A couple of weeks ago I won a prize on an instragram competition Citroen was running. All the comment said was”you have won this weeks voucher – a spa for two” – I was pretty chuffed because who doesn’t like a little spa time but thought it would be a massage and maybe something else! David got the vouchers on Wednesday! Two FULL DAY SPA packages from Mangwanani – I called the lady because full day to spa people means different things to non-spa people – the package is SEVEN HOURS LONG! SEVEN treatments, breakfast and lunch!

I actually can not explain how excited I am! The booking has been made and I am possible more excited than I am about Christmas!

Life is full speed ahead here again. I can’t even remember what happened this week, it was all just a blur of kids, cooking, working and life really!

We managed to get Jacks temporary passport this week for his little trip to Lesotho next week, it really was pretty painless and I actually wish I had just applied for the abridged birth certificates at the same time.

I am busy looking for a domestic/nanny 3 times a week. Working with Emma is a challenge especially since she wants to be in my arms so much. It really is very strange for me because she is the 4th child you would assume she wouldn’t get as much arm time as she does. Drives me mad though. I can no cook, type, make coffee,get dressed – all with a baby in my arms!

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Santa Shoebox prep has started. The admin starts pretty much from January but now the actual physical stuff starts and Suzanne’s garage has been turned into our packing head quarters! So yesterday Emma and I went off to help sort, pack, drink coffee and catch up. The name lists only go up in September but you can start getting your boxes ready now :) When you pledge please bear in mind that the teenagers are often the last names to be picked and the ones we struggle with in the end. Its cute buying for babies and kids your kids age but the teenagers are often forgotten.

I am currently having an internal war about our nighttime routine! Currently if David is home in time he will bath Emma and put her down and I bath Jack and then lie with him at 19h00. (Remember we were having issues with him being tired?). The thing is I still have to lie with him, it takes sometimes 45 minutes so by that time its nearly 8 and after pretending to sleep for 45 minutes you do actually get very sleepy! Then I want to go to bed. He naps now at the new school for over 90 minutes which he wasn’t doing before which I think is why it takes so long for him to fall asleep, he isn’t as tired as he was before? So I am thinking of pushing bed time to 19h30 or even back to 20h00 when Cameron goes to bed then I don’t have to lie with him. I really just want to be able to get all of the kids to sleep and still spend some time with David.

What time do your toddlers go down? How do I get him to fall asleep on his own? I tried bribing him with chocolate the other night – it never worked *sigh*

I challenge you to be happy!

I am sitting at Kauai at gym waiting for my bio appointment and catching up on emails and stuff. I actually have time to blog all the millions of ideas in my head but you know what? I can’t think of one of them – I actually have a list on my phone with blog posts – I checked it and can think of nothing to write. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

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Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. ~John Barrymore

What I am about to say may make some of my more pessimistic realistic readers vomit a little but I am ok with that!

The week David was away recently where I blogged about poo and was having a really rubbish time, was the week that I got the most hits and comments! I will admit it was rather entertaining to read, not so much to live but I can laugh about it all now!

It seems people are naturally drawn to drama, more often not even their own. All you have to do is look at Facebook to see how true this is. I actually avoid it at the moment, I post what I want and don’t scroll through my timeline. I really can not handle the dead bodies, the mutilated children, the abused animals, the stolen power cables, shot down airplanes. Really it is all just too much! I KNOW it exists! I KNOW there are countries at war and people dying. I KNOW animals and children are being abused! I do my little bit to help where I can. I do not want it shoved in my face every single day!

Life is MORE than the wars and poverty and abuse! Maybe it is a selfish, privileged thing to say but my life is MORE than all that negativity!

Right now my little family is in such an awesome space. David and I are blissfully happy (except when he tells me to put the radio off and won’t rub my feet), the kids are all doing so well, even Emma is sleeping better, I am working and I am loving it. We are seeing our friends often. We have so much positivity in our lives right now that I can’t help but feel hopeful and happy about life in general!

