Bedroom Inspiration: Boys

All boy moms will know the feeling of walking down the girls aisle ‘oohing and aahing’ at all the pretty pastel décor only to get to the boys aisle and be disappointed by all the bright blue and red cartoon filled things.  Finding a plain white or blue cot duvet is like looking for a lost engagement ring on the beach.

So here’s a few treasures I found on the internet. I am super excited for H&M to open in South Africa in October because I need that rug in Bens room.

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1. ABC Stickaroo

2.Duvet Set

3.Cotton Rug

4.Mia Melange baskets

5.Bear cushion

6.Honeycomb shelf

Planning a party

A few weeks before Ben’s first birthday he discovered Despicable Me. It was on one of the DSTV movie channels and the minute he saw it he froze, moved in a little closer and eventually sat down to watch. Now for a kid who never sits still for longer than 10 minutes since he started walking at 9 months this was a big deal. And so Gru and the Minions became a lifesaver. When I needed to shower or we had to concentrate on something we knew we could put on the movie and he would stay put in one place for at least an hour. When he was really upset or got hurt and nothing would calm him down we could always count on the Minions to get him settled. At around 18 months he went through a bad patch where he would wake up crying hysterically in the middle of the night and nothing we did would make him stop. Till we popped in Despicable Me, and so I spent quite a few nights/mornings watching Gru and the gang at 3 am.

So we’ve known for about a year that his 2nd Birthday party would be Despicable Me themed. At the time it was really difficult to find any Minion party merchandise in SA so whenever we found something we would buy it immediately. My sister in law also sent a bunch of stuff from the UK.

Then in June the Minion movie came out. At first I was really excited because there were Minions everywhere. And then I became stressed, because there were Minions everywhere. Suddenly every kid was a fan and wanted a Minion party. One after the other Minion party pictures popped up on my Facebook feed. By the time it was Bens turn the kids (and parents) will all be Minioned out. I’d load the party pics onto Instagram and everyone would be like “Wow, another Minion party. Groundbreaking” (said in a Miranda Priestly voice)

Then a friend reminded me who the party was for. Its not for the other kids, its not for the parents, and definitely not for pretty Instagram pictures, its for Ben, and he loves the Nimmies (as he calls the Minions) So yes we are going ahead with the party as planned. Due to the fact that husband, my dad and brother left on a Namibia trip the day after Ben turned 2 we are only doing the party this coming Saturday. Beyond excited.

While going through all things yellow and blue on Pinterest I came across this Minion party on the Catch my Party blog. I just love the girly twist and use of purple for a theme that is usually predominantly for boys and in yellow and blue.

Ben is Two

My best friend recently had a baby. A gorgeous little boy almost the exact height and weight as Ben. He also arrived on a stormy, rainy winters day via (unplanned) C section, just like Ben. Ever since meeting her little guy I just cant stop thinking about the day Ben arrived. How terribly scared I was in my horribly unflattering blue gown waiting for them to roll me into the operating room, how overwhelmed I felt by it all. Then seeing your baby for the first time. YOUR baby. That will be going home with YOU in a few days. That YOU have to keep alive and well fed. That whole day was like an out of body experience. It was like I was on the one side of a one way window mirror thing like you see in movie police interrogation rooms looking at everyone on the others side of the window. I just observed as the family poured into my room so excited to meet the new member. The proud look on my husbands face as he chatted to everyone and posed for pictures. Sure I looked like death, was totally doped up and was still shacking so much after the surgery that I could hardly hold Ben but the energy in the room, the chatter, the love trumps that. After everyone left my mom and dad stayed behind and I will never forget the look on my dads face as he sat on the big chair holding his first grandchild. That is the exact same look he still has every time he holds Ben.

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I just cannot believe its been 2 years with this incredible little person. Sure there’s been lots of tears, tantrums, despair, screaming, tiredness and guilt (mostly from me). But there has also been so much giggles, fun, kisses, hugs, snuggles in bed, running in the park and lots and lots of love.

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For a very long time Ben called everyone ‘pappa’ (dad) but he now says mamma (mom), Ouma (grandma) and oupa (grandpa), and every time I hear him say mamma my heart explodes. Also the loving way he calls for my mom and dad just makes me the happiest person. I love how much he loves them and I love how much he is loved in return.

