Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Monday secret

The Toddler was nowhere to be found this afternoon when I went to pick her up. She was not outside with the rest of the children...

I found her in her class, all on her own! Playing alone.

Sometimes it breaks a mother’s heart when they have to fend all by themselves. I don’t think anything bad or untoward happened, and I am not worried...

But she ran to me, and buried her face in my neck. She was extremely glad to see me on the Monday afternoon!

I wish I do not have to leave her there for so many hours every day!

She did not want to tell us what she was doing there, and the Teen joked that she had swallowed her tongue. Which she promptly stuck out of her mouth!

She’s growing up, and already she has a world I have no part off!





 
But, it is still the best part of my day as well: Picking up my daughter from day care!

Each and every day!




Photo: Patrick Pretorius Photography


Related post:


Ways to deal with the guilt of being a working mother

Monday, 29 August 2011

Toddler social faux pas

The Toddler had her own cringe-worthy moment on Saturday when she mistook another dad for her own...

It was at the tiny gymnastics when she backed up into another dad, and did not look behind her, but comfortably stood in the arms of anther person. She even swayed back and forth against him. It was only when his daughter came standing in front of her with a quizzical look on her face, that she realized something was wrong...

We could not help but laugh!

She was extremely embarrassed, and ran into my arms! For the next 15 minutes she did not want to leave our arms, or take part in the gymnastics...

It made me realize that a social faux pas is as embarrassing to them as we would have felt in the same situation. We should be extremely careful in how we handle their embarrassments!

It was good that we helped her to recover. We allowed her to stand in our arms, and we did the exercises with her.

Until she felt confident enough to do it on her own again!

Note to self: Do not make light of her emotions and feelings!
                   Give her the safe space and her own time to bounce back!


Could we have handled in differently with regards laughing at the situation? (It was extremely funny!)
How should we handle it in future?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Family photo shoot

Nothing as exciting as getting back the photos from a studio photo shoot.We got our photos from Patrick Pretorius from Photostyle, which was done about a month ago. I am very happy with the result, especially now that I can add a new banner to the blog!

Thanks Patrick!
Patrick Pretorius Photography


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Reconstructed families are not for sissies

Merging new families are a totally different ball-game than only merging two lives. It is not only the two lives, but the lives of children that are being merged into the package deal.

WITH the extra baggage of ex-partners and ex-periences!

Luckily I married a very responsible adult who made it easy for us to work through the pitfalls of a second marriage. I agree that it also was much easier for me having the child, and that he had to make much more of an adjustment...

My husband showed me how it should be done! I am very grateful to him and that he showed my daughter how a husband and father should behave in a marriage.

There are a few things that help when before plunging into an undertaking of this nature:

-    Make sure you agree on how you are going to handle the children.
-    Lots and lots of talk on discipline before the time.
-    It is much easier to leave the discipline to the biological parent.
-    My husband taught me that the non-biological parent needs to get involved 100% as a parent.
-    The original reluctance of the children dissipates when they feel that the other person cares for them, and takes on the role of another parent in the household.
-    Both partners need to be adults.
-    Always show a united front to the children. (Handle your differences away from the children.)
-    Handle all children equally. E.g. when you give money to your own children, also give the same amount to the other children.
-    Love them all!
-    Try not to bad-mouth the ex-partners in front of the children.
-    Try to make sure that the children get a space of their own and feel part (welcome) in the home.
-    Involve all the children in the decision-making when it concerns the whole family.
-    Attend all the functions and award evenings of ALL the children.
-    Love them, even though they are not your own. Love is a verb, and not an emotion! It is a decision!
-    Spend special time with each of them on a regular basis.
-    Enjoy them!


Do you have more tips for a reconstructed family?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Bad poetry

It was National Bad Poetry Day in the US on the 18th August last week. I saw a mention of it last Friday on a blog, and submitted my own attempt at a bad poem. And now I can't find the link or blog again...

So here it is, also with regards my Happier older mom post of last week:


Old Mom

I am an older mom
I have lots of fun
wiping a bum
playing in the sun
with my little one



Do you want to try?

Monday, 22 August 2011

Toddler and friends

Friends are a very big deal to the Toddler! She is always telling us she wants to go and play with so-and-so!

When we buy anything for her, she also keeps a sweet or a toy for a specific friend, called Cara. I had to promise her the other day that I would buy another present for the friend. Because I kept an extra McDonald’s toy in my handbag (a back-up), and she was very upset...
It was her friend’s toy! (She can't open it!)

At 32 months (Toddler out of the box) she is still playing alongside the friends, not with them. “Mine” is also a word being heard regularly! But the friends being there are very important...


