I cut my hair

Yup!  Eventually 🙂  I’ve been “threatening” for waaayyyyyy too long.  And then I changed my mind, and then I changed it again.  But two weeks ago, I finally cut my hair and I donated it to CANSA in honour of my dear friend who lost her battle to cancer last year.  [Side note:  this was a personal choice and not something that I’m looking for recognition for, I’m just writing about it here on my blog, as this is where I share all my thoughts]

Before

Before

Pony tail

34cms off

Curly hair dont care

Curly hair don’t care 🙂

New hair

Hair blowed out by the hairdresser – not great but you get the picture!

Hair colour

Highlights for days…

Now I’ve short hair before, this isn’t a first, but I’ve had long hair for so long that I’m kind of battling to manage the shorter style.  Not that it’s unruly or an effort to actually do, but I’m finding it difficult to blow into the style that I chose…

Hairstyle

The hairstyle I chose…I know my hair is never going to look exactly like this, but this is roughly what I was going for!

And then my biggest problem is what to do with it at night when I go to bed!!  When I had long hair, I would just pin it up or make a loose bun or whatever.  And the next day – whether I had my hair loose, curly or straight, pinnned up, in a grip, whatever – I would just brush or comb it out, style it and go…okay, a little bit more effort than that when you have “coloured hair” ;-)…but minimal fuss!  Now that my hair is short, it doesn’t all fit into a pony tail and I’m not used to sleeping with my hair loose.  Not to mention the fact that when I do sleep with it loose, it just looks like a mushroom (and sometimes a very wild one :-)) when I wake up!!!!  The hubster suggested last night that I put a swirlkous (a.k.a stocking) on and I was flabbergasted.  I haven’t used one of those since I was like 12years old, or thereabouts.  I have idea how to even swirl my hair.  And then the horror of having to sleep next to my husband with that thing on my head.  Arrggghhh, I just don’t know.

Swirlkous

For those of you that don’t know what a swirlkous is 🙂 🙂 🙂

But maybe I’m going to have to do it in order save time in the morning.  I mean, I cannot spend ages in the morning trying to get my hair to co-operate.  At this rate, I’m going to have to start waking up at 5am just to sort my hair out 😦

What do you do with your hair when you sleep?  Do you wear a swirlkous (just thinking about it makes me want to laugh)!!!  Do you spend ages getting your hair perfect or is it the least of your worries in the morning?

Sharing a room…

We live in a three bedroom house and when Riley was born, the spare room became his room.  Ethan stayed where he was before Riley was born but got the double bed which used to be the guest bed, and so we were without a spare room 😦  Now we very rarely get guests and so this didn’t bother me at the time, but having all the rooms occupied just leaves no room for anything else really.  One is ours and the other two are the boys.  I felt like I couldn’t even throw an odd parcel on one of their beds to “get it out of the way” because it was their room.  And this is how it’s been for the last few years.  For the longest time, I’ve wanted to move the boys into the same room.

Initially, I thought I’d move them into the same room once they both slept through the night so that they didn’t wake each other up.  But that never happened as every time we looked into moving them together, we thought that Riley was still too little.  Also, they slept at different times, and so getting them into a routine that was co-ordinated to.the.T didn’t seem do-able.  But a few months ago when they went away with my parents, they shared a room and it all went smoothly.  No issues whatsoever.  That sealed the deal for me.  They clearly were ready to share a room and so when they went to Durban a few weeks ago, we set the plans for the new shared room into action!

We bought double bunk beds – how awesome?!?!  I’ve been wanting double bunks for them ever since I decided that they’d share.  So we ordered them in advance so that they could be delivered while they were away in Durban and it was such a good thing that we did as the paint that they used to stain the wood was so overpowering, there is no way the kids would have been able to sleep in the bunk beds straight away.  So we left the windows open while we were at work that week and let the room air out.  While that was happening, I got to planning the layout of the room and the new bedding.  Of course I wanted matching bedding – two sets! – well, that was the idea until I looked at the price of bedding (at M.R. PRICE nogal!)…I got them one set of Cars bedding and decided that they could use Riley’s old bedding to alternate 🙂  As Riley was on a three quarter bed before, we ended up getting three quarter double bunks – it makes such a difference to single beds – more space for the boys.  We moved the double bed into what is now the guest room again (yippee – come and visit, we now have space for you!), got an additional mattress for Ethan, new shelves for the wall, a little saying on the wall and well, this is the final result…

Pic 1

The view as you walk into the room (excuse the millions of toys – this, we stil need to sort out)

 

Pic 2

The bunk bed with the new bedding and the “Boys Rule” slogan that I picked up which I thought would add a nice touch 🙂

 

Pic 3

On the right hand side, as you face the beds, I’ve added my favourite pic of the boys from when Riley was only a few days old and a picture frame that Ethan made at school also when Riley was still very little where he drew the family in – it’s one of my favourite pieces of artwork that he’s done!

