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.
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’.
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.
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.
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
13.Babe- her dad, my husband ( face palm)
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
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?
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 .
Romans 12:2New International Version (NIV)
2 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.
First post of the year. I feel truly blessed to be alive to see another year come to be. I am not one for making New year resolutions because if anything 2016 taught me , it is that resolving to get through each day is enough. After all tomorrow is not promised, we only have today .
So ,it is 11.12 pm , the house is quiet save for the music i am listening to as i write. Hubby and Taji are asleep . It feels good to have a few minutes to myself. Our baby is now a 14 month old toddler, she has boundless energy . This week she decided to fully start walking. It feels surreal. In my eyes she is a walking,breathing miracle. My heart explodes with joy at-least 20 times a day as I reflect on just how much she has grown. I still have not mastered this motherhood thing.Let me show you just what i mean.
Pray tell, what does that even mean? I gave up trying to sleep train Taji. She has a mind of her own, and yes Mama doesn’t have the heart to let her cry it out. I tried everything, i read all the books and articles online. She sleeps when she wants and in our bed. DO not judge me , yes i see you, you with the perfectly sleep trained baby who sleeps in their own room. Move along , nothing to see here. I feed her, give her a bath, read her a story,pray with her, give her a last bottle for the day and put her down. Sometimes she sleeps sometimes she decides shes staying up until Daddy comes home. She then sleeps with us for about an hour then i put her in her bed.
I stopped feeling guilty about not having a sleep trained baby. I put her in our bed one exhausted night when she was teething and going through a growth spurt and she finally fell asleep. I figure she wont be with us much longer as she needs to move to the next room. Stay tuned, let us see how that goes!
Taji eats as she sits in her feeding chair. Thankfully she eats well. She is now fully weaned and eats whatever we eat, spices and all.Depending on her day to day appetite i will feed her three meals or smaller ones spaced out through the day. Including fruits and water to keep her hydrated especially in this hot January weather. We were lucky that she transitioned to whole cow milk without trouble , yes there was a celebration in our house when we stopped buying formula. Kshs 1050 per tin, how did we do it? God truly provides.
If you do not already know, Taji is a fully fledged daddy’s girl. She says mama maybe twice a week, and Dada 50 million times a day. The injustice ! Oh well. She now says Mama, Dada, pupu (when she poops) hi and ba-byeeee , and sings /hums along to her favourite YouTube videos. Our daughter is a dancer (yeah she got that from me, I had a short career as a dancer ha-ha). She can stand upright and now takes lots of steps around the house. At the rate she is going she will be running by the end of the month. My baby is growing up. Bittersweet.
My daughter loves people thankfully. Mama not so much. Whenever we go for social gatherings i struggle to keep up with the conversations. I used to be a social butterfly ,guess that happens when your daily companion is a baby. Social media doesn’t help ,i wistfully watch as all my friends go on with their lives. I miss having an ADULT best friend, one that i can call and go for coffee with and laugh as we catch up and talk about our lives.
So in a nutshell, that is where we are at. I have a happy healthy baby , a happy marriage and for that I am thankful for. I am praying a lot as I figure out the next step for me. I need to work on becoming whole , reconnect with the social being that I was, reconnect with my gifts that are meant to be shared with the world. Getting out of this mummy hole with my dark thoughts is proving hard. But I have made a few steps out and each day it gets better and better.
Thank God we made it.
Happy 2017 everyone.
Been meaning to write this for a while now . I feel like the past few years represent a huge metamorphosis for me. Have you ever had that nagging feeling like you didn’t belong? Like you thought differently from everyone else. I’ve spent a lot of my adult life convincing my brain to go along with the crowd even though everything in me screamed , go the other way.
I would be in the salon feeling like a prisoner sitting in the drier for the millionth time for a wash and set. I hated going through the motions ,applying the numerous chemicals to straighten my hair, because this was what the world dictated as beautiful. Id hear repeatedly that those with natural hair could’nt afford to get their hair done.
I would be in a religious meeting listening to the word and a voice inside would tell me , stop playing church, go out into the world, don’t forget the great commission.
I would be waking up to go to work ,feeling like a minion about to jump onto a conveyor belt. I could do my job in my sleep, I was working just to help pay the bills ,clear our loans that we were paying at the time.
