Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

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…

 

You might also like

Rain Mystery Tour

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Rain Mystery Tour with some of my favourites bloggers on Saturday. We all had to meet up at Charly’s Bakery at 8am. Obviously since I had to get up early on a day that is usually a sleep in day Ben had one of the worst nights in a long time and ended up sleeping in our bed. When my alarm went off early on Saturday morning I was definitely not a ray of sunshine. Luckily as we arrived at Charly’s Bakery the lovely Rain ladies were ready with a giant Ou Meul Bakery muffin and coffee. We all had to get on the bus to depart to our mystery destination. Along the way we were given clue’s. I had no idea, not a clue. Luckily we had some very clever girls on the bus that figured it out way sooner than expected.

IMG_6495

Mosaic Private Sanctuary Stanford

Mosaic Lodge in Stanford was kind enough to host us for the day. I completely love Stanford. I keep nagging my parents to retire there so I can visit all the time so I was thrilled when I realised we were heading there.

Mosaic Private Sanctuary is gorgeous. The scenery, the lodge, the private suites its all heaven. Definitely on my bucket list.

IMG_6616

All about Rain Africa

After a quick welcome drink we had a session with Bev Missing the creator of Rain and learned more about perfumery and her incredible trip to Kunene Namibia to learn more about the Himba people. The Himba women collect Omumbiri (gum from trees) to make their own perfume.

We were then introduced to Rain’s 3 new fragrances: Twig, Leaf and Nectar.

I loved all three but Nectar is definitely my favourite.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

The rest of the day included a tour of the lodge, a safari drive where who learned more about the fynbos and flowers of the area and then finished off the day with the best 10 minute neck and shoulder massage.

It was also so great to spend some time with some of my favourite bloggers.

I’ve been wanting to go more organic for a while now and already use mostly organic products on Ben. I’m hoping to now give my beauty cupboard an overhaul and swap all the nasties out for organic products. Rain is definitely at the top of my list.

Hug it out

IMG_5948

Being a parent is a lot like what I imagine being Bipolar to be like. There are good days and bad days. The highs are high and the lows are oh so low.

Yesterday we had a bad day. It all started with Ben waking up screaming at 5:30. Very early for a kid that usually sleeps till 7:30/8:00. He was like a person possessed. Screaming, kicking, running down the hall and banging on the doors. I wasn’t allowed to hold him but also not aloud to put him down. He wanted his bottle but would scream when I try and make it. I then gave him the bottle and he threw it on the floor and then continued to cry about wanting his bottle. I eventually got him to calm down. We had a bit of peace and quiet before it was time to change his diaper. Once again with the kicking and screaming. Wriggling around making it impossible for me. I eventually had to pin him down with my knee so I could get the diaper on. I continued to dress him while he screamed. As I was about to put his shoes on he grabbed one and threw it at my head. I lost it. I screamed at him. The kind of scream that leaves his little face in shock. I immediately felt the shame and guilt wash over me. I tried to give him a hug and bribe him with a cookie but he was having none of it. I wrestled him to the car and into his car seat. Both of us now crying. We drove all the way to school in total silence, not even looking at each other. Him still wearing only one shoe. I dropped him off, got in my car and felt so very relieved. I know this sounds horrible but I was in no mood to take care of him all day.

And then you have days like today. I stared at his peaceful sleeping face. He slowly opened his eyes and gave me a sleepy smile. He softly whispered “mamma tee (mommy tea)” I picked him up and he threw his arms around my neck and gave me the biggest kiss, followed by a dazzling toddler smile. My heart melted. He drank his bottle while I had coffee. We watched a little bit of Timmy Time and then got dressed. No tears. He even held his little foot out so I could put his socks and shoes on. I told him it was time to go so he grabbed his blanky and ran to the car. He climbed into his car seat and waited for me to buckle him up. We drove to school laughing and chatting. He pointed at the cows and we waived as we drove by. I dropped him off thinking maybe I’ll pick him up a little earlier than usual and we can go to the park.

This is parenthood. The good and the bad. The great thing is that even on the bad days you still get a hug when you drop him off at school. And when you show up later he runs across the school yard and jumps into your arms excitedly. Because this is the kind of love that survives bad days.

And so my wish for the future is that even when he is all grown up, with his own ideas, opinions and dreams we will still be able to hug it out on the bad days. When I’m a ‘bad’ mom or he is a ‘bad’ child we will always remember that our love is bigger than that. Because life is too short and family too valuable to walk around with a grudge.

