GO TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE!


My worst nightmare has come true. My son is a delinquent. Oh the shame of it all. He will need help and lots of it.  I will have to start on a recovery plan… a rehabilitation of sorts…

Last week, Liam was sent to the dreaded office. He was the one who told me about the incident, but he wouldn’t explain WHY he had been sent to the office. When I collected him from school, his teacher said “woah, Liam was on a roll today.” I know when she says this she means that Liam gave her a particularly um, “busy” day. Liam explained on the way home that he was sent to the office because he did something disrespectful. Well it was the first time I had heard him use that word, that’s quite a mouthful for a 3 year old, so I first congratulated him on that, and then I remembered I was supposed to be in stern-mom-mode. He wouldn’t budge and I left it.

Later in the bath, he opened up and explained that he had clicked his tongue at Teacher Maria, who is the teacher’s assistant. The way he tells the story is that he was busy making a wee, Teacher Maria came into the bathroom with a group of the babies who were being potty trained. She asked him to get done quickly so she could see to the little ones, and he told her that he was still busy. She told him to hurry along. He then clicked his tongue in annoyance at having been rushed to make a wee. *bless* Teacher Maria said something along the lines of that not being very nice, and that he should go and tell his teacher what he had done. Teacher reprimanded him and sent him to the principal’s office.

The principal explained that it was rude and disrespectful to click your tongue at adults, and sent him on his way. I concurred with the principal (in trying to keep a united front and all that) and told him that clicking of tongues was really not the nicest thing to be doing. Of course he retorted with the statement that every toddler will use on his/her mother at least a few hundred times in their toddler years: “but YOU do it.” Sighh. Of course he was right, but I quickly used my trump card and explained that mommies and daddies are allowed to do MANY things that children are not allowed to do and that children are just supposed to LISTEN to what their parents tell them to do because I am the boss of you (ok, I said it more eloquently than that). And then he stated very seriously that when he is a “person” one day, he is going to click his tongue ALL the time. He means when he is an ADULT. I said “my boy, when you have your own children one day, clicking your tongue will become part of your vernacular.” He looked at me quizzically.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I found it very difficult to keep my p.p.p.p.p.poker face. I wanted to laugh out loud but I did my best to play along and show my complete disappointment at him being sent to the office. I chatted to the principal the next day and we giggled in her office when she told me how horrified he was to be in her office, poor boy! He apparently explained the story to her with very big eyes.

So while my son is not a delinquent, nor does he need any sort of therapy related to this incident, he has officially walked the plank to the principal’s office for the first time. And the last, I hope!

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On your 2nd birthday, darling daughter


As I do every year on your birthday, here is your love letter from me to you. xx

Where has the time gone, I remember the day you were born as if it was yesterday. We had just moved into our new  house that week, I was busy upacking boxes, moving furniture and packing my hospital bag, right up until the night before you were born. I was so anxious because I felt like I hadn’t spent enough time with you, even though I had carried you for 40 weeks. I was always so busy with your brother, and then we had to sell our house and move, and I was so consumed with that, that I didn’t really give you the attention you deserved. We hadn’t done up a nursery for you, we hadn’t even unpacked all your clothes and I felt like you would know this and hold it against me.

I got up early to have a shower and I held my big belly for the last time and I felt excited at the thought of finally meeting you. I even applied light make up, can you believe it? Make up to go and deliver a baby! I kissed your brother good bye and told him that I’d have a big surprise for him when I came home. I was pretty chilled about the whole procedure, after all we had been down this road before. I was a bit embarrassed when the sisters at the hospital recognised me from the year before, but I was glad to be in good hands because they had done a great job with your brother. We laughed our way through your birth, my gynae and anaesthetist were making jokes about the fact that I was back so soon and that we should make a date to get together again to deliver baby number 3 the next year! NOT funny! But just as you were born, the room fell silent, almost in reverence to the miracle of life that was unfolding right before our very eyes. I remember the look in your Dad’s eyes as they lifted you up, his precious daughter. How he loves you, Hannah! And then they laid you on my chest and you were the teeniest tiniest baby I had ever seen, you had a thick mop of black hair and the longest little fingers. You were beautiful. I was so overwhelmed because even though you were our little “surprise,” I knew exactly why God had brought you to me, I felt like my heart would burst with this overflowing fullness of joy.

At 2.8kg’s, you were tiny compared to your brother at birth. I was amazed at your mini chicken wing thighs, your little feet and your small pink bottom! You were so calm and relaxed and the sweetest little girl. You were such a good baby and you fitted right into our family, like you were always meant to be there.

