Let’s just have a chat!

When I neglect my blog it really does feel like one of my kids. I feel guilty for not giving it the attention it deserves and needs! This week has been one of those weeks. There has just been little time to sit down, let alone think about content. Also I may have been watching all 3 seasons of Chicago PD and Chicago Fire!

So I am taking a break and just going to full you in on whats happening in our corner of the universe.

  • I think I have sorted out our routine with regard to work. This week was a little out because attended a media event on Tuesday so lost a working day. For the most part though, I think I have it figured out.
  • I am going to the Nan Hua Temple’s meditation retreat on the 6/7 June. I can not wait. I have been trying to go since after Jack was born!
  • Emma is teething – but she is teething properly! At her first birthday (3 months ago) she had ONE tooth. As of right now she has 15 at various stages of completion. It has been much fun!
  • I joined Weigh-less almost 2 weeks ago. I have been struggling all year and am tired now. I need help and I now their program works and on Vitality its only R154 a month. I lost 1.2kg in my first week so chuffed to finally be losing but I must say I am really missing my wine!!!! But I will soldier on!
  • Cameron had a small melt down last week – he was over tired. So we have made some changes to his diet, got him on some shakes and vitamin B and he seems to be coping with the long days a lot better. He has moved up swimming groups so swims for almost 3 hours in the evening and an hour in the morning twice a week.
  • Kiara and Jack are both moving along nicely. Not much to report there. Kiara has her dance exam next week and then she is done for a while.
  • My mom in law is moving closer next week. I can not express how happy this makes me! The close by help really is going to make such a huge difference.
  • I was hoping to have my newsletter out this week but that was not meant to be so I am aiming for next Friday – if you haven’t subscribed yet please do so on the right hand side of my site!

I tried to catch up on blogs this afternoon but Emma has been incredible clingy and Jack keeps demanding food but refuses to tell me what he feels like, so if I missed yours I am sorry!

Please tell me whats new with you?

What’s more important – your feet or your face?

Yesterday McDonalds treated a few of us to an afternoon of spa treatments at Life Spa in Rosebank. It was just what I need, the chance to take some time out just for me.

I have wanted a pedicure for weeks now, it is my one beauty indulgence and I do try to get one done at least every 6 weeks but lately I just haven’t had the time to squeeze it in. (Weak excuse I know). So I was super chuffed yesterday when two of the treatments were a mani and a pedi and not just spa mani and pedis but our nails were painted as well. Such a treat!

My therapist started chatting to me about facials – I committed the cardinal sin of admitted all I use on my face was soap. (I think she is lighting a candle for my poor skin). Shame her face really said it but she did well to try and make me feel better about my clear lack of facial etiquette.

Then, to more gasping, mentioned that if I have a beauty budget then I would rather spend it on my feet and not a facial. She asked me why and I replied “My feet get sore, my face doesn’t” and then should have added “no one likes ugly feet”. She actually said “WOW”. Shame I think I have scared the poor girl for life. Apparently women choose facials over their feet because, her words “Its your FACE”

Her logic, I suppose, does make sense. People see your face everyday, all day, not everyone looks at your feet. But for me it is about practicality and if I am going to spend the money I want to enjoy it and having my feet done is, for me, a huge treat. I don’t particularly enjoy a facial that much.

So my question is, what do you prefer? A mani/pedi or a facial? Which one do you do regularly? I am curious to see the results because I suspect it may have something to do with being a mom. When I asked this question on twitter all the moms said pedi and the one facial answer was from a non-mom.

The tired – it is in my soul

Siblings

You know how you hold it together until you don’t? You keep the balls in the air, the wheels turning, the mouths fed and then you stop, have a look and the balls are bouncing next to your weary slipper clad feet, the wheels have stopped and the fish fingers are burning. You stand there, too tired to even care. Not the tired that a nap will fix, the tired that has weaved it’s way into your soul. The tired that sits behind your eyes, making them heavy but unable to close. The tired that makes you want to sit in the puddle of chaos and just be because dealing with it, facing it, its just too much.

I had one of those moments yesterday.

I stood in my lounge, toys all over, a single slipper (there is always ONLY ONE), chocolate papers scrunched up on the couch, every single glass we own on every single open space downstairs. The toys were bursting out the toy room, not in a cute, pinterest sort of way but rather in “what the hell threw up in here” kind of way. The sink was over flowing, someone (or no one if you ask) left the cheese out, the lid off the rice cakes. Emma had unpacked the tupperware cupboard, Lucy’s bowl and parked her push car in the middle of the kitchen floor.

“Mom I am thirsty.”

