Are you exposing your kids to other cultures?

We attended a baptism in the Greek Orthodox church on Sunday. It was the first time my kids and I had ever been in a Greek Orthodox church. It was the first baptism they had been too so it was a bit of an educational event as well. Kiara, in particular, had a lot of questions about the religion itself.

It got me thinking about how exposed I was, growing up, to other cultures and I realised that I wasn’t really. I think it was largely due to the fact that I grew up during apartheid South Africa, so there was already a very clear divide between black and white and Durban isn’t really the most diverse province we have, even now.

Fast forward to today and without even really trying to hard my children have been exposed to a wider range of cultures in their 12 years than I have in my 36. Cameron goes to school with many of the diplomat children, so he is surrounded by children from all over the world. David works very closely with a gentlemen from Nigeria who we had around for dinner recently and he chatted to us about how things are done in Nigeria, in particular in families. Through blogging I have met people from all walks of life who have become close friends, which means my children have been exposed to a variety of cultures and traditions.

One of the definite advantages of the digital age we live in is that we are, and by default our children too, exposed to so much more in terms of cultures and lifestyles than we were before. Our social circles are bigger and more diverse. In my social circle alone there are Black people, Coloured people, Greek people, Catholics, Afrikaans people, people who have adopted, gay people, people from other countries, divorced people, single people, Jewish people, mixed couples and more.

To be hones this isn’t really a part of my parenting I have given much thought to because it has just happened but it is actually something I think is important, making sure our children are exposed to as many different cultures and traditions as possible. Having an understanding of a culture builds tolerance and a realisation that while we may be different religions or colours we share many of the same beliefs.

Is this something you actively try to do? Or is it more passive (like we have been)?

How important is exposing your children to other cultures?

 

 

 

If you are happy and you know it, leave a comment!

I had about three blog posts in my head yesterday but I got so distracted with the next #jozimeetup and catching up on blog reading etc etc.that I missed my window to actually write at least one of them.

So this morning I sat down ready to go because I had three options to choose from so I figured it would be a quick thing! WRONG! Here I sit 3 hours later and still NOTHING. I considered the post I had planned about bullying but then figured theirs enough fuel on that fire at the moment BUT there is still a post to come, then I wanted to write about teaching my kids to stand up for themselves but I couldn’t find the words for that. So whats left? Things making me happy so we will go with that!

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My Jack! He is super super cute at the moment. He talks non stop and says the cutest things. His observations of the world are just adorable. I love just talking to him. The tantrums are still there but the naughty corner seems to restore order and just the mention of it sorts him out.

My friends. I have had a good friend year. I have a group of awesome people in my life at the moment. Some I see often, some I see once a year but they are all just super awesome and I am very grateful for all of them.

Its nearly holidays. Need I say more? Who isn’t happy about that?

My husband! Just because he is all kinds of awesome.

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How cute is this picture of David and Emma? Seriously how flippen cute!

My tween. I am still rather emotional about his sudden launch into all that is a teenager. A few days ago I went to fetch him and he didn’t see me arrive and was busy talking and laughing with a bunch of girls. He looked so happy and confident. I am really enjoying him at the moment.

The warmer weather. I am loving it. We are spending lots of time outside. The kids are swimming. There are braais and wine and cocktails. Its FANTASTIC!

Whats making you happy? 

 

 

 

Whats new with you?

If your children go to school then September not only marks the start of Spring but also the start of the crazies. I commented on Rina’s post that we shift gear now and start a free fall of sorts to December. Our weekends are full pretty much until we leave for holiday in December. Truth be told though we love it, it gets a bit manic at times but I love getting out over the weekends, being with friends, watching my kids sports, celebrating parties.

I haven’t done a bullet point post in a while so here it is – an update on whats new with us!

  • Cameron’s soccer team won their league on Wednesday. It has been a long season and it was a tense match, we had to win and we were only 1-0 up at half time but the boys pulled it off and we ended up winning 5-0 making us the top Under 13 team in the Gold League. Not to take away from the players acheivements but huge kudos has to go to their coach. We need more men like this coaching and inspiring the youth. He has coached and inspired these boys for 3 years now and he deserved this win as much as they did. There win does mean that soccer training resumes in November this year instead of April next year and we start matches in February next year. (Because you know we have so much spare time for this :))

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  • In case you don’t read my Facebook updates or follow me on twitter you won’t know Jack was sick last week. We suspect it started as hand, foot and mouth and then turned to tonsilitis. He had a weird red “rash” around his lips early last week, I assumed it was from him licking them but then the strange temp started and when I took him to the Dr all was ok, so we waited it out. He was ok over the weekend but Monday the temps were back and the tonsilitis arrived. He was so sick. When I took him back to the Dr on Thursday we both noticed the rash on his feet which was exactly the same as the rash he had earlier this year when he had it. He is thankfully better now!
  • We spent Heritage with friends braaing, as you do. It was a great day. This picture isn’t the best one but when Ansie and I started our friendship, Jacob was about Emma’s age now and we spent many afternoons with him in his pram. Now he is pushing Emma around the garden.

