God made me who I’m meant to be…


 

Hello Liam and Hannah

Mom again. One of our favourites songs at the moment, an oldie from Hillsong, goes something like this:

God made me who I’m meant to be. He loves me just the way I am.

God made me who I’m meant to be. His dream for me is so amazing.

And for this simple reason… I am happy to be me. Woah oh, woah oh!

My God watches over me. Woah oh, woah oh! I feel like royalty!

And for this simple reason… I AM HAPPY TO BE ME!

You guys love this song. I know it’s probably because it’s fast and punchy and the drummer and guitarist go crazy and we jump up and down and dance like rock stars whenever we hear it. But in time, I hope you will get as much joy from this song, simply because of the words. Every so often, I feel the need to remind you both just how amazingly awesome and special you are in the eyes of your Creator. God made you exactly who you are meant to be. I don’t ever want you to think of yourselves as anything less than royalty. Your heavenly Daddy is a king, that means you are a prince and princess respectively. No matter what the worlds says, no matter what your friends may say to you one day, or a scorned ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, or a teacher speaking cruelly – you are AMAZING.

You both have the potential to be something great. Recognise your self-worth, know that every hair on your head is counted and that there is someone who actually loves you more than me – I know that it is hard to fathom, but it’s true!! Be happy in this knowledge. Don’t ever wish to be someone else, because you are uniquely and beautifully created to live this incredible life, and all you need to do is keep your eyes on Jesus and he will direct your every step. When you come to know him in a personal way, His plan and purpose for your life will be revealed to you. It’s an ongoing journey, I’m on it too, but every day is a blessing in the Lord. I’m not saying life will be easy, or that things will go swimmingly well or that there won’t be hard, dark days, but when you have God on your side, you won’t be broken. You may be down, but you will never be out. You may be beat, but you will never be broken. You may grow weary, but you’ll still stand tall. So even if you don’t make the sports A team, or win a trophy at prize giving, or you feel you aren’t as pretty or handsome as the next kid, or you feel like you are a useless space-taker, know and understand that you were wanted, that God up in heaven was already thinking about this precious boy and girl that he wanted to create and how adorable they would be and how their parents would love them, and how Hannah would have this fantastic afro, and Liam would have these eyes that shine like stars – He made you EXACTLY as you were meant to be, He made you with love and He knew exactly what a blessing you would be to me. And the best part is, I didn’t have to do anything in order for Him to bless me with you. He just loves Mommy that much too, that He gave me the best gift of all – you two.

So go out there, be YOU, do YOU, put God first. Treat people with respect, love even when it hurts, forgive even when it’s hard. Be happy to be you. Because you are perfect, just the way you are.

Love you babies

Xxx Mom

Who wants some of this Naartjie?


So on the 15th March 2012, something big is going to happen. Get your credit card ready, finger to the trigger (or mouse in this case) and get ready to cyber-shop your kids into the oh-so-most-fabulous Naartjie gear.

If your life is anything like mine, shopping for kids clothing is something you do “by the way”. So when you are out buying onions and tomatoes and doing a quick grocery top up while Dad baby sits, you quickly slip into a store and “top up” on items they may (or may not) need. The days of leisurely shopping for hours, rail after rail, store after store came to a grinding halt, the day my kids were born. I don’t have the time or the patience to shop with my kids in tow, navigating my kid-filled trolley through narrow aisles, while they Liam whines about how tired they he is or they Hannah swipes clothing off racks and shoes off shelves. On the rare occasion that I actually have the day to myself and my kids are in the capable care of Zoleka or their Dad or with their cousins, the LAST thing I want to do is spend my day shopping. I reserve these days for sleeping in, vegging in front of the TV and for taking on a keen resemblence to a sloth. 

So IMAGINE my delight (I wanted to say glee but didn’t want to sound over-excited), when I heard that Naartjie would be launching their online shopping site on the 15th March 2012. Yes, that’s right, you can shop 24 hours a day, baby! That means without moving a muscle, except your index finger and possibly your thumb, you can do the kids Winter shopping (because I know you haven’t done it already), AND stock up on the necessities AND throw in the cute stuff… well because Naartjie stuff is just so cute, you can’t resist. Well I know I can’t. Please please, don’t let my husband read this; he will send my credit card through the shredder.

Best of all, if you register to shop before the 15th March, you stand in line for a mystery discount! Go check it out! Or follow them on Twitter here, for more updates.

