Of The Weekend, #Thanksgiving and #Winning

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I went to the market yesterday to get some soup stuff. Nothing unusual there; I make some form of vegetable soup every Saturday...the life of a serial dieter! I went to Mama Adaobi to buy said soup stuff. Again, nothing unusual there; Mama Adaobi has the nicest disposition for a roadsidal foodstuff market woman (some of them would give you the evil eye for so little as pricing pepper from their neighbour) and she doesn’t feel obligated or entitled (like her neighbour) to comment about my weight, whether ballooning or on the path to dwindling.
 
What was unusual was how, half-way through plucking my tete, her face altered...from “smiley” to nearly “indescribable”. It is that face deranged side-chics get in the movies when they want to stealthily murder that wife that won’t let them have at their husband. Yea, that face. Seeing as i was her only customer at the time and was absolutely sure i hadn’t done anything to provoke whatever emotion that IS driving this transformation, i was slightly alarmed. However, having been “cursed” with the gift of inquisitiveness, my mouth asked what the problem was.

Unveiled

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Finally, the day is here...
My baby has a brand new “tear-rubber” home!!




Oh yea, Beddings ‘n' Beyond has a new online home!!!

A Bit About...
Beddings ‘n' Beyond [my company...lol] is a company committed to making and selling the finest in beddings and soft furnishings. The quality of our products, combined with our dedication to great customer services and prompt delivery makes us your go-to place for all sheets, cozy, comfortable and stylish.
At Beddings ‘n' Beyond, we believe that everybody should have access to quality beddings without the nightmare of compromised quality and exorbitant price tags. We pride ourselves on the quality (thread count, durability, colourfastness, shrinkage) and diversity of our sheets, and on competitive pricing.....Read more here

That Time of the Year...

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*In Eminem voice*
“Guess who’s back...
Back again...
Hazel’s back...
Tell a friend...”

Okay, okay...lemme stop fooling around and get down to biznit. What I have to say today is tres important. Imagine I had to take time off my self-imposed sabbatical to blog about this. That’s how importa-mkpa it is.
Ladies, if you are married and a parent to school age kids (plural oooo), September is the time to love the heck outta your husband (...or whoever pays the piper). I know you love him already but at this time, you up the ante on loving. Tell, touch, kiss, hug, sex, cook, clean...the whole nine yards and jara! You do not wait for the opportunity to show him....no. You create the opportunity and it best be every other minute of the day...until his September payday, at the very least. Then, you can go back to showing him regular love ‘cos I can bet you even a Stanford Wife (original) does not come wired with stamina for such extended service.

In A Hopeless Place...

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Speechless. This pain...too awful for words. Indescribable! This is not the sort of pain that a band-aid or some pain killers would alleviate. I wish it were. No, this is nothing physical and too terrible to be categorized under emotional. My heart was not just broken...it was sliced clean into two equal bleeding halves and nothing--except maybe a self-induced coma-- can stop the hurt.
That bitch of a sister. Slimy worm...
As sudden as it’s been coming, the urge to barf came again. I scrambled out of bed and made a mad dash to the bathroom, muzzy as heck. I barely cleared the doors before the bile surged forth, from within the depths of my stomach. I heaved over the toilet bowl for all of three minutes until my innards finally calmed. It has been like this for a few days now. I honestly hope i’m not pregnant on top of everything i have to deal with, i thought as i groped my way back to my sanctuary...my bed...in the dark. Time 04:17a.m

Mummy, It's A Girl!

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I had such a fun Saturday doing absolutely nothing! Just lying in bed and watching the telly. I cannot honestly remember the last time i had a sleep-in Saturday. If i am not sourcing new clients, i’m procuring or delivering. Or i’m shopping groceries and cooking 4 pots of soup. Or stuck in a branch listening to yet another training on how to catch fraudsters. It’s a hectic world we live in. Today though, my plate was absolutely empty...except that this one delivery I had to make {which was done before 7:30am; the hubby didn’t even know when I snuck off to do that} and this meeting I have for 3:00pm to work out the kinks of a new business deal.
 
I enjoyed every lazy minute of it until I had to get up and get ready for that meeting. I had just driven out of my compound when my phone rang. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t pick especially if I was on the highway {too scared i’ll totally run into a car or something} but as it is, I was still on my street so I picked the call. It was my sister; she called to say she finally got a Blackberry and I should send my pin. I was right in the middle of screaming “You finally got a Blackburrieeeeeeeeeee” when the phone call ended. So ru....abrupt!

You Know You Are Ready When...

