Monday 31 January 2011

Movie Clip Monday #6 - Swinging into the sponge pit

Tiny Gymnastics again. The Toddler has so much fun there.
She was all smiles while swinging, but it seems it was a bit of a shock landing into the sponges!

Linking up with MumDrum with her Movie Clip Mondays.

Morning's first photo at day care #10

The Toddler was happy and full of smiles today. She went without a whimper of protest to the teacher this morning.
It must have been that she had a good night's rest. She fell asleep last night before she even had her bath, and she slept straight through... Total bliss on a Monday morning!

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Friday 28 January 2011

First homework

I got my first homework for the Toddler last night.

I had to search for pictures of families. I was paging through magazines with a scissor at half past nine. Wishing I was in a hot bath or bed already!  It was one of those nights when the Toddler did not want me to leave, waking up each time I wanted to get up next to her on her bed...

I even wrote a message to the Teacher: “Pictures of any family, or pictures of us?”

Homework starts very early this time around... 
When is homework for Mom supposed to start? Did I miss the notice?

(Photo: Mieka fell on the paving at day care yesterday)

Thursday 27 January 2011

Murphy did not have a chance with Mr Luck

Murphy tried to upset my day yesterday. I was just settling in at work when I got a phone call from the day care... The Toddler was sick and had to be fetched. I complained at first, especially when my car refused to go later on...But I realized I was actually very lucky!

  • The Toddler vomited three times at day care, but not once at home. Lucky!(Not very good with the cleaning up.)
  • I have family responsibility leave available, and do not have to worry (yet) about having to take my own leave. Lucky!
  • I could spend some time at home with the Toddler. Lucky!
  • I got an appointment at our favourite doctor within an hour. Lucky!
  • The doctor could not find anything seriously wrong. Lucky!
  • The battery of my car decided to cease today. Luckily it was at home. Hubby was in the vicinity. He is a DIY guy and helped me to go and buy another one. It could have happened while I was stopping at the shops or at work. Then it would have been a schlep... Lucky!
  • I was home on a rainy day. Lucky!
Do you also sometimes have to remind yourself of the half full cup you have in your hand?

Tuesday 25 January 2011

The Toddler throws things

One would think that by now the Toddler would have stopped throwing things. Not so! It is one of her favourite pastimes!

I had a look on Google, and apparently it is not a strange phenomenon for our toddlers.
They throw stuff and food and everything! Still getting to grips with the gravity of earth, and also challenging their control over their world.

The most frustrating is when I am driving and the Toddler is in her car seat. She begs for a doll or a bottle which is just out of reach. I get it to her and warn her not to throw it again... Which of course she does immediately again! And then puts up a terrible toddler tantrum shriek!
That's when I start singing "Mamma trap die petrol..." (Mom step on the petrol...)

Morning's first photo at day care #9

The smile is wide and big, until I want to hand her over to a teacher... Today, I wanted to stay home with the Toddler! (*sigh* of the working mother)
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Sunday 23 January 2011

The best advice I am giving my daughters

Never ever stay in a relationship that is not to your own good! That’s all! And it’s everything!
That is the advice I am giving my daughters. It is advice that I had to learn the very hardest way!
A relationship should be uplifting!
A relationship should be a positive input in your life!
A relationship should be for your own good!
When you feel that you are losing yourself in a relationship and that you are not you anymore...
Get out!

What advice are you giving your children?

Saturday 22 January 2011

25 months

The Toddler is 25 months! Yesterday! We are really enjoying the person she is becoming, especially with her new vocabulary!
This week she asked: "Where's my Granddad?" She is used to seeing him every day when he is doing his rounds at the day care. When they told her he has gone home already she said: "NO!", and was very upset.
She can make a very skew mouth when things are not going her way. (See photo.)
Tantrums are the REAL DEAL nowadays! (This too will pass! This too will pass!)
She made her first NO 2 in the potty this week. It is only parents that get excited about something like this! (Sorry!)
25 months is a great age!

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Friday 21 January 2011

Worth more dead than alive

We usually joke and say that we are worth more dead than alive. But it is not true!
Hubby is far more valuable to me, even if we count it down to Rands and cents...

The previous week I was reminded again of the painful loss of a partner when Lori at Random Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mom lost her husband. Read Speak, her eulogy to her husband at his funeral. Haunting stuff!

