sadness. After changing my clothes I walked back to our bedroom and told my husband .He also looked at it and then came back to our bed. We just held each other and tried to sleep. After a whole night of madness we were both exhausted.

It has been five days I am still bleeding. I know it will stop soon. We have had alot of support from close friends and family. The visits have kept us strong. Our fridge is full, our house has been full of love and laughter and prayer. When the guests leave we try and sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept for a full night. Hubby and I keep telling each other that this feels like a movie. Like all this happened to someone else. We have experienced a deep loss And maybe one day soon I will stop feeling like a lost soul drifting on the open seas. Looking out into a deep deep darkness.

It happened again. Only God knows why.

See you soon our little angels. Mummy and Dad will always love you.

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Koinonia Education Centre

The past two years have been a journey of self-discovery. As the year 2017 drew to a close I was able to experience moments of total clarity in terms of my goals for the year 2018. My main goal this year is to do more to help others. I do acknowledge that I do not have millions stored away in the bank but I do have ideas that I can share towards projects that are working towards transforming lives. So today I want to share with you the story about a project that is close to my heart.

Koinonia Picture

 

I was raised in a Christian home by parents who have always been active in the church. When we were very young my parents together with Japanese missionaries living in Kenya started a church. They called it Kyuna Christian Fellowship, Loresho.  It didn’t take them long to realise that there was a need for quality education for the children in the neighbouring slums of Kibagare. Koinonia  Education Centre was then established in 2003 with a student population of 13  kindergarten-aged children. The school continued to grow and eventually they had to seek for larger premises to accommodate the growing number of students.

This brought them to their current location at St Stephen’s  ACK  church hall in Redhill off Limuru road.

Koinonia is a purely non-profit organisation that runs solely on donations from well-wishers. It is through these funds that enabled the school to acquire a piece of land in Mai-Mahiu with the hope of releasing themselves from the high costs of rent and finally settling down in their own ‘home’.

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I have watched the school grow over the years, seen the transformation in the kids, seen my parents and the management team toil over the years to ensure that the Koinonia vision continues to succeed and flourish. Finally I have accepted the call in my heart to help out in telling their story   with the hope that you will send your donations towards the project to build a school in Mai Mahiu.

No amount is too little, no amount is too much. Find it in your heart to join this noble cause. I will be happy to provide as much information as you require. In the coming months, I will be sharing ways in which you can participate in fundraising for Koinonia Education Centre.

 

In the meantime check out the links below and read more about the Koinonia story.

 

http://www.koinoniaeducationcentre.or.ke/

https://www.facebook.com/KoinoniaEducationCentre/

 

 

 

Monthly Health

Today’s post will be completely different from my regular posts.I have been meaning to write a product review for a while now so here we go!

I literally stumbled across this product whilst attending the Koroga Festival a month ago. The lady at the stand introduced me to a whole range of products made from Moringa powder. After trying out all the tea samples and listening to the list of their benefits I settled on trying out the Beauty Me Organic herb and spice tea.

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The first thing I will say is their packaging is fantastic. The classiest tin I have ever seen for herbal tea. This particular tea I was told would help me before and during my monthly period. In the past, my PMS symptoms have been getting more and more pronounced to the point of suffering from depression and extremely low energy levels. I felt like this sounded like the cure for all my problems. This is the second month since I began taking this tea and I can honestly say it has helped to counteract the hormonal rollercoaster that I usually undergo. Like today I was feeling extremely nauseous and after taking the tea the urge to throw up disappeared.

The tea is packaged in its natural state, all you do to prepare it is take and pour a tea-spoonful into a boiling cup of hot water. Let it steep for five minutes then drink. You can choose to sieve out the contents or drink as it is. Sometimes I add a little organic honey to sweeten the taste.

Definitely, worth the money I spent, I will be a return customer once it is finished.

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PS : This is not a sponsored post ( I WISH) check out the rest of their products on the pages below.

 

Website : https://www.me.or.ke/

Instagram: memoringaforlife

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/memoringakenya/

Stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

I abstained

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My husband and I woke up early this morning as it was a normal work day. The roads were deserted ,no traffic at all which is completely abnormal for a Friday in Nairobi.

