I hope you know how loved you are. How you changed my life and how you made me so brave. I hope you know how special you are and that your potential is limitless.
Managing Fevers in children
With 4 children I have certainly managed my fair share of fever’s in 8 years. It still constantly amazes me how each child’s body react differently to fevers. As a first time parent one of the scariest things is not knowing how to bring a fever down.
I was laying in bed, after a night of dealing with 2 feverish children, thinking of all the old wives tales out there and I suddenly thought I should write down my tips in a blog post. First and foremost, I am not a medical doctor. I am merely a mum of 4. Always follow your doctors advice, and hopefully this article won’t go against any of it.
I follow some incredible doctors and have an exceptional Paed as well, check out their websites here (Dr Maraschin) and here (Dr Nadia Khan).
A temperature is your body’s natural response to fighting an infection, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but, it does need to be monitored and managed. I think it’s also very important to know your own child’s “core temperature” as well. For example, I have one child (my eldest), who typically ALWAYS feels ‘warmer to touch’, so when he gets a fever – he burns up quickly, like roasting, and often peaks over 38 Degrees Celsius. I also know, that with him, the second he hits that 39 mark, his bodies natural reaction is to puke (happens every time he gets a fever like clockwork). So we do everything we can to keep it low and monitor him closely. I have 2 other children that are naturally ‘cooler to touch’. Now with them it’s actually harder to tell when they have a fever, sometimes the only way I can see it is if i touch their chest or under their feet (without a thermometer). Their fevers generally take a bit longer to climb.
I’ve heard way too many old wives tales over the years, vinegar socks (please don’t) or vicks on your feet to name a few. Regardless of them, a fever needs to be managed and a high fever can cause seizures so it is important to keep an eye on them and control them.
Here are some of the top (medically approved) tips I’ve learnt over the years:
Don’t forget to always seek professional medical advice.
Third Time Around – A Birth Story Of A Princess
Hearing a good birth story is extremely powerful. I used to read through dozens when I was pregnant. Listening to other women’s stories empowers and educates you for your own, it inspires courage. This was my third baby and second V-Bac and I hope that it gives comfort to any of you out there, wondering if you can do it. Our bodies are absolutely incredible, listen to your body, listen to your gut, you can do whatever you set your mind too.
Here is Raya’s story:
To our beautiful baby girl, at just over 3 months old I think its time you had your first little letter dedicated to you and your birth story. I’ve written about your brothers and before it starts to get all hazy and memories fade I thought let me put yours down.
Your pregnancy was by far the most trying one I have had. Not that it was awful, it just felt like I was pregnant forever. I also had every single pregnancy “ailment” one could think of which made me so uncomfortable. But, Alhumdullilah, both you and I managed to stay healthy and strong throughout it.
I was determined to have a second V-Bac; having had an emergency c-section with your brother and a V-bac the second time, I knew the natural recovery was a waaaay easier option. I knew my body could do it and I wanted you to come on your own accord. I even contemplated a home birth with you and considered an all natural option.
You kept me waiting right until the end, like both of your brothers. At 41 weeks, I was due to go in to have either an induction or a c section on the Thursday morning. Wednesday was spent dropping and fetching your brothers from school, eating dates, drinking Raspberry Tea and walking to try and get you here. Thankfully, you heard my prayers and just before Midnight on Wednesday night, as I was doing some last minute cupboard organisation (and climbing up and down off a chair), my waters broke. This wasn’t my first rodeo, so I went downstairs to tell your dad, double checked everything was all packed and tried to get some sleep. I was in no rush to head to hospital just yet, and I wanted to stay comfortable at home for as long as possible. Your big brother woke up at about 1h30 and I took him back to his room and lay with him, timing the contractions as they came. It only took about an hour until they were 3 or 4 minutes apart and started to get a “little” sore. The warm waters of a hot shower helped to ease the pain and I got dressed, did my make up (of course I did) and at about 3h30 am woke your dad up to tell him it was time to get to the hospital. He woke up, had a cigarette and was taking his time in the shower! You’ll soon realise that I don’t swear much at all, but at this point, as I was trying to breathe through the pain, I “politely” told your dad that now was not the best moment to take his sweet time.