 

Pic 4

Their first pics from the hospital side by side on the wall opposite their bunk beds (slightly skew, we still need to fix the strings so that they align) ❤

 

So how are they sleeping now that they’re sharing a room?!?!?…

Well…the first night, Riley slept shockingly.  He woke up 4 or 5 times during the night crying.  I put it down to him being in a new room (remember, they moved into Ethan’s room, not his) and in a new bed.  He slept a lot better the second night but wet the bed.  And wet it again the night after that.  Arggghhh.  But thereafter, he’s settled.  Ethan has slept well with no issues at all.  For the first few mornings, they woke each other up.  But I’m fine with that – they wake up around 7am, which in any parent’s mind is a decent hour 🙂  Then on one of the mornings, as I was putting on my coat getting ready to leave for work, I heard them laying in bed chatting about what they had dreamt the night before – so adorable ❤

Going to sleep at night hasn’t been an issue.  On some nights, they lay and chat a bit.  If it goes on for too long, we go in and tell them it’s late and that they should close their eyes and sleep.  It’s worked most nights but last night, they went to bed at 7:50pm and at 9:10pm, they were still awake.  In fact, they were getting up to nonsense, something we only realised when Riley started crying like somebody was murdering him.  We went into the room and found him stuck – yes STUCK on the side of the bed, the side against the wall.  No, he didn’t fall down – he physically decided to squeeze into the small little space and couldn’t get back up.  We put on our sternest faces, reprimanded them both for messing around and ordered them to close their eyes and go to bed.  Then we had a good chuckle as we walked out of the room – these boys are just too much!

I’m so glad that we made the decision to move them into the same room, and even happier that they have a double bunk.  This is what childhood memories are made of 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

…I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day away *singing Annie*.  My mum has made this song a sort of “tradition” when visiting or travelling to see us and when we visit them.  It adds to the mounting excitement of seeing each other and not a visit goes by when I don’t sing this song in my head the day before seeing them.  But today, that excitement is even more than the usual excitement of seeing them because…our boys are coming back!!  Yes, we’ve been without them for almost a week now.

Last week this time, I was “at home” (yes, my mum’s home is still home even though I have my own home and family!) in Durban.  I spoilt the kids by flying them up for this holiday instead of doing the usual drive, and so on Thursday last week, I took a half day and the three of us flew to Durban together.  The boys were absolute stars,  real pleasures and I hardly had to raise my voice while we were at the airport waiting to fly.  Riley had been adamant that he wasn’t going on the plane in the days leading up to the trip – I was excited for him though because it was the first flight that he would actually remember.  He’s flown a few times before, but it was when he was a lot smaller.  When we got on the plane, he refused to sit in his own seat and insisted on sitting on my lap and that’s when the nerves started kicking in because I know full well that he’s not allowed to sit on my lap during take-off and landing so I was bracing myself for some tears and fighting but there was none of that!  When I told him it was time to sit down, he sat quietly in his own chair and then spent most of the flight reading the in-flight magazine 🙂  He asked Ethan to swap chairs once which Ethan happily did – so that he could sit by the window – and then they swapped again later as we started our descent.  Ethan had a bit of earache as we descended, but nothing to write home about and before we knew it, we had landed in good ol’ Durbs.

