Category Archives: Hannah

On Losing Teeth and Hanging On.


I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter today. She is 6.5 years old and hasn’t lost a tooth yet. Her greatest desire for the last year has been for her teeth to start falling out. I know right,  here I sit at 35 years old and mournfully wonder when I’ll need a set of dentures with all the extractions I’ve already had and there’s a 6 year old wishing hers away. She would watch enviously as her brother lost tooth after tooth, she would come home from school and wistfully tell me how so-and-so had lost a tooth that day in the classroom. I explained that she had only started teething after she was 10 months old, and this was probably why her teeth were falling out late. I explained that the longer it took, the healthier her new shiny white pearls would be and the more she would appreciate them! She was not appeased. She couldn’t understand why everyone else was going through the joy of losing and gaining new teeth; why everyone else was getting money from the tooth fairy and she was being denied. It hurt, especially because her 7 year old brother has lost 7 teeth already. I fear that by the time she starts losing teeth, she’ll be at an age where she doesn’t even believe in the tooth fairy anymore!

Well.

Yesterday I received a hysterical call at work. She was sobbing so hard, I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Eventually I calmed her down and we did some breathing exercises and she told me that her bottom tooth was loose. Of course, I went into panic mode thinking she had had some sort of accident to warrant the pain and agony she was experiencing from this loose tooth, right? She explained that no, nothing had happened, her tooth was just loose.

Ookkkk?

Turns out the whole sensation gave her the fright of her life. That which she had longed for, for the longest time, didn’t actually make her feel that good after all. I eventually calmed her down enough to laugh about it and I managed to muster a bit of excitement out of her. But man, she is still paranoid. She woke me up twice in the middle of the night to verify if I was sure-sure-sure she wouldn’t swallow her tooth and choke on it during the night. Her hand and tongue are constantly fiddling with the little tooth, she doesn’t appear to be enjoying this at all.

And then I got thinking.

Sometimes we pray, and we pray, and.we.pray.. but still it seems like we are not getting our prayers answered. Other people around us seem to be blessed, they are getting promotions, driving fancy cars, their children are well behaved, they go on fancy holidays, their spouses seem like they’ve fallen straight out of the Garden of Eden, their lives are AMAZING.. but why God, aren’t you answering MY prayer? You know I need a new job to afford the school fees. You know I need my sick parents to get better because I don’t have the time and resources to look after them. You know I need my debt cancelled so I can start afresh. You know my marriage is failing, why won’t you intervene? You know my boss is treating me unfairly, why won’t you move him? Or me? You know I can’t relate to my teenage kids and they have fallen off the right path, why can’t you fix them? You know I am lonely and depressed, make me better? You know I have health challenges, why aren’t you healing me? Guys, the list goes on and on.

But Hannah’s tooth saga reminded me that God’s timing is perfect.  Because He knows us. He knows that sometimes we are not ready to handle what is coming. He knows that sometimes we need to go and grow through certain things so that we are equipped to deal with that which we are praying for. Trying to push the hand of God, always lands us in deep water. I bet if Hannah could go back, she would not wish so desperately for that tooth to come out! It’s a silly analogy but it works. I know in my own life when I have tried to do my own thing, when I have not consulted God and gone out and made things happen the way I think they should or done something because I felt I DESERVED it… those things have failed. I know that often the things I have begged God for, and which didn’t ever materialise.. in hindsight I can look back and say “Wow, God, thank you for NOT answering that prayer because my life would have taken an entirely different path if that had actually worked out! A path I know NOW, was not good for me” I’ve learned that waiting on God, builds resilience and grows character. I’ve learned that in the waiting and the trusting, He allows other lessons to be learned. I think what we fail to remember is that ultimately God’s plans for you are good. You just have to trust Him. You just have to go where He leads. You just have to tend to your garden where He has put you. You just have to be faithful with what you have. Remain faithful and obedient. Sometimes we think God is saying no, when really He is saying not yet, or nope you deserve better than that, or trust Me because you wouldn’t want Me to open that door if you knew what was really behind it. Your denial is not always a no. And when you do get that “pearly white” it will be at the perfect time and perfect for you.

There are people going through some stuff. Serious, tragic, heartbreaking stuff. I know that some people may feel that God has turned His back on them. I know there are even believers who are doubting that God cares. I know that there are people who have lost all hope, who can’t see a way out, who can’t see HOW God could fix this situation that He has allowed to go on for so long. But I want to remind you that God sees you, and He hears you and He cares. Won’t you trust that your Father knows every hair on your head and that He is MORE than able to give you a rich, rewarding, ridiculously fruitful life. He is a good, good Father!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has so much as imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2: 9

I hope this reaches someone today who needs to read it. I’m praying for you! And for my Hannah’s teeth to fall out and grow back without her losing her mind xxx

My darling, you are five.


