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Category Archives: Photos

Please Go To Sleep

I have been attempting to sleep train my children again. Most nights I spend an hour to 90 minutes laying down with them to get them to sleep. Gabby still nurses to sleep and even if she seems sound asleep, as soon as I move from her side I hear “Mommy where you going?”. It can be infuriating and I can get easily frustrated. Elijah has no problems falling asleep. If I am there he will usually fall asleep in about 5 minutes, which was also the case last night. The problem came in when I tried to get up to leave and Gabby started crying. I tried so hard to stand my ground and just let her cry it out. Then Elijah woke up and fed up with her crying, he started complaining. I was then privy to a conversation between the two of them, which I was relaying to a friend via WhatsApp while it was all happening. This is a transcript of that chat:

Both these kids are howling in bed. Snot en trane.

They are now plotting to run away together tomorrow.

They plan to take the fish with them.

Gabby is asking where my fish will be.

She doesn’t understand how the fish tank goes with them and my fish stays here.

Elijah says he will buy another tank.

Mommy is rude. Now they are talking about how they will move to Salma (a neighbour) and Salma’s mommy will make them food.

They have now realized they can’t have another mommy, that I’m their mommy no matter what.

This messes with their plans.

They are legit blowing their noses and having a mother of a snot fest.

I so much want to comfort them.

Gabby: I want boooooooobies!

Elijah: Mommy won’t come. She is rude.

Gabby: I got a plan now.

*whispering*

I can’t take much more of this. 

They hate me.

Elijah says I don’t care about them.

Gabby is screaming at me that I hate them. Why won’t I lay there?

Elijah: Mommy cares more about sleep than she cares about us.

Gabby is still shouting at me because I hate them. Elijah agrees, because I am doing this. They are each trying to take the blame. She hates me. No, she hates me. I wish I could record this. Gabby can’t stop crying. She needs her boobies. This is torture. Gabby says her heart is breaking for mommy right now.

Elijah tries to negotiate. Mommy, just give her 5 minute boobies please!

Gabby: No! I want INFINITY boobies!

I can’t take this. It’s killing me.

To my credit, they both feared leaving the room. They were warned not to. Every now and then I would tell them “I love you. Go to sleep!”, especially amidst all the “MOMMY YOU HATE US!”. Eventually they both mustered up the courage to shuffle slowly towards my room…very close together, in case either of them gets into trouble. Once they hit the threshold their confidence soared and Gabby climbed onto my bed. Elijah followed suit and suddenly all the tears were forgotten.

While I obviously failed at my attempt to sleep train these monkeys, I managed to redeem myself in their eyes I guess. I had to chuckle at their plans to move out and can now definitely see how parents can claim their kids gang up and plot against them. It was heart wrenching and hilarious at the same time.

Sleepers

Once they finally fall asleep they are adorable though

I don’t know what I am going to do. Sleep training one at a time is hard enough, but sleep training two seems impossible. Since Elijah doesn’t actually have a problem falling asleep, he is not my challenge. Gabby wakes him up when she cries and then they are both whining for some sort of comfort. I don’t want to spend so much time putting them to sleep each night. I need a little time in the evening to myself to unwind, gather my thoughts and relax before I go to bed myself. On the one hand I think that they are only going to be little for so long and eventually I won’t be welcome to lay down with them as they drift off. On the other hand I need to maintain my sanity.

What would you do?

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Something Fishy

Recently both my children celebrated their birthdays. The festive season is always a clusterfuck of sorts in my household. We have Christmas, a few days later it’s Gabby’s birthday and a month later it’s Elijah’s birthday. Financially speaking, it can get very expensive, very fast during the worst months of the year when it comes to trying to manage your finances. What to buy the children for their birthdays is always a struggle, without even bringing affordability into consideration. Personally I am not in favour of buying more toys, since they already have more than one toy box overflowing with things that they never play with. Of course I am in favour of buying them clothes since they are growing up way too fast and both of my children are incredibly talented at making huge holes in their pants. Gabby will usually come home with a hole in the knees of her pants, while Elijah has been able to rip a hole in the seam of even the most durable of clothing items. I bought them toys anyway, but nothing too expensive or big and definitely nothing requiring batteries. Their father decided to buy them pets. A fish tank to be more precise. I was dead set against the idea. NO PETS. No no no. I don’t want a fish tank, I don’t want fish. I don’t know anything about how to keep them alive, clean the tank, etc. I don’t want to have to deal with the heartache of the children when the morning comes where I am going to have to flush their fish down the toilet. What mommy wants doesn’t matter though. The kids were beyond excited and I surrendered.

