Sing us a song…You’re the tone deaf mom…

I am NO singer.

I mean I love to sing in my car and can bust a move while singing along to my favourite tune but Idols will never be on my bucket list of life.  If it were I would probably be a shoe in for the wooden mike.

That being said, I have found a really effective tool that I use with the kids when they are pushing back on doing something that I am asking them to do.  I make up funny little ditties and we sing them together to get the job done… tone deaf mom and all!

Gemma is not keen on brushing her teeth at the moment and I made up a song about brushing teeth when Kade was small so now we all dance and sing the song like loons and she now asks to brush her teeth.  This is the song we sing (or hum when the toothbrushes are in our mouths)

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“Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth, Get them nice and clean…. Get them clean and sparkling… Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth”  (to the tune of Row your boat)  Some mornings we do it opera style, some mornings we are rock stars, sometimes even heavy metal goes down.  The main thing is my kids teeth are brushed and in good nick.

The other song I love to sing with them is the Mr Bum Bum song.  Kade hated having his butt washed while he was potty training but there was often just cause to give it an extra good clean (my worse part of motherhood is the poo undies/panties, it makes me GRIIILLL).  So I made up the Mr Bum bum song which we sing in the bath while we wash his and her butts.  It goes like this:

“Mr Bum Bum, let out a fart… make the room smell like pineapple tart… bum bum bum, Mr Bum Bum lets get you clean, cos this bum is a farting machine! Mr Bum Bum, you are so cute… cos this bum is a little poop chute”

Both the kids LOVE this silly little song and wiggle and waggle their butts to it in the bath.  I laugh and laugh.

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There are many songs I’ve made up to get my kids to do the things they are giving me a hard time about doing…

What is your mommy hack for getting things done when your kids are defiant?

Bath time fun with Fizzles!

South Africa is in the midst of a drought and bath time has become kind of boring for my kids who used to be have a bath filled with quite a bit of water and loads of bubbles.  Since we’ve been on a water saving mission of late, they are not allowed bubbles anymore and they’ve been quite anti bath time because of this (and by they I mean Gemma, Kade actually couldn’t care less).

Until a few weeks back when I was at the pharmacy picking up a script for a sick child (again!) and I noticed these cool little tubes on the counter.

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They promised to make bath time fun and I quickly threw one of each colour into the medicine mix and decided to try them.

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What I love about these little water colour changing tablets is that they are completely safe to use and don’t mark or stain my kids.  They can be used in very little water and my kids absolutely love them!  They laugh and giggle as the tablets fizzle (excuse the pun) away in the water and we’ve had great fun mixing the colours to try make new colours out of them (I wish there was a yellow Fizzle so we could really teach them how to make colours cos so far we’ve only been successful in making a really cool purple by mixing the blue and red Fizzles)

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The kids latest thing is to jump into the bath before the Fizzles have dissolved and to put their knee’s on the tablet and let it run down their legs screaming “I’ve got red/blue/green blood”

Such a lot of fun for bath time!

Disclaimer : I was not paid for this review, my kids just really loved them!

 

 

They weren’t lying when they called it the Tough One!

There is this thing that you get when you are a runner.  It’s called runner’s FOMO.

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In April of this year I had entered to run a 21km race called the Cradle.  I was sick as a dog and ended up downgrading my entry to a 10km and then sat with my RWFL buddies to wait for my running partner who was running the 32km race.  The more I sat and waited the more the FOMO built up.  I knew there was no way I could have run *that* 32 feeling the way I did that say BUT I knew that I wanted to start training for another 32km.  The problem was that the only 32km race left in the race calendar was the RAC Tough One!  TOUGH ONE.  I mean, the name kinda says it all right?  But I was in the thick of runners FOMO and my running buddy who was also in the thick of running FOMO sat there and said “ok we are entering tough one.”

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That was the start of it.  What transpired in the next few months was training and on my part a lot of doubt in my capability to run that far.  I was training every weekend (even when we went away to Zebula and Kruger) and increasing the distance gradually to get close to where I knew I needed to be.

Yesterday was the BIG day!

They were not lying when they named this race – guys, it was REALLY TOUGH!  With an elevation of 527m you can just imagine how hard it was.  I was lucky enough to have Cliff ride along on the race route encouraging and cheering us on.  It was so great having him there helping me and my buddies stay strong in mind.

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I was feeling strong until around 24km and then I hit the wall.  I battled till around 28km where I felt ok again and then I hit another wall with only 1km to go!  However even after all of that, somehow at the end when we heard we only had a minute to break the 4 hour mark we managed to do a sprint finish and came in under that 4 hour barrier!