I have said this before, and I stand by my word, FIVE is the absolute best age. Five is the age where your kid is old enough to wipe his/her own bum but young enough that rocking out with your mother to hits of the 80s in the living room is not awkward at all. It is also the age of awareness. The Wonder Year. The year when you find yourself moving from the extreme end of the childhood spectrum (tantrums, meltdowns, not being able to express yourself without losing your mind) into a more settled peaceful middle where you can talk nicely, reason perfectly and negotiate like a good salesman. Our five year old milestones were absolutely the best  – the losing of teeth, the growing of molars, learning to  read, going to big school. Experiencing this with a little person who is fully aware of what they are doing and how awesome it is, was a wonder for me, more than it was for him I think.  It was at five years old that my first born toyed with the idea that Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy possibly-maybe weren’t real. But it was also the year where he was young enough to still choose the magic and believe they were real. I am sure that will change at six and the idea of the Easter Bunny will be poo-poo’d on.

Five Years Old was the bomb.

And now my darling second born, you are five…

The thing with you, Hannah, is that you are a contradiction of the highest degree. To quote Forest, you’re like a box of chocolates… I never know what I’m going to get. You have successfully changed the game on me at least 50656234 times since the day you were born. The minute I think I have you pinned down, you do that game-changer thing. I love it. I love you. I love your spunk, I love how you can change your mind a million times and still be as chilled about your 15th outfit change in as many minutes while the rest of us are losing our minds waiting in the car for you to get ready (can you imagine when you’re 16?) You are not bothered by life. When someone doesn’t want to be your friend, you move onto the next little girl or boy until you find someone who wants to play with you. When someone is being mean, YOU TELL THEM. Guuuurl, I just love how you TELL people where to get off. Very nicely, of course. When you don’t like what’s for supper, you make it quite clear that you do not like to see onions or mustard seeds in your food (even though you still eat it, because I said so, because I am still the boss).

But here’s the contradiction. For as bossy-boots-I-don’t-care as you are, you’re as soft and squishy and emotional as only a little girl can be. You never fail to tell us how much you love us, unprompted, all the time. You say it so often that sometimes I hear myself saying it back without even registering and then I feel sort of bad. You end everything with “so much.” I love you SO MUCH. I miss you SO MUCH. I’m going to love this movie SO MUCH. I’m going to love this ice cream that you bought me SO MUCH. I think SO MUCH is your favourite line.

You’re so smart but you never use it to your advantage. I find this so weird because I want EVERYONE to know how WONDERFUL I am at EVERYTHING, ALL.THE.TIME. I love people to tell me how amazing I am. It drives your Dad crazy.. this constant need for approval that I have. But you aren’t like that. Like the day you learned to tie your laces when you were only three, you didn’t even tell us. One day we just kind of noticed and you were like “yeh, I’ve been doing this for like ages, guys.” Like the time we discovered you could write your name, you could count in 2s, 5s and 10s backwards and forwards up to 100, you knew the words to popular music and we only realised it when we heard you singing in the shower one day. All these things, we just discovered by mistake. It’s almost like you are so self assured, that you don’t need anyone else to stroke your ego. I so admire this about you, baby girl.

You are a marvel to me. I love you deeply. You teach me something new about yourself everyday. But more than that, you teach me something new about MYself everyday. From my personal experience, mothering a boy was really simple. It’s only now at 6 that I’d say mothering a boy is becoming more challenging. But mothering Liam has been mostly easy.. he eats, sleeps, poops, keeps us laughing, and doesn’t really get emotional about too much. I LOVE how simple Liam is. But you my darling, you’re like a closed rose bud. Every petal that opens reveals another layer to the extraordinary stuff you have inside of you. We’ve just discovered why you don’t particularly like to share. You’re a germaphobe! I didn’t know! But you do not like to share a bottle (even with your own mother who bore you in her womb for 38 weeks), you do not like to put your fingers into a chip packet which does not belong to you, you do not like to use the same medicine teaspoon that your brother has licked off already. Even someone asking for a lick of your ice cream cone is enough to make you hyperventilate. Until one day you very nicely explained to the family that all these things cause germs to spread and please can we stop nagging you about it. This was duly noted. My sweetheart!

So we gave you a little shindig at home to celebrate your birthday. You wanted a Frozen party but you did NOT want to be a princess, you just wanted to wear shorts. In fact, you wanted to be Prince Hans, but I talked you out of that. You had a lovely time with those closest to you. Your granny, aunt, uncle and cousins from KZN even came along to celebrate you.

