Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Giving back, Life with my bears

Waddling for penguins

Today is International African penguin Awareness day.

A day to celebrate and highlight these cute aquatic birds.

Extinction

This species is still on the brink of extinction with only approximately 50,000 birds left in the wild.

It is estimated, that with the current level of decline they will be extinct by 2026….

A short 7 years from now!

A waddle for penguins

We headed to the V & A Waterfront to join the Two Oceans Aquarium in a fun waddle for penguins.

Dressed in black we were ready for the easy 3km walk around the waterfront district.

Before setting off we were encouraged to paint our faces

and enjoy a penguin cup cake treat.

Hamish was extra excited and although scared of the mascot,

he really loved the soft toy penguin and happily let me get some photos of him with it.

Just after 9.30am we set off on our hour long walk. The excitement was in the air as aquarium staff and public encouraged motorists along the route to HOOT FOR PENGUINS!

Hamish got caught up in the excitement very quickly and joined in with all the energy of a 3 year old.

He however, decided he wanted to be the leader and joined the amazing aquarium staff up in the front of the group to lead the waddles.

It was a lot of fun. Hamish managed th entire 3km walk and I’m looking forward to many opportunities to share with Hamish why we were hooting for penguins this morning.

About the African Penguin

The African penguin feeds on fish such as anchovies and sardines.

Adapted for its aquatic lifestyle, the African penguin can reach speeds of 12 miles per hour (20 km per hour) in the water and travel from 18 – 42 miles (30 to 70 km) in a single trip.

An average dive last for 2.5 minutes, reaching depths of almost 200 feet (60 meters).

How you can help

  • Support our aquariums: they use the funds for much needed education, research and to look afte the birds in their care.
  • Refuse single-use plastic:
    Penguins can ingest or become entangled in plastic packaging, their food, the fish are ingesting microplastics which are passed to the penguins.
  • Say no to all plastic: Plastic is made from oil, if we reduce our demand for plastic we also reduce our demand for oil. Oil spills are disastrous for penguins.
  • Join beach clean ups: help to remove the plastic which could end up in their home.
  • Recycle
  • Consume only sustainable fish
  • Educate others: on both the bird and how to care for the oceans.
Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears

A pledge to play

In July Hasbro gaming sent us a lovely campaign to pledge along with a pinkie promise to make time to play with our children.

Monopoly South Africa interviewed a few kids and the biggest result after being asked what they would do to get their parents to play was that parents realised children wanted them to engage and play with them more.

You can watch the video Here and read more about it Here

How many of us parents actually set aside time to play with the kids?

Research shows that learning through play is an important part of a child’s development.

Through play children learn many different skills they will need in their life such as:

  • Problem solving
  • learning cause and effect
  • Learning how to play with others through compromise, conflict resolution and sharing
  • Development of fine and gross motor skills
  • Nurturing their creativity and imagination
  • Discovering their independence
  • Building a positive self-esteem

Our pledge

We took the pledge and I promised that this would be more than just another campaign for us. Whilst I spend a lot of time with Hamish it is also getting easier as he gets older, to allow him to play by himself whilst I work.

So, I promised to keep my pledge to him.

So far, we’ve had good days and not so good days. But in all of them I’ve tried to remain totally present and engaged in the activity we are doing.

Whether we are busy with Playdoh, a game or reading.

Life changes

Some of the things I have changed to incorporate more time to play in my own busy schedule is :

  • Firstly to be aware of when I’m on my phone and to put the phone away when we are playing or reading.
  • To limit screen time for our entire family.
  • To not watch that last last episode and to rather use this time to bake or cook or read or play a game.
  • To have regular picnics
  • To include Hamish in the kitchen making a game out of cooking
  • To have monthly meals or braai with our entire family
  • To stop working from 5pm to 8pm when he goes to bed
  • To play board games
  • To have regular family outings
  • To make Sundays family only days and focus on play and togetherness
  • To make shopping a game or at least interesting if I cant shop online

Play is an important part of our childrens learning as is engaging with us. Because of this I pinkie promise to keep pledging to make more time to play.