4 am seems to be our “go to the hospital” time, its the same time we went to the hospital with your brother too. I held onto the crash bar and lifted my bum off the seat the whole way to the hospital (the bumps on the road were so uncomfortable). We walked into the hospital just before 4h30 and did all the pre-checks and paperwork. I had to hold on to the counter for support and couldn’t talk while the contractions happened, so I knew you wouldn’t be too far off. All the normal labour rooms were full so they put us into the examining room and drew the curtains. I can safely say at this point there was about a minute or two between the contractions and they were more than a little painful. We had the coolest mid-wife who was chilled and calm about everything and was rushing between our room and another. She was hip and told me to “do your thing mama” and didn’t keep me strapped down to the monitors, which I was grateful for. She joked we would end up delivering at the same time as next door and I estimated you would make your appearance at 6h30 am. By 5h30 am, I still hadn’t received my requested shot of pethidine (I think the midwife was trying to get me to go natural) but at this point my tiredness was taking over, and I craved relief from the pain. She finally came back with it but I’m convinced she didn’t give me a full dose because it didn’t really “take the edge off”, or it could have been because I was too tired. Your daddy was there supporting me as always, but when it comes to labouring I am super frigid. I don’t want to be touched or talked to, I want your presence next to me but don’t freaking touch me 🙂
The doc arrived just before 6am and at that stage I was pretty much 9 or 10 cm and she just told me to call her when I felt that “urge to push” – (mama’s reading this, you know what I mean). At 7am I still hadn’t had the overwhelming urge (I mean it was there, but not really strong like it was with your brother) and was starting to worry as the lady next door had already delivered. Being a V-Bac I knew time and progression was of the essence and I sure as hell didn’t want you to be an emergency C-section. So I told a little white lie and told my doc I was ready (in hindsight maybe not the best option). I had 2 or 3 pushes and then it seemed like my contractions weren’t strong anymore, I couldn’t feel them as much and it felt like they were taking too long (could have also been the pethidine). I was pushing and bearing all the weight down in my neck (I felt it the next day) and not enough into my legs. They pulled out the stirrups and on push 3 Doc told me if your head didn’t drop down more she was going to have to use the vacuum (I had no objections), but if the vacuum didn’t help pull your head down she was going to operate… Push 4 and what seemed like a never ending push (I ran out of breath, have you ever tried taking another deep breath whilst still pushing down?? Its freaking impossible); you finally entered the world.
At 7h24 am on the 18th April 2019 you were placed on my chest for the first time, I will never forget the feeling of holding your warm, slippery body on my chest. You were so so warm and my body temperature by then was so so low. The first thing I noticed was how big you were and what an incredible amount of hair you had (explains the 2 solid weeks of agonizing heart burn I had). You weighed 3.68 kgs and opened your eyes immediately. Your daddy cut your cord and whispered Azaan in your ear. I almost gave up. I said to my doctor in that last push that I couldn’t push anymore and “I give up”, but the moment you were placed on my chest everything was forgotten about. Everyone else disappeared and in that moment it was just you and I.
I hadn’t had a drip or anything while I was in labour so they put that in afterwards while they cleaned up a bit and waited for my blood pressure to stabilize before wheeling us to our ward at 9 am (I lost a decent amount of blood with you). The first thing I did was order a giant bowl of hot oats and a pot of tea 🙂 Your daddy went home to get some sleep and you slept on my chest the whole morning, skin to skin. Of course I didn’t sleep a wink yet because every 30 minutes in hospital there is a knock on the door, checking blood pressure, changing dustbins etc. I realised at about 10am that I hadn’t even tried to “feed you yet” (it shocked me because Id done that immediately with your brothers, but you hadn’t even cried!) and you latched with ease and strong force. By noon I begged the nurses to let me go and bath and get cleaned up, I didn’t want your brothers seeing any “mess” when the came to meet you. They came in awe to meet their baby sister at about 2pm and were so unsure and cautious. It was so precious and I’m so glad your auntie was there to capture the moment.
Your narnie spent the night with us in the room and once the doc came around the next morning to do her rounds she gave us the all clear to go home if we wanted to! So you came home and completed our family of 5 on your very second day.
