Blessed with the best!

My mother

I am priviledged to call this lady my mother!

…She loves me like nobody else in this world does.  She would drop everything just to be with me.  She comforts me, she lifts my spirits, she lets me know how much I mean to her and how amazing she thinks I am.  Even when I am at my lowest, just hearing her voice or receiving a message from her peps me up.  We are so much alike in so many ways.  I have blogged about her and the special relationship we have time and time again.  If you follow my blog, you should by now know how much she really means to me.

My parents

These are my parents…

…Without the both of them, I wouldn’t be here.  You hear a lot about my mum on this blog, but of course, I also have a dad and he’s really one of a kind!  My dad is levelheaded, he’s the voice of reason, the logical one.  When there’s a problem, he always has a solution.  He often calls me for no reason, just to say hi.  He affectionately greets me to the old school tune of Kris Kross’s Jump.  I’m not even joking!!  You know the part where they sing “JUMP, JUMP”…yup, I am – JO, JO – to him 🙂  He believes in me.  He loves me unconditionally.  He knows the pressures I am constantly under, and where he can help, he will drop everything just to do so.  He will make a plan even if it means handing out a few extra pennies to me.

______________________________

This past weekend, I left my kiddies at home – with who you ask?!  Well, with their dad of course.  I needed to reset.  Pull myself towards myself.  And more importantly, just have a break from everything.  Am I bad mum?  I honestly don’t think so.  My kids asked me this morning why I went to nana and grandpa without them, and I told them honestly – MUMMY NEEDED A BREAK.  After four nights of being spoilt rotten in Durban, five days of being busy, but oh so good busy…movies, a family reunion, pedi’s, riding bikes on the beach with my little sister…my soul is replenished.  I feel brand new.  How long will this last?  I don’t know.  I can already feel the seams unravelling – just kidding!!!!  I’m hoping that this last at least until the end of the month, haha.  But my dad reminded me this weekend that I can always come home.  No matter what.  If I need to get away, if I feel like a break, if I just want to visit – the door is always open, and I am really so greatful for that.  I really love my parents dearly – they are one of a kind.  In the words of one of my dad and my favourite songs to harmonise when I was growing up…

I thank my God…

Each time I think of you,

And when I pray for you,

I pray with joy.

I am truly blessed with the best!

Andy and I

My littlest of little sisters (I am the eldest of 3 girls) and me…I look so OLD next her!  We spent lots of quality time together this weekend  ❤

 

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I’m pressing the reset button

I’ve been out of the house since 2001. Yes, 19years…yet every time I go to Durban, to my parents’ house (co-incidently, not the house I grew up in – this house was bought well after we got married!), I call it home. I have my very own home in Johannesburg, but I think my parents’ house will always be home for as long as I live. It gives me a sense of comfort, it is warm and welcoming, I am pampered when I am there…my mum cooks my favourites…I am allowed to just BE and I have noone to answer to.

It’s been a rough few weeks/months for me. My health has not been good. There have been days when I’ve laid crying in bed at a wits end. On top of that, work has been extremely challenging. I have been questioning everything in my life and I have just not been in a good space.

And so I’ve decided to go home for a long weekend on my own. I fly to Durban on Thursday evening and I will be back on Monday night. I booked my tickets this morning and I cannot wait!

Yes the mum guilt is there. The boys are going to very sad when I tell them that I’m going without them. But I need this! It’s so very important that I give myself attention from time to time…

Boys CAN play with dolls!

“I’m going to ask Santa for a Barbie doll for Christmas”…strange words coming from a boy child right?!

Well, this is what Riley – my almost 5year old – said to me about a month ago. So I asked my sister-in-law to bring an extra doll that I assumed she had laying around (having 2 girls) with them from PE when they came to visit us. She forgot. So I picked up an el cheapo Barbie (R99) from Pick ‘n Pay on my way to fetch them from the airport so that we could sneak it into her bag and pretend it was from them, as she had promised…the things we do for our children!

Boy child was absolutely smitten the moment he saw the doll. The doll was named Cindy and went to bed with him that night, but not before mummy made her a bun to keep her hair out of her face, and out of his, during the night. Cindy also bathed with him and even went to swimming lessons the next day, propped up next to mummy to watch Riley swim.

This was about 3weeks ago.

Where is Cindy now?! Absolutely no freaking clue!!!! I can tell you that her dress is in the toy box compliments of little cousin Lily who loves undressing dolls. Where the actual doll is – your guess is as good as mine!!

