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 Christmas, Family Time, Life with my bears

Our Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas time.

It’s my absolute favourite time of the year. I love everything about Christmas, the hype, the kindness people suddenly possess and mostly the ability to unashamedly spoil my children.But, more than that, I love the numerous traditions that surround Christmas.

A history of traditions

As a child, I came from a family of few traditions and so no two Christmases were the same.In South Africa we don’t celebrate cold, TV Christmases with snow or elaborate decorating and so it never felt like a “real” Christmas to me.My first marriage was pretty much trial, error and trying to make ends meet and so as much as we tried to maintain some sort of tradition often we were just winging it each year.I always made a trifle and had my children sleep under the tree on Christmas eve, but other than that Christmas was as abundant and busy as the years bonus would allow.

My favourite traditions

Of course as the children grew so did their need or want of Christmas traditions and the day became a symbol for great food and new gifts.My silent traditions seeping in where I could still could.I’ve always had a mental list of all the things we would do as a family in preparation for Christmas day and would silently tick off those I had accomplished each Christmas.

This is my list :

1. Make and share handmade cards and gifts.

I had a shoe box where I collected stationary, glitter, coloured card and stickers over the months for the children to ue to make cards and gifts.I still prefer a homemade gift to a bought present.

2. Sleeping under the Christmas tree

This was my favourite thing to do. It started by accident, my children did not want to go to bed after we put the Christmas lights up one year, and so I let them sleep on the lounge floor that night.For many years they would decorate the tree on the 12th and make a family bed to fall asleep while the Christmas lights flickered.

3. Family tree decorating

Decorating the Christmas tree with 6 children is like letting Christmas puke on your house.There’s no order as each child creatively makes Christmas their own.Our Christmas trees were always a miss match of colourful, odd and handmade decor. Our trees were a true representation of our home …. busy.

4. Christmas baking

Christmas was the time to go all out as we baked biscuits, gingerbread men and later, when they were older gingerbread houses.There is something about the smell of cinnamon and ginger in a warm house that shouts Christmas.

5. My trifle

Each year I would construct a trifle I’d learnt to make in home economics class.This multi layered treat never lasted long and contained no alcohol.It is just layer upon later of sponge cake, caramel treat, mix tin fruit , ultramel and jelly that has been topped with Orley whip.

6. Christmas caroling

We would sing all the time. In the kitchen, while walking or just playing together.Although I always wanted to go door to door caroling we settled for beautiful carol services at church over Christmas time.

7. Christmas stockings

I love Christmas stockings and nothing fills my heart with more happiness than rows and rows of Christmas stockings.I would hand sew the children’s stockings each year and my favourite year is the year I hung 10 cheap gas store stockings up for my children and their cousins.

Last year I got to hang 14 stockings and my Christmas heart was in it’s happy place.

8. Advent calendar

The one item we never missed was an advent calendar.A cardboard box, brightly decorated with little windows opening to tiny chocolates each morning.Many times I would discover someone had opened all their windows during the night and gobbled up the chocolates by the 10th and that would end our advent attempt.

9. Nativity scene

A nativity scene is important to me as it represents the significance, history and meaning of Christmas.Some years we would make our nativity, other years I would bring out a little ceramic model.

10. Christmas candle

I’m not sure where I first decided we needed a Christmas candle and if I think back, my memory of my earliest candle is the year my grandmother passed.But I would walk the shops until I found the perfect candle.There was often nothing elaborate about the candle, but my Christmas candle shines for those we wish were at our table and so, many years later I still buy a new Christmas candle each year.

13. Look at the Christmas lights

Each year the kids and I would walk through the malls enjoying the Christmas lighs and decor.Some years we would drive to the centre of town to enjoy the large lights the council had hung.

14. String popcorn

The year my eldest child celebrated her first Christmas, I was at my father and my teen sister and step brother were trying to avoid the parents, I remember we had watched a happy family Christmas movie where the kids had been stringing popcorn and I decided there and then that regardless of our home we would have a happy Christmas .My children always loved this tradition, although they ate more than they strung.