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Apologies are in order because, mbanu, this has now gone beyond ridiculous! How is it that I published only two posts in the entire month of June? Two. Duo. Meji. Abua. Biu. Aluu. I sincerely apologise for my absence in Blogsville...{not like anybody missed me sef *tongue in cheek*} and i promise this will not repeat itself...well, in the foreseen future. It’s been a hectic few months and lately, this brain has little time to even assimilate recent events talk more of articulating and writing them down. I tried ooo.
The number of unfinished posts in Draftsville in my witness, true to God *touch floor, touch tongue, show God*. Somehow, the juices stop flowing half-way through a post. Too many distractions: the kids, work, hunger. Choose. But, if i’m honest to myself, the major culprit is Beddings ‘n’ Beyond! Kai, Andy akowataroru m ihe a ofuma. Mbaa. He did not explain things well to me. Building a business/brand is sooooooooooooooooo time-consuming and energy-sapping, it’s absolutely ridic. But it’s totally gratifying when it starts to pay off. And it has been. Thank goodness. Anyways, enough of the chitter-chatter; back to the business of the day... 
Flicky is a colleague and a very good friend of mine. She’s never been skinny even as a kid but after she had her baby last year, she went from an uber-trendy size 14 to a now-struggling-to-be-trendy-and-sometimes-succeeding size 16. Initially, she wasn’t bothered. I gotta give it to her: if there’s one person that knows how to work magic with the body she’s got, it’s Flicky. Some days, she packages herself so well i could bet one of my flatsheets that she’s a size 12. That’s how good she is with packaging.
Recently though, her weight has become a burden to her {pun intended}...for the first time in her existence. Apparently, skinny is firmly in...Even pregnancy and childbirth is no more an acceptable excuse. {All these mothers that bounce back to size 8s and 10s, y’all are to blame. Forever tormenting the likes of us!}. Anyways, now she’s bothered and who else to confide in except one who has worn same shoe and knows where it pinches, Me! Hazel a.k.a Fellow Fatso Size 14.

And You Became God, When?

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A few weeks back, my job disengaged the services of a good number of its management and non-management staff. That incident was so unexpected and sudden, it left most of us floundering as fishes fresh out of water. I’m sure if checked, error rate on said day must’ve been 200%; morale was at its lowest! It was, however, towards the evening, after we’ve had the chance to kick off our shoes...and all pretences at diligence...that my colleague got the call that prompted this post. The caller was Levi*, one of the security men at my job.
Levi had been summoned to HR earlier that day. He had no idea why he was sent for but before he left, he met with my colleague and asked her to pray for him...just in case. The call she got was Levi confirming his fear: he’s been asked to resign too. Before she could conjure the appropriate sympathetic burble to offer, Levi told her not to worry; I didn’t sign the letter, he said. We were stunned. Who doesn’t sign their resignation letter when their company advises them to do so? He said he didn’t and that he respectfully demanded that they explain why he was being sacked. Balls of steel! But he got his answer: his boss wrote to say that Levi was impossible to work with! Levi

Where's A Friend When You Need One?

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I was in the market yesterday, waiting out that heavy downpour when my phone rang. It was a friend and she wanted to know whether i was home. From her tone of voice, i could tell something was bugging her. I told her i wasn’t home and asked if everything was ok. She said she just needed to get out of her house. Apparently, she and her hubby had a fight and home-zone wasn’t as conducive as she woulda wished it on a rainy cozy Saturday morning. I mumbled my apologies, told her i would check in later to find out how she was doing and clicked off.

I couldn’t help but chuckle after i dropped the call and my amusement wasn’t because she was in a sticky situation {hey, i’m not a sadist}. Nah, i was amused because once upon a time, i was the one making this call and asking a list full of friends if they were home...

The year was 2006. The hubby and i had just left the last class of our pre-marital course. The class was all about S.E.X--how, when, when not to, with who, with what—sex in all its brazen glory. It was a really fun class and on that high, we drove to one of the eateries on Awolowo Road to get something to eat. Just before we turned into Tantalizer, we got into..

Hands Free Sundays

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http://www.handsfreemama.com/
When I had my son, I promised myself and the little baby sucking his thumb in my arms that I will be the best mummy there ever was to him. I will love him so hard, he would never doubt that he is loved. I will always be there for him; there to hold his hands when he’s afraid, there to do his homework, there to hang out and share laughter with, there so that nobody ever ever hurts him. He would be my bestest friend.
I promised always have time for his excesses, always have time to listen to what he has to say, always encourage him to be the best child he could be….

Scary Saturday

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Saturday 12, i experienced Lagos firsthand.
We had just finished this 3-day amazingly inspiring training {who woulda thunk it?} organized by my job and as is with such trainings, we exited the hall feeling like we can take on whatever the world threw at us...We were ready to change the world.
Someone had parked their car right behind mine, blocking my exit and so i was forced to wait for whoever it was to finish their tete-a-tete with the facilitator. I was just about to start fretting when the owner of the car came out...and she is this really nice mother-of-two that sat behind me all through the training.
Both of our cars were parked on the kerb just by the express {the training was in one of our branches on Ikorodu Road}. I had walked round to my passenger side, just a feet away from the express, to offload the books i bought {still can’t believe i bought that many books} and my handbag when she came out. I mentioned she was nice, right? So i said to her,
 “I should have your number!” to which she replied,
“I’ll do better. Give me your BB pin”.

The Ten Commandments Of Being A Man

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Something has been {and is still} going on with me that i can’t really put a finger to. But whatever it is has me waking up every morning with near blinding headaches. Sometimes, it feels like i just need to literally open up my head to let the pressure in there ease off. Quite overwhelming and energy sapping. It leaves me really tired most times. Lethargic. I have zero interest in stuff that usually excite me: tweeting, watching TV {i haven’t even seen an epi of Big Brother Stargame}, blogging...
I miss blogging. But there’s no space in my head right now to articulate words. I start a post and half way through it, i knock off to bed. By the next day, the inspiration is long gone. In case y’all haven’t figured it out, this is a public apology for abandoning this blog {and some others i faithfully troll} for so long. I promise, i have so many half baked posts in Draftville. As soon as they are baked, y’all best believe im gonna serve them hot.
In the meantime, enjoy this post i came across a while back. Written by a male guest writer on Mollie’s fab blog, this is a must-read for every WOMAN. I say Woman because i KNOW y’all will ensure your significant others get the link to this post. Don’t say i didn’t share. Enjoy....