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 babies, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fun mamma School Holiday Challenge …. a look at our 10 days of fun activities.

These school holidays I set a daily challenge to encourage parents to spend some time just playing with their children.

All of the challenges were inexpensive, easy things to do at home that did not break the bank.

These were the challenges

On Day 1 we went for ice cream at our local KFC.

Day 2 was more messy as we made our own homemade paints to play with.

These paints were made by adding a few drops of food colouring to yoghurt.

On Day 3 we went on a nature treasure hunt. I think this was his favourite out of all the activities.

I drew a list of things for him to find and we took a walk to find each one.

For Day 4 we played an old fashioned game of hide and seek. Playing with a 3 year old has its challenges. He kept hiding in the same place.

On Day 5 we drew self portraits. I tried rater unsuccessfully to get the entire family to join.

This was also a very special activity as I’m going to get Hamish to draw one once a year and note his progress over the years in a special scrapbook.

Day 6 was to build a blanket fort. I managed to get one up but Hamish prefered pulling it down.

On Day 7 we enjoyed some water play. We had gotten home late and so I added an extra cap of bubbles and we filled the tub with bubbles. It wasn’t long before we were throwing bubbles at each other.

Day 8 we got to move it ! move it ! I took our dance party outside as we were at the Wordcamp kids daycare fir the day.

For Day 9 I gave Hamish some chalk and we went outside to draw pretty pictures on the concrete.

Day 10 and the last Sunday of our challenge. It rained and we decided a lazy Sunday cuddling up and watching movies Hamish chose was the perfect way to end our challenge.

The simplistic activities are often the ones our children enjoy the most. These are the fun things that become part of the memories they look back at when our children raise their own.

Spending quality time, even 20 minute a day totally present with your child is important. Doing things they love allows you to connect closer to them and builds their self esteem.

If you joined our challenge I would love to hear your thoughts on the activcities.

Posted in babies, Life with my bears, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

How to make Pirate bananas

Each year on the 19 September we celebrate International talk like a pirate day.

To celebrate this year Hamish dressed up in his pirate mask and ran around shouting “Arrrr! Me matey!” as he pretended to be Jake from the Neverland Pirates before we settled down to a breakfast of Pirate bananas.

Pirate bananas

I hear you asking what a pirate banana is….

It is simply a banana with pirate face drawn onto it. I saw one online somewhere and it has stuck with me.

Hamish loves them.

To make your own

To make your own you will need :

Bananas

A piece of cloth or serviette as a bandana ( I used Johnson & Johnson baby wipes)

A black permanent marker

To make up

Draw your pirates face onto the top half of the banana.

Fold your material to form a triangle and tie on.

These make a really cute lunch box suprise or party favour.

Hamish, being just short of 3 years old decided of course, that I wasn’t allowed to break the face when opening the banana.

Have to love a preschooler 🤦‍♀️

Posted in Life with my bears

A letter to bear on his third birthday

Happy birthday my little bear ❤

It seems like yesterday I sat in the quiet room of Blaauwberg Netcare waiting patiently for you to make your arrival. Nervously wondering if doing motherhood again in my 40’s was the smartest decision of my life.

It seems like yesterday I watched as they handed you to your daddy, whose smile and pride told me at that very moment, we could do this.

It seemed like yesterday that I held you close, breathed in the soft smell of newness and loved you to the moon and back.

It has been such an amazing 36 months, 156 weeks and 1095 days full of adventures.

You fill our days with joy and love. There is hardly a moment that you aren’t smiling or talking to me telling me how much you love me.

Your first birthday was a quiet breakfast decorated in pooh bear decor and a picnic near the beach with your siblings and friends.

I’m not a fancy birthday mommy as there are so many adventures out there and those seem more exciting than party packets and cake.

And so that year I took you to your first Aquarium experience. You loved it and we rode the Thomas train at V & A and ate ice cream from that shop I always find just too expensive for ice cream.

You were a whole 12 months old and I wished time could just stand still.