Sounds like a simple enough request except it wasn’t. It was the millionth request for the day. The millionth demand on me, my time, my energy, my soul!

So I had the adult version of a tantrum. I ranted on for a while, told the kids what behaviour I expect and explained that life in a big family is not for the faint hearted and everyone needs to pull their weight. I am not their slave, I am their mother and while it is my job to look after them, a little bit of appreciation will go a long way! I don’t expect thank you’s or time out’s. I expect socks to be picked up, rooms to be presentable, toys to be looked after, sports gear to be respected. They were very good about it and the three of them promptly cleaned their rooms.

No one is to blame really, this is what it is to be a parent. We get so caught up in surviving, getting everyone through the day, through the exams, galas, dance competitions. When there is calm you suddenly realise how very tired you really are and how totally off course things have really gone.

What do you do though? Wallowing in your own self pity isn’t really an option is it? So you dust yourself off, put some clean socks on and try again.

The tired is still there though, inside my soul but for now it is hidden under the fluffy pjs, the growing pile of work, the schedules and the meal plans!

How was your weekend?

The struggle (and the juggle) are real

The Struggle to Juggle is Real

The struggle to keep all the balls up in the air at the moment has been real lately, really real. Working from home when you have a child at home is tough, some days it is impossible and there really isn’t much you can do when baby won’t nap or is only happy when attached to you in some way. My new job is great but it is pretty stressful setting up a new company and it requires a lot of my time but the reality is I only really have the mornings to work. So I have to cram 7 hours of work into my 4 hour mornings. The struggle to juggle is real.

A few years ago all I wanted for my blog was to get paid worked and that is now happening. The opportunities are coming thick and fast which is great and I am loving it but it is also work. Generally when life gets overwhelming my blog takes a back seat until I can get control but now I don’t really have that luxury. People are expecting posts, reviews, articles and feedback. I have worked long and hard on these relationships that I am not prepared to just “let it go”. The struggle to juggle is real!

And then there are the kids. Probably the biggest, heaviest ball of them all, purely because there are four of them and their needs are so different. Yesterday was a tough day. My afternoon looked like this – fetch Cameron, drop Cam at home, fetch Kiara and Jack, drop at home, Cameron to swimming, home, Kiara to movie night, Cameron from swimming, Kiara from movie night. Its not the norm but it does happen and will happen more and more as they get older. Some days are a logistical nightmare! Making sure everyone’s needs are met can be the biggest challenge and often their needs are not just dinner, lunch and lifts here and there but there are issues they need to talk about, vent about and deal with. The struggle to juggle is real!

That said, would I change it? Nope!

Do I regret any of the decisions we have made to get here? Nope.

But do I wish some days were easier? Of course.

We all have our challenges and balls we are trying to keep in the air – our struggles are all real!

{Guest Post} Aspirin Dandruff Solution

This is Celeste’s second guest post. Her first one can be found here.

Many people suffer with dry scalps, dandruff and oily hair. A terrible combination. There are some great shampoos on the market to treat this problem but I’ve found that while it moisturises the scalp it sometimes leaves your hair oily. My daughter has this problem and after using some of the best and most popular brands on the market I wasn’t too satisfied with the outcome because although her scalp would be fine for a day or two, her hair strands will look like it hasn’t been washed in ages. An oily mess.

Whenever I get stuck with issues like these, Google and Pinterest are my best buddies. The downside is that there is so much advice and you never know which to choose. Thank goodness for “Boere Rate”, because that is where my help often comes from. It’s also where I came across the Aspirin solution.

Aspirin is not one of my medicine cabinet staples. I personally don’t prefer it, my husband is not allowed to have any because of his stomach ulcer and I fear the dangers of giving it to my kids. I do however buy it in bulk and store it with our hair products.

Here is how you use aspirin for dandruff:

Dilute 10 tablets in 2 litres lukewarm water and dunk your head in a small bath for about 2 minutes after washing your hair. Massage scalp and rinse as per normal. This must be done once a week for about 4 weeks and once a month afterwards.

Another method can be diluting 3 aspirins with 250ml lukewarm water and pouring it in a spray bottle. Before washing hair shake the bottle thoroughly and spray directly on scalp and leave to penetrate your scalp. At this point you can read a magazine, catch up on some Facebook updates or whatever tickles your fancy. Whatever you do, do not go on Pinterest or YouTube because you’ll end up NOT doing your hair, ever. Be warned because I get lost in there.

Right now, Aspirin companies and all the pharmaceutical geniuses are probably rolling their eyes at this thinking what is this woman on about. On the other hand they could take this as an opportunity to create some awesome hair products. If it’s the latter, you’re welcome :) I’d so buy your product.

