Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Traditions

I have such a long list of Christmas traditions that Wyn asked whether I think I'll be finished by March next year. ;-)

Some of the traditions are things from my childhood, some of them I have started over the past couple of years, and some are brand new and I'm super excited to get started!

To me, December marks the beginning of the festive season (and not so much the shops that start in October already...) So come Sunday, 1st of December, I'm gonna get started with my list of the following:

     Putting up the Christmas Tree:  This involves wearing festive clothes and accessories, like being dressed in red, with Xmas hats or reindeer ears.  Must listen to Celine Dion's CD, These Are The Special Times.  Must take lots of photos!  Also put Christmas baubles on the lollipop trees outside our front door, and hang the wreath on the front door.

     Elf on the Shelf:  This is a new tradition that I can't wait to start.  I saw it on Pinterest last year, and some of my friends started it last Christmas, but I wanted to wait until this year - 3 year old Mia will understand so much better.  There's an actual book and proper "Elf" that goes with this tradition, but couldn't get hold of it here in SA, so we improvise.  I found the perfect little Elf, who will make his appearance on the 1st of December.  His main 'task' is that he watches to see if children are naughty or good and reports back to Father Christmas.  But each night he gets up to his own antics or mischief - I can't wait to stage different activities and let Mia find him each morning!

     Liggiefees:  The Jakaranda Kinderhuis in Pretoria has a festival each year, where they have hundreds of outdoor Christmas lights on display.  Get more info on their website here.  Once again, this is something I heard about last year, but didn't do it, as Mia was still very much into her set bedtime routine, whereas this year, it won't throw her completely out of sync to have one late night once in a while and go look at beautiful lights.  I can't wait!  They have the display on for the whole of December, so I want to go quite early on - if it's nice we can go again and again! :-)

     Bake and decorate Christmas cookies.  Will share recipe when we do this!

     Make salt-dough Xmas ornaments.  We did this last year and it was lots of fun, definitely want to do this every year.  And nice to give to the grannies and godmothers as gifts too.  Find the blog post and recipe here.

     Wrap Christmas presents together, listening to Christmas music.

     Make Xmas cards for family.

     Read Christmas books and watch Christmas movies together.

     Go to church and pray together.

     Light candles.

     Listen to Christmas music, sing carols.

     Make mince pies!  I haven't ever done this before.  My darling granny Jill used to make delicious mince pies every Christmas, I must look if I have her recipe in my recipe file or ask my mom for it.  If not, there's a fabulous-looking step-by-step post here done by Vanilla Blonde.

     Mia's Advent Calendar House - Mia has a supercute Advent Calendar House with 24 little drawers, to fill with small sweets or choccies.  She grasped the concept so nicely last year already.  See the post here.

     Christmas Eve Surprise Box - I came across this idea on Pinterest, and really loved it.  I'm still deciding how to do it, as it can either be individual boxes for each child, or else for the family spending Christmas Eve together - I'm quite liking the family idea.  Can put absolutely anything into this box, for example, if it was for a child, can put in new pj's, socks, sweeties, a Christmas book, small toy.  Or for a family, a Christmas movie to watch together, hot chocolate and marshmallows, a card game, etc.  Undecided how and what I want to do, but the concept sounds so special.  I will update on this!  Here's a nice blog post about it:  The Imagination Tree.

     Christmas Eve Traditions:  Leave milk and cookies for Father Christmas.  Leave "reindeer food" for the reindeer - something as simple as raw oats mixed with glitter, how cool is that!  Also love the idea of making Santa Claus footprints and reindeer paw prints, with glitter and flour.  What fun!

Ooooh I absolutely cannot wait for all of this!  4 Sleepies til December!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

1.  How far along are you now? 17w1d

2.  When is your due date? 29 April 2014

3.  What has been your preggy high this week? Enjoying the lil bump! Still on a high from finding out that it's a baby girl last week.

