Posted in babies, Events, Health & Wellness, Mamma bears, Parenting, pregnancy, Toddlers

International Babywearing week 30 September – 6 October

This week sees the start of the International Babywearing week.

A week long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate and educate about the many benefits of baby wearing.

The theme for 2019 is “CONTINUING TRADITION” and I encourage you to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

What is babywearing?

Babywearing has been practiced around the world for centuries and includes wearing your baby or toddler close to you in a sling, wrap or carrier, as you go about your day.

Babywearing has been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of attachment parenting.

The benefits of babywearing

There are many benefits to babywearing, they include :

  • Good for development as a baby who is carried is closer to mom and can study facial expressions, learn language and be familiar with body language.
  • Your baby may cry less and get a better quality of sleep and so improve their immune system.
  • Improve bonds with siblings as parents have free hands and are able to give more attention to siblings.
  • Helps premature babies gain weight and thrive as skin to skin contact is vital for babies born premature.
  • Good for hips when done correctly can assist to develop strong, healthy hip joints.
  • Can reduce colic as babies who are wborn tend to cry less.
  • Gives parents the freedom and confidence to perform other tasks.
  • Allows for a stronger bonding experience between baby and the wearer.
  • Can help with post natal depression as moms feel less guilty when wearing baby.
  • Keeps strangers away and stops them from just touching baby.
  • Helps mom lose the baby weight as you use more energy carrying yor baby than pushing a stroller.
  • Allows mom to feed on the go if you are breastfeeding.
( source : www.babywearing.org)

My babywearing journey

I started my parenting journey in 1992 and remember being given a baby carrier.

This was a simple device that clipped onto me, that I refused to use until my baby was a plump 5 months old in fear of her falling out.

Four years later as the mom of a now preschooler, a toddler and a new born I fished out the carrier again as I needed some free hands whilst shopping or cleaning the house.

I never saw this as baby wearing only as a way to free my hands to get things done.

In 2003 my youngest daughter was born and I met a fellow mom who wore her baby in bright handmade coloured slings. She seemed a bit eccentric to me.

Whilst I had a fancy pram to gently lay my baby down in she would pick up her little one and strap him to her back or slip him into his sling.

When I fell pregnant with Hamish, I had gained much more knowledge on the benefits of babywearing and my eccentric friend no longer looked so crazy.

One of my first purchases for Hamish was a ring sling.

But I broke my leg 3 weeks into our parenting journey with Hamish and spent much of his first year immobile. So baby wearing sadly did not become the part of our journey I had hoped it would be.

Still there were days when he fussed a little too much or when he was ill that I would bundle him into the sling (which I’m sure I always wore wrong)

Brent would use the sling for Hamish if we went out, keeping him close by.

Being on crutches I couldn’t carry Hamish and am greatful for the sling as it not only kept our little one safe and secure, it allowed for a stronger bond with Brent who became his primary carer if we were out.

I remember the one day in particular, Hamish hadn’t slept all day. His chest was bad and I was beginning to think he just wasn’t going to sleep at all.

The sling was in the car with Brent at work, I was stuck upstairs unable to move very far with a heavy cast on my leg and close to tears at my own frustration of not being able to stand up and rock my unhappy baby.

In desperation, I remembered my friend from so many years ago with her colourful handmade slings, grabbed a sarong and made a make shift sling to slip Hamish into.

A few seconds later, he slept for the first time in hours without fussing.

For us, baby wearing was a way to strenthen our bond, keep our little man safe and secure and to comfort him when he needed to be close to us.

Do you babywearing?

Posted in Brands we love, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Time, Fine motor activities

The LEGO® certified store opens in Canal walk

Yesterday we attended the opening day of the LEGO® certified store in Century City’s Canal walk shopping centre.

Unlike some fans, who had camped out in front of the store over night, we arrived at 10am and took our place in the queue.

We were handed brochures containing a LEGO® minifigure piece and encouraged to build ourselves at the minifigure building station, once inside the store, using this piece for R20.

The crowds were kept entertained by KFM radio, who were broadcasting from inside the store. We even spotted the KFM penguin mascot.

