Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Men and remote controls

What is it with men and the TV remote?

I have tried without success to understand what it is that attracts men to remote controls, especially the TV remote. A lot of men (my husband, the king of them all) find the remote control so irresistible. Once he steps into the living room he goes straight for the remote and  for the entire period he spends there I'll have to kiss the remote goodbye. 
The fact that they confiscate the remote for the next couple of hours is not really the problem, it is the fact that they are incapable of staying on a channel for more than a micro second. I often wonder how they satisfy that desire to watch a programme on TV ( except the sports channel, if there is some championship or tournament then the TV stays on that channel forever)

I thought I was in this alone until I heard other women complain about the same problem. I have also discovered this is not a problem with men alone but with the entire male gender and they start so young. Its almost as if they have a secret gene passed from father to son and has continued for generations unbroken and unnoticed by women. 
Some women have succeeded in getting some remote time while others like myself have given up. As long as I get to watch my favorite programmes, of which i'll have to announce several times for all to hear, he can run around the channels for as long as he pleases.

I have tried and tried to keep the remote away from him and have discovered it is impossible to keep him away from the remote. Men just light up at the mere sight of a remote control and once they get their hands on it they are like a kid let loose in a candy store, they just can't stop.

Ladies, we need to do something about this and fast,  maybe declare a ladies remote control day each week, when no male is allowed to get close to the remote.
what do you think?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

How your self esteem can affect your relationship

A person's self esteem goes a long way to determine how they relate with and are perceived by people. Low self esteem is very unhealthy for any relationship, be it marriage, courtship, family or just an ordinary friendship. We all feel low or inadequate sometimes but when a person constantly feels he/she is not good enough or can never do anything right then it becomes a problem and sure enough will affect the way they act and relate.

How you feel inside is usually reflected in your words and actions, so if you constantly feel inadequate then you would always seek other people's approval and usually won't  deal well with compliments. Eventually your confidence level drops so much you may even become depressed.

In any relationship, we love to know the other party is someone that is capable of making their own decisions and holding their own. Confidence is the one thing everyone needs in any relationship. It shows you have your own personality and are comfortable in your own skin. Being clingy and always seeking the other party's approval can be annoying and a turn off for most people.

To fix a low self esteem, you have to be ready to honestly examine yourself. Identify what the issues are with you. What are the things that you feel most negative about? Is it a part of your body?  Culture, education etc. try to accept and embrace who you are, concentrate on the positives and not the negatives. What are the things that make you happy? Do them most often and don't do things because other people are doing them, do things because you genuinely want to.

Finally, love who you are, other people cannot love you if you don't love yourself first and if you love yourself you would do things that would make you happy which would be reflected in your everyday life and ultimately your relationship.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Love or Possession

How do you know if it is love or possession? It is easy to confuse one for the other. 
I like to describe possessiveness as a desire to completely own and control. And when it has to do with another human being, to own and control all or most aspects of that person's life.

A lot of people are guilty of this especially at the beginning of a relationship, mostly because they are still getting to know each other and don't yet completely trust each other. Even at this stage it is not an excuse to be possessive and does not in any way show love.

This feeling of possessiveness must never be confused for love or being protective, it is totally different from those two. If someone loves you they would let you make your own decisions, they would give you your space, they would not question your every move or go through your calls to know who you 'be been communicating with and so on. Infact true love is setting that person free believing and trusting that they would make the right decisions for themselves and being there to pick them up when they fail.

Possessiveness in a relationship is very unhealthy and if not addressed can have very terrible consequences. With possessiveness comes jealousy and often times violence follows. I saw a true life  program on TV a few days ago in which a groom stabbed his bride to death a few hours after their wedding because he saw her chatting with his cousin and got jealous. This chat with his cousin was not even going on privately, it was in full view of everyone, the wedding guests were still around. She was actually trying to hook up her cousin who told her she liked him. Now what is wrong with that? We all do that all the time. Her husband saw them talking, got upset and stabbed her to death and she was still in her wedding dress with their few months old baby in a crib nearby. 
Nobody wants to end up this way but it happens.