I love you, Han. You fill a gap in my heart that nobody else can. From now until eternity. xx

photos by the lovely Marcia and Karina 

IMG_2573IMG_2580IMG_2585Hannah turns 5-008 Hannah turns 5-011 Hannah turns 5-015 Hannah turns 5-019 Hannah turns 5-021 Hannah turns 5-024 Hannah turns 5-041 Hannah turns 5-044 Hannah turns 5-045 IMG_2567 IMG_2586 IMG_2590
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Bringing you up to speed.


Hello! Happy New Year!

This could possibly be the longest I have stayed away. I hate these catch up posts, how can you possibly cram December holidays, Christmas, New year, Big School, ALL the extra murals, ALL the homework, losing our long term helper, looking after my own house, the start of 2015… all into one post? You just can’t. It won’t do any of it justice. But I shall try…

In the words of the king in Alice in Wonderland:

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  

So the beginning. We had a very chilled Christmas. My Favourite People AKA my sister and her family spent the holidays with us and we did very little else, other than chill. We rang in the New Year over board games and biryani and hoped that the year which lay ahead would be as calm as the way we had welcomed it in.

Not so and we’re only 30 days in.

After five years, we decided that we no longer needed live-in help. With both kids being older and out of the house all day, my hours slightly more flexible and a medium sized house… we couldn’t justify having full time help anymore. So we said goodbye to Zoleka who has been a faithful and loyal helper. “Keeping house” isn’t as disastrous as I thought it would be. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know I don’t really like housework. I’m the youngest of four kids, I had older siblings to do all the dirty work, and then I married a man who isn’t afraid of housework so I’ve never really had to clean up after people. And then we had zoleka since the kids were little, so except on the odd occasion and during the holidays, I didn’t really ever have to wash, iron, sweep, scrub and all those other swear words associated with cleaning. But this is a blog post all on it’s own. I’ll share how I “keep house” and I’d be keen to hear how everyone else does it. It’s been just over three weeks and I still haven’t called on my “piece-job” helper who I have on standby for once a week deep cleaning because we’ve been managing quite OK so far.

Then Big School. Guys, it’s like a mine field. New teachers, new rules, new schedules, new routines. Everyday is different, and everyday requires a different something-something that he needs to take, or that he needs to remember. Again, I will blog about this separately and in that post I will add a photo of my monthly calendar and what it looks like! Just today we had to remember library book, tuck money, swimming clothes and show and tell item. That’s besides homework book, reading book and word book, and the little gift for the student teacher who finishes off today, while making a note of what time school finishes today – because he finishes a different time most days depending on the extra mural. I feel a bit frazzled, I won’t lie. The good news is that he is doing SO well. Again,  I will post about this in a school post, but can I just say how HAPPY I am that we held him back and that he is repeating Grade R with children who are all his age. And oh yes, he has the edge, just like all you know-it-all moms who said so! He already has private reading lessons with the principal and he is just flourishing.

Hannah, my little Rose, continues to blossom. Milestone of milestones, she opted to do ballet this term and wait for it… wanted to wear a PINK skirt and leotard. My Hannah? Doing ballet and wearing pink! The tomboy has not completely disappeared, don’t worry… but she has stopped painting with her kiddie eye shadow and started putting it on her face. ALL over a face so that she looks like something out of KISS:

rectangle

 My Reader frightens me… I haven’t read a blog post in over 6 weeks so if you’ve missed my essay long comments on your blog, don’t take it personally! I think I’m going to delete all and just start from scratch because being so far behind is giving my OCD filter the heebeejeebies. 

I know it’s late, but I do wish you all a wonderful 2015. I don’t do a word for the year and all that stuff but I do have personal aspirations all which revolve around not being so busy this year. Creating time to be the best mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend I can be and not waste time on the things that are inconsequential. And it really isn’t that hard to do. Remember, there’s a difference between good-busy and bad-busy and last year was full of bad-busy for me. This year I’m all about the good-busy!

Seriously, what’s your purpose in life?


Last night I had a team meeting at church, so the kids were home with their father. When I got back I went into their rooms to say good night and I jumped in with Hannah for a minute:

Hannah: How was your meeting?

Me: It was good.

Hannah: What did you learn?

Me: We learned about staying motivated, about being obedient even when it’s hard or you don’t feel like it.

Hannah: Oh, like Jonah.

Me: Hey? (I have got to stop saying hey)

Hannah: Like when Jonah wasn’t listening but then after he got out of the whale he was obedient to God and he went to Nineveh, but he didn’t feel like it the first time.

Firstly, I was gobsmacked at her absolutely perfect pronunciation of Nineveh, when she can’t even say “probably” properly! She says “pahbly!”

