Blogger’s Secret Santa


The Stiletto Mum is kindly organizing this year’s Blogger Secret Santa. Thank goodness she took this task upon herself, because at least I will be guaranteed one gift this year, just in case I don’t make Santa’s good list. And with all the talks from the Minister of Finance in my house about cut backs and preparing ourselves for leaner times, I doubt I’m getting the liposuction I requested.

Anyway, this year you don’t even need to be a blogger to participate, as explained on Charlotte’s blog post. So if you fancy a little gift giving and more importantly receiving, pop on over to her blog and get yourself signed up. You have until the 16th November to enter. You only need spend R100 on the gift, so it won’t break the piggy bank and who doesn’t like getting a nice little parcel in the post, go on, you know you want to.

So we were asked to jot down  a few of the things we love, in order to make our Secret Santa’s job a bit easier. I’m a simple girl, so R100 can buy me a lot, especially if you shop at China Mall, you know what I’m saying. NO, don’t worry I won’t buy your gift from China Mall… well maybe I will. They got some good stuff on that side of town.

I’m sitting here wrecking my brain for things I love, but being a simple girl I love everything. Except those pedicure sets from Clicks. Or candles. I love candles but I have a Butler’s Tray full of candles in every scent and colour that I have collected over the years and never used because I’m too terrified that one of the kids will use the burning candle to burn down the house. The only time I light candles is when load shedding is in progress or when I can’t find the birthday candles and someone needs to blow on their birthday or when I’m trying to seduce my husband – doesn’t happen often. So let’s hold off on the candles this year. I don’t like receiving makeup of any sort purely because I work for a beauty company and I can steal that sort of stuff if I need to, I mean it’s sad to get a gift and it’s something you could get for free anyway, right? I don’t like receiving anything that is not gender or age specific to ME – like last year when my husband got that awesome shaving set and he freaked out when he caught me shaving my legs with it, he was throwing a hissy about it being HIS gift and how nothing was sacred anymore. So I don’t want to receive anything that he could use because I know he still carries this grudge. And nothing that my kids can use, because they think that anything gift wrapped and sparkly must be for them, so I need them to be thoroughly disappointed when they open this particular package, so no cute cuddly stuff please.

I think that about covers it, I love everything else! Plain and simple! I’ve got a new house so I love receiving house stuff – photo frames, salad bowls, charcoal and firelighters – you know stuff that I can use around the house. I like to smell nice so lotions and potions will go down a treat. I like to look nice, especially in silver costume jewellery. I like bright colours because I think they liven up my rather sallow complexion – seriously, I am the whitest Coloured person I know. Sad face 😦  So I like to liven up my look with a bright scarf or a pair of bright sunnies.

All of the above can be purchased at your local Mr Price for under 100 bucks. Except the charcoal and firelighters – those you can get at your local petrol station.

MERRY CHRISTMAS MY LOVELIES! xxx

My husband, the hero


No, it is not often that you will hear me use these two phrases in the same sentence. Yes my husband has his fleeting super hero moments, but let’s just call a spade a spade and say that he isn’t exactly Mr Home Improvement. When something goes wrong, we call someone. I have no problem with this, I prefer to get a professional in and pay them once to fix whatever is broken, rather than let Mr Handy Man give it a go, only to spend more money on something that he can’t fix anyway. Since we’ve moved into our house, I do notice that the hubby has become more… hands on… shall we say. He wants to cut his own lawn, paint his own walls, tinker with the pool pump and fix whatever is broke… and some things that aren’t broke.

Right so on Thursday night, our microwave conked. There wasn’t an explosion or smoke or even a little bang. It just went off and no amount of flicking the switch on and off at the wall (why do we do this?) helped in bringing it back to life. Of course I was traumatized, I’m one of those people who eat and drink everything at boiling point. After almost three years of having to eat cold food because I was raising babies, I now like to feel the roof of my mouth tingle from the heat of my food. I boil my milk in my tea and coffee and I do not believe in boosting up the trusty oven, waiting for it to reach 180° to warm something that will take two minutes in the microwave. So yes I was traumatized. I saw Macgyver heading for the shed to get his tools out, I followed him silently to the kitchen and watched him start to take the back off the microwave and then I just couldn’t contain myself, I was like “what the hell are you doing? Let’s stop this nonsense and call someone or go buy a new one.” He was taking photos, talking to whoever on his phone and he then decided that it was a fuse. I asked again when we could go and buy a new one.

