Scar Face.. only cool in the movies


Yet another scar for the year book…

Liam…really, you need to be more careful or else you will not find a wife. Everybody likes a scar that can tell a good story, but not on your beautiful face, my darling!

Sorry about your boo boo. xxx

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To poke, or not to poke..


So I have a small dilemma..

We pierced Hannah’s ears when she was about 6 months old. I received serious flack from “well meaning” folks – some who didn’t even have kids, or even a dog for that matter – about what a BAD mother I was for making this horrible choice for my daughter, and how would I like it if someone poked me through the flesh, without my consent (I won’t even answer that, my kids will read this one day).  Even complete strangers who would stop to ga-ga-goo-goo over Hannah, would cluck in disapproval when they noticed her shiny gold studs. Yeh, that’s right, I let some strange lady bust a cap in my baby’s ears. Anyway, the ear piercing experience wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but it wasn’t like a scene from a horror movie either. I think she took it like a (wo)man. She looked gorgeous with her bling, her ear lobes healed beautifully and that was that.

Well not exactly.

Sometime within the 6-week-do-not-remove-the-earring stage, one of her earrings fell out. We searched high and low for it; I had Zoleka on high earring alert every time she swept or mopped the floor, even though we could have lost that earring anywhere. I didn’t want to pop just any stud into that hole, so I left it, with every intention of getting a new pair. What I really wanted was to find the exact same pair so that I wouldn’t have to take the other earring out because that part totally freaked me out, more than having to jam a new earring in. Alas, I couldn’t find the same pair, I tried many stores, I even put it on order and hey, now that I think about it, that store never did call me back… and.. well… the truth is… almost 11 months later, my daughter is still rocking one earring.

My sister, totally annoyed that it had taken me so long to solve this problem, eventually pierced a brush bristle through the hole to verify that it was still open, and forced me to buy a pair – ANY pair, which I did. But would you believe it, it fell out again shortly thereafter, maybe it’s her ear, not the earring? Anyway, I try to cover it up with a well positioned lock of hair, and in winter with a cute fluffy cap, however as she grows older, she is starting to look a bit weird with this one earring. Perhaps it wouldn’t look so bad if her name was Billy Jean or Apple or Green Pea or something wonderfully weird and bizarre, but she’s just plain ‘ol Hannah with one earring in her ear, and quite frankly I am quite tired of explaining why she only has one earring, since it’s not exactly an exciting story, like the dog ate it.

Right, so back to my dilemma. The hole now appears to be closed. I tried the brush bristle trick with no luck. This means one of two options for us. Do I take her to be re-poked? Or do I just admit defeat, and take the other one out and let her decide for herself when she is older if she wants earrings or not? I am all for ear piercing; my concern is that she is much older now, much more aware of her surroundings and I feel bad about purposely inflicting pain on her when she is that much more aware. Also, she’s now at the age where she simply CANNOT leave things be.. that curious toddler stage where they have to touch everything, and I fear that she will tug on her ear endlessly and hinder the healing process. Or she may just yelp for those three minutes and be A-OK thereafter? Who knows!

My husband is no help at all. He says he likes her with one earring. Whatever. He just can’t bear the thought of his darling daughter crying in agony. Man up please. I need to make a decision before Christmas, because we definitely can’t have the one-earring-wonder, spoiling our Christmas card.

School Photos…


The memo from school read that your child should be neatly presented, with his/her Sunday best on, for the event of the year… school photos. Being virgin school-photo-participants, we were very excited. Liam had been practising his smile for a while, ok… I had been forcing Liam to practice his smile for a while – not an easy task. It’s very hard to produce that delicious natural smile that makes me want to bite his cheeks off, when your mother is coercing you to smile every three seconds.

I thought about asking his teacher to crack some of the usual jokes I use to induce fits of giggles; she could have tried these at the precise moment of photo taking. My husband told me that he’d never change another nappy if I made any contact with Liam’s teacher regarding this issue. I mean what’s the big deal, am I the only one who wants a picture perfect shot of my son during his first year at school?

Anyway, photos should be ready in the next two weeks. And if Liam doesn’t look like the cutest kid in the class, I want a refund. Some of the practice shots below.. SAY CHEESE!

 

 

 

What did you say?