Hannah, you are a beautiful girl, inside and out. Your capacity to love stretches way beyond your years. I’m not sure
what I would do without your free kisses and hugs every day. Sometimes you are quite demanding and expect kisses and hugs at times which are not always convenient, like when Mommy is in the shower and you yell at me to kiss you goodbye, like the shower is a door into another world. You delight us every day with the things you do and the words you say. Having a daughter is a wonderful gift for a mom, and I imagine the days when we will do each other’s hair and makeup, when we’ll go shopping and you’ll make me walk around for HOURS while you try and find the perfect pair of shoes, how we’ll cry while watching a romantic comedy while Dad and Liam laugh at us.

Thank you, my darling girl, for the amazing space that you fill in our family. You are becoming a feisty little one, and I love how you’ve come out from behind my skirt tails, and shown everyone who’s boss! I don’t even want to tame that spirit, I love it! I thank God for you every day and I pray that as you grow you will continue to be a source of sunshine to all you meet.

I love you intensely and forever.

Xxx

Mom

Confession: I beat my kids!


So we all want to be fun mom. We all want to be the cool parent and secretly we want to be better or more loved than Dad (except when we really need a break and don’t want to hear, see or smell a kid). I want my kids to positively adore me. So far my track record isn’t looking too good. I’m definitely bad cop. Which is fine… for now. I prefer to be the disciplinarian because I think my husband smacks too hard, shouts too loud, gives unreasonable punishment and basically doesn’t do it MY way… my husband tells me that I think I am perfect and if he isn’t doing it my way, then I think he is doing it wrong. By Jove, he has FINALLY gotten it! Ha, I’m kidding. Anyway, back to my point, as much as I want to be the cool parent, it appears that raising toddlers brings out the ugly in you sometimes, like I actually get tired of hearing my own whiny voice asking them to stop it, get off the counters, stop smacking each other, stop yelling, go to bed, eat your food, stop spitting… and the list goes on. How am I supposed to be cool, when I am so busy being bad cop?

My fuse is short; I admit that I have the patience of a toddler, ironic much? Don’t mess with me if you’re under 4 years old and have a self imposed hearing problem (i.e you choose not to listen!), I will win. I do not take kindly to rudeness or ill manners. I acknowledge that there is a vast difference between a child who is curious, testing boundaries and inquisitive to the point where it gets him/her into trouble, versus a child who displays abominable behaviour all the time. I should have been a school principal in the ‘80s with a cane, I would have rocked! Jokes aside, I do believe that discipline plays a vital role in raising one’s kids. Children need parents to create these parameters or boundaries, in order to feel safe and secure WITHIN the lines, and to also understand the consequences of stepping OUT of the lines. It’s not to make them afraid of you, but to create mutual respect, and it helps to create an understanding of how authority and accountability works.

Now I do believe that discipline depends on the kid in question. Some children just don’t need as much discipline as the next, or perhaps the boundary lines don’t have to be drawn with non removable paint (some kids are stubborn like that), as opposed to just lightly in the sand. Point in case, my sisters two boys. From the time they could walk and talk, they’ve just been kids who listen, who are chilled, who do what their parents tell them to do, who don’t need to be reprimanded every five minutes. My sister just needs to give them “the look” and they stop what they are doing. So they have never had to take extreme disciplinary measures with their kids. I’ve tried every blinking look in the book, to the point where it looks like I have a mental problem or a nervous tick, and it just doesn’t work. MY two on the other hand, are a little more “boisterous”, shall we say? I’ve tried many ways to “tame” them (all these euphemisms in a bid to keep the babysitters from running away) and I’ve concluded that corporal punishment works the best.  SHOCK-HORROR-CALL-THE-COPS. I do use time out, I do come down to their level and talk in my stern voice, I do threaten to take away something meaningful for a set amount of time, but I seriously do not have the patience to be repeating myself to the point where I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. I’ve discovered that a little smack works the first time, as compared to going through aaalllll those other methods with sometimes no results and one angry mother. This is not an indictment on my children, in fact, I think they get their antsy –ness from me. They definitely get their stubborn streak from their father and they most definitely get their volume control button from me. They are so NOISY.  But they are not horrible kids, I just simply cannot tolerate outright disobedience and I deal with it very quickly. Call me a hard task master, call me a bad mother, but I prefer to sort the matter out in the first round;  it puts us all out of the misery of going for ten rounds in the disciplinary ring. Of course, all this is based on the crime in question… I don’t smack willy nilly, that would be wrong, but I have no qualms about smacking you on your bottom in a mall, at your granny’s house, even at CHURCH, if your behaviour calls for it. And it works. For us. For now.