15. Writing to Santa

Each year I would sit with the kids and we would page through the Checkers toy guide and they would write or draw long elaborate lists to Santa.This was also a great way for me to see what each of the 6 of them wanted.

18. Christmas hat’s and props

I’ve never needed a reason to dress up so we have always had a box of Christmas hats and props for the kids to dress up in.

19. Christmas clothing

As a young girl my gran would gift us a church outfit ( even though we never attended church as a family) and a blanket every Christmas eve.I fell into the same habit with my own children, leaving out the blanket and gifted them a new outfit to wear for Christmas day.

20. Christmas movies

Who doesn’t love a Christmas movie?To me the true Christmas season would start when all the hallmark movies came on.I had a large collection of kids DVDs that all centered around Christmas and as a bedtime treat the kids would get to watch one a night.

As my own children have gotten older and we’ve adjusted to new family dynamics we have changed or altered some traditions.After I had Hamish, the need to impliment those traditions, one again, became essential. Only this time I had a new husband to consider and we had to find a compromise on blending our traditions together.

Whilst I still keep all of the above traditions, I’ve also added these new ones for Hamish

1. 24 Christmas book advent

From last year I collected 24 books that have a Christmas theme and we read one each evening in December.

2.Reading Christmas story on Christmas day

I bought Hamish a beautiful Children’s bible and we will read him the Christmas story on Christmas day.This year I also have the Superbook DVD which tells the beautiful story of The first Christmas for him to watch.

5.leaving Santa his favourite milk and biscuits and a carrot for Rudolph

Santa works hard and so we want to say Thank you to him and Rudolph by first baking Santa some biscuits and leaving him one with a glass of milk and a carrot for Rudolph on Christmas eve.

6.Christmas eve box

I love this tradition and we have a wooden crate for Hamish. Each year we buy a premade kit which usually consists of:

  • a Nice list certificate
  • Santa button that he gets caught on the tree
  • Santa key to come inside and deliver gifts
  • Reindeer bell that Rudolph loses
  • letter writing kit
  • letter from Santa
  • Reindeer feed
  • and some treats.


7. Elf

Last year was the first year we did an elf on the shelf and everyone in the family was an immediate fan.I had great fun thinking up things for the elf to do over the month of December. Hamish couldn’t wait to see what the elf had done.I think this is my favourite tradition.

8. Santa cam

This year we have a specially made Santa cam that will be watching to see if Hamish is behaving.This is really just a decorated bauble.

There are many more small cute things each year and I’m sure the list will grow .

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite Christmas traditions.

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting

Questions you should ask before taking your child on a game drive

This weekend we visited an established game farm, in the Western Cape, and Hamish experienced his first game drive.

A bad experience

I would love to tell you it was enjoyable but sadly it was not up to standard with other drives I have been on.

Whilst the guide was knowledgable, he spoke over Hamish’s questions, ignoring him to make rugby jokes with a rather rude visitor who seemed intent on spoiling everyone’s experience.

The “rude visitor” was allowed to enter the vehicle clearly drunk and carrying a beer, which to me having Hamish there and another mom her son , I felt was both irresponsible of the game farm and inappropriate for a game drive.

This man made stupid comments through out the drive, often interrupted the guide and then climbed out the vechil to relieve himself whilst we were stopped to view the giraffe.

The vehicle, which can seat 3 people per seat was crammed and myself and another mother were left holding our children for over an hour as their spaces to sit were taken so that we could squash in another two people instead if taking a larger vehicle or simply dividing the group into 2 vehicles.

This to me was not safe and was certainly not comfortable for either us the moms or the two little boys . Who on our laps kept knocking on the sides of the vehicle as the road is bumpy.

The vehicle at one point looked like we were not going to be able to navigate through the soft sandy path and smelt like something was burning. I imagined trying to walk back with a 15kg 3 year old to carry.

Needless to say the atmosphere on the vehicle was cramped and not pleasant with this unruly visitor.

But worst of all was that we hardly got close to most of the animals that the farm boasts.

We got up close to the zebra and springbok to get decent photos and came semi close to the giraffe and the poor lonley looking camel but all the others were so far into the distance that Hamish was often just looking at trees and those he could make out just looked like ordinary bucks.

