Saturday, 31 July 2010
Thursday, 29 July 2010
I was reading Maxabella’s post at Real Bloggers United about her sleep deprived years and that she found that Patience was her partner. I was feeling very smug. It seems they had a much harder time than we are having...
Just for interest sake. I was sleeping on the floor in Mieka’s room, because Dries has BAD BAD flu and he was in our bed. Mieka did not want me to put her down in her cot. So I made us a bed on the floor, and spent the night there. Not very comfortable! I was cold the whole night, while she was burning up with fever... The things you do for sleep!
The tactics we use to get them to sleep (tactics that work):
- Breastfeeding (one of my favourites);
- Rocking them in your arms (although it is not one of Mieka’ favourites);
- Sitting on an exercise ball while rocking them (used when Mieka was smaller.);
- Walking with her on your shoulder while busy in the house (tactic of Dries);
- Driving around in the car;
- Wearing them in a pouch;
- Pushing them in a pram. Back and forth, or going for a walk;
- Lying next to them on the bed until they fall asleep;
- Looking at stars. (added on 2-10-2010)
(Notice that we don’t do the cry out method.)
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Monday, 26 July 2010
I have made a decision that I want to use a different parenting technique with regards to disciplining. The natural or attachment parenting way makes just so much more sense to me now that I am older. I want to reward and focus on the positive, and not punish by hitting or by any physical means.
But the old bad habits seem to seep in if we don’t check them. Whenever Mieka got hurt, I slapped or hit the “guilty” object: “Naughty chair!” She caught on very quickly, and were hitting as well. It is a technique, and it works short term...
“Naughty floor!” Slap-slap!
“Naughty table!” Slap-slap!
Dries remarked that it is actually not very nice, especially when she started to hit us as well!
I had to conquer! It does not work when we try to instil a discipline where violence is not part of it, but we are hitting at stuff when it is “Naughty!”
It was not at all difficult to change everything to “Kissing”!
She hits her head: “Poor Mieka, let me kiss the head!”
Kisses showered! And it works magically, every time!
Scary! We have to be very vigilant with regards to our way of doing things. What else do I do “wrong”, or fall back into default mode? Retorical question to self! It needs to be answered every now and again.
What have you caught yourself doing “wrong” with regards to parenting?
Sunday, 25 July 2010
We had a great time with the toddler. Of course!
On Saturday she had another gymnastics class at Tiny Tumbles. She enjoys it tremendously! She goes into roll-mode with the head tucked in with every opportunity she gets. Even before we can get her to focus on a new activity, she starts dancing, rolling or whatever takes her fancy... She loves the new exercises. And of course: When Tammy tells us she is a bright girl because she learns fast, and because she gets the thread into the tiny holes, Mom and Dad smile very smugly to themselves... Of course, ALL the toddlers take to exercises like ducks to water, but we love to hear it, don’t we? (Wink smile)
|Upside down with Tammy Smith |
The toddler helped Dad with gardening; watering the plants, her shoes, his shoes...
We had a lovely sunny weekend. Spring is around the corner!
There is nothing as nice as going for pasta on a Sunday afternoon. Great way to end the weekend!
Friday, 23 July 2010
|Patrick Pretorius Photography|
I feel sometimes exasperatedly guilty when the fall-back is to child, and I did not do my parent part as I should have. For example: We planned for weeks that I take my afternoon last week on Friday to go and sort out the passport for the teen once and for all. The papers were already in the car, completed! I picked Arnia up at school, and we drove straight to Home Affairs. Only there we realized: Arnia did not bring her passport! Swear-worthy moments!! What can you do? Put the car in reverse, and plan an afternoon for another month…
I am the parent! I should have checked! (Guilty as charged!) Yes, she should have checked as well, and I should have reminded her…
For example as well: She comes back from her hockey game last Saturday burnt as red as a beetroot! I have been preaching her since she was very little to always wear her sunscreen. “I forgot!” She says. She is also now on the very strong acne medication where she is not allowed into the sun at all… Guilty as parent: I should have reminded her!
When do you stop preaching, reminding, checking… and whatever parents do?
But then: She is also very responsible now. She has been working through her vacation, and she is now working over weekends as well. She is focused and saving everything for that French tour next year! That is very adult!
Sometimes there is a light flickering at the end of the tunnel… (Tongue in cheek smile)
The secret lives of teens
The Teen is seventeen
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Some of the things Mieka are doing now:
Singing the first verse of Barney: “I love you” [I luv uh] again and again, especially when she sees her Barney doll or Barney book. The voice is adorable. We encourage her endlessly because it is so precious!
