Hello Third Trimester. Wait, what!

30 weeks pregnant and it feels so surreal. I cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone by. With Ben there was so much time to soak up all the pregnancy excitement, for reading baby books, obsessing over different nursery looks, maternity shoot and all that fun stuff. This time around I blinked and boom 3rd Trimester.

Looking back now I realize how naive we were when we decided to have a baby the first time around. We got pregnant our second month of trying and didn’t even realize how lucky we were. The whole pregnancy was perfect. No morning sickness, no heartburn, seriously I had minimum pregnancy symptoms. Except for not being able to sleep at night I never ever felt uncomfortable while pregnant.  I was active and very healthy.  Miscarriage and pregnancy complications never even entered my mind. It’s something that didn’t exist in my world. We just expected it to be smooth sailing

After Ben was born we took a serious financial hit, our marriage was put on the back burner as we focused all our energy on this tiny person. Life was just so different and even though I really wanted my kids close in age and longed to fall pregnant again, the time for a second baby was just never right. We waited and waited and waited. Then I found a really amazing job. Husband was doing well at work and finally we knew it was time.  Because I got pregnant quite quickly the first time I expected the same, but month 2 came and so did my period. Then month 3, and 4 and 5 and so it continued. I cried many times. I got angry at my husband because we waited too long and now I’m too old and it’s just not going to happen.

Then I got retrenched. It was an extremely difficult and uncertain time. 2 months later, after a year of trying I fell pregnant. I remember looking at the pregnancy test and instead of joy I felt like someone was squeezing all the air out of my lungs. How are we going to afford this baby?  I told husband and he was over the moon. Seeing him so excited calmed me down a little and soon enough I was pinning nurseries. But it was not meant to be.

For about a week after the miscarriage I completely shut down. I was in this bubble where only I existed. I just focused on getting out of bed and carrying on with my routine. Then one day I looked at Ben. My gorgeous, amazing little boy and I suddenly realized that if I only get him that will be enough. He is more than enough.

2 months later I found myself again clutching a positive pregnancy test. Because of the miscarriage I was hesitant to get excited. There was SO much anxiety for the first 12 weeks. What if it happens again? It was emotionally draining to think like this. We had a scare at 8 weeks but after some meds all was well again. But even after our 12 week appointment and a thumbs up from the doctor I still felt like saying it out loud would make it go away. And so we only told our parents at 14 weeks and then made it Facebook official at 17 weeks. I think the fact that we kept it quiet for so long is why this pregnancy feels so short. Why I sometimes feel like I missed out on all the “we’re pregnant” excitement.

But now I’m all in. I’m trying to make the most of every second. I’m asking the poor Instagram husband to snap a bump pic every opportunity I get. I’m milking the “treat me like a queen cause I’m growing a human” card and I’m knee deep in pink glitter and tutu’s.

So how does this second pregnancy differ from my first? Oh my gosh let me count the ways.

So much nausea for the first 12 weeks and then again from 20 weeks till about 25 weeks.  Because of swelling I had to take my wedding band off months ago. My back is killing me and getting out of bed or off the couch very much resembles a tortoise trying to flip himself back after landing on his shell.  My skin was basically the Sahara desert for Trimester 1 and 2 and after using copious amounts of skin hydrating oil its just now getting back to its former glory. I’ve always had restless leg issues so I’m use to it but still it’s definitely worst now and some nights I really struggle to get comfy. Also as someone who lives for summer I quickly realized that sunny days are a lot less fun when pregnant. I’m ALWAYS sweaty and red faced and it’s such a mission to get anything done when the heat is constantly draining all your energy.  But I’m not complaining, far from it. I absolutely adore being pregnant and love this bump. It’s actually a little bittersweet knowing its coming to an end and that the pregnancy phase of my life will then be over.

But I’m also excited (and petrified) to start the next phase of life as a mom of two.

10 weeks left guys! 10 WEEKS!

Ben is four

I know I say this every year with every age but I seriously cant believe my baby is four. As a naive 20 something I thought four year old’s were basically teenagers. Like you can leave them alone at home while you go on a date night old. I’d look at moms carrying 4 year old’s and I had the urge to say “You know he can walk right?” Now I’m that mom carrying around my 4 year old while his feet dangle below my knees.

