Sunday 29 April 2012


FlowerPowerMom today announces the upcoming launch of INFORMED CHOICES FOR LATER MOTHERS: What Women Should Know About Fertility, Birth and Parenting After 40 with the release of a 2-minute film trailer revealing key highlights. 

It's the first multidisciplinary panel of doctors and experts to speak candidly on the controversy surrounding later motherhood.

It will premiere on MOTHER'S DAY, 13TH MAY 2012 at —the advocacy website for later mothers—in a short film featuring experts from reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics, Chinese medicine, clinical-child psychology, adult psychotherapy and bioethics.

The new panel, first of its kind, calls for change in how we understand and deal with the skyrocketing population of women around the world having children after 40.

WATCH the short 2-minute trailer NOW by clicking on the FPM homepage:

For more information, please contact:
Angel LaLiberte, Founder
Informed Choices for Later Mothers at

Friday 27 April 2012

Trip on a steam train

Hermanstad departure
We went on the Cullinan Diamond Express today - a whole day of fun on a steam train.

The train departs from Hermanstad in Pretoria and it stops for lunch in Cullinan.

Cullinan is a beautiful town full of the diamond history of South Africa. They are also geared for tourists and there are wonderful shops and stalls to browse in the main street.

We had a ball of a time! Even though the train had to stop for long periods en route, we got the whole steam train choo-choo experience.

I hope that we can do it again and that the Friends of the Rail would be able to keep this going!

Toddler excitement
Friends of the Rail
Albizia restaurant in Cullinan - stunning food!

Monday 23 April 2012

How to get your toddler to smile at photos

It is usually a major accomplishment to get your toddler to give you a perfect smile...
Especially after a list of requests to look at you...
Which they never want to do!

Ways to get your toddler to smile for a photo:

- Offer some sort of reward: I will swing you if you smile for me! (Very effective, but it can become a problem. "No smile without payback!")

- Call out to them when your camera is ready to shoot. It may produce a perfect smile!

- Call to them to look at the elephant/bird/crocodile... (something outrageous!)

- Give them a camera/tablet/phone (photo booth) where they get to see themselves. It gets a lot of different poses!

- Jump up and down like a crazy person/clown!

What have you done to get a face/smile?

Sunday 22 April 2012

Where we are at - Mom vs Toddler at 40 months

Meme seen over at Dear Max by Tanya.

It is good to know where the two of us are at the moment.
She is 40 months now.

Favourite expression/word
Mieka: asseblief (please with a whiny voice)
Mom: fantasties/fantastic

Favourite outfit
Mieka: soft tracksuit pants with a fairy skirt
Mom: jeans

Favourite hobby/activity
Mieka: dancing/sketching/putting plasters on "bloed" (blood)
Mom: iPad/blogging (doing this post from my iPad)

Favourite drink
Mieka: iced tea
Mom: Cappuccino

Favourite food
Mieka: pasta
Mom: salad

Most overused word/expression
Mieka: Mom/Dad says Yes!
Mom: No!

Favourite apps
Mieka: Tom Cat & Tab Tales
Mom: Blogger & Instagram & Kindle

Favourite TV programme
Mieka: Mickey Mouse Club House/Dora the explorer
Mom: Modern family

Favourite book
Mieka: Disney books
Mom: The storm before the calm

Worst activity/chore
Mieka: tidying
Mom: doing monthly stats

Latest discovery
Mieka: asking to "loan" something (but meaning permanent)
Mom: trench coats for winter

Always growing in cuteness!
What a pleasure to have her in our family!

Friday 20 April 2012

7 Great Ways to Bond With Your Family

It is time for a Friday guest post.

Developing a strong family bond is extremely important for any family. From a child's birth to growing up and becoming an adult, bonding is very important.

Here are seven ways to do so, and even just practising one can have immense benefits for your family.

1. Communication
Communication is extremely important, because if a child cannot express their opinions or feelings, they won’t feel they can trust others. As a parent, use an open mind and listen. Closing off the lines of communication might mean that your child will become a troubled teen, and as an adult will not be able to communicate effectively in relationships or jobs. Become best friends with your child for life by building strong family ties early on.

2. Spend Time Together
No matter how busy we are, we must spend time with our kids. We can come home from work tired and grumpy, but you don’t want to give the impression that you don’t want to spend time with your child. Your child could have had a bad day at school too. Instead of fretting, consider that both of your days could become brighter by spending time together. Have a pizza night and pop in a movie. Or get away from all the digital products and learn to skate together, or go for a picnic!

