Outdoorsy Girls

It’s been a bit of a long hiatus… but let me catch you up on what we’ve been up to these past few months.

The girls turned 2 (still can’t believe it!) and we threw a gorgeous Ballerina themed shindig for them.

But at just 2 years old I noticed, rather distressingly, how attached (and adept) they have become with technology… namely the iPad.

We reached a point a few months back where they were refusing to go outside and play… but preferred to stay plonked on the couch, tablet in hand, flipping from YouTube video to video. It was driving me nuts!!!

That’s when I decided we needed to overhaul our play space outside and make it more appealing to them. I wanted them to switch off and enjoy being outdoors… to have even a fraction of the awesome childhood I remembered having.

Now since we didn’t gave a big garden… we had to make some home improvements. Yes, the initial investment did cost a pretty penny… but you can’t really out a price on childhood play, can you?

First things first. We invested in a pool safety cover – no brainer!

Then we got a 10ft trampoline. I love that the trampoline provides a physical outdoor activity… hoping it makes them tired enough for a full nights sleep!

Next we got a beautiful custom designed playhouse installed. It’s rather large 3x3m – and will provide years of imaginative play for the Twincesses.

Charlie’s Playhouses made our dream playhouse and they were a pleasure to deal with! The house is fully customizable, right down to the colors. We went for a pink and grey and I do think it turned out spectacular!

The girls are having the time of their lives with their gorgeous new playhouse. And I’m having a ball decorating it!

I’ll take you through my decor ideas in the next post.

Today, we’re having a jungle gym set up next to the playhouse so the girls are really going to have no excuse to be indoors at all!!!

X

When your child is sick…

Edvard_Munch_-_The_sick_child_(1907)_-_Tate_Modern

When you child is sick, all urgency disappears. Everything that just couldn’t wait before, suddenly loses all importance. The dishes piled high in the sink isn’t pressing anymore. The piles of laundry become insignificant. The business deadline loses all meaning and time seems like its standing still.

When your child is sick, you can’t help but regret. The scolding they got for dropping milk all over the kitchen floor. The way you lost your temper when you had to break up yet another fight over the Legos. The way you felt so relieved when they finally went to bed. You will regret it all. Every minute spent being what you perceive as a ‘less than perfect’ mom, will fill you with a deep dark regret.

When your child is sick, you notice everything with fresh eyes. That curl that keeps getting in her eyes, the one that annoys you on most days as you search under the couch for a hairclip to hold it back… that very same curl becomes the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.  The dimple on her left cheek will bring tears to your eyes and her tiny hands might just be the most perfect little hands ever created.

When your child is sick, you make promises. You promise you’ll scream less and have more patience. You promise to laugh, and re-laugh at their silly antics even if you’ve seen it for the 100th time. You promise to join in when they sing and dance to Barney next time. You promise to say “I Love you” at every opportunity, and that kisses and cuddles will outweigh reprimands and discipline. You vow to be better and do better.

When your child is sick, you find yourself bargaining. With your God, the higher powers, the Universe. You make little pleas, and gigantic deals. You’d sell your very own soul for their recovery.

When your child is sick, you become angry. You question ‘Why”??? Why my child? What did she do to deserve this? You get angry because you’re so helpless. Your only job is to take care of them and ease their pain, and yet you find yourself unable to do anything to make it better.

When your child is sick, you voluntarily become unimportant. You’re unconcerned with sleeping, and eating becomes an afterthought. You’d rather sit by your little one, than take a long hot shower, and you don’t care if you look like the walking dead.

When your child is sick, you become a warrior. You track down doctors in the middle of the night. You ensure your child is not just another number on their already too long list. You research and advocate for your child. You find donors, your raise awareness, you fight. And then you fight some more.

There is nothing like seeing your child sick and in pain to bring a parent to their knees. So with this post, I acknowledge all the warrior moms out there who, in this moment may be going through the darkest times of their lives. Love and Light to you, and all your precious little ones.

 

 

 

10 Best responses to the ‘Are they Twins?’ Question

Parents of multiples are asked many annoying, inappropriate questions.

From, were they conceived naturally, to whether your boy/girl twins are identical…like seriously???

But there is one particular question I find the most annoying of all: ARE THEY TWINS?

Do people actually think that 2 babies (who are very clearly around the same age) are siblings born months/years apart?

Here are some of the best responses you can practice giving these nosy people:

(PS: I’ve used the last 1 about half a dozen times which results is incredulous looks)

  1. What? There was only 1 when left the hospital!
  2. No, they’re brothers who were born 3 minutes apart
  3. The hospital had a buy 1 get 1 free offer
  4. No, there are actually 3, but we keep the third one for spare parts
  5. No, one is a stunt double
  6. No, the first one was so wonderful we decided to have him cloned.
  7. Hmmm, I don’t know, they have 2 different dads.
  8. No, I found the other 1 in the parking lot and thought, why not?
  9. No, one is a clever forgery
  10. No, they’re triplets. I leave the ugly 1 at home.

