Posted in All about Mamma bear

Fidem …. a gift of Faith

For mother’s day I won my dream prize from Moms notes magazine.

A custom necklace from violet and Rose jewellers

I have always wanted a disc with my initial and birthstone, so this was a dream come true and I was elated that I had won.

Lockdown

I’ve never waited for a prize with so much longing and then Covid-19 happened and we were forced into lockdown. This meant I would need to wait until couriers were open again before recieving my prize.

The entire time, Victoria & Rose were amazing. Keeping me updated on the progress of my necklace as I drooled over the stunning pieces on their facebook feed.

Fidem

Last week as we waited for an engraver to open I asked if they could change the text …asking them to inscribe the word Fidem.

Why Fidem ?

People often question the Latin inscription of the purple tattoo blazed up on my left wrist.

A single word -FIDEM, tattooed in old style Gaelic purple ink.

The word itself means Faith, but to me so much more than just a word.

Years ago, I sat battered, broken, alone and defeated nursing a dislocated, fractured hip, squashed vertebrae in my back,a broken heart and 6 children to love and care for.

I cried for hours, screaming and swearing at God. What as he doing?What had I done to deserve this punishment? I loved my husband. He wasn’t perfect, but none of us are. I tried hard to rationalize and comprehend the events that had lead to him becoming the monster I’d faced.

It was in these moments, alone and petrified on an isolated farm that I came across the word -Fidem.

I had prayed for an answer and this was the word God gave me.

I didn’t understand. It made no sense. I needed a concrete plan. One that involved knowing how I’d care for my children as a single, unemployed mom who couldn’t walk for the next month or so.

The events that followed included me giving my husband a second chance , and 3 years later looking back at all the doors God opened through my faith to allow me to leave him.

By then I knew God had a better plan for my future, and whilst I don’t always understand where he leads I am always reminded that (jer:9.11)’ He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper not to perish.’

So, its with blind faith that I follow His lead and whilst you may not always find me sitting in the front pew of church or baking cakes for ladies teas my faith in God never falters.

I chose to inscribe the word in old style Gaelic as I believe those with blind unquestionable faith are a beautiful,selective few, just as the old manuscripts handwritten in calligraphy styles of print are.

Words have been my solace through many of my lifes hardest trials and I wear my scarred memories with pride.

The purple represents my God. His presence in my life and His grace. Purple is also the colour of the bruises left both physically and emotionally. A reminder that through my faith I can over come anything.

I wear my word of courage and belief on my left arm, because when I feel defeated and alone I am always reminded that my faith is what I have left.

Faith that this too shall pass.

Faith that tomorrow the sun will shine and the day will begin again.

Faith that I am capable, that I will overcome and that my God has a plan that will lead me through and guide me to my purpose and His desired plan for my life.

Fidem has become my word for each year, my reminder that ” this to shall pass”, acknowledgement of the trials my God has brought me through and a testimony to the faith I have in myself to reach my dreams.

At my vision board workshop with The creative space with sonja I wrote the word fidem, to represent a faith in myself to achieve my dreams.

My prize is delivered

And so on Monday, the first day of our new journey in our new home, as I unpacked the work needed to launch my new business later this month and as I was feeling slightly overwealmed with the new house, cleaning it and the 7 gazillion things I need to do to catch up taking a week off from my blogs and Blogboss …my message arrived at my door ….

FIDEM!
HAVE FAITH 💞

In conclusion

To Moms notes magazine and Violet & Rose thank you for the most amazing prize.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

The greatest fright of my life ….

When I was a teenager we moved to a house that was much further away from the local high school.

Walking to and from school each day meant navigating many hills and crossing a bridge that led over a freeway before finally getting to the main road of our little town in Queensburgh, Kwa-Zulu Natal and then continuing with a further 15 minute walk to the local girls high school.

In total the walk would take us about 45 minutes to an hour to get to school.

If we were running late, the distance certainly did not work in our favour.

A short cut

One day I was asked by a friend why we never used the short cut.

I naturally wanted to know where this magical short cut was and he showed me how to take a path past the church, cross the railway line and then watching the cars carefully we crossed a 6 lane freeway.

Thinking of it now, this was most likely the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, but back then it cut up to 30 minutes off our walk to and from school, so I naturally showed my younger sister and step brother the short cut.

I remember one day, my father discovered us using the freeway as a faster way home and told us we were forbidden to do so.

I’m late

Being teenagers we naturally did not listen to him and crossing the freeway every morning and afternoon became our normal way to get to school and home again.

As teenagers we were invincible, nothing was going to happen to us. We knew how to judge the cars speed and just the right place to cross.