So this week Liam hit us with a barrage of new and interesting words. I knew this day would come because it only takes so long before your child comes into contact with other children (and adults) who were not raised the way I have tried to raise Liam and Hannah – and not in a bad way – just differently. So whereas some words like stupid, shut up and cry-baby are acceptable in some homes, I have tried to steer away from words, which if used in the wrong context, could hurt or offend another little darling. I don’t know about you, but if I was two years old and someone called me stupid, I’d want to cry big crocodile tears .. in fact, if someone called me stupid now, I’d probably also burst into tears! Yes, there are times when his Dad and I are having a laugh and being silly and I call my hubby stupid, or I tell him to shut it when I ask if my bum looks big in this and he laughs..so this context is different, but because explaining contexts to a two year old is like explaining the JSE to me, we just try and avoid these sorts of words altogether at home. 

Everyone says I should ignore him when he uses these words, and perhaps I will learn to contain my outrage and ignore him now that I have heard these horrible words spill from the mouth of my saintly (not) two year old. But when I heard him say it this weekend, I almost choked on my saliva. I can’t even remember what he said, or what he was referring to; we were driving in the car and he was talking compulsively and without taking a breath as usual, and I was giving the obligatory, “yes, ooooh, wow my baby” but not really listening to what he was on about, when I heard him slip in a “stupid.” The hubby and I were mortified, I asked Liam what he had just said, and he said it again – unashamedly . In his defence, I don’t believe he knew it was a bad word, he’d probably just picked it up, but I do think he was well aware of the hoo-hah it caused, every time he said it. So I explained to him that that word wasn’t nice, and that he shouldn’t ever, EVER say it again, and he said ok and carried on with his soliloquy. So far, he hasn’t used the word again, or rather I haven’t heard him say the word again.

Later in the day, I heard him tell Hannah to GET OUT OF MY FACE.. what? Again, I had to step in with the “that’s not nice” speech. I asked him where he had learned to talk like that and he said “nowhere”. Charming. My pulse goes into overdrive and my palms feel sweaty when I think of him using words like these in public, or worse, at church! What will they think of ME, the parent? I don’t want people to think that we’re ok with it, and I most definitely don’t want Liam to be THAT kid who always says nasty things – the kid who other parents tell their kids to stay away from! Ah, this parenting thing doesn’t get any easier, does it? 

So for now, I’m going to play it cool with the bad words. What I have learned through this toddler phase, is that alot of what they do, is to see what sort of of reaction they can get out of me. If I go off my head every time they tip the dirty washing out of the laundry basket, they think it’s hilarious and must be done again and again. If I walk in and laugh and suggest we all clean up together, they think it’s boring and leave it alone, and move onto something else that will shatter Mom’s world. Kids hey, such GEMS.

So, my tactic goes as follows: acknowledge that he has used a bad word, ignore it, if I can tell he is using it more for my reaction than anything else, and lastly wash his mouth out with soap, and feed him chillies. Ok, I wouldn’t do that, relax.

Is this dangerous?


Is this dangerous…

  1. If your kid pees in the bath, then drinks the bath water even though you scream at him repeatedly not to?
  2. If your kid opens the oven, pops half her body into it to make loud “waaaaah” and “oooooh” noises because it makes her laugh?
  3. If your kid prefers to jump down from the top of the slide, rather than slide down on his bottom?
  4. If your kid dangles out of your upstairs windows to spit on the ground below?
  5. If they stick their fingers into the DVD player in an effort to make Barney magically appear?
  6. If they stick their tongues onto the freezer drawers and then cry when they get freezer burn?
  7. If they swallow dive down uncarpeted stairs – well, any stairs for that matter?
  8. If they smear themselves with EXPENSIVE age defying moisturiser (which states on the jar “for mature skin”)? 
  9. If your kid sprays toilet spray in his eye?
  10. If they drink cooking oil out of the bottle?
  11. If they eat an unidentified amount of crayons?
  12. If your kid attempts to shave his bum-smooth face like Dad?
  13. If your kid bandages your other kid’s body in a big fleecy Barney blanket and she can’t get out of it, and it’s 30 degrees outside (I did eventually hear her muffled cries, relax).
  14. If they hobble around in an ankle-breaking fashion, in your high heeled shoes.
  15. If they eat a bar of soap like it’s candy (and no, they weren’t blowing bubbles thereafter like in the cartoons).

I’m asking because they think I am the crazy one when I yell and gesticulate wildly when I catch them in the act? And they cry as if they are being abused when I administer their punishment, after said act, as if I am the baddie? Really. So I have to ask the question.. are these Evel Knievel spawn kids from another planet where engaging in death defying activities is the norm…  or is it me?

