My 33 week old preemie is now 6 years old!!

Hello, how are you doing? I hope you are well and keeping safe. This post is about my little boy’s birthday. He turned six on the 28th of February, last Sunday.

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Happy birthday to my Jboy! My first child!! I am super excited and happy!! Super grateful that my son that was born earlier than expected is now a healthy 6 year old. I am not even sure who was more excited last Sunday, either him, the real celebrant or me the super grateful mom!! πŸ˜ƒ Happy birthday dear son, you are blessed,your name will be great, your heart desires will come to pass, you will never lack anything good, you will be outstanding in all you do, you will continue to grow in wisdom, knowledge and stature, you will continue to be a source of joy to us and everyone you come in contact with in Jesus name!!

I was quite unsure of how to celebrate his day particularly because I knew his dad and I had to be away for work. His dad had a surprise 50th birthday event where he had been invited to provide music for the event. He needed me there to sing along every now and then and generally assist.

What I did was, take his cake to church, as it was on a Sunday. I also ordered cake for his sister whose birthday was on the first of February amd we couldn’t do much at the time. They were called out after service and prayed for. The cake was shared with everyone and we had also bought some drinks tonshare, courtesy of a dear friend, and little sweets to go along. You do as much as your pocket allows right? No matter how little, he was really happy and Jgirl was happy too. Mission accomplished!

Next, we dropped them off at a child friendly restaurant which is one of his favorite ones and usually they sing and drum for you if it’s your birthday! Their grandma graciously offered to stay with them at the restaurant rather than at home as previously agreed. So we were able to attend the function. Thank God grandma is still around, though she’s leaving by the end of this month, March. I keep wondering how I will cope when she travels back home! I will then face the reality of being a mother of two!! She’s stayed with us since Jgirl was born!! She has been so helpful and we really appreciate her. Please thank her for me in the comment section so I can show her πŸ™‚

That is how the 28th of February, 2021 went! We got back home after the gig at about 8:30pm, usually they sleep around 8pm or earlier, sometimes, they waited up till we got back and I was able to call back those who had previously called to wish him well on his birthday!

Thank you for reading this far, I am happy that despite he came earlier than planned and only weighed 1.6kgs, he is a healthy and smart boy. Super intelligent and always has a million of questions to ask every time. He has me running to google almost all the time.

Shout out if you are a mother of a preemie! I’m a mother of two preemies, one and 33 weeks and the other at 34 weeks!! I am grateful to God for His mercies. If you currently have a premature baby, please encourage yourself! He or she will grow and be okay by God’s grace. JBoy spent 4 weeks in hospital, here is the link to his birth story https://oluseungsc.biz/2020/10/11/gynaecologist-visit-or-delivery/ and an extra 10 days when he contracted Adenovirus, what’s thatπŸ€·β€β™€οΈ We are thankful and so grateful to God for keeping him.

Thank you once again for stopping by. Do have a lovely day. Keep well. Stay safe. Smile often. Take care of yourself and be happy! As much as you can. Bye for nowπŸ‘‹

Thank you to my 100+ followers!!

Hello, how are you doing? I hope you are well and keeping safe, I am! Or let me say, I choose to be happy! Today, I am super happy and grateful to all of you my 100+ followers! Thank you all for choosing to follow my blog! I am doing a happy dance!! I know I am not yet posting as consistently as I would like but I believe I will get there, soon. I am taking each day as it comes and intentionally making plans to write ahead and schedule posts rather than write straight away and post straight away! Thank you for your patience and understanding. The support here is amazing!

Also, I am still trying to find a niche, though it is quite obvious that study abroad and tips for university applications seem to be taking the lead because that is the job I currently do but I also like to write about working from home and education but with time, I will find my niche or keep things open. Thank you for being patient with me and liking my posts. I appreciate your support.

Currently, I have so much work at work! How does that sound? There is a greater number of interest in study abroad more than ever before! I am actually interested to know why the sudden interest. Also, grade 12 students received their matric certificate yesterday so I got a lot of calls, mostly happy calls and messages updating and sending me their results. Which meant that I had to submit them to universities to get their offer updated! Also, today, I had to do two Australian visas and one UK visa, not completed but almost there! I will have a final look tomorrow before they submit. I find it interesting to do however, one has to be very meticulous when it comes to visas and make sure all required documents are complete to avoid visa rejections.