The vocabulary is increasing a bit more. She sometimes copies a word, but do not repeat it again. New words: bye (used in conjunction with tata), bou (build), Mama Kaka (Karen), ouch, woef (dog). I am racking my brains now, but that seems like that for now! She gets by with the finger and pulling us along to where she wants to go or want.
She loves making jokes with us, and laughs her head of when she has an effect. She will repeat a “joke” like frightening us, and we have to be frightened again and again.
The repetitiveness of things is a big thing. Everything gets repeated, and she goes about it in the same excited way as it is being done the first time. Stuff like taking shoes off, and trying to get it on again. When she fails, we have to put the shoes on again. Then all over again; shoes off, shoes on...
Tonight my teen saw a flickering light out of the corner of her eye. She caught the toddler switching the bedside lamp in her room on and off.
It is sometimes a struggle to get her out of repetitive mode. It becomes a problem especially if it involves us having to do something again and again... The whistle tantrum gets used very effectively!
She waves now in the morning when I leave her at day care. She also said “bye” one morning. Most of the times I have to put her in the arms of a teacher when I leave. When I try to put her with the other children who are playing with toys, she arches her back and pulls up her feet. But she is contented when left in somebody’s arms...
The day care stays a big headache, but I know that you get small irritating problems with anybody you leave your child with. They are not you! (Duh!) They haven’t appointed a new teacher, and gave the assistant the job instead. The assistant has been with them for 16 years, but she speaks English (we prefer Afrikaans now), and she does not have a qualification. I have sorted the bottle story with them, and it seems that she is now getting all her bottles. Only five more months, then she moves on to the next section... Is it worth to move her now? (The perpetual worries of a working mother...)
I love the toddler at this age!
Symptoms of toddlerhood: The whistle and not sleeping
The toddler is a year and a half
17 months - toddler update
Monday, 19 July 2010
Margot taught me about the shriek. Her Felix is a month older than Mieka and I was prepared. The whistle? Maybe it is because we are trying to ignore the tantrums as best as the situation allows. Not always possible when you are not at home... Luckily the divisive technique is a good one to follow! (Thumbs crossed!)
Another one of the symptoms of toddlerhood (babyhood) is of course the sleep disturbances. Friends announced tonight that they are pregnant, and I was thinking of them after we came back from another late night trip to get the toddler to sleep. When all else fails the most fail-proof method of getting our little one to bed is the car-driving technique. It works within ten minutes at the most!
We did the whole routine of bath, reading, and breastfeeding. I gave up after Mieka was still playing all over me and the bed. After that we called in Dad with the bottle! He also came walking down with her in the arms... Maybe it was the Pentaxim immunisation that she got this evening? Who knows? Parenting is all about guess work. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we are just plain lucky! Also of course those little angels working overtime...
Congratulations, Stefan and Irene, we know you are going to enjoy it! Yes, we do!
Even while we are complaining, we love them to bits! (Big smile!)
Sunday, 18 July 2010
I thought that we would have a crying or reticent toddler to start with, but after the first song with shaky hips and up-down shoulders she was all smiles and full of bounce. They were tumbling forwards and backwards, climbing through a tunnel, over, and forwards and backwards...
The rest of the weekend we caught her climbing dangerously on the chairs and tables. She also loves it when we do some of the tumble movements with her. This is a very fun Saturday activity for us with the toddler. We also enjoyed it, especially the toddler’s enthusiasm with all the activities. It goes to show – the more you feed the little brain and body, the more you get!
Friday, 16 July 2010
(Something that I have to work on as well with my children!)
But we have done well! The call is out for everyone to keep on flying our flag. I have decided that I will wear my proudly gear every Friday until the end of the year! I am proud as well! South Africa has shown that we are capable of pulling off something this big! Maybe, just maybe, we will be able to pull it through to address our own social problems…
I saw on the Johannesburg newsletter that they are advocating the Keep Flying website where we can download email signatures as well as the Keep Flying flag icons. We will keep them flying to say that we as a country remain changed forever!
Powerwoman says we can do it!
Thursday, 15 July 2010
The worst time of the day with regards to snacks is when we arrive home at half past four, and the toddler is hungry and miserable. Then it is very easy for a working mother to give in to the demand of an instant unhealthy snack.
I was thinking that it would be nice to have a list available to take to the shops, and always make sure that I have the following in my cupboard/fridge. (I use most of CodeNameMama’s suggestions as well)
SHOPPING LIST FOR HEALTHY SNACKS
- Plain yogurt/tatziki
- Avocados (can be cut into bite-size pieces as well – my toddler loves it!)
