Happy birthday mother…

Happiest of birthdays mama bear.  Today marks the day that you were born, definitely one of the most special days in the whole entire world.  I don’t have to tell you over here how much you mean to me – I trust that you already know.  All I want to say is that I hope that today is as special as you are.  I hope that your time away with dad is lots and lots of fun.  And I pray today that God holds you safely in the palm of His hand to see many many more.  Thank you for the blessing that you are to me.  I want to remind you of the lyrics of this song today, one of your mother’s favourites…

M – is for the million things she gave me,

O – means only that she’s growing old,

T – is for the tears she shed to save me,

H – is for her heart as purest gold,

E – is for her eyes with love-light shining,

R – means right and right she’ll always be,

Put them all together they spell MOTHER, a word that means the world me.

And then this morning, I discovered another part of the song…

M – is for the mercy she possesses,

O – means that I owe her all I owe,

T – is for her tender, sweet caresses,

H – is for her hands that made a home,

E – means ev’rything she’s done to help me,

R – means real and regular!

Yup mum, all of the above describe exactly who you are.  I love you to the infinity and beyond.  Wish I was with you today to celebrate but even though I’m not, know that you’re in my mind and heart all day today.  I love you so much – happy birthday xxx

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My mum and her beautiful sister!

When should compliments end and other things…

It’s the 8th of February…FEBRUARY!  Every.single.person who wanted to go on leave over the festive season has returned, work is in full motion, we’ve received our first salaries for the year and the second one is around the corner (hehe…I’m optimist okay!!).  What I can’t quite fathom is when “compliments of the season” is going to end.  I mean, we’re fully into the swing of 2017 now right?!  So surely it’s not necessary to still be wishing people NOW??!!!  One of the ladies I work with, as late as yesterday, wished a colleague compliments for the 2017 year.  When I asked her when she’s going to stop, her response was – if I see a person for the first time in 2017, I’ll wish them – really?????  For me, it’s okay for the first week or so of January…but no man, we can’t be saying compliments for months after the year has started, or am I being too OTT about this?

In other news, my big boy started club football this week!  He is absolutely obsessed with soccer – he gets it from his father of course who, many moons ago, used to play professional football and who still plays socially to do this day.  So on Sunday, we went to the registration and the owners of the club suggested that we come for a few weeks without paying just in case there are not enough under 6’s to join the club.  How nice of them hey?  That means that we don’t pay an exorbitant amount upfront only to have to go through the rigmarole of claiming back a few weeks down the line!  They’re pretty confident that there’ll be a team judging by last year, but let’s see what happens.  So mister started on Monday and played with a group of boys one age group up as he was the only under 6 there.  He looked like such a small boy compared to these guys who were probably 2/3years older than him.  But wow did he enjoy it!!  He was in his element and really did so well.  He’s equally excited for his session today (he’ll be training on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30pm – late, I know! – but we’ll make it work 🙂 ) and walked out his room this morning already dressed for school (he keeps the same clothes on for soccer and will do so until he’s officially registered and has a kit).  He said to me that he wanted to dress in the middle of the night, how funny!

Then there’s swimming guys.  We’ve had swimming on Monday afternoons for the last year.  At the beginning of the year when we were asked to confirm that we wanted to keep to the same time slot this year, I did inform the owner that we may have to change the day or time depending on soccer, even though at the time, we were unsure of which days he’d be training.  Roll on Sunday morning at soccer registration…as soon as they confirmed that training was on Mondays and Wednesdays, I sms’d the swimming teacher. [Oh, as a side – last week Monday, Ethan was ill with a fever and I sms’d her first thing on Monday morning to ask if we could make up some time during the week].  Well, my sms on Sunday morning was to ask whether she could accommodate us on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon.  It’s WEDNESDAY guys, WEDNESDAY!!!  I’ve since sent an e-mail and left a message on her voicemail.  Not only has she not replied to us rescheduling our times for this term, but she hasn’t even replied to my message from last week Monday!!!  Now this lady is not great with communicating – in the year we’ve been at the swim school, this has happened numerous times – that’s just how she is.  But how.do.you.run.a.business.like this?????  Am I the only one who thinks that this is ridiculous.  I mean, it’s her full time job.  As far as I know, she doesn’t do anything else.  Does she honestly not have time to reply to an sms.  Am I asking for too much?  She sms’d me late on Monday night to say that if my e-mail is a forwarded one, it’ll take her longer to pick up as opposed to a new e-mail.  Am I losing it?????  You know that I sent you an e-mail.  Filter via JODIE, easy as pie.  Anyhoo, the only reason I’m not just giving up and either canning swimming for now or moving to another swim school is because we’ve paid upfront for the term!

