Thanks For Writing Blog Award


Charlotte AKA Stiletto Mom nominated me for this award. Cool hey? So here’s how it works and I’m going to pay it foward:

Say 7 random things about yourself that the readers don’t know yet

  1. I was quite the wild child in my day. Tattooed and pierced with cigarette in hand. That look didn’t suit me then, and it wouldn’t suit me now – what with my baby bag, stroller and food stained t-shirt. No.
  2. I have no ambition to climb the corporate ladder, I just want to pay my bills and have somewhere to go without my children for a few hours each day.
  3. I do not enjoy cooking, cleaning, or any other form of domestic labour. I do it because I have to. What’s with those people who say they love to iron or wash dishes because they find it therapeutic? Liars!
  4. After this, my next award will probably be for The Most Cracked Heels On Planet Earth. Last night my husband told me to put my socks back on because my heels were scratching him. Serious. I have no intention of going for a pedicure either.
  5. I love chewing ice. I used to take a tray of ice cubes into the bath with me or in the car on my way to work. Safe to say it was an addiction. I have suffered with such bad teeth as an adult that even as I write this, I am sitting with a tooth ache. I’ve had 4 extractions, countless fillings, my own Big Hole of Kimberley. Yes, do the maths, I have like 2 good teeth left in my mouth.
  6. The left hand side of my body is ever so slightly larger than the right hand side – and I’m lefthanded. This applies to my feet, my calf muscles, my thighs and my boobs. You’d think I should walk with a limp, what with my body mass so unevenly distributed. It does make shopping for a bra a total pain in the rear end.
  7. And a bonus random thought: My child goes on his first play date today. To someone’s house. Without me. I’m terrified. That wasn’t really about me, but I thought I’d put it out there so that someone can tell me it will be ok.

Nominate 5 – 10 other Blogs you admire …..

THE COLOUREDFUL WIFE

REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE YOUNG

HI MAX, ITS DAD

HOWE DO YOU DO?! 

UNTRAVELLED SOLES

If other bloggers wish to pick this up and pass it along, here is a quick should-do list:

1. Include the award logo in your post or on your blog

2. Say 7 random things about yourself that the readers don’t know yet

3.  Nominate 5 – 10 other blogs you usually follow

4. Let the nominees know that they are nominated & include their blog-links

5. Link the person who nominated you

Advertisements

The day we lost Hannah


The only reason I am reliving this moment and documenting this horrible event, is because I want Hannah to read this one day and comprehend how she nearly caused her mother to have a stroke, on the spot.

Remember this post about zoo. So it was about 4pm, we were all winding down and I’ll admit that my wits were not at their sharpest after a long day at the zoo. No excuse though. Colleen was pushing Jordan in his pram, Darren was pushing the two boys in the go kart, Byron was pushing Hannah in the stroller, and I was… well I was carrying my camera or stuffing my face with chips or something. Ha! Hannah wasn’t buckled into her stroller; and we were ok with her popping in and out of it, to get closer to the “aminals” or to go for a little run or to go and pick some flowers. As I remember it, the guys went to the loo, and the kids were running around us. When they returned, the boys jumped back into the go kart and I assumed that Hannah had jumped back into the pram. But she didn’t. On we walked, chatting and laughing and discussing our next destination. I can’t be sure, but I know it was over 5 minutes later when Byron asked “where’s Hannah?”

Nothing I write here will clearly articulate how I felt or how my mind and body reacted in the moments that followed. First I looked into the pram, as if Byron hadn’t don’t so already. Then my ears went deaf. You know when everything sort of sounds like you’re under water. My heart was pumping and my spit was warm and liquidy – you know how saliva feels just before you are going to vomit. We had probably walked about 30 metres from where I remember us last being together. She was nowhere to be seen. We were now at the top of a  hill, I looked far down the hill and couldn’t see her. But I was paralysed. Byron and Darren started running back towards the direction we had come from, but I just stood there. Like an idiot. I had no idea what to do. After what felt like forever, I eventually looked at Colleen and I think I told her that I needed to go and look for Hannah, I can’t even remember what I said now. And then I took off running. I was thinking about Maddie. You know Maddie who disappeared from her parents hotel room. Really? I was thinking about her? Now?! Then Byron came walking around the corner, WITHOUT Hannah, and I felt like crying but two steps behind came Darren carrying my Hannah. I can’t even say I felt relief because I was still feeling weak and the adrenaline was still gushing. Of course the mood lightened and we were laughing and joking and Hannah got back into the pram, nonplussed, but I still felt like I needed to pee or poo, or vomit or do all three things simultaneously.

