Having the time of their life at #NickFest!

My kids watch a fair amount of TV and their favourite shows are mostly found on the Nickelodeon channels.  Gemma is obsessed with Dora and friends (and is convinced that Dora is actually her best friend) and Kade is a huge Turtles fan not to mention Spongebob and Blaze.  Naturally when they started seeing adverts for NickFest, the pester power started!  “Mom can we go to NickFest?”  “Mom do you know that it’s soon NickFest?”  “Mom did you see that there is going to be SLIME at NickFest?”  NickFest this, NickFest that.  To say Kade was slightly NickFest obsessed would be an understatement.

Then we got an invite to attend NickFest and guys, I don’t think you have ever seen two more excited kids!  I won’t lie I totally used the threat of not going to NickFest to control the behavior in my home for a whole week.

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I tell you the kids were in heaven on the day!  They got to meet the Turtles, Dora, Pablo and Kate and the pups from Paw Patrol on the orange carpet.  In real life!  They were in awe.  (To be honest so was I)  Gems got to hug Dora and Pablo and she keeps asking me when she is going to Dora’s house again.

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NickFest is an assault on your senses!  There is SO much to see and do.  Giant puzzles, kid’s rides, face painters, climbing walls, a PlayStation area, the Showmax maze and the Kinderjoy area.  This is a very well attended event and all of the entertainment areas are free of charge, so do expect to stand in a few queues.  We did not get to see and experience all that there was to do because once the shows started we could not get the kids to move away from the stage.  The shows were cleverly put together and had cute story lines to them and there was a lot of interaction with the kids needing to shout out, dance and sing along.  When I asked Kade what his favourite part was he said “watching Shredder get his butt kicked” – LOL!

 

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I was hesitant about pre booking for the slime pit because I didn’t want to pay for the tickets and have my kids all of a sudden say no when actually faced with swimming in slime.  We had been told we could purchase slime access tickets on the day, however when I went to purchase them I was advised that they had sold out the day before – so if this is something your kids show interest in doing at NickFest, don’t be a dork like me and pre-book your tickets to avoid any disappointment.

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All in all we had a fantastic morning out and by the time we got home I was exhausted!  So were the kids.  We will most definitely be putting this event onto our annual calendar!

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I often feel like I’ve lost myself…

I used to be fun.  I used to be spontaneous and I used to laugh.  A lot.  I don’t know what it is but I often feel like I’ve lost the essence of who I am.  I was pretty popular in school despite being the president of the “nerd herd” and I was always confident in the fact that I was liked and respected by my peers.

That confidence stayed with me as a young adult who made plenty of friends while living in the bush and starting out with my career.  I have always been a bit of a clown who is loyal, ethical, hard working, kind and fun.  I met my delicious man, and I was fun.  We did a lot of really cool, fun stuff together.  Like a train trip through Mozamzbique, and jumping off the highest bungee in the world (ok I jumped he didn’t but hey semantics)

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Then infertility hit and I became obsessed with having a baby.  I changed a lot in those seven years.  I was selfish, hell bent on our journey to parenthood and bitter and twisted.  I lost a lot of the fun, sassy side of me.  I like to think I stayed funny, but it was darker.  Shaded by despair and pain.  A humor born of desperation and grief.

Then finally we got what we always wanted – a wonderful baby.  A family.  Except no-one told me how hard being a mom was.  No-one told me just how all consuming it is to have small babies and how much of yourself gets lost in making sure that this little person who is SO VERY dependent on your for everything lives and grows and thrives.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.  I love my home and life and all that comes with it.  But I often find myself thinking “who am I now?” “what is the essence of me now?”  Am I just a compilation of who I was then vs what I am now?  A mom and wife?  I know that everyone changes as life goes on and one can’t expect to stay the same person forever, but surely the very essence of one’s self stays grounded and the same?  Or does that “core” of oneself shift with life?

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I know as the kids get older life will become “easier”, that there will be more time for me to be me, and not “Kade’s mom or Gemma’s mom” as all the kids  at school call me.  In the last year I’ve tried to do more for me, the essence of Sam, so I’ve focused on my running more, I’ve tried to read more books.  Yet… I still wonder if I’m just a lost little soul drifting on the ocean of life, still yet to discover just who I am.

Please tell me I am not alone?  That everyone feels this at some stage of their life?

 

#DadsWhoPlayBarbie Campaign hits right in the heart {Win!}

When we found out that we were expecting a little girl, we were both blown away.  The Young family have very few girls in their family tree and we were, well, tickled pink to find out that we would be adding girl number 5 to the Young family.  Then we started to worry, I mean what did any of us know about raising girls?  Yes I am a girl and my niece is a girl but on the Young side of the family those who would be most involved with our kids only had boy experience.

That said I was so grateful that God had answered the desires of my heart and to see Cliff so happy about having a daughter to dote on really made my heart sing.

We have both had to learn things about being parents to a daughter but what I love most is how my man has stretched his daddy legs to being the best girl dad ever.  He lets Gemma paint his nails, do his make up, dresses her in her girliest outfits when I’m not around and loves to play girly games with her.

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I love seeing them interact together in “traditionally’ girly ways.  I think that’s why Barbie has definitely hit the mark with me (and I’m sure many other girl parents) with their newest #DadsWhoPlayBarbie campaign.  I love it!  I mean who wouldn’t have their hearts melted watching this ad?

I think part of the reason I love this campaign so much is, I can see my own family echoed in the scenes playing out in front of me.

I know I am not the only woman out there who gets mushy heart eyes when they see their man playing Barbie with their daughter, and the folks at Mattel want to see your images (like mine above).

They are giving away a Barbie hamper valued at R1552.00 to one lucky #DadsWhoPlayBarbie entrant via my blog.

Want to win this amazing hamper valued at R1552.00?

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This is how:

Head over to my pinned post of this article on my Facebook page (and give it a like as well pretty please), and post an image of YOUR #DadsWhoPlayBarbie moment in the comments section and tag 1 other mom who would love to win!

For an extra entry and chance to win follow me on Twitter and tweet about this competition  “I want to win a #DadsWhoPlayBarbie hamper valued at R1552.00 with @theclam”   https://theclam.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/dadswhoplaybarbie-campaign-hits-right-in-the-heart-win/

Winners will be announced via my FB page on the 17th March 2017 – good luck!

T&C’s apply:

SA Residents only

Winners will be selected by Random.org