Even though she sees play mates at day care every day, she still feels the need for her special friends!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Toddler out of the box

At 32 months we are learning about living out of the box... Big time!

We are being challenged on how we perceive and do things! Why we do what we do in the way we do it?

Sometimes we just need to stand still, and think about the “importance” we attach to something.

Only today we had the following out-of-the-box moments:
  • A spoon in a cup of water is a great toy (although it spills all over).
  • Mixing juice with coffee, and then not drinking it...
  • Pasting all the stickers on one page, not each one on a separate page... It looks great to the Toddler!
  • She paints more with the water, than the water paint...

It can become very exasperating, but I (for one) need to examine why I attach importance to some stuff, and just let it go...

Of course the Toddler is even cuter than last month!  We love the new conversations with an even bigger vocabulary!



Related posts:
Princessionista
Two and a half years full of questions


Friday, 19 August 2011

Which eye works for the best for a matric dance?

Left eye
Right eye
The matric dance is a month and a half away, and already the Teen is driving me crazy...

The matric dance is the same as the Prom, that final function celebrating the last year of school!

The dress is hanging in the cupboard! (Small miracle!! Thank you Universe!)

It was bought from the shop, as I had meaningfully coaxed her into that direction. I did not have the stomach to have a dress made. I had a few unpleasant experiences myself!

The girls are totally one-track minded by now. They have already consulted the hairdresser for the day, and if I did not say "No!" the make-up artist would also be involved by now!

I have never been to a make-up artist myself, and I feel it is a waste of money!

Tell me if you think I am a bit harsh? Being an older mother sometimes makes me go into fall-back mode of "We never did that when we were young!" I realize it was "ages" (just the other day) ago!


This week a friend's mother practiced the make-up for the girls, and the  result can be seen in the photos above.

Which eye looks the best? The dress is a light blue.

Please help us by voting in the poll on the left side-bar!

The result of the Poll - thanks to those who have voted, and those who let me know: The left eye won by far! (My choice as well ;-) )

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Why are older mothers happier than younger mothers?

I saw the link about happier older moms on Twitter through Flower Power Moms this week.


I totally agree when I compare it with my younger self, and I hear the complaints of younger mothers around me...

I though of a few reasons why I am happier now being an older mother:


  • I am now happier with my personal life than in my twenties! I had to make a few changes (divorce etc.), but I am now contented with my life!
  • I have a partner who helps and does his share!
  • I enjoy my career!
  • I have gotten rid of a lot of negativity, and I do not entertain toxic people!
  • I haven’t completed my bucket list, but it does not bother me!
  • I take responsibility for my life as it is now.
  • I see the little one as a blessing in our lives!
  • I see parenting now as the ultimate goal of my life! I know it is not going to last, and before long she will also leave the nest! (My teen is leaving the nest next year)
  • I am enjoying parenting as much as possible!
  • We are more able to provide financially for the little one than we were young!

What do you think about the statement?
Older moms are happier than younger moms?



Morning's first photo at day care #24 - Happy smile!

The Toddler had a good night's rest (Thank you!!!!!), after a few nights of sleep battles...
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Dear Toddler: SLEEP!

Hair bow and coffee
We do not hold this against you:

When you sometimes makes us do the musical chairs on our bed and yours, we do not hold it against you!
When we keep to a strict bedtime routine, but you still do not want to settle...
When we have to drive around at night to get you to sleep...
Even though you are happy to go to sleep with Mom, and later changes your mind, and want Dad to come and sleep with you...
When you do not want to go to sleep...
When we have to switch off all the lights, and you are forced to come to bed...
When you sleep in the middle between us, and we hold onto the edge of the bed, fighting for a bit of blanket...
When you have a bad dream, and do not stop crying in the night...
When you still want to sleep in in the mornings and we have to dress you upside down...
When Dad thinks we are never going to sleep again, although we only had a little bit of upheaval before twelve at night...

When we see that cute little face early in the mornings, we do not hold the sleep issues against you!
All is instantly forgiven!

Luckily we are a team working around the clock. When I give up in despair, your dad steps in! And when he gives up, I am ready to take on the next round!

(This too will pass! This too will pass!)

Related posts:
Mornings first photo at day care #20 - Monday morning sleepy
The toddler is down at 8

Monday, 15 August 2011

Second Blogoversary

This blog was two years old on Saturday! 584 posts with this one after two years... Happy birthday Blog!

I read my first blog post again, and my goal for this blog stays the same. I have recorded so many of the milestones in my daughters' lives.

When I try to tell someone about the reasons for my blogging, I sometimes get stuck when I see the look of confusion on a face...