I do not want to humiliate or belittle my children in public, and I most definitely do not want them to think I am Darth Vader in a dress, but without causing a scene and behaving like a fish woman, a quick wap-wap on the bottom almost always keeps them in line. I don’t buy that “the hand that loves you, shouldn’t spank you” or “spanking grows aggressive children” – sorry, that’s twaddle. I know children who do not get smacked and quite honestly they are bloody aggressive BECAUSE they know there are no consequences for their actions.

So while I’m definitely bad cop in our house, I think I am  still the favourite, but maybe it’s just their fear. THAT was a joke. Ha. If disciplining and keeping your children on a tight leash and making them toe the line is considered uncool, then step aside, I’m winning the uncool award this year! But I do believe in the long run, this will benefit us both. There will come a time when I will loosen my dictatorial grip (I’m not that bad, I promise!) but for now, they need to know that what I say, goes, even if they don’t like it (unless you bat your eyelids and do that cute thing that you guys do, and all my resistance crumbles). I think they still love me? I mean judging by the serious love mauling I’m still getting every day from my munchkins, I don’t think they’ve put a hit on me just yet.

Belated Mother’s Day Wishes…


What kind of a mommy blogger would I be, if I didn’t blog about Mother’s Day? I mean this is a blog for and about my children, which in turn relates to me being a mom, which means I absolutely HAVE to talk about all things mom-related! And Mother’s Day pretty much sums all of that up, right? It’s our day to be loved and appreciated and spoilt – or if you live in my house you just get a box of chocolates and lots of slobbery kisses and you’re still expected to put lunch on the table. But besides that, I think Mother’s Day is a chance for us, as moms, to reflect on this whole mother-thing. So albeit I’m a bit late, this one is for moms, more especially, my own mother.

I am so blessed to have the mother that I have. She is a phenomenal woman and in all honesty, I am yet to meet another human being who possesses the range of qualities that my mom does. She is soft and gentle, she is kind and caring, she doesn’t ever judge, she never says no to anyone, for anything. She would go out of her way and make herself uncomfortable, if it meant that someone else would benefit. She doesn’t buckle under pressure or lose her cool ever. I don’t recall my mother ever yelling at me the way I yell at Liam and Hannah and she had four children! She has this amazing love for Jesus, and her faith is something to behold… just by her faith and belief in God, she has brought many to know the Lord, myself and my husband included. She is so humble, she would never pick a fight with you, even if you were wrong, but make no mistake, she would let you have it! But in this loving, gentle way that makes you feel even WORSE for the crime you have committed! Ha! She is a simple woman who doesn’t have any airs and graces about her and you are drawn to her, even though she is unassuming, because you feel her warmth and her love, even if you’re meeting her for the first time.

My fondest and earliest memories of the type of woman my mother was/is, go back to pre-school. She would dress me for school, but first warm my feet in her hands before slipping them into my white school girl socks. She would let me climb into bed with her and my dad when I was scared at night. I used to suffer with severe stomach pains from an early age, and my mom would lay with me and rub my stomach and my back and I could see in her eyes that she wanted to take my pain away. We used to sing and read and talk a lot, and everything was a lesson. Every opportunity was one to learn something, maybe because she was a school teacher? Even as a teenager, I never experienced the slamming of doors and the “I wish I could just grow up and leave this house cos I hate living here!!” – I honestly can’t remember having a serious argument with my mother. Yes, I did many things that got me into trouble, and yes I was punished but we never had that love/hate relationship that so many other girls my age used to complain about.

Which leads me to present day. My mom is my rock, she is so dependable, she gives such good advice and even now, when I phone her in a tizz, she is able to calm me down and get the rational part of my brain working again. I love how she loves my husband and how she respects him as the head of our house and respects her boundaries as the “mother in law” – we all know the stories about evil mothers in law! But more than anything, I love how she loves my children. I see the joy they bring her, even when they are at their worst! She is so patient with Liam and Hannah and I see how this impacts on them and I wish I was more like her! She reminds me to take them for their vaccines and flu jabs, and to make camphor bags for their chests in the Winter, and to squeeze fresh oranges for them. She doesn’t get tired, physically yes, but she keeps going to keep the children entertained. Most recently, she has been looking for a house for us. Yes, that’s right! She spends hours, all the way down in Durban, trawling the property sites for possible houses for us. She sends me the links and I say yes or no – my own personal property genie! She is amazing!