Reasons why Hubby is worth more alive than dead:
  • Although I complain about the snoring (wink smile), I cannot imagine not sleeping next to him each night. He makes me feel safe and secure. The rest of the family feel out of zinc when he is not around, especially at night! (“Where’s the Daddy?” gets heard quite often when he’s not around.)
  • He works! Every day! (Major deal breaker!)
  • He prepares breakfast, and lunches, and dinner! It is quality food as well! (I am soooo lucky, I know!)
  • Hubby is a handyman as well! He fixes things; and it looks as good as the original. He also cleans up after he has done a DIY job!
  • He is a great friend to have around! Make any suggestion of an outing or “adventure” and he is there!  And he enjoys it as well!
  • Hubby is a great father! He changes nappies, makes bottles in the middle of the night and he drives the teenager around!
  • Hubby goes camping and hiking with me. We are planning our next hike in the Drakensberg Mountains for this year.
  • He drinks and enjoys red wine with me!
  • He loves going out for breakfasts with us (my favourite pastime).
  • He makes time for us, and usually makes sure that he is at home when we are home.  He sometimes says no to after-work drinks with the guys...
  • He gives me space to be me, and to do what I want to do!
Definitely, he is not worth more dead than alive! I am “rich” because of him in our lives! Corny! Sorry!

Lori, I am “sorry” that we get to go back to our lives with our partners and that we have mundane stuff to worry about! “Sorry” is the only word that works here!

You made me acutely aware again: I am grateful that we have the small stuff to worry about! AND we have each other!

Related post:

My Millennium Man, The MM.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Chainsaw in the bedroom

I am a very good sleeper. I love sleeping, and have never struggled going to sleep. There is nothing that is more satisfying than SLEEP!

That is, until I got pregnant again, and since then I was more awake than I wanted. First with the uncomfortable pregnant belly, and then the baby and the nightly sleep deprivations...

I became aware of something else as well. Something which did not bother me at all before... There is a Chainsaw in the bedroom. It is real and it is very very LOUD! It makes sleeping very difficult! To drift away in that wonderful magical world of SLEEP... Very difficult!

I am lucky that as soon as I break into the threshold of sleep, I am away for the night.

To get there is the problem.

Ways I try to deal with the Chainsaw:
  • Nudge or poke or stroke of the offending noise maker.
  • Trying to straighten the cushion for another sleep position.
  • Putting the cushion over my own ears.
  • I have on occasion gone to sleep in the Toddler’s room. (It seems the Chainsaw does not bother her at all when she lies next to it!)
  • When trying to verbalize the problem, I only get back that I have my own Chainsaw melodies... “sigh”
  • On occasion I have tried to record it, and strangely it has worked very well. The offender wakes up, or the sounds are not that loud anymore...
The Toddler is growing up, and our broken sleep is getting less and less. With that of course the impact of the Chainsaw will grow less and less. There is real hope here! (Smile)

Until then, what other remedies do you suggest for dealing with snoring?

Tuesday 18 January 2011

5 Methods to slay Dust Bunnies

The working mom does not have lots of free time to give her undivided attention to the dust bunnies growing under the coaches and corners. The working mom also wants to prioritize her time at home into spending more time with the family.

During the holidays I saw some dust bunnies lurking around... The first time I became aware of them was when I was at varsity. We were supposed to clean our own rooms in the dormitories... Guess there was also much more pressing matters then that occupied our time!

There are 5 ways to slay the dust bunnies (short of actually cleaning):
  • IGNORE! One of my best tactics with regards household chores! I can definitely recommend it!
  • HIDE! A throw, for example, over the coach/bed helps to hide the dust bunnies underneath.
  • CANDLES! When you get visitors, dim most of the lights and place a few candles. (You also save on electricity.)
  • PICK UP THE LARGE DUST BUNNIES AND THROW THEM IN THE DUSTBIN. When they have grown large enough, it is easy to pick up when you pass a corner and they come scurrying out.
  • TODDLER CRAWL- GAME.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but I will definitely instigate the game next time when I see a dust bunny peering from somewhere.  Make sure the toddler is covered in old/long-sleeve clothes! Ask her to retrieve a ball / doll / sweet (if the previous two options do not work) while crawling on all fours.
Do you have any good ways of slaying the dust bunnies?
A lazy working mom like me needs a number of options to fall back on when perfecting her Domestic Goddess status!

(Graphic: Microsoft clip art: bunny)

10 Things I love about you

Yesterday morning at day care - you showed me your class.
Waiting for us yesterday afternoon at the day care...