They say that Hannah was happily spinning one of those Ola ice cream boards, not a care in the world. Later I watched her at Papachino’s. She wandered off and had a conversation with a woman, who then picked her up and put her on one of those zebra rocking toys. She was quite happy to let a complete stranger pick her up and chat to her. And she stayed there for a long while! Not once did she look back to see where we were, or if her mom or dad were still around; she is just at that age where the world is just perfect, where everyone is a friend and where no one can harm her. Which is wonderful and beautiful to watch, her childlike innocence is refreshing. But like Maddie, children can be taken without a trace and their innocence misused and abused.

I cannot imagine, or begin to comprehend the earth shattering tragedy of losing a child… in whatever way… death or kidnapping. This experience has left me feeling so very unsettled. I haven’t become psycho-mom who won’t let her kids out of sight, but it has jarred me into once again realizing what a gargantuan task I have in being a mom. If something had happened to Hannah in this instance, it would have been my fault, it would have been down to my own carelessness. Hannah is a little baby who relies solely and utterly on me for her full and total well being. I mean that is HUGE. And I’m not beating myself up here, parents aren’t perfect and mistakes will happen but in the grand scheme of things we have this huge responsibility to grow and nurture and care for these little helpless beings. Come on, that’s BIG!

So while I enjoy parenting and all that comes with it, this was my reminder that I’ve been charged with a huge task, one which I yearned for and fully accepted, and while I can’t be everywhere, all the time, I need to have my wits about me 24/7 if I don’t want to stuff this parenting thing up. It may sound unrealistic and unfair to the normal adult, but it’s the truth for parents. Baby comes first. No matter what.

Pretoria Zoo – pay them a visit


On Saturday, we visited Pretoria Zoo which to my surprise was way more fun than I had anticipated (well except those 5 minutes where we lost Hannah, but that deserves its own post). The thing with zoos is, you know you are going to be doing a lot of walking, looking at animals who are so bored with being gawked at, that they actually appear to be sedated. But I knew the kids would love it, and we knew the weather was going to be great, so with picnic baskets packed and strollers in tow, we trekked to Pretoria.

The scariest part about this zoo is crossing a busy main straight to get from the parking to the zoo entrance. I mean really, here you are with your picnic stuff, prams and children and you have to dodge taxis and speeding cars while vendors try to sell you Ben 10 paraphernalia. How difficult would it be, to build an adjoining bridge over the street, to get visitors from their cars to the zoo entrance? Or create a zebra crossing with a Lollipop Lady (or man) to help visitors across? I think this needs to be looked at el-pronto.

How’s this kangaroo dude chilling?

Once in the zoo, it’s beautiful, even at this time of the year when everything is pretty brown and dreary. It’s clean, the animal enclosures are neat and the animals look fat and healthy. It’s massive. I wish I had an odometer to measure how many kilometers we clocked. BUT you can also hire a golf cart if walking is not your thing. We got one of these go kart type of things for the boys, which they enjoyed. There’s also a cable car to get you from the lowest to the highest points of the zoo – and all these extra modes of transport are not badly priced either.

 

There’s just something about being outdoors, especially when the sun is blazing, and this zoo has plenty of spots to stop off at, lay your blanket out and take a break from the power walking. There are also lots of stalls to buy food from and a decently stocked restaurant, for those who like to travel light, but we don’t… I had packed a cheese board, along with chips and sweets and chocolate. My mate, being the good mom that she is, had packed lots of healthy options like grapes and naartjies and healthy biscuits. We had a right ol’ stuffing of bellies, which we walked off so I don’t feel too bad.

The zoo has a great selection of animals, from kangaroos and koalas to tigers and okapis. Your kids will be enthralled by all the Disney/ Pixar lookalikes … Gloria, Marty, Melman, Tigger, Bambi and King Julian to name a few.

At R60 a pop for adults and R40 for the kiddies, I recommend Pretoria Zoo for a fun day out for the kidlets and adults alike.

