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Manic Mummy: Fixing a flip flop with the help of a loaf of bread

Dear Pup,

It came on suddenly. Baby Tiger was in his pram stirring and I looked away from you for a moment. Just enough time for you to trip over your new flip flops (how do you manage to trip over your  own feet?). I could see your newly turned 5 year old logic settling in. You are a big girl now and big girls don’t cry – you must have been thinking. But then logic was thrown out the window and you launched yourself dramatically me (and Tigers pram) in tears.

I could feel your pain when you handed me your “broken” flip flop. Your perfect toes wiggled in the most adorable way as you seriously explained why another pair would not do and going barefoot was a no no. In desperation, and not wanting to push a pram and a trolley, I looked around. And there it was! The loaf of bread.

Instinct kicked in and I removed the clip that keep the bread closed, turned the flip flop around and voila! Flip flop fixed!!!

Surprisingly you don’t have to use a bread clip, anything with a larger circumference than the hole in the flip flop works!

Sigh, onwards and forwards – another mummy hack and who needs fresh bread anyways!

Love you baby! Anything to see that smile!

Mummy

4

10 things I had forgotten about newborns

Dear Pup,

So by now you have discovered and made peace with the fact that Baby Bump was not born ready to play. In fact he doesn’t really do much at this point  (he’s 8 days old today) except cru a bit, eat a lot, dirty lots of diapers and lie around looking cute).

You turn 5 in a month so mummy had really forgotten what newborns are like. Here’s what I had forgotten about newborns!

1) They are teeny tiny

You are little, 4 years old and gorgeous. I have always held  your hands and feet in my hands and thought how little you are. Now, as you hold your little brother I realise how really teeny he is (and you were smaller than him!)

2) They sleep – alot

When you were born I always felt I had no time but this time around it seems a little more (ok alot more) do-able. Baby Bump wakes and if we’re lucky we get 30min just to play with him, then he eats and sleeps pretty much for 4 hours until the cycle starts again. I’m actually relieved because I actually have time for either a really long nap or time with you if you are home from school.

3) They are born to be stared at

How we enjoy just staring at Baby Bump and his facial expressions. He is a natural entertainer with his cute smile and huge cheeks. He is even cute when he sleeps! You especially love the way his cheeks overflow when Mummy burps him – I used to love that about your cheeks too!

4) They poop and wee – alot!

Oh my word!! So many diapers and so few wipes!!! Baby Bump has already gone through a record numbet of diapers and wipes in his 8 days with us. No one is more shocked than you at the multi coloured contents of the diapers that you and Daddy Dearest watch Mummy change. How can so much come out of someone so little?

5) They are insanely manipulative (in the cutest way)

Baby Bump has  already figured out that it is easier to drink by bottle than mummy’s natural milk dispensers. He archs his back and cries and screams until he hears Daddy Dearest shaking the expressed version and then suddenly all tantrums stop – all hail the bottle! 

6) They always seem to cry or move when Mummy needs to eat

I’ve tested this and it’s true. Every mealtime is disrupted by Baby Bump waking up, cooing, needing a blanket, needing a blanket taken off him or similar. It’s like baby knows Mummy is about to relax!

7) They are incredibly soft

From the hair on their little heads to their chubby cheeks and down to their tiny little toes – babies are super soft. I had forgotten just how soft a human being could possibly be! All this results in more cuddles and more staring.

8) They re-unite you with people you haven’t heard from in years

All you need is one upload of a single photo and your social media accounts explode with well wishes from people you haven’t seen or heard from in years! Everyone wants to see more and hear all about him and your phone suddenly starts ringing! 

9) They make you fall in love – fast

I cannot explain it but it’s true. Once you hold your baby in your arms, it’s love at first glance. I always wondered how I would love Baby #2 when my heart was so full of you Pup, but it’s like your heart’s capacity suddenly doubles! 

10) They make you re- prioritise 

Suddenly doing the laundry is not as important as quiet time or cuddle time. WhatsApp messages go unanswered and the laptop gathers dust. Phonecalls are not always returned as quickly as they used to and life takes a slightly different turn. It happened when you were born Pup, and it happened again. Bringing a new life into the world means you are responsible for the people, the energy and the resources around that little person.

Can’t wait to share this with you one day when you are holding your own newborn!

Love you!

Mummy

 

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What we have planned for the last weekend before your baby brother makes his arrival- Letters to my daughter

Dear Pup,

You woke up earlier than usual this morning and we had some extended cuddles and lots of kisses. We pushed Daddy Dearest to the very corner of the bed and we laughed and played until we had to get up. You asked me what the surprise was (it is surprise Friday after all) as your reward chart is full of smily faces for this week.