Raya Maryam you have always been with us, it’s like you have always been a part of the family and are the sweetest baby ever. You are happy, smiley, patient and you hardly ever fuss. Your brothers are obsessed with you and you are your dad’s baby love. I cant wait to adventure with you and watch you discover the world. We are so in love with you and will always be by your side, lifting you up.
all newborn shoot photos were done by Slumberlings Photography and all photographs are subject to copyright.
Finding Your “WHY” And Remaining True
The whole Instagram hiding likes thing versus drops in engagement has got me thinking recently…
I found myself over the past few days noticing a HUGE drop in the number of “likes” I received on Instagram, of course it worried me. It concerned me that I wasn’t putting out enough good content, it concerned me that my readers weren’t relating to my content anymore. Thankfully I’m old enough and wise enough to not take it personally and to understand that Instagram is going through some changes, but it got me thinking about all the users who do measure their sense of worth and self belief against this tool. Scary thought right? The only reason I ever started paying attention to “likes” is because I know that brands look out for it to measure ROI, but true engagement means so much more then just a heart button.
The amount of times I haven been approached by people on Instagram who want to “get into blogging”, looking for advice on how to start is more than I can count. Before I give advice away, my one response to everyone will always be, is “WHY”? What is your passion? Would you still blog if there was no Instagram? Would you still share your thoughts and stories if there weren’t any “perks”?
Now more then ever, with the changes in algorithms and measures of engagement, you should definitely keep sight of your purpose. It’s one of the reasons why I hate the term “influencer”. Yes, I can fully understand why it’s used, but I truly believe no individual can call rightfully call oneself an “influencer”. People around you can refer to you as one, but an “influencer” should come from a natural place. It should be an honest, first hand experience, not just someone plugging every single branded item. It should come from a place of authenticity. So if you start your blogging career with the aim to “be an influencer”, my suggestion is to walk away. Times are changing.
My “WHY” is, and has always been to help other mothers. In whatever way that may be; whether it’s to inspire you with creative crafts and activities to do with your children, or the best places to go that are child friendly in your area (the top reasons I started my blog up again); I want to help mothers on their journey. If you’re a new mom in that crazy, whirlwind newborn phase, and you don’t know what to do or where to turn, I’m here for you. If you’re starting out on your breastfeeding journey or experimenting with solids for the first time, I can relate, I am just a message away. Motherhood is my “WHY” .
Motherhood is something you can never actually understand or prepare for until you are in it. Becoming a mother for the first time is one of the most confusing, self doubting stages in all your life, whether you are the smartest woman in the world or not, we all experience the same things. I wanted to create a community and a safe space for any mum to reach out. For all mums to know that we are in it together and to create a community where we can all support one another along the way.
I may have gotten caught up a little with measuring my worth against others with more hearts on a social media page, but ultimately, you are all my “why”. So thank you, thank you for staying with me in this journey of motherhood. Thank you for reminding me of why I chose to blog and for being “my why”.
I Lost My Cool – When You Get Frustrated With Baby
One of the reasons I started blogging again was this very season, this season of “parenting a newborn”. It can be so incredibly isolating and tiring on your soul. And today, today I lost my cool and got snapped back into reality by my 5-year-old. The physical and mental exhaustion, and constant attention needed got to me, I found myself taking out my frustrations on an innocent 4-week-old.
I find the newborn phase the most challenging. Even after 3 kids, raising a newborn requires a certain amount of patience that I don’t possess. Both my boys were colicky, but both had slight reflux as well. I would walk up and down with them for hours and broke down in tears many times. Raya Maryam certainly hasn’t been “colicky” yet but come 4pm everyday all she wants is her mama, and her mama’s boobs 🙂 Should you not give her any of those things the crying begins. Along with that of course, comes the winds. Each time she falls asleep, I lift her onto my shoulder to burp. Occasionally one or two come out straight away, but then the rest of the time I feel her little body pull up and tenses up completely. She arches her back and starts complaining and sometimes, like tonight, there is just no calming her down. You can try different methods, the shoulder burp, the “leaning forward and rubbing her back” method, the over the knee method, nothing helps to calm her but the boob. Fast forward 3 hours of playing on the “merry go around” of feeding, falling asleep, trying to burp, her little body cramping up and crying; I could feel myself patting her back a little TOO hard. Rocking back and forth a little too hard and shouting at my baby to “stop it”. Like a 4-week-old can understand and listen to me. The frustration was taking over, and I was putting it on my precious baby.