The kidlets

Side note: after the zoo, we popped in at Papachino’s in Midrand. Prior to this, we had only being to Papachino’s on the Westrand – which I love. Happy to report that this Papachino’s was AS great – food was good, they were able to accommodate us without a booking and we were able to enjoy an adult meal while the child minders chased after the rugrats. Pay them a visit too sometime. xx

Letting go of the night time diaper


Liam’s been potty trained for almost a year now and I think it’s safe to say he has graduated to a PPP (professional pee-and-pooper), as we haven’t had an accident for as long as I can remember and other than still assisting him with a wipe and swipe after a poo, he has the whole thing down pat; he even understands that he doesn’t have to use the WHOLE bottle of liquid soap in order to make sure his hands are clean (that was becoming a problem). He still however wears a diaper to bed. This doesn’t faze me at all. Hell, if he wanted to he could wear his night time diaper until he was 20 years old for all I care, although I don’t think his wife would like that very much. His night time diaper doesn’t bother him or I, but of course he is a growing boy who needs to outgrow baby things. So here goes another milestone we have to hurdle over. Sigh.

There are mornings where he wakes up dry, and other mornings where he wakes up wet. This has nothing to do with how much he drinks or pees before bed time. Every night, his last drink is at 6h00pm with his supper, and even this, is a quarter cup of whatever liquid he chooses.. juice, water, milk or Milo. I can’t not offer him something to drink after he has eaten his dinner, and even on the odd occasion when he says he is thirsty after this time, I limit him to a few sips of water. He has his last pee just before jumping into bed. If he does make a wee, I know it’s not a big wee, because he is wearing the cheapest, most bottom-of-the-line diapers (no names mentioned) to bed and we’ve never had a leak – so I know he’s not like a hose pipe at night, but rather like a little watering can… just a little tinkle 🙂

So does this mean I have to wake him up in the middle of the night to empty his bladder? I get up to make a wee almost every night, so is this what we need to train our children to do? Then do I assume he will eventually wake himself up and go to the loo himself? Because I most definitely am not giving up my full night’s sleep to escort His Royal Highness to the toilet every night. Is that how it works? I mean we have just trained the children to sleep through the night, now I want to wake him up to make a wee? Or is the solution to not make your kid get up at all and to train their bladders not to pee for almost 9 hours? Painful if you ask me? Anyone else been through weaning a kid off their night time diaper? Or even if you haven’t, do you have any ideas on how to do it?

In the mean time, I guess I should get a good mattress protector hey.

The one about Mandela…


As I am sure with most South Africans, today is a day when we all reflect on the past, on how far we’ve come as a country and we can’t help but honour and respect a great man on his birthday, regardless of what your political views are. Please humour me for a moment as I turn all motherly on you. When I became a mother, I became an emotional basket case, I cry for everything, I feel emotional pain for people who are suffering and my heart has genuinely softened – I don’t know that this is a good thing, but since becoming a mother, I really feel like my heart has been physically taken out of my chest and sewn onto my sleeve. This is not a rare phenomenon, most moms I speak to will tell you the same thing; you instinctively become more caring, more loving, more sympathetic and empathetic and I believe that God made us this way so that we wouldn’t kill our offspring in the middle of the night when they are crying for the 4th consecutive hour. ANYWAY, I digress.

I grew up in a Coloured family, in a Coloured community, I attended a Coloured primary school and went to church which was filled with mainly Coloured people. I can’t say that Apartheid directly affected me at all, my memory holds no recollection of having been hard done by, or having suffered because of the colour of my skin. But as I grew up, and listened to stories from the past, and MORE so when I became a mother – the stories told by my father and his father, began to resonate with me, I became painfully aware of how horrendous Apartheid was. That people were tortured, brutalized and killed because of the way they looked, is so inhumane and so unfair. That we were forced to go to certain schools, or swim in certain beaches or shop at certain places, blows my mind away. That a man would go to prison for 27 years and come out smiling and become the first Black democratic president of South Africa, is unfathomable. That we have come so far as a nation who has endured so much, is a miracle.