Anyway, I was doing my bit by enquiring from my loyal online friends as to the lifespan of a microwave and whether we should fix or replace it. Everyone agreed that it would be cheaper to buy a new one. Macgyver was convinced that he had this in the bag. So on Friday he came home with a packet of fuses which he paid R8 for. He tinkered and prodded for about 10 minutes and from the TV room, I heard the trusted BEEEEEP of the microwave, we rushed to the kitchen to make sure that it was indeed the same ‘ol microwave. Of course, there stood Mr Nonchalant packing up his stuff like he does this everyday for a living. I must admit I was impressed, the kids and I were oooohing and aaaahing  and high fiving. My husband had just repaired our microwave for R8! What a HUNK!

Then earlier in the week, we got a flat tyre on our way to work. Liam and I went directly into crazy mode. I swear you do not want to be with me in an emergency situation. I have never changed a flat tyre in my life. I do not know the first thing about changing a tyre, again I would just call someone. I know what a jack looks like and that’s about it. So there we were on the side of the N1, Liam and I peering over the window ledge watching my husband change the tyre. It took him about 10 minutes and we were back on the road again. Liam and I were so impressed, our dad the hero.

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing a man doing a man’s job. Being all manly and sweaty and fixing stuff that needs fixing. I could watch a man at work all day. Sighhhhh. Makes me want to rush over to his office right now and throw myself onto his desk and tell him how hot he makes me. Ok, stuff like that is only cool in the movies. Can you imagine his face, he’d tell me to pull myself together and get back to work before he loses his job. And I’d have to be assisted off his desk because a chick my size doesn’t gracefully climb on and off desks. It would just look messy.

Whatever. I still get all hot and flustered when I think about my Macgyver fixing stuff ok. I’m going to look for things to break around the house just so I can see him bring out his tool… HIS TOOLS I mean.. HIS TOOLS… his hammer and screw driver and stuff, man.

Weekend round up


This weekend was lovely. I wish I had taken photos; I was so fastidious about taking photos when I was pregnant with Liam and even during Liam’s first year. I have folders and folders of photos of Liam as a baby, categorized by month and event. Literally I have a photo a day of Liam’s first year. I have a fair amount of photos of Hannah as an infant, but not half as many as Liam. Then I started blogging and I started taking more pictures, but again, not with the same passion of a crazy first time mom. I wish I could have captured this weekend on film, it was lovely.

On Friday my girlfriends and I attended our last Sisters evening at church. It started off a bit crazy, when I realized late in the afternoon that we were supposed to wear cocktail dresses, but after a few choice words over a group BBM, we were all ready for a night in God’s house. The message reminded us about how God loves us, how completely besotted he is with us, and that if we understood our worth in Him, we would and should be living our lives in a way which portrays how blessed we are, and what a blessing we could be to others. Each lady received one of these:

Stunning hey?

On Saturday morning, I was up early and in the kitchen baking before the kids were up. I made a chocolate tray bake cake in honour of Samuel who will be two years old in a few weeks. I also tried this new veggie bake recipe which is really quick and simple. Once baked, you cut them into little squares and serve up on a nice platter. It’s healthy and the kids love it. By 8h30am, I was taking my apron off and the rest of the family came crawling out of their rooms. After everyone was dressed and ready for the day, I popped into Mr Price Home, don’t they have the nicest things? I could get lost in that shop, but thank goodness I had the kids and whiney husband in tow, so I was rushed out of there before I blew any more beans on beautiful things. We got home in time for my hubby to start the potjie before our visitors arrived.

We spent the afternoon and evening with good friends who didn’t want to leave. And even though the rain came, the party continued. You know the lovely thing about spending time with people you like? Time doesn’t matter. It’s true that time flies when you’re having fun and the only time I looked at my watch was when it was clear that everyone was tired and that it was bed time for everyone’s babies.