But bloggers know why we blog, and that we become somewhat addicted to the daily post. (I give myself off over weekends.)

I have met so many interesting people!
I have learnt so many new stuff about parenting!
I have learnt so much about social media and networking through this!

Blogging on...

My first post two years back:

http://momagain40.blogspot.com/2009/08/mom-blogging.html?spref=bl: "Blog by Karen du Toit about becoming a parent after the age of 40, the second time after 15 years. It’s all about new beginnings. Being a ..."


Sunday, 14 August 2011

The princess has found her dad!

The fairy tale ending in the Toddler’s life revolve around the princess finding her Dad!

Whenever we read or see a story about a girl / princess meeting and marrying her prince, the Toddler exclaims:  “Sy het haar pappa gekry!” (She has found her dad!) No doubt as to who is the most important in her life at this stage!

My dad has been in hospital, and we visited him twice this weekend. He has a very bad upper respiratory infection, but it seems he is on the mend again...

The Toddler has been very interested in this whole hospital story, and she has been babbling non-stop about the “doctors fixing him”...

After her first visit she exclaimed: “Hy soek sy Ouma!” (He wants his grandmother!) (My mom was not with him when we went to visit the first time.)

The Toddler sees the world as fixed when the family unit are together...



Hope you all get your “Dads” this week! (Wink smile!)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Girl friends

If there is one thing I want to learn my girls is how to appreciate their friends...

At about six years of age  the eldest used to complain about fights with her friends at school.
"This one wants to play with that one, and she doesn't want to play with that one..." And so forth!
Day after day I had to listen to the dramas in Little Girls' country! It was all about girls' politics!
(I hear from friends that it is the normal age for that to happen.)

It does not stop, but they become better at handling rejection as well as treating others with empathy and understanding!

I explained to my six year old that she had to be the best friend she could be!
She had  to be the friend who did not differentiate, and who treated everybody the way she would like to be treated.It also helps to understand that you should have lots of friends, and not only a Best Friend!


It worked! I am planning to do the same again when the toddler reaches that age!

In the meantime it is all about teaching the toddler the concept of sharing! The toddler did not want to leave the swing on Saturday at Tiny Tumbles... (see photo)

How do you handle the friendship dramas?
Do you sometimes step in when things turn ugly, or do you let her sort it out on her own?





Thursday, 11 August 2011

How to survive a queue

After my harrowing experience in a queue for the renewal of my driver’s licence on Monday, I have a few notes on how to survive such a queue.


  • Never go on a Monday to a government department. (Cat at Juggling Act of Life) Especially not when it is between the weekend and a holiday!
  • Do not leave renewals to the last day. Then you don’t have a choice but to stand in the queue.
  • Try to go with a partner or accomplice. One starts to queue while the other one is busy finding out how it works. (There are usually no signs, and nobody to direct you to the correct place.)
  • Ensure that you have water with you.
  • Take food or munchies with you!
  • Take enough change with you to use in the vending machines. (Hopefully there are some!)
  • Take a hat when you are going to stand for hours in the sun.
  • Take a jacket when you stand outside. The wind and shadows can become very cold!
  • Make sure you have enough cash with you. Government Departments are not big on card machines.
  • Make sure you have enough change for payment. Or else you end up paying more because they don’t have change.
  • Take a black pen.
  • Take more than one form in case you make a mistake.
  • Take something to keep you occupied, such as a book. Smartphones also help.
  • Do not take a baby, toddler or children with you.
  • Take tissues (also as a back-up when you have to go to the toilets).
  • Do not get a cocky attitude with any of the staff working at the government department. You will regret it!
  • Smile!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Special Women’s Day

I got to spend the day with my youngest daughter. It turned into a very special Women’s Day!

(Hubby had to attend the funeral of a friend’s father, and the teen spend the day with the boyfriend and his family...)

I took the Toddler to Lifestyle, a nursery with restaurants, shops and play areas for children. I promised the Toddler a train ride, and after that we just browsed around...

The Toddler inspected all the water features, the kitsch statues, the plants, and played around in the play area...

All on her terms and on her own time!

I should do more of this and more often with my child...


What did you do on Mother"s Day?

Related post:
6th Wedding Anniversary








Monday, 8 August 2011

Hell is standing in a queue for a driver’s licence

Today was supposed to be part of a long weekend. We’ve got a public holiday tomorrow.

I was supposed to quickly go to apply for the renewal of my driver’s licence, before I had the rest of the day to myself... Ha-ha-ha! (Murphy, you are very cruel!)

Because the Teen applied for a learner’s licence just a while ago, she said she would accompany me! (She’s the one with the superior knowledge of testing stations!)