During the exams that year, my sister, step brother and I were incredibly late for reasons I do not remember. We each attended a different school but needed to get across the freeway.

We dressed and rushed out. At the freeway we were distracted by the fear of being late. We were in a rush. We just needed to get across. We saw our chance and ran ….

BOOM!

Screeeetch!

Splat!

The sound of a car’s breaks stopped us on the middle island and I turned to see a white car slow down and then accelerate faster.

My step brother was standing dead still, a look of horror across his face.

My sister lay face down about 3 meters away from us.

A blur

The next moments remain a blur. I remember getting to her and shouting to my step brother to go get my dad, watching with fear as he crossed over the freeway again.

My sister was in pain but the car had only brushed her. It had also sped off without stopping to see if anyone was ok.

What followed was my father arriving in a panic and my sister and I climbing into an ambulance headed to Addington hospital , for her to be treated while our family following in the car.

Hit and run

Ours is a lucky story.

My sister was sore, frightened and thankfully only needed a few stitches for the cut on her thigh where the car had made impact.

We, as teens had learnt just how dangerous our actions had been and were frightened enough not to cross the freeway again.

The car however drove off and my father, because of this never claimed a third party claim. Not being on medical aid, we were lucky that our local government hospital was so well equipped to attend to emergencies.

But what do you do in an instance like this, especially if you do not have medical aid and the car has just driven off?

It’s important to always educate yourself on your rights and the best person to advise you would be a car accident attorney.

With the help of a car accident attorney, my father could have pressed to get my sister the compensation she needed for physiotherapy to completely heal her leg after the accident.

Because, even though we were young, silly teens no one has the right to just drive off after hitting someone with a car.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting

If you see a mom playing with her child capture the moment for her

Today I popped over to a friend and we decided to take the boys for a bike ride.

Eskom was treating us to a few hours load shedding and my phone was at home, uncharged, which it normally never is.

We still remarked at how neither of us could record the moment as we didn’t have our phones.

At some point Hamish wanted a different bike so she ran back, while I watched the boys and ,not only grabbed the bike but her phone as well.

Boys on bikes
A fun ride … photo by @parentingbarely

It was a fun 30 minutes and we spent more time running after the two boys than we did walking down the path. ( Someone remind me just how fast threenagers can ride those little push bikes)

The boys were excited and we were truly just in the moment as the zipped and zoomed down the path.

She managed to grab a few pictures and I thought I’d pop her a message after Hamish had a nap and grab a picture keepsake of his playdate with his bestie.

What I got was this image ….

Boys and mom
Running with the boys … photo by @parentingbarely

I stopped and looked at it again and again.

Not because I was, as I normally am, highly critical of my extra weight or flabby arms. Not because I had no make up on or that my bra was at home. Not because I am running in pumps or sporting a super sporty mom bun.

No!

I stopped and stared because I don’t remember the last time someone caught such a candid photo of my very real and exhausting, totally fun and exciting mom life.

So, regardless of the fact that I am positive you can see the grey in my hair and my butt gives Kim Kardashian some competition ( in size not curves lol) ….

I think it’s my favourite photo this year.

Why?

So often as moms we capture everyone else. We are the memory makers and keepers. We go out of our way to preserve a moment, capture a sliver of time or take a photo because we know someone will want to look back at it someday.

But when it comes to photos of ourselves, we are not as generous with our thoughtfulness.

Our own photos are mostly selfies or posed portraits after we have bribed the teenager, removed the toddler from strangling the cat and threatened our husbands to ” Just smile damnit!”

My photos

I spend much time with Hamish but very few moments where I’m in the photo. Even fewer of the moments where I am playing with him, reading to him or baking mud pies.

We have no images of the countless books we read, or the bedtime snuggles. I have no photos of the towers we build or the flowers we have grown.

These are the moments I treasure. The moments he will one day look back on. These will be the unphotographed moments.

These are the moments, as moms we will miss and long for. These are the moments that as we, one day, glance through those albums of our child engaged with everyone …but us, we will wish someone had thought to take for us.

Give a mom a priceless moment

So, when someone catches a glimpse into my real mom moments ….that to me is priceless.

If you see a mom playing with her child, capture that moment for her . Help her see just how beautiful she is as she meets her child in play.

Posted in All about Mamma bear

10 of my favourite quotes

I’ve always collected beautiful quotes to share on Social media, whatsapp groups for friends and with my family.

And as long as I can remember I’ve had a blackboard or notice board at home and at work to share a new positive quote for the day.

Even now, I still share positive, thought provoking quotes every morning on my Instagram feed.