I hope this article was useful to you. Let me know if this works for you.

{Week 15} Support I have it

Kiara had movie night at school tonight. It started at 18h00. One of her friends at school would have had to stay at school until 18h00 because her mom was unable to fetch her and get her back in time, so she came home with us. There were a few other kids who also stayed at school until the movie night started. There is after care at the school so they were all safe.

Kiara doing homework

It was one of those moments where I am once again grateful I have the flexibility to fetch and carry my kids. Some most days it is exhausting but I am very grateful to my support system that makes that possible. With me working now it has become a lot more challenging to be everywhere for everyone all the time. David’s mom has been so great and picked up a lot of slack for me which takes some of the pressure off and means no one misses anything.

Everyone has their own challenges and as moms we all do the best we can to be there for our kids and give them what they need, some days it all works out and some days we have to leave our kid at school so they don’t miss out a function they have been looking forward to for weeks. It is what it is.

I am also grateful that because I can be there for my kid, I could be there for another kid today. And also for the support I have from David, Jane and my mom in law who help to keep the wheels of our crazy chaotic life turning.

What are you grateful for this week?

7 reasons I know there are boys in the house

During the #jozimeetup I somehow entered into a discussion with some of the ladies about life with boys and how gross challenging it can be.

Despite that I must say I find being a boys mom comes a lot more naturally to me than a girls mom.

7 reasons why we know there are boys living in our house.

 

1. There are dirty socks everywhere. Not just normal socks but stinky, sweaty soccer socks, cricket socks, schools socks – they are everywhere, my car, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the stairs, behind the couch.

2. Communication is in grunts and nods. How was your day Jack? Meh. Cameron is there soccer today? Nod. So you have to make sure you are looking at them all the time.

3. We talk about poo. This one has me wondering about my purpose in life but every time Jack makes a poo we have to discuss it – the size, shape, number. We talk about it! It is probably one of the more glamorous parts of my life as a mom.

4. Fart noises are cause for much hysterics. I really don’t need to embellish on this.

5. I know more about sports than I probably really need to and spend a lot of time walking up and down a pool/soccer field/cricket field. Coupled with this is my knowledge of what exactly each sport needs.

6. Someone is always being body slammed. Jack and Cameron are rough. They wrestle and jump and physically fight (not as in bad fighting, just horsing around), a lot. Glasses are constantly knocked off Cameron’s face, couch cushions are rarely on the actual couch and lamps are knocked off bedside tables constantly.

7. They loathe personal hygiene. I have to fight with both boys to bath every single day, remind them to brush their teeth, change their clothes. Drives me mad but neither of them seem to care if they drown in a puddle of sweat.

There is never a dull moment with the two of them – even if it is smellier than I would like!

 

 

 

Some Blog Admin

Blogging hasn’t been my focus lately and a few things have changed/happened!

A few things you need to know.

  • I have started a newsletter – if you are keen to keep up to date on whats happening, please subscribe on the left hand side of the page. It is super easy. The newsletter will go out every 2 weeks so there won’t be constant spam in your inbox :)
  • I have decided to close down blogshareconnect because Heather and I have officially partnered up on SA Mom Blogs. So I am going to rather focus on building that network, getting our events bigger and better and making our mommy blogger network stronger.
  • So on that note I have transferred the guest posts from there to here. Two bloggers are contributing so far, so I will be running their posts once a month. If you would like to do a guest post for Harassedmom then let me know.
  • Jeanette and I are hosting a photowalk on the 4 July at 10h00 in Joburg CBD. It is an informal event but we are limiting the number to 20 ladies, purely because it is a little more manageable. If you want to join us please email me (laurakim@harassedmom.co.za) and I will add you to the list. You do not need to have a fancy camera – smartphones work just as well.
  • Heather is giving away some of the goodies from our #jozimeetup – enter here, there were some awesome products inside.

 

Leave the past behind you.

Dealing with the pastHow do you deal with the past?

I have just finished reading a really great book, Brown Owls Guide to Life by Kate Harris. It is about a group of women who, through dealing with the death of a parent, end up having to deal with issues from their past. A while ago some things from my past found their way to one of my timelines. Initially I didn’t think much of it but it wouldn’t go away and the more I thought about it, the more I realised having to deal with this particular issue was making me extremely anxious.

Yesterday I received an email relating to my posts about my divorce, maintenance court and custody. I still get these mails fairly regularly and I am glad that I can offer some guidance or advise to parents dealing with their divorce related issues. It does, however, bring back memories of a time I really would prefer to forget.