There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction. ~Salvador Dali

Surrounding myself with the ugly of the world is not going to change it BUT maybe sharing and spreading the positivity will. Maybe if we celebrate the pretty, the good, the hard work of individuals – MAYBE just maybe the world will start to be a happier place!

So I am issuing a little challenge to you, my readers, just for one day instead of sharing the negative posts, share ONLY the happy, positive ones. Don’t just like them, share them, retweet them – let every get a little bit of sunshine in a rather gloomy world!

Natural Medicine – to use or not to use

I had an interesting discussion with my yoga instructor yesterday. Her youngest grand daughter had gastro last week and she was asking me my thoughts on using homeopathic remedies for something like that for a baby because her daughter is very natural and only uses a homeopath.

I have been very lucky with all of my kids, they do not get sick very often. Jack was the first one to have to be hospitalised and I couldn’t even remember when the older two were last at the Doctor when I was asked recently.Jacksmall

I have never been one to rush to the doctor for every runny nose or sore tummy. Often these things work themselves out without any medical intervention. I also am a strong believer in tissue salts. I do know they receive a bit of a bad wrap and often people say they are just “sugar pills” but they have worked for us. I try to always have the tonsilitis one and when Jack and Kiara show symptoms I bomb them for a day or two and touch wood, so far it’s worked. My main reason for going the more natural route is because my kids aren’t sick often and also I am not a huge fan of drs prescribing antibiotics at each visit – I personally don’t believe they are always necessary.

Obviously there are times where you need medical intervention especially when they are babies and don’t seem to be getting better. It is also a personal choice depending on what you believe – there is no right or wrong answer.

Do you use natural remedies together with medicine? Or only medicine? Or are you completely natural?

 

 

I wore red lipstick, you won’t believe what happened next!

We had a great break but we are all very glad to be back to school and more importantly routine!

We had a very busy weekend, probably actually too busy but it was good. There was a nice mix of friend time, adult time and family time but not a lot of at home time which I do actually need over the weekends.

My friend Fiona had her birthday party on Saturday afternoon in the Maboneng District in the CBD. I was very excited about it because I haven’t actually been there and Fiona is a little bit hipster so pushes us out of our comfort zone.We weren’t able to make the lunch and Mama Mexicana because Cameron had a party on and getting my brood to their respective baby sitters takes time and planning, so we joined them at the Living Lounge for drinks afterwards. It was such a lovely afternoon. There was a great vibe at the Living Lounge and they had the best pink cocktails, it was, as it always is, great to get out and be around adults in a grown up setting (ie a restaurant with no kids menu or play area).

Jeanette documented the day here.

Social get togethers like this do cause me a certain amount of anxiety though for a few reasons. Firstly they are held in adult settings, which I don’t get to much and secondly this crowd was people I didn’t know, apart from Fiona and Jeanette. As a result of this wearing my usual jeans and sneakers just isn’t appropriate, which pushes me further out of my comfort zone because I need to dress up, put make up and look like an adult not a harassed mom.

While I was doing my make up I found Kiara’s red lipstick from her dance competition earlier this year, so I decided what the hell and put it on. It actually didn’t look too bad, in fact it looked pretty decent. When I walked down stairs Cameron burst out laughing (as 12 year old boys do when there mom puts on red lipstick), Kiara told me I looked beautiful which did make me think there was some hope. When we dropped Kiara off, the friends who were watching her both asked me where I was going because I was so dressed up. At the birthday one of Fiona’s friends told me how brave she thinks I am for wearing red lipstick and how great it looked!

Can you believe that? My red lips got almost as much air time as the fact that I have four kids! I may wear it more often just to distract people from saying “WOW four kids!” WHO KNEW!

I am still not sure if it was because the lipstick looked that good or if I just look that crap the rest of the time?!

It does bring me to another related point though – make up!

I don’t normally wear make up, I never have. I will put on if we are going out and I have to be proper but if I can avoid it I do – I am not sure if it is because I am comfortable in my plain-ness or because I am just lazy.

BUT as I get older and my skin gets less youthful I am starting to think that maybe I do need to start wearing a little bit of concealer a bit more regularly. I am not about to rush out and spend my first pay check at the MAC counter but I am thinking maybe I need to grow up and start making more of an effort.