My dad would attend underground meetings, one of the incidents that still brings on the goosebumps, is when they decided to stand up to the authorities and march to the beaches and throw themselves into the water of what was the so called “White” beach. My dad says that as they approached the water, a massive swarm of policemen with batons came forward to attack and as one body the group continued to run towards the water and in an act of unified defiance and standing up for something they truly believed in, dunked themselves into the water. Can you imagine! Another incident which in hindsight is darkly humourous; my grandfather was admitted to hospital, but being fair in complexion he was admitted to the White ward. When my grandmother had learned of his admission she visited the hospital and could not find her husband anywhere because she was only permitted into the Coloured ward. When the mishap was cleared up, I am sure they burned those sheets which my grandfather had laid on! Ha!

Out of my three siblings, I was the only one to attend what was then referred to as a Model C high school, I didn’t give this much thought until my Dad explained that I was the only child that was politically ALLOWED to, as my brothers and sisters were still “Apartheid” kids – well kind of – and during their years of education, we were forced to attend a “House of Representatives” school (for Coloured people), and Indians attended “House of Delegates” schools. I clearly remember those grey or pale green rulers which were actually printed with the words “House of Representatives” which formed part of a stationery in primary school! I also remember referring to the beaches by race group… coloured beach… I think this is now Sunkist beach – which still is one of the nicest beaches to swim in, in Durban! I have cousins who are considered White, because they looked white and passed the pencil test, and were so classified in their ID books. Same family, same blood line, but they are White because they looked white at the time. They married White people and a whole new shoot of the family was created. Amazing when you think about it!

I was a child protected by my parents and family, prior to 1994, so I can’t say that I formed part of any struggle. As a teenager and young adult, yes I noticed that we were not all equal, but I can’t say that I have been severely affected by a racist crime. Even now, I have good friends across race, religious and cultural lines. But as an adult and a parent, I realize the struggle, I realize the sacrifices that were made by our leaders and by our own parents to get to where we are. I realize that Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom was anything but a “walk” – it was an arduous and onerous journey, one he did not have to take, filled with much pain and grief all because his human heart was so convicted that we all deserved to live a fair and free life.

And for this, I am proud to be a South African. Happy birthday Mr Mandela.

Gone are the days…


Gone are the days when I could get away with feeding the kids porridge for dinner

You know those days when you just cannot be bothered to cook a separate meal for the kids so you give them cereal for supper? Yes? No? Not really? Well that’s how I roll. I’ve done it often, without a stitch of guilt I’ll have you know. Porridge is a good source of protein after all… the way I see it, it’s the same thing as feeding your kid a good piece of steak, so really the little baby should not be whining. Anyway, last night we had lamb curry for supper and usually I will ask Zoleka to cook a separate meal for the kids, but yesterday I completely forgot about the sprogs. So we got home and I pulled out the Weetbix but Liam was flabbergasted that I would even suggest Weetbix for supper. When did this kid grow up and understand the difference between food groups? He all but lambasted me for my bad judgment call and Daddy was forced to scramble some eggs and bake up some fish fingers for their supper.

Gone are the days when I could lie about Disney Junior and Cbeebies being broken

In order to get some viewing time, I used to tell them that their channels were broken and only mommy’s channels worked, so they’d have to go and find something else to do while mommy watched TV and stuffed her face in front of the box (again no guilt whatsoever). These days, it’s like they have channels 306 and 309 on speed dial. They can work the remote, almost as professionally as I can work the keypad on my phone. And yes, I have tried hiding the remote, but they know the source – and have no problems pressing every single button on the DSTV decoder until they find Jake’s gold doubloons (bet you didn’t know that’s what those gold coins are called?! I had to Google it).

 Gone are the days when the policeman was one who was feared and revered

I used to love using SAPS in order to help me discipline the kids; I’d tell them that the big bad policeman would come over if they didn’t do X, Y or Z. It worked really well until Liam learned about job descriptions at school. Now he looks at me with a bored-to-death expression and tells me that policemen are there to help and protect people, not shout at small children.