Finding Strength on the “I Can’t Do It Anymore” days

I can’t do this anymore”. It’s a phrase I find myself muttering at least a hundred times a day.

 

At 3:15am, when I’m standing alone in the darkness, patting, patting, patting the warm back of my tiny human. Exhausted and in desperate need of sleep because it’s the 4th time I’ve been awakened by her cries… I find myself holding back my own tears that threaten to spill their dam as I plead silently with God “Help me, I can’t do this anymore”.

 

At lunchtimes when we engage in yet another battle of wills, and I find myself bribing, negotiating and finally, pleading with my child to eat just one more mouthful … I mutter – defeated – under my breath “I can’t do this anymore”.

 

In the evenings when my already high maintenance child turns into the worst form of herself, throwing her head back screaming in yet another tantrum for no apparent good reason, I choke back hot tears as I contemplate running away and think “I just can’t do this anymore”.

 

On Sunday afternoons, after a long weekend of not having even a single minute to myself, still in pajamas because I haven’t found the time to shower, expired from the endless cycles of feeding, playing, singing, reading to the kids… all the while building a wall of guilt around myself for not doing enough, I find myself feeling drained and inadequate with only one thought:  “I can’t. I can’t do this anymore”.

 

If you’re a mom, I’m pretty sure you feel this way at least once (if not many times) a day. When the fatigue overtakes you, coupled with a healthy dose of guilt for good measure, it’s not hard to feel like you’re coming up short in just about every area of Motherhood.

 

But what I need you to remember is this:

In those dark hours of the morning when you feel all alone rocking, nursing, patting, lulling your baby back to sleep for what feels like the millionth time … You are NOT alone. I can guarantee you that a few hundred other moms are walking in your shoes at that very moment.

When your child won’t eat the meal you found time to lovingly prepare, and would rather spit it down the front of her T-shirt … know this: You are NOT alone. All over the world exasperated moms are fighting that very same war.

When your toddler throws down the mother of all tantrums because you won’t let him smack you in the face with the TV remote … stand strong – you are NOT alone. Parents have lived through their children’s outbursts since the beginning of time.

When the weekend seems never-ending and you feel like you don’t have a single thing good left to give … hang in there. You are NOT alone. Monday will come and Daycare will reopen; and as you sit at your office desk surrounded by the adult company you longed for, you will find yourself daydreaming about those sticky, chubby hands around your neck.

 

My point isn’t that misery loves company… but merely a gentle reminder that you are NOT alone.

The world over, moms have faced arduous moments. Moments that threatened to break them. Moments that seemed to expend all they had inside them. Moments that made them want to scream out loud: “I can’t do this anymore!” But they got through it… by sheer will, by insurmountable love; because no other choice exists but to keep ploughing on.

And when they had climbed their respective mountains and reached the other side where the sun shines so brightly, they realised that they COULD do it. They had it in them all along.

And so do you.

Exhausted, frustrated, sleep deprived mama: on those days that seem unending, in the groundhog existence of feed, change, sleep and repeat … just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Keep ploughing on. This too shall pass.

“Its OK Mommy” Heartbreaking words from daughter of Diamond Reynolds

This week, a 4 year old girl went on a car ride with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend.

If she’s like any of the typical 4 year olds I know, she would have been excited at the prospect of a car ride… busily chatting along with her mom about anything and everything, pointing out random things that would only draw the interest of a child around that age.

The car ride should have been just another event in the day of this 4 year old, but for this little girl it ended in tragedy so profound that an entire nation, if not the world has sat up and taken notice.

The little girl is of course the daughter of Diamond Reynolds, who watched her mother’s boyfriend, be murdered right in front of her.

I’m a mom, and for all purposes, this is a “mommy blog”; aimed at reaching out and empowering other mothers like myself. So I will not sit behind my keyboard and screen and pretend that I know anything about the turmoil that is currently brewing in America right now.

What I do know though, is that when the full impact of the situation finally hit Ms Reynolds, and she realised her boyfriend was dead, her composure broke and she howled in grief.

At that point in her live stream, something happened that sent a cold shiver down my spine. It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces. In that moment, that little girl, barely out of her toddler years, can be heard comforting her mama; “Its OK mommy, I’m here with you”.

And once more a few seconds later: “Its OK mommy, I’m here with you”.

Whatever the outcome of these senseless deaths, let the innocence and compassion of that little child spur us to be better and do better.