- Fruit (apples, pears, bananas, oranges, etc. – that can be cut into bite-size pieces)
- Raisins, dried berries
- Dried fruit
- Nuts (when they are able to chew it)
- Vegetables (raw – carrots, cucumbers, small tomatoes, etc. – that can be cut into bite-size pieces)
- Frozen peas (only takes three minutes to prepare)
- Frozen corn / corn on the cob
- Chick peas (in the can)
What did I forget to include on my list?
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
On a weekend we stretch the mornings in bed a little longer with the toddler snugly on the breast. She wakes anything from 5, but we are able to stretch sleeping well after 7 o’clock.
This Monday was the last time in a very long time where I could sit a little bit longer with her. The schools start today, and because the traffic is going to be back to normal (hectic), I stretched it until 6 while sitting with her on the breast.
I was looking down on the sleepy child with her arms wrapped around me. A picture of contentedness! How I wish I could sit her every morning until she wakes up in her own time... One of the working mom’s guilt trips! At 6 I had to start dressing her and take her down to her dad who made her a bottle while I had to rush to get dressed myself. Luckily the traffic played along and I was not late.
But today is going to be a whole different story. The schools start again after the end of the World! No more stretching the special moments with the toddler...
Stop complaining, Powerwoman, you’ve got it covered! (Chin up, smile wide!)
Monday, 12 July 2010
When she gets hold of a tissue, she goes into “one-track” mode and does not stop cleaning her nose, mouth, the table, floor…. Any-Thing! With the same tissue!
She found the perfect place for the potty. On her head! (Luckily a brand new one…)
The Teen had her own funny story. She got a phone call from a shop in the nearby mall last week. She had handed in a couple of resumes for weekend and holiday work. She blames the bad cell phone signal, but she pitched up at the wrong shop on Saturday. There is a difference between a Gospel shop (which she thought phoned her) and a toy shop. Luckily the toy shop phoned her and asked her if she was still coming, to which she could reply “I am in the Mall already!” Now she is a casual over weekends, and that bank account is growing for the French tour of next year… (Sigh of relief!)
Sunday, 11 July 2010
May your Monday be a good one!
I am busy watching the last of the World Cup! My vote goes to the Orange Team, the Dutch. It promises to be a good game... Vu-vu-vu-ze-la!
|Looking at the ducks with my friend, CP|
|Chasing the chickens|
|Not cautious about sitting on the donkey|
|Enjoying the jumping castle with Dad|
Friday, 9 July 2010
The most favourite word at the moment is “klaar” (finish). The food is “klaar”. The programme is “klaar”. The bottle is “klaar”. And the arms make a wide open swinging movement!
She even got it down to a perfect pitch. The teen caught her doing the following: she got a sandwich at day care, and saw the teen looking away. She dropped the sandwich, and when the teen looked again, she said: “Klaar!” (With conviction!)
She loves her bath. When we announce that it is bath time, she starts climbing up the stairs and we have to rush to follow her up the stairs. A friend of mine told me yesterday that her boy (who is three weeks younger) refuses to bath, and that she has been sponging him for the past seven weeks. Margot at joumaseblerrieblog also complains that her Felix throws tantrums when he has to bath.
Luckily our Mieka enjoys it and “helps” us with the washing, focusing mostly on her right leg. Not sure why (?). When she gets excited the Epizone E cream (we use it against the eczema) goes all over her hair as well! She loves doing the hair “washing” (anytime), because yesterday she came home with sticky hair (still trying to figure out what THAT was).
The sleep is a bit of a struggle at the moment. She is more in our bed, than in her cot. I suspect it was the holiday room-sharing that did the trick! Missy loves sleeping in the middle, and she kicks all the blankets off, and we pull it up again. She kicks, we pulls... The winter cold does not seem to have any effect on her. *Shiver*
The tantrums are here, but we are able to distract her. I try to ignore it as much as possible. So far it has been working. It is getting more difficult to go to restaurants. She is not as contented to sit in her table chair as she used to be. Same problem with the chair in the car as well... She goes stiff, and throws her back in an arch! (“This too will pass!”)
The teen says that Mieka seems to stay more with the teachers, than venturing around when they are outside. I see the same behaviour with us; she stays in our vicinity, and gets us to walk with her in the arms. I hope it is something that she will outgrow, because it sounds so very much like me. I was stuck to my mother's side when I was small, and they had endless problems to leave me. Luckily she goes to day care. I believe it helps a little with helping to get over the “cautiousness “(if that is what you call it?).
But: We are enjoying the personality more and more as the lights are being switched on! Really!! (no sarcasm here)
Thursday, 8 July 2010
(Even Powerwoman sometimes wants to go and hide in the cupboard when the “bombs” explode!)