On Sunday, we rushed home from church because Liam had a play date. This was our first official play date at our house, so I wanted to at least spruce the place up a bit. Amit and his mom came over and we spent the afternoon chatting while the boys and Hannah played. My alarm bells were raised when I heard that Amit had been accepted into King David for grade 0 in 2015, and my poor Liam isn’t even on a list. Oh well, better get this schooling thing in check, because home schooling is going to have to be an option at the rate I am going.

I love being in my house, the only thing better than that is spending time with special people in my house, and  that’s what this weekend was about. Although the weather has been weird (still wearing jerseys in late October?), it’s great to be indoors with those you love.

Hope your weekend was special too! xxx

Photo Friday: A wedding


Friday already. Oi. I had all these wonderful ideas for Wordless Wednesday and now it’s Friday. So let me do a quick PHOTO FRIDAY instead! At least Photo Friday allows me to say a few words without feeling bad – you’ll notice I suck at Wordless Wednesday. So we went to a wedding in Durban last weekend. It rained the entire weekend. And it was an outdoor ceremony. But the wedding went on, and it was beautiful. I love weddings, I love to see two people full of hope, stars in their eyes, pledge their undying love for one another. It restores my faith in humanity just for that minute. Here stand two people in front of their closest friends and family, making an outward declaration before God that they promise to love each other through sickness and through health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, ’til death do us part. Now you know how I love words and THESE have got to be my most favourite words to hear. They get me every time, like silky poetry that causes the hair on the back of my neck to stand to attention. I want to yell loud from the back of the church “AWWWWWWWWW” but I do restrain myself.

Here’s a few pics from the wedding, wishing the happy couple lots of love and happiness and the pitter-patter of little feet.

xx

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas


With only something like 60 odd days left until Christmas, I guess it’s time to haul out the dusty Christmas decoration box and fake tree. I like to put my tree up mid November, so as to prolong the Christmas cheer for the kids, and to build anticipation levels to breaking point so that on Christmas morning they are positively freaking out with excitement. There’s nothing like a little kid’s unadulterated joy on Christmas morning, I may have another kid just to experience this joy again. No, I won’t don’t be silly. But really, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to watch them brim over with happiness on Christmas morning. When they still believe that Father Christmas comes down the chimney, thank goodness we actually have a fireplace this year so I won’t be asked a million questions about how FC is actually going to get into the house. Last year Liam was pretty upset that we didn’t have a chimney and was very concerned about FC’s visit. Hopefully by the time Liam and Hannah read this, they would have discovered that FC doesn’t really exist, or else I have just blown it, haven’t I? Sorry kids.

Anyway, this year I want to go all out and dolly up the house with lights and green and red stuff everywhere. I want Boney M to be blasting out of the speakers until the neighbour’s dog is whining along. I want to start baking Christmas cookies and hanging out the loot Stockings (without the loot just yet) and Feliz Navidad myself into a Christmas Coma. Liam’s school put their decorations up last week, and of course they have been rehearsing for the Christmas concert, so he is well into the Christmas Spirit already. I want to get cracking on my Christmas shopping now, so I can enjoy the festive season away from busy malls and desperate shoppers looking for last minute gifts and last minute gammon.

So remember last year and this post? Liam refused to ride his big boy Barney bike – maybe he wasn’t ready, maybe it didn’t make enough noise as the black plastic one did – I’m not sure, but fast forward a year, and he is begging for a bicycle. Hannah just mimics Liam so she is asking for a bike as well, but I know she is going to lose her mind when she sees the play house I have in mind for her. We’ve drawn names to buy for one adult in the family: I love this method, its cost effective and it means there’s no pressure to waste your entire bonus on Christmas presents. And for everyone else we want to spoil, I’m visiting the Consol store and getting pretty jars for the cookies the kids will be baking. Gifts sorted.

We will be building our hampers for our usual charities, and this year Liam is more aware of helping people so I think they will enjoy getting more involved with spreading cheer to those who are less fortunate. Already, the kids are cleaning us out of tinned and dry goods at home, as both church and school are running food drives for Christmas hampers and we are asked to donate as much and as often as we can. My kids have made it their life’s ambition to fill the food bins, much to the detriment of my own grocery cupboards.

I love this time of year! Our diaries are bursting at the seams with events we need to attend – some at church, some at school, some at work and of course some in our social circle. And even though I complain, I secretly love the hustle and bustle that comes with the silly season. I hope FC has a big fat pressie with my name on it.

