Easter 2014

I went way overboard with Easter this year mostly because its been the first year that Kade could take part in an Easter egg hunt because last year he was immobile.

As soon as Woolies started putting out their awesome Easter stuff this year I started buying it.  Windmills, glow in the dark eggs, the bug eggs, you name it I bought it.

I had so much fun with it this year.  Telling Kade about the Easter bunny and also explaining that it is actually all about Jesus who died for us and rose again.  I got to make an Easter hat with him this year (we missed this also cos of the broken femur last year) and we had fun hyping it all up for him.

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We let him plant “magic jelly beans” in the garden on Saturday night.  We told him that something wonderful would grow in those spots.  He was so careful to plant them well and to water them just right!

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He was so excited to find bunnies and eggs and windmills in the spots he had planted his magic beans, it was so wonderful to watch.  He was convinced that he had seen the Easter bunny running around in our garden.  “It was THIS big Mommy”.

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For so many years I didn’t believe that I would be able to see the simple joy in occasions such as these because I wasn’t sure if we would have children, so being able to foster his imagination with tales of a bunny who hides chocolate eggs in our garden is a true honor and privilege.

Next year tho I will be taking it easy on the eggs cos to be fair he cannot eat all the treats himself and my butt is getting bigger each day cos *someone* needs to ensure that stuff doesn’t go off!

 

Double Didgits

Well my darling, here we are.

Double didgets.  Ten years married today.  I honestly don’t know which of us deserves the bigger medal for getting through the last ten years together and stronger than before, but I think it might be… YOU, but not by much mind you.

 

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I cannot be more grateful for you.  God did good for me when He put you in my life.  You’re very often the rock I lean on.  I don’t know of anyone else who would be able to put up with me the way you do.

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We’ve grown together, faced tough times together and have created something very special in our little family.  You are the most amazing father to our children.  You are present and so hands on and I absolutely LOVE that about you.  I know that I can rely on you (even if you get grumpy about it sometimes *wink*) to help me with them.  Seeing you with the kids, it makes me fall in love with you more and more every day.

_DSC0409Thank you for loving me, babe.

As we celebrate our tenth year of marriage, know that I will always have your back.  I will love you and support you every day.  Here’s to many more years of life together.

I love you more than that!

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Second time mothering

Becoming a mom for the second time has certainly had its moments, both good and bad but I think for me the biggest challenge in moving from mothering one child to mothering two children has been finding the balance in it all. Actually with each passing day I feel that we as a family are finding better ways to balance it all and we certainly have a lot to learn about keeping all the balls up in the air but that has been the part that I’ve battled with.

The balance between Kade and Gemma.  The balance between the kids and Cliff.  The balance between my direct little family and our extended families.  It’s not easy to try make everyone happy.  Mix sleep deprivation, two bouts of mastitis, a demanding toddler and a husband whose in the process of changing jobs one gets a grumpy woman and some not so nice days, thankfully though the grumpy, not so nice days have so far been outnumbered by the good ‘we’re a family of four’ days.

Honestly in terms of caring for the baby, it’s so much easier second time around.  You know that the baby won’t die if she cries for five minutes.  You know that the sleep deprivation will come to an end.  Breast feeding is easier cos you have experience from the first time around.  You’re calmer as a mom , not so ‘freaky outy’ as you are first time around.  As much as each baby is different, you’ve “been there, done that” and the simple fact that you’ve managed to keep one baby alive makes keeping a second one alive all that much easier.

The difficulty lies in making time for everyone and everything.  But as is so often the case in motherhood (and fatherhood) it’s about tackling the challenges each day at a time.  And having a partner who is not afraid to muck in and help you.

I would never have coped without Cliff taking up most of the toddler slack.

I think as we approach the 14 week mark of Gemma being on our lives we’ve found a good balance  in splitting the parenting tasks.  We both handle both children at times but for the most part I handle Gemma (she needs me more while I am still breast feeding) and Cliff handles Kade.  Once I go back to work we’ll need to redefine our roles and the tasks we handle but I am confident we’ll figure it all out again.

At the end of the day we both know how incredibly blessed we are to have been given the gift of a second child and we will do our utmost to parent her and our son to the best of our abilities, taking each day as it comes, relishing the joyful moments and trying our best to not mess them up too much along the way.