Here’s a little something-something from the peeps over at Naartjie:

Now you can have your Naartjie and eat it too!

Its true, fans of the brand, will be able to shop from the comfort of their couches from 15 March as Naartjie opens their online store. Online shoppers can look forward to access to the entire collection, special ranges, an invaluable gifting service and loads of special deals. There is a mystery discount up for grabs for all customers already registered and anyone registering before 15 March. visit www.naartjie.co.za.

Lost in translation


 

I keep forgetting that Hannah is going to be two soon. Her speech is more delayed than Liam’s was, hence I feel like she is still a baby-baby. But of course the circumstances were different – Liam was forced to grow up because Hannah came along when he was just a wee tiny boy. He had no choice but to swim, or be left to sink! Hence, we had ourselves a very advanced two year old in Liam. His speech often left me speechless – this kid could TALK, his vocabulary was vast and his pronunciation was almost perfect. He went from baby babble to pretty good English really quickly. I guess I expected the same from Hannah, more so because she had her brother to learn from and mimic. However, these last few weeks have been tough for Missy; she gets so incredibly frustrated when she cannot express herself because the words are just not there OR the words are there but I just can’t understand them! I get frustrated because she thinks that by screaming and jumping up and down, I may be able to understand her better – but all that does is escalate everyone’s frustration! I don’t want her to grow up, I love her at this age, but I do wish that her speech would pick up just a little – not for me – but to help ease her frustration.

The other important fact to consider is that Liam went to school from 18 months. I do believe that this aided his speech development because other than nap time, pre-school is one song after the other, one game after the other and interacting with babies and your teachers all day long. This HAS to have some impact on your speech development surely? Hannah stays at home with Zoleka, and although I encourage Zoleka to read with her, play her DVDs and talk to her about everything she is doing so that Hannah starts to grasp all these things, I can guarantee that when Zoleka is cleaning the toilets or washing the 100th sippy cup for the day, that the last thing she wants to do is engage in baby talk with Hannah. So there are probably some quiet hours in the day when Hannah isn’t stimulated, which is fine, because this has taught her to play happily on her own too and even then, she babbles CONSTANTLY too herself, and loves talking to herself in the mirror. She understands well, and I think that at this stage, this is more important than the words which are coming out of her mouth. She also reads tone very well and understands the difference between happy, cross or sad voice.

Her vocabulary is very good, she knows well over 30 words, but her pronunciation sucks. Ha! Awter for water, mikky for milky, bed for bread, sues for shoes, goggy for doggy, mukky for monkey, teet for teeth, kaai for cry, seep for sleep – to mention a few. She hits the nail on the head for other words like botty, sore, car, see, hair, luff (love). She even has her own words for certain items; words which are completely unrelated to what the item actually is like asdfk&^ for noodles. I seriously cannot even spell what she says for noodles and it took us may frustrated hours trying to figure out what she wanted. They both love Two Minute Noodles, probably because I feed it to them whenever I am lazy to cook – which is often, so she asks for them often! Boy, was it hard to understand what she meant. When she has a word-malfunction like this, we will walk around the house, letting her point out things, or asking if she means this or that, just to get to the bottom of what she wants. She will yell in frustration every time we point at the wrong thing! So at least we have discovered that asdfk&^ is noodles.

Sometimes she will ask me a question in German (well that’s what it sounds like) and she will look expectantly at me with her big eyes. I will tread lightly and start with a “yes my baby” and if she responds with a smile and a nod, I know I have answered correctly. Sometimes I don’t answer correctly and she yells her request back at me and I have to dig deeper to try and figure out what she is saying. If we’re watching tv I’ll say something like “yes, Jake is a pirate” and wait to see her reaction. Or if we’re in the car I’ll say “yes, that truck is big hey” and wait for her response. Most times she is happy with my answer, but I suspect she just agrees because she feels sorry for me – how can I NOT understand her “English?”

Liam doesn’t have any problem understanding Hannah, so I often have to use him as a translator. She has moved from calling him Leelee to calling him Leeeeum, and I am now Mum and Dad is Dud. Unless she wants something and is trying to twist my arm, in which case I am Muummeeeeeee. She can hum the theme tune to most of the Disney Junior programmes, and her favourite word comes from Little Einsteins: BLAST OFF! Although she screams BAAARFF! Which has a totally different meaning, now doesn’t it.