Her birthday is coming up on Sunday, a day after Hannah’s. I wish we could be together because like Mother’s Day, your birthday is a day to honour you, it is the day you were born and came into existence to make the world a better place for others. So I want to honour you, Mom. For being such a strong and mighty force in my life, even when I didn’t feel you pushing me on. I want to be more like you in every way. The wife you are to Daddy, the mother you are to us, the grandmother you are to our children, the sister and aunt and friend you are to so many people. You are amazing. If I could be half the mom you are, to my own children, I know I’d be doing it right. Thank you for being such an amazing example, thank you for all the sacrifices, thank you for all the prayers, none of it goes unnoticed. The thing is, I know there is nothing physical I could give you that would make you spill over with joy. You aren’t into jewellery or perfume or expensive things, but I do know that knowing your children and their children are happy, makes you happy. And I am so happy! Happy to be a part of this family, happy that we get on so well, happy that you are my mom, and I know this makes you happy too.

Love you Mom xxx

Jimmy Jungles


A few Sundays ago, we attended a party at the new Jimmy Jungles in Greenstone Mall. If you have children between the ages of 6 months and  10 years old, you may want to give them a visit. I’ve been to many a play facility in my days, so I think I do know a bit about what’s cool and what’s not. Ok, truthfully, I base this on just how much fun my kids have while we are there.

As I said, we were there for a party. The downside is that this branch only has one private party venue, the upside is that this room is bloody fantastic so best you book early. They set the room up to look really festive, with an adults table, couches for the dads to lounge on and a discreet flat screen TV showing the EPL games (how else will you keep the dads at a kiddies party?). Ha, I’m sure they change it to whatever channel you wish, but I did think it was a nice touch! The kiddies table was beautiful, starting with the furniture. Not the usual plastic table and chairs from Game or Makro, but stunningly moulded plastic furniture, cute and safe enough for a little bum. A little ball pond was set up in the party room as well, and I thought this was such a nice touch for the parents with very little babas who still felt a bit insecure about being out in the big play park with the rest of the crowd. The décor is obviously jungle-like but could easily be adapted to a theme of your choice, I am sure, as the room had lots of cute and cuddly gadgets, all tastefully and well placed. A lot of their toys seem imported… perhaps they aren’t, but they are definitely not from China! That much I could tell, as you can see and feel that they’re top quality and most have an educational element which is also nice.

Right! Onto the big stuff… Liam was in jungle gym heaven. The slides and bikes and mazes and deep ball ponds for the older kids are awesome! I had to first find, then chase and then beg Liam to come and sing happy birthday. He was positively bursting with excitement and couldn’t even articulate what a good time he was having. You know when your kid is talking really loudly and stuttering and unable to make eye contact and jumping on the spot – yes, that much of excitement. The toddler area is very cute, with little doll houses, plenty of prams and dollies, see-saws and a smaller ball pond, a play kitchen and lots and lots of toys.

The BEST part is that while the kids are going wild, the adults can sit down and enjoy a meal, read a magazine or chat to another mom or dad while the kiddies “play-date.” Although I was at a catered party, I did glance at the menu which wasn’t too bad considering it’s a kiddies joint, and not badly priced at all. Regarding parties, they do it all – from the party packs, to the cake, to the invitations, to the lovely ladies who will even sing happy birthday for your tot! The helpers are great, and you can rest assured that your kidlets are being well looked after – even wild children like my two. And while there are those super fabulous moms who love to plan their kids’ parties down to the last detail, I know that there are thousands like me who just want to pitch up, take some photos for the album and leave once everyone is sugared out, right? Right! And while parties are great fun for everyone, this venue is awesome just to take the kids to after school, or on the weekend, to run wild and have some serious fun, while you can enjoy a cup of coffee and finish that book you’ve been reading for the last six months. My girlfriends and I have already pencilled in play dates at Jimmy Jungles…yes for the kids, but also for us to catch up without having to find a babysitter. Their prices are market related and worth every penny.

Liam and Hannah would give Jimmy Jungles, Greenstone Shopping Centre, a whopping 4 stars out of 5. I’d take my two jungle monkeys there any day.

Playing catch up…


Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here. Life has been one rollercoaster after another these last two weeks, and you know how rollercoasters make you feel – queasy and dizzy. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling, but thank God He is in control and makes sure I don’t fall out of the rollercoaster, I’m holding on for dear life, but not falling out!