With only two extra curricular activities on the go this year (taking up three nights a week), I am starting to wonder about how mums out there have a full time job as well as do the mother thing?!  How do you fit in picking up the kid(s), doing homework, taking him/her to after school activities and cook supper?  How do you navigate traffic during the day carting kids home after school and still come back to work to give your all till the end of the day?  How do you deal with giving one child less attention because the other child is taking up more time?  How do you fit in anything else really other than the kids???  Geez guys.  I’m starting to think that a half day job is probably a necessity rather than a nice to have.  It surely makes life so much easier when you have kids!

Anyhoo – enough rambling.  Wednesday, hump day, have a good one y’all!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Currently

February – hello there!  One of my favourite months in the year because well…it’s the month that I met my hubby all of 16years ago!  The month we got married 8years ago.  One of my favourites’ birthdays…my mum!  And then after all of that, March hits us and then well, it’s my birthday.  So hi February.  I welcome you with open arms.  And of course, I’m glad that January is behind us.  That month where the last week before pay day feels like it’s a whole lot of months more!!  When people start coming back to work after the festive in drips and drabs, school goes back, and the year gets going you know.  So let me update you on where I am.  Grab a cuppa before reading if you like…

The boys…

The boys, well, they’re the boys 🙂  As I’ve blogged about over here – Ethan has grown in leaps and bounds – and over here – Riley is now toilet trained.  I look at these two every day and, other when they’re driving me mad, still cannot believe that they’re so big and that they’re all mine.  The week days are so busy, but the few hours that we get to spend together after work before the bedtime routine is just so special.  Yes they drive me around the bend on more days than one, but I really do love them so dearly!!  Ethan gave us a bit of a scare this past Monday.  He was feverish and complaining about a headache and eventually, late on Monday afternoon, we took him to the doctor.  Fortunately, it was nothing serious, just an early onset of tonsillitis which was causing the fever and the fever in turn caused the headache.  He’s on antibiotics now and murphy…was just about right as rain the moment we left the doctor’s office!  Anyway, our medical aid almost made Feb this year…it’s an improvement, hehe.

Reading…

I’m currently trying to race through (not really my idea of relaxation and enjoyment unfortunately) Big Little Lies.  The reason I’m reading it (she’s not my favourite author and this isn’t really my type of book) is because I’ve officially joined a book club – yay!  So excited about it…I’ve always wanted to be part of a book club 🙂 🙂 🙂  The reason I’m racing through it is twofold really.  When I was invited to join the book club and given the name of the book we’d be reading, the hubster suggested that I wait a little while before buying the book because I have an odd habit of tearing through books like a machine, and he was concerned that by the time book club came around, I would have read so many other books, I’d have forgotten all about this one.  Such a good idea, bless him!  But of course, I delayed it for what probably was a little bit too long and then I was again hit hard by murphy!!!…my Kindle started giving in.  At times it doesn’t switch on at all.  At others it freezes and just restarts in the middle of nowhere.  So I eventually managed to get it in a relatively stable state to at least buy the book but…that was on SUNDAY and well, with Ethan being ill on Monday, I only started reading it on Tuesday night.  The joys of a Kindle – it shows you the % completion at the very bottom of the screen – I’m now only 30% through the book and my days are numbered!  I’m not sure if I’ll finish by Saturday afternoon but I’ll try my damndest.  I’m even reading in lunch hours now – haha.

Watching…

Well, with all the reading I’m having to do, the tv watching has been put aside for this week.  But I’m dying to watch the last episode of Secrets & Lies, season 2, which I recorded last night.  It wasn’t as good as season 1 and the acting, to be quite frank, is not the greatest.  But I just have to see who the murderer is!  Last week, I randomly came across a local series call Lockdown.  It centres around a women’s prison.  I don’t know about you, but recently, I’ve noticed that the quality of South African movies and series has increased drastically – so much so that I find myself even hiring SA movies off box office before hiring Hollywood movies.  At any rate, this series has some seriously good actresses and a good plot so far.  Last week (when I could have been reading for book club – fail!, thanks procrastination), I watched the first three episodes and I can’t wait for the next few to air.