But more than that, I can’t believe how she ‘gets it.’  We haven’t read this story in ages, yet it has stayed with her, and she knows this very important Bible truth. I mean the stuff I was learning about in an adult prayer meeting, this 4 year old summed up for me in a few words.

Obedience rules over emotion.

We have to be obedient to the Will of God even if we don’t feel like it. Even if we’re tired, or life gets busy, or it just becomes too hard. And obedience to God falls out of the parameters of just The Ten Commandments. We always think as long as we don’t kill, steal or commit adultery, we’re doing OK as Christians. Well actually, no. It means being a GREAT wife, even when I don’t feel like it, because God has called me to be a GREAT wife. It means being patient and loving and gentle with my children even when it’s really hard because they can be really difficult, because it is God’s will for me to be a GOOD mother to my children. It’s fitting in quiet time with God during every day because that is obedience to what God instructs us directly to do in His Word – even Jesus went aside from the crowds to have quiet time with His father and he was perfect! It’s helping the poor, it’s going out of your way for someone, it’s being up early every Sunday morning at my post where I volunteer, even if I’ve had a rough Saturday night and I’m tired, it’s staying away from gossip even when it’s REALLY hard because it’s such a juicy story. It’s forgiving others EEEVVEENN when you don’t want to, or it hurts, or you’ve been really offended.

Obedience to God rules over emotion – it trumps our feelings.

Oh boy, it’s hard. It’s SO hard. I have two special friends and together we’re trying to plough through the Bible – one book at a time (Captain America voice), and even that can be difficult for me. I get bored, I get tired, I find something else to do in that time. Doing the right thing is not always easy. It takes motivation and it takes making a decision to do so every single day.  Putting aside your own desires, for the  plans and purposes of God.

How do you know what God’s plan and purpose for your life is? Well how do you know what your plan and purpose at your work is? How do you know what your plan and purpose for your marriage is? You talk to your boss and you guys discuss your career path, right? You talk to your husband / wife and you guys discuss your hopes and dreams and your plans for your marriage, right? And you connect often to make sure everything is on track, right? And so it is with God. If we’re not talking to God, reading His Word, praying and praying and praying (x50000), then we may be confused about our purpose.

You know what always amazes me about other faiths and religions? The emphasis they place on KNOWING, MEMORISING, FILLING THEMSELVES with their “scriptures.” Jewish boys need to know and quote the Torah before they reach bar mitzvah. Muslims are urged to learn the Qur’an off by heart. But as a Christian. I’ve only recently come to understand the importance of knowing what the Bible says, what GOD is saying about keeping His words and storing up His commands within me. About guarding His teachings as the apple of my eye, about binding them on my fingers and writing them on the tablet of my heart (Prov 7:1-3).  Growing up in a catholic family, DIRECTLY out of the Bible, I probably only learned the Our Father and I vaguely remember having to learn Matt 5: 3 – 10 before I was confirmed – The Sermon on the Mount. That was it. We had no other urge to read anything else in the Bible, other than a few verses on a Sunday at church.

I was chatting with my mother and sister, and we were talking about getting the kids (and me) to memorise Bible verses that speak truth and life and speak the promises of God. We need to KNOW these things, people. We need to be able to say it out loud, to motivate us and move us, to keep us focused on the goal, to keep us from succumbing to the challenges that life brings. If we don’t know what the Master is saying, how can we possibly know what we need to be doing? Yes, we have an idea but do we know word for word what God Almighty is saying?

My kids can recite poetry for days. And it gives me ABSOLUTE joy listening to them recite, truly I LOVE it! My granny used to love listening to us sing songs and say poems for her, and now I kind of know why. How much more when God hears us singing love songs back to Him? How much more when God hears us understanding and knowing and figuring out our lives according to His will?

So we started. If they can learn poetry, then they can very well learn the  Bible. We’re learning Psalm 91 off by heart. The kids know verse 1 – 2 already. And when we say it together, let me tell you, I get goosebumps. It’s like praying – it’s like an infilling of the Holy Spirit, it’s like God’s Word COME ALIVE.  “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. THIS I declare of the Lord: He ALONE is my refuge, my place of safety; he is MY God, and I am trusting HIM.”

You see, I learned a lot of these things late in my life. But here I have the chance to get it right with Liam and Hannah. And if receiving this revelation so late has made such a difference in MY life (and most importantly in where I spend eternity hereafter), how much more amazing if I get to plant this seed for my kids NOW. If I can help set them up and position them for God to reveal Himself to them. This is part of my purpose, I have no doubt.

Obedience rules over emotion.

 

The thing about having a girl child


Boys just have it easier in life. Like seriously. Even at the tender age of 4, Hannah is learning that the male species got off light, compared to the fairer sex.