Chill Corner

Chillin’

Cinderella and Ryan

Cinderella and Ryan

Tank Decor

Tank Decor

Goldeen

Mommy’s Fish

What came home was a tiny fish tank. A starter tank if you ever did see one. Rudi bought a filter and some stones for the bottom and 2 goldfish. One for each of the children. The children picked which goldfish they wanted for their own and named them.  Meet Cinderella (left with the black markings) and Ryan. I procured the “plant” you can see in the background. Next thing you know I’m standing in Stodels looking for fish vitamins, additives to help me clear the water and whatever else I can find to make these fish happy. Within a week I was more obsessed with the fish tank than the kids were. I wanted to decorate it and get a light installed. While getting the water clear has been an uphill battle and I’m still not happy with the clarity of the water, taking care of these fish has become a little hobby that I am quite enjoying. A friend of mine promised Elijah he would buy him something cool to put in the tank, but he was trying to find just the right thing. He finally found something really cool to put in with the fish. On yet another trip to Stodels yesterday I found a third item I thought would look good. I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough space, but I luckily I did 🙂
I bought the purple ‘coral’ and my friend bought the shipwreck which I think looks really badass. I really wanted to buy a plecostomus (sucker fish) for the tank, but the helper at Stodels advised against it strongly since they are tropical fish and probably wouldn’t survive in unheated water. I was quite bummed. I love those darn sucker fish and they serve a purpose as well. I was determined to leave with a fish though and I knew I wanted my own distinctive fishy. I looked for a black goldfish, but couldn’t find one…so….Meet Goldeen! Named after a generation 1 Pokemon that is also a fish with white markings 🙂 This is MY fish. I started feeling kind of left out not having a fish of my own. Why do the kids get to have all the fun? They don’t. I was so silly excited about this fish I tell you. When I got home I popped Goldeen into the tank and I could tell that Ryan and Cinderella were very accepting. They totally hang around in the tank together. There is a specific corner they like to chill in.

Fish friends! I was told that the maximum capacity of my tank is 3 goldfish. Now there are 3. Problem is…I want more. Now I’m contemplating getting a bigger tank. WHO AM I EVEN? I DIDN’T WANT THE TANK OR THE FISH. One night before I got the extra fish Elijah prayed at bedtime “Dear God, thank you that mommy is so nice about the fish, even though she didn’t want them. ” Seriously though…a bigger tank with more fish would be awesome. These things can get very expensive by the way. You’ll find yourself spending money on things you never thought you would want or needed. Yesterday morning, instead of getting ready for work, I pulled a chair up to the fish tank. I fed the fish and sat there watching them swim after the flakes. I may even have spoken to them. The kids do too. They kiss the fish goodnight through the glass and tell them to sleep tight.

After I got home from work yesterday I decided to overhaul the entire tank. I emptied it out, cleaned the filter, cleaned the glass and the stones and refilled the tank. I know usually you only do half and half when cleaning the water, but I had had just about enough of cloudy/murky water and thought this would help. It did! I managed to get better pics of the fish too 😀

Cinderella Fish

Cinderella

Goldeen Fish

Goldeen

Ryan Fish

Ryan

Clean water

Clean water

 

Having fish pets is kind of awesome. Who knew?

Thank you for reading!

 

Dear Jamie

Dearest Jamie,

I know this year my letter to you is really late. Your impending birthday hit me hard this year again. It was bad last year, but not quite as bad as it was this year. It always starts in October. The anxiety, the constant crying. 7 years later I finally figured out why. It was about 2 weeks before you were born that we got the bad news. I don’t actively think about those two weeks, about receiving the bad news or the time leading up to the day you were born. Clearly somewhere deep down I remember regardless and the feelings come, whether or not I want them to. Timehop is an application that lets you look back on your memories for the day across social media over the years and it became abundantly clear to me that it always starts around the same time. It is always a somber time for me and people notice that I am not myself.

This year Timehop gave me a gift of sorts. I don’t have any photos of us together, but this year I discovered one. It was taken just 2 days before you were born. I was at a Halloween party, dressed as a clown no less. It’s not the best photo of me, but it is the only one that I know of that I have of us together. I remember that party well. I knew that you would be born soon and had the desire to drown my sorrows, but I could not do it. I wanted you to be safe and as well as you could be until you were born, I still felt the responsibility to look after you until the very end, although it would not have made much of a difference in the grander scheme of things. It is a choice I am glad I made, a choice I am proud of. This is the picture I discovered:wpid-wp-1446576574674.jpgLook at that tummy! You were a big girl. We were just shy of 22 weeks together when this picture was taken and not long after is when everything fell apart. Our time together ended and I went through the darkest time in my life. It was something nobody could prepare me for and something that has still not healed completely. I tried this year to work through the latent grief. It has been 7 whole years and I feel like it is time that I start to let go and forgive myself. I still blame myself for so many things. Although I know that we did the right thing for you, it is still difficult to come to terms with. I can hope that I have started to move towards more positive thoughts. I no longer only want memories of you to be painful and I am certain you would not want me to be unhappy. It seems impossible not to feel the pain when looking back, but it was not all bad. You prepared me in a way to be a mother to your siblings. It was something I was not sure I was ready for until after you were born. I think I needed that and so your birthday should not always be a sad event, even though you have never been with us.