Before going into a marriage, any signs of possessiveness has to addressed because it usually gets worse. If you still don't feel comfortable it is best you end the relationship before it becomes abusive because it definitely will.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Early Marriage Blues

Ashley and John got married about a year ago. At first, things went on well. They made long term plans like any other couple. But lately Ashley thinks John has changed. He doesn't spend as much time with her as he used to, his temper is so short and they seem to argue over everything, he leaves his clothes all over the place and when she complains he flays up and tells her she is nagging him. She feels he has changed so much, he is not the wonderful, loving and understanding man she married. She doesn't want to say she regrets getting into the marriage but that is how she feels. She wants to keep loving him but she is beginning to hate him and is wondering what she got herself into. Divorce? No, she doesn't want that, even though it creeps into her mind once in a while. She is so depressed and unhappy and wants to fix this but how can she when her attempts always turn into another senseless argument. This is so difficult.

"He has changed" or "She has changed". These words are so common in the early years of marriage. It makes you wonder if there is any couple that did not mutter these words in their early years of marriage. 
The first few years of marriage can be difficult because you are still learning a lot about living together as a married couple. You are gone past the butterfly feelings of dating and courtship, the excitement of the wedding and the fantasy of the honeymoon, next stop, reality and it just hits you without any warning, if you are unprepared it may hit so hard that you may not be able to handle it and down goes your marital bliss. 
A lot of couples experience what Ashley is experiencing in the first few years of their marriage because most times couples don't get enough information, preparations and direction before going into a marriage. They often go in thinking the fantasy of the honeymoon will continue. They have to be told about the realities of marriage. There will be misunderstandings, how do you handle them when they occur? Both of you were raised in different homes, picked up different habits while growing up, had different friends, react differently to situations. Considering all these factors and the fact that you have to live with each other and see each other everyday, you see it requires more work than you thought, right? But there is a way out, communication....

The Beauty of Communication

The usefulness of this tool in marriage cannot be over emphasised. Learn to communicate your feelings properly and you'll find that the misunderstandings and arguments will be considerably reduced. While communicating your feelings, do not confuse them with your thoughts or judgement. Always say what you feel, how a certain thing makes you feel and not what you think or try to accuse or judge  him/her. Express how you feel in the most loving way you can and don't aim to win. You are not at war.
After you have spoken, give him/her a chance to speak and while they speak, listen attentively to what they have to say, do not interrupt and do not ask unnecessary questions. Be quick to apologise when you are wrong and even quicker to accept an apology and forgive.

I suggest that Ashley tries to have a conversation with john tell on a day he is in a good mood, maybe on a weekend, when both of them are likely not stressed from work. She should tell him how she feels and try to not judge him as he may be going through the same changes that she is going through and would not know unless he opens up to her. Trying to communicate with him the right way will surely get him to open up and hopefully it will be a step in the right direction. Both should be honest with each other and actively work towards maintaining a healthy marital relationship.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Ovulation Prediction Kits

Using OPKs to predict ovulation is becoming more and more common. OPKs are similar to pregnancy test sticks. They work by detecting a hormone known as Luteinizing Hormone. There is usually an LH surge a couple of hours before ovulation and OPKs work by detecting this surge.
When you get a positive OPK result it means your ovulation is around the corner. Some manufacturers claim ovulation will most likely happen within 36 - 48 hours after you get the positive result.

There are different brands of OPKs in the market but they work basically the same way. 
Before you start testing you have to know the length of your cycle and then based on that, follow the instructions on the attached leaflet. Usually the instructions will let you know what day to start testing based on the length of your cycle.
On your specified day, you test by either placing the chemical coated part of the test stick in your urine stream for a few seconds or collecting some of your your urine in a clean  container and placing the chemical coated part of the test stick in it for a few seconds and then placing it on a flat surface or facing down for a few seconds. After which it gives either a positive or negative result.

The Clear Blue digital OPK is one of the good brands in the market. I have used that before and found the result easy to read. You either have a clear circle to show a negative result or a smiley to show a positive result. See picture below.

                                                            A negative digital OPK result

                                                               A positive digital OPK result

A negative OPK result means no LH surge has been detected while a positive OPK result means an LH surge has been detected so ovulation is around the corner.
You may or may not have to test for a few days before you get a positive result. You are usually advised to reduce your liquid intake about 4 hours before you test and when you do get a positive result, you are advised to have intercourse on the day of the positive result and the day after to maximise your chances of conception.

Please be sure to read and follow the attached instructions for accurate results.

These few methods of predicting ovulation i have outlined are just to help maximise your chances at predicting ovulation and not to tell you exactly when you ovulate. No one, as I said earlier can tell you for sure the exact time ovulation occurs but if you keep observing your body and using the necessary tools, you may just get close enough.

