Friday, August 28, 2015

Mia's science experiment for school

It's the annual Science Expo at Mia's playschool, and we chose an experiment that is easy enough for Mia to demonstrate herself, yet still has a wow- and fun-factor for 5-year old kiddies!

Straw into potato experiment

What you need:
A raw potato
A straw

What to do:
Demonstrate that when you just poke at the potato with the straw, it can’t go into the potato.
However, when you hold the top of the straw closed, with either your thumb or your index finger, and stab at the potato, the straw goes into the potato!

What’s happening:
Air pressure is making the straw much stronger!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Positive affirmations for my daughters

Following on from this post about the campaign by Dove, #BeautyLegacy, I want to share the following thoughts:

To create good body images for my daughters, the way they think about themselves - I must set an example.  Although I am quite comfortable in my own skin, I am forever in pursuit of losing a couple of kg's - I will need to consciously and actively ensure my daughters don't hear me complain about this!  I want to send out a message of self-acceptance, not disappointment.

I created a #BeautyLegacy board on Pinterest where I can keep any specific positive thoughts, affirmations and inspiration to pass on to my two girls.  I especially liked these two:

Some things I am going to do to ensure I leave a #BeautyLegacy that will build my daughters self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence:

  • Tell them every day, that they are beautiful, just the way they are
  • I will set an example to them, by looking after myself: treat my hair, my face, my body with nourishing treatments.
  • Smile often, and tell them how wonderful it is to see smiling faces
  • Compliment them often - on achievements, on ideas, on their choices.
  • Tell them how magazines photoshop the models - they only appear perfect
  • Celebrate being girls, by enjoying regular tea parties, doing our nails together, having candlelit bubble baths together.
  • I want to show them how we look for the good and positive in all situations
  • Do my best to ensure their happiness - but also teach them how to create their own happiness

My sunshine girls, Mia Mooi and Ella Bella, I am such a lucky mommy, to have you two in my life, what an honour and blessing.  I am so proud of you, and I love you to the moon and back.  I love everything about you, from the top of your head all the way down to your tippy toes.  You girls are so, so wonderful.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Featured Blog

This month I am featuring Melanie from Wind in a Letterbox.  

Melanie has two absolutely adorably beautiful daughters, and I did a double-take when I saw her family piccie she sent me - she's married to a well-known South African actor!

Melanie's blog is mostly about parenting (including all about homeschooling her daughters - what a creative, brave mama!) about faith, her thoughts on life, and lots of creative craft ideas.

Have a look at this supercute Tooth Pillow tutorial!   This Pumpkin, Spinach and Chickpea Curry recipe is absolutely delicious.  I love this gift that she made for her hubby for his birthday, A Year of Dates.  I want to try this DIY Calm Jar with the kiddies soon.

Here's the interview I did with Melanie:

How did you get into blogging, and how long have you been blogging?  I started blogging to stay sane while adjusting to motherhood. :) I've been blogging at Wind in a Letterbox since January 2014.

 Tell me about how your decision to homeschool your kids came about? Homeschooling was something we started considering when I was pregnant with Angie, but we thought we'd begin when she was in grade 1. Over the course of this year, we started to feel that we needed to homeschool the girls even sooner than that, so we took them out of school at the end of July. We believe homeschooling will allow our daughters to pursue their own interests, learn at their own pace in their own learning styles, and have a broader education than if they were to attend a mainstream school. We also feel that the more focused attention will have a positive effect on their character and behaviour. 
What motivates and inspires you? I'm a Christian, so I desire to live in a way that is pleasing to God. My main motivation is to do his will, and also to share his love with others. My inspiration is Jesus and the way he showed love to people.
What are your interests and hobbies? I'm a bookworm, but I don't get to read as many books as I used to. (Occasionally I'll stay up late to read - and have a book hangover the next day!) I also like knitting and crafting with my daughters.
Share some of your pet peeves?  I get upset when people smoke around my children. Also, it frustrates me when people crowd the elevator doors while others are trying to get out. A little common sense goes a long way. :)
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? I think I'd get my driver's license a lot earlier than I did. (I was 27 when I did.)
What do you love about being a mom?  So many things! I love snuggling, and the random conversations I have with my daughters. I love seeing their personalities develop and the excitement when they discover something new. I love watching them play together.
What is the hardest thing about being a mom?  The sleep-deprivation, definitely! Emmy is almost three, and she's still doesn't sleep through the night. And her usual wake-up time is 5:30.
Do you collect anything? Books. Craft supplies. 
What makes you sad?  Our government. Although I'm learning to let go of that frustration and trust that God is still in control.
And what makes you happy?  Watching my daughters grasp a new concept. Spending time with my husband. Seeing how God has answered prayers in our lives.
What are the most important values/qualities/lessons you hope to teach your children?  My heart's desire is that they will have a relationship with Jesus. I also hope that they grow into a godly young women who sincerely love others.
What is your favourite family holiday tradition?  We do an Easter countdown every year with different crafts over ten days that tell the Easter story. On Easter Sunday we attend a sunrise service at our local park with several local churches. We also do a lot of Christmas crafts together leading up to Christmas.
Find her on InstagramPinterest and on Facebook.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Melanie! So nice to meet you, and I look forward to reading all your blog posts!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A teething, clingy toddler stage...

