What a mighty God we serve!

Remember when Ethan thought he could swim when he couldn’t?!  My cautious child doing something that, had God not have been watching over him, could have turned out very very differently.

Well, this past Sunday, we had an incident that basically had me having all the same feels as that incident did.  The day was absolutely perfect – perfect weather, we had started the Sunday with catechism for Ethan and church thereafter (our usual Sunday routine).  My dad had taken the boys home after church so I could squeeze in my grocery shopping in peace before we headed out to Gilloolys for a family picnic.  We were all together – my parents, my sisters and my immediate family of four – I even bought paper plate holders…can you believe it??!!!!  At 12:30 on the dot, as planned, we made our way over to the picnic spot with my parents going ahead of us to secure a braai stand.  The boys bikes were packed in, Riley even napped along the way (I told you it was a perfect day!!!), and when we got there, everybody was relaxed and excited to spend the day outdoors together.  I took the boys on a treasure walk, my sister’s boyfriend took some beautiful family pics and then…the day was cut short… 😦

We had walked over to the park/play area with the kids, and after a while, I suggested that the boys race back on their bikes to nana and grandpa so that we could have something to drink and get some snacks.  Ethan gave Riley a headstart and took off at lightning pace to overtake him!  He was on a flat and being a real biker boy, he was in his element as he passed his brother and so, in his excitement, he started speeding up very quickly.  I saw it a split second before it happened…the paved pathway on the grass was raised in the spot directly ahead of him and in those few seconds, I managed to scream at my sister who was ahead of me to GOOOOOOOO!!!!  I remember thinking please let the bike go over the edge but at the same time knowing that it wouldn’t.  The bike came to dead stop and Ethan literally flew in the air, somersaulted and landed flat on his face with his bicycle landing directly on top of him.  The hubster saw me start sprinting in the distance and knew something was horribly wrong, so he started running toward us.  Things are a bit of a blur thereafter.  I remember Ethan screaming and crying, I remember getting to him and seeing the blood pouring – from where, I had no idea.  I recall a lady apologising because she was walking on the path a very short distance from Ethan and she said she could have stopped it.  And then there was a group of men shouting at me that it was all a right of passage and something all boys would go through…but that’s about it.  Everything else happened in slow motion.  I couldn’t even look at Ethan to ascertain the extent of his injuries as I was convinced that he was so severely injured that I wouldn’t be able to handle it.  The first time I recall my mind actually turning back on was when the blood had stopped running so much, and Ethan had calmed down a bit.  And that’s when my “mother instinct” kicked in and I got to really assess the situation.  I was absolutely amazed at how little damage had been done.  From his nose down, his entire face was swollen, his chin was scraped, he had bitten his tongue, his lips were swollen and a few teeth had cut into his gums hence the oodles of blood that had poured out.  But you know what – that.was.it!!!  No other damage.  No head, neck or back injuries.  Nothing at all.  If you had seen the way he fell, you would understand how paralysis was running through our minds but you know what – we serve an awesome God.

HIS angels were watching over Ethan yet again, and Ethan walked away with very minor injuries.  In fact, the very next day, besides his chin being scratched, him talking strangely because of the swelling inside his mouth, and his teeth paining, you’d swear nothing had happened.  I spent most of Sunday night going through the “what ifs” and “it could have been so much worse“, but then I prayed and I thanked God that He had His hand over Ethan.  We are blessed!!

On the plus side, Ethan’s bottom tooth is loose because of the accident and now we’re very excited because soon, he could loose his first tooth 🙂 🙂 🙂  Haha, the joys of boys!

 

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Let The Countdown Begin!

In exactly two weeks from today, we’ll be going on our first family holiday as a family of four to one of our absolute favourite places…CAPE TOWN!!!  🙂  We’ve travelled before, the four of us, but we’re usually with my sisters and my folks, never somewhere all on our lonesome ownsome…the Howe family.  And finally, it’s all come together.

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to go to Cape Town.  Not only do we have family there who we very rarely see, but we also have really good friends and one of the things I’m really really looking forward to is spending the night at my best friends’ place and our kids getting to meet each other for the very first time.