3. Activities
Participating in constructive activities together strengthens any family bond. If you are a single parent, then join a group in which parents and kids can come together to make new friends and become an extended family. Always plan one major activity every week, no matter what. Doing things together will have everyone excited and looking forward to the activity.

4. Learn Together
We have all made mistakes. Instead of keeping secrets, be honest about them. If your child thinks they have screwed up somehow, tell them about a life experience that happened to you. This will help your child relate to you and grow. Similarly, don’t be afraid to tell your child when they need to change a behaviour. Honesty is always the best policy in building family bonds.

5. Trust and Honesty
When your child comes home and tells you something juicy that happened at school, that is told in
confidence. Whether the child is young or older, you are teaching your child that is between the two of you. The same goes if you told a child something and you asked to keep it between the two of you. This is where trust and honesty is built. Speak openly and be trusted but also be honest. This is huge in making a family bond. Take your kids seriously and treat them as adults, they’ll thank you for it.

7. I Love You
“I love you” is so matter of fact. Think about it for a minute. Do you really mean I love you? You need to mean it when routines are created and everyone is running out the door to start the day or heading off to
bed. A hug and a kiss are awesome too, as a child needs this encouragement. This build a bond that will
never be replicated – you don’t want to teach your children that affection is weak or strange. Do them a
favour and show it to them now, plus build a great bond at the same time.

Joannie Singer likes to write about parenting and saving her family money at

Thursday 19 April 2012

Taking control of murder hour

It has been very difficult each afternoon to drive home with a toddler that goes ballistic in the back seat!
I know!
I know!
She's tired and she wants attention and the last 30 minutes strapped in a back seat does not make it any easier...

Reluctant Mom writes much more eloquently about the subject, but we all know what I am talking about.

By the time I reach home, I am ready to commit a murder.
And dying from shame, because my colleague who drives home with me does not have the same discipline strategies...

Yesterday I told her dad to just go and fetch her from the back seat, because I have had my share...

We banned "kindertjies" (children's programmes) for the night, and today it went much better already!

But we are not totally there yet, and there is another ban in place tonight!

It is not such a bad thing, because she has to find other creative ways to keep busy...

Monday 16 April 2012

Hair brushing has become a breeze

The Toddler's hair has not been cut yet. This time around we decided not to cut a fringe. A fringe needs to be cut regularly and we always had a skew fringe when the first-born was small...

It has been a lot less effort without the fringe...

But the hair brushing each morning was an exercise in torture. Torture for the toddler and for me having to inflict it!

Until Cat at Juggling Act of Life wrote about the wonderful Michel Mercier brushes which are available at Dischem!

Hair brushing is now a total breeze!

Thanks Cat!

Rhetorical questions for dieters

Dieting is hard! Real hard!
It's been four weeks and it is going s-l-o-w!

There are some rhetorical questions I have found that help me when motivation is low.

Rhetorical questions for dieters:

- Where does this food looks the best: on my plate or on my hips?

- Will I feel better staying in the office or going to gym during lunch-time?

- What is the best choice on the menu: salad or a burger?

- Will it make a difference if I eat this cookie now?

- Will the next glass of red wine taste as delicious as the first?

- What should I drink that is the most healthy: water or wine? (Substitute: Water or coffee? Herbal tea or coffee?)

- Does going to the gym makes me faster than a coach potato, even though I only clock up 2 kilometres in 20 minutes? (As seen on Keep calm and run)

- Should I just give up when the needle doesn't want to budge on the scale?

- Does it help to make this healthier food choice?

If you have any more questions I can add, it would be great!

Friday 13 April 2012


It is... heard in in our home, again!

The eldest had a big stutter issue when she was about six, and she had to go through several years of speech therapy. All along I thought it was made worse by the divorce...
Stuttering has a huge emotional component, and as soon as there is a disruption in the normal flow of things, it does get worse!

But apparently there is a genetic link as well!

Our little one is also stuttering now. She gets stuck on the "I"s and "Us", and she repeats the first two or three words of a sentence.
We do not try to notice it at all!

I have to make people aware of it before they notice it!
Her teacher also said that she has not notice it!

But it is there!

Maybe I am too sensitive about it, and it is only a normal developmental stage?
Did your toddlers also go through a stuttering phase?

Do we need to take her to a speech therapist?