I am so excited because come Sunday the 28th of February, my son will be a year older! πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒObviously, there will be no party for many reasons but however, my head and mind is busy thinking of what to do to make it extra special for him indoors. For his sister, it was mostly a balloon party and we had family friends visit us briefly. I will let you know how it goes and if you have any ideas, please leave some in the comment below!!

Thank you once again for the follows, I sincerely appreciate it and it encourages me ti write more. I have been hiding for a very long time now but I believe I am coming out gradually and will get there one day. Where is there? I will keep thinking about it, lol! Thank you for stopping by today and thank you for liking my writings. Please keep the likes, follows and shares coming, it motivates me to write more. And I would really like to read from you, please leave a comment about anything- suggestions, ideas, questions about university applications, anything, I will be more than glad to respond! Keep well, keep safe, be happy, be kind as much as you can and enjoy the rest of the week!! Bye for now πŸ‘‹

Happy birthday dear daughter from mom

Hi, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am well and am super excited today because it is my daughter’s birthday! It feels like yesterday when she came into our lives. We are so grateful and know that we are blessed because she is such a great blessing.

Picture from my device

Here is a link to my birthing experience with her that I shared a few weeks ago, you can read here How JGirl was born~ Baby #2. Like I said in the post, I spent three weeks in hospital due to high level of protein in my urine and high blood pressure and extra swollen feet and face. It was not an easy experience but here we are today!!

She is hale and hearty. She is healthy, eats almost everything we offer her with two exceptions, eggs and cake. Yes, she doesn’t like cakes, we still tried it today from the carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes we had, she refused the slightest taste of it 😊 She loves singing and dancing. She has started speaking in sentences for example she says “don’t do that” or “let’s go outside” though she’s thriving with two word sentences. She is very helpful, gets a napkin when something spills and knows how to ask for her milk, clearly. She also knows how request for chocolate milk, calls it “kaka milk”.

Photo from my device

It is a new chapter for her and for us. A new chapter where she will speak more clearly thus expressing herself better. Already, she has a way of communicating with us. I remember on Saturday, I offered her a bottle of milk from her bottle and she tried to drink and shook her head, I thought she wanted kaka milk but she didn’t say it. I turned the milk into kaka milk with the same bottle but she still didn’t want it. She would try to drink and shake her head. So I thought to myself that she wasn’t really ready for it and I went back to what I was hen she came to me, gave her bottle to me and said “mummy, drink” and when I tried to suck from the bottle, nothing came out. Apparently, the bottle was blocked. I am still amazed at how we figured out a what to make me realize what was wrong. She is very intelligent and has a great level of understanding.

You are blessed my baby girl, you are for signs and wonders and your name will be great. We had a simple day, indoors. We took lots of pictures for memories and then we look forward to the next celebration. We are very grateful and really thankful for good health, everything else will fall into place with time.

Thank you for stopping by and for reading this quick post. Keep well, be safe, smile as much as you can and be kind, the world needs more of that. Bye for now πŸ‘‹

I’ve hit 50 Followers!!!

Hello, I hope you are well and keeping safe. How is the week going? How is work? How is business? Thank you for stopping by. The week is going well and there is a new visa alert that I will post about soon so I’ll say the week is going well. I have some GTE forms to assist students with this week. Never mind, this is not a work post, it is a happy postπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

This is a quick one to say thank you! I’ve reached the 50 followers milestone and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for stopping by, for reading my posts, for liking my posts and for following my blog! I really appreciate it. It is a great encouragement to me.

Screenshot from my phone

I started a while back but only just recently actively picked up writing more frequently. It is what I enjoy doing and wonder why I stayed away for this long. You know what they say, “when it’s time, it’s time”! (not sure whose quote that is though). I guess it’s time. If there’s anything you have been trying to do, why not give it a shot? Start somewhere, you’ll be amazed.

I will keep the posts coming, about study abroad and everything that comes with it, experiences at work and at home, though they tend to be one and the same most of the time because I work from home and maybe also post some random thoughts along the line.