Date night…

I cannot wait for the first one for the year!  We haven’t yet been for two reasons.  Firstly, on the weekend we had planned our first night out, our nanny wasn’t around as she had a family emergency to take care of.  Secondly, I’ve been doing The Daniel Fast for the last few weeks and let’s face it – what’s the point of going out when all you can have is a few greens and a glass of water – although I did go out with my sisters last week and still enjoyed the night.  But with the hubster and I, I want us to really enjoy the night out you know.  They are so few and far between!!  Drink a bit, eat a delicious meal that I didn’t have to prepare, and even catch a movie if time permits.  Soon soon my friends, soon soon 🙂

Two more days till the weekend and counting – enjoy the rest of the week everybody xxx

And in other news…

…our baby is no longer in nappies.  At the tender age of 2 – 2 guys, 2?!?!  How did he grow up so fast.

Anyway, when my parents suggested that we toilet train Riley, I was a bit hesitant because when they suggested we potty train Ethan, it didn’t go so well.  When they suggested that Ethan was ready at 2, I gave them the go ahead (he was visiting them in Durban at the time)…so my mum made him sit on the potty often in the day to get him used to using it.  Well, the poor child down right refused.  He’d hold his wee in and cry every time he was taken to sit on the potty.  So after a few weeks, we decided to stop.  6months later, we tried again, and he was toilet trained (yes, we skipped the potty and went straight to the toilet)…no mess…okay, maybe a bit 😉  no fuss.  Done and dusted.  His night nappy came off just after 3years old.  I remember going to Durban while I was on maternity leave and when I packed, I had one nappy left.  So I decided there and then that I wasn’t going to buy another nappy for Ethan and that was it – he went without it that night and thereafter with no hassles whatsoever.

Well with Riley, it wasn’t so much of a “he’s ready, do it now” thing.  We had a bit of a problem with our little boy.  At some stage, mister decided that touching his penis was a fun thing to do.  Along with sucking his pointing finger, he started touching his penis instead of his underarm (I know…weird right?!) when he needed to calm down or fall asleep.  This resulted in him pulling his penis out of his nappy every time he went to bed and of course…we had wet bedding every.single.time.  I kid you not!  During my 3.5weeks December holiday, I washed his bedding EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  My eventual solution – make him sleep in his swimming costume, the only short sleeve onesie I could find for his age 🙂 🙂 🙂  It solved the wet bed issue, but didn’t stop mister from touching his manhood to calm himself down.  At any rate, my parents suggested that we toilet train him because if he learned to control his nether areas and learned that he should only wee/poo in the loo, even if he did manage to pull out his penis, we wouldn’t end up having wet sheets.  I still thought that it was too early, but thought that being a second child and seeing big brother do it may help him learn faster.

Well, the day after big brother went back to school, it was off with the nappies.  We’re two weeks in now and mister is doing swimmingly!  We still take him to the bathroom often and haven’t yet left him to his own devices, but going to the loo is a piece of cake for him, and he’s no longer wearing nappies during the day 🙂  A win for us and a story to tell at his 21st birthday for sure!!

Big boy things!

Guys, I’m so proud of my 5 year old boy.  This past week, it’s as if he’s grown exponentially bigger.  This could also be why the sulking and the whining having increased exponentially as well – hehe.

So remember this post over here.  Well, as soon as we could, we got Ethan into swimming lessons and in about 3 or 4 lessons, he was already able to sort of swim.  That alone impressed me, but over the year last year, his confidence has grown in leaps and bounds and by the end of the year, he was swimming so well.  I was happy that he is now water safe and can swim without armbands, but decided to continue with swimming as I still felt that his confidence wasn’t 100%.  He could swim by himself, but he still wanted mum nearby.  Which is fine, nothing wrong with it, but I wanted him to be able to do it alone you know.  And without any doubt because I’m sure that that’s how a lot of people drown – they panic in water!!  This past weekend, we swam on Saturday and Sunday and boy did this child just get it.  He’s swimming the full length of the pool…he can jump into the deep end without a problem…and can swim comfortably across the pool, back again, and even tread water.  At one stage, Riley and I were laying out in the sun tanning and I felt so comfortable with Ethan swimming around unassisted.  No more worries here guys!  Our boy is water safe and will even be starting to learn strokes at swimming from next week 🙂