There is still palpable tension in the air as people await to see what happens in the next few days. I woke up at peace today. You see for the past few months since August 8th my heart has been bleeding. All you have to do is google Kenya elections and the stories and images that pop up will tell you the whole story.

When I voted in August I had hope that things were going to change. Since then I have become increasingly aware that I had no idea of how things work in the political world. I am but a mere pawn in the quest for political power and it pains and angers me. I do not trust that any of our current leaders stay up at night wondering how they can improve the lives of the people. I do not believe that any of them are heartbroken like I am at the tribal hatred among Kenyans. I feel like they do not care. As the second election day draws closer and as I continued to hear the different stories on the ground , I realised things were progressively getting worse. Nothing from our leaders was done to quell the mayhem.Political campaigns continued as families from both sides of the divide nursed their injuries and buried their dead.

So on October 26th, I a Kenyan of Meru and Kikuyu descent chose to abstain from voting. My conscience could not allow me to participate in a process that was has been marred by so much pain. Let me be clear ,currently I support no one and in the future will only participate when I feel that the status quo has truly began to change.

As it is Kenya needs a clear path to healing and I pray that one day a leader will stand up ,and guide us to true reconciliation.

 

I have peace , I made a choice for myself and I can account for it if I faced God today.

 

Enjoy the rest of October .

Raising a strong-willed child.

One of the things I always strive to do as a writer is to be open as much as possible. If I cannot be authentic about my experiences as a parent then what is the point of this blog?  I know you enjoyed my previous post on Taji’s cute toddler lingo, but today you will be enjoying the ‘ugly ‘ truth about raising this cutie.

Before I continue first some background facts.If I was to describe my personality I’d say I am more intuitive than anything else. My husband, on the other hand, is a doer. I’d relate him to a charging bull sometimes ! ( hides ). My 21-month toddler appears to be taking his personality traits. She is extremely confident, is not afraid to speak her mind and likes everything her way.

I find myself struggling daily with whether to discipline her or try and decipher what her latest tantrum is trying to communicate. Let me give an example, earlier today I had her repeating the word water over and over again. I was in another room and didn’t go running to see what was going on because I knew I had left her water bottle close to her in case she gets thirsty.  After a few minutes of her saying it over and over, she came to find me. She marched over to the laundry basket and picked a t-shirt and took off. I chased her down and tried to take it back and she screamed in frustration! I took a breath and in that instance where I was tempted to spank her,  decided to give it back to her and asked her to show me the water.

She took the t-shirt and ran off towards the sitting room and led me to a puddle of water on the floor. She then proceeded to wipe the water with the t-shirt. That for me was an aha moment in this parenting journey. I felt proud of her for knowing that she needed to clean up the mess that she had created after pouring some water. If I had spanked her and moved on I wouldn’t have ‘listened’ to what she was trying to tell me. I will try and remember to take a breath the next time she pulls a mind numbing tantrum that makes me want to hand her over to the highest bidder!There are times I feel like she is possessed by an evil spirit because of the never ending crying spells and tantrums and the word MINE! being repeated over and over. On days like that, I feel depleted and like someone has sucked out all my energy. As much as I do not like chaos, as a parent I have no choice. I have to dive into the chaos and continue to learn how to correctly raise and discipline my strong willed child.

I hope and pray that I do not spank her too much, that in my disciplining I do not stifle her creativity and confidence. There will be times for the ‘rod’ and there will be times to listen. May I always have the wisdom and the patience to figure it all out in the journey ahead.

How do you discipline your child?  How do you deal with tantrums? Do you believe in spanking or talking? I found this infographic on this page HERE that I think is pretty helpful to decipher a child’s behaviour.

Infograph source : http://www.infoforfamilies.com/blog/2013/6/12/how-to-raise-a-happy-successful-and-cooperative-child-while-disciplining-less

They grow up so fast!

 

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photo by Alan Hicks

 

Nowadays I find myself spending a few minutes day staring at my daughter and thinking she is growing up so fast! Where does time truly go?

She is almost two years old and is a bundle of energy and independence. Mostly what melts my heart into a puddle of mushiness is her speech. It is so adorable! I keep planning to record the way she currently speaks so that I can remind her later when she is older.

This ladies and gentlemen is Taji’s glossary of vocabulary. I will spell out the words the way I hear her pronounce them.