So one day I said enough. I swore never to spend four hours in the salon straightening my hair, or at Kenyatta market getting it braided for 6-8 hours. I chopped my hair off. That was two years ago ,it marked the beginning of my walk to freedom. I got the usual negative comments I brushed them off. My husband was happy with my choice ,his opinion is the only one I seek.
On the spiritual front I began to seek God on my own. I began to ask and truly try to understand what my purpose was on this earth. I knew that for this season I wanted to become a mother that was the desire of my heart. I also felt that I wanted to be a present parent.A stay at home mother.That scared me, no manner of praying could push that desire away. I knew I needed to leave my job.
You see I have grown up listening to all manner of stories, been told that being an independent woman is how to survive this world. Never rely on a man, have your own money, you never know what will happen in the future if he leaves you. But that way of thinking never felt right to me. You see in my view that is living a life based on fear , I trust in God. He is my provider and my protector. I wanted to be free. and So at the beginning of 2015, my husband and I were planning for the year and I remember we prayed. Crazy prayers basically that If God was to bless us with kids I would be able to leave my job, that we would be able to pay off our debt in one payment . I remember not having any faith it was smaller than a mustard seed.But it happened, God answered our prayer, and when it was time for me to leave employment I remember hearing God saying trust me. And I did.My decision raised a lot of eyebrows, it still does.
You see life is simple. We are born, we live and then we die. God provides my daily guidance on what to do. And when I follow his will there is so much peace and contentment. I am a woman finding out from my creator how I am supposed to live my life. Not how the world dictates I should live It.
Today a new journey begins, check out this link here later today. This is one of the doors that opened when I stepped out. I am so happy that I am not afraid anymore. That I am a proud misfit . It is a lonely path but very fulfilling and I will continue to walk it for the remainder of my life.
First off happy Mother’s day to every mother out there. I believe God has given us the strength to get up everyday and keep trudging on , this motherhood journey isn’t easy ,but It gets better everyday,
I woke up today feeling energetic and actually felt like writing . I must admit it has been a while since I felt like that. The irony is my husband and I barely slept last night. After midnight yesterday Miss T kept waking up every hour. We tried everything , I fed her, soothed her, changed her diaper , checked if she was cold, nothing worked. She wanted to play! Here was my daughter giggling and kicking and talking and crying. While all we wanted to do was sleep.At some point I was so groggy from sleep that after picking her up I tripped like a drunk and knocked her little hand into the wall. Yeah that didn’t help matters she wasn’t hurt but she cried even louder. Finally earlier this morning she pooped and blacked out into a deep sleep. Halleluyah!
Important lesson here she started weaning and kept passing gas all day but no poop, so the combination of going through her six month growth spurt and not pooping is equals to no sleep for everrrrrrrrrrrrybody.
So here I am at 11 am this morning,blogging, with a still sleeping baby and sniffing the heavenly smell of pancakes that the hubby is making (yayy for mother’s day ! )
So to celebrate her recent 6 month birth date I will share with you the milestones that she has gone through.
1.Laughing out loud
The sound of Miss T laughing out loud is beautiful. It comes from deep inside her belly. It makes me smile and cry and causes my heart to self combust with joy. It causes me to Praise God for all his blessings.
Between 4-6 months Miss T began to sit up all on her own. In the beginning she would sit up and her head would bop around like those little dolls put at the front of the car. Shortly after sitting up she would topple over like an overweight penguin losing their balance. Cutest thing ever. So I ensure she has tummy time to strengthen her muscles and now shes definitely getting better at sitting up without been assisted.
3.Hand and finger co-ordination.
One day Miss T woke up and discovered she has fingers. She can stare at them for an extended period of time. I can almost hear her thoughts as she looks at them.” What are these? What do they do? Look mum I can stretch and fold these thingies all by myself. I have an over imaginative mind and liken her staring intently at her fingers like those cartoon evil villain characters plotting to take over the world.. bwahahahaha.
Where was I? Yes she can now grip onto toys with her hands and shake them repeatedly until they fall onto the floor and then she cries. Mama picks up the toy and hands it over to baby.Miss T shakes the toy until it falls onto floor and cries. Repeat to infinity!