Tanya Kovarski at Dear Max did a post to her little one about the ten things she loves about him. It is a lovely idea, and I think we can do it more often. Because they get cuter and more lovable by the minute!
(Sic. Yes, they do!)

10 things I love about you, Mieka:
  • Your face that lits up when you see us! That is immeasurably precious every time we pick you up from day care, or any other place...
  • The cute Mieka personality that is developing: A real girl who loves playing with dolls, but also really enjoys drawing and painting and reading. A Lot!
  • I love your excitement about little things, such as smelling flowers, or looking at insects. We see the World again in a fresh new light through your eyes.
  • Waking up with you in the mornings, when you say “Hello, Pappa! Hello, Mamma!” It doesn’t matter that we wanted to sleep a bit more when we hear the little voice...
  • Your kisses! You smother us with kisses, and wrap your arms around us. Sometimes for no apparent reason!
  • I love dressing you in pink girly dresses, and you love looking at yourself in the mirror.
  • I love it when you earnestly try to tell us something, and the face and the hands looks at us with so much expectancy... ( “Do you understand me, Mama?”)
  • I love how you can nestle a bit closer to us when we tell you a story, or you lay your head on our chests when reading a book.
  • I love your language skills developing, and how you put together words! (I must remind myself to write it down, because we are going to forget!)
  • I love the fact that you think we are great! We think you are fabulous as well!
There's lots more! I will tell you more often about the things I love most about you!

Monday 17 January 2011

Weekend Three update

Week Two has been done and dusted. It feels like it has never been Holidays at all!

The Toddler had her first class of the year at Tiny Tumbles. She has been missing it, because she was trying to do head stands and tumbles at home...

A toddler friend celebrated his two year old birthday, and Mieka got very excited about giving his present to him. I love to see how she is able to get excited about other people, and not only focus on self most of the time...

I attended a Stork Party today. Yes, I know! One of my pet hates! But it was for a dear friend, and I was very glad I went to it! It was nice to see my friend again! I took the Toddler with, and we could excuse ourselves when the tantrums got a bit much... (The tactic works very well! *Evil wink*)

Have yourselves a lovely week!

Sunday 16 January 2011

Sunday night wishes

Wishing the weekend was longer! Struggling with a bit of the Sunday blues... *sigh!* It's been a great weekend! Hope yours was too?
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Friday 14 January 2011

My Word of the Year: Energy

Lynette at Creative Moments has come up with her word for the year: Breathe! I love the idea of a word chosen for a specific year. It is like a mantra you can resort to every time things start to feel overwhelming! Thanks, Lynette, I am borrowing it as well! (I hope I am allowed?)

I have been walking around, thinking racking my brains about my word. I went back to my post about my New Year’s resolutions: 2011 – Here we come! Fun and a healthy lifestyle springs to the fore!  I can come back to me again! Does that sentence make sense? I have been focusing on the baby/toddler now for about three years. The pregnancy, and then Ta-Da!: 24/7 Mieka!

We won’t give her less attention or love, but she is beginning to become her own little person. And sometimes she is keeps busy all on her own! Last night she “watered” plants in the garden for longer than half an hour. Give her pen and paper, and it is a sure 15 minutes (at least) where the toddler keeps busy! *sigh of relief!*

I want to do things for myself again, and I want to exercise. The words Vitality & Motion and Move-ment come to mind. Motion is Energy and Energy is Life. Life is Source (God). Source going right back/forward to the endless ebb and flow of Life itself. Energy in Motion!

Energy is not a calming word, but the mere mention of it gives me a kick of the much-needed Life I need this year. I want to be good to myself, and I want to MOVE! Literally and figuratively!

Energy! Works for me!

What is your word?

Thursday 13 January 2011

Morning's first photo at day care #8 - Toddler fending for self already

The toddler with her own sports bottle that she now has to keep at the day care. It is the end of the baby bottles! (I know, I know! She should have been off them long ago... But we still give them to her at home! Guilty!)
I can only send one milk bottle on a day with her bag, and yesterday they did not even use it.

She also now has to eat with the bigger children in the hall. They have to eat all by themselves!

My poor Baby Toddler! She has to fend for self! She looks so small when walking on her own in the play ground! They have to grow up so very quickly when we, working mothers, have to leave them! Maybe it is a good thing! Yes, it's a good thing! (Powerwoman says it definitely is a good thing!)