4.  What has been your preggy low this week? Finding out my doc is not going to be available for the baby's birth.  Still undecided as to whether I want to get a new doctor now, or stick with my doctor and then have the locum handle the birth...

5.  What is your current over-riding emotion? Content mostly, sometimes anxious.

6.  What is on your list of things to do in the next month regarding preparation for baby?  Quite a lot, now that we know it's a girl! Plan baby room, paint room, list of things we need, sort through all Mia's old baby clothes.

7.  What is your current craving? Loving veggies, especially baby marrows and broccoli.

8.  How are you feeling physically? Good mostly, a bit tired and drained sometimes.

9.  How are you feeling emotionally? Better than a while ago, more content now.

10.  How is your partner dealing with the pregnancy at this stage? Good. So cute how he's been planning baby room with me and so keen to paint the room.

11.  How are you feeling about the pregnancy at this point? Happy.

12.  How much does baby weigh/measure at the moment? 130g last week!

13.  How much weight have you gained to date?  Oh dear. 5kg... Eeeeeek!!!

14.  What is the nursery room theme and what have you done for the nursery recently? Still busy deciding, but leaning towards a pink and grey theme, and then with animals: elephants, hippo's, bunnies. But not 100% decided yet!

15.  What are the latest baby-related items you have bought or got given? A couple of pink babygro's - I bought one, my mom bought one, MIL bought one and SIL too.  Mia got her little sister some pink shoes. And MIL got two pink taglets for her.  Got given some maternity clothes to borrow from friends, which is such a huge help! (Thanks C and M!)

16.  What are you looking forward to? I felt baby kick twice a few days ago, been waiting to feel it again, looking forward to that! Feeling lots of flutters and "rolling" movements  - but the actual kicks are so precious.

Bump piccie:

Here is the preggy update I did when I was 16 weeks pregnant with Mia. Funny to compare!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mia's Graduation from Moms & Tots!

This morning was our last Tots class.  Mia and I started attending Moms & Babes when Mia was 4 months old, and when she was just over a year we started the Moms & Tots class - so it's been two years now - feels strange that we're finished! Bittersweet. The end of a chapter - but both Mia and I feel ready to move on.

The graduation this morning was super cute and special.  There was a lady making a dvd of the whole class and taking photos - will get the disc in January.  All the kids got a graduation gown and cap to wear - Mia wasn't keen on the cap as the elastic was a bit tight under her chin.

The teacher then called each child forward to give them their certificate and a hug.  I loved how Mia went up without any reservations, and looked SO pleased and happy when she got her certificate!

I am a very proud mommy.
Now for the next stage in this important journey of learning: playgroup!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mia Jill, I love the little things that you do!

My precious little Mia,

I love the little things that you do!

I love the way you snuggle into me when I read to you,
I love the way you laugh,
I love your gorgeous grin.
I love the way you are so gentle with Nala our doggy,
I love the way you share,
I love the fact that you love books,
I love how you memorise the stories and then read them back to me.
I love how you tell me and Pappa that you love us "soooooo much!"
I love the way you just want to dress in 'rokkies'
I love the way you want to climb in and out of your car seat by yourself,
I love the way you eat a chocolate, getting it all melted on your fingers and smeared around your mouth,
I love the way you hold a cup and drink your juice.
I love the way you run - you sometimes give a wiggle of your bum while running!
I love the way you dance and twirl,
I love your good manners, so cute when you say "please" and "thank you"
I love the way you pick flowers and present them to me,
I love the way you tell me to be careful of thorns.
I love the way you ask, "what you talking about mommy?" when I'm talking to other people,
I love the way you call popcorn "pie-corn",
I love the way you hold my hand.

Oh, I could carry on and on and on with this list!
I am absolutely in awe of you.