Your brother and sister are getting big so quickly. Your brother is almost 6 and next year goes to Grade R, before you know it he’ll be in big school! Your sister is almost 3 and is really coming into her own. While your brother is soft hearted and compassionate, your sister is strong willed. They are both stubborn too. No guesses who they get that from. Like we do every year we celebrated your birthday with cake and let your brother and sister blow out the candles and sing for you.Jamie's 7th birthdaySee how big they are now?! They weren’t very impressed with my choice of cake this year. I got a marbled chocolate cheesecake. It was actually really nice, but I guess kids don’t really love cheesecake. Oops. After your birthday, things always get better. The feelings start to subside and my heart calms down. I am hoping next year will be a better year for me in this regard, that I can move through this time of year without teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I will continue to work on it and work through it. Maybe next year I can join in on the “Happy Birthday” song.

Sweet angel, look after Oupa GG there in heaven for me. I’m sure the two of you are having the grandest time. While he couldn’t see your brother and sister grow and participate in their lives like I know he would have loved to, I take solace in the fact that he has you.

Until we meet again,

Love

Mommy

 

What 34 Looks Like

Purchased Myself Button

 

 

 

Sheesh. Another year in my life. GONE. I firmly believe the older you get the faster time seems to go by. As a child I remember a week feeling like 6 weeks. The December school holidays felt like months! It was glorious! It was also frustrating for someone who just wanted to grow up already, as most children do. Now I’m an adult. I don’t want to be an adult, but I’ve been forced to by the time thing. Stupid time! I think I’m managing to fight the wrinkles a *little bit*, at least when I’m about to have a full body massage…thanks Ginkgo!

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I actually had a really good birthday. Rudi was only scheduled to start work at 1 PM and I was on leave which afforded us some time alone together. It was honestly the first time in years that we have been alone together on my birthday. Even though he had returned home from a very long work trip late the previous night, he got up early and took the kids to the day mother and let me lay under the covers a little longer. Then he took me out to breakfast and walked around in the shops with me, waited while I tried on clothes, browsed through polish sections and puttered around the mall. Major brownie points scored 😉 While I was browsing polish sections I found OPI polish HALF OFF at Clicks! HALF OFF!! I would normally never buy OPI at full price because it is super expensive, but it was 50% off. So I bought 2. LOL. Rudi had to go off to work and I went home to play with my new polishes. This is what I came up with:OPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmOPI Austin-Tacious Turquoise and Can't Let Go with NailCandi crown charmI started off with a base coat of Revlon Calcium Gel Nail Hardener to protect my nails. I painted my index and middle nails with one coat of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I felt that the OPI which seemed very sheer on my nail wheel would pop over black. I painted 2 coats of OPI Austin-Tatious Turquoise over the black. On my ring and pinkie nails I painted 3 thin coats of OPI Can’t Let Go from their liquid sand line. GA GA GA GORGEOUS! Both of these! I sealed in the turquoise nails with Seche Vite and used some nail glue to adhere the crown to my middle nail which was a press sample from Nail Candi. Cos it was my birthday after all! I really understand why people love OPI. The formula on both of these was great. I barely had clean up and I can flood my cuticles with the best of them.

Throughout the day I received loads of messages across my social media channels. I was totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from all my friends and acquaintances. I really don’t care whether or not Facebook reminded people it was my birthday (and I know that in a lot of cases, that is exactly what happened). Each and every person paused and took the time to wish me and THAT is what counts! Thank you so much to all of you that made me feel special on my birthday. From the bottom of my heart! I had a really nice day and felt so very spoiled!

Other than that, 34 looks like I’m settled into family life and I’m firmly in my groove. My other blessings:
wpid-wp-1439026545395.jpegI just realized after this year I go from being in my “early thirties” to “mid thirties” and it’s downhill from there, right?! EEK! I’ve had a good year and I look forward to the year ahead! Thanks again for all the support and love I get from you guys. You’re the best!