The boys were falling asleep in their beds on either side of me and my 5 year old, sensing my frustration and change in temperament, sat up in bed and said “Mummy let me take her, I know how to take care of a baby” “really?”, “Yes” he proclaimed, “my teacher showed me, hold them gently like this and move and sing softly to them, you are being too rough.” BOOM. Snap back to reality that I so needed by my sweet son.
I took a deep breath, said a prayer, kissed my sweet little baby and I gave her patience that I pulled out from the deepest corner of my soul. Hubby wasn’t around at the time, but if he was I certainly would have passed baby onto him earlier on. I remember being at this point with both the boys when they were newborns too, on that snapping point from sheer frustration. Its scary. Its scary to realise how fine that line is and I’m so grateful to have realised beforehand, before I tipped over and accidently hurt my child.
The point of this article of not to get judgement, nor to look for advice on “what could be wrong”. I know I know we need to get into the feed, wake, sleep cycle but that’s something I have always battled with in the early days. I feed on demand for the first few months.
The point of this article is to let all new moms out there know that “it will be ok”. As a first-time mom the experience of motherhood can be incredibly lonely and isolated. I want you to know that at some point we all will get “frustrated” with our babies. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. Most people will not admit to “getting angry with their baby”, but I’ve been where you are. I’ve cried while my baby cried, I’ve stopped myself from rocking them a little too hard. I’ve felt my nerves reaching snapping point and wondered if I may have hurt my baby. I’ve felt so guilty that I’ve broken down in tears. Motherhood is wonderful and magical and at the same time awful and hard. Even on my 3rd child I still have these moments.
Don’t be afraid to refuel and recharge. The beautiful thing about motherhood it sometimes all you need is a 5-minute break. Don’t be afraid to just put baby down and walk away for a short while, your sanity is the most crucial thing. Babies also feel emotions. If you are tense and frustrated, they wont be settled. They need soft love and care (one of the reasons my babies settle easier with me typically and not dad).
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, another mum. We have all been there and I promise, most mums I have met will never judge. Don’t feel ashamed for your feelings or your response to motherhood. By speaking out you are getting help. Finding a group of mums that you can talk to or that have children similar ages can be a God-send. Just getting out and talking about it airs your frustrations.
No excuse me while I go and kiss my precious bundle. Tomorrow is a new day and a new start, with hopefully a recharged milk supply for this lil monster 🙂
What a year 2018 has been. Looking back I can’t actually believe the change that has happened in our lives, so many things and so much to be grateful for!
As a mother, looking at my now 5-year-old, this year has seen him grow into such a big boy. He thrived in a bigger preschool and his art work all of a sudden blossomed into clear pictures. (I thought he would never get there 🙂 ). He went from hesitantly walking into preschool every morning to waking me up at the crack of dawn, already fully clothed begging me to take him to “school”. Such huge milestones that we so quickly forget about. My “baby” went from 2 to 3 years old and suddenly sprouted up to nearly as tall as his “big brother”. He too went from clinging to me like an octopus in the morning at play group to happily (most days) walking in, and telling me all about his day with his “friends”. He learnt to do forward rolls, gymnastics, tennis and made huge leaps in his swimming!
On a personal front I gained the honour of winning the best art and crafts blog through the SA Mommy Blogger awards, such an incredible honour for me and I am so grateful that I get to make a difference, no matter how small, in parents lives. I also took the deep dive into moving my blog over to a self hosted domain, the best decision I have ever made. Thank you Dan for all your help! 2018 saw me working with brands I never thought possible, and I’m so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and people I have met along the way. The events and products that I have been able to work with are a dream come true, and one that I will never take lightly.
We explored, we adventured, we baked (a lot), we farmed, from raspberries, to vegetables and pomegranates. We crafted, hard, from bath bombs to sensory trays, science, bath time playdough and squishy balls. All while learning along the way.
Some of my favourite posts still include the what to do in Johannesburg series, from our favourite Park and Picnic spots, to restaurants with play area’s and adventure spots. As a mom to young kids these are invaluable, I know I certainly am always on the look out for new places. The latest one is on my favourite festive entertainment spots to visit over the Christmas period.