 Gone are the days when my words were gospel

Fridays are treat days and we usually stop at the garage on the way to work and let Liam choose a treat for himself (he always chooses jelly beans). But some Fridays we just don’t have time or energy or money to stop. On these days, I used to tell him that it was any day OTHER than Friday. This used to work pretty well, he would accept his mother’s words as gospel, as every child should. THESE days he knows exactly what day of the week it is, when I try to fib he reminds me by singing his Days of the Week song – a gratingly irritating tune that goes something like “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, seven days are in a week and each one is a FUN day. Every day is a brand new staaaart, wave hello to Mr Sun as he rises, and wheeeeen the day is done, down goes the sun, tomorrow brings some new surprises!” That’s the short version, it goes on and on. Then he makes ME sing it because apparently I don’t know the days of the week because HOW could I have possibly thought that TODAY wasn’t Friday? Now pull over and get me my jelly beans.

Gone are the days when I could blog to my  heart’s content.

These days I have to politely ask for some time to use MY electronics in order to blog, browse or bleat on Twitter. These kids are all over my iPad like a bad rash. The worst part is that they are better at using it than I am. They open and close apps with ease, they know all the short cuts, they know how to adjust the volume and they give me dirty looks if I so much as try to get Talking Tom Cat to repeat something silly that I blurt out over their one on one repertoire with the Kitty. The only thing I need to teach them is how to turn the cellular data off when they get going, so that they don’t start shopping up a storm while my back is turned. I mean really.

When James Brown sang “This is a Man’s World” he evidently didn’t know any children, because clearly this is a kid’s world. What I have noticed is that as my kids grow and their intelligence levels increase, my bionic mommy powers decrease: the roles are slowly switching… these children seem to be teaching this parent way more than this parent is teaching these children.

Like a well oiled machine…


When I think back to the time when the babies were little and how difficult it all was and how miserable I always felt and how chaotic our lives were, I really am amazed that we came out of that intact –thank you Jesus! Those days when I didn’t even get to shower because the infant wanted to be carried all day and the toddler was whiny because the infant was getting all the attention. Those days where I just couldn’t sync their naps no matter how many  tricks I tried, and how I was just so exhausted all the time because they were always awake – day and night. How the husband and I were constantly at each others’ throats about absolutely everything; it was the most difficult time of my life.

This morning we were going through the motions as we always do (I call our morning routine organised chaos) and while I was applying my mascara with Liam brushing his teeth giving me instructions on how to get it just right and Hannah unrolling the entire roll of toilet paper and flushing it down the bog, I couldn’t help but proudly ponder on how far we’ve come and how good we have become at this parenting thing… ok we are most definitely not good at this parenting thing… let me rephrase that… how good the husband and I have become at running the household. Of course it does help that the kids are a bit older now and can do many things independently, but our self imposed routines have really paid off and I can’t help but air punch when I think about how we generally run like a well oiled machine… except when we don’t, due to toddler tantrums, mommy meltdowns and daddy downpours – because we ALL have our moments when we lose it just a little hey.

Without even having to speak to each other, the husband and I feed off each other; while I’m getting done in the morning, he is waking Liam and getting him ready. While the husband is getting ready, I am brushing Liam’s teeth, lathering his face with lotion and brushing his hair. While I oooh and aaah over what to wear, the husband is downstairs making lunches and feeding Liam. During all this time, Hannah may or may not wake up, and she kinda hovers in the background and follows us around as she has nothing to do and nowhere to go during the week. But she does help me pick out shoes or fetch my perfume or whatever else I may need – bless her. Our evenings are the same, Zoleka starts my pots for me, so when we get home either the husband or I will finish the cooking. Before supper, the kids will draw, watch tv, read, run around in circles screaming – whatever floats their boats on that particular day. Either the husband baths the kids and I dress them, or vice versa, or we each bath and dress one kid – whatever floats our boats on that particular day. Daddy and Liam read aloud while I brush Hannah’s hair, we pray and read together and then we part ways with a kid each for bed time. And then we do adult things like watch tv, eat all the goodies without having to duck from the kids, talk about big people’s things and so on.

You may think it’s boring and predictable but I love the security and comfort that comes from knowing what comes next. Yes there’s room for spontaneity like when we decide to do free Spur burgers on a Monday night, or go for walks in the summer before bed time (ok they walk, I sit on a bench in the park), but on the whole I like the humdrum of everyday. It’s a far cry from the crazy days when we had two screaming babies and we both didn’t know what to do and we were always late for everything because we just couldn’t get it right, and everyone was always miserable because no one had slept enough or the food was always burnt or cold or mommy just wanted some alone time because it was all just too much!