Case in point #1. HAIR

Poor Hannah cries at least twice a week when I have to brush her hair. And not because she doesn’t want to, but because it’s SORE. I know how sore it is, I can remember being a little girl and my mother pulling my head this way and that. She looks at Liam enviously as he just does forward-down-down-down (the routine he brushes his hair in.) When he gets out of the pool, he just jumps in the shower and shampoos and dries, whereas she has to wash, comb, style. A process that takes at least 45 minutes. I do not make a big deal out of hair, she has a beautiful thick mane which does take time to maintain but I try my best not to make an issue out of it. Husband wants me to cut her hair to lessen the drama, but I refuse to cut her hair short as it would just mean more maintenance for me and more tears for her. Short coloured hair does not equal easier to manage, it equals MORE maintenance! Ask me, I know.

Case in point #2. PEEING

Do you know how much longer it takes for a girl to make a wee, versus a boy? About half a minute. Which in preschooler time, translates into FOREVERRRRR. We’re still at the age where I force pee breaks because Hannah still forgets if she is having too much fun. The fact that she has to sit and wipe makes her mad when Liam just has to aim and make a big joke out of his peeing experience (typical male behaviour right here). I try to make her feel better by whispering in her ear that he gets wee all over his hand and she doesn’t, eeeuuw. She likes that a lot.

Case in point #3. GETTING DRESSED

This is all on her. Because she is a girl. Because it’s in our genetic makeup. Because we were blessed with feeeeelings and emotions. Stuff that the male population just don’t seem to have. For the most part, I let them choose their own clothes. Liam yanks out the first t shirt and shorts he comes across, while leaving the rest of his wardrobe looking like a whirlwind tore through it. Hannah, on the other hand, will take about 7 minutes to decide what to wear – even if she, too, is only choosing a t shirt and shorts. She will pack everything back neatly, and then second guess her choice, and then go back and choose something else. And then shoes, oh the shoes. Slops? Sandals? Takkies? Which colour? OH THE CHOICES ONE HAS TO MAKE. And it weighs heavily on her. It really does. Like how getting dressed in the mornings weighs heavily on me. It’s a girl thing, I am convinced. And even though she is quite tom-boyish, this is still a factor in her little genetic make up. Fascinating stuff, right?

Case in point #4. FEEEEELINGS and EMOTIONS

I touched on it already, but feelings and emotions are just different in girls. Even the rough and tumble girls, like my Hannah. We just can’t help it. Even when we don’t want to, we can’t keep the tears from falling. We can’t help feeling sorry for everything and everyone. We can’t help crying dramatically when our nail polish chips. We can’t help defending the underdog. And we can’t help screaming in a fit of rage when we lose at Uno or Snakes and Ladders. When you hurt our feelings, we will most likely want to punch your head in, and we will lash out and say things that we don’t really mean… like calling your brother a doo-doo-head. Whereas brother in the same situations will roll his eyes, probably pick his nose and wonder what’s for supper.

Oh my baby girl, it’s tough out here for us (you don’t even know about heart break, getting your period, then planning a wedding, then HAVING A BABY, to name just a few). But the other glorious side to being a girl is that we get to be the nurturers, the carers, the moms, the sisters, the BFFs – and we just do all those things really well because of point #4 above. We get to smell good and we LIKE to take baths. We get to share our feelings and eat ice cream straight out of the tub when we want to. We have an excuse every month to get out of doing stuff we don’t want to do. We can wear shorts and jeans AND skirts and dresses. How cool? And if you never ever want to wear a dress, that’s cool too, because how you dress has very little to do with anything anyway. But we have choices; guys don’t have that. They get to wear pants and black socks and only have one pair of smart shoes EVER. I think your Daddy STILL wears his wedding shoes for his “smart” shoes. Shame!

So don’t look at your brother and wish you could be like him, believe me, his time is coming… we are going to laugh for DAYSSSSS when his voice breaks in a few years. DAYSSS!

han and umbrella

Growing up can be sad


My son lost his first tooth. I think it is too early. I think it is too soon for him to be losing teeth. What next? University? A girlfriend? Marriage? It’s just going too fast. Make it stop.

Mothering is a weird thing hey. Some days I am so happy that they are grown, that they can wipe their own bums and sleep through the night and fetch my slippers and BE QUIET when I tell them to. But on the contrary, I feel this sadness that they are growing so fast. I posted a photo on IG the other day of Liam. I took the photo and then I stared at it for ages, and I kept staring back at my real life masterpiece. It was the first time I noticed how his face has completely changed. There are hardly any signs of babyhood left. His face and body are lean, there are no dimples on his thighs and when he is in his swimming trunks, his body looks like it belongs to a BOY, not my little pudgy pudding. Hannah. Oh my word. She used to have this big protruding baby belly that would turn the corner before she did. It’s gone! Her skin feels different, it feels like mine, not that smooth marshmallow-y baby softness.. big girl’s skin! Her arms can wrap around my neck almost twice. I remember not so long ago that her fingers could barely grasp around my neck when I’d take her for a back ride. And I’d laugh and tell her to hold on tightly, now she strangles me with her long arms and I have to tell her to loosen her grip.