Life’s Good with LG

Being on maternity leave I’ve been watching a lot of TV. I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker when it comes to reality shows and I was keenly following the Celebrity Apprentice All Stars. One of the tasks they had to complete was a LG infomercial featuring a really cool washing machine, so imagine my surprise when the very next week I was invited to a LG event.

Hosted at the Montecasino Bird Gardens, I got to learn about the new LG Sapience washing machine which takes washing our clothes to new levels in terms of hygiene and cleanliness.  This machine is the mother of all washing machines and has me wishing we had not just replaced our washing machine a few months back!

Look at what LG have to say about this amazing machine:

“Johannesburg, 27 March 2014 – The LG Sapience Washing Machine has been carefully designed to offer different washing motions to suit different washing duties. It is able to perform various drum motions or a combination of different motions depending on the wash programme selected, to mirror motions of traditional manual wash methods.

If you have been battling with different types of stains on different materials, then the LG Sapience Washing Machine is your solution, as it is diverse in its cleaning solution which results in quality cleaning. The results are sparkling! With six different ways to wash, the LG 6 Motion Washing Machine lets you choose the option that’s right for you and is your partner in fighting off dirty germs.

The LG Sapience Washing Machine’s 6 Motions are unique and all play an important role in providing you with the best washing experience:

Rubbing:
This feature combines the rubbing of clothes as well as getting rid of tough stains effectively. At the same time it is kind to your fabrics.

Rotating:
The Sapience Washing Machine silently washes while laundry is rolled below the water level and creates a more frictional motion with the inner drum gently getting rid of tough germs and stains.

Swinging:
A heart shaped motion softly washes laundry below the water line from side to side and still gets rid of tough germs and stains.

Wave Force:
The Sapience Washing Machine spins and sprays laundry for a more thorough clean which helps with soaking the laundry faster and more evenly.

Compressing:
The Sapience Washing Machine minimizes creasing by using the LG 6 motion to rotate and compressing motion.

Agitating:
The Sapience Washing Machine effectively and forcefully cleans laundry for an effective wash.

With increased washing performance and 6 Motion Technology, the Sapience Washing Machine is backed by a 10 year warranty. LG’s Sapience Washing Machine also includes the Jet Spray, which reduces water usage throughout the course of the rinse cycle.

For enhanced consumer convenience, LG’s new top loaders offer bigger capacities of up to 20kg. With this bigger capacity it is, possible to wash the bulkiest of items including large sized laundry items. This helps to reduce the frequency of washing as consumers can clean larger laundry loads in one cycle. “

At the event launching the Sapience to the press we (some other mommy bloggers and I) got a chance to shoot and kill some angry germs of our own!  Open to the public who stood a chance to win a LG washing machine daily from the Thursday till the Sunday, I thought “how hard can this be?”

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I tell you what, it was not as easy as I thought but it was a whole load of fun!  I managed to shoot two angry germs but didn’t kill enough to get enough points to actually win a machine myself… much to my disappointment.

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If you have any angry germs living in your home and you need to kill them off, consider the new LG Sapience washing machine – it’s available at all leading retail outlets now!

 

From Family of 3 to Family of 4!

This post is long overdue but life has been incredibly… incredible the last 10 weeks.  It’s funny that I only really seem to find my groove 10 weeks after my babies arrive cos looking back I only posted on here again when Kade was 11 weeks old too.

The 15th of January will always be a day etched into my memory.  Not just because it was the day that Gemma was born onto our family but because it was the day that we went from a tight-knit family of 3 to a tight-knit family of 4.

Having a planned c section was a very different experience than having an emergency one.  I was feeling very calm and excited for what was to come.

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I got to take some last belly pics, do my hair, put on some make up and walk calmly into the hospital.  I could plan what was happening with Kade. I even did some work once we’d checked into the hospital.  My mom arrived and we spent some quality time together while we were waiting for the c section time.

We were expecting to go in around 17h00 but they came to fetch me at 16h00.  We messed around in the waiting area and chatted and laughed.  Being wheeled into the theatre where my son was born 2 years previously was surreal. We put on our chosen music for the birth, went thru the prep for all the medical stuff and once the spinal was administered my divine midwife prepped me for skin to skin with our baby girl.