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Rolling in the Deep End – Rudi’s New Job

Life has been super hectic lately. Rudi has been permanently appointed at his new job. This is absolutely great news for us! It means that we will at least have a basic salary to rely on at the end of each month as opposed to the drips and drabs we have been getting since the beginning of the year. He was supposed to be permanent from the first of June, but an administrative balls up at the office means he only signed his contract on the 16th of June. This means that all the work he did from the 1st to the 16th he was still classified as a contractor and will be paid less than he would have if his contract had been signed on time. It is so very annoying because we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, only for the light to be switched off. Not by Eskom, mind you! So he’ll likely only get half a salary this month and since the overtime cut off is the 16th of the month, any overtime he has worked while permanent will only be paid out at the end of July. Now we’ll be wishing another month away in the hopes of having some extra cash flow. He has been working so very hard. We barely see him. From the first of June he did not have one day off until the 21st where he finally got one day off, only to return back to the grindstone the next day. I have been concerned about him not having any time off and not getting enough rest, but he insists he is fine.

I don’t know who this is harder for, me or the kids. Elijah has always been very close with his dad. Since he was a baby, really and never having him around has been really hard on him. He regularly expresses sadness because his father is not home with us. Often Rudi only comes home after they have gone to bed and leaves again before they get up in the morning, sometimes days go by without them seeing him. Since Gabby is very attached to me it doesn’t seem to bother her too much, but she is still really excited when daddy does come home before bedtime. As for me…while I do miss Rudi, we chat during the day via Whatsapp and phone, so we do have constant contact. Rudi used to be very hands on when he was home. He used to cook and help out bathing the kids. Now I’m doing it all alone. Do we need something from the shop? I’ll get it. Do we need to eat? I’ll cook. Kids need to bath? I’ll bath them. The day mother needs bags packed? Sure thing (this has always been my responsibility). Dishes? Here, let me. Clean the house? I’ll get it! Kids sick? I’ll get them to the doctor, get meds and administer them. It is chaos. All.The.Time. I knew I had it easy with all the help I had before. I appreciated it then, but even more now.  Throw loadshedding into the mix and I am totally screwed some evenings. If we have the 18:00 – 20:30 slot and I don’t get home around 17:00 like we do most days, I can forget about cooking, we have to bath/shower in the dark and the kids go to sleep super early because it is dark and they are bored. If we have the 16:00 – 18:30 slot, I have to start cooking much later and that delays everything. I can’t exactly bath the kids at 17:00 and keep them indoors. Elijah wants to play with his friends outside/at their house so I have to wait. Thanks Eskom!

Sometimes my evenings look like this:wpid-img-20150603-wa0030.jpegwpid-wp-1435296954885.jpegThese 2 photos above were taken within seconds of each other. A lot of my evenings look like this at some point. Sometimes Elijah is playing with friends in the complex and they possibly look like this (if I actually have time to give them my undivided attention between the cooking/cleaning/preparing for the next day):wpid-img-20150620-wa0015.jpegRudi has migrated Elijah into our bed since he is often not there or gets home too late to go and lay down with him until he falls asleep. It’s a tight squeeze. All 4 of us in one king size bed. Although, I must admit while it is winter this is a warm arrangement. Heaven knows what we’ll do in summer. Before Elijah came over, I was able to turn around and cuddle Rudi if Gabby was content sleeping unlatched by herself. Now I turn around and am faced with Elijah, which means zero cuddle time for Rudi and I. I miss that. While I realize some people may cringe at the idea of having their children in their bed and will cluck their tongues and say “You’ll never get them out of there”, this arrangement is working for us right now. It means nobody feels left out and everybody gets a good night’s sleep. In fact, I listened to advice from people before Elijah was born and moved him into his own room when he was 4 months old. I also made sure he always slept in his cot before he moved out of our room. With Gabby co-sleeping was the only option for me as I successfully breastfed her and I’m all about that convenience. No getting up out of a warm bed for feeds for me thankyouverymuch. After co-sleeping with Gabby for a while I regretted not doing it with Elijah. I really felt like I had missed out on something special with him. My mornings look like this:wpid-img-20150612-wa0002.jpegI have been getting a lot of comments lately from people about still breastfeeding Gabby. Actually, the comments are usually directed at her. “When are you going to stop drinking boobs?” “Gabby, it’s time for you to get off the boob now”. Really? I just don’t understand how it affects anyone other than Gabby and myself. Breastfeeding is the most wonderful thing in her life and the most useful mothering tool for me. Another thing I missed out on with Elijah. No matter what crops up with Gabby, breastfeeding is the answer. Tired? Boob. Get hurt? Boob. Overstimulated? Boob. Thirsty? Boob. Bored? Boob. Tantrum? Boob. Best.Thing.Ever. When people ask ME when I plan to wean her, I usually just answer “Maybe when she is in high school”. This is normally followed by nervous laughter. I’m starting to wonder if people think I’m serious. Perhaps the statement makes them realize that nursing a 30 month old isn’t so ridiculous after all. I don’t know and I really don’t care. My circus, my monkeys – Mind your own tits.

