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?!?!

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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.

Sometimes you just need to take a break!

Those of you who know me will know just exactly how organised I am.  I’m a proper planner and it’s very unusual for me not to have something on the go!  From planning meals in advance, making sure my kids stick to a time schedule, organising holidays and leave, Christmas a year in advance – I’m really not much of a “go with the flow” type of girl.  It’s very difficult for me to do something spontaneously, but as I grow older, I’m quite enjoying the odd out of the norm, spur of the moment things that happen from time to time in my life.  Sitting still and doing nothing is also very hard for me but I’m trying more and more to just relax and enjoy life more.  Nobody likes a worry wart, even worse if you’re worrying over nothing in particular and causing everybody else to stress out with you.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been fighting off a chest infection and as a result, I didn’t do any exercise.  Finally, over the last weekend, I managed to shake off my neverending cough, and I was eager to get back into my exercise routine (said nobody ever, haha) this week Monday.  Well, Monday came around and Monday passed just as quickly.  I got home and had to cook dinner as I’d decided on Sunday night that my day had just been too perfect to pick up pots to cook for Monday night and well…that’s what happens when you don’t cook the night before.  I got home and got the pots on the stove and then sat down and relaxed while the food cooked.  My sister came over and we literally just chilled.  On Monday night, I didn’t cook again.  You see, I’ve been picking the boys up from school after their lunch this week to try and settle Riley in slowly, so when I leave work, there’s no rush to get home.  The trip home isn’t extended due to the school pick up, and so I’ve just decided to be like other normal mums [read: not my usual obsessive compulsive self!] and cook when I get home.  Well, Tuesday afternoon came around.  I got home to the kids playing with their friends, I turned on the stove, got the pots out and…poured myself a glass of wine.  No exercise, no running around like a mad person.  I just sat down and relaxed.  And then well yesterday, I did the same thing 🙂

I felt bad initially, I must say.  It’s the skipping the exercise that’s the main problem…I mean, hello, summer body?!?!?!  But it’s also the letting go and just going with the flow that is not what I’m used to.  It’s been absolutely bloody marvelous though, I must tell you.  I’ve been feeling so much more rested this week.  I feel like a normal person, not a mad one!!!  And it’s really been great to step out of the constant everyday routine that I’m so used to.  It’s made me realise that sometimes you just need to take break.  Unfortunately, being a mum of two littlies, it’s not always easy.  But when I can, I should stop beating myself up about putting all the balls that I juggle down, and well just…RELAX!

A little bit of this and that

It’s May and the winter weather is already rearing it’s ugly head – well, if the weather of two weekends ago is a sign of the weather to come, it’s going to be any ugly one!  Having said that though, how amazing was the weather this weekend?!?!  I was in summer dresses on Saturday AND Sunday.  Our neighbour even commented on how it looks like I don’t want to let summer go, and truth be told, I don’t!  I’m a real summer girl.  I love dresses, skirts, pretty sandals and days outside soaking up the sun.  Closed shoes, layers, electric blankets…not my thing.  In fact, I’ve really battled with sleeping the past few nights because when I go to bed, I’m freezing.  Socks are on, long pjs are a must, and an extra blanket is on all of our beds (on ours, more specifically for the hubster who loves to be covered up with heavy layers when he sleeps!) and then half way through the night I’m BOILING – like sweat dripping down my stomach boiling.  I have to remove my socks, throw all the layers off, and even put on a short sleeve shirt.  And then I’m wide awake with frustration and tempted to open the windows which I know isn’t practical with the temps outside.  Anyway – enough about that.  I guess there’s no way of prolonging the lovely midday temps, it’s all part of the change of the seasons 🙂  I just need to embrace it and move on.  I’ve had so much I’ve wanted to share over here on this blog but just can’t find the words to express it so folks, a “currently” post will have to do…