My c section ended up being a while lot more complicated than expected due to some major scarring and fibroids from my last procedure.  I knew something was up cos it was taking longer than I remembered with Kade and I could also see what my amazing obgyn was doing in the reflection of the overhead lights.  Thank God my obgyn is one of the best in the business cos he told me that it was one of the most complicated deliveries he’s had to do in years. Sobering thought indeed.

Once they had sorted out the scarring and fibroids they were ready to deliver Gemma.  I again got to see her head being taken out of my uterus and I immediately started crying.

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My little miracle daughter was here and she was alive and crying and perfect!  We did the skin to skin and I got to welcome her and pray over her.  What an amazing blessing.

We then headed to recovery after the docs closed me up and I fed her.  Going back to our room was surreal, my poor mom was beside herself cos it had taken so much longer than anticipated and introducing her granddaughter other was one of the best moments of the day.

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The other best moment of the day was seeing Kade meet his sister for the first time.  The look on his precious face was priceless.

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He kissed her and cuddled her and told granny to put her in mummy’s arms.  So so sweet.  I was initially worried that he would be jealous but he loved Gemma instantly and I am so happy that he is already the protective big brother.

I am so thankful to God for this gift.  Soon after we got married 10 years ago we started trying for a family and at a point in our journey with infertility we couldn’t be sure that we would ever have success… In fact we were sure we would not.  But God… He was faithful and we are now a family of 4.

Amazingly blessed.  Amazingly complete and happy.

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Heart of the Home : ie the Kitchen

One of the area’s that we really did quite like when we viewed the new house was the kitchen.  We love to cook and entertain and we liked the look and “country” feel of the kitchen.  We felt it was a good fit to our thatch house.  When we planned the renovation, the kitchen was not supposed to be part of the equation.

But then we moved into the house.  I constantly was saying to Cliff “something smells in this kitchen” (he thought I was going nuts but humoured his pregnant wife and changed the dustbin bag more often than not) and when unpacking our boxes we realised that the current cupboards were hugely inadequate for our requirements.  Also the little “island” thingimebob that stuck out was a hazard cos Kade kept bumping his head on it when running into the kitchen or riding his bike in the area.

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So a very thorough re-work of the budget and some extra money borrowed meant that the kitchen was going to be re-done as well.  I am so glad that we did.  When we stripped the old kitchen out, we found two mice nests complete with dead mice (um funky smell anyone?) and also found the back of the cupboards completely rotting thanks to damp coming through the wall from the kids bathroom.

Our kitchen is now amazing if I have to stay so myself.  It looks way bigger than before (even though it is the exact same space just properly planned and used now) and I love, love, love my granite tops!  I also love our feature wall in the kitchen.  I am nuts about greens/blues and ADORE my mosaic tiles on this wall.

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More on the house – The Bathrooms

We viewed our house twice before putting an offer in for it.  Both viewings were done at twilight (after work on our way home to our then house) and granted many flaws can be covered by subtle lighting, but the one thing we knew right from the start was that the bathrooms HAD TO GO.  They were small and super dark and danky.  To add insult in injury the main bathroom was a “wet room”.  No offense to anyone who loves a wet room bathroom but it just wasn’t for us.  The water that goes EVERYWHERE.  The MESS.  No.  Just no.

The baths and basins were also just not to our taste.  They were clearly very old fashioned.

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So we broke the walls down between the two bathrooms and decided to use the space where our so called cupboards/dressing room was to extend the space in both bathrooms.

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We also had to put ceilings in cos the old bathrooms didn’t have any.  So when you showered the person sitting in the loft TV lounge upstairs could smell your shampoo drifting thru the floorboards.  Delightful!  Also the wet room thing – it made the main bathroom SEVERELY damp!  A fact we only noticed once we have moved in.  So that needed to be fixed as well.

We went with neutral tiles and dark finishes on the basins.  We really love our bathrooms now!  Much better light and a way more hygienic space to get clean in.

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The second bathroom is pretty much the same as the main bathroom just with a smaller basin ;)