What do you think? Are you a daily make up wearer? If so what brand do you prefer? Have you ever worn red lipstick before?

Mark all as read!

This week, at home, with all the kids has kicked my butt which is why the posts are sporadic and a lack spark!

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Our house is really too small for everyone to be here all the time and I have given up tidying up for now – its pointless. Kiara still plays with toys and she spreads her joy so there are puzzles, lego, looms, drawings, paint and music players everywhere! I sort of kick it all into the toy room at then end of the day so that at least its out of the way.

I am also trying to work in between the madness which is a challenge because there is no real routine for any of us so I sort of smash out a paragraph here and there.

As a result blogging and all things internet have had to take a back seat and I just had to mark the items in my reader as read for the second time this week. I hate doing that but there is no way I will get to everyone any time soon. We have Disney on Ice tomorrow, Moms and Babes on Friday, birthday parties on Saturday and the Red Bus on Sunday.

And then its Monday and back to school and back to routine which I think we are all ready for.

After a break from gym due to extreme laziness I got back into it this week and I can feel it all over! ALL OVER. It really isn’t worth taking these breaks. Hopefully now that I have had my babies there will be no more lengthy breaks, even my bio is losing patience with my lack of progress. I have also got my eating back on track after two weeks of indulgence (did I mention my mom is the gluten free baking QUEEN – she can and did make us ANYTHING).

Jack is on the mend. Emma is calm. Cameron has homework he only told me about yesterday. Kiara still has her head in the clouds. David is working and planning a bit of a “visit 6 African countries in 9 days” trip – fortunately not consecutively.

How are you and your family doing?

Short baby breaks recharge the batteries

We arrived back from Cape Town on Sunday morning. The flight back was pretty chilled despite the fact that Jack was still very miserable. Emma was super chilled and did not cry once which made it much easier to deal with Jack.

Cam and Jack

It was a really great holiday, being with my family always makes me miss them so much more when I get back. Having my mom around all the time was all kinds of awesome. Even though it felt like most of the time we were dealing with either a screaming Emma or a sick Jack, we did have a great time and I managed to get some great photos of the 5 cousins.

David’s mom took both the babies yesterday morning and they both spent the night with her. As much as we all do miss them when they are gone it is good for all of us to be able to spend some alone time with the older two and because they are low maintenance, by default David and I also get a chance to catch up and actually talk without one of us rocking a baby or wiping a toddlers bum.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in the babies that I forget that the older two also need attention as much as the smaller two do so these breaks are great for all of us. Today the three of us chilled, went to gym together, did some shopping and just enjoyed being able to talk and watch what we wanted to.

Kiara and Mae

It is also too easy for both David and I to get so focused on the two babies that we often pass like two ships in the night (or sleep deprived zombies as the case may be) which is why these kid-free moments are so special. We are able to re-connect, re-charge and re-group as a couple which is so important because we are individually and collectively more than our children and there will come a time when they are off doing their own thing and we won’t have the distraction of school trips, birthday parties and midnight wake ups.

Finding time for everyone in our family is one of my biggest challenges especially now while Emma is still a baby so I make the most of any opportunity I get to spend a little quality time with the kids and David.

How old where your babies when they first slept out (with family or friends)?

Advice from a small town doctor

Last year when we were here in December I had a little eye issue – remember?

I never met the Doctor so decided this trip I needed to meet him. Jack got some tummy bug earlier in the week but then started complaining of a sore neck and well Emma wasn’t sleeping. So paying the chemists rent for July we decided that maybe we need to just get the doctor to check them both out.

So off we go.

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I go in with Emma and Dr S is about 100 years old. He is a tall, thin elderly distinguished looking gentleman. He starts asking me what’s wrong.

We had the following conversation – he was not being mean or dismissive but rather sarcastically humorous. (It was actually very amusing)

Me: This child seems very unhappy. She cries a lot, doesn’t want to sleep EVER.

Dr S: Ok…..

Me: We have tried everything (and I list all the things) but still she just screams.

Dr S: Shame.