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  • These two have been inseparable pretty much since I met Ansie. They are like soul mates almost. Don’t you just love childhood friendships like this? Do your kids have these friendships?

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  • David and Cameron did their first triathalon in ages on Sunday. I am very glad I decided to leave the babies with David’s mom because the wind was crazy and there was no real shelter. We had fun though. Cameron didn’t finish, he got a puncture and I had a small panic attack when the “finish” cops came in signalling the last cyclist was in and Cameron wasn’t back yet but he was with a sweeper car thankfully. Despite the wind it was so great to be outside again.

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  • Its almost Santa Shoebox time – have you pledged yet? PLEASE do so if you haven’t. Pretoria still needs 3000 boxes and our drop offs open in less than a month.
  • Also if you haven’t booked your spot for the #jozimeetup PLEASE do so TODAY. IMMEDIATELY.
  • Things are getting easier with Emma. She still doesn’t love to eat. She will happily gobble a whole jar of fruit but eats the savoury stuff with very long teeth. I have tried making her food – she point blank refuses it. Last night, however, she couldn’t get enough of David’s homemade guacomale.

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  • David and I had a very cool date afternoon on Saturday. We attended the Taste of Joburg. Did you go? Have you ever been?
  • I ordered a costume from Mr P online – it has taken AGES to get here. I have ordered from Takealot and Spree before and I have always received my stuff within 3/4 days so I am getting a little antsy about this. Do you order online?
  • Our guest post section on Blog Share Connect is picking up nicely. If you would like to contribute please let me know. I have a few ladies who are going to be doing monthly posts for us so watch out for that.

So tell me whats new with you?

My laptop and I took an unplanned, but much needed, break from one another and I survived to tell the tale.

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Some weeks are just crap. This week was one of them. It seems that I wasn’t the only one counting the minutes until David got home every evening or drinking probably too much wine or not bathing until 15h00.

If my Whatapp groups are anything to go by then it has been a rough time all around. Babies are sick, moms are going through emotional strain, cars were broken into, loved ones were lost, someone even had to unpack 5000 flattened shoe boxes.

The week has not been kind to many of us. But thankfully it is the weekend and a chance to let it all go and start again next week.

I generally don’t plan much, work wise, on a Tuesday or Thursday because Jane is off those days which means I have Emma. I use those days to organise the house a bit or meet friends. I had a surprisingly productive Tuesday. I sorted out the book cases and donated almost an entire book case full of books. I did it with a very heavy heart but it really had to be done, there is no space for that much sentimentality in this house. I finally labeled the toy boxes and threw out more broken toys. (excuse the blurry photo – its from my phone *sob*). I am very chuffed with how they came out and really hope that we can keep them organised. I didn’t get much laptop time because while Emma napped I tidied and when she is awake she wants to be in my arms playing – so we watched half a season of The Mentalist.

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Jane was not here on Wednesday so I organised a coffee date and we went to gym and dropped off some books. It was a good day but again not much time to reply to the emails they were now streaming in. I was getting a little antsy about it but there really wasn’t much I could do. I replied via my phone to the urgent ones and let the rest go.

Wednesday night the wheels started wobbling. Jack was very miserable and by the time he went to bed he had a rather horrible cough, which continued through the night and by morning he had a raging temperature and was very clearly sick and obviously couldn’t go to school. So there I was day 3 with Emma on my own and a very sick toddler. By mid day the wheels had all fallen off and rolled away, with no hope of restoration. We had temps of over 39, baby who, when awake, only wanted to be on my lap, a house that looked like it was a set for The Walking Dead and my inbox was by now over flowing and I hadn’t blogged in two days so I was twitching uncontrollably. But what do you do?

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You make crumpets, sit down and watch Toy Story for the 54687611 time and bounce the baby up and down as many times as she wants and ignore the odor wafting around when you lift your underarms because you haven’t managed to bath yet because trying to fight it is not going to get you anywhere.