1.Uppa – High Five

2.Goshe- Sheng for Gota , means to Fist bump in English.

3.Nyam nyam- food

4.Owange- Orange fruit slices or orange fresh juice.

5.Owetane-Aeroplane

6.Owetent- Elephant

7.Miuk-Milk, also yoghurt

8.Come -pick me up, also let us go , usually accompanied with her dragging me to follow her.

9.Up- pick me up, also put me down

10.Shoesh- Shoe

11.Doh-Door

12.Wotah- Water

13.Babe- her dad, my husband ( face palm)

14.Jush-Juice

15.Vroom – Car

16.Bwash- Brush, she says this mostly in the morning when she wants to brush her teeth.

17.Wotat? – What is that?

18.Wosho?- What is wrong?

19.Sheesh coming?- This is usually said when someone leaves the house and she wants confirmation that they will return.

20.Here! -listen to me! Look at this! Give it to me! This word is repeated over and over until you do what she wants and if you do not understand her command prepare for the screaming.

21. Taytu- Thank You

22.Pweeaz-Please

The list goes on and on! Most of the time she speaks or sings in her native toddler babble, which I just pretend to understand and respond to.

What cute words does your child use that make you want them to remain kids forever?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many Questions.

As a mother even after 20months I still feel like a newbie.I am constantly questioning different things and juggling different anxieties in relation to raising Miss T.

Some of the questions that cruise through my brain are laughable, some are serious.I think.Do you recognise some of them ?😊

1.After a meal.. Was that enough food ?Should I add more ?What if I overfeed her and she becomes obese or gets diabetes?? *sigh*

2.After reading a baby center article..Oh my gosh my toddler should have stopped using a milk bottle with teats by now! It will rot her teeth!Should I throw out the new ones I just bought her and buy  sippy cups?She needs her teeth!

3.How much cow milk is too much ?Can one get an overdose of Calcium? 😅

4.Should I introduce the potty now?(afterwards)Is the potty too shallow, maybe she got into contact with the urine!Ohmigosh I hope she doesn’t get an infection!

5.Pull up diapers pants or no?Are they compulsory?

6.Why does she love to pinch and scratch and hit me so much and not her dad ? Whyyyyyyy? *wails in corner in a pool of tears *Not.Ha.

7.When does one stop using diaper cream on a child’s bum?

8. When does discipline start setting in  and how much smacking is too much ?

And so on, and so forth.I could keep going but I won’t, I think I have shown you enough of my crazy! 😀

Care to share your thoughts and questions that run through your heads as fellow mums?

Let’s talk .

 

 

Get out of my head!

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It has been a long time since I posted on this blog. I took a break to figure out what direction I wanted to take my writing and my whole life in general. This is going to be a terribly vulnerable post I am already tearing up as I write.
I have mentioned before that I struggle with self-love. I have been trying to figure out where all this is coming from and It is clear I lost myself at some point over the course of my adulthood. Those who are close to me know I cringe whenever I receive a compliment , there is a voice that always responds with disbelief. It cant be true , I am not that great. I am not good at anything. I can barely look at myself in the mirror most days because I rarely like what I see. I almost chopped my hair off recently because every picture I saw of my natural hair in my eyes looked horrible. Instead I braided it, tucked it away so that I didn’t have to see it everyday.
Where am I heading with all of this? I believe I am in a new season of rediscovery. I know for a fact that I have been feeling lost ever since I left my comfort zone of employment and took on the role of  a Stay At Home Mum. The question always ringing in my head is ,is this enough? Can I only be a wife and mum? I have allowed doubts to creep into my mind and my soul doubting my very existence ,wondering if I am doing anything worthy.
Everyone who is close to me says I am. Why don’t I believe it ? From time to time outsiders have asked when I am going back to work. I do not have to explain myself to every person ,but I believe  a part of me has absorbed the worldly value system that is attached to those of us who choose to  stay at home. The world says that only working mothers are superwomen.
create-her-stock-office-beauty5They are balancing being powerhouses in the office, and then rushing home to take care of their family, they have an income, their own money. That is what I grew up believing a woman should be. So it has been a real struggle redefining who I was after leaving employment and a regular income.This is a work in progress ,but I have to learn to accept my current status and be content with this season in life.
After all I have a daughter who is looking up to me as a primary care giver. I need her to learn to love herself and to understand that our roles as women are not static they change with every season .Today I am a Stay at home mum, tomorrow I could be employed or running a successful business.
As I weigh my ‘career options’, as I figure out how to generate an income as I take care of Taji ,as I work on being a better human being I know one thing for sure. I love to write, that is my gift from God. I also have the ability to feel other’s pain. There are times I have wept after meeting a complete stranger because I can literally feel their pain. I have gone through experiences In my own life that have led me to question the existence of God.  I did not understand why they were happening to me . Why I had to feel such pain, the kind of pain that made me wish I wasn’t alive. I was reminded why recently. I have felt pain , I have felt loss and felt lost so that I can write about it. I have experienced days where I didn’t want to keep living.Writing is my therapy and hopefully  it will help others. If nothing else it will help someone feel like they are not alone.
So today I am telling the voices in my head that I am not just a mum who just stays at home. I need to change my default settings that use the standards of the world to measure my worth.
The words I choose to focus on ,the words I chose to bring life to are from the Bible.
I am reading the word now like my life depends on it, because now more than ever before it does.