My Last Will and Testament


I’ve seen it happen too often, someone dies and amidst the grieving, the family is torn apart over which coffin to choose, which burial method to use, who gets the kids, who gets the money and who pays for the food at the “after tears.” This happens even when the death is timely and people have a chance to prepare, knowing that their loved one is closer to the end than to the beginning of their lives – even though only God knows the exact time and day. I’ve made it very clear to my husband and to those willing to listen on how I want my send off and the days thereafter to be, but just in case my words have fallen on deaf ears because my husband often switches off the minute I start yapping, I thought I’d jot it down so that there is absolutely no confusion when the time comes.

So here it is.

I do not want a funeral with an open casket. I do not want a funeral at all. I don’t want people gawking at my face which will most likely have the wrong shade of foundation. I want a memorial service, where people who know me will gather to reminisce on what an amazing, wonderful person I was. You can have a photo of me, preferably one taken when I was younger, slimmer and hotter, but I do not want my lifeless body there. I think it makes the whole affair more miserable when people get to witness a dead body. As for me, I’ll be gone to all eternity, having the most glorious time with my Maker and all the angels, so why cry over my physical body which matters no more? So no body, ok. This means that I won’t need a fancy coffin, a simple box will do. There’s a saving right there. Secondly, I would like to be cremated, privately. Perhaps someone significant will go to the crematorium to ensure that they burn the right body, but I don’t even want an affair there. Again, this method is just to ensure that my earthly remains are taken care of. No hoo-haa please. You can keep my ashes in an urn on top of the fire place, or scatter them over the ocean, or use them as fertiliser in my garden which I love. At my memorial service, I want lots of singing of songs preferably from the Cedarmont Kids and Rivers Church worship teams. I pray that I will outlive my parents because that is the natural order of things, but if my parents happen to be alive, I KNOW they will want to sing a song, so please let them. The only funeral-y song I want played is Amazing Grace, because the words of that song have come to mean something very special to me, it tells my story, and the story of any Believer I am sure. I want an open mic at my memorial service so that people can pay me fantastic tributes. And if there are tears, I’d like them to be tears of joy, with a hint of sadness, and not the other way around.

Right, onto the nitty gritty’s.

I hope my kids outlive me. I pray my children get to see me live to a ripe old age and that they lay me to rest some time after three scores and ten. But again, we know neither the day or the hour. If, God forbid, I die when my children are young, I want my husband to remarry. I want my children to have another mom. Yes, I want to be remembered and cherished, but if my husband finds a suitable mate, I want him to marry her. I don’t want him or my children to lack the love of a woman in the house. So none of that nonsense from the grapevine about how quickly he replaced me because I insist that he does. Even if the children are older and are able to care for themselves when I go, I still want my husband to remarry. I want people to help my children to remember me, with photos and stories. Even when their own memories start to fade, I want them to be reminded. Not for them to be sad for a mother that they lost, but for them to remember how they were loved. How their mother loved them, because every child needs to know that, at any age. So even if you knew me briefly, but read it here, please tell them constantly how I adored them.

Any monies that become available on my death must  be used to pay all my bills so that my husband doesn’t have to worry about his wife’s overspending even in death. And if there is any leftover (oh please let there be some left over after they pay my bills!), I want it to be used solely for my children’s education. After my daughter and sister have gone through all my stuff and taken what they want, the rest of my earthly goods must be donated to churches and charities. I have no sentimental keep sakes or items of great value, and nothing that I want embalmed and kept forever, except this blog. If I don’t get to do it myself for them, I want my children to pour over these memoirs. It contains our lives in words and photos, and my pulse. This is the only keepsake I think is worth keeping, and maybe my food processor because that thing will change your life, I tell ya!

I think that about covers it. My husband hardly (if ever) reads my blog so make sure he gets a copy of this in the post, will ya? I hope you have made a similar list so that your loved ones know exactly what to do when your time comes, as you know there are few things that are certain in life, and death is one of them!