Last week Monday, our little munchkin started school.  He was so excited with his new school bag and super chuffed that he’d be going to school together with his big brother.  He even told the nanny when he left that she must stay at home and wait for him, he’d come back later for her ❤ .  The first day went so smoothly!  Dad and mum dropped him – brother wanted to walk him to his class but hit a ninja the minute we arrived at school and disappeared (without even a family hug or goodbye!!) to wherever grade R’s disappear to when they arrive at their favourite place in the mornings 🙂  We took Riley into his class which I’d taken him to the week before just to try and familiarize him with it so that the first day wasn’t a complete and utter shock for him…he walked in, greeted the teachers, went to look at the toys and said a happy goodbye to us when we left.  It actually broke my heart a bit to see him so independent.  I called later in the morning to check up on him.  There had been a few tears and lots of “my mummy’s coming back for me teacher” comments, but overall, he was fine.  I fetched them both at midday and Riley had lots to say both in the car and over Skype with his grandparents later that evening.  All in all, day 1 went perfectly smooth and I was super proud of him, but of course, I wasn’t convinced that it would all be smooth sailing, and I braced myself for day 2 being a bit of a shambles.  In a nutshell, boy child cried from the minute he opened his eyes every morning last week with the repeated phrase of “I don’t want to go to school” at home, in the car and even on the walk into school.  The consolation for me was that the minute I rounded the corner to leave, he was tjoep stil – no crying whatsoever – he just carried on with the day and every day when I fetched him after lunch, he was absolutely fine.  He just kept saying “I only cried a little bit mum” so I’m hoping that in a few days time, this too will be over 🙂 🙂 🙂  This week, mum isn’t dropping.  Dad will resume the morning drop.  So we’ll hear later how it all went.  I’m not sure when the kids grew so quickly that we now have two kids in school!!!!  I can’t actually believe it.  Anyway, talking about school…

I really enjoyed the drop off and midday pickups last week and where I’ve always said that I’m quite happy to come into work and do what I need to while the kids are at school and spend afternoons and evenings with them and then weekends, last week, my mind did a shift and I realized that that’s not good enough for me.  And they’re not even in big school yet.  What happens when grade 1 starts next year – what do I do about sport matches, galas, concerts etc.?  How do I squeeze my kids in?  How do I play an active role in their lives?  I know all parents have this issue and that not everybody is fortunate enough to be able to do all of the things I’ve mentioned…but is that good enough for me???  And then I watch the kids growing up and I realize how big they are and how much they’ll need me less and less.  Or rather, how much they’ll WANT me less and less, and I think that now that they still want me, I really should be making the effort to be there right?

Yesterday morning, there was children’s mass at our church and Ethan sat right in the front with his teacher.  I was concerned that he’d fuss (like he usually does with me – when is church ending, when are we leaving etc.) but he didn’t.  He sat still most of the mass and thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the front row – he said that we should start sitting there ourselves.  I’ve been thinking of joining one of the ministries at church now that the kids are older but I’m undecided for now – should I join the children’s church and help out with the kids, should I join the choir considering that’s something I’ve always done in the past…things to think about.  Anyway, I digress.

Yesterday, we had a lovely afternoon at home.  After we all had a Sunday afternoon nap, the hubster and I decided to braai for dinner, something we’ve started doing more regularly over the past few months.  The kids were playing with their friends and there we were, wine in hand, music playing and the braai going.  We danced a bit (well, I did – he looked at me like I was batty, hehe), we played darts, we chatted and it just felt so good.  Like a part of me is coming into its own again.  Like I can still enjoy doing things that interest ME now that the kids are growing up!  And I must say, I’m quite enjoying it.

Something that’s on the cards for the near future is a trip to the mother city.  We haven’t been in soooooo long.  I’m longing to do a bit of travel and to spend time with my best friend and her boys and of course, my Cape Town family.  So for now, it’s looking like a September trip is on the cards.  I’m holding thumbs that it all pans out.

Anyhoo folks – have a great Monday and a blessed week xxx

And now we wait…

So, like most of Gauteng, I’ve been waiting rather patiently with baited breathe for the government school applications for 2018 to open.  When I found out two weeks ago that the date was set for the 2nd of May 2017, my nerves shot up sky high!  This process did not just start on the 2nd of May for me though, it started at the beginning of 2016 already.  I, being the ever organized mama, started looking into schools for grade 1 when Ethan was in grade 00 already.  Okay – this had a lot to do with the fact that I wanted to make a truly informed decision (well, as informed as I could) about whether to move him in grade R or to keep him where he is at now, at the school that has been our home for the last few years and that we absolutely love – but this is when the questions and scouting for schools actually started, in 2016.

Of course, as everybody should do, we visited each school that were options in the north of Johannesburg that were close to home and my work.  The school in our area, which is literally in the next street, is not an option for us, and so we had to stretch our search a bit further than our neighbourhood.  After speaking to Ethan’s school principle, we had three schools on our list to visit.  School number 1 is rated as the best government school on this side of the city but unfortunately, we are not zoned to it and moving into the area just to get into the school is not an option for us.  So we moved on to school number 2 – apparently as good as school number 1 is and close to my work making lifting easier, or so I’m hoping.  We visited school number 3 and were put off in the first few minutes of the principal’s presentation so we really only had 1 school that we could apply to – school number 2.  This we had decided on about mid-2016 and so all we had to do was to wait with baited breathe for the application period to open in 2017.