Thank you once again, until next time. Keep well. Rest when you need to. Pace yourself. Eat right. Be kind. And best of all, be happy! Enjoy the rest of the week. Bye for now πŸ‘‹

7 tips for Homeschooling while working from home

Hello I hope you are well and are keeping safe. I hope you had a good weekend. I did. Mostly resting. It was an absolute necessity for my body to rest! This is a brand new week and I am grateful. The weeks seem to be flying this year or is it me? Well, like it or not, this is another week of working from home plus homeschooling the children. For some, it has been the norm for them before Covid but for some, it was brought upon us and we have to find ways to cope with it. For those of us who started homeschooling due to Covid, we definitely need to find ways to adjust and make it all work out nicely for ourselves and for the children. Working out nicely means being productive while working from home, here’s a link to my previous post about how to be productive working from home https://oluseungsc.biz/2021/01/11/how-to-be-productive-working-from-home/ and the children getting educated while studying from home. It has been close to a year since I started homeschooling my five year old son, almost six, and I find these 7 tips quite helpful.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

1. Planning ahead

Apart from planning meals for the day, which I believe most moms do, planning for homeschooling will afford you the opportunity to prepare tasks for your child/children to do. By Sunday evening, all tasks should have been assigned, on paper. This way, you would be able to assign different tasks for them to do and mix it up so that they will not get bored. Allow time for exercise as well, I feel like we need to make an extra effort to achieve that but if it has been planned ahead, then it makes if easier to fall into. This brings to my next point. Routines before actual schoolwork.

2. Routines

Routines are great for children, and adults too! Once children get used to routines, it makes things easier for them and they automatically know what next to do. For my son, once he wakes up and says his prayers, he comes to say good morning to us and then goes to do his couch chores (basically tidying up the living room~ I try to leave one or two things lying around for him). He then brushes his teeth, picks out his clothes and asks for help to take a bath. Next is breakfast. And then, school time! If he mixes any of this up, he mentions it because he has become used to a particular way of doing things. And if he plays with his sister in between, it’s okay, it’s all love.

Children will be soothed by routine, structure and normality. Getting them back to routine is typically considered good- Catherine Cooks

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

3. Schedules

In this context, schedules are the actual school work and activities cut out into different chunks of time. However, I find that flexible schedules work better for us. He starts at 8:30am and ends around 1pm. A sample of his schedule is

8:30-8:45am~ exercise (something we make up or watch on TV)

8:45-9:00am~ teachermommy shows him what he should do for the next two hours

9:00-11am~ he does his assigned work which combines using an abacus to do sums, activity books and some coloring

11:00-11:30am~ educational TV time

11:30-12:00pm~ Lunch and we squeeze in a short walk when possible

12:00-1:00pm~ reading time. It is my break time so we do his readings together.

His schedules vary slighty each day and I change the subjects or what he has to do. I found some activity books very useful because they combine spelling and math and coloring activities, all in one book! Pictures of some pages attached. One thing to note, is to pace yourself and pace your child. Everyday will not be the same.

4. Lunch/Short walks

Fitting in lunch break to the same time helps as it gives me a chance to have a quick look at his work so far and also spend time with him. If he were at his actual school, this would be the time to play with friends and interact so this time, we have a quick snack and then go for a short walk. Most times we walk for 10 minutes just for an outdoor experience. We also play ball when we can’t for go a walk. Then we do some reading. He loves reading and actually started reading before age 4 so I let him do the reading and ask him questions to make sure he comprehend the story. After the reading session, he gets to have time for free play.

Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

5. Designate work space/classroom

I mentioned this in one if my previous posts. It helps s great deal to have dedicated work spaces. He has his table and chair corner in his room for school time. And I have my office desk in my room. We currently live in a small apartment so those spaces have to work and they to! Once I’m in my space, my brain knows it’s time to work and same for him. He keeps his books and pencil case there and easily gets into school work mode once there. He calls that corner his classroom.

6. Take it easy

All these tips did not work out on day one so please take things easy. Pace yourself and encourage yourself. It is not as easy. It takes been intentional about it to actually make it work. Pat yourself on the back for your success with it, even if you think it is not much success. You will get there and will be surprised to see how easier homeschooling will become for you and your child .

7. Plan for the following day

Yes, go back to step one and plan tasks and activities for the following day. With you being the one to teach your child school work, you would have noticed where he needs extra support. Focus on that. For my son, I have found that he needs extra help with writing so I give him tasks that encourage him to write and master the skill.