It’s hard to explain the different physical features on an animal you can’t see.

I was bitterly dissapointed and actually packed my phone away, after we had seen the giraffe as prior to this we had sped past the emu and I was trying to keep Hamish comfortable on my lap and prevent us both from falling off the seat and bumping onto the railings.

The last 25 minutes of our drive I was willing it to come to an end now.

I was really dissapointed that this was Hamish’s first experience at something that should be magical in the eyes of a child.

It has however prompted us to ask few questions before booking any further game drives anywhere with a child.

Questions you should ask before taking your child on a game drive

  • Does the child have their own seat
  • How long is the drive ( this matters, especially if the child does not have a seat)
  • Are kids given a treasure hunt of animals to find or a spot sheet to tick off
  • Is their information avaliable for children on the animals before or after the drive?
  • What time is the drive? ( this also matters for naps, feeding of children, ect)
  • How many animal species approximately are seen at each time.
  • What is the best time for maximum exposurea to the animals
  • How close do you get to the animals
  • How many people per vehicle
  • Is alcohol permitted on a drive
  • If yes, can I request a family friendly game drive without alcohol being allowed and does this cost extra?
  • How are rude/unruly guests dealt with on a drive
  • Will mine and my child’s questions be answered along the drive
  • Is the drive child friendly
  • Can a car seat be inserted
  • What can I take along on the drive
  • Who do I complain to should the game drive not meet standards

Whilst bitterly dissapointed at our first game drive with Hamish, I’ll certainly do more research before booking a weekend away and wont just jumping on a game drive without asking enough questions for usto ensure he is safe and enjoying his adventure.

Posted in Family Life, Life with my bears, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

What toiletries to pack for your 3 year old for a weekend away

We are going away this weekend as as much as I’m super excited and we won’t be too far from the shops, I’m still trying to pack so that we won’t need anything but also as lightly as possible.

Anyone with kids knows that’s near impossible.

Here’s what I’m taking in Hamish’s toiletry bag with us this weekend….

1. Clicks baby wet wipes

I’ve specifically chosen the Clicks baby brand of wet wipes as I know that they contain a little more moisture than most and I can squeeze a few together and clean more thoroughly. Being in the bush with lots of sand, we are going to need the extra water.

2. Hand sanitizer

For those moments when we are too far away from the bathrooms or taps. And for quick hand washes in the car before snacks.

3. Chicco strawberry toothpaste

This is Hamish’s toothpaste of choice and we thankfully have a few sample tubes, so can take a smaller version.

4. Colgate kids toothbrush

I find this toothbrush to be just the right size for Hamish with bristles that are not to hard for little mouths.

5. A rinse cup and tooth brushing time.

Because good hygiene routines don’t change just because we are away for the weekend, I’ll pack in his spiderman Character group plastic cup and a little tooth brushing sand timer that we bought from Diskem a while back.

6. Bennett’s bum cream

In case we need it. Honestly I hardly leave home without a tub.

7. Chicco anti mosquito products

I love this range and we’ve been using it for 2 months now …it works.

Hamish has been Mosquito free and as his skin is so sensitive I know this is a brand I can trust on his skin.

I’m taking the spray, as my teen Kerri has claimed the roll on, and the wipes which are nice and easy to just wipe him down with if he argues about the spray.

I’ve also packed in the after bite lotion just incase he is bitten.

8. Sunscreen

We don’t leave home without a sunscreen as Hamish burns so easily. Tis I usually keep in my handbag.

9. Johnsons and Johnsons 3 in 1 body wash

This product is devine. It smells fresh,makes just enough bubbles and is soft on Hamish’s skin. While I could use this as a shampoo as well I don’t.

10. Johnsons shampoo

We’ve been using this on Hamish’s hair for the last few weeks and I love the smell. I also like how shiny his hair is and that now with him trying to help me wash his own hair, it doesn’t burn his eyes like some others if it accidentally gets in his face.

11. A face cloth

Because we need to wash with something.

Can you think of anything I may have forgotten ?

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 ❤