My point… Is there really anything wrong with boys playing with dolls??? Riley asked for a doll just because…I assume out of curiosity. He only has male friends in our complex and the girls at school laugh at him when he wants a chance to play with the dolls well because, he’s.a.boy! Yet the girls are allowed to play with cars, and soccer balls, and dress up?! No I’m not trying to promote gender equality. I’m merely saying… So what?! They’re kids. Leave them be. If he wants to play with a doll, let him do so.

Needless to say… What does Riley want from Santa now??? Definitely not a doll 😉

When I count my many blessings, I count you twice

I have been feeling so ill.  For so long.  On and off.  I’ve recently been off work for a FULL WEEK (no, the building didn’t fall over while I was away 😉 ).  I’ve had 6 throat infections since June and have been on two rounds of antibiotics.  No this is not a pity party!  I just want to set the scene.

Feeling ill every few weeks really sucks.  But on Saturday, my mother arrived from Durban and guys, I instantly felt so much better.  Am I the only one who feels that no matter how old I am, when I am sick, all I want is my mother around?!  And it’s not because I want her to do anything for me – although cooking dinner for us every night, making me a cup of tea the minute I walk into the house, and literally waiting on me hand and foot is of course much appreciated – it’s just her spirit.  It lifts me instantly.

Oh I love my mother so much.  There are really no words that can explain it.  She’ll always be my everything and I would do absolutely anything for her.  And she knows how I feel.  She doesn’t have to read this blogpost for her to know it.  I tell her often.  She often says that she felt the same about her mother and she always thought that if her children loved her like she loved her own mum, then she would be happy.

Well mum, let me re-iterate just in case you’ve forgotten…I love you tremendously and you really are a blessing in my life.  God has blessed me with the best!  Thank you for everything you do for me.  I echo your sentiments – if my kids feel for me as I feel for you, my heart would be overflowing with happiness.  Thank you for who you are to me.  There is nobody else in the whole entire world quite like you…

…your eldest daughter xxx

Mum and me

Me and my beautiful mum  ❤

The things my children say

Part of the reason why I wanted to keep this blog was to document the things my children say.  If you are a parent yourself, or have been around littlies often, you’ll know that some of the things that come out of their mouths are pure gems!  So I thought I’d put a smile on your face with the latest pearls I’ve heard ❤

Ethan and I have joined the Sunday night youth choir at church.  We’ve gone for the last two Sundays and both Sundays, I’ve enjoyed the one-on-one time with him driving there and back.  This Sunday evening, we were chatting about our family and I was telling him how much we love him.  I then asked him whether he loves us and how much he loves us.  I absolutely love hearing these responses although I know that the responses to questions like this are really hard, even for adults.  He goes on to tell me how much he loves us and then I asked him something like…what do you picture when you think about us.  I was expecting him to say my heart feels happy or something to that effect…the short exchange that followed still has me giggling…

Ethan:  I think about you, me and dad.  We’re sitting together playing games on the floor.  We’re laughing and having fun together.

Me:  That’s lovely Ethan.  It’s nice when we spend time together hey.  And you love your brother just as much hey?

Ethan:  Yes I do.

Me:  And what do you picture when you think about Riley?

Ethan:  I PICTURE RILEY COMING RUNNING AND RUINING EVERY GAME I’VE EVER MADE UP!

Guys, it’s rough being the baby in the family!  Poor Riley.  Even his own brother pictures him being a menace 😉

This morning, I was able to drop both kids at school.  I very rarely do this as Ethan and Riley attend different schools and where Ethan has to be at school by 7:20, Riley’s school only opens at 7:30 meaning that I have to double back in the direction we drove to Ethan’s school to get back to Riley’s school.  I also start work at 7am so that I’m able to leave early in the day and collect the kids.  If I still have to drop Riley, I’m at work much later, which of course means I cannot take any liberties of leaving earlier than my colleagues who start around the “usual time”.  So Fridays is normally the day that I drop both off as it’s the only day I’m not rushing to fetch kids in the afternoon.  But today, my day is slightly different and so I decided to spoil Riley by taking him in to school on a non-Friday 🙂   The problem with Riley is that Riley is at an age where he has something to say about everything.  Like every.single.thing.  The child (like his mother) does not stop talking evvveerrrrrr.  And lately, most of that talking is complaining.  It’s usually about something he doesn’t like, doesn’t want to do, or about something somebody at school did.  A certain food he doesn’t like, or I’m not driving the same way to school like his dad does and now he’s worried that we won’t be at school on time!  Oh, the list of things he complains about is endless.  He is 5 in 3months time but you’d swear he was 15.  Anyway, this morning pretty much went along those lines until I eventually had to say:  Riley, if you keep on complaining like this and crying for nothing in the car every time you are with us in the mornings, I am no longer going to give you a ride to school.  I am a morning person and I love being happy before I have to face a full day at the office!  A small child moaning DOES NOT cut it for me!!!  After sitting in contemplative silence for like 1.5seconds, my child explained to me what was going on in his head…

Riley:  Oh mum, I hope that we have no Maths today.