I will spare you the boring details, suffice to say that work has taken on a whole new level of stress. I’m used to separating my work into little boxes, keeping on top of everything in order of importance. I never let my to-do list get too long, I make sure I never have more than 10 unread emails in my inbox at the end of everyday and I pride myself on always getting things done before deadline (well mostly!). I’m a personal assistant to a powerful man, so I need to be super organised and remember about 243 things at once. Which is fine. But with businesses trimming the fat and restructuring and downsizing on manpower while the work load increases, I’ve found myself involved in many other non-personal assistant type of things – which is fine, but there’s only so many hours in a day, right? I’ve always been a leave-work-at-work kind of person but of late, I’ve been working late, coming home grumpy, trying to fix work problems after hours and it’s really just been crazy. That said, I’ve come to grips with the fact that this is not just a busy period, it’s not a special project; the fact is, my work load has significantly increased and this is how it’s going to be. So I have three choices: quit moaning, get used to it and get on with it. Or, carry on the way I have been and slowly kill myself under the pressure of it all. Or, find another job. I don’t want another job and I surely do not want to moan and groan myself into an early grave, so I’ve decided to get on with it. Since doing so, I have already discovered that spending less time on social networks, in itself has already given me a huge chunk of time back. Don’t believe me? Try cut yourself off from Facebook, Twitter, personal emails that bounce back and forth all day, BBM and Whatsapp – you would be amazed! I also know that I am way more productive in the morning than I am after lunch, so I slog away like a good little worker bee and when my stomach starts talking back to me, I know it’s lunch time and I leave my less labour intensive, less brain power required tasks for later in the day. Not always possible when your boss can pop a lovely 128 slide Powerpoint presentation down on your desk for you to fix at any time, but I’m making it work for me. So yes, that’s been work.

On the home front, so much is going on.. Hannah turns two next week. The whole point of a small party away from home was that I didn’t have many things to do, remember? Well even the few things I needed to do, haven’t been done.. I haven’t ordered a cake, haven’t thought about what she is going to wear, and Liam the socialite has his best buddy’s birthday party on the same day so there’s a lot going on on that day.

We have been frantically looking at houses.. this because we came home to find a massive poster outside our complex  advertising that our home is officially up for sale. Boy, did that wake us up. So we’ve been looking at houses, talking to agents, browsing the web  and generally making contact again with long lost family members in case we need to split up our family because we won’t have a place to stay. Kidding. Not really.

The kids have been really great in all this chaos. They are so bloody awesome. I just love them more and more every day. Liam made me these earrings for Mother’s Day. Ugliest things you’ve ever seen, but every day my boy asks me if I’m going to wear them, so I’ve started wearing them and they’ve actually grown on me. He tells everyone we meet to look at my earrings which really just draws more attention to them, but hey they were made with love. Hannah refuses to call herself a girl. She says she is a good boy, or mommy’s big boy and when she prays she says “pees (please)Jesuzz (Jesus), help me good boy (help me to be a good boy).” Identity crisis much? She has started putting her seat on the toilet and climbing on herself, she is yet to produce a pee, but at least she is getting the idea.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t still drive me crazy, we are at the age where each one must outdo the other. Who can sing the loudest, cry the loudest, tantrum the best, jump the highest – it’s crazy. Going to get myself a good pair of ear plugs and ride this wave.

I need to start reading. I used to eat books for breakfast and now I have to send myself a meeting request to include reading time. My sister in law, who eats books for breakfast, lunch and supper, gave me The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo… I’m on page 10 for the last week, and it starts on page 8. But this too, I will get through! Hubby bought me a much thinner book some time ago, he keeps asking me when I’m going to start reading it and my standard answer has been when I can find time to pee without only going when my bladder starts to tremble in fear, THEN I will pencil in some leisure time to read. 

So that’s where I’m at. What I have discovered is that I love blogging, and what started as a past time has become an integral part of my life. I NEED to journal and express myself here in my little piece of cyberspace because it makes me feel sane and allows me to vent and put things down which in turns adds perspective that isn’t always clear when it’s just you and the voices in your head.

So when life gets crazy, what do I do? I go to the Source! Here’s what the Word of God says…

2 Corinthians 4: 16 – 18 MSG

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

Kids, today’s lesson is on gratitude.


 

Liam and Hannah,

This post is about gratitude and appreciation. A few things have happened over the last few days that have really made me re-evaluate our lives and take stock of just how blessed and favoured we are.