I spent two nights with them and then flew back on Saturday night to spend the week without kids with the hubster.  I was greeted at the airport with roses and got home to a candlelight bath and wine…turning up the romance, hehe 😉  On Sunday morning, we laid in and read and watched a bit of tv.  Then we had breakfast out, got some house admin done (the boys are moving into one room on their return and we’ve bought them a double bunk…more about that in another post) and spent the afternoon lazing around doing nothing.  It was absolute bliss.  The funny thing about “alone time” is how much it changes as the kids gets older…

When Ethan was little, he didn’t sleep through the night (he only did at 3.5years old, when there were already two kids in the house!!) and I was constantly exhausted.  Having him away with grandpa and nana meant that I could do what I had been fantasizing about since the day he was born…sleep throught the night uninterrupted!!  Then Riley came along and it’s true what they say – one plus one does not equal two when you’re talking children…more like four.  Having the both of them away with nana and grandpa meant ME time.  I could sit on the loo uninterrupted, I didn’t have to split my time between two kidlets, and I could cook just one meal that both the hubster and I could enjoy instead of making alternatives for my rather fussy eaters.  Nowadays, having the kids away means that we can “throw caution to the wind” so to speak.  There’s no desperate need for a full nights rest as we get this regularly, there’s less of a need (let’s be honest, there’s ALWAYS a need for this when you have children!!) for alone time…now it’s more a thing of not having to stick to routine, you know.  I don’t have to make sure that dinner is prepared for supper at 6/6:30, I don’t have to ensure that kids are bathed and that there is food and snacks for them available in the fridge, I don’t have to do the night time routine at the same time every night to ensure that they have enough rest before school…it’s a different type of unwinding I guess.  But much needed I tell you.  We didn’t take leave in the week, we worked as usual (yes I started at 7am every day, arggghhh), but getting home and doing absolutely nothing every day this week was an absolute pleasure.

Having said that, I’ve missed my kiddies.  Needless to say, they haven’t particularly missed us.  No crying, no asking for us, no wanting to know when they’re going home…I guess it’s also a sign of them growin up!  They’ve had an absolute blast in Durban with their grandparents.  Going out every day, being spoilt rotten, having undivided attention and doing and seeing new things.  The funniest thing that Riley said to me the other day over the phone was: “I’m at Durban but I don’t know how to get out of here”, hahahaha.  So he understands that he’s not at home, but whether he wants to actually BE at home is another story.

Either way, they’re coming home tomorrow and this mama is going to shower them with hugs and kisses 🙂 🙂 🙂

In life, there are lessons that may be really hard!

There’s no doubt that my eldest is a real feeler.  He feels aaalllllllll the feels about anything and everything.  Even in church last night as we prayed together – I was feeling emotional just watching him kneel with me and thank God for the day – when I prayed for Ethan and what a wonderful little boy he is, he got all teary.  My emotional child!  Looking at Riley, I don’t think he’s going to be the same.  He’s our rough and tough, won’t stand for nonsense, want my way type of boy.  Or maybe it’s just the age that he’s at but anyway, I digress…

June is bonus month, and of course, with bonus comes lots of plans and financial responsibilities (school fees…do you feel me?!?!).  This year, as usual, before our bonus was even communicated to us, I had a gazillion things that I wanted to do with it.  And so I put a little spreadsheet together of exactly how the money was going to be allocated.

For a while before I received the money, the kids had been going about this PJ Masks thing.  Their besties in the complex had their own figurines from the show, and so naturally, my kids wanted their own.  At a hefty price per toy, I was very reluctant to spend the money on them but then bonus guys!  I mean, how can I “spoil” us and not think of spoiling the kids.  And then the question of whether it’s worth it and although we don’t spend hundred of rands on individual items for them (even at birthdays and Christmas, I like to keep the spending within reason!…it’s all relative, I know 😉 ) they do get spoilt regularly with the odd lucky packet and kinder egg, so do you spend the money on a toy that you know that they’ll play with only a few times or do you not splurge knowing that at their age, a toy that costs a tenth of the price will derive as much joy?!?!  Anyway, after lots of uhm’ing and ahh’ing, we decided to spoil them.

So I picked them up after school one day and instead of going home, we took a trip to the mall (on a school night nogal!) to buy them new takkies.  I promised them that if they were good, they’d get a toy.  Riley had his eye set on Owlette (therefore completing the three characters from the show with the neighbours, as they have Catboy and Gecko), but Ethan was “mum” on what he wanted from the toy store playing it rather cool…I’ll see what I get there, I first need to look around.  When we walked into the shop, they didn’t have anything other than Owlette.  I thought I’d have to deal with Ethan being extremely upset but he wasn’t.  “I didn’t want a PJ Masks toy anyway” was his response to me suggesting that we get his Catboy from another store the following day, and he chose a remote control car instead.