Romans 12:2New International Version (NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

How to Style a toddler’s natural hair.

1.Gather all and I mean ALL the items required for the mission ahead.All items in the photo are necessary.
2.Pick Toddler as she runs away from mummy.Take spray bottle and liberally spray water all over her head.

3.Toddler will have squirmed away from you in protest at the liquid dripping on her head.

4 .Pick TV remote and pass it to the toddler to appease her (she loves the remote , feel free to use whatever silences your toddler).

5.Take leave in conditioner and apply on her head.Use the brush to comb and  smoothen out any tangles .

6.Toddler is protesting again , shush her and threaten to go on your outing and  leave her at home.When that doesn’t work (it doesn’t work) hand her the thermometer to play with.

7 .Take the comb and quickly divide hair into sections and use the hair bands to style as you desire.

8.After you have finished , you will realise that you did not divide the hair into neat sections.

9.Shrug and move on with your life.

10.I wanted ten points ,so consider this a space filler. happy styling 😎

Throwback BIRTH-day

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Taji- One day old

I have a confession to make, I must admit I have been feeling broody lately. Especially when I see tiny baby boys. I melt on the inside and if the baby belongs to a friend of mine, I have to spend some time holding him. Aaaaah, that new baby smell . That experience of enjoying the cuddliness of a new-born baby, is almost enough to cause amnesia. The kind of amnesia that almost completely erases the experience of  the first few months of parenthood. I said almost. A few hours later after the newborn novelty has worn off. It all comes back to me, and I literally have a conversation with my ovaries.’ Stop it  DON’T even think about it!’ I am definitely not ready  for another one, at least not yet.

Lets throwback on my birth-day , and I will show you exactly what I mean.

DISCLAIMER : I will get descriptive. You have been warned

1.Birth

I had a natural birth which I am thankful for, yes I am. However the pain is unbearable. Forgive me but I will have to use CAPS in this section just to emphasize what it felt like.

My water broke early and after waiting for a whole day, my OB-GYN advised us to allow him to induce labor. The pain is indescribable. I remember the hospital nurse explaining what would happen as she attached me to the drip. I remember her saying it would take about an hour for the drugs to take effect. LIEEEEES! I remember distinctly feeling the drugs coursing through my body and the contractions starting instantly. Nothing prepares you for that.  If labor progresses as it should, there are breaks between contractions where a mother can take a breather  untill the next contraction. There was no such break for me. The contractions are seconds apart, and so is the pain. I had an amazing midwife/doula who helped me through breathing exercises that helped. But still , THE PAIN. Lucky for me my labor only lasted four hours .but still, THE PAIN.

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Syntosin, a drug used to induce labor

 

Thankful for small mercies, therefore Taji was tiny so I didn’t tear and therefore I didn’t need stitches afterwards.