And then I read MamaPoekie's post at Authentic Parenting about The paradox of individualism, and I totally agree with her. We push our children away from us as soon as possible, giving them bottles, sleeping in their own rooms as soon as possible... Having to fend for self at day care instititutions! The Guilt!

Sometimes, I wish I could have kept her for longer in my arms...

Wednesday 12 January 2011

The Teen is starting her last year in school - Grade 12

The Teen with a friend in class - send via her cell
The Teen is in Grade 12! Matric! How did that happen? How did the years pass so quickly? I took her to Grade 1 just the other day! I can still remember her excitement of going to school... And the new clothes and suitcase...

There was some of the same excitement today... She is wearing her new red jersey today which is an indication that they are the senior people this year in school. The Matriculant!

She is very excited, but also a bit nervous about what she thinks is going to be a very difficult year! Read her post about The year has gone swoooosh! last year.

May you have a very exciting, wonderful, and richly fulfilling year at school this year, my Girl! May you get all the marks that you deserve for your hard work! I know you are going to do well! Because you plan to work hard as well! (And you have shown that previous years! I don't even have to worry.)

I love you!

Wordless Wednesday #59 - Fairy in garden

Fairy (photo by Dad)

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Day Care – a bright new year!

I am so glad I did not fire the day care last year! This year everything has changed, and I am leaving the toddler with a light heart every morning! She also goes with open arms to the new teacher!

The toddler has moved on to the next class. She is two now. The teacher speaks Afrikaans, and she is there already in the mornings. I can give her feedback about the toddler, and what to expect. When I go to pick up the toddler, I get feedback again about how the day went… It makes a world of difference in a working mother’s composure for the rest of the day.

Two seems to be a challenge this year! Did I mention the Terrible Tantrums! It is terrible and happens e-v-e-r-y five minutes! Eek!

“NEE!” (No!) is the favourite word of choice!

Now I also remember why my teen used to go to day care without any ponytails. We are struggling our arses off to get a ponytail in the toddler’s hair! I love the two ponies, but we are back to one pony in the mornings! (See Morning’s First photo at day care #7) Hats off to all you Moms who are able to sent daughters to school with hair all up and shiny with bows and clips! You are real magicians! We are trying to let the hair grow out without cutting a fringe. I have had it with fringe-cringe cover-ups after a visit to the hairdresser… (The teen, of course.)

I blame the New Year and a new class on the toddler being very insecure at night at this stage. We have done two nightly sleep drives in a row to get her to sleep, and she awakes again and screams at the top of her lungs. Very upset that we could have put her on her own in her bed! I definitely hope it is the reason, or we have a new sleeping pattern to overcome… I also want to get to bed by ten at night! Please, Toddler, please!

(Photos by her Grandfather James last week when Mieka stayed with them. This morning she told me: “Ouma kuier.” (Gran visit.) She loves going to them!)

Morning's first photo at day care #7

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Sunday 9 January 2011

Seemingly unsupported fears in toddlers

The past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle with regards bath time. The toddler says each time it is “warm” which mean too hot! It is impossible that we make it too hot, because we have a small temperature meter that we use.

She used to love her bath time, and we are always very careful not to use the word “bath” if we are not ready to go and bath her. Because she starts climbing the stairs as soon as we announce it’s time for her bath...

Not now! All of a sudden she is afraid it is going to be too hot, and she doesn’t want to get into the bath. When I put her in, she doesn’t want to sit down. And washing of hair has become a big screaming session!

I tried to take it very slow tonight. I made sure the temperature of the water was even beneath the correct temperature reading. It was a cold bath! And I put in some bubbles.

I let her stand, and focused on the bubbles and toy boats being covered by the bubbles. She was still upset with me when I washed her hair, but enjoyed the bubbles. In the end she was sitting in the bath, not wanting to get out...

It reminded me again of how easy it is - on me and on her - when I try to address her fears in a natural way, and not forcing her to sit down in a bath when she doesn’t want to... I could have screamed at her, or I could have given her a hiding for not wanting to bath. But not I nor she had to get upset at each other. I much rather prefer this way of parenting!

Fears that toddlers/children have, may seem unreasonable to us, but it must have some foundation. Rather address the fears in a natural and non-confrontational manner, than not acknowledging them at all...

Thursday 6 January 2011

How to survive the Terrible Tantrum

There’s a reason they call it the Terrible Two’s. I thought we’ve seen the worst, and we were handling it well. Not so! Missy Toddler turned Two, and with it came THE TANTRUM!