I don’t know how much time I have left for them to fit onto my lap. I remember sitting on my daddy’s lap well into my schooling days.. because we would watch the news and then I remember moaning because I had to go to bed because I had school the next day. So with this hindsight, I trust I still have a few more years of a kid curled on my lap. But already it’s getting awkward because it’s all arms and legs and poky bum bones and I’m like WHEN DID YOU GET SO BIG?

I’m so grateful that they are both feelers. That they both love to be touched and held and cuddled. There are many moments in my parenting future that I am dreading… puberty, boyfriends and girlfriends, school projects, slamming doors and ALL that. But one moment that will truly break my heart is when the cuddling stops. And I KNOW it will happen, that’s the cycle of life, it’s a normal progression, I get that. But man, it will hurt. I still hug and kiss my own parents but I know that if I tried to sit on my mother’s lap I would most likely render her injured, ha. But I wonder if she misses it? I need to ask her that. Maybe she’ll respond in a comment, mom? 🙂 Does the growing up part get easier? I know that each stage comes with wonderful things, I can’t wait to have a teenage Hannah – shopping together, going for spa days while the boys go to watch the soccer (although I think Hannah will want to watch soccer with her dad more than she’ll want to get her nails done with me). Getting her to colour my greys and ogling over movie stars… I look forward to those times. As I do with Liam… I look forward to fostering a relationship where he’ll talk to me about stuff, I pray everyday that my boy and I will be able to talk about STUFF. That he’ll feel safe talking to me about STUFF. All sorts of STUFF. And hanging out together, playing Xbox or Playstation or whatever is cool for teenage boys in 2022.

Marcia recently asked if we were concerned about our age / getting older. And I truly am not… but when I think about age in the broader sense… as in time passing, getting older, the years rolling by… my heart does gallop a bit at the thought of these babies of mine growing into big people. Doesn’t yours?

You see this first picture? It feels like it was yesterday. I can remember the stress, the anxiety, the overwhelming tiredness of this very day as if it happened yesterday.

And you see this picture? It WAS pretty much yesterday. Time hey. Blink twice and you may miss it.

kids and me

Fingerprints of God


Steven Curtis Chapman – audio below.

This song. Nothing has brought me closer to believing that there is a God, but for having my own children. When you play a part in the wonder of creation, there is no denying that we serve an Almighty, Wonderful, Amazing God! I will play this song for them over and over again. At every birthday, every special occasion and forever. I will play it for myself when they are being particularly testy and I need reminding that although they can often behave like devil spawn, they are in fact perfectly fashioned from the very hand of God and for His purposes.

I can see tears filling your eyes, and I know where they’re coming from
They’re coming from a heart that’s broken in two, by what you don’t see. The person in the mirror, doesn’t look like the magazine
Oh, but when I look at you it’s clear to me that…

I can see the fingerprints of God, when I look at you!
I can see the fingerprints of God, and I know it’s true!
You’re a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds,
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God!

Never has there been and never again, will there by another you. Fashioned by God’s hand and perfectly planned to be just who you are. And what He’s been creating, since the first beat of your heart. Is a living breathing priceless work of art! 

I can see the fingerprints of God, when I look at you!
I can see the fingerprints of God, and I know it’s true!
You’re a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds,
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God!

Just look at you!
You’re a wonder in the making, oh, and God’s not through, no
In fact, He’s just getting started…

I can see the fingerprints of God, when I look at you!
I can see the fingerprints of God, and I know it’s true!
You’re a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds,
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God!

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Jer 1:5 Before I created you in the womb I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart.

 

I think I actually like my kids?


This weekend we had the pleasure of being kid-free two nights in a row. One was planned, and the other was a spur of the moment thing. But the point I really want to make is how your kids get to a certain age where a kid-free night is wonderful but not the same as THOSE days when you would have considered leaving the baby in the house alone, in your desperation for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sorry for those of you still in  the throes of this phase!