I love everything about you, every single little thing, the whole of you, with my whole heart!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shoes for her baby sister ♥

Mia Mooi bought shoes for her baby sister yesterday.  She was so excited to go to the shops to buy something for the baby, so precious and special. She marched straight to the shoes and chose them herself! Bless. ♥

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Letter to BabyV²

My special little baby princess,
I can’t stop thinking about you, and talking about you!  I think about how small you are, growing so beautifully.  I wonder what you’re going to look like.  I can’t wait for you to make your presence known with a few kicks!  I tell everyone I see all about you.  Your big sister Mia is very excited and can’t wait to meet you.  She just wants to go to town to buy you some pink shoes!
I am already daydreaming about snuggles and cuddles with you, thinking about girly tea parties and outings to the moo-cow farm, painting your precious lil toenails to match mine and Mia’s, and I love thinking about the deep love that sisters share, and imagining the two of you playing together, walking hand in hand, and doing everything together.
I hope you are comfortable and happy in my tummy!
I wish I could express in words how loved you are already.
We are going to have lots of fun preparing your room, deciding your name, and shopping for all your clothes, accessories and needs!
Your pappa is so happy that he’s getting another princess, how lucky can one man be! 

Your grandparents are all very, very excited too.

We love you to the moon and back, baby girl!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

16-Week Scan & Gender Reveal!

Today I am 16 weeks pregnant, and I went for a sonar at the gynea.  I took Mia with me, as Wyn had too many meetings on at work - and I wanted Mia to share in the experience, "see" our baby, and hopefully be with me when we find out if it's a girl or a boy!

We waited for over an hour in the doctor's room, which was a bit stressful, Mia played all the games on my tablet and was getting a bit antsy just as we got called in.

First the doc went thru a few things (this is the first time I see her for this pregnancy, as first scan was at the radiology department and 12 week scan was at the foetal assessment centre.) Unfortunately this doc is going for an operation at the beginning of April, and she won't be able to do my birth procedure! I'm bummed about this, as I really wanted to try for a similar experience as I had with Mia.  She said there are two other female gynea's at Kloof who will take over while she is unavailable. I'm unsure how I feel about this, and will chat to Wyn tonight. Maybe it will be better if I start seeing one of the other gynea's immediately and not only at the end...

Back to the scan!
Baby weighs 130g - doc said a little bit smaller than the average, but it's fine, nothing to worry about, quite normal. Got a beautiful view of baby's profile, feet, spine - all perfect!

The doc had to prod and poke my tummy a bit to get baby to move so as to see between the leggies...  And we got a perfect view:

It's a girl!
Mia is getting a baby sister! ♥

I am so happy.  I really didn't mind either way - one of each would have been awesome, but another little girl is so special.  I do feel I'm more of a girly mommy than a lil boy mommy!

So glad we could find out, now can start thinking of the baby room, can sort through all Mia's old clothes, can start thinking of names, yay!

We quickly went to the party shop and bought 3 helium balloons. Got home, fetched my camera, went outside with Mia to take piccies - and before I could even take one snap, a strong gust of wind took the balloons off into the trees and popped them! Oh dear!  Thank goodness I had more pink balloons in a drawer, so could quickly blow more up - poor Mia got such a fright and was very upset.  Just as well I needed pink balloons, as I don't have any blue ones!!

Wyn is very happy too.  He's been guessing it's a girl all along!
Woohoo, bring on the pink shopping!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Broccoli & Bacon Salad

This salad is so delicious.  The combination of flavours and the dressing come together so beautifully.  Perfect for a braai!  Quite easy to throw together.  It's best if it can chill for a bit in the fridge, so I like that I can make it the day before or the morning of a party/braai, such less schlep and run-around later on!

  • About 3 cups raw broccoli florets (I chop mine up into small bite-sizes and remove most of the stems)
  • Pack of diced bacon, cooked to your preference (I cook it through, them remove half the bacon, and cook the other half of the bacon crispy. Mmmm!)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, or cut into small squares
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced (this is optional)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons castor sugar (sugar will do too)

Toss, cover, and chill!  Easy and yum!

Let me know if you try it, and what you think! :-)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Feeling so excited!