Breastfeeding selfie…can you even tell?wpid-img-20150622-wa0026.jpegRudi’s work schedule is still completely unpredictable, so we cannot plan our lives at all. He is always at work, so if we are invited somewhere or try to make plans, I usually have to exclude him from the equation. If he is able to come along, it’s a bonus. It isn’t like we had a roaring social life before, but it is rather limiting. We cannot, for example, plan to take the kids somewhere over the weekend, or commit to popping around somewhere for a braai. I can’t even plan something for myself as we do not have anyone at our disposal that can watch the children if Rudi isn’t there to look after them if I go out. It just isn’t logistically possible. While this part is sucky, I’m sure we will adapt. It is the kind of sacrifices we’ll have to make to have more money and to progress.

Rudi has big dreams. He dreams of buying a house of our own. I have learnt to have faith in his dreams. At the beginning of this year he said “2015 is my year. I can feel it.” I didn’t believe him. He was relentless and worked extremely hard and here we are. His first goal achieved, his first dream realized. Onwards and upwards!

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No Antibiotics for 6 Months

Hi there! Early in September last year I wrote about wanting to try and get my children off antibiotics. You can read my concerns and thought processes at the outset here. A little over a month later, I wrote this post about how it was going. At the time it seemed such a short space between the posts, but my kids were on antibiotics so often last year that it wasn’t completely unwarranted. Just the other day I was going through my Timehop and realized that it has been an entire 6 months since either of my kids have had any antibiotics!

For the past few years I have been ill myself in February, usually with bronchitis. Like Elijah I am prone to chest infections and when I do get them I get asthmatic symptoms. I managed to skip the chest infections this year during February. The kids are doing okay too! We usually all get sick together. I’m convinced I pick up their bugs. Rudi is usually the only one that is okay. That man’s immune system is as strong as an ox! There have been sniffles, coughs, vomits, tummy bugs and insect bites in the last 6 months, but nothing that needed a doctor’s attention. Gabby hurt herself in the park a few weeks ago and we went to the emergency room to have it looked at. It was a Sunday night and I was beside myself because I had never seen her so inconsolable. Not even boobs would calm her down. She had been hanging from overhead chains in the park and likely somehow hurt her wrist while doing so. We gave her some painkillers, but she couldn’t/wouldn’t move her arm or let us touch it and it completely freaked me out. Fortunately the waiting room at the ER was quite full and before we got a chance to see the doctor the painkillers kicked in and she was right as rain. Dodged an expensive bullet there! She was completely fine the next day. Go figure.

Looking at my medical aid statement from last year (I can’t see further back than the current month), March, April and June were particularly bad months for us with the kids seeing the doctor very often. I know from my Timehop that we were all sick in February as well. I expect some illness around the change of season and in winter, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to treat the symptoms with over the counter meds and allow them to heal themselves as far as possible. Hopefully the sniffles and ailments won’t blow up into infections as they have in the past. Obviously I won’t endanger them or not take them to the doctor because I’m afraid he’ll give them antibiotics. I will take them if I think it is necessary. I’m just going to try not to run to the doctor first thing. This is the first time we’ll be going from summer to winter without our pet cat. I really feel that having the pet hair and dander in the house contributed to our illnesses progressing into infection. The kids would pick up the snots and it would get worse until they had full blown bronchitis/throat infection or the likes. The children they acquired these germs from wouldn’t need antibiotics and recovered without medical intervention. This is what led me to believe that environmental factors played a role in our constant doctor visits. We will soon find out if my gut feeling was right.

I must just mention that our spring season starts in September and March is our last month of summer, so we’re heading straight into the change of seasons which usually wreaks the havoc on our bodies and medical savings. We’ll have to see how it goes this year. I already feel like it is going better since we haven’t gotten sick this year yet. I’ve used the medical aid to go for a check up at the gynae and Rudi has gone once for a back problem as well, but the medical aid is untouched otherwise. I’ve been buying our over the counter meds cash to try and save the medical aid for when we are strapped for cash or at least so that it can last a little longer into the year.

