Monday, 31 October 2011

Quality time with a toddler when you are beat

Sometimes you feel that you have been drained of life, and you do not have anything left to share with your toddler.
Let alone some quality time...
That is when we as parents can become very creative in spending quality time with our toddlers.

Quality time with the toddler:

- Get down on your back on the floor, and let them climb all over you.
- Lie down on the grass, with them next to you. (Or in a chair outside, with them on your lap) Watch the clouds, and tell each other about the creatures and shapes and objects that you see.
- Give them a pot of cream, and ask them to rub it in. (It can become quite messy! Be warned!)
- Ask your toddler to comb/do your hair!
- Ask you toddler to "doctor" a fake injury on you! (Give them cream/plasters etc.)
- Pour a bath and let them play for as long a they want while looking on.
- Ask them to "read" you a story!
- Watch a DVD/television with them, AND keep the comments rolling. (It is definitely not quality time when sending them off on their own to watch a movie or children's programmes.)

Do you have more suggestions for me?

(Photo: Patrick Pretorius Photography)

Positive Parenting - status update as a parenting mantra

Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond on WordItOut
 I saw this today at Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond on Facebook.
This is a status update I want to be reminded of quite frequently.

I want to call it my parenting mantra.

Respect me so I could respect others

Forgive me so I could forgive others

Listen to me so I could listen to others

Do not beat me so I wouldn't beat others

Do not humiliate me so I wouldn't humiliate others

Talk to me so I could talk to others

Do not laugh at me

Do not offend me

Do not ignore me

Love me so I could love

I am learning about life from you

Sunday, 30 October 2011

First Halloween

Treats from the neighbours
We had a bit of Halloween fun today!

Halloween is mostly a non-event here in South Africa...

We got invited to a Halloween party, mostly for the sake of the kids, and they had lots of fun!
With so much sweets involved, who can not have fun?
"Daddy's little pumpkin"
Jekyll & Hyde
The Teen had a "split personality"! Maybe the final exams taking their toll?
Or perhaps just a reason to take a break from studying?

Did you do anything for Halloween?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Morning's first photo at day care #28 - Friday in pajamas!!

The Toddler decided that today was the day for not getting out of her pajamas!
So we off we went with her in her pajamas...
I hoped that her teacher would put on her clothes after the concert, but apparently it was not to be...
And that's how I found her this afternoon!

It's all good!

Happy weekend!
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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Breast cancer awareness

Ithemba Walkathon 2011
I saw this on Laura's blog at Harassed Mom, from where she was tagged by Celeste over at Reluctant Mom.

I would like to answer these questions as well, because breast cancer is something that you can do something about. Before it is too late!

The Questions:

When did you have your first mammogram?
I went for a test in my twenties when a van came to our workplace. Never again after that!

Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer?
Luckily, no! But my teen gave us a scare about two years back when she discovered a big lump in her breast. It is called a  fibroadenoma, but she now has to have it checked every six months!
See: 18-year olds can get breast cancer

Why have you not gone for a mammogram?
I should have done it earlier... Guilty!
But I went in support of my teen for a sonar in July (also because the doctor insisted), and as soon as I stop breastfeeding I will go for the mammogram!

What were your mammogram results?
The sonar was fine! (A mammogram does not show the correct results when still breastfeeding.)

How bad is “going for a mammogram” on a scale of 1 to 10?
I can't remember that it felt that bad. I would give it a 3

When is your next appointment?
Three months after I stop breastfeeding. Don't know when that is going to happen!

Do you know anyone who has had breast cancer?
Yes, I have a colleague who went through a harrowing experience having to remove both breasts but now are declared 100% healthy. She caught it even before it developed into breast cancer! It is through her that I got the referral for my teen. We now feel very safe knowing that Dr Benn (Specialist in her field) will give us the right advice!

What is my point?
Do not accept the advice of doctors when they tell you to not come back again, or that you should wait until the diagnosis is cancer. NOOOO!
We were told not to come back for a regular check-up by a gynecologist...
My colleague was told that she should have her breasts regularly checked until the cancer is finally confirmed... (Scary!)

If you feel uneasy about a decision or opinion, get a second opinion! 
It is your health and your life!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bug barns

We found one of these at an Arts & Crafts Expo tonight! A bug barn!
An insect box in which you can put any insect!

My eldest daughter used to spend hours playing with the same kind of box!