The teen, who blames it on PMS (that bad bad monthlies), opened her mouth once again. We were all busy with the daily evening chores/bores, and we were all very tired. Mondays are the worst! We are the most exhausted after a lovely lazy weekend, and we struggle to get into the Grind again. (Don’t you find it the same with Mondays as well?)
Hubby had one too many back-chats, and he reacted!
Luckily I am married to an adult. We are able to work through our differences! I do the egg-dance, not trying to take sides. But I DO see both of the viewpoints, and understand where both are coming from. I don’t feel that I am successful with the egg-dance, but I do try… If I say I want to stay out of the conflict, it is also not acceptable…
And I understand – by default I am a mother, and responsible for behaviour of child. (The joys of motherhood! Smile)
Mother-in-the-middle has to talk to the teen, and she has to put up a united front with the Hubby! I have to remind the teen of how much her other Dad is doing for her – he doesn’t complain about driving her around. His pocket is open with regards to her, and he even makes her school lunches for her in the mornings. He treats her as his own daughter! (I’ve got a great Hubby!)
That is much more than she can say about her absent Dad...
I have to agree with Hubby as well that he has to be able to ask the teen to help out. He grounded her for the rest of the month. (Shame!)
I think we are doing it better as time goes on… We can sort out the conflict the same day. With tears! But we can go on and laugh again the same night!
Doing the egg-dance… doing the egg-dance…
Reconstructed families and relationships
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
|Arnia at uShaka Marine World|
Seventeen years! As quick as a blink! Time has flown by so quickly.
That’s why I know to enjoy every little second with the toddler! We miss all the sweet cuteness when they turn into young ladies. (They are not sweet and cute! Other things, definitely! Tongue-in-cheek!)
At seventeen she is a young lady! Beautiful and full of exciting potential! I am very proud of her.
Happy birthday, Arnia! You are a great daughter, and wonderful person to know! Thanks for being such a responsible and wise young lady.
Seventeen years ago I was super excited to meet you! I remember the first time I saw you. I was totally mesmerised with the sweet little face that also seemed so familiar. All the well-known family features looking up at me. Love at first sight!
You were a constant joy growing up! You took everything in your stride! But you were very adventurous as well! I enjoyed your independence and self-reliance from a very young age. So different from me...
It is very nice to know you! Happy BDay, my girl! Enjoy your day, and the next year of being seventeen! Such a wonderful time in a person’s life!
(If we could all stay seventeen... *sigh*)
Sunday, 4 July 2010
|Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij|
The teen asked that we celebrate her upcoming 17th birthday with the family here. It was great fun, and the cheese platters are divine!
We did not know that there would be so many people there. They had a bicycle race event going down, and there were extra tents and music and people. And, of course, lots of bicycles! But it did not distract from a very nice outing!
It is winter here in South Africa, and there is a bit of a wind blowing, but we are still very lucky to be able to sit outside in the sun.
They have jumping castles and play gyms and a bit of animals for the children as well. The toddler enjoyed looking at the goats and pigs and ducks, and we all had to take turns to walk the Pointy Finger! Mieka is not impressed with jumping castles at this stage. Not too much of a downer – we are able to enjoy our lunch sitting at the table with the rest of the family. Not having to do the “jumping- castle- watch”! I know it is not going to last for ever... While it lasts, I am not complaining! (*Wink smile*)
|Arnia and Stian, the BF!|
Friday, 2 July 2010
The toddler responds with a *KISS* - open mouth, sometimes…
Or the closed pouting mouth kisses that we so regularly give each other here!
And the best is when she gives a warm kiss all of a sudden, without being asked. Sometimes all over your face!
Dad says it is the most wonderful, best feeling ever! Warm and fuzzy!
This is what makes it worth it all! Being a parent of a wonderful little person, and receiving unsolicited love from her.
What is better than this? (I dare you to come up with something more rewarding.)
Thursday, 1 July 2010
|Arnia at Umdloti|
The teen is working at the toddler’s day care during the holidays. She gave in her CV at a good number of places. In the end it turned out that the day care needed somebody extra to help with all the school children that stay there during the school holidays. It is not her favourite thing to help with children, but is the extra saving money worth! That school tour to France next year is not that far away anymore!
|Arnia at Umdloti|
What also helps with the teen working at the day care is that she can report back about the toddler. I am a bit fed up with them! The toddler’s teacher left a month back, and now they have two helpers sitting with the toddlers. Mieka had nappy rash again this week, and it seems that they are ignoring my letter (post) about her bottles. I sent three for her to drink, and I see that they only give her two bottles during the day. Apparently the head is interviewing people.
And the toddler is biting again. Is it also not a sign of frustration?