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Here we are at 2. The terrible Two’s or Two’çhebag as it is also called. I honestly cannot believe how quickly 2 years have gone by. When he turned One it was all excitement. It was just such a big, happy moment and huge milestone in our lives. But 2… 2 means there’s no denying your little baby is now a full on toddler. 2 means there’s no more ‘new’ mom talk, you are now knee deep in this parenting thing and you better enjoy every second because its just flashing by. I sometimes look at him and am totally taken aback by how grown up he looks. I stare at him in disbelieve because where did the soft round baby face go? Instead I have this handsome little boy looking at me.

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We have definitely experienced the first signs of the famous terrible two’s tantrums and let me tell you its something I can do without. It’s just such a challenge to try reason with a tiny person when kicking and screaming and throwing himself dramatically to the floor. There’s also been a drastic change is his sleep pattern. Where we use to be able to put him to bed at 9pm with his bottle and he will fall asleep on his own. He now refuses to lie down in his cot on his own, instead he wants us to lie with him while he drinks his bottle and then it takes an hour or two of wrestling, and begging to get him to sleep. Our peaceful nights of watching our grown up shows after Ben has gone to bed has been replaced with us usually falling asleep with him and then waking up fully dressed and confused in the middle of the night. Our PVR is now stocked with shows we record but almost never have the time to watch. At first I thought it was just a symptom of the teething since he was cutting 4 teeth but its been 2 months now and no sign of it getting better. I really do hope its just a phase. Him getting use to being more aware, more alert, wanting to learn and experience every minute of the day. Hopefully he’ll soon get use to these feelings and settle back into the ‘íts okay to sleep’ phase.

But except for the tantrums and rollercoaster emotions from the tiny one I am really enjoying this age. He is like a little sponge keeping us entertained and on our toes all the time. He is also learning so much at school and where in the beginning he was a bit of a loner has now made some friends. He has a great sense of humour and is so very ticklish, something that causes me great amusement. He gives big sloppy kisses all the time and I just cant get enough. Kisses, more kisses, ALL the time.

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So dear tiny ruler of our household. We love you to the moon and back. Thanks for being the absolute best kid. Happy second Birthday! Now lets eat some cake.

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Pampers Pants

I remember the days of tiny baby with big eyes looking all peaceful as he lie there quietly while I changed his nappy. I could take my good old time with every nappy change if I wanted too. No rush. Off course this all changed the day he figured out how to roll and it only got worse the more mobile he became. These days nappy changes look more like a wrestling match and I usually give up half way through and end up bribing him with a cookie and even then I have mere seconds before he’s up again.

So obviously when Pampers sent me a pack of their new easy to use pull up unisex pants to try out I was beyond excited. If you can make nappy changes easier for me you’ve got a fan for life (We are actually happy Pampers Premium customers so in all honesty they already have a fan for life in us)

pampers 3

These really are super easy and quick to put on. I mainly use them during the day when I’m either too lazy for a nappy change struggle or when we are out and about for the day because with public bathrooms you want to be in and out with your little as quick as possible. I have to be honest I think these are more convenient for summer, because in winter they have jeans and shoes that you need to take off in order to pull the pants on but they will be ideal for summer time. Throw them in your bag for beach and pool days when the little people switch between swimsuit and nappy.

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It is also important to get the right fit as they obviously do not have the adjustable tabs like normal nappies. Ben is quite small around the waist and the pants did droop a little as it got fuller. But if I can sort out the correct size it’ll be perfect. I was also a little worried about the pants leaking but we have not had one leak while wearing them. So all in all pretty happy with these.

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From crib to bed: Toddler Beds

There will be quite a few signs that come across your path telling you that your baby has been replaced by a temperamental, strong willed, busy bee and sugar loving Toddler. One of those signs are the great cot escape.

We knew for a while that Ben was able to climb into his cot but he was still unable to climb out on his own, until husband and I woke up early one morning hearing footsteps in the house. My blood froze. I saw husband grab the baseball bat from under the bed and walk to our door to listen. But the footsteps were not slow and sneaky, instead they were frantic and sounded like they belonged to a little person. When husband got to the hall door Ben was standing there looking confused and scared. So the time has come to consider a big boy bed.