Reasons why I love bug barns:
  • It gets children very close to an insect, and they can look at it for a long time.
  • They learn about the way an insect moves around, while still being confined.
  • The insect does not get handled by small hands, and gets injured or killed in the process.
  • It helps children to get over their unreasonable fear of insects.
  •  It helps to teach respect for life: Look at the insect, but let it go after a while! (The insect is able to keep on breathing and moving around in the box.)

Now, just to catch one of the little critters!
Strange how we don’t see any beetles or moths flying around when we are looking for one...

Related post:

Wordless Wednesday #99

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sick with a sick toddler

Being sick, with a sick toddler, is not a recipe for bed rest when staying at home. 

No, it makes you wish that you have gone to work very early in the morning already!

But the thought of another night of both of us taking turns to cough, and Hubby having to run around between two beds is not something you are looking forward to in a great way! 

Getting the Toddler dressed, trying to get her to eat something before we go, and finally giving up with a banana packed in the bag... Just to get out of the door!

And all you wanted to do was stay in bed in a foetal position for the rest of the day...

Forget it when you have a toddler!

Taking us both to the doctor, getting the medicines at the pharmacy, and coming back home takes a huge chunk out of the morning...

Then it is trying to get her to eat something again, before trying to get her to drink the medicines...
And using the nebuliser on both of us...

And coping with a toddler-in-potty-training as well! She wants to wear panties (or nothing), and we are running to the toilet constantly!
And getting her to stop washing her hands are also something of an exercise in extreme patience!


On another note: The Toddler behaved very well at the doctor, and did not cry once. It was a first!
She sat on the bed while the doctor checked her over and the doctor even got a smile and a chuckle!
This little girl has passed another milestone!

Fingers crossed for a better night tonight! We had two terrible nights of coughing in a row now!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Movie Clip Monday #21 - Toddler skipping after watching Don Quixote ballet

The Toddler loved her first classical ballet, and she was hopping and skipping away after ten on Friday night!

See yesterday's post:
A night at the ballet - Don Quixote 

Movie Clip Monday on loan from Tasneem at MumDrum.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A night at the ballet - Don Quixote

We took the Toddler to her first classical ballet, Don Quixote, at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City on Friday night.

We were worried about the show starting at 8:15, which is her usual bed-time. Also that she would not be able to sit still for the duration of the show.

The Toddler loved it. She sat transfixed for most of the first pat, with only her legs rhythmically moving to the music.

The second part of the show got a bit more challenging.
The Toddler was so impressed with some of the moves, she wanted to practice them right there and then. I had to push down the little legs flying past our heads, and hoping the people in the back did not mind the legs and arms flying up in the air.

She sat through the whole show, and was skipping away after that. I am planning to put up a Movie Clip Monday tomorrow to show her happily walking with her dad after the ballet.

She was up at seven the next day, and there was no problems at the school concert.
She told us she is a sheep, and we were checking all the little sheep on stage...

It turns out she is an angel in the concert! (What's up with that?)

Of course, she was very cute, singing and clapping away on stage.

She saw me once in the audience, and we could see her mouth "Mamma!"
We realized again that she is definitely older, because there was no sign of the crying of the previous year with her first concert!

She is a big girl now!

Friday, 21 October 2011

34 months - slow down now!

The Toddler is a big girl!

She tells us: "Ek is 'n groot meisie!" ("I am a big girl!")
When she sits on the toilet...
When she tells us she is not going to cry when we wash her hair...
When she cuts her own food with a big knife and fork...
When she opens or close all the doors, usually uninvited...

Lately she's been waking up crying for the something or someone she went to sleep with! Tonight it was the Barney, the previous night it was hair clips. Last week she cried for her Ouma (grandmother), and also her sister on another night!

It helps when she cries for one of us! Some nights she wants me, but some nights she wants her dad!

Mental note: Make sure that those things are on standby, or else we are running around in the dark hours searching for a Barney in the house or in the car!

I love the fact that she can tell us now what is hurting or what is happening at school.

This morning she said with such conviction when we were driving off: "My oor gaan nou-nou beter wees!" (My ear are going to be better now-now!)
(Uh-Oh? We did not know it was still hurting after a struggle last night and crying over a hurting ear!)

Please, Murphy, it is the concert tomorrow, and she has to be there!

We are actually excited to see her in the concert tomorrow. She is very secretive about what they are going to do!