You might also like

Mothersday thoughts

So that’s a wrap on my second Mothersday as a mom. We decided to take Ben to the Aquarium for the first time followed by lunch and milkshakes at the Fire and Ice hotel. I’ve been wanting to take Ben to the aquarium for so long and what better day than Mothersday. When we got to the very first tank with all the brightly coloured fish husband quickly ran off to the bathroom and Ben and I had a few minutes alone. As I stood there with my tiny person in my arms watching his face light up as he excitedly pointed at the pretty blue ‘Dory’ fish I suddenly got so emotional. For a minute I could not actually believe I am mom on Mothersday. I could not believe how much I love this tiny perfect person. I was just feeling so thankful and so very lucky.

I have a little confession. The night Ben was born and they showed him to me the first thought that popped into my head was “I can’t decide if he’s pretty or not” I looked at him and it wasn’t a face I recognized. There was no immediate overwhelming bonding feeling. I did not experience that ‘love at first sight’ moment most moms talk about. My head was just so busy processing it all. After all the wait and all the “I wonder what he’ll look like? Will he have your nose and my lips” conversations he was suddenly here right in front of me.

Don’t get me wrong I liked him. I liked him a lot. When I held him in my arms there was wonderment and I had that butterfly’s in tummy feeling. I could not stop looking at him. Was this tiny person really mine. But love? I just didn’t know him well enough yet to be using that word. It was like the first bit of a very promising relationship. You know this could be something amazing, you really really like him but its just too soon to be using the word love.

And so we went home. And we got to know each other a bit better. And I became very attached to this little person. I could stare at him for hours. I wanted to be around him all the time. I missed him when he was sleeping. But love… Was this the huge crazy love everyone was talking about…. I just wasn’t sure…  And then I started to stress about it. How will I know if we bonded properly. How will I know when I love him. I was just so stressed.

There was never this huge light bulb moment where I was like “Okay wow, I feel it now. Yes its definitely love”” No, it was something that just happened. I just woke up one morning and the doubt was gone.

Now its difficult for me to remember a time I did not love him. I try to think back to those first few days of  struggling to figure out my emotions and doubting my love for him but I cant because it feels like I’ve been loving him forever. I love him so much that sometimes I’m a little scared my heart won’t be able to handle all the love. You will never really truly get the whole ‘I’ll take a bullet for you’ thing until you become a parent. I will take a bullet, a train, a lightning bolt for him. I’ll fight a lion without giving it a second though.

Loving someone that much is a little scary but also so flippin fantastic.

To my most amazing mom: Hope you had the best Mothersday. Thanks for loving me this much. Then to my Ben: Thanks for letting me kiss and hug you about a million times a day. Thanks for all the smiles that make every day so damn special. I am ridiculously excited to be your mom.

Hope you all had the best mothersday!

Favourite product: Sunglasses for kids

In our house husband is the practical one while I am all about the pretty. He’ll buy the long lasting sturdy product while I buy the one that looks the nicest. So when husband suggested we get Ben some sunglasses obviously I went to Cotton On Kids and bought the cutest pair I could find. When I got home husband wanted to know about the quality of the lenses and UVA protection and I didn’t have a clue because I didn’t think about that stuff. Needless to say husband was not pleased.

A few weeks later we were gifted a pair of OV-optics sunglasses to try out. It was a perfectly timed product drop. Thanks girls.

OV Optics was founded and is owned and operated by Tanya and Zule. Two amazing girls with incredible passion for what they do. Tanya is a qualified optometrist while Zule is a professional photographer. Their mission is to educate and inform parents about the danger of UV exposure to the eyes of children, they belief that prevention is better than cure and that pro-active living is the way to a healthy future.

We as parents spend a lot of money on keeping our kids healthy. We vaccinate, we cook healthy foods we wash them with organic products and have epic battles to try brush their teeth but somehow eye safety is often forgotten. As adults the first thing we do is put sunglasses on when leaving the house yet we send our kids to school, sports days and playgrounds without eye protection. This is why the OV Optics girls Sunglasses at Schools project makes so much sense. They aim to make sunglasses part of the school uniform and ingrained in our culture.

OV Optic Sunglasses are available in Small/Medium and Large. There are 2 styles available: Swag and Sport.

 

These sunglasses retail at around R400. Now some parents might think that’s expensive for kids glasses that will probably break within a month but you are so wrong. OV Optic glasses can bend and twist and is virtually unbreakable. Ben has broken 2 pairs of sunglasses before. MY SUNGLASSES. THAT I WAS VERY FOND off. But his OV Optic glasses are still perfectly in tact. The lenses are also shatterproof and impact resistant making them safe and very long lasting. They also come in a handy little pouch with a clip so it can hook onto a diaper bag or school backpack.

I am honestly so chuffed with this product and would definitely suggest all parents look into it. For more information you can contact OV Optics or visit their website.

Easter, Family and a quick catch up.