The jump from 3 to 4 is honestly so huge. I’m amazed by this little person every single day. He can name every single dinosaur, tell you if its a herbivore or carnivore, he can also tell you exactly how they became extinct with the giant shooting star and the lava and then they were dead. Dead people, my kid now uses the word dead. He doesn’t always use it correctly, like the other night our dog’s tail knocked against a chair and Ben was like “OH NO Knoxies tail is dead” But still he mostly gets it right. And what a big grown up concept to understand. He now also insist on dressing himself which means taking 10 minutes to put on a pair of pants. The other day I told him he cant have Oros just water. After a few minutes he comes walking in with a glass of Oros. I should have been mad but I was just so impressed by the fact that he did it all on his own. I had a taste and he got the Oros/Water ratio just right.

I remember as a baby he would cry and I’d nervously try figure out if he was hungry, tired, pooped in his pants. Now when he cries he stops midway to announce “I CRY!!”  And then when you ask him why he will go into a lengthily discussion as to the reason for the crying.

My favourite word at the moment is ‘frebily’

Me: Is a TRex scary or friendly.

Ben: Scary

Me: Is a Triceratops scary or friendly?

Ben: Frebily

Other favourites include adbenture/adventure, baby TV/tablet and Orange Glasie/Oros. When he wants to talk he’ll start with “I call” So he’ll say “I call its a sunny day, lets go to the beach” or at bedtime he’ll announce “I call not sleepy time, I’m wakey”.

He calls the toy house with the owl on the roof the ‘spooky house’ and when he hears the word ‘subscribe’ he points down and says ‘red button below’ Thanks You Tube.

His favourite shows are Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures on CBeebies and Park Ranger LB on You Tube. He loves Jolly Jammers, Oreos, animal cookies (ZOO) and chocolate eggs (Tumbles with raisins)

So on the 12 of August we had the long awaited Blue Velociraptor party. This was the first year that he told me what kind of party he wanted and he was very specific about it. Blue, velociraptors, lava cake. All year long every party we went to he would have a meltdown because it wasn’t his blue velociraptor party. And then the day finally came…


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The Ramblings of a sad girl cliche

Remember when we were all like 2016 is the worst year ever and then 2017’s like “Hold my beer”

Retrenchment in February, a few hospital pit stops, a miscarriage after Easter weekend and then Thursday the 11th of May… Voldemort day.

I once read an article that said 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I think this is why I had such a hard time feeling sad. This happens to 1 in 4 pregnant women, I’m not special; I’m not even the worst case scenario. I was only 5 weeks pregnant. It barely counts as a pregnancy.  I don’t deserve to cry because there are women all over the world who had to deal with far worst.  But through reading and talking to friends I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how far along you were, you don’t have to submit your tragedy to a panel who will judge if you qualify to feel sad, you can just be sad. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

I’ve since spent my fair share of time on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I’ve stuffed my face with comfort food, I’ve cried at diaper ads and I’ve watched way too much Keeping up with the Kardashians. I can actually feel my brain cells dying.  I’m the walking talking sad girl cliché.

Thing is when you are a mom you are only allowed to have a breakdown from 8 – till end of school day, and then you wipe the tears and get shit done.  I love my little boy so much and I know if it wasn’t for him I’d probably be having a gin with my morning coffee. He makes me so incredibly happy, except for the times when he cries for 30 minutes because I won’t give him a green fizzer, or when he has to take a bath, brush his teeth or go to bed…  But still I absolutely adore this age. His imagination, the way he experience things, the little hugs and I love you’s. He’s a proper little person.

Husband and I recently came to the realisation that we’ve been more roommate than partners the last year. Somewhere between a baby, new jobs, money worries and losing a baby we’ve forgotten the things that use to make us great together. Our biggest problem is communication. I tend to bottle up. I am your typical cowboys don’t cry. But husband is a don’t go to bed angry, let’s talk it out kinda person. See where things went wrong.  We recently went on a weekend away to the west coast just the two of us and it did us the world of good. It’s important to remember marriage is a team sport. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there’s someone right there eager to hand you a tissue.