What's In Your GTH Account?

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Monday morning had resurfaced again, as it usually does every Monday morning. And as was also usual with Mondays, i was not inclined to go to work but seeing as my bills will not miraculously pay themselves with me lounging in bed under covers, lemming on slices of cucumber and watching S3 of the The Good Wife, i organized myself and hustled off to work.
As i entered the bank premise, i noticed we had a couple of early customers hanging around, waiting for the bank to open its doors for business. One of them, a lady, looked so very familiar, like we have some sort of history together but i couldn’t place her face, for the life of me. I chucked it up to one of the many faces i encounter everyday in the course of work and went about the business of putting my six-inch heels and my game face on. It wasn’t until i saw my other colleagues hugging and cooing at her that it clicked. I couldn’t blame me tho: there was no way i could’ve recognised that chic without her power suit and high-heeled pumps! Oh yes, she was a former colleague, from another branch. But in the place of sophisticat, i saw a woman that had been beaten down by her circumstances; hard-drawn face, badly applied make-up, hair an absolute mess. I was beyond shocked.

A Cord of Three

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We've been arguing back and forth for a few minutes now and frankly, I’m exhausted. Ok, correction...I've been building my case and He's been listening patiently. But enough already; I’m wearing me out and it doesn't seem like I'm making any progress…as usual. I mentally rolled my eyes. 
“The joke is on you,” I huffed but then I remember who I was talking to.
“Ok, I'm sorry I’m giving you lip. I know you don't deserve the attitude I'm sending your way right now but you gotta admit the joke is really on you. You asked that I wait. I waited. Against all odds, I waited.  See where that landed me...in a mighty mess. What am I supposed to do now?”
“Learn!” I heard.
“Learn? From who? Deji? Haha! Really, You are supposed to be all-seeing!!!”
“Tanya. Tanya! Tanya!!”
Strange, this would be the first time I actually heard, like audibly heard God call out my name. Usually, its almost nonexistent whispers. And stranger, God's voice didn't sound as ominous as movies make it out to be. This voice sounded mellow, slightly annoying, yet sing-song, almost like...
“Earth to Tanya. Does anyone copy?”
...like Debbie's. Sarcastic…as always!
I snapped out of my reverie to glimpse four friendly albeit worried faces staring back at me. Debbie, Cassie, Lillian, Amaka. My girlfriends…. It was our once-in-a-month luncheon at Café Royale, something we do to keep in touch and catch up on happenings and gossips. That’s the official story. Deep down though, we know one truth: We are each other’s support system.

My Book Of Bible Stories: Joseph

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My Book of Bible Stories, anchored by AA @Abyurla is back! I just love how she adds a modern day twist to age old Bible stories so we can easily relate it to our everyday lives. Today’s story is being anchored by a member of #TeamBookofBibleStories @phemyte. Read, enjoy, learn....
                                                           ***********
During the week when AA sister informed me I would be taking the sermon today, I wept and asked God why me? Baba Why Me O? *in D-banj’s voice* Who am I to pree-sh to your children? I’m not even worthy to sweep your altar Lord. But then I remembered the men of old, they were in no way perfect. Moses was a stammerer; David was an adulterer; Rahab was a harlot, Bro Paul persecuted the church and many others like that *smoothens beard*. So I came to the conclusion, “God uses a willing vessel and not necessarily the most beautiful.” It don’t matter what you are or where you’ve been, God can and will use you. Can I get an amen? Amen!! 
Today, *clears throat* I want to share with you the life of 17 year-old Joseph Jacobs aka JJ aka The Dreamer, born into a polygamous family. His half brothers hated him cos he’s daddy’s boy (dad got him this lovely designer blazer) and he used to brag a lot about his dreams of becoming president. So one day while on business trip to Nigeria with his brothers, they sent him on an errand to a merchant. Unknown to him his brothers had sold him to the merchants to be used as domestic servant. Coincidentally the Nigerian Senate President (Sen. P) needed domestic help or houseboy, he paid the merchants good money for JJ.
After 3mths, Sen. P observed that JJ is godly and skilful in administration, so he made him P.A Special Duties. God was with JJ and everything was going smoothly until one day when devil reared its ugly head. Sen. P’s wife (Mrs. P) had been watching JJ since he came into their house. She noticed he was handsome & even has six packs & toned biceps. Since Sen. P was always in Abuja, she decided to “Set P” with JJ. She began to wink at him, backslapping, laugh at his jokes even if they were dry. Mrs. P would call JJ to serve her wine after she just finished bathing just to seduce him. 
One day she BBM-ed JJ, “Sleep with me *wink*”. JJ replied, “Let us fear God ma, my oga trusts me too much for me to thrust his wife” *angel smiley*. Mrs. P decided to take it a notch higher; she told him she would get Sen P to increase his salary, then bought him Bold 5 & Ipad 3 which JJ refused. Choi. I thought to myself, JJ is a dulling somborri, living in a jonzing world. I trust myself *coughs* erm…I mean err…some guys, there will always be electrical fault in Mrs. P’s bedroom, they will be looking for ways to fix her bedroom light bulb, socket. Just to enter madam’s room.
This particular konji haff catch Madam, the agro was unbearable. Sen P had not come visit her in a month; her “toys” were not helping matters again. That’s how Madam tricked JJ into the room when no one was around, grabbed him by the waist, pinned him to the wall with her heavy bosom *choi*. JJ looked at the madam’s oranges, he remembered the pictures from #WorldCleavageDay, he felt a bulge in his pants & started sweating under AC. JJ tried to psyche Mrs P, “Madam relax, no be say I no understand you all these days. I dey catch am as you dey throway am. I just want to be sure”.  Mrs P couldn’t believe her ears cos JJ had been refusing all her earlier signals. With his heart pounding in his mouth, he slowly removed his shirt revealing those six packs Madam had been dying for. Mrs. P grinned sheepishly, bit her lower lips sexily, hmmn. JJ noticed his chance, threw his shirt over Mrs. P and quickly unlocked the door.
Mrs. P was furious, a woman scorned! Mrs P thought of calling Sen P but decided to wait till he arrived from Abuja later in the day. Mrs. P showed Sen P JJ’s shirt and told him a well-cooked up version with plenty water-works. Sen. P was enraged; he immediately called the SSS to arrest JJ. Brethren and sistren, that’s how JJ landed in Kirikiri maximum prison...*Sigh*
You don’t believe me abi? Read Gen 37 & 39. How many guys would do what #JoeJacobs did? 
 What other lessons did you learn? Till another day when I’ll be bringing you another interesting tori, I remain yours truly @phemyte *wipes forehead* Part 2 coming soon
>>>>>>   To God Be The Glory   <<<<<<<
Really really nice piece from @phemyte. Make sure you follow him on Twitter. Also, if you want to be a vessel, get at @Abyurla and join #TeamBookofBibleStories.
“Your reward won’t only be in Heaven…You will be endearing people to the Bible” @Abyurla