I’ve been having problems with what seems to be a severe back and neck spasm. I’ve been going for physio because I figured after two weeks of taking anti-inflammatories and painkillers that I better fix the root cause. I’m desperate to get it sorted out. I even had some dry needling done, which only gave me temporary relief. I’ve had the shocky machines and even traction!

Traction

See? Traction.

 

I’ve taken painkillers on and off in the last 3 weeks (this is after the 2 weeks of constant meds I mentioned), but I’m finding their side effects less bearable than the pain, so I’m sucking it up. I’m starting to wonder if I’m not wasting my time with physio and whether I shouldn’t actually see a chiropractor. I’ve never been to one, but I know it will cost a lot more than they physio I’m currently paying for out of pocket and I’ll have to claim those treatments from the medical aid. Wish me luck!

Do you worry about antibiotic use? Does your medical aid last all year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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CT Mom Blogger Meet + GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone! I had the opportunity to attend the Cape Town Mom Blogger Meet on Saturday and it was so awesome. Cindy from 3 Kids 2 Dogs 1 Old House organized this meetup for us. She also organized the CT Blogger Meetup which I wrote about here. She really seems to have a knack for this kind of thing because I really enjoyed both events. This time the event was hosted at Graze in Kenilworth. Graze is a small restaurant, a perfect setting for the 20 mommy bloggers to gather at. It is very much out of my driving comfort zone, but my GPS took me there with little hassle.

We sat down to a lovely meal. I ordered a banana and oatmeal smoothie as a starter:

wpid-img_20150228_104859.jpgAnd the most delicious main! I forgot to take a photo of it, so I grabbed someone else’s picture from Instagram. Here are pics of the main I chose and the chefs working hard to prepare food for all the hungry mommies:

Graze Chefs

wpid-img_20150228_181846.jpgDelicious grilled ham and cheese with a mushroom sauce and a poached egg on top with a small side salad. The bread was so crunchy and the flavours worked so well together. It was out of this world. I really enjoyed it. A fellow blogger, who also works in the social media world in her everyday life gave a talk giving us some advice on how to get the best out of our blogs. Nikki really shed some light on a few things for me and answered questions I had. It was comforting to know that I’m already doing a few things right with regards to my blog and it was good to learn new things which can help me improve 🙂 Here is a picture of Nikki explaining some SEO stuff to us:

Nikki LincolnAfter the talk and food we all mingled for a while before returning to our families. We were very lucky to have some amazing sponsors. We got so many cool and useful goodies. Here is a picture of the contents of our goodie bags:

CT Mom Blog Meet Goodie BagWe also each received a stunning personalised gift from Mr Price for our kids. Elijah was so chuffed that he also got a present. My kids are going to be pretty stylish in their new threads!

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CT Mom Blog Meet Mr Price OutfitsHow awesome is this?! Each kid got a pair of jeans, a top and a body warmer with a hoodie. We also got a voucher to spend on Mr. Price’s website! I’ve had an amazing experience with Mr Price’s online shop before, so was pleased to be able to use this channel again. I’m just waiting for them to get in some winter stock so I can sort my kiddos out with some winter pyjamas which they are in dire need of for the upcoming season 🙂

It was so nice to catch up with some of the bloggers I have met before and to meet some new ones. I can’t wait for the next event!

Once again Cindy managed to procure fantastic sponsors. We were utterly spoiled!

I would like to thank the following sponsors for being so awesome!

Wakkaberry

Bottled Water and Voucher

Mr Price

Awesome threads for the kids and vouchers

Kin Shop

Coaster and Magnet

Oh So Heavenly

Baby Shampoo

Ella’s Kitchen

Pouch

RFP Sinchies

Voucher

Tangled Tree

Wine (YES PLEASE!)

Baby Group

Discount Voucher

Optiphi

Body Foliant

Well News

Magazine, Baby Hamper (that I won!)

Almay

Eye Make Up Remover

Mitchum

Deodorant

Beautiful Earth

Breathe Easy Chest Rub

The Galileo Cinema

Movie Tickets

Mr. Price was so great that they also sponsored a R250.00 online shopping voucher for one of my readers! You can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter widget below. The only compulsory entry is to leave a blog post comment telling me what you would like to buy from the Mr. Price Online store if you win this voucher 🙂 It would be rad if you liked my Facebook page as well as showing Mr. Price some Facebook love. Entries close on the 8th of March 2015. Good luck!

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Elijah is 5!