You kids are really fortunate. Let me put this in simple terms so that you will understand. The life you guys are living is way up there with wonderful things like ice cream and running outside through the sprinkler and eating McDonalds chicken nuggets for dinner – all the things you like; it’s awesome. You are happy, you have everything you need and lots of things you just WANT… rather than need. You really want for nothing. And I want you to get this, to understand and comprehend that you are living large my darlings.. large. And I want us to be people who do not take that lightly, I want us to live in gratitude and constantly have a cognisance of how fortunate we are, so that we will complain less, feel sorry for ourselves less, and will feel compelled and moved to help those who are less fortunate than we are.

My definition of living large is having three square meals a day, with lots of yummy things to snack on in between, it’s been able to get into a motor vehicle, having a few bucks to get some petrol and go where you need to go, without having to stand in the rain waiting for a bus or a taxi. It’s being able to walk into a shop and buy some vests and longs and warm pj’s for winter, without even blinking. It’s having a JOB to go to everyday, and being able to draw a salary that can pay for the things you need. It’s having family around you, and a warm bed to be tucked into at night. It’s having a cell phone with internet access to keep you in touch. Standing under a hot shower or splashing about in a warm bath while you play with all your water toys – that’s living large. It’s been able to attend school and take part in extra mural activities and having your mom or dad take and fetch you in the comfort of your car seat. It’s being alive without worrying about where you next meal or you next rent payment is going to come from. It’s been able to go to a doctor and having access to medicines which will make you better, without having to stand in a queue all day at a government facility. This is MY living large.

Yesterday a bulging bag arrived from Naartjie. It’s packed with beautiful clothes, so beautiful that it made me sigh with contentment. You guys are going to look super cool this Winter – not that you need clothing to make you any cooler than you already are. This bag of clothing was another reminder of how blessed we are. Do you know there are some children out there who will be very cold this winter, who will feel a chill in their bones that you will never experience? I am so grateful that you will be warm. So grateful.

Last night, Dad was at a meeting and I was flying solo. I was busy cooking a massive chicken and veggie pie, while you two were running riot together. It took me much longer than anticipated and I was irritated and highly annoyed and I kept thinking that I still had to feed you two, bath you guys, dress and put you to bed – all alone. And when would I have time to have MY dinner because the pie would still be in the oven, and I would have to make something else for you guys to eat because if I waited for the pie it would throw the whole routine out and I was going to have to do all this ALONE. I worked myself up into such a frenzy, I ended making you scrambled egg with cheese and viennas – while the pie continued to bake away. I bathed you both, dressed you and we read a few stories and put you to bed. I was exhausted. When I did eventually tuck into the pie, I was too tired to enjoy it! And then I thought, how do single moms do this every night? Alone. I say this with much respect, I take my hats off to you moms who are doing it alone. It isn’t easy. And I am so thankful for your Dad who is involved, who helps out, who gets things done and in so doing makes my mothering job that much easier AND more enjoyable. I am amazed and awed by moms who do it alone, because I think single parent children really are blessed by the sacrifice that their moms make in doing it alone, and doing it well.

Dad got a new job a few weeks ago. It has caused a bit of a disruption to our already crazy time strapped lives. I have been so miserable with the disruption because it means we come home a bit later, which means even less time with you, Hannah. It means he sometimes works late and this means we don’t always travel together, which means more petrol and more traffic and usually an argument about who is going to fetch and drop which kid, who will be home in time to cook and why the heck did you go and have to change the routine – that’s usually what Mommy yells at Daddy. But the truth is, this new job is good for Daddy. AND in turn it will benefit us as well. And really, how can I complain about it, when there are some people who are battling to even find a job. I was talking to the tea lady at my office, she is so lovely and so helpful and always smiling, but do you know that she earns less than our Zoleka (and believe me, Zoleka doesn’t get half the salary she deserves)? For cleaning up after around 80 people for 8 hours a day? Can you even believe that? So this was another reality check for me. I am so grateful for my job and for Dad’s new job and I’m going to work really hard at getting my skewed view about how things NEED to be, versus working with what we have, in check. 

So even though things can get tough, even though we worry about our overdrafts and our bulging credit cards (bulging in the wrong direction I might add) and how fat I’m getting and how Pick n Pay don’t EVER have the bubble bath I know you like and how we can’t seem to find our dream house and how bad Johannesburg traffic is. These are living-large problems, first world problems and the truth is, by complaining about such things, it makes us less humane. It makes us seem shallow, superficial and petty. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t vent or express our dissatisfaction or feel hard done by sometimes, because life would really be boring if we didn’t experience a range of emotions including sadness or anger, all I’m saying is that I want you two to grow up with an understanding of how blessed you are. Always be thankful for what you have, always consider those less fortunate than we are, and be generous with your time, talents and spending money, to help someone wherever you can.