Picture Perfect

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So we [Chets, Zi & I] were bored this particular day and we sorta found ourselves having a photo-sess. What is it with kids and taking pictures these days tho? They looooooove the camera! The poses i saw that day....


United We Stand, Chets, Zi & I....their father is a staunch unwavering supporter of Wa-Wa Rangers. Go figure!
Don’t let their goofy angelic faces fool you....these two terrorise me daily. But i wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world!
How has everyone been? Its been a minute.

My Book Of Bible Stories

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The Bible, brought to you by AA. Sister, leggooo…..

@Abyurla: *Adjusts clerical collar*

Thank You Jesus! Have you said it today? Ok, lemme rap to you guys real quick about Ruth. 

There was recession in Judah, Naomi's hubby & her two sons moved to Moab along with her because she won their visa lottery. Hubby died shortly after
.

Both sons got jobs and soon married Moabite babes - Orpah & Ruth. 10yrs later, both sons died *sigh* leaving Naomi & both wives behind…no kids yet.

Naomi began to reflect & soon enough decided to move back home...she had heard on CNN & also read some blogs…the recession had finally abated. Praise God!

At the end of the mourning period, the three set out for Judah. While waiting to board, Naomi decides to send Orpah & Ruth back to their families.

Dunno o, maybe Orpah had a new admirer and was hoping this would happen, but she first formed shantgree but eventually carried her kaya, hugged Naomi and Ruth and left.

Ruth ADAMANTLY refused to go. She stayed with Naomi. She prolly just didn't think it right to abandon Naomi after all the hard blows the poor woman had suffered. Loyalty

But Ruth said, "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I’ll go; and where you live, I’ll leave. Your people are my people; your God is my God.  Where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God-not even death itself is going to come between us!” http://bible.us/Ruth1.17.MSG

On arrival, someone must have recognized Naomi because before they could even pick their checked-in luggage, a picture of her & Ruth was already on LIB [Linda Ikeji Blog] & LLB [Ladun Liadi Blog]. Hahahahahahaha….

A “friend” later sent her the links to alert her. She read a few of the comments, sighed & added hers "Don't call me Naomi; call me Bitter ..." Awwwwwww [Naomi means Beautiful, Pleasant in Hebrew] Thanks Google.

Ruth is super-sensitive of the fact that Naomi may not be able to fend for them so she goes job-hunting amidst stares & yimus.  She got one. Yaaay!

Turns out Ruth's employer, Boaz is her late hubby's family & is a good, caring, honorable & rich man. Ruth is also decent, diligent & obedient. I'm sure this also exists in Nigeria; the culture of the nearest male relative marrying the widow exists in Judah. Naomi recognizes an opportunity.

 Naomi tells Ruth what to do to set the ball rolling, “Take a bath. Put on some perfume. Dress up, go to the threshing floor...lie at Boaz' feet!”

If na babes of nowadays, na her looks & awayian accent Ruth go dey take do sprespre up & down, no go even hear wetin Naomi dey yarn am again. Hahahahahahaha….

*Naomi pulls her right ear* “I didn't say u should go and twitpic you & him while he's asleep o. Wait & see what he says. He'll tell u what to do.” LWKMD!

She went. When she got there, she said, “I am Ruth, your maiden; take me under your protection. You are my relative & in the circle of covenant redeemers, you have the right to marry me”.

If Ruth thought her mother-in-law was a little crazy, she didn’t let it show. She simply replied “I will do whatever you say.” And she did.

Ruth, sharp girl! Boaz, sharp guy! Before you could say GBAM, him don begin follow due protocol to marry Ruth. Court wedding, twitpic, DP, honeymoon
.

Ruth born boy [Obed].  Trust the anonymous commenters to get busy:
“e don reach 9mths already?”…
“ah Naomi, God don turn your sadness to joy”…
“Abokoku!”…
LMAO

Ruth didn’t even send “haters”. Little did she know she was going be so great...King David's grandma & part of Jesus' family tree. Learn people! 