For your second birthday I gave up on the fancy party and instead ordered us matching family bear shirts and had a party where you were surrounded by your siblings.

You helped me bake your cake and wanted a boat on it, (you have since sailed my boat in mud and it’s no longer a sailing boat.)

That year we took you to the ostrich ranchs where you met the world’s smallest ostrich, rode on an ostrich and decided tortoises were your friends.

You were 24 months old and I wished tat time would stand still.

Today you are 3 years old.

I feel like I’ve blinked and you are a little boy, no longer a baby. You are potty trained and don’t have a dummy or bottle.

You are intelligent and convey your emotions and needs like a 7 year old. So often you take my breath away with just how much you have grown and how smart you are.

Today again, I chose a small family party for you. I want you to always be surrounded by those who love you most.

Daddy and I woke you with a gift from the party fairy.

I hope that one day you look back and realise your birthday was not about gifts, but about sharing the day in love. So, whilst we can shower you in a lot of toys and gifts, we chose to focus on one thing that you would enjoy the most.

A new dinosaur playset for our little paleontologist.You love dinosaurs more than anything in the world.

I let you help me with this years cake. I baked you a chocolate mud swamp and between us we positioned the tree , shrubs and dinosaurs. I think we may have muddled our dino eras but you were happy with the outcome.

I added some dinosaurs to the rest of the decor, just for fun.

Your favourite gift was the new guitar you recieved and you immediately gave us a concert.

You were born to shine and I will totally understand if at 16 you choose to travel the world in a rock and roll band. I will be equally as proud if you decide to study further and be a paleontologist.

You are 36 months old and I wish time would stand still.

Happy birthday my little bear ❤

Posted in Life with my bears

Kiki pie turns sweet 16

Many years ago I had a Barbie doll loving little girl whose world revolves around her pink guitar and her fluffy kitten.

She was 8 years old when I started my Fun mamma SA Facebook page and nicknamed her Kiki pie to protect our identities.

Yesterday she turned 16 !

How did this happen? It seems just yesterday not 8 long adventurous years ago.

It’s all about the Flashing crown

I was feeling rather nostalgic when I went shopping and I ended up buying just a bit too much pink.

I found pink banners and glitter cake toppers and even a flashing pink crown.

I have to confess I shop for most of my party decor at the China malls.

A banner that would have cost R125 online, cost me R35 and as the mom of many I’m not fussy where I can shop when it comes to saving costs.

In total her decor cost R100. Not bad for budget parties.

Getting ready for a party

Normally, we don’t celebrate a birthday on the actual day with our family as they are all grown now and are busy or working.

Our normal tradition is to celebrate as a family on the Sunday after at 2pm.

But with this August being so hectically busy, we decided it best to celebrate yesterday ….on a school night.

I cheated and bought a cake as my day was running away with me and decorated it with candles and the number 16 cake topper, which Byron later managed to set on fire!

I also grabbed some yummolicious donuts. Our local Spar bakes the most devine donuts and I couldn’t resist.

I added the little flowers to a vase that I had bought her and placed the crown ready for her to wear. (Which Hamish has since claimed and Kerri wouldn’t wear 🤦)

Lastly I got some glasses ready with lemonade and strawberries. In our home I do not believe in alcoholic drinks before a child is legal to drink them but wanted to make the party look a little grown up.

Party Time

Then I cooked supper for 13.

This sounds massive but as a mom who spent many years feeding 6 growing children and often cooking 2 or 3 different meals a night …. I was in my comfort zone in the kitchen. I still struggle to only cook for 2 or 3 people.

It’s always wonderful to have the whole family together.

It’s noisy, chaotic and there’s usually a sibling throwing their weight around but there’s also lots of laughter and joking and a sense of loyalty to each other.

Kerri was the baby of our family for 13 years before Hamish was born, and her siblings still very much view her in that regard.

So they tend to protect her fiercely, spoil her wildly and all make a huge effort to be there for her.

It was a lovely evening and all that is left to say is ….

Happy sweet 16 Kiki pie !