Me:  …[I told you he talks a lot right?!…before I even said something, he was on to the next statement…].

Riley:  Actually, I wish we never had to do Maths ever.  I hate Maths.

Riley is in grade 00.  Riley has been doing Maths for the last 2months at school.  Don’t be like Riley!  Love Maths 🙂 🙂 🙂  Sjoe, I can see now already that we’re going to have our hands full with this child and school.

 

I just need to let it out

Oh man!  I have not wanted to jump on this bandwagon at all, but this whole week has been so emotional for me as I’m sure it has been for women all around South Africa and the world over and even as mothers raising kids – girls and boys – why has our world become so sick??!!!!  So please just allow me to let it all out here…

Last night, the hubster and I lay in bed chatting about this and I told him about a few of my own experiences being a woman in our country.  My first memory of being “assaulted” is as a 13-year old girl walking in Durban CBD with a few friends.  I was crossing the road and a man literally walked past me and grabbed me in the crotch then continued walking on.  Over the years, I have experienced many more incidences like this, but these things have fortunately not broken me!

As a woman, feeling so vulnerable totally sucks.  Scared to walk alone – whether it’s in a carpark in broad daylight, on the street, leaving a restaurant late at night – scared to go anywhere too late because of the fear of driving alone, needing to trust your gut and react fast when a situation just doesn’t feel right, all because of your gender (which you have absolutely no say in btw, just like the colour of your skin, you were born this way!)…

Anyway, there’s no real point to this blogpost.

I guess my biggest fear right now is that even after all the rallies and marches, social media buzzing constantly this week and people making a stand…that things will just continue as is.  Because let’s face it, do you think that the rapists and murderers out there are going to stop because of a hashtag?!?!

Sad sad times people.

The thing about kids is…

…they can be really nasty!  

On Saturday morning, Ethan was really acting like a brat.  Now don’t get me wrong, my child is not a saint.  Recently, I’ve noticed that he has a lot of attitude and he has a comment or answer for just about everything…but on Saturday morning, he was giving the attitude and the back chatting on level 1,000!!!

The boys both had a party in the afternoon at the same time, and so the parentals had to split up with one child each so that each child could attend their friend’s party.  Riley had been complaining about not spending enough time with the hubster, and so that “pair” made natural sense, which is why I ended up going with Ethan.

Ethan had already been given two hidings on Saturday morning and my patience levels were at an all time low as we were getting ready to leave.  I put out their party outfits and their shoes.  Riley changed – no problem.  Ethan dressed but then asked whether he could wear his old Nike togs to the party to which I replied NO…reason being that they’re too small which is why he now has other togs.  After some discussion, he told me that the other boys made fun of his togs as his togs have plastic studs underneath and apparently it means that these togs are meant for indoor soccer, not regular outdoor which is what they play at school.  I told him that it didn’t matter what he wore as long as it fit him, period.  If he would rather wear takkies, that was okay too.  We did encourage him to wear the togs though (even though the kids had made fun of them previously) as he was going to be playing on astroturf at the party, and that’s exactly what his togs are made for!!  [Side note:  I had no idea the plastic togs meant anything at all when we bought them, I just picked up the cheapest pair of togs…]

In the car, he was very quiet, sulking after the shoe discussion.  So of course I had to lay it on thick…how he needs to understand how fortunate he is.  He may not have the fanciest togs (apparently hi-top togs are now “in fashion”) but at least he has togs.  Then the usual reminders ( 😉 )…how he has a roof over his head, food in his belly and a family that love him – he is blessed with all the essentials in life.  His response:  I’m not sure that you guys love me.

Me:  Why would you say that?

Ethan:  Well, I know you love me, but maybe just a little bit.

Me:  Ethan, why would you think that?  We love you so very much.

Ethan:  Because I’m U-G-L-Y (yes, he spelled it out)…

Turns out that there’s an older boy at school who just came up to him out of the blue the night before at the school disco and told him that he thinks that he’s ugly, then walked away.

Why guys?  Whhhhyyyyyy??????  And the hardest part is now trying to explain to an almost 8year old how he’s not ugly, he’s the most handsome 7year old I know – and how love doesn’t relate to looks, love is from the heart anyway – when I know that it must have hurt so much when the boy told him this.  He was in tears shame.