Xxx

What you’re getting up to these days…


This is one of those posts where I jot down a few of the more memorable things my babies are doing, firstly for us to look back on and laugh at and secondly to give me an aide memoire about how amazingly special and lovable they are. Our lives are always so crazy that sometimes I forget to just soak you in, and then you do something that just stops me in my tracks and reminds me how blessed I am to have you.

Last week, I came home and couldn’t find our couch. Then I realised that the blue block against the wall was our couch – it used to be brown but Hannah had scribbled all over it with a blue pen. And I mean all over. I was highly annoyed, I dragged her over to the couch, I was yelling and pointing profusely at her mess, using words like “naughty girl” and “bad bad bad” and “smack your bottom” a lot. When I took a breath, she pointed to one particular scribble and smiling broadly she said “look mommy, a LILON!” That means lion, and she was so chuffed with herself, that we all burst out laughing. Zoleka has since cleaned the couch, but I asked her to keep the “lilon” and whenever Hannah spots it, she yells “look, my lilon!” MY MELTING HEART!! I think she has a thing for lions, her new favourite show is Raa Raa the Noisy Lion on Cbeebies. Hannah likes to say morning to everyone, even when it’s way past 12pm. That’s her common greeting for any time of the day. She LOVES to wear shoes. As soon as she wakes up, she waddles over to the shoe cupboard to find her sneakers, or Liam’s red wellingtons. And getting them off at bath time is becoming increasingly difficult. If I yawn, she holds my face in her hands, tilts her head to one side, looks me dead in the eye and asks with big eyes: “mommy tiyud (tired)?” If I say yes, then she tells me to go make dudu. She got moves like Jagger, this kid. Liam has no rhythm whatsoever, this doesn’t bother him at all and he gets down when he hears music,  but when he dances he looks more like he is bobbing and weaving in a boxing ring then dancing to a song. Hannah, however, can dance! And she takes it all very seriously! With rhythm like that, I need to enrol her in some sort of dance class!

Liam has had us in stitches and often renders us speechless with some of the words he uses, and just his thought processes in general. His new favourite word is perfect. “That’s just perfect” you’ll hear him say if he does something that he is particularly proud of… like if he puts his underpants on the right way, or he completes a puzzle, or if he brushes my hair and likes the style that he has created. The other day I announced that I needed to make a wee, and he asked me if my “bagina” was full. He is fascinated with surnames and likes to recite everyone’s surname in the whole family.. and I mean the extended family too, so the list is long. When he meets someone for the first time, even a complete stranger, he will ask them what their surname is. Of course all the toys have his surname. Other words he likes to use are awesome and bootifull. He is so complimentary, and so observant. If I wear something new, he’ll ask where I bought it and tell me how bootifull I look. If he wears something new, he’ll ask who paid for it and say thank you so politely. When we ask him what he wants to be when he is big, he says he wants to be able to cook and sit in the front seat of the car and drive like Daddy (so he’ll either be a chef or a taxi driver). If he sees a man wearing earrings, he is flabbergasted. He has a picture Bible which shows the Romans and Jewish men of ancient times wearing earrings and he just doesn’t get it. “Earrings are for girls only, mommy!” I wish I could find an old photo of his Dad who was sporting TWO earrings when I first met him 10 years ago! He always asks what the time is, as if he has a date to get to, or a train to catch. Why would a three year old constantly need to know the time? The words or sentences I least like to hear, which Liam says often, include: I want, I need, what, huh. When he uses these words, I first ignore him hoping that he’ll correct himself or I explain for the 100th time that that is not the way to speak. BUT if I or Dad slip up and use one of these phrases, we get a right telling off. And heaven forbid I say “stupid” or “dumb” – not to the kids, just in general! I have to apologise, then he tells whoever will listen that mom said a bad word. It’s like living in a convent. And he has no problem telling ANYONE that THEY said a bad word if he picks up on a conversation in passing. Even a stranger in a shopping mall who just happens to be talking loudly on his cell phone.