So it was Elijah’s birthday on Monday and we had a party for him. Technically it was a combined party for him and Gabby as her birthday is in the middle of the festive season and school holidays, but on the day it really felt like Elijah’s party. Perhaps because Gabby is still so small and doesn’t understand much around birthdays and parties. Elijah was sent off to school wearing a badge that said “It’s my birthday!” so when he came home from school I was pretty disappointed that they had not even sang for him.

While he was at school Sanita and I went to fetch the ice cream cake I ordered for his birthday and made our way back to the day mother’s house to do party set up. This year everything seemed to go smoothly and it was a lot more chilled for us than it was the previous year. It also wasn’t as hot as it was last year which was very welcome! The weather forecast said it would be 32 degrees, so we were worried that it would be a scorcher and that we would have a melting ice cream cake on our hands! Rudi was also able to leave work early which was lovely. The kids loved the jumping castle and the treats. Somehow we forgot about the candyfloss I had ordered as we stored it in a cool, dark spot. We also forgot about the lollipops and some marshmallow fish we had for the party packs. This year we bought paper bags and allowed the kids to fill them with sweets from the tables before they went home. Luckily we discovered the candyfloss before it was too late for everyone and we were able to dish a lot of it out before we packed it in. Two girls separately came to thank me for the party of their own accord. It made my heart melt and made all the stress, effort and money spent seem worth it. The kids were thoroughly spoilt with gifts. It was a lovely day all around. The next day Elijah returned from school with a special crown they made for him and they had sung happy birthday for him too. I was pleased that they made an effort to make him feel special. Even if it was a day late, it extended his celebrations somewhat and he didn’t seem to mind. Some pictures from the party:

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The very next day Rudi and I had our very first PTA meeting! I was excited to hear how things were going with him. The day mother graciously offered to look after the kids while we attended. We gathered in the school hall. It was quite a flashback for me since I attended the same school for my entire primary school career! We even have the same principal! He introduced himself and told us more about the school and how they are geared towards the future. A lot of the classes in the higher standards all have interactive white boards. How cool is that? He also warned us by the time our children were in Grade 4 (Grade 3 for Elijah as he was speaking to the Grade R parents) that there would be no more school books and that tablets would be required. He told us that the school was already ready for this. The principle will be retiring at the end of next year though and then we’ll adapt to a new regime. They also had a short presentation and demonstration by a karate instructor as karate is offered as an extra mural at the school. We’re interested in signing Elijah up, depending on the cost and we’re waiting for more information with regards to that. The karate demonstration was very cool! We were then sent off to class with our respective teachers. They called out a teacher’s name that I recognized from when I was there! Talk about a tenure!

In the classroom the teacher introduced herself and explained to us what the children’s daily routine encompasses. It was really nice to hear what the children do every day since Elijah isn’t very forthcoming when we ask him. According to him he does “nothing” in school and learns much of the same 😛  The teacher opened the floor to questions and afterwards we waited to speak to her one on one. When we told her we were Elijah’s parents we were pleased to hear her comments. Firstly she said he is a very gifted boy – *BEAM*, she said she can already tell and then she told us something we already knew – HE TALKS A LOT! We left the meeting with high spirits and I know it won’t always be positive and fun and games, but I’ll ride on this here cloud while it lasts 🙂

I’m so happy my boy is adjusting well in school and it looks like he is going to make us really proud!

First Day of Grade 0!

Elijah started at a new school today. He is now attending the same primary school that I did. We took him to an open day last year and left there blubbering. I expected today to be more or less the same. I didn’t actually think I would be able to take him as I have a half day at work today as I have a gynae appointment in the middle of the day. Going to the gynae isn’t something you can do in a lunch hour, as you inevitably wait that long just to see him. I also had to drop Rudi off at work before I could go to work because I needed the car to get around. Because of this I didn’t think there was a way for me to take Elijah on his first day AND make the appointment, but Sanita (even with her porridge brain) came up with a plan. I made all the necessary arrangements and was so happy I got to take him!

At the day mother, ready to go!

At the day mother, ready to go!

Rudi insisted on getting Elijah ready for school at home before we went off to the day mother to drop Gabby. He wanted him to look nice and put gel in his hair. We went off to the day mother where the kids had breakfast while Rudi and I had some coffee and cookies that the day mother had baked. Before we knew it, it was time to go to the school. We anticipated some traffic and wanted to take more pictures, so we left a few minutes earlier. When we got there the school yard was milling with children returning to school and parents were standing around with the Grade 0 and Grade R kids waiting to walk them to class. We snapped a few pictures:

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Ready to go mom!

 

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So happy daddy!

Elijah ran into a friend from his previous school last year. They shouted each other’s names when they saw each other, ran to meet each other and hugged. It was so adorable! They were so glad to see each other again.