I dedicate this story & say a big God bless you & kudos to the Ruths & Boazes out there - loyal, diligent, committed, good character.

Pls share lessons learnt & ponder: Ladies, would you act like Ruth or like Orpah? Guys, would you act like Boaz and not take advantage of Ruth?

Thank u for being such an attentive audience...Till another day when I bring you anoda tori...Pastor AA(Yummy) signing out.

Hilarious piece yes, but the strong message therein cannot be mistaken. Are you a Ruth, tenacious and loyal, destined for greatness and courageously worked towards it; or are you an Orpah, flaky and flighty at the first sign of hardship?

If I’m totally honest with myself, I am 80% an Orpah than a Ruth. I get too caught up in whats happening in the moment to see the long term benefit of situations. Today, I ask for His grace. God knows I need it!

Thank you, AA. 

Follow her on Twitter @Abyurla. You’ll be glad you did!

A Voice From The Grave: RIP Ogochukwu nee Onugu

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[31/10/1976-27/02/2012]

Survived by Husband and her two Children

This letter from the grave is a MUST READ. Please read it here

"I am gone forever. But if one woman, just one woman will learn from my story, then maybe i woukd not have gone in vain!"

One of us.....

Chioma O said: Our society wont just allow people to take decisions for themselves. This eye service does not work because of "What will they say?" Who are THEY? Are THEY with you when you recieve the beatings and the torture? Domestic Violence should not be tolerated! Run for your life!

Waga said: For those of you who remember Ogochukwu Onugu from University Secondary School, Nsukka 1993 set. This is a sad reflection of how horrible some men can be. I am ashamed to call myself a man after reading this. God help us all to choose the life partner He made for us.

Dana said: Nice, quiet girl. I remember her very well. Women please listen and run while you can. May her soul rest in peace!

Domestic Violence Should Not Be Tolerated. Women, empower yourselves!

Life's Many Curveballs

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Long post alert. There, you’ve been duly warned!
I stood, staring into space in front of the dressing mirror, wondering how & when things got this bad. Where had i gone wrong? Which step in the grand plan for our future did i miss? Where did it go awry? These questions i pondered as i stood there, sad, angry, lonely, hurt. I made to turn away from the apologetic image of myself in the mirror...and caught sight of the tray of food Obim hurled at me in anger as he stormed out of the room some minutes ago! And that was when the dam broke free. I wept!
I wept like i had never in a long time, like i never allowed myself to. I cried for all those nights i hugged myself tight and rocked myself to sleep, praying things would get better between us. I wept mostly because i miss the man i married, the man that was my pillar of support, my partner, my best friend...the man i consider gone forever. Most importantly, i cried because in some twisted way, this was entirely my fault.
Life didn’t use to be this chaotic in my household. Once upon a time, we were the subject of envy amongst our peers. Hubby had a great job as Senior Manager in his Bank. I wasn’t doing poorly myself. We had everything we wanted: well-paying jobs, nice house in a posh estate and the most adorable 6 year old! Life was great. Sigh! The curveball life throws at you when you least expects it…
I came home from school run that fateful day and there was Obim’s car parked at home. Now this is strange because he’s never ever home at that time of the day. Well, almost never except when he’s ill. But he was fine when he left for work this morning, i reminded myself, trying to shake the uneasy feeling that just washed over me. I entered the house and met him sitting on the floor in our bedroom, head hung, with hands on either side of it.
“Honey, are you ok?” I asked. He said nothing. I asked again and he mumbled some gibberish.
“Huh? Are you sick? Did someone die?”
Then i remember my mother-in-law has been feeling poorly...
“Is Mama....?” I started to ask.
“...was fired” He interrupted mid-question.
“Huh?” I went again, this time in confusion. “Fire? Your office caught fire? How? When? Was anyone injur....”
“I WAS FIRED”, he exploded!
I nodded, once, twice, calmly...almost too calmly [Shock will do that to anyone]. Yea, i totally heard him the first time. A burning building just made more sense at the time.

Happy Mothers' Day...To You, You & You!