It’s weird living life somewhere between anger, heartbreak and disbelieve. But I do think that we are heading towards the silver lining. They say bad things happen in three’s so I’m done. Right?

I found a quote the other day that said “Sometimes it takes and overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough” I use to roll my eyes at people who post quotes on Social Media. Now I pin quotes on Pinterest till midnight.  It’s actually quite therapeutic. I get why people do it. I currently find myself in the middle of  “The mind replays what the heart can’t delete” and “When life knocks you down stand the fuck up and say you hit like bitch”

Rocking Motherhood

You’ve probably seen the #RockingMotherhood posts around and I’ve been tagged by Cassey from Bits and Pieces, Zayaan from Surviving the Madness and Maz from Caffeine and Fairydust to write about the 10 Ways I’m Rocking Motherhood. I ignored the first two tags because 10 WAYS? LIKE HOW EVEN? But then after the third tag I was like okay time to buckle down and get it done.

I’m not going to list 10 ways I’ll rather just tell you a little story.

When Ben arrived I was petrified. Husband changed the first few diapers because I was so scared I’d get it wrong. It took me a while to get comfortable, and to embrace motherhood. But when it clicked, it clicked. The moment I got over the fear and doubt and embraced motherhood fully I kicked ass. For the first time in my life I was a 100% proud of something I did. I wasn’t just coasting. I was passionate, involved and fierce.
But then last year I hit a speed bump. We were getting reports from school that Ben refused to take part in class activities and that there were a few fights with friends. The school assured us that we didn’t need to worry, kids go through phases and they were handling it. But then I got the email, the principle wanted to see us. We were told that Ben was hyperactive, did not participate in class activities, difficult to reason with, frustrated and would sometimes become aggressive with friends and teachers. We were shown video footage of the class. The kids would all be sitting at tables colouring in and Ben would be on the play carpet area running back and forth. When it was story time all the kids would be sitting in the reading corner and Ben would be sitting next to the teacher because he was too much of a distraction when he was sitting with the kids. It was sad to hear and heartbreaking to see.
The death blow was when we were told that some of the kids in the class have told the teacher that they don’t want to play with Ben anymore. My heart shattered into a million pieces. I was so emotional I couldn’t even talk. Not only was I incredibly worried about my little boy who is usually sweet and loving, but also heartbroken on his behalf because for how long has he been misunderstood and alone and I didn’t know. I also felt like my mothering was being attacked. Am I a bad mom. I went over every single parenting decision I have ever made. I was disappointed in Ben because why is he being a bully. And I was even more disappointed in me because what did I do wrong.

There was so much tension in our house and at school and I could see it was taking a toll on Ben. We had to sort this out as soon as possible. First step was to see the pediatrician and then a play therapist. To cut a long story short after a long chat with the pediatrician and a full check up he put him on an iron supplement and it has made such a huge difference. I now hear him singing songs from school around the house, something he never did before because he never paid attention in class when they were learning songs. I cannot tell you how happy this made me.
Ben bounced back quickly. But it took me a little longer to get my confidence back. I still sometimes stress that I’m failing, that I’m not a good enough mom.

But I now know that Rocking motherhood means:

  • Knowing that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay.
  • Knowing there’s no such thing as a perfect mom.
  • That at some point you will be disappointed by your little angel child, whether it be bullying, lying, smuggling booze into a party or taking your car for a joy ride. Deal with it.

Most of all I rock motherhood because even though I kill all my houseplants at an alarming rate I manage to keep my tiny person happy and healthy.

The Rocking Motherhood Tag Rules:
1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog. (Been there done that)
2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.
3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

Okay so I did some of that.

I’m tagging:

Cass from Leather Jacket Foxes because you rock at all aspects of life 🙂

Wear the damn bikini

I was an active kid at school and enjoyed a variety of sports, netball being my favourite. I was never thin but strong and athletic. I had a good bikini body. But I was also shy and self conscious.  I believed that my body wasn’t good enough for a swimsuit. I’d always hide behind a giant oversized T shirt. I’d drop my towel just before jumping into the pool and would reach for it before I’m out the water. I always said no to going down the Super tube even when I really wanted to join in the fun.