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies – so the living should take this to heart. Eccl 7: 1-2

Dear Big Liam and Big Hannah #5


Dear Big Liam and Big Hannah

Just a quick note on soul mates…

When you get married one day, I hope that it’s to your soul mate. Sometimes soul mates are hard to recognize; it’s not all Tweety Birds, stars and soft music like in the movies, and sometimes soul mates can be a real pain in the butt, sometimes you’ll wonder how the HECK this person could be your soul mate and you’ll wonder if you made a mistake. Then that person will do something out of the blue that reminds you that, yes, indeed, they are your soul mate and for a little while all is right with the world. Then they do something else to screw it up.

I love your Dad, ok. He is, without a doubt, my soul mate. But sometimes he drives me INSANE. And I want to take my soul back from him and tell him to find a new soul mate. You guys know, don’t you… you hear us having heated conversations while smiling tightlipped at you and saying “no, we not fighting, this is how mommies and daddies talk.”  False smile. Daggers for daddy. We really are warping your idea of how big people behave, hey.

Anyway, I just want to confirm that even when we’re throwing glacial stares across the room at each other, and you see me making weird gestures towards Daddy’s turned head, I do still love him and that I’m not really going to pack my bags and leave.

Mommies and Daddies don’t always agree on everything. Mommies like to be right and know what is best for the children. Daddies don’t understand that Mommies are always right at the time, even though 9/10 times in hindsight, they will come to their senses and admit that the Mommies were right. Your father thinks I am a Miss Know-it-all, he says I don’t like to be wrong, and that I like to have the last word. I told him he is absolutely right and that is why he is my soul mate, because he knows me so well! Although you may think that people who are the same get on well because they have the same tastes, the same likes and dislikes and the same temperament, the opposite is also true. Dad and I could not be more different, we are like chalk and cheese, but somehow it works. I guess opposites do attract, hey. So a lot of our disagreements are usually because we see things so differently, but the good thing is that sometimes your Dad makes me see things that I would have totally missed on my own. He has opened my eyes to things I would never have taken an interest in on my own, and some things I quite enjoy. I can’t say I am an avid soccer fan, but I do enjoy a live match, and I do enjoy watching HIS passion for the game. A passion that he will force upon you, no doubt!

A soul mate is someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with, a person who completes and complements you… and compliments you! A soul mate will do anything and everything in their power to make you happy, and always have your best interests at heart, but it doesn’t mean that the two are always on the same page. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be at logger heads with your soul mate from time to time, and it doesn’t mean that you won’t want to strangle your soul mate when he or she makes you mad. A soul mate doesn’t like to see you upset, and will help you make things better, even if it’s just by making you a hot cup of tea. Because tea fixes everything, just trust me on this one.

I hope that one day, you two will find your soul mates, like I have. While I hope this happens far, FAR, into the future because I want to be the only person invading your soul for a long time yet, I do hope that one day you will find the perfect partner who will be the frosting to your cupcake, the light to your dark fridge in the middle of the night, the bubble to your bath, the love of your life.

It feels good to be loved, and to love, and I hope that the love your Dad and I share, will be communicated through to you, so that you feel loved too. To overflowing. Because you are.

Assuring you of my constant love and affection,

Xxx

Mom

If music be the food of love, play on…


Along with all the songs my mother used to sing to me as a child, there are two songs that I used to sing to my children as babies, and still do if they’ll stop laughing long enough to actually hear that I CAN sing. Both songs came from adverts that used to play on TV some years ago. One of them is also a song I used to hear my sister sing to her sons, and the words have always tugged at my heart. Anyway point is, today I was humming these songs in my head and I realized that I don’t actually know all the words, so I thought I’d Google the lyrics so I can sing in my head, in my perfect singing voice which I love so much, where there is nobody to laugh at me. So those words which tugged at my heart.. WRONG words.

The first song is a Minnie Riperton song, called Loving You. It was the track on that cute Wimpy advert where this little boy just loved his doggy so much that he snuck him a bit of boerewors after his breakfast at Wimpy, remember it? Clearly Wimpy didn’t listen to the lyrics of this song either, when they chose it for a cute ad about a boy and his dog…

Lovin’ you is easy cause you’re beautiful.
Makin’ love with you is all I want to do.
Lovin’ you is more than just a dream come true.
And everything that I do,is out of lovin’ you

la-la-la-la-la,la-la-la-la-la.
la-la-la-la-la-la-la.And doot-doot.dootin.doot-do.
[haaaaaaah]

No one else can make me feel the colors that you bring,
Stay with me while we grow old,
and we will live each day in the spring time.