It was one of those moments when I was like “wow, these kids are BIG.” And while it was great not to have to get up and fix breakfast, put out sibling squabbles and have my ear chewed off by a very talkative 4 year old, I must admit that I missed them. The kids go to bed at 8pm and I don’t hear a peep out of them until I wake them up the next day. My mother called one Friday night and it was just after 8 and she was like “are the kids in bed already, it’s Friday?” In my house, the days of the week or the occasion make no difference, bed time is bed time. The only time we deviate is if we have visitors and for REALLY special occasions like the Soccer World Cup where I allowed them to stay up for the opening ceremony – which they found utterly boring. So my sleep is uninterrupted, I love my sleep and they’ve reached an age where they do to!

So my point is, having them spend the night away from me is not as exciting as it used to be! And strangely, I missed them not being around. Husband had things to take care of on Saturday morning so I was home alone, and I felt quite bleak without them. Is this the age where parents actually start to enjoy the company of their children? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy alone time as much as the next run down mother, but without me realising it, I think I’ve actually reached a stage of LIKING my children and WANTING to be around them. Now now, don’t judge. Parenting is not all about the fun loving stuff that people put on their IG pictures. Most of the time, those first few years are just plain HARD and tiring and annoying. You love your kid, you’d jump in front of a moving bus for your kid, you love each smile and giggle, but it’s hard work.. often very thankless. And I won’t lie and say I didn’t wish those sleepless nights and those horrible teething patches and those stinky diapers away, because I did! And even though I’d do it ten times over without hesitation if you asked me to go through it all again, I must say that this actual LIKE I have for my kids at this age is rather surprising and refreshing.

Needless to say when they got home, they hadn’t missed me AT ALL. My 100s of questions were answered with as little detail as possible and all they wanted to do was to be left alone to play secret games with each other and have as little to do with me as possible. The nerve. I forced everyone to have lunch around the table so we could TALK because we were not going to be there for dinner on Saturday night and after that, they scurried off to do their own thing again.

I must say this is all weird to me – this growing up business. And weirder still because I clearly remember a day crying in my kitchen with a crying toddler wrapped around my thigh and a crying baby on my hip , thinking WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER, LORD!!!! And now that we are here, it’s weird but all kinds of awesome too. I like my kids, they are cool. I want to spend time with them. I want to hear their opinions. I want them to laugh at my jokes. I want them to LIKE me as much as I LIKE them. I actually WANT to go on holiday with them! After Cape Town 2011 – a disaster family holiday, I didn’t think those words would ever come out of my mouth! I love being able to do my own thing while they are somewhere else in the house. I like them popping their little heads around the door to make sure I am OK and asking “are you googling on your iPad again, mama?”

This is the age of AWESOME for me. It truly is!

Happy 4th birthday Hannah Ruth!


Dear Hannah, today you are 4!

Every birthday I write you a little note, with the hope that one day, you’ll have a letter for every year of your life. Of course, there are enough stories on this wee blog to keep you going for years, but once a year I like to reflect on the wonder that is you.

I still can’t believe you are 4, one day you were here:

And the next you are here:

 han big

Still blows my mind! This last year has seen you move from a toddler to a real little girl. You are officially done with baby things, I had to dig in the top of your cupboard last week, where the last of your baby treasures are stored to get some books for your brother – he is learning to read and the baby books are proving very useful for this purpose. But there, I also found all your little things from your babyhood. And again, it struck me how fast you’ve grown. That you can articulate yourself perfectly, that we can sit down and talk about things, that you can reason with me and challenge my thinking – I love all these things!

So what did you do for your 4th birthday? We had your cousins and some friends over for lunch yesterday, you helped me ice your princess  cake, you helped me set the table and make sure everything was ready for your visitors. You had a bit of a sore throat which you complained endlessly about – except when the visitors were there, you were miraculously healed just for those hours, and then as soon as they left, you went back to “being sick.” You opened your gifts with such delight, which is always a nerve wracking moment for parents – opening gifts in front of the person who gave it to you doesn’t always end well when you’re 4 years old. But you were gracious and loved every gift you received.

Today you took cake and cupcakes to school, you were so excited to wear the birthday crown and to show off your Barbie necklace. I let you eat cake for supper and breakfast, and this was positively the best thing about your birthday.