The second issue is actually easier to deal with than the first and it will always be a part of my past that is a part of my present, so I handle it. The first issue is not so simple and I am not sure yet what to do – do I assume my ostrich position and wait for it to pass over me (until next time), do I pretend all is ok, do I confront the issue?

We all have a past and we all have issues we have left behind somewhere with someone, friends, family, boyfriends, colleagues. For the most past we can leave them there but sometimes they do resurface, we hear a song, run into someone we haven’t seen or get a friend request from someone or you discover you have a mutual friend with someone from your past (my personal favourite).

How do you deal with it? Especially the parts you would rather stay in the past? Do you fearlessly face them, run from them ignore them?

{Guest Post} Mingling Paws and Toes – Soft Play Both Ways

Mingling Paws and Toes

This is the second guest post by Christine. Her first one is here.

The wonderful thing about babies is that they start out not doing much at all and only become more active and mobile as they develop. This will help your pet get used to your baby and set the pace for future interactions. However, time stands still for no-one and before you know it, your little one will be poking, pulling, hitting and chasing you and your pets around the house.
Many animals who have not spent time around children find toddlers confusing, intimidating and outright annoying. Not surprising when you take into account the differences in their movements, smell and sound. The best thing to do is to prepare in advance. When your baby is still small, start preparing your pet for a toddler’s touch, movements and unpredictable behaviour.

Handling
Toddlers tend to pull at tails, play with the dog’s toys and grab handfuls of fur as their mobility allows them to interact with the household pet. Though you’ll eventually teach your child to treat your dog with respect and a gentle touch, he/she cannot possibly grasp that concept as a toddler. So before your child starts crawling, it’s important to help your pet get used to handling all parts of their bodies. As soon as possible, begin teaching your pet to love being handled. Practice holding their paws, rubbing their fur, looking in their ears or gently tugging their tail. Go on your hands and knees and playfully approach your pet as a toddler might do.

Give your pet a personal space
Always make sure your pet has a place to escape to that is clearly off limits to your toddler. Any crate, dog bed, or elevated spot will do, as long as it is a favourite of your pet’s and your toddler knows that the spot is off limits. Many animals don’t realize that they can move away from a baby/toddler when they become annoyed or nervous about interaction. Upon noticing aggression or nervousness, show your dog to his/her personal space by either saying “Go to your basket” (or any other term you generally use to “shoo” your dog) in a calm, cheerful voice whilst pointing in the direction of the area you’d like your dog to go. Avoid sounding angry as they haven’t done anything wrong. Once your dog has retreated a few steps from your baby, throw him/her a treat. With some repetition, they will soon learn that they do not have to rely on aggression to relieve their distress, but can simply move away or go somewhere else.

Teach your child how to handle your pet
Spend time each day teaching your toddler how to treat your pet. Have your toddler sit on your lap and gently pat the dog’s fur and then hold your toddler’s hand while he repeats your actions. Hold your hand so that your dog can sniff it and then do the same for your toddler. Show your toddler hoe to stroke the cat and where his/her favourite tickle spots are. Use simple terms like “Softly” and “Sniff hand” to let your toddler know what you’re doing. If he gets too rough, tell him no and explain that he can hurt your pet, and then allow him to try again. If your toddler continues to be rough, move him away from your pet and try again when your toddler is calmer.

Allow your child to play supervised games such as fetch or Frisbee, blowing bubbles or hide and seek. Avoid games such as tug of war, wrestling, pony riding or chasing as these will teach your dog to be rough with your children.
Also teach your toddler to respect your pet’s toys by taking the toy away from your toddler, telling them that it belongs to your pet and passing him/her one of their own toys. Keep your child away from your dog’s food bowl or if they are old enough, have them help you feed the dog and show that that they need to move away in order for the dog to eat.

Teach your dog to play softly
Toddlers are unpredictable and often uncoordinated and your dog has the potential of hurting your child, unintentionally or otherwise. Whenever the two interact make sure to be around and watch them closely. If you see your dog playing a little fast or rough, go to them and calm your dog by saying something like “Softly” in a calming yet firm tone. If your dog jumps to reach something your child is holding, reprimand him/her in a firm tone telling them that no jumping is allowed.

Reward good behaviour
Positive reinforcement works well with both animals and children, so don’t forget to let them know when they are behaving well. When you see your little one softly stroking your pet, congratulate him/her, tell them they are doing a good job and give your pet a treat for calmly accepting your toddler’s uncoordinated stroking.

By teaching both your pet and your toddler to respect each other’s space and handle each other with care, you’ll be laying the foundation for future interactions. Animals can be wonderful friends to your children and all it takes is a little practice and a lot of repetition to positively influence the developing relationship between your pet and your growing child and to ensure each one’s safety.