I was really concerned about standing in long queues with Hamish, who at 3 years old can bearly stand still long enough to get his shoes on, but with all the excitement of balloons and giveaways he was perfectly happy to wait his turn to enjoy this unique experience

LEGO® certified stores are renowned worldwide for their remarkable focus on customer service and this was certainly demonstrated yesterday as I observed moms with babies being taken through first to avoid niggles and as we were handed bottles of LEGO® branded water whilst we waited.

The queue moved quite quickly and we soon found ourselves waiting outside the doors for our turn to enter as Hamish admired the model of a Harley Davidson, made entirely from LEGO®

I had read that each LEGO® certified store offers a uniquely local experience and the essence of Cape Town is certainly represented by the giant Mother city mural, depicting Table mountain,on the wall ….

and the quaint model of Bo kaap that captured my attention with it’s familiar bright colours.

Inside the store was hectically busy and honestly we were not able to enjoy all the offerings of this fun filled store as the crowds were eager to explore.

The LEGO® certified stores offer a variety of fun LEGO® installations, extended and exclusive kits and unique experiences that are not avaliable through other toy distributors.

This particular store has :-

  • A Pick a Brick wall, where customers are given a choice of plastic cup size to fill with bricks of their choice from a wall of colorful options.

  • A mini figure building station where you can dream up your own creations fom a large variety of parts and options.
  • An augmented reality screen which showns you a 3D image of the box set you want to purchase helping you to visualize your buildig project.
  • And special building areas to keep little hands busy and encourage creativity.

Hamish and I had a quick walk around and have decided to explore and build his mini figures a little later,when the store is less crowded.

He did however enjoy learning some fun LEGO® facts ….

And discover how many LEGO® meters tall he is.

After we both made mental wish lists of all the kits we would love, we heade outside of the store to enjoy the entertainment area.

Here customers who had made purchases could enter a lucky draw and the children were treated to special activities for them.

The LEGO® bowling was Hamish’s favourite. ( How cute are those mini figure plushies?)

There was also a colouring station, LEGO® building station and a giant pit full of LEGO®

It was a great morning out and I see this store becoming a regular monthly visit for our LEGO® crazy little boy.

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 Cape Town - Things to see & do, Family Life, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

50 budget friendly fun holiday activities to keep the kids busy.

It’s the holidays and you have 2 weeks to keep the kids busy.

Whilst there are many amazing and wonderful programs, workshops and activities for the kids, often there are also parents who just can not afford to use these options as they exceed the budget.

Here’s my list of 50 budget friendly things you can do with the kids these holidays.

  1. Perform a puppet show
  2. Make magazine collages
  3. Play board games
  4. Have a bubble bath or fill a small plastic pool with bubbles
  5. Have a dance party
  6. Listen to an audio book or make your own by recording a book you read
  7. Make paper chains
  8. Build a blanket fort
  9. Make box cars, boats or houses
  10. Bake together
  11. Play dress up
  12. Go to the library
  13. Play a card game
  14. Build puzzles
  15. Blow bubbles
  16. Have an indoor picnic
  17. Go on a scavenger hunt
  18. Be superheroes with homemade capes made from towels
  19. Draw or paint a picture
  20. Start a scrapbook
  21. Make a video of your child singing or saying a poem
  22. Make paper aeroplanes
  23. Make and play with playdough
  24. Make friendship braclets
  25. Play with balloons
  26. Make your own musical instruments
  27. Paint each others faces
  28. Watch a movie
  29. Play hopscotch
  30. Have a tea party
  31. Make a car wash for toy cars
  32. Have a foam fight outside
  33. Make mud pies
  34. Finger paint
  35. Play in puddles
  36. Play hide and seek
  37. Go on a nature walk
  38. Plant flowers and start a garden
  39. Make shadow puppets
  40. Build a shoe box city
  41. Paint rocks
  42. Play charades
  43. Write letters to friends and family
  44. Write it tell a story
  45. Learn new songs or rhymes
  46. Read a book
  47. Build Lego towers
  48. Make a toy hospital and let your child be the doctor
  49. Run races or have an indoor obstaclean course
  50. Cuddle up and say I love you

How ever you choose to spend the holidays may then be full of love and memories.