From about mid March I’ve been eating, sleeping, breathing Easter weekend. I could not wait for the long weekend to arrive. I needed a break, a bit of time to relax, time with the family. It was the in-laws turn to get us for Easter and husbands older brother and his family who live in the UK is visiting so everyone was extra excited. They have a little girl aged 4 and a little boy turning 2 in May. The last time the cousins were all together Ben was only 4 months old.

Things started off a little rocky. Ben was terribly shy at first and David was not keen on sharing toys but after a good nights sleep they woke up the next morning ready to play. There were lots of climbing, racing, pointing and giggling. They were just ridiculously cute together.

I really am enjoying this age. Sure there’s tantrums and Ben can go from happy to awfully upset within seconds but there’s also a million laughs. He is such a character and has the best sense of humour. He loves to entertain and he smiles all the time. He has amazing ball skills and loves to kick the ball around. He is obsessed with cars or ‘Ka’ as he calls them and has major bike skills. He takes a corner on 2 wheels just about tipping over often making me jump up thinking he’s about to crash, but he never does. He roars like a lion, applauds the loudest when he does something awesome and loves, loves, LOVES chocolate. He would pop the entire Easter eggs into his mouth and it was terribly funny watching him try eat the whole thing at once.

His laugh is infectious and I adore the effect he has on other people. You cant help but be happy when around him.

I cannot believe we are already in Autumn. It was very evident over Easter weekend as we pulled on the wintery PJ’s and often needed a jersey in the morning. I am a summer person and get terribly depressed during the long winter months. I hate the darkness, the grey, the pale skin. Luckily we had a nice sunny day over the weekend to enjoy a bit of beach time.

April means its my last month at the current job. I cannot believe I am almost at the end. That first month was so difficult. I’d often drive home from work and thought of just not showing up the next day. I had to learn so much in a very short amount of time. A lot was expected of me and although at the time I thought they were going to break me I actually survived. I feel a lot more confident in myself knowing I climbed this mountain and although I wanted to quit many times I didn’t.

I’ve also been eating much healthier lately (except for easter weekend of course) and have lost 5kg’s since I started end of February. My skin looks better, my clothes fit again and I don’t feel a 100 years old anymore. I’ve been able to put a bit of cash into my credit card clearing up some unwanted debt and husband received a very nice bonus so after a few very hard months we are doing so much better. I’m happy. And I say that not with a “but are you really?” as an afterthough like I did a while back  I really am feeling okay with life.

Mr Price Giveaway

Just a quick pop in to let you know I have a R250 Mr Price Voucher to give away. Excited? Well you should be, I just shopped the cutest Winter stuff for Ben online at mrp.com

How to enter:

– Like and share on my Elle Kay Facebook page here

OR

– Comment below and let me know if you will be shopping for your little one or treating yourself and what you plan on getting from Mr P Online.

*Only open to SA residence. Winner will be announced next Friday, 27 March 2015*

Moms and Social Media

When I found out I was pregnant most of my friends were either single or getting engaged, and I could count on my one hand the amount of babies I’ve held in my arms before. I knew nothing. I had no close friends to ask for advice or share the experience with.

Luckily a Twitter friend announced her pregnancy a few weeks after mine and through her I linked up with a few other young first time moms to be till I eventually gathered a nice little possy. Together we shared scans, baby shopping, the amount of chocolate we ate, not being able to sleep and where to buy comfy stretch pants.

One by one we had our babies and shared the excitement as they made their Twitter and Instagram debuts. Together we struggled through breastfeeding, extreme exhaustion and post pregnancy hormones. These girls were my people. They guided me through that first few months of the unknown. Sitting on the rocking chair in the nursery during the freezing hours of winter nights breastfeeding my baby there would always be one of them on Twitter to keep me company. Together we celebrate milestones, together we suffer through teething. They are always there for advice or a quick pep talk.

Most of these girls I have never seen in ‘real’ life. I only know them from social media. So when the invite for a Mommy Blogger Meetup arrived and I saw some of them would be attending I was beyond excited. Cindy Alfino is the master mind behind the CTmeetups and she does such a great job at organizing them. The meetup was hosted by Graze Restaurant in Kenilworth and it was such a perfect venue with amazing food. Their kids menu is also pretty awesome.

Nikki Lincoln a fellow mom, blogger and digital food editor at Woolworths did a great talk on blogging and the tools all bloggers should be using. And then there was the goodie bags. Such an amazing bonus to what was already a pretty perfect morning.

Stationery sponsored by Gumtree
 
Mr Price fashion went above and beyond by sponsoring each mom with a beautifully wrapped gift as well as a voucher to spend online. I also got a R250 voucher to give away, but more on that later.
 

Ben’s MR Price gift. Love that bowtie.
 
It really was so great to have a face to face chat with these awesome girls who have shared so much of this amazing motherhood wild ride with me. I really do appreciate all your support and kind words. Also how did mothers survive before social media.
 