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The race itself (besides for being tough) was so well organised – water points were always well stocked and they were spaced every 3km which was awesome.  The marshalls and JMPD were great and the crowd support was so nice.  There were some families that had set up water stations outside their gates and around the 26km mark there was this guy handing out watermelon and nik naks – that watermelon REALLY hit the spot!  The only negative I had been that there were not enough loo’s at the start – the queues were really long and thankfully I was not needing to go!

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All in all I am so CHUFFED that I managed to do this race.  I am so proud of myself for pushing through and crossing that finish line.  The mental barrier of doing more than 21km’s is amazing.  My body can survive and keep going for 32km’s.  Now that I am preparing for the Oceans Ultra I am feeling a little more confident in my ability to do the distance required.

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Lets do this!  Oceans here we come!

Lets talk about Mommy Judgement…

Today was one of THOSE morning’s.

You know the one… the one where you are tired and can’t drag yourself out of bed but know you need to get cracking otherwise you’re going to be later than you normally are.  The one where all you want to do is drink your coffee to wake up but your kids are going “mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, MOMMY, MOM, MOM, MOOOOOOOOOOOOM” and you shout “just let me drink my bloody coffeeeeee” which spirals into them crying cos you shouted at them and makes their ears turn off so you end up repeating yourself 500 million times and end up shouting some more to get anything done and the family out the door and into the car?

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Yes, I see you nodding your head – you have also had these mornings.

By the time I got to the school parking lot I won’t lie I was over it.  I got the kids out the car and told them to grab their bags.  Kade grabbed his and then grabbed Gemma’s too but his hands were full and I could see he wasn’t going to manage to carry it all.  I said “leave it boy I will carry it” and he didn’t listen.  For the millionth time.  So I raised my voice  shouted “just listen to me, I said leave it!”

Across the car park, there was another mom getting her kids out of the car and she judged me SO HARD.  I got given a death look of note and I think she even shook her head slightly at me.

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You know what?

I know how it must have looked – this bitch mother shouting at her kid for trying to help out.  But what she judged in that moment was a culmination of a bad, bad morning.  I’ve been her some mornings, watching another mom lose her grip on her temper but you know what?  I smile at that mom and say ‘I TOTALLY know how you feel, good luck for the rest of the day’ or will show her some solidarity with a side wink or a shrug or something.

Why do we JUDGE each other?  I bet you that mom today has shouted at her kids so hard that her throat has hurt.  I bet you she has told her kids to get out of her space so she can shower in peace.  Yet in that moment where I couldn’t hold onto my temper in public at my kids school she judged me.  In her eyes I was clearly found wanting.

Just because we are HUMAN and are not PERFECT every second of every day, just because we SHOUT at our kids doesn’t mean we love or appreciate them any less.  It makes us normal.  Mom’s who are just doing the damn best we can.  Let’s support rather than judge.

Because I won’t lie, it sucked to be at the end of that woman’s judgement.  I felt like she thinks I am a bad mom.  I know I am not a bad mom, I am a good – no,  I am a GREAT mom who just has bad moments.

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Tonight I will hug my kid and I will know that while I’ve angst’ed about this the whole day, the matter in his head was forgotten by the time he realised I had forgotten to pack his hat for school.

 

 

 

The Great Train Race!

thomasCOMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND OUR LUCKY WINNER WAS CASSEY TOI!  CONGRATS CASS!

Ever since Kade was a baby he has absolutely loved trains and his obsession with Thomas started young.  We had all the track sets and our collection of trains had included Thomas (about 4 of him), Percy, Emily, Diesel and even Harold the helicopter!

We were recently invited to attend the premier of the Thomas and Friends The Great Train Race movie and we couldn’t have been more delighted to attend the event.  We got to the event slightly late cos Gems woke from her nap later than expected and boy was it in full swing – face painting, balloon animals and the raddest Thomas play area ever.

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The movie itself is super cute.  Thomas and his friends have all been jazzed up and brought into the 21st century and who knew they could sing so well?  Fans of the tv series will totally get what I’m saying, when I say that for the first time I actually found myself liking the fat controller ( he always comes across as rather brusque and unlikable in the series… just me?)  I loved that the movie really focused on theme’s of “being true to yourself” and “do what you do best” but honestly the bit that I loved most (watch out my inner feminist is about to rear her head) was that the pretty FEMALE engine entered the same contest that the hard-working MALE engines traditionally would have : that being the shunting contest.   I also loved that it wasn’t only Emily that was entered into the best looking contest (the trains got some brilliant paint make overs) but one of the other male engines too (his name escapes me right now).  Way to go Thomas and Friends for bending gender bias!

