Thursday, 29 August 2013

The phases of a Tantrum - as experienced by a parent

Melt-down about 3 missing chappies
(Which she ate herself)

I have read Melissa's blog post about The F-king fours, and was extremely relieved to know that it is not only us who struggle!

Yesterday morning we had a huge tantrum when she threw herself on the bathroom floor after I had brush her teeth. I did not brush her teeth in "circles", apparently!
Last night coming home she wanted the music turned louder in the car. I could not turn it up because we had a passenger.  She did not stop crying!

I am regularly writing or trying some new ways of handling The Tantrums, but I do not feel that we have solved it!

How long can it last?

I am now beginning to see a pattern in our handling of the tantrum.
It definitely plays itself out in phases.

Phases parents go through when dealing with a tantrum:

1. Trying to rectify the problem immediately by giving in to the demand. (It usually does not work!)

2. Reasoning with the child. (It does not work!)

3. Picking them up / sitting with them / trying to hold them. (Usually not possibly with a wriggling child)

4. Giving up by walking away or ignoring.

5. Waiting for them to calm down by themselves.

I realise no 4 is not a very good parenting technique, and I am open to more suggestions?

- The video (I hope it opens up) was at our recent camp where her dad bought her 7 chappies. She put it in his pocket after she had eaten three of them. When she wanted it back, she was extremely disgusted about the fact that there was only four left. Dad said he would buy three again, then he tried explaining that she had eaten it, then he let her cry, and then he gave up...

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Importance of Teaching Children to go Green

I really want to focus more on going green, and how to teach it to my children. I want my children to be responsible adults who will consciously make a positive difference in their environment.

This guest post is a kick-in-the-butt reminder of why and how.

Going green has become a huge trend in today's society. Some people are doing it because they really care about the environment, and others are because they want to learn more about doing so. Teaching your children to go green is crucial to make sure this trend isn't just a fad, and the following reasons explain why:

Our Future: Here

Consider the future of the planet. We simply can't continue consuming the resources at the pace we are now if we want to survive. In other words, it's vital  for us to be proactive. As this generation begins to pass away, the planet is going to be left in the hands of the people who are still on earth. It is OUR responsibility to teach children about going green - each of us has a part in carrying on sustainable traditions into the next generation. Otherwise, the planet and our grandchildren will suffer as a result.

The Everyday Benefits

Let's say you're not currently living in an environmentally-friendly home. Maybe you don't recycle, or perhaps you've not been turning off the lights when you leave a room. That's all right - most families don't. However, if you're willing to talk to your children about the importance of going green, you have the ability to create a productive, team-focused atmosphere in your house. By working together, your family can become much more tight-knit and environmentally conscience. That way, whenever they grow up and move out, you can know that you did more than just raised them right - you made the world a better place.

Future Visions

Though you might not realize the potential that your little ones have, you should definitely note that they can make some major changes in their life. If you talk to them about going green, they might be inspired to start a green project, whether they plan out a day where all of the residents of your community get together to pick up garbage in the park or perhaps raise money to clean up a local body of water. They may join clubs at their school that are dedicated to the environment or study environmental studies in college. Who knows, but they might need a bit of a kick-start to light the fuse. Be the spark!

Future Opportunities

Speaking of which, there is an endless amount of jobs and opportunities in the green sector. Companies will always want to save money on energy, and they will always be eager for PR-friendly solutions they can brag about. Besides, we live in a world of limited resources - we won't always have oil to rely on! People are interested in discovering energies of the future NOW so that when they're in demand, they'll profit from them! 


It might seem selfish or simple, but the truth of the matter is that green families are frugal families! Investing in green technology and solutions on a family level will save you money down the road in infinite ways. Turning off lights, unplugging unused machines, replacing old light bulbs with CFL bulbs and more will all lead to savings over time (of both money and time).

Teaching your children to go green is a goal that you should have for your home. You might be amazed at how much information your little ones are able to absorb and where they take these ideas.

Joseph Rodriguez writes about all things related to parenting and education. His recent work is on earning an online education degree.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Happy belated birthday, Dear Blog!

I passed the four year Blogoversary mark of this blog, without even giving it a thought!
It was on the 13th of August already!

Happy belated birthday, Dear Blog! You have brought me so much joy!

In blogging years this blog is aged, but it keeps on going...
I am not yet ready to let it go, especially since we have a Little Missy keeping us on our toes with all her sayings and doings.

I also have so much to learn about the ages and the phases that they are going through.
Although we have The Student, and we are supposed to have some Experience or Parenting skills, but we can't fall back on it!
Parenting and children and The Times they are a-changing, all the time!
And we forget so very easily...
And no children are the same!
We can't say that we know how to raise a little one.
It does not come naturally or instinctively!

I get a lot of feedback and wise words and information in the blogosphere! I would not have learnt so much had it not been for this little blog.
Thank you, Dear Blog!

I started as a mom blogging, and I am still on my quest for juggling being a mom, working full-time, trying to continue with my studies, and finding balance at home with a reconstructed family.
One day we will get there!