She also uses her hands to knock the sides of her cot repeatedly when she wakes up and wants to be picked up. If we don’t hear that she starts to scratch the same sides with her fingers. It sounds like finger nails on a chalkboard and gets mama to pick her up real quick. Hmmmm this child. And speaking about fingers she chews and sucks on her fingers like its a piece of sugar cane. Actually at this point everything goes into her mouth. I don’t stop her though , i just make sure whatever it is , is clean.
4. Facial Recognition
Yes like the software . Her internal software recognises her people. She lights up when she sees people she knows. Especially her dad and mum. Who am I kidding ESPECIALLY her dad. She even gives him puppy dog eyes when he prepares to leave for work. hahaha you are in trouble George when she starts to crawl or walk and talk. You ain’t leaving this house unless you sneak out.
A clever term that my sister Mwende came up with and oh Boy have I experienced it.She could be fussing and whining and I hand her over to someone else and she calms down. How does a six month old already know that if she does certain things mama will do her bidding? She has even learned to shout if I ignore her for too long , like right now!
Yes she’s awake need to type real quick.
6. Separation anxiety
Mum’s not Taji’s . I have left her for a full day with George’s mum and she didn’t go on a hunger strike or cry incessantly . She plays, eats , sleeps as normal and for that I am grateful. I wont deny that i cried the first time I left her for a full day. I almost didn’t make it to the car.
And so the journey continues . Will be posting later this week to share my weaning journey so far
Wishing God’s blessings to every woman who is a mother figure to those around you. The world is a little better because you are here.
I always have intentions to blog regularly but oh boy being a new mum has been a whirlwind of events. As she grows older it will be easier to find time to breath like right now. Our baby girl Taji is now four months old .I thought it would be a great idea to share the lessons i have learned as a first time parent. I love being a mum and i hope my lessons will help other first time parents as they figure out how to take care of their little human.
DISCLAIMER: every child is different so what works for Taji may not work for your baby.
- Poop is everything! I kid you not this is a subject that is discussed in descriptive detail in our household. The color, texture, smell and whether it is regular or not helps to determine the health of baby. Click on this link to further understand what your baby’s poop is telling you here
- Baby’s immunity is stronger than you think. We started leaving the house with Taji at 6 weeks and she was fine. Being confined to the house as a new parent can drive one crazy. So once you feel comfortable and brave enough (i am talking to you mums i know its hard not to be scared ) start with visits to your family and close friends.Avoid crowded places and ensure that everyone who handles your child has washed their hands.My husband and i have gotten the nasty cold going round and even a cough and Taji hasn’t been sick once .Thank you God!
- Babies understand a lot more than you think. We both talk to Taji like we would a normal person and as she continues to grow we noticed that she has found a way to respond.When we say something to her she coos in response and laughs and smiles just like a grown up would. Its a beautiful thing to see! Look baby directly in the eyes as you sing ,talk , read to and play with them. It will teach them how to communicate effectively when they begin to talk
- Their breathing patterns are weird. Since Taji was born we have heard all manner of sounds emanating from her little body. I used to panic in the earlier days thinking that my baby was having problems breathing. Everything from gasps,to growls to snorts. it may sound like a little monster has taken over your house. Trust me its normal .Read this link here for further information on what to expect when it comes to breathing sounds.
- Heat rash is real! If you are from Kenya like me, then you know that as a new parent you are advised to dress your baby up in layers of clothing and then wrap them in thick woollen shawls and add socks and a hat. *phew* I am sweating just imagining having to wear all that in this Nairobi heat! My poor baby was over dressed in the early days and developed heat rash . SO i learned as a rule of thumb to dress her in one extra layer of clothing and that was it. Whenever i would put a hat on her head she would develop a fever ! So no hats for her either, and when we are in the house Taji hangs around in a onesie and nothing else. So do not tell me to cover up my child, no she is not feeling cold. She is sweating just like you are . Bye! ( yes random strangers have attacked me in public with harsh words on how to cover her up).I check to see if she is too cold or too hot by touching her back ,that guides me on how to dress her. I will save the heavy clothing for the colder months in the year.