2. Breastfeeding

As a new mum I shed a lot of tears and still feel sad to date that I was unable to breastfeed my daughter for at least the first year of her life. I had so much milk after birth, it was so much I had to keep changing my hospital gown every few hours as I overflowed. During my hospital stay the nurses literally used to drag my nipples and place them into her mouth to show me how to feed her. It was degrading and painful and never seemed to work. She would suck for a few seconds and then cry and cry for hours until she fell asleep. I remember one nurse telling me it was my breasts that had a problem and  after fashioning  a plastic syringe to her liking, she used the air vacuum to repeatedly pop up my nipple. The  discomfort is out of this world.

Nothing worked, she just never did latch properly . When we got home I started expressing milk and feeding her with a bottle. The poor thing hungrily finished it up. During our first Doctor’s appointment she had gone down to two kilograms. The milk I had wasn’t enough, she kept losing weight and eventually we bought formula and never looked back. She drank expressed breast milk for two months and then I went completely  dry.

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What we fed Taji on until she was weaned

 

In hindsight I took the whole breastfeeding experience for granted. I didn’t think she would ‘reject’ her food.Maybe I should have fed her with a cup and spoon, no one told me that. I will get a lactation consultant  next time around , who knows maybe It may help.

3.Growth Spurts /Sleep deprivation/ Teething , they all happen together.

In my experience from around four months, we never seemed to sleep normally again. Once we introduced her to formula  she slept well, from 11pm to around 6am. After four months  sleep became elusive  until around 9 months. I do not know what happened.My husband will tell you I should have let her cry. ( He blames me for her bad sleeping habits ha-ha). I even attended a sleep seminar (ha-ha let me laugh at myself). Nothing  worked and eventually  she set her own sleep schedule. She is asleep right now, on the sofa  . She had slept an hour ago and then woke up. It seems to me she stays up for her dad and rarely settles down until he comes home ( ha-ha it is your fault George). All I know sleep deprivation drove me up the wall. Days merge into each other and the exhaustion never ends. Even when she would  sleep through the night the sleep was never enough. There was so much ‘sleep backlog’ to catch up on.

One day she will sleep at normal hours , without waking up even once until then we trudge on.

4.Hospital Stay

Taji was born in a private room in a private hospital. The labor ward had amazing nurses and  my doctor and mid wife were the best.I loved my experience . After birth I was moved to my own private room. The nurses there were the worst. I  learned later that new mothers are supposed to get a chance to rest and recover from birth as they keep the baby in the nursery. She was with me throughout . I never did get to sleep anyway. The nurses during the night shift would blast loud reggae music for hours on end. It wasn’t until my husband complained that they would turn it down.

Secondly , my OB-GYN cleared me to go home after two days.The hospital pediatrician who was present at birth did not clear Taji for discharge. Apparently they had sent a culture to the lab that would take 36hours for results to show . She was concerned that Taji may have an infection. We had no reason to not trust her judgement. We ended up staying from Tuesday to Saturday. During this period we never got a full report as to what was happening. It was a cat and mouse game with the nurses and  pediatrician who changed with every shift. One would tell us the results were out , the other would say they were not ready. Eventually my husband , the poor sweet man who had been spending the night on the little sofa in my hospital room  to give me support as I tried to breastfeed , finally demanded to see the results and suddenly they were ready and voila the culture showed that there was nothing to worry at. Ofcourse by then my maternity cover had been depleted .

We know better now , if we do have a baby in a hospital next time we will have our own trusted pediatrician who will guide us through the process and if there are any concerns explain them better .

 

5. Domestic managers

My husband and I love our space and had decided that when the baby was born that we would survive without a live in nanny/house help. I was able to hire and train a young lady with the help of my mother in law. She would come early morning and leave in the evening. She was a good cook and cleaned the house well . BUT a month later she was giving me sob stories and asking me to lend her a huge amount of money. I declined, a days later she sent me a text asking me to  give her some stuff from our house. I declined. Then I accidentally found out she was 6 months pregnant  A Fact that she had not told me about during the interview .I then saw her with  some of my stud earrings that I had put aside in a drawer as they were not pairs anymore. I did not feel like this was someone I could trust my child with let alone my house . She was gone . Since then we have not hired anyone on permanent basis. Maybe this year we will be lucky

 

When I look back at this collection of stories I am more amused than traumatized. We had a baby and survived through the grace and strength of GOD.

Maybe we will do this again.

MAYBE.