It's my favourite time of the year.  The anticipation and excitement for everything that we have lined up for the next two months is huge!
Next week, two exciting things:
  • 16-week scan.  I'm taking Mia with, as Wyn can't get off work that day. Going to be special to share it with Mia! I'm holding thumbs that we'll be able to find out pink or blue, yay!
  • Hair appointment - I can't WAIT to redo my blonde highlights. Summer time - I want super blonde hair now!  Thinking of something like this, although not so short, and minus the fringe:
The week after, it's Mia's graduation ceremony at our Moms&Tots class.  Going to be bittersweet, and supercute!
Then on Friday the 22nd, we leave for our annual holiday at Pine Lake, White River. Can't wait to spend relaxed quality time with my hubby and daughter and preggy belly.
Looking forward to this view:

 When we get back on the 29th, it's just in time to get all my ideas and plans for December in order...  Will do a post soon about all the Christmas traditions I have planned, I am bursting with excitement at the thought!  The one I am most excited about, is "Elf on the Shelf" - I found a gorgeous, perfect lil elf, and am having lots of fun planning his antics!
I adore the magical feeling that surrounds Christmas.  I can't wait for all the twinkly lights, the festive atmosphere, and all the special times it brings.
Christmas will be spent with my parents in Pietersburg.  New Year's Eve with the inlaws in Bethlehem, and then off to the South Coast for the first week of January.  I'm really looking forward to the seaside, my soul has that yearning feeling it gets for the ocean.  Both Wyn and I will celebrate our birthdays having fun in the sun! ;-)

We get back a few days before my brother's wedding.
Wow!  Excited much? Oh yeah!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oh So Heavenly Mum & Cherub Products

I am so excited about the new range from Oh So Heavenly, called "Mum & Cherub".  I went crazy in Clicks last week, buying one of everything I saw!

They have a Mum-range, with products like a bath soak, body wash, body lotion, and then the 5 that I bought: a stretch mark crème, bust treatment, body butter, foot and leg spray, and a stretch mark oil.  These products are ALL divine, I love their smell, and I love their affordability!  Oh So Heavenly is a great brand too, as it is against animal testing, and they have such a wide range of goodies.

The main active ingredients in these products are Argan oil, which has a restorative effect on the skin, soothing flower oils, and nourishing Vitamin E and shea butter.

The Baby-range looks fantastic too, I haven't bought any of it yet, but sniffed a few of them - "oh-so-heavenly" is exactly right!  The range includes a soap bar, frothy shampoo, body wash, massage and bath oil, aqueous cream, and a body lotion.  Perfect!

Highly recommended.  Available exclusively at Clicks!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fun times!

Mia and I had a great time visiting my folks in Pietersburg. Special to spend relaxed time with them, and Mia loved all the attention.

She discovered the piano, that belonged to my great-grandmother.  I used to play when I was younger, but stopped with the lessons and didn't ever carry on playing, unfortunately.  I don't think that piano lid has been opened in ten years! It needs to be tuned, but Mia had so much fun making different sounds!

She played in the water fountain at the garden centre, sopping wet and super happy!

We came back home on Friday, and was nice to be back with Wyn, I missed him so much for the two nights we were away! Mia was so good in the car.  She had a nice sleep on our way to P'burg, but didn't sleep at all when we went back home. She watched her dvd player, and amused herself by sticking small jelly teddies on her arm and then eating them off.  Too funny!

On Saturday morning I took Mia to a Lollos concert - this is an Afrikaans kiddies character, that does lots of cute singing and dancing, Mia's liked Lollos since she was one year old, and her 2nd birthday party theme was Lollos too.  She was so excited to go see the real Lollos!

When we were standing in the queue to buy the latest DVD and a Lettie doll, (she already has the Lollos doll), Minki walked past us (she's also one of the main dancers and singers in the show) and Mia smiled and waved excitedly at her, so she stopped to say hi, Mia was so chuffed!

She stared in amazement when Lollos came up on stage, clapped so much, and towards the end she even stood dancing in the aisle.  Lots of fun!