- Sleep deprivation is a way of life. Taji put herself on a schedule, yes i chose to follow a baby led schedule and it works perfectly for us. She mostly sleeps for 7 hours at night and if she does wake up its once for a feed and goes right back to sleep. However during her growth spurts she wont sleep as well especially during the day so i do not get a break. I got used to it though. On those days i walk around the house like a zombie with uncombed hair and sometimes forget to eat. One gummy smile from her and its all worth it. I will sleep one day..ha!
- Natural products are the best for baby’s delicate skin. When Taji was a newborn my midwife advised that if i couldn’t eat it i shouldn’t apply it on her. So my staple oils are Coconut oil and Olive oil. I had used Aveeno baby wash on her and it caused a rash to appear all over her body, so no thank you to Johnson and Johnson products. She will graduate to normal soaps and oils when she becomes a toddler. Speaking of rashes, when it comes to diapers i use Huggies Gold in the green packet. The Huggies dry are of cheaper quality and caused my baby’s skin to break out. So yes the the gold are pricier but for now they are the best for her.
- Music is life! Taji loves play time, everyday no matter how tired both of us are , we will sing and play with Taji. She responds to music immediately even if she was in a fussy mood. There are a lot of great music channels on YouTube that allow you to sing along. Our favourite channel especially during bath time is Little Baby Bum .They act as a teaching aid as well , by the time she learns to speak she will be able to learn numbers, colors, how to tie her shoes etc
- Car safety- In our part of the world it saddens me to see that child safety isn’t taken seriously . In most countries abroad when a new parent is leaving hospital it is a requirement to have a baby car seat. We started using one when Taji was days old and has gotten used to it. It’s for your baby’s safety if you are belted up why not protect your baby too? See this link for helpful information on the right type of car seats for your child here
- Take your time in choosing a good pediatrician, the kind of doctor who doesn’t cause panic . As a new parent i spent a lot of time worrying over every little change in our baby .Most days were spent calling the doctor or speaking to my midwife. It was helpful that i had a calm and experienced doctor who advised me on what to look out for. Prescribing medication isn’t the answer to every problem. Most problems are caused by an overactive brain like mine and GOOGLE! (hehehehe). So do your research before choosing a pediatrician and ask questions every time medicine is prescribed, if at all it is necessary. I also carry around a thermometer in my diaper bag in case i need to check my baby’s fever .
SO there you have it, that is all i have time for right now. Feel free to send any questions and we can discuss and find solutions together. Happy Parenting!
Ladies, and gents has it really been that long since i posted? Wow time truly does fly. Disclaimer : this post has no photos or visual aids, no time to look them up ! Too busy being a mum.
Oh well, here I am finally finding a minute to blog. You see its been one month since our little girl was born. She decided due dates are lame and arrived 3 weeks early on November 3rd. Remember one of my earlier posts when I declared my desire to have a natural birth? Well, i got my wish. Clearly I had no indication of what I was in for.
I remember feeling exhausted the weekend of October 31st. My husband and I slept in that Sunday and spent time with family that evening. When I got time I spent the evening having a ‘troubled ‘tummy. I had no idea why as I hadn’t eaten anything out of the ordinary but boy was my stomach running. Later that night I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3 am. I returned to bed and almost immediately felt liquids about to gush out of me. I was embarrassed thinking that my running stomach was to blame, until my husband put on the lights and on looking on to the floor realized my waters had broken. In the movies they make it look like it’s a onetime thing, where a little pool of water comes out and that is it. Well reality is different, it was A LOT and continued for a while.
We immediately called my midwife and remained in contact with her waiting for the onset of the contractions before heading to hospital. The contractions never came, and eventually had to head to hospital where my ob/gyn decided to induce my labour . They tried the tablet, where i only dilated to 3 cm. The next step was to use the dreaded DRIP *scream*. I had heard horror stories about it and i truly was not ready .I remember the nurse telling me not to worry that the drip would take about an hour to kick in. So I would have time to prepare for the pain. That didn’t happen. the contractions started immediately for me. They came hard, and they came fast. During normal labor , a woman has time to breathe between contractions. When labor is induced the interval in between are a mere few seconds. The pain is unbearable. I cannot find enough words to describe what it feels like. Thankfully I had my husband holding my hand, cheering me on, my midwife helping me with breathing exercises and massaging my lower back. The medical staff were expecting that I would labor for a long time but thankfully my torture didn’t last too long. Four hours later the baby crowned and I was able to push our little girl into this world.