Thank you very much, I like this well oiled machine with it’s buttons and knobs that I finally know how to work. And just when things get a bit too boring, we’re always surprised with an unexpected vomit, or a runny poo or a kid who just won’t  sleep at night… just to put things into perspective and make sure we don’t become too complacent. 🙂

Hi, I’m Robyn and I’m addicted to my smart phone.


So yesterday I received my bill from Vodacom, a whopping R200 more than I usually pay due to an exorbitant amount of sms’ing. Why? Because about 5 weeks ago, my Blackberry breathed its last and Vodacom were kind enough to loan me a phone from the ice age which I’m sure they resurrected from extinction. I have always been the hero who likes to tell people that I don’t need a fancy phone, I just need a phone that will let me send a message and make a call. I can actually hear my over confident, over irritating self saying this to many a fool who are so in love with their phones that they sleep with them under their pillows. Ha, who’s the fool now (and my husband may or may not have caught me sleeping with my phone under my pillow on some occasions but it’s his word against mine).

The other problem is that if you are not on BBM or Whatsapp or any other “free” messaging service, you can basically kiss your social life good bye as no one, not even my dearly beloved, will bother to check up on me or reply to my archaic way of keeping in touch, because sms’ing costs money. I am left out of important group message forums about vital topics ranging from what to cook for dinner, or who’s baby is giving them the most trouble that day, to who’s read 50 Shades yet. I have been omitted from significant conversations around important decision making like which dress to buy, which shoe matches this outfit better to what should one do if your baby’s poo looks like this (picture attached). I feel like a social outcast, like a leper who no one will touch. AND I’m paying R200 more for it! I miss updating my status with what I’m having for lunch, or how many times I’ve been to the loo today or what colour stockings I’m wearing. I miss not being able to stalk people when I can’t sleep at night, or Googling random stuff when I’m standing in a queue or waiting for Liam to finish his poo so I can wipe his behind. Although this replacement phone does have a camera, it is so ancient that it NATURALLY has that grainy look of 1970, which Instagrammers now love to use. I miss whipping out my phone for a once-in-a-lifetime shot of Hannah digging her nose (ok, that’s quite common) or my husband taking out the trash (ok, that’s also quite common)… but you get the picture – excuse the pun.

I’m due for my upgrade in precisely 12 days, but hey who’s counting. I was not able to upgrade prematurely because my bill wasn’t high enough – apparently a privilege only for those customers who basically pay Vodacom’s overheads with their excessive bills. My old Blackberry is dead. Like really dead. Irreparable is the word they used. My only positive comment about this old dingy Samsung that I am using now is that the battery life is phenomenal. I charge it once a week. My husband says it’s because I never use it as it can’t do anything anyway; he’s probably right. The kids won’t even go near it, and that in itself means something. I usually have to pull them apart as they fight over MY phone to fake call granny (and it’s not always a fake call, sometimes they get through to the other side of the world) but this phone with its polyphonic ring tones gets no action from the kids.

So woe is me, the fool who’s  besotted with her smart phone who misses the familiar feeling of it sitting in her bra as she washes the dishes, but I guess it’s made me a better mom and wife. I now respond to the first “MOM” call from the kids, and am not distracted by responding to a BBM or a status update while the kids stand naked  and screaming, waiting to be dressed. My husband gets my full attention when we’re out for dinner … it’s just me and him. Not him, me and the people in my phone. And my thumbs are getting a good rest, my carpal tunnel syndrome has all but disappeared.

Playing catch up AGAIN


I am pleased to announce that peace and normalcy have finally been restored to our household. My brood are all back under one roof, and although there’s been a lot of coughing, upchucking, runny tummies and bottle weaning going on, I am glad to be back into our boring and predictable routine. I love it.

On Friday, the hubby and I drove down to Durban straight after work, to fetch the kids. Oh, on a side note: I spent the morning with my colleagues and 18 orphans from the Ethembeni Children’s Home, at the Johannesburg Zoo. Every year our company hosts Citizen’s Day, where we spend a day giving back to charities of our choice, remember my experience last year which I blogged about here. Although my heart breaks for these kids, you can tell that they are well cared for, and I was so glad to hear that their adoption rate is pretty high with most placements coming from… wait for it… Finland. My little one clung to me tightly, she would not let me put her down! So I trekked around the zoo for a few hours with a good 11 – 14 kgs on my hip! The whole experience reminded me that I need to get more involved in helping others. Yes, we donate funds, old clothes, old toys and the like to people around us, and through our church we also get involved in helping others, but I really want to leave a legacy of helping others with my kids. I want them to understand from a young age how blessed we are, and to soften their hearts to the needs of those around them – that comes from me, as a parent. Ok, that wasn’t a side note, that was a post all on its own!