I think age two and three are tough because these little people become very assertive and very vocal and very annoying – sorry, but it’s tru! It’s their way or a tantrum the highway. However, it’s also such a delightful age where they really come into their own and their little personalities just amaze me! So in light of this post, I’m going to be adding another tab to my home page, where I will record all the weird and wonderful things my babies are saying and doing. They grow so fast and although I try to have my camera on the ready all the time, it’s not always easy to capture the moment. So jotting them down on my blog, should give me enough ammo for both their 21sts and wedding days. 🙂

Oh look! It’s the weekend again!


 

Without sounding like a stuck record, I just want to say how I enjoy spending time with my family! We were in Durban for the long weekend and it was great to be with my parents, my siblings and their families and my in-laws. Durban is still experiencing their eternal Summer, everyone who lives there is still as laid back as ever and our kids still treat us like complete strangers whenever we’re there; choosing their grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, over their parents. No complaints there!

So we left at 4am. That deserves a moment of silence all on its own. (moment). We do this all the time, and in our simple stupid dim minds we expect that we’ll transfer our sleeping cherubs from their beds, still in their pj’s, STILL ASLEEP, into the car and we’ll drive off into the sunrise with them fast asleep. Not. They were wide awake, ready for the road trip, almost peeing in their night time nappies with excitement. I was tired and wanted to sleep, but instead I had to listen to Liam go on and on about nothing in particular, Hannah whining to get out of her car seat, with Barney and Kiddies Gospel on repeat for six hours. I am exaggerating and it wasn’t that bad, they both eventually had good long naps and by the time we got to our destination, everyone the kids were well rested and well behaved. Then we got out of the car and the good behaviour went down the drain. Liam cried a lot – for nothing – because he can. This cry-baby phase is still number 1 on my list of Why Not to Have Another Baby. But I guess if I had a Granny who jumped to my aid every time I said “wah” I’d also cry a lot. So I forgive him. Hannah was a sweet girl, except she wanted to sleep between the hubby and I every night and you know what they say: two’s company, three’s a crowd.

Aside from all that, we spent a lot of time on the beach, particularly at the skate park. Which is basically this arena of different sized ramps where skateboarders, roller bladers and people doing tricks on their BMX bicycles go to “play” – I use this term loosely because some of these people take their hobby quite seriously. Liam was caught up in the mix, riding his trike up some steep ramps, and hurtling down them at maximum speed. I risked my life and ran into the middle of the park, dodging skaters, and went to give Liam a stern talking to about the dangers of riding his small noisy bike down steep ramps designed for far more sophisticated things on wheels.

The other thing I discovered is that they both love Milo cereal and although I still believe that this particular cereal is full of air and sugar and can’t possibly have any nutritional value, it’s nice to see them lick the breakfast bowls clean, so I bought some and hid it away for the weekends only. Liam’s aunty started buying him the Mr Men series… you know the ones by Roger Hargreaves which we used to read when we were younger… Mr Bump, Little Miss Brainy, Mr Dizzy, Little Miss Giggles, Little Miss Bad, Mr Perfect. She bought him some more this weekend and he LOVES them. He already knows them back to front and can “read” them to himself or to Hannah, if she is in the mood to listen. Also, this weekend I concluded that Hannah is so ready for school. She has really come out of her shell, she loves people, especially little people and babies. She is way more social than she used to be and not as “ma-vas” as she was only just a few months ago. I think she will do well at school, and it’s so much easier this time around because I know exactly where I’m going to send her – the same school that Liam goes to, a school we all love.

The trip back was less eventful, I guess because everyone was deflated and sad that the weekend was over. I drove for a bit and Daddy Dearest had his chance in the hot seat, keeping the kids entertained – needless to say that didn’t last long. I was glad, because I do not enjoy driving long distance at all.

So it’s the weekend AGAIN; I so could live with these three day weeks, couldn’t you? This weekend we have birthday parties and birthday parties and birthday parties – all for little people. Exciting! No seriously, I really do enjoy kiddies parties – who doesn’t enjoy sweeties and cake and yummy marshmallows (a winner at every kiddies party I have been to). And watching the shared delight in their little faces as the birthday kid opens his/her presents. I love a good party!

So have a wonderful weekend my lovelies, God bless and be safe  xxx

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: Bumpity Bump


 

My Hannah,

Last night you nearly gave me a heart attack. Even as I write this my heart speeds up, at the memory of the loud THUD I heard as you took a tumble. One thing that moms of toddlers are able to discern is the “THUD.” And I knew it was bad, really bad, before I even got to you. I’m sorry you got sore *insert very very sad face* and I wish I could make it all better.

So this not-so-Wordless-Wednesday is dedicated to you and your bump.

Don't worry, she's alive!