The kids were happy as pigs in mud with their new toys and Riley is still attached to his Owlette a whole three weeks later – won’t let it out of his sight – but then this weekend, I noticed Ethan was a bit down.  They’d been playing with their friends all of Saturday afternoon.  The PJ Masks had to chase the monster (Ethan was the monster – his transformers from McDonalds and a random kinder egg were the actual figurines he was using) and Riley was all of a sudden part of the group, something that doesn’t always happen.  Generally Ethan sticks to the older brother and Riley to the younger and very often, Riley gets left out ‘cos he’s the smallest of the lot of them, but now that he has a PJ Masks toy, even the older brother wants to play with him.  This game was awesome.  Mum was outside reading in the sun while the kids ran around the complex, and everybody was happy until…Ethan started feeling left out.  I could just see in his demeanour that this game wasn’t working for him.  The three PJ Masks dudes would stop so that their characters could “eat lunch” (Riley’s idea…forever food on the brain, hehe) and they’d all gather around the table, but the monster didn’t need to eat.  In fact, they didn’t even consider the monster, so wrapped up they were in their own little fantasy game.  And so after a few minutes, my emotional child came inside sulking saying that they weren’t playing with him.

Now I knew how to make this better.  It was simple really…I could have solved it immediately yesterday already…buying him a figurine would make him part of the others.  He’d have his own figurine and all would be good in the world for them all but most especially, for Ethan!  I could have popped up to the shop, walked right in, and less than 5minutes later, walked out with a brand new toy for him.  He would have been smiling from ear to ear but guys, it’s the principle (oh and let’s not mention the money that doesn’t exist and that I now can’t justify spending on a toy, hehe, bonus…).  He needs to learn that he made a choice (which by the way, I asked if he was sure about 100times before leaving the toy store) and that in life, we may not always be happy with the choices we make.  Also that sometimes, we need to live with the consequences (consequences is a very strong word here but I can’t think of a better one!!) that we make from perhaps bad choices (again, I don’t think choosing a different toy is a BAD choice by any means, but you get my drift).  His brother also needs to learn to share and give him a chance too because that’s what brothers do!  And then there’s the lesson that he doesn’t need to always be part of the “in crowd”.  He can do something else, something that the rest of them don’t want to do.  And that’s exactly what we did!

While Riley continued to play outside with the other two kids, wrapped up in their own fantasy world, Ethan and I spent the afternoon doing something that he really loves – arts and crafts.  He had my undivided attention and he loved every minute of making mini snowflakes and creating a winter wonderland on paper.

Yes he’s only 5, but I hope that he learned a lesson this weekend even though it was a hard one for him.

Currently

My heart is so so so full!  Yesterday, my cousin and her family (including her parents) came over for lunch.  Now my cousin and I are really close – we grew up together and I regard her as my sister – but like so many relationships that I have, we just don’t get together often enough 😦  Yesterday’s visit was planned relatively last minute and the cherry on the top was that my parents are in Jo’burg as well, so they were with us as well as my sister.  It felt like the good old days, a house filled with those closest to me.  House full, close family, good food, even better company, all afternoon…weekend made!!!

Anyhoo, so what’s happening with us (Monday July – July, how even?! – edition) 🙂 🙂 🙂

The boys…

On the weekend, we finally took the plunge and bought the boys a double bunk!  Currently, they sleep in separate rooms, but I’ve been wanting to get them a double bunk and move them into the same room for forever.  I must admit that it has a lot to do with free’ing up the third room to be a spare room again 🙂  But it’s also because they really have such a good relationship and what better way to strengthen it than to share a room.  Riley is relativey oblivious as to how the double bunk is going to change the current sleeping arrangements, but Ethan is over the moon!!  He cannot wait.

Seeing as my folks are around, instead of taking the boys with us to sort out the bunk bed, we dropped them with nana and grandpa on Saturday and were left with a few hours on our hands to shop and look around uninterrupted.  Of course, we ended this off with a delicious impromptu “date day” – lunch at Roco Mamas.  So nice!  We chatted about anything and everything and afterwards, when we got home, I even squeezed in a nap before the rascals returned.  But every time we go out, we realise just how quick the boys are growing and how “alone time” has evolved over the years.  A few years ago, passing off the boys to my parents meant ME trying to catch up on sleep (irrespective of what the hubster wanted to do…selfish I know, but you try deal with 3.5years of interrupted sleep AND a full time day job!) .  Then it became us having an uninterrupted conversation as we could never talk without a thousand interrupations…this still happens but less so and it’s easier to leave the boys to their own devices and step out of the room to catch up.  Now, depending on when adult time happens, it’s a combination of those two but more so to get out of our usual routine and just unwind, catch up and rediscover each other – the people we are when the kids are not around [read: not attached to mum’s hip].