(Photo: last night again with chopsticks)

Thursday 12 April 2012

I should have turned around

Last week I had a cold turned into eye infection which made my eyes extremely light sensitive.

 I drove for two days to work and back with two sunglasses perched on top of each other on my nose, tears streaming down my face...
 I was trying to work with my spectacles which I usually don't wear. The screens too bright on the computers... (I usually wear my contact lenses!)

I should have turned around the first day already!
 Why do we punish ourselves like this?
It is not like they appreciate it that we made the extra effort to come to work! Have you ever heard of someone getting a medal or even a thank you for dragging themselves to work?

On Thursday I stayed at home and went to see the doctor...
 I should have done it the first day!

 New rule for myself: When starting to think that I should turn around/stay at home...
 I should do it! (No second-guessing! None!)
On the spot!

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Easter weekend - Done!

Easter weekend is done and dusted! 

As is a quarter of this year! (Where's the brakes?)

It was such a lovely looong weekend with the family! 
We had a Easter egg hunt in the garden, and afterwards all the eggs were divided amongst the little ones!

For once we could threaten: "The Easter bunny is not going to come if he sees that you have not eaten your food!" (It worked!)

I wish I could keep these special times frozen. 
The awe and the excitement and being with them...

This is the best time right now!
I do not wish for her to grow a day older!

The rest of the weekend was spent in shopping malls to search for winter clothes for the student and toddler.

We also did some tablet gazing after Hubby got himself a Samsung Galaxy Tab for work!
I am now a very excited owner of an iPad!

(How guilty do we feel when we buy something for ourselves?
Even when I buy much-needed clothes for myself!)

Now, does anyone know how to blog on Blogger from an iPad? 

What have you been up to?

Thursday 5 April 2012

Ghost in room 608

A true story by the Student.

It was late and dark, when...

I was struggling to fall asleep and my roommate was already in dream land.

There was no wind or storm when the lock on our door opened(which can only be opened from the inside) and the door swung wide open.
The door slammed closed.
Then my cupboard opened (it can only be opened by force) and there was no struggle when it opened.

I nearly jumped out of my skin!

Our door opened and closed again and the door miraculously locked itself....

I spent the night with my roommate in her bed!

The next day we told the seniors about what had happened. They laughed and said we live in the ghost room.
Ah, great!

Apparently, 20 years ago, a girl commited 'suicide' in that room. But, if she commited suicide, why is she still hanging around? Something's fishy...

I landed in the room with a ghost. Don't you just love Murphy?

I am the most easily spooked person on planet Earth and I share a room with my roommate AND a ghost!

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Toddler logic #2

The Toddler has an answer to e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
I think she is smarter than a teen!
She knows that she is smarter than all of us!

- Yesterday in the car on the way to the shops:
"I want a sweet and a packet of chips."
"No, you can only have one!"
"I am big!" "I am growing to the roof!"
"My dad says yes!"

- While trying to get her to sleep in her bed:
"I want to go downstairs"
"No, you have to sleep now!"
"My legs are hurting! I have to go downstairs!"
"My dad says yes!"

- When she gets stuck in whining/tantrum mode, crying for something, I try to distract her.
(It used to work!)
"Look there!" "Watch that man!"
"L-O-U-D-E-R SCREAM! (She's onto me!)

- "Please, eat a bite from your food!"
"No, my tummy is not rumbling!"
"Then you won't be able to eat the pudding as well?"
"There IS space for pudding! Feel here." while lifting up her clothes to show me her stomach.

- When she is with her dad: "My mom says yes!"

And while reading this I realised her arguments must have worked, because she got the packet of chips and the sweet.
She got to go downstairs again as well last night!

We are in serious trouble...

Monday 2 April 2012

Making a difference one light switch at a time

We took part in Earth Hour 2012 on Saturday night again.

It is such a fun way of introducing our children in making a positive impact on the planet. There is nothing more exciting than switching off the lights and enjoying candle light and each other's company...

I was struck by how enthusiastically the young ones take part in initiatives like these!
They have the optimism and a believe that they are making a difference.

We were treated during the dark hour to a rehearsed show of "three fairies cleaning up the earth"! (Scripted by the eldest of the three)
Very cute!

Here in South Africa we look around in the suburbs, and we notice that we are the only ones going dark...
But the message should still be that we are making an impact, one light switch and one person at a time...

I hope that is what we can teach that to our children for the future!

Previous Earth Hour:
Earth Hour 2011 in Johannesburg

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