I think the biggest change came in the second half of the year.
I took a leap and decided to return to an “office job”. I have always worked, but I was fortunate enough to spend close to 5 years working from home, which meant I had beautiful quality time with my boys all while “maintaining” a corporate presence. There are always sacrifices to make made though, and various factors influenced my decision, but the second half of the year saw me working in an office away from home during the day and its been a huge (but good) adjustment. Shortly after that we found out we were expecting baby number 3 (a bit of a shock to say the least), and completed our tri-factor chance with hubby moving into a new job too!
When we play with change in our house we really go all out….
Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing, though I really do miss the quality time with my kids, I think they have adjusted well. I also miss my time at New Body Studio and finding time in the day for my Pilates, ballet and yoga. It’s not really the ideal time with this big ol’ baby belly (well actually it is), but I’m confident I’ll get back there.
The main purpose of this post is Gratitude. For all the opportunities I have had, and all the new connections and friends made. For all the lessons I have learnt (some tough), and all the future that lies ahead. I look ahead to the next year with excitement and a little anxiety as we start the world of “big school” and Insh’Allah we will welcome a baby girl into the world. I also have big plans for this little blog of mine, and I hope to continue to grow and learn. Which brings me to my next point.
I have entered the South African Blog Awards again under the categories best arts and crafts and best parenting blog. If you feel that I have contributed in any of those area’s in your life, please vote for me in the awards. It takes less than one minute, by clicking on this link and select your category choice (or both). You’ll then receive an email to verify your vote, which takes about 15 seconds. You can also vote by clicking on the badge on the right hand panel of the blog. Voting ends on 31 December and it would mean the world to me to have your support.
Thank you to all of you for staying with me in 2018 and I’m looking forward to an adventure filled 2019 !
To My Second Child
To my baby boy….
I realised something on this long weekend. We have been so very unfair to you.
You are still a baby, yet we treat you like you’re a big boy. You still need me so much but we just “expect you” to be the same or handle things the same way as your big brother does.
The age gap between you and your big brother is so small that you have grown up too quickly! You were crawling before 6 months, you said your first words at 10 months and were walking before your 1st birthday! All you wanted was to keep up with your big brother and do all the things he was doing, and you have never let anything stop you or get in your way. Because of that however, we have also treated you largely the same way, forgetting that you need to find your own path, and have your own experiences.
I was so busy running around after your brother when you were a baby and I didn’t really stop to savour your milestones and moments, I never really had quality time with you, teaching you colours and reading you stories like I did before. Have I forced you to grow up too quickly?
Looking back at this past weekend, all you needed and wanted was me. While the “big boys” were fishing, you sat next to me and played with your cars in the sand, we swam together, we went exploring together. Sitting next to me at mealtimes wasn’t enough, you had to sit on my lap. I held you as you fell asleep and it was then I realised, you just needed extra love.
You are only 3 years old, but we expect you to act like a 5-year-old and for that I’m sorry my baby. I’m sorry for all the times I haven’t let you vent your frustrations or all the times I have told you to be a big boy. You don’t have to be my love. I am here for you always, and from now on, you can take as long as you need.
I watch in amazement at your excitement of becoming a big brother. All you have ever wanted since before you even turned 2 was a “baby”, and this is “your baby” as you say. At 3 years old you are telling us how “you wont share any of your toys with baby as they are too dangerous and she could choke, but you will give her all of your “soft toys””. My baby boy, you are too sweet for words. In amongst all your feisty, stubborn temperaments is just a little boy with the sweetest heart filled with love (and a love for sweet things).
The guilt washes over me, have I shown you enough love or given you enough time. Do you know how incredibly proud of you I am? From day one, you have impressed me beyond measure. You were one of the happiest babies I have ever met. I had it easy with you. You just rolled into our routine (apart from always crying in the car). Your cheeky smile is contagious and never fails to cheer me up. Your ability to negotiate for a 3-year-old is well beyond your years and the absolute favourite part in my day is when you insist I hold you as you fall asleep. The only time in your full 9 hour day that you actually stop and rest and let me hold you.
So, this one is for you my sweet, cheeky boy. We love you more than you will ever know, so please, take your time in growing up. I will never put my expectations unfairly onto you again. While I may not have a perfectly filled out baby book for you as I did with your brother, you amaze me. Every step of the way!
