Friday, 29 July 2011

What have you done with our toddler?

The Terrible Two’s! What have you done to our formerly easy-going toddler?


You would think that the tantrum dance should be getting less when she is nearing the age of three. I’ve got NEWS!

NOT! It is getting worse!

Help!

The Toddler goes into a mode where she starts repeating and repeating and repeating (whining and whining and whining) … what she wants!

She does not stop.

She does not get distracted!

She does not respond to threats!

Time-out does not work!

Explaining does not work!

Yelling (I’m sorry to say!) does not work! (Bad bad parents!)

A light tap (I’m sorry to say!) on the nappy does not work! (Bad bad parents!)

The other night as an example: The Toddler was bathed and was ready for bed. She wanted juice, but juice in an open bottle so that she could pour it from into another cup! That is a definite mess waiting to happen… If it had happened earlier, it would have been negotiable! But she had been bathed and dressed for bed already!

She went to bed crying for that juice! She woke again at two in the night, again crying for that juice. In the end Dear Hubby had to go and fetch that juice and she drank it with a straw from the open bottle…
He had to do some negotiation before she was happy not being able to pour it from the bottle!

We now have a joke between us. When she goes into repeat-mode, we say “Push the reset button! Restore to factory settings!”
Then Hubby presses her on the back, and it makes her laugh for one second, before she continues with the whine…

She has not been feeling well the past week (Tuesday catch-up), and I hope that could have been the reason? (Please say it is so!)

The Terrible Two’s turns her into a whining monster!

(Photo by Dad)

Related posts:
The evening WHINE
Toddler meltdown in a public place

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Challenge: Breastfeeding story in 100 words

I picked up this challenge at Authentic Parenting, which is done by Amber from Nourish.

Amber believes that society does not allow us to be open about breastfeeding and that we often have to walk this road alone. By sharing our stories, it becomes a collective story which empowers us all!

Stories can be submitted until 1 September.

100 words about my journey as a breastfeeding mother

I could breastfeed my first child for four months, but she did not want to take a bottle at the day mother when I had to return to work! We tried all the tricks in the book!
I had to wean her, and it was 36 hours of total trauma to us both!
15 years later I had my second child, and set small goals to myself. Six months turned into one year, turning into nearly three years now! My toddler still seeks the comfort and nourishment and I am grateful for the most precious times with her!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The merry ways of Retha Buys: "Happy birthday dear Silliboobs...."

Pink Ribbon
I have a colleague who decided to have her boobs chopped before they become the dreaded C!

She took charge of her life and health, and I am amazed every day to see how positive and inspiring she is about the life-changing decision she made!

She picked up a couple of lessons along the way, and shared it on her blog.


The merry ways of Retha Buys: "Happy birthday dear Silliboobs....": "Yes, they are one month old today, or rather, one month young! And what a month is has been.... I decided to dedicate this day to lessons ..."

Tuesday catch up

It is never boring when you have a toddler in the house! Forget about planning!

I was on my way to work yesterday... Toddler was dressed already in the dark, still sleeping! When she woke up with a scream, just when I was about to leave, we found her with eyes glued together! A dreadful eye infection!

So I spent an unplanned Monday at the doctor and watching "kindertjies" (children's programmes on tv)!
(Not a bad thing for a Monday...)

Today I am still trying to catch up and getting back to the week!

I hope your week started on a better note?

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Taking a break & first ballet for the Toddler

A chilled weekend!

We had some friends over on Friday.
We should make more time to see our friends! That’s what we decide every time... We should not let the rat race and tiredness prevent us from meeting our friends and family o a regular basis. Even if it means scheduling it into our dairies weeks ahead!

The gymnastics started again after the holidays, and the Toddler enjoyed every minute! It seems everything they were taught the previous semester soaked in during the holidays!

We took the Toddler to her first ballet on Saturday. She sat mesmerized looking at Cinderella at the UJ Arts Center. There were a lot of keen girls with their parents, and a bit of a buzz on the balcony where we were sitting. The Toddler had her finger in front of her mouth, trying to shush them... She was immensely impressed and told us that she wants to dance like that!

Today was spent at home. We just chilled in the winter sun (which was really great today), and Hubby barbequed great chicken and vegetables!  (Master Chef was in the house again!) It was nice to do NOTHING, and some more of NOTHING!

The Toddler is struggling with a cold and a cough! Hubby took the day Friday to keep her at home. It was a first, because I usually stay at home. He said he enjoyed the bonding with her, and I came home to a tidied home, ready for the guests!  (He’s a Keeper!)