So what does 4 year old Hannah like? You like playing with your brother best. At 4, he is still your best friend, you guys fight like best friends too though. You have a really healthy appetite and you eat anything and everything. You love to peel the “skin” off fish fingers and chicken nuggets which drives me batty. Your favourite sandwich is still bread and butter. Yes, just bread and just butter. After your father, you drink the most water in the house. You prefer water to juice, who’s child ARE you? You tuck you shirt into your bottoms habitually. Even if you’re wearing tights, you tuck that t shirt right in there. Even if it’s a thick jersey, you make sure it is stuffed into your bottoms. And then you can’t pick stuff off the floor because when you bend and your top slips out of your bottoms, it freaks you out in the worst way. Funny little quirk, that. You love to write and doodle. You make the craziest little drawings and explain them with such conviction, I have to look really hard to make sure we are looking at the same thing. You still love your sleep, and even though we’ve dropped your day time nap, you still enjoy sneaking one in if you can. You are doing really well at school, and not that it matters, but you’ve never been called out for bad behaviour, you’ve never been sent to see the principal. Any anyway, I think if you found yourself in the principal’s office, you’d talk your way out of it quite sweetly. You started wearing dresses this year. I can’t tell you how much this pleased me. Again, ultimately I don’t care what you wear, as long as you are happy, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like to see my little girl in a pretty dress every now and again. You learned to tie your own shoe laces, and this made you all kinds of happy. You started reciting real life poetry and this made ME all kinds of happy. You learned to hula hoop, to make your own bed, and you started doing real chores around the house – which you LOVE, I might add. For now, I guess I must add. You continue to sweet talk your daddy into just about anything. Seriously. Things I have tried for years to get him to do, you get him to do by jumping on his lap (and I’ve tried that, it doesn’t quite have the same effect). You started wearing alice bands and head bands, quite out of the blue. I love how you are slowly embracing your femininity, not because you MUST but because being a girl is SO SUPER COOL! You took part in your first concert with an audience and you CRIED. But you were the cutest crying giraffe I had ever seen. You’ve grown in leaps and bounds, physically you’ve outgrown your clothes in less than a season. Your legs are dangly and skinny. And you still have a pot belly 🙂  It’s cute, I love it! But you’ve grown mentally and emotionally and I think this is the part I love the best. You are still the sweetest, kindest, most tender little thing and you have this maturity about you that surprises even me. While you are still really good at throwing the odd tantrum, they’ve become less and less as you’ve learned to deal with the fact that you can’t always get your own way and sometimes things don’t always go as planned and you have to suck it up and carry on. And this is the part that makes me all kinds of happy/sad – happy that you’re growing but sad because the ends of tantrums signals the end of babyhood, doesn’t it? And I will forever miss my darling baby Hannah, and the only thing that makes that better is that I have delightful big girl Hannah to enjoy.

My wish for you dear daughter is that you will quickly find your path, that you will quickly discover the things that make you happy. And then pursue those things. You were a beautiful surprise to me, and I pray that many beautiful surprises await you. My hope is that you will strive to be the best that you can, at whatever you undertake. And to know that your best is good enough. More than anything I hope you know how much I love you, not only now while you still need me, but forever. I hope you understand that I would do anything for you, that you and I will be best friends forever, even if we do have to fight like best friends sometimes do. You are the perfect daughter for me, you are everything I’ve hoped for. There is nothing that could make you any more or any less perfect that you are right now. Happy birthday sweet girl! From now until eternity, yours. Xxx

Mom

What would YOU buy a 4 year old? Help please!


It’s Hannah’s birthday on Monday. How is this child four years old already? Anyway, we’ve been asking her for the longest time what she would like for her birthday, and she always has the same answer:  “anything you would like to buy for me mama.” This child. Then I’ll say ok, but is there anything special you’d like just for yourself? And she’ll say “anything special you would like to give me.” Then last night they were grumbling about how all their koki pens were dry, so I suggested that Hannah get some for her birthday and she said “yes, Liam and I would like that alot.” But what do YOU want, baby? I know the age of I-want-this-and-I-want-that is coming, but I do love this age when really anything will do.

But what do you buy a girl who has everything? And by everything I mean the small simple everyday things that little kids play with. I don’t buy gadgets. I wanted to buy them electronic gadgets for Christmas but I’m glad we didn’t go through with it. I have nothing against gadgets, but while they still enjoy cars and trains and dolls and tea sets (read:cheap stuff), I figure I’ll run with it. They play on the computer and the iPad and I think that’s enough technology for the time being. So what to buy for a little girl who wants anything?

What I do know, is that at this age, the pleasure derived from unwrapping is almost the same as the pleasure derived from actually playing with the gift. So as is customary in our house, I’ll wrap a whole lot of little things. I do wish I could think of one special thing? Any ideas? What are 4 year old girls playing with these days? My soon to be four year old plays with everything and anything, so while she is not difficult to buy for, her wide area of interest also means there is nothing that she TRULY TRULY TRULY desires. This is a good thing, but makes buying her a special gift difficult afterall! Conundrum much? Her aunty bought her an early birthday gift: you know the wind up jewellery box  with the little ballerina who spins around and around to music when you open it. She LOVES this little thing. Her most prized possession. I don’t think anything would top that.

So give me some ideas? What would YOU buy a 4 year old girl? And they don’t have to be girly things either, so if there’s something awesome that a 4 year old boy in your life loves, I’ll take those suggestions too, please!