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 babies, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

School Holiday challenge … Day 3

Sunday’s are family days. A time to connect and spend time together.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to get outdoors. Put on those Takkies and take the family for a walk. This is both healthy and fun.

A fun way to make this more exciting is to challenge the kids to a nature hunt.

A nature hunt is a list of items they need to find in your back garden, the park, or on your stroll through your neighbourhood.

Try to make your list relevant to your childs age and abilities. For example a little child may just look for a flower, whereas an older child can be asked to find a specific flower like a rose, sunflower or lily.

Here are some examples of a few fun nature hunts.

( photo credit unknown or on image .)

Make your own

Take a piece of paper or card. Draw or list a few items you want your child to collect.

Give your child the list and a marker to pick off each item found.

Just for fun

You could also divide into groups and see who finds the items fastest.

Happy hunting mammas.

Posted in babies, Crafts, Family Life, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

School Holiday challenge Day 2 – Homemade bath paint recipes

Most children love messy play as it stimulates their senses and allows them the freedom to explore and play.

Today’s challenge is fabulous for bath time but you can also use any of the recipes to let your child paint on glass doors, windows, tiles or a large plastic tray.

It washes off easily with hot soapy water.

I’ve included 3 recipes to make bath paints. I use the first one as I find it has a better consistency and can be made a few hours before and stored in the fridge.

RECIPES

1.Shaving cream bath paint

To make the shaving cream bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints into ( cake baking tins work best, but you can use anything non breakable)

🎨 Shaving cream

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paints together spray a generous amount of shaving cream into each container, add one or two drops of food colouring and mix well.

Note: The food colouring does not stain your child or the bath because it’s used in such small drops.

2. Yoghurt bath paint

This is a great paint to use with little children whom you think may try eat the paint.

The consistancy is a lot more runny, you could add some corn flour to thicken it if you feel it is too runny.

To make the yoghurt bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints in. (I like to use a 6 pack yoghurt and use the little pots themselves as my paint pots.)

🎨 Yoghurt

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paint, divide your yoghurt into little containers and add one or two drops of food colouring to your yoghurt.

The colours will be more pastel looking.

3. Bath tub finger paint.

This is a nice alternative to the shaving cream paint but also more runny and better for sensitive skin, as you can use your favourite baby wash or shampoo.

To make the bath finger paint you will need:

🎨 a container to mix your paint

🎨 About 4 to 6 tablespoons of your favourite baby wash or shampoo for each colour.

🎨 food colouring

🎨 1 teaspoon of corn flour per colour

🎨 paintbrush

To make your paint into each container add 4 to 6 tablespoons of your baby wash or shampoo.

Add a drop of food colouring per container.

Mix into each colour, a teaspoon of corn flour.

Mixing colours

Here’s a handy chart to mix your colours.

Happy bubbles mammas ❤

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

LESS LIGHT MORE SLEEP …Innovative specs help with ADHD

ADHD – a modern menace

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a modern menace for millions of children and adults alike. 

It is characterised by problems with concentration, impulse control, organisation and memory and makes life difficult for the child affected by the condition as well as parents, teachers and other care-givers; but, most significantly it often leads to a life-time dependency on drugs.

Sleep difficulties and ADHD

 
Sleep difficulties are also often associated with ADHD affected children and now the question is being asked: what comes first – the ADHD diagnosis or the sleep difficulty?  And is one being treated rather than the other?
 
According to commentary by Dr Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, one needs to consider sleep problems as a possible cause when evaluating patients for ADHD
 
He notes that many of the symptoms of ADHD are similar to insufficient or poor sleep, for example lack of focus, problems listening, forgetfulness and disorganisation, as well as a tendency to be agitated, excitable and disruptive.
 
These behaviours interfere with a child’s social and intellectual development, causing problems with relationships with peers and adults, at school and at home.
 
