Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm celebrating being a mom because...

...there are so many things to appreciate and so many things to perhaps pat ourselves on the back for. We sometimes forget why being a mom is so awesome.
I love being a mom because it is the greatest reward that life can offer you. I'm a person who loves being appreciated for what I do, and the whole mom thing was a bit of an adjustment initially. When I first had Tristan and spent a year at home with him (I was in the UK mind you!) many of my days felt like a thankless job, with no reward in return. I was sleep deprived, felt completely overwhelmed, felt like I had no idea what I was doing and wasn't in control. I suspect I was a bit of a control freak, but that was soon knocked out of me! No place for that in motherhood. I remember on some days thinking 'why did I do this again?' I think those were quite possibly the hardest days of my life.
But the reason I'm celebrating is because I made it through the sleepless nights, my child is still alive and so is my husband!!!! So I must have done something right, hey?
I'm celebrating because you know what I'm actually a better person for being through this.
I'm celebrating because I've learnt new skills that I didn't have before particularly patience.
I'm celebrating because I've learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life.
I'm celebrating because I get to be a child all over again - how cool is that?
I'm celebrating because I'm no longer selfish.
I'm celebrating because I have stretch marks and scars on my body that only bring good memories.
I'm celebrating because I get to experience a whole new angle on life.
I'm celebrating because I've never loved someone so unconditionally and I've experienced a whole different side to love.
I'm celebrating because there is somebody who thinks I'm beautiful even when I've just woken up in the morning, look quite frankly a bit scary, and tells me so.
I'm celebrating because I get to buy cool toys - that I actually quite like but never had an excuse to buy before.
I'm celebrating because quite frankly I'm doing things I never used to do before.

Basically all in all, I'm celebrating being a mom, just because!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's happened to kiddies birthday parties?

Do you remember musical chairs, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey and all those silly games that we used to play? Perhaps I should keep quiet here as I'm giving my age away (oops forgot my age is on my profile anyway...oh ok then). I know that we live in a different world and we have to embrace it, but part of me asks can we in some respects of our lives just go back to basics, especially where our children are concerned? For me, birthdays are about enjoying the special day with your child, relaxing, laughing, chilling and yes of course, having a lot of fun. But somehow for me it seems like that doesn't really happen anymore. Perhaps it does, and it is just me, but it always seems that moms are so fraught with tension and ensuring that the birthday party runs smoothly and that everything is ok, we almost somehow forget what the day is all about. I'm not right or wrong as there is no right and wrong, as everybody celebrates in different ways, but in many ways kiddies parties seem complicated. I am on a mission to go back to basics and have some good old fashioned fun at parties - I am going to play games, I am going to make a fool out of myself, I'll probably even dress up, but hopefully the birthday boy feels special and appreciates the interaction - it's his day after all, not other kids, not their parents but it all belongs to him!

I took a stand this year that I wouldn't invite his whole class, as it gets really out of hand. The school gave me a list of his special friends and all of those kiddies were invited. Its hard to do it this way, as there have been so many parties that we've been invited to, and I'm not reciprocating but maybe just maybe we'll all think about who our child wants at their birthday party, not who we feel we should invite to their party.

Party Packs - what up with that? It seems to have become a norm that there are party packs on the day of the birthday at school and at the party - why? I'm not sure I quite get it, but again you know I could be missing something! Kids needs are actually so simple, its what we teach them that becomes the norm to them. For my little ones birthday, they will get a little novelty toy at the party and then on his actual day, there will be cake at school. Surely that's enough? I don't know, we'll have to wait and see!

These are just my thoughts and experiences regarding birthdays and I was hit by a wave of nostalgia, but as said its not to say that anybody is right or wrong, its just that I can't keep up with all of it and I hope to teach my child something along the way.

One of those precious moments...

...that you'll never forget. I fetched my little one from pre-school today and could tell by the shrieking, giggling and immense energy that he was game for fun today. That just makes my day - I get to partake in the show. The best is, when he's like that then I just know he's going to have this gorgeous little boy naughty streak - I love it! We ate dinner and went about our usual routine. It was time to bath so off he went to get undressed and I was giving the dogs water. All of a sudden a little imp came flashing past me with the widest of grins on his face - 'Mommy please can I give that to the dogs?' bearing in mind he had no clothes on! He loves feeding the dogs and soon realised that the water just wasn't good enough and that only pellets will do. So off he went and what I saw just made me smile to my core (which is wonderfully pleasant!). He was running around the car, with two dogs in hot pursuit behind him - of course he had the pellets - with him dropping pellets wherever he saw fit, so that they could chase him. Shrieks of laughter, giggling, lots of tail wagging and pure joy. It's one of those moments that makes you realise just how precious childhood is and that it's great for our children to be just that - children! Sometimes I think we forget the art of play, just pure play and let life pass us by forgetting or sometimes missing the joy in every day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Its so good to be here, but...

Another gorgeous day in Africa... hmmmm it's so good to be here, although there is one thing that amazes me! I've seen it loads of times, and perhaps I'm missing the point, but why are children not strapped into their car seats?

This is one thing, no matter what, that I will not budge on. I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to my child. In a country where our accident rates are so high, why would people even want to take a chance? I've seen it all; toddlers hanging out front windows, children climbing all over the seats with hands in front of parents eyes, the child and the dog hanging out the window together, just to name a few. Not only is it distracting for the driver, which in itself could cause an accident, but it is very dangerous. But still people continue to do it. Do we have enough awareness out there about the dangers? I think not, but that's open to debate I guess.

I've been unfortunate enough to have been in a car accident not that long ago, and let me tell you, it happened so quickly that I almost didn't even know it was happening. Fate so dealt me a wonderful hand, that quite by chance my little boy was in a car in front of me, however, just the thought was shock enough for me that he could've been in that car. These things happen, and they happen everyday. We all really need to be responsible, we are dealing with children's lives here.

The Easter weekend is coming up, and so many people are out on the roads, please, please, please, please, strap up the little ones, drive safely yourself, rest enough and take it easy.

Happy travelling!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just the beach

So, here I am my first ever blog. Oh well, lets just get on with it then. Today has been an awesome day in Cape Town and we took a slow drive through the Durbanville wine route to Big Bay. By the way, there are a lot of wine festivals on at the moment, which are mostly kiddie friendly, I'll keep you posted. But anyway, all was quiet,no wind but as we approach a friendly little blast appears just in time for our arrival. Get out the car, and let me tell you we DO NOT pack lightly for any occasion. When we are going away, we have to take everything, and everything I mean, for just incase. So a beach trip is like a military operation with me and my family (my hubby wasn't nick named Corporal for nothing you know!)So out come the chairs, the toys, the clothes, the towels and some food - just in case. Hubby is a bit of a pack mule, Tristan and I are just running along like 2 kids and not really bothered with the details. Everything is meticulously unpacked and put in its place, and bang, another gust of wind comes along to steal all the toys - so; much panic and running and shouting and chasing ensues. Toy retrieval operation successful. Only thing now, how do we keep everything? In all the military planning, we somehow forgot CT's famous unpredictable wind (although if we were really good we would've checked the beach report!) So back to the car with all the paraphernalia, all in the boot, nothing but ourselves, and the best walk on the beach ever.

Lesson no. 1 - keep it simple, just enjoy the outdoors and be a bit carefree and crazy (like going to the beach with only the stuff you need - crazy indeed!).

Until tomorrow...