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Elijah and Dylan

They opened the gates and we walked Elijah to his class. He ran right in, sat down at a table and started playing with some toys that the teacher had laid out. He barely said goodbye. I really thought I was going to be a ball of snot at this point. I had cried at the open day, after all…but there were no tears. I can’t even tell you why. Maybe because I didn’t think I was going to be there and I was just happy that I had the opportunity to see him off.

Look! No tears!

Look! No tears!

 

I’m not sure if daddy is crying behind the glasses 😉

This might not be Grade 1, but for me this is the beginning of his formal schooling and his school career. I am excited. It is daunting as the flood of letters with requests for x, y, z…monies, school photos, all this begins here. We had a taste of it at play school, but I’m sure it will start becoming more labour intensive now that he is at this school.

Did any of you see your kids or family member’s kids off to school this year? Were you brave? Share your experiences with me in the comments!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Holiday 2015 – Pic Heavy

In the blink of an eye our holiday and the festive season are over. I took a week off from 5 January and returned to work on 12 January. We tried to fit in as much activity with the kids as we could during that week.

We started off the week by visiting my mother. That went exactly as I expected it to go. Nothing new to report. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but I really don’t want to get into it. She hasn’t changed, probably never will, so I have to make peace with that.

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wpid-20150107_144611.jpgOn the Tuesday we took the kids to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Darn it is expensive to get in there! We have gone every year for the past 3 years during the holiday, so it has sort of become a tradition. Elijah wanted to rush through the entire aquarium to get to the sharks. We also got stuck in the play area for a lot longer than we usually do. He momentarily forgot about the sharks. They had a great puppet show there which he REALLY enjoyed. I think it was the first one he has ever seen. He loved it! I was surprised that Gabby seemed to be very interested in the displays. When Elijah was her age he barely glanced at any of the tanks. Gabby is also a lot more fearless than Elijah. She stood right up against the glass of the shark tank as a shark swam by, whereas Elijah got so scared at one point that he rolled himself up into a ball on the floor and started to cry. Granted, his father had joked with him that he was going to throw him in the shark tank. On Wednesday we stayed home to clean as our housekeeper is ill and hasn’t been able to come to work.

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wpid-20150106_133725.jpgOn Thursday we took the kids to World of Birds. The weather was a bit miserable as it started to rain while we were there. Gabby was clingy and moody too. She had been an absolute pleasure at the aquarium, but on this day she was having none of it. She just wanted to be carried around. We went to Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay after our trip to World of Birds, but we weren’t even there for 20 minutes when we decided to leave again. The kids were super grumpy and by that time, so were we. I was pretty bummed as I was looking forward to spending some time there. I have fond memories of going there with my grandfather. He was also a keen birdwatcher so he was on my mind all day. I just knew he would have enjoyed such an outing.

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wpid-20150108_142805.jpgOn Friday I wanted to go to Butterfly World as I really enjoyed our last trip there. After seeing Elijah enjoy himself on the beach in Hout Bay the previous day, Rudi insisted we go to the beach. I had been avoiding going to the beach for a while. I figured I was being a brat and that I should just go with them. BIG mistake. The beach was freaking HORRIBLE. I am not a beach person. I have decided once and for all. It was SO windy and the wind made it cold despite the fact that it was a hot day. Half the time we were trying to prevent the new beach umbrella we had just purchased from blowing away. EVERYTHING was covered in sand. When we left every part of my body that I touched was covered in a layer of sand. We took a part of the beach home with us. I don’t even know how long we were there for, but it was too long. Gabby also hates the beach. She refuses to walk on the sand and even when I carried her to the water’s edge she seemed to be afraid of going in there (or of me going in there). The one cool thing about the beach? We got to see a lot of kite surfers setting up and going out onto the sea. The wind was definitely up for it and I’m not surprised they flocked to the beach. I would rather have watched them from the car to be honest. Can I have some cheese with my whine?

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On Saturday we had a kiddie’s party to attend which the kids thoroughly enjoyed! They had an ice cream cake at the party and I decided there and then that I want to get an ice cream cake for Elijah and Gabby’s birthday party next month. Yes. Party planning for that is in full swing as it always it this time of year. On Sunday my aunt came over with her family and we spent the day preparing to go back to work.

It was all over so quickly! Also, I need a holiday to recover from my holiday! Right now I’m focusing on getting everything ready for Elijah to go to his new school and then focus on the party planning. The kids went back to the day mother on Monday and it is also already time to potty train Gabby. I have not been looking forward to this! I’ll post about how that is going once we’re in the swing of it.

Did you have any leave over the festive season? Did you do anything fun? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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