But Toddler is not yet better! I just hope that she is going to be well by tomorrow when we want to go to work again. What are the odds? (Don’t tell me!)

And she’s not sleeping yet... It’s half past nine on a Sunday night!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Princessionista

The Toddler was 31 months yesterday! It is a very precious age. I love the vocabulary and the quirks of the little personality developing!


I hope we will be sensitive enough to allow her to develop fully as her own unique human being…

Because it is also a very difficult age! She pushes the boundaries the whole time. The question is how important some of those boundaries are? Where do we draw the line with regards the really important stuff?

Mama Poekie’s article at Authentic Parenting about the art of negotiation struck a cord! This is exactly what we are doing right now! We are trying to improve the art of negotiation to come to “an agreement that we all feel comfortable with.”

A case in point: the Toddler wants to look like a princess every day. What she thinks look like a “princess”, and what we think are totally different things! She went to sleep last night with summer sandals over socks… The Wordless Wednesday post of this week shows her where we got to a very amicable agreement! It is now mostly summer dresses over winter clothes…

I feel totally beat every night after her bath and negotiating to get her into a princess outfit that we both agree on. It doesn’t help for me to put the outfit on the bed… She checks it, and jumps down and goes to her cupboard and takes out something that she prefers. It is mostly the same dresses over and over again! She’s got a whole cupboard full of pretty clothes, but it does not fit her “princess”-style of clothing!

Phew! Breathe! It doesn’t matter, does it? It is not important, and I must keep reminding myself that…

Another very cute thing that she does now: She is definitely a Daddy’s girl. Whenever she watches or we read a story, and the princess finds her prince, she declares: “Sy het haar papa gekry!” (She has found her daddy!) Even with some love scenes on the television!

Love this girl, our little princess!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Depression – I feel sorry for the people living with the depressed

When I hear or see that somebody is depressed, my sympathy lies with the people living with that person!  Because I was in a similar situation eons ago, in a previous life...

I by no means want to lessen the feelings or the validity of the depressed! I believe depression to be one of the most life-sucking diseases there is!

The fact is that the people surrounding that person cannot do much to ease the suffering of the person. They cannot lift him up. They cannot kick him into his senses! They cannot tell him to shake it off! They are totally helpless! It is a depressing situation to be in! For the people surrounding that person!

The depressed person goes into a vortex of black hopelessness. If you are not careful, you get sucked into it as well!

I remember feeling as hopeless as the depression! I was becoming depressed myself. I went to a psychologist to ask how to handle the situation. She suggested medication, but I felt that it did not address the problem, but the symptoms of the problem...

The only other option she gave me was to run on a treadmill to get rid of my anger. Anger - that was what my emotions turned into! Anger that could not be vented! Because poor little depressed person! He cannot deal with it! He cannot work because of it! He cannot be blamed! Because it is the Depression!

You can imagine my feelings about “Depression”! Insert a couple of expletives here!!

I remember running and running on that treadmill! Somehow it did not work! The depression and all of it symptoms stuck with us!

In the end I had to get rid of the “problem”.  I had to change “my” life! I could not change somebody else’s life! I had to get out of the situation! I had to save “me”!

That’s why I still feel much more sympathy towards the people impacted by the depressed person!


But I have the utmost of respect for the depressed person who works with his depression, and who wants to get better! The person who do not want to stay in the dark cauldrons of his mind, but who reach out for help!
It is one of the hardest things to do!  To work with self! I salute you!

(Photo: Montecasino Bird Gardens)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Dragonflies & Astronauts: Beautiful!

The picture of a sleeping toddler was not to be on Saturday night when we went to see a show of The Parlotones


We usually don’t have a problem and at eight (nine perhaps on a weekend) she goes down, but Saturday she was bright and breezy!
Murphy does not sleep!

But we left the Toddler with the Teen. We haven’t done that much up until now!
You would think that we have a babysitting minder in-house… But, we mostly prefer to take the Toddler with. If that’s not an option, we leave her with her grandparents!

We worry about that “what if?” something very bad happens! (Just in case…)

Anyhow, we left the Teen and Toddler with a Barbie movie! And it went well! Except for lots of bed jumping that had to be endured, apparently…
(The Teen doesn’t mind at all, because she is getting a bit of pocket money!)

We went to see the live 3D movie of The Parlotones show of Dragonflies & Astronauts! It was incredible! Some of their best music in a great post-apocalyptic (?) show! Loved it! They had some problems sorting out the technicalities in the first songs, but from there we were with them on the stage!