Cape Town is so very special to me.  My mum was born and bred there, and as kids, we visited my grandparents for holidays and had the best times with my gran and grandpa.  Then when I was about to complete school and move on for varsity, one of my two options (I wanted to move away from home and be “independent”) was my home away from home, Cape Town, so I chose to study at UCT.  [Side note:  my first choice was to study music at Rhodes, but my dad encouraged to first do a business degree and do music at a later stage…but that’s another story for another day 🙂 ].  

It’s at UCT in the first week of first year that I met the love of my life, the hubster, and it’s where our relationship grew from a “fling” to a very serious crush to full blow love (three months after we met, I told my mother he was the man I’d marry which I went on to do 8years thereafter).  The first 6years of our relationship was spent in Cape Town and so I guess the mother city also holds a certain degree of “romantism” to it for me.  We only left Cape Town for Jo’burg to do what most people who move here do – make more $$$$$.  Our plan was to try it out for 2years before returning with oodles of cash to our favourite city…it’s 10years later and we’re still here and so Cape Town is now reserved for holidays 🙂 🙂 🙂

The last time (and very first time as a family of 4) we holidayed without my parents and sisters was with two littlies to my in-laws in PE (to me, visiting family isn’t classified as a holiday!!) and let me tell you – it was anything BUT a break.  The four of us shared a room, the boys on a blow-up mattress on the floor and us on the bed.  They were very sick, so sick that we had to spend most of the public holiday in the ER!  They both woke up multiple times each night.  On one night, Ethan was crying hysterically ‘cos he was worried about Riley who was crying because he had a temperature.  Riley was in nappies and on a bottle.  The bags we packed were loaded with forumla, nappies, vests and all baby paraphernalia.  And I came back to Jo’burg absolutely exhausted having experienced not much of a break at all.

This time it’s different…the boys are both much bigger…2years on.  There are no bottles, no nappies, no baby goodies.  It’s just us and our big boys.  I just know that we’re going to have the best time.  We’re flying mid-week and returning a week later.  I’ve just booked our accomodation today.  We’ll be in self-catering units for four nights and another three nights we’ll spend with family and friends.  I’ve planned an itenerary with activities every day and I cannot wait for the fun that awaits us.  It’s going to be epic!

NO!! I am not picturing a restful, happy-all-day, feet up in the air holiday.  I know that holidaying with two small children is not a complete break, but I also know that the tiredness that I’ll feel on our return will be a good tired.  My love tank will be filled and the kids would have experienced some of the things from the city that holds a special place in our hearts!  I cannot wait 🙂 🙂 🙂

14days…

The thing about short hair

  • You can’t style it any other way than up or down…

With long hair, there’s the option of a bun, half a moon (or whatever you call that style where you pin up half your hair in a grip/pin and leave the rest down…I call it a half a moon :-)), plait, upstyle in a grip…endless options!

Short Hair

  • It gets oily much quicker…

I’m not sure if it’s because I touch my hair more when it’s loose as opposed to when it’s not?!, but my shorter hair is oily in like TWO DAYS!  This didn’t happen when I had longer hair 😦

  • It either looks good or it doesn’t…

And if it doesn’t, there’s no option of hiding it in any of the styles that I mentioned in point number 1 above.  You either deal or you redo it I guess…or GHD…what did we do before the days of the good old flat iron??!!!

  • You don’t have many options, hair wise, when going to sleep…

You can either use the good old swirlkous, sleep with it loose or put it up, but sleeping with it loose often results in some weird morning looks! and putting it up results in kinks.  And if you sleep with it down and you still want it to look good in the morning, best believe you gotta be turning your hair before your head while you sleep so that your hair lands perfectly on your pillow or else well…mushroom look in the morning!!!!

  • Kinks don’t work in short hair…

In long hair, kinks give your hair a lovely wavey look – well, that’s what I found with my own hair.  Kinks in short hair just look odd!  Like you slept with it pinned up, which of course you did.  There’s nothing natural about it.

  • You save on the blow drying time…

It’s really not that much of a saving time wise.  I mean, yes, my hair is half the length BUT my roots are still my roots…very curly!!!  So it’s probably saved me around 10 minutes which is a win right?!  Right.  But I was hoping that it would only take me like 10 minutes in TOTAL to do…wrong!!

  • Frizzy works better when your hair is long…

Well, if you have hair like MINE!  Because the longer hair gives the “bush” more weight.  I actually can’t validate this statement as I haven’t left my hair frizzy since I cut it because…I’m afraid to 😦

Frizzy hair

What if it looks like this??????