Good luck and lots of baby dust to all trying!!!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Using the mucus method to predict ovulation


A lot of women don't really understand this cervical mucus thing, some say they don't see anything when they observe, while others find it disgusting. But it is another way that mother nature communicates with us.
Every woman's cervix (the cervix connects the vagina to the womb) produces mucus, which is thick during the infertile time of your cycle, at this stage it prevents the sperm from penetrating but this changes during ovulation. As you approach ovulation the hormone estrogen encourages changes in the quantity and quality of this mucus.


As you approach ovulation the appearance of this mucus begins to change. If you observe your underwear closely or observe the tissue when you wipe, immediately after your period, you would hardly see any mucus at all. You will feel dry for the first few days after your period. But if you keep observing you would notice a yogurt like discharge, cream in colour, sticky to the touch and not stretchy at all. As the days go by you notice that the discharge is gradually getting lighter, clearer and a bit stretchy, this shows you are gradually approaching ovulation. When the mucus gets to the point where it is more in quantity, clear, thin and very stretchy then you are around your most fertile period. At this point the mucus looks a lot like egg white and you can actually stretch it a few centimeters between your thumb and fore finger before it breaks. This is the part where a lot of people find disgusting but if you can stomach it see pictures of stretched out mucus.

                                                           fertile mucus looks something like this

Very stretchy right?

The mucus helps to lubricate the vagina and make it friendly for the sperm to swim and fertilize the egg.
Intercourse around this period may result in pregnancy but remember that intercourse up to 6 days before ovulation can lead to pregnancy as sperm can survive for up to 5-7 days in a woman's body and still be able to fertilize an egg if ovulation occurs within that period.

You can use this method to validate the date you get when you count 14 days backwards and if both happen around the same period then you are closer to predicting your ovulation day.

We will talk about OPKs next......

Thursday, 20 June 2013

How to know when ovulation is likely to occur

Ovulation occurs every month when an egg is released from one of your ovaries into the Fallopian tube to await fertilization by the sperm.  It is difficult to know which of the ovaries will release an egg and exactly when the egg will be released. This is done purely at random. If you are lucky enough to catch the very moment ovulation occurs and intercourse occurs, you are most likely to conceive as this is the most fertile time of every woman's cycle. But, as i said earlier, unfortunately, it is very difficult to catch that particular moment.

However, nature is kind enough to give us some signs around this period so we can act accordingly, whether we want to conceive or avoid conception. First as with everything to do with our reproductive system we have to know how to track our menstrual cycle because ovulation usually occurs about midway through our cycle and if you don't know the length of your cycle you cannot know when you are midway. I know we were all told while in school and a lot of people still believe ovulation occurs on the 14th day of our cycle, well, I can tell you it is not true for every woman. I for one, do not ovulate on the 14th day. 

women ovulate anywhere from day 10 even up to day 20 depending on the length of their cycle. since the length of all our cycles are not the same, it does not make sense to say we all ovulate on the 14th day. even the same woman may not ovulate on the same day every month. 


Different women calculate their ovulation period in different ways some count from the first day of their period to around the middle of their period and some count from the first day of their next period backwards. I prefer the backwards calculation because I have combined it with other methods and found it more reliable. To count backwards.....

As always, first know the lenth of your cycle and you should have tracked your cycle for a couple of months to know when your next period is most likely to begin. Then count 14 days backwards from the first day of your next period.

For instance, using the same table for calculating the length of Jane's cycle, let us try and work out when Jane is most likely to ovulate







Day 1

Period starts.

Cycle starts.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Period ends.

Cycle continues

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Cycle ends

Day 1

Period starts.

Cycle starts

From the table above Jane's next period is to start on June 8, so to find out when she is most likely to ovulate we count 14 days backwards from June 8. Count with me.....what day did you come up with? day 12 right? Jane is most likely to ovulate around day 12. But that's not all, don't stop there, remember I said earlier that no one can pin point ovulation so now that we know around when it is most likely to occur, we also have to play safe and cover all grounds to make sure we don't miss it by a day or two since our cycle lengths may not be the same every month. To do this, I usually add 3 days before the date and 2 days after the date to my crucial fertility days. For Jane her crucial fertility days will be day 10, day 11, day 12, day 13 and day 14. To conceive Jane will have to have intercourse every day or every other day on these days.

Note that these are presumed dates and using this method alone may not give you the exact day of ovulation.

 If you are trying to avoid conception remember that intercourse up to 6 days before ovulation can lead to conception so please discuss it with your doctor to figure out your fertile days.
Breastfeeding can also make your cycle irregular so also discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding. 

As we move on I will talk about other methods I use