My mom always warned me that someday I’ll regret not walking around in my swimsuit when I had the chance.

And she was right.

I regret all the times I thought I couldn’t wear, eat or do something because I was too fat. Thinking I’ll wear, eat, do it next year when I’ve lost the weight and would look perfect. Thinking I had to put life on hold until I reached my goal weight.

I regret all the money I wasted on quick fixes and unhealthy diet pills because diet culture was so ingrained into my being that I believed every bit of nonsense they threw my way.  Using money on an expensive weight loss program when I actually wanted to use the money on something fun like zip lining or surfing lessons.

I am tired of always measuring my worth according to my weight. Oh she’s thinner than I am so she’s obviously cooler, smarter more successful. I should just sit here in the corner and keep quiet because no one wants the opinion of the fat girl

I am tired of listening to everyone talk about their diet. I’m tired of you thinking you have the right to tell me “Let’s lose 5kg’s”. Telling me how long I should run to work off the calories I just consumed.  Stop projecting your “oh she’d be so pretty if she just lost some weight” onto me.

I’m a mom now. I have a little boy who thinks the world of me, who loves me just the way I am. Who wants me to splash in the waves with him, who wants me to jump on the trampoline with him, but I don’t.  I ask someone else to do it, because I’m too fat to splash in the waves in a swimsuit. But I’m tired of regret and tired of missing out.

When I first saw this photograph I hated it because all I saw was my porky upper arm. Now its one of my favourites.

My mantra for the new year:

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of happiness.

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of respect.

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of love.


(via @bodyposipanda)

The worst part of parenthood

The worst part of parenthood. No its not the lack of sleep, missing out on after work drinks with friends or hearing a tiny person call “MOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!” a thousand times a day. Its the constant fear and anxiety you carry around everyday.

Being a parent is like being Ben Stiller in the movie Along came Polly. Before any car ride, activity and outing you first slot it into your little risk calculater to see what could be the worst possible outcome. A scraped knee? Cool I’ll risk it. Cracked skull? Nope, nope, nope!

On the 31 December, the very last day of the much hated 2016 Ben had an accident. He was jumping from one chair to the next when he fell. He couldn’t break his fall with his hands and hit the side of the chair chin first, his neck bending back at a weird angle and then he tumbled to the ground. I though he hit his mouth and expected loose teeth and a cut lip but when I got him up off the floor his mouth was fine, there was no blood. I was relieved. Ben was crying hysterically and it was then that I noticed he was holding his chin with both hands. As I pulled them away they were covered in blood. Parental Meltdown.

We immediately rushed to the ER. When we arrived a very nice nurse checked his vitals, cleaned his face, and told us its going to be a bit of a wait for the doctor. Ben seemed to be calming down and doing better. He wanted hugs and cuddles. The next moment it was like someone flipped a switch. His face went white, mouth hanging open and his eyes were glassy. We tried to talk to him but he was being unresponsive. At the time I was still relatively calm and thought it was just shock.  The nurse checked his vitals and tried to get a response from him. She tried her best to sound calm as she asked someone to get the doctor but there was a definite hint of tension. A few minutes later she shined the little light in his eyes again. She told us to keep talking to him, to ask him questions . Again she called for the doctor this time sounding even more anxious. I looked at my little boys pale face and thought, is he going to die now, right here, in front of me…

The doctor finally arrived. He checked Ben, cleaned his chin and glued the gash together. He then ordered a MRI scan and wanted Ben booked into the hospital for observation. 40 minutes later Ben was jumping on the hospital bed and making grandma draw dinosaurs on old till slips she found in her handbag. The scans were all fine and we got to go home.

We hear these awful, terrifying stories. The 3 year old boy who drowned in his parents pool a few days after Christmas. The Grade R boy who fell from the jungle gym at school and died. How can we not be paranoid.

But kids will always explore, climb, jump, push boundaries. Its how they learn. There will be falls, there will be ouchies. We cant helicopter parent them every moment and we shouldnt treat them like bubble boy. All we can do is hope and pray. Be present. Be aware. Kiss them a million times everyday even when they don’t want to. Love in abundance. BE THANKFUL. And have faith.