Watching…

The series This Is Us.  I can’t say it’s an absolute must watch, but I’m really enjoying it!  I love the family dynamics and the different perspectives that each person brings to the show.  I’m also watching Sara se Geheim, a local series that I picked up on DSTv Catchup.  I’m not sure why, but recently, I find local series to be a lot better than just a few years ago.  I enjoyed Lockdown so much, that when I found this series – an Afrikaans drama with subtitles – I thought I should give it a go and it’s really not bad.  I’m finding it so hard to find something that’s really gripping but then again, I’m not much of a tv person.  Is there anything that you suggest that I must try?  

Reading…  

I’ve read 22 out of my total 30 books that I’m aiming to complete by the end of the year.  I have one or two books that I have lined up to read in the next few weeks, but otherwise, I haven’t been able to find a really gripping book either.  I’m currently reading a romance, For Better, For Worse by Carole Matthews, ‘A feel-good tale’ according to Marie Claire and I must say that even though it’s not my style, I’m quite enjoying it.

Looking forward to…

Next week Thursday, I’m flying the boys to Durban to spend a few days of the school holidays with nana and grandpa.  I’m mostly excited for Riley to get on a plane where he actually knows what he’s doing although he’s already said he doesn’t want to fly, hahahaha.  Anyway, the last time we flew was last year June.  Fortunately, the boys both fly very well so I’m not concerned about travelling on my own with them.  I hope that it’s going to be as exciting for them as I am for them to experience it.  The flight in itself is so short but their holiday, as always, will be priceless.  So I stay in Durban until Saturday night and then…IT’S NO KID TIME, whoop whoop!!!!!! *insert dancing person here*  The hubster and I will be alone at home for about a week.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to take leave for that week, but that’s okay.  Coming home to a quiet house with nothing in particular to do is exactly what I call rest and relaxation.  I cannot wait – I need the time to unwind.  Of course we’ll miss the kids, but we know that they’re in safe hands and will enjoy the time at the coast much more than continuing to go to holiday programme every day.

Anyway, now that Monday’s out of the way, the rest of the week should sail by.  What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks – any holiday plans with the kids?!?!

My jabber mouth!

Guys, my kids can talk the hind leg off a donkey!  And who would blame them…their mama jabbers on non-stop herself 🙂  I’m convinced that to get a word in edgewise, they had no choice but to start talking early.  And that talking just hasn’t ever slowed down.  Worse yet, Riley is going through the “my way or the highway” phase (terrible twos???) and his negotiations and conversations entertain me to no end.

The other day, after arriving home after school, he walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge.  Both the hubster and I were standing in the kitchen and reprimanded him for opening the fridge without asking, something that’s becoming a habit.  So he closed it but this is how the conversation thereafter went…

Riley:  Mum, I want pizza.

Me:  Then you need to ask first.  You can’t just open the fridge and anyway, there’s no pizza.

Riley:  But I want pizza for dinner.

Me:  There’s no pizza Riley, you ate the pizza for dinner last night.

Riley:  Then what are we eating for dinner?

Me:  I’m going to make you noodles. [Don’t judge – we got home late and I got so caught up chatting to the neighbour that next thing I knew, it was dinner time, and I hadn’t made anything for the kids…the adults had a killer chicken curry waiting that I’d made the night before, but niks, nada, zilch for the boys!  So two minute noodles it was].

Riley:  Yay, I want noodles.

Me:  Okay, I’ve put them on, let’s go and bath.

Riley:  I don’t want to bath, I want to eat first.

Me:  Well the food isn’t ready, let’s go and bath.

Riley:  But I.want.to.eat!

Me:  Well you can’t right now.

Two minutes later, the food was ready (don’t you love how quick it is to make noodles, haha) but boiling hot.  Riley decided to grab his bowl off the kitchen table.

Me:  The food is too hot, you can’t eat now.

Riley:  But I’m hungry.