This morning was the first time I sat down at my laptop since Tuesday morning and you know what happened? NOTHING. No one had to be admitted to the ER because I hadn’t replied to their mail as yet, my blog didn’t dissolve because I missed two days of posting, all the articles that needed writing got written and submitted. Basically the world kept on turning despite the fact that I checked out for most of the week.Who knew!

I get a little to caught up in replying immediately, responding straight away, reading blogs daily, being productive constantly that I forget that it is ok every now and then to lie in bed with Jack and just do nothing because he is feeling crap and just needs a little TLC.

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Sometimes you have to just give in and go with the flow of life.

Sometimes you have to just ignore the chipped nail polish and go out anyway.

Sometimes it’s ok to make a very slap together go-to dinner loaded with carbs.

Sometimes it is totally acceptable to give the baby a crumpet with syrup on.

Sometimes it is ok to take the toddler to the Dr in a pregnancy top that is now two sizes too big because nothing else is clean.

Sometimes it is ok to take a break from my laptop, it will still be there when I am ready to return and so will all the things I pushed pause and the things that aren’t there anymore couldn’t have been that important anyway.

How has your week been? Were your kids hit by the sicks going around?

 

So…the job and other interesting things

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It is a pretty well known fact now that I am working. I have a job with a contract and everything. Its all very proper really.

I haven’t blogged about it because there isn’t really much to say except that I am now working from home writing. It is a great opportunity because it allows me to work from home, set my own hours and obviously means I am earning an income again which takes the pressure off a little.

It has been a little bit of a challenge with Emma though. She is an “in the arms” baby so I spend a fair amount of time typing with her on my lap or working after she has gone to bed, which I REALLY do not enjoy. So I have employed a lady to come in three days a week to help me with her.

Anyway there really isn’t much more to say about that.

In other news, we are taking Emma to the ENT tomorrow to have her tongue checked out and book the procedure to fix it. (In case you missed it she is tongue tied). I am trying not really think too much about the actual procedure because it does involve anesthetic but I also can’t leave it anymore because while she is eating nicely, I can see it does affect the way she takes the food in.

We had Parents Evening at Jacks school last night and he is doing really well.There are a few little things we need to work on but over all he is doing just fine.

Kiara also got a really great report card. She has improved in almost all subjects which is awesome. I am battling a little with her behaviour at the moment – she suffers from, what I call, the Princess Complex which I shall have to blog about at some point.

I feel very behind on life at the moment. I managed to catch up on a bit of blog reading this morning, replied to emails and actually had a little bit of time to just be quiet and plan the next few weeks and hopefully manage to get a few coffee dates planned again. School holidays are actually very disruptive because 4 times a year we need to have a break in routine and then readjust.

I have booked a family shoot for us for the first time ever. I am super excited. We have very few photos of us before Emma, I think the only ones are the wedding ones so I really want to get some decent pictures of us all.

Whats going on in your world??

Holidays

Gosh so you guys don’t play hey! You clearly don’t approve of my writers boot camp posts or you all removed me from your readers when you discovered I was a thief. I am trying not to take it personally since I do see comments on other boot camp posts!

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Anyway because I do enjoy the comments I will try and post a non writers boot camp post!

Every holiday I forget that holidays with babies really aren’t holidays. Thankfully Emma’s night time sleeping has improved 100% but her day time naps are now an issue. She is tired, she wants to sleep but she SCREAMS the second we try to put her down. Since I have been here it has taken both my mom and I to get her down and almost all her naps. I will rock her while she screams, then my mom takes over and eventually she passes out and vice versa! Once down she sleeps fine – sometimes a short nap and others a long one. So it’s just to get her down? So tiring.

The big 3 are having a great time though. They are spending lots of time outside painting, running, playing – just being kids. It is cold but warm enough for them to be outside for most of the day thankfully.Jack

I have been working in between and am halfway with what I need to have done but it has been a challenge.

My diet has obviously gone out the window. I cut out carbs over 2 months ago I think. About 2 weeks ago I started having them again now and then – not a lot and not even daily but I felt the difference. While I have been here I have carbo loaded like a marathon runner! It has not been pretty and I feel rubbish! I have low blood pressure again, I am bloated, my tummy is sore and the worst thing is I am hungry all the time. I am not arguing for or against the Tim Noakes diet because I still do have my doubts BUT I will say that I can feel the difference when I cut carbs out.

I am behind in my blog reading. When I get a gap on the PC I work or blog quickly – there is little time for reading unfortunately :(

I have had a fight this week with Kalahari. I bought Cameron an eBook but we can’t read it. Kalahari were USELESS! I contacted them on Monday morning – the issue STILL hasn’t been resolved so I eventually bought the book for him on Amazon and he is reading it through the Kindle app – I should have asked around BEFORE just using Kalahari. I really hate poor customer service because there is no need for it besides laziness!