Me: (starting to question my sanity in bringing her) None of my kids have done this.

Dr S: How many do you have?

Me: Four

Dr S: So then WHY are you here? Don’t you know whats wrong with her?

Me: NO!

Dr S: Ok so what do you think is wrong? What is your gut telling you?

Me: I don’t know. That is WHY I am here.

Dr S: You must have an idea?

Me: I don’t. My mom thought it would be a good idea to come to the Dr, just to rule out a few things.

Dr S: How thoughtful of your mom.

Dr S examines her.

Me: Oh we have also been putting ear drops in because she had wax coming out of her ears.

Dr S: Yes babies do have wax in their ears.

Me: Ja but none of the others ever had it as bad as that so I didn’t realise.

Dr S: Well now you know.

Dr S: There is nothing wrong with her. She is a healthy, beautiful baby.

Me: Ok then – shall I go get Jack?

Dr S: You do that.

I was by now laughing a little hysterically and praying that there was really something wrong with Jack because I suspect if there wasn’t he may have called them to lock me up in the local nut house.

We did discuss a few possibilities though but basically whatever is causing her to have these screaming tantrums is not health related.

Anyway the point of all that was that he was right asking me what my gut said. My instinct was that she wasn’t sick. I was 99% sure that whatever is wrong with her was not health related. But that didn’t necessarily mean I did know what was wrong.

I do look forward to our medical adventures in Montagu when we return next time.

 

 

Sleepless in Montagu

My mother and I are day dreaming of sleep. We would dream of it, if we actually slept long enough to dream.

Emma has regressed terribly this week. Last night she slept for three uninterrupted (not consecutive) hours. My mom managed to get her down at around midnight for an hour. I took over and she slept in my arms while I sat for an hour. Then at 3h30 we fell asleep on the couch until 4h30 when Jack was looking for me. It was all kinds of special.

We have tried EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING!

Emma

I had her at the doctor yesterday (which was an experience – there shall be a post on that) and health wise she is fine. Ears are clear, throat is clear, no tummy sounds. We have tried buscopan, stopayne, gaviscon, teejel and ear drops!

We know she is healthy but she just does not sleep. *sigh*

I was doing some research last week and came across a spa near Harties that has a “sleep room” that guests can enjoy. I am seriously considering using our grocery money on a visit there to catch up on my lost sleep. Although do you really ever catch up on lost sleep?

So right now I am definitely pining for sleep with warmth a close second!

What are you pining for?

Pet Peeves

We all have a few things that irritate us, often a little bit irrationally.

I really don’t spend a lot of time in the traffic and don’t really get too annoyed by drivers and I didn’t even realize this bugged me so much until David pointed it out. People who don’t drive when there is a green arrow should all have their licenses taken away! It is the only time I hoot and use my big bus to intimidate because it annoys me immensely.

I have kept all my babies off gluten and dairy for the first year. Do you know how hard it is to find gluten and dairy free cereals? It’s nearly impossible and when you do there is usually only one. Let’s not even talk about the bottled food options – puréed macaroni and cheese or beef stew and pap for a 7 month old? WHY?

Teachers who ask kids to bring stuff with only the afternoon to get it in. It usually random stuff like tracing paper that no one just has around the house. Lesson planning is teaching 101 – give parents a few days at least.

Restaurants who don’t take bookings is probably one of my bigger pet peeves! I don’t understand the logic behind it – Sam books a table for 8 for 13h00. At 13h15 Sam is not there – give the table away! How hard is that?

What are some of your pet peeves?

Outside my window

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Outside my window right now the sun is shining but the wind is icy.

Outside my window the washing is drying.

Outside my window the dogs are barking at passers-by.

Outside my window is the small town of Montagu.

Outside my window I see the beautiful mountains that surround the town.

Outside my window I am watching the children play.

Outside my window somewhere my husband is working.

Through the window the sun is shining on my sleeping toddler.

Through the window the dogs watch us expectantly.

Through the window the neighbours peek.

Through the window come the smells of lunches being cooked.

Through the window I stare for inspiration!

What do you see outside your window and what is shining through?