Me:  Well if you eat now, you’ll burn your mouth.

Riley:  But I want to eat.

Me:  Okay, then burn your mouth!!!!  [Why is it that kids think that you’re out to get them when you tell them things like don’t eat, it’s too hot, instead of that you have their best interest at heart?!]

Riley:  When I’m finished, can I please have my ice-cream.

Me:  Yes, you can but only if you finish all your food.

Dinner went by uneventfully (thank goodness!) and when they were done, Ethan wanted the last of the jelly that he’d made over the weekend, and Riley wanted his ice-cream.

Riley:  (after a few spoons of his ice-cream)…I want jelly.

Me:  There isn’t enough jelly.  Ethan wanted the jelly and you chose the ice-cream.

Riley:  But I really want jelly.

Me:  Okay, ask your brother if he’ll give you a few spoons (poor Ethan having to bend for baby brother shame), but if he gives you jelly, you have to give him ice-cream.

Riley:  (after finishing the jelly)…I want my ice-cream now.

Me:  It’s in the lounge, go and fetch it.

Riley:  I want to go to the toilet.

Me:  Okay, then go.

Riley:  But I want to take my ice-cream with.

Arrrgghhhhh…it just never ends.  This child wants his way, he wants it now, and he’ll talk you into it no matter what it takes 🙂  He’s really his mama’s boy shame!!

When they were good they were very very good…

…but when they were bad they were HORRID! And then she whipped them all soundly and put them to bed…

These two extracts – from nursery rhymes that you may be familiar with – tonight in the Howe house, became reality, much to our little kiddy winkles absolute horror. Before you judge, let me set the scene…

Monday was a slow day because well, it was Monday but this Monday was different from the others. You see, on Friday, Riley had a tummy bug that left him vomiting all day which he then passed to Ethan on Saturday who vomited from 6pm all through the night which included projectile vomit all over everything in the bathroom, in his bed and on himself, all in separate incidences, poor child! This bug then seemingly passed on to mum who had the most unpleasant experience of killing “date day” half way through a live show to sprint out of Monte Casino in a rather unladylike fashion to throw up…outside in the bushes! This was followed by mum being totally incapacitated for the rest of the evening…I literally could.not.move. Bedtime was at 8:30pm, the earliest I’ve ever slept, and the night was filled with tossing and turning due to my body feeling like a wrecking ball had had a go at it with constant dizziness and a pinch of nausea too. I “slept in” this morning but really battled through the day, only feeling semi-normal around lunchtime. So when the hubster called to say he was finishing up work early and would fetch the kids, I decided to go past the shops for a little bit of “me time” to look for a few spoils for myself sans the kids.

I arrived home at 5:30 to find everybody in one piece and in good spirits but I needed to finish up supper. In the 15minutes I took to cook, I had to raise my voice [read: scream like a raging lunatic] several times at Riley cos he recently seems to have lost his ears!! Bath time wasn’t any easier…if it wasn’t enough that I had to contend with the usual arguing over who was playing with which toy, Riley decided to – as I turned my back to give them space and sit on the bed – make a poo in the water. So I got the kids out of the bath quickly cos eeuuuwwwww POO!!!!!!! Once they were dressed, I gave them options for dinner because we have leftovers that need to be finished. Riley chose pizza and Ethan chose soup, and for a change, we sat down to eat dinner as a family. We even sang the crèche prayer “thank you father”, much to Riley’s delight, together 🙂 

That perfect setting hey?! That lasted all of two seconds. Ethan was not enjoying his soup, the same soup he asked me to make on Friday night (from scratch) which he ate without any issues on Friday. There wasn’t enough pizza for him and when I offered the food the hubster and I were eating – beef olives, tomato spaghetti and roasted veggies – he politely declined, so well, soup it was. Soon after, Riley started complaining about the pizza and how didn’t like it. The hubster sent him to his room saying he should go straight to bed but I thought a whole hour earlier than usual was just too early. That is until Ethan jumped off the dinner table and…VOMITED.ALL.OVER.THE.FLOOR!!!!!!

Now do you get it????? Why they were whipped and put to bed????? I told you not to judge 😉 

Murphy…

…she’s a BI-ATCH!  If anything can go wrong, it will…or so Murphy’s Law states.