Cameron has reached that age where he is too big to play with the little kids but to young still to entertain himself for an extended period of time. So he has been causing chaos, teasing the little ones and just being a bit of a pain. I am hoping now that I have his book he will be a little less painful.

Whats new with you? 

 

On anniversaries

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Yesterday David and I were married a year.

It doesn’t feel like a year. I can’t think back to life without him in our lives. We have managed to pack so much into the almost 5 years we have been together that it feels so much longer. I said to David on Saturday night that I long for a calm, peaceful year with no hospital visits, no life changing events – just calm.

I was thinking back over the past year and while a good marriage requires hard work from both parties, there are other people involved to. Our family and friends have all contributed to our relationship it many ways. There are the friends who I have messaged at 2h00 in the morning, who replied. There are parents who talk us through changing a light fitting. There are grannies who send keepsakes from days gone by. There are friends who baby sit and help fetch kids. There are moms who full up petrol tanks now and then. There are friends who never say no to a coffee date.

Our relationship doesn’t depend on these people, we don’t need them to make us work but having the support of our amazing friends and family makes life a little easier and a lot brighter.

So while David and I celebrated with a quiet dinner at home (with no kids), I would like to say thank you to both our families and all our friends who are sharing this journey with us.

Thank you for the messages, the emails, the glasses of wine, the braais, the unexpected gifts, the holidays, the advice, the support.

Thank you for being a part of our life.

We are family

I have been very moany of late about how tough it all is and it has been BUT it has also been good. Very good.

While having four children can be extremely chaotic there are some real advantages of having many of us.

There is always someone to help. Sometimes they aren’t always willing but there is always someone to hold the baby, put the toddlers shoes on, check the rice, make sandwiches, carry bags.

The kids have play mates. Even with the age gap they keep each other entertained. It changes from day to day – some days Kiara and Cameron get on, others it’s Jack and Cameron and some days all three play together.

There is always a cheerleading squad at sports events, dances etc – kinda like rent-a-crowd.

There is always noise. Strange I know because I complain about it but their is nothing as comforting as the sound of children laughing, playing, talking, joking.

Some days it is like a little human zoo in our house. Toys lie everywhere, there is always someone snacking or making tea or messing about in the kitchen, clothes are everywhere except the washing basket, the TV is blaring, the iPad is shooting someone, the iPod is singing, the PC’s have a show playing, kids are arguing.

But it is my human zoo and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Dear Family

My dear children, I birthed you all. I know you all better than you know yourself. I know when you are scared, happy, frightened and hungry. I know what makes you anxious. I know where you happy places are. I know you!

I also know where you go to school, who your soccer coach is, who your dance instructor is and how you need your shoes to be tied. I know what I need to know to get you to where you need to be.

What I do not know, however, is where you put your shin pads when you came back from soccer. I do not know where you put your school socks after you wore them. I do not know where your Lightning McQueen car is. I do not know what your English teacher said. I also have no idea where you glasses are or where your personal diary is.

I AM NOT THE ENCYCLOPEDIA KNOW-WHERE-YOUR-STUFF-IS!!! I DON’T WANT TO BE THE ENCYCLOPEDIA KNOW-WHERE-YOUR-STUFF-IS!!!

The good Lord has given you all a beautiful pair of eyes and a brain in your head! USE them to look for YOUR things or even better still – put your things in YOUR room – that way you will know where YOUR stuff is!

Despite popular belief I do not spend my days moving around just to mess with you. A part of me wishes I did have the time to do that!

I love you all more than I love dark Aero chocolate and vanilla flavoured coffee but if one of you ask me one more time where something is I am trading you all in for chocolate and coffee!

PS – please tell your father that the same applies to him!

News Years Inspiration – My word

I joined this blog challenge over at Another Girly Blog and I nearly missed the deadline with all our holidaying and what not but here it is.

My inspiration for the year ahead.

My word. I actually wasn’t planning a word for this year but this one kind of found me on old years eve and so here I am – accepting things. When I told Julia she said to me “This means lots of biting your tongue” – indeed it does but it also doesn’t mean becoming a doormat . To me it means, accepting the things I can not change, making peace with them and learning to deal with them.

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My second inspiration for the year is my family. I want to focus more this year on the 6 of us as a family – being together more, doing stuff together as a family and not simply getting through the day and racing through the weekends.

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