I am surprised at some of the posts that reached all-time highest stats:

1. Mountain climbing at the Botanical Gardens

2. 5 Tips on how to survive Stork Parties

3. Infant dyschezia translates into not sleeping

4. Tips picked up while camping with the toddler

5. Stuff you allow your toddler to do

Blogging on!

(Photo: Patrick Pretorius)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Interview with the Preschooler

Little Missy passed her 56 month mark yesterday. She is four years and eight months.

I was trying to keeping this interview for her birthday, but I can ask it again on her birthday, can't I?

1. Who is your favourite person in the whole world?

2. What is your favourite colour?

3. What's your favourite television show?
     Doc McStuffins

4. What's your favourite outfit?
    Beautiful dresses

5. What sport do you like best?

6. What song do you love?
    (I missed this question. Next time...)

7. What's your favourite cereal?
    Brown cereal (All Bran Flakes)

8. Who is your best friend?
     The boy she just played with at McDs
     What about Jade? Yes, Jade

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Grade R

10. What is your favourite book?

11. What are you really good at?
       Tying a knot

12. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
      Swimming pool

13. What is your best memory?

14. What would you buy if you had R 1000?
       A doll for my child

15. What vegetable do you hate the most?
       All the vegetables

16. If you could have a wish, what would it be?
      I want a child

17. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

18. Who is your biggest hero?

19. What do you like to do best with your friends?
      Camping and swimming

20. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday?
      Get a Barbie doll

This was shared by Rattle and Mum who lent it from In The Corner.

(Photo: Patrick Pretorius)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A marrow bone for my teacher

Little Missy took a present for her teacher today: her marrow bone from last night that she loves to eat.
She washed it afterwards, and it went into her school bag.

Nothing that we said about it not being a nice present convinced her. That marrow bone stayed in the bag.

I hope the teacher knows that the "present" is very special!

Monday, 19 August 2013

We found a bike

We went on search for a bigger bike for Little Missy this weekend.
The extra two wheels can be taken off when she finds her balance!

Her dad saw a younger nephew already riding around without the two extra wheels at the back. He immediately thought that she has some catching up to do (as parents do...!) But I think the four-year old nephew is extremely advanced (with regards bike balancing), and that we should not be worried!

We did not want to spend enormous amounts, because the bike will only last for the most of three years.

Little Missy threw a tantrum got upset each time we decided to keep on looking!
It's all about the colours and the pictures on the frames. She actually wanted a Barbie one...

But the bright dangling handle bar strings on this bike clinched the deal!
And her doll got a seat as well!

This was our weekend!
Dad running after her in the town house complex, and dogs barking from behind the town houses' walls...

Friday, 16 August 2013

Hello and goodbye are not part of the vocabulary

At four and a half it should not be difficult to greet people? To say hello and goodbye should be normal behaviour without being prompted?

Not so to Little Missy!

She does not greet people, not even when threatened prompted!
She just stares at them.

I have spoken to her many times about it.
At first she said she was shy, and that she does not know the people. (But she also does not even greet people she knows.)
Then she said that I spoke too softly, and she did not hear when I told her to greet the people.

Her excuse yesterday was that she had forgotten. (I had reminded her just before the time she had to greet the person.)
"I am small, and small people forget!"
"You should not be worried! Okay!" (Her exact words.)

I have been greeting people on her behalf, and hoped that it would have made the difference.

She is able to talk to people she does not know very well, but refuses to greet them.

Some people feel offended when they greet her, and she does not respond! Asking me if there is something wrong. Like the cashiers in the shops, or the people at work....

Maybe it is a personality trait? Something to do with being shy?

How do you get a little one to greet other people?
We always greet people, and I make a point to greet people on her behalf.

Any ideas?

Photo: Patrick Pretorius

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Doing my bit for World Breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 was from 1 to 7 August this year, but it is never too late not a good time to talk about breastfeeding.

The theme this year was "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers"- all about the support for the mother from the closer to the wider circles in her community, to enable her to have a good breastfeeding experience and relationship with her baby.

Most often we do not find enough support to help us keep going...

My own experience with my first-born was very traumatic, because I had to take her off the breast at four months when I went back to work. She was one of the few ones who completely refused a bottle! I still think that if I had better support, I could have made a plan!

With Little Missy the second time around I knew I had to try something else, but fortunately she did not have a problem with taking the bottle as well. We could give a bottle with expressed milk to the day care, and later on we sent the tinned milk to day care.
I had a goal of going back to work, while still expressing, and kept that up until 9 months.
My next goal was one year, and we just continued from there...

Nobody was as surprised as me, but at 4 years and 7 months she is still breastfeeding.
I am breastfeeding a preschooler!

Sometimes she will skip days, but sometimes she will ask for more than once a day.
I do not offer it to her, and sometimes distracts her when we are in a public area. Until we get home!
I just don't have it in me to breastfeed in public any more.
I can see that there are raised eyebrows when I mention that we are still continuing with it.... (*Smile*)

I am waiting for her to wean herself!

It is still working for her, and therefore it is still working for me.
There is definitely a huge component of comfort that she gets from it, and I think that is why she never picked up the habit of a thumb, or a blankie. (Which the elder sister did!)
She is also very healthy, and did not have the expected grommets and adenoids that comes with going to day care.