So a while ago, I commented on how our nanny, now that Riley is also at school full day, doesn’t have much to do.  I know there are lots of you who are in the same situation.  As you will well understand, forking out the money that she usually gets paid in order to ensure that I have somebody around to support us is well worth it!  But at the same time, we live in a small little house, and the actual housework is not enough to keep her busy for five out of five days a week.  Yes, I could FIND stuff for her to do, but there’s only so many times a person can clean the windows, wash the curtains, scrub the shower with a toothbrush (just kidding!!!) before they have nothing to do.  Also, these things don’t need to be done on a daily basis so it could keep her busy for two or three days of the week, but not all five.  And let’s not mention the extra detergents.  So I had the  discussion with her about getting piecemeal work for a day or two in the week and we came to an agreement.  Long story short, I found somebody in the complex who’s looking for help once a week and today was meant to be her very first day.  Let me just say, before I tell you how Murphy killed my vibe today, that one of the “caveats” that I put into the agreement with the lady was that my kids come first.  So if they’re ill and I require our nanny to be at home to look after them, she must be prepared to swap her weekly day for another day in the week.  She was in full agreement and even commented on how her kids were also small and always sickly just a few years ago, so she fully understands.  And then Thursday night came around and while I was trying to sleep (wow I sleep bad, and it has nothing to do with the kids but that’s a story for another day)…

I heard Riley cough.  A croup cough!  And my heart sank.  He’s been snotty for most of the week but not actually full blown flu sick.  All I could think about was how Riley has got.to.go.to.school.today because our “support” will not be around!!!  He fell asleep quite quickly without any more coughing, but then woke up crying blue murder at 5:50am this morning.  I went to his room and he was very upset.  He said he wasn’t feeling well and that his throat was sore and with that, he was coughing as well with a few gagging reflexes in there.  At the time, I just put it down to the mucous buildup or something to that effect.  I gave him some water and a lozenge and put him into our bed with dad while I jumped in the shower.  When I got out, all hell had broken loose.  Riley had vom’d IN our bed and when the hubster took him to the bathroom to continue over the loo, in his crying state, he wet his broeks as well.  Needless to say, the hubster was not impressed, but these things happen.  At the back of my mind, I was like – WHO’S GOING TO LOOK AFTER THIS CHILD TODAY??!!!!!

The morning continued pretty swiftly with Riley in good spirits until…he vomited again 😦  On the floor this time (luckily the bedding wasn’t hit twice!!).  Again, I thought it was all related to congestion.  I was really battling with whether to send him to school so that P could start her first day at her piecemeal job today as planned, or to keep him home, but then I told the hubster that this was part of the condition when I chatted to the lady who was taking P on, and how better to see how she reacts to this than to hit her with it on day 1!  So I went on over to her unit with P in tow, pretty nervous as to how she would react – not to mention that there we were in Jo’burg winter banging on her front door at 7am – and fortunately, she took the news in her stride.  She told me that we knew this upfront, it’s what we discussed, and she understands that kids get sick.  P can just come next week Tuesday instead, and that was it 🙂

So Murphy – we kicked you in the b-hind this time.  Hopefully this doesn’t happen again any time soon…

That moment when…

…the neighbour’s child, your son’s bestie, comes running out of your house crying crocodile tears because…your.son.broke.his.toy!  Said toy just happens to be one of the most coveted toys in the complex and costs in the region of R400-R500, not the cheapest!!!  The cherry on the top…I was standing talking to the mum of the boy who came out crying 😦  My heart sank.  There the kids were playing in our house and a prize toy was broken by my child.  In my mind, I was already thinking – am I expected to offer to buy another one or glue it back together myself or what???  Fortunately, the mother quickly said that it was already broken by one of the other kids in the complex and that they had attempted to glue it back on so obviously the glue didn’t hold too well and that it wasn’t Riley’s fault.  But it got me thinking – what do you do in a situation like this?  My kids have never been the ones to break their friends’ toys…well, not that I’m aware of…it’s always happened the other way around (unfortunately for us) – their toys get broken by other kids.  Now I understand that they’re all just kids and that you can’t exactly watch over them 24/7 and make sure that nobody breaks toys, but these toys costs money!  Unfortunately, due to some kids who don’t seem to be disciplined well enough in our complex, we’ve had to make rules around the boys’ toys.  As an example – Ethan’s leapfrog tv game is off limits during the week.  He’s allowed to play it on rainy days, public holidays and weekends and he’s only allowed to play with us – dad, mum or brother – or with one other kids in the complex, his bestie.  If any of the other kids are there, I don’t allow them to play because well, we’ve learned the hard way that they will in all likelihood break it.  I of course don’t tell Ethan the reason, but if he asks when they’re there, I just say no not today.  The mother that I was chatting to yesterday told me how this specific child has broken multiple things in their house including her son’s leap pad!!!!!  And when she’s told the parents, they do nothing about it.  So I told her our rule but I also felt bad in a way – singling out the “bad kid”.  I’m not sure what the right protocol is in situations like this…