Awwwwww, so cute!


As much as possible I want to document all the cute-melting-moment things you guys say and do. This week you provided us with many awwwwwww moments, and here they are in no specific order!
 

Our usual bath and bed time routine consists of me and the hubby bathing both babies together, then I dress Hannah while Dad dresses Liam. Then Dad goes down and prepares Hannah’s night time drink and gets the dummies out of the steriliser, while I brush Hannah’s hair and Liam gives me tips on what hair style to try that day. Anyway, last Wednesday Dad took extremely long downstairs and Hannah was becoming increasingly desperate to suck on her dummy. This isn’t a problem for Liam because he quite easily substitutes dummy for thumb and vice versa. Hannah, either hasn’t cottoned onto sucking her thumb (thank goodness) or else it just doesn’t taste as good as silicone. Anyway, Liam and I tried all sorts of things to pacify her, and nothing worked until he stuck HIS thumb into HER mouth. What a good big brother. She happily sucked on his thumb until Dad arrived with the dummies. Cutest thing EVER!

We were stuck at a red light, when Liam noticed a physically disabled man in a motorised wheelchair crossing the road. He immediately asked what was wrong with him. Dad explained that his legs didn’t work properly and that his special chair helped him to get around. Liam was happy with that answer and on we went. About 15 minutes later, he pipes up “that man’s mommy must give him medicine to make his legs better.” AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Now how do I respond to that?

The next incident was not cute, but it’s one of those things that are way funnier and cuter after the event, once the dust has settled and your heart rate has normalised. Yesterday, I was cooking while Liam and Hannah were playing in the back yard – or so I thought. Now unless I hear screaming or the complete opposite (silence), I don’t really check up on them as I know they are secure in our yard. So yesterday I heard a knock at the door, I thought it was the Census lady who had promised she’d be back to help me complete the ridiculously long form, so imagine my surprise when I saw my neighbour with MY two babies standing next to him. He asked if these two belonged to me… I was flabbergasted, embarrassed and amused all in one go. I think I was less panicked because I didn’t realise they were gone. Had I walked out and not found them playing in the garden where I had left them, I think I may have reacted very differently! I thanked him profusely and went to investigate. The monkeys had opened the gate.. a gate we never keep locked because we didn’t know they could open it! When I asked Liam who had opened the gate, he immediately said Hannah and pointed at her with big eyes.. yeh right. When I asked Hannah if she had opened the gate, she giggled and clapped hands.. not sure what to make of that response? Anyway, I won’t talk about the possible horrors that went through my mind when I actually sat down and thought about the whole incident. Instead I’ll focus on the cuteness of it all… the two of them opening the gate and waddling out in their pyjamas, holding hands and probably giggling at the naughtiness of it all.

 

The little things you guys do that have me in stitches…

  1. How you get down on the dance floor every time Mickey Mouse Clubhouse sings “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggidy Dog.”
  2. Hannah’s new favourite word is “more”. Pronounced “mooooore” and she pulls her mouth into a perfect “O” every time she says it.
  3. How you both pull your faces when you drink ginger beer.
  4. How Liam thinks the KFC Colonel is Jesus.
  5. How Hannah says “yay” and claps hands every time someone sneezes because yes, sneezing should be celebrated. 

Love you guys xxx

Foul Play


 

Please help me, I seem to have lost two cute little cherubs. They were average in height, chubby around the waist, all smiles, and they did everything together, went everywhere together and kissed and hugged a lot. In their place, I seem to have acquired two outlandish, noisy, gangster babies. They are still kinda cute and cuddly, but their behaviour stinks. They bicker over everything, they try to out-do each other in everything like who can scream the loudest just for fun, who can make the most mess in their rooms, who can unpack the kitchen cupboards the fastest, who can spill the most milk out of their cereal bowls – ITS NOT A COMPETITION DUDES!!! These two are driving me crazy, and it’s just not cute anymore.

Up until recently, Liam enjoyed having a shadow who would mimic everything he did, he loved it when Hannah would gaze at him in admiration when he did something heroically amazing like star jump off the couch, after I had screamed at him to stop it like 10 minutes ago. Hannah, however, has come to realise that she is just as cool as Liam is, that she doesn’t need to be the shadow anymore; she has realised that she can run this show, and why the heck must Liam always be the leader, and she, the follower? I think she believes that she was made to shine, and actually Liam is stealing her limelight. So, what’s ensued is an ongoing battle between the two of them to be the best! I always prayed that my kids would be go-getters, but this was not how I imagined my prayers would be answered.