How to shop with a toddler

First of all lets get one thing straight. Unless you thrive in highly tense, volatile situations rather leave the shopping for when your husband is home to watch the kids. OR even better, take him with. Let him experience the utter terror of shopping with a toddler first hand and then next time he asks you why you are exhausted after grocery shopping (men have real short memories) you get to punch him in the face.


When shopping with a toddler ALWAYS pick the store you know best. You should be able to name the number of the aisle of every single item on your list before you even leave the house.

Entertainment is key. Pack the tablet, the mini DVD player, books, anything else that might keep them busy for more than 15 minutes.

Unless you have R5 with you AVOID the entrance with the car or plane ride. Actually even if you have R5 on you AVOID AVOID AVOID. Because one ride is never enough. Once you’ve popped you cant stop.

Blind fold, distract whatever you need to do to get pass the toy aisle.

Keep them snacking. Even if that means breaking the sugar before lunch rule. And don’t worry about the sugar high, if you are quick about shopping the sugar will probably only kick in once your home and there’s no one to eye role at your screaming kid.

Make high speed car chase noises as you take a corner of an aisles at a 100km/ph. Even better if you make crashing or exploding noises as you pass other trolleys.

Pick the shortest line at the till, hastily throw the items in the direction of the check out lady, wipe the sweat from your upper lip while drummer your fingers on the counter.

Unpack your trolley, stuff your Flings faced toddler in the car and high five yourself on being a super mom.

Get home and realise that while you checked your shopping list your toddler loaded about half the shops Oreo stock into your trolley.

Explore your online shopping options.


30 Something

So today, 21 September 2016 I celebrate my 34th Birthday. Now if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I’ve been moaning about this birthday for a while now. I’ve also been asking every beauty bloggers advice on wrinkle cream, eye cream and the best foundation that won’t just go sit in all your ‘fine’ lines making sad little foundation caterpillars. Because 34 is a bit of a scary wake-up call from those naïve ‘but I’ve got great skin I don’t need eye cream’ days.


My problem isn’t so much with turning 34, it’s more with what comes next. You see 34 is the last year of being in you early 30’s. Next year it’s 35 and that’s the turning point. From there on it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to 40. And 40. Well 40 is basically being Betty White.

I just cannot believe I am so far down my life timeline already.

And yes I know getting old and celebrating yet another birthday is a privilege. Something a lot of people don’t get to have. I have spent 34 good, healthy and major life changing accident free years on this earth. And I am so very thankful for this. I have an amazing family who are all alive and well. I have an incredible little boy who is my sun and moon. My best friends have been doing life with me since the age of 5 and is always just a phone call away. I am truly blessed. And not #blessed as in roll your eyes ironic blessed. But really truly blessed.

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But I just can’t help but think back to that naïve high school girl who thought she would someday drive a black Porsche like Will Smith did in Bad Boys. Who wanted to have all her kids by 29, and thought people in their 30’s were grown-ups. She’d probably be a little disappointed. But then again who really cares about what she thinks.

Cake time!!

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Let them be little

After University I spent a year teaching English in Taiwan. It was a private English school and classes were from 17:00 – 21:00. These kids came to English classes after spending most of their day at school and other extra murals. I even had a class of 2 -3 year olds. They could barely speak Mandarin but they were there to learn English. They basically just ate Oreo’s and cried the whole time. After classes I’d usually walk over to the night market for dinner and the parks would be filled with teenagers playing basket ball or huddled in groups chatting because this was basically the only down time they had, at night, just before bed time.

Now for them this is normal, but for me it was not. I just wanted to scream “let them be little” while shoving an overtired 2 year old English ‘learner’ out the door.

Even though South Africans are more laid back when it comes to raising our kids and very much value playtime, I have definitely noticed a bit of a shift.  Parents are becoming more competitive, pushing their kids towards milestones long before they are ready. Even I fell into this trap at first.

Instead of enjoying my little one I was counting milestones and comparing him to other kids. We all know kids develop at their own pace; they have their own personalities and talents and strong points, so why are we choosing to ignore this? Why are we rushing off to therapists and specialist before giving our little one the time they deserve to figure it out on their own?