I don’t feel comfortable putting him in a single bed yet, but toddler beds are so pricey for something he will only use for about a year or two. We were discussing this when my brother, a budding carpenter suggested he make Ben a toddler bed as a birthday gift, so naturally I have been spending 90% of my time on Pinterest looking at toddler beds.

So here are my favourites

Bed 1

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beds 4

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bed 5

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And this is the one I’ve chosen. Like most boys Ben loves cars. He fell completely in love with this hideous car bed at Mr Price home, so when I saw this bed I knew this would be the perfect compromise.

bed 2 kar

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Some interesting reads on making the move from cot to bed:

From Crib to Bed –

The transition from Crib to bed –

How and when should I move my child from a crib to a bed – Babycentre

Living with a Picky eater

I love food. All food. I am by no means a food snob and equally enjoy a trip to the Spur or some fancy pants restaurant so having a picky eater child is something I did not see coming. The fact that I have to celebrate and send little thank you prayers up with every bite of food he takes while most parents take their kids eating for granted seems so ridiculous but trust me living with a picky eater… The struggle is real.

Like most I started Ben out on Solids around 6 months. He didn’t exactly gulp down spoon after spoon of my carefully prepared puree but he did eat enough to leave my new mommy heart happy and satisfied. It went okay till around 8 months when he cut his very first tooth. Suddenly meal times became a struggle where most of the food ended up on the floor. This is also around the time serious sleep regression happened. I started asking around for advice and everyone kept saying “how much Protein does he eat a day” Apparently the only way for me to get a decent nights sleep is by getting my baby to eat some chicken or beef. And so this became my mission in life. But the more I cooked, and begged and made airplane sounds the more he would shake his head in a very clear NO.

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Now for someone who hates cooking to actually take the time to read up on baby food recipes, toddler finger foods and take time to prepare these meals when I know full well he’s not going to eat it just goes to show how much I love this tiny person.  I bought the cute dinosaur pasta and the alphabet potato chips. When all the moms were posting pic’s of their kids eating these mini fritatas, I got the recipe and I got cooking. I read about the Woolies Feta and Spinach sausage that is such a hit with all the kids so that’s what I got. Husband and I ended up eating most of it.

So what does he eat? Peanut butter on bread or provitas, those blended fruit pouches and lots of yogurt.


In the beginning it really stressed me out, but I’m a lot more relaxed about it now. He is healthy, active, reaching milestones and growing as he should so if he can do all of that on just yogurt who am I to force a lamb chop down his throat.  That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying. I still make him a little plate of food even though I know it will go uneaten. And then every now and then he surprises me by eating a mouth full and trying something new. Recently its tomato sauce. He’ll dip anything in it.

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Do I wish he ate more fruit and veg? Absolutely.  Do my recent more calmer approach to his eating habits sometimes give way to a little freak out? Sure. Would I love some advice and full proof toddler recipes? Yes please!

Oh Hello!

I guess I’m suppose to write a little introductory post to welcome you all to the new blog, but its still me, just with a new coat of paint and a new name so writing an introduction feels a little silly.

Yes I took the plunge and I moved to WordPress. I bought my own domain and am now the proud owner of a .com. Shit just got real. But except for all of that, things will pretty much stay the same. This is still the place I come to write about my thoughts, things I love, adventures and happiness. I’m not trying to change into one of those professional blogs with lots of reviews, fancy give-aways and a million sponsors on the side bar. Not that I’m saying those are bad, if you got it flaunt it, I just don’t have the level of commitment for all of that. This is my fun space and I want to keep it fun.

They say change is as good as a holiday. Well I am in desperate need of a holiday so lets hope the saying is true. To all my old readers , Hello there friend and thanks for sticking with me. And to all the new readers, WELCOME. I use to have a Blogger site called Elle Kay – Living with boys, but all of the posts have been imported here so you didn’t miss anything.

Thank you to the very talented, creative and all round good human Caylee Grey for creating me my dream blog space.

So that’s that!

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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.

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