Little Missy does not like drinking cow's milk (and very little milkshake), and that's another reason I think it is still good for her to get some extra immunity...

She has already thrown away her bottles, and all too soon this will also pass!

From the Surprised Lactivist (me); it is possible to continue with this relationship until your child is ready to wean.
They won't be hanging 24/7 on your breasts when they are older, so don't be worried! (*Wink smile!)

Keep calm, and breastfeed on....

Photo: Patrick Pretorius

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

See you on the next plane!

My travel vision board

I have a vision board on my computer about the places I want to go. It has been there since the start of 2012. It is mostly local South African places, not even overseas destinations…
(Maybe that is the problem?)

In my future vision I am going to Mozambique to swim with the dolphins.

I am going to Cape Town to eat fish at the Waterfront and at all the Bays. I am going to travel on all the wine routes, and taste wine and champagne and wine and champagne. (I have done a little bit of it, but it is something to do on a regular basis! Tick!)

I am going to the Drakensberg Mountains, and climb a few of those chain ladders again. (I have done it before. Tick!)

I am going to spend lazy afternoons on the beach at the Dolphin Coast in Kwazulu-Natal. (I have been there, this year at Umdloti, but it is still one of my favourite local destinations for a great family holiday! Tick!)

Up until now I have been doing vicarious travels to overseas destinations through the pages of books. And magazines. And blogs. And Facebook.
I have been sharing in the glorious travels of family and friends.
I have been soaking in the sun from pages glaring from destinations from white beaches and aquamarine water and mountains touching the clouds and open bush spaces littered with roaming wild life, and bustling skyscrapers and churches and castles bursting with history.

But I haven’t been there myself…

I wish that I could say that it is enough to have quelled my travel-lust, but of course we all know that it does not work like that!
Instead it fuels the desire to board the next plane to an exotic destination with an exotic name that needs to be Googled when you hear it first!
I want to go “there”!

I realize I desperately need to upgrade my vision board, and what a better way than to start today with this kick-in-the butt inspiration from the Travelstart Blogger Experience Contest being run.

See you on the next plane!

Monday, 12 August 2013

A feverish weekend

We were planning a very relaxed Women's Day and weekend this past weekend!

Little Missy started with a runny nose, and by Thursday night we were struggling with fever.
But not enough to prevent us from going to Decorex on Friday, our yearly inspiration! (And desperation!)
(I had won two tickets through Twitter's Stavey Vee! Yay!)

We dosed Little Missy with medicine, and for the most part she was sleeping in her stroller.
(As a matter of fact, Little Missy gets dosed by any medicine, so it is not on purpose that we "dose" her. We need to give the Panado or the Celestamine on occasion.)

(Dad got a lot of smiles from all the ladies while pushing her)
It was cold and rainy, but definitely not enough to keep the crowds away from Decorex.
I never knew I needed that thing, until I saw it right there!
Now our house and its interior decoration needs a complete overhaul!
We will be chasing that rainbow (see top photo), after all! *Wink smile*

Friday night had us up with the fever again. The Panado and suppository just before 12 did not help.
She was waking us up with fever dreams: "Hold me!" "I'm scared!" (Eyes wide open, but not awake! Afterwards she told us there was a HUGE FROG who touched the sky...)

While busy running the second bath of the night to cool her down, I followed my own rule:

"As soon as you begin to think "Should you take her to the doctor, or not?" - Take her!"

So we walked into emergency at 2 am on Saturday morning.
Not feeling well at all with red cheeks
20 minutes after the hospital's suppository kicked in!
Up and about!
The fever was dealt a definite blow, and up until now we are only struggling with the runny nose. I did not give her the antibiotics that was prescribed...

The rest of the weekend we tried to recover from the lost sleep, and spend some time with the family!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunday winter walk in the park

The park lost a lot of its glamour when looking at photos of a walk in the park during the summer months...
But we still had a lot of fun walking with our two dogs.
(Shame, we don't do it enough. The one got the jitters when she saw her leash, and howled all the way on our way to the park.)

Little Missy with Benji

Fairy wings on the swings

The tongue
Sunday evening again...
It was good!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Becoming sad and desperate for a baby - Hoping

Why is it so difficult to adopt a baby?

We hear of so many children and babies who are looking for parents....
So many children and babies who are in places of safety and children's homes...

Their adoptive parents are sad and desperate to adopt them!
They want them! They have a place for them in their home!
They are ready for them.
Now! This minute!
They are exploring all avenues.

They are waiting and hoping, but sometimes the waiting gets too much!

I don't understand it that it must be such a difficult process with so much red tape and money, dependent on the whims/competence of welfare workers!

I saw this post today from a colleague and I just wanted to say: Your baby is out there!
(I know that!)

If any of you have any suggestions on how to make this happen, or perhaps have a contact detail? That would be appreciated!
There must be some place or something that they have not yet explored?

The merry ways of Retha Buys & co: Thursday Thought: Desperatately: It's a year since the process started, and I so desperately don't want to think about finding our baby every waking moment, but I do...

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