*Thanks also to Wakaberry, Kin Shop, Oh So Heavenly, Ella’s kitchen, Reusable Pouches, Tangled Tree, Baby Group, Optiphi, Wellness Warehouse, Almay, Mitchum, Beatiful Earth, Adventure Bootcamp and Galileo Cinema for contributing to the amazing goodie bag. You guys Rock!


Slow it down.

I am currently somewhere between a quarter life crisis and a
midlife crisis. In between happy and depressed. Not depressed enough to go on
medication and not happy enough to caption Instagram pics with  ‘living my best life’

Ever since becoming a mom I have become extremely aware of
time. How quickly it passes us by, how little of it we have. My mom recently
told me I should be more positive about life because these are the best years
of my life. Well that’s exactly it. I KNOW these are the best years of my life
yet I feel like I’m wasting them on a ‘lets just get through this day’
mentality.  Wasting them on jobs I
hate.  Wasting them at home doing the
same thing over and over again because there’s no money for adventures and exploring.  I keep waiting for my life to start when it has
started a long time ago. I’m living my life, this is it
And then I feel guilty. Because how dare I feel sad and
miserable when I have good health, a family that loves me and the sweetest most
amazing little boy who fills my every day with cheeky grins and giggles. I feel
guilty because if I’m unhappy with my career I should be doing something about
it. I feel guilty because my parents put so much money into my education and I
feel like I’m letting them down when all I want is to make them proud. I feel guilty because I keep bitching and
moaning about a holiday, this while my parents and parents in law both
have amazing beach houses in gorgeous locations that we regularly visit. But my
soul needs the excitement of searching holiday destinations online, booking
accommodation, packing the suitcase and going to bed knowing soon you will be
discovering a new place. I feel guilty for resenting my husband because he couldnt afford to spoil me with fancy jewellery when Ben was born or on my first mothersday like all the other new moms on Instagram, this while he works so hard to pay all our bills every month and make sure we have what we need.

I feel guilty because
I wake up every Monday hoping the week will go by quickly so we can get to the
weekend when I know I should NEVER EVER wish away time.

And then the biggest
one of all: I feel guilty because the most important thing in my life is my
little boy and I only get afternoons and weekends with him. And then
I’m usually too exhausted to give him all of me. I’m just so scared of not having enough time with him.

I saw this on Instagram recently and it struck a cord. Sorry I cant for the life of me remember who posted it.
 

I am just so scared of someday having a broken heart because I’ve realised I’ve wasted my youth.

 

Holidays are best!

It’s the end of January (already) and 2015 is leaving us with little time to stop and smell the roses. The holidays feel like it was ages ago. That feeling of being well rested, tanned and healthy sure didn’t hang around for very long.

So what did we get up to during the holidays…

December is without a doubt my favourite time of year. I love the Christmas holidays. The way everyone has a little spring in their step as they countdown the days to freedom. Christmas music, fairy lights, hot summer days spent at the beach.

To me December holidays is a time to let go and just be. My rule is no hair dryer no make up. Barefoot, no jewellery, not even my wedding ring. This year it took me a little longer to get in that carefree frame of mind as I started a new job a few weeks before the holidays and it weighed heavy on me. I really battled with my new responsibilities and workload. But I soon realised that I was ruining what was suppose to be fun times with my family stressing over something I can do nothing about. So I just let go and ended up having the best time.

We always split December holidays between the families. One year we’ll do Christmas with my family and New Year at the inlaws and vice versa.

This year we had Christmas with the in laws on the West – Coast.

I use to love Christmas eve and all the excitement that came with putting on Santa hats and gathering around the tree to open presents. But there came a point where Christmas lost a bit of its magic. I started seeing Christmas the way most grown ups do. But that’s the great thing about having kids, they renew your enthusiasm and appreciation for special days. I absolutely loved watching my little guy running around pointing at gifts, the tree, lights and entertaining all the guests with his antics. I loved the look on his face as Santa handed him his gifts and how he’d clap  after opening each and every gift.

 
 
Next up was Christmas number 2 and New Year with my parents in Malgas on the Breede River. We had a bit of bad weather at first but New Years day was just gorgeous sunny and hot.
 
 
How awesome is this chrissy gift.

 
We returned home on the 3rd of January and I started work on the 7th.  My motto for the year being ‘just take it easy’ Work is work.  I will not let myself get so incredibly stressed to the point where I feel like I’m going to pass out. If its not done by the end of the work day it will have to wait till tomorrow. Family first. And so far it has made such a difference. I no longer dread going to work. I no longer feel like I’m drowning. When I get overwhelmed by something I get up go make some coffee and remind myself its just work. So one month into the new year and things are going okay. 
 

1 2