Cos lovin’ you has made my life so beautiful.
And everyday of my life, is filled with lovin’ you.
Lovin’ you I see your soul come shinin’ through.
And everytime that we [uuuuhhhhhhh].
I’m more in love with you.

la-la-la-la-la,la-la-la-la-la.
la-la-la-la-la-la-la.And doot-doot.dootin.doot-do.

Here I am singing a song about making love and doing the ooooooh – to my babies! It’s still a beautiful song, and now I’m thinking of rhyming words to replace the BEEP words, in order to make it PG so I can continue to sing it to my kids and my husband. LOUD. I love this song.

The other song was on either a Rama advert or a Koo Baked Beans ad – my sister and I have been wracking our brains trying to remember! It’s You Do Something to Me, not sure who did the original but it’s been done over and over again. My favourite version is by Frank Sinatra. I should have guessed that ‘ol Blue Eyes wouldn’t be singing lullabies but rather something a little more risqué. The words aren’t actually that “bad” for kids, but it’s clear he isn’t talking about his darling little offspring.

You do something to me
Something that simply mystifies me
Tell me, why should it be
You have the power to hypnotize me?

Let me live ‘neath your spell
Do do that voodoo that you do so well
‘Cause you do something to me
That nobody else could do

You do something to me
Something that simply mystifies me
Tell me, why should it be
You got the power to hypnotize me?

Let me live ‘neath your spell
Do do that voodoo that you do so well
‘Cause you do something to me
That nobody else can do
That no one else in the world can do

I love this song and I don’t need to change a word in order for it to ring true for my children. I am totally at their mercy, like a puppet on a string, I’d do anything for them, as they do something to my heart that I can’t often comprehend. I think it’s called love.

If anything, take a listen to these two classics, and sing the correct words to your loved ones – babies and husbands – tonight. You can thank me later. Xxx

 

 

 

 

 

A poo in the hand is worth… Potty Training 104.


Ok so Hannah is potty training and doing pretty well. She tells us when she wants to make a wee, we take her to the toilet, she makes a wee, we wash hands. Job well done. We have even been out to the shops and to church, diaper free, with no accidents. Of course every mother who has been through potty training knows that poo is a completely different ball game to pee, right. Poo training is a little…well… harder – pun intended.

I’m not sure what it is for little kids, maybe they think the turd will jump up and bite their bums. Maybe it’s the long drop and the splash back that frightens them. Maybe it’s just to personal to be shared with mom and dad standing by ready to clap and take a photo and big brother cheering the poo-er on. All I know is that Hannah refuses to poo in the toilet. I knew it was going to happen, every single kid and parent I know will tell you that taking a dunk for the first time in a toilet is a big deal for a toddler and that it takes time and lots of accidents. I also know that your kid will try their utmost to keep that chocolate log indoors, rather than flush it down the toilet like the rest of humanity, so it can also interfere with their bowel movements and that brings on another set of problems altogether. I also know that both my kids used to go and hide when they needed to make a poo – from the time they could walk, nappy or not. So I DO know when Hannah needs to go, but even if I catch her just in time, she won’t do it on the toilet, and by the time she has thrown that tantrum and I have managed to coerce her to put her nappy back on just to make this poo, the poo has shot back up into her large intestine in fright. Understandable right. So my plan (and believe me I considered all options and this seemed like the best option at the time) was to just let her go in her pants, rather than put her off altogether.

Not my brightest idea. But hey constipation is like a pain in the gut – did you see what I just did there? Ha. I didn’t want to deal with potty training PLUS having to insert glycerin suppositories to coax the scared poo out.

So…

I’ve caught poo twice, with my bare hand in the last two weeks. I’ve had to stand at a sink in a public swimming area and rinse skid marked panties ( I flushed the poo first, relax). I’ve had to separate small tight buttocks who refused to give up the goods which were stuck tight between two cheeks because this kid does not want to let it go, I tell ya. I’ve had to follow a panty and poo pebble trail to find the victim guiltily crouching behind the couch. I’ve had to endure all of this, because I still think it’s better for her and for me, rather than pinning her screaming terrified body down to the toilet and forcing her to excrete her bodily waste. SO I just let her do it, wherever and whenever, in her pants – and hope that it’s at home and not in the meat aisle at Pick n Pay. The things moms have to do hey.