 

Home hair

But then again, it could look like this which I think is kinda cute?!?!

Anyway, this shorter hair is taking me a whole lot of time to get used to and those of you who know me will know that I have like zero time for my hair!!!!  Hey – at the end of the day it’s just hair and it’s grow back right?!?!  Right 🙂 🙂 🙂

The things my kids say…

So a friend of mine suggested over the weekend that I write a book with all the “real” things I experience as a mother and I had a good giggle.  I love that he enjoys my blog stories especially because he’s a male and doesn’t have any kids of his own, but the funniest thing is that some of the things that I experience with my boys are really so far.out.there that they could probably be turned into a book.  The things that happen in my house, I couldn’t make them up even if I tried!!  🙂  Today I came across this post and it reminded me of a few funny/strange things that the boys have said lately…

– The other day in the car, I told Riley to wipe his eyes because they were tearing.  He wiped them and I asked if they’re better.  He said he doesn’t know as he can’t see his own eyes.  He then asked why he couldn’t see his eye.  Big brother pipes up and says that nobody can see their own eyes because your eyes always look forward.  The only time they look backward is when you go to sleep because when your eyelids close, your eyes roll backwards to the back of your head and face the other way!

– Riley’s favourite retort when we get home and I tell both boys to carry their own bags is “I can’t, it’s too heavy” – his bag contains an extra set of clothes and a pack of wet wipes!  Or “I only have two hands.  I can’t get out of the car, carry my bag AND carry the sweet paper [or fruit peels or fruit core or whatever is left over from the snack that I take them in the car every day after school]”.

– Ethan pipes up in the car en route from school…”mum, did we pass Wendywood“, so I reply “what do you mean by Wendywood – the suburb, the school or what?!“.  At the same time, Riley answers NO, WE DIDN’T.   As I’d been speaking at the same time, I didn’t quite hear Riley reply, but of course Ethan did!  He turns to Riley and says “what is Wendywood” to which Riley doesn’t say anything to.  I’m like, he doesn’t know but I get silenced by a quick “ssshhhh mum, let him answer“.  So I give the two of them some time to talk and discuss this Wendywood subject.  I can see that Ethan is slightly annoyed by it all, but I still haven’t figured out why until Ethan replies with the attitude of a grown teenage boy…”you see, you don’t even know what Wendywood IS so why did you say NO when I asked mum the question“.  Poor Riley…completely stumped…of course, he had no come back for that!!

– This story is not funny, but too adorable not to share 🙂  On the drive home from school (can you see how much conversation we have in the car!!! – I have to draaaggggg it out of them most days, but it’s really my favourite time of the day with them :-)), Ethan tells me how another boy touched his pe.n.is at school.  So before getting worked up, I ask what happened, what did he do when the boy did it, were they sitting, standing, pants up, pants down, you know…trying to gage what actually happened.  I then proceed to tell them BOTH (because I take every opportunity I can to impart this on them both) that it’s not okay for somebody else to touch your private parts…this is bum and pe.n.is, and that when it happens, they must make sure that they tell an adult – if at school, any teacher.  Or they can tell mum or dad.  Riley pipes up, “can we tell Portia” (our nanny).  Yes, you can tell Portia.  Then Riley asks “can I tell Ethan if I’m alone with Ethan”.  So I say yes.  His response…”because Ethan is my big brother and he will always look after me, hey mum?!” ❤

And then the highlight of my boys’ conversations BY FAR!!!…

– One Saturday morning, I was dressing them after breakfast.  I asked Ethan to wipe himself down while I got Riley dressed.  So Riley was standing in front of me on the bed and Ethan was laying down naked in all his glory on the bed wiping his body down.  Riley looks down at him, points to his penis and the conversation that takes place was too funny not to document…

Riley:  Ethan, what is that squishy thing?

Ethan:  What squishy thing are you talking about?

Riley: That squishy thing underneath your tortie (what they call their pe.n.is).

Ethan:  I don’t know, I can’t see what you’re talking about.

Me:  You also have it Riley – if you look down under your pe.n.is, you’ll see it’s there.

*Ethan and Riley start looking down there to get a better view*

Me:  It’s called a ball sack guys.

…a few minutes of silence and then…

Riley:  YAAAYYYYY, WE’RE THE BALL SACK BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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!!