Rolling with the Punches – Making The Best Of Stressful Situations
When it all unravels……
For us personally, 9 out the 10 times we travel, one of the kids will get sick.. I don’t know what it is, but it is something we can pretty much place a bet on. My sister was the same growing up, she was the one who would always fall sick as we were about to embark on the 13 hour car journey. Perhaps that’s why I roll with the punches and go with the flow, because I expect it.
Its been a while since I wrote a “from the heart blog”, and I miss it, it’s the reason I started this blog. To reach out to moms and parents to let you know you aren’t alone. We have all or, will all be there at some point. So bear with me as I tell the tale of our past weekend.
Rewind 5 days and we are packing for our first little family getaway for the whole year, yep, our first weekend away in 365 days as a family and one that was desperately needed. My eldest had not slept well the night before and when he woke up in the morning he complained his tummy was sore, but “Its OK mummy, it’s because one of the boys’ in my class had a sore tummy too”. OK, not too bad, I can deal with a tummy bug. I ran out in the morning to organise a few last things before our afternoon flight and got back home at noon to a little boy with a 39 degree temperature. I gave him his first dose of Nurofen for kids, and packed up the last few things in the bags, expecting the fever to drop. No such luck, hubby comes home from work expecting to change and jump into our cab for the airport, only to find our son crying of a sore ear now and his fever had only gotten worse! I was not a popular person….
They say you need a balance In every relationship, and my golly we got one in ours 🙂 I am typically the calm one, “it’s going to be OK”, “It’s not too serious”, “we will get through this”, and my hubby is well, to put it lightly, clearly not 🙂 He wants to cancel everything and not go. Enter my “mummy make a plan mode”. I first check, to appease my hubby largely, the likelihood of us changing our flights to the next day. (Not going to happen and the price was ridiculous). Next move is to add Panado into the mix this time (which dropped the temp) and thirdly I packed Zip Lock bags packed with ice for face cloths to travel with to bring the fever down.
I know kids, rather, I know MY kids. I know when things are very serious, and typically when it’s something that’s “part of life”.. This (I was hoping), was the latter. By the time we reached the train station and airport the Panado had kicked in and our little man perked right up. Though I confess, I decided, after many years of not using one, to whip out the stroller. I was not about to make a sick kid run through the airport.
We made the flight with literally 2 minutes to spare (hubby was convinced we were still turning around and going home) and seemed to all be OK. Until we started to descend…. My eldest has always had more sensitive ears, and now we with some sort of ear infection/tummy issue going on it tripled the pain. He had fallen asleep on the flight but as we started to descend, we woke up screaming, and he didn’t stop. My poor baby. Now mama was feeling bad, I shouldn’t have made him come. Bubble gum, food to chew, swallowing water nothing helped and he didn’t want anything either. I just held him tight and told him to chew chew chew.
Then came the puking, luckily that was not on the plane, and was actually the only thing I feared when travelling with him. However we were safely at our destination, and it actually made him feel better. Remember my post on what to pack when travelling with kids? At the last-minute I left my Celestamine at home because the bottle was a bit leaky, and boy oh boy did I regret that. Poor little poppet couldn’t even breathe properly at night he had such a bad post nasal drip.
But the very next day, my baby was ALMOST right as rain, a bit of a gunky eye, but he had a weekend filled with swimming and beach fun. It was a weekend filled with late nights and adventure, and one we could have missed.
The late nights of course, slowly catch up though…
So to anyone who saw us at the airport on Sunday, I publicly apologise for the melt down my youngest had. My boys, I’m thankful to say, are typically well-behaved. Except on this occasion. Waiting to board the plane, with 200 other passengers lined up around us, my little one had the melt down of the century. I had bought them little planes from the sweet store, so they could “fly their planes” as our plane flew. Expect my “smalley” didn’t want a plane, oh no, he wanted a race car, and he let every single passenger know. I’ve never received “looks” before, but oh boy, I received a crap load of them in that moment. I gently told my son the reason why I bought two planes that were the same, instead of his beloved race car (because I knew that when it came down to it, he would have cried for the flying object) and ignored him until he was done crying. I will not shout at my child and cause a scene in public, they have already done that for all of us. I told him his behaviour was unacceptable, explained my reasoning and told him when he was finished, if he wanted, he could have his plane. 10 long minutes later he came up to me and said, “OK, but can I have the orange one please”. The looks I received though, with my wailing child walking behind me, will stay with me for a while.