We were sitting with our 3D goggles, and I wanted so much to take a picture. Imagine me with the blackberry with the 3D goggles in front of it! I only got this very poor image…
I hope there is a DVD coming out? I hope they do it again?
I want some more!
In the meantime I am listening to all their songs…

Yes, it was nice! (I am officially a Parlotones groupie now!)

Monday, 18 July 2011

67 minutes...

It is Mandela’s birthday today, and we are all celebrating it by spending 67 minutes giving back to our communities. #MandelaDay

Somebody asked about the significance of 67 minutes in a previous blog post. It is the same amount of years that Nelson Mandela, former president, spent towards the greater good of all people here in South Africa. A significant amount of that time was spent in prison!


Woodside Sanctuary
We spent the time today with the Woodside Sanctuary for mentally and physically disabled people (children). It is very near to our workplace in Auckland Park, Johannesburg! The Woodside Sanctuary has been identified as our CSI project for this year!

They were very accommodating towards us, and involved us with helping them with some of the activities with the children. They are doing wonderful work with the people there. It is a 24/7 job!

I met Theunis and we did some colouring in together. They could not tell me his “story” of how he got there, but he was adamantly trying to tell me about something about his head! We figured out he got a bump on his head, OR it was the reason for his disability. He loves his watch on his arm, and he has a soft toy car which he is holding all the time. He told me when we were leaving that we should come again…


Dave, a former engineering student who was in an accident, was spelling our names repeatedly, and getting very excited when he counted the snakes & ladders dices being thrown.
“I know! I can spell! I can do mathematics!”
Apparently he sometimes can get very frustrated when he realizes what has happened to him!

The guy in the back was knitting with Elizabeth. He is blind, but when she wanted to leave, he was hugging her and did not want to let go!

Every person there has got a story. It is not a depressing place, but where there is hope and laughter. The people who work there are kind and caring!

We all came away from there feeling grateful to have what we have!

It seems we don’t even have to go far to look when we want to give back to society…
(It is just around the corner!)


What are you doing with your 67 minutes today?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Montecasino Bird Gardens

We get so caught up in our daily suburbia life, that we sometimes have to make an effort to get out and get in touch with a bit of nature. Sad that we don't have waving grasslands and animals on our font porches anymore...

But luckily we have some places that helps us get in touch with a bit of nature. I have never been to the Montecasino Bird Gardens before, and it's a shame!

It is a great place to take the kids!
They have regular bird shows:
The Cape Vulture which is apparently very near to extinction (very sad!)
One of the locals
Snake!
The bird was looking for that sweet honey in the cups that people can feed them with...
Ice-cream,  a great way to end the day!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Prejudice, What Prejudice?

Angel La Liberte, Mom of two
I was just contemplating being the older mother, and saying that I think it doesn't matter that much when you have to get down in the nitty-gritty of child-rearing, when I got this guest post from Angel La Liberte... It is apt to publish as is. They are doing great work at Flower Power Mom.
                                                           
By Angel La Liberte, Founder FlowerPowerMom.com—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www.flowerpowermom.com/)
Real mom stories, expert advice forums, and the first online community to empower women on the journey of motherhood after 40.



When HalaGorani, CNN anchor during my Mother’s Day interview, implied that our brave new maternal world—now teeming with first time mothers over 40—had outgrown ageism, I was taken aback.

Not that I criticize her for it, but she was seeing the issue from her own perspective—that she had many mature mom friends. Surely, the issue of discrimination against mothers based on their age is now passé?

I have to admit that, recently, I’ve received a few emails from moms in their mid-to-late 40’s who’ve told me that they’ve experienced nothing but support and acceptance from neighbors, friends and other moms.

Could they be the moms whose genetics come with built-in Botox?

Or have we just come a long way since the 80’s test-tube baby and the hills are alive with the tender seedlings of social acceptance for midlife motherhood?

After all, what choice did they have? Like I’ve said all along, you can’t stop a flourishing army, nor is there any point in closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

What do I mean by that exactly? We’re in the midst of a mini-midlife mom baby boom. Ergo, through sheer growth of numbers—a 6% increase in birthrate for women over 40 in the last 2 years to be precise—the reality of mature motherhood is a fait accompli.

But do I think the general public was rushing out to meet us with flowers and love letters as if we are visiting royalty?

Hardly.

The maternal age thing has been rammed down their necks in the supermarkets, the schools and the parish churches. In short, as Moose A. Moose puts it—everywhere we go.

I still believe that, generally speaking, our society has a deep-seated discomfort with mature motherhood that has nearly birthed itself into an official cultural taboo.