The mum in me (who wants to wrap her kids up in layers of protective cotton wool) wants to find this older boy and punch him in the face!  Honestly.  I told him that the next time he hears anybody say that, he should say well you’re uglier.  I know it’s not the best way forward, but arrggghhh, I am at a loss for words.  Like why would you say something like that to somebody?

Of course, I have been trying to teach him to ignore what others say and walk away instead of letting them get to you, but let’s be honest, words can break a person.  Even as an adult, it’s hard to take insults 😦

Untitled

She is the daughter of a King.

She is abundantly blessed and highly favoured.

Her life is not perfect, but it sure is close to it.

There is really nothing more than she can ask for, nothing that she lacks in her life.

Yet her spirit yearns for something more!

She wants to make a difference.  She knows she is destined for bigger and better things.

She also knows that everything happens in HIS time…

Book Character Dress-Up Day

This is the first book character dress-up day that we bought NOTHING, absolutely nothing!  It wasn’t easy you know…Ethan is in this in-between stage of being a small boy and a grown up one.  It sounds weird, but it’s true!…

Like he wanted me to buy him something to wear for book character dress-up day because Riley got a knight’s outfit two months ago when he dressed up for his book day at school, and it was unfair that he didn’t get anything.  But on the other hand, the books he reads are big boys books and he gets that.  There are no characters like pirates (what they’ve dressed up as for the last 100years 😉 ) and knights in them…all Ethan’s books have regular people in them.  Of course, he did want to dress up though.  And of course, I was happy to oblige.  So, as his book for today, we agreed to go with a really special book that I bought the boys a few months back – Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different – the first time he’s taken a non-fiction book for this day, and the character he chose was Louis Braille.

For those of you who have never heard of him, like my dad *shock, horror, disbelief*, he was born in France with no visual impairments whatsoever, but when he was little, while helping his dad make saddles for horses, a tool slipped and hit him in the face, making him blind in both eyes.  He went on to create braille, a series of raised dots and dashes on paper, which allows blind people to read.

I was so super proud of this dude today.  He came up with the idea of using his hockey stick as a cane (yay!) and he looked so handsome even though he added a pair of sunglasses as we left the house…making him look more like Stevie Wonder than Louis Braille, but isn’t he too handsome!  Also, I think he chose something quite original instead of going with a plane-Jane fiction book on their bookshelf.

I wanted to document this day…the first day we had dress-up day and spent not a single cent, hehe.

Louis Braille

Knight

Riley…isn’t he the cutest knight you’ve ever seen?!

Let’s talk about s-e-x

The first time I can recall my mother talking to me about s-e-x was when is when I was 13years old.  I will never forget the day – although I’m pretty she has!!  She had picked me up from school (I was in a different school to my sister as I had just moved to high school), and we chatted in the car as usual on the way to fetch my sister.  When we got to the road that my sister’s school was in, she parked like 1,000kms from the front gate, and immediately I knew that something was up.  Why were we not pulling up in front of the school when there was no traffic or pick-up car line at all?!  I remember cringeing inside bracing myself for the worst.  And then she told me that she’d seen an e-mail trail between a boy and myself.  I shall not go into the detail of the talk, nor shall I go into the details of the relationship or the e-mail 😉 , but I can tell you that even though I was 13 and felt old enough to be doing the nonsense I was doing, I felt sooooo awkward sitting and listening to my mother talk about these things especially when she spoke about s-e-x and contraceptives!!

Having two boys, I have always thought it a good idea for their dad to talk to them about this subject.  Never did I think that it would be happening so soon though.  So no, we haven’t yet had to have the conversation with Ethan, however, over the past weekend, I heard Ethan mention the word S-E-X twice in passing.  I can’t even remember what it is that he said, but I immediately asked him what that word means and where he heard it from.  Of course he just shrugged and said I don’t know.  But if he knows the word, best believe somebody’s mentioned it, probably at school.  And there is absolutely no way I want my children to learn about things like this from their friends!  They need to hear about it from us.  In my opinion, it needs to be explained exactly for what it is…no made up words, no eluding to anything…it’s not a taboo thing and there are biological names for all the parts of our bodies.  Of course, it also needs to be explained at an age appropriate level, but nothing should shied away from in the conversation, maybe just put differently you know?!

The main thing freaking me out right now is that Ethan is not even 8 yet!  How is it that we are going to be having this conversation at this early an age?! 😦  I guess it’s the world we live in…

So tell me, have you spoken to your kids about this?

At what age did you do it, and more interestingly, how did they take it?