I smiled and told you you would see later….you have no idea what is in store for you. See, it’s your last weekend of being the only child and mummy at first wanted it to be just you and mummy and Daddy dearest until I realised this weekend should  be all about fun things you love to do.

Friday:

Mama arrives!!!!! (Indian word for uncle) – mummy’s brother. What an awesome surprise and he’s bringing Splendid Sammy with too!!! You have no idea that the house is about to be filled to the brim with people who love you insanely and are here just to pamper YOU! They have taken time off during exams, pleaded with their new jobs and the like to make sure they are here for you, my love. 

Saturday:

A day full of make-over fun, from nails to hair! Then to the park and as much ice cream as you can eat! Pyjama party to follow and more cuddles!!! Baby brother got you a little surprise for the pyjama party ….it’s a mermaid tail blanket….!!!

Sunday:

More people you love are coming over. Aunty Bestie and family will be here too! It will be loud and busy and amazing….just the way you like it. 

Mummy will not have to say “I can’t do that baby” because someone else will be there to bend over and help you with that or carry you when your legs are tired.  You will have an amazing weekend not because Baby Bump is coming but because you are just amazing!

Hope you enjoy the love and attention.

Love you!!!

Mummy

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Why I refuse to put make-up on my 4 year old

Recently, at a local mall, I witnessed a mum “refresh” her little girls make-up (using her own “adult” products). Intrigued that perhaps she was doing an impromptu photo shoot, I curiously asked what the ocaasion was and her reply was very interesting. She said that she always used a bit of foundation and mascara on her little one for her to always “look her best” in public and that she also made sure her 4 years old hair was blow dried straight – and even hot ironed in case a photo opportunity arose. 

Now, I have no issue with said mummy raising her little girl that way and I am sure that she has her reasons and the corresponding life lessons thought out but I had to decline her  request to “doll” Rachy up too. I politely declined despite Rachy’s protests for a few reasons.

Firstly (and remember this Rach if you are reading im retrospect), I believe my 4 year old is beautiful just the way she is. Rach, your curls and gorgeous eyes define you and yes, you will learn to enhance  them in time with make up, but not at 4 years old.

I honestly feel that our kids are raised with so many societal enforced expectations and standards that they deserve at least the chance of a childhood. I have never used make-up on Rachel, even for concerts and photo shoots and and will encourage her natural look as much as I can and for as long as I can. 

I even struggle looking at over filtered, photoshopped or airbrushed photos of tiny little ones on Facebook sometimes. What are we projecting (notice the “we” in this as I am a fan of black and white images too)? 

In my opinion, in the world we live in, uniqueness and diversity and acceptance of self should be embedded in our kids as early as possible. 

So Rachy,  I hope you wear those curls proudly, that you flutter those untouched eye lashes and raise those unplucked eyebrows for a few more years. We’ll chat make-up when the times right.

Love you!

Mummy

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Discovery Vitality Baby Box 2016 – What’s Inside!!!

This mummy to be felt very spoilt when I opened this amazing treasure chest of delights. What’s even better is that it is free (if you are a Discovery Vitality member). All you need to do.is register on their website and take the email they send you to the nearest Toys R Us. Service upon pick up at Toys R Us Cresta was amazing with everyone making a big deal of Baby Bump (and by default, myself)!

Here’s a peek of what you can expect! 

Glorious selection of baby books!!! Love, love, love!!!!

Diaper bag ready samples (from Johnsons Baby and Bennetts) are always a welcome treat and the Nuk pacifier is a nice touch but Baby Bump (like Rachy aka Pup) will not use one.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature breast pads and Carriwell maternity pads and panties are sure to come in handy.

My absolute faves is the cute receiving blanket and even cuter soother blanky!!!

Adorable Disney baby rattle socks and a Discovery window shield competes the box. Can’t wait to try out both! Disney baby also has an amazing website for support and great to know tips during and after pregnancy. 

Thanks to Discovery Vitality, Discovery Health and all the sponsors! What an awesome gift! 

K

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Junk to Joy: DIY Cutie Critters 

It’s  amazing how much joy can come from household “junk”.

We used:
Empty egg cartons

Pipe cleaners

Glue

Paper 

Crayons

Scissors 

Stapler

Wool

Add a gorgeous  4 year old to the mix and you have hours of fun!

Method:

Colour paper and cut into strips or wrap wool around the carton rounds. Secure with glue or a stapler and decorate using crayons. Stick pipe cleaners in as legs and you are done!

Rachy spent the next 2 hours introducing her new critter to nature! Pure joy!

Enjoy!!!

K

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The Bunny, the Egg and the Cross – Easter Ettiquette!