Then the second thing that I am super proud of is that he can now SPELL.  Yes, spell!!!  Can you believe it.  Grade R, watch out, this boy is going to take you by storm – expect big things from him!!!  Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to teach Ethan how to put three letter words together – easy ones, words that you can spell out.  So when we read at night, I sound out words to him like D, A, D and then he tries to put them together.  Well since last week, they’ve had to learn words as part of their homework – the, one, two, here and three – so far.   Dad has also been teaching him a few words, but these are big words you know.  You can’t sound them out like the ones that I’ve been trying to teach him, you just need to out right learn them I guess, so that when you see them, you recognise them.  Anyhoo, in line with the homework and needing to learn them, I’ve been asking him ad hoc to spell a word, or spelling it for him and asking him what it is so that it’s basically drummed into his head.  Yesterday, while driving from school, I started asking him to spell the words including some colours that dad has taught him.  He got all the school words right, but he was battling a bit with the colours and could only remember blue.  So I tried out a three letter word – dad.  He spelled it perfectly without blinking.  So I tried another one – mum.  M, U, M he said, confidently, without blinking an eye.  I then tried some other words out using different vowels – a, e, u etc. – all right!  Every.single.one.  I was so proud of him!  I cheered and gave him high fives and when we got home, we demonstrated this new skill to his Aunty Lau and Portia, and we even called nana in Durban and got her to give him a few words for him to try out.  Just like that, he got it.

Big boy things guys, big boys things!!!  Now I’m sure we can move onto proper reading.  I’m thinking that he should comfortably be able to start with sentences like the man sat on the mat.  I mean, afterall, he knows the word “the” and the others are sound words (is that what you call them?!?!) and from there, who knows, the sky’s the limit.  So so SO proud of this guy!!!

Our house, our home

Over the last month or so, my family have been in Jo’burg and visited our house a lot.  The main reason for this is that we have two littlies and we have a garden, so it makes more sense when we have a breakfast or a lunch or just a family get together, for the kids to be not only in their own environment, but have the ability to run around and play outside.  You see, both my sisters stay in flats on the top floor which means no garden leaving not much outside space for the kiddos to run around, resulting in them being cooped up inside.  So when my parents are around, our house becomes the “go to”.  In fact, even when my parents aren’t around, my sisters often pop in and spend time with us.  But I’d like to think that this is not the only reason that they all flock to us.  And over the festive, I felt this more than I have ever before.

To me, our house has become the family home – the home away from home – my parents’ home that is.  My family are totally comfortable in our home and we love having them.  I also have my husband to thank for this.  Despite the things that he does that drive me insane (they’re all that way aren’t they 😉 ), my husband is the really the perfect host.  He always makes everybody feel comfortable, makes sure that they have a drink in hand and will go out of his way to make sure that they’re having a good time.  He’s often the life of the party, really entertaining and full of jokes.  He’s totally comfortable with having my family around and after all these years, he still asks me after each and every visit, if I’m happy to have them around and whether I had a good time.  It’s because of this that I feel comfortable having them over on whatever day, whatever time.  I love that our house and our home is the home and from home, and I hope that it’ll always be like that.  That my people will feel happy to visit and that they’ll always feel welcome 🙂

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Mr and Mrs Howe

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My mum and her girls – (Left to Right) Lauren, the middle sister; myself; my mum and Andrea, the baby ❤

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Mama and papa with middle daughter

Happy 2017!

Late – I know.  I also know that I’ve been missing in action.  I can’t even remember the date that I last blogged and I’ve wanted to, I really have.  But over December, my brain just shut down.  I’d open a clean page on my phone or iPad (I’ve also opened it multiple times since I’ve been back at work – Wednesday and Thursday), but it’s like I hit a blank. Maybe it’s because I was in holiday mode so early and just haven’t really gotten over it yet?  Maybe it’s because I purposely decided to take a time out from everything and just try and relax over the last few weeks?  I don’t know…but hello to you all…for the first time in 2017!!  🙂

So where are we?!  Well, like I said, it’s been ages since I blogged.  Way too much to catch up on in one blogpost, so a quick bullet point update;-