If Liam has the soccer ball, Hannah will come dashing out of shadows, where she was happily playing with her dolly, to grab the ball away from him. Just because. If Hannah has the alphabet puzzle, Liam will instantly have this burning desire to learn his letters right at that very moment. They will be surrounded by books, and I mean books in every size, font, colour; beautiful books about a variety of different fun topics and lots of exciting activities.. the choice of books would make a librarian drool.. but they have to fight over the exact same book, and it usually turns out to be the most boring book of the lot, but the battle must be won! I thought I’d intervene by buying toys which are similar, yet different so that we can still distinguish which one belongs to who. Boy, did that backfire. I bought two tambourines, exactly alike in everything but colour. I bought a blue one for Liam and a yellow one for Hannah. Please understand that they are IDENTICAL – they make the exact same racket, they are the exact same size, they serve the same function which is to give me a headache, but STILL, they fight over the blue one, or depending on their mood, the yellow one. The other day, there was only one Zoo Animal biscuit left in the pack.. I KNEW I should have just eaten it myself when nobody was looking, that’s what any smart mother would have done, but I went for the chocolate next to it instead. Of course, Liam spotted it in the cupboard and wanted it. I tried to explain that there was only one left and that if he wanted to keep his life safe, he would go and hide in a dark corner and eat it quietly. But noooo, he marched around the room like a proud peacock, carrying his biscuit like a trophy. Of course Missy came running up to me salivating, with her hand outstretched. She scoffed at the Eet-Sum-Mor I offered her and pointed to Liam’s biscuit. I stood for a minute, not sure what to do – shout at Liam for being such a peacock or shout at Hannah for not accepting the damn Eet-Sum-Mor. In the end I had to break the Zoo Animal in half, which sent them both into the throes of a tantrum because who really wants a crumbly half eaten soggy lion anyway. I’m tired of playing the referee, sometimes I have to physically pull them apart, other times we stand back and place bets on who will win. Don’t be alarmed, they love as fiercely as they fight, and when they aren’t fighting over my cell phone or who gets to put the bubble bath into the bath this time, they are still the best of friends who stand up for each other and cry for each other when they have to be apart. Sometimes they even share really well, down to Liam splitting his Barney-vite in half to share with Hannah, even though the packaging says from age two and up. Nonetheless, I still hope this endless bickering does come to an end soon, it’s no fun having to turn the tv up so high to drown out the yelling from the other room, the neighbours are going to start complaining soon.

In a bid to restore some sanity to our household, the husband and I have decided to buy identical-double of anything and everything that could possibly defuse the time bomb. The same food in their bowls, the same bottled juices, the same colouring books, the same toy with their kiddie meals – you get the picture? I even have to ask the nice lady behind the counter to really try her best to make the exact same looking ice cream cone – TWICE, or else one will be thrown back at her. I just hope it doesn’t reach crisis level where they fight over clothes, because I really wouldn’t want to put my son in a Hello Kitty t-shirt.

Truth is, I just want some peace and quiet. Why does every phase have to come with NOISE? And I believe it doesn’t get any quieter as they grow. I’m 30 and my father still tells me to tone it down every now and then. This parenting thing just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

ps: sarcasm aside.. I still love my booboos – cat fights and all.

Fun in the Sun…


Here are a few pictures of our weekend in Durban. Boy, you guys love the beach! Not only the water, but the sand too! You had a blast with your cousins and you both have a lovely tan (under that spf 50 sun block!) in remembrance of our fun in the sun…

 

 

 

 

What I’ve learned in the last few days..


 Liam has been on holiday in KZN with my sister and her family. I was grateful for this opportunity for a number of reasons:

  1. He loves his aunty, uncle and cousins and I know how much fun they have together.
  2. He gets to sleep in a bit, as compared to getting up at 5h30am for school every day.
  3. He gets to enjoy the open spaces, fresh air and laid back living – something us city slickers aren’t accustomed to. 