Here is a list of my favourite quotes

1. TIME SPENT PLAYING WITH CHILDREN IS NEVER WASTED – Dawn Lantero

2. MAKE YOUR WORDS SWEET IN CASE YOU NEED TO EAT THEM LATER.

3. SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO TALK TO A THREE YEAR OLD JUST SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND LIFE AGAIN.

4. A WOMAN WHO KNOWS WHAT SHE BRINGS TO THE TABLE IS NOT AFRAID TO EAT ALONE.

5. A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST A WISH.

6. LIFE IS AN ART OF BALANCE.

7. THE INFLUENCE OF A GOOD TEACHER CAN NEVER BE ERASED.

8. CHILDREN ARE MADE READERS ON THE LAPS OF THEIR PARENTS – Emilie Buchwald

9. BE UOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL.

10. EVERY CHILD IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF FLOWER, AND ALL TOGETHER, MAKE THIS WORLD A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.

What are your favourite quotes? I’d love you to share some with me below.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts, Life with my bears

19 of my favourite photos from 2019

2019 was an amazing year full of so many highlights and choosing just 19 of my top favourites was incredibly hard.

So in order of Awesomeness here are my top 19 memories of 2019

1. My eldest daughter got married

After us almost giving up on this wedding ever happening, my eldest daughter got married and I couldn’t have been prouder. She looked like a true princess.

2. I got a photo of all my kids

together

As a large family of now mostly adult kids with their own lives, families and agendas just getting them all into the same space at any one time is a small miracle, so a photo of them all together … that is priceless.

3. I appeared on TV representing Fun mamma sa

This has been my proudest moment for my blog but oh em gee …my nerves were shot. I’ve never been so self concious in my life. Would I do it again …in a heart beat.

4. Hamish appeared on TV

Hamish was invited to be part of the audience for the new play sense DVD Dinosaur stomp with Laura and Meg Faure. He had a wonderful time, dancing on stage.

5. Hamish appears on TV again to meet peppa pig

And a few weeks later we were again invited to be part of the audience for Peppa pig’s appearance on the Expresso show. I love that we were encouraged to invite a group of little friends with so that Hamish could experience and share this moment with his friends. I’m still in awe at how child friendly the Expresso set and crew are.

6. My girls do their first radio interview

I was so proud of my daughters as they calmly sat through their first radio interview with one FM. My eldest daughter is a girl guide Brownie leader and my youngest daughter is a ranger with the guides. They represented their groups online and encouraged others to purchase cookies at the annual girl guide cookie sale.

7. Family photo shoot

We had the most wonderful family photo shoot on signal hill with Lisa Marie from Mariede designs. Lisa remains my favorite photographer.

8. A fun photoshoot

Hamish had the bestest paint fun photoshoot for the blog from Snapit photography. These images remain some of my favourite photos of him and it’s going to be hard to replace them this year.

9. Hamish got his first car

Working with SA scooter shop has had to have been the highlight of the year for my entire family. With 5 sons and a husband it’s hard to know who has enjoyed this car more. February was all about cruising.

10. Beach clean up

We joined several beach clean ups this year as I believe conservation habits start with a good example and whilst our children are young. The most memorial one was at Woodbridge island with the girl guides and coastal ghost.

11. Hoot for penguins

The aquarium is both mine and Hamish’s happy space and we’ve spent many days there this year. Not only did we take part in the inature scavenger hunt but we also took Hamish to celebrate the Two oceans aquarium birthday by joining a waddle for penguins and encourge motorists to hoot for penguins, this highlighting the danger our feathered friends face.

12. We went zip lining

Here my dare devil proved just how brave he was as he enjoyed the zip lines.

13. Mommy and me dates

I’m so lucky to spend time with Hamish daily. Once a week we go on special mommy and me outings . We become tourists in our city and find new places to expore and things to do.

14. Hamish turned 3

And with that he became a little boy overnight. We have potty trained fully and swopped his foam building blocks for STEM Lego kits.

15. We spent some time in the hospital

Hamish’s hospital visit was the most scared I’ve ever been. Holding a child who says he can’t breathe ….I still don’t have the words to express the fear and helplessness I felt. But we had an amazing team at Milnerton medi clinic and discovered Hamish has a dust mite allergy. 3 days of hospital was enough for both of us and we now monitor his allergy to avoid any further hospital visits.

16. Time away

We booked our anniversary away and enjoyed some time out of the city. Hamish went on his first game drive.

17. The beach

The beach is such a large part of our lives and we have hundreds if not thousands of photos of various moments on the beach. So I’ve included just one here.

18. I went cooking at Lint

My daughter bought me a cooking voucher from lint and together we went to make macroons. This was the most delicious fun.