  • The boys’ party  ended up being a huge success.  I didn’t even blog about that, oh the shame!  Only two kids that RSVP’d (brother and sister, our neighbours) didn’t turn up.  Everybody else did and those who didn’t RSVP didn’t turn up so all’s well that ends well 🙂 🙂 🙂  Spur next year!
  • My eldest turned a whole 5 on the 5th of December and my baby turned 2 on the 11th.  No letters to them on this blog unfortunately, but they know exactly how much they are loved and if they weren’t so sure…the plethora of gifts and special treatment that they received on their birthdays, and the outings and undivided time and attention that we gave them throughout the holiday surely showed them that!
  • Work ended on a very good note – rather early, on the 9th of December – and we headed to Durbs for a week.  We entertained the kids every.single.morning.and.afternoon!  That’s what holidays are for aren’t they?  A firm favourite with both boys was hiring bikes – it always is – and frolicking in the water.  We were also fortunate to beat the holiday rush so Durbs was pretty empty which made moving around with two littlies much easier than if we holidayed during “peak season”.
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Fun at the beach

  • Then it was back to Jo’burg where we hosted Christmas at our place.  We changed Christmas up a bit this year…we all went to the 5:30pm childrens’ mass at church with Riley declaring rather loudly after his walk up to the altar to give his stationery gift to the less fortunate – ah popalele, I went to see Jesus daddy (cute much??!!!).  A few days before, I let the kids do some arts and crafts and make their own crowns so that they went to mass dressed as kings as the kids were required to dress as somebody who was present at the birth of baby Jesus.  They were so excited shame!  Mass was followed a Christmas eve curry for dinner which marked the start of the festivities.
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New shirts for church…Christmas spoils!

  • Christmas morning started off with the opening of Santa’s gifts of course.  And when my folks and sisters arrived, we all sat down (after all the other gift opening) and had a full on Christmas breakfast.  The day ended off with a late lunch/early dinner of roast meats, mac and cheese and a salad, followed by dessert.  Such a good idea.  We didn’t have too much leftovers and we basically ate a “normal” Christmas lunch, but over two days.
  • As I only came back to work on the 4th of Jan, I still had a few days left with the kids – once my family left for Durban on boxing day and the hubster went back to work – so we did the Lory Park Zoo, Spur and some more arts and crafts at home.

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Did I enjoy my break?  Hell yes.  Was I well rested when the holiday ended?  Hell no!!  In fact, I feel more rested now that I’ve returned to work.  Being at home with two small kids is really no joke.  I was up earlier than I am for work basically every day.  And let’s not mention the fact that our nanny was also on 3weeks leave so not only was there two kids to contend with, but there was also dishes, making beds, floors and washing…oh and did I mention washing???!!!!!  But I enjoyed the time that we spent together as a family and the boys have definitely grown much closer over this time.

Last year, my word for the year was LISTEN.  It was the first time that I chose a word for the year and I must be honest, when it got to the end of 2016, I couldn’t even remember what my word actually was – epic fail!!!  This year, my word/phrase is BE HAPPY.  I say it all the time…I am too blessed to be stressed, I am healthy, I have an amazing family both immediate and extended, we have really good food on the table and rather good jobs.  I’m tired of letting small things get me down.  I will not let that happen in 2017.  I choose to be happy.

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To all of you reading – I really hope that you enjoyed the festive season with those nearest and dearest to you.  For the 2017 year, I pray that all your dreams, wishes, aspirations and goals that you set for yourself come to fruition xxx

 

Oh, the guilt!

It’s a given, once you have children…you are riddled with guilt for like…EVER!  Or maybe it’s just the age that mine are at?  Is this one of those – this too shall pass – things?!

In an ideal world, the hubster would like me to be a stay at home mum.  In the real world – one where there are bonds and cars to pay, groceries to be bought, petrol that goes up every other month, school fees and the likes – financially, it’s impossible.  But not even financially guys…I honestly think that I’m a better mum because I come to work every day!  I don’t think that I could be with the kids every.minute.of.every.single.day.  I think we’d all drive each other batty.  And let’s not mention the cleaning of the house.  I mean, in a perfect world, I’d probably survive if I were to only do the school pick up, homework etc. and then lay on my back and catch up on series or have a mid morning nap or read a book while basking in the sun alongside that dream pool that will be all mine.  In the real world, we’d be eating jam and bread on the daily and we wouldn’t be able to afford a domestic so who would be cleaning up…well…good old MOI of course 😉