We have found the perfect school for next year as well! It feels like we are going to send her to the big school already! I hope she will love it there!

Big girl, you are growing up too quicly!

I am glad and I am sad!

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Where's Powerwoman?

The person who has lots of go, and energy, and activism, and health, and believes in so many things...

It feels like I lost my edge. I have lost Powerwoman!

 It must be there somewhere, but how do I switch back on the Powerwoman button?

I know my mojo disappeared with lost sleep, and a crying baby... It still feels like I am reeling after a very traumatic incident! I don’t know how people do it baby after baby? (*Bowing!*)

I did some checking, but it is definitely not burnout. Most of the points mentioned here is not how I feel at the moment. I actually still love my work and my personal life. But I know I need to give more attention to my health!

The burnout checklist:

  • Feel emotionally and physically exhausted all the time.
  • Want to be left alone.
  • Haven't got the energy or interest in the things you used to do.
  • Feel sad for no apparent reason.
  • You are irritable and snap at people.
  • Get into conflicts.
  • Use alcohol and/or drugs to feel better.
  • Work hard but accomplish little.
  • Dissatisfied with work.
  • Feel frustrated with work.
  • Don't have much to look forward to in work.
  • Have trouble sleeping because of worrying about work.
  • Worry about work during off hours.
  • Feelings about work interfere with personal life.

I like the suggestions they have for coping with burnout. That I can definitely incorporate into my life more. Especially the spa experience! (Hint-hint!)

Coping with Burnout (Burnout checklist)

  • If you are in a toxic work environment, you'd better get out of it asap.
  • Take time off - go on vacation, use up your sick days.
  • Decide what you are going to do and act on it.
  • If possible, take early retirement.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Spend some time with people who are positive.
  • Get involved in a cause that is meaningful to you.
  • Make sure you have an outlet for your emotions e.g. a pet.
  • Spend some time each day in quiet meditation.
  • Treat yourself to a spa experience.
  • Plan your time so you are not always in a rush.
  • Learn to laugh. 
Amen to all!

Any more ideas on how to switch back on Powerwoman?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Taking the Toddler to work

You know it is going to be hectic, but you don’t know how much. Toddlers are extremely busy!

Taking a toddler to work really need some multitasking. Luckily we had a party and some rugby on for the day...

I had to think of a lot of stuff for a toddler to do in the enclosed space of a studio:

  • Making a “tent “with a chair, a blanket and a jacket.
  • Clearing my desk so she can swing underneath.
  • Going on an "expedition" to the coffee shop.
  • Going on an "expedition" to the toilets.
  • Playing with my Peanuts figurines in my office.
  • Lots of paper and crayons.
  • Giving her my BlackBerry so she can colour in. It involves a colour switch every five seconds which I had to help her with!
  • Lots of snacks to keep her busy for five... seconds!
  • Making a bed underneath the desk. She spent a few second there as well!
  • Pressing all the buttons in my studio.
  • Giving her the t-shirt hanging n my wall as she insisted on wearing it (the 3rd outfit for the day) 
  • Playing with the water dispenser and getting herself wet.

I was totally beat after that! And Missy had a good sleep in the car on the way home... 

What do you do to keep the children occupied at the office?

Photo: Mieka in my office with Springbok headgear (Rugby World Cup fever while we were still in the game)

Monday, 17 October 2011

A fairytale after 50

A friend of mine got married. Nothing new there! Except that she is over 50, and that she got married for the very first time in her life!

I am so glad that I got to know a real life fairytale story. She is a person who enjoys her life, and did everything she wanted to do! And she is still working on her bucket list!

I love the fact that she met the right man, and felt that it was necessary to get married to him. That commitment needs to be sealed with a marriage certificate!

I know over 50 people who are the “breathing dead” already... 

Not Carina! She runs on a regular basis, and you could still find her and her husband walking kilometres on a Saturday for exercise! 

I met her through studies, and we both talked each other in doing our Master degrees.  She completed her Masters two years ago! (I did not!)

We used to meet each other over lunch, each time at a new restaurant to check out the venue and food. It is more difficult now to meet because of work commitments, but hopefully we will still fit in a lunch date here and there... (Hint!)

She loves travelling, and wine. Something she shares now with her new husband!

She is such an inspiration to me! 

Carina and Wynand, may you have a stunning life together!

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