19. There were dinosaurs everywhere

This year saw Hamish’s love of dinosaurs grow as he learnt more names and facts. As we read more books, watched more documentaries and visited more fossils. So many moments include a dinosaur I have to add one of my favourite photos of Hamish and his dinosaur as my last photo choice.

What were some of your 2019 highlights? I’d love you to share them with us In the comment below.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Blog posts

New year , New blog challenges – Ultimate Blog Challenge

2019 held so many highlights for Fun mamma SA and our sister Facebook page Mamma & Bear.From appearing on the Expresso show, attending fabulous events and representing amazing brands that we have come to love and trust.With a blog readership growth of 110% and tripling the social media platforms growth, I took a break before Christmas to rest and plan the wonderful content I hope to share with you throughout 2020.For me though a break often means I need to get back into the habit of writing daily content.As they say, a habit takes 21 days to form, and I find if I don’t write daily , I often lose the flow of my writing.So, even though it was only a two week break, I decided to join the Ultimate Blog challenge.If you are a blogger and never done a 30 day challenge, allow me to explain. Every day of the month an email is sent to my inbox with some blogging ideas or tips to assist me to build my craft and blog.Every day, using the blogging ideas I write a post on my own blog which I am then able to share with you the reader, my own blogging and reader networks, social media platforms and most importantly a blogging community of like minded bloggers all participating in the same challenge.We then get the opportunity to read the other blogs and offer comments.For me this is the perfect discipline to start my New year, keep me writing daily, learn from other bloggers and enhance my skills.So, in addition to my normal blogging this month you can expect an extra post as I follow this blog challenge.I hope you’ll follow along.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Mamma bears

The playdough dress

As a mom at home I’m used to having little hands and noses wiped on me ALL day!

So often I’ll find a bit of paint or smudge of peanut butter sandwich on one or other part of my clothing.

It’s a mom thing right ?

So, yesterday morning I’m rushing to get out the door to attend an event by 8am.

As usual I always leave the house and Hamish ready for the day before I go anywhere. It’s a habit.

Getting ready

I neatened the house. Made everyone morning coffees and teas. Prepared Hamish a breakfast and a snack box and opened his playdough for him to play with while I ran upstairs and got dressed.

Slipping into my long mustard dress I felt good. Often too few adult outings in a week, leave me feeling like old mother Hubbard but here I stood flashing my inner diva.

Checked the hair, added a dash of colour to my lips and I was ready to go.

Time to play

I went downstairs and waited for Brent to come down.

Hamish was building red playdough characters and I stooped down to help him add some ears and legs to his oddly shaped giraffe.

Here’s where I made my first mistake. I gave him the playdough from a brand that’s a little too sticky and tends to leave itself EVERYWHERE!

Off I go

At last Brent was ready and I kissed Hamish who by now had hugged me a hundred times, before leaving him to play with his older sister.

And I was off to enjoy a breakfast event at the gorgeous Durbanville Hills wine estate.

My confidence was high. I felt good and I think I looked good. Ready to spend some adult time away from playdough and Lego and toy cars.

Diva in a mustard dress

I walked my way around the room, introducing myself and prided myself with my dress choice …

and then I looked down!

I wanted to die!

Could the floor just swallow me up already!

There on my beautiful Mustard hued dress were the teeniest tiniest fingerprints of smudged red playdough.

I was horrified.

How many people had seen my newly patterned dress. Could I just sit and hide throughout the rest of the event.

How had I missed it?

Self concious

And so there I sat in my self conscious thoughts when the one speaker spoke about breaking the “supermom” concepts.

And I listened to her words and realised there I was worrying about how I would be judged by others but forgetting what those little red stains meant.

You see, my imperfect dress reflected me so much more authentically than any words I uttered that morning.

They represented the part of me that holds my heart …I am a mom!

Red stains

That means that regardless of what the world demands of me there are little hands that need me more. Those stains reflect my heart, they show that little arms hugged me before I left and show that I wasn’t too busy to stop and play.

A mark of love

Somewhere, in the silence of my thoughts, my mind became aware that each mark was a stain of love.

Somewhere I stopped worrying about the judgement of the women around me. I stopped obsessing about the marks that were so small I’m sure very few people noticed and somewhere a calm peace fell over me as I acknowledged that each little fingerprint stain in their perfect imperfection show the world that a little boy happily wiped his hands all over his mothers dress not to clean his hands but because he loved her so much he wanted to stop his play to give her a hug.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Events, Life with my bears

We had fun at the first WordPress Wordcamp daycare

One of the events we look forward to each year is the WordPress Wordcamp.