As the time neared, I started preparing the pack.  Our decision was to apply to school number 2, and then purely because we needed a backup school (just in case, who knows), I was going to apply to the school in the area in which we live, which as far as I understand, cannot refuse us.  This school is an absolute last resort but I figured that we’d at least have a school if all else fails.  And it’s only grade 1 – we can move him mid-year if needs be.  I mean, I moved schools during sub A and came out none the worse for wear…well, so I think 😉

D-day (2nd May) dawned – my pack was ready – and I was at the office at 7:50am in front of my PC ready to apply online.  Now based on last year’s guinea pigs, the feedback hadn’t been great, and so mentally I was prepared to struggle for most of the day but I was determined to get my application through on day 1.

The website came up just after 8 and the actual application took me all of 2minutes.  I selected my work to apply to school number 2.  Once that application was done and dusted, I selected my home address to apply for the school up the road only to discover…school number 1 was on the list as an option.  I think my heart stopped for like all of 10seconds.  I was confused.  I started from the beginning and looked at the list again – there it was.  And so well, I applied and got onto the WA list.

So both applications have been made to the two schools of our choice.  I’ve dropped the application pack at school number 2 and will hopefully get to drop school number 1’s pack before the end of this week.  Now we wait.  It’s completely out of our hands.  I’m so happy that the process of applying went so smoothly 🙂  Grade 1 application just about done and dusted!!!

This too shall pass…

…they said.  It won’t go on forever they said.  Eventually he’ll grow up they said.  And boy were they right!  I look at my kids every day and I honestly cannot believe how quickly they’ve grown up.

Ethan was a bad sleeper from day one.  We did all the textbook things that were supposed to make him sleep better.  We made sure the room was dark, that we stuck to a night time routine that “made him tired“, that we rubbed him out as a baby after bath time and as he got older, that we read to him and sang to him to make him sleepy and know that it was bed time.  We even tried the “tough love” thing, but I just couldn’t.  So I gave up my sleep for three and a half years, afterall, I was the one who chose to have a child so I stuck it out and do you know what’s so funny?  It obviously passed and I cannot even remember those nights when I paced the passage sticking his dummy back in, or laying with him or cursing that my child wasn’t that child who slept through the night for 12hours from the age of 6weeks old, or praying desperately that God could just give me one nights’ good rest.  In fact, I recall saying on numerous occasions that God had such a funny sense of humour because on nights when I desperately prayed about the sleep thing – those nights turned out to be the nights that he had the worst.sleep.ever!!!  And now look at him.  Boy child goes to sleep with few issues – okay, he’s 5! he has those annoying bed time things like calling for 100things that he suddenly thought about at 8:05, 5seconds after I said goodnight and walked out the door – and sleeps through the night with no issues.  He’s still an early riser but how many kids aren’t?!  And in the middle of those sleepless nights when I had an hour or two sleep and I came into work with red eyes unable to keep my eyes open, and I’d have to work a full day and go home and cook and spend time with this child who was wide away who I knew would be up all night again for the umpteenth night in a row, I felt like there was no end in sight.  I thought I’d die from exhaustion.  I thought my life would never be the same again.  And it’s not!

I’m still constantly tired no matter how much I sleep.  It doesn’t matter that Riley slept a million times better and that from a young age, he was that perfect sleeper – 7am – 7pm from the age of 6weeks or so (okay, it only lasted a few months, but we tough loved it out and it only took a total of 2nights and he was sleeping through…textbook child 🙂 ).  It doesn’t matter that we can drop a bomb in the house and these kids will not move, because well, I’m a grown adult!  A wife, a mother of two small kids and a career woman – and my tired may not be the tiredness of them days with a baby who didn’t sleep well, but my tiredness is that tiredness that I think that most adults experience.  The tiredness of juggling a house as well as a job.  That tiredness of budgeting and splitting yourself across 4,000 different things in one day.

Yes I’m tired, and I’ll probably always have some sort of degree of tiredness.  But for those “new mums” battling with real baby issues – this too shall pass!  I know it doesn’t feel like it in the moment, but time really does fly and before you know it, you will be in a new stage of tiredness 🙂