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The movie is also only 61 minutes long so even our Hurricane sat riveted the whole movie long.  It is showing at Ster Kinekor Theatres until this Sunday so if you want a really nice family afternoon out (and a way to beat the heat wave in Jozi at the moment), I would recommend going to see it.

Once again the kids were spoilt rotten with the most awesome goody bags at the end of the event – we have to bath every night with our Thomas face cloths, and the puzzles and megablock toys have entertained them no end.

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All in all we had a divine afternoon with Thomas and his friends.

I know that many of you must be Thomas fans and I have a fabulous mystery Thomas & Friends hamper valued at R300.00 up for grabs!

This hamper consists of two Thomas toys that are aimed at kids 18 months and older – and the best part is you CANNOT get them in South Africa – so if you are the lucky winner your Thomas fan will be THE ONLY kid with these in the country – how COOL is that?

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To enter click on the Rafflecopter link below and let me know in the comments what you think the toys in the hamper are!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#MakingMemories with Kids Emporium

If you know me at all, you will know that I am obsessed with photo’s. I get so much joy in snapping happy (and sometimes not so happy) memories of my kids whether it be on my phone or with the big camera. I am also a firm believer in putting pictures up on my walls and as such my house has plenty of frames up with snaps we’ve taken over the years. Parties, family, our wedding and of course our beautiful blessings : Kade and Gems.

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I have created a picture wall under our loft area next to our fireplace and my mom bought me a reconditioned door picture frame about four years ago.  I have just never found the right photo’s to go in there and it is now a standing joke among us that those frames are always destined to say sold…

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WELL NOT ANYMORE!

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I was contacted by my friend Mandy-Lee Miller (Pregnant in Cape Town) to work on a #MakingMemories campaign in collaboration with Kids Emporium who ran the making memories campaign in their stores in July whereby they teamed up with local photographers to give their customers some awesome memories.

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I don’t know if you’ve ever shopped at a Kids Emporium store but go with lots of money because you will want to buy all the things!  What I love about Kids Emporium is that they think local is lekker and supporting local is a huge part of their ethos.

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I got teamed up with the amazing Celia Van Niekerk who gave me a family studio shoot to  review.  All I wanted from the shoot was to get three decent images of the family so that I can finally fill those frames and stop the “sold” jokes.  I don’t know how she did it (Gemma was being her usual Hurricane self and Kade was doing his cheese smile thing) but Celia got some awesome shots… now the problem is I can’t choose which images to use! 0017_samfamily_celiavanniekerkphotography

Help a girl out – tell me in the comments which images you love most!

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Is she just being naughty?

Let’s talk a bit about my second born shall we?

There is no doubt she is cute as a button.  It’s probably just as well she is as cute as she is because there is also no doubt that she is a firecracker who pushes us as her parents to the absolute limit.  She is 25 packed into 2.5 years of sass, spunk and consistent boundary pushing.

I mean, look at this face… butter wouldn’t melt right?

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WRONG!

Butter would SO melt.  She is the most feisty little girl I have ever met.  Headstrong, willful, determined, sassy, cheeky, manipulative, independent and so mischievous I actually could pull my hair out at some of her antics.  She has long had an obsession with cream, from a very young age we knew if it was quiet that we would 9 out of 10 times find her with her hands in a pot of Sudocrem.

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More and more she scuttles around the house and when we question her about what it is she is doing exactly, we either get “nothing” or “mommy don’t bother me”.  As she’s getting older we believed that we could leave her and Kade unsupervised (while playing in the garden or watching a TV show upstairs) for short periods of time without much damage or harm being done, so we could get things like showering or going to loo alone for the first time in five years.  Well.  Clearly we cannot.

I enter into evidence exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Exhibit C:

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We have many, many such exhibits.

This past Saturday she did something so vile that I can’t even bring myself to put it into words.  Lets just leave it at poo, her play kitchen, pots and pans and our TV lounge having a lingering scent of Eu De Hurricane now three days later.

My cream carpets are stained with red lipstick, our walls have been decorated with permanent marker (our Flat screen TV too).   We have tried to discipline her. Time out doesn’t work to make her contrite when she’s been willfully naughty and destructive.  I’ve even given her a whack on her bum and it changes nothing.   Then a friend asked me “is she really destructive or is she just exploring herself and her boundaries?” and “is she being *naughty*?”

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She has earned her nickname “Hurricane Gemma” in leaps and bounds in our home.  God knows she pushes our buttons.  It’s not that she has any lack of attention (she is the baby after all and is often I am ashamed to admit pandered to). Is this plain naughtiness?  Or is this an expressive soul searching for her part in this crazy world we live in?

How do we deal with this in a way that doesn’t break her spirit but that doesn’t end up with me with my head down a barrel of wine every day?

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HELP!