These tips have proven to be helpful and I believe it should help in one way or another. Combining working from home with helping the children learn from home at the same time requires mental effort and patience. It is doable. We are in it together and have to find ways to cope and adjust. What tips help you cope better with work from home and homeschooling? Feel free to share. Thank you for stopping by. Please like, share and leave a comment. I would like to read from you. Keep well. Stay safe. Be kind. Exercise. And have a blessed week! Bye for now πŸ‘‹

Study Abroad- What are some of the benefits of studying abroad?

Hello, how are you doing today? I hope you are well and keeping safe. How was the work week or business week? My work week went by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s Friday already but TGIFπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

Reflecting about my week at work, I noticed that we keep getting more enquiries even more than we used to! Every student still wants to study abroad and on campus! This means studying abroad is beneficial to them. I know there are many great benefits of studying abroad and the top one that comes to mind is seeing the world! Yes, you get to see the world because on campus, students get to meet other students who left their countries to study abroad, just like they did. That way, they get to meet and engage with one another and learn different cultures. That, in my view, is way better than studying in one country all your life.

Also, when students study abroad, they tend to become more independent and learn to do things for themselves. They see students who work and study at the same time and think to themselves, “I can do this too and won’t need to ask my parents for money every time.” What I normally say to parents is to have enough money tuition and living expenses for one year as required by the university and visa embassies so that their children will not feel pressured to take up a job to meet those needs. However, what I’ve realised is that students get there and get jobs that can cover some of their living expenses at the very least. Some students with rich parents use the money for extra stuff and some students use it to support their parents in order to help them reduce the cost.

One more benefit, before I go and try do baker baker with JBoy and JGirl, is learning a new language or honing a language skill. I’ve had students come to me to say they would like to go to a country where this language is spoken or that language because they would like to inprove their skills. I studied French at Diploma level many years ago and even though I’ve studied up to Master’s level, I still wish to study or maybe live in a French speaking country so I can get to actually use my language skills there. I still try to use it every now and then but it can’t be like using the language skills to actually buy something or have a conversation with others.

Would you let your child study abroad? If yes, why? If not, why not? I’ve spoken with different parents and have gotten different insights about study abroad which are all valid. I’ll like to read from you and know what you think about it.

I have to go. Do have a wonderful weekend. Keep well. Eat healthy. Drink lots of water. Exercise. Have a good time in your own way. Be kind. Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to like, share and follow to encourage me. And if you need tips about study abroad or anything or have questions, please reach out to by email, I will be very glad to read from you. Bye for now πŸ‘‹

Reading for Children~ Parental Involvement in Early Literacy

Hello, how are you doing? I hope you are well and keeping safe. This post is for parents with very young children who are just learning to be literate and I write about the approach that works for me as a mom of two children. I title it parental involvement in early literacy.

In 2013, I started my Honours program in Applied English Language Studies and one of the courses I had to study was Early Literacy because I studied on the Education campus. We had to study different forms of literacy and we were asked to do a mini research on a chosen topic. At that time, I was not even married yet and also did not have a child yet but I had so many experiences with parents and their children. I had observed different ways parent chose to be involved in their child’s education. Some were really involved and some were not really involved. As a result of that, a topic that readily came to mind was Parental Involvement in Early Literacy. I did a research find out if it helps a child learn how to read better when their parent is/are involved. It was a case study and it turned out to there was a positive outcome when a parent contributed to the learning development of their child.

Early literacy is how a child is introduced to literacy- reading and writing. It has to do with how parents engage in activities to enhance academic performance. This was proved to have a significant effect on a childs overall performance. I observed a single mother and her 5 year old son at that time. I remember that I used the ORIM (Nutbrown, 2011) checklist as a guide during my observation with them. I would like to share the checklist which I find still relevant today and hope that it will work for someone reading this : )

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

O- Opportunities

Opportunities are created for a child when the parents buy books to read and make time available to teach the child how to read. These days, some parents no longer buy traditional books as such, and rather have the children read on tabs and laptops. In this case, books should be downloaded and effort should be made to show the child how to read. Words should also be made available all around the house (or their room)- sight words and high frequency words. This will help with phonological awareness for the child. I did this with my son and currently using the same approach for my daughter who just turned two and I can say that it works. My son was able to read from age three. He is now almost six years old and reads very well, I am actually impressed by his reading skills! I find creating opportunities for them to learn to read is still relevant.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

R-Recognition

Here, recognition is when the parent recognises the childs reading development and achievement by praising them. The parent can do this through a reward system where they receive stickers or high fives, or even a cookie for their achievement. It is up to the parent to decide what reward will work for their child and when to give such a reward. My son loves stickers, there are stickers all over the door of his room and wardrobes. He does not really have a sweet tooth so high fives and stickers work better for him than a cookie or chocolate, for example.