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I received a call this morning from a friend who asked me how she was supposed to greet Christians on this significant day, Good Friday. After a very brief explaination that this is the anniversary of Christ’s crucification and resurrection, she became even more distraught as she had been sending out messages with the words, “Have a fun day”.

I assured her that many people would use the same terminology this way and that as per my previous post, Demystifying Easter, many people define and acknowledge Easter in different ways.  For example, my family does not mandate wearing black clothes or see the day as a day of mourning. We choose rather to recognise the significance of the sacrifice and the responsibility that we now have to pay that forward.

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Question 2: Suggestions for family time to convey the meaning of Good Friday

We are really non traditional with regard to this. Morming fun involves family games in our PJs! We prefer to pray at home and our focus is community related in the form of “pay it forward” inititaives – we give out Easter Eggs, sandwiches and a cup of coffee to homeless people on the streets close to home. No photos or “evidence”. Rach takes memory pics but shutting both eyes at the same time. Very cute!

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What do you tell your kids if they ask you the meaning of Easter?

As I do this with Rach I would suggest discussions with little ones about the meaning of sacrifice and selflessness. Bring family values and beliefs into the converation focusing on daily dos and don’ts. I do not focus on religious scripture but try to make this a positive discussion. I choose not to mention death in gory detail to Rach (she just turned 4). It’s a concept I have touched on, but not dwelt on. We tell.her its about a dad who loved this son unconditionally, and a son who adored all of us so much that he sacrificed himself for our bad behaviour. It’s the untimately the greatest love and friendship story ever. It teaches us to appreciate the people around us, our current situations and to live with grace.

Greetings:

Your friends and family know you and understand your intentions so any greeting will be appreciated. If you are afraid of being perceived negatively by strangers, choose generic terms like:
“Blessings to you and your family on this day”
“May the Lord be present with you and yours on this day”
“On this day a sacrifice was made that shows us the value of love and selflessness, wishing blessings upon your family”
“May happy memories be created on this holy day for you and yours”

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What is the the significance of 12pm – 3pm?

This is sometimes observed as the time that Christ was on the cross and therefore is perfect for reflection. We usually have lunch and discuss what we are most grateful for. It’s a thanksgiving atmosphere. Again, no hard and fast rules, just do what is.best for you and yours! I do not do the graphic colour sheets showing Christ on the Cross or crucified hands, but Rachy does get to listen to Kidified Bible Stories that focus on morals, and her favourite book is: Jesus and You (baby animals learning new values through daily life).

So far those are all the questions answered. These are just my opinion so share yours in the comments! Would love to hear how you and yours spend the day!

K

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Greeting Ettiquette Good Friday – and other Good Friday questions I have been asked

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I received a call this morning from a friend who asked me how she was supposed to greet Christians on this significant day, Good Friday. After a very brief explaination that this is the anniversary of Christ’s crucification she became even more distraught as she had been sending out messages with the words, “Have a fun day”.

I assured her that many people would greet this way and that as per my previous post, many people define Easter in different ways.  For example, my family does not mandate wearing black clothes or see the day as a day of mourning. We choose rather to recognise the significance of the sacrifice and the responsibility that we now have to pay that forward.

image

Question 2: Suggestions for family time to convey the meaning of Good Friday

We are really non traditional with regard to this. Morming fun involves family games in our PJs! We prefer to pray at home and our focus is community related in the form of “pay it forward” inititaives – we give out Easter Eggs, sandwiches and a cup of coffee to homeless people on the streets close to home. No photos or “evidence”. Rach takes memory pics but shutting both eyes at the same time. Very cute!

image

What do you tell your kids if they ask you the meaning of Easter?

As I do this with Rach I would suggest discussions with little ones about the meaning of sacrifice and selflessness. Bring family values and beliefs into the converation focusing on daily dos and don’ts. I do not focus on religious scripture but try to make this a positive discussion. I choose not to mention death in gory detail to Rach (she just turned 4). It’s a concept I have touched on, but not dwelt on. We tell.her its about a dad who loved this son unconditionally, and a son who adored all of us so much that he sacrificed himself for our bad behaviour. It’s the untimately the greatest love and friendship story ever. It teaches us to appreciate the people around us, our current situations and to live with grace.

Greetings:

Your friends and family know you and understand your intentions so any greeting will be appreciated. If you are afraid of being perceived negatively by strangers, choose generic terms like:
“Blessings to you and your family on this day”
“May the Lord be present with you and yours on this day”
“On this day a sacrifice was made that shows us the value of love and selflessness, wishing blessings upon your family”
“May happy memories be created on this holy day for you and yours”

image

What is the the significance of 12pm – 3pm?