We should have been there at half past seven already... (Big mistake!) Only thing we did right was to drop the Toddler off at my parents!

We went to a nearby mall to get id photos and an eye test. The thought was that we could skip a queue...

We started at Krugersdorp Testing Station; because somebody told us that it goes quick and easy there. When we arrived, there were two long rows already. Especially the queue for the eye tests which was not moving at all. But we were still smug! We have the paper for the eye test... I was busy filling in the form for the application, when the queue was changed into one, and we were at the back, even behind the eye test queue. We were told by some of the people in the queue that they came from Randfontein were the queues were even longer...

(We should have stayed there!)

We decided to go to the testing station where the Teen got her learner’s! Driving over 20 kilometres, only to find that they don’t do driver’s licences...

We drove to Florida Testing Station to find a queue going out the door as well. We were also told that we still had to give our fingerprints, and that we would still have to stand in the same queue.

We got there at twelve, and we left there at four. The queue moved at two paces an hour, with us having to stand in the shade first (which were too cold), and then the sun (I got sunburnt!).

After half an hour you start to realise that you should have been here much earlier. You contemplate leaving the whole time, but my driver’s licence expired today... (Never leave it to the last day!!) After an hour you can’t leave, because you have invested too much time there already...

Just before 4pm they came out and told us that we would not be able to pay, because the people were cashing up for the day! Some ugly words were thrown from the back, but the people of Power just shrugged! There were about four people in front of us. We decided to stick it out, and got our fingerprints and papers onto the system... Now I have to go back on Wednesday morning to pay!

It is amazing how much camaraderie build up between people standing in a queue. I think that this is where nation-building is taking place day by day!  Forget about singing songs or sport matches!

There is nothing that gets people talking, laughing and helping each other as much as having to stand in such a queue.

It is Hell, but we all feel the same towards the people in Power! We have found the common enemy!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Grateful for water from a tap

After this weekend I am grateful for being able to turn a tap and water pours from it...

We had four water pipes bursting in our complex over the weekend.

We could not do our normal washing of clothes or dishes. We could not bath! I had to rethink the way I brush my teeth when there was no water gushing from a tap. Small things, but when you are suddenly confronted with its absence, you realise how important it really is!

I am truly grateful for water from a tap! 

The burst water pipes also affected the power supply, which they had to switch off. 

I am truly grateful for being able to press a switch, and the lights go on...
I can make coffee with the flick of a switch! 

Thank you for power and for water in my house!

Friday, 5 August 2011

My Bipolar Friend

Depression always lurks nearby... If you do not have depression, you know somebody who have...

I had to live with it in a previous life: Depression - I feel sorry for the people living with the depressed

Even though I do not have the Big D (and never will), I sometimes get the downers, or go depro for a while. We all go there! What makes the difference, is that I can  talk myself out of it... But I get an inkling of how it must be to suffer from depression.

I have a bipolar friend, and it has become increasingly difficult to talk to her. I have been phoning her for months where she do not pick up the phone, or return my calls. When I finally get to speak to her, I can hear that she is reticent in exchanging any information about her well-being. I do not know if she is in a UP or DOWN phase, but usually the UP phase is noticable by lots of creative thinking, no sleeping and lots of over-the-top ideas! The DOWN phases I usually don't know about it, only after the fact...

I find it very frustrating, and I have given up to try and talk to her. But I will always be here when she wants to talk again...

I want to say to her:
- I value your friendship!
- I miss you!
- I am really interested in your well-being, and when I ask about how everyone is doing, I am really concerned about you!
- I miss having a conversation with you!

I will be here, waiting for that call...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Why I steal my toddler’s sweets

and I don’t feel guilty about it… I am doing her a huge favour!

We sometimes give in to the Whine in the shop for a sweet, and I try to help her pick the smallest/ healthiest (? If that is possible) sweet or crisp. Fridays is also Sweets Day at school, where they buy a sweetie bag for R5. It is one of the things that get the Toddler to school in a very bright mood! How can you say “No!” to that?

If at all possible, we do the disappearing trick with some of the sweets! She’s still happy with what she gets! (I hope it lasts for a while! Wink smile)
Or we eat when she’s not around!

I am saving her from large quantities of sugar!
I am saving her from refined foods!
I am saving her from all the extra additives, colourings, preservatives and junk that they put in sweets!

I am saving her one sweet at a time!

That why, whenever there is a sweet to hide or to magically disappear, I don’t have any quilt-ridden thoughts lingering…

I am doing what I am doing for the health of my child!
(Now I need someone to do the same for me! *Hint*)

Do you also “steal” your children’s sweets?