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Mama mama...
Nne nne [x2]...
Nne m oma...
It was my sister-in-law’s birthday a few days ago and as we were heading out that evening to celebrate her day, her nine year old son presented her with a gift bag and said, “Happy Birthday, Mummy, from my brother and I”. The gift bag held a purse within it. She was so surprised and as i watched, she hugged her child and he hugged right back and they held on right so for nearly 20 minutes, just appreciating their relationship. Here is a son saying with that gesture, “I love you, Mummy. You are best ever thing since PBJ” and here’s a mother totally overwhelmed and appreciative of this love, freely given! I think a tear slipped past me...
Happy Mothers’ Day, Rockstar!
In most churches, a week before Mothers’ Day, kids are asked to bring gift items or flowers to church for Mothers’ day celebration. They are asked to ensure their parents got the gifts ready and in some cases where a child forgets to bring one to church, freshly plucked flowers plucked from with the church premises are given to such a child. During thanksgiving and with the kids dancing scatter-walking to the tune Mama Mama..., they are asked to look for their respective mothers in church and present the gifts them. It is not the grandest of gestures but what’s more moving than a child, in the presence of God, telling his/her mother “Thank you for the nine months you housed me in your womb; Thank you for being my mother”? What’s cooler than that? My colleague Abby used to watch this from the sidelines as a single and wished she was one of those mothers. She is a mother today.
Happy Mothers’ Day, Abby and to all who today will be their first Mother’s Day celebration.
It’s not easy...
Nine months of discomfort, lugging another human within you wherever you go...
Longs hours of labor...
Sleepless nights checking temperature and tepid-sponging...
Long hours in the day worrying about why this baby hasn’t poo’ed in almost a week...
Moments when you cry alongside the crying baby in your arms that you just showed that you would not spare the rod and spoil the child...
Days when you second-guess yourself and worry about whether you are doing a good enough job by your kids...
Always worrying...
Constantly worrying...
Worrying about your child’s physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, educational wellbeing...
...but it’s totally worth it...
When you get home from a hard at work and she cannot wait to hug you...
When she learns to say Mummy...
When he says “Thank you for selling your Hollandis to send me to school”...
When he tells you in confidence “Mummy, you are my life!”...
When he brings home awards and scholarships and does your heart & ovaries proud...
When he doesn’t bring home any awards but still does your heart & ovaries proud...
To every single mother i know, and Nwabugo and Nwahdee, your struggles and sacrifices and love will not be in vain. You’ll reap triumph and success and you will reap love where you have sowed it!
Happy Mothers’ Day!
If you ever get to read this Mummy, I love you to bits. I might never tell you or show you enough but i don’t know where we would’ve been without your love [even though our behinds felt most of that love], your support, your sacrifices, your encouraging words but most especially, your prayers on our behalf. You made us who we are today and we will always be thankful. I only hope i can be there for my kids the way you were there for us. You have always been, and will remain, my role model. God will continue to bless you for us. Happy Mothers’ Day, Mum!












SHOW YOUR MOTHER LOVE TODAY...AND ALWAYS!!

13...And Pregnant!

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Househelp Chronicles was birthed because I needed to vent out my frustrations from dealing with the numerous househelps I’ve had in my employ. But as much as I vented, there were lessons learnt from every single one of those helps. 
Today’s HouseHelp Chronicle was sent in by a good friend and blogger Olaedo of Olaedo-GoldenThoughts. Do check out her blog and enjoy this chronicle…

I remembered her today. I had only been married for a short time, and pregnant with my first child, when she came to live with me. She was the first househelp I had. She was thirteen [three years ago] and was about starting secondary school.
The first day my aunty brought her to my mother's house from the village, my sister wondered aloud at her big breasts. She had a small body but was definitely busty for someone that young. She had a bit of a tummy too. I commented on that. My mum said that it was possible that she was malnourished. She was of the opinion that by the time the girl started eating right, she'd fill out properly. I asked my new help then if she had started seeing her period. She answered in the affirmative and said that she had just finished a period before leaving the village with my aunty.
She came back with me to Lagos. She seemed smart and was very hard-working. All she wanted to do was quickly take care of her chores and sleep. I told her that she could watch the television whenever she was done with her chores. She would come join me in the living room and in a few minutes, sneak off to her room to sleep.

House-Help Chronicles [Part III]

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My house help left today. 
Before the nay sayers and anonymous vermin get their knickers in a tight bunch, let’s start from the very beginning, shall we?
The first time I saw her in November of 2011, the day she was brought to my house, my spirit was all kinds of uneasy. Chic is a full-breasted [kegs for days], flat ab’d, skinny 21-year old wench. She came sporting this long-ass weave [most definitely a 22-inch weave]. Add her snooty i-am-not-available-please-keep-your-distance aura and I seriously feared for my marriage. I hear guys like those hard-to-get i’m-not-available types. But because I was in dire need of a house help, I employed her…with a caveat: she would be on one month trial period after which we would both decide whether or not we were good for each other. I was also buying time for myself. One month was also enough time for me to score another help, just in case. I was not prepared to let this envisaged bee-magnet stay longer than was necessary in my house.
She passed the one month trial period with flying colors. Chic is sensible, a hard worker, proactive and very organized. She knows what to do and when to do them. The kids are feed and bathed on time. I didn’t need to prompt her. And for the first time in a long while, I didn’t have to come back from work and go straight to slaving in the kitchen. In fact, I come home and food is literally running after me…
 “Mummy, can I bring your food?” This is even before I clear free of the front door
“Mummy, are you ready to eat now?” This is usually 5 mins later, as soon as I enter my bedroom
“Mummy, your food is getting cold. Should I bring it now?” 10 minutes later
“Ok, Mummy, can I at least bring water for you to drink?” 
And I would murmur within me, “Chic, do you plan to poison me? Fi le!"
But I loved that she asked and I adjusted her salary accordingly. Other helps I’ve had in time past couldn’t be bothered…whether I eat or not is none of their business. This chic was good to me.
Second week in February, she informed me that she would be going for her aunt’s burial in Calabar come first week in March. I know her aunt died; the drama played out in my house within the first month of her employment. What I didn’t understand was why she would want to travel all the way to Calabar and for an unspecified period of time. She couldn’t say when she was coming back and if she was coming back [I sweated a bit at this part]. Not again! I was a little angry but I made arrangements for a replacement. At least, she had the good sense to give me three weeks’ notice.
On Sunday March 4th, I finally realized why she wanted to leave.
This morning as she was prepping to leave, I called her and asked what her plans were. She said she’ll call me as soon as she was done with Calabar.
“So you are coming back?” I asked, very hopeful. She said yes.
“Good”, I said “But I meant what are your plans for your pregnancy?!”
Her head snapped up…and slowly dropped.
“I’m not pregnant”, she murmured.
“How far long are you?”
“Four months”, she answered.
“Who is the father?”
“My boyfriend”
“Does he know?” She had told me about this boyfriend of hers when I interviewed her.
“Yes, he does”
“What’s he saying? Are you guys planning on getting married?”
“He’s not saying anything…”
I sighed. Children having children. Children of nowadays just don’t get it. I was still in my early twenties when I became pregnant with Chets. I was married oo but I was scared shitless of that pregnant state. It was even worse when I had the baby: what was I going to be doing with this tiny creature? And I had this baby enveloped in the comforts of a marriage where i didnt have to worry so much about money, with a husband, mother and mother-in-law that loved me. Now imagine being 21, impregnated by a boyfriend that doesn’t give two f**ks about your present state, with parents that gives less than two about your wellbeing, jobless and nearly broke! Scary shit. I told her all this. Told her abortion was not an option. Considering how far gone she is, it would be a health risk. Also told her being a mother is definitely not a walk in the park. Your whole life changes. What happens to her dreams and aspirations...whatever they are? Or maybe being pregnant at the stage in her life is her dream? Who knows? But hard as it might be, if she gets it right, it would be totally worth it. I mentioned all these.
I doubt she heard anything i said.
I have a sneaky feeling she’s not going to come back. Not now that i know that she’s actually pregnant. Maybe she was planning to go to Calabar, remove the baby and come back? Who knows? But i made sure i drummed this into her ears: Whatever happens, whatever you decide to do, ring me when you get back from the burial. In fact, ring me if you need anything. Baby clothes, a helping hand...ring me.
I hope she does right by that baby. I hope she does right by herself. But i’m not entirely hopeful. That chic has plans! Considering how composed she was, she definitely has plans.
I do miss her. Who woulda thunk it?