That reality was driven home to me yesterday when I was our A Child After 40 online community board and a member chimed in with the latest “grandma story.”

The 49-year-old mom was with her twin toddler girls when she visited the restroom at a department store. A woman, who was applying her lipstick in the mirror, glanced over at the girls and smiled.

She commented that they were beautiful and added: “I have ten of my own—grandchildren are such fun, aren’t they?”

When twin-mom began to hint at the truth, the stranger beat a hasty retreat.

Just in case we have a few head-scratchers, here’s a definition of prejudice:

prej•u•dice (prj-ds)n.


a. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.


b. A preconceived preference or idea.

So, was HalaGorani right? Is social discrimination against later life motherhood virtually extinct? In my opinion, the jury’s still out.© Angel La Liberte

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The older mother

Some mothers walk with the older-mother-chip on their shoulders.
“I am an older mother; therefore I know better!”

(We all know them! I have been amazed to hear the “wisdom”!)

We are strongly reminded when we are over 35 and when we want to get pregnant, or are pregnant, that there are problems up ahead! Our fertility and the health of our babies are at stake...

When we finally hold that baby in our arms, we know it is more than a miracle!

But from there it is my contention that being a mom does not change with your age!

We are all mothers, trying our utmost to do the parenting thing! Parenting has changed so much in just a few years! I am parenting my toddler totally different than I did with the first-born. We cannot say we know “better”, because there are new ways of doing the parenting thing! And our thoughts and ways are changing all the time.

And when you are a mom, no matter what age, you are expected to get down and “dirty”. Playing in sand, climbing the dunes, catching the toads, driving the truck (see photo)... Our children do not know the difference, and they do not give us off for being older!

I catch myself forgetting that I am an “older mother” most of the times!  I love having the opportunity again to be a mother, and to see life anew through innocent eyes!

We are the lucky ones! For being Mom! Period!

Do you feel different because you are an older mother?

Wordless Wednesday #84 - Sleeping sisters

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

Movie Clip Monday #19 - Look at me when I talk to you!

The Toddler makes sure we listen to her. She takes our faces in her hands when she wants to talk to us.
Even with friends we don't see that often...

I hope it does not say something about our communication styles?

(This cellphone video was shot last week in the Mall)

Lending Movie Clip Monday from Tasneem at MumDrum.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A little bit of children's heaven in our part of the valley

We got a Papachinos just around the corner, and it looks like children's heaven multiplied with 5 or something.
They opened up this week, and already they are fully booked. We were just lucky to get a place for breakfast on Saturday!

The pictures tell the story!
The service was not great, but it is still early days...
What is a little bit of waiting when your child can occupy herself for hours on end?


Now, when does she leaves us at our table and run off on her own? (Wink smile!)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Crazy patriotism?

South African flag in my office
We live in a specific place and specific time in history that brings many challenges! We have lots to be proud of here in South Africa! But when you have children, you have to think again about the place of their upbringing and if they will have a future in that place...

We have great Madiba (Nelson Mandela) that taught us so many things about forgiveness and living for the larger purpose. Mandela Day is upcoming next Monday where he asks of us to contribute 67 minutes towards each other for the greater good of everybody!
That is something to be very proud of! Yes!

What are you going to be doing? We have something planned here at our offices... (I will let you know!)

The fact that we are still here and that we are bringing up our children here, say something about our love for our country and the diversity that we found ourselves in! There are challenges, but there are hope! We hate to see our families go overseas to try to make a living! There is nothing that beats being with your own people and own culture and growing up as a family.

I have hope! Always!

I am linking up with Kristi at Live and Love Out Loud and her Crazy Days of Summer theme which this week is Patriotism! They had their 4th of July there!
Crazy Days of Summer

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hair bow and a beanie for the Princess

I won hair bows and a beanie on Tanya Kovarsky's blog Dear Max! It is the super cute products from Sweet 'n Sassy Bows.

It looks great adorable super super cute in the Toddler's hair!

She was so excited when I gave her the "present".
"You bought it for me, Mom?" (Jy my koop spesiaal?)
"Yes, I bought it for YOU!" (It impresses the Toddler tremendously when we buy stuff for her. I scored a lot of points with my daughter last night! ;-) )
First photo: Mieka with all the hair bows stuck in the beanie. Even the flower is a bow, which can be swopped to give the beanie a new look, or the bows can be worn on its own in the hair.  
"Every Princess needs a hair bow!" You are right!

Thanks Tanya, Living and Loving and Sweet 'n Sassy Bows!