The team at the zoo
Sweetheart

So back to our trip down to Durbs. I drove from Joburg to Bergview in the dark! Now I don’t like driving at the best of times, so night driving didn’t exactly have me jumping up and down for joy. But because we didn’t have the kids, and I felt less fearful of being responsible for little lives in the backseat, I offered my driving services. I’m always amazed at how reckless some people are on the road, I spent more time yelling at the other drivers than I did enjoying the fabulous playlist I had put together for the trip. Remember, we normally listen to Barney on repeat because the kids are usually in the car, so I had put together some romantic easy listening, think the three famous Michaels’… Michael Franks, Michael Buble, Michael Jackson.. and so on. Well so much for that. We got to Durban after 10pm and my babies were still wide awake, waiting up for us. They were so excited, Hannah just kept saying “I’m fine, I’m fine!”  Not sure if she was reassuring herself or me. Liam got all jumpy and bouncy, as he does when he is excited. It was great to be reunited. The rest of the weekend went by in a blur. Between my parents, my sister and her family and my brother’s kids – we were a noisy bunch. Hannah had been vomiting during the week and hadn’t been eating well, her tummy started running when we arrived, so on Saturday morning I thought it best to take her to the doc, more because we would be travelling the next day and I wanted to make sure it was nothing more than a bout of gastric. She also just wasn’t herself so I knew that she wasn’t feeling like a million bucks. We spent some time on the beach, the weather in Durban is awesome, I can’t believe how I took that gorgeous climate for granted while growing up. We spent some time with my mother in law, braaied with the family on Saturday night and lounged around on Sunday morning until we needed to pack up and leave. Thank the Lord that the trip home was uneventful and Hannah waited until we got indoors to let rip… a nice warm runny poo right through her pants, down into her bedroom slippers and onto the kitchen floor. After an almost 7 hour trip, the last thing a person wants to be doing is cleaning up poo. PLUS we did not have hot water as the geyser had been off over the weekend so we had to wait for it to heat up! Another blessing is that my sister in law had cooked us a delicious lamb breyani and chicken and potatoes for the kids so at least dinner was taken care of. (Only a mother can go from talking about poo, and then talking about food in the very next sentence).

My Biker Mice

Oh another side note (lots of those today, hey?), I decided to bite the bullet and take Hannah completely off her weaning bottle. The teat had a big hole and my mom didn’t have another one so she stopped giving it to Hannah, I followed through when I got to Durban (even though she was sick and miserable) and we just hid the bottle away. It took three nights of her crying for her botty and been generally pissed off that I wouldn’t give it to her, but now she is used to the idea. Because we didn’t have a ceremonial “goodbye botty” as I did with Liam, I am too scared to even mention the B word around her. We have basically just stopped talking about, like it never existed! When she asks for it, I just say that we don’t have one anymore and offer her a cup. Five days later, and we are completely a bottle free zone. It’s fantastic! She still wakes up once a night asking for “milky” and I give her some in a regular cup and she pops back to sleep. BUT, there’s always a but, because she used to use the bottle teat as her security item, as in she would play with it and rub it between her fingers to get to sleep, I have to give her ANOTHER dummy to fiddle with as she drifts off to sleep. So now she has a dummy in the mouth and one in the hand. This doesn’t concern me, except that I know the time will come for dummy weaning… arrrgghh… but in the words of Pooh Bear: that’s a story for another day.

Liam went back to school yesterday, he was a bit disgruntled that a lot of his friends are still on holiday AND that I had forgotten to send his nap time blankey. Other than that, little man has a bad cough which we are treating, a sore ear which I’m hoping isn’t an infection and lots and lots of stories about his holiday. Think he won’t be the only one with a sore ear by the time he’s done telling me his stories.

Good times ya’ll! Good times!