I- Interaction

When a parent interacts with a child, it gives the child a chance to express themselves and use more words. For instance, when a parent asks a child to tell them a story, it gives the child an opportunity to use new words s/he heard and it gives the parent an opportunity to correct the child if the word is used in a wrong context. The parent may also let the child take part in writing the shopping list. My son helps in writing our shopping list and this gives him a chance to sneak in some extra items at times : )

M- Model

The last one is when a parent models how to read to the child. This helps with the right pronunciation. I remember when my son saw a word and asked me if it was grove or groove. He had an idea but was not sure of the right pronunciation. It gave me a chance to model it to him. A parent can also have days where they read out to the child, during bed time stories for example.

I find this checklist is still relevant several years after and I find it useful in introducing my children to reading, especially. This in addition to other tips can help teach or show a child how to read without pressure. Have you read about this checklist before today? Is it helpful for you? Are there other guidelines you know about? Please leave a comment below. I would like to read from you. Also, if you find this helpful, please like and share. Also, feel free follow my blog to read more about education, parenting and lifestyle. Thank you for stopping by. Bye for nowπŸ‘‹

Happy Sunday- Weekend Vibes

Good morning! I hope you and well. How has the weekend been? Today is Sunday and where I come from/grew up, we greet one another “happy Sunday”. Up until now, I can’t say that I know why but what I do know is the fact that we have a greeting for almost every day and every occasion. Actually, everything you do. If you say to someone that you just want to stay home to rest, especially on Sunday, the greeting would be “e ku isinmi” which means happy resting or good resting : ) which can be simply be explained as rest well. Another greeting is “e ku ise”– good work, great job. This greeting is made when some did a great job or is doing a great job. It can also be translated as well done for work in progress. For example, if a handyman comes to find some things in the house, eku ise is a greeting that can be used whilst he/she is still working and you just feel like commending the work done so far, even though it’s still in progress.

For me, Sunday is a day of reflection and gratitude. Also a day of worship for me. BC (before covid), we would actually be in church right now however most services are now virtual so I have completed service this morning and thought to do some writing for some clients (side job). Though not yet due but the earlier the better. I plan to spend the next two hours doing that then just lounge and do nothing for about one hour. It’s not possible to do nothing but I mean do anything without having to do it, if that makes sense. I also work out my weekly to-do list on Sundays. I call friends and family on Sundays. I believe it is really important to keep in touch. Life has gotten so busy these days and some might genuinely plan to call and just didn’t get round to doing so. I’ll also do lil’ miss J’s hair, if she allows me. Just something simple. She usually doesn’t allow me do much so I leave her most times. Not like we have an occasion to attend, so why force her.

As for my son, he is usually very excited for Sundays for a strange reason. Sunday is noodles day. Yes, he has noodles on a Sunday as a routine. I had to implement the rule because it got to a point where he only wanted to eat noodles and nothing else. I gradually reduced the frequency with which he had noodles until it because a Sunday special. Now he has a major reason to look forward to Sundays for! He is quite a picky eater but keeps improving daily which is encouraging. I read, when he was a toddler and really picky, that a child would not starve himself and would always accept enough to sustain him. Now as a nearly 6 years old, he asks for food when he is hungry. He comes out from him play area and asks “mommy, what time is it now? Lunch time?” I find that allowing him take the lead for meal times. We all have dinner together but breakfast and lunch ad snacks in between is all on him and he has been doing pretty well, even gaining weight steadily. He has proven that he is now a big boy indeed!

I really have to stop here for now but will be back with my stories, my reflections, my experiences from the past that have kept me going. Kept me strong. Kept me grateful. And keeps pushing me forward. Thank you for stopping by. How are you spending your Sunday? It’s 11:00 am where I am, so still have some hours left in the Sunday. Here is wishing you a restful Sunday, e ku isinmi. Have a fantastic new week.