The ritual of THE TANTRUM:
  1. The stomping feet, which increases the more she gets upset!
  2. The unhappy forced wail!
  3. The high high piercing pitching shriek which follows the wail!
  4. She throws her body on the floor and/or crawls around on all fours!  (It is impossible to pick her up, because she just slithers through your arms.)
  5. It lasts for a couple of more minutes.
  • Ignore, and walk away. (There is nothing that douses a full-blown tantrum quicker than when there is nobody to appreciate it.)
  • When you can’t walk away, drag her (if possibly), to a safe place to continue there with the tantrum. (It has the same effect as the previous point)
  • Make a mental note of how funny it looks (although you don’t always see the funny at that moment), and think of how you are going to tell them about it when they are bigger! (Evil smile)(That video is also going to make a huge manipulation tool...)
  • Try the distraction technique. Do not spend as much time on this technique. It does not work as well like when she was younger...
  • Make yourself a cup of coffee/tea/WINE!
  • Say to yourself: “This too will pass!”
  • Chant to yourself, repeatedly “This too will pass!”
  • When in a public place: 
            Put on your best calmest smile!
            Zone out!             Look people in the eye (Give them the “It’s her, not me!”-look)
            Act genuinely surprised at the people frowning at you!

How do you handle the Terrible T?

Related posts:
The shriek!
The T-dance - the toddler and tantrums

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Morning's first photo at Day Care #6

First day back at day care in 2011. The toddler was all smiles, and started playing with lego blocks immediately. No crying at all! *Huge sigh of relief!*
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Wordless Wednesday #58 - Toddler building with lego blocks

Cellphone photos by Dad who was very impressed with the toddler who built the lego construction all be herself!

Monday 3 January 2011

Chunky Bling ring

I got a Chunky Bling ring! How cool is that?! And it looks even nicer on my own finger!

The sales pitch (which of course worked on me):
The new line of Swarovski pearl rings!  These hand-crafted rings are made of silver plated beads, rhinestones and genuine Swarovski pearls.  They are strung on durable stretch cord, so the sizing is flexible, and the rings are comfortable.
It is a Swarovski Pearl-Bordeaux costume jewellery ring bling. I love love love bling.

It s the very first thing I got through this blog! Except for meeting all you wonderful people (Of course)! 
That’s what the Chunky Bling banner is doing there in the left hand corner. They have an affiliate program which I signed up for.

Now that I know how easy and fast I got my bling, I will definitely order another bling. The main headache will be to choose the prettiest item. Choices... choices...

Yes, I have sold out! (Tongue-in-cheek!) For BLING! (How can you say no to that?)

What do you think of my bling?

Sunday 2 January 2011

2011 – Here we come!

I feel in my bones that this is going to be a good year! We are going to make a few changes, and we are going to have lots of fun!

I saw a Twitter update of somebody (can’t remember who) saying that they do not believe people who say that they are always happy, and that everything always run smoothly! Of course, it’s not possible, and stuff sometimes does happen! But it is our own perception of things and our own decision of how to interpret life that makes us happy or not! I believe people who say that they are happy and that things are going well!

I have decided to be happy, and I will make changes to things that change my state of happiness. (I have done it before, such as making a change in my marital status: getting divorced, being single, and getting married again! *Winky smile*)

The toddler is a big girl now. I started making two ponies (see photo), and she doesn’t look like a baby anymore!  Hello, big girl! She is getting more independent by the day... It is entirely possible to start making changes in our lives, again. We can’t blame our little one for bad habits anymore... (Such as not sleeping, and eating junk because we are tired!)

CHANGES in 2011:
  • Health wise – we need to start eating healthily again. (I can’t keep on faking health! It doesn’t work! Unfortunately - *wry smile*))
  • EXERCISE! From today!  (Enough said. It is time for ACTION!)
  • Mind – I am going to find something to study again. I am going to study something to do with social media and Web 3.0.
FUN IN 2011:
  • We are going on regular holidays. Every quarter, at least!
  • We are going on monthly weekend getaways.
  • We are going to plan and spend time on family outings.
  • I am going on more dates with Hubby! (Hint!)
  • I am going to read more books! The stack next to my bed is LARGE!
  • Exercise will be part of the fun! I used to enjoy going to the gym.
Hello 2011! You are going to be GREAT!  

I hope your year will be just as great!

What are your plans for 2011?

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