This method however is not a long term solution – this is where my plan fails me.

I can’t have a six year old Hannah still hiding behind the couch and letting rip in her panties because mommy said it was ok four years ago. I also can’t be picking up poo with my bare hands for much longer, I mean my unconditional love most definitely has its conditions when it comes to bodily functions ok. I keep encouraging her to poo in the toilet, we do live demonstrations where we sit on the toilet and make the necessary grunts and facial expressions to show her that its cool ok, poo in the toilet is cool. Not poo in mommy’s hand.

No amount of bribing has worked so far. I’ve got this potty training star chart which I’m going to implement in the hopes that it will give her the courage she needs to defecate in the dunking machine. In the mean time, I’ll keep my nails short, my hair back, and the disinfectant hand wash on steady supply.

Our crazy-weird-good weekend away


The crazy and the weird:

If I didn’t love my kids or my friends kids as much as I do, I’d easily have locked them in a room with a potty on Friday evening, periodically left them food and water and let them out again on Sunday when it was time to leave. Remember we went away with friends this weekend, right. Our older children (both boys aged three) were whiny, miserable and highly annoying for the most part. Our younger children (aged two and one) made up for their older siblings bad behaviour, but still it was hectic. I need to go back and check the news to see if any strange events were reported this weekend because the three year olds were seriously tripping on something. Full moon, high tide, I’m not sure, all I know is that if I had to hear one more whiny cry, I was going to lose my mind. Liam and Tyler get on like a house on fire. They love each other, play very well together and don’t usually need to be supervised. They ride their bikes, or play with each other toys and we don’t really need to pay them much attention when we’re together because they get on with it, like little independent boys should. THIS weekend it was nonstop fighting – over toys, over food, over who said what to who. As is usually the case with going away and being out of your comfort zone, naps were missed and routines were nonexistent so I do think that this had a lot to do with it but for the love of toddlers, we just couldn’t get them to “play nice.” On the rare occasion that they were playing nicely together,  it was still noisy and rowdy because that’s how three year old boys are: noisy and rowdy.

 

The good. The very good.

Aside from the toddler craziness, the weekend was great. If you have young children, do yourself a favour and head out to Emerald Casino, even for a day trip. The animal farm is comparable to Johannesburg Zoo on a smaller scale. I’m serious, it is that good. Lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, a bird aviary, a creepy crawly section with spiders, lizards and snakes, wolves – yes wolves, meerkats and lemurs. Really cool. Even if you drive that hour JUST to visit the animal farm, your trip will not have been in vain. And as is customary with these sorts of places, it also has a fabulously over priced gift shop which you should steer your child away from very quickly. Game drives are available; we were lucky enough to spot some game on Friday evening, as the animals found shelter under the trees quite near the road, from that crazy rain storm that came up early evening.

The Aquadome is by far the star of Emerald Casino. An indoor swimming adventure. Our four kids are all water babies so we had no doubt that this would be a hit. Different sized pools for different sized people – from the babies to the older kids and of course adults, the water is warmed but not uncomfortable and if it gets too hot for you indoors, there’s a massive deck, which leads onto a grassed  area set up with umbrellas and tables. There’s also a basketball court, and a beach volleyball court which our kids thought was a giant sandpit, much to their joy. You can take picnic baskets in with you, or buy food there. It does get full, so I suggest you get there early or pick a rainy miserable day for an indoor swimming treat – your kids will LOVE it.

We stayed in a self catering chalet, which opens onto vast manicured lawns, so the kids could run wild while still in full view from the verandah. Each unit has its own braai stand, hello we are regte South Africans, what’s a weekend away without a braai? And although a little bit tight, the units are clean and tidy.

All in all, a great weekend away with good friends. If you’re looking for a getaway close to Johannesburg, while still feeling like you’re away from the big city lights, this place is for you. Although the air out there may affect your three year old children. Be warned.