In March I was telling my husband about how basically all Ben’s classmates walked from the car to class on their own carrying their little backpack, but Ben still clung to me like a monkey wanting me to carry him. Should we be worried, is this an issue? I talked to another mom and she said she just one day flat out refused to carry her little one in. There were a few tears but now he’s happy to walk on his own. I’m a bit of a push over and always try avoid tears, so I decided to give it more time.  Two weeks later he got out of the car, asked for his bag and walked all the way to class on his own. I was the proudest mom at school that day, and Ben looked pretty chuffed himself.

Off course there are limits to this. We don’t want 5 year olds in diapers only being able to count to 5 but do we really need 1 year olds that can count to 10. Do we really need to drill the alphabet into a 2 year old when all they want to do is climb a tree and ride their push bike? We are so focused on turning our toddlers into little stepford kids with all their fancy educational toys that we forget about the good old blanket fort and cardboard box turned racecar. When last have you met a little kid with an imaginary friend? We need more little one’s wearing a snorkelling mask to the shops or running around in a super hero outfit and less 2 year olds going on 20.

Jonas Harrysson a school teacher recently posted the following on Facebook “I’ve met many parents who are soooo proud that their kids can read and count before starting preschool. Well, I hate to break it to you, but reading and counting, they’ll learn to do soon enough. Teach them instead to play, to be a good friend, and to share” Amen to that.

Cruelty free beauty on a budget

I started 2016 with three New Years Resolutions; stress less about money (like that’s ever going to happen) eat less meat (I had bacon yesterday and chicken today so not going well) and thirdly switch to cruelty free beauty products. The last one I’m actually doing pretty well at.

My switch to cruelty free has not been as easy as I thought it would. Although I’ve never had bad skin I’ve had eczema since birth. As a kid I couldn’t use the Barbie or My Little Pony bubble bath I got for my birthday and I often scratched myself in my sleep till my skin was red open wounds. I was on some kind of cortisone cream for most of my childhood. Dermatologist kept telling my parents it will get better (even disappear) around 16. It took a bit longer than that but eventually it did get better. My skin is however very sensitive to change of season, stress and perfumed skin creams.

For the last couple of years I’ve been using Bioderma and loved it. It’s affordable and worked well with my skin type. But of course Bioderma is not Cruelty free.

The first 2 cruelty free organic skin creams I tried did not suit my skin at all. I didn’t like the smell and texture. It felt like it disappeared as soon as I applied it.  It was impossible to get a smooth finish with foundation and halfway through the day it felt like my face would crack if I smiled. I was told to give it more time as your skin will take a while to adapt to organic products. So I did but for the first time in ages my skin was giving me major issues and I hated it.

Then I tried Skin Creamery’s Everyday cream and I instantly fell in love. It’s organic, the packaging is great, it smells heavenly and my skin feels moisturised all day long. I’m also very keen to try their Facial Cleansing Powder.

So a quick round up of my new favourite budget friendly cruelty free products:

Then: Bioderma PO zinc – Now: The Skin Creamery Everyday cream

Then:  Bioderma Facewash – Now: Naturals Beauty Milk Cleanser. Their Hydrating Mask is pretty fantastic too.

Then: Nivea Body Lotion – Now:  Oh So Heavenly Extended Moisture (Clicks) (Body Shop body butter is my first choice here but not budget friendly. This Oh So Heavenly is R23 and a so great)

Rain Organic Coconut Oil

Rain Body polish

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Cruelty free make up on a budget

Then:  Mac Powder – Now: Catrice All Matt Plus (Dischem)

New purchase: Catrice Eye highlighter (game changer)

Then: Mac & Rimmel lipstick – Now:  Essence and Wet n Wild (Clicks)

My current favourite Wet n Wild colours are Stoplight Red, Mauve Outta Here and Smokin Hot Pink

I’m still on the hunt for a nightcream and a Foundation to replace my Mac Studio Sculpt with so if you know of a good alternative let me know.

Just a side note to remember when going cruelty free.  Chinese law requires mandatory animal testing on all cosmetic products that are manufactured outside of China. So if a company doesn’t conduct animal testing themselves but sell to China they are basically not cruelty free. A good example of this is Revlon.

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