This is sometimes observed as the time that Christ was on the cross and therefore is perfect for reflection. We usually have lunch and discuss what we are most grateful for. It’s a thanksgiving atmosphere. Again, no hard and fast rules, just do what is.best for you and yours! I do not do the graphic colour sheets showing Christ on the Cross or crucified hands, but Rachy does get to listen to Kidified Bible Stories that focus on morals, and her favourite book is: Jesus and You (baby animals learning new values through daily life).

So far those are all the questions answered. These are just my opinion so share yours in the comments! Would love to hear how you and yours spend the day!

K

2

Limiting screen time, child addiction to technology : Confessions of a rambling mummy

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My rude awakening occurred about a month ago. I noticed that Rachy (who just turned 4 a week ago) would get very restless when the television was not on. She constantly needed the background illuminated by the sounds of Disney Junior or the like. Her bedtime ritual suddenly also required a session for her Leap Pad and no trip to the mall was complete without her reaching for my phone to keep her busy. I kept telling myself it was ok just “this once”, that I was tired and deserved a break so I gave in – until it became a habit.

A week later, out of curiosity and in an attempt to make myself feel better, I counted up the time she spent in front of a screen, it added up to a staggering 4 hours (clearly that plan backfired)! Granted this was not purely sitting and staring at the screen, as she always is doing something else too, but that’s 3 hours too much for my personal liking!

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Suddenly it dawned on me that my little girl was becoming reliant – on technology! I had failed her (as if I needed more guilt!)

Now I am not one of those mum’s who does not let their children watch any television at all (not that there is anything wrong with it), but I have always been an advocate for limiting screen time. As someone well versed i  early childhood development and immersed in Learning and Development daily, I fully understand the effect of the flashing images on a young brain. I was in total control until the accident – when Hunky Hubby was recovering from his near fatal motorbike accident I honestly resorted to allowing her a “little” more time watching or playing games so that she would not be privy to the conversations about x-rays and physiotherapy. Then it dawned on me – I realised I was making excuses and I decided to implement change – immediately!

Honestly, 3 weeks later, its been a relatively easy journey from her side. I expected more of a battle honestly. I’m happy to announce that all that has changed now. Her birthday party consisted of a few telling moments, but I did not give her my phone and we survived!

The method to weaning her off meant I had to resolve to do a few things differently.

My phone gets put away from the moment I pick her up until she goes to bed. Too much of a distraction and she is more prone to demand Peppa Pig if she sees it.

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Her after school routine is longer and includes a snack, an arts and craft activity  or game, dinner, bike ride or trampoline fun, a shower and bedtime story followed by my method to end “bedtime tantrums” that has her sleeping in less than 30 minutes.

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I have stopped saying “I’m tired” and accepted the fact that I’ll rest when she’s 18!

She sleeps better, wakes better, he tantrums seem better even (I’ll let you know by the weekend if this lasts).

All in all, I feel better about doing better! And I’ve got those 3 hours back and converted them into memory making moments. She still gets her 15min during brekkie and her 30min during dinner so there’s a balance, but my television is no longer a babysitter!

Good luck everyone, life sometimes just happens!

K

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Life lessons from the movie Frozen

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I have probably watched Frozen a gazillion times. I know all the words, all the songs and yes, I laugh along with Rachy and I gasp when she gasps every single time. I really don’t mind watching the movie because there are some really really good lessons that I think are applicable to kids and adults alike – yes, really!

The first one and perhaps my favourite is taught to us by the lovely Elsa. We learn that we must accept ourselves, irrespective of how anyone else views us and that it is our belief in ourselves that determines our success.

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Anna teaches us throughout the movie that family really does come first and that the best things are really worth fighting for. She teaches us that even though our hearts are broken and we might be betrayed, we should not judge all by a few bad seeds. That loving again is what brings us to life!

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The adorable Christoff teaches us that sometimes in life we need to let people we love walk their own path and hopefully find their way back to us. He shows us that we should not be judged for falliing in love with who we think we want and that I told you so’s are not always necessary.

Anna and Elsa’s parents teach us that the legacy we leave in our kids live on longer than we do. We learn the importance of instilling in our children a sense of family and belonging, in building bonds strong on love and loyalty so that they are never alone in this world and in making sure that we celebrate their uniqueness so that they live their truths proudly and express themselves fully!

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Finally Olaf! That little guy shows us that friendship comes in different sizes and packages and that we need to surround ourselves with people who are willing to melt for us, people willing to keep the fire burning for us and people who carry within them sunshine despite the snowy weather.

So, as I hum along, I watch Rach and point out these little lessons when I catch her eye. She looks at me intently, nods her head with the class and air of an enlightened soul and gives me a little squeeze. I smile to myself daydreaming already of her milestones ahead. Something tells me we will be watching Frozen for a while longer still!

Let it go, let it go!

K