Truth is, halfway through labor I toyed with the idea of having a c- section. The pain was enough for me to want to change my mind! I did ask for painkillers which I got, but they did nothing pain all they did was make me feel like I was intoxicated and drowsy. The easiest part for me was pushing, that was nothing compared to the labor.
One month later and I still can’t believe I survived that whole experience. It felt like it would never end. How do women do this more than once? I think God definitely has a sense of humor and strikes women with amnesia and they forget the pain they went through and are thus able to bear more children. I must admit every time I look at my baby’s cute little face , I can say the pain was worth it and I am thankful that God gave me the strength to birth her.
Taji, our crown of joy born November 3rd ,7.35pm.
Yes that’s the question that shouts loudest in my mind every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror or a passing window at a shop somewhere. I kid you not my reflection has caused me to to feel momentary shock.
I remember with nostalgia earlier in my pregnancy when I could still wear anything as my baby bump wasn’t huge enough to cause major changes in my wardrobe. Well right now there is definitely no doubt that I’m pregnant and about to bring forth a little one!
My third trimester is well underway and I’m glad to say I’m more excited than scared. Let me share a little bit about what I have been experiencing lately.
1. Swollen feet
My feet had began to swell mid second trimester but lately it has gotten to the point where I wear shoes that fit well in the morning and by the time I am leaving the office I change to slippers because nothing else will fit.I have began wearing my hubby’s sandals and comfie crocs to the office . Yes I have noticed the amused glances at the office as I waddle along the corridors but I am more about comfort than style right now! My feet swell up so much on some days that my hubby has began to affectionately call me the Hulk. Hahaha!! I’d weep if it wasn’t so hysterically funny because thats how I feel ,my body is mu-ta-ting!
Things that have helped to bring some relief is soaking my feet in a basin of water , getting a foot massage from hubby as he was instructed to do by our midwife (thanks Lucy) also sitting with my feet raised to allow the water retention to flow back into the rest of the body.
I woke up one day and my left ear was completely blocked. I was worried that an insect had crawled in during the night (eeeeeeek) or that my pregnancy hormones were working overtime and was mass producing ear wax. Yes that happens . I have never had so much ear wax in all my life .
Anyway I officially checked on google and on baby centre and was relieved to find that this was a common symptom experienced during pregnancy. I called my doctor just to be sure and he prescribed some mild antihistamines. They didnt work and eventually I got used to being deaf in one ear and thankfully I woke up one day and I could hear again. It cleared up all on its own.
This symptom always strikes in the middle of the night and feels like hot lava crawling up my upper tummy towards my chest . It is very uncomfortable and has caused me to stay up at night.
The only way I am able to find some slight comfort is to prop up three pillows and sleep almost upright. I don’t want to take any medication for it so I will keep looking for ways to deal with it. I recently read that taking a little apple cider vinegar works like a charm .Will try it soon.
Hi mum its only 2am lets wake up and play! Yes thats what Baby Kagwe does on most nights. This baby is a lot like the father , a nocturnal playful creature. I am thankful at least that the baby is active and will eventually get used to being sleep deprived .
Some days its because I cant find a comfortable position to sleep in .So I end up staring at the ceiling listening to the night sounds, sometimes I pray and talk to God, or I talk to hubby who wakes up after my endless tossing and turning. On most mornings I am a sleep deprived zombie and it does make it hard to be productive in the office but I am taking it a day at a time.
5.Current craving – FRUITS!
I can eat an endless amount of fruits on a daily basis. So when I find time I do stock up on passion fruits, apples,bananas, paw paws and grapes. I finished off three juicy oranges yesterday .Yummmmy! I Am drooling right now just thinking about it.
So thats the current state of affairs right now, and one of the things that has kept me sane every time I experience a new symptom is attending birth preparation classes at eves mama If you haven’t checked out this page please do here http://on.fb.me/1Mg32Fn and her new You Tube channel http://bit.ly/1N1uo4Y and learn a whole lot on pregnancy ,birth and baby care.
I am now 33 weeks and two days. That means 6weeks 5 days left , the countdown continues 🙂