Appréciation

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Its been a hectic 2012 and we are only 2 months and a few days in.
Three weeks ago, the hubby was ill. Men never fall sick, have you noticed? But when they do, nsogbu di! Yours truly was the Nurse.
Two weeks ago, Zi was ill [my last post]. Inflammed tonsils, ear infection and hyperpyrexia a.k.a high fever [i love messing with you, Foluke]. Yours truly was Nurse and Pharmacist.
This week, Chets decided it was his turn. Gastroenteritis. Food poisoning. Why won’t these children have normal ailments? Headache or bruised knees? Why? This time, yours truly was Doctor [i seriously doubt Lagoon Hospital has one], Nurse and Pharmacist.
Yours truly is actively a banker. Yours truly is a hustling business woman. Yours truly is a pharmacist in her spare time. Yours truly is a size 14 starving dieting to get to a size 12. Hungry. Angry. Too angry! Angry at the hubby: why is he never in town when i need him the most? Angry at the kids: why won’t they try and keep their meds down? Like seriously, its bad enough they are keeping me awake in the night, the least they could do is get well quicker!!
Over-utilized. Under-appreciated.

Letter To My Future Son-in-Law

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Dear Future Son-in-Law, hey.
How are you doing? This is probably the first of the many letters you will be getting from me, your future mother-in-law. And it serves an entirely selfish purpose: To be fore-warned is to...well, come prepared.
Your future wife, my daughter Zi, is the strongest little girl i’ve met.  I’m sitting right here in the hospital, holding her as she shudders away the last of her tears and it occurred to me that you really should be aware of certain facts and happenstances, as early as possible, to guide your future actions.
Dear Future Son-in-Law, you see, this hospital trip was precipitated by a simple case of cough and catarrh. Only there wasn’t anything simple about Zi’s temperature that went from 37.2c to 40.1c in a matter of minutes. Its bad enough the temperature was alarmingly high but on her 10.5kg body [yea, she’s always being skinny and petite...cute tho], the damage doesn’t bear thinking. So, i inserted a rectal analgesic and we hightailed it to the hospital!
As sick as she was, she sat quietly through her vitals being taken by the nurses. She sat as the doctor listened to her chest, poked both ears and tortured her already inflamed tonsils with a stick. She sat through all these quietly. Dear Future SIL, you woulda understood and appreciated how much of a big deal this is if you had meet your brother in-law, Chets, as a little boy!
After examination, the course of action sounded simple enough. Blood tests, nebulise, suction, administer drugs, discharge. Only there wasn’t anything simple, AGAIN, about inserting a plastic wire into veins to take blood for the tests; nothing simple about hanging a nose mask on her face to nebulise with normal saline and definitely nothing simple about passing a tube through her nostrils to suck out phlegm.
She aced taking-the-blood process. In fact, she even assisted...which was amazing considering that we would’ve had to call the hospital security to hold him in place if it were your brother-in-law, Chets. Your wife, my daughter Zi, is a strong girl. Take note!
Nebulising her was a bit of a challenge. She didn’t want anything to do with the nose mask hanging round her head. She fought it! She cried and kicked but i held her down, with the mask firmly on her nose. She cried so...and i decided to remove the entire contraption from around her head and off her nose. I told her i loved her and that this was really for her own good! Your father-in-law, her daddy thought i had gone mad but guess what? As i made to put it back on, she took it from me and held it to her nose...and slept off, still holding it in place, to the sound of me singing “I Love Jesus...”. Allow me to remind you at this point that Mummy Knows Best! And here’s another insight: You gotta learn to negotiate with this daughter of mine. Force her to do something against her will, she’ll totally fight you!
And then came the suctioning. This was so heart breaking. As i watched them suction phlegm...and blood out of her nostrils, i knew it was imperative i wrote you this letter. That sh*t was scary for me. I could only imagine what it was like for her!
I had this day all planned out. I had this party to attend with your father-in-law and i’ve been prepping myself all week. I even got me a cute top from Elsie Vintage and i couldn’t wait to debut it today at the party. All these plans, i gave up so i can to be with my daughter, your wife in her time of need. Such sacrifice!
So lemme just put it out there: If after all these sacrifices i’ve made [and will continue to make] on her behalf...and ultimately yours too...you ever lift a finger against her or cause her any form of body harm, e don be for you. And i’m not even joking!
As the nurse removed the last of her infusions, she clambered down from my laps and declared, “Leggoooo!” Hilarious. She couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital. “E ya bag”, she reminded me. translated: see your bag. She didn’t want me forgetting anything that would require our having to come back to the hospital premise again. At the door as we made to leave, she paused, turned and walked back into the room straight to the drip stand, gave it a good kick, turned and walked back towards me! i had a good laugh. Your future wife, my daughter chooses her battles well. Of all that caused her pain today, the drip stand was what she had authority over and she very well exercised that power.
Dear Future Son-in-Law, I’d like to point out that through all these processes, it was ME she clung unto. Are you reading this? ME!!! She didn’t even let her papa near her. It was me that carried that 10.5kg weight for hours in the hospital. So in case of graft in the future, you should totally know which side of the bread needs buttering the most!
Her temperature is still spiking but she’s doing much better now, responding to the antibiotics. She’s cranky as heck tho. Hella irritated and crying up a storm every other minute, its exhausting. Will keep you posted. Oh? Of course you are welcome. Until i write again, toodles..xxx