Thankfully our flight home was much calmer, with no dramas or ear ache. Everyone is back home and now it’s my smalley’s turn to fight this bug. Funnily enough a lady we sat next to on the plane ride over said “we were amazing, and had ‘aced’ parenting”, probably the best compliment I have ever received 🙂
My point of this post is really that life happens. Of course, not every person would deal with this situation as I did, some people may even think it was selfish to still travel. Of course, If I felt my son was horribly ill I would have cancelled everything. If he got worse the next day I would have stayed with him every moment. My life Is my children’s. I was blessed with the honour of bringing them into this earth and it’s my duty and privilege to be there every single moment. But life also happens and sometimes things unravel. Plans don’t go according to the way we hoped. We adjust, we do the best we can in situations, and that is all that anyone can ask. Embrace the chaos, and roll with the punches mama.
We have a weekend filled with beautiful moments now, and after a long stressful year, I wouldn’t have changed any of it. Thankfully, hubby had a great time too 🙂 Now I just need to teach him how to calm down in stressful situations 🙂 Any tips on that?
Making Memories with Discovery HealthyFood Studio + Recipes
Motherhood is a funny thing, it changes your life completely, not just from a “look after children” point of view, but from a personal standpoint. It can leave you isolated and in need of connecting with like-minded women. That’s why I love groups like “Mama Meet Up” so much. It’s a chance for a group of diverse women, with children of all ages, to come together in something they enjoy. Whether it’s make up, cooking classes or a luxury spa day. It’s a chance to network, to connect and to share in each other’s lives.
The October Mama Meet Up was held at the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio, a place I have been itching to go to! You don’t have to ask me twice to attend a meet up that involves women and good food, particularly when we get to cook our own food in a kitchen filled with all the top appliances!
Set in the heart of Sandton, The Discovery HealthyFood Studio offers you a chance to take part in fun, interactive cooking lessons, learning about fresh, seasonal ingredients. The emphasis is on educating people on how to make easy, healthy food in their own homes. As a person who loves to cook, it’s like heaven and as a mother who dreads deciding what to feed her family every day, it was the perfect opportunity to reignite a love for the kitchen and a chance to get inspired with new recipes.
We started off the morning with tea/coffee and some sinfully delicious sugar free snacks (I really found that hard to believe), while we did introductions and had a brief demonstration in the kitchen. After selecting our preferred recipe’s we got stuck into attempting to create some lunch. Bonus point for me is that the Discovery HealthyFood Studio is both Kosher and Halaal friendly.
I was in my absolute element surrounded my KitchenAid’s finest appliances, the food is of the finest quality coming from Woolworths as is the elegant crockery and cutlery. There were several different options but I chose to make the chickpea patties, I adore chickpeas but as apart from Hummus, I never really know what to make with them.
The range included dips, main meals consisting of meatballs and Mexican tuna salads (I could literally eat it every day) to desserts that were gluten free! Who knew healthy treats could be so delicious? I will give you my top 3 recipes at the end of the blog.
I had such a fun morning, one of the best meet ups I have attended so far (and we have had some good ones). After all the cooking was done, we sat don’t to a buffet lunch sampling all the recipes of the day.
I have already booked a date night with hubby at the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio and would highly recommend it for a fun day out. The quality of the food and recipes used are incredible, you can also pick your “theme”, ranging from a course on chicken, to festive feasts and a plant based one menu as well. Kids courses are quite popular with the age range running from 8 to 12. This would make the perfect end of year outing with your mates. They are current running a “two for one” special, for every ticket you buy you get to bring along a partner for free! Perfect for my date night 🙂
Thank you “Mama Meet Up” for bringing together such a diverse group of women. I have truly loved every second and getting to know so many strong creative women has been the highlight. The next, and last Mama Meetup for 2018 is taking place on Thursday November 15th. Check out their Facebook or Instagram page for more details.