How JGirl was born~ Baby #2

Hi, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am well, thanks for asking : ) First day back at work wasn’t so bad after all. I spent half of it replying emails that had piled up from students’ enquiries and putting in some applications. Some students also called to inform me that they had received their visas. So I can say my day went well. I’ve had dinner and now about to put lil miss J to bed and it is amazing how much she has grown! My baby will be two years old on the first of February! That is less than a month to go. Time flies indeed. Feels like yesterday when I spent three weeks in hospital to have her! Read below a very summarized version of her delivery.

Just like her brother’s birth, I thought I was going for a gynae visit but ended up having my bundle of joy. If you haven’t read about JBoy’s gynae visit turned into a delivery story, here is the link Gynaecologist visit or delivery? He was born at 33 weeks and is now five years old, turns six on the 28th of February (he already knows what cake he wants, usually knows the character cake he wants like a year or two before, lol). I will write about all his cakes and post the pictures off all the ones I find. Both my babies were born in February, not planned at all. One had an April due date and the other was meant to be born in March but I didn’t have the final say. Back to my story.

This time, I no longer had medical aid and had to register at an Academic hospital as that was what we could afford at the time. My first child was born at a private hospital, all fancy and classy, well, we had to face reality and use what we could afford. Thankfully, I received 100% quality of treatment at both hospitals. On the 21st of January 2019, with pregnancy almost 32 weeks, I went for my gynae visit in Pretoria, about 40 minutes from where we live. I got there and joined the queue. When it was my turn, I did all the tests we were asked to do, which included the urine test. We did all those checks before seeing the doctor, actually, a team of doctors because my case was a special case. Due my existing health condition, both my pregnancies were considered high risk. When it was my turn, I went in, and realized that they were not as chatty as before. I like to talk and make people talk as well, making jokes and all but that day was different. They said to me that they found a high level of protein in my urine and that my blood pressure was quite high. I always had low blood pressure, some times even too low so this was strange. I was told that I had to be admitted immediately. Funny enough, the one things that came to mind was my job- what do I say? I only asked for a day off and I had promised that my pregnancy wouldn’t interfere with my job so how was I going to ask for one more day? The doctor wrote me a sick leave note to solve that. I wasn’t too bothered with my son because he and his father got along very well and I knew they would be able to function without me for a few days. Little did I know that I was going to be there for the next three weeks.

Yes, I was there up until the 5th of February, 2019! I was placed on admission on the 21st of January with the hope that the protein in my urine would be back to normal and that my BP would normalize. Well, neither happened and I had to be there till I reached 34 weeks and baby was brought out. The time there was not easy for me. I try not to be a workaholic but I had to have my laptop brought in so I could do some work. Not too much but enough to clear out urgent matters and to keep me distracted from being in hospital. That gave me some sanity, a little bit, lol. My legs also started swelling up so much like I had never seen them before and I gained a lot of weight! I am very small in stature and had never gone past 59kg (pregnancy weight) so when I weighed 68kgs from a normal weight of 52kgs, I am sure you can imagine how swollen and puffy I looked. It was preeclampsia!! My diet was changed and I got so many treatments, all sorts and when it kept worsening, I was given the 1st of February for emergency C-Section and by 10:36am on the date, lil’ miss J was born and I also requested for BTL and got it done same time. Baby weighed 2.01kg and breathed fine but was placed in NICU for 48 hours to be observed. She was discharged two days later, before me! But of course, she had to stay with me till I was discharged on the 5th of February.

I hadn’t done my shopping! Oh no, not again, the exact same thing happened with JBoy and it happened again. I am usually a last minute shopper, for almost everything. So bad that I still shopped a day before my wedding so, yeah, that is my nature and will make plans to change one day. This time however, my sister that did the shopping the other was not available so my husband and one of his friends at that time did my baby girl’s shopping! Can you imagine that at all? They tried, got the basics and then they bought a blanket that I would never have bought had I done the shopping but I had to suck it up hahaha. We still use that blanket till date and lil’ miss J now knows how to say the word “blanket” when she wants me to put her on my back with it. It is our special blankie.