But mornings like this morning make me think twice about being a stay at home mum.  This morning, I started loading the car with all the goodies I needed to bring in to work for our Christmas decorations.  I had had a peaceful morning getting done all on my lonesome as my crew were all fast asleep.  I opened the door to take out my bag first and as I was walking towards the garage, I heard Ethan shouting BYYYYEEEEEE MUUUUMMMMM.  He had woken up just as I was walking out of the door and ran to his window, opened the curtain and shouted goodbye to me.  So I shouted that I was coming back, dropped my bag and walked back into the house for a big squeeze from my almost 5year old.  I got him involved in loading the rest of the goodies in the boot much to his excitement, and when I turned around to kiss him goodbye, he said this to me…”mum, please can you stay with me for a few more minutes”.  My heart just shattered into a million pieces there and then.

It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.  It’s that guilt of having to leave your kids to do the things that you don’t really want to do, but have to.  It’s having to say no to a simple request like this one 😦  And boy, it doesn’t end there!  It’s the going out on a week night more than once in the week even if both are work functions.  It’s leaving them with dad even (am I cooked?! the hubster says I am) for a bit of time out and having to convince myself that I deserve a pedi or a cuppa with another adult friend.  The list goes on and on and on.

Does this mother’s guilt ever end???

 

Party Etiquette

FOUR.MORE.SLEEPS till party day!  I don’t know who’s more excited – Ethan or mum 🙂

This year, Ethan turns 5 on the 5th of December making it his crown birthday.  And because crown birthdays are a “thing” in our family, we decided to throw him a school and complex party this year.  So I booked a venue (we’ve gone to Spur for the last three years…and after this year, we may do until Ethan turns 18 at least, hehe)…forever ago after attending another school party at the same venue.  And then the party turned into joint party for Ethan (5th of Dec) and Riley (11th of Dec) at Ethan’s insistence ‘cos… I love my brother so much and I want us to have a party together forever (long may this sentiment last!!).  The school friends of course got invitations only for Ethan…

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[As a side note, after printing out the school invitations and excitedly presenting them for approval to the birthday boy with a lovely green background, Mister took one look at the page and told me that he wasn’t happy ‘cos there was a GREEN ninja turtle and there’s no green ninja turtle in the ninja turtles…see below in the second joint invitation…would you have spotted it???]

The complex kids got one for both boys as they of course know Riley too…

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If you look at the very last line on BOTH invitations, you’ll see the RSVP date as being the 18th of November.  Please note that these were given out on the 1st of November, giving the parents ample time to reply.  I’m not even sure WHY you need to give people so much time to reply – I mean, you’re either available or you’re not?!?!?!  At any rate, I wanted RSVP’s early so that I could buy the party packs in advance off the Party Net website.  The 18th came and I had only got about 2/3 responses from the school friends.  So on the morning of the 21st, I handwrote, yes handwrote messages to the kids whose parents hadn’t replied to remind them that they needed to RSVP.  Two of the kids had parties this past weekend and the weekend before so when I RSVP’d on those, I took it as the perfect time to ask whether their little boys would be at Ethan’s party…the response…YES OF COURSE…so why couldn’t you have said that by.the.18th????????????  And then, at the party over the past weekend, I literally waited patiently for the kids’ parents who hadn’t RSVP’d arrive so that I could ask them directly – stalker much?! – only one of the kids who hadn’t gotten back to me were there with his father, and his father’s response was the party on the 3rd, yes, we’ll be there.  And you couldn’t tell me this by.the.18th?????????  We are four days until B-day and we still haven’t heard from 5kids!

I’m confused guys.  What’s the point of handing out invitations when people don’t get back to you?!  How do you make people respond?  Do you cater assuming they’re going to come?  Somebody said to me over the weekend that for them, if they don’t hear back from the parents, they assume that the child isn’t coming.  But then what happens on the day if the child pitches and you don’t have a party pack or a hotdog or a juice or whatever?  Do you just over cater assuming every child and their dog are coming?  I’m so confused about the “rules” of parties.  Is it unrealistic to ask parents to RSVP – am I just old school – do people do wassap messages now or what??? *confused.com*…

Chalk and Cheese

They say that when you have more than one child, one of the most amazing things is to see how completely different they are and boy is it in true in our case!  There’s the physical difference – Ethan being on the 97th percentile and fitting into clothing sizes a whole 6months plus bigger than his size at the time, whereas Riley is 2 in a few months and still fits into a 12 – 18month size.  There’s the “habits” – Ethan took a dummy, Riley didn’t; Ethan only slept through at 3.5years old, Riley slept through at 6months, had a few months where he didn’t after about 9months, and then thankfully now sleeps through on most nights.  And then there’s the most interesting to me…the differences in their personalities!!