When Is Love Not Enough?

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I read one tweet on Thursday and my heart broke for this woman i do not even know. I am compelled to share the story on this blog mainly because 1. I don’t know who to blame and 2. There are lessons to be learnt from it. Here goes….as narrated by my source Nwadioku, who happens to also be a marriage counselor.
In the early hours of Thursday, we heard our security man arguing heatedly with someone and then, we heard a loud bang on our door. My first instinct was to gather the kids and lock them in my room but then, the person called out my name. I recognized her voice…it was my friend Pearl. She kept screaming that I should come and help her, that she was dying. On hearing her wails, my thoughts went haywire: Was her hubby shot by armed robbers? Has her kids been kidnapped? Or are some people using her as bait to rub us? I thought all these and more but I still came downstairs and opened the door for her all the same. She collapsed in my arms and for the next 30 minutes, she cried and cried and cried and just cried. I just held her until she was done. Then she said, “Bobby has killed me oooo!” and started with the cries again. It took another 30 minutes before she could narrate what happened.
Apparently, early that morning around 3.00am she had woken up to ease herself and noticed Bobby wasn’t in bed. She didn’t think much of it…he was prolly in his study as usual. But she wanted to get a drink of water so she went downstairs to get it. That was when she noticed some unfamiliar, yet familiar, sounds coming from her househelp’s bedroom. She decided to investigate. She wished she didn’t….because what she saw is forever imprinted in her memory. Yes, she saw her husband going at the househelp…doggy style, in her home…while she was in the house!
~Such Disrespect!
According to Pearl, she closed the door and walked out of her house…by that time of the night…to mine! And our houses are a good distance apart.
~Where there any signs either on her husband’s side or the help’s part that could’ve at least given her an inkling of what might have been happening in her house?
Pearl said that the help was just perfect. She attends to the kids like they were hers and keeps the house so clean you could eat off the floor. She was courteous, humble, very domesticated and totally grateful for every good thing Pearl had ever done for her. Pearl said she felt God rewarded her with this help for all the years of crappy househelps she had endured. However, towards the end of last year, the girl had said she wanted to leave and had been rather insistent about it but Pearl begged and begged her not to. Bobby suggested that her salary be increased so she’ll be enticed into staying.
~How did Bobby relate with the househelp prior to this incident?
She said that Bobby hardly ever talked to the help and neither does the girl except unless absolutely necessary!
~Did they have a healthy sex life?
Pearl said since the birth of her twins almost a year ago, their sex life has been really really skeletal. Maybe once a month and at most, twice. She felt with the issues she had giving birth to the twins [they have four kids. The twins are the last] that her husband will understand. And he said he did. And now this….   mitigate
~ Who would you blame in this matter and why? Bobby, who’s been sleeping with the househelp for God knows how long right and right under his wife’s nose, even if he was being “starved”? Pearl, who failed to satisfy her husband’s needs, even if she felt he understood the reasons behind that? Or the househelp, who might or might not have been forced to step into the wife’s shoes and service the man?
Nwadioku says: Nature abhors vacuum. Any vacuum you do not fill in your marriages, someone or something else will fill it for you. Worry when your husband suddenly stops asking for sex. SEX is the number one emotional need of most men and it is your duty as a wife to meet that need! Also, you cannot underestimate the power of prayers and the need to have a close relationship with God, as a wife...as a mother. Be observant and sensitive to the Spirit to know when things have changed. Last but not the least, be financially empowered, regardless of how rich your husband is!
~In her shoes, what would you do?
Nwadioku says: Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13
My only input to this whole debacle is this: I hope he sha used protection.
Pearl has since gone home to her husband. Where they go from this incident is entirely up to them. I just pray God guide them aright. In her shoes, ladies, please what would you do?