Let’s reach a level of humanity where we won’t need the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, not because they don’t, but because we’re so far past being labelled Black, White, Green.

Let us exercise tolerance and acceptance, for the sake of our children. For the state of the world they will grow up in.

Let us not forget that little girl, who will be forever changed by a series of events that should never have happened.

 

Let Humanity Win (My thoughts on Disney Gator Attack)

I have been at a complete loss for words since hearing about the 2 year old who was dragged away from his parents by an alligator at Disney, Florida.

This, hot on the heels of the worst mass shooting the US has ever seen, and the senseless gunning down of Christina Grimme, a beautiful, talented 22 year old…all in Florida, all in the space of a few days.

And while thoughts and anger, emotion and sadness has been filling my head and mind since these horrific events have unfolded, I’ve been at a complete loss on how to put those words down on paper.

But today I woke up to the news that a little body was found, mere feet from where his helpless dad had watched him be snatched as he tried to pry open an alligator’s mouth with his bare hands. A child… loved, cherished, cared for… very much like my own two children, and my heart breaks into a million tiny pieces.

Then I see the fury that is brewing on social media…fury, blame and anger aimed at the parents of the 2 year old, and it makes me want to bury my head in my hands and weep for what we have become.

People are citing parental negligence as the cause of this heart-breaking incident. But tell me…how many visitors walk that exact park each day? Each month? Each year?

How many children get close to the water’s edge, squeal with laughter and run excitedly back to their parents? How many wander around, happily creating memories, carefree and full of life?

Now tell me, how many have been attacked by an alligator while doing do? Disney has never had an incident like this occur before. And while Florida may be rife with alligators, they rarely attack humans.

NO ONE could have seen this coming.

The child was NOT unattended. He was NOT swimming. His parents were NOT negligent, and they DO NOT deserve this. No parent does.

The internet has killed our humanity. It has emboldened us to become horrible, horrible monsters … people we would never portray in real life.

Would anyone taking a dig at these parents have the guts to walk up to them, in this moment of utter grief, point a finger to their faces and say: “It’s your fault your child is dead. You should have been a better parent”

No one would dare say it to their faces, yet we sit happily behind our screens, the keyboard our assault weapon of choice, as we pick off strangers one by one.

Gorilla mom faced the internet’s fury when her child fell into Harambe’s enclosure. I admit, I was one of the first to point my finger. But in the end, my humanity won over my need to join the internet mob.

And a ‘mob’ is precisely what we’ve become. A bunch of angry, vile people, spewing words of hate and contempt to people we have never met, and will never know. We have become a society who has taken it as our duty to blame, to judge, and to tear apart anyone who has ever made a mistake.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a grieving mom, a panicked, helpless father…

It doesn’t matter if we made that same mistake last week. No one was there to see, and there was no tragic outcome, so it’s ok.

For all those thinking they know better and would have done better. Stop. Please stop.

A child is gone, his parents will NEVER recover from this pain and anguish. They will pay a price – far worse than you could ever wish on them – for the rest of their lives. So please, I implore you: Stop.

Stop letting anonymity make you less human. Stop letting your screen and keyboard make you the judge and the jury.

Please let compassion take over. Please, let humanity win.

 

 

 

25 Daily Thoughts a Mom of a Toddler might have.

  1. So much to do, so little time

 

  1. Why won’t she eat her cereal? She loved it yesterday! Why? Why? WHY?

 

  1. Her laugh makes my heart sing.

 

  1. Why is she being a little monster today?

 

  1. My kid is SO smart. Smarter than most kids I know.

 

  1. Got her to nap for more than 45 minutes! Score! I’m really good at mommying!

 

  1. Why can’t she just play quietly by herself for a few minutes? I just need 5 minutes. Is that so much to ask for?

 

  1. Orange juice counts as a serving of fruit. Right?

 

  1. Her smile could stop traffic.

 

  1. Being a mom is SO hard. I can’t do this. I just can’t.

 

  1. My coffee is cold. Again.

Toddler Mom thoughts

 

  1. She won’t eat her lunch, but wants more Flings. Typical.

 

  1. I love her SO MUCH.

 

  1. Why won’t she stop crying?

 

  1. She’s getting so big. It’s going too fast.

 

  1. How can a tiny human create so much laundry!?

 

  1. I need to get her to eat more veggies.

 

  1. And I thought the new-born stage was hard!

 

  1. When last did I eat something?

 

  1. I can’t wait until she’s older and I’ll be her best friend.

 

  1. If I have to sing the Barney tune one more time, I might die.

 

  1. Who knew that strawberries and chicken could be eaten together?

 

  1. I hope I get more than 4 hours of sleep tonight.

 

  1. Is it too early for wine?

 

  1. How did I get this lucky?