I love this stage when she tries to say everything we say; her father spends hours making fun of her, forcing her to say words that she obviously can’t but still tries, with hilarious results. She finds it funny when he laughs, and she laughs too. My MOST favourite thing is that she now tells me she luffs me unprompted, and not because I said it first. She just toddles over and grabs my thigh and wraps her cute chubby baby arms around my leg and says “luff youuuuu”  and giggles as she runs off. I listen to Liam now, speaking perfect English, using words that sometimes make me do a double take, as in “wow, did he just say that” and I miss his baby babble. Hannah will be there one day, and I will no longer be able to get away with saying words like milky or botty or nana or poopoo without sounding like I, myself, have a speech impediment.

Before I know it, Hannah will be telling me my fortune about how I should knock on her room door before I enter, and mocking my mom jeans, so for now, we will sign language ourselves through this maze, lost in translation, but luffing it.

The Biggest Loser


 

I weigh 70 kilograms, I need to weigh 60 kilograms.

We have started a Biggest Loser competition at work, which loosely translates into living in the Big Brother house where your every hand-to-mouth movement is scrutinised by your colleagues. Although this is a good thing, because it forces you to “be good” and eat well because you are being watched, I find it really annoying when Sally over in sales wants to turn her nose up at my whole avocado pear when I should only be eating a ¾ portion. The competition is tough with everyone vying for first place. The water cooler is always busy with gallons of water being consumed daily, and the chitchat around this waterhole revolves around stomach crunches and whey protein, as compared to last week’s conversations about how many shooters you downed at the club the night before. And the canteen has become a vegetable patch.

My own reason for losing weight is to just get back to my pre-baby weight. I am not a skinny girl, the last time I was skinny was about 20 years ago – before the onset of puberty, when it really didn’t matter what size you were anyway. I do not want to be a skinny girl either. But I do want to be healthy, I want to give my body the best chance I can for it to work optimally and serve me for as many years as it potentially could, as opposed to it shutting down before it’s time, because I didn’t look after it.

This week has been incredibly difficult for me. Going from someone who eats anything without restriction in quantity or quality, to someone who follows an eating plan which contains hardly any sugar, carbs or anything remotely tasty, has been very challenging. Although the eating plan is realistic and easy to incorporate into a way of life, with six meals made up of oats, chicken, vegetables, lean mince, eggs and fruit before 12pm, it’s still not a way of eating that I am used to. Firstly, it is actually way more food to ingest, than I would in a normal day – who has six meals a day? Secondly, there are little to no carbs – my greatest love. I haven’t had any bread or pasta in over a week (even though I am allowed carbs before 2pm), and more than anything, I just want to bite on a big hunk of unsliced white bread,  dripping in melted garlic butter! What I have come to realise is that dieting is by far, more about the mind, than the body. Your body is so compliant, it will do whatever you tell it to, yes it may shout out in disagreement, but it will pretty much do whatever you tell it to. But getting your mind to accept an apple over a Bar One, or a glass of water over a glass of wine is where the real problem lies.

My body is craving a chocolate, in fact, as I type this post, I am sitting next to a delicious extra large breakfast platter from Fourno’s laden with muffins, doughnuts, custard danishes and apple pies, and I have to physically restrain my hand from stretching over and scoffing something into my mouth, but in my mind I keep telling myself that I don’t need it. It requires a lot of self discipline (something I don’t have) and it requires WILL POWER (another thing I don’t have). I refuse to cut myself off completely from the finer (more sugary) things in life, as I still have a cup of coffee with milk and sugar a day, or this weekend I may just have an ice cream cone, after all life is meant to be enjoyed and I do find pleasure in what I eat and drink, but I do intend to choose the healthier option where I can.

It has also been rather difficult because as I try and shed the kilos, my husband has been packing on the carbs in preparation for his race tomorrow. This meant that while I slaved over the stove last night, making him the most delicious pasta, drenched in a delicious tomato-y sauce, I had to make myself believe that my boiled eggs, tuna and veggies were a treat for a queen. Sigh. But still I go on!

This week I lost 1.9kgs. I have 8 kgs to go. I have written this post as proof – physical evidence – of this journey to reach my goal weight. I desperately want to achieve my goal, not because I want to look hot (but of course this is the main reason, let’s get real), but because I need to prove to myself that I can actually stick to something without giving up; that I do have self control and will power and that I can beat my body and mind into submission, without my stomach growling back at me for that last slice pecan nut pie on the plate.

Keep reading for my weekly updates!