Unfortunately I missed a year as I didn’t have care for Hamish. So, when I saw a call for a volunteer to head a daycare for the parents attending I immediately volunteered.

Many times over the years, with no family support I have missed amazing events and opportunities and know the value of someone offering daycare.

Along with fellow Blogboss mom, Colleen we spent 2 amazing days with the most awesome kids.

Day 1

We arrived at Lagoon Beach Hotel, armed with half my house of toys and not knowing what to expect at all.

The Hotel staff were so accommodating and friendly and we found ourselves in the Rainbow room fully kitted out for kiddies to play.

Hamish and the other kids spent the time having their faces painted, building puzzles and Lego, reading and painting giant box monsters.

We were able to take some time to play outside at the roof top play area, which I fell in love with.

The Hotel is built on the ocean allowing us to access the beach. The kids had great fun building sand castles, going for a beach walk and collecting shells before dipping their feet in the cold water.

One of the best features of the day was that moms could check in on their kiddies and have them join them for lunch and tea times.

Day 2

For day 2 we were a bit more prepared and took a lot less with us.

The kids had new friends join and our daycare was bustling with kids of various ages.

Cartoons, puzzles, books, paints, Lego and stories kept this busy group occupied.

We enjoyed some sand art and stamping fun.

Their favourite activity was the soccer table and it was very sweet watching the Youth camp older kiddies teaching the little ones how to play.

Again we took advantage of the outdoor play area and spent an hour on the beach where the kids had a sandbuilding competition, dug holes and learnt about some of the ocean treasures that had washed up on the shore.

It was a fun two days and I’m looking forward to next years Wordcamp daycare.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Brands we love, Events, Giving back

Fair Cape factory tour

Last week I was invited to a factory tour at Fair Cape Dairies. To say I was excited was a slight understatement.

A factory tour

I arrived at the Fair Cape factory and greeted a group of fellow bloggers and food journalists.

After a quick briefing by the experienced and knowledgeable staff we were kitted out in factory gear and headed off to see where the magic happens.

I even got a pink hair net.

The first thing that was evident was how strict the hygiene policy is at the factory. We were shown how to scrub up correctly before entering the factory and at other areas we were asked to sanitise our hands again.

The factory is meticulously clean and temperatures are set to assist with the yoghurt making process.

Large shining silver containers containing the dairy that make our favourite yoghurt snacks greeted us.

We were then expertly guided through the factory and each process was explained to us.

I was, and still am fascinated by these amazing machines and the people that operate them with such precision.

I could have watched the process of yoghurt pots being made, filled and labeled all day.

This was such a fun, educational visit.

Why I love Fair Cape

As a household Fair Cape is our preferred dairy brand.

They have become a name I trust with high quality products and Hamish loves that Barney is on his favourite yoghurt and Batman on his milkshake.

But mostly, I know that by purchasing Fair Cape products I’m supporting a company that does it’s part to give back.

Fair Cape established the Fair Cape Cares Foundation in order to make a difference in the many beneficiaries they support.

By purchasing Fair Cape products and supporing the Fair Cape Cares Foundation events, you add to this amazing initiative.

Today,on International Charity Day, I would like to encourage you to ” do the right thing” and buy the Fair Cape charity yoghurt 6 packs. 50c from each pack goes back to the foundation to make a difference.

To learn more about our favourite dairy or the Fair Cape Cares Foundation visit http://www.faircape.com

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Mamma bears

Be a woman of worth

Many years ago I read this scripture thinking wow ! That woman is amazing ….I hope I can be like that one day.

Then life happened …. I grew! I made good choices, I made bad choices and so often I looked at this beautiful scripture and I ticked off each thing that I wasn’t instead of looking to the things I was.

Many years later I realise even on my worst days I am a woman of worth!

So, what is a woman of worth?

A woman of worth to me is someone who uplifts and encourages others, no matter what she is personally going through.

A woman of worth inspires you through her experiences as much as she does her daily life.

Someone who shows courage in the face of adversity or stands up for her beliefs, even at the risk of standing alone.

A woman of worth is loyal, to her family and friends. She supports them with enthusiasm and lifts them up when they are down.

A woman of worth loves fiercely and unconditionally.

She is above all else…kind. knowing that kindness will soften even the harshest words and hold a broken heart together.

She forgives easily.

She is trustworthy. She doesn’t need to use her words or your secrets to hurt anyone or betray a confidence.

She is Grace filled and wise enough to use her words to help and heal. She is honest but tactful. She is kind but stern when needed.

A woman of worth leaves you richer for having known her.

To all the Women of worth in my circle …. thank you for inspiring me to be the best version of myself