What would you do?  Would you go about it the way we do – certain toys being off limits?  Would you chat to the parents and if you did and nothing happened, then what?  Would you keep your kids indoors and not let them socialise with the “naughty kids”?  Would you stop buying your kids toys?

I really feel sorry for the parents of this boy whose toy was broken yesterday because they’re the ones who buy their kids “fancy toys” often, and I can’t tell them what rules to use, but should they stop buying their kids fancy toys because of other kids???

I never thought I’d be a mum…

…well, certainly not the mum that I think I am today.  You see, even when I got married, having children and growing my family was not something that I ever really thought about.  I was never a “children person”.  In fact, I didn’t really like kids and even to this day, I absolutely adore my children, but there’s no going crazy about other people’s kids.  I knew I’d one day have kids – afterall, this is the normal path that people follow – date, get married, have a child, have a second one etc., but it wasn’t something I couldn’t wait to start doing you know?!  Then one day, I just got this feeling that I wanted a child of my own.

I recall a colleague at my first job telling me what a wonderful mum I’d make some day because I was so organised (she read me well even then 🙂 ) and I laughed it off.  But two kids on and I’d like to think that I am a wonderful mum to my two boys.

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When Ethan was born, I took the standard fully paid 4months maternity leave option because it was all that we could afford at the time.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t even afford a day of unpaid leave 😦  The 4months passed very quickly though, and I remember coming back to work and people asking me if I was coping and whether it had been hard to come back.  I felt like such a bad mum for saying that I was actually happy to come back.  I felt like if I said it out loud, people would judge me, but reality is that I love being at work.  I love the stimulation, I love interacting with the people I work with, I love that I can go to the toilet undisturbed in the office (hehe – kidding, OK…not kidding?!) but seriously, I feel that I am a better mum because of the work/home balance that I have in my life.  I get to use my brain at work and do things that interest me (I’m more than a mother you know – I also have career aspirations 🙂 ) and when I’m home, I get to devote all my time to my kiddy winkles.

With Riley, we were slightly better off financially and so I opted for 6months maternity leave.  I can say it now without feeling guilty but honestly, at the time, I felt horrid for feeling this way…after being at home for about 2months, I felt like I was ready to come back to work!!!!  I felt like there was no way I could spend every day in the house and I needed the stimulation.  Afterall, when you’re on maternity leave, nobody else is!  It’s not like you can spend hours out with friends – they’re all at work, they can only meet you for an hour or so here and there – and let’s face it, money doesn’t grow on trees.  After already having to cut back on the “extras” due to the 2months unpaid leave, there was no way I could afford to be going out every day for lunches, teas and the likes.  And so while my very small baby slept for most of the day in those early days, not even DSTv kept me sufficiently entertained.  At 4months, I decided to come back to work and life continued.

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I’ve never wanted to be a stay at home mum.  My two maternity stints clearly showed me that I wasn’t cut out to be one, and where the hubster would like me to do that especially once the kids start school, I just know that it wouldn’t suit me.  But after Riley starting school mid-May and me picking the kids up every day after lunch to get him to settle in slowly, I’ve started thinking about how things could be different.  I have thoroughly enjoyed picking the boys up.  Seeing them during the day and hearing about their mornings, what they did, what they ate etc., has really made my day.  So much so that it’s got me thinking about what I really want i.t.o. a work/home balance.  No, I don’t want to be a stay at home mum, but I definitely feel the need to be with my kids more.  I want to be involved in their school lives.  I want to be able to attend sports days and awards and the like.  I don’t want to miss out on a single thing (read: FOMO)!  I’ve said before that I know that this is a problem for many other mothers and possibly even fathers, but it doesn’t mean that because other people “settle” or find other workarounds, that I need to.