Same lessons from my previous gynae post, things seems really hard when we are in it and experiencing it but looking back now, there is so much to be thankful for. She was born at 34 weeks but did not need the NICU. If she had, like her brother needed it and had to be there for four weeks, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it financially, driving back and forth, visiting, taking expressed breast milk and we wouldn’t have been able to afford renting a place close by so we were grateful that five days after her birth, we both went home. No one was left behind. So grateful to God for that. Also, my mom arrived two days after and I was so glad that yet again, we decided to apply for her visa earlier than necessary so she flew down as soon as she received her visa, literally a day after! So for things like organising a visa or planning an event and bigger things, I am more organised but baby shopping, not so much. That is why we all have our strengths and weakness right?

What do you think about my experience? Being placed on admission at 32 weeks for both pregnancies? Having two preemies? They are now both super healthy and strong. When someone says their water broke, I just smile, I have no idea what that feels like. All in all, I am very grateful and thankful for both of them. So different and yet so alike. Do you know anyone who had a preemie and is worried? Tell them all will be well! I know people’s stories and situations are different but we can draw strength and inspiration and courage from the stories of others! That helped me a lot. I will stop here for now. I know it was such a long read and if you read up to this point, thank you!

Back to Work- 4th of January 2021

Hello, I hope you are doing well and keeping safe. I am well, actually feel better in my body as I have always struggled with one thing or another in my health but really feel as healthy as I can feel this morning. Today is the 4th of January and I am back to work! Yes, wish I had one more week to “not work” and just play with my kids and keep sharing my husband’s latest music as much as I can as we are are our own marketer and promoter for now. However duty calls and with the nature of my job, I can’t really stay away for long.

I work from home as an International Student Advisor, that is my job title. What do I get to do with my title? I pretty much assist students who want to study abroad. How do I help them? I help them by speaking to them about what they would like to study, where they see themselves in the next five years and all that just to get an idea of what they really want to be. I find that some students are very clear on what they want. Some say to me “I would like to study Business Administration in Netherlands this November” and that’s it while some say ” I think I want to study Engineering or Law or maybe even Economics anywhere nice”. With the latter, it is more work in terms of calling such to students to find out what they really want to do or become and sometimes help them find them double majors or combined programs where possible. This brings me to the next stage.

At the next stage, I help them search for universities in the specific countries they indicated. Like I said earlier, some students are straight to the point and want to apply to just one university in one country while some want to apply to a million universities in 100 countries. With those, we cap applications to about five and assure them that they will get in because as an advisor, I make sure that they meet all requirement to make sure they receive an offer. So this stage is university search and application where I help them put in an application on our agent portal. Some can apply on their own but would just need to put in our details as their agent so we can help them follow up to get a quicker turnaround time.

Once they receive their offers and meet all the conditions on their offer letter, they pay their course deposit and then begin we the visa process because the company I work for also assist with that which is really awesome. Different countries have different outcome time so we wait but usually within a week to four weeks, they receive their visas and they go. Sounds easy but it is a lot of paper work from start to finish.

Does the job sound interesting to you? Well it does to me, I love the job so much especially as I get to actually counsel students along the line. The job sounds like just advise, apply to universities and get them their visas and they go. No, not that simple. I have had to speak to a dad on the phone for 58 minutes. A dad who had the funds to send his 18 year old abroad to study but was really anxious, hesitant and had so many conflicting emotions that I had to help resolve. One of the cons of this job is that on whatsapp, students reach out to me at any point in time to ask me a work related question. I receive a message on a Sunday at 10:35am for example, during church service or even a call. I will talk more about other things I do in my job some other time but now really have to go start. I start from 9am and end at 5pm.

My five year old, turning 6 in February is my timekeeper, at 5:00pm, sometimes 5:32pm or 5:48pm (examples) he comes to say to me “mummy, didn’t you say your work ends at 5:00pm, look up at the clock” and of course, I get to close my laptop! I some times sneak back to work because I might need to quickly send an application form to a student at night so they they get it completed and send it back to me by morning or anything that comes up. I have to go. Thank you for stopping by. I will be back and will actually post more this year about my experiences with work, life, parenting, and many more. Stay tuned. Please like, if you like it and follow, if you would like to read more from me. Do have a lovely day and a wonderfully blessed week. Cheers.