I want to blog about these difficult times too - things aren't always all smiles and fun and happy moments...  and these hard times form part of the memories, and I know that it becomes a blurred memory in time, but being right in the middle of it, man, it's tough!!

I did a blog post about Ella's sleep here, when she was almost a year old.  Now, at 15.5 months, it is still very much hit and miss!  She has spoilt me with a few nights of sleeping through the night, and oh gosh, did that give me a taste of how wonderful it could be... but mostly she's been back to the average of waking twice a night - and then at 4am she refuses to lie down again, so she comes into bed with me.  Sometimes she sleeps again then, and sometimes she doesn't...  But I'm all out of fight!

Then, since last weekend, it got worse again - she was waking between 4 and 6 times a night, and sometimes staying awake for hours on end.  (The worst one being while we had visitors here, she woke at 23h30, and when, at half-past-midnight I still couldn't get her to sleep, I marched downstairs letting all the visitors hear her screaming over the monitor and switched the music off and marched back upstairs without saying goodbye...  Not my finest moment, but yeah, gosh, help. Haha!)

Last week passed in a sleep-deprived haze, I literally felt like my brain was foggy and fuzzy.  Got to bed before 9pm most nights, only for the pajama drill to start half an hour later.

Previously I mentioned how I can't sleep well when she's in bed with me, but I've actually passed that stage now, and am just relieved to bring her into our bed so that I can get 2 hours of sleep!  Forming habits I have always been against, but hey, just doing what works...

Then, this weekend we went to the inlaws in the Free State.  Ella was so clingy and only wanted me to hold her, she would scream blue murder if anybody else tried to pick her up!  In the mornings, when we usually would take Ella to mom-in-law so that we can sleep in a bit, she just cried and cried until she was back in my arms again.  Some really hectic separation anxiety going on!

I do my best to just go with the flow, most of the time.  Hold her, cuddle her, reassure her.  It's a stage, it will pass, and before I know it she'll be sleeping through the night (gosh, hopefully!!!) and not sleeping in my arms anymore...

But last night I just burst into tears, after she woke up at 23h30 and I just couldn't get her back to sleep, my back is so sore from the way I have to lean over into her cot to keep her lying down, and just when I think she's asleep and I start to leave the room, she looks up, sees I'm not there and starts crying again. I was literally on my knees with my head against the cot. Finally got her to stay asleep at 1am.  Then she proceeded to wake again at 2am, 4am and 5am.  Can you say zombified mama?

She's got 12 teeth, and her gums are super swollen, so guessing the eye teeth are on their way.  Hope it doesn't take weeks and weeks like the damn molars did...

Ai shame, little baba.  Looking at this pic now, I feel bad for the times I'm all like, "go the f#ck to sleep now"...  She's only this little for such a short while, even though it feels like an eternity when we're in the moment!

I will sleep again...  For now, if mama's arms is what she needs, mama's arms is what she gets.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dove's #BeautyLegacy campaign

Dove sent me a gift bag, containing two of their wonderful soaps, a jar, and post-it notes.

Their latest inspirational campaign is about leaving a beauty legacy.

Think about this:  "The way a girl feels about beauty, starts with the way you feel about yours."

The idea is to write positive affirmations and messages on the post-it notes, specifically things that we as women would have liked our younger selves to hear.  Then to collect these notes in the jar, and pass it on to my daughters.

I love this concept!  As a mom with two daughters, it is so important to me that they know their self-worth, have good body images, self-respect, confidence and happiness.

Next week I'll share more about how I went about doing this little project.

For now, have a look at this video:

Makes one think, doesn't it!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ella graduated from Moms&Babes yesterday!

I started taking Ella to Moms&Babes classes last year, when she was 4.5 months old.  Yesterday we completed the 3 terms - how quickly it went!

These classes are great fun and I really recommend them for all moms & babies to do.  It's once a week, for an hour and a bit, and includes age-appropriate stimulation for babies.  The first term focused on rolling and sitting, the second term on crawling, and the third term on walking.  There are songs to do movement to, fine-motor activities, balancing on exercise balls, free play, outside play, messy play time, and a special cuddle song for mom and baby! Of course, don't forget tea time for the mommies afterwards too.

We went to Tania who is in Centurion. She is such a fabulous, caring, special teacher, we're sure going to miss her.

Have a squiz at their website to find a branch near you!

Here's Ella at the end of our first term, she was 7 months old

 At the end of our second term, cutie-pie was 10 months old

And during our last term, she's 14 months old here

 Graduation day yesterday, well done my big girl! ♥