There is also particularly strong evidence that children with sleep disordered breathing display many of the same symptoms & behavioural problems as children with ADHD

The problem, however, is that sleep disorder screening is not often done and so problems go undiagnosed.

Does technology play a part?

 
 
Dr Thakkar makes the interesting observation that …

“the escalation of ADHD cases in the 1990’s and 2000’s coincided with the rise of the digital age, and the widespread use of personal technology that now pervades our daily lives.

These devices – our laptops, tablets and cell phones – that enable so much convenience and connection, also threaten the quality and quantity of sleep.

The night-time exposure to the light they emit interferes with the body’s release of melatonin, disrupting sleep cycles and diminishing time spent in the deepest, most restorative phases of sleep. 

More than ever before in history, we must work to create the darkness that is so essential to sleep.

Keeping our bedrooms, and our children’s bedrooms, gadget-free sanctuaries for sleep is one important way to guard against chronic sleep deprivation.”

 
This may be easier said than done, however, as watching television or playing a game on their tablet also helps children destress after a busy day at school. 
 
 
SleepSpec is a non-invasive, non-medicated solution to sleep difficulties. 

These glasses contain scientifically engineered amber lenses, which filter out the blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin.

 
Worn for two hours before bedtime, SleepSpec allows the body to produce melatonin and prepare for sleep, while continuing with watching television or using other electronic devices.  

“The glasses, however, need to be taken off in complete darkness, as even the smallest amount of light can signal the brain to stop producing melatonin and to wake up,” says Daniel.

 
He adds that it is also important to keep bedrooms as dark as possible and use an amber coloured flash light on waking at night so as not to interrupt melatonin production.
 
“Many children suffer from night terrors or are scared of the dark.  If any light is needed, make sure that it is one with an orange or red colour as this contains little or no blue light and so will not disturb sleep,” he says.
 
The effectiveness of SleepSpec is also cumulative so the more they are used the more noticeable the difference.
 
SleepSpec come in various styles including one specifically designed for children. 
 

For more information http://www.sleepspec.com

(Photo credit: Sleepspec)
(Article supplied)

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Family Life

We visit The Farmyard Farmstall


Situated opposite the Duynefontein turn off on the R27 our favourite Farmstall has relocated and set up bigger, better and with a fabulous farmstyle menu just waiting for you to enjoy.



This little restaurant, farmstall and party space truly tugs at my country girl heart.

From being greeted with wine barrels and haybales to finding the cutest scarecrow at the door inviting you into a world of homemade treats and delights.


This little farmstall has been in operation for 20 years and are still supplied by some of their first suppliers.

The homemade breads, jams and preserves are always fresh and of a good quality.


They also offer a loyalty program through their app.

Now you can enjoy yummolicious rewards for buying your daily bread.


The grounds are fully fenced and I personally felt a lot more relaxed here with Hamish than at the last property as I was able to sit and watch him whilst he explored.


There’s a sturdy jungle gym, little black bikes to ride, a jumping castle and the magic of pulling off your child’s shoes and letting the be free to play outdoors.

And it wouldn’t be a farm without animals.

The enclosed duck pond ensures any small children are still safe to explore and older children can enjoy the ducks inside their area.

Hamish took some time to have a little chat to the duck family.

Your child can also feed the free range chickens that stroll around clucking at you whilst you enjoy your meal.

An enamel cup of chicken feed will cost you R5. Please take some coins with when visiting to enable you to use the vending machine.


Hamish was totally mesmerised by the gentle hens and smiley the rescue dog


The home cooked meals will take you back to grandma’s kitchen as you tuck into the deliciously presented meals.

Pricing is good and the kiddies menu is large enough to cater for even the fussiest eater.


So the next time you are looking for a wholesome day out head to the Farmyard Farmstall.



For more information click  here

Photos ( Farmyard farmstall and Fun mamma SA)
Posted in Family Life, Parenting

Just 5 more minutes

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.

“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

“He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”

Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”

The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”

Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”

The man smiled and said, “OK.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa.

She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch her play.”

~ Author Unknown

Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today!