Moreover, I was looking forward to giving Hannah my utter and total attention because she really does deserve it, she has become a bad sharer and I guess this is because she has become somewhat annoyed at having to share EVERYTHING with Liam, including my attention. This week has been enlightening to say the least. It’s funny how you become “OK” with your routine, and by “OK” I mean we settle for, and accept a situation that was supposed to be temporary but has now become the norm, to the point where we forget what life was like before…

I have learned that my husband and I still have a life outside of our children. I’ve learned that we can still engage each other and enjoy each other’s company and laugh at each other’s dry jokes; that we still love each other as intensely as we did all those years ago. The problem is that everything else becomes somewhat jaded when you have kids, especially more than one – they require your full and total attention ALL the time, your focus tends to shift away from your partner and your marriage and becomes children centred – and this is not a good thing. All you talk about are the kids and their well being and their needs. You fight about everything and you disagree on almost everything – how to discipline, how to reward, what they wear, what they eat, their MEDICAL BILLS (OMW!), their school fees, how darn expensive they are; you can find a fight-a-minute when you have kids. You can become so absorbed in your parenting, that your marriage starts to take strain due to neglect, and you don’t even realise the cracks are there, until you have your light bulb moment, which in our case was Liam leaving home! What about those marriages who don’t experience their light bulb moment until it’s too late? It’s a bittersweet contradiction that kids complete a marriage by creating a family, yet their existence can lead to the downfall of that marriage if we, as parents, are not maintaining and nurturing our marriage, as we raise our babies. 

I’ve learned that I don’t miss my kid as much as I thought I would and that a break from each other is probably beneficial for us both. Now before you call the welfare on me.. I do believe that mothers love their sons differently, just as fathers love their daughters differently. Not more or less – just differently! That said, I’m beginning to think that I may be slightly OCD when it comes to my son, HENCE the reason my hubby and I bump heads often over Liam. So here it is in writing, I admit that I may be just a litte, just a tad, just a drop, over protective over Liam. I think that my great love for him leads me to overlook many things, makes me cover up for him even when he deserves to be disciplined, makes me fall under his eye lash batting spell every time. During this time apart, I’ve learned that he is growing, he is a big boy now, he can be away from mommy for many sleeps and consequently, I need to start letting go. Now hold back, I don’t mean I must let my two year old fly the nest, grow a beard and drink beer. I mean letting go in small ways and granting him that independence that he so craves. With independence, comes responsibility and accountability and I have to learn to let Liam deal with these, even in little things like: you wanted to paint, you made a mess, you clean it up. And if you cry, I can’t jump to your rescue and clean up your mess, because this is how we build character and these small lessons will carry you way further, than my mollycoddling will. OH IT’S SO HARD EVEN TO TALK ABOUT IT!

I’ve also learned that Liam can survive without me. The harsh, harsh reality about life is that we never know when our time is going to be up. When I consider my mortality, I am more afraid of what will happen to my kids if and when I die, than I am about actually dying. But I’ve learned that Liam would be just fine, he would miss me no doubt, but he would be alright, and that gives me a sense of peace. And not only in terms of life and death, but this time apart has shown me that he is a confident, self assured little boy, who can deal with being away from his mom, and that his emotional capabilities are developing well. There’s nothing wrong with being shy or timid, but I think every parent worries about a child who seems introverted, who can’t seem to function without his/her mom right by their side, who pulls back in fear at the thought of being the centre of attention. I think it’s every parents fear, that their kid could possibly be a target for a big nasty bully.

I’ve learned that Hannah is really and truly the easiest, most lovable creature who is happy to go with the flow, who rolls with the punches and who just needs to be watered and fed occasionally. I am well blessed to have such a gem, as compared to Liam who was a high maintenance baby! I feel bad to admit that I have missed out on many of Hannah’s milestones because I was too preoccupied with life, and work and her brother.. but I’ve learned during our time alone together to appreciate her for being so incredibly, edibly sweet like chocolate. Yes, she is a diva who can throw a tantrum that will bounce clear off the Richter Scale, yes she has her days when she can whine and cry for seemingly no reason – which women doesn’t? But most times, Hannah is happy to just chill, she likes to dance and clap hands, she likes it when you “act a fool”  and do silly things that make her giggle. She likes to follow her dad around the house, she is quite happy to play alone with her toys or watch Disney Junior, especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She eats whatever you put in front of her, she sleeps all night and has a good long nap in the day, she adapts well to change and she doesn’t care that I have to split my time between her, Liam, the house, work, her dad, LIFE. She’s just cool like that.

So this week has been an eye opener. God uses all types of situations to talk to us, to teach and correct us, to speak to our hearts and to let us know if we’re doing it right or if we need to check ourselves and I do believe that I’ve learned some important lessons from my God this week..