From a young age, Ethan was a cautious child.  He fell off the bed ONCE ever and that’s purely because he very rarely ventured near the end.  Even to this day, as he approaches 5, he still walks down steps two feet at a time, is scared to walk over puddles in case he slips and won’t do things like jump off trees or slide down poles at the park unless dad and mum are close by holding his hand.  Riley on the other hand is our little tazmanian devil.  He climbs on just about everything, runs around constantly and is happy to imitate anything big brother does, throwing caution to the wind with not a single care in the world.

Ethan never went through a “no” phase – thankfully!! – and never ever threw a tantrum, not even at home.  Somebody mentioned to me once that that may be because, as the first and only child, we always gave him whatever he wanted.  So he never heard no from us and therefore, it never formed part of his vocab.  Maybe…good food for thought.  Riley on the other hand says NO about 1,000 times a day.  You can ask him to do something as simple as pass the remote that’s right in front of him and he’ll shout no mummmmyyyyyyyy.  And I can see the start of the tantrums already.  If he doesn’t get his way, he stomps his feet angrily on the ground and has, at his tender age of 23months, already learnt that turning on the waterworks can result in him getting his way – heaven help us all!!

Riley loves music and loves dancing.  His latest song obsession is We Don’t Talk Anymore and boy did he catch me offguard last week when he asked me for it.  He failed to mention that it’s a song or that he wants it on the phone or anything that indicated that it was this song that he was talking about.  All he did was walk up to me while I was in the bathroom and say to me “we don’t talk anymore“.  I was absolutely flabbergasted.  How in the world is an almost 2year old child so observant, hahahahaha.  I asked him to repeat himself 2 or 3times just to be sure I’d heard right, and then he ran and grabbed my phone and said “play it mummy” – only then did I get it but boy was it amusing.  Ethan on the other hand loves music and likes to listen to it but doesn’t enjoy singing or dancing to it at all.  Instead, he prefers drawing pictures and colouring in.  Perhaps it’s an age thing, I’m not sure?!  But I can see that music is probably not going to be his passion.  Soccer on the other hand, hmmmm…the talent is clear as day there!!

Riley is definitely more clingy than Ethan was.  Ethan is a bit clingy at the moment, but I think that’s more to do with fighting for our attention when both him and Riley are in our company.  As a baby, Ethan loved to be held and cuddled, but I could easily put him down as well.  In fact, at 9months, he was happy for us just to put him in his cot and let him fall asleep on his own.  We didn’t plan it, it was all his doing!  One day, he just didn’t want to be rocked to bed and that was it.  He’s gone to bed on his own ever since.  Riley on the other hand is mum verskrik.  At bedtime, I lay with him and sing to him.  When I leave the room at night (just about every night), he starts crying 😦  He wants me to carry him often and he literally lays on my face when he creeps into our bed at the crack of dawn.  When I carry him, he plays with my hair.  He loves touching me.  He loves touching and hugging his brother who isn’t so touchy feely, and often shouts for us to help ‘cos Riley basically has him in a choke hug position in a corner of the room somewhere where he can’t move…shaaammmmmeeeee.  Riley loves touching himself too and is constantly caught walking around sucking his finger and playing with the soft skin under his underarm which he calls his boobies…clearly he’s a touch baby…whereas Ethan is a “words” child.  Something I’ve always know but learned more about at a 5 love languages of children course which Marcia hosted this past Saturday.  Ethan’s love tank is filled by getting positive words of affirmation.  He loves being told how great he is, how well he’s done, how good he looks, how proud we are of him, what a champ he is…and I see it from how he interacts with us too…he often tells me just how much he loves me and how pretty I look, how great the cake I made was and how happy I make him feel.  Works well of course for myself who thrives on positive affirmation as well 🙂

I love that my children are so different and I am looking forward to, as they grow, seeing their different personalities come out more and more ❤