Now for all of you waiting for those recipes here we go:
All Images taken by:Tanya Kovarsky, Co- Founder of Mama Meet Up
Lets Get Real About The First Trimester
As you are reading this, know that these words were typed a while ago. I’m currently in the thick of things but I’m not meant to be telling anyone yet. Why do we do that? Why do we wait 12-13 long weeks to tell people some of the happiest news in our life? When, if something actually had to happen in these first few weeks, this is when you would need the most support?
Incase you haven’t guessed it HOOORAAAAAH we are delighted to announce our family will be growing to a family of 5 early next year! Planned? Not so much, but wanted? Absolutely 100 percent. Yes, the timing is a little off, it was only something I had wanted to start thinking about mid next year. I’ve just started a new job, the boys are transitioning into school, but God’s timing is always best, and I have always put my up most faith into his plans.
Moving onto the point of this blog.
The toughest I have ever had to be perfectly honest, and because I’m emotional, and because I’m feeling very sorry for myself. I decided to document a few things I hate about the first trimester. I’m documenting them as I know in a few short weeks, I’ll have forgotten about the hell of the past 3 months and would have moved on to feelings of excitement and wonder. But right now, let me wallow.
The first trimester is all about: gritting your teeth with nausea, too afraid to talk because it will bring on a wave of sickness. Its falling asleep sitting up because you can’t lie flat or you will be sick. Its food aversions, I haven’t had a cup of my beloved tea in 3 months, just the thought or smell of it is enough to make me wash my mouth out! Its mood swings, its feeling and looking like crap, but guess what? You can’t tell the world in case anything happens. As a woman, I’m expected to walk around like everything is fine and dandy, still take care of my family and make sure they are all happy and fed when all I want to do is sleep for a million years and not retch when making a meal.
Here are the things I despise the most about this first trimester:
The bloating – I don’t know if my stomach is trying to see if it can stretch out enough or if it’s just testing me, but the first few weeks of discovery were plagued with bloating. My stomach was so bloated I literally looked 6 months pregnant. I had people querying if I was already at 8 weeks, purely just because my stomach was bloated.
Indigestion – What on earth is this? I have ever experienced indigestion in my life. I don’t ever recall having this level of discomfort. By the time 4 pm rolls around each day I am so uncomfortable it literally feels like my stomach is sitting in my throat. My throat is on fire and so is my chest. I’m thirsty but I don’t want water because it will add to everything else
The exhaustion – I’ll be honest, I’m pretty used to this part. I generally have low blood pressure and am slightly anaemic so add in a growing baby and I am like the walking dead. My poor husband has literally sat alone each night for the past 2 months as I have fallen asleep by 8pm with the kids. I’m passed out, literally. I don’t want to go anywhere on the weekend, I don’t have the energy to even wash my hair. Possibly the one “ailment” I can deal with as I know my body needs all the energy it can get to grow a healthy human.
My hormones have gone off the rails – I’m naturally an optimist. I’m a happy person and typically nothing gets me down or depressed for very long. This pregnancy however has left me feeling, dare I say it, depressed. Don’t get me wrong – I am not depressed about the pregnancy, no way, I love this little lentil more than the world already. I have nothing to be depressed about. I’m just feeling low. I know it will pass, and I know it’s because everything is out of sync at the moment and it is also due to my low energy levels.
The helplessness – Knowing there is sweet bugger all I can do about anything. I still must wake up every morning, go to work and put a smile on my face. I feel like the biggest pile of dog turd, but I need to fetch my sweet boys with the energy of a teenager and give them the attention they deserve in the afternoons. I need to buy as many “easy to make” meals as I can to get through dinners for the next few months, because this too shall pass.
I cannot wait for these first three months to pass. To feel a little more like my old self again and to share our happy news. I know this is a negative ninny post, and not like my usual. I wanted to write it because it’s important for mothers to be to know these feelings are NORMAL! I am thrilled I’m growing a beautiful little baby inside of me and am ecstatic for the future ahead, BUT, I have also felt like CRAP, and that’s OK MAMAS!
UPDATE BEFORE I CLICK PUBLISH: I’ve had two days nausea free! Hooraaaah, am I through the woods? We also went for our scan last week and baby looks perfectly healthy and on track. Insha’Allah (God willing), everything will look up from here.